Afroticity

hoodie-tmartin“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” Wiiliam Wilberforce

roland hayes

Roland Hayes, the brilliant tenor became the first African-American man to earn international fame as a concert vocalist. In 1942, Mr. Hayes’s wife, Helen and daughter, Afrika, sat in a whites-only area of a shoe store and were thrown out. When Mr. Hayes defended his family, he was beaten and he and his wife were arrested. The incident inspired Langston Hughes to compose the poem, Roland Hayes Beaten.

ethel waters 3

The Beulah Show, the first sitcom to star an African American actress, moved from radio to ABC TV on October 3, 1950, starring Ethel Waters for the first season. Hattie McDaniel, star of radio’s Beulah, joined the cast around September of 1951 but only filmed six episodes of the second season before falling ill. She was quickly replaced by Louise Beavers who stayed with the show until its cancellation in 1952.

heisman trophy 600“I’m not black, I’m O.J.,” a reference to an alleged quote from O.J. Simpson’s murder trial. Simpson was saying, as the story goes, that through fame and fortune he had managed to distance himself from the issues plaguing black men in America: poverty, police brutality, incarceration. I guess he was wrong. Continue reading “Afroticity”

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You Better Recognize

These days you’re surveilled every time you walk out your door. There is a camera in your lobby, on the street corners, by your neighbor and whenever you get on the subway, bus or go into a store or public space. There aren’t many places where you’re not “on camera” (NYC doesn’t allow cameras in restrooms), but do you need to be on camera to use your computer.

It appears the Face Recognition connection to start your computer is brief but given the latest Apple “bug” where Face Time users can hear conversations they shouldn’t have privy to, you have to wonder, who’s clocking whether you’re on line or not. GPS already tells them where you are. Email and telephone logs tell them who you communicated with and for how long. You fell for that 2 point recognition system introduced several years ago and they’ve connected your computer accounts to your phone.

They have your fingerprint! You traded it for phone and computer convenience and millions of us have voluntarily donated our DNA to the GREAT DATA CLOUD . You may have noted recently a large pharmaceutical company bought one of the major DNA testing companies. Can you say, “That has far reaching implications”.

YES the government monitors the Internet for threats but who’s to say something you mentioned wasn’t perceived as a threat and that you are now one step from being on a Watch or No Fly List. The Internet puts the world at your fingertips but who’s hands are you playing into? Data transmission has never and will probably never be completely secure. Phone operators could always listen in on calls and phones could be “bugged” legally and illegally. Mail could be steamed open, read, copied and re-sent, but do they really need photos of your family, dog, house and backyard and does every snap I take need to be cloudified immediately?

You better recognize that you’ve been recognized. Today’s pop-up for the red SUV you clicked on last week isn’t coincidence and, if it isn’t, what else is your information, what else are “you” being used for?

Lean

“To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” – William Shakespeare

Best to defy
gravity
If you are going to
defy anything.

Start with levitation
work on walking
on water
not making wine.

If you can defy gravity
einstein is an eccentric
who wore the same clothes
and rode a bike.

You ride don’t you?
Peddle faster.

Fix a gear
as you would a star
straight on till morning
wake in a never land
where broken eggs are healed
by ne’er-do-wells.

Strings hang only pictures
not pulled to advantage
or cut before they can become
cords.

Lean, lean, lean
into it.

Put your nose to the stone.

Put your back into it.

Leap from the pan
into the fire
never be a pot
for lightnings sake.

How else could scads
of scaled wings
the size of stamps
fly thousands of miles
and land on flowers
and imagination.

Handstands & Other Feats by C.Z. Vasser