The Remarkable Journey of Harriet Tubman

CBS Sunday Morning (October 20, 2019) feature the remarkable journey of Harriet Tubman. Next month Cynthia Erivo will play her in the movie titled “Harriet”.  But to Judith Bryant (below) she was her great great great Aunt.


She was small in stature but larger than real life; there are two National Parks dedicated to her story. She was separated from her parents at a young age. When she was 13, she was hit in the head with a 2-pound weight that was intended for a young runaway boy. As a result, she suffered from sudden epileptic seizures and visions for the rest of her life.

In 1849 she escaped from a place called Poplar Neck in Caroline County Maryland when she heard she was going to be sold. Along and on foot she traveled over one hundred miles to the Pennsylvania border.

While most would have settled for their freedom, but she traveled 13 times over 10 years to free others. As a results more than 70 people were freed from bondage. During the Civil War she became the first woman to lead troops into battle and liberated 750 enslaved people in the Combahee Ferry Raid.

Her friends included people like Fredrick Douglass, John Brown, and Susan B. Anthony. William Henry Steward, United States President Abraham Lincolns, Secretary of State even sold her seven acres of land.

Over time the curtail was been drawn back to highlight many American heroes that didn’t make the history books and hopefully many more will be revealed.


A Fresh Face in a Old Space

Maybe what the country needs is a Sara Nelson, who would be a fresh face in an old space – Labor Union Leader.  CBS Sunday Morning’s Richard Buddenhagen  titled his news report; Sara Nelson, The new face of Labor Unions.

Here we have the face of  two American Heroes; Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (the US Airways  pilot who landed his damaged plane in the Hudson River) and Sara Nelson who helped end one of the longest government shutdowns in American history as  they sat before a House Committee on Air Transportation on Capital Hill in Washington D.C. in June 2019.

Sully Sullenberger,Sara Nelson

Sara Nelson came to predominance during a speech – a call to arms– she gave to the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations) during the January 2019 Federal government shut down. The last time there was a call for a general strike was in 1946. With 12 million workers walking out in mass, politicians and business leaders would finally take notice.

When four hundred thousand people are forced to come to work without pay, it creates an unsafe environment especially when those people are airport screeners and air traffic controllers during the post 9/11 world we live in today. When President Ronald Reagan fired all those air traffic controllers in 1981 it started a downward spiral for all labor unions.

My first ‘real job’, was on the auto assembly line in Detroit MI in the late 1960’s. The UAW (United Auto Workers) made sure auto manufacturers provided a decent living wage for many until the late 1980, then Corporate American leadership and politicians decided to adopt the Better Business Model as explained by Les Leopold in his book Runaway Inequality, An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice.




Generation One Movie

Generation One is a Lamar & Ronnie Tyler production:  They ask the question: Will this be the last generation that starts from scratch or will we do what’s necessary for the next generation to build wealth?

The 2007 recession, the housing crisis, the soaring unemployment and the rising cost of education effects the whole country, but it effects the Black and Brown community even more.

As a Black entrepreneur I took notice when I saw the preview of the DVD when it first appeared on Facebook. Social media and times have changed for the younger generation. I ordered it right away and found it to be very informational and to be a reflection of my past.

I worked on the auto assembly line in Detroit MI while I was still in high school back in the 1960’s. Back then working on the line was fine, for a lot of people. All you needed was a good work attitude and a strong back (come to work and do your assigned job, no matter how hard the the task), with the hope that you would gain some seniority and get an easier job on the line.

It was really tough on me because I wanted to at least finish high school while making some extra money. In my young mind I looked at the working world as grown folks working in the factory, working in an office somewhere, or owning their own business. Those folks that didn’t hustled on the streets, or worked minimum wage jobs.

The generation one panel of experts takes a hard look at the numbers and provides strategies family can implement now to begin building wealth for the next generation. For me it all begins with the right mind set and discipline to do the thing we must.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux – Founder and President Economic Education .

Patrice C. Washington – Author – Real Money Answers.

Lawrence Watkins – Founder & CEO Great Black Speakers.

Deborah Owens – The Wealth Coach

David Anderson – Founder Empowerment Radio Network

Dr. Boyce Watkins – Founder –

Before the big push for legal Integration, Blacks had to build their own businesses to support themselves for the skills they  learned over the years. “Separate but legal” was never equal. We were in the search for a piece of the American Dream. But instead of getting a piece of the pie, all we got was crumbs. We abandoned our financial institutions and flocked to put our money in regular “White banks”. According to the Generation One Movie there were 23 Banks and financial institutions established to help the Black communities build their businesses and purchase their homes.

