Posts filed under: ‘Nikki Giovanni‘
Happened to come across this on youtube and it touched me.
In this the 21st Century…I would have hoped that we were far from the backward thinking of yesterday…all of us. But particularly black folk…or so called black folk. You know when we walked around trying not to be black…afraid to show our napps and kinks.
You do remember yesterday?
You know the time when …when if you were white you were alright. Light and you could just get by…or wasn’t as dark as the brown paper bag…and your hair wasn’t too short…too kinky…or your lips too big.
After all these years…and throughout history we have yet to get over not loving who we are. And what makes it so really bad…we can’t even see that the rest of world wishes they were us.
Western Culture…is definitely highly rooted in the black culture of this country.
So, then why do we feed in to this…I hate me…or can’t find a good black man… or can’t find a good black woman lie?
It is a lie…because I am a good black woman…and I know I’m not all by myself. And I also believe that there are just as many good and decent black man.
I would really like to know just where they have been looking?
The bars…and prison?
If you seek out junk…then you will find junk.
And if you seek junk…don’t expect it to step up…to being anything else. But junk.
I know someone…a black woman…a bit younger than myself…who I used to think of as being smart. Until one day she said to me that she was involved with someone who is an addict…and he has been this way for years.
And with God’s help…that could happen.
But has anybody ever heard of being unevenly yoked?
What if he never gets his life straight?
And there you are…sitting around all these years…hoping and praying…and sexing it up with somebody who may never be able to be anything real in your life…outside of what he already is. An addict.
I don’t know if this is still true or not…but when this whole thug culture was being hyped up…I could not believe the number of decent women…and who I thought were intelligent black woman… talking about they wanted a thug.
“I want me a thug.”
Were they crazy?
It got even worstt when I went to hear Nikki Giovanni…and she flashed her tatoo…a large…very large…marking…a tattoo on the inside of one of her arms reading….”THUG LIFE.” At 60 something years of age…I felt she had lost her mind talking about celebrating that lifestyle. Of what...men beating their women…neglecting their children…etc… And having sex with anything moving…and dis-respecting women with a bunch of misogynistic lyrics…loaded with the N-word from start to finish…and a bunch of other filth.
What is there to celebrate about someone playing like he’s a thug?
“Ahhh…come on now, Nikki.”
In the above video Oprah says that 70% of black women are not married because “there are not just as many black men out there.” Meaning that the earth is populated with more black women than black men. I debate this highly…simply because it is not true. Since we were created by God…and He is and has always been a God of balance. He would never have created more of one sex over another. And particularly since He…Himself said-
“Be fruitful and multiply.”
And He would not have said that…to go against His own laws against adultery and fornication…by creating a shortage of any one sex to the other.
All through nature there is balance between the sexes. Why would it be any different for man?
I think that people make all kind of excuses to accommodate their choices. In the earlier days of black stars in this country (of which most of them had white husbands or wives)…they claimed that it was that they could not find anyone black equal to who they were…being that great singer or actor or actress… or musicans etc. that they were. Today they certainly could not make the same claim since many African-American people excel in all areas from business to sports to entertainment to entrepreneurship…and ministry too.
In churches all across this country today there are plenty of black millionaires lining church pews and pulpits…and not just in the church. (But doesn’t Pearl Bailey and Queen Latifah look very much alike?)
So, nobody can tell me that there are not enough good or decent black folk around…of both sexes to go around. Just a couple of weeks ago I was at a very large church convention called AIM in Tampa, Fl…and I never once saw an im-balance between the black men and women…or teens…and children that were there of either sex. And they packed the Tampa Bay area coming from everywhere across this country and outside of it.
I think that media is to blame for starting the rumor that women out number men. Since in the beginning…media like most of everything else was male dominated. Men love to justify certain behavior. So, why not create a lie like saying-
“Women out number us. So, therefore we are allowed to have as many of them as we would like.”
All through history you see women being used as sexual objects…and with men having multiple wives…or harems. Yet, when you see pictures of those times, art, and readings from early times…they do not reflex a lesser number of men to women. If anything…it seemed as though the opposite were true.
So, shows like the above segment on the Oprah Winfrey Show only legitimized that lie for many people. Vast number of people have always believed it. But now because Oprah said it…that makes it true. Not so.
It is very much the same as saying that there is a ‘gay gene’ …therefore, gay people can’t help being gay. That too is a lie. There is no ‘gay gene.’ Gay people are not a freak of nature. But there are some scientist who claim that this is true…and falsely want to lay claim to this based upon some bogus laboratory discovery.
What it rally all gets down to… is what do you want to believe?
You can choose to believe lies…falsehoods…or choose to believe the truth.
