Ask Dangerous Lee: Do you think Black History Month is necessary?

Q: Do you think Black History Month is necessary?

Eric S.

Chicago, IL

A: Of course it is. I am always baffled by this question and by those, especially Black people, that think we have come far enough to ignore our history. Yes, Black history is American history, but so much of our history is not included in American history books. And, yes we should celebrate Black history all year long, but we don’t celebrate anything all year long. As a Black American, I think I uphold Black history by working my way to being a successful business person.

The problem I have with celebrating Black history is that we only seem to focus on people like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. There are many present day under the radar figures that should be celebrated during Black History Month, and during February I make sure to highlight many of them at DangerousLee.Biz.

Celebrating Black history is a beautiful thing, so I think those that are against it are trying to assimilate which is something that I can only SMH about. Also, we must further educate ourselves to learn that in March we celebrate Irish-American Heritage as well as Women’s History. Should Irish Americans and women not be celebrated? Regardless of your answer, both will have their time to shine at DangerousLee.Biz.

Got questions?

 

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Black History Month Spotlight: Melva F. Miller

 

Name and Title:  Melvia F. Miller (Consultant/Educator)

What do you do and why? I have been an educator and instructional designer for many years. I publish books, DVDs, and other materials — with the goal of helping to empower and enlighten others. I also created a board game, titled: ECO-OPOLY. We promote our online TRUE HISTORY MUSEUM for the purpose of helping people understand the importance of African-American history, and the wisdom left to us by our ancestors.

What mark have you left on Black history? I have published several books on this topic, conducted workshops in schools and colleges, and I continue to promote these issues in various ways. My board game: ECO-OPOLY also included a part in which players must respond to questions about Black History and other “cultural issues.”

Why is celebrating Black History important to you? I often quote the experts like Cheikh Anta Diop, and Dr. Carter Woodson…in which they claim that we should study history to learn the many lessons offered. Our ancestors did leave us many remedies and answers to our problems — from health care….to politics…to economics…to education….to many other situations and issues.

Who or what do you honor most in Black History?  honor many people — the achievers, inventors, freedom fighters, and others who helped to advance our people and society — like: HARRIET TUBMAN, SOJOURNER TRUTH, FREDERICK DOUGLASS, MARY MCCLEOD BETHUNE, MALCOLM X, DR. ML KING, BARBARA JORDAN…and many more.

 

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Black History Month Spotlight: Daya Devi-Doolin

Name and Title:  Daya Devi-Doolin: Dir. The Doolin Healing Sanctuary

What do you do and why? I have a national center for helping (aligning) with others for their own self-healing with vibratory energy work with them. The systems I use are non-invasive and help balance and rearrange one’s body, mind and spiritual vibrational rate to one of healing. I know what it’s like being in pain and stressed out because of it. I also know what it’s like to be free of pain and how that feels. I desire to see people realize they don’t have to live that way and that there is a “better” way to live. I am also and have been a singer/songwriter, musician and recording artist with my husband and partner for many years after meeting on the streets of Philadelphia, where I was a “street musician”. We make up the Duo, aka Level Seven and perform original and cover music at fairs, festivals, clubs, concert halls and do Radio/TV interviews. We are members of the Recording Academy and our CD, Smile America was considered for nomination to the Grammys. A few of my books have received national book awards and best-selling status. I have written six books in the category or motivational, self-growth and inspirational. I was inspired to learn the guitar after being exposed to music by my father when I was a child. Music was around us through records, him singing as he painted and listening to him play the piano, ukulele and guitar for us.

What mark have you left on Black history? I started writing poems in college and wrote a short play that was put on. I got a lot of enjoyment seeing my thoughts and feelings transported onto paper and then dance into action. My words made me feel good inside and outside. It was like the feeling you’d get seeing a beautiful butterfly land on your finger or hold a newborn baby.

When I graduated, I distinctly said to myself “I am never going to read another book in my whole life again!” What did I end up doing? I ended up writing books twenty years later and accepting speaking engagements. It was not a goal of mine to write, let alone read another book. I agreed with Spirit to write because I felt and saw the need to answer people’s questions about things of substance. I was impressed by a still quiet Voice to do so.

Once I started writing without fussing about the direction given me by this comforting Voice, I found how satisfying the process was. I’m glad I listened and acted. The results have been far more reaching and fantastic than I could have ever imagined.

As President of The Doolin Healing Sanctuary, I give talks on metaphysical topics to my participants. Some have stayed after my workshops and lectures to talk with me and one time, a student asked, “Daya, what do you think is the most important thing we as humans need to know or need to learn?” I said, “People have to learn that the thoughts we have are our Word made flesh. Thoughts are our inherited gifts that become our reality and that no thought is neutral. I told her people need to realize that the thoughts we hold in mind (Heaven) become manifested on earth (the body).” Her expression revealed she was stunned at my answer! Spirit informed me that I could answer that question in book form and it would reach far more people. People, regardless of their race, nationality, creed, need to remember they are responsible for everything they see and do and experience in their reality.

