Walking Dead Season 6 Finale Thoughts

Walking Dead Season 7

Walking Dead Season 7

With Season 7 Premier just days away I wanted to give some thoughts on how Season 6 Finale ended. I assure you this commentary has not been expressed in other reviews, and is a sure fire sign why diversity in the writing room matters.

As I watched the final scene, you know the one, starting at 47:00 minutes into the episode where the whistling starts as Rick and his crew are desperately trying to get a very ill Maggie medical help. As they scurry in the dark lights come on from different angles with images of cars, men, and guns. After the camera does a 360, the audience learns with the crew that they are completely surrounded and in deep ish by 48:00 minutes into the episode.

In that moment I was undecided if I was going to watch Season 7. I was actually mad at the show. The post apocalyptic world looked too much like the current patriarchal world that we currently live in. I mean I could watch people, men, women, and children survive by slaying undead zombies for survival. But this season was more about how the survivors dealt with each other ending off with the face of much awaited Negan, but he was leader of what visually was an all male wrecking crew with no morals or scruples. Looking at that scene as Rick and his people were on their knees at the mercy of Negan and his band of Neanderthals – all I could think about was the film Hotel Rwanda. At the end of that film I believe there was a statistic given that at the time of the Rwanda genocide the male to female ratio was something like 10 males to every one female. That is what this scene looked like to me. In Rwanda with the dominance of all of that male energy One Million people were slaughtered. And now here we are with a barb wire wrapped baseball bat and a group of men, women, and one teenager on their knees with one of them about to get slaughtered by King of the Crazies, Negan. And in this band of Crazies no one, not one of the men step forward to stop the madness.

Then Negan defers to Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo – he might have well said the old verbage of pick a Nigga by the toe, because they were in the woods and might as well had been hunting Rick and his crew like they were a group of run away slaves. The ending of this Season made me think that Season 7 was going to be more unveiling of the already existing male dominated world that we currently live in, needing only to turn on the nightly news to see the effects of humanity in an unbalanced world. I do not know if I can sign up for that AMC.

This scene may have been the death of a loyal fan.

Walking Dead Season 6 Finale

Walking Dead Season 6 Finale


Love Letter for Mr. Eloquent

Destiny Unfolding

Destiny Unfolding

Today is not the first time I told you I love you, but is the first time anyone has asked me “Can I love you back?” My response was an emphatic “Yes.” My “I love you so much,” received the reply “I love you more,” and all I could do was smile.

Friday Jones exhaled today. Finding love did not start with you. It actually started with me about four years ago. It is very ironic that my meeting you in terms of timing was about the time I started planning for the release of my book. I had completed a journey of becoming whole and on a train ride that was orchestrated by the universe, we both were not just on the train at the same time, but were seated only one seat away from each other. I sometimes wonder what my now would be like had you not spoken, had you not looked at me with those eyes. I marvel at all of the things that happened that made my being on that train at that time possible. That one moment in time has taught me that all moments are precious. Someone dear to me passed away, I pulled funds together to book a last minute flight, I took off work for two days, but I caught my flight the morning I met you and Phili was supposed to be a very short layover. Wind literally shut down all airports in NYC and I decided to take a train rather than sit waiting. I called my cousin to see if she could pick me up from the airport and take me to the train station, and she, her husband, and son were just leaving a birthday party and within 15 or 20 minutes I was on my way to the 30th Street Station. Amtrak wanted $99 but the Amtrak woman told me that for $25 I could take a local train into the city. My cousin’s husband picked up the time schedules, got me to the SEPTA ticket line with only minutes to spare to find the right track where the next train was leaving. Everyone literally ran up the stairs to the platform so I could make that train and I wound up next to you. If I live to see forever – this will be my testimony to fate manifested.

I thought you were a cutie pie for sure, but the two things that stuck out the most were how well you speak and in the words of D’Angelo “those dreamy eyes.” When I was leaving to go back to LA, you texted me “… take care of all that for me until I see you again, I’m really looking forward to our future.” I did not really know what to make of that – but the words did stick with me.

As time passed, and I started to get to know you, I wanted to know more about you, I wanted to spend my time with you – whether it was talking on the phone or texting, I knew I was liking you and your energy. You were what I needed in terms of your words and actions, you were a breath of fresh air. I have never really had to wonder what you thought of me or what you thought of us because you expressed your feelings so frequently, I was disarmed. Your way of being allowed me to be myself, and I think that is really what anyone seeking a real relationship wants, to be more of who they are. This is the first time in a really long time I have not been afraid to be with someone, this is the first time ever that my mind has not been spinning a mile a minute with worried thoughts. That is so huge. My energy is so vibrant because you are that dude. You say often I am your dream come true, you are the dream I had almost given up on.

