November 29, 2013

Old School Friday - 'Lady' (The Whispers)

Your life is blessed if you have a woman in your life to whom these lyrics are meaningful. Some of us have loved and lost ... and I'm convinced that this better than to have never loved at all. Enjoy the magical music of The Whispers!

November 28, 2013

Obama's Weekly Address: 'Wishing the American People a Happy Thanksgiving'

In his weekly address, President Obama gave thanks to all the men and women defending our freedom and acknowledged their sacrifice might mean they can’t spend the holidays with their families. The President also recognized that as Americans, we gather together this Thanksgiving to lift up those who need a helping hand, letting us move forward as a country and lead us to a brighter tomorrow.

The Electronic Village joins President Obama in wishing all 'villagers' a blessed and happy Thanksgiving. Take a moment today to ponder all the reasons that we have to be thankful!

Thanksgiving From the Native American's Point of View

November 25, 2013

OURstory: William DeHart Hubbard (1903-1976)

I wonder how many folks that live in the greater Cincinnati area know about William DeHart Hubbard? Hubbard was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 25, 1903. As a student at Douglass School, Stowe School, and Walnut Hills High School, Hubbard was known as the fastest kid in school. He also knew that academics were as important as athletics. As such he earned a four-year scholastic average of 90 (out of 100) in his high school years.

Hubbard left Ohio to attend the University of Michigan (1922-1927) where he won six straight AAU long jump titles, two AAU triple jump titles, and two NCAA long jump titles. He also tied the world records for the 60- and 100-yard dashes. In 1927, he set a new world record for the long jump with a leap of 25 feet 10.85 inches.

At the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, Hubbard became the first Black athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in an individual event, when he won the long jump with a leap of 24 feet 5 inches. The actual gold medal that he won was on display at the America I AM: An African American Imprint exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center on June 19, 2010 thru January 2, 2011.

Hubbard represented the USA in other Olympic events. He participated in the triple jump, but did not win a medal in that event. Hubbard also participated in the long jump at the 1928 Olympic Games, but did not earn a medal.

In 1927, Hubbard was hired by the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, for which he worked until 1941. In 1942, he moved to Cleveland, where he became the Racial Relations Advisor for the Federal Housing Authority. He retired from this position in 1969.

William DeHart Hubbard was voted into the National Track Hall of Fame in 1957. He died in Cleveland on June 23, 1976.

Most of us know about Carl Lewis or Flo-Jo. Perhaps we should take a moment to honor the first African American gold medalist ... William DeHart Hubbard ... next time we think about the Olympics!

November 12, 2013

Spoken Word: 'Why I Hate School But Love Education' - Suli Breaks

I suspect that many of our young people agree with the images and words expressed by Suli Breaks in this spoken word poem. Listen to his message and let me know what you think?

I think that I was most surprised by how much this British student understood American culture and our American icons. Did you enjoy his flow?

November 6, 2013

Electronic Village Milestone: 3,000 Blog Posts

We began the Electronic Village blogging journey on January 13, 2007. Who knew that we would still be around over six years later! We have 3,000 blog posts over the course of that time. The main reason for our longevity is the fact that a blog doesn't cost me anything but time ... and I've managed to blog about things in the African American community that interest me.

The landscape for bloggers has changed quite a bit in the past six years. The growth of video-blogging, Facebook pages and Twitter have provided ol' school bloggers with other venues to share their personal quirks, insights and interests. I'm not sure if I'll still be doing this for another six years or 3,000 blog posts ... but here are some of my observations about the Electronic Village.

Sometimes it is difficult to keep up this blog. Part of my problem may be that I'm operating two other blogs, BDPA in the News and BDPA Foundation. For some reason I began to track taser torture in America a few years ago. I bit off more than I could chew with that as those types of deaths just continued to grow. I've been less vigilant about maintaining that effort in recent months and it makes me sad.

I've met and interacted with some great bloggers over the course of these 3,000 blog posts. For a little while I tracked the Top Black Blogs ... I was also active with a group of Black blogging activists known as the AfroSpear ... and I was a presenter and supporter of the annual Blogging While Brown Conferences.

Coming up with original content has been impossible for me over the course of these 3,000 blog posts. I often rely on weekly memes like 'Sunday Inspirations' or 'Manic Monday' or 'Good News Tuesday' or 'Wordless Wednesday' or 'Old School Friday' or the 'Weekly Address' issued by the president every Saturday. I admire bloggers like the Field Negro who create original content night-after-night ... that brother remains my blogging hero!

