Posts Tagged ‘Generation X’


Check out @TheForum860’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/TheForum860/status/1023248092425019393?s=09

July 28th, 2018.

Mark that date down that many in Black Milwaukee will not be happy to hear. The reign of WNOV’s The Forum segment has surprisingly closed. Due to this decision was not “mutual” or irreconcilable differences. By now at this hour, you’re just listening to the hours between 9am – 12pm and no Sherwin Hughes on the microphone. No Forum. No more “Bye Felicia Awards”(the awards that got you locked out with bad remarks) and no voice here. But the voices are still out for more.

What will actually be a factor to enhance the voice of concern to the African-American Audience of Milwaukee? And second, if those had been following The Forum for all or most of the six years, is the due season coming for the next level of hosts? When I was listening to the radio today this morning, nothing but music in the 9-12 hour slot. Nothing but R&B, Rap & Hip Hop. Nothing but that. Of course the show at the previous hour was on during the slot but many like me, didn’t hear that voice to talk about the issues and happenings of the day. Yeah, that was missed! Was there friction between the management and host? What really let to the dismissal? Most of us reviewed the comments of the listeners online via Facebook when the story broke, and many found it like: “WNOV made a huge mistake of this decision”. “That’s jacked up”, or “Why during the midterm election season going on” (shades of 1290 WMCS being cancelled), and many also did appreciate the value of the host for his political viewpoints and raised an idea to get back in the game by using a different platform like podcasting .

I will admit, the Monday of today is not the same as last week. It’s a different week. And I don’t know how the radio works in terms of broadcasting or getting your messages out to the mass folks that are listening with management and experience. Hopefully, we’ll get to the real bottom of this and actually get a real conclusion beyond the “irreconcilable differences” in Milwaukee Radio. Not trying to speculate anything, but many may ask, why this dismissal was necessary in 2018?

“The Forum” ran for 6 years. And yes in those six years, we heard many topics. And to me, it mattered to Black Milwaukee and the listeners alike because we needed a fresh prospective from an angle that was never given before. I think also we needed a fresh prospective from the Generation X point of view because its clearly thought that the older generation was listening and learning. Many look at Generation X being all slackers and can’t do nothing right. Well that’s a load of BS. That’s not in part of the truth. And I’m part of the 1965-1981 crowd of the generation. And another reason why it mattered to the black community and it’s an obvious one, we need to keep and maintain our issues, our conversations, happenings, health stories, finance, lifestyle, creations, education and dozens of topics at hand everyday! Even yes addressing crime and racism. The three hours were just a spoke on the wheel, but the reality is that must keep the voice of the community on point and visible all the time. And that is why partially, the voices in the black community must be more than just one. It must be many!

What were my top moments in The Forum’s history? Let’s go into that right now. But first, I’ll dig into the crates of my blog stories that can support the story.

Going back to 2013, I remember a segment about opinion polls:

Now I’ve been heard about the recent Marquette Poll, or the Raussman Poll. This percentage of citizens this and this percentage of that. And mostly I’ve heard the question on black radio stations like WNOV, and asking, “Were you polled?” or “I was never polled on this topic.” Most of the folks in my opinion who do these polling statues, are white. Think about it. I’m just saying. And check this, how many of these polls in Wisconsin were done by African-Americans? No matter which side they see? AGAIN: there is 6% of African-Decent living in the Badger State.

 

2014: During Black History Month….

I was listening to WNOV today. Yes The Forum with Sherwin Hughes. He had on a guest of the name Oshi Adelabu who really dropped serious knowledge on why Black History Month is around. He also dropped real serious topics about us black folks don’t really know our history as much as the other ethnics. If anyone in America, or in Milwaukee had a chance to listen to him, you probably got lectured on a different level. And he did address the concerns of those who are our children who don’t care about the history. And the reason being, partially many of the adults don’t really go into the deep reason of the hidden stories of lynchings, hangings, inside discrimination, the first Egyptians being black (in which they were) or telling blacks not to go into the doors that whites used to go. I think our generation (the lower half of Gen X, Y, Millennials) were and are shielded from the extreme part of it and many of us don’t care. It’s sad to say but it is. Want a prime example: go to the Instagram and look at those bogus pics like, “Pookie and them were the first blacks to get turnt up in the club drinking Hennessy.” You mean to tell me that we would poke fun at those who have blazed trails, set new foundations, and declare holy hell on those who feel that this occasion that was started in 1926 is a joke of a failure? No its not a joke of failure because those who made the joke or the bad assumptions felt cheated because we haven’t learned the deep gist of the occasions. Of what it supposed to be. Yet, many years ago, I didn’t understood a lick of why black history month exists. But as I grew older and to appreciate the value of our summarizing our ancestors, and what is going on now, it has become to me a staple. More like a centerpiece celebration. I mean “every occasion” has a centerpiece.

