Archive for the ‘Black History Month Viewpoints’ Category


Here are the rules: Everyone knows how this goes yet again. And it’s really simple. No need to link or google or even #Hashtag. Today, many around the country and in the household or other areas, we Americans will be celebrating that holiday of food called Thanksgiving. From the Parades to the NFL Games, Dog Shows, or other new traditional ideas that will boost the food day. And yes, there will be us going out to the clubs and shaking off the pounds to get loose for Christmas. Or staying home for the house parties. Or just now, folks going shopping. Really?!

And yes, there will be constant reminders of the horrors that our Native American brothers and sisters will not participate in this Thanksgiving Day due to the killing of their ancestors outside of a church on a Sunday morning many moons ago. Henceforth, The National Day of Mourning. We know this. And our Native brothers/sisters are marking 50 years of that horrible reminder that is constantly missed in our schools. It actually happened.

But this holiday, yes does have the two words of Be Thankful for the things and ideas we already have. So here in its 12th Anniversary tradition, here is another traditional Stephen’s Spot Thanksgiving Blog of “Be Thankful”. Break out the tablets, Smartphones, PC’s or laptops. Start reading!

If you have a GOOD PAYING job that is good for you and it pays well for you or family, be thankful.

If you don’t have a job and still looking and STILL not quitting by going to the job fairs or making connections, be thankful!

If you have good insurance, either health, auto, home, vision, or dental STILL be thankful.

If you have a good car or truck that gets you to work every day, and still runs well with or without repairs, be thankful.

If you have a new home, or fixing up your old home, or investing in a home you grew up in and not selling it to those who want to rent out, but want it for life even more: BE THANKFUL!

If you FINALLY have a good doctor or you still don’t have one, but still want to get that monkey (and constant NAGGING) off your back, STILL be thankful about improving your health. And STILL trying. Take your time!

Now I need to say this: If you found out that you have a chronic illness like Diabetes, and you had a devastating moment of asking why it happened and didn’t have the words. But also you had conversations and online postings about those who have it already and knows the feelings of the battles, and you learn from them and they can inspire you to be better and get with the program of what they know, and still believe that it’s possible that you control diabetes and not let it get the best of you. In this month of National Diabetes Awareness Month: BE THANKFUL that you have a support system that can back you up. STICK WITH THE PLANS!

If you have a cool dentist and he or she is good and professional, be thankful.

Like any year, if you have lost any loved one this year or years past, and still feel down that the space is empty or the chair is empty, and you want to fill it up with a new generation of family members that want to pull ahead, even close friends, we must try to be thankful to carry on. It’s hard, but we must. I still miss my father, and like last year, my Thanksgiving will be different without him.

If you had folks praying for you all year for all the things you’ve been experienced no matter good or bad, be thankful that there are folks that know, and are in your corner.

If you are expecting a raise in 2020 and will be getting it, be thankful!

Do you still love your gifts and talents that are unappreciated? And still, do them all the time? Be thankful!

If you still got your parents and/or relatives as your back up, be thankful that they still care.

If you had a sibling in the freaking hospital more than once, who is being taken care of and heard good news about coming home, and I know this AGAIN: STILL BE THANKFUL!

Got any good neighbors that know you no matter how long? Be thankful.

Met any new neighbors lately? Be thankful.

Moved to a different city recently that you feel is best? Be thankful.

Moved back to a city that is best? Be Thankful.

Got a good plan to get that next step in your career, or a different career, and a mindset? Be thankful.

For all of my church folks: if you want your Church to succeed despite those want it to fail due to jealousy, BE THANKFUL that you are willing to fight!

If your birthday or anniversary is coming up or it already happened, be thankful!

If you are STILL very introverted and darn proud of it, and not ashamed to tell about it or embrace it, be thankful!

Single and not in a relationship? Be thankful.

Married with or without kids? Be thankful.

Single and no kids? Be thankful.

Single with kids? Be Thankful.

Divorced? Be thankful.

You still have a church home that you stay and willing to have your kids to grow IN THE CHURCH? Be thankful.

If you have been given a side gig, and love it to be paid with that cash money or checks, no matter what it is, be thankful.

Men, did you celebrate International Men’s Day in #Movember? Be Thankful!

Got a good pet or know a pet that knows you well? Be thankful.

If you STILL give back to your community, your Alumni, your Church, your Scholarship Committees, your Fraternity, your Sorority, your Unions or other groups that have been treating you good all this time, be thankful!

If you STILL appreciate the value of your former teachers or coaches, or former principals, of anyone that knew your value of education, be thankful.

If you put in the work to show up at your meetings even if you see the same people time after time, be thankful!

If you can’t wait to eat the meal that gives you life, be thankful you can still eat the grub.

Still avoiding fake news? Be thankful. They suck.

If you read the old blogs that I can’t control the reading, but still want to read what I want to say regardless from my black point of view, be thankful! Not just for me, but for you.

If you STILL got stuff in your house that you want to give away, be thankful. Somebody will take it.

Still fighting Racism, White Supremacy, Sexism, and others? – Be Thankful.

Got a good business handy? And it’s good for you to make that money like Uber or Lyft or It Works? Hey, be thankful!

If you switch your career to a new company in the past year or will go to a new company to come, be thankful!

Own a business? Got your own time schedule? Invested in a product or material that worked? Be thankful.

If you got many reachable sources to give, or to provide, or to share, or to support, and it’s really catching on, you better be thankful!

If you are planning to vote in 2020, be thankful! Get your ballots ready.

If you are looking forward to another holiday weekend of fun, be thankful.

If you are NOT shopping on Black Friday, but willing to spend Black Friday outdoors in the woods or parks, Be Thankful! It’s a release to avoid a violent backlash.

If you are not shopping on Black Friday, but willing to spend your cash at a local business, or on Cyber Monday, be thankful.

If you are donating to your favorite charity on Giving Tuesday, Be thankful!

If you can’t wait to finally deck your halls for Christmas or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, AFTER Thanksgiving (some of you did it ahead of time) Be Thankful.

If you criticized 45 for his “horrible so-far job” as President and his tweets, REALLY BE THANKFUL!

If you are breathing right now normally and woke up: be thankful.

If you were removed from a company that had you started in the game, then a rift in Management occurred, but went to another company that is good so far, BE THANKFUL!

If many in the black community have black pride PLUS Melanin Responsibility to uplift our black people without sarcasm and forced stuff, BE THANKFUL!

Now I have to say this: if many have given back to our Veterans or supported our military while on duty, be thankful!

If you are apart of the American Legion and have been celebrating 100 years of it’s existence, and still give back and inspiring those to join up in the Legion, Auxiliary (even now that Husbands can join) the Sons and Legion Riders, I want say yes, BE THANKFUL!

If you are walking tall real good, be thankful.

If you are expecting a really good breakthrough like this year or next month, BE THANKFUL!

If you still condemn any racist act on the internet, social media, at your job, or in the house, your church demoninaton, or in the neighborhood, or any act of disrespect, forced patriotism, and you had to write letters of complaints to a certain company, STILL be always thankful to get your voice heard! Put the pressure on them on not coming back!

If you are upgrading your house to be better, be thankful!

If you got a plan to take a vacation, be thankful.

If you still got your old game systems on a Throwback Thursday and if they still work, be thankful!

If you still listen to your old school joints on your radio, or maybe some new school material, be thankful.

NOTE: For my readers that had to go through hell with school shootings, and still feeling hopeless. I want you all to understand that it’s a hard Thanksgiving Day for you as we know. But in a sense, you should be thankful that you can rebuild. And BE EXTRA THANKFUL that yet, you are still living! And be EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA THANKFUL that a breakthrough is coming for the better!

If you are a conscious-minded person, a defensive-minded person that you know is best, for your own opinions and viewpoints without any harm or hurtful feelings towards humanity, be thankful!

For my Sagittarius readers: guess what? Our season is back! Are we thankful, now? (SAGS RULE!)

And finally: If I missed anything that many have thought about, and it’s good: we all should be and forever so thankful that we must march on. Like they say at the black funerals: It’s already been said. It’s already done.

Happy Thanksgiving!

#BeThankful


By now, Veterans Day weekend has come and gone, and yet we still appreciate. This Veterans Day marked the 100th Anniversary of the American Legion. That’s 1919 you know. Likewise like many, there are Veterans that are or were not appreciated for their service being skipped over or whatever. Regardless of the dilemmas and the regardless of opinionated thoughts, Veterans you are still appreciated! So in the ongoing honor of this Veterans Day, here is a blog letter for you.

And if you are a Veteran that likes what I write here or the comments on the Stephen’s Spot on WordPress Facebook Page or the Stephen’s Spot Twitter Page, I thank you. It’s only the beginning. Again!

Dear Veterans (and Veteran families) of the United States of America:

It’s me Stephen, a son of a late Vietnam Veteran that served proudly.

