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Showing posts from 2017

The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival was Awesome

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Shawn and I just returned from the 29th Annual Clifford Brown Jazz Festival.  It was a quick two day vacation to Wilmington, DE.  I know Wilmington might not be the destination of choice for many, but it was been decent respite for us the last few years.  Donnell and Mona stayed also.  We hooked up with them for breakfast on Saturday and this morning.  We then had a couple of mimosas before heading back to the regular routine.  I bought Mom Bell some chicken for dinner and picked up a few prescriptions.  I am settling in for Power as I blog.

On Friday we caught the last few sets of the High and Mighty Jazz Band.  They were pretty good.  We then were treated to the first Harmonica playing headliner that I had ever witnessed.  Frederic Yonnet was a great performer.  He got into the music and had the audience swaying along.  He is originally from France and you could tell from his accent.  He communicated very well in English though.  The headliner of Friday night was Marcia Ambrosius. …

Helen V. Boggs: Rest In Peace

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Helen V. Boggs transitioned to be with the Lord on May 22nd, 2017.  It was a Monday morning early.  Her two precious daughters, Kia and Leah, were by her side.  They had the closest bond ever.  Mom Helen had fought a good fight against a terrible illness.  Kia moved her in about a year ago.  She sacrificed time at work to provide the type of care that people pay thousands for.  She has joined Bubbie in heaven and they are probably praying for us now.

I first met Mom Helen when I was 15 years old.  I am now 53 years old.  I had known her almost 40 years.  I loved hanging around Bubbie's.  It was a house full of beautiful women who all had immense talent.  Bubbie was my idol in terms of community development.  She wasn't taking no for an answer when it came to how African Americans should be perceived in our community.  She blazed a path for her children.  I am so glad that she adopted me into the Family.

Mom Helen was an awesome cook.  Her mussels were to die for.  She also ap…

100 Days In the Reign of Trump: Frenetic Falsehoods Abound

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President Trump celebrated 100 days in office yesterday in Harrisburg, PA.  The Commonwealth of PA was key to his victory in the 2016 Presidential election.  He deserved to bask in the glow of his flurry of Executive Orders and measly legislative achievements.  He has signed over 30 Executive Orders.  He was able to get Neil Gorsuch confirmed as a Supreme Court justice after the nuclear option was utilized by the Republican controlled Senate to lower the threshold for a Justice to be nominated to 51 votes from the former 60.  After Gorsuch, it has been mostly tough going for the President.

He has falsely claimed that massive voter fraud kept him from winning the popular vote against Hillary Clinton.  He also falsely claimed that he actually had the largest electoral college margin in recent history. In fact, Donald Trump lost the popular vote in November's presidential election by a larger margin than any other president in U.S. history.  Imagine that.  He also falsely claimed th…

In Search of Jesus Created Many Questions

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I had some hesitancy when it came to watchin 'In Search of Jesus' on CNN.  Sometimes, historical dramas leave out the true representation of the participants of the actual stories being portrayed.  One of my all time favorite Easter movies, the Ten Commandments, had very few people of color that played important roles.  Even Yul Brynner, who played Pharoah, was really a Russian born actor.  Charlton Heston, who portrayed Moses, was an American born actor who was playing a sun burnt Israeli slave. 

It is important for me to understand that the Passover which occurred when the Angel of Death spared the Israelites who placed the Blood of the Lamb over their doorways was a direct foreshadowing of the Life and Death of Jesus Christ.  As we have just finished the Easter Weekend, according to Biblical tradition, Jesus still appeared intermittently to his follower for forty days before ascending permanently into heaven.  We as Christians await his triumphant return one day.  We just…

Happy 75th Birthday William Holmes

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On Sunday I was blessed to be able to attend two events that added to the quality of my life.  I started off the day with Shawn at a 480 East concert.  It was one of the last events of the 2017 Berks Jazz Festival.  It was a beautiful day in Reading, PA.  The day before I had participated in the Philly Spring Clean Up for the 7th time.  Steve Ferguson and I helped to pick up 25 bags of trash just from the intersection of 15th Street between Washington Avenue and Alter Street.  It was an area that had been long neglected.  That Saturday night, Shawn and I went to Appleby's and enjoyed a leisurely dinner together.  Thank God for the Blessing in my life.

We had missed the Berks Jazz Festival for about three years.  Financially tough times dictated a belt tightening that precluded many events that we were used to.  This made me appreciate my life long friendships even more.  William Holmes counts among those Friends.  When I worked at the Redevelopment Authority, some of the Homeys w…

Tragedies in Peru and Colombia are Overshadowed by Trump News

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I read with pain that over 250 people have been killed by mudslides in Colombia over this past weekend.  I was reading with some ambivalence about the growth of the legal marijuana industry in Colombia recently.  This country had scene a brutal drug war take place for years.  Between 1993 and 1999 Colombia became the main producer of coca in the world along with cocaine and one of the major exporters of heroin.  Pablo Escobar and the Medellin Cartel were world renowned he he was considered the richest drug lord in the world.  At the height of its power, the cartel bought in more than $60 million a day.  I am still astounded as to what fueled this industry and its devastating effects.

