Saturday, August 22, 2015

"Growing Up in Prichard, Alabama" [Issue 2] -David Norwood

Earlier in the week I had the pleasure of speaking with a fellow classmate, David Norwood of Prichard, Alabama about the harsh conditions of the community. Norwood stated that the community gas truly changed for the worse since the times when we all grew up and played in the streets. As a former child who knew than area all to familiar I to remembered playing along the streets of a community called Snug Harbor and areas such as "The Village" and these communities since then have went down. Norwood added that it is because of these harsh conditions that the youth in the community have no where to play and nothing to do but get in trouble. He shares his story below about coming up in Prichard, Alabama and how the community has changed.

"I was born in Prichard, Alabama, May 26, 1984, and I've stayed in Prichard for 31 years. I attended Martha Thomas Elementary, E.S.Chestang Middle Scool, C.F.Vigor High School, and later Bishop State Community College.  Growing up in Prichard, AL was great for me and alot of other people that I've grew up with. We had tons of things to do like riding our bikes to other neighborhoods, going to shoot basketball at the basketball courts or play football in the football fields, and plenty of family functions. I remember how we had night time events also like teen jams, the dollar movies, and the skating ring, to go enjoy outside of school.

The generation of today doesn't have the same opportunities and activities to participate in that we've had in the past years. The city officials have taken down  basketball goals, closed historical schools with long histories and great attendance and have taken all the extracurricular activities away from the public. What they fail to see is that they are actually hurting our youth in so many ways.

Now the youth do not have anything to do but go find some trouble to get into. I have my own saying, "A stilled mind will always find trouble", but if you give that child an opportunity and I mean the same opportunities we had then maybe there would be less robbing, killing, and all kind of negative things. Kids and teenagers need something to do. You can't game away everything and then just expect them to remain positive about images around them. They visually see negative images and therefore will retaliate based off what they see.

I strongly feel the City of Prichard needs more attention on the youth, because no matter what, they are our future. Seeing it go down hill and walking the same streets I walked in my youth hurts. We can't  even let our kids play outside or ride their bikes in peace.
It starts with us, the parents and elderly people. We have to take a stand for our city which we grew up in.

Stopping the violence is another topic. We all know that violence was always here and still will, but we can reduce it!
I'm only one man, but if we all get together and have a stop the violence march. I think it would have a big enough effect to make a statement. The real reason we need to think about violence is of all the deaths we've had in the last year or two. Just thinking about violence makes me think of my little cousin Hiawayi Robinson, she was only 8 years old. I only met her one time at my moms birthday party April 19,2014. An she introduced herself to me. It just breaks my heart everytime I think about it, the fact that I didn't even get a chance to get to know her that well. People just  killing people right to left and nobody knows nothing. Then a great percentage of the murders are black on black, we're killing ourselves. If you've had a family member  killed do to violence this is the time to step up.

Lets start taking pride in the community the citizens of Prichard, Alabama stay in. The Mayor, Council Members, and the Citizens of Prichard must all come together to help rebuild this knce flourishing area. Prichard has so many fallen trees, over grown bushes, abandoned trash piles, abandoned houses and buildings everywhere which creates more space for criminal activity.
The city needs to be fixed and if will perish and everything memorable about it will fade."

David Norwood is just one man reaching out on behalf of the city of Prichard, Alabama. I stand along beside him rooting for some change to happen in my fellow home town. I desire along with others to see the city back beautiful. I believe that there should be a Keep Prichard beautiful day where all the citizens volunteer in the community to clean it up. I should hope that the mayor of Prichard takes notice to this article and joins in to help restore Prichard, Alabama.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

"Poison on the Lips" [Poetic Fiction]

Dear Love....Dear Poison..........

"Love is like poison...though its dose determines how it kills you keep tipping the cup to your lips. Drinking that pain...Drinking that sane. Drinking that pride."

Black lipstick on...drinking your every action and every move, waiting for that moment to get back in my groove with you. We started out on the opposite page so I knew that if it was meant then I would have to wait for the perfect age. He always thought the worse of me...sort of like a curse you see. He didn't know I actually adored him and would do anything for him. So every chance I was seeking the romance, trying to get him to notice his status in my life...trying to get him to notice he was more to me than these randoms trying to get in my head like lice.

Dear Love...Dear Poison

Black lipstick on....I was addicted...he was on my level.
I was convicted...felt like I had been fighting the conflicted.
Every time he was mad...he publicly put me down but I remained in silence...refusing to be a reckless clown.
All the name calling...all the blame falling ...I took the darts at my chest and yet still wished him the best.