But no matter what…black is beautiful…even for a black girl.
CLICK the LINK BELOW to see the video…it is sad to the level of self-hate due to their dark conplexion.
It is amazing the number of women, men and children is this country and abroad…from the Caribbean Islands to Europe…and Africa…who are running to blench their skin. Many without any knowledge of the vast risk to their health or life…not to mention that the chemicals in the blenching creams are toxic and can destroy the person’s face and body over a period of time.
It is a mystery how many of us would have loved to have been born darker…and those darker…some of them least ways…and I guess many…since the blenching cream market has grown so big. It is truly a shame that so many would want so badly to be lighter. And would destroy their beautiful natural complexions trying to undo what God has so richly and generously blessed them with.
In listening to the videos above…it all mostly stemmed from feelings that they felt that lighter skin meant better treatment…better jobs…status etc… All of which really stems…from lack of respect of yourself… your capabilities… and how you preceive yourself. Preception of one’s self is a great thing…it can hinder you …or sky rocket you into excelling high levels in life…whether others believed you could…or not.
Personally…I have never felt that anything was more beautiful than being black. I may have never liked what I personally looked like (in terms of my facial stuff)…or my size…but I have always liked being black…and black features.
Beauty…is us…in all of our varying shades. It’s really what makes us so much more interesting than all the other group of people in the world. We’ve got variety, baby…and lots of it…and in all kinds of ways.
They say a picture says a 1,000 words. If this picture could speak what would it say?
I think…it would say-
“I’m not happy.”
In comparing this picture with some of Michael’s earlier pictures before any of the surgery… you can see that he not only hated his skin color…but his lips…hair… nose…chin… and I guess just about everything else about himself. How very sad. And even worst…what he did to himself thinking he could improve upon what God had already blessed him with.
Thank you so much, Aisha for posting your video on youtube. You are not only pretty…but fasinatingly beautiful…and a highly intelligent young black woman. Your husband must marvel every time he looks…at his queen. I know you must be an equally wonderful mother…because you possess all the right tools to having a beautiful and successful loving family.
Take a peak at Ethiopian Sara Nuru…Germany’s next top model…and perhaps the world.
And yes…I’m still plugging my book, THE BISHOP’S WIFE. In fact…I better get some sleep now…so I can get up early in the morning and get out to go work on my book trailer some more…which I will post here as well as on youtube. Soon and very soon… It is coming.
Well, enjoy your day tomorrow. Finally…some sun…but lots of humidity too. Plus I have hot flashes…oh, well…
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
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.
6 comments July 28, 2009
Last night after getting in from an affair I smelled a funny odor in the house. At first it was faint and I didn’t pay much attention to it. But as the night worn on…nearly an hour or so later…thesmell became more and more evident to me.
I started thinking about the possibility of a fire being inside the walls. We have all heard those stories. How for nearly a week the family smelled something and didn’t know what it was.
Besides, I had recently had to unplug my diesel truck when I had smelled something upon awakening in the middle of the night…something that very much smelled to me like fresh popped pop corn. It wasn’t fresh popped pop corn…but turned out to be the outlet that I had plugged to the truck. More to be exact it was one of those multi-plug things we all use for our computers and everything else we have to plug in. But the extension cord running from inside the house to truck is constantly on…and I guess the outlet just couldn’t take it.
Upon sniffing…I found out I didn’t have a pop corn problem but an electrical outlet problem. Which I quickly solved by unplugging the cord and cutting off the multi-outlet. But because I have seen so many Christmas news stories about electrical outlets and Christmas trees…and of course those electrical extension cords causing fires…that I didn’t hestitate to unplug the whole thing for good.
When I smelled what I smelled this time…I immediately began to assume that maybe I hadn’t solve that problem at all.
I thought that maybe even though I had unplugged the truck and killed the outlet switch…that perhaps it had caused a fire to start in the inside of my parents house’s wall. So, I sniffed and I sniffed but when I went near the area of the shut-off multi-plug outlet there was nothing. Now, Sherlock really had to go to work because the smell was getting stronger…and I felt an urgent need to find it.
While I was sitting in a certain area of the dinning room the smell seemed it’s strongest. But there was nothing there. And when I sniffed the area…I could smell nothing outside of a whiff of the smell.
That is when I decided I better go check downstairs in the basement.
As I started down the stairs, I felt heat like I had never felt before from down there. I was hit with like a wall of heat. Immediately I headed for the furnace. And the furnace it was.
It was all lit up…bustling red hot…it was as I had never seen it before. The coils running out at the bottom of furnace were red hot…and this was something that never was before.
I tried to look and see if the furnace was out of water. And as far I could tell it was.
