Tag Archive: king day holiday


mlk-nonviolence

As we again commemorate the only true Black American (descendants of slaves) Holiday in America, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Day here on January 18, 2016, I think it timely to resurrect the late musical genius of Curtis Mayfield, who would want to point-out his words to this latest generation of look-a-like black immigrants who did not get the message that we already fought and WON this battle. “Black Lives Matter” is taking the USA back in time to where we were. DO you homework, stay in school till you get a University degree and behave yourselves, you new, Caribbean and African can brown-skinned peoples! Dr. King’s real birthday was January 15, 1929, by the way. Another famous Capricorn leader like Muhammad Ali and even Confederate General Robert E. Lee!

We people who are darker than blue
Are we gonna stand around this town
And let what others say come true?
We’re just good for nothing they all figure

A boyish, grown up, shiftless jigger
Now we can’t hardly stand for that
Or is that really where it’s at?
We people who are darker than blue

This ain’t no time for segregatin’
I’m talking ’bout brown and yellow two
High yellow girl, can’t you tell
You’re just the surface of our dark deep well

If your mind could really see
You’d know your color the same as me
Pardon me, brother, as you stand in your glory
I know you won’t mind if I tell the whole story

Get yourself together, learn to know your side
Shall we commit our own genocide
Before you check out your mind?

I know we’ve all got problems
That’s why I’m here to say
Keep peace with me and I with you
Let me love in my own way

Now I know we have great respect
For the sister, and mother it’s even better yet
But there’s the joker in the street

Loving one brother and killing the other
When the time comes and we are really free
There’ll be no brothers left you see

We people who are darker than blue
Don’t let us hang around this town
And let what others say come true

We’re just good for nothing they all figure
A boyish, grown up, shiftless jigger
Now we can’t hardly stand for that
Or is that really where it’s at?

Pardon me, brother, while you stand in your glory
I know you won’t mind if I tell the whole story
Pardon me, brother, I know we’ve come a long, long way
But let us not be so satisfied for tomorrow can be an
An even brighter day

Songwriter:
Curtis Mayfield

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

All HUMAN lives DO matter in the physical world; we must embrace the heavy lifting – without violence, as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King did – in order to live together. Are you up to being smart instead of ignorant due lack of extensive historical education? The lives who are traditionally celebrated the most are the ones who uphold the standards of manners, respect for authority, etiquette, follow the simplest of rules in society and embrace peace. Maybe choose a different slogan? I liked “Power To The People” from the 1060s and 1970s…

Finally, I’ve noticed that too many people I talk to business-to-business do not know Monday is a Federal Holiday! This is troubling on many levels as too many businesses choose to ignore it and conduct business as-usual – some spitefully (see “Red” states). Doing this undermines the fact that President Reagan signed it into law in 1983 after it ran the gauntlet of the U.S. Congress. If you have a sales business, why aren’t there “King Birthday” sales, for example? Jus’ sayin’…

…And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we’re free at last!”

Enough (respect) about Ted Williams (not the baseball great, the homeless “golden voice” bum guy), this post is for a true American “original”, a man who never fought any “bums”, because if he did, he knocked them all out quickly or toyed them into frustration, Muhammad Ali.  The day of his sixty-ninth (69) birthday this year coincides with the national U.S.A. celebration of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior – two of the “greatest” born under the astrological sign of Capricorn, of  “all times”!  That, in and of itself, is inspiration for me to write about it here in addition to the fact that I gleaned that my beloved overseas is not fully aware of the magnitude of Ali’s presence and influence. 

 I use the first cut on this album…only the first few seconds of it, where he says is his trademark braggadocio of the 1960s, “I AM the Greatest!”, over the musical instrumental introduction of records that I play when I am lucky to have been on the radio during this holiday weekend through the years gone by.  In the “business” we called it a “drop”.  I am not that lucky this year because of aforementioned issues with “the way it IS” in “radio” nowadays (sux), however, rest assured that this post is to wish the best boxer of my era, a very Happy Birthday.

Muhammad, please forgive me for using the image to the left, it is the only vinyl that I own that represents you, and I respect your change of name, liking “Muhammad Ali” much better than your “slave name”..  We haven’t heard much about you, Muhammad Ali, lately – and given your age and the punishment that you took on your way to fame, that is a “great” thing!

Muhammad , the former “Cassius Clay” embodied all of the principled rebelliousness that shaped this reporter in my early teens.  With the Vietnam war and the U.S. civil rights movement sculpting the lowdown discourse of those days, “Ali” was a lightning-rod of criticism and praise, depending upon which side of the debate  (left or right we would  say these days) you found yourself.   I remember white guys really hating him; I remember black American guys really hating him (Joe Frazier “uncle Toms” we used to call them); I remember both of those groups rooting for him after came back from his  exile and knocking out George Foreman or having empathy for him when Larry Holmes basically ended his boxing career in 1980.  I think that at one point my own Dad didn’t like him, and that was mostly because Ali was one of the pioneers of the outspoken/well-spoken black American man and it was not fashionable for those of Dad’s generation to speak-out like Ali did.  Dad soon came around to MY way of thinking, and we used to be anxious to listen to the live matches on WCBS 88AM radio and read the New York Post’s account of his matches, blow-by-blow, in the next morning’s paper.

But this is to celebrate the personality of Muhammad Ali.  The rest of the cuts on this vinyl are his poetry, which may people forget about because of his politics.  Ali was an impromtu, spontaneous poet!  My father, the WWI Major,  called him a “rhymin’ Simon” lol because Ali could break-off some verse l-o-n-g before anybody ever imaged “rap” or “hip-hop”.  Imagine what Muhammad Ali might have been if part of THAT era?  Many imintated his ring style (“Sugar” Ray Leonard, Roy Jones, Junior come to mind), yet none could ever duplicate his demeanor or playful and poetically prophetic mind. Please, when you remember Dr. King this weekend, think about another “great” who came concurrently to help us as a leader on the world stage (Ali went to places like the U.S.S.R. and China, et al when our U.S. government would not reach-out to them with detante or embrace and encourage  perestroika). He became a true ambassador of our best qualities as a nation, much in the way that former President Jimmy Carter is these days.  He may have other vinyl albums, but this is the only one in my library.  Most of all for this discussion, Ali introduced the concept that a man could be “pretty”!  What is your fondest memory of Muhammad (notice not “MOhammad by-the-way) Ali?   Happy Cappy Birthday and “Ali bumbaye!”