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La Vonda Rochelle Staples's Blog (41)

The Spirit of Sunday Dinner

Brian is asleep.  He has worked the last ten nights straight.  He has also spent his days working on his part-time job.  Most of you know our situation.  He can’t pay child support.  We have a child.  I can’t get an apartment in a safe and decent neighborhood.  We have made a decision to share a place until things change or until our Sarah Bear goes off to college.  Either way, this thing of ours has an expiration date.  How we spend this time of incarceration is up to us.  It’s our choice…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on October 14, 2012 at 6:00pm — No Comments

And Yet Another Girl Is Living My Dream

I get emails from all over the world.  It was no surprise when I received an email with a photo attached.  Happy, shiny Black couple beaming from the base of the Eifel Tower.  They were in Paris.  I deleted it.  Photo proof that another girl was living the dream, offered to me, but in my stubborn mind had cast to the side. 

            One cold day when I was living on the East Coast a few years ago a very good Black man came to me, out of the blue, and said, “I’m going to marry.  I’m…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on October 5, 2012 at 2:08pm — No Comments

Systems of Support

Sometimes I don’t think I took enough time to think why someone selected me to be their friend, lover, or associate.  I should have.  It seems as if I was always just happy to be wanted or needed that I never questioned why.  Once in a circle, or assigned to a role, for some reason, I was determined to stay “on the job.”  I was so afraid of failure that I didn’t mind losing.  Today,  I examine opportunities and it seems as if the things freely given are those which have the greatest cost in…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on October 2, 2012 at 12:49am — No Comments

Love and Force

It’s the end of my writing hour.  My son has just walked in.  I hear him in the kitchen and he’s eating the last of the butter burgers and hand cut fries.  He pours some tea and walks down the stairs into the basement.  Mentally, I’m checking on all of my cubs.  My mind also rests to that man, Himself, down the road.  I see him as I hope he is.  Resting.  Well.  And my good friend sleeping warm with puppy dreams dancing through his head.  I wonder if all six are well.  And I hope they will…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on October 1, 2012 at 2:52am — 3 Comments

Grant's Mum is Wrong

I have two sons and two daughters.  Yet I spend almost every waking hour fretting, worrying, crying, and agonizing on one child.  Joslyn Lavonne is 29.  John Van II is 24.  Grant Worthington is 22.  And my Sarah Vaughn is 14.  Yet I concentrate over my one son and beg Allah the Merciful for him to find his respect, dignity, purpose and reason. 

            Joslyn is a beautiful college graduate who keeps her own house while attending graduate school.  My Sarah can have the world. …


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on September 30, 2012 at 4:29am — No Comments

Floyd's Song

“We had been out in the fields all day.  Working.  Not saying a word just working.  Picking that cotton, man.  It’s almost like that traumatized me more than Korea.  Seems like my whole body remembers, you know, the movements of picking that goddamn cotton.”  Mr. Graham went on with his story. “All a sudden there was a boom and then came a long drawn out scream like it came from inside some animal.  I ran in the direction of both of ‘em.  There was mah lil cousin.  On fire!  We tried to put…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on September 21, 2012 at 3:19am — No Comments

Aint Bessie's Blues

            Before my grandmother was a grandmother she was an aunt.  She had older brothers but she was the eldest sister in her family of ten or eleven children.  If we’re speaking of titular longevity it would be more correct to call her Aint Bessie. Later on, moving northward and when her sisters had children, there would be variations of Aunt, Auntie, and Ant.  But the one which resonates most in my memory is hearing the children of my Aunt Teench (Ernestine had one child named…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on September 20, 2012 at 2:30pm — No Comments

A Name in the Street

I’m sitting here and wondering about my child.  Where is he?  Has he eaten?  Is he drunk?  Is he clean?  Does he have a decent bed?  All these thoughts and more are roaming through my mind and running rampant and long, sprinter and marathoner combined.  I can’t believe we, his step-father and I, his sister, his brother.  None of us can reach him because he desperately wants a name other than the one I gave him on the day of his birth.  He wants the cars, a beautiful woman, wealth, and most…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on September 14, 2012 at 2:08am — 4 Comments

To Sleep Through the Night

by La Vonda R. Staples

  ~ I can’t say that I’m against the death penalty.  I only know that I love my children so much that I feel that the person who should become so wrapped up in evil and carry out the act of ultimate theft, murder, should be called upon to surrender his ghost, after a trial, on a specific date, at a specific time.  May Allah the Merciful forgive me if I’m wrong. 

