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?"

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ever miss home? Ever have them dreams to remember?

"The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say."
--Anais Nin

"I've got dreams, dreams to remember.
I've got dreams, dreams to remember.
--Otis Redding

The daddy knows: It's only a couple of days after Thanksgiving, and people have come-- or they're coming-- back to the place where they now live. And the daddy understands tha this is probably the worse time to ask this question, but do you Ever miss home? Ever miss the place where you were born or where you were raised?

Listen, the daddy would like to write a very positive post, a post with a little insight and a lot of humor. But he can't. Tonight is one of those three or four nights of the year when Atlanta, Georgia is the only thing he can think about. You see, when he thinks of home, he doesn't just think about a family that, like the wind, has spread to places unknown. He thinks about a comfortable place, a warm place, a safe place.

He thinks of attending concerts, hanging around a small cafe drinking coca cola. He thinks of an older, fat black women who knew his mom or his dad, who would not let him leave that cafe table until he had finished all of his red beans and rice, chicken, and collard greens.

He thinks about the older women, black or white, who called him "honey" or " sugar" and asked about his family. He's thinking about the teachers who lived in his neighborhood, who walked with him to school and sometimes fed us cereal (Kellogg Corn Flakes, he thinks).

He hates to say this, but the daddy even thinks about the policemen, black or white, who would yell at him and the other kids for being late for school. In other words, the daddy misses a period of time when he lived in a community where people who lived near him LIVED community, a community that was defined not by geographical location so much as by real people who looked out for not just their own family members, but for other family members as well. That time has passed for a lot of communities in Atlanta and other places as well. Honestly, some "neighbors" people don't want to get to know. Indeed, getting to know them can be dangerous to one's health.

Still, like small streams from a river, the daddy can still see traces of it in his and other communities: men helping each other fix cars, mothers feeding kids chocolate cookies, a young teenager helping a lady with her groceries.

And the daddy can still hear music that speak about his beloved Georgia, or remind him of a time when blacks breathed community every day and every night.
So, tonight, the daddy is listening to "Georgia" by James Brown, "A rainy night in Georgia" by Otis Rush (which he thinks is better than the original version by Brook Benton), and "Amen" by Otis Redding.

Ever miss home? Have you ever listened to a song that took you back in time and place and memory, that made you think of home and get a little teary-eyed?

Like Otis, do have dreams to remember?

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Superior Scribbler Award

"The role of writer's is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say."
--Anais Nin

Something good happened yesterday. The sister/minister over at Hagar's Daughter received the Superior Scribbler Award, and she passed it on to the daddy. It feels so so good to get recognition from fellow writers out in the blogosphere.

The daddy will repay Hagar's Daughter and the creator of the award, Revvy Rev. over at The Certain Sound, by doing his best to write meaningful posts: post that make the reader laugh and cry, rant and rave and sing for the sweet, the positive, the golden moments ahead-- and do some of it in the COMMENT section of the blog. The daddy has checked many blogs; and he believes that the comments from his readers or followers are as good as any in the blog world.

To the daddy, quality posts are not the only thing that is important blog. It is the comments from engaged readers who feel what the daddy is saying but have their own take on things. That's what the daddy wants, because he feels this blog, ultimately, belongs to the people who come to it and not to him. That's why the daddy usually asks a question at the end of his post-- to solicit comments from the readers and not feed his ego.

According to the rules, the daddy is to present the Superior Scribbler Award to 5 other blogs. There are so many good bloggers out there. So, at the risk of engaging the ire of the many good bloggers that visit him, the daddy is going to pass the Superior Scribbler Award to bloggers who consistently write quality post, convey insightful, engaging, even provocative, perspectives and who write so well. They are: Lisa at Black Women Blow the Trumpet, Kit at Keep It Trill, Rainywalker at Thermophylaehillbilly, Vigilante at The Vigil, and Tami at What Tami Said. If you don't believe me check them out. Congratulations, fellow bloggers. To the other bloggers, please know that this is no put-down of you. Remember: the daddy could only name five blogs.

The rules for recipients of the Superior Scribbler award are as follow:

1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.

2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.

4. Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

To learn more about the Superior Scribbler award, click here.

Thanks for the love.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Who would you like to thank on Thanksgiving?

Listen up. The daddy wants to ask you something. Besides family, who would you like to thank most on Thanksgiving? The daddy wants to thank a few few teacher's for giving him a critical mind and a committed heart

1. Thanks, Ms. Abercrombie, my elementary school teacher. You, like many other black teachers, lived in the neighborhood, near the school. You walked to school with us. We carried your books and asked lots of silly questions like, "How come girls talk so much?" "How come boys fight all the time?" or "How come God made girls write better than boys? It ain't fair!" "Do you think God hates boys?"

