Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Unspoken Truth – 28 Days of Black History

I have written a series of articles on “The John T. Wills Chronicles” specifically designed to be a potent source of empowering knowledge for the enhancement of the community and the minds of mankind. During Black History Month I will post the entire series with a different article each day speaking to the phenomenal history and difficult struggle of the African American experience.

The legacy of dependency, apathy, and entrenchment of the American social order from the beginning provides clear evidence of its diabolical intent to bankrupt the souls of African Americans based on an ideology of supremacy. These stolen souls that exist today are people who bear the burden of a system that perpetrated, in the name of God, the greatest crime known to man. Hence, from the beginning, people of African descent were intended to be a nation of people living within a nation without a nationality.

“The Unspoken Truth” is intended to empower by educating people through knowledge concerning issues that many blacks continue to face today from the untreated wounds of America’s forefathers. This series is a knowledge-based examination of the African American Diaspora. As you travel with me though the the next twenty-eight days, my purpose is to simply offer explanations causing people to look at and understand the root cause of the asymptomatic behaviors.

It is my sincere desire to help people understand that there is a conditioning in “certain” communities – this is not an excuse, rather an explanation as to why these behaviors were never unlearned and have been passed down from generation to generation. Over my relatively short lifetime, I have been referred to as Colored, Negro, Afro-American, Black, and an African American, which were the polite terms assigned to make known that African Americans were not American citizens.

The concept of African Americans being slaves, physically or mentally, is as old as the nation itself, designed to deprive a people of its culture and knowledge through sustained policies of control. To overcome these indignities we must realize that education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize the forces that breed poverty and despair. Regardless of how much we are held down, it is our responsibility to find a way to get up, even if the system is designed to protect the system.

As follow the Unspoken Truth and we embark upon this journey, know that learning without thought is a labor lost; thought without learning is intellectual death; and courage is knowing what’s needed and doing it. As tenacious beings, we must understand that there is no such thing as an inferior mind. So I say it’s time for an awakening, if for no other reason than to honor those who sacrificed so much in order that we could live life in abundance.

As you experience Black History Month remember this: You only have a minute. Sixty seconds in it. Didn't chose it, can't refuse it, it’s up to you to use it. It's just a tiny little minute but an eternity in it. You can change the world but first you must change your mind.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Queen of the Extreme

We are about to enter Black History Month that was a hard fought battle to speak truth to facts concerning the reality of American History and the important contributions African Americans made to it. I have written articles suggesting awareness concerning those who go to great lengths to charge or revise true history and its facts. These people who attempt to do this are, in my opinion, the real scourge upon the nation.

Until recently, I thought Caribou Barbie was the scariest person on this little rock called earth but just when I thought it couldn’t get any worst, here comes the latest possible contender for president from the far right. This would be the Minnesota Congresswoman and self proclaimed nemesis of our African American president. I should say, she is not new to the scene, just more brazen, maybe because she is sponsored by the Tea Baggers. She reminds me of “Glenda” from the Wizard of Oz in many ways and not just because her remarks defy words. Frankly, she make Caribou Barbie look like a genius and that’s saying a lot.

Not only did she promote herself by going rouge offering a response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address which was true to form – misleading and deceptive. Her misrepresentation of facts, with a straight face, is mindboggling. Where was she when the last guy and his administration created many of these problems? Not a word! As an American citizen I can appreciate the rights of expression but we must remember, and understand, that because someone says it, does not mean it’s true.

For example, she gave a speech last weekend that was very disturbing, particularly if she wants to be President of the United States, let alone that she is in congress charged with making policy that affect so many lives. In that speech, she claimed “the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.” What!!! They all, or most, owned slaves and slavery was written as the “law of the land”. She went on to say, "It didn't matter the color of their skin, it didn't matter their language, it didn't matter their economic status. Once you got here, we were all the same." Really!

She continued with her erroneous assertions by saying, “I think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forbearers who worked tirelessly — men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.” Wrong again. I think she was talking about his father although it’s true that Adams became a vocal opponent of slavery, especially during his time in the House of Representatives. But Adams was not one of the founders, nor did he live to see the Emancipation Proclamation signed in 1863 (he died in 1848).

What is problematic, particularly for someone on the national stage with an obvious desire to run for the highest office in the land would surely be detrimental to the poor and no question African Americans. The release of her own blueprint for massive federal budget cuts of 400 Billion dollars would be devastating to the social fabric of America. She suggests that she would eliminate farm subsidies and many other federal grants, dismantle the Department of Education, eviscerate the Environmental Protection Agency and repeal the Democratic healthcare overhaul, the Democratic financial regulation law and a recently passed food safety bill.

These are just a few extreme examples from her long list of great hits. So I will only offer my Thought Provoking Perspective on this, the latest: since the fiction of the founders and actual history represents her deep held beliefs might cause her to send invitations to all African Americans asking us to return to “slavery” - because it was so wonderful. Or change the Constitution back to the original document where African Americans were considered three-fifths a person.

We should be afraid – VERY AFRAID!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We Must Read to Succeed

20 Essential African American Writers

Though things have steadily improved a bit over the past few decades, the literary canon is still dominated by what's commonly criticized as "dead white men." Because of this phenomenon, the contributions of female and minority writers, philosophers, scholars and activists fall to the wayside — sometimes completely missing opportunities to pick up prestigious awards.

Readers from all backgrounds hoping to diversify their intake of novels, poetry, essays and speeches would do well to start here when looking for African-American perspectives. Far more than 20 fantastic writers exist, of course, but the ones listed here provide an amazing start.

Maya Angelou (1928-): This incredible Renaissance woman served as the American Poet Laureate, won several Grammy Awards, served the Civil Rights cause under the venerable Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., taught numerous classes and enjoyed a respectable performing arts career — all while never losing sight of her elegant poetry and prose. Her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings remains one of the most essential and inspiring examples of the genre, often finding its way onto syllabi across the nation. Like every other entry on this list, she's more than an essential African-American writer — she's an essential component of the literary canon, period.

