Monday, February 23, 2009

John Raven (1936-)

An Inconvenience

Mama,
papa,
and us
10 kids
lived in
a single room.
Once, when I
got sick
and like to die
I heard a cry
slice through the gloom
"Hotdog!
We gon have
mo room!"

The Roach

A roach
came struttin
across my bedroom
floor,
like it was beyond
reproach,
or was
some sexy-lookin
whore,
and if I hadn't
snuffed it,
left it
alive,
I know it would've
come right up
and gave me
five!

Friday, February 20, 2009

James Emanuel (1921-)

The Negro

Never saw him.
Never can.
Hypothetical,
Haunting man:

Eyes a-saucer,
Yessir bossir,
Dice a-clicking,
Razor flicking.

The-ness froze him
In a dance.
A-ness never
Had a chance.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Finals week 10-Winter

So last quarter in a fit of frustration I put all of my assignments on my blog to show certain people that I had tons of crap to do. This action resulted in me learning 3 thing:

  1. No one cares how much work I have to do and I brought it upon myself so I should quit bein' a baby and complaining.
  2. Posting all of my finals assignments helped me stay focused on getting them finished because anyone reading my blog could see if I was slacking or not.
  3. I really enjoyed the satisfaction of crossing each item off as it was finished.
So I'm going to do it again, more for the last two reasons than that first one LOL! 

Advanced PR Writing
  • Persuasion platform 
  • Pitch letter
  • News Release
  • Feature Story
  • Resume
Bateman Case Study
  • Executive Summary
  • Analysis of post tests
  • Evaluation of campaign
  • Finalize plan book
Marketing 351
  • Summary of Capstone presentation
  • Executive Summary for Burberry
  • Exam, Tuesday
Practicum
  • Week 8, 9, and 10 write ups and hours
  • Print example pieces
  • Analysis of Quarter
  • Compile and organize portfolio

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Frank Marshall Davis (1905-1987)

Arthur Ridgewood, M.D.

He debated whether
as a poet
to have dreams and beans
or as a physician
have a long car and caviar.
Dividing his time between both
he died from a nervous breakdown
caused by worry
from rejection slips
and final notices from the Finance company.


Giles Johnson, Ph.D.

Giles Johnson 
had four college degrees
knew the whyfore of this
the wherefore of that
could orate in Latin
or cuss in Greek
and, having learned such things
he died of starvation
because he wouldn't teach
and he couldn't porter.



Monday, February 16, 2009

Marketing Mix-Up

I have come to realize this quarter that Marketing (or at least Marketing in academia) has a skewed view of the value of Public relations. I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit angry in my Marketing class when the prof and the book described PR as, "commnication with noncutsomers, including labor, public, interest groups, stockholders and the government." UGH WRONG!!! I almost stopped class. Not. Kidding.

Public relations as I have studied it is the, "Management function of two-way communication between an organization and its publics." What's the difference??? There are several actually. 

  1. Marketing has PR as subordinate to the "Marketing manager" and is as my prof so eloquently stated, "basically the same thing as Publicity, or they're so close you can almost count them as one." In actuality, PR is more appropriately placed directly in communication to the CEO or President, and equal to the "marketing manager." The reason is because PR and Marketing bring different but equally important aspects of the company to the public. Only PR seeks to bring the input of the public, back to the company. Two-way communication. What could be more valuable than accurate external knowledge of your standing in the market? Also publicity is a tool, not an element of the promotion mix in itself.
  2. Marketing also focuses on paid advertising and promotion. But PR can prove more valuable, especially given these current economic times. PR seeks to place as little cost on the company/organization as possible and the fact that the attention it attracts comes from unpaid efforts adds credibility to the info being dispursed. DUH!
  3. Marketing's version of PR is limited to persuasion and while that is an important part of PR, it isn't the whole. PR also focuses a lot of energy into informing the public. This can be the most important part of PR, esecially for a company without a huge marketing budget. Without PR, journos would have nothing to write about or at least they would have to work harder to find stories. PR does the grunt work for journos and marketers, getting the message out ethically and timely.
  4. Public relations focuses on excellent writing, something that cannot be said for Marketing at all...