Dear Love...Dear Poison

Black lipstick on....I will never hurt you like that...never go to the tabloids to make you feel humility like that. Would never play with your heart like that...even in the younger years I never acted like that. Who she talking about like that..who got her feeling like that...She sits down the glass of red poison. Takes a seat beside him in his black poison and she prays that this time its real...this kiss will seal the deal and make a believer out of him. Maybe this time around he will see that she always loved him and was always waiting for him.

Dear Love...Dear Poison

Black lipstick on...She slides back the sheets of skin...revealing her heart...allowing him to slide into her soul. The blood pumping the poison quicker through every inch of her veins...slowly driving her insane.
Despite the poison...she still refuses to put him in the public eye because only a shady person would do that...wonder why...wonder why because love defeats the poison. You don't give up like that.
Ain't no victory or award in that.

Dear Love...Dear Poison

Black lipstick on...I only moved on because I kept getting tired of waiting for you. Waiting for you to forgive and let go of it all. Waiting for you to stop hoping I would fall. Waiting for you to believe. So it was my choice to drink this cup...I'm too weak...sitting you down on the shelf because this is not good for my health. I see you woke up with me on your me a favor...shatter the bottle this time so we never have to drink of this poison again.

Dear Love...Dear Poison

She reaches into her chest...heart thumping in her hand... she pulls out the staples....the wounds appear to have healed....the poison will eventually wear off...She staggers along the sidewalk...heart thumping in her hand. It has been through so much. 
She lipstick smudged on the sidewalk. Vision getting blurry...heart still beating while she closes her eyes.

She is cold. Slight shivers.

He reaches for her....She opens her eyes to a bright light. He smiles and hands her a new heart. Her mind feels new. She no longer feels pain. She blinks and she is laying back in her bed. Black lipstick and a glass of poison on the nightstand.

She tosses them in the trash.

No more Poison. Only Love.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Growing Up In Prichard, Alabama" [Issue 1]

Known as the "City of Champions" located in Mobile County is the city of Prichard, Alabama also known by many of the residents from the area as "P.A."

Prichard began as a settlement in the 1830s bordering Telegraph Road (known now as U.S. Highway 43) It remained largely unsettled until the Clotilde landed in Mobile Bay prior to the Civil War. Africatown evolved into a greater part of the Plateau/Magazine area which developed along Telegraph Road, and eventually, Plateau and Magazine had their territory split between Mobile and Prichard.

In 1972, while still a majority white city, Prichard elected its first black Mayor, Algernon Johnson (A.J.) Cooper, who would serve 2 terms as Prichard's mayor, and would eventually serve in the administration of President Bill Clinton. In 1968, Cooper founded the Black American Law Students Association at New York University. While Mayor Cooper was popular with both blacks and whites, however, he engaged in many battles with the Prichard City Council during his tenure.

In the 1980s and 1990s problems with crime, drugs and middle class flight were elevated when the area's major financial and employment base left with the closing of factories operated by Scott Paper Companyand International Paper. This devastated the area and the city struggled to recover. In 1999, the city declared bankruptcy.

So life in the historical city of Prichard has changed drastically over the years and I had the pleasure of speaking with one young man, David Norwood, (31) a former classmate of C.F. Vigor High School who felt the need to step up and speak out on how these changes in the city of P.A. have caused a high rate in criminal activity amongst our youth.

"They have nothing to do because the city has torn down many of the basketball goals and recreational centers", he stated.

David went on to state that he really wants city officials and the public to see how things have changed since we were young kids growing up in the area. Norwood states that he feels his story will help citizens of the area and city officials to wake up and help this historical city to flourish again for the younger generation and cut back on crime rates.

So I want everyone to tune into the blog later this week as David Norwood shares his story,
"Growing Up in Prichard, Alabama".

Thursday, August 13, 2015

"Your Actions May be Speaking a Different Lingo"

I have met some great men along the way and each has shown me some good traits and some bad traits. It is true to say that no one person will be perfect because we each have our flaws.

The bother for me usually comes when a guy breaks my attention and leads me to believe he is something he is not. Don't we all just hate when a person enters your life to say they want to be part of it, only to dissapoint you by their actions.

Many people do not know that the things you do daily matter more than the thing's you say. As the old saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words". You would be a fool to accept every word a person says when their actions are showing you just the opposite.

If she says that she is interested in you guys but she is posting all types of provocative images online or sleeping with multiple men then clearly you might want to evaluate her interest levels in you.

Ladies if he says I really like you and I want more with you but he is on social media promoting other women and lusting over them then back all the way up because he is confused and will only waste your time.

