Intimate Conversation with Jihad

Intimate Conversation with Bestselling Author Jihad


EDC: Jihad it is a pleasure having you with us. Tell us about your latest book.
Jihad: Preacherman Blues is my 5th novel. And as I’ve done with all my books, I put several positive messages in my stories. If Kanye West, Jada Kiss, Nas, Common, Krs-1, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and other conscious hip-hop artists wrote books, I imagine they would be similar to what I write. My stories are Urban but very conscious. I write to help pull people out of a negative mindset.

EDC: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
Jihad: Percival Cleotis Turner and TJ Money. I like that they are pastors in church’s all around this country and to the links that they both will go to for what they want and believe.

Best friends...Mega preachers…One good….One evil….
As kids, Terrell "TJ" Money and Percival "PC" Turner had one goal – become big-time preachers. But once they accomplished that goal, heading up One World Faith; the largest church in the Southeast, the best friends disagree on just how they should be leading their flock. TJ is living up to his name and looking to capitalize on a congregation more than willing to shell out big bucks for a “man of God”.

Percival tries hard to walk the straight and narrow, but eventually the lure of the bling leads him astray. When PC tries to right his wrong ways, the battle lines will be drawn and best friends will see sides of each other they never knew existed.

Soon, TJ gets down and dirty – pulling up every trick and devastating secret to keep his holy money train rolling. Will Percival learn the hard way that TJ is a sinner who doesn’t want to be saved? And if he does, will it be in time enough to stop tragedy from turning his own life upside down? When the dust settles someone will definitely be singing the Preacherman Blues.

EDC: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because.....
Jihad:
I am Powerful because of the God consciousness in me that humbles me to realize, embrace, and understand that I am first a student and servant, and I know that I don’t know.

EDC: Where are you from?
Jihad: I’m from Indianapolis, IN. I grew up in Atlanta and Decatur GA.

EDC: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
Jihad:
The action, and the Oh-My-God--no she or he-didn’t scenes all through out the story, and the intrigue that each chapter leaves.

EDC: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Jihad:
Insight and wisdom.

EDC: What is the one most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
Jihad: How difficult it is to get people to give you a chance, and try my writing out.

EDC: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
Jihad: Making a difference in the lives of so many people.

EDC: How did you do it?
Jihad: My stories…There is no amount of money that can give you the feeling that a heartfelt thank you can give you.

EDC: What advice would you give a new writer?
Jihad: Study your craft.. Research the industry… And if you are writing solely for the money quit immediately…Would I change anything about your journey? No, not a thing…. The mistakes I have made have made me who I am, and I like me, at least for today…

EDC: What can we expect from you in the future?
Jihad: More of the same…. As well as a young adult book (focusing on our boys and young men.)

Visit Jihad on online for more information.
http://www.jihadwrites.com/ or http://www.thewakeup.org/

Thank you for taking time to share this wonderful interview with Ella Curry and EDC Creations.

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Meet Dr. Deborah Smith Pollard

Intimate Conversation with Dr. Deborah Smith Pollard


Dr. Deborah Smith Pollard, who enjoys a dual career as a university professor and gospel radio host, recently added the title “author” to her list of accomplishments.

Her book, When the Church Becomes Your Party: Contemporary Gospel Music, published in April of 2008 by Wayne State University Press, focuses on such topics as praise and worship music, the changing dress code in the Black Church, and Christian rap. Other work by her has been published in both academic and popular outlets, including Womanist Theory and Research, College Language Association Journal, College English Association Journal, The Arkansas Review, Gospel Today, and The Detroit Free Press.



Intimate Conversation with Ella Curry, EDC Creations and Dr. Deborah Smith Pollard discussing her journey in publishing and music world.


EDC: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful...
DSP: I am Powerful because of my own prayer life and because of the love, support and prayers of my family and friends.

EDC: Where are you from?
DSP:
I was born in Ecorse, MI, but I have lived in Detroit proper most of my life.

EDC: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
DSP:
Since my books is non-fiction, I don’t have characters per se, but I do have two individuals in my chapter on women gospel announcers (From Princess Premium Stuff and Miss Mandy to Holy Boldness: The Impact of Women Gospel Announcers) whom I admire because of their commitment to God and community, their verbal skills, and their ability to sell anything to anybody. Martha Jean “The Queen” Steinberg and Irene Johnson Ware ruled the airwaves in Detroit, MI, and Mobile, AL, respectively and subsequently became national radio icons. Steinberg had been inducted into three halls of fame by the time she passed away and Johnson Ware has received national citations from

EDC: What makes your book stand out and would make a reader pick it up?
DSP: My book covers a range of issues and new contemporary forms of gospel music: praise and worship in the urban church, gospel musical stage plays, the changing dress code in the Black Church and in gospel music, women gospel announcers, and Christian rap. Some of these elements are quite controversial, but I write that if you get past the new outer exterior of these forms, you will find that they rest on the same Biblical principles that have always been the foundation of Christianity.

I hope readers will also appreciate the 32 photographs that are in the book, including Kirk Franklin, the Clark Sisters, Pastor Marvin Winans, The Cross Movement, Vickie Winans and Donnie McClurkin. My hope is that readers will pick it up, read the chapters, and then think about the various sides of each issue I present in the book, especially the ones about which they have strong or conflicted feelings.


EDC: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
DSP: I hope readers will gain an appreciation for the range of opinions that surround contemporary gospel music, even something as completely church based as praise and worship music.

EDC: What is the one most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
DSP: I’ve learned that writing the book is challenging; getting the word out about the books is even more challenging!

EDC: What can we expect from you in the future?
DSP: There are other aspects of contemporary gospel music I am currently researching, including liturgical dance, mime, gospel and the movies, and the racier side of urban contemporary music.

Deborah Smith Pollard, Ph.D
Author: When the Church Becomes Your Party
Educator: Wayne State University Press
For more information: www.myspace.com/dsp313
Orders: wsupress.wayne.edu
Webpage: www.myspace.com/dsp313
Email address: Drdsp313@gmail.com




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Intimate Conversation with NIA Literary Group



Hello Black Authors Network Family! I hope you are enjoying our slideshow above. One of the photos in the slideshow is where we were reading a book by Kimberla Laswon Roby and we all wore our First Lady Hats. The other photos are from our book discussion at Miss Annabelles Tea Parlor and they have hats, boas, shawls, etc for guests to wear, so we all dressed up. One photo is a book club meeting where we had the author of the book at our discussion Gladys Hankins (AKA GiGi Gossett) who wrote By Any Other Name - GiGi Gossett.

Intimate Conversation with Ella Curry, EDC Creations and the NIA Literary Group


EDC: Please tell us a little about you and where your bookclub is presently stationed. How many members are in your group?
GAA: My name us Gail Adams~Arnold and I am the founder of the NIA Literary Group here in Cincinnati, Ohio. There are 10 of us and we meet monthly to discuss and enjoy. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I married after college and had two daughters, and now 3 wonderful grandchildren. I spent 35 years in the field of education and retired in 2005 as a school principal. I am presently single and I have a home based business with an online Travel Company and I love every minute of it!

