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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Global issues we face

Wake up!
While our attention is focused on putting feet on couches and announcing the wrong award winners, we should be concerned about these global issues:

1. fiscal crises
2. unemployment
3. water/food shortages
4. poverty
5. income disparities
6. extreme weather/climate change
7. corrupt governance/geopolitical instability
8. war and destruction of property

Do you have others which are negatively affecting our Planet Earth?

Monday, February 20, 2017

AME Church in ATL's Buckhead celebrates Black History Month

Black History Month began as Negro History Week  in 1926 and is celebrated each year at New Hope AME Church.
It's done in Buckhead, Ga. the third Sunday in February each year - a Black History remembrance filled with singing, dancing, testifying, and praising God for trials and successes.

Yes, New Hope African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church on Arden Road in Buckhead, right across from its full graveyard, likes to celebrate history and makes no excuses for what the congregation claims are blessings in times of trouble.

New Hope is a lesson in history itself. It was created on two acres of land willed to black servants in the community after the Civil War (1872) by James "Whispering" Smith, a white resident of Buckhead, to be used for a church and school for "Negroes."     

Today, the small church is surrounded by mansions, and none of the congregants live in the neighborhood. But they still praise God, have barbecues, bible study, and an occasional film shoot. Almost everyone dressed in African garb, including Pastor Chisholm, for yesterday's event.

Pastor Chisholm
"God of our weary years and silent tears who has brought us safe thus far. We look back and can see your hands working in the midst of your people," said Pastor Phillip Chisholm. "We've made it because of the grace of God in our lives."

The service was solemnized by the gospel choir's rendition of Hezekiah Walker's "Grateful." Two dance performances, two poetry readings, and a solo were witnessed by attendees.  

Elder William Townsend, IV, a native of Atlanta who resides in Stockbridge, gave the sermon focused on holding on to God's promises through the processes of life. From the Bible, he read Psalm 27:13-14 - "I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lordbe strong and take heart and wait for the Lord" AND Isaiah 40:31 - "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Don't give up! was the message sung by the choir during Black History Month celebration,
as Rev. Townsend (seated) waited to give his sermon.
"The incompetence of others led us to do their work," Townsend said of Black History in America. "We took nothing and made something. Don't let anyone put you in a box to limit your potential. We come from a successful linage."

Townsend, 26, said most people don't want to wait for their blessings and are impatient, but one must go through a process to reach success. "Process comes before what is promised. Tears, sleepless nights, but it will work out for your good. Remember what has been promised. We will experience God's goodness in the land of the living. Keep a good heart while you're waiting," were his recommendations.
Perry Washington, an English and Religion major from Morehouse College, gave recitation on slaves in flight.
The next major church event will be celebrated Saturday, March 25 when New Hope will honor its sister church, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, for being a faithful community partner for 20 years.  

Friday, February 17, 2017

WCLK's Morris Baxter celebrates birthday in ATL

Fellow Aquarians Tomi Johnson and Morris Baxter celebrate at Suite Food Lounge.

It was a cold night, but it wasn't quiet inside ATL's Suite Food Lounge on Luckie Street. WCLK Smooth Jazz Radio Station DJ "Morris in the Morning" celebrated his birthday with guest celebrities, including Kim Waters, Norman Brown, Chantae Cann, Reagan Whiteside, and Dee Lukas.

Saxophonist Kim Waters

Kurk Johnson and Vocalist Chantae Cann
Tomi with Music Promoter Joe Douglas
Trumpeter Joey Summerville

Can't wait until Baxter celebrates another birthday next year.

Cool ladies enjoying the show.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Photo of the day...

AKA memorabilia from the Pink Ribbon Drive Campaign started by Jenell Ross, president of Bob Ross Auto Group, in memory of her mother, Norma Ross, who succumbed to cancer in 2010.

AKA is the acronym for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the first African American Greek sorority, founded at Howard University in 1908.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Ivanka Trump hosts White House roundtable meeting with female entrepreneurs

Billed as a gathering to discuss workplace issues affecting women, Pres. Trump and Canadian Pres. Trudeau met yesterday with members of the newly formed United States Canada Council for the Advancement of Women Business Leaders-Female Entrepreneurs. The meeting was hosted by Trump's daughter, Ivanka.

Noticeably absent were women of color.

