It must have been about 20 years ago when I first began thinking about creating a "Cultural Salon" as a reaction to the mundane social circles In Washington D.C. The richness of intellectual and artistic interchange had died, college friends had moved, the internet had not yet become the phenomenon it now is... I romanticised about the Salons of the mid to late 1800's in Paris, London and Berlin and the cultural dynamo of the Harlem Rennaisance. I was fortunate enough to meet a gentleman, an artist who lived and traveled with James Baldwin... Jimmy he affectionately called him, and he spoke often of their small cottage in southern France and of the many Artists, Poets and Luminaries that dropped in to chat and relax. Well, the impressionists, cubists, modernists, etc. all hung out together famously in those days and shared their ideas with one another creating a creative greenhouse in a world that was rapidly changing. I longed to have lived in those times, to have met Cassat, Rodin, Ellington, Fitzgerald, Baker, Balwin, well I did finally meet Baldwin and others purely for the joy of intellection upon the arts. This was in the late 1980's and by the mid 2000's I happened to run into a friend of mine from Hampton University who had been living in New York since he graduated in the early 90s. Well, I was surprised to hear him comment that in all of the wonder that is New York he never met anyone who ever really had anything interesting to say about art, literature, architecture, science, fashion or anything... I was so surprised to hear this since it had also been my experience. Well here I am in 2011 attempting the Virtual Salon...

Sunday, October 18, 2015





It is a rare phenomenon for 1,000,000 Black American men to converge in one place with their focus stolen away from the banalities of the day and redirected toward the critical issues of Civil Rights. We are not the world of 50 years ago when strong communities stood ready to follow-up on the speeches and promises of the day.  Those gilded leaders of a century and a half ago have nearly all passed away unfortunately without having a robust peoples to pass the torch of freedom to. That torch has long since gone cold and in many ways black peoples have themselves been responsible for the quenching of its fire.  That is why a momentary focus is not enough. These are times of crisis for the black community time is far too valuable for a flash in the pan, we need quantifiable results. Commitments must be made, and with them a robust infrastructure to transform those commitments into tangible outcomes. With 1,000,000 men standing by i'd say that infrastructure was a resource just waiting to be set into action.


Black Americans have failed to understand how to transform their muscle, mind and spirit into a cumulative, culturally relevant organism that could pick up the torch of freedom igniting it anew.  Such an organism would never sleep, it would see and hear and feel everything around it and be poised for a powerful, effective and peaceful response to every challenge.  And there have been millions of challenges to the peaceful freedom of black people in America. That Black Americans have survived slavery, mental, physical, social and economic oppression, the poisoning of their communities with drugs, violence and immorality shows that they are tough victims to kill but what morbid truth does it reveal about their persistent assailant?


The racial hatred that has troubled Black Americans for over 300 years is quite real. It has never taken a moments breath, it has bided it's time, planned, contrived and premeditated, the deliberate planting of destructive seeds. The game is more like a twisted hunting spree where the prey is an entire community of people who reel in mortal terror as each cultural bomb eventually fractures the foundation of its long-troubled communities to a point of no return.  The black community is at the threshold of no-return, It has been pushed to the brink of cultural destruction so much of which has been inflicted by its own hands,  Even so there is still a very simple and clear path of escape that a seed of one million men if properly cultivated could grow into a strong, invincible tree bearing fruit as it grew renewing, redoubling and protecting the strength of the black community in America through the organized development of a cohesive social, economic and cultural network. Not a new idea at all, it has been suggested many times before but no one man has ever had either the vision or ability to pull it off!


When 1,000,000 Black American men come together their numbers and resources must be creatively exploited.  Each man should be asked to sign to a contract requiring him to make regular financial contributions and donations of his personal time and energy to re-build his community.  Each man should be asked to sign a contract requiring him to create, support and recruit other black men in a network of community based businesses that have the ability to build and exert their economic and political influence to effect progressive change in government policy and elect government officials who will act in the interest of the community they serve.

Numbers are power.  Numbers alone mean nothing one has to understand how to use those numbers in order to get results even if resources are small on an individual basis, properly tweaked the cumulative effect can be monumental.  For example, while it is clear that getting a million men to regularly donate money to a national cause a practical solution to keep these men viable when they are unable to be financial would be require a man who is not able to meet his financial responsibility to substitute by donating time, skills or some other valuable resource.  A growing organization always has work to be done but not always the financial resources to do it which makes volunteerism an equally valuable resource to money when properly applied to the model. Such an engine can be used to assist distressed minority businesses and to establish banking and global media networks which will give the black community clean alternatives to mainstream media. It will create corporations businesses that will be ready to employ is community and to receive each new crop of collegiate graduates.  Imagine a corporate bank of professionals and businesses that could call in to have minor services it could not afford performed pro-bono or at significantly reduced rates by being contributors to the network which would act like a sort of a business, homeowners and personal insurance institution. The mission of such an organization would not be to prove to the world that given an opportunity Black Americans have the ability to affect the national economy as producers in the highest echelons of corporate management, let the world think what it wants as long as there is a viable working solution to the problems of the black community in America and that solution is given birth and fully managed by the black community.  Such an organization would focus the vast potential of one million black men in one place.

