Slavery was way back then- Amos Wilson

Amos Wilson...

“I’m often somewhat amused and taken aback by the number of people in this society who claim that slavery occurred somewhere back then…and that the experience of slavery is not supposed to be operating in the mentality of black folks. You hear a lot of youngsters saying that as well.
“Why do you talk about slavery? That was back there.”
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve never escaped slavery. We still share the slave consciousness of our great-great-grandparents. We are of the same mind to a great extent that they were. We have not advanced beyond these people.
How can I say that? I generally ask a series of questions. You say that slavery has nothing to do with you and that slavery was back there.
I ask you what language do you speak? When did you learn that language? Was that the language African people were speaking when we were taken into slavery in America? In other words, the language we speak at this moment is a slave language.
The language that our slave ancestors were forced to learn. And we still speak it and you can still hear the pidgin, the Creole and the other kinds of stuff in our language right now. That language, with its words defined by history and by experience, is the language we use today to guide our behavior. It’s the language we use today to talk to ourselves.
It’s the language we use today to learn about ourselves and to learn about the world. It’s the language we use to try to understand ourselves. Is there no wonder then that we are still confused? So we have not escaped slavery because we are still using a slave language, and we speak the language of slaves.

Slavery..
What kind of food do you eat? You say, “soul food”? Was that the food of African  people? Slave food. The food that we find most satisfying. The food that we find that sticks to our ribs. The food that we call “down home”.
A food that we learned to eat in the quarters.
And yet we dare say that we have escaped slavery. That we have nothing to do with those people back there. When our whole very social life and social relationships, our very definition of ourselves as a people, our very attempt to commune with ourselves is mediated by the food of slaves. How can you say you exist in a different consciousness from another people?
What kind of uniforms are we wearing? What kind of clothes are we wearing? Were these the clothes of African people? This is what we’ve got to look at.
What kind of names do we respond to? What kind of names do we identify with? Why is it that African names sound strange to us now as a people? And yet we dare say we have a different consciousness from our great-grandparents. How can we say that?
We are still in the same consciousness and we are still in the same position.
Because we are still servants of the white man, and our reason for being in America is to serve white folks and to generate wealth for them. And there has been no change at all in terms of our relationship to these people. I’m often somewhat amused and taken aback by the number of people in this society who claim that slavery occurred somewhere back then…and that the experience of slavery is not supposed to be operating in the mentality of black folks. You hear a lot of youngsters saying that as well.
“Why do you talk about slavery? That was back there.”
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve never escaped slavery. We still share the slave consciousness of our great-great-grandparents. We are of the same mind to a great extent that they were. We have not advanced beyond these people.
How can I say that? I generally ask a series of questions. You say that slavery has nothing to do with you and that slavery was back there.
I ask you what language do you speak? When did you learn that language? Was that the language African people were speaking when we were taken into slavery in America? In other words, the language we speak at this moment is a slave language.
The language that our slave ancestors were forced to learn. And we still speak it and you can still hear the pidgin, the Creole and the other kinds of stuff in our language right now. That language, with its words defined by history and by experience, is the language we use today to guide our behavior. It’s the language we use today to talk to ourselves.
It’s the language we use today to learn about ourselves and to learn about the world. It’s the language we use to try to understand ourselves. Is there no wonder then that we are still confused? So we have not escaped slavery because we are still using a slave language, and we speak the language of slaves.
What kind of food do you eat? You say, “soul food”? Was that the food of African  people? Slave food. The food that we find most satisfying. The food that we find that sticks to our ribs. The food that we call “down home”.
A food that we learned to eat in the quarters.
And yet we dare say that we have escaped slavery. That we have nothing to do with those people back there. When our whole very social life and social relationships, our very definition of ourselves as a people, our very attempt to commune with ourselves is mediated by the food of slaves. How can you say you exist in a different consciousness from another people?
What kind of uniforms are we wearing? What kind of clothes are we wearing? Were these the clothes of African people? This is what we’ve got to look at.
What kind of names do we respond to? What kind of names do we identify with? Why is it that African names sound strange to us now as a people? And yet we dare say we have a different consciousness from our great-grandparents. How can we say that?
We are still in the same consciousness and we are still in the same position.
Because we are still servants of the white man, and our reason for being in America is to serve white folks and to generate wealth for them. And there has been no change at all in terms of our relationship to these people.”

