Facebook and Freedom of Expression

If you or I have befriended one another on Facebook then you are aware that I write,blog, sing, perform and create original content to share.In essence, I value self-expression and communication. Some folk may enjoy some of what I do, others could care less; some may agree and others vehemently disagree with a post or opinion presented on this page.The point is, I’m free to express my POV just as all other Facebook subscribers are on the social media platform that reaches over one billion people.Those who use it’s platform take advantage of one of the greatest freedoms we enjoy in America;the right to freedom of speech.
In today’s America we are poised at a dangerous crossroad.Our institutions such as U.S. Congress are in a stalemate, unable to find common ground on important issues like gun control and climate change.Our traditional religious institutions suffer from a crisis in confidence and church attendance and those whom profess faith in Abrahamic religious traditions have declined over the past several decades while agnosticism and atheism non-believers have risen precipitously.Yet, ironically it is society’s religious and ideological constructs and values each espouse that have historically been at the center of human upheaval, tribal conflict, societal transformation and war.
Harriet Beecher Stowes’ book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is said to have helped ignite the abolitionists’ movement by galvanizing tens of thousands of Quakers along with prominent religious leaders in America and abroad and other ‘right thinking law makers, and Americans to end slavery.In the one hundred years that ensued, powerful sermons and impassioned speeches of ecumenical leaders of major denominations, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heshel,and Father Theodore Hesburgh, President of Notre Dame University empowered white and black churches, and synagogues alike,nationwide by uniting proponents of Black civil rights and the end to the evil scourge of racial segregation, discrimination and black disenfranchisement in America.
The blame game of how religion has been used to exploit and oppress certain groups during various historical periods is sufficient to produce enough casualties and blame on all sides, so deconstructing transformational epochs in history like the Crusades, slavery and the holocaust as reprehensible as these unspeakable crimes against humanity are would on balance largely reveal the inadequacy of mortal man’s eternal quest to “second guess” what is to believed to be by many God’s providential will.Or more pragmatically,mans’ inability to shred his impulse towards tribal affiliation and self interests over the principle of justice and equality for all.
Instead governance is reduced from the true meaning of “We the People ” to “We Our People”, as meaning those in positions of power, and control.When humankind loses it’s capacity to discern good from evil and “Good people stand idly by while a vocal powerful few are hell-bent on maintaining the status quo,the tactic is typically to distort and misappropriate Abrahamic teachings for under-girding a groups’ political empowerment and ability to define and exercise control over those oppressed. Leaders of Hitler’s Third Reich executed their propaganda campaign against the Jews adroitly through media, “pamphetering” and attempted cultural sabotage of Jewish heritage.In America the Ku Klux Klan, The White Citizens Council and the John Birch Society offered stringent opposition to black social and economic programs and progress deemed threatening to the existing racial and social order of the day.Today,difficult questions must be asked, such as, what political dynamics are at play when policies seek to demonize one group against another as unworthy miscreants? Who stands to gain from enactment of policies and actions designed to restrict the freedoms,choices and movements of particular protected classes.
Tribes and nations are known to profess at times to be anointed ones.Chosen and exceptional in the “so called” eyes of God.Those governments who reason as Nitche wrote satirically, “God is Dead” and cleave to the notion of man’s natural intelligence and proclivity for creating order from chaos by applying codified rules of ethical actions and behavior argue God never existed, and was therefore never essential to social order. I dread to think of a world that never would have known the teachings of Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and Moses and the prophets,for better or for worse.And despite what comedian Bill Mahr says about religion in general with an apparent growing chorus of naysayers. At least according to PEW Research polls, research data.The share of Americans who say that absolutely God does exist dropped from 71% in 2007 to 63% in 2014.(PEW 11.3.15)The fault lay in we as mortals and our human failings to apply interpret and and apply the teachings and the times with new revelation.
The church universal and the black church in particular remains an important force for promoting peace, good will, aid,comfort and reconciliation within our diverse human communities. In this year’s election cycle it is crucial that we all understand what human freedoms are truly at stake if America is to remain a land where tolerance, equality, fairness and equal opportunity are accessible to each and every citizen irrespective of race, creed, color, national origin or sexual orientation or preference.This is the America this page over the months ahead will report on and seek to advance in it’s own humble fashion. You’ve been forewarned.D.Day 2016