EDC: Tell us a few books that you would define as "Literary Hallmarks."
GAA: A few Literary Hallmarks that we have discussed and enjoyed are: The Fall of Rome by Martha Southgate, Fifth Born by Zelda Lockhart, Sula by Toni Morrison.


EDC: What do you define as Quality Literature.
GAA: I define Quality Literature as that which there is a plot tht is well developed, characters that are introduced and also well developed. A story that engages the reader and the ending leaves the reader wanting more, i.e, the sequel or another selection by the same author.


EDC: How did your group develop? What is the primary mission of the group?
GAA: In April of 2000, I organized our group by inviting a few close friends and family to my home on a Sunday afternoon. There are 10 members in our group. The primary mission, which is also evident by our groups name, NIA, is to make our collective vocation one of building our families and ultimately our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.


EDC: Do you have outreach programs or events that we can support?
GAA: Yes, we do have an outreach program. Two years ago I visited Africa, Kenya to be exact. While there I meet members and families of the Massai Warrior Tribe. The tribe was in need of school supplies for their children ages 3-5. After my return to the United States, I brouhgt this need to the attention of my Book Club and on a yearly basis, in November, we send a care package of pencils, rullers, pencil sharpeners, crayons, chalk, small chalk boards, coloring books, activity books, math and reading booklets, in an effort to help in the development of their community. Any assitance we can get for this endeavor would be greatly appreciated!


EDC: What does a typical meeting consist of for the members?
GAA: A typical meeting consist of us meeting on the 2nd Sunday of each month at a members house between the hours of 5pm -7:00pm We determine which member will host by going alphabetically by last name. The host either prepares a meal, and some of the meals are serious Sunday dinners! or decides on a restaurant, like Panera Bread. If a restaurant is decided upon, the host takes care of the tab for the group when possible. We eat our meal the first hour and then the discussion of the book selection takes place the last 2 hours of the evening. Because many of us have a background as an educator, some members choose creative ways to discuss the book.

For example, dicussions are made into Bingo games, some are board games for teams of us and the end result is a small gift for the member of the winning team. If we've read a book and the play for the book is out, members attend the play and at a later date we discuss the book vs the play. We spend a great deal of time in our discussion talking about each character and their interaction with the other characters, the plot and it's development and then the ending of the book and whether we would select the author again or refer the author to other book clubs. We are considering on one Sunday combining our club with another bookclub for an even deeper discussion.


EDC: Do you have an open membership? How can one join your network?
GAA: Our membership is only open if a member leaves the group. We've found that 10 in a group is comfortable for us and for reservations elsewhere so we limit the group at this time to 10, but it's always open for change. To bring in a new member, generally I have an open book club meeting when it's my turn and each member is given a written invitation to give to 1 friend of family member of their choice. The guest come to my bookclub, prepared to discuss the book with us. At our next book club meeting, we set aside time to evaluate each guests and their level of enthusiam, participation and commraderie with the existing members, then we take a vote and the chosen person is invited to join our group as a regular.


EDC: What advice would you give a new organization forming a network?
GAA:
My advice would be to develop policies and procedures for the group and then to revisit them periodically so all members are aware of the groups expections. In life many things happen as we all know, but some things can get out of control and need to be addressed such as repeated absences, bringing people that the group was unaware of, not RSVPing well enough in advance if they are unable to attend. Just some things to think about.

Thank you Gail for joining EDC Creations and the Black Authors Network in supporting quality literature and the authors that create it for us!

Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations
http://www.edc-creations.com/
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African Americans and Prop 8 by Pastor Bobby Scott

African Americans and Prop 8 by Pastor Bobby Scott


Grace and peace,


Robert "Bobby" Scott
Pastor-Teacher of Los Angeles Community Bible Church
http://www.robertsscottsr.blogspot.com/
www.secretsexwars.com
http://www.myspace.com/pastorbobbyscott
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Imani and Scribbles Greet Nathan McCall


Click to view the slideshow of the event with Nathan McCall

Author Nathan McCall has written a poignant novel about an historic Atlanta neighborhood invaded by Them. Readers see the subtle and not-so-suble changes this vibrant community is forced to endure when Them begin to move into it. Imani, Scribbles and guests were invited to discuss with Nathan McCall, his first foray into fiction in the context of how gentrification is creating problems for disenfranchised people throughout the United States. When McCall was asked what happens to These . . . He replied, "They disappear.
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Somebody Prayed for Me


Xpress Yourself Publishing presents a collection of heartwarming stories and poetry that are sure to touch your hearts, uplift your spirits and ignite your soul.

Allyson M. Deese opens this spiritual experience with the title piece, "Somebody Prayed For Me," a heartfelt poem that reminds us of the importance of prayer. There are so many things we could have been in life but somebody prayed for you and for me. And now we must pray for others because prayer does change things.

In "Silent Cries," Linda R. Herman shares the tale of a teen-aged mother who suffers abuse and rape at the hands of the person she loves. Rape is devastating at any age, but imagine a seventeen year-old girl struggling to get past the pain. With prayer, it is possible.

Tinisha N. Johnson’s "Facing Reality" opens our eyes to how much our children are influenced by our actions. A mother tries to drown her sorrows in alcohol but doesn’t realize the affect her behavior has upon her twelve-year-old daughter until she makes a shocking discovery.


Every piece was written from the author's heart, in hopes of inspiring and reminding everyone of the importance of prayer.

Xpress Yourself Publishing
P.O. Box 1615
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20773
Phone: 301-390-3645 Fax: 202-478-3447
Visit us online at www.XpressYourselfPublishing.org
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Imagine Living Healthier


Destined to Change Your Life

The Time is Now...
The Choice is Yours...



In Bridgette's debut novel, Imagine Living Healthier, you'll meet Sarah, Suzanne and Todd.

Sarah, a successful marketing executive, wants to lose weight, but hates exercise and prefers happy hour with her girls to the Stairmaster any day.

Suzanne, a newlywed with a secret past, lives for 26-mile marathons, but the onset of a mysterious illness points to a deep affliction that may not necessarily be physical in nature.

Todd, for all his years of striving and hard work, suddenly finds himself abandoned by his wife one day, left to care for three distraught children while trying to launch a lucrative new enterprise.

The assembly of a broad cast of diverse and compelling characters reveals the uphill battle that many people face today with regards to living healthier in the midst of change, insecurity, fear, deception, and betrayal. This book will provide you with a different perceptive toward living healthier that provoke change.


Imagine Living Healthier Available on Amazon.com today or through your nearest bookstore... Order your copy today!ISBN: 978-0-9790932-1-0

For more information, visit http://www.imaginelivinghealthier.com/





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Destined to Change Your Life

Destined to Change Your Life

The Time is Now...
The Choice is Yours...



