Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I Am Everyday People

"Don't hate the black. Don't hate the white. If you get bit, just hate the bite." - Sly Stone

Writers tend to be great communicators. Interestingly though, they tend to communicate better on paper (or computer screen) than they do vocally. At least I fall into that category. 
Members of the Evansville Local Authors group approached me about creating a narrative to comment about the current violent acts that are being committed in our country and around the world. I offered to share pieces written by members of our group and I invite you to read and reflect on their offerings. These words will surely give you much to reflect upon. 

My Music Nugget o' The Day:

Sly & The Family Stone - Everyday People/Dance to The Music

Violent Storms by Patricia Easley

Patricia Easley

Easley is the author of 13 children's books - found at Amazon

"Letter To The Immigrant"

An American Anthem

by M. Dianne Berry

Welcome, starry-eyed guests with musty bags, ropes to cast;
Here, you’ll share the place to breathe out fear, your sorry past.

Sing, O’ Land whose praising arms salute

the Most High God, His Love penned by

our Eagle’s striped paradigm.

Let the Red Woods pine for snow
so frozen tears will stream
down the mountain’s chest to Mother earth.

Sweeten grief tween cobalt skies and purple soil
with grain and fruit, honey and milk,
the prize of labored hands.

Dance, green hills which cloak the valley crest
round diamond pools still aching from accolades
fought dear by native sons.

Let us chorus, the music of Ages, trading tunes and tongues,
All language of lovers, together adapt and adore.
M. Dianne Berry

Welcome, starry-eyed guest with musty bags and hopeful hearts;
here you’ll see a place to breathe out a sorry past; once dreamt
now waken to kiss our Freedom Shores.

Berry is the author of "Things Happen When Women Dream" - found at Amazon

On the Road by Robin Wright

A hooded grey cloak sways then stumbles
ahead of me. No clue whether man, woman,
black, brown, white, old, young. A wet trail
dots the asphalt like a cryptic language.
Cloak stops, leaves the road, leans against a tree.
I shout, but grey merges into night as I kneel
next to the spot, scoop a puddle of blood
into my hands. It trickles through my fingers.

Robin Wright
I taste rust in my mouth, wipe lips and cheek
with the back of my hand—more blood. It slides
down my fingers, mixes with the stranger’s blood.
I drop onto roots. Orlando once meant
sunny vacations, Dallas, visits to relatives.

Wright is the co-author of "Ghost Orchid" and "A Needle and a Haystack" - found at Amazon

We Can’t Lose Sight©
By Honey

We can’t lose sight
Of what is wrong and what is right.*
The Bible is our guide for times like these,
Not politicians, self-serving religions,
Or guns and ammunition.
And don’t give into hatred, murder, retaliation or greed…
Certainly not alcohol and weed…
We know that justice is not blind.
Honesty and truth have been left far behind.
Know this,that God is just and He will bring justice for us!

Remember that God is love**
A holy God, from heaven above.
He gave us Jesus as a model of righteousness.
Don’t get caught up in all this mess.
Jesus is coming back again!
Wait!  The winner is he that endures to the end.***

Let go of “an eye for an eye…
And grab hold to New Testament Truth to live by.
Love, forgiveness, unity and peace…
These are values, we are to keep.

Christians, this is not a time for fear+
Your family needs your mind clear.
Fear God, not man.
Hold onto the Master’s hand.

“I will look unto the hills
From whence cometh my help.
My help comes from the Lord.”++
Not my will… 
It’s not about self…
Put on the full armor of God…
Including prayer and the Holy Spirit’s Sword!+++

I will “Trust in the Lord
With all my heart and lean
Not to my own understanding.”++++
I won’t depend on man for a happy ending…

Where is your fruit?+++++
Keep it close, whatever you do!
Hard times are going to come.
But true Believers know we’ve already won!

Honey Angela Williams
*Isaiah 5:20-21
**John 3:16, Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:16
***Matthew 24:13, Rev 2:26
+2Timothy 1:7
++Psalm 121:1,2
+++Eph 6:11-18
++++Prov 3:5
+++++Gal 5:22-23

Honey Angela Williams is the author of "Life More Abundantly and Other Powerful & Empowering Works"