2013 when Harley-Davidson was 110 years old. And the black community was almost left out, and yes even the late Polly Williams weighed in:

Recently up until the days and weeks before the start of the celebration, there was almost a concern. A concern about the African-American Community being left out of the celebration with nothing on the program. I read the Harley Bikers Guide courtesy of Visit Milwaukee, in which almost every organization or company had sponsored the event, but I didn’t see ANY representation of the African American Community that either was on the cover, nor in the ads! Come on, now! Just a thought that African-Americans do ride motorcycles, and are apart of the biker culture and network. But until recently, the organization of the MLK Street Jam folks have added a line up, vendors, and live music for the 110th. Originally, “The MLK Street Jam BBQ” was the name in the Black Community and yes 5 years ago, it was a listing among the Brady Street, and other Street Jams for the Harley Riders and non riders alike. I was listening to WNOV last Monday about the concern, and about the concern of the black bikers not having a connection for the 110th in which the black community, I think I may have heard that, in means of where to go, and having black businesses to engage the support of the event. Personally that almost hurt. Did some businesses or connections from H-D or Visit Milwaukee, ever talked to the Milwaukee black community, or those along MLK Jr. Drive about hosting a spot for the 110th Anniversary ahead of time? Did anyone who is African-American that works for H-D in the Greater Milwaukee Area asked those in the black community or inform of the 110th events beforehand? That is a question I want to know. Maybe Harley-Davidson needs to have Inner City Sessions on jobs, or outreach. Or have a parade to route along MLK Drive or Sherman Boulevard to Milwaukee’s Washington Park for a fellowship. I heard that portion on WNOV.

Just to add: in the days after this segment, Jammin’ 98.3 held a Iron Elite Black Biker Jam at Uihlein Soccer Park in which displayed the different motorcycles, vendors, The Kevin Hayden Trio Band and several famous faces like Willie G, whom we all know is a descendant of the company. And even film director, F. Gary Gray. Whom also did a special documentary of the Iron Elite and the history of the African American Harley-Davidson Riders. Food for thought. And no, it was not racist.

Elsa’s on the Park and the issue of racism and this was my “introduction” to The Forum in it’s inaugural year of 2012:

This story has been non-stop. Even on the radio has been non stop. This morning, I was listening to WNOV 860AM, and there is a new segment called “The Forum” with radio host Sherwin Hughes. By the way the radio station is now online at http://www.wnov860am.com; and as well on the radio. Plus you can listen to the station via the Apps on Android, Blackberry, and the I-Phone. “The Forum” is a hard hitting segment in which the topics of political, civil and many other issues that seem and gain the thought in the African-American Community; that will you will not find like on WTMJ or any other station that most don’t address issues like this in Milwaukee. Sherwin voiced his liberties in terms of the incident at Elsa’s as of what happened. Apparently, the information given was from of his close friends in which was the victim of the incident that took place. Sherwin and those like him will never set foot in a place that doesn’t feel “welcomed”. But he also said that there might be folks who would still support the establishment and spend their money! Hold up. Why would ANYONE would continue to support any organization or company that has or had bad experiences that dealt with racial problems concerning African-Americans and not everyone else?  It’s the same thing with Milwaukee’s clubs on the East Side. Some of them had negative experiences with black folks too, as in terms of not letting them in. If I was a customer per say, and this went down, GOODBYE! No more Elsa’s. Go somewhere that can be appreciative to me,and fair quality of service. Like Black-Owned Businesses. And for the record, I have some members in my family that do own, operate, coordinate, and direct their own businesses. And they’re African-American living in Milwaukee. Yes, I know that this experience is well “sensitive” to most, BUT it is a concern that must be addressed. Everyone around the country that knows about Milwaukee’s Segregation problems, I can them saying, “you need to talk!” NO MORE HIDING! It’s either “put up or shut up.”  We have too. Matter of fact, we Americans have to address this issue of race as well instead of running away to other cities and countries just to get away. I’m just saying.

2016: The year we lost Eric Von.

When the day of September 8th came when Eric’s death came up: it was like a shock. I kept reading my Facebook Newsfeeds to see if this was real. When you get those notices of a well known figure around your community that died, usually it’s a hoax via Social Media. BUT……this was no hoax. Eric Von really did die at his home in the Sherman Park Community. The next day, WNOV was really focused on him, his life and work. I was listening to his segment and The Forum and let me tell you: it was sad, but it was a time to celebrate him of what he brought to us over the years. No matter if it was his days at 1290, or WNOV. The callers kept calling the station to offer their condolences and sympathies. Even former 1290 Personalities that called in to do the same thing. And those that used to rival WNOV were also called in to equal the messages of those offering condolences. I will admit, it will be hard to replace him on the radio. But I think that with all of this, the WNOV Family; no, the remaining WNOV family will be fine. It will take time, but still will be fine.

