The Underneath.


Healing myself with the word.

Sending out a beacon to the Universe and hoping to hear an echo.

14 Responses to “About”

  1. Hey, I found this website doing a google search for racism in Portland. I’m Black, and I’m thinking about moving to Portland. If you could give me a little more information about the racism, and let me know if it’s worth the move. I live in a liberal Mecca now, Asheville, NC, but I want to be in a bigger city. Any answers would be appreciated.

    Warmest Regards,


  2. Kimba,

    Portland in many ways is a great city with…

    great bus, street car and light rail service, food, inexpensive housing relative to many big cities, plentiful trees, mountain views, hour and change from the change.

    But its opressively white. Not seeing your folks a lot is tough. The black community here is very fractured and backwards at the moment. But some of us are trying to get together and create community where none currently exists.

    Portland is a big town, much bigger than Asheville, but similar.

    There is a big potential because its a film that feels slow and affords creative types space and time to do their thing.

    Good luck with your decision

  3. I just wrote you a similar message, it’s strange to see Kimba basically writing the same thing I did – and that she’s also in NC (I’m in Durham).

    It’s tough not seeing other brown faces (I lived in Seattle for 3 years, and in La Jolla, CA for four hellish years), but in Durham, which is 43% black, there’s a ton of class/shadism/sexism stuff that goes on which is also problematic to me. I guess I expect the racism from white folks, but it certainly hurts more coming from other black folks…And lets not even get started talking about the messed up gender issues with black men and women in the South. In other words, though there are a lot of black folks here, it is also a fractured and backwards community.

    Anyway – I asked you in my email if you’d recommend Portland to another black person – would you? If not, where do you think things are significantly better?

  4. Yo Freeslave I have moved the history blog to wordpress I was wondering if you could switch the link for the black audio history site.

    this is the address I of the site at wordpress http://markbey.wordpress.com/ the name of the blog is The Black History Audio Journal. Thank you, also love the Afrosear site.

  5. BC,

    It seems that you are looking for a community of “good blacks”. I really do think that the world tends to judge us harshly and we, with critical eyes tend to judge each other even more harshly.

    For some consolation and do read my blog at http://AfricanFederationNow.blogspot.com

    Hold on change is coming!

  6. Hi… My name is Justin and I am the Online Outreach Coordinator at Media Matters for America. If you would be willing to send us some contact info we would like to include you on our press email list.

    Justin Cole

  7. As the recipient of a “Thinking Blogger” award, I am able to bestow it on five other bloggers. I have chosen “thefreeslave” as one.

    Here’s the rules, if you wish to participate:

    Display the graphic. Nominate 5 new blogs that make you think.

    Post a comment at the following url, with a link-back to your blog post in which you nominated the five new folks, to make it official:


    You can check out what I had to say at


    I love your blog!



  8. Swerl,
    Thank you for this honor. I appreciate it very much. How do I load that logo up onto my site? I’m clueless.



  9. Hey! Sorry, I’ve been a lazy blogger lately!

    You can just right-click and save it off of my site or off of the main site (the link I provided above).

    Or, email me at swerlblog@yahoo.com and I’ll email you the graphic.

  10. Love the consciousness you raise…I’m originally from Seattle, but currently live in NYC. My blog The Matrix: For Real attempts to do what you are doing in the blogosphere of color, and that is to tell the other side of the story.
    I would appreciate it if you could add me to your blog roll, I have added you on mine.


  11. Original Author of “Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man” Says Steve Harvey is using her original title and theme to send a distorted message of empowerment to women.

    Chicago, Ill. April 5, 2009 — Author Sharon P. Carson of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, says the Steve Harvey’s book of the same name is a misrepresented take on her original work. Carson, who is pursuing her rights under unfair competition laws, secured a copyright for the title in 2004, and then established http://www.actlikealadythinklikeaman.com.

    Harvey’s book, published in January of this year, copies the title and theme of her work, says Carson, and takes some of her authentic thoughts and conclusions and contorts them into a detrimental message for women. Carson says his approach is a distorted view of her original vision.

    Carson says her self-published book was written, “To encourage women to accept and appreciate who they are both inside and out and to respect themselves and demand respect from their male counter part.” She also felt women need to be as tough minded as men are in relationships, which is how she created the title, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.

    Harvey has stated the title for his book came through an editor, but originally contained the word “girl” instead of “lady,” a substitution for which he takes credit.

    An excerpt from Carson’s book discusses the unnecessary concept of women changing themselves physically for their partner: “Why should women become someone they hate in order to please someone they think they love? What if the relationship ends, will they have to change again to please the next man?”

    An excerpt from Harvey’s book, on p. 207, mirrors Carson’s point: “But if you’re telling your man you want a nose job and he sees nothing wrong with the nose you already have then maybe you ought to think about leaving your nose alone. Why run the risk of something going wrong when your man is already happy with the way you look? Why lose the extra weight if your man is happy with you the way you are?”

    In addition to reworking her original ideas, Carson objects to the anti-empowerment message of Harvey’s take on a successful woman, per p. 182: “If you’ve got your own money, your own car, your own house, a Brinks alarm system, a pistol and a guard dog and your practically shouting from the roof that you don’t need a man to provide for you or protect you, then we will see no need to keep coming around.”

    Carson asks, “How does this message empower us as women? Should we prepare for success so that we can provide and protect ourselves or should we forgo that and wait for a man come along and do it for us?”

    While Carson is looking into protecting her own rights as an author, she also is concerned about getting her message out there—that women are their own authority, they are complete with, or without, a man.

    Fans of Carson’s book frequently react with praise and the desire to pass on the book’s message. One reader writes, “You were right ON point w/this book! I learned these things the hard way, but I am gonna give a copy to my daughters to read! And your insights really helped me build more effectively with my son! Thank you!”

    For more information about Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, contact Sharon Carson or visit http://www.actlikealadythinklikeaman.com.

    About Sharon P. Carson
    Sharon P. Carson is a gifted author and poet, and has published four books in her lifetime, including the poetic volume Not By Bread Alone and Go Tell The Children. Carson, a State Certified Real Estate Appraiser, is the mother of two children, and lives in Chicago, Ill. With her husband of 41 years.

    Sharon P. Carson

  12. I don’t feel that racism is very bad in Portland. I came to visit 10 years ago and ended up staying. I love it!

  13. The freeslave,

    I’m a college student at the University of Oregon doing an in depth research project on gentrification in North and Northeast Portland. I’m desperately seeking residents of North or Northeast Portland neighborhoods. Would you be willing to go back forth via email if I asked you some questions about the changes in the neighborhoods due to gentrification?


    • Anton, I don’t have any in-depth knowledge of gentrification patterns here; mainly, anecdotal info. I’m sure there are others more qualified, longer term residents who might be able to give you a hand.

      Good Luck!!

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