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Many of my post may be filled with typos, ignorant statements, untruths, bad English, & anything else that may make me appear to be uneducated. Please note: all of these things combined make my Blog the perfect one, because you know I have issues & I am not ashamed. With this said; enjoy, fuck mistakes & read between the lines!

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My Brother’s Keeper

Author: Tafari, Monday, April 16th, 2018 at 10:53 AM Mindspill

MISSING::: Langford Patton Jr. Ward of the State/Patient at the Water P. Ruether Psychiatric Hospital 30901 Palmer Road Westland, Michigan 48186 Phone: (734) 367-8400 Last seen in Westland, MI April 15, 2018 at 2pm headed south on Wayne Road running from the MJR movie theater. Wearing a light gray coat, navy blue skull cap, khaki pants, and navy-blue Nike gym shoes. It is likely that he may show up in the Dexter/Davison area, specifically on Sturtevant and or Cortland between Dexter & Linwood. If see, please call 911 immediately, do now engage with him at all. He may be a danger to himself or strangers and will continue to run. A missing persons report was filed in the city of Westland, MI & the Water P. Ruether Psychiatric Hospital has been alerted Please contact family representative, Tafari Stevenson-Howard, if you have tips or potentially helpful information at 734-678-0974. Thank you! Mindspill

Last Thursday, I got a call from my brother’s case manager, Stacy Wetters at the Water P. Ruether Psychiatric Hospital informing me that he was eligible for a day pass. I got excited when she asked me if I would be comfortable picking up for an 8-hour period. With no hesitation, I said yes, got the details then it was officially a plan. I got off the phone, called our momma and told her the good news and we were both so excited! Langford (Topot) got into some big trouble almost 2 years ago while living in an adult foster care home who allowed him to go unmedicated. When my brother slips off of his medications, all hell breaks loose and it did… He went into a local restaurant, waving a knife demanding food. He even went behind the counter with the knife further making demands. The workers were able to get him to leave the building but then he went to the dumpster looking and ultimately fell asleep in front of the restaurant with the knife and was arrested… Fast forward and he’s now facing a 4+ year felony charge, was transferred to the Wayne County Jail, put on trial, transferred to the Ruether Psychiatric Hospital, where he was put back on medication, had them adjusted, got cleaned up, I was able to visit with him. Later found incompetent to stand trial and the case was dropped. Although the case was dropped, he couldn’t return to the street until he was mentally stable and put into a home that could meet his high needs and that’s the challenge. I last met with his treating team over 6 weeks ago and no movement since then but he’s doing so good. I visit him often. We usually have snacks, talk about old times, play cards and he usually has some interested fantasy stories that he tells me. I always listen no matter how out there the stories are & they are usually out there… Back to now… So I pick him up yesterday for the 8-hour pass, he looked great! So bright, happy, and excited to be getting some fresh air. My plan was to take him to see "Black Panther," then some lunch and back to my house to chill. When we got in the car, he asked me to put on some jazz, so I did. We listened to the Brand New Heavies, one of his favorites. Then he asked if we could listen to more jazz when we got to my house. I had a surprise for him… I found a Paul Hardcastle album at the record store the day before and we both love Paul Hardcastle so it was a treat. We get to the movies, get snacks, get seats and it’s going great… He then has to use the rest room. Then minutes go by. Then more minutes and I’m like where is he. He sits back down next to me smelling like cigarettes. OMG! One of my instructions was no cigarettes, no liquor, no other drugs… All of this can interfere with his medications. As a matter of fact, any of this can make him have seizures. I asked about the cigarettes & he popped off at the mouth and then he had to use the restroom again… At this point, I sensed trouble and knew I had to cut the day short. I explained that I was taking him back. He got upset and as soon as we got outside headed to the car, he bolted. I was shocked but immediately started chasing him. He was running like a fucking gazelle bobbing and weaving through a very busy street with cars coming in both directions. It was like a scene in a movie then I stopped… Why am I chasing him. WHY??? Really putting myself at risk. He always told me he was a ninja and a green beret (whatever that is). yesterday, I believed him. The way he ran across Wayne road through those cars and disappeared trips me out. I mean... he took off running. Like he was Carl Lewis. I walk back to the car in the freezing rain… Thinking… What am I gonna say to the hospital. All my fault. The police. All my fault. He’s grown but he’s not. Called the police and Water P. Ruether Psychiatric Hospital. Reports were filed. Cars were out searching. I headed home. He knows my phone number and may call. He may run to our old neighborhood for refuge. I don’t know but I do know that I’m drained! DRAINED! Mental illness is such a heavy load! For those affected and for those family members who love & support. Last night, I felt like I was at the end of my rope. I went through a range of emotions. Through my family experience with my grandmother (paranoid schizophrenic) and brother (paranoid schizophrenic), I see how your family will give up on you because of mental illness. I don’t want to be how I saw my mother, aunts and uncles were with my grandmother. I don’t want to be like that to my brother. It’s so hard. A hard place. I want to be my brother’s keeper but damn…

