Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category


Well readers, the rules are back. My rules in which many must follow, or to simply just to give advice. For this it’s the new traditional Stephen’s Spot Rules of Summerfest. Reviewing again for 2019. By the way, we all know last year that the park celebrated 51 years. But it’s the 52nd year in it’s Golden Age, the fun is still the same. As always a reference: consult Summerfest’s rules of the park here. By the way, I am crediting the park with most of the information I know just to clarify.

First, let’s go over what I said last time in a long sentence mixed with something new. Many of you veterans of the park already know, yet again. Rookies, pay attention! And to those whom been away or seem to try to find your way back, consider this as a refresher course.

Since Summerfest is very well known in Milwaukee, I know about the place well. I first volunteered at the place at the then African World Festival in 1997, saw some shows, and worked in the late 90’s plus the year of 2000. Hard to believe that 20 years ago this summer, I was working there! I know the gates, security things, and the places to park near and far from the venue. So if you ready to party like crazy, start learning and reviewing. By the way, I don’t currently work for the company, BUT I KNOW the rules and regulations for my experience.

1) Summerfest as everyone knows is 11 days starting June 26th to July 7th. Except July 1st. And everyday there will days where you can get in free. Learn it! Especially the timeframes given. Like today, there was free way to get in for donations for the Hunger Task Force from Noon – 3:00pm . Please PAY ATTENTION TO THE TIMES! And pay attention (PLEASE PAY ATTENTION) to the news, internet, social media platforms and radio promos about Summerfest as well. Oh, Summerfest will be open on the 4th of July.

2) The park does have information booths. Need a program? They have them. Or for you mobile folks, you can download them via the net or straight to your smartphone. Your choice. Oh if you got the Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this past Sunday or the Shepherd Express, you might got a program with the paper.

3) CALLOUT WARNING: Listen Up! If you are an out of towner and have been stuck on the Wisconsin highway for about 2 and half hours getting to the park, that is your loss! The reason why I’m saying this, because when I was working for the company, I got hollered by a man (a white disgruntled man from Illinois mind you) about him being stuck on our highways for two hours. He verbally asked for the manager and the freaking former mayor John Norquist of all people. I am not making this up. This is a true story working at the main gate back in ’99. Keep in mind from my experience, Summerfest Security doesn’t control the freeways for the patrons to get to the park. My advice for you Wisconsin visitors (that yes the traffic will be hectic due to construction mostly, or the 1st shift folks going home, 2nd shift folks going to work), get there early!!!!! Like a day early. Or hours early when traffic is not huge!!! (Yes Illinois, I have NOT FORGOTTEN!)

4) If you ever think that you’ll be videotaping for your own personal use in or near the park (i.e. camcorders/video equipment), don’t record nothing! Knowing security they will take away the recording devices. They got rules for that. And the same goes for the Amp! Leave the camcorders at home. But there is one exception: If you have credentials from a performer or media organization like Fox 6, Channel 4, or the Milwaukee Courier Newspaper that might be fine.

5) If you’re about to pick up a ticket for a concert and if you run into a member of Security or Admissions personnel to pay them for the assistance to wait or ask questions to assist, don’t even try it! Buy the ticket and get an early pick up, or a mailing.

6) Cameras (mostly small cameras) are allowed on the grounds. It’s cool. But in the Amp, Nope. They won’t allow it. Don’t try it. BUT, like camcorders if you have credentials from a performer or media that might be fine. Also, and no selfie sticks. They won’t allow them. Sorry!

7) Like bathrooms, and merchandise areas, there are ATMs on the grounds. Be sure to spot them just in case you need that extra green.

8) Leave your weapons of Swiss army knives at home! The red shirts will take them, as well as any other suspicious item that is deemed dangerous. Just a word of warning.

9) Usually the workers in the colored shirts don’t reveal their names. Best advice, know their numbers! Like 563. Or in this case: Red 563. or Yellow 450.

10) CALLOUT: For the first time goers: Summerfest attracts big crowds. Just a word of warning. Again the park attracts crowds!

11) Best thing to ride at the grounds: Besides the arcades and the interactive stuff, the Skygliders. Take them. It’s legendary and use your cameras for sky pics!

12) Don’t be afraid to help those who don’t know much about the park. Give them some pointers! Now, if you can’t be at Summerfest, but know what the day schedule is, and if your bestie needs that social media assistance: Tweet it. Facebook it. Instagram it. Text it. Google it. #Hashtag it. You know the routine! Help them out. And if you use LinkedIn, use that too!

13) For the bus folks, as you know Summerfest got shuttles (MCTS, Restaurants, Bars, etc) . You know the deal. No need to tell you. And that goes for the Uber/Lyft folks.

14) They say that Summerfest has nothing for the kids. Um……..they do. Look at the children’s theater schedules, and they have a Children’s Fest day. Take them to that. Usually between Noon and 3pm on the day after Independence Day. Speaking of that, if your child gets lost and it happens often let the security folks know! Summerfest does in fact has an Lost Children’s Area for those who don’t know!

15) Yes, you can buy food and drinks at the park. BUT…………if you buy food on the outside as well as drinks trying to get in, can’t do it. Just like having cans and/or glass bottles. Nope can’t bring them in. Sorry! (Just a thought from my Security days) If you have an empty bottle, that is acceptable to bring in.

16) If it’s raining and if you have an Umbrella, yes you can bring it. BUT…….not in the Amp. If it’s hot, better take a towel just in case. If you get hurt, injured or get sick, Summerfest does have First Aid Stations and MFD will be on stat. Plus don’t be surprised if you see cool tents to take a break from the heat. For you with kids, the Elizabeth Bo Black splash pad will be in effect.

17) Like any other venue, there are areas that you can lock up your stuff. Ask the personnel in the info booths for that. Usually it’s for the special needs patrons, but feel free to ask questions.

18) Upon entry, you will be searched. Just a heads up. Bags, strollers, etc. Expect the pat downs and maybe the overhead security things. Summerfest will have metal detectors and wands. Just like in high school in the 90’s with the searches. BAG POLICY: Like the stadiums, other entertainment parks, Summerfest has a bag policy. Please pay attention to this very carefully!: 9″ x 10″ x 12″. When coming to the park, the carry ins of Tote Bags, Cinch Bags (or Drawstring Bags) and Small Purses/Clutches are allowed. If you have a Fanny Pack, that will be acceptable. BUT: If you have a Backpack, Camera Bag, Large Purse or a Cooler – THOSE ITEMS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE! They cannot be brought into the park. What might happen is either you take the bag back to your parking spot nearby or donate it. That’s what they said! And plus, Summerfest will give you a bag to empty the contents of your original to put in. And they have made this mandatory for everyone, even those who work at the park to follow the same examples as everyone else. If you take the Bus, Uber, Lyft or a buddy to drop off, make sure they pack small with the bags acceptable! If they get dropped off with the wrong bag in all, it’s a wrap. Also, there is an exception that if you have a bag that is for needs like medications, or baby diapers/wipes. And I know many will forget and get angry about a bag that they can’t bring in, and their car is parked in Greenfield or Chicago!
BOTTOM LINE: Just a word of advice, read the rules AHEAD OF TIME! All of this is part of updated security. Just to be safe.