In this moment of time, I am so excited to simply enjoy the ride and see where life takes us together. I love you so much Mr. Eloquent and you do indeed have my heart. I am also very much looking forward to our future. You reminded me today that you asked if you could keep me, and that I said yes, and how you intended to keep me to that promise…do not play cause SamNSue.com have some lovely Morganite rings that I like!

The Real Friday Jones
aka Mrs. Eloquent

A Real Talk on Race 2016

A 17-year-old civil rights demonstrator, defying an anti-parade ordinance of Birmingham, Ala., is attacked by a police dog on May 3, 1963.  On the afternoon of May 4, 1963, during a meeting at the White House with members of a political group, President Kennedy discussed this photo, which had appeared on the front page of that day's New York Times.   (AP Photo/Bill Hudson)

A 17-year-old civil rights demonstrator, defying an anti-parade ordinance of Birmingham, Ala., is attacked by a police dog on May 3, 1963. On the afternoon of May 4, 1963, during a meeting at the White House with members of a political group, President Kennedy discussed this photo, which had appeared on the front page of that day’s New York Times. (AP Photo/Bill Hudson)

What do you say when your “White” friend calls to ask “What is the deal with Black Lives Matter?”

In “Black” culture there are sayings like “children are to be seen not heard; don’t talk back to adults; think before you speak.” Respect has circulated around a lot in media surrounding the last two weeks of shootings in the USA following the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, the 5 Officers shot in Dallas and the 3 Officers shot in Baton Rouge Louisiana. The idea is that respect is now something that is given and not earned. That is a two-way street. Black People in particular are always astonished when White Kids say crazy things to their parents, including name calling which we know would not fly in our homes. So when my friend who I do love dearly called me – this is kind of how that conversation went.

So what is the deal with Black Lives Matter, I am a humanist and all lives matter to me. I kind of don’t get it.

That is kind of the point that you do not get it, but if you believe that all lives matter, then you have to support the idea of Black Lives Matter. Did you see my rant on Twitter? Is that why you are calling?

No, I really wanted insight.

Hmm I kind of wish you had read what I posted on Twitter – then we might have a starting point, but as best as I can explain it, the average White person does not look at the relationship of African people, African American people within the context of time. And I am not really talking as far back as slavery – that is part of it, the beginning if you will. People like me, born in the 1970’s are the first generation of Black people born with any real sense of freedom in this country. And although some of the money behind Black Lives Matter is questionable, the 10 list of demands that they came up with is actually reasonable and would benefit all Americans. I cannot recall them all, but here are the ones I can remember:

• An end to Police policing themselves – that does not work and across different industries that has not worked. So create community based or independent review boards.
• All officers should wear body cameras and foster transparency.
• This is one is more of a society thing and not a Black Lives Matter demand, but officers are trained to shoot to kill and it seems to escalate situations and there has to be a Federal standard across the board that reflects our society to not be kill oriented. To injure and restrain, rather than shoot to kill, and to de-escalate situations where the public has an encounter with law enforcement.

Statistically more White people actually die at the hands of law enforcement, and even with this knowledge there are White people who will not get on board with Black Lives Matter when numbers show they would benefit the most. I have seen and heard such terrible things on social media and it is sad. Black people disproportionately die at the hands of law enforcement when compared to percentage of society and that is not something that can be ignored.

I went on to tell her about the things that I did tweet on Twitter and how the “All Lives Matter” campaign was not one of solidarity with “Black Lives Matter” it was a counter measure used as if to discount the focus on Black Lives, to silence the cry from Black people – because all people are a priority. And my challenge to that idea is steeped in history and was what my tweets reflect:

• January 1, 1923 when the town of Rosewood Florida was burned to the ground by White People.
• June 1, 1921 when Black Wall Street, Greenwood section of Tulsa Oklahoma was burned to the ground by White People.
• Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment was conducted on Black Males from the 1930’s – the 1972.
• Eugenics program in Puerto Rico sterilizing women, of color from the 1930’s – the 1970’s.
• Brown vs Board of Education ended segregation in schools in 1954.
• Civil Rights Act of 1964 went into law.
• CIA and Freeway Rick Ross unloaded tons of crack cocaine in Los Angeles to pay for US Government war in Nicaragua in the 1980’s.
• Predatory loans were placed in African American and Latino communities leading up to the 2008 real estate bubble.
• Flint Michigan water crises 2014.

