Tag Archives: war on poverty

Resurrection

African American remains a nation of people living in a notion without a nationality. Some will say, America has a black president – how could that be? Well, this speaks to the institutions within the context of society that dictates the continuation of the system that exists within the country. It is because of this system, which has been in existence from the founding of America that has caused the demise of people of color.

Let me speak to the concept of leadership according to Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who wrote the powerful novel “The Mis-Education of the Negro” in 1933, or there about, challenged his readers to become empowered by doing for themselves.

He said: “Regardless of what we are taught history shows that it does not matter who is in power… those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they did in the beginning.” This speaks volumes.

I believe, if you can control a man is thinking you never have to worry about what he thinks. I will speak for me, no matter how messed up the world is and the minds of man; I am glad God made me! We must take responsibility for ourselves because life demands the survival of the fittest, just like in all other parts of the animal kingdom. As a people, African Americans have waited far too long and become much too dependent on those who are in charge of the system.

Therefore, I say it is time to remove the shackles of bondage that mentally remain in many communities and in the minds of man. Malcolm X once said, “We spend too much time singing and not enough time swinging”. Let me be clear, I did not repeat this statement to advocate violence. Rather to suggest that we have spent centuries believing, following, and listening to the messages communicated to us by those who control our destiny – making us believe that there is a better place for us when we are dead. I say we have a right to live NOW!

I want to propose an idea that could be the answer to our salvation. There is about 38 – 40 million African Americans living in America. If each person contributed one dollar per week; it would add up to forty million dollars. Multiply that time’s fifty-two weeks; that’s over two-trillion dollars annually. We have people who run some of the world’s largest corporations who could manage that money – invest it and make more money and as such many of the problems we face would go away.

Overtime we’ve won many civil rights battles, which should never have had to be fought as human beings. Yet, we still don’t have the necessities we need to survive. So I say, as tenacious beings, it is time for survival and the time is now – if for no other reason than for our children. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Have you worn your hoodie lately?

http://johntwills.com

Legacy – A New Season 

AMAZON

Just a Season


What if the Tea Party was Black?

thWe have witnessed during the November election the repudiation of the Republican ideas, who I often refer to as the 21st century Citizens Counsel or maybe more appropriate James E. Crow, Esq. lest not forget that there remains a vigilant fringe out there like the Klan that may go away for a while but always resurface. It’s the “Tea Party”!

The “Tea Party” is a reference to the Boston Tea Party, a protest by colonists who objected to a British tax on tea in 1773 and demonstrated by dumping British tea taken from docked ships into the harbor. Some commentators have referred to the Tea in “Tea Party” as the backronym “Taxed Enough Already”.

The Tea Party movement is composed of a loose affiliation of national and local groups that determine their own platforms and agendas without central leadership. The Tea Party movement has been cited as an example of grassroots political activity, although it has also been described as an example of astro-turfing. The Tea Party movement is not a national political party; polls show that most Tea Partiers consider themselves to be Republicansand the movement’s supporters have tended to endorse Republican candidates. Ergo, Klan like in nature!

The purpose of this post is not to educate or empower you on their platform or extreme right-wing agenda. Rather to ask a poignant question. What if the Tea Party was an organization or a group formed by Black people? Or Latino; Or any ethnic group other than those we see participating? I lived though the 60’s and saw groups protesting for basic human rights destroyed and the leaders killed.

When they say, they want to take back their country – most of us can hear what they are not saying. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

You must watch the video and you will get the point.


The Blood Done Signed My Name

About The Book

Are the sins of the father and mother visited upon their sons and daughters?

