Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Mis-Educated Negro

I once taught a college course where “The Mis-Education of the Negro” was the required class text. It was an amazing experience because I realized that the message remains relevant today. This great work was originally published in 1933 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, known as the father of BLACK HISTORY MONTH. I feel this book should be mandatory reading for all African America’s – young and old.

As the class read the assigned chapters and we discussed them I was struck by the fact that we have not understood the powerful message contained within its pages. The thesis of Dr. Woodson's book is that Negro’s of his day were being culturally indoctrinated, rather than taught, in American schools or not taking advantage of education period. This conditioning, he claims, causes African Americans to become dependent and to seek out inferior places in the greater society of which they are a part. This assertion is clearly evident nearly eighty-years later.

He challenged his readers to become empowered by doing for themselves, regardless of what they were taught: “History shows that it does not matter who is in power... those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they did in the beginning.”

Today with all the advantages concerning educational opportunities, business exposure, and social networking we are in the best position to succeed than at any time in our history. So the question is “why are we not networking and doing business with each other?” Every other ethnic community takes advantage these options to strengthen and empower themselves - while robbing our communities in the process. We will let anybody setup shop in our communities and take our money.

My point is: we must learn to do business with each other in order to gain wealth by keeping the money in our community. Some say we spend TRILLION’S annually and nearly all of it leaves our community within 15 minutes. Let me remind you that the definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing and expect a different result. We can change the world but first we must change ourselves.

Here is a quote from the “The Mis-Education of the Negro”:
"When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his 'proper place' and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary." 
Now, many of you who have read my blog and therefore know that I believe education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. So I say it’s time to know where you came from to know where you’re going, if we are ever going to get there.
And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

We heard you, and we’re on our way back to the internet airwaves! On Wednesday, September 5th at 8:00 PM (EST), The Book Tree Radio Show is pleased to announce its re-launch on BlogTalkRadio! Thousands and thousands of you listened every week as we showcased an illustrious array of authors and their extraordinary and diverse stories, tales, biographies, histories and inspirations, and you’ve made it known how much you’ve missed listening and the great opportunities that were given you to shine in our spotlight. This is a great promotional opportunity for all authors, poets, writers, and friends to call in on September 5th to make this evening a happening! So you don’t want to miss it!

Legacy – A New Season the sequel to Just a Season is now available on Kindle:

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Dash

A season is a time characterized by a particular circumstance, suitable to an indefinite period of time associated with a divine phenomenon that some call life. One of the first things I learned in this life was that it is a journey. During this passage through time I have come to realize that there are milestones, mountains, and valleys that everyone will encounter.

Sometimes the challenge of life seems unbearable and when those times appear I reach inside to where my faith is stored. There I find the inspiration, courage, and motivation that fill my soul with gratitude for having been given a life that has enriched my soul. So much so that in those times of trouble, when the bridges are hard to cross and the road gets rough, I hear a gentle voice reciting words once spoken by the Prophet Isaiah: “Fear not for I am with you.”

I receive an epiphany sometime ago upon reading the dates inscribed on the tombstone, for example, 1981 – 2001. I asked myself, what does this really mean? The beginning and the end, surely, but in the final analysis it is just a tiny little dash that represents the whole life of a person. I fall to my knees realizing the profound impact of that thought causing me to look to the heavens and wonder. If someone, for whatever reason, were to tell the story concealed within my dash.

So I ask you to consider what might your “Dash” reveal? And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective for this Sunday morning!


It gives me great pleasure to announce the return of “The Book Tree Radio Show” designed to bring the words of others to life by promoting literacy. My guests will include authors, poets, publishers, book clubs, or simply writers passionate about the written word. The Book Tree will air each Wednesday at 8:30 PM (est) beginning September 5th, 2012 with a special guest each week for your enjoyment. Be sure to tune in!

Legacy – A New Season the sequel to Just a Season is now available on Kindle:


Friday, July 27, 2012

It’s A Family Affair

It’s heartbreaking and sad that we have to witness the very bazaar public spectacle that’s taking place within the Jackson family. I will say from the outset that, I like so many, presumed one of the world’s most famous families was dysfunctional but what we are seeing is far beyond rational - bordering on the bazaar. But, should we be surprised because after all there is a Billion dollars at stake. 
The fight over the King of Pops children and his prosperous estate has turned into a very messy affair, with accusations of mama being kidnapped, auntie being slapped, brothers turning against sisters and cousins rescuing cousins, culminating with Miss Katherine losing custody of Paris, Prince and Blanket, the children the King Of Pop willed her to take care of when he died.

Thankfully, Miss Katherine is safe and back at her home after disappearing almost two weeks, which some have called an escape; she was said to be visiting one of her daughters, Rebbie, in Arizona. According to some reports, she’s was supposedly with Janet, Jermaine and Randy as they say resting following doctor’s orders. Regardless my heart goes out to her as this must be very disturbing and painful.

Frankly, nobody needs to witness an 82-year-old grandmother, who is rich beyond her wildest dreams, being pulled in ever direction by family members for whatever the root cause of the problems. Honestly, every family has problems and is in some sense dysfunctional but this family has been in the public’s eye for fifty year. Surely, they should understand how to better manage their affairs. This is not just embarrassing for them but for all of us.

What this shows me is that they, like much of today’s world, have lost what is so simple, which was a staple in the African American family – respect, particularly for your elders. Make no mistake this whole Jackson valueless family situation is about family. It is also about money; control; and money; it’s about love; and mo’ money; positioning; access; relationships; and not about honoring Michael Jackson’s true last wishes. Make no mistake about it, it’s all about money. Billions of dollars and we know money is the root of all evil.  I like to thank a lady named Denene for the idea to write this and some of her words.

