Leo the Lion 12726_873385972687384_6268419640750022861_nCould the calendar have the wrong year at 2015? Have we really passed through December of 2014 and entered into a new year? I’m a Leo and as such am a very inquisitive individual. I am always interested in the why, how and when. The late Sidney Omarr, once billed “as the foremost astrologer in the United States” wrote a book entitled “Astrology, You and Your Love Life.” I found it accurately described friends, family and my personality as associated with the various astrological signs than any other or astrologer I’ve heard since. For me and my wife (Aries) of 46 years, it nailed our personalities and served notice that we are fire signs, but compatible.

In the book, he wrote of Leo’s, “Obstinate, determined, colorful, exaggerators, at times boastful, but usually reserve the latter for challenges. You were born in a Fixed sign and the Fire element. You live for the love; without it, the greatest success imaginable could be nothing. That’s the key: Love, affection, appreciation, applause, encouragement, the knowledge that someone who cares is in our corner. You are gregarious; you can plan, even plot, train, and prepare alone, but for the ‘performance’ you need someone by your side.” Would you believe, in my much younger days, I thought this need to have someone at my side was a weakness? He went on to say “You can get along better without food than without love. That’s part of being born under the natural fifth zodiacal sing; it is a characteristic peculiar to Leo—it applies more, with greater intensity than it does to the rest of the signs.” This not only applies to the lady I am married too, but the need to feel appreciated by others. I long accepted this of myself and with prayer have managed to live a great life.

Slyvester and Fog Horn

Thus, I am a people person. I love helping others reach heights they never thought possible. I love advising others which explain why I love writing these articles. Yet I have to say, currently, I find myself having less and less patience with people who have no clue as to what they are talking about. People who are phony, users, rude, cruel, and drift through life without purpose or any real direction are a waste of time to be around. We all know people like this who are friends and family. I also pray for patience with the same.

Like you, at this time of year, I find myself taking stock of where I am at as an individual. I remember my childhood, as brief as it seems, was wild. There are little specks of memories and visions of a happy yet inquisitive child. Growing up, observing, I fully understood that my father was the head of the household.  He taught me to be in charge and responsible for myself and environment. It left the kind of lasting impression on me that govern my life choices through today, no matter how bold.

My father made his living working for the city as a trash man to pay his family bills.Through the years four seasons of winter, spring, summer, fall, and for 28 years, he walked the alleys of the city. Through rain, sleet, snow, bone-chilling and freezing cold he worked without soliciting a word of pity. It was through his example; I learned the meaning of sacrifice and work. He also taught me that weekends were for play and worship.

The teenage years are a lot clearer in my short attention span and often cluttered mind.Those were wild times of chasing girls and enjoying my youth during a changing time. Just like today, policemen stopped large crowds of youths just to see if anything was going on. Our little crowd was very diverse since we dated white, black, Hispanic, and Puerto Rican girls. Depending upon who you were walking with a large crowd to the police could be two people. I should also say, I had a cousin who was a detective on the Milwaukee police force that stopped me and others whenever he felt like it. Unlike today, policemen walked a beat and never felt threaten by us.

Then there was a thought I had of not being taught to take on the world in high school. I decided to join the Army, see the world at seventeen, and let my immature libido rule. I had to get the help of my stepmother, Rosalie, to get my father to sign a release for me to join as a minor. I also had to promise him I would finish high school. The first time I heard my basic training drill sergeant yell the name Hampton was sobering. The realization that I signed up for four long youthful years of this type of discipline was also discomforting. Now, I look back upon my military experience as time I matured, becoming an adult and proud black man. The story goes, enlisted as a boy and discharged as a well-traveled young man.

My father died at age 62 on January 14, 1988 of complications from a stroke…no one can replace “Brother Hamp.” There is no doubt that I am my father’s child, because I have most of his ways as the old folks say. There is no doubt that I am my mother’s too as I have a lot of her ways. Just ask my wife for confirmation.

We, as black people, have had a bad year in a lot of respects. 2014 was a political, social, community, and popularity upheaval in time.  We are under attack by people of wealth, right-wing conservatives of all colors even some in authority who are hired to protect and serve. Even at that, we can still look back at tremendous gains in the technical fields, self-worth, and support of family, friends, and others. It reminds me of the camaraderie that was realized during the Civil Rights Era.

We fast forward to a clear summer day in Pittsburg, California approaching the last days of May. I was approaching a monumental year in my age. I thought about a couple of friends and relatives in my life that are just passing through. Some have nothing to give, but will take all they can get. I sat there thinking of days gone by and wondering in amazement of what it will mean at the end of my day. Will I be loved and remembered as a good family man, friend, and grandpa by my family, friends, and Grandson? Will I be remembered as a man who loved life, served his fellow-man, and could say without hesitation, I had my time, and now I am done? On almost a daily basis, I am seated at my computer ten to twelve hours, in my view, trying to serve my people and mankind. Is it all for naught?

This past Sunday (12/28), I was awakened; in fact energized by an excellent preacher. The word came from a man I call my on-line pastor. He is Rev-Doctor Lance Watson from St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Virginia.  He based his sermon on Psalm 56. It was as if God himself was saying, keep your head up, I got you. I’ve always considered myself to be a physiologically strong individual. Yet there are times when circumstances, politics, along with some people words raise doubt in my direction and on rare occasions my capabilities.

My faith in God has always been there. The will for me to continue doing what I do while reaching out to you and others has been confirmed by Reverend Watson’s sermon. To some, it may be an old Negro cliché with me saying I don’t feel no ways tired. I know for a fact God ain’t through with me yet. I am reminded of my mantra in my younger days when asking family members to stick with me on this journey. The train is on the tracks, engine warmed up, and ready to go, all aboard? Those who are not going on this trip, please get out-of-the-way, you are impeding progress. We are leaving with or without you. I may be the conductor but God is driving. So how about it for 2015, all aboard? I think we are going to fool some and surprise a lot more people this year. There are times we love being underestimated because they don’t see us coming. Can’t you see them looking up and wondering how we got there, all aboard?

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,


Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Flag and ConstitutionWe watched our morning newscast the morning after the Ferguson Grand Jury declined to indict the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. We saw what most people expected. During the night, arsonist had set fire to cars and supposedly burned local businesses. One of which was a black woman owned bakery who was burned out. She has since received upwards of 250k in online donations to rebuild her business, proving compassion is alive and well. Others have vowed to rebuild too. As a businessman, I wonder how they will obtain an insurance policy in the same location and how high their premiums will rise.

Looters had broken into businesses before they were burned in some cases and carried away much of the stores contents. Network television cameras capture some of the chaos. One black lady remarked in a news conference the next day the sight of her damage done made her cry for the people in the city of Ferguson.

Make no mistake about one fact that is evidently clear whether it’s reported in the news or not. Looters and Arsonist are breaking the law and should be prosecuted for their crimes and specifically for taking advantage of a social calamity and sent to jail. We all know from such past incidents, some of these criminals are just waiting in the wings for any hot spot they can go into, do their thing and get out of town just as fast as they arrived.

It should also be abundantly clear to any person watching who these people represent. Folks should not form an opinion based on any other factors except the incident itself. For your information, as if I had to tell you this, those arsonist and looters are not supporting the struggle of unlawful police actions or any other civil rights issue. I mean…come on…people please? Or as my father would say when he became exasperated with stupidity, Jes…us Christ!

Nevertheless, most conservatives categorize this entire incident in a very few words with their summation being a robber who violently stole from another store was shot by police. Case closed, thug got what was coming to him. How he was shot, witnesses of the same color who say the police officer was wrong don’t matter. They have no credibility when it comes to the word of the police officer, the chief of police, and other so-called witnesses that were not present at the time of the shooting. The fact that there is now a video going around that looks as though Michael may have paid for the cigars doesn’t matter to these people. They have already branded him as a thug. GOP politicians see it as another political wedge issue to deepen the divide in this country.

