Monday, January 25, 2010

Pro-Abortion Group Opposes Tim Tebow Anti-Abortion Ad For Super Bowl

AJC: CBS urged to scrap Super Bowl ad with Tebow, mom

Just as "the right" is at times tone deaf on when they should battle and when they should "punt" those who are in support of abortion are showing signs of this disconnectedness.

NEW YORK — A national coalition of women's groups called on CBS on Monday to scrap its plan to broadcast an ad during the Super Bowl featuring college football star Tim Tebow and his mother, which critics say is likely to convey an anti-abortion message.

"An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year — an event designed to bring Americans together," said Jehmu Greene, president of the New York-based Women's Media Center.

The center was coordinating the protest with backing from the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority and other groups.

CBS said it has approved the script for the 30-second ad and has given no indication that the protest would have an impact. A network spokesman, Dana McClintock, said CBS would ensure that any issue-oriented ad was "appropriate for air."

The ad — paid for by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family — is expected to recount the story of Pam Tebow's pregnancy in 1987 with a theme of "Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life." After getting sick during a mission trip to the Philippines, she ignored a recommendation by doctors to abort her fifth child and gave birth to Tim, who went on to win the 2007 Heisman Trophy while helping his Florida team to two BCS championships.

First Lady Michelle Obama Confronts Childhood Obesity

Michelle Obama's Anti-Obesity Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Saying childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years, first lady Michelle Obama asked the nation's mayors to help her battle an epidemic that could see today's kids lead shorter lives than their parents.

Obama, speaking before the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said no matter how much she'd read and thought about the problem of obesity among young people, the pertinent statistics "never fail to take my breath away."

She said nearly one-third of U.S. children now are overweight or obese. She said one-third of today's children eventually will suffer from diabetes, and, in the African American and Latino communities, the proportion will be almost half.

Obesity, she said, "could now be an even greater threat to America's health than smoking." And if the nation stays on its current path, nearly 50 percent of all Americans will be obese in 10 years - "not just overweight, but obese."

"This isn't the kind of problem that can be solved in one year, or even one administration," according to Obama, who is expected to unveil an anti-obesity initiative next month. "But make no mistake about it, this is a problem that can be solved."

The Human Spirit Shines Through The Rubble Of Haiti

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Snapshots of "Human Resource Behavior"

Shout out to this brother who was holding a study session in the "Borders Books" in Cobb County Georgia.

I am not sure if this was his son or if he was on a "Big Brothers" outing.

As I tried to corral up my own children I listened as this brother worked to challenge this young brother as they worked on some science project in the children's area of the store.  He didn't let up on the young brother until he thought about what the question in the book was asking him.  Finally he figured it out because his mentor didn't let up on him.

The Culture Of Music - "I Hope You Dance"

I have to admit - I love this song!!

"I Hope You Dance" performed by Lee Ann Womack

I heard the song previously but I did not follow up on it until I watched the movie "The Family That Preys Together".  The movie featured the version sung by Lee Ann Womack and another performed by Gladys Knight.

The lyrics of the song are powerful and all are interconnected.  They express unconditional love and support for the object of the song writer's attention.

Since I am already exposing my sensitive side I may as well tell of my favorable views of the Natalie Merchant song "My Skin". This is the song that is the background in the "Humane Society's" commercial seeking to protect animals from abuse.

With the assistance of "Shazam" I was able to find this song.

The Humane Society of the United States commercial:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Forever Family - Assisting The Children Of The Incarcerated

Forever Family - Surrounding Children With The Love Of Family

This organization works to insure that the "child does not serve prison time" along with his incarcerated parent.

I am more inclined to support an entity that provides a network of community relief directed at the children than I am to support a group that drives to dilute the laws and sentencing of individuals because they are parents.  The separation of children and parents is said to have a deleterious impact upon the community.  They fail to tell the law breaker who is a parent that their actions are an assault upon the community as well.  This consciousness should prevent the person from breaking the law.  This is far more efficient than to lean upon the authorities to change the laws.

Only support from the community can stand in the breach to support these VICTIMS - the children who did nothing to receive this burden they face.

I will make a donation to this organization.  

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Steve Harvey To Become The New Host Of "The Family Feud" Television Show

Steve Harvey set to referee 'Family Feud' as host

Series producer FremantleMedia North America said comedian Steve Harvey will take over as host from John O'Hurley when the syndicated show begins its new season next fall. The company said Harvey was chosen for his ability to connect with viewers and his "one-of-a-kind" personality.

