Posts Tagged With: Panama

Lost In The Wilderness (Soundtrack)

LITW

The Soundtrack will be released on your bandcamps, soundclouds and youtubes and all those good ole musical sharing avenues.  The track listing will include all songs used in the upcoming documentary (Lost In The Wilderness).  A list of songs, some -like Peaceful, C.h.u.c.h.a, The flight back, and The Field  of which have already been released on other projects. but help tell the story of Negros Americanos.  The Soundtrack, however is majority new songs that the world has never heard, including snippets from the upcoming album “Take Flight”.  I can also tell you that the song cornbread will  be on the soundtrack along with another song from the same band Le Gamut.  

Check the link below to see the trailer for the (L.I.T.W) soundtrack sung by the beautiful and talented Fallon Chalvire (euphrates).  This will also be the intro record, you will enjoy-

The first single from the Lost In The Wilderness (Soundtrack) -Can you ride it- has been out since the 4th of May.  It features the voice of the lovely Alexis Monteith, and was filmed on a secret location.  The first three people to guess the location get a free black and white Negros Americanos t-shirt!!!! Leave your guess in the comment box here!

can you

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Locked Up Abroad : Panama (walking while black) w/ mc enigma

written by

mc enigma of Negros Americanos


Shit was everywhere.

I hadn’t understood the saying, “this tastes like shit,” until I’d inhaled a deep breath of hot air filled with excrement and urine vapor in my 8ft x 8ft cell that I shared with 6 other men at the police station in Juan Diaz.  I hadn’t done anything wrong or committed any offense, but I was locked up abroad.

Bishop and I were kicking it with our newfound family in the barrio Concepcion in Juan Diaz in Panama City, Panama.  The night before, there was a comparsa (a neighborhood parade where everyone is dancing outside and people have instruments, clink pans and pots, and sometimes men dress up as mystical creatures with dresses).  Bishop was living in Caledonia with his woman at the time who practiced Santeria, and I was living on Calle 16 en Ciudad Radial.  Everyone was out, even Caballo Loco, an old man and known character in the neighborhood who was notorious for dressing up like a woman and dancing on people when inebriated in the comparsa.

It was close to midnight when the police came.  The comparsa died and people dispersed.  Bishop had left a little before, returning to his cougar in Caledonia and just as I was about to head home, I was advised to spend the night and leave in the morning because it would be safer and the police were out.  Whenever our Pana-fam told  us that the police were out,  it was to warn us that they occasionally apprehend and detain men at their discretion.  The next morning I found out what they meant.

It was around 7 am when I’d walked from Concepcion to Ciudad Radial, my barrio.  Before reaching my gate, I doubled back to the chinito (corner store owned by chinese people) around the corner.  I bought some coco-flakes and milk that I thought I’d be eating moments later in the comfort of the Sweatbox.

On the way back from the chinito, I’d turned onto Calle 16  and was footsteps from my gate when the police came.  They hopped out like the gestapo with M16s and uzis drawn.  My hands reached for the heavens and I froze.  With several firearms aimed at me, one officer took the lead in questioning me.

policia panama

“Tiene cedula,” the officer asked.

I gave him my passport and explained that I was from the US and was an english teacher in Marbella.  I spoke in english first, then broken spanish because my white co-workers at my job said to always speak english when the cops stop you.  It had gotten them out of a lot of trouble, so I thought, I’d have similar luck.  Little did I know.

The pig (a euphemism for the police primarily used by people of color, but not limited to said group, sarcastically) looked at his cohorts then looked back at me and said, “tiene plata?”  I looked puzzled as if I didn’t understand what he meant, so he unstrapped his handgun that was attached to his chest holster and asked me again.

“¿Tiene plata?”

I kinda got the feeling that he meant business this time.

policia vehiculo panama negros americanos

I reached deep into my pockets, unravelling both to show that I was broke.  Some change fell out as I did this, so I slowly went to pick it up.  It was about 75 cents.  As I was counting it, the officer got aggravated and slapped the change out my hand and handcuffed me.

