Category Archives: Philosophy

POEtry Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe ((Happy Belated))

Hidden within this wordplay is a play on words.

If you can’t see the answer, then your logic is absurd. That’s right.

Absurd

I hear everything, yet nothing is spoken, not a word.

How much space can time hold; if eternity is the bird,

we all chase, why does it fly away? Her wings span, only to fall from the

sky one day, not money.

Time

is everywhere and nowhere. It’s plentifully scarce and

fleetingly final.

 Or is it?

Ascribe my curiosity to be requisite.

 

Jones, My Opinion

 

Inspired by: Edgar Allan Poe

 

 

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Filed under Edgar Allan Poe, Philosophy, Poetry

Leave Huck Alone

Censorship is censorship. The very word itself should be enough to frighten creative minds worldwide.

How can one censor the rays of the sun? You can’t inasmuch as you can direct the light of creativity.

To direct, subvert, censor, mold, or anything of the sort is to tamper with nature. That is very wrong, indeed.

True, there will be times when the illustrations or oratory of others will be like nails on a chalkboard. Nevertheless, if it is not a matter of national or personal security, I respectfully opine that it be left alone.

Earlier today, I observed that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the story written by Mark Twain in 1885, is to be censored of racist terms in new editions.

I do not agree with these actions.

In fact, it’s detrimental to “the cause.” For there are certainly more noble endeavors than fiddling with a bit of one hundred and thirty year old American literature.

Like it or lump it, everyone knows the trials of Jim. We cannot superimpose his nineteenth century existence into our sanitized, iPod, Internet, politically correct-socially vehement society.

Who believes that this “victory” of having Twain posthumously censored is doing anyone breathing a favor?

Deal with history, folks! Accept the good, the bad, and the ugly. For I assure you that if one iota had been changed in the past, there would be no certainty of your existence.

Also, we must be mindful of precedents. Today’s Twain could be tomorrow’s Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. You’ve fed the beast of censorship, but he will hunger again.

Does removing the “n-word,” from Huckleberry Finn accomplish a hill of beans? I believe, NO!

Did removing Don Imus from the airwaves accomplish anything? NO!

Only the faction of self-serving, nose up-turned, “talented tenth,” will be appeased.

Oh, I almost forgot, the progeny who spew forth such unrepentant filth as to make Twain nauseous, will take to their tweets with a flare and either co-sign censorship-or totally ignore the issue.

Either way, please remember,
that the very foundation of our country-freedom, liberty, and such are not weapons of ill instruction. They are ideals that we have to ensure are being doled out properly. This includes our creative outlets. Co-sign this, please.

Think about it, you can’t be for Luke and the 2 Live Crew, yet against Twain.

Jones, My Opinion

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Filed under Categorically Ridiculous, Current Events, Huckleberry Finn, News, Op-Ed, Philosophy, Pop Culture

From Till to Tillman

The tragedy of Emmett Till still haunts us some fifty-five years after his horrific murder. In Jim Crow Mississippi, after some reports state that he “whistled at a white woman,” Emmitt was taken from his relative’s home at night, viciously beaten, and shot.  The outrage of a nation bore down, and the Civil Rights movement was sparked. He was only 14 years old.

Two white men were charged but acquitted of Emmitt’s murder.

Fast forward to November 2010. A house party intended for just a few celebrants of a teenager’s birthday, grew out of control to over eighty people.

A fight breaks out between two women and two men. Arguing amongst them built up to a woman hitting one of the men. Instead of hitting her back, the man said that he’d hit the next male who walked by.

Enter Bobby Tillman.

He’s viciously stomped and beaten to death, just because he was the next to walk by. He was only 18 years old.

Four black youths were arrested and have been charged with his murder.

For some reason, the word till in both of these young men’s name made me consider:

Would there have been any difference in the response of the nation, had Tillman’s killers been white?

What a difference in the years since Till. The hate-groups of the Jim Crow South, and even neo hate mongers seem to have an unwitting ally in the urban crimes of today.

We are killing each other.

The definition of the word *till* in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, given as a verb, means to work by plowing, sowing,and raising crops: cultivate.

As a noun, till means a money drawer in a store or bank.

Finally, til, means the same as until, when used as a preposition.

I submit:

A deeper tilling is needed in our community. There’s death on the vine instead of blossoming of our youth. Cultivate.

Our moral till is empty if we can stand around and watch someone get stomped to death. Let’s be about it-stop the violence.

‘Til we realize that we have a complete obligation to help those that need our help in right, a conviction to stand up to wrong, and the courage to live our Faith, we march.

