Saturday, November 29, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I was thinking of all the things that I could complain about and that's when it hit me. In comparison to those who lost their lives, families and dignity to forge a lane into society in which people of color could one day prosper and take full advantage of the "American Dream", my worries are futile. So today I am thankful for Harriet Tubman. I am thankful for Frederick Douglas. I am thankful for Martin Luther King Jr. I am thankful for President Barack Obama. I am thankful for each and every one individual who gave of themselves to create a future for me and you even though the promise of seeing that future was not bestowed upon them.
With that said, I have come up with a selection of words that manifest the struggle of our people to become one with the society in which we live and the freedom from all that holds us from succeeding. Enjoy my poem and have a Happy Thanksgiving. Catch ya' on the FLIPSIDE.
Eyes of Midnight
Broken, crushed, slaughtered,
Somehow saved by prayers,
The promise of golden gates
Giving way to serenity, identity.
Sunshine plays hide and seek with the moon
Every now and then going unnoticed for hours
Never revealing its hiding place.
Freedom prevails and sunshine reveals itself
One minute too late, but not soon enough
The moon readies for another game tonight.
Eager feet trust the sunshine won’t peek
Just count to ten, how many will it discover
Shadows scurry under the moon’s watch
Chasing the North Star, chasing
Life, freedom, identity, equality.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The automakers are financially strapped, due in part to the ridiculously high gas rates that had Americans traveling less as well as purchasing fewer vehicles. Amid the Wall-Street bailout, the three automakers, GM, Ford, and Chrysler, have also asked for relief from the government. However, it has not been so easy for the Big 3, as they have been turned away and asked to come back in front of congress once they have a better business plan and plan overall as to how this money will help the industry.
The congress is looking for long term goals and not just a band aid for the ailing auto industry, but the executives from each has to bring a plan that is convincing of that direction. I agree.
The executives at each of the failing automakers have been lining their pockets with outrageous salaries and bonuses that allowed each of them to fly their own private jets to the congressional hearing. Private jets. Private jets, when thousands are being forced to take buyouts and early retirement to save the sinking company. Private jets, when people with thirty years on the job are leaving these jobs with no pension or health care.
The Big 3 has to come up with an eco-friendly plan that will open up new areas of employment and keep them competitive in the global market. The auto industry is the backbone of the American manufacturing industry and must come up with innovative ideas keep that position.
With a majority of its origin being Detroit, Michigan, it is even that much more important for the Big 3 to survive. Not only must it survive, but it must thrive, in order to bring Michigan out of its financial suffering that was reminiscent of a recession long before the nation decided to call it a recession. With an unemployment rate and home foreclosure rate that rank highest in the country, Michigan’s last hope is the resurgence of the auto industry. Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
"I neva got caught wit a kilo/ and if you ever do, it neva be wit me yo!" Everybody who knows hip-hop from the early nineties and lived in Michigan knows that song like the back of their hand. Before Breed droped jewels on Too $hort's Cocktales album alongside $hort and Tupac, Breed had put Michigan on the map with "Ain't No Future in Yo Frontin".
In a smaller city about 40 miles north of Detroit, Breed had brought Flint and Michigan to the attention of the rest of America who thought that there wasn't anything but dope, prostitutes and cars being sold in the state dominated by the Motor City. Although Breed still only seemed to enjoy mild success, he aligned himself with Too $hort and Pac on several occasions, yet never really breaking into mainstream.
Famous enough, at least here in Michigan. The news of his death was shocking and thought provoking. Not yet even reaching the age of 40 and dying from kidney complications. It's always odd to hear of a younger person dying from bodily malfunctions that we normally associate with older people. Sad, but true, we witness the fall of another soldier in our culture. Catch ya' on the FLIPSIDE.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Sometimes I forget the world exists
Caught up in another place, another dimension
Not the Twilight Zone, but close.
Bake up the pies, open up the bakery
Cakes all day, assembly line like Lucy
But none of these bitches better be eatin’ off the line!
Trappin’, hustlin’, rollin’,
Joints and blunts serenade nerves to sleep
Waking from the demands of the job.
Where am I? Who am I? What the hell is going on?
If you don’t know, I certainly have no clue
Mind still conjuring meaningless answers
The block loves me like no family of mine
Owe it my life, your life, anyone’s life to satisfy
The block. Don’t flip me like Brutus—
Caesar I feel your pain.
After years of loyalty, betrayed by the streets that raised
My eyebrows mangled by fear and anger resting on my face
The world is mine today, until she decides I’m no longer worthy of her glance.
By : Quincy L. Lewis
Thursday, November 20, 2008
So, for a moment, I let my mind relax and retreat from the battles of everyday anxieties. The battles that keep you awake at night for so long that you sleep during the day when you're supposed to be awake.
