Posts Tagged ‘black

16
Sep
09

A Wonderful Life

I need this right now.

Forgive me for being greedy.

Peace and Rice,

– Bobolee Chron

Here I go out to sea again
the sunshine fills my hair
and dreams hang in the air
Gulls in the sky and in my blue eye
you know it feels unfair
there’s magic everywhere

Look at me standing
here on my own again
up straight in the sunshine

No need to run and hide
it’s a wonderful, wonderful life
No need to laugh and cry
it’s a wonderful, wonderful life

Sun’s in your eyes
the heat is in your hair
they seem to hate you
because you’re there
and I need a friend
Oh, I need a friend
to make me happy
not stand here on my own

Look at me standing
here on my own again
up straight in the sunshine

No need to run and hide
it’s a wonderful, wonderful life
No need to laugh and cry
it’s a wonderful, wonderful life

I need a friend
oh, I need friend
to make me happy
not so alone…….
Look at me here
here on my own again
up straight in the sunshine

No need to run and hide
it’s a wonderful, wonderful life
No need to laugh and cry
it’s a wonderful, wonderful life

No need to run and hide
it’s a wonderful, wonderful life
No need to run and hide
it’s a wonderful, wonderful life
wonderful life, wonderful life

Shortened URL for this post: http://wp.me/pfOU1-op

20
Jan
09

The Politics of Inspiration

Good morning, folks!

Firstly, let me take the time out to wish you and yours all the very best of health, wealth and happiness for 2009 and beyond!

Yes, I know its been a looooong time since I graced the pages of my own dang blog, but my new year started out with a big positive bang for me, and I’ve just been riding the wave of my good fortune.  No, I didn’t win the lottery!  If I did, I would’ve quit my job and devoted more time to blogging!  Just lets say that I realised that if you want something, you have to really put in the work and make the relevant sacrifices to get it.

Here are some interesting links that I hope you find interesting.  They’re mostly Obama related:

fr-henry-charlesFr. Henry Charles’ commentary in the Trinidad Guardian- “The politics of inspiration”. Notable quote: “We often think that youth are motivated only by transiency or by careers that promise the most lucrative returns; but a truer picture is that they respond to credible summons that demand the best of them. When such summons comes clothed in the lineaments of an admirable person, there’s no limit to their zeal. This is what defined the Peace Corps, that initiative of President Kennedy’s, that propelled droves of college graduates to the far corners of the world to help in equipping less privileged peoples with life-enhancing resources and skills. If youth appear today more apathetic than eager, more self-regarding than socially committed, the reason in large part is that the summons to do better or be better has never been sounded by less credible seniors. Obama didn’t try to suck up to young people, or for that matter see them as the latest of lost generations.”

Sinfest Web Comic — Hall of Justice. President-Elect Obama as Clark Kent paying homage and respect to those Super Heroes who paved the way before him and opened the doors to the corridors of power he now walks.  Then, transforming into Superman, taking his place as leader, ready to lead the team from day one.

Hall of Justice

This was originally published in November 2008, but I think it most relevant given the undeniable significance (and closeness!) of Martin Luther King Jr’s 80th birthday and the Obama inauguration… and his impact of MLK (and others) on the Obama campaign. Plus, it appeals to the comic book geek in me! 🙄

CrackBerry — Obama chooses BlackBerry over the Presidency!!!

Obama Chooses BlackBerry!

This is a joke, of course! Its making reference to the fact that Obama will not be allowed to use his favourite techtoy — his BlackBerry — for official business in his role as POTUS.  He’ll still be the first president to have and use a laptop in the Oval Office though… and I bet he’ll use a Mac… though as he’s trying so hard to reach across the political and ideological divides, he’ll probably have a PC as well. 😕

On a serious tech note though, there’s been an upsurge in spam capitalising on the worldwide interest in Obama’s inauguration by spreading lies about him ‘quitting’ and ‘refusing’ office before he’s sworn in later today. Please read the above link, and don’t open or forward the spam email if you get it!!!  If you do open it, don’t click on any links that may be contained in the message!!!