Yes, this weekend was and is your weekend. I have 4 words to share for this holiday weekend of yours: Reclaim your Veterans Day! Christmas maybe coming real quick, and Thanksgiving is next to come, but still reclaim your time! I sampled again that from the infamous Congresswoman Maxine Waters who kept constantly saying, “reclaiming my time” over and over again. But seriously, Vets it’s your time again to reclaim the holiday that is meant for you. This is your time to take the heart of this occasion to summarize all of the war stories, the valor, the parades, service stories, lectures, and also experiences that many of you endured in uniform. Those of us that haven’t done the job, we go around that having the opinionated thought about wars and many others. Of course, we have that. But however, without the will of God and you guys, that would not be very possible. Many of you have your say of what you did and yes, your commentary is still and always valid.

But the game doesn’t stop there. Matter of fact, it goes on until the wheels fall off. Even it goes on every day at work, school, church, and leisure. Speaking of the challenges, last year it was an ongoing concern about our so-called president lagging behind when it becomes the statuses of our Veterans. And it’s related to the Department of the Veterans Affairs that many of them are not getting their VA cash due to the fact that it’s an IT issue. This year’s challenge is an everyday challenge in regards to your health, education, job search and most of all, the communities. Why do I say this? every week or month, I hear from Veterans all the time, especially African American Veterans that the issues of Jobs has been a concern. Matter of fact, it’s always been a concern either as a Veteran and as a non-veteran. Homelessness is also a concern, that no one wants to be homeless on any day. In Milwaukee today, there was an idea to build tiny homes that homeless vets can get into to get fed, clothed, and yes to get a new fresh start. The first time I’ve seen the Tiny Homes was in Racine County. But now I’m glad that the Homeless vets here the city can get that chance to reclaim their obligation to get back on their feet again to get going. Speaking of getting back on the feet again: I need to address a concern. Yes, this event is coming up in Milwaukee and it’s an annual tradition, the Milwaukee Veteran’s Day Parade is on November 16th, which is ahead of Thanksgiving and yet it’s in financial trouble. Yep another Milwaukee long traditional parade is in financial trouble due to lack of funding, and further more lack of interest. According to the Milwaukee Independent Website, this question popped up in a gasping thought:

What does it say about the patriotism of Milwaukee and Waukesha corporations, and the general public interest, to actually honor its hometown veterans and active duty members, when a foreign company has to fund our local Veteran’s Day Parade to keep a half century tradition alive?

Let me stop you right there: Heard of the company called “TransCanada?” This is the company that is out of CANADA that helped funded the Milwaukee Veterans Day Parade back in 2017, sometime after the Flag Protesting took place across the country. Way after Colin Kaepernick (who was born in Milwaukee) made his stance with the kneeling when the National Anthem was playing in the background. Note to those who may have forgotten, it was against police brutality. Not against the flag, the military, the veterans, or any thing other thing that utilizing the thought of expressing the ideal of patriotism. Also in the article: this was mentionted in regarding those complaining about high ticket prices, and expressing interests but didn’t show up:

That was the question Milwaukee Independent asked in late October of 2017, during the NFL flag kneeling controversy. It came from the observation that members of the local community were willing buy expensive tickets and travel far to attend an outdoor entertainment event, and in an incidental moment show the measure of their patriotism by standing for a song that barely lasted a minute. However, those same people failed to make any time for a free event in their hometown to actually honor American heroes by simply showing up to wave and smile.

Wait, so folks who had complained about expensive prices for a ticket per say and not showing up to a free event , kind of shows that there is cheapness in the observation. Does this remind you of something? Read this portion that supports the above statements:

Milwaukee Independent: What factors have you seen affect interest and attendance in Milwaukee’s Veterans Day Parade since you first started attending?

Mary Ann D’Acquisto: That is a very difficult question – we have always struggled with getting people to attend the event. We have tried to get the word out as best we could – press releases, posters, e-mail, Facebook, and such, but it was never enough. The first year we took over the event was 2001 and it was just post 9/11, so everyone was very patriotic and we had a huge crowd. In the 18 years since, we have seen less and less attend every year. I have heard many reasons from people for not attending, like ‘it is too cold, I take my kids to the Christmas parade instead, I don’t have any veterans in my family, I donate money to the veterans,’ and the list goes on. I don’t think people realize how much it means to many of our veterans to have a show of public support. When no one is on the street watching the parade it makes them feel as though they are forgotten.

Milwaukee Independent: Has the elderly condition of World War II veterans altered plans for the 2019 parade, and what will the new format look like?

Mary Ann D’Acquisto: Yes, 2019 is the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and many other major battles in WWII. Consequently the WWII veterans are our Special Guests of Honor for this year’s event. All veterans will be honored and participate, however the WWII vets are our featured guests. In the traditional parade format – veterans are outside for almost 4 hours and the last several years the weather has been less than favorable. That lead us to plan an event that was warmer and drier with more indoor time for our veterans.

The agenda for the day is as follows, this is open to the public: November 16 at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center. 0900: Displays – military related groups and a special WWII display and performances by some of our favorite parade units. 1030 – Memorial Service. Veterans Day Parade will consist of an Honor Walk and Motorcade, it will not be the traditional 1.5 mile parade route. 1100 – Honor Walk to let our veterans know how much we appreciate them as they parade from the War Memorial over the Mason Street Bridge to Prospect Avenue. 1200 – Veterans Motorcade leaves the War Memorial to take our veterans to a reception at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino. Motorcade Route – leaves Prospect and Mason and heads west down Wisconsin Avenue to 6th Street, south on 6th Street to Canal Street, west on Canal Street to Potawatomi.

The veterans will have their coffee and donuts indoors at the War Memorial and can watch the performances from inside the building. The reception and luncheon for veteran participating in the Honor Walk will be at Potawatomi this year, so that we can have a sit down lunch where there is more room. Also, everyone can watch a documentary we are putting together profiling some of our local WWII veterans.

Milwaukee Independent: For the veterans who participate in the parade each year, what do they enjoy most about the experience?

Mary Ann D’Acquisto: The general consensus is the camaraderie of everyone being together – whether at the breakfast, parade, or luncheon. I do know, however, it has been very disappointing for them to see less and less people coming to the parade to cheer them on.

Ok, let’s stop right there. What you just saw is a portion of the interview that the Milwaukee Independent did with organizer, Mary Ann D’Acquitsto who has held the event in the city for the last 18 years. The organization is overseen by the company called, “Honor Our Military, Inc”. Which has been the nucleus of keeping things in order in the traditional Veterans Day Parade. This parade, or celebration has been going on for nearly 56 years. Which is almost a long time of honoring veterans here in Milwaukee. No matter which war campaign or era. But now in the area, and after this news hitting the fan, guess what? This parade will be on the list like the City of Festivals Parade, Milwaukee Christmas Parade, and The Great Circus Parade all faded out because of lack of money. And to think about it, when the parades was making money in all, guess what? there were more folks in the Milwaukee Area! But overtime, many folks left Milwaukee. The businesses that used to be supporters of the parade, also left Milwaukee. But a few came back. As far as financial support, guess what again, that ties into the businesses. And many also don’t know how the parade process works in terms of money! You got to have sponsors, company backers, a route, the participants, permits, and etc. That’s what it takes. And sadly a lot of folks here in Milwaukee as sad as I hate to say: THEY DON’T KNOW MUCH! They don’t! Oh, when I was reading the comments about this story, specifically from one commenter on Facebook who is “still serving” puts the blame on Tom Barrett in regarding the Streetcar, the DNC Convention and many others that are deemed “liberal”. That’s kind of false. I think the writing was on the wall that had nothing to do with the streetcar nor the convention. Blame it on the lack of knowledge and financial backing that the city encountered in the last 18 years. Blame it on that! There is your reason! Or many might say, oh it’s because Milwaukee is “hyper-segregated”. The only parades left in Milwaukee are the Memorial Day Parade, Juneteenth Day Parade, the Milwaukee LGBT Parade, a Labor Day Parade, and that’s it. No other parades not on the radar. Many of you reading this might be shocked nor surprised. It’s the truth! Matter of fact, continue to read the story and see for yourself.

Now many might say after reading this, “Oh Milwaukee doesn’t care about it’s Veterans. They might support a Trolley or a DNC Convention, or that new Bucks Playhouse called the Fiserv Forum, but won’t lift a finger or pulling the level to acknowledge our Veterans that gave so much to service.” To quote Daniel Bryan: FICKLE! How many here in Milwaukee ACTUALLY acknowledges our Veterans in the City? Even if you do support the Streetcar, Lead Water Prevention talks, Jobs, Black Lives, Health Stats of the Flu, combating racism, Men’s Movember, or the DNC Convention? How many here in Milwaukee ACTUALLY has organizations or local churches that supports and appreciates the valor of Veterans annually? What about everyday? Do you realize that there is void in the city that African-American Veterans aren’t acknowledged enough like the white counterparts that served? Come on now! I know this is Veterans Day respecting the Vets in all, but this stuff is EVERYDAY when many are not organizing. My home church, just recently just celebrated it’s 14th Anniversary in Milwaukee in honoring veterans in the congregation and it’s a BLACK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH! IN MILWAUKEE! Somebody say AMEN! I’m just keeping it real! Veterans, I love y’all but I’m just saying!

