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Hey folks…

Last night the American Music Awards aired on ABC.

Though the show wasn’t anything to write home about, the highlight was that Purple Rain won Soundtrack of the Year, exactly 32 years after the movie was released in theaters and became a box office hit and the album sold 20 million copies. The film and album are what helped my cousin to become a household name.

But anyway, here’s a short piece I wrote that I wanted to share…grab yourself a kleenix tissue…you’re going to need it! I’ve titled this piece…

U and I…

—–

The year 1066 is where our family history begins. The Nelson, Carmichael and Clark clans of England, Scotland and Ireland once had a seat of power, some were Chiefs and Lords, others held the title of the oldest Royal clans to rule over their homelands.  600 years later, these three families sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in hopes of a better life away from the hardships of their former home. As time went on, more and more of them left the highlands and coasts of the United Kingdom for the Eastern seaboard of America. These families eventually spread out and headed South. 100 some years ago, our ancestors crossed paths in the states of Alabama and Louisiana. Some born as slaves or children of masters. After years of hardship and long suffering, they were finally free!
Eventually they went their separate ways, some remaining in the South, the others headed North to Minnesota. Generations later, they’ve all since passed on…you came before me and I’ve missed you since you’ve been gone. For years, I knew I was different but unbeknownst to me, you were out there and felt the same way too. If only I knew, somehow, somewhere there was someone like me whose looks and personalities were nearly identical to my own.
Your uphill struggle against those who set out to break you down, gave me hope that one day I too will overcome my own battles and rise up like you did. There are those who are skeptical and doubt we are related but I see it every day as I learn more from those who knew you.

I miss you day to day, but the same blood that runs in my veins will always stay.

Though we were miles and years apart, there is no distance between loved ones and their hearts.

All these years I have walked through the streets of LA, the Bay Area, Vegas and New York City, not knowing that during any of those times, there was a chance we could meet.
This time last year, you were still here…If only I knew what I know now, I would have contacted you…somehow. As days go by, I remind myself there’s a place for you… not in a heavenly atmosphere but on a paradise Earth, whenever it gets here.

Where your journey ends, is where I hope mine begins. You set a great example that I’ll never forget. Every day I think of you as I try to keep it together, but there are moments that still get to my heart. You and I are alike in more ways than one, if only you were still here, we could talk face to face. The story of our ancestors is one I’ll gladly tell. From the coastal highlands of the United Kingdom to the cotton fields of Alabama and Louisiana and the front gate of Paisley Park; our family has come a long way. One hundred years and four generations later, the journey’s not over yet. Our family has a rich history that many have yet to know. You told stories through your music and there’s one more that is still unsung. I look forward to writing that story in memory of you and hope it will help ease the pain of missing a chance to walk with you in the Purple Rain…


Purple Rain-Best Soundtrack American Music Awards 2016.

Thanks for reading.

See you on Wednesday!

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Hi All,

And it’s Monday!

Watched the BET Awards last night and I must say, this was one of the best award shows I have seen in a long time.

However, I must confess, no words can express the mix of emotions I felt while watching in my living room. Talented people such as Jennifer Hudson and others honoring Prince with a tribute that would have no doubt brought tears to his eyes had he been in the audience. But what made watching the awards rather hard for me had to be the fact the very person being honored with a tribute is also the one whose blood runs through my veins. Prince was honored at the 2010 BET Awards and also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

But Sunday night’s program had its share of comedy, drama and highlighting what Blacks have achieved this year.

Jesse Williams’ speech was  truly inspiring. With the conflicts involving Black residents and law enforcement making headlines in recent years in addition to the lack of diversity at this year’s Academy Awards, Blacks are trying harder than ever to make changes for people of color.

As a Black person myself, I never thought I’d experience this level of adversity in my adult life.

Sadly, humanity has been divided by racial differences since ancient times. From powerful empires conquering other lands to modern day brutality and other hardships in school, the job site and daily life as a whole.

