“How was the city of Brotherly Love?”
“Nothing but Love, my brother.”
A city whose spirit was deep, and rich. And proud. From the moment I pulled into the city limits, I was welcomed with grace and humility. I had always wanted to get to Philadelphia. I don’t know exactly what It was…perhaps it was the notion that if I was so blessed to be in the city, I would be as Fresh as the Prince. The Prince, as Fresh as He is, had a way of doing that. He humanized Philly; He instilled in me as a youngster, that Philly – somewhere down the line – was going to be somewhere on this journey. And, not to take anything from the elders Bill Cosby and Patti Labelle; for these two have royally reigned over Philadelphia for some time. But the Prince, as Fresh as He is, made Philly tangible to me.
I was met in the city by my sister of the soul who, exclusively for my own amusement, I will refer to as Assata Tubman. Assata picked me up at the 23rd hour and we cruised. Through the streets of Philadelphia, our conversations carried us. We quickly caught up on each other’s lives and current projects. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as I’ve grown older – in life, those who get things done don’t “work…” we have projects. A project has a definite end date. That’s important to me. End date means I can move on.
So Assata and me chopped it up that weekend! The amount of fun we had together, in each other’s space and presence was something I will never forget. Of all the shenanigans me and dear Assata got into that weekend, there were two distinct adventures that stand out to me.
Sometime that weekend, Assata and I visited the bookstore Black and Noble. I had never been in the space of anyone who had spoken of this place but it had a deep following from around the nation; I saw this when I tweeted my location. When we walked into the bookstore we were greeted by two gentlemen, one of which littered me with a wealth of knowledge on the psychology of mentacide, and the Moors of Spain, and Hannibal the great African Warrior, and Hidden Colors 3, and the fall of Babylon.
So much knowledge that brother dropped on me. I left there full; a book on Hannibal and a good read on psychological warfare; but also, that brother – Levi as I recalled – sent me away with a newfound understanding of my purpose. This was confirmed as I departed and Levi sent me away with one more gift. A DVD that chronicled the rise and fall of…Marcus Garvey.
Later in the day, after having set ablaze over some deelish chicken phillysteaks From Max’s. just the night before, Assata began telling me of this friend she kept who made the best edibles. They were made with organic coconut oil and copper water that he harvests in his home and home grown ginger and fresh strawberries…all types of goody’s. I made up my mind that we had to go!
Assata and I set off on our way to retrieve these magic edibles. When we pulled up to the house, we were by met A Man.
Allow me to describe this brotha the best way I can can.
I imagined that if Brother Jesus had come to Philly, and transcended, and returned as Brother Marley, as ascended, he would have retuned as this brother, whose essence met me at the door. This fellow Pharaoh-in-Training seemed to be more attuned to Her than I was ; He was bronze and small. His hair was loc’d and free at the same time. His eyes told the story of a man whose age was much older than he appeared. I assumed 25 in my head. Assata would later inform me he was 33. This brother’s spirit was kind and gentle; he didn’t know me, and were told that I was coming to his home on very short notice. This brother could have very easily met me with contempt and suspicion – especially in the presence of His children; but He didn’t.
When we entered His home, he made the energy of his home very clear: this was a space for only positive interaction. He explained to me that shoes were not worn in his home, and so I removed mine. He instructed me to hold them in my hand. And so I did. We went into the kitchen where he nourished and entertained his three young Kings. The Three, with the older no more than 7 (I would assume) sat quietly, snacking feverishly on kale chips, celery sticks, and hummus. I nodded, acknowledging their presence, more so than establishing my own – humbling myself to them. They nodded. Returning the humility. We left them there, departed to His basement – which also doubled as a recording studio and received Her gifts; one gift in her truest form and the other baked into a strawberry and ginger-lemon cookies.
And how were these cookies?
You’ll have to go to Philadelphia, find Assata, and hope she feels move to share with you.
I left Philadelphia the next day renewed. There was a Black buzz in Philadelphia that was contagious; the people were hungry and natural born hustlers. They were eager for battle and over-prepared for any endeavors beyond that – should it go there. Philadelphia; still hooked by Garvey’s UNIA and the Nation of Islam, the Black political and economical Militia that once called Malcolm General, was ripe for organization and action. Assata knew what I came to do; And, guided by A Message For The People,had given me what I needed to know, see, and feel.
Philly was ready.
And so was I.
Until We meet again, Philly 🙂
Black Biz Alert:
Address: 1500 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Number: (215) 344-8150
Number: (215) 344-8150
Cuisine: Cheesestakes (chicken and beef), wings, fries,
Comments: Listen…the sandwiches are absolutely ridiculous. $10 and you’re going to get 12 inches worth of meat, peppers. It’s in the hood but the people are cool as shit. If you’re lucky, you might catch the woman that comes with a box of candy on her head serenading you into buying some m&m’s from her. I’d recommend going during the day; we went around 9 and the entire block was swole. Good music next door. It’s really loud so be prepared for that. The brothers making the sandwiches and the sisters on the registers got a grove an have it down PACKED. Don’t fcuk up their flow! They have a system; you get it and you’re good…J $$
Name: Black and Noble
Address: 1409 W. Erie Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Facebook: Black and Noble
Service: Bookstore, drugstore, community center.
Comments: Dope, Dope, Dope, DOPE!!! It was my intention to be in and out That turned into 3 hours of browsing, reading, and conversing. Hidden Colors 3 was playing when I walked in. Both of the brothers who were there when I was there was absolutely gracious. I spent $30 dollars and was eligible for a free gift (A DVD of my choice).