Friday, September 18, 2009

An Inspired Movement for Peace

Sunday, September 27, 2009
3:00 – 5:00
New Holly Gathering Hall
7054 32nd Ave S., Seattle WA
You are invited to this free screening of one of the most powerful films of this decade.
Please come to this the screening of this powerful film and support Women United for Peace Through Prayer and their vision for a more functional society.
Thousands of women – ordinary mothers, grandmothers, aunts and daughters, both Christian and Muslim – came together to pray for peace, then staged a silent protest outside the Presidential Palace. Pray the Devil Back to Hell honors the strength and perseverance of the women of Liberia.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fried Fish Dinner

My Signature Meal

I do not remember when my fried fish and greens became my most requested dishes. I do know that feeding people good food is as important as any gesture of love and friendship. Knowing how to cook food that tastes well is something I learned to do at an early age.

When 10 years old, I learned to cook a dish my Aunt Bea referred to as cream potatoes. Not to be confused with mashed potatoes which are sometimes called cream potatoes. This dish was mearly boiled potatoes then be covered with a basic flour, butter and milk sauce.
This was my signature dish then and then it was the curry chicken and apples that ccaptured rave reviews from others.

Now it is the fried fish. In the photo I show a meal of fried talapia filets, steamed rice, collard greens and corn bread.

My Fish Fry the 2nd Wed in July is held every year. It's not too late to hold the date.
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Language that perpetuates.

 I possess an inability to hear or express anything but good about African people and  as I grow older this has become almost an extreme position. There are no people more loving, accomplished, brilliant or healthy than we of African ancestry on the continent and in the Diaspora,. If there are who are they and how do they present a human development greater than that of African people. 

At the gathering of the Diasporian People in Seattle, I attended only a short segment and then was with the attendees for dinner which was a wonderful filling of the Pettigrew home with good energy, hungry stomachs and an expanse of interesting conversations.  It ended for me with passing out on the floor and awaking to find my keys had been given to Joye.

I was alarmed at the language and words used by these people who are custodians of Afrikanisms. I even  found myself pushing back against and verbally rejecting phrases in conversations such as  "we are like crabs in the barrel."  "White people do not allow us to be in developmental phase only survival. ,  "we are just survivors" "our leaders don't..."   

We know for an assurance that if anything is said long enough and with conviction it becomes a reality and controls thinking and observations. If someone tells you you can not get to the other side of the river and with conviction because they do not want you to get to the other side of the river and you listen long enough your conversation will be filled with reasons you can not get to the other side. Man, that is the widest river in the entire universe (even if it is not untruths get uttered as truths) Hey, I'm not crossing that river, I can not swim. (forgetting that you can learn to swim.) Don't use those boats, they are leaky, and hard to steer. (The boats are state of the art) Fifty years ago, a woman tried to cross that river, and they were attacked by sharks (even though sharks do not swim in rivers and time has passed and actually people have crossed safely)  We as a people must not look to the other side of the river they are using those new fangled things over there, we need to be happy where we are.)  They will not let us on shore even if we make it across the river and those on shore really are not doing what needs to be done. (Even as we see people building great communities and the children thriving.)  Even as these words are uttered the majority can swim, saw boats to get those who can not swim across, when arriving at the other shore though may not have been greeted with great acclaim, they were not stopped from using space, or doing what people want to do on the other shore. 

Actually most will cross the river in the boats that have always been lined up in the shore, or learning to swim, build bridges, some will take a long time on poorly build rafts and we will see the buzzards hoovering, then others when getting tn learning how to swim with precision and how to use personal energy, others built boats, and trained their young to build boats, to learn about the  tides.

Everything about the conference presented these African people as more than just survivors of the ills perpetuated by whites. I would say it was the indication that Africans are in the realm of developmental.   The location of the conference at Antioch U came about from  developmental thinking not survival thinking. Did we build the campus, no but we are not stopped from using it as our own, what would we have done different if Antioch was built, attended, and run only by African people? It is a school filled with whites, but none came to bother or interfered with the work of

The intergenerational attendance from 2 years to  92  with all age groups represented demonstrated the knowledge of keeping our families to.  former and current State Rep. to greet and feed you in a beautiful home that is always open to guests and conversation over god food, we cook.  this is reality more often than we might want to express and we know we still have those who suffer great indignities.

