The Essence of Politics

Monday, September 21, 2009

The War on Our Youth: College Readiness

The same state that brought the nation No Child Left Behind is now leading the way in getting students to be more college ready. Some would call this the readiness agenda especially in the wake of the release of the ACT & SAT scores that show almost less than ¼ of America’s college students are actually ready for college and that number is even lower for some ethnic minorities. Nonetheless the state of Texas whose education system has improved over the last 10 years is now aligning high school and entry-level college standards in order to prepare students for college more.

A lot of hope is riding on a little document in the big state of Texas. Educators and policymakers who have long agonized over the Lone Star State’s low college-going rate and its high remediation rate are charting a course they hope will lead to better outcomes. And they’re using that document—the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards—as a key navigating tool. At 43 pages, the standards for college and career readiness are dwarfed by the state’s 480-page core curriculum, known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS.

But slim as they are, the readiness standards pack a hefty punch. While the TEKS describe what students must know to finish high school, the readiness standards lay out what they must master to thrive in college. Developed in a highly unusual collaboration between leaders in K-12 and higher education, they reflect real-world college expectations. And in a process mandated by the state legislature, those expectations have been adopted by Texas’ commissioners of K-12 and higher education, and are being woven into the state’s accountability system.

Educators nationwide are becoming increasingly aware that high school diplomas too often leave young adults unprepared for college. And experts who focus on that gap say Texas’ work puts it at the leading edge of a movement to reshape K-12 education into an experience that ensures students are ready for college or for careers that increasingly demand college-level skill. “I can’t think of another state that has a more comprehensive set of policies to enhance college readiness than Texas does,” says Michael W. Kirst, a professor emeritus of education at Stanford University who has worked with the Southern Regional Education Board to advance the issue in Texas.

Other states are beginning to grapple with pieces of the gap separating high school and college. South Carolina, for instance, brought together high school and college instructors to design “paired courses” in English, mathematics, and science that link high school and college content. Those courses are being piloted this year. Massachusetts held regional workshops last year for higher education and high school teams to facilitate coordinated course design. But experts say Texas boasts more elements of a systemwide effort to align high school with college—either in place or in development—including state laws, standards, assessments, and professional development.
David S. Spence, the president of the Atlanta-based SREB, says assembling those elements requires support in multiple, pivotal places, something advocates were fortunate to secure in Texas. “Part of this is getting everyone on the same page,” he says. “We had the legislature, governor’s office, higher ed, and K-12, all with their shoulders behind this. That’s how sustaining policy can get made.”

Texas has been working to improve high schools in many ways in recent years, including using more-strategic anti-dropout tactics, offering cash rewards for Advanced Placement performance, and moving statewide to boost rigor and choice in dozens of schools. The legislature created the framework for a systemic approach in 2006, when it mandated that “vertical teams” from precollegiate and higher education design college- and career-readiness standards. In 2007, lawmakers approved a measure phasing in end-of-course tests to replace the comprehensive exams high school students had been taking to graduate. A bill passed earlier this year expanded on the 2006 law by holding schools accountable not just for how many students pass the end-of-course tests, but how many score at a higher, college-ready level. It requires the commissioners of K-12 and higher education to specify college-ready test-score levels, and allows those test results to be used to exempt students from remedial courses in the state’s system of 101 public colleges and universities.

The readiness standards were designed in 2007 by teams of K-12 and college instructors, in a process facilitated by the Educational Policy Improvement Center in Eugene, Ore., and its chief executive officer, David T. Conley. Drawing on Mr. Conley’s previous work, the teams specified the content knowledge and cognitive skills necessary for success in entry-level credit-bearing courses in English, math, science, and social science, and those applicable across all disciplines. After a public-feedback period, the standards were made final. They were adopted by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which oversees the state college and university system, in January 2008, and by the state commissioner of K-12 education that April.

The Texas higher education system then asked instructors in 20 of its highest-enrollment entry-level courses to analyze the standards’ importance in their own courses. More than 900 did so. From there, “reference,” or composite, college courses were created that capture the content that students can expect in typical entry-level courses. Course materials, syllabuses, assignments, reading lists, and student work samples were assembled to accompany the reference courses.

Evelyn Hiatt, the deputy assistant commissioner for college-readiness programs at the higher education board, says she hopes all the materials will be online within a month, for use by high school teachers in preparing their students, and by college teachers to help them reflect on their own courses. Model assignments for high school seniors are also being designed. Those working to align high school and college in Texas hope these efforts will encourage college-going and reduce the need for remedial studies once students arrive. Of recent Texas high school graduates, four in 10 don’t go to college, and half of those who enroll in the state’s public colleges and universities require remediation, according to Raymund A. Paredes, the state commissioner of higher education.

