Saturday, November 29, 2008
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Remember that little ditty? It was a jingle from a commercial, that ran during the early 70's, for a perfume called Enjoli. Check it out:
Women loved that commercial. Many actually saw this super woman as a person to emulate, a true testament to the fact we could do and have it all. And so began the so called "mommy wars", stay at home moms vs. working moms. A war that was born mainly in the minds of advertisers, as evidenced by the Enjoli commercial. Is it possible the "mommy wars", which continue to simmer, could once again be moved to the front burner, due to the decision of First Lady-in-Waiting Michelle Obama to take a detour down the dreaded "mommy track"?
Michelle Obama graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. After completing her formal education, she returned to Chicago and accepted a position with the law firm Sidley Austin, and subsequently worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center. (from Wiki)
Landing at Sidley Austin, where she specialised in intellectual property law was no small feat. Sidley Austin, formerly known as Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, is one of the oldest law firms in the world. It is the sixth-largest U.S.-based corporate law firm with over 1,800 lawyers, annual revenues of more than one billion dollars, and offices in 16 cities worldwide, with the most recent addition of Sydney, Australia, in May 2007. Its original predecessor firm was founded in 1866 and had Mary Todd Lincoln, the widow of President Abraham Lincoln, among its earliest clients. The firm was formed as the result of the merger of two firms: the Chicago-based Sidley & Austin, founded in 1866, and the New York-based Brown & Wood, founded in 1914. As of 2006, it was the 9th largest law firm in the world (and 5th in the US) by revenue. (from Wiki)
In 2002, shortly after the Obamas' second daughter was born, she went to work at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she eventually became vice-president for community and external affairs. Caught without a sitter, Mrs. Obama took the baby with her to the job interview. Clearly Mrs. Obama is an accomplished, highly intelligent, capable, and career oriented attorney. However, when she was recently asked by Ebony Magazine what we can expect from her in the coming years, her response was 'My first job, in all honesty, is going to continue to be mum in chief'.
Hearing Mrs. Obama make this commitment, one could not help but wonder if she was just taking extra care to not come off as the high powered attorney we know her to be. We know that daily we are faced with instances where we must weigh stepping back from our strongest, most confident presentation, because people who are not used to (umm...how do you say... oh yes) diversity, often come in with preconceived notions that we are angry black women or have a chip on our shoulders. But Mrs. Obama wasn't just making nice. There is no frontin' going on here, she appears to be ready to relish being a stay-at-home-mum, and dammit she should. Many working mothers would love to have the stay-at-home option, although they would never admit it.
As expected, the questions surrounding Mrs. Obama decision have started. As Mum-in-Chief, she will bring much needed attention to the issue of better access to childcare (which is at the heart of the mommy wars). Mrs. Obama has said that she will be an advocate for better childcare. Hopefully the spotlight she can shine on the issue will end this "mommy wars" nonsense once and for all.
Monday, November 17, 2008
The reports of the increase in racial incidents are soaring since the election of Barack Obama. The McCain Campaign was successful in two ways: 1. The introduction of Sarah Palin as the spokes model for the republican base; and 2. condoning hate mongering, which was directed towards a fellow United States Senator of a different race.
Perhaps the meeting that President Elect Obama is taking with John McCain, is an attempt to show the nation some solidarity. Can a highly publicized meeting with President Elect Obama assuage the flames of hatred that the McCain Campaign have fanned? Below are a just a few of the incidents that are being chronicled by Editor & Publisher:
*A popular white supremacist Web sites got more than 2,000 new members the day after the election, compared with 91 new members on Election Day. The site, stormfront.org, was temporarily off-line on Nov. 5 because of the overwhelming amount of activity it received. One poster, identified as Dalderian Germanicus, of North Las Vegas, said, "I want the SOB laid out in a box to see how 'messiahs' come to rest."
* From the Orange County (Ca.) Register: "Two gang members pleaded not guilty Thursday to hate crime and attempted robbery charges in connection with the beating of a black man who was trying to buy cigarettes at a Fullerton liquor store." The two men shouted racial and anti-Obama epithets in the attack.
