Monthly Archives: August 2010


I remember sitting on the bench during my junior high school basketball division championship game, happy for my team but angry about not starting, believing I was a victim of the coach playing the favoritism game.   So when called upon, I refused to enter the game, doing what I felt I had to do.  (Some teammates also followed suit.)

And I didn’t get a trophy when they were handed out later.  But I’d do it all again.  I can live without awards, but I cannot live without my integrity, my self-respect.  And I went on to start in high school, finishing out my senior year as a starter on a 19-5 team as a co-captain.

So what do you believe in or stand for?  In our world too few stand for anything, and fall for whatever their bosses, society, or whomever, expect them to do even at their own peril.  Life is too short to live for somebody else.

And the clock ticks, and . . . many souls, with heads bowed, pass on, and so on . . . and so, too, will we one day . . . .

In regards to our country, America’s  support in the wake of Haiti’s tragedy has shown that we often stand for what’s right; however, where were the media reports about our history of denying Haitians citizenship or sending them back to Haiti when they washed up on our shores, while allowing in Cubans and Europeans?

To be prosperous as individuals and as a country, our behavior, as well as our country’s policies, should be a reflection of the most positive aspects of our souls.

We need to focus less of our energy on blindly supporting political parties and being materialistic, and spend more time using our talents to uplift others, a mindset that is timeless and builds spiritual foundations in people on which communities and societies stand forever.

And the clock ticks, and … many souls, with heads bowed, pass on, and so on…. and so, too, will we one day….

I admire Bill Gates for his charity work, not his wealth.  His good deeds led me to discovering that he worked so hard he often slept in his clothes, got back up in the morning and went right back to work.

When is the last time you’ve worked like this on your dreams?

Have you realized that the clock is ticking, and … many souls, with heads bowed, are passing on, and so on…. and so, too, will you one day.

So what can help us navigate our often difficult Earthly Terrain, as a country and as individuals? Authenticity.  I define authenticity as Spiritual Truth, an all-consuming positive consciousness that always tells us to Do the Right Thing and support one another’s well-being – if we “listen” to our intuition.  And going to church, praising the Lord, and then discriminating or hurting someone is not living authentically.

In terms of relationships, and the 50 percent divorce rate, consider the inauthentic nature of so many unions when considering how few of us remain friends after the relationship ends.  Even worse, ask yourself how many “happy” couples do you know?

And drugs, alcohol, sex, and friends cannot take the place of you having to work through the world’s negativity or your own emotional issues.

More Novocain, Please!!!?

Since the beginning of civilization, the foundation of prosperous human interaction has always revolved around self-respect and respect for others.  And where there is little or no respect, people perish.   See Hitler’s Germany, for one.

Our spirits are perfect, but our behavior falls short so acknowledge your spiritual perfection and never give up on your dreams.  And remember that “trying becomes an excuse for not doing.”

Because the clock is ticking, and many souls are passing on, and so, too, will we one day . . . .

The world needs what you have to offer.  In fact, you should be “loving your work” and “working your love” so when it’s all said and done, you’ll be so tired that death will be nothing but an opportunity to rest.

And the clock ticks . . . .


Essence Affirmative Action?

Essence Magazine Editor-in-Chief Angela Burt-Murry has been fending off an avalanche of complaints because she hired a White fashion editor, Elliana Placas, leading many to believe that the magazine has “sold out,” ignoring the fact that the fashion industry excludes Blacks and other minorities.  It’s also important to note that Essence is pretty much the only significant magazine catering to Black women.

However, Essence is owned by Time Warner, and I suspect that Burt-Murry’s motivation may, in part, have been to avoid any backlash from upper management and others because of the hostile “conservative” atmosphere against Black Americans right now.  She may also simply be the type of Black person that, like many White Americans, wrongly doesn’t “see” race and believes in a post racial America. But I believe she has to know better?

Michaela Angela Davis – a former editor a Vibe, Honey and Essence – wrote on Facebook:  “It’s with a heavy heart I’ve learned that Essence magazine has engaged a White fashion director . . . the fashion industry has historically been so hostile to Black people – especially women . . . .”

I agree with her, however, my main issue is that a White fashion editor doesn’t know what it’s like to be Black, and I doubt that she has done any significant personal introspection to help her understand the Black experience beyond working around a group of Black coworkers at Essence.  She hasn’t grown up with Cousin Ty fresh “out the joint,” and I know she hasn’t been stopped by the police because she’s Black, or called a Nigger from a high-up college dorm window, and so on.  These kind of experiences stay deep down your soul and are revealed through your work.

But, ultimately, the question to Black women, to Black people, is when are we going to stop allowing mainstream industries to stop ghettoizing us (and taking our money) and, in the words of Public Enemy’s Chuck D, “shut ‘em down.”