Veterans: yes your day and weekend of appreciation will be concluded, but your ongoing ideas and services on this side, will still continue. Like last year, I hinted again that you need to connect with the younger veterans who are currently starting out and settling in after their service. Many of you probably have that idea in mind. Continue to do so! Direct some ideas for them to get started through programs like the American Legion, the VA or any other organization that attracts them to support and get involved.

And one more thing: Young Vets: I need to say this again, you need to respect the OG’s that came before you. It may not be pretty, but like I always suggest that it takes respect to get respect. They are the Military Elders and been in the game longer than you! I’m just saying. As always yes, the non-vets can hear and receive advice from you about your ideas to continue our cause as we move forward. No matter if it’s a job, community time in the church, health, wellness, counseling, or any other idea that is able to do, hey we would welcome and respect it. If I were running a company or a division in a company, yes I would hire veterans in a heartbeat. Why you ask? Since many of you been in places that many of us have seen on TV, why not you? Just asking. No need to go further!

And finally, I realized that the entire month of November is “National Military Veterans and Families Month”. Or National Veterans Month. And it should be. Matter of fact that should have been on Obama’s watch. I know, it was 45’s crazy thing. But however that’s not the case. What is the case that this gives us a chance to have more appreciations, admiration of valor, celebrations and more ways to do Outreach to all of you. Regardless of your service and past duties.

So……To all the Veterans that got the welcome treatment: Never Forget.

To all the Veterans that never got the welcome treatment but got it in small appreciative tokens of appreciations later on: Never Forget.

To all the Veterans who are homeless and still keeping hope alive for the better: Never Forget.

To all the Veterans that were forgotten or being left out: Never Forget.

To all the Veterans that were never acknowledged for their service of any kind, but got acknowledged later on: Never Forget.

To all the WWII Vets: Never Forget.

To all the Korean War Vets: Never Forget.

To the families of WWI: Never Forget.

To the Vietnam Veterans and families: Never Forget.

To the Veterans of Grenada, Beirut, & the Cold War, and Families: Never Forget.

To the Veterans of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm and Families: Never Forget.

And yes….to the upcoming Veterans and families of Current war on Terror/Iraqi Freedom/etc. – Never Forget!

Additionally: To all the Women Veterans that blazed new paths and set new tones: Never Forget.

To all the Male Veterans: even though you have long historical experiences in the war in uniform, still never forget!

To all of my African-American Veterans: Historically, African-Americans have been in every conflict of wars since the beginning. Even when fighting for the flag and the country that didn’t want them due to race. These are facts, not alternative opinions altered by anyone political. Even with all this: I say NEVER FORGET!

And to all those of other ethnic Veterans ranging from the Indigenous to the European and all: yes, you too should Never Forget!

Never forget your time, Veterans. You have earned the stripes and flowers. Reclaim your Veterans Day!

Thanks to you of all what you accomplished.

Sincerely,

Stephen


Well, it seems that Black History Month 2019 is about to be in the books. And apparently that this was one of the almost weird Black History Month Celebrations that has happened. Oh, yes it’s 93 years old. And it seems that many already forgotten that the occasion is not a racist celebration. And many had to be reminded that it does matter just like the various White stories we hear almost every day at work, school, or anywhere else. I said many times before that Black History is NOT American History. It may have some American elements in all, but it’s not only American. Black History is also celebrated in different world countries like Canada, the UK, France, Haiti, Jamaica, and others. It’s not just America alone!

So what were my moments that helped made Black History Month 2019 good?

Well, let’s start with the Oscars. No, I’m not going to go toe to toe and bash the Oscars in context. But I will say this: Regina King (aka Brenda Jenkins from 227) Black Panther walked with 3 Oscar W’s in the areas of Production Design won by Hannah Beachler who became the first African-American Female to win that category. Original Score of the movie won by
Ludwig Goransson (non-black), and also Best Costume Design by Ruth Carter. Oh, at long last after 30 years in the movie game: Spike Lee (YES THAT SPIKE LEE) after all this time, won an Oscar for directing as part of the win for the movie Black Klansman. This was Spike’s first Oscar Win and many thought that it was about time that he got one. Just to think, 30 years. Since the first movie that he directed: Do the Right Thing. And even though “Green Book” was highly undiscovered, the actor, however, Mahershala Ali became an Oscar Award Winner in getting the category’s Best Supporting Actor. Later on, Green Book won the best picture of the year and yes Octavia Spencer along with Mahershala were acknowledged.

For Music: I can name many: But Gary Clark, Jr won this one. If you have not picked up “This Land” at your Targets, Best Buys, Amazons, iTunes, or Google Play, your music collections in Black History Month was not saved! The album was supposed to be launched in March, but thankfully it was pushed back in February a week after his birthday on the 22nd. Yes, February 22nd was dubbed Washington’s Birthday, but I don’t think no one was thinking of that. Yes, this was the “This Land” album that had many folks buzzing since the video woke up all being shocked and surprised, with the black folks standing on the Confederate Flags. But it also dealt with the fact that racism is still an ugly feeling of hate on someone because of skin color. And many thought that Gary was separating the races in all. BULL CRAP! Many African-American Songwriters and musicians who were and mostly all Civil Rights Activists, Peace Activists and Social Justice Warriors all talked about how bad Racism/Discrimination is. So to those who were are want to be fans of Gary Clark, Jr. after he said the lyrics: “Run N***a Run, Run back where you come from”, you need to check yourself! He’s addressing the concern that many of you probably fear to talk about it at your group events full of black folks! And I’ll bet many of you, got Black Friends on speed dial! Don’t act surprised.

Here in Wisconsin: we had a debate about who should have been and chosen to be celebrated in the badger state’s Black History Highlights. The name Colin Kaepernick was on the minds of many. The Wisconsin GOP overwhelm didn’t add Colin Kaepernick’s name to the list of achievements due to his protesting of the NFL/National Anthem. Many called him being “too controversial.” And it gained national attention. However many in the Milwaukee area, where Colin was born decided to add his name to the City of Milwaukee’s Black History Month Segments in which many deemed well received as a good thing. Many also had agreed that other activists and civil rights leaders were deemed controversial, but many were praised for their work later on when they age or pass on. And yet, that was called out on being hypocritical. So yes, the City of Milwaukee accomplished a notion that the state’s GOP failed! And how DARE the Wisconsin GOP suggested to tell us whom to celebrate for our Month of Black History?! We don’t need NO ONE TELLING US whom to celebrate and highlight. No one! Also our new elected Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes was highlighted not only on the state level, but also in Milwaukee’s news outlets for Channel 6 and 12’s Black History Month’s Segments. Keep in mind, he’s the first African-American Lt. Governor in the state.

Another highlight of Black History Month in 2019 that I didn’t see coming: Solange Knowles, Beyoncé’s baby sister bought a social media website that many haven’t used in a while and also deleted years ago: BlackPlanet. You remember BlackPlanet where black folks and other folks logged in and getting all the info about who’s who? Way before Facebook and Instagram came in slightly after Myspace, and oh that’s where I met “Stacey Heskinson” and “Mary Lee” who were FAKES! Fake hookups! That is why I deleted my Black Planet Page is because of them and others like them who almost tricked me in giving money to them trying to get out of Nigeria. Yes, that’s the truth over 10 years ago. But since then, I stuck with those who know me and that lead me to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Instagram, and others that are not tricky. And I’m sure many who used BlackPlanet then had been tricked. So I’m not really looking forward to the reunion of the BlackPlanet party, but I will say that yes if any black folks still want to go to Black Planet and revive the username and password, be my guest. But happy that Solange bought the company though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFbUqk3HSvE

Sidenote: even my denomination of the United Methodist Church had several Black History References from quizzes to Black Harry. Yes, black folks played a role in this and the tradition continues to this day as well as other denominations, non-denominational etc. Plus, several African-American Teachers decorated their classroom doors in honor of their Colleges, Fraternities, Sororities, famous figure in history, and many more! And the idea came from Facebook!

Back in Milwaukee, during the first week of Black History Month: MPS had a week of meetings, events, social plays and others in regarding “National Black Lives Matter Week”. And with the week in summary, also regarding the activities, that an idea to incorporate Black History in the school subjects everyday that many of the kids and teens can learn about other black leaders and legends other than Martin Luther King, Jr. other than Malcolm X, other than Rosa Parks, and etc. I don’t know about the other school districts, but WAKE UP! Black History is not just an “American Fad”. It’s for all to learn from. And on a side note, of course, we need to learn about our subject all the time every day like apps and tablets.  Also, one of our Milwaukee Municipal Judges Derek Mosley takes the time every February to summarize stories of Black History to social media. He’s been doing this for 10 years, and yet the summaries are still valuable for all to understand!  Follow him on Facebook!

