Sunday, September 30, 2007

Egypt is in Africa

So last night Loverman and I gather up the brown babies and head down to the Franklin Institute to check out Mummies: Secret of the Pharaohs, in the IMAX Theater. Sure, it’s a fascinating look at modern researchers piecing together the archeological and genetic clues of Egyptian mummies, but both Loverman and I were struck by the fact Africa is only mentioned once, and it’s in the context of the Egyptians traveling to East Africa in search rare herbs and plant extracts to use in preparing the pharaohs bodies for mummification. Is it me or does it seem that folks always try to excise Egypt from Africa? Listen folks, Egypt is in AFRICA. It is an AFRICAN nation--- plain and simple.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Why is it that every Monday I start making plans for all the things I want to do over the weekend, but come Friday, all I want to do is vegetate on the couch, O.D. on Lifetime movies, and if I’m feeling ambitious, venture into the kitchen to bake cupcakes? TGIF

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Great work if you can get it!

It was announced earlier this week that chanteuse extraordinaire Chaka Khan would be joining the cast of Broadway’s The Color Purple beginning in January 2008. She’ll be performing opposite Bebe Winans as the cantankerous couple Sophia and Harpo. Congrats to Ms. Khan, because not only did she land a plum role, but she’s also negotiated an incredible performance schedule. So, if you want to check out Chaka on the Great White Way, you’ll have to do it Monday thru Friday, because Ms. Khan doesn’t do weekends, and she doesn’t do matinees. Great work if you can get it…

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Invitation Declined

Invitation Declined

Be sure to check out the All-American Presidential Forum spotlighting the G.O.P. presidential candidates tomorrow night on PBS. Organized by talk-show host Tavis Smiley and former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele, this debate may be most notable for who chooses not to show up. It’s been widely reported that the four Republican frontrunners including Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Fred Thompson have respectfully declined the invitation to participate. They’ve all claimed prior commitments. Republican stalwarts like Newt Gingrich and the H.I.I.C (Head Idiot In Charge) George W. Bush have cautioned that this isn’t a smart move. G.W. even went on to suggest that the G.O.P. candidates ignore Black voters at their own peril.

The Democratic candidates all took advantage of Smiley’s first presidential forum and tomorrow evening we have the rare opportunity to really hear from the candidates who often get little to no face time in their run for the nomination.

But really, is this news to us? In August, UnivisiĆ³n’s Republican presidential debate had to be cancelled because only one of the contenders agreed to participate. Recent history shows the G.O.P. has offered little more than cursory interest in the nation’s communities of color and let’s be clear; the Democratic Party often takes the black vote for granted. Often we’re forced to choose between the lesser of two evils.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Here we go again

Here we go again…
I recently had a conversation with one of my co-workers about the rage of racism, which continues to hemorrhage throughout this nation. This conversation occurred after I had attended a reception celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine with Elizabeth Eckford; and three days before about 40,000 folks from around the country traveled to Jena, Louisiana to denounce the treatment of the Jena Six; and about 20 days after the kidnapping and torture of Megan Williams in West Virginia. I guess tomorrow we could continue the conversation to include the clueless and offensive remarks recently made by Fox TV’s Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly was recounting his experience during a recent visit to Harlem’s famed Sylvia’s Restaurant:

"[W]e went to Sylvia's, a very famous restaurant in Harlem. I had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful. They all watch The Factor. You know, when Sharpton and I walked in, it was like a big commotion and everything, but everybody was very nice.
"And I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship."

Now, my co-worker (she’s white, maybe I should’ve mentioned that!) is a young, thoughtful, intelligent woman, but as with many white folks, she didn’t understand when I tried to explain that for the most part, black folks are raised/socialized from Day 1, to live in a mighty, white world, and that white people have the luxury of choice of whether to deal with black folks or not. Case in point, Bill O’Reilly is well over 60 years old and supposedly a well-traveled, sophisticated man, but this is obviously one of the few times he's ventured out of his comfort zone and patronized a Black-owned restaurant. Did he mean this comment to be racist, probably not, but despite his intent, it is racist, and just plain ignorant. Bill, my man, you (and many others) need to get out more.

Letting Go...

In spite of all of the self-help and personal, spiritual work, I just can’t seem to learn the lesson that I have to simply let go. I am not in total control. Yeah… yeah… yeah, I know, ultimately, we have very little control in our day-to-day lives, but sometimes this realization hits me right upside the head. Check this out, since the weekend, I’ve been flat on my back with an ugly stomach, head-sinus, I don’t-know-what the hell kind of flu, and last night, even though I felt like doo-doo and had spent all of Monday in my bed, there was no way I was going to miss another day of work. No, it’s not that my workweek is full of over-the-top fun or it’s a matter of life or death if I’m not there, but I do enjoy my job and I have an uncompromising sense of responsibility. Well… this morning, I dragged my pitiful, sick behind to work, despite the protest of Loverman and my own internal voice and guess what? After just a few minutes at my desk, I realized that this wasn’t going to work. I couldn’t do it. In fact, I couldn’t even think straight. I needed to get my butt home and back in the bed. I wasn’t doing myself, or my co-workers any good. The truth is, I was putting everyone at risk, because frankly, I wouldn’t wish this yucky thing on my worst enemy. Lesson of the day: Let go and take a nap.