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Let’s Talk About It

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What Happened To The BLACK FAMILY?

I wrote an article some time ago asking a difficult, yet profound question that needs an answer.  I would hope to get your thoughts and views on the topic. There was a time when our family structure was the envy of all other cultures. If we are to survive, we need to recognize that the family is the foundation of building a nation. So I asked the question what are the reasons that lead to “The Breakdown of the African American Family.”

During slavery, and from the 1800’s through the 1980’s, the concept of the black family was tight-knit, strongly woven, and the envy of most cultures. The African American family unit survived in spite of unimaginable cruelty and adversity. It is only recently, during the last thirty years or so that the African American family became dysfunctional and lost its direction. One has to think for some twisted reason we do not feel whole because, in many cases, we allow others define us.

If the proper behavior is not modeled for our young people and the proper education gained. Our future as a race will have great difficulty fulfilling any expectations and will change the conditioning and evolve in order to save future generations. This creates the perfect ingredients for the dismal situations to continue in our community.

I’ve have listed some of the key points/reasons in my view. My intent is to create some dialog within our consciousness as to why the black family, our community, and black people are the least likely to work together as a solid unit to the benefit of each other as other ethnic groups do. I say it starts with the family. What say you???

These are 12 key factors I think impacted and/or caused detriment to our family structure and thereby our future survival:

  1. The Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of strong, intelligent, hard working black men were shipped abroad to be murdered, returned home shell-shocked, severely damaged, or addicted. Many of which were unable to get back on track after returning from the war in Vietnam and the current Bush wars because the government abandoned them.

  2. COINTELPRO: The covert actions of J. Edgar Hoover in the wake of the Civil Rights Era and the Black Power Movements all but ensured that anyone speaking out against the government’s wrongdoings would receive either long prison sentences or bullets. This fear silenced our forward progression, fueling distrust and removing many of our leaders, coupled with long prison sentences as a result of the war on drug robbed the community of potential future leaders.

  3. The Assassinations of the 1960’s: Left a huge void in leadership that has yet to be filled, particularly within the Civil Rights Movement to include within the community. Instead, a universal acceptance of the pimp/hustler image in a popular culture that presented alternative heroes to black youth, which resonant in the form of Gangster Rap. This genre leads to the glorification of the criminal element amidst immature minds that lack familial structure. In addition to what white folk call black on black crime and staying silent while black youth are murdered in large numbers by other black youth.

  4. The Feminist Movement: Backed by liberal white women to fight for the equal rights of women; the same rights most black men had yet to be fully granted. A lot of black women got lost in the rhetoric of how men were keeping them down, losing sight of the fact that black men were down with them. To this day, the power exchange and infighting among black men and women is sadly considered the norm, a tool enumerated by Willie Lynch.

  5. Oliver North & the Contras: The volume of drugs, mainly crack cocaine that flooded the black community during the 80 to which most of the drugs came in on U.S. ships with the support of the Government. The CRACK era escalated death and incarceration rates, unwanted pregnancies, neighborhood prostitution and a culture of violence. Folks were selling their kids to hit the pipe, and selling their souls to sell what went in that pipe. This epidemic destroyed our community in ways slavery could never have done. This form of contemporary was the cruelest type of slavery imposed upon our communities.

  6. Mass media brainwashing & mind control: The influences of the propaganda machine, the gay agenda, and distorted images of beauty and male/female roles. Shows like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Dynasty, Different Strokes, and the Jefferson’s for example. The American conscious during the 80’s was money driven. Materialism became the idea that stuff defines you and others.

  7. Education: The lack of proper education, financing support, and knowledge being taught by African American professionals. Also, our leaders and academics have failed the black communities as they fled the hood in droves for the suburbs during those crazy 80’s. Before this period, kids saw on a daily basis married couples that looked like them, even if they didn’t live in their households. The great migration to greener pastures left a void in the community leaving it to be filled by the image of the hustler-pimp-thug, ruthlessness, and violence.

  8. Communication: This speaks to an education of self and listening to the wrong messengers. The communication of values – parents became unavailable to hand down family legacies, traditions, and value systems. We’re like POW’s locked in concentration camps, unable to converse thru cement walls confined by our personas, egos, insecurities, isms, etc.

  9. The Black Church: Many churches have lost their way. The business of religion is bankrupting our communities. Many churches are not touching the lives of those outside of the church most in need. Just like back in the day when it was the design of slave masters, who did so with great wickedness to use this as a tactic by offering a bible and in most instances nothing more than pain and the promise of a better life to keep us in line. This is not the same as a faith which was necessary to survive our struggles. I can’t leave out the pimps in the pulpit who have sold their souls for those pieces of silver.

