#GuestBlog: The Incredible Creations Art Meets The Runway (Recap) by Tony Bonez Sinatra

Last month, Saturday June 27, 2015 I attended one of Baltimore City’s small nit clothing line’s fashion shows as a stand in for Taylor “Doc” Walker, as she was unable to make an appearance as requested by the Incredible Creations.
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The rain poured in the city of Baltimore while I found myself soaked on the bus stop, waiting for M.T.A bus to take me across town for the show. I was making my way to Eastern Ave to The SkyLoft Gallery to attend The Incredible Creation’s, Art Meets The Runway Fashion Show, an event hosted by Jerrell Gibbs and Milly VanderWood of the brand best known as Incredible Creations.

To be honest, I’m not a fashion expert. But I was thoughtful and was filling in for a friend due to her having to attend a Family Reunion. I mean what’s more important than family time, right?

I arrived at the designated time the event was scheduled to start, which was 7 pm but the show hadn’t started yet. I entered the Sky Loft Gallery to see chairs assembled in an orderly fashion throughout the venue creating a runway in the middle of the room. Hand painted portraits covered the walls .The DJ was posted in the back by a bar that was serving free hors d’oeuvres and drinks; mostly snacks that looked like something that could be found on Pinterest and a tasty punch mixed with ginger ale. The fact that the venue looked good, and the food was free, I could tell that I was going to enjoy this a lot more than the average events I usually attend in Baltimore. I usually attend Hip Hop events such as open mics.
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I arrived to my seat, which had a free Incredible Creation sticker on it and a flier for the event. The DJ kept spinning a lot of current music, such as Future, Meek Mill, Drake and Kendrick Lamar. As I waited for the event to begin, more and more people started to show up. Everyone dressed so nicely, it almost made me feel out-of-place with my hoodie and varsity jacket on. But still, it didn’t matter to me because I was there for free. Haha.

Before the actual show was kicked off, we were blessed with a performance from a local Female MC from Baltimore named Jai. I had never heard of her before this night and she stuck out to me a lot more than the average female rapper. She told stories of her relationships in a way which was unfamiliar to me. I couldn’t tell if the song was about a guy or a girl and her vocabulary wasn’t too shabby. She kept it real without being the average Baltimore artist rapping about “life in the trap.” I absolutely hope to hear more from her in the future. Maybe at another Incredible Creation event?

The show had finally started with a collection of urban wear from The Incredible Creations and L.H.D.Y.

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The clothing that showed off on the runway were very good looks for the summertime wear. I’m not too big on clothes, but they had a lot of male items I took interest in. There was a Natty Bo long sleeve shirt fitted for women that I really wanted to get for someone I knew. I felt like she might have looked nice in it if I got it for her. I always liked to see women in sporty fashion, and a lot of the outfits they showed for women had that early 90’s, but still modern-day, type of feel to it.

 

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While in the male category, a stylish red polka dot tank top caught my eye. I wouldn’t mind sporting it myself this summer. It’s something about the design and the pocket on the top that made it stand out to me .

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They showed out at least 15 different designs.

The show took intermission and at that time I had already been there 3 hours, and it was getting late. The rain from earlier had caused me to become sick. So you could say that may have been my own inflicted downfall from enjoying such a well put together event. I mean, I seriously sat in the pouring rain waiting for 2 buses and the show I sat soaked in the AC. I regret leaving so early but the show made me want to attend the next event these guys’ll throw. The change of scenery definitely made me want to start attending more venues outside of rap. When the Incredible Creations throw an event, I suggest you take a time to attend because they’re adding a bit more for people; they’re offering culture to the local Baltimore scene.

I’d just like to say, “Round of Applause for The Incredible Creations.”

What do you think about The Incredible Creations Fashion Show? Did it look worth the wild? Leave your comments below.

Have you seen Doc’s natural hair style done by Shanae Thomas? Read Fashion Forward: Doc’s Spontaneous Vintage Hairdo on Doc’s Castle Media.

Guest Post: Why love is hard to find?

Love is one of the hardest things to find because we constantly are looking for people to fit our criteria of a perfect man or a perfect woman. If we see nobody fits what we want, we lose hope and believe that love isn’t worth it. Believe it or not, sometimes you are hindering yourself from finding love because you are trying to find someone that doesn’t exist. So I’ve listed a few reasons why love is hard to find.

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Six reasons why you probably can’t find love:

You are constantly judging everybody that looks your way

He doesn’t make enough money. Her forehead is too big. I heard that she slept with everybody around the block. He’s teeth are crooked.  Because we are people, we automatically judge people before we even get the chance to talk to them.  This makes finding love hard because we have this belief that a person won’t fit our criteria of “the perfect person,” and we automatically exclude them out.  It’s okay to judge a person, but constantly judging them and not even giving them a chance. That’s pretty harsh.

