Don Cornelius

When you mention the name Don Cornelius amongst the Black community, there is no need for an introduction. For those who are unfamiliar with Don Cornelius, he was the writer and producer of the nationally syndicated dance and music show Soul Train.

Soul Train was formed because Don noticed in the late 60’s that there weren’t any television shows geared towards Black artists and soul music. With the creation of Soul Train, soul and funk artists could showcase their talents.

Prior to Soul Train, Black people were limited to occasionally performing on TV as guests on White programs. All that changed with Don’s creation of Soul Train. Soon, White audiences started to tune into Soul Train and it’s popularity skyrocketed. Eventually, Soul Train would even showcase White artists whose nusic was centered around soul, funk and R&B.

I loved watching Soul Train as a child because I loved seeing some of the artists I grew up listening to perform live. And who can forget the infamous Soul Train line and those Ultra Sheen and Afro Sheen commercials? Ultra Sheen and Afro Sheen played a part in Don’s Black is Beautiful campaign.

Listening to Don talk with his nicely shaped afro and smooth deep voice was a treat. I could listen to him talk all day. One of my favorite parts of Soul Train is when it was ending and Don would say: “I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!”

With all the success and positivity that Soul Train brought to the Black community, it saddens many how Don Cornelius’s life ended. Don suffered with seizures, battled Alzheimer’s and his health steadily declined. He was in constant pain the last 15 years of his life and unfortunately he decided to end his life.

Soul Train will always be one of those shows that is cherished amongst the Black community because it was a show where Black people were portrayed in a good way. It also showed people how to have fun, dance and get down!

If you have never watched an episode of Soul Train, you are really missing out. To see a brief clip of one of my favorite episodes, click here.

The next time you are on YouTube, search for it. It’ll have you smiling and dancing before you know it. 👌🏾

To listen to a brief catchy remix of the theme song, click here.

Until next time…love, peace and soul!

Black History Trivia Revealed

The other day, I asked the following question:

Do you know who was the first African American to hold a medical degree?

I also gave the following hints:

1) This individual was the first University trained African American.

2) This individual graduated at the top of their class while also being the only African American in their class.

3) This individual was an abolitionist, a writer and author.

For those of you who are wondering, it is Dr. James Mccune Smith.

If you guessed right, give yourself a pat on the back. 🙃

In addition to the accomplishments above, Dr. James Mccune Smith helped start the National Council for Colored People in 1853 and he was the only African American in the world (during his time) to run a successful pharmacy in Scotland.

When you get a moment, read a little bit more about him. His story is both amazing and inspiring.

Until next time…

Black History Trivia

Do you know who was the first African American to hold a medical degree? I will give you a few hints:

1) This individual was the first University trained African American.

2) This individual graduated at the top of their class while also being the only African American in their class.

3) This individual was an abolitionist as well as a writer and author.

Do you know the answer? 🤔

Feel free to Google it as I’m sure some of you will. Go for it! 😉

If you think you know the answer, leave a comment. I will reveal the answer on Friday.

Until next time…

Black History Month

Hello and Good Morning! It’s Black History month everyone! 🖤 For all my new subscribers and followers, throughout the month of February, I’ll be sharing hidden and unknown Black History facts. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Since I’ve been sharing Black History facts on this particular blog, I’ve had many non-Black readers express how intrigued and inspired they are by some of the things I’ve shared. The Black Experience is full of stories of triumph, betrayals and heartache, but it’s those stories, those experiences that deserve to be shared. Especially those who have lost their lives due to racism and false accusations.

Get ready to be educated, inspired and enlightened because what I share is not discussed in schools. I think it’s because many non-Black teachers are afraid to or don’t know how to.

Until next time…

Books And a Bit of Research

As I’m preparing to write my next novel, I decided to do some research on a few more of my relatives. I never have to look far for inspiration or storylines because my relatives, my ancestors had very interesting lives.

When I put in my book descriptions, inspired by true life events, I mean just that. These are events that happened in real life to my people, my ancestors, my relatives. These aren’t things that I dreamt up out of my imagination. These things really did happen.

One such relative I had the pleasure of discovering more about was my other Grandfather. I never got the chance to meet him, but I heard so much about him. I could remember hearing stories how he was tall, dark, good-lookin’ and born in the late 1800’s. The trouble with that is no one knew the exact year he was born.

Do you know what I did? I did some digging.

