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Showing posts from July, 2013

Peace Week Began with a Roster of Luminaries

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The scourge of gun violence has claimed many victims in Philadelphia.  Last night, I attended a Rally/March intended to decrease shooting incidents and increase peace in our city.  The kick off for Peace Week was held at 23rd & Wharton Street last night.  It was sponsored by Unity in the Community.  This organization is headed by Anton Moore.  In my opinion, Anton is the most influential non-elected official in our area right now.  He was responsible for giving clothing to students who needed them to attend proms recently.  He has the community in his heart.

It was a block party atmosphere last night.  Music abounded and everyone was in a great mood.  The actual event opened at around 6:30 PM.  We were honored with Islamic and Christian prayer.  State Senator Hardy Williams offered his opinion on the root causes and solutions to violence.  City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, State Representative Jordan Harris and State Representative Brian Sims also gave comments.  Tyrique Glasgow,…

Democracy is Not Working in Egypt

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The military deposed President Morsi a couple of weeks ago in Egypt.  Our government doesn't consider the fact that he is still being held in detention a coup.  There is the question of almost $1 billion in military aid riding on the definition of what a military overthrow really means.  A coup d'etat is defined as a sudden overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group.

President Morsi was officially recognized as the winner Egypt's first competitive presidential election since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown during the Arab Spring.  This movement toppled Moamar Qaddafi and Zine al-Abidne Ben Ali in Tunisia.  We suffered a major blow in Libya when our embassy was over run and a U.S. Ambassaor was killed in Benghazi.  Many weapsons were taken during the unrest and U.S. intelligence is not sure who really holds the power in some of these sountries.

It was announced on CNN today that over 70 people were killed when the military opened fire on protesters hop…

My 50th Birthday Week was Special

I appreciate the opportunity a blog can afford an individual in a society where free exchange of information prevails.  I need to make sure I back up all of my posts as the basis for a book that I have been writing for awhile.  Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 was a warm, humid day.  We have been in the midst of a major heat wave on the East Coast.  As I write today, it has been raining most of the day.  The Eagles began practice at the Linc after losing Jeremy Maclin for the season. 

I woke up Tuesday sort of melancholy.  I was thinking of my 40th Birthday party and the fact that friends were flying in from all over the country.  Even though I had no plans for a major party, it was a slow start.  I had a manager's meeting at work that day.  I also had two appointments with some individuals who will be working with our program this year.  I was surprised at lunch when we had a pot luck to celebrate my 50th with some co-workers from United Communities.  Carys, Nate, Danielle and Andrea, …

Phil Mickelson Handled the Business at the British Open

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I was pretty excited heading into Sunday.  It was the finals of the British Open and I was poised for a Tiger Woods comeback.  The pundits had already indicated that Tiger had never won a Major when he was trailing on Sunday but he was looking pretty smooth as he finished up his round on Saturday.
He was battling it out with Lee Westwood and it looked like the day for him to break his major drought.

I was oblivious to the time difference on Sunday as I set about making breakfast and completing some morning chores.  I was ready to sit down and check out the Tiger comeback when I saw Phil Mickelson smiling and holding the Claret Jug.  He had just completed a round of 66 with a string of birdies to cap an improbable comeback.  It was his first British Open win and his fifth major title.  My homey Tiger finished five shots out in a tie for 6th place.  I was shocked to say the least.

I should feel an affinity for Phil because he is a left handed golfer.  Also, he is an American who is int…

Menkaura: A Worthy Ancestor

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Menkaura was an ancient Egyptian king of the 4th dynasty during the Old Kingdom beginning in approximately 2530 BC.  He was well known under his Hellenized names Mykerinos and Menkheres.  I think that this is significant because it shows that he was known and possibly had an influence on Greek culture.  When the historian Herodotus recognizes your life, you have made an impact. Menkaure became famous for his pyramid tomb at Giza and his beautiful statue triads, showing the king together with goddesses and his wife Khamerernebty.