What you do not do with 1,000,000 Black American men who have gathered in one place to move human history forward is to bore them with self-righteous, vainglorious speeches that everyone has heard 1,000,000 times from 1,000,000 sources, give them a flyer, sell them a t-shirt, a bottle of water, a copy of your brand of street-corner propaganda and then let them dissipate back into the dark interstices of an increasingly racist America without getting a long-term commitment from them and fictionalizing it on paper as a legally binding contract of community service and business development!


Next time, if there is a next time the black community should take time to select and organize responsible, culturally versatile, community leaders with proven, clean civil rights histories to join forces as economic and political thinkers under a single roof and tasked to coordinate an iron-clad community network. This network will create jobs the first second of its inception and continue to grow itself  exponentially as it's reputation and portfolio grows.  That network must be one that is focused on the immediate issues of Black Americans but is also poised to assist human all human beings in need  incorporating the talents of all the marvelous peoples of this earth.  It must also work to regenerate or replace dysfunctional think-tanks and institutions that continue to squander valuable resources. This idea is not revolutionary, it is not even novel.Oddly enough it is something that I know each and every one of you reading this article has thought of at some time in your life.  Only one factor could prevent this simple dream from happening and that is apathy.  Why bother to come to a million man march if you are gong to be apathetic? When 1,000,000 black men stand in the footprints of men and women of all races who came 50 years ago and changed the course of human history they had better be ready to move mountains!

The 20th year anniversary of the Million Man March was hauntingly similar in scope to the Niagara Movement of 1905-1906 spearheaded by W.E.B Dubois almost as if it's scope had been lifted off the pages of Dubois's speech the link to which I have included at the end of this article.  History is nothing if not repetitive.  Moving forward it is essential that Black Americans give due credit their historical mentors and take necessary pains to evolve the movements authored by their ancestors to suit the current times. History has not always been kind to Black Americans but they must nevertheless dutifully preserve and teach their historical legacy with accuracy and pride. These historical lessons will prepare the black community to move forward emotionally and that dynamic is such a critical requirement for healthy socioeconomic and political progress.


A man who was not consumed with egotism including disdain and hatred for other races, sexes and sexual orientations would have come before 1,000,000 black men with a well-outlined economically feasible plan of immediate action and not just his ego.  It is irresponsible to pull so many people from all across this land without a clear and well thought out plan of action with it's engine already running and ready to take on passengers! Once in Washington we needed those 1,000,000 men to make the ultimate, long term commitment by affirming their brotherhood on paper as quantifiable scheduled financial donations including time and service contracts. We already know the economic potential represented by 1,000,000 black men so by Jove lets stop posturing and lets get some good old-fashioned community building together now!








Wednesday, October 7, 2015






Although the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March is a legacy made possible by the tireless efforts of many freedom fighters the image and tone of Louis Farrakhan appears to have captured the spirit of the movement. To many Americans Louis Farrakhan's civil rights record is far too corrupted with blemishes of racial and sexual intolerance causing them to question whether they should support the march on this October 10th 2015. Farrakhan has become an icon of the troubled movement  20 years after its inception


The 2005 Million Man March failed to recapture the interest of Americans tainted by the homophobic comments of Rev. Willie Wilson pastor of a politically influential congregation called Union Temple in historic Anacostia, Washington, D.C. At that time Farrakhan was also under fire for allegedly making anti-Semitic and anti-white comments, but those accusations have always followed his long career as a public figure.


What has really changed in 2015 since 20 years ago when the 1st Million Man March was successfully launched in 1995?  Many people have been concerned that Farrakhan's preaching is a reflection of the neo-conservatism and political extremism demonstrated by some factions of the Islamic community which threaten to reverse the many civil rights advances of the 21st century such as gay marriage.  The name of the movement has not changed but today's visit to Farrakhan's Facebook and Twitter pages reveals recent concessions to women that go so far as crediting black women with having made more vigorous advances toward socioeconomic empowerment while spanking black men accusing them of having grown weaker.

I remember the 1st Million Man March in 1995 was a powerful expression of black male solidarity. Farrakhan was hardly the focal point of that day, that historic moment was all about peaceful and organized unity among American men of color.  Those who were present will recall that the theme was "Atonement" an apropos indictment of  Black American men's waning devotion to the ongoing civil rights struggle and their failed mission as stewards of their embattled communities.  So why the shift in focus from men's issues within a male-oriented movement to those of women?  Did some economist point out that a larger percentage of Black American women as compared to Black American men were financially capable of supporting the business interests of his church?  If this movement, historically created to galvanize the positive, collective economic and political power of black men is now shifting its scope to include women it could be argued that just as in the case of the the Redskins its name would need to change in order to be consistent with claims on Facebook at and on Twitter at #justiceorelse that it is now a more culturally sensitive, inclusive, kinder and gentler movement.

Some fear that the Million Man March has conceded failure at galvanizing Black American men to rise to excellence.  The issues facing men of color are an even greater problem in 2015 than in 1995. Losing focus on black men by broadening the scope of this struggling movement before it has proved any quantifiable successes with its first venture could be a desperate strategy to buy time.  How many times will Black Americans buy into Farrakhan's "Baby" before they lose faith in his ability to pull off the "Dream" he markets under the now popular and legendary trade name, "Million Man March"?