Lastly, because this is such a sad situation I will make this post short. Notice that not a word has been said about Papa Joe. So let me say this, when he was involved and around – there was not such mess. As dysfunctional as the family appears, he seemed to be the one with the strong hand that maintained order. Come home Joe. And that’s my Thought Provoking perspective…

Legacy – A New Season the sequel is now available on Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008HJRPE0

John T. Wills Presents the Book Tree Radio Show September Wednesday 5th

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Nittany Lions Got Hammered

I will admit that I am like most men a huge sports fan and I love football; now to my many readers in England, I am not talking about soccer. I am talking about the self inflected tragedy at Penn State; more commonly known as the Nittany Lions football program. This is a school that promoted itself on the grandeur of ethics that has raised billions on the backs of young men. Today the college paid the price for its ethical ineptitude.

The NCAA hammered the Penn State football program for its role in concealing the Jerry Sandusky's sexual molestation acts, leveling Coach Joe Paterno's once revered team with stiff penalties and unprecedented fines that will hurt in ways worse than death. Here are the sanctions:   
  • A $60 million fine, with the money going to an endowment to benefit the welfare of children.
  • A four-year ban on postseason play, including the Big Ten championship game, bowls or the playoffs coming in 2014.
  • A reduction in the maximum allowance of scholarships offered to incoming players from 25 to 15 a year for the next four years.
  • Any entering or returning player is free to transfer without restriction (such as sitting out one season). Others can maintain their scholarship at Penn State and choose not to play.
  • The vacating of all victories from 1998-2011, which strips Paterno of his title as the winningest coach in college football history (now Grambling's Eddie Robinson) and Division I-A (now Bobby Bowden). Paterno, for the record, loses 111 wins and now ranks 12th with 298.
  • Five-year probationary period and the hiring of an academic monitor of the NCAA's choosing and so forth.
Penn State will not appeal the sanctions. School president Rodney Erickson signed a consent agreement with the NCAA and "accepts the penalties."

Penn State President Mark Emmert said at a press conference in Indianapolis that “The penalties reflect the magnitude of these terrible acts but also assures Penn state will rebuild an athletic culture that went horribly awry… Football will never be put ahead of educating, protecting and nurturing young people."
With the amount of money that this equates too - I have to ask, if Penn State and its fans who have always proclaimed the program was about more than winning. They will have the next decade to prove this theory. There is only one program that has been handed the death penalty - SMU in the 1980s. The reason it has struggled to find success since then isn't because of that penalty. It's because the school de-emphasized football.

The Nittany Lions football program was believed to be "too big to fail, indeed, too big to even challenge, has now been destroyed. It’s going to be nearly impossible to recruit a great or even good player when he knows he can't participate in the postseason until he is, at best, a senior. These cuts in available scholarships not only limit the new coach’s ability to bring in top-flight talent but will create significant depth problems for years.

It won't be until the 2020 season that Penn State would have a full complement of scholarships across all four of its classes. This leaves the once mighty giant a pile of rubble with an uncertain future. The good thing about this sanction is that Paterno is no longer the winningest coach in college football history. This honor is now returned to its rightful owner Grambling's Eddie Robinson.

I rarely if ever write about sports because frankly it’s a game like Pimps and Hoes where the organization gets the money and the players for the most part are taken advantage of in every sense of the word, and most of the players are of color. This despicable incident proves the power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. To which I am one who says “it did not go far enough”.

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Legacy – A New Season the sequel is now available on Kindlehttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B008HJRPE0

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Making of a Slave


Some have proclaimed that a slave was born. I do not agree with this notion because a slave was made by means of a defined calculated and well thought-out plan devised for the purpose of being a beast of burden. We know the reason for this atrocity was to build a nation through and to obtain wealth. But what is not understood, en mass, is how it was designed to be sustainable or that varying forms reappear overtime and this footnote to history has been erased or usually unnoticed.

This reminds me of the powerful words Harriet Tubman expressed succinctly concerning the effectiveness of this system of mental conditioning. She was asked shortly before her death, if she knew how many slaves she freed while conducting the Underground Railroad. She did not think about it, replying quickly, “I could have freed a lot more, if they had only known they were slaves.”

From that day in 1619, when it is believed the first Africans were dragged onto the shores of Jamestown to today where we’ve witnessed the first man of color elected President of these United States (or as Jesse would put it – from the outhouse to the White House), there is no doubt that our story is the greatest story ever told.  As it was said in scripture, “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” But let’s understand that there was a plan, a sinister master plan, conceived at some point to ensure that people of our hue remain the least of thee.

As the story goes, a British slave owner from the West Indies was invited to Virginia sometime during the year 1712 to teach his methods to slave owners. Willie Lynch was the name of the man credited with a speech delivered on the banks of the James River. It is noteworthy to mention that the James River was named for the diabolical King of England, who was ironically the same guy responsible for the twenty-eighth version of the cherished Holy Bible.

Lynch brought with him, as he put it, a foolproof method for controlling black slaves that will last for a thousand years. Consequently, it is believed the term “lynching” was derived from his last name as a way to pay homage to him for delivering this ingenious approach. The name Willie Lynch is interesting because it may be a simple play on words. For example, Will Lynch or Will he Lynch. Whatever the reason, it no doubt had significant psychological implications that played heavily on a naive race of people.

Lynch began his historic presentation with a warm greeting: “Gentlemen, you know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems. I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them. In my bag here, I have a foolproof method for controlling your black slaves. I guarantee every one of you that if installed correctly it will control the slaves for at least three hundred years. My method is simple…The black slave after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self refueling and self generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands….” The seeds of devastation were fertilized and the process of destruction was underway for the making of a race into slaves.