I went on to tell her that my great grandmother died at 106 years old in 2012. There is this idea in White communities that her stories and family folklore of her life experiences in this country are somehow not passed on when things are said like “get over it,” but as her great-grand daughter – I know her life stories. I went on to tell her how my grandmother who is still alive and is 86 years old has shared her stories – and those stories are not pleasant or even fair, but being born when they were born in this country as Black women – life in the South was pre-determined and that is a reality.

My friend went on to tell me how her grandmother was a racist and she was from the South. She went on to tell me she thankfully was not raised like that because her father brought her to California to live and she was raised around both Black and Latino people. I had to then share with my friend that when it comes to old White people – I move cautiously around them because the reality is when I look at an old White person I do not know what side of the Civil Rights movement they were on and I do not make assumptions. I wait to see how the interact with me and I take no offense for the older people that I have encountered that have chosen not to interact with me – their issue and ism is theirs to deal with not mine.

My friend went on to say how because she was raised in a mixed community she does not really look at a person’s race, she just wait’s to see whether they are an asshole or not. I told her I hold a similar litmus test, which she could see from when we worked together in Real Estate – I as hiring manager for the accounting department had a rainbow coalition. What matters to me on a personal level is who are you as an individual and in the work place what matters is can you do what I need you to do at a high level of performance. Even accents do not bother me – and she reminded me of that fact with one hire, and I said well he was also the quickest termination because of his performance and people could not understand him over the phone – which for our business was a problem. But race does matter – if you ask me to describe someone – I will lead with that and get into features and detail.

I went on to tell my friend how I was recently watching a couple on HGTV “Beach Front Bargain Hunt,” and how they were buying a condo in Virginia Beach and for their sake I hope Virginia Beach had changed. I told her on my senior trip in High School, we took a bus to Virginia Beach. Here we were kids from NYC on a vacation having a good time. Like Venice Beach where there are shops to buy souvenirs, we entered several local shops and were scrutinized, made to feel unwelcome, and were told to our faces we were thieves. I have been working since I was 14 years old, and like many of my class mates we also had jobs through the school working in lower Manhattan and at businesses on Wall Street – we had plenty of spending money. We walked into maybe the third store and were greeted unkindly and at that point we walked out and tipped some displays over and walked out, then we went on to enjoy the beach. We were insulted as a group because assumptions were made, because we were Black youth. I told her on that same trip the group had gotten food to eat at the hotel and I didn’t want what they had – I had seen a Wendy’s or something just two short blocks from our hotel and I made the mistake of walking alone. I walked the first block and in the middle of the second block was a blue pick-up truck with three very blonde teen aged White males. I felt apprehensive because they were males and I was a female walking alone – but I knew I only had half a block to go – but I was in my mind creating an exit route just in case. Those guys started with pick-up lines that went from “hey baby” to “nigga bitch,” just because I did not accept their advances. For all I knew they could have tossed me in the back of the truck and I would have disappeared into thin air. I kept it moving. For the sake of this couple on HGTV I sincerely hope things have changed cause as an adult you could not pay me to go to Virginia Beach.

All she could say was wow. I also told her the average White person also does not consider the Black experience. If you submit to any ideology other than Martin Luther King where Civil Rights is concerned, it is deemed unacceptable. I told her all of the backlash that Beyonce’ received because of her dancers outfits at the Super Bowl were perceived to be like the Black Panthers. There are those of us that do not have a problem with the organization – the personal relationships we have with friends and family range in ideology from Martin to Malcolm. So to now call the Black Panthers Terrorists in 2016 is debatable – because for some Black people you are talking about our parents or our uncles and aunts that had to make a choice about how to be and feel more protected in their Black skin in the United States of America during the 1960’s. And I reminded my friend that it has only been about 40-50 years that as a nation, America has had any true freedom for Black people. And that 40-50 years is in my lifetime, and my mother is still alive, and my grandmother is still alive, and my great-grandmother was alive until 2012. So I have 3 generations of family folklore of women that grew with this country as African, Black American Women, as the country has tried to define Black people. So to me yes Black Lives Matter and the relationship that Police Officers have had with Black People in the United States of America over the four generations of women in my family that have lived in this country during the same amount of time has been abysmal. As a country the better we are able to show that through interaction with each other that Black Lives Matter, the better all people in this country will be.

