Happy Black History Month!!! Today We Salute… The Church Announcement Lady

The Church Announcement Lady… Oh we love her and her hat. She may not know your name unless you are on the ‘sick and shut in list’, or if she swears you rolled your eyes at her… once. She is the only person in the church that can put a five dollar bill into the collection plate and take out her change.

The Church Announcement Lady sits on every committee that makes up any rule the church has, although the rules never apply to her.  Like the one about arriving to church on time, but if circumstances keep you from arriving at the start please enter quietly and find the first available seat.  The Church Announcement Lady wrote that rule and announces it once a month.  She holds you to it, which would be cool if she wasn’t always 5 minutes late and if you are in her seat, she tells you “you in my seat” and then points to an available one in the back of the church that she just walked past.  That is your fault though, everyone knows that is her seat, people not only don’t sit in it, they don’t sit in the one’s next to it.

You may not care for her much, but I bet your kids act right when she walks into the room, because she spanks, and if you ever question her on why she put her hands on your kids she will tell you about your lack of parenting skills.  Then she goes into a long story about ‘back when’ she was growing up.  Which makes everyone wonder… how old is this chick?  She has a story about every pew, deacon, and pastor the church has ever had like she was there when it happened and the church was founded in 1892.

Really Church Announcement Lady we love and we you know not to sit in your seat, the one on the 2nd row, to the right, near the window, close to the exit because you always have to hurry up and get home because you left your beans on.  Can you do us a favor?  Not wear hats so big nobody sitting behind you can see the soloist.  Speaking of the soloist… let her sing, stop taking over everybody’s song you can’t sing.  That was rude; there is a better way of putting that so you know how you sound… you ever heard a cat in heat during the middle of the night?  Yeah that’s you.  One more thing, if you gonna wear knee highs with flats… can you roll them all the way up to your knee?  That just looks weird to see your knees between a floral dress and roll of stockings.  Happy Black History Month to you, especially since you have been around for much of it.

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Happy Black History Month!! Today We Salute… Our 1%

Today I would like to take time and personally thank the 1% in the Black community.  Our 1% is not like the country’s 1%, our 1 Percent’ers are making a difference.  We all must thank EVERY person that is working everyday to make our communities better places for our kids, our grandparents and for us all. All of you deserve acknowledgement… Thank you and thank you too.  Both of you are doing an underwhelming job of changing our neighborhoods.

Two people, yep that’s all.  Where ever you go across the country in any Black community you will find both of them.  One of them creates a community garden so everyone can pick fresh herbs and ripe tomatoes, organizes a day to clean up the park or the main street.  They go and check on the sick neighbors and bring them food.  If something horrible happens in the community and news camera’s show up, they speak glowingly of the good in the community while providing factual information around the incident that attracted the news crews to show up to the block.

What do they get for their efforts?  The day the community garden was to open up, everyone walks out to find the garden has already been raided by the people in the community.  Nobody knows who did it, but everyone talks about how good their “fried green tomatoes are going to taste tonight”.  The day to clean up the park or the street… nobody shows up.  While out cleaning the garbage out the street the police show up and issue them a citation for not obtaining a permit from the city to be in the street and then union reps representing the workers that should be doing the work show up yelling at the good-heartened citizen about how they are taking dollars out the pockets of city workers that need their jobs.

The day to clean up the park, well that went fine only problem was as soon as they finished cleaning the school let out across the street and all the kids walked through leaving candy wrappers and empty bags of Cheeto’s Flaming Hots behind them… the exact amount of garbage they took 7 hours picking up and then they started shooting.  Checking on the sick neighbor… on the way out got robbed by someone that sounded a lot like the sick person’s bad-ass grandson for the little bit of cash they had left after they went grocery shopping for the food to prepare the meal that was prepared.  Never made it to the news that night, but you guys know this one… the producers at Channel Zero decided to use the footage of foolish toothless person that “seen’t ERR-THANG”.

