Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gerald Levert: Why To Push The Plate Away

Happy Turkey Day, Y'all!

Woooo. Ol Ty is winding down from gettin' his eat on (big ups to my hosts Kat and C-Dog for helping Ty eat, drink and be merry - thanks, y'all!) and I'm here to tell you that a brother is full! After a little reflection on recent events and how today tends to be a day of excess, I think it's only appropriate to return our thoughts to our boy Gerald 'Teddy Bear' Levert who recently passed at the tender age of 40 and how the southside nation needs to do itself a favor and push back away from the dinner table before it's too damn late...

Now I'm not preaching here, y'all (okay - well maybe a little bit), cuz I need to learn this lesson as well since I'll walk over a brother to get to a piece of pecan pie but as we see more of our family and friends get to that great gettin' up morning far too soon, we need to take a pause for the cause and figure out how to eat more sensibly.

I'll admit, I'll be laughin' right along with Mo'nique when she does her 'big girl' act and drops a cookbook titled 'Skinny Cooks Can't Be Trusted'. I'll be right there laughin' at the comedians on Def Comedy Jam always talkin' about a two piece chicken meal with the biscuits or how Ruben 'Velvet Teddy Bear' Studdard ate Clay Aiken (note: if your nickname has 'teddy bear' anywhere in it, your a$$ is probably already one Red Lobster cheddar biscuit away from cardiac arrest and a trip to the ER...) but a cold hard look in the community mirror reveals a few very unfunny facts about us. To wit:

"The American Heart Association revealed that heart and blood vessel disease affects African American men at much higher rates, and that they are 94% more likely to die from strokes than their white counterparts." Hmmm....

"For women, the black (non-Hispanic) population has the highest prevalence of overweight (78 percent) and obesity (50.8 percent)." Hmmm....

Now say what you want about Tupac - the brother was foul, the brother was profane, the brother was arrogant - yes, he was all that. He was also crazy creative, ahead of his time and utterly profound and no more so than when he mashed together his thought provoking jam, Changes. Not only did Tupac foretell the exact scenario that would take him to his great gettin' up day ('Cause I always got to worry 'bout the pay backs. Some buck that I roughed up way back... comin' back after all these years. Rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat. That's the way it is.') he also dropped some sound advice for the southside nation that is just as appropriate now as it was when he first dropped it. I can't think of any better words to close with:

We gotta make a change...
It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes. Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live and let's change the way we treat each other. You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do what we gotta do, to survive.

So, when you think about unwrapping that third plate of leftovers tomorrow (you know - those joints you sealed up with tin foil when you rolled out of your Thanksgiving jammy-jam) - think about Gerald and the folks who would miss you if your great gettin' up day came even one day too soon and pass that plate by.



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