  10. Urbanization – now called gentrification, they have moved blacks out of positive communities, leaving us to struggle in crime-ridden areas, and the concept of work and home were once connected. Parents were near their families, and children understood work as a way of life. Urbanization helped create “latch key” kids and images of hard work disappeared while replacing it with material objects.

  11. Social Services: The advent of the system of welfare that demanded the absence of the influence of the black man in the home. Before Claudine, during the early 50’s, welfare was a midwestern farmer hook-up, and back then you had to be a complete family to apply. So the laws for welfare changed black people, while many in the farmlands of Mid-America started to change in culture to fit the application for welfare. For decades to follow, trillions of dollars in government spending on ineffective social programs in our cities have not by enlarge benefited the mobility of the black families.

  12. Segregation: Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes that prevented legal marriages, dehumanized people, and discriminatory practices in work/education left many African Americans unable to access resources necessary to build strong family bases causing disillusioned men/husbands/fathers to abandonment rather than face daily reminder of their “failure”.

I don’t know if the question has an answer but I can say the conclusion does not have a good outcome. In order for black people to survive, we must join in unity and correct the wrongs imposed by others. I would suggest that all black people have a common enemy and one mission; dismantling white supremacy. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

We need solutions so let’s talk about it. What Say You?

PLEASE SHARE WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!!


You Should Know Dr. Ben-Jochannan

007_1000Professor Yosef Ben-Jochannan, affectionately known as “Dr. Ben” is the foremost African scholar, and an Egyptologist. He is a man who proved the world wrong with fact-based history of Africa which made a profound impact on world thinking. He taught at Cornell University for over 15 years; Dr. Ben has lectured widely on both sides of the Atlantic on the theme – the ancient civilizations of Egypt. His presentations placed him in great demand by students and community groups, especially those of African descent through an unwavering theme that the ancient civilizations along the Nile were African and the foundation of the world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“Woman I Feel You”

2Carol Paris-Ellis is a poet who writes with clear-eyed intelligence and passion. However, as is often the case her story is one born out of extreme difficulty, which has a way of fashioning the most heart-felt and sensitive art.

Carol Paris-Ellis proves this in Woman I Feel You – she writes with a purpose and with such fire as to feed the fragile flame of her art in prison. It neither comes out overwrought nor lacking in the finer philosophies. The poems in this collection shine with clear-eyed intelligence and commonsense. But the passion is so strong that readers might feel the poet speaking beside them as they read the book. She reels the reader in and captivates.

Paris-Ellis’ desire to write is strong of her life’s journey. Some of these poems were written on her knees in the Niantic prison dorm. Amidst the chaos, she asked the Lord in all humility if He would make her His poet. Such purpose did not fail to convince other inmates of the purity of the author’s purpose. They were the first ones convinced by the authenticity and talent in her work.

Pain and experience make them the best critics of all that is dross and fake in many things. There are many stylistic experiments in the book: one is inducing the reader’s eye to think that the text is growing or moving if he or she scans swiftly down or up the pages – perhaps Paris-Ellis’ visual approximation of the vertiginous way the work was written.

Prayerful, there is a refreshing gratitude and appreciation for things the supposedly free majority enjoy without fear or malice. The ones who read this shall feel a surge of spiritual strength after the experience. It is one of the gifts readers of this book will enjoy.

About the Author

Carol Paris-Ellis, a contemporary poet inspired by God. 1997: Her writing was elected into the International Poetry Hall of Fame, and her first poem, “When We Get Married” was published in “Searching for Soft Voices”. Also, she received the Editors Choice Award for her achievements presented by National Library of Poetry. 1998: Carol was recognized for her poem “A True Princess”. She received a letter from “St James Palace office of the Prince of Wales” saying his “Royal Highness”, is most grateful. March 15,1999: Carol received a letter from President William Clinton, thanking her for her message of support concerning the tragedy amongst our youth in Colorado. 1999: Carol opened the Vikkie Winans gospel concert at Kennedy High School, Waterbury, Conn with a rendition of selected poems. 1999-2000: Carol was a nominee for Poet of the Year, by International Poetry Hall of Fame. January 5, 2011: She received a Certificate of Excellence sponsored by Famous Poets Institutes for Advanced Poetic Studies. This is Carol’s first book.

Get your copy of “Woman I Feel You” Today!

Publication Date: January 13, 2012: eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4691-4521-1

To request a complimentary paperback review copy, contact the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.  To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information, contact Xlibris at (888) 795-4274 or on the web at http://www.Xlibris.com.

 


Maya Angelou Memorial Service Attended By Oprah, Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama And More

God Bless you Dr. Angelou!!! RIP


The Godfather Of Rock and Roll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The War On Poverty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


A Case For Reparations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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