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  1. 4 points
    O black woman, do you know who you are? It is you for whom the birds sing when the dawn opens itself for inspection. It is the glow in your eyes that the stars imitate when they sparkle. It is the color of your flava that makes the rainbow dull in comparison, and it is via your beauty that we can physically witness God’s artistry.-Gibran-• O black woman, do you know who you are? You are the secret that only reveals itself when a man is truly ready to experience the joy of having his dream transformed into reality. You are God’s private blessing to men who know what to do within the point between birth and death. To dwell within the kingdom of YOU is where heaven begins. -Gibran- • O black woman, do you know who you are? You are both the starting point and the finish line for everything I could ever aspire to be. You are a force of nature that has broken my shackles so that I can walk freely. You have erased my doubts so that I can think clearly. You have repaired my broken wings so that I can soar beside you. -Gibran- • O black woman, do you know who you are? You are the magic that awes the universe, the splendor that amazes the earth, and the glory that makes men heart beat with pride when they attempt to possess u. -Gibran- • O black woman, do you know who you are? You are the beautiful gift that God left on the doorstep of my heart. You are that special moment in time when nothing else matters but most importantly, you are YOU! Unmistakably YOU! -Gibran- • O black woman, do you know who you are? You are the sunshine that lights my life from within. You are the fire that warms every fiber of my being and that illuminates my path so that I am never afraid of the darkness. -Gibran- • O black woman, did u know that when I stare in the skies the stars spell your name? I feel your touch in the wind and I see your face in the clouds. And when I stand under the shadow of your smile, I find shelter from the storm. -Gibran- • O black woman, do you know who you are? You are that warm safe place where all roads lead at the end of a day when I have slayed all my dragons and find that all of my strength comes from you. You melt on my life and I become complete. -Gibran- • O black woman, do you know who u are? You are chocolate, dipped in mystery, a specially-designed flava whose smile is brighter than the rainbow. -Gibran-
  2. 4 points
    There are so many............ These aren't in any particular order of importance and I'm sure there are some that SHOULD be included in the top 10 that I'm not thinking of right now but here are 10 just off the top: Message To The Black Man (The Honorable Elijah Muhammad) Up From Slavery (Booker T. Washington) The Phantom Tollbooth Black Labor White Wealth (Claud Anderson) Mein Kampf (Adolph Hitler) The Bible The Autobiography of Malcolm X (Alex Haily) Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill) Time Machine (H.G. Wells) Life After Life (Dr Raymond Moody) It's been years since I've read them and I don't have the best memory in the world to remember every detail of them, but I do remember how much I got caught up reading these book and just thinking about them still brings comfort to this day.
  3. 4 points
    Best Wishes,Respect For All The Black -Mothers,Grandmothers,Aunts, On Mothers Day..It Has Been -Said That Black Women .Are The Strength Of,The Black -Community...Extra Respect For Black Mothers Raising Children -Alone And For Black .Mothers Grieving Over their Sons --,Murdered By Nazi Terrorist Police And Street Gangs...I Think --,Cynique Is A Mother And Grandmother..A Perfect Song For -Black Mothers And Girls Is Black Pearl,By Sonny Charles -And,The Checkmates.....
  4. 4 points
    AALBC.com is continuing to expand. We are just a few months away from providing book printing services. I'm excited about this because this is one of the final pieces needed to becoming a full service publisher. The other great thing is that I'm working with an established Black owned printer who is producing a quality products at competitive prices. I'm setting up the website now (which is slowing up the AALBC.com upgrade, but it is worth the effort). I also plan on publishing great books that agents can't find publishers for, I'm about a year away from this, but there's some great potential here that I can't wait to begin working on.
  5. 3 points
    Well, we were acquaintances, not friends since we did not run in the same circles because she was, as we used to call them, "sanctified", a member of the Church of God in Christ which back then forbade its women to wear lipstick, and frowned on drinking and smoking and dancing and playing cards. So her life was pretty much what it would've been had she been raised as a member of the NOI. Her name was Beatrice and she was an attractive girl and a choir soloist with a beautiful singing voice and a pleasant personality and was cherished by the congregation of her father's church. But her life took a detour when she was not only whispered about for being a daughter of Elijah Muhammad, - something that didn't come out until we were in our 20s when the black Muslims had become well known - but for what happened later when she again became the subject of more gossip after she was left "standing at the altar" in her white wedding gown because the groom never showed up for the rumored reason of being gay. She never wed and became an evangelist and died young, in her early 50s. i have no idea how she felt about the circumstances of her birth but she did have kind, loving adopted parents. There were a lot of little interesting back stories and skeletons in the closet among the black population in the small town where i grew up...
