Belated Memoriam: Dr. Maya Angelou (Re-blogged)

Tribute post, re-blogged.

We miss you, Doctor Angelou. Your wisdom is needed these days. Now, more than ever.

Eyrie Of An Aries

Dr. Maya Angelou (née Marguerite Ann Johnson): 4 April 1928 – 28 May 2014

I literally shed tears when I saw the news…Dr. Maya Angelou – author, poet, songstress, honored recipient of multiple awards, and renowned “Global Renaissance Woman” – passed away on 28 May, at the age of 86. She died in her sleep at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Words still can’t convey the sadness I feel, even after watching re-airings of some of her many interviews – part of that sadness is due to the fact that I hoped to meet her and have her read my book. At the same time, I know that I should honor and celebrate the fantastic, rich, full life that she led. I feel blessed that I had the privilege to read her writings and glean some life-altering lessons from them. My most important personal motto, “Everything in moderation –…

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BGR 2017: Celebration in Pictures!

The Black Girls Rock 2017 celebration took place on Saturday, 5 August, but you wouldn’t know it unless you had marked the schedule on your respective calendars! I found little coverage and virtually no articles about this event, but I can’t say that I’m surprised – par for the course, sad to say.

In light of that, here are a few pictures with some positive, uplifting quotes for those of us who are overlooked and under-represented on a daily basis!

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Monday Music: 16 January 2017

I’m working on a post about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on this national holiday, keeping in mind that not all states, districts, or even industries celebrate it. Here’s a bit of music to keep you entertained while I get it completed.

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Barbarians Real and Imagined

This, also, is important and pertinent…especially now.

Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit

Donation Link

A guide to debunking ‘black-on-black crime’ and all of its rhetorical cousins

My mood is still somber. Even with the joy of seeing my brother Stephen on Friday to attend his progress meeting in the back of my mind Stephen even though he has Autism would just be a target to a white cop. A reality that was always there but now has smacked me dead in the face has set into my soul.

For the majority of white America seeing Black Men shot dead in front of their wives and children or watching those children sobbing with grief is just entertainment. They have the option of turning the channel and going on with their lives.

For me it’s personal. It could be my…

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Muhammad Ali – THE Greatest Of All Time

Muhammad Ali: 17 January 1942 – 3 June 2016

Ah, me…a titan has passed on. Muhammad Ali, born as Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., but forever known as “The Greatest of All Time,” succumbed to a respiratory illness which was exacerbated by the complications of Parkinson’s disease and CTE. He was 74 years of age. From the BBC:

“Boxing legend Muhammad Ali – one of the world’s greatest sporting figures – has died at the age of 74.

The former world heavyweight champion died late on Friday at a hospital in the US city of Phoenix, Arizona, having been admitted on Thursday.

He had been suffering from a respiratory illness, a condition that was complicated by Parkinson’s disease.

Ali’s funeral will take place in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, said his family…George Foreman, who lost his world title to Ali in the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” fight in Kinshasa in 1974, called him one of the greatest human beings he had ever met.

American civil rights campaigner Jesse Jackson said Ali had been willing to sacrifice the crown and money for his principles when he refused to serve in the Vietnam war.”

I don’t know where to start with what I want to say about this legendary, talented, courageous, genius, magnetic, iconic, poetic, beautiful, genuine titan of a man. He was labeled “boastful” when all he did was “walk his talk.” Muhammad Ali would say something – and then he would do it – quite masterfully, too! He was the epitome of self-confidence, self-assurance, and willpower. His birthdate shows that he was a Capricorn, which is the sole, Cardinal Earth sign. From Astrology.com:

“A Cardinal Quality is attached to the signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. The Cardinal Houses are the First, Fourth, Seventh and Tenth; if an astrological chart shows a preponderance of planets in these houses, its energy is weighted toward cardinality.

Cardinal Signs are the initiators of the zodiac. They are also found at key jumping-off points on the chart wheel, specifically the Ascendant, Medium Coeli (M.C. or Midheaven), Descendant and Imum Coeli (I.C.). Individuals possessing a Cardinal Quality like to get things going. They are active, quick and ambitious. Many projects get started, thanks to Cardinal initiative, although a good deal of them are never finished. That’s because Cardinal folks are much fonder of starting things than finishing them.

You won’t find a Cardinal person slacking off. These people are full of vim and vigor and possess a drive and ambition that is unmistakable. Enthusiasm and a zest for life fill the Cardinal individual. Some might perceive this rampant energy as domineering, and, at times, it can be. Cardinal people can easily forget about the rest of the pack when they are busily focusing on their own endeavors. Even so, their energetic spirit often wins the day.

Cardinal folks are clever and want to win. They love to start things, and whether they finish them or not, there’s always a lot going on. Naysayers who find them to be too self-centered will simply have to watch (and marvel) as they speed by!”

