TALK TO THE DADDY
Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
--Sen. Ted Kennedy
Listen up. In President Obama's eloquent statement on the death of the great senator from Massachusetts, finer words were never spoken:
Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy.
For nearly five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.
His ideas and ideals are stamped on scores of laws and reflected in millions of lives -- in seniors who know new dignity; in families that know new opportunity; in children who know education's promise; and in all who can pursue their dream in an America that is more equal and more just, including me.
In the United States Senate, I can think of no one who engendered greater respect or affection from members of both sides of the aisle. His seriousness of purpose was perpetually matched by humility, warmth and good cheer. He battled passionately on the Senate floor for the causes that he held dear, and yet still maintained warm friendships across party lines. And that's one reason he became not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy.
I personally valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the Presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I've benefited as President from his encouragement and wisdom.
His fight gave us the opportunity we were denied when his brothers John and Robert were taken from us: the blessing of time to say thank you and goodbye. The outpouring of love, gratitude and fond memories to which we've all borne witness is a testament to the way this singular figure in American history touched so many lives.
For America, he was a defender of a dream. For his family, he was a guardian. Our hearts and prayers go out to them today -- to his wonderful wife, Vicki, his children Ted Jr., Patrick and Kara, his grandchildren and his extended family.
Today, our country mourns. We say goodbye to a friend and a true leader who challenged us all to live out our noblest values. And we give thanks for his memory, which inspires us still.
President Barack Obama
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
--Che Guevara, Bolivian revolutionary
The Daddy's new book, The Sixties? Yes, I Remember, was written in memory of Emmitt Till, the 14 year old black boy from Chicago, Illinois. While visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi, Till allegedly whistled at a white woman in a grocery store. Later that evening, he was pulled out of his bed, beaten to death, and his body was thrown in the Tallahatchie River.
This act angered Americans, white and black, and galvanized the country. Many blacks who had refused to register to vote out of fear, now registered in droves. American had had enough.
IN MEMORY OF EMMITT TILL,
ANOTHER MANCHILD IN THE PROMISED LAND
CUT DOWN MUCH TOO SOON
Black male, curious youth
Galvanizer of a movement to reclaim humanity
Sometimes, when I walk along the banks of the Mississippi
I hear your hands push above the water, makng waves still
I see your muscled black right arm
Jump out of water, soar above the fog
Clinch your right hands tightly and
Thrust it high into the sun
(But only for a second) then
Descend just as quickly back into the hole
From which you came, making waves still
Above the hole
I see the wind gather steam, spin in circles then
Skip across the water and circle the shore as if to say:
"I'll never let you forget."
Monday, August 24, 2009
pictures used in the book. Then the book can be sold.
The book can be purchased in paperback and sent to your home OR you can have it downloaded to your computer. All you'll have to do is click on the cover photo, and it will direct you to the publisher to purchase the book.
The book will contain poems with themes tied to the sixties such as war, violence, and poverty. It will also feature heroes who fought against apartheid in the South, the Vietnam war and a violent U.S. empire.
Finally, the book will feature two college students and war protesters who are trying to maintain a relationship in the shadow of that turbulent period.
The Daddy hopes you are as excited as he is to see this project finally come to fruition.
Monday, August 17, 2009
--Coretta Scott King,wife of Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.
Friday, August 14, 2009
--Wayne Parcelle, Humane Society
Dear Michael Vick:
It's all set now. You rightfully served two years for bankrolling a dogfighting operation. You kept your mouth shut. You made overtures to the Humane Society, offering to do what they wanted you to do.
Unlike some who get in trouble, you accepted help from Tony Dungy, former coach of the Indianapolis Colts and the most respected man in football. You accepted the reinstatement decision of NFL Commissioner Goodell. But now comes the hard part: living the life of a new Michael Vick.
Listen, Michael. The Daddy comes from the South. He knows that where you lived, men raced and bet on dogs without giving the possibility-- no, the probability-- of animals being harmed a second thought. He knows that this brutal treatment of dogs and other animals was a part of male culture. It is no excuse but an explanation of a hidden but very real part of brutal, even psychopathic exercise. But that's where you can be of special value.
