Tag Archives: Harrine Freeman

Make It Plain

obama-and-kingAs I remember the times in which we’ve lived with thoughts of our history and I will say again that “Our story is the Greatest Story Ever Told”. I always pay homage to the ghosts of the greats who paved a might trail for us to walk to which I think we have a responsibility to march on. I was blessed to have had the privilege to live during the civil rights era to witness groups and individuals fight to end racial segregation and the unequal treatment of African-Americans.

It would be my hope that all of us would take this opportunity during the upcoming March on Washington this week to reach one – teach one. Share the stories of our struggle with your children. History unknown and its unlearned lessons are as ominous as death.

I have added a few of the many significant events and some of the brave and courageous solders in the army that changed America or dare I say the world.

Events in the Civil Rights Movement

Solders of the Civil Rights Movement

I am reminded of Malcolm X who used to say “Make It Plain” which meant in essence to bring forth the knowledge. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Never Can Say Good Bye

Michael_Jackson_by_RobertoBizamaHe who was the “Thriller”, Michael Jackson Dubbed the King of Pop, went on to become one of the most internationally famous award-winning solo pop sensations history. Let remember his life on the date he transitioned to the great beyond.

I would be re-missed if as we celebrate Black Music Month if I did not pay homage to the greatest entertainer to ever life. I chose not to talk about his personal life because I don’t know anything about it.

However, I know enough to know that when someone rises so far above all others, there are those intent upon that persons destruction. For those people who rebuked him in life I say, Michael was ours and we knew his heart because it was the music of his soul.

Lest not forget that the Bible says “He who is without sin cast the first stone. So celebrating the man we grew up with and knew as “MJ”. LET’S REMEMBER THE MAN AND HIS MUSIC. Rest In Peace. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


“The Dash”

legacy bookI wonder how many of you have taken the time to reexamine the life you’ve been given. If you were to view the headstone that comes with the end of life; you will see your name inscribed. You will also witness a tiny Dash that separates the years of one’s birth and death that represents the whole of a person’s life. This should bring about an illuminating discovery. So if this tiny dash were to tell your life’s story, what would it say?

A few years ago I was blessed to be the vehicle to channel an epic novel titled “Just a Season” where a man journeys back in time to reexamine all the important people, circumstances, and intellectual fervor that contributed to the richness of his life. I chose to title this novel “Just a Season” because that’s all God gave us, and this novel is a story of life. It captures the journey, life and times, of an African American man living in America and the significant history witnessed during his journey.

Television Host and Poet Sistah Joy said, “Thank you for your example of tenderness and discipline in what I know is a story of love, delicately shared with readers in a way that says this life, though brief, is significant. So hold it in highest regard for “the dash” is our legacy to love ones, indeed to the world, which we are blessed to share, albeit, for Just a Season.” 

Other reviewers complemented this epic story by saying “This is the stuff movies are made of… not since “Roots” have I read a story that so succinctly chronicles an African American story!” Another said, “Not since The Color Purple have I read a book that evoked such emotions.”

Cheryl Hayes of APOOO Book Club said in her review that “Wills pulls you in from the very first page… Just a Season is a heart-wrenching story about growing up and believing in yourself. I highly recommend this book to young men in high school, trying to find themselves and feeling like they have nowhere to turn.”

This book has received rave reviews and I’m honored having my work mentioned in the same sentence with “Roots” and “The Color Purple”. This is evident of its richness and I’m blessed that the story has touched the hearts of so many and mankind. I will say, and you can quote me, “You will see the world through new eyes”. I will say, and you can quote me, “You will see the world through new eyes”.

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! It’s been several years since “Just a Season” and it’s time to move on. I’ve penned a new novel “Legacy – A New Season“. 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.

Legacy – A New Season” the 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.

Prelude to “Just a Season”

A MUST READ!!!A season is a time characterized by a particular circumstance, suitable to an indefinite period of time associated with a divine phenomenon that some call life. One of the first things I learned in this life was that it is a journey. During this passage through time I have come to realize that there are milestones, mountains, and valleys that everyone will encounter.

Today, I have to face a valley and it’s excruciating. It’s June 28th, a day that I once celebrated as a very special day. Now, it’s filled with sorrow. The reason this day is different from all others is because I have come to the cemetery at Friendly Church.

Normally it’s hot and humid as summer begins, but not so today. It’s a cool gray day with the sky slightly overcast. I hear the echo of birds chirping from a distance. There is also a mist or a light fog hovering very near the ground that gives the aura of a mystical setting.  This is a place where many of my family members who have passed away rest for eternity.  Some have been resting here for over a hundred years. I have grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, a sister, and many friends here as well. The cemetery is in the most tranquil of places secluded from the rest of the world, very peaceful and beautiful, almost like being near the gateway of heaven.