Somewhere along the line we were not taught the keys to creating “real wealth”. In America its about ownership and control.

Owning a business

Owning a home

Owning land

The few rare exceptions to owning something substantial were were Berry Gordy Jr. who owned  Motown Records in Detroit MI  and John H. Johnson who owned Johnson Publishing  Company, who published Ebony and Jet Magazine in Chicago IL.

Wealth includes precious owning metals metals.








Foreign Currency

The lack of wealth is not just a Black thing. it an American thing. But it hurts the Black and Brown  community even more. We are a trillion dollar resource but we hardly own anything. We have earned the higher education credentials in record numbers, but many of us are the first generation to attend college. If our parents didn’t set aside for a college fund we graduated with a ton of debt. I kind of fall into that  category but I got a little help from the GI Bill.

Wealth is something handed down. How to accumulate it is not discussed by families living paycheck to paycheck. Those who live month to month are doing a little better, and then there are some who plan from year to year. But real wealth is a study. One of the things is the habit of adding value to others. Then there is the habit of leveraging your unique strengths.

It’s hard to make a decision without information. And it’s hard to make changes without sacrifices. Where there is a will, there is a way.  I highly recommend you order your copy today and share with your family.


What’s Happening in America Today

Les Leopold wrote about what was happening a few years ago. He titled his book Runnaway Inequality. An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice.  Many in ‘powerful political  positions’ have said that the free market model is where upward redistribution of wealth is actually good for ‘us’ and America. Don’t believe the hype!!!

For most working people the economy is  still  a mystery, but many know that wealth does not trickle down – it stays and increases at the top. Les Leopold connects the dots so we can get a better understanding. Once you understand something,  you will be a better condition to keep your head while others are losing theirs.

Big money talks and gets politicians re-elected, but when millions of American protest, politicians must take notice. The ‘Occupant Wall-Street’ protest was having an effect but was broken up by the forces with money. Unions get a bad rap but they give employees a voice.  Without union representation you are faced with the wiles of management; it’s called office politics for a reason.

My first real job came when I joined the UAW and got a job in the auto plant in Detroit. This was in the late 1960’s. All you needed was a good work attitude and a strong back and you were set for life as long as you showed up on time and did your job. Most made enough so that the woman could stay at home and take care of the kids. Now both parents work and it’s even harder to stay ahead of the game.

Runaway Inequality is designed to address the problems faced by everyday working people. Once you know the facts you know how to organize.

Part 1: What is the fundamental cause of runaway economic inequality?

Part 2: How does the United States stack up against other countries?

Part 3: What does economic inequality have to do with so many of the critical issues we face today. taxes, debt, education, criminal justice, racism, climate change, foreign trade and war?

Part 4: What concrete steps can we take to begin a fair and equal society?

People forget that we are a Nation of immigrants and we must demand a path to citizenship for all to end wage theft, and allow others to add to the tax base without the fear of deportation.

The super rich don’t require the same reliance on common public services. They don’t use our schools, our roads, or even our airports: they have private schools, chauffeurs that know how to take the best routes, and private jets. They keep their money by hiring an army of lawyers and bankers  to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. The rich get richer which makes it easier for them to influence the media and public officials.

How bad is it? In 1970 for every dollar earned by the average worker, the top 100 CEO’s earned $45. By 2013 that ratio had jumped to $829 to $1. Most  American think CEO’s make about $900,000 per year in compensation, but they really receive nearly $30 million. And those numbers have increased.

In the early 1980’s this is what happened:

  • Companies shifted production overseas for cheaper labor. Good paying factory jobs were replaced by low paying service jobs in fast food and retail.
  • In 1982 President Reagan fired more than 11,000 striking air traffic controllers which gave the green light to corporate America to attack the unions.
  •  The Vietnam War and the Cold War was increasing.
  • The 1973 and the 1979 Arab oil boycotts sparked a dramatic rise of oil.
  • Europe and Japan had fully recovered from WWII which increased global competition.
  • Political and social unrest in 1960 spurred the government to spend more to improve the lives of low-income Americans.

Policy makers and corporate elites decided to adopt the Better Business Climate model which involved the following:

  • Cut taxes especially on the wealthy and large corporations. The thinking being that the super rich and corporation would have more money to invest which would increase jobs.
  • Cut government regulations, especially on high finance. Get rid of the regulations so corporate America could expand without labor restrictions to maximize production and profits.
  • Reduce government social spending. Cut social programs like food stamps and welfare to force more low income people into the workforce , thus increasing the supply of low cost labor.

