Sunday, April 26, 2015

Blackbird

Blackbird










I saw it today.  1st I'll say it was a good movie.  Pretty well acted and believable if you are familiar with people that were raised in the way that the young man Randy was in the film.

He had a mother with very strict religious beliefs and they attended a church that also had old and detrimental beliefs that cause confusion and heartache.

Now all I really want to say regarding the movie and anyone that knows me would not be surprised with what I'm about to say.

I'm absolutely sick and tired of movies about Black people where a white person comes in and makes everything better for the main character.  Not sure why the choice in this movie was for the young Randy to become involved with the sort of corny trying to be worldly and cool white Kevin.

There as you can see in the picture above there were 2 other very qualified cast members that could have played the one to deflower Randy.  I'm really not giving anything away in the movie you'll know this is coming the moment Kevin steps on the scene..very predictable...even though I hoped for a twist.  sigh didn't happen.

Anyway, enjoy the story of this movie ...till next time when I have something to say. :-)


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My Responses to a Blackmansdream Questions

1.When did you become a black man? When did you become a man?

I became a Black man at 18 years old.  I was in college and went to a party in Los Angeles with 2 other friends.  We were on our way home and stopped by the Police.   We were told to get out of the car,  get face down on the ground with 3 feet between us.  Each one of us took our turns at having a knee in our backs and asked our names and what we were doing in the area.  We were searched and then told that there had been a robbery in the neighborhood and we fit the description.  Knowing we were nowhere near this supposed robbery we all realized that we were being stopped for driving while Black.  One friend protested a little too much and was punched in the back.  We were then let go when the other Policeman simply said lets go.  Don't think I ever thought of myself as a Black Man before that other than simply knowing that I was black. With those types of stops being on the news all the time I now was able to categorize myself along with the other Black men that had been stopped previously by Police for no reason.

I became a man in my mind when I rented my 1st apartment and could control that environment the way I chose. No more following the rules of others who gave or assisted me with shelter.

2.How would you describe your interaction with other black males in your youth? Adulthood?

In my youth I had a few close black male friends and felt good about the relationships.  We simply enjoyed each others company as we were all learning who we were growing to be.  With others that I wasn't close with I was guarded an always ready to fight.  However, I always knew that they didn't know my secret.  In adulthood I get the feeling that there is competition all the time.  Even when there is nothing to compete for. It's hard to explain but I always feel like there is some type of judgement taking place.

3.What makes you angry? sad? happy?

What makes me angry is not being listened to. What makes me sad is knowing there's nothing I can do about it.  What makes me happy is art of all kinds.  Music, Books, Paintings, and theater.

4.Have you ever dealt with emotional stress directly related to being a black man?

Yes, recently at work I was in a training session.  I was the only black person in the room of approx 20 white people when the facillitator decided to bring levity to the class.  He decided to show several videos of Terry Tate Office Linebacker. This was originally a Super Bowl commercial for Nike. While funny if I was at home, in the work environment I felt it was very inappropriate and a stereotypical depiction of black men being violent, using crazy language and in general being aggressive.  The room exploded with laughter but I didn't and when I told Human Resources after the class that I'd like them to remove the videos from future classes so that no one else would feel the way that this made me feel.  I could tell they felt as if I was overreacting.  From that point on the environment for me changed and I was questioned a lot about my work and accused of behaviors that just weren't true.

5.Have you ever been depressed? What caused it?

Yes I've been depressed a couple of times...once due to a bad relationship and the other due to a person with a superior position at work who wanted to intimidate me.

6.Were you able to express your depression to the people around you? If yes, how did they respond--if no, what stopped you?

Not people at work.  I already knew that whatever I said would have been taken as a complaint and not valued.  Was told by my manager once that I needed to accept the responsibility for my actions.  When speaking to friends they understood but it felt as if this is just par for the course of being black.

7.What has stopped you from expressing yourself emotionally?

Thinking that it would have no value.

8.How were you raised to deal with your emotions?

I wasn't really.  My father never expressed any and my mother would act as if there was no issue or that it wasn't a big deal and I should get over it.

9.How do you feel you're perceived by other black men?

I'm not really sure.  At this point in my life I behave I don't care.  Even if at times I may be affected by their perception.

10.Do you cry? When was the last time you cried and why?

Yes.  I put on an event for the Black LGBT community and felt like people appreciated the experience that I helped develop.  I felt like the event accomplished all that we had hoped.  Then Daniel Black recited a poem that he wrote that spoke to my heart.

11.What has your mother/father told you about expressing your emotions,and when?

Nothing that I can remember. Except..don't let people outside our house know what's going on inside ours.

