Saturday, May 14, 2005


I have not been nice to Erik, at times I have been downright mean- and I believe I had my reasons. Still, in this climate we all need to stick together. I know that. Alas, I do have much Goodson blood in my system and I am related to my Uncle Lawrence.LOL. Oh Lord, as Larry said when he spoke over my Uncle at his funeral-- " All of you knew my father pretty well, I believe many of you have been cursed out by my father at one time or another." Lord have mercy, its Goodson blood. But that said, and more seriously, perhaps I am just stubborn, pigheaded, wrongheaded, or what have you-- but I believe in progress and I don't condone or want to take part in anything that I see that goes against it. Not that I judge-- I so wholly don't.. I believe in live and let live... but I won't align myself with certain things when I see how it is set up, what kind of situation it is, and I don't think it is right. That I share with my uncle-and everybody else who believes in integrity. I won't condone it--and nine times out of ten I will tell you what I think. Anyway, there is too much politics involved and I don't wish to go into it here, but I believe in integrity. That is said and done.

I Was Laughing and then I Almost Cried

I was doing a search for one of my former professors--googled his name and came up with a site- which was not him and which I was beginning to laugh about until I read it. This is what I found.
Kenneth Deal
I found some stuff about A.G. Gaston online. (its Gaston, not Gadsden... I got it wrong in earlier post).


You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View?
created with

I wrote this as a response, I liked it so I am blogging it.

I can very much relate to this...and so can probably most all other people of color/minorities. We do walk on eggshells (some of us do, some of us have learned better) when in the presence of white people-- watch what we say, how we act, adhere to the "codes of conduct" that are graciously offered by civilization. I think though, we really do need to overcome this--and all of our fears and insecurities and speak with open mouths and flailing tongues. Jimmy Baldwin in the lecture that he gave at UC Berkeley said at one point " I have drunk my fair share of dry martinis...and now I have decided that I might as well act like a Nigger." Power and Politics are a very very intense game, some of us learn this game from the get go-- some of us catch on later. Alas, we all have to negotiate where and at what point we are willing to "let things exist as they are."

Friday, May 13, 2005

Tonight Sheila and Frank met my parents. When the conversation got to why my grandmother and my aunts and uncles moved to Chicago-- my mother got scared. She is afraid and does not want anything to do with the political, for sure. My grandmother, I dont know, who possesses something--though certainly still a disdain for the political-- will tell the story-- to anyone. Alas, My uncle, Sterling(Fess) McDavid, was a very powerful man there in Autauga County-- principal of the Black School, and under his administration, Autaugaville was THE best school in Autauga county-- much better than the white ones. The white people resented him for it, and it especially did not help the case that he took his own initiative, did things the way he wanted to and in many instances simply pissed white people off. That said, they couldn't touch the man and he was very much revered and to this day you can go to Autauga County and people speak his name with much reverance.

Autaugaville, under his administration, had typewriters and other conveniences that were current during that time-- when the white schools couldnt even think of them. Also, he had people coming in from Tuskegee to teach not only those who were his pupils, but also the people of the community-- new and better ways of farming, domestic issues, medicine,etc etc. His was a community enriching program and what he did for Autaugaville High School benefited the entire community. I think it is most impressive and it is highly likely that it is not replicated in too many other places that out of his rural,Southern school came not only numerous college graduates-- but people with Master's Degrees and Doctorates and who went on to become doctors and teachers and lawyers. This was during my grandmother's time and the time of my Uncle Lawrence and Aunt Betty.

Fess' first wife was Mary Foster McDavid, whom I talked about earlier and who was the president of the National PTA for a while. They also had a school in Montgomery named after her. Alas, he married my Aunt Bertie at some point (as my aunt told it, Mrs. McDavid the first handpicked her as Mrs. McDavid the second. My Aunt Bertie went to school under Fess McDavid as well. And alas, there were, as I said two "Fess's-" Fess McDavid and Fess Goodson (Macaulay Ware)-- who was my great-grandmother's brother.

