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05 July 2016

Memories: Summer Sights & Music

 In the midst of all that is going wrong these days, we all have the capacity and drive to find joy and promote good times that sustain us.  This brief collage and a timeless song and video by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince captures the adage "music is what feelings sound like."  Enjoy your summer!

17 June 2016

An Anniversary of Pain & Anguish: The Charleston Nine

A Re-posting of June 17, 2015 Massacre 

Nine Souls Taken From Us 


 Ethel Lance, 70
Tywanza Sanders, 26
Cynthia Hurd, 54
DePayne Doctor,  49
State Sen./Rev. Clementa Pinckney
Susie Jackson, 87
Myra Thompson, 59
Rev. Daniel Simmons
Sharonda Singleton, 45

more here:
* "The identities of only three victims were relayed to families that night, Myers said. By 5am the coroner, Rae H Wooten, had to explain why identification was proving so difficult. “What happened in there was brutal,” Myers said. “It was gruesome.”"

07 June 2016

Muhammad Ali: January 7, 1942 ~ June 3, 2016

Leonard Pitts article on Muhammad Ali's transition with the assertion that he may have been one of the first 'truly free black men in America' was not only a honest tribute but a glorious one. 
The Image Many Choose to Remember

"I am America. I am the part you won't recognize. But get use to me.  Black, confident, cocky, my name not yours. My religion, not yours, my goals, my own; get used to me." ~ Muhammad Ali ~

Ali's Offspring
Ali's 4th Wife & Caretaker

01 June 2016

B. Smith's & Dan Gasby's Struggle With Alzheimer's

With Michael Shnayerson
'Before I Forget'   is a love story, informative piece and survival guide on one of the most insidious of the brain diseases--Alzheimer's. Usually, book reviews are on my side bar or linked to Goodreads, however, I believe this memoir deserves both side bar and prominent spaces.  

There was also an initial assumption about this post.  The book would have been of greater interest to senior citizens who worry excessively, at times, over periods of forgetfulness or other age related maladies or issues. This disease has a significant impact on many age groups which entail caretakers, immediate and extended family members. Youth who are especially close to their grandparents or elderly relatives are perplexed when they see them slowly drift away with intermittent periods of the here and now to only set sail again in turbulent waters. 

As I read the book, black folks were cited as being stricken with it moreso than other groups.  We tend to be the less tolerant of mental disorders and or bizarre behaviors which become more prominent as the disease progresses.  We as a group are the least informed or suspicious of drug trials or fail to research the disorder than other groups. Economics may play a role and a history of or ongoing  less than adequate treatment by mainstream doctors could be rationales for this perception.  Frankly, I'm rather exhausted and mind weary of our tribe being the "poster child" for designated dysfunctional or passive societal/medical maladies and issues.

B. Smith and her husband Dan Gasby with a few exceptional passages are not condescending in their approach to using their struggles with the disease to think of every avenue of hope, resources, research and familial strategies condensed in this lovely book, "Before I Forget" .    

It is one thing to read about them, however, to actually view and listen to the video short {below} regarding the dynamics of this disease...truly makes it real! 

26 April 2016

The Complexities of Jackie Robinson: A Hero After All

“I’m a black man first, an American second, and then I will support a political party—third.”  

Sunrise  01/31/1919 ~ Sunset 10/29/1972
As I viewed Ken Burns' documentary, there were many events and situations that I hadn't been aware of as a teenager in my hometown, Rochester, N.Y. especially during the early/mid/late 60's.  He wasn't a hero to me given his advocacy for Nelson Rockefeller and the republican party in New York.  I couldn't understand his alliance with Richard Nixon and the dismay that caused in some quarters of the black community including his devoted wife, Rachel.  It would be disingenuous, however, to state that there weren't a number of blacks who subscribed to his brand of  integration and respectability politics of that time. They were just as vocal as the naysayers. 

It was also important for blacks where I lived to speak 'correct English' without the slang especially in the public arena.  As I sat in a civics class my senior year, it was clear just how important it was when the white instructor was going on and on about how he was so impressed with Mr. Robinson's intelligence and manner of speaking. It was not so much what was said but how he said it. 

24 April 2016

Celebrating the Life of Dorothy Sawyer Moon

"I am not going to die, I'm going home like a shooting star."
Sojourner Truth

Debut: September 29, 1935 ~ Farewell: April 12, 2016

Home-going Celebration for Dorothy Sawyer Moon