Earth Day Goodness

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 at 7:52 PM Mindspill

Give a hoot and don't pollute... Anyone else remeber Woodsy Owl?

New York Fashion Week: Sitting This One Out

Author: Tafari, Thursday, September 5th, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Fashion Mindspill

After my time at New York Fashion Week last February I decided to sit the fall season out New York Fashion Week out. Crazy right??? Although I will not be in & out of fashion related events photographing beautiful people, I did have some thoughts on fashion week that I shared with Sharifa D. Crawford of Disciples of Haute. Check it out here! And for the record, I'm never that excited about spring/summer collections. Being from the Midwest & a lover of all things autumn, I'm more excited about fall/winter collections. The colors, jackets, richer textiles and scarves of course.

Vivian Maier on Film

Author: Tafari, Friday, March 8th, 2013 at 11:30 AM
I've been fascinated by the work of Vivian Maier since her work made it's way to the internet a few years ago. Talk about a true hidden treasure discovery. I cannot wait until this film is released. Seems like she had quite the secret life.

Trayvon Martin: Million Hoodie March

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 at 9:09 PM Mindspill

The New York City Million Hoodie March in support of Trayvon Martin was held today & still going on as I type this post. If you're not familiar with Trayvon Martin, he was a 17 year old who was murdered by a rogue crazed and racial profiling community watch member named George Zimmerman. Zimmerman claims that he shot Martin in self defense but the evidence so far says otherwise. When police came to the scene, they found Martin armed only with a bag of Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea. Where does self defense make sense? Several weeks later: - Zimmerman has not been charged - The 911 tape has been released and it is a heartbreaker - The Dept of Justice and FBI are now involved - A Grand Jury is being sorted out - Several marches and rallies are planned around the country - Floridian officials are calling for the Sanford, FL police chief to step down - Black men and boys are simply not safe from racial profiling To support Trayvon Martin, I wore my hoodie. Yes, it was hot but a young man was murdered so my little discomfort meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. Check out Trayvon's mother talking to marchers today. This story just really makes me upset. Will things ever change?

A 2011 Holiday Message

Author: Tafari, Monday, November 28th, 2011 at 11:30 AM
I saw this video & I died laughing!!! First at Rice's must have and they way that she was so animated. Second at how the host/interviewer got all fake "sister-girl" on her. Who does that with a former White House official. As for Robertson... Nothing he says is shocking. Nothing...

When A Friend Runs

Author: Tafari, Friday, November 11th, 2011 at 12:32 PM Mindspill

10 years ago, I met Cole Jordan and he helped me to get back in school to complete my baccalaureate. Since then, he & his wife Diane have been like parents. Today, I learned that he has been a fugitive for the past 40+ years and is now in jail in California.  I am beyond shocked & devastated as I sit in my office trying not to cry. I called Diane, the woman that introduced me to Toni Morrison (not the person but the literature) and we comforted each other. I needed to hear her voice and know that she was OK. For the longest, Cole & I have been planning on getting a coffee to catch up but our busy lives made that meeting not happen. Now, I’m sitting here wishing that it did. It’s always after the fact…. The fact that Cole turned himself into the authorities speaks volumes to me! I know Cole to be a man of integrity, love, honesty, style, education advocate and most of all, a friend who personifies what a Black man should be. I have to wrap my head around this. I really do. I feel for Cole, Diane, and their sons, my brothers from another mother. I don’t know the facts of the case that got Cole to this point. I don’t know what led to whatever but I have to say that it does sound pretty bad ass. I’m just saying. To get the backstory, check here. I read it 4 times and still like, just like.... Photo Credit: Michael Macor / San Francisco Chronicle