At gunpoint I was put into the back of the police truck and handcuffed to another detainee.  This particular man was rambunctious, cursing the police and threatening to hurt them.  The police kept telling him to shut up, pointing their large weapons at him.  Our wrists were joined by the cuffs and as he got rowdy swinging his hands, he pulled me.  I was trying my best to create as much distance between us in the back of the police truck, just in case they chose to shoot him.

I later learned in the cell that he was aggravated because the police apprehended him while he was walking down the street with his 3 year old daughter.  The cops took him and left her in the street.

I empathized.

We arrived at the station and were escorted off two at a time.  We were taken to the back, searched down to the undergarments (down to the birthday suit). All personal possessions, like keys and phones, were taken.

No charges, no rights being read and no phone calls.  I was off the grid and completely unaware of what was going to happen to me.

We were walked outside and around the side to the holding cells.

The gust of funk that let out when the officer opened the cell door could’ve burned the ugly off the face of Mick Jagger.  It was that putrid!

One by one the other captives entered.

I looked at the officer and said “por que?”  He motioned with his uzi to my back to enter the cell.

To be continued….

Click here for Part 2 of Locked Up Abroad : Panama (walking while black) w/ mc enigma

– mc enigma


negros americanos en concepcion, juan diaz

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Hey Negros Americanos, Why did you choose to live in Panama?

Negros Americanos Panama Costa Rica Black man rapping in spanish

Bishop The Eastside Nappyhead Negros Americanos

By now you feel like you know me a bit don’t you?  You know about my cougar love affair, you know about the decrepit housing project we lived in together in Panama, but do you know the real reasons that prompted our journey to central America?  I have to admit that before the year 2009 I had  no idea what a Panamanian person looked like, thats not to say that I didn’t know plenty of Panamanians, I just didn’t know anything about where they came from.

The first time I realized I was talking to a Panamanian person, was at work.  She was an interesting person, with a great sense of humor.  Interestingly enough during the short time that I met her I was watching a program on the US invasion of Panama, something that happened when I was but a newborn, nonetheless I never heard of this event and the unjustified violence and brute force used on the Panamanian people.  The woman that I worked with was unmistakably black and her accent was so caribbean I swore that she was Jamaican or something, but then i heard her speaking in spanish.  Now it wasn’t the first time I heard a black person speaking spanish.  I’d known some black Dominicans, but the fact that she spoke in a Caribbean style intrigued me.  I asked her where she was from and she said Panama.  Wouldn’t you know that after meeting her I would run into countless Panamanians who all were full of pride for their home country.

hip hop in panama living in panama the real Panama

mc enigma Negros Americanos

Going back even further, I knew mc enigma most of my life.  Probably since we were about seven.  We went to different elementary schools in Plainfield but he actually went to the same school as my cousin.  I would always see him when I went with my grandmother to pick my cousin up from the after school program.  It was actually in middle school when we started putting raps together.  mc enigma graduated from NJCU and got a job working at Yale as a Union organizer in Connecticut, and I stayed in Plainfield working  and was still in school and trying to make my way.  The year was 2010 and it was getting crazy in Plainfield New Jersey.  In this small city of about 45,000 or so there were several murders and I started to notice a growing trend of blacks and latinos killing each other.  Once mc enigma found out about the murders he decided to come back to Plainfield, and we lent our time working for the Plainfield chapter of the Newark based People’s Organization for Progress(POP).  After the notable murder of a teenager in the city we both canvased the neighborhood where the crime happened to talk to the people and realized that the majority of the neighborhood didn’t speak any english. Our message was useless if the people couldn’t hear it.  We wanted to be able to reach everyone in the community and  ease the tension and fear.  With that same mentality, we began to think; “Hey, if we can learn spanish we would be able to make the same type of classic music that we make in english and be able to grab a way larger fan base than otherwise.”  Imagine when we learn other languages as well, we will be unstoppable.  The idea for Negros Americanos was now born.

