Posts filed under: ‘Chicago‘
When I first got wind of this story it was while watching some camera man or woman poke a microphone in front of Jesse Jackson, Sr., his father. They were asking him about something or other and then shifted the questioning to his son. Jesse Jr. Jesse senior kind of smirked and said that his son was now doing much better following his rehab.
Hearing the word ‘rehab‘ I immediately believed that Jackson’s son had been in some type of auto accident or something. And that the reason his father was smirking was because his son was pulling through his injuries with flying colors.
But I Googled the story on Jesse junior and was very surprised. He had always looked so clean cut… spoke with such intelligence. Who would have thought that he would have become involved in drugs… much less had become an addict?
It appears that they were trying to say that it all came about due to Jesse junior falling prey to pain pills. ‘They’ being the Jackson family. But for some reason it all seemed a bit deeper than that.
In my continuing to Google more information on the story I noticed the tremendous amount of weight that Jesse junior had put on during the time since last I had seen him… it seemed to me overnight.
The Bible says that what is done in the dark comes to light… and I believe that this is the case in this story.
Now, I am not 1 for throwing stones. Goodness, no. I don’t want to do that. But as I was saying to a friend earlier today… this morning to be exact… as we were speaking on this story…
“Most people do not just start taking drugs later on in life.”
And they don’t.
They either got started in college or were doing it earlier somewhere during their growing up period. But they do not just get up and start sniffing coke or shooting up crack unless they have a history of drugs somewhere in their life.
So, I’m thinking that all those years… which really weren’t that many… since I first became award of Jesse Jackson, Jr…. who was not involved in politics until years after I left Chicago. But during the brief time that I knew of him or had seen him on TV… he appeared to be so handsome… articulate… and very clean cut. But underneath he had to had some deep dark demons … and those demons had to have been the cause of his living a double life.
Contrary to most beliefs there tons of people who live and work daily functioning on very high levels having some type of addiction. It many times is really not a very hard thing to do. We pay so little attention to the people around us really.
Many more people are functioning alcoholics or drug addicts than you may believe. The same way many people are functioning illiterates… or whatever else people may be trying to hide about themselves from others. They can function and work right beside you and you would never know anything was out of whack about them… or with them.
I once had a young lady who worked under me. She was promoted to an assistant managerial position before I began to notice anything… and it took a while for me to grab a hold of it. I had forgotten our many conversations… conversations that the young lady and I had shared together, as I was an immediate supervisor to her. But we were friendly with each other.
The conversations we had had were about her being in college… that alone would have been more than enough reason for me to never believe that she was a functioning illiterate. She spoke about going to college and having to take these ‘remedial’ classes. I actually had no clue as to what ‘remedial‘ classes were… but over a course of time while working with her… in her new capacity I came to find out.
In New York City they have this thing called ‘social promotions.’ It is when they promote students to the next level or grade not based upon what they have learned, or having successfully fulfilled their studies… but because of their age. And that young lady had been 1 of the unfortunate students who had suffered such a thing as that.
The young lady… she could not read. Something I had never gathered in all my conversations with her… and certainly during any of the time she worked directly under me. Basically because I just never had to have her read anything. And I guess if she needed to read something… a notification or company document or something… she found someone who read it for her.
So, it was not until the young lady was promoted to assistant manager where reading became crucial… and something that she definitely had to do in order to fulfill the job and on a regular daily basis. But the young lady was coy… she knew how to camouflage her handicap. As a supervisor she had people working under her, so she merely passed on the written material to 1 of them telling them to read it aloud… while she pretended to be busy doing something else.
I never found out that the young lady could not read until a worker under her came to me and told me. I had never noticed it… never guessed it… and it certainly had never been evident to me or any of the other senior managers on that job. But I never disclosed her secret… and she continued to functioned on her job without anyone being any the wiser except the 1 person she used to read company documents to her, who later herself was promoted.
So, yes alcoholics and people on drugs or those with any other kind of diversity can function normally and quite well without those around them being any the wiser. Unless, they start exhibiting signs of a problem. Which does oftentimes start happening with some people. Things like a slurring of words, staggering… missing work… having to leave work early… appearing un-kept or unshaven… clothes unclean or smelly… not showing up for appointments… being giggly or overly loud… changes in attitude… mood swings etc… can all be signs that there is a problem.
So, whether I saw it or not I am sure that there were some around him who did. Who saw that Jesse junior was on his way down.
When I first read the story I must say that it reminded of the Marion Berry story. The ex-Mayor of Washington, D.C. who was caught in a hotel room shooting up crack. A similar kind of story about a politician going down due to drugs.
In mentioning that story to my friend, who had called me on the Jesse junior story… we both had to agree that Marion Berry did not just being using drugs after he became the Mayor. No, he probably had to have had a drug problem from before that even came about, but it was on the down-low… meaning few if anybody politically connected to him knew about it.
Busted and publicly outed as a drug user Marion was yet voted back in as Mayor. And I guess Jesse junior believed that the same thing could happen for him.
But it did not. Though Jesse junior did not remove his name from the 2012 ballot for re-election… he found out that his constituents thought differently from those who voted Marion Berry back into office after having been convicted for drug use.
Recently… like just yesterday… an Illinois Judge handed Jesse Jackson, Jr. a 30 month prison conviction, and gave his wife a 12 month sentence for misappropriation of election funds from her own campaign money in her bid for State Alderman.
It appears that my friend who called me on the story followed the Jackson story a lot closer than I did. She commenced to tell me that Jesse junior and his wife were involved not only in drugs, and mis-usage of campaign funds to the tune of over $750,000… but also indulged in 3-somes… and had done a lot of foolish lavish spending which ultimately lead to their downfall… and their getting caught.
It is a shame how we vote these people into public offices believing that they are going to do and represent us in honor and with integrity. That they will be diligent in their labors and pursuits for us, as our representatives in government. And they go off and make a fool of themselves… and oftentimes of us too.
I happened to come across a YouTube video of Bishop Paul Morton announcing that he will be turning over the reigns of the leadership of the Full Gospel Fellowship to Bishop Joseph Walker, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Nashville, TN. I need not tell you that I was taken aback by the announcement. Well, for a few reasons…
- I wasn’t ready for it.
- It shocked me.
- I never realized that Bishop Morton would retire.
And it must have been a shock to more than just me based upon the body language… and those who applauded the announcement… versus those who did not… of those standing behind Bishop Morton at the time he made that announcement.
But with all of that being said… I must say that through the years I have caught the broadcast of the Bishop Walker… and remember that not too long ago his first wife passed and after some time he later remarried. Beyond that I have nothing to say about him… because I know nothing else of him.
But I do wonder how this will play itself out amongst the inner circle of the current leadership of Full Gospel?
Usually the second or the third in command becomes the new head. So, I am sure this was a big surprise all the way around.
This was a decision made by Bishop Morton… and the Full Gospel Fellowship organization being his baby… as he organized it and gave it birth to it… he has the right to do as he wishes. I must say I thought it brave of him. I do believe that it is better to have people already in place for the sake of the organization or church so that the flow of the organization is not thrown into an upheaval when the leader passes or some other drastic change comes about suddenly.
Having, however, made such a decision will lead to challenges. There undoubtedly will be some fallout. Everybody is not going to be satisfied. Feelings were hurt and feathers ruffled… and there just is no getting around that when large and important decisions are made. And especially if something goes to someone that no one may have thought it would… for whatever reason.
Through the course of time the Full Gospel Fellowship has lost some dynamic preachers. People who went on to create their own fellowships and supposed religious dynasty’s… or desired to. Some of whom press has not been so kind to lately due to certain events either concerning themselves or their churches… such as Bishop Eddie Long and Bishop Larry Trotter. And if human nature has anything to do with it some others will probably be making an exit from Full Gospel, of this I am sure.
But I hope Bishop Walker well… and the entire congregation of Full Gospel delegates. I would believe that Bishop Morton did not create something only to 20 years later destroy it with his own 2 hands.
But there may well be some skeletons in Bishop Walkers closet. In March of last year at least 4 women filed suit against Bishop Walker and others affiliated with his mega church for the sum of $5 million… for alleged sexual harassment, aggravated sexual battery, sexual exploitation etc…
In light of this 1 has to wonder how such an appointment could have possible come about… until at least all these allegations have been dealt with… and Bishop Walker cleared of any wrong doing?
It is certainly stated in the Bible that a Bishop should be a man without blame… and a number of other things.
And as the leader of his own mega church… if Bishop Walker had not been personally involved in any wrong doings that took place at his church… just what does this, however, say about his leadership ability?
It is so odd that I should hit upon this. Because believe me leadership is not what it used to be… either on the job… or at church. And it is a shame.
Only time will tell what is going to be the amount of fallout …or disenchantment due to come about from Bishop Morton’s announcement to step down, and loosing the reigns of his leadership over the Full Gospel Fellowship.
Well, God bless… It’s Thursday and I am just trying to be as productive as I possibly can before the end of the weekend… where I just like to relax. Hope you get in some relaxation this weekend too. And the weather has been great.
I was out on the road last weekend. I love to drive. It frees my head and I enjoy in taking in the beauty of God everywhere I look. It’s free and you should enjoy it too…
How in the world would anyone even consider voting in that sexual pervert, Weiner… into any office ever again.
The mere fact that the man would ever consider EVER running for public office EVER AGAIN has got to be a joke… much less the Mayor of New York City.
It is quite obvious that the man has a massive problem… both psychological and sexual.
Was it not enough that during the time of his wife’s pregnancy he was having it out over his cell with some woman sexually, and sending her all kinds of nasty pictures of himself. Now, to be at again… and supposedly running for office too?
I would believe if he is that sick to be doing all this virtual stuff on-line with his lower part… then he probably is out and about dipping and dappling into the real thing too.
You have got to be kidding me. The man has no shame. And certainly no type of consideration for his family.
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on…” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2013
Add a comment August 16, 2013
Another Post I never got around to Publishing… SOUL TRAIN MUSIC AWARDS a couple years ago… TEXAS STABBINGS & EXPLOSION at BOSTON MARATHON
Talk about not getting around to POST… when I finally came back to this blog it was I don’t know how long. Now, after that it has been several weeks more …had to add the tags and things. And finally today here it goes…after a bomber or more…struck at the Boston Marathon today just as the runners started crossing the finish line.
I almost wrote… I’m just shaking my head… but it takes more than that if we ever expect to get a handle on this. And it goes beyond insanity to some type of morbid inner nothingness that these people have who go out and do these type of things.
Well, nevertheless…. here is another Post that I just never got around to publishing for one reason or other. After briefly reading through it I thought that I might share it with you…it seems that I felt like sharing some more of myself in it to you… wonder why?
I rarely like telling much about myself… though I must say that you really cannot tell it by reading many of my blogs. But for the record… I cannot remember at all when I wrote this but it was a while back… so today I am feeling great and the day is sunny and beautiful.
Now, here is that blog which I failed to published some time ago…
I am just a touch under the weather. And because I am not accustom to being sick… it tends to bother me a little more than most people.
The other thing is… I do not take medication. Not at all. Well… almost not at all. There have been times when I had to breakdown and swallow something… or go in and have them give me a shot or something… but not often. And believe me when I say… I have to be in an awful lot of pain and/or discomfort for me to do it.
Otherwise, I just suffer whatever it is that is bothering me… until it goes away. Not many people can do that… or attempt to do that. Since so many people rush to go grab up a bottle of this or that at the slightest on-set of something they think may be bothering them… they never even try to fight off anything.
But this is just a little slight cold. A sliver of dust must have gotten into my system while I was helping my brother move some furniture that he chose to move from my parent’s house into his new apartment. And since I am allergic to house dust… and it didn’t take much before I started itching then a tickle came into my throat. But as soon as the dust gets out of my system I will be up and about again.
But this past weekend I had a chance to catch the Soul Train Music Awards. Needless to say… I did not know most of acts or the awardees. But, of course, I did recognize Anita Baker and Ron Isley as they paid tribute to them.
For one thing how can anyone who portrayed herself as being so Afro-centric ever have lighten their skin?
Well, that is exactly what Eryka Badu has done… or so it appeared to be the case to me. And she looked terrible. At first I didn’t even notice it… because it was kind of subtle and her face was camouflaged by the hat she was wearing. It cast a shadow over her face.
We have all read about black women in Africa and the West Indies doing it… but to see that Eryka Badu has stooped to bleaching????
It is insane. If anything I have always wanted to be darker… but lighter no. A cousin of mine slipped and started calling me ‘light’ and I totally disliked it. She was trying to anger me. And she did the moment she let that slip out of mouth.
Needless to say, Eryka has always been a bit wired and out there. She likes doing things to grab attention… I guess you could say. I remember when she first came onto the music scene… everybody thought that the very long dredlocks she was sporting then were her own. But low-and-behold… over a period of time we all came to find out that it had been a wig or more than likely dred extensions. After that I think she went to having no hair at all.
But seeing Erykah Badu with lighter skin… was discussing to me. Talking about a mindless woman… who evidently hates herself. I wouldn’t want attention that bad. And whatever song that was… that she song on the Soul Train Music Awards… if it was intended to catapult the re-emergence of her singing career?
For the most part most of the music on the Soul Train Music Awards show really wasn’t even ‘soul music’ any more. But a bunch of that ‘neo-soul’ junk.
So, in watching the Soul Train Music Awards… I began to feel that we are loosing our identity…our musical identity and authenticity. An identity and authenticity which has marked and ruled… in my opinion the whole music world in this country since we came to these shores as slaves brought to America. And my did we bring something with us.