MLK: Made in China

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 at 11:29 PM Mindspill

A few years ago when I learned about the Martin Luther King Jr. monument that was to be constructed in our nation’s capital, I got excited. When I learned that the artist assigned to produce the sculpture of perhaps the most notable Negro in American history was a Negro himself, I got even more excited. Not too long after hearing this news, I learned that the project leaders decided to go with another designer for the MLK monument. Not really a big deal because things often change on large initiatives, right? The project leaders flipped the script and decided to bring on Chinese stoneworker, Lei Yixin. Making the changes even more controversial was decision to use Chinese granite for the memorial. - Why not an American sculptor? - Why not with American materials? - Just why? Yes, I was one of those people opposed to the statue after those changes. I wasn’t angry but I was very turned off. Fast-forward to this summer when the MLK monument opened… I decided that I would not visit. Fast-forward to this past weekend when I actually visited the monument… I broke down in a moment of DC tourist weakness. The monument is HUGE. On grand scale. Attractive. And obviously missing the “Made in China” markings. Even after being impressed by the size & style, I’m like meh… Then you add the fact that the monument is directly across from the Jefferson Memorial. Jefferson was not only a slave owner but a rapist of his female slaves. OK, let me calm down. I’m starting to get a racial tension headache up in here. I wonder what MLK would think of his monument being constructed by people living under a communist regime that oppresses, jails and tortures citizens while restricting internet access… Wait, some of that happens in the US also. Your thoughts? Am I tripping? BTW, the photo above was taken with my iPhone 4, which was “assembled in China.” I’m just saying.

The Brightest Apple

Author: Tafari, Thursday, October 6th, 2011 at 7:43 PM Mindspill

1987... I had my introduction to computers in the 7th grade at Durfee middle school. I LOVED my computer class but I didn’t like my teacher, Mr. Donaldson at all.  He was tall, super skinny, high yellow, short but pointy afro and a nose the size of a small Yukon gold potato. He always seemed to be on me making threats and just generally being a hard ass. Although he was not a teacher that left a positive impression, I learned a lot in his class working on Macintosh computers. Mr. Donaldson would say, "it's time to get on the Macintosh." That's so funny to me now. We did all sorts of education activities and commands that would make the computer talk to us. During free time, we worked and printed signs from a program named "Print Shop" (does this still exist). I remember being fascinated by the dot matrix printer and all the noise that it made. We also got to play “Oregon Trail,” which I still love! Totally one of the best games ever!!! After a year in that class, I did not touch a computer again until 1992 when I was a high school junior. Then it was all about Windows. Fast-forward to 1998 and I have my very first PC. It was a Compaq Presario. I swear that I loved that thing. Then it died! Over the course of time, several Windows based PCs and laptops followed and they all died tragic deaths of epic proportions. About 6 years ago, I gave up on Windows based PCs and started to move to Mac only. First a laptop, then a desktop. I was hooked. My kids even have a Mac desktop. I guess I would say that I am somewhat of an Apple loyalist but I’m not ride or die like others, however I LOVE going to the Apple store, especially the Apple store on 5th Ave in New York. Last night when the world learned that former Apple CEO, Steve Jobs passed, it seemed like Twitter, news sites and blogs that I follow were going to explode with the news. I really don’t do RIPs but I am feeling the need because the man created a movement and a computing lifestyle that made being a nerd cool… so I’ll leave it there. <tackynote>While a sad moment in modern history (for tech lovers), I can’t help but to wonder about the timing of the death. Was he kept alive long enough to let the release of the iPhone precede his death? Is it a total coincidence? I'm just saying...</tackynote>