Harvey's TV credits include "Me and the Boys" and "The Steve Harvey Show," and he was part of the "Kings of Comedy" standup tour and DVD. He hosts a nationally syndicated radio program.

He'll replace actor John O'Hurley, host of "Family Feud" for four seasons. O'Hurley said in a statement that he decided to focus on his role in the touring production of the musical "Chicago" and a variety of business ventures.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How A Group Of Ethiopian-Americans Spent Their "MLK Day"

This is a true story.

Last week as I was in the offices of one of my clients I overheard a phone conversation of an Ethiopian woman regarding her plans to participate in a "MLK Day Protest". She was talking to a fellow Ethiopian and vacillated between English and Amharic I assumed that she merely had used the word "protest" when she was really going to one of the standard "marches" that are held in Atlanta. These marches are merely an opportunity for the Black Establishment to rattle their chains and keep the Black community focused upon past oppression instead of the present control that the establishment has over our communities. It is important for them to shape the attention of the community members.

Today I got a chance to get an update on her King Day March.

When I returned to the office I asked her "So how did your Martin Luther King Day March go?". She told me that it was great. People showed up in force to march for justice. At this point in time I was still figuring that she had participated in a "Black American" march.

In the back of my mind I had the vision of the SCLC lead "Anti-Street Piracy" march that had taken place this past summer in Atlanta in which the shame of the "Bloody Summer" in Atlanta provoked them to take to the streets. Unfortunately there were more campaign signs for Democratic candidates for the November elections than there were signs going after the street pirates.

I thought about how I could get more information out of her so I stated: "You know these days it is not only important that we march but that we consider WHO we are marching against".

Then she enlightened me.

They were not marching about any America-politically-tinged subject. Instead this was a gathering of Ethiopian-Americans with a protest march against the Ethiopian Government!!!

They were protesting over the imprisonment of Birtukan Mideksa.   She is a former judge in Ethiopia who is seen as a political prisoner.  I was told that Ms. Mideksa was originally jailed for political reasons.  After the government was pressured - she was released.  The government had been advertising that she was released after she agreed that she had been guilty of her original infraction.  When Ms Mideksa rebutted this version of the government's tale and made it be known that she in fact was not guilty..........they locked her back up in order to silence her.

My Ethiopian friend told me - The Ethiopian government has the illusions of democracy but in fact they are an oppressive government that puts on a good face for the rest of the world.  The protest march on the King Holiday was an opportunity for the Ethiopian community in America to come together to express their unity in outrage against the oppressive actions of their home country's government.

I spend more time with people of Caribbean ancestry per my marriage and thus I am familiar with their community concerns and activism movements.  I find the Ethiopian-American community to be of a similar mold but they are unique per their language and cultural differences.

I realize that the knowledge that the Black American has it better than most is not enough to get us to be conscious of what we actually have, make better use of it AND stop grieving about things that fail to pass the "Proportionality Filter".   I more people who reside in the comfort of America would focus upon promoting democratic institutions in other nations that are suffering instead of slamming their home country of America yet, ironically, lobbying to have the world's oppressed being allowed to immigrate to the safe shores of America it is my opinion that those with a "grievance-based" ideology would be a bit more fulfilled in their purpose in life.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Model Of The Forces Bearing Down Upon The Haitian Condition

The purpose of this post is to more clearly articulate my analysis about the ARGUMENTS said about Haiti and the conditions that the people within face. I hope to rise above the sniping that is taking place between ideologically entrenched combatants and instead challenge certain people on their thinking. In their arguments the figure they are making a point in favor of their view point. What they fail to note is the residue left after their argument is accepted.   The worth of the Haitian human being is tarred as a result of their argument.

The Diagram Above

The diagram above attempts to model the forces that bore down upon Haiti during its post-revolution period.  It is broken down into two categories:
  • External Forces that projected their interests on Haiti (ie: "Punished Them")
  • Internal Forces of the Haitians themselves.  This would include their political choices.  Their culture.  Their choice to educate their young.   In summary all that they have control over in regards to the Human Resources that they control.
I challenge all who view it to pick ONE BAR on the graph which most accurately depicts the proportion of responsibility that the Haitian beings, resident in the nation, have for their condition.  Is it 0/1% or is it 90%?   I am not attempting to answer the question for you.  It is left for you to decide.

My only goal is to talk about the residue left after your argument is accepted.

The aggregation of both of these forces represent the total system of forces that have made Haiti what it was the day prior to the Earthquake.