You actually took the time to answer our questions and ask a few questions of your own, such as "Did you eat breakfast this morning?" Of course we lied and said we had grits, eggs, and steaks, but, when we got to school, you marched us right into the faculty lounge and poured us cereal and milk and put some strawberries or bananas on it too...You literally gave us food for thought...and love. Thank you.

2. Thanks, Mr. Jenkins, my conservative, white political science teacher. You were a white dude who would not let a black kid slide by and do inferior work because he was "underprivileged," or "lacked a father in the home." He called me out in front of my class, "This paper is crap . You are too good a student to hand me a paper like this. I expect A work from you. You got two days to change this paper or you will not get an A in my class!" Of course the daddy hated this dude for months with a passion reserved for gang rapists and priests who play with boys until he realized that Mr. Jenkins was telling him and his classmates, indirectly, that he respected the daddy's mind...Okay, I still hate you a little bit, mostly I respect you as a teacher. Thank you.

3. Thank you, Malcolm X, my moral and political instructor. You taught the daddy what it was to be a man, which was to LIVE to take care of family and community, to love your people with all my heart and, if need be, die for them; and, no matter what the odds, stand up for what is right. Thank you Minister Malcolm.

Besides family, who would you like to thank most on Thanksgiving Day?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stevie Wonder: "There's a place in the sun"

There's a place in the sun
by Stevie Wonder

Like a long lonely stream

I keep runnin' towards a dream
Movin' on, movin' on
Like a branch on a tree
I keep reachin' to be free
Movin' on, movin' on

'Cause there's a place in the sun
Where there's hope for ev'ryone
Where my poor restless heart's gotta run
There's a place in the sun
And before my life is done
Got to find me a place in the sun

Like an old dusty road
I get weary from the load
Movin' on, movin' on
Like this tired troubled earth
I've been rollin' since my birth
Movin' on, movin' on

There's a place in the sun
Where there's hope for ev'ryone
Where my poor restless heart's gotta run
There's a place in the sun
And before my life is done
Got to find me a place in the sun

You know when times are bad

And you're feeling sad
I want you to always remember

Yes, there's a place in the sun
Where there's hope for ev'ryone
Where my poor restless heart's gotta run
There's a place in the sun
Where there's hope for ev'ryone
Where my poor restless heart's gotta run
There's a place in the sun
Where there's hope for ev'ryone...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Inspiration Sunday: Here comes the sun by George Harrison

Here comes the sun
by George Harrison

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
And I say it's all right

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
And I say it's all right
It's all right

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Wendy and Lucy," Michelle's new movie, rare grief on screen

Today, the daddy is feeling Michelle Williams and the movie "Wendy and Lucy," which is slated to come out soon.

You know Micelle's story. She's the attractive, talented, and lady who grew in a home that taught her to be so. She's the young but bold lady who left home at 17 to start an acting career and, during that same year, landed a full-time, sexsy role as Jen Lindley on "Dawson's Creek.

When the show ended, she went with small independent films:"Imaginary Heroes," "Land of Plenty," and "The Station Agent." But these independent film were not as "Anti-Dawson Creek" as some film reviewers thought. At least not to Williams. Why? Because, like Dawson Creek," they were meaningful:

"When I was on 'Dawson's Creek,' I wanted to make work that meant something to people, serious work that made people less alone in the world...And I was thinking about that this morning in the shower—'DawsJen Lindley on "Dawson's Creek...meant something to people." She said later that she got involved with the independent films for the same reasons: they were serious films that mean something to people.

But what makes "Wendy and Lucy" so fascinating to the daddy is the grief aspect that's inevitable tied to the movie. You see, Williams made this film 2007, just a few months after she broke up with Ledger. That this break-up was still huring, that this grieving process was still there active is undeniable. And Williams said as much in the insightful interview with Ramin Satoodeh , scheduled to come out in Newsweek's December 1 ,2008 Magazine:

Satoodeh: "Williams is jovial and chatty, until the conversation turns to Heath. You can see it's still difficult for her to talk about him, and she hasn't done so publicly until now. The first time Ledger's name comes up, she bursts into tears. When she's asked about how she's been doing in the past year, she's silent for a very long time.

Williams: "I guess it's always changing...What else can I say? I just wake up each day in a slightly different place—grief is like a moving river, so that's what I mean by 'it's always changing'... "It's a strange thing to say—because I'm at heart an optimistic person, but I would say in some ways it just gets worse. It's just that the more time that passes, the more you miss someone. In some ways it gets worse."

Want the full story? Go to Newsweek. But, first, the daddy wants to ask you something:

Have you ever had grief that wouldn't let you control it, that didn't move in a smooth transition to clarity and resolution but ebbed and flowed in its own direction, that felt bettet and better, but in its own time, and in its own place?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Barack Obama's historic march to the presidency

Today, the daddy is feeling the Barack Obama presidential candidacy. It evolved from decades of black struggle, a struggle which eventually made it easier for Americans to transcend years of racist fear and ignorance and say, "Yes, we can!"

