Sunday, January 15, 2006

Remembering A King - January 16, 1929 - April 4, 1968

Monday, January 16, 2006, marks the 77th birthday of one of our greatest Civil Rights leaders of the 20th century. Yet for all of the struggles Dr. King and others endured so that Blacks could partake in the same liberties as Whites, I wonder what Dr. King would think about the present state of this Union.

I can picture Dr. King shaking his head at the manner in which the leader of our great country was chosen. I can also picture Dr. King heavy laden with grief at this senseless war our brothers, son, daughters, fathers and mothers are dying in. A war that seems to not have an end in sight.

I imagine Dr. King's head hanging very low in shame about being an American, yet see so many Americans perish needlessly during the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina. I wonder if Dr. King would have been able to stand how our government took its time in coming to the aid of these dying people with basic neccesities of food and water after being abandoned for days on end after Hurricane Katrina struck.

Would Dr. King be surprised to see that in 2006, racial discrimination is as prevelant, if not more prevelant than in the 1950s and 60s? Would he be shocked to see that Blacks are still targeted for racial profiling, although now its hidden under the guise of 'national security'? Would it be a surprise to Dr. King that much of the Black population in America is still living below poverty level? What would Dr. King say knowing that we have an African American woman holding one of the highest political offices in this free country who think Blacks have made tremendous stride in the fight for justice and equality?

My heart is burdened as I try to imagine Dr. King's reaction. I dedicate this poem to America to indicate my feelings on the state of this country, the great US of A!


I pledge allegiance to myself,

Because I can’t depend on no one else.

In these divided States of America,

Things for us just aren’t getting any better.

Just look at the last presidential election,

America is declining, and there is no self reflection.

And to the Democracy for which it is suppose to stand,

It’s a high stakes game becoming harder to understand.

Look at the fighting and turmoil around the world,

Many divided nations under one God, all on the same soil.

A nation that’s suppose to be indivisible but 9-11 proved otherwise to us,

We’re a nation of many with plenty of unjust.

As far as our Liberties, what liberties I ask,

Ain’t none for us, although we’ve paid for it with the sweat off our backs.

Some say we’re not worthy it only applies to their race,

They’ve put themselves well ahead of the game at a steady pace.

Justice, well break it down slowly,

Just-us, they mean and hold us lowly.

Plenty of injustices, just look at the past several hundred years,

And the future looks no brighter, strengthening our fears.

If we, Black people don’t learn to pull together,

Learn to love and support one another.

Won’t be nothing left for us to pass on,

Only more injustices and less opportunity, as we moan.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King! Something tells me that if you were here today, this day would not be such a happy occasion for many reasons.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Happy Birthday to Arcadia "Grace" Woods Alexander, My Mom

January 12, 1932 - August 28, 1994

Today is my mom's 74th birthday and instead of celebrating in the usual birthday way, I celebreated it by reflecting on some of the wisdom my mom passed on down to me and my siblings. It was a day of reflection because my mom is no longer here with us. She passed away suddenly on Sunday, August 28, 1994. So, here's to you mom:

1. My mom constantly told her girls, "NEVER, EVER let women friends hang in our homes. If you do, she said, before you know it they'll be in and you'll be out." I've seen it happen a time too many to know mom was on target with this advice.

2. Whenever she didn't like how we acted with her or my siblings, she'd say, "Y'all are gonna miss me when I'm gone. Y'all are gonna be searching for me in the daytime with a flashlight." Boy how right she was there. I think if I owned stock in a battery company, I'd be rich because my flashlight is contantly on, searching for her.

3. "Some secrets you take to your grave." Mom didn't believe in kissing and telling. She said, "If you're gonna be woman or man enough to do it, then be woman or man enough and keep your mouth shut." I've seen too many times when the truth got someone mamed for life or killed.

4. "If you're gonna do something, you don't need company to do it with. Your so-called friend will turn on you in a New York minute and will tell all your secrets in a hot second." I've often seen this unfold too many times as well.

5. I always smile at this one. Mom said, "Never let a man know everything you got (money). Always, always keep a stash for hard times. You never know when you need that stash to make a fresh start."

These are just a few of the wise things my mom passed down to me under the guise of 'advice'. I don't know about you, but I considered my mom to be a very wise woman then, as I still do today as she is still guiding me in the decisions I make. She may not be here physically, but she is ever so present in my heart and if I listen closely, I hear her speaking to me.

I think my mom would be proud of the accomplishments I've made, particularly with my writing. She'd be equally proud that I'll be passing down all of her wisdom to my soon-to-be 7-year-old daughter, Alexis.

Happy 74th Birthday momma. I miss you like crazy!

Your loving daughter, Vanessa

P. S. The above pic is of my dad, my mom and one of my brother's Dwight for his graduation.