Josiah Henson was a slave in Maryland during the late 1700s and early 1800s. As a child, he was separated from his mother and bought by Isaac Riley. Even though he was a youngster, he was still able to show his leadership abilities as well as his intelligence. He was so intelligent and resourceful, in fact, that even at his young age; Mr. Riley had given Josiah a superintendent’s position on his farm.
Josiah was so trusted by the people around him, including his master, that Mr. Riley also gave him the responsibility of being his market-man in the nation’s capital in addition to the superintendent’s position on the farm.
Later, Josiah was given permission to preach and give sermons at a local Methodist church. In spite of the fact he could not read and write, he learned to memorize verses in the Bible and often preached using a style and sense of humor that many of his churchgoers came to love and respect.
A white minister helped Josiah to secretly raise $350 in efforts to buy his own freedom, but when Isaac Riley found out, he swindled the money from Josiah. Because of the betrayal he felt, Riley planned to sell Josiah somewhere down south thereby separating him from his wife and children. Some reports indicate it was as far south as Louisiana where he would likely never see his family again.
In 1830, Josiah took his wife and children and fled into the night. They walked over 600 miles to reach Canada where he and his family would be considered free from slavery. It was at this time; Josiah Henson showed what an extraordinary man he truly was.
Once in his new land, Josiah learned to read and write - a freedom he was not afforded in the states. While doing so, he also became a prominent member of the “Afro-Canadian Community” in an area called, “Dawn” which was the last stop of the Underground Railroad.
During the Civil War, Josiah became a great pioneer traveling between Canada and the United States helping other slaves. He reportedly helped 118 slaves and families escape and claim their freedoms inside the Canadian borders. This act would have been punishable by death if caught. Still, he did what he felt he had to do to help his fellow man.
Josiah Henson went from being a slave; beaten, abused, separated from his parents, and sold off, to becoming a hero among the black community while earning respect from the people around him, including white men. Even Isaac Riley came to respect Josiah as never before.
Because he was such an extra-ordinary man who followed his beliefs and was willing to sacrifice his life for what he believed in, several books were written about him: Truth is Stranger Than Fiction, The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, and of course, the most popular one, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
If being called an Uncle Tom in today’s time is the worse insult that can be slung, accept it and wear it like a badge. Josiah Henson, AKA Uncle Tom, was more than a freed slave, he was a true hero to all who knew him. He sacrificed everything for what he believed in.
I’ve noticed many people on social media pointing out Chris Rock and his stand-up comedy about white kids and calling him a racist. I disagree. I’ve responded to several of the posts which I will repeat some of it here.
For instance, I used to know his younger sister and I adore her. She and I have talked about his stand-up. I’ve told her before that I did not care for it because it was so racially charged.
“But that’s not him,” she insisted, “It’s all an act. I swear that is not the real Chris; he’s just acting.”
When I shared that information, someone else responded to my comment saying, “Isn’t acting like a racist the same as being one?”
My response pointed out, “Robin Williams played a gay man in the movie, The Birdcage, that didn’t make him gay.”
I guess with that train of thought, Nicolas Cage playing a serial killer makes him a murderer, or John Travolta playing an angel makes him an archangel. Sometimes, you just have to stop and shake your own head. I often wonder where some of these people come from.
The role an actor/comedian plays does not define them as individuals. It’s a paycheck. They get paid for doing their job. For Chris, making jokes about the differences between races works, just like it did for Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and others before him.
For instance, take the movie, The Longest Yard, starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and Burt Reynolds. Paul Crew, played by Adam Sandler, puts together a football team. Has anyone really looked at that team? The only good white player on there is Battle (Bill Goldberg). The best player, before he recruits Deacon’s team, is Switowski, a huge black guy. Not racist?
As Paul grouses about his team of misfits, Caretaker, played by Chris Rock, turns to Paul and says, “You want speed...you know where to go.”
Where? To the black guys? Is this saying white guys can’t have speed or play ball? How racist is that?
Paul challenges Deacon (a black man) who responds, “The only thing I want to do is slap the point-shaving white boy like a baby back bitch.”
Really? “White boy?” That is pure racism. He doesn’t want to slap just anyone. No, just the WHITE BOY.
Paul continues the challenge and says, “You must be quite the athlete.”
At which time, Deacon responds, “You know I am, otherwise you wouldn’t have risked your ass coming into the jungle.”
The jungle! You’ve got to be kidding me! So “the jungle” is the only place you can find black men or black athletes because white guys can’t play?
After the game, Megget tells Deacon, “Anyone (Paul) who can take that kind of beating out here, I’d like to see what he can do in a contact sport.”
When Cheeseburger Eddie bows up, Deacon answered, “It’s okay, if he wants to run with the WHITE BOY, we will let him.”
Racist...pointing out the color of someone’s skin or his race is absolutely racist.
Caretaker turns to Burt Reynolds and says, “We didn’t get the whole chocolate bar, but we got a Hershey’s Kiss.”