And it's to see that his victory represents a history that evolved through the death of Emmit Till, the Montgomery boycott where Dr. King was arrested, through
the civil rights struggle, the black militancy movement, the
assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, the presidential candidacy of Shirley
Chisholm and Jessie Jackson, and the victorious
candidacy of President-Elect Barack Obama.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Remembering Hound Dog Taylor

Today, the daddy is feeling Hound Dog Taylor, the great slide guitarist out of Chicago, Illinois and the leader of the band "Hound Dog Taylor and the House Rockers. Yesterday, the daddy was over at the Undercover Black Man's blog. Seeing The Hound's photo with that wonderful smile took him back in the day.

The Hound, born Theodore Roosevelt in Natchez, Mississippi, was a disciple of Elmore James, perhaps the greatest slide guitarist of all times.
In 1971, he hooked up with Alligator Records founder Bruce Igalauer and recorded "Hound Dog Taylor and the House Rockers". It was the first CD on his label; and it was a hit. It was everything critics said: loud, harsh but exciting. But the daddy remembers him before then.

You see, in the late 60's and early 70,s, Every summer, the daddy, a young teenager then, would leave his home in Atlanta to live with his sickly aunt on South side of Chicago. Almost every weekend, he would go to "Jewtown." They called it Jewtown because many Jewish immigrants lived in that area. He went to Maxwell Street to shop and listen to the music, mainly blues.

The Hound," as he was called, seemed to always be there. And it seemed every one-- whites, blacks, musicians, out-of-town visitors-- would come by to say hello; and I remember him greeting everyone--male or female-- with " How you doin, honey? " or "How you doing, baby?"

He played loudly. He played passionately. He played with energy, with a jumping beat and a smile that made everyone smile and jump around. But he didn't just play loudly. At some point, he would play an Elmore James ballad like "The sky is crying" or "It hurts me too," or "I held my baby;" and it seemed that everyone would stop shopping and just listen.

Some would come back stand and watch him sing with such passion and solo with such a piercing intensity that it made people nod their heads and say-- when the song was over-- "That's the blues."
That was all that needed to be said, because they knew that someone like, say, Eric Clapton or Robert Cray, could play better technically. But for what the great harmonica player Little Walter called them "blues with a feeling," them blues that hit in the heart of your stomach, that move deep within the recesses of your soul, that take you all the back to gospels and spirituals and field hollers and trials and tribulations better left unspoken, you need that sky-crying, scorching sound and passionate soul of a bluesman or blueswoman like The Hound.. because, if you don't have them "blues with a feeling," you don't have the blues.

The daddy was one of those who would stop shopping and go back to watch The Hound sing a few words then slide a piece of pipe high on the register of his guitar, making it wail like a new-born babe. Once, during his rendition of Jame's "the sky is crying," the daddy stopped looking at him and began staring at his amp, thinking that soon it would start smoking, catch fire, and blow up. That's how hot The Hound's playing was.

The daddy would come back every other week to Jewtown, to Maxwell Street, to hear the sky cry just one more time before the summer was over, before he went back home to Georgia.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Poet Wanda Coleman: tough as Watts, soft as cotton

Like Wallace Stegner, I am in the 'universal' tradition of writers who concern themselves with The Truth -- never mind that it is apt to hurt someone, in some way, most likely me.
--Wanda Coleman

Poet, columnist, poet laureate nominee, spoken word artist, winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize (the first African American to receive the award), Wanda Coleman was born in Los Angeles in 1946 and has spent much of her life in Watts, known for the “riot.” She has written several books for Sparrow Press, including: “Mad Dog Black Lady,” “Bathwater Wine,” and “Mercurochrome.” Two of her more recent poetry collections are "African Sleeping Sickness" and “Ostinato Vamps,” which is with the University of Pittsburgh Press.

"The California Crack" is not about an earthquake but a woman watching a man at the end of the road, the end of despair. Note that she doesn't throw him out, although she make him sleep out on the porch once in a while. It's like she's in a relationship with walking death...But she takes her time to give us the truth
, however bitter or sad that may be.

The California Crack
by Wanda Coleman

she didn't know he was so shook

it started in his system/an erratic prance
some mechanism gone wet
codeine induced cellulitis, acid trails and flashes

he had nightmares about his mother pinching him in his sleep
his youth authority internment
the scar up his ass where they removed some thing
the lesbian he loved in Yucaipa
the black bird smashed against the window
of the stolen car

he began to sweat out his nights
when he woke his long dark brown hair was plastered
to his head. he was always dripping

it got so she couldn't stand laying next to him
the stench nauseated her, caused her to vomit
sometimes she made him sleep outside on the porch
so she could get an occasional night's rest
but most times she took breath by mouth

he went to the hospital
they took tests and found nothing
he went to the police
profuse sweating was not a crime
he took daily showers
the water bill went up
the seams in his clothes began
to mold and erode
the sheets and comforter would not
wash clean

his septic sweat permeated everything
seeped down thru the mattress into
the earth beneath their bed

one summer's midnight as they slept in
his dampness
there was an earthquake
it measured 8.2 on the Richter scale
bed split open the soft moist mouth of a scream
she watched with mixed emotions
as he fell thru.
But Wanda Coleman doesn't just give it to you hard and straight. Sometimes a sun peeps through dark clouds and a hard-edged understanding shines through. In "The language beneath the language," Coleman waxes lovingly about the complexity of sensuality and love.

