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Traveling & Thinking Out Loud with the People’s Pastor Sun-Sat, May 14-18, 2023

Sunday, May 14, 2023

After breakfast, we met in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel.

First stop was True Bethel Baptist Church, it was more like Pentecostal Church but although nowadays you can’t tell the difference. A long time ago when Baptists were manifesting the worship style of Pentecostals. They call themselves Bapticostal. The Pastor was Pastor Craig Pridgen . Rev Al was the featured speaker. Again he was powerful, eloquent. It reminded me of Bishop Washington, a famous Bishop in COGIC. Rev. Sharpton always gives credit to the mentors that helped shape his life. He was called to preach at four. One of his mentors is Bishop F.D. Washington and today as he spoke with such fire and fiber and rhythm and cadence, it reminded me of Bishop Washington. The audience gave him standing ovations on several occasions and at the end prolonged standing ovation and hand clapping and foot stomping.

The next stop was Baptist Church – the former pastor was Rev. BW Smith, I met him when I campaigned for Arthur Eve in 1977-78. Arthur was running to become the first Black Mayor in Buffalo. Rev. Smith and I walked the streets together and after Arthur won the primary we thanked the people - particularly going into the white neighborhoods. But the white populations changed from Democrats as they had always been to elect the former Mayor who had run in the general election as an independent. Then I was asked to my surprise to introduce Rev. Sharpton, I must say I was pleased to do so. I stated that I had been knowing the Reverend probably longer than anyone alive, except maybe some of his relatives. I talked about my first meeting with him as a 9/10 year old scurrying around Bedford Ave in Brooklyn with registration and other political literature. At around 12, he became our Youth Leader in Operation BreadBasket which was the economic arm of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference headed by Dr. MLK Jr. Rev. Dr. William Jones was the chairman, I was the executive vice chair. Among the other ministers that Rev. Sharpton gives credit to being his mentor are Rev. Jones and myself and one other the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

I stated that across the years, I’ve watched him grow, I’ve watched him develop in every way humanly possible. Just about every issue across the years we have been involved, sometimes he as leader, sometimes I as leader.

I pointed out that I have known many leaders across the years locally, nationally and abroad. Rev. Sharpton is ranked and I ranked Rev. Sharpton among the top leaders considering what he has been through from where he started. There are those who succeed wonderfully. But they had a lot of things working in their favor. When I think of the greatness of leaders we have to think of the starting point and we have to think of the challenges that they faced on the road to success. In the not far distant future when the truth of history gets a hearing, Rev. Sharpton’s name will be placed among the top.

After my introduction Reverend stepped forward with his usual confident connection with the audience. This was an older, more subdued audience. Rev. Sharpton was equally more subdued, but still there was fire in his delivery, but more folksy with illustrations but equally effective. As he spoke this time, he reminded me of Reverend Jesse Jackson and the Reverend Dr. William Jones.

The next stop was a radio program by the Mayor of the City Byron Brown and then they had a 30-45 minute interview with Reverend Sharpton. After the program we walked across the parking lot to where a memorial was set up with flowers on the corner. The parking lot was crowded with people, everywhere we moved, people wanted to take photos. Senator Schumer was also being interviewed by the tv cameras around the memorial site. We took a few minutes break and turned back to the parking lot for a ceremony. The ceremony was moderated by the Mayor, when we arrived Senator Schumer was speaking. After which there was a moment of silence and the ringing of bells for the dead and then it was over. We marched back across the parking lot to the front of the store from where we had departed and laid wreaths in the doorway.