In the newest self-help novel by acclaimed author and fitness coach Bridgette L. Collins, you'll see how Laura and Leslie, sisters reunited after 30 years, deal with a surplus of health issues while struggling to break free from a life built on blame, deception, insecurities, and bitterness.


Next, follow Brenda, a devoted wife and mother, as she faces financial problems, a verbally abusive husband, and a potentially serious medical condition. Finally, meet Maurine, a recent retiree who confronts her misplaced priorities and unhealthy habits after her husband has a heart attack and a close friend dies from breast cancer.


You will recognize something of yourself and people you know in these characters, and by the time you reach the final page, the characters will be so real that they can serve as catalysts for personal change.

Along the way, you'll learn to take control of your thoughts, emotions, actions and situations to live healthier: mind, body and soul. Destined to Live HealthierAvailable on Amazon.com today or through your nearest bookstore... Order your copy today! ISBN: 978-0-9790932-2-7

For more information, visit
www.DestinedToLiveHealthier.com


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Monday Morning Musing - Using Your Own Mind



Monday Morning Musing - Using Your Own Mind

by Tamara Grant


You are first taught your values and morals by your parents. They are the ones that instill in you everything from the type of person you should date to your ideas on how to choose a career. There comes a time when you take that step as an adult to mesh the things your parents taught you with what you truly feel, think, and believe.

Do you choose that mate that is the one that your parents think will be acceptable or the person that you are truly in love with?

Do you choose the career that your family thinks is most appropriate for you, or do you choose a career that reflects your aspirations, desires, and talents?

These are hard decisions. When did you first realize that the things your parents taught you to believe aren't necessarily what you really believe? Did you grow up in a Baptist church and then find out that you feel most comfortable in a Methodist church?

Did you pass up a date with the nice man at work because he's not the type that your family would expect you to date?This sounds like something that someone fresh out of college should be reading.

But it's for that 40 year old that gets up everyday and goes to work as a teacher or a nurse or something that their family considered to be a safe job despite the fact that their soul is calling them to step out on faith and become a writer or an entrepreneur.


When is it a good time to use your own mind?

Peace and Blessings,
Tamara


www.eventsbyespeciallyyours.com

Tamara Angela Grant is the author of the upcoming title, The Cooling Board (Peace in the Storm Publishings 2009)! Visit Peace in the Storm Publishing to make your pre-order for my new release The Cooling Board!
Visit the Cooling Board Blogspot
www.thecoolingboard.blogspot.com
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Why President-Elect Barack Obama Needs Our Prayers

Why President-Elect Barack Obama Needs Our Prayers

Today's commentary is from blogger Andy Freeman


The election has concluded. While there will be many with sore feelings, everyone who walks under the banner of Christ must come together and intercede for Barack Obama. We are specifically instructed to do so in the Word of God. During the Clinton Presidency, Christians spent more time criticizing and hating the man than lifting him before the Lord.

Why does Barack Obama need your prayers?

#1. He will make decisions that influence countless people in signficant ways.

#2. He faces incredibly difficult challenges in our economy, as well as two difficult wars in the Middle East. Barack Obama is an ordinary man who will require extraordinary wisdom and strength to deal with these serious issues.

#3. He will be surrounded by many people who have their own agenda or simply want to be "yes" men to him. We must pray for wise counsel and truth to be presented to Barack Obama as he leads the nation.

#4. No matter what I Timothy tells us to do as believers, plenty of saints and sinners will slander and attack Barack Obama because he was not their candidate of choice or he does not represent all the policies they hold for government. The Bible clearly states that "the heart of the King is like a river in the hands of the Lord, that He turns whichever way He wishes." Prayer changes things - hate and slander only fuels evil.

#5. There will be many temptations that the new President will have to face. Power, wealth and compromise. Still others will wish him ill. We must pray that the Lord guards his heart, protects the President and his family and steers him on the path of truth and righteousness during his time in office.

The Bible is full of examples of leaders who knew the blessings and guidance of God almighty and others who made the mistake of accepting bad counsel, falling to temptation or simply going their own way. Still others appeared to be ready to take nations on a path to destruction but found God's blessing, direction and favor.

The next President of the United States is Barack Obama. The leadership he provides and decisions he makes are waiting to be affected by the prayers of the saints.

What will you do to honor God's direction in I Timothy and help write the story of the next four years of American history?
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Express Your Opinions and Opposing Views

1) Do We Still Need Affirmative Action?
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King spoke these words in 1963, and they still resonate today. Affirmative action programs were established to create this very type of equality, but have they brought us closer to Dr. King’s dream or hindered it?
http://www.opposingviews.com/questions/do-we-still-need-affirmative-action



2) Should Same-Sex Marriage be Legal?
The tide of marriage for same-sex couples has ebbed and flowed over the last decade with no end in sight. Because marriage sits squarely at the intersection of religion, law and society, the discussion around same-sex couples’ inclusion into the institution of marriage has been one of the most complex and hotly contested topics in America.http://www.opposingviews.com/questions/should-marriage-for-same-sex-couples-be-legal



3) Can the Obama Presidency End Racism in America?
At the start of the American Civil War, there were still more than 4 million African-Americans living in slavery. Now, approximately 150 years later, an African-American will become president of that same nation. There is much discussion about how such a presidency will affect America, but will an Obama victory usher in a new generation of tolerance?http://www.opposingviews.com/questions/can-the-obama-presidency-end-racism-in-america



4) Is Spanking Children OK?
You have probably heard the expression, "Spare the rod, spoil the child." Do you agree with it? Perhaps you were spanked as a kid. Was it appropriate? Some people see spanking as an outdated method of punishment or even child abuse, while others view a swat on the bottom as a parent's prerogative. Where do we draw the line when it comes to disciplining our children?

http://www.opposingviews.com/questions/is-spanking-an-acceptable-form-of-discipline
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Tempting the Mogul

Tempting the Mogul by Marcia King-Gamble

Playing glorified babysitter to a reluctant executive isn't quite the job life coach Kennedy Fitzgerald had in mind. Even so, she's sure that grooming Salim Washington to take over as head of a TV studio will be a breeze right until he delivers a kiss that rocks Kennedy's perfectly ordered world to the core.

Unconventional, impulsive and sexy as sin, Salim would rather be traveling the globe helping others than trapped behind a desk. He also doesn't trust Kennedy's motives one bit.
Yet beneath her prim exterior is a tempting, sensual woman who makes him long to turn every business meeting into an adventure in soul-searing pleasure.
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Seduction and Lies by Donna Hill


Seduction and Lies by Donna Hill

The feisty women who sell Tender Loving Care body products are hiding a secret: they're undercover operatives in The Ladies Cartel-the flip-side organization of TLC Cosmetics. They're sworn to an oath to never reveal their clandestine activities, and not even their families know about their alternate lives.