However: I need to say something that I’ve been seeing a whole lot of #BlackHistory365 or #BlackHistoryEveryday or I’m black every month comments. I think we’re kind of missing the boat here. OF COURSE! We are supposed to summarize our culture everyday. But black folks, hear me out when I tell you at times, we DON’T hardly acknowledge our people EVERYDAY! We don’t do it like the other ethnics do all the time, everyday. The only time we acknowledge I think around celebrating our people is really around family reunions, weddings, anniversaries, the club, and yet also: funerals. But as far as more of everyday when many are not doing problems we skip over that for some reason. We go to work, school, or worrying about that thing in the Mall or stores! There was a comment asked about how can we celebrate our folks everyday and believe it or not, it was on the Stephen’s Spot Twitter Page. The answer was more like an opinionated thought of starting out basic and continue to build on the knowledge every time. Learn from those that have extended knowledge and to build your learning in summary. Of course, it’s hard to do, but ask this: If we can be so knowledgeable about Technology or the latest game, why can’t we be so knowledgeable about our history in the same context? Not just talking the talk, BUT ACTUALLY, WALK THE FREAKING WALK! Man, we can hashtag all we want, but that hashtagging better be in action! Which means also that you better not charge up your Black History in March or later months, but left it lying lifeless in February. That’s a foul ball.

And of course in Black History Month 2019, there were several problems of turmoil: Jussie Smollett of Empire was allegedly attacked in Chicago all to do with some thugs wearing MAGA attire, but apparently, it was beginning to be a rumored attack. And his character on the show is not going to happen in the last three episodes in this matter. And yes also: R. Kelly turned himself in after all this time being in the Hot Seat of this Child Molestation charges that many dodged for so long. And also recently during the Michael Cohen testimonies, the 45 administration brought in Lynne Patton whom she feels that 45 is not a racist. Well, welcome to tokenism! Have a seat next to Candace Owens about what she said about Hitler being a nice guy. STOP IT! Hitler was not a cool dude so let’s not be so petty or tap dance like a fool. And speaking of that in stupidity: the issue of Blackface reared its ugly head. Don’t get me started!

So how do we end Black History Month of 2019? We should end by stating that we always should acknowledge our ancestors that brought us knowledge and wisdom to carry forward. It’s been 2 years since my father’s passing, but I’m holding to the torch. It’s a hard job to grasp but I’m trying. Also, we need to be thankful that a month like this that started with Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1926 that got us talking about us. Keep in mind, NO ONE was talking about us! Until Dr. Woodson heard the Black Civil War Veterans talking in the coal mines in the South. And we also end the #BHM2019 Celebrations by the ongoing efforts to give our black kids a voice. A black voice to tell them that many might not acknowledge them of their talents and being black, but still, prove them WRONG! I want to acknowledge our young black kings and queens that your time is coming. Be ready and willing.

CALLOUT: And a lesson to all of us that Black History Month SHOULD NOT BE underestimated by anyone! Even if you’re black yourself!

Our proud historical events and ideas are still out in interests. And yet many of us have to begin new chapters to extend the stories. Black History Month 2019 may be already in the archives, but yet the summaries and extended plays still go on all the time. Or if you’re like yours truly: you can do BOTH by celebrate Black History Month and summarize Black History every time. No, it’s not a mistake. Keep it in the middle!

And that alone needs no permission!

#BLACKHISTORYMONTH4LIFE!
And yet, the struggle continues.


Normally, I hate to interrupt my ongoing celebration of Black History Month of 2019, but recently today, I caught an ire of a story that nearly had my blood boiling. This is the article that many of us Black Wisconsinites had to read while encountering a thing called a Snow Day:

From the Wisconsin Public Radio Website:

Wisconsin lawmakers clashed Tuesday over a Black History Month resolution that names controversial athlete Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL quarterback.

According to Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, some Republican members of the state Assembly were concerned about Kaepernick’s inclusion in the resolution, which was drafted by the state Legislative Black Caucus.

The resolution text says it aims to “recognize the significant contributions people of African descent have made, to the foundation, growth and development of our country and state.”

It includes figures like Lucien H. Palmer, the first African-American to be elected to the Wisconsin Assembly, Violette Neatley Anderson, the first African-American woman to practice law before the United States Supreme Court and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Kaepernick, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, has been a lightning rod for political debate since he began kneeling during the national anthem preceding games in 2016 as a way to protest racial inequality in the United States. He has since left professional football, but remains a polarizing figure.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said it was unfortunate that the state’s Legislative Black Caucus chose to include such a divisive figure in their resolution.

“We’re in a new era, we’re trying to figure out ways to work together,” Vos said. “We would hope they would have more consideration to say, let’s look at finding ways to work together, rather than always looking at ways to drive us apart.”

Rather than vote on the resolution drafted by the state’s Legislative Black Caucus, Republican lawmakers attempted to bring up their own Black History Month resolution. That resolution omitted Kaepernick and Milwaukee Rev. Greg Lewis, and added Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Vel Phillips, the first African-American to be elected to statewide office in Wisconsin

Chairman of the state Legislative Black Caucus, Rep. David Crowely, D-Milwaukee, called GOP lawmakers’ refusal to take up the caucus’ resolution a “slap in the face.” 

“The biggest issue that we have as a black caucus is people choosing to pick our leaders for us,” Crowley said.

The state Senate is expected to take up a Black History Month resolution Wednesday.

The office of Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, did not immediately return a request for comment about which resolution to the Senate would vote on.

https://www.wpr.org/wisconsin-lawmakers-spar-over-including-colin-kaepernick-black-history-month-resolution

Later on, in a 61-34 vote, it was almost that the vote went through, but later on afterward, the Wisconsin GOP removed Colin’s name because he was deemed as well: “too controversial.”

After reading this article, this was the stupidest thing I ever read. For the second time behind closed doors that the Wisconsin GOP who are mostly white are telling black folks what they can put into a resolution that makes them feel better. But when the name Colin Kaepernick appeared in the idea of the resolution, they all had those nightmares of him kneeling before the National Anthem. Oh, did they mention that Colin was born in Wisconsin? Yes, he’s from here! We’ve found this out when he torched the Packers. Colin Kaepernick is from Milwaukee. Grew up here. Liked Brett Favre and everything. And yes he went out west with his family after age 4 and also played ball in college and of course played in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers until he went through Green Bay and en route to the Superbowl. And lost. And of course Colin got beat by the Packers 17-3 and the majority of the season just benched. Then the kneeling started. Everywhere he went and just kneeled during the National Anthem. Why?!! We know that he didn’t take any future offers with other NFL teams. But with all the Kneelings he was protesting, later on, was against police brutality. Not against the Flag or the Pledge! And the thing also VETERANS who saw his protesting also joined his cause. Even a Veteran named Nate Boyer who was a fan of the 49ers at first didn’t like Colin’s cause, but the two got together and talked about why was it necessary. Hell: EVEN President Obama commented that Colin’s protest was exercising his Constitutional Right as a citizen. And plus, Colin Kaepernick is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. A black fraternity that was founded in 1911.

So to the so-called Wisconsin GOP: in regarding your resolution to choose whom we should recognize during Black History Month in Wisconsin is indeed a “direct kick in the crotch.” That’s almost sound is like you telling us what we can do and what we can’t do just to stay in our lanes and keep quiet. That to me as a black resident of Wisconsin is flat out ridiculous and I dare say racist! Majority of you probably never had the ability to acknowledge the legality of Black Wisconsinites of the contributions we made here in all of the 170+ years that the Badger state has been in the union. Thusly, you haven’t known anything. Probably never attended a Black History Month or Juneteenth Day Festival or anything that pertains to the ongoing contributions of Wisconsin’s African-American Historical Aspects. For once, I’ll say in regarding not including Colin Kaepernick in “your” Black History Month Resolution is really stupid! You labeled him as a “controversial figure” all because of his protests of the Flag, his Pig Socks, the National Anthem and amongst others. And you label him as a controversial figure. You know who was a deemed a controversial figure that was deemed hated and many folks after about 50 years since his assassination is still admired: that’s right, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oh, I can name another controversial turned likable figure: Muhammad Ali, who had to relinquish his championship belt in boxing because he refused to join the military during the Vietnam War. But many liked him! Juan Carlos and Tommie Smith, whom in 1968 had the black fists raised and head bowed on the podium in Mexico City, And oh…..they were controversial, but many now are liking them after their gesture. And keep in mind that 1968, MLK was killed, along with RFK months later. Another controversial figure that stood up for civil rights for the female side of things: Fannie Lou Hamer, who stood up for the movement fighting for the right and encouragement to vote in the south then was beaten up for her act of protest along with her supporters. But most of her cause, she progressed forward. Even after she questioned the statement regarding the idea of black folks were being murdered for their rights to vote such as: “Is this America?” to a convention in 1964. And oh: Remember Rosa Parks, whom as we know refused to give up her seat on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama? Yeah, that one. And that was deemed controversial!