Also with that, there was radio broadcast about Sherwin commentating about his then-health problems in terms of him going under an examination. Which also led him to get an colonoscopy. He was very expressive about his health in terms of what he had and was able to still do the show. In the lessons followed, yes he still addressed the medical issues that many of us in the African-American Community don’t go to the doctor. Specifically us African-American Men! This was an eye-opener and yes, I’ve been woken as well. It’s a life saving issue that many must not cover up nor ignore! Speaking of colonoscopies, the age limit for that, is still in the 50’s, but there might an age reduction to about 45 and up because now many of the those in that age range may have to get checked for that detection! Either way: GET SCREENED! I would say this to the men, but women you too! Of course you already know that.

Also in 2016: The aftermath of picking 45 and questioning whom to look next.

Sixth: I was listening to WNOV this morning. And there was question about who will represent the Black Community in the Trump era? Black folks: Look to our Senators, Our Congressmen or Congresswomen. Our Alderpersons, regional leaders whom are black. Here in Milwaukee: We got just to name a few, Senator Lena Taylor, State Representative Jason Fields, Congresswomen Gwen Moore, Alderwomen Chantia Lewis and Milele Coggs, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman Khalif Rainey, Alderman Cavalier Johnson, Alderman Russell Stamper II, County Supervisors: Marcelia Nicholson, Supreme Moore Omokunde, and Willie Johnson Jr. And no, I’m not putting Sheriff David Clarke on the list because I think now we in the community are waking up with the real truth about him. He’s not what he says he is. He don’t qualify.  Other black leaders like Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Shelia Jackson-Lee, and other well known black officials must not be overlooked either that can be viable to represent.

 

Let’s see, another highlight I remember: Building an African American Community Center in 2013.

Let me go in on my home of Milwaukee for a bit. I have to blog about this story that is very dear and I think important to think about for the African Americans for our city. Recently this week, I was paying attention to Milwaukee Black Radio, namely WNOV about a comment of a potential (idea-wise) African Community Center. As many of us Black Milwaukeeans know it was supposed to be built near the Milwaukee County Transit System Headquarters, which is near 17th and Fond Du Lac, years back. But however it never got built. Many were and still asking why.

Just yesterday and today, I listened to WNOV’s Sherwin Hughes, with guests Mikel Holt, former Alderman Fred Gordon, and Troy Shaw,  and in a twist of that thought: It had something to do with that project and the Italian Community Center. From the commentary, one of the then-Milwaukee Alderman’s Mike D’Amato had a problem with that. In regarding that project of the African Community Center, that would give dilemmas for the Italian Community Center. Say what?!!! When you really think about that, Milwaukee has Community centers of the Irish, German, Mexican, LGBT, Spanish, Asian and Italian. But not a African Community Center, based on this absent minded thought? Really?

Now I know that others who are non-black and reading this blog and from the Greater Milwaukee Area are probably might come out and say, “Oh that racist! Why does he have to write that? We are all Americans. We should be equals.”  Oh Shut up! I’ve heard that so many times. I get it. Remember when I said that I’m embracing my African-American side, while expressing my slice of Americana? This is what I’m doing right now. I’m expressing my freedom of expression as an American, while honoring my African-American, or American of African decent laurels. Period. If WNOV’s “The Forum” can do it, so can I.

Just to clarify currently that the site of the former America’s Black Holocaust Museum that the late James Cameron founded was torn down, but as of this year on Juneteenth Day, it was resurrected in a new Museum with Apartments. It’s called “The Griot” and it sits near the corner of 4th and North Avenue in the same area. Hopefully this can be a new start of getting OUR African Community Center started up to educate, entertain, inform and summarize the news and happenings in the Black Community.

From last August: Confederate Monuments in Wisconsin.

Most recently, I was tuning into a radio broadcast of WNOV, yes the black station in Milwaukee. And it featured a story that had a Confederate monument in my homestate of Wisconsin. I’m not joking. You might be saying to yourself: WAIT, WHAT? Wisconsin had a Confederate Monument?! Really? Here is the featured story, from June of 2015. As we all know that Wisconsin was a Union state during the Civil War. Check out the site called “Iron Brigader”, or do a search called, “The Confederate Cemetery in Madison, Wisconsin”. I’m reading this article for the first time. And the thing that struck me out of the story was the fact that I had no idea, no iota that this existed in the state of Wisconsin. Never in my near 41 years living in the Badger State I knew that. The story summarizes that the use of the Cemetery was the burial place of the Union Soldiers that died in the Civil War. It also summarized that part of the Cemetery was known as “Confederate Rest” in which that 140 of the Confederate Soldiers whom were POW’s was buried in the area. Before that, majority of the Confederate Soldiers (approx. 1,000 plus) that were captured, were sent to Prairie Du Chien, and then to Madison. Many of them also were diagnosed with Measels, Mumps, Pneumonia, not enough food or medicine for the prisoners and many died because of it. Also some the prisoners were transported to Camp Randall (the same Camp Randall where the Wisconsin Badgers play on the UW-Madison Campus) for medications and supplies to receive treatments. Additional before Camp Randall was the house that many of the Big 10 feared, it was a training ground for the then Union Volunteer Soldiers during the Civil War. Now you wonder why Camp Randall Stadium is a “battleground” on Saturday afternoons! The story also summarized about a woman, Alice Waterman who was southern born that moved to the city to care for the Cemetery that housed the dead soldiers. She put her own financial needs to care for the graves and markers to maintain them. She is also buried at the cemetery towards the front of the site.