  6. 3 points
    Discovering that Elijah Muhammad had a harem of young girls, many of whom he impregnated, was what drove Malcolm to leave the NOI and start his own sect. I personally knew a girl in my hometown who was fathered by Elijah Muhammad and was later adopted by a local minister of the Church of God and Christ, and his wife. Also, according to Malcolm's biography by Alex Haley, Malcolm was a pimp in his days before he went to prison and converted to Islam. Of course, Alex has proved to not always tell the truth in his books. Recently there have been reports that in 2010 Farrakhan became interested in Scientology and began to explore its concepts and encourage followers to study the disciplines of Dianetics in order to become coverts and learn the "auditing" procedures utilized to recruit and monitor others. i also read where Farrakhan has converted to Christianity, accepting Jesus Christ as his savior. I read about the Muslims and Dianetics in Wikipedia, which of course, draws criticism from certain people on this board. But i have always found well researched information there, and since the living people and the heirs of the dead people it profiles have an option to challenge and correct information about themselves or their works, i assume that what i read there is as good a source as any for information. As far as what i believe about black men automatically defending their women, i don't think doing so is a priority of theirs or something they do as a custom. Individual ones may do so in the course of protecting their families, the same way they would do if it came to their car or any property they valued. It's not something i dwell on. i remember a while back when one night my husband and i were awakened by a noise that made him wonder if someone was trying to break in. He immediately got up with the intention to go down stairs and see. i protested, asking him what did he think he could do? He continued out the room, saying he didn't know but would think of something when he got there. While i had my hand on the phone, i think he grabbed an object before he made it down the stairs where it proved to be a false alarm. So i guess "situational ethics" can trigger impulses. 😏
  7. 3 points
    DUH. i think your response was highly opinionated. But not the expression of a self-centered person. What i said about me being self-centered was that i thought this was how others viewed me. i don't view myself as self-centered however because i am too busy focusing on contradicting what others say. So i guess that kind of ties in with Troy said. Note that i never bother to capitalize "i" when it stands alone and this is for a reason... Once again i have a confession to make. i didn't join this thread until late because sometimes i stay on the sideline and just let others go at it, especially when it involves videos because as i've gotten older my attention span is short, and both spoken and written comments have to instantly grab me or i lose interest. So, when Del asked my opinion on black women marrying white men and Chevdove shared her thoughts on the exchange between Malcolm and Evie, i back tracked and checked things out closer, which is to say i actually watched the video. And it was, indeed, like going back in time. In 1961, i was 28 years old and immersed in the blooming civil rights struggle. This was during Martin's and Malcolm's hey day, their friendly rivalry kinda like a Michael and Prince thing; different sides of the black coin, one edgy, the other smooth. This was also when TV had really come into its own having just started to command a wide audience in the mid 1950s. So "M"&"M" were superstars, thanks to the exposure granted them by the MEDIA of TV as well as talk-radio which was also an up and coming outlet. The thing about what they were both saying back then was although it was revelatory to white people, it was familiar to blacks, and when these 2 started spreading their messages, black folks immediately identified with them. They weren't saying "Oh, Wow", they were nodding "Right On". The things Malcolm was saying about whites i had grown up hearing to my daddy say, something that was common in all black families who lived in a racist society. i never had any illusions about the guilt of whites but my particular environment also enabled me to see benefits of what Martin was saying about integration. As soon as i heard Malcolm's resonate voice on the video, telling it like it was in response to the shrill, high-pitched enunciations of Evie, the years fell away. Now, as then, i have mixed emotions, - which is what it means to be black in America...
  8. 3 points
    Hmh.......... Let me see .......... When my high school history teacher and football coach seemed to turn up in places when I got off the city bus in big ole San Diego, way on the other side of the city ....... there he was in his van------ offering me a ride...... when he told me I had to do after school study or I'd fail and could not graduate, and even though I took my friend with me..... he demanded that she leave because she was passing and then, she left....... he pressed against me..... i was 16 years old..... a virgin...... and I beg him to get off of me..... and later find out that he did this before and was basically just 'slapped on the hand' and sent to another school......my school.... to do it again!!! Fortunately, he did not continue and he did leave me alone that day.... or 9 months later, I would have had a half White-Italian baby. I was terrified. I did not like it at all. I felt like Kizzie..... as this was the rage during that time. Yes, I do find assertive men attractive, but not creeps. In college, too, and like this situation, there are many creeps. But to do this to ARiande Grande on such an occasion, is unbelievable. Come on, @Pioneer1 on national television! Yes! That is awful. Did you see how he was holding her? That was just ridiculous. Is he married? If he is, then how would you expect his wife to respond. I would completely flip out.
  9. 3 points
    @Troy Join Tiger Woods and Jim Brown who both just said Trump was being unfairly treated by the media who doesn't respect the office of president, and pounces on his every word, constantly criticizing him. BooHoo. I've predicted that 45 will pick up more and more support because everybody has a gripe and he will eventually get around to bitching about one that matches up with one shared by someone who doesn't like him. Multiply this by a thousand and the numbers will groooooow. i give up. Let the chips fall where they may.
  10. 3 points
    @ChevdoveI'm trying to figure out why this conversation is necessary. i have on numerous occasions expressed a disinterest in Africa and on other occasions kidded about my RH negative blood. You seemed to have taken my latest musings on this subject personal, and pioneer, who is one of my least favorite people in the world, decided to inject his obnoxious self into the proceedings doing what he does best which is to spout his made-up versions of things, - lies that are rarely grounded in truth or fact. But, rest assured that you can agree with him to your heart's content, because i couldn't care less, contrary to what he imagines. This site needs all the contributors it can attract and other people's approval is not required when it comes to posting things. I'm glad when you and Mel come aboard because you both always have input of substance. So keep on doing what you do, You're a welcome addition to this board. And thank you for your kind words.
