Musician devoted to Justice, Creativity, and Courage

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TuesDayNewsDay Vol 2, Issue 12 ~ September 15, 2020

TuesDayNewsDay Vol 2, Issue 12 ~ September 15, 2020

Dedication: today’s Tuesday Newsday is dedicated to Jonathan Byrd. Back in 2002, I worked for a man named Gary. Gary lost someone dear to him and I accompanied him to the funeral. I didn’t know who Jonathan Byrd was at that time, however upon hearing him sing at this funeral, I knew he was very special. I don’t actually remember who it was that it passed, but I remember hearing Jonathan sing. Maybe that’s messed up of me, maybe it’s just my normal human brain… more attuned to music.

Here and now, sitting up on the banks of the Haw River, many years later, I have the privilege and opportunity to share my music with Jonathan Byrd and his amazing audience tomorrow night. Only a few people know of my goals, because I don’t share them often, but one of my goals for this year was to sing for Jonathan Byrd‘s weekly residency, The Shake Sugaree Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys show hosted by The Kraken, our local dive bar. I actually wrote it down on a piece of paper with my other goals… A few of months ago, I ran into Jonathan while waiting to perform for the John Prine tribute. Due to Covid, it’s kind of not cool to hug people, but later I expressed to him and several others that I wish I could’ve given out hugs. That was the first time I had been around a whole bunch of people for several weeks. Jonathan said that he wished he would’ve been able to hear me sing, and without a beat, I said, “well maybe I could sing for your show one day…” thinking way into the future, maybe on the ground, in real life, post Covid. After a few agonizing minutes of waiting for his response via Facebook messenger, he responded, “Can you do July 25?”. I was flabbergasted because I half expected him to say no. No, you don’t have an album and I really don’t want to host someone who can’t have something to showcase… No you can’t perform, for some other piddly reason my mind made up for me… But he said yes and I am so excited.

In my excitement, I reached out to my friend Spencer who is also one of the videographers for Jonathan‘s weekly show. I love Spencer and he also said yes to play those videos with me. What a treat!? Spencer is an amazing songwriter. His voice is captivating and his musical talents soar out of this world.

So tomorrow night, at 7 o’clock when the show begins, join me on Facebook as I will be starting a watch party for people to watch it with me. There will be two videos of my own songs in between the many amazing sets of Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys’ music. I’m stoked and honored. One of the songs is a product of Jonathan’s song writing workshop. I recommend it to anyone who likes to write songs!

Quote: “Jump, and the lily pad will appear.” This quote was on a friend’s mom’s fridge and it’s etched into my memory. Perhaps that is what I did when I asked Jonathan to sing for his show…

Song: The Sea and the Sky, this is one of my favorite Jonathan Byrd songs.

Dear Humans,

Thank you so much for supporting me during this musical journey. I don’t have much to say this evening, I have been teaching and organizing and protesting for the last several months. We have much work to do in this world to make it a better place, I know I am doing my small part. I hope you enjoy the show tomorrow! Thank you Jonathan for having me, I look forward to enjoying your music and reminiscing about the past in hopes of a future that includes dancing at the Kraken.



JByrd blog for this week:

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TuesDay NewsDay Vol 3, Issue 11 – August 25, 2020

At the magic rock this morning.

Good morning all. I told myself that I would get back on track and “get my shit together” this week. That includes coming to my favorite sacred writing place to do this newsletter, early in the morning. It is a magical little spot in Saxapahaw and right now the cardinal flowers, bright red beauties, are blooming alongside the yellow cutleaf coneflowers (both native species and wonderful for bees) leaning in from the creek banks.

Today, TuesDay NewsDay is dedicated to all the teachers out there, my grandmother included. I had no idea how much work it is to be a teacher. I had no idea what it took to bring students to a place of understanding, as a guide, not a person who deposits information like a bank. It is an honor to find myself in this place, albeit, it is one of the most time-consuming, painstaking privileges I have ever been given. For damn sure, teachers are not paid what we are worth and if anything is a labor of love, that is what teachers (and admin) do every day. This week, we lost one of my favorite teachers in all of my many years of schooling. Her name was Sharon Rorbakken and I love her dearly. She taught the first class in which I enrolled at Appalachian State, “Gender, Race and Class” it was called. (See how I turned out…) She was a fiercely kind, passionate, and outrageously whip-smart person. Her life affected many of us growing up in a world uncertain of our direction. That is the teacher’s world. I am honored to have been a part of hers.

She loved her family. 💜

Quote: “Ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” -James Baldwin Sharon and I had a few long conversations on the phone after she moved back home to be closer to her family and then was diagnosed with cancer. Her voice was memorable and I can hear us discussing politics and love interchangeably.