The other person that does good in the neighborhood, by trying to keep the community safe, is truly trying to make a difference.  They refuse to live in fear, believe that senior citizens should not hide in their homes after 4:00 PM, believe every child’s life is special and should not be taken down by a senseless act of violence.  So they take time to organize a neighborhood watch, tell the police of anything they heard, and tell their neighbors what to ‘look out for’.  They tell gangbangers to get off of their street, show up to court to testify against those they witnessed commit crimes.  Promote positive activities for the neighborhood kids to take part in so gang leaders cannot recruit those kids to join their sets.  This one person has no fear and once stood in front of a gunman trying to shoot a child for not having money he owed him and defiantly said “you gonna have to shoot me too”.  That person, that brave soul in our community… well they had a beautiful funeral and that night on the news the toothless fool actually shed a tear for them as she repeatedly cried “WHYYYYYYYYY” in front of a live shot on the 10 o’clock Channel Zero news.

Happy Black History Month to the African-American 1%, unfortunately in our community it is the 99% that is holding YOU down.  We honor and respect both and you can say without a moment of doubt when questioned about the condition of your community… “it ain’t my fault”. Happy Black History Month to one of you… RIP to the other one!  We put your picture on a T-shirt and had a bar-b-que at the park in your honor; right after the other good-hearted person had just cleaned it up.  We would have cleaned up after we were through, but they started shooting.

Happy Black History Month!! Today We Salute… BET

Today we celebrate BET and their inspirational programming… hold on, I threw up on my keyboard a little.  Let me wipe it clean, ;lkhjuyjikol;.,lmkjnbhujik

Okay, back to Black Entertainment Television, nice name.  Not an accurate name, but nice, there is nothing entertaining about it and what they consider Black borders on slightly embarrassing and a waste of talent.  I would rather see Malcolm Jamal-Warner selling oranges on the side of an expressway than watch him rot away on one more episode of Reed Between the Lines.  Only BET could take a good concept for a sitcom featuring a Black family and remove the humor and soul from it.  Some things should be left to ABC or CBS… only if they were interested in Black talent.  Sadly, you are our only hope for uplifting programming that features people who look like us.

To your credit BET, you have worked hard to avoid any drama you use to constantly associate yourself with and that can be called… progress?  Instead of being a ‘music video’ network, you decided to focus on actual programming, poorly, but you focused on it anyway.  Today on BET is mostly reruns of decent Black comedies, hood movies, and on Sundays 4 to 6 hours of Chit’lin circuit plays featuring talented Black actors dying slowly in front of our eyes.  Gone are 17 hours of videos, with one hour of ‘Black news’, followed by an hour of bad comedy, to be topped off with an hour of ‘mature’ music videos meant for adults but kids watched all the time… 3 hours of infomercials a half an hour of Joyce Meyers and Joel Osteen ministries each and back to videos.  I miss the days when the only advertisements you had were that “Rough Side of the Mountain” Gospel compilation “WHO IN THE HELL LEFT THE GATE OPEN” and the classic “Hey Love” compilation that featured 3 Black couple belly rubbing in a living room listening to an actual record (no 3 Black couples actually did that)… “Hey man you got to let me borrow that?”, say it with me people…  “NO MY BROTHER!  YOU GOT TO GET YOUR OWN”.

How we miss the days of The Mayor of Rap City, pushing the envelope and providing a space for the voiceless to have their say.  We think we miss when you were introducing artists, comics, and covering events that were impacting our community.  We think we miss these things, but as the network that ‘represents’ what is good in our community if you are not showing it to us, we must not really miss it.  Who are we to crave substance and credibility?  You keep telling us what we must like.

You are an equal opportunity employer as well; you will make anyone famous, even if they do not have talent.  After joining Def Comedy Jam to introduce great comics to us.  When Russell Simmons realized that the talent was running thin on good Black comics, they shut down production where as you let every hack in the world fly out to any place you were filming gave them five minutes and paid them nothing for their efforts.  Even repeatedly airing their material and not offering them one cent in residuals, nice.  Your pimp game is strong!  It took white comics like Jerry Seinfeld to ask for comics to boycott your shows until you paid your comics fairly.  When you finally agreed to pay at ‘scale’ you finally went the Def Jam route and shut down.  Although, you claim to have made more Black people millionaires… outside of the NBA.  It is always nice to see Black people play into a stereotype, now that’s progress!