  11. 3 points
    I would argue that the work had two protagonists: Hurston herself because of her goal to keep Kossola talking and thereby transcribe his life to text, and the other being Kossola because the text was his story, and wow, what a story. There was so much grief in such a small work – loss of family, loss of community, loss of health, and the loss home. And equally as painful as the grief was Kossala’s remembering the part Africans / Dahomey played in the slave trade. Kossala’s goal was to stay alive, and his antagonist was the Peculiar Institution of American Slavery with its long reaching and lasting tentacles of racism. He was kidnapped, placed in a barracoon, a slave ship, and on an auction block (all life threatening situations) due to American slavery. I believe, the establishment of Africatown, was his strongest blow against the reaching effects of slavery; freed slaves reestablished an African community on hostile American soil; that was miraculous. Kossala didn’t die due to slavery, but he suffered during and after; the lashes of racism ripped at his spirit and his body most of his life. Kossala was never able to return to Africa, and this denial was directly linked to slavery’s tentacles. The main message the text left me with – was that culture was king. Kossala’s culture was his strongest and consistent weapon. He relied on his culture and African traditions his entire life: in the bowels of the slave ship, he and the other kidnapped youth cried through traditional songs to ease their burden, as soon as he and other recently kidnapped Africans were freed they danced a traditional dance, throughout his youth and senior days African parables and fables guided his actions. When his family was taken, his culture remained; he took on the traditional role as griot for Africatown before the loss of family and remained in the role after the loss as an elder. Motifs in the text included valuing family, adapting to change, self-sufficiency, and surviving despite oppression. The text was loaded with descriptive language but what remained me was Kossala calling his wife his eyes, and when he lost her/then he was finished. The most memorable scene was the image of the Dahomey attacking his village; woman warriors entering the village beheading elders while the men blocked the exits kidnapping those who tried to escape the carnage. I believe the work will become one of the most important slave narratives in the canon. Hurston brought the skill of a fiction writer to the task of recording a biography; she converted Kossala’s biography into a story. In addition, Plant’s editing is informational and instructional. I will continue to read both writers. https://ndigo.com/2018/06/27/barracoon-wakeup-reading-paul-king/
  12. 3 points
    @Delano Since I spent several years in broadcast news - I don't trust anything I hear on the radio/television. I understand how broadcast news works. If it's of interest to me or if I need the information for survival - I verify with the proper agencies. I know not everyone does that but when you work in news you have to get your information from primary sources - second at best. So if I hear on the radio there's a case of salmonella contamination with the current crop of romaine lettuce chances are I'm not going to purchase romaine lettuce. I haven't tested it - nor do I have the tools to confirm or deny there's contamination but since I got a notice from Georgia's department of agriculture stating there is ... I'm going to trust it.. So yes, outside of opening up my own lab in the basement, I'm going I trust the departments we've set up to check our food. Is it an objective fact? Who knows maybe another type of test will turn up no contamination - but I'm simply going to avoid all romaine lettuce for awhile. By the way, isn't saying there are no objective facts, is in fact an objective fact?
  13. 3 points
    QueenX, I wonder if you would feel differently if Bill drugged and sexually abused you, or your daughter, or your mother?
  14. 3 points
    The ongoing discussion blowing up the board, started out with the question "is science the new religion", and proceeded to morph into a slugfest over whether science espouses religion. As a debate, it exemplified the "irresistible force meeting an immovable object" axiom. The passion with which participants proselytized their arguments was akin to religious fervor, with everybody trying to exorcise the demons of those with opposing views. From another perspective, the heated exchanges were also a war of words, aiming verbal weapons that missed as often as they hit their targets. Truth was twisted and facts were bent. What had an equally interesting effect was the side-liners who chose not to enter the fray or take sides, not to mention a mediator who injected challenges. In the end it was, not surprising, me against Pioneer. Me, trying to rise above my ad-hominem arguments, to say in so many words that they're 2 sides to every question, and Pioneer probably sticking to his guns. This brouhaha was more of a showcase for a clash of personalities than anything. Very little was resolved before the subject meandered off on another tangent, asking whether acknowledging religion was on a par with accepting it. Conflict seems to be a very dominant factor in human interaction. Most people are not only looking for reinforcement of their views but for conversion to them. Everybody wants to be right and in the process the end doesn't always justify the means. Kudos to those mature enough to be open-minded good listeners, and who make enlightenment their priority. When i grow up, i want to be just like you. This is knowledge i have come to comprehend and it's going to the top of my bucket list.
  15. 3 points
    Say what you will about the blockbuster film Black Panther, love it or hate it, I could care less, you cannot deny it’s brilliance. And that brilliance begins with the emergence of Erik Killmonger. A young man driven, not just by his hatred of the oppressors of black people, but by the animosity of those that live with peace in the private kingdom of Wakanda. I believe a lot of writers could learn a great deal from a character like Killmonger. Marvel purposely set out for everyone to feel compassion for the bad guy. That was a new twist in itself. Marvel wanted you to understand, to relate, to fear the bad guy’s demise. They gave Erik, what so many others did not have, a soul. How many of us walked out of that movie theater believing ol’ boy had a point? How many Killmongers do you think is out there right now because of the injustice of black people in America? How many black families feel left behind by other black families that found a way out of the ghetto? You see my point? We can relate to his assessment. We understand his compassion for revenge, for validation. So many novels, fantastic novels, lack the character growth of their villains. You never care about why they are trying to take over the world, you just know they need to be stopped, by any means necessary. And usually, if not almost always, the bad guy’s reasons for the hostile takeover is for self gain. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, is better than reading a story that involves an antagonist with a heart. An antagonist that is so complex and conflicted with himself you begin to question your own beliefs. Erik Killmonger may not be the greatest bad guy of all times… but he damn sure is the most relatable one.
  16. 3 points
    I forgot to add to my previous post that I prefer science to religion, because science consists of examination and enlightenment, and religion is about instruction and obedience. Science stimulates; religion stagnates. Religion claims the power of prayer, but to me, praying is an exercise in energizing positive thought waves, and has its counterpart in the "wishing" indulged in by the non-religious. Whether prayers or wishes come into fruition depends upon Fate, which is not wedded to the hopes of mere mortals because it is fickle. A meme which always pops when a national disaster occurs. Just substitute "Florida"' for "Texas".
  17. 3 points
    When I was ready my astrology teacher was looking for a student.
  18. 3 points
    @Delano, Yep! choice and freedom go hand and hand. Freedom, to me, means I'm exercising the right to act on my behalf. I have a sense of agency. If I'm only allowed to make decisions then someone is acting as an agent thereby usurping my freedom.
