Thursday, August 29, 2013
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
I was 4 years old on August 28, 1963 when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., along with other civil rights activists, lead the "March on Washington (DC)". This is also the day that Dr. King delivered his unforgettable "I Have A Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I cannot say "Thank You" enough to all those who answered "Yes" when God put it in their hearts to stand up for what is right and what they believed in so we could have a better way of life. They sacrificed so much... and, in some cases, their very lives. So today, I pause to honor and reflect on them because I still have faith in God and "The Dream"...
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Saturday, August 24, 2013
'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom', starring Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela will open in theaters November 29, 2013. Click on the image for more information about the movie and the text link underneath to watch the official trailer on YouTube. Save the date and put this on your must-see list!
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
"When you know someone or something in your life is unhealthy or unproductive, that you have grown beyond where they are and where they want to keep you, you must let go. If you tell yourself you do not see it when you do, or if you tell yourself it will get better, you are not being honest with yourself. Stop trying to fix things or change things. Simply let go." - Ayanla Vanzant
Sunday, August 18, 2013
MegaFest is a family-friendly festival bringing together the best of T.D. Jakes Ministries events including Woman Thou Art Loosed, Manpower, MegaKidz, and the Mega-Youth Experience. This year, on Saturday, August 31st, 8:00pm (CT), Steve Harvey will host MegaFest 2013: TD Jakes Presents "Woman Of Purpose" Concert benefiting Autism Speaks. Musical performances and appearances include Babyface, Brandy, Kim Burrell, Tamar Braxton, Toni Braxton, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Ray Chew, Jennifer Huduson, Joe, Mary Mary, and Holly Robinson Peete. Click on the image or text link underneath for more details about the event, concert, and partnership with Autism Speaks.
Friday, August 16, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Friday, August 9, 2013
Karen Black (July 1, 1939 – August 8, 2013) was an American actress, screenwriter, singer, and songwriter. She is noted for appearing in such films as Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, The Great Gatsby, Rhinoceros, The Day of the Locust, Nashville, Airport 1975, and Alfred Hitchcock's final film, Family Plot. Over the course of her career, she won two Golden Globe Awards (out of three nominations), and an Academy Award nomination in 1970 for Best Supporting Actress, among numerous other honors. But, I never will forget the first time I saw her in a little something called "Trilogy of Terror".
I was 16 years old on March 4, 1975 when this three-part made-for-TV horror movie first aired on ABC Movie of the Week. The film, which was directed by Dan Curtis (of Dark Shadows fame) and starred up-and-coming actress Karen Black, was originally a failed pilot for a horror anthology television series. All three segments are based on unrelated short stories written by Richard Matheson. Each segment title is the name of each story's protagonist, all played by Black. Black initially turned down the project, but reconsidered when her then-husband, Robert Burton, was cast. The first segment called "Julie" and the second segment called "Millicent & Therese" are good stories, but the most memorable one is the third and last segment called "Amelia".
The character Amelia lived alone in a high-rise apartment building. She returns home after shopping with a package. Inside is a Zuni fetish doll, crafted in the form of a misshapen aboriginal warrior equipped with razor sharp teeth and a spear. A scroll comes with the doll, claiming that the doll contains the actual spirit of a Zuni hunter named "He Who Kills", and the gold chain adorning the doll keeps the spirit trapped within. As Amelia makes a call to her mother we learn that she suffers from her mother's overbearing behavior. Amelia struggles to justify her independence and attempts to cancel their plans for the evening because she has a date. The moment Amelia leaves the room, the Zuni doll's golden chain falls off without her knowing. Later, Amelia is preparing dinner, using a carving knife. She enters the darkened living room, and realizes the doll is not on the coffee table. A noise is heard in the kitchen and when investigated, the knife is missing. Returning to the living room, she is suddenly attacked by the doll, which stabs at her ankles viciously. She attempts to flee, but the doll chases her around the house. In the bathroom, Amelia envelopes the doll in a towel and attempts to futilely drown it in the bathtub. She later traps it in a suitcase, but accidentally releases it when she opens the case to make sure the doll is dead and still inside. After several more vicious attacks, Amelia manages to hurl it into the oven and listens to it howling and screaming as it catches fire. Soon the screams die down and eventually stop. She opens the oven to ensure that the doll is "dead', and is suddenly overcome by smoke coming from the oven. We hear her (but do not see her face) as she places another call to her mother. She apologizes for her behavior during the previous call, and invites her mother to dinner. She then rips the bolt from her front door and crouches down low in an animalistic manner, hiding in the corner with a carving knife. She stabs at the floor with the weapon, grinning hideously and revealing the horrific teeth of the Zuni doll. It was a lasting, memorable performance that few who saw it ever forgot and it has become a cult classic.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
George Junius Stinney, Jr. (October 21, 1929 – June 16, 1944)
In a South Carolina prison on June 16, 1944 prison guards walked a 14 year old Black boy with a Bible tucked under his arm to the electric chair. He used the Bible as a booster seat. He was 5' 1" tall and and weighed 95 pounds, so the straps didn’t fit and an electrode was too big for his leg. The switch was pulled, and the adult sized death mask fell from his face. Tears streamed from his wide-open, tearful eyes, and saliva dripped from his mouth. Witnesses recoiled in horror as they watched the execution of the youngest person in the United States in the past century.
