Sunday, May 01, 2016

Jack Johnson -vs- Jim Jeffries (July 4th, 1910)

In a fight held at Reno, Nevada, on July 4, 1910, Jack Johnson became the first boxer to knock down Jim Jeffries, and in the 15th round Jeffries’ corner threw in the towel. The white public was outraged. Their "Great White Hope" was defeated. he was supposed to restore the crown and make America great again! In the end, there was racial violence and rioting across the United States. Johnson's victory became tragically pyrrhic for the African American public. The racial violence would continue throughout the first decade of the 20th Century and beyond.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Def Poetry - Oscar Brown Jr. - I Apologize

Oscar Brown Jr. is one of my all-time favorite entertainers / poets. This is just a taste of his work. May his soul rest in poetry.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Max Roach 5tet wt Abbey Lincoln Freedom Day 1964 HD

...a little mood music from Ms. Abbey.

Scroll Down and Click on Love

This morning, I was scrolling the different stories on Facebook and Twitter and just as the title says, I saw the good, the bad, and the ugly. Don't worry, I won't get into Clint Eastwood and his past antics, but the title fits. Anyway,  to no surprise, most of the post were about the presidential race and many were about Donald Trump and his latest comments. As I began to look at the different post, I was also led to other Facebook users who were not "friends." I went to their pages that were based in places like North Carolina, Virginia, and other parts of the south. Many of them had anti-Obama post and other post promoting "Southern Pride" replete with images surrounding the Confederate flag and the "southern way of life."

On the other hand, I went to pages that were anti-Trump. These pages either expressed wanting to do physical harm to Trump and his supporters or post making fun of the presidential candidate. There were other post making fun of southern whites - showing them toothless and smiling about their next president, Donald Trump who "don't use all them fancy words." Honestly, It all left me puzzled.

Then, there are people like me - an American citizen but just looking at all of this and shaking my head in despair. Since all of this mess began, I haven't been writing any post endorsing a candidate, and I have no desire to make fun of the other side. I certainly do not with to physically harm anyone. Up until this post, I've been mostly silent and to tell the truth, I'll remain mostly silent because I don't know what to say.

I mean, what can I say to make sense of all this negativity? All I know for sure is that this negativity has always been around. It was always there settled like sludge at the bottom of this big so called melting pot. The events over the past few years along with the current presidential election has stired up this nasty stew. But, I have not completely lost hope. We will just have to continue pressing forward. The solution? The solution is simple. In the end, all this stew it needs is a little salt and plenty of love. YES - LOVE. Pray for this country. ~Peace

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Marvin Gaye "What's Going On What's Happening Brother".

When you find out "What's Going on" please let me know. I love soul music. This is Washington, D.C.'s native son, the late Mr. Marvin Gaye.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cam and Huey: The Year of the Panther

First, let me just say that I am not associating the Carolina Panthers football organization with the revolutionary Black Panther Party for Defense. OK. Done. However, I couldn't help but notice that 2016 is the 50th Anniversary of the The Black Panther Party, an Oakland, California based organization founded by Dr. Huey P. Newton and Mr. Bobby Seale in 1966. Now, Cam Newton, an African American man who bears the last name of the aforementioned revolutionary will be a starting quarterback in the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl! That is so ironic - don't you think?

Plus, Cam Newton, along with the Carolina Panthers fan base, and Cam supporters have been trying to "defend" the fact that Cam Newton is a superior quarterback in the National Football League (NFL). Meanwhile, Mr. Cam Newton has had to endure intense scrutiny and criticism for not only being an NFL quarterback, but for being just a human being. Crazy, right?

Therefore, I will declare 2016 The Year of the Panther. I will also predict that the Carolina Panthers will be victorious in Superbowl 50. They will be victorious not only for the vindication of a superior NFL quarterback in Cam Newton, but for the defense of everyone who has had to endure unfair criticism and scrutiny simply due to the color of their skin. This is not to say that Cam Newton is definitely being criticized because of his skin color, but...  I will let readers draw their own conclusions. 

Side note: I wish you the best Mr. Newton. I wish you victory in Super Bowl 50. Prove to the world that you are not only one of the best quarterbacks to play this game, but one of the best human beings to play the game of football and life. Go get em'! God bless you. Peace~

Photo Source: "Cam Newton and His Girlfriend Had a Baby, So the Letters to the Editor Are Rolling In." The Big Lead. 2016. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday evening memories: Najee's Theme

I'm sitting at home this evening listening to some CDs from the 80s and 90s. As I am typing, I'm listening to Jazz saxophonist, Najee. I used to play this CD as new and hip music when I was a DJ at my college station, WHCJ - Savannah State University (90-94). Back then, guys would come up to me and ask for me to make a tape - you know - cassette tape. It was the 90s. Anyway, back then, I could put together a very romantic mix of Contemporary Jazz. Today, it offers me some comfort to listen to it. It's as if I am conjuring some memories from that time in my life. It's all good - all good feelings and memories of my youthful days in the late 80s. Anyway, play it Najee!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My Thoughts On Writing

Photograph: Erhan Dayi / Alamy/Alamy

Note: This is a post that I wrote 10 years ago on writing. When I read it again, I realized that the same feelings are true 10 years later. I wouldn't change a thing. There is still power in the pen!