She thanked me, because according to her that she truly did not know, and now that she has a better understanding, she can move forward with that understanding. Then we got onto lighter things, work, kids, and travel – namely when am I coming to see her and her kids – it is on my list of things to do!!

Walking in the shoes of another human being and their experiences is not easy to do. Try it sometime, and not Halloween in a costume, talk to a real person, about their life and learn something about yourself and who you intend to be with your life. That is how we grow humanity, by being able to see each other’s humanity.


Friday Jones,
FridayJones1 on Twitter

Fifty Shades of Grey – Through the Eyes of Friday Jones

50 shades of grey

I have not read the books and I am just seeing the movie for the first time in the privacy of my home over the Memorial Day Weekend. Not quite the way to honor our military… but ….moving on.

I have heard so much about this film. I started a new job in February and for the first two months a woman who is quite the librarian type who lives alone with her dog gave 20 minute recap of the books every morning for two months. The most consistent comments that I heard from die hard fans have been, they did not like that the film did not disclose how Christian Grey obtained his wealth, sex scenes were not over the top, and why her, why Anastasia.

After watching this film, none of those points matter. If you know my story, you know there have been some bruises about sex and trust. This film to me was about how tortured Christian Grey is as a man. Born to a crack addict prostitute who saw un-imagineable things by age four and who from what I gather had very dark and tragic things done to him. We have heard stories about those kind of children being sold for sex so their parents could get their crack, being burned with cigarettes, or beaten for pleasure – these are explicitly said at his parents house when Ana feels burns in Christain’s hair line – this is where Christian Grey’s defensive behavior, cut throat business tactics, his ability to read people, and his deviant sexual appetite coupled with his inability to love all come from. And at four years old, after having what was a dark life the Grey family adopts him into privilege and safety and as an adolescent Mrs. Robinson makes this fragile boy her “submissive” for six years between the ages of 16 and 22 years of age. Then fifteen women later into his adulthood and his rise to fortune and prestige in his own rite at the age of 26 here comes Anastasia, the Virgin girl with puppy dog eyes, that makes him feel safe, and moves his soul and he wants her.

How do I know this….oh I have lived a life readers, and when you understand how fucked up life can be at an early age, and you meet that someone that has a little “je nes sais quoi” you want to give them your world and your soul. His world happens to be that of luxury. His soul – that is where things get complicated because the princess life comes with the drawback of his demons. And the reality is he does not know how to love, and is challenged by the fact that he loves her. That person for me was the college BF and that elevator scene, you know the kiss, I had that moment after my college BF returned from an interview with the Clorox Company in San Francisco, and that kiss where he rushed through my front door on a little row house on 5th and O Street, NW Washington DC, and threw me up against the brick wall and kissed me with such purpose – scene was like a flashback. He wants her, no need to question why, she has “it.”
Unlike other women that may have been experienced, or that may have seen Mr. Grey and the opportunity to be his submissive as a role in the Disney fantasy that all girls grow up on, now with the revised version of “The Bachelorette” now selling fantasy to the next generation, Anastasia has an innocence about her and it draws him in – she literally adds color to his grey. He tells her he is “fifty shades of fucked up.” By the time she learns what that means, she has fallen for him. And so the saga begins. The fairytale is not quite what most women would sign up for, and that is a refreshing counterpoint in a Disney world.

I will not jump ahead and read the books. I will wait for the rest of the trilogy to unfold. But well done. It is unfortunate that people cannot see beyond the sex.

And now my two cents. Now I would have cast this differently – honestly the two actors seem like every day people – they are not what I would categorically categorize as standard Hollywood sexy, but perhaps that is a good thing. And am I the only one thinking – play room needs all new equipment – forgive me but I do not want my ass paddled by a paddle that has potentially spanked 15 naked asses. Same goes for the bedroom – as beautiful as it was, it would have been remodelled in a hot minute, no leftover anything in a billionaire world. I do not know where the actor that plays Mr. Grey is from, but he is obviously not American – please get him a dialect coach for the next two movies. And I read in the trades that actor Jamie Dornan is asking for more money to go full frontal in the next film – as naked as Dakota Johnson had to be for this one, please do not pay him more for full frontal his compensation should be equal to his female counterpart – but please do cut his bush, cause, hairy Johnsons are not very appealing on camera. Film is also a great conversation point for sexuality and pushing the limits of pleasure. Well done film, a fan has been born.