In reshaping the path from the K-12 system to college, Mr. Paredes says, it isn’t only college that has valuable guidance for high school. Rather, it’s a two-way street. “It won’t work for higher ed to tell high school what to do. It’s a conversation,” he says. “We tell them they don’t send us well-prepared students. They tell us that when they send us qualified students, we don’t nurture them, they get disillusioned, and they drop out. We all have something to learn here.”

The vision of coordinated college-readiness work is lofty, but the real work of putting it together can run into thorny realities. “The narrative is always more linear and more coherent than the actual history,” says Harrison Keller, the vice provost for higher education policy at the University of Texas at Austin, who worked on the college-readiness legislation when he was the research director and senior education policy adviser to the Texas House of Representatives.

For example, the governor of Texas appointed a college-readiness commission in 2007 to do work similar to what the vertical teams were already doing. The head of that commission, Sandy Kress, a Texas lawyer and former senior education adviser to President George W. Bush, says he knew that tensions between the two projects were “inevitable,” but that overlapping membership and cross-consultation led to the commission’s “blessing as well as influencing” the standards the vertical teams produced. “It got a little messy and had its little confrontations,” Mr. Kress says. “But it was the first robust process in the history of the state in which people from all kinds of camps and across the big K-12-college divide had a systematic exercise to visit each other and figure out how to build a road from one to the other.”

Another awkward spot, some observers say, was that the state board of education, which oversees K-12 curriculum standards, was required to “back map” the readiness standards into its curriculum standards, even though it lacked formal authority to approve them. The board was in the process of revising the Texas core curriculum standards when the readiness standards were completed. “It wasn’t clear how the work on [readiness] standards was supposed to intersect with the state board’s work,” Mr. Keller says.

Now Lizzette Reynolds, the deputy commissioner of statewide policy and programs for the Texas Education Agency, which oversees K-12 schools, says the writing teams that were revising the content standards integrated the readiness standards as they went. State board member Barbara Cargill says she and her colleagues had ample opportunity for input as that process unfolded. State Rep. Ron Eissler, a Republican who co-sponsored the House of Representatives’ bill on college readiness this year, says getting the unwieldy K-12 and higher education systems to coordinate smoothly is like “herding cats.” But high school students will never thrive in college, he says, unless their teachers know what will be expected of them when they get there. “If your goal is to play with the big boys, you need to know what the big boys expect,” Mr. Eissler says.

While the readiness standards play a pivotal role in articulating college expectations, many of those who have shaped the Texas effort say the end-of-course exams, which are still being designed, could be the piece of the system that makes or breaks the desired alignment. “There is a risk that if the tests end up going headlong into multiple-choice, you lose that capacity to get at these more sophisticated ways of thinking embedded in the standards,” says Mr. Conley, who is a professor at the University of Oregon.

Even as the readiness system evolves, K-12 and higher education leaders are devising ways of reaching past the traditional divide to better prepare students for college. The state education agency and the higher education coordinating board are planning joint professional development, for both precollegiate and college teachers, around the readiness standards. The college and university system has expanded summer “bridge” programs for high school students, and is fostering regional vertical teams that help clusters of high schools work with their local community colleges and state universities.

For instance, in six San Antonio-area districts, teams from the high schools and local colleges and universities are analyzing course data and tracking outcomes of the first two years of college in four core content areas, says Ms. Hiatt. “That lets them look at kids that graduated from their particular high school and say, ‘If you took Algebra 2 and got an A, you had a 30 percent chance of ending up in [remedial] ed. Why is that?’ ” she says. “These vertical teams are looking at local data, and saying, ‘Whoa, we have to do something about what’s going on at this grade level, in this course.’ ”

Some are confident that the alignment work in Texas will have a positive impact. Mr. Spence of the SREB says that while the system is far from complete, he is optimistic that it will produce clearer expectations and better strategies that lead to higher achievement. Others are reserving judgment. It “remains to be seen whether it will translate into real educational opportunity for students,” says Mr. Keller of the University of Texas. And there is always the question of protecting hard-won progress as political winds shift. Mr. Kress says it will be an ongoing battle to keep all forces headed in the same direction. “It’s like a mouthful of crooked teeth—you take off the braces, and everyone wants to go back to where they were,” he says. “There is no simple way to do this. It’s going to take many years. You can’t think one step forward is the final step.”