So what does of all this mean? I highlighted a few African-Americans most we know by reciting events, examples of protesting, and speeches. But THEY COLLECTIVELY were criticized for being controversial. But many years later are being admired as part of the movement and want to effect change. Even other men like Malcolm X, other women like Dorothy Height, and countless other African-Americans that fought for EFFECTIVE CHANGE!

What I hate to say that the GOP of Wisconsin does not give Zero F’s about black folks. And the population of the African-Americans in the state is roughly under 8%. While is ok to recognize the black leaders in the state for various contributions is fine, but to not recognize Colin Kaepernick and for the Activism/Philanthropy he has brought: such as Anti-Police Brutality, Youth Initiatives, Community Reform and Minority Empowerment, Health Reform and Nourishment, and Climate Change Awareness. And additionally, he donated $50,000 to two organizations here in Milwaukee a couple of years ago. So this guy as many looked at being un-Patriotic, in all, with the flag in all, looked controversial, but at least he’s doing something right to address the ongoing concerns of America’s dilemma dealing with racism and countless others. Even this biased BS crap in Madison of a controversial resolution of Black History Month!


So here it is yet again. For the 93rd time, Black History Month is back once more. A time that many will celebrate the traditional version of highlighting the celebrations and accomplishments of black folks and also the ongoing summaries taking about us every day.

And of course, there are those who are so, confused and racist, there are going to be some village idiots who might question again about why there is no “White History Month” that already plagues us every day with the lies buried until generations later will dig up and asking about the truth. Oh, there will be a spoiler alert that many will put out hashtags like #BlackHistory365 in all just stay engaged. Oh, they’ll be engaged with the hashtag for a while, but I’ll ask if you’re stopping the #BlackHistory365 thing by mid-July, then that makes you a hater. No, more like not being responsible. Not being responsible for what YOU put out and not keeping up with the responsibility that YOU put out every time. Yes, I am directing this to the Black Community and I mean it with love! The keyword in this is RESPONSIBILITY! You put it out, you be responsible for it!

So the ongoing asking question yet again: why February, why not every day? I wish we can summarize our history every day, but every day in the calendar year, we work, go to school, hang out at the mall, buying up Air Jordans or iPhones. Or maybe many of you are doing this right now: checking your social media boards about some meaningless and sometimes positive meme or some so-called story of positive vibes. Of course, we say we should study our history and stories every day, BUT WE DON’T do it EVERYDAY! And what I’m saying, is not very new! It’s not new!

I hear folks all the time that “they should teach this in the schools” speech, but to those who say that, guess what, maybe the majority of you mentioning this should become Black History/Multi-African History Instructors in the classrooms and study halls! Oh, did you realize that many teachers are quitting right now? Why is that? How many teachers in the Black History Category quit last year in 2018? How many actually resigned? If you are one of the many who quit, you need to have an explanation. Was it the kids, the teens, or the so-called grown folks that know so much?! Or was it some so-called street smart teacher that didn’t get far as much? Let’s be real.

It’s really interesting that many have to chose the angle about celebrating this way of every day all calendar year. Me personally, I prefer a balance. A balance between highlights and summaries. For many, yes you can still celebrate the highlights of Black History Month. Of course, who’s going to stop you? If you are Black and have been told to not celebrate you, they are flat out stupid! If you are Black and still celebrate Black History Month, and by contrast, SUMMARIZE black history daily or weekly or monthly then guess what, you’re safe. You can do it both ways. Not just wide left or wide right. It goes in the middle. Keep it balanced! Forget about what your friends say and I dare say your family thought to believe at one point, your own point of view stays. I’m talking to those who felt neglected and tricked. This is the truth that many should be following anyway.

Oh, and about the quote that Black History is American History? it’s whack! Not all Black History is American History. Not all Black History is Canadian History. And the same is with the UK, France, Germany, Egypt, South African, and many others that celebrate the history of African Decent citizens. Yes, the idea of a Black History Month Celebration by Dr. Carter G. Woodson did start in America. But let’s be realistic: When folks say, “Black History is American History” per se in a stupid manner, it’s really talking about African-Americans in general IN America. But that excludes the international folks who are not American. That’s why I say it’s a false statement. Not everyone who is black is American. When you talk about BLACK HISTORY, you are addressing the whole black audience, WORLDWIDE! Does this make sense? It should.

So yes, for the 93rd time, we will be once again educated and summarized on why this occasion matters. It does matter. Matter of fact: #BLACKHISTORYMONTHMATTERS Our race of people did and does matter. And will matter as long as folks are misguided or need the guidance of knowledge and truth. And even also, yet to be discovered. So yes, it’s time to bust out the centerpiece one more time for the occasion and summary and celebration for blacks, by blacks, and many others to look and seek. Black History Month is not a time to react to racism from those asking when there’s a White History Month. White folks: NOT TODAY! Or any other folks of color non-black, I’ve mentioned this years ago, you need to hype up your minority months. Just a thought.

Now, I don’t need no one’s permission: I got a Black History Month centerpiece to set up.

#BlackHistoryMonthMatters


Testing here. Ok!

Ok so now we are about two days removed from one of the most talked about midterms in history, I like everyone else is bone tired from the ads and also the get it over with the mentality of getting through with this election!

I think in this, Wisconsin had made another historical feat of this election. Yes, I said it!

So, answer me this Wisconsin folks what do you think was the determining factor of this midterm election? I’m going to say this I believe that the most common, and the most interesting and the most determining Factor was when Tony Evers and Scott Walker were in the dead heat of the governor’s chair. And eventually, it had a lot of twists and turns along the way. I had to admit, it was a lot of twists and turns in which that ultimately led to this one final decision that Tony Evers eventually won the election over Scott Walker. Man, we have to ask, how did Tony Evers pull this off? I mean for real how did he pulled this off? If you have been following the Tony Evers connection, you would have known that number one, Tony Evers is well known in Wisconsin. Particularly as a state superintendent of the schools. And two, that his supporters who wanted him to run kept it on the real down low. So yes, he worked like a ninja!

While on the other end, we all know by now that Mandela Barnes will be the new Lt. Governor for the State. On this point, he will be the FIRST African-American Male to hold that position. EVER. Wisconsin in its 170 years as a State in all, has NEVER had a black person to hold a position of Governor or Lt. Governor. I’ve asked in the past, when will Wisconsin have someone from the Black Community to be Governor or close to it? Well, it appears that the Lieutenant Governor part is done, but next in the future, the head Governorship is well in reach. Oh yeah, I’ve met Mandela on several occasions and yes he is an alum of my alma mater, John Marshall High School in Milwaukee. Speaking of that: when word got out that Evers and Mandela won, yes I shared the news article on my alma mater’s Facebook Page. There were about over 100+ likes on the Milwaukee Marshall HS Alumni page and yes there were many positive vibes. However, there’s always that one member that had to say something negative and dumb. The commenter brought about Mandela and this thing about “ratchet parties”.

In 2009, there was an advertisement on Facebook about this event called, “Vicky Parties” It was a lingerie party. And yes, Mandela’s name was attached to the event. Plus, he was just 22 years old. Now OK, a lot of us who are older than 22 years old can obviously say “well when I was 22, I didn’t do those things. I kept out of trouble and worked hard after college in all that.”

Don’t get me started! Yes, I was 22 also, and the thought about me going to ratchet parties was not even thought about. And guess what, at 22 I was still in college. A technical college in Milwaukee. Had a job working between classes in all and still living with my parents. So what? But in the case of Mandela Barnes though, this story that happened in 2009 means nothing! And yes the commenter on the Milwaukee Marshall Alumni Page ain’t saying nothing else about this 9-year story that MEANS NOTHING! Was Mandela arrested? Did he get booked? Was he even suspended without pay? Fined? What was the crime for this?! There were no booking papers. No arrest warrants. None of that. So what was the real crime here?! That story then and now means nothing and it’s still nothing. For all those who feel that especially that fool on Marshall’s Alumni Page thinks that this incident or story is not appropriate for him to serve the people of Wisconsin, you need to check 45 about him grabbing women by the Vagina Parts in all and oh, he won 2 years ago. Why is Trump NOT IN JAIL?! I’ll never know.

With them being the big winners in the State, the challenge of them will come up in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 to battle the now Republican-led Assembly that might limit powers of the Governor’s position out of the mouth of Speaker Robin Vos. And others who feel that it should have been Walker all the way. Well, this I think “power decrease idea” of Robin Vos is a high crime that needs to be broken because this is the same group of fools that were in favor of driving the way of the High-Speed Rail, budget repair bills, bragging about the 250,000 jobs (which NEVER HAPPENED) busting up Unions that was fairly well respected, slashing Education funding, Foxconn, not letting Hard Rock build a casino in Kenosha and many other blunders that the soon to be former Governor Numb Nuts had messed up! And the barrier of this, many of this really started in Milwaukee where Walker was using computers on company time as County Executive. Oh, don’t you remember that? This soon to be former Governor was just that: dumb! And this is the same guy was going around with his high school diploma and failing college out of Marquette University? This guy?!

