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23 November 2015

Giving Thanks Despite Overwhelming Turmoil and Quality of Life Issues!

 I've written  previous posts on the grace shown during Thanksgiving and the varied perspectives on the meaning of  this holiday. For the month of November, a 'Be Thankful' banner theme was chosen in response to my previous posts on what's wrong with the world and those of us who inhabit it. 

Briefly, it's those actions that cause havoc and sully our viewpoints about others which tend to overshadow the good humankind is capable of and practices.  Whenever one is made aware of those events on a macro or anecdotal level, expressions of  appreciation are in order and must be celebrated if only as a means of balancing them.  Therefore as the title suggests, giving thanks and gratefulness elevates us to a higher level. It raises the bar of what we can become and certainly what we've achieved.   Bountiful blessings to all.

15 October 2015

The Consistency of Dr. Elizabeth Warren's Advocacy for the People!

In 2011, I posted an article on Elizabeth Warren's advocacy for comprehensive insurance for all. She supported programs to assist the struggling middle class, working poor and those in need of programs that provide viable rather than punitive assistance.  She was a professor at the time and hadn't entered the halls of a do-nothing congress. The essence of that article is as follows.
Dr. Warren is another town crier who knows what she's talking about with a researched and clearly articulated advocacy to assist millions of Americans who've been adversely affected by the current healthcare system.   She speaks truth to power with an urgency for our future welfare as well which is a rarity these days.  I've provided a link to one of her interviews and a lecture for your convenience and knowledge base.  We must understand what is going on before we can ask the pertinent questions as we push forward for fair and reasonable solutions to the  imbalances of this country's healthcare maze. 

March 23, 2010 when the President signed the ACA; she remained a supporter of that move although there were many in opposition.  When she took the oath, 2013 for the Senate of the United States,  Elizabeth Warren continued to push bills to try and balance the power between the oligarchy and the rest of us.  

Again, in 2015 she doesn't disappoint and this is in reference to her forceful statement about the "Black Lives Matter"movement.

Netroots Nation Keynote Address 2015

There is a realization that she can't solve the problem alone but she's speaking out forcefully.  I'm sure she has and will continue to suffer the consequences of her stands. One characteristic I've observed over the past 5 years is that she doesn't back down from controversy. She is steadfast  when it comes to the unjust oppression of marginalized groups. Jamelle Bouie's article in the Slate addresses this issue. I agree with him that her speeches on "Black Lives Matter" are impressive, however, we've just begun.  The groups who are in the forefront of this solution focused movement, I'm sure, welcome the support of those in powerful government positions.

12 October 2015

Intrigued By More Exposure of Black Folks Who Celebrate Indian Heritage

Today, I read an article on 'The Root' website by Yesha Callahan, "Social Media Celebrates Indigenous People's Day...Not That Other Holiday.' It was the a catalyst for further research and viewing other articles.
Twitter Feed

The Root, Twitter and Facebook had this image of a young girl with a sign recognizing 'Indigenous People's Day' and what was more intriguing is the end reads "Native Strong and African-American Strong.'  What's the big deal about that...some would say.  Briefly, in our community there's been this rather amusing issue among many blacks claiming to have some Native American ancestry. It was always viewed as again... we want to be anything other than {totally} black and there's been jokes about it for decades.  Henry Louis Gates' research on our African-American identities addresses that issue and states that there are very few of us who can make that claim.  He also addressed that we have a very complicated history with Native Americans which entailed wars, slavery and tribes who helped escaping slaves.  The Buffalo Soldiers killed many Indians while supporting the very system that enslaved them and treated them as second class citizens.  There were some tribes who enslaved black folks.  In fact, with some exceptions there is this perception that Indians aren't receptive to African-Americans today.

There were lawsuits filed by mixed ancestry black folks who aren't recognized by some Native American tribes and again it's that knock at the door that remains locked.  I must say that there is a unity movement afoot that also encompasses what we witnessed on October 10, 2015.   Thousands of blacks, people of color, Indians and other marginalized groups participated in the "Justice or Else" gathering on the capitol mall.  Many of us who were aware of the complicated notion of Columbus Day, with its myths and revisionism are clamoring for more exposure of this truth.  Social media has expanded it to the point that we are viewing articles and events that exceeds previous efforts.

Years ago, on the Phil Donahue Show there was a Harvard educated Native American Chief in full dress and a African American leader {name escapes me} discussing the state of minorities in this country.  I can't remember the exact quote but the essence of the statement by the former is that...America put them on the reservation and blacks on the plantation and went about building this nation.  They were talking coalition then but nothing came of it. I'm sure 'tribalism' and which group suffered the most dialogues had something to do with it.

We must recognized that the crumbs thrown to oppressed people keep us fighting among ourselves instead of galvanizing to empower our groups to become truly first class citizens with 'inalienable' rights. We must correct how this country has reneged on treaties and find solutions for those of us who were here long before Columbus lost his way.