Still all eyes are on Texas and if it is anything like “No Child Left Behind” it will take more than 10 years for the state to see the fruits of its labor, however it can be results that can pave the way for the rest of America to a degree. Therefore Texas college readiness program is something many states will watch and see what happens.

MORE INFORMATION
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What Students Need to Know
The College and Career Readiness Standards describe the skills and knowledge that Texas students need to succeed in an entry-level credit-bearing college course. Each of the five areas defines multiple “key content” and “organizing components” of the discipline; goals, or “performance expectations”; and more specific tasks, or “performance indicators.”
Here are examples from each subject area.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS:
Key content: Writing
Organizing component: Compose a variety of texts that demonstrate clear focus, the logical development of ideas in well organized paragraphs, and the use of appropriate language that advances the author’s purpose.
Performance expectation: Recognize the importance of revision as the key to effective writing. Each draft should refine key ideas and organize them more logically and fluidly, use language more precisely and effectively, and draw the reader to the author’s purpose.
*Performance indicator: Strengthen thesis statements, supported by relevant evidence and examples, cogent reasoning, anecdotes, and illustrations.

MATHEMATICS:
Key content: Probabilistic Reasoning
Organizing component: Counting principles
Performance expectation: Determine the nature and the number of elements in a finite sample space.
*Performance indicator: Determine the number of ways an event may occur using combination and permutation formulas and the Fundamental Counting Principle.

SOCIAL STUDIES:
Key content: Interdependence of Global Communities
Organizing component: Spatial understanding of global, regional, national, and local communities
Performance expectation: Analyze how and why diverse communities interact and become dependent on each other.
*Performance indicator: Analyze the causes and long-term impact of immigration from a given region to a given country.

CROSS-DISCIPLINARY:
Key content: Key Cognitive Skills
Organizing component: Reasoning
Performance expectation: Construct well-reasoned arguments to explain phenomena, validate conjectures, or support positions.
*Performance indicator: Organize an argument separating fact from opinion.

*The performance indicators were not formally adopted in Texas, but are included as illustrative examples.
Source: Educational Policy Improvement Center In 2007

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Jay-Z - History



(Jay-Z - History)Jay-Z - History with Lyrics

LYRICS : [Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighter)
And the battle's finally won
(Gimme a lighter)
Victory (Lighters up) is finally ours
(Lighters up)
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 1: Jay-Z]
In search of victory, she keeps eluding me
If only we could be together momentarily
We can make love and make history
Why won't you visit me? until she visit me
I'll be stuck with her sister, her name is defeat
She gives me agony, so much agony
She brings me so much pain, so much misery
Like missing your last shot and falling to your knees
As the crowd screams for the other team
I practice so hard for this moment, victory don't leave
I know what this means, I'm stuck in this routine
Whole new different day, same old thing
All I got is dreams, nobody else can see
Nobody else believes, nobody else but me
Where are you victory? I need you desperately
Not just for the moment, to make history

[Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighters)
And the battle's finally won
(Lighters)
Victory is finally ours
(Yeah)
History (yeah), so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 2: Jay-Z]
So now I'm flirting with death, hustling like a G
While victory wasn't watching took chances repeatedly
As a teenage boy before acne, before I got proactiv I couldn't face she
I just threw on my hoodie and headed to the street
That's where I met success, we'd live together shortly
Now success is like lust, she's good to the touch
She's good for the moment but she's never enough
Everybody's had her, she's nothing like V
But success is all I got unfortunately
But I'm burning down the block hoppin' in and out of V
But something tells me that there's much more to see
Before I get killed because I can't get robbed
So before me success and death ménage
I gotta get lost, I gotta find V
We gotta be together to make history

[Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighters. Up.)
And the battle's finally won
(Lighter. Up.)
Victory is finally ours
(Lighters. Up.)
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 3: Jay-Z]
Now victory is mine, it tastes so sweet
She's my trophy wife, you're coming with me
We'll have a baby who stutters repeatedly
We'll name him history, he'll repeat after me
He's my legacy, son of my hard work
Future of my past, he'll explain who I be
Rank me amongst the greats, either 1, 2, or 3
If I ain't number one then I failed you victory
Ain't in it for the fame that dies within weeks
Ain't in it for the money, can't take it when you leave
I wanna be remembered long after you grieve
Long after I'm gone, long after I breathe
I leave all I am in the hands of history
That's my last will and testimony
This is much more than a song, it's a baby shower
I've been waiting for this hour, history you ours


[Chorus: Cee-lo (2x)]
Now that all the smoke is gone
And the battle's finally won
Victory is finally ours
History, so long, so long
So long, so long



Man in the Mirror--By Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson - Man in the mirror

I'm gonna make a change,
for once im my life
It's gonna feel real good,
gonna make a diference
Gonna make it right...

