Blog Archives

Nancy Wilson Feb 20 1937 – Dec 13 2018

Nancy Wilson

There are things that happen that remind us of other things, events, and people from long ago.  They are the type of things that remind us of our own mortality, those we love who have transitioned, and how important it is for each generation to teach and inform the next.  I owe it to my mom and a man named Charles for introducing me to Nancy Wilson.

I was around 10 years old when my mom bought my sister and I a record player.  My mom didn’t know much about recent music.  Her background was singing gospel music.  My sister wanted to sing and me?  I just wanted to enjoy music.  It turned out that I became the known singer in the family and the only one to play musical instruments.  Go figure.

There we were in the dining room, where my mom put the red and white record player on a table in the corner of the room.  Only, we didn’t have any records.  There was a local grocery store where a man named Charles worked.  We walked to the store and my mom asked Charles if he could recommend any records for her girls.  He didn’t recommend any but rather, told us to come back the next day.

Charles gave us a stack of 45’s and some good advice — go by the record shop and buy converts – those little red plastic disks to put in the center of 45’s and also make sure that the speed on the record player was on 45 and not 33.

I could barely wait to get home and start listening to the music.  The names – Sarah Vaughn, Nina Simone, Jimmy Reed, Nancy Wilson. Read the rest of this entry

Former President George H.W. Bush Dies at 94 — Variety

Former President George H.W. Bush has died, his son, former president George W. Bush, announced Friday night. He was 94. “Jeb, Nell, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died,” George W. Bush said in a statement. “George H. W. Bush was a man of […]

via Former President George H.W. Bush Dies at 94 — Variety

Her Majesty “THE QUEEN OF SOUL” died at 76

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Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer and songwriter. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister.

In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but achieving only modest success.

 

After signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as “Respect“, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman“, “Spanish Harlem” and “Think“.

 

By the end of the 1960s she was being called “the Queen of Soul“.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




 



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Star of Screen, Television, and Recording Artist Della Reese Dead At 86

Della Reese

She was born Delloreese Patricia Early on July 6, 1931, in Detroit, Michigan. She began singing in church when she was 6-years old.  By her teens, she was working as a singer in gospel luminary Mahalia Jackson’s unit.

After graduating from Detroit’s Cass Technical High School, she briefly attended Wayne State University, but soon moved into music professionally, taking Della Reese as her professional name.

Della Reese was the first Black woman to host her own talk show, which was launched in 1969 and called “Della”.

Della Reese got her first acting break from casting director Reuben Cannon, who offered her a guest shot on the cop show “The Mod Squad” in 1968.  She also appeared in roles on “Police Woman,” “The Rookies,” “McCloud” Chico and the Man,” Welcome Back Kotter,” and “The A-Team.”  Read the rest of this entry

REST IN PEACE CARRIE FISHER

The Fifth Column

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I’ve always liked Ms. Fisher.  However, I recently discovered her gift of tweeting and I was blown away by her sharp wit.  She will be missed. (ks)

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The Anniversary of the Death of Trayvon Martin – Feb 26, 2016

Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Benjamin Martin

On February 26, 2012, a 17-year old-young boy was visiting his father in Sanford, Florida. It was a rainy evening. He went to a convenience store for candy and juice. On his way back, a neighborhood watchman alleged that he was on his way to Target to get groceries when he saw a suspicious teen. He followed the teen in his truck, then on foot. Trayvon Martin was shot in the heart with a hollow point bullet by George Zimmerman.

What happened in this nation as a consequence of George Zimmerman’s actions  exposed the good, the bad, and the ugly.   Trayvon’s life, death, and legacy, has motivated many people of all races and from all walks of life to come together for the good, including advocating for changes to stand your ground law and gun control.

We shall not forget.

Trayvon lives on

In support for justice for Trayvon, LLMPapa produced videos during Zimmerman’s pending trial.  In the following, he addresses where a journalist wanted to interview him and he gives his response.

After the fire, the fire still burns.  The heart goes on.

Today, let’s celebrate Trayvon’s legacy.

 

Harper Lee dead at age of 89: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ author passes away | AL.com

Kira Moore's Closet

Sad news, my thoughts are with all those who knew and loved her. My she rest in peace.

 

Harper Lee dead at age of 89: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ author passes away | AL.com:

“Author Nelle Harper Lee, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961 for her book, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ passed away in her sleep Friday morning at the age of 89, her family has confirmed.”

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Earth, Wind & Fire Founder Maurice White Dead at 74 – ABC News

Published with Press This

Feb 4, 2016, 5:54 PM

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Maurice White

Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White, whose horn-driven band sold more than 90 million albums and made hits like “September,” ”Shining Star” and “Boogie Wonderland,” died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles, his brother Verdine said.

