Category: Black Studies


Mydreamalive.com presents the Iconic Leontyne Price

What does it take to change the face of African-American culture?

A person that believes in what they believe and does not care what anyone else thinks!

One of her favorite quotes:

Accomplishment has no color

                                                         Leontyne Price

What an amazing person, performer, and voice like no nother.

Born in Laurel, Mississippi on February 10, 1927, Leontyne price grew up with  the love of music stirring inside of her veins. Like most African-American children, Leontyne got her music chops and internship in church, growing up listening to the type of music that could stir a soul. She new right then and there that she was going to make music, and affecting people’s lives, her  profession.

Now here is where the story gets interesting.

She chose to pursue a career in Classical/Operatic music and not jazz or gospel music!

huh??

This is where the disconnect happened for many of good ole down home black folks.

She went to Central State College in Wilberforce, Ohio and got encouragement and inspiration to further her love for the genre.  Leontyne went to college to become a music teacher. While hearing her sing one day in a Hall, the President of the College, Dr. Charles H. Wesley encouraged her to change her major from education to voice.

Leontyne Price earned her B.A. in June 1948, and headed to New York to study at the Julliard School of Music where she had won a full tuition scholarship. At Julliard, she received voice training from Florence Ward Kimball, a distinguished teacher, and, in her last year, she gave a strong performance as Mistress Ford in the student production of the opera, Falstaff. Upon seeing her in this production, Virgil Thompson immediately invited her to star in a revival of his opera, Four Saints in Three Acts, which ran on Broadway for three weeks in April 1952. Less than two months later, Price made her debut in Dallas, in a role that would carve her name in the minds of audiences everywhere; she appeared as Bess in a revival of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

Leontyne Price achieved one of the greatest artistic victories of her career on January 27, 1961, when she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera as Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore. This performance ignited a 42-minute ovation, one of the longest in the Met’s history. Critic Harold Schoenberg wrote: “Her voice was dusky and rich in its lower tones, perfectly even in its transitions from one register to another, and flawlessly pure and velvety at the top.”

Over the years, Leontyne Price has won 15 Grammy Awards for vocal recordings she has made, and she has been on the cover of Time and 27 other magazines. In addition, she was the only opera singer to be represented in the list of “Remarkable American Women: 1776-1976” in Life Magazine‘s Bicentennial issue in 1976. She now lives quietly in a cozy house in New York’s Greenwich Village.

Even with her amazing popularity in Europe, her status as an African-American Icon has yet to be truly celebrated!

There is more than enough evidence, rewards, reasons, and accolades to make this happen today!

Derrick Butler is CEO and Founder of Mydreamalive.com which has a mission of changing the negative images that media portrays as African-American heroes, to positive images that are true African-American Icons.

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When I awoke this morning to a normal Wednesday morning..I thought today was going to be just a normal “Hump Day”, and now it will go down as a day that I will forever remember.

See, today I sold my first “William Alexander Leidesdorff” T- shirt and when I saw my report I had to check it twice just to be sure I was reading the report correctly.

A little history….

I started Mydreamalive.com 3 years ago..( wow..yes made it through the dreaded 2 years)….and I have never sold a William Alexander Leidesdorff  T-Shirt.

In fact, there maybe a bunch of you…the 6,000+ people who have read my blog,that are fans of African-American History, but don’t know who William Alexander Leidesdorff is.

Let’s say this…. William Alexander Leidesdorff is the FIRST…repeat the FIRST African-American Millionaire.

It is indeed a shame that a bunch of people don’t know the name and another shame that he does not have a day, or stamp in his honor.

Here is a picture:

First Black Millionaire

Just some highlights of his illustrious career:

“..a prominent civic leader and pioneer in the successful quest for California to become the 31st state in the United States.  He was elected Treasurer of the City of San Francisco, owned the largest home in the city, constructed the first City Hotel, built the first commercial shipping warehouse, and donated the land to build the first public school in California.”  

