Remembering MLK

I am not one to drool over “The Dream” and the way the speech is pandered about during the King holiday.  It’s warmed over far too much in today’s way of remembrance.  King’s message was often hard and not so easily digestible as the way it’s made to seem.  As Michael Eric Dyson often says, one segment of America (mostly African-Americans) wants to deify King as if he were a god who had no flaws, while the other half (often white conservatives) seek to soften his message up into a little dream speech.  In reality King was a great and flawed leader, no more human than the rest of us… and yet he lived and died accomplishing more than most. 

I heard it said that Martin Luther King was the greatest American she has ever produced.  I agree wholeheartedly.  And with the inauguration of Barack Obama on tomorrow, I have to think he’s smiling a bit right about now.

BBG C-Notes Weekend Edition May 16-18

 

The Love Experience

Customer (Main Version)

 

 

 

 

As much as I am an “Old Head” when it comes to music.  I definitely appreciate the artist today who are original and soulful.  Jill Scott comes to mind among others.  Performers are cool and they serve their purposes for entertainment – but there is something about the “artist” of the world who inspire and make me feel things on the inside that words just can’t describe.  Artist move you, make you think, feel, reflect, they touch you whether it’s through acting on a screen or theatre production, through painting on a canvas, through instrument or dance.  With all of the technological advances and quick fix ways to imitate, I am thankful that there remains within our midst the artist who shape hearts and minds in ways that transform spirit through creative expressions.  One such artist is Raheem DeVaughn who released his second CD  called “Love Behind The Melody”.  DeVaughn is poetic, soulful, sensual, sexual, bold, imaginative, and tasteful in his mix of old school melodies and new school innovation.  I can clearly sense his love for the craft of music and the message he is looking to offer the world.   He is currently on tour and I was blessed to see him recently as an opener for Jill Scott.  He is headlining his own show as well so check him out in a city near you.  I recommend this artist to anyone out there who loves great music.  He is on my short list of potential greats for the 21st Century!  Thanks Raheem!  Keep on doing what your doing bro!

Supreme Court in California Overturns Gay Marriage Ban

File photo shows a gay couple holding hands (Reuters)

This is a fight that is not going to go away anytime soon.  One court rules over another in this politically charged issue.  Certainly the issue will be back on the forefront in the upcoming election as the canidates will be questioned about the federal or supreme court judges that either Senators McCain or (more than likely) Obama will choose.  One thing I know for sure, the nation was blindsided the last couple presidential elections because the gay issue took precedence over other issues that pertain to life outside one’s bedroom.  As a nation we cannot affored to allow poverty, high energy and food prices, an economy in recession, unemployment, housing crisis etc. to be placed on the backburner.  Let’s keep our eyes on the bigger prizes this time ya’ll!     

Happy Birthday!

A very special happy birthday to my main man… Alex McCaleb holding it down in the ATL!  He turns 15 on Saturday.  From what he tells me he is 5’9 now which would make him taller than me!  Wow!  I miss you and your brother so much!  I hope you have a great birthday!  I love you man!

 

Ahhhh, it’s May and time for graduations all over the nation.  Congratulations to my little cousin Bre’ Fields who will graduating from Collinsville High School in Collinsville, Illinois Saturday.  Sorry girl I’m gonna be working when you “walk” but I will be thinkin bout ya!

Wednesday night I got to spend some time with Rev. Michael Eric Dyson as he spoke at the St. Louis Public Library to lecutre and promote his new book, ,”April 4, 1968″ Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death and How It Changed America.  It was a great crowd and though I have met Dr. Dyson several times hearing him speak in St. Louis and Detroit, this was probably the most memorable as he preached and broke down the last few weeks and days of the MLK’s life, his obsession with death, the political climate, and how it relates to today’s voices such as Barack Obama and Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  As always Dyson was insightful, humorous, enlightening and above all else truthful.  From what I can see this book is a great read and I plan to dive into it soon.  I enjoyed it immensely in the front row with my boy Rich from http://www.the-rich-house.blogspot.com/

But Mike, I am still looking to get that interview from you for MY book!  I got all of YOURS and six of them are signed!  Holla at your boy!

~Have a great weekend! 

 

BBG C-Notes

C-Span and Book TV did a wonderful interview with Author and Activist Alice Walker.  It was filmed from her home in Berkely, California and covered topics such as the books she has written, love, politics, Earth as divinity etc.  The interview was extensive one lasting almost three hours which included telephone questions and comments.  I have never read any of her books (though the movie The Color Purple is one of my favorites.)  I did find her to be an extrordinary thinker and posess a beautiful spirit.  I definitely plan to read her work!

http://inside.c-spanarchives.org:8080/cspan/cspan.csp?command=dprogram&record=560312243

On the book tip – Over the weekend I started reading a new book.  Well not new but new for me.  Its called “Parting The Waters”, America In The King Years 1954-63.  This is the first editition of a trio of work done to chronicle the life and times as they related to America and MLK during a span of 14 years.  The first book won The Pulitizer Prize and though it’s close to a thousand pages the information is the best work of a biography that I can ever recall seeing.   Certainly this is the most extensive work done to chronicle the life of Dr. King.  So far in just a few pages I learned the connection of Spellman and Moorhouse Colleges with the philanthropic efforts of John D. Rockefeller.  How MLK’s dad who was an adult with a 5th grade education when he met the future Mrs. King who was a student at Spellman – and because he had to be an educated man to even think of approaching her, (literally) he put himself through school to get his high school equivalency.  Furthermore, upon trying to attend college he miserably failed the college entry exam, but stormed into the president’s office and talked himself into getting admitted anyway.  He did all of this because he was interested in marrying the woman who would give birth to Dr. King.  The whole set up seems quite divine to me in the way it was “orchestrated.”  There is great detail to all the ins and outs, and it reads part like a commentary, part documentary and part scholarly dissertation.  I plan to purchase all three books as they provide a history and detail that I could not imagine let alone have seen before.  I have close to 100 films and documentaries regarding African-American history, but nothing has given me what I have seen so far in the pages of Mr. Branch’s work.  I would recommend these books to anyone who has an interest in the life of Dr. King and America from a perspective not seen or heard often enough.

Quick Bits

Wasn’t it sad to see that poor horse Eight Belles fall to the ground after breaking both legs and have to be euthanized on the spot? 

Tomorrow is the North Carolina and Indiana primaries.  I hope they put us closer to some finality in terms of the Democratic ticket for president. 

Mothers day is Sunday!  Don’t forget to honor the moms in your life.

One of my favorite scriptures: Proverbs 21:2 “All the ways of a man seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart.”