I really think PR gets a bad rap just because of a few practitioners who used their knowledge irresponsibly instead of ethically. PR is still growing, and I think it's up to students like myself and my classmates to tip the scales of public opinion in PR's favor by practicing responsibly, honestly, ethically and excellently. We've got nowhere to go but up!

UPDATE: I found this post by Bill Sledzik that completely explains my issues with Marketing and it's understanding of PR.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Countee Cullen (1903-1946)

Simon the Cyrenian Speaks
Bold
He never spoke a word to me,
And yet He called me by name;
He never gave a sign to me,
And yet I knew and came.

At first I said, "I will not bear
His cross upon my back;
He only seeks to place it there
Because my skin is black."

But He was dying for a dream,
And He was very meek,
And in His eyes there shone a gleam
Men journey far to seek.

It was Himself my pity bought;
I did for Christ alone
What all of Rome could not have wrought
With bruise of lash or stone.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

Angola Question Mark

Don't know why I,
Black,
Must still stand
With my back
To the last frontier
Of fear
In my own land.

Don't know why I,
Must turn into
A Mau Mau
And lift my hand
Against my fellow man
To live in my own land.

But it is so-
And being so
I know
For you and me
There's
Woe.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Melvin B. Tolson (1900-1966)

I have to write a bite of commentary on this one because I love this poem! I also didn't realize until yesterday that the author is the same guy who is the teacher in the movie The Great Debaters! One of the best things about this poem are how well it captures the attitude of the "Bad Negro" which is the predecessor to Shaft's "Bad Mutha SHUT YOU MOUF!". 
Oh I'll just let you read it!

The Birth of John Henry
The night John Henry is born an ax
of lightening splits the sky,
and a hammer of thunder pounds the earth,
and the eagles and panthers cry!

John Henry-He says to his Ma and Pa:
"Get a gallon of barleycorn.
I want to start right, like a he-man child,
the night that I am born!"

Says: "I want some ham hocks, ribs, and jowls,
a pot of cabbage and greens;
some hoecakes, jam and buttermilk,
a platter of pork and beans!"

John Henry's Ma-she wrings her hands,
and his Pa-he scratches his head.
John Henry-he curses in giraffe-tall words,
flops over, and kicks down the bed.

He's burning mad, like a bear on fire-
so he tears to the riverside.
As he stoops to drink, Old Man River gets scared
and runs upstream to hide!

Some say he was born in Georgia-Oh Lord!
Some say in Alabam.
But it's writ on the rock at the Big Bend Tunnel:
"Lousyana was my home. So scram!"

Monday, February 9, 2009

Frank Horne (b.1899)

Walk
I am trying
to learn to walk again...
all tensed and trembling 
I try so hard, so hard...

Not like the headlong patter
of new and anxious feet
or the vigorous flailing of the water
by young swimmer
beating
a new element 
into submission...
It is more like 
a timorous Lazarus
commanded
to take up the bed
on which he died...

I know I will walk again
into your healing
outstretched arms
in answer 
to your tender command...

I have been lost
and fallen
in the dark underbrush
but I will arise
and walk
and find the path
at your soft command.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bryan Mulvany Bites the Big one!

As anyone in the sports world will tell you, defense wins games. And we saw that mantra ring true in this past Sunday's SuperBowl. However there were other factors that lead to the Cardinals demise, namely the fact that Kurt Warner trimmed his beard, and also the fact that Santonio Holmes is a product of OSU football. Whatever it was, I was fairly sure that the Steelers would be triumphant. Maybe it was the sound whipping they gave my home team, the Browns, or my favorite team, the Patriots. Or maybe I'm just lucky. Bryan Mulvany however, is not so lucky. Mulvany thought it would be a good idea, on the day of the game mind you, to bet that the Cardinals would win, against my admonishment that no such thing would happen. I usually do not bet because I always lose, but given the factors listed above, I was fairly certain that a Steelers win was a sure thing. So Bryan and I bet that whoever lost was at the sartorial mercy of the victor. On the following friday, the loser would wear whatever the winner picked out for them, to class all day! (with the stipulation that clothes could only be chosen from either of our two closets, to prevent any dresses or heels being thrown in the mix)

That friday is today-the 6th! Bryan will be sporting a very nice outfit picked out by yours truly, so please if you see him on campus, take a picture and either post it to our facebook group or your blog. I would greatly appreciate the help!

