Not Lost on Us…

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?

I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all
other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.

-Frederick Douglass

I used to love celebrating the 4th of July when I was a kid.

You know, ice cream, apple pie, friends, family, freedom and liberty, right?

Well, I’m sad to report that my joy for the holiday changed once I went to school and learned the irony surrounding it…

What with slavery and all.

Here’s the odd part, nobody I talked to really wanted to acknowledge this ginormous paradox.

Trust me, no teacher, not even the Black ones, pointed this enigma out to me; it was something I had to figure out on my own.

I remember asking my mom why we were celebrating freedom and independence for America when our ancestors were slaves at the time.

Mama just cut her eyes at me and said, “HUSH your mouth!”

Clearly, I wasn’t telling her anything new…

In fact, I was pretty much stating the obvious.

But, I guess she didn’t want to deal with the heaviness that inevitably encroaches on Black folks whenever they attempt to reconcile the holiday with the history.

So, in my family, we simply opted not to go there.

Don’t get me wrong, since everybody was off work, we went with “the flow” and attended reunions, cook-outs and the like– sans the flag waving gratitude of independence.

In short, we worked it, but it wasn’t lost on us.

And, based on the quote I cited above, it most certainly was NOT lost on our dear Frederick Douglass, who gave a fiery speech to the nation back in 1852.

The premise of this magnificent oration?

“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”
(1852)

Chile, Frederick read America for filth!

IN 1852 no less!

Honestly, I can’t help wondering what he would think about our current state of affairs and the super slow “progress” we’ve made.

Especially considering the fact that he still held out hope for our country all those years ago.

All in all, Mr. Douglass believed that The Divine was and is in control.

So do I.

Now…

As you think about that, please enjoy a reading (excerpts) from this important work-performed by me, LadyG, and my dear cousin and fellow blogger, Ron Brown.

LadyG loves YOU!

A Family Conversation: The Curious Transformation of a Weed into a Flower

“A Family Conversation” is a storytelling audio series that features weekly discussions between blogging cousins LadyG and Ron Brown on current events along with favorite posts from each other’s blog.

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Love is a flower, from that a bud
To spread its sunshine and make us love
Beautiful colors shinin' though
Bless you, brother, God is watching you

Think it over 
Life ain't a four leaf clover 

Think it over 
Life ain't a four leaf clover

From:  "Flowers" Performed by The Emotions.  Songwriters: Anthony James Bowers / et. al.

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This week, the cousins discuss Ron’s post Z.O. My Hero.

During this discussion Ron shares about a time when one of his students taught him a very inspiring lesson.

We also discuss Ron’s teaching experience and suggestions for helping the next generation of students blossom into beautiful flowers.

We also talk about his “strange affliction” and whether or not he recovered.

Links:

Toni Morrison on The White Gaze

The ACLU Racial Justice Program challenging segregation in public school districts.

Pt. 1: New Generation Perspective & Energy/Revelation via “Punishment”/Low Health Literacy/Due Diligence /Underfunded and Inadequate Schools

Pt 2:  Knowing the Student/Wuthering Heights and Caged Birds are a No Go/Eurocentric/Toni’s White Gaze/Better than and Less than

Pt 3: School Boards should know and care about Education/Hire Local/De Facto Segregation via Charter Schools/No blinders and No music/The Ho Spot/Adapt to them

*FAIR USE**

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research.

Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. 

A Family Conversation: Trouble We Ain’t Gon’ See

“A Family Conversation” is a storytelling audio series that features weekly discussions between blogging cousins LadyG and Ron Brown on current events along with favorite posts from each other’s blog.

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No matter what happened that’s only once it’s shame on you
You come up in here and do it again then it’s shame on me
Sometimes we be gettin’ in trouble we didn’t wan’ learn or
Sometimes we be gettin’ in trouble we ain’t gon’ see…

-Mystikal

“Bouncin’ Back (Bumpin’ Me Against The Wall)”

This week, the cousins discuss:

“What Time Is It?” written by Ron’s Father, Fletcher Brown, around 1974.