Undoubtedly damaged, Honey Lamb, like many, is a descendant of an unfortunate legacy of molestation, addiction, murder and bad decisions. For as long as she could remember, she believed the unhappiness she experienced was somehow bequeathed to her. The blood that surged through her veins seemed to be tainted and she often wondered about the DNA she possessed. Experiencing more than her share of misery at the hands of her mother, an alcoholic; the source of all her woes, Honey believed she’d overcome her seemingly checkered path all by herself when she met and married, Mason; a man she loves beyond her own understanding. Unfortunately, unsettling memories emerge to crack the veneer of her seemingly happy existence. Feeling unable to escape what she believed to be her destiny, Honey makes a decision that may have ruined her life. Not realizing God places people in our lives for His purpose, she reluctantly embarks upon a journey that will open her heart to a divine inheritance. Will she accept what God has already given to her or will she shun the invitation of salvation and allow her familial carnal legacy to continue to the next generation? Will she come to understand that Jesus’ blood redeemed us from a self-defeating existence because He became the sinful inheritance for us while at the same time eradicating it forever, giving us a spiritual blood transfusion that would change us all?

About the Author

M. Ann Ricks, (Melissa Ann), is a Christian Fiction novelist residing in Bear, Delaware with her excellent husband and two awesome sons. She is a graduate of Rider University and formerly a national accounts insurance executive.

Using Jesus Christ as her example, as He shared many parables, she creates stories with fictional characters that contend with real life issues and inserts the Word of God to communicate the genuine and unfailing love of God while making it abundantly clear that Jesus is the ONLY answer. M. Ann is determined to tell the world how wonderfully awesome Jesus Christ is and can be in our lives if we just allow Him to be. She is honored to be used by God to spread His message with the stories she creates with the leading of the Holy Spirit, knowing that He will provide her with stories and the words that will lift up the name of Jesus as He promised that if He is lifted up, He will draw all men to Him.

M. Ann is also what one may consider a motivational/inspirational speaker but she prefers the term, “Godspirational” as one may only be truly inspired, transformed and receive true revelation when hearing the uncompromised word of God. M. Ann also continues to utilize her group insurance knowledge as a Benefits and Network Consultant. Lastly, M. Ann is a Group Fitness instructor as she is determined to keep her natural “temple” fit and ready for the Master’s use!

M. Ann is the author of Awesome Wonder: The Gift of Remembrance ,The Son. the much acclaimed, third novel, THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME.

PROLOGUE

Northern Italy, 1918

He hadn’t washed in weeks. The countryside was crawling with “Kraut” and all he could do was think about the full lips that said his name with uninhibited desire. She made him feel invincible and he needed to believe he was. He would have done anything to have and to keep her.

Those eyes…

She moved over him like a cunning feline. Under her spell, he promised he would keep her brother Tanner quiet about everything. He had no idea how he was going to silence the man who had become his friend, but he wasn’t going to let anyone ruin their plans. As he walked back to camp after visiting a makeshift latrine, his thoughts took him back to their night together. Intoxicated by cheap wine, he’d agreed to the pact. She was beautiful, strong, and most of all, determined. He wanted to believe that they would have a good life once this useless war was over.

After settling into the muddy trench, he saw something almost imperceptibly move. Italy could have been a beautiful place if it wasn’t for this God forsaken war, he thought, rubbing his eyes. He was unbelievably fatigued; so much so that foliage seemed to be moving by itself. He closedhis eyes and opened them again to focus. Was there someone or something out there? He couldn’t wait until he was back in the U. S. of A. More importantly, he couldn’t wait to be with her. He could still smell her. She was a vision… a sweet temptress.

Author  Websitehttp://www.mannricks.net/default.html

Email: Godsauthor@mannricks.net

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/M-Ann-Ricks-Literary-Creations-Author-Melissa-Ann-Ricks/33259926513

Book Trailerhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1umSjMGuUYI#!

Book Orderinghttp://www.amazon.com/BLOOD-DONE-SIGNED-MY-NAME/dp/0615452736/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351943201&sr=1-1&keywords=m.ann+ricks

E-Book: http://www.amazon.com/BLOOD-DONE-SIGNED-NAME-ebook/dp/B0091XBCDQ/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1351943201&sr=1-1

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-blood-done-signed-my-name-m-ann-ricks/1111952288?ean=9780615452739

http://johntwills.com

Legacy – A New Season 

AMAZON

Just a Season


“Legacy – A New Season”

John T. Wills announces that the long awaited sequel to the epic novel “Just a Season” continues with “Legacy – A New Season” is now available. It is the continuation, yet a standalone story, that will take you on an awe inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora. Give this must read gift of empowerment and knowledge this holiday season.