Some of the best and most authentic music America has ever had really came out of a revised culture whose roots were founded in slavery. Much like the food we developed here called ‘Soul Food.’ Hence, Soul Music… the Blues… Doo-Wop… Gospel Music… Rhythm & Blues etc… etc.. etc…
In watching the Soul Train Music Awards show I felt that soul music had been replaced by a bunch of people who neither wrote lyrics or played real instruments. People who only looked black, but were trying very hard to appear as weird and way-out as they possibly could be. This because it would seem that everything today concerning music is about branding and images… and far less than about true talent… real vocal skills or any skills as far as being a musician or a real song writer. What happened to artists with the talent of a Little Stevie Wonder or a Prince?
Based upon what I had seen those type of talents had faded far far far away.
None of them… this group or now generation singers seemed to want to have any connection to the music that put Motown on the charts, or Philly on the map… or Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, New York, and LA. Or that had made other urban places hubs for the rich urban soul sound and melodic tones that had come to be called ‘soul music’ or ‘rhythm & blues” …or even “gospel.”
While watching the Soul Train Music Awards… there were no Anita Bakers or Ron Isleys awaiting in the crowd to hear their names called for award. In fact, the only soulful talenst on the show was Anita Baker, Ron Isley, Pebo Bryson, Chante Moore, Rochelle Ferrell, Jeffery Osborne and a few others. But clearly the ‘soul‘ that had been in the history of Soul Train is now gone.
Everybody wants to be a cross-over artist… some neutral detergent that appears to be black or African American but actually doing some white thang.
The whole time I sat watching the Soul Train Music Awards… which is something I have not watched in years… or any other music or movie awards show in years. As I had long ago felt that they had been watered down to appeal to more less urban audiences.
But it was frightening for me to see such a lost of what seemed to me to be a vast depreciation of what has always been ours… our real musical genius and talenst… gifted voices and fantastic lyric writing… such as that of Barry White and Issac Hayes… Holland,-Dozier-Holland, Ashford & Simpson, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield… etc…etc… all to be turned into something which sounded a lot more like that puff of glitter disco music and digitized junk. And I must say that I see the exact same thing happening to gospel music.
In gospel music there has developed a vast desire to be played on something ‘called‘ Christian Radio stations… which in my opinion is nothing but a bunch of rock music stations playing rock music and calling it ‘Christian Music.’
It would be a shame to loose the richness of our music… and the history that our music carries with it to the junk I bared witnessed to on the Soul Train Music Awards. Outside of the tributes to some real Soul legends… there was nothing on that show I would have voted to give 1 award to.
One day we will look up and no one will know what ‘soul music’ was or that it had ever been. They will not know that there had been such groups like Blue Magic, the Dramatics, Delfonics, Temptations, Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Manhattans, Teddy Pendergrass, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Chi-Lites, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Phyllis Hyman, Najee, Kirk Walham, the Sylvers, Michael Jackson, the Jackson 5, the Sugar Hill Gang and the list goes on and on and on… And those are just those from my era there tons more before them.
Who can forget when James Brown first cried-
“Say it loud I’m black and I’m proud.”
Or, “Baby, please don’t go.”
Or when Curtis Mayfield song these words-
Or Nina came with-
“To be young gifted and black.”
Maybe there is no need for such lyrics like these today anymore. But that can’t true… particularly after what I just said about Eryka Badu and skin bleaching. But then how about-
“La-la-la means I love you… I love you.”
What about -
“They’re smiling in your face…all the while they want to take your place.”
Will soul music die like jazz has died?
There are no more jazz artists like Max… Coltrane … Gillipsie… or Yusuf LaTiff… or Miles …. any more.
Or how about a Junior Parker… or another B.B. King… or Muddy Waters… or Bo Diddley and their special blend?
Now, I must admit that these days I am strictly into gospel music… but having a history in the radio industry it is hard for me to not realize the importance of preserving this cultural history. It is ours… and our children need to be recipients of at least knowing of that it once was. We cannot just forsake everything.
These musical forms and artists are long gone… Well, more or less off the musical scene… the ones I just mentioned above. And soon along with their names will the memories of Blue Magic, Phyllis Hyman, the Dells, Temptations, Supremes, the Staple Singers and everybody else either before them or who came after them like Chak Khan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Emotions etc. be forgotten too. To be replaced by a bunch of people who have forsaken moving bass beats for neo- tinty sounds that have nothing soul about them. Music you can hop and jump up and down to… like we used to watch those young white kids do on those afternoon after school dance shows like the Dick Clark Show. But they can’t really dance to. And I guess that is really the point… its not meant to be danced to… but just to make some money.
Forget art… What does art have to do with it?
No wonder the Soul Train Musical Awards show didn’t resemble anything like their old award shows… or for that matter… didn’t come close to emitting anything I would have called ‘soul’… outside of having a tribute to a few past ‘soul’ artists. What a real shame…a legacy gone to naught…
I hate to say it… but little wonder Don Cornelius took a gun… When you sell off something your control of it goes too… Truly the history of Soul Train will never be the same…
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on…” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2013
Add a comment April 15, 2013
I often check my blog to see exactly what people are referencing my blog to read. It often signifies a hot topic or that some event has just happened. And so was the case this morning when I logged in to check my blog and happened to noticed that I had gotten a lot of hits concerning Bishop Larry Trotter, of Chicago, IL., and a little girl… supposedly a 4-year-old grand-daughter of his in the bathtub together.
Immediately, I Googled the story and lo and behold there it was a picture of Bishop Trotter, and what is reported to be 1 of his young grand-daughters… and both appear naked in the bathtub together.
All I can say is who takes a bath with their children?
Or their grand-daughter????
I remember my father in the bathroom… there were times that we would pass the bathroom and would see that he was shaving or brushing his teeth, but by the time he was taking off any clothes we never saw him. There were times when he got into the shower and needed something and called for 1 of us… but he was always safely in the shower careful to keep himself out of our view.
For that matter my mother was pretty much the same. We never saw her in the tub or in the shower either.
Years later, however, while growing up we… me and my sisters from time to time had gotten dressed in the same room or area as our mother when we had to… you know like while visiting a relative’s house or in some hotel etc. But outside of that no.
During a radio interview Bishop Trotter attempted to explain away the incident. But Bishop Trotter stated that he saw nothing wrong in getting into the tub with his very young grand-daughter. And he added that he had gotten into the tub with all of his children.
In that interview also, Bishop Trotter recalls his growing up, when he and his sisters and brothers bathed together. I would believe that most people who have or have had siblings may have also experienced this. But beyond a point it ceased to happen. None of us went into adulthood… or grew up as teenagers jumping in and out of a bathtub or shower with his or her sister and/or brother. That is to say… not unless something was going on. And I never grew up in that kind of family where those type of things went on. Least ways… I don’t think so… and never heard of any such thing in our family.
However, many people will tell you that they were sexually molested.. abused or raped by a close family member. Oprah, for 1, herself speaks of an uncle that sexually abused her. I even think Donnie McClurkin speaks of an uncle who abused him for years.
I have heard people testify about things that even their father had done to them sexually. So, these kinds of things do happen… and sad to say they happen more often than we all really care to talk about.
So, yes eyebrows would go up upon seeing such a picture. Or when they hear of such a thing as this picture. And to say that you both had on ‘swimming trunks’… Well, it simply does not wash.
In fact, Bishop Trotter’s explanation for how the picture came about… the events surrounding it… and how he and his grand-daughter ended up in the same bathtub together in what looks like they are both naked… really opens the door to a whole lot of other questions?
In fact, if you really listen to that radio interview Bishop Trotter actually states that there was no reason for his little FOUR YEAR OLD GRAND-DAUGHTER to not be able to take a bath with her ‘pa-pa’ if she wanted to. WHAT??? And evidently, the little girl at 4 years old must have been down on her knees or something while on his lap in that water. Because at 4 she would be taller than we can actually make out in that picture.
I recall the first time I ever saw Bishop Trotter… he at the time was part of Full Gospel under Bishop Paul Morton. And I think that was about the same time that I first saw and heard Bishop Eddie Long too. Shortly, after that Full Gospel conference both Bishop Trotter and Bishop Long broke from the Full Gospel Baptist organization, and decided to pursue their own separate church organizations, New Birth and Sweet Holy Spirit.
A few years ago Bishop Long fell into his own share of troubles by the way of 4 or 5 young men who had been a part of his New Birth organization. To which Bishop Long later settled out of Court with, for a few million dollars against allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse.
The moment I read the story and saw the picture of Bishop Trotter, I must say that it brought back memories of Michael Jackson… and all the controversies of Michael with little kids. Namely little boys…
And just like Michael, Bishop Trotter in his radio interview clearly states that he found nothing to be inappropriate about him being in a bathtub naked with a little child… much less a little girl. With Michael it was that he found nothing wrong with being in bed with little boys. And like Bishop Trotter, Michael said that he did it all the time.
Bishop Trotter stated in his radio interview that ‘he used to jump into the bathtub all the time with his son, and their army men.’ Then added ‘I guess the times have changed.’
It really has nothing to do with how times have changed… which is what Bishop Trotter was trying to pass off as an accuse for the uproar over the picture. Because when you get right down to it… it is not about times changing at all. It is about putting yourself in a situation where something could happen… or bringing a small child into something they are not supposed to be exposed to.
I recall how when we were small my mother used to take us to this wading pool in our neighborhood. All the kids loved for summer to come around… and so didn’t we. During the summer our mother always took us swimming when it got too hot. There were times when she would pack us up and drove us to the beach… or to the pond where we could feed the ducks… or to that small wading pool, that was not too far from where we used to live.
The pool wasn’t very deep… but got deeper as you stepped closer and closer to the center of the pool. In the center of the pool you could float or try to swim and then put your feet down, and stand up any time you liked. So, we had fun playing in it… splashing… and sometimes running through it.
But then there came a time when our little pool became invaded. An occasional Spanish man or 2 would get into the pool playing around with the children. They mostly hug out near the center of that small wading pool so you could not see below their waste. Therefore, anyone sitting along the far outside edges of the pool could see the children in the water… but nothing too much under the water that may have been going on. And of course, the pool always had lots of kids into and out or the pool or running in the water… or splashing about further obstructing any parent’s watchful eye.
But 1 day I came to find out why they… those men liked being in the pool with us… I saw something… and I never liked going back to that pool again.
I went to a convention where he was at in Virginia.
He was promoting his newest series “My Wife, My Mistress, My Bitch or My Whore”.
I had come across where Bishop Trotter had written that book a while back. The title was curious to me also… and like the person who wrote that comment over the internet… I too thought it very inappropriate. Especially, since Bishop Trotter had written that book about his wife… who was… is … and had been the mother of his children… and I guess at some point the First Lady of his church.
God bless…hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. The weather has broke here. We are now experiencing mild weather today… but for past couple of days it was freezing cold.
Remember that Monday… this coming Monday is both President Barack Obama’s second inaugural… AND Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.’s birthday celebration. Enjoy them both… and I am hoping to see you in D.C for the festivities. But if not please enjoy it for me too.
I am so happy about it. Truly a time to remember… And if you can be part of it don’t let the opportunity go by… by not being so.
And again…happy belated birthday FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA… can’t close without saying that. Love you… In fact, I love you both…. And 49 is still a great year… A very special year in fact…
“Serena Williams said Armstrong let all athletes down by doping and lying about it for so long, while No. 1-ranked Victoria Azarenka says the disgraced cyclist “deserves everything he gets.”
“As an athlete, as someone that works really, really hard since I was 4 or 3, I think it’s a sad day for all athletes in general. Overall, it’s even more disappointing for the people that were adversely affected through everything. You can only just hope for the best for them.”
For years Armstrong had denied that he ever used any drugs to enhance his ability to become the top ranking bike cyclist in the world. And recently sat down with Oprah and confessed that he had lied.
4 comments January 19, 2013
When I went up over the internet tonight I wasn’t at all surprised when I saw something come up with Albertina Walker’s name in the title. I felt that it was an announcement about her having passed… even though I hadn’t heard anything on it until that time.
But I had noticed in seeing Albertina in various video footage and on a television program that she seemed weaker… a bit more sickly. The television show I saw her on was a reception honoring her.
It is nice to give people flowers while they are yet alive. That is what these people at that event had come to do for Albertina. And she seemed so humble as she sat in her wheel chair beaming up at them all barely able to speak.
Sometimes, when you begin to age and fall off the horizon people turn away from you. They forget your name… who you are… or who you were. But Albertina Walker did more for gospel music than just sing it… and sing it with a passion. She knew also talent when she saw it… and could pick voices… people with unspeakable gifts by way of their vocal cords. It is through her that such notable gospel artists, such as Shirley Ann Caesar first caught our attention… when she began performing with Albertina’s group, the Caravans, at a very young age.
Also part of Albertina’s group, the Caravans, was Dorothy Norwood… who is still on the gospel scene just like the Queen of Gospel Music, Shirley Caesar. But the Caravan also included some other great and mighty powerful gospel singers… such as Inez Andrews, Rosetta Stone and others.
In fact, I was surprised to read in the announcement of Albertina’s passing that I found in my email today… that James Cleveland also got his start under Albertina Walker as well.
I also did not know that Albertina Walker had been a protegé of the late and very great Miss Mahalia Jackson. What a background… what musical history… and what gospel music history. My mother …and I guess everyone about her age and older…all loved Mahalia. She was truly an icon.
While I was working at a radio station in Jersey some years ago… I got the opportunity to see Albertina perform. The show was at a small church some place in Newark, New Jersey. I got there early because I wanted a good seat… so I was there to see when Albertina first walked in.
Albertina came walking in …in this fabulous full length fur coat. And ever since having seen that coat… I have had my sights on buying me a fabulous full length fur coat ever since.
That coat was talking. It was absolutely beautiful. And I could tell that it was also absolutely expensive.
And it looked fantastically marvelous on Albertina.
