Saturday, February 28, 2009

Black Puerto Ricans

In my quest to educate the masses, I must remember to not get to repetitive with my posts. However, I will always be adamant in talking about Afro Latinos because clearly I am one and I feel that people need to understand what it means to be a Black Latino.

Of course, I have gone on record saying that all Latinos are Black and I will stick to that. African influences are very evident in culture and in history, so there really is no sense in denying this fact. So, when I find a little tidbit of what I have been talking about, I like to share.

During my late night Flan consuming, a good friend, shows me this site called EL BORICUA . This is a monthly online newsletter that promotes the history and culture of Puerto Ricans. What I like about this site is that is seems to be pretty simple. You have your basic website with information on food, culture, and history. Even has Latino related ads (wish I had some...I need to contact Google). So I am looking at the pictures in general and I don't see anyone that looks dark. That was until I clicked on the AfroBorinquen Culture (Black Puerto Ricans).

This link provides good lesson on the history of African Slaves in Puerto Rico. While, it does not go into the Taino Indians and what was done to them, I was very excited about what I read. For far too long, the African influence in Puerto Rico goes unsaid. When, I visited the Island a few years back, I felt like I was home.

Not to say there there is no racism in Puerto Rico, because that is not the case either. Awhile back, I came a across an article written by Reggaeton Artist Tego Calderon who writes a very good article about skin color being a serious issue in Puerto Rico. I didn't mention it before because I wanted to wait for the right time. Which ends up being perfect to wrap up the last day of Black History Month.

Latinos need to be mad aware the roots of their culture. So I will make sure that will do my part in make sure that everyone is aware of the influence that Africans have had on us. Here is an expert from the AfroBorinquen Culture link:

"Part of the undisputed African legacy on the Puerto Rican culture includes a peculiar speech pattern. The West Africans brought to the island spoke "bozal" Spanish, a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish, and Congo - much like the poem excerpt on this page. Many Puerto Ricans have the habit of swallowing the "s," and often pronounce the "r" as an "l". This is because in the African tongue there is no "s" or "r" sound."

March is finally here...

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ode to Flan

Flan [flan, flahn; for 1 also Sp. flahn; for 2 also Fr. flahn] 1. Spanish Cookery. a dessert of sweetened egg custard with a caramel topping.

I think that that Flan (you really need to be Latino to say it properly) is another word for GOOD. I was introduced to this yummy goodness when I was a kid by mi abuela. It is hard to describe the texture but it just about melts in your mouth. If made really good, it almost taste like coffee (well to me it does).

I will admit that when I was a kid that I wasn't too fond of this dessert, but as I got older I have become very used to the taste. I do not suggest getting this at the store where it is pre-packages like Jello Pudding. You will need to find yourself and old Latin woman to make it for you.

Ok, maybe that is not true, but if you are looking for some good Flan then you need to find yourself a Latino/a who cooks. Sure there are website in which you can attempt to make this, but this is not for a novice. Not only that, you will need to know what Flan is supposed to taste like. Please do not go to the Food Network looking for a "caramel custard" because you will only be disappointed.

I make my ode to Flan because my wife seems to make it very well. I am here trying to add my 2 cents to this world only to find myself blindside by the sharing of recipes with our friend, Maria (apparently Flan comes in different flavors, including dark chocolate). Blindsided by the finished product of what I am officially adding to the CRACK list. Flan is a drug that must be consumed in small portions.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Crack and other things.

It has been a long day! Spring Break is in 2 weeks and I cannot wait. I took that week off and I plan to just relax. Maybe then I will have better topics to discuss. There is an app on the iPhone & iTouch called Urbanspoon. This is one of those apps that helps you decide on what to eat if you are having issues deciding. With a shake of the device the choice is made as if you just pulled the lever of a slot machine. I find this to be very clever and it has helped us decide what to eat on any occasion.

They need to make one for blogs! I wish I had one when it comes to choosing a topic to write about. I would call it Blogspoon. I can shake my device and there be a spin of all the topics I can talk about. This way I don't have to worry about what to talk about. Better yet, I would not have to write about the fact that I have nothing to blog about!

I will say though that I am jealous. My father is in Costa Rica right now. Every so often he will just pack up and go some where. He is retired and is taking his fiance (yes he is getting married) to Costa Rica. Oh...but they are not alone. They are going with her son and his wife. So why am I jealous? He is having fun right? I am jealous because no one asked me! I could have easily take this week off!

Let me also inform you of something evil. I am so very much addicted to Milk Chocolate Strawberries by Harry and David. I am so addicted. It makes me think about the many things that I feel are made with a little known substance called CRACK. This is highly addictive substances that is featured in movies like New Jack City and Jungle Fever.

So, with that said, I think that IHOP makes their pancakes with Crack. McDonald's Fries are clearly Crack. Mint Double Stuffed Oreo are Crack! Mint Chocolate Girl Scout Cookies are clearly Crack. All of these things are so not good for me...but I eat them.

Brook...This is truly a Random Thursday.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Devil's Advocate

I made a joke on my Facebook status last year during election time. You could give these gifts that were shaped buttons that said "Obama '08". Clearly, if you could give an Obama button you could give out a McCain button. I made the joke that I would give out McCain button if I only had Republican friends. I thought about it for a moment...I really do not have any friends who are Republican!

After meeting with my Dialogue Group today, I really had to think if I do have that one person that has a completely opposite view on life. It turns out that I do not. Sure, I have co-workers that may share a difference of opinion from me, but there are just as liberal as I am. I can disagree with loved ones, but nothing too far from what I consider to be ordinary. I generally look at the landscape of my life and I don't have that one person that I can debate with in terms of life, politics, race, or gender issues.

This isn't an issue about being able to talk back and forth about sports either. I can go toe to toe with any Yankee or Phillies fan about The Mets. I can argue all day about how the Knicks suck or how much I cannot stand the NBA anymore. Those things are not issues that I consider to be hot topics. Those are just sports, in which any man can debate about.

I am not saying that I want to get up from this laptop and start looking for Republican friends, but I do wonder how enriched I would be by someone who does not share the same ideals that I have. Hell, would they even like me; better yet, would I like them? There can be talk all day about how we need diversity in our lives and in the lives of our children. However, we tend to stray away from people who have different ideals from us. Don't get me wrong either, this is not an invitation from me to all the bible thumping, white supremacist, anti-everything people to start spreading their message to me.