In the speech, Lynch outlined a number of differences among the slaves. He stressed to his audience that they should take these differences and make them bigger. These differences included such things as age, color, intelligence, fine hair vs. coarse hair, tall vs. short, male vs. female. These tactics were not new; however they were more than likely put together collectively for this specific purpose for the first time as keys to control.

This short eight paragraph speech was profound in that it was the embodiment of the cruelest demoralizing agenda ever imposed upon a people since the days when the Romans crucified our Lord. As Lynch closed his speech that day, he said, “They must love, respect, and trust only us.” This is the key to producing a successful strategy. Whether this story is true or not is cause for much speculation. However, as history demonstrates, a manufactured plan was developed by someone to achieve these results that continue to this day.

The Willie Lynch letter first appeared in the early 1970’s but gained widespread notice during the nineties, when it began appearing on the Internet. Since then, it has often been promoted as an authentic account of slavery during the 18th century, but its inaccuracies and anachronisms have led historians to conclude that it is a hoax. Let’s be honest, I don’t think any reasonable person would think that those persons present, if there was a meeting, took written notes. However, the same reasonable thinking person can see that there was a designed plan created by someone in order to sustain such division. It may have been something as simple as “divide and conquer.”

So let’s suppose the Willie Lynch story is a modern creation; either the concept was ingenious or the biggest urban myth ever. Then it begs the question, why are we still fighting amongst ourselves. Further, how can the ruling people, or anyone for that matter, justify a philosophy for building and maintaining a government which sanctioned murder, among other atrocities, to enslave human beings?  This I know, and mind you I was not taught this in school nor did anyone explain that the government, through legislative sessions, passed laws to ensure that our bondage was sustained.

This wicked system was sanctioned by the church in the name of God. Therefore, it is important to understand, when the church endorsed slavery and the vehicle that drove it, this meant in the eyes of the system that God himself authorized this immoral agenda. If this was the mentality of the church, and it is a historical fact that religion sanctioned and justified enslaving people for centuries. It begs the question, does that mentality still exist?

And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Joe McCarthy in Lipstick

My thing is history and I like to write about it in the sense that empower those who either don't know it or believe what is recorded in what I call “His-Story”. As we witness the “silly season” of politics I find myself having an opinion on what is represented to us. Having been part a group that has historically been discriminated I know and understand that Freedom of speech is the most precious right we have as Americans. However, there are people on the “right” who produce such vitriol that it is so extreme that it falls into the category of “insane”.

We know much of what the so-called Real American’s say about the president is grossly untrue but it is not exclusive to the president. They will do this to anyone they believe do not agree with their agenda and we know that agenda is very harmful and dangerous to the least of thee.
Some of the comments made by these folks harkens back to a time when “Jim Crowe was the law of the land. I can remember what they call the good old days and those days were not that good. Now, some of the speech out there, by this group comes very close to the era of Senator Joe McCarthy’s witch hunt in the 1950’s that ruined so many people wrongly.  

The comments by  recently, for example, remind me of that sad time in the country’s history. He most recent were so extreme and dangerous that even her follow republicans feel the same way – if not to say nearing insane. He former campaign manager has joined the bipartisan chorus criticizing the Minnesota Republican for alleging that a State Department aid has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mr. Ed Rollins said, “There is little that amazes me and even less that shocks me. I have to say that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s outrageous and false charges against a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin reaches that threshold… Her unsubstantiated charge against Abedin, a widely respected top aide to Secretary Hillary Clinton, accusing her of some sort of far-fetched connection to the Muslim brotherhood, is extreme and dishonest”.

Her former campaign manager went further to demand that Bachmann apologize for the letter, which was signed by four other GOP lawmakers. He went on to say “Having worked for Congressman Bachman’s campaign for president I am fully aware that she sometimes has difficulty with her facts, but this is downright vicious and reaches the late Senator Joe McCarthy level”.

For those who don’t know who McCarthy is; Joe McCarthy falsely made claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies inside the State Department in the early 1950’s to which the Senate voted to "condemn" McCarthy on two counts. Bachmann’s unsubstantiated charge against Abedin, a widely respected top aide to Secretary Hillary Clinton, accusing her of some sort of far-fetched connection to the Muslim brotherhood, is extreme, dishonest, and rises to that level. 

Fellow Republicans like Senator John McCain, an American hero, stood on the floor of the Senate Wednesday and condemned Bachmann, if not by name then by her actions:

“These allegations about Huma and the report from which they are drawn are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American and a loyal public servant… Shame on you, Michele! You should stand on the floor of the House and apologize to Huma Abedin and to Secretary Clinton and to the millions of hard working, loyal, Muslim Americans for your wild and unsubstantiated charges. As a devoted Christian, you need to ask forgiveness for this grievous lack of judgment and reckless behavior.”

Senators in her own party, congressional candidates, a lawmaker in her state’s delegation and leaders of the House Republican Conference are all lambasting Bachmann for saying this woman has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Speaker John Boehner said, “I don’t know Huma, but from everything I do know of her, she has a sterling character… And I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous.”

Bachmann’s accusation came in a handful of letters to intelligence and national security agencies raising questions about the Muslim Brotherhood to which four other Republicans signed accusing her late father of having ties to the Brotherhood. Sen. Scott Brown added: “Rep. Bachmann’s accusations about Sec. Clinton aide Huma Abedin are out-of-line. This kind of rhetoric has no place in our public discourse.”

Bachmann elaborated during an interview Thursday with conservative radio host Glenn Beck; “She is the chief aide … to the Secretary of State,” Bachmann said of Abedin. “And we quoted from the document, and this has been well reported all across Arab media, that her father, her late father who is now deceased was a part of the Muslim Brotherhood, her brother was a part of the Muslim Brotherhood, and her mother was part of what’s called the Muslim Sisterhood.”

