Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The onlinebookclub reviews DISSENT and loves it!

The previous is a link to a pretty darn-good review of Dissent. It was written by katiequilts a reviewer at She was fair and balanced (unlike that news channel), and adored the not-your-usual-suspects main characters, and the HISTORICAL DETAIL in the book. Something I was jazzed about 'cuz the book is a HISTORICAL! A reviewer "got it!" She actually got it! A historical romance with equal parts of romance and HISTORY! Thank you, katiequilts! Your other disappointments with the book I can live with. Believe me. After "professionals" griped about "not understanding" a lot of the motivation behind the characters and plots in "multicultural" historicals, you, my dear, are a breath of fresh air. Again, thank you for hunkering down,, opening your mind,  immersing yourself in another culture and time (ATTENTION! This historical is NOT set in the REGENCY and has Black people in it who ain't servants!), and enjoying, a new take on an old experience.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

It's lonely in the Black 1% - Welp!

This is something I didn't expect because, hey, the few that there are, if they are lonely...Hang together! Anyhoo, The mimi-interviews offered in the segment affirm the nasty, little open secret that floats through the world of the stinking rich.

The nasty open secret? It's terribly segregated. That even in that supposedly-learned, intelligent, color-blind cocoon, the Whites there can be, and are, as rabidly racist as their poor or working-class counterparts. They just do it with a rye-and-water in one hand as they smirk and ring for Jeeves.

This tiny CNN Money segment highlights financier Eddie C. Brown and his wife Sylvia, and Sheila C. Johnson. Let's just say that they could buy and sell Guam a few times BEFORE breakfast. That's how loaded they are. But as they recount, no matter how rich, they will ALWAYS only be seen as Black.

See. I'm so weird that that wouldn't bother me. Number One? It's true! Number Two? I harken back to the words of my late grandfather. "I don't want to eat with no folk who might poison my food!"

So, I say, Black 1%? Make that money. Be comfy. No crime in that. Give back to where you came from. As for the rye-and-water drinkers? Do business. Be civil. Keep your dignity but under your breath tell 'em to go kick rocks.

P. S. my personal experience with the uber-rich came when I attended college. Little, old, poor, scholarship me (you know the students who weren't 'legacy'; the ones who couldn't afford to coast on the fumes of prior wealthy generations who'd attended; the students who HAD to study) went to this all-women's college in the NE. A place as idyllic as the brochure. A place where some students return to campus came in the form of a stretch  limo, an entourage and a flurry of professional movers. Oh, yes. The first few Septembers during my attendance, the campus grounds were awash in beehived, chain-smoking "Millicents" swathed in pearls and twinsets; the "Rogers" were in tweed and bourbon breath.

I discovered then, as I stood gripping my best, vinyl Woolworth handbag, and watched the Return-of the-Spawn -of-the-Masters-of-the-Universe,  that the rich, oh man, they really are different.

Mr. Eddie C. Brown - From moonshine runner to financial wizard

Talk a bout a success story. I am sure when Mr. Brown was a little kid, he didn't think he was going to be a 'shine runner, let alone a money maven. But when fate,destiny, determination collide, anything can happen. I adore these kinds of life histories. It just flies in the face of "experts' who live by nature over nurture.

Mr. Brown owns and runs Brown Capital Management, a Baltimore-based firm, with holdings of over 8 billion. Son, I said, 8 billion, son! This man worked his butt off to get his as the now popular "come-up" didn't exist then. Plus, he doesn't seem the IG attention-hound type.

Through his wealth, he and his wife have given back to the city of Baltimore's troubled youth by funding and establishing empowerment programs and providing monetary assistance to the gifted of little means.

