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November 24, 2006


I'm sitting on the couch in my best friend's living room in Minneapolis, MN. Her daughter TiTi is on the other side of the couch, feeding her baby brother S. Jr. for the first time in her life. My friend Rae is lounging on her chair to the other side of me, and Daddy, her HUSBAND is at work. There's a refrigerator full of food that I cooked, a freezer full of food I cooked, and more to come today - Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables, and Lasagne with Turkey Sausage and homemade Garlic Bread. Also an Apple Pie will be baked today to go along with the massive Peach Cobbler already in the fridge and in the freezer.

When I first met Rae she was doing her first screening of her first big documentary film at her alma mater. I helped with the PR, not having seen the film or met Rae in person. When I first met TiTi she was still in diapers herself. Now she is so big and grown up, helping me in the kitchen with the homemade crust for the pies, asking me to wait until she gets home from her playdate before I start the Lasagne so she can help. She's doing an excellent job of feeding this beautiful little boy.

I notice there are fewer friends hanging around Rae's spot than last I was here. Now she's a married woman and she has a new infant. I hated to tell her what I know about that, but I said it anyway on the phone recently. A lot of females who say they are your friend or your "sister" or "sista" or that they have your back really are jealous of you and your accomplishments and your life, but they'll stick around through that. What they won't stick around through is a happy relationship, a beautiful union, a marriage, and a newborn Son. That's a little too much jealousy for most women to bear.

Ti's burping the baby. I'm more than impressed. He burped. He's impressive too, for a few-week old. She says it's good to be a big sister. I remember that feeling, and it was good.

Rae says it's strange to have a new little baby. But I can see from her face that she's happy, and that she's safe. She went through the hell, and now she has a real Love in her life, and things are right for her.

I talk a lot on here about my relations, and my relationships, and maybe more about men than I should. Shit most of my family has been in some kind of therapy, or on some kind of meds, or self-medicated with drugs, alchohol, or death of some kind. But I'm not the one. I'm a writer. I live, breathe, and observe. And what I'm seeing now is the truth. This is why we're here. Not just to procreate randomly/rapidly, definitely not to create more monkey business with babymamma/babydaddy drama...but to manifest the human family.

That's what's up.

Give thanks, everyday...

Nasira Miranda Jane
live from Minnesota

November 20, 2006


Peace. I've often questioned my path in this life, and wondered what led me to certain cities, to certain jobs, through certain struggles. In this case today an empty question has been fulfilled for me - did I go to Complex Magazine to edit stories about "bitches & dogs"? No. I went because my going led Rachel Raimist to go as well, and that led to she and Vee going to Chile to document Hip Hop in Vina Del Mar. When Rachel came home with the footage, there was an amazing B-Girl full of light and love and grace and inner beauty, who shared her journals laced with Tupac Amaru Shakur's lyrics and poetry, and with her own rhymes inside. She stood in front of a Chilean wall and blessed the Earth with her Graffiti. Her name is ACB...and she is Hip Hop. Through the message she sent me on that footage shot by Rachel and made possible by Vee, I learned that our culture is global, and that there are girls like me in every city, every ghetto, and every urban place people live. That even where people have NOTHING, through "inventos" they keep Hip Hop culture alive as they live and breathe.

I was sad to hear of her illness after she was stricken with cancer. Today after a day full of high highs and low lows (and it's only 1:20 PM yet) I came to check my email and found this message, sent by DENZ KD. I send all the blessings in the universe to ACB's family and friends, and I send her my love in her new place. ACB...we never met, however I know you'll know me when I arrive. CHINO, send us some Montana up to the heavens when it's time, so we can bomb the skies.

A message from VEE BRAVO:

Hello everyone. It is with tremendous pain that I share with you the passing of our sister and friend, Andrea Cecilia Bernal, aka ACB.

Andrea could no longer resist the pain and suffering of her cancer, which she bravely endured for nearly 15 months. On Sunday, November 19, 2006 at precisely 9:10 AM Andrea's spirit and soul left this earth in search of a better place, or as she often liked to say "el mundo feliz de ACB". Andrea was 25 years old.

Andrea will be buried, November 20, 2006 in the Valparaiso region of Chile in a place called "el Parque del Mar".

We invite her friends and family in New York to come pay tribute to our wonderful sister, share a story about her glorious life, and offer a prayer on her behalf.

Date: Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Time: 6-9 PM
Where: La Peña del Bronx
Address: 11 Bruckner Blvd., 3rd Floor (corner of Lincoln Avenue and Bruckner Blvd.)Directions: From Manhattan and Queens: Take No. 6 Train to 3rd Avenue/138th Street Stop. Take last subway car, and exit at rear of the train station. You will be on Lincoln Avenue, walk towards the Major Deagan highway, walk underneath overpass, until you reach Bruckner Blvd.

Vee Bravo