Paris Jackson: Culturally Black vs Genetically Black

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The woman on the current cover of Rolling Stone is Paris Jackson. She is the daughter of the late music icon Michael Jackson. In the cover story Paris says that she knows for sure her father was killed.  That may or may not be true but that’s a story for another time.  This post is about the fact that Paris says in the interview that she considers herself a black woman.  Of course social media went crazy over this story. In the interview she says:

“He is my father. He will always be my father,” she said. “He never wasn’t, and he never will not be. People that knew him really … say they see him in me, that it’s almost scary.”

She even expounded a bit more, saying that because of the “Smooth Criminal” singer’s instilling words, she considers herself a Black woman.

“I consider myself Black. [Dad] would look me in the eyes and he’d point his finger at me and he’d be like, ‘You’re Black. Be proud of your roots,'” she said. “And I’d be like, ‘OK, he’s my dad. Why would he lie to me?’ So I just believe what he told me. ‘Cause, to my knowledge, he’s never lied to me.”

Despite what her father told her, she said the outside world still sees her as white: “Most people that don’t know me call me white,” she said. “I’ve got light skin and, especially since I’ve had my hair blond, I look like I was born in Finland or something.”

Let me be clear,Paris is NOT a black woman. Anyone with eyesight can see that. I don’t give a damn  what her father told her.  She looks purely European to me. From a biological standpoint,she is more European than anything else. I personally believe that Paris and her two siblings are not biologically related to Michael Jackson.  I think Michael used the sperm from a white man to impregnate Debbie Rowe because he didn’t want  his  children to look even  half black.  I went to school with plenty biracial kids and most don’t look like this woman.  Let’s be honest here,Michael Jackson was a very gifted singer/dancer.  I can’t take that away from him.  But he had serious self-hate issues.  I think Jackson hated himself so much he didn’t want to see a reflection of his blackness.  I still can’t believe he married that ugly white woman Debbie Rowe. That woman is hideous! But that shows his self hatred(anti-blackness) was really deep.  I saw black people on YouTube arguing in defense of Paris saying she was at least “culturally black”.  I have heard this term many times before.  I knew a white girl in high school that was adopted by a black couple.  She listen to rap music and dressed in hip hop clothing.  She told me she liked soul food,dated only black boys and spoke in a certain “black vernacular”. So many would say she is culturally black. So some may put Paris Jackson in that category.  But Paris and the white girl I knew in high school are still not black women.

EXCLUSIVE: Never-before-seen pictures of Michael Jackson and his children

Some like to say that being black is a mindset.  But I disagree. You either have African genes are you do not.  You have melanin or you don’t.  It’s that simple. This type of mentality diminishes the black experience and insults our ancestors. We are blessed to have African DNA in us.  And we have to get away from worshipping whiteness and being ashamed of blackness.  This is the mental illness many of us suffer from.  Many of us can’t appreciate our blackness unless it’s close to whiteness. That’s why some us have interracial sex so we can have mixed babies.  And then say “Isn’t this a beautiful black child?” This is why you have black fools saying “Paris should be allowed to call herself black.”  This is an insult to authentic black people.  It’s an insult to dark brown,dark skinned blacks with African textured hair.  Paris has none of the physical traits of a black person. If she does have any African genes she must be about 0.000001 % black.

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This picture(above) is Paris with her brothers Michael Jackson Jr and Prince.  They are pictured with their grandmother Katherine Jackson.  These children may have been raised around black people but that doesn’t make them black people.  And we as black people have to stop giving everyone a pass.  We must stop making blackness all inclusive.  It makes us look stupid. They are making a mockery of our beautiful blackness.  It’s because many of us don’t have the courage to create a definition of what is an African person.  By allowing people like Paris to be considered is  black is an insult  to our intelligence. Paris or anyone that looks like her is not black. Michael Jackson told her to “be proud of your roots”.  He must’ve meant her European roots.