Sadly, it touches on themes that are still very relevant today.

Click here to listen to audio recordings

A Family Conversation: Take The Chain Off Your Brain

“A Family Conversation” is a storytelling audio series that features weekly discussions between blogging cousins LadyG and Ron Brown on current events along with favorite posts from each other’s blog.

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WARNING: Adult Language/Adult Situations

You Gotta Believe in Something

Songwriter: Norman Jesse Whitfield /Performed by: The Pointer Sisters

You got to believe in somethin’
Why not believe in me?
You got to believe in somethin’
Why not believe in me?

What have I, I done to you
To make you mean
And treat me the way you do?

Go on and wave your flag, brother
Start your revolution
I’m willin’ to let you do your thing
Tell me, why are you blind
When it comes to mine?

Take the chain off your brain
Take the chain off your brain

Why don’t you let the Wilson (children) set you FREE!

Go to Facebook The Brown Report to link to Ron’s activism related to the officer involved shooting in Cuthbert, Georgia.

Posts discussed in this conversation:

Defund the Police?

A Host of Witnesses

Missing American History Lesson: The Black Codes

Click here to listen to audio recordings

*****Correction:

  • Freedman: Freed by the Emancipation Proclaimation
  • Free Negro: Freed BEFORE the Civil War via manumission/will

RIP: Bonnie Pointer

I See YOU!

THANK YOU! Holler if you HEAR ME!

Lady G is doing a global Roll Call of THANKS TODAY!

Just scroll down after you read this:

I can’t fully express how touched I am to see the whole world–people of every race and ethnicity, standing with black folks in the U.S. as we seek justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and for the permanent dismantling of systemic racism in our society.

Flat out! We NEED your help to do it!

Please stay with us!

Y’all are SOLDIERS BABY!

If your country is actively involved in George Floyd protests, and I didn’t call you, please holler at me in comments; tell me what you all are doing over there!

I don’t want to miss anybody!

Either way, I’d love to hear from you in comments!

Lady G LOVES YOU ALL!

A Family Conversation: The Cousins Deal with Sacred Cows: Bonus Track

“A Family Conversation” is a storytelling audio series that features weekly discussions between blogging cousins LadyG and Ron Brown on current events along with favorite posts from each other’s blog.

“A Family Conversation” is published on Wednesdays.

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If you haven’t already, please go back and check out the original post!

In today’s bonus audio, the cousins deal with:

Long nights and Lost Faith

Sayings about Mules

Going to a Hanging!

“Christian Presidents” and “Dictatorship for Dummies”

30 sum-odd Percent

When your hero doesn’t like you

Police, Soldiers, Seals and Solitaries

A continued word to the wise, proceed with caution.

This post is NOT for the faint of heart as it is VERY raw and it contains adult language/adult situations. You might get called out if you are aligned with certain factions.

Click here to listen to audio recordings

“Lost Faith” is a piece written by Ron Brown

Article on John Wayne’s beliefs about Blacks

Article on Jimmy Stewart’s beliefs about Blacks

A Family Conversation: The Cousins Deal with Sacred Cows

“A Family Conversation” is a storytelling audio series that features weekly discussions between blogging cousins LadyG and Ron Brown on current events along with favorite posts from each other’s blog.

“A Family Conversation” is published on Wednesdays.

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This week, we go IN by delving into Ron’s post, “Sacred Cows make Tastier Hamburgers.”

In his post, Ron offers multiple examples of America’s greatest patriots engaging in healthy critique of their homeland.

Ever hear of George Washington?

How about Abraham Lincoln?

Neither President Washington nor President Lincoln saw our country as infallible and, therefore, exempt from criticism.

Make no mistake, both Presidents, at times, leveled very radical sounding indictments on the country.

In fact, if you didn’t know any better you’d think you were reading the words of a fringe dweller seeking to overthrow the government by any means.

These days, some folks would have us believe that if you criticize America, you are not patriotic.

They say things like, “This is America, love it or leave it!”

First things first, what gives them the right to say that?

Why would folks do that?

Where are folks going to go?

The key point here is that you can disagree with what a country does while continuing to love it.