We must give you credit for the one thing you do well, the BET Awards.  You do know an awards show is not about the awards but about the music and the performances.  Unfortunately, you let untalented people walk onto your stage and treat them like they are selling records like Prince in 1983.  You are like Jesse Jackson, supposedly our voice but nobody remembers selecting you to speak for us.  We have come to accept that you will reward those that limit our culture, you are not Fox News you have never claimed to be fair and balanced.  August Wilson, arguably one of the greatest play writes Black or White of the 20th Century, passed away without a blip from you.  Even though his plays launched the careers of many of our finest actors, including Denzel Washington, but if Tyler Perry died we know you will shut down what you call programming all week-long in memory of great American writer/director/activist… I am sorry, I threw up on my keyboard again.  A lot this time, let me wipe this off again, ‘[;phyjumgtfbvnhjmhjmhjmhjmhjmhjmhjmhjmhjmbjuki9867yugtbhjnuikmo897yuhjni9 043oilk-09.  Sorry about that.

Only you BET can present a show saying how much Black women rock right after airing 3 hours of videos where women walk around in G-strings, bouncing up and down around rappers lip-synching songs talking about how much they do not respect them. We all love that you tell our young men they can be more than rappers & felons then make Lil Wayne’s release from jail “breaking news”. Thanks BET for… All you do?  Oh Lord… I threw up again!!!  P’7yukjiop-0897uiljko09iojfhyupio6y89iojp0899709uiogjpu089yioj  Actually that is really symbolic… BET has been throwing up vomit on our community for over 15 years now.  Happy Black History Month BET!  Are you guys doing anything special for it this year?

Happy Black History Month!!! Today We Salute… Gub’ment Cheese

Gub’ment Cheese, admit it you loved it!  The good stuff… you were never sure if it was good because it was actually good or because it was free.  Free is always good!  Personally I think it was so good because I was hungry and if I got to the point where I broke down and made a grilled gub’ment cheese sandwich… there was nothing else to eat in the house.  Admittedly, it only took that one sandwich for me to be hooked on those cheesy jokers for me to keep eating them for weeks to come, even when mom did stock the fridge.

This was not like food stamps or being seen shopping at K-Mart for shoes or at Aldi for everything.  All your friends admitted to having gub’ment cheese in the crib.  You could tell when your mom missed a free cheese handout, when everyone talked about having macaroni and cheese at dinner that was not a coincidence… the government handed out cheese and your mom didn’t stand her ass in line to get y’all some.  Your mom also didn’t break your aunt off $10 dollars to buy 2 boxes of her free cheese.  Every time you walk out the house you see girls playing double-dutch and the girl jumping is doing it while eating half of a grilled gub’ment cheese sandwich.  Dudes are calling next at the courts, because sitting on the side and waiting for the winners will give them enough time to eat their free cheese sandwich before they play ball.

You didn’t have to ask for cheese on your sandwich or burger during free cheese hand outs, you just asked for the sandwich and an irregular cut slice of cheese was slapped on that thing for you.  There was no way to make perfect slices of gub’ment cheese, if you did slice one that looked like it was made by Kraft the next one would look like you had the palsies.  That was part of the joy, seeing what shapes you would cut out with the cheese.  Would it look like a triangle, the front of a capital B, or Pacific coast?

There was also free butter, but back then butter was so cheap the government could give you as much free butter as you could buy for a dollar out of the corner store.  If there was a free butter program today the line would resemble the line outside of an arena at a free General Admission Jay-Z/Kanye West concert with a special appearance by a resurrected Michael Jackson.

