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Is the remake of ROOTS necessary?

1 Jun

There has been a lot of chatter on social media about the reboot of ROOTS and other films and television series (e.g., 12 YEARS A SLAVE, and UNDERGROUND) that tell stories about enslaved Africans in the United States. Some say that they are tired of these type of films and that they are no longer necessary. Why is that? Is that because so many people are so well-read on actual human history or that they belong to cultural organizations that keep this consciousness alive?roots

I emphatically disagree.

roots

One of the West African values that I was taught was Sankofa — “it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind” is the literal translation of this Akan word. People of African descent have many different stories to tell, but films like ROOTS are very necessary to give us an appreciation of what we faced and had to overcome to survive here in the New World. It also keeps American history honest and let’s the ancestors of African-descended people know that we honor them and will never forget them.

Jews will never let anyone forget the Holocaust. They should not. It was an atrocity that should be kept in the forefront so that it is never repeated. Just like Jews, African-descended people here in the New World must never, ever let the world forget the Maafa. Maafa is a Kiswahili term for disaster, calamity or terrible occurrence; the history and ongoing effects of atrocities inflicted on African people. The world must never forget.

Some feel that this all happened to African people so long ago and that black folk need to get passed this. No, no, no. Did you know that the Texas Department of Education is calling enslaved Africans in this country “involuntary immigrants.” That is crazy! The ugly, inconvenient truth of slavery in this country is trying to be swept under the rug. We can’t let this happen. It is not true to history and it is a dishonor to the ancestors.

Some want to see other films that are more upbeat and tell success stories. It is my understanding that Spike Lee is working on a film telling the story of the historical multi-genius of Kemet (Ancient Egypt before the Greek, Roman and Arab invasions). I wonder how many black people are going to contribute to the crowd-funding for this endeavor and will support it when it hits theaters. People say they want different type of movies, but let’s see see if they put their money where their mouths are.

Tariq Nasheed has produced a wonderful historical documentary about people of African descent called Hidden Colors. He crowd-funded his project on KickStarter. I wonder how many people who want to see something different contributed to his projects or bought copies of his DVDs.

Yes, we need happy, go-lucky films and such. African-descend peoples have many, many stories to tell. But there is certainly room for this reboot of ROOTS. Since the original, there has been more research done on the Mandika civilization (Kunta Kinte’s ethnic group) and this adaptation may be more true to life in that regard. I look at films like this as a periodic reality check to help me keep my spirit and mind right. Every once in a while, this is a good thing.

“We ain’t who we ought to be. We ain’t who we gonna be. But, thank GOD, we ain’t who we was!” ~Old Black Southern saying

So, what are your thoughts?

Working In a Hostile Environment

10 May

I am certainly not a Christian, but I take truth and inspiration where I can find it.

T.D. Jakes did a sermon/lecture called “The Ten Commandments of Working in a Hostile Environment.”

Here are the 10 commandments:

  1. GOD anoints you in trouble
  2. Don’t expect to be appreciated
  3. Seek opportunities to change the atmosphere without commenting on the problems
  4. Do your job well, but remember your mission
  5. Don’t let your environment get inside of you
  6. Increase your capacity to work with different personalities
  7. Remember that where you are does not define where you are going
  8. The goal is optimum results with minimum confusion
  9. Do not pledge allegence with the many clicks and groups that are normal at the workplace
  10. Always keep your song near you

I found this video series to be full of gems that most people can use to better navigate the sometimes troubles waters of the workplace. Better than me giving you information second-hand, I invite you to look at the video series yourself.

Below is the first video in the seven video series:

Let me know what you think.

For His Purple Highness, Prince

21 Apr

Rest in peace, Prince. You are by far my favorite artist. I will miss your awesome live shows. I’ve never felt so sad about the loss of an artist. He was so much more than that to me. His music is the soundtrack of my life. This poem is dedicated to you. #salute #prince #whendovescry

*Song titles are capitalized.

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“For His Purple Highness, Prince”

© 2016 Tyrone Turner
All rights reserved.

Today, those in the spirit realm are going to PARTY LIKE IT’S 1999 and cause a HOUSEQUAKE.

Confetti is going to fall like PURPLE RAIN and people gonna do like Beyonce says and get in formation while wearing a RASPBERRY BERET and PINK CASHMERE.

Yeah he caused a lot of CONTROVERSY, but all of his fans would say that they did indeed ADORE him.prince

He would tell us to let others know that we love them and to give them 1,000 HUGS AND KISSES.

The best things in life are free and they don’t have to be DIAMONDS AND PEARLS.

Listen closely; WHEN DOVES CRY they are saying, “I WOULD DIE 4 U.”

Live your life and ROCK HARD IN A FUNKY PLACE and eat and drink what you like even if it is STARFISH AND COFFEE.

