“In our obscurity–in all this vastness–there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us.”
“In our obscurity–in all this vastness–there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us.”
“It is by presence of mind in untried emergencies that the native metal of a man is tested.” –James Lowell
My wife and I had our first conflict right after our wonderful honeymoon in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It was the middle of August and only two weeks after we returned from Jamaica that my wife did something that almost cost our marriage. I had just returned home from a four day business trip in San Francisco when my wife informed me she had moved in a troubled sixteen-year old girl to stay with us until her mother got out of jail. My wife is a high school teacher and sometimes she gets in over her head and this situation almost ruined our marriage. I told my wife this was not acceptable and she would have to find another solution for this troubled teenager. My wife pleaded with me to let the girl stay with us for a couple of weeks. I reminded my wife two weeks will only be two weeks.
I was never so angry with my wife and to make matters worse, I had a bad feeling in my gut something bad was going to happen before the two weeks ended. One day after I returned home from the gym I saw my wife sitting on the front porch of our home crying and the front door was wide open. My wife was even shaking…she was really having a tough time processing what just happened. I was informed by my wife someone just broke into our home and took all of our valuable jewelry. My heart dropped into my stomach!
$40,000 worth of jewelry gone just like that? It didn’t take long to discover the girl my wife moved in to stay with us was in on the the heist. I went into a deep depression my Rolex watch was a gift from my dad for my 21st birthday; a year later my father would die from a heart attack. That watch meant the world to me and now I will forever be without it. The violation of someone breaking into your home and stealing your most cherished items is a vexation that keeps one awake at night. For the next four weeks my wife and I did not sleep in the same bed. I was upset with her and I wanted her to know it, no sex, no honey I love you, no kissing, no hugging, I just shut down and fell into a deep depression.
One morning I awoke early and I decided I would go four a five mile walk; I needed to breathe and really think about the important things of life. How would I resolve this crack in my marriage? Did I still want to be married? All of these questions needed to be answered, by me. Two hours into my walk I looked at my watch and I thought about all the good times my wife and I shared together. Did I really want to throw in the towel? I had not had sex with her since the theft four weeks ago. Could I ever forgive her for what happened? I lit a cigarette and pulled the smoke deep into my lungs, held it then exhaled and watched the smoke exit my nostrils like blue ghost of smoke. As I was walking back home a police car, then an ambulance raced past me lights flashing and siren blaring. When I turned onto my street I saw several police gathered around the body of a young white man who I had spoken to earlier before I went for my walk. I saw this young man just standing in the driveway next to my home. I’d never seen him before this morning. We spoke to each other and he smiled at me and I smiled back at him. Now there lay his motionless body on the ground. I was stunned!
Another police car pulled up and one of the officer’s placed a white sheet over the dead body. I walked slowly onto my porch and stood at the front door. I felt transfixed, it was like this whole scene was just a dream I would soon wake up from. I stuck my key in the door gingerly and turned the bolt. The house was cool and I could hear the faint hum of the air conditioning. I tip toed into the bedroom where my wife was still asleep. I removed my pants and shirt and climbed in the bed next to her. I put my arm around her.
Her body was warm and soft and as she breathed her chest slightly raised. I kissed the back of her head, she sighed and turned over to face me and she was smiling. My eyes filled up with tears and I tried hard not to blink.
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” -Ralph W.Emerson
3675 Marketplace Blvd, East Point, Georgia 30344
For the past eleven years I have only gone to STAPLES for all my printing, faxing, copying, and office supplies. Today I write about the wonderful STAPLES Team I find so invaluable. There are three persons that are really exceptional and today I would like to point to each of them. First we have the Store Manager-Keene Lewis he’s a remarkable fellow you can find him anywhere at any given moment. I joke with him often because it’s like there are ten of him in that one body. One minute you see Mr. Lewis in the copy area, the next minute you may find him on a register, and the next minute you may see him taking out to an elder’s car. I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Lewis.
Then we have the very efficient Deondra Johnson who runs the copy/printing section on the weekends. I have watched this young woman helping so many of our seniors with a patients and compassion that just warms your heart. Deondra is a serious young lady who knows how to get stuff done in short order. It amazes me that person so young has such perception to meet people where they are. Everybody who comes into STAPLES finds Deondra to be the darling of the store. She is a remarkable team member.
