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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Isaiah Washington keeps on truckin’

In African American interest, Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Entertainment, Family, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad on March 27, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Feels like it’s been eon since I’ve posted something. Wait! It has been. I blame the economy and all the stress that comes with a downward market. Sigh. 

But you know that I had to share some tidbits like say Isaiah Washington taking on the biopic role of the late Lou Rawls, Mr. You’ll Never Find another love like mine. 

Pathway Entertainment has acquired the script “Through the Eyes of a Son,” described as an uncensored take on the singer written by his son Lou Rawls Jr., and will develop it as a feature, with Isaiah Washington attached to play the famed crooner.

Born in Chicago in 1933, Rawls sang in a range of styles that included blues, soul, funk and R&B, selling millions of albums and earning legions of fans, as well as the accolades of Frank Sinatra. He also, according to the script, had a traumatic life, enduring a poverty-stricken childhood and, in adulthood, intense marital strife.

Take it away, Lou! 

Tough childhood, trajectory into stardom, fame, love, sex…um, sounds like all the right ingredients for a biopic. So the news is nothing earth shattering or that super exciting but it does mean another movie starring a black actor is in the making. That could make for a nice chat come happy hour. Have an easy, breezy Friday. – MJ

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In African American interest, Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Family, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad on March 25, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Check out these new cars picks I found on Black Enterprise.com. Pretty cool wheels.

I walked away from this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit feeling comforted.

That hasn’t always been the case.

There’s been auto shows where I’ve winced when the wraps were removed, revealing questionable vehicles beneath. They’d either be too big, or too cramped, or not really a hybrid, leaving me to wonder who’d buy ‘em.

But this year, it’s been a mix bag and what’s in the bag isn’t all bad.

Some of my favorites:

Cadillac SRX Crossover: It’s has crisp lines and silhouettes, and an angular front-end that looks aristocratic.

General Motors Corp. also unveiled a Cadillac CTS wagon that suited my fancy. It’s a wagon that has nothing to do with those station wagons of yore. Very contemporary, very right now.

And I would be a dud if I didn’t mention the Cadillac Converj. This concept car oozed sleekness.

To read more, check out this brief piece on new 2009/2010 models like the new Ford Taurus.

Enjoy. – MP

What’s in a name? A whole effing lot.

In African American interest, Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Entertainment, Family, Grenada, Haiti, Humor, Jamaica, Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, Relationships, Trinidad on March 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I’m not a mother. I’m fickle about motherhood. I don’t go all goo-goo, ga-ga about the prospect of motherhood. Actually it scares the shit out me. Motherhood is a big f%#king deal, and people who are nonchalant about this privilege simply don’t get the task at hand. 

With that said, (channeling one of my fave cousins who loves that term: with that said) I feel it’s importance to give a baby a proper name. Mama MJ taught me well. A child’s name is important as it’s the doorway to their identity, their personality. It’s called nomenclature. There should be a story or meaning behind a name. Not: I’m not sure what it means but… 

Or I just named him or her Baby X cuz…

Ask Mama and Papa MJ why they named their five children their specific names and prepare to hear stories – several of which are quite riveting.

A baby’s name should be fluid. It should fit with the middle name if there is a middle name and last name. I once dated a guy who’s first name was Mshindaji; middle name Mustafa; last name Grant. 

My reaction: WTF were your parents thinking? Where’s the melody in that nomenclature combo? 

And I get it. MMG’s Black Panther parents were caught up in the black power movement. They wanted to reaffirm their blackness through their child’s name. But Mshindaji + Mustafa + Grant = yuck. Nasty. Barf!

Names are like fashion. When you mix and match, you’ve got to be careful that it doesn’t come off sounding kooky. Plaid and polka-dots don’t work no matter the color scheme. 

Idiosyncractic as it is, the name combo Barack Obama works simply because it sings. Barack + Obama. Barack + Obama. Barack + Obama. First and last name fit perfectly. It helps that his first and surname are from a distinct religion/region. Michelle Obama also works but imagine if our First Lady was Condoleeza. Let’s say it slowly. Condoleeezzzaa Obaaaama

Gross, right?

