Tag Archives: empowerment

Granddaddy’s Lessons

just a season book cover.One of the books I’ve published speaks to a subject rarely explained to children of this generation concerning the African American struggle. “Legacy – A New Season” is a stand-alone story rich in the history of the African American Diaspora. It is the sequel and the continuation of the novel “Just a Season”.

This long awaited saga to the epic novel “Just a Season” will take you on an awe inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora, as told by a loving grandfather to his grandson in the oral African tradition at a time when America changed forever. I wanted 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 or maybe blessed, to have had a loving grandfather who shared many valuable lessons with me.

These lessons formed the foundation of my very being…

Excerpt 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

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The Peril’s Of Justice

We as African Americans understand, as Richard Pryor famously said, when it comes to justice what we find is JUST-US! This statement could not be more profound today as it relates to some of the news stories that involve African Americans, namely the recent murder of the young child Trayvon Martin.

Frankly, this case takes me back nearly sixty-years when another young black child was murdered where the culprits did not receive due justice. I wonder if the story would be different if the victim was white and the shooter was black. I think we know the answer to that!!!

But I read a piece today written by Mr. Jonathan Capehart and like him I had the same questions that he asked in this article. First, he asked, what was Zimmerman’s relationship with the Sanford, Fla., police department? Then he asked why was Zimmerman portrayed as a volunteer neighborhood watch captain when he was not part of a registered neighborhood watch program? Further he asked, did the Sanford Police Department ever warn him about his activities in this unofficial capacity?

When you consider that Zimmerman was known to have placed, as it was reported, 46 calls to that department between Jan. 1, 2011, and the Feb. 26 shooting; did the Sanford police have specific orders on how to deal with him? Did they have a file on him? Did they have him on any kind of special watch list?

To these questions, the Police Chief said, “we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.” Yet, Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense was sufficient justification to not arrest him. My next question was why did Chief Lee accept Zimmerman’s self-defense plea on its face? Did the police run a background check on Zimmerman? Did his previous arrest, for resisting arrest without violence, raise any red flags with police? Did Lee attempt to establish probable cause? How did he go about it? Was Zimmerman tested for drugs or alcohol? If not, why not? Was Zimmerman’s gun confiscated? Was it tested? Where is that gun now?

These are all valid questions that demand answers.

Now, here are a few questions that come to mind with respect to the crime scene. What did police do with Trayvon’s body at the scene? What did police do with Trayvon’s body once taken from the scene? Why was it tested for drugs and alcohol? What did police do with Trayvon’s personal effects? Where is his cell phone? Did police try to contact Trayvon’s 16-year-old girlfriend, who was talking to him during the initial moments of the confrontation with Zimmerman and who tried several times to call him back? Hmmmm!

So as you can see there are many more questions than answers and frankly a thorough investigation would have answered these questions. Thankfully, the Department of Justice has decided to review the case to ensure that some of these questions are answered – maybe. There is such a thing as right and wrong; some things are right and some things are wrong. When you look at the aforementioned questions in this case that are unanswered – it stinks of wrong. Oh, and for sure racism!!!

There are so many more questions than answers and I pray we get them answered, and justice is served. With that said, I would suggest that you compare this to little Emmitt Till and recall the Peril’s Of Justice.

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective!

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The Ghost of Jim Crow

 If you follow my blog, Thought Provoking Perspectives, and I hope you do, you know that I often write about issues concerning and pertaining to the African American Diaspora. I do so, hopefully, to empower those who either don’t know our history or have forgotten it. Therefore, in honor of Black History Month I will write a post each day on this topic that I hold dear. Let me say that I believe our history is American History and as I have said many times; “It is the Greatest Story Ever Told”.

In an earlier article someone made a comment and ask a question that, frankly, surprised me. The question was; “What do you mean when you say Jim Crow”? My first thought was, how can history so recent and one that I’ve witnessed, and know to be true, be removed from the consciousness of anyone living in America. I suppose it speaks to the indifference of what is learned today, or not, through the education system or that the system is designed to protect the system.