The case is turned over to the St Louis Prosecutors office. It now becomes his decision to indict or not to indict. Here is a man, who for very obvious reasons that were made public at the time should have recused himself. In order to give himself political cover, he called for a Grand Jury. As predicted, he went into the case not to present a reason to indict but to discourage indictment from start to finish.

Notable personalities in the arts and even the sports broadcasting business have voiced their opinions. People such as ESPN’s Mike Ditka and TNT’s Charles Barkley immediately come to mind. Reporters, editors and news organizations who like to search out opinions similar to their personal beliefs often give these type individuals top billing, print an impressive headline and quote these great philosophers. Not…but they treat them as though they are espousing the gospel.

I don’t know what Charles Barkley is running for in his home state of Phoenix Arizona. Exactly which political office he will run for has been speculated over the last few years. That might explain some of his strange opinions on this and other matters in the national news. This time his fellow analyst, Kenny Smith, also of TNT Basketball Pregame Shows sent an open letter to him posted in the USA today. In short he questions the wisdom of his support for the Ferguson grand jury decision. I take it as Charles just being Charles.

I remember Mike Ditka supported Sara Palin in her brief stint or thought of running for the US presidency in 2012. Speaking of which her comments on the Ferguson issue might be construed as racist or at the very least her chance to take another jab at President Obama. Keep in mind she is also playing to her base of conservative right wingers and those who love Sara Palin. On her website, she posted an image of President Obama she took from Mad World News.com. The posting depicted the presidents picture with a caption as if he is saying, “I will be signing a new executive order replacing the word “Looting” with “undocumented shopping.”

There are some black people, just like any race of people, who stay away from controversy likes it the Ebola plague. They come up with all kinds of reasons why they should not get involved. I had one man tell me that these police know what they are doing and are trained in the right manner. He seemed to think, again like a lot of Americans, these institutions are all working for the good of all Americans. Frankly, I wondered what rock he’d been living under. Then I realized that he didn’t really believe what he was saying, he just didn’t want to become involved. It brought about an excerpt from a Persian Proverb I’d heard. Here, I added its entirety for your perusal. In my view, it is words to live by,

“He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool, shun him; He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a child, teach him. He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep, wake him. He who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise, follow him.”

There are more and more people getting involved because as they are saying…”Black lives matter.”  Where are the people in the arts? What about the Hip-Hop generation? Surely they have got to see what is going on. And then as if on cue, we heard from P Diddy. A smart and successful businessman, more so than the artist he started out to be, he too has had enough. In a video posted on his Instagram, he stated…

“I can’t take it anymore! It’s Enough, and enough is enough! We as artists, myself included, all have to step up and be better leaders in our communities. It’s a hard burden to bear, but we have been chosen whether we like it or not. We need to do whatever we can in a POSITIVE way, to help unite people of all colors in this injustice! In order to be successful, it is very important that we have a well ORGANIZED, STRATEGIC plan. I truly do not have the right to preach, but I do have the right to speak.”  excerpt from P Diddy’s comments.

He does so in the aftermath of the New York grand jury who failed to indict the police officer responsible for applying a chokehold on Eric Gardner. The video was clear and at one point you could hear Mr. Gardner pleading to the officers. “I can’t breathe.”

If you are following these recent peaceful demonstrations against these senseless acts against human beings, you will notice the demonstrators represent all colors, creeds and religions of the United States. That alone should tell you all you need to know about this cause.

Some who think that black people are overly sensitive about how whites and others address them may have a point. Just think a moment. You wake up in the morning with a prayer and a thank you to our savior for waking you up. You had a great night with your family and love ones and you are feeling great this morning. You checked your bank balance; your payroll check has been deposited so you have a few errands to run. You get into an over five-year-old auto and it starts up like its saying “where to doc?”

You walk in the grocery store to get a couple of items and you stop off at the Chinese food line. You remember you had problems here so you check to be sure that you are not supposed to be in the line by the deli counter. The clerk assures you that she will wait on you as soon as she helps the next two people in the deli counter line. You are ok with that, at least she told you how it works. So you answer by saying “No problem, I can wait.”

A few minutes later, a white lady appears pushing a cart behind the cooking areas doorway. She turns to tell me and another lady who is also waiting, “I’ll be with you in a moment.” “Okay, I happily replied because I am feeling good and thinking about what I and my wife are going to eat for supper. Haven’t had Chinese in a while.

The little white lady finally returns and begins to wait on me; obviously she knows I was the first in this line. After a little general chit-chat about the weather, she was kind enough to provide a sample of a Chinese breaded style chicken ball. “Okay, I will take that one as an entrée too,” I answered. ”Will that be all Sunshine?” she asked.

Now, I’ve never seen this lady before and she damn well doesn’t know me. For me, as a dark-skinned black man, now I’ve forgotten all those good feelings I had before I arrived at this store. Now I’ve got to deal with this crap. It never fails somebody always remind you of your color when out and about. I heard myself say “ yes.”  The lady followed up with by pointing to another lady who had reached the cash register saying “She will ring you up Hon.” I don’t know, maybe the lady was just insensitive to the word. Whichever way she intended it, I let it go. Because I honestly think, she didn’t realize what she said.

My point is that there are certain words you can say to black people that make them question your intention. To be sure, we didn’t make up these trigger words, white folks did. They are words meant to demean, hurt, trivialize and place you in a status that sometimes is one level below one of their pet dogs.

We all know the one word that will make older black folks jump out of their seat trying to hurt the person who used it, especially if it was directed at them. The Hip-Hop generation has tried to make it non-relevant by stating it as a term of endearment. I say it isn’t an endearing term. Unfortunately, you can’t just take a word like that and change its meaning for whatever reason. There is too much history behind that word, and none of it garners good memories.

You can say I am too sensitive and I would agree. I know why. It’s because I live in a country where certain words are used to stereotype me in ways that have nothing to do with who I am.  I love being black and the black culture period. I am not ashamed of my heritage, or where my folks originated. I am living in my country and will fight to the death for the same. So don’t come at me yelling go back to Africa, or call me un-American. I have the right to be here just like any man or woman in the history of this country. And my people have the same inalienable rights as anyone standing on American soil yesteryear and today. If we feel, there is an injustice being committed upon our young or anyone that looks like me or any American regardless of race. It is our right and duty to do whatever is necessary to change that pattern to effect change in our system. We can and will do this in order to have a system that treats all Americans equal in the eyes of the law and whatever institution in this country services Americans. As I said at the outset, looters and arsonist is not part of this struggle so don’t get it twisted.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p2IEXZ-7q

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

Get my latest book, a tribute to my grandmother entitled, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years, 1917-1953 at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_11?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=gracie+hall-hampton+the+arkansas+years&sprefix=Gracie+Hall%2Caps%2C223


Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online www.chiia.com

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment


Hidden TurkeyLet me provide you with a quote from Abraham Lincoln. It’s taken from a letter from Lincoln to (Col.) William F. Elkins, Nov 21, 1864. Some have disputed its authenticity. Given all, of the quotes and writings, attributed to one of, if not our greatest President, I see his well-documented vision as right on target and applicable to 2014. Imagine that, to be astute enough to predict the behavior of big business in the twenty-first century.   This version includes a little more context from the letter itself and is as follows,

“We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood….It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”

— Abraham Lincoln


First of all, most Americans work for some corporation. So why wouldn’t they want to see the company they work for earning maximum profits? Some have family members, like dads and granddads who fed, housed and educated their family on corporate wages. So they can’t help but have an affiliation for that particular entity. So what the heck is my problem you ask? We have no problem with our capitalistic economy or society.


