Don't want to hear it,
she finds excuses.
He calls you crazy
but his mind is lazy.
I can't take the feelings of being bound in my spirit.
The comments, the slander, the negatives, no merit.
People always wanting me to say what I don't feel.
But they just don't know the deal...
the one some make
just another soul to take.
Wanting me to believe in things I can't
that's why I stand and rant!
Always telling me they are my friend
but asking me for money to send.
Just another foe
Playing games with the enemy
trying to make us all a mini-me.
Who am I suppose to be when I feel bound and ain't free!
You don't like me because my skin ain't right.
You don't like me because I might fight!
You don't like me because I'm small.
I don't like you cause you too tall.
But I can't say so...
in the boat I don't row.
You don't like me because I'm black
but society forces you to take it back.
I don't like you cause you ain't right
dare I say it because your white.
Cause I no betta!
When will we get to the place
where we are no longer a disgrace?
Cussing and fussing
and ghetto as you wanna be.
I need peace baby
I don't need Monique baby.
Just another loud mouth lady!
Chasing waterfalls like TLC
all the while some can't see me.
Took a fall
tried to stand tall
amongst certain groups
having dinner every night drinking soups.
save all the "How are yous"
and "What do you dos"
just looking to gain back all the money you lose.
So I sit here typing, tweeting, singing, leaping when someone speaks what I feel
when someone knows what I know
when someone exposes our foe!
I am happy yes!
I am nappy yes!
I get my hair to grow,
I go back into, "I don't know"
use a creamy crack
then I take it back.
Its all about being right
keeping it locked and looking tight.
Its all about who you know
keeping it on the down low.
Don't speak what you feel
or someone might kill...
in a can
behind your team
or maybe even you
so what do you do?
Nicholl McGuire, Writer, Blogger, Self-Published Author
while I'll be sitting on the table
in the background smiling,
my little smile on a syrup bottle.
I should have known from the first day
I met you that respect was far out of your reach.
For a man to respect any woman
he must respect his mother first and you don't.
Instead Snow White receives the highest honors
for her long, straight hair, thin lips
and Yankee Doodle grin.
And you say it's because she's easy...
easy in bed, easy to love,
easy to control.
And as for me, well all you have is that empty syrup bottle
to remind you of my presence,
because your too busy hiding Uncle Ben behind
the can goods in the closet of your mind.
It's just not proper to be reminded
of your blackness,
and Snow White makes you think otherwise.
You look in her mirror and you become
mentally drained into believing
that you indeed are the "fairest"
one of them all.
Nicholl McGuire, Poet and Author
I hope that parents are teaching their sons a thing or two about the foolish women out there who will drop their drawls for just about anything (ie. Badu.) I have four boys and they have been shown example after example of bad women. I have one son who will shake his head and even point out some of these women who think they are sexy stepping out in high heel shoes with dimpled thighs, fat rolls around their waist, and in some cases age marks on their face and arms (oh yes 40 plus thinks she is cute too!)
So while there are many women preaching about "There aren't any good men," I beg to differ, "Where are the good women?" There are some who know how to dress the part, but they are bitter. Mad because someone from back in the day hurt them and any one who dares to get close to them just might get bit right along with the unsuspecting man's family too!
You see, we sit back and say, "Shame, shame at least that's not me..." Oh but it will affect you whether your son, brother, cousin, or nephew dates, marries, or brings "his friend" around. Whatever poison she is dripping in his ear will eventually come to the surface like a pimple getting ready to burst and you will have to sit and look at that ugly thing, now won't you?
Love is out there but the only way young men and women will be able to find it is if they go to places where true love thrives! It doesn't live in the club, on a bar stool, standing on the corner with a mini-skirt on wearing bright lipstick and over-the-top hair! Love isn't rolling her eyes behind the counter cracking bubble gum or cussing someone out on her cell phone. Love isn't pumping bass through the neighborhood showing off in a car that is a magnet for the police. Love isn't out on the street hustling illegal drugs or standing on the porch hollering expletives to his boys.
Love isn't in the hood. Love is with God. The only way any of us can find true love is when we seek out our Creator and accept him into our heart. Just like we can go to a doctor and accept whatever the diagnosis is, we can do the same with God. It starts with reading the Gospels and pondering on what you read. Then associating with like-minded people who can share with you their experiences walking with God. Love can be found, but too many of us have been misguided, it can't be found with another man or woman until we connect or reconnect with our Creator.