When we returned to the hotel it was about 4 o'clock. It was enough time for us to grab something to eat, but Rev. Sharpton had to do his Sunday night program with NBC at 5pm. When the program was over our bags were already packed in the SUVs and we headed to the airport to catch the 7:15 to JFK. We arrived safely around 10:30. It had been a long exciting day - sad, but yet joyful.The people of Buffalo gave us the warmest of expressions everywhere we went, churches, parking lot, store, walking the street. The families could not stop thanking us. They had tears in their eyes, yet gratitude was clearly evident, sometimes with a smile. I emailed Ashley, Rev. Sharpton’s daughter, social media person, asked her for information on persons or events and I said to her it was a great day- sad and joyful but agony and ecstasy is the stuff of life. Those who have found the balance or who have succeeded in a synthesizing of sorrow and joy, highs and lows were fine, stability and serenity and discover it is all grounded in spirituality. And I was thinking and feeling as I wrote to Ashley, the people in Buffalo, particularly those whose loved ones were killed. The pain that they must be enduring and through it all there were still able to smile and

offer their gratitude for our presence and support.

Rev. Sharpton had made in his remarks at the Church of B. Smith that we, according to myself, himself across the years have sustained relationships with the people who have had their loved ones taken from them by violence. The fact that others would come and go with the cameras and the crowds but we always stayed with the families. On the plane coming back home Rev. Sharpton remarked that we, he and I were the only so-called activists present. I thought about that and remembered when this first happened it seemed like everybody who was anybody were present and this Sunday celebrities, activists were now here to be seen, but elected officials were there AG Tish James was there on the front row, Garner, the cousin of Eric Garner president of 100 Black men was present but beyond those two I saw no others. I was glad when I laid me down to sleep, I was grateful I had an opportunity to be there with the families.

Sometimes people ask me how I feel being a legend in my own right when I’m with Reverend Sharpton and Jackson and they garner most of the attention and my response has always been, I know when to lead and I know when to follow. There were some people that were born to lead, and born to follow, and some few people are born to lead and then follow and when to do one or the other. I like to feel that I'M IN THE last category. Rev. Sharpton has often said publicly, “Rev. Daughtry leads from anywhere, front, back or the middle.” That’s what I feel, I don’t have to be out front but whatever role God has me to play, I’d gladly play it. So I’m comfortable being in the background. I try to get up front, I don’t try to get in the photos. I leave that to whoever is the leader, whether Rev. Sharpton, Jackson, whoever. So it was another great, memorable day with Rev. Sharpton and his staff. Monday, May 15, 2023

  • Dentist appointment

  • Ron Daniels interview

  • Remembering Tupac

I began to toy with the idea of Remembering Tupac in September 96’ which would be the 27th year of his death. Every day I remember the day he was killed. As the case with Kwame, trying to establish an annual time of remembering, studying and celebrating hip-hop culture.

  • Timbuktu Learning Center

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Early I joined the Lifeline prayer at 7am (716)-427-1168 passcode: 604309#

Morning Affirmation seven lines.

Capturing the first thoughts in the morning:

The Lord is blessing me right now

I am abundantly blessed

I am eternally grateful

I am totally undeserving

And I believe God

I promise to share in words and/or deeds my blessing with others To Save the Planet and to Save the People Afterwards, we had our morning prayer. We actually do 3 prayers: post prayer via social media, petition prayer -asking God for something.

  • I dictated the introduction to my new book Remembering Arthur Miller. This was done in preparation for the 45th Anniversary of Arthur Miller’s chokehold death.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

I met with Sharman and dictated as we worked on a Tupac series. I wanted to do something on the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop. I continued to explore the possibility of doing something in September in remembrance of Tupac.

Timbuktu Health Night with Sister Leslie

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Brief check-in with Sarah and ordered Amazon books Chokehold: Policing Black Men and America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence, Black Rebellion since the 1960s in preparation for the Arthur Miller program. They seem to speak to the very subject under discussion. Let me emphasize a point that we will return to over and over again: it is what some called the Law of Attraction. It means what you set your heart on and continuously do the things that are consistent with your consuming desire, it will come to you, things or people will help you fulfill the idea or you will be drawn to the things that you desire. So these two books came across my path and I immediately ordered them. And I added my bio to the Arthur Miller book.

I had dinner at the home of Lumumba Bandele and some of the brothers, most of whom were released recently. It was an unforgettable evening as we discussed the various movements and organizations and personalities that have been in our struggle from historically and contemporaneously. The food was delicious and the ambiance was delightful, stimulating, and inspiring.


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