So, I reached up and took the knob to the water pipe and began to release water down into the furnace. But the furnace response to water was violent. It started making all kinds of weird noises. I feared that the furnace was going to blow up. Which is exactly what I thought upon seeing how red hot the elements on it were. It looked like it was going to explode.
So, I quickly turned off the water upon hearing its reaction to the water being released into it. And I ran up the stairs. Well…I tried to get up the stairs as quickly as I could. I went directly to the thermostat to the furnace, and I turned it all the way off. I hoped that this was going keep the furnace from blowing up my parent’s house…which upon looking at that furnace that was exactly what I thought would happen. I definitely felt that the furance was well on its way to exploding.
All I could think about was my parent’s house…and how it had no insurance on it. If it were to blow up…where would I go?
What would I do?
Where…what..how could I…
Not to mention…I would have been the cause of blowing up my parent’s house….something that they had work hard for…and made all kinds of sacrifices for.
So, I prayed…and I prayed…and asked God, “Please don’t let my parent’s house blow up.”
When I awoke this morning the house wasn’t as cold as I thought that it would be. It hadn’t blown up. But I knew I had to call the furnace people. Because I was not going to dare turn it back on without calling someone to come and check it out first.
I was so happy that the house hadn’t gotten leveled to the ground…and that God once again had stepped in on my behalf. And He did…as always.
So, a few minutes ago the furnace guys came and ran water into the now very cold furnace. And after a while the water ran out of furnace onto the ground of our basement…which was the thing what they were looking to see if it would happen.
They then informed me of what they knew I really didn’t want to hear. They told me that I should not have turned on the cold water but rather I should have turned off the furnace and then allowed it to cool all the way down first. This is message to those of you reading this as to how not to end up costing yourself an additional $4,000 to $5,000 bill by having to replace your furnace.
Yes, that is what I have to do.
I must pay to have a whole new furnace put in because I reacted without thinking before turning on that cold water. This was something we have all learned in our grade school science class…but who remembers this stuff when thrown into a situation many years later?
Though I must say…I am not sure that I may not have turned on that water anyway. Sometimes we all learn best…when we end up having to pay for it.
This is a lesson I have now learned…and learned it the hard way (much like that other story I told you in a prior blog when I stuck a fork into an electric toaster while the toaster was on…you’ve have got to read that blog). But I have now well learned this lesson too. And I am not subject to ever forget it again.
My parents used to take us to Florida during the summer to spend some time with our grandmother. Once, while driving to Florida many years ago when we were still kids. I had just started driving at this paricular time. On road down to Florida, our car overheated. I clearly remember now…how we sat along side the road waiting on the radiator to cool down before daddy poured some water into it. I also now remember him risking burning his hand to take the cap off the radiator so the heat that had built up inside the radiator could escape.
None of that came to me last night.
Daddy was sure something. He really was.
Somehow, I appreciate him and all the things he did and could do a lot more now than ever before. And it grieves me to say that…because I certainly didn’t appreciate him as much as I should have when we had him with us.
Daddy did burn his hand. But after a while we were soon back on our way. And everytime we stopped…daddy got out and kept checking the radiator from that point down and all the way back home. And he never complained about his hand.
I am so happy I didn’t blow up my parent’s house.
Let us all pray for the homeless and those facing foreclosure…and those who’s problems are not so easily fixed.
Early this morning I had the chance to meet Nikki Giovanni…and I took it. I cut my History class and found my way down to the auditorium where she was speaking. She was all of what I expected and much more. But while there I ran into an old friend.
This old friend was a woman whom I have known from the days when my parents used to pack us up and send us off for 2 weeks to camp. She was then one of the little campers…just like me. But she told me how her daughter had died instantly in car crash on her way to the airport. Then she commenced to tell how her sister, Darlene, has just passed. Darlene had been a little camper with us…she was just a couple years older than her sister telling me the story. She also told me how Darlene prior to dying had been in intensive care for 2 months. And then she told me how she had also just buried an uncle.
When you think that times are bad…or that you have it hard. Just keep this in mind. That there is always someone going through something worst.
Enjoy your weekend…and be bless.
Before closing let me thank each of every one of you for reading these blogs. About a week ago my stats for these blogs were barely over a 1,000 hits. But that isn’t bad considering I had only gotten started blogging back in June of this year…and who ever thought I would be blogging. I didn’t even know what blogging was…much less how to do or that I cared to do it at all. But within a weeks time from last week I have neared almost 4,000…and that is because of you. By some time Wednesday it may be 5,000 if not more.
When I started I wondered about how people would find my blog?
There were times when only one or two people read them…but now…it is over 200 hits per day.
I think that is wonderful. I certainly would not have thought anything like that.
Who could be interested in reading anything I have say…on anything?