And with that said, let’s segue to a story that underscores why I feel it’s important to give a child a sound name or one that has meaning or a damn good story. After all, they’ll have to carry that name for the rest of their lives unless they’re willing to spend ducats to legally undo the damage you’ve selfishly imposed on them. Might as well give them a a name they can feel proud of versus one where they’ll spend most of kindergarten and beyond cringing during attendance roll call. 

With that said, I present to you Marijuana Pepsi Jackson

Police years ago pulled over a young woman who rushed through an amber traffic light. “I’m about to arrest this person right now,” the irritated officer radioed to a dispatcher. “She’s telling me her name is Marijuana Pepsi Jackson.”

It’s the truth. Marijuana and Pepsi are her legal first and middle names, and the Beloit woman embraces them as a symbol of her struggle to succeed and to help other children overcome obstacles.

No Mary or Mary Jane or Mary Wanda for her. It’s Marijuana, thank you, she’s told bosses, co-workers and friends over the years, and even wore it on nametags at work.

See what I’m saying? – MJ

 

 


Turn Back Da Clock

In Family, Personal on January 4, 2009 at 12:07 am

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Ever ponder questions like, “Why the hell did I grow up?” or “Why couldn’t I remain a kid for the rest of my life”? Perhaps the latter is a stretch. But maybe you’ve wished you stayed a kid a little longer.

Maybe you’ve yearn for super powers to slow time and push back adult things like going to work each morning, riding crowded buses and trains, or hopping in your car and navigating traffic-jammed streets.

As a kid, the streets were still busy, but from the vantage point of a child, the view was different then. It was fun – an adventure. The responsibilities were humdrum, lacking the trepidation connected to adult duties. As a little one, your biggest responsibilities included getting your homework done, cleaning your room and/or feeding the dog. To think that those task seemed monumental then. Remember when a weekly $20 allowance felt like a lot of money? 

You’d spend it on candy, toys, comic books and still have enough left for Chinese food. Yeah man, those were the good old days. Grown-up world, back to you now. I’m off to work! Peace. – MP.

 


Letter to mom: Journey from Grenada to America.

In Caribbean interest, Family, Grenada, Inspiration, Personal on September 22, 2008 at 6:31 am
Big Momma and Boy by Gordon Parks

Big Momma and Boy by Gordon Parks

Dear Mamma,

I know you love me.

I know the sacrifices you’ve made and continue to make so that I and your grandchildren can have better lives.

Being a single mother at 21 was no easy task, even if you’d earned your college degree in Grenada and pursued a teaching career on the island. You made a tough decision to move to the United States when I was the tender age of seven. You wanted to build a better life for the two of us.

Even after graduating from the island’s university, life was rough.

Relatives tell me that you were the sole breadwinner, providing for your siblings until they were  able to pitch in.

You ventured to America, leaving me and other loved ones behind, to strive for a better life.

What trying times those days must have been?

To leave the familiar and venture into the unknown was risky, but you weren’t afraid. You wanted your son’s future to shine brighter than yours.

But what a shock it must have been to learn when you arrived on U.S. soil that your college degree meant nothing. What hurt you must have felt. But you persevered. You, being a strong black woman, pulled yourself together and forged ahead. You swallowed your pride and took a job cleaning people’s homes.

You took on an extra job, looking after a couple’s child while you privately longed to be with me.

After some years of saving money, you enrolled in college in Brooklyn, NY, while sending money to relatives in Grenada. Finally the day came when we reunited. I was 10.

I’ve witness the sacrifices you made and the feats you achieved. You’re a college graduate, a property owner, and the mother of a businessman.

You’ve done well and I’m proud. I often recount your triumphs to female friends when they’re feeling discouraged.

To me, you’re a success story and my hero.

You’re a phenomenal woman.

Love and respect always, your son – MP.