Posts Tagged ‘10th Anniversary’


Everyone knows how this goes. And it’s real simple. No need to link or google or even #Hashtag. Today, many around the country and in 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.

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.

But this holiday, yes does have the two words of Be Thankful of the things and ideas we already have. So here in it’s 10th 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 job that is good for you and it pays well, be thankful.

If you don’t have a job and still looking and not quiting, be thankful!

If you have good insurance, be thankful.

If you have a good car or truck that gets you to work everyday, be thankful.

If you have an idea or a lead to get a good doctor, but 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!

If you have a cool dentist, be thankful.

If you have lost any loved one this year, 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. Hard, but we must. I still miss my father, and 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 2018 and will be getting it, be thankful!

Love your gifts and talents that are unappreciated? And still do them? 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, who is being taken care of, and heard good news about coming home, and I know this: BE THANKFUL!

Got good neighbors that know you? Be thankful.

Met new neighbors? Be thankful.

Moved to a different city 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.

If you want your Church to succeed despite of those want it to fail due to jealously, 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, be thankful!

Single and not in a relationship? Be thankful.

If you tried to do a summer program this year and it didn’t go well. But you tried it, be thankful.

Married with or without kids? Be thankful.

Single and no kids? Be thankful.

Single with kids? Be Thankful.

Divorced? Be thankful.

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, be thankful.

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

If you 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 have served in your community as a Election Inspector (like me) for 10 years or more and still work, 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 can’t wait to eat to your meal that gives you life, be thankful.

Still avoiding fake news? Be thankful.

If you read my old blogs that I can’t control of 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.

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

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

If you switched your career to a new company in the past year, or will go to a new company, 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 2018, be thankful!

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!

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 deck your halls for Christmas or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, after Thanksgiving (some of you done it ahead of time) Be Thankful.

If you criticized Donald Trump for his horrible so-far job as President and his tweets, REALLY BE THANKFUL!

If you are breathing right now normally: 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 you kneeled while supported the protest of inhumane acts of people of getting brutalized by the police (as in the NFL Players) and support the idea of waving the flag: your thankfulness is valid because even though many of you supported a kneeling movement in a Colin Kaepernick way. It’s not about the Flag or against the military or veterans. It’s about the ongoing concern of black folks getting the wrong treatments.

If you are walking tall real good, be thankful.

If you condemn any racist act on the internet, social media, at your job, or in the house, 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 thankful to get your voice heard! Put the pressure on them on not coming back.

If you are upgrading your house, 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, be thankful!

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

If you are a conscious-minded person, a defensive-minded person that you know is best, for your own opinions, be thankful!

For my Sagittarius readers: guess what? Our season is back. Are we thankful? (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


The time has come: Class of 2016 you are about to go to that next world that many of you have been dreaming of. And yes, for some of you, many of you will be making that mark so badly. I know this. But guess what, before you or some of you will walk across that stage: Just know that many or some will or will not have your back. But also, as newly fresh grads as you are, it’s time to claim “your Sweet 16” in a way that is known: your opportunity. So here is for the newly grad class of 2016: your blog letter.

Dear Class of 2016:

It’s me Stephen. You know, that black blogger guy from a city like Milwaukee.

Congrats to you! Many of you have finally made to the final level about to be graduates and soon to be, Alumni Members of the schools that you have to give back to.

I’m assuming that many of you will be getting your plans together . The same ol’ “after college” plan that will be asking you even after you get your degree. You know what they are. However it is something that is going to be asked of you every day just to keep in mind. Just a sidenote to you High School Grads making the next level: you’re in this too! No matter if your next level involves College or the Armed Forces.