It’s because I am a proponent of all US businesses having high moral expectations while hiring personnel that will carry out those same standards. There are major policy questions that come up in top management business meetings all the time. The decision on how to proceed is to be made. I am just saying, more often than not, the American Consumer is not a consideration in the equation. From all reports, it’s about winning; more and more profit no matter what the cost to the health and standard of living for the American Consumer. It’s about deniability; hire an expensive law firm to answer plausible charges to avoid cutting off the profit spigot or losing one drop of revenue. It’s the fact they moved their so-called corporate headquarters overseas in order to avoid paying their fair share of taxes to the Government who initially granted and or recognized their firm as a corporate entity. They are developing election PACS or contributing to a particular candidate so that those elected officials will carry out the will of the corporation rather than the will of the American People. It is those corporations that don’t seem to have a soul and are the source of greed, corruption, and God knows what else. They also validate our nation’s sixteenth presidents concern in the quote noted above.


Some may remember years ago when the Enron Corporation Scandal broke. High price collages spoke about including a new subject in their business curriculum that would teach their students morals, integrity, assuming responsibility for all deeds and actions. Or even later, how about the recent collapse of the Housing Industry precipitated by the banking industry’s greed with no accountability. It took the same inept, according to them, US Government to bail them out. All of them took US taxpayers money, sat on it while refusing to lend money to help in the home foreclosures debacle. Where was the moral balance in that collective decision?


You see, I have a problem when a business person smiles, and ask me to make a commitment to use their services, or buy their product. Take my hard earned cash and use a portion of the funds to fund the campaign of a racist politician to make stupid and intolerant laws, while suppressing an individual’s right to vote.  Or how about running overseas sweat shops in order to make cheap products? This practice results in driving American made manufacturers out of business and increasing their profit.


Or they’re unwilling to support the idea of a minimum wage, not because it reduces the profit margin, but just because…of what?  They read the same studies that indicated a higher minimum wage is a win-win for individuals, governments Internal Revenue and the economy as a whole. Average people spend money on goods and services so the dollar circulates faster. One doesn’t need a degree in Economics to figure that out. Yet, you have an entire political party of these United States that doesn’t support a minimum wage increase. And who were the biggest contributors to their political campaigns?  Why some of the same aforementioned entities in this article. Their names are no secret; we know who they are as do most all Americans.


You there…Mr. & Mrs. American Consumer, we need to hold a debate on spending our hard earned money at places that do not support our ideals and community. Dealing with some corporations is a one way street. You pay, they take, they horde and stash cash. They work on plans to lower your wages, put rising health care responsibility on you, and pay to kill or defund government safeguards like the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) or Food and Drug Administration.


So what should we do as American Consumers and the public in general? The most important thing is to send a message this holiday season. Let’s spend the bulk or even half of our Christmas money at small business across this nation. I know, you still may have to go to a car dealer, Best Buy, JC Penney’s, Sears or the like for some big items. We cannot change the world overnight, but we can spend some of our money where it will do the best for us. How about buying your meat and can goods from a local meat market or store? The nationality of the store owner is less important than channeling a large part of your money in a different direction this year. Look on the Internet, you will be surprised at who is selling what out there. A lot of the mom and pop stores have websites too.


Here are a couple of networks to search for minority and or women own entities to buy from this Christmas. They are websites that allow you to search their site for a business that carries a product or service you may be looking for. Check them out, http://www.blackbusinessnetwork.com/Home/   then there is… http://www.minority-biz.com/index.php They may have a store listing in your local area of which you were not aware. You should also report back to those websites of your experiences with their recommendations. We still want quality value for our dollar no matter where we spend it.


These websites prove there is a movement already alive and growing. People are fed up supporting corporations that take more than money from you and I. Be aware of where and with whom you spend your hard earned dollars this holiday season and on throughout 2015. By this time next year, we will talk about the changes the American Consumer forced by redirecting their expenditures over the past year. Let’s make old Abe proud and assure him that freedom of choice was worth fighting for back then as it is today.

Join us for our BTR Radio show on Wednesday November 26th at 4:00pm. We will cover this same subject with our special guest. We have a great guest, in Kevin L. Nichols of http://KLNConsultinggroup.com  Call in with your questions at 347-237-4908.

Peace, Happy Holidays and make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p2IEXZ-7k


Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

Get my latest book, a tribute to my grandmother entitled, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years, 1917-1953 at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_11?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=gracie+hall-hampton+the+arkansas+years&sprefix=Gracie+Hall%2Caps%2C223


Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online www.chiia.com


Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment




Just the other day, while watching a TV program, I heard an actor say “There is one book in all of us.” The actor himself was playing a famous fictitious author. He was scolding another author who was having trouble framing and concentrating on finishing his second book.

Well, I can truly say I don’t have that problem. Although later on in my life, and after a fairly successful working career in the Department of Defense Procurement field, I found my calling. I’ve found I can sit down at the computer and words seem to jump on the page. This is especially true in the early morning or late at night in the quiet hours. I never would have imagined this as recently as five years ago. As of this date, I can say, I have written two books, and another filled with a compilation of my (1999-2014) blogs. The first two were published and the third is at the publishers due out next month. I am currently working on two more, due for release next year and just started the framework for another one set for a 2016 release.  The one common denominator in all of those works is I am familiar with the subject matter. Or they are about subjects in which I have an intense interest.

But, this article isn’t about me, it’s about you. I just used myself as an example of what you can do. No matter who you are, and at what stage of life you are at, as the actor said, “There is one book in all of us.” One of the first steps is to get you to write it. And you are correct in thinking that it is not as easy as one may think. You have to get past that first stumbling block. That is the self-doubting question of is my story interesting to anybody other than me? Other questions must be answered by you. Should I initially write a short story? Who is going to and when shall I edit my book? Does it have to be one hundred percent grammatically correct? This is especially challenging when dealing with characters that use Ebonics or slang. These same questions or issues can be resolved. You, the author, can and will solve them. Frankly, I tend to believe if it’s intended to be, you will write a book at some point in time. The point and time are up to you.

That is why I chose this subject for our Blog Talk Radio Show. To answer some of the very questions that may be impeding your progress as an aspiring author. Ironically, I met my special guest, Rick Whitlow, online after reading his comments to a question thread on LinkedIn.

There was a lady author who started and asked in her thread if anyone had any problems with a (not to be named here) particular self-publisher. She asked because she was thinking about using their service.  All kind of comments came in, most of them retelling their not so flattering experience with the publisher. There were comments from authors who had written one to several books. Overall the primary advice was to avoid this publisher. The overall feeling was all they wanted was your money for publishing a book. Once they provided the service you paid for, you were on your own.

I’d used the same publisher for my second book. I had a different complaint against them that had nothing to do with the question of did they provide the service I paid for.  In fact, they did and even made up for their error in judgment in my case by not charging me for a reprint of my book.

Both, Rick I found the comments to be somewhat self-serving. I will let Rick tell you his thoughts on the November 12th BTR Show. Although, I will share one commonality of thought we had here.  While self-publishing, marketing is you, the authors’ job. Even if you pay, the publisher to place your book on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and other sites, it is still your primary responsibility to market your book. Marketing your book is not a responsibility that can be passed on to someone else. And that, among other issues was the crux of all the commentators on the LinkedIn subject thread.

Two or three old heads wrote strong comments similar to an unidentified right-wing conservative castigating a liberal for their belief in President Obama. The difference here was at least you saw a picture of the commentator above his or her name. They chastised anyone who would bypass a so call brick and mortar publisher like Random House. These type publishers either accept or reject your manuscript after you’ve submitted it to them.  Or the old heads suggested other ways to self-publish rather than using what they call a “Vanity Publisher.”  This was interpreted by them as any company who would charge you for publishing your book. It is my opinion that if you listen to them, you would never write a book in the first place.

I can say the one good thing that came from that the LinkedIn thread was I got to meet Rick as I previously noted. Besides having a clear and concise comment on issues that people of color should consider when selecting a publisher, he is a nice guy. We’ve had written correspondence with each other, a long telephone conversation and agreed that we would partner on some venture in the future.

