Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ella Fitzgerald

I absolutely love Ella Fitzgerald! If you get a chance, please stop by the official Ella Fitzgerald website - http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/

Love/Peace/Happiness to you and yours in 2010!

C

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mouths / Lips / Tongues / Voices

Right this very moment I just want to cry. There are so many things going on in this world, and we all must pick and choose our battles. So, that is what I am doing. I'd rather win the war then this single fight.

Can you imagine what would happen if everyone did and said exactly what they felt like doing/saying? The world would be an even more chaotic place.

We, as individuals, are in charge of our mouths/lips/tongues/voices; No one else. So, when you give wings to thoughts, via speech, you must know that who ever the benefactor is, he/she/they will hear your words ( if someone is listening).

With that in mind, I will take a deep breath and exhale and read another chapter in J. California Cooper's book, " Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime" - and sip on my java and chocolate chip cookies...Goodnight C
http://books.google.com/books?id=wKlHAAAACAAJ&dq=J+California+Coope&hl=en&prev=http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGIH_enUS203US203&q=j.+california+cooper&sa=X&oi=print&ct=result&cd=2&cad=author-navigational

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Food for Thought

It is kind of cool and chilly here in Southern California (55 Fahrenheit) this time of the year. So, what I like to do is pop in a few good movies and we sit around and watch a few of our favorites - old and new. This evening, we're watching the fairly recent Oscar winning "Slum Dog Millionaire" again. You know why? Well, this film, in particular, makes me think about a few people that I've met years ago that still cross my mind, and for whatever reason, I simply can't forget them. Really. Some of you might know what I mean.

You see, there are some people in this world that can put a smile on your face when you think of them. Just the mere idea of seeing them in the future, be it today, tomorrow or next month, makes you glad. In my lifetime, I've had the pleasure of knowing people who fall into that criteria - you know the type - the happiness slot.

Well, for me, it's like when you attend a reunion, be it a family reunion or a high school reunion in anticipation of seeing or being reunited with relatives or old acquaintances. As the date gets closer and closer for the event to occur, you just get happy!

I wish that I could bottle up that feeling and sell it in the form of an aromatherapy essential oil, or something that you could spritz on to your ear lobes, and daub on to your writs and as you go about your usual day, people around you inhale the feeling - the aromatic scent as it were - and they are then taken away to that happy place - a place that makes one more productive in all areas of life - wouldn't that be great?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

John "Hope" Bryant | LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World

The Conversation
Dr. Cecil "Chip" Murray, former pastor of First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles, now the Tanzi Chair of Religious Studies at USC and John "Hope" Bryant, sat down and discussed the business of economic empowerment through Love Leadership, which is appropriately the title of Mr. Bryant's current book.

Essentially, "Love leadership recognizes that you want to do well in life, but also suggests that the best way to do well and to achieve true wealth over the long term is to do good. I've learned that you'll never go bad doing good, and you'll never be wrong doing right." Says Mr. Bryant.

The Setting
Leo Stallworth of ABC7 was the moderator. The conversation flowed beautifully, as we all sat and enjoyed the scenery of the Santa Monica shores.
Kim Anthony, who spearheads The Urban Leadership Network, placed everyone in an environment that was conducive to harmony. Ms. Anthony selected the Annenberg Community Beach House, in Santa Monica, CA -http://beachhouse.smgov.net/ to use as a back drop, and it was lovely.

The Purpose
To free your conscious mind, which will in turn, help all those who come in contact with you in your daily network.

The Challenge
I dare you to stop by EsoWon Book store and pick up a copy, read the book, and let me know how it has helped you, as it has helped so many others gain control over their finances, thus, freeing them, even during this current global economic, as Mr. Bryant calls it - re-set! - YES!

Annenberg Community Beach House - http://beachhouse.smgov.net/
Dr. Cecil "Chip" Murray - http://www.usc.edu/about/people/murray.html
John "Hope" Bryant - http://www.johnhopebryant.com/john_hope_bryant_/
Kim Anthony Urban Leadership Network - http://urbanexcellence.groupsite.com/main/summary
Leo Stallworth - ABC 7 (818) 863-7777
Eso Won Book Store - http://www.esowonbookstore.com/

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Twentieth Anniversary of the Demise of the Berlin Wall - 1989 - 2009


Reflection
Nov 6, 1989, I sat in amazement in my flat in London, UK, watching the BBC News, as they discussed the fact that the Berlin Wall was coming down. Being an American, studying abroad, it had occurred to me that I could either continue to watch the news in the UK, or take the Hovercraft, from Dover to Calais - http://www.ferries.co.uk/france.html, then hop on a train and head to Germany - and that is exactly what I did. Nov 7, 1989, I was on my way.
It was such an interesting time in the history of Germany and changing the dynamics of Western Europe, symbolizing the fall of communist governments in Eastern Europe forever. Many people paid the cost for wanting their freedom in Germany. Many died fighting for freedom in Germany...
While on the train travelling first class, through Bavaria, Germany, I was so deeply enthralled in the book that I was reading until when I finally looked up and saw at least 6 people looking at me through the glass - faces staring at me in amazement.
I was reading the book, 'Bearing the Cross', by David Garrow, who had mentioned the positive, brotherly relationship that Rev. Ralph Abernathy had with Dr.Martin Luther King Jr., and it seemed to catch quite a few people's attention on the train(I'm guessing..). At least 4 people asked if they could come into my compartment and talk, and I said yes. They wanted to know if I knew Rev. Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King Jr.. They asked if I knew Michael Jackson . There were so many kind, polite Bavarian people asking me all kinds of questions regarding America and the status of Black people in America. They sincerely wanted to know how we as a people were faring.
I arrived at Barzel and Priscilla's home in W├╝rzburg Germany, just in time to eat dinner, shower, and watch more news. The next morning, I repacked my bags and headed out to witness history, and also to get a "piece of the Berlin Wall". All the while thinking, 'The Berlin Wall must come down!'