The show was promoted by 1 of the other radio announcers from the same radio station that I worked for. His name was Herman Amish. .. I call it because I know a lot of people know him, as he was popular on the gospel circuit. Especially with the old-timer gospel acts… because Herman did a lot of gospel promoting in and around Newark area at that time. And he knew almost all of the gospel acts during and before that time… as he had more than likely probably booked them for a show 1 time or other.
But of all the shows that Herman had done… it was Albertina Walker’s show that I went to. I had long admired her voice and her musical skills and genius when it came to relaying feeling in her songs. But I never knew she was a song writer too. Albertina wrote “Please Be Patient With Me” …and personal favorite of mine… “Joy Will Come.”
I have hunted high and low to find that CD ever since. Because it gave me so much comfort at a very low time in my life… to hear it. And I would sit at that radio station playing it over and over…and over again just crying and thinking about my mother.
There are few real song writers any more. And even fewer real people with true talent.
Truly, Albertina may have been gone from the scene for some time but her imprint will linger forever in gospel music… and its history.
I don’t know about where you live… but the weather here has been unpredictable. For a few days it has been wet and cold… then suddenly it is unbearably cold.
Hope you have a great weekend. I understand that it is supposed to be a 3 day weekend. Guess I’ll run around tomorrow so I can rest all day on Monday. Definitely, sounds like a plan.
Well, God bless…
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on…” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2010
Add a comment October 9, 2010
Like everyone else I too am curious about Michelle Obama’s reception in Mexico and Haiti. But was there any doubt that just like the Queen of England…everyone everywhere was also going fall in love with her too.
There is just something about her. Michelle Obama is just able to click with everyone. I am sure that Joe Biden’s wife is happy to be partnered up with such a fab woman.
In past years most First Ladies and the Vice President’s wives never really got along well at all. Which really isn’t hard to understand at all since most Presidents chose the guy who could have won them…may have even hated him but he looked good on the ticket.
So, before the pairing up while everyone was going for the gold…making their own run to win the White House…there usually was a lot of mud slinging. Now, what wife would love somebody’s wife behind all of that…and particularly if his wife was a sob…which in many causes may have been the truth.
But I don’t think Jill Biden would have ever called Michelle Obama that. There is nothing sobby about Michelle. In fact…I think you could say she goes out of her way to ensure that no one feels that way about her. But then one can see that Michelle is not all about putting on ‘airs’…or shoving her nose high into the air. She is real. And because she is so real…everyone everywhere just adores her.
I recalled while up late one night and listening to a black woman hosting a radio talk show talking about Michelle’s way of dressing. She was critical about where she claimed Michelle needed some help in her choices. I am sure that woman has since eaten all of those words…since Michelle Obama’s manner and style of dress has become the ‘in’ way of putting it all together.
The best part of it all…like Barack…Michelle Obama is her own person…her own woman. She doesn’t let alot of people dictate to her what she should or shouldn’t be doing…or dressing like. And what a mom she is. There is so much love there.
She is a tremendous role model for women and girls everywhere.
But I have to admit…she is a bit rough around the edges. Sorry, Lisa Raye…but all that cussing and all that stuff…you know the low clothing…and exposing everything. Well…come on.
Now, I know that Lisa is originally from Chi-Town…better known as Chicago for those of you who don’t know. And sure Chicago has some rough-necks…but then they have the softer side too…and plenty of them. There is plenty of style and class that comes out of Chicago. It was after all the city that was home to Johnson Beauty Products, Ebony…and Jet Magazine, and a lot more…not excluding the home and birth place of Lady ‘O’…Michelle Obama.
I know her reality show ‘The Real McCoy’ is due to begin…if it hasn’t already started. And based upon the number of people who have hit this site looking for info on Lisa…they are anxious over the show…and want to know more, and as much as they can about Lisa Raye.
Now, Lisa and Da Brat are half sisters as many of you know…who people have been hitting this site to read about also. Both are attractive but just as rough around the edges. But I have not heard anything about the Da Brat lately…but I have been looking to see if she is out of prison. But I haven’t seen or heard anything on that yet…though I think her 3 years should be just about up soon.
Clearly, Tyler has a built in crowd of followers…and I am just not one. Though as I sat in the theater I could tell that men equally , as well as, women love Tyler. He definitely has them hooked.
But what I felt was lacking mainly was a plot, a good script… and a good story… besides some the poor casting choices in some places. The movie was just one vingnette after another… which is a just a series of little stories. Which to me never really got told properly. I guess because of a lack of time…as it seemed to me that the film had been a bit rushed. It would have been nice though if there had been one real story somewhere in the midst of it.
But, however, I will say this…the people who love Tyler Perry truly love him…and all of his work. And I am not hating him for being successful at what he does.
And speaking of the movie…I was all set to watch Jill Scott throw down on the big screen . I was hoping she was going to blow it away. Well…I had thought that her acting skills might have matched her singing skills.
“Wow, she must be good.”
But it was definitely not the case…and as much as I love Jill. I truly hate to say that.
But I still think that she is beautiful. I could see her taking Oprah’s place…in a few years.
With some coaching from the ‘Master’ of all ‘Masters’…namely Oprah…Jill could do it. I bet cha’.
Now, I saw the video of the white student who was beat by several police officers. And yes…I do agree.
“Agree on what you say?”
I agree that if that student had been a black student…we probably would not have heard as much about it…nor would those police officers been put on suspension. I have seen and heard many situations of black folk finding themselves at the mercy of abusive and angry white police officers. Just view some of the below video clips.
I’ll never forget the issue of 41 bullets and Amadou Diallo…a young African immigrant who met with a fatal end when he was entering his own apartment building, as he was approach by a group of police officers who opened up and began shooting at him at close range…upon supposedly him reaching to pull out his ID in an attempt to identify himself. Then there was that group of 4 young black men on the New Jersey Turnpike who were stopped on the highway and shot without provocation.
And the list goes on and on…and on without much ever happening to the officers in question. Who for the most part never missed a beat…or suffered any repercussions or consequences for any of their actions…nor any loss of pay…or any real trials…etc…
I have been reading a little about women behind bars who are currently being allowed to have and care for their babies in prison. I do have some very real and quite bias feelings on the matter. But it does not come without some knowledge on the matter.
Not that I have personal knowledge or experience with it…but that I have a very dear and good friend whose mother gave birth to her while she was locked behind bars for murder. The stigma it left upon my friend was often evident to me whenever my friend would share that part of her life experience to me. It bothered her…like it was a mark against her from birth. In speaking about it she often sighed…and lowered her voice in a clear indication of shame.
And I can understand why.
What child or person wants to walk around with that on their birth certificate..or any knowledge of something like that?
What a sad way to start your life on this planet…locked behind prison bars with your mother.
Since, most of those mothers and practically everybody in those news segments on the story was black, when I saw pictures on the story or saw news items on it over the net…it is just one more strike against some kids who already are going to have marks against them. Because (1)…their mother was sentenced to prison for some type of crime. (2)…Because they had the mis-fortune of being born into a situation that I would be hard pressed to believe that any child would want to be born in. (3)…Because they are already poor…disadvantaged…and powerless without the bars or the confinement.
Then what about health and safety issues surrounding life behind bars?
That’s a rough life. I wouldn’t want an infant or a child…little or otherwise to have to endure any part of it. It would have to be depressing. I mean there is little to no freedom in prison…it is like an animal being born in a zoo.
Sorry, to state it that way…but you think about it. And it is not the cleanest place to have babies in…much less for children to play in.
I doubt that we will really read any real reports on this story about babies born behind bars and being allowed to stay with their mothers there, and the effects of it…since it will be about 20 or so years before we will really find out whether or not it is or was a good idea. But I do not need that long to give you my answer…and I do not care what the reports say. I know people who have lived over 50 years with that following them. Just having been borned in there.
It is about a man…a black man in Alabama who went around as an evangelist or some type of preacher while being a seriously sick man. While swirling in the pulpit between words of praise…he was sodomizing and raping his own children…including fathering children with them…and had killed their mother after she caught him having sex with one of their very young daughters (age 11)… while the child was pregnant with his child. Doing all of this after having dumped his dead wife into a deep freezer for the last 4 years…in the trailer where he lived with them…their children while he continued to use them sexually.
While watching a youtube clip on the story…it eluded that the Bible up-holds such things…I’m talking about ‘incest.’ The scripture pointed to in support of that supposed idea came from the book of Genesis…Genesis 19:30-39. Which is an absolute lie. The Bible does not support any such thing…or anything like it…or any other type of sin. And it certainly would never support any negative behavior towards children…or anyone.
In fact, that scripture points to the type of sins which not only Lot witnessed but evidently his daughters did also. It was one of many reasons which was why God eventually destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Which is what Lot along with his wife, and his 2 daughter were fleeing from in the first place.
Spring has sprung!
And it feels marvelous.
I am loving all the sun though I understand that it is due to rain later today…as it is already into tomorrow now being nearly 5 AM in the morning.
Well, I did. But I am not complaining…it takes time to produce something worth something. And I hope that is what you think of this blog…that it is worth something…like your time to read it. And if you do…thank you much.
Enjoy your day.
Thank you so much for reading…and may God bless you richly.
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on…” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2010
THE BISHOP’S WIFE is now on sale…CLICK this LINK to purchase my book. You do not need a paypal account to purchase, and you can purchase using a debit card. Thank you.
Add a comment April 16, 2010
I rarely read the newspaper…and have stopped watching television. So, the means that I accquire the news these days is usually when I go up over the net and see a news flash. Most of the time I pay little attention to them…but then there are those which draw me in. And I find myself having to read the story…and not out of real interest…but because I find the headline hard to believe.
Today, I came across one of those attention grabbing headlines. The headline read something like this…‘Gang Rape and nobody helped.’
How could such a thing happen?
What has happened to mankind?
The incident took place during a high school homecoming dance outside in some alleyway or something on the school grounds…for 2 hours long this raping continued. And kids stood around watching, while others jumped in to participate while a 15 year girl was repeatedly raped by up to as many…if not more than 15 to 20 people who in some way participated in this incident or stood by watching.
What would possess somebody to stand around and want to cheer on or watch such a thing?
Why didn’t someone call for help?
Or run and go tell somebody?
What is going on in the minds of our young people that they could get caught up in such a thing…and then become party to it by standing around and doing nothing…or worst…jump in and become more than a watcher?
Everyone of those kids should be pulled into court…and facing some type of charges.
I cannot imagine such a thing. There is not anything that I can see going on…that I would not try to stop…or somehow help in some way. I have seen men fighting their girlfriends…and gotten involved. I have stopped fights between kids. I have gotten between mama-bady-daddy drama. And did it because I just can’t turn a blind eye to anything that I feel is wrong…or harmful…or potentially dangerous to someone.
I don’t have a fear of getting involved. But I know that many people do not think like this. And I know that many people may feel that I am putting my ownself in jeopardy. And if I stopped to considered that…I might act like everybody else.
But I am glad that I do not. I’ve got nieces and nephews…and a son that I have to think about. I just don’t want anything to happen to them. So, let me try to clean up the problems now. Later might be too late…for them and me.
But how could I not help somebody?
Or try to?
But I have never ran towards anything in order to be an observer…not even as a child.
That is something which I cannot understand. Why would I run towards gun fire to see what is going on…or just to see who got shot…and laugh excitely about it?
Now, that is stupid to me.
Or, why would I rush to see people fighting?
If anything…I go to see if I can help…and whenever I am near a fight I go to break it up. Not to laugh and cheer anything on.
But this is the mentality of people…and it is definitely the mentality of of the kids. Everything is a joke…or funny. But somebody being raped…or killed is not a joke. And certainly not funny…nor is it entertainment.
This kind of thinking is dangerous for all mankind. If the new group of adults coming into this world are a bunch of desensitized robots…uncaring…unfeeling…unthinking…uncompassionate ids….where will this world be?
How safe will any of us be…as the world falls into their hands?
I once had a lover who had been gang raped and sodomized…and who knows whatever else. But I cannot tell you the impact it left upon her…and her life. Every time she went to the bathroom she re-lived that situation. That thing lived with her…it was in her insides and something she could not shake. Though she was successful…as an actress…and part-time music teacher…that incident marked her private life. That gang rape greatly colored her life in the in-between time.
She was not big in size…small stature. So, I can imagine just how helpless she must have felt…not to mention the terror of it. She never really talked about it except to say that it had happened. And I did not push it.
So, how could someone…20 or more people witness something like that and not do anything?
How could we…any of us be safe if everyone walking around us only cares about themselves…and have no compassion for anyone else?
There is a great need for serious consideration to be given for where will mankind be and the type of world and societies will dominate this planet in the next 20 to 30…or 50 years from now. Everyting is a joke. Blood…rape…murder…crimes of every conceivable kind and inconceiveable kind are happening today…and very high rates…escalated rates. And nobody is paying attention to it.
And not only a need for serious consideration…but something has to be done now regarding the attitude of our youth to crime and criminal acts. And high officials should be concerned now about what affects desensitizing our teens to blood and criminal acts via computer games, movies, music videos etc. will have upon the increase of future criminal acts and the types of crimes prepetrated…and to what degree these crimes are acted out.
Some feel that the lack of anyone getting involved had to do with fear. But if their fear is that great…then they should fear how much worst it is going to be if people continue to allow criminal acts to take place without something being done now.
They don’t have any fear yet…let the criminals continue acting out as they are acting out.
Fear only empowers those perpetrating the crimes. Fear is the biggest thing that they have going for them. That is why the Bible says….‘Fear not.’
The last thing you want to do…even with an animal…is appear to be afraid. Or in other words…fearful.
What happens when fear is taken out of the equation?
Then you have power…because the power ceases to be in the hands of him or them that are trying to terrorize you. It is one of the first lessons you learned really early in life. Usually while you were in grade school when it came to bullys…who were only as big and as bad as you let them be. But did you ever finally stand up to one…and saw how quickly the tables turned around between you and them?
