Monday, August 31, 2015

Dr. Claudia J. Alexander, scientist - Oversaw the Galileo and Rosetta Missions at NASA

Another alarmingly brilliant star has flamed out and gone on to nourish the heavens. Why is it that these people aren't honored while living? I hate finding out more about a person after death. I knew Dr. Claudia J. Alexander existed but humans tend to fixate on the show dogs, the hot shots - the astronauts. Not the numbers-crunching, head-scratching, brainy Poindexters who do the paperwork to get them to their destinations. Brainy loses to brawn when media needs good copy. She was an advocate for getting women and minorities into STEM programs. Aw, hell. R. I. P. amongst the stars you studied so avidly, beautiful NASA pioneer.

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Emmett Till, his casket and its importance to the Smithsonian

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So much crazy occurred this past weekend that it was sorta glossed over that it was the 60th anniversary (August 28th) of a young black teen's death. Maybe folks have Dead Black Teen fatigue but this death was a huge blip on the Civil Rights Movement's radar culminating in Rosa Parks' brave stand a few years later. 14 year-old Emmett Till, who hailed from Chicago, went to visit family in Mississippi one summer and returned home dead. Story goes he whistled at a white woman. She reported her fear at his action. Next thing you know the kid's being dragged out of the house in the middle of the night. He's brutally tortured, lynched and then tossed in a river. For whistling at a chick who believed that he wanted to rape her. Whoa, lady! Fantasize much?

In any event, there was a bogus trial after the alleged perpetrators were rounded up. They got off. End of that tale. But no. Emmett's mother, Mamie, kept the story front and center. She had an open casket at his funeral. A picture was taken of his mutilated, swollen body and was seen around the globe. Justice. Did he or his family ever get justice? Well, the grand jury declined to indict, even though the men involved stated they'd kidnapped Till. Pesky technicalities.

Anyhoo, Mamie had the last laugh, if you wanna call it that. She never wanted her son to be a symbol. She just wanted him to be remembered. She would have preferred he'd lived. Mrs. Till tirelessly crusaded for her son's rights until her death in 2003.

Read about the significance Emmett Till's casket has to the Smithsonian below.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Thoughts on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

This coming Saturday (August 29th) is the anniversary of the day Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississppi and the Alabama coastal regions of the USA. I sat in shock and horror as I watched CNN and other outlets report on the devastation. And heard a president bumble his way through yet another major disaster. That president had had a meeting with his officials days before concerning the set of storms mingling to form "The Perfect Storm" on course to strike with full force in those areas. After much map reading and vector drawing by experts it was calculated that NOLA was gonna get the brunt of the strike. Where in NOLA? Saint-Bernard's Parish, the Ninth Ward that's where. Where low-income people lived shielded by levees that were already holding back tons of water as New Orleans is a city built under sea-level. All hourly-wage-earning, non-having-vacation home-to-whisk-away-to-in-SUVs from the swirling-driving-rain
type of people. A big number were renters dotted with a big section of homeowners whose sole asset was that paid-up house. No matter how little they paid for it. Mostly Black with a mix of White, Asian, Latino/Hispanic. After the way their "rescue" was handled, I saw they had another adjective in common - EXPENDABLE. Once your gov't renders you that, you are done. Because that means your fellow MIDDLE CLASS countrymen will see you that way too. And you immediately become invisible and have no worth. and what does one do with stuff like that? One disregards and discards it. And that's what happened.

Hence the list of bad things then unleashed on expendable people that were just as killing as the hurricane:

- People turned back at gunpoint on a bridge to another town because they were not seen as WORTHY of being saved.

- People left in houses to drown, or suffocate from sweltering heat, in attics they'd rushed to to avoid the rising water.

- Elderly and the critically-ill abandoned in houses or nursing homes to die.

- Five (5), full days to truck in drinking water. 5 days! Aid has gotten to disaster victims in foreign countries faster. C'mon, people.

- And I won't even start with the Superdome bullshit.

