Thursday, December 31, 2020


 Yeah. It's been a bitch of a year but we got through it.

Trump World.

The sentiment behind "BLACK LIVES MATTER. (YES. I agree whole-heartedly with the meaning but the intent of the folks behind the  movement? No! 

Ahmad Awbury. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Too many more to name.

The Pandemic.

So much nothing from a useless Congress. People around the world are getting paid throughout this pandemic and the U. S. is haggling over whether or not we should get another $1200 buck check after 10 MONTHS of nada! By the way, they voted to give us 600 measly bucks. Yippee, right? Not!

My two-cents on the way a lot of people handled this pandemic: BADLY! 

You had people out in the Hinterlands of America (who saw on the news that Blacks were being made the face of this scourge), defiantly, decide that COVID 19 was a hoax, but a "hoax that for some reason was chiefly eating Black and Brown foolks. So, these denizens of the Hinterlands deduced the "hoax" wasn't about them. So they partied like it was 1999 at their local bars. UNMASKED. Didn't social distance and sure as hell didn't wash their hands. They felt invincible because IT was only getting "those people."



And unfortunately after each beer pong encounter, each ball game, each pool party, and a few weeks after each fish fry, it was revealed to most that they'd left each get-together with a lovely parting gift - COVID-19.

So, it's been quite Karma-ish that the HEARTLAND got bitten in the backside by the COVID bug.

See, Black folks have always gotten a lick and a pray when it came to health care in the U. S. OR have been medical guinea pigs with EVERYTHING and its mother tried out on us before the "dominant" society is treated with the bonafide cure. Medical abuse leads to ignored health issues when you aren't really interested in the subject's health. Important ills go untreated when your goal is something else all together. Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. all are dismissed or over treated when the subject being worked on seen as simply a means to an end for others. That's why Black people are skeptical to get the COVID-19 vaccine. There is this seemingly over zealous push for us to be near the front of the line. It's view as suspect. Special attention from a source that has NEVER cared about our health. But with this Jiffy vaccine, we are suddenly Priority One? I'm good. Let someone else have mine. I'm perfectly happy with the protocol my naturopath gave me.

Nope.Rushing to get vaccinated won't stop one from getting 'Rona. One still could catch a mild form of it even though one has been vaccinated. So still take precautions.

But I digress. 

The year is over in hours and I am looking forward to better times. I appreciate everyone who has visited this blog this year. Thank you! I wish you all a wonderful 2021. Expect great things and you will receive them.


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Hi! I'm still here. My move kicked my backside but I'm still standing with the help of "QUIET STORM music.YAAAAAAS!

 I'm back again! 

Like I said, I moved last month and it has been a bitch! I'm the type who has to have at least ONE room all together before I take a break. In this case, the room I chose was the living room. IT IS DONE! Now I can rest and unpack the rest of the place on a two box per week basis

To relax while I chill out, I've discovered the new and improved "THE QUIET STORM" radio channel. TQS was a concept birthed by a Howard University student when workers at the university's radio station went on strike. The young communications undergrad (Melvin Lindsey), armed with a stack of his own LPs took over the booth and played "slow jams"to fill the void. His smooth voice capped it off. His voice was the personification of that Smokey Robinson lyric "soft and warm, like a quiet storm." An innovation and a hit were born and WHUR (Howard University's radio station's call letters) has never been the same.

He played Chaka Khan, Angela Bofill, The Brothers Johnson, Herbie Hancock, The Delfonics, Earth, Wind and Fire, Phyllis Hyman, Michael Henderson, The Emotions, Randy Crawford, Labelle, on and on. He even played the "B" sides to their records. These were artists who were NOT getting the wide air play they deserved and he found a home for them

Lindsey was "THE QUIET STORM" and by the time he'd left WHUR, the concept had swept the nation and soon every urban radio station had either a drive time slot or an evening slot for TQS. Even after his departure from WHUR in '85, other DJs kept his signature sound at the station. 

He made his mark. He made history and a legacy and it continues today. Thank you, Melvin!

Give the sound a listen. You'll never be sorry you did.

                                Mister Melvin Lindsey

Thursday, November 5, 2020

This time 55 percent of voting White women, as opposed to 53 percent in 2016, cast their ballots for Trump. Shocked? Not shocked.

Why am I NOT surprised? 

Of course the majority of white women who voted did so for Trump. In him they see their father, their uncles, their grandfather. Hell, I am sure many are dating, engaged to or married to a boorish cretin like 45. They've grown used to making excuses for these guys because though they are uncouth, slow, crass and unsophisticated, the same guy knows how to stick it to others to get what he needs for himself. And the woman in his sphere benefits from his dealings. She is no victim; she is right in there beside him in the mire wallowing in her share. 

Look at Melania. No victim she. Right in there with the Donald for all the perks and baubles. As much of a "birther" and bigot as her slovenly mate. She eats heartily at the table of patriarchy (Lord, I hate using these jingoistic terms, but hey, it fits  and explains the reason for 55 percent of voting White women casting their ballot for 45. 

I suppose they bought his line about Black and brown people invading their suburbs and devaluing their real estate and robbing and raping them. I say quit letting your college-aged kids, or your retirees, or YOU from GENTRIFYING the inner city's Black and brown neighborhoods. Which raises rents, or property taxes, and forces out the original dwellers. The only place the Black and brown can afford then are those old-assed, half-empty apt. complexes in YOUR 'BURBS. So they are relegated to those environs. I see it all the time and it has been happening in France for decades. The rich and those who can afford it, live in the city. The poor are forced out to the farther arrondissements. 

Yeah, so many of these broads might lament, "Patriarchy is keeping me down!" when hubby or boyfriend or daddy ain't in ear shot but not nare one would ever think of chucking Tad or Dad when he is the one that trees bend to shade when he passes by. Naw. They like a winner who can command all. 