Today, I realized the importance of having that one person in the room who has a very different opinion than everyone else. While some will see it as, that person being an asshole. I view it as a rite for that person to have his/her voice be heard. It does not matter if they agree with the majority or not. It only take one person to change the mind of many. The reason I know this is because many times, I am that one person that has to fight for students or situations that the majority sometimes forget. It helps to be the Devil's Advocate if no one else is.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Preach on Black Man...

It is days like these that I realize that having a Black President is the greatest thing that has happened to this country. President Barack Obama's address to congress is so polarizing. It is still going on as I write this. I am not sure when the last time we have heard such roars and applause at a presidential speech.

This man is awesome. I love the fact that finally we have a president that I can cheer for, that I can joke about without any sense of disrespect, that I can look up to. He makes me want to be a better person and a better leader. When I watch the President speak, I only hope that I can speak in public half as well as he can. Actually, he kinda reminds me of a preacher who has his congregation on the edge of their seats. They get up and applause so much, that it seems like church!

I never thought, and I guess I am still in awe, that I would see a Black man addressing the nation like this. I have seen several speeches from Barack Obama, but to still be able to inspire people is just amazing. At one point he speaks about a young black girl from Dillon, South Carolina who wrote to Congress about how bad her school is. He quotes her by saying "we are not quitters". Michelle Obama stands up and hugs this young black (and I mean black) girl and you just want to cry.

The change that this man is making in this country will not be measured. I am not talking about the economy. I am talking about the minds and hearts of the young people in America. Obama makes me want to watch politics. This is a black man that is hot hitting home runs, or catching touchdowns, or dunking the ball. This is a black man that is not wearing a fitted, or rhyming about niggas and bitches, or smoking weed on TV. This is THE black man that is running our country. He is not hitting his woman (thank you Chris Brown). He is the man that we, as men of color, can finally look up and aspire to.

Let's face it, Barack Obama is changing the perception of what the Black man can do. He makes all of us relevant. When I walk into meetings, i know that every person in that room will understand the I belong

Monday, February 23, 2009

Losing that Positive Charge...

Sometimes I get into these funks, in which I just feel down and not in a depressed sort of way either. In a way that the world seems to be on my shoulders and no matter what I do, I can't seem to win. Of course, not that life is about winning or losing, but usually winning is a metaphor for being on top. So, I guess I would rather be on top of my problems or stresses than to be on the bottom.

I do consider myself a positive person with streaks of negativity here and there. I generally look at the brighter side of things. I always get up in the morning in a good mood because I know that it is a start of a brand new day. It is what happens within these days that can turn my spirits from good to bad.

Things that get me down can be anywhere from a stressful day at work to an argument with my wife. Generally, it is just fighting the fight everyday. Getting people to understand that we all have value in this world, which goes way beyond financial resources. The fact that someone like me can never truly be at the table to stop systemic issues that benefit the many and neglect the few. Then there is always the issues of finding my place in this world. These things eat away at the very fiber of my positivity.

I am like a battery filled with positive energy and like any battery, the more it gets used the more energy it loses. Sometimes I lose my charge. Thus regaining it in the morning. I guess you can say that today I lost a lot of my positive energy. Which is alright, I am not complaining about it so much. I know that when I put my head on the pillow tonight, that I will charge overnight.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Epic Movies...

Is it me or are movies not as good these days as they once were? As I glance at the Academy Awards, I think about all the movies I love. While I can sit back and list my top 20 films of all time (and I wont, at least not in this post), I am forced to wonder if movies are as good as movies that were in the past.

I am talking about Epic Movies. Not like Terms of Endearment or Milk, in which are so very much acting based. Not saying that those movies weren't good, but lets think about what an Epic Movie is. An Epic movie to me is a movie with a story on a grand scale. Where it is so massive that you wonder how this will end.

Classic Epics are The Godfather, Gone with the Wind, and Patton. I just throw those out there to reference timeless movies. But as you well know, we are in a different generation. Our expectations of movies are different then our parents. My good epic movies would include, The Lord of the Rings, Forrest Gump, and Raiders of the Lost Ark (I didn't see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button yet).

My opinion is that lately, movies are being made for the sake of making movies. I cant remember a time (well maybe the 80's) in which there have been so many horrible movies out. Nowadays, movies can go straight to DVD, so you know they are bad.

Well, I am waiting to see what the next great Epic film will be. Maybe it will be The Watchmen. Who knows...Do you?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Day of Shopping and Racism...

It has been a long day. I normally spend my Saturdays at home chillin. I make sure I do as little as possible so I can rest from the past week. Today, however, it was decided by a group of us that we are going to the outlet mall to shop. Let me preface this by saying that the Tax refund was really good to me. I don't want people thinking that just because my ass finally got some new clothes that I am raking in the money, because I am not.

I am not a hardcore shopper. I never just shop for the sake of shopping. There was somethings I need to take care of that had been lacking in my wardrobe. So, the most important thing is that I shop based on need. I cannot say that for some of the other people I am with, but this blog is not about them (sorry..Eddie, Josie, and Maria). Trust me, they needed stuff too.

It just feels so good to get something new that replaces something old. I was in dire need of a new coat. Now, I love my coat it is warm and it gets me through the cold blasts of wind that Syracuse has. My trusty coat just had a rough time. The zipper is broken, the buttons were falling off, and I have holes in the pockets (Geez....It really does not look as bad as I am describing). I could not take my coat to get fixed because I did not have a back up. I did get the buttons sewn on but, it was time for a new one. By, the way, I don't plan on throwing it out...that sucker is getting dry cleaned and a new zipper.

Clearly I came away with a new coat. Got some other new digs and a new wallet. So I am quite happy about what turned out to be an all day experience for us. I wont drop any store names, but if you ask I will tell. The only things were bothering me were the actions of other people. Now, I want to be clear here. We are a very successful group of people who just happened to be brown. We all work for Syracuse University and are not dumb nor poor. We went to the Warterloo Premium Outlets so we can shop and have some fun in a city where there is very little to do.

There were four separate cases in which we encountered prejudice from white people. These are obvious cases that were noticed by the group, so I am not making this up to make this particular post interesting. Again, I wont name establishments because there is no point, these are just attitudes of ignorant people.

The first case was in one of the first stores we go into. We look around and I already see that many of these things are nice, but they are not in my price range. But, I am nice and I look around. Eddie loves this store and he is looking at everything. This old white man, who was the store clerk, kept a nice watchful eye on us of course. Eddie goes to look at something in particular and the clerk immediately points on that is not on sale.

