Winter’s Here

DSCN0124
EC and Major Rhonda Reagor Johnson, New Mexico Military Institute, Roswell NM, 1-3-2016

After a steamy summer season and an autumn just as cool and laid back as the stride of a black man winter finally showed up on my Louisiana door step. First of all the trip to New Mexico was dangerously exciting as the snow storm ripped through the little town and pretty much showed it whose boss. Tiny snowflakes, all beautiful and delicate, proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that size and appearance mean nothing. Those miniature beauties piled one on top the other until we were knee deep in snow. Having endured the rigors of Chicago winters my whole life it was refreshing to see snow again albeit under such conditions. The roads were nothing short of a mess, as if a group of children had taken the opportunity to experiment with slush and dumped it on the tops of buildings that now moaned the loss of roof tops and shingles. Cars were doomed but not even the average pick-up truck could sustain the beast that tore through this small town that is usually not equipped to handle such weather. New Mexico was in a state of emergency and we were smack down in the middle of it. (You risk takers you!) The fog was so thick that you couldn’t see in front of you, like when steam takes over the bathroom after a hot shower and blocks your view of the mirror. We had to slow down and eventually stop on the way over it was so cloudy. You’ve never seen the sky milked like this before.

In any event, by this time last year Shreveport had already seen a splash of snow so we half-heartedly expected to come back to warmer weather. That is until I stepped out the car early this morning, when the sun is still hiding behind the clouds and many of you were calling hogs in your sleep, to the bitterness of the air.

“Well, then. Good morning winter. Nice to see you again.”

Advertisements

Road Trip!

IMG_20150713_093755 IMG_20150713_094049

Me and My Love, ’07

***

I absolutely love to travel, especially when it comes to the open road. Flying is cool, buses are not all that, and trains are OK but driving is where it’s at. There is a tranquil about the pavement that sets the stage for good thinking. And what do you ask comes from good thinking? You got it, good writing! When my husband and I started out we drove everywhere and it is the image I always have in my head of a road trip. Hubby behind the wheel, me riding shot gun, snacks keeping the back seat warm and old school music taking us back from the radio. With Marvin Gaye and Luther’s help there was never a dull moment and the conversations we’ll have came directly from the heart, giving us each a better understanding of the other. We’ll laugh and come up with funny dances you can only do in the car (hubby has this hilarious rolling the window down thing) and inside jokes only we knew about.

IMG_20150713_094709

There is nothing like pulling away from the world and having the space all to yourself for good conversation, so these I also cherished. Let’s not forget Cruises! If there is anything more peaceful than the road it’s a ship, I definitely look forward to that again. In any event, we are attending a conference this week in Houston, and though it’s only four hours away (a good road trip is about 7 hours for us), I am excited to roll on out and taste of the road’s delicacies, notepad and pen in hand. You know, just in case :).

My Chicago Trip

Hey there loves! Yall miss me? Yessss…

11043170_371497916384520_3153846018559242267_nFor those of you who don’t already know, I’m a native of Chicago, south side. This blog has been closed because this past weekend, we took a trip up to the windy city for the premiere of “Blakk Amerika: From Prophets to Pimps”, a Stage Play produced by my organization, Israylite Heritage, detailing 4,000 years of history of the so called African American people.

 

11150517_1605102406400280_4685112173965715535_n11110479_10152941150438823_4540364122003313418_n

11152357_10152941150138823_1684843648876877854_n 11182027_10152941336473823_6948973776577244866_n11188382_883129335059628_7430009428651486862_n11138657_883129418392953_2644768166720176452_n

The event took place at The Dusable Museum of African American History. Over 300 people came out to see the almost 3 hour show. Words cannot fully express the empowerment expressed through this event. So instead, I put together a post of pics (as promised yess) to help me to give you an idea of what the play was about.

 

Let’s start with the name, why Prophets to Pimps?

