Showing posts from June, 2016

The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival Sizzled!!

The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival just wrapped up last night in Wilmington, DE.  Shawn and I have made it a point to stay at the Sheraton for the last two years.  We even got a chance to attend the Block Party after Kim Waters blew the crowd away last night.  I had last seen him play at Zanzibar Blue when he still had dreads.  I was actually on the elevator with his daughter when I was leaving the hotel.  Many of the performers at the show stayed at the Sheraton.  His daughter also played keyboard while accompanying her father on his final numbers.

The crowd at the event is always grown and sexy.  You can come out to this event and really relax and enjoy the blessings that life has bestowed upon you.  I wondered who Clifford Brown was to enjoy this kind of dedication by jazz fans.  He was only twenty-five years old when he and his wife died tragically in a car accident.  He played the trumpet and only left behind four years worth of recordings. I say 'only' but the size of th…

Michael Griffith: Rest in Peace

I was saddened to hear of the death of Michael Griffith on Monday of the past week.  I met Michael in 1977 while we were freshmen at Saint Joseph's Preparatory School.  He was a smooth student from West Philly who also played a musical instrument.  Mike and I did not have many classes together.  We hung out by way of the Black Culture Club and Prep parties.  Mike drove me home from a prom one night because he had access to a car and I was on SEPTA.  His wife was working at Cigna when my wife was working there.  He had two children.  He was a Temple University graduate. I hear that his daughter is a student at Princeton.  I know she is taking his loss hard.

When Mike was working at Price Waterhouse and I used to see him downtown occasionally.  He was a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity and I am quite sure that his fraternity brothers are shocked also.  Mike turned fifty-three in March and was living life to the fullest.  I admired the friendship that he had with Derrick Redcross.…

Massacre in Orlando: Frightening in Scope!!

I am still shocked at the scope of the slaughter that took place at The Pulse night club on Saturday in Orlando.  The killer, Omar Mateen, was able to kill 49 people and hold police at bay for almost three hours while he checked to see if people that he had already shot were dead.  Reports are coming out that he frequented the club and also visited gay male dating sites.  It was also reported on Good Morning America that his wife visited the club with him and went to make ammo purchases also.

I still don't understand why a regular civilian needs an AK-47 for any other reason than to slaughter people.  It is a weapon of mass destruction plain and simple.  To listen to Donald Trump though, a person who was partying that had a gun, would have averted this tragedy.  Let's just have shoot outs at clubs where patrons are supposed to be having a good time.  His response is so nonsensical as to be even considered.  President Obama had a really forceful response to his vitriol.

I am w…

Hillary Clinton Clinches: Congratulations!!

We are about to head into another era of firsts.  When Barak Obama won the Democratic Nomination for the Presidency eight years ago, many of us were so excited at the prospects of the first African American President serving in the White House.  The United States has a wicked history in regards to race relations.  People of African descent have had a hard time after enduring the horrors of slavery and segregation.  The Civil War stands out as one of the darkest periods in our history.  Southern states actually started a secession process rather than have the right to own slaves dictated to them.

Fast forward 150 years from that period and we are staring straight at the first woman nominee of a major political party in this country.  Women are fortunate in this country compared to what is happening around the world.  We have women doctors, lawyers, accountants, university presidents and authors.  Women do not have to wear hijabs or enter into rooms by separate entrances.  Genital muti…

Mr. Kenny Owens: Rest In Peace

I saw Mr. Kenny for the last time on Sunday.  We were celebrating the second of our Memorial Day cookouts.  He was sitting with Jamilla and Mom Wallace and was in good spirits.  I finally got the heart to challenge him to a game of pool.  He was a shark back in the day.  Mr. Kenny was my little Brothers Mike and Kenneth aka Skeet's Dad.  He lived a long life.  Mom Wallace always made sure that he had a plate.  I remember one time she had Big Ron, father of her oldest children, Mr. Kenny and Mr. Bob all sitting at the same table eating.  She is the  I will remember Mr. Kenny as a smooth guy who rarely raised his voice.  He was cared for by his sons until the end.  Rest in Peace Mr. Kenny.  It was good to see you before you transitioned. 

Prince and Michael Jackson: Did they Need Drugs?

This post might elicit some serious responses in the people that read articles on the Internet.  I was going back and forth with some folks about whether or not Bill Cosby would get a fair trial yesterday.  Someone actually told me that I should shut up because Bill Cosby was innocent and all of the women that accused him of sexual assault were gold diggers.  My belief is that Bill would have been okay if he would have kept his hands to himself.  There are women and men out there who charge for sexual pleasure.  Drugging women to advance your own weird libido, while supposedly happily married and representing the average Joe, is just plain wrong.

Getting high is a struggle for many people around the world today.  There is a strain of heroin going around that is causing deaths in Pennsylvania at a rapid rate.  I think of some of the famous movies involving drugs and the aftermath of their use and I cringe.  New Jack City, Scarface, Less than Zero, Pulp Fiction, The Basketball Diaries,…

The Chaka Fattah Trial: Riveting!!

Chaka Fattah was truly a success story in the rough and tumble arena of politics in Philadelphia.  His Mother, Falaka Fattah was the Founder of the House of Umoja.  This organization provided a refuge for the youth that were trying to escape the horrors of gang warfare in our city.  He was a State Senator and a State Representative for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  As he recounted in his campaign speeches, he bought millions to the 2nd Congressional District during his tenure in Congress.  In fact, he never faced any opposition after unseating Lucien Blackwell in 1995.  Dwight Evans unseated him in the recent primary and at this point in time, Congressman Fattah will have to forge another career path.

The FBI had been investigating Congressman Fattah ever since his failed mayoral bid back in 2007.  Congressman Fattah was renowned for his ground game.  In layman's terms, this represents the ability to get out street workers on the day of an election.  This is not done based o…