Michael, you are set to make about 1.5 million dollars this football year and up to 6 million next year. But you know this is all secondary now. You know now that, in addition to football, you will have a new mission now: to do anything and everything possible to stop dogfighting: to talk to men, especially young boys, to educate them about the importance of taking care of animals and how it is not "manly" to race, maim, injure or kill animals for sport.
Michael, as a celebrity, as an athlete in a very "manly" profession, you are the perfect person to teach youth that being a man can also include being kind to animals.
Listen, you cannot bring back the animals you helped maim and kill. But, you can help stop dogfighting and save thousands of animals in the future.
It's up to you now.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
--Rev. Joseph Lowery
Listen up. Today, The Daddy is feeling Rev. Joseph Lowery who was awarded the Medal of Freedom by The Prez yesterday. The Medal of Freedom is the highest honor this country can bestow on a citizen.
Yes, The Prez placed a medal around Rev. Lowery's neck, but no medal can in any way represent or begin to capture the danger that the Lowery's and the Ella Mae Baker's went through to get for blacks what whites took for granted: to be able to eat where they wanted, drink from any water fountain available, stay at the nearest hotel and not just the one in the "colored" section 15 miles away.
And no medal can begin to tell the story of men who, with heads bowed and backs bent, had to leave their poor homes to face the daily humiliation of being called "boy" and "nigga" by white guys 20 years younger than they. This in what America prided itself as "the greatest country in the world," and the land of equality and justice.
Dr. Lowery: No medal can adequately thank you for what you did for America: rid it of a system of apartheid not unlike that of South Africa, begin to rid us of our fear, ignorance and bestiality in a system we allowed to turn us into racial monsters and to cover our souls with hot ashes of racial hatred. But thanks to the men and women of true medal like you, apartheid is gone, and those souls are reappearing.
Rev. Lowery, you don't need a medal around your neck. You're no hip hopper. You are the Medal of Freedom.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The memorial is in Washington D.C.
The great poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, who is probably best known for the poem "We Wear the Mask," wrote this poem about Frederick Douglass shortly after his death. It is not a eulogy so much as a celebration of the life of a great freedom fighter and a life well lived.
|by Paul Laurence Dunbar|
A hush is over all the teeming lists,
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
First, The Daddy wants to thank all of you who went to the Black Weblog site and put one down for daddyBstrong. No, daddyBstrong didn't win an award, but The Daddy is so happy that so many of you voted for this blog. Hopefully, therewill be many more votes in the future, The Daddy is also happy about the finalists for the award. They are fantastic bloggers and well deserve the props.
But speaking of the future, The Daddy will continue to pick em' up and lay em' down for you-- continue to run it on the track as long as you chase it down and bring it back. And, as in the past, we'll definitely take it to another level.
One more note about the future: Next week, The Daddy will post the cover of his book, "The Turbulent Sixties? Yes, I Remember."And you'll be able to click on the cover and purchase the book. He thinks you'll love it. More on the book later this week.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Listen up. It's all official now: Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed on Thursday as the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, a history-making event that is a clear victory for Latinos, and the Obama administration and the democratic party.
The third woman in court history, she'll be sworn in Saturday as the 111th justice and the first nominated by a Democrat in 15 years.
The Senate vote was 68-31 to confirm Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court nominee, with Democrats unanimously behind her but most Republicans lining up in a show of opposition both for her and for the president's standards for a justice.
The 55-year-old daughter of Puerto Rican parents was raised in a South Bronx housing project and educated in the Ivy League before rising to the highest legal echelons, spending the past 17 years as a federal judge.
Sotomayor watched the vote on TV at a federal courthouse in New York City, among friends and colleagues.
Justice Sotomayor, congratulations!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
--Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967.
"The conditions for black men and women in America are sliding backward, with huge numbers of impoverished and unemployed removed from society and locked up. Baker acidly calls this “the disappearing” of blacks. The unemployment rate in most inner cities is in the double digits, and segregation, especially in city schools and wealthy states like New Jersey, is the norm. African-American communities are more likely to be red-lined by banks and preyed upon by unscrupulous mortgage lenders, which is why such a high percentage of foreclosures are in blighted, urban neighborhoods. The Village Voice’s recent exposé that detailed brutal and sometimes fatal beatings of black and Hispanic prisoners by guards at New York’s Rikers Island was a window into a daily reality usually not seen or acknowledged by the white mainstream."