Danielle Holloway is the newest member of the group. Her first assignment: infiltrate a ring of identity-theft criminals. With cool wit and seductive charm, Danielle uses her skills to piece together the clues, and she's shocked to discover a cloud of guilt hovers over her beau, the very sexy and charismatic Nick Mateo.
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Seducing the Matchmaker

Seducing the Matchmaker
by Elaine Overton




As the owner of Love Unlimited, a matchmaking firm, Noelle Brown has an enviable track record. When world-renowned and drop-dead gorgeous architect Derrick Brandt graces her doorway, she's incredibly pleased.





Hooking him up will raise her agency's profile and give it an incredible public-relations boost.

But after a few moments of conversation with the arrogant Derrick, Noelle understands why the tabloids have labeled him the most ineligible bachelor in the city.





Derrick needs to find himself a wife-a woman who understands his demanding career. He's stunned to find himself captivated by the sexy siren Noelle. As the sparks of passion heat up between them, they both wonder if their relationship is indeed the perfect match.
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We’ve Only Just Begun

We’ve Only Just Begun: The Day after Election Day ‘08
By Cheryl Lacey Donovan


Elated, hopeful, encouraged, inspired all of these are descriptors for how I feel one day after the Presidential election of 2008. It’s amazing to believe, however, the fearful, leery, and watchful are also feelings that reside in my heart.

Yes, change has come to America . Now what? The election of Barack Obama as the first African American President of the United States has sent shockwaves around the world. People as far away as Japan were celebrating a black man in the White House. His election has released a new spirit of goodwill towards the United States , the likes we haven’t seen in years. Many are in fact amazed that we as a nation have come so far in spite of an ever present racial divide.

Frances Junior Minister of Human Rights likened Obama’s election to the falling of the Berlin wall.

As I think about it, I wonder how white people must feel. For years, they have essentially run the country. Yet, never before, at least as far as I can tell, there has never been this much world wide celebration over our election process. What does this really mean? Were people around the globe waiting for change just as much as we were?

Secondly, I think about black people. What’s the next step? Do we really believe Obama will be able to solve all of our problems? Will he be able to single handedly make the changes we so long for? Is it even fair to expect him too? After all, he was elected for the people by the people. That includes all the people, not just black people.

Obama faces global challenges as momentous as the hopes his campaign inspired ― wars in Iraq and Afghanistan , the nuclear ambitions of Iran , the elusive hunt for peace in the Middle East and a global economy in turmoil. He literally bears the weight of the world on his shoulders. The change we are expecting must begin with each of us. We are individually and collectively responsible for effectuating our own changes. The election itself is a great example of what can be done when a people, any people, come together to make a difference.

It is this sense of collective responsibility that Barack Obama symbolizes. Therefore, if we are truly to realize change, we must embrace the fundamental ideas of teamwork, collective accountability, and individual responsibility.

Gone are the days of blaming the white man for our failures. If you refuse to get off the couch and look for work, then you can’t blame the white man because you have no job. If you believe you are too good to work menial jobs, (even though many of our ancestor’s work whenever and wherever they could to make sure their families survived) because they don’t pay enough, yet you refuse to go to school to get an education. Shame on you not the white man. If you drop out of school because you become pregnant and continue to have baby after baby after baby by men who have no intentions of being responsible towards you or your children. It’s not the white mans fault that you are on welfare. Just because the white man may have brought in the crack cocaine did not give you a right to sell it among your brothers nor did it mean you had to use it. No, you crack addiction is not the white man’s fault either.

It’s all about choices. The time is now for us as a people to choose to do what’s best for ourselves, our families, and our people. Stop looking to the next guy for change. Let the change begin with you.

Fostering and protecting healthy families is the most important responsibility a community can assume. Family is the first school, and family members are the first teachers. Strong families are the cultivators of the habits that make reliable workers, entrepreneurs, and employers. Caring families create the characteristics of effective political and social leaders. Education, economics, and politics are all of great importance, but without family and community leading the way, they fall short. The family is the common denominator for change.

Talking about the youngsters on the street corners with their pants hangin’ around their ankles may be commonplace, but it doesn’t lead to change. Instead try talking to the teens and making an effort to understand them. Take a lesson from Barack and seek to bridge the gaps that exist. Instead of gossiping about the teenage mother who lives down the street with her children, why not reach out to her, offer her some support, some respite, some guidance. We must change our mindset as we attempt to change the world.

Barack needs our help to build one nation under God. Our time is now. Are you ready for the challenge? Will each of you who stood in line for hour to vote, to caucus, or to volunteer, continue to stand up for yourselves? It’s time to turn Obama’s inspiration into activism.

By Cheryl Lacey Donovan
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Greedy, Greedy Man

An Aboriginal Queensland jackeroo is overseeing his herd in remote territory when suddenly a brand-new 4X4 advances out of a dust cloud towards him. The driver, a young man in a designer suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the cowboy, 'If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?

'The jackaroo looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, 'Sure, why not?'

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany.

Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel Spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the cowboy and says, 'You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.'Well, I guess you can take one of my calves,' says the jackeroo.

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then the jackeroo says to the young man, 'Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?'The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, 'Okay, why not?''You work for the Australian Government', says the Jackeroo.

'Wow! That's correct,' says the yuppie, 'but how did you guess that?'' No guessing required.' answered the jackeroo.

'You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked.

You used all kinds of expensive equipment that clearly somebody else paid for, You tried to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don't know a thing about cows ... this is a herd of sheep. Now give me back my dog.'
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OBAMA’S SPEECH


OBAMA’S SPEECH



If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference. It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.


It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day. It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.


I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he's fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.


I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden. I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation's next First Lady, Michelle Obama.


Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House. And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.


To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics - you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done. But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you. I was never the likeliest candidate for this office.


We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington - it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause.


It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.


I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.


Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor's bills, or save enough for college.


There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair. The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there. There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.


And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand. What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you. So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other.


Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.


Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection."


And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too. And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.


To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope. For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.


This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing - Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old. She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin. And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.


At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can. When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.


When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can. She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.


A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.


America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?


This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Warmest regards,

Ella Curry, President/CEO EDC Creations
Black Author Network Radio-Founder
Sankofa Literary Society-Founder






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Inauguration Ball 2009


Inauguration Ball 2009

Guests began arriving early. There are no place cards and no name tags. Everyone knows everyone else here. Now, there's a grand foursome - Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz sharing laughs with Martin and Coretta Scott King.

Looks like Hosea Williams refused the limo again, keeping it real. And my goodness; is that Rosa Parks out there on the dance floor with A. Phillip Randolph? Seated at a nearby table, Frederick Douglass has a captive audience in W.E.B. DuBois and Fannie Lou Hamer, and Medgar Evers has just joined them.