* From today's New York Times: "Two white Staten Island men face hate crimes charges after they were arrested on Friday in the beating of a black teenager on the night that Barack Obama was elected president, the police said on Saturday. The teenager, Alie Kamara, 17, was walking home on Pine Place in the Staten Island neighborhood of Stapleton when several men hit him on the head with a baseball bat and yelled 'Obama,' said Aliya Latif, the civil rights director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who was in contact with Alie's family since the attack and spoke to his mother on Saturday after the arrests were announced."
The Editor & Publisher list does not include the increase in incidents of burning crosses on front lawns. Although the incidents that Editor & Publisher have been able to chronicle are terrifying, just IMAGINE the threats which are directed towards the President Elect and his family that the press have not been privy to. Frightening.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
What is Proposition 8? Prop 8 defines MARRIAGE in California to mean only a union between one man and one woman. The YES vote added exactly 14 words to the California State Constitution: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." This measure will now be known and cited as the “California Marriage Protection Act.”
PJStar.com reports that Saturday's Prop 8 demonstration, which was held here in Peoria on the corner of Main and University, was the only protest in Illinois between Springfield and Chicago. As protests were being held throughout the country, the finger pointing as to why Prop 8 passed continues. From the New York Times:
Less than two weeks before Election Day, the chief strategist behind a ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriage in California called an emergency meeting. “We’re going to lose this campaign if we don’t get more money,” the strategist, Frank Schubert, recalled telling leaders of Protect Marriage, the main group behind the ban.
The campaign issued an urgent appeal, and in a matter of days, it raised more than $5 million, including a $1 million donation from Alan C. Ashton, the grandson of a former president of the Mormon Church. The money allowed the drive to intensify a sharp-elbowed advertising campaign, and support for the measure was catapulted ahead; it ultimately won with 52 percent of the vote.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Poetry is an integral part of the black experience. Every youngster in our community should know something about Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Niki Giovanni or Gil Scott Heron, just to name a few. These poets have chronicled the life and times of the black experience.
Coming out of the Midwest, we have promising poets like Common (from Chicago, shown above), Lyfe Jennings (Toledo) and Kanye (Chicago) who are telling our youth to keep ya head up, things are going to get better. And let's not forget about the neo-soul ladies who also have so much to say, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu or India.Arie.
The times we currently live in bears many fruit for street poets, hopefully they will find the inspiration and nourishment and share it positively.
thanks to Dramatel (yes, it's real) ...
... and yes, this is an actual commercial. Check out their web site. The "Almost Illegal" claim is sure to boost sales.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Basquiat is just one of many unsung heroes in the African-American community. His art grew along with the hip-hop culture. I remember reading a couple of years back that Jay-Z purchased a Basquiat for Beyonce Knowles (this is before they were married). It may not be a bad bet, that now that she is actually his wife, Jay-Z may have purchased this Basquiat for her as well. Lord knows he can afford it.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
She is the best Hula-Hooper I know. Once she gets the rhythm going, she can drop to her knees!"-President Elect Barack Obama-No, he is not talking about Malia or Sasha, he is talking about Michelle. Wow, so Michelle can do it like that? Do you know the level of skill and agility it takes to master a Hula Hoop to that degree? As a chick who can barely get the rhythm on a Hula Hoop before it drops to my knees, I am impressed! Where I come from you got laughed at for not being able to hold your own with a Hula Hoop. Finger pointing, ridicule - those mean little girls! Oh, I digress... Do you think this is how Michelle keeps that little waist line in check? Hmmm... so many questions.
I do remember reading that Beyonce said that one way she keeps such a tight body is by Hula Hooping. Maybe it's time to take a second look at our Hula Hoops.
It is true, Hula Hooping is a good way to diversify your workout. It primarily targets your middle area. The circular lower body movements directly work abdominal muscles, hips and waistlines. You get a cardio and a strength workout. One minute of Hula Hooping can burn as many calories as running an eight-minute mile. Hula Hooping also promotes correct body alignment from the circular motions and proper posture in the upper body routines.
Ladies, time to break out ye ole' Hula-Hoop and have some fun + your man might find watching you do it (Hula Hoop) highly entertaining.
GOOD NEWS! We don't have to worry about any little hot ass interns running behind President Elect Barack Obama when he gets to the White House. Apparently he is taking his Mother-in-law to the White House with him. This appointment of Michelle's Mother to First Grandma gives me goose bumps. No, not because of the cock blocking potential (although that is a bonus), seriously though, this is a wonderful gesture President Elect Obama is making.
