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AUGUST 2017    

Living in High Def

By Ma’at Seba
      Recently some actors and actresses have been strongly opposing movies, films and awards events being filmed in “HD” or “High Definition”. High Definition is defined as “an increased magnification so as to make an image clear, accurate and distinct”. An increasing amount of movies and television programs are being reformatted into highly digitized HD. Hollywood’s actresses and actors have a big concern, which is that HD will show how they all look in reality. That means that you will see every wrinkle, bump, pore, lump, dimple and Botox injection that they have. Before HD, filming and live broadcasts were in low definition and with the aid of makeup, special lighting and other camera tricks the viewing public was always given images of flawlessly attractive people. There has now become an increasing demand for new kinds of cosmetics and camera equipment that will maintain the “illusions” of perfection that the actresses and actors so desperately need to maintain.
     Many lives have been damaged and even destroyed by trying to live up to, or emulate the images of “beauty” that Hollywood and other forms of media have portrayed. Women and girls are trying to have an unrealistic pencil thin body and becoming anorexic, bulimic and depressed in the quest to become something other than what they divinely are meant to look like. Millions of dollars are made every year from Botox injections, liposuctions, implants, make-up, hair weave, acrylic nails, sunburns, wrinkle creams, tanning booths, creams and sprays, weight loss wonder cures etc., just to create and keep up an unrealistic image of “real beauty” which only a tiny percentage of the population of people really look like.
     If we all were living our lives in High Def, than we would have to examine our thoughts, words and behaviors and decide if we are comfortable and proud of what we look like and who we are, and then we will know that we are honoring and living in our truth. Ask yourself these questions:
1) Do I love myself?  
2) Do I respect myself?  
3) Do others respect me?  
4) Am I proud of and comfortable with my body?  
5) Is my mate proud to have me as their partner?  
6) Would I want to marry someone exactly like me
7) Are my parents proud to have me as their child?  
8) Would my child be proud to have me as a parent?
9) Have I done or said anything that I would be embarrassed or ashamed for others to find out about?  
10) Do I assume full responsibility for all of my words and actions?  
11) Have I made amends or asked for forgiveness to anyone that I have hurt or harmed through my words or actions? 
     If you have answered “No” to more than one of these questions, you now have a starting point for High Def self-examination. When you can answer “Yes” to most of them, then at least you are on the path to living in a more righteous, divine and truthful manner.
    We are now in a time called the “Age of Aquarius” which is a time where all truth will begin to be revealed. This is why there has been an influx of stories in the media of prominent figures being exposed for scandal and wrong doings of adultery, theft, drug and alcohol abuse, addictions, murder, extortion, pornography etc. Even in your own personal life there have been and will be truths reveled about people that you know and even about yourself. Do not seek out or initiate gossip and thirst after the next scandal or tabloid story because the pain, misfortune, embarrassment and guilt of others that you are so very interested in, might one day be your experience. Begin to look at yourself in High Def and when you are living your life without illusions then you will have no problem if others examine who you are, because you have nothing to hide!  
     Ma’at Seba is a motivational speaker and writer. Email her at Maatseba@yahoo.com.
 or call (313) 861-1118.  

AUGUST 2017    
Mom on the Rebound
By D. L. Gibson
    Bishop snatched little brother deacon up by the waistline of his pants. His skinny legs were dangling in the air, as the Bishop shook his tiny frame. He was twitching and turning. It seemed like Bishop was trying to knock the twitch out of him to make him man up. I guess little brother deacon won’t be sashaying in the Bishop’s presence anymore.
     Pastor Thug Life’s brother had a big smile on his face, as we all watched in amazement. Either Bishop had superhero strength or little brother deacon was light as a feather. The other queens watched in amazement with their mouths hung wide open, but they didn’t dare try to defend little brother deacon. Bishop was a tall man packing quite a few pounds. I wouldn’t say that he was fat, but he definitely wasn’t a puny man. He was also known to set religion aside, when the wrong buttons were pushed. And, I guess little brother deacon had pushed it and set him off.
     I kind of felt sorry for him, even though he had got in my face and was about to strike me. I was glad Pastor Thug Life’s brother had intervened. He grabbed little brother deacon’s wrist so hard that I thought he was going to snap it off. Now, little man was getting whopped on by Bishop. Tootsie, aka little brother deacon, should have stayed wrapped up and bagged. He should have never brought Tootsie out of the closet.
  Bishop’s reaction on seeing Tootsie sashay over to him nearly made us forget the bad news about Ms. Hazelnut. She/he was in a coma and was diagnosed with AIDS. Somebody needs to get the Center for Disease Control up here, because there’s an epidemic spreading.
  I saw firsthand some of the obscene things going on at the gay club. Lord knows what was going on in the VIP room. But, maybe either Bishop or Pastor Thug Life’s brother can get it out of little brother deacon. I’m sure that if they take him into a back room, he’ll dish out all of the dirt to expose this downlow thing.
  Word must have finally got to the queens about Ms. Hazelnut, because all of a sudden we hear them scream out, “Oh no!”
     Others were calling out names of whom she probably contracted the disease from. Then, they did it again. They called out the crazy deacon’s name. Oh Lord…why did they do that? Some of the members of his wife’s family were still sitting in the waiting room. She had suffered a heart attack from the excitement and they were taking turns going to the back to see her. When they called out the deacon’s name, a big busty looking woman walks over to them, and asks, “What about deacon? You better tell me why you said his name and you better speak up fast!”
     “He’s a friend,” said one of the queens. “We didn’t mean no harm.”
     Bishop overheard it and stood beside the busty woman. Little brother deacon retreated to a corner on the other side of the room. He wanted no parts of the conversation. As he tried to sneak out the door, Bishop said, “Get over here! You ain’t going nowhere. In fact, no one’s going anywhere, until I find out what’s going on and why you and deacon are involved.”
     Two of the queens tried to leave, saying “It’s dangerous sitting in a hospital emergency room. I’m going back to the hood where it’s safer.”
  Bishop didn’t find any humor in her comment. No he didn’t just snatch her up too! Lord…please help Bishop.  
     Mom on the Rebound is based on actual events.  