10835164_10203803920887733_1323798749435840137_o
Larry Allen, & Jeremiah Bright as Moses and Aharon

The History of the African American is always told from the perspective of slavery and the America’s. Aside from the scarce mentioning of life in Africa, rarely is the true story of the identity of the black man and woman told from their glorious past before that. Prophets to Pimps embodies the truth concerning the black man and woman today; who at one point was a nation of Prophets, Prophetess, Kings and Queens. A nation of priest; chosen and set-apart to the most high and charged with the duty of teaching and showing all nations of people his ways.

Mordekiyah, Rhonda Reagor Johnson, and Jessie Bright as the Righteous Angel, Wisdom, and Understanding
Mordekiyah, Rhonda Reagor Johnson, and Jessie Bright as the Righteous Angel, Wisdom, and Understanding

11193314_391294917738153_679382590456802082_n 11193303_1605102429733611_1276335778108626140_n

The costumes were nothing short of amazing. As you can see, many of the actors / actresses are dressed in Egyptian garb. This is to showcase, not only the understanding that the Egyptians were a black skinned people, but more deeply, that the Israelites were also black skinned and that they, the Israelites, are the ancestors of the so called African American people. When they came into Egypt 70 in number, they were freed by the most high through the hand of Moses and led into the wilderness. They are dressed as Egyptians because as citizens of Egypt this is how they would have come out of that land.

11180624_391296084404703_8170425206312147309_n11209538_391296154404696_4656641121483791185_n768x1024.png.40006efade114822a73d4549e816a3eb768x1024.png.867b4102afd04465917ff850739833d6

When the Israelites were freed from Egypt, they made a covenant with the most high. In this covenant that they made, they promised to spread his word to the world. As a result, the almighty would in return make them the most mighty and most righteous nation above all the nations of the Earth. However, if they did not obey the covenant they would be the most despised and downtrodden of the Earth. They would be plagued by disease, oppression, sicknesses, be called by the names of proverbs, mockeries, and bywords (such as Nigga, Coon, Black, Afro-American, African American, American, etc.)., hidden in prison houses and go into slavery in ships. All of this, our entire history, is written and recorded in the bible itself. No longer would we be a nation of priest and prophets, but if we disobeyed the covenant of the most high, now we would be a nation of thugs and pimps. Sadly, we disobeyed the covenant that we made and so began our tragic downfall. We’ve gone from Prophets…..to Pimps.

Interesting Fact:
The word pimp first appeared in English in 1607 in a Thomas Middleton play entitled Your five Gallants. It is believed to have stemmed from the French word “pimper” meaning to dress up elegantly. Pimp used as a verb, meaning to act as a pimp, first appeared in 1636 in the book, “The Beautiful Lover.” In the 18th and 19th centuries, the term was commonly used to refer to informers.

543x960 586x960 645x960 720x960.png.efd689166f3f4739a6c35271b04098ea480x640

11182156_391115331089445_511926500686357809_n
Deu. 28:68 “And Yah shall bring you back to Egypt in ships, by a way of which I said to you, ‘You are never to see it again.’ And there you shall be sold to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one to buy.”

The play covered us being sold into slavery on auction blocks and life on the plantation. The audience really enjoyed this segment. The actors and actresses really put on a good show, causing the room to erupt in laughter and in tears when needed.

11174409_10203803925607851_449506668196020248_o

In this scene, the slave John is called as a prophet and sent to the other slaves to explain their oppression to them. As you can see, the play also included video on the projector screen and music. Combined, these elements added to the significance of the performances.

11193315_391295977738047_4117205831128882735_n960x720.png.806dab111f134e37a369438beb44a907

This is me! Lol….I play Betsy Mae, a slave on Paul’s plantation whose son gets sold away from her. The old me picture is used in a different scene to show to Besty’s great great great grandson Raymond. His mother, Shelia, explains slavery and what happened to her  young son.

720x1273.png.86c7fedd647c47478a286035712960d4

This is Ezkekiel. He plays the part of Besty’s son who is sold away from her. Isn’t he handsome! Awww lol.

Interesting Facts:

• During slavery in the United States, the slaves referred to the slave owner as Masa. This was not a mispronunciation of the word Master. Masa is a Hebrew word that means burden/oppression.