Assistant Manager-Keisha Marrero has rescued me many times and often when I was in urgent need to get a project finished on time. There was the time I had a job, a printing job, and some faxing I needed to get out right away. She taught how to expedite all of my projects by using the new smart copiers that have so many functions. I know how to use the tools in STAPLES to get projects done on time and in short order. After all in any business, time is money!
Three weeks ago while I was out of town I needed printing work done and the only place near my hotel was Office Depot. I had not set foot in an Office Depot in over 15-years. Well let me just say I was dismayed by the poor service offered.
Yesterday, I was at my home STAPLES in East Point and as I was leaving the store I saw Keisha Marrero and before seeing her I was having a really difficult day. Keisha smiled at me and asked, “Did you find everything you needed?”
I smiled for the first time all day and I replied,
“Yes. Thank You!”
College Park, Georgia
“It is the absence of comfort that can be the greatest resource for insight.”
The other day I was talking to a young man and we were talking about religion and philosophy and the question was asked of me: What is Christianity? I thought for a moment and I wanted to give this man a clear picture of what I believed it to be. I asked the young man was he familiar with the Bible story of The Good Samaritan and he said he was. I told him that story captures what Christianity is all about better than any other story I know. When Derek Chauvin was choking the life out of George Floyd in front of four police officers there stood a crowd of Good Samaritans calling for and pleading for Derek Chauvin not to kill George Floyd. The whole world has now seen one of the worst inhuman acts of depravity in my life time. The police just stood there watching the very breathe of life being taken away from George Floyd. George Floyd was our neighbor. He was a human being, he was a brother, a father, a friend, a son, a creation of God. He was our neighbor and he was a kind man. Even as he was having his life snuffed out, he called for his mother whom he loved so dearly.
Today, our other neighbors will be the jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin and the question we await is will we see justice from these neighbors? It is so sad to me that the very people who have sworn to protect and serve are the torturers and murders we find an abomination. The police who stood by while George Floyd was being killed displayed the same depravity for life as Derek Chauvin.
Could a black police officer choke the life out of an unarmed white man and four white police stand there without doing anything? I think not!
I consider myself a Christian but I tell you the truth I would not want to live next door to those four white cops who watched, did nothing to save George Floyd’s life. I would certainly never consider them a neighbor worth living next to or even living in my community.
I pray Justice is done today for George Floyd, his family and all our Neighbors across America.
“Please vote for me!” –Pam McKelvy
Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with the honorable Pam McKelvy from Southaven, Mississippi. I follow Pam on Twitter and I have been following her now for about two years. Pam was one of the hardest working Democrats in Mississippi working to get out the vote for the Biden-Harris ticket. She also campaigned for Mike Espy when he ran for the senate. I have wanted to interview Pam McKelvy for awhile; she is a very accomplished woman who is on the brink of becoming the first African American woman elected Alderwoman in Southaven, Mississippi. As far as Mississippi politics goes Pam McKelvy is someone to watch; she has an important voice.
Thank You…for sitting down and doing this interview with me today Pam.
Q.) Tell me, what is your ambition for 2021?
A.) After much contemplation, in February I filed as a Democrat for Alderman ward 6 in Southaven, Mississippi. I hope to win but recognize it will depend on how ell I can convince voters to make it to the polls. I’m currently canvassing and registering folks in my district which has more than twelve thousand voters. Desoto county is historically a Red district where local candidates only recently faced opposition. My goal is to become the first African American woman on the Board of Alderman.
Q.) Where were you born?
A.) I was born in Detroit, Michigan.
Q.) How long have you been active in the community you serve?
A.) My husband and I moved to Southaven in 1998. At that time I was an anchor/reporter for WREG-TV (CBS) in Memphis and I was involved in civic, school and community organizations in Southaven. I have been the speaker at dozens of elementary, middle and high schools where I always delivered a message of accountability and success. I’ve served on the board of Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Girls Inc. I have also been involved in over 100 church programs. I am a member of DIVA’s at Brown which is a support group for cancer survivors like myself. I am nine years cancer free!
Q.) If elected Alderman what issues will you address at the outset of taking office?