19) Now check this, if you bought a concert ticket to see or any other headliner at the Amp, yes, you can get through the gates with that as well. Mostly the South Gate.

20) Keep in mind, Summerfest does have cameras all around the park. If you mess up, don’t expect to be spotted or thrown out! Warning for those who might be drunk in all. I’m just saying!

21) For the record: Pets are NOT allowed at the park. BUT……….service animals are acceptable as well as many other needs for the elderly and disabled.

22) And as far as parking: Many know well that parking can be a hassle for a good spot. My advice, look for the areas near the park, like parking lots near Michigan or Jefferson Streets. The U.S. Bank Building near Cass Street has festival parking available for those who want to use it. Yep, pay the required amount. Plus also if you have a concert ticket plus a parking validation with it, you are straight. Also if you’re lucky per say, there are parking spots close by the park near the South Gate that you could try. But, it’s a slim chance though.

23) For the record, Summerfest does have urban acts lined up for 2019: Bone Thugs – N-Harmony, Lizzo, T-Pain, Chaka Khan, The Roots, Lionel Richie, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Schoolboy-Q , Charles Walker Band, Just to name a few. PLEASE CHECK THEM OUT MILWAUKEE!!!!!!

24) Currently, construction right now as we know at times is a beast. Take real caution and be safe. Plus think ahead before planning to drive please!

25) As far as Fireworks: No need explaining. You all should know that the first night of Summerfest and July 3rd. Pick a spot and view with the cameras and smartphones on stat.

26) Now I shouldn’t point this out, but I should. If there is an issue with a Summerfest employee, volunteer or a worker that you might disagree with, the staff does have supervisors on site. Talk with their managers!

Caught up yet? Good.

NEW STUFF THIS YEAR: or the extra reminders you already know.

The park now has Wristbands for re-entry. And are always plentiful. Between Noon and 6:30 that is. But will not be issued on the last day of the event.

Look for the Summerfest Street Team. They are always around. Matter of fact, they might be looking for you!

For all you UBER drivers or Lyft Drivers, I hope you got your plans set up for the extra green. No need to tell you. Or those Ubering a chance to earn money for the first time big gig rides. Feel free to sign up here.

Lyft Drivers, I’m assuming that many of you are probably making ideas for your drivers to set up the schedules. Get the Apps out! Make that money.

For the Power Pass Users, you’re lucky! Use that pass to get in for the days and shows of your choice.

Reminder: The Summerfest Store on the grounds has many merch for your spending. And many of the merch is homegrown. Support the local shops!

If going to the BMO Harris Pavilion Stage for a show, you might have a special pass for the headlining acts. Some of the passes might be sold out, but there are those you can get depending on the shows. For more information, click here.

The Miller Oasis Stage is once again back. And like last year, make a note of it. They have a sale going for some of the performers making that music. The stage still has the Level Up Viewing Deck for your viewing pleasure. Check it out.

The North Gate area is still new. All decked out.

The Amp is now under the banner of American Family Insurance. And still going through renovations. But you can still party though. And no scheduled acts are set for July 4th. (update)

On June 27th, between Noon and 6pm, get into Summerfest for $5.00! It’s a #TBT special with Pick N’ Save.

June 28th is Show Your College Pride Day. Wear your college shirt or hat to get in between Noon and 3pm. Oh, just for clarification: the colleges are comprised of these schools only: Alverno College, Bryant & Stratton College, Cardinal Stritch University, Carroll University, Carthridge College, Concordia University, Gateway Technical College, Herzing University, Marquette University, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Area Technical College, MSOE, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. And the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Other schools, sorry. That includes my UW-Stout.

Everyday at Summerfest, there will be an Emerging Artist Series shows that will take place. And word is you can vote for an artists that are coming up.

For the Milwaukee Streetcar folks: yes you can ride near to Summerfest for Free! And yes, the Hop is still free to take!

For the last day of Summerfest, as everyone knows between Noon – 3:00pm it’s free. But there is also a chance to win an admission for Summerfest 2020 next summer.

For other info that you need to ask, comment or question, either business or personal, consult the Summerfest Website for details.

Now, go party and be safe!


Oh yes, wrestling fans: we just saw Wrestlemania 35 this past Sunday. And if you didn’t get a chance to see the event, you may want to not look at this blog post. Spoiler Alert! It concerns the WWE Championship Match. And the Belt, and the fights and a expected win to happen that did happen.

Where was I? Oh yes. We’re talking about Wrestlemania. The same Wrestlemania that we saw yes, Becky Lynch winning not one but two belts, a returning Roman Reigns beating Drew McIntyre, Women’s Tag Team Belts defended, a Universal Champion Crowned of Seth Rollins, and several others.

But the main part of Mania, was indeed the WWE Championship Match between Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan. Oh yes there were some close encounters in the match that went back and forth. It was pretty close! But after that move of Kofi’s with the side kick of the “Trouble in Paradise” and after the 3 count pin: HISTORY WAS MADE!

You hear alot about history being made at Wrestlemania, but this history was made was even better because Kofi was the first Black Wrestler out of Ghana to win the company’s coveted prize that many had before him. Yes, Kofi Kingston may have been “crowned” out of Jamaica. But he’s really from Ghana. BLACK MAN! He’s the first Ghanaian African wrestler to win the title. When Kofi got the strap, I like everyone else was like: it’s about time that the WWE crowned the Black Man a WWE Championship! Folks have been asking for years: when is the WWE going to have a black champion to represent the company? Over the years we had from the Nature Boy Buddy Rodgers to Bruno Samartino, Andre The Giant, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior, Undertaker, John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Jeff Hardy, Bret Hart, Sgt. Slaughter, Kane, just to name a few. Most of the men listen were multi time WWE Champions, but none of them were of African-decent. Oh, yes we talk about The Rock winning the belt, but he’s the first third generation to win the title as a biracial competitor. Half black/Half Samoan. Since the WWE acquired WCW in 2001, they had used the old World Heavyweight Championship in transition during the reigns of Booker T (or King Booker) and Mark Henry when they won the title. But keep in mind, this was the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP. But not the WWE Championship.

Why does this matter? Why had the old commentators used the phrase “that the title is not about race?” Some say that race played a factor in this question, but I also say after all this time, it was about representation of how others see themselves. When Hulk Hogan and them were champions, yes many like them, but in the Black Community as we know now, Representation Matters. It clearly does matter in 2019 and yet the WWE had to respond to that change. This is the same company that year after year acknowledge about the life/work of Martin Luther King, Jr. every year on Monday Night Raw since it’s inception. And also every February, they acknowledge Black History Month, besides visiting the National Civil Rights Museum, they also acknowledge the likes of Ron Simmons, JYD, SD Jones, and many other notable black wrestlers that either won championships or were noted competitors.