PRELUDE 

If you were to reexamine the time in which you’ve lived, you will come to know that the reason we live is to die. The question then becomes what happens between the years of one’s birth and death. This is without question a quandary that each of us will face. In the novel “Just a Season”, I referred to this specific period of earthly existence as the dash that will be placed on our final marker between the beginning and end dates of life’s journey. This period of time can only be characterized as a journey because this tiny little dash represents the whole of your life.

It’s been said, there are no words that have not been spoken and there are no stories that have never been told, but there are some you will not forget.  Just a Season is that story. It chronicles what has been called a contemporary “Roots” with a reviewer saying “this is the stuff movies are made of… I have not read anything that so succinctly chronicles an African American story.” Another reviewer said, “Not since The Color Purple have I read a book that evoked such emotions… transports the reader directly into the life and struggles of the main characters…”

I am honored to have been chosen to channel such an epic saga to the world. With that said, I am reminded of a powerful statement once made during a sermon by my childhood pastor – Reverend Cole. He said, “Unless and until you suffer enough pain, then and only then, will you reach deep inside and feel the breath that God has breathed into your soul coming eye to eye with your destiny”.  I’ve pondered that profound statement my entire life and it continues to deeply impact my life.

It could very well be because I’ve lost my son that I have come to embrace this message so profoundly. There have been a number of reflections from those early days at Friendly Church that continue to touch my spirit. Specifically: “Why Jesus wept?” As the story goes, Jesus was so moved as he witnessed the pain of Mary and Martha weeping for the loss of his dear friend, Lazarus, that he also wept. Today, I understand that emotion because I have felt such pain. This might explain why I was chosen as the vehicle to share such a powerful story that will surely live far beyond the season I’ve been given.

Just a Season is a historical narrative that begins with a grief-stricken father visiting the grave-site of his beloved son who was killed in a tragic automobile accident – a dreadful moment no loving parent should ever have to face. The main character, John Wells, asks himself a philosophical question as he views his late son’s final marker. “If the tiny dash placed on my marker were to tell my life’s story, what would it say?”

What emerged from the pages is a legacy of true benevolence and grace that I believe is destined to be become a literary classic. This luminous story is a riveting portrait into the life of an African-American man who, in the midst of pain and loss, journeys back in time to reexamine all the important people, events, circumstances, and intellectual fervor that contributed to the richness of his life. Moreover, the main character relives all of the significant events affecting the African-American Diaspora, over a fifty-year period, providing a perspective of reality to the unfolding history.

As the story ends, like in the blink of an eye, John reflects upon his life’s journey realizing the irony that we come into the world crying while all around us are smiling.  Then, we leave the world smiling while everybody around us weeps. This thought causes him to recall another powerful sermon Reverend Cole gave explaining this phenomenon in the simplest of terms. The Good Reverend said, “This period of existence we call life in the final analysis is Just a Season.”  Then with a deep sigh realizing that the story must end, as stories do, he leaves the cemetery slowly walking past his loved ones resting for eternity; pausing briefly to look back in the direction of his son’s resting place and says, “I will always love you.”

As he nears the crest of the hill walking into the abyss of time, he pauses at his grandfather’s resting place, seemingly unable to take the next step. With tears flowing down his face, he gently touches the headstone of his grandfather and quietly asks him “to look after my son”.  At that moment, he fondly recalls the last thing his grandfather said; “life is not just a race you run. It is a relay. It is now your responsibility to pass the baton.” Somehow, John finds the strength to look toward the heavens saying softly that “I have to be Granddaddy now. I just hope my grandson will love me as much as I loved you. More importantly, I must make sure that he tells his grandchildren about me.”

