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Bacon’s Rebellion Instituted The Concept Of White Supremacy

163_1000Here is a little bit of history, which to some revealing because I am sure many of you don’t know or were not taught where the beginning of white supremacy began in school. It began in Virginia right after Bacon’s Rebellion. Beacon rose up against the rich and wealthy people and did it with all of the oppressed people. They, white folk, found out when Bacon organized the blacks, poor white, and people of a lower class banded together it was dangerous for the wealthy class and as a group, they overpowered the elite, which could never happen again.

Therefore, from this revolt white supremacy was created. Bacon’s Rebellion was an armed rebellion in 1676 by Virginia settlers led by against the rule of Governor William Berkeley. The colony’s dismissive policy as it related to the political challenges of its western frontier, along with other challenges leaving Bacon out of his inner circle, refusing to allow Bacon to be a part of his fur trade with the Indians, helped to motivate a popular uprising against Berkeley, who had failed to address the demands of the colonists regarding their safety.

A thousand Virginians of all classes and races rose up in arms against Berkeley, attacking Indians, chasing Berkeley from Jamestown, Virginia, and ultimately torching the capital. The rebellion was at first suppressed by a few armed merchant ships from London whose captains sided with Berkeley and the loyalists. Government forces from England arrived soon after and spent several years defeating pockets of resistance and reforming the colonial government to be once more under direct royal control.

It was the first rebellion in the American colonies, although one followed in Maryland later that year. The alliance between indentured servants and Africans (most enslaved until death), united by their bond-servitude, disturbed the ruling class, who responded by hardening the racial caste of slavery in an attempt to divide the two races from subsequently united uprisings with the passage of the Virginia Slave Codes of 1705. This is where the divide and conquer concept came from. While the farmers did not succeed in their initial goal of driving the Indians from Virginia, the rebellion did result in Berkeley being recalled to England.

But what it did was put a plan into play that made whites supreme in all areas of white society, so they could never unite again. Modern historians have suggested it may have been a power play by Bacon against Berkeley but his personal vendetta between him and Berkeley resulted in all people coming together for a common cause, which was the last time it happened. However, Bacon’s followers used the rebellion as an effort to gain government recognition of the shared interests of all social classes of the colony in protecting the “commonality” and advancing its welfare.

Nathaniel Bacon arrived with a quantity of brandy; after it was distributed, he was elected leader. Against Berkeley’s orders, the group struck south until they came to the Occaneechi tribe. When they got the Occaneechi to attack the Susquehannock; Bacon and his men followed by killing most of the men, women, and children at the village. Upon their return, they discovered that Berkeley had called for new elections to the Burgesses in order to better facilitate the Indian problem.

The recomposed House of Burgesses enacted a number of sweeping reforms. Bacon was not serving his duty in the House; rather, he was at his plantation miles away. It limited the powers of the governor and restored suffrage rights to landless freemen. After the passage of these laws, Bacon arrived with 500 followers in Jamestown to demand a commission to lead militia against the Indians. The governor, however, refused to yield to the pressure. When Bacon had his men take aim at Berkeley, he responded by “baring his breast” to Bacon and told Bacon to shoot him. Seeing that the Governor would not be moved, Bacon then had his men take aim at the assembled burgesses, who quickly granted Bacon his commission.

On July 30, 1676, Bacon and his army issued the “Declaration of the People of Virginia”. The declaration criticized Berkeley’s administration in detail. It accused him of levying unfair taxes, appointing friends to high positions, and failing to protect frontier settlers from Indian attack.

After months of conflict, Bacon’s forces, numbering 300-500 men, moved to Jamestown and burned the colonial capital to the ground on September 19, 1676. Outnumbered, Berkeley retreated across the river. In Edmund S. Morgan’s classic 1975 American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia connected the calamity of Bacon’s Rebellion, namely the potential for lower-class revolt, with the colony’s transition over to slavery. But for those with eyes to see, there was an obvious lesson in the rebellion. Resentment of an alien race might be more powerful than resentment of an upper class. Unfortunately, Bacon died before white supremacy took affect but it was because of his revolution that the concept of white supremacy was created. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Listen to the language and transpose it to the language of today, and you will see the same formula!


Who Or What Is God?