Turns out, this Grandfather of mine was in fact born in the 1800’s, 1883 to be exact! How incredible is that? This 80’s baby has one Grandfather that was born in 1919 and the other Grandfather was born in 1883. To see it on paper made a world of difference to me. It made it real.

This discovery however is a little bitter sweet because I had to remember (once again) that my Grandfather’s parents were born as a slaves. Keep in mind that on June 19, 1865, the last of the remaining slaves in Texas were freed. It takes my breath away knowing that my Grandfather was born 18 years after the last remaining slaves were freed and 20 years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

How’s that for a family discovery.

Until next time…

Buying Fake Reviews? Don’t Do It.

As a person and as a rule, I try to always be honest. That includes being honest on my blogs and social media accounts too. I don’t like lying because I hate being lied to. Adding to that, I don’t like lying to other people.

When I see authors being exposed for buying deceitful book reviews, I get annoyed. More and more published and self-published authors are being “called out” and I find that to be sad, desperate and alarming. Especially when they know better.

When I was a new indie author, I used the service Fiverr because I thought it was a good idea. Let me tell you, it wasn’t. Fiverr is littered with users who will post a glowing five star review of your book. The cost? $5.00. Some will tell you they’ll read your book, but they don’t. Others will bodly advertise that they’ll leave a glowing review if you provide them a few details about your book. That right there is what stopped me years ago. When you know better, you do better.

I’ve seen well known authors and self-published authors being called out on Goodreads for paying “readers” to leave tons of four and five star reviews. How sad because most people can tell a legitimate review from a bogus one.

I understand that both published and self-published authors want a lot of good reviews, but you want to obtain those reviews the right way. How many times have I asked readers to leave reviews on my books rather than DM’ing me their thoughts? Several. Why? Because I understand the importance book reviews.

As bad as I want loads and loads of reviews (good or bad) left on my books, I can’t force a reader to leave a review. I also can’t see myself paying for hundreds of dishonest reviews either. Ten, five, even one dishonest review is one too many.

If you’ve thought about buying reviews, please don’t do it. Your reputation is at stake. When you do things the right way, you feel much better about your work and accomplishments. Lying is never good because lies do have a way of catching up with you.

Until next time…

Red

For the last two years, I’ve had several members of my family ask me if I would write a story about my Granddaddy. I won’t say which Granddaddy, but I will say that at one point in time, I had seriously considered it. I won’t write a story about him, but I will tell you a little about him.

Those who knew my Granddaddy, (yes, I’ve always called him that) called him ‘Red’ because of his red curly hair. He was tall, slim, had eyes that frequently changed colors and he had the prettiest long, slender hands. Just to give you an idea of how tall he was, Granddaddy stood 6’2, but he was hunched over at that height due to advanced age.

Granddaddy loved to whistle and he had a deep voice. When he would sing, his voice would get deeper. Granddaddy loved sweets, RC coke with peanuts and he loved to dip snuff. As a matter of fact, he kept an empty Maxwell House coffee can next to his recliner whenever he would dip his snuff.

Granddaddy was a wonderful man, but like the rest of us, he had his flaws too.

Granddaddy was a very good looking man and he knew it. Even in his advanced age, Granddaddy could make all kinds of young women blush because he didn’t look his age. He had very unique physical features and he played on that. He might have been hunched over some, but that pretty skin of his barely sagged, he didn’t have many wrinkles in his face and he still towered over women.

Granddaddy was a little vain when it came to people because he himself was very handsome. He spared no words when it came to people who he found to be “ugly”. When Granddaddy would talk about people, he would make you laugh even when you didn’t want to. This man had a way with words and as a child, my sister and I used to rile him up when we wanted a good laugh.

Granddaddy had nicknames for all his grandchildren and to this day, some are still called by those very nicknames. One of my sisters was called ‘squirrel’ because she was always climbing trees, a cousin was called ‘frog’ because she was always hopping around, and another relative was called ‘rabbit’ because she had two large front teeth. As for me, he called me ‘meanie’. If you let my Granddaddy tell it, it’s because I was mean when I was little and I always meant what I said.

Granddaddy was something else and I can tell you for a man that was born in 1919, he has seen a lot and has been through a lot. This past year marked 20 years since he’s been gone and it doesn’t seem like Granddaddy’s been gone that long. If he were still alive, he’d be 100 years old this year.

Until next time…