Archive for July, 2010
The Black church has been very influential in the history of the African American community. It served as a place of praise, worship and refuge to its members. Pastors were life and marriage counselors, providers and mentors. The Black Church was everything black people needed to help them get closer to GOD and eventually make something out of themselves during hard times. Blacks could meet and greet without trouble. Well, those days are long gone.
Things have changed! With high divorce rates, increases in Black on Black crime and declining community involvement, it is obvious that even though many people still attend church, they are not benefiting from them as they used to. How did this happen? Somewhere along the way, it became more popular to do what feels good rather than to do what is right. Sinful urges, are no longer suppressed. With the increase in teen pregnancy, the youth do not understand the concept of “following God’s word.” Is it the churches fault? When talking about the youth, some would say it falls in the parents hands but, the community as a whole struggles to live by the “word.”
I must agree that it is hard to take Church seriously. Whether it is that commercial, your pastor was in where he/she promoted a new local restaurant or a simple observation of their lavish lifestyle. It is hard to trust their motives. The media does not help either. It seems like every year there is a big story on embezzlement or adultery going on in the church… It is to the point that the common joke about black preachers is their constant pleading for money. The phrase, “church is a business” has made a mockery of the church. Take a look our predominantly black films that feature the black church. Most of which are comedies. They always portray the pastor of the black church as a shady, money hungry, hustler type of character. No matter how you look at it, the church has a bad name. It is to the point you don’t know where your money is going. How often have you seen a church’s pastor live in better conditions than 90% of the members! Have you ever noticed your pastors fancy car and luxurious house and wonder how he/she is able to afford that? It is to the point, most people “love the Lord, but hate Offering” because of the pastors constant begging. Members get tired of offering baskets constantly being passed throughout the congregation. Even though all these things occur, it is not our place to criticize the church.
My theory is that the decline in community morals does not have anything to do with the church. The pastor and its members should not be the reason you attend. In retrospection, if you had expectations for the churches members before you got there, then you already failed. Never put your faith in man. You are there for one reason and one reason only, to praise God and get closer to the Lord. That is your mission. I personally pick my place of praise by how the “word” is taught, and how much knowledge I was able to gain after the sermon was over. No matter how times have changed, the “good book” always remains the same. Learn those principals and stick to them. Stand tall for what really matters. If you notice, almost every pastor that is caught for doing something wrong, will more than likely say something like, “I’m only human, and I make mistakes just like the rest of you…” There is a 100% chance he was right! Just because he holds a certain position, does not make him immune to temptation… It is not up to us to judge him, stick to the plan and focus on WE need to do to get closer to the Lord.
After viewing images from COMIC-CON (Comic convention) last week that took place in San Diego, Ca., I started to think. Marvel Comics and DC Comics are the two main competitors in world of comic book distribution. They have comic book characters that have become household names. Such as, Spider-man, Superman, Batman, The Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, the X-Men, The Fantastic Four and so on… all of which are well written story lines about super heroes and their plight as they fight their archenemies.
Each character has a biography that captivates their readers. Hollywood has decided to capitalize on this market with a string of movies that wrap around translating epic battles from the comics to the silver screen. These movies made these characters “main stream”. To the point, even if you’ve never picked up a comic book in your life, you know who Wolverine, Superman and Spider-man are. Just to name a few…
For me, there’s always that one question…Where are the black superheroes?
Believe it or not, they exist! They were ignored until the 60’s where they finally started to get their own headlining comic books. For those of you who don’t read comics, chances are that you never heard of them. There are characters like Luke Cage, The Falcon and Black Panther. These were some of the original characters that paved the way. Soon after, you have Storm of the X-Men, Spawn, Blade and so on… From there, you have the dozens of independent and underground black superhero comics. There are too many to count! But, why haven’t you heard of them?
