As expected, it brought about little, if any, change. A depressing number of Black people continue to toss the word “nigger” around casually. It is especially bad amongst younger people and in hip-hop/rap music.
It makes no sense to embrace a term created to degrade and denigrate you. And please, spare me the lame “It’s a term of endearment when Black people use it.”
The Chinese do not call themselves “chinks.” Hispanics never refer to themselves as “spics.” Polish people do not use the word “Polack” in reference to themselves. Jewish people would never accept the term “kike.” The Japanese do not refer to themselves as “Japs.”
Native Americans despise the term “redskins.” People of European descent do not accept the word “honky.” Those from countries in the Middle East would never embrace the term “camel jockey.” Italians reject the word “dago.”
Yet, so many Black people, who should be (or claim to be) proud African-Americans, see nothing wrong with referring to themselves and other Black people as “n-----rs.”
For a long time, Richard Pryor used that word constantly, but then he went to Africa and the experience was so mind-opening (an epiphany, actually) that he pledged to never again refer to any Black person as a n-----r.
If only such a pledge could be made by a lot more African-Americans today. Respect flows outward. If you don’t respect yourself, you can count on no one else respecting you either. Ethnic slurs are disgusting, hurtful and counterproductive.
MAXWELL has reason to smile. Following a surprisingly long absence from recording, his “return” album, “BLACKsummers’night,” immediately became the No. 1 album in the United States, selling an amazing 316,000 copies within a week of release. It’s a good album, creative highlights including “Cold,” “Help Somebody,” “Love You” and the instrumental “Phoenix Rise.” However, I am not sure it quite lives up to what was expected after an eight-year wait.
Sometimes people do not realize just how influential James Brown was on other artists. For example, Dick Clark remembers receiving phone calls from both Michael Jackson and Prince, within a month of each other, requesting James Brown performance footage. They wanted to carefully study his moves and technique. What they learned was obvious.
And speaking of Soul Brother No. 1, there are many James Brown performances on YouTube.com. You might want to check some of them out. It’s a lot of fun if you are in the mood to “have a funky good time.”
Now here’s something funny and new: Singer John Mayer says he is not married because he can’t stop rubbing his feet together in bed, and he knows that would annoy his wife. He says he is “like a cricket.”
BOBBY BROWN, who, by the way, has put on a huge amount of weight, made a revealing statement about his failed marriage in Derrick Handspike’s book, “Bobby Brown: The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing. But…” (They are, of course, divorced today.)
“I feel that several people wanted to see us divorced, so they took part in coming between us,” he said. “Everybody had their opinions as to what should happen between us. It’s hard being in a relationship where you have other people — friends, family, business associates — constantly in your ear. Whitney and I would have to disassociate ourselves from everyone for periods at a time just to maintain our sanity.”
He specifically mentioned Whitney’s father, John Houston, who clearly did not care for him, and Bobby was angered and disappointed when his own sister sold stories to the tabloids.
As for his alleged physical fight with Usher, he says although they were friends, something did actually happen. He went to Usher’s birthday party and at one point, after the drinks both had consumed kicked in, Usher got the now-woozy Bobby into “a playful chokehold and started squeezing.”
Bobby said he couldn’t breathe and Usher “was so drunk he didn’t realize what he was doing.” When he got out of the chokehold, Bobby says, “Out of reflex I picked him up and held him over the DJ booth, which had a nice little drop down below.” Usher’s bodyguards “came to his rescue.”
LET’S HOPE that Chris Brown was completely sincere in his apology regarding badly beating up Rihanna. We mean genuine sincerity, not “show business sincerity” that is ultimately self-serving. He sounded sincere.
“I’m truly sorry that I wasn’t able to handle the situation differently and better,” he said. “I’ve let a lot of people down, but no one has been more disappointed than I am. What occurred in February will never happen again. I can only ask and pray that you forgive me, please.”
In case you hadn’t heard, filmmaker/director Spike Lee has been very critical of the work of Tyler Perry, even using words like “buffoonery” and “coonery.” His criticisms and the possible degree of truth in them notwithstanding, could it also be possible that Lee is a little bit jealous? Just asking.
People are so used to saying “Tito Jackson” that they forget that his given name is actually Toriano. Many others were never aware of that in the first place. And Jackie Jackson’s first name is actually Sigmund.
No matter what happens in his personal life, R. Kelly always manages to keep his career moving right along. He wrote the title track of Whitney
Houston’s new album, “I Look to You,” set for Aug. 31 release.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that when the Tony Award-winning Jennifer Holliday left “Dreamgirls” on Broadway, it was Detroit’s own Roz Ryan who took her place.
MEMORIES: “My Baby” (the Temptations), “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” (Rod Stewart), “Don’t Play That Song” (Aretha Franklin), “You Gotta Believe” (the Pointer Sisters), “Your Smile” (René and Angela), “Just Be Good To Me” (the S.O.S. Band), “Sherry” (the Four Seasons), “Genius of Love” (Tom Tom Club), “That’s How Heartaches
Are Made” (Baby Washington),
“I Wanna Be Your Lover” (Prince).
BLESSINGS to Tony Braceful, Cecilia Stevenson, Michelle Jackson, Patricia Caudle, Maxine Stevenson, Mary Edwards, Linda Burgess, Eugene Moore, Shirleen Fort, Huel Perkins, Al Allen and Rosetta Hines.
WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Bill Cosby: “The key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
Let the music play!
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