Doing My Part At Liberating Black Women – Including Myself!

This is a multi-tiered initiative.

First I must take care of myself – then others.

To that end I have a few projects in the works. I am a creative (writing being one of my endeavors) but have not earned my living at it. I am seeking new avenues for myself, approaching meeting my goals differently and assessing the current economic/political landscape. What a reality check! I also want to ensure that as many of us get out of the “Matrix” as possible and have full, active lives.

In order for me to continue with these endeavors I must ask for some assistance from readers, commenters, naysyers, lurkers, etc. You now who you are. I am requesting donations to help fund my writing/activism as well as assist me with a pending move/career change. Think of yourself as an early-adopter in the next Microsoft where your return will greatly outweigh your investment. I’d prefer to not leave Northern California as I LOVE IT but the reality of the market has forced me to reevaluate that. I’m open to all viable options and am listening to the voice from On High.

In case the widget doesn’t work I’ve added a link here and to my sidebar.

I know I usually don’t discuss any of my personal religious beliefs for a reason but I have found that we can ask God questions and get a definitive reply. For example there was a man I was very interested and one night out of the blue I was told to ask him about his relationship status. He was married! I had no idea. I was given a clear answer to my questions about his character as I had prayed about it. No I didn’t “like” what I found out but it was best to cut my losses early on than waste my time with an inadequate person. I dodged a bullet there!!

I asked a question about my efforts at realizing my goals and this was the answer I got amongst other steps I will need to take. I feel a little awkward about such a public display but I have to follow through with this. We can have abundant, fulfilling futures but they usually require we step outside of some of our comfort zones. As I create multiple revenue streams in the future I need to take care of some immediate needs today. I’ve set up a Chip In account on my sidebar to accept donations. I will be happy to reciprocate in kind to other’s endeavors as I’m able.

I appreciate all that I’ve learned from other bloggers and readers who’ve offered so many words of wisdom. I am continually challenged and think I’ve finally come into my own. Now it’s time for the next step and it needs to be taken boldly. I have an e-book of blog posts in the works (donations of $50 and up will get a copy), a fiction novel based on my Cinderella post and an SEO marketing consultancy. I am also continuing my education in the media arts. I must still increase my social circle, work on getting into better physical condition and limiting/eliminating toxic influencers. All of the things we discuss here and at other blogs for the free agency of women.

Two more quick things:
SXSW InteractiveSXSW Interactive features five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable line up of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer.

1. I have submitted a panel for SXSW 2010!! Logo/Info borrowed courtesy of SXSW. Voting started on Monday and I need your support. The title is Black Female Bloggers and the Future of Media under my name (Faith Dow). If you click on the link and it doesn’t open it’s because the interest is so high for panels their server keeps crashing. You just click a thumbs-up button after a brief registration. It’s quick trust me.

2. WAM! 2010 is accepting proposals. Women, Action & the Media is a conference for activists, journalists and all interested parties of gender justice in media. We know who’s getting the stub! It’s not a coincidence that their theme is:

I had already submitted my panel idea to SXSW before WAM! released their area of focus. While I work on this proposal I wanted to give everyone a head’s up that you too can submit one and I think many of you readers should.

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RNC Appoints First Black Chair: Strom Thurmond Rolls in His Grave!