It is a peculiar thing… this desire to pick up the pen.

Perhaps, it is born out of the desire to interpret or create life through the people that we’ve met or people that we’ve imagined. Franz Kafka spoke of his torment in writing and how difficult it was to produce a story at times. Ralph Ellison would write for years just to produce one American classic, Invisible Man. Zora Neale Hurston continued to write long after her celebrity had faded; there were dozens of manuscripts found in her personal trunk after her death.

This congenital impulse in me was conceived through the Black oral tradition. My grandmother, Eunice, was the family griot. I would listen intently to the stories that she would tell me as a child. These were stories passed down to her by her elders and she was more than willing to pass them on to me. I was an inquisitive, bright-eyed little boy with dozens of questions about who we were and who we are. She sometimes marveled at the seriousness of my questions that involved the existence of God and the purpose of man. She would usually share these stories while cooking or while she relaxed in her favorite chair. The images that she painted on my imagination were wonderful. I could see all of the characters vividly in my mind. I imagined how they looked. I imagined their lives. I imagined their hearts. These were my people, and I loved them through the stories that I heard about them.

Eventually, I picked up the pen in college and soon realized its power to communicate. I’ve always imagined that a pen is to a writer what a paint brush is to a painter. The words represent color. Honorable mention: Toni Morrison can paint the most beautiful images that I’ve ever seen on paper. These words can evoke emotion and stir the soul to take action for change. There’s power in the pen!

It is a peculiar thing…this desire to pick up the pen.

Friday, September 04, 2015


Joe Sample's Smile

Joseph Leslie "JoeSample (February 1, 1939 – September 12, 2014)
 American pianist, keyboard player, and composer.

In the early 90s, I was a Jazz disc jockey as a student at Savannah State University. I particpated in work study program at the campus radio station, WHCJ 90.3 FM. It was fun and I created a bit of fan base in the four years that I worked there. It was also my first time being exposed to what WHCJ station manager, Theron "Ike" Carter, called "real Jazz" music. I knew little - very little - about Jazz outside of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Adult contemporary music that I thought was Jazz.

One of the groups that I learned about while working at WHCJ was The Jazz Crusaders featuring Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, and Larry Carlton to name a few. I became a huge fan of their music, and I followed Joe Sample's work and would often play it on my radio show, "An Afternoon Rendezvous."

Well, after graduating from college, I continued to follow Jazz music as well as the music of Joe Sample. Fast forwarding to the late 90s, I had the opportunity to sit in on a taping of the Black Entertainment (BET) show, BET on Jazz. In the taping, I was excited to see that they were going to feature  the music of Mr. Joe Sample. I was so excited; I watched him as he spoke to different people involved with the production and I carefully watched him prepare before everything started. R&B legend, Mr. Lou Rawls, was set to host the show. Soon, he noticed that I was looking at him. Once he looked my way, I immediately smiled and said hello by waving. I think that I expressed it with such vigor and familiarity that he thought that we knew each other. His eyes squinted as he seemed to search his memory for the time that we supposedly met. I noticed and I assured him that we have never met. "I just wanted to say hello," I told him. He smiled, gave me a friendly nod, and continued preparing for the taping. I will never forget that moment.

Well, rest well Mr. Sample and thank you for your sincere kindness and your wonderful music.

Photo Source: Joe Sample. Digital image. Smooth Jazz Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Writing Habits and Inspiration Places

Mr. Wright did some of his best writing early in the morning. He got up around 6:00 A.M. Sometimes, it was earlier during the summer months. He only needed a bottle of ink, a fountain pen, and his legal yellow pad when he climbed to the top of a hill in Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn. On that hill, he would fill page after page as he occassionally glanced down on the brownstones and tenement houses near the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Brownstones near Ft. Greene

Note: A place to write is very important to me. I find it difficult to write where I live at that moment. It's too suburban and much too bland a scene. I love the comfort and safety of the neighborhood but it dosen't lend much to inspiration. So, there are times when I use my imagination and I travel to places in order to get started. What about you? Do you require a place or do you develop this place in your mind?