So in today’s post I will explain the term Jim Crow for those who don’t know! The term originated in a song performed by Daddy Rice, a white minstrel show entertainer in the 1830’s. Rice covered his face with charcoal paste or burnt cork to resemble a black man as he sang and danced a routine in the caricature of a silly black person. By the 1850’s, this cruelly belittling blackface character, one of several stereotypical images of black inferiority in America’s popular culture, was a standard act in minstrel shows of the day.

The term became synonymous with the wicked concept of segregation directed specifically toward African Americans in the late nineteenth-century. It is not clear why this term was selected. However, what is clear is that by 1900, the term was generally identified with those racist laws and actions that deprived African Americans of their civil rights by defining blacks as inferior to whites while identifying them as subordinate people.
It was around this time that its inception entered the lexicon of racial bigotry after the landmark U.S Supreme Court decision Plessy verses Ferguson in 1896 resulting from a suit brought by the New Orleans Committee of Citizens. The notion was devised as many southern states tried to thwart the efforts and gains made during Reconstruction following the Civil War.

They, the Committee of Citizens, arranged for Homer Plessy’s arrest in order to challenge Louisiana’s segregation laws. Their argument was, “We, as freemen, still believe that we were right and our cause is sacred” referring to the confederacy. The Supreme Court agreed and a policy of segregation became the law of the land lasting more than sixty years as a result of that crucial decision.

As a result of reconstruction African Americans were able to make great progress in building their own institutions, passing civil rights laws, and electing officials to public office. In response to these achievements, southern whites launched a vicious, illegal war against southern blacks and their white allies. In most places, whites carried out this war under the cover of secret organizations such as the KKK. Thousands of African Americans were killed, brutalized, and terrorized in these bloody years. I might add that anywhere south of Canada was “South” as this was the law of the land.

The federal government attempted to stop the bloodshed by sending in troops and holding investigations, but its efforts were far too limited and frankly were not intended to solve the problem. Therefore, black resistance to segregation was difficult because the system of land tenancy, known as sharecropping, left most blacks economically dependent upon planter/landlords and merchant suppliers. In addition, white terror at the hands of lynch mobs threatened all members of the black family – adults and children alike. This reality made it nearly impossible for blacks to stand up to Jim Crow laws because such actions might bring the wrath of the white mob on one’s parents, brothers, spouse, and children.

Few black families were economically well off enough to buck the local white power structure of banks, merchants, and landlords. To put it succinctly: impoverished and often illiterate southern blacks were in a weak position to confront the racist culture of Jim Crow. To enforce the new legal order of segregation, southern whites often resorted to even more brutalizing acts of mob terror, including race riots and ritualized lynchings were regularly practiced to enforce this agenda.
Some historians saw this extremely brutal and near epidemic commitment to white supremacy as breaking with the South’s more laissez-faire and paternalistic past. Others view this “new order” as a more rigid continuation of the “cult of whiteness” at work in the South since the end of the Civil War. Both perspectives agree that the 1890’s ushered in a more formally racist South and one in which white supremacists used law and mob terror to define the life and popular culture of African American people as an inferior people.

I want you to remember that words have meaning and power. Therefore, as we witness the already in progress, presidential campaign that you think about what you have heard and hear from the States Rights folks from the right-wing so-called conservatives. Those vying to become president in 2014, as well as others seeking highly placed positions, understand this tried and true principle as they speak to the so-called real Americans and those who want to take back their country because history is known and has repeated itself!

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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Purchase “Just a Season” today because Legacy – A New Season the sequel is coming!
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Legacy – A New Season

COMING SOON!!!

It’s been several years since “Just a Season” and it’s time to move on. Generations have come and gone, life is bearable after all, and hope lives in a little boy and in a man who almost lost all hope.