Former New Jersey GOP Gov. Christine Todd Whitman wrote in POLITICO’s Arena, that “the sort of unfounded attack unleashed by Congresswoman Bachmann and her [colleagues] brings back painful memories of a low point in our history.”

Former Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, a recently retired Florida Republican, said “Michele means well but she sometimes doesn’t let proven facts get in the way of a possibility of having national television coverage.” Brown-Waite added, “Michele would be better served by having competent staff to check out these accusations before she goes out there sometimes appearing to be a ‘bomb thrower,’”
In making statements like this and others she remains a top House fundraiser, bringing in $1.8 million in the second quarter, bringing the total in her campaign account to $1.72 million. At this point in the previous cycle, she had $2.4 million on hand.

This behavior is like going back to the future (meaning reliving America’s dreadful past). The problem here is lies to support bigotry causes more harm than good and as it appears with the actions to suppress the vote or the twenty first century “Pole Tax”. What next – public lynching’s of minorities? And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Legacy – A New Season the sequel is now available on Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008HJRPE0

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Power Of The Pen

Let me to take a moment to pay homage to the late William Raspberry who was a provocateur, gentle spirit and by most accounts a gentleman who used words effectively to shake conventional conversations. His artistry was so profound that it was not until you actually thought about what he said did you feel the power of his words. This profound wordsmith was my hero and a man - among men!

This legendary columnist died a few days ago and with his passing I wondered if this teacher to all who read his work really understood the significance of his presence. From my reading of his words I came to feel the spirit of this great man who cared profoundly about morality, and particularly parental responsibility. Now, I never met Mr. Raspberry but because of him I wanted to use words to affect the minds of men, and women.

It is hard to say how his importance to journalism will be measured. His headstone should say that he was one of the first widely syndicated African American columnists. He was a pioneer and a “role model”, a staunch advocate of civil rights who could also pick fights with what gets referred to as “the civil rights establishment.” You would have to add that he was also an advocate of civility.

This man did not meet the stereotypes of what a “black commentator” was supposed to be as often times he was characterized as a conservative. But Mr. Raspberry simply had a passion for justice, especially where poor children were concerned. It was a passion that refused to be contained by ideological boxes or by the expectations of others about what he was supposed to be writing.

This powerful African American writer was built with bravery. He was consistent in his opposition to the Iraq war and injustice, which was a rare in the world of commentary. His questions about why we were going to war were both basic and sophisticated, rooted in the common sense that characterized all his work.

I have often heard the unanswerable question; “if a tree falls in the woods and no one was there – could it be heard”. With respect to this literary giant – there is a load sound and the vibration shakes the world. Someone once said, “I might not be the one who changes the world but I can change the mind of the one who will change the world”. That is what you did Mr. Raspberry!

You were my hero and thank you for your contribution. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Legacy – A New Season the sequel is now available on Kindle with the hard copy released July 20th. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008HJRPE0

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Granddaddy’s Lessons

It’s been several years since “Just a Season” and it’s time to move on. Generations have come and gone, life is bearable after all, and hope lives in a little boy and in a man who almost lost all hope. On July 3rd I released “Legacy – A New Season” is the long awaited saga to the epic novel “Just a Season” that will take you on an awe inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora, as told by a loving grandfather to his grandson in the oral African tradition at a time when America changed forever.  So I would like to share and except from the epic novel “Just a Season” because the story continues… 

Today we live in a world where there is no more Granddaddy to share that precious wisdom necessary to guide our young men and women into adulthood. I was very fortunate or maybe blessed, to have had a loving grandfather who shared many valuable lessons with me. These lessons formed the foundation of my very being…

"Granddaddy would say if you really hear me, not just listen to me, you will inherit life’s goodness. I would hear him talk about things like “God bless the child that’s got his own.” He constantly reminded me that everything that ever existed came from a just-single thought, and if you can think it, you can figure out how to do it just put your mind to it. I would also constantly hear that a man must be able to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done regardless of the circumstances. “I raised you to be a man and as a man, you don’t know what you will have to do, but when the time comes, do it.”

Granddaddy drove home the point, the difference between a man and a boy is the lessons he’s learned.
Granddaddy would also say you will always have an enemy. Your enemy is anyone who attempts to sabotage the assignment God has for your life. Your enemy is anybody who may resent you doing positive things and will be unhappy because of your success. These people will attempt to kill the faith that God has breathed within you. They would rather discuss your past than your future because they don’t want you to have one. Your enemy should not be feared. He would say it is important to understand that this person usually will be close to you. He would tell me to use them as bridges, not barricades. Therefore, it is wise to make peace with your enemy.

“Just remember these things I say to you.” I certainly could not count all of these things, as it seemed like a million or more that I was supposed to remember. However, he asked me to remember above all else that there is no such thing as luck. The harder you work at something the luckier you get. I would tell him that I was lucky, maybe because I had won a ballgame or something. He would smile and tell me luck is only preparation meeting opportunity. Life is all about survival and if you are to survive - never bring a knife to a gunfight. This would be just as foolish as using a shotgun to kill a mosquito. Then he asked me to remember that it is not the size of the dog in the fight; it is the size of the fight in the dog.

Granddaddy’s words had so much power, although it would often require some thinking on my part to figure out what he was talking about, or what the moral of the story was supposed to be. It may have taken awhile but I usually figured it out. For example, always take the road less traveled, make your own path, but be sure to leave a trail for others to follow. Life’s road is often hard; just make sure you travel it wisely. If you have a thousand miles to go, you must start the journey with the first step. During many of these lessons, he would remind me not to let your worries get the best of you.

Sometimes he would use humor. For example, he would say something like “Moses started out as a basket case.” Although most often he assured me that hard times will come and when they come, do not drown in your tears; always swim in your blessings. He would tell me he had seen so much and heard even more, in particular those stories from his early life when dreadful atrocities were done to Negroes. Some of the stories included acts of violence such as lynchings, burnings, and beatings. He would make a point to explain that the people who did these things believed they were acting in the best interest of society.