While living in Chicago…I was at wits end. I was being stalked…something I would suggest that no one try to do today. Because I am no longer that person…believe me.
But I became a nervous wreck under that situation. My fear absorbed me…totally. I was well on my way to having a nervous breakdown behind it…had it not been for the Lord. I could not walk down the street without stopping everytime I heard someone walking behind me. Being in a large city like Chicago…this happened quite often as someone was always behind me…just not normally the person who was terrorizing me. In the evening when I went home…I would throw open the door to my apartment before entering and step in like police detectives…leaving the door wide open behind me. I would go from room to room peering in trying to make sure no one was in my apartment…which definitely left me open for the person to enter into my apartment behind me. But when fear has you…it has you…and you do not think clearly. And when you are not thinking clearly…you leave yourself open to a whole lot of the things… anything can happen to you.
I was tormented by fear. So much so…that by the time I finally got through it I vowed never again. I lived in darkness…afraid to turn on my lights in apartment at night…afraid to answer the phone (this was at a time before Caller-ID). I will never go back to being in that state again. Under any circumstances…or by anyone.
But at the end…the tables turned. It took a dramatic turn…and had not God intervened I might probably be in prison now…and there for the rest of my life. Because I would have killed the person. I snapped…and in my snapping the tables turned…and my perpetrated went fleeing from me. When I think of it now…it is so Biblical….‘and I will make you enemies flee 7 ways before thee.’ And that is when it ended…when I finally stood up to the person…the phone calls…the following …the threats….everything…and I vowed ‘never…ever again’
And I have never feared anything…or anyone ever again.
And this is how I know how big a weapon fear is.
And those who use it…count upon it being so. They dominate neighborhoods…housing complexes…streets…cities…etc…using fear.
So, the more that people cease to do anything…if indeed they are fearful…because I believe that most of them just don’t care…as long as it doesn’t involve them or their family. But those who are fearful of doing something to stop or aid somehow a victim of a criminal act…the more you empower those who perpetrate the crimes. Thereby, in the end causing yourself a greater harm…because you did nothing. And those that you fear become stronger and more more aggressive if they are allowed to continue. It is an unending situation…better to deal with it sooner rather than later.
If nobody cares about your neighborhood…then you should. Because you do live there too. And you should never allow anybody to chase you up or down a street…or make you run…or have you afraid to leave your home.
What happens when you become the victim?
And you will…one way or another…if you allow crime to fester unrestrained…or actively sought to be kept down.
I was pretty sick reading about that man who had imprisoned his own daughter in a very small basement space for over 20 years of her life…breeding kids with her. And all of this while living just above his daughter in the house with his wife…her mother. That story made me sick for such a long time…so much so I could not talk about it…much less write about it. But it is an example of the type of stories that we are reading and hearing about today. But if this is what is going on today…hideous crimes…stomach turning crimes. How much worst will these stories become in the future…if this trend continues?
Criminal activity is on an increase everywhere…and much of it we never even hear about until somebody leaks something. And many others because the value of the poor people who have fallen into the hands of some very sick people…well, their lives were just not worth looking into.
So, no investigation were ever initiated.
Take for instance this story….
It is very unfortunate when police officials pick and chose who is or is not worth looking for. So many people go missing without the police going out to look for them while they might have been found yet alive. But if they…any of these poor women in this story been some rich socialites, or high city officials or lawyers…or anybody with any degree of money or some type of clout…no amount of expense or time would have been spared on their behalf.
There is an imbalance in the world…and it stretches all the way around the world.
I know I have told this story in an earlier blog here… www.bsmith101.wordpress.com. It is when one night…late night…actually early morning…when my cousin, Vincent, was on his home from having been out clubing. As he neared his apartment…in the dark of night he heard a woman scream out for help. He went running in the direction on the cries and came upon the woman and her perpetrator. He grab the man and flung him to the ground…and then held him down until the police came.
My cousin was a very tall and handsome gay male. I have no doubt that most of his life he had to deal with people snickering about him as he was very effeminate. But he never hesitated to step aside for a woman…or get get up to offer his seat to a woman or elderly person… or help you remove your coat…or pull out your chair and hold it for you as you sat down. He was more a man than most ‘so-called’ real men. And not only was he a very nice…but also a very decent person…and caring in every way. He really was someone who would give you the shirt off his back. And if it cost him…he gave to you regardless if he had suffer.
You could not have met a better person than him.
He would have never ran towards a fight to stand and watch it…but to pull the people apart. Nor would he have stood around and watched a young girl or anyone being raped. I wish I had a picture of him…to put in this blog. He was a hero. And we need more like him.
Reggie Jackson of the New York Yankees was the same way. His name had found its way into news headlines for more than baseball…more than once because of some acts of heroism on his part…when he went to the aid of someone.
More people need to do it…and things would change. Just think of 9/11…what not would have happened if the people on those first 2 airplanes had been more like the people on that 3rd airplane?
In looking up information of the gang rape…I happened to come by this story. Though I had seen this picture of this woman many times…I never knew her story. But it is sick. In fact, it is more like beastiality.
She is a socialite…who married a man…wealthy man. He had built a jungle on his property and had a great love for his cats…the type known as ‘lions.’ So, as she started to age and as a means of re-capturing his attention she decided to disfigure herself like this purposely. She is called the ‘lion woman.’ Because she went under the knife to have her face disfigured into that of a lion.
It is beastiality…in its highest form.
What a sick mind…and it truly shows what having too much money and nothing concrete to do with it…can bring about.
Finally, in closing… I got an comment today on my Chastity Bono blog…which has been getting a tremedous amount of hits lately. This particular person was very disenchanted with my statements regarding Chastity and her sex change. But he used a very interesting word while stating his point.
That word was… ‘transitioning.’
Evidently, this person felt that Chastity’s…or Chaz as she is calling herself these days…decision to undergo that surgery to remove somethings and to add some other things… Well, that it is just a simple little transition in life. To a degree we all have to go through some transitioning in our lives, I guess… overcoming some disappointments…some losses…some set-backs…aging….etc. But the altering of ones sex is a bit more deeper than a simple little transitioning phase. And I think most would agree with me about that.
I was reading something on a quakco doctor…one that performs a lot of these type of operations…sex changes…who is now a supposed woman himself. After having undergone the operation himself many years ago…it seems that all of his partners have been women who ‘underwent the operation.’ He became a woman…and they became supposed men. Which means…they kind of ended up in the same kind of situation that they would have been in…in the first place had they merely remained what they already had.
I wouldn’t let anybody who is not clear headed put a knife to me. Most of these surgeons are quakes and definitely…these so-called plastic surgeons.
We are living in a sick world…truly. And we should all be concerned about where this world is going…meaning….in which direction it is headed in. Things are being turned upside down.
And I am not really trying to pass judgement on anyone. Because we all do crazy things…and years later wake up having lots of regrets. I still regret some things…many things in fact. And in the process I have grown. But thank goodness I did nothing that committed me for my whole entire life to a big mistake. I was fortunate…no bless…because many can’t say that.
We can’t change people’s decisions about things concerning themselves…and what it is or isn’t that they want to do. Nor can we force things down people’s throats…or should we try. That is one of the greatest beauties of God…choice. He desires that we should have it…and with the hope that we make the right ones.
Well, the day is almost over. Its been quiet and I am trying to finish up on some things. I want to complete some things before the new year comes in. I want my book, THE BISHOP’S WIFE, to be out and available for sale…my website launched. And a couple of other things settled too.
And I look forward to it.
THE BISHOP’S WIFE is now on sale…CLICK this LINK to purchase my book. You do not need a paypal account to purchase, and you can purchase using a debit card. Thank you.
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on…” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2009
Add a comment November 2, 2009
I have long held Chicago as being one of the most dangerous places I have ever lived in. The level and the types of crimes I found there far exceeded and surpassed any I had ever encountered anywhere else…including New York.
While following this story as best as I could…being that I no longer watch TV or ever take out the time to read any newspapers. I was stunned while standing in the laundromat doing my laundry this week. When the story came up as an indepth report. But that is not what stunned me…but hearing that there had been 40 murders of young people in Chicago this year alone. That was not only stunning but shocking to me.
How could a problem such as gang or teen violence be so far out of controll?
Though in Chicago…gang activity involves more than just teens…as 30 and 40 year old men…and I guess maybe women (and young girls)…are involved in gangs. They actively recurit seeking out new members wherever they want to.
When I lived in Chicago, Dr. Reynolds (Dr. A. L. Reynolds of 6th Grace United Presbyterian Church) told me how they…some gang members had threaten to take his life. And had annouced to him that they were going to come into his church to take who they wanted. That is the kind of pressure that many face in Chicago. They are under the constant threat of malicious malice by gangs…daily facing violence and all kinds of gang related activity. With the gangs believing that they control everything… and everyone.
The problem is greater than the issue of ‘black-on-black crime.’ By far greater. It is one of hate… and hating in particular of seeing someone… anyone raise above the preceived notions or standards of degradation… which many wallow in urban ghettos.
There has always been this problem of black folks hating to see other black folks moving ahead…or getting further in life than themselves. But I guess this trait is something which is in many…meaning that it is human in nature.
When you consider history where several pockets of successful black folk, business owners, who were killed and burnt out of their homes and business prior to the 1960′s. One such group was in Tulsa, Oakahoma, in 1921…and another in 1923 in Rosewood, Florida…as well as, other places. But what happened to them happened because they were black…successful…and the communities in which they lived (their black communities) were flouishing… growing. They became booming and profitable…too booming and too profitable.
These 2 massacres, one known as the Rosewood Massacres and the other as the Tulsa Riots…were the burning out of and hanging of black folks. They were not the acts of black- against-blacks. But they were the product of white people against black people. And these acts were very violent…and came about as a means of terrorizing the black people in their areas…as well as, a means to destroy everything that they had…and to keep those ‘Negros’ in their place. Meaning…not thinking they were like white people…or equal to white people.
I guess you could sort say that those boys that attacked Derrion Albert…beating him across the head with railroad irons, kicking and stomping at him…appeared to have had simular sentiments. They wanted to keep him down. Wanted to make an example of him…to others who might think like him…or desire to be like him. Others who got ideas about learning…and achieving…and leaving the ghetto behind them.
Considering the nature of man…that we would all be salvage beast except for the grace of God. When you think of the type of violence that the kids regularly watch and have become desentized to via movies, television, videos and video games…there is little wonder that we are seeing all of what we are seeing today. Kids out on the streets banding together to attack one another…whether it is East Coast or West Coast…or Central America…their is a big problem with it. Kids taking pleasure is beating down somebody…and everybody running to watch. Or walking into schools or in college classrooms and shooting down everybody. It is all very much the same whether it be in Columbine, Colorado or South Side Chicago.
Yes, there is a problem. And it is neither black or white. It is a human problem.
Out of all those people…who ran to help Derrion?
Out of all of those people standing around. Who tried to help him?
In fact, it is said that Derrion…himself became an innocent victim…because he went to help someone else.
Let’s look at this….
Who did they kill?
Someone who they realized had a future.
Someone whom they recognized was going someplace.
Somebody who’s ambitions were greater than hanging out on the streets.
Somebody who wanted to learn something… achieve something… do something with his life… more than what they were doing.
While they had made bad choices…lots of them concerning their own lives…and the direction that they were headed in. Now with some on them on their way to prison behind their very senseless murder Derrion…a very innocent person.
But was it necessary for them to steal somebody else’s dreams…or to want to?
To take away Derrion’s life…and try to defeat him by killing him…because he refused to submit to them…and the streets?
Because Derrion wanted more out of life?
Becuse he saw where he did have a future…and could make something out his life?
Because he chose to learn something…and then to do something with what he was learning?
It is kind of like those massacres which took place in Tulsa and Rosewood…and other placess…when you really look back on it. They were about people who hated others because they became successfull…were progressing. And that is why Darrion got attack too…and was eventually murdered.
He was progressing.
Progressive…not stuck in a box.
Aspiring to be something.
He knew that there was more to life… lots more that it had to offer him… than gang life…and gang activities.
Derrion was a 16 year old honor student on his way to college. He had visions of making something out of his life. He was on the path to going to college. And gang life…and hanging out in the streets of Chicago just did not fit into his plans.
So, therefore, Derrion was a danger to them. Because Derrion’s mind wasn’t warped by the reality of what was around him…into believing that there was nothing else…or something better. That living as many lived around him…was all that there was.
And…so, they saw that Derrion was different and they killed him for it. Like those progressive black communities of Tulsa and Rosewood…were burnt down and destroyed until there was no hope of them ever coming back.
The problem with Chicago…is that their gang problem should have been dealt with long ago. In 1981 when Mayor Jane Byrne moved into Cabrini Green, a housing project on Chicago’s West Side…it was because people couldn’t even step outside of their apartments without becoming moving targets for target practice by the gangs which controlled their project.
When gangs take over projects…hotels and are allowed to run wild and rule as they have in Chicago things can only get worst…and worst. And they have…the levels of criminal activity in Chicago escalates from year to year.
There is little wonder why it was not chosen for the site of the 2016 Olympic Games.
I was living in Chicago when the World Soccer Games was held there. It was beautiful and festive. Though Chicago is always beautiful. But until the issue of gangs and crime is seriously addressed in Chicago…the lives of those living there will continued to be threaten by senseless acts of criminal activity.
And as long as the gang issue is considered a ‘black issue’ or a ‘minority thing’ nothing will ever be seriously done about it.
And that goes for gang criminal acts everywhere.
Today started off dark and rainy. Thought that it was going to rain all day…but the sun is out now. But there are still a few dark clouds in the sky. So, I guess it might start raining again later. But I hope that you are enjoying your day no matter what the weather is. And always keep in mind sunny or dark…that God loves you.