It’s been said that there are no words that have not been spoken and no stories that have never been told but there are some that you cannot forget! “Legacy – A New Season” is the perfect complement to that statement. It is the sequel and the continuation of “Just a Season” and a stand-alone story rich in history on a subject rarely explained to children of this generation concerning the African American struggle.

This long awaited saga to the epic novel “Just a Season” will take you on an awe inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora, as told by a loving grandfather to his grandson in the oral African tradition at a time when America changed forever.

http://johntwills.com


The Unspoken Truth – 28 Days of Black History


I have written a series of articles on “The John T. Wills Chronicles” specifically designed to be a potent source of empowering knowledge for the enhancement of the community and the minds of mankind. During Black History Month I will post the entire series with a different article each day speaking to the phenomenal history and difficult struggle of the African American experience.

The legacy of dependency, apathy, and entrenchment of the American social order from the beginning provides clear evidence of its diabolical intent to bankrupt the souls of African Americans based on an ideology of supremacy. These stolen souls that exist today are people who bear the burden of a system that perpetrated, in the name of God, the greatest crime known to man. Hence, from the beginning, people of African descent were intended to be a nation of people living within a nation without a nationality.

“The Unspoken Truth” is intended to empower by educating people through knowledge concerning issues that many blacks continue to face today from the untreated wounds of America’s forefathers. This series is a knowledge-based examination of the African American Diaspora. As you travel with me though the the next twenty-eight days, my purpose is to simply offer explanations causing people to look at and understand the root cause of the asymptomatic behaviors.

It is my sincere desire to help people understand that there is a conditioning in “certain” communities – this is not an excuse, rather an explanation as to why these behaviors were never unlearned and have been passed down from generation to generation. Over my relatively short lifetime, I have been referred to as Colored, Negro, Afro-American, Black, and an African American, which were the polite terms assigned to make known that African Americans were not American citizens.

The concept of African Americans being slaves, physically or mentally, is as old as the nation itself, designed to deprive a people of its culture and knowledge through sustained policies of control. To overcome these indignities we must realize that education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize the forces that breed poverty and despair. Regardless of how much we are held down, it is our responsibility to find a way to get up, even if the system is designed to protect the system.

As follow the Unspoken Truth and we embark upon this journey, know that learning without thought is a labor lost; thought without learning is intellectual death; and courage is knowing what’s needed and doing it. As tenacious beings, we must understand that there is no such thing as an inferior mind. So I say it’s time for an awakening, if for no other reason than to honor those who sacrificed so much in order that we could live life in abundance.

As you experience Black History Month remember this: You only have a minute. Sixty seconds in it. Didn’t chose it, can’t refuse it, it’s up to you to use it. It’s just a tiny little minute but an eternity in it. You can change the world but first you must change your mind.

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The John T Wills Chronicles presents Iyanla Vanzant with Kathleen Wells


I have been fortunate enough during my life’s journey to have been blessed many times over. I am honored to announce that on Wednesday (December 8th at 8:30 PM) I will be blessed, as will you, once again, as I welcome a very special guest; the phenomenally gifted Motivational Speaker and Master Teacher Iyanla Vanzant. She has a new book, “Peace from Broken Pieces” that is an emotionally gut wrenching story of her personal triumph from the personal to the brutally honest recounting of life experiences that is a testament to her resilience.

“Peace from Broken Pieces,” is emotionally compelling, empowering and inspirational. Ms. Vanzant paints vivid imagery as the beautiful phoenix rises from the ashes of broken pieces to convince us all that challenges and tragedies can be overcome, when you draw from your internal power. The book is intertwined with teachings of universal laws and principles that Ms. Vanzant was able to show how cultural pathological patterns could show up in our lives as physical manifestations. In addition to empowering us as to how we can become aware of these repetitive cycles to overcome the disease of this damaging pathology.

