Happy Birthday, Henry Louis Gates, Jr!


Henry Louis Gates

Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr. (born September 16, 1950, in Keyser, West Virginia) is an American literary critic, teacher, historian, filmmaker and public intellectual who currently serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He has discovered what are considered the first books by African-American writers, both of them women, and has published extensively on appreciating African-American literature as part of the Western canon.

In addition to producing and hosting previous series on the history and genealogy of prominent American figures, since 2012 Gates has been the host for three seasons of the series Finding Your Roots on PBS. It combines the work of expert researchers in genealogy, history, and genetics historic research to tell guests about their ancestors’ lives and histories.


QUOTES

“The first step toward tolerance is respect, and the first step toward respect is knowledge.”

“Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice.”

“Learning to sing one’s own songs, to trust the particular cadences of own’s voices, is also the goal of any writer.”

 

From Wikipedia and Google.

Song Lyric Sunday | “Walking on Broken Glass” – Annie Lennox

Song Lyric Sunday banner

Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “glass.” 

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Walking on Broken Glass was written and performed by Scottish singer Annie Lennox, taken from her 1992 album, Diva. The song reached #1 in Canada, #8 in the United Kingdom and Ireland and #14 in the United States singles charts.

Annie Lennox fans will naturally wonder if Walking on Broken Glass refers to her long, torturous love affair with her ex-Eurythmics partner David Stewart.

The song’s theme of scorned love inspired a classic music video. Director Sophie Muller pulled from period films depicting the late 18th century—including Dangerous Liaisons and Amadeus. Lennox plays an aristocratic lady trying to regain attention from a former lover played by John Malkovich—the star of Dangerous Liaisons. Lennox’s other love interest is played by Hugh Laurie—the future House star played Prince George on the TV comedy Blackadder.

Lennox recalled:

This was a wonderful video to create. There were some wonderful people involved—John Malkovich and Hugh Laurie (before he had an American accent)! That was tremendous fun. The idea of it being a period piece, like Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

Lennox saw a parallel between the film—where a noble woman plots to take revenge against an unfaithful lover—and this song:

The alternative title for ‘Broken Glass’ could easily have been ‘Hell hath no more fury than a woman scorned.’ The video is very wry and tongue-in-cheek. People can take me a little seriously sometimes, but I do actually have a rather radical sense of humor.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Walking on Broken Glass

by Annie Lennox

Written by  Annie Lennox

#52weeks52stories “A Mother’s Love”

A Mother's Love banner

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#52weeks52stories: Week 36

Word prompt: softball

Word count – 1286

Reading time – 5 mins, 23 secs.

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Kristen Wisdom cursed Greg Gaines for delaying her exit at the end of the workday.

Since her divorce, the accounts payable manager found more reasons to be alone with the senior accounts specialist.

But Kristen wasn’t in the mood for his reindeer games, especially not today. She’d pushed him aside and barreled out the door, blocking out the profanity-laced threats he yelled after her.

“Stuck-up bitch! Guess you don’t need this job.”

That remark made her whirl around to face him.

“I need my job about as much as you need yours, and the only bitch I see is standing in front of a company security system that records video… and audio.”

Horrified, Gaines flung himself backward through the door as though it would erase the security tape.

She fumed as she inched her Camry along in the stop-and-go rush hour traffic. She’d deal with him later.

Men.

Kristen’s day began with her ex-husband, Sean, backing out of today in favor of a Happy Hour birthday celebration for a coworker.

“This is important, Sean. You need to show up.”

“My job’s important too, Kris.”

“Does Happy Hour fall under other job duties as needed?”

“That’s not funny, Kris. You know how the game’s played. I’m up for a promotion and I need to be seen as a team player. Besides, the new position comes with a substantial raise which translates to more alimony and child support for you.”

“Well, that’s different, Sean. Just toss a fistful of dollars at me. That makes everything better in your eyes and erases your guilt. But you’re still an asshole.”