James Baldwin (1924-1987): Writer, activist and expatriate James Baldwin fearlessly tackled challenging, controversial sexual and racial subject matter at a time when hate crimes and abuse against the African-Americans and members of the LGBTQIA community ran riot. The impact of religion, for better or for worse, amongst the two marginalized minorities comprises one of his major themes. Go Tell it on the Mountain, Baldwin's sublime debut novel, pulled from his own life experiences and opened readers up to the realities those forced to the fringes of society must face on a daily basis — and how they find the strength to continue in spite of adversity.

Sterling Allen Brown (1901-1989): Folklore, jazz and Southern African-American culture greatly inspired the highly influential academic and poet. In 1984, Sterling Allen Brown received the distinguished position of Poet Laureate of the District of Colombia for his considerable contributions to education, literature and literary criticism — not to mention his mentorship of such notable figures as Toni Morrison, Ossie Davis, Stokely Carmichael and many more. Along with Langston Hughes and many others during the "Harlem Renaissance" (a term Brown considered a mere media label), he showed the world why poetry written in the African-American vernacular could be just as beautiful, effective as anything else written in any other language.

William Demby (1922-): In 2006, received a Lifetime Achievement recognition from the Saturday Review's Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. He has only written four novels to date, with 1950s reflection on West Virginian race relations Beetlecreek garnering the most attention. These days, he works as a contributing editor for the nonprofit, bimonthly literary journal American Book Review after having retired from academia in 1989.

Frederick Douglass (1817-1895): Today, schoolchildren across America remember Frederick Douglass as one of the most inspiring voices in the pre-Civil War Abolitionist movement. Because of his autobiographies and essays — most famously, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, a Slave – readers fully understood the mortal and dehumanizing dangers found on slave plantations and farms. Following emancipation, Douglass continued working as a political activist and lecturer, traveling all over the world to discuss issues of slavery and equal rights.

Paul Laurence Dunbarr (1872-1906): Even those unfamiliar with the amazing Paul Laurence Dunbar's writings still know of them tangentially — "I know why the caged bird sings," the inspiration for Maya Angelou's autobiography, comes from his poem "Sympathy." Way before that, though, he earned a reputation as the first African-American poet to gain national renown, though his oeuvre stretched into novels, plays, librettos and more as well. Most literary critics and historians accept that the sublime 1896 piece "Ode to Ethiopia" the defining work that launched him to national acclaim, paving the way for later writers from a number of different marginalized communities to shine through.

Ralph Ellison (1914-1994): To this day, Invisible Man remains one of the most intense portraits of a marginalized community (American or not) ever printed. Writer, literary critic and academic Ralph Ellison bottled up the anger and frustration of African-Americans — specifically men — shoved to the fringes of society for no reason other than skin color, paying close attention to how they channeled such volatile emotions. Even beyond his magnum opus, he made a name for himself as an insightful scholar with a keen eye for analyzing and understanding all forms of literature, and he published numerous articles fans should definitely check out.

bell hooks (1952-): Gloria Watkins, better known by her pen name bell hooks, stands at the forefront of postmodern feminism. Thanks to her impressive activism work meaning to break down racial, gender and sexual barriers, she published some of the most essential works on the subjects — including the incredibly intelligent and insightful Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. Today, she continues to lecture, publish and teach classes that carry on her philosophies pushing towards a more equitable, harmonious society.

Langston Hughes (1902-1967): Regardless of whether or not one considers the Harlem Renaissance a broad media label or a legitimate literary movement (or somewhere in between), few argue that Langston Hughes emerged as one of the most essential American writers of the period. He worked in a wide range of styles, from plays to novels to essays to songs, but today's audiences seem to know him from his poetry more than anything else. Though the short story collection The Ways of White Folks still garners plenty of attention for its sarcastic take on race relations in the early decades of the 20th Century.

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960): Because Zora Neale Huston intently studied anthropology and folklore, her fictional characters crackle with nuance that becomes more apparent in subsequent readings. Her oeuvre stretches across four books, with Their Eyes Were Watching God easily the most recognized, and over 50 plays, short stories and essays — all of them considered some of the finest examples of Harlem Renaissance literature (not to mention American in general!). Interestingly enough, her conservative leanings placed her at odds with her more liberal contemporaries from the movement, most especially the heavily influential Langston Hughes.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968): The passion and backbreaking effort Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. put into nonviolently protesting the state of African-Americans and other minorities needs no further introduction. His historical impact, still resonant and relevant today, came about through his eloquent, inspiring writings — largely speeches, essays and letters. "I Have a Dream" and "Letter From a Birmingham Jail" are essential readings for anyone interested in history, Civil Rights, politics, culture and even excellent persuasive nonfiction.

Toni Morrison (1931-): Among Toni Morrison's litany of accomplishments sits two incredible awards — both the Pulitzer Prize (which she won for Beloved in 1988) and the Nobel Prize for Literature. Along with the aforementioned novel, The Bluest Eye and Song of Soloman have both received plenty of acclaim for their fearless approaches towards racial, sexual and economic divides. Today, she remains politically, educationally and creatively active, touring the world to receive some impressive, distinguished honors and promote the importance of literacy and equality.

Barack Obama (1961-): Though known more as a politician than a writer, America's 44th president published the incredible memoir Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance in 1995 — right at the very beginning of his political career. Such literary giants as Toni Morrison have praised Barack Obama's writing style and very raw exploration of his biracial identity at a time when such things were not exactly embraced. Most of his writings these days center around politics, naturally, but the autobiography remains essential reading for anyone interested in American history, race relations and other similar topics.