It really does make me think of the weather that will soon be on its way.
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Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on…” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2009
Add a comment October 13, 2009
The God Father of Gospel Music, Rev. Timothy Wright… Jesse again… Mike Steele RNC… First Family date night…
I was hoping to go to bed early tonight. Didn’t get in until after 2 AM last night. Had the opportunity to go into New York for the 2nd night of the funeral of the God Father of Gospel Music, Rev. Timothy Wright. And what an event it was. I am still happy that we decided to go.
It was a musical program celebrating the music and musical legacy and influence of Dr. Timothy Wright. So, some of everybody in gospel music was there and performed including a combined choir of 23 choirs…comprising 1,200 voices. So, if you can imagine that…then you have a clue of the kind of evening we had last night…and it was free and open to public. On top of it…it was very well organized…and had a super sound system…and there wasn’t anything outside of what that church already had that could have beat it. And was like being in the Appollo Theater…it had to have been a converted movie theater…the church…in fact, I know it had been theater because it had at least 2 balcony levels if not 3 of them.
So, from Ty Tribbett, to Rev. Milton Biggham, Myrna Summers, Timoney Figueroa, Hezekiah Walker & Love Fellowship Choir, Vershawn Mitchell, Keith Wonder Boy, Maurette Brown, Judieth McAllister…and many manyothers performed…a host of them. And it was fabulous…each and everyone of them. I am still glowing from that service in honor of the God Father of Gospel Music, Rev. Timothy Wright…a man I really feel was not given the real honor that his music deserved…during the course of his life. But he never complained…he continued writing… producing… performing and preaching to the glory of God. Truly, a fabulous man…and a real lover of his church…and God. Faithful…
It shocked me the Saturday, last July when we woke up to a bunch of text messages saying Rev. Timothy Wright had met with a tragic automobile accident which took the life of his wife and only grand son…leaving him paralyzed and mostly hospitalized until he passed just recently. From one moment to the next…we never know what is going to happen in our life.
Earlier that evening I had stopped by Rev. Wright’s booth at AIM, in Detroit…he had just been down a few booths and to the opposite of the aisle from Vicki Winans’ booth. He was autographing his book while cheerfully beaconing passerbyers to stop at his booth.
I will not forget how I had stood there telling him how great he looked…and how happy I was to see that he was doing so well healthwise…as the last time I had seen him was when I had booked him to performed at my summer outreach program called, Ministry Under the Tent. He was not feeling well at all…but yet he travelled from New York to perform before the people here who are still talking about that show…and weekend.
Because I could see that that he was not feeling well that day…as he was dietetic…I said to him-
“If you only sing one song I’ll be okay with that.”
That’s what I told him.
But when he hit that stage with his 30 choir members…you would not have been able to tell how he had been suffering prior to performing. And he kept on going like the Energized Bunny. They really performed…and sounded just like the CD’s.
So, it was good to see him in Detroit doing so well health-wise…and I just kept saying it over and over…and the following morning…
To tell you seriously I felt guilty…as though I had caused that accident myself…having raved so much about how good Rev. Wright had looked that Saturday afternoon. But a car coming up onto the inter-state highway travelling in the wrong direction ran right into his car…head-on… and Rev. Timothy Wright’s life was forever changed that night.
I was shocked…his life had been turned upside down in the flash of a moment. He had just finished performing in a large gospel concert with Mary Mary, the Clark Sisters, Ricky Dillard etc…and in a quick flash of a moment…his career had come to a end. He lost his wife and grand son…and very nearly lost his own life in less than 6 hours since the time I had spoken with both him and his wife as they worked their booth with their grand son.
D.U.I…driving under the influence of alcohol or anything else…is a serious problem…and it is highly dangerous and deadly to us all. The same roadway that that accident occured was the exact highway we had to travel on later in order for us to get back home from Detroit too. Any one of us could have met up with that driver. It should not take until something happens to one of us that we rally to do something about drivers who continue to get behind the wheel knowing that they are incapable of doing so properly or safely.
It is sad to think about what ended up happening to Rev. Timothy Wright and his family due a driver driving under the influence…who also ended up killing himself…by not only traveling in the wrong direction. But also travelling at a very high speed.
Needless to say…I was happy to hear that he was no longer suffering…and trying to deal with his loses. Yes, I was happy that he was no longer suffering from the loses in his personal life…and his physical being.
He was so gracious and so kind…when I called him…he never even asked me to sign a contract…didn’t have to wire him any up-front money…which is highly out of the norm. But that is what he did…just said have the money ready when he got there. And I did…and all cash. I have done many shows…and never had anyone been so trusting.
I have been involved in both concert promotions and other large events as a promoter for both R&B and religious concerts and events…but never had 1 entertainer… agent… manager… or other person that I booked for an event of any type…not require me to sign a contract and to send some money in advance…which is typically the way that it is done. And I am sure that through his many years in the industry…I am sure that Rev. Wright has probably had his share of problems with promoters…yet he did not require me to sign or forward him anything…for some reason. Though I asked him…and he said-
“No, just have it ready when I get there.”
I marvel at that even to this day. And I made sure that everything for him was set and ready for him when the bus I had hired for them pulled into town and they poured off of it.
And I cannot thank enough the Chamblee Bus Company out of Newark, New Jersey…who at 1 AM in the morning the night before Rev. Wright was to perform… they got me a bus and a driver…after the initial bus company I had hired for the job…to pick up Rev. Wright and his choir in Brooklyn…called me to say that they were not coming. I marvel at that too…God worked it out in the wee hours of the morn. And all ended up being just fine…better than fine.
As I sat there listening to all those performers and expeditors…and listened to the new group of radio gospel announcers in New York City now…my mind drifted back to all the years that I have played his music…and still do…and how he had come to perform here at Ministry Under the Tent…and I couldn’t help but cry a bit from time to time.
Following all the singing…Pastor Hubert Powell was allowed a few seconds to speak…and wow did he deliver. I wish I could write it like he said it…but I can’t. But he and the God Father of Gospel Music, Rev. Timothy Wright, had been friends for over 50 years. And I do not think…and would find it very hard to believe…that anybody who ever met him…didn’t meet somebody who they did ot like and love in the person of Rev. Timothy Wright. He was truly a man of God…who got his start up under the Father of Gospel Music…James Cleveland.
As I stated…I had decided not to write anything tonight. I could barely keep my eyes open earlier…but while checking on some things over the internet…I came across a couple of stories which really motivated me to begin to write this blog.
The first was a story on Jesse Jackson. I find him to be so disappointing. Not atall the person I thought him to be. I guess it is hard to accept when people do not meet your expectations of who you believe them to be…based upon your media knowledge of them…meaning news items that you read.
Throughout all the years all the information on Jesse Jackson had been positive…up until the story of the illegitimate baby…and that open mic story hit the news…where Jesse… Well, you know the story (wrote about it in 2 other blogs if you to read that story)…how Jesse said he wanted to cut off Obama’s… Well…you know the story. Until that point my preception of Rev. Jesse Jackson had been one of him being what he actively projected…and that is what it was a “projection”...that he was a dedicated black leader…who sincerely loved and cared for his people.
Now, reading this story further adds to my ever decreasing opinion of Jesse Jackson. Currently, he is being sued for $100,000 by the AEI Speakers Bureau for failing to show up at a speaking engagement in Trinidad…after…now check this out… after he had the conference promoters charter him a private jet to transporthim from Chicago to Trinidad for the speaking engagement…and demanding a fee of $75,000 to come and speak at the event. And I thought Aretha Franklin’s $65,000 fee plus a portion of the gate was excessive. Well, it was a bit too rich for my blood…but at least she was worth the money. I just couldn’t afford it.
Can you imagine that?
Seventy-five thousand dollars to have Jesse Jackson come to speak at a conference engagement. And an engagement in a poor country…run by black people?
And then force them to book him a private chartered jet?
Can you imagine the type of hotel accommodations Jesse must have requested…5 star plus…no doubt.
They deserve to sue him. And I hope they get every dime. What a ridiculously greedy man. He is definitely too full of himself.
I have to admit to having read years ago while in New York…that Jesse’s Wall Street Summit was nothing but one big corporate shake-down…in the name of black people.
Can you imagine Jesse Jackson getting rich on our backs?
Playing all these years…like something he has never been. Really interested in black people…and the social injustices surrounding them. And trying to get to get them irraticated. When in fact…he has always been out for Jesse…at the pretense of aiding the plight of black people in this country.
The Bible says…what is done in the dark will come to light. Meaning anything that is not true…will in time be unveiled…revealed. Jesse Jackson can truly speak to the words of this scripture…as more and more is being revealed about him.
Now…on to Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National commitee…another foolish black man…along the vain of a Clarence Thomas.
It is sad really.
We are living in a season now… Oh, well…come on lets grow up. We do not have go running around and cow-tauing and bowing down to everybody. Give me a break. I hate ignorance…and particularly from those who want to pretend that are above others…in terms of their intellect…place in life…etc…etc… But they don’t know who they are…or they forget where they come from…or how to love what is their’s…namely their own people while trying to pretend to be somebody else. And also loose their dignity by acting and talking foolishly.
Every group loves their own people…that is only natural. And anybody who doesn’t…then something is wrong with them.
Loving your own group doesn’t mean that you have feel that your group is superior…smarter…or better than any other group…or have ideas of bigotry. No, it just means you are proud in who you are.
But that group called the Republicans…particularly that group of ignorant and narrow minded black folk in that party…like Clarence Thomas, Alan Kayes…and now this Michael Steele. This Mike Steele recently, while sitting in of radio program chatting with a caller who had called in to discuss Barack Obama…Michael Steele made the statement that media created Barack Obama.
What kind of dumb statement was that?
Media did not create Barack Obama…as if he was the figment of someone’s imagination. Media definitely did not create Barack Obama…they chased Barack Obama because he was the story that people were interested in. And that is what media does…they make their living tracking down stories that people want to hear and read. That is the name of the business…or if you will…the game.
Barack Obama is not a splash in a pan…he was not created by a bunch of handlers…any more than Solomon or David was. Media did not create Tiger Woods…or Michael Jordan…or Muhammad Ali…or Jack Nicolas…Princess Diana…or even Dr. Martin L. King, Jr…or Bobby Kennedy or Jack Kennedy, his older brother also known as President John F. Kennedy. Destiny did…and their talents did.
So, how foolish is it for a supposed black man to try to down rate another black man by saying-
Because that is exactly what Steele said…though he may not have said it in those exact words. But it spoke every bit of envy.
Media did not create Barack Obama…but it could said that it assist in informing people about him. But the same could be said for any movie star…singing star…atlete…or anyone or anything of interest to the masses. That is what media does… it informs.
Too bad Mr. Steele, an ex-governor, is not the kind of Republican that Col. Colin Powell is. Col. Powell is capable of celebrating and appreciating the abilities and achievements…and excellence of those inside, as well as, outside of his own party affiliation and race…and so too Obama.
Too bad the former governor lacks their skills.
I am beginning to wonder if the excitement of the moment is starting to ware off for the Obama’s. Living your life in a bubble cannot be fun. Everything you do…say or wear…gets questions.
Who would like that?
I personally do not understand all the questions about the dog…Michelle clothes…her sneakers…etc…
I am not really a sneaker person…but in New York they are rave…and I guess everywhere else too. But with most sneakers ranging far above Pro-Keds back in the day…which were $10…I feel that all sneakers are seriously over priced. And as far as I can see most of them if you want a good pair are over $100.
So, then I do not understand the problem with the cost of Michelle’s sneakers costing over $500 as most sneakers cost $200 and more. Or maybe…the fuss was just over Michelle wearing those sneakers to some charity event…but men wear Stacy Adams shoes…and other people wear a bunch of expensive footware today…and nobody is calling to question their shoes…or sneakers.
In looking at the pictures of their date night…to think that was the first walk that they have taken together free of anybody being right up on them. I don’t know…but I find that rather sad. The joy of life seems to be stolen from them. It is the cost of fame I guess…and certainly the cost of becoming the President, First Lady and First Family of the United States.
I would take my life over their’s anyday. But it is a sacrifice that they willingly went into…because they felt that they could offer their service to help make this a better country. And for that I applaud them…and feel for them.
Nobody ever questioned the price tag of everything or anything that Jackie Kennedy wore. In fact, the rich never talk about price. They have this saying-
“If you have to ask the price then you really can’t afford it.”
Oh, I know what it is.
Jackie “O” never wore sneakers…only terribly expensive clothes…jewelry…and shoes. And there were no questions about them or their price tags.
Well, since it is now 2 AM again…and I was hoping to try to catch up on my sleep as I am trying to put the finishing touches on my book, THE BISHOP’S WIFE, promo for youtube…and I am becoming frustrated with my new book publishers. It seems that they can’t get my errors corrected properly for some reason.
Since my book had been back and forth to my former publisher…I did not have many errors this time around. But as few as they have been…I have received the galley back 4 times with almost the same errors not having been corrected. And I mean glearing errors that leap out at you…but evidently they do not to the person who is suppose to be setting my type and making these corrects.
I am beginning to come of a mind…that this whole self-publishing thing is for the birds. That it probably doesn’t matter who you get…there will be problems.
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on…” http://www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2009
Add a comment May 5, 2009
Well, it is snowing again. It is suppose to snow through the night… then turn to rain and sleet by tomorrow morning. So, I know that tomorrow will probably be a day to stay home. But I don’t mind all the snow.
For the past few days the mounds of snow which we already have had started to melt down pretty good. For February this really isn’t so bad… not yet. It has been said that February goes out like a lion… meaning either a lot more snow or plenty more cold.