My greatest victory is in several different chapters of my life as a writer. In one chapter for example, two of my books received the same prestigious award in two consecutive years with the NABE Pinnacle Best Book Achievement Award. In another chapter of my writing life, victory was receiving an award from a black national award-winning online magazine, the EDC Creations Literary Award in the self-growth category while Jack Canfield won it for his Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. We both won the same award but for different categories. Overall, my greatest victory is taking myself from a non-writer status to being a sought after author-speaker. Seeing my thoughts, efforts, feelings expressed in book form is a fantastic gift. I see a win-win situation for me and the reader of my books.

I have been blessed to read and learn from hundreds of authors whom I lovingly call my mentors whether alive or not. They know the truth about universal principles and how to apply them to our lives as a human being in order to experience the best that life has to offer. They know what is possible when you are conscious of what your thoughts are and how they become “things”. If I were to have the opportunity to have lunch with any one author, I would choose to have lunch with Dr. Maya Angelou.

I have authored six books and each one is my favorite. They each have their own life, their own energy and quality of substance. The Only Way Out Is In: The Secrets of the 14 Realms to Love, Happiness and Success has been my most successful because of the motivational, healing and inspirational principles the reader has picked up on and applied to their lives. People write books because they feel what they have to say is valuable, important to the health of others, motivational, inspirational, educational or funny. They feel they have learned a valuable lesson and want to help someone else. I know I have valuable information and my intention is to share that and leave it as my legacy with mankind.

People ask me how they should begin writing. I say enjoy the journey and try not to figure out what is the next thing. That will present itself naturally when you are ready. The pieces will fall into place for you. My advice to writers regardless of color who are just starting out is to meditate first. Be quiet, breathe in deeply and slowly. You already have the information within you and it will come pouring through. Trust yourself and trust your inner being.

Why is celebrating Black History important to you? All who have gone on before us and left us a legacy of strength, fortitude, persistence, perseverance and a sense of adventure to go and do, to go and be the best we are meant to be. It’s important to me to be of service by BEING in and of your passion that lifts up someone else (adult or child) and lets them know, they can overcome anything whether it be physical, spiritual, mental, emotional or medical. We have many examples of men and women who were doctors, nurses, lawyers, ministers or simply laypeople who wanted to make things better for themselves, which affected all people regardless of race, nationality or creed. I am honored to be able to celebrate them for having been my ancestors by living and leaving such inspirational gifts for me to carry on with for my children, family and country.

Who or what do you honor most in Black History? Dr. Maya Angelou for being a remarkable Renaissance woman who is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature. She is a poet, educator and historian. In a recent interview by The Authors Show TV, I was asked who would I love to have lunch with and why? My response was, “I have been blessed to read and learn from hundreds of authors whom I lovingly call my mentors whether alive or not. They know the truth about universal principles and how to apply them to our lives as a human being in order to experience the best that life has to offer. They know what is possible when you are conscious of what your thoughts are and how they become “things”. If I were to have the opportunity to have lunch with any one author, I would choose to have lunch with Dr. Maya Angelou.”

Website and social media links:

Black History Month Spotlight: Vangie Williams – Author of The Broken Life Journals

Name and Title:  Vangie Williams author of The Broken Life Journals

What do you do and why? I am a genealogist, historian, and author. I love all elements of my life but none more than history, especially the history behind the history, the families who lived and died for the history. It is my mission to tell the history through my books and hopefully, television and radio show.

What mark have you left on Black history? Broken Life Journals the books and genealogical research. Proving our people with the world’s history and their family’s history.

Why is celebrating Black History important to you? Black History Month is a catalyst for parents of all races to take the opportunity to educate their children of the past. Black history is often the history that other races want to know.

Who or what do you honor most in Black History? To honor black history, I write historical fictions that have positive roll models both black and white who stand for strength and intelligence beyond their time.

Website and social media links:

Black History Month Spotlight: Deborah L. Parker

Name and Title: Deborah L. Parker, Author, Speaker and Principal Consultant, The DPJ Training Group

What do you do and why? I conduct seminars on leadership, diversity and communications for organizations to enhance their employee’s knowledge and performance. This work allows me to share my gifts of teaching with insight from everyday situations at work and community. I also write articles on the same topics and blend in my love of history and observances of people. In both, I rely on my mistakes as ways to help others achieve and be inspired!

What mark have you left on Black history? Personally in my family and hometown I’ve had some firsts (graduated college, became an army officer, wrote a book) I’ve shared black history with colleagues in former positions where I coordinated programs that showcased local and national heroes and sheroes. As an aunt I’ve taken my nephews and nieces to historical sites and bought them books or other items to help them know and treasure our culture.

