Friday, May 22, 2009

To The Preacher's Wife: OSF Dedications

Clergy families and those who serve others professionally live in "glass houses" in that a lot of their day to day activities are for the benefit of others rather than themselves. But who heals the healer? Who gives to the giver? Or who helps the helper? It is impossible to avoid dysfunction or self-destruction without a strong, but loving and understanding spouse. It is also essential to regularly get out of the spotlight and to enjoy private, "mates-only" intimate moments. Everyone needs to know that they are appreciated.

The words from this Marvin Gaye piece are a tribute to the indispensable person at the side of Revvy Rev.

How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you

I needed the shelter of someone's arms and there you were
I needed someone to understand my ups and downs
and there you were
With sweet love and devotion
deeply touching my emotion
I want to stop and thank you baby
I just want to stop and thank you baby

How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you

I close my eyes at night,
wondering where would I be without you in my life
Everything I did was just a bore,
everywhere I went it seems I'd been there before
But you brightened up for me all of my days
With a love so sweet in so many ways
I want to stop and thank you baby
I want to stop and thank you baby

How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you

You were better to me than I've been to myself
For me, there's you and there ain't nobody else
I want to stop and thank you baby
I just want to stop and thank you baby

Friday, May 15, 2009

Impossible Tasks: OSF Greatest of All Time

Coming up with an all-time top ten greatest hit list may be less formidable, but to limit the selection to one song is not possible. What criteria would one use?

I picked two selections which epitomized the greatest movement in history - the Civil Rights/Black Power movement. These songs and the movement were significant in changing our collective mindset, provided a positive sense of self, and improved black images. This collective psyche has since been transcended by middle-class privilege and a culture of violence and misogyny.

The Impressions:

James Brown:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Beguiled, Gulled, Choused

African Americans, although a mere 13 percent of the population, constitute half of the country’s 2 million prisoners. Also, a tenth of all black men between 20 and 35 years of age are in jail or prison. It is no surprise then, that the public face of crime and one that is placarded by "Get Tough on Crime" proponents is colored black or brown.

However, what is conspicuously missing in public policy and public perception is the dramatic increase, influence, and prevalence of white-collar or institutional crimes. Often shielded from public view and detection by an intricate web of inter-related associations, these gross offenses devastate the lives not of one or two, but entire communities, regions, industries, and segments of the population.

Who speaks for the victims?

U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (D) Ohio, in yesterday's Congressional hearing peels back layers of the inter-connections between the players and bed-fellows in the sub-prime mortgage mess which wreaked havoc on local communities.

As Representative Kaptur questions AIG Chair and CEO Edward Libby, her premise seems to be that the largest sub-prime lenders such a Goldman Sachs, Wachovia, HSBC, and others made risky predatory loans because AIG as insurer, provided them with a safety net - an arrangement which essentially assumed the risk for lenders with the tax payers ending up paying for the losses. Rep. Kaptur seems to portray this as an elaborate scheme where the local communities and homeowners lose and get lost in the shuffle, while the financial institutions pocket the funds and return to business as usual as if nothing happened.

The stability of of society is dependent on citizens being able to trust financial institutions and their leaders. When the public is hoodwinked or bamboozled, this trust is undermined.

Whenever a crime has been committed reconciliation between the offender and victim should take place. Reconciliation cannot take place without repentance, restitution, and restoration in order that the victims be made whole.

Marcy Kaptur's interview is at 1:44.04 to 1:50.34

Also, See Glass City Jungle the inspiration for this blog post and Politico for related story

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Besprinkled Bestowal

Back in April I received the Noblesse Oblige Award and received it again in early May. To receive this recognition not only once, but twice is humbling. But I think the greatest honor is not in the gift, but in the giver.

It truly is an honor to be accounted worthy of recognition from two of the most esteemed bloggers in the sphere, Sojourner's Place and The Old Black Church. I am extremely grateful.

