Sunday, April 22, 2012

Did you know Steve Cokely?

I know was supposed to do a piece this week on the Steve Harvey movie, “Act Like a Lady-Think Like a Man.” However, something way more pressing has happened and so I decided to place the movie review on hold until later to say goodbye to a real modern day revolutionary and a seeker of truth, Brotha Steve Cokely. It has been reported all over the internet that the man who earned the nick name, “Boule’ Buster” has died. He passed way on April 11th of congestive heart failure (allegedly).

I was introduced to Steve Cokely and his pursuit of the truth back in the day at Grambling State University when he was brought on to our campus with funds that were raised by the African-centered and conscious students and without the help of the SGA and any Black Greek organization on campus. It was then that my eyes were opened to what white supremacy is and what it was all about along with the actual hidden history and agenda of the Black Boule,’ (boo-lay) the history of the Rothschild family, and the long time agenda of the Trilateral Commission.  Steve Cokely was also the man who brought light to the actual plot and eventually the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King. He also provided video footage and names of the Black folks who played a major role in the murder of Dr. King like Jessie Jackson, Maxine Smith, Vernon Smith, and Reverend Samuel Billy Kyles.

This man traveled the country in fear of his life for years to deliver the message of truth to any black people who would listen. He was not rich. He was not a celebrity. He was a man who did the research, found the hidden truth, and attempted to share this research with all who would listen. I am so glad that I was one of those persons smart enough to have been enlightened by the brotha’s research. He stood on the shoulders of giants in his quest for knowledge such as Dr. Ben Jochanan, Ivan Van Sertima, Amos Wilson, Anthony Browder, etc. The Black community has a lost one of its best and the bravest researchers and scholars. I just wish that we as a community and as a race would embrace brothas and sistas who dare speak truth to power not only with our loving arms, but with our wallets and purses.

We don’t think twice about lovingly and financially supporting comedians who write silly books on relationships, athletes who push over priced tennis shoes, or homosexuals who design expensive (over charged) clothing lines and apparels. However, when it comes to a brother like a Steve Cokely who literally gave his life to doing the research and sharing it with us, we don’t seem to be as generous. As a matter of fact, we are get angry at men and women like him for telling us about the true nature of white folks and their supremacist psychology, the truth about the black church, the black fraternity, the black sorority, the negro preacher, or the so-called Talented 10th.

Yes. I whenever I went to hear Steve Cokely speak I bought a CD, a DVD, or both. I know it was hard to do what he did when he was alive. I know it continues to be difficult for many of our aging Afrikan-centered scholars who are still trying to teach black folks about who they are and what is needed to be done to save our lives under the system of White Supremacy. I salute you Ashra Kwesi, Dr. Raymond Winbush, Dr. Francess Cress Welsing, Dr. Joy Leary, Bro. Neely Fuller, M’Bwebe Ishangi and many others who are still in the fight.

I will end this by saying thank you, Bro. Steve Cokely for being there to help wake me up and to start me on the road to gaining more knowledge about the hidden truths when it comes to the society I was born into. You were not a conspiracy theorist as many have described your work to be. A theory can be debated. What you uncovered can never be debated. RIP Brotha!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The issues WE are having with Black Love is not a laughing matter, Steve Harvey.

The Steve Harvey best selling book, “Act Like a Lady-Think Like a Man,” has been made into a movie and it will be hitting the theaters on next weekend (April 20th) and I plan to be in a theater seat somewhere that night or maybe on Saturday night with or without a date. When I want to actually hear a movie and gain some understanding, I tend to go alone the first time. Anyway, I read the book about two years or so ago. I plan to re-read it before I go to see the movie. If anyone would like a copy of the entire book, I can email a copy to you as an attachment. Just email me at to make the request and I will get it right to you.

When I read the book in its entirety, I was left with the feeling of dejavu. I could have sworn that I had heard the messages in his book before, but with an actual spiritual and cultural connection to them. Then it hit me. Ahh! I had already been exposed knowledge-wise to the reasons why not only Black men and Black women, but the Black family in general has been torn apart and can’t seem to get it back together in this day and time. I remember reading the books by Anthony Browder, Dr. Francess Cress Welsing, Del Jones, Dr. Naim Akbar, Haki Madubuti, Dr. Ben Jochannan, Drs. Nathan and Julia Hare, Amos Wilson, Brother Neely Fuller, Dr. Joy Leary, The Slave Narratives, and even the Willie Lynch Letter. I have even been exposed to lectures by, Dr. Julia Hare, Dr. Joy Leary, Dr. Francess Cress-Welsing, Min. Louis Farrakhan, Ashra Kwesi , Dr. Raymond Winbush, Dr. Ben, and the list goes on and on.

