Tag Archive: multicultural romance


My Five Worlds

As I carried-out assigned Handyman tasks today I realized another of my blessings to be thankful for and acknowledge here as 2011 rapidly heads into our collective and personal histories. I am like the planet Jupiter with its many moons, even though my birth planet is Saturn, because I have five worlds that orbit me as satellites. Maybe you can relate to my universe or not; “whateva” please comment below if my description moves you to! My worlds are: 

1 – Bachelor World: Where I’ve lived daily when not around other people and which is progressively irritating between my ears as an increasingly lonely, middle-aged man. I know how much “talent” I have, still do not “look [my] age and remember many things others do not, which makes them “amazed” at me. Right. This is the place of my principles; the jokes I tell myself which only I “get”; it is deciding to sleep-in or get up and go to the church on Sunday and cooking great meals that I wish I could share with one special person. It is where my frustrations, independence, insecurities, poetry and secret anger lives. It is the humidor of my greatest wealth to-date: the music of my life – the music in my mind that plays randomly, daily depending upon which curve ball life-in-general is throwing to me at the moment, from Classical to Solid Gold Oldies.

2 -Diverse World: This could also be called “the world in which many Black American people live in” because by-nature and because we were born in the mostly Caucasian USA, we were once (if you were born before let’s say the year 2000) considered largely marginal to the American society as a whole. However, my Diverse World is better than many because I have intelligence, education and was raised kind-of “middle class” by my parents. Yes, I am proudly one of the Baby Boomers! I had the dual blessing of learning to use correct English and learning to break-it-off Ebonics-style when necessary! In other words, in this world, “white” Americans are largely as comfortable around me as I am around them (once some of them they get over their pre-programmed initial ‘upon site’ stereotypes and hear me speak) in most instances. The ones who do not, are not part of “Diverse World”, obviously, yet I am fully aware of them and their presence if they get within earshot. It is the world I get to experience when I do handyman work at better-to-do-than myself clients’ homes; they trust me. If you are a Mexican maid or worker for “white” Americans, you might understand my “Diverse World”. In this world, the music is all over the place and “Dance” music, the descendant of “Disco” is accepted. All of my “Gay” friends live here as well.

3 -Intercultural World: My favorite place to be and largely because my fiancee, Inna, responded to my repeated attempts to gain access to it in recent years and found me! Intercultural World is my future of travel, married life with Inna and happy, loving discovery of what I should have explored many years ago. We Black Americans of my ilk, who were not forced to travel overseas because of wars were not actively encouraged to escape our nation’s borders, and that is the current sadness and frustration of Intercultural World for me. It took an inordinate amount of time to get my first U.S.A. Passport precisely and partly because I had a past without international travel and some of the wrong kind of socio-government “baggage” a$$ociated with it. Intercultural World is the world ofCheetah”, Inna’s loving nickname for me. I like it! Other inhabitants of Intercultural World are Inna’s elderly parents, her grown-up son from her previous marriage and other non-English speakers here in the States who I interact with even though I know just a few words of their languages! Once I finally go to see Inna in Ukraine and return, I hope you will benefit from my new experiences and broadened mind in this space. 

african-american-flag 4.Black World: This is the place that I believe many of the people who look like me, many of whom I have known for the longest period of time in my life inhabit. Many of my high school and college friends/acquaintances live here. They still mostly listen to Rhythm & Blues music which I really cannot fathom much anymore unless I’m in the mood for some “O’Jays” or sharing with Nina some stuff on You Tube. I visit there when I go to work at the Black newspaper I work for, and now this dynamic is quite the contrast-yet-similar to the “old days”. This satellite has its roots back when we protested for equal civil rights in-order to have equal access to American society. Way back it was “colored World”, then “Negro World”… Sadly, in Black World, I see many of my “Brothas & Sistas” missed the boat either intentionally or by dint of “da Man”. On this moon is where I hear some of the wost spoken English an English Major can ever experience! The political correctness posse tries to rename Black World as “African American World”, but I can’t go there because I’ve never been to Africa – I was born here in the USA. Similar beings try to also disguise it as “Multicultural World”; another non-starter with me. My Mum and Dad always cautioned me about some of those in Black World” because they picked-up the worst traits from the slave masters who founded the the USA and are often act like “crabs in a barrel”. I heard a coworker say it recently (butchering the phrase, by-the-way) and smiled/frowned simultaneously to myself. 

5 -Family World: Speaking of my Mum,part Cherokee Indian, who I love to hear laugh at my jokes on the telephone, is my best friend and one of two women whose advice I will take without question – amazing for me – the other one being my fiancee`, and my late Dad “the Major” who once around this time in 1962 won everything in sight one night on the original TV game show, “The Price Is Right” with Bill Cullen as the host, my Family World is ever-shrinking from the vast body that is was when I was a boy. Maybe you can most-relate to this World if you are of a certain age. Maybe that is part of the reason I am finally ready to take a wife and not go into the “good night” alone if that be the Creator’s will – that and finally finding the true soul-mate; all timetables differ on that desire. If you have a parent over seventy years of age and/or siblings older or younger than you, you can relate to Family World. Outside of the occasional greeting card or even rarer birthday card from a remaining Aunt or my “Godfather”/Uncle, the only inhabitants of Family World are me and my Mum. We comb this world with a combination of past recollections of happy times, updates from her on who recently passed-away and me reminding her that she “just told “ me something she just said five minutes ago! I love how she takes those reminders with good humor and I take her cue to not let it “get” to me like it did a few years ago when she first began showing those symptoms. I still can happily mine her former school teacher mind when need be, garner sage advice and know I am surely blessed to still enjoy her company her in the physical Family World.