Nicholl McGuire Author of When Mothers Cry http://whenmotherscry.blogspot.com
The history of the African Americans in America can sometimes be a touchy subject because of all the attachments that comes along with the story. The mere thought of the North American slave trade in such a modern time as this causes many to feel uncomfortable. As uncomfortable as it may seem I think there is a lot to be celebrated post the Slavery Era, Reconstruction Era and Civil Rights Era. Through the proper study of African American History/American History/World History one can see the great maturity of a Nation!
African Americans and America have come alone way since our original blend in 1619 when the first 20 slaves arrived to the Colony of Jamestown, Virginia. If you truly examine the tenacity and the courage that was displayed by these Africans turned Americans you would be nothing but inspired. Here you have a people that even when being bound by chains and restricted by the laws of the land, still found a way to rise above these complexities.
A clear and precise study of the African American people should be mandatory to all Americans because many of the traditional History books in the classrooms throughout American have left many to believe that the African American people have always been a helpless/hopeless people, a people of despair. However, when one thoroughly study and examine the likes of Anthony Johnson who was one of the original 20 slaves turned first African American Entrepreneur, Denmark Vesey who fought to liberate his people from slavery by organizing 9000 slaves and freemen to revolt and Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler who was the first African American woman to earn a medical degree in the US, they would conclude that African Americans have always been innovators, fighters and intelligent.
Growing up as a young African American male I often felt lost as if I had no identity. In my mind all whites were slave owners and all blacks were slaves. I lived with this for some 30 years. This made me feel as if whites were superior and that we as blacks were inferior. Once I became a dad to a boy child I had it in my mind that my son could not and would not grow up not knowing who he is as an African American. So I told myself that I must learn and teach from this point on. When my son reached his preschool years and Black History Month rolled around I felt as if I was being put to the test. Of course he would start to learn about the first of Black History Month's Fav 5 "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr". I felt that there could not have been a better time than this to teach him more. Therefore, we packed our bags and headed to Atlanta for the weekend.
This trip to Atlanta was the start of his cultural education as well as mine. While in Atlanta we visited the Dr. King Memorial Site and King Center. My then 5 year old son was very intrigued with the images he saw on the walls throughout the King Center and was fascinated to actually see the very house that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in. Our Atlanta fun soon came to an end and we had to get back home to St. Louis and prepare for another week of pre-school and work. Though we had left Atlanta and had left the King Center my sons' mind did not stop ticking. On our drive home my son inquisitiveness kicked into full gear. He asked me, "Daddy, can you turn off the radio so we can talk?" From this point on I became a true student of the history of people that defeated all odds.
Back home from our Atlanta trip my son would often sit on my lap, turn off the TV and ask, "Daddy, would you tell me about more important black people I should know about in our history?'" These questions and my own quest for knowledge led me to doing extensive research of the African American people. After spending countless days and nights studying I was beginning to fall in love with who I was as an African American. I know longer felt inferior; neither did I feel that whites were superiors.
For the first time in my life I felt that we were all the same. I found many eye opening facts like blacks and whites would work together, fight together and live together in times as early as the 1600's. Do this mean that all blacks weren't just slaves and that all whites weren't just slave owners? That's what it is beginning to look like. Why then are these things not discussed in classrooms and homes all across America? This would truly put an end to the age old race divide and would instill great self value and self worth to the millions of African American kids who grow up feeling the same way I did.
Learning and teaching my own history (the African American History) in my own home led me to putting together a collection of phenomenal African American Achievers' biographical summaries and composing them into a book entitled "RISEN: From Jamestown to the White House." I wrote the book RISEN after being inspired by my now 8 year old son to inspire others through the lives and contributions of some great African American Achievers dating back to the year 1619 when the first 20 slaves arrived to the colony of Jamestown, Virginia up to our present day in time when we have a family occupying the White House that resembles those same 20 passengers that arrived some 300 years ago.
To conclude there is a great importance in studying African American History which includes instilling self worth/self value in African Americans, it showcases African Americans as we truly are, as a tenacious and hopeful people and it paints a beautiful picture of Americas Maturity!