On Monday, I decided to do something that I had been hoping to pay someone to come in and do for me. Through the years my parent’s house has taken such a beating. And the kitchen walls and woodwork looked so terrible…and I would have liked to have found someone other than me to come in and clean them. But since the house is without heat due to our blown furnace as you may or may not have read in a couple of my earlier blogs…I have been keeping the stove on with a couple of pots boiling water. This has caused everything in the kitchen area to stream up. Which meant that all that filth that I had been forced to look at which had caked upon the doors and other woodwork over the years in the kitchen have been steaming down off the doors etc…etc… So, since it had already loosened up the years of grime… I just decided to pull out a bucket and an old scrub brush and get busy. And that is how I spent my President’s Day.
It felt good to be finally getting those doors scrubbed down and then standing off to view my handy work. Real good. I had been loathing touching the doors or anything else in the kitchen… or for that matter around the house.
When we were kids… I hated those Saturday mornings when my parent’s woke us up early in the morning with buckets of soapy hot water waiting on us. It meant that we would be scrubbing most of the day.
Oh, how I hated those Saturdays when they would have us scrubbing down all the woodwork in the house and then scrub the floors too. And my father liked to have us get on our hands and knees to do that. Oh, how I hated it.
But as I started washing down those filthy doors with the old scrub brush thoughts of those days came back to me… and I was filled with pride. Because here I was… in my parent’s house again… and I was taking care of their property just the way they had taught me so many years ago.
While my son was talking to me last night… he happened to mention that I wouldn’t be able to watch TV anymore if I didn’t go out a buy a converter box. This is the thing I hate about new technology.
Why do they have to force it down our throats?
There are so many people who went out and invested in those large projector type televisions or other older models… only to find out that that television system is now out dated and they have no option but to convert it to a digital reception system.
They did the same thing when they decided against 8-track tapes, beta systems, turntables, records, VHS tapes, cassette tapes etc…etc…etc…all gone now. What you see is…is that the old stuff goes on sale and those looking for great deals rush out unaware that the only reason the stuff is on sale in the first place is because they are out dated…and that format is no longer going to be available…because they simply stopped making it.
Today, I’m looking for someone to build me an external floppy drive disk reader. I hadn’t realized it until the other day when I was looking for something… that I didn’t have those files on anything digital… but on a floppy disk. For which I have also run into the same problem with my word-processor files which I had saved on my processor’s little disk. I had not been paying any attention and before I knew it word-processors were no longer on the market… they had been replaced by computers. And it had took me a long time to convert from a regular typewriter to a word-processor.
So, by the time I finally bought one…a word processor… the item was nearly dead already… and computers were coming into the marketplace taking over their place. And I had never noticed.
This is why when my son wanted to buy a 10″ DVD player…I cautioned him and told him no. I suggested that he invest in a laptop computer instead…where he would have a choice of much larger screens plus be able to do more with it. And he did just like his mother had suggested… just like the good little boy he is (smile). Now, when his mother is away from home or can’t get on-line on her own computer… I just use his laptop. Now, how good is that… for being resourceful?
No, no need trying to fight it. It is a done deal. If you want to continue to watch television… and got rid of your cable provider years ago… then you will have to go out and invest in a converter box. The good part though is… I rarely watch television. So, it really doesn’t affect me much.
Well, it is still Black History Month… and I really haven’t spoken about anyone in these blogs… outside of giving you their names. What good is my telling you all about them… when researching to find out that information for yourself will prove more valuable to you… in that you may remember them or something about them because you looked up info on them on your own.
I can only say that I have a deep fondness for black people… and have for all of my life. I have read many books… and loved Langston Hughes’ book on Jesse B. Simple. I used to always have a copy of the Black Anthology. Read Baldwin’s ‘Amen Corner’… which I saw performed by Kumuba Workshop under the direction of Val Grey Ward. It was one of the things which also inspired me to move to Chicago… besides, of course, my hopes of getting hired by a radio station there… WGCI or WJPC. I have forgotten the other black radio stations they had in Chicago back then. But I loved those productions by Kumuba. But even more I enjoyed the time I actually met James Baldwin. He wasn’t a very big man…and he looked very much like his photos. But there was something about him… an aura about him… I guess you could say. He extended his hand out towards me looking me right in my eyes. And I knew I was in the presence of greatness… yet so humble… and kind. He was quite gracious and unassumming. I loved him.
I had seen the play… ‘Amen Corner’… and I had read his book ‘Go Tell it on the Mountain.’ But at that time, I never knew that he was still alive until he went to Mt. Holyoke College to teach.
Alexis, a friend of mine had introduced him to me. They had become very close and I could see and understand why. They shared something in common. It is hard if you have never felt that you looked as good as everybody else…it is hard to understand how some people battle with these feelings most of their lives…as did James Baldwin and myself. It is what I thought about Gwendolyn Brooks when I looked upon her picture as I added it into my last blog. Yet, in every picture of her…she always seemed so happy and smiling. And as I looked upon her pictures…I thought-
“She must have been a most beautiful person in ever possible way.”
Most recently I had to take some pictures. I should preface this by saying…I am not a big picture taking person…because I have never liked the way I looked. But I needed a promotional picture for my book. So, I set about trying to get one that I felt I could live with. But upon taking a few pictures and looking at them…I found that I have my grandmother’s nose. I must admit I have been laughing and smiling ever since.
I have my grandmother’s nose. And I never knew it.
My grandmother didn’t have just any old nose…it was unique. And I had not seen anyone else with it until we went to the church convention in Detroit this past July. While there we re-united with some long lost family members. And I sat there almost the whole time looking at this woman…a cousin…and thinking-
“She has Mauh’s nose.”
It was all I could think. I just kept thinking that over and over again in my head…and I rarely took my eyes off of that woman’s nose because I loved seeing it. So, to look into a picture and find that I have my grandmother’s nose is like finding out that all of these year’s God had played a trick on me. I have my grandmother’s nose.
I love having my grandmother’s nose. I can’t believe I have it. And I have it all by myself… no one else just me and that woman… my mother’s cousin in Detroit. We’ve got Mauh’s nose. Seeing that nose I didn’t feel so ugly anymore… because Mauh was not ugly. And in her day… she really must have been something… and even up to the time she died… she still had a boyfriend. Or should I say… male friend. I used to kid her about Mr. Alexander…the old man who everyday used to come by her house to visit with her while we were down there.
Mauh’s entire wardrobe was made of red. Everything in her house was red. Every pocket book she had was red and every pair of shoes. Her bed spreads…everything…table cloths…everything all red. Everything Mauh owned was red. And if it wasn’t…then it was pink.
Daddy used to say that from the time he met Mauh-
“She’s always been 30.”
He would grin real wide when he said it…because Mauh never admitted her age to anyone.
But she was never ugly. And I had her nose.
And from that moment I started seeing myself in a different light. And you know what?
I’m not ugly. I’ve got Mauh’s nose.
I’m not ugly. And for all these years I thought I was.
Hope you enjoy your day tomorrow. I will probably be buried up under the snow…but I will be loving every minute of it…and still smiling. Because…well…because I’ve got Mauh’s nose. And it feels so wonderful.
Well, God bless…
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2009
Add a comment February 19, 2009
Today I woke up to the most interesting phone call. It was from a daughter of a friend of mine. I had been thinking of her since I had not heard from her for a few weeks and we usually try to touch bases with each other at least once a week, if we can. But that just does not always happen.
So, yesterday evening while waiting on my son, I decided to give her a call and received no answer. So, it was a pleasant surprise to see her number pop up on my cell phone when she buzzed me back this morning.
The good part was that she had not been sick…well… She hadn’t had to go to the hospital this week. Yes, I did say this week.
Very early on she had begun having to deal with a series of health issues. Many of which most people would have just given up and gone and crawled into a corner…but she didn’t.
It has been a fight for her…weekly…and I have no doubt daily. But she has remained strong through it. And that is really the best part about speaking with her because through it all she has managed to smile and laugh her way through it…every single episode. She always continues to see a brighter side.
I could not imagine myself having to deal with heavy health issues which have invaded her body since she reached womanhood. For one thing she has what Bernie Mack had Sarcoidosis. I don’t really know what that is…but it can cause sudden death and is considered a mysterious medical disorder.
But Vee, and I don’t often call names, also lives in Chi-town…that is Chicago for those of you who do not know what that means…just like Bernie Mack had. She started off our conversation telling me how she has been fighting the severe Chicago cold and the frosty wind blowing in off of Lake Michigan. And then she began to tell me about her ex-husband and how he was recently put into a hospice.
This was a guy whom when she was a high school teenager every other word that proceeded out of her mouth was his name. It was his name and his name only. I thought it interesting after years of having lost contact with her family…and upon finally becoming reconnected with them due to the death of her uncle, Tyrone Davis…whom if you are old enough know him by his hits…such as “Can I Change My Mind” and “In the Mood”…I thought it interesting that she had married him.
It was clearly a bad and most severe case of ‘puppy love’…and Vee had it bad. She adored that boy. And it was interesting that someone whom she had adored so much she did eventually marry. But through the years it had not worked out and eventually they got divorced only to find out that they liked each other well enough to be friends. And it is nice when people can do that. Break up but yet be able to pull and salvage something out those years together…and they did…and it was especially good because they had a child together.
Vee told me that he was now placed in this hospice suffering from having cancerous tumors all through his body.
Warning signs are so important…but nothing beats a regular check up. Even I am guilty of not always wanting to go to the doctors on a regular basis. As I never get sick…but never getting sick doesn’t mean you don’t need to ensure a healthy you.
At the end of last semester when I was just finishing up with all my classes…after carrying 18 credits for the semester…one morning my right hand began shaking uncontrollably. Since, I had to do a presentation in a few hours…I just thought I was becoming nervous or something.
But near the beginning of my second class on that day…my right hand began to freeze up on me. It would lock up and I could not open it…nor could I do anything with it. By this time I knew it was something more than just possible nerves bothering me..and I began to think I was near to having a stroke or either a heart attack. So, I immediately knew I needed to leave class to get to a hospital.
Have you ever had any warning signs?
Did you take heed…and realize that your body was trying to tell you something?
It is true…our bodies are like fine tuned automobiles…and when you start to hear some noise…well…in our case something starts to act up you better go and get it checked out. I understand being fearful of hearing bad news.
But what is worst?
Hearing the bad news while something can still be done…or hearing the bad news when it is too late to do anything about it?
I will never forget Mrs. Ripperton, Minnie Ripperton’s mother, who used to be a member of 6th Grace United Presbyterian Church in Chicago…down on Cottage Grove and 35th Street. She would talk to me sometimes about Minnie and how much pain Minnie had been in before her death. (Minnie’s daughter currently stars on Saturday Night Live…Maya Rudolph…who obviously has both of her grandparents sense of humor. That Mr. Ripperton was so so funny…and Mrs. Ripperton called him ‘Rip.’ They were a great couple. Wonderful family…Elaine and all of them. I remember them all well.)
One day Mrs. Ripperton held out her arm and said-
“You see this…Minnie could take her arm and beat it against the table and not feel anything. That’s how hard her arm had become and how filled up it was with all the pain.”
I had known nothing about cancer…but that day Mrs. Ripperton told me something about it that has stuck with me through the years. And I knew from that day that cancer was something I would never want to get. But illness is hard no matter what it is that people have…and by hard here…I mean difficult to deal with.
So, it was interesting to me that Vee would have called me giving me the information on how she had been staying up talking to her ex-husband over the phone…praying with him and reading the Bible to him. Though she said he really didn’t want to hear it…but she would read it to him anyway.
Many people say that they don’t want to hear it…that they do not want to have anybody telling them anything about the Bible or any more people coming to in to pray over them. I have heard it…but when nothing else can help…you’ve got to learn how to call upon the name of the Lord.
A friend of mine in New York became very ill. I had not seen her for a while. So, one day I decided to run by her house which was only a couple blocks up and just around the corner from me.
When her mother answered the door she told me that Jackie wasn’t feeling well…yet, another name that I have mentioned in this blog…but this blog is filled with so many people if I didn’t I call a name or 2…or 3…you would become confused. When I went up stairs and her mother opened Jackie’s bedroom door to allow me in…I was horrified. I was looking at death and I knew it.
Jackie was not even a shell of herself…her lips were a bright red…her complexion was very very dark…all her weight was gone…she was curled up in the fetus position…and when I approached her…I said immediately-
“Let me go get Shirley so she can pray for you.”
Jackie refused speaking in a very low and slow voice saying-
“I have had a enough praying for me. I don’t want any more prayers.”
But I kept begging…I was afraid for her and the only thing I knew to do was to go get somebody who get a prayer through to God. I was not saved…but I knew the power of finding someone who truly could get to God’s ear. Finally, Jackie consented.
I ran down the street and through the door open to Shirley’s real estate office and said-
“Shirley, you’ve got to come. You’ve got to come and pray for Jackie. You’ve got to come.”
Shirley got up and rushed out of her office leaving her secretary to handle her clients. And we both rushed back up the street and around the corner.
Shirley had brought with her…her oil…and as she went into the room she began praying and anointing Jackie’s body with the oil. I stood rubbing Jackie’s feet trying to pray as much as I could in agreement with Shirley as tears ran down my cheeks. I cried for my friend…and I prayed for God to spare her life.
Shirley soon left but I continued to rub Jackie’s limbs…and before I left some time later… first I saw a toe move and then she stretch out one of her legs slightly. Jackie was coming out of that fetal position. And I could see strength coming back into her body. Thank God for Shirley and the power of prayer.
Today, Jackie is doing just fine…and I have no doubt that she will never doubt the power of prayer ever again. It truly does changes things.
But I understood Vee’s ex-husband being bitter and angry over his illness. He is young yet and a death sentence has been pronounced over his head. That has to be harder than hard to deal with. And then to be placed in a hospice…the ultimate declaration of death upon him.
But even in that state God is able to turn his situation around.
