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BLACK EMPOWERED MEN

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The subject of a black man doing anything positive is very polarizing and controversial, but it is a crucial piece of the African American Diaspora. This is unless he is viewed as a sellout, and we know who you are!!! I digress! I can speak to this issue because I am not unlike many African Americans who have been touched by the consequences or aftermath of living in America.

My father abandoned my teenage mother while I was in the womb. I did not meet him until I was ten and had only been in his presence for maybe two hours in my entire life. However, my grandfather was the man in my life, and he taught me how to be a man. His teachings resonate profoundly within my every waking moment, which I used to raise my son and teach my grandson to include sharing the same knowledge with others, as I navigate the troubled waters of life. The reality is, “you have to see a man – to be a man!”

We are a community in crisis. I do not cast blame because there is surely enough to go around. However, there are men who give of themselves to the benefit of others, raising their children, empowering the community, who carry themselves with dignity and respect – in other words “they represent.” So ladies, it may not be or does not have to be your man but there has to be a man present in the lives of these children. If this were being done with vigor, it would have a ripple effect. The home would be held together; the community would be greater, there would be a development in the minds of our youth, and maybe the carnage that is taking place would cease.

Images are and have been projected of black men most often falsely, glorifying our role in society as thugs, gangstas, criminals, buffoons, clowns, being worthless, and hopeless have permeated far too long. I know many of you know that is not the case by enlarge. However, when you open your newspaper or watch TV that’s how we are represented. I argue that this assassination of character should come to an end. If for no other reason than, the fact, the most powerful man in the world today looks like us, an African American. Adding to this, he leads a proud, dignified family that is positively on display for the whole world to bear witness to, which says all things are possible.

The absence of the strong, responsible black man holding it down, in the family and community, is destroying us as a people. Having said that, the purpose we live is to continue the species. I was taught a very significant lesson early in life, and reinforced every day of my life, by my Grandfather who said, “I raised you to be a man and as a man you don’t know what you might have to do but when the time comes you do it.” We don’t know what challenges are ahead of us. Therefore, my interpretation of that daily message was preparation plus opportunity equals SUCCESS and that the difference between a man and a boy is the lessons he learns.

These platitudes are essential to the survival of our children and, frankly, our existence. There needs to be a man in the lives of these boys, and girls, because the father’s role is to be an example, a role model, to guide, direct, and pass on the wisdom he’s gained. For example, how can you expect your little girl to chose a man if she has no model to base a relationship on?

In addition, ladies, please stop thinking that can make your boy a man – you can’t. You can raise, teach and nurture him – but you cannot make him a man because you are not one. Now, to the ladies that are holding it down, I applaud you, I know what that enormous job is like – my mother did it, and I was no walk in the park. If it had not been for Granddaddy, I would be lost – dead or in jail.

There is a Facebook group BLACK EMPOWERED MEN where you are personally invited to join and share your thoughts, and wisdom. ALL ARE WELCOME! The purpose of this group is to be a vehicle to communicate with those who agree and can offer feedback, suggestions, ideas, and information to the benefit of our families and by extension our communities. If not for you, do it for the children. Stand Up Black Men –Reach one Teach one! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Godfather Of Rock and Roll

It is a great joy to share with you the glorious past of the ghost of the greats whose shoulders we stand that are dear to my heart. I am proud to share this article because I love the story of the crossroads. It is a story about the great Delta Blues-man Robert Johnson. The history of music is littered with tragic figures, and none was more tragic than Robert Johnson’s story.

This amazing, ultimate star-crossed musical genius laid the early framework of rock and roll decades before that term was even imagined. Robert Leroy Johnson is among the most famous of all the Delta Blues musicians whose landmark recordings from 1936-37 display a remarkable combination of singing, guitar skills, and tremendous songwriting talent that have influenced generations of musicians. Johnson’s shadowy, poorly documented life, and violent death at age 27 have given rise to much speculation adding to his legend.

He is considered by some to be the “Grandfather of Rock-and-Roll,” his vocal phrasing, original songs, and guitar style influenced a range of musicians, including Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers Band, The Rolling Stones, The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Peter Gabriel, Neil Young, and Warren Zevon. Eric Clapton called Johnson “the most important blues musician who ever lived.

Johnson was conceived in an extramarital affair and born in Hazelhurst, Miss., in 1911. Most of his biographical details have been lost to history, but what’s known is that he learned guitar in his teens, got married, and had a girl who died in childbirth. The death led Johnson to throw himself even deeper into his music. He fled to Robinsonville, Miss., where he was influenced by early blues legends Son House and Willie Brown.