He would tell me about things he witnessed over time, that many of these atrocities were erased from the memory of society regardless how horrible the event was. Society’s reasoning would make you think their action was right, fair, and justified. Granddaddy would add, if history could erase that which he had witnessed and known to be true, how can you trust anything history told as truth? He would emphasize that I should never, never believe it, because nothing is as it seems.

I would marvel at his wisdom. He would tell me to always set my aim higher than the ground. Shoot for the stars because if you miss you will only land on the ground and that will be where everybody else will be. When he would tell me this, he would always add, please remember you are not finished because you are defeated. You are only finished if you give up. He would usually include a reminder. Always remember who you are and where you came from. Never think you are too big because you can be on top of the world today and the world can be on top of you tomorrow.

I think Granddaddy had the foresight to see that I could do common things in life in an uncommon way, that I could command the attention of the world around me. Granddaddy impressed upon me that change is a strange thing. Everyone talks about it but no one ever tries to affect it. It will take courage and perseverance to reach your place of success. Just remember that life -is not a rehearsal. It is real and it is you who will create your destiny don’t wait for it to come to you. He would say, can’t is not a word. Never use it because it implies failure. It is also smart to stay away from those who do use it.

He would tell me that I was an important creation, that God gave a special gift to me for the purpose of changing the world around me. It may be hard sometimes, you may not understand, you may have self-doubt or hesitation, but never quit. God gave it to you so use it wisely. He would add often times something biblical during his teaching, or so I thought, like to whom much is given, much is expected. It is because we needed you that God sent you. That statement profoundly gave me a sense of responsibility that I was duty-bound to carry throughout my life.

Granddaddy’s inspiration, courage, and motivation still humble me, and I’m filled with gratitude that his example profoundly enriched my soul. So much so that in those times of trouble, when the bridges are hard to cross and the road gets rough, I hear Granddaddy’s gentle voice reciting words once spoken by the Prophet Isaiah: “Fear not for I am with you.”

Excerpt from "Just a Season"
All Rights Reserved (c) 2007


Legacy – A New Season the sequel is now available on Kindle with the hard copy released July 20th. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008HJRPE0

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Oh Clearance!

During that God awful period of American history, which has been sanitized from the mind of today, when slavery was the law of the land there was an arrangement where African Americans were divided in two groups: – “House-Negros (I never use the N-Word but you get the point) and Field-Negros”. That same can be said of some in our community today!

For these who might not understand, let me explain:

“The house Negro, they lived in the house, with master. They dressed pretty good. They ate good, cause they ate his food, what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near their master, and they loved their master, more than their master loved himself. They would give their life to save their masters house quicker than their master would. The house Negro, if the master said "we got a good house here" the house Negro say "yeah, we got a good house here". Whenever the master would said, we, he'd say we. That's how you can tell a house Negro.
If the master's house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house Negro would say "What's the matter, boss, we sick?" We sick! He identified himself with his master, more than the master identified with himself. And if you came to the house Negro and said "Let's run away, Let's escape, Let's separate" the house Negro would look at you and say "Man, you crazy.
What you mean separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than this? Where can I eat better food than this?" There was that house Negro. In those days, he was called a house nigger. And that's what we call him today, because we still got some house niggers runnin around here. This modern house Negro loves his master. He wants to live near him. He'll pay three times as much as the house is worth just to live near his master, and then brag about I'm the only negro out here.”
There are many who fall into this category but I am saddened by one in particular. I said sadden but not surprised by the actions of Clearance Thomas as he voted once again against the interest of African Americans. He is widely regarded as the most conservative member of a conservative dominated Supreme Court and far more conservative than Hugo Black, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan who served on the court from 1937-1971.

Black, a former U.S. Senator from Alabama once filibustered an anti-lynching bill and joined the KKK in the early 1920s. In fact, during the 1926 election, he gave speeches at KKK meetings throughout the state. But Black later redeemed himself by acknowledging that joining the Klan was a mistake and became one of the most liberal members of the Supreme Court, strongly backing the principle of "one man, one vote" and using the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to forbid racial discrimination.
“The field Negro, those were the masses. There was always more Negros in the field as there were Negros in the house. There Negro in the field caught hell. He ate leftovers. In the house, they ate high up on the hog. The Negro in the field didn't get nothing but what was left in the insides of the hog. They call them chit'lins nowadays. In those days, they called them what they were, guts! That's what you were a gut-eater. And some of you are still gut-eaters.
The field Negro was beaten, from morning til night. He lived in a shack, in a hut. He wore cast-off clothes. He hated his master. I say, he hated his master. He was intelligent. That house Negro loved his master. But that field Negro, remember, they were in the majority, and they hated their master. When the house caught on fire, he didn't try to put it out, that field Negro prayed for a wind. For a breeze.
When the master got sick, the field Negro prayed that he died. If someone come to the field Negro and said lets separate, let's run. He didn't say Where we going? He said any place is better than here". We got field Negros in America today. I'm a field Negro. The masses are the field Negros. When they see this man’s house on fire, we don't hear these little Negros talkin bout "Our Government is in trouble. They say thee Government is in trouble. Imagine a Negro, "Our Government".
The same ol slave master today has Negros who are nothing but modern Uncle Toms - 20th century Uncle Toms to keep you and me in check. Keep us under control. Keep us passive and peaceful… That's Tom making you nonviolent. It's like when you go to the dentist and the man is going to take your tooth. You're going to fight him when he starts pulling. So they squirt some stuff in your jaw called Novocain, to make you think they’re not doing anything to you. So you sit there and because you got all that Novocain in your jaw, you suffer peacefully. ahahaha.”
Some of us understand that we are that which is referred to as the “permanent underclass”. But when you can effect change and chose not to - it is simply a disgrace. In every major case that could represent justice for the least of thee - this guy voted against those interests. What makes that so strange is that Thomas, who reminds me of my uncle whose name is Tom, has benefited from affirmative action throughout his adult life. To characterize Thomas' behavior as resentment is an understatement.