I just hope that I am saying something that makes sense to you, that may inspire you…or even give you reason to pause and consider some things. But most of all I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share with you…and be able from time to time to tell you just how good God is to me.
Thank you so very much.
TUESDAY…TUESDAY…TUEDAY!!!!! Just can’t wait.
Even the little ones support Obama!
Have a beautiful day…and thank you for reading.
…pass it on…’ www.bsmith101.wordpress.com
Smile and have a wonderful wonderful weekend. It’s nice day today. Absolutely beautiful…very mild and no snow flurries.
Please be sure to share this blog site with all your family and friends. Thank you for reading.
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God bless…and thanks for reading ©2008
Add a comment October 31, 2008
And there was…the supposed man in the story…is really a woman living as a man who…I started to say had a sex change. But she couldn’t have otherwise she wouldn’t have been able to have the baby or get impregnanted.
I am naive on many things…and I truly am.
But there are somethings which clearly just irritate me.
Why go through all of the trouble of trying to present yourself as a man…and then want to get pregnant?
What was she trying to make a mockery of?
Herself or God?
He can’t be made a mockery of.
And then to have this picture of her…well, supposely him and the baby together. Well…
Was this just a media thang?
And now they…what? The gay couple exploit the child and their relationship? Selling their story to the tabloids and appearing on talk shows. Anything for a dime or a dollar.
I once knew someone…and I guess I still do…just that I haven’t seen them in a very long time.
When I first met this person I realized something was out of whack…but I could not put my hands on it.
She lived in the same town as a friend of mines…and I say she because really that is what I met him as…and have only known him as. Though I do realize to call him…her would be lying…though at the time of course I was not saved…nor trying to be.
It was my friend who informed of what I just couldn’t put my finger on.
She said to me one night…while we were all out at dinner or something I think…she said after the person had gotten up from the table-
“I know you kept saying that there was something strange…or something about her. So, I have decided to tell you. And don’t look over there at her when I tell you this.”
I said, “Okay. So, what is it?”
And she said…she ain’t a she.
I know I said I wouldn’t look over in her direction…but my head spun around so quickly. It was an automatic response. I could not believe it. I knew I had felt something was out of whack…but I never would have guessed it was that.
My friend immediately admonished me saying-
“I told you don’t look. Don’t look.”
But I could not help but look. In fact I was staring. I had never experienced anything like that before. It was adverse to me.
I thought that she was a woman and nothing could have prepared me for anything otherwise.
I told you I had been terribly naive…and to some degree still am.
That was at a time when I was heavily involved in gay life…hanging out…partying in clubs with women…and a member of Salsa Soul Sisters, Inc, in New York City. My life is by no means like that now but there was a time…almost 25 years of my life when that is what I did. Before that I was not sexually involved at all.
So, I had gone through grade school and college without any type of involvement. Never dated boys in my life.
I was just different from most people and lived a highly sheltered life under the wings of my parents.
It was in Salsa Soul Sisters that I met this person whom I had introduced to my friend who had just moved to New Jersey from St. Louis. Salsa was a lesbian organization…and I guess that is why I never would have guessed that this person had been anything other than a woman.
But this is the way it went…she was a guy who wanted to be a woman and then a lesbian.
When the Salsa Soul Sisters found out about this…every founding mother and everybody else stormed into Salsa one night…the record had to be set straight (no pun intented)…and they called an emergency meeting. Where it was voted on that no biological male could ever become a board member of Salsa. Because that was really the issue…not only did she want to become a woman and be a lesbian…but she also was nominated to run for a position on the board of directors of Salsa…and that of course was a no-no for any male…real or operated on…which at the time she was not. And the Salsa Soul Sisters were not having it…not at all.
You would have loved to have heard those women that night…it got pretty heated…and they were not playing.
In the end I felt sorry for him…because he was nice and had proven to be a good worker. But my Salsa Soul Sisters were right…and I had to agree with them.
Salsa was a black lesbian organization…the oldest in the world. And through their years some very well known women, writers, artist of every type…and professional women and otherwise…etc… have walked through their doors…including Audrey Lorde, June Jordan and many many many others…all Salsa Soul Sisters. Some very well known and widely read, and seen in media and all facets of the arts, performing and otherwise, as well as educators etc…all Salsa Soul Sisters. Exceedingly, talented women.
It was hard for me to grasp why she…he would want to dress up as an woman and engage in sexual activity with women as a lesbian. She was after all a man…by living his life as man…he would not have had any of the confusion that just knowing the story caused me and many of the other Salsa Soul Sisters.
And as much as they tried…tried to not say…many of those same women dated her…before and after that meeting.
There is much confusion in the world…and I am so glad to not have that type of confusion any longer.