Well symbolism is a powerful thing! We have our first Black President and in an effort at keeping up (appearances) the Republicans have just elected the first Black Chairperson for their National Committee. Progress indeed! 91-77 is close. What, Condi wasn’t available? Michael Steele, the current Chair of GoPac will now oversee how the Republicans present their image to the public in order to remain relevant to voters. When Sean Hannity endorses you, I guess it’s a foregone conclusion. It’s all about the power baby! 
Now we’ll see what overtures are made versus what policy changes are implemented (or blocked). He is a self-professed Lincoln Republican and seeing how our new President invoked Lincoln – even going as far as to swear on the bible used by Lincoln – hopefully they can find some common ground. It should not include attacking poor women of color and limiting their family planning choices, the continuation of the separate but equal marriage vs. civil union argument along gender lines or union busting.  It should not include the use of divisive language by candidates inflaming racial animus amongst the hordes. 
The Republican party has a serious credibility problem right now. Conservative values and fiscal responsibility may be the main talking points of the party but its leadership has engaged in anything but. Talk is cheap. Not that the Democrats are much better, but there are actual leaders in that party who are women as well as people of color. The RNC is at its most vulnerable right now and its members are clearly scared, though they wouldn’t dare admit it. We’ll see if a man who is unelectable as of late has the support to rebuild the party – or if he’s just serving as window dressing in an attempt at fooling people. We know a Black face in a high place means little. 
For those of us who wish to strategize and consolidate a small but powerful group whose needs will be addressed, this is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of. The masses may get involved in fighting for crumbs and complaining about how imbalanced things are but we need to move beyond that and be like the few who are always taken care of despite party affiliation. This might be the time for a few politically conscientious objectors to switch parties – or at least attend some meetings to get a feel for things! 
Like I’ve stated I want the Obama Administration to be very successful in addressing the needs of those who’ve been disenfranchised and ignored. In order for that to happen we need people to be the impetus to set an agenda and put it forward in a strategic and carefully implemented way. No amount of protests or rallies or poison pen antics is going to work. I don’t think #44 would be opposed to more liberal policies IF there is sufficient political currency stored up and ready to be cashed, but he’s not going to jeopardize his reelection efforts. He’s playing it safe – too safe – but we know this and can work around it if we plan accordingly.
We know the Republicans (and some Democrats) are set to walk lock-step in opposing anything he wants to get done that isn’t a continuation of their failed agenda. We need to create a net to contain this. We cannot have a repeat of Bill Clinton’s first term where they took control of the House and then the Senate and stonewalled the best of his policies. He didn’t help matters with his personal failings and threw a lot of qualified Black women under the bus. He implemented a lot of policies that actually hurt Black people and had he been a Republican in office more people would’ve been paying attention. Instead some claimed he was “one of us”. Stupid, stupid stupid!!! 
Not that we’re going to agree on everything, but there are some core basics that have been left by the wayside. We must preserve 2010 to get to 2012. We must use the Republican upheaval to our advantage and put those Blue Dog Democrats out to pasture once and for all!

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Blago Blago Go Away….

No one can say this man doesn’t have balls! Governor Rod Blagojevich is spending his time doing a press junket with the New York news media as his impeachment trials gears up. He’s scheduled to appear on Larry King later – bumping former President Carter from today’s line-up. I really wanted to hear what he was going to say about the Obama Administration because I know it will be of some substance. Carter always seemed more like a nice man than a shrewd (or uber-corrupt) politician. 
Instead we get to hear the “spin zone” from a shrewd politician. Need I add the corrupt adjective? I will still give Blago the nod of deference for the way he appointed Senator Burris over the objections of Harry Reid and exposed Reid’s meddling. That was brilliant. Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, okay?!  
I love how Blago brings up Ah-nold. If California had any money left and additional year on the actor’s term he would be impeached, you can trust that! Since Twitter was all abuzz over his appearance on the View earlier I thought I’d post it. I’m still working on my follow-up #Inaug09 post but have a film class to attend in 15 minutes. Enjoy!
                       Barbara Walter Solo pt 1
                                Barbara Walters pt 2
                           Group Interview pt 3

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My Big Fat Inauguration Recap Part One

Sorry Folks: My internet access has been very spotty and I haven’t been able to update anything!

I’m sure for many it was a day of tears. Tears of joy, frustration, sadness or intimidation but definitely memorable. I for one was very happy not just for a Black man getting elected, but definitely getting a qualified person for the office of President. I’m especially proud of having our first Black First Lady and who doesn’t think their daughters are absolutely precious!

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk down ...

DC traffic was tightly micromanaged and the public transportation slowed to a trickle as the transit authority tried to manage the crowds. One woman fell onto the tracks at a station and would’ve gotten run over if not for the quick thinking of an officer who pushed her into the space under the platform.

