Solange Knowles & ‘Chance the Rapper’ Used Their Awards Appearance for a Greater Cause – #HometownChat

Hot Shot (Old-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Oprah Winfrey, TV Host & Entertainment Mogul

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Kevin Hart, Comedian & Actor

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

It was another sunny day in LA as Red Carpet watchers came out for the pre-show. So it was in England as well, as Solange Knowles performed a music set for concert goers. Then she got on a plane headed for LA. Knowles & Chance the Rapper used their BET Awards appearance for a greater cause.

She was there to honor a social activist; he was there to receive the Humanitarian Award. After receiving her own award earlier in the show, Knowles embraced the work of those working to address issues of brutality and criminal justice. Meanwhile, Chance is no stranger on empowering kids on the block.

He was almost brought to tears by a surprise clip from former First Lady Michelle Obama praising him for his work. With the lead-up to the Essence Festival and Independence Day celebrations underway, there’re many getting ready to get their groove on. Others are also considering the issues of the day.

For some, these times feel like there’s a kind of fog over the country’s social/political optics. Whether it’s in cases of laws being enacted or rights being revoked, it’s not clear how long it’ll take for this fog to burn off. How can we get through the fog? What does the fog look like? Well here are some things to consider.

  1. When vision is low, turbulence is high.
  2. When clouds are in the way, civic instruments have a role to play.
  3. When sunshine is blocked, social/civic development gets cooled.
  4. When haze is in the air, proceed with caution or move to higher ground where things are clear.

The healthcare debate and criminal justice matters have taken center stage in recent days. There’ve been a series of court rulings and proposed Senate legislation that have communities wondering ‘what are we, worst-in-class citizens?’ Some are even thinking out loud ‘how could anyone be so mean?’

An often quoted word of inspiration says ‘where there’s no vision, the people perish.’ This might also be modified to suggest where there’s no vision, no sense of common purpose, no justice, the people perish. What we see in the back-and-forth is that when vision is low turbulence is high in matters of public affairs.

As an example, the turbulence on a flight can happen during the first 10 minutes of takeoff or later at higher altitude. Low lying clouds have a way of making the early part of the ride bumpy. In the case of higher altitude, it’s usually due to a phenomenon called ‘air pockets.’ This is like a pothole in the sky.

When clouds are in the way a pilot has to use on-board instruments to help see through the fog. In the case of our country’s optics, that’s what the Special Prosecutor role headed by Robert Mueller is all about. But there’re other civic instruments and institutions that as citizens we get to add our say.

We look back on our history and see those moments when ‘America was born, died and came back from the dead.’ This is seen from the events leading up to America’s Independence to the Civil War period to the age of Civil Rights. They’re times when the light of progress came through after dark days of pain.

Solange and Chance are helping us get through the fog or dampness in the air by letting their light shine through. Just like when the sun is shining it warms the air, when the light comes through, our social and civic development grows. But when the light is blocked our social/civic development gets cooled.

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They also know when haze or ‘air pockets’ are in the path, to proceed with caution or move to higher ground where things are clear. When vision is high it points us towards that higher ground. In a sense that’s what can be achieved through the collective efforts of ‘Community 3.0, Vision100 and the United Streets of America.’

So where do we find ourselves on issues of the moment? Some of the concerns have been around for a while. It feels like same old stuff, different day. Maybe we’re at the crossroads of belief and relief. We’re trying to believe there’s room enough for fresh change while hoping for some relief from the confusion.

When it comes to technological change we’re in a phase known as ‘the Internet of things.’ This is where more of our electronic devices and home appliances are connected to the Internet. This way there’s more we can do to measure and manage the efficiency in our daily lives by being more connected.

To advance our effectiveness in social change, there needs to be a mindset that a “Community of things’ will move us from the ‘politics of things’ to the ‘common purpose of things.’ How we get there might seem a bit fuzzy. But it could mean connecting ‘Mission Ready Blocks’ (MRBs) with ‘Mission Rocking Beats.’

Abraham Lincoln once said Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him power. Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted as saying Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice and suffering; the tireless exertions and passionate concerns of dedicated individuals.

Where we are today fits those quotes. Those in power show us their true character. What they propose assumes that anything goes. Lincoln and King would have us know we must fight for opportunity and against injustice. These things we can do in the meantime until sunshine comes after dark days are gone.

Block Talkback: These days should we fight for something (like healthcare for more citizens) or fight against something (like brutality and social injustice)?

Groove-tracks: Baby Cham ft Alicia Keys – Ghetto Story – https://youtu.be/loPRsrqrDXc

TLC – It’s Sunny –  https://youtu.be/EolE4i0UmWw

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Barack Obama, Kevin Hart: Making Passion Do for Hometown Blocks as for Brand Stocks – #HometownChat

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Kevin Hart, Entrepreneur & Comedian

Hot Shot (Junior): “Real Talk with Industry Players and (Future) Biz Leaders”
– A’layah Robinson, Budding Social Entrepreneur

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

“It’s not where you start but how you finish.” For Barack Obama, it started as a community organizer on the streets of Chicago. This helped put him in the White House. Kevin Hart’s journey went from Philly to Hollywood. They might tell us something on making passion do for hometown blocks as for brand stocks.