Marian Anderson was asked to sing tonight, but she only agreed to do it if accompanied by Marvin Gaye, John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix. Look, there's Harriet Tubman. No one knows how she arrived, but there she is. And my guess is that, when the time comes, no one will see her leave. There's Jackie Robinson swiftly making his way through the hall as the crowd parts like the Red Sea to the unmistakable sound of applause. "Run, Jackie, run!" Along the way he is embraced by Jesse Owens. Three beautiful young women arrive with their escorts - Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney.

Ms. Viola Liuzzo flew in from Michiga n, exclaiming, "I could not miss this." Richard Pryor promised to be on his best behavior. "But I can't make any guarantees for Redd Foxx and Moms Mabley," he chuckled. Joe Louis just faked a quick jab to the chin of Jack Johnson, who smiled broadly while slipping it. We saw Billy Eckstine and Nat King Cole greet Luther Van Dross. James Brown and Josh Gibson stopped at Walter Payton's table to say hello.

I spotted Congressman Adam Clayton Powell of Harlem having a lively political discussion with Eldridge Cleaver. Pearl Harbor WWII hero Dorey Miller shared a few thoughts with Crispus Attucks, a hero of the Revolutionary War. And there is Madam C.J. Walker talking with Marcus Garvey about exporting goods to Africa.

General Benjamin O. Davis flew into Washington safely with an escort from the 99th Fighter Squadron - better known as The Tuskegee Airmen. At the table on the left are three formidable women - Shirley Chisholm, Sojourner Truth, and Barbara Jordan - gathered for a little girl-talk... about world politics. As usual, all the science nerds seem to have gathered off in a corner, talking shop.

There's Granville T. Woods and Lewis Latimer needling each other about whose inventions are better. Someone jokingly asked Benjamin Banneker if he had needed directions to Washington. And George Washington Carver was overheard asking, "What, no peanuts?" Dueling bands? Anytime Duke Ellington and Count Basie get together, you know the place will be jumping. Tonight is special, of course, so we have Miles, Dizzy, and Satchmo sitting in on trumpet, with Coltrane, Cannonball, and Bird on sax.

Everyone's attention is directed to the dance floor where Bill "Bojangles" Robinson is tap dancing. Right beside him is Sammy Davis Jr., doing his Bojangles routine. And behind his back, Gregory Hines is imitating them both. Applause and laughter abound! The Hollywood contingent has just arrived from the Coast.

Led by filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, Paul Robeson, Canada Lee, and Hattie McDaniel, they find their way to their tables. Dorothy Dandridge, looking exquisite in gold lamé, is seen signaling to her husband, Harold Nicholas, who is standing on the floor with brother Fayard watching Gregory Hines dance. "Hold me back," quips Harold, "before I show that youngster how it's done." Much laughter!

Then a sudden hush comes over the room. The guests of honor have arrived. The President and Mrs. Obama looked out across the enormous ballroom at all the historic faces. Very many smiles, precious few dry eyes. Someone shouted out, "You did it! You did it!" And President Obama replied, "No sir, you did it; you all - each and every one of you - did it. Your guidance and encouragement; your hard work and perseverance..." Obama paused, perhaps holding back a tear. "I look at your faces - your beautiful faces - and I am reminded that The White House was built by faces that looked just like yours.

On October 3, 1792, the cornerstone of the White House was laid, and the foundations and main residence of The White House were built mostly by both enslaved and free African Americans and paid Europeans. In fact, most of the other construction work was performed by immigrants, many of whom had not yet become citizens. Much of the brick and plaster work was performed by Irish and Italian immigrants. The sandstone walls were built by Scottish immigrants. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that The White House is, ultimately, The People's House, with each President serving as its steward.

Since 1792 The People have trimmed its hedges, mowed its lawn, stood guard at the gate, cooked meals in the kitchen, and scrubbed its toilet bowls. But 216 years later, The People are taking it back! "Today, Michelle and I usher in a new era. But while we and our family look toward the future with so much hope, we know that we must also acknowledge fully this milestone in our journey.

We want to thank each and every one of you for all you have done to make this day possible. I stand here before you, humbled and in awe of your accomplishments and sacrifice, and I will dedicate my Presidency, in your honor, to the principles of peace, liberty and freedom.

If it ever appears that I'm forgetting that, I know I can count on you to remind me." Then he pointed to me near the stage..."Kenyada, isn't it time for you to wake up for work? Isn't it time for all of us to wake up and get to work?" Suddenly I awake and sit up in bed with a knowing smile. My wife stirs and sleepily asks if I'm OK. "I've never been better," I replied, "Never better. It's gonna be a good day."

Writtern by: Richard Kenyada, Atlanta

ROSA SAT
SO MARTIN COULD WALK
MARTIN WALKED SO
JESSEE COULD RUN
OBAMA WON AND OUR CHILDREN WILL FLY!

"Inauguration Ball 2009" -- Since I first posted it on the Internet about a week before the election, it has been copied onto websites, blogs and emails going all over the world. www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/29/1643/9807/819/645987
Writtern by: Richard Kenyada, Atlanta



Warmest regards,

Ella Curry, President/CEO EDC Creations
Black Author Network Radio-Founder
Sankofa Literary Society-Founder
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As I Sit and Write

As I Sit and Write

I pen to save the only life I share
You see, not to write is death for me
Some days it’s the only life I have

A day without pen and ink on paper
Is like a ship without helm or rudder
Drifting afloat, cast about the ocean
Waves clashing against the bow
A terrible sound

This is life without writing for me

For when I write I journey afar
I imagine all that my life could be
I set my thoughts to draw a map
That leads to a purple meadow
Where I roam cheerfully free

I walk the rural villages
Climb a few grassy hills
My heart travels where my desire wants to go
Yes! Pen and ink to pad, that is the life for me
For when I write. . . I transform my soul

Antonio L. Crawford
Founder National Christian Writers Conference
http://www.nationalchristianwritersconference.com
Register to win a free publishing package!
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The Maverick's Rant on Black Colleges

'Nothing New When It Comes to Black Folk'

I gave only brief deliberation on whether I should open this week's Real Talk, Real People show on Blog Talk Radio with a rant or just do things the way they've gone since we started this thing in early October.

The reason why I'm in this mood is because we had planned to do a show on black colleges. I wanted to discuss what was good and what was bad about them in 2008.

My basis for the show was because I'm a product of a black college, Texas Southern, in my native Houston, and I have several relatives who have either attended or earned degrees from these institutions, including an uncle who is a tenured instructor at one. I even have a nephew by marriage that attended Hampton and finished with honors; he was asked before leaving to be one of the school's poster boys for its promotional material. He parlayed his success there in Virginia to attend Yale, where he earned a master's of divinity.