Patriarchy may chafe and suppress but it pays so well in comfort and recognition. Slave masters of old didn't do it all by themselves. The slave mistress, his wife, reaped the rewards of his deeds too. Look, some broads outwardly act like Offred, but inwardly love being Serena Joy. 

I mean what would Chelsea Cheerleader be without her all-American Big Man on Campus on her arm?

Just another chick in a tight top and a short-assed skirt with pom poms and a short shelf life.


Wednesday, November 4, 2020



No. I had not left. I'm in the midst of a move and it's been tiring and frantic. I simply had no time to post. BUT...Here I am one day after this nation's presidential election. Still no winner announced. It's like waiting for the votes to tabulated for a victor on The Voice or American Idol or any other of those competition reality shows. Which would suit the Mango-Man-In-Chief quite well. It's right up his alley. Lots of tweeting and bloviating about a "rigged election." Yes, Don, we know. That's why that Coney-Barrett robot/chick was confirmed to become a justice so fast. It's all about you taking umbrage with election results if you aren't the winner, or if it's too close to call. You rushed and packed the court with another conservative judge to try and ensure a positive outcome for you if recounts have to be challenged and decided. 

OLD DON THE CON. Never learned how to play fair. Or nicely with others.

You haven't changed one iota from your shyster days of  not renting to Black people, or steering them to one of your crappily maintained properties. But you and Daddy got sslapped with a discrimination lawsuit. A FEDERAL matter and you and Pops had to PAY for your bigotry. New York has been on to you. It didn't vote for you in 2016 and did a repeat this year. Same with New Jersey. Only righteous rubes voted for you. Not city slickers unless they were stinking rich.

I voted for Biden/Harris with all their flaws. C'mon Blue Wave!. 

The only way I'd have ever voted for you, Don, would have been to vote you OFF THE ISLAND! Game show tactics your rudimentary mind understands.


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Two losses in the R&B world - Pamela Hutchinson of the Emotions and Edna Wright of Honey Cone

Pamela (center) with her sisters, Wanda and Sheila "Best of My Love "Boogie Wonderland

Just as folks were celebrating "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire last week, a woman who sang with the dynamic 70s group, the Emotions, AND who sang with EW&F on their hit "Boogie Wonderland" passed away after a long fight with breast cancer.

Lead singer Pamela Hutchinson of the Emotions passed at age 61 on Friday September 17th. She and her sisters, Wanda and Sheila formed the group. In '77 they won a Grammy for "Best Performance by a Duo or Group for their big hit, "Best of My Love."

                        Edna Wright

Second loss was Edna Wright. She was the lead singer in the R&B group Honey Cone. Pictured in the center above, she left this mortal coil at age 76 on September 12th. She was the sister of singer Darlene Love, famous in her own right. Honey Cone's biggest hit was "Want Ads" and "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show."

Rest in Power to both divas! "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show - "Want Ads"

(Oh Lord. I remember wearing those hot pants. They were all the rage)

Monday, September 21, 2020


 No, I didn't forget. I waited until the exact day quoted in one of my favorite songs by my favorite group from the 70s.

"Do you remember the 21st night of September? Love was changing the minds of pretenders, while chasing the clouds away..."

Do enjoy. It's showtime! 

Dance around. I will.




Monday, September 14, 2020

Sybil Lewis - Subject 5 in my "Actresses of the "race films" series

Revenge of the Zombies
still from the 1943 film "Revenge of the Zombies"

If you've been reading these posts, you should have detected a common theme with the women who became stars in the "race films" of the era. They all were rather light-skinned. So weird that even in a niche of film created mainly by, and for, Black Americans, the performer's color was still a a focal point.

Amazing. Sad. Not surprising though when a people have been steeped in a country's tea of superiority through skin color. It could not help but seep into a people's conscoiusness that beauty is being as White-adjacent as possible. No darker skinned Black actress was ever going to be a cinematic  "sex symbol." Remember. Those who were of a darker hue were "allowed" to gain fame through recording contracts and club performances. When, and if, they wanted to be in films, they were relegated to maid, cook, house keeper and hooker roles.

Reviews: Broken Strings - IMDb

Today? It's a mixed bag and a mixed blessing. All hues are "seen" but I see mostly Black actresses as set dressing. Mostly nude set dressing in throw-away roles. Ah, show biz.

But I digress.

Sybil Lewis ( nee Sybil N. Sanford) is the next ingenue on the "race film" list. Now this woman like Dona Drake could have passed herself off as anything but African-American but didn't. She definitely had the phenotype for it. Little personal info is available on her and few photos. Seems she played it close to the chest. She was wed 4 times; had no children. Her dates are November 16, 1919 - September 28, 1988. She too found more fame in stage musicals and is remembered as an actress of extraoridnary skill. Able to play any role convincingly. On par with the top Caucassian actresses of the 40s but never to given the chance to compete against them.

From IMDB:
Attractive Sybil Lewis was one of the best, most convincing actresses of Black Cinema. Her sophisticated, sometimes snooty presence was one of many but her more popular approach to acting always worked whether in drama, straight, romance or comedy roles and always remained likable. Sybil's acting would remind one of a Rosalind Russell or even Bette Davis. She was able to adapt to any role and make a film worth watching even if she was the only one acting. Her training and natural touch to acting, gave those films substantiality. "Mystery In Swing," "Broken Strings," "Am I Guilty?," "Midnight Menace," "Lucky Gamblers," "Boy! What a Girl!," and "Miracle in Harlem," are Black Cinema films where Sybil and others got to be a real actress, not a "Black" actress but actress without a label or stereotype and she got to play roles of people from all walks of life unlike Blacks in Hollywood. Even in Hollywood movies, "Revenge of the Zombies," "Going My Way," and "The Very Thought of You," Sybil had a chance to use her acting skills and not be stereotyped too much because of her race.