As I, turn up the collar on
my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets,
with not enought to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard,a broken bottle top
And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya' know
'Cause they got nowhere to go
That's why I want you to know

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)
(Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah)

I've been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It's time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me, pretending that they're not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody's broken heart
And a washed-out dream
(Washed-out dream)
They follow the pattern of the wind ya' see
'Cause they got no place to be
That's why I'm starting with me
(Starting with me!)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Change his ways - ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that..
(Take a look at yourself and then make that..)
CHANGE!

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror - Oh yeah!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
No message could have been any clearer
(If you wanna make the world a better place)


Michael Jackson - Man in the mirror

A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cook






It's been a long time coming but a change is surely going to come in America and the World! I am the Future of America and the World and that is the message that each of us must carry with us each and every day that we wake up on Earth! I am the Future! You are the Future! We are the Future of America and the World! That is way every election is important--primaries, special elections and general! So vote every year and hold our politicians accountable. Hold our political officials accountable by writing them, calling them and making sure they attend meetings that we the people have. "The Time for Change is not Now but Right Now!"

"EmPOWERment By Any Means Necessary" should be our anthem and should be our creed as we make the positive differences in America and the world that so many people beg for and hungry for year after year! A Change is Gonna Come, A Change is Gonna Come, that's what we must say as we say "God grants us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, Courge to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference" each morning before we go about the task of making a positive change in America and the world a reality.



Born In The U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen


“When will people realize that we are Americans first and foremost, not Democrats or Liberals, not Republicans or Conservatives, not Independents or moderates. We are Americans. Stop putting a political party above America and stop putting any politican above America. America succeeds because of us the people holding our government responsible no matter the political party because the main two political parties are to blame for the condition America is in."—Hodari P.T. Brown

America with its flaws and all is a country I am proud to have been born in. America is not perfect but my love for it is perfect. That’s why all Americans must realize that we are all Americans. In fact we are Americans first and foremost. We are not Democrats or Republicans. We are Americans.

We are not Muslims, Christians or Jews. We are Americans. Too many times we recognize our differences with others rather than appreciating our similarities which are, we are Americans. We are Americans first and foremost, no matter if we were born here or moved here legally. We are all Americans, here in this country to make not only our lives better but the lives of other Americans better so future Americans can enjoy the rights and freedoms that make us all Americans.

We are all Americans. We are one party united under God. We are Americans and this is the only political party that matters. We are Americans and this is our country so let’s make sure that we make America better than how we found it so future Americans can live prosperous and joyous lives. We are Americans and must not ever forget that.

America will prosper as long we make sure we are doing our part to make it prosper and that means we can’t put any political party or politician above America. Long live America forever and long live America’s service to the world. Together, America and the world will prosper for future generations to enjoy America and the world we live in.


Lift Every Voice and Sing


This video of the ' Negro National Anthem' was originally screened at the historic African-American Church Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC on January 18th, 2009. Many of the esteemed individuals featured in this video in attendance and we presented with the ' Keepers of the Flame' award for the monumental contributions to social justice.

This version of the song was performed by the Grace Baptist Church Cathedral Choir, conducted by Derrick James. The video was produced and donated by Ascender Communications, LLC (www.ascender-c.com) at the request of The Balm In Gilead, Inc.

If I Was President--Wyclef Jean




If I was President that is the people's anthem. We all have ideas of what we can do as President and through this website, we will fulfill our deam as a people!

Somethings Gotta Give--Big Boi ft Mary J Blige



Somethings Gotta Give people and it begins today for all us to make sure that something is us. We the people are sick and tired of suffering. Where is our piece of the Dream that so many people dead for so that we all could see today. This is our time people to change America and the world so that the Next Generation has a better future than the past we inherited.

This is our call to service. This isn't about one political candidate or one political figure. This is about us as people coming together to finally leave up to our potential and achieving the great feats that those before us have achieved. This is our moment to lead our nation and our world to greater heights.

Somethings gotta give people and it starts with us the people making it happen. We have to improve our education system in America. We have to rid the world of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We have to go to the streets and lift a hand to another in order to decrease poverty in this world. We have to take a stand today and make sure that the future of America and the world is brighter than it has ever been.

