How Do You See Me

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How do you see me?

Am I an image of His creative beauty

Am I a cultivated seed of love embedded in iniquity

Am I a passion of lust dripped from her femininity

Am I speared by his explosion of masculinity

Am I nurtured with their love of parenting

Am I infused with my own history

Am I educated to the system of reality

Am I marred by the dirty lens of society

Am I hated for my black woman sexuality

Am I?

I am

I am who I be

I am who He made me

I am His identity

I am created in His imagery

I am scarred from iniquity

I am cleansed by His blood’s purity

I am bludgeoned by society

I am a soldier in His army

I am a breath of history

I am living freely

I am me

I am

Peace and many Blessings,

La Royce

“Observation Leads to Obligation”

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Brothers and sisters, I’ve just had the privilege of viewing the amazing film, “Selma”. As I witnessed the story of our brave brothers and sisters who stood to demand our constitutional right to vote, I wept. My spirit was overjoyed and filled with an indescribable feeling of pride as I bore witness to the scene of those standing together, arm in arm, marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Just the thought of them caring enough for me, my future, my children’s future, my neighbor’s future, touched my heart so. I thank you, brothers and sisters, for standing on truth and in the name of humanity so that all of us here in America can have the right to equality and justice. Thank you, Father, for strengthening our brothers and sisters with the courage to overcome and be victorious.

Yet, as I witnessed the film, the only other thought that plagued my mind is that our struggle is not over. Just as our brothers and sisters over fifty years ago understood there was a need to stand, I and many others understand today our struggle is not over.

Today as we observe our world around us, there is still a need to stand in the struggle against mass incarceration, police brutality, inequality in our education system, women’s rights, corruption in our democracy and preserving our right to vote. There is a need to stand in the struggle for the sake of our children, our neighbors and our future.

A wise young man, M. K. Asante, spoke these words a few Sundays ago at a worship service at my church, “Observation Leads to Obligation.” In other words, when you witness an injustice, it then becomes your responsibility to stand and right that wrong.

We have a great deal wrong in America.

So, I pose to you my brothers and sisters, what have you observed? What injustices do you bear witness to in our daily lives?

Is it not time for us to stand for ourselves, our children, our neighbors and our future?

Brothers and sisters, make no mistake, it is now our responsibility!

Peace and many Blessings,

La Royce

Kwanzaa 1/1/15

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Imani (Faith)

This seventh day of Kwanzaa and moving forward throughout this new year of 2015, we are to believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

I have faith in you, my brothers and sisters, as we serve our faithful Father, by serving His people.

Peace and many Blessings,

La Royce

Kwanzaa 12/31/14

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Kuumba (Creativity)

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

This sixth day of Kwanzaa we are to focus on always doing as much as we can, in the way that we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

I ponder the glorious creation of this world by our Magnificent Creator. All of His beauty engulfing us all around, from the mysterious stars, suns, moons in our galaxy; to the grandness of peaked mountains; to the luxury of the carpeted green meadows; to the deep wonders of the seas. We are truly blessed by His greatness.

Our Father gave all of His creation to us, and He has blessed us with the ability to create within it. Our ancestors have blessed us with all that we enjoy today. It is our responsibility to continue to create and improve upon what we’ve inherited for the sake of future generations.

Every given moment is an opportunity for Kuumba.

Peace and many Blessings,

La Royce

Kwanzaa 12/30/14

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Nia (Purpose)

Today we are to focus on making our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

This is a very powerful statement, and it simply means that it is time for our leaders to stand collectively with the purpose of restoring our community in order to help our brothers and sisters begin to understand and envision themselves with greatness.

So to our leaders, our teachers and our nurturers, it’s time to stand!

Our Father called us on purpose to lead His people with purpose.

Peace and many Blessings,

La Royce

Kwanzaa 12/29/14

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Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)

This fourth day of Kwanzaa we are to focus on building and maintaining our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

When we fail to provide for and support our own communities, we become economically dependent upon others. When we are economically dependent upon others, we become enslaved.

