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Archive for the ‘African-American’ Category

I wrote Words from the Underground in order to speak out and give a literary voice to the stories that lie hidden within the inner city streets of urban America.  I’ve been out there over the years.  Back in the day, I craved the allure of the street life that promised easy riches and high times.  I discovered that nothing is easy out in the streets, especially when you throw in drugs and money.  Fast forward several years.  I found myself on the streets as I sought to stir up community involvement through urban faith-based and community-based programs.  Later, once a minister of the gospel, I was doing “street ministry,” sharing through the Word and good works.  It was a complete turn around.

 I use my creative expressions through writing and seek to shed light on the darkness that exists and seems hidden from the eyes of most of America.  They do not know the pain of the people.  They fail to see the people on the streets as real people.  To me, it is more than a book.  It’s poetry mixed with social commentary and advocacy.  Perhaps, someone will read this and gain a deeper and clearer understanding of what goes on out there.  Someone else may read this and feel like someone has finally put into words what had been pulsating within them for so many years.  Finally, this may truly move someone to do something.  Maybe someone will develop a program to help others within their city.  Maybe someone else will start speaking out and advocating for the people who live in these inhumane conditions.  Truthfully, I would be satisfied if someone just read my words and started treating people like people, never truly knowing what someone else’s story may be beneath the mask they wear day in and day out.  Maybe so.

Enter into a world unknown to many… the Underground.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

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UCSD’s Compton Cookout is turning into the Chancellor Cop-out. Nice try but no takers on freedom speech and such defenses when its your campus. The incident demonstrated that racism and bigotry can be seen as a laughing matter to many on a campus where 2% of the population is ridiculed and mocked as “ghetto.” The last time I checked UC had some pretty stringent standards. Time for change is upon us. It’s today. Promote as much Black pride as you can muster in these last days of Black History Month. Our children and youth need to see us as leaders, not laughing stocks.
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Get a daily dose of reality @ https://revbruce.wordpress.com
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Try sharing with a youth.
Surely, it can prevent teen-age pregnancy and drop outs.
Visit www.mentoring.org
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Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our mind.
 

-Bob Marley, “Redemption Song” 

Enslaved people have a similar experience throughout the world.  Oddly enough, enslaved Africans shared a similar experience to the enslaved Hebrews of Egypt.  Those who were shackled and chained in the Mississippi Delta and along the Mason-Dixon Line identified with the children of Joseph and his brothers in Goshen.  Then, much like the Hebrews who followed Moses out of Egypt, the slaves who had cried out to the Lord through their tears and sorrow songs were still attached to the practices of slavery even after the Emancipation Proclamation going into effect.  Do you remember hearing about those stiff-necked Hebrews who pressured Moses about dragging them out to the desert to die? Yes, some freed Hebrews actually desired to return back to the very kingdom where they had lived under the lash of Pharoah’s overseers.  They wanted what they knew and were used to rather than the Promised Land that had been promised to their ancestors by the great I AM.  Much like Moses’ appeal to God’s people to turn back to God and trust Him to be their supplier, their strength and their sustenance in the wilderness, Bob Marley appeals to the enlightened to “emancipate” themselves from mental slavery and shake themselves free of its grip on their lives.  Don’t let yourself become enslaved.  Free yourself.  Sray free from the snares of mental slavery and focus on God’s calling and plan for you in your life.  Escape from the wickedness that seeks to keep you oppressed and “down” on yourself to the point of depression.

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

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There’s a question brewing among the saints. Evangelicals and radicals alike are tossing ideas back and forth. Many folks in Christian circles are trying to figure out what to do during these hard economic times. People are trying to figure out if it is about the church being part of the community or the community being part of the church.

We contemplate the complicated. We mix and mingle a whole lot of mess. In the end, we are left with the simple discovery that there is no better solution than what we had before. The countless ways that we can dream up and scheme up don’t seem to matter much because God has already offered the best alternative.

He expects us to be part of the solution to both the community’s issues and the church’s ills. The church needs to get over itself and recognize that it’s not that holy. Church people sin just like evryone else, by thought, word and deed. The church should serve those within the community to help meet unmet needs of the fatherless, homeless, jobless, and others. Our service is not good works if the benefactors are merely other church people. That would make us simply hypocrites. We need to get out into the community and see where we might be able to lend support to existing services and add to the plethora of newly-adapted services needed to reach people at their lowest points as they seek to survive and simply make ends meet. Let the church serve its community, embracing brothers and sisters with all that they have to offer.

The unity of the church will consist
not in organizations,
not in dogmas,
not in liturgies,
not in pious hearts,
but in the word of God
in the voice of Jesus Christ.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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I am honestly inspired by God as I prepare for an unconventional sermon today. Street preaching, as many will agree, requires one to say what needs to be said and shut up and get out of the way. The Lord will lead you further once you get started, but He gives you enough to get started and share with the people in order to make a real connection with them. At least twice per month, we rotate among 3 to 4 preachers to share a brief inspirational message before a line of people seeking food items and clothes from our community giveaway. Our presentation of the gospel has shifted as hearts have been opened by the Word and our own eyes have been opened to the degree of blight and poverty that exists within our community. As I prepare for my message, I see images of black, brown and yellow faces with hope in their dark eyes. I can’t help but hear the Lord’s words the “least of these” echo over and over again in my spirit. Keep us in prayer as we serve the people once again.

Bayview Charities Food Giveaway
Sponsored by Feeding America
Every 1st & 3rd Friday
8 AM-10 AM
www.bayviewcharities.com
www.bayviewbc.org
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Visit Rev. Bruce’s other blog, too. https://revbruce.wordpress.com

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Technology is the great equalizer for modern business. Through technology small businesses can compete and reach markets that were never available to them in prior years. The business world has seriously gone global.
Those who use technology need some essential tools to maximize its usage for business success. The following is a list of tech essentials:
Laptop/ PC: this serves as the base of your online operations; from outgoing messages and email blasts to billing and accounting software like Quickbooks, you need either or both of these working for you.
Smartphone: you have a lot of choices. Blackberry, Apple’s iPhone, HTC and Palm. I use the Palm Pro with Windows Mobile. Email, text messages, Internet surfing, and lot of other bells and whistles that I cannot even keep up with. Discover what you need for your business to run smoothly on the go.
Website: Check out http://www.bravenet.com because they have web tools and platforms for web design; need to add a calendar to your site? Start here. Yes, you can use Google calendar and sites but this is one option among many.
Social Networking: you need a profile beyond your About Us page on your website. Linked In, MySpace, and others provide a platform for you to provide a profile and interact with others online. I am a big fan of Facebook. it just has the type of platform that I find well worth the time and effort. Twitter also let’s me get some ideas out there about business, sports, and whole lot of other things. FaithFreaks is a Christian network that I like almost as much as http://www.urbanministry.org.

There are other tools that we can use, but these are just the essentials.
Follow me on http://www.twitter.com/lifepath01/.

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In an era such this one that has seen the first African-American president, Black business in America needs support and strengthening. It should be that the Black community, especially the Black church, works to generate Black-owned businesses, even women-owned businesses. Throughout August, I will highlight some issues and insights regarding Black business as part of Life Path’s recognition of Black Business Month.

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