The second case happened in one of my favorite stores. Eddie and I split up from the women to go to the male stores, so this was one of the first places we hit. I can walk in this place and see exactly what I want. Eddie is not like that. This man can shop! So he is all over the place. So I make my selections and I pay for it, but I now I have to wait for him. So I watch him mull over what he wants and then he heads toward the counter. Now, in many stores they have a waiting area where the line is supposed to start. There is a sign and then the designated line is roped off in front of the counter. You really cannot miss this. This white dude, who clearly is too privilege to read any signs walks up in front of the rope. At first, I was thinking, maybe he knows one of the women who is making a purchase. Eddie who is on his phone texting, and is technically the only person on line, does not see this man. The cashier calls next and (I shit you not) this guy looks at Eddie and says "sorry" and goes up to the counter and gets rung out. Eddie looks at me and he just sighed...

The third case was when we were being seated to eat lunch. The waitress bring us to our tables and we sit down next to this white couple who had many bags from other stores. So they move the bags in what seemed to in a polite way since it was in the way of where I was going to sit. But, after getting the menu, I begin to notice that the white lady is just not comfortable with where her bags were. She kept moving them further and further way from me. I was a little annoyed by this, but what can you do? (see below)

The last case was right after lunch. We went back to the same store because homeboy needed to have this jacket that he noticed in the window was we walked out to go to lunch. He tries on this coat and yes it looks fly. So he goes to pay for it and the cashier, who just happens to be a white male, comments on how nice the jacket was. Then he points out to Eddie, "You know, this is not on sale". Eddie looks at him and gives him his card and replies, "Yes, I know and I can afford you too"

These instances are all minor in the grand scheme of things. We had a great time and I would do that again. It just goes to show that no matter how far we think we are...someone is always trying to knock us down. Well here is my response to that...

Friday, February 20, 2009


I believe that we all have to live by the choices that we make. Not all choices are easy nor do they matter if they are right or not, we have to live with them. Frequently, I hear about how willpower can determine one's actions or lack there of. This is something I have been thinking about all day and I have come to the conclusion that no matter the outcome of something, it is all a matter of choice.

God gave us free will. This is what separates us from other animals on this planet because we operate on decision making rather than instinct. The ability to accept or decline temptation, in its many forms, comes down to choice. Many people will say that willpower is what drives people to make a choice. I think that is a valid argument, but at the end of the day it is still a matter of making a decision on something.

I know I am being vague and I am doing that on purpose. Temptations are all around us. Food and sex (not necessarily together...but sure that could work too) I feel, are the two thing biggest temptations that we all have. We all choose to eat when we are hungry, and (hopefully) we choose to have sex when we are horny, but it is the choice of what we eat and who we sleep with that makes all the difference.

So, if you feel you have no willpower then that gives you the right to make a choice you know may not be good for you later? Does it make it ok for a life long smoker to say, "I just don't have the willpower to quit" when this person knows that smoke can lead to death? These are choices that are made to satisfy a need or a craving of some kind. We crave to eat the wrong things. We crave to have sex with the wrong people. Willpower can just be an excuse to make a decision in either direction.

I have a friend that people talk about. This person has a spouse that rules his world. When they went through hardships, she decided to take some time off, which leads to him being able to hang out more. Now, this man never ever hangs out. People have felt bad for him in thinking that he is on lock down. So after months of hanging out....she comes back and now, homeboy does not go out. I don't feel bad for him. Not anymore. I have come to realize that it does not matter what I think about him and my perception of how bad his situation is. It is all about him making that choice to not hang out with his friends. There is no willpower involved there. Sure, I could have made the argument that he should stand up to her, but that is his choice.

I just get tired of hearing from dear friends and loved ones that they do not have the willpower to do something; that is bullshit, you simply do not want to do whatever it you say you want to do. We all make choices for good or for bad, it is about time we start owning up to them.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Born Writer?

I am a very emotional person. The very way that I write is based on that. In good spirits, or bad, my attitude and emotions seem to dictate what the subject is. I do sometimes wonder in which mood does my writing come out the best. One thing that I do know for sure is that the more emotions I feel, the easier I get in to that "zone". Anyone who has been in that zone will know that words just pour out of you, sometimes at a very fast rate. There are times that I can type minutes at a time with out stopping.

I was going to write about something else today, but as I got into it I didn't feel right. I knew there was something else trying to come out of me. So I saved that subject for later and is stuck on something that I have been thinking about. A few months ago I went rummaging through some stuff in the basement when I came across my old Mead Composition Notebook. This was my journal that I kept in high school. It was an assignment that I had throughout senior year English. I was completely stunned that I found this book. I briefly skimmed through it and just remember all the things that I wrote about. I left it down there to continue what I was doing.

Today I went down there to get my clothes from the dryer when I noticed it on the bin. I thought to myself, "you know, this was like my blog back in the day". So, I decided to take it upstairs with me for a better look. The book itself is slightly bend from all the wear and tear. Inside is my woefully horrible handwriting. I am glad that I can understand it. Then I noticed something, that made me realize why I stopped writing in High School.

I went to St. Raymond's High School for Boys, which is in the Bronx. Being a teenage boy in a school full of teenage boys is not an easy thing to deal with. Not when you are dealing with issues of self esteem or when your parents are getting a divorce. Some kids did not like me and I quite frankly did not like them. So, during one of the times that I was feuding with one of these boys, they decided to steal this very journal and insert gum into the pages. I am not even really sure if they read the thing or not, but seeing my journal destroyed left me very angry.

Since then it took me awhile to realize that writing is something that I love. I am assuming there was a subconscious reason why I kept this book because when I see it and read it, I realize that I was born to write. It is the one thing I can do that no one can take away. One of the reasons why I archived my blogs was because I need to keep a personal account of how I have grown in with my writings. This notebook takes me to the beginning.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lets Talk About Sex

I have been blogging for a long time (although not a frequently as I am now) and the one subject I have not talked about is sex. For those who really know me that may seem a bit odd. But, I feel that sex is one of those subjects that can be very vague and almost all encompassing. Yet, it can be almost too easy to talk about. So, I find myself talking about subject that I feel are a little more difficult to articulate.

This is not a subject that I have avoided because I am afraid to talk about it. It is just the opposite. I can talk about sex all day. I would be lying if I said I didn't think about it because I do. Let's face it, I am a man, it is what we think about the most. The problem I have with blogging about sex is that the subject too broad.

