Najah Scruse

A Resolution – 2017

I’m a 24 year old black writer from Detroit. I telling stories and being creative but I don’t think I give myself the opportunity to let people see me. This is the year for that.

Whitney Syphax Walker

Sometimes you grab an extra lovely sage bundle and smudge your home to clear it of negative energy, other times you say yes to a weekend sleepover with The Kid’s Bestie and let their combined laughter do the same thing.

-November 18th, 2016


As many of you know, I’m not working at the moment. I’m stuck in an uncomfortable (and familiar) waiting pattern: I’m waiting on unemployment to kick in, waiting to hear back from a few potential gigs, waiting on my lights to get shut off…you get it. Most days I drop the kid off at school and run around the city until it’s time to pick her up again. I’ve done a pretty good job of not letting her know how dire our situation is, but tonight…tonight I broke down. We were riding home from rehearsal and she began fiddling with this cute little pen I bought her a few days ago and snapped it in half. I snapped right along with it. I let it all pour out on her 12 year old little lap. She cried. I cried. I promised her we would be alright, because we always are, and I told her that this ain’t even the roughest patch we’ve been in. She apologized for breaking the pen, and in that moment it seemed like the tiniest, cheapest thing in the whole world.

We’re home now. Dinner has been eaten and she’s getting ready for bed. While checking off her chore chart, I noticed that she updated the rewards. $1, $2, and $3 has been replaced with “hug”, “kiss”, and “”one night in Mommy’s bed”. To “help out”, she says. Because “We’ll do it together.”

I think in the daily stress of stretching out the savings I have left, I forgot how very rich we are.

Anyway, I promised my child that we would be alright, and I keep my promises. Tomorrow is another chance. I’ll press my good dress and try it again.

-September 15th, 2016


Today, at Camp, a white boy who Zoë has been having trouble with called her a “little bitch”. She responded in a way that was strong enough for a camp counselor to tell me that there was an altercation, but Zoë is too ashamed to tell me exactly what she said or did.

This is when parenting a Black child becomes difficult. Zoë said that her new white friends all ganged up on her and took the boy’s side, and that she felt overwhelmed and afraid. I’ve been there. She said that she felt like she needed to defend herself because she felt alone and unsafe. I’ve been there too. This is her first time being in a predominantly white school setting so it’s

all new for her. I grew up in it. I understand the nuances of it. She wasn’t prepared. I didn’t prepare her. I feel partly responsible.

We had two conversations in the aftermath, one being your typical “Did you tell an adult/counselor/teacher what was going on?” conversation, the other a much firmer “Don’t ever let them knock you off of your square so hard that you lash out.” conversation. I explained to her that We can’t afford to lash out, that our consequences often don’t match theirs. I told her that her fear and defensiveness will often be dismissed as aggression, and that she can protect herself by checking in with a responsible adult after each act of violence and disrespect. I acknowledged her pain and anger and said that both were valid. I told her about the time in 4th grade at Shrine when my “best friend” of two weeks walked up to me and said she couldn’t be my friend anymore because I’m Black. How later that school year she spat at me and called me a nigger. How my brother tried to talk to her brother about it and how the boy made chimp sounds at him until he walked away. I told her how badly he and I wanted to fight, but how we knew we couldn’t because we’d be blowing our shot at attending the school that our parents were sacrificing so much for. Zoe and I then talked about how pain makes you want to fight sometimes, and how we have too much to lose to give into the urge.

Finally, at the very end, we had my favorite part of the whole talk. I promised that in exchange for her honesty and effort, I’ll always be ready to ride up there and turn that place out on her behalf. I thought that was understood, but I didn’t mind verbalizing it for her.

She still wants to finish camp, and she wants to attend this school for high school. I want that for her. We have two more years of preparation.

Woosah in advance.

July 14th,2016

LaToya Favor

Natural Remedies


He told me

“I’ll stop if it don’t feel good”

& I laid there

Accepting my defeat


& later practiced

Cutting myself open

Without making me bleed.

My name is LaToya Favor & I am just getting started. I’ve held a love for poetry & writing for as long as I can remember but never embraced it as me until recent years. I remember taking home Maya Angelou books from the school library & becoming envious of her transparency & ability to live beyond her circumstances, even now.

When I returned to those books in more mature years, I acknowledged the need within me for that level of transparency & life. The discomfort that silence invigorated was enough to want to make a change that would eventually bring me into fruition.

Writing became a way for me to organize my thoughts in their purest form & then read to understand them/me.

 I do not try to be poetic when writing poetry & I do not insert punchlines in hopes for applause. I just write in hopes of understanding my own thoughts.

I have found that poetry is not just something that I “do” but it’s who I am. I’m required to be mindful of my surroundings & myself. Then, as an example, when I feel a level of growth in myself, I can easily compare the feeling to the calmness that I feel when I hear tires splashing down the road, knowing that the Earth is preparing itself to be fruitful.

All storms eventually pass away, but I always want to remember who I was when the thunder roared. So I write.