Muhammad Ali’s boxing career was essentially over before I reached middle school, and before I really began paying much attention to sports in earnest. I played varsity-class volleyball in 7th grade; only one of three middle- / junior-high-age girls playing with the juniors and seniors…and, technically, I was still in elementary school since I had a “double-promotion” way back when I first entered kindergarten. Still, the few times I saw him on television, or read about him in the papers or magazines, were always inspiring. His speeches, quotes, and sheer indomitable personality would make me dust myself off and keep on going. The only other celebrities alive now, who inspire me as much as he did, are these legendary talents: Grace Jones, and Tina Turner. Muhammad Ali might have been the last, living male celebrity that I have much respect for…President Barack Obama is more than a celebrity, but that’s another topic for another day. Muhammad Ali transcended the world of sports – his philanthropy, activism, and love for others will forever shine brightly, for me.

I don’t think there’s anything that I can add that hasn’t been said by legions around the world, by now. I just wanted to post my own, tiny, heartfelt tribute to a true legend. Rest easy now, my good man…your heart, soul, dedication, and willpower have inspired me anew.

The pantheon embraces and welcomes you as an equal, as well. I’ll let your words speak for you, since your voice was silenced far too soon. Your actions certainly spoke far louder than your voice ever did – and that says everything.

Mother’s Day Musings…2016!

Today is Mother’s Day here in the States. Last year, I did a post titled “Mother’s Day & 391 Days,” which marked how many days the young women abducted by Boko Haram have been gone from their families and loved ones. Today marks day number 755, in case you were wondering. Yes, I still keep vigil for them. They might be forgotten by many, but not by their families. Not forgotten by anyone who knows what it’s like to be abused. Not forgotten by anyone who has had their own child abducted from them by a spouse, family member, friend, or complete stranger.

The Mercury retrograde is so bad, I was remiss in marking the passing of a notable, courageous woman: Afeni Shakur Davis. From CNN:

“Afeni Shakur Davis, the mother of one of hip-hop’s most seminal and iconic figures, has died at age 69, the Marin County, California, sheriff’s office said Tuesday. Though she is best known as Tupac Shakur’s mom, Shakur Davis also was a Black Panther as a young adult and an activist and philanthropist in her later years.

Deputies responded to a family member’s call reporting “a possible cardiac arrest” at Shakur Davis’ Sausalito home about 9:34 p.m. Monday, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office said. Shakur Davis was taken to Marin General Hospital, where she died at 10:28 p.m., the office said. There was nothing suspicious about her death and there’s no evidence of foul play, Lt. Doug Pittman said Tuesday. An autopsy was scheduled for later in the day.”

Afeni was a tireless activist, even in the middle of her own personal struggles. She did her best to realize her son’s dream, which is one that all should take note of and strive towards. There was far more to her, and to Tupac, that many are ignorant of. She will be missed.

Afeni Shakur (Davis), nee Alice Faye Williams: 10 January 1947 – 2 May 2016

Here are three songs with “Mother” in the title to celebrate the day.

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Protected: Inner Child At Play…Birthday Week!!!

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Protected: Black Love Day…2016!!!

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Protected: Marley Monday.

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Short post…

Ye gawds…again, and again, and again…another unarmed Black man shot down like a dog in the street. Another unarmed Black man shot in the back multiple times by a white murderer with a license to kill. Another individual reduced to another lifeless form in another U.S. city: 50-year-old Walter Scott was shot down by 33-year-old Michael T. Slager, a police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina.
I’m so fucking sick of it all…sick of the lies told to justify the unjustifiable. Sick of the media outlets that feel the need to dehumanize a dead man by reporting, “he had X number of arrests against him – so he must have had it coming!” Sick of the racists who support hate. I’m just tired of it all.
Yesterday, 7 April, marked the anniversaries of two notable events: the birth anniversary of Billie “Lady Day” Holiday (nee Eleanora Fagan, 1915), who passed away 17 July, 1959. Her talent was legendary, but as happens with many of we sensitive, creative persons, she ended up being used and abused by many. Her song, “Strange Fruit,” encapsulates just one of the many horrors that were prevalent during her time on this planet…sadly, those same horrors still exist today. It never ceases to amaze me; the vile and horrid acts we so-called ‘civilized beings’ perpetrate on one another. 7 April also marked the 21st anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide. in 1994, over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred by members of the Hutu majority, over the span of 100 days. I still recall the graphic pictures that were slowly revealed on local stations…and they only reflected a small portion of this atrocity, which is rarely spoken of. The Jewish Holocaust and the murders in Tianamen Square, on the other hand, are never forgotten. Again, the media is selective in coverage! For example, the song “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was about the Kent State shootings on 4th May, 1970. So many more have died in the past 30 days! Where are the musical activists now? Potent and powerful songs have been written to move many – positively and negatively, I will admit – still, musical protests and tributes have been effective in the past…why not now? I know; songs and protests aren’t enough…nothing will change until widespread, systematic changes are made from the ground up. Addressing and correcting the bullshit policies that have been in place since the inception of this country. Deconstructing every foul machination that has been used to demean, dehumanize, and degrade human beings everywhere. It is possible…it really is…it’s just going to be an ugly process.

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