And to add, like other Confederate Monuments in America, that too was removed.

2014 when many got so “sensitive” about Black Milwaukee Radio. Like really?!

And check this: even Sheriff David Clarke had to call in and say “It’s David Clarke. Tone it down.”

I want to make a comment about this. I want to tell all the folks, the hyper sensitive folks something. Just my opinion: THIS WILL NOT BE TONED DOWN ON ANY FRONTS! NONE! Many times I said that Milwaukee is the most segregated city in America. That is a fact. Even if those live in the North Shore area gonna learn today. Obviously, most are afraid. They are scared. When I listening to the entire 3 hours, Sherwin had made strong references that many agreed about the understanding of black and white citizens. Even a black Vietnam Veteran! Where’s Sheriff Clarke on that? No where. Where are those who had to gall to call the station, after not what they want to hear based on strong and TRUE references? I said this on the MyFoxMilwaukee blogs that many will get mad when the truth comes out. Even if an owner gets all hyped negatively about a McDonald’s harboring Drugs and Mary Jane!

Speaking of Toning Down: Where is the “Toning down” of prevention of drugs in businesses?

  • Where is the toning down of high unemployment among African Americans IN Milwaukee? WHERE YOU AT CONSERVATIVES?!!!!!!
  • Where is the toning down of admitting the fact that this region and state is still segregated? And having Transportation issues of getting to the jobs? Hello, folks!
  • Where is the toning down of preventing teen pregnancy, not being in the poor category IN Milwaukee? EXCUSE ME?!!!!!
  • Where is the Toning Down of Drugs being going into the suburbs and while many get off easy, but hard in the larger metro areas?
  • WHERE IS THE TONING DOWN of the so-called others who thought that a school like Malcolm X shouldn’t be an Community Center after it was legally PASSED by MPS?!!
  • Where is the toning down on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Comment folks who blast things that they don’t and get a freaking pass? Such as one JSOnline commenter at one time had talked about that an officer should have punched Jeanine Tracy harder while being handcuffed in a squad car!
  • Where is the toning down on these Conservatives Radio folks like Mark Belling who labeled Derek Williams a thug after being handcuffed in the back of a squad car? Couldn’t breath in all. Neck broken. And died on the scene.
  • Where is the toning down of the Hilton Garden Inn, and Alderman Bob Bauman, about the accusations of black nightlife like 618 on Water, and many other clubs that mostly cater to African-Americans,and Urban Hip Hop Music?!!!  And having those NOT LIVING in Milwaukee had to jump in? UM, EXCUSE ME?!!!
  • Where is the toning down of the State of Wisconsin that is getting sued by Talgo because of the refusal of the High Speed Rail project, that many of the leeches of the Tea Party Wisconsin based, plus Scott Walker shutting it down? Hmmmmm………don’t see it here!

What’s up with that? Milwaukee County Residents?!!!!! You all getting all hyper sensitive about a black man’s strong truthful reference, and don’t want to admit it. Folks like Sheriff David Clarke needs to understand that he is going to get talked about. Period. I mean, if various folks can talk about Chris Abele, Tom Barrett, Scott Walker, Senator Lena Taylor, or any other official, so Clarke is off the list? REALLY?! But if Sherwin is wrong of what he said about him, maybe the second black Democratic (but mostly REPUBLICAN supportive) Sheriff needs to be a man about it and defend his record!

 

And what about being “Church Hurt?” From this year in January!