You are kind of selfish

Sometimes it’s okay to be selfish. We need to be selfish in order to get what we want. But if you’re looking for love or a relationship, being selfish is not an option. In a relationship, it’s very important that we give a percentage of ourselves to another. If you can’t give that, maybe now isn’t the time you should be in a relationship.

You don’t have time

You’re busy with work, school, getting your life together; you might not have time to find someone to be in a relationship with. It’s might be better if you stay single because relationships can be stressful.

You are always complaining that you will never find a man or woman that will love you

Please shut up and get over yourself for a minute. There are seven billion people in the world, you just happen to look in the same spots for that same type of girl/boy that has hurt your feelings multiple times. So either stop complaining, try to find someone different or stay single for a while and evaluate why you might be making these choices.

You don’t know how to keep your hands to yourself

Hmm…Playa, Playa.  As a player, you don’t want love. You don’t even want to be monogamous, with just one person. You’re just down for the physical stuff. Majority of young adults and people in their twenties think like this. They believe love is not really a priority right now and fooling is the only thing they want.

You are a firm believer of the phrase “love don’t live here anymore”

Love has left the building and you believe love will never come back, or it’s not worth it anymore. Many people go through this and are afraid to love again. This is perfect time to reevaluate your life, and focus on you. Focusing on you helps you know what’s missing in your life and it can also help you believe in love again.

Why do you thing love is hard to find? Drop some comments below telling us why?

YTube Vid of the Week: Does Racism Still Exist?

Living in the 21st century is all about knowing there’s a such thing as racism but pretending that it’s not there. We as a society collectively ignore the truth in there being racism that still exist.

This week’s Ytube Vid of the Week is strictly for the people who are in denial about racism.

Will systematic racism ever cease its existence?

We’ll never live in a society where a system that’s structured to its precise bit will no longer exist. I’ve lived majority of my life suppress from the thought of there being racism; I always knew it was there but corporations and huge public figures don’t acknowledge it so I ignored it along with many other people who choose to live a life pure of labels.

As a liberal thinker and free spirited individual, I’d love to think I live in a world where stuff like whether I’m black, brown, red, or yellow doesn’t matter. But every time I turn on the television, there’s something there reminding me that I need to know what race I am because if I choose to be a different race one day, I could be chastised for it.

*cough cough* I’m referring to Rachel Dolezal, who recently received a lot of backlash for not answering a question about whether she was African-American or White after her parents outs her for portraying herself to be a black woman for 10 years.

Racism exist because people believe that labels matter, and until we can prove they aren’t needed when we do things like apply for jobs, schools, or even visit the doctor’s office, the human race will always identify with labeling. Unfortunately, it’s necessary in society to know what the next person refers himself as so that we can naturally make assumptions about how they may live.

Do you believe there are steps that can be taken that can completely rid the world of racism? Leave your comments below.

Have you heard about Trap Gospel Music? Watch Ytube Vid of the Week: “I Luh God” by MaryMary’s Erica Campbell on Doc’s Castle Media.

YTube Vid of the Week: I Luh God (Trap Gospel Song) by Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell

Would you change the way you get a message across to someone if you felt you weren’t being heard?

Seems like that’s a question religious communities often ask when it comes to getting their message heard by a younger audience. There’s a constant debate between conservative and liberal believers about changing their delivery to reach youth. But while they’re changing their delivery, could it be possible they could be altering their most important messages?

I wonder what Erica Campbell was thinking when she created her latest gospel hit “I Luh God,” which video was released this week.

Gospel hit singer of “God in Me” has taken it up a notch by introducing her listeners to a new style of gospel we haven’t heard her do before. I’ll even say it makes me raise an eyebrow. I never thought the infamous MaryMary would result to “keeping up” with the ages. I often wonder about what’s happening in this current era of gospel music.

What in the world is “Trap Gospel?”

There’s only one video I’ve seen that could come close to my idea of what Trap Gospel might be and it was found while scrolling my Facebook time line. (Click here to listen to I’m In Love with The Cocoa Gospel Version). No one can top the I’m In Love with the Cocoa hit!

The instrumental for “I Luh God” and its repetitive phrase “I Luh God” lost me as I forgot why I love God while I heard the song!! (I really didn’t forget. I’m just over exaggerating.) It’s annoying to hear. The only good that came from the song was the beat. I could have stole it and rapped or sung on it myself.

There’s so much more to be said about the creator of the universe. Wouldn’t you even say that’s the least? The word “gospel” alone stands for Jesus’ story, which we heard nothing about in this song. I wouldn’t choose to name this gospel music at all. But is it trap music? No, it’s just Ms. Campbell singing over a trap beat.