Friday Jones

Follow me on twitter @FridayJones1 or on Facebook

SONY Email Leaks – Stink on a Global Level

So the SONY Email leak is the funniest unscripted read I have had in a long time (but now that I think about it, the last good read was Aramid Entertainment against Relativity, but wait Sony slate was part of that lawsuit too)! The humor of course is in its truth. So Hollywood is racist, sexist, penis obsessed, filled with nepotism, and run by a bunch of egotistical individuals, certainly not new news. I mean Stacy Smith from USC Annenberg Center on Communication has the statistics on the inequities of Hollywood, but I must admit as much of a numbers person as I am, the transcript of emails certainly show how rampant these attitudes are.

But let’s step back a minute, cause America is in a protesting state of being currently and perhaps by a small stroke of luck we will take a stand against Sony where it counts, on their bottom line. According to Kaz Hirai, CEO of Sony Corp since 2012, “we understand how important recognition is for our creative work and how that corresponds to increased revenue,” according to February 25, 2014 article in Variety. Sony is basically owned 42.3% by Foreign Institutions and Individuals, 18.5% by Japanese Institutions, and 33.5% by Japanese Individuals and others according to March 31, 2014 reporting by Sony Global. What I get on how shareholders let executives run amuck is they don’t give a damn about horrific practices as long as they collect dividends. America consider not buying Sony’s creative works and electronics particularly over this Christmas season.

Amy Pascal’s “should I ask President Obama if he liked Django Unchained,” at least that was a Weinstein/ Columbia Pictures collaboration, but come on Scott Rudin “12 Years A Slave,” is a Fox Searchlight film. Comments are distasteful and makes one wonder what moronic offering would you two have for an audience with Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu, or Princess Masako.

Scott Rudin’s apology “I made a series of remarks that were meant only to be funny, but in the cold light of day, they are in fact thoughtless and insensitive – and not funny at all. To anybody I’ve offended, I’m profoundly and deeply sorry, and I regret and apologize for any injury they might have caused.” This apology sounds a lot like a non-apology apology which gives it very light weight.

Keith Le Goy – the young lady that alleges discrimination, bullying, name calling, offensive language by you – I just hope she finds legal counsel that can filter through the leaked emails and build a case and forces a subpoena for the people that allegedly witnessed this behavior to tell the truth that results in a healthy paycheck for her and rehiring by Sony in a position where she gets to live her dream unencumbered by goy. If these are the alleged practices of an individual with his team, what kind of mischief and road blocking does he do with a film project at the international distribution level?

Back to Amy Pascal one more time, when you find out Jennifer Lawrence your A-List talent is making less than male counterparts – you are supposed to fight for her…and AA too. WTF

And back to Kaz Hirai one more time, when ”17 of those employees were raking in $1 million or more, but only one of those $1 million-plus employees is a woman. Also, analyzing the pay of the two co-presidents of production at Columbia Pictures—who have the same job—pointed to another gender-pay disparity, with Michael De Luca ($2.4 million) making almost $1 million more than Hannah Minghella ($1.5 million),” according to The Daily Beast 12/12/2014 it is time for heads to roll. The term “Off With Their Head,” communicates physically cutting off the head, but it also killed the thoughts of the people with dead ideas. At this point in time Sony has committed to investors that it will slash another $50million to $100million in costs by 2016 from the bottom line of The Sony Entertainment Group – start with this fiasco and let the firing begin. Clean house and get some diversity in the mix at the production level. Business as usual is not the appropriate response. You come from a music background, be an innovator and let some of these old executives go, with their twisted ideology, and bring new blood in. Equal pay for equal work should be a commitment from you as CEO at both the executive level and for on camera talent.

The truth about “Little White Lie”

Little White Lie

Words that come to mind from Lacey Schwart’s story: Inspiring, fearless, unapologetic. Great film that has universal truths that would appeal to a wide audience. Thank you Lacey for willing to be transparent and sharing your story. Support this indie doc – it is a good one!

If you know a bit about me and my story, from those three words, you will know Lacey Schwartz is my kind of person. I watched this film last night at Laemmle Theatre in Beverly Hills. Lacey Schwartz, happened to be born into a Jewish Family to a parents that she thought were both of European descent and she was raised under the safety net of being “white.”

As a black woman watching this film I went through a range of thoughts and in a Maury Povich world of “you are not the father,” at some point the reality was this was a story about a woman that lies to two men, lies to her family, and allows a man that is not the father raise a child that is not his until the truth rears it’s ugly head and the offspring has to face the unfortunate reality of her blackness and what that means in American Society. Lacey allowed a camera into her life, as she discovered who she really was. Most people do not know who they are beyond the constructs of the family they were born into, or the religion they grew up with, or social queues and defining based on societal beliefs. Lacey in her experience had to challenge all of those ideas and she did it in front of a camera fearlessly in an unapologetic way. Well done Lacey!

