I keep thinking that I want to do an event, that I charge people to come to, and then I pull back and I think “but who the fuck am I?” meanwhile I’m screaming from the top of my lungs, “THE LOUD MOUTH BROWN GIRL.” In my head I hear the voice of a child, not my child, and not myself, saying “she’s real.”

In response, my adult self goes “so?” Tonight/last night I was in a Twitter space talking about religion, and race, and racism with other colored mostly Black folk, (I think all Black folk,) and do you know what I learned? We ain’t NEVA going to agree!

There are people in this world who will always rationalize their evil deeds by weaponizing books like the Bible, and the Quran, and other religious totems in order to make their point. I’ll never forget the white men – always white men – who told me I was evil for being a Witch and working in a church.

Umm, I’m sorry but when did we agree that I was going to deny my genetic history and heritage to make you more comfortable? You call it Witch Craft, I call it Destiny, and there’s a huge difference between the two.

This year we had 4 pure black kittens die, and so I did what came naturally to me, I buried them. I buried them because even though they were only a few days old, they were still living creatures, and their lives mattered to me. Their lives mattered, simply for no other reason than, they existed, in my house, and in my lifetime.

If that makes me evil, then so be it.

That’s perfectly normal, right? Burying dead animals? Saying a prayer over their graves? As long as I don’t claim that I am a Witch, because then the burying of the animals suddenly has a darker connotation, suddenly it “means something,” because you ASSUME that a woman, burying 4 baby kittens who didn’t make it, suddenly means that I’m sending them to Hell, right?

Thinking like that says a lot more about you than it does me, but white supremacy, and religious supremacists especially, do not think like that. When they kill an animal or bury an animal it’s the cycle of life – when I bury an animal I’m practicing some ancient evil ritual and how fucking dare I dare to exist as I am?!

I grew up with white people who fetishized everything about me from my curls and thick black hair to my caramel brown skin to my nail beds. Everything about me was envied because of the color of my skin because they had LITERALLY never seen anyone like me before. A LIGHT skinned Creole “Black,” girl, I didn’t exist on either side of the city.

The color of my skin made me a target, for rapists, pedophiles, and abusers of all kinds, who decided that they would try and dampen my spirit, in order to lift up the spirits of my white counterparts.

My desire to practice the ancient beliefs came out of a need to rebel against what I was told was evil, by people who tried to convince me that I’m the evil one, simply because I exist. They stomped on my fire, threw salt on it, and hoped that would work, and yet I am still here.

While most of the kids I grew up with got to go to college, find happy healthy relationships, and were encouraged, inspired, and lifted up, I was publically being beaten down by every adult in my life, and too afraid to tell my mom, because most of those people were her friends.

While they were raising, I was being thrown into and stuffed repeatedly into cracks I didn’t know how to describe in the English language.

So now I’m 38, single, I have a desperately stubborn need to claim my independence even at the risk of relationships I once might have killed for, and all I want to do is be the Loud Mouth Brown Girl.

Every single person I know LOVES the idea of being the friend of the Loud Mouth Brown Girl until I stand up for myself until I walk away until I decide that making myself be quiet, after being told it was safe to be vulnerable, isn’t good enough for me anymore.

Then I’m stubborn, selfish, uncaring, and manipulative, because how DARE I center myself after being ignored and ridiculed for 37 out of 38 years of my life? It’s hilarious to me that people forget I hear EVERY damned thing said about me, across the globe. I got ears everywhere, and they don’t even have to tell me because I know.

I’m loud, I’m obnoxious, I am a proud stoner, and I unashamedly talk about Cannabis and my passion for a plant I used to be terrified of. I am tired of being less, I want to be more, and yet because of all of the brainwashing from abusers who should have known better, I still struggle with the idea of asking people to pay me for the work that I put into this website.

I’m a part of your healing journey now? That’s amazing. THANK you for that, it tells me that I am on the right path, that I am doing something of service for those who need a reminder that they deserve to be great. Now, pay me. No seriously, pay me.

I’ve been at this for four years, and I’ve been talking about doing paid events for years, but I wasn’t ready – I didn’t have enough content I didn’t have enough of a name, and not enough people knew who I could be. So I did events for free, I went to every event I could and I handed out hundreds of love letters, not quite a thousand, but almost.

I can’t keep doing things the way that has been doing them. I need to stop thinking that I need to rely on other people to raise me up and lift me up, and the only way to do that is to start earning my way. I’ve done a lot of free shit in my time, far more than anyone I have ever known would do because I honestly thought you know…at least I’m helping the world in the best way that I know-how.

Yeah, I’m done with that for a while for now. It’s not that I don’t love blogging, it’s not even that I don’t love my job, but if I am truly a part of your healing journey, then why is my time worth less than that of other people you pay? Do you pay your grocers? You pay your cops? Do you pay your mental health professionals?

Then pay the bloggers who create content for you to consume, and stop letting us believe that Blogging is only a job when the world starts to notice how famous you are. Do you know how Beyonce got famous? She and the women of Destiny’s child, far more than the 3 you can actually name, worked their asses off for YEARS to get where they are.

They practiced, they sang at small clubs, they sang in the shower, they made every second of their life about reaching their dreams, and if you think I’m working any less hard at 15 hours a day just to craft a blog post that takes you five to ten minutes to read, you have REALLY no idea how much work goes into this stuff.

Our greatness was stomped on by people who decided that free labor was the gift that we should give the same people who spent 500 years pressing us. Yes I deal with mental health issues, and no I’m not capable of working 7 days a week, and no I can’t always even pull 5 days a week out of my ass, but I’m trying, and that effort deserves to be rewarded.

Now flip that shit around. Re-read that entire post and notice how few times I said “you” in reference to YOUR greatness, instead, I said “I” and “MY,” that’s not because I am merely talking about myself. It’s because I want you to keep reading this post until you realize that YOUR (MY/OUR) GREATNESS DESERVES TO BE REWARDED.

You’re welcome.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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