Commentary-January 17, 2011Commentary — By Buddy Sampson on January 11, 2011 at 1:17 am
This is my first commentary of 2011 and I’m proud and Blessed to be here another year. If you are reading this, you should be thanking Our Creator, The Lord, or if you don’t believe in God, your higher power or the forces that are keeping you here. I write this Commentary on Martin Luther King’s birthday and we’ve gotten so far as a society, as a power and as a people, to the realization and culmination of the dreams of a visionary, Martin Luther King Jr. King believed in the premise of equality and while he fought and died for the rights of African-Americans (or Black people-who cares about labels), his vision was for the equality for all of God’s children, no matter what race, what gender, nationality or culture you call your own. His message of non-violence is one of Mahatma Gandhi, of love, vision and greatness. In our country, the United States, we have seen the progress of King’s vision. We have a person of color in arguably, the most powerful position in the world, President of the United States, Barack Obama. Obama exercised King’s vision, not only by the sheer voracity of being elected, but by passing legislation, repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which discriminated against a large portion of our population, our gay citizens.
My Mother, Rose Lee Turner, (pictured above) with My Dad, Jutson Sampson.
I was very fortunate to grow up in Philadelphia in a section of town called West Oak Lane, which, when my parents moved in the area, was predominately White. Ours was one of the few Black families on our street, along with a great friend’s family, Antonio Martins Jr. (who was the former chef for The Jackson Family). My dear mother, Rose Lee Turner, later Rosalie Sampson, taught us as small children, (my sister Carol, and my two brothers Steven and Gregory) to judge people by only one measure, who they are. I went to an all academic high school, Central High and when I brought my White friends home from school, my mother was delighted and treated them the same way she treated everyone, with kindness and love. She was the sweetest person I’ve even known. She instilled in us the importance of spirituality and love. To this day, I rarely miss a Sunday in church.
But we still have a long way to go. While things have gotten infinitely better, I long for the day when I can walk down the street in a White area, and not have people cross the street when I approach. I long for the day to come when I decide to go out with a woman I like that happens to be of another race, to not be stared at, or punched by a woman of my own race, which happened to me on New Years Day as I danced with a terrific lady I met New Year’s Eve, Celebrity Chef, Monika Friedl. I long to be recognized as a proud Black man, who, from the lessons from my mother, has the freedom of choosing a Black woman, a White woman, an Asian Women, a Latina woman or any other culture as my bride without judgement, without a thought that I’ve abandoned my own race, which I’ll never do. I long for the day when people that love each other for who they are, aren’t persecuted for their choice, which is made by the sheer prospect of love and not other unimportant criteria.I long for the day when a woman is President, or a Latino or Latina is President or an Asian man, an Asian woman or an American Indian can be President. I feel that day is coming, and it is coming, and as King so eloquently said, “he dreams of a day where his four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin,.but by the content of their character,” and where “little Black boys and Black girls will be able to join hands with little White boys and White girls as sisters and brothers.” So eloquent, so beautiful and while we’re almost there, we still have a little way to go.
I encourage you, on this day and forever, to take the time to learn other cultures and hear their stories and feel the love. I think that you’ll find, although the specter of racism still exists, that we have a lot more in common than not. We are all of the human race. That’s what most important. Think of love, the most important quality we possess and exercise that love to everyone.
Check out the article on Indiana University and what’s going on there. Read our article on Hair. We have an upcoming review of the dynamic play “Traces,” which featured incredible urban like acrobatics, interspersed with comedy. We have a new Ms. Scoop, Ameona Almund, a comedienne, a gorgeous woman of color, that follows the most hilarious Ms. Scoop we’ve ever had, Camille Solari, who is destined to be a major star. Picture Sarah Silverman meets Ellen DeGenerus and you have the picture of the stunning Ms. Solari. Years ago, I predicted that Angela Bassett would be a big star and well….. Camille Solari, who also produced a documentary on legendary soul singer James Brown, is destined for the same fate. And I’m so proud to introduce a funny, gorgeous actress and future Ms. Scoop, who will be the oldest Ms. Scoop we’ve ever had and is featured in “People You Should Know,” Nikki Storm.
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Finally, I wish all of you all the success and prosperity that our Creator promises us. Keep believing. I know these are tough times and you may be struggling, but keep the faith, put God first and I promise things will get better. I wish you the love of Martlin Luther King’s dream. Continue to dream, love and strive for the success you deserve.
We love you.
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