I set those aside for today...Catch ya' on the FLIPSIDE.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
She had retired, but then had to take on a job as a substitute teacher. She explained that this position made considerably less than she made as a full time teacher, but it was the only way she was going to be able to keep her medical benefits. She went on to tell how the last contract that the teachers signed, didn't allow for the continuing of their health benefits post retirement.
Now she says she is substitute teaching and not only is it making less money, but there is also no income over the summer for the retired DPS teacher. Despite her hardships, though, it remained obvious that she still loved the children of Detroit. Throughout her gripes about how the school system was being ran, she kept going back to one thing and that was how the children are the ones who suffer from the whole mess.
I don't think they make many teachers like that anymore. With hardships and issues of her own, she is still one hundred percent in it for the sake of our children's education. I would love to tell all who reads this, who it is exactly that I speak of, but since we were just having idle conversation, she was obviously unaware that I might write about her the same evening. I will say this, if you are anywhere near Marcus Garvey Academy in Detroit and you mention this story, you may get to meet the spirited retired teacher that inspired this piece. Catch ya' on the FLIPSIDE.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
First it'll be thanksgiving, then Christmas, then quickly after that, we bid adieu to another year that passed by so fast that we can't remember at all what happened. Other than Obama being elected president of the United States of course. If nothing else, people will remember that about good old 2008. With the holidays and snowy weather we begin to finally come together as a family, while we spent so much of the rest of the year doing our own thing and trying to stay afloat in this tired economy.
It is also a time when we remember those who will not be around to share these holiday moments. Those who are no longer living, those who are out fighting for Democracy in other parts of the world and simply those who just are not a part of our lives anymore. Its easy to become sad when thinking of these individuals, especially during this time of the year.
But why do what's easy? Instead of being down, just think of the good times that made that person so enjoyable to be around. Think of old holiday stories involving them that make you laugh so hard that your side hurts. Those are the things that help us make it through the holidays when there is just that person missing from the equation that normally makes your holiday complete. Enjoy this holiday season. Embrace this holiday season. Catch ya' on the FLIPSIDE.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Even in retrospect, the white citizens of Jena suggest that there was no racial motivation behind the hanging of nooses from a tree on the school's yard. An editor from the town's newspaper even suggests that most of the media's accusations about the incident were false and broke them down into myths. This is just one of what Jena Times assistant editor, Craig Franklin referred to as myths during an interview with The Christian Science Monitor taken directly from the published article. -
Myth 2: Nooses a Signal to Black Students. An investigation by school
officials, police, and an FBI agent revealed the true motivation behind the
placing of two nooses in the tree the day after the assembly. According to
expulsion committee, the crudely constructed nooses were not aimed at
students. Instead, they were understood to be a prank by three white
aimed at their fellow white friends, members of the school rodeo
students apparently got the idea from watching episodes of
"Lonesome Dove.") The
committee further concluded that the three young teens
had no knowledge that
nooses symbolize the terrible legacy of the lynchings
of countless blacks in
American history. When informed of this history by
school officials, they became
visibly remorseful because they had many black
friends. Another myth concerns
their punishment, which was not a three-day
suspension, but rather nine days at
an alternative facility followed by two
weeks of in-school suspension, Saturday
detentions, attendance at Discipline
Court, and evaluation by licensed
mental-health professionals. The students
who hung the nooses have not publicly
come forward to give their version of
What? If that is true, then what are these students learning about history. If these students don't know the the racially intimidating image of a noose hanging from a tree, then there is a lot more than racism that is an issue at this school. I find it had to believe that none of the students in on the so-called prank had no idea that a noose hanging from a tree could possibly be offensive to black students - black students who supposedly have so many white friends.
Get real. If the prank was merely a joke for some rodeo team, then where were the cows? Isn't the rodeo team supposed to rope calves or something, or do they hang them from trees now? And what part of rural America has a rodeo team anyway? Too many questions and not enough answers that make me believe that Jena is a little racist place in the corner of America where places like this still exist. Catch ya' on the FLIPSIDE.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Personally, I had planned to vote for Obama because of his stance on putting a time table on the exit strategy to bring our troops home from Iraq. I also agree with his economic philosophy, which could relieve some of the pressure off of the middle class tax payer and essentially allow us to contribute money back into the economy. I never intended to vote for McCain. Mainly, because I don’t agree with his stance on any of the issues I spoke of earlier. But, my decision to not vote for him is certainly not because he doesn’t share the same skin color as I, which is oddly why some people are not voting for Obama.
A few years ago, before the last election, Colin Powell thought about running for president. Guess what? I wasn’t going to vote for him. He is black though, but his race was not my motivation in electing a commander in chief, neither is it the motivation this time around. Unfortunately, for others, that is not the case.