But the underlying motives of this man appear to collide with the needs of his pet movement. Has Louis Farrakhan really experienced a life changing event in the twilight of his long and prolific career that allows him to see beyond sex, race and religion or is this a last, desperate attempt to achieve a measure of immortality among men before he goes to his glory?  The movement has become branded with his persona in a fashion hauntingly similar to how The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's became branded with the image of Martin Luther King.  What is missing from this equation is the energy, purpose, devotion and transparency of the former movement that attracted peoples of all races, religions and nationalities to sacrifice everything they held precious in order to move history forward!  So let us ask ourselves honestly, what is this movement really about?


If some peoples fears are correct it might mean that supporters of the 2015 Million Man March will be openly financing and condoning a man and his movement that represses the rights of women, is homophobic and that promotes anti-white and anti-Semitic propaganda.  Black people who are experiencing an alarmingly intensified level of racism in America should not follow Farrakhan blindly in the Million Man March merely because they are oppressed and he is the loudest and most socially connected black man of the moment. If we have learned anything from the historic Civil Rights Movement it should have been that any successful movement should not be dominated and centralized within one man, rather it should be decentralized and uniformly powerful across a diversity of well-organized, well-financed and politically well-connected institutions so that it can sustain the inevitable blows of racially motivated violence and hatred.

For Black Americans living in a time when the very first Black American President is in office it is critical to carefully think through the meaning of this movement and whether or not they should support it.  This is a serious matter, nothing to date has been so serious because literally everything that freedom fighters of all races and sexes, have fought for hangs in the balance.  Ask yourself if this movement is something that reflects your core ethical and moral values and whether it is truly vested in the edification of truly universal, inclusionary values and protection and expansion of human rights for everyone regardless of race, sex or religion?  Be fearful if that is what it takes to make you think beyond the banalities of the day! Be honest even it it means that you expose and face weaknesses, pettiness, and even evil within yourself!  Most of all don't be blind! Wake Up! Challenge yourself not to accept anything, everything that sells itself as a "Black Thing" without carefully scrutinizing it against ethical and moral virtues that we all know but often fail to check ourselves against.

So I have asked myself if I will participate in the Million Man March not as a symbol of my support for Louis Farrakhan and those who think like him but rather as an act of solidarity with men of color who know they should be doing the right thing but just don't have the tools to pull it together on a consistent basis.  I wish that anyone else other than Farrakhan had become the icon of the Million Man Movement but that wish will not come to fruition on October 10, 2015. Personally I am not waiting on a messiah I am waiting on a movement!



Wednesday, June 24, 2015



In order to better understand the symbolic meaning of the confederate flag you must first read the Confederate Constitution dated March 11, 1861.  There should be no mistake whatsoever that this document, when published, proclaimed the provocative implementation of a seditious crime against The United States of America pursuing a single-minded objective that would bind the enslavement of black men, women and children for perpetuity.  On April 12, 1861 the confederate army opened fire on Union soldiers at Fort Sumter provoking the Union to react.  This violent act incontrovertibly symbolized the confederate secession from the United States constituting the first and most treasonous act against the nation in its then 85 years history since the declaration of American Independence from Great Britain in 1776.  150 years later this confederate treason remains the most treacherous and violent act ever committed against this country.  It was an act of such gravity that the United States government was literally compelled to fight the confederacy knowing that the confederate movement had been amassing arms for decades in preparation for what it certainly but delusionally visualised as its heroically presaged debacle with tyranny.  I say delusional because the powerful slave-owning men behind the confederate movement were fully aware that since 1776 the egalitarian ideals of the European enlightenment were eroding the divine right of European nobility but in America the equation was far more complex.  It was more than a battle between countrymen, it had become infected by the overlay of racism…

In place of the confederate flag Americans curious about thier history should discover the flags and banners of the black American freedom fighters who fought gallantly in the Civil War to earn their liberation from the institution of slavery.  These flags document some of the most ultimate tests of the human spirit.  Rather than obsess about an obsolete symbol of treachery embodied in the confederate flag we must strive to understand the complete picture of the Civil War which included black and white men who strove for lofty values of humanitarian civil rights together...


Racism is a profound and pathological sickness in America and those who are infected organize themselves around established symbols of bigotry.  Furthermore, racism knows no particular color, racists are often cultivated through the delusion that they are defending themselves against what they perceive to be racist acts, it is a complex and troubling matrix. 


The confederate flag is a symbol of racism.  While removing this historic symbol or racism from use in all government facilities will not cure racism it will send a clear message that the government does not condone the use of this symbol.  Authentic confederate flags should curated in museums or private collections behind protective glass as the memorabilia of a wicked and failed attempt to arrest human freedom and civil rights.  They belong with such insidious symbols as the Nazi swastika and other icons of hate. 

The preamble to the confederate constitution reads similarly to the American Constitution of July 4, 1776.  The United States preamble reads as follows:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Compare this to the confederate constitution of March 11, 1861 below:

“We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America.”

The original American Declaration of Independence of 1776 was revised prior and up to July 3, 1776 to exclude language that may have been interpreted by southern colonies and prospective states as being sympathetic to the idea that black peoples and slaves were equal to all men and that slavery was immoral.  This was done to ensure the buy-in of the southern colonies and remained a point of hot debate that reached its boiling point in the mid nineteenth century.  Both preambles invoke divine power to validate the laws encompassed in their scope.  But the confederate constitution goes further clarifying that notwithstanding its lofty opening language referencing the terms justice, tranquility, blessings and liberty as hallmarks of their government the right to own slaves and maintain a subordinate class that would not qualify as, “citizens of the confederate government”, would be defended by the law. 