            What gives me pause is…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on September 12, 2012 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Where's Junior

By La Vonda R. Staples ~ 

  Note: I’m soliciting comments and critiques on this essay. I’ve left it in rough form. I would like for people everywhere to leave commentary. I believe that the person who has a story must be the one to tell his or her story. If you have a family name. If you have a strange name. Please tell me about your name at I would like to include your personal testimony in the finished product (“Notes From Nobody: Volume One”). I can't…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on September 9, 2012 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Friday Affirmation: What We Do

I love you my Black American women. We got no daddies with shotguns. We got no big brothers to defend our honour. And sometimes it seems that our men don't appreciate the fact that we lay down on those tables to give them immortality in the form of our beautiful brown babies. There are far too few princes on the white horses coming to save us. We must save ourselves. We can't wait for a falling star for our star to shine. We make our own shine. And that's why, for better or worse, I am with…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on September 7, 2012 at 9:30pm — 2 Comments

Reality Unchecked Shadow People

 by Lavonda R. Staples ~

  Shadow people, all of the humanity has either been removed or war really never there. Never developed. Never nurtured. Never guided into the beginnings of actualization. Only the shadow of what might be a person, remains. Mastering the art of daylight. I can stand the light. I am still immune to each day’s sounds.

Surrender? To what? Nothingness. Oblivion was the sweetest of verbs,…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on September 7, 2012 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

Fanon, Thiong'o and Bojangles

by Lavonda R. Staples ~
   In the racial landscape of America it should be a pre-requisite for all citizens to sit, stare into space, and commit more than a simple introspection – it should be an autopsy via vivisection, on the impact of race in their lives.  It is in our air.  I remember studying the end of slavery for the British Empire and the court case with the famous line, “the air is too free.”  The air in America has never been free from the stench of racialized…

Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on September 7, 2012 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Reality Unchecked Genesis

by Lavonda R. Staples ~


  There was no way for the summer to have ended without one really bad homicide.  Everything pointed to an event like that being one of the many climaxes over three long months.  As it happened, that particular homicide was the only one I noticed.  Even though I was a witness to maybe a couple more.  A man I knew killed a woman I didn’t know.  I knew her type.  I had even partied with people like her, although later I learned to avoid White girls…

Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on September 7, 2012 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

And All of These Things In My Father's House: The Sun Shines for The First Time

I went to their home in 1970. It was the year I turned four. I wasn’t the only one traveled with them that night. My cousins who lived next door went too. Like so many other Black folks of that time had learned to do we left the house late at night (or early in the morning depending on your view) after the chicken had been fried and wrapped in foil, after the drinks had been placed in a cooler, after I had been awakened from the sleep they made me take at around four p.m., and after everyone…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on July 16, 2012 at 12:16am — No Comments

“If” by Rudyard Kipling and What It Means to Me: Friday Affirmation

I am the person who exists, breathes, acts and responds when no one is watching or when there is someone in my presence who I feel cannot harm me.  Whether the person is too small, too young, an outcast, or someone from whom I have taken power, how I comport myself around them is actually the real me.  When I  walk out of church and people have complimented my speaking or my shouting or my dance of praise and I start to hurriedly run to my car in order to avoid some poor soul who is on the…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on July 13, 2012 at 9:10pm — No Comments

And All of These Things In My Father's House: The Narrator

Telling someone to forgive and forget, when you aren’t present for their nightly parade of memories of the past, is sometimes another blow on the back of a wounded soul.  I don’t know how, but I have learned to forgive and I hope I learn this mythical thing called forgetting.  The human mind is designed to have survival tactics imprinted within higher and lower brain functions.  You learn how to walk, in part, because you look up from your crib and see everyone walking.  The images are…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on July 10, 2012 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

Meeting Africa by La Vonda R. Staples

Africa?  Where did I meet her?  I first heard of her from a real live African when I was in the fourth grade.  Our teacher, Mr. Driskill, thought it would be a learning experience for an African to come and talk to his class.  I attended Toussaint L’Ouverture Elementary and I have to confess that there wasn’t a single painting or representation, or even a story told about Haiti or the Revolution which would create the…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on July 8, 2012 at 9:07pm — No Comments

Only Heaven Can Hold His Heart

Only Heaven Can Hold His Heart: In Memory of My Grandfather, Elder P. D. Staples

by La Vonda R. Staples

Good morning. I've had my time of reflection. I've shed tears of grief, again, for the loss of my grandmother. It's time for some reality, deeper truth. I thought I could file her away in the back of my mind. I couldn't. I…


Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on July 3, 2012 at 8:50pm — No Comments

Friday Affirmation: Affirming the Power of My Self

Do what you want. Say what you will. It won't matter because I'm coming. I will arrive. I am a force of nature. Sometimes destructive and sometimes bringing much needed relief. Just as the rain eases the pressure of the clouds and helps to feed billions, I have something to offer and I don't even know or understand how it came to reside within me. I am a force of nature struggling to find my own release. Like the earthquake causing tectonic plates to slide and adjust. Like the river…

Added by La Vonda Rochelle Staples on June 22, 2012 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

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