I am so glad that God has reclaimed my life…and set me free from the bondage that once held me.
Perhaps as strange as I thought she was…she was not more strange than I was. One thing is for certain we were both lost. I don’t know about her or him today…but I have been set free. And I walk in liberty.
But there is one thing though…I will leave a pocketbook like most people forget an umbrella…because I am not used to carrying one. So, most of the time I don’t even bother with them…unless it is something like a bookbag…because I will walk off and leave it. Smile…and even that too may become a thing of the past.
It is so good to be free. I cannot thank the Lord enough…for saving me.
Have a good day… and God bless….
Oh, yeah…another Chinese word. wu bu dong …. means I don’t understand… wu is Chinese for ‘I’.
It has been raining most of the day and yesterday…but just as I was about to finish telling this story the ceiling started leaking. I look at it as a sign that the devil just doesn’t want me to tell this story. But I will tell it everywhere I go if need be…if it can encourage somebody or help someone else to find peace and deliverance in their life. I’m going to tell it.
I am oh so thankful….for the chance to share it with you.
It is funny…but the moment I wrote that last paragraph the ceiling stopped leaking. It is the power of God…to speak what he puts upon your heart to speak. I know that this blog is going to touch someone in a special kind of way…and I am so happy to be able to speak life and truth into your life. Be bless… ©2008
Add a comment July 24, 2008
So, I punched it up and I have to share it with you…not that I agree with it. But it is funny.
Most of what I talk about is serious stuff.
I am not a comedian…and couldn’t tell a good joke if I tried. Believe me.
“Ma, you are not funny.”
I consider Nikki Giovanni an icon and was happy to see that I could find some footage on her. And even though I don’t necessarily agree with all of her opinions in these clips…she is funny.
And we can all stand to laugh from time to time. And it never hurts to be able to laugh at ourselves every now and then.
So, smile…and enjoy.
I am happy to agree on those thing in which we can all agree and disagree on those that we do not agree upon. There is just no way that all people are going to agree on all things…or even most of the people. It is the way that it is.
I have 7 siblings…and none of us can agree on anything.
But the good part is when you can disagree and still love each other. That day hasn’t come in our household yet…and maybe not in the black community either. It is something for us all to work towards.
Well…. …God bless… …and enjoy your day. ©2008
1 comment July 22, 2008
Felt like I wanted a donut…
Why can’t I have a donut if I want one?
So, every now a then…sometimes I just feel like I want a donut. Sometimes it could be a piece or chocolate cake…and real good chocolate cakes are hard to find nowadays. But sometimes I feel like I want one of those old time good tasting pieces of chocolate cake. Now, that I might have to have a couple of pieces if I could find it.
I don’t know…I guess from time to time we all get a taste for something…andwhen we do… Well, we just want it.
Well, this evening about 9:30 p.m. my urge was for a donut.
So, I jumped into the car and headed for the local Dunkin Donuts. But the one near the house was closed…just goes to prove I don’t get a donut urge often…otherwise I would have known that.
So, since I really wanted this donut and the place nearest to the house was closed…and I was already in the car…and even though gas is $4.16 per gallon…I decided to go for it…and get my donut anyways.
I drove right pass the second donut place believing that it too was going to be close. And even though I had my glasses on…I totally missed the big bright and very lit up sign reading “Dunkin Donuts.”
So, I had to make a u-turn. And as I drove home smacking on my donuts :). I started thinking wouldn’t it have been nice to be able to say-
“Baby, I want a donut.”
And someone would get up and go get in the car and get me a donut.
At any part of the day when my mother would come in, shower and lay down on the bed…if she desired something she rarely called any of us…her 8 children. Instead she could be heard calling for my father.
She would call him softly…never in a barking or rough tone…and she never called daddy by his real name…instead she called him, Douglas.
Whatever daddy was doing he would stop and go to mommie and see what it was that she wanted.
And sometimes mommie would just say-
“Douglas, bring me a glass of water.”
Daddy never complained…and always went to do or get whatever my mother would ask him for.
He was a businessman who had a very prosperous barber business that had serviced many generations of men in our town. His business did so well that we were literally the richest people in our church, probably on our street and perhaps in many of the circles in which we travelled even as teens and young adults.
They were very good together…my parents.
Daddy was 15 years older than mommie but you would have never had guessed it.
I have never met anybody who had all the capabilities of daddy. He could have been a tailor if he had wanted to…or a chef, or a mechanic, or an architech. Daddy could do everything. And he could do them all well…even better than well. He was superbly proficient in everything that he could do…and there was nothing that daddy could not do.
