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Everything posted by CDBurns

  1. I loved the movie. I guess my attachment to the series is one of the main reasons. It just felt good seeing the old players back on the stage and the introduction of new characters. Was the plot thin? Yes, but I saw this as a way to get more people interested in what was to come. I thought it was entertaining and I thought time zipped by. I didn't even realize we had been at the theater for over two hours when it ended. For our family the cost was about 90.00 with popcorn, but just to have Star Wars back again was worth it to me. I'm usually critical of movies, but this wasn't a film that I had any interest in criticizing. I only wanted to escape to my childhood for a while. My wife enjoyed it, my son and his friend enjoyed it, but my daughter was with you... she barely looked at the screen, lol.
  2. As I gave links to serious studies on each of my points about the power and influence of music and you simply countered with your opinion about the topic without providing any real evidence other than a counter point, I have to assume you did not read the Crouch link or the Reagon link. I think those articles profoundly show how the music generated the action. What are you attempting to do is play at semantics without looking to understand that in the Black community the music is so intertwined with the movement that the music is the action and creates the action in many instances. I have to ask once again in the past 40 years if there has been any sustained movement of the people? I have to ask during slavery if there was a specific "music" associated with the movement? Was there a specific music that is identified with the emancipation of Blacks in America? Was there a specific music linked to the Great migration? Was there a specific music linked to the Harlem Renaissance? Was there a specific music linked to the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement? I don't know how you can not answer yes to any of those questions, which makes this rhetorical, but it is intended to validate the extreme importance of music in generating and sustaining the movements. I say this, you are sticking to your guns and your point is valid and is honestly a factual statement. You have to have the people move to create. I'm not arguing that, I'm arguing that the music of Black America is often the predecessor of action and it maintains the action. Music in America has always been the road to understanding and integration in America. You say the people have to move first. They do, but to say that the music doesn't create and sustain the movement is dangerous. It absolves the artist of responsibility and only allows for the artist to respond as opposed to the artists establishing the movement. I do dig this dialogue and I love that it will be here for others to find instead of wasted on Facebook so I am going to link to a few articles that support my position. I am not saying you are wrong, I'm only saying that until the music begins to take the lead in our community we will not have a movement that sustains. http://www.voanews.com/content/songs-against-slavery-tool-for-abolition/1829393.html Songs Against Slavery Used as Tool for Abolition http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB123197292128083217 How Jazz Helped Hasten the Civil-Rights Movement http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1989/1/89.01.05.x.html "As music shifted in the 1920�s to urban areas job opportunities increased. Along with this was an increase in spending power for black Americans. America itself was also undergoing a change from agricultural center to industrial giant, thus transforming the core population from farm worker to urban dweller....Fortunately they did bring their musical traditions of the blues and spirituals. This tradition deeply rooted because of their African heritage provided a source of employment for many during those lean times. Many found employment performing on the Harlem streets, at house parties, bordellos, or just about anywhere for a meal, a dollar or two. I hate complex but this is a fantastic list of Civil Rights musical events: http://www.complex.com/music/2013/02/the-25-most-important-civil-rights-moments-in-music-history/billie-holiday What you will notice is that the popular music of Blacks has always empowered as well as entertained. While every song wasn't political and we can look back to songs like Stagger Lee as showing the playfulness of Black music, the overwhelming quantity of Black Music has always empowered and when it did "just" entertain the making of the music was political because it was created and produced as you've said to the racism of the country not allowing the artist to make music. Yes the actions always come first, but a party doesn't get started until the DJ turns the volume up. Black music is the DJ for the movement in Black America.