Steve Harvey, a comedian, did not teach me anything that I did not already know about Black relationships and why WE as black people can’t seem to get it together. However, by him (not being) any of the great scholars of Afrikan/Afrikan-American culture and racism/white supremacy that I have been exposed to, he was able to get his message to the masses of our people with his comedic version of why so many Black women today (who say that they want to be in a committed relationship with a Black man) can’t seem to attract a Black man that wants to be committed to them personally and/or individually. I also walked away from the book knowing full well that even though Steve Harvey “broke it down” to the lowest common denominator, a lot of these so-called independent Black women still won’t get it. Simply put, too many Black women today think and act like men and less than a lady. They are too hardheaded and ego-driven like so many men today.

Personally, I have never met an actual good Black woman who does not already have a good Black man or is not already married to a good Black man. Everybody else must be claiming to be good Black women because it must be popular or designer to refer or describe one’s self as such. Anyway, after we have finished laughing next weekend about our obvious failure to communicate what we want in a relationship and how unrealistic we can be when we place certain expectations on others in order for them to be the perfect mate, maybe then we will go back to the days of when our grandparents dated, got married and raised healthy loving families. Maybe if more Black women today would stop listening to comedians and man-hating Black authors of biased relationship books and listen more to Afrikan scholars like Dr. Julia Hare, Dr. Joy Leary, Dr. Francess Cress Welsing, and Dr. Ben, maybe you will actually learn something not only about what makes Black men tick, but also learn something about yourselves as Black women. Hey, if this suggestion is ‘too black’ or ‘too deep’ for some of you, then how about asking your grandmother how she kept your grandfather for 40 years by “Thinking and Acting Like a WOMAN!”

After this weekend we should all make a vow not to allow or our racial struggles to be made into joke, by way of a bestselling book, news documentary on the major television networks and a movie at the theaters. After the movie next weekend, I will be open to any and all invitations to have a civilized discussion with men’s groups, women’s groups, singles’ groups, or combined groups in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. If your group is outside of the DFW area, we can talk about that too. Our relationships and/or lack thereof are no laughing matter.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

A Message to Black People: “Oprah wants to talk to you, now.”

Today is Easter and I am sure that some of you were waiting for my perspective on the mythical, pagan holiday that has nothing to do with Afrikans, Black folks in America, egg laying rabbits, and a supposed resurrection of a floating, blonde-haired, blued-eyed magician with the Spanish name, Jesus (Hay-soos). Not this year. I figured that in 2012, if people are still believing and celebrating this foolishness the same way it was presented to us by folks who don’t love us and who don’t look like us, my talking about it today would only be in vain. So, to all of the adults in 2012 that still believe in this Greek mythology and you are still passing this insanity on to your children, Happy Easter! May the Creator (God) one day touch your brain with wisdom, knowledge, and some common damn sense. At least point you in the direction of a library.

Ok. Now on to Oprah and her sudden change of heart about Black people. I was driving to work about a couple of weeks ago with the radio on full blast. I was doing my usual channel switching from The Rickey Smiley Morning to the Tom Joyner Morning Show, to the Steve Harvey Morning and on to a rap station, a pop station, and then an AM soul/talk station. Well, during one of my final switches to the Steve Harvey Show, I got the biggest surprise of the morning. Oprah Winfrey was being interviewed on his show. I damned near pulled over to the side of the road in shock. I could not believe what I was hearing. I remember saying to myself, “Oprah Winfrey on a black formatted radio show?” “Really?” She was on there juststa yackin’ it up as if she had always frequented a black formatted radio show. I mean, she used her very contrived, concocted little black vernacular and everything. She even used this interview to voice her thoughts on the Trayvon Martin case, which has been rebroadcasted all over the country and maybe the world. That was certainly a good look for Steve Harvey’s morning show. I guess after she hits up the rest of the Black formatted radio shows, it’s off to BET’s 106 & Park.

