Thursday, April 5, 2012

Burger King battles accusations of racial insensitivity

In the wake of an era where America has elected it’s first Black president and over a century of progress to rest its burdens upon, Black people fight diligently to protect it’s images in the media.
Recently, Mary J. Blige was involved in a controversial commercial for Burger King in which she performed a song that lists the ingredients to the fried chicken snack wrap for the fast food chain.
For many, there is no problem and they question the legitimacy of the claims by many of the commercial’s critics that have spoken out over the internet.
Here’s the problem. For many of us aware of Black issues, culture, and history it appeared that Mary had “sold out.”
You can reference any early movie era film that depicted Blacks and you’ll find that Blacks were often depicted in stereotypical situations. The commercial is not about her singing the ingredients, it’s more about the representation- she’s urban, she’s screaming through the restaurant, and to top it off she’s singing about the ingredients in the snack wrap. She’s uncouth and far from elegant.
And let’s compare the David Beckham commercial. David is a soccer player with international appeal that is promoting something that’s healthier. I clearly see where they were going with this advertisement; a consumer with a healthier consciousness. It’s doubtful that the marketing and advertisement team were not trying to reach the urban, Black, and younger demographic in this ad for Mary. But, marketing should responsible and sensitive as well as cognizant of those audiences they are trying to reach.
Peter Shankman, a branding and social media expert spoke out on CNN to debunk the concerns of the bloggers and critics of this commercial.
“There is nothing wrong with the ad, it could have stayed up there,” Shankman said.
Shankman, although knowledgeable about communications, I highly doubt he’s as versed in Black issues.
Finally, I’m not sure if it’s because there are not enough positive Black images on television or if Blacks are hypersensitive in regard to recent events involving the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin, but regardless of race, people have a right to stand up and object to the representation of their ethnic group in the mainstream media.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Measure of a Man

Today, I attended my grandfather's funeral. It was the first time I had seen him in a few weeks. His health was failing and the last thing I remember that he said to me was, "don't get old." My grandfather had always been self-sufficent and a self-made man in times when blacks were looking for the "other" to help a brotha' out. He took enormous pride in his heritage and where he came from. A few years ago, as if in a museum he showed me some black and white photographs of my great-great grandfather and told me the story behind him. He boasted proudly about the strength in his back and how he stood tall even as he got along in his years. My grandfather's sharing of that bit of history with me was as if he was letting me in on a secret. He told me, we were free long before slavery was abolished and lived free in Ohio for over a hundred years before the proclamation had been made that negroes were freed in the South.

Many people had different opinions about who my grandfather was in his life. But despite it all, he had done a whole lot for many of those people whose memory he will live on in. Despite what anyone had to say about him, good, bad, or indifferent, he earned respect from them all. He was a son, a husband, father, and a man. He did everything he was supposed to do while he was on this earth, including, serving his country. I pray that he finds peace in the hereafter!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Art...

I don't have much to say about my art work...never really have talked much about it. However, I was really happy with the responses to the postings I put on Facebook. It seems to have been well received. For those who haven't seen my work, I hope you enjoy it too!




Tuesday, December 16, 2008

God help us...through the holidays!

As the holidays approach, I can't help but feel a little perplexed. Though the intent of the holiday is superb, we get so caught up in the customsthat we forget the true meaning of why we celebrate. Many of us will go broke, into debt, re-gift, be depressed, and pass on the plane ticket home for the holidays. This year will be more difficult for countless Americans, because the economy is in such a broken state.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of "Baby Jesus." The narrative in the Bible says it was the 3 wise men that came bearing gifts for the newborn King. So in observance of His birth, we celebrate Christmas through the assembly of family and the exchanging of gifts.

I'm sure that this is not the Christmas that I've experienced over the years. The Christmas that I've known in the past, celebrates a generous Santa Claus who gives toys to children, encourages over-aggressive salespeople, and drives frenzied mall shoppers crazy over last minute sales. I came to this revelation today, while leaving a class at my church. During the silent ride home, my thoughts swooned. I couldn't help but think about the church, the holiday, my expenses, and many, many more things.

All week I've been thinking about my personal financial state and how that will affect my Christmas holiday. Things like my travel arrangements,budget for gift-giving, who I should give gifts to, and whether I will even receive gifts that will compensate for my own expense, consumed me.

I know I'm not alone; especially in these uncertain times. Every week, more and more people are reported losing jobs. People in search of jobs, can't find jobs. It's safe to say that this will not be the most festive holiday,but it still can be. If American Christians are able to remember why we celebrate this time of year, than it is still a possibility for a truly festive and abundant holiday. The holiday is a time of remembrance,reflection, and family. Our focus should be on Christ and how we cancelebrate His life, death, and resurrection.

Though decorating your home with lights and garland, gift-giving, and holiday feasts are customs associated with the holiday, we should really be humbled by the true meaning of Christmas and the greatest gift of all; oursalvation.

