Just Sit Down A Minute

I know some of you hate this Quarantine, but just chill for a second. This thing has created some phenomenal music moments. Admit it!

Who didn’t check out Jill Scott and Erykah Badu? That was amazing.And so many people on my timeline were into it. I remember at one point they had 625K

And now all these artists are trying to do the same thing. We are living through some of the greatest music moments. Artists are trying to find new ways to connect with their audiences and it is FYAH.

I am a big fan of Club Quarantine with DJ D-Nice. This man’s love for music is so contagious it can capture me for hours. D-Nice spins on Instagram drawing such an interesting collection of audience members who often become part of the show throughout the evening. His regulars include celebrities like Halle Berry and Donnie Wahlberg, but also regular folks who follow him too. Every session is a new adventure.

Since the Quarantine, I have listened to all kinds of artists do live performances on the internet from James Taylor to BoyzIIMen to Amy Grant to Yo-Yo Ma. There have been fun YouTube edited shows that have stretched my mind about their performances. This pandemic was the best thing to happen to them and me.

So, sit and chill and listen to some of the best music you are ever going to hear. Your favorites are doing it big. Sit. Listen. Love it.

Celebrating a Milestone

This week I celebrate graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Master of Arts degree in Journalism. I am sitting back and relishing what a life poured out to God can do.

So let me be honest. This was not on my five or ten year plan. I never dreamed it was possible, but has truly brought the verse to life that all things are possible with Him.

I will celebrate this victory each day this week. I will remember how God has been faithful in guiding me through this program in a city where I have not family or friend support. I truly trusted in Him.

Today I had ice cream. It was nice to savor the flavors of each and remember what I like about them. I mean like each of them on their own, but together it is really good.

Our lives are like one flavor of ice cream. We have plans and ideas of what we like to do. But when we give it to God and trust Him with it, He takes it to an entirely different level.

I am excited to see where I go from here.

I will spend the rest of the year explaining how African American beauty has been marginalized and how we need to appreciate our history. I am creating some art images on the subject and will have several exhibitions this year. Here is one I am working on.

It is the subject of my thesis and I have learned knowing you are beautiful is powerful. I will spend the rest of 2020 looking at different aspects of it. You can see a short video here.

One Man’s Art…

Is probably something that other people will get a kick out of. Last week I visited the Art Institute of Chicago.

I am amused (and so are others) by the room with all the armor. But like anything it was a way of life. Which means you make accommodations for your head and your children…

Where You Like to Go

One of my favorite places has more than 100 museums which are free to visit.  It reminds me of what we have accomplished as a nation and some things we need to do better. It is one of the most powerful cities on the planet but it is still open to visitors.

It can majestic, beautiful and inspiring. It can be scary, unfriendly and confusing. Washington DC is lots of things to lots of people.

According to Fodor, don’t rent a car or grab a taxi. The travel site suggests you use public transit, like the Metro. I am a fan of the Metro and use it whenever I am in town.  But don’t get so attached to the transit system that you forget to look at a map.

One time my friends left an hour before me to get to the museum by train.  My ten-minute walk across the Mall got me there when they exited the train station.  It is a great city to experience on foot. DC

When you go make sure you plan a visit to the White House.  This is something you have to do in advance, but it is worth it.  There are many rules and high security, but to walk through history is the result. One year we went during Christmas which they allowed us to take our phones and take photos.  It was an amazing experience.

There are lots of places to visit in this city and you will not get to most in one visit.  Yet for me, the historical points keep me coming back.  A visit to Ben’s Chili Bowl or to walk through the campus of Howard University inspires me.

For me, DC is like a good book with chapter after chapter. It never ends.  There is always something more interesting to see.

 

 

Where You Come From?

Always remember. Honor it. It made you.

Fort WorthHonestly, there are some days I don’t get me. But when I visit home it becomes clear. Crystal.

My hometown is Fort Worth, Texas where the west begins, but still stuck in the old south. It had great chicken fried steak and sweet tea. There are good schools that pass out fine educations.  I went to school with some of the best and brightest.

In high school, I got to interview Alan Bean, Astronaut from the Apollo 12 mission for the school newspaper because he was a graduate from the same school. I remember this moment because he made all of the other media wait and gave me the first few minutes of his time.  It made a lasting impression.

For many years the city was gerrymandered so that Republicans could maintain control of government positions.  I lived in an African American neighborhood south of downtown Fort Worth, and my congressional representative was a physician who lived in South Lake, one of the richest neighborhoods in the state.  There were no town halls with him but I did learn that I lived in a food desert, which is an urban area where it is difficult to buy affordable or fresh food. This neglect made a lasting impression.

It is still a city plagued with racist ideas because the current leadership does not appreciate what marginalized voices bring to the table.  The majority still believe that electing a sheriff that kicks out immigrants is the way to fix our problems. The majority believes electing officials who cover up abusive police officers is the way to handle problems. It is making a national impression.

Knowing that I come from this type of environment makes me cautious because some things I might think are normal, are probably racist. Some of the things I have learned to live with, I probably should not have.

So look at where you come from because it will definitely affect where you are going.

 

 

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