1One of life’s eternal and important questions has been since the beginning of time is the question who or what is GOD? God is conceived of as the Supreme Being and the principal object of faith. The concept of God as described by most theologians include the attributes of infinite knowledge, unlimited power, present everywhere, being all things good, and as having an eternal necessary existence to which most religions refer to God in such terms as “Him” or “Father”.

I don’t know for sure, if the creator is a male or female, its gender or race, and frankly, if he or she even exists but I do know something greater than a human created the universe and the many marvels therein. The problem I think is that of the 1500 different religions, most have chosen or created their own version of God and this makes for fraud and deception. To that point, I have known many so-called messengers or chosen people supposedly sent to deliver his “Word of God” and most were poor excuses for human beings; let alone people of moral standing.

I can remember a preacher when I was a child, who was nothing but a hustler told me “son I do this because there is a lot of money in the word of God”. I never understood this until I was a grown and a businessman, which exposed me to the corruption in the system of faith. They, most, are trained to take from the needy to benefit the greedy and this can be done by using the word God and it works. I don’t know anyone God has spoken too – not one man ever and if these folk tell you God did – they are lying.

I will readily admit that I am suspicious of white folk; they have never told us the truth about anything. During slavery, they made people slaves, beat, raped, hung, and worked black people to death with a promise that when they die they would go to a special place where they will get their reward. So why should I expect them to tell the truth concerning my salvation? When there is talk of God it is usually a focus on the sky, where there is supposedly a place called heaven. I don’t want to offend anyone but for all the people who claim to be godly and think they are going to heaven – I don’t want to go to that place if they are going to this mythical place!

In some religions, God is not believed to exist, while God is deemed unknown or unknowable within the context of agnosticism. God has also been conceived as the source of all moral obligations to the “greatest conceivable existent”. Many notable philosophers and humans have developed arguments for and against the existence of God. In fact, there have been men who actually convince other men and women that they were actually God in the flesh!

Hence, there are many names for God and different names are attached to different cultural ideas about God’s identity and attributes. In the ancient times, in Egypt, possibly the earliest recorded monotheistic religion, this deity was called Aten with the premise of being the one “true” Supreme Being and creator of the universe. In the Hebrew Bible and Judaism, “He Who Is”, “I Am that I Am”, and the Hebrew says “I am who I am”; “He Who Exists” are used as names of God, while Yahweh and Jehovah are sometimes used, whereas in the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, God, consubstantial in three persons, is called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Muslims have a multitude of titular names for God, namely Allah.

There are many different conceptions of God and competing claims as to what or who God is, which is confounding in many ways. For me, being suspicious of white folk, it appears they wrote the biblical stories or more likely stole the words from another culture, project the image of God being white with all the angel white suggest something is amidst at work. Many perennial philosophies, which believe that there is one underlying theological truth, of which all religions express a partial understanding; “the devout in the various great world religions are in fact worshipping that one God but through different, overlapping concepts or mental images of Him.

I know there are some willing workers out there who can enlighten me on this topic! Can you explain to me what is your relationship to God and tell me who he or she is? Thoughtfully, submitted with hope that someone can answer the question. Personally, I am of the opinion that “if you know thyself you will then know God”! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Aftermath Of Integration

1I recently had a conversation with a group of young people, none of which lived during the age of government segregation. Each had strongly convoluted opinions about the era that were not based in fact. This made me think about how much the current world view has changed the reality of black life, as it relates to a historical perspective.

First, white folk never wanted it and chatted go back to Africa at the time. It was never intended to be fair or equal! I am not suggesting that integration should not have happened, but it did have a negative impact on black life and the future of African Americans in many ways. Two prominent ways were in the areas of family and black business.

One thing that happened, for sure was that the black community stopped supporting the businesses in their own communities. After segregation, African Americans flocked to support businesses owned by whites and other groups, causing black restaurants, theaters, insurance companies, banks, etc. to almost disappear. Today, black people spend 95 percent of their income at white-owned businesses. Even though the number of black firms has grown 60.5 percent between 2002 and 2007, they only make up 7 percent of all U.S firms and less than .005 percent of all U.S business receipts.

I took the opportunity to educate these young people that in 1865, just after Emancipation, 476,748 free blacks – 1.5 percent of U.S. population– owned .005 percent of the total wealth of the United States. Today, a full 135 years after the abolition of slavery, 44.5 million African Americans – 14.2 percent of the population — possess a meager 1 percent of the national wealth.