Let me state categorically:  Nothing about the "behavior" of the Haitians or any "curse" can be placed upon the Haitians themselves to explain their present condition and the subsequent earthquake.  To think otherwise is to subject one's self to mysticism.  This was purely a case where two of the Earth's tectonic plates moved, destroying the man-made buildings that were erected upon the lands as the vibrations pulverized them..

The interplay between these forces are documented on the graph.  I am attempting to show that as people seek to put all of the burden for the present condition of the Haitian human being  upon "the historical legacy of external forces seeking to molest Haiti DURING THEIR TIME AS A FREE NATION" - they also argue for the inferiority of the Haitians themselves.  The "intentionality" of their "inferiorizing" I will leave up to others to determine.

I am incessantly asked "Do you know your history?"  (If so then why do you keep disagreeing with us?)
I assure everyone that the answer is "Yes I do".

In this understanding of history I also make note that there is more at play in a land than that is "NOTABLE" to the historical record.  One day someone will write about the present day United States some time in the future.  If you were able to fast forward in time it is highly likely that you would not know the place as it has been depicted.

Some people pretend that the Haitian people were 100% subjects to the whims of certain outside forces.  There is no argument from me that the United States, France and the UK have been tremendous world powers during the time of Haiti's independence, able to invade any nation of their own choosing.  In focusing upon the model of 100% imperialism we are left to see the Haitians as mere backdrop - little different from the deer, wild birds and field mice that come along with most of the landmasses around the world. 

I am not willing to reduce the EQUAL HUMAN BEINGS known as "Haitians" to this status of "flora and fauna".

I am not arguing that the rest of the world accepted Haiti with open arms upon their freedom.  A government which saw a resident who looked like them internally as "property" was not inclined to see them as a "peer nation".   Nor am I making the case that they were given a fair shot at constructing an economy, free to trade with these others.

What I am saying is that those who believe themselves to be working in the best interests of the Haitians by exposing history - when you fail to mention what the Haitians did during this same time in history and how this, in aggregate, also impacted their course, their inferiority is an unavoidable consequence of your myopia.

In turn likely solutions that are proposed by the well-intentioned for this troubled island nation will be one where the masses are SERVICED rather than worked with as equal partners who are in temporary need.

Some day the "US Invastion of Haiti 2010" is going to be added as yet another bullet point in Wikipedia.  Only this time you will know that there was a broader context of truth that was not captured. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr & The Uncomfortable Talk About Civil Rights Violations

Today we celebrate the official "Martin Luther King Jr Day".  It is a federal holiday set aside to recognize the great works of Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr as he struggled to make America a better place for all by having it live up to its Constitution and laws.

Today we will hear fanciful speeches made by many people who have been invited into the pulpit of assorted churches across America.  Most of these churches will have Black Americans filling the church up to its rafters, listening attentively to every word that is spoken by the invited guest.

I have no doubt that most of these orators will tell of how far we have come as a nation and a people since the time that King last walked on this Earth.  President Barack Obama - the Black president who garnered 96% of the votes of the Black people who vote and likely held the symapthies of 99% of the Black people who did not vote for reasons of age or incarceration will be the most frequently used reference of our racial progress.  

Some of these speakers will likely say that 100% of our deceased ancestors would have also voted favorably, thus allowing Obama to win all 50 states - especially those states in the South that Obama lost.  The ghost of our slave past will rattle in the words of these sermons.   No doubt some who listen in attentively will huddle close to their loved ones in the bed this evening, fearing that these ghosts that they were informed about might return if we as a racial group are not vigilant.

Martin Luther King Jr, as an orator, was keen on making people uncomfortable about their present circumstance.  To Dr King - complacency and contentment in the sight of potential that has been suppressed by outsiders or overlooked by those who have the gift of sight were equally unacceptable.  

Today you will not hear the average "Negro Preacher" or "Social Justice Activist" take to the pulpit and focus his or her words on the forces that most dramatically impact Black people today, in line with what Dr King spoke of during his time.   Instead most of these people will model themselves after the ghosts that Dr King saw during his time. Indeed they were the spirits which, in their human form  kicked in the door of the terrorized Black families.  They violently had their way with the target of their angst - the Black male head of the household.  Suppress a Black male and the community collapses - is what the spirit of our enemy has learned over time.

Today's speeches instead will attempt to follow these ghosts where they have traveled to today, having distanced themselves from the Black community in large measure.   The success of Dr King and others made their wanton assaults upon the Negro community of consequence under the law.  In the struggle for limited resources many of them chose to leave the domain of conflict.