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883): Because of Sojourner Truth's unyielding strength and integrity, both the abolitionist and women's rights movements propelled forward and changed American history forever. Her writings bravely addressed some incredibly controversial subject matter, and she put her beliefs into practice with the Underground Railroad and the recruitment of Union soldiers. To this day, the haunting "Ain't I a Woman?" speech remains her most celebrated, influential and inspiring work, encapsulating how frustrated and overlooked she felt as both an African-American and a female.

Alice Walker (1944-): The Color Purple rightfully earned Alice Walker both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award in 1983, and to this day it remains her most cherished and essential work. Inspired by the Civil Rights movement and professor Howard Zinn, she used the novel format to expound upon the double marginalization of African-American women, speaking frankly about tough racial and sexual issues. She wrote many other novels, short stories and essays tackling similar subject matter as her more famous book — any fans should certainly head towards her more "obscure" works for more in-depth explorations of such complex themes.

Booker T. Washington (1856-1915): As with many other early African-American writers of note, impassioned activist and educator Booker T. Washington used his talents towards abolishing slavery and establishing equal rights. Though he butted heads with many other Civil Rights leaders of the time — most especially W.E.B. DuBois — his efforts certainly lay the foundation for Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and other leaders who rose to prominence in the 1950s, '60s and '70s. Washington wrote 6 books in his lifetime, among many other formats, but his autobiography Up From Slavery earned him the honor of being the first African-American ever invited to the White House in 1901.

Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784): In spite of her unfortunate slave status, this absolutely essential writer became the first African-American woman to see her lovely poems pushed to print. So impressed was the world at large by her lyrical prowess, she received special permission to travel abroad and meet influential English politicians and delegates — though she only attained freedom following her master's death. Most of her poems revolved around historical figures, close friends, Classical ideas and images and Christian propriety rather than the plight of the enslaved and the female.

Harriet E. Wilson (1825-1900): Most historians and literary critics accept 1859's Our Nig as the very first novel ever published by an African-American writer in the United States. Drawing from her own life story, Harriet E. Wilson used her pen to shed light on the true horrors of slavery, but unfortunately it fell from the public's attention until Henry Louis Gates, Jr. rediscovered her talents and revealed her significance. Outside of her writing, she also garnered some degree of attention as a political activist, lecturer, trance reader and Spiritualist.

Richard Wright (1908-1960): Regardless of whether or not one picks up Richard Wright's fiction or nonfiction, he or she will be treated with some oft-controversial observations on race relations in America prior to the Civil Rights movement. Black Boy is, by and large, probably his most popular work, regardless of format. Most of his works, like many other African-American writers of the time, revolved around promoting awareness of the marginalization they experienced because of restrictive laws and general antipathy from mainstream society.

Malcolm X (1925-1965): 1965's The Autobiography of Malcolm X remains an incredibly essential read for anyone desiring to learn more about American history and the Civil Rights movement. Journalist Alex Haley interviewed and assisted the activist in compiling what became his only book, published with an addendum following his assassination. However, for a deeper glimpse into X's beliefs, his relationship with the controversial Nation of Islam and his efforts to further the African-American cause, one must also pick up his published speeches as well.

Provided by Kate Rothwell - thank you!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the most revered leader of our time, was born January 15, 1929 and murdered on April 4, 1968. Dr. King’s most notable accomplishments were the Montgomery Bus Boycott, being the founder and first President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the famed March on Washington, and being the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

His main legacy was to secure progress in civil rights for the American Negro and poor people in the United States, and for this reason he has become a human rights icon recognized as a martyr. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, a National Holiday, and will be honored with a monument on the Washington Mall in DC.

He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. who was born "Michael King." Few people know that Martin Luther King, Jr. was originally named "Michael King, Jr." until the family traveled to Europe in 1934 and visited Germany. His father soon changed both of their names to Martin Luther in honor of the German Protestant leader Martin Luther. King sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind.

King married Coretta Scott, on June 18, 1953, on the lawn of her parents' house in her hometown of Heiberger, Alabama; they had four children. At the age of twenty-five he became Pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where his trajectory to greatness was launched in 1954. He skipped both the ninth and the twelfth grade and entered Morehouse College at age fifteen without formally graduating from high school. In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology, and enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951. King then began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University and received his Doctor of Philosophy on June 5, 1955, with a dissertation on "A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman."

King was originally skeptical of many of Christianity's claims. Most striking perhaps was his denial of the bodily resurrection of Jesus during Sunday school at the age of thirteen. From this point he stated, "doubts began to spring forth unrelentingly.” However, throughout his career of service, he wrote and spoke frequently, drawing on his experience as a preacher, which he understood to be his purpose. For example, in his “letter from Birmingham Jail,” written in 1963, is a passionate statement of his crusade for justice. It was confirmed when he became the youngest recipient to receive the coveted Nobel Peace Prize for leading non-violent resistance to racial prejudice in the United States.   

We have been taught to believe that Mrs. Parks’ refusal to give up her seat that day was an anomaly. Many Blacks refused, at one time or another, to give up their seats in the white only section usually resulting in being run out of town. There was a committee silently waiting for an instance where they could take it through the legal system to put an end to this unholy system. For example, in March 1955 a fifteen-year-old school girl, Claudette Colvin refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in compliance with the Jim Crow Laws.  King was on the committee from the Birmingham African American community that looked into the case; the committee decided to wait for a better case to pursue.

On December 1, 1955, the case that they were waiting for appeared. Mrs. Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat. The Montgomery Bus Boycott planned by E. D. Nixon and led by King emerged. The boycott lasted for 385 days crippling the city economically. The situation became so tense that King's house was bombed and he was arrested during this campaign. The case ultimately ended with a United States District Court ruling in Browder v. Gayle that ended racial segregation on all Montgomery public buses and throughout the south.

In 1957, Dr. King, Ralph Abernathy, and other civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a group created to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct non-violent protests in the service of civil rights reform. King led the SCLC until his death. Over his career Dr. King narrowly escaped death as his life was in constant danger, but he remained faithful to a non-violent philosophy modeled by Gandhi's non-violent techniques. Dr. King believed that organized non-violent protest against the system of southern segregation known as Jim Crow would lead to extensive media coverage of the struggle for black equality and voting rights.