  3. If music is a reflection of the life and environment then how is it that the drum was the connective tissue of the African? The Atumpan was a talking drum that allowed communication, a non-verbal communication for the African. This is why the slave owners took the drum away. As many of the tribes where slaves came from in West Africa utilized the drum the varying languages didn't matter. Slaves could organize to the drum so it was removed as a form of control. No drum, no religious practice, no language. I state all of this to get to this point, through song the African was able to both congregate without the masters knowledge and plan escapes. So I have to ask again what came first the music or the movement? It was the music that allowed the movement because the slave learned coordinates through the music. Now if we fast forward to the Harlem Renaissance, what came first the Harlem Renaissance Movement or the music? Any educator or person informed about that time period will tell you that it was the Jazz artists who generated that foundation of art in the Harlem Renaissance. The art, poetry and creativity of that era was based in the music of the people. Granted that you had writers and poets who were the unofficial legislators of the Black movement of empowerment, but music was at the forefront of the Harlem Renaissance. I would challenge you to look up a sister named Bernice Reagon and her most known writing, "Black Music In Our Hands". She states explicitly that there is no movement without the music. I tend to side with her and state that as the music and art goes, so do the people. There is no other explanation for how Black people are in a degrading station although we have more access than we did at any other time in history today. James Brown picked up on the Black Power Movement, he was not the initiator so he followed suit as the Civil Rights movement continued to progress. “Jazz,” Stanley Crouch writes, “predicted the civil rights movement more than any other art in America.” Not only was jazz structured similarly to ideals of the civil rights movement. Jazz musicians took up the cause, using their celebrity and their music to promote racial equality and social justice. I place this quote here to show you that this is not an idea that I am discussing without serious consideration and knowledge. When you begin to explain that as the people go, it only perpetuates the idea that the importance of music in Black America is only a response and this is a dangerous, very dangerous position for those who are sharing ideas to state because it allows the music to not have any bearing or ability to create the change that it always has in our community. Filed songs led to movement. Gospel and Blues led to organization and empowerment. Jazz inspired and actually generated more opportunities in America almost as much as any philosophy espoused by Frederick Douglass, BTW and WEB. Once again if you stopped to look up Bernice Reagon (If not here is the article http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/maai3/protest/text3/inourhands.pdf, I'm positive you will reconsider music and its influence in the Black community after reading it,) you will see that as the music has moved, so have Black people. I leave you with this one thought. We have seen the rise of death of Blacks by cops and by each other in the last 40 years. Can you name the forms of music that has done anything to offset or empower the people? No. Not until the last year or so have you seen a movement Black Lives Matter which started unofficially in 2013 actually started years earlier in response to the Fruitvale Station murder http://grist.org/politics/stopping-a-bart-train-in-michael-browns-name/. What's interesting here is that even in this case, although it's not mentioned in the article Davey D had already been bringing this to the forefront of the conscious community of Hip-Hop. In Oakland where the Black Lives Matter movement was birth, people like Boots Riley of The Coup (Hip-Hop) had long been carrying the banner of Black empowerment in that area. I'm not giving all of Black empowerment to music, but I am laying a lot at the feet of the lack of empowering Black music in the last 40 years. I promise you if the music begins to speak towards empowerment ala Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" or D'Angelo's "The Charade" what you will begin to see in America is a real shift that empowers the people and a new movement that sustains and changes things. Until then we will just twerk and Nae Nae ourselves to death.
  4. Shared the letter this morning! Thanks for all of your work Troy!
  5. It's not that there isn't a demand, we simply don't build each other up and give each other those critical cosigns. I saw yesterday someone stating that if you don't make it then you can't blame not having connections. The person basically said that you have to pull yourself up and stop blaming others. You and I both know that is the biggest crock of shit in the world. The bottom line is some people sneak through the cracks and get to the next level without any cosign, but the real fact is unless someone famous gives you a nod, you will languish until you just become too profound to ignore. The demand is there, but Black people are the only people who do not make an effort to return the favors, or give out the nod needed to get the next person into the mainstream. There is a real fear that those giving the nod will lose their status. They don't realize that their profile increases with the backing of something fantastic. We just have to keep working. I've begun ending all of my videos with a subscribe caption at the bottom. I will start adding it as a card as well. What I've done recently is use the description to break down longer videos by putting the times of questions. I will keep plugging away as I have with the website and we will see what happens in the long run.
  6. It's really hard to get people to subscribe. There is an age issue here also and a need to know issue. Young people love to be reminded of some cool, new cat video or some stunt video, so they subscribe immediately to sites like that. I'm subscribed to a ton of music YTs. But informative YTs tend to grow at a much slower rate as they are more about education and information and people watch that when they have to or when they need to know something. At that point if the video worked for them, they may subscribe, or they may not because they don't realize they should. Your call to action is good though. It's explicit and straightforward and I'm realizing that there has to be a call to action somewhere in the video. I'm at 55 since I requested subscriptions after you, but I'm okay with that because I have more questions now from people although the views and subscription aren't going up. I guess people want to keep the information for their own use and not share it, lol.
