Happy MLK Day! See “Selma” and See Your Past, Your Present, and Your Future

I have seen a good ten movies or more in the theaters in the last four weeks, and I had not anticipated any of them as much as Movie_Selma“Selma,” for obvious reasons. Elsewhere in this blog, I had mentioned that recently, I had taken to waiting for the credits to glide to the end because I never know whose name will surprise me in the line-up.

I knew Oprah was among the sleuth of famous producers and directors for “Selma.” Still, I was in for a heart-happy shock when I saw another famous name in the mix: BRAD PITT!

Yes, according to The Wrap, Angelina Jolie’s husband was already a producer of the movie under his Plan B company, and Oprah (under her equally famous Harpo) joined him. I actually thought it was the other way around.

It is noteworthy that prominent Nigerian- and foreign-born actors featured in the lead: David Oyelowo as our beloved (and my father’s name sake) Martin Luther King Jr., Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott-King, and Lorraine Toussaint as Amelia Boynton Robinson.

Another pleasant surprise was the last song in the movie, “Glory,” a collaboration between Common (who played James Bevel in the movie) and John Legend, a song already nominated for the Golden Globe, and a song that paid tribute to Rosa Park, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and MLK’s efforts and leadership in Selma.

I saw “Selma.” I gave me a chance to appreciate the sacrifices of our Civil Rights heroes mentioned and implied in the movies (MLK, Coretta Scott-King, Andrew Young, Hosea Williams, David Abernathy, John Lewis, Annie Lee Cooper, James Bevel, and a host of others who fought the fearful fight).

The movie gave me a chance to appreciate the present liberties we enjoy. Those sacrifices include life, safety, finance, and much more. It gave me a chance to look forward to my future, hope we make strides in safeguarding and preserving the lives of our black youth, and change the laws that condone the unforgivable acts of taking a black life.

Between 1999 and 2014, 76 or more unarmed black people have been killed while in police custody. I look forward to the future when the law will put an end to this atrocity.

Final Meditation Journal Entry

As school ends and my academic obligations with it, I am so relaxed that I feel compelled to finish what I started: the journal of my meditations with Dr. Deepak Chopra. Here are the last entries in that journal.

Finding Peace

Finding Peace

Entry 17: Today’s meditation starts out with tears, the left eye cascading down my face while the right eye comes down in droplets. I imagine an artist capturing these weird descents of tears as a theme for his or her art collection. Peace is so priceless. When you find it, you’ve found your bliss. Therefore, as they say, “Follow your bliss;” nothing else matters. Lack seems foreign because peace supersedes. I will move through today lighthearted and carefree knowing all is well. Today is a glorious day. I wake up grateful for all the promises it holds for me and for all. I move through today with grace in its gifts in smiles, kind words, hugs, lights that shine within, breaking bread this Thanksgiving day and sharing Earth’s abundant blessings. Bless us, oh Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ, our Lord. Amen!

Entry 18: I celebrate my unity with all life and nonlife knowing we are all one. The tears cascaded today and ran down my face into my sweater to be absorbed in unity as one. We are all one, indeed! If we would realize that and avoid the divisiveness that is making a mess of the human race, we truly would have the peaceful world we desire so much. We are all one. We need to be aware of that and take actions to restore peace in ourselves, in our families, in our communities, our counties, our provinces, our states, our nations, our continents, and in the world. What a beautiful life we would all have. We all live in ONE WORLD. The sad thing is that whatever we are fighting for and dying for and quarreling about will still be here when we all go to meet our maker. The earth will remain. Only humanity will pass away. The earth was here before we came. We need to love our neighbors—near and far—as we love ourselves. Then we shall have true peace. We all live in ONE WORLD. Namaste.

Entry 19: Dr. Chopra delivers such beauty in spoken words. Bliss is found in them. I am elevated to be and do better. I am centered in love and in life. Today, tears of love flowed in abundant drops without restriction. I will live from a state of love. Everything good is drawn to me. I will say, “I love you,” more often, one of the most emotional expressions in any language. Also, I have always lived love, but from now on I live love more profoundly. I know that at the core of my being, I have always been in tune with my heightened level of pure awareness, creativity, spirit, and love. I am in tune with my spirit, the one who feels, and the one who is love. Like the late Whitney Houston sang, learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all. Deepak Chopra says (and I have known this) the greatest gift you can give to anyone is love. I have never had the problem of loving myself. I am learning to love more people. Life is love and love is life, said an Indian sage to his followers. Love keeps the body together. Knowledge is the love of truth, adds Deepak Chopra. I love love; I love loving, and I love being loved because they all bring me closer to my inner self, the center of my quiet, the core of me, and the essence of my happiness and the happiness of those I love. Namaste.