But yes, it’s your time to be recognized. It’s your time to be appreciated of the four, sometimes 5, or 6 years of work that you put into. No matter if it was High School, College or University, you made your stamp on history! And no one can never take that away from you. NOBODY! Defend your degrees. And also, there will be folks will might say, “So you think you’re so fresh or better than me just because you got a degree from some school!” Just a word of warning. But don’t let some goober with a half-pint brain never tell you any different. Many of you had to go through hell, fire, and brimstone just to get to the commencement. Some of you, who had to drop out years ago, for some other reasons, probably made the journey back to finish and get your degree! Some of you whom had served in the military, came back or entered college to finish the goal that was previously started. Many of you who are 1st gen, 2nd gen, or 3rd gen who are from various backgrounds of historical accomplishments in family education, are adding something new to the trophy case. And some of you, (kind of myself) are graduating just to prove a point to belong or actually proving some goobers wrong with all the negativity that was swirled around with bad unethical thoughts who are now just eating crow. That happened to me 10 years ago this month graduating from UW-Stout. Graduating in the area of Industrial Management and used Distance Education to do it. Don’t front old school trads!And by the way, 2006 still rocks! I should also point out, that you might inspire someone from the audience that watched you walk with your class to go and work on their future degrees to get. I’ve seen it happen and it worked.

But in all seriousness, you have your power. Just use it. Not just for you, for those who got you to the dance. Just like President Obama said at Howard University, the very same Howard that Diddy said his address, he spoke about: “be confident in your blackness”. Since Howard is a HBCU, why not he spoke to that notion. And of course the Obama haters via Fox News had to say something dumb. But yes, the President was on point when  he said be bold in your blackness. I know that yes, the College has other folks walking the Yard, but in that speech, I knew whom he was talking to. Sort of like what Jamie Foxx said on the BET Awards years ago when he said “This is for all the Black People! ” Not racist! Understand that.

Now I need direct my attention to the jack off idiots whom are “Soft Administrators” and idiots who feel that high school seniors who got Valedictorian status and many other status that many will not obtain.

CALLOUT: Louisiana: I’m calling your non gotee facial rules what it is. Flat out BS!

CALLOUT: And to the school district who wouldn’t allow a senior to walk across the stage with her class all because she said some poem with the N word printed. You have jumped the gun, but obviously failed to realize that this could be a warning that she might go through once leaving the school. Matter of fact this happened to a white kid at my High School 10 years ago, but the dude almost didn’t graduate because the truth he wrote on MySpace about the crime and concerns of Milwaukee. Um hello! The date was 06-06-06. No kidding. And were still taking about it 10 years later with the crimes taking place now.

*Just a sidenote, that senior who almost got yanked for not walking with her class, has now graduated.

And the last thing, why would any school administrators would take away a black dudes chance of graduating, and having on a Kente Cloth?! As in representing the black culture?! Really?!

Man, some of our school administrators in the schools are so soft! I’m sorry. As a Alum I feel disgusted by which these silly rules are being enforced by the schools to not allow our Black children to participate in the event they worked hard for. And I also blame these scared racist voters whom feel afraid or anguish against black folks trying to make to grad day. And I’ll bet those same folks whom are stuck on stupid with not making it themselves. Watch your back, 2016 grads! Keep making the haters mad by doing your thing. Sooner or later they will realize that your success will turn heads and crack skulls! Trust me! And watch overtime how they disappear. Knowing the thought, some might even be kissing your butt for a spot on the job line. And I know many of you are VOTERS! If you didn’t like to be yanked from your Graduation spot because of facial hair, a poem that reflected the truth, or having a Kente Cloth on your graduation gown, THEN YOU MUST VOTE to change the game! Let your Administrators, or Council Members, or Mayors, or School Superintendents know that this matter does not sit well and yes you have a right to complain. These person(s) work for you, and you have a right to hold them accountable of what they do. If they don’t work for you, as in progress, VOTE THEM OUT! Or matter of fact, you can challenge their seats to compete for their jobs!  And if you’re not yet a voter, it’s time to become one.

Well Class of 2016, you’re Alums now. And every single year, I come on here to tell you that your old High Schools and Colleges/Universities need your help in support the future causes. I urge all of you (even though most of you are younger than me) to join your school’s Alumni Associations. Donate to your alma mater by donating some of your time and effort to support this life long cause. I know many of you are getting some of those Grad Dollars of checks or cash from your mama and them. I mentioned this 2 years ago, why not donate some of your grad cash to your alma maters to support a lab, library materials, or new gym lockers, new computers, or donate to the arts that need new instruments, or just donate some cash to help a new cause to your old school like mixers or metro area alumni groups, or future Alumni Chapters. Even start a subgroup Alumni Chapter like African-American Alumni Chapters or Black Alumni Chapters  and alike. I know one school needs one! And also, you can go to your reunions or meetups. Even serve on Alumni Board of Directors to read scholarship essays, select future speakers,  fix up your old classroom/dorm or go to a homecoming game, and maybe as a idea: you might be called to speak at your old high school or college at a future commencement ceremony! Better get cracking on the donations, philanthropic needs and JOBS now!