Sybil Lewis | Old hollywood wedding, Hollywood wedding, Vintage hairstyles

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Sheila Guyse - Subject 4 in my "Actresses of the "race films" series

Sheila Guyse | DPL DAMS

Etta Drucille Guyse, known profesionally as Sheila Guyse, was born July 14, 1925 in Forest, Mississippi and passed in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 28, 2013. An all-round performer (singer, film and stage actress, recording artist) her popularity was in the 1940s and 50s. Other work she was paid for was modeling. She graced the covers o Jet, Ebony, Our World and Hue several times.
In the all-Black produced, performed and written "race films," Sheila was usually casts as the "girl next door" with something extra. Her biggest hits were Boy! What a Girl! (1947); Sepia Cinderella (1947) and Miracle in Harlem (1948). Known for her naturalness when it came to acting, directors still sought her out even though she was not trained in the craft.

People of Color in Classic Film: Sheila Guyse Appreciation

Popular, well-liked, talented she did work a lot even though plagued with bad health for many years of her career. Diagnosed with stomach ulcers among other ailments, Sheila still racked up credits and performed when she could. Wed 3 times, and the mother of  3, Sheila stayed married to her last husband until his death in 2012.

People of Color in Classic Film: Movie of the Week: Miracle in ...

Sidelined a lot by her ailments, she always made her way back to the entertainment industry somehow. Her last attempt was in 1958 with her last studio album This is Sheila. Battling ill health, she continued on until she could no longer face the grind to get back once more. A final diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease bested her and on December 28, 2013 at the age of 88, complications from the disease took her life.

Sheila Guyse- Our Sweetheart of Stage and Screen

Boy! What a Girl! (1947) - IMDb

Friday, August 14, 2020

Nina Mae McKinney - Subject 3 in my "Actresses of the race films" series

Nina Mae McKinney, Who Defied the Barriers of Race to Find Stardom ...

A beauty who graced film in the 1920s and early 1930s, Nina was born Nannie Mayme McKinney in Lancaster, South Carolina on June 12, 1912. Her parents moved to New York for better opportunities. There, as a pre-teen, she was helped by her aunt who worked as a maid for a White couple with connections to get a job hustling packages for the Post Office. While doing her job, she did tricks on her bicycle. It caught the attention of additional White folks who thought she'd be a natural on stage. She soon acquired work with Lew Leslie's Blackbirds Revue as a dancer, singer and performer. Agents saw her act and Hollywood came knocking. King Vidoe of MGM Studios cast her in Hallelujah! as the siren, Chick, and the rest is history.

Nina Mae McKinney. Nina Mae McKinney (1913-1967) was the first ...

Hallelujah showed African-Americans in their natural, real life surrroundings not in fantastical, magical stagings. It made her a star in the "race film" genre. Parts in mainstream film were few and far in between and repetitious. Disgusted with Hollywood, she departed the States for Europe.There she worked consistently and was respected.Labeled the "Black Garbo," she took Europe by storm. Years later, she returned to the States to act in mainly Black staged productions to great aclaim.

Nina Mae McKinney passed on May 3, 1967 in New York City.

Nina Mae McKinney

Monday, August 3, 2020

Francine Everett - Number 2 in my "race films" actress series

203 - Dirty Gertie from Harlem USA | Movies For the Blind

Francine Everett (nee Williamson) was born April 13, 1915 and passed on May 27, 1999. She took the last name "Everett" when she married at 18 to her 1st husband. Venturing to NY after her divorce, she found work as a singer and actress at the Federal Theater of Harlem in properties created by the Works Progress Administration. There she met her 2nd husbnad, actor Rex Ingram. They wed in 1936 but divorced 3 years later. Everett bounced between the East and West coasts as work dictated. She did get small parts in over 50 musical numbers in Hollywood films. The bit speaking parts she was offered in "mainstream" Hollywood films she saw as lackluster and she grew tired of auditioning for roles as domestics or Jezebels. Nothing showcased her range. It was then she was discovered by, or discovered, the "race film" market. There she thrived as parts were as varied and vibrant as the lives of Black people. Called a beauty and a great talent of her time by filmmaker William Greaves, she was only denied superstar status due to the flat out bigotry of the time.

Umm. Not much has changed really. Possibly the size of the paychecks?

Francine Everett: The Most Beautiful Woman in Harlem – (Travalanche)

Still the film industry is a business where there can be a gazillion mediocre blonde thespians crowding up the red carpet but the one Black actress singled out (and make no mistake, it's like Highlander. There can be only ONE at a time. It's like Hollywood has ADHD where Black actors are concerned).must be ALL things, ALL the time and ALWAYS at the top of her game otherwise she's trash.

Dirty Gertie From Harlem USA (1946) | Spencer Williams Francine ...

Read more about Francine Everett at the link below:

Friday, July 24, 2020

Dona Drake - Actress One in my "race film" series

Well, I've finally gotten back to my proposed series on the Black actresses who were prominent in Hollywood's "race film" genre. I meant to have been deep into this project BUT events in the U. S. intervened and BOOM! my attention was drawn elsewhere. But better late than never as grandmom would have said.

