Posts filed under: ‘Respect of History‘
Well, it is Black History Month. And I really can’t remember when this actually took place… the year when a young 15 year old youth went south to Mississippi from Chicago, to spend the summer with relatives in the south.
In looking back at a newspaper article on the story, I see where it took place in 1955. The summer Emmett Till went to spend what was to be his lastsummer visiting those cousins, and an aunt and uncle down south. Because somewhere during that visit in August 1955 it was said
that Emmett took certainly liberties with some white woman. He got out of place… he crossed that divide that colored and white were not to cross… because he was just being a young innocent kid… unaware of the do’s and the don’t of the then… and maybe still in some parts of the south.
Supposedly young Emmett while in this woman’s family store had told the white woman how he had dated a woman just like her up in Chicago. And upon leaving the store it was said that young Emmett Till gave that woman 1 of those big long whistles, that men did back in that time when they thought a woman was beautiful… somewhat of a wolf call or something.
It was that story of Emmett Till which always colored me and my thoughts about how when you leave home… if you lived north of the Mason/Dixon Line… how you should behave very differently if you were to go down south.
Something like how you had to remember when you crossed that line …that Mason/Dixon Line going into the south, that you were no longer in the north… or in your little Northern town or big city, like Chicago or Detroit. And how remembering this… that this ‘black and white thang’ could possibly save your life.
I recall once just we had crossed that line 1 summer on 1 our many drives south to visit my grand mother in the south, that once we pulled up to a motel where my mother sent me out to go inside and ask how much it would cost to get a room?
An occasional stop at a motel to freshen up used to be a habit of my family sometimes while we were making the more that 20 hour trip down south to Florida. But this particular day as I almost was about to reach for the door leading into the motel office, out came running two black boys… or teens… something I couldn’t really tell how old they were as they came running through that door shouting back to me, ‘Get of of here! Go! Go!’
I immediately ran back to our car and reported to my mother and father what those 2 boys had told me as they had whizzed pass me and shouted for me to get out of there.
Suddenly, my mother started screaming at me to get in the car… and she started hollering they ain’t gonna take my sons. ‘They ain’t gonna take my sons.’
Boy, I had never seen anything like it or ever heard my mother react in such a way. But years later I understood.
At that time my brothers were young kids… maybe 10 or 11 or something like that. But my mother having grown up in the south… my being a Jamaican had grew up in Jamaica so he had not really experienced any that Jim Crow stuff of the deep south. But my mother knew it well. And she knew that it would not matter to white folks that my brothers had not robbed or done whatever those 2 boys had done… but that they were black and that in of itself would have been enough for my young brothers to have been taken …in place of the real crooks or whatever they were who had come running out of that motel office.
I do not think we ever again stopped at another motel in all the years we continued to travel back and forth to Florida after that.
For years, I think that up until this very point I had always felt that Emmett Till should have been told how to behave, and carry himself while down there in the south. I always thought it was his mother’s fault for not sitting him down, and telling him how to behave down there when it came to being around white folks. It was the typical blaming that many people do when they blame the dead for being dead. Like some people blame Trayvon Martin for being out late… or out in the rain in that white neighborhood when he got shot and killed.
I thought that way because I was stupid. I was blind. Ignorant of the fact that many times it just didn’t matter what we did do or not, irregardless there was a very likely could still come up dead
He was a kid. And you could have told him something a thousand times, and would you believe you wouldn’t have to tell him it again… as we all do when it comes to talking to our children?
Emmett Till did not live in the south. Nor was there any reason for me to believe that what had been said regarding that story had been true. For you see, evidently I had believed something inappropriate must have been done for those white men to go in the middle of the night seeking this young boy, regarding something something he had said and/or done.
That is the irony of it. How readily we eat up the things we see or hear.
It had been a lie. It had all been a lie. And because some white woman had lied on her son, Mrs. Till was forced to go down to Mississippi and collect the bloated remains of her young teen age son, her only child… I think… and bring him back to Chicago in order to bury him.
Years later after Emmett Till had been viciously murder by a group of white men in the middle of the night, after going to his relative’s house and demanding that they send him out to them or they would burn them out and all up in their home.
How could that woman possibly live with herself after that?
Years later, I moved to Chicago and while working as a church secretary for a pastor by the name of Dr. A. L. Reynolds, Jr., I was told something by Dr. Reynolds, who pastored Sixth Grace United Presbyterian Church, at Cottage Grove and 35th Street, on the South Side.
Dr. Reynolds 1 day came into the office and for some reason began telling a story, of how he had had to run away from his home, which had been back in Arkansas. The reason he had to pick up and get out of there he told me, was because some white woman wanted him and he didn’t want her. That is exactly how he put it. He said, ‘she wanted me. But I didn’t want her. So, I had to leave.’ Because I did not want her to lie on me. Because in those days a white woman could say a black man raped her and they (meaning the other white people… mostly men) would kill him.
So, Dr. Reynolds said he got of Arkansas as quickly as he could.
And he said he left Arkansas running because he didn’t want her to tell a lie on him.
Through the our history in this country many black people have found it necessary to get up and get out of town in the middle of night, headed north or to other points unknown. Because they were afraid of some type of bad consequence which might take hold upon them… or befall them due to a lie… or some white person wanting something that belonged to them.
It comes to mind that even in Biblical text Abram lied. He was forced to lie when he and Sarah went to enter Egypt. And he became afraid that the king… otherwise known as Pharaoh… would want his wife, Sarai…as she was then before being renamed by God Sarah. Because the Bible says she was fair and goodly to look upon.
So, Abram felt that he would be killed by Pharaoh. So, therefore, told Sarai that they should say that he was her brother rather than her husband.
The end of this story is that Pharaoh and the people of his kingdom are overtaken by what the Bible calls a ‘great plague.’ Pharaoh questions Abram and asked him why he had not told him that the woman, Sarai… was his wife?
We come into the 21st Century now, some more than 60 years later and now we hear that the white woman who had told her husband and his white buddies, that Emmett Till had whistled and spoken to her… a white woman inappropriately… that she had lied.
All that pain and heartbreak … tears shed had been over a lie.
A young boy was pulled and dragged out into the dark of night… tortured and beaten …then partially burned and thrown into the river… to be found days later a bloated beyond recognition dead decomposing body. Because that woman lied. And now …I guess on her death bed… or on her near death bed she tells the truth… that she lied about the whole thing.
How did that woman do that… when she knew what the consequences for any black man would be?
She knew what times she lived in. But just did not care. She told that lie knowing that some out of control white drunken men were going to go and find them a white boy, and have what they called ‘have some fun.’ While they enjoyed torturing him and beating him…and eventually killing him.
How did this young boy respond?
Can you imagine what was going through his mind and heart… scared beyond his wits…
kicked…slapped…punched… stomped… cut… lit on fire…
And all because some white woman thought it nothing to lie on him. And me thinking years later that it had been his fault… because nobody every trained him properly how to behave around white folks.
This reminds me of how I hear black commentators on television now when they are talking about black men being shot and killed by white police officers. Everybody saying they should have kept their hands on the dashboard… or where they could be seen… or not moved too quickly… etc… etc… etc….
Blaming the victim because racist people still abound….
Well, God bless… It was sleeting a little bit this morning. But I hope it is nice and warm
where you are. Have a good day all… and remember it’s BLACK HISTORY MONTH. “pass it on…” http://www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2017
Add a comment February 8, 2017
What bothered me the most was that everyone seemingly is coming down on Bernice King, the youngest of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.’s children, over this latest controversy in her family amongst her and her brothers.
Looking at the pictures it appears that Martin L. King, III has jumped ship. At one point it had been him and Bernice against Dexter King, their baby brother. Dexter and Martin 3 want to take out of the hands of Bernice their father’s traveling Bible, and what has to be any families most valued treasure if we could all get 1… Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize medal.
Who in their right mind would dare part with these 2 things?
There are just some things you simply cannot put a price tag on.
Perhaps, some down and out someone or other might think differently. Or just some plain greedy kids… out to liquidate everything they can get their grubby little hands on of their mother’s and father’s estate.
Is it not enough that the court ordered Bernice to surrender to Dexter personal cards and letters written to their mother by their father… items that Mrs. King had personal given to her youngest daughter?
Now, here comes Dexter again… and this time Martin 3 is with him. They are in the boat together to snatch out of their sister’s hands their father’s Bible (the Bible that President Barack Obama placed his hand upon when he took his oath for his 2nd term in the White House) and Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize.
How low can you go, Dexter and Martin 3?
Unless you have been there you will never understand how hard it is to stand when everyone around is grabbing for what they can get… and all you can think of ‘my parent’s are gone.’ Dealing with loss can be very difficult. And especially when the responsibility somehow falls upon you… be it a sense of duty or whatever… but you are the one who ends up trying to maintain what you see as what your parent’s desire would be.
And why should she?
We have all heard of down and out athletes and actors selling off their championship rings or Academy awards… when left with no other options. But this is something else. It is just pure and simple greed driving Dexter boy and his older and brother, Martin #3.
It is always very unfortunate when the value of your things winds up meaning more to your children than you… or what your desires would be… or the remembrance of you… or in this case have a higher cost than the King legacy and remembrance of their mother and father to some of them.
Bernice King has every right to try to hold onto the precious memories and legacy of both her mother and father, without having gifts which her mother gave to her… entrusted her with …being lost to a couple of greedy brothers who care nothing about the King legacy, or even how bad they are making their family and themselves looked by forcing the hand of their baby sister in this matter.
I heard an interview where Andrew Young, a man who I thought used to be a King family friend, commented on this matter by merely snickering at it and saying, “They sue too much.”
You know what Mr. Young?
When you have to take somebody to court ….or they want to take you to court. Baby, you better learn how to fight. Cause if you don’t learn how to swing back… then just crawl into a hole and pull some grass over you and die.
Thank goodness Bernice has not decided to die. When you honor your mother and father, and their memory… you don’t try to sell off precious things that belonged to them, because you cherish them. Those things were a part of them… and they should remain in the King family to get pass down. Many people today can’t even put their hands on old family pictures or 8mm films that may have been taken of them as children. Because somebody in their family grabbed them all up and years later discarded them… or they somehow got lost.
I long for a picture my mother had taken of me and my sister many years ago. We were just young children then. My sister took my parent’s picture and cut it up throwing away my half of that picture while keeping herself. Today not even that part exist. There had been other copies of that picture which my mother had sent to various relatives, but I have never been able to track not 1 down….or put my hands on them some 50 or more years later because they too were probably destroyed.
The problem in this story is one of greed. Dexter boy has been selling off everything… every piece of the King family estate he can since the passing of their mother… down to making the Federal government pay him for the use of his father’s image and likeness in the creation of his monument in Washington, D.C.. One would have thought that the honor and recognition given to his father in the creation of the Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. monument in D.C. would have filled him with joy. That he would have been eager for the King family to assist anyway it could. But no… not Dexter. He saw it as a money-making opportunity and milked the creation and erection of a monument to his father for every dime he could get out of it… including forcing them to pay for the use of any of Dr. King’s quotes.
Why anyone would want to throw stones at Bernice King for standing up to her brothers in their pursuit to sell off what has to be two of the most valued possessions of both their mother and father, Dr. King’s Bible and Nobel Peace Prize… is crazy. Clearly, those people do not know the whole story. But it has always been my experience to know that it is usually the good person… the person who is trying to do the right thing… the one who is innocent of trying to do wrong that gets blamed for starting the whole thing and is singled out as the culprit in the eyes of almost everyone looking in on matters like this. I have been there… and in many ways I still am. Trust me me I know.
So, yes… I side with Bernice King. I cheer you on Bernice King. Do not give up the fight. Fight the fight… it is well worth fighting. And I pray you God speed and victory in this matter. As there are some things you just do not sell off… like your birth right. And the right of any 3rd or 4th generation King’s etc. to not have to go to a library or museum to see an award presented to their grand-father or great great grand-father, because his kids sold off everything. Some things really are too sacred.
And I also pray for a changed mind and heart of both Dexter King and Martin #3.
In regards to Martin #3… I have no respect for him.
I recall going into court trying to fight for my father. I went in thinking that 2 of my other siblings were on my side. That is what they pretended… that is until we got before the Judge. When we got before the Judge they said nothing. They offered nothing not 1 agreement to anything to what I was saying. I was left out there all alone trying to fight for our father to be returned home, and they said nothing. I later came to realized that they never wanted daddy back home in the first place. The house was divided and everybody had grabbed what they wanted. My father’s house had been invaded and taken over… and daddy was forced out of his own property. A fact I never knew until some time after that court hearing.
It is amazing how quickly we can forget all the sacrifices and all the good times… and how much our parents poured into us. If Dr. King had not struggled… if he had not marched… if he not sacrificed his life… what would they have to fight over?
What would we all have to celebrate?
The car… the family house… everything that every family at the end is forced to fight over… I suspect they might have fought over that. Because there will always be at least 1 who sees a bigger picture than just self and… and thank God for that. They see more than what they can get out of the passing of supposed love ones. Always 1… and it appears that Bernice King is the 1. And yes… I stand with her.
On another note on the King family. Dexter has gotten married. This is really not new news. But I know it is not mentioned or talked about but if the truth be told… Dexter is really not the marrying kind. Everything for him is show. His wife is a supposed ex-lesbian. But I have known people who were gay who married with each 1 doing their own thing.
When I first encountered this it was a couple of the weirdest 2 people I had ever met. The guy was flamingly gay… and between them they did have a child. I really don’t know how she managed it?
But I figured out that they had been great friends and this is what laid the foundation for them agreeing to get together as husband and wife.
