My Radio

My attempts to channel what's playing on the many stations of my mind

Archive for the ‘Obama’ Category

President Obama Notre Dame Commencement Speech 051709

Posted by and1grad on May 17, 2009

President Obama speaks at Notre Dame Graduation Ceremony (4 parts)


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Boston Globe Article

Posted by and1grad on January 23, 2009

This is worth checking out. A lot of really great pics.

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President Barack Obama 2009 Inauguration and Address (1.20.09)

Posted by and1grad on January 23, 2009

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No One — Alicia Keys (sung at Neighborhood Inaugural Ball)

Posted by and1grad on January 23, 2009

I cant get enough of watching Alicia Keys sing/perform. And if you ask me, she is as beautiful as Beyonce.

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Flashback Friday: At Last — Sung by Beyonce for Obamas on Inauguration Day

Posted by and1grad on January 23, 2009

I switched up the Flashback Friday for the week. You understand.

From the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball…

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Posted by and1grad on January 20, 2009

A defining moment in the history of this country. I’m proud, lucky, AND honored to have been able to be a part of such a momentous event. I guess thats one of the wondrous things about this campaign is that you feel like a part of what is happening, even if just as a witness, like myself.

I’ve been thinking for the last couple minutes and ya know what…I’m not gonna try to say anything especially profound or give some new kind of perspective. I’m just gonna write what I saw while its still fresh in my mind. If you’re reading, “I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray.” I was just happy to have my face in the place.

First things first, we got up at 3 am to get ready for this momentous event. Since I’m not really on eastern time yet (I refuse), it was really just like getting rest before a late party to me. So we got up, had some friends meet us at the hotel and got on our way to the Metro station. Early Bird Special. We got to our stop, L’Enfant Plaza, at about 5am and joined the huddled masses that were there. They were selling papers (Washington Post) there so altogether we bought at least a dozen. We wound up using the majority of em as padding to sit on during the ARCTIC morning.

Yes, I say arctic. We damn near froze our GD asses off out there. Not like I wouldnt do it again tho. Thankfully, they let us in the Mall early (maybe around 5:30am) and we took up a spot pretty much right on the corner of 4th and Madison on the Mall, right in front of a JumboTron. It was so cold, a group of folk right next to us just started breaking out into songs they knew. We were all dancing anyway just to be moving to keep warm. Theme songs like Good Times, some other new songs, the mental jukebox was in full effect.

But this is where it really got hilarious. They started getting people around them involved and it all of a sudden ballooned to like 15 people singing and dancing. Then they broke out into “The party ova here, aint nothin over there!” and point to a direction. And then some people in that direction would shout it back…but could never get enough people involved to be as loud as that group so that group would boo them. We were all cracking up. This went on for close to an hour. Anyway, during the entire morning, people would be shuffling about trying to get to the bathroom or whatever. So this group made a path but turned it into a huge Soul Train line. If you came through, you had to dance your way through or get booed. Hilarious! Some people didnt want to come through, so instead of the “Who’s Next, Who’s Next” chant that they were already doing, they turned it into “You Scared, You Scared.”

They wound up doing that to the wrong dude tho…Imagine kind of a taller version of Carl Winslow. They did that to this dude, who didnt really look like he had any intention of coming through anyway, and he got this look on his face like “No you didnt!” and then starts doing like a Harlem shake BEFORE he even gets to the aisle and when he got there cut up a nice little rug up and down the aisle. My man did his thing. I. Was. Dying.

Needless to say, a lot of people got boo’d but more danced their way through. It was a real good time. I’ll tell you one thing. Not only are Black folk resilient, but we can turn anything into a party if we want to. I’m REALLY glad those people were there. They made SEVERAL hours of bitter cold into such a good time, we barely even thought about the fact that we couldnt feel our toes anymore.

Fast forward another hour or 2, and we start seeing the primary audience, senators, congresspersons, etc showing up. Some of the past Presidents and First Ladies showed up as well. People cheered for the Carters, the Gores, and of course loudest for the Clintons. They booed President Bush and cheered for the Vice President’s wife. But the Obamas? The place went bananas. Anyway, that and the rest are well recorded and will forever be shown and referenced in the annals of the history of this country.

And I was a witness. How ill is THAT?

Posted in Black, Life, Obama | 2 Comments »

The Year of The Rock

Posted by and1grad on January 2, 2009

Thus begins the saga that is 2009. You ever have one of those feelings that a certain is going to be important? I feel like this is one of those years. There’s the obvious reasons: Whats up, Obama!; my first home (I’ll touch on that later); version 3.0….but there’s another feeling I get. The one where I feel like…its time for me to turn it up a notch. Feels like I’ve been coasting, in general, for the last 2 or 3 years. Just doing enough to get by. Not challenging myself as much as I could…yet expecting the results due only to those that do so. I always try to remember the phrase “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” I havent been working hard enough. And b/c of that, I’m letting people that I SHOULD outshine, outshine me. Enough is enough.

So because of that, I’m calling this year, The Year of The Rock. I dont know how many of you followed wrestling in the late 90s, early 2000s but The Rock was THE MAN. “The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment.” “The People’s Champion.” The dude was big business. Thats why he has been able to transition to movies better than any other pro wrestler ever has. So I’m taking a page out of The Rock’s book. The Rock’s favorite phrase was “Just Bring It.” THIS is what I need to do. Stop TALKING the talk and start WALKING it.