If you are not familiar with my blog – commentary can run long, because I am raw and truthful in my thoughts – so here is the full range of my thoughts as the film continued to unfold. The lie Lacey had been told all of her life was that her father had a Sicilian grandfather that she took after. For a good portion of the film, it was plausible, and like the film “Skin” white people do have African ancestry that from time to time will allow recessive genes to manifest in a fair skinned child with African features, and I think by enlarge they are ill prepared with how to manage that situation when it happens. Although this was not the truth, it was interesting that as her parents truth – neither one of them had the courage to empower this child that was going to go to public school, or explained to her what it meant in this society which is she would be viewed as a black girl. In a way their denial left a young Lacey unprepared for this world which at times is unkind. I also thought it was interesting that she considered herself white, because some white people do not consider Jewish people to be white – but the reality is anyone in a white skin, regardless of religious beliefs, gets to be white and afforded the privilege that comes with.

I also thought black people, particularly African Americans have stories of Native American heritage, Irish heritage, French heritage or some other European heritage in our family history. Many of us have an uncle, grand parent or great aunt that looks white. We are not allowed to explore our whiteness because to the outside world, the blackness of our skin does not give us permission to have a white experience outside of family gatherings where the reality is what it is.

As the story continued to unfold, I truly felt for Lacey and her father because her mom’s “Little White Lie” had major repercussions. The “Little White Lie” took choice away from her “Daddy,” and although I do not believe in sin in the Christian sense – this is one of the greatest sins a person can commit against another human being. Lacey considers her family broken and she thought she could fix it, but her dad will have to go through his own journey of forgiveness. Back in 1968 or 1977 he may have had the capacity to love her mom, in spite of the truth, but his hurt at this point runs too deeply. As far as her biological father – it was interesting to me that she thought there would or should be a connection with him, beyond accepting the physical features that Lacey inherited, this man did not raise her or claim her, there was no way for there to be a real connection with him, and certainly none comparable to the affinity that her dad clearly has for her.

Side bar – with an audience of 15-20 people, I would expect all audience questions could be answered. Because of Lacey being raised Jewish audience was predominantly Jewish – and I did feel like moderator skipped over my hand being raised for a question as if my presence made her uncomfortable and she like Lacey is biracial and Jewish – so I left. Now me and my two friends were the only black folks in the room, and the moderator if I understood her introduction correctly works for Be/chol Lashon which advocates for diversity – they need to get whatever that was together to make sure commentary is heard from everybody where possible. That on a personal note was ridiculous. So my question/ commentary never happened – but I was able to pick my daughter up on time so 10 good mommy points for me… and I have a blog so 5 bonus points for me, lol.


Friday Jones

Follow me on Twitter @FridayJones1

American Promise


Followed me on Twitter this week. That simple act brought back one of the best memories of my life and one of the most poignant conversations I have had in this lifetime.

That conversation was with Stacey Summers, mother of Seun Summers. Sundance 2013 American Promise premiered and Filmmakers Joe Brewster and Michele Stepehson, friends and family came to Blackhouse’s space at the end of Main Street and they were electric with excitement. They entered the room with Zydeco band playing, Idris and best friend Seun were on fire – the film was well received and they were ready to celebrate. The Zydeco band was playing a rhythmic tune, and once the band found a groove Vikter Duplaix dropped an Afro Caribbean song and everyone on the dance floor lost it, including me.

I stepped off the floor to grab something to drink and that is where I saw Stacey standing and so I congratulated her. She reminded me of my Aunt Habibah and she had that strong New York twang and reminded me a bit of home. I thought Idris was her son, but then I guess he was tall and reminded me of my son – I incorrectly assumed. We laughed and hit it off and Stacey shared with me some of the experiences she and her husband Joe had navigating education in New York City. I think we wound up talking for almost an hour.

As a mom, I can tell you this film is so necessary, this dialogue about the educational gap in young African American men is an important one. Living in Southern California, the experiences Stacey and I shared as parents were common and some of the decisions made along the educational journey almost paralleled exactly. My son was diagnosed with ADHD, Stacey’s son was diagnosed with Dyslexia, we both transitioned our son’s out of “good schools” after the 6th grade looking for an alternative where they could thrive. As parents we worried about those decisions.