I have a question, too. What’s luh? “Luh” isn’t a word, though.

I get the point but I always think of what could God be thinking when he hears people singing this song? Does he say “I luh you, too?” or does he ask why the actual word love wasn’t used? Does he think that using luh verses love changes the message he hopes to convey?

There’s nothing wrong with creating a new genre referred to as “Trap gospel.” There’s nothing wrong with creating a new genre of music at all. But gospel music is used to uplift and deliver an important message, and when it’s purpose isn’t met, how can it be used to change lives around them? Gospel music without the gospel in it is simply music; words on a beat.

What are your thoughts? Has gospel music turned for the better or worse? Leave your comments below.

Baltimore’s own Young Moose made Ytube Vid of the Week. Watch “No SunShine” featuring Martina Lynch on Doc’s Castle Media.

YTube Vid of the Week: Young Moose “No Sunshine” Feat. Martina Lynch

Baltimore’s turmoil due to riots and protests for Freddie Gray have blossomed a hefty amount of creative masterpieces from independent artist of all sort. The Internet is buzzing of colorful opinions, many pale and others vibrant, depicting artists’ perception of peace and violence; justice and injustice; and moral or immoral.

I even had the opportunity to vent: Read #OpinionEssay: The “Real Revolution Will Not Be Televised

This week’s YTube Vid of the Week Is from Baltimore Rapper Young Moose.

Many of Baltimore’s youth look up to local independent rappers Young Moose and Lor Scoota, who recently reconciled musical differences in February over disputes of competition at a local rap summit.

Encouraging words from these rappers are expected since so many young people support these artist. We need them to inspire our kids to do better; to seek success and progression instead of lawlessness and turbulence, as the world watched Baltimore Youth as they rioted and looted as a result of police brutality towards Freddie Gray.

“Dumb Dumb” artist scratched the surface of reaching the you by releasing “No SunShine” in honor of Freddie Gray. Unfortunately, I do not believe he took this opportunity by storm. So much more could be done. So much more could be said.

“No SunShine” doesn’t get much praise from me because there’s more to be said than what these children who live in these neighborhoods already know. There are ways to get a message across without stating the obvious of what’s happening in our city’s black communities. We know of what our state’s governmental policies enable and forbid us from doing. We know about the “slums” that blacks have systematically become accustomed to. My concern was for artists like Young Moose to do a bit more, maybe lead more as an example.

I guess, I’m expecting too much in such a short amount of time. Huh?

Where are the programs they’re continuously supporting. As I look at each artists background and choice of brand for their music, I’m a little concerned about outsiders not understanding what’s needed to be said for our city. It could easily be misinterpreted if someone would listen to more of Young Mouse’s discography as his music is majority about drugs and trap life.

We need more “substance.” We need more positive messages young people will enjoy and support.

What do you think? Did you like Young Moose’s “No Sunshine?” Leave your comments below.

Do you think that some children’s toys are too inappropriate for kids to be playing with? Watch “YTube Vid of the Week: Tree Change Dolls” on Doc’s Castle Media.

Life As A Black Baltimorean After The 2015 Baltimore Riots

Waking up on April 28, 2015 was the most surreal feeling I’ve experienced in my 23 years of living. To open up my eyes at the crack of dawn after tossing and turning caused by the Baltimore riots happening blocks away from where I laid my head that night, how could anyone feel any other way?

Two days prior to probably one of the most shocking riots to ever happen in history, I spent 7 hours writing about my frustrations towards the riots in Downtown Baltimore. In opinion essay on Doc’s Castle Media, “The ‘Real’ Revolution Will Not Be Televised. #ILoveBaltimore,” I speak from an emotional standpoint on the ways I believe Blacks should move forward after the major breakthrough of riots on Saturday, April 25th. I’d hope it’d be a message to calm people down from seeking to destroy more of our city as my blog reached over its average viewership.

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My words may have reach quite a bit of individuals but as this week started, I see that my efforts may have not made much of an impact. Monday morning at Mondawmin Mall in West Baltimore, only 5 minutes away from my job, was rioted by a huge group of young people immediately when dismissed from school and lasted for hours that day.

Rioting eventually turned into looting and destroying of historical neighborhoods. People who once had jobs along North Avenue and Mondawmin Mall are now without employment, and as riots made it across East Baltimore later that night, near Monument Street, again around the corner from where I stayed that evening, a senior center was burned down, leaving older people who were anticipating to move into a new home suddenly without one. To top it off, our mayor grounded the entire city. So we have to be in our homes by our 10 o’clock curfew.