I have seen and experienced quite a few of the issues that effect people of color first hand.

But, enough of that for now.

Tracy Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson kept the night entertaining with several comedy sketches throughout the award show one of which included Anthony asking Tracy the question:

“Why are we dressed like the White people in Roots?”

The icing on the cake was the final performance by Sheila E featuring Jerome Benton from The Time and many of Prince’s former band members. Sheila E went to great lengths and poured her heart out on stage.

I found myself in tears by the end of her tribute. Prince was truly her heart and it’s certainly clear as day that Sheila E loves him.

She deserves some recognition for her hard work… Black Girls Rock Awards, anyone?

In all honesty, this year’s BET Awards was over the top!

While I have not been able to attend any of the Prince events that have been held in Los Angeles, New York City and Minneapolis, I hope something will come along in the future or that Paisley Park becomes a museum.

For anyone that was at the BET Awards or participated in the Prince tribute. Great job!

See ya on Wednesday!

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Hi folks.

And it’s Friday again…

I watched the remake of the groundbreaking series, Roots.

The original aired in the 1970s on ABC, as an eight part, eight night mini series. Now 40 years later, History Channel aired a remake of Alex Haley’s famous story of a Black family from Kunta Kinte’s days in Africa to the final years of slavery when Chicken George, one of his descendants, became a free man.

I will admit there are some aspects of the story that are tough to watch without feeling any sort of anger or hurt.

For me, it brought the research I had done on my own family’s history to life. Much like Kunta Kinte’s family, mine descended from slaves until 1865 when the civil war ended.  Some eventually left the south while others remained.

More on that later…

One thing I hope people take away from watching this series like I did is to research their ancestry. Never know where one’s roots might end up!

See ya on Monday!

 

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Hi all,

Just posting two of my must-see TV shows that are currently airing.

Shark Tank

Each week different business people bring various product and service ideas to the table in the hopes of landing a deal to help their company grow. Some ideas get picked up, others are dropped like hot potatoes. Overall, if you want an exciting reality series that’s not too dramatic or prying into someone’s personal life, this is the show that fits the bill. Tune in Fridays on ABC.

 

Instant Mom

One of the few sitcoms on TV that is actually funny, apart from Last Man Standing. This show which is produced by and stars Tia Mowry from Sister, Sister, features the daily life of Stephanie who goes through the trials and errors of being a mother when she marries single father, Charles Phillips who has three kids, High school student Gabby and her grade school age brothers, James and Aaron. While trying to wrap her head around the joys of parenthood, Stephanie often turns to her own mother, Maggie who has a habit of dropping in whether she’s needed…or not. For those trying to find a sitcom to fill the void left by the great comedies of the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, give Instant Mom a try. Check your listings for Nickmom or catch the show on BET.

And that concludes my post for Must See TV, for now.

See ya on Monday!

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Hi all,

And it’s time for my annual To-Do list. I know the year is half over but that doesn’t mean I don’t plan to make up for lost time. Anyway on to my list:

Work out a decent routine schedule for my writing, art and other projects.

Enter more writing contests

Purchase needed Art and Writing Supplies

Complete the first drafts for my scripts and other writing projects

Sell artwork on eBay

Self-Publish one of my stories

Register scripts, treatments and pitches with the Writers Guild

Make demo DVD of video projects

Burn Story Soundtrack CDs

Send writing samples to Comic con, Twitter and Facebook contacts

Attend Long Beach Comic Con

Host Crowdfunding page for a writing project

Go to the L.A. Zoo

Raise butterflies

Attend one writer’s group meeting.

Take a screenwriting class

——–

And that concludes my list, will report my status within the next few months as I check off my list.

Off to go celebrate my folks’ 34th anniversary.

See ya on Monday!

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Hey folks,

Well I’m back online…

Watched Shark Week for the first time and I have to say, I really did enjoy it.