LA Times — Black ‘Firsts’ Share Their Challenges “With Obama set to become the nation’s 44th president, Lee, Wilson, Ashley and other Jamaican Chess Grandmasterpioneering African Americans were asked to reflect on the challenges and lessons of being a ‘first.'” I was really intrigued to read about the stories of these pioneers who had to do so much to break the barriers that opposed them on their way to the top.

Additionally, I had no idea that the first black Chess grandmaster was Jamaican!  I thought he was American!

Comedy Central — An Excellent Illustration of the Current Economic Situation


taxpayers bankers

Well, a picture always did speak a thousand words!

Peace and Rice,

jw

12
Dec
08

Throwback Friday: Dave Chappelle’s “Racial Draft”

Whoa.  Its been a looong time… and I’m still not out of the woods yet!  I will be soon, though…

Anyway, I was thinking to myself tonight (admittedly, an unwise course of action at times)… wouldn’t it be really great if Dave Chappelle could “update” the skit shown in the video below, given all that’s happened with Colin Powell, Barack Obama and O.J. Simpson in the last few months, weeks and days?

I don’t want to say too much more about my reasons.  Just watch the video and (hopefully) enjoy!

😆

So long, fried rice!

🙂

jw

(Edit: The video has/uses slurs that may be offensive to some.  Please be advised.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

09
Sep
08

Oh, Happy Day!

Based on an email conversation with a friend a day or two after Usain Bolt won the 100m gold in Beijing…

I hope you don’t mind, “Friend” … 😕 😆

Friend: Here… check these links out.  Apparently a lot of commentators are criticising Usain Bolt for celebrating his 100m Gold medal too soon.  Check the video:

Me: Really now?  I didn’t see anything wrong with what he did…  I’d have done the same thing if I’d broken a world record for the Olympic gold medal a few days before my birthday…

Fr: Yeah, even the head of the Olympic committee said he thought Usain was disrespectful towards the other athletes.  He’s getting a good drubbing in the press though.

Me: Jeezuweb…

Fr: Its all good though.  People didn’t like Muhammad Ali’s show-boating and bragging either, but after a while, everyone had no choice but to submit to his greatness. They’re just haters.  Carl Lewis and Mike Johnson were arrogant SOBs too and no one complained. Unlike them, I think Usain was just having fun.

Me: You know what I can’t understand?  Obama’s been called “elitist”, “uppity” and “arrogant”.  The man just finished paying off his college loans!  McCain can’t even remember how many houses he has!

Usain Bolt was branded a bragging showoff.

John McEnroe said that the Williams sisters were “aloof”.

“…and he wanted nothing to do with them until they showed more respect.”

Since when are black people in a position to be arrogant to anyone in a major way on the world stage???

Well, it seems we’ve reached a watershed moment in world history.  Take a look at this news report from the Onion, below:

This day truly deserves lots and lots of honourable mention. 🙂  It goes down even better knowing that this guy really cleared things up in a big way.

I declare tomorrow a public holiday.

Peace and Much Love.

jw

09
Aug
08

Rest In Peace

 

 [Biography]

 

[Photos: Chicago Tribune]

12
Jul
08

The Day I Met Jim Crow

A friend of mine sent me this slideshow a few months ago: http://www.slate.com/id/2188648/slideshow/2188675/fs/0//entry/2188674/

I wrote this piece before completing the whole slide show, in response.  Just seeing that first picture evoked strong memories of the first time I saw it as a little boy in the pages of the Life, Time and Ebony magazines we had at home…

I thank my father for exposing me to the real world through books and subscriptions to news magazines when I was younger.  😎

Peace and Much Love. jw
—–

When I was in Upper 6th Form and due to leave my Trinidadian secondary school, a teacher organised a SAT/Scholarship session with some recruiters from the University of Steubenville, and some other US college. The teacher was caucasian, or as we like to say here in Trinbago, “Trini White”.

Before our guests came in, he pointed out to us, that in many ways, the US of A was more racist than South Africa (this was in the early 1990’s, a few months before they released Nelson Mandela from prison), and actively encouraged the “students of colour” to hype that fact up in US college applications, as we would have an advantage because of the affirmative action programs that the US colleges had to deploy.