It is my opinion that this was the single most powerful tool in the arsenal of the civil rights movement. This explosive media coverage, both journalistic and television footage of the daily deprivation and indignities suffered by southern blacks, and of segregationist violence and harassment of civil rights marchers produced a wave of sympathetic public opinion. This was in large part what convinced the majority of Americans that the civil rights movement was the most important issue in American politics in the early 1960’s. King organized and led marches for the right to vote, desegregation, labor rights and other basic civil rights. Most of these rights were successfully enacted into law with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Dr. King was sought out for assistance all over the nation to improve the state of the deprived Negro in campaigns like the Albany Movement, Birmingham, Selma, Augustine, and the famed March on Washington. After the campaign ran low on adult volunteers, SCLC's strategist, James Bevel, initiated the recruitment of children for what became known as the "Children's Crusade."  During the protests, the Birmingham Police Department led by Bull Connor, used high pressure water jets and police dogs to control protesters including the little children. King and the SCLC were criticized by many for putting children in harm's way but by the end of the campaign it was a resounding success. Connor lost his job, the "Jim Crow" signs in Birmingham came down, and public places became open to blacks.

History will most remember Dr. King for his famous “I have a dream speech” during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that took place on August 28, 1963. Dr. King, representing SCLC, was among the leaders of the so-called "Big Six" civil rights organizations who were instrumental in the organization of this massive event. The other leaders and organizations comprising the Big Six were Roy Williams from the NAACP, Whitney Young of the Urban League, A. Philip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, John Lewis of SNCC, and James Farmer of the Congress of Racial Equality with King's colleague Bayard Rustin the primary logistical and strategic organizer.

The march originally was conceived as an event to dramatize the desperate condition of blacks and a very public opportunity to place their grievances squarely before the seat of power in the nation's capital. King’s leadership role was another which caused controversy because he was one of the key figures who acceded to the wishes of President Kennedy in changing the focus of the march. It is a fact that Kennedy initially opposed the march outright, because he was concerned it would negatively impact the drive for passage of civil rights legislation, but the organizers stood their ground concerning the march. Organizers firmly intended to challenge the federal government for its failure to safeguard the civil rights of the Negro.

However, the group acquiesced to presidential pressure and the event ultimately took on a far less strident tone. As a result, some civil rights activists felt it presented a sanitized representation of racial harmony. Malcolm X called it the "Farce on Washington" and members of the Nation of Islam were not permitted to attend the march. In spite of that, the march did make specific demands that were important to the movement. The demands were an end to racial segregation in public schools, meaningful civil rights legislation, a law prohibiting racial discrimination in employment, protection of civil rights workers from police brutality, a two dollar minimum wage for all workers, and self government for Washington, DC, which was controlled by the Dixiecrats.

Despite tensions, the march was a resounding success. More than a quarter million people of diverse ethnicities attended the event sprawling from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall and around the reflecting pool. At the time, it was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington's history. Martin Luther King Jr. expressed a view that black Americans, as well as other disadvantaged Americans, should be compensated for historical wrongs. In an interview conducted for Playboy in 1965, he said that granting black Americans only equality could not realistically close the economic gap between them and whites. He stated, "It should benefit the disadvantaged of all races."

What disturbs me about the movement was the “fact” that Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who was supposed to be a friend of the Negro, warned King to discontinue his suspect associations. It was Kennedy who felt compelled to issue the written directive authorizing the FBI to wiretap King and other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  J. Edgar Hoover used the bureau over the next five years in attempts to force King out of the preeminent leadership position. This led Hoover to imply that King was a Communist and aggressively dog him for the rest of his life. He was concerned that allegations of Communists in the SCLC would derail the Administration's civil rights initiatives.

For his part, King adamantly denied having any connections to Communism, stating in the 1965 Playboy interview that "there are as many Communists in this freedom movement as there are Eskimos in Florida," while claiming that Hoover was "following the path of appeasement of political powers in the South."  He went on to say that his concern for communist infiltration of the civil rights movement was meant to "aid and abet the salacious claims of southern racists and the extreme right-wing elements." Hoover did not believe his pledge of innocence and replied by saying that King was "the most notorious liar in the country."

After King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, the FBI described King as "the most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country."  In December 1963, FBI officials were gathered for a special conference and alleged that King was "knowingly, willingly and regularly cooperating with and taking guidance from communists" whose long-term strategy was to create a "Negro-labor" coalition detrimental to American security.

The attempt to prove that King was a Communist was related to the feeling of many segregationists that blacks in the South were happy with their lot but had been stirred up by "communists" and "outside agitators."  The civil rights movement arose from activism within the black community dating back to before World War I.  In response to the FBI's comments regarding communists directing the civil rights movement, King said that "the Negro revolution is a genuine revolution, born from the same womb that produces all massive social upheavals, the womb of intolerable conditions and unendurable situations."

Starting in 1965, King began to express doubts about the United States' role in the Vietnam War.  In an April 4, 1967 appearance at the Riverside Church in New York, exactly one year before his death, King delivered a speech titled "Beyond Vietnam."  In the speech, he spoke strongly against the United States' role in the war, insisting that the U.S. was in Vietnam "to occupy it as an American colony" and calling the U.S. government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." King also was opposed to the war on the grounds that the war took money and resources that could have been spent on social welfare services like the War on Poverty.

Many white southern segregationists vilified King and this speech soured his relationship with many members of the mainstream media. Life Magazine called the speech "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi," and the Washington Post declared that King had "diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.”  King stated that North Vietnam "did not begin to send in any large number of supplies or men until American forces had arrived in the tens of thousands." King also criticized the United States' resistance to North Vietnam's land reforms.  He accused the United States of having killed a million Vietnamese, "mostly children."