  7. LOL! I guess that's the value of a good poem! It inspires thought about a multitude of things. It's all connected.
  8. Agreed Troy. Unfortunately we both know that without a Twitter you can lose those potential bursts of traffic so Twitter, like Facebook, is a necessary evil. Yesterday on Facebook I shared this because I didn't feel like writing about it, but I think I will do a press this right now: http://mashable.com/2015/12/15/mens-fashion-magazines-dying/#Ko6UJcTHdEq3 The article is about how men's fashion mags are dying. When you look at it in greater detail, it is really a discussion on how these big magazine companies used Facebook and Social to build their audiences. This quote speaks to the matter completely, “The media landscape has shifted so much towards Instagram that you don’t necessary need words,” adds Schlossman. “No one wants to consume directly from a website anymore, which is a bummer.” I'm pressing this right now with a short message.
  9. This is good info to know and I'm sure if this was able to reach more people it would change their opinions of her. I mean, I always felt that she was not really fixing or doing anything for people and that her fame was that of getting an influencer, but I don't know that for sure and maybe my opinion was shaped by others around me instead of my own research. You gotta respect that she did this because like you said, stars don't and aren't allowed to hang out in the hood.
  10. I liked this as soon as it began. It has nostalgia, pays homage, shows classic images of hip-hop, and it speaks to the heart of the culture that created it. This is definitely Hip-Hop and it's very good. Big thumbs up on this find Troy. More of this and we are empowered.
  11. I think that's all we can do in this current climate is celebrate the culture and if it goes "viral" or pops and allows us to make a living cool. If not, we can always say that we gave a damn and that's valuable. Maybe Inyanla will come to the message board and discuss why she thinks she is disliked by her peers. (Wishful thinking?)
  12. I will definitely check into this. Thanks for this post Troy!
  13. I know those around me have never thought very highly of Inyanla, Les Brown or almost any of the people who "may have" rode the coattails of someone with a lot of influence. I think this is a case of what I told someone this morning on Facebook, Unfortunately fame, not knowledge, is the prerequisite for being heard. That is the case in our community. People will listen to Oprah about books because she is famous. They will ignore Troy because he is not famous, but has a ridiculous amount of time and money invested in literature. People will listen to Inyanla because she has be cosigned by famous people. It's interesting though because she and Oprah actually fell out a while back from what I remember and at the point I actually had more respect for her. (go figure).
  14. I did this a while back Troy. I deleted by author's page and my fan page for my sneaker company. My web traffic actually improved using my personal page. I have since activated my footwear page again, but the interaction is very limited and not many conversions come from that. I use my personal page primarily, but even that is not a very good means of driving traffic to the site. I find the best method of getting traffic is posting an article then sharing it. You know I like reading your data so I can't wait to see what you come up with. I am pretty sure I know what the outcome will be though...
  15. Family is all there is Troy. Mentoring is the next best thing, but even that is limited in it's reach.
  16. I agree with Cynique 100%!!!!!! An autobiography is the way you should go. If it includes poetry that would be a good way to go as well. The idea of the Montessori is right on point as well. The teacher education plan is flawed anyway. You have 1000 teachers with Masters and PhDs who would teach at a high school in a minute who weren't trained or certificated and could bring a completely different style to the classroom, but because they are not certified teachers they can't teach high school. The criteria for who can run a classroom needs to change. There are guys I know that don't have degrees but can teach the hell out of someone looking to learn computer coding, but because they don't have a degree or certificate, they can't teach. The educational world screws itself with tons of antiquated policies.
  17. And this is why I spend my equal amount of time coming here! Thanks Troy.
  18. I'm not in any way knocking the difficult life experiences of students. I'm just saying that we spend a lot of timing analyzing the system as opposed to looking at what we can control and that is ourselves. I'm not naive to the life that students lead. I had to move two of my students in with me because they were homeless when I taught in San Diego. I won't get into the reasons they were homeless, but they both ended up graduating and that's because they had the desire to be better their circumstances. I can tell you multiple horror stories similar to your family situation and I can also show you countless kids who wanted to do something who succeeded. I find it is better to talk about those students just as much as we talk about the ones who fail. Your story is basically what I'm saying is the problem with the educational system. It's not books or schools or teachers... it's the family and the home. It doesn't matter what the situation is if the family is jacked up, the kids will follow suit.