Oh yes, Black Champions Matter. When WCW was still on the scene there was concerns about black wrestlers not getting noticed or being held back. We heard those stories out of “Hardwork” Bobby Walker and I believe Ice Train. Remember them? One of the shattered ceilings happened when Ron Simmons won the WCW Heavyweight Championship in 1992. That was the first time an African-American won the company’s top prize. Before the company folded in 2001, Booker T was crowned the World Heavyweight Championship in which was the second time a black man winning the strap. So even though that WCW had really well……SUCKED in dual times, but the company did something that the WWE did not done in their over 5 decades of existence. And even though it was brought up in the 1990’s toward the 2000’s, the story among the fans especially the Black Wrestling Fans still remained in tact. Yes over the years, the WWE has had Black Champions in other divisions: Intercontinental, Tag Team, European, US Championships (post WCW), Light Heavyweight, Cruiserweight, Men’s NXT, ECW, the previous Women’s Championship, Divas title, and yes the women’s belts of NXT, Raw and Smackdown. But in 2019 (also known as The Year of the Return) : this long story of Black Men winning the TOP Belt has been off the hook with Kofi’s win. And many state that this should have been crowned years ago. And yet, that Black NBA, NFL, MLB, Soccer, Rugby and other athletes can be marketable, the WWE must be marketable with it’s black grapplers to be. If LeBron James or Stephen Curry, or Laila Ali, Tiger Woods, Slone Stephens, Serena/Venus Williams, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, and a cluster of Black Athletes can be so marketbale of all their likenesses, endorsements why not wrestlers like R-Truth or Kofi Kingston, Shelton Benjamin, Ricochet, Bianca BelAir, or Naomi? And they are black! Plus also, the WWE this past February along with NXT, had celebrated their photoshoots with the attire in the recognition of Black Excellence in this year’s Black History Month. Matter of fact, that started with Kofi Kingston when he and The New Day along with former Raw Women’s champ Sasha Banks, and former Crusierweight Champion Rich Swann were posed in a group shot on Instagram and many of the white fans were upset because it incited racism. Really?! It’s not racism folks, it’s representation! There might be young black boys and girls looking at them for inspiration that they one day can be champions or be something great as they get older in life.

NOW: Enter The New Day. When this group was started, it was designed to get the three wrestlers, Xavier Woods, Big E Langston, and Kofi Kingston all black wrestlers to form their own club in order to get noticed. Many folks thought that it was going to be another Nation of Domination group or it’s version 2. But when the promos were happening full of the all black women’s choir and each of the three wrestlers were shown in the promos for the group’s debut. After the debut and promos the group started to do zany and crude humor segments. Wait a minute, you might have saw DX, or Edge and Christian do crazy stuff in all, but The New Day?! Three Black Men doing crude humor of BOOTY, Twerking, wearing Unicorn Horns, Rap Battles with The Usos, Lyrical battles with SWV, Christmas outfits, Thanksgiving Pilgrims outfits with 6-1 on the front, their wrestling gear that was mixed with their personal statements, even with Kente designs for Black History Month, Fila Track Suits, wearing pink and light blue mixing with their attire, having the word “WHO?” (as in next competitors to challenge), Big E bellowing the intros of: “AWWWWWWWWW (insert your city here)! Don’t you dare be sour! Clap for your world famous (something something) Champs (or event) and FEEL THE POWER!” Like a minister in church preparing you for the worship service or revival. Many of the black fans were like: “they are some minstrel show ish”. Minstrel show for those whom are not black, it’s kind of like performing before an audience that really doesn’t like your skin color as much but you do it regarding your ancestory’s acknowledgements. But through it all, the group’s ideas of humor along with Xavier’s trombone, pancake throwing, Booty O’s Cereal was somewhat coming along. The New Day started out of no direction and getting direction of what they wanted to do. Yes, the New Day before the group were Intercontinental Champs, U.S. Champs, Tag Team Champs and yes thanks to Kofi – the WWE Champion. So yes, black representation and changing the direction does matter. Even if you’re black. Even if you’re in the Wrestling Game as it’s demonstrated many times before.

And besides that, one of the members Xavier has a YouTube Channel called Up Up Down Down, where he and his teammates along with other wrestlers of the company get together out of their time away from the ring and promos to play video games. I checked out the YouTube Channel and I’m looking at the wrestlers and like: man they are still friends! I guess the entertainment side of things are one thing, but this thing says another. Besides video games, they also do other competitive sports of Axe Throwing, Pool, Bowling, just to name a few. And yes, there is a UUDD Championship Belt. No kidding.

Kofi has his shoe promotions out with Fila in the ongoing success of the New Day Colors even with the new shirt designs. 5 years ago, this happened:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4DZUOmxYUg And even with his segments called I Just Love Kicks on the UUDD Youtube Channel. Plus he’s been on the airwaves in talks about his wrestling career and family.

And Big E, does his job with the videos and promos along with his New Day faithful and other wrestlers. Previously he had done segments and interviews as a singles competitor in the past. And word on the street, is a Double Dare Segment with him coming out? And as a matter of fact: I want to see Big E do his UUDD promos. Come on Big E! I see you, bruh! I know that he’s done some funny segments way back when, BUT……what about coming up? Fill us in!

What does all this mean here? I know this is about Kofi and getting the strap. It also goes by saying that never overlook Black Competitors that might be on the rise coming up. And this being 2019, as known as the Year of the Return: for those who don’t know what that is, this year of 2019 marks the 400th Anniversary of the last slaves arrived in America back in 1619. Even though that many of the Wrestling Universe may not care about 1619, but guess what; it’s not a celebration. It’s a painful reminder that black folks were sold into the slave trade against their will and other aspects. And even though we’ve been talking 400 years, I feel as a black man, we should not make the same concerns of the next 400 years. Now what does that have to do with Kofi Kingston? Yeah many rooted for Kofi to win, but let’s not lose short sighted that many had to endure harsh realities of racism and discrimination to get this far. Just to think 11 years ago, Barack Obama was elected the first black U.S. President. And just to think in 2008, Kofi was getting his big break in the WWE: the very same WWE we know now also was in recruitment of searching for African-American wrestlers! And yet Kofi was one of them. Now look at him! Being a former Tag Team Champ, Intercontinental Champ, U.S. Champ, and now WWE Champion.

Finally as I close this, the next topic will be short and has nothing to do with Kofi. So every wrestling fan like to buy the merch, huh? Well that’s fine. But for all you younger wrestling fans: INVEST and I repeat Invest in WWE STOCK. Buy a share of the stock! Not just to sell and trade, but also to BUY!!!! Put that into a safe deposit box, and just forget it about it. Be a stockholder. Invest in a portfolio and save up more collateral! And goes for the AEW fans, Impact Wrestling, ROH and dozens of promotions that you follow all the time. All wrestling fans need to buy some stock. Instead of buying that replica Championship Belt that cost over $400.00, why not use that pricetag for some stock? Im just saying. If the WWE can put on all these clinics, health awarenesses, and historical ethinc and gender achivements. And they do it so wellWhy not use that community sense for fans or anyone investing in stock? Come on, fans!

But yes, in regarding the WWE Ship, It’s Kofi’s time. ITS ABOUT TIME! And it’s a time that many should believe that a Black Man’s time is definitely here and must defend well! And that really is a New Day that rocks!


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.


 

By now, Veterans Day weekend has come and gone, and yet we still appreciate. This Veterans Day marked the 100th Anniversary of the ending of World War I. That’s 1918 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!