It’s been several years since this epiphany led me to tell the story of this man’s epic journey.  Many have wondered if it was a true story, miracle, a blessing or, simply a fairy tale. I will only say that “Just a Season” is a must-read story that reflects the audacity of hope, pain, and struggle of a people. It will most assuredly touch every emotion as you travel through time, as you relive a life through the eyes of an African-American man living in America the Diaspora.

In the end, John sorrowfully leaves the cemetery at Friendly Church that day feeling as if God has forsaken him. But his conviction is strong in faith and he knows that faith is the instrument to believe true what is not seen. With all the strength within, he refuses to drown in his tears; rather he is committed to swim in his blessings knowing that God has not forsaken him because the wonders of life spoke loudly.  Blessed are those who believe and have not seen which is tomorrow and tomorrow holds his “Legacy and A New Season”…

http://johntwills.com

Legacy – A New Season 

AMAZON

Just a Season


In The Spotlight Author Toi Moore

It gives me great pleasure to welcome esteemed Author Toi Moore – “Dubbed the Celebrity Author” – to the John T. Wills Book Tree Radio’s “In The Spotlight”; Wednesday, November 28th at 8:30 PM (est). Author Toi Moore is back with another blockbuster book – “HOW TO GET BILL COLLECTORS OFF YOUR ASSets!” A book that helps readers with ways on DEBT SURVIVAL. She is also a nationally syndicated author of newspapers and magazines such as Billboard and Upscale who has over 350 bylines to her name.

Toi has also written five other books which include “Not Quite Good Enough”, an Erotic Comedy; the celebrity endorsed book, “Unbreakable, A Guide to Understanding Marriage and Relationships” which focuses on the 20 plus years of being married to her professional guitarist husband Greg “G. Moe” Moore; “Mind Games”, a mystery thriller; “Momma Please Forgive Me”, a fictional story reflecting domestic violence; and How to Self Publish on a Shoestring Budget In 10 Easy Steps, which is an instructional booklet that encourages readers to follow their dreams of seeing their names on a published book.

She is called the celebrity author because of her work with several well known celebrities, entertainers, and VIP’s such as: OPRAH WINFREY; musical legends EARTH, WIND & FIRE; Presidential Candidate HERMAN CAIN; Boxer LAILA ALI; singer JAMES INGRAM; actress VIVICA A. FOX; Boxer SUGAR SHANE MOSELY; Radio personality SHIRLEY STRAWBERRY; Motown song writer LAMONT (Holland, Dozier, Holland) DOZIER; Nasa Officials, Former Los Angeles Chief of Police BERNARD PARKS; Fubu clothing designer, founder/CEO & television show ‘Shark Tank’ co-host and cast-member, DAYMOND JOHN; Founder of Operation Hope JOHN “HOPE” BRYANT; Jazz Saxophonist BONEY JAMES; and singer JAHEIM to name a few.

In addition, my very special guest, the esteemed Author Toi Moore, will give away a FREE 30 min session of ‘PICK HER BRAIN’ to someone wanting to ask questions about publishing and/or writing and give someone a PERSONALLY AUTOGRAPHED copy of one of her books for FREE. Don’t Miss this opportunity!

LISTEN TO THE SHOW:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/johntwills/2012/11/29/the-book-tree-radio-show

Call in and welcome this amazing author at 718-506-1699.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/johntwills

Slideshow: http://www.toimoore.com/photos.php

http://johntwills.com

Legacy – A New Season 

AMAZON

Just a Season


Najee Ali “Q&A”

In his newly published memoir, “Raising Hell,” Najee Ali takes readers inside the eventful life of a controversial figure — one whose journey from fearsome gang member to one of Los Angeles’ most recognized civil rights figures has played out largely in public. He recently sat down for a conversation about the book, some of the powerful forces he has confronted and how personal challenges have informed his life as an activist.

Why did you decide to write a memoir?

