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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.

________________________________________

“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!

_______________________________________________

“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!

Who Watches the Watchmen?

12 Nov

Folks, the world is moving fast and a lot of us are not moving at all.

Lace-up, gear-up and let’s go or you’re going to get left behind.

Get involved with the economics and politics of your community, city, state, and our country; the United States of America.

I hope that you like this 11-part Triple Rhyme Poem and that it encourages you to make sure that we don’t allow our government of the people fall (further) into the hands of oligarchs.

Song titles, book titles, and film titles are hyper-linked to their audio or summary pages on GrooveShark.com, Amazon.com and IMDB.com.

___________________________________________

“Who Watches the Watchmen?”

© 2013 Tyrone Turner

All rights reserved
rini_protest

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? That is the question being posed.

Do you believe what they are telling you or are you being hosed?

The stories that they are telling us are some of the best lies ever composed.

I asked you how to came to your conclusion and you said, I Heard it Through the Grapevine.

Well then, beware of the sensationalized media as depicted in the film Bowling for Columbine.

The major news networks feed you all type of malarkey to keep your in line.

“Why do other countries hate us so? I just don’t understand.”

Well then, pick up John Perkins’s book entitled Confessions of an Economic Hitman.

You’ll then have your eyes opened and you will better understand

It is a crazy world we live in while trying to raise our sons and daughters.

So much dirt is done in the dark we don’t know which crimes are Haliburton’s or which are Blackwater’s.

Ring the Alarm because this is general quarters!

Vote in local elections and hold officials accountable.

Unchecked they will put us in a fix that is insurmountable.

It will take some effort but the yield will be bountiful.

Join your local civic organization and do your own research.

In order to be in the know, one must be like a hawk on its perch.

Sometimes one has to preach like a pastor in church.

Stop spending so much time on Facebook posting ‘selfies’ or gossiping about Mylie, Kanye, some other celebrity.

Get involved and do something as it is your civic duty.

Remember and live the words sung in My Country ‘Tis of Thee.

Our leaders are supposed to be watching out for us and helping us make a better life.

Why do we keep ending up in foreign wars, and suffer from sequestration and ridiculous political strife?

Average folks struggle while our leaders get Over Like a Fat Rat and their cupboards are rife.

Time is of the essence so we need to act now because the hour is ripe.

Some may say that if you think that you can make a difference you must be smoking a crack pipe.

If someone tells you that we can’t do it, Don’t Believe the Hype.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”…a famous quote by Margaret Meade.

Time to get up and go so go ahead and mount your steed.

Fight the Power and down with corporate greed!

If you let the status quo continue where would we be then?

We all would have been hoodwinked and that would lead to our despair and chagrin.

We have to wake up because if all of us are asleep, who watches the watchmen?

Tyrone Turner’s Appeal

26 Sep

As a student of United States history, I found David Walker’s Appeal to be very moving and a great example of self-help and what private citizens can do to promote societal changes. In the spirit of David Walker, I present Tyrone Turner’s Appeal. This is an appeal to elected officials to revisit “At Will Employment” doctrine and replace it with a “Just Cause Termination” standard. I have personally witnessed and experienced the vicious bite of the current system, and things most certainly have to change.

lecture

Robert Greene lists one of the strategies in his book, The 33 Strategies of War, as “Transform Your War Into a Crusade: Morale Strategies”. Well, I am at war with the “At Will Employment” doctrine and seek its death.

Will you join me in this fight or will you sit by and wait until you or someone you care about is affected?

Take a look at the below template below. You can copy and paste it into the body of an email or create a document that you can fax, hand-deliver, or snail mail it to your elected officials. I faxed and emailed copies to my elected officials.

Here is the template:

____________________________________________________________________________________

VIA [EMAIL or FAX]

[Date]

[Title and Name]
[Email Address or Fax Number]

Re: Replace “At Will Employment” with “Just Cause Termination”

Dear [Title and Name]:

Thank you in advance for taking time out of your busy day to read my letter. I am one of your constituents and I voted for you in the last election. In our struggling economy, many of your constituents are underemployed or unemployed. Those of us that are unemployed may have become so via being fired. A lot of terminations are done on the premise of “At Will Employment.” A viable alternative to this standard was proposed in The Model Employment Termination Act by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws back in 1991, but there has not been any true reform yet. A copy of the proposed law is attached.

My arguments will cover the fairness of it all and more pragmatically, the domino effect that “At Will Employment” has caused on our society’s economy and quality of life as far as public safety is concerned. I will also touch on the growing prevalence of the “Bully Boss.”

Thank you for all that you’re doing to create jobs in my district, but once a job is attained it must be kept. It goes without saying that a new hire must do her/his part to remain employed, but perhaps the employer has a duty to the employee by giving that employee a fair way to defend herself/himself at work and avoid losing her/his job. This is where “At Will Employment” falls very, very short.