Banana Puddin’ Jazz at The Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe Celebrates its 13th Anniversary


Award winning actor Danny Glover Honorary Co-chair of Rome Neal’s Banana Pudding Jazz 13th Anniversary Show Benefit/ Fund raiser

carol woodsSinger_and_performer_Carol_Woods_sings_to_service_members_in_the_hangar_bay_aboard_USS_Kitty_Hawk_(CV_63)_prior_to_the_visit_by_Vice_President_Dick_Cheney

Actor/singer Carol Wood


Patience Higgins


Singer/actress Alyson Williams

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Harlem’s Captain Keith Gamble

Rosanna Vitro Jazz singer

Jazz singer Roseanne Vitro among the performers for the Anniversary gala

Actor Ethan Hawke to offer a rare singing performance


Actor, Ethan Hawke, Co-chair of the Banana Pudding Jazz  13th Anniversary gala


Producer/actor, host, Rome Neal of Banana Pudding Jazz  now celebrates 13th Anniversary of the monthly music showcase at the Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe on Manhattan’s lower east side

Singer Rhoda Ross and husband , jazz pianist, recording artist Rodney Kendrick to appear at 13th Anniversary gala

Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz 13th Anniversary Entertainment Gala replete with buffet dinner is bound to be one of the hottest tickets in town, except, of course for Hamilton the Broadway block-buster Hip Hop musical! Rome Neal the indefatigable thespian/producer is the sole spirit behind the monthly jazz, drama, and spoken word showcase, now entering it’s thirteenth year.

The moniker Banana Puddin’ Jazz derives it’s sweet name from Neal the show’s creator who each first Saturday of the month hosts a nightly show that is part vaudeville,part “blue light in the basement dance party”part Manhattan cabaret, and reminiscent of 1950-60s jazz clubs in Harlem and Brooklyn’s Bed-stuy during the halcyon days of jazz swing and be-bop. Home made Banana pudding made and served up by Neal round out a menu of surprise guest performers, rare child musical prodigies, spoken-word artists neophyte jazz, R&B singers and budding Broadway stars eager to appear before a New York audience at the fabled Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe on the lower east side.

Normally the price of admission at $15 dollars offers an affordable evening of music for tourists and locals alike. On June 4, Saturday night’s thirteenth Anniversary show, billed as a Celebration/ Benefit, Neal as impresario has seemingly pulled out all stops, by enlisting Internationally acclaimed award winning actors Danny Glover and Ethan Hawke as this years’ Honorary Co-chairs of the gala, Hawke fresh off a critically acclaimed performance as Chet Baker in the Jazz biopic,”Born to be Blue” he’s even billed to play guitar and and sing a song, a rare treat for actor and fans.
Other notable artists include singer/actress Carol Wood known widely for her role as matron Mama Morton on Broadway in the hit play Chicago; the vivacious jazz chanteuses Roseanna Vitro, Rhonda Ross (daughter of singer Diana Ross) and Alyson Williams, Leslie Harrison, (WBGO F.M on-air radio personality), Martha Redbone and Harlem’s Bluesman, guitarist Keith “The Captain Gamble are among scheduled performers. An array of outstanding musicians have signed on as well, including the talented husband of Rhoda Ross, jazz pianist Rodney Kendricks, along with John DiMartino, Onaje Allan Gumbs, and Yoichi Uzeki; sax men Patience Higgins, Jeff King, bassists Stanley Banks long-time beloved member of George Benson’s band and Paul Beaudry, drummers David Gibson and Steve Kroon will be joined by other greats rounding out the rhythm sections for the evening.
Perhaps the entertainment sections of this great city’s vast media network of newspapers and magazines television stations will one day soon take note and begin to report on a New York Institutions like Banana Pudding Jazz that for thirteen years monthly has offered incredible entertainment value at affordable prices. A journey engaging aspiring artists from all over the world in pursuit of their artistic goals as each  develops their craft in a unique family friendly environment.
For more information logon to; http://www.nuyorican.org or call 718-288-8048. D.Day Media 2016