This powerful story is masterfully composed, compassionate, heart-wrenching, hilarious, compelling, transformative, healing . . . the list of adjectives could go on and on, yet all would be inadequate to capture the gift of this treasure. “Peace from Broken Pieces,” is a mind altering eloquently written masterpiece that is spiritually impactful, and one which every woman, mother, aunt, grandmother and man should read. Ms. Vanzant demonstrates a divine ability to write from the being of her soul which pours out over each life stage, milestone, and crisis. She is brutally honest – holding back nothing.

Her presence is so strongly felt throughout the book that it will force you to acknowledge the consequences of cultural pathologies, family legacies, and misogyny that she strives to draw serious attention too. Frankly, Ms. Vanzant has done what many mental health professionals, family counseling professionals, scholars, and academics have failed to do: leaving out politics, ideology, and hidden agendas clearly and articulately describes how the demise of families especially black family (and in particular the destruction of black women) transpires. Readers will understand from a firsthand account how difficult overcoming structural racism, sexism, psychological abuse, skin shade racism, and premature parenthood truly are.

One of her viewers said, “the best parts of this book was her explanation of the thought process and the physical process of standing up to a television executive who thought he had the right to man handle her by using his size, voice, and status with the network. That was a powerful moment that in my opinion led to other powerful moments.”

Her encouragement to act as a Queen that manages her life with DIVINE power, authority, and victory are a call to overcome cultural pathologies, and misogyny that are viewed as disadvantages. Her life is a testimony that it CAN be done and that it ***MUST*** be done in order to leave the future generation with a legacy of compassion, grace, and depth. Arise and live up to your nobility. Iyanla does it again! This woman takes you on a journey that has been described as a healing trip, an eye-opener and a page turner! Nothing but blessings and love flow from my mouth about this book and Ms. Vanzant.
Please – Please join me and my co-host Kathleen Wells on the John T. Wills Book Tree Radio Show Wednesday (12/8) at 8:30 PM (est) for a wonderful conversation with Ms. Iyanla Vanzant.

“Love is not a thing you can find, Love is who you are! The degree of self-awareness, self Love and self actualization that you experience in your life will determine your love and loving experiences.” Iyanla Vanzant

Call-in Number: (347) 989-1049

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Prelude to November – Perception is Reality

This is my political recap of the elections held Tuesday. With respect to the outcomes, the Democrats had every reason to smile and maybe, just maybe, the Republicans had every reason to shudder while the rest of us had cause for much concern. I am sure you’ve heard, and seen reports, from the Tea Baggers who stridently shouted “it’s time to take our country back”. In fact, this is what Rand Paul said at his victory party, “I have a message, a message from the Tea Party, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words. We’ve come to take our government back.” Whenever I hear that “Rebel Yell” I have to wonder; what are they talking about but I digress, and will get back to him later.

Let me talk about some of the other races that meant something. Starting in western Pennsylvania in a district once represented by the late Jack Murtha a pro-gun, anti-abortion Democrat. Republican strategists used this district as a campaign laboratory, of sorts, to test the themes and techniques that could use in the fall to nationalize the elections. You know the themes socialism, healthcare reform, invoking the names Obama and Pelosi to terrify voters. It did not work. Democrat Mark Critz won handily over Republican Tim Burns in a district that voted for John McCain in 2008.

Also in Pennsylvania Representative Joe Sestak easily defeated Democrat and onetime Republican Arlen Specter in the state’s Democratic Senate primary. This was the marquee event in terms of media coverage because Specter was a familiar and prominent presence in Washington having occupied his Senate seat for 30 long years. There was just one problem: For all but one of those years, he was a Republican and voters did not buy the idea that seemed more like a calculation in principle to save his job choosing instead to vote for a real card-carrying Democrat.