Let me quote the late U.S. Appeals Court Judge Leon Higginbotham who said of Thomas, "I have often pondered how is it that Justice Thomas, an African-American, could be so insensitive to the plight of the powerless. Why is he no different, or probably worse, than many of the most conservative Supreme Court justices of the century? I can only think of one Supreme Court justice during the century who was worse than Justice Clarence Thomas: James McReynolds, a white supremacist who referred to blacks as 'niggers.'" This is a sad commentary!

I only talked about one such house-negro but there are more, and you know who they are! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Legacy – A New Season the sequel is now available on Kindle with the hard copy released July 20th.http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008HJRPE0

Thursday, July 12, 2012


This week in Houston there was a big celebration called the NAACP Annual Convention. I framed the statement this way because there was an AG, VP, and a NUT who spoke at the gathering. There were cheers, jeers, and boo’s.

By all accounts the Vice President stole the show as he rallied support for the President before the nation's largest civil rights organization. Well the guy the Good Ol’ Boys are trying to get behind proclaimed he was the only one to do for African Americans what the president has failed to do for working families in the black community.

On the other hand, the VP a stand in for the Prez drew cheers as he credited Obama for championing a landmark health care law, launching the mission that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and stepping in to rescue the financial system and U.S. automakers General Motors and Chrysler. This was quite a contrast to the man with two faces who gave the impression he was in a friendly environment – talking about Willard!

I have to say, Willard showed guts by walking into the lion’s den, so to speak,  but he should have known that we don’t believe he will do more for African-Americans than Obama, the nation's first black president, and that’s when he was booed started! I would the few cheers that Willard got were from people who he either brought with him or they were bused in.

He made the statement that he'd repeal Obama's sweeping health care reform law and more boo's came. In the first place, he disrespected the audience when he called the most sweeping initiative of the president’s career – "Obamacare". Did he not know this was, to us, a code word that the bigots use to further take away things that benefits our community?

The AG was there the day before speaking about the travesty of voter suppression that is coming from Willard’s gang – you know the Tea Baggers and Good Ol’ Boy’s that fund and support him, whose agenda would hurt black families as it always has. Maybe I should put it this way – there are fundamental different visions of reality when you look at the two camps, which I believe this election will come down to character, conviction and vision and that would be Obama/Biden.

Obama did not speak to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People this year, appearing instead in a taped video message. In the brief remarks, Obama said: "I stand on your shoulders and at the NAACP you have always believed in the American promise." He reiterated many of the themes of his re-election campaign, saying the nation needs to "build an economy where everyone can have the confidence that the hard work will also pay off." The president said he was sorry he couldn't be there in person.

Black voters are a key part of Obama's re-election strategy, with about 95 percent supporting him in 2008. Polls have shown black voters supporting Obama at comparable levels this year but Romney could undercut the president in states such as North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Florida, all of which have large black communities, if he can persuade some black voters to support him or if they stay home on Election Day. Dream on!

In Obama's absence, Biden offered a fiery defense of administration policies while warning of what a Romney presidency would bring to civil rights. He asked attendees to "imagine" what the Justice Department would be like under a Romney administration and "imagine when his senior adviser on the Constitution is Robert Bork," the Republican Supreme Court nominee who was defeated by Democrats in 1987. Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time.

Biden received sustained applause throughout his address. When he spoke about civil rights and administration efforts to expand voting rights and not diminish them, the crowd stood up and loudly cheered. When Biden said, "Did you think we'd be fighting these battles again?" People in the crowd answered in unison, "No."

I am not going to preach to the choir but I will say Willard’s speech was long on “BS” and as is his character short on substance. Mitt don’t you and the Klan know that people of color have seen what the republicans represent. They, the GOP, remind me of that gang of terrorists who carry burning crosses, wear white robes in the middle of the night, and call themselves the “real Americans”. Hmmm and that’s my Thought provoking Perspectives…

Legacy – A New Season the sequel is now available on Kindle with the hard copy released July 20th. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008HJRPE0

The Obama Effect - Theatrical Trailer

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

This is Music – LIVE!!!

With all the strife and discomfort in the world today every once in a while I like to share something to touch your soul and this is it. Music that was Music with grace and proud! So let's remember the ghosts of the greats that gave us and sang that sweet soul music.

Let me take you down memory lane. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective...

Legacy – A New Season the sequel is now available on Kindle with the hard copy released July 20thhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B008HJRPE0

Monday, July 9, 2012

Black Women and Faith

While reading today’s newspaper I came across a story that I found interesting – yet troubling. This was the headline: A new nationwide survey conducted by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that black women are among the most religious people in the country.” Now, having know a few black women in my time this was not that much of a surprise because I have found that most will out Pope the Pope!

I am going to say from the outset that I am expecting hate mail but if you read my words they are simply designed to provoke thought on the topic. Therefore, I say think about what you read - maybe even step back and look in the mirror. Early in the article there was a powerful statement made by the author who asked, “For what purpose are you seeking an education? Is it not that you may relieve the suffering of humanity?”

There was a woman who was quoted as saying she found on her phone this: “Finding that verse at that moment was no coincidence… God had spoken. Instantly, a sense of calm and confidence enveloped her. In times like these, when she feels anxious, afraid or unsure… relies on her faith.” Just so you know faith is that what you believe to be true what cannot be seen. Keep reading I have some thoughts on this! But first let me talk about the survey.