When I include the years that I covered black college athletic programs as a sports reporter, I'd like to think that I have a very intimate knowledge of what's good and bad about them.Well, let's just say that I'm glad I had the temerity to keep it moving like I do our shows on Thursday nights because not a single school that I contacted – and we're talking close to a dozen – agreed to participate on our panel.

Not a single school that I contacted even bothered to call me back out of courtesy to say that they would or would not participate. The only response that I received was an e-mail from an uppity female school of communications chairperson who suggested that I contact her school's marketing and communications officer.

She also used the $20 word "concomitantly" in a sentence while suggesting that I needed to narrow my focus on my "broad, albeit interesting topic."Let's just say that I was tempted to send her a reply using that same word, concomitantly, which means as paralleled to, along those lines, etc., in a less-than-cordial way.

The problem I have with certain black people, particularly those in institutions of higher learning, is that they're always complaining why they get negative media attention when they've done nothing to change the climate that they've created for themselves. As I shared with another person before deciding to just blog the way I felt, many black colleges do themselves a disservice in the way they are so inept in running their places.

How many times you've heard of school presidents and administrators at black colleges being investigated for fiduciary improprieties? How many times you've heard stories about the school's academic performance being so poor that they're on the brink of losing accreditation? How many times you've heard about the school's alumni crying poor that nobody's giving them any money?

The short of it is if these schools ever learned how to treat people in a professional way; if these schools ever conducted business in a credible way, free of scandal; if these schools stop acting like they've got theirs, you get yours, maybe an alumnus like myself might be willing to send them $20 for the first time since graduating 20 years ago.

Instead, what I've consistently seen over the years with black colleges are the following:

* They don't return phone calls.

* Referring back to my media days, they'll talk condescendingly to a reporter (and depending on what outlet they represent), they'll try to tell you how to do your job.

* Most are cowards and will nut up on you, refusing to talk; they'll refer you to others within the school, having nothing to do with what you're trying to accomplish.

* Like with many black customers that I've dealt with, they want to interrogate you with a bunch of questions on your professional and personal history only to say they have to think about your request to speak with them. Of course, they never make themselves available to give you that answer.

* Most have the wrong strategy about media. Instead of taking each opportunity as one to develop goodwill, they'll shine off most outlets over and only skin-and-grin for the largest of the media outlets even when the coverage is predictably negative. Translated, those same "negroes" rather stick their noses up in the air and settle for having always to explain for their follies and misfortunes of perpetual incompetence and insanity.

* What they fail to realize is that most credible media outlets could care less about them, anyway, and they'd rather deal with them only when the story that's being generated from their school is too big to avoid. Few black colleges are regarded with having their acts together.

I now find it ironic that while I worked towards securing panelist commitments for the planned show I actually related some of these common flaws about black colleges to somebody who works in a sports media relations office. The individual agreed with everything I said, noting that I had been preaching to the choir.

But guess what? After all that, even he failed to even call me back. I merely shook my head once I realized that I had no show on black colleges and I decided to do something with a grown-and-sexy theme.


--Posted By Sam B. Redd to Straight From The Maverick
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Monday Morning Musing - The Rebirth

I'm home in Baltimore, helping my sister to pack and move to Atlanta. It's strange to think that she will be moving from the home where we've lived most of our lives. I always thought of that address as home base. The comfort zone. And now with her moving to GA, time is counting down until the house is sold and will no longer be ours.

I remember before my mom passed, she told me to help my sister make a decision. She could keep the house, which would be wonderful. She would be a homeowner at age 22 and have fantastic credit. Besides, she would pay less in mortgage then she would in rent living in Maryland. Or my mom said, if she couldn't keep the house financially or emotionally, help her sell it and move to GA with me.

I remember being a bit angry. Why would we sell the house? It's home. That's where we are from. It's ours. It didn't hit me until my sister told me she was ready to leave Baltimore. She needed to do what I did 13 years ago. She needs to leave and find her way, and she can't do it living in Baltimore .My mom told me that home will always be home, no matter where we go. We will always have our home in Baltimore.

But it's time for a change. It's time for my sister to find that person inside of her that I found when I left.So the story goes, the two red headed girls that ran those same Baltimore streets will make a new life in Atlanta. I've been there for 13 years, but it will be a new life for me to have my sister there with me and my family. It's a chance for her to really hang out with her nephew and a chance for me and my sister to hang out as adults- when I left Baltimore I was 17 and she was around 11.

For my sister, it's a chance for her to spread her wings and really live life. It's an opportunity for her to live up to her true potential and see life differently.Change is hard, but change is good.Peace and

Blessings,

Tamara
www.tamaraangelagrant.com
www.myspace.com/maraangel
www.virtousmagazine.com


Tamara Angela Grant is the author of the upcoming title, The Cooling Board (Peace in the Storm Publishings 2009)!

www.thecoolingboard.blogspot.com
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Prayer for my Sisters

Dear God:

The lady reading this
Is beautiful, classy and
Strong and I love her.

Help her live her life to the fullest.

Please promote her and her cause to excel above her expectations.
Help her shine in the darkest places where it is impossible to love.

Protect her at all times, lift her up when she needs you the most
And
Let her know when she walks with you;

She will always be safe.

Love you Sis!!!!
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What do Pumpkins and Christians have in Common?

From one pumpkin to another!!


A woman was asked by a coworker, 'What is it like to be a Christian?'The coworker replied, 'It is like being a pumpkin.'

God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you.

Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff.He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed.

Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.'This was passed on to me by another pumpkin.

Now it's your turn to pass it to other pumpkins.

I liked this enough to send it to all the pumpkins in my patch.
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The Butler Sees A New White House


The Butler Sees A New White House
Email Picture
CLARK, The Washington Post



Eugene Allen, 89, a retired White House butler, tries on his old tuxedo for a photo. Allen, who served eight presidents during a period when America 's racial history was being rewritten, is marveling at the election of Barack Obama. Now retired, he started when blacks were in the kitchen. By Wil Haygood November 7, 2008


Reporting from Washington -- For more than three decades, Eugene Allen worked in the White House, a black man unknown to the headlines. During some of those years, harsh segregation laws lay upon the land.He trekked home every night to his wife, Helene, who kept him out of her kitchen.


At the White House, he worked closer to the dirty dishes than to the Oval Office. Helene didn't care; she just beamed with pride.President Truman called him Gene. President Ford liked to talk golf with him. He saw eight presidential administrations come and go, often working six days a week."I never missed a day of work," Allen said.He was there while racial history was made: Brown vs. Board of Education, the Little Rock school crisis, the 1963 March on Washington , the cities burning, the civil rights bills, the assassinations.

When he started at the White House in 1952, he couldn't even use the public restrooms when he ventured back to his native Virginia . "We had never had anything," Allen, 89, recalled of black America at the time. "I was always hoping things would get better."