By 1933, Johnson remarried and began playing the guitar professionally. He once related the tale of selling his soul to the devil at a crossroads in exchange for his talent. Johnson tells the story in his song “Crossroads Blues.” Playing for tips up and down the Delta, Johnson gained in popularity. But as he grew in fame, he became a noted philanderer. He would also walk off in the middle of performances and not be seen or heard from for weeks at a time.

In 1936, he was put in contact with Columbia Records talent scout Ernie Oertle, who took him to San Antonio, Tex., where Johnson recorded classics including “Sweet Home Chicago,” “There’s A Hell Hound On My Trail,” and his signature “Terraplane Blues.”

Johnson began to tour nationally and became known for his unique voice and halting guitar rifts. But in 1938, as the legend goes, the devil caught up with him. While playing at a juke joint, he flirted with a woman whose husband became jealous, and the man laced Johnson’s whiskey with strychnine. Although he became violently ill, Johnson played until he collapsed. He died four days later at age 27, although conflicting stories say he survived the poisoning and died later of pneumonia.

There are at least two Mississippi gravesites that bear his name leaving questions about his passing and burial. “The reason that it’s so powerful a story is because it is the outline of the tragic side of the music that followed,” said music journalist Alan Light. “Some knew him as a musician, others by legend, but his shadow touches everyone who came out of that time and place.” I will say that Robert Johnson is truly a legend whose legacy will last forever. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

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The War On Poverty

1aWar is unjust, evil, and futile because it only benefits the wealthy. It is particularly wretched as the system continues its assault on the poor and defenseless. The day has passed for superficial patriotism in terms of words of false prophets. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery. Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the truth.

Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth… And the truth shall set you free.” I agree with Dante that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.

There is an obvious and almost facile connection between the struggles many poor people face as it relates to racial issues. Once there was a shining moment in that struggle where it seemed there was real promise for the poor, or at least hope for both black and white, through Poverty Programs. I watched these programs broken as if they were idle political playthings of a society gone mad. America will never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor.

It is estimated that America spends more than $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier. While we do not spend a hundred dollars for each person classified as poor, and much of that goes for salaries of people hired to, supposedly, help the poor. Therefore, I am increasingly compelled to see the war or poverty as an enemy of the poor. In addition, the money spent on the space program could feed every person in America. Frankly, this is a cruel manipulation of freedom and justice while anything like a moral political agenda exists, which is a disgrace.

In the end, it is families, women, children, and the elderly who suffer. The system has destroyed its two most cherished institutions: the family and the church. A true revolution of values should cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our present policies. On the one hand, we are called upon to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that is only the first step. One day, we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be changed so that men and women will not be beaten constantly as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth with righteous indignation.

The Bible says, “You shall reap what you sow”. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to speed up the day when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. With this faith, we will be able to speed up the day when the lion and the lamb will lie down together, and every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid because the words of the Lord have spoken it.”

We can change the world but first we must change ourselves. If we can have respect for the living maybe the died might not die without dignity. The war on poverty is just a war on the souls of man! And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE…


A Case For Reparations

1aIt’s been nearly five hundred years since that fateful day in the year of our Lord 1619, when about twenty people from Africa were first dragged onto the shores of this place they called “merica” to be slaves. Since that day, people of African descent have been chastised, criticized, punished, beaten, robbed, raped, and murdered at the hands of the oppressor. To that end, the decedent’s of those people still view all of us as the Constitutions says as three/fifths human.

This was done while the culprits, people of little conscience have enjoyed wealth and prosperity as a result of our never ending patriotism. When I think about America’s enormous wealth and power derived from its tremendous control of resources and “the least of thee”; I think about the sacrifices our families and forefathers’ made to make all of this possible. It was our labor that built this country, and we are responsible in large part for the great wealth and power America possesses. We are a unique people, a forgiving people, a steadfast people, and a brave people unlike any known to mankind.

Upon our backs, laden with the stripes of punishment for what they believed was for discipline and in spite of our loyalty, diligence and tenacity – we loved America. Even when America refused to allow us to even walk in the shadows, we followed, believing that someday we would come to be accepted as men and women. We have looked out for this country for hundreds of years and still doing today.

Our history is one of unbelievable struggle. We’ve been brave on the battlefield, despite being classified as second class citizens but in every conflict we went beyond the call of duty. Let me add something here: we’ve lived under an Apartheid like system, which is what James Crow offered. We have raised America’s children, attended to its sick, and prepared their meals while the so-called forefathers were occupied with the trappings of the good life. This is to include the times when they found pleasure in our women and enjoyment in seeing our men lynched, maimed and burned. Yet, we continued to watch over America’s soul.

We labored in the hot sun from “Cain’t to Cain’t”, that’s can’t see to can’t see to assist in realizing the dream of wealth, good fortune, and making America great. Those same people of little conscience have controlled at least 90 percent of all the resources and wealth from the beginning, and we were there from the beginning, and we are still here today. Ironically, these folks of ill repute continue to protect the system, or try, from those Black people who have the temerity to speak out against America’s past transgressions, and they do this by divide and conquer.