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! I sampled that from the infamous Congresswoman Maxine Waters who kept constantly saying, “reclaiming my time” over and over again. Yes that Maxine Waters, or now being chosen as “Auntie Maxine.” More on that later. But seriously, Vets it’s your time 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, service stories, lectures, and also experiences that many of you endured in uniform. We or those of us that haven’t done the job, we go around that, yes 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. Yes, of course, 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 and leisure. Speaking of the challenges, most recently in our daily government problems, there is 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. Wait a minute? An IT Issue?! Seriously?! And to further the fact that the 45th so-called President is letting this happen. Did I mention that the so-called president never visited the troops overseas? Hmmmmm………..I wonder what happened with that? Oh, that’s right he pretends he cares but really not!  Veterans and Veteran Families, you need to step up and get on 45’s butt and get your funds. Many of you probably were in favor of 45 to be the President. But if I were a real supporter of his, I’ll be all over him like white on rice! Vets, get your game faces on!

Now Veterans: yes your day and weekend of appreciation will be concluded, but your ongoing ideas, appreciations, and services on this side, will still continue. Like last year, I hinted 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! Young Vets, 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.

Finally, many of you looked at the video above. And many ask why this? Well, if anyone looked at SNL last weekend, yes during the Weekend Update, Pete Davidson made a joke about the newly Texas Representative Lt. Dan Crenshaw. Yes, I know that he’s a Republican and I don’t like Republicans after the debacle dumb and stupid decisions of Don…you know whom I’m talking about. But yes, Pete apologized on his end and yet let Lt. Crenshaw did a little ribbing and accepted his apology. Yes even though it was about an eyepatch, but his eyepatch for a reason was due to an IED explosion in one of the tours in Afghanistan. Yes, he suffered that injury and paid a price. It’s interesting that it almost pales in comparison with the late Sen. John McCain in his stories being a POW during the Vietnam War in Hanoi being tortured after his capture. We may not have to like it. But yes, they are Navy War Veterans from two different Generations of Battle. But yet respect must be given. We either like it or not. I’m talking to us non-vets here. We know. But to conclude, both Lt. Crenshaw and Pete agreed on one similar two words: Never Forget.

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 and every African-American Veteran: 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

SSP_Thank You Veterans Sign


Long time ago, I usually say that “August Really Sucks.” I think I say this because that’s when you get the feeling of school is coming. The 2018-19 year is about to start up. BUT….with all what’s going on with Trump messing up the game, a black Milwaukee Radio Station Segment gone, more of the Becky’s of calling the cops being crazy, Harley-Davidson turning 115 in all: I’m scratching my head again.

Did we really need the Hallmark Christmas Movies in July?

Schools of America: Are you ready for the classrooms?

For all the fans of “Shut up and dribble”: Do you hate LeBron James now? After he opened a school in the area Akron, Ohio?! Hmmmm……what about it?!

Are many folks ready for Roland Martin’s new show on September 4th? Spoiler Alert, you need the internet!

Wisconsinites: August 14th is coming up real fast. So you made your marks yet? Who’s betting on Mahlon Mitchell to go all the way?

For the listeners and fans of WNOV: what happens now after “The Forum?”

Milwaukee: Black Arts Fest MKE debuts. Will it be successful and the anticipation be in the staple of the City of Festivals? Just to think that 5 years ago, African World Festival happened. And unceremoniously: for the last time.

Is the Wisconsin State Fair still hyped?

Is the NFL Preseason still good to watch? And justly, not many will not watch the NFL in regarding Colin Kaepernick.

This fall: it will be my 25 years that I backed Bucky. When they got hot and went to the Rose Bowl in 1994 and won the game. (Rose Bowl with Barry Alvarez winning it all) But my question is, can these Football Badgers of now in 2018-19, go for the big one?

What about the new name for the New Bucks Arena? Now known as the Fiserv.Forum?

Alright this needs to be asked: what was the gall purpose of those Black Pastors IN the 45 Wacky White House meeting up with Trump? And what was Milwaukee Bishop Darrell Hines doing there?!!! Was it really about Prison Reform?! And speaking of that, Darrell Scott said that Trump is the “The most blackest president ever.” EXCUSE ME?!!! And having the balls to diss Obama?

Milwaukee: we will have some guests coming to town in later weeks for Harley-Davidson’s 115th Anniversary. Yeah, our every 5 year anniversary is coming yet again. But the question is: will EVERY neighborhood and community in Milwaukee be ready for this? And also will the Black Community be represented? You know it was almost left out IF the Iron Elite Black Biker Jam had not happened! As well as also the MLK Jr Drive Area had not happened either!

For you Bird Scooters Fans: yes you know that already that the City of Milwaukee had began to declare the Bird Scooters to be illegal to operate. In parts of the operating of the scooters didn’t comply under the State of Wisconsin’s DOT Laws. Yes, the city had to comply with the rules in terms of the state. Chapter 340 Paragraph 35. It’s clearly states that. For you Bird Scooter fans: didn’t you read that part before leaving the scooters around? Just asking!

For the Alumni on ALL levels: you ready to donate back to the old high schools and colleges?

For the teachers: you ready to get back to the grading papers?

For the Administrators: what about that idea of facilitating new ideas in the schools and colleges?

For you Parents: will you be willing to visit the schools not just because of the games or graduation?!

Will many folks NOT be jealous about taking pics of their kids going to school on the first day on Social Media?

When it comes to the black churches, why are they are REALLY dying out? What is the REAL Reason?

Jerry Springer has been on TV nearly 28 years. And how?

It’s funny though, we see and read about all those comments about the “misfits” can’t mount to nothing. Hmmmm……what if they did? And provide that evidence?

When will the Wisconsin State Fair have an African-American Career Expo? It had it once before!

Milwaukeeans: Century City I area will be getting it’s first tenant: GoodCity Brewing. It’s not Amazon, but can it generate jobs for the area?

Class of 2019: are you ready to get this semester over with? Especially if you are a Senior!

For all those going into school/colleges for the first time, you must be nervous. We all been there. But will you make sure that your first year is a learning experience?

For all those who are still in it at school/college: can you maintain the pressure?

Final question here: How will all of our leaders continue to adapt the ways of the 45 moronic orange head, while many of us have to go through crap everyday dealing with all the mess that most of the GOP do spew out? In other words, HOW LONG?!


Well readers, the rules are back. My rules in which many must follow, or to simply just to give advice. For this it’s the new traditional Stephen’s Spot Rules of Summerfest. Reviewing again for 2018. By the way, we all know last year that the park celebrated 50 years. But it’s the 51st year in it’s Golden Age, the fun is still the same. As always a reference: consult Summerfest’s rules of the park here. By the way, I am crediting the park with most of the information I know just to clarify.

First, let’s go over what I said last time in a long sentence mixed with something new. Many of you veterans of the park already know, yet again. Rookies, pay attention!

Since Summerfest is very well known in Milwaukee, I know about the place well. I first volunteered at the place at the then African World Festival in 1997, saw some shows, and worked in the late 90’s plus the year of 2000. I know the gates, security things, and the places to park near and far from the venue. So if you ready to party like crazy, start learning and reviewing. By the way, I don’t currently work for the company, BUT I KNOW the rules and regulations for my experience.