Which brings me to another story…since when I had tried to reach Vee last night and couldn’t…I decided to buzz someone else. Tanya…and again I rarely called people’s names in these blogs…but sometimes I just can’t help it. When you come upon outstanding people…it is worth calling out their names.
At first I thought I was awaking her from her sleep as her voice sounded funny…but she told me no. She had just gotten out of the hospital…and she informed me that she had been there for an entire week. Her lungs had filled with fluid and she had suffered a bad asthma attack…but while in the hospital she had shared a room with a woman whom she told me had been very ill.
But it is the treatment of the woman by her doctor that Tanya really shared with me. Tanya said that the doctor had been so coarse with the woman who was…laying on her death bed. He told her that they had the papers from her health proxy to not resuscitate. Tanya said the doctor was not kind or caring at all in his words…and that when he left the woman felt even worst.
But Tanya told me how she encouraged the woman by saying-
“Don’t worry, ma’am. He doesn’t know. You might not need to be resuscitated at all. Can’t no doctor tell you when you are going to die. You might even out live him.”
Because of the various medical plans that people now have to have in order to be treated…most medical facilities feel they no longer have to treat you with any type of respect, dignity or courtesy. After all once you give them your card number they already have your money…it is as good as in the bank. And this is a sad commentary but true.
The medical field has gone to the dogs and pit-bulls…private companies have gone into the medical business as ‘for profit entities’…much like many prisons have also done. They care nothing about trying to save people or making them better. They would have you come back and forth a hundred times…while pretending they are checking on this or checking on that. While all the while they are just eating up your medical benefits. It is sad…quite sad.
But t is funny how God puts people in the right place at the right time. Every now and then we all need someone in the right place…at the right time to encourage us when we are going through a rough time in our life. And oftentimes…these people know and have not just a sense of who God is…but a true relationship with Him as well.
One morning a couple of years ago, I woke up with a pain to my lower back area. It was a very severe pain…so much so that whenever I moved I would scream out in pain. As the day progressed the pain progressed…it got worst. I could barely stand, walk, turn or lay down without that severe excruciating pain getting the best of me. I, however, prefer to suffer pain rather than to take any type of medication. So, I endure things until they pass…if they pass. Thus far God has blessed me usually…they pass. But this problem kept on growing worst. And it inhibited me…I could not make the slightest move without screaming out.
I had to push myself through this pain and it was very hard. But I decided to drive into New York and to go to church. While in the car the pain was bad but I didn’t let it stop me…and the funny thing about it was this. When I got to the church and walked inside the pain was gone. As if it had never been. It was gone throughout almost the entire church service and I thought it had left me entirely. And it had…up until the time the service ended. And slowly the pain began to resume.
That night I decided to stay over in New York with mother. Yes, the one I have written about in several of these blogs who recently passed near the latter part of last year. Mother enjoyed my company. And I…well, I enjoyed hers as well. She was a very funny and witty woman…but she also loved the Lord and she possessed much wisdom. I loved talking with her as she was well versed on everything from politics to the latest news topics of interest…as well as, the Bible.
She would often ask me to stay or come into New York to spend some time with her after I had left the city to return home to take care of some family matters. But most of the time I would not…I did not want to infringe upon her or our friendship…though I knew that she did not mind. But occasional I would stay over…and this was one of those times.
By the time we had reached mother’s apartment…my pain was almost totally back and occasionally I would screech out in pain. But by morning it had gotten far worst…I barely got up off the bed…and when I did I knew I would not be able to lay back down. So, I could not lay down and nor could I stand. It was terrible…and I was at mother’s house to make it even worst.
Not wanting to worry mother over my condition, I decided I better go to the hospital. Mother and I had lived around the corner from each other…and the hospital was right across the street from her apartment. So, I made my way out the door…into the elevator…across the street and into the hospital where I told them upon stepping up to the reception window-
“I can’t stand and I can’t sit…I think you need to lay me down somewhere.”
And they immediately admitted me into emergency and they sent a person around to me to take all my information once I finally was able to get into a laying position.
A fairly good-looking doctor came and began servicing me…and eventually he told me my problem. I had a slipped disc. When I asked him about how I could get it fix…he told me I couldn’t. He said that the disc has to slip back into place on its own. I was in such pain…that I was willing to go up under the knife to never have to find myself back in this state again. And that was rare…because I usually say no to such things…to operations if I felt I could live without them. But every time I moved I was screaming out in pain that is how severe the pain was. And I could do nothing. So, yes…there are times when even I start to sing a different tune…and this was one of them.
The doctor had an ‘i-v’ hooked up to me and they began to feed me muscle relaxers and pain killers to cause the pain to subside. And while laying there down there in a stall in the emergency room one of our church’s prayer warriors came in. It was Sister Capers…this blog is filled with names today. But she too has since passed…and I am sure she would not mind me calling her name as I celebrate her. (though I doubt that calling any of the names in the related blogs would have bother any of my friends…but I just prefer not to)
Sister Capers had a long badge around her neck and said that the hospital allowed her full access to walk around to talk and pray for people. She touched me and began to pray for me. But it was the sight of seeing her…a friend come into that emergency room and stepped into my curtained off area that meant so much to me. It was something I had not expected at all.
The pain killers and muscle relaxers began to work too…and after a few hours they released me giving me a couple of prescriptions…which I did go and get filled immediately. And this time I took some of that medication…a couple of times in fact. But I found it to be exceedingly strong. And after taking it…yes, it helped the pain in my back…but I was left feeling sick to my stomach…in fact my stomach would be cramping.
So, I stop taking the medicatjon. Some medication today will correct one problem…but leave with something else to deal with. If that be the case…you should seriously weigh your options.
What good would it have been for me to relieve by back pain (a temporary condition)…only to have burned a hole through my stomach?
Finally, the pain left…or rather I guess I should say….my disc slipped back into place. But without having been at mother’s house I probably would not have gone to the hospital…nor would have known exactly what my problem was…and Sister Capers would not have been able to pay me a surprise visit and then pray for me. I am happy that I elected to stay the night in New York.
So, you see in this blog that I have some friends who are going through some trying life circumstances themselves…yet because of their walk and faith in the Lord…they are bigger than what they are going through. They have managed to turn what many would say should have been their tears into smiles. And in the process they have not been too pre-occupied with their own health issues to not be able to reach out and comfort others in their time of need. I think that this is wonderful…and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with them as they shared their stories with me.
I do know some phenomenal people…they are special in every possible way.
I just could not let this day go by without sharing with you something about them.
After looking at these videos of the Whispers…I now regret having not gone through and done that ‘Headlights’ Concert which I had booked them for. But when the tickets didn’t start moving…and the venue called telling me that if I didn’t rush in there with the advance ticket money and bring in all the tickets that we had put out there in the various locations…that they were going to cancel the show. I felt was left with no choice.
So, as much as I didn’t want to make that call to L.A…I did. I actually dredded calling L.A to have a conversation about cancelling the show…2 days before it was to take place. But I did it. I called the Whisper’s manager and told him that I was forced to cancel the show. And this is what he said to me in response-
“What do you mean you are being forced to cancel the show? It’s your show…your money. They can’t force you to cancel your own show.”
And you know what he was right…it was my show. It was my money…not that large auditorium but my money that was on the line for that show. The venue hadn’t bought the radio time for the spots…or placed any newspaper ads announcing my concert. I was the one.
No, I was the only one invested in that concert…and I was the only one who stood to loose anything any kind of way it went. Because I was the one responsible for paying everybody…including the venue…though I had already paid them a portion of it…that was not going to come back to me even after the cancellation.
But it was too bad I called the Whispers last…I had already pulled all the tickets…cancelled the remainder of the radio ads and then had the radio stations to start announcing that-
“Tomorrow night’s concert featuring the Whisper’s Headlights Tour is cancelled.”
That is when I realized I had had a slave mentality. I had let that white man who booked the events at the auditorium dictate to me the lost of a very very large sum of money. Something which will never ever happen to me again. It was a life experience…and life experiences are made for us to learn from.
There are times when we can block our own success…by failing to believe in ourselves or what we are attempting to do. But if you start a thing…you should be big enough to see it through. Don’t try to second guess yourself. Either do it…or don’t do it. But do not kid yourself by starting something that you are afraid of seeing through.
Monday is President’s Day…so if you are one of those fortunate ones…I know when I worked in radio there no such thing as a holiday…particularly if you were at the low end of the totem pole. But if you by chance you are one of those who does have the day off enjoy it.
Isn’t it wonderful…we now get to really celebrate that day. I mean not that there were not other presidents who were great…but mostly they became great by being thrust into some difficult situations that forced them to make during their times some very hard decisions. But isn’t it interesting how being forced to make hard decisions can often work out for the good…when the right choices are made. And make you great…as opposed to being ‘just one of.’ Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Johnson may all be considered to be great Presidents because of the times and the decisions they were forced to make…and Washington simply because he was the first.
Abraham Lincoln did not have a great love for the freedom of slaves but he recognized the danger it caused to the union of all of the then 13 states of the United States of America coming together. Slavery was the thing which tore them apart…so it made sense that slavery was the thing that had to end in order for this country to be able to move forward in order to be able to tackle the other events and things that a growing America would come to face as a nation.
It’s Black History Month…and I certainly salute it and celebrate it. There are so many great people…inventors, doctors, lawyers, writers, news journalists, actors, orators, wise people, civic leaders, religious people, hard working desent black people who were purposely left out of the history books of this country. I think it is time to right that error as well.
The road was not easy but they carried the torches anyhow… knowing that one day a change was going to come.
Well, God bless…
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2009
7 comments February 15, 2009
At last they have reached an agreement on the stimulus bill which will hopefully create jobs and get this economy back up and running. Though I must admit to not being one of those who was hit by the problems going on with the economy…I must always say that I am concerned about others.
Many people did suffer and are suffering because the economy took a deep plunge under George W. Bush. I doubt whether gasoline prices will ever get back down to $.99…but it would be nice.
We take so much for granted until it is gone. We never knew just how good we had it until gas prices at the pump started getting over $3.00…and when they neared $4.00…and did hit $4.00 and over in some places…we suddenly realized the party was over.
Food prices went up…everything…you name it and it all went up…due to some lousy war in Iraq that nobody wanted in the first place but George Bush and his people. If the after-effect could have been seen before hand I doubt that little ol’ George would have stood a chance at getting that war started. Well…maybe I should take that back.
You do remember seeing those signs all actively displayed around the
Republican National Convention floor this past August? Many of those very people realized what the outcome was going to be…long before hand. In fact, they were hoping for it.and began buying like crazy whatever they could on the stock market. They care about nothing… but… prosperity …at any cost.
They went into the stock market and started buying up everything that had to do with heating, utility companies, insulating, home improving, coal mining, oil drilling, trucking, food…etc. Oh, they saw it coming…and they knew it would come big. So, what did they do…they pushed for the war.
They were going to go into Iraq and squander it…rob it…pillage it…destroy those museums and take every artifact, painting, golden vessel and piece of pottery they could find…and smuggle it out of that country.
Then they were going to set themselves up as the saviors and peacekeepers of the place…while all the while looting it and the American taxpayers too with bogus invoices…and double billing ploys…while thousands of American people innocent sons and daughters lost their lives fighting in a senseless war brought about by greed.
It did not make sense for the United States of America to arbitrarily begin a preempted strike on Iraq…when all the world was against it and most of the American people. Iraq had not done anything to us. Nor were we under threat by them.
For a man and his 2 sons. Two ton bombs were unleashed upon those people, their homes, their businesses, their infrastructure, their schools etc…night after night upon building after building.
That could not have been about Saddam Hussein and his 2 boys. It was greater than them…it had to be. The expense and tally was too great to just desire to depose a tyrant and his sons.
Could it have all been for profit?
As Barack Obama came into office as President of the United States…72 hours later Blackwater pulled out of Iraq…and the others are following. And a country is being left in devastation.
I have heard somewhere about how ‘leaving something in a better state than when you found it.’
The state of the Iraqi people has changed…but many would argue whether or not it is a better state than when George Bush and his boys went into it.
So, yes…I am happy that the Senate has finally stopped hemming and hawing. Everybody is trying to make some points…it is so…so…like politicians. The Republicans held it up…so the Democrats couldn’t get the credit…when they knew all the time that they were going to have to pass the stimulus package or else face the music again come another election period.
You would think those dog gone Republicans would learn.
They can stop the band…but they can’t stop the music.
Hooray, for the passage of Obama’s stimulus package. Now, maybe some of these companies will not have to continue to lay people off or fire them. Jobs are very much needed…they help to pay the bills. And they are good when you want to go somewhere…you’ll have money to do it with.
Well, First Lady Michelle Obama will grace the cover of Vogue magazine next month (March)…making her only the 2nd First Lady to do so.
I have been trying to find a picture somewhere on the internet…but alas…to no avail.
I has to be out on newsstands by now…not to mention out in the mailboxes of thousands who subscribe.
February is just one of those months…I suppose that much of it has to do with the passing of my mother during the first of this month some years ago…as to why I tend to be quiet and rarely have much to say. I had been wondering why I had so much to do…and seemed to not want to do any of it. I had forgotten that it was February.
Even with these blogs by this time during a regular month I would have done at least 4 to 5 of them already…but this is only my second since the month has begun. Oh, I am not as bad as I used to be…there was a time not so long ago either that every month and every day was just like the day she had passed. Even my being able to form and shape the word ‘passed’…in my mouth or mind in connection to my mother is something new for me. I could never put the 2 words together…‘she passed’ for years upon years.
I never wanted to accept that she was…was…was gone.
I am who I am because I was given the very best of everything by God. I had the best mother…and the best father.
My parents never discussed with me the fact that I was gay. There was never a mention of it…though they knew. I had bought most of my girlfriends by the house…so, they had met some of them. But they never discussed anything about gayness or gay people with me. They never called anyone names…or talked negatively about anything.
