MLK Day: Change Is Necessary

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – MLK

Where do I begin? In the words of Marvin Gaye, “What’s Going On?”, is all I can come up with. Today is the day we commemorate the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He stood for Nonviolence, Unity, Equality, and Love. Dr. King was all about Change and it came with some Controversy. Change is NEVER easy, for anyone. However, in the last few weeks, in fact, last few years, many of the tenets on change, and how we should deal with it, that Dr. King taught, have not been demonstrated by our national leadership. And this lack of character in times of change, has unfortunately, trickled down to the masses, leaving many of them feeling, somehow disenfranchised and dissolusioned about their privilege and place in society. I’m sorry you feel this way. But people who look like me have been disenfranchised for the entirety of our presence in this place we call America, by people who look like you. The difference: Dr. King, John Lewis, and others, practiced peaceful and nonviolent protest, even in the wake of violence against them, from others. They got in, what John Lewis called, “Good Trouble”, because equality, is a right, we all should advocate for and this is the concept that the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have continued to keep alive in order to make change in our law enforcement system. This is how Stacey Abrams made change in Voting Rights and elections in the state of Georgia. Nonviolence. Peace. Social Justice. Simple. What many of you showed us by storming the Capitol Building, was how intolerant you are of change and it scares me how much some of you want things to remain the same, frozen in time. That’s not how change works. And until you see America as a place that belongs to all of us, everyone who lives here, even those that don’t look like you, change will continue to be a burden to you instead of being seen as something to make both our lives better. That’s a battle you will have to deal with on your own. Until you figure it out, we’ll continue to work on making Dr. King’s dream come true because we still have a ways to go, with or without you. #MLKDay #LoveThyNeighbor #ChangeIsGood #LoveNotHate

40 and Over ALMANAC. 40 years ago. John Lennon | Biography, Songs, Albums, Death, & Facts | Britannica

If you are 40 and over then 9 times out of 10, you know exactly who the Beatles are and who John Lennon was. And you remember when he was murdered in 1980. Next week, December 8th,marks the 40th anniversary of his death. Please share your favorite Beatles/John Lennon songs here. Mine are Imagine, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Love Me Do, Let It Be, and Come Together.

https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Lennon

Throwback Thursday: Watch “Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Gladys Knight – That’s what friends are for” on YouTube

Tuesday was #WorldAIDSDay and to mark this week’s #ThrowbackThursday, I thought I would highlight the 1985 classic, #ThatsWhatFriendsAreFor, featuring Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John and it raised over $3 million for AIDS research. Fun Fact: Did you know the song was originally recorded in 1982 by Rod Stewart for the soundtrack to the movie Night shift? Really? This version was an awesome collaboration. Thank you “Dionne and Friends” #the40andoverproject #40AndOver #OldSchool #the80s #music #musicvideos

NEW PODCAST EPISODE. Young Readers Week, Veterans Day, and World Kindness Day

NEW PODCAST EPISODE. This week marks Young Readers Week, which, if you are 40 and over over, reminds me of Write to Read Week from back in the day. I hope you’re reading something. Also a shoutout to Veterans and a word on World Kindness Day. Thank you for listening. Enjoy! https://anchor.fm/the40andoverproject/episodes/Young-Readers-Week–Veterans–and-World-Kindness-Day-emcn53

#the40andoverproject #40AndOver #OldSchool #podcast #YoungReadersWeek #VeteransDay #WorldKindnessDay #SeasonOfGiving #HelloNovember #blackpodcastnetwork #podcastingwhileblack

Throwback Thoughts: Love Thy Neighbor

I originally wrote this as a Facebook status update in 2018 to express my frustration with America. It’s 2020, and we’re on the eve of a contentious election, our democracy on the brink of disaster. In the last 4 years, we’ve seen hate, the likes of the 1960s, rear its ugly head, once again. I figured I might share this post again, with a new audience in the hopes it might inspire someone to love.

Been working in Higher Education for 20 years this year (1998-2018, I know scary right). The thing about education (be it in the form of college, high school, or the school of life) is that you must embrace learning and be open minded. You must be willing to learn about yourself along the way, as well as learn about other people, other cultures, other perspectives, etc. Hate is home grown and comes out of the inability to not step out of our homogeneous communities to actually meet, live with, and get to know others who are different from us. No one said this was an easy task because we are all raised in different environments, with different parents, family members, friends, neighborhoods, etc., but it is still much easier to show compassion, kindness, and love to others than it is to have a closed mind and hate. You have to work real hard to do that. Now, we don’t have to be BFFs with everyone different from us, but a simple hello, good morning, a head nod, a something, is better than nothing. Then, you are telling people you know they exist and vice versa. And then, if you feel compelled to have further conversation or engage in a social activity (even something as simple as coffee, a drink, etc.) we are all the better for it, even the smallest gestures mean alot, they are building blocks. I have so many friends and acquaintances from all walks of life, from other countries, other states, speak other languages, have different life experiences, all ages, races, abilities, and identities. And no, I don’t always understand everything about who they are, but the one common bond we have is that we try, we talk, we ask questions, we laugh, we socialize, and we share time with each other. That is it. This is what it takes and that is what it will take for #America to get back on track. Hate cannot be our signature on the world. It cannot be what others see when they look at our history. Yes, it’s a part of our history but it cannot be what defines us. #LoveThyNeighbor #LoveIsKind

What Has He Done For You Lately?