1) Summerfest is 11 days starting June 27th to July 8th. Except July 2nd. And everyday there will days where you can get in free. Learn it! Especially the timeframes given. Like today, there was free way to get in for donations for the Hunger Task Force from Noon – 3:00pm . Please PAY ATTENTION TO THE TIMES! And pay attention (PLEASE PAY ATTENTION) to the news, internet, social media platforms and radio promos about Summerfest as well. Oh, Summerfest will be open on the 4th of July.

2) The park does have information booths. Need a program? They have them. Or for you mobile folks, you can download them via the net or straight to your smartphone. Your choice. Oh if you got the Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this past Sunday, you might got a program with the paper.

3) CALLOUT WARNING: Listen Up! If you are an out of towner and have been stuck on the Wisconsin highway for about 2 and half hours getting to the park, that is your loss! The reason why I’m saying this, because when I was working for the company, I got hollered by a man (a white disgruntled man from Illinois mind you) about him being stuck on our highways for two hours. He verbally asked for the manager and the freaking former mayor John Norquist of all people. I am not making this up. This is a true story working at the main gate back in ’99. Keep in mind from my experience, Summerfest Security doesn’t control the freeways for the patrons to get to the park. My advice for you Wisconsin visitors (that yes the traffic will be hectic due to construction mostly, or the 1st shift folks going home, 2nd shift folks going to work), get there early!!!!! Like a day early. Or hours early when traffic is not huge!!!

4) If you ever think that you’ll be videotaping for your own personal use in or near the park (i.e. camcorders/video equipment), don’t record nothing! Knowing security they will take away the recording devices. They got rules for that. And the same goes for the Amp! Leave the camcorders at home. But there is one exception: If you have credentials from a performer or media organization like Fox 6 or the Milwaukee Courier Newspaper that might be fine.

5) If you’re about to pick up a ticket for a concert and if you run into a member of Security or Admissions personnel to pay them for the assistance to wait or ask questions to assist, don’t even try it! Buy the ticket and get an early pick up, or a mailing.

6) Cameras (mostly small cameras) are allowed on the grounds. It’s cool. But in the Amp, Nope. They won’t allow it. Don’t try it. BUT, like camcorders if you have credentials from a performer or media that might be fine. Also, and no selfie sticks. They won’t allow them. Sorry!

7) Like bathrooms, and merchandise areas, there are ATMs on the grounds. Be sure to spot them just in case you need that extra green.

8) Leave your weapons of Swiss army knives at home! The red shirts will take them, as well as any other suspicious item that is deemed dangerous. Just a word of warning.

9) Usually the workers in the colored shirts don’t reveal their names. Best advice, know their numbers! Like 563. Or in this case: Red 563. or Yellow 450.

10) CALLOUT: For the first time goers: Summerfest attracts big crowds. Just a word of warning. Again the park attracts crowds!

11) Best thing to ride at the grounds: Besides the arcades and the interactive stuff, the Skygliders. Take them. It’s legendary and use your cameras for sky pics!

12) Don’t be afraid to help those who don’t know much about the park. Give them some pointers! Now, if you can’t be at Summerfest, but know what the day schedule is, and if your bestie needs that social media assistance: Tweet it. Facebook it. Instagram it. Text it. Google it. #Hashtag it. You know the routine! Help them out.

13) For the bus folks, as you know Summerfest got shuttles (MCTS, Restaurants, Bars, etc) . You know the deal. No need to tell you. And that goes for the Uber/Lyft folks.

14) They say that Summerfest has nothing for the kids. Um……..they do. Look at the children’s theater schedules, and they have a Children’s Fest day. Take them to that. Usually between Noon and 3pm on the day after Independence Day. Speaking of that, if your child gets lost and it happens often let the security folks know! Summerfest does infact has an Lost Children’s Area for those who don’t know!

15) Yes, you can buy food and drinks at the park. BUT…………if you buy food on the outside as well as drinks trying to get in, can’t do it. Just like having cans and/or glass bottles. Nope can’t bring them in. Sorry! (Just a thought from my Security days) If you have an empty bottle, that is acceptable to bring in.

16) If it’s raining and if you have an Umbrella, yes you can bring it. BUT…….not in the Amp. If it’s hot, better take a towel just in case. If you get hurt, injured or get sick, Summerfest does have First Aid Stations and MFD will be on stat. Plus don’t be surprised if you see cool tents to take a break from the heat. For you with kids, the splash pad will be in effect.

17) Like any other venue, there are areas that you can lock up your stuff. Ask the personnel in the info booths for that. Usually it’s for the special needs patrons, but feel free to ask questions.

18) Upon entry, you will be searched. Just a heads up. Bags, strollers, etc. Expect the pat downs and maybe the overhead security things. Summerfest will have metal detectors and wands. Just like in high school in the 90’s with the searches.

19) Now check this, if you bought a concert ticket to see or any other headliner at the Amp, yes, you can get through the gates with that as well. Mostly the South Gate.

20) Keep in mind, Summerfest does have cameras all around the park. If you mess up, don’t expect to be spotted or thrown out! Warning for those who might be drunk in all. I’m just saying!

21) For the record: Pets are NOT allowed at the park. BUT……….service animals are acceptable as well as many other needs for the elderly and disabled.

22) And as far as parking: Many know well that parking can be a hassle for a good spot. My advice, look for the areas near the park, like parking lots near Michigan or Jefferson Streets. The U.S. Bank Building near Cass Street has festival parking available for those who want to use it. Yep, pay the required amount. Plus also if you have a concert ticket plus a parking validation with it, you are straight. Also if you’re lucky per say, there are parking spots close by the park near the South Gate that you could try. But, it’s a slim chance though. The r

23) For the record, Summerfest does have urban acts lined up for 2018: J.Cole, The Weeknd, Janelle Monae, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Lil Uzi Vert, Nelly, The New Power Generation, Maze/Frankin Beverly, Sugarhill Gang. Local artists like Yung D. Rhodes, Streetlife, Eddie Butts Band, and the Charles Walker Band are also on the list. Just to name a few. PLEASE CHECK THEM OUT MILWAUKEE!!!!!!

24) Currently, Construction right now is a beast. Take real caution and be safe. Plus think ahead before planning to drive please!

25) As far as Fireworks: No need explaining. You all should know that the first night of Summerfest and July 3rd. Pick a spot and view with the cameras and smartphones on stat.

26) Now I shouldn’t point this out, but I should. If there is an issue with a Summerfest employee, volunteer or a worker that you might disagree with, the staff does have supervisors on site. Talk with their managers!

Caught up yet? Good.

NEW STUFF THIS YEAR: or the extra reminders you already know.

Hand Stamps are always plentiful. Between Noon and 3:00 that is.