The Language Beneath the Language
by Wanda Coleman

under your belly
there’s gnawing in the bones
subterranean & abysmal
the bite that’s more the unsratchable/coldfire
now he penetrates me against the landscape
of my own blood and demands escape from
the rotting tongue in which he’s caged

This is the form i wear

out of my pernicious reason
and my slam-driven mind
comes the clay i shape into pleasures
for your knowing
the angles of his body
cut at my grasp-starved hands
his bone hard as young granite at my softness
the authority of his beauty demanding
the familiarity of my flesh

thus you hold me
frozen in your doubtful vision
in your study of my brownness. believe
my curious fingers. trust my
daring fingers
as they probe your opened wound
to find a roundness

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jesse Stone Helped Create Rock & Roll

"He stole my music. But he gave me my name."
--Muddy Waters on Mick Jagger

When they get you in the record business, someone gonna rip you anyway so that don't bother me... people round you gonna rip you if they can."
-- Muddy Waters
"If you tried to give Rock & Roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry.'"
--John Lennon

Listen up. The daddy wants to ask you a question. Have you heard of Jesse Stone? If you haven't, don't worry about it. Most people haven't. Most musicians haven't heard of him. In fact. most so-called musicologists, who are mostly white males who see music only through white lens, haven't heard of him. Those who have see him as a man on the margins and not a central character. They see rock & roll as a music birthed principally by Sam Phillips, head of Sun Records, made popular by deejays like Alan Fried, Wolfman Jack, and marketed and sealed into white, energetic teeny bopper memory by television hosts like Dick Clarke and Ed Sullivan. Yes, all these guys contributed mightily to the development of rock & roll, especially Sam Phillips. However, what's left out of this white-washed history are the groundbreaking contributions of African Americans, the people who made the music and sometimes developed the white musicians to sing and play it.

You hear about Sam Phillips, head of Sun Records. You hear about the famous deejay Alan Fried. But rarely do you hear about African Americans who understood that, due to the racism in this country, black music was not going to go far in America, unless it was first performed by white artists and promoted by white people as a new genre for white America-- unless it was due perceived as white music. Let's face it, it was due to nothing less than straight-up white racism that rock & roll became a genre in the place. It was, in actuality, little more than a weak derivative of blues and gospel music, two genres of popular music that already had accomplished, seasoned artists going back to minstrel shows and field songs of slaves on southern plantations.

You want a great example of such a black person who understood this racism, who found white musicians to play black music, and who wrote and composed many of the songs they sang? Look no further than Jesse Stone.

Born in 1901, the grandfather of slaves, Stone began singing and performing at the age of five in minstrel shows. In the 1920's, he lead a jazz band whose saxophonist was none other than the great Coleman Hawkins. A few decades later, he was the arranger, composer and comedy writer for those exciting shows at the Apollo Theater. Around 1940, he joined Atlantic Records. As a songwriter, arranger and producer, he found that he could make good money writing for whites. For example, he wrote "Idaho." It was sung by Guy Lombardo and sold three million copies. But he should be remembered most for his work in finding and developing white musicians to play black music and promoting the songs they sang.

In 1954, recognizing that the songs he composed wouldn't go very far if performed by whites, he hooked up with Alan Freid and traveled towns big and small throughout the South, looking specifically for white musicians to sing black music. It was Stone who chose a group called Bill Haley and the Comets for this purpose. And it was Stone who picked out the songs for the group. It was "Shake, Rattle and Roll," a song originally recorded by the great blues shouter Big Joe Turner. It sold a million copies, peeking at #7 on the Billboard's chart, and setting the stage for white teeny boppers to sing and dance to black music.

In 1958, R&B singer Epic Records star Roy Hamilton recorded a Stone tune called "Don't let go." It went to #2 on the R&B charts. Two decades later, the late great Isaac Hayes , working out of Stax Records, with his soulful voice, disco strings and luscious horns, recorded the song. It went to #11 on the R&B charts. Stone also wrote "Flip, flop and Fly," (another song originally made a hit by Big Joe Turner) and "Your Cash Ain't Nothing But Trash," all big hits.

Today, November 16th, is the birthday of Jesse Stone, one of the greatest producers, songwriters, and composers in American history, and a black artist who achieved success despite white racism.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Daddy says "Thanks for the love."