More about Anthony McDonald and "RISEN: From Jamestown to the White House"
Now most of these fraternal groups wouldn't be so bad if they weren't spicing up the fun, romance and great opportunities via movies like Drumline (who might I add are often repeated this time of year to incite interest in fraternal groups,) if they were really good groups free and clear of foolishness, deception, manipulation, and b.s. Those at the bottom in these groups just see whatever their recruiter tells them, "Our group will provide you with great opportunities to...we will instruct you on...come to our meetings...memorize our bylaws...date our men...help your sisters..." but those at the top see the big picture. They know that with a little soft mind control (also known as brainwashing) much money and service can be obtained from the naive (even the local church is guilty of this!)
I would hope that some of these young people who can't wait to attend the Greek parties, get involved with the Greek rush, and anything else these fraternal groups enlist them to participate will get an awakening! They will see those who are in violation when it comes to hazing, those who are not interested in who they are but more interested in who they know, and those who don't like other groups due to skin color, background, social class, etc. (Why sell your mind, body and/or soul just to belong?)
I would hope that these individuals will do a little research (visit YouTube and other websites by including the name of the group and including the words "exposed," "scam," and "hazing") and realize what they are being groomed for in the future -- elite organizations that have left Jesus out of the midst! Its unfortunate but many groups are putting young people on a fast track not only for fame and fortune, but hell too!
R&B has always been the softer side of urban music, dealing with love and emotion, where hip-hop has always focused on political and street commentary. While the message of R&B has remained the same, the style of it has changed drastically over the last ten years.
Today, R&B makes extensive use of AutoTune, a technology that fits perfect pitch on artist vocals and allows vocal distortion. Going further, the ballad, which used to be the dominant form for R&B tracks, has been replaced by the club joint, popularized by artists like Chris Brown.
And the most drastic change? There are no more R&B groups! Since its beginning, R&B has been defined by its vocal groups. The 1950s were packed with the street corner singing of Doo Wop groups like the Platters and the Flamingos. The banner was then taken up by The Temptations and The Four Tops in the 1960s and The O'Jays and The Spinners in the 1970s. The 1980s kept the sounds of groups alive with a wide variety of successes including The Tyme, Full Force, The Deele and The Force M.Ds.
The 1990s were defined by these groups, young men coming together for the love of the music. Just off the top of my head, I can quickly name: Riff, Guy, After 7, Entouch, Jodeci, Dru Hill, Playa, Profyle, Boyz II Men, All 4 One, Shai, Troop, Silk, H-Town, U.N.V., Hi-Five, Az Yet, Another Bad Creation, Bel Biv DeVoe, Mint Condition, Tony! Toni! Tone! And that's without even looking at artists that didn't dominate the charts.
If I did this same thing today, I would have Day 26, a group formed on a reality TV show, and Pretty Ricky.
So I ask you, what happened to the R&B male vocal groups? Have young men and women forgotten what it means to sing together? In hopes of getting a better understanding of the question, I set out to ask the very artists for their opinions.
When asked about the group scene today, Anthony Fuller of Riff said,
"Yea, we want to be able to give them singing and entertainment. A lot of things that's done now is basically entertainment. Even in the studios, a lot of things are programmed to where you sing one note and let the studio do the rest."
Following up, group mate Dwayne Jones said,
"And you know, right now that's all you're hearing. Songs with the voice box and stuff like that, again, nothing wrong with that and that's cool. But what's actually missing is that nice three, four, five part harmony. Nice deep down soul in your gut type singing, you know we don't hear anybody begging anymore."
Both placed blame on the homogenizing sound of R&B caused by the AutoTune technology, and when you listen to the active groups today, you can see the presence. The sound of old features group harmonies, belting, pure singing. Today, it is hidden behind voice modifications and synthesizers.
Seeking to find the blame for this change in music, I began to look for groups of old and find out their reasoning for taking time off or for breaking up.
According to Keith Mitchell of After 7,
"It got frustrating pouring your heart and soul into a project and your record label drops the ball on records. So we lost confidence in the label and asked to be released. We didn't lose our record deal for all the public they should know that because it's a pretty unique situation and not many artists choose to walk away from labels but at the time, we did."
Expressing similar feelings, J.Poww of the group Universal Nubian Voices said,
"Well after the second album, we were very disappointed with how the record was handled, as far as what singles were chosen, even the overall direction of the record. Had it been my choice there would have been a few more up-tempo, mid-tempo things and there would have been some other things that would have transpired as far as what would have been the first single. We left Maverick in 96 because of that. We weren't dropped."