Today those of a certain consciousness will tell the crowd of Black people gathered that - the offense today is that in their separation - they have "left us behind" as a people to struggle on our own.  The downtrodden condition of too many Black people today is a condition of abandonment by society - in their view.   There will be no mention of the failed vision by the more proximate leaders who have hijacked the focus of these masses.  This provoked them to cast their eyes where these old ghosts of past torment have departed to. As a result so much of our attention is cast upon where they now reside rather than upon our own issues at hand.

The Civil Rights Violations Of Today Within The Black Community - What Would King Do?

The "Black man shot in the Black" by the police man or the White racist is registered in the annals of our civil rights folklore.  A man who was shot in the back was seeking to evade his gun wielding killer rather than aggressively attack him.   He is the consummate victim.    Aside from the lynching photo - there is no other image that is more powerful in the communication of one's oppressed state.

Sadly in the year 2009, a full 365 days since the last set of MLK Day Speeches, which again lauded the advances that our people have made per their reference to gains in electoral politics by people who 'think in favorable ways' to the Black populace - I can think of several local cases where the proverbial "Black man shot in the back" has transpired.   Unfortunately this did not trigger the same gut wrenching reaction as it did during Dr King's time. The location was the same - Georgia.  The reactions could not have been more different though.   The key different with the episodes in 2009 is that a Black man was the trigger man - shooting his brother down like a dog.  Respecting him as such as well.

We as a people have gotten too comfortable with the thoughts of the basic human disrespect that are expressed as a "civil rights violation" in its violent nature.   This level of comfort is proven by the fact that despite these actions of today having the very same outcomes as during King's day - "A dead Black man, laying lifeless in a pool of blood", few are willing to note that the very same elements that got these past actions labelled as "civil rights violations" are in existence:

  1. The scaffolding upon which hatred toward another is hung (the advancement of group factionalization, the will of racial subjugation, material lust, the passion of intimate relations that have been severed but not accepted)
  2. The void of human connection with this other where his death is an option that exists in the soon-to-be-killers mind
  3. The tool by which to execute upon the murderous action
  4. The decision to excute
  5. and in too many cases - A complicit system of community members and authorities that fail to intervene to destroy the pattern

The labeling of such an offense as a "civil rights violation" requires #1 and #5 to be in alignment per the agenda of the operatives who have the power to distribute these LABELS and advocate for their framing as such to the sympathetic publc.

In #1 there is a list of "poisons" that are accepted as more "injurious" than the next despite all being equally deadly when the pulse of the victim leaves his body.

Today the Black community is conflicted per the realities expressed in #5.   Throughout our history of freedom in America (post "Reconstruction") it was the establishment that had the authority to define for us that which is the "law" and those laws which apply to the "Negro" and as such would be enforced.  The establishment was bent on retaining power and in as much as WE were not a part of it - we were the "odd men out" and received a daily reminder as such.     

Dr King and others righteously fought to include our people under the veil of this protection.   The authority of the US Constitution that was illuminated via the bright light of their Christian God which lead them forward was instrumental in including the American Negro under this cloak of protection.

Today we suffer the deadly effects of exposure and we face an entrenched establishment which provides cover for those who assail us.  The assailants of today are said to be the victims of yesterday's sins and injustice.  As such they receive a measure of immunity from their own actions.  The laws that they are prosecuted under are seen as "THEIR LAWS", they being some force that resides outside of our own interest group.

Today, per the fruits of our long struggle,  Black people are often the faces which now peppered the establishment power in control over the institutions in our community.  These are some of the same institutions  who's benign neglect and immutability imperil us today.   Both of these forces are protected by the absence of stern rebuke from our community when they violate our interest.  We are no less complicit today in the maintenance of the system that suffocates us than were the White bigots of the past.  They feared that in expanding the veil of justice - their own backsides would suffer exposure as they were "short sheeted".  Whereas their exclusivity left us vulnerable - today's dilution of order similarly leave us exposed.  The only difference is the intent.  In the past the forces sought to hammer our people.  Today the forces neglect our intersts out of their willingness to believe that external forces are ultimately to blame.

I realize that few sermons today that are heavy laden with references to Dr King will make such a self-indictment about our key problems.   It is not good practice to insult those who sit before them in the pews.  Further more few of these speakers will outside of their own body and point the finger at the man who stands in the pulpit spouting words.

