A Lot Going On

B plus gradeOkay, first things first.

I just arrived back from Atlanta, Georgia where I finished the semester with a friggin B-average.  Aint figured that one out yet.  I mean, I’ve dealt with crazy professors, but I had one that handed out grades before we took our finals.  She gave everyone in the class a B+ and then I go back and check grades and she dropped it to a B, which means less quality points, ultimately lower GPA.  Not to mention that I got a friggin B on this Middler Assessment crap where you’re supposed to just write your life story and say how each of your classes play into this “ministry experience.”  I mean, you all know how I write, do you REALLY think I should have gotten a B?!?!?!

That being said, I woke up this morning because my phone was out of order the WHOLE trip driving back from Atlanta to Chicago, and I went to the Trash-Mobile store three blocks from my house and parked on the corner across from Ribs ‘N Bibs in the lot, walked up to the store and less than 20 minutes later, my car was friggin towed! 

Yes, the good ol’ 3601 S. Iron Street lot got me for $170 bucks.  Y’all in Chicago used to seeing that sign on the South Side.

cheney_grrHow is it that the Almighty and Dark One Dick Cheney is making an appearance.  Seriously, I really hope that the Obama administration gives him zero play.  Honestly, we hadn’t seen from him since he decided to shoot his friend in the face with skeet–and made him apologize for stepping in front of the gun.  This guy was on such the periphery of the Bush administration, granted he was the ultra-master mind, but we rarely if ever heard from him.  Now all of a sudden he’s going tete-a-tete with the current prez.  He needs to just fall back all the way.

Back in January, per Obama’s inauguration, iTunes sent me great speeches from African Americans starting with a live recording of Booker T. Washington’s 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech, to Marcus Garvey’s 1921 speech on behalf of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), a 1939 speech from Mary McLeod Bethune.  

Those were all moving, I’m sure, but given the fact that I was listening to them on a audio cassette through my iPod, the replay wasn’t the best, so I listened to Fannie Lou Hamer’s 1964 address to the Democratic National Party convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey and I was nearly moved to tears as she described how in Winona, Mississippi that she had been beaten by two other black men while lying on her face while white police officers watched.

stokely carmichaelThe next person was the late great Kwame Toure nee Stokely Carmichael in his famous 1966 speech at UC-Berkeley where he said the following:

In Lowndes County, we developed something called the Lowndes County Freedom Organization. It is a political party. The Alabama law says that if you have a Party you must have an emblem. We chose for the emblem a black panther, a beautiful black animal which symbolizes the strength and dignity of black people…Now there is a Party in Alabama called the Alabama Democratic Party. It is all white. It has as its emblem a white rooster and the words “white supremacy – for the right”. Now the gentlemen of the Press, because they’re advertisers, and because most of them are white, and because they’re produced by that white institution, never called the Lowndes County Freedom Organization by its name, but rather they call it the Black Panther Party. Our question is, Why don’t they call the Alabama Democratic Party the “White Cock Party”? 

And I heard him vacillate in the philosophy between addressing the issues of economic empowerment in the black community between whether we should deal with the situation morally or politically–yes, expect further posts to come on this subject.  Especially the fact that Carmichael had no problem in a) calling out the then President Lyndon B. Johnson for his antics, along with then Gov. Ronald Reagan, and b) had no problem by calling him by his first name.

Oh yes, I have a post to do about it.

And I rode home listening to the great Martin Luther King’s “I Have Been To The Mountaintop” which, unbeknownst to me was actually a 43 minute rally speech, that as we all know, was an off the cuff speech where he majestically taking his rhetorical paint brush about how happy he was to be alive in the time that he was, accepting the zeitgeist of the age.  To hear how King interpreted the story of the Good Samaritan, how Jesus turns the question and begs us not to ask what will happen to me if I help someone, but rather what will happen to them if I don’t help.

martin luther king 1And to hear him pull the best preacher out.  I mean, I’ve read some of his sermons from Strength To Love and they were highly philosophical and theological.  Great sermons–but, I could imagine how dull church woulda been sitting in Ebenezer to hear him preach.  Much like Obama.  Obama’s major speeches such as the night of the election on November 4th and the Inauguration Day speech; great content, but just dull.  Seriously, Obama’s speech on Inauguration Day very much fell flat.  If it wasn’t for Aretha Franklin and Joseph Lowery’s prayer, it would have been rather dull.

But to hear King say “If I had sneezed…” and he was straight killing Mason Temple.  He was telling a story, and then he went somewhere, as most people say, and he went off to another world when he said, “It really doesn’t matter anymore….” I mean he took off somewhere.

Just a quick note, it was hard to hear Stokely Carmichael in 1966, Martin Luther King in 1968 and to hear Dr. Charles G. Adams updated sermon of “Drunk on the Eve of Reconstruction” with 2006 figures harp on the same issues of economic independence in our community.  All three men quoted the appropriate figures for collective income in the Black community.  We were worth $30,000,000,000.00 approximately in the 1960s and now, according to a figure from Dr. Adams, we’re worth more than $600,000,000,000.00–and what are we doing with it.


Also, for interested parties, I have another internship in Jacksonville, Florida.  Do I have any readers from down there, or anyone who knows about the city–if so, drop an email or leave something in the comment box.  I’m interested to know what the deal is down there.  I’ll be beginning June 1st, and this is going to be my first summer…..duhn duhn duhn….in the South!

Just trying to get everyone caught up.

Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL

4 thoughts on “A Lot Going On

  1. Happy to see a brotha upset about a ‘B’; that’s music to my educator ears.
    As for Cheney, we can argue his politics all we want, but his words were more reasoned and sobering than HNIC’s. There are reasons why political promises give way to the reality of the responsibilities of the office, as HNIC is discovering. When you are responsible for the safety of 300 million+ lives, and you believe there are those at war with your people, that will guide your actions the same way a teacher’s actions are reviled by their students. I keep saying HNIC has to stand up to his loony constituents, yet yesterday was an example of him trying to appease them, which was not very Presidential.

  2. Hey there Uppity!

    I think that Annie Brock of The Old Black Church is in Jacksonville!

    Sorry to hear about your car being towed! When I lived in Chicago, I paid MORE in towing fees than I did in car notes… a darrrrn shame….

  3. As long as your overall GPA is high, what is one B. But I was mad as a Master’s degree student when I made a one B. But as you go higher…Specialist and Doctorate, then that is when grades really count to me or do they? People say at that level, its all about the degree. Hmmm….It’s a hard pill to swallow unless you are going into medicine or law. Those jobs really look at grades…Sorry if I am uninformed about your career path…I am an educator like the other person who posted. I say do your best because some professors are haters.

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