Under the current “At Will Employment” standard that is the current practice in 49 out of 50 states in our union, an employer may terminate the employment of an employee at any time for any reason or no reason at all. As long as that reason isn’t discrimination or retaliation against a protected class as stated in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an employee’s employment may be terminated and the onus is on the terminated employee to prove that she/he was discriminated or retaliated against. It is a given that this is unfair being that if someone is in fact a victim of illegal discrimination or retaliation, they are reeling from that ordeal that has been further exacerbated by losing their job. People rely on the income generated by their jobs to handle the basics; food, clothing and shelter. Once they lose their income, their world literally comes crashing down.

When individuals are terminated, they add an additional burden to our already stressed governmental budget. They will file for unemployment, food stamps, welfare, seek public housing, lose their health insurance and rely on public clinics and hospitals, etc. These services create bigger government and tie-up money that can be used elsewhere. Mental health issues may also ensue as a result of a job termination. When someone’s mind “isn’t right,” they may resort to violence, therefore becoming a public safety concern.

Companies and organizations are well aware of the current state of our stressed economy so some of them are being a little more callous with the way they treat employees. In a September 20th, 2013 FORBES article entitled “How To Deal With A Bullying Boss,” Jacquelyn Smith discusses how workplace bullying creates a hostile work environment. A copy of the article is attached. The thing that really jumped out at me in the article was again, how private citizens have to do all of the work to protect themselves and there are no legal restrictions against workplace bullying. Certainly that has to change.

[Title and Name], now is the time to usher in a new Progressive Era by replacing “At Will Employment” with “Just Cause Termination.” If an employee is a poor performer or problematic in some other way (e.g., tardiness, absenteeism, insubordinate, etc.), it is not terribly difficult for an employer to document and present such as a just reason to terminate that employee’s employment. The corrective action process should be clearly outlined and adhered to. As your constituent that voted for you in the last election, please look into replacing the “At Will Employment” standard with the “Just Cause Termination” standard.

I am ready, willing and able to support your efforts in bringing this change about at the grassroots level.

Thank you so much.

Sincerely,

[Your Signature in Blue Ink]
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[Your Address Line 2]
[Your Phone Number]
[Your Fax Number – if available]
[Your Email Address]

Attachments

____________________________________________________________________________________

If we all pull together, A Change Gonna Come.

As this video shows, when the little guy fights back, the bully backs off.


Thanks for your time and please stand up for your rights.

So, How Does It Feel?

7 Sep

This is a 10-part Triple Rhyme Poem that talks about karma. According to Dictionary.com, karma is “the principle of retributive justice determining a person’s state of life and the state of his reincarnations as the effect of her/his past deeds.”

You do reap what you sow. Good and bad. I’ve been blessed with good fortune at unexpected and oftentimes moments when I was on the brink of despair. I’ve also done my share of dirt and have been on the receiving end of this boomerang myself and let me tell you, it was not a pleasant experience.

Song, book, and movie titles are hyper-linked to their respective audio, summary, or video pages on GrooveShark.com, Amazon.com, IMDB.com, or YouTube.com.

I want you to have a full multimedia experience during your visit here on my blog.

smamileyface

I hope you like this poem.

“So, How Does It Feel?”

© 2013 Tyrone Turner

All rights reserved

karma

After you pulled your mess I thought about you on Two Occasions; day and night.

Mama Said Knock You Out and I’m mentally and physically built for war and ready to fight.

It is most definitely time for the Payback because what you did was wrong and it is going to be made right.

Don Corleone from The Godfather said, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

My initial impulse was to go Boogie Down and make you Ante Up truth be told.

Justice is sweeter than revenge and platinum is more valuable than gold.

I stepped away from vengeful thinking because I have a different Method, Man.

Work hard, be fair in your dealings, and be open to learning new things should always be part of your daily plan.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people and sometimes folks fly off the handle – just ask Eminem about that dude Stan.

Exhale the anger because it consumes you and keeps you from thinking straight.

Like Colin Powell said, “Get mad, get over it, then get going” is What Makes the Great Great.

Rage makes you less than the divine being you could be so make a choice not to hate.

Sometimes there will be anxiety but when you Get Up Stand Up for what’s right be Not Afraid.

The Force, Great Spirit, Mother Nature, or whatever you want to call it makes sure that no debts go unpaid.

Righteousness is a solid rock and lies and hypocrisy dry-up and fade.

Who Do You Love and Could You Be Loved and will you do what is the right thing to do?

It is so much easier to tell the truth because when one gets caught in their lies it is sickening like having a bad case of the Spanish Flu.

It begins to feel like your insides are on fire and beginning to stew.

It didn’t have to be this way but you wanted to be a bully even though you already had the high-ground.

You constantly needed your ego stroked and needed reassurances that you were the alpha and the king of the mound.

Now my Cosmic Mama will teach you a lesson that will break you down to the very last compound.

You thought me too injured and distraught to fight back against your attacks.

You may have even thought me to be dead and stinking but the heat you brought reshaped me like molded wax.

An indomitable soul is like Bébé’s Kids because it doesn’t die, it multiplies and those are the facts.

Now look at yourself being in a world of hurt and nowhere to run and hide.

I actually pity you because now your falling because you had a cocky pride.

Standing there with your mouth and eyes opened wide.

I bet you can’t really Breathe because you’re shocked and things seem so surreal.

Karma goes 360 degrees and What Goes Around comes back around full circle like reel to reel.

So, How Does It Feel?