His book, “Swagger, the Life and Times of Rick Whitlow, is available on www.Amazon.com, www.BarnesandNoble.com  as well as his publisher’s web site at www.Outskirtspress.com and doing very well. He writes about his experiences as a star athlete while attended Illinois State University on a basketball scholarship. Under his Author’s Words for the book, he writes “His background in media and public relations catapulted him into the arena of politics where he gracefully navigated the sometimes hostile racial, social, and economic landscape.” He takes a microscopic view and reports on the broadcast journalism industry, politics, personal relationships, cancer diagnosis and race in America and “how it affects those areas and others.”

He is on LinkedIn as I stated. You can check out his other credentials but more importantly, you can hear him live on Wednesday at 4:00 to 5:30pm at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica.

As the subject suggests, we will provide insight into the publishing business among other topics of the day. So join us with your questions for Rick or me. Remember if you cannot listen to it live, you can always go the shows link and listen to at the time of your personal convenience. As always, I am looking forward to your comments on or after the show.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

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Kelly  and our Uncle Calvin  To date, we’re becoming such an individualist’s society; it’s hard to picture weekly visits from aunts, uncles and cousins. We certainly see them at Family Reunions, special birthdays or specific holidays. But oftentimes in my writings I am struck with the number of times I mention weekend visits from family members when I was a kid. Sometimes they stopped by and had supper with us doing the week. It didn’t seem to matter if they lived nearby or across town. For a while, I was wondering if most of the black people in Milwaukee were relatives of ours. I knew better, but during that era, almost anybody that was anybody was a relative, married to a relative, courting a relative or at least a close associate of a relative that walked through the Hampton front door.

That didn’t include the Watkins man who peddled potions. He would sell small bottles of medicine or salves to put on skin rashes, etc. He also sold…ugh…Castor Oil and Dr. Johns. Those were two medications that kept me healthy as a son-of-a-gun. My stepmother would look at me and my stepsister as she heard him coming down the street, shouting “Watkins man, Watkins man…got yo medications right here…Watkins man.  One of us might have been coughing or sneezing before we heard his voice yelling as he approached our house. “You kids feel all right,” Mama would ask. “Oh sure, we’re fine mama, I was just clearing my throat,” we would anxiously reply. Neither one of us wanted any part of what the Watkins man was selling. Come to think of it, does anybody remember the Watkins man or someone like him in your neighborhood? Ours were just like the mailman. The only difference is you didn’t see him every day, not unless he and you, were visiting another neighborhood. For us, it was always the same guy. I swear that man walked the entire city of Milwaukee as his rumpled coat, well-worn shoes with one shoelace untied revealed the miles he’d traveled in any particular day. Wow, I must be tripping and getting off point. Sorry, I had not thought of this man in years.

Back to the point, it was so funny.  In grade school, sometimes we would find that one of our classmates was a cousin while talking about your uncle of aunt. That was one of my regrets in leaving my hometown to move to California. I took our kids away from that close family structure. Kids find comfort, protection and feeling of belonging within that type of structure. Outside or our immediate family, folks today hardly see their first, second, third or any cousins. Sometimes the logistics of it all plays a part. Relatives are in another town or state.

I would be remiss to bring up the fact that sometimes there is a long distance between family members living in the same house. We see the commercials, hear talk-show discussions, or read articles talking about the public growing relationship with its smartphone. Are you kidding me? And that takes the place of human companionship?  Well, that’s an issue in a psychologist area of expertise.

For me, I know how blessed I was, but what about those who don’t know who their parents are? What if it’s only one parent you never knew for whatever the circumstance? How about those children who are adopted?  There are surrogate mothers, sperm donors, overseas adoptions, children from unwed, dangerous or dependent lifestyle mothers who are taken in by loving families. The children’s current family could be the shining example of parenthood and people. That still does not halt the curiosity of a child who wants to know who their real parents are. And no matter how it ends up, sooner or later the child, teenager, or young person is going to want to know from whence and who they came. It is just the natural order of the human mind.

Some may think the digital age makes it easier for someone to locate a person or persons. In most cases, they would be right. All you have to do…is go to Ancestry.com and half the battle is won.  Right, sign up to use the system, type in the subject person’s name and date of birth and you are on your way. Any more specifics you have about the person would help such as their last known address, siblings, mother or father. Sometimes you don’t know anything else other than their name or a small bit of other information. You see where I’m going with this?

We have a guest (Kelly M. Shea) on our October 29th Blog Talk Radio show that went through a personal search for her father’s relatives. Once she found them, she visited her newly found uncle Calvin, found a sister she didn’t know of and got to know other members from her father’s family,  Note: The picture in this article is her and her Uncle Calvin Hampton meeting for the first time. She didn’t stop there, she decided to research her father’s family tree, going all the way back to and before the Civil War. She became so good at it; she decided to search for of her mother’s roots.

If you have ever gone back in history, and do it as meticulously as she does, you will find the process begin to take various turns and you find out things you might not have ever guessed about your relatives and others.

My interpretation would be, it’s like rumbling around in an old closet and finding all these strange garments, hats and shows from back in the day. Or reading a newspaper clipping that informs you so-n-so was hanged in 1878 for stealing a chicken from the town meat market. Ms. Ida B Sure’s horse Newt went lame on the way to church the other day. You run into a lot of interesting and strange stories from old newspaper clippings and articles on the internet. In other words, the search can be rewarding as well as informative.

Once you hear Kelly’s story, as in what motivated her to search, how she searched, and why she continues to probe historical records seeking clues to deeper roots within her family, you will be impressed and moved. Personally I think it’s a very touching and moving story that depicts the ultimate in personal self-achievement. I don’t say this because I happen to be one of her found cousins. I say it because I truly believe her story could be a best-selling book, and maybe even turned into a movie. I have suggested she write a book. Maybe we will find out her plans on the show. Believe me when I say, you will hear an extraordinary researchers methodology as well as a genuinely nice person in Kelly Shea.

She is also an accomplished entrepreneur. She will give us the 4 -1 -1 on her Consulting, Credentialing & Billing venture. Working out of her office in Atlanta, GA., the LLC is called Physician Fees First LLC. You can reach her by email at Kelly@physicianfeesfirst.com. Or visit her website at www.Physicianfeesfirst.com .

At any rate, we got her October 29th, Wednesday at 4:00pm. Join us for a great discussion on finding your roots and other subjects.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,


Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p2IEXZ-79

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

Get my latest book, a tribute to my grandmother entitled, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years, 1917-1953 at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_11?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=gracie+hall-hampton+the+arkansas+years&sprefix=Gracie+Hall%2Caps%2C223


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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment



DrOK, I always felt apprehension before going to the dentist. Put it this way, there are two pains that are unbearable to me, a headache and toothache. Whether it was to perform minor or major work, the possibility there would be a pain was too great to ignore. After seeing the fear in my face upon entering the exam room, most dentists would laugh or scold me for being such a baby. “Come on now, you’re a grown man,” most would say in disgust. I insisted they knock me out with gas or whatever. I always left their office afterwards thinking he or she is a Hack too. That is until I met Dr. Raymond Dorrough (pictured at left) shortly after moving to Pittsburg from Oakland in 1996.

He was recommended by a co-worker of my wife’s, who knew full well of my history in dealing with a dentist from Milwaukee to California. The co-worker assured my wife that he was the ultimate professional who honestly cared about his patient’s orthodontic health and comfort during every visit.

Because my teeth needed a little tender love and care, I decided to check him out. But before I did, I asked my wife to perform a trial run for me. Hey, don’t laugh, “For better or worse” that’s part of the marriage vows. She came back assuring me there was no reason to be concerned. Of course, she liked her dentist in Oakland too. I didn’t. Reluctantly, I decided to visit this dentist with the so-called easy touch.