Sundays and Mondays were daddy’s days to cook. Though my mother would help out on Sundays doing things like baking (cakes, pies, fresh rolls etc.) and making macaroni & cheese, and cooking the greens…things like that. But daddy prepared all the meats which would entail him cutting up many onions, scallions and all kinds of spices.
He always seasoned his meats hours before cooking…and if it was curry goat he would season it the night before. Daddy would take his hands and mesh the seasoning into the meat. He would pour in hot water and allow the seasoning along with the curry and the onions to steam into the meat before placing it into the refrigerator to sit overnight. That is how he always cooked the curry goat.
He also prepared the rice, whether it was rice and beans, or regular rice, mashed potatoes etc.
Both mommie and daddy were fantastic cooks…and they could do everything from scratch. And didn’t have to refer to one cookbook.
Dinner was always a feast at our house no matter what day it was…but on Sundays even more so…we would 2 or 3 meats to chose from. And there were always guest whom my mother would bring home from church to share our Sunday dinners with us.
It wasn’t until I lived in Chicago…and was a thousands miles away from home that I came to realize just how special it was to be able to open up your home to other people. When I was in Chicago, I was away from family and all my friends…and there were many times when I was in need. This, of course, I never shared with my parents. No, I couldn’t do that.
I went to Chicago to become this big-time radio personality. As bad as things sometimes got for me, I managed to even send some money ocassionally…though at one point I was virtually homeless in Chicago.
Sending money home to my parents was something I had seen my parents do throughout our years of growing up…so, when I became of age it was what I wanted to do too. So, I sent…I never thought about whether or not my parents needed it. Because clearly my parents had more than enough…as our family was exceedingly blessed.
But while in Chicago there were some holidays that came around…Christmas and Thanksgiving. And when you are alone and away from your family for the first time in your life it can be very sad and lonely those 2 holidays.
While in Chicago, I never got a job on a radio station…but I had talked to Tom Joyner, Barry Mayo, BB Banna and several others on a regular basis trying to get in. But I ended up working at a church instead as a church secretary. I was in need and after a long period of looking I finally landed this job. At first I felt myself above it. “Me”….a secretary….”me…”
Big time me…a church secreatary?
But my no soon turned to a yes when I met my would be boss during an interview…which I nearly refeused to go to because “it was just too beneath me.” Thank God, I did not.
Of all the jobs I have ever had that job has meant the most to me, and I know today that it was right where God intended for me to be. For the lessons that it taught me and the greatest example of mentoring and leadership anyone could have possibly have gotten…I got there.
The church was 6th Grace United Presbyterian Church, 35th and Cottage Grove, on Chicago’s South Side…right down the street from the White Sox stadium. The Pastor was the late Dr. A. L. Reynolds, Jr…who from the moment I met him, I began to marvel at him. I have never met anybody like Dr. A. L. Reynolds, Jr…not even to this day. And at the moment I met him I knew he was special…but I had never realized that I had stepped into the presence of greatness until years later. What a man.
Why am I telling you this story…I have no idea. I will have to go back and read some of what I just wrote to see where I’m suppose to be going with this….give me a minute….
I sometimes get lost.
Oh, yes…oh, yes….
While at home with our parents, I used to wonder why we couldn’t spend our Sundays and holidays with just us…just our family. Why did we always have to have people over our house, eating our food and taking up our time?
I was selfish…terribly so.
It wasn’t until I was a thousand miles away from home that I came to realize just what a blessing my parents…my mother and father were to other people.
My parents didn’t invite people into our home who had a lot of things, or who were rich or popular…they invited people who didn’t have family, some were even in nursing homes…whom we would go and pick up to bring to church then take them to our house for dinner and back to church, and then later back to their nursing home at the end of the day.
They, my parents…they brought sunshine into people’s lifes and they never asked for anything in return. They enjoyed doing it.
In Chicago, I spent 2 holidays in the home of the Rippleton’s. Mr. and Mrs. Rippleton were the parents of the late singer Minnie Rippleton…and they had been members of 6th Grace. They were extremely nice people and full of alot of fun. Mr. Rippleton was a real comedian. Mrs. Rippleton sometimes talked to me about Minnie and the cancer, and how difficult it had been for Minnie…and their family watching her go through that.
My very first day on that job…I got a call early in the morning from someone asking to speak to Dr. Reynolds.
The woman said, “Hello, this is Minnie Rippleton. Is Dr. Reynolds in?”
I almost dropped the phone…that 6 octive voice, Grammy Winner…Minnie Rippleton was on the other line talking to me. And here I had come to Chicago to get into radio…and couldn’t get in. And here was Minnie Rippleton on the other end of my office line…the very first call on my first day on the job.