  19. 3 points
    @ Antonio, you aren't the first newbie to react the way you did to the tone of this forum. They all seemed a little shell-shocked, and soon faded away. i like how you handled it. Hang in here. We can all learn from each other. My grandchildren are all millennials, and we are rarely on the same page. I think it's because everything new to them is old to me and i've become jaded. My screen name is a derived from the word "cynic". Over time, i have gravitated toward being an iconoclast and in discussions, i frequently take on the contrarian role which requires people i am debating with to examine and defend their beliefs. And this is beneficial to both me and them because we can both learn something. As an aspiring writer you should always be seeking truth and authenticity.
  20. 3 points
    This was a fluff piece, to get my foot in the door. Later my submissions were much more militant, so much so that the newspaper was flooded with complaints from whites, something the op-ed editor loved, assuring me that they wanted to provoke reader response. I also got a lot of hate mail that scorched my ears...
  21. 3 points
    @Elva D. Green of course, it is! where would society be without its optimists. By the way, I'm the " pragmatic" Pleased to meet you!
  22. 3 points
    Cynique I have a few parallels with your story. I was always seeking truth. The light and the truth seemed indistinguishable or oerhaps two sides of the same coin. And now I want to embrace love but more importantly for me compassion. My phone sometimes will type phrases, call people or refuse to show me the bottom of a page
  23. 3 points
    This could be considered an unflattering picture of Viola. But it is an untouched candid photo of her taken taken at some time on some happy occasion of her life. And millions of black women look like this. The idea that dark women shouldn't grin or wear red lipstick resonates with Uncle Tomism. Implicit in this caveat is that black skin should be muted by dull colors so as not to draw attention to it, and this is a form of self-hate. Nowadays black women wear their hair any style or color they want and many are not hesitant about celebrating their lips with bright red lipstick, no matter what their skin color.Welcome to 2017! I, myself, hate dread locks and spiked hair that looks like its owner stuck their finger in an electric socket, but I realize that it's a new day and standards of "beauty" have changed and are in the eye of the beholder. TIME's selection is only racist if black people buy into the idea that black women who look like Viola's picture are someone to be ashamed of and ridiculed. To ignore TIME's blatant slave master gesture is to thwart their contemptuous mischief. At a recent awards show, Viola sported a bright yellow gown and noted that there was a time when she wouldn't wear bright colors because of her dark skin but that she had moved past that negativity and was now proud to finally accept herself as she was and wear whatever color she chose. She was also wearing red lipstick when she said this.
  24. 3 points
    You can theorize something unknown by the effects it has on the known. Which is how yhe outer planets were discovered. Philosophy, Logic and imagination are useful in navigating the unknown. There's a few questions in philosophy that may be unknowable: Is reality a simulation is one of them. Since it is difficult to think outside of your consciousness. However I like your methodology @Mel Hopkins
  25. 3 points
    Troy, this is the overall issue with using third party platforms. As I told you I went from making 30-50K a month with Amazon and one change in the system and now I'm driving Lyft as I redesign my website and build it in a way to garner some of the major money being floated around in the sneaker industry right now. People have integrated third party sites so thoroughly into their lives that it's very hard to overcome without considerable consumer education. The consumer/user is the only person that can stop the bleeding and unfortunately comfort and ease of use rules the day. I need to explain how I was wiped out, but I have done videos discussing how I was setting myself up, but I couldn't stop like a junkie and I eventually was forced into rehab. I probably already talked about this, but it has to be presented again. Amazon a month ago decided to make all items over 35.00 bucks require free shipping. If your items did not meet the requirements for how they wanted free shipping presented, your listings were removed. I went from having almost 1000 listings available on Amazon to zero listings showing up. I contributed slow sales to post holiday hangover and I didn't check my inventory. After a week of zero sales I looked into my dashboard and realized that the listings were Active but not active in the buying area. Every listing had to be deleted and recreated. This would take countless man hours and I realized that I'd waited too long to build my website up because I was mainlining Amazon so hard I was shooting up between my toes and in my dick; which I had been cutting off by using third party platforms to reach my customers all of these years. When you talk about being hijacked by Google, it's the same thing Amazon has done by mining data provided by third party sellers and then releasing their own private labels to sell what is hot. Amazon and Google are genius business models and pure capital engines. They exist as a medium providing no inventory of their own until they have mined the data to make sure that success is a certainty. Once they make the decision to replace you or change the rules, you are doomed if you haven't been building up your platform first. I commend you for taking the time to rebuild. It inspired my current work and while the benefits aren't 30000 a month, I will drive Lyft until I work through the process of garnering the revenue that is flowing through the sneaker biz at this moment. My website growth has been tremendous since I've started the work which shows that people are looking for information. In February of last year my ARCH site had 2000 Unique visits. This Feb 2017 my site got over 17,000 Unique visits. I'm selling a few shoes through the online store and the checks are coming faster from Adwords. Ultimately the goal is to garner media sponsorships from Verizon and other sites as I push the Uniques towards 100,000. You know like I know one endorsement could do this overnight, but more than likely like AALBC I will be working towards this on my own.
  26. 3 points
    You can derive a proof that no one understands. Versus something that is unknowable. What ishe nature of consciousness may be unknowable. Since we have to use consciousness to answer thr question about itself. Unprovable may be because currently the technology is non existent. The difference is one is a matter if time or knowledge. Although I may have to give it some more thought.
  27. 2 points
    @Mel Hopkins Will do! @Troy This would help me.