Created in 1961, and often referred to as the "Wall of Shame", by western countries, the separate and much longer Inner German Border (the IGB) demarcated the border between East and West Germany. Both borders came to symbolize the Iron Curtain between Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc. Before the wall, people wanting to escape the Eastern Bloc would simply cross the boarders into West Germany, which then would allow them to travel to other Western European Countries, and this had to end. Thus, the erection of the Berlin Wall.
Apparently, so many people felt what I was feeling. I mean, if you were in Europe, you just had to pick up your bags and get to The Berlin Wall as soon as you could. That was real.
That is something that I will never forget. The day the Berlin Wall started tumbling down. The significance is soooo deep. I also got my piece of the rock...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Doug E. Fresh Star Studded Extravaganza - Lakers vs. Clippers After Game Party

When Sheila E. http://www.sheilae.com/ decides to throw a party, you'd better put on your 'Glamorous Life' outfit and role with it!
Let me fill you in on the background because so much was happening in one night! My first stop was at the Staples Center, where the Michael Jackson film This IS IT was playing. The VIP parking and entrance to the party was smooth. It was a greatfilm - go see it - great food and music!
http://www.michaeljackson.com/us/home
Then, staying, focused, everyone was heading over to the Conga Room after the This Is It party, on the roof of the Staples Center http://www.staplescenter.com/index.php - and after the Lakers vs. Clippers game at the Staples Center was over.
I stepped on over to the Nokia Center , where Shelia E. was in the house, and her crew at the Conga Room give the best customer service! Antonia and Tristan were on the one!
http://www.lalive.com/ As the evening progressed, the crowd grew larger and larger. I looked around and there were Lakers and Clipper ball players all in the room - my goodness, it was standing room only!

Sheila E. took the microphone and the drums and rocked the house with DJ Eque, but from early on, DJ 2 Green Dollar from Australia did a wonderful film tribute to Michael Jackson.

"Six minutes! Six minutes! Six minutes Doug E. Fresh you're on! Uh uh on! Uh uh on!...."
When Doug E. Fresh took the stage, everyone got on their feet. Doug E. said," When I say Don't - you say Stop!" Don't - Stop! Don't - Stop!

It was a party that was off the hook! Doug E. Fresh, you are on it!

Stevie Wonder's radio station - www.kjlhradio.com sponsored the event in conjunction with the Conga Room - www.congaroom.com and My Friend's House LA - www.myfriendshouseLA.org who was accepting canned goods to feed the homeless in LA.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

First Lady of California, Maria Shriver Minerva Awards Ceremony 2009


Thanks to a random act of kindness on behalf of Lia Keith, Lena Cole-Dennis and I attended the 2 - day California's First Lady Maria Shriver's Women's Day Conference - including last evening's Minerva Awards ceremony - at the Long Beach Arena, in Long Beach, CA. (http://www.womensconference.org/ ) . Four remarkable women were honored for reaching out and practicing the each one teach one technique.

Helen Devore Waukazoo of Friendship House in San Francisco, Dr. Jane Goodall, Agnes Stevens and Kathy Hull of the George Mark Children's House were selected, each receiving $25,000.00 to further their quest to make this world a better place.

Alicia Keys was an excellent choice to close out the 2 day empowering event. Not only does she write/produce/act and sing, she also has an organization called www.keepachildalive.org.

Please join in and assisting these various organizations if you can.
First Lady Maria Shriver - http://www.firstlady.ca.gov/
Helen Devore Waukazoo - www.friendshiphousesf.org
Dr. Jane Goodall - www.rootsandshoots.org/
Agnes Stevens - http://www.schoolonwheels.org/
Dr. Barbara Beach - www.georgemark.org/

Friday, October 23, 2009

Precious - The Lionsgate film - Remember, we are all precious

I got a chance to preview the film, 'Precious' last evening and, in my opinion, it will change lives.
New Precious Film Trailer (HQ)
There are so many children that are mentally and physically abused every hour, here in the United States and all around the world, and their cries for help fall on deaf ears.
In Precious' house, the cat gets treated more humanely then she.
"Precious, don't forget to pick up the kitty litter and my cigarettes!" Her Mother (Mo'Nique) yells as Precious steps outside the front door.

