I remember reading and committing the Prayer of Jabez to memory when it first came out a few years ago. I prayed it faithfully everyday because, believe me, I wanted my territory to be enlarged. So, I read the next of author, Bruce Wilkinson’s series, “Beyond Jabez”. There was a part in this best-selling book that I preferred not to touch. That was the phrase that instructed us to ask for “somebody to help”. I was scared of that part.
Something tragic happened to the old black neighborhoods where I grew up in the 60’s. In those days, most of the businesses up and down 31st and 35th Streets, from King Dr. (South Park) to Michigan were owned by our neighbors. There was a drycleaner and a hardware store, both owned by the parents of kids I went to school with. The Griffins owned the funeral home on 33rd Street.
On warm summer mornings, we’d sit on the stomp in front of our house and watch the watermelon man go by on his horsedrawn wagon,
It’s a cinch that hundreds of thousands of teens have seen D’Jango, the fictionalized account of slavery, and have begun to glamourize Jamie Foxx’s character. Therefore, D’Jango seems like a good place to start the conversation with black children about Black History month. Let’s begin the discussion with, there were no D’Jango actions back then that didn’t go unpunished.
Finally, Chicago’s winter wind is often called “The Hawk”, a term long popular in the African American community. The first recorded citation of Chicago being dubbed “The Hawk” is from the Chicago defender, October 20, 1936: “And these cold mornings are on us—in other words ‘Hawkins’ has got us.”
Lou Rawls’ recording of “Dead End Street” explains “The Hawk” pretty well. I love the line when Lou says, “I had to get fully dressed before I could go to bed.” By the way, Lou Rawls is an alum of my alma mater, Dunbar Vocational High School.
Say no to deliverymen’s requests for drinking water, pop, or the restroom. These people aren’t your friends and they are getting paid for what they’re doing. Don’t allow them to call you if they are ahead of schedule and just want to pop in at their convenience. If my mom was watching “Jeopardy” or “Wheel of Fortune”, I wasn’t stopping her pleasure for someone else’s convenience.
The first time I heard “The Party”, by Paul Laurence Dunbar, was in 1990 at my former high school’s Hall of Fame Induction. The poem was recited by Ms. Eunita Rushing, an alumna of the school, whom I had not known as such an orator. Though we honored Bernard Shaw, Reuben Cannon, Mr. T., and Lou Rawls that night, the true hit was Mr. Dunbar himself through Ms. Rushing.
On different occasions have people mixed you up with someone else? Do they say there’s someone out there who looks just like you? Or someone who talks and acts just like you. When you see the other person, there’s a slight resemblance, but it’s not the you-you know. The other person is not as attractive or is more attractive than you think you are. Their conversation is waaaay more outlandish than you think yours is.