So after 8 dismal years of pain, in the state of Wisconsin: Walker IS DONE! He along with Rebecca Kleefisch (a former Milwaukee Channel 12 reporter mind you) can pack their bags and leave Madison. They have done their damage and yet they can go. Let them get their lack thereof acknowledgments and all and after that: BE GONE!

Now I want to shift gears here: I need to talk about the role of African-Americans and this disdain of one person’s opinion of being black and voting should not be vital. Press play.

Black Conscious Folks: shut your mouths! I’m just listening to Roland Martin’s segment on Tom Joyner’s Morning Show. And a lot of us have been telling other black folks that we shouldn’t be voting and such.

If many of us on social media got these so-called conscious folks that have no endgame, no purpose, no goals, always pointing the finger at others but not themselves, thinking they are all smart and such other things: let them go! Take them off your lists, your contacts, your buddy lists and get them off your life right now! You don’t need some so-called conscious fool who thinks like Malcolm X or an Original Black Panther telling you not to vote and it doesn’t have a goal for political objectives. You all who have them on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, and countless others: Delete them! Take them off the list. They are not worth talking to.

All of our lives, politics have been in us. From the Cradle to the Grave. It’s going to impact all of us. And it still does. So I don’t want to hear some fake conscious dude about “oh don’t vote, there is no black agenda….” Look here: If you want a black agenda you need to step up your game and actually work to create one! Why don’t you create one that could benefit the valor of the BLACK COMMUNITY?! Oh yeah, we know it, BUT how long can it be valuable?

Black folks, I know we are conscious proud people. No question. But again, we need to stop listening to all these fake conscious negroes that telling us about this disdain about not voting and other stuff. And that goes for following folks on your Social Media lists who feel that all Pastors are evil wearing Fake Jesus Shirts being a demigod. Or believing that so much about them and not about many. They don’t have an answer. Just opinions. Bad opinions!

Well to conclude, Wisconsin: we got work to do. In the words of our state motto: FORWARD!

Now that’s true, On Wisconsin.


If anything today while at work and the classroom taught us today, it’s about one word: Respect.

We all just witnessed the homegoing, or funeral of Aretha Franklin. Whom we all know died 2 weeks ago in her home in Detroit at 76 years old. And to think that she died on the same day decade wise as Elvis Presley, whom passed at 42 in 1977. The fact of the matter is, Aretha you really can’t say too much about her. And yes she had her “rival” moments selling the shade of those wanting to get into her personal realm. But all in all, respect was the keyword.

Like many artists before her, she was raised in the church. Her father was a minister in the south before migrating north to Detroit. And yes, we all know about Detroit and the Motown Sound which also escalated during the Civil Rights Movement. Like many others in the famous side, she was honorary pledged into the black sorority of Delta Sigma Theta, and I’m sure many that heard about this sorority, like assuming. If not check with your friends whom are apart of the Divine 9. Plus the Deltas had conducted a “Omega Omega Service” for their departed honorary Sorority Sister. Now if anyone has been to a funeral in which a Fraternity or Sorority member is funeralized, they usually have a moment of reflection and towards the end, they declare that the deceased member is apart of the “Omega Chapter.” Omega is the end, by the way. Many of us will have an Omega Service in a somewhat fashion in our departure.

Now, we know the hits from Respect, Pink Cadillac, A Rose is Still A Rose, Rock Steady, and even many Gospel hits. Winning numerous awards, even acted movies like The Blues Brothers. For her live performances, we can talk about the Grammys, President Obama’s Inauguration Day ceremonies, and such. But I also saw her doing renditions of America the Beautiful on which wrestling program you asked? WrestleMania. Both at the Pontiac Silverdome and also Ford Field. Now I want to say something here. When I looked at the WWE Facebook Page about her, many of the “WWE Universe” had no idea who she was. Like really. For all of you wrestling fans who don’t know Aretha, does the WWE Network still work? I’m just asking! Do you still google in all? Hello!! Do any of your relatives or black folks you know have any Aretha Franklin songs or albums in the house? You better study! You better ask questions! And that goes for those whom are under 21 and into trap music.

Fast forward to the long nine hour funeral. Oh yeah it was long! If many folks complain about long church services, I’m sure you probably complained about the long preaching, long songs, testimony off script, the eulogy didn’t match up well enough, the dozen of families, dignitaries, special guests, folks protesting about (oops) Donald Trump, and oh it wasn’t just a Homegoing, it was also a time for action of what’s going on in the country. Oh yeah have we heard this before when Coretta Scott King was remembered? And George W. Bush was hammered! Don’t act like we know!

Some of the positive highlights of the service:

Rev. Al Sharpton and his comments about mistakenly spelling respect and telling folks that Donald Trump should use the word describing Aretha.

 

Rev. Jesse Jackson and the part of him commenting about famous deaths and minimal voting lines.

 

Michael Eric Dyson and that knowledge. Plus the shade on 45:

 

These to me were the highlights of the funeral as Aretha was remembered. And yet, even many questioned it. But it had to be said at this funeral because of what the country is going through despite the commentary of 45. You say, what was all the Civil Rights and Activism about? This is supposed to be a funeral! Um….it has happened before. Reference AGAIN Coretta Scott King’s Funeral from 2005 and there was a lot of talk about George W. Bush’s blunders of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and many others. Go back and read it.

Now, music-wise: I’m not going to say, Ariana Grande. But I will say, Jennifer Holiday, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, and yes Stevie Wonder. All to me were the highlighted singers that cameout to perform.

Plus we cannot forget, Cicely Tyson who was the oldest in the room giving the knowledge and truth as she always does. When Cicely Tyson talks, we all better listen.

Of course the funeral couldn’t be without the commentary from her family mainly her Grandchildren whom were raised well. And yes there was support from the men, whom looked after Aretha to check on her to make sure that things were well kept and taken care of. Oh, by the way the men were black looking out for the Queen!

Now let me shift back to Ariana: And that touching thing….let me say this: the bishop who of course apologized to Ariana had his hand according to the live footage, was near Ariana’s breast. And many called foul that he shouldn’t have his hand near there, and of course many of the former church crowd cried foul of the hand as well. And if you are of the “former church crowd” that pisses on the church so much, why does this concern you? And I’ll agree sharply that the way it was: totally disrespectful. But as a bigger man, the bishop did infact apologize. He was in the wrong. And of course that when things go wrong on live TV, they go wrong! So yet he did apologize. However, many were calling for his head to be charged or sued of the “illegal touch”. Dude, he hasn’t been charged! There was no indication about him going to jail, or facing court. Until I see any DOCUMENTED PROOF about him being charged, and found guilty, and having his title and leadership stripped, and being banned from his church in all, then you can kick his butt! I haven’t heard the remarks of Ariana. She hasn’t said anything. Not one sentence. Nothing! Come on #MeToo movement! Where are you? And keep in mind that the jury is still out. And here’s the thing: many of us don’t know the Bishop Charles Ellis III well. We don’t! We don’t know him, his education, his family, his finances, and justly we don’t know if he went through a background check.

So if you call these Pastors “janky” after one tiny mistake, that is out of bounds. We don’t know him! Even you non/former church goers should know better! And no I’m not defending him.

And as far as the minister who did the eulogy Rev. Jasper Williams. I will agree that eulogies should be about the deceased. All the way. But if you eulogize or give your final analysis of a person that is not matching, it’s not cutting it. This reminds me of my cousin’s funeral from 2002 in Milwaukee that the minister gave the eulogy but his comments was about George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. But it was not about my departed cousin, who was killed at 21 years old in late July of that year! So I get where the Franklin Family is coming from on that part. On the other hand, the minister’s sermon was like the talk of the town. Folks still slamming it. Then there was a news conference about what was said. This is stupid! Was it a slow news day? Of all the things popped up on Social Media, as well as news outlets, you have this man, this minister had to further explain his eulogy of Aretha Franklin to a worldwide audience after mostly it was sharply criticized. You got to be kidding me! In the words of my Dad. Again, like the bishop, we don’t know him nor done a background check! Many folks already said that he told the truth. In regarding black households not up to par of what was previously. And many houses need to turn back into homes. And to think, partially many kind of missed the mark completely.

I hate to say it but many of you whom are sensitive at darn near everything, and I know many of you are in school and college: Take a class on Public Speaking! Please take that course! Not only take the course, but also learn about “tone”. I’m not talking about music tones, I’m talking about tones in the speech. “Tone” is related to attitude. Um….hello! Learned that back in high school in the 1990s, actually my Senior Year called American Authors. And one of the items for discussion was: “On the Pulse of the Morning” by Maya Angelou from 1993. It’s 25 years old now, but still it’s one of the best toned poems out of the 20th Century. Oh, it was Bill Clinton’s Inauguration.