Lee Daniels' - Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, is a story about the life of a 16 year old girl, Clareece "Precious" Jones,(Gabourey Sidibe) who is forced to try and function normally in a chaotic, abusive home. After the school finds out that Precious is pregnant, they send her to an alternative school, "Each One / Teach One", which is the gate through which she finds a bit of normalcy. Precious is fortunate enough to have several positive people appear in her life; primarily Ms. Weiss (Mariah Carey), a social worder that shows Precious how much she cares about her by insisting that the 16 year old girl opens up and talks about her current living situation. Well, at her new alternative school, "Each One / Teach One", the new teacher that she encounters in the corridor after a bout with morning sickness, Ms. Rain (Paula Patton) mentally shines a bright light on Precious, opening up her thoughts and expanding on ideas about creating a better future for all of the students, by writing down what one is thinking and working towards the common goal of achieving a G.E.D. Ms.Rain, via her actions, prove that she is an advocate for the students in her class, not giving up on them even when the odds are stacked against them. Ms. Rain was remarkable!

Precious also experiences a positive experience/interaction/relationship with a male nurse (Lenny Kravitz) while giving birth to her second child. The vast majority of people that cross her path along the way to gaining independence, were placed there because only GOD and his angels knew that Precious needed the help.

As the film progresses, Precious realizes that her Mother's negative words that echo in her ears are not true, that she CAN do something and IS valued. Against all odds, this 16 year old, with 2 children, proves that no matter what fate hands to you, you can get through it if you persevere!...

Opening November 6, 2009, in movie theatres across the globe.
View content advisory for parents
Produced by Lee Daniels Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)
http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahshow/20090918-tows-precious-release-dates
www.tylerperry.com/premiere/precious.php
http://www.weareallprecious.com/

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Taste of SOUL Festival - Music, Soul Food & Community 2009








I got up this morning in anticipation of the 4th Annual Taste of SOUL Festival. I was longing for some down home music and food. (www.tasteofsoulla.com)
BeBe Winans was just the cure. He and CeCe have a new cd out called "Close to You" and it is a must have - Do yourself a favor and pick it up! BeBe Winans( www.bebewinans.net) and one of the sisters from the Gospel Group Mary-Mary (www.mary-mary.com ) performed the hit song "Close to You". Indira Kahn, Chaka Kahn's daughter, sang beautifully as well!

When Danny Bakewell Jr., President & Executive Editor of The Los Angeles Sentinel (http://www.lasentinel.net/) Stevie Wonder's radio station, KJLH ( www.KJLHRadio.com) and 94.7 The Wave, featuring Brian McKnight(www.947wave.com ) put together the 4th Annual Taste of SOUL Festival, right in the heart of the neighborhood - You just know it's going to be great!

On Stage were some of LA's favorite Air Personalities; Aundrae Russell, Roland Bynum, Adai Lamar, Tammy Mac and Don Amiche of Mac & Amiche.
Yo-Yo is still getting audiences on their feet and singing word for word, "You can't play with my Yo-Yo" - the girl is bad! Eric Benet performed acapella and had the audience screaming. Eric Benet put the audience in a really good mood when he sang the songs " Spend my Life With You" and "Chocolate Legs", the audience chimed in with the chorus.

Michel'le is still the Bomb - she looked fabulous and still has that unique style of speaking voice but powerful vocal cords. She turned the place out with " Something in my Heart" and "No More Lies".
There was so many options when it came to selecting something good to eat! There was chicken, ribs, fish, veggies, apple and peach cobbler, sweet potato pies and the likes.
I walked around and discovered BOONE'S Fabulous Fried Fish. A Delta Juke Joint Style Fish Fry!(fishfryfridays@hotmail.com 310.538.5213 - They come to you!)

Their specialty is really good fried Swai Basa.

What is Swai Basa?
Swai Basa is Native to Southeast Asia, belonging to the Pangasius family and is very similar to catfish. It's a white-flesh fish(typically available in fillet form) with a sweet, mild taste and light flaky texture. A 3.5- ounce serving of plain fish contains around 90 calories, 4 grams of fat(1.5 saturated), 45 grams of cholesterol and 50 milligrams of sodium. The oil that they use to fry the fish in as well as the stake potatoes is a very light vegetable oil and the fish and potatoes are not greasy. I had enough Swai Basa and Steak Fries to feed 4 people and it was delicious! Everyone in my party ate until their hearts were content!
Mr. Boone caters all events. The Boones' invite you to come and taste the healthy difference!
Thanks to The Sentinel, KJLH Radio, 94.7 The Wave and MoneyGram, the Taste of SOUL Festival was a huge success!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to President Barack Obama - 44th President of the USA

The sun rose this morning, bringing more positive vibes to the White House and the world at large. President Barack Hussein Obama became 1 of more than 800 Nobel Laureates. The Nobel Prize is an international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden. Every year since 1901 the Nobel Prize has been awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace. Each prize consists of a medal, personal diploma, and a cash award. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden's central bank) established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

The 44th President of the United States, President Obama, was awared the prestigious award "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" according to the committee that awarded the honor. http://www.nobelprize.org/.

