Archive for January, 2009

Floodin’

Posted: January 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

When we were young the term “Floodin’ ” meant someone was wearing some serious high waters, you know, pants that stopped way above the ankles so it seems that they would only be good in a flood, hence the name.

Tonight, as so many thoughts rush to my head, the term “Floodin'” means I am overwhelmed and I know I cannot take up a lot of your time, so I have to talk fast:

The National Black Weekend
This past 4-day weekend, which I have dubbed the National Black Weekend, featured a spirited King Parade (see my video interviews below) AND that day where the first African American president assumed his role and hit the ground running. My day was book-ended by appearances at Derrick’s Jamaican Cuisine–the morning shift and the evening shift and deep discussions into the night.

The next day was rehashing everything in class with my students, then Thursday was picking up the son from South Africa and being riveted by the video and pictures and stories he brought back.

Today (Friday) was volunteer tutoring (we are still on Winter Session) and busy, I got up because my thoughts are floodin’.

Tuesday was beautiful
Son Ayo was there, right in the midst of everything, and phoned in a report as was BFF Paulette who was there with her sister front and center (well, close to it). Walking partner Rene was there and I felt such a connection by having these people so close to me giving me feeds. Check out Rene’s pics here:
Even Jaaye was giving reports of how it was to watch the happenings in South Africa. The professional pictures we have been seeing online are superb.

BuzzKillers
So of course, I continue to listen to those pundits who are naysaysers and of course I expected that from Rush Limbaugh, but to hear that from KPFK was a real buzzkill. Roseanne Barr has a show on that listener-sponsored station and every caller she fielded had something negative to say about Barack’s time in office, saddling him with problems that have existed for decades. “Well, as long as black people are still at the bottom in Philadelphia and other urban areas I don’t see his presidency meaning much…” (paraphrasing). The man was in office two days! Gee whiz!

My 8 year old son wishes he were Black
This is what Larry King blurted out on his eponymous show when interviewing Bob Woodward. This really irked El Rushbo but made me laugh because how many of us or our children have longed to be white when we realized who got all the cool stuff and opportunities. This pissed off some of King’s listeners folks no end. LOL


Lots more thoughts but we’ll chat later

I could go on and on, but I am listening to the Kevin Ross show on Blog Talk Radio (www.threebrothersandasister.blogspot.com), planning my next video piece, pulling together my syllabi for next semester, and contemplating a New Year’s fast. Molly Bell always says we’ve got to keep fasting and praying. Well, I pray but I really need to fast. It clears up everything: skin, thoughts and scalp. Plus I bought a new juicer so this gives me an excuse to put it to good use. Stay tuned!

We are really fortunate to be living at the crossroads of history. We can see it up close, on TV, on our computers or even our cell phones. This must be what it felt like when folks decided to march on Washington. Some must have been afraid to go, but thank God for those who showed up and  made a statement which has been a shining moment in history.

Like Barack Obama, Dr. King was human. He should never be held up as though he walked with the gods, but we should note that he walked with God. Tomorrow I plan to go to the King Parade here in Los Angeles. I was supposed to be volunteering somewhere tomorrow, but I was too busy producing today to get an assignment, so I will be on patrol tomorrow, helping to keep the peace, the order, find lost children and also shoot the parade and share it with those who want the IPL video version as opposed to NBC’s version.

If it doesn’t sound like much, think about having to bring back all that footage, uploading it, editing it, producing it, adding the still shots I will also shoot, (it takes hoursss) and sharing with the public like I did a few years ago.
It is my mission to remind people who Dr. King was, ever since the year I watched the parade on NBC and the white reporter panned the crowd with an extended microphone asking the youngsters “So, do you know who Dr. King was?” The girl nodded her head, singsonging Yessssssssssss.” Already I was thinking, who doesn’t know who Martin Luther King was? But then the reporter asked her the dreadful follow up: .”Who was he?” And the child smiled knowingly and said “A slave.”

My head whipped around to the TV staring in disbelief. See, the passage of time happens inconspicuously. We have heard of Dr. King until we have had it up to here. But we left his story to the teachers. How many of you sat your own children down and told them of Dr. King’s times and where you were? Often the black experience in our school starts in slavery so when the teacher is teaching the book lesson and some children are half listening, they could mix things up and think somehow that Dr. King was a slave because he then said “Free at last!”

As my friend says ‘Until the lion tells his own story the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”

So now, my volunteering feels more worthwhile. And it is definitely easier than showing up to pass out things, a job which starts and ends in 4 hours.

By the way, congratulations Arizonans on your win. My condolences Philly. Go to http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/43 . They have a tough website. Good luck in the Superbowl in Tampa Bay Feb 1, 2009.  And the Kobe meets LeBron tomorrow night in Laker acrtion.  The excitement just keeps on going, doesn’t it?

Thoughts before Obama

Posted: January 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

I go to pick up the phone and hesitate. That person I’m dialing has flown to DC. Why didn’t I go? I love the scenario, don’t get me wrong. I am happy for this country which seems to be reconciling after a divorce. Blacks don’t seem as angry with white people because, you have to admit, many of them worked harder than we did at times to get this victory. Come on. Admit it.

Also, whites don’t seem to be as clueless about Blacks. There is no precedent that Obama will be anything less than we expect, and all the black mayors and few black governors we’ve had seem to bear this out. All of a sudden we are everywhere on TV and in print. Sing: Who let the blacks out?