  28. 2 points
    {Looking around like the last guy on Earth surveying his surroundings after a nuclear holocaust or the Rapture.} Since @harry brown has posted recently, I presume the site is not broken. Indeed, in the time that it took me to write this 16 people have visited this forum: I guess the period between Palm Sunday and Easter is really slow around here. Maybe everyone is on spring break (actually mine starts Friday). Or maybe, more ominously, social media's domination and control over the online conversation is now complete. Does that mean I can't communicate with my people unless I go to Facebook... Lawd help me!
  29. 2 points
    You’re welcome! Between you, Cynique, Chevdove , things are never stale!
  30. 2 points
    This is powerful! We do protect a black man’s image, don’t we? I think this is why so many are having a negative reaction to the R Kelly saga... Black women have covered black men for so long - that many (mostly men but women too) are shocked that a black woman produced and directed the film that gave his alleged victims a platform. Many black women have normalized the horrible treatment they’ve receive at the hands of black men, they call men “soft” who treat them well. Go on social media and you’ll see some black men say they are supposed to be “Future” to their “Ciara”. Instead of being kind to their woman; as Ciara’s husband “Russell” is to her. Those are the same black men who believe Ciara will tire of how well her husband treats her and her son with Future and she’ll come crawling back to Future. That’s how brain damaged some of young black men (and black women) are today. But I digress. I know some of my experiences with black men aren’t for publication either. And I can tell you, it’s those stories that haunt me; making it difficult to finish my second book. Some times, I tell myself that I’m being too sensitive or maybe I deserved it - but then I realize that is exactly how battered women rationalize their relationship experiences. So, yes I’ve been sorely disrespected by many black men. None of it deserved. But those experiences afforded me a lot of painful life lessons too. And now I know what it is like to experience kindness. Yet, I absolutely understand your position.
  31. 2 points
    @Chevdove, interesting! Thank you for that perspective! Yes electromagnetic radiation (see electromagnetic spectrum: for more on light wavelengths) must pass through matter to capture the image of the skeleton! Yet, our crude method of this concept (x-rays) can cause cell damage leading to cancer. My dentist took extra precaution to protect mt thyroid when I worked as a flight attendant - he said i was already getting a large dose of radiation flying the friendly skies lol! This also reminds me of a documentary I watched where some biologists observed that fasting from food for several days even a week - causes the cells to change its structuee to protect from radiation damage ... after a observing the outcome on many patients they concluded the cells changes was a throwback from when we didn’t EAT all the dang time! It allowed us to survive with little food. The thing is it didn’t turn off - so today some believe our diseases are due to not periodically fasting for a few weeks - even a few days lol. But I digress. I also remembered from scripture, Jesus, as a human, did a lot of fasting... So maybe, he knew who to rearrange his physical make-up to move through matter without damaging his body’s building blocks (atoms/adam) smile... Thank you for sharing thought-provoking concepts! I see you have a book & blog in you! Have you ever thought about using the aalbc blog feature too!
  32. 2 points
    I started off my career as a father by going to jail on the very same night that my first child was born. It was on a hot, steamy August night in 1972. I was minding my own business , sitting on the sidelines of a neighborhood football game where I was supposed to be playing; a star wide receiver, who was so high on heroin, I was banned from playing. Well, I actually didn’t care because I would rather nod than catch passes. Plus, I never truly believed that the team I played for from Piedmont Courts could beat the North Charlotte Bears, the team my oldest sister's brother, Buddy, played for. In fact, my "brother" played on the same high school team with Dwight Clark, who later became famous for catching the winning pass from Joe Montana in a SuperBowl. Nonetheless, at some point during the game, but shortly before half-time, My girlfriend’s youngest brother, came flying out of the darkness on his bike, yelling that I should get to the hospital right away. Without even giving that ominous announcement any real thought, I knew precisely what it meant, and what it signified more than anything else was that my life had just changed dramatically! In addition to all the things I already was at nineteen years old, I was about to earn another label to my pedigree: DADDY! At nineteen, I was black, poor, a high-school dropout, unemployed, and an ex-convict. Unfazed by my unfortunate credentials, I was not exactly certain if fatherhood would be a cure or a curse. Either way, the moment was now upon me. Within a matter of seconds, I had a ride, and a carload of us departed Alexander Street Park, headed to Charlotte Memorial Hospital to help me usher my brand new child into America. I went to jail because while on the way to the hospital to greet the birth of my daughter, I decided to have my friend to pull over at a corner grocery store in the hood to buy some cigars. After all, in all the movies I had ever seen, that’s what men did. They bought and passed out cigars to their friends to celebrate the birth of their newborn child. Maybe, I shouldn’t have stopped. However, I did. As luck would have it, even though I was only in the store a very short time, it was more than enough time for the police to harass my friends. Seeing the predicament as a case of police brutality, I rushed out of store on Parkwood Avenue, and over to the car where I proceeded to tell the police that “I knew the law” and that it would be best for them if they just left us alone. In a world of justice and equality, that very well should have marked the end of the whole affair, but it didn’t. In fact, the police seemed angered by my boldness and proceeded to club the shit out of me. After a brief but violent confrontation, I was carted off to jail, pitched into the drunk tank with all the other inebriated folks, and charged with disorderly conduct. In the drunk tank, there were no beds so everyone had to sleep on the cold, concrete floor. They didn’t give you any food. They didn’t give you any sheets or blankets. In fact, they didn’t give you shit, but it was peaceful and serene in a haunted house sort of way; a cell filled with drunken strangers snoring and passing gas without shame or regret. Now, decades later, upon reflection, I guess this was a classic example of how drugs warp your mind because what in the hell was comforting about being locked up in a cage that reeked of vomit and bad breath. Anyway ,the next morning I was taken before the Judge who released me once I explained my situation and recounted the birth of my first-born child, but somehow I knew that I had missed a very important moment in the life of my little girl .Embarrassed that I had not been there to see my daughter the night before, I postponed going to visit her until a few days later. That turned out to be a tragic