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Let's celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela Tags: celebrating life nelson mandela honoring lost ones word life production feature weekly blog

Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the Madiba clan in Mvezo, Transkei, on July 18, 1918, to Nonqaphi Nosekeni and Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela, principal counsellor to the Acting King of the Thembu people, Jongintaba Dalindyebo.

His father died when he was 12 years old (1930) and the young Rolihlahla became a ward of Jongintaba at the Great Place in Mqhekezweni.*

Hearing the elder’s stories of his ancestor’s valour during the wars of resistance, he dreamed also of making his own contribution to the freedom struggle of his people.

He attended primary school in Qunu where his teacher Miss Mdingane gave him the name Nelson, in accordance with the custom to give all school children “Christian” names.

He completed his Junior Certificate at Clarkebury Boarding Institute and went on to Healdtown, a Wesleyan secondary school of some repute, where he matriculated.

Nelson Mandela began his studies for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University College of Fort Hare but did not complete the degree there as he was expelled for joining in a student protest.

He completed his BA through the University of South Africa and went back to Fort Hare for his graduation in 1943.

On his return to the Great Place at Mqhekezweni the King was furious and said if he didn’t return to Fort Hare he would arrange wives for him and his cousin Justice. They ran away to Johannesburg instead, arriving there in 1941. There he worked as a mine security officer and after meeting Walter Sisulu, an estate agent, who introduced him to Lazar Sidelsky. He then did his articles through a firm of attorneys, Witkin Eidelman and Sidelsky.

Meanwhile he began studying for an LLB at the University of the Witwatersrand. By his own admission he was a poor student and left the university in 1952 without graduating. He only started studying again through the University of London after his imprisonment in 1962 but also did not complete that degree.

In 1989, while in the last months of his imprisonment, he obtained an LLB through the University of South Africa. He graduated in absentia at a ceremony in Cape Town.

Nelson Mandela, while increasingly politically involved from 1942, only joined the African National Congress in 1944 when he helped to form the ANC Youth League.

In 1944 he married Walter Sisulu’s cousin Evelyn Mase, a nurse. They had two sons, Madiba Thembekile ‘Thembi’ and Makgatho and two daughters both called Makaziwe, the first of whom died in infancy. They effectively separated in 1955 and divorced in 1958.

Nelson Mandela rose through the ranks of the ANCYL and through its work, in 1949 the ANC adopted a more radical mass-based policy, the Programme of Action.

In 1952 he was chosen at the National Volunteer-in-Chief of the Defiance Campaign with Maulvi Cachalia as his deputy. This campaign of civil disobedience against six unjust laws was a joint programme between the ANC and the South African Indian Congress. He and 19 others were charged under the Suppression of Communism Act for their part in the campaign and sentenced to nine months hard labour, suspended for two years.

A two-year diploma in law on top of his BA allowed Nelson Mandela to practice law, and in August 1952 he and Oliver Tambo established South Africa’s first black law firm, Mandela and Tambo.

At the end of 1952 he was banned for the first time. As a restricted person he was only permitted to watch in secret as the Freedom Charter was adopted in Kliptown on 26 June 1955.

Nelson Mandela was arrested in a countrywide police swoop on 5 December 1955, which led to the 1956 Treason Trial. Men and women of all races found themselves in the dock in the marathon trial that only ended when the last 28 accused, including Mr Mandela were acquitted on 29 March 1961.

On 21 March 1960 police killed 69 unarmed people in a protest against the pass laws held at Sharpeville. This led to the country’s first state of emergency and the banning of the ANC and the Pan Africanist Congress on 8 April. Nelson Mandela and his colleagues in the Treason Trial were among thousands detained during the state of emergency.

During the trial on 14 June 1958 Nelson Mandela married a social worker, Winnie Madikizela. They had two daughters, Zenani and Zindziswa. The couple divorced in 1996.

Days before the end of the Treason Trial Nelson Mandela travelled to Pietermaritzburg to speak at the All-in Africa Conference, which resolved that he should write to Prime Minister Verwoerd requesting a non-racial national convention, and to warn that should he not agree there would be a national strike against South Africa becoming a republic. As soon as he and his colleagues were acquitted in the Treason Trial Nelson Mandela went underground and began planning a national strike for 29, 30 and 31 March. In the face of massive mobilisation of state security the strike was called off early. In June 1961 he was asked to lead the armed struggle and helped to establish Umkhonto weSizwe (Spear of the Nation).