I also remember when once a lover of mine had been offered quite a considerable about of money from a man, who at the time was a boss of mine (he owned the radio station). His son was very very gay and the father wanted a grand child… an heir or something I guess. So, he proposed an offer to my girlfriend of this substantial amount of money to marry his 1 and only child, this gay son. And no she did not do it… as it was totally out of the question. But the point here is… is that there are some people who will do anything in order to have their gay children reform… get married… have children… even if it means they will not give them or leave them a dime unless they do. Then there are some people who get married for various other reasons… other than love. It’s called a ‘marriage or convenience.’
I must say though… that all this snow is beautiful.
If you are out there in the snow please remember safety rules. Drive with care and caution in the snow and ice. Apply brakes when riding on icy roadways lightly… come to a nice and easy stop by slowing up. Do not slam on your brakes… it will send your car sliding out of control.
Guess I’m moving a little bit too fast. I had all but forgotten about it being BLACK HISTORY MONTH. So, in celebration of Black History Month let me just quick tell you about a young lady in England. The youngest person to ever become a barrister (that is practicing lawyer in their terms). Her name is Gabrielle Turnquest. She is from the States, Florida to be exact… and she is just 18 years old. Amazing. To be young gifted and black… is definitely where it is at.
Happy BLACK HISTORY MONTH….
And let me not forget that this week Shirley Temple passed (Shirley Temple Black) at age 85. I cannot begin to tell you the countless Saturdays I spent watching Shirley Temple dance and sing her way down long stair steps… or try to cheer up a friend. She was more than just a favorite… Shirley was my friend.
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 ©2014
Add a comment February 15, 2014
Sometimes things just slip out when we least expect them to.
Sometimes some of the things we do and say may not seem hypocritical or hurtful to us.
Sometimes things just catch up with us.
Sometimes we pretend to be 1 way but really are another.
When 1 of my next door neighbors stopped me to tell me this story I must admit I did not understand what she was saying. I thought she was talking about some radio station DJ acting a fool again, like Imus in the Morning had done… before he got canned. But it was not until my son began to tell me this story that I finally got a clearer picture of what my neighbor had been trying to say to me.
Not a big television watcher I really was not familiar with the name, Paula Deen. Though my neighbor had said it and said it again several times, as if I should have known her personally. But of course I did not. But now that I have looked up the story, I have to admit that I had caught Paula Deen at least once tossing in a couple bars of butter into some dish she was preparing on the Food Network.
One could hardly say that what she said was purely by accident. Meaning it was how she was accustom to talking… though never before the cameras. And why not I wonder?
Well, maybe because she knew it was wrong. That it was backwards and intolerable. But however backwards that way of thinking is and talking… it finally caught up with Paula Deen. Oh, yeah, she can blame it on her back home training and down-home southern roots. But can that really justify what Paula said… or has been talking for years? I mean she is a grown woman… a grand-mother at that besides being a big time TV chef. So, she is certainly old enough to know that using that word or any word like it was unacceptable and offensive to many. And that the times have long ago changed… when white people could simple use such words and get away with it.
Let us examine this in its totality. Exactly what did Paula Deen say?
Well, it seems that Paula Deen liked throwing around the ‘N’ word. She and her brother, a partner with her is some restaurant they own together. They both based upon reports liked calling some of their non-white workers by the ‘N’ word. And Paula called a TV assistant the word a few times too many it certainly appears.
In a legal action brought against Paula Deen …and 1 possibly against her brother too, both are accused has having referred to African American employees as the little ‘N’ word. In various news reports it is stated that her brother continuously referred to at least 1 employee as ‘a little monkey.’ And it also seems that Paula Deen was planning someone’s wedding… where get this… Paula decided it would nice to have a ‘plantation style wedding’ with some little (the ‘N’ word) running around and dressed up like slaves.
Now, how far in denial was she?
Who did she believe would not get upset or find that ‘offensive?’
There are people who just do not want to let the ol’ south go. They want to pretend like the Civil War really did not happened. And that the ol’ south will rise up once again.
So, yeah I would say that Paula Deen’s out and out racists remarks and backward thinking deserved to get her booted off the Food Network… seeing that many African Americans love that channel, and many other minority people, as well. And a whole lot of ethnic cooking goes on on that network.
In fact, many of Paula Deen’s southern style recipes have their direct roots in the African American style of cooking… whether Paula would admit to it or not.
Is it not time that we put aside ever strife and ill thinking when it comes to people who do not look like us?
But there are some people who just want to believe that they are more superior to other people. That they are smarter… more progressive… higher achievers… more accomplished etc… etc… etc. And there are... but it is just not the ones who usually think they are.
When you go back into history and really track this thing… if the truth be total all civilization got its start in Africa. The first universities, libraries, mathematicians etc… you name it… architects, astrologers etc. etc… all of it got started in African. In fact, scientists today are still mystified by some ancient ruins. They are even still trying to figure out just how certain structures such as the pyramids had been built.
The books say Africans were not seafaring people. But historical events defy that lie. In Biblical scripture, II Chronicles 8:18, it speaks of a man named, Huram, who was a master builder who had built up cities for King Solomon, for storage of his chariots and riches. This man Huram also had servants who manned his ships. Yes, the Bible said ‘ships.’ And it also said that this man’s men possessed knowledge of the sea.
Which goes to say that yes even way back then, thousands of years ago, in Solomon’s time African men were building large sea vessels and riding the seas. When you consider the land mass of Africa in Biblical times… Africa stretched straight to and included Asia. Which takes me to another point and that is… that the entire Bible basically takes place in Africa… not in Europe except for when Caesar and Rome come into the picture, and those other places across the Mediterranean Sea, such as Macedonia and Greece etc. As all the countries and/or nations as we know them today had not been birth yet… nor boundaries such as those of today, therefore, Africa in its time had to have been very powerful. This is something which has never been reflected in any of our history books.
The history books also do not reflect all the great contributions and inventions created by African Americans even while in this country. And there a tremendous amount of them of considerable importance not only to this country but to the world… but there is a reason.
This reason goes all the way back to the myth and historical stereotyping of us that had been created and propagated by those who desired to keep what they called us back then ‘darkies’ in their place. So, the myth was that we were not smart… could not learn… were lazy and shiftless. Also, as time went on it became that we were born criminals… and scoundrels… and not to mention that we were less than human… animals to be owned and bred.
And so… here we are today in the 21st Century still having to deal with old myths and stereotypes … and names made to keep us down… hold us back and seemingly needy. They were created to hinder us and our children from ever achieving anything in this country… least of all any level of pride and our own sense of real self-worth.
It is interesting that this Paula Deen thing has come up when it has… as I happened to catch a portion of a television program Sunday. As I have already made mention in at least a couple of my prior blogs, as well as, this 1 I really rarely watch television any more… but I happened to be over my sister’s house this weekend, and normally while there I try to catch up on my television watching… as there is really nothing else for me to do there except to watch television. So, this show was called ‘THE FIRST FAMILY.’ It was… or is supposed to be a spoof on the Obama family in the White House. Needless to say I found it to be repulsive and a slap in the face to our real First Family.
I remember sitting in class and a discussion came up about a made for TV movie on the Reagan family during Reagan’s White House years. Mind you that this discussion was years after Regan was dead and after he had long left the White House. Yet, the outcry against that movie was soooooo great. Every talk show hosts and news medium was doing a story on the uproar that movie was causing. The TV network that was set to air the movie backed out… and another network picked it up. But there were tons of letters …there were lots of phone calls… there were a lot of screaming and hollering over this movie about this man, Ronald Reagan, and how this movie would portray his legacy, his image, his years as a President etc… etc.. etc.. They saw it as being aimed to discredit Regan, and refused to allow the movie to air without a fight. And fight they did.
When you think of the Queen of England and how they hold her is such high regard and her position as Queen, they would never allow any sit-com to be made about the Royal Family where they would be the brunt of jokes… and made to look incompetent. This is also the why they used to think in this country concerning the White House and the Presidency until…
Well… until the Obama’s moved into the White House.
I am very proud of the First Family, the Obama’s. Compared to the vast majority of the Presidents who have occupied the White House they are truly a family to be put up as a national example of what a good family is supposed to not only look like, act like or be like… but is. The President, Barack Obama, and his wife, Michelle Obama, are more than just great parents they are exceedingly good role models for those looking to marry. They exemplify what 1 should seek in his or her future marriage with regard to their husband or wife. And how to ensure that your marriage works.
So, yes I find any show, play, television program or anything else designed to make a mockery of them totally distasteful and highly offensive… and clearly an attempt to be a slap in the face of President Barack Obama and his family. It is beyond me if they really wanted a laugh how no one thought to come up with a sit-com on the Bush’s… wouldn’t have had to look far for material to laugh about there.
Hopefully, that show will get cancelled… and it never should have been allowed in the first place. What an insult to all of us.
Now, going back to Paula Deen and her story. Yes, she definitely deserved to get the boot off the Food Network. I would venture to say if ever there was a word she wished she had probably never learned… it was the ‘N’ word. It cost her greatly… and rightly so.
Well, God bless…I hope you are having a great week. I know… it has just gotten started. But I can still wish that you have a great 1. Stay out of the heat and work on getting something done. And I will be doing likewise… and as you can I already have. Another blog… FINISHED.
I thank those of you very much who have ventured out and purchased my book… which can be ordered on-line at any number of websites… just google THE BISHOP’S WIFE by Bernadine Smith… and see for yourself. And you can also read excerpts from my book on-line as well at Barnes&Nobles Nook, amazon.com etc…
Oh, before I end this just let me say for the record that I am not familiar with either of the African American history books whose picture I used in this blog. So, should I at some time in the future ever read them… or if you do… and find them less than truthful or wholly without merit… please do not believe I suggested them as being that which they may not be. And that is truthful with regard to our history as African people and African American people in America.
UP-DATE…Tuesday, June 25, 2013: Just a little update on the Paula Deen story… something that I came across today. The Food Network owns another network. And Paula’s show on that network was not pulled. Uh-huh… How people do love to play games. It looks 1 way 1 way… while they are doing something else another way.
Okay, now that the cat is out of the bag lets see what the Food Network is really going to do… on their sister channel…
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
4 comments June 24, 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
Well, since it is Black History Month maybe now would be a good time to post this blog which I started in 2009 but never, for some reason or other never came back to. Can’t remember what prompted me to begin it in the first place. Though I must say along with Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Coretta Scott King, Bernice Reagan, Merle Evers, Harriette Tubman, Sojourna Truth, my Mother, Grand-mothers, Great Grand-mother, Mrs. Parks, as in Rosa… and half a dozen others… if not more women I have always admired… I celebrate them all. And if I keep thinking I am sure that I can come up with a few more… like O. J. Simpson’s first wife.
You may asked why I have O. J.’s first ex-wife on my list… it is simply that I admired her for taking the high road in all that mess. Out of all of O. J.’s supposed friends and colleagues… judges and lawyers everybody went for the money. They sold O. J. out every which way they could sell him. That is to say everybody except for his first wife. She never took 1 dime or ever came out against him. Never wrote a book… never signed a book deal… and she denied almost every offer for an interview. Though I am sure that she could have had a lot to say… but she chose the high road… the side of ‘to do him no harm.’
So, women like that… or people like that I can admire without any level of hesitation. Because most people today will sell you down the river for a dime… a promotion… or whatever else is up for grabs. And I am not being cynical.
Relationships… family bonds… friendships… you name it and they can all be tossed to the wind if somebody comes in with the right price. And sometimes that prices doesn’t even necessarily have to even be actual money. It can be a position… a title… an automobile… property… status… and phoney friendship… whatever the other side is in need of or looking for.
This is one of biggest and most saddest things about the world and people who live in it today. Had Jesus still been alive today he might have had to worry about more than 1 Judas… but maybe 6… 8 or 11 of them.
Everybody loves you while there is something to be gained in their association of you. In the Bible it appears that Job was a very popular man until he lost everything including his health. So, I guess it can be said that people have been the same throughout history. Was it not Caesar who said ‘et tu, Butus?’
It was not a secret that Malcolm X was the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the founder and religious leader of the National of Islam, right-hand-man and 2nd in command. In fact, Malcolm had become the front man for the organization… he was the voice and the face of the organization at that time.
Malcolm X, Malcolm Little the name given to him by his mother, was such an eloquent speaker and possessed such great charisma that the Nation of Islam grew greatly under him. A thing that I am sure was celebrated in the beginning of their relationship between him and Mr. Muhammad… but later it became a source of contention between the 2 …as Mr. Muhammad saw Malcolm X’s power and authority growing among the ranks of the followers in his organization.
And then Malcolm went to Mecca and everything really changed between them. When I was in high school I recall buying a book called the “Autobiography of Malcolm X” …that book really intrigued me. I had not known anything about him until I read that book.
I guess I should invest more time in reading about our historical icons… and those who are little known. Their contributions were great and should not be overlooked… while we make millionaires of only writers of fiction.
I really cannot remember what prompted me to begin this blog… or why I entitled it ‘Bettye & Malcolm X?’
But there had to have been a reason. But since really I cannot at this time remember the reason… I have decided to just go ahead and post this blog anyway as a tribute to Black History Month 2013… I hope you enjoy it.
I celebrate all the heroic women and men who make up our history. Who endured, sacrificed… bleed… were spat upon… whooped… beat… stomped… dogs sicked upon… hit with forceful waters from water hydrants… who were made widowed or orphan… chained… tarred and feathered… and those who died. I celebrated them all… including those who felt it worthy to die over just being called a belittling word that started with that letter ‘N’ … that I might walk and sit… and eat and sleep… and live… and go to school etc… where I want to.
I will not forget… nor can I ever repay the debt by which they have endowed me… my family… my son… my nieces and nephews… our families… our history and our legacy for generations to come. Providing us with much pride… dignity… courage that must be passed on to all our children.
