Jordan Scruggs // Mobile Photography // Writer of Echoing Ida // Tennessee I shoot what I see. I write what I witness. My God looks & sounds like Maya Angelou. Let's talk.
Everything is familiar.
Yet nothing is where it should be.
People reaching out confirming existence.
Grasping at skin.
Pulling me in.
I still drift away.
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In 2017, I've made the decision that I will be creating, mostly writing, every single day. I've been inspired by the awesome actions of my person (Shontay) took in 2016 where they just...shared their existence every day. So that's what I'm going to do.
But here's the trick.
Each post will be made on my blog here.
But when I expand and go more in depth it will be posted here on Scratchbang.
But only for subscribers.
Choose any donation you want and you'll be able to get more out of each piece I create. Everything from 2016 will remain available for everyone to read and see the amazing pictures. But the new things will mostly be available only for subscribers.
Stay tuned for more,
It's going to be an awesome ride.
1. Jump to Amazon.
2. Be more realistic jump to Forever 21.com.
3. Be really realistic and jump to Rue21.com.
4. Start stressing because nothing looks like the right color of Beyonce Lemon.
5. Pause Searching to watch “Sorry” on YouTube.
6. Up your Lemonade Outfit Budget by $5 because Sorry made you feel some kind of way...
7. Think of getting a middle finger shirt.
8. Calm down and realize that will blow your budget by $20.
9. REALIZE IT’S A BEYONCE CONCERT AND YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU WANT.
10. Calm down after getting phone bill notification.
11. *watches Partition and forgets what was happening in the first place*
12. TOOK 45 MINUTES TO GET ALL DRESSED UP
13. Remembers body is affected with asthmatic lungs and calms down again.
14. Goes to Twitter to get inspiration.
15. Realize I’m going to become a magician to pull off this level of Black Excellence on my budget.
16. BOOM. FLOWER CROWN.
17. BOOM. GLITTER SHOES.
18. BOOM. CELEBRATORY GLASS OF WINE.
19. Boom. Get back and make a shopping list of the things you need for the flower crown and shoes.
20. Realize as soon as you finish typing out 19 you still have no idea what shirt you’re going to wear.
21. Say crap 5 times.
22. Play Bootylicious and feel better.
23. Realize you’ve got three really good unapologetically Black shirts and have options.
24. Dance to 7/11.
25. Pass out singing a mashup of Destiny's Child and Whitney Houston.
I love Whitney Houston. Not loved. I love her. Today, tomorrow, forever; I love Whitney Houston.
Now I have some confessions to make about Whitney Houston.
1. I never watch any video of a child or person singing a Whitney Houston song.
Stop sending them to me. I look at the cover shot/image of the video and keep it moving after I roll my eyes.
2. I rank National Anthems on a scale of 1-10 Whitney Houston's.
Whitney took your songs and made them her own (thanks, Dolly) and that includes the National Anthem. Lady Gaga got a 7 at the Superbowl. Marvin Gaye got a 9. Jimi Hendrix is a 6 because he didn't sing a one gosh darn note so be glad I gave him that much.
3. I'm still angry that Spotify has not changed the original "I'm Your Baby Tonight" track from the I'm Your Baby Tonight album.
Listen I get that you're a big corporation and that you have had a lot of struggles with getting certain tracks after you lost T-Swizzle and Prince to Tidal. I get it. But you have the original track on her "Greatest Hits" album. So I am befuddled and miffed. I even tweeted you this mistake and you told me you would look into it, and yet it remains the wrong track. The correct track is right there....it is right there.
4. Speaking of Spotify...I'm mad I can't listen to the "Cinderella" soundtrack.
Who do we have to talk to to get that in your collection? Whitney Houston was 50% of that movie and Brandy was the other 50%. We know we have her support behind this because she loves her some Whitney. Children these days have to sit through a Cinderella remake and be told it's amazing. We that were blessed with Disney movies of the 90's know this to be a lie for certainty because we had Whitney Houston as our Fair Godmother. Get it together. Figure it out. MAKE IT HAPPEN.
5. I hate it when people act like drugs are all that she was.
You know what....lemme just say this. She was betrayed by someone she trusted and loved who turned out to not be Bobby Brown (BIGGEST PLOT TWIST OF MY LIFE, BTW.) but her brother. Led her to drugs. But guess what? She was still the single most awarded female artist of all time. So get out my face with that. Byyyyyeeeee. ALSO I hate talking about and critiquing women's bodies as it is...BUT...Y'all act like she didn't start her career out as a model for Seventeen magazine. Y'all act as if she wasn't skinny before, during and after she gave birth. Remember the "I'm Every Woman" video? Didn't know she was pregnant until the camera panned down to her stomach at the end.
6. I love her adorkable inability to dance.
Whitney was an OG when it came to non-dancing dancing. My girl had a shoulder shrug and a two step that would put your uncle at the family reunion picnic dancing to Frankie Beverly and Maze to shame. She couldn't dance worth a damn and she didn't have to. She tried during the "I'm Your Baby Tonight" period and then said ,"Nah." and never looked back. The difference between her and Mary J. Blidge is ain't no one told Mary to stop. Whitney told herself, "Nah, Nippy." That shoulder shrug and neck bob/jab/jerk to the side was born and I was blessed.
7. I distrust people who can't name at least three Whitney Houston tracks.
I don't care if it's rude. I don't care if it's ridiculous. It's life. She had a musical career that spanned over three decades. Get on board. If you tell me you love music and can't name three Whitney tracks, you can't be trusted. Them's the facts, folks.
8. I dislike (on the cusp of hate) people who start sentences with "Whitney was good but_______could be competition if..."
