Movie Night Friday – Cooley High

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Welcome back to another Movie Night Friday. It’s obvious you guys don’t like the movies I like but nonetheless lol, here’s another EC Fav: Cooley High.

Cooley High is a classic! First, its set in my home town of Chicago and I have a cousin whose name is on the bathroom wall in one of the scenes. In fact, everyone from Chicago probably has a relative who was in this movie. That’s because while the starring actors were pros, the extras were recruited right from the projects. Yup, many of these kids lived right over there in the Cabrini Green Projects.

Now, what is the movie about anyway?

Richard “Cochise” Morris (Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs), a local basketball hero, and Leroy “Preach” Jackson (Glynn Turman), who dreams of a career in writing, are likable Chicago high school students in 1960s Chicago. They’re into hanging out with friends, pretty girls and the Motown sounds so popular during the era. Each wants to make it big in his own way, but not everybody they meet is looking out for them, as they learn when a seemingly harmless outing goes awry.- Google

A simple film, Cooley High captured our hearts because of its realness. Though I wasn’t born in 1975 when it released, I too once lived in the projects on the city streets of the Chi. I too can remember growing up poor with a single mom. Movies like this are relatable and showcase the realness and often the struggle of inner city youth. The history behind the movie is also interesting:

The story behind “Cooley High” is even more dramatic than the comedy-drama that unspooled on the screen. It’s the story of Kenneth Williams, who, like protagonist Preach, left Chicago’s Cabrini-Green projects with dreams of becoming a Hollywood screenwriter. Having dropped out of high school, he hitchhiked from the Windy City to Hollywood with $5 in his pocket and no connections, and for a while he supported himself selling drugs. But the aspiring writer, who renamed himself Eric Monte, also befriended actor Mike Evans, who’d been cast as neighbor Lionel Jefferson on the groundbreaking sitcom “All in the Family.” Through Evans, Monte pitched the show’s producer, Norman Lear, a script introducing the characters of Lionel’s parents, George and Louise Jefferson. Lear bought the script and eventually spun off George, Weezy, and Lionel into their own hit sitcom, “The Jeffersons,” but Monte was neither hired as a staff writer nor given credit or residuals for “The Jeffersons,” which ran from 1975 to 1985.

http://www.moviefone.com/2015/06/25/cooley-high-most-influential-movie/

Monte and Evans would go on to produce the sitcom hit Good Times.

Movie Trailer:

Since the movie is 41 years old, it was hard to find a Trailer that was clear enough and also interesting enough (Didn’t want to show scenes that made it look like a boring movie! It definitely is not). The one I found isn’t a trailer but just an excerpt from the movie. The only other option was from the old VHS and I didn’t enjoy that trailer. It wasn’t showing any interesting parts.

And that’s it for Movie Night Friday.

MNF2

Smart Girls: A Message to Black Girls

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This post is for the colored girls growing up in ghettos and back alley ways where not even the front porch is safe. No offense to those who ain’t colored or black or african american or whatever byword we choose to call ourselves these days. You see I’ve known too many young women aborting their purpose for the opportunity to be hood certified. You know it. Named brand from the lobe in her ears to the Gucci panties and matching bra somebody said was worth holding our heads up for. Ladies, true power is made when you stop giving it away. When even your emotions themselves can’t be touched. You see the real women–the ones who are truly wealthy–they work smarter, not harder and this ain’t about a cliche. Cliche’s got nothing on a woman who can not only manage her time but her emotions too. Cliches got nothing on a woman with structure, order, and morals to guide her. Cliches got nothing on a woman with a plan who knows how to use it. Arguing back and forth with people or jumping in someone’s face because they said something negative about you gives away your power, and when someone else has your power they can control you with it. I know reputation is important at this age but smart girls learn to keep their mouths shut and are not impressed by the latest gear or level of popularity. You see a name brand shoe is amateur to she who has wisdom. She who has wisdom spends her time cultivating her mind. She spends her time learning how to be a woman. She who has wisdom is heard of, but is rarely heard. This means that people know of her, but don’t hear much from her. This is because the smart girls know how to keep their mouths shut. You will never see the smart girls bickering back and forth on Facebook and Twitter. A smart girl’s energy and her time is too precious. Even when a smart girl is offended you won’t know about it and when she strikes back you’re not sure if she did. Even when she excels a smart girl doesn’t necessarily have to make noise, you see her works will speak for her. Smart girls are not puffed up and conceited. They understand that comfort zones are beautiful, but no growth happens there. So smart girls hit hard but move silent. This is what makes her who she is. She doesn’t seek attention, she seeks respect because it lasts longer. You see, girls who are smart understand that there are two very precious commodities in life. One is time and another is wisdom. A smart girl can walk into a room wearing rags and still be respected, why? Because of her sincere desire for instruction. Smart girls are known for not what’s on their feet, or what drips from their necks, but smart girls are known for what’s in their minds. And oh yea, before I forget, two things. Number One: Smart girls don’t go around hating and envying each other, they’re worth too much for that. Jealousy is beneath a smart girl. Two: Smart girls understand the value of patience and therefore seek the approval of men, not boys. Still, a smart girl understands that to get a man she must first become a woman. It pays to be a smart girl.

A Message to The College Bound

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I first want to give sincere congratulations to all of my High School Grads going on to College this year! What an exciting journey! Education happens to be another passion of mine and I love seeing young people achieve. Sure, I have my thoughts on the school system as a collective whole, but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad. I still love the idea of continuing ones education and if I didn’t have mad student loans, it is something I wouldn’t mind going back to.

So, I was speaking to a niece of mine and I do have a some suggestions for those stepping into this new life:

  • Don’t Have Too Much Fun

College is a different world than High School. Partying and drinking all night may make you popular, but your professor will fail you, without mercy and without pity. The decisions you make now are extremely critical and they impact you for life. Don’t be the person who could have graduated but was too busy chasing sex and Hennessy to study. This is your chance to be the adult you couldn’t wait to be. This means maintaining discipline, control, and making wise decisions. College students, especially freshmen, are green lights to those who only want to cause your downfall. This is not High School which means you should always be aware of your surroundings and use logic in every decision you make.Trust for these first years should not be a big priority, get to know people first or they will take advantage of you.

  • Be Sure to Choose a Major that is in Line With the Career Path You Want to Take.

Political Science sounds good on paper, but you’ve been into math your whole life, why not accounting? Some actions don’t require research, just common sense. Make sure your majors line up with your career path and goals. Don’t just pick anything because it sounds cool, but make sure it will lead you to where you want to be. Beware also of majors that won’t get you anywhere after you graduate. For instance: Unless you are trying to be a preacher, a major in Theology’s not going to do much for you. Philosophy is another one that sounds deep, but won’t take you anywhere in the real world. Make sure your course of study is in an area that is strong, where there are plenty of careers in that field.

  • Don’t Choose Your School Just Because of its Prestigious Reputation

Don’t believe the hype. I’m sure we would all like to go to Harvard but there’s a good chance you can save a lot of money going to a smaller school and receive the same level of education. Don’t limit yourself to what you see on TV, but keep your options open and never participate in something because you just heard about it. Do your research and make sure it’s the right thing for you.

  • Have Fun!

There’s enough hard work and study to go around for everybody, but don’t forget to enjoy the experience because once its over that’s it. You will never get the opportunity to experience this again. Even as we age, College for the first time is never as fresh and as exciting as it is when you are fresh out of High School. Many of you will have your own apartments for the first time, your own space by way of a dorm room, you’ll get to pay your own bills for the first time and make big decisions on your own. It’s just a different experience at 17 and 18, than 40 and 45 because life is just beginning; so if you have a chance to do it now don’t wait. Take it all in, study but don’t forget to breathe, it’s a wonderful moment and it will disappear before you know it. I started off saying not to have too much fun, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have any. Just balance your time and discipline yourself and you’ll do fine.

A 17-year-old invented an ingenious way to instantly stop bleeding

Click Here to Read the Story

Interesting story. It reminds me of the importance of education outside of schools. I cannot help but notice that students are not taught how to start their own businesses without going to College. If they were, I believe there would be more inventions by young adults. While I encourage what is referred to as “Higher Education”, I believe too that in the world we live in it is possible to make it without pursuing a two or four year University. It’s cool, but I do not believe it is necessary for survival. Just look at the Master Degree holders who’ve had to settle for managerial positions at Wendy’s, or worse, cashier. Not that there’s anything wrong with this, a job is a job, but I am sure he or she didn’t spend thousands of dollars in tuition and four – six years of classroom time to work in fast food alongside Freshmen High School students.

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My proposal for the students reading? Get into a trade, a 6-9month program that doesn’t cost as much as a University that will train you to specialize in a certain area (make sure that area is a strong one, like H VAC-Heating, Air-Conditioning, or MA, Medical Assistance). You will not have to pay back as much money and you’ll always have something open in your field. The two I have mentioned specifically are booming right now and they are not going out of business any time soon. Don’t stop here though, this is just the beginning. If you’re in High School, use that smart phone for something other than Facebook, and use Google for something other than finding funny Memes. But take full advantage of this technology and use it as a way to research how to start your own business. There are pros and cons to this technology, but the biggest advantage is that it’s much easier to spread important information and to start businesses. Because of Company’s like Vista Print, that allow for inexpensive ways to create your own business cards and promotional products, and Legal Zoom, that allow for inexpensive ways to create your own company, it’s much easier now. College to me is like the army: everyone loves you when you’re there. It gives the impression of doing something special with your life, you learn lots of new things and the world loves you. But, when you get out it’s a completely different world. People forget about you and you must find your own way. Welcome to the real world.

In the end, I do not speak against College but be smart about it. Go to acquire the skills you will need to start your own company, not just to work at Dr. Feel Good’s fortune 500. The purpose is to own what you do. Create your own schedule, your own hours, and retire when you feel like it. What advice do you think is being given to the children of billionaires?

They Had It All

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Tim Okamura

 

When it came to progress reports and GPA’s there could be some acknowledgement
But when it came to c-cups she was incompetent
Forced to be ashamed of her good girl,
turned off abstinence like it was an accident
bought clothes by the way they fit,
if pants didn’t hug thighs
and waist bands didn’t advertise hips,
and if these English words couldn’t intellectualize the gloss on these lips…
then they stayed on the shelf
because see this bad girl was a good girl
but because they had it all she was ashamed of herself.
had no real desire for Timberland’s but you see she rocked ’em
cause she had to
hid pretend air force one tags deep down in her shoe
so nobody could ever know that this quite girl
was trying to fit into a world that gave her the flu
cause with dark skin kinky hair
no one had the slightest idea she was there
so confidence slid into empty chairs
and she pushed set-apartness to the side
and wished for positive comments this time like they were prayers
forget water
a trip to the mall was like walking on air
and as long as footlocker existed so would this love affair
‘cause popularity called her bluff,
and although it never existed for her kindness wasn’t enough
you see A’s and B’s were fruitless and college ambitions got no recognition
unknown to her that good grades and popularity both had stock in the elite
or that invisibility would not be defined by other people’s views of herself
no more than the Jordan’s on her feet
and that no matter how hard she tried
neither Master Degrees or Apple Bottom jeans could make her complete
and despite how long she struggled through school
it was truth that offered her the first seat
knowledge,
wisdom,
and understanding she did receive
cause they had it all
and she had nothing