I’ve got various recordings saved to my DVR, I had heard about Shark Week years ago but didn’t know what it was about. This year I decided to sit down and watch it and I’m glad I did. So I’ll be tuning in next year. One of my favorite specials during Shark Week was The Great White Invasion. Showed how Great White Sharks have moved closer to beaches in Southern California, South Africa and Australia. Overall, I highly recommend watching Shark Week next year if you missed out this summer or go on Amazon and look for Shark Week on DVD.
After watching this year it gave me ideas for a story that will be my newest project for this year.
So check back for details later on.

See ya on Wednesday!

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Hey folks, It’s Monday and I have to say the Blacks in Hollywood event was… great!

The event was hosted by actor, Phil Morris from the TV series Love That Girl. Phil has also done other series such as Moesha and voice acting in various DC animated series such as Justice League and Legion of Superheroes. The Blacks in Hollywood featured screenings of Static Shock, I Spy and Mission Impossible. Static Shock was a series by late Comicbook and Animation writer Dwayne McDuffie who has written a large number of comics and scripts for animation.  He also founded Milestone Comics, which is a black owned and operated publishing company for comicbooks. Dwayne and a handful of other black artists and writers started the company, feeling that blacks weren’t properly represented in the Comicbook industry.

Blacks were not only represented that much in the comics but also starting out in Hollywood they had minor roles in movies. Hattie McDaniel was the first black actress to win an Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind. During that time, guests of color who attended the awards sat in the back row of the auditorium. 70 years later, Mo’Nique won an Oscar in the same category for her supporting role in the movie Precious. Bruce W. Smith, an animator who created the Disney Animated series, The Proud Family and founded Jumbalaya Studios first animated hit was Bebe’s Kids.

Over the years many, black characters have been featured in animated films and television series. Black Lightning, one of DC Comic’s first African American heroes is one of them.  Three of his biggest appearances in animation have been Batman/Superman: Public Enemies, in the film he is voiced by Lavarr Burton who played Kunta Kinte in the 1970s mini series, Roots. Black Lightning’s second animated appearance is in the series Young Justice and is voiced by Khary Payton. His other appearance has been in two DC animated shorts titled ‘Under the Weather’ and ‘Clothes make the Hero’ with appearances by his daughters, Thunder and Lightning. Juice, a young superhero in the Justice League Unlimited episode ‘Ultimatum’ is loosely based on Black Lightning. In a DC comics based skit on Saturday Night Live, Black Lightning was played black comedian and actor, Tracy Morgan. Other African American  superheroes from DC Comics have appeared in animation including Static, Shebang, Bumblebee and Rubberband Man. Bumblebee is DC Comics first female African American heroine. Rubberband Man was originally a villain in the Static Shock series, however after being released from prison he turned over a new leaf and became a superhero and friend of Static. His name may be based on the hit song, Rubberband Man. Other successful black television series are Sister, Sister, The Cosby Show, Everybody Hates Chris, The Parkers, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Good Times, Sanford & Son, What’s Happenin’?! The Steve Harvey Show, The Jamie Foxx Show and Family Matters just to name a few. There’s also black owned and operated tv channels, BET, TV One and Centric.  Either way, Blacks have a long history in Hollywood and that history continues. There is now a writer’s guild for Blacks as well as film festivals and writing contests which mainly focus on films and stories featuring characters of the same race. The NAACP awards, a sort of Golden Globes  and Academy Awards show for blacks, has given recognition to people of color in television and film. Overall, the Blacks in Hollywood event was worth attending. In 2010, there was a panel at Comic-Con for blacks in the film, tv and comicbook industries. I missed it but if there’s another one this year, I’m making sure I grab a seat and recommend those attending do the same. In the meantime, here’s some photos and screenshots of Hattie McDaniel, a few of DC Comics’ black superheroes and The Proud Family.

See ya on Wednesday and stay Black people!
 Hattie McDaniel

Static

Black Lightning.

Shebang

Rubberband Man
Bumblebee

 The Proud Family.

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