Under the tutelage of the powerhouse director, I gained the tools I needed to finally finish my story.

Photo by Iqx Azmi on Unsplash

I narrowly avoided a mental breakdown last night.

The Problem

I was finally in front of my manuscript that I’ve been laboring with mentally between searching for stable employment, thinking of ways to monetize my content, and taking on odd jobs while I wait for one of these interviewers to call me back. I’d lacked the courage to face it up until this point because I had failed to properly produce a draft worth querying despite significant effort going toward the cause. But if I didn’t face it soon, it wouldn’t get done.

I sat there with my notes on what was…


How to handle money when you’re not used to having it.

We're getting older.

Yes I know, I spoke the thing that we don't talk about in public.

But it's true.

Millenials are moving slowly but surely into the spotlight as bonafide adults, with the oldest members of our cohort turning 41 next year.

And while we had a rough start, and potentially a rougher middle ahead, there is a small silver lining coming up for a lot of us.

A wealth transfer.

That's right, our Boomer parents are getting up in age and that means quite a few of them are going to be joining the realm of the ancestors…


How a dark night of the soul helped me gain the clarity I’ve been missing.

I hit a low point last week.

With approximately $0.37 in my account, plus rent and a number of other utilities due now; one could say I was in a bit of a bind. More like a gaping chasm of a bind.

You see my husband and I are creatives, and before you pull out the world’s smallest violin to play an accompaniment, I’m asking you to hear me out first.

We are not fairy dust and unicorn idealists who have chosen to forego the creature comforts of the world to live a more “spiritual” and “enlightened” lifestyle. …


Being a creative is tough, being one in the South is tougher

Hey Y'all,

I know it's giving tuesday today and it's hard for me to ask for help but I'm doing it.

In 2019, Solomon Bakari and I chose to accept the creative callings on our lives after the loss of our home and my mother in a house fire put life into perspective for us. For him that meant pursuing music and for me that meant pursuing my writing . We knew were taking a risk, especially with three small children under 10 in tow. But we knew that creating music and writing were the reason we were put on…


Reflecting on the most unexpectedly influential book of my life.

Every now and then I get hit with a question that performs an unexpected gut check on me.

Today it was a really simple one: What book shaped you the most?

My first instinct was to go with something that would paint me as an expert; a role I’m honestly comfortable playing because I enjoy being viewed as a human library.

My fellow astro geeks would say it’s cause I’m an Aquarius and I have a God complex.

But I’ve learned enough about myself to realize it’s because teaching and sharing resources/answers has been the one thing I’ve always been…


Saying no to a half-lived life in exchange for full one is uncomfortable as fuck, and I am struggling.

Shit I’m tight grill when my situation ain’t improving/ I’m tryna murder everything moving, feel me? — Jay-Z “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)”

I haven’t been this uncomfortable in a long time. My situation right now looks dismal as fuck to the casual observer. Hell to me too (I’d elaborate but I believe in the law of written Karma so I won’t).

But my situation ain’t why I’m mad. It’s readily rectifiable if need be. …


By Jael R. Bakari

The Abyss
By Jael R. Bakari

I stood upon the face of a cliff and said to the mother "Open wide And surrender unto me your mysteries I am odin sun made flesh I wish to understand" She smilled a dark smile One reserved for fools and the hardy "What gives you the right small one?" She asked, echoing gusts from the gorge across my face "I wish to live" I say. "It is my birthright." "I have been born of fire Cleansed in water And baptized by air... But it is you I need to complete my element" She…


A reflection on the inner workings of white supremacy in the minds of its targets.

I am a child of divorce.

I remember telling this to a $25/hour therapist over a tele-medicine consult, and watching his eyes light up as it suddenly explained my tendency to take on more than my fair share of work.

He said, “Children of divorce often find themselves trying to keep the peace between parents as their feelings are squashed beneath the weight of ill-feelings between the two adults”.

This is paraphrased of course, as I have the memory of a elephantine goldfish, but the idea of being stuck between two worlds resonated with me.

When I was with my…


The literary legend would have been 91 today.

I cannot thank the work and words of wisdom this woman has shared with me though shes been absent the body 2 years now. But what she left behind was more than enpigh to continually challenge and inpire me to new heights. Her craft books, documentary, poetry and fiction have given me courage tp plumb the deptha of my mind in new ways. And I dont think I could ever thank her enough for it.

Poem text:

I found a spark A candle that jumped and lept Crossing time and space to share with me a flame as old as…


After spending time with Toni Morrison this week, I took the time to test out what I learned in some writing challenges.

The veil is thinner now.

I’ve been spending time reading Toni Morrison’s Beloved this week. I’d been introduced to Toni through my mother’s book club recommendation of The Bluest Eye when I was younger — the same club that introduced me to the works of J. California Cooper and Asha Bandele — but it was always hard for me to read her. Toni is a writer whose works demand your full attention; requiring you to summon the depths of your intelligence to really feel what she is saying — and where it is coming from. …

Jael R. Bakari

I create thought-provoking content for people crazy enough to believe they can change the world. #fortheblacksheep www.jaelrbakari.com

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