It is Black History Month… and I am happy to celebrate all of our she-ro’s and hero’s… and there are many many many many of them. And I thank God for each and every one of them.
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
2 comments March 1, 2013
came by bus…
some by train….
some by whatever…
Some late in the night…
some in the wee hours of the morn…
some by daybreak…
some by midday
some by the time it was nearly through….
some at the end…
but they got there.
Some lined the streets…
some sat on ice cold street curves…
some bundled together…
some crowded the gates…anxious to get in.
some shouted ‘GLORY!’…
Some came in furs…
some in overcoats and gloves…
some with ear muffs and thick heavy scarves…
some in knitted caps…
some in baseball caps…
but you made it there.
some Native American Indian…
some yet born…
some nearly able to walk…
some barely understanding english…
but they got there.
Some travelled through the night…
some caught early morning flights…
Some slept in cars…
some in motels…
some with friends…
some out in the streets…
but they got there.
Some came by faith…
some motivated by desire…
some by history…
some by pride…
some by curiosity…
but they got there.
Some will remember…
some will cherish forever
what this day truly meant…
Though history many not truly relay it with all of its glory…f
or its great importance
nor may it be kind…
and some facts left behind…
but you were there…
you made it there out of ‘no way’…
chains…somehow we made it
some from afar…
some said ‘no matter how far’…
tar and feathers…
but… we made it…
But you were there…you
million…zillion other folk.
You made it there…you and some more than 2 million
the corner stores…
the Mall of Lincoln Monument…
or give us a place to rest…
You were there…
praising and singing ‘We’ve Come This Far By Faith’…
to see the dream…
no longer deferred…
to see the courage…
and the pride…
and to see the promise rise up like Moses…
and the Red Sea once again stand on end…
and destiny again be
Now, you fill the rest in…
Some came to get caught up in the moment…
Some to get a touch of the spirit…
And some to celebrate a time long-awaited…
when the tail has finally become the head.
CLICK the LINK BELOW to see and hear Martin L.
Jr.’s prophesy regarding an African-American
President in the United States.
Well, God bless…and in case I make to D.C. this time to celebrate both President Obama’s second inaugural and Dr. King Martin L. King’s birthday… then I will see you there.But if I do not… for those of you who do please celebrate for me too. And forget to touch Dr. King’s memorial for me…as I will truly be remembering him too on this great day, Monday, January 21, 2013… when we along with all of America…and the world celebrate two great men American heroes.
Add a comment January 16, 2013
You might not believe this but I actually completed this blog the night before Martin L. King’s birthday weekend. But I’m just now getting back to it now… nearly how many months later?? But I hope that you still find it to be a good read.
Recently, I got an interview request from someone who wanted to discuss with me some of my comments and opinions… or rather some singular statements that I voiced here on my blog site. Statements regarding a shift in gospel music. In particular they wanted to talk to me regarding my blog entitled… ‘KIM BURRELL…secular music wanna be.’
In that blog I stated my opinions on gospel artists attempting to move away from their musical base…or roots if you will… to chase after what appears to them to be ‘greener grounds’ on the other side. They want larger crowds… bigger audiences… and when you get right down to it… it’s all about “moe money”… “moe fame”… “more of the roar of the crowd”… and “moe money.”
Wonder who told them getting it would be “all of dat…then some?”
Do I feel that Kim Burrell’s decision to try to follow a secular career in music is based upon money?
Yes, I do.
Kim saying that it is about souls…really contradicts Biblical text which says ‘come out from among them’ …not become like them so you can bring them in.
So, when I hear an gospel artist say that they have hipped up their music and performance to reach the masses or the younger generation… it really does not equate. Least ways… not for me.
What it really amounts to is nothing more than not wanting to be labelled as an ‘gospel artist‘ any longer… which Kim Burrell has publically stated.
So, Kim has this burning desire to not just do ‘gospel music’ any more ….or to be labelled as a ‘gospel music artist’ any longer…but something wider…and broader than that. Might as well just come out and say… something more worldly.
You can tell something about Kim Burrell if you have ever watched that show, Sunday’s Best…which I never did. But it was all over the internet …including a youtube upload of the segment that I am refering to… where Kim told someone to get rid of “that gospel sound” … saying, “You’re sounding too churchie.”
Has Kim not heard of Aretha Franklin?
Sounding ‘churchie’ never hurt Aretha 1 little bit.
Well, this kind of thinking may or may not have stemmed from Kim having grown up in her family’s church, singing gospel music most of her life. Until… I guess… maybe all of her life until now.
So, now Kim Burrell wants a secular career. She wants to cross over to do R&B … or SOUL music or Pop Music… or whatever they call it today. And I say that because today all ‘our’ musical forms are under attack… though Pop is not ours. But our music is under attack. Is under the threat of seriously totally disappearing before our very eyes. It is all being re-catagorized into something else.
Coming from the music industry from way back… I can make certain assessments and statements from a point of knowledge that most cannot. Because of my history of being many years in the record industry …namely by way of radio…I do therefore come with some degree of insider knowledge based upon my observations over the years… and they are merely my observations. I have been watching certain changes and themes going on in the music industry since I guess I started listening to music… because it has always been there. And namely because we do not control it… other people do.
Who would have ever thought that there would come a day when black folk would not want to sound black?
We all have heard of Elvis and other white recording artists covering black folks music and trying their best to sound like us. There were those that emulated our keyboard playing… guitar playing… singing …and even dancing. But now there has been a shift… now we’re the ones trying to do the emulating. This is sad. We are now doing what they used to do… and it is especially so in the gospel industry. And particularly among some of the upper tier gospel artists who want to get air time on Christian radio stations.
It used to be that black gospel singers just wanted a contract… get some radio exposure… do concerts …and praise the Lord, while showing forth their praises to Him for the marvelous gifts He had endowed them with. But not today. The atmosphere has changed… and it is not about God. Well, for many it is not… but all about money.
Guess gospel radio stations are about to bite the dust as far as some of today’s gospel artists are concerned… and they are disappearing. Our artist could care less about those small little black owned radio stations that they used to leap at for a chance to get an interview on so they could talk up their latest projects.
In regards to my thoughts on what some so-called gospel artists are currently calling urban gospel music… I really think that it is a shamme. It is truly a shame and disgrace how readily we are so quick to forsake those things which are so uniquely us. And we do it all for nothing more than the sank of a few almighty dollars…that only last for a little while.
And they do it without any consideration to our history and our future legacies.
We just throw it all to the wind…and then other people come in… and they begin to lay claim to it… calling it theirs.
Have you not seen that?
There was once a time when there had been more than just a hand full of black owned businesses in America… and they were large booming corporations. But during the latter 70’s into the mid-80’s there was a big sale off of most of those black owned companies… and mostly they were sold off to companies controlled by non-African Americans. Thoes African American companies were companies that produced products directly for us and by us… and had been birthed primarily because other corporations did not care about us… or what our specific needs were.
There was a time when all the make-up and hair products in the stores were basically geared towards white women and men. But the difference you see in stores today is not there because of anyone outside of ourselves. We began to produce black hair products and make-up etc. for us… to fit our needs… or skin tones… and hair textures etc.
But those African American companies…for the most part were really the beginning of the big sell off. The big money makers like the black hair care and make-up companies followed by publications and radio stations etc. were the first things bought out by white corporations. Today you see that almost all our so-called black radio stations are owned by 1 corporation, Clear Channel. Clear Channel owns almost everything media…black, white, hispanic and etc.
The first cab company here in our town was even started by a black woman… and even that too was sold off.
So, what am I saying?
I am saying that we are good historically at creating then selling off and out everything that we own… and have created… selling out our goods, talents, gifts etc… to other groups of people who almost always end up capitalizing far more off them… than we ever did. And we usually have done so to our own detriment…as a group of people… and to the lack of consideration for our future generations, who have no knowledge of what was… and no vision for what can be for them.
We have lost so much in all of those sell-off transactions. And one of the greatest things we have sold off is our ability to control and determine our own destines…through any sustainable period of time.
This same trend for years has been spreading across the board into everything we have either created or have produced… not just our hair care products and cosmetics, but also in our art and various other art forms such as dance etc. This is not good… and has been a huge determent to our children’s future and their entrepreneurial spirit. Which many of them have none at all.
It is definitely not good for us to forsake our cultural gifts… our diversity and own creativity… and particularly to forsake those things which are uniquely us… such as our music and our other cultural forms of art.
If we don’t preserve them …who will?
If we don’t treasure them …who will?
Today’s artists are greedy. They want more money… and they are just not satisfied with more money… they want LOTS of it. Which, of course, has to mean more sales… wider variety of awards… and all of this translates into creating a wider market.
So, today’s gospel artists do not mind forsaking their old fan base who loved and supported them during their meager beginning… who bought their music before the big switch to sounding like somebody else… somebody non-black… somebody undefined…somebody non-negro …because it is a race thang… or un-black. And many gospel promoters can’t even touch them… because they are priced outside of our reach.
It all has to be a new form of self-hate. And I thought we had gotten way past that.
Our children walk around believing we have nothing… have done nothing… and that they will be nothing… because we have forsaken so much. We have just thrown it all away… all to the wind. Even our own self-respect.
A few gospel labels are still trying to hold on… like Malaco, Tyscot, JDI, and some smaller record labels and those yet under-ground… companies that we all should be trying to support because they still maintain their integrity by staying close to our gospel core… providing good gospel music while other companies… the larger gospel labels out weigh them with the stellar gospel stars and much much much larger budgets.
The thing that hurts the most … and I can say even worst… is that our children will loose… and loose big for every generations to come. Clearly, they are already suffering when you look and hear what they are pumping out. It neither sounds like us… or looks like us. They have gone ga-ga..
During the course of my career there has come my way many times that I got up and walked off away from the table… because I was made offers. But money has never wowed me like that. Me… myself… and I… WE ARE NOT FOR SALE… and have never been.
So, even as a sinner… way back then… I got up and turned my back on a lot of things that could have gotten me lots of money… but I chose to say, ‘no’… as I have never elected to do anything that would disgrace me or my family… or my people… or my core beliefs.
So, I have never been a sell-out.
Nor have I ever sold myself out. And as good as God has been to me… I definitely have no intentions of ever considering ‘going for the money’ now.
No, way… I love Him too much. And all our gifts are for his glory.
Money is not worth selling off that part of you that you will never be able to buy back.
How do you sell off your soul?
I have always been called an artists. Most of the time I made a lot of decisions based upon my art… and not necessarily in consideration of my pocketbook. So, I have been in the dark many a times.
Yes, I have had the electricity shut off…more than a few times…. cars repossessed… and bill collectors up the yah-zoo. But I never did anything that went against me… Well, almost once. But it didn’t work out… thank goodness for God. He stepped in.
I do believe some gospel artists are choosing to go against whatever moral standings they may have had… if some of them had any at all. Or maybe it is just that they are not really saved or sanctified in the first place. I have heard comments concerning people we have long held in high regard as truly being people of God… who behind the scene cuss… fuss, use drugs, drink …and show off a side to be anything but holy.
But truly here are some things that we have to take seriously… and very seriously indeed. Putting God up for sale.. or whether we should… or would want to is one of them. And trying to sell it off as a means of winning souls to Christ is another.
Confess and tell the truth.
Today the music industry is going through another re-defining, repositioning, and a transitional period. It is something that the industry goes through periodically. It ususally comes about when they realize that there is more money to be made if we…do this. So, by dangling sparkling trinkets before the eyes of certain artist who may be hot… or have the talent to be very hot. So, these companies feed them a song and dance about how they can make more money if they would… Sell out… because that is what it comes down to.
It happened with Michael Jackson when he was stolen away from Motown and his family group, the Jackson 5. You remember when Michael emerged as the King of Pop… that was the new thing then… a new musical catagory called Pop Music.
This re-catagorization or creation of new music sub-divisions are for the purpose of openning artists up to larger audiences …by making them more acceptable to ‘other people’ in order to rake in more capital. And it has meant the lost of such music catagories as… R&B… and Soul Music… which were converted into catagories called ‘urban‘ and this new junk call ‘neo-soul’ today. And most of the black radio stations became urban radio stations.
When gospel artist decide that they are going to ‘go for the money’ then they should say that… if that is what they are going for.
They really should just say, “I’m going for the money.”
But no… they want to make statements like-
“God told me I needed to go out there to the unsaved. And in order to do that I have do what will appeal to them. That means creating music that speaks to them and will intrigue- Ooops…excuse me. I mean to say help bring them in.”
Such statements speak in direct contradiction to Biblical text… and can never justify anyone going out there trying to cross-over their music in order to reach ‘a wider’ audience outside of the gospel world. And when you think about it… was not gospel music created for the saved… not the un-saved?
They already have their music.
In the mid-80’s came this thing called “POP MUSIC.” It was the beginning of a marketing plan to make black artist… or African American talent more acceptable to white audiences. And it was all about making more money for those artist who wanted to do this thing called ‘cross-over.’ And was the beginning of ridding the music world of anything sounding …or looking like us.
In many cases of the artist’s who wanted to go Pop their whole sound changed… just as we are hearing today in the gospel music industry. The artist moved away from making music or writing songs that brought them to the attention of those who began chasing them, offering more money and bigger contracts.
Those people came up with a plan to do away with certain groups of music… music you hardly hear any more because they set about graying the lines between the music to make it more acceptable to all… Well, almost all.
One of the first types of music that was aimed to hit the bricks was jazz. This began just about the time that many of the real jazz masters started departing this earth… jazz greats such as Miles, Coltrane, Armstrong, Thelonious Monk etc…etc…etc… And if it had not been for die hard jazz lovers who strongly resisted the lost of this musical genre by (1) rebuilding a core of new real jazz music lovers, (2) the emergence of jazz radio station programming it … usually on mostly public radio and/or educational stations where subscribers supported this type of programming, and (3) the creation of smooth jazz radio stations programming a softer more acceptable jazz, 24 hours a day everyday of the week. Though smooth jazz is considerably different from the type of jazz that had been created by the masters like Miles Davis… it did, however, find its nitch.