Read up on his accomplishments at

info courtesy: blackamerica web

Friday, November 10, 2017

Fighting on all fronts for what? For whom? Honoring Black U. S. service men and women this Veterans' Day 2017

As Veterans' Day, November 11th, falls on Saturday this year for the U. S., the holiday is being celebrated today. Since this blog's emphasis is on seeing the American Experience in all things in this land through African-American eyes, today, I salute the brave, Black service members who fought on two fronts in almost every friggin' war, conflict, battle, skirmish, you name it, for America's freedom, while never having that same afforded them at home.

I salute my ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WW1, WW2, the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, and on and on. An on-and-on presently which appears to be pushing deeper into Black Africa as ISIS and Al-Qaeda flee the Middle East. Ugh. Incursions which leave them dead and left behind. Think Niger and Sgt. LaDavid Johnson. All harrowing missions carried out without questions from these men, and with scant thanks, and boatloads of denials from the country that sends them there as fodder.

Okay. Got that off my chest. Just had to say it because I had family members who saw action and were NEVER the same after it. Meanwhile, the armed services whistled and twiddled their thumbs. But from what I see now that same shoulder shrug is offered to ALL who served and are hurting.

Anyhoo, back to this post's topic.

PBS is broadcasting an excellent series called, FIGHTING ON BOTH FRONTS; THE STORY OF THE 370TH. It chronicles an all African-American regiment who fought during WW1. The 370th consisted of men from Illinois, mostly from Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood . Fighting on two fronts? Yes, the Germans and racism and inequality back home (I'm certain in basic training too. I always used to wonder why basic always took place down South). Consult PBS listings for dates and times.

These scenarios of disrespected, brave men have repeated themselves throughout U. S. history. But consult a number of "history" books, and it looks like the rescue was all White. There are a number of books African-Americans and their struggle when fighting in 'Nam.

In any case, this weekend, I chose to honor them with a phrase that is pretty inadequate, and has become rather trite, but I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

"Thank you for your service! "

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Oh man. Say it ain't so - Bunny and Keith?

Well, I can see that this year is sizing up to end just like last year as far as the music world goes. Two giants gone in two weeks. Now, if you read this blog with any regularity, you are familiar with the fact that I love 70s funk bands and soul singers from the period. Sadly, two men who represented those two loves have passed.

1 ) Bunny Sigler (March 27, 1941 - October 6, 2017), a record executive who along with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, created the "Philly Sound" known as "The Sound of Philadelphia" and the MFSB (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother) musicians in the early 70s. He was a talent on many levels so besides being a producer he was a performer too. He was known for his artistry in either singing the following songs, or for engineering their "sound" -  That's How Long I'll Be Loving You,  By the Way You Dance,  Love Train (an O'Jays classic)  In later yeas, he connected with the younger generation by co-writing The Ruler's Back, the opening track on Jay-Z's 2011 album, The Blueprint.

One of Bunny's engineering masterpieces :The O'Jays Love Train

2) Keith Wilder of one of my fav funk bands, HEATWAVE, is gone at 65. This is another blow to the group as his brother Johnnie Wilder, Jr. passed in 2006 after years of living paralyzed from a car accident. They used to switch places on certain songs in the lead spot. Johnnie's beautiful falsetto is heard on the recording of Always and Forever (an amazingly beautiful song. Requested at lots of weddings to this day), but Keith could sing it too.  Wilder was still on the road doing his thing until a few weeks ago. He'd been the survivor of several strokes which had left him with limited mobility, and warranted his use of a stool when performing. his family said he'd simply laid down for a nap on the Sunday afternoon  of October 29th and didn't wake up. This group lost its other mega-talent,  Rod Temperton,  just last year too. Though no longer performing with them, he was still a part of HEATWAVE. Known for those signature hits of the late 70s/early 80s, Wilder's voice , and the other, will be missed.

Keith Wilder


My girlhood music innovators are leaving this planet fast.

Goodnight, gentlemen.

All of HEATWAVE'S songs were gold (Groove Line, Boogie Nights) but Always and Forever is platinum. Listen, kiddies, to perfection. Take notes. It won't pass this way again.