“What Would YOU Do?!?”

sea shell me


Happy Tuesday, Y’all!
Happy first day of March, too!

How has your week been so far?  How was your weekends?  I hope it went well for each of you!!  My weekend was quiet … went to see “Race”, which was done decently.  It was the kind of movie that tried to capture the Jesse Owens story as well as his involvement in the Olympics during Hitler’s Germany, which is a hard thing to do!  I mean, the beginning showed Owens as he applied to Ohio State and “saddled up” with the track coach there.  He had left his “girl” back home with his daughter, and, once at Ohio State, met a rather wealthy “black girl” who almost stole him from his family back home!  That part was done “well”, but once he decided to go to the Olympics, which was controversial in and of itself, the movie sought to capture the complex events there in Nazi Germany and the fact that the US coaches changed the line up of the relay, omitting the two Jewish boys who were the best on the team for that event.  Owens and several other team members were vocal about their disappointment in that decision until the two Jewish runners, who realized that the Nazi Machine would NOT let them compete in their strongest event, told Owens and the other relay team members … NOT to lose!  They didn’t!
So, Sunday, I watched The Oscars with power-house emcee, Chris Rock!  I wouldn’t have missed it for anything!!  There are so many things about this guy that I like …  Shucks, the first time I ever heard of him was when I had an “itch” for stand up comedy in New York.  I was a teacher then, and a good friend of mine, Ronnie Wilkerson from White Plains, NY and I were trying to break in to the comedy network booming in NYC.  The names around at the time were the big boys like Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy … But there was this young kid that everybody was talking about – Chris Rock!  I had gone to try my stuff at “Catch A Rising Star” during amateur night and even hung out on lines at “Dangerfield’s”.  I couldn’t even get on the stage during amateur nights!  Ronnie was more talented than I as I was nearly an intellectual “Bill Cosby” type of comedian.  But the word on the street was that Chris Rock was “raw” … told it the way he saw it … broke all the rules … and was good.  Look at him now!!
Now the Oscars was called by Rock as “the White People’s Awards Show” though in my opinion, he had no malice towards “white people”, for they were some of the people who had selected him to emcee the Oscars!  Yet, he wanted to make his point … and so what that he hammered it home over and over and over AGAIN!  How many innocent “black lives” have been lost due to senseless racist activities inflicted on the African American community in this entire country … over and over and over again?!?  Besides, some folks don’t get it until you utilize “repetition of the information” as I learned many times during my teaching career, and, in my own life … even for me!!  “We want opportunities … we want good roles in great movies, too!”  Even so, someone on Twitter mentioned that it was nice to see “Oprah” at the awards show sporting a “tat”, though it was really Whoopi Goldberg!!  Do “we” all look that much alike?!  You’ve got to laugh at that one, too, and it wasn’t even part of the show!  Chris Rock speaks his mind, and, while he can’t “please” everyone … part of his “charm” is that he doesn’t care what people say about him, and he doesn’t aim to please everyone!  This is that same kid who worked the comedy circuit in New York City and rose to stardom!!  You R.O.C.K. Chris Rock!!
What would you have done if you were asked to boycott the “opportunity of a lifetime”?  The same thing happened to Jesse Owens in his real life … and the movie … when people … his “own” people … tried to convince him to boycott the Olympics that were held in Nazi Germany.  His white coach was able to convince him that it was in HIS best interest, Owens that is, to participate in the Olympics and strut his skills on a world-wide stage!  In my opinion, they BOTH made the right decision – Owens and Rock.  What would YOU have done … if ever given such an opportunity in YOUR life?  Now, while Rock made it clear that he supported the notion that African Americans needed to be represented more in the Oscars, not just because they are “black”, but because “they” are good, he also sought to defend himself for taking advantage of the opportunity to host the Oscars!!  I loved it when he said: “Why is it that all the unemployed people want OTHER people to boycott something?!?”  In my opinion, that was not only on point, but hilarious, too!
Many a famous person, for one reason or another, have stated the age-old axiom, “You can’t please everybody, so, you may as well please yourself!”  How radical!
Enjoy your Tuesday, “Super Tuesday” in the Race for the White House, and welcome the coming of Spring!

John I. Cook, Director

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