Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson - Twice in a Lifetime

Flashback -
It was 1981, and I was listening to the now defunct KDIA Lucky 13! Cliff Winston was the DJ, and guess what?
I won tickets to the Jackson's TRYUMPH TOUR, at the Oakland Coliseum. ( I won all of their albums and T-shirts!)
Tossing and turning the night before the concert in anticipation of what was about to occur was all I could think about. I purchased a lovely purple suede jacket and had a lovely purple dress and black pumps on. My Jheri curl was fresh. I just knew that I'd go to the concert, meet Michael Jackson and become Mrs. Jackson. Well, Lanika and I stood at the back entrance waiting for our que to enter the VIP area(without passes, mind you) and one of the twins from the group The Whispers, saw us waiting there, and he told us that he would get us back stage - and he did! Yep. I met the Jacksons. That was my plan.
You see, Michael is my favorite Jackson brother. I have loved him since I was about 8 years old.
All throughout Jr. High and High School, everyone knew that I was going to be Mrs. Michael Jackson. My girlfriends knew that we could be friends as long as it was understood that I was marrying Michael Jackson - they could love Marlon, Randy, Tito or Jermaine, but Michael was mine! Well, by the time I was 20 years old, I knew that that wasn't going to happen...
Fast Forward 18 years -
In 1999, I got another opportunity to meet him again.
He heard my voice over the intercom where I was employed, and loved my voice - and the President of the company called and asked me not to speak over the intercom because everytime that I spoke a word, Michael Jackson would stop in his tracks, and the President didn't want my voice to distract Mr. Jackson! That was amazing. So, when I walked up and actually got a chance to shake his hand and speak to him, he looked at me and smiled. He was very cordial. His son Prince (Michael Jr.) ran up and wrapped his little arms around my legs and blew me kisses. ( The Jackson security crew stopped me from bending down and picking him up - they were on it!) His daughter was just a few months old, and had Janet Jackson's fawn brown eyes. Oh, his children are so beautiful!
It was so nice to run into the man that graced my walls as a teenager (I had the 3ft. long poster of the album " Off The Wall" on my bedroom wall for a long time!). As an adult, I felt that I had matured, but when I walked up to him, my heart was palpitating. We exchanged greetings and he shook my hand, I had to tell him that I loved him - and he said that he loved me too!(as he's told all of his fans) but honey, I simply turned into that 16 year old all over again...
Today - June 28, 2009
It's been exactly 72 hours since it was reported and then confirmed that you've passed. I can't believe it. People have been calling me from all over the United States to see if I'm okay. I've been in bed sick, for 2 days, watching the news and listening to WWW.KJLHRADIO.COM play Michael Jackson songs all day.
Over the years, Michael Jackson has brought me so much happiness. Watching him and his siblings sing and dance their way into the hearts of Americans brought me so much joy!
I would pray to God that he and his brothers and sisters succeeded 1 million fold.
And it worked.
The prayers, they worked.
The Jackson's touched people's hearts all over the world!
I'm so glad that I got a chance to meet him twice in a lifetime.
Michael Jackson is a prime example of the fact that "unforeseen occurrences befall us all".
I will miss him dearly.
Live your life.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dr. Ivan Van Sertima dies at 74

His point of entrance was January 26, 1935 - his exit - May 25, 2009.
How rare is it to actually meet and spend quality time with two of the people that influenced my life via their research and the documentation of various subjects related to Africans in the Diaspora.
Dr. Ivan Van Sertima and the late Dr. Asa Hilliard III are the two people that had a huge effect on my life.
It was the summer of 1988 and both Scholars took me under their wings during a study program in Cairo, Egypt. Dr. Van Sertima and his wife Jackie were there doing research and compiling information for the book Egypt Revisited,1990, and Dr. Hilliard III and his wife Pat, to educate all of the Holy Royal Family members that summer.

Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, the Guyanese-born poet, linguist, anthropologist, historian, wrote one of the most crucial documentaries that proved that Africans had arrived and traded business in what is now known as the USA, 1,000 years before Columbus stepped foot on this American Soil.

The book is entitled, They Came Before Columbus , Random House, 1976, which gave undisputed evidence that the Olmec Indians had traded with Africans and even created 14 statutes(heads) of these Africans. Dr. Ivan Van Sertima had these black heads created by the Olmecs carbon dated, so that there can be no mistaking the time period in which these heads were created in tribute to the black man. These heads are found in the Yucatan and the interior of Mexico down to this very day. He felt it was crucial to properly identify the contributions made by Africans in Central and South America, thus showing the prehistoric advances in metallurgy, writing and mathematics.

He wrote an article entitled, The Lost Sciences of Africa: An Overview. This demonstrated the prehistoric African contribution.
Dr. Van Sertima worked shoulder to shoulder with Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop, who earned his doctoriate at Sorbonne, set up a radiocarbon dating laboratory at the Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire(IFAN), in Senegal. Dr Diop continued establishing his theory of ancient Egypt being the precursor of modern civilization. By using using archaeological specimens for identification and analysis, along in conjunction with free carbon dating, Dr. Diop proved that the Ancient Egyptians were Black.
Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, and Dr. Diop worked tirelessly to restore the dignity of Africans. In the book, Great African Thinkers: Chiekh, Anta Diop, New Brunswick, NJ., 1989. It expounds on the need to accurately identify these truths.
The knowledge that you and your constituents instilled in us remains forever.
We love you Dr. Ivan Van Sertima.