• The famous Negro spiritual song KUMBAYAH was often sung on the plantations by slaves. According to the bible in the book of Psalms 68:4, the name of the creator is Yah. Like in the phrase, “Halleluyah” which is spelled “Hallelujah” but is pronounced, “Hallelu-Yah” because it means “Praise Yah”. The song KUMBAYAH therefore means “Come by Yah”. The slaves were singing to the true creator of all to come by and save them.

• The prophets carried the name of Yah in their names, although it has been changed to -iah, many of their names ended in yah. As in IsaiYah, JeremiYah, ZechariYah, ZephaniYah, ObadiYah, etc.

• The true name of the biblical messiah is Yahoshua. This Hebrew name means Yah’s Salvation or Salvation of Yah. It is equivalent in English to Joshua.

Deu 28:32  “Your sons and your daughters are given to another people, and your eyes look and fail for them all day long, and your hand powerless.
Deu 28:32 “Your sons and your daughters are given to another people, and your eyes look and fail for them all day long, and your hand powerless.

11157543_10203804630745479_7784500916141791612_o

I also play the Shelia character in modern times, who teaches her son about his great great great grandmother (the Besty character I played in the beginning). The parallel in this scene showcases how our children are still being taken from us. Shelia gets a surprise visit from a DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) agent who tries to take her son away. In this scene, my son is played by Zuri.

11187297_10203804419020186_1788034635715712703_oThe most moving part of the play has to be this scene, when we talk about the lynching of African Americans. The scene begins in a home where a discussion is brewing between a woman who says black men should stand up and defend themselves.

 But there’s a knock on the door from the neighbor who says police are looking for black men who they say killed three white women. All of the men ran to the woods to hide except Otis and Lewis who are still in the house. Her voice is filled with fear and urgency.

728x1296.png.59501c43ef564d01816e42e68dc4a257 720x1273.png.55b37fd194564360925d60b37f2d00b9

Otis and Lois

11169712_10203804481781755_168026497538304095_o

Nina Simmon’s Strange Fruit and live footage of hangings occupy the scene.

11182047_391294987738146_8111579501706886796_nFun Fact: The word picnic came from, “Pick a Nigger”. During lynchings, racist whites posed in front of camera’s, gathered blankets, and brought food to the executions. They brought their babies and children along as well. It was an entire event. And they watched as black men, women, and children hung to their deaths under trees. This is why your picnic must be in a spacious land area and under a tree. Lynchings were the first picnics.

 

11174404_10206552193385054_1364747372263971195_o **Disclaimer: We are an organization of all nationalities of people. We believe Yah’s love is for ALL men who accept his truth and walk in his ways. Israylite Heritage does not support any racial superiority doctrine.**

 

11148557_391115497756095_7046134431625184154_n
Isa 3:12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

719x963.jpeg.7d20b2efa2cf4dfa8ef83993d71d3ced1152x2048.png.92f95ee41dad4bf7886dbc15099bbc3a760x1344.png.862fb09824db488083451dac366c0b6b

No longer do our children respect their mothers and fathers. Now, they oppress them. They have no obedience for the elders in their communities. They have no fear.

Isaiah 3:12 “…and women rule over them…”
Isaiah 3:12 “…and women rule over them…” The I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T Women

11038408_10203804639425696_6640301277126666839_o 11155113_10203804639985710_4010458910824489664_o 11169594_10203804652186015_8817814525952515442_o

No longer do black women look at themselves as princesses and their men as princes; now we are thots and our men are niggas. No longer do we submit ourselves to their authority and recognize them as heads of our households. Now we don’t need a man because we can pay our own bills and buy our own cars. We have made money synonymous with protection. We have turned our glory into shame.

11022537_10203804654266067_7906108958566687262_o
Isaiah 3:12 “…they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

11164056_10203804641745754_2084371712387644637_o 1280x960.png.6c51888a11a749c8bb4af7dd2e01af48

The leaders and so called preachers and deacons within the Black community have led them astray. No longer do they teach you about your mighty heritage, instead they rob you physically and spiritually. They teach you to give tithes that were reserved for the Levite priest (of which we have no knowledge of today), and that was not money to begin with. They do not teach you to fear your almighty creator. Instead they teach you to worship the Gods and Goddesses of your oppressors. Our leaders buy million dollar jets, monopolize on our sorrows, and give nothing in return. They have led us astray and destroy the way of our path.

11182283_391295957738049_631773371277545368_n
Deu 28:43 “The sojourner who is among you rises higher and higher above you, but you come down lower and lower. Deu 28:44 “He lends to you, but you do not lend to him. He is the head, and you are the tail.

My husband as Muhammad. Hubby is actually an experienced actor. He has done commercials, voice overs, and has been featured in films alongside Lorenz Tate, Lisa Ray and others. He has many parts in the play but this particular one is that of the store owner Muhammad. It is to showcase the fact that other nationalities of people come into this country and in no time build up businesses within the Black community. We have been in this country for centuries and have not built much of anything, why? Prophecy says this will happen to the children of Israel if they disobeyed the covenant. People wonder why racism in America always surrounds blacks? Because of every nationality in the world, we are the lowest. And that’s just real.

Jer 23:7  “Therefore, see, the days are coming,” declares יהוה, “when they shall say no more, ‘As יהוה lives who brought up the children of Yisra’ĕl out of the land of Mitsrayim,’  Jer 23:8  but, ‘As יהוה lives who brought up and led the seed of the house of Yisra’ĕl out of the land of the north and from all the lands where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell on their own soil.”
Jer 23:7 “Therefore, see, the days are coming,” declares Yah, “when they shall say no more, ‘As Yah lives who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’
Jer 23:8 but, ‘As Yah lives who brought up and led the seed of the house of Israel out of the land of the north and from all the lands where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell on their own soil.”

However, the truth is being restored and we will be made great again.

11154612_391316807735964_1086496830182182485_o 11154612_391316807735964_1086496830182182485_o

Because this is already a long post and does not even begin to scratch the surface, I am going to leave it here. However, there is so much response from this play that we are already booking to show it again 3 more times this year in different states and again in Chicago this fall. It is possible that we will put together a tour. Details are forthcoming. In the meantime, here are some more pics of the family, rehearsals, etc. (They are not professional pictures because we are still processing the footage and pictures our camera guy took).

11050310_10152740187371296_6428195732739354496_n 11113929_1605102646400256_3185243845664607335_n 11128700_1597607503815057_352157077132910709_n 11143088_1597683480474126_5914863711915272593_n 11150668_1597700137139127_7806976048218668373_n 11150670_1597699883805819_2807463055172032560_n 11165146_10152942399418823_6281434793677243952_n 11168561_1597692120473262_3482497158642059432_n 11169877_10152940896448823_1670935391340073690_n 11175035_10152941050678823_7043863364768442021_n 11178273_1597684017140739_5663346600176149582_n 11178319_1605102943066893_1673894459638797063_n 11179980_10152940896648823_6813763664144350923_n 11181731_10152942397918823_7909480571548503887_n 11182045_10152941050808823_5119486072638567559_n 11182055_1597688747140266_3214627527807379831_n 11182144_391296244404687_7045864754069950836_n 11188203_10152940896293823_8172065559316063788_n 11188240_390684924465819_600835831091757970_n 11188280_10152942399038823_259897446198769108_n 11196286_1597688800473594_3959895469208521375_n 11196289_390684877799157_5226083950075465330_n 11196308_10152941051133823_4360835163678371963_n 11200612_1605102606400260_4286124008287031931_n 11203058_10152941050933823_6172222222224881265_n 11203081_10152941051023823_620143777652088246_n 11203102_10152941050583823_9179341876028597036_n 11203709_10103113602657207_5250640299468964065_n 11205520_1597700067139134_2569355482901004429_n 11206026_10152942396113823_2959370048351636112_n 11206065_10103113609488517_1593852536956265883_n  11210477_10152941050243823_3276477994471101325_n