We write because we believe the human spirit cannot be tamed and should not be trained.
--Nikki Giovanni, poet

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat...We must find each other.
--Mother Theresa

The daddy is feeling grateful to all those who visit his blog. He is overwhelmed by visitor's generosity in giving not only their time but their minds and hearts. You see, many do more than visit or lurk. They go down to the comment section and speak from their hearts.

As for those who come by, lurk for a while and move on, the daddy thanks you too. As for those who come by, read the post, make comments, even come back and dialogue with the daddy or another person who made comments, the daddy is especially appreciates you. As he has said many times before, this blog is not about him but about you: your experiences, your fam, your boos, your community, your state...our country.

A hearty thanks to those who went to the top of my sidebar to let others know that you publicly follow the daddy. For those who didn't, that's okay too.

For those who still may be inclined to let people know you're one of the daddy's followers, a member of his "crew," but hadn't got around to it, do the following:

1. Go to my sidebar;
2. Click on "Follow This Blog;"
3. Click in the space for "follow publicly;
4. Click "Follow" at the bottom. That's all there is to it.

Thanks for coming. Thanks in advance for showing the daddy some love. It will boomerang back to you. Blessings.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Malcolm X, a man the daddy can't forget

The daddy is keeping to his pledge not to write about the presidential election or the U.S. financial crisis. So he thought he would re-post this piece about Malcolm, the most courageous leader he ever heard or written about, a man he won't allow himself to forget.

Malcolm X, a man the daddy can't forget
by Mac Walton, aka, The Daddy

Listen up. The daddy's got a confession to make. Okay, two confessions, both related. First, the daddy is feeling lazy. He doesn't want to do anything in particular. Second, he only wants to sit on his living-room couch and think about Malcolm X, the great black leader of the Nation of Islam called Minister Malcolm back in the day, the man he still calls Minister Malcolm today.

No, the daddy never met him. Never got to see him, But, as a kid, the daddy belonged to the religious sect that he made into a powerful national force in the United States, The Nation of Islam. It was an institution with which to be reckoned n the 1960's.

No, the daddy was no leader in the group. In fact, the daddy was kicked out of the group for reading Minister Malcolm's book, "The Autobiography of Malcolm X." You see, the daddy was a kid and didn't know about this war going on inside the Nation of Islam between the brothers and sisters who were loyal to late Honorable Elijah Muhammad and those who were loyal to Minister Malcolm, even though Minister Malcolm was dead by that time. But after finishing the book, after speaking to present and former members from both sides, the daddy lost faith in the leadership of The Nation of Islam, never asked to be reinstated, and left the organization for good.

Why? Because brothers and sisters told him something that he could not ignore or wish away: that Minister Malcolm was too honest, too committed to black people, and too disappointed in the immoral behavior of the late Honorable Elijah Muhammad, his mentor and substitute father, to keep his mouth shut about the corruption and immorality going on at the top levels of the Nation of Islam at that time-- that Minister Malcolm had to die, because he was too dedicated and knew too much. I left, because I believed them.

And that's why the daddy is being lazy this evening. He's sitting here thinking about Minister Malcolm: about the courage it takes to go against your own people, your own organization, your own disciples (whom you groomed to be leaders, whom you knew would order that you be killed) and, worst of all, your own mentor who, in effect, was your father. But, ultimately, the daddy is thinking about something even more important than political betrayal; he's thinking about the potency of legacy.

The daddy is thinking that to kill a great leader can be an oppressor's worst mistake and greatest nightmare. Why? Because then a great leader becomes a martyr and is elevated to even greater heights. The leader's spirit floats into the air and hovers directly above the heads of the oppressed and, when the time is right, shimmers down like golden sun rays on a clear, summer's day. That's when the martyr becomes more valuable in death than in life, when, ironically, the martyr takes on new life inside the hearts of future Minister Malcolms for generations.

That's why the daddy is sitting here thinking about some things that Minister Malcolm said in the 1960's that still resonates inside him today:

* That "
education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it;"

* That
"The political philosophy of black nationalism means that the black man should control the politics and the politicians in his own community;"

* That "The economic philosophy of black nationalism only means that our people need to be re-educated into the importance of controlling the economy of the community in which they live;"

* That
"Our people have made the mistake of confusing methods with objectives...that, As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods or tactics or strategy. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free human beings in this society;" and

* That
"Power in defense of freedom is greater than power on behalf of tyranny and oppression."

It's cold in Minnesota in November. But the daddy thinks he'll take a walk outside. Who knows? Maybe he'll look up in the sky...and think about Minister Malcolm.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


"We write because we believe the human spirit cannot be tamed and should not be trained."
--Nikki Giovanni, poet

Listen up. The daddy's been blogging only for a short time. But during that time, he has made over 198 posts, gotten 19,677 clicks on his counter. That doesn't mean 19,677 people came to my blog. But it does mean that quite a few few came; and the daddy thanks you from the bottom of his heart.