na black americans rapping in spanish

Now the question was, “how were we going to move to a spanish speaking country?”  Panama was preferred because of the large population of black people.  We knew that we would be able to maneuver there easier than other latin american countries that have as much of an economic boom as Panama was and is still having.  So how were we going to afford it? We started to research how to live and work in a foreign country on google and learned that teaching english was the best route to go about.  We saved up money and paid for courses for certification in teaching english, thinking that after taking the 3 month program we would be placed with a job.  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  We were told that we had to buy our plane ticket and physically travel to the country to look for a job.  When I heard just how difficult it would be for me to find work, as I would be judged as a drug addicted Rasta because of my hair, I almost gave up on the dream.  I didn’t want to starve out there.  Once we got the certification, we bought a one-way ticket to Panama and we met another Panamanian woman in New Jersey, who would become our Aunt.  She was so excited that we were going to move to her country that she told us we could move in with her sister for a few months to get ourselves together. We waited until the 5th of January 2011 and then we hopped on a plane to Panama City, Panama.

Negros Americanos mujeres bonitas de Panama

Bellas Mujeres De Panama

I was so excited to be out of the country and to be starting this new life, the goal was to absorb everything we possibly could, especially the language. As soon as we stepped out into the airport I realized that the “physical” quality of women in this country was unbelievable.  I had learned that the best way to learn a language would be to find a significant other that doesn’t speak your same language.  It forces you to learn in a more natural way.  With that said,  we treated the female hunt with the same passion we took on the job hunt.  Trying to talk to every woman that I could possibly run into with my 5 word spanish, sticking my chest out as if my American-ness would give me access to all of these thick brown women. After reading several blogs on Panamanian women, I thought it would be easier, but I didn’t take into account that those blogs were written by white men, and the results would be a tad different for me.

nueva concepción Panama, gueto de Panama

Bishop The Eastside Nappyhead en Concepcion Juan Diaz Panama

Our adventure began in the neighborhood of Nueva Concepción, Panama, a humble neighborhood where you really  feel a sense of community.  The family we lived with was very black and proud, so when I hung out in the street I was in awe at the amount of black women with white or cholo  (panamanian word for indigenous mixed with spaniard) men.  I also noticed that some (not all of course) of the black Panamanian women that I tried to talk to would look me right in my face and then look ahead as if I didn’t even exist.  One time I noticed that happen with me, but then when a fellow white American tourist tried to talk to her and she broke her neck to make sure that he was responded to.  I was in shock.  I started to learn about the “mejorar la raza” phrase that some women have adopted.  It hurt me so to know that many of these women were not with these men initially because of love, rather because of self-hatred and the desire to have ‘pretty’ children who hadn’t been cursed with the same sun absorbing skin tone.  At that point we made a conscious decision to promote black pride everywhere we went.

Negros americanos water shortage in Panama

Negros Americanos water shortage in Panama

 

 

We couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.  There was a water shortage in the country in the first couple months of 2011.  We ended up taking bucket showers and using water from buckets to cook.   Every day a truck would come around midday with water tanks and fill up our buckets.  We had to conserve the water though and not use too much for bathing as it was a family of 6 or 7 including us and the same water had to be used for cooking, needless to say in a country so hot I began to learn how to caress my body with powder every morning.  After the second month, the water started to come back.  Now we could concentrate on trying to find out where all the hip hop events were and how to collaborate with other artists.  That is the story that will be told in the next blog post.

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The Enticing Growl of the Cougar parte 2

ciel

I guess I did indeed make you guys wait a little longer than expected, for that I apologize.  So its december and I we (Negros Americanos) have almost been living back in the states on and off for about a year.  We moved back from Panama in the early part of 2012 and have already accomplished much of what we set out to do.  The goal of living in Panama was to learn spanish in an environment where we can fit in being urban black youth.  Not to be a part of any collegiate programs, but to find a job and live as the average struggling Panamanian; to completely submerge ourselves in another culture and let it change our psyche and how we view the Planet Earth.  The struggle in Panama City was real, and honestly if it weren’t for Cielo, I don’t know how well this story would have ended up.

We (mc enigma and I) worked as english teachers for an internationally known language institute, and weren’t exactly rolling in doe.  To be precise, well off students (usually foreigners from Venezuela escaping  Chavez’s government flooded to Panama along with Spaniards, French and Colombian ‘workers’) paid  $40/hour for english classes at this school, while the language center only paid us $7.50/hr, while we were the ones that actually did the teaching.  Needless to say we offered our services to the students on the side for some extra money like we learned we could do when we were researching this transition on the internet before we came to Panama.  Its not exactly what the Language Center would like you to be doing so we had to keep it under wraps, but I quickly learned that a great number of these wealthy students (almost all of which were white) didn’t take to kindly to the idea of taking private lessons with someone who looked anything like me.