These days Obama’s is looking to work on his memoirs. After signing what’s thought to be a hefty book contract, he’s setting aside time to recap his eight years as President. Hart’s become one of the hottest stand-up comics and is busy as pitch-man for all kinds of consumer products. The latest is for underwear.

Recently when word got out that Obama was in the NY area a crowd quickly gathered. When word hit social media that Dave Chappelle gave a nod to Hart in his Netflix show some buzz got started. Maybe that’s also what happened when the NFL announced that the Raiders were moving to Las Vegas.

There’s a list of cities that would love to have a team in their backyard. Many know they can’t depend on such fortune to change their future. They’ll have to do it in other creative ways for hometown blocks as an NFL team or biz start-up might do for their brand stocks. So for those on ‘Third Street’ this could mean:

  1. The local club isn’t just for getting your groove on but for Community 3.0 getting a move on.
  2. The beauty shop isn’t just for hair and nails but for social shifts and setting sails.
  3. The ‘race track’ isn’t just about black versus white or wins and losses but for dreams and causes.
  4. The street hotspot isn’t just for phones or ‘cards & dice’ but for letting ideas spread at a fair price.

The biggest part of getting an NFL team to switch cities is getting a new stadium. That usually starts out with a vision for the physical venue. This stadium would likely have the latest in service amenities and social niceties. Part of the consideration would also be the impact it will have on the surrounding area.

If only there was a strategy to have passion do for those ‘around the way’ as for those who come to play? That’s usually another sticking point with city officials for coming up with public/private funding. It’s why the local/social club might not just be a place for getting your groove on but also getting a move on.

The move from Oakland to Vegas is likely to be a big talking point on sports radio. Many have been ‘banking’ on such a decision after other teams made plans to change cities as well. The pros and cons will get discussed forwards and backwards. Some fans might be seen cheering and others seen jeering.

Another place where this will get some attention is in the barber/beauty shops in town. Beyond the bars and pubs, there’s no better place for down-home sports analysis than the place of many post-game experts. These neighborhood social shops don’t have to be known just for styling and profiling.

The passion expressed each week reminds us that the beauty/barber shop isn’t just for doing hair and nails but for social shifts and setting sails. It’s a place where the unsung get heard and the unsaid gets told. It’s a place where you might come-in feeling low but step-out feeling high and embracing a new flow.

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Hart’s been using his passion to do just that. He’s done it on stage with various road shows. He’s done it on the big screen with box office success to his credit. He’s doing it as a pitch-man for consumer products that fit his taste & wallet terms. And he’s even doing his part to push others in areas of health & wellness.

Everybody’s passion finds itself on a different kind of ‘race track.’ So, every community’s passion should be more that just about ‘white versus black’ or wins and losses but also civic dreams and social causes. Plus, the ‘race track’ should do more than have us going in ‘political circles’ to feel good or not feel used.

In technology the hotspot is a kind of virtual space where wifi connections take us to a far-reaching place. When you connect to a hotspot you get access to ‘ramps and lanes’ on the information superhighway known as WWW. It brings a whole new world. It’s a wider reach of content. It’s a web of resources.

What if the new hotspot approach to community isn’t just with tech streams but also with social streams? This would mean being more than just about smart phones or playing cards and dice. It’d be about letting breakthrough ideas spread at a fair price. It would be about handling resources as a smart community.

There’s talk on whether government should be run as a business or whether community can be run like a car. How that’s done effectively might depend on who’s at the top or who’s in the driver’s seat. But based on what happened in Flint Michigan, public service passion is in how much the powers-that-be really care.

In one sense, for some who bring passion to be trusted it might help to have social indicators related to a kind of ‘check system light’ similar to a car’s check engine light. So when new program ideas are introduced they get reviewed and measured on an e-scale, fairly serving needs from many to everyone.

Maybe that’s a lesson from Obama’s Presidency and the recent healthcare drama. It’s what the CBO, a good CEO or community leader might help us see through. Passion can do good for hometown blocks as with brand stocks. But if left unchecked it can do more tearing down than building up, so keep runnin’.

Block Talkback: How about a new ACA View; from ‘Repeal & Replace’ to ‘Repair & Repaint’? It’s not ‘totaled,’ just a few dents, no need to right-it-off?

Groove-tracks: Pharrell Williams – Runnin’ – https://youtu.be/jDoUrLtdVEY

Anderson.Paak – Come Down – https://youtu.be/Nh5WSnh8s4Q