The daddy has a growing number of people who come to his blog and make comments, many of them quite insightful and passionate. What has happened was that the daddy developed an educational and respectful relationship with them, a relationship that continues to grow.

Yes, the daddy has his posse or--better yet--his crew. Hey, the daddy's got people. But most just come by, lurk for a minute, and move on. That's alright, but you know what? The daddy still wants to know you came. The new FOLLOWER widget will help with that.

In addition, the follower widget allows other people to get to know who you are, especially those of you with your own blogs. People will see your picture or logo and check out your blog. This is so cool, because many of the people who visit have wonderful blogs in their own right.


1. Go to my sidebar;
2. Click on "Follow This Blog;"
3. Decide if you want to follow publicly or anonymously (hopefully public but anonymously would be okay too); and
4. Click "Follow" at the bottom. That's all there is to it.

Thanks for coming to see me. And thanks in advance for showing the daddy some love. It will boomerang back to you. Blessings.

Can you say, "I ain't gon study violence no mo?"

Two quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

"Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beauty as ugly and the ugly as
beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true."

In keeping with some of my reader's wishes, who
say they're suffering from "post-election fatigue," the daddy's not writing about the election or the sorry state of the American economy. But I'm writing about American society, especially about the unnecessary and painful violence in our communities. So the daddy is thinking...

Can you say "I ain't gon study violence no mo?"

by Mac Walton, aka, The Daddy

So the daddy is thinking... just thinking... about Malcolm x, who said," On this day, from this day forward, on this earth, we declare that we have a right to fight for our freedom "by any means necessary."

Minister Malcolm died from a hail of bullets from members of the Nation of Islam, the organization he helped create, leaving behind a wife and two children and the hopes of millions of African Americans.

The daddy is thinking...just thinking...about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who died from a violent gunshot as he stood out on the balcony of a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. King said we must meet the power of violence as an organized people of love, as a nonviolent people, as a non-violent nation. He said we must have "the strength to love." And though the corporate media won't acknowledge it, he spent the last year of his life not talking about little white girls and little black boys holding hands and singing we shall overcome. No, he but focused on the fight against war and poverty, reminding us that our government's preoccupation with war not only killed people abroad but diverted much-needed resources to end poverty at home.

Dr. King, an activist/intellectual, perhaps the most eloquent orator of any generation, a minister who could quote Shakespeare as easily as he could quote a passage from the bible, "made it plain" when he paraphrased an old religious hymn and said, "I don't know about you, but I ain't gon study war no mo."

The daddy is thinking...just thinking... about the millions of lesser-known Americans in cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis and Atlanta who die every day from a hail of gunfire from gangbangers who are famous for missing their targets and killing innocent citizens, including children.

Okay, African Americans, the daddy wants to ask you something: As a people who were enslaved and brutalized for centuries by others, shouldn't you be peaceful toward each other? Whether inside the home or out on the street, shouldn't another brother or sister be the last person you raise a hand or squeeze a trigger finger to harm? And if you must raise a hand or pull a trigger, shouldn't the only possible justification for doing so be to defen yourself as an individual or to defend your country against attacks?

Okay, Americans of all ethnic, political or religious persuasions, the daddy wants to ask you something: As members of a nation that took this country by genocide against nations of Indians (the first Americans), as members of a nation that enslaved an entire group of people (Africans), as members of nation that spends much of its budget on either fighting wars or preparing for wars, as members of a nation with 47 million people without healthcare, with infrastructure so bad that you're afraid to drive across some bridges, shouldn't you be so angry, so... obsessed with forcing your elected officials to turn away from bloody wars and toward the righteous quest of supporting you that you're willing to organize other Americans to march on Washington D.C. this summer and camp out there until your elected officials-- yes, Barack Obama-- pass laws to bail out working people, to insure them, to employ them, to rebuild America?

The daddy is thinking...just thinking...about rising each morning with the sun, sipping a cup of java, paraphrasing an old spiritual and say, " I ain't gon study violence no mo."

Can you say, "I ain't gon study VIOLENCE no mo." Can you live it?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nina Simone and the sweetest song the daddy ever heard

Today, the daddy is feeling my many friends who come to my blog regularly but refuse to leave a comment. Perhaps they believe that communicating with him on his blog will somehow adversely affect their relationship or make it less meaningful. So they phone or e-mail to let him know what they think (and to correct his grammar).

What they've been saying lately is that they have post-election fatigue and, therefore, don't want to read political post or posts about the terrible economy. No, they want to hear something different, something positive, something sweet. The daddy hears you. So, in the words of Roberta Flack, the daddy will kill you softly, but he promises to make it soulful and bittersweet.

Today, the daddy is re-posting a piece about an artist all my friends love--Nina Simone. Okay, guys, here you go. By the way, you can still comment on my blog. We'll still be close.