The confederate constitution makes reference to slavery twice, first in Article 1, §§ 9 (I), (2) & (4) and secondly in Article 4, § 2 (I), (3). 

Article 1, §§ 9(I), (2) & (4) appear to limit the importation of African Slaves except from the United States which it has just seceded from but by so doing clearly condones the lawful possession of slaves and the institution of human enslavement.  But § (4) boldly proclaims that no law may ever be passed that prohibits the ownership of slavery and we must assume that this was intended to mean for all perpetuity.  The passages are copied verbatim below:


§ 9. (I) The importation of negroes of the African race from any foreign country other than the slaveholding States or Territories of the United States of America, is hereby forbidden; and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same.

(2) Congress shall also have power to prohibit the introduction of slaves from any State not a member of, or Territory not belonging to, this Confederacy.

(4) No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.

The second mention of slavery appears in Article 4, § 2 (I), (3).  This section makes it clear not only that the law supports the ownership of slaves in particular, (as it fails to make any special or exclusive mention of any other common form of chattel), but that it will be the instrument of repatriation of slaves to their owners.  It does not mention whether the law will allow slaves to be freed of service but appears to imply slavery is a perpetual condition from cradle to tomb, read the passage below:

§(3) No slave or other person held to service or labor in any State or Territory of the Confederate States, under the laws thereof, escaping or lawfully carried into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor; but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such slave belongs,. or to whom such service or labor may be due.

The full text of the confederate constitution is available online at: 


Everyone should visit this document to fully understand its implications with respect to slavery and race.  It is quite clear that this document represents a challenge to the growing social climate of the mid nineteenth century which had become more sympathetic to the cause of abolition than human enslavement on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.  In a modern society ruled by the iconic logos of global corporations such as Nike and Coca Cola it is easy to comprehend how powerful a symbol such as the confederate flag can be in the promotion of socially derelict and anachronistic ideals.  The American constitution and its the antithesis embodied in the confederate constitution personify the classic dichotomy between good and evil.  The American flag symbolises the mortal sacrifice of men of conscience for the good of all human beings while the confederate flag has come to symbolise the selfish and primitive culture of institutionalized racism and murder.  As surely as we must continue to heal the sickness of racism in America so must we divest ourselves of its principal icon, the confederate flag.  It must be relegated to its proper place which is a museum exhibit.  It is a mockery of the many men who selflessly died for the freedom of all men. 


We cannot deprive the subculture of confederate sympathizers from having a romantic reverence for the confederate flag carried by their ancestors but we must be intelligent enough to ensure that this minority sentiment is kept in proper perspective with the rest of the world and that it does not become an instrument of terror and hatred in present times.  A lot has happened since the confederates lost the Civil War in 1865.  One of them is that the confederate flag was retired for all times and the American flag was raised again in those rebellious lands as a hopeful sign of social progress. 



We live in a world of symbols that convey clear messages to those who see them.  There are so many positive images for the Civil War, many of which are the relics of black soldiers who fought valiantly for their freedom.  Everyone should be familiar with these hallmarks of human struggle. They are more legitimate elements of Americana to be preserved in the conscience of the people than the flag of traitors.  The visual domain is the most powerful of all because it says instantly what would otherwise require a great deal of verbal or written communication.  When we do the math it is clear that the confederate movement personifies a failed betrayal to the United States of America paid for by thousands of lives.  One has only to read the confederate constitution, a brief document derivative of the U.S. constitution but loaded with specialized language that supports racism and human enslavement.  The confederate flag goes hand in hand with the confederate movement it is its bright star intended for instantaneous human consumption.  Every black man, woman and child understands the perverse hatred and depravity visited upon them behind the confederate flag and it causes a hurtfulness that cannot be quantified.  Because America has moved forward in the past 150 years this obsolete symbol must be removed from all government use.  The confederate flag represents among other things the unlawful secession from the government so it is contradictory for the government to fly the flag of traitors.  Furthermore the flag sends a message of hate and bigotry exacted upon all races, ethnicities and sexes and this must not be condoned by government.  We should all read the confederate constitution in order to understand its malicious intent for there the truth cannot be concealed.  Support the ban of the confederate flag. Vive La Union!




Tuesday, June 16, 2015



The world in which we live strives to sell the life struggles and accomplishments of others, for compensation of course, as part of a capitalistic “Memoir Machine”.  But where does our culture find space and time to focus on and celebrate the ordinary man who is after all the archetype of the memoir machine.  For what makes the unbridled passions of other men appetitive to other men is the singular fact that their aspirations are so very similar to our own.  Memoirs whether written or virtual are supposed to be offerings laid upon the  gilded altar of all human lives dedicated to amazing human experiences by those who have led distinguished and extraordinary lives near to the closure of their own.  So the buy-in of early twenty-first century Americans who opt to worship the puerile and otherwise pedestrian events of people just like them appears to be part of the looky-loo, self-absorbed culture that has replaced Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or Laura Facey’s sculpture, Redemption Song.  The first question is, “How much of ourselves do we lose by living through others”?  The second is, “Why have we so easily given up our passion to be organically extraordinary”?