--Chris Hedges, Truthdig
Listen up. One of The Daddy's favorite journalists is Chris Hedges, author, former war correspondent for The New York Times and now contributor to Truthdig, Today, Hedges just published a controversial but nonetheless important story indicting today's black leaders and black elite for caring more about their careers and their status in white institutions than the black communities they purport to serve. And it says these black elites have lost touch with the black underclass.
Whether one agrees with this indictment or not, The Daddy believes that these two arguments-- That the black elites today cares more about building their personal resumes, status and fortunes than the black and poor people and that they have lost touch with the black underclass-- should be discussed by blacks and non-blacks alike; and all communities would be better served for it. Here is the article by Hedges:
|AP / LM Otero|
By Chris Hedges
LeAlan Jones, the 30-year-old Green Party candidate for Barack Obama’s old Senate seat in Illinois, is as angry at injustice as he is at the African-American intellectual and political class that accommodates it. He does not buy Obama’s “post-racial” ideology or have much patience with African-American leaders who, hungry for prestige, power and money, have, in his eyes, forgotten the people they are supposed to represent. They have confused a personal ability to be heard and earn a comfortable living with justice.
“The selflessness of leaders like Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Harold Washington and Medgar Evers has produced selfishness within the elite African-American leadership,” Jones told me by phone from Chicago.
“This is the only thing I can do to have peace of mind,” he said when I asked him why he was running for office. “I am looking at a community that is suffering because of a lack of genuine concern from their leaders. This isn’t about a contract. This isn’t about a grant. This isn’t about who gets to stand behind the political elite at a press conference. This is about who is going to stand behind the people. What these leaders talk about and what needs to happen in the community is disjointed.”
Jones began his career as a boy making radio documentaries about life in Chicago’s public housing projects on the South Side, including the acclaimed “Ghetto Life 101.” He knows the world of which he speaks. He lives in the troubled Chicago neighborhood of Englewood, where he works as a freelance journalist and a high school football coach. He is the legal guardian of a 16-year-old nephew. And he often echoes the denunciations of black leaders by the historian Houston A. Baker Jr., who wrote “Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era.”
Baker excoriates leading public intellectuals including Michael Eric Dyson, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Shelby Steele, Yale law professor Stephen Carter and Manhattan Institute fellow John McWhorter, saying they pander to the powerful. He argues they have lost touch with the reality of most African-Americans. Professor Gates’ statement after his July 16 arrest that “what it made me realize was how vulnerable all black men are, how vulnerable are all poor people to capricious forces like a rogue policemen” was a stunning example of how distant from black reality many successful African-American figures like Gates have become. These elite African-American figures, Baker argues, long ago placed personal gain and career advancement over the interests of the black majority. They espouse positions that are palatable to a white audience, positions which ignore the radicalism and structural critiques of inequality by W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. And in a time when, as the poet Yusef Komunyakaa has said, “the cell block has replaced the auction block,” they do not express the rage, frustration and despair of the black underclass.
The conditions for black men and women in America are sliding backward, with huge numbers of impoverished and unemployed removed from society and locked up. Baker acidly calls this “the disappearing” of blacks. The unemployment rate in most inner cities is in the double digits, and segregation, especially in city schools and wealthy states like New Jersey, is the norm. African-American communities are more likely to be red-lined by banks and preyed upon by unscrupulous mortgage lenders, which is why such a high percentage of foreclosures are in blighted, urban neighborhoods. The Village Voice’s recent exposé that detailed brutal and sometimes fatal beatings of black and Hispanic prisoners by guards at New York’s Rikers Island was a window into a daily reality usually not seen or acknowledged by the white mainstream.