It was us who warned about Denmark-Vessey, told them about Gabriel Prosser’s plans, called their attention to Nat Turner, Malcolm, and Martin. It was us sounded the alarm when old John Brown came calling on Harper’s Ferry, and there are still some people of color sounding the same warnings to bigots – the Republicans. Black Nationalism has died and as result our community brings 95 percent of what it earns to businesses owned by others and keeps little for themselves. 

The less fortunate among us spend all they have at neighborhood stores, enabling them to open even more stores; simply put we will allow anyone to open a business and patronize it in our communities. Some say we, as a people, are successful today, but I shake my head and say really! I am going to take a guess that there is at best a thousand wealthy blacks. To which certain people may say great. Let me remind them that there are more than 40,000,000 of us here! Most living in despair!

We were manipulated into resisting the messages of trouble-making Blacks like Washington, Delaney, Garvey, Bethune, Tubman, Malcolm, and Truth, who fought valiantly and died on the battlefield for us. Yet, most have forgotten their names and hardly ever considered their sacrifice due to a lack of reciprocity and equity. Even though the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were written and many died for the rights described therein. We did not resist, at all, when they changed Black rights to civil rights and allowed virtually every other group to take advantage of them, which was just another way to.

After all these years and the enormous sacrifices, this goes beyond the imagination, irrespective of the many promises that have been made and broken. Yet, they told us don’t worry, when you die you will find a place where there is a mansion waiting for you with streets paved with gold. 

Therefore, in my mind and considering this point of view, yes reparations are deserved! Of course, as some say it will never happen. But I know this for sure; it will never happen as long as we continue to prescribe to the divide and conquer theory that has worked so well for so long. Don’t you think it’s time that we have cried our last tear!

I give most of you credit for knowing that black people were stolen from Africa and robbed of their history and identity, which that along is just cause for reparations. Wake up and free your mind and your ass will follow! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Snakes In The House

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I am humbled by those magnificent souls who’ve accomplished and sacrificed so much to remove obstacles placed before them, which have benefited our lives. Brother Malcolm said, back int the day; if we supported each other instead everyone else. There would be no shackles upon us. Maybe this post will get the village smoking.

I speak for me and not, as Malcolm put it, “as one of those chicken peckin so-called leaders”. Who oftentimes are SELF APPOINTED or appointed by those who oppress us to be spokesmen for us. Frankly, I don’t recall voting for anyone other than President Obama. With that said, these corporate sponsored representatives need to just sit down.

LET ME BE CLEAR; I am not chastising those who represent, speak truth, or are working for the greater good – and we know who they are. But there are some that remind me of my uncle whose name is Tom – and we know who they are too.

So let me start my commentary, as they often do with something Biblical: Their “harvest is plenty, but the labor is lost”. Some of these voices have been little more than co-conspirators, or at best, actively participating in the process of crucifying us. Let me explain; when you are crucified, you are stripped of your garments (in this case reason), put in a position to suffer, hung on a cross to die a horrible death degraded and humiliated. While you remain stationed in this place where they (the system) has put you and know where you will be.

History has demonstrated that any time a black leader comes along with a message or the power to resurrect the masses, they have to be been eliminated. So why would it be in their best interest to put them-selves in a position to be destroyed? Today’s messengers say what they are told to say, by their sponsors, and stay in the comfort zone of the establishment.

Many times these “self-appointed” leaders and their crusades are a lot like cancer, I think, in that there is no real agenda to find a cure or solve the problem, because there is no MONEY in the cure. Am I stopping short of calling some sellouts – I’ll leave that for you to interrupt, but the system is designed to protect the system.

There is, and has been a lot, too much, talk and very little action. We have talked, gathered, and marched enough, in my opinion; it’s time for action leading to solutions. Over the years, we have marched with a million men, a million women, and million youth, watched or attended the State of Black America events to include any number of similar events that were suppose to solve our problems – I’m still waiting. Oh, let’s not forget “The Covenant” that all of us bought that only benefited the author.

In many cases, these folks claimed to have received a “calling” to which I suppose is similar to that of someone standing in a pulpit might allege, when they say they’ve heard the voice of God calling him or her to preach the gospel. Maybe it’s just me, but I have yet to hear that voice – I am waiting though.

I said that to say this, if this is a true calling then passion is the motivator that drives one to obtain results for reasons other than self-serving agenda’s – money. I recently reread the “Mis Education of the Negro” and I have to say it was eerily similar to the condition our people face today. Actually, it could have been published last year and not in 1933.

