The Essence of Politics

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Support for Mayoral Control of School Districts is Growing

The thought of mayoral control of school districts is growing across the nation especially considering that many large school districts have constantly been the havens of poor performance. So many people think mayoral control of schools is the best way to resolve this problem. The troubles that plague many local school boards prompt some observers to throw up their hands. But when it comes to big-city districts, there’s a popular remedy that continues to gain momentum: mayoral control.

This governance arrangement sidelines school boards, for the most part, in favor of a strong chief executive handpicked by the mayor. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who for seven years ran Chicago’s public schools under Mayor Richard M. Daley, is using his bully pulpit to aggressively promote the approach as a necessity for reversing decades of abysmal academic performance in some cities. In a speech to mayors and school superintendents last spring, in fact, Duncan said he would consider his time as education secretary a “failure” if more mayors didn’t take over city school systems by the end of his tenure.

“I absolutely believe that we need more mayors to put their reputations and resources on the line for public education,” says Duncan, who emphasized in an interview that mayoral control is “not right for all places.” And in an article he wrote for this month’s issue of American School Board Journal, he also presented a more nuanced take on mayoral control than he did in his remarks earlier this year. “In the places where you need fundamental, dramatic change and real breakthrough, you have to have a leader who can bring a unified purpose and sense of urgency,” says the secretary, speaking in the interview. “That’s the mayor.”

As evidence that mayoral control delivers results that urban school boards can’t, Duncan points to Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest school district. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s attempt to take over the schools in 2007 made it through the state legislature, but was stopped by a state judge, who ruled that the law enacted to give him control violated the California Constitution. “If you look at the big cities that are really moving educationally, Chicago comes to mind, New York comes to mind, and Washington, D.C., comes to mind,” says Duncan. “What do they have in common? Mayoral control. Then you have a city like Los Angeles, which frankly, has not come to mind for a number of years. Los Angeles is the outlier.”

However the cities that Duncan mentions as cities with mayoral control have not necessary improved traditional public education in those cities. In fact the charter academies or schools in those cities are doing much better than regular public schools that used to be under school board governance. The reality is that Chicago Public Education system is not any better with mayoral control than it was before mayoral control but the charter academies under Chicago Public Schools are doing wonderful and the same thing can be said about the charter schools in D.C. and New York. Therefore mayoral control of schools is not necessary as great as Duncan tries to portray it as.

Still from a historical perspective, mayoral control is nothing new. More than 100 years ago, most mayors were in charge of public education in their cities, and education reformers spearheaded a push to remove schools from the reach of City Hall. They argued that mayors were often too corrupt and focused on providing patronage jobs, and envisioned that elected members of a school board would be more democratic and better stewards of children’s educations. In 1992, Boston became the first major city in recent times to embrace mayoral control when local voters granted Mayor Thomas M. Menino the authority to appoint the school board and hire a superintendent. They reaffirmed that change in another vote four years later, and Mr. Menino—who is seeking election to a fifth term next month—continues to run the school system.

Chicago came next. After a 1988 law decentralized the district by creating local school councils to run individual schools, financial and managerial problems continued. In 1995, the Illinois legislature gave Mayor Daley authority over the schools. Now, a growing number of mayors—even those who have not sought outright control over their cities’ schools—are interested in playing some role in improvement efforts, says Kenneth K. Wong, a political science professor and the chairman of the education department at Brown University. “It signals to me that there is a widening recognition among mayors that as the service economy sinks and global competition rises, they have to make sure that their schools are generating high-quality labor to keep their cities competitive,” Wong says. “It actually presents a real opportunity for a much broader redesign of how we govern our public schools.”

Interest in mayoral control of schools is now running high in several cities. In all, eight major cities now have some form of mayoral control, including New York City, where Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg recently won a high-profile legislative battle to retain his seven-year grip on the city’s school system. In the District of Columbia, where Mayor Adrian M. Fenty gained control over the school system in 2007, Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee has made national headlines for a hard-charging approach to school improvement. The District of Columbia Council retains control over the schools’ budget, however, and its members have been aggressive about questioning many of the chancellor’s decisions.

In Milwaukee, Mayor Tom Barrett, backed by Wisconsin Gov. James E. Doyle, a fellow Democrat, is making a bid for the power to appoint the school board and hire a superintendent. In Detroit, recently elected Mayor Dave Bing wants to take over the district, despite the city’s earlier, unsuccessful experiment with mayoral control. And in Sacramento, Mayor Kevin Johnson has announced plans to create an “education liaison” between City Hall and the school district, and pledged to raise private money to pay for the position.

Mixed academic results from cities like Chicago, and loud strains of discontent from some parents and elected officials in cities like New York and Washington, are just a few reasons to be skeptical about mayoral control, argues Anne L. Bryant, the executive director of the National School Boards Association, based in Alexandria, Va. “Too much of this depends on who the mayor is,” says Bryant. “One mayor will be great, but the next mayor could undo the progress. Or, you end up with an autocratic situation like in New York, where parents honestly feel like they don’t know what’s going on, and all they get is the cotton-candy spin machine.”

Paul T. Hill, the director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, at the University of Washington Bothell, agrees that putting a mayor in charge doesn’t guarantee progress. In other words, it takes the right mayor, working under the right political conditions, he says. “If the mayor is not going to be in a position to take on the teachers’ union, or is not prepared to put up with the complaints and pressure from parents and the neighbors of schools that have had everything go their way in the system, then he or she shouldn’t take over the system,” Hill says. More importantly, he says, the mayor must select a strong school district leader. He points to Boston, where Superintendent Thomas W. Payzant oversaw steady improvement in student achievement over his 10-year tenure.

