Month: July 2016

Power Concedes Nothing Without A Demand


“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.”

Frederick Douglass from his August 3, 1857 “West India Emancipation” speech at Canandaigua, New York, on the twenty-third anniversary of the event.




I’ve learned many things over the past 8 years. One of the most valuable is knowing when to stop.

I’ve learned how to stop letting things into my life that will bring me more pain than pleasure. I’ve learned how to stop allowing people in my life who are filled with all kinds of pain. I don’t want their misery to infect my happiness. I’ve learned how to stop certain behaviors of mine that will bring me and others around me down. I have learned to say NO more often too.

It is a process, but once you know the triggers or the behaviors that are associated with pain and negativity, it becomes easier to get to the point where you can put an end to a downward spiral.

I have seen many friends and colleagues who are dealing with relationships that only bring them misery. I often ask them, “Why are you with ____?” They tend to beat around the bush with a response or clear answer, but after further reflection, they more often than not tell me that they don’t know why.

I was asked this same question from time to time about certain relationships I was in over the years. After my divorce, when I was “dating,” I would be with certain women and the people who were close to me asked me the same things I ask those who are in unbearable relationships. I had to do some deep thinking as well as some soul-searching and came to the conclusion that I no longer needed to continue on the path I was on with that particular woman because it really made no sense.

If the woman I was with had all kinds of qualities I wasn’t into, but the sex was great, I began to realize my long-term goals were not in line with my short-term goals. If I was with them for the sex but they wanted me for a potential spouse, I was wasting my time and theirs. It wasn’t fair to me or her to keep going.

I learned how to put a stop to any behavior that was going to take me off my path of being a great musician as well. Once I understood that I didn’t need to say yes to every gig and I could actually say NO, it was quite empowering. I not only said no, but I raised my rates. I got more work from higher paying employers and I haven’t looked back.

The same thought process also applied to anything that was going to prohibit me from being the parent I needed to be for my two children. I cut off all communication from anyone who had an interest in trying to limit the influence I had over my children.

Any person that comes into my life has to bring something to the table to enhance it, not make it worse. I have to remember to know my self-worth and cut the out the fat…and that I can say no. It becomes easier and easier the more I do it. It can work for you as well. 

“Don’t WOW me!!” Black Intelligence In 2016 and Beyond

What? Don’t wow me? What kind of nonsense does this woman think she is trying to pull?

It is amazing to see an exchange between someone who isn’t afraid to speak their mind and challenge everything that is assumed. It’s refreshing to see someone not back down to someone on this network.

D.L stood his ground and made her look silly, especially when she tried to get belligerent and raise her voice and tried to shout him down. That is the moment in the video where he said, under his breath, “wow.’ I guess Megyn thought he committed a little micro-aggression and made her feel threatened. Well, that is  too bad. This is the big leagues. If she wanted to raise the intensity level, she chose the wrong person to challenge.  D.L. showed that he was able to go toe-to-toe with someone who thought could make her opponent look bad on national TV.

You were wrong Megyn. Dead wrong.

I get sick of the media sticking a microphone into the face of the first random black person they see after a tragedy. Ain’t nobody got time for that.  I urge the media to begin putting microphones in front of the following people and see how the conversation changes:

DL. Hughley

Eddie Glaude

Henry Louis Gates

Cornel West

Bell Hooks

Thomas Sowell

Shelby Steele

Walter Williams

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Keli Goff

Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Jamelle Bouie

Nikole Hanna-Jones

Joy Reid

Jamil Smith

Marc Lamont Hill

James Braxton Peterson

Brittney Cooper

Melissa Harris-Perry

Tavis Smiley

Nelson George

Greg Tate


and dozens of others….


I don’t agree with all of these thinkers and I am not aligned with their political views, but I would be more than happy to have them speak to the issues of our times. There are few people on this list who I would love to speak, with and I’m pretty sure we will never see eye to eye. I am quite sure we will find a way to have a productive conversation and find common ground in the end.


We come from a history of black intelligentsia.

Have we forgotten brilliant minds like W.E.B. DuBois, Richard Wright, James Weldon Johnson, Ralph Bunche, Zora Neale Hurston, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X? There are dozens more, but I want to expose my readers to the people that are around right now with the list above. Intelligent black men and women exist. We are here, we are writing, speaking, organizing, and unafraid of speaking up and not backing down from some intellectual jiu-jitsu.

The time has come for people to stand up and not be shouted down but those who feel they are superior simply because they were born with less melanin.


Check out this video. I loved every second where D.L. refused to go along with the script and showed Megyn that she couldn’t “out-FOX” him. Good job D.L!




Don’t Talk To The Police!

I recently told my kids about the events from the past two weeks in Louisiana and Minnesota. After a discussion about what happened, I reminded them to never talk to the police.


I tell them over and over again to NEVER EVER talk to the police. I don’t care if you are doing something legal or not. NEVERRRRRRR!!!!! NEVER talk to the police if they ask you any questions. I have several close friends who are cops, former cops and probably future cops and I will tell my kids and anyone reading this that due to the legacy of slavery in this country and the never ending bias against black men especially, talking to the police or even getting into any encounter with any police officer of any color is probably going to do you no good.

It doesn’t matter if the cop is black, brown, white or purple. It is a fact that we have given a certain group of people the legal authority to kill then ask questions about it later…and most likely NOT be held accountable. It is just the reality we live in today.

I tell my kids on a regular basis that the way they will be treated is different than the way their white mother will be treated-simply because they look more like me than her.

The way that my WHITE girlfriend will be treated is different than the way I’ll be treated when we drive together and are stopped by the police. The way police have treated black and brown skinned people for well over a hundred years is well documented and may never change. The only thing I feel we can do is not to interact with them and do whatever is necessary to be as well connected politically in order to gain the wealth and status needed to get out of jail quickly.

The problem is that we might never get to jail if we get shot like Philando Castile.