I wanted to chronicle the important events that have transpired not just in South Central L.A., but also nationally. Over the last 20 years, I have worked with, or for, nationally celebrated figures that include President Barack Obama, Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, Rev. Jesse Jackson and the late Michael Jackson. “Raising Hell” gives an insider perspective into what those experiences were like. And also, I wanted to reflect upon the tragic murders of Latasha Harlins, Sherrice Iverson, Tyisha Miller and Trayvon Martin and discuss how we as a community responded to these community crises. The book is a story about adversity, hope, change and redemption. It’s a blueprint for young Black America, to help them overcome the personal challenges they may face in their own lives.

You were born Ronald Todd Eskew. Tell us about changing your name, and why you felt that was important when you converted to Islam.

My conversion to Islam 20 years ago was a life-changing moment for me. Islam — as practiced by over one billion Muslims worldwide — is the faith that professes that, I’m not against Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or any religion. I respect everyone’s choice of worship. I just prefer Islam. That’s what spoke to my heart. With a new faith, I chose a new name. I wanted to choose a Muslim name of African origin that I thought best fit my personality and had a meaning to it. My first name means “strong.” It was inspired by my favorite jazz artist, who I was listening to at the time on the radio, as I was making up my mind about my new name. My last name was inspired by the greatest boxer to ever live. From then on, I would be called Najee Ali.

A lot of your activism has centered on cases of police misconduct. Today, what is the state of the relationship between law enforcement and Black communities?

It’s a blessing to see that real, substantial change and police reform has come to the Los Angeles Police Department — based on not just my activism, but all the other activists, as we all fought tooth and nail to ensure change came after the Rodney King beating. We contributed some important work to help ensure our civil rights would be better protected, so things have improved in the last 20 years. But we still have more work to do to ensure the LAPD continues to have transparency and accountability in their dealings with the community.

Over the years, you’ve taken on some pretty powerful individuals — Rep. Maxine Waters, L.A. City Councilman Bernard Parks come to mind, for example. What has your activism cost you?

My activism hasn’t cost me anything. It’s my and the community’s job to hold them accountable when they’re not serving the community’s best interests. No elected official is above reproach. My activism has gained me the respect of the community of South L.A. I’m a homegrown grassroots community leader, who the community knows would never sell them out and have always fought on their behalf to help save lives — from negotiating gang truces to leading protests for social justice. I have been on the front lines for over 20 years and will continue to be, regardless of the cost.

In your book, you speak very candidly about your mother’s battle with addiction. How does that experience shape your view of the War on Drugs?

It’s a failed war. We need to focus on education, prevention, intervention, and treatment; we can’t arrest ourselves out of this war. I’m hopeful that our new district attorney, Jackie Lacey, will ensure that defendants with substance abuse problems can continue to receive treatment and not jail time.

As a Muslim, what are your views on Islamic extremism? What do you think about President Obama’s Middle East policy, with the use of drone strikes and other controversial methods related to the War on Terror? 

Islam is a faith practiced by over one billion peace-loving Muslims worldwide. Unfortunately, our religion has been hijacked by religious fanatics and extremists who have tarnished and damaged the image of Islam worldwide. Their terrorist acts don’t represent true Muslims or the teachings we follow in our holy book, the Holy Qur’an, which forbids terrorism. The American Muslim community, while calling for peace, should also call for President Obama to review some of the policies his administration is employing — with many innocent lives lost due to errant drone strikes. Our government is still holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and the Patriot Act that was signed into law in the Bush Administration is still a threat to all Americans’ civil liberties.

You write very vividly about your participation in the L.A. Riots, which almost cost your life when a storeowner whose business you were vandalizing pointed a handgun at your chest. Twenty years later, do you think that kind of civil unrest is ever justified?

No, it’s not. Dr. King once said that, “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” Twenty years after the civil unrest, relations between the African-American and Korean communities have improved. And we have to continue to communicate with all members of the community — regardless of race, or religion.

You took a lot of criticism, some of it from Black people, for your advocacy on Michael Jackson’s behalf. To a lot of people I spoke to at the time, they felt as if you were condoning what was seen as a very strange lifestyle. Has there ever been a cause you regretted becoming involved in?

