Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why do they do it?

Every day people go to jail, for a myriad of things, but if they've been in jail once, why on earth would they let it happen again?

I've pondered this question over and over again and still it confuses the hell out of me!

Laughing with a friend about the possibilities of ever being arrested, we both came to the conclusion that the arresting officer would undoubtedly be cleaning up both vomit and feces from the back seat of the police car.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Figures in Black History #10

Everyone has their favorite thing.
Whether it be food or music;
clothing or shoes.
We have those favorites too.
But as writers and readers
and lovers of literature
and words (spoken and written)
we have favorite poems and poets,
books and authors,
orators and storytellers.
This is one.
Ego Tripping
(there may be a reason why)
by Nikki Giovanni

I was born in the Congo
I walked to the Fertile Crescent and built
the sphinx
I designed a pyramid so tough that a star
that only glows every one hundred years falls
into the center giving divine perfect light
I am bad
I sat on the throne

drinking nectar with Allah
I got hot and sent an ice age to Europe
to cool my thirst
My oldest daughter is Nefertiti
the tears from my birth pains
created the Nile
I am a beautiful woman
I gazed on the forest and burned

out the Sahara desert
with a packet of goat's meat
and a change of clothes
I crossed it in two hours
I am a gazelle so swift
so swift you can't catch me
For a birthday present when he was three

I gave my son Hannibal an elephant
He gave me Rome for mother's day
My strength flows ever on
My son Noah built new/ark and

I stood proudly at the helm
as we sailed on a soft summer day
I turned myself into myself and was
men intone my loving name
All praises All praises
I am the one who would save
I sowed diamonds in my back yard

My bowels deliver uranium
the filings from my fingernails are
semi-precious jewels
On a trip north
I caught a cold and blew
My nose giving oil to the Arab world
I am so hip even my errors are correct
I sailed west to reach east and had to round off
the earth as I went
The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid
across three continents
I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal

I cannot be comprehended except by my permission
I mean...I...can fly
like a bird in the sky...
To learn more (read her bio, book titles, poem titles, etc.)
click the link below

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Figures in Black History #9

Allen Allensworth (1842-1914) was the highest ranking African American commissioned officer in the U.S. Military at the time of his retirement in 1906.
Allensworth was born in slavery in Kentucky, teaching himself to read and write, when he escaped to join the army, he taught the illiterate soldiers and other escapees to read. He became the army’s first black chaplain, obtained his teaching certificate and was stationed in San Francisco.

Upon leaving the military he moved his family to Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles Allensworth envisioned a self-sustaining all black town where those like him could live free of discrimination and be a self- governing community. In 1908, the colony of Allensworth was established, in Tulare County. The towns people began building houses, schools, laying out streets and other public buildings. Allensworth soon became a town which consisted of 900 acres. The town flourished and became known as the “Tuskegee of the West”. All of the streets in Allensworth were named for notable African American abolitionists, poets and authors.

Unfortunately, two things happened to aid in the demise of this town. First, Allensworth while on his way south to publicize the town was struck and killed by a motorcycle. The second being that the land developers that sold the land promised a good supply of water to the town but as white’s moved into the area, the company’s people began siphoning the good water to them, causing the deterioration of the town as blacks moved away.

The town has since been restored and is now a State Historic Park, thanks to Cornelius Ed Pope, a black man, that worked for the state department of parks and recreation and remembered living in Allensworth as a child.
Allensworth today is still a town pushing on and upward.
There were others, some not so lucky as to have the town sustain into present day. But at a time after Reconstruction many blacks attempted to etch out a place all their own. Blackdom was yet another. Blackdom like Allensworth had the same concept, made plans and and began, unfortunately this town and it's people were not allowed to live and prosper. To watch a video that tells about Blackdom and its founder Frank Boyer click here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Figures in Black History #8

Dr. Ernest E Just was born on August 14, 1883 in South Carolina. His paternal grandfather was a prominent member of Charleston’s free black community before the Civil War.
Just received his teaching degree from South Carolina College at the age of 16 and went on to Kimball Academy in New Hampshire and then to Dartmouth University. He graduated magna cum laude, won every prize there was in sociology, history, botany and zoology and was the only black man in his graduating class of 287, in 1907. After graduating Dartmouth he was offered a teaching job as an English professor at Howard University and appointed instructor of biology before establishing and becoming the head of Howard’s Zoology Department, where he taught for 34 years. He obtained is PhD in 1916 from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Just specialized in marine biology and was the first person awarded the highest honor, the Spingarn Medal, by the NAACP.
Dr. Just died of pancreatic cancer in October of 1941, at the age of 53.
In 1996, 55 years after his death, he was also honored with a U.S. Black Heritage Stamp (shown above).