12. What's the hardest thing about being a male? a black male?

Being a male:  Always feeling like you have to prove yourself.  Being a black male: Having to be smarter, work harder, and still not shown the same level of respect that others with less experience and intelligence as you who are always praised and rewarded. 

13. Whats a repetitive happy dream/day dream you can remember?

Winning the lottery and being able to tell my job to go to hell while not having to worry about sustaining myself.

15. What's a repetitive nightmare you can remember?

Falling.  I think it has to do with not being able to sustain myself or loosing complete control of my life.

Black Men Dream

Blackmendream is a film that I think will cause you pause.  Why you pause will be due to your own experiences.

Click on the picture of film maker Shikeith above to view the film.  Shikeith asks Black men the following questions.  Share your responses if you like.

1.When did you become a black man? When did you become a man?

2.How would you describe your interaction with other black males in your youth? Adulthood?

3.What makes you angry? sad? happy?

4.Have you ever dealt with emotional stress directly related to being a black man?

5.Have you ever been depressed? What caused it?

6.Were you able to express your depression to the people around you? If yes, how did they respond--if no, what stopped you?

7.What has stopped you from expressing yourself emotionally?

8.How were you raised to deal with your emotions?

9.How do you feel you're perceived by other black men?

10.Do you cry? When was the last time you cried and why?

11.What has your mother/father told you about expressing your emotions,and when?

12. What's the hardest thing about being a male? a black male?

13. Whats a repetitive happy dream/day dream you can remember?

15. What's a repetitive nightmare you can remember?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Where Are You?

1st I want to start by saying forgive me Penn State Legal Students for using your picture for my blog but I wanted to illustrate that there are Black Professionals in our communities in every state.


Where are you?

There are many aspiring and seasoned Black Legal Professionals in Legal, Political and many other fields that have influence and knowledge.  It is so disappointing to me that there is not a collaborative thought our conscious that exists in our community.  I know that groups take some work to get started and to create a mission and it takes work to come up with a satisfactory vision that all in the group agree on.  But where are you and what are you thinking about the countless known and unknown incidences that are killing Black men in this country.

My opinion is to use the K.I.S.S theory.  Keep it simple stupid.  If we were able to do this and garner a larger voice in our society then I am certain that decisions in cases such as the Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and a host of other cases would not end so tragically.

Why are our professionals sitting back and just watching cases like this unfold from the comfort their televisions, smart phones and other devices that keep us far from taking any action.

I agree with a quote of Thomas Jefferson's that says: "I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

Another quote from him:

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”


I am not suggesting that we should revolt in the times of old.  However, I am suggesting that we have gained much knowledge of the processes in the Legal and Political landscapes. Thus should use that knowledge to come together and revolt in a brand new and sustainable way.

I am sickened by the ease at which our legal systems have victimized Black men.  I'm disgusted to see the unnecessary deaths and injustices that have occurred agains us.  

My last words are:  Where are you, we need you!?!?!


Friday, June 13, 2014

The 3rd Annual Literary Soul Symposium


Have you heard of these Authors?

Rev. Alfreda Lanoix 
Dr. Daniel Black 
Lee Hayes 
Frederick Smith
E'Yama Matturi
Dontá Morrison
Armani Williams


If not click on their links to find out more about them and their books.  

Why not do one better and meet them in person at the 3rd Annual Literary Soul Symposium, September 19th thru 21st in Los Angeles!

Click on the logo for more information.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Do you know how important you are?

Do you know how important you are?



Do you know that our people slept laying spoon fashion in the filthy hatches of slave ships
in their own and in each other’s excrement and in their urine
and menstrual flow so that you could live
200 years later?

Do you know that?
Do you know that our people stood on auction blocks
So that you could live?

When is the last time someone told you how important you are?


Maya Angelou to Tupac Shakur on the set of Poetic Justice. She repeated this story to Dave Chappelle during the taping of  the show Iconoclasts on the Sundance Channel, where she and he sat and talked.


Saturday, October 05, 2013

that's all i can say

I know I haven't blogged in awhile.  But right now this is all I can think to do.  I need to express this.

I went to a young couple's wedding last weekend.  I know we've all been to many.  However, this wedding was very special.  The young bride was pregnant and the young groom so proud and honored to be marrying his best friend.  You see this couple have known each other since they were children.  They lived right next door to each other all while they grew up and grew in love with each other.

I must say that this was one of the best weddings that I have been to in a while.  There was such love all around.  Everyone was filled with joy.  I know it sounds corny to say but I was actually experiencing joy all around me.  Then the dancing started and the floor was filled with everyone just simply having a great time with family, friends, and new acquaintances.  It was really a special wedding.