Sex is more than just talking about positions and actions. It can be about sexual preference or orientation. Or, I can joke about it, and say that I do have sexual preference and love to be orientated whenever possible. But see, to me, that is too easy. I have never been the type of guy to talk about sex with my male friends. There are very few males that I have discussed the physical act of sex with. I am just not comfortable with it.

Then are the roommates that I have had that have heard pounding their girlfriend into the wall. Well that is what it sounded like to me. I didn't feel like getting into that subject. I wasn't sure there was much to talk about. Do I ask about technique? Or do I ask if the wall needs to be re-plastered?

In any case, I believe that sex permeates everything around us. It is on the Internet, it is on TV, in magazines, it is what we wear, and of course it is what we do...or for some people, what we don't do. I am always shocked how prudish this country can be when it comes to sex. Yet, just about everything we see and read has some sexual innuendo. However, people will be up in arms when you see a nipple on live TV, but you can see the crack of some one's ass in a Jay Z video.

Even though we are prudish (we as in America...not me), I do feel that with all the images in the media we have become a bit oversexed. I say this because of the fact that I have read and heard about many women who are just not satisfied with the man they are with because he is going for self. This could or be directly related to women being objectified. I know when I was a kid there weren't any video hoes.

My point is that talking about sex can be a grand task. There is a lot more to sex than who is doing who.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Guess Who Got a Hair Cut?

I have to tell you, there are very few things better than a dog in a good mood. When Rocky is shaved, he is like a bat out of hell. He wants to run every where and do everything. When his fur is fully grown in, he is lazy and grumpy. He looks like a mop! So getting him groomed is like getting a brand new dog.

I have no problem with his energy or his guile, the problem I have is that he is blind! Rocky is about 8 years old and with all this dog has been through, I am surprised he is so energetic. He has diabetes and lost his vision. However, it is almost like when he has his buzz cut that he can see again. He has a problem with going down the stairs but with his new look, he is almost a bullet.

I was greeted at the dog today by this blur today and I am happy about that. Since my other dog passed 2 summers ago, I feel he has never been the same. But it is always great to see him like this. As I write this he is killing this bone that we gave him from a Pernil that my wife made.

Josie just said, "You know he is a Puerto Rican Dog"

Monday, February 16, 2009


One of my favorite movies of all time is Fight Club. This is a very slick movie that has one main underline theme. This is also the movie that made me like Brad Pitt. Before then, I wasn't trying to watch any of his films because I felt he was too much of a clean white boy. Well this particular movie definitely changed my mind about him in very much the same way that Blood Diamond made me change my mind about Leonardo Dicaprio.

So, I will get into this movie without spoiling it. First and foremost, this movie is really not about fighting at all. While there are a lot of fight scenes, which are awesome, the underlining theme is consumerism. We, as Americans, feel we need to buy stuff all the time. This economy is entirely based on consumer spending. So if don't buy anything then companies fall, as we are seeing now. Which leads to a point in movie in which the antagonist, Tyler Durden, talks about how "people buy shit they don't need".

I believe this is true. Lets be honest, do I need my iPhone? Probably not. I could have gone with a started flip phone that would not have cost nearly enough, but after all I am a Gadget Freak. So with the cost of these goods comes the fact that we want to upgrade them and carry it with us where ever we go. Lets not even think about losing it. I wont even tell you all the things we have in the Lost & Found at the student center. I will say you can add the value of all of the things you find at it would cost more than the safe they are stored in, but I digress...

I for one cannot stand when I lose or even misplace anything. It drives me insane. I am neurotic with certain things as it is, but if I cannot find something, then I really lose it. Let me paint the picture for you. Last Monday, (B.C. iPhone) I went nuts looking for my phone. I was actually going to be at work on time but I because I could not find this thing, I made myself late. I looked everywhere. Normally when I blog at nights, I am sitting in a very comfortable chair just typing away at my laptop. My phone is always by me. So, I know I had with me Sunday night. I do remember that night hearing a thud. So naturally I thought my phone was under the couch.

Anyways, my Monday morning was spent cursing and tearing this place up. I kept looking under couch expecting to mysteriously appear. It never did out of the 15 times I looked under it. My wife is just sitting on the couch looking at me just waiting for me to return to normal. Finally i said, f**k it and went to work. But, of course, I felt naked without my phone. I thought to myself that this could not be normal. It is just a phone. In my defense, it has all my work email and contacts and stuff like that...but is that the point?

There is one point in Fight Club where Tyler looks over at Jack (the other main character) and says to him, "The things you own, end up owing you." Needless less to say my phone was in the chair i was sitting in ( the chair...i scratch up my hands getting it through a small gap in the fabric).

I leave you with this quote from Fight Club:

"We're consumers. We're by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty -- these things don't concern me. What concerns me is celebrity magazines, television with five hundred channels, some guy's name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Latinos Are Black!

I have had something on my mind for the last few days and it feels like it falls in line with somethings that I have written about over the last several weeks. I know that I have talked about Black Latinos and how we fit into the world and one of the things that really bothers me is the ignorance of other Latinos to the fact that we are indeed Black. Not exactly of another way to put it. But it is true we are. Not just Afro-Latinos, all Latinos.

Where was this sparked off? Well, I was told by one of my students that in a meeting, of an Student Organization that I advise, one of our members made comment about why should we help an African American Organization since we are not Black. I wasn't there. So I would only assume that she would not have made that comment if I had been there. But, then again, maybe she would have. This girl is a typical looking Latina. Long strait black hair and, is of course light skinned. I don't consider that light, but she would fail the Brown Bag Test.

So here, again, is my issue...why the denial? The last time that I spoke about this issues, I used history as an example. This time I will use Musica Latina. Salsa & Merengue both heavily use drums to supplement any song. Some of the best song are have heavy drum beats. I would suggest that you listen to Hector Lavoe's "Aguanile". The introduction to this song alone is African based. The beat is very African and I could imagine any African Dance Troupe getting down to this song. I believe this song, as well as Hector Lavoe, was ahead of the times.

Again, as I mentioned before, my father has a substantial music collection when it comes to Salsa. Every time I go and visit him in Florida, I make sure that I swipe some music. On my last visit, I copied the CD collection that I am still rocking, Salsa: Fania All Stars. What impressed me the most about this album is the informative interludes which talk about the history of Salsa. On interlude entitled Slave Ship this is what the narrator says:

"The first roots of Salsa were African; across the ocean on slave ships filled with misery and human degradation, the hard driving tribal sound of African music had somehow survived. But shortly after it reached here, in the Caribbean, it started to evolve into something different. It was still African in flavor but the music had become unique."

