Cappuccino Soul

Cappuccino Soul

Friday, October 28, 2011

I Am the Black Gold of the Sun

Rotary Connection's “I Am the Black Gold of the Sun” is one of those songs that grab you from the first few bars and as you continue to listen, you know that it was divinely inspired.

After the tranquil, lush opening interaction between two acoustic guitars, you have to get over the genius of the piano solo and wicked electric guitar playing before you find yourself asking, “What are they saying?”

The very title is a revelation. When they sing, “I Am the Black Gold of the Sun,” they’ve already jumpstarted your brain with poetry that gets your imagination running. I haven’t found the lyrics to this song yet, but I can hear the chorus and the lead singer say things like, “I am the morning sun…smiling on everyone… follower of the One …shadows that light up the day….I am the tall Oak tree…I am the jungle stream…I Am the Black Gold of the Sun."

Listen to the recurring piano, wild guitar solos, and semi-operatic chants by the background singers (who include by the way, Minnie Riperton, before the group knew that her voice was the one that you put out in front on ALL the recordings).

When you listen to “I Am the Black Gold of the Sun,” you’ll want to stand up, put your hands in the air, pump your fists, sing, and rejoice with your whole body.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Dizzy!

Happy Birthday to one of my Favorite artists: Mr. Dizzy Gillespie from Cheraw, South Carolina!!! Check him out with Stevie Wonder on "Do I Do!:

James Berry's Poem for Girls -- Jamaican Style

This poem "Girls Can We Educate We Dads," by Jamaican born James Berry comes from When I Dance, a collection of poems for young people, published in 1991.

Listn the male chauvinist in mi dad- 
a girl walkin night street mus be bad. 
He dohn sey, the worlds a free place 
for a girl to keep her unmolested space. 
Instead he sey -- a girl is a girl.

He sey a girl walkin swingin hips about 
call boys to look and shout. 
He dohn sey, if a girl have style 
she wahn to sey, look 
I okay from top to foot. 
Instead he sey -- a girl is a girl. 

Listn the male chauvinist in mi dad -- 
a girl too laughy-laughy look too glad-glad 
jus like a girl too looky-looky roun 
will get a pretty satan at her side. 
He dohn sey -- a girl full of go 
dohn wahn stifle talent comin on show. 
Instead he sey -- a girl is a girl.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Black Girls' Corner: Know Your Rights

A Charlotte youth empowerment mentoring organization, The Black Girls’ Corner™ (TBGC™), invites girls 10-15 years old to its next session, titled, "Know Your Rights!" on Saturday, October 29 at the Sugaw Creek Recreational Center, 943 W. Sugar Creek Road in Charlotte, from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Attorney Rhonda Brooks, a Public Defender in Mecklenburg County, and her colleague will tell you what your legal rights are in various circumstances, such as what your daughter(s) should or should not say if stopped in the hall by an administrator or if suspended.

The Founder/Executive Director of The Black Girls' Corner, Vickie Hughes says, "Attorney Brooks is a friend of mine from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and a fellow Spelman Alum." Brooks also holds positions with TBGC, including Board Officer (Secretary) on TBGC's Board of Directors, Workshop Facilitator, and Volunteer Mentor. "She is passionate about helping save our girls! Please come and support our "Sister," Hughes said.

At each TBGC session girls role-play various topics, show off talents, view/discuss media, play games, establish new friendships, and gain cultural exposure. The Mothers (or other caregivers) of the TBGC girls participate in separate or joint group discussions each session and in TBGC’s social outings or community service projects. TBGC’s MISSION is to provide a voice, an outlet, and positive youth development/personal leadership skills development, coupled with group or one-on-one adult mentoring, to young girls in our communities; so that these girls (“Debutantes”) will be empowered to become their best selves and strong, effective leaders around the world.

For more information about The Black Girls Corner, contact Vickie Hughes, J.D., M.A., at,, or 704-999-2958 (cell).

More power to the Black Girls!

Monday, October 17, 2011

LOVE and other Sculptures

Have I ever mentioned my interest in sculpture? I don't know much about it (yet), but I'm determined to learn more about the art form and try some of my own. Here are a few pieces that I admire:

And here's my first attempt at creating a sculpture. I call it "Fountain Bleu (a silly putty creation)": (LOL)
by Alicia

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Parenting is....