When I first moved to my 1 bedroom apartment in Ciudad Radial, Juan Diaz I was paying 120 a month 60 out of every check for rent. Image

I flipped when “La Dueña” told me the price, I thought I misunderstood her spanish.  That price was stupid cheap………..back when we kept the schedule that we had when we first found our jobs.  But we quickly realized that with a 7 am to 8:30pm schedule constantly speaking english, the dream of learning spanish and forming an international bi lingual hip hop/reggae group was not going to happen.  I made up a lie to get out of having to work that many hours; I approached my supervisor and in a shaken state I told him that a gang of young bandits threatened me while walking and pointed their hands like a pistol at me and I could no longer work nights.  My plan worked but backfired at the same time, because we serviced professionals the hours were geared towards a working 9 to 5 schedule so we gave classes from 7-10:30 am had pause another class form 12 -1pm and a last from 6-8:30pm.   After that we were reduced to working 7-10:30 everyday and some days occasionally staying until 1.

When the mice began to infest my apartment I was ready for it.  We tried to fight back, sliced and diced a couple, why-we even put glue traps down only to capture other animals (mc enigma actually used a photo of two lizards that got caught in my glue mouse traps to advertise the project that he was working on at the time; mc enigma L.y.L.e rainy season. 

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It was like with each mouse killed 2 or more decided to join the party.  It felt disgusting sleeping in my bed above and hearing the scurrying below as they were foraging for food in my apartment, as my home had become their habitat.    After I met Cielo and got comfortable it just made sense for me to move into with her.  I knew what I was getting myself into, I knew the risks but its really what I wanted to do, no different than a journalist who travels to Iraq to get that winning scoop.  I guess it’s time to pick up where I left off in the story right.  So, before I ever entered Cielo’s building, I  was always at her stand.

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It was a ritual to go there and just soak in the atmosphere, the people, the smells (usually of the putrid ooze and black water that ran along the side of the street where it met the curb, that mixed in such a distinct way with the papas rellenas y el pescado frito).  One thing that I noticed about many people as they walked past the Kiosko de Plantas Medicinales was that the number of amputees in this small area was astronomical. Image

I saw some of the most sexy women with missing limbs.  I saw so many young men my age missing an arm or a leg, as i often found myself wondering what their stories were.  I listened as she talked and laughed with her customers, I learned the names of all of the plants and when she had to go on runs, even with my limited Spanish, I was able to help her conduct business alone.  I found myself buying newspapers everyday (they still costed 25 cents in Panama).  While the more distinguished Panamanians would always suggest that I practice reading ‘La Prensa’, which could be compared to a ‘New York Times’, I opted for ‘El Siglo’, Your ‘New York Post’ equivalent, but on steroids.  I never in my long legged life saw such macabre images on a national print sold at every major business and in the street.  The bodies that made it to the front page were usually covered in blood, hacked up or shot an ignorant amount of times.  Sometimes they would black out the eye area, but most times they just kind of left the body as is in the edit.  I wondered how the family members of these victims felt about their loved ones being used to sell cheap classless papers.  Oh did I mention that on the back cover of the paper featured images of half naked Panamanian women (some of which had to have been the most sexy women that I have ever feasted my eyes on in life).  I collected at least 30 issues of ‘El Siglo’  to bring back with me to the states to show my brethren how their papers differ from ours.