I was floored when I heard this. Not because I didn't know, only because it was said on a this CD. Many old school Latinos don't want to admit they have some African blood. I would assume they thought that they were either strictly indigenous or Spanish. However, the music is a dead giveaway.

Music is a link to our past, all you have to do is listen.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love, The Perfect Emotion

There is something about love that cannot be explained. It is just one of those emotions that can be beautiful when things are good and horrible when they aren't. There are so many levels to love that so many people find difficult to grasp. But, I think most times people are trying to find true love. Weather true love is attainable or not, the journey to find it can certainly be interesting to say the least.

True love is like the pot at the end of rainbow for many of us. But is true love the embodiment of a soul mate? Maybe it is love of a parent and child, or perhaps the love that two very good friends share. I wont say that I know the answer. But, I do know that are people in this world who are very happy with their current situations. Those situations could be alone with plenty of love of friends, or love of children. I am not downplaying the loving relationship between 2 people, but I believe that Valentine's Day has a way of effecting people who are not in a relationship or are in a relationship that has not filled its potential.

I think that many of us are fooled into believing that love is this thing we see on TV. That love is a perfect emotion that endures anything. So, people have expectations of others that may not be attainable. Not to say that love can't survive anything, I for one believe it can, but we know that humans are imperfect. So if love is the perfect emotion, and we are not perfect, then that going to lead to issues for many people. If anyone has ever been in love then you will know that is the one emotion that will make you do dumb things.

I will use a analogy with being too geeky about it. If any one has seen Star Wars, then you know what the premise is (and if you haven't then skip to the last paragraph...or just go see the damn movies already). All six episodes are about the rise, fall, and redemption of Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader). Without going into too much detail, the reason he becomes evil is because he loves his woman so much that he is willing to go the dark side to save her. Which is like the ultimate sacrifice if you think about it. What makes all this interesting to me, is that in Episode 1, Yoda tells him why it is bad for a Jedi to love anyone:

Love leads to Fear, Fear leads to Anger, Anger leads to Hate, Hate leads to Destruction!

Damn, is it that deep? If you have been in a relationship that has ended badly, then you are probably feeling Yoda right about now. The reason I bring is up is because I think that this is a clear example of how powerful love can be. Wars have been fought because of love.

Valentine's Day is just one day. If you find yourself doing something special only on days like these with the person that you say you love, then it is time evaluate. Love is something is not just on February 14th, it is everyday. While we are not perfect, we should always tell the people in our lives that we love them because we are not promised tomorrow.

I hope you all had a great day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gadget Freak

I have mentioned that my father was a gadget freak. He is the type of person that just needs to have new things all the time. So for example, he has a desktop computer with a printer/scanner/fax. Not sure who he is faxing though. Then he has this machine that can convert vinyl records into MP3s. I wont mention the fact that he does not have an i-pod...yet.

His love for gadgets is something has been transferred to me. I look around my house and I can see the laptop I am writing this blog, the wireless printer that it is connected to, the Wii that my wife plays so much, the iPhone that I just today purchased...

I never thought that I would get an iPhone much less another ipod. The love for electronics and gadgets is clearly deep rooted! I mean it is not just for luxury purposes. I think about the type of stove I have or the washer and dryer. So the need for just new shit can be consuming. Clearly I am making fun of myself here, but i wonder what it is about shiny new gadgets that we have to get.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blame It On The Boogie...

I struggled with a topic to discuss tonight. Depending on the day, it does take me a while to unwind from work. So, today being one of those days, I thought to myself maybe I should play some music to focus because I have come to the realization that this is what music does to me. I cannot explain it, but I can to school work or write a novel, all to music. Right now I am listening to some house music as I am writing this. Daft Punk to be specific.

Some of the students make fun of me because when they come into my office it is almost like a party. I normally have my itunes on shuffle so that I can listen to pretty much anything I have at any point during the day. I laugh because I had a meeting with a colleague today and we are having a serious conversation and in the background you can hear, "Brooklyn, We Go Hard"

It reminds of my days when I lived on South Campus when my roommate, Pop, would wake me up with music. That man would not let me sleep past 9am. So sometimes he would walk in to my room dancing to some new beats he got from one of his friends. I never considered myself much of a dancer. I mean I can do a mean chair dance. I have always been one of those people that would just bob my head to the music in a club. Unless, you put on some Salsa or Merengue, then it is on. Then I can cut it up!

Then there is the whole karaoke craze. I am not crazy about humiliating myself in public. However, I have been persuaded to sing a song or two. But, of course to me the Karaoke places that I have been to don't really have the selection that I would like. Because I will admit, that if they have certain Michael Jackson songs...then may just have me jamming. I am talking about black Micheal. I am down to sing P.Y.T., or Off The Wall, or Billy Jean, I may even hit you up with Blame it on the Boogie or better yet, Dancing Machine! (I have a whole routine, I just need 4 brothers...)

I love music. If it has a good beat then I am all over it. So much so, that I have started a music collection that I am pretty sure that is so broad and I will never complete. I feel that my music collection is journey of my life. My parents would always playing music when cleaning, cooking, and driving. So, the music I heard as a kid is always something I have been interested in and will always look for. The tricky thing is that I am dealing with so many genres.

My father, to this day, is a gadget person, so back in the day, he had vinyl, 8 track, tapes, and even like old school reel to reel. I, of course, was not allowed to touch any of his things because I would destroy anything I touched. I do remember the number of records he had of Salsa. So many albums form Fania Recording Artists. So, he would make these tapes with El Gran Combo, Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, and I could go on. I am still looking for all those songs now!

My mother, while she was into Salsa. She loved Motown. So one minute I could be listening to Marvin Gaye and the next Diana Ross. I can never really prove this, but I think my parents went clubbing in the 70's. Someone was playing Disco, because that is just another genre I cannot get enough of. Not to mention that I was an 80's kid and was around to hear the birth of hip hop. My brother had a boom box! He loved him some Kurtis Blow, LL Cool J, and Run DMC.

He amazes me because he still follows hip-hop. I call him the oldest Jay-Z fan alive. His response? The Rock is in the building! (He was a Guy Fan I sing "Groove Me" just to get under his skin)

Name a hot song and I might just have it. If I don't have, I will get it...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Real Men?