Last week on the first Friday of the year, I listened to WNOV’s The Forum Program. And the full 3 hours of the program was about those who have been “church hurt”, or being hurt by the church. It was based on the article that some folks read (mainly younger black folks) about the reasons why they don’t attend church. And I’ll bet it came from those who haven’t been there. It also featured those whom have had history in the church ranging from bishops, ministers, and members whom have those vivid memories but mostly it was NEGATIVE! As I was listening to the program, it was coming from those who say it was a scam, the black church don’t allow the LGBT no love, and other negative factors. Oh the issue of money was conversed. I want those being effect by this “church hurt” thing to hear me out on this. Yes, there are pastors, bishops, deacons, and many other church leaders that did things negatively on the value of money. Yes, it’s true. BUT: don’t assume that it’s all of the Churches! Not all the churches are about MONEY. Not all of the church are about kicking out the LGBT. Not all the Churches are about the erasing the thought of supporting young folks. Not all churches are about hating on someone who is in need of coming in to keep warm from the freezing cold! Not all CHURCHES are the same! WAKE UP! If that were the case, I wouldn’t be in church now! I’m sorry you’ve been hurt. Church hurt. But many of you members who haven’t been to any the services in a minute, and you’re complaining, why haven’t you come forward? Ok, maybe you have been working. Raising families. Taking care of a senior person. Or sat out and did nothing. And you complain. If you complain and not attended the services, you need to go! If you are on the membership roll that haven’t been at the services, meetings, events, activities or there special outings to support or donate, then you need to retool and revise your membership! Hate to say that.
Don’t always assume that the church is ALL evil. What is evil is being put or driven by those who spoil the bunch. That is EVIL! Hell, I wouldn’t stepped into a 4th Generation family tradition that I wouldn’t be able to work, earn scholarships, utilized groups (both men and women), photograph archives, record sermons and still raised almost 28 years later! That’s right, this June will be my Church Anniversary of coming in as a full member through conformation class. That’s a joy. And that’s positive. And the Church NEEDS MORE POSITIVE OUTLOOKS! Not just hearing the music or the sermons. And also the biggest issue that many have against the church besides the money and pastor, is when we get done hearing the sermons, we go out to eat to Red Lobster or a local restaurant. Church folks got to eat too! There are 168 hours in week. The Average hours on a Sunday morning Worship Service is like what, 2 hours? So in those two hours of Church, we go to the restaurant and chow down for about 1 hour or so. And we go home. BUT THE WORSHIP WORK in the week goes on. It goes on at your job. Your community centers. Your activities of recreation, homes, the elderly, Your Sorority, Fraternity, Veterans Groups, Peace Groups, Activism, Alumni Associations, etc. Even when you help folks to Vote! That is your Worship Work in the continuation of the Church! Think about that. If many more folks in Milwaukee who were listening to that broadcast would actually get it, they would actually get it. I know some understand.
I say this mainly to Milwaukee. After all, it was a Milwaukee Black Radio broadcast of WNOV that commented on this. We know what the host said. We know what the guests said. And we know that. But look here: it’s not perfect. Many of you go to clubs on Saturday Night, partying in all. Being catered. Which is nothing wrong at all. But also, like the church at times, there are members of the clubs whom can be hypocritical of the DJ, the clothes, the set up, the bar, the drinks, the food, the parking, and the security. Just like your jobs, groups and etc. You don’t hear me! We’re trying. We know it’s hard. After all, being a Christian or a every Sunday church person is not just happenstance. It’s a hard job. Period. But with God’s grace, we’re up for the challenge.
Amen.

These are just a sampling of the highlights while listening to the program for those 3 hours. And 6 years. And the things I mentioned here, serves as a lesson to engage and take it out to the world and educate our minds and thoughts about the concerns and joys per se to commence. A lot of this, I do credit “The Forum” for allowing me to express my viewpoints here and summarize them to all of you. Mainly for those whom haven’t been to Milwaukee or have not seen Milwaukee in ages! And to think that, it was not a surprise in coming. And the host has seen this blog before, so I say to that thank you!

However, why I talked about this? It goes all the way back to February 2012, when there was a rally on King Drive in about “We stand for our men for Jobs”. The very same rally that former Wisconsin State Rep Elizabeth Coggs formed. And the guest MC you asked? Homer Blow. He also expressed that morning about that we must continue to tell about what’s going on in Milwaukee. If we take pictures, blog (like I’m doing now) or whatever, this is what we have to do. So I’ve been doing this since 2005 by doing this blogging thing that may not be noticeable. But based on this and the good highlights I’ve written about in the past, my voice along with my brain, is paying attention. If this blog had not existed, I wouldn’t be telling this now. Not about anything that pertains to Milwaukee or Black America. That would be in the interests of the Newspapers or journals that rely on the sources all the time. But what happens when the sources don’t get to the source we want? That is why that blogs like this and many others need to fill in the gaps of what we know to continue the conversation. As I said before, this is not for a job thing, this is a personal thing. And the personal thing to me is to help correct the wrongs that I went through growing up to be added on to the masses of research and homework assignments. And yes, WordPress camps.

The guests over the years comprised of politicians, business owners, activists, educators, historians, young men and women, Gen X’ers, Baby Boomers, Millennials, and organizers all stopped by to lend their viewpoints of the subjects at hand. Even guests like Officer Jack, a former MPD Police Officer that gave the audience about scenarios in regarding police work and also what to do regarding law enforcement and the understanding the law. Former Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Darienne Driver (who recently resigned this year) was on the show usually on the first Fridays of the month that gave us statuses about the conditions and happenings in the Schools.  Others from Mary Burke to Lena Taylor, to Gwen Moore, and to Mahlon Mitchell, same thing. Speaking of Mary Burke that many didn’t realized that when she was campaigning for Governor (and later lost to Scott Walker)  she appeared on the show more times than any other Republican Representative. Even more than Scott Walker whom have not appeared once. Something should have told you there. And yes, even the former Sheriff David Clarke stopped through as well wearing a Trump Shirt. The callers you asked? They ranged from everyday folks that know the city very well, even a black Marine Corps Veteran that the host ALWAYS acknowledges every time!

