Welcome to One Black Woman’s Blog

•June 6, 2009 • Comments Off on Welcome to One Black Woman’s Blog

Hi there.

I’m known as blksista, if you don’t readily know who I am, you probably heard that I wrote a series of blog articles about the drowning of New Orleans, my birthplace on Daily Kos. It took a long time for me to find my voice blogging, and these articles basically made my rep on DK.

I finally realized that I wanted my own blog to continue to talk about New Orleans, black people, culture, gossip/public intellectualism, politics, Buddhism, journalism and ethics, looksism, cooking, fiction, history, womanism, writing, race, fashion, music and other topics of interest during this rather fractious time in American life and the life of the Republic.

Finally, I would like to say that I have a patron saint of blogging, and that, for all intents and purposes, is the late Steve Gilliard. I discovered Steve’s blog while I was living on 132nd Street in Harlem, New York between 2003-2005. Through him, I got a real introduction to New York politics. We talked privately online here and there, but I never got to meet him. I’m sure we even passed by each other while at I-HOP without knowing it.   I am so sorry he is gone, because he would have truly enjoyed seeing Obama in the White House.  I know that I could never be as audacious or as knowledgeable as Steve was during his short career, but he did teach me a few things. One: to be yourself and two: to say what is real. Then you’ll never be alone.

If you like my work, if you like visiting This Black Sista’s Page, and if you can contribute $5, $10 or more, I may be able to weather some crises and stay afloat. You can use your bank account, Visa, MasterCard, AmerEx with the PayPal button to the top right.

Live Streaming: Carnival (Mardi Gras) in New Orleans!

•March 2, 2014 • Comments Off on Live Streaming: Carnival (Mardi Gras) in New Orleans!

Understand that this live-streaming will end Mardi Gras evening, March 4, 2014.

Turn up the volume when you access this stream.

There may be some recaps later, but don’t count on them.

This camera has been live-streaming since February 21 from throughout the Crescent City, presenting parades from the Krewes of Oshun, Ponchartrain, Freret, Muses, Babylon and Morpheus and many others.   The parade season began officially in January, only a few days after New Year’s.

Of these krewes, there has been an explosion of parades recently, celebrating everything from the writer Lafcadio Hearn (Krewe of Lafcadio), to blacks (Krewe of Zulu), to women (Krewe of Iris), to pets (Krewe of Barkus).

What’s a krewe?  It’s a social organization that presents a ball or a parade during the Mardi Gras season in New Orleans (or elsewhere in the former Louisiana Purchase territory, like Natchez and Mobile, and in Florida.  Each city’s traditions, however, differ from each other).  Now I hear that La Crosse, Wisconsin also celebrates Mardi Gras, and it centers around some Catholic churches and family organizations in that city.  However, it is a much smaller celebration than the city-wide bacchanal New Orleans yearly throws.

Even rain will not keep parades from marching, but it will be rather soggy.  Folks live for Mardi Gras, though.

You will definitely get a taste of New Orleans neighborhoods during this short time.

Here is this year’s schedule.  The remaining schedule is here below.  The times are approximate; understand that the parades are not always on time.  The links work.

2-March    11:00 AM Okeanos
2-March 11:45 AM Mid-City
2-March 12:00 PM Thoth
2-March 5:15 PM Bacchus
3-March 5:15 PM Proteus
3-March 6:00 PM Orpheus (O)
 4-March 10:00 AM Rex

I’m so jealous of the fact that New Orleans seems to have thawed out of its winter slumbers–as well as its reliance on coats, mufflers and hats.  It’s 79 degrees right now in New Orleans;  on Tuesday, Mardi Gras, the high will be 55 degrees.  Around here in Sconnieland, that 55 degrees is almost balmy.  Have a great time, thanks to NOLA.com’s Parade Cam.  And let those good times roll.

LIVE STREAMING: Homegoing of Poet Amiri Baraka at the Newark Symphony Hall, New Jersey

•January 18, 2014 • Comments Off on LIVE STREAMING: Homegoing of Poet Amiri Baraka at the Newark Symphony Hall, New Jersey

Sorry that I am late with this.  I am not a coding wonder.  There is no guarantee that it will be repeated on a loop after the ceremony is over.   UPDATE (2:32 p.m. Central Time):  It IS being looped for several hours.  Danny Glover, actor and Woodie King, drama director and playwright, are officiating at the funeral.  I cannot vouch for the quality of the transmission.  It is what it is.