Telford Telescope: 
Telford recalls dark Rochester days
By Dr. John Telford
     On July 14, 2017, a group of African-American teachers, counselors, and administrators who were retiring or had retired from the Rochester Community Schools, an African-American parent of a student enrolled there at the time, and her now-adult daughter invited me to a dinner at the Detroit Yacht Club in my honor. This invitation, which after 30 years came out of the blue and was entirely unexpected, touched me deeply.  
     These were educators whom I had unilaterally recruited and hired as a pioneering one-man self-appointed affirmative action engine in the face of the 98% white Rochester school district community's consistently manifested disapproval. That opposition expressed itself in raucous meetings calling for my firing, bullets being shot into my Rochester Hills home at midnight, excrement being planted in my home mailbox, swastikas being drawn in chalk on my sidewalk, and myriad death threats being telephoned or mailed to me. Local headlines at the time reflected these confrontations; e.g.,       "Rochester's maverick educator prepares for the next round" (cover story in the May 22, 1991 edition of the Metro Times featuring my then-dark-bearded mug on the cover), and "Telford comes out fighting; recall group incensed" (front-page headline of a March, 1990 issue of the Rochester Hills Reminder). On the front page of the May 7, 1991 Detroit Free Press, the following quote appeared beside my photo: "I'm an integrationist, and I can't sit by and watch the Detroit area remain the most segregated in the country."  
     When the increasingly nervous Rochester school board finally put a gag order on me, I promptly called a press conference, went on television, and stated my case on the Denny McClain Show. A small group of black parents organized to support me and were joined by Jewish parents. White Christian parents calling themselves UPWARD (United Parents Working to Advance Rochester's Diversity) subsequently joined them, too. The combined groups proved to be stronger than the bigot groups, and they got my three-year contract renewed and saved my job. A year later I retired as Rochester's Deputy Superintendent and returned to my hometown Detroit to head up the counseling center at the old Trombly Adult Day High School,. My retirement party was attended by more than 500 people, including basketball great and high jump star Spencer Haywood and other champion athletes I had coached in DPS in the 1960s. After I blasted some of my favorite targets in my retirement speech, this headline appeared in The Oakland Press on June 23,1991: "Telford again bucks system on way out." 
     Similar re-runs of those wild 1980s and 1990s in Rochester occurred fifteen years later in the Madison Public School District, where I then was the Superintendent. I brought hundreds of Detroit children into that debt-ridden district, to the distress of dozens of Madison racists who told whirring TV cameras, "we don't want any more black kids walking down our streets, and we don't want HIM, either [pointing to me]." On Sunday, March 22, 2009, Diana Dillaber wrote in the Oakland Press, "Telford has gotten deep into controversy again." A month later, I was fired and returned to DPS for the fourth time--this time as the pro bono Superintendent under state-imposed emergency financial mismanagement--a superintendency wherefrom I was fired when the emergency management law that Michiganians had voted overwhelmingly to overturn was reinstated by our predominantly Republican state government.  
     I'm now anticipating a return to DPS yet again in an as-yet unannounced full-time pro bono position and also to teach a Poetry/Creative Writing /Radio Speech class as DPSCD's "Poet-in-Residence"--but I'll never forget those tumultuous times thirty years ago in Rochester and all of the African-American retirees who have so touchingly shown that they in turn haven't forgotten me.  
     Former world-ranked sprinter John Telford is the author of seven books and the host of a show on WEXL1340AM Saturday mornings at 9:30. The call-in number is 837-1340. Contact him at (313) 460-8272 or DrJohnTelfordEdD@aol.com. His website is www.AlifeontheRUN.com.