Common Sense From Dr. Stiff (@middledude) At The Blog, Grace Underway: Decision Time.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Decision Time.

 

By drstiff (@middledude)

 

It was one of those things you never see coming, until you do; if you do. Usually, it’s too late to avoid the hit, but when you see it coming, as I did, you CAN try to limit the damage.

 

A cool, clear evening during the fall of 2012 was the setting for potential tragedy. Cool air and solitude accompanied me on a walk to my buddy’s house, one block from my own. The shadows faded as I extended the distance between myself and the corner street light. I was alone. All was well.

 

I traveled the block in silence until my footsteps crossed the threshold of his front door. Robert was a recent acquaintance, and a welcome one. Even though he’s a gun nut, as in LOVES Guns, he does so in a responsible way, so we were cool. I’m not anti-gun; they’ve played a MAJOR role in my life; I like and respect them. We chilled, chatted and handled guns for a while until I felt the tug of my wife’s request to not overstay my leave. We packed up, I stood up, and headed out the door.

 

I scanned, up to the near street corner, and down the sidewalk towards the dim streetlight at the corner nearest my home. It’s my custom. Again, I was alone, walking. That didn’t last.

 

Two houses below the one I’d left, I felt the urge to check behind. I don’t ignore those urges. It’s my custom. Looking back revealed that I had company. Three young boys in their late teens were behind me, and they intended to rob me. Shit!

 

Four houses from my street corner, they were one house behind me. Shit! I doubted that a 48 year old man was going to grab this blue ribbon, but, I decided to try and make it to the corner street light that now seemed milesaway.

 

Checklist. In my possession? A crappy cell phone and a Bic lighter. Three houses to go. No wallet? No. WeaponTwo houses now …. One. Six hands introduced me to the ground. I wasn’t having it. I pushed my way up from the ground and screamed what would become my rant, “You are FUCKING UP, Guys. You have no idea how badly you are fucking up!”

 

They ignored me. Safety in numbers, I suppose, so they held me in place, two searching my pockets, the other held my arms, and my gaze. I repeated my rant. They ignored me and continued to search for spoils, even releasing my arms, but exposing a small knife. All while voicing disappointment in their haul. I repeated my rant.

 

I studied my options and decided that, so far, Things were manageable. I hoped they’d stay that way.

 

Eight feet away, a huge sheet glass window. In the ground next to me, a waist high piece of steel pipe. Sharp. Even rocks big enough to open a skull and close a casket. Was that going to happen?

 

I hoped not. I’d decided not, unless I had no choice. The voice in my head was playing now. If they stop at possessions, I’ll swallow my pride. But I’d had enough; I repeated my rant.

 

They didn’t ignore me. I looked at each of them. I’d convinced them. Fight or flight? Almost before I’d asked fate that question, I had my answer. It was flight, and I was relieved when they released me and ran with my crappy phone, lighter and their lives.

 

Decision time had come, and my decision had been made before they’d caught me. If they stop at possessions, I’ll swallow my pride. Luckily for me and the boys, things worked out just that way.

 

Was I mad as hell? Did I want revenge; retaliation; restored pride? Yes. Yes, yes and HELL YES! Luckily for me and the boys, I didn’t get what I wanted.

 

So, if all’s well that ends well, why is there more to read below this line?

 

This happened in Florida. The three Teens were Black. I am a 48 year old, White, Retired Professional. With my background, their crimes, and the Florida Stand Your Ground Laws, I could have killed those boys, and that’s wrong. I could have slaughtered them in the dim street light, walked home, called the Police and smoked a cigarette, and that must not be allowed to happen. That I could have, and still can, say I felt my life was/is in danger and use any lethal action at my disposal; those days must end.

 

Without requiring some respect for withholding escalation of force, deadly force and a punch in the face are equal, and equally acceptable in the eyes of the law. We know they aren’t equal responses.

 

The problem lies in that inequity. The problem lies with Inequality.

 

Stop the problem. It’s no legacy …. No future. It’s decision time.

 

Thank you drstiff (@middledude)

 

Please stop by Grace Underway and visit his blog site.

 

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Essence Fest In New Orleans: July 4-7, 2013


By Jueseppi B.

 

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2013 ESSENCE Festival Lineup

 

Music’s biggest and brightest stars will perform at the 2013 ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans July 4-7. Check out who’s slated to rock the house of the Mercedes Benz Superdome!

 

YONCÉ

MAXWELL

NEW EDITION

CHARLIE WILSON

KEYSHIA COLE

ST. BEAUTY

AVERY*SUNSHINE

DALEY

LL COOL J

MALI MUSIC

MAYA AZUCENA

PJ MORTON

ROMAN GIANARTHUR

TGT

TREY SONGZ

ALICE SMITH

BRIDGET KELLY

DEEP COTTON

EMELI SANDÉ

F. STOKES

JANELLE MONÁE

JILL SCOTT

KOURTNEY HEART

LEELA JAMES

LUKE JAMES

MIA BORDERS

SHAMARR ALLEN AND THE UNDERDAWGS

SIMPHIWE DANA

ANTHONY DAVID

BIG DADDY KANE

BILAL

CHRISETTE MICHELE

FAITH EVANS

JODY WATLEY

LES NUBIANS

MARSHA AMBROSIUS

MINT CONDITION

RACHELLE FERRELL

TAMIA

BIZ MARKIE

BRANDY

BRASS-A-HOLICS

CARLA FERRELL

CUPID

DOUG E. FRESH

GINA BROWN

GRETA PRINCE

MIKE SWIFT

SOLANGE

STOOGES BRASS BAND

THOMAS “NEPHEW TOMMY” MILES

TWEET

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Essence Fest  July 4-7, 2013

 

The nation’s preeminent showcase for African American musical talent, the Essence Music Festival, returns to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the New Orleans Convention Center over the weekend of July 4-7 with a blockbuster musical lineup, plus an A-list of distinguished speakers on the subjects of empowerment and the African American experience.