Dona Drake
Dona Drake.jpg

By Source, Fair use,

Today's subject is Dona Drake, born November 15, 1914, deceased June 20, 1989. Eunice Westmoreland, as she named at birth, was 3/4 Black. Busy bee sources dug into what her grandparents lineages were.- one set were Black; another, Black/White. This was according to a U. S. Census. Who knows? She was born in Miami, FL which is, and has always, been a mixing bowl of cultures. Suffice it to say, she "passed" as Mexican. Which I could picture her doing from her appearance. Actually, it's incorrect to label her "BLACK" as her lineage was such a mix but this is the U S of A where race matters tons! Though the younger generations are fighting it. Personally with all the intermarrying and mating afoot, there needs to be a revision in the choices on those forms where they ask one's race. I mean it is 2020. Women born of two Black parents do not need a Dona Drake to rep for them as she does not look like the typical Black woman in the U. S. She was a mixed race female and looked it. Substituting her for the average Black woman was, is, not truthful just as substituting the average Black woman for a mixed race one is not truthful. It's not fair to either party involved.

But I digress.

Anyhoo, during that era, non-White women who longed to be discovered would start as a chorus girl in a nightclub revue. Also, per usual, the girls who landed those jobs were quite light-skinned or mixed race or what is known as "high-yella" in the Black community. Think the women who worked at the Cotton Club in NYC. This selection based on how light one was had been used for years as the patrons of these night spots were White. In their minds, a darker female was servant, maid, mammy material. A Black woman of that hue was not someone thought of as alluring no matter the person's talent. Plus, the selection of lighter-skinned Black females set the patrons minds at ease as "light" was seen as non-threatening. I find that hysterical as anyone hopping around on a cramped stage is there to get paid and seen, not to attack the audience. Anyhoo, to calm the nervous, but eager-to-oggle "exotic" entertainment, White patrons, who came to watch non-White women scamper about in scanty attire to music, these clubs followed their demands and those of established society.

84 Best Dona Drake images in 2020 | Dona drake, Drake, Actresses

Dona's ambiguous otherness caught the eye of Hollywood who decided they could get double the work out of her - she could play a light-skinned Black woman OR any "ethnic" woman. She was a consummate singer, actress and dancer. She cycled trough several names (Una Villon, Una Velon, Rita Rio, and Rita Shaw) before settling on Dona Drake. From the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s, she made about 60 films and broadcasts in aaddition to performing in clubs in an all girl band (The Girlfriends) She seemed to have had a content, non-controversial life. She married a Caucasian costume designer, William Travilla (famous for creating the white halter dress that Marilyn Monroe immortalized in The Seven Year Itch), had one daughter and retired. She passed from pneumonia and respiratory failure at the age of 74 in 1989.

Dona Drake | Dona Drake Picture #25077382 - 454 x 577 - FanPix.Net

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

"ROLLING STONE" AND "TIME." Give us a freakin' break. Go troll somebody else. Please

I thought I was done commenting on the events of the last 3 -4 months but I guess not. The following images of the Black community, especially Black women are not flattering. They do us no favor. It unfortunately re-inforces the myth of "Black women not needin' no man." It also shows that the "mainstream" watches and listens closely to what goes on in the Black community. I knew this day would come when I saw many of us embrace that damaging mindset. We forget that the mainstream watches us to see how all the -isms have taken hold in our communities, and in some areas, have usurped the traditional family unit. We are the nation's petri dish. Mainstream news revels in the visual of the weary, crying, uncared-for, Black, single-mother on the 11 o clock news as a representative of ALL households in the Black community. Not to say the woman does not exist. She does. It is that her sad image is joyously telegraphed out in colorful, huge graphics as de rigueur in the Black community. A community seen as fatherless (due to death or choice), rudderless, dangerous, and one that is to be pitied. It is the graphic served to the general public.

TIME's George Floyd issue 2020
The Story Behind TIME's George Floyd Cover |

Typical. We only make the cover of major magazines when we are seen as confirming a negative narrative or are "misbehaving" or are dead. Otherwise, it is crickets from these publications. I do not find it flattering, not one bit, that corporations like these are donating money to Black causes, or are "examining" our issues more, or posting black squares on any given Tuesday. Same for the toppling of Confederate statues and the re-naming of this, that and a third.


TIME's July issue 2020
Issue Cover

The felling of a rebel's statue or the removal of the name of a son of the South from a building means, as my venerated grandfather would have said, "diddly squat!" It does not remedy, or address the Black community's deeper problems. And NO! It's deeper problem is NOT Black-on-Black crime. The crime is a SYMPTOM of a much larger issue. but critics aren't able to grasp that. No. Critics love to toss out that old talking point and how nothing we say about police brutality can be taken seriously until the crime in our neighborhoods is fixed. WHY? Funny how that sentiment is NOT expressed when the issue of the huge amount of opioid addicts in White communities comes up. NO ONE is discussing withholding counseling, rehab or funds from them  if they FIRST don't confront their mess. Nope. Mr. and Ms. John Q. Municipal Center/Suburbs are allowed to fail again and again without conditions.


So, no, ROLLING STONE. No, TIME. You do not have your finger on the pulse of Black people in America. Your finger is on the cash register and you do KNOW who your reader is, don't cha?

Black Lives Matter: From Ferguson to Now - Rolling Stone

Friday, June 19, 2020


Oh Man. I completely forgot. Too much celebrating I guess.

Juneteenth! That holiday 45 says NO ONE knew about until he brought attention to it.

Lord help us. Party the whole weekend to burn off that nonsense.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Something has got to give and it ain't gonna be me!

The continued protests here in the States are not over only George Floyd's, Breonna Taylor's, Ahmad Arbery's, and lately Rayshard Brooks' MURDERS. Their deaths are a catalyst. A spark. The culmination of Black frustration and anger built up over decades, no CENTURIES, of constantly being ignored, used as scapegoats whenever the White populace needs a whipping boy to boost its flagging morale, discounted, and being convenient wells from which others culturally appropriate while we are told subtly that we are a worthless lot.