Many people camped outside overnight away from the perimeter zone by the National Mall in order to be the first ones on the scene. They didn’t care whether they had tickets or access – they just had to be there. The official count totaled 1.8M people but I can guarantee there were probably a minimum 500K additional people vying to get in. Factoring in the wind chill it felt as if it was 12 degrees or less, but that didn’t deter people from participating. Crowds flowed and swelled to the point where you couldn’t move your arms as people tried to push their way to the checkpoints.
Those who received Swearing-In tickets felt like the million dollar jackpot winners. Tickets were color-coordinated with a designated Metro stop and gate entrance. When I went to Nancy Pelosi’s office to claim mine the bulk of the remaining people milling around were stragglers begging for unclaimed tickets. Yes, some people actually did not show up! The ticket has a map on the back but there was some confusion amongst Silver ticket holders who went to the Purple Gate, which had a better viewing area.

I heard from other attendees (and apparently some of Pelosi’s staff) despite being in line at the time of the Gate opening (and having waited for 3-4 hours prior) they were turned away because so many others had tried to bum rush the wrong access points. Let me tell you, I would’ve been furious to have flown here and not get in because the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies did not plan well. That’s on Dianne Feinstein, who I thought was hamming it up to the nth degree and needed to remember it wasn’t her election, it was the Obama’s. Plus, I was informed by someone I met in passing he got a seated ticket from her office after requesting on November 5th and he’s not from California! If things are truly going to change in government we have to do something about patronage.
I saw the craziness from afar {magnify that crowd by 10K} and decided to leave for the comfort of an office party. I have a really bad cough right now so that decision was as much a health preservation as much as anything else. I was 2 blocks from the White House, warm and fed! I’m glad I left because I very well may not have gotten in and I promised I wouldn’t write another angry post like the one about Denver, but it’s the same problems for the same reasons. Don’t these committees PLAN for anything? Did they really expect people to honor the fact they didn’t have tickets and would stay away from the ceremony?! Ha! There has never been this level of interest in an election.
IMG_0218IMG_0213IMG_0197 IMG_4576IMG_0163