Latinos and Asians seem allied…knowing that once we break that glass ceiling, they are not far behind. The world is watching and so are we.

The truth is, I did not go because I am from New Jersey and the thought of cold weather still chills my bones. I chose sunny Southern California after attending a blizzardly undergrad school in upstate New York for four years. I just can’t do it. I won’t do it, unless I absolutely positively have to. In fact, I felt every shiver of those survivors of the airplane mishap in the Hudson. The nightmare of being claustrophobic, stuck on a plane with all these people and all their purses and laptops and mp3 players and wet winter clothes fighting for my air space while bone chilling water is rising paralyzes me with phobias. Every time I heard an interview I felt suffocated and started shivering. You know, if I had been on that plane, I would have been in that tail. And what about moms with babes in arms? But I digress.

In fact, now that we have a Black president, can we lobby him to move the capitol to somewhere warm that makes sense? Just wondering. It would give the country a new lease on life.

This whole new profile for the presidency has me tired. I never read all those articles about Bush. I tried to ignore him as much as I could. Now I find myself reading the rising tide of news stories on Obama and related articles, blogs, etc. I can’t keep up!

Brotherman must be tired. To have to smile at an endless stream of parties when all you want to do is get to work and fix this mess has got to be exhausting.

So, what am I going to do to help? Because if I know nothing else, I know Barack Obama needs our help. I would say I am helping by teaching at the community college level, but they still pay me for that (although Gov. Schwarzenegger is trying his best to change that.)

I help my husband with his history classes which are empowering African Americans about their history, but that, too, is his work. I am just the utility person.

So, what can I do to help this country? Where do I start? I think I will take my direction from my Granddaddies. On both sides these men understood the value of land and they bought up all the land around them. Both started businesses and employed a lot of people including their children and they helped folks long after they had earned enough money to sit down. They also sent every one of their children to college (the ones that wanted to go) at a time when lynchings were still going on. (Grandaddy Person had 20 kids but I refer to the 15 survivors of the deadly flu epidemic.) If he could do that…

So, what will I do? What legacy will I leave? I have no answers just yet. Dear reader, do you?

Until I figure it out, I will continue to volunteer in other organizations until I get in where I fit in. And wait for my next assignment.

IPL

Not Easily Broken Trailer

Posted: January 9, 2009 in Uncategorized

  Click the pic or link to see the trailer!

Cut it out!

Posted: January 6, 2009 in Uncategorized
Dr. Kwakus Next Class Starts Feb. 20, 2009.  Please make a note of it!

Dr. Kwaku's Next Class Starts Feb. 20, 2009. Please make a note of it!

As we wind down (or up) to January 20, my colleagues (have been bemoaning one thing or another, and saying “Well, President-Elect Obama will inherit this or that (the economy, the war in the Middle East, etc.) but no one seems to say, “that doggoned Bush (or whoever is really responsible) screwed things up royally).  It is as if Bush never existed and Obama is responsible for this hot mess.  The cynical hope my ilk (danged reporters) bring…is unnerving.  That is why I am thankful that bloggers and columnists exist.  My email buddy Susan Porter sent two articles our way this week so I pass them along to you.

Blogger Andrew M. Manis is concerned about the preoccupation with assassination talk:

When are we going to get over it?

Excerpt: “Having grown up in “Bombingham,” Ala., in the 1960s, I remember overhearing an avalanche of comments about what many white classmates and their parents wanted to do to John and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Eventually, as you may recall, in all three cases, someone decided to do more than “talk the talk.” Since our recent presidential election, to our eternal shame, we are once again hearing the same reprehensible talk I remember from my boyhood.”

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081212/OPINION/81212007&s=d&page=1#pluckcomments

Also, this January 4, 2009 editorial in the NEW YORK TIMES by Frank Rich, Op-Ed Columnist:

A President Forgotten but Not Gone

Excerpt:  “The last NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on Bush’s presidency found that 79 percent of Americans will not miss him after he leaves the White House. He is being forgotten already, even if he’s not yet gone. You start to pity him until you remember how vast the wreckage is. It stretches from the Middle East to Wall Street to Main Street and even into the heavens, which have been a safe haven for toxins under his passive stewardship. The discrepancy between the grandeur of the failure and the stature of the man is a puzzlement. We are still trying to compute it.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/opinion/04rich.html?_r=1

Susan really sends some great things I would other wise miss, like this special on PBS tomorrow:  The Old Man and the Storm http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/katrina/

It comes on January 6 (Tuesday) on TV or online.

Susan, I am honored to be on your email list.  I know if I look at it or download it, it will be worth my while.

In other news, today is our eldest son’s birthday.  Happy Birthday, Ravi! He’s the artist, and the one that gave us those two beautiful grandchildren.

We heard from the youngest son in Capetown today who had just come back from hiking 3 hours up Tabletop Mountain there in South Africa.  Last time he was there 2 years ago, he spread his grandfather’s ashes.   Jaaye reminds me of me at his age, loose on the world.

Take care all and check out those links! It sure beats debating whether or not Steve Harvey and Katt Williams really have beef.  Although that clip in today’s EUR was funny.

As always, comment if you will…

Isidra Person-Lynn

Leimert Park, CA