Now, while half watching… get this… the Soul Train Music Awards show… I noticed a drastic change has happened to Soul Music. While watching it all I could think was… if Don Cornelius was alive (and he was at the time…I just didn’t know it until he committed suicide). During that show I heard terms like ‘urban soul’… and that mess they called ‘neo-soul.’ All mostly foreign to me… as of course do not listen to such mess.
I equate ‘neo-soul’ to the new direction we see gospel music headed in… and it is very sad.
While putting together a gospel music video program… I included a music video by the gospel duo of sisters called MaryMary. What stuck out to me as I was typing in the data for their video… I noticed that it was classified as being ‘urban.’
I realized then that MaryMary did not desire to be pigeoned hold as simply being ‘gospel’ artists… but something more acceptable to a wider audience… which would also mean wider radio and television programming… and/or exposure for their music
I guess if that is what you want to do. But the argument on the side of MaryMary can still be made that they have never really totally sold out… they are not afraid to speak ‘Jesus’ or ‘God’ in their music… nor does it appear that they are willing to expose much of their bodies ‘for profit.’ And the focus of their music still seems to be not as far out there as I see where some others have gone lately.
In order to reach the acclaim and match the money that MaryMary has managed to reap… it appears that others have decided to follow MaryMary’s lead… but they have decided to go that additional mile. They have decided to reach further out into the deep waters… by what seems to me to be a casting off of any semblance of anything that remotely sounds like ‘gospel’ music… and/or looks ‘holy.’ They desire to be more like what is being called ‘Christian’ music artists. Which is very much more like rock music… and will drive you crazy if you sat listening to it all day.
In almost all of the music on the so-called Christian radio stations… you have to listen real hard to even be able to deciper that itit is a Christian song… because Christian radio stations do not play gospel song.
So, in order to be heard over Christian radio stations…which are growing while our smaller less popular gospel radio stations are fading, barely able to stay afloat… since many black people are now tuning in to Christian radio stations too., which give them greater Arbitron numbers which means more advertising dollars going to them. So, many of our artists have lost that black sound… or the ethnic sound in order to blend in.
Oh, I know that rock music has it roots in our music… going all the way back to such people like Little Richard and Jimmy Hendrix. But that is not what I am talking about.
What I am talking about is this…
Christian radio station is a misnomer… because it sounds like for the most just like another rock station. It is just positioning itself as something else… and that something else is working.
I do not care what they call it… those radio stations pump rock music… and they are rock & roll radio stations at their core, and they are hurting our radio stations. It really doesn’t matter what type of lyrics their songs may or may not have… the basic overall sound of it is still the same as that of rock and roll.
When urban radio stations began playing music like Donnie McClurkin’s ‘We Fall Down’ …or going all the way back to Walter Hawkins,’ Oh, Happy Day’…it did not make those stations become gospel radio stations. Nor did playing Donnie’s song or the Clark Sister’s ‘You Bring the Sunshine’ dictate an overall change in their basic programming format. Their focus was and still is… is on playing supposed urban music… or today mostly that neo-soul mess.
Therein, this leads me to further make my case, urban radio stations used to be soul radio stations… or R&B radio stations… but in the mid-90’s there came about a change. A re-classification change… many R&B artists wanted to follow the king of Pop…Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie and others come from under the rock called ‘black music artist’ tag. They wanted to lean toward another word just beginning to circulate… first ‘urban’…and then it became ‘pop.’
All of it was aimed at reaching beyond the boundaries of our own neighborhoods… from the urban areas to a much wider and broader audiences. Also it was to bring about something which was being whispered at that time… the doing away of the R&B/Soul music categories. And none of this was being done by us.
No, but it was by those who whispered into the ears of the so-called up and coming artists and rappers of today.
It was done by the people who own the labels… the chart books… and who had influence to get things heard and played over the radio. And those people are a lot like the penthouse drug kingpins…and might be some.
You know those guys… the drug lords who never touch the street but reap the bigger benefits… because the drug market is really theirs… and to a large degree it intertwines with the music business. Though this is never spoken of.
Yeah, it is like that. The drug business and the music business are constructed very much the same. Little wonder why drugs are so easily and readily obtainable in the music industry… the sports industry… and wherever else where there are lots of dollars to be made. Anything that makes money is usually owned and operated by the same people when you get right down to it.
When a new radio station signed on in New York City I was looking forward to it. I had read that it was going to be a Christian radio station… in a place that was pumbing everything else but any daily gospel music. But from the moment it began airing I realized that there was something wrong. It sounded more like Z-100 ‘the Zoo’… a local New York City rock music radio station.
The whole thing is really a gimmick to entice hardcore rock listeners to tune into something else which is being passed off as Christian music …but is still very much and sounds just like the music that they love and crave for so very dearly… rock. They have not been transformed.
Thus, were the Christian radio stations birthed. They became a quick sell buying into every market and opening the doors for many of their artists… caucasian singers and musicans to become more widely known and accepted in the Christian/Gospel music market… and more importantly the award shows.
In a very large metro areas such as New York City… which up until the Christian radio station began air… it had no 24 hour …or daytime radio station programming any gospel or Christian music at all at that time… it was seen by many Christian people as a welcomed and long overdue arrival.
But this welcomed arrival… soon became a big game changer too. And they were on the FM dial… which everybody knows sounds a lot better than a low signal AM station any time.
Thus was a desire kindled by some gospel artists to create material which could become acceptable to this new outlet called ‘Christian Radio.’ A large part of this transformation called for those artists wishing to cross over… to first lose their ‘black’… or ‘gospel-ee’ sound. And that is exactlyy what they have done… much like Beyoncé sounding less ‘black’… like almost that whole ‘neo-soul’ movement in what used to be known as the Black Music Division yesterday… to the Urban Music Division a few years ago… and now Neo-Soul. And there is nothing soul in it… or about it …outside of the color of the skin of those who call themselves performing it.
This change you can especially be heard in Tye Tribbitts latest cd… also in much of the Kirk Franklin’s material… as well as in many others who want to jump onto that band wagon. You can say that they have sold out …and it is not for Christ’s sake. But for that all mighty thing called in the Biblical text ‘filthy luka.’
Kim Burrell in her latest cd release has attempted to do the same thing… as well as, Kierra Shear… and Trinity 5:7… and the list goes on… and on.
When I saw Kim baring her shoulder and trying to appear as a sex vixen in a music video produced from a song on her latest cd… it seemed sad to me. I thought… she has eyes but can not see. The video was anything but sexy… nor was it appealing.
Then I saw where someone had posted over the internet a note about the Trinity 5:7’s latest video… saying that she was shocked at their display… asking if it was just her…. or whether or not the video appeared to be leaning towards anything gospel… religious… or Christian at all???
So, I checked out the video. And my answer was…‘NAY.’ ‘NAY.’ ‘NAY.’
One could say that many of todays new brand of gospel music producers and performers are pimping that gift that God has so freely endowed them with … which is supposed to be for His glory… by subverting it for their own benefit… and worldly profit.
Yeah, the kids like it… I guess…must be… for the most part. And don’t get me wrong… not all of it is totally bad. There are a lot of songs that I like by Kirk… and at least 1 by Tye.
I know my son loves Kierra’s latest cd. But when I first heard it I didn’t have a clue as to who it was singing. It was not until sometime later that he told me it was Kierra, Karen Clark Shears daughter.
Kierra’s cd does get there but after a while… but still you can see the direction that Kierra chose to take in an effort to land on Christian radio stations… as opposed to catering to the gospel music brand of those she follows so closely in the footsteps of… namely her mother, Karen… and her aunts… the other Clark Sisters. And of course her grandmother… Dr. Mattie Moss Clark.
Thank goodness most of the gospel artists and especially the gospel quartets have remained true and strong their art form. Chosing to preserve the traditions of an art form that still moves many of us to tears with moving touching lyrics… or foot stomping songs… and hand clapping music that still brings many of us to our feet. Music created in the muke and miry clay of the fields during slavery times… and on up through the years of our history here in America.
Maybe, I should have waited to write this during Black History Month… or Gospel Music Month. Is there such a thing as… Gospel Music Month?
Is there a Gospel Music Month?
If not then there should be. Because our music is the only real American music… as Soul Food is the only real American cuisine. Because it is the only food in which its roots were started here in America. Almost every other food we eat came from some other country… rooted in other cultures and brought here as the immigrants began to flow into this country. But our circumstances being different… forced us to create ‘a new’ everything we eat… said… and did.
Earlier this evening while working on this blog… I had my computer on the Word Network listening to this preacher named Dr. Chris Hill, a pastor of a T.D. Jakes church in Dever, Colorado. I had heard him before and have occasionally watched his broadcast… but to tell you the truth I can only take a little bit of the guy. But tonight as I typed I would occasionally glance over to his broadcast …and it dawned on me as to what it was I found so irritating about him.
For the first thing… it came across my mind that each time I have happened to catch a piece of his broadcast… that the man appeared to be on drugs.
And for the 2nd thing that I noticed was… the guy likes to holler. I have nothing against hollering …preachers holler. So, growing up in the Church… and particular the black Church… I have learned to accept hollering by preachers as being part of their technique.
In the Pentecostal Church whenever the Pastor or whomever is preaching when they got excited they automatically began to holler… or in other words speak very fervently. But this guy… Dr. Chris Hill hollers at numerous places throughout his sermon at varying times… and most of the time as it appears to me… he does it for no other reason outside of him just wanting to do so… or to grab a laugh.
As I occasionally would glance back and forth at him tonight… he reminded me of a stand-up comedian. Appearing comedic appears to be very much Dr. Hill’s forte… or so he believes.
But tonight I felt I have really put my hand on it finally. That is to say… put my hand on exactly what it was that I had been trying to put my hands on about him. And this is it…he appears more like ‘Stepin Fetchit.’
Now, I am really not trying to crack on Dr. Hill. No, I am not. Truly, I am not trying to do that. But he gives me the impression of someone who is more playing with his audience… which is made up of a large number of white church goers. Rather than just delivering a sermon to them. He likes to play with the sermon and them a lot. And he seems to love to do what he thinks will prompt them to laugh.
I don’t know… perhaps I am just toooooo old school… or maybe I’m just being ‘too’ black… first the gospel music… and now this????
Will the church become full of preachers who want to do stand-up comedy rather than preach the word?
I don’t mind humor. I know that humor is good. But the entire sermon turned into a joke… I don’t know????
Or maybe it is that this is the Chris Hill way of preaching. Is the way of a new group of preachers coming up today… to slay them with laughter?
But there does seem to me to be such an urgency today that wasn’t there yesterday. And that is we are getting closer and closer to the end times… far closer than we were yesterday. And though I definitely know and agree that laugher is good… but preaching salvation and deliverance is of a greater need. And I’m not saying that humor cannot be mixed with it… if you can do it without shading the overall message too much.
So, do not get me wrong. Yes, I believe in laugher. In fact, I hired some comedians recently and brought a night of comedy here… but for everything there is a time and a season. Standing up and humoring a bunch of folk straight through what should be your sermon does not seem to me to be ministering to the whole man… when you are working the crowd like a stand-up comedian rather than a man of God operating in his formal capacity.
It was Jesus who said… “Feed my sheep.”
As of New Year’s Eve Pastor Paula White became the new senior Pastor over New Destiny Christian Church… following the sudden death of their founder and leader Pastor Zackery Tims.
In reading the story… namely the ill feelings between the Broads of Regents over the Church and Riva Tims… the ex-Mrs. Zackery Tims, who filed papers against the Church claiming that she should have been named the senior Pastor since she and her then husband, Pastor Tims, were the founders of New Destiny.
I found it interesting that Paula like Sheryl Brandy just decided to up and leave her church behind. Well, Paula not quite…as it seems that Paula is still in control over her own church still, the church Without Walls International, in Tampa, FL … which Paula founded along with her then husband, Randy White… whom we do not hear much of anything from or about rany more.
As you many may or may not have noticed …but over the course of the last few years Paula has shifted in terms of her theology… it has swung to prosperity. This is extremely evident in her daily television show segments which she broadcasts over the Word Network… and other channels as well. One thing in particular that stands out is Paula’s show’s guest list … featuring a bunch of false prophets and supposed evangelist… and I guess even some so-called Pastors all soliciting sowers on the behalf of Paula White.
It will be interesting to see or read about New Destiny since the passing of Pastor Zackery Tims, who had built up such a vast media following. I can only imagine how greatly vested he was in media equipment and facilities as he had a large television ministry. His vast media possibilities have now availed themselves to Paula White since she has been chosen the new Pastor at New Destiny.
The question in all of this is whether of not Paula White can carry it …or what will she do with it?
Well, tomorrow is Dr. Martin L. King’s birthday. Meaning we all have a day off… and an opportunity to reflect upon the history and legacy of Dr. King. With some states chosing it to initiate state issued Voter ID cards… a trend that can only be seen as a drive by Republicans to lessen minority votes…as well as, to try and weaken worker’s rights, benefits and compensation, medical plans, and unions busting… also changes in Women Rights to abortion etc… as it is all tied in with the power to vote.
This holiday we have much to reflect upon.
Let us not allow the hands of time to be turned back.
It is interesting to think that forty years after the death of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. we have an African American man in the White House, as President of the United States of America. And I love it.
But the other side of that coin is the number of death threats per day that President Obama receives, more than 8 per day… it is the highest number ever in the history of American Presidents. And the number of insults hurled at him publicly by Republican members of both the Senate and Congress… inclusive of being called ‘liar’ loudly during a State of the Nation broadcast… can be surmised as nothing more than pure out and out racism.