So guess what, black people and those others wanting to know? “The Forum” was only the spoke on the wheel. But, there is so much work to be done. Even telling our stories continuously. You will not hear this from WISN 1130 or 620 WTMJ. Or any other progressive format. Nope, not here! Not happening! Oh, by the way: for those of us that couldn’t get past the emptiness of The Forum, the show recorded 832 segments in it’s 1,000+ shows. Check out The Fourm 860’s Website for all the references.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Stephen


Oh for those of us whom of the Generation X, Y and Millennials whom are 18 and up to about 45, next week we like those many before us that have to make a decision: voting in a new administration for our country. Plus maybe activating or reactivating those whom want their seats back in the Senate, House, or others. No matter how we feel about the candidates or their stance, know this: WE NEED TO VOTE! No more hiding before the keyboards or being so called conscious about not voting period. The voting games maybe somewhat “rigged” but what are we doing to “unrig” it? Other than whining and complaining everything on Social Media or our cliques. Oh yes, I just went there.

To us voters between 18-45 years old:

It’s me, Stephen. You know that blogger you’ve noticed lately?

I haven’t written a blog letter in a minute, but I feel this is the blog letter that must be written. Our generation is in Crossroads mode.We see the signs of concern. Majority of us probably will and will not vote for a cluster of reasons. But look here: if you are not voting this Election Season towards the end of this year and write some stupid remark, then you must be dumb as hell. Do you realize that our future is on the line? Majority of us don’t have the caliber of our Baby Boomer and Greatest Generation counterparts who raised us to be where we are now. Yes, we have alot to be grateful for right now, but we must not overlook the playbooks that got us here in the first place. Many of us got great degrees, owing our stuff like clockwork. Nothing wrong with that. I see that everyday. But again, we didn’t get here on our own. Many of us know that we had folks whom acted wise and gave us butt whoppings acting up pushed us to a point where we want to be.

Had a chance to talk to my 70 year old mother today and we compared contrasts about why there are those of us who know about the assasinations of MLK and others in our history books, BUT NEVER LIVED IT! She highlighted that if it weren’t for Black people in Milwaukee years ago, there wouldn’t be black folks living near the Grand Aveune Mall or any other part of Wisconsin Avenue. And it seems that about the Millennials: the act of not acknowledging about the past before them and keeping it current is not right. If you are a Millennial and only will vote for the locals and not national is not a good idea. If you are a Gen Y that stated on Social Media that you will not vote: that is inexcusable! And if you a Gen Xer who would think that Daffy Duck, Casper the Ghost, Jesus Christ, Lion-O, Cobra Commander, Optimus Prime, Megatron, or Mickey Mouse would make the cut on your ballot, CLUELESS! That will get no play. NONE. And the thing is it’s like we don’t no part of this.

This also probably have ties to slavery in some ways that the way of thinking of back then, translates to now. Yeah I said it!  I know some of you probably don’t want to hear that, but guess what: It’s part of the painful truth like White Supremacy. And we in the black community know it.

Remember when Cory Booker talked about of the Gen X’ers  being on third base after all being drunk and happy like we don’t see the real reasons why we can’t have all this goodies that many of our folks fought hard to get! And I don’t give a care how educated we are. Yeah we got those degrees hanged up on our walls and offices. But many of US aren’t educated to give back to our Alumni functions for scholarships!  Hmmmmm…Oh you think I ruffled the feathers? I told the truth!

Many of us aren’t “educated enough” to go to the doctor, and yes ladies I know it’s “Movember” in which men have to be on our game when our health is on the line. But here’s my question, isn’t every month a Movember?! Whereas the every month is Aids, Cancer, Diabetes Prevention, Domestic Violence Awareness, Gun Violence Awareness, and any other Awareness on the calendar? Tell me I’m wrong! Not just men, but also women and children.

I need to see a “VOTING AWARENESS” Month. And it doesn’t matter whom is on the ballot, I just want to Vote Up!

I want to see a “CAREER AWARENESS” Month in which many of us whom are unemployed and underemployed that want to work and make a freaking LIVING! Many of us or some of us got that drive, but not actually executing it to the next level.

If we can have THOSE AWARENESS Months like Cancer, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Childhood Health,  Bullying, Gun Violence Awareness and any other awareness that we put up each month, I want to see a Career Awareness and a Voting Awareness month. I suppose you guys like that, huh?

For voting: I think we’re just not engaged. I think the sign came at the top of the year that 2016 will be a “Hard Election” in which the main Administration of the Obamas will be going out in January 2017. And yes, every single hater on the planet will be waving that goodbye flag in a racist manner. President Barack Obama will be deeply missed that he wasn’t that bad after all. Maybe there were those that should have given him more credit of the work he did. Maybe those so-called fools who decided to go against all the calls that Obama did try to bring out should have worked. Even fully try to decide the best course for the Afforable Care Act. In which like Black Lives Matter is working. That’s right I said it!