Pay attention to a person and their actions because those actions can make or ruin the best thing ever. Remember ladies and gents that if he/she is making effort to text or call you often but you go days not returning the same effort or when you do respond its what I like to call "one word" responses then you might be messing up and not knowing that your actions are showing that you do not care about that person as much as they care about you.

So guys if she has fallen silent...then maybe its because she feels you dont care as much as you say you do.

Ladies if he has slowed down on calling you then he is either occupied with someone else and its probably because he thinks you do not care for him as much.

Remember to watch the actions...words mean nothing if I'm stabbing you in the heart while saying I love you!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"Black Men on the Move" [Issue 1]

Too often we turn on the television or log onto a social site to see all the bad images of the African American man. We don't showcase enough information about all the successful black men out there who are daily making power moves despite their harsh upcomings. I had the pleasure of being able to showcase a few of these talented men today!

Meet..."Marc Crenshaw" (35)
"I have a degree in finance with over 14 years in retail and I currently work as a Corporate Trainer/Facilitor. I grew up in a single parent home and what has driven me to be successful is the motivation to never have to live any more days similar to the way I came up. Being a man and always working to build representation of not just my first name but what my last name carries is a powerful drive for me. I strive to be a great father and I am one of the few guys from my childhood to never have been jailed. I give all thanks to God and the leadership of my uncle which has made me the man many see today!"

Meet..."Leo" (27)
"The fashion name is Leo and I was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I am a local stylistic and designer. Fashion is my life!
I always loved anything dealing with being artistic. I never went off to school for fashion, it was simply a natural gift within me. I am currently working to launch my own clothing line and teaming up with an amazing team of stylists, MUA. I love for others to feel fabulous and always step into a room with their heads held high. I was raised by my grandparents because my mother passed from lupas when I was just 10 years old. I was dressing my mom at age 9 and as the old saying goes, "I don't look like what I been through".

Meet..."Marvin Dixon" (31)
" I was born in Bronx, New York and raised in Prichard, Alabama. I graduated from Alabama A & M and I am currently a supervisor in the Repair Department for Time Warner Cable in Dallas, Texas. I'm a single bachelor and I'm self motivated to become the best man that I can be. If I see something I want then I go after it whole heartedly! I am very competitive and yet in still I always seek others whom I can help to become greater and together we push beyond the walls life tosses our way!"

Meet..."James Hunter" (38)
"I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama and a former graduate of Williamson High School. I am driven yo recreate the negative stigma placed on black men. I am currently raising two men myself so I have to set the right example by regaining a rightful place in society as a great leader. I am constantly elevating our up and coming black men to carry the torch on to becoming more successful. I serve as the Vice President for the Progressive Black Fire Fighters of Mobile. My favorite Bible verse which I follow daily is Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no vision the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he".

Meet..."Jay Coleman" (39)
" I currently am over the IT/Engineering Department for a Financial Institution. I love helping others to become the best that they can be and I am always volunteering my assistance to the homeless and others in need".

Meet..."Chris Holmes" (32)
"I'm a single black man but I remain humble and focus on my career. What drives me is that the opportunity to be successful has no limit on it. The sky is the limit on anything you put your mind to. I know that I have greatness in me to become better and as an offshore worker, I daily see reasons to strive and push myself beyond the horizon!"

*Also special thanks to Orlando Lewis for being feautured on this issue. You can go follow him on 

Special Thanks to all of these handsome men expressing what drives them to be the best man they can be despite what society showcases about the black male!

Keep following this issue because it is only the first of many more to come because we have a lot of positive black men out there!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Birmingham's Schaeffer Eye Center CityFest

Exactly what is the Schaeffer Eye Center City Fest?

The Schaeffer Eye Center CityFest is a free music festival held at the beautiful Railroad Park in Birmingham, Alabama.  The event was started in 2014 by Jack Schaeffer's of Schaeffer Foundation. This was my first time attending the event and the crowd featured water activities for kids upon which my daughter truly enjoyed, food vendors, various beverages and snow cones to keep you cool during the hot southern heat. Musical artist's feautured on the brightly colored stage that night were; Taylor Hicks whom was the winner from the fifth season of American Idol, The ROOTS were there keeping the crowd in an uproar of excitement as they showcased their eppic sounds marinating across the park with every head in there bobbing to the fly beats, DJ Coco was amazing and one of my favorite performances were from the artist, Common!
Common of course had the crowd overtook to his amazingly poetic verses as he freestyled lyrics to a young female fan named Devin and then went on to motivate the city with the historical legendary song, "Glory", which was featured in the movie, "Selma".

The event was amazing and if you missed it, be sure to make plans to attend the event next year!