Miss Daisy said it best… an elderly woman of over 100 years of age… who said to me 1 day angrily-
Unlike the kids… she saw… lived …and remembered what it had been like years before laws were created to force the change in things… as to how we live… our basic everyday rights… and privileges that were never extended to us before. But Dr. King marched…went to jail and fought that we might be able stand like everybody else in this country… with our back up straight and tall. So, we could stand on the law… and in our case ‘the laws’… there were many and they were long in coming.
Enjoy Dr. King’s day.
Got a little snow the other night… didn’t amount to much and I am glad about that after all the snow we got last year.
But it has been very very very cold these last few days… then 1 day would get mild… and by night fall which to come very early this year… it turns soooo cold all over again. But then it is winter… and I would rather the cold over the snow… or cold and snow.
Well, God bless… and enjoy your week. Just noticing… this is my first blog for this year….2012. Time is truly flying by.
Well, it would have been… had I finished it before now. LOL….
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 ©2012
Add a comment July 31, 2012
I can’t imagine working for anyone who threatened me.
In reading a posting on my facebook page, I read where the daughter of 1 of my facebook friends was told by her employer during Hurrican Irene-
“If any of you leaves, you’re fired.”
Meaning that if any of the employees left the job they would be terminated.
I can’t imagine me wanting to work for anyone who would even consider trying to strong-arm me like that… and particularly in a state of emergency. But it made me think of 9/ll.
On September 11th …on the day that the airplanes flew into the World Trade Center, after the first plane hit the first tower …many of the workers in the second tower were told to remain seated, to continue working.
But friends of mine who were inside the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center that day… told me that when they saw that first plane hit… they didn’t care what their supervisors said… they were getting out of there. And because many people had already began evacuating that second tower, as soon as they saw what had happened to the first tower… it for many meant the difference between life and death.
A few days ago while driving down to Atlanta, I happened to catch a news story on 1010 WINS …an all news radio network in New York City. I had seen the picketers standing before various Verizon locations. But I did not know what was going on.
It seems that the contract for 45,000 Verizon workers had expired… meaning the Verzion worker’s contract is now up for renegotiation. Playing hardball, Verizon withdrew their worker’s health plan when the workers went out on strike. Verzion claim that they could no longer afford to pay for the worker’s health coverage because they were losing so much money with them being out on strike.
Everybody who is doing any business with Verizon should cancel every service …or whatever have you with them.
What money is Verizon losing?
None. In fact, with the workers out… they are saving money. Because Verizon doesn’t have to pay them while they are out on strike.
But the problem we face today is this… IT IS AN EMPLOYER’S MARKET.
Do you hear me?
Can you understand that?
It is like how they say it is a buyer’s market in terms of real estate sales. Because not many people are buying homes …and banks are not lending as much as they used to. So, if you got money …and it doesn’t matter about what the seller is asking for …make them an offer. They may just take it… you never know. Because they are not getting many other offers these days. And who knows… your’s might be their only offer.
And you see this clear across the board. Car sales and other large ticket items… because there is less cash flow these days with so many people out of work.
And therein lays the Verizon workers dilemma.Verizon is having its way with the Verizon worker’s union because so many people are out of work… and Verizon knows that it has the power to wheel and deal as it pleases because of the way the job market is today.
These companies have no employee loyalty. In fact, most companies today could care less about their employees. This is why most companies today do not even offer full-time employment anymore. Who needs full-time employees when there are millions of people willing… able …and ready to accept part-time employment with no benefits, and wages that amount to little… but beats nothing.
There had been a time when America was sending top executives to China to learn techniques of how to create a happy and more productive working enviroment. It would seem that those executives learned something much more valuable to them. How to take an iron fist and hold it over the heads of your employees… and keep it there. Forcing them to produce more for less… while compensating them little… and forcing them to smile while the company break their backs.
I dislike companies with the Verzion attitude. My cell phone is a Sprint account… but my broadband was with Verizon. I can’t tell you how happy I am that it is off … and has been so for some time now. But I can’t see myself giving money to a company that will not do its employees right.
Though these companies may feel that they have the power… the truth of the matter is… no they don’t. We do. And our power can bring any company to its knees just as the Montgomery bus boycotts brought that city of Montgomery to its knees in the mid 1960’s, and gave way to the opening of the doors that gave us all the right to vote, sleep and eat … etc… etc… where we wanted to. Today we get on the highway and travel anywhere we want… as African American people in America… eat where we want to eat… and book a hotel and sleep where we want to sleep. But for years this was not the case at all.
I remember listening to Shirley Caesar talking about that very subject on a television show that she was being interviewed on. She said that back then when they travelled… talking about her days as a young singer travelling with Albertina Walker and the Caravan… back in latter 50’s through the 60’s. She said-
“We had to sleep in our car. Because back then they did not allow us (black folks) to stay in the hotels or the motels like they do today. And we just couldn’t pull up anywhere and eat either. Because it wasn’t allowed. If we wanted food. We had to go back around to the back the door and see if they would give us some food.”
Thank God for powerful people… who knew that they possessed power. Or we would still be sitting on the back of the bus today.
Union busting is not anything new. One of the greatest examples of it is when Ronald Reagon decided to interfere in the air traffic controller strike, PATCO …in August 1981. Reagon froze the air traffic controller’s $3.5 million strike fund in order to force the striking workers back to work… saying that they were in violation.
And if you remember any facts to this story… you will remember how quickly many of the striking air traffic controllers were replaced. While a the powers to be… then trained a bunch of unprofessionals to replace to them.
And our air ways have never been the same. They have found people sleeping and all kinds of crazy things. And we will not discuss what took place on 9/11.
Because if the truth be told… that is still a mystery to me?
How is it that at least 3 airplanes took off from Logan Airport in Boston… and got so far off of their courses. And nobody …not 1 person knew about it until very important buildings began to be flown into?
Something is wrong with that picture. And for the life of me… how was it that the 2nd airplane was allowed to hit the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center? This is even a bigger mystery to me?
Because before it did… every airplane and helicopter in New York City was up in the air that day soon after the 1st airplane had flown in the World Trade Center. So then, how is it that nobody saw the 2nd airplane until after it hit the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center?
My niece woke me that morning with a phone call saying that an airplane had just flown into 1 of the towers of the World Trade Center. And as she was still talking to me… some 20 minutes later the 2nd airplane flew into the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center.
How could that have happened?
After the 1st airplane into that air space… clearly, a 2nd air craft entering into that same air space should never have happened.
First of all, the air space around the whole area of the World Trade Center and Statue of Liberty was and is…a protected air space. Which means it was supposed to be under the protection of fighter jets anyhow. But notwithstanding the admission of the 1st air craft into that air space… clearly, a 2nd air craft entering into that same air space should have most definitely been shot down…and shot down long before coming in contact with the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center.
But going back to the then President Reagon who decided that he needed to step in on the striking air traffic controllers… and teach them a lesson. Reagon, of course, being the idol of ever Republican… the 1 that they most try to exemplify, and proclaim themselves to be the most like. And I wonder if that was before or after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s?
But then of course… nobody knows exactly how long Reagon had actually been losing it. Though I must say that most of the Republican Party seems to be fit candidates for an Alzheimer’s examination. Because truly most of them seem to be suffering from some sort of mental deficiency… starting with but not limited to Palin.
Something has to be wrong …mentally with a bunch of people who claim that they love something and seek so vigilantly to destroy it. And I am talking about America.
They claim that they love America. Yet everything they have been doing lately… and I am talking … for years now… has been done to undermine America… if not to utterly destroy it.
One of the most disastrous things to happen to the United States of America was something called George W. Bush. I understand how wars were used in past American History to re-jump start the economy. But George who was supposedly an economy major from that great learning institution known as Yale University, in New Haven, CT. George having gotten into hot water somehow either on his own… or via the un-wise thinking of some of his flunkies…they came up with a plan. The plan was to go to war. Start some wars and the economy will take off again… the money you spent will be forgotten… and forgiven… and all will be well.
But there was a problem with the plan. The work place had changed.
In years past America had plenty of factories and factory workers. But by the time George stole his way into the White House all those jobs were gone. Those factories had been closed… and years later turned into lovely condominiums. And if the companies still exists those jobs didn’t… robots had moved in and replaced the workers.
Do you remember when you used to read the Help Wanted Ads and saw a train of Bank Teller jobs being offered?
Look for that now. You won’t find it. Because many of those jobs no longer exist. Bank tellers have been replaced by atm machines.
The same has happened to a position called ‘receptionist.’ When was the last time you heard that word?
It is voice mail… and automated voice activated systems now. No more receptionist jobs almost anywhere today.
Most utility companies have closed down their offices which used to handle bill paying services. They don’t do that any more. Oh, no… If you can’t send it in by mail… or go to a local payment center at your check cashing center …or corner store… then for a charge call them and they will take your payment over the phone.
Yet on the other hand Republicans will never say-
“And we have done everything within our power to ensure it.”
On every issue… and non-issue Republicans have done their best to block Obama from even trying to do anything to fix the mess. A massive and highly expensive and burdensome mess… that George W. Bush… a Republican …whom I believe will never ever be forgotten… for the mess that he left us all in. And when President Obama has managed to get something pass them… they … the Republicans attack it like a bunch of mad dogs.
Whoever said that Barack Obama was a magician?
Whoever said Obama was Merlin?
Or even had some kind of ‘black magic?’
In case you did think that let me be the first to just say-
“Are you for real?”
Magic is an illusion. It is based upon trickery… cunning and deceit. Thank goodness these are not traits that are found within our President Barack Obama.
President Barack Obama has never lied to us about ‘weapons of mass destruction.’
He has never tried to pull the wool over our eyes… by blinding us with a bunch of codes that meant absolutely nothing… code RED… code YELLOW… (if you have no understanding of this then you would have had to have lived in New York City following 9/11).
Obama has never tried to used 1 fear tactic to keep us up under our beds… or hid in our closets.
President Barack Obama is not the cause for why America is where America is today. He had nothing at all do do with it. He did not bring us here. In fact, as quiet as it is kept… he is trying to fix this mess. It is more than possible that he might aid in bringing us a long ways out of this runt… if we all stop listening to lies. Stop being deceived… and turning every which way the winds blows.
It is Republican deceit and lies that have turned this country upside down… and not Barack Obama.
- Corporate greed and mis-handling of business was here long before Barack Obama walked into the White House
- Job losses many years before Obama
- National Debt was already there… but really began running away after George W. Bush stepped into the Presidential picture
- Problems on Wall Street with the stock market are not new… trace them back into the 1930’s
Several States now have had to fight against Republican Governors who lead people into believing that they were either the man or woman for the job… and would wholly work for them… the voters. Telling them that they were a person with their interests in their mind and in heart… only for those voters to lament a vote that they ever casted in that person’s favor. It ended up costing voters benefits… or their job… or a less powerful union etc. Because that Republican political had an agenda. And that agenda had nothing to do with the people’s minds… or hearts that they con into believing in them with their claims of ‘I want to serve you.’
The Republicans are so slimy they have created a 2nd Republican Party… the co-called Tea Party a group of real lunatics… formed by that lunatic queen Palin and few other crazies. All of whom who have fallen out with one another… that is how firmly rooted they were. Like a bunch of crabs in a barrel… all clamouring to be the top dog… and if they can’t then they pick up their marbles and go home.
They have all… whether they call themselves ‘Tea Party’ or not… they …the Republicans have all developed a seek and destroy attitude. And that attitude did not just get started when President Barack Obama stepped into the White House… it is an attitude that they have long adapted to.
You need only to look at the 2000 Presidential Election between George W. Bush and John Kerry to see how demented the Republicans are. They saw nothing wrong …NOTHING…in undermining the entire American practice of our right to vote… and to have ALL our votes counted. And it was not something that they were not bold enough to do so all could see… and dared any of us to do anything about it.
So, don’t blame Obama. This mess is not his. But he decide to champion the cause… to try to set America back on the right course. To raise Her from low depths She sank to under what no one can call ‘leadership’… but just say… George Bush brought Her to.
Don’t look for magic. Look at it as it really is. The world has changed. And the work place and work force has changed with it.
Many jobs that people used to do… no longer exist.
Re-training people has it place… I guess. But when they are re-trained where will they go?
Everyone is learning computers… but there are only but so many computer jobs.
The medical field is good. In a field that had nothing but female mostly… had seen a great emergence of male. Use to be you never saw a male nurse… but today hospitals are loaded with them. Men are entering the nursing field in very large numbers. And to think there was a time that such a thing… would have been seen as being sissy.
One thing is for sure… no matter what happens in this world… we all at some point or other need something medical. As long as we are in these bodies the need for the medical profession cannot …or will ever be replaced. But that is not to say that it too… will not evolve. It has.
However, technology is forever changing things. But even so there will still only be a need for but so many people to work in the medical field too… at any given time.
Radio stations have changed… television stations have changed. Most newspaper companies have gone out of business… because few people read newspapers any more. They get their news now over the internet… on their ipads… and cells. And if you haven’t noticed… most news companies have cut back drastically on their staff.
For 1 of my journalism classes, my professor… a great woman… had been booted out of her position as a staff writer for a local newspaper… a job she had had for many years. That company’s lost was of course … my great gain. Because she came with a wealth of knowledge, and understanding about the history and future of journalism… and media at large.
But if you have noticed over the internet all the news sources seem to buy their stories from 1 source. You can read the exact same story… word for word from 1 internet source to another. And if you are like me… you always have a need to want to know more… but they don’t have it to give.
And somewhere along the way… they grab ahold of this attitude: THAT LESS IS MORE.
Yeah, right… When I want to know less…or read less… I will just stop. I don’t need anyone deciding for me… when I have had enough.