- White survivors captioned on TV and in media as "finding food" at an abandoned convenience store whereas non-White folk were captioned as "looting" an abandoned convenience store for food. Oh, yes there we idiots out there stealing TVs who soon realized they were fools when it occurred to them, "What am I gonna do with this TV?"

- Even law enforcement went rogue and started murdering people because they could without impunity.

- And to make matters even more horrid, about two weeks later Hurricane Rita slammed into the Florida Straits and roared into the Texas-Louisiana border.

The picture as a whole was "those people aren't worth saving because we can't anyway."

Yes, there were attempts at helping like those pre-loaded debit cards that were handed out to survivors for neccessities and ended up being used for foolishness by some. And those FEMA trailers.

Nice try but damn! It was on the ISSUER of the cards to limit, or ban, where those cards could have been used. And the trailers were toxic. Double fail.

- Add in the herding of people out of town on buses to the hinterlands which ended up separating families.

- The exacerbation of health problems lots of evacuees had that worsened with shock from displacement that ended in death for untold numbers.

- The betrayal of the expendable by Mayor Ray Nagin.

- The land grab by the monied to buy up parcels of land in the ninth ward.The city is smaller and richer and more White now. Gentrification for days! I'm sure the levees will never fail now.

- And lastly the rush to pretty up the French Quarter and get ready for Super Bowl (!) that coming year. Priorities! Priorities!

The good:
A bright spot. People like Brad Pitt are building safe, affordable housing and helping any way they can. And that is beautiful. I see a Jimmy carter replacement already.

And yeah, if you have the funds, the fortitude and the time, NOLA is gonna be a fab place to be. If you are fresh out of funds, low on energy, coupled with a lot of melanin, you will probably never recover or return or ever be seen by your fellow Americans as anything else but a whiner who should have been a prepper.

 So sickening and sad.

But, hey! For the few, the proud and the special...Laissez les bon temps roulez! (WARNING! THESE PHOTOS ARE GRAPHIC! WARNING!)

Article link from the grio

Image link from cryptome

Friday, August 21, 2015

MISTY! In all her glory! On ESSENCE

I adore this woman. Her talent. Her grace. Her power. All the traits a ballerina needs. Oh, I'm sure those in the ballet world with less melanin think she's getting a "free ride" or is a fluke. But how? She's worked for it. Damned hard. She's sacrificed for it. She's EARNED it. And yeah, she is taking product endorsements and outside work like nobody's business. So? A dance career is short. It is so important for ALL people to be able to see the "possible" in order to even think of achieving it. She's lit up the faces of little non-Caucasian girls the world over because she represents what is possible. Representation counts. It goes for ballet, for filmmaking for fashion modeling and for publishing. As for Ms. Copeland? She's busy dancing, breaking down barriers one arabesque at a time. And IF she even thinks anything about what the petty folk think, she's probably thinking "Whatever. And do have several seats." Brava, Misty!


info courtesy of  Black America Web

Monday, August 17, 2015

Teen and husband charged with trying to join ISIL

My heart goes out to this young lady, her family and even the young man. Her misguided allegiance has ruined her life. If she sees daylight again outside of a federal pen before she turns 40, it will be because of divine intervention. The Feds do not play. They are not like local law enforcement who rush in sometimes without all the facts and might have to retreat if they are wrong about you. Nu-uh. By the time you show up on the Feds' radar, and they lock on you and move on you, they've been watching you a looooong time and have all their evidence ducks in a row. You are gonna go down for a hard piece of time for sure when they make their appearance. A bright light snuffed out by the hubris of youth. What a waste!

courtesy of:  Black America Web

Saturday, August 15, 2015


OK. Atten-Hut! I'm gonna go off on a wee diatribe about book reading today. Just my observations.