We march further and further away from the promise, the dream.

Jones, My Opinion

RIP Emmitt and Bobby

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Filed under Bobby Tillman, Current Events, Do Something, Emmett Till, hate Crimes, Onlookers, Philosophy, Societal Ills

The Printed Word

There’s something about holding an old, worn book in hand that makes me feel that all is right with the world.

I’m a sucker for the printed word.

The binding, the lettering, the dusting of “gold” on the edges,  unmistakable beauty.

Maybe it’s subliminal or something, but I feel as though I absorb more of the intended message of the author when I actually hold a book.

This is considerable. I feel that I’ve learned just as much as anybody else when it comes to the advent of The Information Age. The expansive world-wide web has ensnared all of us, seemingly to some degree.

Yet for all of the strides made in technology, for all of our Kindles, Ipads, and such there remains a timeless emblem of knowledge that our advancement cannot banish.

The library.

Certainly, the library as we know it today has integrated itself into the new millennium. What I’m referencing is the very foundation and necessity of libraries, regardless of techie wizardry. The books themselves are the lure, I submit.

There’s something about holding a book in your hand that conveys the feeling of ownership, even if you’re borrowing said book. For that moment in time, no one else is reading this but you. In my head, at least.

My husband knows that if we ever come into some major money, one of the things that would be an absolute must-have, is a dedicated library, replete with a sliding stair.

Yes, there will need to be that many books in our library.

Until that day, I enjoy and continue to hold dear, the printed word.
Although you may or may not feel the quite same,

This is Jones, My Opinion

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Filed under Look Look Look, Op-Ed, Philosophy

The Greatest Generation

This day marks the 62nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The surprise bombardment killed over 2,400 US military personnel and was the impetus for the US entering World War II.

Yes, the military of the United States and the Allied Forces against the Axis of Evil were indeed “The Greatest Generation” as penned by journalist Tom Brokaw. However, it wasn’t just the military who took on the fight. Here at home, for the first time in great numbers, women were entering the workplace. The world would never be the same.

I wonder how our society would fare today if we were called upon to champion some great cause through a world war. Would we rally the troops, give our full support, create war bonds, or do whatever is needed to help the fight for right?  I shudder to think.

As a nation, as a world, there have been so many things which have divided rather than unite us since World War II. Achievements have been many but, so too, the detriments of erosion.  The erosion of character, moral accountability, honor, respect, faith, patriotism, and countless other barometers of civilization indicate that we have fallen far from the legacy so many of our forbears sacrificed to protect.

All is not lost. Or is it? I submit that unless there is a shaking at the foundation of our moral fiber as individuals, as family units, and as a nation, we are in danger of bearing the title, “The WORST Generation.”

Eternally grateful for the sacrifice

 Jones, My Opinion

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Filed under News, Op-Ed, Philosophy, Social Media

To Be or Not To Be-Indian/Native American

My grandmother was an Indian.

My mother told me this years ago, while I was growing up. I never doubted her and the thought that there was this alternate bloodline coursing through my veins, made me curious as anything. You can imagine how frustrating it was to learn that the very thing  supposedly unique about my ancestry, happened and still happens to be a joke of sorts amongst the black community.

Aw, everybody says that they have Indian in the family, mock the disdainful. Even worse is the thought of some that being inclusive of admixture in our gene pool, means excluding blackness. To be African-American or black in this country is to be a myriad of colors and bloodlines. I didn’t realize this fact as a child; I sincerely thought that having an Indian or Native American grandparent was a rare trait, indeed.

 The things we think we know as children…

The fact is that only recently have we been able to make great strides in verifying or dismissing oral traditions via Internet goldmines such as FamilySearch.org, Ancestry.com, Cyndi’s List, etc.  This leads me to my point.  Even after concrete evidence of Indian or Native American ancestry has been found, does that make us over?

Overwhelming appreciation is extended to cousin Lisa H., who placed me on the right path of finding my forebears. She had been looking for particular descendants, and I fit the bill. Lisa gifted me with the gift of knowing my ancestry. So many of us have benefitted as a result and the words- thank you- seem far too trife to convey our foremost gratitude.

About two years ago, I posted a query on the Afrigeneas African-Native American Forum asking about tribal enrollment practices. There may have been one response, and that was pretty vague. Yesterday, I received notification that someone replied to my query. Just to let you know, when I first discovered my actual connection to the Coharie Tribe, I merely wanted to learn about them. Several different factors caused me to pursue enrollment with the Tribe. Perhaps not surprising, my attempts at enrollment were ignored. At that time, I believed that I had to be validated by this Tribal Council, receive a Tribal card, then and only then would I be considered Coharie.