And this cover?

I do not know what to make of it. Is The New Yorker being sincere? Or just making a Kardashian-like move by striking while the racial iron is hot by taking advantage of a trend (being "woke" and White) while making some quick bank and acting like it gives a good goddamn?

Just like half of America these last three weeks.

That half one sees on the news begging forgiveness. The half performing foot-washings on Black people. The half draped in Kente cloth. The half pulling down Confederate statues. The half in corporate America taking black images off their products. The half crying on bended knee, saying that "it didn't know." Didn't know what? Pray tell what didn't you know?  How brutal your people can be? Have been? How could you NOT know? Don't you read history books? What did you think? That we were making this mess up for shits-and-giggles? That we were just whining? Or as you love to say, "playing the race card?" So y'all needed an effin' visual? Y'all needed to see a man dying on camera for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to finally know we weren't lying? Yanno, your reaction would be comic theater at its best if it were not so disturbing and tone-deaf.

How could you NOT have known how we are treated? We live it everyday. It's in our face everyday; it has to run across yours in some form too. But knowing your low tolerance level when it comes to being confronted with your own short-comings  you looked the other way probably. Well...NEWSFLASH! We are harassed daily by "Karens." We are chased and followed daily by "Brads.."  We are killed daily BY OFFICERS FRIENDLY..

And let me insert here as a refresher for those in the cheap seats in the back. DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT PART YOUR LIPS TO SPEAK TO ME ABOUT BLACK-ON-BLACK CRIME. That is a whole other topic that is none of your beeswax. When you can answer why there is White-on-White crime, or any other nationality-on-any other nationality crime, MAYBE we can talk. MAYBE. Otherwise shut up. This ain't the time or the place to air your brain droppings. Okay?

As for the other half of America? Well, they aren't even part of the conversation. Which is good as WE are over listening. This other half of America though, wants to "make America great again." To bring back the  "good, old days" when lynching was in vogue. When they could have a nice Sunday picnic, after church, under the same tree where a Black person was freshly swinging. And take home parts of the deceased as souvenirs! Yes. That half wants us gone in the worst way or to hush up as my grandmother would have said.

Which ain't happening.

Just like COVID-19 ain't going anywhere neither are we. Naw. This crap is biblical. For all you Evangelicals out there, or so-called "religious" folks, who shuddered and prayed against Obama those 8 years he was in office; for all of you who feared his "otherness;" for all of you who believed 45 was sent by God to deliver you from Black/Brown people; for all of you who backed 45, you know what? You signed a deal with the Devil to gain your idea of Heaven on Earth. Yeah, it is biblical AF as the kids would say. You misinterpreted your God terribly. You know what I'm talking about. That's why y'all are kneeling and crying and seeking forgiveness 'cuz it's finally dawned on you that, that God you believe in ain't pleased with the horrors y'all as a collective have inflicted on my people for 400 years in His/Her name. Former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson was an opportunist, BUT she spoke truth when she said America will never heal until it rectifies its offenses against the BLACK DESCENDANTS OF THE FORMERLY ENSLAVED.  To paraphrase the words of a fellow author who'd posted on Facebook, "You had 400 years to be in your racist feelings. The grace period has run out." Oh yes. This is warfare and it's spiritual. And y'all know it and y'all are afraid.

So, Americans, the choices are...meh. but which half are you part of? The nervously, obliviously contrite or the firmly-entrenched, self-righteous  nostalgic?  Will you choose wisely? Can you be real for once? What I know is you better prostrate yourself before your God, not us, before time runs out. Personally, with this country's track record on doing the right thing for the right reason, I don't hold out much hope for you.

P.S. Yes this was caustic. Yes, this was biting. But it's been building for 400 years

Monday, June 8, 2020

The dark, flip side of activism - What can happen when a movement 's members do not have a common goal - Black Lives Matter (NSFW)

This young man (Darren Seals) was the real deal and was cut down in the prime of life. He'd been a warrior, a true activist in Ferguson on the front lines during rhe Mike Brown debacle. Darren Seals was found shot to death in his burning car back in 2016. Who did it? No one knows. Police did declare his death a homicide..

Even with all the injustice being revealed today and being pushed back on by Black Lives Matter, this video made by Seals before his shocking murder revealed how BLM's members, and its purpose were corrupted by instant fame. An organization like BLM was, is, needed but it morphed from activism for all to notoriety for a few. Seals was not a fame-whore and in this video clearly spells out his stance and that of  the crowd who ran/runs BLM at the time. In the video, he speaks on how the organization, born of a hashtag, was on a whole other agenda from Day One. He speaks on how the killing of Mike Brown was the perfect backdrop from which to launch BLM and how outsiders hijacked the progress being fought for in Ferguson by the local people.

Every fledgling movement has its birthing pains. It's inescapable. Not everyone will agree on the singular, best path to take. It's a shame that Darren Seals did not live to leave his mark. I think BLM would have been better for it, and for ALL Black lives.

Darren Seals
Activists point fingers at police over suspicious death of ...

Friday, June 5, 2020

America has lost its already dubious title of "Human Rights Defender" permanently

Ahmaud Arbery

Well. What an exhausting, frustrating garbage can few weeks it's been here in the States. As you know by now, video was released on two incidents where 2 Black, unarmed men were killed. One gunned down George Zimmerman-style, while jogging, after being hunted by a father/son duo who looked to be auditioning for the role of Hillbilly One and Two in a film; another was suffocated for allegedly paying for groceries with a fake twenty dollar bill., ON CAMERA by a cop. Their names? Ahmad Arbery and George Floyd.