Louisa Fara Moan

Friends Can Break Your Heart too – A dedication to those that forgot I loved them

You mumbled in response…
“what does strength have to do with kindness?”
I would explain….
But it’s not a serious question…
I think it’s an excuse…
A attempt to force me to acquaint compliments of your reserve with the acceptance of your cowardice.
I ain’t biting…but I can taste it…the sour spiciness that cuts
the sweetness of you…while you desire candy coated praise…..
You elude to deserving warmth when you won’t even thaw your doubt…
you only see the risks and
none of the guarantee of loyalty that exist in the choice to be in yours.
Here we both are…
You – Blind to your own earning potential while I’m blinded with it’s prominence
I have dreams for us…you have reasons…
We have history…and it’s the only reason you conveniently forgot.
I chase the sting of your stagnation with the elixir of
my own ability to be brave for both of us…and you have the nerve to be more frightened…
Mumbling in response
“what does strength have to do with kindness?”
Blaming others of closed stories for your open distrust…
You want them to do something for you still…and now…
And I can’t get it…
You want apologies from those that never assumed responsibility…
they won’t pay your tolls…
they won’t give up their pride as reparations…
they wont fix the soul they fault your for breaking…
They won’t care now, because they never did…
But I am the one who is sorry…and that offends you.
Until I ask why and the silence eats up the anger…
Disguises of cool are crawled into like blankets on December night…
You are suddenly to weary  and by association…honesty becomes a chore.
I had no idea how good you were at excusing the neglect of your
 truth…lying to yourself to avoid the work of healing and growing.
Yet…here I am still being your sun with the smiles I bring to your face…
still being your water with my tears of my exertion of pulling you up…
still feeding your ego with my pleas to prove that you are a good person…
who deserves good people to do good for you…
 I am sustaining you with flesh of every magic I know and you ask me…what does strength have to do with kindness?
I guess nothing…when the correlation can be so easily broken by the committed fear of commitment…and friendships are commitments, too.
The ones we kiss goodnight are not the only ones who can break our hearts.

Louisa is dedicated to her children, the power of feminine energy, connecting with others and her poetry. She began writing as young teen as a way to express herself quietly…eventually, she found her voice to share those expressions through her alter ego – Fara Moan. She is a quiet force that supports the art community just as much behind the curtain as she does on the mic.  Some poets wordsmith while Fara Moan is a wordweaver…invoking the emotion behind the phrases while delivering in intricate beauty.

**FEATURED ARTIST** Kearah Armonie

Dear Erykah

If you were to ask me my religion a year ago I would say baduizm. I’ve seen you live, twice. Both free, both restoring my faith. When you sang pack light I knew you were singing to me.

When you stated via twitter that girls should wear knee length skirts to school to avoid arousing their male teachers I knew you were talking to me.


Ripped booty shorts, choker wearing, crop-top rockin’ kind of girl whose demise will only be my own fault, who should know better than to slip up between the teeth of a hungry man, to walk not with fear of the attack but knowing I am to be attacked,

      preyed upon,


      gazelle in a lions den.

Every man be lion and every street be their turf.


That must be what you were saying,


That my body is not my own.
That your body is not your own.
That your body of music is not mine either.


Do you know of how many little bag ladies you have created now?

The weight so heavy of knowing your body is a police state you cannot flea?

Feeling refugee in your own home? Victim blamed by your own momma?


When you said it is in a man’s nature to lust after, prey upon, be attracted to, or sexually assault young girls once they reach puberty; This is not the first time I’ve questioned God…


but I haven’t listened to your music ever since.

Tankas for A Seat at the Table

I’m gonna look for

My body now she said and

Then I came to learn

My body was missing too

What I claim may not be mine


I guess to be Black

Is to lose your own body

Though it be stolen

and go look for it your damn

Self. I’ll be back, like real soon


I tell white not to

Say the word nigga, they say

It anway. This

Is an act of violence, but

When has white not been violent


I wake this morning

Feeling shattered, robbed and stolen

Yet, still I say

Daily affirmation: Don’t

Let anyone steal this magic


A white boy touched my

hair, I felt myself start to

fade, to dwindle a-

way. Less than, less than, sand in

The wind. Yet, I am still here


If celebrating

me seems to mean I am dis-

respecting you, then

so be it. Sit in the heat

of your anger while I shine

Love of My Life

I bump The Sun’s Tirade and wonder if every bitch and every hoe is me.


KanYe West called his own wife a bitch and I guess that’s cool now.

Knowing I could still get wifed.  Most inanimate objects get bought.

I can go from toy to trophy.


Me and my good homegirl skip this line in one of our favorite songs,

We gon’ play with the mind and run a game on her

And take shawty to the crib, put the pain on her.

Singing along would just make me feel dizzy, incoherent,

make me feel like no one will believe me.


The hottest rap song to come out of Brooklyn this summer was sung by a girl.

Not only a girl but a lesbian,




Tatted up, keep the hammer right next to her, probably rock your shit for calling her by the wrong nickname.

Not seen for how she deviates from this mainstream she riding now but used as scapegoat to carry misogyny on her back, just cuz they can’t lay her on her back?

As if the only room for a woman in hip-hop is if she objectifies herself?

