Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve 2017, the real meaning of the practice of WATCH NIGHT in the Black Church that the congregation doesn't even know

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Thank you, and glad tidings, to all who have visited this mishegas of a blog this year. I'll continue to post this coming year about my WIPs and new releases, snapshots on Black life in the USA and the continuing nonsense rampant in the romance industry that passes for "progress."

Now, onto the topic of this post - WATCH NIGHT.

WATCH NIGHT is a practice that many Black Christian churches hold at night of every December 31st. It is supposed to be the congregation waiting on the Lord to help them bless the new year but that is only HALF the meaning. The rest of the story (asder is staggeringly different than the simple service observed by the faithful. Plus, it is cultural and NOT religious by any stretch of the imagination. Read the true, whole explanation of WATCH NIGHT below.

So friends. Do have a wonderful evening. Be safe. Don't drive drunk or buzzed. Live to greet January 1st, 2018 in one, healthy piece.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Once and Possible King - Wilson Frost and his stolen right to be Chicago's major

After the sudden demise of Mayor Richard J. Daly of Chicago, in December 1976 from a heart attack, a Black alderman and President Pro Tempore of the City Council was according to rules the next mayor of the city. That man, Wilson Frost, understood the rules but the powers-that-be decided to re-write the rules to suit the situation. And the situation was what? C'mon. One guess.In 1976, Chicago was a VERY racially divided burg. Truth be told, it still is. Uncovered the one guess yet? I'll spill. The White population wasn't ready for a non-White person to assume the mantle of "Mayor" even though the rules would make him such.

Frost did try to fill the seat but was LOCKED OUT. Literally LOCKED OUT of the office. Frost, wise man that he was, stepped aside. The city GAVE the job to White alderman Michael Blandic.

Just another day at the office. Ho-hum.

Frost went on to remain in public service, continuing to be an alderman and in other positions until he retired in 1988.

The city finally elected its 1st Black mayor in 1983 - Harold L. Washington

courtesy of Black America Web

Wilson Frost

Harold L. Washington

Sunday, December 24, 2017


No. This will not be a puppy dogs' tails kind of post. Yeah. It's Christmas time but...Is it really? Yes. Yes. I loved Christmas as a child. I mean what child wouldn't? No matter the faith of the family the kid hails from, ain't no way a kid would dislike free gifts. I still get misty-eyed as a adult when midnight rolls around early Christmas Day. Christmas Eve was my holiday. I belonged to the church choir and midnight Mass with all those high-holy day smells and bells grabbed this wide-eyed kid. by the throat. No. I no longer go to Mass, or practice Catholicism but it did it's duty. It left a dent in me. The spectacle of Christmas, as practiced by the Catholic Church, can still mesmerize me. Hymns, carols, incense, flickering candles, the scent of balsam, etc.. They can turn it out. Not as full throttle as their Protestant counterparts but still, the Catholic Church in holiday mode...No prisoners taken.

Which leads me to the ruler who is responsible for the fashion in which a vast majority of Christians celebrate this holiday of "Christmas." Let me present Emperor Constantine of the Roman Empire, showman. I'll leave it at that so as not to offend folk. But this man...Phew! The Donald could take notes from him.. Read the article below about what this man's plan blossomed into.

Also, read another article on the truth behind the Christmas myths that many have been sold, and that have been ruffling clerical collars for years.

What have I taken from all this? I've come to  see Xmas as a time for self-reflection. No more. No less. I sit and collect myself and see what I've accomplished in the current year, and what I'd like to accomplish in the coming year. I also appreciate, greatly, all Spirit has blessed me with in the current year, and I give thanks all for all I'm going to receive in the coming year. Don't get me wrong. I still love the sights and sounds of  manufactured Xmas. No one does over-the-top Xmas like the USA except possibly Germany. But for the rest of the Constantine-created madness?  I've come to see "Xmas" as a reason for retailers to have huge clearance sales to push out old merchandise you didn't need to to make room for new merchandise you still don't need but will buy because you think you do. Personally, unless you count in my life, you get a "Happy Holidays" and maybe a card. I stopped shopping for gifts 30 years ago.