So when I was asked, at about 12:10am on New Year’s morning, what was my resolution for the year…I simply said “Do More.” Yes, it is general. Its supposed to be. I need to do more, in general. More at work, more socially…just more. Shout out to HauteinLA b/c we had the EXACT same resolution. Clean up more, work out more, GO out more…I’ve allowed my tv to become some kind of electronic babysitter and thats ridiculous. Enough is enough. I need to get out of the house…oh…speaking of…

I bought a house yall. How CRAZY is that? First time homebuyer. Signed the agreements on New Year’s Eve as a matter of fact. I’ll close escrow in mid-March. It was time. As most of you know, its a buyer’s market out there. I’ve been house hunting, passively, for over a year now and I’d never gotten that FEEL. Some of you know what I’m saying. Its the feel you get when you jump in a car you’re thinking about getting or even something like a pair of shoes. You know when its right. Thats the feel when I went through the model for this home. I just knew. And thank goodness b/c I’m sick of apartments. Sick of having the DMV change my address every other year and all that shit. Sick of lugging groceries up a flight of steps…from my car that I park outside. “Sick of Versace glasses, sick of slang. I’m sick of half-assed award shows, sick of name brand clothes…” Sorry, had a De La moment. Might have to remember that for the next Flashback Friday.

So, “Jabroni, The Rock says this…” its time to DO more. The challenge is to be better. The hope is to be able to look back at the end of the year and say that I’ve met it. Wish me luck.

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MLK Jr “I Have A Dream” Speech

Posted by and1grad on November 28, 2008

I was watching the 100 Greatest Black Power Moves today and was reminded of something.  How many of us have actually watched the entire Martin Luther King Jr “I Have A Dream” speech? We’re inundated with clips of the same parts but I cant say I’ve seen the entire thing since high school.

For your viewing pleasure:

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Change: Revisited

Posted by and1grad on November 12, 2008

Although I’m REALLY not big on quoting myself…a couple of months ago, I wrote this…

So now that Obama has selected his running mate…whats next? I dont remember hearing a lot of dialogue, in general, about what happens to the racial dynamic of this country after this Presidential race. It almost seems like people are afraid to explore the dynamic of how the African American community will respond to what happens if Obama wins and especially, if he loses. Here are my theories:

Scenario #1: Obama wins. A sense of pride and expectation arises in the black community. Maybe even a sense of urgency to just do better. A new standard set. A renewed emphasis on education and community development occurs. We see our achievements not only increase but become more recognized by society at large…without it needing to be “Black History Month.”

Scenario #2: Obama wins. He is expected to single-handedly carry the banner for African American hope. He is set up to fail and to do so publicly. African Americans react with disdain and become crabs helping keep him from succeeding in Office. Unfair characterizations of being an “Uncle Tom” or of having “sold out” riddle his campaign. A historical bookmark is lost in the annals of time as another ineffectual President takes his place among the anonymous.

These are the two scenarios I presented as possibilities in case Obama won the presidency. Now that we are into the inevitability of one, or both, of these things happening, I cant help but say I have more confidence in Scenario 1 than ever before. But why? Because of the reaction of the people when he was confirmed. I dont mean the celebrations and the high-fives…I mean the tears. I mean the people who have never voted before, coming out to vote in droves. The fact that we FINALLY seem willing to find inspiration in something a politician says. That we’re willing to point to someone and say, WITH PRIDE, that “He speaks for me.” He characterizes the hopes and dreams I have when I think of this country and its greatness. Its an incredible feeling when you cant help but be moved by what someone is saying. It truly makes me feel like I can understand what our parents were talking about when they talk about hearing Martin Luther King Jr speak. Its not like being part of a campaign, or even an event. Its like being a part of a movement. I feel privileged to know what that feels like. I’m privileged to be able to soon be at the monumentous event of watching the first African American President be sworn in on January 20, 2009. All throughout our schooling, we read about history and the effects of actions and inactions. With all that has happened in my lifetime, this is the first time I’ve really felt like I was living in a time of importance. Like I was living a chapter in one of those history books.

I’m gonna segue off of books b/c I’m getting kinda off track. Scenario 1 presents us with the opportunity to do better. I believe this new election, the new mantra of “Yes we can,” should ENABLE our people to reach for higher heights. Reach for greatness. Strive to be better. Too many of our black people are willing to settle for mediocrity and doing just enough to get by. Our black students take more pride in NOT knowing than learning. Its encouraging to have a role model that says to black people that you’re BETTER than just being athletes and rap stars. Better than being street hustlers and deadbeat dads. Better than looking for an easy way out rather than struggling to earn your own. Better than allowing ourselves to fail and blaming it on institutional racism. We’re better than that. I seque on books b/c of the sheer amount of opportunity afforded by education. Having an education, in WHATEVER it is you choose to be educated in, grants you the opportunity to live the American dream. It opens up a window to success. Education also limits the grip that institutional racism can hold over you. Intelligence is easily recognizable and often rewarded, to some degree. Intelligence itself is also a reward…granted through years of education and embedded in discipline. Let me be clear in stating that you dont need to attend a University to be educated. You dont have to pay thousands of dollars to a college to be intelligent. Its just one route of many.

Obama - flag

Obama’s victory gives our people a beacon. Something to point to that says if you challenge yourself to be great, you can achieve the impossible. On November 4, 2008, President elect Obama said:

“It’s the answer that led those who’ve been told for so long, by so many, to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve, to put ther hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day. Its been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America.”

I hope we can represent for that. Scratch that…I know we can. I hope we will.

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President-Elect Barack Obama in Chicago (11/4/08)

Posted by and1grad on November 12, 2008

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