blunder. By some cruel twist of fate, It was around this time in 1972 that I embarked on a bank-robbing spree, and before my baby could celebrate her first birthday, I was locked away in federal prison with 30 years. I would be gone for 10. Once released, I remember how nervous I was when I went to visit my daughter. I searched my mind for something that would allow me to make a good first impression on a little girl who knew more about the visiting hours in jail than she knew about what time Sesame Street came on. This child of mine had probably seen the insides of more prisons than she had classrooms, and it had always pained me to think how my daughter must have hated me on those ever-occurring days in school when the students had to stand before the class and announce just what it was that their fathers did for a living. Even though some of the other students may have had a dad that was a garbage-man or one who worked in a fish market, my daughter was probably the only child who on “Career Day” had a dad who was locked up. Wow, that must have been traumatizing. Anyway, on the night of my tenth year of being missing in action from my daughter’s life, I stood in the darkness outside the house when she lived with her mother, afraid. If this would have been the home of one of my partners, I would have strolled into the house and would have been given a hero’s welcome. After all, here I was, a young nigga, who had just spent a whole decade in the joint, taking everything the white man had thrown at me, and I had survived. Even if it had been the home of a potential girlfriend, I would have known precisely what to have done, but that was not the case. I was about to meet my daughter, and quite frankly, I had no idea of what to say or do. In prison, I had been tutored by some of the most brilliant minds in the criminal world about how to commit any crime I chose. I had been schooled in how to seduce women, and how to defeat my enemies, but there was not a mumbling word said by any of the jail-house scholars about how to be a great daddy. Basically, I was on my own, and to my regret, I found nothing in my background that would provide me with the instructions needed to be a daddy. I was a man who had conducted countless shady deals in numerous back alleys in the darkest hours of the night. I had been in a couple of shootouts with the police. I had robbed banks and had come up a winner more than once when death was on my tail, but I knew that being a daddy would be my biggest challenge. What was even more scary was the fact that none of the qualities that had made me a well-respected gangsta in the streets or that had allowed me to survive in some of the toughest prisons in the country would make me a good daddy. And guess what….I wasn’t
  33. 2 points
    According to BBC.Com - 5 October 2017 “The New York Times publishes a story detailing decades of allegations of sexual harrassment against Harvey Weinstein. Actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd are among women who come foward. ...Weinstein apologizes and takea a leave of absence” a lot more stuff then on 25 May 2018 “Weinstein turns himself in to NY Police on sexual misconduct charges.” Police charge him with rape and several other counts of sexual abuse against two women. https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-41594672
  34. 2 points
    Humor is an art. The trick is for it to contain a smidgen of the truth, otherwise it falls flat. "Yo Momma" jokes are remarkably creative but hardly credible, all of which makes them easier to dismiss as street wise buffoonery not to be take seriously. Some bypass this code of the jungle when they feel the line gets crossed. And asses get kicked. Such is life. 😧
  35. 2 points
  36. 2 points
    Wow that is really deep Del. This just reinforces my point. I would not have known that the Wakanda Salute is a thing unless you told me. I'm sorry man you will not see me doing the Wakanda salute, mimicking something from a disney film. This just empathizes how needy and sad we are.... But hey if the film bolsters pride in our African heritage that is great, but is seems to me we are elevating Wakanda which is just plain ludicrous to me. I would be willing to bet that if you ask anyone of those athletes who big upping Wakanda during their celebrations to name 5 Africans who lived before 1,400 they would not be able to to do it. Do you think they could do it? Indeed, as a sanity check for that matter, can you?
  37. 2 points
    One person's wall is another's window.
  38. 2 points
    Congratulations, @D.E. Eliot and much success. Yes, you're in the right place. Troy has more than 20 years in the business - especially as it relates to black publishers and author and he won't steer you wrong. Also please consider joining #readingblack if you haven't already. Check out the articles on Amazon posted there. Many successful medium-large publishers have moved away. If you choose to stay, then moving forward as a publisher, you are going to negotiate with Amazon on a different level at least-for the sake of those you will publish in the future.
  39. 2 points
  40. 2 points
    Troy you are the first person to mention it was banned. I posted it but I didn't mention it was banned. I also stated I hadn't watched it yet. @Troy Zahir and Mel both commented on the link. So it should be pretty easy to find.
  41. 2 points
    Native Americans are still considered the "Noble Savage" and white people are proud to have Indian blood in the veins. ( Not so, with having black blood, however. ) Every black person i know, including myself, claims to have indian blood in them. Native American culture just seems to fascinate everybody, with the feathered headdresses, beaded buckskin garb, painted faces and Pow-Wows where the peace pipe is smoked. Their riding horses bareback and shooting bows and arrows and doing rain dances. i appreciate that they are a very spiritual people, close to the earth and that - sometimes they beat John Wayne and the cavalry. i and many others who attended the University of Illinois were sad that political correctness robbed us of Chief Illiniwek, our sports mascot, whose war dance during half-time shows at football games was as anticipated as the final scores. This was an authentic dance passed down for generations and was taught to the Eagle scouts who were the ones to compete for the honor of being Chief Illiniwek, a proud figure who was never caricatured, but honored and respected. Illinois hasn't been a force in the Big Ten since the chief was banished. The PC crowd tried to do the same thing with the Florida State's Seminole mascot, but the Seminoles told them to go f..k themselves, and that they were proud to be the mascot of a great foot ball team. According to archaeologists, land masses that later broke apart, provided direct access to the Americas and permitted people from other continents to migrate by foot here. The Eskimos got trapped in Alaska when it broke off from the continent but they are the same species of those who did reach the America to become its native people. There are black Mexicans who little is known about but they are there and are discriminated against and considered second class citizens. The same as black Koreans about whom little is known because they are also a well-kept "secret". I have read about these black people as well as talked to tourists who have seen them in these countries. Po ol black folks just caint catch a break.