This nationwide survey found that nine in 10 African American women reveals that as a group, black women are among the most religious people in the nation. The survey found that 74 percent of black women said that “living a religious life” is very important. On that same question, the number falls to 57 percent of white women and 43 percent of white men.

I understand that during times of turmoil, which is living in America. Black women endure much more than any other group causing them to turn to their faith to get through. Black women, across education and income levels, say living a religious life is a greater priority than being married or having children, and this call to faith either surpasses or pulls even with having a career as a life goal, the survey shows.

If you are from the African American culture you more than likely would have grown up with gospel music in your background or maybe as your foundation. This more than likely included a mother or grandmother who insisted on all-day church on Sundays and Bible school in the summers. It is inextricably woven into our culture giving us the sense that devotion and faith in God somehow more strongly connects due to our slave ancestor’s survival of the institution.

Stacey Floyd-Thomas, an associate professor of ethics and society at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, says “Black women have been the most mistreated and scandalized in U.S. society and culture as they wrestle both individually and collectively with the triple jeopardy of racism, sexism and classism.” To this I agree!

For roughly a quarter of black women who responded to the survey, religion plays a less-than-primary role in their lives; a scant 2 percent of them said it is “not at all” important. To that point Sikivu Hutchinson who describes herself as an atheist makes this point: “What has religiosity and belief in supernatural beings really achieved for African Americans in the 21st century — and in particular African American women, given our low socioeconomic position?”

Looking back on her childhood, Hutchinson wonders: “Why would children be compelled to profess belief, especially when they look around them and see that the world is overpopulated with adult believers flaunting their immorality?” Hutchinson contends that perhaps there aren’t more black women grappling with that answer because there is little in their community that supports a different perspective.

The article went on to say “for most African American women, absolute trust in a higher power has been a truism for centuries. In follow-up interviews with some of the black women surveyed, there seemed to be little or no angst about their religious beliefs or their role in the church. The women said their focus is on one thing: their personal relationship with God.”


Ok, here is where I am sure to upset some. First, we were brought to America as slaves and there were two choices; take the Bible or die - by way of the rope or gun. Let me remind you there was no word G-O-D in any African language before the coming of Europeans. In addition, the first registered slave ship was named the “Good Ship Jesus”. The WORD, supposedly given by God, that most so fervently believe was rewritten twenty-eight times with the last revision ordered by the diabolical King James of England who stood to benefit from his rendition. My point here is that maybe we should not take the WORD literally.

I want to make two more points; the image of the deity that hangs on most church walls is that of a blonde haired blue eyed European who could not possibly have come from that region of the world, which was in North Africa. The other point is this: there is a church in most communities on every corner, so I say if that was the answer why is it not working.

Let me close by saying that “I believe in something greater than I and I chose to call it God”. This in the practical sense should be adapted to mean “Good Orderly Direction”. I would respectfully suggest that we and black women in particular look to what is within to find strength to survive. Lastly it might be a good idea to not be so devoted and blindly follow con artist, or maybe I should say, pimp in the pulpit. Let’s get back to family!

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Legacy – A New Season the sequel is now available on Kindle with the hard copy released July 20th.


Friday, July 6, 2012

The Power of Words

I want to add my Thought Provoking Perspective to a Tweet that has gotten everybody in an uproar. Chris Rock posted a Tweet recently that said in essence Independence Day is a “white man’s holiday”. I thought there was such a thing as freedom of speech at least that is what is professed in the Constitution. It reminds me of the saying “the truth hurts” – people - what Chris said was true!

I wrote a blog a few days ago where I talked about the glory of the celebration and the fact that this freedom it represents was only for some and that blacks, women, and everyone but white men were excluded from the concept of freedom. I am sure most of you have heard of this thing called slavery that ended after a half a million people died to end it nearly a hundred years later!

Let me ask that you Google “Juneteenth” and maybe you will get a different perspective of what the African America community knows that has today been forgotten. Then there was this thing called Civil Rights that has not been fully achieved to date. I will go further and say “this is still the last plantation”. As evidence of this might be a comment by the insane Herman Cain it the video I have added.

Maybe, just maybe, we could address the race issue if America and its people would face the reality of the story, His-Story, was true. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Legacy - A New Season is available...
It’s been several years since “Just a Season” and it’s time to move on. Generations have come and gone, life is bearable after all, and hope lives in a little boy and in a man who almost lost all hope. “Legacy – A New Season” is the long awaited saga to the epic novel “Just a Season” that will take you on an awe inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora, as told by a loving grandfather to his grandson in the oral African tradition at a time when America changed forever.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fourth of July

Today we celebrate the 236th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in a nation that is as divided now as it was then on just about every level. By revisiting our history helps to remind us how far we've come; just remember that 236 years ago slavery was the law of the land with all or just about all of the so-called founding fathers owning human beings as chattel. I guess you could say that this speaks to the character of these men.

The idea of Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July and a national holiday, which America commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from England or Great Britain. As was suggested at the time, Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, family gatherings, political speeches and ceremonies. Oh, and a lot of flag waving!

It was during the Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence declaring the United States independent from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson the principal author of the document that congress debated and revised the wording and finally approving it on July 4.

Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.

As we all know these famous words taken from the document: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. This makes one wonder what men they were talking about because by owning men they surely did not consider Africa American people as men. Or was it ever supposed to relate to blacks or women. NOT!!! So who was left? I think we know!

Although this is a glorious day, there actually was not anything close to independence for most of the populous. Now, I like a good party as much as anyone but this was not a party designed for anyone of color. In fact, I am positive that my ancestors who made that long captive journey in the belly of the beast across the Atlantic as a day of independence.