Gripping the steering wheel, Kristen took a deep, cleansing breath.

Norris and Liz Carmichael taught their only child the only obstacles in life were the ones allowed to exist. She’d put her heart and soul into removing barriers for this day to happen. She’d be damned if she allowed two selfish men to ruin it for her.

An idea flashed through Kristen’s mind as she approached the next off-ramp. She zipped off and let out a loud whoop seeing the green light ahead of her. After a left then right turn, she bounced in her seat and pounded the steering wheel, jazzed at the open thoroughfare in front of her.

Eight minutes later, she pulled into the parking lot of the Leon Buford Memorial Recreation Center. Kristen popped the trunk and traded her suit jacket and three-inch pumps for a windbreaker and New Balance runners. Grabbing her blue and gold mom-poms, she raced across the lot to the rear of the rec center.

Rounding the corner of the building, Kristen couldn’t help but smile at the new black-top area paid for by donor dollars.

The bleachers weren’t packed like they would be for a regular game but she was grateful for the crowd of supporters and pleased the local press was there.

She made her way to the front row of the parents’ section and was relieved to find the game had just begun.

The red-and-white-shirted Colts in the field meant the Iron Dragons won the coin toss. She searched for her son in the sea of blue shirts near the dugout. Kristen’s heart sank when she spotted her fourteen-year-old son.

With his elbows on his knees, Nicholas Wisdom rested his chin in his hands.

Her hand went to the center of her chest, rubbing at the tightness forming.

She knew that look.

Nicholas didn’t expect his dad to show, but after not seeing her in the bleachers, he no doubt felt abandoned… again.

The last five years devastated her family.

Kristen’s already rocky marriage was tested and failed when the winter car accident that took her father’s life also put her son in a wheelchair for the rest of his.

Pushing her own grief aside to be there for her son and grieving mother, Kristen had nothing left for her self-involved husband who showed no sympathy… or empathy toward his family.

Less than a year later, Liz Carmichael moved to California to be closer to her aging siblings allowing Kristen to pour all of her time into Nicholas.

The life adjustments were not easy. Besides learning to live life from a wheelchair, it took several months of family counseling to relieve the depressed teen of the guilt he felt for his parents’ divorce.

It was on the way home from one of their last counseling sessions Nicholas screamed out as they drove past a local park and begged his mother to turn around.

Pulling up on the side of the road, they both looked on in awe at the sight before them.

A group of adults was involved in a fast-paced game of softball… from their wheelchairs.

The Wisdoms wasted no time in joining the game’s spectators.

Kristen got a quick history lesson about wheelchair softball and was surprised to learn there was a national governing body with official rules and leagues.

Nicholas was excited to hear there were also junior leagues, but the closest one was five-hundred miles away in the northernmost portion of the state.

Kristen Wisdom had seen enough disappointment in her boy’s face and that day it became her mission to bring youth wheelchair softball to Madison, Ohio.

Several infections and three surgical procedures sidelined Nicholas as teams formed but Kristen kept up her campaign working with parents and doctors to gather corporate sponsorship.

Now, twenty-seven months after Nicholas saw his first wheelchair softball game, he would get a turn at bat and he’d know his mom was there to see it.

It was mom-time.

Removing her windbreaker, Kristen stood on the bench seat and threw her head back, yelling, “Let’s go, Dragons!”

Channeling her inner junior-high-school cheerleader, she danced, bounced, clapped and sashayed through several cheer chants, much to the delight of the other parents… and her boy.

Winded, Kristen dropped back onto her seat as Nicholas approached the on-deck circle.

Denny Miller hit a double sending his teammate to third base.

Nicholas approached the plate and Kristen’s heart was beating like the drum solo in Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.

The pitcher toyed with Nicholas to either walk him and load the bases or strike him out. But after two balls and one strike, he got too cocky and comfortable and Nicholas was ready, hitting an explosive grounder that sent the sixteen-inch ball speeding past several Colts team members.

