"Free and critical minds can emerge only by a return to the source-the primary sources. A free and critical mind takes nothing for granted and is not intimidated by "authorities" who frequently may be more confused than the general public. Free and critical minds seek truth without chauvinism or shame." - Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1)



“One single bit of information, if missing, incomplete, out of order or just plain wrong, has the potential to significantly alter thought processes, conclusions, decisions and behaviors, even when that one single logic entry exists in a sea of accuracy.”


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mad At Myself: Personal Growth On Pause?


To heck with personal growth. I am so mad I am beside myself. I've been mad since the Bradley sisters went missing. I'm mad about the events between the discovery of Darnell Donerson and Jason Hudson to the discovery of Julian King's body. These events should have led to a quicker discovery of that SUV. I am mad at myself for not doing anything in 2001 and not doing anything most recently.

I'm mad at the Chicago Police Department, Cook County Sheriff, State Police and the FBI. I'm mad at the Illinois Department of Corrections for not revoking that idiot's parole. I'm mad at cracks where important things seem to fall. I'm mad at that woman who saw the suspect vehicle two days before calling police. I mad at everyone else in that neighborhood who thought nothing of a vehicle fitting the description right down to the license plate. I'm mad at the media who made it easy for people to focus on Jennifer Hudson more than finding Julian King. I'm mad at the media for not stressing to people, while they were being mesmerized and hypnotized by the late-breaking and updating news reports, to stop right now and go out into your neighborhoods. The media has this reach and this power. They need to use it for our children's sake. I'm mad for needing to be told what to do.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems reasonable that a search would be performed in the area where the suspect was apprehended. So why wasn't it and why were the police only concentrating on the east side? I'm mad at law enforcement for lying about why they didn't search the area near Balfour's girlfriend's residence. That woman's dog was the only one who seemed to show any sense of awareness.

What could I have done? I could have taken personal responsibility. The difference between ourselves and anyone else's disaster is less than an arm length and less that a moment's worth of time. We cannot sit around and wait for the police to find our children. I could have looked outside my window, stood on my sidewalk, walked my block and drove around my neighborhood. I could have asked others to help. It doesn't always take going out with a stick into the bushes, woods and rivers.

We are a pitiful bunch of detached, television-trained spectators waiting for real-life drama to unfold. We watch it, read about it , talk about it, Google it, gawk at it and in between, we go on as though everything is normal. We're somehow able to sleep, get up, go to work, go to church and repeat the cold cycle. The things we express as sentiments put our actions to shame.

The Red Cross comes for fire and natural disasters. Who comes when the disaster of a missing child strikes our neighborhood? Why can't we have the national guard come in and help perform searches?

In memory of Julian King and all murdered children. In hope of Diamond Bradley, Tionda Bradley and children still missing. It is your pain that matters, not ours. What we do in your defense and to bring you home is who we really are.

References: Chicago Tribune, Fox News and Chicago Sun-Times.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Book Review & Recommendation


Title: Eloquence: Rhythm & Renaissance

Author: Usiku

Genre: Poetry, prose poetry, short stories

Pages: 103


Usiku's work is magnificently written. He has an amazing mastery of the English language and his nature imagery is especially breathtaking. The poems and stories cover wide-ranging human universal themes such as love, religion, nature and family, and are each boldly presented in a genuine, powerful African-American voice.


His book is divided into eight sections, each with its own broad theme. The short works range in length from poems of just a few lines to stories a few pages long. Some works are humorous while others will bring tears to your eyes. Even where his perspective and my own differ, I always found his words to be both passionate and thought-provoking.


These poems linger in your mind long after you put the book down. His are the sort of images that drift back into your mind days, even weeks later, when you least expect it, forming new connections in your spirit.


Some of my personal favorites are: "To: Natural, My Love," (a poem on the beauty of natural African curls), "Darkness Wings," "Buffalo Creek Crossing," "Why We Need Peach Trees & Kids," "Basic Needs & the 'N' Word," and the humorously, yet truthfully shocking "Some Dreams Seem So Real..."


Usiku's words reclaim, embrace and proclaim the beauty, power and dignity of the Black experience, and in so doing, reveal a deep and moving power to love and heal.


D. Ash, Editor of Expanded Horizons


Originally posted on Bookshare on Livejournal



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Sunday, October 19, 2008

21 Scares: Poetry like Halloween


Perhaps it's just this poetry that's scary. It might be the scariest ever!