It started around 10 a.m. Eastern Time.  The end of Ras Baraka’s eulogy will mark the end of the ceremonies.  A lot of good jazz, good poetry, good oratory.  Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson, Sonia Sanchez, Savion Glover, and Sister Souljah are just a few of the luminaries who are going to speak.

This is from the CPRMetro.org, a community, public access entity for New Jersey and part of New York.

Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Busting Out of Jail The Hard Way – Nathan Middleton Wanted His Mother to Provide Explosives and a Car for His Jail Break

•December 20, 2013 • Comments Off on Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Busting Out of Jail The Hard Way – Nathan Middleton Wanted His Mother to Provide Explosives and a Car for His Jail Break

I’ve been waiting and waiting for the proceedings from Nathan Middleton’s Monday court appearance to surface, but nothing came up the pike until yesterday.  It’s so incredible, it’s laughable.

The more Middleton tries to run away from culpability for the destruction of Aprina Paul’s body, if not outright murder, the worse it gets for him.  Investigation of the young woman’s remains continue.  However, he’s facing an additional three years on a possible 40-year-long combined jail sentence for attempting to bust out of the slam.  Again, Middleton had to follow and respond to the proceedings on video feed from jail, because the authorities are afraid that he will abscond from justice.  From Channel 3000:

According to a criminal complaint, Nathan Middleton, 29, wrote his mother a letter from Rock County Jail, where he’s been incarcerated since Nov. 20 in lieu of a $100,000 cash bond, asking her to help him break out. Officials said in the letter, Middleton asked his mother to “blow (the window) out with something that will blow a big hole in it for me to get out of it.”

“We have him plotting an escape, attempting, but we do not have any information that she did anything to assist him at this point,” Rock County District Attorney David O’Leary said.


In the afternoon on Dec. 2, a detective listening to a phone call from Middleton to his mother said Middleton referenced the letter, telling her “if you can’t do what’s in that letter I’m just going to end it,” according to the document.

He’s going to commit suicide?

Continue reading ‘Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Busting Out of Jail The Hard Way – Nathan Middleton Wanted His Mother to Provide Explosives and a Car for His Jail Break’

Christmas Songs: “Oh, Tannenbaum,” José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti, from “The Three Tenors Christmas” 1999

•December 20, 2013 • Comments Off on Christmas Songs: “Oh, Tannenbaum,” José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti, from “The Three Tenors Christmas” 1999

I prefer Plácido Domingo because he’s handsomer and I like his voice, but Luciano Pavarotti was indeed the male operatic voice of the latter half of the last century.   José Carreras, the second of the two Spanish tenors, and situated in the middle, may be outgunned, but he’s enhanced by the experience.  He’s definitely not “the other guy,” as one Seinfeld episode put it.

How did The Three Tenors come together?  Mario Dradi, an Italian opera producer, suggested a fundraiser benefiting  José Carrera’s charity, and to welcome the singer back to performing after Carrera won his bout with leukemia.  The rest, as they say, is history.  The Three Tenors performed together on and off during the 1990s until 2003.  This performance was on December 23, 1999 in Vienna, Austria and was recorded as part of The Three Tenors Christmas video on Sony.

Cover of "The Three Tenors Christmas"

The Three Tenors in 1999 (Courtesy:  Wikipedia.com)

Oh Tannenbaum” or in English, “Oh, Christmas Tree” is from the German, with some lyrics attributed to composer and organist Franz Anschutz, and based on a 16th century Silesian folk song by Melchior Francke called “Ach Tannenbaum.”   Five years earlier, in 1819,  Joachim August Zarnack had composed a tragic love song based on “Ach Tannenbaum” as well.    Anschutz added two new verses and set his lyrics to a traditional folk melody, “Es lebe hoch der Zimmermannsgeselle  in 1824.

It was, of course, about a fir tree.  In the song, the fir tree is praised for its evergreen leaves which symbolize fidelity and devotion—in contrast to the inconstant young woman of the Zarnack folk song.  However, the song gradually became associated with Christmas and Christmas trees, thanks to Anschutz’s verses.  It crossed over to the United States with immigrants and American travelers and did not become popular in this country until the middle of the last century.

Continue reading ‘Christmas Songs: “Oh, Tannenbaum,” José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti, from “The Three Tenors Christmas” 1999’

Nelson Mandela Memorialized With a Second Line Parade in New Orleans

•December 15, 2013 • Comments Off on Nelson Mandela Memorialized With a Second Line Parade in New Orleans

Hat tip to Joyce Ladner on Facebook for this link.

I don’t doubt that many native New Orleanians also joined the parade, which began around 2:00 p.m. Central Time.