Prior to Oprah’s visit to the Steve Harvey Morning Show, I had heard on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the news of her OWN network not meeting the projected expectations when she signed the deal to buy the cable channel from the previous owners of the Discovery Channel. Meaning, the OWN channel was not getting the projected viewer numbers/ratings she and her partners were hoping for. After, I heard it on the Tom Joyner Show, I saw an article on the internet that spoke more into detail about what’s really going on at the OWN network. Let me say this. When Oprah debuted the OWN channel last year with the line-up of shows that she presented, I knew damned well that she was not targeting people who looked like me. There were so few Black faces on her network that it looked like her canceled talk show.

For 25 years, Oprah made sure that her talk show catered to a particular group of people which mainly consisted of  average, unattractive, white females and some ‘sistas’ that felt the need to tag along. Since she ended her show, it seems that this demographic has abandoned her. I guess they were cool with Oprah as long as she concentrated her talk show on making them feel pretty and secure. However, when Oprah decided to flex her media and economic muscles a little more, not only did these homely white women take notice, America took notice. You see. Racism these days can be quiet and can be very loud. Oprah was safe and cool when she only had her talk show and the "approved formula" she used every day. It was even ok for to amass a billion dollar fortune as long as she kept up the formula. But, when Oprah decided to test the formula and even push the envelope just a little bit under the guise of the so-called American dream, it looks like the demographic she catered to so lovingly and strategically as well as the rest of America, quietly stepped back and you have not heard a word from them since she purchased the network. To make her situation worse, she had the audacity to flaunt her success in their faces by calling the network OWN. Can I take you all on a little history journey for a minute? WE (Black folks) were not brought here to be owners. We were brought here to work and be humble servants under the system of white supremacy. Get it?

When you start off working to appease white supremacy, white superiority in order gain economic, religious, political success, you leave behind all that you are which includes your race and your Afrikan-ness. Yes. She looks Black, but that’s it. Oprah understood what it took and how to get that level of success under white supremacy. She understood that what she saw in the mirror (A black woman) could not mirror any philosophy that may spew from her mouth. Oprah, like so many other Blacks today and the ones that came before her that desired that level of economic success, signed willingly in blood on the dotted line. So, Oprah for years, acted like the most conservative republican when it came to Black folks. She, just like the conservative republican, took the black dollar and existence of Black people for granted. So, now that she has seemingly been abandoned by the people she catered to for so many years, she is making her way back ‘ home’ to save her fledgling network. Guess what. We are going to be more than happy to save a wretch like her. WE are just a forgiving people that way. Well, sometimes we take the forgiving part of us too far like in the R. Kelly case. What’s really going on?

I find it to be so ironic that when Oprah had to finally make budget cuts at her network by firing a lot of those whites and Jews she had working for her as executives as well as cancel a lot of the white programs including the Rosie O’Donnell Show, one of the only shows that stood on its own and continues to get great ratings for the OWN network is a black reality show that features a family that owns soul food restaurant called “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s.” So, Oprah will be having Bishop T.D. Jakes on her network tonight as she continues on her campaign to woo Black people to her network. Hmmm, this ass kissing that she is currently doing to get us to tune in to her network may actually yield some positive results for us. Hey Oprah, you think you can build and fund a few private African-centered leadership academies/schools for Black males in Memphis, Dallas, Chicago, and Newark? How about some media exposure on a monthly basis for some of the fledgling historically black colleges and universities?

There is a lesson to be learned in this whole Oprah running back home to the Black community to save her ass. If you stayed true to who you are in the very beginning, you won’t ever have to become fake or feel that you have to cater completely to white folks for whatever your desired success is in this country, therefore loosing yourself and your connection with your people in the process. I guess if you never had or were never educated on the knowledge of your Afrikan self in the first place, trading or selling off your semblance of Blackness becomes an easy and one might say a natural process.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

The Grieving Process: I am concern about how Black men handle this.

It has been 16 years since I graduated from Grambling State University with a masters degree in social work with a concentration in health and mental health. In these many years, I have worked in various capacities. I have worked in group homes, a foster care agency, in an in-patient residential substance abuse program as well as out-patient mental health agencies. I have worked as an alcohol and drug counselor and a mental health therapist. I have even worked as a family counselor. My social work degree has taken me all over the place I guess. I mentioned all of this because the one area of my professional experience that I deem most important and even most valuable is whenever I got the chance to work exclusively with Black men and Black boys, which was very and still is very rare. I always felt that I needed to be where this population is, but without having to go into the prisons or juvenile lock-ups. I have issues with going to those places to try to reach what I perceive as the unreachable.