SjP also touted me for the Splash Award. This award given to alluring, amusing, bewitching, impressive and inspiring blogs. She says of this blog:
All I got to say is that if and when I ever get to Toledo, I'm going to make it a point to visit Revy Rev's church. I'm going to make sure I get there early so that I can have a seat on the aisle. I have no doubt that his posts and comments are mirror images of his sermons and that Sunday may be the very first time that old SjP here gets the spirit - holy dance and all.

That's high praise. Well, come on Sister and get your shout on! I appreciate that very much, but Sis, you and Sis. Annie both - bless me more!

Having forwarded the Noblesse Oblige Award back in April, I will now pass on the Splash Award. I am to select up to 9 blogs I find alluring, amusing, bewitching, impressive, and inspring to me. The rest of the rules are:

1. Put the logo on your blog post.
2. Nominate up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog.
5. Remember to link to the person from whom your received your Splash award.

My selections for each of the categories are:


Pjazzy of Traces of a Stream the philosophizing sociologist who presents a sharp insight gleaned from working on the frontlines of the struggle.


Blackgirlinmaine,a geographical pioneer, presents a very unique perspective from that experience and draws you back to her blog for daily visits with her honest, open, witty insight and humor.


My bro over at A Choice of Weapons (ACOW) is deep and always on point (except thinking the Lakers are better than the Celtics! LOL) He is also very passionate, fiery, and does not mince words. I have a great deal of respect for this blogger.


Although currently on hiatus, Kim at Vanity Dark is a rare, special talent that brings a creativity and artistry to her blog that is uniquely her own. Kim will be known by all of us some day. My prediction is that she will be famous. She may already be.

The Old Black Church is close to my heart, not because of its religious content, but because of its homey, southern, loving, warm and caring spirit and intellect. I don't know how Sis. Annie keeps coming up with all of these topics. She has a wealth of wisdom which is sincerely applied to the moral issues of our day. It is impressive as well as inspiring as her blogs spills over into a couple of Splash categories.


Sister GP at A Southern Thang, is one that I keep going back to because she is very deserving. She perseveres, and exemplifies in her person what it means to succeed not because of, but "in spite of." So I pass on to her a double portion. It is well deserved.

Also, Verite Parlant at Whose Shoes are These Anyway? is one I consider blogger extraordinaire and creme de la creme. She is not only talented but tireless; not just insightful but incisive, getting straight to the heart of the matter. VP is not broad alone, but attains depth in all of her analysis. Stop by once and you will be a fan forever.

Take a plunge as you visit these Splash alluring, amusing, bewitching, impressive and inspiring Award recipients.

Friday, May 8, 2009

My All-Time Fave, Bar None: OSF Soul Train

I don't know what it is (not really true), but no single entertainer grips my attention like Jody Watley, who began her career on Soul Train at age 14 and became one of the most popular dancers in the show's history. Still going strong as both a performer and entrepreneur, she was influenced by the legendary Diana Ross, and recognized an innovative and influential trendsetter.

This performance, while not from a Soul Train appearance, typifies what I see:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Undisputed Truth from Mama 'Nem: OSF Family Reunion

On the reading list for our youth at my church is a favorite of mine: Mama Used To Say: Wit and Wisdom from the Heart and Soul. By Hannibal B. Johnson.

An abundant supply of words of wisdom are sure to be found at any inter-generational gathering. Old folks are not shy in passing these pearls along. You will remember some of them:

"Feed your enemies with a long-handled spoon." "Words are like toothpaste – once you get them out, there’s no putting them back in." Or, "You can always find an empty seat on a bus going in the wrong direction," "An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind."

Some of those which I passed on to my daughters were: "Don’t get your honey where you make your money." "Finance before romance." "Success doesn’t come to you. You go to it." "The only way to have peace in a relationship is to know how to butter your own bread." "Love whom you will, marry whom you must, but in God only – put your trust." "Too soon we get old; too late we get smart."

Here is another pearl of wisdom which came to us even in much of our Old School music:

The Undisputed Truth

But while the old folks were passing out wisdom, young folk were more interested in
groovin' and finger poppin' with the likes of Johnny Taylor's Disco Lady: