Monday, March 25, 2013

Lust will never conquer Love

Lust will never conquer love
It will always destroy what love can build
Trapping the luster in a continued conundrum
Love will always survive
Even when it seems scarce
It lights the void of darkness in an empty soul
Lust burns hot as an inferno then cools as cold as hell freezing over
Love will always conquer lust
Our young deserve the permanence of love
Then maybe one day we can overcome the hearts empty vessels

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Profiles in Women's History: Daisy Bates

Civil rights advocate, newspaper publisher and warrior for justice are just a few ways to describe Daisy Bates, a pioneer in black and woman's history. Her work with the Little Rock Nine and publisher of the Arkansas State Press are forever ingrained in Arkansas History.  
I've included a link detailing her history and life.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

History of African Americans in Arkansas

African Americans have a very rich history in the state of Arkansas. Through many ups and downs, we helped to build, discover and cultivate our own unique culture throughout the state, especially in the delta region. We have achieved a lot and continue to prosper as much as possible in the old south. In spite of all the gains that had been achieved during the earlier civil rights era, clearly, the burden of the state’s long history of racism and discrimination continues to weigh upon the present. Before it can honestly be said that the African-American people of Arkansas are “free at last” of this legacy, much still remains to be done. 
Here is an article on the history of African Americans in Arkansas, it's brief but accurate and precise.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wiley Jones, Changing Early Pine Bluff

This prolific man was one of the first wealthy African Americans in the South. Jones, a leading businessman, was an ex-slave who became a barber and a saloon owner. In August 1886, Jones became one of the first African-Americans in the nation to receive a franchise to operate a mule-drawn streetcar system, which he established in Pine Bluff. It was named Wiley Jones Street Car Lines and merged with the Citizens Street Railway around December 1890. This later became the electric railway, which the city bought. Now known as the Pine Bluff Transit, it is still owned by the city of Pine Bluff. 
See his full story here

Monday, March 11, 2013

Colored Industrial Institute of Pine Bluff

I stumbled upon this while researching the history of my hometown of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Now called St. Peter's Catholic School, it's 122-year history of education in Pine Bluff is well noted. First named The Colored Industrial Institute, it began with an enrollment of 140 pupils on September 9, 1889. St. Peter’s was the first school founded for African-American children in Arkansas and was staffed by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky. I hope you enjoy this bit of history as I did. Comment and share.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fathers with Daughters

As a father of two daughters, I walk a difficult road. Fathers such as myself walk a tightrope of discipline and sensitivity. We have to have the most patience and must often channel emotions we don't often express. Daughters, in my opinion, help a man grow, not saying that having sons does not, I can't speak on that, though, I have girls. They require attention and crave praise from me, the male figure. 
As a male I have a responsibility to them, I have to show them what a man is supposed to be like, how a man is supposed to treat them and how to conduct themselves. I'm the disciplinarian, the firm hand of guidance, with just enough care so as to balance their emotions. It's a tough job, though, society expects me not to be there, I'm a young, black male, but I am here every single day. I'm not making that statement for praise, this is what I am supposed to do, but too often males get judged, degraded and viewed differently from a female doing the same thing.  
Whenever I walk in stores or anywhere public with my two girls, I get stared at like some kind of exhibit at a museum. I become uncomfortable because there is no telling the reason for stares. Who is this man with these two little girls? He just parading them around trying to show off, I've heard the comments and frankly, I am fed up with them. Fathers aren't asking for praise, just respect, especially in front of my little women with sponges for ears. When you make inflammatory remarks about my role as a father, you denigrate the importance of me.  
The stigma in society, especially the black society, is absent fathers so don't discourage and belittle the ones who have been there and always will. Now, that rant is done, let's get down to business. Daddies little girls will always be daddies little girls no matter their age, we are the foundation they need, the discipline they respect. As a man raising daughters, you become more aware of society and the role you now play as well as what you use to do. Too often we are overprotective, because of how we perceive the younger generation following us to be. The next generation is always seen as more radical than the last and the young men are the enemy.  
My oldest starts Kindergarten in a few months and I can't help but be nervous about it. Her mom will cry and so will I possibly. My youngest will be going back to daycare and the worries of not being there for significant developments while they are away, weighs heavily on me, but I know they will hold their own. I have to be confident in what I've taught them and how they been raised. 
There are many dangers out there, much more than even when I was young, but if we teach our sons and daughters right from wrong and teach them about love, not only teach but show it. We can be confident that they will weave their own story in this tapestry we call life. 

Tony L. Jefferson, Jr. 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Edge of Sanity

Walking on the edge of sanity 
Looking down at the many pitfalls 
I must stay balanced 
Many times teetering on rough cliffs 
Walking tightropes like circus artist 
I'll win best in show 
Avoiding totally falling into despair 
But still living on the edge of reality 
So easy it is to play in fantasy land 
Where the rules are nonexistent 
And pink elephants appear in many rooms 
Breaking the tension that ensues from rough moods 
On the edge of sanity i see a nation with a video game mindset 
Thinking they have many lives 
But in reality they carry many lives 
Killing us one by one 
Till there is only one 
And that one will be most powerful 
But will never meet his potential 
He's been bred dumb and trained for war 
He's broke, hopeless and angry 
But there are no more battles to fight 
The war was never won 
But neither is it lost 

Tony L. Jefferson, Jr. 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Pride Lands

The sun shines on the Pride land daily 
Except for on that dark area over there  
That's where the others live 
The Forgotten of society 
The casualties of our success 
Breed em 
Maybe feed em 
Then leave them in disarray 
In this strange land called America, they have to make their way 
So they rose up and fought for equality and love 
Only to be shot down by the very people they defend 
Constant struggles define my people 
But we'd throw it all away for that almighty dollar 
It makes us dance, shuck, and jive for menial wages 
Demeaning our women and emasculating our men 
Some might disagree and you have that right 
But you can't forget history and the present is no different 
The policies got smarter and the faces have changed 
But our race remains the same 
Uplift the people and society grows 
Degrade the people and society falls 
The people are behind me and they are my strength 
As the fight continues day after day 

Tony L. Jefferson, Jr. 2013