Which I guess is the main reason why so many people like my blog… www.bsmith101.wordpress.com. For as you can tell… I do not believe in the ‘less is more’ concept. Nor do I just regenerate news items. What a waste that is. If I follow a story… I want to read something I haven’t already read… or at the very least …give me some more details …or info on whatever it is I’ve come to your website searching for.
But going back to my thought… the workplace has changed. It is not what it was 20 years ago… or even 10 years ago.
Remember all those customer service jobs that used to be in the newspapers?
Roughly about 20 years ago customer service became such a big thing. There were tons of ad campaigns about the type of service you could expect if you did business with such and such. Companies trained their employees to greet you in a special way, and to service you as quickly and efficiently as they could.
Today all of that is gone to the wind. You can stand in a line for up to 10 or 20 minutes listening to someone… who is working the only open window… or check-out line… carry on a conversation with another employee or either with the person who had been right ahead of before they got to the cashier.
Have you experienced that?
You are at the top of the line… but suddenly the ‘ONLY’ open window has a highly talkative employee… or someone looking around as though they are trying to wonder why ‘their’ window or ‘their’ counter is the only 1 open?
So, what do they do?
They slow down… as if mentally they have taken a mental stand in their mind… to not kill themselves trying to serve all the people who waiting in line.
No body cares about customer service any more. And so… gone are these jobs.
Switchboard operators are a thing of the past too. A little company in your area that hired local people… mostly women to man the phone lines. But then it was for mostly doctor’s offices. Today those people can be anywhere in the world taking tons of calls for everything from subscriptions to publications, orders for books or other products, complaints, messages, prayer requests …you name it. But small companies in your town probably do not offer this service any more because it has been farmed out around the world.
Most of the manufacturing companies long departed …going into Mexico and other countries where the labor was cheaper.
This country really does not have a great number of blue collar workers any more. Most of the automobile workers were replaced by robots… or companies that sent large divisions of their manufacturing into other countries as well.
So where are the jobs?
Where are the openings that are available …or will become available for all the displaced workers who are currently out of work… and have been so now for years?
There are none. And nobody can do anything to change that… because of computers coming into the marketplace. They… computers brought about an unpresidented change to what was our workplace.
The only thing you can do is look for the next big wave in the future. That will
More and more colleges are offering on-line courses. Have you noticed that?
Some schools are over the internet only.
I am dropping hints here. Personally, I hate on-line courses… and feel that they are a huge waste of time. If you are going to sit in isolation… with no classroom interaction… then you might as well just read the book and be done with it.
But if you were considering a teaching career. Great… but you should also consider this fact. That soon many of those teaching jobs too will soon be gone. Due to on-line classes and on-line classrooms… and schools… cities… colleges and universities looking to cut their budgets. It is coming… and soon the classroom as we know it today will be gone forever too… just like yesterdays work force.
And with it will be gone… tenure. Tenures will bite the dust just like pension plans… and all other full-time employment; and whatever else they can do away with for the sank of the bottom line.
Soon even common currency as we know it will be gone too. They are already talking about stop minting the $1 bill. Soon it will just be all plastic… be it a debit card …or credit card…. or something else. But the coins will be gone …and the paper bills.
Bet all those folks working at the Mints all felt that their jobs were well secured. We have all better start to think again.
Who ever thought there would be no more pension plans?
Or health care benefits on your job?
You really have to be a visionary. You have to look deep into the future. You must go beyond your nose… if you truly want to have a chance in the future. You have to look deep beyond what you see. The future is what you cannot visually see… but something coming.
Many people now do not even go into the office any more. They can do all their work from home. They write their news articles at home… edit news copy at home… edit books at home… and mother-frames and inter-locking networks are big things in corporations now.
I do see computers… and our dependence upon them growing.
In New York City they have all most totally done away with ticket booth operators down in the subway system. They too have been replaced by machines… which can dispense to you fare tickets. And while in Boston not so long ago… I noticed that they were doing the same in their subway system.
The world is becoming a place of less working people… and more automated machines. And unless you are prepared to service these machines… or program these machines… your work history will too soon come to an abrupt end. And you will find yourself with a need to be re-trained… to nothing.
So, when George W. Bush thought that he could jump start the economy by creating a war… with the hope that the war would create jobs. He and his people forgot something. All those factories were gone… and so weren’t those jobs. And even if the jobs could be revived… robotics still had replaced the manpower that used to produce the goods.
So, the wars didn’t work. But only sunk us deeper and deeper into debt as the years have dragged on. But of course …the Republicans will never tell you any of this. Any more than Verizon will tell you that they were happy for any old excuse to rid themselves of paying their employee’s health benefits.
Irene hit the East Coast hard… and it seems that my cousin who informed me of the storm was right. Sadly there were a few deaths. But thank God He saw most of us through it safely.
My cousins and friends in various places… including my brother had to deal of electrical outages. But that is the least. Many suffered damages due to flooding and/or falling trees.
The good news is Irene wasn’t as bad as what had been expected. To God be the glory.
The New York subway is up and running once again. Though on our way back from Atlanta… I did notice where many of the over-passes in the New York area were being worked on. And that was following the earthquake that hit us… before Irene came bouncing and blowing in.
Well, God bless…and enjoy the rest of your week. Amazingly we are at the end of August already. Schools and colleges are already in. I pray that all are safe and do 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…” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2011
Add a comment August 28, 2011
First Zackery Tims …and now Nicholas Ashford.
Oh, I know… I know that Nick was not known for writing and singing gospel music. But no one can deny that he did come from a strong gospel background… that sometimes even managed to show up in his song writing and way of singing.
And what songs they were. He was gifted… and what he didn’t have …his partner and later to become his wife… Valerie Simpson had. Together they wrote some of Motow’s best known music. Songs like ‘Ain’t No Moutain High Enough,’ ‘It Takes Two,’ ‘Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand’ ….just to name a few. And I do mean just a few… because their list does indeed truly go on and on.
For a while Val and Nick could be caught holding down the evening drive-time radio slot at WBLS,in New York City. In fact, 1 afternoon I decided to drop by BLS with the hope of getting in to see Vinny Brown, an old friend and co-worker who at the time was the Program Director for the station. While waiting …to my unexpected surprise as I happened to look up… standing before me were 2 people I would have had to be totally blind to not to have recognized from the very moment my eyes came up on them.
“Val and Nick,” I heard myself say… as my head jerked back slightly in surprise.
It just kind of eased out of my mouth… I hadn’t realized they were handling BLS’s on-air drive-time shift at that time. So, I was really surprised to look up and see them, standing right there before me… close enough for me to just reach out and touch them. Nick slightly smiled at me… while Val kind of looked off.
From the time I hit college Nick and Valerie had been busy in recording studios. So, I had looked at and played just about every album of their’s. Definitely a sign of the time… because most of the kids don’t even know what an album was …or a 45 for that matter. But yes …I had played Val and Nick for many years. And it didn’t hurt for me to be a big fan either… which meant as often as I could I would sneak them in on my music lists rotations.
As the years went on I didn’t have to continue to ease… I just played them… back to back …or however I wanted. Them and Phyllis Hyman… Donnie and Roberta… Friends of Distiction… Dells… Roy Ayres… George Duke… and whoever else I wanted to program. Including Motown’s Temptations, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye… and just so much good music… The kids don’t even have a clue… they have nothing like it today.
Nobody writes good music any more… they don’t even know what it is to have anything called ‘good lyrics.’ They… the kids are too busy buying beats. A lot of which are stolen from times gone… times that music like that during which Val and Nick came from …and wrote during.
Though they …Val and Nick had long since turned their attention to other things …such as going into the restaurant business… New York’s Sugarbar and I forget what their first restaurant was called …it had been on 22nd Street also in Manhattan.
And whenever traveling home on I-95… as I passed Stamford, CT… my mind would always run across them, as I knew that for a while at least they had made their home in Connecticut.
Having their number I called them once while seeking investors for 1 of my feature film projects. Though I failed to reach them initially… you will never know to my surprise… how thrill I was to receive a call back from them concerning the message that I had left. Val told me that they were just getting ready to open up another restaurant… which was to become the Sugarbar. So, they couldn’t afford to do it at the time. She appologized and told me maybe the next time.
I hung up not at all feeling let down. All I could think was… wasn’t that nice for them to take the time to call me back?
This is my all time favorite song by Valerie Simpson and Nicholas Ashford.
While living in Chicago… Millie J… used to visit a friend of mine by the name of
Jean… who was Tyrone Davis’ sister. Millie had come to town to perform and while talking with Jean… I overheard her say-
“While I was coming through the airport guess who I came across? These two people walking around holding hands. I didn’t even have to look twice. I knew right off it was nobody but Nick and Val.”
They had that something special… kind of like what Michelle and Obama have. A total appreciation for each other… and a desire to always be in touch with one another… as though they cannot do or bear to be without each other.
Just a few seconds ago, a friend of mine informed me that Nick had dealt with sustance abuse. Never knew that …or ever heard that. So, I don’t know for sure. I have not seen him or Val for years now. But I know their music anywhere or anyhow I hear it.
Personally, I cannot imagine Val without Nick. She loved him… and held on to him. And he loved her… and held onto her. And together they held on to each other …a profoundly good example of 2 people who truly walked in love with one another. I certainly pray her strenght in the Lord… and that of their children and other family members.
I had heard his testimony. And what an awesome testimony he had had regarding how God had saved and pulled him out of a messed up life of drug addiction… and having come from a home where nobody knew the Lord. How God had put someone in his path that gave him an invitation… and 1 day for whatever reason Zackery Tims, some 8 or so years ago… called a man on his job who had invited him to come and go to church with him. And that night he got saved… and his life was forever changed.
A megachurch Pastor having a congregation of more than 4,000 members in the Orlando, FL area… on this past Wednesday, Pastor Zackery Tims was found dead on the floor of his Time Square hotel room. The first information said… heart attack. But later information started circulating… that a white powder sustance… cocaine had been found on him.
I had long ago stopped watching him … or some reason or other. I cannot remember why… but it always seems to me that as you watch some of these television evangelists… you like them in the beginning, but then they begin to shift. And everything about them and what they are preaching changes.
I cannot say that about Pastor Tims… because I cannot remember what prompted me to stop watching his program. And it might not have had been anything with him… but a time conflict between the show schedule and my schedule.
His eyes lately were watery or shiney… glossy I guess you could say… whenever I would happen to catch the tailend or some part of his show. And I am not just saying that because I am hoping that after the autopsy is finally released… it will show any drugs in his system. Because I am not… if anything quite the opposite.
I would hate to think that he would have been drawn back… into something that he was blessed enough to have been released from. But when you think back to the events that lead to his divorce… you have to think… Well, maybe.
He was involved with a stripper for a year… that is what the article read. But if it read a year… then it is possible that it was for a longer time than that. While he was engaging in adultry with her… it is very likely that he was also indulging in other things too. And while that relationship may have ended… and who really knows… But if he was drinking or indulging in drugs as well… it is not so likely that he also just stopped abusing either. And do note I said ‘if’… because I don’t know.
I didn’t know him… or much about him except what most of you who also watched the Word Network knew about him. But I was watching the day he leaped upon the top of his pulpit podium to dramatize something he was preaching. I did think that was very odd… and all I could think was-
“That is suppose to be holy. How could he jump up on it?”
But it would seem that not much is still considered to be holy any more in church. I see preachers with baseball caps and hats on in the pulpit… and sweat suits and sneakers. Anything it seems goes today… whatever… however… whenever. My, Lord…
Whatever happened to reverencing the house …and the things of the Lord?
UPDATE: SUNDAY, January 15, 2012…As of New Years Eve this year Pastor Paula White has been chosen the Board of Regents of New Destiny Christian Center. And it would seem that since the autopsy done on the body of Pastor Tims was never released to the public…that drugs had indeed been found in the blood system of the late Pastor Zackary Tims.
With the announcement of Paula White becoming the chosen replacement… Well, it did not seem to sit right with Pastor Tims ex-wife. Tims’ ex-wife claims that Tims’ and her children are being robbed of their inheritance. You can read more on that by CLICKING the LINK below.
Since I am on the subject of Pastors… and since I did write a blog on it. Let me just note here that I read somewhere… or heard it… that Bishop Eddie Long quietly settled his cases with the young men who had filed law suits against him, for supposedly taking sexual advantage of them while they were under his religious leadership as young teenaged boys.
The settlement is said to have been $15 million total going out to the young men in question.
Visiting with a niece and enjoying myself. Can’t you tell?
I have so much time on my hands that I decided to take some of it to write this blog. I rarely have much time these days. I am on assignment… and must pick up my pace. I have to stay busy in the things of the Lord. And at the end of the day… I just want to be ready when He comes.
And for as long as I can remember that has not changed.
I still love this picture… It is sooooo refreshing looking.
Speaking of which… while talking with a cousin this evening… she told me that they were buckling down for a bad storm that they… the insurance claims agents of the company she works for …are being prep for if it should hit us this week on the east coast.
Better get out and pick up a few things for just in case. And no need to wait until the last minute… do it now since you have gotten some advance info.
One other thing… while here. My niece took me by Dr. Martin L. King’s house and the Center for Non-Violence. Took a picture with a tour guide who informed me that every house on his street was bought by the Federal Government… and the only house on the street that is not owned by the Federal Government on that street is the King house… which is still owned by the King family. But the house is open for tours …which are done on the half-hour.
It was amazing watching the people… black and white touring the grounds of the King’s house and the Center for Non-Violence. And it is all free… parking and everything without any hassles.
Mrs. Coretta Scott King was a very smart woman. A woman who was determined that her husband’s death was not going to be in vain… or forgotten. And I mean she did it… and she didn’t do it half-stepping either.