Are selfies and Social Media pages the extent to which we can satisfy our manifest destiny?  Do they personify internal equilibrium and contentment?  Are they personalized, miniaturized vignettes of the reality programming we covet?  Do they or rather can they sufficiently convey the intrinsic, unscripted us in substantive ways that can never be captured by social media?  More appropriately let me ask yet another provocative question, “What is your soul about and in what tangible ways can the world be blessed by it”?  When your cup is full that is when it is time to spill it out unto the world.  When your cup is yet being filled, shaped, coloured, is the time to most enjoy its uniqueness in the world.  At that time, yet unfilled, it is not ready or really worthy for global consumption… but twenty-first century culture sells amoebic realities at the highest prices humanity can bear as if there are not more fitting, refined and elegant examples. 

The personal war humanity has been waging with twenty-first century culture has been to preserve its privacy and intimacy.  This is an unfortunate result of the sexual, social and political revolutions of the past 300 years in human history but to some well worth it.  Humanity has learned to appreciate itself by challenging and dismantling anachronistic ethical and moral structures that have taken 100,000 years to evolve.  As a tool for advocacy the individual has often chosen to become the icon of resistance.  Black nationalists during the mid-twentieth century donned a distinctive look and behaviour including their apparel and verbal communication.  Neo-Soul aesthetes adopted a unique style with naturalistic hair and funky clothing reminiscent of the 1970’s recycling slang such as hip and groovy and blood and main-man to add verisimilitude to the scene.  These were all positive affirmations answering James Brown’s call to “Say It Loud! I’m Black And I’m Proud”!  It can be argued that these movements were part of a larger epoch consolidating the cumulative energy of thousands of years of civil rights struggle wherein people no longer had to “Do Their Thang” in secret.  

The generations that have come to define the second half of the 20th century and the first quarter of the 21st are fully and legally capable of “Letting It All Hang Out”!  As I said, these people lived for their passions, fought, were beaten and died for them.  What socially forward passions are Americans willing to die for today?  What ideologically altruistic constructs are they so enamored of that they are willing to take the same personal risks to defend? So I am big on posing philosophically complex questions at my audience… here is another…  “How many times have you asked yourself, (and honestly answered), if you were doing something because it was an intrinsically beauteous passion or because everyone else was doing it”?  This is where we really have to make a clear distinction between public and private extrinsic and intrinsic.   We cannot ever hope to appreciate ourselves if we are unable to comprehend the simple threshold that defines the two.  A man has to know where he begins and ends and where the world around him, pressing him in, pushing him about, begins and ends.  He has to be the doorman controlling how to leak himself into the public and how much of the public he will allow to leak into him.  A man who has mastered this understanding of boundary and existence can only have done so by developing a strong, moral and ethical character identifying him as the medium through which history either is or is not moved positively forward.  To understand his intimate relationship with the public and private aspects of his manhood together with his innate responsibility to manage it for the betterment of humanity is the goal of constructive self-consciousness.  

So the selfies and the social media pages, the bling and VIP-isms of the 21st century carry little weight compared to our understanding of who we really are in the private world of our self.  We have to turn away from the world and often in order to get us properly calibrated.  When adjusted properly the world is just the world but is it ever a world because we are such an integral part of it and we can see how intimately we affect it, we are irreplaceable.  So for my last question I want to ask you another compound question: “When was the last time you consciously mentally, physically, or otherwise stepped away from the world around you and took as much time as you needed to step into yourself?  What did you see there and how did you like what you saw? How committed are you to spend some time with self again and on a regular basis as a means of healing and positive orienting therapy? Only you can understand how to appreciate and understand yourself as a man in 21st century America…


By Bigdaddy Blues

Monday, May 25, 2015



50 years ago a man was most likely to be married or seriously committed by his mid-twenties and a father by his late-twenties.  But the sexual and social and economic revolutions pioneered in America in the late 60’s and 70’s caused Americans to rethink the entire family institution causing the past 50 years to become a true experiment exploring its alternatives.  This meant the dissolution of thousands of years of tradition in which men were married at 16-20 years, fathers at 21 and grandfathers by their early 30’s; and expecting to pass into the ages by their late 40’s and 50’s; my how the world has changed.  Coupled with advances in modern science men are living longer and staying single longer, it’s a new day.

Ironically mature men live in a world that is still primarily focused on the issues of younger men and it is quite apparent that the realities of men 40 and older are quite different from those of their 20 and 30 something counterparts.  One of the most critical issues that somehow eludes the attention of sociologists is mature dating and relationships.  A young man has an optimism time can afford but a man who has already lived half of his life expectancy simply does not have time to waste through attrition with unlikely potential.  The problem is determining where there actually is potential, which theoretically should be a skill set an experienced man in his forties or older should have developed.  But alas the world is just not as perfectly balanced as the glass of Bourbon I sipped only a few seconds ago.  Many, not all mature men are overworked, overburdened with financial, health and social responsibilities and will honestly admit that the past 20-30 years of relationships have been a blur of misfit trials and experiments each time depositing them into a new seat of the same terminal of bachelorhood again.  After weighing out the good and the bad a mature man might conclude the only place of real peace has been the single life.  As the years gather themselves a single man has ultimately to think about his ability to manage his life against variables bought about by age. 