This past week we have been witness to many things. Superstar Chris Brown beats his girlfriend and All Star Alex Rodriguez admits to taking steroids. Both events have caused serious discussions in certain circles and blogs about the severity of both events. It just makes me think about how we view the role of masculinity in society.

Lets view both acts as what they are, Chris Brown, for whatever reason wanted to asserted his male dominance or a female and A-Rod wanted to assert his dominance over the baseball diamond. Does that make them real men? Does a real man feel that he has to dominate another individual, or sport, or industry?

Men seem to measure how much of a man they are by the size of their penises. I want to state that obvious fact because I know when growing up I would always hear jokes about how big some one's dick was. I would always ask myself if that was really necessary? The fact is that many males equate how manly they are by the number of women they can sleep with. While that may be fine to them, these may end up being the same men that women end up avoiding in clubs because he is too old to be there. The male ego is a very fragile one and once it is broken it is hard to repair. Those who have issues with self esteem or confidence have a hard time dealing with those issues.

In college, I would here about who real men were. Apparently these are guys that step and stroll and are a part of a Fraternity. They would be able to tell you who was a real man and who wasn't. While I understood exactly what they meant by the sacrifices they made to become the men representing those organizations, I was sure if that was something that I wanted to aspire to. So again, I am left think what is a real man?

Lets start with best man that we know today: President Barack Obama. No one will question his masculinity. How is he a real man? He is a leader with vision that provides us hope. He is good husband with 2 beautiful daughters. An educated man that can take you out at a debate or break you down with a crossover. Clearly that is not a hard one to follow, but many men cannot compare.

So I will go with something simpler. A single father who raises his only son. Works tirelessly at his job to make sure that he can afford college for his son. He makes mistakes along the way because he doesn't want raise his son in the same way his father raised him, with violence. His son graduates and the next chapter in his life is spent dealing with cancer that he contracted from working late hours in manholes that contained asbestos. I would say that my father is a real man.

A real man to me is a man that can lead the way when times are difficult. A real man is man that will not let an obstacle get in his way of achieve a goal. A real man makes mistakes and is ready to pay for them when the time comes. A real man also acknowledges these mistakes and learns from them while being able to cope with it. A real man does not need to assert his control on other people because he is confident in himself. A real man knows the difference between gentle and firm.

Once you recognize those traits. You will know who the real men in your life are. They are not perfect in any way, but they will always leave an good impression on you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Death & Religion

As I get older it seems that death is all around me. The other day my co-worker's father passed. The week before that my Graduate Assistant's grandfather passed. Then there was of course my wife's aunt who passed in the beginning of the year. Over the 2-3 years I have known or heard of at least a dozen people who have died. This will include, my uncle, grandmother, 2 SU alums, an SU student, and my dear dog. Perhaps listing a dog may be weird to some, but when you love a pet so much then you will know it is just like losing a member of the family.It has made me think about my own mortality in ways I never thought I would.

I don't consider myself a particular religious person. Sure, I did have 12 years of catholic school, but I just didn't care of some of the things that are said by the Catholic Church. I will further this statement by saying that while I believe in Jesus, I not sure his teaching have been passed down correctly. Let me take a moment to explain this thought.

During the time of the Crusades, the armies of the Church would kill anyone who did not believe in the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ. When coming across different civilizations that did not even believe in Jesus they would brand those people as savage and hethonistic. Fast forward to the time of Christopher Columbus and you will witness the same thing. Those prompting the near eradication of indigenous people in North, Central, and South Americas. Take that one step further to the slave trade. Africans were converted to Christianity when they got off the boat.

Where am I going with this? The gospel has had many revisions and has thus been used to persecute the weak. Back in old times people can use a passage as just cause to burn a witch. Other passages can be used to show that people of color are savages. We all know know how the church views homosexuality. So when we look at the scriptures now, are we really getting the word of God or we getting the word of God through eyes of the dominant culture? I am not saying I have the answer to this.

How does this make me think about death? Well if you read the bible, then you know that there is a lot of death in it. I consider myself a god fearing man so to me death and judgement go hand and hand. I have often joked about how there is a suite reserved for me in hell, but do I really believe that?

Well this is what I believe for sure. Both my grandmothers are watching over me. I can write stories about how religious mi abuelita (from my mother side) was. I would have brutal nightmare as kid. Very vivid and very often about evil spirits coming to get me and bringing me to the feet of Satan. Once she died, I have not had one dream like that since. I was 12 when she died. I think that we all have a place in life and in death. I feel blessed that some how I have been able to survive my near death experiences (9/11 and my car accidents).

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Media Loves Steroids

When I wrote yesterday's blog, I thought to myself that perhaps I am the only one who shares my sentiment on when will all this steroid crap in baseball will be over. In speaking with my co-worker (who is a Yankee fan) he believes the same thing. We are we going down this road again?

My feeling on the subject is this, the only industry that benefits from any of this is the Media. Sports Illustrated will sell more magazines, ESPN will get more viewers, and Sports Talk shows will sell more advertisements. If you think that I am just blowing smoke rings, I understand. But, how is that this article mysteriously comes out a week after the Super Bowl, which just happens to the be the week before pitchers and catcher report to Spring Training?

I know how this is going to play out. We hear about this all Spring and Summer. Names will come out every so often and people will scoff and be disappointed. Fine. But, this will never end. At least not until they hang Barry Bonds.

What gets me is that Baseball was all but dead by the end of the 90's. If it wasn't for Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire in that historic home run chase, we may not be enjoying the same sport. No one complained about the home runs and no one complained when the Yankees dominated during those years. So the issue is why complain now? Major League Baseball had no sanctions on any of this stuff until 2004. They turned their backs.

I still do not like Alex Rodriguez. But, I commend him for admitting taking an enhancement. I do not believe that makes him any less of a player. I am a firm believer that steroids can not make you see the ball better, cannot make you hit it better, cannot make you dive for the ball at the right moment, cannot make you slide the right way, and cannot make you catch/throw the ball more accurately. No one can prove what steroids does in terms of performance. The only thing we know is that it makes you recover faster. Who would not want that?

I am not saying that people need to take steroids, however, none of us really know what that pressure it is, to succeed at a high level. Then you have to take into account that these athletes make millions of dollars and need to perform to justify that pay. So what now? Do you mean to tell me that no one in NBA or NFL are not taking them? Where are those Sanctions?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Back on the MLB Steroid Train...