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I made a friend in Cielo’s neighborhood.  A disgruntled rasta from Colon, Panama (on the Caribbean side of the isthmus….the black town as it is looked at).  His name was Sea Mon.  Well, that is the name that I was given, I never really asked him for his real name, everyone just called him Sea Mon, because he sold Issinglass (or Irish Moss, as it is rightfully called) on the street.  he would boast that his issinglass was the best because he would actually go to the sea and collect the sea algae himself, instead of relying on vendors like his competition.  This man was an outcast, an anomaly, he hated everyone in his surroundings he spent most of the time sitting on an upside down bucket talking to himself in a west indian broken english about how he hated all Spaniards (white people I presumed).  I was a listening ear for him and his woes, and he took a liking to me.  We would talk day to day about racism, immigration, women and money.  People looked at me strangely because we talked everyday but I didn’t care, and he needed that human interaction.  One day I found myself in need of my own version of plantas medicinales and I talked to him about it.  He said “sure I know where to find that mon”.  I followed this man that I barely knew into an open door on the side of the decrepit building, as I walked up the stairs I saw the walls tagged up with drawings of Ak-47’s and pistols, gang initials and muerte (death).  I wanted to stop and turn back, but I couldn’t look weak, so I decided to continue as we made our way to the top of the steps, the first thing I saw was a wall riddled with bullet holes and what appeared to be dried blood on the floor.  we turned around the ben and I saw a group of youth hanging out smoking and playing music from their stolen blackberry’s (more on the whole blackberry craze in a later post).  “XopA Fren” (wuss good homie) says one of the baby gangsters.  I kept quiet, they seemed to look rather soft and boy like but the overall scenery was something out of a “Saw” movie “to bien, es que traje un amigo que quiere kenked” (I brought a friend thats wants some medicinal plants) said Sea Mon.  “To bien kompa”  (cool bro) we left that building and it was my introduction to where i would be living, and the people I would be living with .  At that time Cielo had not yet lived there, she was living in a hotel down the street.  She settled for that building about a month into our relationship, and when she told me i begged her not to move in there but she assured me that things would be good.  I said I would never visit her in there but she assured me that I would, and she was right.

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The sex was incredible, I never imagined that sex with a woman in her 40’s could be so slippery and invigorating.  The way she craved it 24/7 made me feel like a young Leonardo DeCaprio.  She needed me, she needed the service that I provided.  It never failed I never needed pills or breaks.  I did what was required of me, I fulfilled my obligations and that made her happy.  Now what I had a problem with was the fact that she loved for us to make sweet music at night.  Now that is all well and good, but the apartment was so small, and her son was there sleeping, but at his age he was fully aware of what sex was.  I felt uncomfortable having sex because of all of the moans screams and bed noises, I knew it was only a matter of time before he was to wake up.  Im sure he woke up several times during that experience and the trauma from that would never allow for him to take too kindly to me.  A rift started between her and I  at this moment and it killed me because I felt like I was never understood with her.  She thought that I found her unattractive and that I was looking at all of the young women that walked around her stand.  We used to argue all the time, at the time I hated it, I mean every situation called either for an argument or her trying to undermine me in front of her constituents.  But all of these situations forced me to think on my feet quickly for a response.  I needed to be able to defend myself from the onslaught of “Vete a la foking mierda Jordan”” Pa la pinga”  all of these things were said to me almost on a daily basis and those situations helped me to learn Spanish faster.

I noticed interesting things about her.  For instance she avoided stepping on any cracks, she wouldn’t drink from the same bottle as me or anyone else from that matter and she always had strangers over.  Many of which who were gay and transexual Santeros, namely one fat gay witch named La Burbuja (the bubble).  he was such an odd character, he always tried to practice his english with me and that was cool and all, but when she gave him a key and he would go upstairs conducting ‘business’ with women who wanted to either know their future or find out if their husbands were cheating on them I started to get suspicious.  I heard some of the most strange noises, but I refused to see what it was that they were doing as it was none of my concern.  Come to think of it so many strange things happened when i was in there, I remember one time I was looking over the balcony and along with the trash I saw a dead baby being picked apart by vultures.  I vomited in my mouth, I went back and forth to that spot for about 15 days and noticed that the heavy torrential rains would move the body to different locations on the roof.  Out of respect i never took a picture of the baby but sometimes i wish I had.  I even bought mc enigma (who stayed at his apartment several miles away in Ciudad Radial) to the building, because I had to share these nightmares with someone.  It sounds harsh to me, but I tried to show Cielo and she never really made a big case of it.  One time I remember that i was touching one of her yellow feathers and she came out of no where and told me “eh Sigue tocando era pluma y vas a convertir en un sapo”!  Which scared me, but when i bought mc enigma up there we were joking about what she had said and a flame lit from a candle stick out of no where, needless to say we hightailed it out of there.  What I can say really impressed me was that I remember getting so sick that I almost felt the life slipping out of me.  I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t keep food down.  I didn’t have any energy to walk and pills weren’t helping so she got some of those plants that she sells and made some type of remedy and after drinking that within 2 days I was back on my feet again.  I fought drinking it for about a week, she kept trying to give it to me, but my distrust in what I didn’t understand prevented me from taking it.  As I continued to worsen I figured I had no other choice, I now am an advocate for natural herbal healing.