In 1968, King and the SCLC organized his last campaign, the "Poor People's Campaign," to address issues of economic justice. The campaign culminated in a march on Washington, DC, demanding economic aid to the poorest communities of the United States.  King traveled the country to assemble "a multiracial army of the poor" that would march on Washington to engage in non-violent civil disobedience at the Capitol until Congress created a bill of rights for poor Americans. However, the campaign was not unanimously supported by other leaders of the civil rights movement.  Rustin resigned from the march stating that the goals of the campaign were too broad, the demands unrealizable, and thought these campaigns would accelerate the backlash and repression on the poor and the black.

Unfortunately, before the march was realized Dr. King went to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of black sanitary public works employees who had been on strike for higher wages and better treatment. In one incident, black street repairmen received pay for two hours when they were sent home because of bad weather, but white employees were paid for the full day. On April 3, King addressed a rally and delivered his "I’ve Been to the Mountaintop" address at Mason Temple, the world headquarters of the Church of God in Christ.  King's flight to Memphis had been delayed by a bomb threat against his plane.

In the close of the last speech of his career, in reference to the bomb threat, King said the following: “And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers? Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

The next evening at 6:01 p.m., April 4, 1968, a shot rang out as King stood on the motel's second floor balcony. The bullet entered through his right cheek, smashing his jaw, then traveled down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder. Abernathy heard the shot from inside the motel room and ran to the balcony to find King on the floor. After emergency chest surgery, King was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital at 7:05 p.m. According to biographer Taylor Branch, King's autopsy revealed that though only thirty-nine years old, he had the heart of a sixty-year-old man, perhaps a result of the stress of thirteen years in the civil rights movement. The assassination led to a nationwide wave of riots in more than 100 cities. Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy was on his way to Indianapolis for a campaign rally when he was informed of King's death. He gave a short speech to the gathering of supporters informing them of the tragedy and asking them to continue King's idea of non-violence.

President Lyndon B. Johnson declared April 7 a national day of mourning for the civil rights leader. Vice-President Hubert Humphrey attended King's funeral on behalf of Lyndon B. Johnson, as there were fears that Johnson's presence might incite protests and perhaps violence. At his widow's request, King's last sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church was played at the funeral. It was a recording of his "Drum Major" sermon, given on February 4, 1968. In that sermon, King made a request that at his funeral no mention of his awards and honors be made, but that it be said that he tried to "feed the hungry," "clothe the naked," "be right on the Vietnam war question," and "love and serve humanity."  His good friend Mahalia Jackson sang his favorite hymn, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," at the funeral. The city of Memphis quickly settled the strike on terms favorable to the sanitation workers.

Two months after King's death, escaped convict James Earl Ray was captured at London Heathrow Airport while trying to leave the United Kingdom on a false Canadian passport in the name of Ramon George Sneyd on his way to white ruled Rhodesia. Ray was quickly extradited to Tennessee and charged with King's murder. He confessed to the assassination on March 10, 1969, though he recanted this confession three days later. On the advice of his attorney Percy Foreman, Ray pleaded guilty to avoid a trial conviction and thus the possibility of receiving the death penalty. Ray was sentenced to a 99-year prison term.

Ray fired Foreman as his attorney, from then on derisively calling him "Percy Fourflusher."  He claimed a man he met in Montreal, Quebec with the alias "Raoul" was involved and that the assassination was the result of a conspiracy. He spent the remainder of his life attempting, unsuccessfully, to withdraw his guilty plea and secure the trial he never had. On June 10, 1977, shortly after Ray had testified to the House Select Committee on Assassinations that he did not shoot King, he and six other convicts escaped from Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Petos, Tennessee. They were recaptured on June 13 and returned to prison.

Ray's lawyers, as do I, maintained Ray was a scapegoat similar to the alleged John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.  As seen by conspiracy theorists, Ray was a thief and burglar, but he had no record of committing violent crimes with a weapon. Those suspecting a conspiracy in the assassination point out the two separate ballistics tests conducted on the Remington Gamemaster recovered by police had neither conclusively proved that Ray had been the killer nor that it had even been the murder weapon. Moreover, witnesses surrounding King at the moment of his death say the shot came from another location, from behind thick shrubbery near the rooming house, which had been inexplicably cut away in the days following the assassination, and not from the rooming house window.

In 1997, King's son Dexter Scott King met with Ray, and publicly supported Ray's efforts to obtain a new trial. Two years later, Corretta Scott King, along with the rest of King's family, won a wrongful death claim against Loyd Jowers and "other unknown co-conspirators."  Jowers claimed to have received $100,000 to arrange King's assassination. The jury of six whites and six blacks found Jowers guilty and that government agencies were party to the assassination. William F. Pepper represented the King family in the trial.

In 2000, the United States Department of Justice completed the investigation about Jowers' claims but did not find evidence to support allegations about conspiracy. The investigation report recommended no further investigation unless some new reliable facts are presented. The New York Times reported a church minister, Rev. Ronald Denton Wilson, claimed his father, Henry Clay Wilson, not James Earl Ray, assassinated Martin Luther King, Jr.  He stated, "It wasn't a racist thing; he thought Martin Luther King was connected with communism, and he wanted to get him out of the way."

In my opinion, the argument that Ray acted alone is simply fantasy. How can we be expected to believe a two bit crook could develop a plan to kill King and travel the world broke? In 2004, Jesse Jackson, who was with King at the time of his death said, “The fact is there were saboteurs to disrupt the march. And within our own organization, we found a very key person who was on the government payroll. So infiltration within, saboteurs from without and the press attacks. ...I will never believe that James Earl Ray had the motive, the money and the mobility to have done it himself. Our government was very involved in setting the stage for, and I think the escape route for James Earl Ray.”           

