Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Has Kwanzaa Become Irrelevant?

Day 1. Umoja means unity.
Day 2. Kujichagulia means self-determination.
Day 3. Ujima means working together.
Day 4. Ujamaa means supporting each other.
Day 5. Nia means purpose.
Day 6. Kuumba means creativity.
Day 7. Imani means faith, especially faith in ourselves.

It's the end of Day 3 of Kwanzaa and I haven't even lit a candle. The truth is, my Kinara broke last year during packing and I never replaced it.

When my daughter was little, I didn't let a year go by without celebrating at least the first day with something special. We would even get special African outfits. I thought it was important for her to have some sense of culture, even if it was rooted in America and not Africa. I felt the need to make sure that she understood what it meant to be Black in America.

But somewhere along the way, as she got older, and I started working more, the day after Christmas simply became December 26th and then the days all ran together until the New Year.

I'm not even sure if I cooked black eyed peas last January 1st.

This year, I thought about Kwanzaa. A lot. But I didn't order any cards online in time and it seemed really silly to purchase Hallmark Kwanzaa cards. I mean that's not even supporting Black-owned business, is it?

And now that we're halfway through Kwanzaa, I'm really sad. Sad that I missed yet another opportunity to celebrate something that is just for us - by us.

If the Lord lets me see another year, I promise to try harder to put at least an honest effort into pulling off Kwanzaa.

Is it just me or have too many of us forgotten to take the time to reflect on Dr. Maulana Karenga's hard work?

Make Your Plans for New Year's Eve

(888) 609.5964

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Etta James Terminally Ill According to Reports

Etta James, is terminally ill with chronic leukemia, according to her live-in doctor, Dr. Elaine James.

Ms. Etta, 73, reportedly also suffers from kidney failure and dementia.

According to Reuters News, in addition to this latest health report, Etta's children, Donto James and his brother Sametto James are trying to determine the accuracy of the diagnosis and announcement.

Donto is asking for a conservator to take over his mother’s $1-million estate in place of her husband, Artis Mills.

Sending up prayers for Etta James and her family during this difficult time. She has had a hard life and has brought a lot of joy to many with her musical talent.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rest In Peace, Karryl "Special One" Smith

"Special One" of Bay Area Rap Duo, "The Conscious Daughters" died suddenly of unknown causes on December 10, 2011.

Her bandmate Carla Green posted a message about Smith's death on her Facebook page: "Thank you to everyone for your prayers, I need them. I am sick over the loss of my sister. The cause of death is still unknown but I will try to share info when I get it. Pray for me and Karryl's other sisters, Jessica and Tonya. We are all together trying to get through this."

Special One, real name Karryl Smith, and her close friend Carla Green, formed "The Conscious Daughters" in the early nineties.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Legendary Pictures announced Friday that it has cast Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey and Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson in an upcoming film about the ballplayer-turned-civil rights icon.

This got me thinking about the old Count Basie song:

Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?
by Woodrow Buddy Johnson & Count Basie (1949)

Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?
Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball?
It went zoomin cross the left field wall.
Yeah boy, yes, yes. Jackie hit that ball.

And when he swung his bat,
the crowd went wild,
because he knocked that ball a solid mile.
Yeah boy, yes, yes. Jackie hit that ball.

Satchel Paige is mellow,
so is Campanella,
Newcombe and Doby, too.
But it's a natural fact,
when Jackie comes to bat,
the other team is through.

Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball?
Did he hit it? Yeah, and that ain't all.
He stole home.
Yes, yes, Jackie's real gone.

Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball?
Did he hit it? Yeah, and that ain't all.
He stole home.
Yes, yes, Jackie's real gone.
Jackie's is a real gone guy. (C)

Can't wait for this one!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Goodbye, Herman - We'll Miss You - NOT!

Well, who would have guessed? Probably most of the country.

Today, Herman Cain dropped out of his bid for the 2012 Presidential Campaign.

Actually, what he said was he was "suspending" his campaign. But he only said that after he said a whole lot of nothing.

Gloria Cain stood by his said, or more precisely, stood behind him, while he went on and on about how all the people who are "ruining" our country, ruined his campaign with "false claims."

I'm not really sure how one suspends a campaign. But if I understand how things work correctly, he gets to keep the cash in his campaign coffers. Oh, yes. He also said that his presidential run was Plan A. Plan B is much better. Plan B is the roadmap that lays out exactly how he gets to get what' in the till, while continuing to raise more cash.

Lastly, he said that he would be endorsing another candidate in the very near future and it won't be the current occupant of the White House.

I'm sure President Obama was happy to hear that. The last person he needs is Herman Cain.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


As a mother, I worry about Kanye West.

I think about my own daughter and what her life would be like if I were suddenly gone. Oh sure, he's wealthy and famous and over the top and a bunch of other things. But we're all something.

But, first of all, he's human. He's young. And he can make mistakes. I've been the first to criticize him at times, but after the Taylor Swift incident (which, only helped her), he seemed different. Maybe he realized that he hadn't really come to grips with the loss of his mom.

I don't want to turn a happy post into a downer. I just want to say "shout out" to Kanye and his team and all the other African American artists who were nominated and those who should have been.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Peace and blessings,

Song Of The Year (Nomination)

All Of The LightsJeff Bhasker, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West, songwriters (Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie)
Track from: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
[Roc-A-Fella; Publishers: Very Good Beats/Hip Hop Since 1978].