Parenting is about love, nurturing, protecting, teaching, Providing for, and SACRIFICE!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Restrictive Voting Laws Could Affect Five Million Americans

Editor's Note (October 21, 2011): Read this article regarding the ugly parallels between Jim Crow and modern vote-suppression laws.

by Colleen CowgillThe Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

new study from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law finds that as many as five million voters will be adversely affected in the 2012 election by new restrictive state voting laws.

The study looks at 19 laws and two executive actions that were enacted during the last year in 14 states, all of which make it more difficult for citizens to vote. In addition, the report considers the effects of at least 42 bills that are still pending, and an estimated 68 more that were introduced but failed to pass. Such laws include: requirements for government-issued ID’s and proof of citizenship; restrictions on voter registration; reduction of early and absentee voting; and restrictions on the rights of citizens with felony convictions to vote.

"This is the most significant cutback in voting rights in decades. More voters may be affected than the margin of victory in two out of the past three presidential elections," said Michael Waldman, executive director of the Brennan Center.

Using six indicators, the study estimates that more than five million voters will be impacted in the upcoming 2012 election. The largest proportion of affected voters is the estimated 3.2 million citizens whom do not meet the new photo ID requirements. By the 2012 election, five states will have new laws in effect requiring all voters to present a state-issued photo ID at the polls.

"These voting law changes are radical and completely unnecessary. They especially hurt those who have been historically locked out of our electoral system, like minorities, poor people, and students. Often they seem precisely targeted to exclude certain voters," said Wendy R. Weiser, co-author of the report and director of the democracy program at the Brennan Center.

Those in support of the new laws regard them as necessary to address problems of voter fraud and ballot security. Opponents argue that voter fraud is rare, and such laws severely limit what is a fundamental right of every American – the right to vote.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Alicia's Vegetarian Chili

- MorningStar Farms® Meal Starters Grillers Recipe Crumbles (one bag)
- 1 1/2 large onions, diced or sliced
- 1 green, yellow or orange pepper, diced or sliced
-1 can black or kidney beans (15 or 16 oz. is good)
- 2 (6 oz.) small cans tomato paste (or you can use a 16 oz. can of stewed tomatoes) -- I prefer the tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons of chili powder (or you can buy one of those prepared packets of chili mix)
- 2 dashes of cayenne pepper (less if you know your family doesn't like spicy foods)
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 2 dashes of cumin (optional)
- 3 dashes of curry powder (optional)
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar (you can use the other sugar if you'd like)
- 1 tablespoon of basil seasoning
- Enough salt to suit your taste

Place the diced onions and green pepper in a large pot filled with about 1 cup of water. Boil until the green pepper and onions are tender.

Put the bag of MorningStar Farms crumbles in the pot with the onions and green peppers. Cook until the crumbles are soft. (You may need to add a bit more water to the pot at this point).

Now add the chili powder, along with the other seasonings. Spoon in two cans of tomato paste, adding enough water to liquefy the paste a bit.

Add the black beans or kidney beans. Stir to mix the ingredients well. Cook to a boil. After the chili boils for about three minutes, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 20 minutes.

My daughter and I like to spoon this chili over rice. But of course you can eat it any way you'd like, including with corn chips. I also usually serve corn on the cob with this meal.

Bon appetite!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Jazzanova: DJ Collective from Germany

Jazzanova, a DJ collective from Germany, caught my attention as I was listening to the Acid Jazz radio section of The sounds these guys make seem to be coming from everywhere, with some jazz samples, sultry vocals and funk drum riffs. When I read that they had done some work with poet/spoken word artist Ursula Rucker, I knew they had something unique to offer. As soon as I get Jazzanova’s CD “In Between” in the mail (you better believe I ordered it straight after hearing “L.O.V.E. and You and I”), it will become the new music that I listen to, over and over and over, while driving.

Here’s “L.O.V.E. and You and I”:

"Sirens have nothing on my song, my song is ageless." 
   -- Ursula Rucker