George Stinney was accused of killing two White girls, 11 year old Betty June Binnicker and 8 year old Mary Emma Thames. Because there were no Miranda rights in 1944, Stinney was questioned without a lawyer and his parents were not allowed into the room. The sheriff at the time said that Stinney admitted to the killings, but there is only his word. No written record of the confession has ever been found. Reports even said that the officers offered Stinney ice cream for confessing to the crimes.
Stinney’s father, who had helped look for the girls, was fired immediately, and ordered to leave his home and the sawmill where he worked. His family was told to leave town prior to the trial to avoid further retribution. An atmosphere of "lynch mob" hysteria hung over the courthouse. Without family visits, the 14 year old had to endure the trial and death alone.
The court appointed Stinney an attorney, a tax commissioner preparing for a Statehouse run. There was no court challenge to the testimony of the three police officers who claimed that Stinney had confessed, although that was the only evidence the prosecution presented. There were no written records of the confession. Three witnesses were called for the prosecution: The man who discovered the bodies of the two girls and the two doctors who performed the post mortem. No witnesses were called for the defense. The trial took place before a completely White jury and audience (Blacks were not allowed entrance), and it lasted 2 + 1/2 hours. The jury took 10 minutes to deliberate before it returned with a verdict of "guilty".
A few years ago, a family claimed that their deceased family member confessed to the murders of the two girls on his deathbed. The rumored culprit came from a well-known, prominent White family. Members of the man’s family served on the initial coroner’s inquest jury, which had recommended that Stinney be prosecuted.
The legal murder of George Stinney will forever haunt the American legacy. Although the world and this nation have undoubtedly changed for the better, race still collides too often with justice and results in tragedy. Cases like George Stinney's cannot be erased, should never be forgotten, and are an important chapter in the story of Blacks in America.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Coming to Newsstands Soon: Ebony Magazine dedicates the September 2013 issue to Trayvon Martin w/ 4 different covers honoring his memory. Three covers feature celebrity dads Boris Kodjoe, Spike Lee, and Dwanye Wade posing w/ their sons in hoodies. The final cover is Trayvon's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, and his younger brother, Jahvaris. Please extend yourself and show your support for the movement going on around the country and pick up a copy. We just can't continue to sit by and watch our children die in vain...
TheRoot.com reports "Trolls Attack Ebony Magazine on Twitter". It seems that the publication's touching tribute to black males and Trayvon Martin has brought out the worst in some white folks, but Ebony isn't havin' it! And further, can you believe that these "tea baggers" are threatening to boycott the magazine? Are you kidding me? This is a joke, right? It's news to me that they even read it! Well, if it matters to you, use the text link to read the article. As for me, I'm SMH and wondering, who really cares what they think? GTH!
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013) was an American musician, known as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres. He had worked with numerous acclaimed artists as arranger, music director, writer and co-writer, record producer and professor of music. He first made a name for himself with the album The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio. He was known primarily for thirty-odd solo albums as well as for his collaborations with other musicians, particularly Frank Zappa.
Monday, August 5, 2013
One night, President Obama and First Lady Michelle decided to do something out of routine and go for a casual dinner at a restaurant that wasn't too luxurious. When they were seated, the owner of the restaurant asked the President's secret service if he could please speak to the First Lady in private. They obliged and Michelle had a conversation with the owner. Following this conversation, President Obama was curious and asked Michelle, “Why was he so interested in talking to you?” She informed him that during her teenage years, the man was madly in love with her. President Obama then said, “So, if you had married him, you would now be the owner of this lovely restaurant?” Michelle responded, “No. If I had married him, he would be the President now.” Proof positive that, "Behind every great man is a great woman." You go, First Lady! I really like that answer!
Saturday, August 3, 2013
A young couple moves into a new home. The next morning while they're eating breakfast, the wife sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. She said to her husband, "That laundry is not very clean! She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps, she needs better laundry soap." Her husband looks on, remaining silent. But, every time the neighbor hungs her wash out to dry, the wife would make the same comments. A month later, the wife is surprised to see a nice clean wash hanging on her neighbor's line and says to her husband, "Look, she's finally learned how to wash correctly! I wonder who taught her how to do it? " The husband replied, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows... that might have something to do with it." And, so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we looking.
Friday, August 2, 2013
As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the announcements and learned about all of the wonderful things that were going on in the church. After that, the elders went up to the front of the church and it was obvious that they were very excited about introducing the new pastor to the congregation. One of them said, "And now, without further ado, we would like to introduce to you to our new pastor!" The congregation looked around and began clapping with great joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. Suddenly, the clapping began to stop, all eyes were on him, and the congregation became so quiet you could hear a pin drop. As he passed by the elders (who were in on the “homeless man” situation the whole time), he took the microphone, walked up to the pulpit, and paused for a moment. Then, he recited the following Bible verses to the congregation:
"Then, the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then, the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothed you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' " (Matthew 25:34-40)
After he finished, he looked towards the congregation and told them everything he had experienced after they arrived that morning. Many began to cry and the heads of others were bowed in shame. He then said, “Today, I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will you decide to become disciples?” Then, he dismissed the service until the next week.
Being a Christian is more than something you claim. It’s something you live by and share with others. If you really want to do it, you do it. There are no excuses!
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Appearances can be deceiving, things are not always what they seem, be careful what you wish for, and always be thankful for what you have. Use the link below to watch this video and share it with others you care about who need the reminder. No matter how bad you think your situation is, there's always someone who would love to trade places with you.
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