27 April, 2013

Free Verse

I am the one who leaps quietly through life
Jumping onto risks and hopping into love.
Exploding with ideas and blowing sheltered minds,
Leading with my lips and loving with my eyes...

10 April, 2013

Havana Heat

Photograph: news.com.au - Cuba's Cigar Sisterhood

A US married couple was recently caught in Havana after kidnapping there two young sons, ages II and IV,after fleeing Florida.
Details about the couple includes their names, Josh and Sharyn Hakken, and that charges include kidnapping, auto theft and child neglect -- federal and multiple state charges. After reading this story the first question that popped into my mind was "Why were they running?" and "What were they guilty of before they ran?".

Cuba's diplomacy was noted despite the following:
"The FBI estimates there are 70 fugitives from U.S. justice in Cuba, which is one of the reasons it remains on the U.S. list of countries that support state terrorism. Most of the American fugitives in Cuba have been there for decades and have ties to revolutionary movements or radical groups."

Photograph: Ramon Espinosa,Associated Press

Entertainers Beyonce and Jay-Z were under suspicion for a recent trip to Cuba but have been approved as "fully licensed and authorised" by the US Treasury Dept. Republican lawmakers had complained about the couple's recent trip, however officials are "preparing a statement on the musicians' Cuban holiday".

07 April, 2013

Julia Starring Diahann Carrollin in I'm Dreaming Of A Black Christmas 19...

Has America historically been groomed to use television and entertainment to deal with delicate issues such as race?

"Julia" (1968)

From: http://www.retrojunk.com/content/tv/5552/index/

"In 1968, Diahann Carroll became the first African American woman to have the lead in a hit TV show, starring as Julia Baker - widowed mother of six year old Corey. Julia moved to Los Angeles following her husband's death (he was a USAF pilot killed in Vietnam) and found a job at the medical office of Astrospace Industries, where her home, work and social life provided material for the series.

Julia lived in a modern integrated apartment building with her little boy, whose best friend was white kid Earl J Waggerdorn, one of their neighbors. Other characters in Julia's home life were Earl's dad Leonard, landlord Sol Cooper and mothers helper Carol Deering. At work, the middle class heroine had equally harmonious relations with her white employer, feisty and kind-hearted Doctor Morton Chegley, his wife Melba, fellow nurse Hannah Yarby and plant employee Eddie Edwards.

Romantic partners were however, strictly black. Paul Cameron was Julia's occasional boyfriend for the first two seasons and was replaced by Steve Bruce, a widower with a four year old daughter, Kim, during the series' final year.

There was initial controversy surrounding this non-traditional black role (she wasn't somebody's maid like most other characters) and black critics called the show a "cop out," claiming she did not accurately portray black women. Carroll said herself at the time; "I'm a black woman with a white image. I'm as close as they can get to having the best of both worlds. The audience can accept me in the same way, and for the same reason. I don't scare them".

Things eventually settled down and the show ran for three seasons and Julia became the highest-rated show on TV within a month of premiering. Ultimately the liberal white press and young militant blacks criticized and finally denounced the program as false and distorted. Diahann admits this show almost killed her. She was hospitalised twice for stress and weighed only 99 pounds. After three years, she asked to be released from her contract. "

Run Date: 1968-1971

After watching this I did think that her character's nature, specifically her sense of being oblivious to the obvious racial climate of the 1960's, specifically in the year of MLK's death, was surprisingly negligent in addressing her perceptions of the current day. But I can understand the producers of "Julia" straddling the line between crossing political and social boundaries of those days and portraying someone who breaks stereotypes and intentionally slaps bigotry in the face.

01 April, 2013

Word Up

I had some of my Gma's spiced cabbage and ribs today and listened to The City That Breeds. Dennis & Evan vent with cynicism and sarcasm about all the strategic political and economic threads that weave the charming American city known as Baltimore. I heard this word--haven't used it in a while. Sound it out and use it at work.