Ted Williams: Not So Shiny & New

Author: Tafari, Monday, May 30th, 2011 at 12:05 AM Mindspill

When things are shiny & new, everyone wants a piece. I’m happy that Ted was "discovered" & I’m VERY happy that he is in recovery now but it's a shame how it all played out for him under the media pressure. Shame on Kraft, The Cavaliers & them other bitches who dropped Ted like a hot potato. I mean, come on, did you really expect that he had a squeaky clean past. Perhaps they should have did some background checking before they started sucking his dick & making offers because they wanted to look "nice & caring." I’m just saying. I’m hoping that Ted heals the areas of his life that were neglected for so long. While healing, I hope that the money/fame hungry vultures are kept at bay. Let a brother be successful the right way. Now that I said my piece, peep this story I found on Good.Is. “A Month Later, "Homeless Man with a Golden Voice" Is Abandoned by His Corporate Friends” by Cord Jefferson
“In early January, a journalist in Ohio came across a homeless man possessed of a "golden radio voice." That man, as you probably know, was Ted Williams, and the journalist's video footage of him quickly became a hit on the internet and television. Williams got a makeover seemingly overnight, and soon he was doing voiceovers for Kraft products, appearing in TV ads, and fielding an announcing job offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers. But then reality struck. After getting into an altercation with his daughter, an altercation for which he was not , Williams was pressured into going into rehab for alcohol addiction by TV psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw. He then left almost immediately, saying he felt rushed and that the process (i.e. being broadcast on Dr. Phil live from rehab) felt "scripted." Williams then checked himself into a sober living house for voiceover actors in Los Angeles, where he could come and go as he pleased, but where he still needed to submit to drug tests and promise to remain clean. Eventually came word that Williams had long ago abandoned his nine children. And then The Smoking Gun released his rap sheet. Ultimately, it turned out that the man with the golden voice did not have such a golden history. Alas, in the aftermath of his troubled second chance, Williams is still making minor appearances—the Los Angeles Times reports he was recently at a milkshake shop but Kraft hasn't brought him back, his TV ads have been pulled, and the Cavaliers' job offer has been reneged.” Read More Here...
Photo Credit: AP

There Is A Black Messiah Coming

Author: Tafari, Thursday, May 19th, 2011 at 10:23 PM Mindspill

As a self proclaimed Jesus impersonator, I will admit that I am not all that ready for the rapture this coming Saturday. So far, all that I have ready is a playlist, some batteries, a new pair of jeans and a full tank of gas. Sigh! From what I read, Jesus will be here at 1:45am Zulu, so if you’re not familiar with Zulu time, bitch, you better read up. With that said, I will quote one of favorite my soulful house DJs, Osunlade:
“…As sure as I live, I know there is a Black Messiah coming. The shadow of the spirit looms against the universal sky. There is a Black Messiah coming. The son of the great Black father who watches the door of time. There is a Black Messiah coming. His thoughts, they fill the air. There is a Black Messiah coming. He is the one we have be waiting for forever. There is a Black Messiah coming. He will love us all completely, there is a Black Messiah coming. The spirit of Malcolm will walk again. There is a Black Messiah coming. Bringing dreams that only Kings would dare to dream. There is a Black Messiah coming. The man of all men he will be. There is a Black Messiah coming. All people will be set free. There is a Black Messiah coming. He will walk this barren land removing all children out of ignorance. There is a Black Messiah coming…”
See you on the other side!

American, Earth, Sky

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 at 9:09 PM Mindspill

Now that President Barack Obama has proven for the 50-11th time that he was born as a human in Hawaii, which happens to be an American state, we can go back to reality where the sky is blue, the grass is green. Yesterday, I got to a fever pitch with this birther bullshit & posted this:
“The people questioning Obama's place of birth & scholastic record are proof that some people really think a Black man is not worthy of greatness. Reminds me of when Malcolm X's schoolteacher told him that he would be nothing. Reminds me of when a high school teacher (Michelle Ries from Mackenzie, I just put you on blast bitch!) of mine told me that college was not for me. I'm actually taking it personal.”
Racism is so institutionalized in this country to the point that some people just don’t know it when they see it. Maybe they do know & see it, but just don’t care because they feel & are privileged. WOOOOOSAAAAAAHHHHH!!! With that rant out of my system this image is a play on “Of Earth & Sky” from 2009. The field where I photography the grassy portion of “Of Earth & Sky” is no longer there. Three weeks ago it was razed by bulldozers making way for two new charter schools. I swear I don’t know why we need more schools in this area when two closed within the last year. Will students magically appear? WOOOOOSAAAAAAHHHHH!!