Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What A First Lady!!! She Nailed It!!!

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Oh did you see our First Lady last night? They don't come more elegant, intelligent, proud, classy, unapologetic and confident than her!!!! Gotta' Love Her!!! Even Morning Joe, a staunch republican, is gushing over her speech this morning. trump has talked smack about everyone even he knows not to go after the First Lady! That's a testament to how she has carried herself, representing us proudly and to just how loved she is... BLACK GIRLS REALLY DO ROCK!!!

Mrs. Obama and the President and hopefully our First Daughters will pull out ALL the stops campaigning for this election because not only are we in a fight for ‪THE SOUL OF THE NATION‬, this is also a fight to preserve the[ir] president's legacy... I have faith that the American people will do the right thing.

Like Hillary or not, trump is NOT an option. He must NOT ever reside in the house that Slaves built! It would be a slap in the face not only to the honor of Slaves, but to the Obamas, to the nation and to the world. Eight years ago, America took several steps forward. We will not become an international laughing stock and take 100 steps backward. We will not allow the travesty of trump to become a reality. We must win!!!

Come on People. Get Registered or verify your registration NOW, not in October when it is too late to address errors. Get involved with your local campaign. Get out the vote!!!

GREAT start to what looks like a GREAT convention. Go Dems!!!

Image result for michelle obama DNC speechImage result for michelle obama DNC speech

Friday, July 22, 2016

In the Midst of the Noise...

I awake this morning in the midst of all the noise having ended one day losing a very dear Friend of almost 40 years and greeting another day preparing to say farewell to a very dear and loved one...

I awake this morning in the midst of all the noise looking for solace, peace and an understanding...

I awake this morning in the midst of all the noise of crazy politics, inexplicable and heart breaking killings, a disruption in world peace as we know it

I awake this morning in the midst of madness thankful for a better appreciation of what truly is important...

I awake this morning clinging on to life and wanting very much, at least for the moment, for the noise to just stop...



Love you Otis! Love you Clyde! Gonna miss you both like you will never know. Thanks for the love. Thanks for the memories! Happy that at least your noise has stopped...

Monday, July 11, 2016

Ain't We Human Too?

I am watching the morning TV news shows. Without exception, mainstream news outlets are interviewing Friends, family and colleagues of the officers murdered in the Dallas shooting. The fallen police officers and their Families are being humanized. They are being depicted for the world to see as "kind and caring", they were "family men", "hard working, reliable and dedicated officers". Their wives and children are being interviewed and given a chance to express their sorrow, telling the world how their loved one never left for work without first kissing and hugging them, allowing the world to feel their pain,  ti see them as human. All of that is fine and certainly my heart bleeds for them. But where is the balance? Where is the humanization of and compassion for the other victims that led up to the unfortunate shooting in Dallas, those murdered by the police? Ain't they and their Families human and deserving of compassionate too? What about their pain, their loss?

Within hours after viewing the same video that shocked the world as we saw an innocent Black man being toppled and murdered by Baton Rouge, Louisiana police, CNN obviously found it appropriate to go out of its way to find and post an old mugshot of Alton Sterling, not a photo of the endearing Family man as shown of the slain police officers and as we have now seen of Alton Sterling on social media, but a mugshot depecting gim not as a victim but as a criminal. Diamond Reynolds has been scrutinized for filming the murder of Philando Castile following his being shot point blank by the police in the presence of a 4 year old child who, along with her Mother, has been traumatized for the rest of her life. Where is the compassion and depictions of humanity for them?

The pundits criticize that instead of filming the murder of Philando Castile, Ms. Reynolds should have been "helping"  him. Of course it was a dimwit on faux' news who made this ridiculous statement but still... Ms. Reynolds, in her calm, helped us all as a nation. She helped to expose the truth of policing in Black neighborhoods. She gave living proof to the realities of Driving While Black.  Mr. Castile was presumably stopped for a broken tail light and is now dead. Let's not forget Sandra Bland who is also dead after being stopped by the police for a failure to use her signal to change lanes. Why isn't mainstream media impressed with not only Ms. Reynold's calm and resolve in the midst of horror but also her heroics and the good deed she performed for society? Why is there no compassion and warm and fuzzy interviews humanizing and eliciting compassion for her, her Daughter and the Families, Friends and colleagues of Mr. Castile and Mr. Sterling? Where is the compassion for the child who has now lost her innocence for life because she will never erase the sight of murder from her mind? These men and their Families are victims too. Why no interviews of sympathy and/or humanity for them? Ain't they human too?

Watching the news and feeling some kinda' way about the double standard I am being subjected to this morning. Thank God for at least some balance being offered by Roland Martin on TVOne. They are on a mission to present the news from Black and human perspectives. So how do we, citizens, change the narrative of the media and make them understand that they cannot point the finger at politicians, organizations or anyone else without first exploring their influence and their undeniable culpability for what is the state of race relations in America? How do we make them address that Black folks are human, can be victims, feel pain and need compassion too?

Feeling some kinda' way this Monday morning...  Have a Nice Day Folks! 


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Ain't Ours American History Too?

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Recently a Dear Friend who is teaching abroad expressed dismay she felt because she had nothing to contribute when her Vietnamese students spoke proudly and knowingly of their origins, their Ancestors, the meaning and importance of their last name and such. My very proud and very well read Black American Friend felt a sense of emptiness because she knows not where her origins began, from which part of Africa her Family hails. I get that. However, unlike most of my fellow Afrocentric and Afro-proud peers, such information, while undoubtedly helpful and useful to know, is not of paramount importance.   

