Monday, November 25, 2019

The slave revolts, and the history of them, that Kanye West apparently doesn't know about or care to know about

A significantly important portion of the history of Black people in America is being rewritten, piece by piece, before my eyes every week. Yes. Nearly every  week some apologist "historian" "discovers" that Black people were NOT held captive in servitude without any end in sight for hundreds of years. And that we were "unpiad, imported workers.."  Oh, yes. Yet another opportunistic soul, much like that MK-ultra'd, bewitched dunce Kanye West. The one who makes scads of the non-Black population (specifically White evangelicals) feel not a hair guilty about their holy ancestors' muderous part in the past. Yeah. I said it.


Lord, help him.

Just a few days ago, he warmed White supremacists' hearts even more. He appeared wearing a jacket sporting a sizeable Confederate flag patch. Anything for attention. Kanye, didn't your mom hug you enough? Isn't Kim hugging you enough?

But I digress.

                                                 Denmark Vesey

This whole revisionist ' revisionist history thing got my research antennae whipping around. I stopped to ponder and seek out if there were more than the one slave rebellion that have been documented. The one I've always heard about is the raid on Harper's Ferry led by abolitonist  John Brown and crew. But two others i was not as familiar with. One was "the rising"planned and executed by a freedman named Denmark Vesey. He organized it in Charleston, SC. His revolt was famous because it damned near worked! But "the rising" like all daring actions, was betrayed by cowardly insiders - Joe LaRoche and George Wilson. When it got too real, they bolted and ran to tell master all the details.So yeah, it failed. But it happened. There is even an excellent book, "Denmark Vesey: The Buried History of America's Largest Slave Rebellion and the Man Who Led It" " by David Robertson for those interested.

The other one I researched is the German Coast Slave Uprising of 1811. Yo, Kanye! Have you read up on this? No lazy Negroes there either! Anyhoo, the revolt was surprsingly documented by the U. S. It took place on January 8, 1811 in LaPlace, Louisiana, an area settled by German immigrants. The revolt was led by slave overseer, Charles Deslondes, who was a mixed race slave himself.. He managed to gather about 500 of the enslaved there and they cut through the town lighting fires at plantations and fighting adversaries. The group fought fearlessly but was conquered by a better-armed militia. Two Whites, ninety-five Blacks and countless more were killed without benefit of the process of law.

                                                   Charles Delondes

Needless to say, with these revolts came the out and out horrific torture and murder of their leaders along with a number of fellow rebels.  These 2 uprisings are but a smattering of the pushback the enslaved waged against their oppressors. The victor writes history and we know the victor NEVER writes himself in an unbecoming light.

So, pick up a book, or two, Kanye. Put down the MAGA hat. It's obscuring your view and restricting what gray matter you possess.

Friday, November 8, 2019

And in this week's false inclusivity sweepstakes...

Why do I harp on these things?

Because they matter and I do not like being pissed on and told it's raining. What I touch on here still holds true for the lie of inclusivity in the romance writing industry. In fact, for all fields where Black creatives dare to "intrude" and where they dare to demand a voice. Personally, I still believe in us building our own and not looking to the dominant culture to showcase us. I am no longer shocked when they don't or barely do. It's not their job. I just point out the  hypocrisy of those walking a tightrope on which they where forced to balance


Ho-hum. The coming holiday season, and next summer, have Black main characters in a couple animated films. Thing is they only appear for a sliver of screen time.

I saw the major bullshyte when Disney announced it was realeasing an animated 1st. A Black Disney princess. Black folk squeed and hollered and jumped for joy 'cuz the Mouse House was gonna give them their 1st Black princess, Tiana.

Image result for the princess and the frog

Poor Tiana. Poor suckered Black movie-goers. In every one of Disney's previous "princess" films, the specific Disney princess was seen throughout her movie.

But not Tiana. Nope.

In Disney's highly-touted film, devoted to its 1st Black princess, Tiana (The Princess and the Frog), girlfriend was an effin FROG throughout HALF the film. And don't get me started on the fact that her prince was not a Black guy. And that the only other Black men in the thing died or were villains.

A freakin' FROG! OY!

Now, come the next few months, there will be animated films boasting that they have Black main characters." Come one, come all, Black folk. Naw. Don't fall for the okey-doke.

Image result for soul animated disney film

Pixar is delivering SOUL. Or more like, NOT delivering soul. The main character is voiced by Jamie Foxx. We get his character as a Black man. Yes, we see him in the film BUT mid-story his character dies! And then we see and hear Jamie's previously living, breathing Black man as an apparition. WHAT THE HELL! First, he can't be seen throughout the entire film as a BLACK MAN and then secondly, when he passes, he comes back as a WHITE GHOST! OY. He can't even be his Black self when he kicks! Talk about whitewashing.