CLICK to LISTEN Loving You – Minnie Ripperton They don’t make music like this anymore…nor like her family, the Rippertons, whom I shall always love and have the greatest and highest regard for… for their love and hospitality to me… as well as the whole 6th Grace family.
Minnie died that evening but she had called and conversed with Dr. Reynolds, her spiritual advisor and Pastor. She had called in the first thing that Monday morning.
It was also at 6th Grace that I met Harold Washington…but that is another story for another time.
And perhaps I will get around to telling about when I met James Baldwin…what a day that was. I never met anyone like him…he was quite gracious. But that too is another story that perhaps I will get around to sharing with you at some other time.
Let me go back to telling you about my father.
Daddy could make the best ice tea, Kool-aide and lemonade. He also made homemade ice cream, in a variety of tropical favors, which we all gladly churned on Sundays.
Daddy was so good at everything including his business that in the morning men would be outside our door waiting on him to give him a ride to work…so that they could be the first one in his barber chair.
Daddy caught the bus to work usually. His barber shop was in the downtown area of our town. He always got up on time and would arrive at his shop every morning that it was due to open, Monday-Saturday, at 7:30 a.m. where a few of his customers were sure to be there waiting on him. And because he was so popular…this was, of course, the reason why some of them would come to the house to give him a ride.
Daddy loved it. He loved his customers…and always respected their time.
The one thing daddy never did…he didn’t eat sandwiches.
Mommie always prepared daddy a hot lunch which she would drive down to him some time during noon. But most of the time daddy would bring the food home mostly untouched because he would never get a chance to eat it. He was always busy taking care of customers right up until the time he closed his shop for the night.
And when he came home mommie always had him something good to eat…and it was always fresh and hot. He didn’t eat what we ate. Where mommie might make us spaghetti some nights, or homemade chicken pot pie, or meatloaf on others etc…which of course all kids love…but daddy would get stuff like smoothered steak with green peppers and onions over mashed potatos, and some sort of vegetable.
Another thing about daddy…he was a saver. He was also one of those people who as soon as a bill came in he would pay it. He never waited on due dates to pay anything. He managed money very well…and had the bank accounts to prove it. And though he only had a 7th grade education which render his reading skills weak…he could sure count money. He stayed on top of his money and his bills.
Though my mother worked as well…her money was her money. Daddy provided for our family. He paid for all our household expenditures, mortgages, grocery bills etc. And anything to do with us…he paid for it.
Daddy was clearly the husband that the Bible calls men to be…a provider. And our household wanted for nothing.
As children we spend our Christmas’ in Florida…and by the time we would return home over the holiday it was as if Toys R Us had made a special trip just to our house.
As we grew up we started spending our summers in Florida instead.
My parents spared nothing.
When they wanted a new car…they bought it. And they bought nothing that we all could not fit in.
When we went on trips…we all went.
When they decided to go to Jamaica…it was a family affair…which was the way my parents treated everything.
My mother loved to shop and that is what she did with her money. But she not only loved shopping for herself…but for us as well…as well as for daddy. At eighteen she was still buying all of my clothes. And everything she bought was top shelf.
And that is how daddy bought too. He did not buy cheap…and he tailored all his own clothes. He had the measuring tape, the pins and the white chalk to make the marks…the whole works. Daddy took everything serious. He was very percise and took such care in whatever he did. And he could sew by hand…as well as anyone could with a sewing machine.
In the basement he had all his tools; saws, drills, snakes for the plumbing system (which comes in handy when you have kids), levers…everything. Because daddy could build and make things, and was always working around the house.
Including gardening…daddy did that too…as well as service our cars and bicycles.
Mommie loved daddy’s tomatoes, green peppers and cabbage, strings beans, greens etc…
Yes, along with everything else daddy also had a green thumb too.
I don’t know who taught daddy…but they taught him well.
Though daddy might not have been able to read well…that, however, never stopped him from picking up a book and trying to sound his way through a few words…or from starting his business. And when I think on it…the thought of me helping him to learn to read never even came into my mind. I do not know why.
Mommie had been the first black nurse in the little town she grew up in down in a small town in Florida. When she retired she had been a nurse supervisor at a state institution.
Their schedules rotated around their children. We were their pride and joy.
They treated us to everything…everything good. They were not drinkers, smokers, cursers or things like that…nor did they allow cards or card playing in their house. Though we could play Ol’ Maid, checkers and stuff like that. And I do not know how Daddy could do it…but he was a master even at checkers.
Who could beat him?
Before you knew it he had the board loaded with kings…and just blowing you away with his moves taking everything you had on the board. What a mind.
We were never allowed into people’s houses, nor could any of our friends come into our house. As my parents said that they had had 8…and that 8 was enough.