Kristen was on her feet cheering as Nicholas rounded the bases so fast, the flame decals on his wheels appeared to flicker.

Two Colts members collided and tumbled from their chairs, giving Nicholas the opportunity to get to third base.

So overcome with excitement and emotions, a wave of dizziness hit Kristen as she watched her son grip his wheels and leaned toward home plate.

Virginia Blanchard was up to bat. Also fourteen, Virginia’s diminutive size made people believe she was younger… and underestimate her. Colts outfielders rolled their chairs in closer.

Virginia wasted no time and sent the first pitch to the fence. The fierce female headed for first base, but Kristen’s eyes were locked onto Nicholas as he sailed into home and the cheers and back-slaps of his teammates.

He gave a thumb’s up to Virginia, who’d made it to second base, and rolled toward the dugout.

Kristen Wisdom was still clapping and cheering when Nicholas stopped and glanced up at her. The smile on his face was brighter than a dozen suns and she erupted into tears.

People around her rubbed her back and passed her tissues but Kristen only cried harder.

She would endure it all—pervy bosses, selfish ex-husbands, rush hour traffic—all of it… every single day just to see her boy’s smile.

Nothing was more important to her.

~~~

 

©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

Song Lyric Sunday | “Color of Love” by Billy Ocean

Song Lyric Sunday banner

Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “pictures/photographs.” 

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In Billy Ocean’s Color of Love, part of the chorus says, “I see the color of love when I’m thinking of you as a picture perfect painting of love forever true.”

The song is from his seventh solo album, 1988’s Tear Down These Walls, and remains one of my all-time favorite love songs.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Color of Love

by Billy Ocean

Written by  Andy Julian Paul / Bruce Dickinson / Toby Matthew Jepson

#52weeks52stories “Just Once”

Sunny Day

Drabble time!

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#52weeks52stories: Week 35

Word prompt: right

Word count – 100

Reading time – 24 secs.

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The minister motioned for her to begin.

“Troy, my love, when we planned this day you said I wouldn’t make it to the end without crying—and neither would your mom and dad.”

Someone sobbed behind her.

“You said we’d get the perfect day with azure skies.”

Her eyes glistened with tears.

“You were always right… except when you said today would be our new beginning.”

She covered her mouth to muffle her sobs.

“Because instead of saying ‘I do’, Troy, I’m saying ‘goodbye’.”

Unable to continue, she placed a white rose atop the polished walnut casket and walked away.

 

~~~

Photo by Adi Ulici on Unsplash

 

©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

Song Lyric Sunday | “Little Red Corvette” by Prince

Song Lyric Sunday banner

Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “car/cars.” 

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No one could push the envelope quite like Prince Nelson Rogers, known to the world as Prince. It took more than a few plays to understand his 1983 Little Red Corvette was about a one-night stand with a beautiful but promiscuous woman (the Little Red Corvette of the title); although he enjoys the experience, he urges her to “slow down” and “find a love that’s gonna last” before she destroys herself. In addition to the title, he uses several other automobile metaphors, for example comparing their lovemaking to a ride in a limousine.

Prince got the idea for the song when he dozed off in band member Lisa Coleman’s pink Mercury Montclair Marauder after an exhausting all-night recording session. The lyrics came to him in bits and pieces during this and other catnaps. Eventually, he was able to finish it without sleeping.

The song was from Prince’s breakthrough album, 1999, and rose to number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 13 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

Rolling Stone ranked Little Red Corvette #108 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and the guitar solo, played by Revolution band member Dez Dickerson, was ranked #64 by the readers of Guitar World as one of the 100 best guitar solos of all time.

Following Prince’s death in April 2016, Little Red Corvette re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at number 29. It rose to number 20 one week later. It has sold 1.08 million digital copies in the United States alone.

 

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Little Red Corvette

by Prince

Written by