Moving on.

Lastly, in the deceptively-inclusive Olympics, we have Spies in Disguise made by Blue Sky Studios. it's an animated 007-type flick with Will Smith in the lead role. He's a man of mystery. A master of disguise. A spy.. Hence, the film name. And the ready excuse as to WHY his clearly Black character won't be BLACK throughout a major portion of the film. The only thing I can say is at least Blue Sky was sly in their bias. Or is that the audience's bias? Big movies like this one get audience-tested before release. The studio gauges what needs to be tinkered with to get a positive response, and to bring in the big bucks. OY again. I am certain, Will Smith's character, Lance Sterling,  will be in disguise for over half the film. Can't have no black man being large and in charge. Even if he's an animated one

News flash: he's a PIGEON in a large part of the film. OY.

Image result for spies in disguise

Image result for spies in disguise

Apparently, films like these that tout inclusivity are analyzed out the wazoo for "receptivity."  Studoes toss their hats into the "inclusion fray" to expand their coffers. Not 'cuz they are being kumbayah-ish.  Only color they see is GREEN. So, they will pander to non-Whitticket buyers every once in a blue moon for the bank, while carefully walking a line that will not disturb their White ticket buyers

This holiday movie season, Summer 2020 movie time. I'm gonna take a hard pass on all the "inclusion." I'm tired of Black characters being everything but their human selves in animation. I think I'll pop some corn, sit back and watch classic, and/or campy, horror movies on my computer. At least they don't sugarcoat ish. They kill off the Black character right after the opening credits

Thursday, October 24, 2019

A comprehensive, in-depth, smart review of my historical romance, DISSENT

A non-Black blogger who gets it!

Yeah. I'm bringing race into it. If anyone tells you that not everything revolves around race here...They are either liars, deep asleep or never spent two minutes on this soil.

Yeah, I said it.

I thank Ms. Merry for taking the chance on acceptimg my review request, actually bothering to read my book and, surprise of all surprises, LIKING my book. She ADORED that it was not a run-of-the-mill, routine historical romance. She praised the fact that since it is a HISTORICAL romance it has HISTORY in it!

Can you imagine that? Something being what it is advertized to be?

She loved the detail. She loved how I blended  the research I did with my story-telling. She adored that it did not have the usual cast of characters.

It was different. Something she'd been craving.

The two most wonderful compliments she paid the book were that 1) it was long (which she liked) and that as a new mom she looked forward to returning to the story at the end of a busy day to get "swept up in Awa and Blaise's journey."

She called my book, "exquisite." Sigh.

She got the concept. She got my vision. The book had ALL the elements to qualify it as a historical romance but the main characters were atypical. She didn't whine about a "non-White heroine being hard to relate to."

She got it!

She didn't compare the book to other romances other than she wished they'd "change things up, and break down the usual cliches of the genre."

You got it, Ms. Merry. Thank you.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Jessye Norman, Diahann Carroll, Raye Montague - 3 exceptional women who quietly, or not so quietly, conquered naysayers

Jessye Norman
Image result for jessye norman

Image result for jessye norman

Well, all three of these phenomenal women have gone on to their respective rewards. I'd been remiss as I'd only learned of Ms. Montague's passing. It'll be one year on Oct. 10th that she made transition.

Firsts. Ground-breakers. Pioneers.All the same words used to describe African Americans who defied stereotype. Who persevered despite setbacks. Who kicked in doors and begged no one's pardon. Who made others shut the eff up when they simply glanced in their direction.

To be the first, or nearly the first, in ANY capacity is a hard row to hoe for African-Americans. One must ignore bigots who LURVE to spew that one "only got the position to fill a quota." OY! One must also ignore the "crabs in a barrel mentality" from one's own and most assuredly one's own self-doubt.

Diahann Carrroll
Image result for diahann carroll

Image result for diahann carroll

A mother of a trifecta!

I'm sure all of these lovely women felt all of those barbs at one time or another but they kept going.

And the nigglings served them well.

Jessye, born into a musical family.  the Howard University- and Peabody Observatory-trained soprano reached the stratosphere in her profession. She also paid it forward by establshing a tuition-free program for disadvantaged students interested in pursuing the arts.

Short anecdote: I have an opera buff friend who met her once. Summoned to her dressing room after a performance, my friend was met at the door by La Norman, swathed in her Blackglamour mink and pearls, and SNEAKERS! She was quite real when it came to comfort.