We have exactly one week left, one week from today, when we will know the fate of our country’s leadership. Once again, we are at the crossroads of one of the most contested elections in American History, let’s all keep in mind, exactly what’s at stake.

James Baldwin said:

We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.” “I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do”.

Those that continue to support 45 and make excuses, I will no longer entertain. He has shown us through his ACTION and In-Action who exactly he is and what exactly it is he stands for.

Please STOP making excuses for him. It’s getting so bad that it’s starting to look like those family members who make excuses for their alcoholic or drug addicted relative, enabling their behavior, over and over again. Trump supporters, you are enablers.

And it’s to the detriment of the rest of us, who are also citizens and immigrants of this country we call America, whom 45 disses, disrespects, and denies, on a daily basis, since his first day in office and many times before. If you agree with and/support him and his behavior, then you are complicit in the aiding and abetting of the perpetuation of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and classism in America.

And really, in the words of Janet Jackson, “What Has He Done For You Lately? For most of us, absolutely nothing (unless you are a rich, balding white man.) If he wins again, you will have blood on your hands (along with Coronavirus) only yourselves to blame. Whatever you do VOTE! And #GetHimOutOfOffice

Podcast Update: No Justice No Peace

#podcast #update #listen Before you write the Black Lives Matter Movement off, just remember, if freedom is what you celebrate, you must understand that both the celebration of freedom and an effort to move the needle of what it means to be free forward, can indeed coexist, because, well…. This is America. I originally blogged about this topic on the 4th of July this past summer, but I wanted to share the topic, No Justice No Peace, on the podcast because I believe it is a topic that is relevant year round. Thank you for listening and please share.
https://anchor.fm/the40andoverproject/episodes/No-Justice–No-Peace-eka2v8

And be sure to subscribe to my blog: https://the40andoverproject.com and join the Facebook group at:  www.facebook.com/groups/the40andoverprojectpodcast

SHARING. Love letters from Tupac, crown worn by Biggie offered in 1st-ever hip-hop auction at Sotheby’s

As an old school Hip Hop head, imagine my delight when I heard about this on the news this morning!

SHARING FROM KTLA.COM

Rivals in life, the rappers Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur are being united for an auction at Sotheby’s, the first-ever dedicated hip-hop auction at a major international auction house. Bidders will be able to vie for the crown worn and signed by the Notorious B.I.G. during a 1997 photo shoot held three days before he was killed in Los Angeles. They’ll also get to bid on an archive of 22 autographed love letters written by Shakur at the age of 15-17 to a high school sweetheart. The auction will be held Sept. 15 and features over 120 hip-hop-related lots. The items can be viewed in person — reservations are required during the pandemic — at Sotheby’s in New York City and the exhibition will also be available to the public online via its digital gallery. “The impact of hip-hop is everywhere — sneakers, clothing, jewelry, art, music. I wanted to have a sale that really recognized how massive that impact really is,” said Cassandra Hatton, the Sotheby’s senior specialist who organized the sale. The estimates for the headlining lots — $200,000 to $300,000 for the crown and $60,000 to $80,000 for the letters — are low, with the hope that the auction house can attract first-time bidders and show it is not just a stuffy place for multi-million-dollar watches and paintings. Onetime friends who became rivals in a hype-fueled war between the East and West Coast rap scenes, Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. — also known as Biggie Smalls — were gunned down within months of each other. Both crimes remain unsolved. The crown has been in photographer Barron Claiborne’s possession since he captured Biggie for the cover of Rap Pages magazine. Claiborne had provided the prop, hoping to portray Biggie as the king of New York. Sean “Diddy” Combs, owner of Biggie’s label Bad Boy Entertainment, was with the rapper on the photo shoot. “I’ve seen the crown. Everybody’s seen the crown. It’s so famous. It’s so iconic. When I was first thinking of doing this sale, I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to track that crown down?’” Hatton said. “I’ve sold all sorts of wild things. But this is a little different.” Shakur’s letters — many on lined stationary pages with neat hand-lettered script — were written in 1987 and 1988 to Kathy Loy, a fellow student at the Baltimore School for the Arts. The 42 pages chronicle their approximately two-month long romance, including a letter of regret for breaking up sent a year later. Loy provided the letters for auction. “I’ll always be there for you,” Shakur wrote to her in one. In a poem, we writes: “Everything is so beautiful/since I fell in love.” The trove also reveal his friendship with fellow student Jada Pinkett Smith, who he mentions in one letter: “Jada told me she can see how much I love you.” What interested Hatton most is the tone of the letters. Unlike Shakur’s tough public persona, the letters reveal a “sweet, poetic, sensitive young man.” “There are definitely moments that made me blush reading the letters — he is a 16-year-old boy after all,” she added. “But he is very respectful. He advocates for clear communication and boundaries and wants to define relationships.” The auction continues Sotheby’s recent trend toward embracing items prized by popular culture, including hosting the first dedicated sneaker auction at one of the big auction houses in July 2019. A pair of Michael Jordan’s signed, game-worn Nikes was recently auctioned by Christie’s for a record $615,000.

Love letters from Tupac, crown worn by Biggie offered in 1st-ever hip-hop auction at Sotheby’s