If we look at relationships from 1890 to 1950, black women married at higher rates than white women, despite a consistent shortage of black males due to their higher mortality rate. According to a report released by the Washington DC-based think tank the Urban Institute, the state of the African American family is worse today than it was in the 1960s, four years before President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act.

In 1965, only 8 percent of childbirths in the black community occurred out of wedlock. In 2010, out-of-wedlock childbirths in the black community are at an astonishing 72 percent. Researchers Heather Ross and Isabel Sawhill argue that the marital stability is directly related to the husband’s relative socio-economic standing and the size of the earnings difference between men and women.

Instead of focusing on maintaining black male employment to allow them to provide for their families, Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act with full affirmative action for women. The act benefited mostly white women and created a welfare system that encouraged the removal of the black male from the home. Many black men were also dislodged from their families and pushed into the rapidly expanding prison industrial complex that developed in the wake of rising unemployment.

Since integration, the unemployment rate of black men has been spiraling out of control. In 1954, white men had a zero percent unemployment rate, while African-American men experienced a 4 percent rate. By 2010, it was at 16.7 percent for Black men compared to 7.7 percent for white men. The workforce in 1954 was 79 percent African American. By 2011, that number had decreased to 57 percent. The number of employed black women, however, has increased. In 1954, 43 percent of African American women had jobs. By 2011, 54 percent of black women are job holders.

The Civil Rights Movement pushed for laws that would create a colorblind society, where people would not be restricted from access to education, jobs, voting, travel, public accommodations, or housing because of race. However, the legislation did nothing to eradicate white privilege. Michael K. Brown, professor of politics at University of California Santa Cruz, and co-author of“Whitewashing Race: The Myth of a Color-Blind Society” says in the U.S., “The color of one’s skin still determines success or failure, poverty or affluence, illness or health, prison or college.”

Two percent of all working African Americans work for another African American’s within their own neighborhood. Because of this, professionally trained Black people provide very little economic benefit to the black community. Whereas, prior to integration that number was significantly higher because of segregation people in the black community supported each other to sustain their lives and families.

The Black median household income is about 64 percent that of whites, while the Black median wealth is about 16 percent that of whites. Millions of Black children are being miseducated by people who don’t care about them, and they are unable to compete academically with their peers. At the same time, the criminal justice system has declared war on young Black men with policies such as “stop and frisk” and “three strikes.”

Marcus Garvey warned about this saying:

“Lagging behind in the van of civilization will not prove our higher abilities. Being subservient to the will and caprice of progressive races will not prove anything superior in us. Being satisfied to drink of the dregs from the cup of human progress will not demonstrate our fitness as a people to exist alongside of others, but when of our own initiative we strike out to build industries, governments, and ultimately empires, then and only then will we as a race prove to our Creator and to man in general that we are fit to survive and capable of shaping our own destiny.”

Maybe this proves that once past truths are forgotten, and the myths that are lies are born with an unfounded reality detrimental to all, but those who seek to benefit. As I have often said, “I firmly believe education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. We can change the world but first, we must change ourselves.” And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Twitter @JohnTWills

Source: Black Atlanta Star


The Nina Simone Biopic

1aHollywood has never been supportive or fair to the Black community, when they rewrite and tell our stories. We can go back to the early days of cinema and see most often our images, like His-Story, distorts our true reality. The black person was always the “buffoon” or the help, and this is being kind. More significant, recently there was a white actor selected to play Michael Jackson in an upcoming movie.

When it comes to our history, Black people’s contributions have been distorted to reflect the white culture’s view of it. Examples are abound; the Ten Commandments, Hannibal, or the most serious distorted depiction was Cleopatra, all played by white people, when, in fact, each were of African Descent.

Recently, the Nina Simone biopic debuted at Cannes. I was waiting for reviews to come out before writing anything about it.  Now a release date is set to be released in theaters on April 22, 2016. As a result, the movie titled “Nina” has been hit with criticism from Nina Simone’s daughter and others over the casting of Zoe Saldana, mostly because the 37-year-old actress doesn’t look anything like Nina Simone.

The long and short of this post is I can remember Nina Simone and have a bit of a problem with the actress chosen to play her in the movie. I think there are a number of very talented black women, who may have been a better choice. Just to name a few, Viola Davis, Kimberly Elise, India Arie (who I think would be my first choice) or Mary J Blige would be more fitting to play the High Priestess of Soul. Since popular votes don’t guarantee selection, the outcome is already a finished product starring Zoe Saldana. I am certainly not saying Saldana is not a very good actress but in my view, she does not fit the character as well as others. I am saying, in my view, just because you can don’t mean you should. Now, with that said, I like Zoe as an actress!