So why is he such a big secret? Why does he not get credit? If anyone can answer that, please do post a comment.

He here is more info on him: Click here

and if you would like to own your own T Shirt: Click here

There are so many successful African-American stories that are yet to be told.

We need to get these stories out of the books, and onto the movie screens.

I applaud “Red Tails” for sharing the incredible story of the Tuskegee Airman.

Although there were some parts missing, and a little fiction.. at least it was an

epic African-American story…that was more than ready to be told.

Thanks for your time…

Derrick

Derrick Butler is founder of Mydreamalive.com a company founded in 2009 to  change the negative images displayed in media to positive images, and allow all African-Americans to see all sides of the American opportunity.

The Origin of ALL Life

      What a question? Can we all come together and create a African History movement that encompasses the African History that most of the African-American know nothing about, with the African-American History that most Africans know nothing about.

African History is the true history that we should be sharing with generations. Connecting ourselves with Africa and then bringing history forward to the present. To much of the history that comes up in February is about the Civil Rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ” I Have a Dream” movement. We have to go back further and we also need to include more of the people who made this dream life of ours possible.  Even though we have not reached the utopian level of society that Dr. King envisioned, this life is still a far cry from the civil unrest in the 60’s.  The ultimate example of how far we have come is the first African-American President Barack Obama.  Our generation needs to see the amazing rich culture of the Egyptians, and also understand the complexity of Booker T. Washington. Understand how Madame CJ Walker became the 1st African-American woman Millionaire, and how the great ruler of Ethiopian Yohannes IV ruled from 1872-1889. Until we can unite the two continents we as African Americans will continue to fight to find ourselves in this  caucasian dominated nation.

Do you feel it is possible to unite the two continents together?

Derrick Butler is Founder of My Dream Alive Black History Clothing that Inspires, Motivates, and Educates. Find out more at www.mydreamalive.com and stay up to date by following me on Twitter @DerrickButler

Ways to make money in a Recession

        Mydreamalive.com is all about removing the obstacles that are in your way to make your dreams come true.  I am often asked, How do you know if you are on the right road? Let me be clear that there is only one way to be sure that you are on the right road. You must be Connected to the Holy Spirit! Yes, that is the way and the only way. Once you are on the right road, you will be connect to the amazing anointing and the road will be a true road to the purpose that God has in store for you. I have often been faced in life with challenges, and these challenges usually come when I am doing what I want to do in life and not do what God wants me to do. I often get my mind straight and decide that I am going to go in a direction that doesn’t have anything to do with the purpose that God has in store for me. I get on this road, and destruction happens. Now when the destruction happens, I then get on my knees and pray, “Oh Lord, please help me out of the mess I am in.” Thank goodness that God is a forgiving and passionate God, because if he wasn’t he would have left me a long time ago because of the crazy messes I get myself into.

Salon Chairs filled with customers what a great thing!

I was recently talking to a young lady about starting a Hair Salon, and she did not know where to get started.  I told her the first thing you have to do is pray, to be sure that you are going in the right direction. Then go to http://www.domainnames.com  to find and purchase a  url that speaks to the type of salon you want. Then write a business plan that spells out what she is going to do in terms of operations, marketing, and finance. Once all those ducks were in a row then she needed to do pray again, just to be absolutely sure. In all my life I have never seen a women go without getting her hair done. I don’t care if the women did not have food in the house, or pay her cable bill, she was going to make sure she was in the shop getting her hair done. So a Hair Salon is a very good way to go. Women spend so much time with their hair, I am amused watching my wife and daughters spend hours at a time deciding on how they are going to wear their hair that DAY! Every day it is the same routine, wake up shower, dress, and spend 1 hour deciding on the right style/look of the hair. Men we have it soooo easy. We go the barber every two weeks, and until we get to the point where our wifes/lady friends tell us its time to go, we don’t even think twice about our hair.  Perhaps I should go to http://www.domainnames.com and secure www.hairmadness.com! I bet I could get a whole lot of traffic and sell hair products…lol

People, whether you ar trying to figure out if you are on the road of anointing, or deciding to open your first business. You have to commit to moving forward.

