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The day John Lee Hooker died
I cried
The day Nina Simone died
I agonized
The day Odetta and Miriam Makeba died
I mortified.
The day Abe Lincoln died
Slaves were emancipated
The day JFK was assassinated
The Nation capitulated
The day MLK Jr was assassinated
The World demonstrated
The day Obama was inaugurated
The Universe celebrated

© 2009 Dr. Elmer E. Wells


As a child born during the world depression I was identified as
While I didn't much like the term I always felt that it beat the hell out of NIGGER.
I had a cousin who the white folks nicknamed “Shine.” They nicknamed me “HIGH BROWN.”
I always hated it when they confused me with Pooch and called me
By 6th grade I found out that the proper term for me was
As one fellow Negro once said to me in Holbrook, Arizona
“What good did the 'RO' do for it?”
By the time I entered college, Negro was replaced by
In time I embraced the term. Going so far as to call it beautiful.
Shortly after receiving my Ph.D. a new term whimpered in:
Then, at age 69 on January 20, 2009 as I watched tv in Pueblo, Colorado
A black man became the 44th elected President of the United States.
He was described variously as
Areatha Franklin sang “America” but was introduced as singing
“My Country 'Tis of Thee”
She rocked it. And brought the third tear of the day to my eyes.
Chief Justice Roberts screwed up the Presidential oath by trying to do it from memory.
Barack gave an acceptance speech that ranks among those famous speeches given by such men as
Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Malcolm X, JFK and MLK, Jr.
It took him 18 minutes.
Reverend Joseph E. Lowery, an esteemed black minister, provided the benediction.
Which included (surprisingly) a humorous slant on an old racial rhyme:
[He changed the words but here is the original]
If you're brown, stick around.
If you're white, you're alright.
If you're yellow, you're mellow.
While I enjoyed his rendition, the original will always stick in my mind.
By 10:45 AM Mountain Standard Time
It was all over and I felt fortunate to have witnessed this event.

© 2009 Dr. Elmer E. Wells


(there's a new girl in town)

Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen
Hallelujah! We have a new First Lady!
Who arrived from the quagmire of female circumstances.
Was it Josephine Baker? Coretta Scott King or Rosa Parks?
Ethel Waters? Celia Cruz? Or Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune?
Just who is the First Lady?
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Jackie Joyner-Kersee? Ruth Brown? Ella Fitzgerald? Etta James?
Carmen McRae? Queen Latifah? Oprah? Halle Berry?
No More Auction Block For Me
Now, there is no further need for Jamie Foxx to impersonate Wanda.
Or Flip Wilson to impersonate Geraldine
Or Martin Lawrence to impersonate Big Momma.
Or Tyler Perry to impersonate Madea!
Oh Mary Don't You Weep
There's a New Girl in Town!
Redd Foxx...please apologize to Aunt Esther.
Take My Hand Precious Lord
Thank you Josephine Baker, Vanessa Williams, Venus and Serena.
We Love you Ruby Dee, Lena Horne and Jennifer Hudson.
When the Saints Go Marching In
While we will forever remember 9/11/2001 and the Twin Towers, we will now also cherish
The changing of the guard on 1/20/2009.
Enter the new First Lady who obliterated
THE antiquated standard of
beauty, charm, seduction.
And established a new portrait for
Dignity, pride and fearlessness.
She is called Michelle.
Wasn't That A Mighty Day!
Her daughters are called Malia and Sasha.
Amazing Grace
No! She is not Eleanor Roosevelt!
No! She is not Margaret Thatcher!
No! She is not Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy!
She is the one and the only!!
She is Miiiichellllle Oooobaaaamaaaa!!!!
Go Tell It On The Mountain

© 2009 Dr. Elmer E. Wells


As of June 12,2009, there have been 114 U.S. Supreme Court nominees presented to the U.S. Senate for confirmation by 39 male Presidents of the United States. The first man confirmed was John Jay, in 1789 by our first President, George Washington. Up until 1967, when the Senate confirmed Lyndon B. Johnson's nominee, Thurgood Marshall, all of the members of the Supreme Court were white men. Sandra Day O'Connor, nominated by Ronald Reagan, became the first woman appointed to the Court in 1981. Prior to that time, no woman had ever served on the Court.

