Friday, February 27, 2015

Genetics, Anthropology, Race - Mankind

I finally found online this show I once watched that blew me away.  It gives a pretty convincing scientific explanation about where human civilization began and the path of migration it took to populate the globe.  

Journey of Man is a show that educates its viewers with science that is easy to understand.  What'll blow you away is the eye-witness; when you see two persons on different continents with the same gene and similar facial features, you figure there must be something to this amazing discovery.

If I recall, the genetic scientist traces an abnormal gene around the globe and from that is able to put together a path that early man took in his long migration and evolution.

Watch, Witness and Wise Up; We are all from the same seed:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hell Yeah I Still Wanna See It! Floyd vs Pacquiao

Its Official! The long awaited boxing match between champions Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is on and scheduled for May 2, 2015.  The young'uns ain't so young anymore, but the fire to face one another still burns bright. 

Forget everything you've heard over the years about these two tigers.  Forget what you've seen them do or not do in the ring in recent bouts.  Forget their ages, their championship belts and their wealth.  When these two step into the ring to face one another in May, no bet is safe as eyes and ears of every boxing fan in the universe will be tuned in to what has to be the most awaited sports event modern day media has hosted.

Between today's announcement and the bell sounding the start of the first round, much will be discussed, debated and disclosed pertaining to these two veteran fighters. Everything about their careers will be put under a microscope and analyzed to help determine who has the edge. 

Well boxing fans, I gotta tell you now, there simply ain't no edge.  This fight just ain't no ordinary championship fight. 

Barring a knockout or draw, the scorecard will likely not produce the actual winner.  The winner of this fight will be determined by the eyes and ears of those watching around the world. We as boxing fans know when a fighter has been beaten.  We hope to be treated to a clean boxing match that lives up to our expectations of these two champions.  We pray that the judges, promoters and gamblers do the right thing and let only the skills of the boxers determine the outcome.   

Professional Boxing has the opportunity to clean up its dirty ways and put on a clean production with the world watching. Don't let us down. Better yet, don't let Boxing down. We've all waited way too long for this one.

Black History Moment:  The first African-American champion of any sport was boxing great Joe Gans; father of the 'sweet science of boxing.'  Kinda resembles the first black President wouldn't you say?
Name: Joe Gans
Alias: Old Master
Birth Name: Joseph Gant
Born: 1874-11-25
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Died: 1910-08-10 (Age:35)
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5′ 6½″   /   169cm
Reach: 71″   /   180cm
Boxing Record: click

Monday, February 16, 2015

Book of Negroes Mini-Series Begins

In July, 2013, I read one of the best books of that year for me. The title was "Somebody Knows My Name" by Lawrence Hill. I then posted my review on why I liked the book so much.  Well, I just discovered that tonight at 8pm, a mini-series film will begin airing on the BET channel. How can I not watch a film based on such a shattering book.  The film, "The Book of Negroes" is a mini-series that shouldn't be missed.  

The story is about slavery and the struggle to survive all its consequences.  For those of us who remember the social upheaval caused in the United States in 1977, when Alex Haley's book "Roots" was made into a tv mini-series and aired, it opened everyone's eyes to the brutal history of slavery in America. 

For those who know little about how Africans were captured, enslaved, shipped then sold in the America's as slave laborers, here's a chance at educating yourselves.  For others who know much about the slave trade, this story adds a few more pieces to the painful puzzle that was slavery.  

Blacks who chose to fight alongside, as well as covertly help the British during the American Revolution, were given passage to Canada by the British at the end of the war.  The heroine of the story, Aminata Diallo, is enlisted to help document some of the names and descriptions of the nearly 3,000 blacks "Black Loyalists" leaving U.S. ports on British vessels for a new home in Canada.  Unfortunately, their story and travels won't end their.

There are in fact two documented Book of Negroes held in archives to this day; One is in the United Kingdom Archives in Kew, London, and the other is in the United States National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.


Steph Curry's All-Star Basketball Skillz

Let's hear it for Golden State Warriors all-stars Stephen Curry & Klay Thompson.  "hip, hop, hooray!"

The two all-stars from Oaktown showed up and delivered in the weekends' NBA all-star activities.

The two went head to head in a three-point shooting contest Saturday night that saw Steph blow by everyone down the stretch to take the trophy. At one point in the competition he had 13 straight shots fall.

In Sunday's all-star game, OKC's Russell Westbrook might have scored the most points (41) and took home the mvp trophy, but Steph was the straw that stirred the western conference win with a dazzling display of ball handling and leadership on the floor.  