BAG POLICY: New this year, like the stadiums, other entertainment parks, Summerfest has a new bag policy. Please pay attention to this very carefully! – 9″ x 10″ x 12″. When coming to the park, the carry ins of Tote Bags, Cinch Bags (or Drawstring Bags) and Small Purses/Clutches are allowed. If you have a Fanny Pack, that will be acceptable. BUT: If you have a Backpack, Camera Bag, Large Purse or a Cooler – THOSE ITEMS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE! They cannot be brought into the park. What might happen is either you take the bag back to your parking spot nearby or donate it. That’s what they said! And plus, Summerfest will give you a bag to empty the contents of your original to put in. And they have made this mandatory for everyone, even those who work at the park to follow the same examples as everyone else. If you take the Bus, Uber, Lyft or a buddy to drop off, make sure they pack small with the bags acceptable! If they get dropped off with the wrong bag in all, it’s a wrap. Also, there is an exception that if you have a bag that is for needs like medications, or baby diapers/wipes. This rule has been brought to our attention last month. And I know many will forget and get angry about a bag that they can’t bring in, and their car is parked in Greenfield or Chicago!
BOTTOM LINE: Just a word of advice, read the rules AHEAD OF TIME! All of this is part of updated security. Just to be safe.

Look for the Summerfest Street Team. They are always around. Matter of fact, they might be looking for you!

For all you UBER drivers or Lyft Drivers, I hope you got your plans set up for the extra green. No need to tell you. Or those Ubering a chance to earn money for the first time big gig rides. Feel free to sign up here. Lyft Drivers, I’m assuming that many of you are probably making ideas for your drivers to set up the schedules. Get the Apps out! Make that money.

Even though it’s relatively new, feel free to leave your mark on the festival with a brick. No really, you can! Check out the “Brick Order” on the Summerfest website. It has a variety of prices on it, but it is worth to have your name etched in stone for life!

For the Power Pass Users, you’re lucky! Use that pass to get in for the days and shows of your choice.

The Summerfest Store on the grounds has many merch for your spending. And it’s homegrown. Don’t be surprised with a Summerfest State of Mind shirt on your idea list to buy. (Spoiler Alert – those state of mind shirts are made by the same company that does these “state of mind” ideas to print.

If going to the BMO Harris Pavilion Stage for a show, you might have a “Blue Circle Seat Pass” for the acts. Some of the passes might be sold out, but there are those you can get depending on the shows. For more information, click here.

The Miller Oasis Stage is so new now. Please make a note of it. They have a sale going for some of the performers making that music. Plus, new for 2018: The stage has a Level Up Viewing Deck for your viewing pleasure. Check it out.

The North Gate area is new. All decked out.

On June 28th, between Noon and 6pm, get into Summerfest for $5.00! It’s a TBT special with Pick N’ Save.

June 29th is Show Your College Pride Day. Wear your college shirt or hat to get in between Noon and 3pm. Oh, just for clarification: the colleges are comprised of these schools only: Alverno College, Bryant & Stratton College, Cardinal Stritch University, Carroll University, Concordia University, Herzing University, Lawrence University, Marquette University, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Area Technical College, MSOE, Upper Iowa University, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Other schools, sorry. That includes my UW-Stout.

Everyday at Summerfest, there will be an Emerging Artist Series shows that will take place. And word is you can vote for an artists that are coming up.

Like last year, Jimmy Kimmel Live will feature some of it’s concert series from Summerfest.

For other info that you need to ask, comment or question, either business or personal, consult the Summerfest Website for details.

Now, go party and be safe!


Just now ,this has been popped in my head. I’m scratching my head again about Milwaukee’s Big Gig. Summerfest is coming on June 27th this year kicking off #51. And yes, you fest goers need to get your gear on and being the attendees you are: Curious, interested, ready, happy, drunk, and yes going for a good time. Not exactly in that order. I’m not just scratching my head here. I’ve been scratching my head about this for a LONG WHILE! And yes, I used to work there. Oh, if you are a current Summerfest management worker, start taking notes.

Why there are folks wondering that Summerfest is 51 this year, and not 50? (Originally Summerfest actually had it’s planning ideas in 1966-67).

Summerfest as many knows attracts all kinds of music. How often does it attract Gospel music? For you the unfamiliar crowds, go to a Black Church to hear a gospel music choir or buy either Kirk Franklin or John P. Kee. Or Snoop Dogg’s Bible of Love. And by the way, I’m not a Gospel fan, but I’m doing you Gospel heads a favor here.

Why was it really hard to get Hip Hop/Rap acts to Summerfest, like in the last couple of years? Now it’s not a concern. And not many in the black community can’t relate to RATT or Whitesnake. Or even George Thorogood and the Destroyers. I’m just saying.

Is it really hard to get to know the free days? Especially if you coming home from work!

Just for the record, if you buy a piece of merch from the big gig, you know you are supporting local stuff, right? Just like the pins. I need a Summerfest pin from the 50th to my collection!

This is what Summerfest needs: Have a free networking day for the FORMER Employees. Can that be done?

What is that music thing with the headphones and folks are dancing around to DJ Music? Can Summerfest do this?

It appears that the change in music scenes around Summerfest go from old fashioned to the rave like style. Agree or disagree?

I need to ask this: when looking at the fireworks for the Big Bang, can DJ music be a factor? As well as fireworks on top of the US Bank Building like before and maybe…….The Northwestern Mutual Tower or the 833 Building?

Speaking of Black Music Month: by the way June is Black Music Month for those whom don’t know; who were the well known Black acts to perform at Summerfest? Local or famous?

And who is the latest well known now Black act to perform at Summerfest? Local or famous?

Should Summerfest have a free day for the American Legion Family? Like the free day for the Military and Veterans?

Wait a minute: This also came to mind. Summerfest needs an MPS Alumni Day and MPS Proud Day to support the Milwaukee Public Schools. Should this be a good thing? As well as other schools that are not MPS? And I’ll best many of the MPS Alumni probably got one of their gigs at Summerfest doing work long ago. Probably, still doing work!

Why hasn’t any member of the faith community offered or asked to do Communion to the patrons at Summerfest? Just a thought in asking. Not to bug those whom are not so religious. Look, Summerfest goer folks need prayer too. Getting to, in, and from the park!

Can Summerfest really put up a networking area for those looking for work for any job? Or just simply network with other businesses?

I don’t really have to ask this, but could Summerfest provide internships for those who want to get started in the management entertainment business? In any field? In any area? Plus ANY age?

Break Dancing, Dance Battles, Soul Train Lines, and/or Clean Rap Battles needs to happen at Summerfest. Who likes this idea? Consult the Rap/R&B Stations or True School.

Summerfest should need “throwback” sales. Like really. Is that possible?

Another crazy idea here; Summerfest needs drone photography. Yeah I said it. They’re everywhere. Who are the BEST drone pilots in the city that can do this?

We know The Hop is coming. That’s the Milwaukee Streetcar by the way. Will it be “Summerfest ready” say………2019?

Next question: This is for all of the Fraternities and Sororities. Should there be a Fraternity/Sororities Greek day?

Last question to think about: Should Summerfest have a “lifetime pass” for the patrons (or family members of patrons) whom been so loyal?

Later today, my survival tip on mastering the Big Gig is coming!


We know the story of The Karate Kid. The same Karate Kid we grew up watching in the 80’s when Ralph Macchio was actually Daniel LaRusso in a sense. But in this series of the Cobra Kai, the rival Karate Dojo that Daniel faced….is slightly new. But or is it?

 

What were those quotes? We know those quotes!

Fear does not exist in this dojo, does it?

Pain does not exist in this dojo, does it?

Defeat does not exist in this dojo does it?

You are not trained to be merciful here, mercy is for the weak!

 

Find out on May 2nd. Oh, there are more previews on Youtube.