Song: Lullaby (Goodnight my Angel) by the King’s Singers, (or you can listen on spotify) I first heard this song the other night in a breath-work ritual workshop. I was mesmerized and inspired by these harmonies.

Dear Humans, It is a breezy shade in which I sit this morning. While it is later than I wanted, I couldn’t rise from bed this morning. Through COVID, I have had a very hard time waking up, even if I try to get to bed earlier, sleep seems always to be knocking. That is why I have decided to get up again and start walking every day. Perhaps I’m not moving enough or doing enough with my body and therefore can’t become tired. The semester in teaching began last week and this is the beginning of the second week of classes. Democracy Matters started the week before that. I have 20 schools from California to Alabama, and from Florida to North Carolina! I have four schools right now in NC. Central, UNC, NC State and Appalachian. Most of my campuses are online and we are changing our strategies to online organizing. Wish us luck!

Music has kept me company these last 6 months. It has been nice to do a weekly livestream on Tuesday nights. Tune in to either Instagram or Facebook at 8:30pm so I can sing (and read poetry) for you. Many folks have said how much they enjoy my music through these difficult times. I am honored to share it with everyone. Even more honored I am, to share it with those who need it.

The recording studio in my home is now ready for me to begin recording. I’m borrowing a nice microphone and purchased some equipment to make it work well (and easily) and to sound good too. Once my school and DM schedule are nailed down, I will be able to figure in recording time and get back to work on that record!Nothing can be set in stone anymore right now, so dates are all arbitrary. I hope to be moving into a tiny house next year around April also. I’m putting away a little bit of money a month for a down payment. Even named my savings account “Tiny House”. That tangibility really means something special.

My love to all of you, I hope everyone is finding time for self-care and at least one healthy thing for yourself a day. Mine is remembering to take my medicine and going for a morning walk. Let’s see if I can stick to that. 😉

A few weeks ago, I’d mentioned being a guest on Jonathan Byrd’s Shake Sugaree residency online from the Kraken. I had the date wrong, and I apologize if you went looking for it and couldn’t find it! I’ll either be on September 15 or 23rd – I will confirm that date asap.

Otherwise, I’ll see yall at 8:30 on Tuesday nights (that’s tonight) XOXO FB or Instagram.

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In lieu of a missing newsletter yesterday…

This morning I was notified about this article in the Washington Post. My dear friends and fellow rabblerousers standing (and being arrested) for racial justice, racist Confederate monuments and against police brutality have been featured! (The monument in Graham was dedicated by a founding member of Alamance County KKK in 1914.) below:

I got some serious shit in a post after posting this petition to remove the Confederate monument in Graham. First of all I don’t think the people know that this was dedicated by a KKK member and if they do know, now that they’ve seen this, they don’t care! They refused to see the connection between the KKK, racism and Jim Crow in 1914 and current police brutality and racist symbols such as Confederate monuments… It seems to be easy to put together… But when someone refuses to see, you cannot make them.

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A Trip Through My Cup

The majesty of a silky cup

Sweetened, ever so slightly, with dark wildflower honey

Lighter than dark

I like it

With milk from hemp seeds

the concoction is perfection on my tongue

A swarm of warmth enters my mouth

Sends a thousand bees day’s work down my throat

My eyes roll b




and drift into another time

A time where first the bean’s flower sprung

Fruit growing on a tree

somewhere in India

From where these beans came to me

As I sit in this dim, morning light

Wonderment encircles me

I attempt to stay present

With this delicious cup of divine coffee

This batch is the last

for as capitalism tends to do

This estate no longer sells its beans

to good old Trader Joe’s…

a tiny tragedy for me and you

Preparing for grading and lesson planning

sending my students on their way

Into this crazy world of diseases, illegal federal abductions and dismay

The coffee helps me feel more alive

and give them all my best

For in despair, I choose not to stay

I must drink coffee…

and wake s






gently from my rest

to greet the new day

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TuesDay NewsDay Vol 3, Issue 10 – July 21, 2020 – Strength in Community

TuesDay NewsDay Vol 3, Issue 10 – July 21, 2020

First Amendment Rights Challenged in Alamance County | WUNC

Dedication: My fellow Alamance County people who are fighting against White Supremacy in all kinds of different ways. (If you live in Alamance, sign my petition to safely remove the statue:

I dedicate this to my dear friends Katie and Nik Cassette, whom I had the privilege of joining their hearts and lives in marriage. They are making awesome, radical art and noise in the streets of Graham in protest of the racist, Confederate monument (<–NPR story).  It stands there breathing down the backs of my Black and Brown neighbors and family, as a daily reminder that this country has been built on their backs, yet still glorifies their racist oppressors.  My dear Saxapahaw family with whom I have been standing daily in a vigil, are lifting up the struggle for Black Lives on the street corner here in Southern Alamance County.  My online friend community is not backing down from the sharing and uplifting of melanated voices and marginalized communities.  Those neighbors in Alamance County, many of whom I don’t know, who have signed our petition to remove the statue (mentioned above).  Lastly, those of you who are silent and don’t know what to do but want to do something.  You are brave.  You will find your footing.  You have support.  We hold on to our values and each other in this revolution.