Both of these countries are struggling to bury dead bodies and to house the homeless.  I have not heard a response from Donald Trump.  I read recently that our one time strong ally, Mexico, is looking for new trade partners because of the rhetoric of our bombastic President.  What do you do when the hous…

Dawn Staley: Congratulations!!

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I watched the University of South Carolina win the Women's NCAA Championship in basketball yesterday.  It was a decent game in terms of back and forth action.  A'ja Wilson pressed the action most of the game.  I love left handed players that perform on the world stage.  I can remember Jack Givens from Kentucky putting on a show almost forty years ago.  I also remember Wayman Tisdale from Oklahoma putting on a show in the finals.  He has since transitioned on to heaven after an impressive pro career and making an impact as a Musician.  Woman lefties have been few and far between. 

I had been watching Dawn Staley both play and coach for numerous years.  She was an All-American at Murrell Dobbins Technical High School and was named Player of the Year.  She attended the University of Virginia and led her team to four NCAA tournaments and three final fours.  She was the National Player of the Year in 1991 and 1992.  She stands all of 5'5".  She was a dynamo and made our …

Happy 85th Birthday Mary Elizabeth Hudson Bell

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Last Sunday my Mother was blessed to turn 85 years old.  She was born in 1932 in Ridgeway, South Carolina.  Times were very different then.  Much of the debate at that time was over the causes and possible remedies to the Great Depression.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected and began to build a program know as the New Deal to help restore confidence in the U.S. economy.  www.igalegroup.com reported that in 1933, nearly one thousand local governments had defaulted on debt payments and that nearly four hundred charities had disappeared in New York.  The safety net that many of us rely on in times of trouble was shredded.  My Mother grew up in a wooden house with no street lights in an area that was still hostile towards people of color.

I dropped my Mom off at church this morning.  She has to be one of the most loyal members of Saint Rita's ever.  She reads Scripture on many Sundays and also attends Bible study.  She was lamenting some of the struggles that sh has communi…

The Russia Connection is Interesting!!

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The biggest thing that I remember as a younger American was the threat of a Russian missile attack.  President Ronald Reagan had created a system that would sort of encapsulate the U.S. against any attacks that would come from our formidable adversary.  Many history buffs can recall the stories of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin.  These were iron fisted rulers who sharpened the tools of a nation that was bent on world power.  They were also a state where totalitarian rule was in effect.  I have read novels where there was no privacy and all conversations could be subject to official eavesdropping.  In spite of some of the misinformation that I might have received, Russians are probably not all that different than Americans.

I have more memories of Mikhail Gorbachev than any other Russian leader.  The Russians were in a prolonged war with Afghanistan in the mid to late eighties.  They had to wind up leaving with their tail between their legs.  We are in Afghanistan now and I wonder w…

Milo Yiannopoulos: Really!!

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This young man just made news for suggesting that sexual relations between grown men and boys can be liberating for the boys.  He was referring to boys as young as thirteen.  Maybe he did not realize that one cannot legally consent to sex at this age.  He is from England.  Maybe he did not realize that this is called rape in the United States.  He cannot comprehend the agony caused by Catholic priests who couldn't keep their hands to themselves and abused thousands of young boys.  Also, he could have researched the story of Jerry Sandusky of Second Mile fame.  This man is serving a jail sentence now due to his affinity for taking boys home and having his way with them.  Sickening.

Milo was a former editor for Breitbart News.  This is a far right American news and commentary website.  It was originally founded as a website by Andrew Breitbart that was pro-Israel and pro-freedom.  I wonder what their opinions are now with the sudden surge of anti-Semitic attacks that are occurring …

I hope the 36th Ward can now exceed expectations!

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We have had a tumultuous last few years in the 36th Ward of the Democratic Party in Philadelphia.  The need for an engaged ward is more crucial now that Republicans have taken over the Presidency, House and Senate on a national level.  The jobs of committee persons are to help get out the vote, circulate petitions and ensure fair and equitable elections.  In spite of one person's claim of massive voter fraud, we work to ensure that only registered voters participate in the system.

Anna Verna had been our ward leader for almost thirty years.  I actually put my hat into the ring to try to run for the ward leader position at the reorganization meeting in June 2014.  It was a rude awakening to the entrenched role that she played in many committee persons lives.  I never got a chance to call for a roll call vote as the anger in the room was more than palpable.  Charlie Bernard, of the City Democratic Committee, sat at the front and never introduced himself to the crowd.  Anna was reel…