Alas, when Fess died in 1963 (I am not certain if that is right, but it was before 65 I know), the white superintendent of schools decided to have his revenge. Fess had been principal of Autaugaville High School for god- fifty years when he died. Fess Goodson had been Principal of another Black School in the area-- Holy Ark ( and he hired my Aunt Earnestine) and eventually, before Fess McDavid's death, it stood that Fess Goodson was principal at Holy Ark, he was principal at Autaugaville, my Aunt Earnestine (the oldest of my great grandmother's children) was principal of Friendship--and had been for twenty years, and my grandmother and my Aunt Bertie were teachers under Fess McDavid. When Fess died he handpicked his successor(as principal), however, the white superindentent didn't take long-- not even a year in not giving the prinipalship to the one he picked as his successor(putting in someone who would do his business for him)and then firing my Aunt Bertie and my grandmother. Also, he removed my Aunt Earnestine from her principalship. My Aunt Bertie went to Chicago and my grandmother soon followed.

My grandmother tells the story--has told it many times. There was a house for the principal out on the property of Autaugaville School, and Fess(McDavid) and my Aunt Bertie lived there. My grandmother tells it, that when he died, the white superintendent came out to the house and told my Aunt Bertie "you can stay here in the house if you like, the new principal's gonna stay in prattville. And make sure you bring your sister here to live with you." Now, as my grandmother tells it, this particular superintendent was known to like Black women, and not only that but certain people who I know myself it has been told got their jobs because of that--and also got jobs for their husbands. Anyway, my grandmother said when he told my Aunt Bertie that, she said my aunt starting moving from the house that night.

My Aunt Bertie, my Grandmother, my Aunt Betty, my Aunt Johnnie (who taught me), and my Uncle Archie, all lived in Chicago when I came along. All but Archie taught there ( he taught at one point, but in Ohio. He took up social work in Chicago-- and pulled my mother into that field).My Aunt Earnestine stayed in Alabama. My Uncle Lawrence taught school in Enterprise Alabama for a while (he never taught in Autauga County), but then he started working for the government.And My Aunt Sadie ran two day care centers in Birmingham (where she kept that little bitch, Condoleeza Rice), started Head Start Programs(got my Uncle Lawrence involved in it- which lead to his work with the government), designed clothes, and was a very industrious woman ( as well as having an affair with A.G. Gadsden (who had known my great grandfather when they were teenagers. My mother speaks quite frankly and bitterly about she and her cousin having to go out on the porch when Mr. Gadsden would come over).

All but my Aunt Earnestine were schooled under the tutelage of Fess McDavid (my Aunt Earnestine went to school in Clanton). My Aunt Earnestine had two Master's Degrees and worked on her doctorate, my grandmother has her bachelor's and worked on her Master's,My Aunt Johnnie and my Aunt Betty both have two Master's Degrees-- one a piece in Education and Library Science (they went to school together and helped each other),My Aunt Sadie had her Bachelor's,My Uncle Lawrence had his Bachelor's, and my Uncle Archie had multiple Bachlor's degrees in various fields including Biology and Social Work ( he stayed in school for twenty years and had seven majors and four minors--all degreed). This is my legacy and this is part of where I come from-- teachers and farmers, educators, and social workers.
Charles is sweet and beautiful. Very real. I had a good time last night...and the exploring continues.... he is every way.....

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I just finished typing up my Play!!
Tonight I can't even sleep. I am restless...and I feel that the universe is coming together for me in some kind of way.The urgency of it is in my bones and I can't close my eyes-- I feel the need to get up and MOVE.The breeze outside is beautiful and Joao Gilberto is playing in my ears--- syncopation is the word of the night.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Don't ever tell me that Place doesn't matter. That is simply not TRUE. Place DOES matter!!! I am soo glad I got to the city today. I felt soo good and felt alive and in the land of the living. I hate lafayette, it lives in death, is stagnant-- I need progress. I soo empathized with Nicole Kidman's adaptation of Virginia Woolf.....what she said about needing a certain environment Rings true with me.... I want the city, I need the city....and I am going....

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

People enter into academia for one of two reasons-- to explore and create intellectual dialogue or to assimilate into the power structure. The great thoughts that are found coming from the words of people like bell hooks and Cornel West, who represent the intellectual academe and the celebrity of academia,help to shape at least part of the dialogue that can be found on the national and international scene. These individuals have sharpened their voices in order to render messages to the masses that are meant to help bring about profound and fundamental change in humanity and the way in which the world operates.