What is it? Has the age, or expectations, of the average reader changed drastically? Has the readership devolved? I don't know when it happened (maybe when Twilight came out? IDK) But I gotta ask some questions. What is this demand for "trigger warnings" all about? The need to know EVERY SINGLE FRIGGIN' THING about a book BEFORE one reads it? Why read it? Have we become that fragile? I don't think so. The New Adult subgenre with its raped, brutalized, assaulted-by-family heroes and heroines are doing booming business. Seems like a lot of  readers A-D-O-R-E the broken characters (I swear that word should be outlawed as should the whole sorry-assed subgenre). My college years were nothing like the goings-on with plots and people of these books. UGH! I don't care for them but my opinion doesn't count. So, what gives? What is this need to know if the heroine is "attacked?" If any of those adjectives are in a blurb, I do not read the book. But you are warned and all still read it and y'all seem to l-u-r-v-e it. Then complain 'cuz ugliness was in the book. Miss me with that. Also, the main question -  "Does it end in a cliffhanger? WTH! LIFE ends in a cliffhanger! READ THE BOOK! YOU'LL FIND OUT! Geesh! Not sure if a book ends in a cliffhanger? Think you'd be pissed if it did? Pssst! Don't read the book.

Serials vs. series. Some writers might be tryin' to get extra money from you but the vast majority of them CANNOT put everything in ONE book. If they did, it would costs more and you'd have tons to say about that. Oh, and if authors try to curb price by making the book a novella, the public complains that it was too short and the ending felt rushed.

Damned if you do; damned if you don't.

Also, what is with this fear of the unknown in general? That's what the log line and book blurb are for. They give a look into the book. Not a synopsis. That's all you need. I don't get it. Reading a book is supposed to be an adventure. Afraid to go on the trip? Don't pick up the book. That simple.

I don't write or buy serials because that format does not work for me. I just wait until the whole book comes out. I rather not pay 10 bucks for a 130 pg book in pieces.

I had to get that off my chest. You know other things in life are far more important. I'm just puzzled by this vetting of a romance book like one is vetting a future spouse.

I feel better. Now get off my lawn.

photo credit -

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Top model Ophelia Devore

Had not heard of this lady. But she broke some barriers. It's amazing how people back in the day thought this woman was Caucasian. How? You only have to LOOK, really LOOK at her and see she is not. But you had people then and you've got people today who when they see light skin and straight hair only see Caucasian. With the birthrate of biracial children, up, a lot of people are going to be "sooo confused" because a person will not appear as what they think that person should look like. Opposite case with that person who posed as a Black woman and got exposed this year. I have to admit that an old pro like me did a double take because I do have a hazel-eyed, sandy-haired aunt. But upon closer inspection, Ms Dolezal's bad spray-tan did her in. I saw her as the That-Chick-on-vacation-in-Jamaica-who-got-her-hair-braided that she is.

Anyway, back to Ms. DeVore. She made it through the Vogue School of Modeling because such an assumption was made about her. Good for her. Boy, I bet a pearl-clutching party ensued after that was exposed. Ms. DeVore, dah-ling? Vogue on in the great hereafter.

credit: Black America Web

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Friday, August 7, 2015

"(Half-Assed) Clean up on Aisle 10!" or "Pardon me. Did I spill my privilege on you?"

Romancelandia. Romancelandia. What are we to do with your writers and readers? That pesky excrement keeps hitting that propeller. The latest dust up whirling about is the one concerning the inspirational romance, For Such a Time by Kate Breslin. I'm sure her sales have skyrocketed since the bruhaha started. Folks love to circle the wagons here in the U.S. That pioneer spirit and all.

Alas, said inspie romance has at its core a romance between an SS KOMMANDANT and a JEWISH camp inmate at THERESEINSTADT! Take a breath. Let that sink in. Hadassah Benjamin is yanked out of DACHAU by Aric von Storm Trooper because he can't believe that she is Jewish due to her "blonde hair and blue eyes." He saves her to come work as his secretary in the other camp. Through the miracle of the Bible, he repents; she CONVERTS! And everyone rides off into the sunset more or less. It is a supposed re-telling of the story of Esther. A NAZI is the hero to the JEWISH heroine! This book got nominated for major industry awards!