I should be happy about this, but I am not. I stuck answering this question: when does it end? Clearly I am a New York Mets fan, clearly I am not fond of the Yankees, and if you know me well enough then you know I cannot stand Alex Rodriguez. He is arrogant, an asshole, and a liar. I felt that way before this new steroid allegation. I should be excited that he is finally being brought down a notch. But, I am not.

The fact of the matter is, I am huge baseball fan. I live for the sport. I can watch any team play. I am normally in 2-3 fantasy leagues. I can talk all day about baseball. This whole steroids nonsense once again is not good for Baseball. I thought we were past this? Clearly we are not. Reporters feel that this is an issue that needs to be brought up again and again. For what? So that baseball fans can be more upset and not watch America's Pastime? You would think that the media would understand that many fans don't care all that much.

Granted, you don't want a cheater to be on your team but, in 2003 just about everyone was using some form of enhancement. The owners didn't care, the manager didn't care and the majority of fans did not care. So here we are back to where we were several years ago when Barry Bonds broke the home run record.

If you read the right articles you see how many people still blame Barry Bonds of all of this. For those who do not know, there was no real testing for steroids until 2004, which was around the time of the Balco investigation that has taken a life of its own.

My feels on the subject is that we need this to end. This can of worms, that has now been re-opened by Sports Illustrated, needs to emptied. Nevermind the fact that A-Rod's name should have never been leaked in the first place. But, now we might as well hear all of the names that are on the list of 104 players testing positive in 2003. Nevermind the fact that those test were confidential. The person who leaked these names has endangered the existing and future contracts between the players association and Major League Baseball because that confidentiality was breached.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Grammar School

A few weeks ago when I was in NYC, I met up with some of my old friends from grammar school. Thanks to Facebook, we were all able to reconnect and set a meeting in the Bronx. I had a great time and we all talked about the past and what happened to this person to that person. I made me think of so many things, both good and bad.

One could argue about how happy I was during my childhood, between watching my parents marriage crumble and the constant thought in my head that I was never good enough. I had always thought I was the ugliest one in class. I was mad short. My teeth were messed up. Getting braces was just another problem. I got picked by both boys and girls. So, grammar school wasn't all that fun in my opinion. On the other hand, I learned to defend myself with words. I learn how to be sarcastic and cruel when I needed to be. But, in the end. I think we all just took it for what it was worth. I mean, we were kids after all.

My reflection, however is based on the fact that I feel that people (and I use the term people loosely because I am not sure it is based on anything more than a feeling) thought I would not amount to much. I generally got that sense. I remember thinking about one of the girls in my class that I had a crush on for many years. She was one of the popular was in class and all the good looking boys liked and for the most part she gave them their attention. Well to make a long story short, she belittled me more than one. She also belittled my friends too. I remember thinking that I will not let her do that to me again. I will never give another girl or woman the opportunity be make me feel that I was not good enough.

Even through High School, I would see her every so often and she would kindly wave as she walked by. I am always the nice person, I waved back (although I wanted to throw a rock at her). But, still the feeling was that I will make sure that I am better than she ever thought I would be. This is a feeling that I began to develop over time, not just for her, but for anyone that felt I could not do something. I am not blaming her for this drive I have to be better because again we were just kids. But, it is always a thought in my head.


Black Super Hero Profile: Mr. Terrific

At a young age, Michael Holt showed remarkable intelligence, reading and assimilating the works of Bohr, Einstein, Planck, and Feynman, the pantheon of theoretical physics, at the age of six. He studied advanced science, space, and time "while other children struggled through Sesame Street. Holt displayed "a natural aptitude for having natural aptitudes", as he called it, easily picking up and retaining complex skills and abilities that other men spent their entire lives perfecting. Before he began his career as a superhero, he already possessed 14 Ph.D's (two in Engineering and Physics -- including doctorates and masters degrees in Law, Psychology, Chemistry, Political science, and Mathematics) and was a self-made multi-millionaire with a high tech firm called Cyberwear (subsequently sold to Waynetech) and was a Gold medal winning Olympic decathlete. (taken from wikipedia)

I like personally like Mr. Terrific because he is by far the smartest Black Superhero. He has no powers other than his brain. He is the Chairman of a Super Hero group called the Justice Society of America. His trademarks are the T-Spheres that follow him everywhere. The are made of nanites the he created. To my knowledge he is one of the few Black Superheroes that have encountered open racism in his tenure with the JSA.

I give him a 4 of 5 because to me he is definitely on of the better superheroes that exist.

Friday, February 6, 2009

That Grand Ole Party...

I am not one for political commentary, especially after the election, but l there is a lot to be said about the way this new administration is taking shape. I think that President Obama is the best thing to happen to this country in a long time. So naturally, because of how he won with such a large amount of votes, people are taking notice.

Now, the Republican party has selected a new leader for their party and he is black. This happened on Monday and I wasn't really sure how to address this. Micheal Steele is not the man for the GOP. Some would view this as progress with the thought that perhaps the GOP will get out of the South and appeal to younger voters. While i understand that, the party values are still the same.I will be interested in seeing how this plays out. I think video below sums it up.

On a personal note, my taxes are all done and I am happy about that. Times are hard and I hoping that I can catch up on some bills. I am not happy that gas prices have also risen above 2 bucks. So, hopefully this stimulus package will help.

Have a good weekend everyone, but as you know I will back on here tomorrow! No Black Super Hero updates today...


This is not my official post for the day, which means I will write another one by the end of the day, but I wanted to mention again that I am adding my old blogs to this site. It makes me a bit nostalgic at times and sad at others. But, I find it interesting about where my past writings have taken me. I can attribute the gaps in my blogging to the different issues in my life.

The one thing that i have noticed is the I still talk about my place in this world which is a good thing, at least I am consistent. I would say that my writings, particularly anything after 2006 are so raw. I channeled a lot of anger and frustration in my blogs. I remember not being able to write blogs at half the length I am writing them now. The type of language I use is also very different and I think it is because I have become a mature blogger. I no longer feel the need to curse in my blogs (of course, if i am tight...then we will see).

My blogs are also still out there on Myspace and on Xanga. I also had a page on Blogger many many moons ago. I think I have everything but, we will see what I come up with. I wont add everything I have because some blogs are so short there just simply is no point. I do also intend on spell checking any past blogs. I have issues with spelling mostly because I type really fast when I am in my "zone".