These figures use the stepping stool of the academy to buffer their entrance into the realm of public influence.When Cornel West is called a public intellectual, this means that his scholarship is geared towards enriching humanity and making better the conditions under which people are forced to exist.In that light, people such as bell hooks and Cornel West serve as the conscience of the nation,constantly reminding them of their humanity and their responsibilities to it. You can tell this, because their language is simplified, it is meant to be absorbed by masses, consumed and put to use in their everyday lives. Oftentimes, the academy becomes quite secondary to this urge to spread the manna of knowledge and thought among the people. It encompasses what Cornel West calls parrhesia—the act of speaking simply—fearless and unintimidated speech.

This is the language of not only intellect, but especially that of the public intellectual. This is the most useful aspect of the academy. To look at all of the voices that have come up through the academy and who now have taken their place as public intellectuals--- besides hooks and West, Michelle Wallace, Henry Louis Gates, Howard Zinn, Germaine Greer, Angela Davis, Ward Churchill, Noam Chomsky,Kimberley Williams Crenshaw, John Henrik Clarke. It is in this spirit that Cornel West delivered his talk “Revitalizing Democracy At Home and Abroad” at the the Commonwealth Club.
Cornel used to be hip to be willing to die for a cause....where has that gone? God forbid. There is no such thing as something to live for anymore.
Cornel West is Brilliant

Bush and History

Do you agree with or even acknowledge George Bush's interpretation of the Yalta Conference ? I am sure this man didn't even know what Yalta was until Lynne Cheney told him about it--and I don't doubt for a second that this entire thing is backed by the American Enterprise Institute.I do not wish to be a Bush I would much prefer not to be a reactionist to his rhetoric, but a force for revolutionary change that will topple everything that he stands for, of which he is only a small petty figure in the middle of the scene.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Papillion....that song does something to me.....and I love it. There is just a vibe, a feeling from Chaka and from a lot of music I listen to that just provides a wave on which I ride and it just sends my soul into shivering, estatic pleasure.
Ok... I dont know how I just put the links at the end there...but wonderful....

God I Love Chaka .......

I look in your eyes and I can see
We’ve loved so dangerously
You’re not trusting your heart to anyone
You tell me you’re gonna play it smart
We’re through before we start
But I believe that we’ve only just begun

When it’s this good, there’s no saying no
I want you so, I’m ready to go

Through the fire
To the limit, to the wall
For a chance to be with you
I’d gladly risk it all
Through the fire
Through whatever, come what may
For a chance at loving you
I’d take it all the way
Right down to the wire
Even through the fire

I know you’re afraid of what you feel
You still need time to heal
And I can help if you’ll only let me try
You touch me and something in me knew
What I could have with you
Well I’m not ready to kiss that dream goodbye

When it’s this sweet, there’s no saying no
I need you so, I’m ready to go


Through the test of time


Through the fire, to the limit
Through the fire, through whatever
Through the fire, to the limit
Through the fire, through whatever
I have started, wanted to, and not done anything more with the idea of writing about Black artists and intellectuals, and other figures that left the united states and went to france- some not to come back. I want to do some serious work with that one-- looking at Nina Simone, James Baldwin, RIchard Wright, Eartha Kitt, Chaka Khan, Josephine Baker, Katherine Dunham, Mary Wells..... and others that I might run across. I am definitely interested in exploring that pattern....
I am SO glad I bought this Chaka Khan CD. IT just takes me oh so back and over and out. I simply adore Chaka Khan!! I could float up to heaven with Chaka Khan.....
Wisdom comes in so many forms and God places things to grow from in some very interesting ways. Riding the bus, I came across this older man-- who looked a little gruffy--like one of the many many something or other people that ride the Lafayette City Buses--dirty, shabby-the look of severe poverty (and I so hope I don't speak with class snobbishness). Anyway, I noticed that he worse three or four turquoise rings and I asked him about them. He embarked upon and shared with me a beeautiful story agbout his mother and the rings-- and the one gold pinky ring that he wore on his index finger that belonged to his grandfather. I hope that am always open to learn from every avenue possible. I want to learn and I want to grow. The more I learn the less I know. Alas, I also want to be of use to humanity. From the poem that was said at my Aunt Bertie's funeral "Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to men."