And yes you can still buy that swag of stuff!

Class of 2016: take a freaking bow! The celebration has been summarized and concluded. Time to get to work.

 

Sincerely,

Stephen

 

 


Today is August 25th, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the passing of one of my favorite singers, Aaliyah. Now for those know that she was one of the rising stars that the music game knew. Frankly, I’ve been listening to Aaliyah since 1994 with her hit “Back and Forth” which was from the first album “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number”. – For the record, for those who want to know where the quote came from, here’s your answer. And even Bo Diddley said the same thing. But anyway, Aaliyah was indeed talented with her caliber style of dance and singing. If she were to be compared to the likes of Beyonce or Nicki Minaj, I hate to say this, but Aaliyah would come out on top over those two. I like Beyonce and I’m still trying to understand Nicki Minaj, but Aaliyah would just win in a foot race in her craft.

When I was in New Orleans in 2001, I was on vacation around the French Quarter with the family, and happen to go into the Virgin Music Store and I happen to buy Aaliyah’s third solo album and took a listen. After hearing We Need A Resolution (which is mostly needed now with the country in all) I paid attention to Rock The Boat. This was the joint!!! I told myself that she needs to make a video out of this. I listened to this on the plane on the way back to Milwaukee and just fell in love with the song. There were other joints on the album that got my ears ringing but so far “Rock The Boat” was the joint to kick off the 2000’s decade with the music.

When the passing of Aaliyah happened, I like many others were disbelief. Here she was at age 22 coming into her own and this craft is gone. Another good artist who like Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, Otis Redding, Patsy Cline, Ritchie Valens, had their careers cut short because of a plane crash. Which was terrible. Another person came to mind of this columnist who once said: “Sure, Aaliyah was talented. But this is all too much”. And I think the blame for that was put on Rod Doher, who once commented that she was a nobody. REALLY? A NOBODY?!!!!! Where was this so-called journalist back in 1994, getting drunk on Grunge music? Obviously, he had his opinion, but here’s something that most in the dark don’t know: Matter of fact he doesn’t know squat. Maybe this dude didn’t do his research enough to actually get the information to understand who Aaliyah, and her goals and ambitions in life. Maybe if Rod Doher would have done that, then there wouldn’t be comments on Yahoo that she was “a waste of skin”. How hateful. This was someone’s daughter, sister, niece, classmate and others. When the haters die, I think no one would even care. Since then, her third album did win awards, and charities have named after her of course. Plus I know many of you probably have daughters name Aaliyah.

Overall, Aaliyah had a great music career. Even after 10 years of her passing she, in my opinion would have qualified as a potential hall of famer. OK I’m wishful thinking! Maybe in the next 20 years or more, I wouldn’t be surprised that she would be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And with the likes of R. Kelly, Timbaland, Ginuwine and Missy Elliott, there wouldn’t be no Aaliyah. Thank you, Blackground Records.

Note to the “future talent”: You don’t have to be a pretty face just to get noticed. You don’t have to stay stuck wearing baggy gear in all just to get noticed. All you need a real craft of your gifts just to get out and hustle. Aaliyah had her hustle. Maybe that’s why she taught us to “Back and Forth”. Or maybe she really told that sometimes that “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number” – regardless of age. She was definitely”More than a Woman”,  “One in a Million” with a “4 Page Letter”. Hmmmm: “If Your Girl Only Knew” that was “Hot Like Fire”. Aaliyah had told us to “Try Again” just in case we mess up, “Come Back In One Piece” to our family and friends, and even after all of this, she’s still asking: “Are You Feeling Me?” “Are you that Somebody?” Lastly, she told us that in times of dilemma,”We Need A Resolution” to “Rock the Boat”. And now, after the death, she’s letting us know that “I’ll Miss You”.

Even though that she had her own caliber, she was indeed, like her name meaning, “the exalted one”.