In its long history, the White House -- note the name -- has had a complex and vexing relationship with black Americans."The history is not so uneven at the lower level, in the kitchen," said Ted Sorensen, who served as counselor to President Kennedy. "In the kitchen, the folks have always been black. Even the folks at the door -- black."Before Gene Allen landed his White House job, he worked as a waiter at a resort in Hot Springs , Va. , and then at a country club in Washington .

He and wife Helene, 86, were sitting in the living room of their Washington home. Her voice was musical, in a Lena Horne kind of way. She called him "Honey." They met at a birthday party in 1942. He was too shy to ask for her number, so she tracked his down. They married a year later.In 1952, a lady told him of a job opening in the White House. "I wasn't even looking for a job," he said. "I was happy where I was working, but she told me to go on over there and meet with a guy by the name of Alonzo Fields."Fields was a maitre d', and he immediately liked Allen.

Allen was offered a job as a "pantry man." He washed dishes, stocked cabinets and shined silverware. He started at $2,400 a year.There was, in time, a promotion to butler. "Shook the hand of all the presidents I ever worked for," he said."I was there, honey," Helene said. "In the back maybe. But I shook their hands too." She was referring to White House holiday parties, Easter egg hunts.They have one son, Charles, who works as an investigator with the State Department.

"President Ford's birthday and my birthday were on the same day," he said. "He'd have a birthday party at the White House. Everybody would be there. And Mrs. Ford would say, 'It's Gene's birthday too!' "And so they'd sing a little ditty to the butler. And the butler, who wore a tuxedo to work every day, would blush."Jack Kennedy was very nice," he went on. "And so was Mrs. Kennedy."He was in the White House kitchen the day Kennedy was slain. He got an invitation to the funeral. But he volunteered for other duty: "Somebody had to be at the White House to serve everyone after they came from the funeral."

The whole family of President Carter made Helene chuckle: "They were country. And I'm talking Lillian and Rosalynn both." It came out as the highest compliment.

First Lady Nancy Reagan came looking for him in the kitchen one day. She wanted to remind him about the upcoming state dinner for German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. She told him he would not be working that night."She said, 'You and Helene are coming to the state dinner as guests of President Reagan and myself.' I'm telling you! I believe I'm the only butler to get invited to a state dinner."Husbands and wives don't sit together at these events, and Helene was nervous about trying to make small talk with world leaders. "And my son said, 'Momma, just talk about your high school. They won't know the difference.'"The senators were all talking about the colleges and universities that they went to," she said. "I was doing as much talking as they were."Had champagne that night," she said, looking over at her husband. He just grinned: He was the man who stacked the champagne at the White House.

Colin L. Powell would become the highest ranking black of any White House to that point when he was named Reagan's national security advisor in 1987. Condoleezza Rice would have that position under President George W. Bush.Gene Allen was promoted to maitre d' in 1980. He left the White House in 1986, after 34 years. President Reagan wrote him a sweet note. Nancy Reagan hugged him tight.

Interviewed at their home last week, Gene and Helene speculated about what it would mean if a black man were elected president."Just imagine," she said."It'd be really something," he said."We're pretty much past the going-out stage," she said. "But you never know. If he gets in there, it'd sure be nice to go over there again."

They talked about praying to help Barack Obama get to the White House. They'd go vote together. She'd lean on her cane with one hand, and him with the other, while walking down to the precinct. And she'd get supper going afterward. They went over their election day plans more than once."Imagine," she said."That's right," he said.

On Monday, Helene had a doctor's appointment. Gene woke and nudged her once, then again. He shuffled around to her side of the bed. He nudged Helene again.He was all alone."I woke up and my wife didn't," he said later.

Some friends and family members rushed over. He wanted to make coffee. They had to shoo the butler out of the kitchen.The lady he married 65 years ago will be buried today. The butler cast his vote for Obama on Tuesday. He so missed telling his Helene about the black man bound for the Oval Office.Haygood writes for the Washington Post.


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Talk to Me by Pat Simmons

Talk to Me by Pat Simmons

Christian Fiction ISBN-10: 1601629729





Noel Richardson is perfect, but genes don't define a man. The CEO of a St. Louis non-profit organization, Noel is deaf as a result of a fire works explosion.

He's captivated by Interpreter Mackenzie Norton's graceful hands.

Plus, Mackenzie's exquisite, a steadfast believer, and head strong, but a misinterpretation separates them.


http://patsimmons.net/

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Rhythms of Grace By Marilynn Griffith

Rhythms of Grace By Marilynn Griffith Revell

ISBN-10: 0800732782


Grace Okoye was a promising young dancer when her career was cut short by a brutal assault that left her scarred for life.


Twenty years later, when her past gets in the way of her happiness, she heeds the invitation of her dance instructor and returns home to help hurting children and rediscover the rhythms of grace.



What she doesn't expect is to meet a man who already seems to know her beat. But for all they share in common, the biggest thing in Grace's life is noticeably absent in his--faith. She's finally found the love of her life, but can she choose between him and God? Real, raw emotion and the promise of redemption run through this soulful new book from Marilynn Griffith.

http://marilynngriffith.typepad.com
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Singing A Song by Crystal Rhodes

Singing A Song by Crystal Rhodes

Genesis Press ISBN-10: 1585712833




Diva, Darnell Cameron, and playboy, Thad Stewart, are both superstars. She is a singing sensation and he is an actor extraordinaire. One would think that they have a lot in common, but in reality they are like oil and water.


They are two American idols who openly despise each other. It would take a major miracle to get these two together, or perhaps the mysterious stranger stalking one of them and intent on killing the other one might hold the key to their mutual destiny.

http://www.crystalrhodes.com/
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Living the Dream by Linda R. Herman




I am all smiles as I announce that I have an article posted at Associated Content!!! Please join in my excitement and check out my article.

Then, if you will, please forward this information to your contacts so they, too, can view my article entitled "Living the Dream."

Thank you all and have a blessed night!


Check out my recently published content on AC: Living the Dream

Vote for me at http://www.blogger.com/www.LindaRHerman.com
Proud Member of ASA

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Is your teen crying silently?--Abuse in Teen Relationships

Abuse in Teen Relationships: Is your teen crying silently?


The issue of teen abuse is not one that immediately pops into mind for most of us when we discuss domestic violence. Until November 2006, I was one who might have believed that it didn't exist, at least not in my world.

The morning I received a phone call informing me that my younger cousin, who was seventeen at the time, had been raped by her ex-boyfriend, is one that I'll never forget. 2006 had already claimed the life of my maternal grandmother, and I didn't want to imagine that things could get any worse in our family. But low and behold, we had yet another travesty to deal with, leaning on the arms of God's mercy and love for strength that only He could deliver.

My heart broke into a million pieces when I saw my cousin. I thanked God that she was alive and not seriously bruised externally, but the fear and pain I saw in her eyes nearly stopped the rhythmic beating of my heart as it filled with just a portion of what she was feeling. I didn't know her pain personally but knowing and loving her is what caused my eyes to fill with tears.

