Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Documentary - To Educate A Girl

     As an educator I know the value of education, and it`s not just simply to get a job, but how to think. Don`t get me wrong, I am not diminishing the importance of seeking employment; getting a job is something to be celebrated, especially in times of economic and political uncertainty. I am saying education allows you the opportunity to live your dreams by creating your dreams, and giving you the intellectual and practical tools you need to bring those dreams to reality. But just how accessible is education to everybody? I would say here in the United States education is very accessible to American citizens. Sure, there are debates and arguments regarding the quality education in the US, but in general, education is accessible to Americans. How accessible is education to others around the World, especially for girls?

     To Educate A Girl seeks to answer this question - what does it take to educate a girl? This documentary from producers/directors Frederick Rendina and Oren Rudavsky is in response to the United Nations global initiative to provide girls with equal access to education by 2015. To Educate A Girl had its debut at the October 10, 2010 Mill Valley Film Festival, with a LINK TV broadcast premiere on June 24, 2011, and was rebroadcast on June 28. This is an important documentary to see, and you can view it now by going to

     As a father of a beautiful daughter who means the world to me, I want my daughter to have equal access to education, and other opportunities open and available to all. Let me know what you think; post a comment to this blog.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Does Christianity keep African Americans believing in fairy tales?

     I found an on-line article in the Examiner - San Francisco, at entitled Christianity Keeps African Americans Believing In Fairy Tales (San Francisco, Oct. 14, 2010). I urge you to go to the link and see what Deborrah Cooper has to say.

     I have notice many times people speak of the Church in generalizations, and this seems to be what Cooper is doing in her article. Cooper ask the question whether or not the Black Church has outlived it usefulness to Black Americans? Does this question deserve a response? The Church represents salvation in the name of Jesus Christ - our Lord and Savior, and is based upon our Faith in the Holy Trinity; Faith, not fairy tales. So, how does the Church outlive its usefulness? it doesn`t! not for believers.

     Ms. Cooper goes on to pin-point  problems in the African American community by talking about statistics  saying "statistically, Black people are the most religious ethnic group in the nation, yet have the highest rate of incarceration, poverty, infant mortality, single parent homes, unemployment, and HIV/AIDS". Look, we cannot deny these problems exist in our communities, but our problems also stem from an unique history that to this day still negatively effects us economically, educationally, psychologocally, and sociologically. If anything, those problems sited gives more relevance to the importance of Christianity developing Faith, and serving the needs of believers and non-believers.

     Church is not a hindrance to Black achievement; it celebrates it. The Black Church has provided a templet for many of us to learn how to function in business, politics, and other areas of human endeavors. Cooper talks about limitations placed on our minds, achievements, and relationships, thanks to Christianity, but it seems to me having Faith increases those areas of our lives.

     At the end of the day each person is responsible for what they believe or do not believe. I believe the 66 books of the Bible are the sacred words of God given to us as an account of history, poems, songs, and stories that many of us live by, because we do believe, and we choose to believe. For non-believers who choose to view Christianity as simply fairy tales, you have the right to do so, especially in a free society, but for those of us who believe, we call it Faith. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Clarinet and saxophone players; what kind of reed are you using, and why?

     Someone once told me a long time ago that reeds are like underware; very personal. I don`t think reeds are so personal we can`t talk about our favorite brand(s), but I do think reeds are personal from the standpoint of us as clarinetist and saxophonist finding our artistic voice. I have to say on tenor saxophone  the Rico Royal - #3 is my personal favorite.

     I enjoy the Rico Royal because it is for my money the most consistent, enjoyable, reliable, and trustworthy reeds I have played. The Rico Royal works well in classical, jazz, and vernacular music styles, as I said, the Rico Royal is consistent!

     Rico Royals are reeds that are products of Rico Reeds, which is a division of D`Addario & Company, Inc. The Rico Royal is one of seven classical tenor saxophone reeds produced by Rico. Characterist of the Rico Royal  is its traditional French filed cut for increased response, especially in the low register of the saxophone.

     That`s my choice, but what is yours? Post your answer in the comment section of this blog, and please, join my blog.