While at the party I was on Twitter and reading the real time messages out loud had many of us cracking up. Bill Clinton looked mad and I saw Hillary nudging him to perk up and be happy for the cameras. Jimmy Carter was beaming. Dick Cheney gets zero sympathy for his wheelchair antics and scowl. Shrub looked like he wanted to bolt. I also noticed how he and Laura were oh-so-firmly being guided to the plane to get the h-e-l-l out!!
We had a collective sigh of relief that Aretha Franklin stayed fully covered but I was surprised she wasn’t wearing one of her many furs. Rick Warren was a big bore – but he had to be chill. Jeff Lowery was hilarious – and no offense – very elderly! I loved that he tacked on a portion of the Negro National Anthem to his Benediction. Elizabeth Alexander’s poem was like a great piece of art: beautiful but over the heads of a lot of people. Reading the text later made it much more palatable.
Who didn’t notice how Chief Justice Roberts messed up the Oath? You know our new President AND First lady both had it memorized. Some pundits tried to claim he was nervous – yeah right! It was hugely disrespectful. I can’t wait for him to be neutered when Obama starts appointing new members to the Supreme Court. I also think it’s time to revisit this lifetime appointment nonsense. **So now Roberts contacted the President to redo the Oath after receiving much derision. Idiot!
Our new President’s speech is also being panned in some circles. Fox News is just mad that they’ve been ignored at every conference and put in the dunce corner! That’s what they get for calling our First Lady a Baby Mama. I am happy to report that after collapsing during the Inaugural luncheon Ted Kennedy has been released from the hospital. Poor Robert Byrd also needed assistance but nobody’s talking about him. How likely was it for a former Klan member to support a Black man for the office of President?
President Obama (I won’t ever tire of writing that) proved that he could run for office without the expressed approval of the old guard Civil Rights appropriators or the so-called but doing little Black elite. Speaking of, I noticed 4-5 members of the Congressional Black Caucus on the dais with the Obamas and everyone else. So we know that Donna Edwards is cool and truly progressive, but does this indicate a shift in their relevance?
Thanks to white supremacy we tend to focus on race disproportionately. There are definite class differences amongst Blacks that are not acknowledged. Part of the issue with lack of advancement opportunities has a little something to do with that. The portion of his speech where he spoke about overcoming barriers and freedom to pursue our bliss was very poignant for me.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama dance at ...
Michelle wore a lemongrass Isabel Toledo sheath dress with overcoat, Jimmy Choos and leather gloves in a great shade of green during the Swearing-In and a Jason Wu gown for the Balls. I see that begging on television incessantly paid off for Beyonce who got to serenade the First Couple for their First Dance at the Neighborhood Ball. Where was Jennifer Hudson? She decided to perform at the Super Bowl so why not the Inauguration? Oh well. Psst. I’m gonna put it out there with fingers crossed behind my back: I’m wondering if Michelle has not been working out as much as she usually does…..or if she might possibly be pregnant {dodging thrown shoes}.
I did manage to watch the Colbert Report Tuesday and he touched on some of the things a few of us were grumbling about: like why the focus was on asking Black people if they ever thought they’d see the day we’d have a Black President. He also did some other things that were funny…but gross! This ignores bigger issues – for as powerful as that symbolism is and how happy this election makes some of us feel – it still doesn’t address core issues of personal responsibility and correctly wielding political clout. I want the Obama Presidency to be considered one of the great times in our history. There can be no denying how he and the family really move people and have touched us in a profound way. He may the exception but I also want Black people reevaluate our priorities and not rely on that. I especially want Black women to know better and do better. Our futures will depend on it. This is a wonderful time for reflection, renewal and making small but lasting changes.

I have much more to say but I needed to attend a breakfast being thrown by Speaker Pelosi for California constituents. I’ll report more on that later.

Obama photos: AP/Check out my Flickr stream for the rest.

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Greetings From DC

Hey All,

Sorry for not posting this weekend but this isn’t the time to be lugging a 5lb laptop everywhere! I am sucking on throat lozenges as we speak. A lot of talking and a 50 degree change in weather makes this girl’s throat beg for mercy!! Anyway, I will be posting pictures and such soon I promise!! I have already met so many cool people that I actually forgot to record some of our conversations. I’m still getting my bearings but DC is VERY COOL! Well. it’s actually FREEZING right now but you know the people here are very warm :). The DC Metro reminds me of Atlanta’s. I’m going to research if it’s the same architects/builders.

I hope everyone gets to watch the We Are One concert. It was pretty darn good!!! Let’s not forget today is the annual celebration of the life and times of Martin Luther King, Jr. Today is a day for service. I plan on helping myself – to some hospitality and spirits!!!


Queen Latifah Intro: Performance by Josh Groban and Heather Headley

Renee Fleming Performance

Jamie Foxx Doing a Funny & Accurate Barack Imitation – oh yeah and Steve Carell is there too! Plus Bettye Lavette & Jon Bon Jovi

P.S. Here’s the Flickr stream for Inaug#09

Oh and in case we need a reminder:

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Ah-Nold Channels A Little Palin & Shrub in 12 Minutes or Less

Sigh. Big Sigh. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? During his latest State of the State address Schwarzenegger claimed the Dems and Repubs won’t play together to agree on a budget and yet – and yet – he keeps vetoing everything put in front of him. He wants all of the non-elites to feast on cake because they’ll be NOTHING LEFT after they’ve gutted EVERYTHING. California officially runs out of money in two weeks and he’s still making excuses!! I mean this is ridiculous. He wanted to be Governator and that requires REAL LEADERSHIP. All he does is flap his gums and make excuses. He had the nerve to try to suggest that our Constitution be changed to allow foreign-borns to run for President. California is one of the largest gross national products in the world. Can you imagine how badly he would’ve messed up this country? Well we already have our example of ineptitude and callousness from really rich people who could care less and are incompetent. We are NOT going there again. I have my concerns (and joys) about the Obama administration but I know he’s not anywhere close to some of the people running things. Geez. 
Photo: AP

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While I Clean Out the Clutter You Can Have A Laugh Today!