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 ©2011
4 comments August 23, 2011
There is clearly a plot to undermind the union known as the United States of America. And it is coming in the force of an entity known as the Republican party… Republican governors, senators, congressmen, mayors, business men and women… and media expoundants etc.
Though these people would be quick to say that they are not racists. Yet, their whole campaign and assult against Obama stems out of nothing more than out and out racism.
In Wisconsin the Governor is trying to rid the state of unions by going out after public employees…by weakening their ability to go to the bargaining table to negotiate their pay and other needs. This attack is nothing more than backlash at unions…blue collar workers… for their large support of the Democratic Party. And for being a mighty force that came together, as well as other groups, in aiding Obama to take the White House.
It is not that they… these Republicans cannot see that Obama is working to get America out from under the Bush mess. No, this they can clearly see… though they say otherwise… and desire to create an atmoshere of belief that he is not. It is their master plan. For Obama’s labors is just ‘what’ they fear.
Here it is… these political bigots are willing to block every initiative posed by Obama in order to make America a better and healthier place in the wake of that idiot George W. Bush…yet they want to block them. Not just 1 of them… but all of them. They desire to tear them apart… deflat them and try to defeat them. While they sit around trying to terrorize people about Obama’s initiatives… namely his direction and bills.
Imagine Republican governors setting up blockaides by stopping to take federal dollars that Obama has allocated to their states in order to bring the United States into the 21st Century. Monies set up to make our intrastructure better, more modernized and highly inproved. Such as high speed railroads.
Now, what could be wrong with that?
Nothing. But its a black man trying to do it. If Bush has sat around trying to do good instead of evil… and came up with the idea of updating our rail system… like Reagan came up with Star Wars. Wonder what happened to that… It was a ridiculous idea for one thing… but all those Republicans loved it. They stood up and applauded it… and supported that dumb idea.
Why do I say it was a dumb idea?
Because we know very little about space. And we have yet to conquer everythings here on earth first.
So, why would we spend billions of dollars trying to race our way to overtaking space?
Much of the seas right here on earth have yet to be seen. Not to mention some months ago I read where they discovered some unknown tribe of people in South America. People who had never ever been introduced to the outside world. As they had never gone beyond the confines of the area they lived in. But those Republicans loved Reagan’s idea to spend all that money on something which today proves to have been nothing more than a waste of time.
Yet, there are Republican governors who are refusing to accept federal funds right now… based merely out of their own selfish desires to keep a black man from being effective and successful in his job as President of the United States.
And whether you care to believe it or not… this is the absolute… sole truth about the matter.
As dumb and as destructive as George Bush was for and to this country there was never 1 revolt or attack set up against him by any political group in this country. Nor did anybody every stand up or while sitting down ever yell out-
“Liar,” to him.
Bush was a man who brought this country nearly to its knees. Brought us into a senseless war… was the cause why our gas prices… food costs… medical needs… and every other expenditure in this country has escalated beyond our imaginations. Prices that people in forgeign countries had become used to… but never ever us.
And not 1 governor turned down anything from him… or came up in opposition against him as these dirty double-dealing Republicans have decided to now come up against Barack Obama.
How dare these men… and perhaps some women of the Republican Party decided that their racist attitudes mean more to them than the well-being of America.
How dare these voted into office individuals… decide that they will not stop at doing anything they can do in their vain little efforts to hold back the tide called… Barack Obama.
Have they not heard that what God has done let no man put assunder?
Their opposition comes not because Obama is a bad President. Or because Obama is a liar… unlike the last guy that held the office of President of the United States… and an out and out liar he was… and not 1 Republican came out against him. Nor are they raising up against Obama for any other reason than that they are a bunch of bigots.
People who are trying to deceive their consituents by lying. Telling their constituents that their opposition is against Obama because they don’t believe in the direction that he is taking America.
Here it is Obama has managed to begin the great American comeback after George Bush brought us into the worst financial period in American history… just shy… and I do mean just shy of the Great Depression… and the history books may come to say ‘the worst’ 1 day… if the truth really be told.
But thank God that before Bush could take us all the way down… the election period came up. And the timing could not have come quick enough to boot that crook out of the White House.
Now, here in Bush’s wake… Obama is starting to turn back the tide… and then here comes those dirty little Republican Party politicans.
Jobs are coming back and the economy is on the rise… And my… how they hate that.
There is now light shinning through at the end of the deep dark tunnel that the Bush Administration and the Republican Party sanked us into. And they want to block out that light.
Because it is the doing of a non-Republican… and especially… Oh, no… not a black man!
We can’t allow him. If he does this… if he is successful you know what this will mean. We will be saddled by an onslaught of other black Presidents. They will prove that they are not stupid. And that they can manage things… and make decisions.
They will take over America.
It sounds like all that old southern rhetoric expounded by southern plantation owners opposing slavery. Proclaiming all kinds of stupid stuff… like their women would not be safe. Their children would not be safe. That their way of life… peacefulness… and everything else would be destoryed.
And so, the slaves were finally freed due to a war betweeen the then Union States… the South verus the North… the Civil War. Yes, it was not without struggle… or strife. Not without loss of lives. Yet, black people came up from slavery working and striving to destory the old stereotypes and ngative images propagateded by hate. And was meant as a means of keeping us down.
Years of watching us on television and in news segments as being a people who were lesser than… lost people… and a people who could not get it right.
There is little wonder that throughout our history in this country… the most successful black people in this country were those in the entertainment business. And particularly those in the earlier years that managed to cross the color barriers, becoming popular among white audiences. They were those kind of black folks who didn’t mind being laughed at… and keeping those old stereotypes alive.
Jessters who made their money acting the way white people believed… or rather liked seeing us act… in ways demeaning to us as people. And they (those entertainers) did not mind selling us out …much like some of these little rappers and singers …and some comedians of today.
So, in walks a man name Barack Obama… and he comes in with a Michelle Obama… with little Malia and Sasha… and grandma. And they broke up that stereotype, along with such talents as Diahann Carroll, who became TV’s Julia… and others.
No, they exploded it… those Obama’s. And hopefully never to come back again.
Years of lies hit the wall when the Obama’s hit the scene. Years of lies like… black men don’t do anything but beat their women.
Lies like… black men don’t take care of their children.
Lies like… their families don’t look like ours.
Like like… black folks are not smart. They can’t learn…and that they can never do nothing right.
I am going to end this here. Because I am getting mad.
Mad about what white racist people are trying to do against the man who is in the White House right now… who is trying to make this country better. And because he ‘is’ black they don’t want to see him do it.
And they were willing to tear apart this country… and bring us all… all the way back to where Lincoln freed the slaves. And to reinstate a deep wedge pitted in the heart of America to do it.
And these Republicans are set to bring that wedge back… no matter what it takes. Because they desire to see the black man fail.
But the devil is a liar.
Do they not know that the more they try to do against Obama the greater God is going to make him?
He shall be successful. Because I understand how God operates. He loves oppposition. And the greater the opposition the greater God can show His hand.
Obama being where he is… is not of his doing. But of the will of God.
This is of God’s doing.
It is very intersting… and especially that since this group of Republican governors meeting to discuss their efforts to attempt to block the success of Obama by refusing to accept goverment funds and blocking his health care bill from taing effect in their states… during this time… BLACK HISTORY MONTH.
Got up to about 2 inches more of snow this morning. So, yes… I had to get up and get out to shovel. But it was lite and not much. So, I didn’t even break a sweat. And didn’t sweat out my hair this time either.
Oh, well… Got to do what a girl has got to do…
Well, God bless…hope you enjoy the rest of your evening and this Black History Month.
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family to em , co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on…” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2011
Add a comment February 28, 2011
There is something about freedom that when you don’t have it…it is only but so long you are willing to go without it. Or otherwise stated.. tolerate being in a state of non-freedom.
I am sure that for the past 20 years many in Egypt felt that they were doomed to being under submission to a tyrant, Hosni Mubarak, forever. And Mubarak under intense protest thought that he could wait it out… their riots in the streets and massive protests.
And then he thought to do it under his own terms… but they finally forced him out.
But once people start to see the light of day…and start to act out regarding their frustration of being under suppression there is no force which can turn that tide back around.
So, when the army came out in Mubarak’s defense…even the military could stop the desire of the people to be free.
In fact, this being Black History Month in America… one can easily equate the Civil Rights Movement to that of the move of the people in Egypt… except for this 1 fact. He had a man named Martin.
And the special thing about Martin was that he was a man of God.
The other thing about Martin was this… he understood the power of love. Or, you could call it this… non-violence.
It is hard really to really really understand this word ‘love’ in all of its great infinity.
It is deeper than we think.
But to Martin it was not.
In order to really understand the power of this word…truly… you have to experience it fully in its highest capacity.
Once while down at the registry…having to go in to renew my driver’s class. And what I really should say is this-
While being at the registry attempting to renew my driver’s license. It went like this…
I was given a number…and took a seat to wait on the calling of my number. But as I sat there they called every number but the letter beginning with the number sequence that the group of people waiting on that same sequence had like me.
So, I waited…and waited. And waited… and waited.
Finally, I stood up and had a fit in that place.
And I started shouting about where was ‘our’ numbers…and why wasn’t ‘our’ letter being called? And I was not joking.
I was fit to turn that place out. And evidently the supervisor on duty did not appreciate my outraged outburst.
This, however, I did not know. Not at that time…and not until a few days later.
But back to my story…finally our letter and numbers began to be call, and I finally got up to the window.
But there was a problem. They sent me from 1 window to another window…then to another window. Needless to say I was mad again …and ready to really tear up the place now.
By the time I got to the 4th window in this scenario I was boiling over. I mean I was mad. But the clerk was such a nice young girl I found it hard to be angry at her… though I wanted to take out my frustration on her. Everytime I tried I just couldn’t.
She was just too nice.
Finally, I broke down and said to her-
“Can’t you be mean or nasty. I just can’t be mad at you. Can you just not be so nice.”
She just smiled and kept right on apologizing about my bad experience that I was having that day at the registry.
A few days later I got a letter in the mail telling me it was okay to come back into the registry to get my license. That is when God shined a light into my life regarding that experience…and what ended up being my unexpected end.
Because my outburst had embarassed the person who supervising the clerks working the counter…she decided (supervisor) that I was not going to leave out of there with whatever I had come in there to do. And boy did they do it.
They had me walk from 1 window to another… sending me on a series of wild goose chases before turning me loose to go home… and without my license. And while making $100 poorer.
I now understood every smirk…and look that I had picked up on… but at the time they had not meant anything to me… because I was too mad to pay any attention to anything but to what I wanted to accomplish when I went into that office. It was all clear to me now… even down to the young clerk who had been so kind to me… and why she could have been so nice to a very nasty little me.
She had been made aware to the inside joke. I now remembered a woman calling the girl back to her and whispering something to her. So, no wonder the young girl could smile through my attempts to antagonize her in the heat of my anger. She had been told to plaquette me. And it had all been a joke… my going from 1 window to another… and sent here there and everywhere.
Martin did not attempt to plaguette anyone… but he clearly understood that through acts of non-voilence in the face of violent acts can be a more powerful weapon than kicking, spitting and hitting back. When you have the capability of restraining yourself from responding in an equal or like-matter to that of a prepetrator or an enemy... then you will have power over them. Because the act of violence or hate…or malice directed towards you is devised to get a negative response from you. And this Martin clearly understood… and also the power of showing a reverse response to that which is expected.
Martin didn’t just believe in the ideology of non-violence alone. He understood that love was a retractor that forced even your worst enemy to have to step back and reconsider his acts or actions towards you. It confuses them. They have to step back… scratch their heads… and wonder what’s wrong with you?
The first thing that start to consider is ‘maybe I didn’t beat him hard enough.’ Or ‘maybe I didn’t insult him enough.’ Maybe…maybe I need to threaten his family. Or tell him that I’m going to kill his wife…or maybe I need to call and whisper into his telephone and tell him-
“You better keep your eyes on your children.”
There is something about love… that deminishes fear…and rage. It can force change to come about. And so we celebrate Black History Month because of those people who got tired… and started walking and marching rather than continuing to accept mistreatment… insult… and dehumanization.
People who took the hits… the punches… and the spit in the face that I …my son… my nieces and nephews might walk in this country with the right to be as other people who come here… though not in chains and they never had to live as 2nd class citizens in this country… nor contributed half as much… as we to be recognized as bonifided citizens.
It is amazing that throughout all these years in this country all these great inventions and discoveries by black folks in American are still not regularly spoken of outside of our own circles. To think that somebody…and African American… ex-slave invented the railroad track switcher, the traffic lights, the steamship, the air conditioner, the yard rake, the water sprinkler, the cotton gin, blood plasma, potato chips, peanut butter and oh…….so so so so much much…much more.
It is not that we do not have great minds in our group…but minds that have never been recognized. Consider all that we have created and achieved with nothing to so little… Just imagine if our folks had been allowed in this country to patent their inventions or anything back in times past. Just how many millionaires and multi-millionairs…billionaires there would be within our community today. Oprah would not be out there all on her own. She might be in 3rd or 4th place behind some of these people… these great minds in Black History. And there would be plenty of money…and lots of ‘old’ money within the ranks of our own communites too. Legally obtained by both those highly educated…and those who worked in fields as well… creating items which made their labors a bit easier on them. Inventions of thing which today are highly commonplace items in all our homes… or in all of the world’s everday life.
Also, nobody can tell me that whatever that man’s name is… James Naismith really was the ‘real’ originator of basketball. A man from Massachusetts? Who started playing a game of ball that included peach baskets?
I think not.
It sounds more like that on a visit down South… he saw some black boys down in Georgia…the home of peaches… with an old ball and tossing it into a peach basket after getting in from a long day of working out in those Georgia peach fields. He saw them …and then Naismith went back home and began to teach it to some young college students, calling himself the creator of it. I think not.