  42. 2 points
    “Uninformed men make unsafe leaders. that is the primal cause for so many errors of judgment in state and national councils. We look upon them not as statesmen but as promoters of petty politics, for out of their deliberations spring no alleviation of the woes of the world. It is from this lack of understanding in leadership that the world suffers most today. We could discriminate between the true and false in our civilization, if we knew more about primitive culture. The way by which the first man climbed must ever be the human way. Racial prejudices are the greatest menace to world progress. Classes clash because the wealth of the world concentrates more and more in the hands of a few.” —Drusilla Dunjee Houston (Read the full excerpt, better yet buy or borrow the book and read the whole thing) Man, we have been singing this song for a long time! Houston's book, was originally published in 1926! However she helps identify and address the causes. I'm going to promote this book for an extended period, because the information is sorely needed. If you agree please read the book and share the information. This is not about selling books to make money—it's about sharing knowledge (You know that really should be obviously to anyone with a passing familiarity with the site; if this site was just about making money, it would have ended years ago).
  43. 2 points
    Pioneer first you simply can't look at people and derive where they came from--just get that notion out of your head. The most genetic diversity is in Africa all the people in Asia, Europe, the Americas, and throughout Africa originated in Africa. There are plenty of sources on the web, many I've previously shared here when we were debating the existence of just one race.
  44. 2 points
    Again, @Delano, I suggest the notion that, "Stupidity Brawn and hyper violence and sexuality" is what makes a Black man--otherwise you're gay is nonsense feed to up by the media and even more so by social media. Now I know @Cynique, does not agree with this, but she was fortunate to grow up in a world--not where these images did not exist--but where they were not constantly driven into your head like a pile driver. Today people walk around, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with devices in their hands feeding them a constant stream of stereotypes and other nonsense psychometrically designed to keep you engaged, dumb and easily manipulated. These stereotypes are becoming greatly reinforced. Don't ask me to present a scientific study to prove what I just wrote. There have been plenty of books that touch on the subject which I have read and have previously shared. But even these books are obsolete as the technology is rapidly changing and becoming more effective. @Mel Hopkins, I know exactly what you are talking about with the retrospective on TV. But I suspects that would only mean something to someone who was in NYC in the 70's. Relatively speaking we have a much larger selection of channels and programming than most. In many places during that time, there were only 3 or 4 stations and those did not broadcast 24 hours a day. @Cynique, what your grandson did is called "code switching," I did it until I was in my mid-twenties. I stopped because I was no longer spending time in the 'hood. I can't to it any longer because the lingo has changed and I rather speak do the way I do, than coming across as "frontin' (phony)." I know where I come from and have nothing to prove. Unfortunately, many of us never grow out of that. We have all seen s middle aged men behaving and dressing like a 20-something. In fact, this is the effect that middle-aged rappers go for and they look silly, juvenile, to me. Here again is a message that we are hit with constantly--Black man behave like a child. Again, one would have to be sensitive to this, as some of it is almost subliminal, but I can give you MANY examples.
  45. 2 points
    Cynique that explains so much. For me everything is an idea theroy or subjective. I feel this helps with my mental fluidity. So i have difficulty with people who say they have an open mind or think critically. When they don't.
  46. 2 points
    Mel I did not write, nor do I believe there is "nothing we can do about it." I did ask, however, "who" will stop them? Let me try another approach... Over the past 12 months, I've spent a great deal of time enhancing my coverage of children's books. It is an area of great interest but largely neglected by the mainstream media. Much of the coverage on the subject covers how few Black children's book are published. One of the most popular pages on my website is my Top 120+ Recommended African-American Children's Books. I started the page by asking industry insider and other experts which books they felt should be on a list like this. I have continued to expand and curate this list. In the process, I have added information on hundreds of authors and illustrators of children's books. Now if you run a google search on African American Children's books, my site is likely to come up first. I'd argue it deserves to be. But let's take a look at the screenshot of the results: Now consider the following: Google hijacks the search results by placing book covers and links to THEIR store. Do y'all understand what I'm saying? Do you know what this means? Google is grabbing visitors just as they are about to step into your store and pulling them into their with prettier pictures. Obviously, the sites most like to carry this content Are Black sites. These sites don't stand a chance. Anyone with the gumption to start a great Black children's website--good luck, because you can't do much better than I am and I'm struggling. But here is the kicker: Why is almost EVERY DAMN BOOK cover Google is displaying my MY LIST! Now I've been looking search results on these terms for a very long time and this is something new Google has pulled. I mean I pulled some obscure books for inclusion on my list and now Google is displaying them as if they came up with this shit on their own. Now the implications of this are profound. Not only has Google squashed all the competition, they are swiping content. Of course, one can argue there are a finite number of great books so any lists compiled will necessary have some overlap, but again I've monitored this list and the overlap is alarming. Still, even if I completely conceded point #3 entirely. Point #1 really should be cause for great concern. But because it is not, we are not doing anything about it and we don't have as many quality Black sites as we should. The growth of the sites that remain is constrained by Google. So what can I do? Sue Google for mining the search data for popular content then hijacking that traffic with content they've grabbed from Wikipedia and other sites and putting "their" content at the top of search results? Don't make me laugh. Work extra hard enriching other fantastically wealthy corporations by posting my stuff on their social media platforms, desperately trying to drag folks away to learn about some excellent book for children. Seek the support of people in my community by helping them understand what is happening and why it matters. This is just one small example, in one industry, that will never make the light of day. Sites like mine die in obscurity every single day. Lord only know what could have been, but never got launched because of the hostile environment we operate it. Look AALBC.com should not have been out of business years ago. I'm crazy for continuing to struggle with it. In some alternative universe, I'll be celebrating AALBC.com's 20th anniversary with a nice party, maybe a little press, and the promise of an ongoing legacy celebrating Black culture through books.