Enjoy Your Day Whatever You Are Doing!
Ikea (Winter Sale). Haven’t there been times where you thought the cashier rang up the wrong price and it was in your favor?
Ikea (Mocha Milk). This is a foreign commercial. Sexy but still classy and in case you doubt that you should look at the less puritanical (or more explicit) commercials in regular rotation.
McDonalds (McNuggets Lovin’). This has the same production value as your typical R&B song and video being released today. That’s not a good thing. 
Ad Council PSA on Fatherhood Involvement (Cheerleader). This airs at least three times per week. I haven’t gotten sick of it yet. They have an entire series of them so check ’em out!

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Johannes Mehserle To Be Charged With Murder – Is the Sky Falling?

Johannes Mehserle, right, appeares in the East Fork Justice Court on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009, in Minden, Nev. Mehserle is being held on charges related to the New Year's day shooting of an unarmed man on an Oakland, Calif., train platform. Mehserle, 27, waived extradition to California early Wednesday during a brief court appearance in Minden, Nev., and was being held without bail on a warrant charging homicide. Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Ron Mills is at left.

Johannes Mehserle, right, appeares in the East Fork Justice Court on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009, in Minden, Nev. Mehserle is being held on charges related to the New Year’s day shooting of an unarmed man on an Oakland, Calif., train platform. Mehserle, 27, waived extradition to California early Wednesday during a brief court appearance in Minden, Nev., and was being held without bail on a warrant charging homicide.
Source: Star-Telegram, Photo: AP
Lyrics from Snoop Dog:
As I look up at the sky
My mind starts trippin, a tear drops my eye
My body temperature falls
I’m shakin and they breakin tryin to save the Dogg
Pumpin on my chest and I’m screamin
I stop breathin, damn I see deamons
Dear God, I wonder can ya save me
I can’t die Boo-Boo’s bout to have my baby
I think it’s too late for prayin, hold up
A voice spoke to me and it slowly started sayin
“Bring your lifestyle to me I’ll make it better”
How long will I live?
“Eternal life and forever”
And will I be, the G that I was?
“I’ll make your life better than you can imagine or even dreamed of
So relax your soul, let me take control
Close your eyes my son”
My eyes are closed


Murder… murder was the case that they gave me
Murder… murder was the case that they gave me

I hadn’t expected to continue writing about the Oscar Grant III shooting much, but this is the #1 news story in the Bay Area right now. That and the lack of a State budget thanks to the idiot actor playing at being Governor. Well color me dumbfounded because I can’t recall the last time a law enforcement official was arrested and charged for shooting someone they’d labeled a perp. There are protests going on in Oakland right now as I write. I”m not sure if the fact that Mehserle quit has something to do this or what it is really. Was it the video? Pressure from the community? If so why for this one incident and not all the others? 
There are numerous cases where police have shot and killed innocent people with no consequences for them. The leading cause of death amongst younger Black men is still at the hands of other Black men. Again I ask, where’s the protest and outrage over that! Why won’t people come forward with information they have about the criminal activity they see?  I really don’t know what to say other than if a trial proceeds, there is likely to be a venue change with not one Black juror and the officer will be acquitted. I’m highly skeptical he will serve any prison time either way, but stranger things have happened. I just feel for the lives of both daughters should they grow up without sufficient male influence and love. Life isn’t fair though. The justice system is only just for some. 

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Do You Think We Need A Secretary of the Creative Arts?