A.) The first thing is a real concern by the people to combat the heavy traffic in our residential neighborhoods . There is a great need for speed bumps and traffic signs in many subdivisions where the new neighborhoods need infrastructure to support the growth.
Q.) Who were your heroes as a young girl growing up?
A.) My first hero was my late Aunt Emma Selectman who lived in Kansas City, Kansas. She was the first woman I knew who graduated from college. She would later earn a Master’s degree.
Q.) If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere in Southaven with anything on it, what would it say?
A.) It would be my campaign sigh which says, “Please vote for me!”
Q.) What is the best investment yo have ever made?
A.) The best investment I ever made was trusting the unseen God and going to college at Grambling State University. It changed the trajectory of my life and I learned the value of a good education and self worth. That is a priceless investment that continues to pay dividends even now.
Q.) Why is the word abbreviation such a long word?
A.) (Pam laughs)
There’s probably some witty explanation but I don’t know why it’s so long. Let me follow up on that one.
Q.) Do you have a favorite book?
A.) One of my favorite books is ‘Discovering Your Soul Signature’ by D’nesh. It’s a book that continues to help me evolve as a human being.
Q.) If you could sit down with President Joe Biden as a representative of Mississippi, what would you ask for?
A.) I would thank President Biden for his leadership and I would ask him to immediately pass the John Lewis Voting Rights bill aka HR-1 for the people!
Thank You Pam.
Hey friends, you can follow Pam McKelvy on Twitter @PamMckelvy
“Our word “idiot” comes from the Greek name for the man who took no share in social issues.”–Edith Hamilton
We need police reform in America and we need it now!
Black America is constantly being traumatized by a few depraved white police who are bent on killing unarmed black boys and black men. There is now a loud cry to President Biden and Congress for police reform. A new hashtag everyone should use is #GeorgeFloydJusticeInPolicingAct.
When I was a young boy, my father took me down to the Essex County Jail in Newark, New Jersey and he had me locked in a jail cell for about 40 minutes. My dad was good friends with the Sheriff and this was a serious learning experience for me as a 10-year old boy. My dad told me he and the Sheriff had a meeting and I could not go with him to the meeting, so I would have to stay in a jail cell until the meeting was over. The door was shut on me and there was a loud bang. I was dumbfound. Soon I had men walking over to my jail cell and they started asking me what was I in jail for.
“What did you steal?” One man asked me.
I was indignant, “I didn’t steal nothing!”
The man laughed, “So why you in jail?”
I was still indignant, ‘I’m just waiting for my father, that’s all, I’m not in jail.”
More prisoners came over to my cell and they started cursing at me and telling me if I ever came back there they would beat me up. My father soon came to rescue me and then he and I went to lunch. My father told me that jail is nothing but a “Shit Hole” and I should never, ever end up there or my life and all my dreams about being a movie actor would be over. I got the message!
So it is 2021 what can we do to protect our sons from a few depraved white police? We can and we must educate our sons and our daughters on what to do when stopped by the police. We need to go as far as role play with our children and let them know this is serious. The role playing can actually save their life if practiced. We need our educators, our preachers, our black police officers, our black lawyers, our black authors, our black athletes, and black entertainers to become a collective and support workshops in our public libraries to educate our young people on what to do and what not to do when a cop stops them.
I speak from experience…in 2010 I was a active member of
The Brotherhood Collective of Atlanta and we are a collective of educators, activist, writers, ministers, lawyers, sociologists, doctors, and black police officers who worked to resolve any issues facing our young black males. In September 2010 we decided to hold a forum on Juvenile Justice Education.
Black Male Juvenile Justice Education Forum was the title for this event to be held in my hometown of College Park, Georgia. We held the forum at the College Park Library on Saturday, November 6th 2010.
We ordered 50 pizza pies and cases of sodas for the young people. We had judges, lawyers, authors, mentoring organizations to come and role play what our children should do in case they get stopped by the police. We asked that males between the ages of 12-18 come. We turned no one away.
It proved to be a very successful forum because from that day up to this day in my hometown of College Park we have no issues between the police and our Sons. The take away is get involved in your community, use your public library to do your own forum, call your friends, your pastor, your police chief, and ask them to work with you, trust me, they will.