After today, the 92nd edition of Black History Month will be in the books. However, the ongoing lessons of black history will continue as it always has. Everyday learning. Of course many of us in the black community that lingers that notion the everyday values of our history, also however many of us will not. There will be times that we will simply forget, and keep on doing the same things every single time when this occasion of celebration is in the books.

However, let me review the highlights of Black History Month 2018 that I think stood out.

Black Superheroes: Black Panther was blowing up at the theaters and yes for good reason. This was in the works for over a year and it’s about time that this character has been given it’s due. I like the thought that when a predominantly black cast was able to pull this off and actually get positive reviews based on it’s platform! Already, Black Panther is smashing box office records like crazy. And the #BlackPantherChallenges were on point to take the kids especially black boys and girls to see the movie to look at it to support. Of course there are some haters who felt that the movie was all about nationalism, the Democrats, no Gays, or hatred. Stop it. It was a freaking movie! And to top it off, part of the movie was filmed at Tyler Perry Studios. Hate Tyler Perry all you want, especially with the Madea stuff. But when you had that movie being filmed in your studio, and its huge as is now, expect more folks to line up for jobs.

Also already, is Black Lightning blowing up Tuesday Nights. Like Black Panther, Black Lightning is making waves on the CW. It ties in with the comic book storylines and the real world concerns about crime, gangs, police harassment, education but most of all the issues that go deep that the black community knows very well! This Black Lightning show was like a surprise out of the box to have a black superhero that was needed to show. Now I need to say that, if you supported Black Panther, show that same support for Black Lightning.

Black Winter Olympians: The 2018 Winter Games have ended. But the names of John Crawford, Maame Hiney, Lauren Gibbs, Hakeem Abdul-Saboor, Shannon Ogbani Abeda, the Nigerian Bobsled Team, Chris Kinney, Aja Evans, Awkasi Frimpong, Erin Jackson, Kimani Griffin, Elana Meyers-Taylor, Shani Davis and Sabrina Wanjiku Simander will be remembered in making their debut as first timers and also those whom have been there and done it. John Crawford was the first African-American Male to compete for Team USA’s Hockey team (a MAJOR FIRST by the way). Plus also out of this group of Black Olympians, only two walked away with medals: Elana and Lauren won Silver for the Bobsled team. And also, even though she didn’t win, Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian of the Jamaica Bobsled Team commented that the Winter Sports needs more diversity especially when it comes in the response of black children to see a reflection of themselves!

Speaking of that: I want to see more black folks compete in sports that most don’t even touch: We know hockey. But what about Curling? Yes! CURLING. The same Curling team that won Gold and also it’s the same Curling that got The Simpsons talking when Homer and Marge beat Sweden. Oh, it actually happened in real life in South Korea. Also, Speedskating, besides Shani Davis, Maame Hiney and Erin Jackson, who else from the black community that can speedskate? And train here in Milwaukee at the Petitt Center? I know about #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackBoyJoy but let’s see that here also!

In Milwaukee: even though he went to school here, but John Ridley, our own local grown filmmaker that won big at the Oscars for 12 Years A Slave, established a new ground at the The Brewery Complex (formally the Pabst Brewery Area) along with Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, has opened “No Studios”. What does that mean?

No Studios, will be a new hub for the community that will provide those in the arts. According to the website:

No Studios will include long-term and short-term office space for local individuals, organizations, and companies in creative fields, a screening room, food and beverage, gallery space, as well as a rooftop event space with expansive city views. The design of the space will be comfortable, open, modern, and inviting, encouraging collaboration among tenants and welcoming diverse communities across the city to celebrate art together.

In addition to serving as a physical space for the creative community and art lovers in Milwaukee, No Studios will present year-round programming that will both provide an opportunity for local artists to present their work and bring in renowned artisans working in a variety of creative fields from around the world to share their knowledge with Milwaukee audiences.

This is coming from our own! A chance for future artists to shine in a opportunity from the ground up and showcasing talent. Many folks thought that, Milwaukee: really? They don’t support their local talent. But with this might be a change. I don’t know about the mindset, but that has to change. Literally. No Studios had a short video promo, that some of the shows and movies like Redtails and American Crime had some Milwaukee related references. And that came from John Ridley. That is a nod from him to give his hometown some love. So I hope that this No Studios might the hub that can spur up new ideas to give future artists a gain to attract and showcase yet again, homegrown talent. And No Studios begins this fall.

More highlights that I think stood out in Black History Month 2018:

I would say the MAJOR highlight of Black History Month 2018, is where it started. Inside the office of Dr. Carter Woodson. His office, where the thoughts, ideas, creativity, purpose and goals of a occasion, started in his DC Office. And for the first time ever the office was open to the public for visitations. I believe like the National African American Museum and Culture, the office of Dr. Woodson should be able to attract visitors alike to learn in depth about the man that started to talk about US and our history in the relation to Black History Month. No it’s not just about being black, its also what we can do and had done despite of us being black.

The office (according to the summaries) have articles, books, letters, documents and other material of value that is predominately sampled or summarized even today. Even the office has some of the letters going back to Frederick Douglass’ days years before the start of Negro History Week, also a book is published in the same year that the occasion got started. Even with book articles, a coloring section for kids. Yes! Dr. Woodson wanted to engage that with young folks in the summary of the occasion to learn about the culture and also a sense of history.

In conclusion: here it is that yes we are again to supposed to learn about Black History everyday. HOWEVER: I have said this before and I’ll say it again, many of us in the black community I hate to say this, but we don’t acknowledge our history at times because we tend to FORGET! We keep saying, “we need to teach our children more” but adults we need to remember that “iron sharpens iron.” What that means in this is, in order for our children to learn about black history, and summarize it to the fullest, we need to do our job! Let me remind us so-called grown folks that we’re getting old. Period. Nothing we can do about it. And yes we complain about the teachings in schools, but many of us forget that we have to continue that teaching AT HOME! In the community centers, and yes whether you like it or not, the church! I was raised by a Milwaukee Public Schools teacher that taught in the classroom for over 3 decades and the thing is, my mother still educates me at 41 years old about Black History. And she’s 71 and retired. I had former and current church members whom were teachers and gone through the same thing. So I’m getting my balance on Black History. Then this hit me: I said this before and I’ll say it again: I do celebrate Black History Month. In February. And I also acknowledge the summaries and figures everyday. So I keep it in the middle. Not on the left or right. And for my “Black History is American History” commenters: It’s not just American History! Stop saying that. What about the Black Canadians, Black British, Black French, Black Irish, Black Australians, Black Indians, Black Italians, Haitians, Jamaicans, Black Hispanics, Black Mexicans and other African Decent of nations besides American? They have a black history story to tell also! We better get with the program. And yes, black kings and queens, that means us too! If we want to do better for our selves, we need to recognize our history as means to learn it and move forward. Many of us think we know it all. But like I always say, where there’s one thing, there’s something else. And that is everyday.  Also to those who think that studying Black History is racist and not American in a sense of Black Americans: think again!

In the words of Angela Rye, “We Built This Joint For Free!”

#BLACKHISTORYMONTH4LIFE!


What a time to be alive during Black History Month 2018. But for this year, the year of the comics, or should I say, Black Comics are having their say.