So, after I have a yummy meal, have some hot chocolate and watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "All Mine to Give" and "I Know Where I'm Going" (to name a few of my favs), I'm going to thank the Divine for a good day and go to bed.

Do enjoy whatever you do. Just know WHY you do it.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Virginia teen is 1st Black female speed skater to make the Olympic team - Maame Biney

Maame Biney, the Ghanaian-born 17 year old from Virginia  has qualified for the United States Olympic speedskating team! She will compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

She came to the USA at age five and credits her father for her success in a sport that sees few pigmented people participate. She rules when it comes to the 500-meter short track.

Go, Maame and congrats!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Dr. George Franklin Grant - The golf tee's best friend!

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Play golf? Know anybody who does? Well, thank this man for making it easier to smack that ball around the course. Dr. George Franklin Grant didn't invent the golf tee but he sure as hell improved on that sucker. In the late 1870s, the dentist, and faculty member of the Harvard Medical School, liked playing golf but was no champ at the game. Still, he sought to ameliorate the sport, hence his improvement on the tee.

Yes. Yes. Let me rush in to diffuse any ruffled feathers or protestations. Yes. Butt-hurt historians have argued back and forth (people with nothing to do I say) about the Scots and English inventors who fashioned tees before Grant. They did that. That is true. Grant didn't invent golf, or the golf tee, but he sure as Hell modernized the tee. So much so that the golf world recognizes him for that task, and no one has come up with a better device since.

A doctor and golf. A combo even waaaay back then. I wonder if Dr. Grant took Wednesdays off?


info courtesy of Black America Web

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

A reboot for "Cleopatra Jones?"

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Look. I'll be the first to admit that not all of the 70s trends were meaningful or enlightening. Take fabrics (early polyester) that didn't breathe and looked like furniture upholstery to hideous platform shoes that held goldfish in their see-through heels. BUT...I still adore the 70s and all its loopiness. Say what you will about blaxploitation in 70s films but those films were GOLD to my teenage eyes and soul. To see BLACK folk in starring roles, wearing fashionable clothes and talking back to da man without consequence?  Sign me up.

One of the pioneers in those films was Tamera Dobson. A gorgeous, long, tall drink of water from Baltimore. A former fashion model, who like Pam Grier, was snapped up for her "otherness" as it was a hot commodity at the time. Her contribution to blaxploitation was the portrayal of Cleopatra Jones a model-slash-spy who solved international crime. A sort of female James Bond. the series comprised two films, Cleopatra Jones and Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold. The second film didn't do as well as the first so the plug was pulled on subsequent ones. Much in the same way the series Get Christie Love! with Teresa Graves (which was a TV version of the Cleopatra Jones franchise) was given the boot after a short stint. The treatment mirrors the romance writing industry's in that a gazillion mediocre "mainstream" writers will luck out and pen one popular book, but then each one AFTER the "hit" will be a mediocre miss but they STILL continue to be published by their publishing house AND get reviewed by romance book blogs. I see it all the time. BUT non-White writers only get ONE shot at it, and that shot better go supernova or else they get cut.

But people see no bias in that. OOOOkay. Back to Tamera.

Anyhoo, due to the lower box office receipts of the second film to series was axed. Ms. Dobson returned to modeling, retired and then fell off the radar. Sadly, she passed away in 2006 at the young age of 59 from complications from several ailments.

A reboot of the film is in the works. Helmed by some folks from UNDERGROUND fame and others. I miss Ms. Dobson. Having her do a walk on would have been dynamite. Can't wait to see what this second chance will present and if a breakout star emerges.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Hear Ye! - Meghan Markle and her subtle, quiet road to becoming a princess? A dutchess?