Spawn and Blade had their own movies and they were a hit! But, why didn’t they do as well as Spider-man or even the HULK? I mean, Blade is one interesting character. He’s half vampire, half human. He has all the elements of a Wolverine story in that he’s constantly uncovering different elements of his past… Spawn is another interesting story. It’s a classic story of Good vs. Evil with Spawn caught right in the middle of it. His character is torn and unpredictable! It has hilarious characters, everything that should make the series popular and continue to grow. So, why isn’t it popular? I mean, according to the latest ECLIPSE sales, people love Vampire movies… you get the point. So, where are the others?
Is it the appeal? Do we need a character with a better storyline? A character with better powers and noticeable Super Villains. Or could it be that we aren’t ready for another major black super hero. One that could possible be presented on a grander scale… That might not be the case. But, we as culture, limit ourselves to certain genre’s. These comics have drawn the attention of some popular and more talented writers that can help these super heroes become that dominate character with an interesting plot. All it takes is SUPPORT. Believe it or not there aren’t too many black crime fighting super humans out there for our children to admire. A little support goes a long way! Whether it’s enough to get suppliers to create that new black action figure or even start that action packed cartoon that premiers on one of these anime filled cartoon channels. I would like to hear about a comic book super hero with a diverse twist that is coming to the silver screen other than Aqua Man or boring Thor! You’d be surprised how interesting that can be!
There is no secret; the sport of boxing is struggling. The sport has been on a steady downward spiral. With limited headliners and a shrinking market, it almost faded away. It’s to the point, you would rather reflect on the fights of old than even mention some of the up and comers of today’s boxing world. The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), has taken the box off by storm! Championship fights have sold out box offices, made millions on pay per view and has turned Champions into household names. You can almost say that it has taken place as the second most entertaining contact sport on American TV (football is in 1st place).
Most of the top names in the UFC have risen to become marketable. Randy Couture has his own workout tape, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson starred in a movie, Brock Lesnar (wresting great) has joined the league as one of it’s top and most feared competitors and so on… Who does boxing have? Who is selling tickets in the boxing world besides Floyd Mayweather Jr. The answer is FEW. It has been on a steady decline. Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., two competitors at the peak of their careers, have yet to fight! This could be a fight of the century. However, in typical, modern day boxing style, they can’t seem to get in the ring because of the “business” aspect of it. Can you imagine that? The two prizefighters have been procrastinated fighting each other because of technicalities in the contract. It is hurting the sport.
The heavy weight division in boxing has vanished. Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko (brothers) have dominated the division for too long! Simply because there is, no one left to fight. Lennox Lewis is retired and Holyfield and Tyson are washed-up. There are no more competitors left to fight for the title. That is terrible for a sport that, at one point in time, had endless talent in that division. It’s hard to watch a heavy weight fight and take it seriously now. Most of the contenders are “no-name”, out of shape, and lack the “it” factor it takes to draw anybodies attention. The average person does not even know who the heavy weight champion is. That is ridiculous considering the fact that in the past, whoever ruled over that division was on the front cover of every sports magazine, cereal box and sports drink commercial.
The UFC is on TV almost every week with a different group of up and comers just waiting to shine. With boxing, you’re only going to get two, maybe three good fights a YEAR! Not enough to keep it’s fan base satisfied.
You have to wonder does the style play a big part as well. How often do you get to see an opponent be hit while he’s down. A knockout isn’t a knockout unless the opponent is completely unconscious in the UFC. Fighters have taken bone crushing blow’s to the head and have battled back to victory. You can choke them out, break their arm, elbow them in them in the eye… almost anything goes! There is always the shock factor in each fight.
Although, boxing can still hold it’s own. The art of the sport is still legendary. The skill and precision it takes to out punch and score on your opponent takes uncanny guile. The footwork, hand speed, raw power, presence in the ring, slyness to avoid punches, cunning craftiness to counter-punch and unparalleled conditioning are what still makes the sport relevant. Can boxing stand a chance? Can their ratings rise and compete with the “ground n pound” nation… Yes.