If sports fans heard the name but didn't quite know who Dell Curry's son Stephen Curry is; by now they've seen and heard why the raving reviews surrounding Steph continue to echo through the sports world.    On the grandest stage that is New York City, Steph delivered!

Final Score
East 158
West 163

Friday, February 06, 2015

Mammy Pleasant - Mary Ellen to the civilized and uncorrupted

Mary Ellen Pleasant

Don’t call her Mammy

Mary Ellen Pleasant at 87.
By Marian Halley
Nearly a century before Rosa Parks, neighborhood resident Mary Ellen Pleasant sued a local transportation company for not letting her and other African Americans ride. And she won.
Many details of Pleasant’s legendary life are open to question, but what is certain — and recorded in a plaque at the corner of Octavia and Bush Streets — is that she was a tireless worker for civil rights and a great entrepreneur.
The Mary Ellen Pleasant Memorial Park, the smallest park in San Francisco, consists of that plaque and six enormous eucalyptus trees that march down Octavia. The site was chosen because Pleasant’s property once occupied all of Octavia Street from Bush to Sutter and included a 30-room mansion and separate stables. It burned down in 1925 and was replaced two years later by Green’s Eye Hospital, which is still there and now known as the Healing Arts Building.
Pleasant was probably born in 1814 in Georgia into slavery, but was bought and freed by someone who recognized her intelligence and talents. She was later an indentured servant in Rhode Island, where she married an abolitionist who worked as a carpenter.
In 1852, Pleasant came to San Francisco, fleeing prosecution under the Fugitive Slave Act for her work leading people from slavery to freedom. She continued that work in California, sheltering people who escaped slavery and finding employment for them. She met at least once with abolitionist John Brown and gave him money to help with the cause. In accordance with her wishes, her tombstone, in Napa, states: “She was a Friend of John Brown.”
Pleasant arrived in San Francisco with a considerable sum of money left to her by her first husband. She invested it wisely: Her businesses here included laundries, dairies and exclusive restaurants — all of which were quite lucrative in a city filled with miners and single businessmen. In the 1890 census she listed her occupation as “capitalist.”
She had been a capitalist from the day she arrived here. According to an article in the May 7, 1899, San Francisco Call, on the day she landed wealthy bachelors came to the waterfront to engage Pleasant as a cook, her reputation for cooking having preceded her. The bidding went high. Then Pleasant added conditions, such as no dishwashing. When the highest bidder accepted her conditions, she changed her mind. The next day, she announced that she would open her own restaurant.
Her restaurant attracted prominent men such as Darius Mills, William Ralston and William Sharon — men who made their fortunes in the Comstock lode and who later founded the Bank of California. The young women who worked in the restaurant were told to listen to the dinner conversation and report back the financial gossip of the makers and shakers. Pleasant put the information to use in her own financial investments.

Pleasant's 30-room mansion stood at Octavia and Bush Streets.
While in San Francisco, she married James Plaisance, with whom she had a daughter. Her family relations were not good; she changed her name and had little contact with her daughter. The great love of her life was Thomas Bell, a Caucasian she met on the ship to San Francisco and who became her business partner and almost certainly her lover. Since her gender and race precluded her from engaging in financial affairs, she made her investments through Bell. Their joint fortune reportedly reached $30 million.
Her 30-room Octavia Street Italianate mansion, which she designed, built and furnished, became known as the Thomas Bell mansion. When she moved in, Bell did too, along with a Caucasian wife Pleasant more or less found for him. Because of this living arrangement, and because of rumors about events and underground passages at the house, it also became known as the “House of Mystery.”
Probably out of envy and anger at the enormous success of a black woman, rumors abounded about Pleasant’s manner of making money. For the same reasons, she was referred to as “Mammy” Pleasant, a name that persists in accounts to this day. She detested the insulting nickname, and returned envelopes addressed that way unopened. And when Thomas Bell died after falling down a flight of stairs, rumors suggested that she was responsible — even after the coroner’s jury found that the death was accidental.