Oh how we miss you gub’ment cheese, you live on in stories like this one and pictures of poor little ghetto children in the 80’s and 90’s.  We reminisce over you like a song by Pete Rock and CL Smooth.  You were almost proud to be seen carrying 5 of those grey boxes into the house, you are actually a little upset that Velveeta’s packaging looks too much like the GOOD cheese. Again, admit it you loved it!  Happy Black History Month to you gub’ment cheese, a tear rolls down my cheek when I bite into the sub par grilled cheese sandwiches of today.

Happy Black History Month!!! Today We Salute… The Chinese Lady

The Chinese lady that owned the beauty store in the hood, from silky straight to deep wave weaves, from synthetic to remi human she had you covered.  Every Friday night you had to stop off and see her so your beautician would have everything you needed her to have to have you looking straight after your Saturday morning appointment.  When your girl’s shop only carried Isoplus No-Lye, but you preferred Aphogee… the Chinese Lady always had your back.  Even though we could never get the courage to ask her if the one Asian lady with the long hair on Soul Train was her sister, we had no problems letting her know that we were fake as could be by sharing our ‘real hair’ secrets with her.

Money tight, cannot afford to get a new purse?  The Chinese Lady got the fake Gucci bags too so you could be on looking fine at whatever NBA players birthday party or the Jamie Foxx after set you are sneaking into tonight.  Knock off everything is available at the Chinese Lady’s store.  I once got a copy of Snoop Dogg’s “Doggy Style”, a boot-leg video of “Above the Rim”, and a fake Cross Colors denim jacket from there… all at least a week before they were ‘officially’ released.

The store always looked like everything was tossed around and you had to dig for what you needed but that was not the case at all.  Once you figured out du-rags were near the satin scarf’s, just follow a sista that just got her hair done and your waves will be tighter than a Republicans jaw after the 2008 elections.  Need a wig cap, don’t go near the wigs… find the bobby pens.  Bobby pens are mostly used by woman to hold down their $45 Bori wig, where else should you place the wig caps?

There was a method to the Chinese Lady’s madness, or you could just ask and face an uncomfortable 4 minute conversation where neither of you can understand each other then she angrily walks from around the counter and points at the item, which is right behind you screaming ‘Here!!! It’s right here!!!  You don’t understand English or something?”

We were a little upset when she bought the store next door, opened up a nail shop and put her kids to work.  She put your cousin’s, Ree-ree and n’em, out of business, but who can stay upset at someone offering $20 mani’s with pedi’s!!! But when she got that knock off Obama gear she was even cool to Ree-ree and all n’em!  The Chinese lady’s name was Ms. Park, which is a traditionally Korean name, but to Black people ‘they all Chinese’.  I will see you in 2 years when it is time for me to buy another can of Murray’s Hair Dressing Pomade… until then Happy Black History Month to the Chinese Lady for this year and next year, unless I lose my soft bristle hair brush and I have to stop off in there in 2012

Happy Black History Month!!! Today We Salute… Now-N-Later Gators

Now-n-Later Gators… when you want to make more than a fashion statement but also want to let people know that you do not live within your means, slide on a pair of these jokers. Be them Apple Green or Banana Yellow when it comes down to the light bill or making a fashion statement at your god-cousin’s wedding the gators win every time.

Now-n-Later Gators are seen on the feet of Bishop Don Magic Juan while holding a pimp cup while standing behind Snoop Dogg all the time now, or on one of your deacons on Easter Sunday.  When you see the NLG’s you think you would never be caught dead in them, until you see the right color.  Everyone has a color they would give in to when it comes to the NLG’s.  Match those jokers up with a 7-button suit from the Steve Harvey collection and you are ready to go to the ‘real’ Blues Club or that one bar on the Black side of town somebody gets shot at every other month.  Number 1 reason for shootings at those clubs… stepping on somebody’s Now-N-Later Gators!  In the movie the Mack, when Goldie told Pretty Tony:

“Mr. Pretty Tony, I mean, you know the rules of the game. I mean, your bitch just chose me. Now we can settle this like you got some class…or we can get into some gangsta shit.”