Why is celebrating Black History important to you? There are many proverbs, scriptures and other writings that point to the value of knowing your history on many levels. And I’ve discovered how true that is for your personal, family, cultural and religious foundations. This knowledge has been a source of pride and inspiration for me as I deal with life’s adventures and adversities. Many have faithfully gone before as they persevered and laid the stepping stones for me to have a better life.

Who or what do you honor most in Black History? First I honor God’s providence in all things. I give much appreciation to my late mother who blazed her own trails as a determined single parent of four children, went back to graduate from high school after giving birth to me as a teenager, became a homeowner while working at a factory and taught me in sometimes tough ways to move forward in spite of. To my deceased grandparents I honor their wisdom. For the “greats and famous” I honor their work despite many obstacles to press for freedom and all that is right and guaranteed for humanity.

Website and social media links:

  • Ask Dangerous Lee: Why is it that no African-American knows who Roscoe Robinson, Jr. is? (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Black History Month Spotlight: Swiyyah Nadirah Muhammad (dangerouslee.biz)

Movie Review: Red Tails

Red Tails is a very important film, one that almost never saw the light of day because Hollywood did not know how to market a film with an all Black cast. You market a film with all brown people the same way you would market any other action film. Hollywood is certainly not having a problem shoving a War Horse down our throats.

It still baffles me that Hollywood didn’t know what to do with Red Tails, but since Hollywood is enamered with remakes and bringing everything to the big screen in 3D, I am really not surprised. Hollywood, for the lack of a better word, sucks! To be honest, Red Tails is a film that I would not have much interest in if there was no connection to the African-American experience. I am not a fan of war films, but because the success of this film opening weekend will send a very strong message to Hollywood in terms of the power of Black films I was more than happy to see it.

It’s a very good film. I am always happy to see Black faces on the big screen because it means Black folks are working and are being represented! I’ve heard that some Black women are upset that one of the characters (Lightning) is in love with an Spanish speaking Italian woman. Well, guess what ladies, they are based in Italy. Is this really such a big deal or a big surprise??? Don’t get me wrong, I get where the frustrartion is coming from, but it is misplaced, and by holding that type of anger you miss the whole point of the film.

I appreciate that George Lucas made sure this film was made and that he took millions of dollars out of his own pocket to make it happen. Quite frankly, that is the least he could have done and I am sure that he will make it all back and then some. The only complaint I have is that there seemed to be something lacking in the sound of the film. I feel like the war scenes wern’t loud enough and the cinematography was a bit off, but it takes more than $58 million to produce a film with all the necessary bells and whistles.

George Lucas has said that if this film does well that there is a prequel and a sequel that will be much better, so please support this film so that we can see more sexy chocolate on the big screen. Eat your heart out, Hollywood!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Ask Dangerous Lee: Why is it that no African-American knows who Roscoe Robinson, Jr. is?

Q: Why is it that no African-American knows who Roscoe Robinson, Jr. is? Every American should be proud of what he accomplished.

Sel Graham

Austin Texas

A: I agree that every American should be proud of what Mr. Robinson accomplished in his lifetime, but I do not agree that no African American knows who he is. There are Americans, Black and White that know who he is. Keepin’ it real, I did not know who he was until I performed a web search on him, but are you really surprised that he is not more well known? Most Black people in America do not get the recognition that they deserve. Thank you for bringing Mr. Roscoe Robinson, Jr. to my attention so that I can introduce him to many others. Without further ado, I bring to you, Roscoe Robinson, Jr.

Roscoe_Robinson

Got questions?

 

Movie Review: MOOZ-LUM


Mooz-lum is an independent film that was released on limited screens, but you can pick it up at your local Family Video. It stars Evan Ross, Nia Long, Danny Glover, and was filmed entirely in Southeast Michigan. It follows the trials and tribulations of an African American Muslim family pre and post 9/11.

This film puts all the stereotypes and misconceptions about the Muslim religion and people on the table and wipes it clean. It’s a harsh but truthful look at how we judge people based on their religion and the inner turmoil that one faces with their religion when it is so closely linked to their identity.

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Movie Review: Jack and Jill

This is the first time that I have seen an Adam Sandler film in theatres. It was OK, some funny parts, many goofy ass parts. My mom thought it was hilarious! Al Pacino‘s role was ridiculous and the cameos by Johnny Depp and David Spade were equally ridiculous. I also liked the message of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” that this movie is trying to convey.

Over the past year I have heard many in the African American community argue that men dressing as women in films is something that seems to be exclusive to Black comedians over the years as a way to emasculate them. Well, those same people in the African American community can quit crying because Adam Sandler, a Jewish man, has joined the ranks of cross dressing for laughs.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Did You Know Carly Simon is Black?

Carly Simon

This is news to me and I must say that I am quite shocked, but Carly Simon does have a very distinctive mouth and other ethnic features, so it’s really not a surprise.

According to my research her father is Jewish and also the co-founder of publisher Simon and Schuster, and her mother is of African American and German descent.

Wow! You learn something new everyday!

 

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