I sat with her at the hospital waiting for them to call her back to do the rape kit. I listened to the question and answer session between her and the detective. Every answer angered me as my heart continued to break and my blood boiled. I wanted to find the aggressor before the police did. Not only had he raped her at knife-point but he took off with their one-year old son and
was nowhere to be found.

Over and over I asked myself, when did teens start having these type issues? Shouldn't she be at school taking a test and preparing for her graduation? Why are we here at the hospital? And the most nagging question of all was why-why didn't she come to us the first time he hit her? Why did she allow the abuse to continue only to have him rape her when she finally got
out of the relationship?

Parents, I urge you to talk to your sons and daughters because domestic violence in teen relationships is real. For my cousin, it started with verbal abuse. He belittled her and broke down her self-esteem. He made her feel sorry for him, filling her head and heart with lies that he could not endure life without her. She felt obliged to be there for him for fear he'd kill himself
otherwise and that was guilt she didn't want to face.



The verbal abuse soon escalated to physical abuse and more threats to harm himself if she left. When she finally found the courage to leave, a decision that was clearly in the best interest of her son and herself, he didn't kill himself; he instead lashed out at her, taking from her something that a woman should only willingly give to a man.

My cousin is now in college. She is a single parent who works part-time, and even though she doesn't talk much about her experience, I know that it still weighs heavily on her mind. I also know that by the grace of God, this too shall pass.

I have a website set up for my cousin where copies of Somebody Prayed for Me, which features her story "Silent Cries", will be sold. All profit from sales go to my cousin, towards her education and her son. The website address is http://www.shakestawest.webs.com/


Authored by Linda R. Herman
http://www.lindarherman.com/
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Marc Lacy presents Rtiqlation

Marc Lacy presents Rtiqlation - Spoken Essence of Music
© 2008 Marc Lacy (9780974971223) CD price: $11.00


Straight-up, to the point, smooth flowing, on target, and very much worth your while.

Tracks
1 Prelude - Rtiqlation
2 Rtiqlation
3 Verbalized Intentions
4 Chorus Call
5 Mellow Rhapsody By the Waterfront
6 Inflexion Detection
7 3 Part Trash Talkin'
8 Interlude - Time Spoken
9 Whispering Voices
10 Accoustic Mack Down
11 Poetic Serenity
12 Bass Clef Serenade
13 Artistic Bellow Tones
14 Interlude - Enchanted Dialects
15 Lyrical Mood Swings
16 Noise Revolution
17 Outro - Quiet Rain
18 Renditions - a Tale of Two Metronomes
19 Anti-music Box

Official Website of Marc Lacy
Marc Lacy Myspace page

Walter Marcellus (aka “Marc”) Lacy is the second child and first son of three children born to Walter and Julianne White Lacy. Alongside maintaining a current residence in his birthplace of Huntsville, Alabama, Marc has also resided in Korea and Germany. In having been well schooled and traveled; his knack for creative writing and poetry was discovered at an early age.

In high school, Marc received numerous awards for his excellence in the areas of English, German, Political Science, Mathematics and Athletics.

Mr. Lacy is a Cum Laude Mechanical Engineering graduate of Alabama A&M University (AAMU). Marc is most noted for his smooth flowing lyrics and creative mind which are exuded in his eloquently written poetry.

But also a beast is awakened within as he delivers his often-charged and thought provoking spoken word performances. The energy within Marc’s work can certainly be attributed to his strong faith in God.


Published and Produced Works

“The Looking Heart” – Poetic Expressions from Within ISBN 0-9749712-9-4

“REFlux” – Poetic Spirit and Spoken Soul (Spoken Word CD) ISBN 0-9749712-1-9

“Rock and Fire” – Love Poetry from the Core ISBN 13-978-0-9749712-8-5

“RTIQLation” – Spoken Essence of Music (Spoken Word CD) ISBN 0-9749712-2-7

RTIQLation, subtitled "Spoken Essence of Music"...is just that. This compilation combines a plethora of beats, melodies, basslines, sounds, chorus', and lyrics to birth what is called The RTIQLation... Expression... Creation... Nation!

This musically entrenched lyrical chronicle teaches one how to laugh, cry, rejoice, feel, and be thankful all while making the head bob to delightfully smooth and fun music orchestrated by Canita Rogers (Quiet Girl Music Production, Huntsville, AL).

The ultimate point of captivation is realized when Gloria Betts and Carla McAlpine – Franklin release enticing, eardrum numbing, mood swinging vocal harmonies so sweet, that all listening ears will develop cavities. So sit back and let the silky voice of Marc Lacy sway you into an uplifting and enchanting spoken word groove.

Special thanks to: God almighty, the fam, the friends, the influences, ans crew, qgmp, AVOCrew, and all parties who made the evolution of this project, possible.
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Treat Yourself to RTIQLation


SAY YOU WANT CHANGE?

Treat Yourself to RTIQLation

Spoken Essence of Music
Spoken Word CD by Poet/Author Marc Lacy







Executive Producers: Marc Lacy, Canita Rogers (AVO Publishing, Quiet Girl Music Production) Lead and Background Vocals: Carla McAlpine-Franklin, Gloria Betts-Caldwell, Canita Rogers, and Marc Lacy

That's right! Huntsville, Alabama's own Poet/Author Marc Lacy (author of The Looking Heart and Rock & Fire) launches the follow-up spoken word smasher to the critically acclaimed "REFLux" - Poetic Spirit and Spoken Soul.



"RTIQLation"...pronounced (articulation) is guaranteed to massage your mental and present the change in mood, mindset, and perspective on life...as you desire.



Lacy has teamed up with Producer Canita Rogers (Quiet Girl Music Production ( and Hip Hop Artist "Bonecrusher's" Bass Player) along with vocalists: Gloria Betts - Caldwell and Carla McAlpine - Franklin (all of Huntsville, AL) in the creation of a musical/poetical masterpiece.

RTIQLation, subtitled "Spoken Essence of Music"...is just that. Lacy, being a disc-jockey and a music lover has combined a plethora of beats, melodies, basslines, sounds, chorus', and lyrics to birth what is called The RTIQLation...Expression...Creation...Nation!

This musically entrenched and lyrical chronicle teaches you how to laugh, cry, rejoice, feel, and be thankful all while making your head bob to delightful/fun music orchestrated by Canita herself.

The ultimate point of captivation is realized when Gloria and Carla release enticing, eardrum numbing, mood swinging harmonies so sweet, that all listening ears will develop cavities.

CD online orders are available at http://www.marclacy.com/, http://www.amazon.com/, http://cdbaby.com/cd/marclacy2, http://www.myspace.com/mlacy .

To hear samples and digitally download tracks, be sure to check out the CD Baby link.

Don’t get left behind. Allow RTIQLation – Spoken Essence of Music to change your mind and perhaps your life for the better!
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