Today is the fourth anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson and I really feel sad. The pain started about 3 weeks ago and I responded by watching hours of YouTube performances of the Jackson 5, the Jacksons and solo performances by Michael. Some of my favorite performances were of the Jackson 5 on the Carol Burnett Show and the Jacksons reunion performance on the Motown 25 Anniversary program. I just kept replaying Michael’s dance performance on the Jacksons’ hit single,’Dancing Machine’ and his “Billie Jean”. Tears streamed down my face as I watched the talent, beauty and passion in every performance. The Guiness Book of World Records recognizes him as ‘the most successful entertainer of all time’. I agree.
Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana. Four days earlier, August 25, 1958, in Chicago, Illinois, I was born. I first saw the Jackson 5 perform at the Regal Theatre when I was 10 or 11 years old. I was hooked on Michael Jackson, and I told my granny that I wanted to marry him when I grew up. I was devoted to Michael Jackson and I honored him with my teenage years by posting his likeness or every square inch of my bedroom walls. I was a super fan–and I still am, even though his physical appearance was remarkably different from who I developed a crush on.
There are many life events Michael and I experienced separately. He married twice and had 3 children. I married twice and 6 children. We both traveled the world, but our paths never crossed in adulthood. There are many conversations we never had, questions that were never asked and answers that were never given. I never got to establish an adult relationship with Michael Jackson, yet I feel he was a good friend.
Michael, Thank you for sharing your talent and your life with me and this whole world for our enjoyment and entertainment, at the high cost of your privacy and your very life.
May you rest in eternal peace, my friend.
Former NFL player, Chad ‘OchoCinco’ Johnson married reality TV show actress, Evelyn Lazado in a lavish and highly publicized wedding in 2012. The marriage lasted only 41 days. Lazado filed for divorce as a result of domestic violence. Johnson, 35, is charged with head butting his wife during an argument. He was arrested, charged with domestic battery, and given probation in stead of jail. Due to the negative publicity, the Miami Dolphins cut him from the team before the start of the football season.
Recently, Johnson appeared in court to answer charges of probation violation. This could have resulted in jail time, but his attorney successfully argued a no-jail plea deal with the prosecutors and the judge. The judge offered an additional 3-month probation and counseling because Johnson failed to meet with probation officer for 3 months. As the judge was rendering the verdict, Johnson patted his attorney on the butt causing the courtroom to erupt into laughter. The judge became so offended by Johnson’s lack of taking the court seriously, that she rescinded her verdict and sentenced him to 30 days in jail.
After serving seven days in jail, Johnson appeared in court to offer an apology for his behavior, stating that the butt slap was not meant to be offensive, and that since he had never been in trouble before, he was unaware that his behavior was unacceptable in court.
Clearly, this is a prime example of how professional athletes can lack maturity in real life. While embroiled in an argument he chose to head butt his wife resulting in an injury that required stitches on her forehead. She promptly divorced him. Head butts are not allowed in contact sports, yet he thought this was an appropriate way to react in an argument with his wife? When he appeared in court he was not dressed in an appropriate manner for a 35 year old man, opting for the ‘hip hop’ look as opposed to business attire. To add insult to injury, he patted his attorney’s butt, as an ‘attaboy’ gesture during sentencing, not once but admittedly three times during court, like he imagined he was on a football field. And just as he’d done numerous times on the football field, he opted to entertain the spectators at his own detriment.
Chad appeared on Good Morning America, saying he’d learned his lesson. Let’s hope he did. Because clearly Chad Ochocinco Johnson is a grown man who has a tendency to play too much.
NBA legend and former Chicago Bulls guard, Michael Jordan is headed for marriage again, but this time he has a pre-nuptial agreement and a wedding ring for his new bride. Jordan, 50, and Yvette Prieto, 33, have dated five years and are scheduled to wed on Saturday, April 27, 2013 in Jupiter, Florida. A reception for over 2000 guests will be held at the couple’s 37,000 square feet home in Jupiter Bear Club. I wish Michael and Yvette all of life’s happiness and as a show of my support I will pause during work for a moment of silence, as I mourn the marriage of my secret crush.
