Eastcoast Trek v2019 – A Recap


The District of Columbia was created by Charles L'Enfant and it's famous quadrant layout was completed by Benjamin Banneker, noted African-American scientist and city planner

trek

/trek/

verb

gerund or present participle: trekking

  1. go on a long arduous journey, typically on foot.

Our 2019 EastCoast Trekkers. Maryum Robinson (my aunt), Willie Cravins, Del Huff, FT3, Judith, Renie

We just completed our EastCoast v2019 trek.  It is called “EastCoast” because we normally cover the states of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.  This year we were gifted with five days and decided to spend it all in D.C.  Trekking is not for the weary or those not flexible or those needing lots of pampering.  Indeed it is a vacation but not the kind that you might imagine.  It is better!!!!  Trekking requires you to get off your butt or comfort zone, immerse yourself and explore.  Normally trekking requires a commitment to public transportation (the Metro) and some good old-fashioned walking.  For our 2019 version we included some Uber/Lfyt and even got snakebit taking a taxi.

If someone had told our crew before they made the journey the trek would require walking 20-25 miles……..Judith and I would have been by ourselves.

In addition to Judith and myself, we were joined by our good friend Del Huff, her friend Willie Cravins, who is now considered family and of course my aunt Maryum, who over the years has elevating her trekking skills and ranks with the best.  In 2012 when the long-awaited MLK Memorial was completed and ready for unvieling, Hurricane Irene had other plans.  Through that incident I was blessed to meet Renie Hale…….at all places, Ben’s Chili Bowl.  Since then he has joined our family and from his perch in Laurel Maryland always fits in to round out those making the journey.  He has been an active participant ever since then.

What’s so special about the EastCoast or DC?

Our commitment to HBCU’s

Judith and I first visited DC in 2005 as we were exploring Howard University where our son, Fred IV wanted to attend (He eventually decided on Bethune Cookman University).

DC is a city full of national history.  Ever since then we have annual visits centered around the last week of August, which coincided with the historic March on Washington which was August 28th.   It is our gesture to pay homage and reflect on a small piece of our heritage.

Original March on Washington Button

The Foodie Craze

Each trek has offered a different blessing.  Starting in 2010 as the foodie craze became popular, we added a foodie excursion to our agenda.  In 2019 we were not disappointed as in five days we covered ALL quadrants that DC had offer.

Managing the NMAAHC

Fortunate enough to attend the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture which happened to be President Obama’s last official event ceremony we have tried to warn folk on how to manager their experience to the museum.  YOU CANNOT DO THE FULL MUSEUM IN ONE DAY, that is if you are truly serious about absorbing the history!  This year we carefully planned our trek to include three visits to the museum.  The plan payed off.

A Rarity at NMAAHC

The National Museum of African-American History & Culture runs smooth like a fine-tuned machine.  Call it intuition, luck or just plain blessed but I knew there was a reason we were lucky to have tickets to the museum for three days during our trek?

Saturday’s are the busiest time for the museum.  Having arrived early for our 12 pm tickets we noticed a line but that is not out of the ordinary.   Shortly thereafter, I met the customer service extraordinaire Seymour who was part of staff and had been dispatched to deal with the folk waiting to get into the museum.  Seymour had the responsibility to tell folk, the museum would be CLOSED FOR THE DAY, due to some type of power issue.  For us it wasn’t that big of a deal as one down, two to go.  Po’ Seymour was mortified in explaining to folk who had made financial and personal sacrifices for THAT DAY that they would not be getting into the museum.   Anyway, the issue was resolved and the museum promptly opened up on Sunday.  Hats off to Seymour as somebody had to communicate with the crowd and he did a remarkable job.

Photos and Media

Finally, as you can imagine, a trek is not complete without lots of photos and documentation.  We split our media into categories for easier consumption.  Simply click on the link and you will be directed to the appropriate page.

EASTCOAST TREK V2019 HISTORICAL PLACES

EASTCOAST TREK V2019 PEOPLE & PLACES

EASTCOAST TREK V2019 FOODIE EXCURSION

EASTCOAST TREK V2019 GOODMAN LEAGUE

God willing EastCoast Trek v2020 is right around the corner and we look forward to sharing another journey with you.

President Donald Trump:Kanye West – “Who’s Hustlin’ who?


Cover Photo: Rapper Kanye West hugs U.S. President Donald Trump during a meeting in the Oval office of the White House on October 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Oliver Contreras - Pool/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump meets with rapper Kanye West and former football player Jim Brown (R) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, October 11, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

[Washington, D.C.]  This afternoon was a meeting luncheon that may go down in history as Donald Trump hosted Kanye West at the White House.  Jim Brown tagged along and from a rare moment where White House staff allowed cameras to document the event, it also showcased a diatribe by West that even appeared to stun the usual fast-talking Trump.

 

In 1985 the late legendary singer Aretha Franklin came out with one of her many hits, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” After today’s luncheon Franklin’s beat came to mind and instead of zoomin’, the words were flipped to hustlin’ or “Who’s hustlin’ who”?

 

Trump has shown little appetite to have serious meetings with African-American policy-makers or those who are known leaders in the community.  However, he has been quick to marginalize that group and instead give audience to the likes of West, who shockingly didn’t even vote in 2016, let alone for then candidate Donald Trump.  Although he did clarify his statements indicating had he voted, Trump would have been his choice,

 

I didn’t vote in 2016 but if I did, ‘I would have voted for Trump’, Kanye West

Trump professes to be a master of the media.  Indeed, he gave audience to West but like most manipulators you never fully know his motivation?  Some have intimated the luncheon demonstrated his connection to the African-American community.  Unfortunately, his track record proves otherwise.

 

Justifying their allegiance

West made many remarks during his diatribe.  Highlighting his ignorance of voting, the process and the final selection; he like many who try to justify their support for the republican party make the claim “blacks are locked into voting for the democratic party.”

Perhaps in their mind it sounds cute and maybe something they truly believe?

“As a bloc, African-Americans are very sophisticated.”  Mara Gay, New York Times editorial board.

The basic premise in voting is supporting the candidate or the party who supports your ideals and desires.  It may be too much for West to understand or ponder over the years if the democratic party has shown more support for African-American issues than the republican party?  Of course, that is not to confuse the issue that just because your vote aligns with one party does not mean all is won and you will get everything you desired?  That is why most understand voting is simply one piece of the process, and one that surely does not end after the candidate who won.  The other is holding those you voted for accountable. And yes, despite best intentions sometimes there is failure and disappointment.  But, like any good fight, you get up and keep fighting but the principal of voting for those who support your ideals is paramount.

“many people believe that, if you’re black, you have to be a Democrat and said he was pressured not to wear his red “Make America Great Again” hat. But he said “this hat, it gives me power.” Kanye West

 

Now that Trump has completed his luncheon with West this may be a first step?  Trump has the opportunity to get serious about African-American issues.  West has the opportunity for the African-American community to better understand his sentiments but first things first, let’s make sure he is registered to vote and in fact can participate in the mid-term elections which are just weeks away.

Otherwise, the luncheon may go down in history as “Who’s hustlin’ who?”

Postscript

Much has been said and written about the meeting.  Just to add some levity to the issue here is SNL’s take on it.