 

As they have done every year (except one) since 1994, the publishers of Essence magazine continue to sponsor the festival which has annually brought tens of thousands of visitors to New Orleans with a dazzling array of superstars and renowned speakers. This year is no exception. Musical headliners include Beyonce, Jill Scott, LL Cool J and the “Cupid Shuffle” guy himself, Cupid. Renowned speakers include Civil Rights pioneer and U.S. Congressman John Lewis, bestselling author Iyanla Vanzant, Hip Hop mogul Master P and TV show host Steve Harvey.

 

Other musical headliners for the 2013 EssenceFest include:

  • Anthony David
  • Big Daddy Kane
  • Blackstreet
  • Brandy
  • Keyshia Cole
  • Bridget Kelly
  • Leela James
  • Charlie Wilson
  • Faith Evans
  • Jody Watley
  • Kourtney Heart
  • Maxwell
  • Rachelle Farrell
  • New Edition
  • Solange
  • Tamia
  • Trey Songz
  • Mint Condition
  • Janelle Monae

 

And the sultry, French-singing, Grammy-nominated duo from Cameroun, Les Nubians! Plus New Orleans’ own Mia Borders. For a complete list of performers go to www.essence.com/festival/schedule/artist.

 

Inspirational and business-related seminars, aimed at empowering African American men and women, are also held concurrent with the Fest. Top names in the African American business and spiritual communities are frequently enlisted to present at these seminars. Among this year’s speakers announced so far are:

  • Denise Warren: fitness guru
  • Rev. Al Sharpton: political activist
  • Chanté Moore: award-winning R&B and pop singer
  • Dr. Michael Lomax: President/CEO, United Negro College Fund
  • Marc Morial: President, National Urban League and former New Orleans mayor
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton: Congresswoman, District of Columbia
  • Myrlie Evers-Williams: Civil Rights leader, widow of Medgar Evers
  • Karen Carter Peterson: La. State Senator
  • Kenya Moore: former Miss USA and star of “Real Housewives of Atlanta”
  • Robin D. Stone: journalist and renowned nutritionist
  • Donnie McClurkin: gospel singer and syndicated radio show host
  • Dr. Denese O. Shervington: President/CEO, Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, a community-based public health institute in New Orleans
  • Dr. Steve Perry: Education Contributor for CNN and MSNBC,Essence magazine columnist, bestselling author
  • Bishop Lester Love: Pastor, The City of Love Church, New Orleans
  • Tramaine Hawkins: renowned gospel singer, formerly with Edwin Hawkins Singers (“O Happy Day”)

 

Entertainers who will either speak, sing or perform include;

  • Doug E. Fresh
  • Biz Markie
  • The Brass-A-Holics
  • Gina Brown
  • Kim Burrell
  • Stooges Brass Band
  • Tweet
  • Yolanda Adams
  • Tyronne Foster and the Arc Singers
  • Traci and Trina Braxton

More speakers may be announced before the festival opens. For a complete list of speakers go to: www.essence.com/festival/schedule/speaker.

 

EssenceFest also gives African American artists, writers, craftsmen, culinary artists, businesspeople and others a chance to show and sell their wares. Streets in the Central Business District temporarily become outdoor markets, with booths featuring art, books, food, business, educational information and more.

 

Also, at the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Convention Center, the Essence Marketplace features a distinctive exhibit of quality fine art and fine crafts reflective of the rich cultural heritage developed throughout the African Diaspora. This includes decorative, functional, wearable and collectible art items such as clothing, jewelry, paintings, sculpture, dolls, beadwork, quilts, clay/ceramics, metal art, and much more – plus artist demonstrations.

 
Ticket packages are now on sale at http://www.ticketmaster.com/Essence-Music-Festival-tickets/artist/854752?brand=essence. Single night tickets will be available at a later date.

 

 

Some hotels offer special deals for Fest-goers. For more information about EssenceFest go to www.essence.com.

Travelistas Essence Video

Follow Travelistas Andrea and Teri as they give you the cultural hotspots and the events connected to the Essence Festival. Join them as they find out why the Essence festival is always a go-to event.

 

 

*Appearances/schedule are subject to change.*

 

 

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Photographic Time: Pictures Say A Thousand Uh-Oh’s


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

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You Ok Rick…You’re walking as if you have something stuck up your……

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Old School Saturday Jams


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

OLD SCHOOL 5

 

 

 

Ramsey Lewis featuring Earth, Wind & Fire – Sun Goddess

 

 

 

 

 

Feels So GoodChuck Mangione (1977)

 

 

 

 

 

Got To Give It Up (Parts 1 & 2) - Marvin Gaye (1977)

 

 

 

 

 

Tavares - Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel

 

 

 

 

 

Where do we go from here / The Trammps on soul train

 

 

 

 

 

The New Birth “Dream Merchant” (1975)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Do We Go from Here – Enchantment

 

 

 

 

 

 

O’Jays – Cry together

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Magic - Sideshow (Stereo)

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday Funk


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

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Tower Of Power - So Very Hard To Go

 

 

 

 

 

Santana w/ Tower Of Power - What Is Hip?

 

 

 

 

 

Larry GrahamThank you for Letting Me Be Myself

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnny Guitar Watson Live Gangster Of Love

 

 

 

 

 

WAR – All Day Music (HD)

 

 

 

 

 

WAR- SLIPPIN INTO DARKNESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

War — The World Is A Ghetto (1972)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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