On the international scene, King's legacy included influences on the Black Consciousness Movement and Civil Rights Movement in South Africa. King's wife, Coretta Scott King, followed her husband's footsteps and was active in matters of social justice and civil rights until her death in 2006. The same year that Martin Luther King was assassinated, she established the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia, dedicated to preserving his legacy and the work of championing non-violent conflict resolution and tolerance worldwide. We are blessed that Dr. King was allowed to walk among us and change the world.

In His Own Words

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Manifestation of the Right - Armed and Dangerous

We've witnessed another sad day in America’s history to which I extend my condolences to the families of the dead and wounded. On Saturday in Tucson, Arizona where the savage murders that took the lives of a federal judge, a nine year old child, seriously wounding a Congresswoman and many others was simply a despicable act of terrorism. But what is disturbing is that I have not heard anyone from the right who screamed “Terror” for much of the last decade use the word.

I want to commend Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik, who is leading the investigation into the shootings, for his honesty. He did not mince words in saying that vitriol spewed, mostly by Republicans, contributed to the tragedy in Tucson. He said, "There's reason to believe that this [suspect] may have a mental issue. And I think people who are unbalanced are especially susceptible to vitriol… People tend to pooh-pooh this business about all the vitriol we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that. That may be free speech, but it's not without consequences."

America has a long history of such tragic situations. There was the Oklahoma bombing, the murder of an abortion doctor, and the Holocaust museum shooting in recent memory. If we go back to the 1960’s, there was assassination after assassination: Dr. King, President Kennedy, his brother Bobby, Medger Evers, Malcolm X – get my point. No! Well the common thread linking such acts of violence were WORDS used by those who possessed views from an ideologically extreme perspective.

These self-righteous Tea Baggers and conservatives whose been doing what is tantamount to yelling fire in a crowd don’t seem to understand that what they are saying has a dangerous impact upon society and unstable individuals. Words are powerful and there are some in our society who are not equipped to understand that these people are making a living by using this divisive speech causing some to take much of this vitriol literally. It might even be a more sinister reason; playing to the hatred and bigotry that exists.

Let me start at the top with the new leader, a man who cries at the drop of a dime might have shown some emotion over this tragedy, if for no other reason than there was a nine year old innocent child killed, but there were no tears. During his remarks at a news conference Sunday, “the newly elected House speaker was as dry as tumbleweed,” said Courtland Milloy. Why had the man who cries just by thinking about the welfare of children not shed a tear over the death of a 9-year-old girl in that rampage?

We’re talking about a rampage that arguably can be contributed to the insane vitriolic language that the right has spewed since President Obama, an African American, began campaigning and was elected. It is Obama's opponents who carried guns to his speeches and cited Jefferson's line that the tree of liberty "must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Mr. Speaker told the National Review just last year that then-Rep. Steve Dreihaus (D-Ohio) "may be a dead man" because he voted for President Obama's health-care law. "He can't go home to the west side of Cincinnati". Stephen Broden, a tea party-backed former Texas GOP congressional candidate, has said, "Our nation was founded on violence. The option is on the table… I don't think that we should ever remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms."

Rep. Michelle Bachmann said, "I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax, because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us, having a revolution every now and then is a good thing, and the people - we the people - are going to have to fight back hard if we're not going to lose our country." Then there was Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate in Nevada, who suggested “Second Amendment remedies”. These are just a few examples of discord that creates such a charged political climate which can cause an unhinged person to act in horrendous ways with dire consequences.

Am I suggesting that the shooter's motive in this case could have nothing to do with the statements of these people – possibly! But, no one should be surprised when misguided ideologues start showing up at town meetings armed with assault rifles - or at supermarkets with handguns. Remember, the Tea Party rallies when they gleefully brought them to where the president was speaking.

The conservative leadership must finally take on their fringe when it uses language that intimates threats of bloodshed. That means more than just highly general statements praising civility. I am all for and support the right to bear arms. However, I am also sane enough to know that everyone who buys a gun should have one. Its kinda like you have the right to jump off a bridge but that does not mean it is a good idea.

There is one statement that I will leave you with and it’s from the Congresswoman who struggles for life today. "We're on Sarah Palin's targeted list," she said, "but the thing is that the way she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they've got to realize there are consequences…"

Whoa, let's take a step back here.

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Constitutional Disservice

On the first day of the new Republican Congress, led by those folks who live and breathe the Constitution, showed their true convictions by subverting the very Constitution they pretend to honor. I said in an earlier post that the prolific French writer, historian, and philosopher Voltaire said, “History is a pack of tricks we play upon the dead”.

This time the conservatives and their revisionist approach to reality concerning that shameful exercise last week, reading the Constitution, is yet another example of how dishonest those who preach or use the Constitution to disguise their hidden agendas and/or motives.

The selective constitutional reading on the floor of the house was the latest indication that, for all the talk of honoring the Constitution, Tea Party-infused lawmakers are more interested in editing it. I don’t know how in good conscience they could only identify those passages they felt are appropriate because the entire document is appropriate, and frankly a reality. Those omitted parts were, in fact, the law of the land crafted by the Founding Fathers they worship. What the Republican majority choose to read aloud was clearly a sterilized version of the document. News Flash - there is only one version of the Constitution and it is the complete version.

Their excerpted version of the founding document conjuring a fanciful land that never counted a black person as three-fifths of a white person, never denied women the right to vote, never allowed slavery and never banned liquor is a fallacy. Therefore, if the truth is not told about such things as the three-fifths compromise, how can we learn from our founding if we aren't honest about it? Where they ashamed that most of them owned and profited from the despicable institution of slavery? I don’t think this is the case but I think most reasonable people should question their moral character.

What was most troubling for me was their not mentioning, or wanting to, the three fifths compromise heard and the omission of what is written concerning runaway slaves that said if a slave escaped to a free state, the Constitution required that they not be freed rather “delivered up” to their owners. By leaving out these parts amount to a fraud, in my opinion, that lets me know that, as always they use deception, which is not truth.