Nina Simone and the sweetes
t song the daddy ever heard?
by the daddy

Listen up. The daddy's got a question for you:
what’s the loveliest, sweetest song you ever heard? The daddy’s got a few nominees for you.

In a CD called “Aretha Franklin’s Gospel Greats,” recorded in a black church in Cleveland, with the famous Rev. James Cleveland and the Southern Community Choir, Aretha sang “Amazing Grace” with such passion and with such power that she left no doubt who the greatest soul singer is ever, man or woman. The sister moaned to the floor, preached to the congregation, and, with head up and hands outstretched, testified to the lawd above, saying, "Yes, I once/ was lost. But now/ now I'm found/ My savior/I know he leads/ leads me on."

On the CD "Pain in my heart,", the late Otis Redding sang “You send me,” a Sam Cooke hit. And, yes, Cooke had the smoother voice, but Otis had a more powerful, more soulful voice. And Otis had something else: a tighter band of southern studio musicians who played with such soul that it made you feel guilty for not attending church as much as you should. Duck Dunn on bass, Booker T from Booker T and the MGS, Steve Cropper on guitar, and the Memphis Horns, the baadest group of horn players around at the time. With this tight group, Otis gospel voice, and the song's sweet, honest lyrics, “You send me” couldn’t miss. Though overlooked by critics, it is one of the sweetest ballads ever recorded.

But the daddy heard his sweetest song ever at a house party. You know this type of party: The party where a couple of your male friends invite you because they want you to get married, have children and live in the suburbs like they do;where one of your male friend's girlfriend wants you to date her sister or cousin so you'll settle down and stop taking her boyfriend around clubs where single, attractive, and available sisters are in abundance; the kind of party where you walk in the door with very dim lights and five or so couples dancing so close you’re sure that at least one of the women is going to get pregnant right on that dance floor (if she isn’t already); the kind of party where singer Marvin Gay welcomes you by saying “Let’s Get it on” and makes it plain as a country black preacher that he wants him some "Sexual healing."

This is the kind of party where Junior Walker of Junior Walker and the All Stars rap hard and long and, getting a little frustrated, ask:

“What does it take/
to win your love for me/
How can I make/
this dream come true for me/
I just got to know/
Ooh, baby cause I love you so/
I’m gonna blow for you/"

It's the kind of party where the Isley Brothers ask, “Who’s that lady” and, after a few moments of conversation and two glasses of wine, is whispering into her ear, confessing, “I want to groove with you... between the sheets."

It's the kind of party where two females show up unaccompanied, where even Ray Charles on heroin could see that this is a set-up by your friends and that they have an agenda of their own. Yes, eyes may be closed while moving slow on the dance floor, but, otherwise, eyes are open and every thing comes at a price.

This is why the daddy never stays at these parties longer than to say hello, have a drink, and eat up the appetizers (Note: the daddy has been known to stuff cheese and grapes in his pockets on the way out); and this is why the daddy was heading toward the door when he heard this song that made him stop in his tracks, the one song that wasn't about making out so much as making time; that wasn't about manipulating a woman into bed but consciously hearing her gentle plea to be rescued from an abusive relationship.

The daddy knew this voice. It was Nina: The Nina who played piano as a child to support her family, yes, Nina the woman-child genius who, after finishing Juliard, was denied entrance into another music school solely because she was black, the Nina who got so fed with American racism that she left the country and moved to France; the Nina who told us we were "young, gifted and black;" the Nina who, from distant shores, decried American racism, shouting "Mississippi Goddamn;" the Nina who, through concerts in America and around the world, supported Dr. King so his organization, the Southern Christian Conference (SCLC), would have the funds to get peaceful protesters out of jail, pay staff and travel; the Nina who--wherever she went-- never left us. That’s why, even at a make out house party, everyone stopped to hear her melancholy plea to Porgy:

I loves you, Porgy,
Don' let him take me,
Don' let him handle me an' drive me mad.
If you kin keep me,
I wants to stay here wid you forever,
An' I'd be glad.

I loves you, Porgy,
Don' let him take me
Don' let him handle me
With his hot han'
If you kin keep me
I wants to stay here wid you forever.
I got my man.

That's why you could hear a pin drop when she soloed on the piano, her long, dark fingers gently sliding across white ivories, transferring voice to fingers and moving us in a way no amount of Absolute vodka or the soft, inviting hips of an "available" companion ever could.

That's why the daddy whispered to the host to put the song on repeat and promptly grabbed a woman's hand and began dancing.

Shortly afterwards, the daddy left the party. But he wasn’t alone. Nina was still with him.

What's the sweetest song you ever heard?

Monday, November 10, 2008

On this Veteran's Day, a prayer for peace

"But fame is theirs - and future days
On pillar'd brass shall tell their praise;
Shall tell - when cold neglect is dead -
"These for their country fought and bled."
~Philip Freneau

Today, this Veteran's day, the daddy is praying for the end of war in Iraq, for closer monitoring and enforcement of laws against those who assault our women in uniform, and for greater funding and less red tape to help soldiers who come home from war injured mentally, physically, and spiritually.