I remember hearing one of my white classmates sitting behind me utter a soft “steups.” 😉

I got a chance to visit a fairly rural part of a deep southern US State for the first time on a 3 month company sponsored training trip in the late 90’s. While there, I sometimes used to think that I was the only black man for miles around.  It was the kind of place where, when you saw another black person, you gave them that knowing How you doin’? nod, and even stopped to chat for a few.  Most times, the black folk I encountered were the “help” in the place I was in/visiting/working. I met up with two Trinidadian families that way… but that’s another story.

Anyway, being the “good” Church boy that I am, I wanted to go to a Catholic Church close to my hotel. I found it strange that all the hotel clerks were directing me to a Hispanic church which was about 10 minutes away by car (and therefore, more taxi fare) instead of one that I could just walk to in under 20 minutes. As I wanted to explore my surroundings and stretch my legs a bit, I went to the closer Church regardless.

No problems for me… I sat in the back and spied a black family at church!  My heart leapt for joy and I made a mental note to speak to them afterwards. Because I was a first time visitor to the church, the mainly white congregation welcomed me with open arms.  I mean, I saw these middle-aged & older white men and women come up to me and hug, kiss and embrace me like a prodigal, when I could swear a few days ago, more than half of those same folks crossed the street when they saw me coming towards them!

Anyway, after the service, one of the daughters from the black family came over to chat with me. Her folks were Jamaican, and one of the first things she asked me was “How come you didn’t go to the Spanish church?”

“I don’t speak that much Spanish, so it would’ve been difficult for me to understand. Plus this church was only about 20 minutes walking from my hotel.”

“You walked?!”
“Yeah… something’s wrong with walking?”
“Where’s your hotel?”
“The Radisson on such and such street.”
Oooh… that’s a nice hotel… they have nice food there…”

Moms walks over to chat, with her other daughter in tow. Pops is talking to a man on the side. Moms hits me with the Jamaican slang as soon as she realises I’m Trinbagonian… “Wham now, rude bwoy?” I laugh and smile… tell her its good to see fellow West Indians up in the place.

“How come you didn’t go to the Spanish church?”

I give the same reply, and begin to wonder “what’s so wrong with this church” that makes people want to recommend la vida loca on sight of me. Pops comes over and we chit chat, they have to leave, but promise to look me up at the hotel now that they know that I’m there.

“We West Indians have to look out for one another!”, Mom says and smiles as she gets into their sedan. She
works at some law firm or the other.  Pops is a police man or an Army soldier or something.

As they pull off, I turn around to start my walk back.  I almost bounce into this middle-aged white man.  Pepper gray/blonde hair.  Ice blue eyes.  Affable looking, he apologised, and asked if I wanted a ride back to my hotel, as he’d overheard I was staying at the Radisson.  I accepted his offer.

“What’s your name?”
“My name is Jude.”
“Ah… like the song, or were you named after the saint?”
“Both, actually.  I’m sorry… but I didn’t catch your name?”
“That’s cuz I didn’t throw it. My name is Jim.  Jim Crow.”

[picture taken from: Literacy Rules!]

😯

In shock, I look up at the man, to see if he’s serious. He’s not laughing.

I look at his wife and his little daughter. They’re not laughing either.

I’m wondering whether I should laugh or if I should run… but my instincts told me to take him at his word… play it cool, and use my keys as a weapon… just in case.

“Your parents must’ve had a unique sense of humour, Jim.”
Jim grins.  His wife laughs. “That’s what I always tell him!”

We get into the car, and we pull off. Jim talks about the teasing he endured growing up because of his name… and that he always gets that same reaction from black people when he introduces himself to them.

For the duration of the 5 minute ride (which seemed like forever), I get told about how articulate I am, how intelligent I seem, and how handsome I am (when Jim’s wife said this, I saw his eyes flick up to the rear-view and hold me in a glance for a few seconds.  I met his gaze while I thanked her for the compliment and nodded back to Jim. He put his eyes back on the road.)

As I’m getting out of the car at the hotel, they tell me about the Spanish church 20 minutes driving from here, and wonder aloud why I didn’t go there. I give them the same reply, plus the fact that I didn’t have a car to use while I was there.

Jim: “Oh… with a country name like Trinidad, you would think that you’d speak some Spanish!”

“Yeah, you would!  But I have basic Spanish skills.”