White, who was 74, suffered from Parkinson’s Disease and had retreated from the public even as the band he founded kept performing.”My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep,” Verdine White, also a member of the band, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

“While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes. Read the rest of this entry

Julian Bond, civil rights leader and former NAACP chairman, dies at 75

May he rest in peace.

The Fifth Column

Julian Bond died Saturday night after a brief illness in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. CNN Screenshot: Julian Bond died Saturday night after a brief illness in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

CNN

Julian Bond, a civil rights leader and former board chairman of the NAACP, has died. He was 75.

Bond died Saturday night after a brief illness in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which he served as founding president in the 1970s.

The Tennessee native was on the forefront of the 1960s civil rights movement, and was among activists who protested for equal rights for African-Americans.

“With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice,” said Morris Dees, co-founder of the SPLU, a legal advocacy group that specializes in civil rights.

Bond’s civil rights activism went beyond the United States.

In 1985, police arrested him outside the South African Embassy, where he was protesting against apartheid, the…

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Blues Legend B.B. King Dead At 89

bbking-624-1387488821Two weeks after it was announced that B.B. King entered a home hospice care, the news comes that he has died. In April, King’s daughter confirmed that her father was hospitalized for diabetes-related dehydration. The Blues legend had battled Type II diabetes for more than 20 years.

Throughout his career, B.B. King  earned 15 Grammy awards. His first was for the 1970 hit, “The Thrill Is Gone.”

King was born Riley B. King on September 16, 1925. He was kin2-002inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and the R&B Music Hall of Fame in 2014. He is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname “The King of Blues”, and one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” along with Albert King and Freddie King.

King was an inspiration and influence to many guitarists, both electric blues and blues-rock artists, including Santana and Eric Clapton.

I’ve seen B.B. King perform live and am blessed to have had that experience.

R.I.P. B.B. King

Leonard Nimoy, Who Played Spock on Star Trek, Dies at 83

RIP, Dr. Spock.  Live long and prosper.

TIME

Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Spock on Star Trek, died Friday. He was 83 and had lung disease, and his family confirmed his death.

Nimoy was most famous for his role as the Vulcan Spock on the Star Trek TV show in 1966. He would also later appear in J.J Abrams’ Star Trek reboot movies.

“He was an extraordinary man, husband, grandfather, brother, actor, author—the list goes on—and friend,” his granddaughter Dani said in a statement.

“I loved him like a brother,” William Shatner, who starred in Star Trek alongside Nimoy as Captain Kirk, said in a statement. “We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love.”

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Nimoy announced he had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, on Twitter a little over a year ago. He urged fans to quit smoking immediately, so they wouldn’t get sick as well…

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Death and Racism

Hat tip to Glenn Robinson for tweeting out the article.

The article on The Root hit me hard;

 Reject the “He was a good kid” or “He was a criminal” narrative and lift up the “Black lives matter” narrative. Those who knew him say Brown was a good kid. But that’s not why his death is tragic. His death isn’t tragic because he was on his way to college the following week. His death is tragic because he was a human being and his life mattered. The good-kid narrative might provoke some sympathy, but what it really does is support the lie that as a rule black people, black men in particular, have a norm of violence or criminal behavior. The good-kid narrative says that this kid didn’t deserve to die because his goodness was an exception to the rule. This is wrong. This kid didn’t deserve to die, period. Similarly, reject the “He was a criminal” narrative surrounding the convenience store robbery because even if Brown did steal some cigars and have a scuffle with the shopkeeper, that is still not a justification for his killing. All black lives matter, not just the ones we deem to be “good.”

It caused me to think back about why, during the George Zimmerman case, I did not debate nor defend against accusations that Trayvon was a “thug.”   Here we are again with Michael Brown, and there are folks trying to posture Michael as deserving of death because he was not a “good kid. “

The quote above explains what I have not been able to put in words.   In essence, those arguments for justification convey that there are good Blacks who deserve to live, and bad Blacks whose lives should be cut-short. That standard is defined by people through racially bigoted eyes that are never satisfied. If they cannot find anything to use to criticize the victim, or when their attempts are proven false, they attack the family, and even attack extended families. Read the rest of this entry

Robin Williams Dead: Beloved Actor Dies In Apparent Suicide

R.I.P. Robin.

The Fifth Column

Robin Williams | (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Getty Images)

This is a shock.   I knew he had issues with drugs and that he was in and out of rehab, but this is a shock.  There were so many movies I loved watching him in:  Good Will Hunting; Bicentennial Man; Good Morning Viet Nam; and of course Mrs. Doubtfire, just to name a few  He will be missed.

What’s your favorite Robin Williams film?

The Huffington Post

Beloved actor Robin Williams was found dead on Monday, police reported.