“The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer.”–James Baldwin
This true story of which I am about to tell is so much more about the power God than me. The essence of this story is about God’s hand in my life and all the doors that were and are now open to me. In 2009 I met a man in the parking lot of Walmart in College Park, Georgia. The man was white and he was what I would call a soothsayer because he told me things about me that he should not of known. He also told me God was going to open doors for me to do all the community projects I long wished to do. Looking back all of the things the man predicted came true. I see God’s hand. My goal was to start a summer job training program for young people. I did not have much money but my passion and faith were strong. One day I was in the library and I was booking the conference room for a seminar I was to do on George Washington Carver. I sat down with the branch manager of the library and told her who I was and what my ambition was; I also told her of my dream to do a summer work program for young adults, she smiled and said, “I can help you with that.”
Make a long story short she allowed me to hold training classes at the library and she also taught many of the workshops on how to interview for a job. The title of my job training program was THE WORK BRIDGE PROJECT and over the years we helped 6,000 young people get jobs at the airport. Soon after that I was asked to be a guest on a community talk show to talk about George Washington Carver during the live airing of the show many phone calls came in and as I was leaving the TV station the manager of the station stopped me and asked me if I would be interested in having my own TV program. I accepted her offer and The George Washington Carver Society was born. One day I was with a photographer friend who had a art magazine and one day he suggested that he and I start a local newspaper in College Park and I did not have to put up a dime all he wanted me to do was write. So now I am a partner in the only community newspaper in College Park. Can you see God’s hand working in my life?
One day I received an e-mail from Yahoo and they told me they liked my essays and they wanted me to write for them. Honestly, I thought it was a joke. It was not, Yahoo paid me to write for them. Every day I pinched myself! All this stuff just fell into my lap. And finally I was having lunch with the branch manger of the library in her office and she brought up the idea of starting a friends group for the College Park library; I volunteered. Later that evening I call some friends and asked them to join with me, they did and made me the president of The Friends of The College Park Library. The foundation is set because all of these outlets of media will give me a very loud voice.
Not one of these outlets was of my design, but God’s design for me. On Friday October 25th 2013 Yahoo contacted me and asked me to write a piece on Geronimo for Native American Heritage Month and I agreed to do the essay. After many drafts I finally found what I wanted to have published. On Sunday, October 27th 2013 I decided I would take my bike and ride to the East Point Library some 13 miles from my home. I was going to send in the essay from my laptop from the library. While on my way to the library I took a nail in the tire and had a flat. I jumped off my bike flipped it over and took off my jacket and began to try to remove the back tire to change the flat. A car pulled up beside me and a man called out to me,
“Hey handsome, what you doing? You need a ride?” I ignored him.
“Hey Denzel, oh, you just gonna ignore me right?”
I kept trying to take off the tire.
“Come on get in I want to talk to you.”
I flipped my bike over and just started walking away from this guy I never said a word to him. He noticed my gun on my side.
“Oh you think you bad cause you got a gun.”
I kept on walking and he followed me in his car hollering from the window; I just kept walking trying to get away from this fool, finally he took off. Four minutes later I see three cop cars racing down the street sirens blaring and blue lights flashing. They see me and stop right in front of me, they get out with guns drawn, I hasten to add they never pointed their weapons at me. They just had their guns out of the holster. They were three black cops, big tall guys. One of the three yelled, “Hey! You got a gun on you?”
I said, “I do.”
Police asked, “You got a carry permit?”
I answer, “I do.”
Cop asked “Where’s the gun?”
I point to my right waist area.
The cop walks over slowly and removes my weapon from the holster, he removes all the bullets and places the weapon on top of his car.
“Now let me see your carry permit.”
I showed him and all was in order, then I put my hands up in the air.
The cop asked me in a calm tone of voice, “Hey man, what’s going on?”
I replied, “You tell me.”
“Well we got a call a man with gun threatening people; did you threaten anyone?”
I said . “No. I haven’t talk to anyone, there was this guy stalking me and he was talking to me but”
And then another police car came racing down the street and this white cop jumps out gun drawn runs over to me put the gun at my head and says,
“If you move, I’m gonna shoot you!”