I’m not sure how the position would be titled or implemented specifically, but I really like the idea of having a Cabinet-level position focusing on music and the arts. There are so many creative individuals: musical scientists, the next great poet or someone who can use technology in ways we can’t envision. Not everyone is meant to focus on the technical aspects of things. Since the Feds implemented massive cuts to public schools in 1977 effectively ending things like piano lessons or photography classes, this country has never really recovered. Teaching kids music assists them in learning math and science so this isn’t a frivolous thing. There’s a petition you can sign that’s been attributed to a quote by Quincy Jones. Now this is only a start. If people are serious they will need a well-executed plan and some structure. Artsake blog has discussed this as well as Parabasis. 
I know I’d like to see more access to classes, a steady supply of well….supplies, keeping up with technology and a little innovation. Guidance with filling out the massive amounts of paperwork required to receive funding is always helpful. I’d love it if everyone could submit a simple application that doesn’t require hosts of recommendations or a large body of work to get a little stipend of some sort. Every little bit helps you know. Of course now that the economy is in the toilet it may be less likely, but this is the precise time when it’s more needed than ever.
I think it should be a person who’s had exposure to people from working class backgrounds and not just the elite with a non-traditional point of view. This is something worth exploring for sure. In the meantime check out this video of an artist who’s using their iPhone to create a song from scratch. Just when I think it’s safe to rail against consumerism and the constant release of computers, video games, cell phones and other gadgets I realize there is some use for these items. My G4 is considered obsolete and it’s not even 3 years old yet. I’d gladly upgrade now that I’ve seen how much faster the processor for the latest models are by comparison.
Be sure to leave a comment and rate the video when you get a chance because this musician is trying to retain funding to teach music and production classes to youth without charging them.

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I’m Goin’ to D.C.

Well wouldn’t you just know that when you think you’re going in one direction, life throws you a curveball. I had considered and rejected the idea of going to D.C. for the Inauguration due to logistics, crowds and money. Monday afternoon I received a phone call from my representative that my ticket request had been processed. I have unused airline mileage I can redeem and a friend who lives in the vicinity so there’s no reason why I can’t go. 
I do tend to be sensitive to weather as my giant rant about Denver would show. I’ll keep any frustrations to myself this time! I didn’t need the tickets to go, but I think the Universe is trying to assure me going has validity. I haven’t made any resolutions per se but I’ve been stuck in a rut, questioning myself and this is just the boost I needed. I told a few people and their reactions were so positive and encouraging that I am even more grateful for this opportunity. This is the continuation of my awakening, an unfolding of the best parts of myself that until now could not bloom. 
2008 was a time of reflection, upheaval and a shifting of thought. There are a few things I want to accomplish in 2009 and I must confess I was starting to falter. I want to make the “right” choices to yield the best results. So why would going to an open air event in the freezing cold help? Well, it’s the energy and the people I am certain to meet. I started blogging after contemplating it for months once I attended a blogger conference and met some awesome women. I don’t have access to the elite events or unlimited funds to attend the Inaugural Balls. I’m just your average citizen on a tight budget. 
You have to understand I went to Denver for the Nomination at the last minute. I’d emailed a fellow commenter at a blog we both frequented and asked if they had a spare badge – and it worked out. I stayed with a volunteer. I didn’t meet either person until after my arrival. I certainly am not lacking in daring. Was it just something meant to be, did I create an outcome or was it pure dumb luck? I still wonder because I have other things that I value much more that haven’t come together that easily. I want to bottle it’s essence in the hopes I can recreate the process. 
For some people being part of the glitterai is a regular aspect of their lives. The Inauguration is just the beginning of their social calendar for the year. They may know world leaders and this is a little bit special but it won’t be the pinnacle of their lives. Others will watch on television millions of miles away with awe and joy. This is just the kick in the pants I need. Well, perhaps it’s more like the hug that I really needed. What are the odds for an unconnected, unknown person getting to Denver and D.C. for both events? I am very humbled right now. 
I will be certain to blog about this. Perhaps I might be persuaded to exchange my ticket for some, eh renumeration. (I hear they’re going for thousands).
P.S. I’d really like to go to Sundance next!

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