He was 63.

The apparent cause of death was suicide by asphyxiation, authorities said. According to his publicist, Williams had been battling severe depression.

Williams was best known for his starring roles in classic comedies like Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Morning, Vietnam and Jumanji, but also in dramas like Dead Poets Society. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting…

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Renowned Poet and Author Maya Angelou Dies at 86

R.I.P. Maya

The Fifth Column

Image: Dr. Maya Angelou Dr. Maya Angelou speaks on race relations at Congregation B’nai Israel and Ebenezer Baptist Church on January 16, 2014 in Boca Raton, Florida.(Photo by Jeff Daly/Invision/AP)

The world has lost another legend.  The African American community has lost a great author/poet/lecturer and so much more…

NBC News

Maya Angelou, the renowned poet, author and civil rights activist, has died, officials in her hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, told NBC News. The author of the celebrated autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” was 86 years old.

Her death comes less than a week after Angelou announced she would not attend the 2014 MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon, where she was to be honored, citing “health reasons.” Last month, she also canceled an event in Fayetteville, Arkansas, because she was recovering from an “unexpected ailment” that left her hospitalized.

Angelou was born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, under the…

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Rubin “Hurricane” Carter – Former Political Prisoner – Dead at 76

May he rest in peace.

United States Hypocrisy

"I wouldn't give up. No matter that they sentenced me to three life terms in prison. I wouldn't give up. Just because a jury of 12 misinformed people... found me guilty. And because I was not guilty I refused to act like a guilty person." - Rubin "Hurricane" CarterI wouldn’t give up. No matter that they sentenced me to three life terms in prison. I wouldn’t give up. Just because a jury of 12 misinformed people… found me guilty. And because I was not guilty I refused to act like a guilty person.”
Rubin “Hurricane” Carter

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the former middle-weight boxer whose career came to a tragic halt upon being wrongly convicted and imprisoned for 19 years over a crime he didn’t commit, died in his sleep on April 20, 2014, Easter Sunday. He’d been struggling with colon cancer at his home in Toronto, Canada for some time, and in February he penned a “Dying Wish” that appeared in the New York Daily News in which he plead the case of inmate David McCallum, a man wrongly convicted in Brooklyn, and called for him to be given a fair hearing. McCallum…

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Difficult to Mourn: Rev. Fred Phelps Dead at 84

When he made his transition, I hope he was greeted by Liberace.

Social Justice For All

fred-phelps I just learned that the infamous leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., died yesterday.  Phelps, who will be best remembered for his legacy of hate, such as: “Thank God for dead soldiers,” and “Thank God for 9/11,” because all of those deaths were “God’s punishment” for American immorality and tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.  Those of us in the LGBTQ community and our allies would usually hear his name and cringe, thanks to all of the damage he has done to our community.

Typically, Phelps and his family could be seen holding huge signs that read: “God Hates Fags.”  Phelps’ picketing of the late Matthew Shepard‘s funeral catapulted him and his organization into the national spotlight.

While I will forever hold a space of sadness for all the lives he hurt, I have to say that I am holding a space of sadness for Phelps.  What…

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Farewell Pete Seeger, Social Justice Activist

 

 

Wonderful summary of Seeger’s work. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this. It is truly appreciated.

Social Justice For All

Pete Seeger at his home in Beacon NY 9.14.2005Yesterday the world lost one of its longest-lasting voices for social justice. Pete Seeger — singer, songwriter, environmentalist, peace activist, and social justice pioneer — died at the age of 94. His long musical career was inextricably interwoven with his passion for equity and basic human rights.

Seeger was born in Manhattan in 1919. His father, Charles Seeger, founded the first collegiate musicology program in California in 1912 but was forced to resign for his outspoken pacifism during the first World War. His stepmother, Ruth Crawford Seeger was a noted composer and one of the most important resources for folk music in the early 20th Century. Pete blended what he learned in his youth into a long, beautiful career.

He learned banjo and began singing, passions that derailed his attempt to pursue a journalism degree. While he considered his future, he began working with the legendary Alan Lomax at the…

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Claire Davis Dies From Injuries

Claire Davis, R.I.P.

Claire Esther Davis, the Arapahoe High School student critically wounded on December 13, 2013 in the shooting at the school, has died from her injuries.  Claire, 17, was shot in the head by another student who turned the gun on himself, taking his own life.

She died at 4:29 p.m. Saturday, according to the hospital.  The hospital posted to their Facebook page; Read the rest of this entry

Nelson Mandela Has Died At The Age of 95

Nelson Mandela, emerged from prison after 27 years and became the father of democracy to South Africa, leading it out of decades of apartheid and becoming President.  Condolences to his family.

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Mandela and Clinton   Mandela and Michelle

 

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