My heart aches today because I have come here on what would have been my son’s birthday. This is a very hard thing for me to do as the natural order suggests it should be the other way around. Another difficulty is that this is the first time I will see his headstone that was put in place just a few days ago. Although I know what it should look like, it’s going to be hard to actually see it. It will indicate the finality of losing the dearest of all human beings.  It’s hard to imagine what the rest of my life will be like without my precious son.

As I pass Granddaddy’s gravesite, I stop to say hello. After a brief moment, I continue in the direction of my son’s resting place. As I get closer, I begin to receive a rush of emotion to the point that my movements slow as the sight comes into view. I can now see his name clearly and I whisper “God why did you take him?” I become numb as I finally arrive at his gravesite, overwhelmed with this never before known emotion. This is something I never thought I would ever have to do, but here I am!!!

Suddenly, the sky begins to clear somewhat, as I now feel the sun’s rays from above.  At this very moment, I receive an epiphany upon reading the dates inscribed on the stone.  1981 – 2001. What does this really mean? The beginning and the end, surely, but in the final analysis it is just a tiny little dash that represents the whole life of a person. I fall to my knees realizing the profound impact of that thought causing me to look to the heavens and wonder. If someone, for whatever reason, were to tell the story concealed within my dash. What might they say?

Get Your Copies

Just a Season

Legacy – A New Season


Black Women and Faith

I came across a newspaper article that I found interesting – yet troubling. It was a nationwide survey conducted by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation that revealed that black women are among the most religious people in the country.” Now, having know a few black women in my time this was not that much of a surprise because I have found that most will out Pope the Pope!

I am going to say from the outset that I am expecting hate mail but if you read my words they are simply designed to provoke thought on the topic. Therefore, I say think about what you read – maybe even step back and look in the mirror. Early in the article there was a powerful statement made by the author who asked, “For what purpose are you seeking an education? Is it not that you may relieve the suffering of humanity?”

There was a woman quoted as saying she found on her phone this: “Finding that verse at that moment was no coincidence… God had spoken. Instantly, a sense of calm and confidence enveloped her. In times like these, when she feels anxious, afraid or unsure… relies on her faith.” Just so you know faith is that what you believe to be true what cannot be seen. Keep reading I have some thoughts on this too! But first let me talk about the survey.

This nationwide survey found that nine in 10 African American women reveals that as a group, black women are among the most religious people in the nation. The survey found that 74 percent of black women said that “living a religious life” is very important. On that same question, the number falls to 57 percent of white women and 43 percent of white men.

I understand that during times of turmoil, which is living in America. Black women endure much more than any other group causing them to turn to their faith to get through. Black women, across education and income levels, say living a religious life is a greater priority than being married or having children, and this call to faith either surpasses or pulls even with having a career as a life goal, the survey shows.

If you are from the African American culture you more than likely would have grown up with gospel music in your background or maybe as your foundation. This more than likely included a mother or grandmother who insisted on all-day church on Sundays and Bible school in the summers. It is inextricably woven into our culture giving us the sense that devotion and faith in God is somehow more strongly connects due to our slave ancestor’s survival of the institution.

Stacey Floyd-Thomas, an associate professor of ethics and society at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, says “Black women have been the most mistreated and scandalized group in U.S. society and culture as they wrestle both individually and collectively with the triple jeopardy of racism, sexism and classism.” To this I agree!

For roughly a quarter of black women who responded to the survey, religion plays a less-than-primary role in their lives; a scant 2 percent of them said it is “not at all” important. To that point Sikivu Hutchinson who describes herself as an atheist makes this point: “What has religiosity and belief in supernatural beings really achieved for African Americans in the 21st century — and in particular African American women, given our low socioeconomic position?”

Looking back on her childhood, Hutchinson wonders: “Why would children be compelled to profess belief, especially when they look around them and see that the world is overpopulated with adult believers flaunting their immorality?” Hutchinson contends that perhaps there aren’t more black women grappling with that answer because there is little in their community that supports a different perspective.

The article went on to say “for most African American women, absolute trust in a higher power has been a truism for centuries. In follow-up interviews with some of the black women surveyed, there seemed to be little or no angst about their religious beliefs or their role in the church. The women said their focus is on one thing: their personal relationship with God.”

LAW AND ORDER THEME!!!

Ok, here is where I am sure to upset some. First, we were brought to America as slaves and there were two choices; take the Bible or die – by way of the rope or gun. Let me remind you there was no word G-O-D in any African language before the coming of Europeans. In addition, the first registered slave ship was named the “Good Ship Jesus”. The WORD, supposedly given by God, that most so fervently believe was rewritten twenty-eight times with the last revision ordered by the diabolical King James of England who stood to benefit from his rendition. My point here is that maybe we should not take the WORD literally.

I want to make two more points; the image of the deity that hangs on most church walls is that of a blonde haired blue eyed European who could not possibly have come from that region of the world, which was in North Africa. The other point is this: there is a church in most communities on every corner, so I say if that was the answer why is it not working.

Let me close by saying that “I believe in something greater than I and I chose to call it God”. This in the practical sense should be adapted to mean “Good Orderly Direction”. I would respectfully suggest that we and black women in particular, look to what is within to find strength to survive. Lastly it might be a good idea to not be so devoted and blindly follow con artist, or maybe I should say, pimps in the pulpit and you know who they are.

As we have just lived another Black History Month. Let’s get back to family which is your strength! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

http://johntwills.com

 

 


SPIRITUAL GPS GOD PROMISED SOLUTIONS

About The Book

1Spiritual GPS is dedicated to the masses that found themselves paralyzed at life’s intersections and crossroads. This book is committed to those who are in desperate need for God’s direction each and every day of your life. To the one that has lost their way this book is devoted to you. To the one that can’t see God’s promises because of life’s obstructions this book is designed with you in mind.

If you have ever faced a problem that appeared to be bigger than the solution this book is handcrafted by God for you. If you have endeavored to hear the simple words you can this book is for you.

Spiritual GPS is tailored to people of diverse backgrounds and experiences. This book caters to individuals who dare to dream and live on the cutting edge of their next level. Spiritual GPS is focused on allowing you to concentrate on godly solutions instead of the equations.

About The Author

15824_448017698580061_170981324_nApostle Oliver T. Reid, called into the ministry in his youth, is a powerfully anointed and dynamic man of God.  Known to be a remnant preacher and a testament to these times, Apostle Reid flows with a global prophetic mandate with God’s signs and wonders following.  A man of many gifts and talents, he walks in the office of Pastor, Prophet, Evangelist and Teacher, and most affectionately knows him as “Apostle.”  As a trailblazer, stalwart, and international apostle Reid has a passion to see the body restored, sinner’s saved, and broken hearts mended.

A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Apostle Reid is happily married to Miatta Reid and a proud father. He is a graduate of Winston Salem State University with a BA/BS degree in History and Sociology. Apostle Reid obtained a Bachelors as well as a Master’s Degree in Theology from Life Christian University. He is presently in pursuit of his Doctor of Ministry in Theology degree from Life Christian University.

Connect with Oliver:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/otrministriesint?ref=ts&fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/otrministries

Email: otrbooking@gmail.com

Author website: http://www.otrministries.org/

Author website:  http://i-am-asolution.com/

Author events page: www.otrministries.com

Links to purchase the book

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-GPS-GOD-PROMISED-SOLUTIONS/dp/148111249X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357367850&sr=1-2&keywords=oliver+reid

Trailer: http://youtu.be/LmSuVXg2f_A

Tour schedule:  http://wnlbooktours.com/?page_id=456


There Is Only One Truth

136820802I have hesitated to write anything about the despicable actions of Christopher Dorner. Therefore, before I begin what can only be called a sad commentary; I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not think the former police officers actions, taking innocent lives, were justifiable reasons to address his grievances. Frankly, Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer, was a sick individual!

This is the whole point of this commentary with the horrible history of police misconduct, particularly the past history of the LAPD, it begs the question how many other sick cop’s are among their ranks. Despite the departments claim that the department has evolved well beyond their troubled racial legacy of Rodney King and the O.J. Simpson trial; it begs the question – have they?

Domer’s well publicized “manifesto” alleged that his career was undone by racist colleagues conspiring against him which prompted a string of vengeance killings depicting himself as a black man wronged, whose badge was unjustly taken in 2008 after he lodged a complaint against a white female supervisor. He says, as well as others in the LAPD that the LAPD have not improved much since the King beating but have “gotten worse.” I am not suggesting who to believe but these allegations are at least worth considering if any truths exist.

Do you remember N.W.A.? This was a rap group back in the 1980s whose gangster rap spoke about the conditions in the urban areas of this country, particularly in the communities of LA and their relations with the LAPD. Not many believed or took notice of the abuses until we saw the video of Rodney King which this department claimed was a necessary evil.

As a result of Domer’s allegations a community of online sympathizers formed, echoing complaints against police that linger in some communities. For example, a Facebook page supporting Dorner quickly attracted over 2,300 fans that said “this is not a page about supporting the killing of innocent people. It’s supporting fighting back against corrupt cops and bringing to light what they do.”

Let’s take a look at the LAPD that was once synonymous with violent and bigoted officers, whose culture and brand of street justice was depicted by Hollywood in films such as “L.A. Confidential” and “Training Day.” Or let’s remember what was done to the Black Panthers. Or in 1965, 34 people died when the Watts riots, triggered by a traffic stop of a black man by a white California Highway Patrol officer, exposed deep fractures between blacks and an overwhelmingly white law enforcement community.