From the various artists' opinions, it seems that the common thread was the labels. Artists find themselves forced into a niche or abused to the point where there music lost its soul. Their artistic expression is dictated by labels and the cause of these groups creation, the love of the music, is lost.
However, these blames can't be put entirely on the labels. In the end, the labels are in the business to make money. Today, they see AutoTune based R&B music selling, and so they downplay the groups in order to sell more records. The consumers are causing the silence of R&B vocal groups as much as the labels. Until there's a proper demand for R&B groups, there won't be any interest from the labels in producing this kind of music again.
However, this leaves an interesting hole in the market. As Dwayne Jones from Riff said,
"Growing up, we can go back a decade and say you know, Force MDs, Full Force. And then they can say, the Marvin Gayes and the Stevie Wonders, but coming up now in this century, that music is missing right now... there's a gap in between there. Because now, the kids, the only people who they actually know now is probably Chris Brown."
Today's market lacks the sound of real vocals to inspire another generation of kids to pursue music careers. While we as listeners can survive the dearth of R&B vocal groups today, can the industry survive it?
Looking towards the future, R&B singer Case leaves us with an optimistic view,
"Because I think music just goes around in a big circle. So I'm pretty sure it'll be back around to where it was. There were so many groups back then, and then it changed back to the solo artist and I figure it'll be back."
As African Americans, we often talk often about how "I been through so much I could write a book!" But rarely do we actually sit down and write about it. Don't worry over spelling and grammatical errors -- just write. Don't be concerned about how your voice sounds over a recording, just speak! Find someone who knows how to write a book and tell them what you want to talk about in book form.
Deep inside of all of us there is a book and if we don't tap into it we will never find it. Turn the TV, computer, radio, telephone and whatever else off for awhile, so you can get your thoughts together. Some of us are very spiritual and God has been moving on us for awhile to write what he commands, but we put him off.
If you have found this blog today, let this be a wake up call for the book inside of you to come on out!
Nicholl McGuire is the creator of this blog and author of When Mothers Cry, Amazon.com
Once your book is complete, come back and read the following:
Book buzz requires people to talk about your book. Authors discover after writing the book, the book has to get into the hands of readers.
A common problem is discovering the most cost efficient strategies to find readers. Marketing online and using press releases can be effective but not easily measured. Street marketing strategies provide low-cost investment, create direct relationships and can garner immediate buzz for your book.
Here are 5 strategies to distribute your marketing materials, promote your brand and create buzz.
1. Postcards - Print postcards with your book cover to give to potential customers. On the opposite side, place the press release, book event, blurbs or other relevant information about the book. Pass the postcards out at a concert, place the cards on the library counter or pass out at a literary reading event.
2. Brochures - Print a three-fold brochure along with a description of your book. Include the contact information to purchase or read an excerpt online. Hang the brochure at grocery stores, doctor / lawyer offices, or anywhere else you know your audience might pass and read.
3. Bookmarks - Create bookmarks with your book cover and the back description. Pass the bookmarks around a poetry reading, literary festivals or network with another publisher to pass your bookmark out as a promotion. Offer the bookmark as a promotion with your book. Readers like free, useful, gifts to use.
4. Business Cards -Pass out business cards whenever you have a book signing or related event. When meeting people, be memorable. Distribute your business cards at a happy hour or networking social. Make it a goal to circulate the cards and follow-up to cultivate a relationship.
5. Books - Get the book sale! The book itself is a marketing tool and should be leveraged to create buzz. Research your market before you design your book. Some people actually do choose a book by the cover and the back copy.
Do not only sell your book! Sell your ideas, personality, brand- you! If people like you, they will purchase your book and become repeat customers. Street marketing establishes a direct relationship for authors to sell and brand their product to generate repeat customers. The creative author will locate high traffic visibility areas and creative outlets to distribute marketing materials.
Get your marketing materials into the hands of readers and in front of their eyes. Exposure is the first step to creating long lasting buzz for your book. Make it your goal to present your product in a professional manner and provide potential customers with all necessary information to make a purchase. You will be happy you did. And if you wrote a good book, people will talk.
Q.B. Wells is a publisher of Art Official Media LLC and the editor of http://www.Urbaniamag.com Learn marketing tips, read urban literature or view urban art by visiting the website. Subscribe to the ezine @ http://www.ArtOfficialMedia.com/urbania-magazine.html
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African American Planet: Relationships, Education, Products & Lifestyle by Nicholl McGuire is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at africanamericanplanet.blogspot.com.
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