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photo by Jazzy Rebel www.jazzyrebel.info

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SENIOR LETTER Right before the holidays we present the final volume of 2010. Time has certainly flown by. We at B. Inspire Journal are proud of the strides made these past few months. And this is just the beginning. What a time of reflection and remembrance. It is usually during this time of year that we analyze our actions, spend lots of money and make promises. Mates have come and gone. Family members have been getting tap dancing on nerves. Calendars have filled up with events and responses like, “Yeah, I’ll try to make it!” But nothing takes the place of the giving and receiving that occurs during the holiday season. So in the spirit of giving I have chosen to announce my new inspirational campaign for 2011: Embrace the hate! Here she goes again. Another dose of sarcasm, I hear you all say. Okay, let me break down my new campaign (or “movement” as so many people keep saying when referring to their so-called causes). You see, it takes a certain level of confidence and self-love to embark on a journey which others will deem impossible to conquer. I know a lot of people are making New Year’s resolutions right now, and that is great. I however, do not make any. A single year is too vast for me to wait for the very last day of it to consider making changes. Think of a time when you heard someone say, “If I could do it all over again, I would have went ahead and [insert the rest here].”

Whenever you decide to go forth with your journey, be prepared for negative critics. But you need those naysayers. Embrace the hate! Believe it or not the negative comments can be motivational. Consider the haters non-degree holding counselors. They are speaking yet know nothing. They are giving advice yet don’t believe in their own abilities enough to make their own dreams come true. So can you really take them serious? And you don’t have to fork over money for them to provide this unsolicited advice. How wonderful is that? Embrace the hate! Quit worrying whether someone does not see the vision you see. Your sights should be tunneled on achieving your own level of greatness. Embrace the hate! Enjoy the holiday season everyone. May each of you be inspired to reach higher heights for the upcoming year.

Continuously making the haters mad,

Dominique Cannon Dominique Cannon Senior Editor

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Cyberspace Eryn-Ashlei Bailey

I only exist in cyberspace. I have no name, age, preference or gender. No stock market, bank account or monetary tender. I have no features, no feelings, no race. I only exist in cyberspace.

Hyperlinks and pingbacks are how you reach me, No personal contact, no misinterpretations, No rights or wrongs or expectations. I don’t read body language or the lines in your face. I only exist in cyberspace. HTML, Blogs, Tags, Clicks,  and Coding, Is what I do while the world is emoting. I have no fears, no fate, or silly girl dreams You find me in posts, RSS feeds, and streams. I have no rent, cell phone bills, and no cozy fireplace. I only exist in cyberspace. I don’t have thoughts, Divine callings, no need for sleep. Only Spell Check, Grammar Check, Margins and Delete . No loses, or wins, and if necessary: Cut, Paste, Reformat any commentary. No need for apologies, self-improvement or grace. I only exist in cyberspace. Search me in Google, Type in my name. Find what you will, it’s all the same. I have no purpose, no passion, no face. I only exist in cyberspace

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Alone

Derrick Williams

Alone I’m wondering if this is the life for me If there’s just no wife for me Like Reverend Al said “I’m so tired of being…” Maybe I’m just not seeing But I’ve searched every strip bar and mall Churches, storefront and tall I’ve texted, twittered and tweet Just so I can greet and meet But still...I’m alone Alone When I enter my home No lights and no scents No one asking for dead presidents No voice of happiness or discontent No one caring and no one sharing… Her minute, hour or day Are my days numbered or will life stay...this way Alone As I embark upon sleep There’s no time to weep But I am somewhat perplexed Looking in the mirror, this time I didn’t flex Is this a true reflection Maybe it’s a rejection on my behalf Sitting on the bed I tearfully laugh Alone Is alone a choice or a condemnation? It’s a decision made by hesitation Locking my heart in a vault I hate to place fault, though my mirror doesn’t lie So I’m wondering if this is the life for me If there’s just no wife for me But I’m so tired of being… Maybe I’m just not seeing That I’m really …alone

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FLOWERS Ronald Jolla, Jr.

The thing about flowers is...they die. And in some sick, twisted way I get the irony of it all.

“You need to give [person of importance] roses while they can still smell ‘em.” Right! I need to show my appreciation before they perish. But what about the flowers? What if they die before being “smelled”, per se? Then they go on, unappreciated by the appreciated. Meaning, they were not paid attention to. Everyone is a bouquet of roses to someone else.

That’s just how I feel. And those can go unappreciated, too. The roses are needed by noses just as much as the noses are needed by the roses. With that being said, thank you for being you: the appreciative and appreciated.