At the time of the first Presidential election in 1789, only 6 percent of the United States population was eligible to vote and they were white, male property owners. The 15th Amendment in 1870 was supposed to give all citizens the right to vote, regardless of their race. Well as history tells us, women did not gain the vote until the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920; American Indians gained the vote under a law passed by Congress in 1924; and African Americans did not obtain the right to vote, fully, until the Voting Rights Act in the mid 1960’s.

Furthermore, it took the historic court case, Brown vs. Board of Education, in l954 to create what was originally stated in the document that all men are created equal to come close to its meaning of equality. Let me just say that the Supreme Court will require its own Thought Provoking Perspective with respect to decisions it has rendered, i.e., Plessey v Ferguson and the Dread Scott Decision. So for those sanctimonious, self righteous “real Americans” there is much disgrace contained within the document and policies that cannot be forgotten by just not reading the words out loud.

In the past 200 years, the Constitution has been amended 27 times. Americans have added laws only to take them back. In 1919, the 18th Amendment was passed. It banned the making and selling of alcohol. But it was impossible to get all people to stop drinking. Many people felt the government had no right to make laws about their private habits. So in 1933, the 21st Amendment was adopted. It repealed, or canceled, the 18th Amendment.

The Constitution is a living document which means it is open to the interpretation of the powers that be!!! I can only hope these folks don’t try to repeal those unmentioned parts they did not want read.

There are twenty seven amendments (changes) to the US Constitution. One of them (the 21st)is simply the repeal of a different one the 18th, prohibition).

Amendment I [Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, Petition (1791)]
Amendment II [Right to Bear Arms (1791)]
Amendment III [Quartering of Troops (1791)]
Amendment IV [Search and Seizure (1791)]
Amendment V [Grand Jury, Double Jeopardy, Self-Incrimination, Due Process (1791)]
Amendment VI [Criminal Prosecutions - Jury Trial, Right to Confront and to Counsel (1791)]
Amendment VII [Common Law Suits - Jury Trial (1791)]
Amendment VIII [Excess Bail or Fines, Cruel and Unusual Punishment (1791)]
Amendment IX [Non-Enumerated Rights (1791)]
Amendment X [Rights Reserved to States (1791)]
Amendment XI [Suits Against a State (1795)]
Amendment XII [Election of President and Vice-President (1804)]
Amendment XIII [Abolition of Slavery (1865)]
Amendment XIV [Privileges and Immunities, Due Process, Equal Protection, Apportionment of Representatives, Civil War Disqualification and Debt (1868)]
Amendment XV [Rights Not to Be Denied on Account of Race (1870)]
Amendment XVI [Income Tax (1913)]
Amendment XVII [Election of Senators (1913)
Amendment XVIII [Prohibition (1919)]
Amendment XIX [Women's Right to Vote (1920)
Amendment XX [Presidential Term and Succession (1933)]
Amendment XXI [Repeal of Prohibition (1933)]
Amendment XXII [Two Term Limit on President (1951)]
Amendment XXIII [Presidential Vote in D.C. (1961)]
Amendment XXIV [Poll Tax (1964)]
Amendment XXV [Presidential Succession (1967)]
Amendment XXVI [Right to Vote at Age 18 (1971)]
Amendment XXVII [Compensation of Members of Congress (1992)]

Thursday, January 6, 2011

“One Man, One Camera, One Mission”

The John T. Wills Book Tree Radio Show rang in the New Year with a very special guest, and friend, the groundbreaking international and award winning Director/Documentarian/Author Janks Morton. He discussed his new film project, the African American Diaspora, and his latest book release “We Need to Talk”, as well as his phenomenal book “What Black Men Think” that explores the role of black men in society and how they are portrayed in the media. After the empowering interview, I have added this profound thinker to my honored list of being one of the unsung voices of our time. Call it a Ministry, Call it a Mission but his message MUST BE HEARD!!!


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Janks’ work has been critically acclaimed by Ebony, BET, CNN, C-Span, ESSENCE MAGAZINE, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE LA TIMES, RUSS PARR, MICHAEL BAISDEN and many other media outlets around the world. He has the remarkable ability to use his highly acclaimed work to explore our similarities while celebrating our differences making sense of the reasons why in the most profound way.

JANKS MORTON is a groundbreaking international and award winning Documentarian. As founder of iYAGO ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, LLC, he states “the company came into existence to reflect both the conscious and unconscious soul of Black America. JANKS MORTON has been in the entertainment industry for more than 20 years and is a much sought-after teacher, lecturer, commentator and motivational speaker. He has convened workshops, seminars and served as panelist and keynote speaker at colleges, universities, prisons, conferences, churches and community centers around the world.

In delivering his first feature length documentary, “WHAT BLACK MEN THINK”, JANKS MORTON took on the role as producer, director, cameraman, lighting, editing, mixing, entrepreneur, graphic artist, actor, auteur and more. The call to action through one simple question “Are there more black men in jail or college?” challenges not only Black Americans, but every American, to rethink their perceptions about Black Male Identity.

Because of the extensive and pervasive amounts of misinformation around Black Men in popular culture, the statistically supported revelations of WHAT BLACK MEN THINK have been critically acclaimed by BET, CNN, C-SPAN, ESSENCE MAGAZINE, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE LA TIMES, RUSS PARR, MICHAEL BAISDEN and numerous of other media outlets. He states “That I would have to make a film, just to prove that black men are not in the dire state that some would have you believe, demonstrates the confusion that exists in America today.”

His cinematic tribute “WHAT BLACK MEN THINK” is a series of socially provocative films, following JANKS’ personal journey to preserve a cultural tradition, through testimonials of educators, activists, celebrities and “the average hard working Black American”, hoping to inspire the need to record the significance of a heritage that is slowly being forgotten and the trauma that is status of 21st century black relationships.