Now, almost a week out and I can barely hear anymore crying and rending of clothing by blonde, pale, female members of the the nobility the world over. Prince Harry is off the market and a Markle got him. I'm happy to see the young man find love like his brother has. Let's face it. Harry is the spare, and with almost 5 folks in front of him before he would even get a smell of the throne...He's lucky. He can live his life as he sees fit as he'll never be king and have to kowtow to tradition like William. I do not keep up with every English royal family story, but i did like Diana. Even little, ole, young me back in 1980 thought, "Guuuurl. You makin a mistake. That man don't love you. You will be a broodmare and be paid in tiaras and ball gowns.  Run!" Well, Diana didn't. She tied the knot, had the kids, and got the fabulous wardrobe. She smartened up but too late in the game. Well, she did have her freedom for a bit before her death.

Which brings me to her children. I like William and Henry (his gov't name) too as they SEEM to be not as stuffy as their elders. But I'm certain they know how to pull rank when needed. I am truly happy for this couple.

Miss Meghan Markle. She's an outsider too like Diana except she is not 19 and hasn't been raised on Harlequin romance novels. Megham is an unwrinkled 36. No shy retiring flower. A divorcee. A worldly woman. A seasoned actress who knows how to deflect rude, stupid questions and remarks and how to navigate shark-infested waters, no matter how gentile. Her Crenshaw California side gave that to her. Life at Windsor Castle, or whereever she and Harry end up, should be a piece of cake. I believe she'll do well in "The Firm" as its members have been handsomely paid actors for centuries. I applaud her that she is not insulting Black woman around the globe by saying she is Black. Good for her. She is biracial and claims it. No shame in that. She's not denying any side of her lineage. She's gone on record to say she is "mixed race" or "biracial." She claims it all. I wish that truth would sink into the brains of the Black women who label her Black only..I mean c'mon. Are we that desperate? That thirsty? Living that vicariously through another that we put a biracial woman ABOVE us as an example? No. Let her alone and think more of yourself. She and we wear different crowns. They are not interchangeable. She knows that. Why not us? Stop it.

That is the debate going on in a zillion think pieces, written by Black women,  tearing up the internetz. Like I said Meghan Markle is biracial and has stated so. I follow her lead on what she calls herself. But Black women of the blog -o-sphere? Have some pride.Stop putting her in the "Black" box with you. It's not fair to her or us. Let her be her. You be you.

P. S. I do see her "blackness" breaking through at times. Her edges were a tad crispy. That rainy weather was wreaking havoc with those edges. And I bet her kitchen was screaming too. Pointblank: Her relaxer needed a touch-up. As those Sunken Garden engagement pics were testifying. But I see in today's snaps that girlfriend has got that hair relaxed and flat-ironed and slayed within an inch of its life.

I wish Harry and Meghan all the best. I ain't mad at her. I respect game.

Remembering those not here on World Aids Day

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Another year. Another image. This needs to end. But before it does it needs to be understood. Something that I STILL believe eludes many. Number one. You do NOT have to contract the virus. Okay? Read some info. Get informed. Slow your roll. Number Two. If you do contract it, you can live for many years IF you KNOW and have access to, and take the protocol implemented today.

Personally, I take the day to remember my uncle Cy and his friends who were like extra uncles to me. George, Tracey, Calvin. Beautiful men. Beautiful souls. All gone. No. I have not left out women. It is just that I have not listed any women because I do not know any myself who have been cut down by this virus. But, unfortunately, Black and Hispanic women in the US, behind bisexual men, lead the pack in new infections. 

No one. No one should be getting infected, or losing their life to this disease in 2017. But people are. Why? I can only speak on the Black community. In it, it is a mix of shame, denial, recrimination, and non-support from friends and family, the Black church and and let us not forget the price of the treatment that prevents the infected person from seeking help.

A cure any time soon? Who knows? All I know until then: SAFE SEX. SAFE SEX. SAFE SEX. And SLOW YOUR ROLL WITH FOLK SEXUALLY. Geez! Not everyone who grins at you is worthy of, or should have access to, your parts. GET CHECKED AND KNOW YOUR STATUS.

Now, I know you got your panties in a twist, muttering, "Who does she think she is?"Who am I? I'm someone sick of the devastation the virus brings. My advice might not be the answer you wanna hear, but get real, it's part of the solution.

So, today I'll light a candle for my lost ones. I'll wish they were here. I'll shed some tears but I'll smile and tell them their deaths were not in vain.