An Open Letter To The Present and Future President Obama [2012 and Beyond]

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Dear President Obama, You’ve won. Congratulations. Honestly. As an independent, I had no initial horse in this race, but as a Afro-Latino, I’m proud that you’ve once again managed to claim the White House as yours, in a country where the bones, blood, and sweat of African slaves and Native Americans sit under the House you now occupy. Your re-election came at a high cost, specifically your dreams of a …

seattle

Supersonic

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

I always dreamed I would end up in Seattle somehow. In the early 90s, I fell in love with the idea of going to the Emerald City back when Gary Payton threw lobs to Shawn Kemp for some of the most incredible alley-oops I had ever seen in my life. My infatuation with the green and gold only grew as I started to see pictures of the Space Needle and …

Wu Tang Clan

Short Notes: A Family Thing

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

You probably wouldn’t know it from the lack of information I’ve shared about my actual family, but I come from a single-mother household with one brother from my stepfather and a plethora of siblings, a couple of whom I didn’t even know of until I was 16. Much of that stems from lack of responsibility or maybe even ignorance, but I’m over that. It took years for me to realize …

2Pac In Backwards Hat & Chain

Against All Odds

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Today will mostly be remembered for 2Pac Shakur’s birthday. The once and still prolific MC carried on a legendary life, evidenced by his persistent legacy and demigod status within multiple communities. He constantly ranks amongst the most profitable dead celebs, and his style continues to pervade some really popular MCs. People like me were also captivated by the man’s intelligence and his allusions to some of the most sacred and …

Jose In The Dark

The Sounds of Quisqueya Call Me Right Back

Jose Vilson Jose 17 Comments

Today, Raquel Cepeda linked me to a post about Dominican-Haitian relations that she wrote on her blog, and for those of you who know me, you know I had to jump on that quickly. Most of you know my story already: Dominican mom, Haitian father, grew up conflicted about my identity and how people sought to mold it for me through their often contradictory actions, and eventually, I found my …

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Open Thread: Thankful

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

My favorite Thanksgiving traditions involve my younger brother and cousin eating pernil (pork) from Mom’s awesome cooking, drinking tons of soda, playing NBA 2Ksomething, or Mario Kart, and then sitting in the living room after the adults left and talking shit. Just putrid and haterific shit. Most of it I can’t even remember, but I know most of it wasn’t even called for. Needless to say, my family traditions weren’t …

Immigration in Contempt

All For Naught

Jose Vilson Jose 22 Comments

It bothers me that the children of immigrants can so blatantly show disrespect to present day immigrants. Let me give a little backdrop. I was in a car once with a group of young women, and one of them said, “I have very strong views on immigration.” I said, “I do, too.” (wink) She went on to talk about immigrants as if they’re that much different from us. Another young …

Kids In Front of School In Rain

Ojala Que Llueva Cafe En El Campo (Hope That It Rains Coffee In The Field)

Jose Vilson Jose 16 Comments

Juan Luis Guerra’s quintessential song is “Ojala Que Llueva Cafe En El Campo,” a song that comes across more as a incantation that the poor and hopefully at the least have coffee somehow fall from the sky to bless them, as if to say that G_d might bless them with their basic necessities to relieve them from their hunger, strife, and sorrow. Riddled with metaphors and as passionate as any …

Younger, But Not Little

Jose Vilson 9 Comments

I love my brother.The herb’s birthday was on St. Patrick’s Day, and yet, another year passes and I couldn’t celebrate with him personally. He’s making big moves at my alma mater, doing everything I didn’t, and hopefully excelling academically. I wish him the very best in his growth as a young man, and as a brother. We didn’t always get along, but he more than anyone else made me want …

Our Father

Jose Vilson 8 Comments

I wasn’t supposed to write tonight, but I’m moved again.Excuse me for getting a little too personal, but over the last week, I’ve noticed the vital role that fathers play in their offspring’s role. Unfortunately, we still have fathers who won’t own up to being fathers, mothers who berate fathers regardless of how integral a person that man is, fathers who want to be great fathers but never learned, fathers …