But I would think that the nature of the work this conference and gather exists to accomplishment, such negatives would cease to be. How do we elevate our young with words of "the white man will not allow" allow what and how is this accomplished?  They sent a message and a messenger centuries ago with so much intent that, without even being present in a stately home of a State Representative, and in the midst of some of the most brilliant minds in the world, we hear such a phrase as "The White Man will not allow us to move into the next phases of development as a people."    My God, what language is this to use in the presence of our young?  

I reject such language and this does not mean that I reject any of the wonderful messages expressed in my short time with you.  I loved getting to know each of you and to be in the collective energy of the conference. Thank you for acknowledging my accomplishments and for the compliments on the greens. Not a leaf was left uneaten, we are pleased.

On Sun, Sep 13, 2009 at 12:28 AM, wrote:
Hello Honorable PADU Elders,

i am michael bell;once recognized as a "New Jack Scholar" in 1995. i was
encouraged to attend the weekend events by our late brother C.J. Osandu
Farr. i am very glad that i yielded to his advice. i understand why he was
so optimistic about my attendance now; he saw the spiritual synergism of
 our dreams.  Please allow me to introduce to you
my dream & disciplined passion:

This stands for Afrikan Descent Youth Affairs (ADYA) and the effect we
seek to leverage is simple...Community raised above and leveraging economy
for the betterment of the Afrikan Descent Community.

The focus is our youth learning the nuances of finished goods (blue
jeans) this effects the micro & macro aspects of community.

The focus is our youth learning the nuances of strategic decision making
in an annually sponsored youth congress.

The focus is our youth learning to deconstruct the artificial boundaries
between them whereas alliances can be forged to stop foreign depletion of
our intellectual and natural resources.

The focus is our youth wielding technology in quarterly Global Online
Video Conferences to ensure the continuum of dialogue may be held
accountable to our Elder Advisors and provide those visible markers of
progress over time.

My PADU Elders...please take the time and see our blog as well  and let us know of your counsel.

GOD bless!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Dressing in White historically significant to protest and praise

My mind has been racing full of thoughts of how to turn the tide on youth violence, guns in the hands of children. Seeing footage of children soldiers in other countries, and not reflecting on the lives lost to gunfired in my own midst is foolish. So I take a look, precipitated by the death of Aaron Sullivan, so young 18 years old, so nice, so talented.

In Pray the Devil Back to Hell the significance of the women wearing white is a key element to this organizing. So in researching I find that the wearing of white by women in a unified and collective way is symbolic for many women. In the case of the Liberian women and women of African ancestry in the Mississippi Delta.

In the film "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" the women dress in white and pray and intervene. That is all I know but will know more after seeing the film on Sept. 27.  I will wear white and I will fight the forces that keep assault weapons in the hands of our children.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Civility, Walk around Mayor and gun violence

I have lived here in Seattle many years, I have fought for equal education, recruited good police and firefighters, helped raise millions of dollars for homeless children, promoted and support open housing, preventives to crime and neighborhood economic development. I have served in the legislature and retired after many years as a City of Seattle employee and I really liked the all kinds of people who live in Seattle. But...I am shocked at the level and tenor of conversation displayed in these comments. Who are these commentators? did they grow up in Seattle, go to Seattle schools?

There was once a move for civility in Seattle, well it seems to have failed for the lack of a second. The next Mayor Of Seattle needs to come in with a vision better than what we have been saddled with. He needs hire smart people to run the City and get out of City Hall and walk around and meet the residents, all of them. The loser kids on the corner should know him by first name he should ask and know why they are just hanging on the corner, why the preventives funded by the City now working for them? Ask them if they know who James Kelly is, what the Urban League does or any other who has money to turn their lives around. Just ask them they will tell you.

And next time the Mayor walks through if they are still there - yank the funding. Sound easy, it is. I talk to them all the time, I have to but I do not have or control public funds, just a caring for kids and mothers and the Rainier Valley. I did not build a home in Rainier Valley to "gentrify" though I did much to make it a better place than I found but it has slipped back and with each death, I feel sad. I feel say about the crass remarks the hate filled statements the lack of caring for the death of a young person who is a human being. I work with parents of young children, at a time when we can make the biggest difference. Yesterday I learned that one parent's two sons are now in vocational school.

Have to go now, I am off to a meeting to see if we can ban assault weapons in Washington, not the entire solution but a start in turning this very large ship called "Gun Violence"

Thank you for the space to vent.