Growing older can be a potentially desperate prospect for a mature single man because he has to assess his ability to continue to mange his affairs.  He has to consider whether he desires to find relationship only a security measure to ensure he has someone to support him as he grows older or whether he wants to continue to search for a soulmate that will serve his functional and aesthetic needs.  Married to either of these choices is the social dimension.  As we grow older though we are mentally better equipped to manage most emotional issues love and the stress of a relationship, (whether it is one of love or not), tend to bear more heavily on our psyche.  Troubled and tumultuous relationships, breakups, etc., tend to age mature men faster than they do younger men not only because older men have less time to manage them but because their emotional investment is much greater.  Mature men generally have more psychical/emotional as well as financial/physical resources at stake and like most things that affect older people the process of regrouping after a cataclysmic breakup opens old wounds that are now slower to heal. 

Sometimes mature man get to a point where they figure it isn’t worth the trouble to start a new relationship that could potentially end up in failure, better to quit while they are ahead.  Others are so fearful that a breakup in their golden years will tear them apart emotionally spoiling their hard-earned peace, scarred by past experiences; they will face loneliness rather than open up what they see as a Pandora’s Box. 

Sometimes mature men are able to focus their optimism figuring they should be far better equipped to manage anything that a new relationship sends their way with their life’s experience under their belt.  These men remain open to change and pursue the potential of a new relationship as an objective experiment, taking into account but not obsessing about financial and emotional obstacles perhaps planning for both success and failure pulling only the positive lessons from the past.  These men approach new relationships the way they marvel at a virgin sunrise understanding there is only so much preparation one can make for the unexpected and therefore staying open to the promise of a new day.



Monday, April 27, 2015



Is it our civic responsibility to speak up when we witness crime and injustice?  Even if we cannot physically intervene when we witness wrongdoing are we not bound by virtue of the loftiest principles of humanitarianism to speak up, speak out either directly or anonymously?  If we fail to act after seeing evil prevail does our apathy reinforce the right of others to do evil?  Do we have a right to expect renumeration in any way other than apathy when we become the victim of injustice?

Anyone who lives in a major urban area where there is a large subway or airport is familiar with the ubiquitous public announcement encouraging the masses to “Say Something” if they’ve witnessed a crime or potential terrorist activity.  An appeal is being made to our moral and ethical constitution that assumes we are fundamentally responsibility to take positive action whenever we see that an injustice has been or may be done.  In a truly democratic society focused on protecting the individual and collective welfare of its citizens this philosophy totally works.  

Let us then ask ourselves if we live in such a society?  The theory of collective responsibility assumes that we have each other’s back and can therefore expect a return on the support that we give to the unified team.  But in a country where there are historically opposed teams the level of return is directly proportional to the sophistication of resources each team can draw from.  Teams with the best resources can expect the best response and outcomes while everyone else… well… we all know how that cookie crumbles.  Teams or should I say communities having little or no resources can only expect a proportionally small response and outcome to injustice.   When we factor in racism as a variable the squeakiness of the wheel really has no relevance at all for the disadvantaged community reaching out for assistance because it is strategically, structurally cut off from political and economic power.  Obviously the primary reason these communities are disadvantaged in the first place is because they have no political or economic power therefore if they are to survive they must manufacture their own power in creative ways that will make them unavoidable and formidable.  The philosophy and practice of being thy brother’s keeper has selectively been denied black American men in America and they have been excluded from the decision making sectors of our government and private industry.  Outside of the angry rantings of urban rap and hip-hop black men in this country have no voice of power.  America has cultivated a blind-eye when it comes to the protection of the rights, and well-being of black men allowing its citizens to witness all manner of social atrocities being committed against them without indulging them to “Say Something”, do something or change anything that would deviate from the historic path of oppression and indifference.  Culturally this problem plays itself out like a broken record numbing everyone to the tune without ever making an attempt to get a fresh record and needle or even a new machine. It is quite clear that American culture does not care about the welfare of black men and has set aside vast prisons as a strategic reservoir for locking them out of its consciousness.  Over the past few years while social atrocities have continued to be committed against men of color there have been no public service announcements to proclaim the intrinsic ethical and moral responsibility of American citizens to speak up and intervene whenever they see a black American man being publicly lynched or murdered by the police or even worse by random vigilantes.  This is due cause to ask ourselves if there is any difference between the deliberate assassination of black American men by police and the potential of some random act of violence perpetrated against humanity by an unknown terrorist?  The obvious conclusion is that the police are actually the terrorists, their violent acts the primary threats of terrorism that Americans should report as suspicious and malefactious.  Only by virtue of some mesmerizing hypnotism has the media successfully brainwashed the American people into ignoring what the rest of the world sees as the cold blooded murder of black men.  The sport of lynching black men is still the national pastime; it is the official national sport after over 300 years!  Publicly condoned atrocities against black men, their families and community go back hundreds of years in this country setting a legal and social precedent for what can only be viewed as a specialized genre of racial terrorism.  So while the media broadcasts programming designed to make Americans tremble and cower in their couches, on planes, trains, buses, in automobiles and places of public assembly in fear of foreign terrorists plotting to bomb, shoot, main, behead and destroy America another silent terrorist attack is being inflicted on black men in America.  America must decide which terrorist group it needs to fight first, the internal terrorists that continue a racial war on black men in America dividing this country or foreign terrorists who will use the racial division in this country to undermine the whole.  The internal terrorism is not proclaimed as a threat to the American people, it has been kept silent, like a covert military operation at least until recently with the advent of global social media where its grisly images have outraged the world.  As the murders and images keep coming forth it becomes all too clear that the power structures represented by the Justice Department and the local jurisdictions where these civil rights atrocities occur do not have the best interest of the black man or his community at heart.  Where then does the black community turn for support?  What should the black community do in reaction to the unrelenting reign of terrorism launched upon it for hundreds of years? There are really only two ways the black community can act and neither of them promise immediate results.  The first choice is rioting and violent retaliation which is certainly the least desirable choice and clearly not a viable solution in the long run.  The second choice involving the organization and perpetuation of a strong economically and politically leveraged platform is the most viable solution but one that would take considerable time to accomplish.  The second choice is an investment that will see fruition in time but it will see countless souls lost through attrition until an economic and politically viable foundation is prepared to carry the weight issues it must combat.  As the civil rights violations against black men rise time is a luxury the black community does not have, it must quickly galvanize itself as a comprehensively effective power to counteract what can only be viewed as a flagrant challenge to its very existence by the police and the municipal and private institutions that have historically supported them.  So when someone who is not black asks why so many black Americans do not trust the police we can easily answer with, “Just google it baby!”  There is a third choice that includes an attempt within the black community to compromise with forces which have historically acted against its best interest.  That difficult dialogue has been put off far too long and it must be initiated by a community armed with burgeoning self-empowerment.