My relationship was cool with those that lived in the building, it was more of a hi and bye thing but a lot of times we sat and had real conversations.  We would talk about life and how they feel that there is nothing out there for them, how many of them have never left a four block radious.  They wanted to know what the world was like…..I was a mystery to them, and probably to a lot of other people walking the streets.  Rasta! is what they called me, and I tried my best to play that role.  I always said Bless broder and indulged in medicinal activities with these young lost youth.  There was a girl, however.  I believe she was a prostitute but Im not 100% sure, her eye contact was overwhelming, she was about my same age and had the craaaaaziest body that i had ever seen a face like an angel minus the devilish eyes and disposition.  She constantly stared at me and even though I knew about her shady dealings with thievery and getting rival gang members set up in a trap and murdered, something about her was still calling me.  I fought it vehemently but it was a difficult task.  During the day in that building there was no running water that came from the showers so  if you woke up past 9 and wanted to shower before 7 at night, you had to do it on the first floor for all to see.  I saw her shower so many times, I mean she kept her underwear on and piece of fabric that covered her breasts, but all wet and sudded up I saw everything, and she saw me watch her and she smiled.  One time i was walking up the steps with Cielo and she was up there smoking with her homeboys, she was wearing a skirt and she  placed her leg in a way that allowed both of us to see her clean shaven vagina…I just looked away quickly, I didn’t want to seem too interested, I really wanted to just keep my eyes there a little longer, but I remember that the gang in that building gave me a list of clearly laid out guidelines and i really wasn’t trying to break them (self control is a must…but so difficult).

I lived in that building for about 10 months, I saw death I saw rats take over the building at night ( I prefer that to the mice because if you secured your door right they never actually got into your apartment).  I saw police run up into the building searching for people AK47 in hand only to have me spread out on the wall like I was in the same life, perplexed as to why someone from my country would choose to live in such a crime infested red zone environment.  But it wasn’t something I planned, it is just what happened and Im so glad that it happened like that because it gave me such a new appreciation for life.  Struggle is struggle and no one’s pain can outweigh anthers, however what I once thought of as hood changed to Beverly Hills once I returned to my city.  Me and Cielo had to end.   We discussed pipe dreams of maintaining a long distance love, but really she’s not an online nor phone type of person it just wouldn’t have worked.  Plus at my age now, I want children someday, and with her I was never going to be able to procreate.  I still miss the shit out of her, I owe her and when Negros Americanos makes it I am entitled to take care of her because if it weren’t for her and the experience that she provided me with, my spanish wouldn’t be so good and i wouldn’t have been able to feel comfortable maneuvering through other countries and hoods in Latin America like I have done, and those stories will come in the following chapters.  For now ladies and gents I bid you Adieu!

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The Enticing Growl of the Cougar

ImageSo, I’ve showed you just a few pictures of my year living in the slums of Panama City.  I’ve even showed you an enticing video of mc enigma and I interviewing women on race and the ‘mejorar la raza’ theory that many black Panameñas have adopted (while you got to sit back to a nice mellow Negros Americanos track of course).  But I know you want to know about some of my experiences.  What was my love life like out there?  OK OK, just hold up a second I’ll get to all that.  Now lets just go back to the topic of ‘mejorar la raza’.  Its as if the Spanish slave master did such a bang up job with the mentalities of his African slaves.  I mean in a sense Latin Blacks are more closely linked to Africa, if you take into account the music, food, dance and religions.  However when it comes to racial self awareness, well thats where we have a problem.  ‘Mejorar La Raza” literally translates to ‘Better the Race’.  I was foolish to think that because I was coming from the states, I would have pick of the litter where the black women were concerned.  Nothing could be more further from the truth.  Countless Black Panameñas would opt for a lighter skinned, preferably white with ‘nice’ straight hair, so that their offspring would be closer to perfection.  (Ouch)!  I mean if lighter skin and straighter hair is a black woman’s view of perfection for her baby, how does she view herself?  In this vast sea filled with the most beautiful women I have ever seen, I noticed that finding a woman that had a positive self image as a “Negra” was going to be very hard.  Being that I love a natural haired Queen without a King, It was going to be like looking for a needle in a hay stack.