President Obama actually has given Americans HOPE. http://www.barackobama.org/

The amount awarded to President Obama is 10 million kronor ($1.4 million dollars) and he is donating those funds to charity. You see, charity begins at home. How else can we teach our children to treat people the way that we want to be treated. We can make a world of difference, one person at a time. Just start by stepping back and taking a good look at "The man in the mirror". Just try to love your neighbor as yourself everyday. Just take baby steps. Baby steps...C



Monday, September 28, 2009

As

"Did you know that true love asks for nothing
Her acceptance is the way we pay
Did you know that life has given love a guarantee
To last through forever and another day
Just as time knew to move on since the beginning
And the seasons know exactly when to change
Just as kindness knows no shame
Know through all your joy and pain
That I'll be loving you always
As today I know I'm living but tomorrow
Could make me the past but that I mustn't fear
For I'll know deep in my mind
The love of me I've left behind
Cause I'll be loving you always...”

Lyrics/Song written by Stevie Wonder
Songs in the Key of Life - AS

I love this song so much and thought that I'd share it with you -

Have a wonderful day!
C


Friday, September 18, 2009

I Can Still Remember His Voice....

Today is the eighth anniversary of my father's death. He died exactly one week, to the day, after the 911 chaos that took place in New York, back in 2001. I couldn't get to him because he was in Chicago. He was such a strong man, having survived a major car accident that left him a quadriplegic from the age of 27. My Dad died from the complications related to being a quadriplegic - kidneys, liver and all major organs started shutting down.
I was told that he was one of the oldest living quads in the United States.
He and my Mother married quite young, and had 4 children. Thank goodness that my parents were very expressive and always made sure to tell every last one of us regularly that they loved us. Oh, Dad, I can still remember your voice! You used to tell me all the time that I was the light in your heart and the apple of your eye and the prettiest child you'd ever seen and that I was a lucky child that had survived so much health wise, before even knowing that I existed! I'd say, "Daddy, I'm auditioning for a Cheer Leader!"
( I was Captian of the Cheer Leaders in Jr. High and Captian of the Pep-Squad and Co-Captian of the Cheer Leaders in High School). And he said, "You'll get it because you are beautiful and can dance, Baby Doll!"
He would have a story to connect with whatever it is that we were talking about. He said, "Did I ever tell you of the time when you were about 8 months old, and your Mom and I were playing some Motown, and we had you sitting on the couch while we danced, and we looked over at you, just bopping to the beat of the song, and when we stopped dancing to watch you, you actually kept on bouncing and winked at us! I said to your Mom, "Tuffy, did she just wink at us?" and your Mom said, " Yes! She did!" and we laughed - but you kept on dancing and smiling in your little spot on the couch! Oh yes, Baby, so don't ever let anyone tell you you can't don't anything because you are big - you fat but you fine, Baby Girl! Now, do your thing!"
Yes, I'm still doing my thing...

Although you are physically no longer of this earth, I can still feel your presence in my heart.

Love,
C

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Time to Sell Some Ghetto Heaven

Well you all, summer is ending, and this is the last holiday weekend, so get out there and do your thing! Speaking of summer, I remember the summer of 1989, when I discovered two different soulful groups that got me on my feet dancing everytime I heard them perform - via radio or in concert.

I don't know which group or song that makes me remember the summer of 1989 in London, England more memorable - Soul II Soul or The Family Stand.

It was the summer that I moved to London as a foreign exchange student, sponsored by CitiCorp, with a work permit in hand. Oh, LSE was such a nice campus to be docked at, and as a B.U.N.A.C. student, we had a blast!

I arrived during Carnivale, which is celebrated in an area called Notting Hill Gate. Some friends who live there had invited us to park our heels under their table, and we stepped just outside their gates, and watched the entire Carnivale celebration, and it was amazing!

Well, I've been searching for this song in the USA, for so long until I'd all but given up! Well, a FaceBook Friend, a DJ named Kevin Healey of Cheltinham, United Kingdom, recently found this song for me by The Family Stand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55z_Xn4XwVM

Some of my British friends would call it a "Rare Groove". It's called Ghetto Heaven.
The lyrics go like this, "You know I love my baby. My baby loves me...I need a little Ghetto Heaven. Nana likes brandy, especially peach, she keeps it by the radio and listens to the revelry. It's 10:07, it's time to get some ghetto heaven...."

Then you hear James Brown ( The God Father of Soul) in the background grunting, and the beat is just so soulful until I just have to get up and start swaying to the beat!

Oh, the summer of '89 was truly a summer to remember. What was your favorite summer to remember? I'd love to know all about it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

RAMLA's Free Medical, Dental and Vision - WOW!

I am simply in awe of the RAMLA crew. When I tell you that Stan Brock http://www.ramusa.org/about/history.htm and his crew showed up and showed out - it will make you want to jump and shout!
This morning, I arrived at the Forum at 4:45am, where Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer of Faithful Central www.faithfulcentral.org has partnered up with Stan Brock - Remote Area Medical® www.ramusa.org, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Karen Waters and the incomparable Mayor of Inglewood, Mayor Dorn - and hundreds of Doctors arriving to provide FREE Medical, Dental and Vision care to thousands of people in need, it's was enough to make sing and shout! Jehovah God is GOOD ( All the Time!)
If you want to "Love your neighbor as your self", please come out and volunteer to help @ The Forum. You can even come out tomorrow. The FREE Medical/Dental/Vision event will last through August 18th.
So many people need your assistance!
Wish list:

More Ophthalmologist (please....)
More OBGYNS
More Pediatricians

With Love & light,
Carla

Friday, August 7, 2009

RAMLA Is Offering FREE Medical, Dental and Vision Care in Inglewood, CA


Yes, it's true. It's not a rumor. If you need medical assistance, please make it your business to be at The Forum in Inglewood, CA, first thing in the morning on Tuesday - Tuesday, August 11-18, 2009. The address is: 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, Ca 90305. First Come - First Served.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Woke Up Feelin' The Blues...