Dr. Woodson said, and I believe, “if you control what a man (or woman) thinks you never have to worry about what they are thinking.” So I suggest that you be careful of false prophets and to judge them by the work they do. We have been hoodwinked, bamboozled; we’ve been took, had, and obviously still mis-educated to the point of sustaining this misery. Again, I say this is MY Thought Provoking Perspective; what will you do? Do you have any suggestions that could improve the State of Black America? Are you going to do anything that might require you to give of yourself for the benefit of others? I know many Church Folk say such things on Sunday but what about the other six days and 22 hours?

It seems to me that we are on “Calvary” with the nails ready to be placed. I for one, CRY OUT to these so called leaders and you; “why have thou forsaken thee?” The noble Harriett Tubman was asked by a reporter shortly before her death, if she knew how many slaves she saved while conducting the Underground Railroad? She pointedly said, “I could have saved a lot more, if they had only known they were slaves.” And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


BREAKING NEWS: Maya Angelou Dead At 86

Two independent sources close to Angelou confirmed her death to WXII’s Wanda Starke Wednesday morning. She was 86.

A police car, an ambulance and a hearse were seen outside Angelou’s home on Bartram Road around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Winston-Salem police said they are at the home to investigate a death but released no other information.

The area near Angelou’s home has been blocked off to try to keep people out of the area, as well as to give respect to the family, WXII’s Talitha Vickers reported.

Angelou had been the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University since 1982. Wake Forest officials released the following statement:

“Today members of the Wake Forest University community mourn the loss of beloved poet, author, actress, civil rights activist and professor Dr. Maya Angelou. Dr. Angelou was a national treasure whose life and teachings inspired millions around the world, including countless students, faculty, and staff at Wake Forest….Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Angelou’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

Angelou was born April 4, 1928, in St. Louis. At 14, she became San Francisco’s first black female cable car conductor, and in the 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. asked Angelou to serve as northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Angelou received many accolades, including dozens of honorary degrees, the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000 and the Lincoln Medal in 2008.

Read more: http://www.wxii12.com/news/dr-maya-angelou-dead-at-86/26204272#ixzz331Ba3qVr

R.I.P.


You Should Know Dr. Ben-Jochannan

Professor Yosef Ben-Jochannan, affectionately known as “Dr. Ben” is the foremost African scholar and an Egyptologist. He is a man who proved the world wrong with fact based history of Africa which made a profound impact upon world thinking. He taught at Cornell University for over 15 years; Dr. Ben has lectured widely on both sides of the Atlantic on the theme – the ancient civilizations of Egypt. His presentations placed him in great demand by students and community groups, especially those of African descent through an unwavering theme that the ancient civilizations along the Nile were African and the foundation of the world.

Dr. Ben was formally educated in Puerto Rico. He continued his education in the Virgin Islands andBrazil. Dr. Ben earned a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, and a Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Havana, Cuba. He received doctoral degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Moorish History from the University of Havana and the University of Barcelona Spain.

Dr. Ben was an adjunct professor at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York for over a decade (1976–1987). He has written and published over forty-nine books and papers, revealing much of the information unearthed while he was in Egypt. Two of his better known works include Black Man of the Nile and His Family and Africa: Mother of Major Western Religions. In his writings, he argues that the original Jews were from Ethiopia and were Black Africans, while the white Jews later adopted the Jewish faith and its customs.

In 1939, shortly after receiving his undergraduate degree, Dr. Ben’s father sent him to Egypt to study firsthand the ancient history of African People. Since 1941, Dr. Ben has been to Egypt at least twice a year. He began leading educational tours to Egypt in 1946. When asked why he began the tours, he replied “because no one knew or cared about Egypt and most believed Egypt was not in Africa.” According to Dr. Ben, Egypt is the place to go to learn the fundamentals of living. Over five decades have passed and Dr. Ben, a preeminent scholar and Egyptologist, remains focused on Nile Valley Civilization.

Dr. Ben immigrated to the United States in the early 1940s and worked as a draftsman to continue his studies. He claims that, in 1945, he was appointed chairman of the African Studies Committee at the headquarters of the newly founded UNESCO, a position from which he stepped down in 1970. In 1950, Ben-Jochannan began teaching Egyptology at Malcolm King College, then at City College in New York City.

Dr. Ben taught that Aristotle visited the Library of Alexandria. In 2002, Ben-Jochannan donated his personal library of more than 35,000 volumes, manuscripts and ancient scrolls to The Nation of Islam. Ben-Jochannan has been criticized for allegedly distorting history and promoting Black supremacy. I say since it is a fact that Africa is the birthplace of mankind the facts he revealed are truth. Read the work of Dr. Ben and get to know this great man!

The concept that Africa had no history and that its people were savages was soundly debunked in part because of Dr. Ben’s work. Further, his work proved that the Africa continent were superior historically to those from Europe before they wore a shoe or had a window. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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