He said it with Gators on his damn feet!  Anyone that know’s those lines JUST read that quote and could hear Goldie’s voice in their head… you know what I mean babeeeeee.

Oh I couldn’t help myself, much respect to Richard Pryor!

Nobody can ever tell you the name of a store that sales the gators, they can only give you directions.  No matter where you go the directions are exactly the same.  Head south on 8th Avenue, make a right on Martin Luther King Drive, and before you get to the rib joint, right after the check cashing place, and across the street from the liquor store is the place that sells Now-N-Later Gators, you won’t be able to see the shoes in the window.  Just look for the picture of Steve Harvey in the window with the words “Steve Harvey Suits Sold Here” written beneath all 183 of his teeth.

Now & Later Gators with the matching brim are the official uniform of the life of the party. Those gators and that brim can be found starting the Electric Slide… AGAIN, or fast walking back to his Caddie at 3 in morning after ‘handling’ some biznezz, or talking to your girl at the Steppers set you took her too and eating a plate of rib tips. You did not even know they had rib tips at the Steppers set, but the brotha in the Now-N-Later Gators did and now your girl does too.

Happy Black History Month to the NLG’s, pimps, extra’s in 50 Cent video’s, wanna be hustlas, people that don’t have their priorities together and make bad financial decisions and really dark-skinned Baptist ministers… you guys allow Now-N-Later Gators to be something to strive for in our community.  Thank you Now-N-Later Gators for allowing breaking your foot off in someone’s ass, look so mutha-fuckin’ good!

Happy Black History Month!!! Today We Salute… Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce… Franks, Red Dot, or Louisiana we got a bottle of you at all times. The only thing you can put on a Black person’s food before tasting it that will not offend them is hot sauce.  Not tabasco sauce, that’s just flavorless heat.  Besides salt there is nothing more we use too much of.

We put hot sauce on everything, stews, roast, popcorn, potato chips.  We put it on our kids hands to get them to stuck sucking their fingers.  Which is a horrible idea, the hot sauce taste so good once the kids gets a taste of the good stuff they are waking you up with their hands reached out to you mumbling ‘more sauce’.  We bathe chitlin’s in hot sauce and drench chicken it, and at least once in our lives we put it over some plain noodles just to see if it would work out.

We all imagine Oprah Winfrey is an extremely classy individual, would never cause a scene in public.  Invite her to a chicken dinner and not have a bottle of Red Dot nearby, I bet you that table flips over!  Look in any NBA locker room, you will find 2 things in common (other than tall guys that will be filing for bankruptcy within 4 years of their retiring from the league) bottles of Gatorade and bottles of hot sauce.  All them brothers in one spot at the same time, the team manager better keep the 16 ounce bottles on stock.

Along with bottles of hot sauce in the kitchen, in the cabinets, and on the tables of every Black person’s home, you will find hot sauce stained plastic-ware too.  Dinner last night was so good we need to take it to work with us, before we put the top over it we go ahead and put the right amount of hot sauce (the right amount of hot sauce is best described as ‘swimming in hot sauce’).  At lunch time… who am I kidding we don’t eat our food at lunch time, we eat it before lunch at our desk and we spend our actual lunch ‘making a couple of runs’.  Once we do heat that food up, the microwave causes the hot sauce to boil and eventually baptize our dishes.

Black History Month is to honor those we love, and hot sauce qualifies as something we love.  Potato chip makers have given in and given us ‘hot sauced flavored’ chips, not spicy chips or the regular ‘hot stuff’ chips but real ‘hot sauced flavored’ chips… only found at corner stores in Black communities.  Very smart, we are gonna put hot sauce on your plain ass chips anyway.  We might get a baby sitter and leave the kids at home, but we’ll take hot sauce with us to the restaurant… just to be on the safe side and with no shame ask your girl to reach into her purse to pull it out for you.  We love you hot sauce, like a play cousin!!!