A third incidence involved a young Black woman, who was asleep in HER HOME, IN HER BED when police crashed through the home's door at 12:30 am and started spraying everything and everyone in sight with bullets. @ 22 bullets were recovered; 8 had lodged in the body of Breonna Taylor. The cops were serving a "no knock" warrant at the residence. Such a warrant sounds like exactly what it is. They come in like gangbusters. These 3 cops were in plain clothes and did NOT announce who they were; therefore, Breonna's boyfriend returned fire (with a legally bought and registered firearm). like anyone else would if a group of men were busting into your abode. He was arrested for firing back because one of the Keystone Kops was hit in the leg. Later, it was revealed the cop who'd been hit, had been hit by "friendly fire." 

Quel dommage!

Breonna Taylor

But the ass-kicker of this story is, they were at the WRONG HOUSE! The person they'd been looking for had previously lived there but had moved AND the perp had been arrested and was IN CUSTODY ALREADY! Talk about a lack of communication in that precinct!

The killings on video are stomach churning.I do not know which video is worse. Both are horrid. In one, Arbery is fighting for his life over a shotgun with Hillbilly One while Hillbilly Two watches. Oh, yes. Then we have a third man who'd been trailing and FILMING the whole deadly.fracas. I'll call him Hilbilly Three. Second, is the one with Mr. Floyd, handcuffed, lying on his stomach on the ground, pleading for his life, calling for his deceased mother as that turd Chauvin pins him by the back of the neck to the ground with a knee. Just rocking back and forth slowly. Putting all his weight into it. All the while, you see the light leave Mr. Floyd's eyes, and you see his face turn gray as he dies. 

Eight minutes, forty-six seconds.

Poor Breonna. An EMT for the city of Louisville, KY. She'd been on the front lines doing her part in assissting those with COVID-19. And she gets killed at home. The place that is supposed to one's refuge. Lord, I do hope she went quickly. I cannot imagine being jolted out of sleep at !2:30 am to the sound of gunfire, then hit by a volley of bullets. I. JUST. CAN'T.

So, Black America erupted when it was revealed that NONE of the perpertrators of the violence had been arrested and charged. Well the riots didn't happen all at once for all three events. It hit a crescendo with Floyd's "digital lynching." It was the culmination of people tired of being seen as an afterthought when it comes to doing the right thing by them as it pertains to the justice system.. Black folks had had enough. Especially the youth.

George Floyd/Derek Chauvin

No. I didn't like seeing small businesses being destroyed. That was not cool. They were in our neighborhoods. From what I saw, yes, Black folks were stealing stuff and trashing stuff. And tossing bricks taken from a pallet, conveniently placed nearby? Really, bruh? Use your brain! BUT who were the masked, dressed in Black mostly WHITE folks who were defacing and trashing businesses? Several news clips (plural) showed instances of these "protesters" vandalizing establishments. I recall one clip where 2 White chicks were spraying "BLM" on the walls and windows of enterprises until 2 sistahs asked them Why they were doing it. The chicks couldn't answer and ran away when questioned further. These folks, I am certain, took off their gear later, collected their checks and rode home to the suburbs to leave behind a huge mess in a Black neighborhood. In the name of what? Solidarity? NAW. Controlled opposition strikes again. And y'all know what controlled opposition I'm talking about. That word that starts with A. White supremacydoesn't like losing and will  play both sides of an argument.

Big enterprises like Autozone, Target, CVS, etc., will be re-imbursed through their insurances. I don't cry for them. This bump in their roads was a mere inconvenience. A little birdie told me that besides the crisis actors there were Alt-Right types out who'd infiltrated the protests to wreak havoc. I believe a number of the Caucasians in the crowds weren't there for George Floyd. I mean what made his death any different then previous ones? We'd been telling y'all for years how law enforcement and law enforcement wannabes are not our friends. There had been Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown and Eric Gardner and Freddy Gray and Korryn Gaines, and Atatiana Jefferson, etc. before George Floyd. His was not the first death to be documented.

This extremely violent rioting, I think, was a combination of Amurricans taking advantage of an opportunity to be outdoors as COVID-19 lockdown was getting to a lot of them, and I believe most importantly, it was a release of anger toward a gov't that clearly showed these Amurricans how it truly feels about them. A gov't that executed the biggest wealth transfer to the rich under the guise of "payments." But when it came to Amurricans, his buddy Uncle Sam tossed a few ducats at them and effed them over without lube  just as much as he's been effing us Black folks over for centuries. Oh, there might have been a few souls out there genuinely who cared, who believed Black lives matter, but on the whole...Nope. If these Amurricans had really cared they'd have been protesting all along when the other murders went down. If they were to tell the truth, they know they were out there "protesting" due to job loss, no income, mortgages/rent due, car notes due on top of having had to be stuck in the house with people they discovered they didn't like. Things these Amurricans rarely had to deal with as there was usually a parent or grandparent or relative or some source of generational booty to get money from. But not this time. Everybody got burned. There were no "safety nets" to fall back on. Just like Black folks have not had for centuries. So, these Amurricans were marching with us because they were mourning themselves not George Floyd. They finally came to the realization that the gov't/those in charge/the Elites do not give a damn about them either. Hence, the looting and violence. They were "protesting" but not for the same reasons as us Black folks. On the other hand, the Black folks who were out there to be heard, were not part of those factions. As my Grandmother would have said..."A closed mouth don't git fed". So, at its root, Black folks opened their mouths. The sole reason any moves were made to arrest Chauvin was because the entire nation was burning not just Minneapolis. Something was done because something was done. Dr. King's peaceful tactics worked in the 50s and the 60s. Even he, at the end of his life, knew more forceful means were going to have to be enacted if we were going to be taken seriously. Like I have always said, he and Malcolm X were on the same page by the end of their lives..