What does it all mean, you ask? Well yes we’ve made some great strides, but the work IS STILL NOT DONE! That means we have to work hard, do our jobs everyday, give back, fight the forces of racism, sexism, shaming, and any other ISM that is on our target list. For us black folks, we have to always work twice as hard. That will never change no matter who is in office. Enough of us being all so-called conscious after looking at Hidden Colors. Enough of all the mess. Enough of the “I gotta go get my hair done than voting” talk. If we can stand in line to get that new IPhone or at the club looking at Lil’ Boosie, can we stand in line to vote on November 8th and EVERY SINGLE ELECTION DAY AFTER THAT?!

The elders will be leaving us soon and they have already solidified the future, but it’s mainly up to us to take care of the things we have to do to extend the life of groups, organizations, churches, your business connections, the schools, colleges, Alumni Associations, and others. It’s not just the next four years, it’s the four after that. And so on.

So: GenX, Gen Y and Millennials: STOP BEING SO F-ING LAZY! Stop this being that “this won’t effect me”. Oh it will. After Election Day is done, don’t even think about complaining on Facebook, your texing buddies, or any other connection that you weren’t the ones who went to the polls and didn’t cast a ballot. I’ve been voting for 20 years out of my life and I voted in boring elections, high elections, and elections I never really cared about. Plus when Obama was being elected for the first time. But I still voted regardless and I don’t have a complaint to do it!

So why in THE HELL are we tripping? STOP THE PAIN! STOP THE LAZINESS! And just put away all this mess that voting that won’t make it. It will make it, but you have to put in the WORK! I don’t care if you hate Hillary’s guts or like her ideas, or despise the effect of Donald Trump and what he recently said about nasty women, the disabled, getting the clues of turning back the clock with Jim Crow,  and the on going talk about the 1994 Crime Bill that BILL CLINTON put into effect way back. Hillary had nothing to do with that. Let’s be clear on this. Now add that to the radio or websites.

This is not a reality show, nor back in High School where you used to believe EVERYTHING! But in reality, when leaving High School and those rumors, will be addressed and debunked personally.

VOTE UP!

Sincerely,

Stephen

 

 


Kennedy gravesite

Kennedy gravesite (Photo credit: jesman)

1963 was a year for Civil Rights. As we know about the death of Medger Evers, the March on Washington, 16th Street Church Bombing, the founding of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, and today, marking the golden anniversary of the death of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Many of the Baby Boomers and some of the Greatest Generation do remember bibically of his death. But to those of us born after 1963, we don’t know except the history books. And viewing old archival videos of the news reports at museums and online.

What does also mean for this. What will Kennedy’s death of November 22nd, 1963 mean to us Generation X, Generation Y, Millenials, those of us who probably look and say, so? With the shrugs.

Dear US Americans who weren’t alive in 1963:

It’s me, Stephen. Yes that black blogger guy from Milwaukee.

Many of our older family members and friends and neighbors would answer the question: “Where were you when Kennedy was killed?” I’m sure many of you probably answered that notion in many ways. Many of you were probably the same age of those who were asked you the questions. But I think in asking the question is also seeking knowledge. Today many of us weren’t even around when Kennedy was shot to death. There were no social medias, no 24 hour news cycles, no smartphones, no other advanced use of Technology. No Arsenio, Melissa Harris-Perry, no other gains that externally reached African-Americans. But there were radios, and television sets that were the norm of information.

Yes, I like many other Americans, watched the tributes, the videos of the broadcasts when the announcements of President Kennedy’s Death was inserted during the newscasts. I’ve seen the footage of the Funeral, having the soldiers and his casket draped in the American Flag on the gun carriage with the horses leading it from the White House, to the U.S. Capitol and the final resting place of Arlington National Cemetery. The eternal flame still burns in his spirit that yes, we can do more giving back to America. Many of us have given back since 1963, and many of us haven’t. There are those of us who refused to give back in sense that yeah, I love America in all. There is a generation of us Americans never really cared about what happened in 1960’s. Don’t get me wrong, there are those of us in the Gen X, Y, Millennial that probably do recognize the work. And there are those that see the work, but probably won’t do it. Sort of like Social Responsibility, remember that Jay Z fans?

There has been this “thought” that President Kennedy had little knowledge or little reference about African-Americans and the struggle of the Civil Rights. I remember seeing the movie The Butler, and no I was not tripping! If you have seen the movie not to give it away, review the scene where Cecil Gaines talks to President Kennedy about his viewpoint of blacks and civil rights. And if you are one of those who STILL haven’t seen it, you better! That movie should be seen by all folks, not just black folks.  And yes without the butler per say in a sense, I think JFK wouldn’t got the gist in spite of the Civil Rights Movement. On TheGrio Website, When I saw the movie, it was a point in that segment that I think that JFK was destined for change. A prime example in an exert from Rolling Stone Magazine in which the Vietnam War was a concern.