Male interviewers question exactly what she means about a shorty giving her head then criticize her for treating women as if we are only here for sex,

and I am not too sure how the misogynist is here.


As if your fave ain’t been on that, as if your president’s fave aint been on that.

This is number 1 on everyone’s top 10.


But it’s okay because I love this shit

Because my father rep the bronx and I love that shit

Because hip-hop as my boyfriend is BDSM and I love that shit

Because before I had voice, I had this and I love this shit


and I have learned, being the Black Woman in the room often means

loving something that will never love you back.

KearahArmonie(Kearmonie) is a poet, spoken word artist, MC, Filmmaker, Blogger, and Writer from Brooklyn, NY. She recently completed her B.A. in Documentary Film Production at Brooklyn College, where she hosted and facilitated events as a three-time Brooklyn College Slam Team member, and their 2016 Grand Slam Champion. The team went on to rank 12th in the nation at the College Union’s Poetry Slam Invitational(CUPSI) 2016. Having been performing spoken word since 2011 she is now a mentor and teaching artist, continuing to perform all over NYC. Her most recent documentary short, “BLK GRL POET” a spoken word driven chronicle of the Black Lives Matter protests in NYC, has been featured in the Women of African Descent Film Festival and The 34th Annual Brooklyn College Film Festival.

Music – Essay

The Music section of Wusgood is to discuss all things musical, or life through a musical perspective

A Not-Review of an Album that Shouldn’t Be

By Amber Flame

Black Twitter has proven that the average Black person has access to a semi-professional recording studio, given the alacrity with which they respond with shade in song to any circumstance calling for it. And I, for one, am here for it. Do it. So when the girl I’m fucking tells me we need to hold off on kicking it because she was working on her album, I was 100% supportive. There wasn’t much we had in common besides music, particularly Prince, but we had fun fucking in cars and talking about concerts. I respected her focus on her art and listened supportively to her ideas.
Weekends passed, no booty. But I was going through my own shit and when I did see her, I was impressed to hear she was doing it all herself – the instrumentation and beats, recording and mixing, and all the vocals. I was… a little confused when she bragged about no hooks, saying, “I just say what I want to say, and that’s it.” But you know, I respected her giving up pussy for her art. Can’t say I’d have it in me.
And then the album dropped.
Look y’all. I know this is a music page. For reviews n’ shit. This is where I give you a couple of sentences about the hottest tracks, the ones that have potential. But this album was trash. 22 minutes I am never gonna get back. Each track, I had that squint of Black women everywhere when they trying to listen through something they already know is garbage. The face of patience ill spent:
And I wanted to make this a positive come-up for a local artist, an opportunity for people who would never heard of ________. I listened to the whole thing with the intention of finding the good. There are some good beats, some potential in working with people who… know how to write songs. But if you ignore the monotonous drone of semi-rap talk, if you don’t anticipate a hook to pull it all together – look, if you always wanted to know what someone thinks about with two blunts and a microphone, look her up. Or as she said:
If you lookin for a friend to eat dinner with/ Call me/ If you lookin for somebody to stunt on your ex on/ Call me/ If you lookin for a good time outside, girl, go on and just/ Call me/ I’m down for the night, but if you lookin for a main thing/ Don’t… call me
“Call me… Maybe” by Nerdoc
Fam, I ain’t been able to bring myself to call her since. That shit should have been fire. My pussy is offended, and I’m not going to be able to bring myself to fuck her ever again.
 An award-winning writer and performer, Amber Flame is also a singer for multiple musical projects. Flame’s original work has been published and recorded in many diverse arenas, including Def Jam Poetry, Winter Tangerine, The Dialogist, Split This Rock, Jack Straw, Black Heart Magazine, Sundress Publications, and Redivider, with her first full-length book, Ordinary Cruelty, to be published in spring of 2017. Flame works as The Hand for TWiB Media, LLC, is the slam master for the Oakland Slam and performs regularly on musical, burlesque and literary stages. Amber Flame is one magic trick away from growing her unicorn horn

kiki nicole | On Gender


name a ghost.
call it Girl.
name a body
name a weapon.
say pussy.

say it to her face.

now apologize for misgendering my pussy.

the moon & my pussy use they/them pronouns.

or u can call us bitch.
or u can call us nigga, i guess.
(the moon is black too)
the moon & i smile,
see, we smart.
we know most of u can’t call us that—
we on some trick shit,
wear lipstick
& orbit on beats 2 & 4

name a body.
call it a knife
say Girl,

i call myself a boi & no one understands. i admit
i don’t quite follow my own damn self.
still i Fire
soft & sharp toothed boi.
i take Happy
& wear it around my waist.
i woo myself

i sing my pussy to anyone who will listen
but it sings back Blk

my blk body makes a home of my mouth.
we blk hole sun.
to have a body & not be able to pass
for anything other than blk & woman-

you runnin yet?
don’t worry. It’s fine.
most people do.
it’s nothing we ain’t used to.

i ghost while still inside this body.


In which my blk body goes blue//becomes something other than a body or
becomes Woman//
again//becomes recognizable & Easy to Understand
in which without a body                      I become a person