Now for all you parrots who adore yelling "Well what about Black-on-Black crime?" And I say, "What about it?' Do not part your slack lips at me to pose that stupid question. I could ask, "What about White-on-White crime? Asian-on-Asian crime? Gay-on-Gay crime?" Look and read slowly so you understand. Crime involves two factors - proximity and opportunity. Get it? You tend to kill  those you know and live around. Like when Brad whacks Becky. There is a whole industry on cable TV devoted to "When Brad kills Becky." Yet, I do not hear the lamentation about that. Hell, there are whole evenings on A&E and the ID Channel devoted to misssing White women. Missing White women who usually are found dead, bound in duct tape in a suitcase somewhere courtesy of  husband Brad. Same goes for any ethnicity. Try perusing the online newspaper  "Tokyo Reporter." Pretty eye-opening. So do not start with me about Black-on-Black crime. Do not use it as the reasoning that cops should get to kill us with impunity. 

So, yeah. The unrest. The protests. The riots. All the result of being ignored, disrespected, discounted and used for target practice for centuries. Sadly, these murders will continue until Black people's humanity is seen. Will that ever happen? Maybe. What's needed? Well, the ones who need to do the "seeing" would have to cultivate a conscience concerning us. And from what i've seen, that a damned long shot.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The history of the "race film" in Hollywood

I'm going to try my hand at starting a series on little known Black actresses of years past. Almost everyone knows of Fredi Washington, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge et al. They were the few deemed "worthy" of being on Hollywood sound stages. BUT there were others. Others who graced the screen for Black audiences only. They were the stars of the genre known as "race films." Yes. A totally separate classification of movie created for Black folks. These films, as with a lot of Black entertainment then, were financed by White-owned companies and scripted by White writers. Much like the Black sit-coms of 70s TV. Still, there were a handful of Black directors - Spencer Williams, Alice Guy, Oscar Micheaux. Despite who had a major hand in these movies making, Black actors found themselves the hero cowboy, the heroine, the villian, etc. They could be ALL things not just the "help" as they were in films made by "mainstream" Hollywood.

Restored 'Race Films' Find New Audiences : Code Switch : NPR

But before I jump into the performers in these films, let me discuss the foundation of these films. Race films were produced as early as 1905 but flourished after 1915. Over 500 movies were made between 1915 and 1952.  The main White-owned companies were Million Dollar Productions and Toddy Pictures. The few Black-owned outfits were Lincoln Motion Picture Company and Chicago-based, Micheaux Film Corporation. Micheuax proudly advertised that his films were srcipted and produced by African-Americans.

Of course, these films were segregated when released in the South. They weren't welcome up North all that much either. Northern movie theaters showed them in Black neighborhoods too like the South did, but relented a litttle if shown elsewhere. Meaning? Black were seated in the "peanut gallery" of the theater (the balcony) or relegated to evening showings period. So much for Northern liberty! Whites were not interested in viewing these films. Yeah, right. I'll play along. It was partly true but look, what was a White chick supposed to do if she and her date (Mr. Brad) were watching a "Race film" and Mr. Brad were to get all hot and bothered by the negresse on the screen? Quel scandale! Can't have that. Why do you think any musical with a musical number showing a sultry Lena Horne or Dorothy Dandridge was CUT out of the film BEFORE it was viewed down yonder? Couldn't have those men folk all heated up by a...colored gal!

But I digress.


Many Black singers, dancers and performers that did go on to appear in "mainstream" Hollywood films made their mark in "race films" first.

Read all about it at the links below:

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Back room deals, selfishness and lawlessness in the States in the age of COVID-19

Um, er, um, no. Hate to burst your kumbaya bubble but we are NOT all in this together.

"In these difficult times" blah, blah, blah.

"As we adjust to a new normal" blah, blah, blah.

If I had a dime for every time I've heard each of those treacly platitudes parroted, I'd be as rich as the big corporations who received the lion's share of the funds from the 1st round of the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) handled by the Small Business Administration. The program was supposed to help Mom and Pop types of businesses stay afloat during their shuttering due to orders rolled out by the federal government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Well. The usual greedy suspects showed up, crashed the party and ran off with the best favors. Huge PUBLIC companies like Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Kura Sushi USA, Shake Shack, and hotel conglomerates sucked up 905 million bucks. So many establishments rushed the website where applications were being accepted that the thing crashed soon after it opened with true small business owners in dire straits being locked out. After much hue and cry, a second round ensued about a week later with many small business owners crosssing their eyes and fingers and toes and holding their breaths as they logged on.

How To Apply For The SBA Payroll Protection Program Loan: Simple Guide

Les scandales ensued of course. Ruth's Cris Steakhouse and a few other big businesses played dumb saying they had not realized they were not eligible for the no-pay-back loans as they viewed their businesses' individual locations as a small businesse on its own. Yeah, right. It gave the monies back after being shamed. Shake Shack dragged its feet but its head honcho finally gave up the 10 mil it had bagged.

The big offenders, the ones NOT giving their windfalls back are companies dealing in hospitality - hotels, cruise lines, airlines and those in the medical device sector. There is total mishegas surrounding the deals cruise lines got. Read here: Talk about shady back room ish.

But that's the world of business. I expect that sort of behavior from that bunch and arrange my affairs accordingly. But girding myself against the vagaries of my "regular, fellow Americans?" That takes a lot of girding as individuals are harder to shame, and far from rational when panicked and I have little time for fools who have me seeking out meditation more than twice a day. You make me do that and you are on my ish list.

As COVID-19 sweeps across the U. S. and cozily settles into certain communities more than others, the refrain "We are all in this together" has become hypocritical and painfully trite. Truth be told my "fellow Americans" are a selfish, recalcitrant lot on the whole, and could give two turds about others. Let me take you back a few weeks as we stroll down Memory Lane. Let's reminisce as Mary J. would say.