“I have three people within my immediate family that are men that have come home within the last 24 to 36 months from being incarcerated,” Jones said. “They are tired of going to jail. They don’t want to go to jail anymore. But there are no jobs. What service can they provide? My belief is those individuals coming home, these ex-felons, have more credibility to stop the violence in the inner city than the police do. It is their sons and nephews and their immediate families that are being the provocateurs of that violence. But if we are asking them to stop crime, what incentive are we providing them to do that?”For the full story, click here:
Monday, August 3, 2009
What's fascinating about the article is that many of the observations and insights he made about the Harlem ghetto in 1960 are remarkably similar to black ghettoes in 2009. Here is the essay:
Sunday, August 2, 2009
--Trudier Harris, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
"People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned. "
Listen up. Today, this Sunday, The Daddy is feeling James Baldwin, black American novelist, essayist, and playwright. Today is his birthday. Baldwin was unusually gifted in explaining the African American condition and the psyche of white America which developed and maintained those conditions. He said America would not significantly improve until it confronted its history, learned its lessons, and began anew.
The first of nine children, Baldwin was born in Harlem in 1924 to father David, a clergyman and factory worker, and to mother Berdis Jones Baldwin. After high school, he worked a series of odd jobs until he won a fellowship that allowed him to live and write in Paris. There, he finished "Go Tell It on the Mountain" (1953), his first novel. which immediately established him as one of the new and leading commentators on America. His later collection of essays-- "Notes of a Native Son" (1955) and "Nobody Knows My Name" (1961), respectively-- only elevated his stature as one of America's leading social critics.
Baldwin wrote very good novels-- "Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone" (1968), "Just Above My Head" (1979)-- and two very good plays: "Amen Corner" (1950) and "Blues for Mr. Charlie" (1964). But Baldwin was known chiefly for his unique and passionate writing about the black condition in the United States. He believed that the suffering of blacks in the United States symbolizes the suffering of oppressed people in other lands. And he believed that no one came out of this suffering unscathed. Whites, too, suffered for the deeds they and their parents had done through generations.
Baldwin was also an activist. During the turbulent period of the civil rights movement, Baldwin came back to the United States to assist his friend Dr. Martin Luther King to raise funds to keep his (Dr. King's) organization (The Southern Christian Leadership Conference) going and to pay to get arrested protesters out of jail.
Have you read James Baldwin?
- GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN, 1953 - Mene ja kerro se vuorille (suom. Reijo Tuomi, 1964) - TV drama 1985, prod. Learning in Focus, dir. Stan Lathan, starring Paul Winfield, Rosalind Cash, James Bond III, Roderick Wimberly, Olivia Cole
- NOTES OF A NATIVE SON, 1955
- GIOVANNI'S ROOM, 1956 - Huone Pariisissa (suom. Reijo Tuomi ja Matti Salo, 1964)
- NOBODY KNOWS MY NAME, 1962 - Kukaan ei tiedä nimeäni (suom. Juhani Pietiläinen, 1965)
- ANOTHER COUNTRY, 1962 - Toinen maa (suom. Erkki Haglund, 1970)
- THE FIRE NEXT TIME, 1963 - Ensi kerralla tulta (suom. Kristiina Kivivuori, 1964)
- BLUES FOR MISTER CHARLIE, (a play, produced in 1964)
- GOING TO MEET THE MAN, 1965 - Musta blues (suom. Liisa Salosaari, 1967)
- TELL ME HOW LONG THE TRAIN'S BEEN GONE, 1968 - Sano minulle, milloin juna lähti (suom. Irmeli Sallamo, 1970)
- A RAP ON RACE, 1971 (with Margaret Mead)
- IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, 1974 - Jos tämä katu osaisi puhua (suom. Eero Huhtala, 1975) - film A la place du coeur (1998), prod. Agat Films & Cie (France), dir. by Robert Guédiguian, starring Laure Raoust, Alexandre Agou, Ariane Ascaride
- THE DEVIL FINDS WORK, 1976
- JUST ABOVE MY HEAD, 1979
- THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN, 1985
- THE PRICE OF THE TICKET: COLLECTED NON-FICTION 1948-1985, 1985
- PERSPECTIVES: ANGLES ON AFRICAN ART, 1987
- CONVERSATIONS WITH JAMES BALDWIN, 1989
- EARLY NOVELS AND STORIES, 1998
- COLLECTED ESSAYS, 1998 (ed. by Toni Morrison)