Do you feel as though searching for inspiration is better than it coming to you?
I’ve been here 11 years. I haven’t been home in a while. Whenever I talk to my grandmother, I just break into tears. I miss her. I want to be in the house where I was brought home from the hospital. I want to be in the house where I was raised. We got chickens in the backyard, a mango tree and banana trees. I want to climb trees. Climb the coconut tree with the machete and cut it down I want to go the beach Coki Beach and Megans Bay. I have an ill family history there. My family is a historic family on that island; we are in the museums down there. I want to go do that. My grandfather started his autobiography before he died; he never finished it. I would like to finish his autobiography because I finished mine. There are a lot of loose ends that have to be tied, and I want to go do that. I think that somewhere in there, I’m gonna find myself. What is this really all for? I’m the only person in my family that has made it this far. I do feel to answer your questions that sometimes you have to go not looking for i,t but just go back to square one. Just go back to where it all started, your islands, your projects or grandma’s house.
I know you’ve heard about everyone and their books that are coming out: its like all these different tell all’s and all that.
No, honey. I’ve only heard about myself.
Guess who has new tell-all book? Prodigy from Mobb Deep.
I don’t know Prodigy, [but] I’ve heard of Mobb Deep…[singing “Get Away”]
People in that circle that understand all those underground people that he is mentioning there are a lot of instances where they are starting to get upset that he released this information. Some people call it snitching, but he’s like how is it snitching if it happened to me, and it’s my truth. Where is the line drawn?
You people with your lingo. That is the most urban shit I’ve heard in my life. When Goldie Hawn wrote her memoirs, no one said Goldie Hawn was snitching. When Jane Fonda wrote her memoirs, no one said Jane Fonda was snitching. That is part of the black experience. Where do you people come up with this shit?
It’s an issue in that community.
This is a community of secrets and lies; a community of don’t ask, don’t tell. I mean that didn’t start with the gays; that started with blacks. That’s the types of families we all came from. I remember specifically my mother telling me growing up don’t put my business in the street. I was like seven, and I am like what does that mean. I feel like the truth is the truth, and the broader and the bigger the truth the better because then other people get to know they’re not alone, that they are not the only people to have these feelings. I feel that it is important that people aren’t afraid to share their stories; this is why people get upset when you share your stories because it reminds them of themselves and their secrets. It’s a lot of people’s truths. And people don’t want to hear that. It makes other people very uncomfortable. I kind of like when people say, “Hey how are you?” You always say, “I’m fine.” And why do you do that? I don’t do that anymore. I haven’t done that since ’04. I say, “I’m not doing well. Today’s a shitty day. Fuck off.” Whatever I feel, whatever is going on, that’s what I’m going to say because I want you to know what I’m doing. But, I feel like people say “I’m fine”, because it allows the other person to keep moving. But if you say, “I’m having a bad day, my husband is beating me and my kids don’t listen to me.” What is that other person supposed to say? You have to respond. You have to do something about it. People don’t want to get involved. So everyone always says “I’m fine.” When you start writing about your life, and it’s not all peaches and cream because nobody’s life is, other people become uncomfortable because now you have to respond to that. And I think that it’s sad that in this particular community, we’ve been brought up to don’t ask don’t tell. That’s why a lot of us are so hurt and so angry because there aren’t any outlets. But good for him, whoever he is. Good for him.