The answer lies in the original headliners, the heavy weights. With a new batch of talent, the heavy weight division will strive in no time! People have been craving to see another classic grudge match with the big guy’s throwing down. The UFC is no joke, but it’s something about the competition in two men standing toe to toe and matching blow’s with one another in the traditional style. Using the art of the “bob and weave” to avoid punches and knocking another man out on his feet… The only question now is, are there any fighters out there who are still interested in Boxing and not going along with the popular vote and learning mixed-martial arts… Boxing still stands a chance!
One thing that can be said about black people, is that we loooooooooove to eat! That is a well known fact! Television ad’s take advantage of this, and rightfully so. It’s apart of our culture. We are known for over-using Sugar, salt, butter/margarine, and all kinds of fattening seasons and spices!
As a culture, we judge our experiences on how the food taste. As we travel from place to place, the one direction black people can point you in, is where the best food is located. “so and so is ok, but you really want to try this place! When you get there, try their ribs. mmmmm, that meat falls off the bone!” That’s an animated conversation, maybe kind of racist but you get the gist… If the food doesn’t taste good, it ruins our whole experience! We don’t even like visiting certain people according to the kind of food that is served!
It’s all in good fun, the same can be said about every culture… but with black people, our consumption of food is a PROBLEM!
Heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, high Cholesterol, high blood pressure, Obesity… I can go on and on about the health issues that plague the black community. There are countless articles on it. There are so many health programs that cater to blacks that there is no excuse! The real question is, why don’t black people care about their health? I mean, it’s fair to say that the BMI (Body Mass Index) test aren’t fair because even though it gives an accurate measurement to what each person should way according to their height. It doesn’t take into account each persons genetics. Some people are just naturally heavier than others, whether it be their bone structure or their heavy, muscular build… It’s not as accurate as we want to believe! But at the same time, that can’t be used as an excuse. Just because your “stomach doesn’t stick out further than your breast”, you don’t have a “muffin top” and you don’t sweat that often doesn’t mean you are in the shape you need to be.
The answer to the question on why black people don’t live healthier is stubbornness. Ignorance, plays a part as well. How can you possibly be obsessed over how you look on the outside and just not have any care about what your liver, heart, blood and kidney’s look like??? That’s just asinine!
You only want to live until your mid 40’s, maybe 50’s? What’s sense does that make?… Since when did we stop caring about living long enough to see our kids grow to full potential and actually being apart of our grand children’s lives…
You want to improve on self-esteem, you want to feel better about yourself… you want to feel good and look great! try getting in shape. Get the full experience of what it feels like to have your blood pumping, healthy lungs and slender stomach. That’s something to invest in.
Something that can help… is changing our meeting places. Where you socialize with friends is a big impact. We don’t get out and move! Try something different… The next time you and your friends get together, go skating, bowling, swimming… heck, even start a track club where you all meet at the track where you walk and talk (similar to long walks in the park). We need to learn how to find other entertaining meeting places to meet and greet other than functions like cruises, happy hours, boat rides and pot lucks. These places put emphasis on food.
Recently, there has been an overload of articles, which focus on the fall of relationships within the black community. Most of these articles focus on interracial dating, divorce rates and why professional black women and men cannot find a mate. Today’s black men and women have a hard time getting along. Every “relationship specialist” and “love doctor” in America thinks they have the solution. Everyone has his or her own issues. People fail to realize that even though many of these issues could be put in the same category, they still don’t relate to one another. For every cause, there is an effect.
In many situations, the person who claims that there aren’t any good men or women out here, never stops to think, “I wonder what it is about me that attracts these people”. Instead, you get the usual. You know the excuses, “n*gga’s aint sh*t”, “can’t turn a h* into a housewife”… so on and so on. Everybody wants to point the finger at somebody else. Could it be that we are looking in the wrong direction? Maybe it is everybody. Maybe we conditioned our environment to be this way. I mean, what did Chris Rock say, “there are n*ggas and then there are black people”. Maybe we are all behaving niggardly?