I never condoned Michael’s lifestyle. I was publicly critical of the position he put himself in. But I have a lot of love and respect for Michael and the Jackson family. I knew in my heart he was innocent and would not just sit quietly when I knew he needed my help. I’m proud to say I have helped everyone I could help from the famous people, to the gang members in South Central L.A. I have always tried to help people. I can’t have regrets for helping. I would only have regrets if I didn’t help.

Your protests against Tavis Smiley and Cornel West have gotten headlines in recent years, over their outspoken criticism of President Obama. Do you think this president owes anything specifically to Black America?

President Obama is not the president of South Central L.A or Harlem. He the president of the entire nation. Tavis and Cornel were out of line and disrespectful to the president and tried to undermine him, it seemed, every chance they got with their phony “poverty tour.” Poverty didn’t just start with Obama in office; it was there with Bush and Clinton, and they were both silent. We get the first Black president in our lifetime and they start with the name-calling and attacks on him. President Obama does have a responsibility to Black America to support our agenda, in the same manner his administration supports other special interest groups. Unfortunately for Tavis and Cornel, it’s not what they said — it’s how they said it. They created a perception, of their own doing, that they are Obama haters.

If you were given one do-over that you could use at any point in your life, how would you use it?

I wouldn’t change one thing in my life. If I did, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I love serving the community and my life. “Raising Hell” is a testimony I can now share with others and a legacy to leave behind.

Raising Hell: A life of Activism

http://johntwills.com


And Our Story Continues

We’ve spent the last three years revisiting what we thought was long past. Witnessing the vitriol of those who want to recreate what I call Brownsville, you know, those segregated places mandated by law as a result of the wretched system of “Separate but Equal”; more commonly known as “Jim Crow”. I have tried to resurrect the ghost of the greats that changed the world, which have caused me to live a life promised to all Americans. Having said that, I readily admit there is still a long way to go.

On Election Day this magnificent journey and life’s promise continues with the reelection of President of Barack H. Obama. Since I started THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVES I have shared the African American journey that is without question the greatest story ever told. Maybe I’ll say this more succinctly by quoting Jesse – “From the outhouse to the White

House”. The irony of this was that Africans were dragged onto the shores of this place the slaves called “merica” to now having a man of African descent in the White House as President.

This evolution brought about our acquiescence to political agendas, abdicating our own economic self-sufficiency for the greater good and most working diligently for the economic well-being of other people. Since the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were written many have died for the rights described therein and we continue to fight for equality.

Since Black History month only comes in February it’s time we appreciate it every day. I want to leave you with this thought from “The Mis-Education of the Negro,” the most profound novel ever written in my opinion, originally published in 1933 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who is known as the father of Black History Month. I might add that this book should be mandatory reading for all African Americans – young and old.

The thesis of Dr. Woodson’s book is that Negroes of his day were being culturally indoctrinated rather than taught in American schools, or not even given the advantage of education. This conditioning, he claims, causes African Americans to become dependent, seeking out inferior places

He challenged his readers to become empowered by doing for themselves, regardless of what they were taught: “History shows that it does not matter who is in power… those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they did in the beginning.”in the greater society of which they are a part. This assertion is clearly evident nearly eighty years later.

This goes beyond the imagination, irrespective of the many promises that have been made and broken, that fairness exists. Don’t worry, we have been taught that when we die there is a place where there is a mansion with streets paved with gold. Be that as it may, let’s agree with the great Curtis Mayfield who wrote: “people get ready there’s a train a comin. You don’t need no ticket. All you need is faith to get on board… you just thank the lord.”

I have said and believe that Black History Month is “Black History is American History”. We have witnessed the first man of African descent elected president of these United States and nothing more significant has happened since the resurrection of Christ. I am thankful to have lived to see what no one living or dead ever thought would occur. God Bless America President Barrack Obama and the greatest story ever told continues!

And for those who want to succeed from the Union. We have seen this movie and how did that workout for them. And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…

http://johntwills.com

Legacy – A New Season 

AMAZON

Just a Season


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