A Veteran's Day Prayer
by Rev. Scott Elliott

Good and loving God we are gathered here today on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It is the traditional day for Veteran’s Day and our thoughts are of the women and men who have served our nation in times of war and truce. We stand before you grateful for the dedication of these heros who have lived and died, suffered and cried and stood with pride on ship, battlefield and parade ground.

We ask that these women and men experience your healing and comforting presence for the wounds they have known and still know, for the losses they have endured and always will endure. We also ask that your healing and comforting presence be experienced by the families and loved ones who have suffered with them and who have had to endure living without them.

We especially ask that your presence be experienced by the veterans of tomorrow, those soldiers and sailors who are in harm’s way today. Please, gracious God, guide them to safety, guide them to justice and righteousness in even the toughest of conditions. Bring them home to their families and loved ones. Comfort those families and loved ones, and teach us how we might help them with their troubles and be your compassionate presence to them as they experience anxiousness, anguish and the loneliness and pain that comes with the knowns and unknowns of war.

Finally, God, for veterans, for all who are in the service, for America, for the world, we pray for peace. Lead the leaders of the world to the day when “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; [to a day when] nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa 2:4).

We long for your peace, for your shalom.

In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Nat Turner's confession, our long, bloody strugle for liberation

“I heard a loud noise in the heavens, and the Spirit was loosened, and Christ had laid down the yoke he had borne for the sins of men, and that I should take it on and fight against the Serpent, for the time was fast approaching when the first should be last and the last should be first.”
--Nat Turner

Today, November 10th, is the date Nat Turner confessed to a lawyer that he lead a slave rebellion. It
resulted in the death of 55 people. On this date, only a few days after Barack Obama has been elected the first African American president of the United States, the daddy is reflecting on Turner's confession and the rebellion he lead as just one pivotal moment in our long, bloody struggle for liberation: to be treated equally as American citizens, to be respected as human beings.

In the confession, Turner said he talked to God, that God compelled him to strike out against slavery.

The daddy is feeling this poem by iampunha. It's taken from an online blog called Progressive Historians for Our Future.
Nat Turner Talked to God

death is what awaited
and he knew it

but death
was preferable
to not living


for someone else's bottom line
and someone else's family

no more
for Nat Turner

177 years ago
a few hours ago
Nat Turner's soul said
"My body is bought, but my soul is no man's"
and struck out…

in a way
as a slave change
they hurt you to make you decide
if the pain is worth it
you're dead from the time you're born
and if you try to
and if you escape
once you kill
you've burned your only bridge
so by any means necessary

i don't blame him one bit

Nat Turner talked to God
and then met him
(our president talks to god
and lies to the rest of us)

my father promises me
(without saying 'promise' but meaning it all the same)
he and i
will meet Nat Turner

i'd like to meet that man
Born: 2 October 1800
Died: 11 November 1831 (execution by hanging)
Birthplace: Southampton County, Virginia
Best known as: Leader of the 1831 slave rebellion

Two good books about Nat Turner and Black slave rebellions:
1. Black Rebellion: Five Slave Revolts by Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Product Description: Black Rebellion, a fascinating account of five slave insurrections, among them the story of the Maroons, escaped slaves in the West Indies and South America who successfully resisted larger British armies while living an independent existence for generations in the mountains and jungles of Jamaica and Surinam; of Gabriel Prosser, who recruited about 1,000 fellow slaves in 1800 to launch a rebellion throughout Virginia; of Denmark Vesey, an ex-slave, seaman, and artisan, fluent in several languages, who conspired in 1822 to kill the white citizens of Charleston, South Carolina, and take over the city; and of the revolutionary mystic Nat Turner, who in 1831 organized and led the most successful and dramatic slave revolt in North America. The author also describes how whites responded with panic, sweeping arrests, mass executions, and more repressive laws in a futile effort to crush the slaves’ insatiable desire to be free.

2. The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner’s Fierce Rebellion by Stephen Oates

From audio file:
"Nat Turner is an American enigma. Was he a saint? A visionary? Were those visions authentic? How could he have come from the mild Virginia Tidewater society of 1831? Oates answers these questions and more in his vivid portrait of Turner, the slave society that nurtured him and the changes wrought in that society because of him. Reader John McDonough adopts a scholarly, but highly engaged, tone that is patient, thorough and deliberate. At the same time, his voice is resonant with the mystery he's exploring. Its burry roughness holds the listener and creates an intimacy that matches the author's own familiar tone and takes all the difficulty out of doing history." P.E.F. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

New York Times
"A penetrating reconstruction of the most disturbing and crucial slave uprising in America's history.... A vivid and excellent narrative account."