The difference between "Martin Luther King Jr Day" lapsing into yet another discount sale day for department stores and becoming a salient component of our national dialogue is the boldness and audacity of the speakers to hold up the immutable references of "civil rights and justice" and use its polished sterling sliver surface to have those in earshot of his words to see themselves in the mirrored surface.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Is Taraji P. Henson Today's "Ruby Dee" Absent A Life Partner Like Ossie Davis?

I am not trying to start something here - but - I am presently watching the movie "I Can Do Bad By Myself" which stars modern day actress Taraji P. Henson.

She reminds me of actress Ruby Dee when I look at her and watch her act. She is even cast in the same type of roles that Ruby Dee would have been cast in during her prime - independent thinking, strong woman.

We have been used to saying "Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee" because these two (when Davis was alive) were inseparable as a couple who worked together so frequently and who were married in real life.  This is akin to "Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr", "Sonny and Cher" (though they later divorced)  and "Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith".

How much of this "solo run" by Ms Henson is a sign of the times in regard to the low rate of marriage for Black females as our cultural norms have changed?  Is it the men that don't want to settle down or is it the new "independent woman" who is no longer pressed to "find herself" inside of a marriage?

How much of it is the fact that her time just has not come yet?  She has had a few high-profile relationships - true and rumored.

NOTE - Terrence Howard DEFINITELY does not have a steady woman (at home watching him or in the audience) that watched as Taraji P. Henson planted a kiss on him.
I would not be able to explain that one away to my "woman" even if I was an actor.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Black Students In Conservative Cities: Local Student Goes To Harvard, Releases A Novel As A Freshman

First a note of clarification about the title. The purpose of this series is to highlight the conditions, accomplishments and difficulties faced by Black students in known "conservative" settings as a means of documenting their outcomes. Fayette County Georgia remains a majority White/Republican dominated county in south Metro Atlanta. The families of these students are too often attacked as having "left the 'real' Black community behind. Or they are thought to be under constant threat from the "White racists" that they have chosen to live around. Of course these are the words of the Black establishment operatives who actually would like to see them "come back home" BUT also drop all notions that the conservative consciousness has any place within the Black community.

These Black students in such a setting benefit from the "functional processes" that are applied in these environments. It is not "conservative values" that make the difference. Instead it is the fact that these places have built up a certain system that works for the residents who are "inside of the calling circle" and thus they seek to work as conservators of the system that has been tuned to work properly. The better strategy is to have the critics study these places and take the elements that effectively educate a Black student and apply them back in the "Real Black" community. But this would require a person who is interested in solutions rather than merely retaining their own world view.

Fayette County GA Citizen: 'Good fortune' - SCHS grad and Harvard freshman releases debut novel

When Noni Carter was a young girl in elementary school, she would write short stories and poetry. She had collected so many writings that she put them together in a collection for her family when she was eight years old. Four years later, after hearing her aunt tell a story about her great, great, great great grandmother watching her mother get sold into slavery on the banks of the Mississippi, Carter began writing a story that would change her life.

“It was originally supposed to be a short story,” said Carter. “But it went from 25 pages to 50, then 100 and ended up at 300 pages.” That story, after a long journey of editing, revision and the search for publishing, became “Good Fortune,” Carter’s debut novel released by Simon and Schuster last Tuesday.

Carter has always been fascinated with the topic of slavery in America and had even written a story about a slave who escaped when she was nine years old. “Good Fortune, ” a historical fiction novel for young adults, focuses on the life of a girl who was a slave and escaped and a large part of the book focuses on what freedom would mean and what the life of an escaped slave would be like.

“The storyline and the essence are the same from when I wrote it” Carter said, explaining that there have been many changes in the dozens of revisions that have followed. She and her editor, Alexandra Cooper, had a number of decisions to make in the final revisions and Carter admitted that it was tough. “I had to let go of some things I loved from the early editions, but each time through it got better and better.” Carter added that she found it interesting that as she was growing up and changing, from 12-18, the novel was changing and maturing as well.

The book found its way to Simon and Schuster in a rather unusual way. Carter and her parents had been examining self-publishing for a while once the book was complete, but they never made a final commitment to one company.

“My mother kept saying that something just didn’t feel right,” Carter recalled. One day while at an event with her sister, she was working on a revision on her laptop and Kwame Alexander, a published poet and author that Carter refers to as her mentor asked her what she was doing. She told him about her book and he encouraged her to get it published, either by herself or professionally. Carter and her father took galleys of the book to the Book Expo of America and handed them out to numerous publishing companies with little response.

“My father and I decided to change our tactics and the company we decided to practice on was Simon and Schuster,” Carter said. “The man we spoke to was the Vice President of the company and the energy between us was good. He set up a meeting the next day and they picked up my book.”

Since the book was completed, Carter has handed the book out to some friends and family, even her African American Literature professor at Harvard and the response has been good.

“One of my friends called last week after reading it and said ‘I wouldn’t expect a person I go to school with to have written this’,” Carter said, adding that there was a time she was nervous about publishing the book, wondering if it was good enough.

The goal of ‘Good Fortune,’ according to Carter, is to get her readers to understand the scope of the struggle that the slaves faced and African-Americans have faced since slavery was abolished.
“The book is about freedom, but freedom from mental bondage as well as physical bondage,” Carter explained. She hopes that the book finds an audience and understands that the book may be bigger a few years down the line as word of mouth spreads.

Having a release date around Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month could certainly help find readers sooner rather than later, but Carter is staying humble and open to whichever way the journey continues.

Carter is in the area until Jan. 23 and the publicity push for the book will start in the south. She will speak about the book and sign copies at a church in Memphis, where she will also play piano at the service. There will also be signings and discussions at a number of places in the county and the Atlanta area.

On Friday, she will sign copies of hr book at the Fayetteville Barnes and Noble and on Monday, Jan. 18, she will have a display and will sign copies at the Fayette County Branch NAACP Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Observance Program at Sams Auditorium.

Soon, Carter will return to Cambridge to go back to school where she focuses on history and music. She is interested in post-colonial cultures in Africa and Latin America and social anthropology.
She hinted towards work on a second novel but offered nothing concrete.

“I intend to write about a lot of different topics and experiment with different things,” said Carter, who offered this advice for aspiring authors, “stick with your goal, stay immune to criticism and praise and don’t let fear get a hold of you.”

Carter heeded her own advice while getting her novel published and if she continues to have good fortune, ‘Good Fortune’ could help towards her tuition at Harvard.
As Old As My Tongue (Click To Listen To Audio)

Sam Cooke Featured On PBS "American Masters"

TV preview: PBS's American Masters show, 'Sam Cooke: Crossing Over'

Singing Sensation Teddy Pendergrass - Dead At Age 59

MSNBC: Teddy Pendergrass dies in Pa. at 59

  • The Love I Lost
  • Miss You
  • In My Time
  • When Somebody Loves You Back
  • Your My Latest Inspiration
  • Come Go With Me
  • Turn Off The Lights
  • The Whole Town's Laughing At Me
These are the songs that immediately came to my mind when I think of Pendegrass.

Some of these songs were from his "Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes" days.  All of these songs have the footprint of his unmistakable voice and his soulful talents contained within.

In my CD collection that is collecting dust in my basement I likely have no more CD's from an individual male singer than Pendergrass - with the possible exception of Barry White and Curtis Mayfield.   All of these men were tremendous talents.
These are the songs that immediately came to my mind when I think of Pendegrass.

MSNBC story:
PHILADELPHIA - Teddy Pendergrass, who became R&B's reigning sex symbol in the 1970s and '80s with his forceful, masculine voice and passionate love ballads and later became an inspirational figure after suffering a devastating car accident that left him paralyzed, died Wednesday at age 59.

The singer's son, Teddy Pendergrass II, said his father died at Bryn Mawr Hospital in suburban Philadelphia. The singer underwent colon cancer surgery eight months ago and had "a difficult recovery," his son said.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

African Immigrants In America Evangelize In America; Occassionally Conflicting With Traditional Black-American Culture

You probably do not have the Flash Player (Get Adobe Flash Player Here) installed for your browser or the video files are misplaced on your server!

The key takeaway from this video are the words of the White female who noted the differing foundations of the cultures of Black African Immigrants and the traditional Black-Americans who have American Slavery and Jim-Crow racial struggle so encamped within their racial consciousness.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Will Zoe Saldana Become The Next Angelina Jolie?

I admit it.  I just returned from my second viewing of the film "Avatar".  I snuck to see it on opening day because I got caught up in the hype of the 3D effects.  This time I took my kids to join me.

Upon the second viewing I came to the movie equipped with the knowledge that the female lead character Neytin had the actress Zoe Saldana underneath the blue costume.   Shining through the costume was the soft femininity and  athleticism of Ms Saldana.

I would like to see blossoming movie star Zoe Saldana be given an opportunity to play a female lead in a future sci-fi action movie akin to "Laura Croft Tomb Raider".  These roles are the showcases that launched Angelina Jolie into the stratosphere.   I believe that Ms Saldana shares the same athleticism and  svelte as Ms Jolie.

Thus far Ms Saldana has played several supporting character roles and is presently co-staring in "Avatar".  With the present moving smashing all box officer records it appears to be the right time for her to "take it and run with it".  Ms Saldana also recently appeared in the movie "Star Trek". (See Zoe Saldana's filmography)

I am sure that "Brad and Angelina" as a power couple in Hollywood has added to Ms Jolie's star power.  This has allowed Jolie to enter into the tabloids for a dimension of her life that is beyond the movie screen increasing her brand despite the occasional drama.

It appears that Ms Saldana has competent brand management that is getting her solid parts in popular movies.  She can grow into the mold of Angelina Jolie if her handlers went after "Angelina Jolie-type" roles for her with the goal of making her the headliner.

Just imagine such an actress making her mark in the Sci-Fi / Action movie segment of the industry and breaking free of the stereotypical roles that are reserved for both females and Black actresses?   This would be a tremendous step forward.

In any event I think that she is ready.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Eunice Johnson Of "Ebony Fashion Fair" Fame - Passes

Eunice W. Johnson, 1916-2010: Widow of Johnson Publishing founder gave Ebony magazine its name

Eunice W. Johnson gave Ebony magazine its name and for almost 50 years produced an influential traveling fashion show that brought haute couture to African-Americans while raising millions of dollars for charity.

The widow of Johnson Publishing Co. founder John H. Johnson, Mrs. Johnson, 93, died of renal failure Sunday, Jan. 3, in her Chicago home, according to a company spokeswoman.

A close business partner of her husband's since the beginning of Johnson Publishing in 1942, Mrs. Johnson remained the company's secretary-treasurer at the time of her death and for years wrote a monthly fashion feature for Ebony magazine.

Johnson Publishing's flagship, conceived as an African-American version of Life magazine and published since 1945, was named by Mrs. Johnson to reflect the mystique of fine black ebony wood, said Wendy Parks of Johnson Publishing.

Sunday, January 03, 2010



"A material image, made as a representation of some deity, person, or thing," as "something having merely the form or appearance of a certain thing, without possessing its substance or proper qualities," and "a mere image, a specious imitation or likeness, of something"

Friday, January 01, 2010

Cultural Reparation Vs Management Science - Focus Words For 2010

Each year I develop a list of "Focus Words".
These are labels and/or new ways of thinking that I have gathered after listening to the debates and tactics used by both friend and foe.

From the past are the following items:

  • Proportionality Filter - by applying this you can prevent a debate adversary from making a long list of "threats" to Black people while failing to note that despite the quantity and/or the sentiments that they trigger there are far more powerful forces bearing down upon us that are thwarting us.
  • Racism Chasing - Those who, per their violation of the "proportionality filter" value an assault by a White person as superior to the same physical attack that a Black person has done, even if in a far greater quanity.
  • Expand The Police Tape Far Beyond The Crime Scene - This is the tactic that is predominately used to obfuscate blame for an incident that all agree is unacceptable.  Instead of condemning the actor the person deploying this tactic seeks to make a wholesale indictment of the entire society. This only serves to strip away the power of individual thought and intellect of the assailant.
  • Non-White White Supremacist - This is the Black person who has accepted as fact the superiority of White people and thus his own actions and/or policies are based upon the assumption of White Supremacy - just as some White people assume about themselves
  • Fundamentalism - Despite the frequent assumption "fundamentalism" does not reside in the right of center world.  One can be a "progressive-fundamentalist" if his world view says that these types of policies are the only way to solve problems despite the fact that where they are implemented the problems remain.  They are forced to "expand the police tape" and thus find other reasons for their continued grievances.
A few new works were picked up in mid-session in the year 2009 that I need to document as well:
  • "Street Pirate" - this is the urban predator who cares only about his own material interests.  He doesn't have respect for the law, private property or most importantly - human life.  Those people who are stuck in the same community as is the "Street Pirate" suffer the most from his antics.
  • "Putting Your Adversary On Trial" - this is the debate tactic used by those who seek to protect the incumbent base from criticism.  Instead of focusing upon the effectiveness of these powers they either immediately turn to the time in which their adversaries were in power OR they ask "so IF the adversary was in power how would things be any better".  He fails to see that he is now DEFENDING his favored regime by making reference to the negative results that got his adversary voted out of office and then demanding why the critic is now 'hating'.  Thus he proves that he did not have an ABSOLUTE problem with this negative result.  He only didn't like the person doing it.
  • Human Resource Management - The concept of achieving a people's "permanent interests" not by working on THEIR BEHALF in some distant legislative body that will rain down benefits upon them and "wash them clean" but instead by development tried and true management concepts used in other areas for the benefit of these community initiatives.
  • The State Of Being "In Receipt Of Benefit" - this is a consciousness where a people are more concerned THAT they have access to a given resource (food or health care) more than they focus on if THEY PLAYED AN ESSENTIAL PART in the acquisition, development or distribution of this needed resource.  They in effect are CONSUMERS rather than producers
  • Consumers of Labor - This is a more accurate portrayal of the Employer.   This new reference brings to the awareness that ultimately there is an exchange going on between the employee and those who purchases his labor, giving him money in exchange.  When an item becomes more expensive without the adequate increase in value - the purchaser will often seek to reduce his exposure to these run away costs.
  • Shifting The Burden From The Community To The Society -  The claim of "Social Justice Rights" most often seek to develop entitlements which the entire society is on the hook for delivering.  Every person is to be kept at this minimum level REGARDLESS of his own actions in which he tries to tunnel beneath this threshold.   This is akin to the perpetual stomach pumping of  a suicidal person who continues to take sleeping pills.  The SOCIETY values this person's life more than he does.
  • The Two Way Flow Of Equality - The most popular channel for equality is the one where society is asked to PROVE that it equally values a person based upon its willingness to distribute goods in equal portions to those whom it favors.  The twin brother of this same concept that is rarely talked about is society's expectations OF this same individual.  Quite often there is a depreciated expectation for this individual to show himself EQUAL by lifting or maintaining the society's standard.