Those invited include:
General Electric Canada CEO Elyse Allan
General Motors CEO Mary Barra
TransAlta Corp. CEO Dawn Farrell
Linamar Corp. CEO Linda Hasenfratz,
T&T Supermarket Inc. CEO Tina Lee
Schnitzer Steel Industries CEO Tamara Lundgren.
GE Vice Chair Beth Comstock
North America for Accenture CEO Julie Sweet

Catalyst CEO Deborah Gillis
NRStor CEO Annette Verschuren

Investissement Qu├ębec Chair of the Board of Directors Monique Leroux
General Motors Board of Directors Member Carol Stephenson
Katie Telford, Trudeau’s chief of staff, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Dina Powell, assistant to the president and senior counselor for economic initiatives, also sat in on the meeting.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Ahmadiyya Muslim women will celebrate Black History Month in Metro Atlanta

"Neither an Arab has superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over and Arab. A white person is not superior to a black person, nor a black is superior to a white." ---Muhammad

On Saturday, February 18 from 11a.m. - 1 p.m., a women's only event celebrating Black History Month will take place at Baitul -Ata Mosque, 1800 Willow Trail Parkway NW in Norcross, Ga. 

Refreshments will be served. 

"Racial equality is a cherished concept in Islam found in the Holy Quran and the sayings of Prophet Mohammad. In light of this, the women of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community unite proudly and request you to celebrate Black History Month with us."

RSVP: or call 404-395-3213.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Jesus was an immigrant!

John 1:45- 46 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law, the One whom the prophets foretold—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

Racists sometime link their actions on attempts to reduce crime

Images are often used in race wars.
Propaganda is used during war. Race wars are no exception. 

D. W. Griffith's 1915 movie The Clansman, re-titled The Birth of a Nation, portrayed black men as unintelligent and sexually aggressive towards white women.

Lynching were used often to deter sexual relations between black men and white women, but were not used when white men raped, sexually abused, and murdered black women and children. In 1918, Mary Turner, a pregnant woman who complained after her husband was lynched, was murdered herself.

According to NAACP accounts, Turner was "tied and hung upside down by the ankles, her clothes soaked with gasoline, and burned from her body. Her belly was slit open with a knife like those used 'in splitting hogs.' Her 'unborn babe' fell to the ground and gave 'two feeble cries.' Its head was crushed by a member of the mob with his heel, and the crowd shot hundreds of bullets into Turner's body." This happened in Lowndes County near Valdosta, Ga.

During Hitler's time, Der Strumer was a widely read weekly newspaper.  Its most striking feature was its front-page cartoons which often depicted Jews as vampires and rapists. Demeaning Jews led to the holocaust.
Jewish attentions to  white women were deemed unacceptable by the Nazis.

In 1955 while visiting family in Mississippi, 14-year-old Emmett Till was brutally murdered for flirting with a white woman. Till was beaten, dragged, shot in the head, tied with barbed wire to a large metal fan, and shoved into the Tallahatchie River. This year, the woman who accused Till of sexual misconduct, Carolyn Bryant Donham, said she lied.
Emmett Till photo by his mother, Mamie.

What do you think about these comments?
"No, you’ve raped our women, and you are taking over the country … I have to do what I have to do." --- Dylann Roof while he killed nine people in church

"They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists."---Presidential Candidate Donald Trump on the campaign trail speaking about Mexican immigrants

And President Trump claims that judges ruling against immigrant ban will be liable for crimes committed by illegal aliens. He has started a legal war. "SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!"

Read this when you have a chance...

Tom Price: from the past

In 2002 at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, I asked now Sec. of HHS Tom Price about obstacles to upward mobility in government.

“This president (G. W. Bush) has demonstrated in his actions and policies that this (glass ceiling) is not the case. I’m confident that his administration will produce real results in unifying the country and not dividing it for political expediency.”

On November 29, 2016, Price's office released the following statement after being nominated by President-Elect Donald Trump to lead the Department of Health and Human Services:

"It is an honor to be nominated to serve our nation as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Thanks to President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence for their confidence. I am humbled by the incredible challenges that lay ahead and enthusiastic for the opportunity to be a part of solving them on behalf of the American people. There is much work to be done to ensure we have a health care system that works for patients, families, and doctors; that leads the world in the cure and prevention of illness; and that is based on sensible rules to protect the well-being of the country while embracing its innovative spirit.

"The citizens of Georgia's Sixth Congressional District have given me the privilege of representing them in Congress. I am so proud and grateful to live in and work on behalf of such a wonderful community and hope to continue serving our fellow citizens in this new role.”

An orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Price spent more than 20 years caring for patients in the metro Atlanta area, and helped found one of the largest private orthopaedic practices in the country. Congressman Price is chairman of the Committee on the Budget in the House of Representatives. He also serves on the House Ways and Means Committee – including the Subcommittee on Health.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lenox Mall in ATL celebrates Black History Month

Young man listens to William Green on keyboards
Just this year, I've been noticing MLK Birthday Sales and more Black History Month Celebrations in major malls. Tonight, Bloomingdales treated customers to a Jazz Concert in Lenox Mall in conjunction with Jazz 91.9 and WCLK from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Ten percent of proceeds from shopping helped support Jazz 91.9 andWCLK.  Featured artists were William Green, Darren Wagner, and Madoca. People came to listen and shop even though Bloomingdales is being boycotted by some because it sells Ivanka Trump merchandise. ( )

Madoca Kawahara of Madoca Music, LLC.