A Special Gift To Share by Owen Small

In 1619, the first group of Africans were brought into the United States at Jamestown, Virginia as slaves. For the next two and a half centuries, people as chattel supported the economy and was a fixed way of life in most southern states of the U.S. Since the first black person stepped foot on American soil African-American people have been generally viewed as a low-class, or even a sub-human race.
Owen Small
After the bloodiest war in our nation’s history, emancipation brought no relief to its black population. According to Douglas A. Blackmon, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Slavery By Another Name; The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, contends that in many ways the decades from emancipation to World War II were far more difficult for black Americans than during the two and a half centuries of their slavery. Blackmon notes that, “in Alabama alone, hundreds of thousands of pages of public documents attest to the arrests, subsequent sale, and delivery of thousands of African Americans into mines, lumber camps, quarries, farms and factories.” He also mentions that over thirty thousand such documents are in the files of the Department of Justice at the National Archives. African Americans were sentenced to forced labor by our own judicial system, with no merit to the accusations that put them there. Their forced labor was enforced by their local police forces. Unwarranted bigotry, prejudice and hatred have been thrust upon African American people since their first arrival in the U.S.
Black people of America have always been treated as having no personal worth or dignity. Diane Nash of the Freedom Writers of the 1960’s said in a P.B.S. interview, “Travel in the segregated South, (during the Freedom Ride) for black people was humiliating. The very fact that there were separate facilities was to say to black people and white people that blacks were so subhuman and so inferior that we could not even use the public facilities that white people used.”
The police brutality of today serves only to reiterate the attitude held by this nation’s judicial and law enforcement systems, dating all the way back to emancipation. Black people always have been and still are, often treated as sub-human.
It may be the technological shift that has made us aware of what has possibly been happening all-along. With the use of cell phones, dash-cams, or body-cams, the public can view the use of deadly force by police against unarmed black men. In the past we have not had this benefit.
One of the most horrendous, brutal and obvious cases of the murder of an unarmed black man by a police officer was in Chicago on November 24th in 2015, when officer Jason VanDyke shot 17 year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times; even as McDonald lay on the ground. Laquan McDonald had a pocketknife in his hand as he turned away from the officer and walked away. Obviously, Lanquan was no threat to VanDyke. Other officers were in close proximity and could have helped if McDonald were to make any kind of threatening move. The situation was obviously controllable without deadly force. But as Laquan McDonald turned away, VanDyke stepped out of his patrol car and emptied the contents of ammunition from his weapon into Laquan McDonald. The next day on the P.B.S. News Hour, commentator Judy Woodruff commented, “Why would a police officer shoot an unarmed man sixteen times?”
In a recent study The Washington Post found that, “Although black men make-up 6 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 40 percent of the unarmed black men shot to death by police this year.”
It seems a complete irony that our nation is faced with such police brutality against unarmed black people during the administration of our nation’s first black President. John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy stood strong with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in all of the racial turmoil of the 60’s. President Kennedy had begun writing what would become The Bill of Rights, which President Lyndon Johnson worked fiercely to finish and get passed in 1964.
It is deeply commendable that President Obama and former President George W. Bush eulogized the five police officers recently gunned down in Dallas, Texas by an African-American gunman. But for only a few of the unarmed African-American men gunned down by police, President Obama has only placed a phone call to the families of some of the black male victims of police brutality. He gave much less honor and respect to the innocent black victims of police brutality than he gave to the innocent police officers that were gunned down. Should they all not have received the same recognition of dignity and respect from the president?
History has brought to us a great divide between the races and nationalities of people living on our planet.   As average citizens we cannot do much to heal the open sores of distrust, prejudice and hatred throughout the world. But each of us can do something. We can show more kindness to others. Just a smile to a stranger in a public place can go a long way to restore trust. Beginning a conversation with someone we don’t know, especially of a different race, or nationality than ourselves can quickly break down barriers that stood through years, even centuries. The police officer can take more time to get to know the people of his community beat. The people of each community can show gestures of kindness to police officers. Love respect and appreciation can move the mountains of bigotry, distrust and anger.
People on this planet are like a package that holds inside them a beautiful gift. As long as we harbor distrust, prejudice, or anger to another person we completely pass over the chance to receive the gift that person has to offer. But by making the effort to show respect and love for others we open that package and receive their gift that can be ours for a lifetime. In doing this we share with them the beautiful gift that is inside ourselves. We are all gifts to each other; gifts to be shared.

Mark your calendar for future Evansville Local Author Events:
Evansville Local Authors

Thursday, August 4 - Hot Summer Facebook Party  6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Like the Facebook page for Evansville Local Authors and join the party. Interviews with the authors, give aways and refreshing fun!

Friday, August 5 - Arts Council First Fridays Event -- Haynie's Corner 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The ELA table will be located near Patchwork Central

Monday, August 22 - Willard Library Presents: Evansville Local Author Series
Kickoff with Carolyn Howard, author of "The Cliffords and Mr. Orr"


Lanea Stagg
Facebook: RecipeRecords Cookbook (send friend request)
Twitter: @RecipeRecords and @LaneaStagg


M Dianne Grotius Berry said...

Such passion is flagged by our poets!
Patty, my goodness. Love the effective use of newspaper strips to illustrate the poignant results of social discord.

Robin, you know I love your work and this one...ooh! Graphic horror is tasted in the reader's senses.

Honey, what can I say? You always express emancipation by pointing to the Most High God first. It's obvious you know Him as He called you by name!

Owen, your essay was astute and head on. To even witness this peculiar civil conflict is one thing, but to itemize its causes so subjectively and instruct the reader as to what small ways we can patch the critical tear brought me a mixture of tears and smiles. Thank you for a stupendous thesis!

Thank you, Sunshine, for this heartful blog. You mirror our strengths...even if we're not sure we have them! God bless you!

C.A. Jamison said...

Can I just say, I agree with Dianne. Awesome blog, Lanea and Authors!

Lanea Stagg said...

Thank you Cindy and Dianne -- and all of the talented writers that contributed. It's a great thing when everyone can come together for the good of mankind. I'm blessed to be able to work with all of you!