Somethings Gotta Give and that is why we must "Remember Each One, Reach One and Teach One so America's future and the World's future continues to prosper."

John Legend - "If You're Out There"


If you're out there than you need to get started in helping to change America and the world. The world and America won't change until you get involved in making the changes you want to see in this world. If you're out there, than you must know that tomorrow started now and today started yesterday so you are behind in helping to the change. If you are tired of hatred, racism, poverty, war, and violence than the time to change it is now. If you want universal health care, world peace, democracy for every nation, equal rights, and happiness for all than you must get involved now to help the save world.

You must believe in the change that you want to see and you must act on making that change a reality. If you're out there than say it aloud and show the rest of America and the world that you're out here to make a real positive change in the communities we stay in. If you're out there than get involved now. I'm calling every women and men to join me as we take back our country right here, right now. If you're out there than the future started yersterday and we are already late so we have lots of work to do but I know we can do it together as one.

YES WE CAN



Yes We Can accomplish anything that we set out to do! We don't need charismatic or inspirational leaders to believe in ourselves and to take responsiblity for our own faith, we just need each other. Yes We Can build a new America and a new world if each of us would take action now to make the changes that we want to see in the world. Yes We Can control government by holding our political officials accountable for their actions by calling them out when they don't pass legislation that supports the common good of all man and by voting in every election to ensure that we have people representing the people locally, state wide, nationally and in the world.

Yes We Can be great! Yes We Can be what we want to be! Yes We Can be glorious in not only America but the world! Yes We can put action behind our worlds and change the world starting right here, right now! Yes We Can as Republicans, Democrats and Independents become one as we freely think about our fellow men and women and make decisions that will be in the best interest of all people and not one single group.

Yes We Can be the change that we want to see in the world! Yes We Can show the world that the youth are ready to lead! Yes We Can put our egos, our social economic statuses, our religions, our educational statuses and our skin color to the side for the better good of the world! Yes We Can be Greater than we have ever been and help others be Greater than they have ever be!

YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS IN ALL THAT WE DO! YES WE CAN, no matter what others may say, we will be glorious! YES WE WILL and YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!

YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN is what will be sung from every mountaintop, every riverbank, every household, every school yard, every factory, every sporting event, every college campus and even every place you can imagine in the world is where YES WE CAN, will be said and heard!

YES WE CAN!

Keep On Pushing - Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions


Wake Up People! No matter who is elected to any public office, we have to “Keep On Pushing” as a people to make sure they don’t leave us in a worst state than what they inherited. We as a people have to “Keep On Pushing” to make a difference in the lives of others. We have to have an “EmPOWERment By Any Means Necessary” attitude as we continue to push our agenda that we the people deserve and want better. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change in a positive way that will benefit all Americans no matter their age, their religion or skin color. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change that will improve our education system, improve our military, improve our national security, improve our healthcare system and improve our economy. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change that will leave America’s future in a better than how we found it and that will leave the world’s future in a better state than we imagined we could live it. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to make life better for our neighborhoods, our families and even our quote on quote enemies. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to inspire, to uplift and to guide those who need help spiritually, physically and mentally. We have to “Keep On Pushing ” so that our lives, our future generation’s lives and the lives of those who came before us does not die in vein.

“Keep on Pushing”

A War For Your Soul

A War For Your Soul-regular version from Erisai Films on Vimeo.


The moment has come for us as a nation of people to finally wake up and realize that our destiny and fate in society has rests on our shoulders. We cannot allow the forces of evil and darkness to drain us out. We have to continue to overcome all odds in order to make the future of our nation better and the future of future generations of Americans better. We have to continue to pray to our Lord and we have to continue to uplift each other in prayer as well as take action against those things that are trying to destroy us. We have to stand up once and for all and be the future that we want to be. Now is our time and we shall do together by any means necessary.

This video was created to inspire young African-Americans not to fall prey to some of the problems they face in society. The use of the voice "Master of Darkness" represents evil, which is where the blame of all problems should be placed, and not on any one group of people. This video should not to be used to divide people (Black & White), there are images of heroes that are white in this video, and there are images of Black & White coming together with the words of Dr. King in the background. Some of the images from the past can be unsettling, but they are used to show all Americans how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. This film is being strategically placed in school systems, churches and youth orgs around the country, in hope of helping a lost generation of kids that we as Americans have forgotten. As fellow Americans we must continue to love each other, and take that love and spread it to the rest of the world. **THIS VIDEO IS NOT FOR SALE & I AM NOT ACCEPTING DONATIONS FOR THE FILM, I ONLY WANT THE MESSAGE TO REACH AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT ANY HIDDEN POLITICAL OR FINANCIAL AGENDA.
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Sitting On the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding



"The time for sitting is over! The time for action is now! The time for hope without action is hopeless! The time for change without a positive attitude is a change that we can't believe in! We need change that is positive of helping all people! Our time for action is now, our time for hope is now, our time for change is now and our time to believe that we can do whatever we set our minds to is not now but right now!"

