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The Argument for Booker T. Washington

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Since February is Black History month I always like to take a closer look at historical black figures that have influenced peoples and events. Although African American history stretches far and wide, in school we always talked about the same few: Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, Madame C.J. Walker, Frederick Douglass, and Booker T. Washington. But reflecting on that, we didn’t even do the study of these individuals justice. We only scratched the surface. Continue reading “The Argument for Booker T. Washington”

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Nine Movies I Loved in 2016

So 2016 is like so over, she said in her best Valley Girl voice, but I still wanted to post about my favs in cinema. Now while I didn’t get to see every movie I wanted to see (Queen of Katwe comes to mind), I wanted to take time to pay homage to 2016’s special 9, especially since tonight is Oscar night. Hey, the Academy has theirs and I have mine. Continue reading “Nine Movies I Loved in 2016”

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Leaning on the Spider’s House

Hey, I thought I’d squeeze one more poem in before Poetry Month is over…so here goes…

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Leaning on the Spider’s House

Pacing myself amongst
The throng of lilies
I notice my own footsteps
Melting away the ground.
Pushing earth condensely
Among the little earthlings,
Who pop their miniscule heads out
To see what goings on
Disturbed their infinitesimal world.
They scurry away like Hurricane Katrina victims,
Running for their lives
With only what’s on their backs.
Some carry or nudge their young along.
Hear their cry?
I chase after them
For my own delight –
Watching them dash madly about.
Many drop their wares
Losing family along the way.
I stop to survey my spoil.
I see the lovely lilies,
Now trampled underfoot
Looking rather broken of spirit.
The houses are more than empty
They stand equal to the ground.
At last,
I lean upon the spider’s house
To write my hopes in condensation.

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April is Poetry Month

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I love April for many reasons – spring, crisp weather, the sun – you name it.  What’s not to love?  But a reason many may not know about is that April is National Poetry Month.  It’s a time to reflect on poems and authors that give us life.  Or better yet, it’s a time where we can stop and put pen to paper to scribe our own verse.

There are so many things that can inspire us.  We just have to be deliberately mindful of what they are.  You don’t have to be in extraordinary circumstances either.  Shoot, stick a good plate of food in front of me and chile I get the vapors!  Look below at my poem about just that.  I hope you enjoy it and for all of us poets out there, Be Inspired.

Sustenance

Moist flesh
Punctured skin
Dripping red
Berry sauces that tinge of grapes
Smothered layers
Cooked in creams
Succulent to the tongue
Refined nectar
Gracing the palate
Softly fondling the nostrils
Delicious heat curl the air
Waving its vitality to its many lovers

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Woe to the Watcher of Downton Abbey!

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No! No! No! No! No! NO!! I’m not okay. I’m not okay, you see.

Sniff. She says as her hands shake.

I think…I think I have a problem. It’s going away. It is. It’s the end. Mary wedded down and Edith might be marrying up. Lawd knows she deserves some happiness! She couldn’t pick Mr. Right if he threw a wedding ring at her.

Oh what joy when Mr. Carson and Ms. Hughes married! No, I will never call her Mrs. Carson. It just would not be right. And Daisy has wrecked my nerves just because she’s gotten a little edumacated. The little snot!

Her hand curled under her jaw while her eyes fixed on the floor. Her mouth quivers as she continues…

Oh Mr. Barrows, Mr. Barrows! I never thought I’d feel sorry for you, you conniving petty, backstabbing twat! But I do, I do! Please don’t kill yourself. I hope you find another job only to make that staff miserable there. That’s your purpose, your reason for being.

She wipes her moist eyes with her small, slight fingers. Her pursed lips curled into something of a smile and with wild, bloodshot eyes exclaimed:

I just don’t know! I just don’t know! What is to become of me!

She says as she shakes her head wildly, now slumped in the huge chair looking rather like a small child. Her feet dangle and her body is limp. She softly mumbles:

I shall never recover.
I shall never recover.
I shall never recover.

From the other room a scream pierces the air:

Poldark’s on!

Her pursed lips curl into a smile…

Center Stage

The Wiz Live!

THE WIZ LIVE! -- Pictured: (l-r) Elijah Kelley as Scarecrow, Ne-Yo as Tin-Man, David Alan Grier as Lion, Shanice Williams as Dorothy -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
THE WIZ LIVE! — Pictured: (l-r) Elijah Kelley as Scarecrow, Ne-Yo as Tin-Man, David Alan Grier as Lion, Shanice Williams as Dorothy — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

This past Thursday NBC aired The Wiz Live! My family and I decided to do a pizza night while watching the production. Great idea, right?

Needless to say after pizzas were ordered, picked up, sodas lined up, and glasses iced; we all plopped in front of the tube. Let me just add the adults were more excited than the children – or as my mother would say, ‘chirren’ – in the room. WHO DOESN’T REMEMBER DIANNA ROSS AND MICHAEL JACKSON IN THE WIZ?? And so who wouldn’t be excited for a reboot? Apparently, my niece, bless her heart.  Because at first, she just didn’t get it. She kept asking questions as if to say this makes no sense. I’m like, they’re munchkins; they’re supposed to look like that! What do you mean?? Haven’t you seen munchkins before?? Dawg!!

I’m serious about dem munchkins, honey…but on the other hand, is it sad that as a 46-year-old, you are the one defending the credibility of an imaginary people to a child??  Never mind.

To the review: I couldn’t have been more pleased. I enjoyed the newcomer, Shanice Williams’ freshness as Dorothy; Ne-Yo’s bold new dance moves as the Tin Man; Elijah Kelley’s athleticism as the Scarecrow and certainly David Allen Grier’s prowess as the Cowardly Lion. Who knew? Comedian David Allen Grier acting and sing ability was so on point.

Out of all three live productions NBC has aired – Sound of Music and Peter Pan previously – The Wiz Live! scored highest. The core songs and play were the same, but there were other changes that gave the play an updated and kicked up feel. It was a pleasant surprise.

Lastly, the best performances of the night were David Allen Grier for such an excellent show of talent and Mary J. Blige who tore it up as the Wicked Witch of the West. Hey, don’t take my word for it. Go to the NBC.com website and view it now if you haven’t already!

Two. Thumbs. Up!!

The Wiz Live!
David Allen Grier as the Lion and Shanice Williams as Dorothy in The Wiz Live!
THE WIZ LIVE! -- Pictured: Mary J Blige as Evillene -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
THE WIZ LIVE! — Pictured: Mary J Blige as Evillene — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)