On 11 January 1962, using the adopted name David Motsamayi, Nelson Mandela secretly left South Africa. He travelled around Africa and visited England to gain support for the armed struggle. He received military training in Morocco and Ethiopia and returned to South Africa in July 1962. He was arrested in a police roadblock outside Howick on 5 August while returning from KwaZulu-Natal where he briefed ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli about his trip.

He was charged with leaving the country illegally and inciting workers to strike. He was convicted and sentenced to five years' imprisonment which he began serving in the Pretoria Local Prison. On 27 May 1963 he was transferred to Robben Island and returned to Pretoria on 12 June. Within a month police raided a secret hide-out in Rivonia used by ANC and Communist Party activists, and several of his comrades were arrested.

On 9 October 1963 Nelson Mandela joined ten others on trial for sabotage in what became known as the Rivonia Trial. While facing the death penalty his words to the court at the end of his famous ‘Speech from the Dock’ on 20 April 1964 became immortalised:

“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

On 11 June 1964 Nelson Mandela and seven other accused: Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Denis Goldberg, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni were convicted and the next day were sentenced to life imprisonment. Denis Goldberg was sent to Pretoria Prison because he was white, while the others went to Robben Island.

Nelson Mandela’s mother died in 1968 and his eldest son Thembi in 1969. He was not allowed to attend their funerals.

On 31 March 1982 Nelson Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town with Sisulu, Mhlaba and Mlangeni. Kathrada joined them in October. When he returned to the prison in November 1985 after prostate surgery Nelson Mandela was held alone. Justice Minister Kobie Coetsee visited him in hospital. Later Nelson Mandela initiated talks about an ultimate meeting between the apartheid government and the ANC.

On 12 August 1988 he was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. After more than three months in two hospitals he was transferred on 7 December 1988 to a house at Victor Verster Prison near Paarl where he spent his last 14 months of imprisonment. He was released from its gates on Sunday 11 February 1990, nine days after the unbanning of the ANC and the PAC and nearly four months after the release of his remaining Rivonia comrades. Throughout his imprisonment he had rejected at least three conditional offers of release.

Nelson Mandela immersed himself in official talks to end white minority rule and in 1991 was elected ANC President to replace his ailing friend Oliver Tambo. In 1993 he and President FW de Klerk jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize and on 27 April 1994 he voted for the first time in his life.

On 10 May 1994 he was inaugurated South Africa’s first democratically elected President. On his 80th birthday in 1998 he married Graça Machel, his third wife.

True to his promise Nelson Mandela stepped down in 1999 after one term as President. He continued to work with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund he set up in 1995 and established the Nelson Mandela Foundation and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

In April 2007 his grandson Mandla Mandela became head of the Mvezo Traditional Council at a ceremony at the Mvezo Great Place.

Nelson Mandela never wavered in his devotion to democracy, equality and learning. Despite terrible provocation, he never answered racism with racism. His life has been an inspiration to all who are oppressed and deprived; to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation.

He died at his home in Johannesburg on 5 December 2013.

*Nelson Mandela's father died in 1930 when Mr Mandela was 12 and his mother died in 1968 when he was in prison. While the autobiography Long Walk to Freedom places Madiba’s father’s death in 1927, historical evidence shows it must have been later, most likely 1930. In fact, the original Long Walk to Freedom manuscript (written on Robben Island) states the year as 1930.

Source: Official Website

Click to download the abridged version of Nelson Mandela's biography

In honor of those we've lost, let's celebrated the life of the awesome actress, "Shirley Hemphill" Tags: honor loved lost ones actress shirly hemphill word life production feature blog

Shirley Ann Hemphill (July 1, 1947 – December 10, 1999) was an American stand-up comedian and actress.

A native of Asheville, North Carolina, Hemphill moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. After working the Los Angeles comedy club circuit, her routine eventually attracted attention leading to her being cast in guest starring roles on television. In 1976, she landed the role of wisecracking waitress Shirley Wilson on the sitcom What's Happening!!. The series was a modest hit for ABC, but production and cast problems caused ABC to cancel the series in 1979. The following year, Hemphill was cast in her own sitcom, One in a Million. The series failed to attract an audience and was canceled in June 1980.

In 1985, Hemphill reprised the role as Shirley Wilson in the syndicated revival of What's Happening!! titled What's Happening Now!!. Like its predecessor, What's Happening Now!! aired for three seasons. After the show's cancellation, Hemphill returned to stand-up comedy and also made occasional appearances in films and television.