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Sally Satel and Christina Hoff Summers are two bitches that need to go to hell..... To put it bluntly. Jewish women (who most probably think of themselves as white, but thats another story) trying to uphold "American Values" and save the United States.... Whatever, go to hell. No explanation needed. WHERE IS NINA SIMONE WHEN YOU NEED HER???!!! And the frightening thing is that this is the new American Normalcy---not that American normalcy was ever anything good....god DIDNT THE SIXTIES GET RID OF THAT---I thought the fifties were shot, but they resurfaced in the everyone has their "acceptable codes" which are the rules which are required by society. Fuck that shit... plain and simple using every bit of teutonic language and words to express that you can take your white establishment ass and go to hell. Come in this corner and you might get your ass kicked. I will not be absorbed by your stultifying and stagnating bullshit normalcy. Normalcy will loose its penis......and Benjamin Franklin and George Washington ALL will float down into the nothingness of forgotten history..... I don't give a fuck about your apple tree.
The American Enterprise Institute has the money! Castrate!
I think it is time for the left to start focusing its money around that which they believe. Put your money where your mouth is.
Why does the left not have any money? That is a topic that needs to be explored.
Anti-Intellectualism is Evil.

My Intellectual Bearings

There are always those forces that try to invalidate my voice. To belittle or negate my thoughts, to make light of my intellect. I am here to state that that will not ever happen. Power politics are a draining and non-life-generating game, but nonetheless we have all, who are progressive, played it at one point or another. Being here at Purdue reminds me of what Germaine Greer had to say about her first teaching job somewhere in the North of England.The experiences and the sentiments are oh so similar. I absolutely adore Germaine Greer. Alas, I have been able to keep grounded throughout both Alabama AND Indiana because I have all of these magnificent voices that speak to me and that just resonate with me in my soul....and which are my reassurance and which keep me connected to my soul. Alice Walker, June Jordan, Germaine Greer,Barbra Streisand (perhaps my earliest singular experience--meaning The Color Purple was probably earlier, but I wasn't really all that aware of THE PERSON Alice Walker....I was aware of Barbra Streisand), Angela Davis, Assata Shakur,bell hooks, Elaine Brown....everybody that I have read about, come into contact with, responded to....

That said, I am probably more well-read than most people. I have written about my experience of reading a few times, but I have never really expanded on it fully. I was soo very fortunate to have grown up in a household where books were at my fingertips, where people read... I feel for those who don't have that... That said, from the time I was perhaps out of the womb I was surrounded by words-- I read by the time I was two and a half, spoke first in full sentences,and I ran my mother crazy trying to write in cursive when I was perhaps about four as I tried to copy what everyone else was writing. Alas, I started telling stories as well....and was a writer by the time I was five. My favorite stories were Cinderella(;-),Goldilocks, and the Three Little Pigs.

I moved from that to reading Anne of Green Gables in the third grade ( I was Anne of Green Gables for two years)and Jackie Collins, Danielle Steele, and Father Greeley by the time I was in the fourth. I read literally everything I got my hands on- hand me downs from my mother and sister, the encyclopedias, the phone book ( at one point), and literally everything else. With that, in the seventh grade I had my first encounter with Milton, at which point I thought he was perhaps the most brilliant man (on the wrong presumption that he was blind when he wrote Paradise Lost and that I was fascinated with his characterization of the hero--it was totally up my alley. I am not so fond of Milton anymore...for many reasons). I then went through,in this order, a french period and a Russian period, in which I read everything french--- I remember some play-- I dont remember, I think it was Camus maybe--but one of the things I read was some play about the planets and the stars---thats all I remember at this point, and I also read Mme Bovary,etc etc. Then I moved on and read Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, War and Peace,and a few others.

From then on, I was basically reading everything I touched-- The Prince of Tides ( and not only because of the Barbra factor) and Stephen King's IT really stick out to me from that period-- I was then in the eighth grade. In High School, what I read doesnt come to me as well(hmm, what a cloud over that period), ahh but I do remember I really got into Corrie Ten Boom at one point ( this was my brief religious moment, but I still adore Corrie Ten Boom-- and what she stood for and the dignity and integrity which she and her family possessed I so much still admire. Their religion I respect and very much can feel something for.) Alas, I do remember the required reading which I read in between sophomore and Junior year for my AP American History course (with the wonderful Mrs. Lawrence) was The Glory and the Dream. All I can say is, that book knocked me out of my world. It was an engaging book and was as chatty and gossipy as Jackie Collins and as historical and informative as most anything I have encountered.