Pleasant was on the front page of the San Francisco Call in 1899.
When Pleasant left her house in 1899, following a loud argument with Bell’s widow, the event was the subject of a long article in the Call reviewing her life. According to the article, “her connection with the ‘underground railway’ was an established fact and planters whose slaves she had helped cross the border to the free North demanded her life as a recompense.”
Mary Ellen Pleasant died in 1904, apparently penniless. She is a colorful figure in San Francisco history, but any two accounts of her life contain contradictory facts, and most include racist statements. She has made appearances in recent novels, including “Earthquake Weather,” by Tim Powers (1998) and “The Confessions of Max Tivoli,” by Andrew Sean Greer (2004). The most authoritative accounts of her life are by Susheel Bibbs and include a documentary film, “Meet Mary Pleasant, Mother of Civil Rights in California.”

Mary Ellen Pleasant (in black) is among the notable San Franciscans in a downtown mural.
Mary Ellen Pleasant’s spirit continues to resurface around the city.
• Pleasant made an appearance at the California Supreme Court in a summer 2010 exhibition in the Archive Room on the main floor of the court’s home at 350 McAllister Street. She is featured in an installment on the state’s early legal history titled “Civil and Uncivil: Constitutional Rights in California.” Her place in legal history was secured when a streetcar conductor in North Beach refused to stop and allow her to board. When a passenger urged him to stop, the conductor replied: “We don’t take colored people in the cars.” Pleasant sued, blazing a trail for civil rights in the state — and earning her another moniker as the “mother of civil rights in California.” She won, but the California Supreme Court overturned the judgment in her favor in 1868. Nonetheless, her case was the impetus for a statute passed in 1893 prohibiting segregation and exclusion on streetcars.
• Pleasant also appears in a mural in the lobby of the Monadnock Building at 685 Market Street. She is depicted in profile in the shadows of a mural titled “San Francisco Renaissance” with other local icons and rabble-rousers. Pleasant (in black) is among the notable San Franciscans included in a mural created by neighborhood artists Mark Evans and Charlie Brown. Others (from left) are politician Harvey Milk, actress Lotta Crabtree, architect Bernard Maybeck and dancer Isadora Duncan.
• And Pleasant is the main attraction in the San Francisco Ghost Hunt, a three-hour walking tour that promises to unveil the city’s “most notorious historic haunted places” and introduce “real ghosts from wild and romantic times gone by.” The tour begins nightly, except on Tuesdays, at 7 p.m. at the Queen Anne Hotel at 1590 Sutter, just across the street from the park in her honor at Octavia and Bush, where Pleasant’s spirit is said to endure.
Organizers of the Ghost Hunt warn: “People who say bad things about her in the park have had objects dropped on their head, or fallen suddenly as if pushed. The sudden appearance of a crow seems to herald Mary’s presence, and she has even taken her human form and walked among the trees and bushes. If you make a respectful request of the voodoo priestess on that corner, and find favor with Mary, it is said that your request will come true.”

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Seattle Blackhawks Lose Super Bowl

Someone associated with the Seattle professional football organization, must have enough power and money to dictate the outcome of a Super Bowl.  How else can you explain throwing a gift interception  to the New England Patriots in your end zone to seal the loss? 

Come'on Man.  You've got the best running back in the league who can shift into "beast mode" gear whenever the game is on the line.  You just got a miraculous catch that equaled or topped NY Giants wide receiver David Tyree's helmet catch in Super Bowl XLII. You have the opposing team on the sideline in shock as they hear yet another championship defeat knocking at their door. Then you dial up a play that has left everyone watching the game simply puzzled and shaking their heads wondering; was the freak'in Fix In?

It had to be less than three yards to the end zone, two at the most. One timeout and three downs with twenty-six seconds remaining in the game.  Did I mention the beast mode factor?  So here you go, second and goal, with the game in your lap. Do you quarterback sneak? Do you hand the ball to the beast? Do you fake the hand-off and throw maybe a fade pass toward the corner of the end zone? No, No and No.  

The Seattle Blackhawks chose to throw a bullet into the middle of a tight Patriots coverage at the goal line.  Guess who came up with the reception?  I tell you, if the Fix wasn't in for this game, then it should've been.

Somethings Stinks in Seattle right about now. And all the winter rains in the northwest won't wash away the stench.
Say it ain't so Pete Carroll & Russell Wilson, 

Final Score
Patriots 28
Blackhawks 24

#81 Mr. Raider Tribute - (Repost)

Finally, former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown is deservedly among the Hall of Fame inductees.  For Pride and Poise, no Raiders player past or present can top what #81 brought to the organization both on and off the field.  A family man, a lover of God and a representative of the best that the silver & black has to offer.

In 2005, the year I started this blog, I posted what was just my fifth post, an article about Tim Brown written by Oakland Tribune columnist Monte Poole.  I repost it here, some 1,800 or so posts later, because what was said then about Tim is still relevant today.  The sign of a truly great person is when what people say about them stands the test of time.  