In December 1999, Hemphill died of renal failure at her West Covina, California home at the age of 52.

Hemphill was born in Asheville, North Carolina to Richard and Mozella Hemphill. She had a brother, William. Hemphill attended Hill Street School and Stephens-Lee High School, and later won an athletics scholarship to Morristown College where she majored in physical education. Hemphill returned to Asheville two years later where she got a job in a factory manufacturing nylons.

An aspiring stand-up comedian, Hemphill sent a cassette tape of one of her comedy routines to Flip Wilson. Wilson was impressed by her routine and in turn, sent her a cassette recorder and a dozen roses. Wilson also invited Hemphill to visit the set of The Flip Wilson Show. After the visit, Hemphill returned to her job in Asheville but decided to pursue a career in comedy instead. She quit her job and traveled to Los Angeles by bus. Hemphill got a job waitressing during the day and performed at The Comedy Store at night.

By 1976, Hemphill's stand-up routine started to get noticed and caught the attention of casting agent Joan Murray. Murray cast Hemphill in guest roles on Good Times which lead to another guest starring role on All's Fair. After seeing her performance on Good Times, Norman Lear offered Hemphill her own spin-off series but she turned it down. Instead, she auditioned and won the role of sarcastic waitress Shirley Wilson on the ABC sitcom What's Happening!!. Loosely based on Eric Monte's film Cooley High, the series follows the adventures of three teenaged boys: Raj (Ernest Thomas), Rerun (Fred Berry), and Dwayne (Haywood Nelson). Hemphill's character worked at Rob's Place, the restaurant the boys frequented. The series was a modest hit for ABC but was beset with behind the scene problems. In the series' second season, Fred Berry and Ernest Thomas staged a walkout over their dressing room conditions which they claimed were unsuitable. During the series' third season, Fred Berry demanded more money and reportedly convinced Ernest Thomas and Haywood Nelson to join him in a strike. Producers opted to cancel the series instead of increasing the actors' salaries.

Following the cancellation of What's Happening, Hemphill auditioned for the role of the cook on Archie Bunker's Place, but lost out to Anne Meara. The day after losing the role, Hemphill was offered the starring role in her own sitcom One in a Million. On the series, she portrayed Shirley Simmons, a taxi driver who inherited a huge corporation and fortune from one of her customers. The series debuted on ABC on January 8, 1980 but failed to attract a sufficient audience. ABC canceled the series in June 1980.

Afterward, Hemphill would spent most of the early '80s working in nightclubs around the country and doing the occasional guest appearance on TV shows, including The Love Boat and Trapper John, M.D.. In 1985, she was invited to co-star on the revival of What's Happening!! entitled What's Happening Now!!, which aired in syndication from 1985 to 1988. After What's Happening Now!! ended its three-year run, she again worked the nightclub scene and doing the occasional acting gig on a number of '90s comedy sitcoms, including Martin, and The Wayans Bros., among others. In 1994, she appeared in her first movie, CB4, starring Chris Rock. Two years later she co-starred in her second movie, Shoot the Moon, starring Whitney Anderson.

Throughout her career, Hemphill performed her stand-up routine on a number of popular TV shows including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, A&E's An Evening at the Improv, BET's Black Comedy Showcase and Black Comedy Tonight. She was also a regular at The Laugh Factory comedy club in Los Angeles. A year before her death, Hemphill appeared in an episode of The Jenny Jones Show in a What's Happening!! reunion show; actors Ernest Thomas and Haywood Nelson also appeared.

On December 10, 1999, Hemphill died of renal failure at her West Covina, California home. May her soul forever rest in peace!

Source: Wikipedia

Bones, Thugs, and Harmony has a unique style that proved to be a hit during the Golden Era
Category: The Golden Era
Tags: Bones thug harmony mid ninties crossroad first month word life production golden era hip

Graced with a quick and sometimes sung delivery, along with a unique sense of melody, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony burst out of Cleveland, Ohio in the mid-'90s with a pair of massive hits ("Thuggish Ruggish Bone" and "Tha Crossroads") along with a great first album, as well as a successful follow-up, and then quickly unraveled. Mainstream interest dropped off toward the tail end of the '90s, but the group, which underwent a series of lineup changes, continued to release new material via mixtapes and albums throughout the 2000s.