Shortagess of toilet paper and paper products. Shortages of fresh produce (which baffled me as this present generation swears it does not know how to cook). Even the frozen food aisle was picked clean at the markets I frequent. Shortages of alcohol wipes. Shortages of hand sanitizer. Shortages of snack food (I guess after attempts at actual cooking the real food the hoarders bought, failed. my fellow culinarily-challenged Americans moved on to live off Doritos and Sprite).

Now two new shortages loom. First, there looks like there will be a slowdown in meat/poultry production (due to many workers at meat/poultry processing plants coming down with COVID-19). So that means less will be trucked into supermarkets. I envision people, who look like they have never missed a meal in their lives, rushing to Publix with their cashed stimulus payment to grab up all available packages of ground round, sausage and chicken lest they perish from not having a burger or link or drumstick at every chow time, or worse, might have to resort to eating, GASP!...vegetables and a starch one night. Yes. These are the folks who say, "The hell with the rest of ya." That is the refrain they live by..

Second shortage is more serious. Since the Man-In-The-High-Chair at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue declared in one of his many campaign rallys posing as coronavirus press briefings, that hydroxychloroquine (a drug Lupus sufferers need) is a CURE for COVID-19, morons, who are NOT Lupus sufferers, have been pushing their doctors to write scripts for it for them. So much so, that people afflicted with Lupus have been having their script amounts cut, rationed, or not fllied at all due to the pharmacy they use being out of stock. Yeah. Nothing says "We are in it all together" like bogarting stuff.

Maryland Today | Op/ed: During Coronavirus Outbreak, It's Hoard Times Deliver me from a panicked person because they will get you hurt or killed. Sorry but in a crisis situation there's always an abundance of azzwipes. In this case, it's the ones who panic-buy and leave the rest of us to twist in the wind. They hoard as if an apocalypse could be stopped because their dumb azzes stocked up on enough cottony, triple-roll, 2-ply, and industrial-sized bags of chicken nuggets. I have no patience for self-absorbed morons. NONE!

Then we have the news making it seem Black folks in America are the face of COVID-19. Like they must be living wrong, 'cuz "look Ethel, they are all over the T. V." NO! NO! NO! We are not "carriers" or "breeders" of COVID-19. What we are are the essential, over-worked, and the under-served when it comes to healthcare in The U. S. We are also found in mostly service jobs with little to no healthcare benefits, so that when we get sick, we push it to the back burner because 1) illness costs money and 2) that low-paying, or high-stress job (like working for FEDEX or UPS) can be quuite feudal when a day off is needed to see a doctor. Most service jobs and low-paying jobs love to threaten employees with termination if they miss work. So, health issues pile up until a person simply has to go to a doctor because they have pushed themselves to the limit. And once there, as history has chronicled time after time, one's sypmtoms of anything grave will be ignored. One will be told to "work through it" or given some innocuous treatment like an 800 mg Motrin. (True story: this happened to my Mom. As a hard-working nurse, she'd not been taking care of herself. Finally after pain pushed her to the ER and was attended by a Boy Doctor. Said Boy Doctor prescribed her 800 mg Motrin for her upper back pain and sent her home. SHE WAS HAVING A HEART ATTACK! The only reason she lived was because I took her back to the same ER and and insisted she be admitted) Anyhoo, as I was saying, at the end of a doc's visit most Black folks (working or not) will get one of three things - 1) sent home; 2) a script; OR 3) get so many meds that for some many ills that there will be contraindications out the wazoo. Six of one; half a dozen of another. When it comes to Black Americans, healthcare is either a suggestion or a goldmine for the medical industry.

So, no. Black folks aren't the face of COVID-19 in America; they are the face of a failed "healthcare" system.. Also, the kinds of jobs most are in puts them on the front line. They are your mail carriers, your transit workers, nurses, CNAs, store clerks, etc. Work that puts one in constant contact with germy John Q. Public. They are the canaries in the mines.

COVID-19 deaths analyzed by race and ethnicity — APM Research Lab

Then, we have others who are protesting lockdowns across the land. Which is their right but with ASSAULT RIFLES slung across their chests? WHY? Last I heard COVID-19 was a virus not a ninja. Plus, you cannot tell me that if those armed protesters had been Black that the National Guard would not have been called in. I mean how does one even get that close to a state's capitol armed like that? RHETORICAL QUESTION. I know the answer. (I believe in Michigan it's allowed but one can't bring in a knife. What in the actual phuck. And they say there is no privilege for certain people.
So listen up, buttercups. While you hole up in youe bunker, scarfing down wings and chips, waiting for that signal to show the coast is clear...IT AIN'T HAPPENIN'! Forget REMDESIVIR. That other "wonder" drug being touted as a cure. That is for actual COVID-19 patients. Not folks who are afraid of getting COVID-19. A COVID-19 vaccine is a good two years away.

Look at it this way. There is no vaccine for the common cold which this virus seems to be a sinister strain of. It's as easy to catch as the common cold and is as easily spread. Since this new coronavius is from the same family, all you can do is what doctors and your mother have been telling you to do for years - WASH YOUR HANDS. COVER YOUR ROTTEN MOUTH WHEN YOU COUGH. DISCARD SNOTTY TISSUES. And the newest caveat is don't be all up in a person's face when speaking to them and tell them not to be all up in yours. Be extra cautious if you are immuno-compromised in any way.

Please use the brain the Divine gave you. Think. Respond not re-act. Stop being selfish. Think of someone besides yourself for a change. Quit panicking and stockpiling crap! it only makes those corporations who grab up PPP money they don't need, richer.