Stay in the grace of GOD and take action..and the rest will fall in the place.

Remember:

“Seek you first the kingdom of GOD, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you”

Matthew 6:33

Derrick Butler is Founder/CEO of My Dream Alive Inc, the largest producer of Black History Clothing Online. Find out more at www.mydreamalive.com

One Nation Under GOD

                                                                                                                                              This has been a very trying week for me.

                                                                                                So excited about the news from President Barack Obama that Osama Bin Laden is finally dead.

I don’t usually get excited about a “Murder” because that was what it was.. but I know how GOD feels about sin and the people who continue to blasphemy his Holy name.
So I was happy that again the bad guy loses and all is right in GOD’s Universe.
Have you noticed that no matter the situation or movie the bad guys always gets it in the end!
Then the mess came out about..”Is he really Dead” and if he is DEAD then they should show the body!
I am really irritated about this whole debate.
Has anyone ever seen Hitler’s Body? Ok.. how about Attila the Hun??
We don’t even think about seeing them because guess what… they are DEAD!
Here we go again with a Republican Donald Trumpism.. where is the Birth Certificate???
Get a grip and get a clue!
Mr. Trump…where is your real hair??
Now you Trump  can spend his time on more important unsolved matters like… where the hell is Tupac and Biggie?
 
Come on people.. It is Mr. Bush that said that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that were proven to not be there.
A war to capture Hussein for some reason, was on the way and the American public believed it hook line and sinker.
 
We have to be a people, a country that believes that the office of President will not call a press conference to make a bold face lie to the American people.
We have to be a nation that does not take this opportunity to divide the country into people who think he is dead and people who do not think he is dead..
 
why… FOR RATINGS!!
FOR   POLITICAL  ADVANTAGE!!
 
The Republicans have no one to run in 2012. They have no one that can beat President Barack Obama so here they go again with the Divisive Tactics.
The same Tactics that have worked in the past to confuse the American People.
No more.. we need answers on topics of great importance.
How about…JOBS.. EDUCATION..DEFICIT..HEATH CARE..NEW ENERGY
 
Can we all get on the same page for once.
We need answers on real problems and we need a country a leadership that can lead us into the next century.
Perhaps two parties are too much for our country??
 
I know we need to trim the Government and get the spending dow.
I know we need to raise the taxes on the rich to Clinton 2000 years.
We know those two need to happen to have a chance in making it to another generation.
In history ALL great nations fall!!
They fall because of stupidity, selfishness and Power Struggles
 
Are we going to have the same fate? Or are we finally going to create a nation that can live together in peace and harmony
Perhaps I am asking more than we are able to do.
But I have always been told, that if you ask.. you can receive..
 
WE can do this anything is possible.
 
I still believe we are an Amazing nation!
 
Derrick Butler is the Founder of My Dream Alive the largest producer of  Urban Inspirational Wear that Inspires, Motivates and Educates. Find out more at www.mydreamalive.com
Also Follow Derrick Butler on Twitter @DerrickButler
 
One Nation under GOD indivisible and justice for all
 
 

You do NOT have a good relationship with Blacks!