N.W.A's Eazy-E signed the group -- initially comprised of Krayzie Bone, Wish Bone, Flesh-N-Bone, Layzie Bone, and Bizzy Bone -- to Ruthless Records. The debut release from Bone was an EP, Creepin on ah Come Up (1994). The EP boasted "Thuggish Ruggish Bone," a conventional G-funk song with an unconventional array of Bone Thug rappers that became an overnight summer anthem, especially throughout the Midwest. The single crossed into the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 22.

Amid the fervor, the group immediately reentered the studio and emerged with a remarkable album, E 1999 Eternal (1995). The album topped the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts and spawned a pair of popular singles, "1st of the Month" and "Tha Crossroads," the latter a dedication to the deceased Eazy-E and a Grammy Award recipient. As was in vogue at the time, the group members subsequently pursued respective solo careers and also a Mo Thugs Family spinoff group; none of these ventures rivaled the proper Bone projects.

At this point, the onetime cohesive group, which specialized in interwoven, harmonious singing as well as rapping, became conflicted and the group members failed to collaborate well. However, their second album, Art of War (1997) -- an ambitious double-disc package -- was very successful. Not only did it top the same Billboard charts as E 1999 Eternal, but lead single "Look into My Eyes" went Top Five on the Hot 100. Within a year of release, it was certified quadruple platinum for over four million units sold in the U.S.

A second round of solo albums sold poorly, and Bone quickly slid off the mainstream radar. Occasional reunions, such as 2000's BTNHResurrection and 2002's Thug World Order, produced some moments of glory, but these were few and far between. Thug Stories, released in 2006 on Koch, placed the group -- at the time, a trio minus Bizzy -- in the Top 30 of the Billboard 200. Bone then signed to Swizz Beatz's Interscope-affiliated Full Surface boutique label, where they issued 2007's Strength & Loyalty. A major-label budget allowed for guest spots from the Game, Mariah Carey, Akon, Bow Wow, and Twista, and the set eventually sold over 500,000 copies, earning gold certification. Bizzy returned for 2010's Uni5: The World's Enemy. The album debuted at number 14 on the Billboard 200. A handful of dates excepted, Bizzy was absent from the album's promotional tour. He returned for the 2013 release Art of War: WWIII, but this time Krayzie and Wish Bone were out of the group, with both working on solo careers. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi

Source: MTV

In honor of those we've lost, let's celebrate the life of Ben Wilson Tags: honor lost loved ones ben wilson high school basketball legend word life production feature

At the start of the 1983-84 basketball season one thing was clear - Lowell Hamilton was not only Chicago’s top player but one of the nation's top 20 prospects in the 1985 recruiting class. But Ben Wilson would soon surpass Hamilton's glory by becoming Chicago's first to be named the nation’s top recruit.

You can't really blame anyone for sleeping on Wilson. It was only two years prior when he played junior varsity as a freshman, and while he had a solid sophomore year his numbers were modest. Yet it was during this time that things began to take shape for the 6-8 small forward. He adjusted into his quickly growing body while retaining passing and ball handling ability from his days as a guard. Word soon got out about the budding talent and the crazed basketball city of Chicago quickly embraced its newfound native son.

Wilson did not disappoint as he led Simeon High to the state championship with a 30-1 record and success did not stop there. He was invited to attend the prestigious Nike All-American camp where his versatility and feel for the game led many recruiting observers and head coaches to label Wilson the top player in the nation.

Heading into his senior year Wilson was on top of the basketball world. Simeon was a lock to repeat as State champs with Wilson, which became even more assured when he convinced his childhood friend and future NBA player, Nick Anderson, to transfer from Prosser High School.

Illinois, DePaul, and Indiana waited with baited breath to hear if Wilson would select their program. At 17 years-old he was also a new father to a baby boy. His future seemed all but set - just a few years in college before cashing in on the NBA.

The Problem

It was a warm November day; the kind that reminds you of spring. Wilson was just a few days from playing the first game of his much anticipated senior year. He and his high school sweetheart, Jetun Rush, decided to take a walk a few blocks from Simeon's campus. No one would have guessed that the events to unfold on this beautiful day would result in Wilson's murder.