I am dumbfound!
The three black cops all have this look of astonishment on their faces. It took a moment for everyone to digest what just happen. Finally the white cop put his gun back in the holster and when he did I shared this idea with him,
“I hope you have enjoyed your career as a police officer because it’s over! I will be speaking to the mayor and police chief in the morning.”
The two black cops peeled away and took out their cell phones to call the higher ups. The one black cop talking with me asked me what I did for a living and I told him I was a writer. He asked me who I wrote for.
I told him Yahoo and I also own the town newspaper THE MAIN STREET NEWS then he asked me where I was headed. I told him I was on my way to the East Point Library to finish my essay to turn into Yahoo. Three more unmarked cars pulled up and they went over to the white cop and they began talking to him.
The black cop apologized to me for the way the white cop behaved I told him no worries I will be sitting down with the mayor and police chief Monday morning.
In 2010 Myself and a woman named Caroline Jester were honored by the mayor and city council for our summer job training program THE WORK BRIDGE PROJECT. I also made a point to send a copy of my news paper to the mayor and police chief each week so they knew who I was.
I could have easily sued the city for an enormous amount of money, but I really had no beef with the city of College Park, my beef was with that one bad cop who violated me in the worst way without cause. I demanded that he be fired and he was shortly after that. The three black cops told the chief exactly what happened.
During the whole ordeal I knew God was with me, He had opened all these doors for me to have a loud voice for justice and justice was done.
When one citizen is violated by a bad cop every citizen is being violated…I think always of young Tamir Rice and still I find tears for him.
“I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the Sun.I was born where there were no enclosures.”
Geronimo is perhaps the greatest Apache warrior the world has ever known, he was a naturally gifted hunter, who as legend goes, as a boy he swallowed the heart of his first kill in order to ensure a life of success on the hunt. To the Apache tribe Geronimo was the essence of the best and most skilled Indian warriors, he was fearless, clever, ruthless, and honorable as a man of his word. Geronimo proved time and time again that he was the most famous Apache of them all, even among white men.
General Nelson A. Miles wrote in his diary:
“Geronimo was one of the brightest, most resolute, determined -looking man I have ever encountered.”
At the tender age of seventeen Geronimo fell in love with a very beautiful Apache girl named Alope. The two young teenagers were married and had three children together. One day while out on a trading trip, Mexican soldiers attacked the camp where Geronimo’s family were set up.Geronimo’s mother, wife, and three children were all killed in the attack. Geronimo was enraged and he rounded up two hundred Apache warriors and for the next ten years he hunted down and killed each of the Mexican soldiers that had a hand in killing his family.
The name Geronimo was given to him by the Mexican Army who suffered an enormous defeat by him on a great Mexican holiday–St. Geronimo Day.
Geronimo’s birth name is GO-YAH-KLA.
U.S. Paratroopers of World War II saw the 1940 movie GERONIMO the night before massive training jumps and as they fell from the sky, they all shouted GERONIMO!
The U.S. Navy SEAL’s used the code name GERONIMO for their secret mission to capture and kill Osama Bin Laden. It took the SEAL’s ten years before they were able to eliminate Bin Laden.
My dear Apache grandmother told me many a great stories of Go-Yah-Kla and his many adventures and today I am proud to share them with you.
“I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB draft. Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.” –Rob Manfred, Baseball Commissioner
On Friday Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced MLB was pulling out of the All-Star Game and MLB draft in response to the new voter suppression rules Governor Brian Kemp signed into law. Brian Kemp, Governor of Georgia with the stroke of his pen cost the state of Georgia $40 Million dollars. This is just the first salvo of corporate boycott of Georgia and if the trend continues Georgia could lose hundreds of millions of dollars over this new legislation put in place by an ignoble Georgia Republican Party. Corporate boycotts like MLB’s are rare, but when they do happen, things change in a hurry and there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Already there is talk ‘Coors Field’ in Denver, Colorado is under consideration to host the 2021 All-Star Game. Sadly, hundreds of businesses will suffer because of Governor Brian Kemp’s efforts to disenfranchise voters of color in Georgia.
Should these corporate boycotts be enlarged it will not bode well for Brian Kemp’s chance of being reelected governor.