I'm speechless.

The book premise is all kinds of wrong. I cannot even begin. All I know is folks who I know who read romance, and who are Jewish are beyond speechless.

I am sorry. Just because the Bible is used as a plot device to change the hero's heart does not give license to erase a people's real history...No. Just no.

Reminds me of the atrocity that an "author" had cooked up earlier this year to produce a BDSM book in the style of "50 Shades" with slave SALLY HEMINGS and her master THOMAS JEFFERSON as romantic leads. Are you kidding me? Since when was U. S. slavery just a big, ole, three-hundred-plus-year-old BDSM club where folks got a say in their treatment? And it gets downplayed as "a loving relationship?" Let me set the record straight. There was no consent between an owner and his property. In real life, Sally was FOURTEEN years old when Jefferson started RAPING her. Yes, I said RAPING HER. He was in his FORTIES. He owned her. She relied on him for her life. Where in there is there equal footing? Where in there could she have said "no?" NO-EFFIN-WHERE!

It's so insulting because first, this country DENIED Sally's existence. Then when it could not be denied any longer (because there are red-headed, light-skinned Black descendants walking around and no, they are not any of his relatives' kin),  the whole sordid, sick mess got prettied up into a frothy "romance" for those who could not fathom that one of the nation's beloved Founding Fathers was a raging, raping, slave-owning pedophile. Even on his deathbed, Jefferson did not free Sally. Nor any of the many children he begat with her. Yeah. Nothing sez love like keeping your boo as goods and chattel. Apparently, Master Jefferson was doing what all good landed-gentry were doing back then as Sally was also his WIFE'S HALF-SISTER. His dear wife's daddy RAPED a slave woman and begat Sally. And that father presented Sally to his fully White daughter as a personal maid. Just creepy. Yeech! So, no. It was not a love story, folks. It was business as usual.

In any case, Black Twitter shut it down. Was that censorship? No. Just meant that no publisher was gonna touch it. The author can write it and self-pub all she wants. She can also bear the slings and arrows too.

But I digress.
What possesses people to think any of these topics were "great" ideas for romance books? Are writers, editors, and publishers that desperate, that blind, that unfeeling, that...PRIVILEGED not to see the error of their ways? And don't get me started on the READERS who gave that "NAZI romance" 5 star reviews. Or those would-be readers from FB who jumped on the Sally/Tommy bandwagon and were ready to roll 'cuz it "sounded exciting and fun." Please.

How is an ethnic/religious group's agony entertaining? How?

I would post a pic of the offending book but I thought again and decided no. But its cover is a doosy. One of those headless jobs with a blond-ish chick facing out, holding a Bible or journal with a huge YELLOW STAR and a real picture of a group of children from Thereseinstadt at the time, plastered over it.


The RWA (Romance Writers of America) doubled-down and defended ALL its "problematic" books with a re-iteration of its turducken of a policy on how books get nominated. Read the statement and see the book cover there

And I thought the Black heroine of my series was too much for Middle America. Then again with the reported antics of some of the participants at the latest RWA conference, and the way the old guard has been clutching its pearls and sweater sets lately pushing back against "all that diversity", she just might be.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015




Saturday, August 1, 2015

Guitarist Nile Rodgers' Black Panther roots

Ah! I can see my peach-colored, Qiana bodysuit, along with its matching wrap skirt, spread out on my bed. My hustle shoes (no, not Candies. I couldn't dance in those ho-heels) are shined and waiting. I'm fluffing my 'fro in the mirror and applying my make up to go out, and, and on the radio in the background, the opening chords to Chic's "Good Times" blasts out. Oh, sorry. Having a private, happy moment of being a twenty-something and a dancing queen.

Anyhoo, back to the present. Nile Rodgers, the founder and producer/guitarist of the group, Chic, and that wonderful song was a Black Panther as a teen! Who knew? Peruse the old school photo. And is that a, a, a Jheri Curl? Oh my. Oh well. Gotta go. I hear a club calling.

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