Les Leopold covers the effects of  America becoming the Incarnation Nation  but Ava DuVernay’s Netflix documentary 13th shows the visual impact.

Another political election is coming and many will be fooled by the hype. Take the time to be informed. Then vote like your economic life depends on it, because it will.


Chosen for the moon, he became a star

Ed Dwight joined the U.S. Air Force after obtaining a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Arizona State University. In 1961 he was chosen by the United States President John F. Kennedy to enter the experimental test pilot program to become the first African American Astronaut. However the untimely death of the U.S. President may have prevented him from going into space.


He resigned from the Air Force in 1966 and became a Renaissance Man; an IBM Computer Systems Engineer, a Aviation Consultant , a Real Estate Developer and Construction Entrepreneur but focused his energy on art and  earned an Masters Degree in Fine Arts sculpture from the University of Denver in 1977.  He had only became an engineer because of his dad, who was Edward Dwight Sr., who played second base for the Kansas City Monarchs, the longest running team in the Negro Baseball league.  As a results of following his own passion he became one of the most prolific and insightful sculptors in America.


His first serious artist work was in celebration of the Colorado’s first African American Lt. Governor, George Brown. He was then commissioned by the Colorado Centennial Commission to create a series of bronzes titled, “Black Frontiers in the American West.”  With the support of The National Parks Service  the 50 bronze were on exhibit for several years throughout the United States.

Here are some of his memorial sculptors: Texas History – Austin TX


SC African American History – Columbia SC


Underground railroad – Detroit MI.


Underground railroad – Battle Creek MI


Rosa Parks Memorial – Grand Rapids MI


Hank Arron – Atlanta GA


B.B. King Memorial – Memphis TN


Dizzy Gillespie – Cheraw  SC


Ed Dwight created over 100 Public Art sculptures. He has a gallery of African, Jazz, Black History, Black Western, small works and paintings.


Special life-time opportunities will come to some, but if you follow your passion and do the work you will receive your reward. As a two-time military veteran I feel like I have a little of that Tuskegee Airman and the Buffalo Soldier in me. I started writing late and I finally wrote my story. If you don’t write your story, no one else will.




The First Father’s Day came from a Daughter

CBS correspondent Nikki Batiste of Sunday Morning discovered that the first Father’s Day was in response to a question. Sonora Smart Dood and her five brothers were raised by her widowed father, William Jackson Smart, who was a civil war veteran. While attending a Mother’s Day celebration in 1909 which was a new thing, Sonora asked the minister, when do fathers get their day in the sun?


The following year, the first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane Washington on June 19, 1910. Sonora handed out red roses for living dads and white roses for those who were deceased. But it wasn’t until 1972 that Father’s Day became a National Holiday by decree of President Richard Nixon. Sonora Dood lived to see it happen.

Now there is a Father’s Day and Mother’s Day Council that strives to heighten the meaning and importance of Fathers and Mothers.

The following is a poem that was sent to me.

A Father’s Day Poem

God took the strength of a mountain,

The majesty of a tree,

The warmth of a summer sun,

The calm of a quiet sea,

The generous soul of nature,

The comforting arm of night,

The wisdom of the ages,

The power of the eagle’s flight,

The joy of a morning in spring,

The faith of a mustard seed,

The patience of eternity,

The depth of a family need,

Then God combined these qualities,

When there was nothing more to add,

He knew His masterpiece was complete,

And so, he called it “DAD”

I grew up in a different time. I didn’t get to know my dad until I was nine.  I always think of my mom as the gal from Mississippi who had so many kids, she barely knew what to do. Her mother died when she was only eight and she barely knew her dad. I’m the ninth of 14 but my dad’s only son. She got married at a young age (not to my dad) to escape her Aunt and Uncle that worked on a farm, who wouldn’t treat her right.

Her husband (not my dad) was so abusive that when he said that he would kill her, she believed him, so she fled in the middle of the night, leaving her first five kids with their dad.  She caught a train to Chicago then fled to Detroit. She never remarried but kept having kids.

When I was about nine years old she sent me to stay with my dad. I thought it was only temporary until she came out of the hospital but they decided it was best for me to stay with him.  It turned out that it was just, what I needed. He gave me the discipline and structure that changed my life.  I went from a poor student to a good enough student that I got a full-time job during my last year of high school and still graduated on time.