As we were leaving the reception the young bride was seated with her feet up and her mother, mother-in-law and close girlfriends surrounding her rubbing her feet and making her feel comfortable.  The wedding and excitement must have been stressful on her body.

Fast forward to today.  I get a text message telling me to pray for the couple as she is in the hospital with a condition called Non-Immune Hydrops Fetalis (sort of like a fetal heart attack).  The mortality rate is 60-90%.  It's a rare condition that occurs in 1-2000 births.

40 minutes later another text that the baby no longer has a heartbeat.  The mother's health is in danger.  The baby will be aborted and the doctors will be working on the mother.

I am praying for a positive outcome for the mother.  My thoughts  and prayers are with this young couple and their families.

I just don't know what to say right now…I don't know what I'll say later…What does this mean?  The outpouring of love that will be bestowed upon this couple will be enormous.  I do hope that they will recover from this tragedy mentally healthy from the healing of all of our love.

that's all i can say


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Experience the Intellectual Side of Brothers

Hello All,



This organization needs your support!

This was a great event last year and looks to become increasingly better.  With its small grassroots beginning and the brainchild of a couple of black sgl book clubs that didn't feel they would be represented in a more mainstream Black book conference, you will surely find value in what they are offering.
Check out the website below for more details.  If you can't attend and simply would like to lend your support by donating ..click the donation link.

The main theme of the this years Literary Soul Symposium (LSS) is “Living Authentically: Developing Extraordinary Characters” followed by relevant sub themes that cover a wide range of developmental issues and challenges.  This theme sends a very personal message throughout the GLBTQ Community that loving oneself  while unapologetically developing your own character is essential in the journey called life. 





 2013 2nd Annual Literary Soul Symposium

Donate to the Literary Soul Symposium

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Oh Happy Day and What Cha Gonna Do For Me

Oh Happy Day!!!!

A couple of weeks ago I had a colonoscopy and polyps were found.  Just 2.

When polyps are found, they are removed and then perform a biopsy to check for cancer.  I am soo happy to say that no cancer was found.

Not only am I happy because I don't have cancer!  I'm happy because I don't think I could take an additional piece of news that is not favorable at this time in my life.

Now I'm happy in my relationship but work life has been anything but happiness for me.



Last week an announcement was made to our department that there would be restructuring of our organization.  Now everybody knows what that means.  Yep!  Layoffs!

We were told that once we left the department meeting that we would have an invitation to a meeting with our management that would tell us what the new organization would be.

Sure enough as soon as we got back to our desks there were meeting appointments.  I always look to see who else is invited to meetings that are sent to me.  Low and behold there were only about 10 people on my list.  I went to the meeting in one of our conference rooms on a different floor from where I sit.

When walking into the room what I observed was the following:

  • 2 other employees already seated in the u-shaped set up conference room
  • Boxes of kleenex on the table
  • An HR representative on the left side of the room
  • Our VP at the front of the U-shaped table set up sitting on the desk with a piece of paper in his hand.
Nothing was said to us except "Hello".   Then the VP announced that we would get started in a few more minutes while those dialing into the meeting phoned in.  (Can't believe they did this by phone.)  Anyway, the VP announced that he wanted to read a statement because he felt it was very important that he didn't miss anything and that we heard al the details.  I'm thinking to myself do you think we don't know what this is about simply because of the boxes of kleenex on the table dumb ass??

Can't remember exactly how it was read, but ultimately the message was that we will not be a part of the new organization and that we have a sheet with another appointment on it so that HR can explain to you what your severance package will be commencing in 2 months.

I'm riddled with multiple emotions…none of which involve tears.  I'm happy and scared.  Happy because I've been so disgusted by the direction of the company and my group.  Scared because I am unsure of what the future holds for me.  The hardest part of this whole thing is the amount of work that they are asking me to do to support the efforts of outsourcing my job to …yes you guessed it…to a company in India!  So I'm asking the universe..

What Cha Gonna Do For Me?????

Friday, February 22, 2013

Jai Cristiano Designer Shoes

Hello All,

It's been awhile since I've posted.  Ugggh don't even want to go into the reason why.  I'll just leave it at Corporate America!

That's not the reason for my post today.  Today I'd like to introduce you to a women's shoe designer.

Jai Cristiano
shoes are bejeweled with Swarovski Crystals.  If you didn't know, Swarovski creates crystal glass that lets light refract in a rainbow spectrum.  They are extremely famous for the quality of their work.    

Check him out and if you know any Diva's that want those one of a kind type of shoe send them to Jai Cristiano!
Hope all is well with everyone.