“It’s time for us to get out. The Vietnamese aren’t fighting for themselves. We’re the ones doing the fighting. After I come back from Texas, that’s going to change. There’s no reason for us to lose another man over there. Vietnam is not worth another American life.”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/john-f-kennedys-vision-of-peace-20131120page=3#ixzz2lRdLCsTT
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In other words: JFK wanted the U.S. OUT of Vietnam. Literally. Apparently after November 22nd, 1963 that wasn’t the choice due to the Assassination in Dallas, and the handover of the presidency to Lyndon B. Johnson. Where as right now the option of getting the troops out of Afghanistan is still high. But now the decision has been reached to forge a partnership between the Afghan forces and U.S. Armed Forces to remain intact until 2024.

As of right now, 50 years have come and gone. But what about the next 50 years when the commemoration of JFK’s legacy is remembered for the 100th time since 1963? I know that the link of JFK to me is through Caroline Kennedy, the surviving sibling of JFK and Jackie O. JFK Jr has been deceased since 1999. And Senator Ted Kennedy served his term very well until his passing several years ago. Yes I realized that the Kennedy name is still out there. The next era of the Kennedy folks,  to me must take up the slack of the family. Sort of like the legacy of Martin Luther King must be taken up with the King/Farris Family members currently. Even though their names aren’t known yet. And this is similar with the Jackson family. We know after Micheal passed, that was supposed to be the end per say. But what about his nephews? What about his children? They need their chance to shine up.

But for the Family of JFK, and the future, the torch that he talked about will be passed to the next players coming in. Even the ones, in his future family members. So we a those who have or will ask to do whatever for America, do this: start in your communities. Go back and help out your communities in terms of Employment, Health, Neighborhoods, and many other concerns that lingers on Americans. Resume your work, even though it’s a long haul, but still the help will come IF and ONLY IF you contribute or start up ideas!  That way if possible that a dream of JFK, MLK and many others who wanted change without getting harmed, can definitely be a must!

Sincerely,

Stephen


I’m going to be PC here today. All this time, I’ve been paying attention to those who I thought were real. Church members, celebrities (ala Kim Kardashian) and many others things that I can think of. First, this is for all the church folks. Those who punch the pews, and listen to the sermons while texting and tweeting with facebooking each time when a sermon arises. And for the record, and I’m making this public, I do tweet in my church services and I do it for a reason: I’m reshaping the thought of communication in the church. Yes, I am apart of the United Methodist Church in the “rethinking the church” ideas. This is one of them. Now to those who oppose this in the sanctuary, maybe you need to give this a try and hating the idea. I don’t care if you’re old school from the 1970’s and trying to carry it out. With all do respect, but times have changed.  And I’m not going to burn in flames on a Sunday morning.

Which leads me to my second point. To the “real” church members those who again pack the pews and give, good work. And to those who don’t pack the pews, and having those back stage politics, one of these days you’re going to have trouble. This shouldn’t matter to any denomination. Anyone can relate. I know what you’re thinking: yes, I’ve been a giving person for alot of years and I worked in my time in for the church. And I’ve been doing it for 20 years! Plus I had to debate the pastor, deacons, and those in charge of why the church is not going up and you’re judging me?!!” Let me say in response that yeah, you’ve done your job for 20 years. And I think part of the debate, was in fact drowning yourself, and drowning the face of the organization. Just because your name is on the roster, doesn’t mean you’re a “real member”. For those of you already know, from your Fraternities, Sororities, Elk Groups, Mason Lodges, etc. You should know that having a name on the roster doesn’t mean jack squat! I’m going there. It’s all about the WORK! It’s all about the contributions, donations, etc. You feel me? Now I’ve been hearing  from the older crowds about how to get the younger age ranges, from 18-35 or up to 40, involved in the church. Well to the older crowds, as the younger kids would say, you better be real! I don’t’ care if you are in your 60’s, or maybe 70’s! With all do respect, you had set the standards, but now it’s a new ball of wax and alot of what you did, may not work for those like me today. Tell that to your groups.  And especially to those who are coming up trying to hustle, or making that money without getting the principle.

Second, Kim Kardashian. When will she learn? 72 days of marriage. Please.  I have family members that have been married since the 1950’s that are still married. And my parents have been together since 1969. What some of these so-called marriages today are lacking is commitment. I hear this from those who are already married. I begin to question is this whole marriage game is shaking down to whatever. Now I got folks close to me that want me to dive in. Note to those when I say this: Not a chance! Some folks in my family once said that if you’re not mature (and the key word is mature) enough to handle a commitment, you do NOT walk that aisle. Was Kim Kardashian mature to Kris Humphries for those 72 days? Was she mature to Reggie Bush? I think the answer was no. I know it.

What I ‘m trying to say is, that if you’re going to be real at something, or someone, just stick to it. Do your job, and I’ll say this as a member of Generation X, quit your whining and save the drama for your mama! Just like the line from Higher Learning when Laurence Fishburne’s character Maurice Phipps kept saying “you have to have a plan”. That is the only way for anyone or anything to survive. And that is what is needed now.  It doesn’t matter what race, creed, class, gender, economic status, looking for work, education, changing jobs, losing weight, how to vote, or whatever. It’s the same thing.