Quote: “Precisely at the point when you begin to develop a conscience, you must find yourself at war with your society.” – James Baldwin

Song: “Stay On The Battlefield” -Sweet Honey In The Rock  Album: Sacred Ground – Track 8 – Year: 1996 Composer Lyricist: Bernice Johnson Reagon (Thank you Rebecca Sandiford for introducing this song to me years ago when we use to exchange CDs of music…)


“I’m gonna stay on the battlefield, til I die….. 

I had come into the city carrying Life in my eyes, amid rumors of Death.  Calling out to everyone who would listen.  It is time to move us all into another century, time for freedom and racial and sexual justice.  Time for women, and children, and men. Time for hands unbound. I had come into the city wearing peaceful breasts, and the spaces between us smiled. I had come into the city carrying Life in my eyes.  And they followed us in their cars with their computers and their tongues crawl with caterpillars, and they bump us off the road, turn over our cars, and they bombed our buildings, killed our babies, and they slaughtered our doctors maintaining our bodies and their courts changed into confessionals, but we kept on organizing, we kept on teaching, believing, loving, doing what was Holy, moving to a higher ground even though our hands were full of slaughtered teeth, but we held out our eyes, delirious with race, but we held out our eyes, delirious with race.

 I’m gonna treat everybody right, til I die. 

Come, I say come, you, sitting still in domestic bacteria, come, I say come you standing still in double breasted loins, come I say come and return to the fight, this for the Earth, this fight for our children, this fight for our life. We need your hurricane voices, we need your sacred hands, I say come, sister, brother, to the battlefield, come into the rainforest, come into the hood, come into the barrio, come into the schools, come into the abortion clinics, come into the prisons, come and caress our spines, I say, come, wrap your feet around justice, I say, come wrap your tongues around truth, I say come, wrap your hands with these and prayer, you brown ones, you yellow ones, you black ones, you gay ones, you white ones, you lesbian ones, come, come, come, come to this battlefield called life, called life, called life, called life, called life, called life life life life life… 

I’m gonna stay on the battlefield, til I die.”

Sweet Honey in the Rock - Wikipedia
Sweet Honey in the Rock

Dear Humans,

I cry and feel strong energy when I hear that song. I cry when I read the words of Langston Hughes speaking his peace on the 4th of July in 1852, “What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?…What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.[7]” and it is still JUST AS APPLICABLE to today. I growl with contempt when I read about federal, unidentified men kidnapping people off the streets in Portland who are standing for racial justice. I ache with despair when I hear about the mortality rates of Black and Brown communities versus White communities, before COVID-19 and exemplified further now during the virus’ wreckage. I am stirred at my core and I am tired of the growing economic inequality, scraping by to pay my bills and to feed myself… tired of it all. I cannot even begin to imagine how indigenous people around the world and people of color feel about it all.

HOWEVER, let me tell you, I am PROUD to be marching with my neighbors. I am GRATEFUL for the privilege of keeping my job and my position being such that I may share this consciousness with others with this platform. I am ENERGIZED by the movement we are seeing now and I am SOBERED knowing all the days, months, years, pain and deaths ahead. The days in which I know we will see worse events than we have seen up to this moment. I am taking a graduate level course right now called “Teaching for Black Lives”. It is my hope to bring that training to Alamance County teachers. I’m reaching out to the school board and Alamance Community College leaders to offer the idea. The idea, even in its infancy, is exciting.

A cornered dog will not go down without attacking with all his might. We are cornering many dogs. These dogs represent grave problems. The problem of fascism. The problem of White supremacy. The problem of inequality. The problems are patriarchy and capitalism. The problems are SYSTEMS of inequality put in place to protect the powerful White elite. The problem is greed, the problem is Christian hypocrisy, and the problem is complacency. The problem is perpetuated by consolidation of power and media, consolidation of ownership and resource hoarding. There’s enough to go around. I do not need to argue that point. What I seem to have to argue with people is that we actually HAVE a problem. Fucking people, regular people, who live on my very own street, see NO PROBLEM AT ALL and want to keep it as is. Below you will see the faces of some of our elected officials who would rather “keep everything as is”, to silence half their people and defend a rock slab versus protecting the peace by safely removing the racist symbol (and risk pissing off their Confederate flag-toting base).