In 98, my senior year of high school,on my trip to England and Ireland, at one point during my visit, I was sooo bored and walked to a used book store to find something to read. My choice was between something by John Irving ( I had pcied up, read, and absolutely LOVED The World According to Garp previously--GO Jenny Fields!)and Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker. Now, I had just read The Color Purple not even a year before(even though I had seen the film--had been seeing the film, over and over again, since it came out) and I was itching to read something else by Alice. I bought Possessing, took it back to my hotel room and started to read. I read it all through dinner and went back to my room reading the book and did not put it down until I finished it at 4 a.m. that next morning, and afterwards I sat there and cried. It was beautiful. I will never forget that experience.

That said, there have been other books that have left their marks, really major ones in some instances, on me and that have informed my intellect, my thought processes, and my spirit. I have written somewhere else of how when I was thirteen, my Uncle Donald (my father's brother) gave me a copy of Langston Hughes' I Wander as I Wander, and that book made my imagination soar and whet my appetite for many things, including travel. Alas, somewhere between my freshman and sophomore years of High School, I pulled W.E.B. DuBois's Souls of Black Folk off of my Uncle Lawrence's bookshelf and THAT book set my world a turning. I thus became a DuBoisian scholar, which has been the basis for all of my intellectual knowledge and pursuits from that point on. I became thorougly compelled and drawn into the Realms of Double Consciousness. I read along the way, still in High School-- and in the development of my Black Consciousness and my awareness as an Africana person, Lerone Bennett Jr.'s work on African Civilizations, Richard Wrights, Native Son and Black Boy,Relph Ellison's Invisible Man, Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun and a couple of other works, and quite a few other texts by Black authors.

One book that keeps popping up in my brain as I write this is Lillian Hellman's autobiographical work, Pentimento. I had loved Jane Fonda's portrayal of her in Julia ( and I LOVE that film and Vanessa Redrave) and had proceeded to read Pentimento sometime during High School. It did leave quite an impression on me. I had also, by this point, read tons of histories on every subject just about--and knew more than I perhaps was aware of about the French Revolution, European History in general, and other things. I was also an expert in European Royalty (as is, was my mother--one of the interests we shared). I also have read many, many autobiographies and biographies.

In college,my freshman year, thanks and all praise to Chella Courington (lord lord lord what can we say about Chella) I was introduced to feminist theory as I skipped my German class almost every damned day and went and sat in on her Feminist Theory course where I read Helene Cixous, Julie Kristeva,Derrida, and others--my introduction to Deconstruction and Post-Structuralism. I was the exceptional odd child always. After that, I remember The Handmaid's Tale really was a permanent shock to my system-- and I adore Margaret Atwood always. A little bit before Atwood, I had read something called Waterland,which really left an impression on me. Later in college, Salman Rushdie's most wonderful and infamous book The Satanic Verses made my mouth water.I then tried something of his about Morroco, I dont remember what it was as I did not finish the book. During my junior year, I got into Baldwin (oh Jimmy), and I read Giovanni's room by myself and Rebecca and I read most of Another Country together. I think I had read "Going to Meet the Man" already by that point(what a hot, little story that is).

I also read my first major text by Audre Lorde-- Zami, as well as several works by Mab Segrest and Adrienne Rich (who's Slit at the Root I encountered only AFTER I had decided on a title for my Capstone project--which leads to the eerieness of the connection there. OH GOD, I cannot leave this essay without talking about the point in my junior at which my most wonderful and dear friend Wanda (that most profound and beautiful soul)gave ME her personal copies of Elaine Brown's A Taste of Power and Assata Shakur's Autobiography. I read them both over a weekend period at a College Bowl tournament. I believe I cried. I love both of them. I have continued to encounter beautiful, inspiring, enriching, and enlightening texts. Texts which have informed the way I live my life, have shaped my attitudes, my ideology, my outlook, my vision, my desires..... Books have played an incredible role in shaping and forming that which is me. I have enjoyed everything from the wit and socialism of G.B. Shaw to the motherly warmth of Alice Walker, the wry jewishness of Neil Simon to the raw lessons of humanity in Margaret Atwood. Books are worlds within themselves. They can inspire, inform, intrigue, and possess you.
I hate wasting my days....
Last night I was at Vienna and I saw a Middle Eastern woman that looked just like my Aunt Johnnie. I have seen the faces of my relatives in many different peoples--Mexicans, Native Americans, Koreans, Chinese, other Asian ethnicities, Pacific Islanders, and white...It is interesting how people mirror each other....