Okay look, It’s no secret that I am a bonafide Beyonce Knowles-Carter fan. And just like my own two daughters, Na’Imah and Na’Tifah Williams, I think she is a pretty, talented and smart young woman. Forbes Magazine says that she is mega-rich and I like that, too. Other than the music that she releases, the videos and performances I’ve seen, her recent documentaries and Oprah interviews I’ve watched, and the media stories I’ve read, I do not know her and haven’t met her. In fact, i don’t have any friends or family who have told me they know her personally. Do I think she is an angel–no I do not and I don’t think my daughters are either. Which brings me to this point:
Why the hoopla over her most recent release, ‘Bow Down’? I am about as over this song as I was an equally silly song she recorded back in the day with Destiny’s Child called, ‘Bootylicious’. Is ‘Bow Down’ more stupid than than the other one? And what about the fact that America’s darling Beyonce, married America’s bad boy of hip hop, Jay Z? How many other celebrity women marry bad boys? I’d say just as many as us regular women who prefer bad boys. My point is that we shouldn’t be shocked at what an artist says or does while performing their craft. We don’t know them as people, only celebrities. Right now we’re shocked at hip hop artists, but does anybody remember the kinds of stuff that Prince, Rick James, Barry White and Marvin Gaye used to sing about doing to women?
Just because we happen to be fans of a celebrity does not mean we know them as private people. Hear me when I say that celebrities have both a public brand and a private persona. They are usually very different and reserved for their close friends and family circle. Fans tend to be so star struck that even when celebrities tell us who they are, we won’t believe them. Prime example–“Jenny from the Block,” a song released by singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, explaining how we should not be fooled by the material things she has, that she is the same person. There are a lot of “Jennys from the block, including Chicagoan Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, comedian Mo’Nique and the late Whitney Houston, to name a few. Evangelist Juanita Bynam, Evangelist Denise Matthews (Vanity), and Minister Helen Baylor are prime examples of women with upstanding public images with testimonies of redemption from past ways.
Beyonce is doing her own thing right now and not taking ‘Sasha Fierce’ too seriously, all the while staying in the media and running all the way to the bank. At the moment she is the most successful female recording artist, live performer and actress– Let her reign in peace.
On Monday, April 8, 2013, Annette Funicello died at age 70, after a long bout with the debilitating disease, Multiple Sclerosis. She was a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, but in my heart and mind she was simply Annette–my favorite Disney Mouseketeer.
Although she would go on to become a singer and actress, starring in beach movies with Frankie Avalon, it was her appearance between ages 12 to 16 years on the Mickey Mouse Club TV show that stands out in my mind. And the famous anthem the Mouseketeers all sang at the end of each broadcast seems so appropriate in the wake of her death.
“Now it’s time to say goodbye to all your company. M-I-C-“See ya real soon!” K-E-Y “Why? because we love you!” M-O-U-S-E. Rest in Peace, Ms Annette Funicello.
General Colin Luther Powell, retired U.S. 4-star general and diplomat celebrates his 76th birthday on April 5, 2013. Born in Harlem, New York, he was the first Black American appointed as U.S. Secretary of State and the only Black American to serve as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The post is the highest military position in the Department of Defense.
I became aware of General Powell during the Desert Storm operations in Iraq. I was very proud to see a Black American in military leadership and as a 4-Star general, especially in lieu of my many relatives who have served in the military as career soldiers and enlisted men.
In 2000, President George W. Bush appointed General Powell as US Secretary of State and at that time this was the highest rank in civilian government ever held by a Black American. Prior to that appointment, General Powell served as National Security Adviser in the Reagan Administration.
General Powell, a conservative Republican, was encouraged by Republican Party leaders to run for President of the United States. I was excited by this idea as he has led an exemplary, scandal-free life and possessed the leadership experience. He declined to run for personal reasons and in 2008, he endorsed a Democrat, Senator Barack Obama as President.
Happy Birthday, General Powell. You are a living, military and world history icon and one day I hope to interview you for a feature story in person.