Today is February 1st, 2012. The first day of Black History Month 2012 which is one of the most recognized (and not racist) celebrations on the calendar.

But today we lost a legend who was indeed a legend with soul. You know the name Don Cornelius. And know the name of Soul Train. Just so you know that I was born in the 70’s when the show came out. I did watched the footages in later years when it was in it’s peak during the eighties and nineties until 1993. And an additional 13 years until 2006. But Soul Train wasn’t just a show. It was a statement. There were times that my African-American folks had to bust down doors and borders to make way. Lots of us know probably don’t know that. But what I have learned that Soul Train was the black side of American Banstand, and stood the standard for standing up proudly. No matter if it was the 70’s with the funk music of James Brown. The R&B music such as Aretha Franklin, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight & The Pips, and The Four Tops. The 80’s in which artists like Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J, Run DMC, Fab 5 Freddy,  and Shalamar came out.The late 80’s and  The 90’s of course had hip hop with Public Enemy, Snoop Dogg. Until 2006, it was passed to Shemar Moore to command the ship.

The dancers from Rosie Perez, Cheryl Song (aka the Asian lady with the long hair) Nelson George, Jody Watley, and all have made their mark. Of course I talk about Yo MTV Raps and others. But Soul Train to me was the blueprint for those other shows. Never forget the Soul Train line! Some of you probably do soul train line at your weddings, dinner functions, picnics, class reunions. Admit it! You have soul now! The name Soul Train has grown from a show to Award Shows. Even it was endorsed by Afro Sheen Hair Products, a first for African-Americans commercials.

Technically, Soul Train opened new endeavors. In which most of us, and especially African-Americans to learn and appreciate the value.  It also opened the door more for Hip Hop, and also yes, Caucasian artists like David Bowie, Elton John and yes Teena Marie. It opened the door to fashion from the Afros, to the Braids, to the High Top Fades. From the Bell Bottom Pants to Hip Hop Jeans. From  Local to National. From Hosting to Producing.

Talk about Love, Peace and Soul. It was important to have that then, and is what is needed now. Especially in 2012. We need to have the Love, Peace and Soul monkier in Milwaukee, where 50% of African-American Men are not working based on variety of issues. Including Racism. We need “Love Peace & Soul” NOW  in ways to mend fences, stop poverty, get healthy, and more importantly ending the constant bickery, mockery, and insane tyraids against those we don’t understand nor things that we don’t comprehend at times that are neutral in American culture. EVEN if it’s against President Obama, or against the new right to vote with Voter ID’s.

Don Cornelius ran his race. He ran it for 75 years. Part of his years during the Civil Rights Movement, was dedicated to Soul Train. Which overall, in my book, had his soul to shine.


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