Marian Shields Robinson, who formerly worked as a secretary at Spiegel's catalog store, can trace her roots to pre-Civil War African Americans in the American South; her paternal great-great grandfather, Jim Robinson, was an American slave in the state of South Carolina, where some of her family still resides. I am in awe of the history that this family is making. Three generations of Robinson women actually living in the White House, in the family quarters, and oh, by the way, they are direct descendants of slaves.
Mrs. Marian Robinson, who is 71, was an integral part of the Obama campaign as babysitter for her granddaughters. As a result, Michelle and Barack have been able to devote their life in service to their country, knowing that their children are well taken care of. Well done, Mrs. Robinson, well done.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
yeah but Maverick brought her into the game.
Sounds like Sarah Palin totally victimized the McCain Campaign. How very Mavericky of her. Does the threat to reveal the foibles of Palin mean that Fox "News" don't love her no mo? Nicole Wallace vs. Sarah Palin who will win? It was about 20 degrees when Sarah Palin arrived in Alaksa on Wednesday. Sarah may be used to the Alaskan cold, but when it comes to dealing with an experienced, bitter, McCain Campaign hack (see Nicole Wallace), she is about to find out that Washington can be a LOT colder.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
but first let us pay allegience to those who came before.
The Crimson Avenger - She, possessing the power of teleportation and intangibility, is an African-American woman who might be called Jill Carlyle. In a flashback sequence, she studied law but apparently lost a case in which the defendant was clearly guilty. She obtains a pair of Colt pistols originally owned by the first Crimson Avenger and uses them to exact vengeance upon the unknown criminal. These guns are cursed such that, if the possessor uses them out of revenge, he or she will be cursed to track and kill those who have taken innocent life. As part of the curse, an ever-bleeding bullet hole appears on her chest.
Pulsar - Monica Rambeau was a lieutenant in the New Orleans police force. A friend of the family, had been forced to create a device which would harness other-dimensional energies. In the process of helping to destroy that device, she was bombarded with those energies and found that she could, as a result, transmute her body to energy and back again at will. As a full fledged member of the Avengers she inherited the moniker Captain Marvel from the press. Eventually, she gave up the name out of respect to its former owner and changed her name, first to Photon, and finally to Pulsar. One of the most underrated characters in the Marvel Universe, she is one of its most powerful, as seen during the World War Hulk storyline
Patrolwoman Misty Knight, who graduated from NYC's police academy with top honors, rescued Colleen Wing from a gun battle, and the two became close friends. During a bank robbery, Knight discovered a bomb but could not dispose of it in time and lost her arm in the process. It was replaced with a cybernetic arm. In spite of her new strength and ability, she was forced to end her active duty with the police force and resigned. Colleen encouraged Misty to be resiliant, and the two formed a private investigation firm. Together they became the Heroes for Hire, employing a few other vigilante heroes and working as bail bondswomen for super villains.
Michelle LaVaughn Obama is a lawyer and the wife of Barack Obama, the President-elect of the United States. She was born and grew up on the South Side of Chicago and graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. After completing her formal education, she returned to Chicago and accepted a position with the law firm Sidley Austin, and subsequently worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Hospitals. Michelle met Barack when he joined Sidley Austin and today they have two beautiful daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama. When Barack Obama was elected to the Senate, the Obama family chose to live on Chicago's South Side rather than Washington, D.C.
Michelle's greatest Super Hero feat to date - she has met the challenge of mastering the balancing act of being a strong black woman, while raising a family and being married to a strong black man. Hmm, hmmm, we owe Michelle, she has helped make it possible for Barack Huessin Obama to ascend to the office of President of the United States. She is one of those sistas you can bring along to compliment (or make) the deal. She is the first African-American First Lady of the United States! Michelle Obama - a true American Super Hero!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Gil Scott Heron
November 4, 2008. Sitting with my elders who never thought they would see the day. Sitting with my first time voter who is ready because the 21st century is under way. I conjure up thoughts from the 70's when I used to hear Gil Scott Heron say "The Revolution will not be televised". I didn't understand, but my sister with the big, bad ass afro did. Tonight as we sat together, she sobbed like a kid. She was shocked when I looked at her and told her thanks for the protests that she led and the tears that she shed. And then I said, "the revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,will not be televised, will not be televised.The revolution will be no re-run brothers;The revolution will be live."