This means that men have constituted 98% of the Supreme Court appointments since its inception. 100% for the first 192 years. And white men dominated the Court (for 178 years) until the confirmation of Thurgood Marshall in 1967. Even now, with Clarence Thomas being the only black Justice, the Court is 99% white.

What is the real threat here? Sandra Day O'Connor left the Court in 2006. Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a white woman, is the only sitting female Justice. Do you really think that Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation could somehow upset the balance of the Court?

Suppose John Jay had been black? And all of the rest of the appointees up until 1967 had been black men? Then in 1967, Lyndon B. Johnson appointed the first white man to the Court? Or, suppose Joanne Jay was the first to sit on the Court, and the pattern of female appointees had lasted for 192 years before a man was confirmed? Can you even imagine that?

There are unfortunately a few racial demagogues and old school segregationists still with us. These over the hill troglodytes are pointing their jaded fingers at Ms. Sotomayor, calling her racist. They, for some reason, feel that a Latina sitting on the bench, cannot make the same decisions regarding the rules of law as a white man. They erroneously have convinced themselves that a Latina woman's gender and ethnic background might somehow taint her ability to make sound jurisprudential decisions. At the same time, of course, they have convinced themselves that they are in truth infallible. Gods unaffected by their gender, place of birth, and the host of cultural experiences that make them who they are today.

Do these things really matter? Can you take the boy out of the country and simultaneously take the country out of the boy? Does a middle class rural adolescent boy born in Georgia approach life in the exact same fashion as a silver-spooned kid raised in suburban New York?

Can you comprehend why a black man rendered mentally distressed from countless civil rights violations, numerous acts of racial discrimination and daily bouts with racial prejudice rejects the services of a white psychiatrist who thinks he can feel the black man's pain?

For 220 years men have been the interpreters of how the wind blows on hot button issues. War, abortion, environment, gay rights, immigration, civil rights, and the limits of executive power. Men have questionably determined how we will deal with the Taliban, AI Qaeda, Korea, Vietnam, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran and Cuba. Does this make Sonia Sotomayor a big bad wolf? Or does she in reality represent a breath of fresh air?

Copyright 2009 Dr. Elmer E. Wells


Having been born in 1939, I swore that I would never see the day when a black man would become president of the United States of America. If someone told me in 1939 that this thing that started in 1789 would suddenly change in 2009, I would have said, no way. But, I was wrong.

It happened. With the election, or Barack Obama, I now have to admit that I could even live to see a woman become president of the United States. And of course with Obama's election, the door is now opened for the first Latino president, first Asian, first Native American and first openly gay president.

That's big -for me at least. Having been wrong about the presidential thing, I now have to entertain that I may also
have misjudged America in a few other areas. So it is time to cleanse my soul with a few predictions.

Death penalty. It needs to go. Should have already been gone. Maybe I will live to see the day when it will be relegated to a distant shelf in an obscure museum. For years now, we have identified a number of classes of persons who must be protected in America. We call them the protected classes, and they evolved as the center of the battle for affirmative action.

Broadly, they disallow discrimination against women and minorities. And minorities are defined as follows:
Blacks/African American Asian/Pacific Islanders Native Americans (American Indians/Alaskan Natives/Eskimos/Aleuts) Latino/Hispanic/Spanish Surnamed/Spanish Speaking/Chicano

No one can lawfully be discriminated against under U.S. law. Particularly under such headings as age, sex, religion, color, race, national origin, creed, disability, Vietnam era veteran status and disabled veteran status. And it is quite evident that gay lifestyle is getting closer and closer to becoming part of the above list.

Which leads me to surmise that America just might eventually live up to its promises as expressed in The Declaration of Independence, Federal and State Constitutions and historical
common laws.

With the election of Obama, I now have hope that the time will come sooner rather than later when we will no longer need to list the protected classes. When the death penalty
is replaced with life imprisonment. When euthanasia is not a dirty word. And is replaced with personal citizenry autonomy -the right of individuals to make their own determination for when and how they wish to die. We may not have yet reached the era of post racial, but we sure as hell are nipping at the bud.

Copyright 2009 Dr. Elmer E. Wells