Wow.. here we go again.   A Billionaire that
“THINKS”  ( Ohhh boy does he THINK)
that he has an inkling of an idea of who and what we are as a people!
It is funny even hilarious to me that he would even imply that he could have taken away votes from Barack Obama in 2008!
This is like you know who saying ” Those People” that gave him a quick reality of who we are and what happens when you get us excited!
You can not come to us when you are looking for votes, after decades of neglect and non relationship.
You can not come to us, after spending no time in Black communities or even inviting a “Real Black” over to the house.
I don’t think Mr. Trump even knows a line from the most popular Lil Wayne song!
Come on.. we are not going to be fooled again to thinking that a Billionaire even understands the average wealth of a Black American or the graduation rate from High School of a boy in uptown New York.
We are not going to let the Republicans pretend to have our best interests at heart when people like  McCain think the average person has an income of 5 Million.
I am one that believes that you should not even get to run for office if your net worth exceeds 1 Million dollars.
We are supposed to be a Democracy… for the people and by the people.
Your Mr. Trump are not one of the people.
That is not your fault, you get the great distinction of being a self-made Billionaire, but you also should not be given the great responsibility of representing the common man.
We saw just recently with Meg Whitman running for Governor of California ( Thank God she did not win!) what would happen if a Wealthy person was to take office and run the Government strictly as a business.
You can not do that!
Government is more than profit and loss!!!
This amazing incredible country needs to get back to the foundation of what we were created to be.
A place where money would not decide..your education, or your ability to start a business or the state of your income for the rest of your life.
Like England where if you are born into Noble blood then you are set, but if not you are pretty much screwed.
We want a Democracy.. the Democracy that the founders believed was possible.
You Mr. Trump are the sign of the Capitalist propaganda that exists today. You are a sign of the disease that has infested our country.
I can tell you that NOOO Mr. Trump you do not know how much we detest the possibility that you would even be considered for Presidency!
You go run your business and make Billions more…
But.. please leave the Government to those who have a blood in their veins and a REAL HEART!!

Repubicans Block Progress again

 

   Republican leaders again want to block one of the biggest ways to get out of this economic mess ( that they created!!) and keep the social programs that were instituted by the Government to be a contract with the American people.

Everyone knows that I am a huge President Barack Obama fan ( Still love saying President), and I have supported him from the start, but he needs to stand firm on this one.

I have always been told that Facts are Friends..well let’s look at some facts:

Defense      Spending     :        2000        $334.2 Billion               20004   $379.5   Billion        2008   $726.10 Billion       2011 $928.5 Billion   ( Almost a Trillion!! )

Why is Defense up  $594.30 Billion Dollars!!

Why are we looking at Social Services cuts when we have added $594.30 Billion to the Federal Budget???

Our Defense Spending is 42% of our GDP!!   Are you kidding me!

Come on.. the place is Defense.. Defense…Defense!!

In order to tackle the astronomical Deficit that our County faces.. we have to take in more revenue and decrease spending.

You do not have to be a rocket scientist to get this..

Why are the Republicans playing games. We can reduce spending on Defense and make it up slowly.. or we can take in more Revenue and take care of it faster.

Do you remember the Clinton Years?? 

We need to return the tax rates for the Rich to those years. I do not remember a person rich or poor complaining about how bad it was during those Glory YEARS!!

The top income tax rate was 39% !

We had a booming economy!  We had a $4 Trillion dollar Surplus!!

Enough said…

Derrick Butler is Founder of My Dream Alive the only Urban Inspirational Clothing line and also an Equal Education Advocate. You can follow Derrick Butler on Twitter @DerrickButler or learn more about My Dream Alive at www.mydreamalive.com

Today the Mega Millions Loto is $312 Million Dollars.

Can you believe it?? We’ll this lottery has given me the passion to write again. The last time I was this fired up.. Barack Obama was becoming our 1st ( Not Last ) African American President. I am still a huge  Obama fan and supporter, and next year is going to be no cake walk. Especially if the economy remains in the dumps like it is.

The truth of the matter is… what can one poor non suspecting slunk do with that much money.

The odds of winning are..and I like 5 Million to 1.. and people still play.

Yea.. let’s let 1 person get $312 Milllion in an American where the rich keep getting richer and the poor get stumped on!!

The middle class is disappering right before our eyes..

Wouldn’t it be better to make 312 new millionaires today. Today we could change 312 peoples lives…

Why should 1 person get the opportunity of a life time.

Imagine the families of the 312 members.. Imagine all the money in places all over the country that could get impacted by that one change in the system.