I was intrigued about adding Egyptian historical figures to my blog partially because of what is happening now in Egypt.  The country receives an enormous amount of military aid from us but they were a power in thir own right on the African continent well before the United States was created.  Egyptian history is immense and will make my blog a richer space on the internet.

Menkaure was the son of Khafra and the grandson of Khufu. A flint knife found in the m…

Tyrell Woodson: Rest in Peace

Although the death of Tyrell Woodson won't make national news, I feel the need to document it none the less.  I taught Tyrell for the better part of two school years at the Performance Learning Center in Southwest Philadelphia.  Tyrell was a tall, handsome brother who was working towards finishing his high school diploma in an accelerated program.  Sometimes he would show up late.  Sometimes it seemed like he was up partying the night before.  For many of the students that I interacted with, life was a pretty tough struggle.  Tyrell died as a result of gunshot wounds.  Who knows what led up to this occurring.  Whatever it was, it could not have been worth his life.

Earlier this year, Sabir Bryant Sanford was gunned down in Southwest Philadelphia.  Both of these young men were nice gentlemen in the classroom.  It is pretty tough on the streets.  Just yesterday in the Philadelphia Daily News, it was recounted that 8 men were gunned down over the course of last week.  Once again, th…

Omar Sykes: Rest in Peace

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I heard the unfortunate news about this young man last week.  Omar Sykes was a 22 year old senior at Howard University.  It was recounted in the brief biography of his life that he was a leader of Alpha Phi Omega and a founding member of the Noble Black Society.  His friends recalled him as outgoing and ready to greet them with a hug and smile.  I feel sorry for his Family.  Instead of preparing for the next stage of his life, they are preparing to bury him.

The neighborhood around Howard University is changing.  There was no diversity there when I was a student in the early 1980's.  I see young non-minority couples walking dogs there.  I see outdoor cafes on Rhode Island Avenue.  Progress should mean some improvement in the quality of life I thought.  I never subscribed to the thought of calling people in the immediate vicinity of Howard University 'block boys'.  I would have been called that if Howard was in South Philly.  It is still a dangerous neighborhood for today&…

Chicago is Hell on Earth

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Chicago is famous for a number of things American.  Deep dish pizza, eclectic night life, a downtown beach and cold winters.  Jean Baptiste Point du Sable is purported to be the founder of Chicago.  It is now known that he was of African descent.  Also, the Harold Washington Library, named after the first African American mayor of Chicago, is the largest municipal library in the country.  The one thing that scares me now is the amount f gun violence that Chicago is known for.  Over the course of the long July 4th weekend, over 70 people were shot with 11 fatalities.  While this is shocking to me, it barely registered a blip on the national news.
 At one time, Chicago was a haven for African Americans fleeing the South.  Martin Luther King set up shop in the city for a while in hopes of achieving racial equality.  He didn't stay long.  Also, Chicago became known for the squalor and misery associated with the Cabrini Green housing projects:
  At its peak, Cabrini–Green was home to 15,…

Mother Nature is Not On Our Side This Week

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I was at a concert last Monday night at Wiggins Park in Camden, NJ to see Point Blank.  The weather didn't cooperate and we decided to hang out in the parking lot and continue our party.  Rain and lightning forced the performers to abort their attempt to entertain.  It was the third Monday in a row that it rained in the Delaware Valley.  We spent money on tolls and parking and didn't lose too much.  I can imagine the families that scheduled vacations and do not get to enjoy the glorious sunshine.

I read with sadness this week that 19 elite firefighters died battling a fire in Prescott, Arizona.  Most of these men were between 21 and 43 years old.  Many of them had been socond generation firefighters and superior athletes.  It was reported in the New York Times that these hot dry summers are producing dangerous conditions in our Western states that are becoming the new normal.  In spite of their training, the changing direction of the fire proved too much for these 19 firefigh…