In the article by Mr. Poole, Tim Brown is the shining silver knight that came along and helped change the perception of the Raiders as just a bunch of thugs, renegades and rabble-rousers. Sure, the silver & black continued to carry that dark Raiders Mystique, but Tim exuded a class and style that the media had no choice but to include in their depictions of the new Raiders.

So Thank You Tim Brown for lighting a candle where once only darkness shown.

Congratulations on your induction into the NFL Hall of Fame.


Brown helped Raiders grow up | From

By Monte Poole

THERE ARE NO snapshots of him in handcuffs in a squad car, no photos of him wearing a silly mask on the sideline, no tales of him walking a lion, holding a cobra or swinging a switchblade.

He did not drink, smoke, cuss or dive headlong into the nocturnal pursuits.

He didn't even wear shades indoors.

How on earth did Tim Brown manage to stay a Raider long enough to challenge Al Davis as the team's reigning icon?

Maybe it's because Brown was the mainstay, producing at a high level for a long time. Or because he spoke softly, thoughtfully and almost always with a purpose. Or because there was a dignity to his carriage.

In any case, it is profoundly appropriate that when Brown announces his retirement this month, he will do so as a Raider.

Not to be lost here, though, is the acknowledgment that Tim was a leader in the movement to get the Raiders to grow up.

The Raiders built a reputation during the 1960s and '70s by doing and saying things that create images. They partied as hard as they played. They were mean and nasty and they'd kick your butt all over the field, laughing at the sight of blood — theirs and yours.

Ted Hendricks and Tom Keating, on the field and off, were wild men. Gene Upshaw's nickname, Uppy, was in lights above a Jack London Square nightclub. Fred Biletnikoff waspart-owner of a bar-restaurant off Hegenberger Road. Ken Stabler prowled pubs from San Jose to Santa Rosa.

Dare we mention the treacherous exploits of John Matuszak and Warren Wells?

The Raiders were a motorcycle club in shoulder pads, defined by swagger, villainy, night life and an assortment of free spirits.

And along came Brown to slowly strip away this Animal House of ill repute.

The kid from Notre Dame wasn't alone; he had help from devout teammates like Steve Wisniewski and Jeff Hostetler. Of the three, though, Brown was the first to wear the uniform, donned it the longest and maintained the highest visibility.

Drafted on the first round in 1988, while the Raiders were in Los Angeles, Brown entered a place annexed from hell. The players openly disrespected first-year coach Mike , mocking him until Davis stepped in and replaced with Art Shell.

Brown, the polite and devout fellow from Notre Dame, observed the madness and took note. As he grew into his career, he presided over a locker room with its share of clowns — none of whom lasted very long.

By the time the Raiders returned to Oakland in 1995, they were barely recognizable. There was a distinct shortage of influential characters. They were a football team, nothing more, seeking respect in a new NFL.

Brown, by then 29 years old and a four-time participant in the Pro Bowl, was the epitome.

He was the team's primary spokesman, in baseball cap and uniform before practice and always — always — in a suit and tie after games. He generally was about as open and honest as good judgment would allow, whether offering an assessment of Davis or administering a

velvet-hammered lashing to the broad backside of wayward kicker Sebastian Janikowski.

Immaturity or inattention among his teammates was an affront to Tim's sensibilities.

Unless there was a specific inquiry, Brown made no more than veiled references to his Christianity. He's the guy who once reminded former teammate Napoleon Kaufman that it's fine to read the Bible, but he also had an obligation to study the playbook.

Don't get me wrong. Even if by established Raiders' standards Brown was downright saintly, he was not perfect.

Though he could twist cornerbacks into the turf with his footwork, he also could drop the easiest of passes. Like many stars, he could be transparently self-centered. He also could be sensitive to slights; we've had numerous discussions over some of the more critical content of my columns.

And though he deserves induction into the Hall of Fame, Brown never got his elusive championship ring.

Almost never, though, did Brown drop his core professionalism. Guys like Brown and Wisniewski made the Raiders a more palatable destination for dedicated pros like Lincoln Kennedy, Rich Gannon and Jerry Rice.

An old Raiders slogan refers to "pride and poise." No Raider ever symbolized these virtues to a greater degree than Brown.

He was not, however, the Ultimate Raider. He was his own man, conceivably the first and most enduring of the great anti-Raiders.