Perhaps, we're not in as bad of a state as we think we are. Maybe theapproaching holidays are an opportunity to hold fast to our faith. Better yet, maybe we should be putting our faith in something more substantial. This is an opportunity for most Americans to fall to their knees and be introspective about what they believe, who they believe in, and who truly is in control over all of their provisions. No matter what religion you practice, it might be a time to revisit that higher being; especially in these frightful times.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Young & Powerful Events

****Content taken directly from the website

Event Details
For More Information or to download host committee package: Young & Powerful for Obama

Dear Obama Supporters, Agents of Change & Inauguration Attendees:

We thank and applaud you for being a part of Young & Powerful for Obama’s historical Collection of Presidential Inauguration Events.Because of your efforts in the field and generous contributions, a nation will bear witness to the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Barack Obama. YES WE DID! This January, in Washington, D.C. your presence is greatly appreciated, and we invite you to join us and other Y&P for Obama members from across the world during this historical event.

We only have a limited amount of time left before this remarkable day approaches and we want to offer you the unique opportunity to disclose vital information.

We would like to thank you for your interest in being a part of this historical moment. As we inaugurate our 44th President of the United States, we will culminate our 2 year effort of empowering Young & Powerful to BE SEEN, BE HEARD, and BE POWERFUL.

With Hope,Young & Powerful for Obama Presidential Inauguration Events Steering Committee presents a collection of Inaugural Events that Mimic the Obama/Biden Message of:

***VISION***Saturday, January 17, 2009Young & Powerful Launch and Networking Social“Join us as we celebrate the launch of Young & Powerful as a political, social and economic national powerhouse nationwide.”Advanced Ticket Sale Price: $40.00. Ticket Price Includes: Light Appetizers and Beverages

***HOPE***Sunday, January 18, 2009Young & Powerful Presidential Brunch“Dine with young professionals, entrepreneurs, politicos, elected officials and community leaders as we listen to an inspirational message about President Obama’s historic campaign.”Advanced Ticket Sale Price: 44.00Ticket Price Includes: Brunch

***CHANGE***Monday, January 19, 2009Martin Luther King Jr Young & Powerful BreakfastYoung and Powerful Political Forum & Roundtable Discussion“Participate in an interactive, politically-engaging event as we conduct a vote on what the next Young and Powerful national message and policy initiatives will be.”Advanced Ticket Sale Price: Complimentary with PassYoung & Powerful Black Tie Gala & Awards Ceremony“Socialize with us as we dine, dance and toast President Obama’s victory.”Advanced Ticket Sale Price: $125.00Ticket Price Includes: Open Bar, Heavy Hors’devours, and Live Band

***REDEMPTION***Tuesday, January 20, 2009Young & Powerful Inaugural Semi-Formal Affair“Celebrate this historical day with other Obama enthusiasts and network with Young and Powerful members as we commemorate a day to remember for a lifetime.”Advanced Ticket Sale Price: $100.00Ticket Price Includes: Heavy Hors devours, Beverages, Music and Young and Powerful Token of Appreciation

Be Seen..Be Heard...Be PowerfulYoung & Powerful for Obama

Young & Powerful for Obama

Monday, December 8, 2008

Who Is This Guy?

It's kinda' funny to me that with all the focus on a new President that we've sort of forgotten about the current one. We know so much about Obama that it is insane to imagine how transparent he appears to us all. For instance, he's been on the covers of People, Time, Ebony, and even the internet gossip pages and tabloids. We even know what's in his Ipod for goodness sake.

While watching a Bush interview on "Nightline" this evening on the topic of religion, I thought to myself, "Who is this guy?" He appeared somewhat vulnerable, humbled, and approachable. In the interview he revealed that he believes that Jesus Christ is not the only way to salvation. How can that be? He heavily appealed to the emotions of so many Christians while campaigning. Would he have won their votes, if they knew this revelation? Though, I don't agree that their are multiple ways to salvation through all faiths, I do believe that George Bush is misunderstood. I see a man, struggling with a failing legacy as President, seeking redemption and relief; that's apparent. However, I believe he's remorseful, apologetic, and his failures weigh heavily on his heart. I'm not big on conspiracy theories- especially those that try to dissect his political decision-making. I choose to stay objective and informed, rather than jaded. The Bush I saw this evening was so unlike any Bush I had seen before- he was sincere. It's because he was sincere in this interview, that caused me to halt and look again.

I don't think the American people will ever fully understand who he is or what it is that he was trying to achieve in his administration. As the interview pointed out, no matter who you ask, you'll get mixed reviews on Bush. All along, I think it's true that we've been fed so many untruths from those witin his administration that we won't know what is truly relevant. Moreover, I believe George Bush did his absolute best! However, the facts demonstrate that it wasn't good enough. Poor advice and rash decision-making have created a difficult situation for us all.

He alone is not to blame for the state that we are in...he was elected by the people. I can't speak for every American, but if I could, I would say, "Americans want to believe in their President and have no choice but to believe in change."