STAR SPANGLED BANNER


The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming;
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?


On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
'Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!


O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land,
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just.
And this be our motto— "In God is our trust; "
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Black President



Our Time is not now but Right Now! Our Time has finally come to change the world not now but Right Now! If you don't believe that we can change the world than watch as we do it by changing your mind into believing in us and what we can do! This is OUR TIME RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!

FIGHT THE POWER



We got to FIGHT THE POWER! We can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch injustices take place. We can no longer sit by and allow our right to vote to become unexercised. We must FIGHT THE POWER for our past, present and future! We can no longer allow our rights to be oppressed and our voice to become drained by the powers at be. We must FIGHT THE POWER and show that we have a lot to say that needs to be heard by the mainstream media. We must FIGHT THE POWER and live up to our potential as dynamic, unbelievable and phenomenal people.


We must not believe the hype but we must become the hype. We are not Harriett Tubman, Marcus Garvey, MLK, Malcolm X, Booker T. Washington, Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. DuBois, the Black Panther Party, SNCC, or any other activists but we are the fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, uncles, aunties, and relatives of those who came before us to pave the way for us to FIGHT THE POWER! We are not next Generation of leaders who will not be honored and praised until they die but that’s the fight we accept. We are not fighting the power for glory or fame but we are fighting the power for just causes that most men and women will not understand until years or decades later.


We are fighting for our sisters and brothers in Darfur, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, China and Mexico. We are speaking for those who are poor and have no food or water. We are fighting for those who are sick and dying. We are fighting for universal healthcare across the world and human rights for all people. We are fighting for rich and poor! We must FIGHT THE POWER no matter how hard and tough the road may be. We must FIGHT THE POWER for a better today and an even greater tomorrow!


FIGHT THE POWER!

PEOPLE GET READY


“People Get Ready” our time is coming! We have come too far to turn back now. Our train is coming and it is coming in waves. “People Get Ready”, we don’t need a ticket but we need faith and the Lord will help guide us as we take back America and the world. “People Get Ready” our moment is now and we are ready to see the change we want in America and the world. All we got to do is have faith, hope and prosperity. “People Get Ready” to face your fears. “People Get Ready” to face your demons and the challenges of yesterday because today and tomorrow we will conquer & be victorious. “People Get Ready” a change is coming and our actions will make sure that change is a real positive change that lasts forever.


“People Get Ready” because we have had enough of just talking but now is our time to show action. “People Get Ready” to take back America and the world. “People Get Ready” to take back our communities and to make our streets safer and schools better. “People Get Ready” to make all our dreams come true. “People Get Ready” to see a better present for everyone and a better future for future generations. “People Get Ready” to live up to your potential and to help others live up to their own potential. “People Get Ready” to move past hatred, bigotry, racism and sexism. “People Get Ready” to fulfill the dreams of those who came before us and those who will come after us.


“People Get Ready” as we make our actions speak louder than our words. “People Get Ready” to make words mean something again as we put action to back up our rhetoric. “People Get Ready” as we embark on a new journey that will re-write America’s history as well as the world’s history. “People Get Ready” as we make the lives of others better and the lives of future generations better. “People Get Ready” because all we need is faith, hope and action to make this world a better place. “People Get Ready” to make a difference. “People Get Ready” to fulfill the American dream. “People Get Ready" to live out the American Dream as our founding fathers wanted us to live it. “People Get Ready” because our time is now, our moment is now and our moment in time to change America & the world is not now but right now. “People Get Ready” because a change is coming!


Alicia]
(Let me tell you now)
People get ready, there's a train comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the lord

[Lyfe]
People get ready, for a train to Jordan
Picking up passengers coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board them
There's hope for all among those loved the most

[Alicia]
There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all man kind just to save his own (believe me now)
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
For there's no hiding place against the kingdoms throne

[Alicia & Lyfe]
So people get ready there's a train coming
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels humming,
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the lord


“PEOPLE GET READY!”

God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood


Lee Greenwood-god bless the U.S.A