Woke up this morning thinking about the drive that Josie and I took the other day. You see, there is a neighborhood here in Los Angeles, CA., where quite a few of the great black actors and actresses and musicians lived during the 20's, 30's, 40's, and 50's. They called it "Sugar Hill".
It's located in the 1900 block of S. Harvard, just off of Washington Blvd. Oh, the houses were so grand!

Well, we got so excited to see where Hattie McDaniel, Louise Beaver and Johnny Otis once lived.
Johnny Otis has always fascinated me because he absolutely could rock some drums! He was also very easy on the eyes.

Now, Johnny Otis is Greek, but he grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood up north in Vallejo, CA. He knew and understood and was accepted by black people because, let's face it, Johnny Otis had swagger! He was, and is so talented!

Johnny Otis had mad skills on and off the stage. He discovered and worked with great artists like , Louie Jordan, ,
The Robins(who later became The Coasters), Esther Phillips,and the Great , (and later on in his career, ).

Most probably remember the 6ft tall, Big Mama Thornton famous for "Hound Dog" and "Ball and Chain".












Do yourself a favor, take that drive to "Sugar Hill", if you can. After that, keep on driving down town and visit Ms. Biddie Mason's Wall on 333. Spring St. It will give you an idea of the endless possibilities that we all have within the grasp of our hands.

Truly,
C

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wishes - Mary Anne Radmacher*

I wish for you
the color that you
bring forth in others
to greatly rise within you.

I wish you your own best strength.

I wish you always
loved ones to your side.

I wish you desired possibilities
before you
and contentment behind you.

I wish you the beginnings
of all your dreams
and many of the ends.
I wish you peace.

Mary Anne Radmacher-Hershey personally packaged and sent this to me as a "thank you", back in 1992. She's a beautiful soul.
http://www.maryanneradmacher.com/
*all materials & writings are copyright © of mary anne radmacher

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Video: Michael Jackson memorial service 'to be biggest online event ever' - Times Online

Video: Michael Jackson memorial service 'to be biggest online event ever' - Times Online

Shared via AddThis

Michael Jackson - R.I.P.

Today is the day that people around the world will celebrate the life of Michael Jackson. He touched soooo many of our lives in a positive way.
As far back as I can remember, he was a part of my world musically.

"Living Off the Wall". Wow. That album was amazing! He ROCKED!


Then there was the phenomenal movie/rock documentary, "Thriller".


I can still remember where I was the first time that I saw the video!

We were in Chicago for my cousin Cynthia's Wedding. Oh, my goodness!

We sat around and couldn't believe what we were seeing. It was amazing to see Michael transform from a young, handsome man on a date, skipping down the road - into this scary dancing machine! I watched it so many times until I felt as though I knew every dance move - didn't you?!

The city of Los Angeles, in conjunction with the Jackson Family, are giving us fans a chance to say good bye this morning. There will be a internationally televised memorial today at 12:00 noon a the Staples Center .

Well, Michael, you were loved by many. You will be missed by many.

R.I.P., my friend.

C

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson - Twice in a Lifetime


Flashback -
It was 1981, and I was listening to the now defunct KDIA Lucky 13! Cliff Winston was the DJ, and guess what?
I won tickets to the Jackson's TRYUMPH TOUR, at the Oakland Coliseum. ( I won all of their albums and T-shirts!)
Tossing and turning the night before the concert in anticipation of what was about to occur was all I could think about. I purchased a lovely purple suede jacket and had a lovely purple dress and black pumps on. My Jheri curl was fresh. I just knew that I'd go to the concert, meet Michael Jackson and become Mrs. Jackson. Well, Lanika and I stood at the back entrance waiting for our que to enter the VIP area(without passes, mind you) and one of the twins from the group The Whispers, saw us waiting there, and he told us that he would get us back stage - and he did! Yep. I met the Jacksons. That was my plan.
You see, Michael is my favorite Jackson brother. I have loved him since I was about 8 years old.
All throughout Jr. High and High School, everyone knew that I was going to be Mrs. Michael Jackson. My girlfriends knew that we could be friends as long as it was understood that I was marrying Michael Jackson - they could love Marlon, Randy, Tito or Jermaine, but Michael was mine! Well, by the time I was 20 years old, I knew that that wasn't going to happen...
Fast Forward 18 years -
In 1999, I got another opportunity to meet him again.
He heard my voice over the intercom where I was employed, and loved my voice - and the President of the company called and asked me not to speak over the intercom because everytime that I spoke a word, Michael Jackson would stop in his tracks, and the President didn't want my voice to distract Mr. Jackson! That was amazing. So, when I walked up and actually got a chance to shake his hand and speak to him, he looked at me and smiled. He was very cordial. His son Prince (Michael Jr.) ran up and wrapped his little arms around my legs and blew me kisses. ( The Jackson security crew stopped me from bending down and picking him up - they were on it!) His daughter was just a few months old, and had Janet Jackson's fawn brown eyes. Oh, his children are so beautiful!
It was so nice to run into the man that graced my walls as a teenager (I had the 3ft. long poster of the album " Off The Wall" on my bedroom wall for a long time!). As an adult, I felt that I had matured, but when I walked up to him, my heart was palpitating. We exchanged greetings and he shook my hand, I had to tell him that I loved him - and he said that he loved me too!(as he's told all of his fans) but honey, I simply turned into that 16 year old all over again...
Today - June 28, 2009
It's been exactly 72 hours since it was reported and then confirmed that you've passed. I can't believe it. People have been calling me from all over the United States to see if I'm okay. I've been in bed sick, for 2 days, watching the news and listening to WWW.KJLHRADIO.COM play Michael Jackson songs all day.
Over the years, Michael Jackson has brought me so much happiness. Watching him and his siblings sing and dance their way into the hearts of Americans brought me so much joy!
I would pray to God that he and his brothers and sisters succeeded 1 million fold.
And it worked.
The prayers, they worked.
The Jackson's touched people's hearts all over the world!
I'm so glad that I got a chance to meet him twice in a lifetime.
Michael Jackson is a prime example of the fact that "unforeseen occurrences befall us all".
I will miss him dearly.
Pray/Laugh/Sing/Dance/Eat/Love
Live your life.
Love,
Carla