Anyway, I am always concerned about the mental health of Black men and Black boys. I am concerned about black women and girls as well. As a matter of fact, I currently work in an in-patient residential program that only services women with mental as well as substance addiction issues. It is often referred to as having a co-occurring disorder or being dually diagnosed. Even though I go to work every day and give the women all that I have professionally in my psycho-education groups, I can’t help be feel as if I should also be somewhere else sharing this much needed knowledge to Black men who may not be getting this elsewhere. Also, mental health services are not made as available to Black men as it is to women. Moreover, a lot of Black boys are raised to believe that counseling is a cuss word or that counseling is for crazy people. To many black males going to counseling for grief/loss and anger is not a very manly thing to do, therefore counseling is not an option for helping in the grieving process and anger is something they can control on their own.

In the past three weeks, I have had two personal friends of mine in Memphis to suffer tremendous losses. One of the friends lost his mother to cancer two weeks ago. My other friend lost his one and only brother to Lou Gehrig’s disease. Today, another friend of mine who lives in Houston is trying to make sense out of the death of a very close friend of his. He is really heartbroken over the loss. So far, he is doing very well. He is reaching out and allowing others to help him during this grieving process. I was glad that I was able to be there for both of my friends in Memphis, with all that I know about grief and loss, to help them through the grieving process. Not only help them, but to give them a healthier way to view the grief and loss of a loved one. Y’all, Black men do cry when they are sad. Our hearts hurt when we lose a loved one to violence or a deadly disease.

These are two Black men that I was able to reach on a personal level. I am often concerned about the ones I can’t reach because so many are “not into” counseling to get past grief and loss, anger, rejection/abandonment issues, or depression. So, as of last Friday, I mailed off a form to the office of the Secretary of State here in Texas to form a non-profit organization that will allow me to focus on the mental health of Black and minority males. I would like offer free counseling sessions to Black men and boys who may not feel comfortable with sharing their feelings and issues with a female counselor or counselors of another race/ethnicity.

When I am facilitating psycho education groups at work on grief and loss, I tell the women this:

“We need to change the way we view death. Death is a part of living.” As surely as we are living, we are going to die. In the case of losing a loved one, it is perfectly ok to feel sadness, anger, disbelief, and even denial. These are phases in the grieving process. The key to it all is to allow the process to take its natural course so you can move on with your life. I am not saying that it will be an easy process, but it is a process that you must allow to take its course. You see. Many of us take death and the grieving process to the extreme. Meaning, we shut down. We stop taking care of ourselves. We stop going to work knowing damn well we need our jobs to pay our bills. Some of us even stop caring for our children if we have them. Many of us just stop living all together.

It is time out for these same old traditional reactions to people who die in our lives. For example, when a loved one passes, that does not mean my going out and drinking a gallon of liquor, smoking a blunt or hitting a crack pipe because the emotions are too overwhelming or you feel as if you are paying tribute somehow to the deceased by possibly killing yourself or ruining your life. That is not the way to pay tribute to the deceased. You pay tribute to the diseased by carrying on with your life and doing what they would have wanted you to do. Usually this means having a good life and being happy. I have yet to read or hear where the last words of a deceased loved one was, “Go out and fuck life you life up in remembrance of me.”

So, the way we can best handle this is to remember the fun times and loving times you had before the person died. If the last words that you spoke to the person were not so loving, still remember the good times. The death itself is not for you. The death itself is for person who dies. The memories are for you. The times you spent together are for you. The plans if any that you had for the deceased are now your plans to carry out if you choose to do so with the warm memories of the person in your life who has died. You see. Someone dying in our lives is suppose to be used to not only teach us, but also remind us of how precious living is and how important it is not to waste a single day of living. It teaches us that being able wake up every day to improve our lives and make a positive impact on the lives of others is a blessing in itself. If the person who has died in your life has positively impacted your life so much that you find yourself in so much grief, you were really one of the blessed ones because the happiness that awaits you upon the ending of your grieving process is going to be so wonderful that you will find yourself smiling and wondering to yourself, “Damn. Why didn’t I get to this place sooner?”"