No. Nope. Nada. Zilch. Don't even. They could never. You wish they could. They wish they could. But they cannot. She was called "The Voice" for a reason. Don't delude or knock down your favorite that you stan for because you like to ignore the obvious. Don't put them on a pedestal that doesn't exist. Because in the words of Whitney herself it's "Impossible."
9. If there is a Whitney Houston video on the Internet webs, I have already seen it...and downloaded it.
Y'all sure do love making sure I've seen Whitney Houston videos. In fact, I encourage it because it usually leads to me going on a Whitney Houston video/music binge where I can blackout life and be absorbed in her everything. BUT....don't ask me if I've seen it. Because I have. And I saved it and backed it up on my devices. I actually bought extra Google Drive space and an external hard drive to store the videos and the tracks. So yes, I've seen it. I've heard it.
10. I haven't listened to "I Will Always Love You" all the way through since she passed away.
I can't. It's a lot to handle. I loved The Bodyguard. It hurts. It hurts to hear the voice that changed a song so drastically and transformed it into something so powerful. I've listened to almost every other track. But...it was the first track I heard on the radio when they announced she was found and my world collapsed. Ask my parents, because I'm sure they remember me crying through an entire state as they drove me back home from DC. I certainly know they remember me gasping and bursting into tears. I know they remember having to pull over at a gas station to buy overpriced headphones because mine were packed somewhere and I was inconsolable. I feel it all over again as soon as it gets to the second verse and I swiftly cut that thing off. NOPE. NOT TODAY EMOTIONAL SATAN.
So there you have it.
I love her. I always will. I'm working on another, way more lengthy and personal, Whitney Houston piece. But today is her birthday and y'all are going to get these feelings.
This blackout poetry piece comes from a friend that I met during a CoreAlign Art Moves session. It was powerful to me. I was drawn into the way he breathed the words to life.
The frustration, fears, concerns with living in a society where Black lives fear for the lives of their children before they even exist.
What kind of image is the country sending to Black America where we have people with a high level of anxiety and distrust for the people and the community that's supposed to protect and raise them?
The wrong kind.
We have to do better.
We must do better.
I called Donald Trump a middle schooler the other day on Twitter and I stand by that statement.
Here’s the reason behind that.
I’ve worked with all ages of children for over ten years. That’s ten years of tantrums, ten years of fits, ten years of fibs and ten years of small kids doing whatever it takes to be the big kids.
I love kids but they are the most frustrating age to watch over. Logic does not apply to them. They believe they know as much as the high school kids because they’re no longer the elementary school kids. They have the beginnings of independent thought and none of the brain power to make the logical steps that follow independent thought.
Basically you can’t trust pre-teens on their own. Period.
Middle school kids are when hormones come into play and they’re just testosterone and estrogen messes. They’re not used to them
Pre-teens are the ones that think they’re rich because their parents give them over $20 for their birthday. They think they’ve made it once they get a hover board or a new iPhone.
They’re allowed to be happy by nonessential things and moments in their life because adults around them know they’ll have bigger responsibilities and bigger things to deal with when they’re high schoolers.
It’s cute when people ask tiny kids what they want to be when they grow up. No one really asks what kids want to be when they grow up again until they get into high school.
You know why?
Because middle school kids aren’t ready for anything. If they can’t handle pre-algebra why would anyone trust them with job and career options?
They know too little and barely enough of everything around them.
Middle school kids can barely write a five-page paragraph, let alone make important choices that are going to impact their lives.
Pause. Let’s take a flashback to the end of my 5th grade/beginning of my 6th grade year.
Guess what 19/24 of the kids in my private school class went to the Principle’s office for?
Who was whose best friend.
There was name calling. There was finger pointing. There was pouting. There was tantrums. There was, “You’re not my friend anymore.” and “I’m telling on you.” being thrown left and right.
BECAUSE MY CLASSMATES WERE DRAMATIC MIDDLE SCHOOL AGED KIDS AND WHOEVER WAS PAYING THEM THE MOST ATTENTION WAS THEIR BEST FRIEND AT THE MOMENT.
Just like the only important thing to Donald Trump is who likes him.
He is arrogant. He is selfish. He is sexist. He is racist. He is the embodiment of rape culture. He is the definition of what a President should not be.
He is awful.
Let me break it down partnering with middle school mentality.
He has no policies. He has bullying. He has no plans. He has click-bait phrases of ridicule and hatred that go against the very core of what it is to be an American. He has no loyalties. He has financial ties to people who give him their money.
Donald Trump is unfit to President of The United States because he only cares about himself and who wants to give him attention at the moment.
People talk about high school regrets because of bad haircuts and styles.
No one talks about middle school memories and habits because we can all agree that we didn’t know enough of anything to make important decisions.
We were all embarrassments for a majority of our time during that time period.
Just like the amount of time Donald Trump has committed to the 2016 Presidential Election.
Ps. I did not go to the Principle’s office.
Greetings friends, family and overall supporters of my work!
I'm super excited to bring to you a quick way to support the work I do, while also getting the creative content that I make daily. I'm often writing on the go and I'm capturing things in my community of Chattanooga. I have a history of writing about culture, music, food, and politics. I currently write with Echoing Ida. Sometimes my work isn't for the Echoing Ida field. Which is why I've come to Scratchbang to share my work!
On this platform, I will bring the mobile photography, poetry, and other written works that I want to share.
Stay tuned for more posts coming up!
Jordan. Tennessee born and raised. Black & Queer. Advocate for equality and activist since birth.
Currently a board member for The Nooga Diversity Center of Chattanooga, their work has been highlighted for LGBTQ activism with MTV’s Logo Young Trailblazer Award and America Reframed. Jordan is a proud member of Echoing Ida, a Black women writers program of Forward Together.
Stay tuned for daily updates and in between pieces of work.