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dr. Ivan Van Sertima dies at 74

His point of entrance was January 26, 1935 - his exit - May 25, 2009.
How rare is it to actually meet and spend quality time with two of the people that influenced my life via their research and the documentation of various subjects related to Africans in the Diaspora.
Dr. Ivan Van Sertima and the late Dr. Asa Hilliard III are the two people that had a huge effect on my life.
It was the summer of 1988 and both Scholars took me under their wings during a study program in Cairo, Egypt. Dr. Van Sertima and his wife Jackie were there doing research and compiling information for the book Egypt Revisited,1990, and Dr. Hilliard III and his wife Pat, to educate all of the Holy Royal Family members that summer.

Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, the Guyanese-born poet, linguist, anthropologist, historian, wrote one of the most crucial documentaries that proved that Africans had arrived and traded business in what is now known as the USA, 1,000 years before Columbus stepped foot on this American Soil.

The book is entitled, They Came Before Columbus , Random House, 1976, which gave undisputed evidence that the Olmec Indians had traded with Africans and even created 14 statutes(heads) of these Africans. Dr. Ivan Van Sertima had these black heads created by the Olmecs carbon dated, so that there can be no mistaking the time period in which these heads were created in tribute to the black man. These heads are found in the Yucatan and the interior of Mexico down to this very day. He felt it was crucial to properly identify the contributions made by Africans in Central and South America, thus showing the prehistoric advances in metallurgy, writing and mathematics.

He wrote an article entitled, The Lost Sciences of Africa: An Overview. This demonstrated the prehistoric African contribution.
Dr. Van Sertima worked shoulder to shoulder with Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop, who earned his doctoriate at Sorbonne, set up a radiocarbon dating laboratory at the Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire(IFAN), in Senegal. Dr Diop continued establishing his theory of ancient Egypt being the precursor of modern civilization. By using using archaeological specimens for identification and analysis, along in conjunction with free carbon dating, Dr. Diop proved that the Ancient Egyptians were Black.
Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, and Dr. Diop worked tirelessly to restore the dignity of Africans. In the book, Great African Thinkers: Chiekh, Anta Diop, New Brunswick, NJ., 1989. It expounds on the need to accurately identify these truths.
The knowledge that you and your constituents instilled in us remains forever.
We love you Dr. Ivan Van Sertima.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Crowns - The Musical is @ Nate Holden for the Performing Arts Center - UPDATE!

Now more than ever, we all need a dose of positivity. The entire audience got a huge dose of Love and Positivity last evening when I went to see the Musical "Crowns". People were standing up and clapping, and the women behind me sang along with every song!
The musical was heart warming and uplifting.

Vanessa Bell Calloway danced the Katherine Dunham Technique so eloquently, like it was the thing to do! She moved across the floor like a Gazelle - beautifully. The entire cast was excellent!

The Ebony Repertory Theater and the Pasadena Playhouse, in Association with Regina Taylor Presents the Musical "Crowns".
The musical is a spin off of the book written by author-playwright Craig Marberry and photographer Michael Cunningham. The book consists of some of the most beautiful portraits of African American women in their "Sunday - go - to - meeting " hats.
The musical concentrates on the events surrounding an a young girl from Brooklyn, who was sent down South to her grand-mother to escape from a traumatic event that happened in Brooklyn. The story expounds on the lives of six women in the South and their individual stories. After seeing this musical, you too, will walk like the Queen or King that you are in your "Sunday Best" hat. Right?
http://www.reginataylor.com/regina-taylor-director.php

This is a "Must - go - see" Musical, that is a heart warming, soul stirring and a reminder of the importance of symbolism in our lives. No matter how small that symbol might be, it can keep you on track when things seem to be going down hill, reminding you to pump on the breaks and stand still and let God continue to show you the way forward out of any situation. Believe that!