If I were the ancestry seeking type, I would be more interested in knowing who were my relatives enslaved in America. What was their journey? What were their struggles but more importantly, their triumphs? I mean how cool would it be to know that I am a descendant of Nat Turner, Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vesey, Robert Smalls and although a fictional character, a man the likes of Uncle Tom or any of our other Black American rebels who should be household names and regularly celebrated as part of American history? There are no words to express the pride I would feel in knowing that I share a blood line with or that I was the granddaughter many times removed to the likes of Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth or other of our sheroes'. Hell, ain't ours a rich American history too?

While I enjoy my trips to Africa, five countries to date, my most poignant revelation after spending extended time on the continent, specifically in Ghana in West Africa from where I could conceivably hail, is a deeper appreciation that I am Black American; an American wholly and uniquely enriched by my African roots. To those who will denounce what I have said, it is my position that the origins of my African roots, which I proudly claim, are complementary to and provide the foundation for the uniqueness of my Americanism.

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Massachusetts 54th Black Infantry Regiment
On this 4th day of July as the nation celebrates it's "independence", I want that Black Americans focus on our path, our journey, the road we have traveled, that road mapped and traveled before us by our enslaved, freedom fighting and fearless Ancestors. Make this a day to celebrate our rich, strong and proud heritage, our legacy, determination, resilience, bravery and endurance willed to us genetically not only through the roots of Africa and but more importantly through the blood of our very proud Black American Ancestors on whose shoulders we, and so many others, so firmly stand. Ours is a proud American history too...  

It saddens me that we, Black Americans, seem to have lost our voice or have allowed it to be silenced. We seem reluctant in our recognition of truly valuing who we are, what are our contributions, our strengths, our resilience. I am bothered that we don't tell our story often and/or loudly enough, as does the Jewish community, with dignity and pride. It is my dream that we stop allowing our voice to be silenced, that our stories of valiance, pride and fearlessness be untold, forgotten or dismissed as somehow inciting hate for whites or others in America. Really? Why is Black pride always skewed to somehow suggest exclusion of others? No other race or ethnic group has to deal with such a dynamic. My question, of course, is rhetorical but I digress...  

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But for Black Americans lifting our voice, fighting for equality and against all odds, demanding our rights as citizens in the US, there would be no voice or rights, if you will, for Gays, immigrants, women, the disabled, etc. It is Black America who scripted the blueprint, laid the foundation and provided the road map for other groups to follow in pursuit of their own voice, for their own interests, protections and establishment of their own civil rights.

I want it never to be forgotten or diminished to a afterthought, that it is we, Black Americans, who made a way not only for ourselves in America but also for anyone else who dares to demand and/or make a claim for civil rights in America. Black America must again lift our voice to ensure that these groups and others know and never forget that it is our history, our legacy, our pain, our struggle and our shoulders on which they so firmly stand in their respective pursuits and demands for human and civil rights in the good ole' US of A. Ain't ours a magnificent history?

"And Still We Rise"
Permanent and highly recommended exhibition at
Charles E. Wright African American Museum
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Our influence is global. In my travels as recently as last month in Brazil, I am moved by stories from people who still express pride in what they know to be Black American resistance. They share stories of how still, all these years later, they are influenced and have been inspired by what they know to have been our struggles and our triumphs. They hail our victories and think that in America we have achieved grand success and that our struggle for racial and full equality is over. Sadly, so too do far too many of us, Americans in general, believe the "post racial" hype. Ours is a history still being written...

I dream that Black Americans use our history to be reawakened, reminded and re-energized. I want that we use our past so to motivate us to into our future wherein I envision that we joyfully celebrate us, often and loudly, and wherein we repeatedly tell OUR story to the world so to take charge of and change the negative narrative that has been told to and about us for centuries now. Especially however I want us to take charge of our narrative to tell OUR story to OUR youth so to instill pride, confidence, a sense of knowing, belonging and entitlement in this land we know as home. Ours is a magnificent American history too. WE must tell it...

So back to my Friend teaching in Vietnam. I posted the following response to her comment on Facebook:

Of course you have a voice. Ours is the story of our valiant, unbreakable, resilient and determined Ancestors who despite being held captive, brutalized and enslaved for 400 years, endured so that you and I and all who dare to make claim to civil rights (Gay, immigrant, women and otherwise) in America or who have migrated here in search of a better life (ESPECIALLY immigrants of color), now exist and have such rights and, dare I say, the right to call themselves American. They have OUR Ancestors to thank! You, Dr. Ellen, are a DIRECT descendant of those who gave birth to a nation. Stand in your greatness. Teach it! Claim it! Our heads may have been bloodied but they will never be bowed! WE are Black Americans! Say it loud! Say it Proud!

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What To The Slave is The 4th of July?
Frederick Douglass Speech
Independence Day, 1852 Rochester, NY
I concluded suggesting to my Friend that she read to her students, Frederick Douglass' account of what July 4th meant to the enslaved Black American in 1852 and still, in so many ways, still means to Black Americans today. I suggested that she read to her students and let the dialogue and the true narrative flow. Similarly, I suggest the rest of us do the same on this 4th day of July in the year 2016...

Know and embrace your history folks...

           Cuz' Ours IS American History too!!! 

Happy 4th!