What will go from here? Besides Aretha’s music. Her videos from the Blues Brothers singing Think. Us Milwaukeeans remember her performing at Summerfest 3 times and the last time I saw Aretha perform was at Summerfest in 1996. And the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra was on stage at the time, during the 4th of July holiday. I kind of shy away from that, but now after her passing, I was glad to see her perform but also glad to see a piece of black history. A piece of Civil Rights History. She was woke before woke was a thing. Not only she was woke and conscious, she acted on it. Not just saying some one liners to get all engaged. Like many before, its hard to pickup the torch and carry it forward for another era. But I think that we know that Aretha’s lessons of her life and entertainment will long be remembered and really can’t say nothing bad about it. We can’t. Now some may argue about her not having a will or not being married. But the fact of the matter is, her mark was felt by many those who packed that church on that August 31st morning, and mostly stayed for 9 hours. And the broadcasts like BET or Bounce TV having to stay on for the 9 hour duration. Plus, even having the now former TV One host Roland Martin filling us in with the summaries via Twitter. Look: I need to say something. When I was looking at my Twitter feeds, there were dumb questions on why Roland was tweeting during a funeral. I think we all know that he is a journalist. And part of what he did, Aretha liked! There were times folks called me out for Tweeting in Church, but guess what it is part of my communications ministry. It’s part of my job! So to those whom say that, I dare you to try it. See how it feels. Oops, I’m sorry, many of you are sensitive! Just let us do our jobs and you can do yours. If you have one.

Overall: between the 4 dress changes, performances, Pink Cadillac Cars, poems, proclamations in all, it was really about one word: R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

 


PDVD_038

Oh, is it Independence Day? The day of the 1776 that many were “partying?” Oh yes, it’s July 4th. The 242nd Anniversary of the Independence. And yes like before, we can celebrate in all. Plus I dare say to comment this: The Struggle Continues!

Why do I keep saying, The Struggle Continues? I keep it as a reminder that no matter what happens in life and in our daily lives, the struggle of the ideas, objectives, faith, financial, manhood, womanhood, your sexual preference, voting ideas, marital status, and other things we hold dear like a musket still continues with this struggle. Even being black and conscious about our black-selves is a struggle EVERYDAY.

Black folks: we know that already that a day like this may or may not favor us likewise. When this day of Independence was established as we know, our people was not partying like everyone else. Others may ask why, we know that SLAVERY and BONDAGE were a factor of us not celebrating the fireworks. It took 89 years, (that’s right 89 years) for us to have our share of freedom when Juneteenth Day was created. For you the non-black audience this is part of history that many (and MANY) slept over. We get caught up in the hype and we forget that there were cracks in the ground that didn’t get covered. Think about this, the next 4th of July Holiday will be in 2019. The same 2019 when we will summarize the last slaves arrived from Africa in 1619. We’re talking on the real: 400 years. We will be saying 400 years alot next year. But when that happens, we’ll recognize it and surely it will be summarized that will make 45’s hair snap out! We can talk about the use of Patriotism in the country. But for us Black folks here me when I say this: We are Patriots too! When someone on our social media folks says that black people aren’t patriots, they are lying. We are patriots due to the speaking out of Police Brutality. We are patriots speaking out on our Black Lives Matter every time! We speakout on the hate on us being denied of jobs, homes, assistance of medical and finance, where to shop, having our say of education, voting, innocent lives getting killed, and many others with the moniker “Amerikkka” in all in the addressing the thought and issues and concerns about this country that really affects us! We have to address it! And the reason being because is if anyone is not going to address our issues, we have to do it. That is OUR patriotic duty as citizens to upkeep the words that Dr. King once said as an example: “Be true what you say on paper!” That is just not being patriotic in our way, but it’s also being held accountable for the things and issues that get put out there! Yeah, we have a patriotism in our own right. And you don’t necessarily have to wave the Red, White and Blue all the time. The real patriotism is in your heart and your viewpoints. I just had to say that.

Frederick Douglass even questioned that when he asked, “What to the slave is the 4th of July? Martin Luther King even ask that question more than just “I Have A Dream”. Rosa Parks even asked about that question when hanging a banner about those being lynched. Malcolm X was questioning that very often about the formality of Black Excellence/Nationalism being questioned along with peace and freedom. And many countless others said the same thing whom were and are African-American and having the balls to do it. In his last 4th of July as President, Barack Obama commented about “imperfections in our union”. And he was right. And still there are imperfections today that still need to be tackled right now.

Currently, we are still speaking out. Even Rep. Maxine Waters of California still criticized the antics of Donald Trump. Yes, Auntie Maxine is speaking the truth like it or not. And many can hate all they want. Even some Democrats need to shut up and listen of what’s really going on. And oh, they and others want to her to stop talking that jazz and having civility. You want to talk about civility?! And all that talk about her inciting violence? What a joke! The real joke is the 45 acts of stupidity. The real joke of seeing that stars and stripes side by side with the North Korean Flag which almost make me puke. The real joke is hating on Harley-Davidson Motorcycles for the criticisms about this American made product that is Milwaukee Born being some of the jobs being shipped overseas and of course some of the employees probably favored Trump. Plus would this act stains the 115th Anniversary? And even rolling back the ideas that Barack Obama placed regarding the Affordable Care Act, College Admissions and others were classified as a joke for Trump. And all that so-called “Make America Great Again” stuff is nothing more that a fake revolution to bring to light. It’s a farce! Even separating families at the border for no apparent reason. And black folks we know the feeling of separation as many times explained how our people were on auction blocks being sold into slavery. And generations in the future are putting the links together to assemble our family trees.

Why I am saying this on a day like today? Why many are saying, “Stephen this is our country’s birthday. Leave it alone”. WHY?! Come on, now! I am like a Patriot that is addressing the concerns that many are afraid to touch just like everyone else. And no I’m not hating the Vets like many of you. My father served in the Vietnam War, an UNPOPULAR WAR mind you that was hated by many. This year would have reflected 50 years since he came home from Vietnam and when he got back, he like many others were disrespected by being called “baby killers” from the same folks who probably then waved the flag for support. Even though that the Vietnam Vets that I know and knew served in the was that wasn’t all that, they still served, period! And now 50 years later, they are just getting their just due for service. Well, I need to ask where was that love for them 50 year ago when they returned? I’m just asking and saying at the same time.

Despite of all this, yes we are lucky to have this time. But however we also recognize that it has not been easy. We have to grind every time to get to our objectives and goals. We can still be bold of our Independence but we still have alot of work to do. Even with this crazy So-called President that many right are realizing that Hillary might have been a better choice. There are many of us have been saying it. But……like Roland Martin says on Twitter: #WeTriedToTellYa!

So with all that, we still got work to do. We still got to weed out the wickedness that plagues us very badly. What that means is we got to do better. Like former VP Joe Biden once said that America is a better country that this. We can be better and will be better. Not just with a catch phrase. But with the actions behind it.

Well, as they say: The Struggle Continues!

#Happy4th

#IndependenceDay

#242

The Struggle Continues Red White and Blue


Today in America, we honored Dr King again. But for this, it’s the 50th Anniversary of his untimely death at age 39. King was tragically killed in Memphis, Tennessee at the former site of the Lorraine Motel, now the National Civil Rights Museum. The original setup of the hotel is still the same, but the museum enhanced the notion of what happened on that day of April 4th, 1968.

But for us who where born AFTER King’s Assassination, many of us don’t feel that we knew him, but yes he was part of us in his speeches, video and also now with the concerns of black men under King’s age are being gunnned down harshly! The Black Lives Matter units, Non-Violence Organizations, and many other revived civil rights related groups, it’s no wonder that the orater of the 20th Century still lingers. And of course, the closest we got to know MLK, was Coretta Scott King, and Yolanda Bernice King. We know Dexter King, but now it’s shifted to MLK III, and Elder Bernice King via Social Media. We know them!

So this blog letter is for us born AFTER April 4th 1968.

For those of us born after 1968, it’s me Stephen, you know the spot guy?

As usual, we have reached the 50th year of the one of the worst tragedies in our American history of the killing of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We know the date well in our view based on the history books and video sources. Plus also for those of us old enough to remember, we know that it took a while to create and promote the MLK Holiday, which was later officially to make it every third Monday annually in January. It was a long process but it was worth it.

We all know that there are those that we pluck about how Dr. King was this “peace loving” individual only. But however we overlook “the woke” Dr. King in terms of his ministry lessons being called to action. As a matter of fact, we all overlooked it!