To quote Mulvany "It's not about winning or losing, it's how you play the game!"HA!

Claude McKay (1890-1948)

The Harlem Dancer

Applauding youths laughed with young prostitutes
And watched her perfect, half-clothed body sway;
Her voice was like the sound of blended flutes
Blown by black players on a picnic day.
She sang and danced on gracefully and calm,
The light gauze hanging loose from her form;
To me she seemed a proudly-swaying palm
Grown lovlier for passing through a storm.
Upon her swarthy neck black shiny curls
Luxuriant fell; and tossing coins in praise,
The wine-flushed, bold-eyed boys and even the girls,
Devoured her shape with  eager, passionate gaze;
But looking at her falsely-smiling face,
I knew her self was not in that strange place.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Frances E. W. Harper (1825-1911)

The Slave Auction
The sale began- young girls were there,
Defenceless in their wretchedness,
Whose stifled sobs of deep despair,
Revealed their anguish and distress.

And mothers stood with streaming eyes,
And watched their dearest children sold;
Unheeded rose their bitter cries,
While tyrants bartered them for gold

And woman, with her love and truth-
For these in sable forms may dwell-
Gaz'd on the husband of her youth,
With anguish none may paint or tell.

And men whose sole crime was their hue,
The impress of their Maker's hand,
And frail and shrinking children, too, 
Were gathered in that mounrful band, 

Ye who have laid your love to rest,
and wept above their lifeless clay,
Know not the anguish of that breast,
Whose lov'd are rudely torn away.

Ye may not know how desolate,
Are bosoms rudely forced to part,
And how a dull and heavy weight,
Will press the life-drops from the heart.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

William Powell

I had originally intended to keep the BHM posts about poetry, because essentially doing one of these every day was gonna be tough enough without adding background information etc. Not that I'm lazy but I am a college student in the end of a quarter, but as with all well-intentioned plans, things changed.

William Powell is a golfer and WWII veteran from Minerva, Ohio. He attended college at Wilberforce University, where he and his brother started the first golf team there and played against the white Ohio Northern University in 1937. They beat ONU twice, in '37 and '38. This was the first time an HBCU played much less beat a white school. After returning from the war, he went to play golf at some local courses and was not welcome even though he was a veteran. So he built his own course.

Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio is the first and currently the only golf course built, owned and operated by a Black American. It has become not only the foundation for a Powell golf dynasty but it's also played host to some historic events, including a rematch of the Wilberforce and ONU golf teams in April, 2002. Wilberforce again claimed victory, Ohio Northern 313, Wilberforce 383.

Clearview became a National Historic site in 2001.


Special Thanks to Julie Cajigas for alerting me to this story.
Sources: African American Golf Digest
Clearview Golf Club
ONU Athletics

Monday, February 2, 2009

Dudley Randall (1914-2000)

Black Poet, White Critic

A critic advises
not to write on controversial subjects
like freedom or murder,
but to treat universal themes
and timeless symbols
like the white unicorn.

A white unicorn?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Phyllis Wheatley (c. 1753-1794)

from
To the Right Honorable William, Earl of Dartmouth



Should you, my lord, while you pursue my song,
Wonder from whence my love of Freedom sprung,
Whence flow these wishes for the common good,
By feeling hearts alone best understood,
I, young in life, by seeming cruel fate,
Was snatch'd from Afric's fancy'd happy seat:
What pangs excruciating must molest,
What sorrows labour in my parent's breast?
Steel'd was the soul and by no misery mov'd
That from a father seiz'd his babe belov'd.
Such, such my case. And can I then but pray
Others may never feel tyrannic sway?