1. Poetry is for smart people, witches and warlocks.
2. The cover is beautiful but haunts me.
3. It melts in your spirit not in your mind.
4. Scares the bejeebies out of convention.
5. It contains batty ideas and romantic apparitions.
6. It creeps into secret discontentment.
7. It will suck the life right into ya.
8. Only includes mental pictures.
9. Discussing poetry is spooky.
10. No OPP stamp of approval.
11. Cursed by High Priestess, Nikki Giovanni.
12. Not hyped by a hypnotist with a cauldron.
13. The Great Pumpkin remains silent on poetry.
14. It encourages facing fear and the unknown.
15. Sensory overload may rattle your bones.
16. Sometimes it rhymes sometimes it doesn't.
17. There's no music just eclectic rhythm.
18. It's full of mirrors and bright lights.
19. It causes thinking, becoming, connecting.
20. Personal growth is too much work.
21. What's an Usiku?


Trick or Treat! and Happy Horrid Halloween!

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness Poem



October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


I & WE ARE STRONG by Usiku

I have breast cancer
she said to the world
courageously sharing private pain
voice breaking at the meaning and sound
another step further on uncertain ground
another gift of service to tell us
you can feel fine and still have cancer
early detection is the answer.


I feel strong
I feel strong
as tears pool and spill gracefully
sometimes emotions build suddenly
then she shaved her head
fists raised making triumph her own
singing this beautiful affirming song
I am not my hair
but what works for you
is your choice alone.


I realize I could die
from this cancer in my breast
but I also recognize
everyone's journey includes some test
making it through months of treatment
with music, laughter and silence
and especially faith, family and friends
allowing her inner beauty to ascend.


I am in control
healthier now
and much more life aware
hoping to help someone somewhere
continuing onward in this new beginning
honoring lives taken and touched by cancer
remembering the important things
because life is good
and I am strong
because we are strong.

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Related:
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Crime Defense 101: Inherent Rights - Doing The Right Thing

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Evil Eye Education


Back to school time is over. All students, teachers and administrators should be settled in. Even so, there's still one more thing to address after the initial paperwork push: an Evil Eye Education.

Since educators swear by the importance of parental involvement, before any schoolchild has a chance to not do the right thing, a note should be included in the first school communication.
Parents and educational partners, please make sure your child receives their required Evil Eye Education each week. This is just as important as ensuring your child eats breakfast, gets sleep, has school supplies and does homework. We can reinforce your evil eye but cannot establish it. An Evil Eye Education begins at home. Please purchase a bumper sticker to show solidarity. They can be personalized.

What is an Evil Eye Education? A parental look that teaches a child to stop or not engage in inappropriate behavior without the parent saying a word. It is based on the ancient art of craziness. Your child must think, believe and know you will do anything at any moment no matter where you are and with whatever resources are available.

It is supported with follow-through and consequences that should be developed in stages. This is why it's important to start young enough, at the onset of the terrible twos, so they won't remember exactly what makes you crazy, but will remember that something ain't right with you when they act out.

Once the evil eye is properly established, it allows you to continue doing what you were doing and at the same time, communicate with your child, secretly. When you're not around a well-established evil eye becomes a hologram that haunts helps your child make good decisions. They no longer ask what would Jesus do? They ask, what won't daddy and mommy do?

An Evil Eye Education is a weapon of wisdom and love. It is a global parental language. Properly placed, it protects children by extending the look's power to neighbors, teachers and adults everywhere. Big Brother watching is a joke compared to the evil eye.

To ensure students get the most from their formal education, each parent should be required to present certification they are an Evil Eye Expert before enrolling their child in school. Why not? We need licenses for everything, except parenting.

Evil eyes, a back hand or two and an old funky floppy house shoe laid the foundation for learning and helped develop my peripheral vision. All great football running backs and anyone under the constant threat of getting hit upside the head know what I'm talking about. If the Evil Eye doesn't work for some children, there's always the Fear of God. I am all the better or messed up because I had both.

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Reminder: The Evil Eye is a silent weapon based on telepathy and the fact it leaves no evidence of intent or threat. Just focus your thoughts, stare and your child will look at you. Then slowly shake your head or motion them to come here. If you mouth words, they will mouth back, “What?” likely causing you to go remedial - a place where education is truly in the eye of the beholder.