Thursday, February 5, 2009


It is really insanely cold outside. I wish I could explain what it feels lie to just walk outside and be bundled up and shit be freezing. It takes may car more than 10 minutes to warm up. It reminds of when I went down to New York City in December and my brother needed to run some errands. I was in his condo chillin with my nephew. We played the Wii most of day and night when we had gotten a chance. My brother saw this particular time as a opportunity to go out and pay a bill. 5 minutes pass and we walks back in talking about "how brick it is outside". I just look at him like he is wimp.

New York City cold is definitely not like Syracuse cold. It has been Arctic up here here. People think I am joking when I talk about the icicles hanging from my house. I will have to take a picture of them. I think that I can break off a piece, pack it in some frozen type of package, send it to a small town in Central America and irrigate the land. That is how big these glacier like icicles are!

But, this is what I don't get. I want someone to explain this shit to me. Why is it that I will always see a white person with no coat...not gloves...just chillin like it ain't at all cold??? I mean I have seen people in shorts just walking around campus...or women with open toed shoes. How is this at all possible?

It takes me less than 10 minutes to walk from my job to the garage. By the time I get there. I have frost on the mustache! My fingers are numb! I saw this white guy chillin on the phone with no jacket. Now, don't get me wrong. There are plenty of cold white people that are just as bundled as I am, but you have those few that are just nuts!

Just want everyone to know that I have started adding my old blogs. So if you interested, they are all from dated in 2007 and further.

Black Superhero Profile: Firestorm

Jason Rusch was a seventeen year old teenager living in Detroit, who wanted nothing more than to escape his home city. He lived with his father, who had turned abusive after he lost his hand in an industrial accident. His mother left his father sometime after the accident, leaving the young Jason with his father. Jason later recalled that his father had hit him on four occasions. With the loss of a job he needed to fund college, Jason turned to a local tough for money, accepting a job as a courier. It was on that job that he encountered the Firestorm matrix. (taken from wikipeda)

The original Firestorm was white and when DC comics decided to change this character Black there was a huge uproar amongst fans of this character. There is a message board on the DC comics website that just talked about how much of joke this character was. I has even gotten into words with some fools. While a lot of the discussion was not so much about race, it was clear that many fans were upset that he was now black. What made this change interesting is that books mainly feature Black Superheroes in the main role, do not sell very well. So, many people predicted that this book would not last a year. The book lasted 35 issues, which was 3 years.

In reading this series, Firestorm was treated as any other hero. Not that his skin color did not matter but his relationship with his father and mother was certainly not because he happened to be African American. However, his best friend Micky, was in college and was Latino. There was a point in which he did fight some Neo Nazis, but that fight did not last too long.

I will rate all black heroes I profile from a scale of 1 to 5 based on their cultural significance. I give Firesorm a 4. For being the only Black Superhero in DC to be in his own comic for 3 years, which is a first...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Black Superheros!

Ever since I was a little kid, I have been reading and collecting comic books. I just could not get enough of them. I am sure that is what has really sparked my passion to read and write so much. As a kid, I spent most of my time and allowance on reading DC comics. I was a particularly a fan of Firestorm, the nuclear man. As a boy, I never saw color or race. So, despite the fact most comic books were of white superheroes, that did not bother me at all. I was into the action and the drama, and of course the art. Firestorm was a very unique character that gained his power from a accident at a Nuclear Power plant that (through nuclear fission) joined two people (Ronald Raymond, high school jock, and Martin Stein, Scientist) into one man.

I loved this character because he was different from the rest. He could beat Superman and Wonder Woman at the same time. Which was always a favorite argument of mine back in the day. Reading Firestorm lead me to read other books that became my favorites as well. Books like the Justice League of America, Flash, and Green Lantern. I will say that Green Lantern became a quick favorite of mine. These books, to me was also very much about the man behind the mask as much as it was about the hero and the powers. At the time, Hal Jordan was always going to be Green Lantern just as Bruce Wayne will always be the Batman.

However in 1983, something curious happened that took me for a loop. Hal Jordan quit being Green Lantern and this sparked a big thing...who was going to take his mantle? Much to my surprise it ended up being a man called John Stewart and he was black. This upset me! How are you going to change Green Lantern? Up to this point, DC had two black superheroes and that was Black Lightning and Cyborg; I was so no interested in either of them! Hal Jordan was a test pilot and John Stewart was an Architect...what fun was that? All of a sudden this book went from an all white cast to a practically all black cast.

This began my introduction to a world larger than myself. It is not that I thought black people could be superheroes, it was the was now apparent to me that there just wasn't enough. Black Lightning quite frankly was wack. Here is a guy who's mask is attached to his Afro! So to take off his mask he would have to take of his Afro, which is fake. I wasn't buying it. Cyborg was ok, but I just didn't connect.

Which brings me to the world of Marvel Comics, which has Spiderman, X-men, Iron Man, and Captain America. I started collecting X-men and Spiderman when I was in High School. At this point, Firestorm was cancelled and I was mad. But, I did keep an eye on the Black Hero situation for both companies. Marvel barely had any either. They had Black Falcon (Captain America's sidekick...ok), Storm, and Black Panther. Storm, I liked. Strong black woman who could just kick your ass with her powers or just duke it out with you. Black Panther was ok, never saw him all that much. But, what I did know was that he was a King for a country in Africa! With the exception of Storm, these character we just under used. I lost faith in the ever seeing a true black representation in Comic Books.


There was a time that I did stop collecting. In my years in college I just did not have enough income from my work study position to buy comics. But once I graduated and moved back to New York City, I started getting the itch. I need to know what I missed. So, I started buy a small number of comics starting with the Ultimate Spiderman and Ultimate X-men, which is a different spin on Marvel. The main point that shocked me was that the main character in all these books was a man named Nick Fury and he is black. So for those who saw the clip in Iron Man after the credits were done will know why Samuel Jackson was there.

Black heroes were making it in modern comics and I can tell you that they are too many to name. But what really put the icing on the cake was a cartoon called. The Justice League. The main characters of course are, Superman, the Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Hawk Girl. In role of Green Lantern is John Stewart. Not only was black back in comics but it was cooler than ever.

During this month, I will feature certain Black Superheroes and break them down contextually and conceptually. Some heroes will be dope and some wont. But I will hold no punches in what I analyze. Hopefully by the end you will also see why I love comic books so much.

Oh, and on a side note...Firestorm was an African American Teenager. He will be first on my list...

Have a good one!


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