Monthly Archives: February 2012

Love, Peace, and Soul

 On February 1st, Don Cornelius was found dead at his home in Los Angeles with a gunshot wound to the head.  Shortly after this discovery, authorities ruled this finding as a suicide.  That morning I was running errands before class when my mother called me with the sad news.  It changed my entire day.

I am a huge fan and admirer of the style and attitude of the 1960s and 70s.  Last year I received the Soul Train DVD box set as a gift and spent a couple of days absorbing all of those episodes.  As I returned to my dorm to read the developments of the story, I couldn’t help but feel even more devastated by Cornelius’ passing.  The story was not the main headline for any news outlets.  Actually, the miniature bulletin about his death had already shifted down to make room for other mediocre stories.  There was no sense of pause or remorse or even recognition for the impact this man had on society and culture as a whole.

 For those who might not know, Cornelius was the creator and host of a TV show called “Soul Train.”  It is one of the longest-running syndicated shows in television history and played a critical role in spreading the music of black America to the world, providing exposure to artists like James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and The Jacksons.

The impact this show made was not only limited to music.  It also influenced fashion, culture, and connections between cultures.  Essentially, Soul Train exposed its audience to a free and fresh state of mind.

Even though there was an outpour of tributes and sympathies from artists and activists who had worked with Cornelius, it didn’t seem enough.  I don’t want to sound stereotypical, but African-Americans do not make up a high percentage of suicide victims.  It was very hard for me to grasp what could have possibly pushed Cornelius to go to that extreme.  One would think the life of a legend should end peacefully.  Could life really be that bad?  All the people who owe their success to Cornelius, where were they?  It made me realize that we never really know what someone else is going through, especially if we don’t make the extra effort to be a true friend.

I decided to dedicate my show that week to Soul Train.  An hour of funk and soul, I described each artists experience on the show and plugged the VH1 documentary about Soul Train.  You can listen to the episode below.  As always, I wish you, and brother Don, love, peace, and SOUL.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Esperanza Spalding has done it again!

As you may recall, I am a huge fan and admirer of Esperanza Spalding.  You can read my post about her here.  The single off her upcoming album, Radio Music Society, came out last week and I am already praising it.  The track is called “Black Gold” and it is so inspiring.  Then I saw the music video – the imagery, the story, the style, the music, the lyrics, the message…I absolutely love it.  The album comes out March 20th.  I can’t wait!  Enjoy.

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February Spot

February usually has two connotations – the Month of Love and Black History Month.  I have two images that I think fit both themes quite nicely.  Enjoy.

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This happened on TAM airlines.

A 50-something year old white woman arrived at her seat and saw that the passenger next to her was a black man.

Visibly furious, she called the air hostess.

“What’s the problem, mam?” the hostess asked her.

“Can’t you see?” ,the lady said, “I was given a seat next to a black man. I can’t sit here next to him. You have to change my seat.”

“Please, calm down, mam,” said the hostess. “Unfortunately, all the seats are occupied, but I’m still going to check if we have any.”

The hostess left and returned some minutes later.

“Madam, as I told you, there isn’t any empty seats in this class. But I spoke to the captain and he confirmed that there isn’t any empty seats in the economy class. We only have seats in the first class.”

And before the woman said anything, the hostess continued

“Look, it is unusual for our company to allow a passenger from the economy class change to the first class.  However, given the circumstances, the commandant thinks that it would be a scandal to make a passenger travel sitting next to an unpleasant person.”

And turning to the black man, the hostess said:

“Which means, Sir, if you would be so nice to pack your handbag, we have reserved you a seat in the first class…”

And all the passengers nearby, who were shocked to see the scene started applauding, some standing on their feet.”

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Top 10 Myths about Introverts

I found this little list on someone’s tumblr and thought it was pretty accurate.  We really should accept each other without distorted perceptions.  My fellow introverts, we are not odd.  We are just misunderstood.  Do you agree?

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

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