Avoid getting caught up in the POP LIFE, because all this craziness in the world is a SIGN O’ THE TIMES.

He made a right on ALPHABET STREET and has rode off into the horizon in a LITTLE RED CORVETTE being chauffeured DARLING NICKKI who cleaned up her act and is now a LADY CAB DRIVER.

He told us about THIEVES IN TEMPLE who try to rob us UNDER THE CHERRY MOON.

The Grim Reaper gave him a KISS that has made his body cold. He was the CREAM and he rose to the top.

He is a PARTYMAN, so I am sure his soul is doing the BATDANCE in the great beyond.

Thank you for being the prolific artist and true humanitarian you were.

NOTHING COMPARES TO YOU.

YOU can resurrect!

20 Apr

Though I am not religious, this is apropos for Easter weekend: Some may try to assassinate your reputation and burn down all that you worked for, but you are a phoenix and WILL rise from the ashes and achieve levels of success never before imagined.

fiery phoenix

Stay focused. Stay strong. Stay calm. Stay humble.

Be thankful knowing that adversity is like childbirth in that it may be painful but brings forth a new life and opportunities at creating an enviable legacy.

Peace and good fortune to all.

Here Be Dragons? Well, Here Comes the Slayer!

3 Jan

I hope that you like this Shakespearean/English styled sonnet. It is about fighting back against bullies in the workplace. That is a topic that is very personal to me. I don’t like bullies and I don’t like folks to mess with my money. Can you dig that? Enjoy!

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“Here Be Dragons? Well, Here Comes the Slayer!”

© 2014 Tyrone Turner

All rights reserved.

dred dragon slayer

Fire-breathing, ferocious and dangerous.
Evoking fear among sinners and saints.
Destroying lives of those who cause a fuss.
Making people too scared to file complaints.

The belly of the beast is where we dwell;
The foul stench and viscous slime all around.
Lamenting in the inferno of Hell.
Ignoring cries for help; we’re numb to sound.

The monster must die before we’re consumed.
A dagger to the heart; blows to the head.
With true words as your sword the fiend is doomed.
Karma craves justice and she must be fed.

Not apathetic or a naysayer
Here be dragons? Well, here comes the slayer!

The_Dragon_Slayer__by_SharpWriter

The Keeper’s Prayer

4 Dec

I pray that I do not shame my ancestors or those who have sacrificed so that I may prosper.

I hope I never let good people get hurt while I stand by in silence.

May I never feign ignorance or have apathy toward the plight of others.

Help me to avoid the guilty feelings and shame that causes some to cry in private for being a coward.

On this day, I declare that all is well with my soul.

I am cloaked in the garment of truth and justice.

As real as the fear of danger may be, I forge ahead for the sake of righteousness.

I clearly understand that it could be them today, and me tomorrow.

May I be listed among those who is living a purposeful life, and that my family, friends, and co-workers respect me as such.

I am a sincere sayer of this, the Keeper’s Prayer.helping hand

Ignorance is not bliss and complacency is for the coward!

27 Nov

The below pieces are limericks. According to Dictionary.com, a kind of humorous verse of five lines, in which the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme with each other, and the third and fourth lines, which are shorter, form a rhymed couplet.

Poetry.org says that limericks are a popular form in children’s verse, and is often comical, nonsensical, and sometimes even lewd.

For the purposes of the below limericks, I’m linking them together so going forward I’ll call this style a Limerick Chain. These five limericks are linked together around to advocating community activism.

The images below is the late, great muckraking journalist, Upton Sinclair. He was also a Pulitzer Prize winning author of nearly 100 books. His writing helped usher in the progressive era in the United States. He is one of my heroes. The first book of his that I read is entitled The Jungle.

I hope that you enjoy this poem.

_____________________________________________________________

“Ignorance is not bliss and complacency is for the coward!”

© 2013 Tyrone Turner

All rights reserved.

You think that you’re smarter than the average man so please help me understand
How that can be possible when your head is buried in the sand?
You don’t do any research.
You don’t practice what is preached in church.
An ignorant person is out of place like a fish on dry land.

upton sinclair

Since when is being apathetic cool?
Like Mr. T used to say, “I pity the fool!”
Take note of the sign of the times.
They can be as bitter as limes.
Fulfilling your civic duty is a rule.

Internet petitions will NOT get it done.
In order to get a tan you have to get in the sun.
Don’t be scared to get involved.
If we work together problems will get solved.
So let’s team-up and make a championship run.

Complacency is a cowardly act.
Change is brought via action and that’s a fact.
Without struggle there is no progress.
There is an element of fear I will confess.
When fingers are clinched into a fist there is more impact.

Increase knowledge today so that you can become empowered.
If you are a “know-nothing,” you’ll miss the boat and your spirit may become soured.
Actions speak louder than words.
Faking the funk is for the birds.
Ignorance is not bliss and complacency is for the coward!