The AP released the news about a plot to kill 88 people. The two people arrested were referred to as “Neo Nazis.” The final attack was to attempt to assassinate Barack Obama. The two in custody also claimed that they were going to shoot some of the victims while decapitating others on their cross-country killing spree.
Lovelanddon 10:08 PMOct 28 2008 We all know how blacks react to news they
don't like . They burn down their neighborhoods , then cry that the Government
isn't builing it back fast enough >
Fatboyjoe1956 10:09 PMOct 28 2008 McCain
and Palin......John and Sarah.....The White House WILL remain a white house
forever. Say what you want and do what you want people. This country will NEVER
elect someone like obama. I admit despising what Muslims stand for, and that
obama was chosen. VOTE.....McCain and Palin.....The ONLY Americans who admit
it......and are PROUD of it......
Mylabrookie 10:13 PMOct 28 2008 I HATE OBAMA
AND AM VERY DISAPPOINTED AT THE NUMBER OF DUMB PEOPLE HEADED FOR SWALLOWING THE
KOOL-AID. KARL MARX SAID IT BEST " WE DON'T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT THE AMERICANS,
THEY WILL SELF-DESTRUCT FROM WITHIN' "CONGRATULATION ARE IN ORDER FOR THE FINE
JOB OF LAW ENFORCEMENT BY EVERYONE FROM THE ATF,FBI, SECRET SERVICE AND THE
LOCAL SHERIFF DEPUTIES. YOU GOOD PEOPLE ON THE SECRET SERVOCE PRESIDENTS DETAIL
HAVE YOUR WORK CUT POINT FOR YOU TO KEEP THIS MAN WHO WANTS TO DESTROY THIS
COUNTRY. MY GUESS HE WILL TRY TO MAKE THINGS A LITTLE BETTER FOR THE PEOPLE AND
THEN HIS OWN PEOPLE WILL REMOVE HIM ONCE THEY HAVE CAPTURED THE CURISMA HE'S
CAST OVER THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
Jetecamy 10:14 PMOct 28 2008 This assassination attempt is a big sign how
dangerous Obama is. Although, I do not believe in murder, it is better to take
one life and save a nation.
I wonder if all these postings sound so vicious and deliberate because the identities of the writers are hidden. It is hard to believe that someone would say things like this outside the confines of their computers. It is distasteful and down right disturbing that the image of blacks in America is still so downtrodden that weak racists can hide behind anonymous Internet user names and try to make a mockery of our next president of the United States of America. Catch ya on the FLIPSIDE.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
With his signature smug arrogance, Kilpatrick seemed to be a man not on his way to prison, but a man who was going to be exonerated of all charges. In the beginning, even his wife joined in on a few chuckles and everything seemed to be just fine.
While Kilpatrick awaited his sentencing, lawyers from the City of Detroit argued that the firing of police officers and perjury were reasons why the sentence should be upheld, even though the court had received 19 letters asking for leniency on Kilpatrick’s sentence. Still, the firing of police officers and lying in court about an extra-marital affair don’t equate. The prior has yet to even be proven.
After apologizing to Detroiters and his wife for his extra-marital affairs and the perjury charges that subsequently followed, the mayor finds himself in a Wayne County Jail cell for 23 hours a day. The lone hour of recreation for the mayor is still an hour of solitude, whereas he is not allowed on the yard with the general population.
The small cell allows for a television, a phone for collect calls only, a toilet, shower and a view of the city he once lead. Visitation is limited and unless his lawyers argue otherwise, his children will not be able to visit during the 120 days.
I applaud the mayor for taking his punishment without bowing to the pressure of being a powerful black male in the public eye. I do, however, believe the punishment to be outlandish and over bearing for the situation, but then again, I’m no politician or criminal. Just a black man in Detroit. Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I was talking with my nephew last night who is a freshman in high school and he was just talking about how bad things were for black people in the past. He mentioned that his class was watching a documentary about the first black students to attend an all-white high school in Little Rock Arkansas. I'm glad he saw that film.
I am also glad he feels the way he does about the injustices done unto our black communities. This younger generation needs to be more in touch with the issues of the past in order to really appreciate that there are so many black business owners. In order to see the importance of an education. In order to see the importance of America voting in its very first black man as president.
Understanding the struggles of the past makes the things that are going on around you more relevant. You think its nothing that Jay Z can sellout a concert at Madison Square Garden, but you can appreciate it more when you realize that less than 70 years ago, he would not have even been allowed to enter the front doors of the Garden to even see a show. We are only one generation away from segregation.
After talking with him I was happy he had learned something about history. I was also happy that he sees the importance of the small things that we take for granted. The things that our last generation fought and sometimes lost their lives trying to get for us as a community. Catch ya' on the FLIPSIDE.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The guest speaker, who had developed an organization dedicated to the education of young black males, said that these students need to be intrigued by the school - work. Then he added that once their attention has been grabbed, then that is when they will be willing to learn. I can understand that, but at the same time the educational system and the parents who send their children there tend to boggle my mind.
I completely understand the idea that if something is relatable it is far easier to understand and learn new things, but at the same time—what is going on?
When I went to school, it was boring. I was 15 or 16 and would much rather be trying to see what “Keisha” was doing after school than figure out how many oxygen molecules were in hydrochloric acid. That was my idea of school, but nevertheless, I tread the waters of diversity and came out with a high school diploma. Through those years I made it through school and the lesson plans never changed. The teachers never entertained us, or related any of the material to the world I lived every day when I left the confines of King High School and went back to my eastside neighborhood. When are parent going to take a role in this?
I pushed through school because my mom enforced the benefits of an education from day one. She had made me realize that school may be tough and may not seem as though it has anything to offer me, but in the end, it would be more valuable than I would ever know. Parent involvement in a student’s life is not an option. It is definitely not an opportunity for a parent to shift all the blame and initiative to the school.
There was no Beowulf in my neighborhood. I couldn’t realistically answer a story problem about leaving a tip for a waitress at a high - end restaurant when I was more accustomed to ordering take-out at Zorba’s Coney Island where we didn’t even leave a tip. None of the schoolwork seemed to involve me or my neighborhood, but the words and urgings of my mother were what pushed me through. She always would focus on the benefits of having an education. She set my view for the future, not just the daily task at hand. Her involvement is what pushed both my sister and I to get an education.
I suppose that I am just a little annoyed with the idea that our generation, our race, our society has come to a point where we have to have extra attention in order to stay focused and receive the education that years of fighting, both politically and physically, has given us the opportunity in which to take advantage. Instead of relating the scholastic material to what I’m used to on Six Mile and Hoover, let my parents instill the value of an education within me, then let that scholastic information take me to places I’d never think I would be able to go. I know Six Mile and Hoover and I also knew that my education would be the key to unlock the rest of the world for my exploration.
I wonder of that 80% of special education students, who today’s special guest reported to be young black males, what percentage of those parents and family members have been active in encouraging education as well as participating in the child’s education. If that percentage rises, there is no doubt in my mind that the 80% number will decline. An education is supposed to get me off the block, not remind me of it everyday. Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
World of Wealth
As I look out my window this morning, I see awesome beauty
I feel renewed strength but also renewed sense of duty
On the cusp of the victory that many fought to see
It is time for us all to be “a brand new me”
Our first African-American President, “WOW” is all I can say
I’m sure that many of us never thought we would see this day
Outside my window, there is a rainbow of colors
A sign, a revelation it’s time to unify all sisters and brothers
Black, white, Asian, Latino and more
No longer do I see a closed door
“The world is our oyster” we can do anything
“Change” for the good, this victory will surely bring
The river is flowing, a calm, serene shade of blue
In this life, we must also flow calmly in all we say and do
The sky is a mixture of blue, red and gold
Another sign of all that we have, all that is ours to hold
Again, “WOW” is all that I seem to be able to say
As I prepare myself to begin this wonderful day
We hold a “World of Wealth” in so many, many ways
And it is time for our wealth to be shown, to be displayed
Several journalist are asking; “What do we do now?”
The answer is simple, live the best that we know how
Dig deep within and exhibit what we all are made of
And that is our “World of Wealth” our God given Love
We as a people and also as individuals in this life
Are slowly being freed from a world of hatred and strife
The word of God tells us that this world will be ruled by brown skin
We can make a difference by embracing each other with the love we have within
Brothers, cling to your wives, in life, “Do the right thing”
Be a good example to the children into this life you bring
Sisters, although many have been left to do things alone
Do it with pride and dignity, God made us strong
It is time to go back to “the old time way”
And when we see things that are wrong, “speak up! Speak out” without delay
“It takes a whole village to raise a child” many of us were raised like this
From today’s society, this is an important factor today’s kids miss
We say we are proud, we love our new president-elect
The proof is in the pudding, for us all, this is a great test
Who is really willing to stand up? Who is willing to stand?
Who will walk in unity with Barack to change this land?
It is not hard, just reach deep within your heart
We all know right from wrong and have known from the start
When you see or hear these young ladies and these young men
Cursing, dressing inappropriately, acting out, speak out
Speak firm, not mean, let them know their wrongs and leave no doubt
Push education, that’s another right thing to do
Remember how our parents and neighbors pushed you
When we did wrong we got spanked from one end of the block and again when we got home
But I bet we thought two or three times before again we would do wrong
Tune into your spirituality, pray and never cease
Silence the violence and increase the peace
We can change this world, Yes we will “Yes we can”
We hold a “World of Wealth” divided we fall but “together” we “Stand”
Copyrights owned by: “FLIPSIDE INK”