In Arkansas, Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s fate was only slightly more telling as she failed to win a majority of voters in the Democratic primary for a runoff against Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. Halter’s strategy was to attack her from the left while the voters may have wanted to punish her for the way she stalled and equivocated on healthcare reform. But the final verdict on Lincoln won’t be in for several weeks, which most pundits predict a losing effort.

Now, let me get back to the far more interesting victory or maybe ominous. There was a candidate, Rand Paul, who became a cult figure among libertarians and Tea Party activists, not unlike his father Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex) who are both known to march to a different beat. Rand is a Republican with little regard for the GOP party line and believes in a philosophy that might best be described as radical individual freedom and privatizing as many functions as possible to reduce government to its barest bones. If Paul wins the general election, he would probably vote sometimes as a Republicans, maybe few times as a Democrat but more than likely he will vote with the Whigs.

In an interview the day after his primary victory, Paul could not bring himself to endorse the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Civil Rights Act of 1964. “I think there’s a lot to be desired in the Civil Rights Act… I haven’t read all through it, because it was passed 40 years ago and hadn’t been a real pressing issue on the campaign whether I’m going to vote for the Civil Rights Act” suggesting that he might not have voted for it if he was around. In addition, he continued with his view that businesses should not be forced by government to adopt anti-discrimination rules. He had to be dragged into recognizing some of the largest moral achievements of recent American history, while still suggesting that the country should go back to the days of old.

It’s simply astonishing in this day and age that a major party nominee for the U.S. Senate would try to breathe life into the long discredited notion that the Constitution might protect an individual business owner’s ‘right’ to exclude customers on the basis of race. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was asked his thoughts about Paul’s problems with the Civil Rights Act and its application to private businesses, to which he said, “Not being familiar with the context of his response or his questions I really can’t opine as to his position.”

Sometimes saying nothing is worst that saying what you really mean but I can hear what Cantor wasn’t saying. Whether he heard Paul’s remarks in context or not, I think he could have expressed a firm commitment to the Civil Rights Act and the American ideals it upholds is perhaps more troubling than Paul’s musings. This philosophy has the virtue of being easily explainable and the drawback of being impossible. Separate but equal is the remedy for what was not accomplished during the last eight years, I suppose is the message.

The current federal role did not grow primarily because of the statist ambitions of liberals; it grew in response to democratic choices and global challenges. Federal power advanced to rescue the elderly from penury, to enforce civil rights laws, to establish a stable regulatory framework for a modern economy, and to force by law a wicked system that was designed to suppress the helpless. I might add that these are the same people who benefit from these same government handouts.

Their commitment to individual freedom defined as the absence of external constraint is nearly absolute. Taxation for the purpose of redistribution is theft. The national security state does not defend liberty; it threatens it. American global commitments are just another form of big government. Paul, Tea Baggers, and other libertarians are not merely advocates of limited government; they are anti-government. Their objective is not the correction of error but the cultivation of contempt for government itself. There is a reason why movements such as this has never been, and probably will never be, a national political force: because too many would find its utopia a nightmare.

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I have launched an information portal “The John T. Wills Chronicles” that will be the new home of “Thought Provoking Perspectives”. The sole purpose of the “The John T. Wills Chronicles” is to be a source of empowering knowledge for the enhancement of community and the minds of mankind. I am extending an offer to all authors, writers, poets, and progressive thinkers to become a contributor as a way to promoter yourself, your skills, your work, and to benefit others with your stories.

http://johntwillsChronicles.com

READING – WRITING – EXCITING

“The John T. Wills Chronicles” will also present an exciting new Blogtalkradio Show called “The Book Tree” hosted by the amazingly talented SILVER RAE FOX to further this effort. SILVER will be the Literary Ambassador during on-air conversations with authors, poets, and literary minds every Wednesday starting June 2, 2010 at 7:30 – 8:00 PM (est). Silver Rae Fox will be the main voice for the “The Book Tree Radio Show” and one of the main voices for The Book Tree Literacy Project designed to promote literacy.


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