Only in the past decade has the camera phone and personal video recorder taken subjective media control out of the hands of the major broadcast industries placing them in the hands of the ordinary citizen.  The potential of an individual to refute and reverse racist propaganda that could be interpreted as lies and prejudices actively promoted and perpetuated by a mass media historically insensitive to the community of black Americans is limitless!  The assassination of a black man by a police officer in Alabama was instantaneously documented on a private citizen’s cellphone.  The cold-blooded murder of a black man incarcerated by Baltimore City police was documented in fragments allowing the police time to administer an organized but impotent non-assassination scheme during an interstitial time after his arrest where objective cameras were not able to document what had transpired.  But when a man dies from a severed spine after being detained by the police and the arresting officers say they don’t know how or presumably why he died we have a game of ruthless but primitive wits to expose.  On the street there is an old saying used to call out someone who is lying bold-faced in spite of the fact that it is an obvious deception.  On the street if someone told me the story that the Baltimore police have told the public I would say, “YOU MUST THINK THAT FAT’S NOT GREASY”.  But we all know that fat is greasy, it always has been and it always will be greasy.  What racially motivated police terrorists must understand is that black Americans and the American peoples will no longer agree to affect blindness to their terrorism, they will be held accountable for their actions and the tradition of lynching will forcefully end.  So we must step back from the Baltimore slaying to contemplate what reality the police who arrested this newest victim of police violence are attempting to sell the world?  Are they building a twisted parallel reality theory comparing for example spontaneous human combustion to a self-severed spine? Can anyone really believe that a perfectly healthy man could burst into flame mirroring the Baltimore case where we are led to believe a man’s spine mysteriously severed itself?   Can we intuit the “I don’t know” of their testimony serves to answer their own fears and insecurities about why they chose to murder him in cold blood!  This case in particular confirms my personal theory that humans are capable of some of the most reprehensible crimes which they will all too easily rationalize away if they are allowed to get away with it.  Humanity must make certain these murderers do not get away with their crime! We must hold these and every other murderer accountable…

If permitted police terrorists will continue to defer to a technique where they can administer their cruelty off-scene, away from the scrutiny of ordinary taxpaying citizens.   For this reason 100% surveillance is necessary from the time a person is approached even while he is in his cell awaiting trial.  If anyone asked me whether the cost to support this level of surveillance was justified I would say certainly, yes.  The cost to policemen who fail to produce seamless video documentation of an incarceration gone awry must also be instantaneous and irrevocable conviction.  When racist and violent, homicidal police understand they are being watched this kind of violence will stop!   It is quite clear that we cannot rely on the integrity of our police forces, they must be watched at all times in order to ensure the safety of every American citizen, it has come this this bleak standoff between the taxpayers and those charged with the lofty task of enforcing and protecting our personal safety.  For my part I opine that the police have created conditions that have ultimately come back to haunt them and after hundreds of years the general public is finally paying attention to every breath they take and for good reasons.  We are close to the end of an era of police terrorism but it is not over yet.  No person and especially no officer charged with the protection of the well-being of citizens is above the law and it is about time that we stopped affording them carte blanche amnesty from evildoing.  We must place them under the same microscope that the rest of the American citizenry is placed.  Yes it’s about time!

