Life has many intersections. Lights turn red forcing you to stop and be alert of the situation in front of you. A choice must be made on how to handle your situation before advancing into the green. Fill up on positive energy. You’ll soon be on the free way.♞
Sixth grade was a transitional year in my life. Living in Moreno Valley was a dream but being away from my father became a nightmare. The fun times with my brothers and friends just wasn’t enough to sustain the happiness to get me through the year successfully. RJ started to become more aggressive in the household. His music gigs started to slow down and he became bitter. The financial responsibility fell on my mother’s shoulders as she worked 3 jobs, took care of home, and 3 additional children that belonged to RJ’s younger brother. On top of all the stress my mother had to endure RJ started to become verbally abusive towards her. My childhood began to slip away as I watched my mother’s beautiful smile turn into frowns.
Back in the Hood
Despite all the chaos in the home my brothers and I made it clear that we wanted to be back with Dad. This was a selfish move made on our behalf but my mother loved us so much that she agreed to let us go. She knew we were unhappy and us reuniting with my father would surely uplift our spirits.
Dad had a one bedroom apartment in the city of Gardena, CA. It was definitely a downgrade from living with my mom and RJ. Nevertheless, my brothers and I didn’t care because we were back with the man who brought us into the world. The hood was nothing pretty but I adjusted. My twin brother and I enrolled into Peary Middle School to continue sixth grade. My younger brother attended an elementary school nearby. We walked to school everyday sometimes not seeing my father before we left. He still worked overnight at Federal Express and sometimes we’d miss him by minutes. Dad always made an effort to get home early to bring us breakfast donuts. Those were the good times. He loved having us back home. The only issue was his busy schedule. He too worked three jobs to support my brothers and I. Music was his passion. Daily he practiced on his piano to create new songs for the choir he directed at church. There wasn’t enough time in the day for all the things we wanted to do with him. However, watching episodes of Martin became our household tradition. No matter what, we always found time to laugh. We’d even record the episodes on VHS so that when Dad got home we could watch it together.
Peary Middle School was a disaster. Everyday I watched someone get jumped into a gang. It became normal to me after the first few weeks. The toughest gang in the school believe it or not was ran by the girls! They called themselves tweety birds but there was nothing nice about them at all. They of course wore yellow and performed their daily jumps in the morning before first period. I always had a good spot to see it all go down. It always brought confusion to my mind seeing a female get beat almost lifeless then get embraced with hugs and love afterwards. I knew then I would never become a gang member but the lifestyle always intrigued me. My curiosity attracted many gang affiliated friends but I was never forced to join. Outside of the colors they represented they were just regular kids like me.
My twin brother Ra El stayed in fights. I always had to watch his back because he had a hot temper. If someone looked at him wrong he’d say, “What you lookin at”? I knew then it was about to go down every time. My mother strongly emphasised protecting each other at all times as she was the same way with her younger brothers. She didn’t mess around when it came to that. Therefore, when my brother fought, I fought. Even though we won our fights pretty easily you can be sure one of us would jump in to assist. I hated seeing my brothers getting swung on from another person. It just made me furious and I could never hold back that fight within me. One morning my twin squared off with a dark skinned fella with curly hair. The rules were only to throw body shots. This was something we did pretty regularly in school but I didn’t know this guy. Immediately they started throwing punches and the dark skinned fella broke the rules. My instincts took over and the rest was history. Ra El clearly got the better of the exchange but I finished him off to send the message. Break the rules and suffer the consequences. My twin and I got suspended for 3 days following that incident.
The night of the fight my mother called to check on us to see how we were doing. I couldn’t lie to my mother so I told her the truth. She was outraged by the news and suggested that we move back to Moreno Valley with her. Things had gotten worst at home with her and RJ. She explained how he started to abuse her but I never told my Dad. He was already angry about the fight and he probably would have lost his mind with rage to learn what was going on with my mom. This new found information persuaded us to leave my Dad once again and move back with my Mother. Hard as it was leaving, my Dad understood and knew the best thing for us growing up would be to live with her and visit from time to time. My brothers and I knew we needed to be there for her and face this beast of a man together.
RJ’s music gigs started to pick back up. Knowing all the wrong doing he committed, money became his way of showing he was sorry. He purchased my mother all the finest clothes, shoes, jewelry, and even cars. She couldn’t resist the luxuries that he provided. He took her across the world leaving us with family sitters as we continued our education. They would leave for weeks at a time but mostly he’d be on the road alone performing with his music group. The smile I once knew had come back home. She was happy knowing we were back with her and having a beautiful home without constant turmoil. We had fun when RJ was away. My mother was like a kid around us. She always kept us laughing with her silly expressions and funny jokes. I was glad to be back with her.
This was the 3rd school in sixth grade. Vista Verde was a very strict school district. Unlike Peary, the staff actually cared about students succeeding. I quickly made friends at my new school and made sure I kept my academics up to par. I really made a strong effort to make my mother proud in every way possible. I didn’t want to let her down especially now that she was happy again. My brothers considered me a mama’s boy. I just wanted her to know I was here and willing to do whatever I could to keep her happy.
Stay tuned for Ch.6… Rancho Verde, and Murrieta
Peace to all the Light Bringers and all those who promote Peace, Love, and Harmony. This is the “Black Horseman”♞ EL RA☥
Honey Hollow marked a time period that transcended my early environment. Los Angeles made me conscious very early. Even though i lived in a better place my family and I kept going back for various reasons. Church was the household tradition. My mother stayed busy with musical engagements while doing hair and taking care of us. RJ kept the home filled with the luxuries from his music group money. Ultimately I believe that’s what persuaded my mother’s decision to be with him. He aggressively goes after what he wants spending little time thinking things through. For this reason, we experienced much chaos losing house after house even living with another family at one point. It was like being high on cocaine and heroine at the same time. RJ would tell us his drug using experiences from the past. The stories he told would be so bazaar that i developed a unique sense of humor. Laughing became my therapy in tough situations.
She was strict as hell. Ms Kuzey was way cooler than Ms Leaf. She kept her eyes fixed on us at all times it seemed. Sometimes I’d look up to see if Ms. Leaf was looking and she’d be staring right at me. Honestly it was like being in detention for a whole year but it definitely improved my focus in class. The house rule was to have good grades in order to play sports. Football was my passion and escape from the discomfort of being home. I put my heart into it gaining starting positions at running back and defensive corner. Winning became my childhood addiction. That competitive fire got me into a lot of fights. I took a lot of pride in knowing how to defend myself. I was willing at any given time to show anyone who opposed. However things changed when i got to sixth grade.
Junior High was another level for me as a young boy. I got used to being the big kid in fifth grade and now half the students at my school were bigger than me. Vista Heights was well populated with mixed races, mostly black, hispanic, and white. Even athletically i quickly learned i wasn’t at the top of the all star list. These kids were energetic, and aggressive. To make matters worst Vista Heights was right next door to a High School. We’d get out of school all at the same time. This had to be the worst idea ever. The traffic was terrible and students were everywhere.
One day this brown van rolled up in the middle of the street blocking traffic. At first glance it seemed he was tall then stepped down from the back of the van. He stood only 5 foot 2 or 3. The little Mexican immediately approached a tall Black crip. Within a few seconds a fight erupted between the two. The little Mexican had super fast hands and feet taking advantage of the crip with lightning hooks thrown. Car horns rang that sunny afternoon. Height was a non factor in this fight. Speed definitely kills and the little Mexican convinced me as I watched him stomp his opponent out relentlessly. Thankfully he retreated from his aggressive assault and jumped back in the van. The tall crip slowly got to his feet as his homie placed his cap back on his kinky afro. I learned a lot from watching that fight. Be fast and be first.
Stay tuned for Ch.5… Back in the hood, Vista Verde
Peace to all the Light Bringers and all those who promote Peace, Love, and Harmony. This is the “Black Horseman”♞EL RA☥
“I’m Dreaming” by Kiing Calii
Kiing Calii vocally embodies his own pain, struggle, and will power. He is definitely one of the strongest and creative people I’ve ever know in this existence. Let’s absorb the essence of this “Dream” and Real Eyes who we truly are.⬇
#lightbringers #imdreaming #share
Peace and Blissings to all the Light Bringers and all those who promote Peace, Love, and Harmony. This is the “Black Horseman”♞ EL RA☥.
Women are our most valuable asset in life. Without you life wouldn’t be possible.♞
My new neighborhood was far from the hoods of Los Angeles. The scenery alone would motivate the average person to work multiple jobs just to live there. My brothers and I made new friends. This was definitely something new to have white and hispanic friends. Only a few Black American families lived on our street. My brothers and I never discriminated as long as you were real.
My mother enrolled us into Honey Hollow Elementary School during the Fall of 1989. I maintained the knowledge that I acquired from my previous school with my Asian teacher in Burbank. The new kid on the block energy didn’t ware off until the end of the school year. During the summer my brothers and I explored the nearby neighborhoods via bicycles or on foot depending on the mood. Moreno Valley became a playground to me. I became very diverse in my views on other people because of the frequent interaction I maintained with them at a young age.
My first tackle football coach was a white cop. He had a firm and mean demeanor but taught us how to be winners. I am forever appreciative to my mother for understanding the type of energy my brothers and I shared. We stuck together and fought anyone who opposed us. This mind set transferred into the sport of football. Despite the opinions on the safety of the sport I’ve gained the structure needed to make it anywhere in life. Football teaches humility, team work, focus, dependability, and many other great qualities that develop the skills of young men. Sports became an outlet that permitted the release of emotions that I definitely was still working out as a child. Being away from my father became an empty space of uncertainty. I knew deep inside my unfulfilled heart was a boy of adventure and I decided to let him live.
RJ made a lot of money from the music industry. We rarely lacked material things. Many mistook my family for being rich. Little did they know the spending habits in our household were atrocious. I’ve lived in some beautiful houses for sure but the others are not worth mentioning. I learned about the music industry at a young age. One thing I admired about RJ was his great singing voice. Being around his vocal influence inspired me to develop my very own voice. His personal demons kept me at bay but I always knew when it was safe to be in his presence.
She didn’t seem interested at all in 3rd grade. It wasn’t until my brothers and I won the talent show by singing a love song. I’m not going to lie, she was the prettiest girl in school and I was terrified to speak to her at first. She became my girlfriend after she spit on me for kissing her. I tried to kiss and run but it followed like a heat seeking missile and landed flat on my face. Definitely a top 5 most nastiest moments on my list. Being stubborn is definitely one of my many human flaws. I forgave her and she actually liked the kiss. She dumped me shortly after the beginning of 5th grade.
…Stay Tuned for Part 2 of Chapter 4
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1 year ago I picked up the guitar and started another journey. I learned that what you do habitually becomes your structure (Earth). “Why not try to create a world of melodies”? I asked myself. This persuaded me to name my second daughter Harmony. This is me practicing a passion that teaches me rhythm, tone, and the ability to transfer emotion into vibration. #bhpromotions #headphones
She had on a white uniform when I saw her. Her beauty was naturally captivating, bringing a smile to my face. Without hesitating my brothers and I ran up to her as she embraced us with open arms. The weather was sunny with a California breeze. My Father came out to see what all the commotion was about. At his first glance of my mom his face lit up. She approached the porch where he nervously stood. Her stride was confident and athletic. Before my twin and I were born, my Mom was selected for the Olympics to compete in track and field. Without question, my athleticism and fiery energy comes from her. I forever cherish her sacrifice to give me life and put her career on hold.
My father was still in love with my mom. He couldn’t stop hugging her. They talked briefly about something. My assumption is it involved us spending time with my mother because shortly after we left with packed bags. The drive with her was like an adventure. I’ve always loved the mystery of not knowing where I’m going. It’s a boy wild at heart type of feeling. We arrived downtown around many vendors selling all of their goods. Mom emptied out the wallet to show us her love. Nothing felt better to have on fresh new Super Mario outfits with a tribal necklace. Our little spirits were high as ever stretching deep into the cosmos with joy. My brothers and I got treated to some of the best seafood at Redondo Beach. Seeing my youngest brother happy again meant a lot more than my own. The connection between my mother and younger brother was reestablished.
The breakup forced me to be held back in kindergarten. I think back on it and wish I had just been skipped to 1st grade. My first full year of school was successful. Academically I soared at the top of the class receiving multiple certificates and a trophy. Shortly after the school year my brothers and I learned we were spending the summer with mom. This was my first time leaving Los Angeles. The ride was joyful, filled with music, and lots of laughter. My mother’s humor gave us another side to play on. She always smiled and made sure there was never a dull moment with her. We arrived in a nice looking neighborhood full of excitement. My mother gave us an outside tour getting us familiar with the new environment. Her favorite display was her brown Volks Wagen bug car. I didn’t see what all the fuss was over a weird looking vehicle but she seemed happy with it. She escorted us inside and we met him for the first time.
I finally met the man who was responsible for the breakup. He was aggressive and confident in his demeanor. His physique was heavy and he wore glasses. My mother became like a child in his presence. Meeting RJ for the first time was unexpected. I didn’t care for him too much because I was unaware of who he was. Living with him over the summer didn’t change my feelings about him. My mother took us out regularly and made sure we enjoyed being away from home with my dad. When the summer concluded my brothers and i became sad. We knew we had to return back to Los Angeles because school was getting ready to start. The hurt we felt was so strong that my mother decided to keep us in Burbank with her and RJ.
I had never seen an Asian person before. My first day of 1st grade was uncomfortable. My teacher was Chinese and I barely could make out her speech. For the first time I wasn’t getting an education in the ghetto. Everyone in my class I assumed was smart. Especially because they understood what the teacher was saying and I didn’t. I eventually adjusted to the new school and made new friends. RJ grew uncomfortable with living close to where my father resides even though it was thirty minutes away. My father was still furious about the breakup. I can recall leaving church one Sunday from visiting my father. My mom and RJ decided to pick us up without informing my father who was playing the organ at the time. He flipped! RJ fled the scene to avoid my father’s violent assault on church grounds. Months after the altercation RJ decided we should move. My mom one day told us we would be living in a nice city called Moreno Valley.
The van descended a steep road that led into a cul de sac. She was right about everything. Moreno Valley was absolutely beautiful. There were mountains, trees, and beautiful houses everywhere. The city was low in population at the time we moved there but perfect to start a new life. I knew I was beginning a new adventure and had little regret about leaving Los Angeles.
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Stay tuned for Ch.4… Honey Hollow, Aisha, Vista Heights, and Vista Verde.. Who is the Black Horseman?
I quickly learned how much freedom I had once the breakup occurred. The outdoors became my escape from everything within. My brothers and I explored the gang infested streets of L.A. like a video game. Being surrounded by danger became a normal day. OG’s became astonished by our fearlessness and freedom at such a young age. We became the neighborhood kids that everyone would always see but didn’t know.
The park was my greatest adventure as a kid. I embraced the challenge everyday to walk a mile away with my brothers to the biggest park i’ve ever seen. All the ice cream trucks would come to this one park knowing all the kids would be there. I would hear the ice cream truck music so much that I started to memorize the songs. Somehow we would talk dad into giving us ice cream money almost everyday. Little did he know, I was buying chili cheese fritos instead of ice cream. My father rested throughout the day so he never knew where we were half the time. My childhood became an everyday search for more thrills and excitement. I learned within one year of the breakup how to become independent and protective over my brothers.
Fighting for respect
My fiercest physical rival ever is my own twin brother. He and I were born 9 minutes apart, him being the older of us two. The story goes we were fighting in the womb. My narration describes a right hook that knocked him out which is why I came out second. However the facts played out, I’ve fought him since my first moments of consciousness. He’s my best friend and worst enemy all at the same time. We understand our energy and when opposed you must be ready for war. I respect him and vice versa for that reason.
With our no back down mentality we fought frequently amongst each other and together in the streets. Our reputation grew becoming known simply as the Twins. With a younger brother our responsibility became protectors over him and to give Emmanuel a calm life. Hard as it was without mom in his life put more pressure on us to make sure younger brother was happy. My older cousin Shawn watched after us and taught us literally how to fight. Without his guidance at that young age we might not have survived the streets. He has been shot and even got a few hot items from the Rodney King riots. Needless to say I didn’t adopt all of his qualities but I definitely took the good ones.
Stay tuned for Ch.3..Mom returns, Burbank, and Moreno Valley..
Who is the Black Horseman?
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