Diahann, singer and actress who made a name for herself by helming the TV show "Julia" where she was the STAR. She played a nurse because she refused to be a maid on a TV show. On the nightitme soap, "Dynasty" she was Dominique Deveraux, head-bitch-in-charge/ millionaire Blake Carrington's illegitimate half-sister, and a worthy adversary to Joan Colins' character Alexis Carrington. Ms. Carroll was working well into her 8th decade.

And Raye. Brilliant Raye. One of the "Hidden Figures" who was a naval engineer credited with creating the first computer-generated rough draft of a U. S. naval ship. She was the first female program manager of ships in the United States Navy.

Raye Montague
Image result for raye montague

Image result for raye montague

Thank you for sharing your light! May all you Queens rest in power.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Joan Johnson, co-founder of Johnson Products along with her husband built an empire and groomed the hair, and conscience, of a generation

Image result for joan johnson johnson products

founders of Johnson Products - Joan Johnson and husband, George E. Johnson in their early years

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The Johnsons later in life

Wow. Does this bring back memories.

Johnson Products.

I must have used EVERY hair care item Mr. and Mrs. Johnson manufactured back in the day

First, it was the relaxer line which I used off and on for years until I dropped the creamy crack a decade and a half back. And before then, and occasionally to this day, I hot comb my hair the old fashioned way.

Oh God. Early relaxers were an hours long process. I cringe when I recall the torture. One of my uncle's owned a beauty shop and he REFUSED to do them. Said a "press and curl" was good enough. He lost money but his tried and true church ladies kept him in business.

Ultra Sheen Relaxer. Ultra Sheen Conditioner and Hairdress for Extra Dry Hair.  Ultra Sheen Original Formula. Ultra Sheen Creme Satin Press

Image result for ultra sheen
Image result for ultra sheen

And when I wore my faithful Afro, I bought ALL the products to keep that looking presentable. The afros in the following videos are what kids today call GOALS)

Image result for afro sheen

Image result for afro sheen

Afro Sheen Easy Comb Shampoo. Afro Sheen Blowout Kit for the natural. Afro Sheen Oil Spray.

I could work up a mess in the bathroom with the oil spray.Tricky thing was, you thought you weren't using that much. UNTIL. UNTIL. You noticed your shoes were slipping on the tile floor and you were coughing.

And no I NEVER had a Jheri Curl. The amount of activator I saw people run through scared me away.

What we do for fashion.

They even produced cosmetics forthe variety of  Black skin tones. I bought several.

I thank Ms. Johnson and her husband for creating the products because before that our options were for press and curl only - My Knight, Dixie Peach (which came as Dixie Peach Red and Dixie Peach Pomade), Royal Crown, Dax, and Blue Magic.

R. I. P. Mrs. Johnson. You pushed a generation to embrace itself eventually!

Sunday, September 1, 2019


Related image

Okay! Okay! Okay!

Dude, put on your purple flares, your platform shoes with the clear heels and your matching Qiana shirt and I'll slip on my co-ordinating mauve-colored, Qiana wrap skirt with matching bodysuit and a pair of beige Candies.

Oh, and don't forget your gold chains and the coiffure of your choice. Afro or Slicked straight back like Tony Manero's.

It's that time again.

Sing along while you Hustle around the dance floor.

It's SEPTEMBER. Finally.

Image result for earth wind and fire songs

Image result for earth wind and fire songs

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Anne Wiggins Brown - Gershwin's 1st "Bess"

Image result for anne wiggins brown

Anne Wiggins Brown, born August 9, 1912, was the 1st African American vocalist admitted to Juilliard School in New York City. She'd been raised from an early age to excel and was considered a child prodigy. Her family supported her through her quest for vocal excellence. At first she applied to the Peabody Institute but was rejected due to, let's say it together, boys and girls! - HER RACE! I'm shocked I tell ya. Just shocked. Anyhoo, she applied to Juilliard and was accepted at the tender age of 16. Her vocal range was soprano.

Image result for anne wiggins brown

While there she honed her craft and heard that George Gershwin was writing an opera about Black life in the South. The work was to be called Porgy and Bess. She wrote him. He answered. They collaborated and she played the role of Bess when the show opened in 1935 at Boston's Colonial Theater with its all Black cast.

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Having made history, she continued to work but nowhere near as much as, say, a White counterpart like Mary Martin. Sick of the racism and the U. S.'s segregation laws, Wiggins-Brown moved to Norway where she became a vocal coach.

Decades later, she was honored with the George Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Music in America. An "award" bestowed upon her by the same 'institution of higher learning" (YAWN) that had denied her entrance years before.


Brown passed in 2009 at the age of 96.

Image result for anne wiggins brown