If you had of told me ten years ago that today I would be on my computer paying homage to those who died in a tragic
Front Page of New York Times on Sept 11, 2001.
historical event that I witnessed through television chronicles, I probably would of laughed. Yet here I am.
September 11, 2001 was a normal day for me. I got up and went to my 8th grade class like everyone else in my grade. I changed from my first period, to second period and then to third completely oblivious to the fact that the world I knew was crumbling outside of my brick school walls.
It wasn’t until last period, when my teacher walked in baffled by our laughter and playful gestures, that I was even clued in to the fact that something was wrong. “Do you guys know what is going on?” he exclaimed. We looked and shook our heads no as he headed and turned on the t.v. to the local news.
Mesmerized we watched replays of the planes crashing into the twin towers. Feeling helpless, we watched as billows of smoke filled the air and both towers quickly burned to the ground. We watched as survivors fled from the rubble, and those less fortunate were carried away.
Before this day, I had no clue what the twin towers were. Now I wish I could have seen them before the fall. Unfortunately, my only memory will be their final collapse as they were consumed by fire due to the impact of two hijacked planes. However, this is a memory I can pass on to future generations as they learn about these events in history books.
I know you hurt me, but F you! You stabbed me in the back, F you! You walked out of my life, F you! You left my for dead, F you!!!!!
Phrases such as these have become common in American language. Its no coincidence that artist Cee Lo Green won a grammy for his song FU. These two letters are so ubiquitous that we don’t even need to spell them all the way out to get the full meaning.
Today I’m challenging you to let the F take on the new meaning. Instead of cursing those you feel wronged them, FORGIVE them.
Other people help us see what we are and what we can become. When I look in the mirror, I see a full appearance of my face. My face is flawed. It consists of countless blemishes and scars. No cleanser ever washes away them all. No matter how much I scrub or what brand I buy. It’s what I see. I am always flawed.
“Beauty is only skin deep” is something people always say. What does this really mean? As a toddler, when our parents hold up a mirror do we deam ourselves as beautiful? Are we taught to go beyond the surface?
“I see pride, I see power, I see a bad mutha who dnt take no crap from nobody!” (Cool Runnings) A reinvention of an imagine based on a friend.
If I was left to only see what I saw in the mirror and wasn’t fortunate to have those special people that look beyond my surface and realize my potential I could never see the beauty of me. I’d be left dwelling on what I see as a curse- ACNE.
Where does our beauty come from? It comes from within, and it sometimes takes people who experience your inner beauty to help you see it. Take it from me.
Let’s travel back in decades to a time of segregation. A time where the term African American was unheard of because Blacks were not considered equal citizens. A time where the term Colored had nothing to do with Crayola, and Negro was the nice way of calling someone inferior, ignorant and uncivilized.
In this time, the possession of dark skin was thought to be a curse and mandated subjection to second class treatment and undeserving cruel punishments. When someone said KKK, they were not uttering extreme agreeance, but alluding to the white hooded night riders who terrorized neighborhoods in the name of white supremacy. Black leaders had to face the realization that they would by beat, jailed, executed and lynched for speaking their beliefs.
As I take this journey back to the 1950’s, a verse from the Negro spiritual comes to mind:
Sing a song full of the faith that the
dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us
Of course at this moment I am not singing a song, yet I am doing another form of expression. I am blogging a blog to reflect on the journey my ancestors took to equality. I am blogging a blog to express gratitude to those leaders who stood in the face of adversity and fought so my generation can be the best we can be. I am blogging a blog to honor a great American Hero, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I almost gave up, but a power that I can’t explain, fell from heaven like a shower. Now I smile! Even though I’m hurt, see I smile! I know God is working so I smile! Even though I’ve been here for a while, I smile, smile..”
This lyric is the chorus to the new Kirk Franklin single, I Smile, and has been a repetition in my head. Coincidentally it’s my inspiration for the week. The message is so simple, yet so effective. Obstacles come in many forms, but we must know that we have what it takes to overcome. The easiest thing we can do to turn any tough situation around is smile. That smile tricks our brain into thinking things are okay. Before long the smile becomes contagious, and like a disease infects everyone it comes into contact with, therefore creating a new wave of positivity.
There are many factors in life that can bough us down. For me, I have the constant stress of trying to make something out of my life. I graduated from college almost a year ago, but have been unsuccessful in my career hunt. Instead of feeling like a complete failure, I psyche myself up with a smile. It may not be all okay now, but it will all work so I smile. I know what is destined to come, so I smile. I believe God will make a way, so I smile.