Taral Hicks(Fine Sistas from the (90’s)

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Taral Hicks  was born on  September 21, 1974 in Queens, New York. She  is an African American R&B singer and actress, sister of singer D’Atra Hicks.
She began her film career with a role alongside Robert De Niro in the 1993 film “A Bronx Tale.” Her subsequent film roles were small, 1995’s “Just Cause” with Sean Connery and Laurence Fishburne, 1996’s “Educating Matt Waters” and “The Preacher’s Wife” with Whitney Houston. It wasn’t until 1997 in the HBO original film “Subway Stories” that audiences began to take notice. As the “Woman with Flowers” who sang to her mother on the payphone, her performance was widely deemed to be one of the best in the film.

In 1997, Hicks signed a deal with Motown Records and released an album entitled “This Time.” The single “Ooh, Ooh Baby,” produced and written by, and featuring Missy Elliott, charted on the Billboard R&B singles chart. However, the lead single intended to debut her singing career was “Distant Lover,” an uptempo track produced by Teddy Riley. The album didn’t take off until the second single, “Silly,” a remake of the classic R&B hit by Deniece Williams was released. Featuring a black-and-white video directed by Hype Williams, the single charted well on the R&B chart. After collaborating on the video for “Silly,” Hype Williams cast Hicks in his directorial film debut (and in her largest role to date), 1998’s “Belly” as Kisha, DMX’s girlfriend. The video for “Silly” appeared in one of the film’s scenes.

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Following the film’s release in 1998, Hicks was absent from film and music until 2000, when she appeared on screen in the short film “Are You Cinderella?” with actor Wood Harris. Two television guest roles followed: 2002’s “100 Centre Street” in the episode titled “Fathers”, and in a 2003 episode of “Soul Food: The Series” titled “The New Math”.

Her later film roles were in independent films such as 2005’s “The Salon,” with Vivica A. Fox, Dondre Whitfield and Darrin Henson, 2006’s “Forbidden Fruits” with Ella Joyce, Fredro Starr and R&B singer Keith Sweat, 2007’s “Humenetomy,” and 2008’s “Ex$pendable.”

Vanessa Williams(Fine Sistas from the 90’s)

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I thought Vanessa Williams stole the show in New Jack City.  She was beautiful but so deadly in the film.  She held her own with Wesley Snipes,Ice-T and Mario Van Peeples. I’ve always thought she was an underrated beauty.  Williams was born on May 12,1963.

Born and raised in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York, Vanessa Williams became a member of the New York City Opera’s Children’s Chorus at age 11. Vanessa then signed with a talent manager and booked her first audition, a commercial for Frito Lay. Her pattern for success clearly set, her winning streak had only just begun.

After graduating from New York’s famed High School of Performing Arts she earned a Bachelor’s degree in theatre and business from Marymount Manhattan College.

A member of all three actors unions, Vanessa kept busy striking a balance as a professional actress and college student. When she landed a recurring role on The Cosby Show (1984) as (Theo’s scene partner in a school play), a high-strung student/actress named Jade Marsh, she made a friend and fan of “The Cos” Bill Cosby. So impressed with her work, “Mr. C” asked her back to play yet another role, Theo’s girlfriend Cheryl Lovejoy, a sweet young thing from Barbados.

Her New York stage credits grew to include the Lincoln Center production of Death and the King’s Horseman and the Broadway productions of Sarafina and Mule Bone, the Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston collaboration. The opening night celebration for Mule Bone packed a double punch of pleasure, as New Jack City (1991) was released in theaters nationwide that same evening. In this, her first feature film, Vanessa plays Keisha, the gun toting head of security opposite Wesley Snipes as drug czar Nino Brown.

Vanessa arrived in LA in September of ’91, “just to check it out.” A month later she was cast as single mother Anna-Marie McCoy in the Gothic horror film, Candyman (1992). She made her west coast move official in January of ’92, and became a media darling when she hit the media radar as one of the stars in the Fox TV hit Melrose Place (1992).

After residence on Melrose Place (1992) Vanessa traveled to Spain to sing and host the variety show Grand Fiesta on the Telecinco network in Madrid. Back from Europe she was immediately cast as a series regular in Steven Bochco’s critically acclaim television drama Murder One (1995), where she earned her first NAACP Image Award Nomination.

