Friday Fire: How Ya Gonna Shine In 2009?

Umoja to the TSF fam and anyone who stops by on the first day of Kwanzaa. As I listen to You Know How to Love Me by Phillis Hyman and marvel at the sheer impact of her voice, I give props to what I’m truly thankful for and also what I expect of myself in 2009. Since this is the last Friday of the year, I wanted to ask of you what would be your perfect storm for the next year. Crazy how we are experiencing years we as children held for science fiction, but like they say, time waits for no one.

By no means am I comparing my work to the amazing skills Phyllis used naturally, but listening and studying her the past few months has given me a powerful sense of urgency heading for big things in the new year. We can’t sit around and wait for people with other agendas to put us at the forefront of their corporations. Yes, I would love for my work to be showcased by a prominent outlet nationally if not just for how my children would be impacted, but it would be straight dumb to expect this.

Anthony Gilbert and I have been hustling all over the east coast the last year or so just to put our work in the minds of those similar who genuinely understand the level we are trying to take sports journalism. History has to be written with much more than what have you done for me lately in mind so our children see more than what is exactly in front of their collective and wanting faces.

We’re better than that.

The mode of others somehow has become our culture and comparatively, that ain’t good enough. It’s not good enough because we as a people don’t fully know who the hell we are ourselves, so why should we mimic the course of others? Black thought has its preeminence but most of us seem to care way too much what others think instead of showing and proving how great we are (and can be) to the point no one is surprised.

We lost too many talented people last year to be satisfied with what we do everyday. It’s not just about those we see publicly. How many of you have lost your mailmen, mechanics, local butchers or good tax men or women?

Talent is being lost every day–even on Christmas. Eartha Kitt was as charismatic and talented as any entertainer ever, but who of us truly know of her work besides when she like a feline purred “Marrrrrrrccccccus” in Boomerang or seduced Batman as Catwoman?

Kitt sang in 10 different languages and performed in over 100 countries during her amazing 60 + year career. One could argue Eartha was the most talented entertainer of all time and others wouldn’t blink.

She’s influenced so much and never properly received credit, though I doubt she cared.

Here’s an interview and performance on the Today Show a couple of years back to give you a sense of who Eartha Mae was:

My point is that instead of chastising our children for what they watch or what they listen to, we should give an alternative total picture of those who sacrificed before our knowledge of them became comfortable. We’d rather criticize their talent at its purest unfortunately in hopes their creativity becomes jaded, structured in our personal mirror and ultimately corrupt. It never should be how one fits in our scope. What are we spoiled brats? Seems like most of us are so shook to make waves because of the times we financially live in. I understand but because others don’t get why athletes carry around guns doesn’t make it right to jump on tight for the piggy back smack Black.

When I personally come across someone who has “made it”, I make sure I speak with them. I want to know. I want to know why and how and why and what made them try. We can learn so much from the hard work of others, so why have we become this negative ball of hypocrisy just to suit our own selfish needs?

Stand on your own one, two.

Remember what ya Momma says: “If you don’t have something nice to say…”

This is not a negative piece. I’ve noticed along my way that we need to reconsider how we view all levels of society. We kiss and then eat our young, cast those with infinite wisdom aside and run and hide when our insecurities cry.

There are a lot of things I need to do both personally and professionally to ensure I have success in 2009, but it has to be said that we all need a sense of urgency because life seems to be always cut far too soon.

7 Responses to “Friday Fire: How Ya Gonna Shine In 2009?”

  1. michelle says:


    Thanks for the information about Eartha Kitt. As stated in your article, I didn’t know she was so talented. May she rest in peace.

    I hope in 2009 we all have good health and good fortune. Peace and prosperity.
    Happiness and much laughter. We should help those less fortunate while trying to improve our own lives everyday.

  2. Temple3 says:

    I never get tired of that song. Pure classic.

    I now know why I know so little of Eartha Kitt — her opposition to the Vietnam War.

  3. Mizzo says:

    Wondering how long that would take to be mentioned. Thanks brothaman.

  4. GrandNubian says:

    R.I.P. sister Eartha Kitt……..

    Heri za Kwanzaa to all…….Umoja!

  5. Okori says:

    Well I’ve got a 3-point plan.

    1: I’m going to finally lose all of my fat weight. 6-4, 215 here we come.

    2: I’m going to learn how to cook. No more dropping by pizza joints getting slices and a dr. pepper for me. Just today I made a panini with roasted green and red peppers.

    3: I’m gonna finish my journalism degree.

  6. Matthew Fudge says:

    Do you, Okori.

  7. TC says:

    Thanks for that information about Eartha. I’d never heard anything of any substance about Eartha Kitt. I saw the cartoonish way she was discussed in the media, and I remember her in Boomerang….but that was it. Here’s a bit more about Mrs. Kitt and her famous confrontation with the Prez and Lady Bird Johnson. A very brave woman. R.I.P. Ms. Kitt. Me? I gotta cut way into my student loans too and maybe lose 10-15 lbs. myself. Happy New Year to you guys!