There is more to write but I did say..... BRIEFLY!


06 September 2015

I Could Have Been Sandra Bland: Black America’s Terrifying Truth

Photo Credit:

Updated Commentary on Sandra Bland

This case has been especially troubling for me and I'm Sandra Bland, moreover, my adult daughters are Sandra Bland.  You see, two of them after college left for distant cities to pursue careers.  James and I waited anxiously on that call to let us know they had arrived safely.  Her Mother got that call and was greeted with 'Mommy,' I've arrived.  Her voice was upbeat and she looked forward to talking with her later but wanted to ease her nerves to let her know that "I 'm here".  Bye Bye was spoken with hope, relief and  a lilt.  A menacing force under the guise of law enforcement intervened shortly thereafter and Sandy to family and friends returned home in a casket. The onslaught of unjustified murders by rogue cops have been traumatic to say the least and when people cried out "That Black Lives Matter"; the response by the right, police unions and many mainstream whites have been "All Lives Matter" with excuses and rationales in support of those murders and "assisted suicides". 

In the  picture of her on the top right, she's wearing a Beatles tee with the title of their song "Let it Be".
Looked up the lyrics and I think I understand why that song was so special to her that she wore it for all to see.  No word yet!

Images of Sandra Bland

I Could Have Been Sandra Bland: Black America’s Terrifying Truth
By Brittney Cooper (Salon)

 A Personal Note:  Internal White Terrorism Continues From Those Paid To Serve and Protect:
I've read a number of articles and viewed interviews regarding the unjust arrest and suspicious death of Ms. Bland with varying emotional responses and questions. This article by Ms. Cooper sums up how many  black people view this incident and what many of us have experienced from time to time with rogue law enforcement officers .  She has also written another article on this subject that is a must read. It's become epidemic or now with modern technology the world is viewing what has gone on for many years in this country. The errors and changing accounts by the Waller County Police dept., DA and coroner's office require due diligence by the family, investigators at law enforcement agencies on the state/federal levels and in the public arena. 'For there by the grace of God {and all that is good}...go I.'

16 August 2015

Remembering Julian Bond ~ A Self-Described 'Race Man'

Image: Public Domain

I want to have a double-sided tombstone, so you have something on each side. And on one side, it's going to say "Race Man." A race man is an expression that's not used anymore, but it used to describe a man—usually a man, could have been a woman too—who was a good defender of the race, who didn't dislike white people, but who stood up for black people, who fought for black people. I'd want people to say that about me. He was a race man. There's no implication here that white people are evil, just that black people are good people and they need somebody to fight for them, and I'm that person. The other side is going to say "Easily Amused," because I am easily amused. {A Conversation With Julian Bond}

David Love, JD and Bill Fletcher, Editorial Staff at The Black Commentator wrote two articles on Mr. Bond while on hiatus.  They wrote respectively,  'Why Julian Bond Mattered to the Movement' and 'Saying Good-bye and Thank You to Julian Bond' with memorable quotes and  reminiscences  of the struggle for civil/human rights and Mr. Bond's many role(s) up until the time he transitioned.  They are must reads.  However... 

 Mr. Mandela summed it up best

13 July 2015

Congratulations Serena Williams: Sixth Wimbledon Championship!

A stunning and beautiful Ms. Williams at the Wimbledon Champions’ Dinner

Serena Williams ~ 'Queen of the Court'
When I think of the challenges and despicable things said and done toward Serena and her sister, Venus beginning with  their debut on the tennis scene years ago and currently; my admiration and respect continues to soar. Serena winning her 6th championship and 21st grand slam at Wimbledon {7/11/15}  was too much for those in media to bear especially one of the writers of a  New York Times article. 

Body shaming and the attempt  to minimized her achievements by focusing on what he viewed as the drawbacks of her 'being' with a comparison to her slender Caucasian opponent were revealing. The  anecdotal assessments by the haters/fans in the tennis world became a lively topic of concern in social media. Folks of color and goodwill are fed up with the jealousy and racist insinuations of those who can't accept African-American women excelling in a sport they'd prefer white women to dominate. Brittney Cooper, professor and writer for The Salon wrote an in-depth and thought provoking piece, 'The world only has ugliness for black women. That's why Serena Williams is so important.'

 Two  of my favorite poems by Lucille Clifton, 'Won't You Celebrate With Me' and Maya Angelou's 'Still I Rise' come to mind about black women in general who strive to meet their goals and are formidable in their quest to do so. 

As Ms. Clifton cites at the end of 'Won't You Celebrate With Me':
come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.
Image:  Public Domain
Ms. Angelou's Beginning Verse "Still I Rise':
 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.

Image: AFP/Getty

Hyperbolic? I think not...