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Starvin’ Artist Corey Jackson

Pursuing a dream is not for the faint of heart Hunger personifies one’s Hustle And in our stomachs is where it starts Didn’t bring my lunch I’m stuck with this feeling of confidence in my gut Don’t knock liquid diets until you try them Yesterday was a Bud Today it’s a glass of Hawaiian Punch

I don’t know what’s worse Waking up without power Or struggling to pay bills With no hot water for showers

Yo, have you ever seen C*??? I’m a buck sixty after the chlorine Cereal is my existence Bread and Baloney is a luxury

Man I ain’t ate in two weeks Stomach growls disturb sleep When I do succumb after I’m beat I dream of mash potatoes and meat The intestines carry testimonies I’ll starve before I digest defeat The face of controversy is morbid Deserting your dream is a form of disease

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What you know about bootleg spaghetti? Ramen noodles and ketchup ready Ain’t enough in the bottle Yo, just add water Every condiment is water soluble

Grocery store shopping I gang up on the samples Wrap ‘em in napkins Then I stash ‘em Or I eat ‘em before the counter

It’s not a question of if I’ll make it Audience, it’s only a question of when So until then I remain fully focused Alone in Sierra Leone I write gems

Sacrifice leaves an {it’s} over bite But it’s nothing a dentist’s hygienist can’t fix To gain something You’ll have to lose something So the feast can stick to your ribs

FIN

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Redemption Essence Franklin

For the first time in a while, I feel as though God has given me a second chance… A second chance to love, live, and enjoy life....again

Something like an epiphany I’ve been here before telling myself that I will change this day, or make a difference that day. I’ve finally decided to go for everything right now. Like the saying goes, “you’re here today, gone tomorrow “, but I hope my legacy doesn’t end where my life should have begun… It’s hard to tell what kind of life a person will live, but I’m here to say that I have yet to start living, breathing, and being a body on earth… I definitely want God to be proud of me

I’m over the whole “self centered” attitude of the spoils passed down through the years About ready for a new mindset and new attitude I can’t ask God to make me great at a time when I’m not doing what he asks, therefore I’ll just clean my whole plate to give him room

Never call it a comeback, call it mercy and grace For I know that the grass isn’t greener on the other side, it just appears that way The world has nothing for me but the Kingdom of God does

I’m going to continue to encourage myself and be willing to change Take a leap of faith in my desires of my heart I’ll never know where it will get me, but I know with God, the choices I make will get me far

Redemption.

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The Ocean: The Unknown Christopher Bell

Life is full of surprises. We know that. Only God knows what our future holds. It’s exciting but at the same time...it’s very bothersome. I’m a planner, a hardcore planner. I think I get it from my mom. I don’t know. But because of that, I’m not a big fan of surprises. Well...not a big fan of bad surprises. (Good surprises bring a big smile on my face, so I love those.) Anyway...I’m just not a big fan of the unknown. The unknown makes life exciting, but...there’s a certain doubt knowing your future is uncertain. More often than usual lately, I find myself really thinking what God has up His sleeve for me. And even more important, who in my life will take part in it. The thoughts above are daily workings of my brain. Those are questions I ask everyday. Those are questions that keep me beneath the surface. And when you’re beneath the surface, I believe you stay ahead in life. Deep thoughts take you to deep places. Shallow thoughts don’t take you anywhere at all. So...for the rest of this message, let’s generalize this. Let’s call Life, Love, Relationships, Dreams...the Ocean. Just choose one, and let it be your ocean. Let’s continue... I wouldn’t say a lot of people in this world are shallow. But I think they tend to keep shallow thoughts. And I believe they like to keep shallow thoughts, because it’s playing it safe. And when you’re playing it safe, it’s because you want to protect yourself. Basic instinct for all creation is self-preservation, so that’s understandable. But...humans have the ability to have aspirations, desires, dreams, goals...happiness. I really feel many people miss the point that Happiness doesn’t come easy. It comes with a sacrifice. You have to dive beneath the surface. People have to realize: “To achieve anything great, you must take a risk... “ The quote also applies for Happiness. You must expose yourself. It’s a risk to expose your feelings, your thoughts...but it’s necessary to reach your full potential. I also understand some people have been hurt one too many times, and no longer willing to take the risk. They are content with staying on the surface. But for me...living on the surface is boring. It is extremely boring. Diving deep and exploring the depths is so much more rewarding to me. I have been to the bottom of the ocean. It’s beautiful down there. You see, experience and feel things you never felt before. The bottom of the ocean is a whole new world. In this Life, I live for many things. I desire many things and Happiness is one of them. And I understand that I won’t find it on the surface. Don’t be afraid. I know things are easier said than done. I also understand that diving can also be dangerous. From past experiences I know that too. Like the stock market...there are risks, some are more dangerous than others. We can only pray for guidance and wisdom that we take on the right risks. True, you can avoid hurt, disappointments and everything else negative by staying on the surface, but in the end...you’re cheating yourself. Explore the depths...

Thoughts of a Dreamer www.kingdreamer.com

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INSPIRE Journal #3