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She appeared opposite Lisa Kudrow in the Albert Brooks feature Mother (1996), then went on location in South Africa to star in A Woman of Color (1997), a film written and directed by Oscar nominated director, Bernard Joffa. She followed these projects with a ten-episode arc on Chicago Hope (1994), where she was again nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

Vanessa starred in two BET original made for TV movies: Incognito (1999) and Playing with Fire (2000), and as guest star on Total Recall (1994), The Pretender (1996), NYPD Blue (1993), The Steve Harvey Show (1996), Malcolm & Eddie (1996), and Living Single (1993), Cold Case (2003) among other others.

She starred (opposite her soon to be Soul Food (2000) costar Rockmond Dunbar) in Punks (2000), the award-winning feature film directed by Patrik-Ian Polk, which premiered at The Sundance Film Festival in 2000.

She earned a Daytime Emmy Nomination for her extraordinary work in Our America (2002) a Showtime original movie directed by Ernest R. Dickerson, which also premiered at Sundance the following year.

As hot mama, Maxine Chadway, in the hit Showtime series Soul Food (2000), Vanessa secured the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series.

Vanessa is also a talented writer who has written a collection of poetry and prose titled Shine. Her poems and essays have also appeared in Essence Magazine.

As filmmaker, Vanessa wrote, directed, and produced the short film, Dense (2004), which aired on Showtime Television and is a favorite among film festival-goers.

As a singer/songwriter, Vanessa performed her original melodies in the films Dense (2004) and the award-winning short Driving Fish (2002). She recently performed “The Vagina Monologues” along with Star Jones and Sherri Shepherd (from The View (1997)) in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, “Harlot Poetry by Vanessa Williams” at Artpeace Gallery in Burbank, California and “Stories in Song: an evening with Vanessa Williams” at the Temple Bar in Santa Monica, CA.

Malinda Williams

Malinda

Born December 3, 1975, in Elizabeth, NJ; married Mekhi Phifer, an actor, 1999 (divorced 2003); children: one son. Education: Studied at Actors Conservatory, New York.

Career: Actor, 1987–; Modern Goddess, lingerie line, 2006.

Awards: Two NAACP Image Award nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, 2003 and 2004 (for Soul Food); Black Reel Award nomination for Best Actress, 2000 (for The Wood).

Williams’s prospects looked strong as she looked to new opportunities after Soul Food ended. On the personal front, she began dating again and took up snowboarding. “If I’m having a funky day, I’m like, ‘oooh, I need to go ride,'” she told Pendleton. It’s sort of a metaphor for life.” Acting projects for Will-iams included the film Idlewild, an ambitious Prohibition-era musical that was finished and was released in 2006. That year Williams branched out beyond acting to launch a line of lingerie and intimate accessories called Modern Goddess. With a solid footing in Hollywood and her new venture, Williams would likely continue to prosper.

Nia Long

Nia

“I get annoyed because [show] business is so full of sh*t sometimes. But for the most part, I’m very happy with the pace I’m taking to get where I’m going.”

Nitara Carlynn Long was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her father, a high school teacher, left her mother when Long was only four. She developed an interest in acting at an early age, and got instruction from Betty Bridges, the mother of former child star Todd Bridges.

Long learned the ins and outs of acting while on the daytime soap opera, Guiding Light. Her big screen debut was alongside a stellar cast of young black talents in John Singleton‘s debut effort, Boyz N the Hood. The film earned Singleton two Oscar nominations, and helped launch the acting careers of Long, Cuba Gooding Jr., and rapper Ice Cube.

Long followed up Boyz N The Hood with a comedic turn in Made in America (1993), and Friday(1995), proving that she was adept at both drama and comedy. After a two year stint on Will Smith‘s The Fresh Prince of Bel Air as the woman who steals Will’s heart and almost marries him, she was given her first starring role in Love Jones. Although it did poorly at the box office, the film was nominated for a number of Image and Black Film awards including Best Actress for Long.

From Friday to the sleeper hit Soul Food, Long has proved herself a talented screen entity. More recently, she wrapped work on What’s It All About, Alfie? (2004) starring Jude Law, and In Too Deep (1999) and played a starring role in the romantic comedy Are We There Yet? (2004), opposite Ice Cube. She most recently starred in the comedy flick, The Best Man Holiday (2013).