Thousands of miles away, New Orleanians from South Africa held a second line from Jackson Square to Congo Square to celebrate the life of the man who transformed their country.

St. Claire Adriaan grew up under apartheid. He knows first-hand the difference Nelson Mandela made.

“Seeing the difference in terms of dignity being brought back, humanity being brought back into people’s lives because growing up as a person of color, going through what we have gone through was dehumanizing,” said Adriaan.

For Zandi Ndebele Sutton, Mandela was like family.

“My uncle who raised me up was in prison with Nelson Mandela for 15 years,” she said.

Sutton marched the streets as part of Mandela’s youth leadership in the 1980s. She was there when he was released from prison, and is close with Mandela’s grandchildren.

“In public he was different than he was in a social environment. Most people knew his kindness, his integrity, his dignity that he exuded every where he showed up, but he really, really enjoyed jokes,” said Sutton.

“He taught us to read the newspaper, morning and evening. In the evening when we get together when we met him, he wanted to know ‘What did you learn today? What’s going on in the world?’ Since then that stayed with me.”

Trumpeter James Andrews, the older brother of New Orleans’ own Trombone Shorty (and Treme musician),  led the procession through the streets of the French Quarter to the border of Treme, or Congo Square.  The more hardcore partiers and musicians probably decamped to the Andrews family-owned The Oop Poo Pah Doo Bar raise a few toasts.  Remember, this was a celebration of a man’s life as well.

Mourners wrote messages to honor Mandela when the second line ended in Congo Square. Throughout the week, people can also sign a book honoring Mandela at St. Katherine Drexel Prepatory School, formerly Xavier Prep, on Magazine Street. The book will later become part of Mandela’s archives in South Africa.

“It’s like the passing of a family member, you want to be a part of it,” said Keith Doley, honorary consul for the Republic of South Africa to Louisiana.

Those who took part in the second line say the most important way to honor Mandela’s life is to continue his legacy of making a difference for his community, and fighting for both equality and reconciliation.

That “Cartoon Scandal”: Episode 10, “A Door Marked Exit”

•December 13, 2013 • Comments Off on That “Cartoon Scandal”: Episode 10, “A Door Marked Exit”

THAT was some winter finale.

It’s also getting crazier and crazier in the D.C. of Scandal.

Of course, KevOnStage will continue to play it, including Eli/Rowan’s spirited takedown of Fitz, for laughs.  BTW, for those of you who are novices to the show, Fitz did not cry like a baby boy.  Instead, the president took it up one more notch in what is now his war with the head of B6-13.

For us Gladiators—and Senior Gladiators in my case—we cannot wait until February.  Until, we’ll be going on life support until that time.  Pray for us. Facebook Confused Smiley


Nathan Middleton Attempts Jail Break Days Before His Court Appearance on December 17

•December 13, 2013 • 1 Comment

Like I said, if Nathan Middleton was so innocent, he wouldn’t have burned the body of Aprina Paul.  And he wouldn’t have attempted a jail break, either.  He would be chilling and confident.  Instead, the closer he gets to his upcoming court appearance, he’s panicking about moving inexorably further and further into the criminal justice system.  And it’s probably, finally dawned on him that he’s in deep.  Not as deep as the shallow trench he built for Aprina Paul’s poor body, but wide enough and deep enough.

From GazettExtra:

Nathan Middleton, a town of Porter man accused of hiding and burning the body of a Dane County woman, was arrested Friday on suspicion of soliciting to escape from the Rock County Jail.

Rock County detectives began investigating Middleton’s escape plans last week after learning he was plotting to escape from jail, according to the Rock County Sheriff’s Office.

Middleton told inmates he wanted to escape, and he attempted to contact friends and relatives for help to escape, according to the sheriff’s office news release.

Dude, you ain’t going nowhere.

Security has since tightened at the Rock County Jail, especially since Middleton will appear in court on Monday afternoon, December 17.  Middleton was charged with two felonies for burning and destroying the body of Aprina Paul, 19, a young black woman that he had solicited for sex on Craigslist.  According to Middleton, Paul expired during the night beside him in bed after taking several drugs, but the authorities believe otherwise despite the lack of incriminating evidence.

Middleton was still in the slam as he has not bonded out.  Bail was set at $100,000, a reasonably high sum.  As I said before, his ass is probably not worth bonding out to his family and friends.  His father is already in the slam for a murder conviction.  So they certainly were not going to get themselves in trouble by assisting him in evading justice at the hands of authorities.


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