Well I just watched American Promise on Netflix. Kudos to the Brewster Stepehson family and to the Summers family. American Promise is amazing!!! The social dialogue, community activism, and educational tools that have come from this movement are groundbreaking. More info can be found at American Promise.

This may seem off topic a bit, but these are my closing thoughts, I remember being choked and lifted off the ground by my second grade teacher during a school play rehearsal. That one act taught me that you have to empower your kids to deal with crazy kids and insane adults in school. There is a moment in the film when Seun did not like a music class and another child projected onto him his prejudice and responded by saying “you do not like it because it’s not rap music.” Now if he had been my child I would have told him kids are stupid and you have to remember that people do project their insecurities onto other people and you do not have to accept it. In that situation you either call them on their shit or responded something along the lines of “just because your uptight parents don’t let you mix your classical strings with banging djembe beats don’t hate.” Now back to teachers for a minute, I have had A LOT of experiences raising an ADHD child in private, public, and charter schools, dealing with a host of adult educators, philosophies, energies along the way. I do wish that all schools had to give some sort of racial and/ or socio economic bias analysis to all teachers and teacher aides. I bottom line teachers and medical doctors to one thing, they are people too. Although their education may give them the ability to make very educated decisions, they are still people and people have biases. When it comes to educating kids, you should not be legally allowed to expose kids to your bias if in the long run it is going to be the disconnect that hinders our children’s ability to learn.


Friday Jones

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Do you know when the Universe is actively conspiring for you?

Have you ever had a moment where life was happening, but it slow motion and you could feel the pieces of destiny coming together? That is how I would describe what it feels like when you are aware that the Universe is actively conspiring for you.

My brother was in town just last week, now he had been planning to come to Los Angeles since August, but the date kept being pushed back because of project he was working on. Initially we were going to celebrate his birthday which is rare, so I was excited and then the delays so I stopped asking. Then randomly about a month after I get a text from my Uncle that my brother is performing at the Mayan Theatre Downtown Los Angeles. When you have a family member that is an entertainer, you do not have to be at every show so this show was not really on my radar. Then my mother texts me and asks if I wanted to go and take my kids. Then I thought – why not, this for them is rare, so I text my brother and we arrange back stage access.

Now two months ago I had a cousin move to LA from Washington DC. She has been talking about Chef Roy Choi aka @RidingShotgunLA since she arrived. She loves his personal story and how he turned his life into a lifestyle and a medley of delicious foods that we all get to enjoy. Well she also got a text and was going this show too at the Mayan.

The headline for the show was Souls of Mischief, Adrian Younge, The Pharcyde, Blue Exile and Special Guests Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Phife Dawg. My daughter brought her boyfriend to the show, he is an up and coming rapper with an old school soul and is in a group called Villain Park. This kid was so humble and taking pictures and observing everything around him. To my surprise Jarobi was in the house, the always present fourth member of A Tribe Called Quest. Jarobi invited me and my family to Line Hotel where he was going to be cooking from 6pm – 11pm. I was thinking cool something to do on a Friday Night. I was so proud of Jarobi when he became a Chef and now I would have an opportunity to have him cook for me. Good times.

Line Hotel is in Korea Town at the corner of Wilshire and Irolo. There is a beautiful mural of a lotus flower on the side of the hotel – it felt like good times waiting to happen. I walked in my cousin was seated and we were at Chef Roy’s hotel. Jarobi came over with a wonderful crab dish that he prepared, and then Chef Roy came over and when I say he rolled out the red carpet – he and his staff absolutely catered to every desire and prepared a meal for royalty. Thanks Jarobi and Chef Roy. My cousin got her wish and she has a picture to prove it!

The Souls of Mischief performed a new song that I felt was so telling “There is Only Now.” The lyrics to the hook are “the past is an illusion, there is only now, the future is fiction, there is only now.” Adrian Younge had joined us for dinner. When the desert tray came around my brother introduced Adrian to a woman that he felt Adrian should know. As I sat eating a delicious piece of Chef Roy’s Tiramisu Cake, I noticed the woman had good energy. When Adrian sat down I asked what did she do, he said he did not know and I should find out and as he took a piece of cake my cousin was eyeing he said to both of us, that was to teach you a lesson if you want something go get it. I remembered the hook to the song and there is only now. So I got up and introduced myself to the woman, it turns out she was like the international marketing executive for Toms Shoes – she suggested that I look up jobs online at Toms.com and she told me they believe in work life balance and in their employees going on their giving missions. I was intrigued.