As I lay back in his chair, I was sweating while still trying to tell myself it’s only going to hurt a little while. I’d warned him that I was not a happy camper when sitting in the dentist chair. I asked him to knock me out before doing any work. From the exam rooms wall speakers came the sounds of soft and easy jazz of our local radio station. “You’re listening to KBLX, the quite storm,” the DJ would say before playing another two-three cuts before airing a commercial. It’s too late, I thought as I waited after his assistant had x-rayed my teeth. I loved the music, but I am still a nervous wreck. Let’s get this pain and agony over with, you Hack.

Dr. Dorrough finally appeared after checking the x-rays. He assured me that there was nothing to worry about. X-rays revealed a need for some work, but we are going to take care of you. Don’t worry Mr. Hampton; you are in good hands, something like that, he said. I was still stuck on “a need for some work.” Placing one finger on the inside of my mouth, directly below the cheekbone, and the other on the outside. He began shaking my skin while giving me a couple shots of Novocain or whatever he used to deadened my entire mouth. I’m sure he saw the fear in my eyes at the size of that needle because he constantly gave me words of reassurance. He then left the room, returning after the shots had taken effect.

With my wide mouth open, his assistant squirting water for cleaning at his direction, he proceeded to drill holes in teeth that needed a filling. You know the drill, no pun intended. I could smell the decaying matter he was loosening and removing. Here comes the pain I kept thinking. While drilling, removing, and replacing cavity areas with clean fillings through-out my mouth, Dr. Dorrough and I was carrying on a conversation.  Oh, we talked about the political and social issues of that time. Of course, he did most of the talking while asking me what I thought. I found myself trying to comply with his wishes by answering him with my mouth wide open. He had this uncanny ability to understand what I was trying to say, never missing a beat as we continued to discuss the issues of the day. Because there was no pain, I was really becoming comfortable in this position. The music was playing, the conversation was interesting, the drilling-filling taking place, the assistant squirting with me spitting in a cup and actually enjoying this entire ordeal.

Finally, he tells his assistant, “that’s it; you can clean him up now.”  Finished, Wow! I would be forever grateful yet in shock and astonishment at what just happened. I’d never had this type of experience in a dentist chair. I drove home that day thinking this is my kind of dentist. I felt no pain during the shot, during treatment or any time after the appointment. My teeth felt wonderful and clean. I am still with Dr. Dorrough today who once performed a Root Canal on me. I didn’t feel pain during or after that procedure either. As of this date, he is still servicing his patients after almost thirty-two years as an independent yet experienced and quality neighborhood dentist.

Over the years, we have become friends with Raymond and his wife Octavia. Ever since I’ve known them Mrs. Dorrough has never been too far from her husband’s side. She works as his office manager in his dentist practice. A Louisiana native and inspiring cook, she and her husband surprised us by bringing over a pot of her exquisite chili and other foods after my wife’s foot operation a few years back. According to the back cover of his book, “Latter Reign,” he and his wife co-pastor a transcultural, interracial ministry known as Love Christian Fellowship World Outreach Church of Pittsburg, California. He is a conference speaker, television guest, and one of the prophets God has ‘salted down. I know first-hand he is still a minister, speaker, thought-provoking conversationalist, exceptional dentist, and an all-around nice guy.

As an author, Dr. Raymond L. Dorrough is credited with the publication of six books. Among the six are The Nine Gifts of the Spirit, The Handbook of the People of Color in the Bible, The Maturation of the Christian, and the aforementioned Latter Reign (An Omnipotent God and His Omnipresent Kingdom).

Two more of his books have garnered the most attention, both published in 2008, revised and updated in 2014. The first of which is “Christian Dreams and Visions,” the subtitle of which is “Understanding Part of the communication of God, A Key to Discernment in these Last Days.” In its Preface, he writes, “All dream interpretation comes from God, and we must ask Him to give us the ultimate meaning of our dreams and visions. The Bible is the source of interpreting all visions and dreams. Listen to the wisdom of God, To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is not light in them (Isaiah 8:20) Interpreting visions and dreams–for over twenty years—is a gift that was given to me when I was baptized with the Holy Spirit. This information has been presented as a guideline to help you navigate these waters.” He concludes with “This information, on visions and dreams, is shared in all humility.”

The other book, The Biblical Significance of Numbers also reveals the author’s intention in its Preface. He writes, “A few years ago, I was impressed by the Spirit of God to study the biblical meaning of the numbers that were referenced in the Holy Bible. It is here that I humbly share my research and finding in this area. The material is fresh and will give you a greater insight into the Scriptures. It is through the numbers located in the Scriptures that God has placed his stamp on the Holy Bible. The book is written in a tabular fashion so that you can look up a particular number and find its meaning quickly or you may choose to study a particular number and find the Scripture reference where it located. The context of the Scripture will reveal its meaning.”

He is a man comfortable in his profession, his calling with God, and his skin. For a more private consultation with Pastor or Doctor Dorrough, contact him at dorrough8@icloud.com. Tell him I sent you. Even better yet, join us on Hamp’s Corner of America, October 15th at 4:00pm for a live interview with the good Doctor, Minister, Prophet and Author. Call into 347-237-4908 with your question during the interview. If you cannot be there at the time, remember, after the broadcast you are able to access this and any one of our shows at your convenience by clicking on the following link.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,


Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p2IEXZ-73

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

Get my latest book, a tribute to my grandmother entitled, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years, 1917-1953 at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_11?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=gracie+hall-hampton+the+arkansas+years&sprefix=Gracie+Hall%2Caps%2C223


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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Empowerment BlogAfrican-Americans are suffering from a hangover. From recent headlines, we have been forced to drink from the media’s blitz potion that contains police beatings, shootings, and killings of our folks. There is domestic violence in the NFL, and child abuse. Some of these ingredients have left us questioning our own up-bringing. Some folk recall that the old question put to song back-in-the-day that asked “Why is everybody picking on me?”  Those are just the extra spices added to this potent liqueur. It already contained political setbacks, loss of property value and going through the foreclosure process ending with the loss of personal property. The initial brew was stocked with losing top minority status, and watching a political party twisting a sitting black president ideas, words, accomplishments, gaffes, and errors, into a strong windstorm of doubt among those who put him in office for two terms.

We woke up with a Sunday morning hangover that kept many from getting out of bed. We drank tomato juice with pepper, tried all kind of home remedies to rid us of this hangover. We could not turn on the TV, read the newspaper, magazine, log on our computers, or talk to a friend without someone trying to force-feed us again with the same potent liqueur. The manufactures are trying to add a sparkling wine to the concoction. Wow, that’s all I need, bubbles popping off in my head to go along with this hangover.

As we lay there with our brain calming down in the silence of our homes, we began to see what is happening. You’ve read some of these tactics in the history books. In short, it’s the old tried and true divide and conquers rule. And while our brewers are at it, they zap their targets self-esteem; causing them to question not only who they are but what kind of people were their parents.

Whoa! Despite the pain in your head, you sit up in the bed. This is year 2014, not 1850. People are equipped with too much knowledge including tools to gain additional knowledge for those types of tactics to work at this particular time.

You call your friend back and tell them we as a race of people should no longer feel the need to apologize for being who we are. Our parents got us this far with the discipline used while instilling common sense in our brain even if most of us do not have a Harvard like education.  The facts are our people span the gamut of educational backgrounds, various training in specific areas of expertise.  We are doctors, lawyers, judges, entrepreneurs, CEO’s of major corporations, policemen, nurses, who have extensive experience in these positions. Alright, a couple of sports team players are having issues with their significant others. They are young with too much money, acting dumb with no real direction, or a couple has a misunderstanding of how to and at what age to discipline their children. Despite what Fox News and conservative talks shows says, it doesn’t reflect on all of us.

By now, you’ve instructed your friend, to call the fellows and the girls together for an important meeting. As your head continues to clear, you remember conversations you’ve had with many others. The subject matter has been brought up in blogs and articles you’ve read, correspondence you have received in the mail or via email. The bottom line, you and others like you, are so done with drinking this kind of liqueur. As the old folks say…that’s right…”we are sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

We as buddies, or married couples, groups of friends, neighborhoods, communities, and finally as a nation of people are all going to climb out of this barrel of crabs and become self-sufficient. We are going to create wealth among ourselves through financial empowerment.  