Jim’s Wife: “So, see you next week?  We can come pick you up, if you want…”  Jim looks a bit uncomfortable but smiles.

“Maybe, but I think I’ll walk! This is a nice neighbourhood. Thanks for the ride. Take care, Jim!”

I stand outside with the doorman watching their little girl wave to me from the back seat as they drive away.

“Crazy, man…this is just crazy.”
“Por que?”, says Jose, the door man from Mexico.
“That man just told me his name was Jim Crow!”
“So what ees so wrong weet dat name?”

I sigh and walk away. I pat Jose on the shoulder as I make my way inside.

“Its a black thing, Jose… I don’t think you’d understand.”

For the duration of my stay, I didn’t go back to Church.

I never saw the Jamaicans or the Crows again.

I do regret not going to the Hispanic Church though! I’m sure that would’ve been something!

When I look at the image of the man getting rammed by the American flag, it brings to mind the challenges the Obamas must undoubtedly have to face during their long election campaign.

Colin Powell said that he didn’t run for US President because his wife expressed fear for his life. Had he done so, I wonder what sort of campaign the Democrats would have mounted against him?  I’d like to think that it certainly wouldn’t be anything as bad as what Fox and the Republicans (and Billary, Jeremiah Wright and Jesse Jackson) have tried to do to Barack and Michelle Obama.

[Pic: Ask Men]

Let’s think about it for a second.

Colin Powell is the man that handed out cans of whoop ass to Saddam in Operation Desert Storm.  He wasn’t just a soldier, he was a GENERAL, and the history making Chairman of the freakin’ Joint Chiefs of Staff.   Brother man was also the first African-American Secretary of State.  To wit, all of this was achieved under conservative leaning REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS (George Bush I and II).

Yet, people STILL wrote hate mail when he merely contemplated running for President on a Republican ticket…

One thing’s for certain…

If Jesse Jackson was really serious about cutting Obama’s nuts off, he has to get a HUUUGE knife.

Balls that size don’t come along everyday.

Oh… and in case you were wondering…

…Jim Crow really sucked.

Peace and Much Love.

jw.

[ps: thanks for the slideshow, Frolin]
27
Jun
08

We Believe

The Urban Prep Creed

http://www.urbanprep.org/

We believe.
We are the young men of Urban Prep.
We are college bound.
We are exceptional — not because we say it, but because we work hard at it.
We will not falter in the face of any obstacle placed before us.
We are dedicated, committed and focused.
We never succumb to mediocrity, uncertainty or fear.
We never fail because we never give up.
We make no excuses.
We choose to live honestly, nonviolently and honorably.
We respect ourselves and, in doing so, respect all people.
We have a future for which we are accountable.
We have a responsibility to our families, community and world.
We are our brothers’ keepers.
We believe in ourselves.
We believe in each other.
We believe in Urban Prep.
WE BELIEVE

urban prep


See the story here: http://preview.tinyurl.com/5zvnxf

Read the story here: http://preview.tinyurl.com/6odv99

An excerpt:

“CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) — The odds were never good for 16-year-old D’Angelo Gardner. His father died of a heroin overdose when he was 9 years old, and by the eighth grade, he was caught up in a gang.

“I had a real bad attitude towards … everybody. I didn’t wanna talk, I didn’t wanna do work,” D’Angelo recalls. “It was just hard, and I didn’t wanna be there.”

Growing up in Englewood, one of the city’s toughest neighborhoods, the statistics for young black men are grim. Only one in 40 African-American males in Chicago will finish college, and 50 percent will drop out of high school. If that weren’t bad enough, guns and gang violence are almost a part of daily life. This year, nearly 30 Chicago Public School students have been shot to death.

But in the center of this impoverished neighborhood, there is hope.

The Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men, founded in 2002, has become a haven. The charter school, which is not part of the Chicago Public Schools system, has a mission to prepare young black men for college and promote self-esteem and success.”

I think this story offers real hope; not just for them, but for all of us.

And I think their experiences could be used to help others with similar issues in their educational systems, plot a positive way through.

Peace and Much Love.

(Thanks to Ian and Paula for sharing this story with me.)

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30
May
08

VOTE!

Vote!

Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain




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