The entire scene reeks of racism and that’s just one scene! No one ever says anything about that, no complaints, no boycotts on the movie, no anything. Why not, if everyone is so offended by racist comments? Could it be because the movie is a comedy and it’s funny?
It’s one of my favorite movies and it’s hilarious: racism and all. I may not like Chris’ stand-up, but his movies rock, no pun intended. He’s a very good actor and has great deliverance. He’s such a good Down to Earth actor that he could even play a heavy-set white guy and pull it off.
Dear Mr. Hefner,
I am so glad to have known you in my lifetime. Not that I’ve ever met you in person, but I have come to know you as an icon in the entertainment industry that no one will ever compare to. You were truly unique.
Born on the 9th of April in 1926, you have brought us a list of things that pay homage to the explosion of a sexual revolution no one ever saw coming. You’ve given us Playboy Bunnies, the Playboy silhouette emblem, Debra Harry, the Playboy Magazine, and happy men with tennis elbow.
You’ve been in Eddie Murphy movies as well as other cameos throughout the film industry, and you’ve been featured as a character-paraphrase on Law N Order: SVU.
You have had orgies that most men only dream of, bevies of big busted-beauties all around you everywhere you went, and you have inspired jokes about older men and Viagra, older men using Viagra with Ecstasy, and jokes about older men having sex with younger women.
You’ve brought us the Playboy Mansion and made lounging pajamas and smoking jackets cool. You’ve had pool parties, complete with scantly clad bunnies and a host of celebrities, including Bill Cosby’s frequent “ruffelicious” visits to your humble abode.
Truly, you have inspired many women to feel comfortable in their own skin by making them your Playmates and Playboy Models: even a pregnant Demi Moore. Your first inspiration was a young woman by the name of Norman Jean Morenson, later dubbed Marilyn Monroe.
You’ve shown us Pamela Anderson, Vanna White, Jenny McCarthy, Carmen Electra, Barbie Benton, and Anna Nicole Smith. You’ve shown us more of them than we probably should have seen. Your last Playmate model was Kristy Garett and she was your 749th Playmate to have her own Playboy centerfold spread in February of 2016.
Suffice to say that by the time you passed away on September 27 in 2017, you’ve done everything imaginable. I really don’t think there’s anything left that could be done in the style and pizzazz that you have managed in your 91 years of life on this earth.
It has been both an honor and a privilege to have had you in my lifetime. Children of generations to come will never fully understand how the Playboy Bunny symbol is synonymous with the name Hugh Hefner, but I will because I lived in through it.
Thank you and may you rest peacefully.
“Life is too short to be living someone else’s dream.”
-Hugh Hefner 4/9/1929 to 9/27/2017
Although I have never met him in person, I was in love with John F. Kennedy, Jr. Even though he’d sat for the bar five times and failed, and he spoke with a lisp, I decided we all had flaws and I loved him anyway.
When he dated Darryl Hannah, I overlooked it. He was just sowing his wild oats. When he married his wife, Carolyn, I put it down as a phase he was going through and forgave him for that, too. He was still the sexiest man alive.
The morning of his death, I sat up in bed to find my husband standing at the foot of the bed watching a news coverage. I rubbed my eyes and asked, “What’s going on?”
“John F. Kennedy, Jr died in a plane crash last night,” he explained.
“What? Damn and I was going marry him, too. He just didn’t know it, yet!” Thinking nothing of it I stretched out and went back to sleep.
Later that afternoon when I woke up (I had worked the graveyard shift the night before); I noticed I was receiving the “silent treatment.” At first, I tried to figure out what I had done to warrant the treatment, as I had been asleep all morning. Finally, I just asked.
My husband answered, “Your comment about JFK, Jr. this morning.”
“Oh hell! You’re upset about that?” I asked incredulously. “Well it’s a good thing I didn’t tell you about the honeymoon: you’d never speak to me again!”
He didn’t speak to me for the rest of the day.
On July 20, 1969, as commander of the Apollo II Lunar Module, Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon. His first words after stepping on the moon, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” were televised to earth and heard by millions. But, just before he re-entered the Lander, he made the enigmatic remark, “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.”
Many people at the NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or the American space programs.
Over the years, many people questioned Armstrong as to what the “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky” statement meant, but Armstrong always just smiled.
On July 5, 1995, in Tampa Bay, Florida, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26-year-old question about Mr. Gorsky to Armstrong. This time he finally responded because his Mr. Gorsky had just died, so Neil Armstrong felt he could now answer the question. Here is the answer to “Who was Mr. Gorsky”:
In 1938, when he was still a kid in a small mid-western town, he was playing baseball with a friend in the backyard. His friend hit the ball, which landed in his neighbor’s yard by their bedroom window. His neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky.
As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky, “Sex! You want sex! You’ll get sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!”
It broke the place up.
Neil Armstrong’s family
confirmed that this is a true story.