To escape the auto assembly line I enlisted in the United States Air Force. Being accepted in the Air Force during the Vietnam War was proof that my dad had done a good job. Most of my classmates were drafted in the Army and the Marine Corp and sent to the war zone. I went to Libya and served under a Tuskegee Airman, Col. “Chappie” James during the base closure by Col. Gadhafi .

While in Germany when I got got word that my dad was very ill, I took emergency leave then returned to take a hardship discharge to care for him.  After a year back home a friend of his took over and I was off to college.


Memorial Day 2019

Memorial Day is a Federal Holiday in the United States. It is a time of honoring  service members who have died, while serving in the country’s Armed Forces. Family members and those who served fully understand. To many others, it’s just the start of the summer vacation season; going to the shore, cooking in the back yard for visiting family members or going to the park.


Veterans Day on the other hand is the time to honor those who served in the military; they survived but they still feel the pain, some internal and some external. I still talk with Vietnam veterans who are suffering from P.T.S.D. 

Scott Pelley from CBS News talked about the American flag in today’s political terms. There are fifty stars on the flag, but how many are liberal and how many are conservative? How or what will bring us together in all that blue.


‘What we have here is a failure to communicate‘, or are we so  set in our ways by pooling together in our separate camps watching news and social media that just confirms our way thinking? If you watch a lot of TV you would thing we were about to have a cold civil war.

As a results, nothing seems to get done in Washington D.C. Politicians are so busy fighting each other that the public good is suffering; raising cost of health care, failing infrastructure, and raising cost of higher education.  Scott ask the question, whose fault is it? We the people don’t study the issues , so politicians lie because we don’t know the facts. Then the news media and social media gets involved and dangles scandals before us, because it gets more viewers and increases more advertising dollars.

We vote in Federal election once every two years and many don’t take the time to do that. Politicians get in office and stay for life. If the President of the United States can only serve two terms why do politicians inherit a lifetime position. General Officers hold their rank but not their positions.


We the people pay the price to support our families and yes, some go beyond; first- responders  and  and service members. We live in the ‘Home of the Brave’ because the sacrifice of many. However many still remember the sacrifices of many  (CNN photos of Memorial Day 2019).

As a Vietnam area veteran I was proud to stand next to Mr. Russell A. Harvey World War II Veteran who stood tall at  104 years.


How do we fix this mess?

We should take ownership, of the things we are responsible for.  John “Jocko”  Willink as a decorated U.S. Navy SEAL officer was explaining that things go wrong in the fog of war. Being in military service will put you in harms way, but being on the battlefield, is where people get killed. In the ‘heat of battle’ or the ‘fog of war’ anything can happen. 

The following is the narrative of the Extreme ownership TEDx Talk: “War is hell, but war is also a brutal teacher. War teaches you about brotherhood, honor, humility, and leadership”. In this riveting talk, Jocko explains from personal experience how war teaches you the most when things go wrong. But when a team takes ownership of its problems, the problems get solved.

JOCKO WILLINK is a decorated retired Navy SEAL officer, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, host of the top-rated Jocko Podcast, and co-founder of Echelon Front, where he is a leadership instructor, speaker, and executive coach.

Jocko spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams, starting as an enlisted SEAL and rising through the ranks to become a SEAL officer. As commander of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser during the battle of Ramadi, he orchestrated SEAL operations that helped the “Ready First” Brigade of the US Army’s First Armored Division bring stability to the violent, war-torn city. Task Unit Bruiser became the most highly decorated Special Operations Unit of the Iraq War.

Jocko returned from Iraq to serve as Officer-in-Charge of training for all West Coast SEAL Teams. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.”


As a two time military veteran (US Air Force enlisted then US Army commissioned) I have felt the burden of responsibility. US Army Logistics, provides resources from beginning to end.

As a former US Army Quartermaster,  the end effects of war are the remains of the brave men and women killed in action. This service is performed by the Quartermaster  Mortuary Affairs Service. These dedicated military personnel  are tasked with the retrieval, identification, transportation and burial of deceased American and American – Allied military personal.

Retrieval can be further subdivided into the following:

  • Combat recovery
  • Post – combat recovery
  • Area/ Theater recovery
  • Historical recovery
  • The Mortuary Affairs creed is “Dignity, Reverence, Respect”

Studies have shown that Mortuary Affairs personnel have some of the highest rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) . The Mortuary Affairs creed is “Dignity, Reverence, and Respect”.  




Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day, is usually what they say, on this day. But when moms are gone they say something a little different. Roses are beautiful flowers but they still have thorns. Moms do the best they can. They give birth to the world and they nurture the little ones until it time for them to fly.


