Monday, March 31, 2014
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Here is mi amigo Juarês De Mira de Brazil with a low baritone voice singing 16 Toneladas or Sixteen Tons, a song composed by Noriel Vilela, based on the original song Sixteen Tons by Merle Travis, recorded by Tennessee Ernie Ford and The Platters. He made my day with this one.
The Platters singing Sixteen Tons
Posted by Alicia Benjamin at 3/18/2014 12:24:00 PM
Monday, March 10, 2014
Saturday, March 08, 2014
Marshall Davis Jones didn't make me cry with this performance of his poem, "Spelling Father" -- he made me sob. As previously reported by NewsOne, Hallmark’s Mahogany brand causes an outcry each year with their Father’s Day cards for single Black mothers. Though many take it as a stereotypical insult to the Black community, Hallmark said that could not be further from the truth and that they began the line at the request of customers:
“Hallmark has long offered “Happy Father’s Day, Mom” and “Happy Mother’s Day, Dad” cards in our lines,” says spokesperson Kristi Ernsting. “It’s a common request for people who have lost a parent and want a way to express to their living parent that he/she has been both mother and father to them.”
Posted by Alicia Benjamin at 3/08/2014 11:15:00 PM
Thursday, March 06, 2014
A Texas prisoner, Ray Jasper, scheduled to be put to death on March 19 in the Lone Star state, has some compelling things to say about the prison experience in a letter he penned and sent to Gawker about three weeks ago. His observations on prison life and how it mirrors slavery is captivating. Read an except of what Jasper calls what could be his "final statement on earth."
... Under the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution all prisoners in America are considered slaves. We look at slavery like its a thing of the past, but you can go to any penitentiary in this nation and you will see slavery ...Read the entire letter HERE.
If a prisoner refuses to work and be a slave, they will do their time in isolation as a punishment. You have thousands of people with a lot of prison time that have no choice but to make money for the government or live in isolation. The affects of prison isolation literally drive people crazy. Who can be isolated from human contact and not lose their mind? ...
I think prison sentences have gotten way out of hand. People are getting life sentences for aggravated crimes where no violence had occurred. I know a man who was 24 years old and received 160 years in prison for two aggravated robberies where less that $500 was [stolen] and no violence took place. There are guys walking around with 200 year sentences and they're not even 30 years old. Its outrageous. Giving a first time felon a sentence beyond their life span is pure oppression. Multitudes of young people have been thrown away in this generation.
The other side of the coin is there are those in the corporate world making money off prisoners, so the longer they're in prison, the more money is being made. It's not about crime & punishment, it's about crime & profit. Prison is a billion dollar industry. In 1996, there were 122 prisons opened across America. Companies were holding expos in small towns showing how more prisons would boost the economy by providing more jobs.
How can those that invest in prisons make money if people have sentences that will allow them to return to free society? If people were being rehabilitated and sent back into the cities, who would work for these corporations? That would be a bad investment. In order for them to make money, people have to stay in prison and keep working. So the political move is to tell the people they're tough on crime and give people longer sentences....
... You have people like Michael Jordan who invest millions of dollars in the prison system. Any shrewed businessman would if you have no empathy for people locked up and you just want to make some money.
Posted by Alicia Benjamin at 3/06/2014 12:45:00 PM
Friday, February 28, 2014
"Jesus said time will heal all wounds, but we have to live right to get the time." -- Marvin Gaye, from his song "Time to Get it Together" Sometimes I am unable to move I let temptation get me off of my groove Sometimes I get it Sometimes it's hard To stay with it But right now, get it, gotta get it, get it Got to stay with it Makin' up my mind, yeah Gonna get it together Gonna love every day every night till I get it
Posted by Alicia Benjamin at 2/28/2014 04:57:00 PM
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Friday, February 14, 2014
I'm reposting this because it's got that Valentine's Day vibe. Enjoy! "No spoken words express my love for you." I was looking for a song and came across this one. This tune is filled with emotion, love, persistence, and a certain kind of innocence. It's certainly very touching. I'm dedicating this song to a beautiful California couple -- Cheryl and Robert. Keep on keepin' on y'all.
Posted by Alicia Benjamin at 2/14/2014 10:15:00 PM