In this 50th year of him being gone and many are still asking like, “what if King didn’t get assassinated, and lived to see the current status as of right now?” Or what if this and that? Let me tell you, Dr. King would be not pleased that the lessons he flowed didn’t flow enough for us to follow. We may have dropped the ball many times and flopped! The times we looked at the quotes and speeches of his, yes we were inspired by “I have a dream”. But many times I think we failed reading behind the words why “I have a dream” mattered. You can have all the peace events, and activities all you want, but what happens when we go home? What happens when we go back to our jobs and other activities that we engage in? What happens when we take those photos and post them on our social media stuff and we wait another year to comeback, what are we doing in between? Are we really doing the job? Are we really marching for a purpose? Look there is nothing wrong with marching at all. But what is really wrong with marching afterwards is the aftermath. When we look at this in the next 50 years, many our kids whom are young will be grown. Many of us will be around in a sense of being in nursing homes or I hate to say it, bound for heaven. Death. Pushing up dasies. And other factors leading to our final tributes. And there are those of us who might keep pushing the buttons in terms of staying in the struggle. This is not a quick fix. It takes a long haul! If you are just being woke and conscious putting out memes on Social Media, and act as an “keyboard gangster” then technically you are failing! That’s what many are doing in the 21st Century. You are not putting in the work. Saying one thing can be half the battle, but the other side of following through is another. Yes, that includes me. We all F-ed up. We got all caught up with the hooks and verses but not reading the whole song!

So yes, we know that if Dr. King lived currently, he would’ve been disappointed. And even though we made great strides in our realm, even he said that we still have a long way to go. Even he mentioned about Black folks were told to “pull up by your boot straps”. But Dr. King stated this in 1963: “It’s alright to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.

Sounds like that we didn’t have the boots to pull them up! And I wonder why it is.

So yes, even though that Dr. King has been dead for 50 years, and Coretta has been gone too. And even though Yolanda Bernice King the first daughter is not here to see her siblings trying to keep up the King name in a positive way, it’s a long haul. But I see an idea: Yolanda Renee King, the granddaughter. I hope that she’s able to take on the family name in a new way. And I get she’s young. But I’ve heard her speak. And knowing that it’s a matter of time we all get to know her as much as the previous King family members. I want to get to know and willing to read about her of her path and ideas to keep moving.

So yes, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z, we have been living off the freebies, but it’s time for us to get to work! Enough of the crap. If we want this, we better go get it!

Sincerely,

Stephen


Ok, I need to say something about this. Women, and those women who read my stuff, quick question: have you really had a blessed International Women’s Day? I’ll leave that up to you to ponder.

My emphasis is really focused on your day being asked the same tired question about this: “When is International Men’s Day?”

Oh don’t lie. Many of us dudes and yes some of you females been asking about a day that is set aside for the men to rejoice of being recognized. Yes I’m talking to you! We’ve seen it over and over again: November 19th. Annually. Every single year. And yet we get mad. Wanna get mad? Get mad and vote out the Republican fools that follow the “Make America Great Again” stuff. And yes Women, in regarding this, some of you probably voted or rooted for Trump in 2016. Tried to tell you.

Now let lay in the horn on the whining. Why was there was “whining” about a International Men’s Day on the International Women’s Day of March 8th?! Taking a deep thought breath here. I can list two to four:

1) Information is Power.

2) Folks are searching for knowledge. Repeated knowledge that many know.

3) Folks really want to know.

And 4) Google and Wikipedia are really a rally source that many don’t access or choose.

There are choices here. I did a Google search here without falling off the cliff last year. I saved my energy for saving of searching for an International Men’s Day. And also I realized that the International Men’s Day does have a website. Matter of fact, here it is:

http://www.internationalmensday.com/

And the theme for 2018: “Positive Male Role Models”.

From the website, these are the objectives:

Objectives of International Men’s Day include a focus on men’s and boy’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care while highlighting the discrimination against them.

Okay…what else?

According to the website, this year in regarding Positive Male Role Models”.

Many boys today don’t know what it means to be a man because they don’t have a man in their lives. Sadly, children will go to bed tonight without saying goodnight to their father because he just isn’t there.

Nearly one-fourth of America’s children live in mother-only families. These frightening statistics are similar to a lessor or greater extent the world over.

More than likely, a woman teaches them at school and at home. So, where do they see and interact with positive male role models? Or, how do the boys learn what it means to be a man? Television? Movies? Internet? On the street?

Even in homes where the father is present, research shows that the average father spends less than 10 minutes a day one-on-one with his child. In our society, emotional and spiritual fatherlessness is becoming the norm. Many of today’s fathers did not have positive role models to show them how to be a father, so they are not there to show their children what it means to be a father.

No matter how great a mother is, she cannot replace what a father provides to a child. Irrefutable research shows that mothers are typically nurturing, soft, gentle, comforting, protective and emotional. Fathers tend to encourage risk-taking and to be challenging, prodding, loud, playful and physical. Children need a balance of protection and reasonable risk-taking. If a positive male role model isn’t around, there is a void in this child’s life. Children without positive male role models are more likely to be involved in criminal activity, premarital sexual activity, do poorer in school and participate in unhealthy activities.

Studies have shown that involvement of a father or a positive male role model has profound effects on children. Father-child interaction promotes a child’s physical well-being, perceptual ability and competency for relating with others. Furthermore, these children demonstrate greater ability to take initiative and evidence self-control.

Okay….So how can men of any kind be more in the lives of children, especially with no kids that they want to support?

Via the website:

  • Encourage positive male role model involvement in your child’s life if you’re a mum. (Mother)

  • If you’re a non-custodial dad, make the effort to visit with your children more often. You can also be very intentional about teaching them important life lessons.

  • If you are an educator, encourage fathers to be more active in the classroom.

  • You can influence the lives of children in your community be being a positive male role model.

  • Faith-based institutions and programs can bring fathers together with their children. Additionally, they can encourage male role models to engage children in their sphere of influence.

  • If you are a community leader use International Men’s Day on 19 November 2018 to celebrate Positive Male Role Models and give awards for the same.

  • Business leaders can encourage employee involvement in community efforts with children. For example, you can promote mentoring with organizations like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, youth groups, Boys Club or Girls, Inc.

More from the site:

The November IMD is a significant date as it interfaces the popular ‘Movember‘ charity event and also with Universal Children’s Day on Nov 20 with which IMD forms a 48 hour celebration of men and children respectively, and of the special relationships they share.

The ability to sacrifice your needs on behalf of others is fundamental to manhood, as is honor. Manhood rites of passage the world over recognize the importance of sacrifice in the development of Manhood.

Men make sacrifices everyday in their place of work, in their role as husbands and fathers, for their families, for their friends, for their communities and for their nation. International Men’s Day is an opportunity for people everywhere of goodwill to appreciate and celebrate the men in their lives and the contribution they make to society for the greater good of all.

Methods of commemorating International Men’s Day have included public seminars, conferences, festivals and fundraisers, classroom activities at schools, radio and television programs, Church observances, and peaceful displays and marches. The manner of observing this annual day is optional; any organizations are welcome to host their own events and any appropriate forums can be used.   

Does this sound like an idea? We see this all the time, but this is more on a international level regarding all men. No matter with kids or not.  International Men’s Day is the youngest of the two. This was started in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago. International Men’s Day is young. It’s a young international holiday that highlights the achievements and accomplishments of Men in the world.

Now many are probably (AGAIN) joking around and want poke the bear about the day that is way young than International Women’s Day.  It’s kind of obvious that there are those who want to know about the day of International Men, but have NO IDEA what the day is about. Where as International Women’s Day comes every year and yes WOMEN, some of you have no idea why you have Women’s Rights. That’s the main reason right there!

And I, unlike those who didn’t  advised me, I had to do my homework on my own. I had to research International Men’s Day on my own. And I had to summarize International Men’s Day ON MY OWN. NO male and NO female never told me to do this. But as a Man, A black man born in America, I had to do my study time and to familiarize myself about this 19th Day of November. We know that this day for us Americans ties in with the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln.

But on a black history level courtesy of BlackAmerica.com:

Even though this date in black history has little or no effect on International Men’s Day, but there are other events that happened on this day before a thought of a International Men’s Day had ever been thought about.

I’m glad that now, that there is an International Men’s Day that us MEN can actually take an opportunity in to talk about our concerns, joys, problems, and to be celebrated for what we do. And even though there are naysayers and haters on both men and women who feel the equality thing should be all the time, it’s not. The haters who call some men, whinny or bitter of asking the same tired question without reason are just haters themselves. They don’t give enough information. All they tell you was or is “November 19th.” That’s it. And no other reasons why. I’m a type of person wants to know “what else happens on this November 19th day” that we should about besides the infamous International Men’s Day.  That is missing! The homework of that is not finished.

Someone (a female mind you) suggested that International Men’s Day should be a day to highlight concerns or something that men really care about. And she’s right. And also it ties in the “Movember”awareness of men’s health awareness. And originally, voting. (For us Americans who vote in November).

For all the mean tweets, stop it. You all ready know. That goes for BOTH men and women!

From the Time and Date Website: Representatives from organizations such as the UN expressed support for the event, although it is not an official UN observance. A petition has called for the UN to make International Men’s Day an official UN observance in the interest of equality.

CALLOUT: Gents, we got to hype up our day in about 8 months. Get prepared RIGHT NOW! And keep pushing the thought of International Men’s Day on the calendar!