Our country is divided. I’d like to analogize it to the division that occurs when you slice a piece of pie except the slices would still be too close to one another. Even for the American kind. Especially for the American kind.
I’d like to liken our country, instead, to an old but intricately built Victorian house: rich with exterior detail, historically distinctive and regularly restored. But also like a Victorian house, the foundation of it doesn’t change. And its rooms aren’t as practical as they are beautiful.
And even more great at pretending that the inside is just as functional.
Except the inside contains rooms that are divided by walls even Trump couldn’t fathom. Walls built of racism, painted with social class and plastered with economic disparity. And though the beauty that encompasses each room is rich with color and culture, too often do these rooms function alone.
And in the famous words of Luther Vandross, a room is not a house and a house is not a home. In other words, functioning alone does not work.
Quite frankly, if you live in this country, we all share the same house. And in order for our house to feel like a home for all of us, it’s imperative that we all function together. With all of the unrest and injustice in this country, we should all be committed to this.
Yes, it is easier said than done. Yes, our country was built on a foundation made for divisiveness. But no, that does not mean that we do not do our part in helping to tear the walls down and build again.
So how do we do it? Stimulate your mind, Craig.
No, but really. In order to build something, we must first understand it. Too often many of us in this country go misunderstood while many of us don’t seek to understand. Cultural differences don’t have to mean cultural barriers.
When you open a door, you open your mind. It’s important not to go through life with such comfort that you’ve confined your mind to only the world you grew up in. That includes the community, the people and the experiences that were limited to your hemisphere.
Get out of your comfort zone and step into the room of someone else. Try learning another language. Memorize the recipes of foods from different cultures. Adapt a tradition, unlike the ones you knew growing up. Learn a dance specific to someone else’s culture. Spend money at independent businesses owned by people of different backgrounds.
You don’t have to like doing all of these things. But understanding them, the people and how they work? Priceless.
In addition, always keeping an open mind enables us to unlearn things that may not have been accurate, healthy or right for us. An open mind reminds us that there is always something we don’t know and to be mindful of the information we give and receive.
Reading and educating ourselves outside of what our parents and schools have taught us helps us to further understand other people and how or why they think or operate the way they do. It brings us closer together and helps us to realize that maybe we aren’t that different after all.
Closed doors mean closed minds. And closed minds are closed hearts. It’s time we start functioning together by not letting the walls of our home dictate the creation of walls in our lives.
Many Unite for R&B Holiday Benefit Concert To Raise Funds for Philadelphia’s Ronald McDonald House
On Thursday, December 20th, several local R&B artists joined forces for the inaugural R&B Holiday Benefit Concert. This year’s showcase, held at Philadelphia’s historic Trocadero Theatre, benefited families being supported by Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House.
This Holiday Benefit Concert was a labor of brotherly love, with every single event organizer and performing artist involved having direct Philly ties. Attendees were serenaded with hits from each emerging artist as well as several of their favorite holiday classics such as “Joy to the World,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Silent Night” and more. This year’s concert lineup included:
- Julian King – contemporary R&B artist fresh off a concert tour in China
- Star Castillo – Trenton native with the ability to fuse R&B, Pop and Soul into her renditions
- Judaea – previous America’s Got Talent contestant and rising R&B star
- Good Girl – R&B quartet from Philly striving to revive and lead the next girl group era
- Audrey Jackson – internet darling, R&B songstress and head of It’s All Music, The Movement LLC
- M!SHEL – Armenian and Jewish singer / songwriter powerhouse heralding from the suburbs of Philadelphia
“We could not be more excited to be able to come up with such a fun and engaging way to give back to our community,” says event organizer and host Delilah Dee of Delilah & Co. “Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what’s truly important during the holiday season so I’m grateful that I, alongside Revli Management, AB Media Group and Kelsi with an Eye, were able to rally together to organize this showcase benefitting the families of Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House.
All those involved decided a month before show date they wanted to team up to give back to a local organization while also providing a platform for local talent. In less than a month, a venue was secured, non-profit organization was selected, artist line up and vendors were finalized for the concert. Not sure how the turn out would be since the team only had a short amount of time to put together this event, it is safe to say all involved felt a deep sense of gratitude to see that the community supported the initiative – the concert ended up being a sold out event.
What a great way to close out 2018.
#delilahcotv x Shaquille Tyrell Presents Black & Latinx Mixer
Poet, Michael Phillips, Breaks Down in Front of Students at his Alma Mater
Michael Phillips agreed to speak to students at his alma mater, Community Academy of Philadelphia, CS (CAP) about Black History and being Black in America. Little did he know, this would be an emotional full circle moment for him.
Phillips has been doing spoken word for quite a few years now. Although he’s performed around the East Coast, he mainly takes to his social media to speak about race and love issues in a poetic way. He speaks highly of a creative writing teacher at CAP, who is the sole purpose behind his love for poetry.
“Ms. Vázquez is the reason why I’ve been able to do what I love since high school. She really made me appreciate poetry as a creative outlet to release any and all pain I’ve felt internally. I’m thankful for her”
Phillips confidently went into various classrooms from grades 5-8, along with some high school classrooms to perform his spoken word pieces. It wasn’t until he entered Ms. Vázquez’s room, the very person who inspired him to do poetry in the first place, that he sort of – broke down. It was a full circle moment for him, in that he saw himself as a student who too once sat in those same seats, without a clue as to what it would mean being a Black man growing up in America after high school.
He hopes that through his words, he is able to inspire the minority community to come together and appreciate themselves from within. Phillips wants the youth to know they have the power to change the world, to start thinking about what they can do presently that can essentially positively impact future generations to come.
Check out the video below:
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