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Sunday, July 8, 2018

My historical romance, DISSENT, as a video, as seen through the eyes of the company of terrific graphic artist, Charles Huggins

This is a little video to showcase that thing I do - WRITE!

This pretty graphic honors my historical romance, DISSENT. Mr. Huggins did a spot on job with the images and even piqued my interest in the story. And I wrote the damned thing!

Enjoy.




Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The unfulfilled promise of the G. I. Bill - It wasn't for EVERY returning soldier

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My maternal grandmother had 12 children. A quarter of them went into various branches of the armed services. So, they thought I would have been interested in "serving." Um, er, nope. Big nope. Even with the benefits. Which I found out were not all that great. Two of my uncles who dodged bullets in battle in WWII were DENIED use of the G.I. Bill. A little thing full of loopholes that benefitted White G.I.s How do you think all those returning soldiers were able to go to school AND buy that split-level in one of those new 'burbs that were cropping up? Not all from hard labor. The burgeoning middle-class was made possible due to the GOV'T PROGRAMS with low interest rates made available to WHITE G.I.s only. A sort of affirmative action shall we say? Black G.I.s were systemically cut out on purpose. You want proof? Go read THE COLOR OF LAW by RICHARD ROTHSTEIN. Great book. He puts it down in print that the discrimination practiced in housing was supported and FUNDED by the U. S. GOV'T.

Why am I not surprised? No one does subterfuge better.

Those brand-spanking new suburbs that popped up just outside big cities were the result of "White Flight" and the G.I. BILL. The sub-divisions were advertised in such a way to assure Whites that no Blacks would be moving in. In fact, any Black person, no matter how well-situated he was to purchase a home in one of these wastelands (yes, I call them that. Any time one needs a car to get to a Dunkin Donuts, it's a wasteland as far as I'm concerned. Why do you think so many suburbanites today fleeing BACK to the city? GENTRIFICATION. But I digress. That's a post for another day.), was not allowed to buy.. Usually through red tape that was so ridiculous that it discouraged the Black buyer from even applying for a loan. And that's if he made it that far..

One of my WWII Vet uncle's who'd married in 1948, had a baby two years later and who'd wanted to take advantage of the G.I. Bill, couldn't due to the aforementioned crap. He had to wait until he and his wife had saved CASH for their split-level in a mostly Black sub-division. The price tag was $17, 500. Not that much in today's dollars but the price in cash was a hill they had rather not had to climb. Their daughter was a PRE-TEEN by the time they'd saved enough to buy their house. Both of them had worked TWO JOBS each for THIRTEEN FRIGGIN' YEARS.

That's not right!

Don't tell me "Well done." Screw "Well done." Why wasn't he afforded the same "in" his White counterparts had been? It would have shaved years off my uncle and aunt's grueling, backbreaking journey to home ownership.

Oh, some did manage to "get in" a house sooner and  and immediately regretted it. The houses were in all-White enclaves. Usually, a White guy who had served with a Black guy in WWII or The Korean Conflict, had become friends . The White guy living in the 'burbs was ready to implement the next stage in his 5 year plan. Meaning? He was set to move into a bigger house because he had sizeable equity and it was time to move on up. He had a ready buyer in his friend. Except due to having signed on the dotted line that he (the White guy) would not sell to anyone non-White, the sale would have to be a "straw" one. Think sale by proxy. No one in the neighborhood would know that good ole Ted was moving (because he and his family would move out under cover of night) until they saw Leroy moving in. Then all hell would break loose.

Read about how the sub-divisions named "Levittown" around the country exploded into ugly, dangerous showdown towns reminiscent of a cross between KKK rallies and lynchings.

Not America's finest hours.

The Levittown, PA sub-division near me erupted in serious hate crime mode in 1958. It was before my time but it was seared into the memories of my family members as every terrifying thing that happened to the one Black family who'd moved there was in print everyday for all to see.

Fire-bombings. Crowds out front of their house chanting N-this and N-that. Rocks sailing through windows at all hours. Yet, these were the kinds of people the current president would call "very fine." I bet not a one, if they are still drawing a bigoted breath (and I am sure their wrinkled asses are alive), thinks they did anything wrong.

But, hey, I am certain "very fine" people, just like politicians and whores, get respectable with age.

So, no, I was never patriotic enough, or naive enough or able to swallow bs without getting sick, to have joined the armed forces. I was, am , not that girl.  But to non-White citizens who could and can, I commend you.

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Katherine Johnson gets a statue erected to her at her alma mater. I ask, "NASA, where is the space station named for her?"

https://blackamericaweb.com/2018/06/04/hidden-figure-no-more-nasa-mathematician-katherine-johnson-gets-statue-at-alma-mater/




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Look, the statue is nice. The doll is fine. But name a freakin' space station after her, NASA. The U. S. of  A. would not have reaches the stars if she, and others like her, had not been "computers supreme!" Any time John Friggin' Glenn said to run HER computations against a computer because he TRUSTED HER RESULTS over the machine's, name a gotdamned space station after her before she passes..She's the only one left from her group and she's 99 years old! She has more than earned it! I'm looking at you NASA. I'm out.