At the Microsoft store, Falcons fans waited in line to get an autograph from former Falcon Roddy White.
There are always interesting people to meet and greet in Lenox Mall. Someone snapped this pic of me and Marco Mohammad sporting gold embellishments and tattoos. Enjoy!

Posing with Marco Mohammad

UC Berkeley: example of quiet before the storm

I am concerned that riots erupted last night on the UC Berkeley campus, the home of "free speech."

I just visited their beautiful university in late October. Here are some pictures taken on campus.
I was awed by soaring granite buildings, Asian students, microscope displays, a somewhat sunny disposition.
Free speech versus hate speech resulting in protests. It's amazing how incendiary speech can provoke violence.
 Is this a sign of future events in our nation? - 2/1/17

One of my acquaintances in Berkeley informed me that there were a lot of students protesting peacefully last night, while you have professional anarchist who turn things violent by raiding stores and vandalizing local businesses. He said these people do this all the time in Berkeley and did it during the Oscar Grant protest and Occupy Movement. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Who decides the definition of an African American leader?

Perhaps the greatest leader of the nation who had African American interests at heart was President Abraham Lincoln.
Donald Trump's meeting with African American leaders today defines supporters in his party by race who just so happen to be black. 

Update: Here is video of meeting -

Trump's meeting reminded me of my friend who said he became a Republican when party members agreed to give him a job at the golf course if he became a member of the GOP. It meant an opportunity was given in exchange for Party loyalty. 

Trump's meeting was a lukewarm attempt to appear to be focused on issues affecting African Americans - employment, health care, education and justice. These are the same issues every American has concerns over. Maybe additional agenda points should have been high poverty rate, mass incarceration, and hopelessness.

A leader can be defined as "the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country." A leader gives orders, but he must have followers who agree to follow. 

A leader is defined by his/her followers, and Trump's lackluster meeting with so called "African American leaders" on the first day of Black History Month put the spotlight on blacks who supported him in his campaign who are not necessarily representative of Americans who happen to be of African American descent. 

A day earlier, Trump met with heads of pharmaceutical companies. At this meeting, the CEO of Merck, an African American, was seated at the table because of his company's credentials, not because of his race. Previously, Trump met in his NY Towers with Bob Johnson, Steve Harvey, and MLK, III. 

Before today's meeting, perhaps Trump's aides instead of hastily getting some "black leaders" together for a photo op, should have consulted Corey D. Fields, an assistant professor of sociology and faculty affiliate at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford. 

Fields interviewed about 50 black Republican activists for his recently published book, Black Elephants in the Room: The Unexpected Politics of African American Republicans. In his book, Field writes , "...the Republican Party has deployed a series of strategic, if sometimes symbolic, outreach efforts to generate a conservative thinking class and thrust African American Republicans into the spotlight as markers of GOP diversity."

I have contacted the White House, asking them to forward me the names of the leaders and their affiliated organizations. I am awaiting their response. 

Searching the Internet to see who was at the meeting turned up no names accept for Omarosa Manigualt, a past contestant turned advisor to Trump; Darrell Scott, a Cleveland pastor who communicates with gang members; and Ben Carson, Trump's nominee for sec of HHS. I dare say I would not define these three as black leaders. The others at the table are virtual unknowns who are community activists, ministers, a journalist, and small business entrepreneurs who the traditional media didn't think enough of to list.

As a sidebar, what do my non-continental US friends think of Trump?

I asked one of my European friends what he thought about Trump, and he said he liked him because he was unconventional. He also said he didn't like journalists although he knows I am one. He said he doesn't like politicians who he believes are destroying his country. "Democracy only gives us people who are in office for a short period of time, make all the money and contacts that they can, and leave the country worse off than when they came into office," he said.

Another friend who is Puerto Rican said she doesn't like politicians when I asked her who were some leaders in her community. "Politicians are a lot like doctors. They don't cure you when you are sick because then, you don't need them anymore."

Update: Other meeting attendees:
VP Pence and Jared Kushner, White House
Paris Dennard, Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund
Bill Cleveland, retired Capitol police officer
Earl Matthews, Dept. of Defense
Dr. and Mrs. Darrell Scott, New Spirit Revival Ctr., Cleveland
Armstrong Williams, Howard Stirk Holding Broadcast Group
James Davis, Preacher, National Diversity Coalition
Lynne Martine Patton, HUD