“In that case, you got an exceptional leader who profoundly understood education and knew where to intervene in the schools and was able to sail just enough into the wind. I regard that as a Michael Jordan performance,” Hill says. “Frankly, in that case, it was exceptional leadership, but as a prescription for what ails urban education, exceptional leadership is completely hopeless.” While critics will debate whether students in mayorally controlled systems are making greater academic strides than they would under an elected school board’s leadership, the arrangement brings benefits that have received less attention than test scores.

In Chicago, Mayor Daley has leveraged the city’s parks and recreation and library departments to work with the school system in an extensive after-school program. In New York, donors have contributed more than $240 million to the city’s school system since Mayor Bloomberg took over, and the school district won the Broad Prize for Urban Education in 2007. Eli Broad, the philanthropist who established the urban education prize in 2002, argues that putting the mayor in charge of schools is the only way to turn around a low-performing district with a history of chaotic school board governance. Mayors, he says, are much better positioned than school boards to challenge the various interest groups and traditions in school districts.

“Most of the nations we compete with have national education systems, and are able to do things with some dispatch and rigor that we are not able to,” Broad says. “If we’re going to change public education for the better, then we need to do national standards, we need to change the school calendar, we need to foster greater competition, and we need better teacher compensation. I don’t think any of this can happen with elected school boards.”

With a mayor in charge, accountability for school performance is concentrated on one person, who can be re-elected or tossed out by voters. In Bloomberg’s bid this fall to win a third term as mayor of New York, in fact, his education record is one of the central issues. His challenger, city Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr., is a former president of the old board of education and has been a sharp critic of Bloomberg’s approach to governing the schools. In Boston, Mayor Menino is facing his first real challenge in 16 years in office from an opponent who has zeroed in on the quality of public education in the city.

“I think the major advantage is focused accountability,” says Michael D. Usdan, a senior fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership, in Washington. “You’ve got a highly visible person in charge that people know can be removed if they are not satisfied.” Also, Usdan points out, a mayor has more status, political capital, and community resources to use when advocating for poor children than elected school board members whom many people have never heard of. “This becomes especially important in communities where the demographics have shifted so much, and the mayors can provide coordinated services to students and their families within the schools,” he says. “I just don’t think that urban school boards have the political clout anymore, especially in cities that are losing enrollment.”

Even when mayors don’t directly run school systems, their involvement can leverage new resources for education. In Nashville, Tenn., Mayor Karl Dean is expending political capital and city resources to improve the public schools. He wooed the New York City-based groups Teach For America and the New Teacher Project to the city and raised the money to pay for their services in helping to staff schools. The quality of schools, he says, “is the number-one issue facing our city. We have a lot of great things going on here, with a strong track record of economic development and public safety, but our school system has some real challenges.”

The sixth annual Leading for Learning report, funded by The Wallace Foundation, examines the school board's role in education leadership. • Click here to read the full report. Dean came close to gaining control of the 74,000-student system under a state law that allows the governor to change the governance of districts in “corrective action” status for low performance for several years. But Nashville’s students scored well enough that the district narrowly avoided that outcome—one that Dean, who was elected in 2007, has said he would be ready to take on.

In the meantime, Dean has made clear his intention to keep education at the top of his agenda. He estimates spending at least 25 percent of his time on public school matters. He’s traveled to New Orleans to look at the proliferation of charter schools since Hurricane Katrina four years ago, and says he’d like to see a charter-incubator organization, much like New Schools for New Orleans, come to Nashville now that Tennessee has lifted some of its restrictions on charter schools. He hosted an education summit this past summer that featured some of the most high-profile reformers in the nation. “I see and hear what’s been going on in other cities over the last five to 10 years, and I just see how far we have to go to catch up with them,” he says. “I think my involvement can help move us along.”

Still the notion of mayoral control and more charter schools is not necessary the best solution to fixing troubling large school districts. The reality is that large school districts need more accountability, better resources, transparency and a willingness to raise its academic standards in order to meet the mandates of all student needs. Still the main thing large school districts need are people who care about the educational and personal successes of our youth. One of the major problems plaguing large school districts is that they are not filled with people who care and there is not enough visionary leadership to showcase to students not only in the classroom but throughout school buildings as well as the school district. The bar needs to be raised but perhaps mayoral control of school districts is not the answer.

In fact, the fact of one person appointing the head of a large school district to me is not the way to fix troubling school districts since it only makes things more political than about our youth. That’s why I believe our youth today need perhaps a country ran system where resources throughout counties can be shared across all school districts and perhaps changing the rules for how an person is elected to school board regardless if they are county or city ran needs to be strengthened in order to get teachers, university professors, and youth just recently graduated from high school or universities on school boards. I don’t have all the answers but what I do know is that mayoral control and city school boards have not yielded the type of results that our students in public education need. We need better educational systems and school districts which is why I am more inclined to have large school districts be folded into county ran school districts so that large school districts help small school districts get more resources and vice versa therefore the whole county saves in terms of various funding and getting more funds directly into the classroom rather than wasting it on filling other budgetary gaps.

So as the debate goes on, let’s really look at the real numbers of mayoral control schools versus school boards and I guarantee people will not approve of either solution but we do need to do something to help our youth and the quality of education they are receiving.

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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
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
And the battle's finally won
Victory is finally ours
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
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)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
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..)

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 ( 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 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!


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.

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!"


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!


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!



“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!

(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

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

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


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

Lee Greenwood-god bless the U.S.A