I'll keep the Electronic Village going for awhile longer. I began this journey in 1994 with a 2400 dial-up modem that connected my Electronic Village BBS to the world ... I suspect there will be an Electronic Village for many more years to come on Facebook, Twitter and who knows where else as technology moves forward. As long as it is still fun and interesting for me ... I'll keep doing it.

Villagers, you honor me by taking time from your day to read our blog. As long as there is at least one or two of you out there ... I'll be here!

November 5, 2013

Spoken Word: 'Niggers Niggas & Niggaz' (Julian Curry)

I noticed that a Miami Dolphins' football player left the team ... and another one lost his career ... at least partially over voice and text messages in which the use of the N-Word was prominent. Here is how poet Julian Curry discussed the N-Word in his Def Poetry opportunity many moons ago:

The prevalence of the ugly word among Blacks in America may be in decline ... but the word's ugliness needs to be continuously examined so that we can eventually eliminate the N-word entirely from the vocabulary.

November 4, 2013

Spoken Word: 'On the Day that Barack Obama is Elected President' - Javon Johnson

Today is the anniversary of the first time that America elected a Black man to become President of the United States. It was a truly uplifting day for all of America ... especially for people of African descent in America! Here is one very creative vision of how things will be in America on the day that Barack Obama is elected president as shared by poet Javon Johnson.

What do you remember most about November 4, 2008 (the day that Barack Obama was elected president)?

November 3, 2013

Seven-Year Old Child Thinks His KKK Halloween Costume Was 'Cool'

Racism is a taught behavior. The sad thing is that it is still being taught in America. Case in point? A young 7-year old child wore the white sheets and hooded mask of the Ku Klux Klan as he went trick or treating on Halloween night in Craigsville, Virginia. The young child thinks it was "cool" to wear the uniform of a racist terrorist group. You can listen to the child and his mother in the following news report:

What do you think? We all understood that “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line" ... but, does it have to be the problem of the 21st century as well?

November 2, 2013

Obama's Weekly Address: 'Passing a Budget that Reflects our Priorities'

In this week's address, President Obama said that in order to keep growing the economy and creating good jobs, Washington must end its cycle of manufactured crises and self-inflicted wounds. It's time for both parties to work together to pass a budget that reflects our priorities -- making smart cuts in things we don't need and closing wasteful tax loopholes, while investing in areas that create opportunities for the middle class and our future generations.

I can't help but wonder how much farther along our nation would be if the Republican Party had decided to work with our 44th president when he was inaugurated back in January 2008 instead of their obstructionist tactics.

November 1, 2013

Charles G. Hicks (1962-2004)

My brother would have celebrated his 51st birthday today.  
 I was with him when he celebrated his 1st birthday back in 1963!

Charles was a remarkably talented musician. He played piano at church and at school. In fact, for many years his nickname was 'Schroeder'.

When I went off to college it was left to Charles to look after our two younger sisters, Kyra and Iyisa.

Charles was very close with our youngest sister Iyisa. They are both gone too soon.  This photo was taken in 1979 when Charles graduated from Los Angeles High School.

Here is Charles as a teenager back in 1982.

Charles went to community college for a year of so in Los Angeles before he listened to some sound advice from our maternal grandfather to take his education seriously. At that point he did some remarkable things to get admitted to Morehouse College. He was continuously on the Dean's List at Morehouse and he was a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity (to the dismay of my father and grandfather who were both Kappas!). My mom and dad were very proud to attend the Morehouse College graduation in 1984 where Charles received his Marketing degree.

He received his law degree from the University of Georgia in 1987. He had his own practice in the 1987-1990 timeframe. This photo down below was taken during that period in his private practice office.

Later on in his career he served as a magistrate judge for DeKalb County Magistrate Court (making him one of the few African Americans to be a third generation judge).

He was an officer in U.S. Navy, Judge Advocate General's Corp reserves (Lieutenant Commander -- active duty 1987-1991). He was promoted in 2000 to the rank of full Commander (O-5) in the Navy.

Charles loved his daughters. You could hear the fatherly love and pride whenever he talked about them. He is shown in this photo with Victoria (oldest daughter) in 1999.

Here he is his with Sydney (his youngest daughter) in 2000.

Charles was my 'best man' when I got married in 1993.

He left us unexpectedly in 2004.  I think he is looking down from heaven today with a smile as he sees the growing intelligence and beauty of his two daughters.

I miss my brother.
May he rest in peace.

If you had a relationship, family or friend, with Charles during his life ... then I invite you to share your remembrance on his guest book for posterity.

Happy Birthday Charles!