The bridge to the 21st century that was built within our family will survive, for today I truly understand what Gil Scott Heron meant when he said "the revolution will not be televised". I understand because it just happened, right before my eyes. When you read this Sis, don't be surprised that your musings on Gil Scot Heron have survived, just be thrilled, as I am, that we were together when the revolution was not televised.
See what this election has done to me? Apparently I'm a poet and I didn't even know it.
This is the day folks, November 4, 2008. Historic in so many ways: oldest white man to run for President, first black man to get this close to being President, first woman nominated for Vice President. From what the polls show thus far, it really looks likes Obama/Biden could pull this thing off. So, I thought I would share these guidelines for how to conduct ourselves on November 5th. From the Emerge e-mailbox:
- No crying, hugging or shouting 'Thank you Lord' - at least not in public.
- No high-fives - at least not unless the area is clear and there are no witnesses.
- No laughing at the McCain/Palin supporters.
- No calling in sick on November 5th. They'll get nervous if too many of us don't show up. (Try to be on time and not your normal late arrival).
- We're allowed to give each other knowing winks or nods in passing. Just try to keep from grinning too hard.
- No singing loudly, We've come this Far By Faith (it will be acceptable to hum softly).
- No bringing of barbecue ribs or fried chicken for lunch in the company lunchroom for at least a week.
- No Cupid Shuffle or Electric Slide during breaks (this could indicate a little too much excitement).
- Please no Moving on Up music (we are going to try to remain humble).
- No doing the George Jefferson dance (unless you're in your office with the door closed)
- Please try not to yell----BOOOO YAH!
- Just in case you're wondering, doing the Running Man, cabbage patch, or a backhand spring on the highway (see Cuba Gooding) is 100% okay.
We were just discussing the other day how the black family vote, or the family vote altogether has been over looked. When we as women see how Barack looks at his wife, when we see how he adores and cherishes his children, we look at the picture of the beautiful, loving family headed by a strong, accomplished male figure, we like what we see. We want that for ourselves. Some of us are fortunate enough to have that already, but for those of us who don't ,when we see Barack and Michelle, we can dream. Anyhow, here is an excerpt from the article:
“The Huxtable Effect,” as I’ve coined it, speaks to the importance of images in popular culture — TV, movies, music, books, etc. — and formation of both a sense of self in viewers and, most importantly for our discussion now, a sense of others.
So it is, I believe, that Barack Obama’s successful candidacy and likely presidency were heralded with the arrival of The Cosby Show in 1984. On the air for eight seasons, The Cosby Show featured Bill Cosby as Cliff Huxtable, an all-American father, medical doctor, and love husband, in the lead role. Never before in American TV had there been such a character. But the impact of Cosby’s weekly presence in America’s family rooms, as the fair-minded, fun, quirky Dr. Huxtable, cannot be underestimated in its affect upon the consciousness of Americans who were children and young adults at the time.
Cosby was not alone in what I have come to think of as the Bel Air Renaissance for African-Americans in popular culture, begun in the mid-1980s. Oprah Winfrey’s show got its start in 1986, and is still on the air. The 1980s saw: the rise of Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes as America’s favorite leading men, in mainstream, good-guy roles. It marked the mainstream entry of rap and hip-hop into the musical lexicon, and we saw Whitney Houston become the all-American girl-next-door vocalist (well, at least until she married Bobby.)
The incredible explosion of positive African-American role models in American popular culture, which started in the mid-1980s and has continued in force to the present day, has been profound and unprecedented in our history.
Barack Obama is reaping the political benefits of that now.
Part of the reason so many stories in the mainstream media have expressed astonishment at the rise of “a black man” to presidential candidate (and likely president) have to do with the simple fact that many of the older people in charge of those institutions owe their own worldviews to 1950s entertainment; to them, it is Ward Cleaver, not Cliff Huxtable, whom all kids wished were their own dad. America’s editors and producers are living in a Ward Cleaver reality, unaware of The Huxtable Effect, or its many tentacles.
Monday, November 3, 2008
The first black person to ever have a show on CNN is D. L. Hughley? Really CNN? The last thing the black community needs is two foul mouth, woman hating, mediocre comedians with main stream shows. Of all the talented black comedians out there, they come up with these two? How about Aisha Tyler (Talk Soup), Wanda Sykes, Cedric the Entertainer or Eddie Griffin.