But let me get back to the underlying theme of this article.  This essay is an appeal to the individual.  It is a proclamation that charges every American citizen with the responsibility to speak up and be held accountable to defend the human/civil rights of everyone around them whoever they might be, regardless of sex, race or ethnicity.  Although we may ignore this responsibility apathy will not make it disappear and we all run the risk that our blindness may someday come back to haunt us.  I opine that as citizens of the larger collective of humanity it is our incontrovertible duty to be our brother’s keeper.  So if we ever witness or suspect any evildoing we are bound by a higher moral and ethical force to take that knowledge to a responsible person or body of authority.  I do not believe we have a choice in the matter because it serves to keep in balance that sense of karma in which a deed is exchanged for a deed of equal value.  In this we should not be focused on remuneration, we should only be selflessly focused on our ethical and moral responsibility.  We as humans are ethically and morally responsible to do whatever is within our power to balance the scale of evil and injustice.  We are bound by a soulful covenant with our humanity and with all creation to practise the civil virtue of vigilance taking action against injustice and evil by exposing them in every way we can to end police terrorism freeing up society to pursue the greater good of a unified American people.


Saturday, March 14, 2015



Every single mature man has thought about the possibility of his death and has considered what will happen to his belongings at that time.  Whether you are a wealthy man with property, stocks and extensive financial and material assets or whether you are like many men with only a few precious assets this debate should be happening. If you are at least in your mid-thirties and up and especially if you are forty or older it is time to make your first will or trust. 

There are many reasons why a single mature man needs to look ahead to make plans to manage his care when he becomes ill or to manage his assets at his time of death.  As if in ironic contrast to the extended life span of twenty-first century humans the trend has been that many men are dying earlier than ever before due to unexpected health issues.  The lightning fast economy in which we live can potentially devastate a man’s assets in less than a months time if he is not well enough to manage them properly. In today’s socially disconnected society the roles of stewardship formerly assumed by a man’s beloved family are no longer set in place.   When a bachelor of advanced years becomes ill it may easily be assumed that he may no longer have any family members alive to care for him.  Furthermore, there may not be anyone close who is responsible enough to manage his health or financial affairs after he has died.  Many single men become overly self-sufficient to a fault, having no plan “B” to fall back on in times of crisis. 

There are economical ways to manage one’s health and estate in times of crisis. A more permanent method for dealing with ones asset’s after they have died is by composing a will.  A savvier method of managing ones assets while alive extending after one has died would be the establishment of a trust.  As with all legal arrangements there will be some cost involved in the creation of a sound will or trust but it is well worth it considering the many frivolous things we expend our financial resources on during our lifetime. 

A will is a legal document that outlines how the deceased desires their assets to be distributed after death; it may include instructions regarding the administration of power of attorney in the event the grantor becomes too sick to manage their affairs.  One thing every single man should know about a will is that it can be legally contested in a court of law meaning that it might be possible for a relative to maliciously dismantle the well-intended offerings of a man’s last will and testament. 

A smarter solution to the management of ones living and dying provisions would be the establishment of a trust.  A trust is nothing more than a legal entity, like a business, created to manage a person’s assets while they are alive and after they are deceased.   The trust is rock-solid, it cannot be contested or corrupted by any relative or outside entity.  The trust is designed to both manage the day to day financial obligations of a man’s estate and his own healthcare in the event that he is rendered incapable of making his own decisions.  The trust ensures that bills will continue to be paid and assets will continue to be cared for and maintained during a man’s illness and even after his death if he so desires.  Furthermore, it assures that assets he desires to will to others will be properly delivered.  A trust will also manage the allowance of monies to friends, relatives and charitable institutions.  For a single man who may not have anyone close to manage his affairs a trust is perhaps the best friend he will ever make.

One of the strongest arguments for gay marriage came about during the height of the AIDS epidemic when gay couples who had grown and shared assets together lost them in bitter legal battles with unsympathetic families of the deceased.  Furthermore, these men were forbidden the power of attorney during the last days of their loved ones life after managing them while they were both alive and healthy.  Last wills and testaments were bitterly fought and many men lost these legal battles because of the larger stigma associated with the gay lifestyle.  Had there been a trust in place however even the strongest bias could not have prohibited administration of the legal provisions encompassed therein.  It is not my intent to oversimplify the establishment of a trust, only to warn mature men through this example that nothing is guaranteed unless it is laid out in plain legal English.  The time to discover that you have not adequately planned for the inevitable is not when the crisis hits, it is here and now while you are in the prime of your life!

If you are curious in the least I implore you to explore this matter further using the links I have attached at the terminus of this article.  They go into much greater technical detail about the nature of trusts.  I leave you with two timely suggestions posed as challenges.
1.        Set up a trust or will to manage your affairs and set a deadline of not more than a month to begin setting it in place.
2.       Make certain that the will or trust includes clear instructions for how your health is to be managed in a time of crisis identifying a responsible trustee.

Living is a wonderful gift and part of living is the management of death, yes even our own post-mortem affairs.  Single mature men are closer to a day when they will have to deal with the sobering realities of a serious illness or death, so it is best to be prepared ahead of time.  As we grow older we see how our close friends and relatives begin to transition, many of their deaths are followed by bitter disputes over assets, and nobody wants those kinds of circumstances to put a shadow on their legacy.  Plan now and live in relative comfort knowing that your affairs are duly ordered.  Do this not only for your own serenity but for the peacefulness of those who survive you…


1.       Estate Planning: Is a Trust Necessary?: 
2.       Establishing a Living Revocable Trust: 
3.       The Pros and Cons of Setting Up A Family Trust:
4.       How To Set Up a Trust Fund If You’re Not Rich: