Friends of Webster

Raised in the house, but field certified.

808′s and Heartbreak

Kanye West – Heartless (New Video)
by ShanouMusik13

Kanye West may not be the most humble of artists, but his music is genius. He has written songs that have lent a motivating hand in my life.

See “On A Much Lighter Note….GRADUATION”

This time around, Kanye turns the lens on himself and is exponentially more introspective and vulnerable. An avid blogger, he has thrived because of his willingness to let his guard down. His new album, “808′s and Heartbreak,” is the the epitome of this personality trait (or flaw, as some would have it). Needless to say, when he produces, writes, raps or sings, I listen. For no other reason than there is a lot of heart involved in an otherwise “heartless” industry.

With a verse like:

“My friend showed me pictures of his kids/And all I could show him was pictures of my cribs/He said his daughter got a brand new reports card/And all I got was a brand new sports car,” he sings. “Where did I go wrong?”

Or even more emblematic:

“Chased the good life my whole life long/ looked back on my life/ and my life gone/ where did I go wrong?”

Fans of his music and foes of his personality can agree on one thing, perhaps the arrogance is slowly starting to seep out of him. He proclaimed, “I want to be Elvis” on the American Music Awards (below).

Pretty bold statement, possibly even arrogant. But while I would avoid striving to best the paradigm shifters of the past, outloud, we all have to admit that we try. All of our minds wonder how we can contribute to the future, as well as those that contributed to our present. “Kennedy, Lincoln and King, got to fulfill this dream, ” as said in his tribute to the President Elect. In our own arenas, we all strive to be as impressive as them. This album is just another risky step in that direction for Kanye West.

New York Times Review of the Album

“Flaunting Pain instead of Flash”

November 25th, 2008 Posted by | Music Speaks | no comments

Two years, Today.

Honestly, I cannot believe it has been two years, but then again I do not think it is a day I will ever forget. November 20 of 2006 was a monumental day in our lives. It was a Monday and I was waiting in the parking lot by 6 am. Although I slept very little, I stayed the night in Charleston at my weekend getaway for approximately five months, the local Hampton Inn. I remember lying on the bed and writing the last of the 140 or so letters I would give my, then, boyfriend whom I had known since October of 2005.

Webster finally walked out of the cold, concrete building around 7:30 in his Abercrombie jeans, fitting a bit baggier than they had they did on June 27th, a blue t-shirt, and his favorite brown flip-flops. He was wearing a grand smile and we were both in a bit of shock. I was proud to show off my new XTERRA and we hugged briefly outside before he was anxious to get in the car and begin living again. His hands shook as he picked up my phone to call his family and so began our journey together.

We spent the next 24 hours experiencing Charleston from a different view. It really is a beautiful city, but Web’s view had been tainted up until that day. Our conversations were no longer limited to that which could be shared in a few hours time and we could hold hands without our every move being monitored. We were not limited to sitting across from one another at a small table or in a courtyard, nor was the view of the beautiful fall sky tainted by a twisting frame of sharp fencing.

We had each other and we had God, outside of that we did not have much. I had saved some money and Webster’s dad was generous enough to help us financially in our journey up to Connecticut to get the Tahoe. We spent Thanksgiving in the homes of LCDR Braxton and the infamous LaForte family I had heard so much about. The late hours of that night were spent scavenging through four years worth of clothing, magazines, books, and Coast Guard memorabilia that had been stockpiled in a small storage garage.

It was this night that I knew Webster would rebound from his tragic fall. When we opened that garage he said to me, “Linds, remember I haven’t seen a lot of this stuff since last December.” I knew exactly what he meant. In short, he was telling me that we may come across some things that I wouldn’t approve of, or that would have no place in our now steady relationship. With little room in the Tahoe we began picking and choosing what would make the trip and what would stay, never to be seen again. I helped the best I could and I watched as my best friend sorted through the life he would have to unwillingly leave behind. He left a lot of memories and a lot of pain in that small storage space, but he has never looked back for as much as a glance.

He didn’t have the time to look back. He still does not have the time to look back. I have watched him work multiple jobs to pay off debt and support his family. He finished school as fast and furiously as he could, graduating with honors. He found a way to make marriage a possibility, despite those who doubted he could. He has been an awesome dad to our beautiful daughter and does not let a day pass where she does not feel the warmth of his lips on her sweet forehead. By the grace of God, he landed a great job and I watch him work feverishly to complete every task. Tonight, he studies for his LSAT that will be taken on December 6.

God has worked in amazing ways in our life. It has been a journey and every step of the way He has made his presence known. Today, more than any other day of the year, I thank God for the path he has laid before us and I thank you, Webster, for walking on it. I never cease to be amazed at all we are able to accomplish with the guidance of our Lord.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 18:27

Lindsey B. Smith

November 20th, 2008 Posted by | Reflection | one comment

America and Progress: From The Perspective of the Power Equation

Below are two videos and a link to a great reflection on the black conservatives’ views of the hatred that is being directed toward our new President-Elect. As an idealogical conservative who happened to have been enamored with Obama’s potential social and intellectual influence on this country, I had a difficult decision to make. To be painfully honest, between the time of my last pre-election post on anything-Obama and election day, I was sure that I would vote for John McCain. These thoughts melted away at the voting machine while watching my mother dance at the voting machine to my left. I had not been convinced that Obama could reconcile his views on “life” with his own sense of Christianity and the contradiction bothered me. My upbringing was generally ‘center-right.’ However, political idealogies were set aside for a grander philosophy. Progress is not achieved without being cognizant of potential quantum leaps. His candidacy was a quantum leap and it is evident because 12 days later, some just can’t accept how far we’ve come as an American community. One of the simplest physics equation is formula for power.


As a country, our political dexterity has always coincided with showings of power. The American Revolution was revered around the world for its relatively short duration and effect. The Emancipation Proclamation and the ensuing end of slavery were validations, to other countries, that our Declaration was written with the intent to form a ‘more perfect union.’ The women’s suffrage movement has had few more significant years than 2008. Governor Palin, Senator Clinton, and General Dunwoody have, within a short time, leveled a playing field. The Civil Rights Movement concieved a world-wide admiration for Dr. King and his boldness and later, the American response to his death.

There is no greater showing of a leap forward than when work is done over little time. This next 365 days can be one of those periods for all of us. Perhaps, we should cease the dissension just long enough to get through this transition.

Michael Steele (R) was quoted to have said, “I am philosophically polar opposites with the man, but it doesn’t change the fact that we are from the same community. It doesn’t diminish or weaken my pride in what he has done. I would hope that all of us would be just as proud of an African-American Republican achieving such success.”

Progress can be forged as exponentially as our advancements in technology are developed and introduced. We live in a time when shelf lives of technological advancements are measured in months and not years. So then, why do we have to use the 20th century scale of measuring our rate of social and political progress. Paradigm shifts (changes) do not have to be obtusely painful and slow, as they once were, but rather acutely painful and fast. The website, Hip Hop Republican, did a wonderful job of acknowledging political disappointment without working to destroy the progress that we’ve made as a nation. Why can’t we all do the same?

John Legend performs PRIDE (In The Name of Love)
by ElectricArtists

Dr. King said, “If you can’t fly, run, if you can not run, walk, if you can not walk, crawl but by all means, keep moving.” Let us only run, walk, or crawl if we have to.

“Dear Fellow Republicans”
, Lenny McAllister|

November 17th, 2008 Posted by | Press | no comments

Black Conservatism: The Long-awaited Conversation on Self-Reliance

From Victim to Victor in Black America, Suzanne Fields, Town Hall

Bob Park’s Black and Right

Hip Hop Republican

Larry Elder

KABC 790 Talk Radio

Bill Cosby, “How We Lost…”

September 1902: Of the Training of Black Men, W.E.B. Dubois

November 14th, 2008 Posted by | Because Barack Wouldn't Do it | no comments

Pennsylvania Ave?