Saturday, June 9, 2018

ODUNDE! Hey, you should really go one year. No really!

What is ODUNDE?

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Well, for me it was a fun time whe I could get to Philly to participate. Oh, Lord. I am getting up there. I went to the very first one in 1975. My youngest, very militant, brilliant uncle, Mr. Black Consciousness himself, took me. Me, I had a great time eating, dancing and soaking up the atmosphere.It only was one city block when I went. It is now comprises about 15 city blocks. And I was always mesmerized by the beauty of the offerings given to the water goddess, Osun, at the festival. It has grown exponentially. It takes place Sunday, June 10th, 2018 in South Philly.

ODUNDE was created in 1975 by Lois Fernandez and Ruth Arthur. The festival attracts UP TO 500,000  people annually and is the largest African American street  festivals held in the country.The festival, whose concept originates from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa, celebrates the coming of another year for  African Americans and Africanized people around the world.  It is an  occasion highlighted by a colorful procession from  23rd and South Streets to the Schuylkill River where an offering of  fruit and flowers is made to Oshun, the Yoruba goddess of the river. ODUNDE is also known for its authentic African  marketplace featuring vendors from around the  world selling merchandise  from many African nations, the Caribbean and Brazil. 

Each year, the second Sunday  in June, ODUNDE takes place covering 12 city blocks.  ODUNDE will be celebrating its 39TH year in the  traditional south Philadelphia location near 23rd and South streets. The festival started in 1975 with a $100.00 grant and neighbors from Fernandez's south  Philadelphia community.  In just  two years the ODUNDE Festival exploded.  The eclectic mix of vendors, entertainment and music started to draw people from around and beyond the region and  each year continues to be no different.  ODUNDE IS FOR EVERYONE, WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY THIS YEAR!!!

Learn more about it!

https://www.odundefestival.org/


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And if you are interested and can't make it like me. LISTEN on wurdradio.com from 12pm to 2pm on Sunday





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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Dr. Ruth Simmons - a tireless academic and administrator, now president of Prairie View A&M University

https://blackamericaweb.com/2018/05/29/little-known-black-history-fact-ruth-simmons/

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This stately lady has a impressive resume. The daughter of sharecroppers, from Grapeland, Tx., whipped through Dillard University for undergrad, then took on Harvard University for a master's and a doctorate in Romantic Literature.

Cycling through a slew of academic appointment, she landed the position of provost at Spelman College then president of Smith College. With those accomplishments under hr belt, she went on to become Ivy League's Brown University's president where she made waves.

Settled into a hard earned retirement, she was coaxed by her brother to come out of retirement and helm Prairie View A&M University, his alma mater, in a interim presidential position. She liked it. The school liked her. She stayed and is now its current president as of her inauguration on April 20th, 2018. .

Full life, goals accomplished, retired. Then she comes back.

Where dey do dat at?

Black girl magic.

https://www.chron.com/local/education/campus-chronicles/article/Prairie-View-A-M-to-inaugurate-Ruth-Simmons-as-12851070.php

(forgive the crappy cropping of the pic. NOT my doing)



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Saturday, May 19, 2018

That adorbs pajama set from Vicky Secret comes with free matching baggage

https://www.ranker.com/list/companies-in-the-united-states-that-use-prison-labor/genevieve-carlton


In the 5th book in my "FELIG CHRONICLES" series, GAMBIT, I used this ugly issue as the plotline. Felig are a alien race who live off others. They invade Earth and BOOM!Smorgasbord! To make a long story short (Actually, make it long. Go buy the series so far and catch up) the rich, in installment 5, make a deal with the Felig to leave them alone. But at a price. The Felig will be offered Earth's prisoners to consume, and the rich, who have stock in private prisons, will keep them filled to capacity, keep their grip on the public's minds, fill their pockets and feed the Felig at the same time.

Who knew this was playing out in real life to a degree in the U. S. A.? And with "respected" businesses? No. No Felig are involved but prisoners sure are.

Gobble. Gobble. And it ain't even turkey day.

Read how Vicky Secret can afford you cute, satiny thongs for pennies. I dare ya.

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Malcolm and Meghan

I thought I'd post this as Meghan Markle walks down the aisle. She is a bright, young woman; I'd like to think she picked this day on purpose but I doubt if she's that conscious. I wonder what Malcolm would of thought of the event of the day if he were alive?

el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X) May 19th 1925 - February 21st 1965

Happy Birthday!

"The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."

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