I can recall listening to Nina Simone’s music; I remember seeing her face. I had a childish fixation, because of her strong personality and her being unappologenicly black.  One could extend the inference of esteem extended black people. I wonder what Zoe felt inside every time she sat down and watched the make-up artist apply a prosthetic nose and darken her skin. Please take a moment to think about that process. When Zoe as Nina looks in the mirror, she is promoting mythology. Say what you want about The Great Sphinx’s missing nose, but the full lips still remain after all these centuries. A black person’s nose always gets in the way of European theory.

When I look at Nina Simone, I see a messenger with a wide nose and full lips. When I look at Zoe as Nina, I see someone in a cloak walking a windy road to an awkward redemption. I share no empathize with her being a puppet. This brings us to the supreme capitalists, who hide behind corporate curtains to profit from these deceptions. Some would say they robbed Nina’s grave, re-branded the artifacts with plans to sell and will settle all lawsuits after they count their money.

If you know or love Nina’s music, or if you dishonor her integrity means you hear her sound but not the woman of valor. What it means is that those people want soul music to be packaged in coffee bean blonde even though she told you black is the color. It means they don’t think Nina’s beautiful or glory is important, and only God knows what they think of the rest of us. This is my distain with regard to the casting. I have not seen this movie, but images are everything, and so far I feel disrespected.

Nina was not here to entertain us with dance and radio formatted songs. Her lyrics, her staging, her expressions, her espresso complexion adding another tone to the ebony and ivory, her ornaments, her natural follicles underneath the crowns adorned and the cigarette smoke she blew out her oval lips and ancient nostrils were all elements of her protest artistry.

The bottom line is that Hollywood, as it always has is driven by dollars and exploitation. I am sure Spike Lee faced a fair share of studio battles. I would venture to say that some studio executives approached him about having some white man play Malcolm X to test his integrity.

Nina Simone is dead but not gone the mind of those who knew and loved her. In the ongoing war of legacy versus exploitation, one spends a sacrificial lifetime to create a self-portrait with uncompromising colors only to have others betray your portrait with an unreal replica. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

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Nina’s Family Response


The Unheralded Donald Goines: AKA “Al C. Clark”

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In the long history of black people in America, there have been many who were successful at certain crafts. Most often, many have been robbed of their achievements, unheralded, or die before their time. One such person that fits this description was Donald Goines. He grew up in what was considered, at the time, an affluent family in Detroit and found himself crippled with addiction, shot and killed mysteriously to end his short life.

Donald Goines became a prolific African American writer who wrote sixteen novels under his own name and his pseudonym “Al C. Clark” in his brief literary career. During his three years of service in US Air Force, he became a heroin addict while stationed in Korea and Japan, a monkey on his back that clung to him when he rejoined civilian life in 1955. Eventually, the monkey was demanding a c-note’s (one-hundred dollars) worth of junk a day.

Unable to get straight, it was hard to fly right with such a burden, even for an ex-air man. Like many addicts, Goines turned to crime to support his “jones”. In addition to theft and armed robbery, he also engaged in bootlegging, numbers running and pimping. In and out of jail, he was incarcerated for a total of six and one-half of the first 15 years after leaving the service. He wrote his first two novels during that time.

While wearing prison stripes, he tried his hand at writing Westerns, but he was uninspired by the genre. However, he found his muse when he discovered the writings of the ultra-cool Iceberg Slim, the legendary pimp, and raconteur. Iceberg Slim’s works such as his seminal “Pimp” inspired Goines to write the semi-autobiographical “Whoreson,” a novel about a Mack born to his trade as the son of a street-walker. “Whoreson” was released in 1972 by Slim’s publisher, Holloway House, which specialized in African American works. It was his second published novel, after 1971s “Dopefiend: The Story of a Black Junkie.”

Goines was released from the jail in 1970. At which time, he began writing at a frantic pace for the next four years allotted to him in this vale of tears; publishing 16 paperback originals with Holloway House. Still addicted to junk, Goines was disciplined enough to keep to a strict schedule, writing in the morning before giving over the rest of his day to letting his habits quick-silvery hands control his being.