Billy Moore and Omar Dixon were freshmen at Calumet High School looking for someone to pick a fight with. On the streets many youth look for ways to build up their reputation - a means of solidifying their "credentials" to intimidate enemies or strengthen alliances. The pair deliberately took up the entire sidewalk as Wilson and his girlfriend approached. He walked between them and accidentally bumped one of the boys. Wilson immediately excused himself but his so-called act of disrespect angered the two youths. Moore brandished a .22 caliber gun and attempted to rob Wilson but, encouraged by Dixon, went on to shoot Wilson in the chest after he refused to hand over his money.

The thugs ran off leaving their victim slumped against a metal fence. Wilson was rushed to St. Bernard Hospital where it was determined that the small bullet did a huge amount of damage as it pierced his liver and aorta. The next day doctors advised Wilson's parents of his grave condition. He was removed from life support and passed away.

Conclusion

The explosion of publicity and public anger over the event made gang arrests more frequent. Billy Moore was sentenced to 40 years for the murder of Ben Wilson while his accomplice, Omar Dixon, was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

It was not only Wilson's athletic ability that caused him to be liked by his peers. Everyone enjoyed his humble and charismatic spark. His wake lasted 12 hours and was attended by more than 10,000 people.

Wilson left behind a legacy as his life became a symbol of hope among Chicago youth. After graduation his best friend, Nick Anderson, wore Wilson's number 25 at Illinois in his honor. Simeon head coach Bob Hambric decided to follow Anderson’s lead and brought Wilson's number out of retirement with the opening the school’s new gym named after its slain star. Since then only the program’s top players have had the privilege of wearing the #25 jersey. This honor has been held by fellow draftees and Simeon alums Deon Thomas and Derrick Rose.

How good was Ben Wilson? It’s hard to project how far his talent would have taken him but former Chicago players and respected coaches from across the country spoke highly of the former prospect. The comparisons may be hard to grasp but have withstood the test of time. Wilson has been described as Magic Johnson with a jumpshot and Kevin Garnett with a better handle and perimeter game. In his 1985 recruiting class he was perceived to be better than Glen Rice, Danny Ferry, Sean Elliott, Pervis Ellison, Rod Strickland and Roy Marble - all who went on to have NBA careers.

The Draft Review honors Ben Wilson for his high school accomplishments and recognizes him as a 1989 Honorable Draftee.

Source: The Draft Review

WHO IS DARUDDEST JONES Tags: Daruddest Jones spoken word artists word life production future entertainment blog

DaRuddest Jones is a LGBT Spoken Word Artist, Event Coordinator, Blogger, Producer, Director, Personality, Manager, Writer and Host from the Bronx N.Y. She is the CEO, Founder and Artistic Director of Rude T.ee V.ee Productions LLC. She is also a part of Street Poets NYC, a collective of underground artists with the vision of making a difference through art.

DaRuddest has been in performance since the age of 4. She's done everything from African dancing with Laraque Bey to singing background for Jerome Brooks. She's worked with the great George Faison for a number of yrs with a group called the Respect Project where she would sing, rap, act, and dance and of course do spoken word.

DaRuddest has also been honored with the opportunity to work with the highly honored and highly favored Dr. Maya Angelou as well as many other well know and established artists.

DaRuddest competed in a VIBE Magazine Spoken Word Artist competition and was crowned with second place and she has every desire to acquire the number one spot when given the chance again.

She  has performed at the National Black Theater Festival in North Carolina as well as local venues such as the 5spot, Brooklyn Exposure,  HK lounge, Karma, Billie’s Black, The Street Poets Den, Moca, Marfa, Voodoo lounge and many other locations. She has also been the Host for Centric Spotlight at the Voodoo lounge located in Brooklyn NY and for Private Affairs monthly erotica showcase at Amarachi Lounge also located in Brooklyn NY.

DaRuddest Jones had her first showcase entitled, DaRuddest Jones presents Rude T.ee V.ee, introducing her vision to support and promote spoken word artist and their dream to make it. As an extension of that, she started a monthly open mic/showcase that she held in the heart of Harlem. At the showcase she focused on bridging the gap between Poetry and Hip Hop.

DaRuddest is the creator and director of an annual artist showcase entitled, Memoirs of a Starving Artists. Moasa was created to give new artist leverage and experience. Being a part of Moasa exposes all artists involved to free stage training, free promotion, and an opportunity to make money and media exposure. Moasa is opened to all art forms. She is determined to penetrate the entertainment industry and show the world that poetry is not intended to only be underground.

DaRuddest Jones is a character that cannot and will not be held back. She lives by her words and guarantees that you will feel her poetry.

Source: Official Website: http://www.daruddestjones.com/

 

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