As we move forward, let’s not get hung up on those in our ranks who have impressive credentials. They may have the title Doctor in front of their name, or they may just wear a doo-rag with an imprint of the African flag and talk about “black power for the people.” Nobody is talking about killing the police or paying back whitey for years of racial abuse. It’s unproductive and a waste of energy and time. You’ve seen the type, heard them and know of them. I saw the speech of one such individual the other day that stated, “Contrary to what anybody tells you (whether it’s from a black mouth of white mouth), anybody in America that tells you that you are progressing is LYING to you. Black folk in proportional comparative terms are regressing. You have not moved one eye iota from where your were in 1860, (on the eve of the civil war). You are still on the bottom of the ladder.”

You don’t have to be very intelligent to understand that slaves had no rights. They were considered chattel and as such did not even have a last name. Some were just known by their number on a plantation owner’s ledger. It is different now. The very fact that I have the capability and freedom to write this blog proves we have progressed.  Without recalling the Emancipation Proclamation and a long history of our people suffering afterwards up and through the civil rights era of the sixties and today, the individual has the audacity to say there has been no change. We have not progressed at all? We know better.

Although I may agree with the speaker when he says economic indicators say, we are still at the bottom.  During this time and era we are armed with greater intelligence and the ability to enhance our knowledge in specifics via  tools at our disposal. We are mainstreamed enough to begin our own infra-structure. We just need the collective mindset and impetus to move as an organized body.

Again, the goal should be and is Financial Empowerment and Self-Sufficiency. We have the means; we have the will, and desire to set our own path to the future. We don’t need a gigantic organization, but we do need small satellites all with a common goal in mind and deeds.

And let me remind all of you of the mid-term elections happening in early November.  Republicans are already salivating at the prospect of taking over the Senate. How much longer after that happens do you think it’s going to take the House and Senate to draft impeachment articles directed at President Obama?  We cannot count on Government, except when it’s legally their right to help with our cause. I go back to another one of my grandparents words of wisdom, “Boy, when you out there trying to make something of yourself, remember you are on your own.”  We are on our own folks. Our destiny is in our hands. We can’t afford to wait any longer, I am ready. Anyone care to join me. First stop, organization. Whose with me?

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,


Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

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Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

Get my latest book, a tribute to my grandmother entitled, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years, 1917-1953 at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_11?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=gracie+hall-hampton+the+arkansas+years&sprefix=Gracie+Hall%2Caps%2C223


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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment




I saw a FaceBook shared posting the other day that said “Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile & who Love you.”  There were 114,172 who saw it and 1,366,941 who shared it. I know, those numbers seem backwards or something, but that is what FaceBook reported.

On the surface, this seems like a very nice thought and comment on who and what a family should be. Then again, let’s look deeper into that statement. The entire posting is one-sided. By that I mean, it’s coming from the perspective of someone who wants to be accepted by you with no strings attached. It’s like that saying “Unconditional Love.”

Sorry, life is not black and white and neither is being a part of the family.  Being loved by family members and being accepted as part of the family are two different issues. Going to the extreme, if you are a murderer, child molester, Junkie, or rapist, family members may not deny you but are not happy to see you at the family reunion. Not unless you have paid your debt to society for your crimes and have changed your criminal ways.

For lesser crimes against people, or say you have some of the following personality quirks.  You are a liar, thief, selfish to the core; disrespect your spouse (man or woman), and treat people as your servants or use them to further your needs without any remorse or consideration of the emotional effect it may have on them. You are branded as untrustworthy and are not a very nice person. Those are not acceptable traits for any human being much less welcomed behavior by family members.

To be a family member in good standing, so to speak, your are responsible for being a good person which makes you acceptable and loved for who you are by man and family. Don’t ask people or family to support your unsociable behavior under the guise of “Unconditional Love.”

My wife and I are celebrating our 46-year anniversary today (August 31). Any couple that has been together for over two years will quickly tell you that it not always peaches and cream. I would rather stay with someone who I love, has my back and lets me know on a daily basis my love is returned in kind, than not. Relationships are nurtured by each or all involved, especially if you’re speaking of family. That is a major point not realized by some people.

People, especially family members, want to trust you with anything they own. That includes their emotions, like love, caring, devotion, and physical things such as money, furniture, car, etc. When a friend/family member violates that trust, there is a steep price to pay. They may not ever trust you as they once did, depending upon the severity of the mistrust.

A quote from my favorite online church pastor of St Paul’s Baptist Church out of Richmond, VA says, “The character in you will shape the choices you make. And…the choices you make will shape the character in you,” Dr. Reverend Lance Watson.

Yesterday, my wife and I drove to Stockton because we were invited to her former co-worker (Toni) mother’s birthday party. They have remained friends although Toni has since moved out of state and still visit family in the Bay Area. My wife and Toni haven’t worked together in over thirty-four years. There we were helping her and family celebrate mother Adelaide Jacobs birthday who was all of 97 years old. Food, refreshments, and cake were served at one of Ms Jacobs’s son’s house.  When we arrived, and were going through the introductions of shaking hands, the first family member told me, “We don’t shake hands, this is a hugging family.” Without breaking stride, we proceeded to hug everybody we met, including teenagers and kids.

I took pictures with my camera, promising to send them to Toni’s email. Numerous family members were recording the event with tablets, and taking pictures with phones and cameras too.  Grandma Jacobs were just thrilled by all the attention and great gifts she received including a 49er pendant (my favorite) and kindle. One of her daughters reads a letter of birthday congratulations recognizing her time on this earth sent from the White House.  Barack and Michelle Obama signed it.  Her family made their mother proud, and she said as much with her heartfelt words after opening her gifts.

I felt privileged to be invited to someone’s home and being received in such a family member way. At 97, living at home with a son, fully alert and talkative, albeit using a walker to get around, Grandma Jacobs was doing her family thing. Just before we left, I told her I liked her 49er pendent. She told me her husband once had seats at the old Kezar stadium used by the team. I also told her I hoped to make 97. “It’s a grand time to be alive as long as you have a family,” She jovial replied. I kissed her and said goodbye.

As previously stated, people want to trust you in their home, around their family. Just as family members want to trust you with their physical and emotional possessions. The black family structure is there as always. Despite what the media says or doesn’t say, our black family structure is alive and relevant. One just has to ignore the haters, racist, certain national talk shows and Fox News. Look no further than your family.

The question boils down to, as it always does in any relationship, what are you bringing to the table? Keeping in mind, we are talking about individuals eighteen-years-old and above.  Despite what you hear on the airways, most black people know how to raise their children. The one tried, and true way has been passed down from generation to generation since the Emancipation Proclamation. Most one or two parent households will provide love, religious background, plus soft to stern discipline given out as needed. The only deviation from this pattern is that Grandpa and Grandma usually softens their disciplinary rules as they get older. That’s why children love to be with their grandparents.

Given that scenario by the time most black children reach eighteen, they know the difference between right and wrong.  They’re normally well-mannered, at least in front of family grownups. The difference in our society is those thugs who commit the most horrendous crimes against their own and others are usually individuals who did not have the aforementioned structure. The reasons are too many to cover in this blog. As for those wayward souls who had, but lost that family structure, yes, you are family. But then, you have to take responsibility for your actions and role as a family member. Do you feel me? Or better yet, listen to my oldest son, Rich Tycoon’s “My Family” song at https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=725146944218289 .

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,


Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p2IEXZ-6U

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

Get my latest book, a tribute to my grandmother entitled, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years, 1917-1953 at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_11?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=gracie+hall-hampton+the+arkansas+years&sprefix=Gracie+Hall%2Caps%2C223


Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, onlinewww.chiia.com


Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Liberty Bell Old PhillySuper highways, coast to coast, easy to get anywhere. On the transcontinental overload, just slide behind the wheel..How does it feel…                                                                                                                                            When there’s no destination that’s too far?                                                                                    And somewhere on the way you might find out who you are…

Living in America.                                                                                                                           Eye to eye, station to station.                                                                                                      Living in America.                                                                                                                         Hand in hand, across the nation.                                                                                                 Living in America.                                                                                                                                 I got to have a celebration, rock my soul.