Writing at a furious pace, he could turn out a novel in as little as a month. His style is unpolished, his syntax rough, and his words literally depended on the language of the streets shot through with black dialect (Ebonics). His novels are about people he knew; pimps, ho’s, thieves, hitters and dope fiends, struggling to survive in a ghetto jungle beset with merciless predators. The books were written for an audience to whom violence was or had been a part of life; not something wholly fictional.

The novels he published under his own name are about the “lumpenproletariat,” the criminal underclass. Under the name “Al C. Clark,” Goines wrote five novels about a revolutionary black cat called Kenyatta. Unlike Goines’ gangstas, Kenyatta, named after the great African freedom fighter Jomo Kenyatta, takes an active stance against exploitation and the depredations of inner-city life. He opposes the Establishment and was a sworn enemy of white cops. The head of a black militant organization dedicated to the Herculean task of douching out the ghettos of drugs and prostitution, Kenyatta is killed in a shootout in the last book of the series, “Kenyatta’s Last Hit” (1975).

Between five and ten million of Goines books have been sold, though his work did not receive much critical attention until the hip hop generation, which he influenced, became a cultural phenomenon. Goines’ books have inspired gangsta rappers from Tupac Shakur to Noreaga as a new generation of rap-influenced African Americans adopted the long-gone writer as part of their cultural heritage. Goines’ works reflect the anger and frustration of African Americans as a people. The hip-hop generation was sympathetic and accepted of Goines’ rejection of the values of white society.

While hip-hop as an art form cannot be considered a direct descendant of writers like Goines or Iceberg Slim, they did have a major influence on gangsta rappers. Nas and Royce Da 5′ 9″ both have songs called, “Black Girl Lost,” which is the title of a Goines book.

The ultimate tragedy of Goines life was when he and his wife were shot to death on October 21, 1974, under circumstances that remain a mystery. Some people believe they were killed in a drug deal that went wrong. Their grandson, Donald Goines III, who himself was murdered in 1992, blames part of the destruction of young African American lives that had not abated. Since long before the founding of the Republic, a country whose Constitution deemed African Americans as 3/5ths of a person for the purpose of establishing the apportionment of Congressional representation but did not give them any legal or social rights.

Thirty years after his death, Donald Goines’s novels are as relevant as they were in the early 70s, offering a picture of a lifestyle immersed in violence, sex, and drugs. It’s a life – often sacrificed to the exigencies of the street – that has since become glamorized and more appealing for a new generation of African Americans and white “wiggah” wannabes due to the mainstream commercialization of gangsta rap by urban media moguls more concerned with “Big Buck$” than social justice. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

12-Dopefiend: The Story of a Black Junkie, 1971
-Whoreson: The Story of a Ghetto Pimp, 1972
-Black Gangster, 1972
-Black Girl Lost, 1973
-Street Player, 1973
-White Man’s Justice, Black Man’s Grief, 1973
-Daddy Cool, 1974
-Crime Partners, 1974
-Eldorado Red, 1974
-Never Die Alone, 1974
-Swamp Man, 1974
-Cry Revenge!, 1974 (as Al C. Clark, Kenyatta series)
-Death List, 1974 (as Al C. Clark, Kenyatta series)
-Kenyatta’s Escape, 1974 (as Al C. Clark, Kenyatta series)
-Kenyatta’s Last Hit, 1975 (as Al C. Clark, Kenyatta series)
-Inner City Hoodlum, 1975


Remembering Gil Scott-Heron

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The phenomenon of the late Gil Scott-Heron was truly a powerful voice that spoke to the world with profound essence. I’ve often heard that genius is a rare gift and those who have been given “IT” walk a fine line between that which we appreciate and that which they know themselves to be. To me, that was Gil. I will call him that because he was one of us and from the first time I heard him; it felt like he was within me. His astute stature demands respect because he spoke truth and enlightenment when others dared not do. Therefore, Mr. Heron will live forever, and his prose will be eternal.

I will say with certainty that he was real, and although troubled nearing the end of his life, I felt his pain and I admired him for living life on life’s terms. His political commentary was raw and on point, which is what really impressed me. He had the ability to rebuke bygone bogeymen such as Nixon, Reagan, and Agnew. Darts were also flung at contemporary targets, notably Barack Obama. “My president’s black / But the plan remains the same,’’ rapped Enoch 7th Prophet and who can forget the classics “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’’, “Winter in America’’, “Beginnings (First Minute of a Brand New Day)”, and “Whitey on the Moon.’’