So the next morning I went to Toms website and I was blown away by their story. I mean everyone knows the gist of One for One concept, but what Blake Mycoskie has done is really phenomenal. It reminds me of a 3M Post It competition that I entered for an opportunity to win $25,000 to start a business, and you had to do it on a post it. My idea was for a lingerie company that would provide school uniforms in underdeveloped countries for girls to attend school with manufacturing in the communities helped. Unfortunately my entry was disqualified and I did not win, but it is a dream of mine and Blake Mycoskie got it right. I knew I wanted to work for Toms. The accounting jobs listed were not anything I was interested in and they were entry positions which means low pay. I completed an application for Executive Assistant to the Senior VP of International Marketing. Now I do not know if I will be hired, but the Universe definitely ignited a spark and I am listening.




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When is the last time you voted for your local Judge?

One of my very good friends Kaypri posted this to her Instagram:

Her mom Miss Dorothy was a Freedom Fighter in her day and she was a White Southern Woman!  See her story at http://www.dorothystory.com/ 

Ferguson is at the forefront of news conversation these days.  When you have a town with 66% of any race and that race does not take time to vote in local elections to make sure their politics are represented by people that will legislate and enforce policy that is considerate of the 66% Ferguson will exist.  Complacency is not concerned with anyone’s civil rights.  If young men can go to war at 18, they can vote at 18, and if they can vote at 18, they can run for local government.  America is one of the few places on the planet where individuals still matter and I encourage young people in particular to seek political offices and stir up the pot, because status quo has never been cool – even Kanye said “What you think I Rap to push a RAV-4.” If you are going to work and pay your taxes and live a life of civil obedience, dare to run for office and create the dream instead of being a pawn in other people’s dream.

If you want to see change be the change you want to see.  So I ask the question, when is the last time you voted for a judge in your local election and knew his or her politics?


What would you do?

What would you do if you thought you were having a heart attack?

I am writing this because we all have played this game.  What would you do if you had a million dollars or what would you do if someone had said something obscene to you – even Kanye has a lyric that is an old school saying with the same premise “I wish a ni$$a would..,” but really what would he do?

Tuesday of this week I really thought I was going to have a heart attack.  I was at work and I kept having heart palpitations.  Now sometimes that happens because my bra is too tight – at a 34G it happens, but this was not one of those days.  I even looked up on line what were heart attack symptoms in women and what to do.  The basics were call 911 and take aspirin.  And as I was having the next set of questions well what are you going to do.  And honestly I thought about my reality – I am working but I still do not have health insurance – I don’t care how you repackage it $750 per month for me and my teens is more than I can swing a bat at right now.  If I have a heart attack and live – I can tap into my life insurance for critical condition which would actually cover the hospital bill and make me financially whole – but then if I died after the heart attack and paying the hospital bill there would be no life insurance for the kids. And I sat at my desk and wept for people in this situation.  I realized I would miss my kids, mom, family and then I thought well if I do kick the bucket who can I trust to tend to some last minute things.

Now I have a will and trust, and life insurance – so in my mind I have done my best to prepare, better than some people and if I went to a hospital and nothing was wrong with me I could wind up with a fifteen thousand dollar bill to have someone tell me nothing was wrong with me.  So what would you do?

I sent a text to my mom telling her I needed to talk to her when I got home and I decided if I were going to die, I was going to have enough time to take my daughter home from school one last time, tell her and my son I loved them so those would be the last words they remember me telling them, and I was going to sit my mother down to make a list of important information.

Now when I left work to pick up my daughter – a friend of hers needed a ride home.  I literally drove from the school as composed as I could be but there were tears I was fighting back because I thought I might kick the bucket.  My mother has on a couple of occasions said – one day after the fact ” ooh I thought I was going to kick the bucket, I laid on the floor in excruciating pain and had written you and your brother a note.” I had decided if I am going to kick the bucket I am telling folks before the fact – because really who wants to die alone.  Now don’t get me wrong, I did not ask my mother to come sit with me and watch me die, but I wanted her to know I loved her, this is where life insurance is, this is where trust documents are, this is who executors of the trust are, you have $750K make sure the kids have money for college, buy out the lease on the car so they can share the ride and have fun driving it, here are login passwords, credit cards and the like, there are rental checks that should be deposited from tenants.  I wanted her to tell my brother he was my best friend and then we both teared up gave each other a long lasting hug and I said goodbye.

So again what would you do? Hit me up on twitter and let me know.

And just in case you figured it out.  I lived Ha!