  47. 2 points
    Well, social media is all a-twitter over the trending topic fueled by actress Meryl Streep's politicizing her acceptance speech at Sunday's televised Golden Globe's ceremony where she was being honored with a Life-time Achievement Award. Without mentioning his name, she called out Donald Trump for the incident where he made fun of a disabled NY Times reporter during his campaign, saying she was appalled that such a man was about to take office as president. Naturally the room, which was filled with Hollywood's liberal community, was in accord except for a few notable outsiders like Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn whose stricken faces were panned in on by the TV cameras. Of course the on-line debate about this is divided along party lines, and Trump supporters are saying Streep was out of line, as they become increasing frustrated because Dems won't concede Trump's victory and give him the respect they think he deserves. Meanwhile, Liberals are full of praise for what they considered a courageous gesture on Streep's part and are lambasting and lampooning Trump. Predictably, he took to Twitter to whine about Streep being an overrated actress and branded her as a Hillary groupie before denying her accusation about what had actually been captured on tape. All of which exposes him as the lying scoundrel that he is, and adds to his lack of credibility. I'm glad Meryl defied protocol and took advantage of her platform to take a dig at Trump who is the one that has set the tone with his disregard for tradition, and his ego has proved to be an Achilles heel that provides a target for arrows to wound. In these crazy times anything goes and thanks to the Internet, people have at their finger tips the power to use mockery as a weapon. Just like terrorists, tweeters can do great damage by plowing into the Trump Tower of pride, making him the object of the ridicule that hurts his feelings. Maybe Progressives won't make much of a dent in the Republican fortress, but they do stand a chance of getting the last laugh.
  48. 2 points
  49. 2 points
    After watching the trailer, I'm not all that anxious to see this documentary. It is like being a war vet suffering from PTSD, and watching a grisly war movie. Over the past decade Manhattan has become a much nicer city. The image below shows the old meat packing district which used to be a freaking disaster. Today it is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country. I don't get it, because I would definitely not want to live in the area. It is far too noisy and busy for my taste, but even for those with a desire to live there, the real estate is WAY out of proportion (think $1 million+ for a 1 bedroom and you still have to pay for maintenance, taxes, parking, schools, and everything in the vicinity is expensive). The city is almost crippled with all the new construction, but virtually none of it is for people with moderate incomes. Instead much of the new housing stock belong to investors with no need or interest in living in these places--it is just a safe haven for rich folk's money to grow. Meanwhile poor people struggle for decent housing and schools. Here is a little anecdote: In most places in the country you can go to a municipal park and play tennis for free, assuming tennis courts are not already in your community. Forget about tennis courts in schools, the vast majority of schools in Manhattan don't have them (if any). In New York City you have to pay $200 a season to play tennis in a city run park--and there aren't that many places to play. But rich folks play in private clubs where the fees are often staggering. Suffice it to say the next Serena will not come from New York City I could go on all day with little anecdotes like this. Basically if you are rich New York City is great place to live, but even if you are middle class you can't truly appreciate all the City has to offer. If you are a wage earner and make less than $150K a year you will struggle to find a decent place to live in Manhattan and still have enough money to do some of the things people with salaries that high, anywhere else in the U.S., might expect to do like take vacations own a nice car or pay for private school for their kids. New York could truly be a great city if did something to accommodate anyone other than the rich.
  50. 2 points
    Cynique, I did not come to learn about the so called Black elite until I was an adult. All of the groups you mentioned, "civic and political groups, Masons, Eastern Stars, an American Legion Post, social organizations and clubs," were completely beyond my world view. I remember the first time I learned about Black Greek letter organizations--I was a freshman in college... I did not learn about Jack and Jill, the Links, or Boule until I was out of college. I did not know a Black teacher, lawyer, doctor, or engineer growing up. I barely knew anyone with a car, and I did not know anyone who owned the place in which they lived. Sure we had the Black church growing up, and I went most Sundays growing up. But other than the singing I hated every minute of it. I could not wait to get outta there, change my clothes and go outside to play. So the church was not exactly and influence for me growing up, and my pastor was Rev. Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker Compared to the kids coming up after me I had it pretty good... ...it got worse, as as drugs were introduced into the community, which brought violence and crime. Then they started locking people up like there was no tomorrow. Some of the younger kids from my neighborhood gained some notoriety, like the Central Park Five. They were more the rule than the exceptions. Of course this helped destroy the nuclear family in communities like mine. By the time I went to college most of the youngsters I knew, grew up without their fathers--if they knew them at all. As far as hip-hop is concerned the art form itself is great, it was the commercialization of hip-hop if that destroyed it and, I firmly believe, helped weaken the black community as well. I say all this Cynique to say there are many people who see women like the character Leslie plays every day (and as Pioneer suggests Leslie may indeed be one of them). Sure they see the Michelle Obama's of the world, but they are on TV and may as well be on Mars for as much influence they'll exert on the lives of most folks. Saturday Night Live, Hip-hop music, and the culture as a whole reinforces the Leslie Jones archetype. Michelle is just an exception. It is probably a lot worse out here than you might think...
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