Well, happy Black History Month.
Oh, yes…before I end.
I think that it is interesting that during this season of much international unrest… I think that it is interesting that many who questioned President Barack Obama’s community oragnizing credentials… evidently never sat in on any community meetings.
They don’t know anything about the fights or the outburst of angry and outrage that can erupt during community meetings. If they had had any understanding… they would have realized that a man… or any woman with Obama’s community organizing credentials would be just the right thing for this season in terms of international turmoil. You need somebody who can get in trenches and knows how to hold his own…to deal with these kind of elements of emotional revolts and religious extremism.
Since the Egyptians have finally over a series of a few days managed to chase out their oppressor from office over them…it has given strenght now to other 3rd World Countries looking at that picture to believe that they also have the strenght to seize their freedom too.
It is kind of like the elephant… who as a little baby elephant is tied into place with a little stick. But being that elephants have long memories… the baby elephant when it grows up does not know it now has the strenght to break free from anything that might try to hold it or contain it. But if that elephant were ever to see another elephant break free… it might also come to realize that strenght that is in his hands as well.
So, we see the children who have grown up…and now determine for themselves not live as their parents had… passively. From the Middle East to North Africa their is unrest… Libya, Tunisia, Bahrain and, Yemen. And make no mistake…at ever turn America’s interest is vastly at stake. And I have no doubt that Obama has his eyes keenly on these places, the voices of the people…and those that are soon to pop up on the scene too… hot spots… all over.
I for 1 am happy that we now have somebody in the White House who is not operating with split interests. But someone who cares about us… the American people… and not future riches for him and his clonies…like the George W. Bush clan.
Well, God bless…hope you enjoy the rest of your evening and this Black History Month.
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family to em , co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on…” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2010
Add a comment February 21, 2011
Their whole attire is based upon watching people in music videos. That whole thing that they do with fingers…like we used to throw up the peace sign. It’s from watching the guys on the videos. Grinding and grabbing at their stuff…its from…
Well, you get the point.
I have read a couple stories on this romantic little couple…Keyes and her hubby to be.
But how does that happen?
He’s in divorce court…not even un-married yet dropping sperm all over the place while hanging a ring around her neck. Well, I mean on her finger.
Here is a guy where all you have to do is look at his track record and that should give you reason to ease back from him. What kind of man is he that has 2 children with the woman who has him in divorce court, and before settling that matter he impregnates another woman and says-
“Lets get married.”
And I thought I was disappointed in Vivica Fox when she hooked up with 50¢. I thought she was too classy for him…just what I thought about Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown at first. Though I still think that Whitney had more going for her than Bobby Brown, and over a period of time I began to see where neither Whitney or Vivica were quite what I had thought.
Which goes to my point that you should never idolize people who you do not personally know. If you don’t really know them then you do not a true perspective as to who they really are. And that old saying really is quite true-
“All that glitters is not gold.”
Meaning though they may shine…be famous…popular…or whatever but what you see and believe to be good may… Well, it may be something totally different from you think you see. And I am starting to think that about Alicia Keyes.
The guy doesn’t even look like anything to me. But from the articles Alicia is totally smitten by him. And she has to be to want to…or to have allowed herself to fall into the predicament she is in. Pregnant with child by a guy who already has 3 children by 2 different women…and is currently still married.
I hate to say it…but it sounds so ‘ghetto.’ And I say that knowing that many people who live in the ‘ghetto’ do not all act ‘ghetto.’ That is to say that they come out of what is called a ‘ghetto,’ but they do not act or behave in a manner that reflects the negatives of that environment…or the stigma we have come to associate with certain elements within ‘ghettos’ or poorer neighborhoods…such as the character played so realistically by Mo’que in the movie ‘Precious.’
Within ‘the hood’ baby-mama/baby-daddy drama is something well documented…whether you witnessed it on the street or happen to hear someone conversing over a cell phone. You know it when you hear it. It is in the tone of the conversation…the shouting…the emotions…and usually the cussing and swearing.
Amazingly, just like Alicia and this guy, Swizz Beatz. The name alone gives you a clue that there is nothing there. But going back to my initial statement…a few months into a fresh new romance everyone looks as in love as Alicia and this guy in this picture. But then comes the drama.
And I have no doubt that it is going to come…if history has anything to say about it.
The mere fact that he had no respect for Alicia by at least waiting until he finalized his divorce to impregnate her and to set a ring upon her finger…speaks loud and clear. And it ain’t saying ‘love.’
Oh, you may say-
“Oh, he is just trying to do the right thing.”
The right thing?
The right thing was to respect the mother of his 2 children whom he is currently attempting to divorce before dropping a ring on somebody else…and making the other woman pregnant. And Keyes is definitely the other woman in this scenario.
If one went back in time it is possible that the woman who this currently his wife…may have at the time found herself on the other side of the table. And had been the other woman in that scenario between him and the mother of his first child.
It is a know fact that if you meet up with someone this kind of way…where you take them from some else… Well, sooner or later you will find yourself in the same predicament. While the person moves on to the next one.
This guy strikes me as someone who likes to fraternized with women who have made it or are their way to making it. Hint…hint… All gold digger are not female.
The ex-wife to be is a singer too…somebody named Mashonda. Since I do not listen to R&B any more…or rapp…or anything much outside of gospel music…I have never heard of her…or him. But in watching a music video or 2 of his… he definitely has to hook up with someone. Because his talent, if you want to call it that…is not nothing. You might consider him to be another…uhm… Bobby Brown.
So, he was in dire need to go to the next level. And I guess you can say he did just that when he somehow managed to rope Alicia into his web of romance.
At first glance Alicia struck me as clean cut…intelligent…gifted…and a young woman of high standards and morals. But she seems to have believed the hype and sunk into the life of supposed stardom… rapp culture… and whatever else. She seems to have lost some of that style… innocence… and intuitiveness I thought she had.
So, how come she didn’t see this guy coming?
How could she have fallen so deeply under his spell?
Her style changed… her talk changed …she changed. She started showing more…and leaving less to your imagination.
Then I had thought it was going to be Alicia and Common. But Serena Williams tied that up.
But personally she looks smart enough to be a lawyer’s wife… or some doctor’s wife. But somebody with a brain seemed to be what I would have thought Alicia would have wanted. Somebody like a Barack and not a Swizz Beatz.
But maybe like Vivica…Alicia wanted a thug. Just somebody able to throw her down and sex her all night long. But I would have thought that she would’ve wanted far more than that.
Maybe someone she could converse with. Somebody who could do more than flash and throw his hands up in the air… or spin a couple of turntables. Somebody who knew something about responsibility. Somebody who could really love and respect her. Somebody who felt so deeply about her that he would not dare pull her into a mess.
What happened to her common sense?
Why would she want somebody who would pull her down?
Is she oblivious to what has been going on around her concerning messing with married men…and baby-daddies?
Doesn’t she realize that depending upon what state they live in that his children could pull a piece of her earnings too?
Yes, that is right. Once his way of life increases under the influence of Alicia’s money… she could be forced by the court to aid him in supporting his other children due to her income.
I know that it is hard to find men today who do not have any children… but there are some. Some fine decent men waiting on a fine decent woman. Who work and are more than capable of support his queen to be.
I see Alicia carries expensive bags… which cost thousands of dollar, like Chanel, Veneta, Louis Vuitton etc…etc… then why go bottom shelf when it comes to choosing a mate?
And she wouldn’t take a bag that somebody else owned. So, why do that when it comes to a man?
I don’t really know Alicia’s background but I have heard an interview or 2 where she has talked about her schooling and music classes. And it never struck me that she came from the ‘ghetto.’
And let me just state this…that ‘ghetto’ is more a state of mind than being. Because I know people who live in a variety of places including what would be called the ‘ghetto.’ But they do not possess a ‘ghetto’ state of mind.
How do you bring your mistress into Gracie Mansion, the Mayor’s mansion in New York City, where your wife and young son live to do your thing with her?
What kind of woman was she?
I guess Giuliani was just too cheap to get a hotel. But he did not impregnate her… least ways not that we know. And just prior to his attempted run for the White House, he married her.
As to whether they are happy or not… I can’t answer that. But I do not believe any woman can can sleep peacefully at night knowing that have hooked up with someone with a wandering eye. If it wandered 1 time…it can and usually wanders 2 or 3 times. And in Alicia’s case maybe 4… if someone steps up to the plate with more money and appeal.
And he did.
I do not wish Alicia ill… but I just do not see it working out. History always repeats itself, and someone’s nature is their nature. But God…only if God steps in and changes them. And this guy has z history that is speaking loud and very clearly.
But going on to my initial point regarding role models. Like Serena and Venus… I had thought Alicia as a good and decent role model. But this thing about being out-of-wedlock, pregnant and messing with a married man has definitely put a dimmer on that.
The problem is …is that because Alicia is in the public eye she does bear a certain level of responsibility. I have no doubt that she realizes that there are many young girls and young ladies who follow her closely. And for them she sets a kind of standard of excellence and determination.
Her lifestyle and choices like that of many celebrities gets digested, and incorporated into the being of those who follow them. Becoming pregnant by a married man…
Well, it is something most people do not brag about. It shows a level of insecurity… carelessness… and a balant disregard for the other woman on the other side.
This scenario is weighted in history. Its outcomes can be read in newspapers time and time again, due to all kinds of crazy acts of revenge… hatred… threats… kidnappings and murder plots. It is not a pretty situation …and under it no one can truly find happiness.
Because what started wrong in the first place …can’t help but end up wrong too.
Then that is not to say that errors or lapses in judgment can’t happen. But never compound a mistake.
No. She made a mistake. But she does not need to make another mistake… by marrying the wrong person.
Sure she is pregnant with his child. But if he was worth anything that would not be the case.
Clearly, Swizz Beatz lacks certain morals. I know that sounds like a foreign word to some. But morals stand for something. And anyone without them…
Well, would you really want to trust them with your heart?
Apparently, 2 others did. And you can see what was the outcome.
Why should the 3rd…Alicia’s relationship with him be any different?
And don’t say-
“Oh, he might really love her.”
Might is the operative word. He might …and then again he might not. She might just be another trophy to him. Might be just another target for his ego …and something for him to laugh about while chatting with his boys.
As is often in this kind of case… the man walks out on the other woman eventually…leaving her for the next one. It is an endless cycle for those who have no moral consciousness going from 1 woman or young girl to the other.
I pray that women wake up.
Today, we this scenario still plays itself out over and over again. In the story of Leah and Jacob …you can assume that Leah did not love herself very much. The text said that she had a tender eye… whereas Rachel was beautiful. And she could clearly see how much Jacob loved her.
It had to be painful.
Hence, any woman…or girl who loves herself is not going to just allow someone to use them with the hope of winning them over. Or baring a child for them with the hope that this will tie a person to them.
“I don’t know what happened to Marva. She was never ever like that before she met him.”
Before my cousin Marva ‘met him,’ my other cousin shared with me…she was happy and carefree. She loved life… and was always playing practical jokes. But then she ‘met him.’ She loss the essence of who she was.
He did not love her… but he kept stringing her along. Because he knew he had her. She gave him a child… but yet she could not keep him. There were other women in his life …but she refused to let go. Then he married another woman… and my cousin’s life caved in on her.
Suddenly, nothing mattered. Not even her own child. Her thoughts were consumed with him. Her desires were all for him. Then he shun her… cursed her …and stopped seeing her as regular.
And she began attempting suicide.
She succeeded last year when she finally turned a bottle of bleach up to her mouth. This time there was no doctor that could help her.
They could not pump her stomach. It burnt up her insides. And they could do nothing to help her but watch her suffer…for days… my aunt (her mother), her husband (her father) and her other sisters.
But at the funeral they realized that she was now at peace. But what a sad way to go. And what a horrible way of trying to find peace.
What could possess someone to love someone so much…more than than they do themself… or her child… to attempt on several occasions… and then to final succeed in killing themselves?
Could anyone on this planet be worth all that?
His life went on. But her’s ended…and ended horribly.
It had been compounded by 1 error after another.
There are some people not worth being bothered with. And particularly if they can somehow manage to cloud up how you feel about you.
I was once so in love. I do know how it feels.
Everywhere I turned I saw couples. Everywhere I looked I saw people walking hand in hand. Spring was in the air… and so was love. And I had no one…I was alone.
The one I cared for had cast me off. And I was floating …drifting in my mind. Reality was lapsing from me. I saw that which I wish I had. And it was all around me. Happiness …chatter… the glee of being with someone you loved.
But there I was alone.
And yes… it came to me. To kill myself … and to bring it all to an end.
But instead it was overcome by another thought.
I began thinking that maybe ‘the life’ wasn’t for me.
I tried it.
But I didn’t like it.
But I emerged from it pregnant.
I thought of abortion.
So, I just decided to go through with the pregnancy. Truly, that was my thought process. And that is why I now have a son… who I must say is a far better person than his mother.
And my goodness… what would this world be like if my son were not upon it?
I made the right choice. And it is God’s desire that we have freedom of choice… so we can exercise our right to make ‘the right choice.’
And I am glad that I made another choice.
It took me years to get here. But I made the choice to walk in liberty …and to come out of darkness. And I am so happy that I did.
Oh, well… I have got to end now. Because I am really supposed to have watched a movie… and now I’ll be up and working on a legal paper.
So, I really must get moving. Enjoy your day tomorrow.
In closing let me say 1 more thing… Alicia at 29 years of age should be wiser. I say all of this because I have no doubt that a lot people will read this blog. And I would just be wrong if I did not speak truth…with the hope that someone might hear. Or that it might help someone…including Alicia.
THE BISHOP’S WIFE is now on sale…
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
You have got to watch the BELOW video.
1 comment June 1, 2010