Who comes to mind and what visions do you see when you read those lyrics from the Godfather of Soul, James Brown’s cut on his Godfather CD? Besides envisioning JB, in blue, immaculate placed sequence short jacket, black open color shirt, matching tight fitting slacks while seeing his black cowboy boot styled heels shaking and shimmering back and forth as a man is on his toes doing his James Brown dance.

Smokestack, fatback, many miles of railroad track.                                                                          All night radio keep on runnin’ through your rock ‘n’ roll soul.                                                                                                                                                  All night diners keep you awake on black coffee and a hard roll.                                                   You might have to walk a fine line, said you might take a hard line.                                                But everybody’s workin’ overtime.

Living in America.                                                                                                                            Eye to eye, station to station.                                                                                                       Living in America.                                                                                                                         Hand in hand, across the nation.                                                                                                  Living in America.                                                                                                                                 I got to have a celebration.

You may not be lookin’ for the promised land.                                                                                But you might find it anyway. Under one of those old familiar names like New Orleans, Detroit City, Dallas, Pittsburg P.A., New York City, Kansas City, Atlanta, Chicago, and LA.

I live in America, Say it, say it loud, I live in America…Wait a minute. I feel good.

My intent here is to get you thinking of the most recent James Brown performance you’ve seen. Hopefully, you saw Chadwick Boseman’s Oscar nominating portrayal of the late great JB; you got a glimpse of who the happy feet individual was and a glimpse of his life story? In short, he was a Black American. I know, some years ago, we were colored; others, black, and now we are African-American. Same people mind you, just a different designation.

James Brown was born to a set of dirt poor sharecropping parents, who one by one deserted him. The reason they left don’t matter. What we have to remember is the result, or how James turned out. What did he make of his life? It’s well-chronicled in books and the film, “Get on Up.”

In certain circles, we read or hear some black and other people say African-Americans are not welcomed in the United States.  How does that go again? People who were bonded over a 100 years cannot ever loosen the chains that once enslaved them. Or how about that bold fatalistic opinion by some blacks (and others) that says we as a people in America are not now nor will we ever be free. I do understand where they are coming from, however, as in life; everything is not always black and white.

In contrast, Nielsen and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (Black Press of America) collaborated for three years, with Nielsen and the NNPA releasing a report in November of 2013. Its report stated “Black’s purchasing behaviors and viewing patterns are indeed different from the Total Market population.” It went on to say, “Companies and marketers seeking to establish meaningful connections with this important consumer group can further enhance a brand’s ability to grow by understanding these unique differentiating demographic, shipping, buying, viewing, digital, and mobile trends. Further understanding of the various generations and gender dynamics within the population is also essential for marketers who want to maximize business opportunities.” Sounds like we as black business people have some homework to do.

Just so we are clear, “Nielsen Holdings N.V (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, other intelligence and mobile measurement.” It’s headquartered in New York with a presence in approximately 100 countries. They called the report “Resilient, Receptive, and Relevant. The African-American Consumer, 2013 Report.” Every entrepreneur, black students in grade, middle, high school and beyond should have a copy of this report. You can Google it, print out a copy for your friends or family members. In my mind, it’s a must read for black folk in general.

Resilient, Receptive, and Relevant, Ummm…you don’t hear those words bandied about when they are talking about black Americans on the talk shows, nightly news and certainly in most-political circles. You certainly don’t hear that from the GOP or certain police departments. You may if you watch some MSNBC news program. We just hope those news stations do not go up against “The Atlanta Housewives” or Love and Hip Hop in Atlanta.” Hey, sometimes I watch those shows too. I just make sure; that is not all I watch. Because I can only take so much nonsense before I have to have a real reality check, you feel me. The report says that no group (37% more) watches more television than African-Americans.

But more to the point, the report stated that black American consumers are resilient. We are receptive and relevant. The report has forecast Black buying power to increase from the present $1 trillion level to $1.3 trillion by 2017. They also stated of the $75 billion spent on media ads including the internet, only $2.24 billion of that was targeted to Black audiences.

There is no other country, except our country, in this world that can throw out statistical figures like that. There is no other country, other than the United States of America, again…our country, where Black Americans can amass so much-economic power. And even today, there is no other country where a black person can go from rags to riches on talent alone (like James Browns and countless others) except America. And ironically, which is how I will put it, there is a little invention called the computer which opens up a wealth of knowledge and opportunities for black people and other Americans to raise their current status of life, by several means. Basic education (the more specialized, the better), creativity, and common sense enhances ones capabilities. Keeping in mind there are countless Harvard, Stanford, and other renowned collegiate graduates that do not have common sense.

Racism, racial profiling, cops killing or beating black folks, crime in the streets, crooked politicians, negative stereotypes, etc. are all societal issues that can change and in some cases eliminated if we put our “Economic Buying Power” behind workable solutions. Let me clarify, rioting in the streets, destroying commerce in our community does nothing to stop those issues. It just makes us look bad in the eyes of people we will need as allies. We also know there are people of all colors waiting in the wings for something, anything to jump off.  They work better at night because their sole intent is to steal. Let’s help the media identify those individuals and disassociate ourselves from that crowd. Why the media, because it’s those pictures in papers, film on the nightly news that help people form their opinion of what is going on. And as you know, pictures might not tell the entire story, but that’s a game being played these days. We have to get our story out to the masses too. Additionally, we as a people need to get up off our butts, march down to city hall in significant numbers and demand accountability from those in charge. We should flood our political representatives with emails and letters of complaint. Hold them accountable at election time and for God’s sake vote. In unison, we should also begin to boycott all those entities that support these institutions no matter how long it takes. Stop spending your money at outlets and malls that have no interest in you or your community. Let them know that you, your family and friends, your community will not buy their products unless there is a change in their policies. Yes, use that Economic Buying Power to effect the changes. The dollar bill doesn’t have to march, debate, or beg to make a point. It just needs to be redirected to send a message.

Even at that, where else would you as a Black American want to live? Do you really have to think about it? No one in this country should ever make us feel that this is not our home. History tells us we have earned the right to be here, even more so than some others. Nevertheless, we can and should work with any other American to make our country better and more responsive to the people’s needs, not the wealthy. We should also know that everybody with wealth is not a bad guy.Those with wealth, who have made it their primary business to work in the foregrounds, backgrounds and underground to limit freedoms essential to the average Americans (specifically people of color) growth and potential need to be stopped by means they understand. Cut off the money flow. We know who they are; they have come out of the shadows more and more in the last ten years or so.

When we start thinking with our wallet in lieu of our pride, temper, or trying to get paid at anyone’s expense, our communities will benefit from those efforts. We should ask ourselves how many buildings and homes do we own in our neighborhood? It’s all right to wear the latest styles; everybody should be able to make themselves feel good. But should we be “dressed down” whether going to the gym or concert while riding in a Lexus, BMW or Mercedes? Maybe we should wait a few years on the expensive car and buy a house in which we currently live.

Finally, we hear negative talk on a daily basis at work, play and in our homes. Negativity, a harsh sounding word, can be used to stunt growth, zap feelings of self-worth, or keep one in a state of aimless wondering of who you are, what you want out of life, or who you can become at any age. You never hear negative people use adjectives like Resilient, Receptive, and Relevant.  At some point in life, one has to realize that the person most responsible for your happiness is you. That is the day you begin to become comfortable in your skin. Personally, because of numerous reasons, I completely felt that way at age thirty. Believe me when I say it is an amazing feeling of accomplishment. The Nielsen report goes a long way in pointing out which age group and where African-Americans spend their money. There is no doubt; how you spend your money tells people who you are. You can believe that.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,


Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment





I love a good western. The old classics like “The Big Country” with Gregory Peck, “Tombstone” with Kevin Costner or Burt Lancaster playing Wyatt Earp, “Posse” with Mario Van Peebles and too many others to mention here. I try to catch Marshall Dillon-Gunsmoke reruns whenever I can. It’s another classic western TV series.