The cast consists of the truly multi-talented Vanessa Bell Calloway, Suzzanne Douglas, Sharon Catherine Blanks, Ann Weldon, Clinton Derricks-Carroll and Angela Wildflower Polk, all seasoned Actors.

"Crown" the Musical is now playing May 5th - June 14th

@ The Nate Holden Performing Arts Center -
4718 Washington Blvd., LA, CA 90016. 323.964.9766.

http://www.ebonyrep.org/index.html

See you there!
C

Friday, May 1, 2009

Black Business Expo - 20th Anniversary

There are truly some wonderful events happening in the Greater Los Angeles Community this weekend.


Today starts the beginning of the 20th Anniversary of
The Black Business Expo in Los Angeles, CA (http://www.blackbusinessexpo.com/expoinfo.htm)

It is being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center -
1201 Figueroa St., LA, CA.

Barbara Lindsey founded the Black Business EXPO back in 1989. Ms. Lindsey felt that there was a need to encourage African Americans to concentrate on building their own businesses. As a result, Black Businesses have grown rapidly in Los Angeles, CA.

Harold Hambrick (CEO, BBX) works closely with Mayor Antonio Villariagosa as well as Mayor Dorn of Inglewood, to promote the very necessary EXPO in the Greater Los Angeles area. Stevie Wonders' Radio Station, http://www.kjlhradio.com/ will be on hand with Jacquie Stephens conducting the 9th annual Womens Health Forum. I just love Jacquie Stephens!

The talented Wendy Raquel Robinson, along with Bill Duke attend and actively support the BBX, meeting and shaking hands with the residents of CA.

The Black Business Expo demonstrates that everyone is included; Black, White, Red, Yellow and Brown. Come and see for your self! You will be pleasantly amazed....

I'm running out the door now to get to the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony...

Hope to see you there!
C

Monday, April 20, 2009

It Feels Like 90° °F

"Turn off the lights, and just peak out the corner of the window - don't open the curtains!" Those were wise words coming from my Grand Mother - I called her "Sweetie".
You see, my brother and I were in the habit of trying to look out the window and see why our neighbors were arguing - again.
In our household, there weren't very many arguments(that we children ever heard) and as a result, when we heard our neighbors arguing, we wanted to listen. Just being nosy. It was fun! My Grand Mother was an expert snooper. She knew exactly how to look and listen without being noticed by those who where involved in the heat of the night. Yes, the night. It seemed as though this particular husband and wife would always seem to find a reason to fight when it was really hot out side - usually 90°F, or hotter.
It seems as though they couldn't wait for the sun to set before embarking on a heated debate. The topics? Usually sports or politics...

My Sweetie passed on over 25 years ago. But, I remember
her advice. To this very day, if I hear someone arguing, I know to turn off the lights and peak through the sides of the curtains (blinds). Just the way that she use to.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- From The Mountain Top

There's so much irony w/regards to American and British history.

On April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., gave his last heart wrenching speech,

" I Have Been To The Mountain Top".

On April 4, 1968, a sniper took his life, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Just thinking about how and why he was murdered still brings tears to my eyes.

If only Dr. King Jr. could see that he paid the price for Global change. If only he could see how far we have grown as a Nation in 41 years.

Dr. King Jr., if only you could see the first Black President - President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama break down barriers; yesterday they traveled across the ocean to the U.K., for the G20 Conference. During the G20 Reception at Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II, of England, broke protocol to embrace the First Lady.

This is a first in British and American history.


It was truly symbolic of change.
Dr. King Jr.,The Obamas' would make you proud. They are intelligent, capable, fearful of God - and they love each other. President Obama and his wife are what you hoped and prayed for. They are what we need Globally today to help move this beautiful country forward. Why? Because they represent red, yellow. black, white and brown. They represent America.






Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dr. John Hope Franklin Laid Down With Our Ancestors

Dr. John Hope Franklin died March 24, 2009 after suffering congestive heart failure. He was 94 years old.

Most remember him as a legendary educator and was considered one of the most prolific scholars of his generation. Dr. Franklin was known for documenting the trials and tribulations that affected many African-Americans. He is most notably remembered for writing From Slavery to Freedom: A History of American Negroes, published in 1947. The book sold over 3 million copies.

His life was a true testimony of faith, hard work, and the power of completion. Back in 1921, his father's office was burned down during the race riots in Tulsa, Oklahoma and he and his family lost everything.

That did not discourage him because he knew that he had a purpose. Dr. Franklin was driven to succeed.

There were many positive role models in his life, namely his father. At one time, Dr. Franklin was going to study Law, but fate stepped in and one of his mentors suggested he study History. As a result, Dr. Franklin took the path less tredded, and as an African American, he had published over 16 books and hundreds of academic papers.

He knew that he had a purpose, and was driven.

In 1954, Dr. Franklin helped research information that led to Justice Thurgood Marshall's land mark argument before the Supreme Court, which lead to overturning segregation in the public school system.

How fortunate we all are to live in a time where we as Americans can actually see how far we have come as a Nation - as a people.