Entry 20: I have known these little truths, but it helps to have them affirmed by Dr. Deepak Chopra today. I surround myself with luxury as often as I can because I am worthy of such luxuries. I like dressing up to have tea with friends. I make having tea in my house into a grand event with elaborate china; I like taking bubble baths, gardening, and plucking roses from my gardens, meditating, taking time to go within, getting in touch with my inner quiet, and connecting with my higher self. I have done these things routinely for internal peace, to heal within where no one sees the hurt, and to save my sanity. I deserve all the treasures the world has to offer, not material things, but the little things in life. When I was managing one of my father’s businesses, I coined a jingle for that supermarket, “Dealer in life’s little pleasures.’ Little things in life can give us so much pleasure, the little things that mean a lot. I don’t know when I realized that these little pleasures of life are the true essence, tiny bubbles of happiness. For that reason and many more, I call today’s tears, “tears of happiness” for my recognition of how valuable I am, a piece of gold, Deepak says, created from the love of the universe. I elevate myself always and value my life because I am a priceless human being. Namaste.

Entry 21: I am so grateful to Dr. Deepak Chopra and to Oprah Winfrey for introducing me and several thousands of people to this 21-Day Meditation Challenge which ends today. As I come to grip with its closure, I am resolved to continue this tradition as part of my self-discovery. I have accepted that abundance is mine to have, that it will flow readily into my life, and I resolve that “every moment of every day, I live my life abundantly.” I will continue to plant the seed of abundant consciousness. I stretch my hand to obtain the seeds from Dr. Chopra. As I plant the seeds, I water them with tears, today’s tears that came in droplet. I plant the seeds of abundant consciousness to grow more happiness, love, prosperity, anything else I co-create with my inner, higher self, anything I want while blissfully aware that abundance will flow effortlessly into my life. I trust that once I have planted these seeds, the sun, the rain from up above, and the rain from my eyes will cause them to grow and thrive into unlimited abundance. Thank you, Oprah. Thank you, Deepak. Namaste.

Entry 22: I logged into Dr. Chopak’s meditation website to recycle previous meditations. Imagine my surprise when I found a fresh recording titled, “Day 22.” The challenge concluded yesterday. It is so generous of Dr. Chopra to give generously of his time and talent. One who preaches abundance exemplifies abundance by giving an extra day; this is so, so fitting. Thank you for this surprising gift. Because you, Dr. Chopra, have elevated my awareness consciousness, I will do my part to heal the world in any little way i can. We are connected, all of us in this world, in this life. My tears today are dedicated to healing the world. It is my fervent wish that we find peace in our world and that we find that peaceable kingdom here on earth. Namaste.

Thank you for allowing me to share a profound experience in my life. I have grown within where it counts the most. Knowledge is love, and I have grown profoundly in both. Namaste.

Nikki Giovanni Asks for a Major Motion Picture for MLK, Junior

As Kennesaw State University joins the rest of the nation to mark another deserved birthday celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, it welcomed the world-renowned poet, Nikki Giovanni, as its keynote speaker. In her inaugural visit to KSU, Giovanni posed a question worthy of deep consideration.

“Why has there not been a major motion picture in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? Hollywood has made movies about drug dealers and criminals, Capone, Dillinger, and so on. You have to wonder why Martin has no movie in his honor,” the bold and critically acclaimed Giovanni demanded during the 2012 annual observance on Monday, January 16.

Forty-four years after his assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr., is yet to earn a big-screen, sole-title movie right as Malcolm X and numerous other black history makers and heavyweights.

In an unpredictable mixture of history lecture, entertainment, chastisement, and religious sermon, Giovanni kept up a stream of surprising influx that kept attendees laughing hilariously and continually. Without warning, she sent them bristling from her criticisms and feeling grateful for uncountable legacies at the same time.

A distinguished professor of English at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University-Virginia Tech–since 1987, Giovanni sneaked in another title to numerous others (mother, writer, poet, commentator, and activist), that of a comedienne, as she caused riotous laughter to erupt smoothly and repeatedly.

The “Princess of Black Poetry” recanted childhood stories of her grandmother’s link to Civil Rights legends such as Rosa Parks, E.D. Nixon (who bailed Parks out of jail), and MLK, Jr. She reminded us of a very painful fact: “We lost Martin too early. He was just 39.” Ironically, Giovanni’s writing career was born in the year of Martin Luther King’s assassination.

Giovanni recited a very moving tribute to “the incomparable Martin” from her poetry collection, Acolyte.

In the Spirit of Martin,” demanded “the world to see what they did to my boy.” It traveled through civil rights cities and envisioned a present-day Martin, “the voice of his people,” wearing a tattoo and with braided hair.

One of Oprah Winfrey’s twenty-five “Living Legends,” Giovanni uplifted the mixed-race audience by urging Caucasian female writers and historians to tell the story of the frontier woman whose courage in the face of insurmountable danger has not begun to be told yet.

Georgia’s third largest university, Kennesaw State honored the woman who came to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., with a medley of orchestrated events such as songs by the KSU Gospel Choir, a rendition of the “Black National Anthem,” and remarks by President Daniel S. Papp.