Amy Galey is in the middle, the two to her left and right, Eddie Boswell and Bill Lashley, had their masks off before they thought the camera was on last night… Tim Sutton (far right, haha, never wore one at all. Shows how many fucks he gives.)

Last night, the Alamance County Commissioners had no comments, whatsoever, when scathing reprimands were brought to them by their constituency. 

Tim Sutton (his contact info is below) asked of the protestors making noise outside, “Is that legal?” To which I said in response to a speaker’s social media post mentioning his foible,

“I loved it when he asked that. Showed his detrimental ignorance about the Constitution. Reminds me of how some in my family never allowed for healthy debate of issues. Children/teenagers even as adults were not allowed to do anything or say anything that went against their own beliefs without being shamed or gaslighted. Alamance County homophobic, racist, White people who are never challenged need to be. Every day. Until they see it or until they are gone.”

Upcoming Shows: Tonight at 8:30 Livestream on Insta and FB

Sunday, guest for speaker series (private)

Wednesday, 29th, virtual guest for Jonathan Byrd’s Shake Sugaree residency at the Kraken! (HUGE HONOR! BIG SURPRISE IN STORE!)

If you would like to call the Alamance County Commissioners and speak your opinion, here’s their information:

Two groups of protesters facing off in a street, with police officers standing in the middle. Protesters with confederate flags stand on the right.
Just so you see it again… this is Graham, NC yall.

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TuesDay NewsDay Vol 3, Issue 9 – July 14, 2020

Dedication: The Migrant Farmers, The Gardeners, The Land Cultivators – Those who feed us all. We must remember from where our food and sustenance come, for we are nothing without the land – we exist on stolen soil and call it private property with arbitrary borders bound to arbitrary power – we can start acknowledging from there and create a discourse together, from now on.

“Farm workers thin lettuce crops work in in San Luis, Arizona. (AP Photo/Paul Connors), (AP Photo/Paul Connors) ‘Living in crowded dorms with no space to quarantine the sick, farm laborers are “petrified.”'” –

This is also dedicated to my best friend Maggie and my dear friend Harry who feeds our community and themselves and are exemplary humans I am honored to know and call friends.

Maggie (right) with Helen (left) – those are some sweet potatoes

Quote: “Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” Mary Oliver and subsequently, “When large slices of the demos feel as if their voice is not being heard, they feel helpless, impotent and turn on themselves and turn on each other… Every generation is wrestling what it means to be human and how one takes democracy seriously, and has to accent the underside of their present moment, in light of the past, to ensure that the future can be a little bit better, maybe even qualitatively better than the present.” Dr. Cornel West

Song: For the dreamers: Somewhere Over The Rainbow ~ the divine, Ms. Sarah Vaughan:

Dear Humans: Today is Tuesday and I have felt like a flapping fish out of water (forgot to take my medicine… Captain Distracto… Passionate Multi-Tasker… Obsessive Student… Crazed Teacher… Mad Artist! I am teaching, was accepted into a graduate level 5-week intensive class “Teaching for Black Lives”, standing daily on the street corner with my sign, highlighting police brutality with my neighbors, falling in love with myself and my Spiritual path, doing some yoga, making friends with dedication, making art, reading tarot cards, making matchbooks and frequenting the post office. I have amazing news. On Wednesday, the 29th, I’ll be performing 2 of my songs as the virtual half-time guest of Jonathan Byrd and the Shake Sugaree Global Pandemic Live Stream. I cannot even begin to describe what an honor this is. I’ve been listening to Jonathan Byrd since I was 23… I’m 37… that’s a long time!

Love to everyone, I’d wax poetic here about everything into which I’ve been diving, but I’ll spare you and share another quote of Dr. Cornel West, “Democracy is like the art form of jazz: You better find your voice, accent your individuality in community so you can contribute to the high quality of the collective performance.
Find your voice!
Each citizen: dig deep into the precincts of your soul and examine the suburbs of your voice and find your voice and get it out, not just your self-interest but your voice that balances enlightened self-interest and public interest and the public good. (We aren’t just talking about votes in Florida..).” 2014, Dr. Cornel West speaks at University of Washington

This week in pictures:

My reading from this morning.
Yesterday at the magic rock, a skipper says “Good morning!”
Me on the magic rock yesterday and I say, “Dang, this pen is dead. I must go to the car and retrieve another one.”

Upcoming shows: Every Tuesday at 8:30 – live on Instagram and Facebook! ❤

This Thursday on Facebook, live John Prine Tribute called “Souvenirs” , recorded live at the Cat’s Cradle:

July 29th – Shake Sugaree Residency with Jonathan Byrd (OMGGGODDESS!)

Just sayin’