Thank you for your brilliance, Dr. Franklin. We will miss you.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Michael Jackson's Press Concert in London


Stop hating. Michael Jackson sold out 50 concerts in London, UK - where the good ole' British Sterling/Pound is valued.

Why, you might ask.

If one has ever had the fortune of seeing Michael Jackson perform live, one would know that he gives you your monies worth – and them some.

I clearly remember seeing the TRIUMPH concert, 4th row, center seat. All of the Jackson brothers performed. It was soooo live! People were fainting because they could not believe that they were actually watching such an outstanding performance!
The Jackson’s gave every concert attendee a performance that they would never ever forget, believe that.

You see, it’s like a science or a mathematical equation;
M/J(ABC/Ben/Rock With You/Thriller/Billie Jean)+Rhythm(Soul/Rock) =
An American Icon.

It appears as though the American soil that he was born on and the people, who used to love him, have turned their backs on him. Great Britain seems to be able to distinguish between his personal life and his God given talent. He is an American that represents true talent. I’m not going to “toss the first stone” at him, I’m just going to the U.K. and enjoy watching him do his thing.

Michael Jackson
still
ROCKS!!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sometimes Words are Hard to Say

I'm discovering that as I get older, I have to use the word NO more frequently. Have you discovered that? Is it an age thing, or is it simply a phase that I'm going through - I haven't decided yet.

Well, today is a new day, and moving forward, if there is something that you simply do not want to do, just say NO. And mean it!...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Our Authors Study Club Black History Tour 2009

It was pouring down raining this morning when Shirley Smith and I got up and got ready for the Annual Black Historical Tour of Los Angeles.
We had to be at Consolidated Realty at 7:30am, to get aboard Dr. Genevieve Shepherd's bus! If one can get the opportunity to take the tour - which occurs every year on the first Saturday in February - count yourself very fortunate! http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/Tom_Bradley_EL/DrShepbio.html
Today we saw several groups perform - the youth of today sang so eloquently. Professor Toni had several people recite different quotes from historical figures(Biddy Mason, Princess Calafia, etc.) and it was lovely!
There were a few bumps in the road today, but we overcame them and won't even mention them...
We also took a trip to the second oldest Fire Station -
Fire Engine Co. # 30, located at 14th and Central. It is now a Fire Station Museum.


Captain Brent Burton gave an eloquent lecture w/ slides dating back to the 1850's regarding Men & Women of Color Fire Fighters. http://www.lacostentorians.org/.
You owe it to yourselves to stop by the Fire Station. It's open to the public!


Dr. Shepherd, I'd like to thank you, once again, for all of the love that you continue to shower upon your people. You are truly a remarkable woman, and I say hats off to you lady!

Sincerely,
Carla

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

LA Black Historical Tour 2009 - This Saturday

It's already February and it is absolutely beautiful here in Southern California. Today it was 75 (Fahrenheit).
This is the weekend that Dr. Shepard conducts her Annual Black History Tour.
Dr. Shepard is kind enough to reach out to the Community and take 6 bus loads of people from all walks of life - starting from 3725 Don Felipe Dr., Los Angeles, CA - Consolidated Realty - to some of the most interesting places throughout Southern California. If you get a chance, get up early, Google the location and meet me there!http://beverlyhillsbusinessexcellence.blogspot.com/2008/02/black-history-tour-of-los-angeles-feb-2.html

Peace & Blessings,
C

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Midway - Written by Naomi Long Madgett in 1958

This is a poem that my Grand Mother would ask me to recite to her, when I was a teen-ager. It was very inspiring to her.

I've come this far to freedom and I won't turn back
I'm climbing to the highway from my old dirt track
I'm coming and I'm going
And I'm stretching and I'm growing
And I'll reap what I've been sowing or my skin's not black
I've prayed and slaved and waited and I've sung my song

You've bled me and you've starved me but I've still grown strong
You've lashed me and you've treed me
And you've everything but freed me
But in time you'll know you need me and it won't be long.
I've seen the daylight breaking high above the bough

I've found my destination and I've made my vow;
so whether you abhor me
Or deride me or ignore me
Mighty mountains loom before me and I won't stop now.

I miss you Sweety.
Carla

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - The Visionary

I got up first thing this morning and made note of all of the things that I am grateful for. 1. Waking up this morning 2. Having my health and strength 3. Knowing the true God 4. Knowing thy Self 5. Staying conscious 6. Having a great support system i.e. family and friends 7. Being capable of loving 8. Helping others 9. Being able to laugh, sing and dance! 10. Knowing what is real and what isn't Dr. King Jr. Stood for something. He lived his life, making concious choices. He preached the importance of judging one by the "content of their character" - not their skin type. That is deep. Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and those before you that paved the way so that I can try and make this place a better space... I got up this morning, got all dressed up and listened to some Stevie Wonder and had a glow and an inner smile in my heart. My friend Debbie came by my office and we went to lunch - Italian food. She brought me a flower, to celebrate MLK's B-Day. We, as friends, are living the American MLK Dream. She and I smiled and reflected on the fact that not so long ago, 30 years ago or so, we could not have shared the same table. Today we can. Now that's progress! Life is a gift - own it! C