When I called home from Chicago…to tell my mother that I was pregnant. Yes…gay me…pregnant. It is a rather long story…but in short it happened because I became depressed over loosing a lover. I began thinking that maybe the life (gay life) was not for me. So, I decided I would try the other side. And the one time I did…BAM. I was pregnant.
Being gay I was very naive about straight life. I would have never have thought about protection or anything like that…because… Well, because I had never had a boyfriend…and had never dated in my life until I got into gay life…which was sometime during the age of 25. And I had my son when I was 28.
I must say that I am a strong advocate for ‘pro-choice.’ Without choice I may have chosen differently. I did think about abortion…even called the abortion hotline. But when that lady started talking about ‘full anesthesia’ or ‘partial anesthesia.’ And I thought if it was going to hurt either way…then I might as well have the baby.
So, much for my analytical process at that time. But I thank God…I made the right choice. I could not image life without my son…who is the best thing that ever happened to me. And he is definitely a far better person than his mother…honestly.
So, I called home and I tell my mother. I don’t even know what I said…or how I phrased it or whether I just came right out and said it. Nor can I remember what my mother said to me upon hearing that. I am sure that perhaps she may have believed that I might not ever have any children…as I was gay.
Nor can I remember how long it took me to pick up the phone to call my parents to tell them that I was pregnant. I had to have been months…because I knew that they would be disappointed.
But I remember what my father said upon my arrival home during my 7th month of pregnancy…after my mother had sent one of my sisters to Chicago to bring me home.
My father said-
“Now, you will never be alone.”
That was the extent of it.
“Now, you will never be alone.”
He was right. I am not alone. I am now the matriarch of our family…which continues to grow even in their absence. And they would proud.
But during the entire period of my mother’s lifetime…I had never shown much interest as an older child or an adult child in church or church matters. I rarely went…and was so happy when I finally moved out of my parent’s house…just so I wouldn’t have to continue going to church.
Today, the church is my whole focus. I can’t imagine what my mother would say. But I know she would smile and be happy. Because it is true…it is what you put into your children that matters. Yes, they may wander but somehow…what was pour into them when they were young will surface in their lives at some point.
It’s February…Black History Month…and as tears stream out of my eyes as I write this thinking about my mother. I am so thankful for those who walked before us…they poured something in…and today it has surfaced. Many years of insults and degradation. But today…the number one person in the world is a black man. I am so happy…that my nieces, my nephews…my
son…and us…we are all here to bare witness to this time in American History.
Pictured above is…the grave stone of Benjamin Banneker, Dr. Charles Drew and Dr. George Washington Carver. You can CLICK on the LINK right below to find out as to who they are, their accomplishments and those of other black people in American History.
It is February…
The weather has broken for a spell…and we are getting a break from the cold…the ice and the snow. The sun has been shining for the past 2 days so lots of snow has been melting. But today…was absolutely beautiful. It felt like spring. And the house has not been quite as cold. I look forward to spring…I actually love all the seasons. Winter…spring…summer…and fall…
Well, God bless…
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2009
CLICK LINK BELOVE to trailer to Michael Moore’s lastest film on the bank bailout.
Add a comment February 12, 2009
She won her 10th Grand Slam title Saturday…and she is all smiles now. It was a simple walk in the park for Serena Williams who won by delivering up back to back game points of 6-0, 6-3. Soak and wet by the time it was over…she battled in the intense heat…had a series of faults…errors but she did it any how. She won.
Serena Williams won the Australia Open Women’s singles championship.
She is now the all-time number one female athlete prize winner in the world. Serena is the Tiger Woods in sports on the women’s side…after having just pocketed $1.28 when she took the women’s single championship on Melbourne, Australia, which put Serena over $23 million in prize winnings. That does not even include the Williams sisters sponsorships and endorsements such as Nike, Puma, Revok etc…etc… which was one of their first major contracts when as little girls Rebok gave them a $9 million endorsement contract. And laden with Nike’s swoosh on everything she was wearing during the tournament…and Wilson’s ‘W’ prominently displayed on her tennis racquet. It was definitely not hard to see just who and who is heavily invested in her ability to win and continue to showcase their products and merchandise.
You can read more by CLICKING on the LINKS below.
And yes…Serena and Venus won the women’s double also while they were busy playing around down there in the deep ‘down under.’
I am so happy for them…and their family.
What a family…those Williams are. And somebody said competition in a family is a bad thing. I guess so…if it is used wrongly and as a negative rather than as a positive thing. But just look what it can do when all that negative stuff is removed. Just look at what these young ladies are accomplishing together and separately. They have managed to become the darlings of the courts…and thousands fill arenas to watch them play.
I think that it is interesting how after Barack Obama having been elected President of the United States and for the first time in their history the highly conservative political party known as the Republican Party of this country has now chosen…at this time…to elect a black man to head their national committee…calling it the ‘winds of change.’
Clearly, this is a move on the Republican side to start to re-vamp their political party…and image. I am also very sure that seeing 2 million plus poured into Washington, DC regardless of the freezing cold…to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama did in many ways have an awful lot of impact in the making of that decision…along with the phenomenal record numbers of votes that Barack Obama received in the Presidential election…including the vast number of Republicans who turned out and also aided and supported Obama in that win. And least we should forget the number of Red States that turned Blue also throwing their support behind Obama…this really must have been a real crusher for the Republican Party.
Yes, that all being so…I would say the Republicans are going to have to conjure up some mighty powerful wind storms to assist in creating the type of change that needs to come about in order to blow the bad taste of George Bush for 8 years out of everybody’s mouth…and mind…if indeed they want any immediate future wins. Yeah, I would say the Republican Party is in dire straits right now…and nobody put them there but themselves. And it all started in November of 2000 when they decided it would be easier to steal the Presidential election from Al Gore rather than to fairly win it. I have always quoted this saying that I guess I learned in church-
“A thief never prospers.”
Clearly, the Republican Party has learned that the hard way.
Oh, I am happy for the brother, Michael Steele, Republican Governor of Maryland…and I know nothing about him. So, I can’t bad mouth him. But I view it merely as being a political tactic on the part of the Republican Party for coming political elections. By putting black faces in key positions in the hope of reaping large numbers of black votes for future elections on the side of the Republicans. It is called ‘eating away at the numbers.’
It is a fact that many people…particularly those in political circles have an ever non-ending belief that black folks vote largely on color lines. Which for the most part of last semester while sitting in my class on elections…I argued against. But it was to no avail…because it was written in the text books which had been required for the class that it was so…and this notion was accepted broadly by the class including by the instructor as law and a given. Which I felt was insulting…and I knew it to be a lie.
Black folks are not dumb…and because of our history through slavery…black folks have long been torn down certain lines which white folks have no understanding of…and may never understand. But the one thing that all black folks know…who have any sense of who they are and the things that black folks in America have gone through. They know this beyond anything else…‘all black folks ain’t black.’
So, therefore, ploys to get large number of black folks to shift from being Democrats…and to cross over to the other side. Well, it would take a whole lot more than the Republican Party putting up a few black faces in high place here and there…e.g. Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas.
The Obama effect…is not going to wash across the board.
For years black Republicans have been trying to sway larger number of black folk to cross over to the Republican side…simply by trying to point out that this would aid in the Democratic Party to stop taking the black vote for granted. Which is another point that those text books in my election class clearly also stated. Meaning that because the Democratic Party could always depend upon the black vote…as stated in the text books used in my election class (of which I thought had a very limited scope on the subject because the text was based upon white men and their thoughts not the actual thoughts of black folks). But anyway, those writers felt that the Democratic Party realized that it did not have to do anything by way of work to ensure the black vote because it was a given. A point in which I was seriously at odds against…as it is not true.
Even black politicians have to work for the black vote. I will never forget while living in Chicago that one day my boss, Dr. A. L. Reynolds, Jr., had an appointment. I had scheduled the appointed for him but never had a clue as to who the man was even upon meeting him when he showed up in the office for his meeting with Dr. Reynolds.
Dr. Reynolds was the Pastor of Sixth Grace United Presbyterian Church located at Cottage Grove Avenue and 35th Street in the heart of the South Side of Chicago just a few blocks below the Chicago White Sox’s baseball stadium. The gentlemen who had come to meet with Dr. Reynolds was not someone I was familiar with as he was not a member at 6th Grace. Following the meeting as the gentleman exited the church and began walking towards his car parked out front…Dr. Reynolds came out of his office and said to me-
“See that man there,” he said pointing out the window towards the man. “He wants to be mayor of Chicago.”
At the time that didn’t mean anything to me…but years later when that man won and actually did become mayor of Chicago. I remember that day in Dr. Reynolds’ office when he had come to speak with Dr. Reynolds as he was making his rounds from church to church trying to solicit the support of the city’s black clergy.
That man was Mayor Harold Washington…and like Obama…he made it happen. He became the first black mayor of Chicago…as Barack Obama has succeeded in becoming the President of the United States. I have no doubt that they both must have met being both residents of Chicago…and as each at some were both ‘community organizers.’
I remember him so well…Harold Washington. He did not come with anyone. No fan fair nothing and he was already a member of the Illinois Senate. He was so unsuspecting to me. I never would have guessed who that man was…or that he was working his way up the Illinois political ladder. That is the thing about great people…they do not play great. They tend to be quiet people whom you would walk right by without ever knowing who they were or are. Juxtapose…to those who want to pretend that they are more than what they really are. I really do prefer the latter.
I of course was not familiar with him because I had just arrived in Chicago seeking my fame and fortune in the radio industry…which never opened up its doors to me in Chicago.
So, you see…to a degree that may have been so about the Democratic Party taking black votes for granted…but it does not mean that Democratic candidates do not have to earn our votes nonetheless…just so that we will show up to cast them.
Since for the most part…the same could be said for all other voters as well…when you are left to vote for the lesser of 2 evils…that is to say…when voters did not have much to voted for except for the person whom they perceived would do them the least harm or wrong. And for the past years this is exactly what going out to vote had come down to…until Obama gave us all a better reason to show up in the ballot booth. Which those text books for my election class when they talked about low voter turnout totally overlooked as a possible reason.
There is no doubt that since the election of Barack Obama the value and power of the black vote will never again be under-estimated…and spoken of flippantly such as to say-
“Oh, they don’t turn out and vote.”
Oh, don’t we?
And particularly in record numbers when we have something or someone we really want to vote for.
Yes, the winds of change have swept into the land. That is to say…never under-estimate a people who become tired. Tired of injustice…unfair treatment…and of being overlooked. Because it will bring about a change…including a change of attitude about getting out to vote.
I remember listening to Mrs. Lilly Ledbetter speak at the Democratic National Convention this past August, where President Barack Obama made his nomination acceptance speech as the Democratic Candidate for the race to the White House. At that convention many people were allowed to participate at the convention by telling their own personal stories to the American public. Many people watching clearly understood and may have well also been going through what those people were talking about since they all talked on various problems that plagued the United States. The stories ranged from accounts of foreclosure, health care family problems, small business and the economy etc. All the stories were sad…and came from people who had been suffering due the affects of the bad polices and the mis-direction of the Bush Administration.
Mrs. Ledbetter’s story touched me…as many years I had worked in a highly male dominated industry…radio…communication. Everything to do with media or entertainment…really is this way. And at one time all businesses were too…every office, factory…etc…etc…everything.
Today, you see woman sitting in many various capacities but this was not so in years past. And never had women ever received the pay bonuses, retirement plans etc. much less the pay of their male counter-parts in any industry or company.
But Mrs. Ledbetter’s story was about when she found out and tried to file suit and discovered she could not because of the clock…the legal clock had run out. In the court they call it statutes of limitation…when the time to sue had tolled. And that was an outrage…and I felt her feelings of having been cheated because she had given the Goodyear Corp. 19 years of her life only to find out that many men who did not had her qualifications nor experience had been paid considerably more than her, received better pension plans, higher social security payments etc .
In the court system…it is important to know that for most cases…but not all…the clock begins to toll from the time the plaintiff first realizes something to be wrong. But this is not always the case…and for most cases you have a 3 year time frame to file suit. Once that time lapses…then it is too late. But for every state these things are different…but simple to find out simply by going to your local legal library which can be found down in your local court house or at a nearby law college. And by researching that information through the appropriate law book and under the correct topic.
But having worked mostly under men…in a highly male dominated cheated industry was not always easy. I grew to hate being referred to as ‘babe’…’baby’…and whatever else name men call women that is devised and designed to keep us in our place and recognized as not being equal to our male co-workers, associates and bosses. Like Mrs. Ledbetter, I had had far more experience and exposure than most of my male counter-parts. But they were, however, paid considerable more always. And many times the companies catered to them…they became the program directors, the music directors, the general managers etc. if these positions became open…which in radio they did and quite often.
So, I clearly understood how all those women on Capitol Hill felt as they looked on with eyes filled with tears…as they crowded around President Obama as he signed the Fair Pay Act into law. It is a measure way past due…and it gave an extension to the time in which to file suit. Bravo.
Well, I got up and out early yesterday morning had to crack some ice. The sidewalk in front of the house had been frozen solid. I had thrown out some more salt upon it last night before going in…and the sun was shining this morning so I knew that was a good sign. And yes it had started to melt…enough to allow me to crack enough of the ice to clear more than a large enough walkway for people.
But there are mounds and mounds of snow everywhere. And I know that I am bless because the house could be a whole lot colder due to the furnace being blown. But thank God it is not…and I have plenty of food…and really it is very pretty outside. It really really is. But it is too bad I can’t light a fire in the fireplace…maybe next winter after I get it cleaned out by a chimney sweeper. I guess they still have chimney sweepers…don’t they?
Well, God bless…
Add a comment February 1, 2009