Just like you do with a spouse, a sibling, parent or child.

This transcends race!

All of us have the right to disagree with, or question our county’s actions, inactions, behaviors and stances.

Now…

A word to the wise, proceed with caution.

This post is NOT for the faint of heart as it is VERY raw and it contains adult language/adult situations. You might get called out if you are aligned with certain factions.

Click here to listen to audio recordings

President Lyndon Johnson quote from “Best Buddies…”

NOTE: RE: “Taxpayers and Looters”

Radio licenses were not free but the fee was very nominal.

A Family Conversation: The Cousins Discuss The Elusive American Dream

martin-luther-king-1953486_1920

“A Family Conversation” is a storytelling audio series that features weekly discussions between blogging cousins LadyG and Ron Brown on current events along with favorite posts from each other’s blog.

“A Family Conversation” is published on Wednesdays.

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Excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech:

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s Capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

If you are interested, you may read the full speech transcript here.

Now…

Observe as I switch my focus from the words of a King to a topic that appears to be totally different.

I’ll begin “the switch” by asking…

Isn’t it funny how the lyrics of a song can mean one thing in one context, and another thing in a different context?

That very fact inspired Ron to post two throwback jams from one of the most prolific songwriting duos of all time, Valarie Simpson and her late husband Nickolas Ashford.

And so….

This week, Ron and I discuss the song lyrics from Ashford & Simpson’s “It seems to hang on” and “Found a cure.”

Listen in as we flow with the lyrics into conversations on :

  • Dealing with the ever-present albatross of discrimination.
  • Interacting with people who either intentionally or unintentionally invalidate our experiences of prejudice.
  • Maintaining a hopeful optimism that one day America will live up to its greatest potential by adhering to its own assertion that “all men are created equal.”
  • A Divine prescription for the cure that we need; hint, it’s been there all along.

Enjoy,

Adult Language and Situations

Pt 1

Pt 2

To listen to a deeper conversation click here for parts 3-5

A Family Conversation: Ron Brown and LadyG Discuss the Cool Uncle’s Story

 

IMG_9104
Cool Uncle aka Daddy (Sembach Airbase 1965)

“A Family Conversation” is a storytelling audio series that features weekly discussions between blogging cousins LadyG and Ron Brown on current events and featured blog posts.

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“My uncle was as cool as a ’65 Thunderbird!”

-Ron Brown

Yep, that’s precisely how Ron describes my Daddy’s vibe from his younger days as a MP in the United States Air Force.

Folks said he was as cool as a cucumber…

A tall drink of water…

A pretty redbone…

Clearly, LadyG loves a good cliché

LOL!

All that aside, Ron’s cool uncle tells some awesome tales from his post-military days working on the railroad in the late 1960’s through the late 1990’s.

And so…

We invite you to join us in today’s sessions as we talk about Ron’s cool uncle (my Dad) RailroadConductor67’s post, “Santa’s Helper.”

As usual, Ron and I often found ourselves sidetracked!

Our conversation quickly galloped from Lysol to Clorox to wild game to storytelling where it crashed, head on, into Rickie Lee Jones.

But it gets better considering the fact that Rickie Lee wasn’t supposed to be a part of the dialogue.

AT.

ALL!

(Warning, a shift from first to third person is coming up so that I may distance myself from “LadyG”)

Yeah, so, you see, it all started when LadyG went on this tangent about Tommy Lee Jones, whom she thought was named Rickie Lee Jones.

Just so you know, Rickie, the female singer, should NEVER be confused with Tommy, the male actor.

They aren’t even kinda the same.

But of course, LadyG cannot be bothered with “facts.”

And, if you stick around to listen to the part 2 audio in this post, you will hear this for yourself.

Anyway…

Remember, you can find my Daddy, Ron’s cool uncle, here under category:  “True Railroad Stories”

You can also find Ron Brown under category “Ron’s Time Tunnel” and at his blog “Time Tunnel” 

Audio does includes some adult language

Part 1 Run time: 30 minutes

Part 2 Run time: 25 minutes