We were not allowed to stay over people’s houses. And they did not believe in paying us any allowances for helping out around the house. Which sometimes included getting on our knees and scrubbing the floors, or wiping down all (and I do all) the woodwork in the house etc…etc… Oh, how I hated those Saturday mornings when we would be waken up to find buckets in the kitchen with rags in them…waiting on us.
From our parent’s house have sprang graduates from Moorehouse, Florida A & M, Princeton, University of Alabama, University of Kentucky, Brandeis University, etc…etc…and they are still coming. We’ve got a few more who will graduating in a couple of years and some whom we have began to set up for Spellman and Harvard…you’ve got to plant these seeds early.
My parents were believers in education. My mother was always taking classes. I can’t tell you how many times she took typing… she kept flunking it. But she kept on taking it anyways. She also took bookkeeping and a few other classes…including voice lessons.
Mommie definitely could not sing…but that didn’t stop her. I have to admit that the voice lessons did do a little good though.
Whenever mommie would go to school for a conference regarding me…she would come home with the report to my father. Whenever I tried to explain to my father about the teacher and how she didn’t like me…my father would always stop me short…and never hear whatever it was I was trying to tell him.
He would glare at me saying-
“The teacher got her’s you’ve got to get yours.”
I hated hearing those words…but today I understand them well. And daddy was right. I’ve even come to recite them a few times myself.
Daddy was full of witticisms also. He was some kind of special…and I don’t know how he and mommie met. But one thing for sure they sure loved each other.
Yes, daddy was very special and if ever I were looking for someone…I doubt that I would ever ever find anyone quite like daddy.
Well, if you feel like a donut…I hope you have someone who can go get you one. Or go with you…or take you to get one.
I hope I didn’t rample on and on…and that you got some sense out of this blog.
Enjoy your day…and I’m working on my rib business. I have spent so much money that I have actually run out of money. I have the whole set-up but I don’t have the money to buy the goods. So, maybe we will up and running by next weekend…this weekend looks a bit bleek. But it is all part of the process. Sometimes you have just got to learn how to go with the flow.
You know I really learned that from my friend in New York whom we are expecting to pass.
In her words…”Whatever God allows.” ….God bless… ©2008
Add a comment July 16, 2008
This post is inspired by a sermon by Bishop Charles Ellis, III, of Detroit, MI, entitled “I’m Still Standing in an Upside Down World.”
There is something about my blog on ‘Gay Pride’ which plagues me somewhat.
I in no ways intended to say or make it appear that I agree with gay (same-sex) marriages. Oh, no… In no way could I do that. For those things which are wrong are wrong…and gay marriages are wrong. And certainly go against the will of God.
However, what I was trying to say was…that I thought it was interesting that many gay people want to get married whereas many heterosexuals (for whom marriage was intended) do not.
I think that we have to be very careful in making statements that make wrong seem right…and to some degree that blog may have seemed that way to some. But it was not intended that way.
The Bible says “With love and kindness have I drawn thee.”
So, therefore I cast no judgement upon anyone.
Yes, I have opinions but my opinions are not meant to comdemn.
I don’t like gay jokes…particularly from the culpit. Because there is nothing funny about sin. So, therefore no sin should become a joke.
Nor do I like speaking about being homosexual or heterosexual…as to speak in terms of sex is to be caught up in fleshy things…because sex has to do with the flesh. And it is something which we all have to battle against.
Speaking of which, you will have to read my book when it comes out, “The Bishop’s Wife”….a sho’nuf must read. I will tell you when you can get it…as it is already at the publishers…you can read about that in my very first first blog…under ‘self-publishing.’ Well, so much for my shameless plug for my up-coming book…“The Bishop’s Wife.”
I hope I have addressed the issue of same-sex marriages, pre-martial sex (all of which you can read in my ‘Gay Pride’ blog)… along with my stance on them and other things all through my blogs…of which, if you haven’t read them all…do indeed give them a read. And don’t forget to share this blog address www.bsmith101.wordpress.com with your family and friends…and co-workers…everybody! Enjoy…and thank you for reading.
Be kind to those around you. With love…champion your enemies.
I will never forget once being in downtown Brooklyn when I came across a young employee whom I had had a lot of problems with…but when she saw me downtown that day (which had been the first time she had seen me for some time)…when she saw me…she came running towards and threw her arms around me burying her head in my chest with such joy.
And I said to her as we conversed, “Patrina, I thought that you didn’t like me.”
And she answered saying, “Yes, Miss Smith. But you were fair.”
So, I say champion your enemies and they will run towards you…with open arms.
ps….I have been doing nothing but sleeping. I’m still trying to catch up to all the sleep I lost while being on vacation last week. ©2008
Add a comment July 14, 2008