Please describe your world(s) in the comment section below.

Maybe I miss composing music reviews as I did the past six years for About.com, http://dancemusic.about.com/sitesearch.htm?q=Jimi+Bruce+reviews&SUName=dancemusic, and therefore welcomed this opportunity to critique a new CD.  Actually my fiancee`, Nina, is a huge Lenny Kravitz fan and as usual since I met her, came-up with this good idea that I write about him in my blog.  But it took me a month or two to realize what she  meant – the old language translation omitting the urgency (Russian is her native and English is coming along w/my help) – so now in my true “late-bloomer” style, we have the “Black and White America” write-up! Far from an enigma, even though he hasn’t recorded in quite some time, Lenny Kravitz really is one of the hardest working, cleanest, most photogenic and popular (especially among the ladies) musicians of today.

The first time I played a Lenny Kravitz song on the radio I was in 1999. With a name like his, I felt that he had been around a long time, but that wasn’t the case in the northeastern USA on Adult Contemporary and Top 40 radio stations. Yet, “Lenny Kravitz” just sounded familiar as if he had been a mainstay.

There is a nice, semi-consistent brass presence on the album along with other varieties of rhythm and sound. My Nina seems partial to those collaborating with Troy “Trombone” Shorty, judging by the You Tube videos that she has sent me this summer and fall. As James Brown would admonish “Sinclair” in his old band, “Don’t play so much Bone Brotha!”

I’ll in-part employ the Frankie Crocker rating system of denoting a “sure-shot”, “World Premiere” and “Pick-hit” as I rate some selections. “In The Black” is pure, classic Kravitz and the sixteen songs are well placed in-succession to provide a nice mix and flow of the record. “Liquid Jesus” plays next, and I swear he must have been channeling the late Marvin Gaye on this one. It is “Gates” from the first note; Bravo! The title track, which is a plea for the American racial divide to get over itself and catch-up with our times, “Black and White America” is my ‘World Premiere’. He uses his parents as an example when he sings, “In nineteen sixty three my father married a Black woman and when they walked the street they were in danger…” Lenny’s father was a Ukrainian man. “Superlove” is the cute, Brothers Johnson-like song that my past experience as a Top 40 radio DJ tells me would make the charts of a contemporary hit station, and thus is my Pick Hit. By not mentioning all of the other tracks, I do not mean to imply that they are in any way unworthy of my top rankings, but these are ones that have produced the most tune-wedgies in my musical mind since I copped the CD. Speaking of “top rankin” that was a tune by the late Robert Nesta Marley, and Lenny Kravitz apparently did some time well-spent in the Caribbean while composing this album. One of his brilliant skankings is my Sure Shot, “Boongie Drop” featuring Jay-Z. It is a rollicking dancehall adventure of spliffs (in the hip Hop monologue) and booty movements. “Roll sister, roll on it/Don’t make the music stop/Go on make that boongie drop…” Be sure to press “repeat” a few times for the full effect! The jazzy “Looking Back On Love” also caught my ears due to the long instrumental bridge that will have you momentarily thinking another CD entirely or the radio somehow started playing. “Psyche!” I am impressed that Lenny played drums on all of them according to my research. A friend commented about Kravitz apparently being in-touch with his spiritual and/or religious side via frequent references to deities throughout the lyrical content. That’s alright, we know Lenny is our hard-rocker at heart and a little Godly humility may just add to his success and longevity.

PICKHITTS: He is so creative! My fiancee` and I admire his creativity.

Partially, thanks to Lenny’s music we have grown our relationship. Once I found that Nina appreciated music, it was just another solidifying quality! We sent his songs back and forth. Nina’s level of music appreciation is incredible! She sends me Slavic or Russian videos and I send her American music videos; sometimes I send to her to see if she has heard of this or that artist. Music is the best way to cross cultures initially, we found. She and I talk about how he must have a photographer follow him around day and night, there are so many photos of him in all stages of dress (and Undress, LOL)! His harmless vanity is rather amusing. Nina is so proud that Lenny’s roots are in Kiev and we have grown our love partly to Lenny Kravitz’s music (“I Belong To You” for example). Nina says, “Let Love Rule! Bravo Lenny!” Our story is his parents story, redeux! Twenty-first century style! I dedicate the hymn “Dream” off of this album to my Nina and me. She sometimes teases me that I am a dreamer, and I reply similar to the lyric, “It all starts with a dream/The dawn of a new day/The God inside of you will always see you through…” Kravitz parent’s story is now our ‘dream’.

No longer with Virgin Records, Lenny is now managed by Craig Fruin and Howard Kaufman (HK Management) and heard on RoadRunner Records distributed by Atlantic; I’ve heard rumor there is VINYL of this! Well you know I want one! LOL

I give it 4.5 out of a possible 5 stars! Worth the wait.

I wonder what advice Lenny’s parents would have for Nina (the Ukrainian beauty) & Naphtali (the Black American man) today?

Please DO Comment! Thanks Nina for the inspiration – again(-:

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