I don’t think 1 person would even know what to do with all that money, and imagine if Hitler one that money..

This Lottery system is suppose to support education.. but in fact it supports who? and where is the money for all the effort?

Let more people win.. and let’s do something right for a change.

So often we make the wrong choice..

 

We as a country have come a long way. With the election of President Barack Obama, the United States has finally taken a huge step in the right direction. 

However; ( And you knew that was coming), the educational system is still broken, unequal , and the opportunity of Educational Rights which Dr. King dreamed about are still not achieved. 

The opportunity to have an incredible impact on the lives of African-American students is possible with one addition to our public educational system. 

“It’s where, 500 years before England’s universities thrived, Westerners flocked to a place called Timbuktu, which some historians say is the site of the world’s first university. And it’s where kingdoms dripped in gold, emeralds and other riches, earning West Africa the name The Gold Coast.” 

African-American History needs to be taught in ALL Public educational systems. We do not require slavery to be taught as the only part of African- American History that is worthy of being taught in History classes across the nation. Slavery is not the beginning of the African experience. Slavery is the untimely end to African history and the beginning of the African-American experience. There exists a plethora of African History that we are still part of. Our history and African History are one in the same. 

What about: 

  IMHOTEP 

THE WORLD FIRST KNOWN GENIUS 

Imhotep was the royal advisor to King Zoser during the Third Dynasty of Kemet. Regarded as the world’s first recorded multi-genius, Imhotep was  an architect, astronomer, philosopher, poet and physician. As an architect he was responsible for designing the Step Pyramid and the Saqqara Complex. During his lifetime he was given a host of titles, among them:Chancellor of the King of Lower Kemet, the First after the King of Upper Kemet, High Priest of Heliopolis and Administrator of the Great Palace. As a physician, Imhotep is believed to have been the author of the Edwin Smith Papyrus in which more than 90 anatomical terms and 48 injuries are described. This is well over 2,200 years before the Western Father of Medicine Hippocrates is born. Some 2,000 years after his death, Imhotep was deified by the inhabitants of Kemet and was known later as Asclepius, God of Medicine, to the Greeks. His very name, Im-Hotep, translates as the Prince of Peace. His tomb near Memphis became a sacred place and the site of pilgrimages for those seeking a cure. As a philosopher and poet, Imhotep’s most remembered phrase is: “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we shall die.” There still remain many bronze statuettes, temples and sanatoria bearing his name, as is depicted in the picture of the statue above. 

                                                                               

THE KING SHARK (1841-1906)Behanzin was the most powerful ruler in West Africa during the end of the nineteenth century. He strongly resisted European intervention into his country. This was done with a physically fit army which included a division of five thousands female warriors. He is often referred to as the King Shark, a Dahomeyan surname which symbolized strength and wisdom. He was also fond of humanities and is credited with the creation of some of the finest song and poetry ever produced in Dahomey. 

 

KING OF THE ZULUS (1818-1828)A strong leader and military innovator, Shaka is noted for revolutionizing 19th century Bantu warfare by first grouping regiments by age, and training his men to use standardized weapons and special tactics. He developed the “assegai” a short stabbing spear, and marched his regiments in tight formation, using large shields to fend off the enemies throwing spears. Over time, Shaka’s troops earned such a reputation that many enemies would flee at the sight of them. He built the Zulus into a nation of over a million strong. He was also successful in uniting all the ethnic groups in South Africa against the despicable vestiges of colonialism. 

The majority of African American Adults don’t know who these people are, and even fewer children are aware of the greatness of the Early African Empires. 

This information needs to be taught and shared in schools so that our children understand that our descendents once were a mite nation of Kings, Physicians, Astronomers,  Architects, Philosophers, Mathematicians. 

If we as a race had the intellectual ability to build pyramids, than centuries later we should be Intellectually Smarter, Better, and Greater! 

Be Inspired! 

Derrick Butler 

www.mydreamalive.com