What will you do to help break this link of enslavement from the oppressors’ chain?

Peace and many Blessings,

La Royce

Kwanzaa 12/28/14

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Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)

This third day of Kwanzaa we are to focus on building and maintaining our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.

Brothers and sisters, are we not living in a time when Ujima is so relevant? When we ponder the world around us, there is indeed a need for Ujima. So very vividly are we living the words of the profound quote of our brother, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

As we uplift in prayer our brothers and sisters in every Ferguson in America, the Congo, Nigeria, Palestine, the low wage Walmart workers, victims of abuse, and victims of human trafficking, we should know and understand that our brothers and sisters are suffering. Therefore, we all are suffering.

So, I encourage you to delve within oneself and ask, “Am I doing all that I can to stand for my brothers and sisters and our community, to help rebuild it, and to maintain what we’ve already inherited? After true evaluation, everyone’s answer should be, “no, I am not”. Certainly, the evidence of our world around us proves that we aren’t.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have much Ujima to do!

Peace and many Blessings,

La Royce

Kwanzaa 12/27/14

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Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)

This second day of Kwanzaa we are to focus Kujichagulia by defining ourselves, naming ourselves, creating for ourselves and speaking for ourselves.

As I ponder my journey of Kujichagulia, I realize that I’m unable to speak, or create for myself until I define myself through my naming of myself.

I will share a story about defining, or identifying, myself. My good friend Apostle Saheed asked me one day, “Do you know the meaning of your name, La Royce?” Shamefully, I had to admit that I didn’t. He then told me to seek its meaning, then I will have a decision to make, and only then will I understand my purpose in life.

He said, “I’ll help you get started. “la” is an article that determines a specific reference to a noun or phrase (i.e. “la” translates to “the”).

Then he asked, “Who are you, ‘The’ what?”

I discovered who I am through my given birth name.

La Royce

“la” translates to “the”

“Royce” translates to “royalty, known, famous”

“The known”, “the famous”, “the royalty”

Of whom? I had to ask myself.

Will I choose to be the famous, the known or the royalty of “man”?

Or would I choose to be the known, the famous, the royalty of our Father?

It was then that I knew who I was, what my purpose is and who I live for.  Needless to say, now I am determined to live, create and speak for myself and my community, since I am His royalty.

Brothers and sisters, discover oneself through Kujichagulia.

Peace and many Blessings,

La Royce

Kwanzaa 12/26/14

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Umoja (unity)

We were created by the Most High to be communal creatures to share in love, joy and peace. We were created in His image. Isn’t it a beautiful blessing to know that our Father created me for you, and that you were created for me? Isn’t it amazing that our Father blesses you to bless me, and me to bless you? Isn’t it an incredible thought to know since we are created in His image, that I see the Most High when I see you, and you see Him when you look at me?

Therefore, isn’t it shameful to live selfishly, to live only for your purpose?

Umoja, my brothers and sisters!

Peace and many Blessings,

‘Service”

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“I understand that I bear imperfections and stand with faults

Yet, I shall be so bold as to open my mouth and share my thoughts” -La Royce

I’ve traveled the road of being lost, unconscious and unaware

Shamelessly, I was too comfortable hidden away in my cocooned lair

I had no idea of hopelessness and despair

It wasn’t that I was unknowledgeable of our peoples’ struggles out there

It was more of my selfishness and lack of giving service and care

It was my pompous attitude of, “If I could rise from society’s desolate chair,

They can too, they just refuse to dare’”

Please forgive me, I was lost and situated in my entangled worldly affairs

I was blinded by the dollar of my illustrious career

I treasured my worldly possessions as idols because my heart lived there

But oh my…..He made me aware

Of how so many prayed for me and gave me their care

How they offered a hand when my load was too heavy for me to bear

How they gave to me when they really couldn’t afford to share

And how so many, many times through His grace my life was spared

When He shook me, my path became crystal clear

My journey of service is the only reason I exist here

Peace and Many Blessings,

La Royce