The things we think we know as adults…

I haven’t given up on enrollment, but these days I certainly do not feel the need to have any organization, Tribe, or anyone define me.

My blood is my birthright.

Back to the reply I received on Afrigeneas. Gale replied that she’s fully aware of her direct descendancy from the Coharie also. She passionately exclaimed that it’s not right that those with more European admixture are allowed enrollment into the Tribe, while applicants with  more African are not. She further stated that tax-funded programs should not be discriminatory. (The Coharie Tribe are recognized by the state of North Carolina and are actively seeking federal recognition.)

As I read Gale’s reply, I remembered that we’d exchanged e-mails previously and that also we’d spoken on the phone. This was when I’d first learned of my Coharie ancestry. Since then, I’ve been able to temper my temper, if you will-and think about the bigger picture. My response to Gale’s recent reply was as follows:

Hi Gale!

Thanks for responding.

Well, it’s 2010 and unfortunately with respect to this issue, not much has changed.

While to an extent I’d agree on what your stating, I think that we need to weigh the issues:

Does having Coharie Tribe enrollment make us more Indian/Native American?

Does official enrollment equal social acceptance?

How do your immediate family members identify racially? Do they share your interest to become enrolled?

Does the Great Spirit of Indian/Native American culture, line up with your professed Faith?

These are just a few things that I’ve taken into consideration since I’ve first learned of my descendancy.

Honestly, I can say that being accepted by the Coharie Tribe does not rank as important to me as it did a couple of years ago.

My blood is my birthright.

There’s not one thing in this world that can add or subtract from that, not even our beloved Coharie Intra-Tribal Council.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t decline an offer of enrollment. I just will not live in hopes of it.

Blessings!

Even still, I remain in the belief that not only I, but my mother, aunt and uncles, siblings, and cousins are entitled to this recognition. Until it’s received, if it’s never received, even after it’s received, we live.

We live and we’re thankful for ALL who came before us.

Respectfully-this is Jones, My Opinion

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Filed under Family History, Genealogy, Op-Ed, Philosophy

To Feel Like A Bouvier Beale

If you’re familiar with the cult classic Grey Gardens, and can appreciate the message, you’ll know exactly where I’m coming from.

Doesn’t mean that you’ll relate, or agree. It means that you will realize that there is something debilitating that occurs when family ostracizes family.

Conversely, there’s something noxious about family holding family too closely.

For those not familiar, here’s a quick background: Edith Sr. and Little Edie Beale were high society ladies of the early twentieth century.

 Edith Sr. was born to the Bouvier family and was aunt to former First Lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Edith married a high-powered

attorney in her father’s law firm and they raised a family in East Hampton, New York. The name of their mansion was Grey Gardens.

Edith Sr. had some major issues fitting in with her high society lifestyle. She really wanted to be a singer, an idea which was ill-received by her family. 

She showed up to her son’s wedding, not only late, but wearing the attire of an opera singer. She was cut out of her father’s inheritance and eventually,

her husband, Mr. Beale, left the family.  Grey Gardens turned into something that makes the television show Hoarders look like Disneyland.

A documentary was made of Edith Sr. and Little Edie entitled, Grey Gardens. If you are interested in stories of the human spirit, dysfunctional dynamics,

and a bit of history, then I think you’ll be taken in by Grey Gardens. I’ve tried but really there’s no way to describe it, you have to see it for yourself.

Lifetime even remade the documentary, with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange.

Don’t get color conscious with me, it’s a story of the HUMAN spirit. It’s a story about no matter how you may share the same DNA, and upbringing,

associations with even the closest of kin can be so broken down that they wouldn’t give a rat’s arse if you’re living in a decrepid mansion with no

heat, decent food, and a thousand cats as tenants. Just don’t have their name tied to it in the media, for then they would be obliged to outstretch their

caring hands.

 

Dahling, it’s Jones, My Opinion

The rain falls in and it’s not a big deal. We roll along to our own little song and even if no one else hears, there’ll be no tears.

Life in the Grey is never just black and white. We’ll fill the days with our glorious nights of riches past. How did we get down to our last?

Doesn’t matter now-ever wonder how from a Bouvier to Beale then life surreal?

Life was a dance and every chance, a thrill.

The world has retreated, yet our spirit is not defeated.

 

Send the bill to the Bouviers-

 

Lovingly-

The Beales

Poem by: B.Jones

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Filed under Against The Grain, Op-Ed, Philosophy, Poetry