I mean TV is great example of how black people are, right? “ba doop ba ba baaa, I’m lovin it!” we all sing and dance for food right? I mean, our most popular figures on TV represent you and me. So, the lyrics you hear from these songs on popular black stations are how every black person thinks right. We all believe in “boyfriend #2”, all of our women “need a sponsor…”, all men have “sideline b*tches”… that’s how this new generation thinks. I guess, I mean according to the music of today that is what WE want to hear. We no longer want to hear, Teddy Pendergrass type music, “turn off the lights, and light a candle…” we don’t want to hear about LOVE. Hell no! Who wants to make “love” anymore? Adultery and having a “sideline boo” is cool now. We practice hating each other ALL DAY LONG. We must love fighting and gang banging because we love posting those knock out videos on YOUTUBE. I think there are more videos of females fighting then there of men fighting on the internet. When did females stop being ladies and start being self proclaimed b*tches? All of us aren’t negative, but we sure do like to put our business in the street.
According to our TV shows, black owned movies, and music, all we do is party, make babies and fight. We don’t even like each other. Black on Black crime is at a high. Race relations with each other are terrible. SO, if we don’t practice how to get along with our neighbors then how can we expect that same respect to be practiced within the house hold. TV has conditioned black people’s minds on how black people should interact with one another. It’s powerful. The youth see a bunch of “actors” wearing “skinny jeans”. Everyone starts to wear “skinny jeans”. A New York rapper uses the word “guap” to describe his money. Teenagers in Georgia start using that same term and they aren’t even from that area. Music and entertainment is universal, it moves us all. If all you see, are black people reacting in the same manner all the time. Eventually that catches on too. Rappers should never revere as role models. But, the media tries it’s best to praise and glamorize them to be the “prize possessions” of the black community. So if everything that they rap about has nothing to do with showing women respect, being faithful and taking care of home. Then what are the chances the kids will follow that way of living… Since when did what feels right become more important than what we know is right?
Recognize the source of the problem, look within, get yourself together and be happy. Then maybe, you will be ready and able to show someone else your self-worth. Stop being lazy and work at it. Maybe that’s what we need to keep this relationship working? Who knows? For every cause, there is an effect.
“Was that real?” I mean, did arguably the best player in the league just join forces with the “JUSTICE LEAGUE”? OOOOps, I meant the Miami Heat! I mean the last time I saw a starting line up like that is on a video game. Where I made some “fantasy” trades to get the “dream team” I wanted. Oh excuse me, that has been done before… the YANKEES, but that’s another story that is looooooong GONE!…This is one of those rare moments in history that you’ll ever see two of the top five players in the league play beside one another… Can you blame King James? We measure greatness by how many championships a player has. Not by how many times they came close! Just ask Donovan McNabb. Maybe Lebron had a talk with him before he made his decision. I can see it now, “Man do yourself a favor and leave now while you still have a chance. I was loyal. I did what I could with what they gave me. And look how they did me…”. After all, it is just business right? “Nothing personal”… But then again, Who else’s jersey is getting burned on camera? Farve? LOL, By the way, when is “two a day’s” over so he can show up with a “last minute decision” on why he is not retiring… What does this do to King James legacy? Can you still compare him to Jordan? the answer is NO. Now you could argue that Lebron was better than Jordan when comparing talent. There is no one on the planet at his size with that much GOD given ability to play basketball. Jordan did not have the ability to play every position on the court as effective as Lebron. But, there is one thing that makes Jordan untouchable to Lebron. You can never say MJ lost hope in the Bulls and went and joined forces with a team that is more likely to win. That’s like, if MJ went and played alongside Stockton and Malone. Where is the pride in that? He never took the easy route. That is his legacy; he built his own dynasty behind the mastermind of legendary coach Phil Jackson.
… From the fan’s Point of view, it sucks because that could have been a legendary rivalry. Who wouldn’t want to see James and Wade go head to head in a long, grueling series? Apparently, that’ll never happen again… My point is, no one would have cared as much about the Lakers winning 16 titles if Bird came to LA so he and Magic could play alongside each other.