In the 1980s, gang sweeps took thousands of youths into custody. The O.J. Simpson trial deepened skepticism of a department already tarnished by the videotaped beating of King, the black motorist who was hit with batons, kicked repeatedly and jolted with stun guns by officers who chased him for speeding. Rioting after a jury with no black members acquitted three of the LAPD officers on state charges and a mistrial was declared for a fourth lasted three days, killing 55 people.

Then there was the Rampart scandal of the late 1990s, scores of criminal convictions were thrown out after members of an anti-gang unit were accused of beating and framing residents in a poor, largely minority neighborhood. A handful of officers were convicted of various crimes and the scandal led to federal oversight that lasted eight years. Even the Fed’s were involved with COINTELPRO!

I repeat this is neither a commentary in support of nor sympathy for the killer who took innocent lives. However, it is to beg the question – has the LAPD really changed. I will close with a quote from Malcolm X and I agree; “I am for truth, no matter who tells it. I am for justice, no matter who it is for or against”. I am for humanity! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


The Case That Changed America

brown-v-board-of-educationOn May 17, 1954, the Warren Court’s unanimous (9-0) decision stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” This was the day that the landmark Brown v Board of Education Supreme Court decision changed the face of America unlike any other decision before or since.

This major ruling was the cornerstone that laid the foundation for all of the civil rights African American’s know today, just as the late Thurgood Marshall, who brilliantly argued and won this case envisioned. It is also very appropriate to recognize the skillful talent of Justice Marshall for his more than fifty victories before the Supreme Court, more than any other attorney in history.

The Brown Case, as it is known, was not the first such case regarding civil rights argued before the Supreme Court. It was just the most significant of what some would say was the final battle in the courts that had been fought by African American parents since 1849, which started with Roberts v. City of Boston, Massachusetts. It is also important to note that Kansas was the site of eleven such cases spanning from 1881 to 1949.

The case was named after Oliver Brown one of 200 plaintiffs. The Brown case was initiated and organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) leadership who recruited African American parents in Topeka, Kansas for a class action suit against the local school board. The Supreme Court combined five cases under the heading Brown v. Board of Education: Delaware, Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The ultimate goal sought by the NAACP was to end the practice of “separate but equal” throughout every segment of society, including public transportation, dining facilities, public schools and all forms of public accommodations.

The Brown Supreme Court ruling determined racial segregation in public education was unconstitutional in Brown I, the first opinion. The court’s implementation mandated “with all deliberate speed” in 1955 known as Brown II. In 1979, twenty five years later, there was a Brown III because Topeka was not living up to the earlier Supreme Court ruling, which resulted in Topeka Public Schools building three magnet schools to comply with the court’s findings.

As had been the case since Homer Plessy, the subject in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a Louisiana law mandating separate but equal accommodations for blacks and whites on intrastate railroads was constitutional. This decision provided the legal foundation to justify many other actions by state and local governments to socially separate blacks and whites.

Now that I have provided some history related to the case let me add my commentary. It has been said that as sure as things change they remain the same. First, it took 60 year to overturn Plessy with Brown and it took “with all deliberate speed” 13 years for integration to begin fully. During this period of time from 1954 to 1967, governors blocked school entrances and actually closed schools rather than comply with the law of the land. I am not going to touch on the violence that caused Presidents to send the US Army and National Guard troops to schools in order to protect the safety of those the ruling was intended benefit as a result of the Brown decision.

Since then, and over time, many scams have been devised to disenfranchise minorities and African Americans in particular. I need only remind you of “No Child Left Behind” where we see persistent patterns of underachievement for lower-income students on standardized test scores. These standardized tests serve as gatekeepers to a child’s academic future, which I don’t believe was the spirit of the Brown case.

Malcolm X famously said, only a fool would allow his enemy to educate his people. Just think about the deplorable education system and the fact that most of what is taught, particularly when it comes to history, is a fallacy. Then consider the extremely high dropout rates among our children. For example, it has been reported that in the City of Baltimore more than two thirds of all students who enter high school do not graduate.

After fifty-five years, it is not unreasonable to seek and ask that the spirit of Brown be honored with effective and meaningful equal rights under the law. I understand that public education was not created to develop minds rather it was intended to simply teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. It was created to maintain a permanent underclass. Much like it was then, a travesty, in many ways it remains a travesty for the children in most Urban Public School System’s.

I, like Dr. King believe in the dream but we have unfinished business and as it stands – it is a dream deferred. That’s why it is imperative for us to celebrate this milestone and continue the struggle as the ghosts of so many greats who died for this principle: “education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair”.

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

http://johntwills.com

 


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