JANKS’ next installment titled “MEN TO BOYS: 101 THINGS EVERY BOY OF COLOR SHOULD KNOW” is scheduled for release in February 2009 during Black History Month. In the same provocative and enticing premise, the film asks another simple, yet socially and psychologically complex question.

“Can A Mother teach her son to become a man?” In an attempt to restore the time honored tradition of father to son communications and life building skills, “MEN TO BOYS” is JANKS attempt to provide an additional resource for young men to ascend to manhood. Based upon the book “101 THINGS EVERY BOY OF COLOR SHOULD KNOW” by LAMARR DARNELL SHIELDS, this project is sure to spark the same national debate as seen through JANKS’ other productions.

JANKS MORTON is currently promoting both “MEN TO BOYS” and “WHAT BLACK MEN THINK” through tour dates, public screenings and viewings throughout the world.

Just a Season - a must read novel


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: 5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… John T. Wills, author of Just a Season

Just a Season is a luminous story into the life of a man who, in the midst of pain and loss, journeys back in time to re-examine all the important people, circumstances and intellectual fervor that contributed to the richness of his life.

This fictional narrative begins with a grief-stricken father visiting the grave site of his beloved son who was killed in a tragic accident – a moment that he and no other loving parent should ever have to face. As he sadly gazes at his son’s headstone and reads what is inscribed there, the dates 1981 – 2001 bring about an illuminating discovery.

The tiny dash that separates the years of one’s birth and death represents the whole of a person’s life. If this tiny dash were to tell his life’s story, what would it say? In Just a Season, the dash of this man’s life is revealed. What emerges from the pages of this book is a legacy of true benevolence and grace.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Just a Season?

John T. Wills: The novel Just a Season was born out of a dreadful horror. From it, I was seeking to achieve a far-reaching noble purpose associated with the book’s success. About five years ago, I lost my only son due to a tragic automobile accident.

It was, without question, the worst thing imaginable for my wife and I, and certainly my darkest hour. Adding to the terrible sadness of this situation, my son’s death occurred on his son’s first birthday. Elijah, my grandson, is now six years old.

From this nightmare, I have come to understand that adversity can either destroy you or develop you. Having said that, my salvation was to take this lemon and make lemonade.

The primary purpose of the book was to use it as a vehicle to passionately empower, inspire, educate, enlighten and ultimately cause the reader to re-examine the content of their “Dash”. In our season of life, “We only have a minute, didn’t choose it, can’t refuse it, it is up to you to use it – it is just a tiny little minute, but an eternity in it”. We change the world, but we must first change ourselves.

Life is precious, regardless of the circumstances we might face. All of us endure mountains, milestones and valleys as well as the multitude of events and changes that occurred over time affecting what we know as life. Through this story, I hope the reader can understand they can overcome life’s challenges.

This is a story of tenderness, discipline, honor and love delicately shared with readers in a way that says this life, though brief, is significant. So hold it in highest regard for the “Dash” is our legacy to love ones, indeed to the world, which we are blessed to share, albeit, for Just a Season.

JP: What sets Just a Season apart from other books in the same genre?

JT: It’s been said that there are no words that have not been spoken, and there are no stories that have not been told. But there are some that you will not forget. Just a Season is one of those stories.

I can recall a powerful statement once made during a sermon by my childhood pastor Reverend Cole. He said, “Unless and until you suffer enough pain, then and only then, will you reach deep inside and feel the breath that God has breathed into your soul coming eye to eye with your destiny finding your purpose.”

This powerful statement came to me as an epiphany during my time of adversity. You see, the title was predestined as the inspiration that speaks to a religious knowledge or understanding of life’s meaning – a life is Just a Season.

Having said, I believe this story was written by someone greater than myself. I was merely the vehicle to bring this great story to the hearts and minds of other souls. Just a Season is not a story you will simply read. Rather, it is a story that you will live. It is not HIS-story; it is our story that captures the journey of living with all the issues of a life witnessed through the eyes of an African-American man spanning decades.

JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Just a Season getting out to the public?

JT: I think I am a colorful writer and try to paint a visual picture with my words. I’m sure living through Jim Crow, segregation, integration and whatever you call the current system we live in today has colored my writing. Particularly, while writing Just a Season with respect to it being a historical narrative covering those things of significance to African-American people experienced over the past fifty years.

One of my reviewers said, “Not since The Color Purple” has she read anything so emotionally powerful. Another compared it to Roots, saying it is the stuff movies are made of. So in that sense, I feel more comfortable with a historical narrative or historical fiction that I call “fact-tion” because it allows me to add my personal interpretation.

Success is subjective at best, meaning it is determined from within. Otherwise, it is not then it is just a fleeting fantasy. As far as keys: mission, dedication, purpose and a desire to increase the equity within my “Dash”.

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Just a Season?

JT: I have probably considered myself a writer or maybe a storyteller all of my life as I have been writing for many years. However, I did not have an interest in publishing anything mainly because I did not have the time due to work, family, and all of the things that involved living, which consumes our lives.

So when the inspiration appeared, or circumstance, the story simply flowed from my being as if it was destiny. From the first word to the shelf, it took about nine months with me doing everything. To include writing, editing, cover design, webpage and making all the necessary agreements required to bring this phenomenal novel to the public.

I wrote this book because I believed it was a story that had to be told.

JP: What’s next for John T. Wills?

JT: I have a new project, which is the sequel to Just a Season titled Legacy. It’s ready to be released in the very near future. I have planted clues within Just a Season, setting up the continuation of it. On that note, I will only say that it will be thought-provoking, compelling, powerful and also a must read.

I’m also working on a story called Brownsville that resurrects the ghosts and richness of those segregated communities that existed as a result of Jim Crow that are now reduced to footnotes in the annals of time. I am a firm believer that knowledge is power and education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. This philosophy planted the seeds that cultivated a life, which is Just a Season.

I would like to suggest and invite anyone reading this interview to visit my blog – “Thought Provoking Perspectives” as it will offer information and commentary that will educate and inspire…