The cowboys, drifters, town drunk, gamblers, barkeeper, and lawman wore a six-gun, carried a rifle or shotgun for defense. Of course, others carried guns to defend themselves against those who carried weapons for defense. Yep, as they used to say, “everybody but our women folk is toting.” Then again, you can find many women in western yore that not only wore or carried guns on their person but participated in gunfights’.

Obviously, I’m old enough to have played cowboys and Indians in the old neighborhood as a kid growing up in Milwaukee. Saturday morning TV was reserved for westerns right after the airing of cartoons.

Eventually, the wild west of yesterday progressed. The people in towns like Dodge City, Kansas; Tombstone, Arizona; Deadwood, South Dakota and others got tired of replacing storefront windows. There was entirely too much time spent patching up walls from stray bullets from some drunken cowhand who decided to shoot up the town because, and get this–they wanted to have fun. The locals got tired of diving on the floor every time a gunshot was heard. More importantly, they were tired of burying innocent bystanders, some of them children, who were hit by stray bullets from a gun fight or ranch hand in town on payday to, get this–let off steam. The weapon of choice back then was a six-gun normally carried in a holster supported by a belt. I’m not trying to insult anyone’s intelligence here, but that meant the pistol could only shoot six bullets, before you had to reload. So yes, they collectively decided as most people did across this country, guns should be carried by law enforcement officials. You could still have your rifle, shotgun or pistol, but they should be carried on hunting trips. Or you could fire weapons for sport at designated areas such as a firing range. Those who “wanted to have fun” or “let off some steam” would have to find other means of excitement. One could say the West, along with the rest of the US, had become civilized. Yep, common sense had prevailed.

Fast forward to the early nineteen-eighties and I remember having discussions with people in my Oakland neighborhood about being “strapped.”  Unlike the sixties, when strong disagreements may have been settled by a fist fight, if it came to that, a lot of dudes had taken to carrying pistols. Their overall reasoning was that it was better to have one than be caught without a gun and unable to defend yourself.  I offered my sixties reasoning that said if you carried a gun you would probably meet someone who would make you use it or eat it. That statement was met with a loud no comment or “Don’t worry, I’ll use mine.” A lot of the guys were older men. According to them, they were not going to try to box with one of these crazy youngsters who were half their age.  And they were not going to take a beating so in the end, they would shoot them. They weren’t looking for a fight, mind you, but was not running from one either. Talk about history repeating itself.

Today, from all indications, including viewing, reading and listening to daily newscast, everybody is packing. Young children, teenagers, young men and woman, older and even older men and women now have a concealed weapon. We are not only talking about areas where the law has recently changed to allow regular folk to carry concealed or un-concealed weapons. This change comes at a time when a fist fight will no longer settle disagreements. If that happens, one has to be prepared to fight the combatant’s entire family. Remember the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s feud? What are we teaching our children with these examples of violence as the norm rather than the exception?

Currently, there are street gangs, the mentally retarded, your regular and past the  breaking point nut cases, the Mexican Cartels, smugglers of people and narcotics, shooting at each other, as well as innocent bystanders.  Retail store owners, private security officials, neighborhood watch personnel, including those allowed to carry guns, join law enforcement officers. All are carrying weapons of mass destruction.  A quick glance into their eyes reveals they are on the edge.  They are not alone; the entire public is on the edge these days. Who knows what will set someone off?

Yet there is one enormous difference from the days of the western yore and today. You know them by name; they are called Uzi’s, Glock’s, Military Assault Rifles, and other weapons that can fire 17, 32, 55 or some other ridiculous number of rounds per minute. These weapons are made for killing people not game. Given the national death rates by gun violence, mass murders, daily reports of shootings by whomever in an attempt to kill somebody or a bunch of people, we can truly say that we are back in the Wild, Wild West. It doesn’t matter if you are in the east, north, or south, the terminology still applies.

How can we, who call ourselves an evolved society, protector of human rights, and respectful of life and death allow such hideous crimes by criminals, psychopaths and the like? Not only do we seem helpless in curbing violence in our neighborhood streets, schools and other public places, but have watched a growing problem become more commonplace.

It seems on a monthly basis, some civil servants or individuals across this country have begun using their weapon’s and or professional skills (choke holds) to attack and even kill the innocent without fear of retribution from the authorities, we the people, put in place to ensure these types of acts do not happen in the first place. We still have the means of checks and balances to change the system but are reluctant to do so because?

When hiring officials place policemen in our communities who are ill-trained, carry real or imaginary grudges against certain individuals, or listen to and are guided by superiors who are worse than gangsters themselves that is a recipe for “soft singing and flower bringing.”  In other words, what follows is a funeral. You feel me?

The responsibility for how our local or national politicians, local responsible authorities, act and react to our questions falls on us. We are the people who put these people in place. I know, some might say there is a segment in our society that support these dinosaurs who have erected a “police thyself wall” against those who would tear down their little wall of resistance. The answer in five words is “They can be replaced too.”

We as a society have to ensure that we are our community and nations conscience. And as such will take the necessary action to put individuals in place that respect the rule of law and order being the same for one and for all. We, in the community, have to let the neighborhoods thugs know, by legal means that their type of terrorism will not stand. We can no longer stand by and watch innocent babies being shot or die because they were caught in the middle of a gunfight while playing in the park. We as parents must show our children what it is to be loved and just as importantly how to love one’s self and neighbor. How we should respect the wishes and rights of others like we would want them to treat us. In short, we are responsible for the type of environment we live in. If not us, then in God’s, name who?

In honor of Black Women for Positive Change & National Summit Council’s, August 16-23, 2014 “National Week of Non-Violence,” we support such a worthy and community directed cause.  And here is…


(1) Host “Talking Sessions” at home with children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and neighbors to discuss non-violence and anger management;

(2) Use social media, blogs, TV, Radio, Newspapers, music, poetry, rap film, etc.to highlight how communications tools can help to transform angry attitudes into non-violent behaviors, in everyday relationships;

a. Hear BW4PC on July 22nd on Urban View, Sirius XM Radio, Channel 110 @ 10 am/EST;

b. During Week of Non-Violence listen to Hamp’s Corner of America Blog Talk Show http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

c. Adapt the song “Shake the Hand of a Non-Violent Woman” to your target audience. Song composed by Maxi Jeffs, United Kingdom, listen on YouTube:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQilkmS5v9Mat

(3) Attend National Summit on Non-Violence in District of Columbia, Saturday, August 23, 2014, 9 am – 5 pm, at Metropolitan AME Church, WDC. (see attached flyer);

Register free at www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org

(4) Organize anger management/conflict resolution workshops at local recreation centers, faith institutions and/or schools;

(5) Screen the youth violence prevention film “On 2nd Thought” in your community. Film is available free via YouTube at www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org; DVD copies can be ordered from the website;

(6) Work with National and local organizations to organize Community-Based Non-Violence Summits in U.S. cities and neighborhoods. Post up your events at:  http://www.localendar.com/public/bw4pc

(7) Urge Elected Officials and celebrities to issue Proclamations, Resolutions and Letters in support of the National Week of Non-Violence. See postings of 2013 Non-Violence Proclamations at:


(8) Donate a minimum of $20+ to Black Women for Positive Change to underwrite expenses for National Week of  Non-Violence. Note: BW4PC is not receiving government grants or corporate funding. Go to “DONATE” at:  www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org


Peace and make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

Subscribe to my blog at  http://wp.me/p2IEXZ-6z

Join us on August 13, at 6:00pm PST for our live broadcast on this subject during our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica


Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

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