This man was the precursor to rap with some saying he was the “Godfather of Rap” although he often bristled at the suggestion. “I don’t know if I can take the blame for it,” he said in an interview with the music Web site The Daily Swarm. He preferred to call himself a “Bluesologist,” drawing on the traditions of blues, jazz, and Harlem Renaissance poetics. For sure, he was a poet and recording artist whose syncopated spoken style, and mordant critiques of politics, racism, and mass media made him a notable voice of black protest culture in the 1970s.

He did establish much of the attitude and the stylistic vocabulary that would characterize the socially conscious work of early rap groups like Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions. He also remained part of the DNA of hip-hop by being sampled by many hip hop stars. Chuck D, the leader of Public Enemy, told The New Yorker in 2010 that Gil Scott-Heron is the manifestation of the modern word… He and the Last Poets set the stage for everyone else.”

He was born in Chicago on April 1, 1949, and reared in Tennessee and later moved to New York. His mother was a librarian and an English teacher; his estranged father was a Jamaican soccer player. In his early teens, Gil wrote detective stories, and his work as a writer won him a scholarship to the Fieldston School in the Bronx. There he was only one of 5 black students in a class of 100. Following in the footsteps of Langston Hughes, he went to the historically black Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, and he wrote his first novel at 19, a murder mystery called “The Vulture.” A book of verse, “Small Talk at 125th and Lenox,” and a second novel, “The Nigger Factory,” soon followed.

He lived most of his adult life in New York, yet also spent some years in Washington, including a stint in the 1970s. He taught English at Federal City College (a predecessor of the University of the District of Columbia). Gil once described “Washington, DC as both capital and hometown: “Symbols of democracy, pinned up against the coast / Outhouse of bureaucracy, surrounded by a moat / Citizens of poverty are barely out of sight / Overlords escape in the evening with people of the night.”

After meeting and working with a college friend Brian Jackson. Gil turned to music in search of a wider audience. His first album, “Small Talk at 125th and Lenox,” was released in 1970 on Flying Dutchman, a small label, and included a live recitation of “Revolution” accompanied by conga and bongo drums. Another version of that piece, recorded with a full band including the jazz bassist Ron Carter, was released on Mr. Scott-Heron’s second album, “Pieces of a Man,” in 1971.

“Revolution” established Mr. Scott-Heron as a rising star of the black cultural left, and it’s cool, biting ridicule of a nation anesthetized by mass media has resonated with the socially disaffected of various stripes — campus activists, media theorists, coffeehouse poets — for four decades.

During the 1970s, Gil was seen as a prodigy with significant potential, although he never achieved more than cult popularity. He recorded 13 albums from 1970 to 1982 and was one of the first acts that music executive Clive Davis signed after starting Arista Records in 1974. In 1979, he performed at Musicians United for Safe Energy’s “No Nukes” benefit concerts at Madison Square Garden, and in 1985, he appeared on the all-star anti-apartheid album “Sun City.” But by the mid-1980s, Mr. Scott-Heron had begun to fade, and his recording output slowed to a trickle. In later years, he struggled publicly with addiction.

Some of the content for this article appeared in print on May 29, 2011, on page A26 of the New York edition with the headline: Gil Scott-Heron, a Voice of Protest And a Music Pioneer, Dies at 62. This spoken word genius created a genre for himself and all his own. He empowered and for that brother Gil – thank you! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

THE BOTTLE

THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED


An Excerpt From The Novel “Just a Season”

1Just A Season is a stand-alone story rich in the history and will take you on an awe-inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora. A reviewer compared this novel to a contemporary “Roots” in the oral African tradition of a time when America was changing forever. Another reviewer said, this novel has the emotion of “The Color Purple”. I want to share this particular excerpt from “Just a Season” that I hope it will enlighten, empower, motivate, and touch your heart.

Today we live in a world where there is no Granddaddy to share that precious wisdom necessary to guide our young men and women into adulthood. I was fortunate, maybe blessed, to have had a loving grandfather who shared many valuable lessons with me.

These lessons learned became the foundation of my very being…

         “Granddaddy’s Lessons” from “Just a Season”

“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.”

And that is a Thought Provoking Perspective from a loving Grandfather…

Praise for Just a Season

This Must Read Novel can be purchased @ AMAZON


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