  19. I guess after being involved in education in three distinctly different places, my opinions are skewed. I've worked in the toughest schools in San Diego, Memphis and Mississippi. When I say toughest I mean the poorest schools in the "worst" neighborhoods in 3 completely different places. I don't think any of these can be compared to NYC or Chicago or Louisiana since every place has its own challenges. My experience however is that the schools do the best that they can and if the students are willing to learn they will learn. Even if the parents are willing to support them, the students will learn if they want too. I've seen kids with nothing, with crappy parents overcome living in the poorest district in the state of Mississippi and I don't care where any of us are, if you can overcome poverty in Mississippi you can do it anywhere in my opinion. In regard to San Diego the school that I was at was also located in the poorest area in the city (outside of San Ysidro which was right next to Tijuana and had the language barrier to deal with among other issues) and the kids in those schools performed. I guess where I'm going with this is there is a lot of blame laid on programs being cut, and kids being funneled, but in my opinion if kids want out of the funnel they simply have to listen to the teachers. Granted some kids have home lives so bad that they can't overcome that, but on the whole in my opinion if they want to be greater than their circumstance there are teachers always willing to go way beyond the call of duty to help. The bottom line is there is a means for the kids who want the options. If we want to get to the core of every issue in the schools we don't need to look anywhere except the home. The systemic issues in the home, that affect the home is where every issue lies. A student can be taught with one book in one classroom and still be an incredible student who has the ability to analyze and problem solve.
  20. Hey Troy, I received this e-mail and wanted to see what you thought about it. Thanks in advance. Hello, My name is Jackie Velnoskey. I saw that you have written One Hour To Wealth. My question for you is: may I promote the book at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in L.A., early April? It costs you nothing. All I'm asking you in return is if we may add you to our book marketing email list. I'm giving you two LA Times promotion options to choose from: 1: you may forward a copy of your book to our address (see below), and we'll display it in L.A., or 2: we'll include your work in the Hot Indy Author Guide that we're displaying and distributing during the LA Times event. Either option is free. Check out our Facebook page when we report live from L.A. where over 150,000+ are expected to attend. At America Star Books we have a book promotion department that does nothing but offering book promotion at the lowest fees in the nation. We attend all of the big fairs and festivals: Book Expo America, London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, Miami Book Fair International, the American Library Association mid-winter and annual Conferences, Baltimore Book Festival, and so on. All I am asking you at this time is if we may add you to our email list when we issue our next book promotion offers. You may at any time unsubscribe, and we will promptly cease sending you any further emails. America Star Books has been around for more than fifteen years, serving over 60,000 authors. Participating in book promotion is entirely optional. Thank you for considering this opportunity. I am looking forward to hearing back from you. —Jackie Velnoskey America Star Books Special Services, manager 301-744-7589
  21. Cynique it is Etheridge, lol. I don't often go back and edit on any social media site. I actually barely edit myself on my own blog. I look at it as informal writing and treat it as such. I will say this in regard to grammar... I still think grammar should be taught by linguistics majors instead of English majors. Interpretation and analysis should be the realm of English majors. This isn't on topic, but I've been missing lately and not doing my equal amount of time here and on social. I The holidays are always like that. All I'm doing on social is sharing different stuff so I'm not interacting there either. Move forward everyone!
  22. I tend to think writing using vernacular is always a great way to enter into a narrative poem. This feels like the truth to me and it is a very sad thing to read. There is nothing embellished here. It is simple, straight to the point pain. It's a dark Ehtridge Knight styled poem that gets to the core of what drives men to act and react. In all honesty as far as the shape of the poem/style of the poem it doesn't matter. This could have been written in short story style and it would be just as powerful. Seeing it lined up in stanzaic form makes the lines more powerful though. It's an unfortunate topic, but well presented.
  23. No problem at all. I've heard of Gotham. I'm a fan of any program that brings writers together so just go for it!!!! I definitely say go for the traditional route because it does allow you to look like a more professional writer. Success stories come from all angles though so just do what feels comfortable. I'm glad you got a laugh in on that Bush clip. It is hilarious.
  24. Damn, I had no idea they targeted your disqus... terrible.
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