So I was told that the best way to learn a language was to get with a person that only speaks that language.  In my case it was to find a woman that spoke spanish.  And , well I did that, i talked to several Latinas in Panama at first and they were cool and all but I wanted my Black Queen.  I went everywhere and no luck, I couldn’t find her.  Until one day I was walking with mc enigma in an area that I was told not to go by my “Panamanian Aunt”.  Don’t go to San Miguel, its crazy over there they kill people all the time.  I tried to listen and not go, but thats what makes me me, I had to go.  Besides it was filled with black people and though the area looked like a war zone, people had genuine smiles on their faces and there was so much street commerce happening in Avenida Central, Calidonia.  So enigma and I went and tried to find out what we could get into, and as we were having convos complaining about ‘mejorar la Raza’ and how hard it is to find women with natural hair, when I spotted it her.

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It was like she glowed from head to toe, there was almost an opera orchestra playing, as we locked eyes.  She had and Afro straight out of the 70’s, stood tall and walked with a model’s confidence, I looked at her like prey.  I knew she had to be in her early 40’s.  I had never dealt with anyone near that age before, but I knew that I had to try with this one, I had to make her mine.  I approached her with my extremely limited spanish at the time.  “Hola me llamo Jordan y como se llama”?  “Cielo,y de donde son ustedes que tiene el acento muy raro”?(where are you from, because you have strange accents). “Soy de los Estados Unidos.” Usually I say Jamaica, its just safer, but there was something about her eyes and overpowering energy that told me that I wouldn’t get away with that with her. The first thing she told me that she was a Santera, and she practices Santeria, it took me off my game for a second, but didn’t sway me too much.  I was interested in the fact that in her stand she sold medicinal plants that could be used to cure many ailments naturally, i wanted to learn more.

I took a bus to that neighborhood to see her everyday during my lunch break at work, I stayed with her for an hour or so practicing words, learning more about her religion and the plants.  I had known her for about a month and some change, it was around that time that I began to noticed that my apartment was infested with mice.  I tried to get rid of them, and honestly I could have done a better job of it, but I was smitten, I just went ahead and sold my apartment and moved in with this woman, who I only knew for a month and some change.  But the best part was that but she lived in the projects with a gang of murderous thugs, interesting right, I know.

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The thing is that she’s had that business selling medicinal plants for so long in that same spot that many of the gangsters in the building were kids that she watched grow up.  When they had no family to feed them, she would have them sweep the floor and give them some money to buy food.  Because of that they were fiercely loyal to her, and if she said that I was untouchable, I was untouchable as long as I didn’t break the rules that they laid out for me in the beginning which I won’t go into.  i saw some of the strangest things in my life as the people in that building formed a complete counter culture to the normal Panamanian culture. I loved living there with her, now I had everything I needed, I mean the building was way closer to my job than my old apartment.  I had constant sex, someone to talk to and practice spanish, someone to cook great tasting food, to talk sweet nothings in the bed and get my hands caught in her naps juuuuuuussst like I like.  Of course there were drawbacks, she was very argumentative and aggressive at times, I didn’t think her 14 year old son enjoyed me invading his space too much, until I bought him grand theft auto San Andreas which is suuuuper popular in Panama even in 2012, we became friends at that moment.  She had a 22 year old daughter (not much younger than me at all) that called me Papa.  This is where I would stay for the next 10 months until I left Panama to come back and import Negros Americanos to the US…………So, I suppose you want to know what became of us.  Yes, yes but you have to wait till a later post, I assure you it won’t be that long.

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