“I feel like I was born a bright star. All I need is the ability to shine…” -Naima Adedapo
I remember the first time I saw Naima. It was the Wisconsin audition, and after a sea of performances, out came this vibrant yet emotional personality who explained her dreams. We watched as Naima told us she worked backstage doing groundwork at Summerfest, and the footage showing her scrubbing the toilets. In her package she exclaimed, “that should be me on stage!” Then we witnessed her beautifully deliver the classic Donny Hathaway song, “For All We Knew.” I knew from that moment that I would be in Naima’s corner.
Once Hollywood week came, it became apparent to me that Naima did not have the voice to take the American Idol title. However, she did have a charisma and beauty that was like no other contestant. She always appeared in full vibrancy. She dressed in her African traditional clothes (which we later learned she made her self) that showed her artsy back tattoos. Her dreads were always tied up top her head, and her face made up with red lipstick that complemented her skin. Her outfit was topped with her natural smile which lit up the stage each time she stepped upon it.
My mouth literally dropped in awe when one of my audition favorites, Casey Abrams, turned his curly hair and scruffy face to hug Stefano Langone good-bye after hearing he was not saved this week. It was the Palin controversy all over again- when Brandy lost her chance at the mirror ball even though she was better talented just because she was not as well politically connected. I admit I ranted in anger at my poor t.v. hoping FOX magically heard my tirade about thier network being unfair.
I wasn’t the only one, though. The look on Randy Jackson’s face was priceless and only Casey knows what Stefano was mumbling. Obviously it was obscene though, because the network felt the need to silence my t.v. for at least 15 seconds. I know what everyone was thinking, Casey is a true artist and there are least 3 other people who he deserves the title over- including Stefano who can sing but lacks an inner performer. The other two are Haley Reinhart who, lucky for her, managed to escape the bottom three this week after being there two weeks in a row, and Thia Megia who is just downright boring.
R&B Singer and Performer Chris Brown had us all throwing our hands in the air yelling yeah, yeah, yeah, with the release of his new single. Now he’s got us all shaking our head at these new headlines about his explosive anger display Tuesday in an ABC studio.
C. Breezy sat on his stool with his blonde hair, sleeveless shirt showing his sleeve tats, and skinny jeans and looked toward the audience as Good Morning American’s Robin Roberts asked him about his incident with Rhianna.
Brown had the perfect answer saying, “It’s not really a big deal to me now. … I think I’m past that in my life and today’s the album day.” His deflecting back to his album was to cue Roberts in on he was there to talk about F.A.M.E. not Rhianna.
He later said he wanted people to focus on solely his music. “This album is what I want them to talk about and not stuff that happened two years ago,” he said.
Well Brown, I must say shouting and allegedly throwing a chair through your dressing room window then ripping your shirt off like the hulk and leaving the studio was not the way to get people to focus. People are definitely not talking about your album, but about how you have a temper and can lose control at an moment.
He later went on to tweet “I’m so over people bringing this past s**t up!!! Yet we praise Charlie sheen and other celebs for there bulls**t.”
“Every breath you take today should be with someone else in mind. I love you” – Elizabeth Taylor
Today the world breathes with the legendary Elizabeth Taylor in mind. She died today at age 79 after being plagued since 2004 with congestive heart failure symptoms and rapidly deteriorating health. Her spirit will live on as fans continue to adorn her through her film and philanthropy work.
Elizabeth Taylor’s life is a story of triumph, surviving and success. She has stared in countless films stretching from her childhood well though her adulthood. This career led her to win two Oscar for her on screen work, and later a third for her humanitarian efforts. For women she was and still is an icon for beauty and an inspiration for talent, being hailed by the American Film Institute as the 7th top Female legend.
I feel like I should be in a meeting sitting in a circle introducing myself to a group of strangers. Those who are not familiar with social networking will probably read this post and think I’m a joke. But this is serious! I’m going through withdrawals and snapping at innocent bystanders- all because I gave up tweeting. Let me take a minute, wooosaaah, and bring my heart rate down then I’ll tell you my story.
Those familiar with the Christian faith know about the lent season and fasting. I’m not Catholic, but as a Baptist we do a variation of the practice. You are supposed to give up something important to you for 46 days and spend more time developing your relationship with God. My church usually gives up meat and sweets, but, being that I don’t eat that much already, I decided to give up something more precious to me- my dear tweets.
I didn’t realize how second nature tweeting was until I gave it up. I knew I would get tempted, so I immediately posted a good-bye tweet, and signed out of my account on my phone and Ipod so I wouldn’t receive any mentions. Even still, I found myself waking up in the middle of the night grasping at my phone to make sure that little green “U” with a blue bird in the corner didn’t light up at the top. While watching t.v., I found myself talking out loud in tweet form, saying things about Ellen’s antics, the cast of Celebrity Apprentice, House’s witty insults, or the bad performances of Dancing with the stars I would have normally tweeted.