The hype of Black Panther goes all the way back to last year around this time as an early interest. And here we are a year later, the hype of the movie is coming true. Black Panther is legit. Period. And for my non black readers and non blacks in general, don’t come at me for the “it’s racist” crap. You will get called out!

But before that, I have three words to share:

“Welcome to Freeland!”

Let’s explore first of Black Lightning. Right now, the show on the CW is blowing up! It is the legit show that I think the CW needed and it’s here. What’s that slogan, “Dare to Defy?” Well it’s defying the thought of bringing in the New flavor. Previously, it was supposed to go to the Fox Network. But it was later switched to the CW and have a 13 show for the season.

When was Black Lightning created? It goes back to April of 1977 about 11 years after the debut of Black Panther, which debuted in the Marvel Comics in July of 1966. Four months earlier before the Original Black Panther Party was founded in October of the same year in the Fantastic Four #52 Comics. In the legend, Jefferson Pierce by day is a principal of a private school. The city of Freeland is facing corruption of crime, drugs, violence and etc. One of the main bosses, Tobias Whale is up for power and defiance along with the female bad girl named Lady Eve – which on the TV Show is played by Jill Scott.

We know that. That’s part of the story.

More of the story goes back when Black Lightning hung up his suit for good. But when the daughters were captured, that forced Jefferson to get his suit ready once again and go after the bad guys to get the city cleaned up once again. If you paid attention to the story (via the TV show) that is what part of the origin started. And week by week the storyline build on one after the other.

Another thought to realize that Black Lightning is the first African-American DC Comics Superhero to be featured. And it has some several appearances in The Outsiders Comics, and other guest features.

So far, Black Lightning is doing well. It’s a keeper. Knowingly its a factor that is in the hunt of being one of the best shows on TV. Should Black Lightning be in the Movies like Black Panther? That’s possibly. I expect the show Black Lightning to be up the top rank of shows on the network that defines it purpose. Now I know many probably looked at the first show and that’s it. NO! you have to look at all the shows and then make your decision on how it follows up. One show does not follow the whole season. Say it again over and over. The shows on the season does that. Plus the viewership and interests follows that. In the first show: Guests stars of former NewsOne Now Host, Roland Martin and Sen. Nina Turner of Ohio both appeared. Then in later shows besides Jill Scott, even T.C. Carson, (aka Kyle Barker From Living Single) also appeared as well. Yes there was a mini Living Single Reunion on Black Lightning. Just a side note, Cress Williams before Black Lightning played in other shows like Living Single and Nash Bridges. So Cress has a history of TV appearances, which is no exception.

For an extra thought, read about the creator of Black Lightning and read about why his idea of the creation of Black Lightning actually matters. Even at a time when the Black Panther Movie and the representation of it matters also. And you can still watch the first five shows online on the CW Website or App.

Speaking of that: “Wakunda Ready”!

If you have seen Black Panther already, you should be pleased. Proud and Stoked. Admit it, we are still in awe about Black Panther. And many of us had or will take the #BlackPantherChallenge in which groups of young people were given a chance to see the block buster movie. As of today, it reached over 200 million dollars over the Presidents Day Weekend. However, if you have not seen it, and still reading what your friends and family posted, you better get a move on and see it for yourself.

Black Panther came out as we pointed out, in July 1966 under the Marvel Brand. In the same era of the Civil Rights Movement and four months earlier of the debut of the Original Black Panther Party. Now everyone knows the origins of T’Challa becoming King way after his father was perished. The challenges. The fear factor. And also a twist of betrayal, battles of supremacy with Killmonger. Here is an extra, in the movie, there were scenes of STEM! Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Look at the character Shuri. I’ll bet many who saw the flick particularly young black girls are probably getting ideas to see what they could do in the future. Study up, young black queens and definitely young black kings!

Now I want to shift to something else about the movie. Particularly those of us black folks wearing the African Attire like Dashikis, Kente Materials and others. And many folks having this hate about it.
CALLOUT: For those whom have a problem with it, SIT DOWN and SHUT UP! Why is this a problem?

Matter of fact, why is still a problem wearing African Garb in general? You go to Star Wars Movies and folks wearing Luke Skywalker gear or Storm Trooper gear related to a movie and no one gets mad. Why this for African Gear to Black Panther? Makes no sense AT ALL! I wore my Kente Cloth that my mother gave me years ago, along with my African Medallion that I had back in the 1990’s when the millennials were just born. Wanted to represent! You know when a movie likes this gets viral, of course it’s expected to be great. And yes it will bring out folks talking about “Black Panther didn’t have any Gay Reps!” For my LGBT folks, look we like you. We do. Many of us don’t discriminate. But respectfully, it’s not all about you! If you wanted a Gay Rep for your movement for the movie, then you should have been on board with the selection of characters for the movie! We’re you? Say it loud. Just saying. Plus I know some black folks had negative things to comment about the movie. Like one Black Republican thought it was all about the Democrats. Really?! Stop. This has nothing to do with politics. NONE AT ALL! Why are we tripping?! Like for real black folks! This also is like, when something like this comes along some of us will get not satisfied. Not many of us were not on the studios and having our say working behind the scenes. STOP IT! If many of us were to get those jobs instead of being all high and conscious maybe we should be on the front-lines instead of the hate against of this flick! And you wonder why we don’t get along. Yo: this is a movie!

Oh yes, I did like the thought about #WakundaVoting or #BlackPantherVoting to get the voting drives in gear. BUT: if we turned out in droves for Black Panther, what happened in the 2016 Election? If we used that same mentality for a MOVIE, then that mentality should be for our times when we vote up!

CALLOUT: 2018 is a Midterm voting year. Um….Hello!

“ARE WE NOT ENTERTAINED?!” – Gladiator, 2000

Now when I was growing up the Mil, yes I heard that movies, or certain movies inspire you. Or move you. Make you want to go out and do right. Make you want to do get things done, represent you, your brand, your movement, and your ideas and your lessons. We know this. But for this movie, Black Panther many are calling it a “Movement.” Even in the times that black folks are this enemy and can’t shoot straight. Even when we were given the word “No you still can’t do this or that due to your Blackness.” Oh, to the white audience, this movie isn’t all racist. Stop it with the nationalism stuff. It’s just a movie, right?

I’m glad that the Marvel Brand and the DC Brand of both comic groups and other groups have Black Superheroes and Black Super heroines for the black folks to look at. Look, we still like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Professor X, Wolverine, Jean Grey, Cyclops, The Beast, and others. Even Spawn and The Incredible Hulk.

But the black comic book hero characters like Blade, Storm, Kid Flash, Vixen, Luke Cage, Nick Fury, War Machine, Isiah Bradley, Patriot, Misty Knight, Doctor Voodoo, Miles Morales, Cyborg, Steel, Static, Icon, Rocket, and yes even Black Panther and Black Lightning, they all should be not overlooked, and should matter of one reason: Representation!

And no: Meteor Man and Blankman DO NOT COUNT! Sorry folks.

So while the movie is rolling like crazy and smashing box office records, here’s something you need to know: an old school adage of player hating. Even ex Wrestler Booker T said the same thing – Don’t hate the player, hate the game!