I came in from Philadelphia PA., one sister drove from Louisiana with her family and my oldest sister flew in from California along with my older brother and his wife. We had all come to make sure mom got situated in the nursing home in Detroit MI. We sat in the dinning area while they got her ready to meet us. I’m glad it was a nice sunny day in the summertime.

To me she will always be the country girl from Mississippi who had so many kids she barely knew what to do. I’m the ninth of 14. We were never all raised together at one time, but we all came from the same womb. However, I was my father’s only son.

Mom had it rough growing up, but she always tried to keep it light. She called the bus the ‘Iron Pimp’. It didn’t arrive on schedule, but it always came just in time. At the age of 90 she passed on to glory, and because I blogged, I get to tell her story.

Her mother died when she was only eight, and she only knew of her father. She was raised by her Aunt and Uncle who didn’t treat her right so she got married at a young age and started having babies to get away from them.

Her husband started to beat her and when he said he would kill her, she believed him, and left in the middle of the night, to travel North. Any young mother would be sad if she had to leave her five kids in the middle of the night, but it was basic survival that made her do what she did.

She went to Chicago IL but then settled in Detroit MI  because she felt safer. She never got married but kept having babies. I grew up basically with a younger brother and one sister. I learned about the others, over time. When I was nine she got sick and we were sent to live with our separate fathers. I didn’t know it at the time but she must have been pregnant.

Her and my dad decided to let me stay with him. It was a wake up call for me. She would buy me stuff to shut me up, and he wouldn’t, to toughen me up. He was a WW II veteran and knew about discipline. It was a good turning point for me.

When pop got me a good bike, I would ride to wherever my mom had moved to, in the city. I knew I could always get a good hot meal and a warm hug. And even to this day, my best friend could tell you what she would always say, “Be safe and don’t get in no trouble.”

I spent nine years with mom and the next nine years with pop but I always stayed in touch with mom, once I got my wheels. She always wished she had done better, but pop made sure I did better, because I was forced to study and stay out of trouble.

As a result three things happened; I stayed out of trouble, I worked in the factory during my last year of high school and I still graduated on time.

At her funeral I learned the rest of her story. The father she never really knew, was a Native American who kept track of all his off spring during his life-time and when my mom was born in 1919 she was the last of HIS 33 kids. Now I know how she could take the bus to work in the Detroit cold until her mid-eighties.

I dedicated my book to her : “Standing in the Shadows, Listening to the Greats!!!” which is only available through Blurb Publishing. I know she must be smiling in heaven because I’m passing down her story. I didn’t earn Air Force ‘wings’ but I earned my Sergeant Stripes and wore Army Bars.


Bill Taylor was Between Two Worlds

The movie ‘Forrest Gump’ followed the fictional Southern boy from Alabama from childhood into adulthood as he traveled through the annuals of American history. Bill Taylor had his own story to tell, so he put it down on paper. He never learned how to write, so he began to draw and paint.

Bill Taylor was born into slavery around 1853 in rural Alabama. Even after the Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Great Migration, he remained on the plantation as a share cropper for five decades. When he moved in his 80’s he found himself without work and homeless.

At the age of 86 he began to draw and paint. Self-taught he used whatever he could get his hand on; paper, paperboard, pieces of packing and even candy paper boxes. He lived during the peak lynching period in the South but never really showed it directly in his art work.

He died in 1949 around the age of 96, leaving behind hundreds of art works. It was his way of saying, “I am important, I have a point of view, I matter”.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. held a retrospective of Taylor’s Art work and titled it ‘Bill Taylor: Between Two Worlds (the 19th & the  20th Century)  which featured 155 paintings and drawings which he recorded his time and place in history. The Smithsonian went on to say that, “His legacy will be known as the only artist who was enslaved at birth, to make a significant body of drawn and painted work”.

My mother was born in Mississippi in 1919 and she migrated North to escape an abusive relationship. She labored in the field, but I labored on the factory floor in Detroit Michigan. Her mother died when she was only eight years old, and she only knew of her father. She never learned how to drive but took public transportation to work into her mid-eighties. She made it to 90 years after giving birth to fourteen children.

I escaped the assembly line by joining the military. It was through divine intervention, that I missed the Vietnam War, but I was part of the Cold War in Europe. My mothers legacy passes through me. She never traveled that far but I travel half way around the world; seven countries on three separate continents in two branches of the military (US Air Force & US Army). She barley made it out of school, but I graduated from college. Now that I have written my book, I get to tell her story. Who is going to pass on your family history?