It is worth mentioning that not all the colonialists were keen on this whole independence thing either and by some accounts about a half-million were Loyalists to the British crown, and hung on to their royal connections. Now the author’s of His-Story, which is that written by the victory, left out much of what really happened.

I will close with what is a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Just a little piece of history another so-called Founding Father, who became a President James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third president in a row who died on this memorable day.

Enjoy the party’s and celebrate the freedoms we have left. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Man Behind The Dream

Forty-eight years after the March on Washington became the crowning achievement of the Civil Rights Movement. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is finally being remembered with a memorial on the National Mall. This is a major accomplishment for his legacy and a testament to his living spirit. I am very proud and honored to have live long enough to see the first man of color to receive such distinction and to have a president of color unveil the monument to this great man. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Dr. King now has reached his place of immortality and as marvelous as this is I wondered if anyone knows the man whose shoulders he stood. One person in particular would be the chief organizer of the March on Washington, who some have called the man behind the dream. I thought it would be fitting to give props to the man responsible for making the historic March on Washington a reality - Bayard Rustin. He was one of the most important leaders of the civil rights movement from the advent of its modern period in the 1950s until well into the 1980s.

Although his name is seldom mentioned or received comparatively little press or media attention, while others' were usually much more readily associated with the movement. Mr. Rustin’s role was a behind-the-scenes role that, for all its importance, never garnered him the public acclaim he deserved. Rustin's homosexuality and early communist affiliation probably meant that the importance of his contribution to the civil rights and peace movements would never be acknowledged.

Rustin was a gifted and successful student in the schools of West Chester, both academically and on his high school track and football teams. It was during this period of his life that Bayard began to demonstrate his gift for singing with a beautiful tenor voice. He attended Wilberforce University and Cheyney State Teachers College. In 1937 he moved to New York City, where he was to live the rest of his life.

It was at this time that Rustin began to organize for the Young Communist League of City College. The communists' progressive stance on the issue of racial injustice appealed to him. He broke with the Young Communist League and soon found himself seeking out A. Philip Randolph head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and at that time the leading articulator of the rights of Afro-Americans.

He soon headed the youth wing of a march on Washington that Randolph envisioned. Randolph called off the demonstration when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order No. 8802, forbidding racial discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries. Randolph's calling off of the projected march caused a temporary breach between him and Bayard Rustin, and Rustin transferred his organizing efforts to the peace movement, first in the Fellowship of Reconciliation and later in the American Friends Service Committee, the Socialist Party, and the War Resisters League.

In 1944, Rustin was found guilty of violating the Selective Service Act and was sentenced to three years in a federal prison. In March 1944 Rustin was sent to the federal penitentiary in Ashland, Kentucky. He then set about to resist the pervasive segregation then the norm in prisons in the United States, although faced with vicious racism from some of the prison guards and white prisoners, Rustin faced frequent cruelty with courage and completely nonviolent resistance.

On release from prison, Rustin got involved again with the Fellowship of Reconciliation, which staged a journey of reconciliation through four Southern and border states in 1947 to test the application of the Supreme Court's recent ruling that discrimination in seating in interstate transportation was illegal. Rustin's resistance to North Carolina's Jim Crow law against integration in transportation earned him twenty-eight days hard labor on a chain gang, where he met with the usual racist taunts and tortures on the part of his imprisoners.

Between 1947 and 1952, Rustin traveled first to India and then to Africa under the sponsorship of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, exploring the nonviolent dimensions of the Indian and Ghanaian independence movements. In 1953 Rustin was arrested for public indecency in Pasadena, California, while lecturing under the auspices of the American Association of University Women. It was the first time that Rustin's homosexuality had come into public attention, and at that time homosexual behavior in all states was a criminal offense.

In 1956 Rustin was approached by Lillian Smith, the celebrated Southern novelist who authored Strange Fruit, to provide Dr. Martin Luther King with some practical advice on how to apply Gandhian principles of nonviolence to the boycott of public transportation then taking shape in Montgomery, Alabama. Rustin spent time in Montgomery and Birmingham advising King, who had not yet completely embraced principles of nonviolence in his struggle. By 1957, Rustin was busy playing a large role in the birth of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and in the Prayer Pilgrimage to Washington that took place on May 17, 1957 to urge A. Philip Randolph to enforce the Supreme Court's 1954 ruling that the nation's schools be desegregated.

Arguably the high point of Bayard Rustin's political career was the A. Philip Randolph for Jobs and Freedom which took place on August 28, 1963, the place of Dr. Martin Luther King's stirring "I Have a Dream" speech. Rustin was by all accounts the March's chief architect. To devise a march of at least one-quarter of a million participants and to coordinate the various sometimes fractious civil rights organizations that played a part in it was a herculean feat of mobilization.

By 1965 Rustin had come to believe that the period for militant street action had come to an end; the legal foundation for segregation had been irrevocably shattered. Rustin's steadfast opposition to identity politics also came under criticism by exponents of the developing Black Power movement. His critical stance toward affirmative action programs and black studies departments in American universities was not a popular viewpoint among many of his fellow Afro-Americans, and as at various other times of his life Rustin found himself to a certain extent isolated.

Although Bayard Rustin lived in the shadow of more charismatic civil rights leaders, he can lay real claim to have been an indispensable unsung force behind the movement toward equality for America's black citizens, and more largely for the rights of humans around the globe, in the twentieth century. Throughout his life his personal philosophy, incorporating beliefs that were of central importance to him: that there is that of God in every person, that all are entitled to a decent life, and that a life of service to others is the way to happiness and true fulfillment.

So you see all of us stand upon the shoulders of someone be it great or not; So Sing – Sing Celebrate!!! The Dream will never die. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Purchase “Just a Season” today !!!
Legacy – A New Season the sequel is coming!
July 4, 2012