Other Notable References:

The list of permanent interests:

  1. Safe Streets - To allow a people to construct a fabric of connectedness with each other without fear
  2. Quality Education - To develop young minds into the professional service positions need to retain the standard of living that the community desires
  3. Thriving Local Economies - The construction of the framework that allows individuals to express and grow their talents in the market place for compensation and to allow consumers to purchase their needed goods and services
  4. Healthy Lifestyles - The balanced state of the messages and cultural mores of a community in which people's actions are coordinated with the goal of allowing them to live healthy, disease-free lives for the benefit of their community
The American Political Domain  - The area of activism and focus that most directly translates into the governance and operations of this country and all of the political districts and institutions that are attached to the hierarchy.  While it is true that there is an inevitable RACIAL overlap with this domain, meaning that some "Black Agenda Items" must be pursued in this domain, the fact is that this domain is not synonymous with "racial goals" and can never be allowed to be fused as such.  

The Community Cultural Consciousness & Competence Domain - This is a separate and distinct domain from which a "people's" drive toward self-development and independence emanate from.  Their "permanent interests" are rooted within this space.  Those items such as their culture which are not enforcible by the the government must flow from this domain upon the person's way of thinking and their resultant behavior and priorities there in.  

Constructive Feedbacks 2010 List of  Focus Words

  • The Community As An Instrument - This is a simple concept which makes not of the importance of having the maximum human resources within the community working in line with the broad community goals while maintaining their individualism.  In as much as we are not ants who are instinctively driven to do their part the intelligent human beings must be convinced of the value of this broader effort.  At the same time there are occasions where the immediacy of the situation requires an individual to yield his individual pursuits for benefit of the whole.  Certainly a different sent of priorities are had when a house is on fire and there is an immediate need to for those who are capable to save those who are unable to exit via their own power and to exit safely themselves.  Those who choose to ignore the alarms and thus choose to do their own thing, remaining inside - will perish based upon their own choices. There is a need for clear goals that are in line with the "permanent interests".  
  • Community Management Architecture - The management structures necessary to maintain the integrity and 'living standards' by which a community of people strive for.   Within this protected circle those external agents who seek to obtain their selfish advantage will be checked.  These forces will indeed tap into the "American Political Domain" for appropriation of resources where necessary.  They must be limited in the same way that the words "Render upon to Caesar what is Caesar".  At the same time they must protect the interests of the group from theft. 
  • The Nucleus Transparency Membrane - This is the filter which both allows for interaction with the outside world but prevents the core of our community consciousness from being compromised.  It must be an impartial judge - calling out all who violate our permanent interests.  It is the Food and Drug Administration - that demands that all of the theories which claim to be in our interests are made to prove their efficacy.
(to be continued)