Baltimore is a mess. The city I’ve known all my life is scorned from which the world believes is because of police brutality against 25 year old African American man Freddie Gray. But our story is deeper than the surface. It is now that we use everyone’s cameras as a tool to let you in on the scoop.

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Words cannot express how I feel about what happened in my city. I’m not a fan of the media like I once was before, especially as I’ve watched events that day come to pass. There’s a media circus in my backyard reporting from Penn-North subway station, now internationally famous for our CVS that burned down on its corner.

Come on, now! Just the other day I bought a chocolate Snickers bar out of there. I’ll never be able to do that again.

We’re never getting some of those shops back. It’s hard to have hope for the restoration of CVS or any of those other buildings due to the the reputation of reconstruction in Baltimore. We’ve waited YEARS for our government to rebuild the hundreds of vacant buildings and shops damaged from the Martin Luther King Jr. riots in 1968. The only reconstruction we’ve ever seen has been to our pothole infested streets, and I swear, we can’t improve the pavement on Charles Street anymore than it is.

Geeze! Does all our tax money go to that street?!

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In the minds and hearts of many people here, it’s second nature for citizens to want to walk outside to see what’s happening for themselves, rather than to watch the news nowadays. The world’s painted picture on television is far from what we’re experiencing. A trust barrier is broken for many who relied on national news stations to give us the 4-1-1 on events occurring during the week. So the local news and social media is our only best friend during this time.

The media from outside of Baltimore lacks an understand of the type of people who live in Baltimore and the lifestyle that we see on a day to day basis. It’s like the media’s way of looking at us is similar to viewing through a microscope. They’re looking to find where all these horrid problems and rioting behavior could be stimming from. But the people who experience the lifestyle of living in here will always have a better understanding and a better way of explaining what’s going on.

Poverty is one of the hardest struggles a person can try to shake in Baltimore City. With a phrase like “The struggle is real,” which is often recited in Baltimore’s Black communities, it models the hard knock situations we see as being seriously rough to live through. When we say this phrase, almost everyday nonchalantly, we as black Baltimoreans adopt an “It is what it is” attitude, learning to also desensitize and quiet ourselves from what’s really happening. Well, Baltimore’s tired of being quiet now.

People who are publicly judging my city worldwide are failing to understand. Even I feel uneasy each time I come into the realization of what’s happening to us sometimes. Tuesday evening, I walked passed a reporter from Russia and another from London. Like whaaa?! These people don’t even know that just 2 weeks ago I was frustrated from fighting to be heard because of Baltimore’s crab in a barrel reputation.

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Our youth isn’t afraid to make a change. I think of how some of those kids who were rioting were doing so to scream out they were fed up. Some of those kids had no home before they rioted. Some of them go to school everyday to get away from their daily worries of not having something to eat once they leave school. Some of them were angered because they were stranded without transportation to get home due to the police shutting down the bus lines and subways before school let out. (But that’s another mystery in itself I won’t get into.) And I admit, some of them were just following the crowd. But to see our kids act this way, hurts the most because they are innocent. They’re the one’s we’re trying to protect from “the struggle.” But we can’t.

Baltimore needs change and everyone knows now. I’m so proud of us. We made a stand for so many things this week. We’re fighting police brutality, racial profiling & systematic racism, bad publicity and corrupted governmental policies not only for us, but for our entire country, we’re making a statement. My feet are suffering from it and I don’t mind it all. I have a bigger hope for my city, though I may doubt our government’s follow-up as an African American woman who’s part of the working force striving for success and a better Baltimore. But I’m glad to have seen a better side, finally! I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Rest In Peace, Freddie Gray. You’re gone, but you are not forgotten. Your name will be in history books along with our city. Change will surely come for us and our country.

#OpinionEssay: The “Real” Revolution Will Not Be Televised. #ILoveBaltimore

Special Note: This post will be my least uniformed blog post due to the built up emotions from recent events caused by the death of Baltimore black man, Freddie Gray. It’s my duty as a Baltimore writer to talk about this the way mainstream media does not want us to. PLEASE KNOW THIS FIRST WHILE YOU READ THIS: I AM NOT A JOURNALIST, now. I AM WRITING AS A BLACK WOMAN FROM THE CITY OF BALTIMORE!

Words pour onto paper as I’ve become a part of American history today while I write about what my eyes have witness on April 25, 2015, a day which I thought I would never see my city be the forefront of America for something so severe and extremely civil. I thought it was a part of mankind’s inhumane struggle that Black people conquered, or at least scratched the surface of overcoming. But we haven’t and it’s obvious to the world now.

America is governed by a system corrupt that uses the very people who help build this very nation as a stepping stool to bringing the world back to square one by embarrassing my whole race through provoking us to move; by tormenting Blacks unfairly.

As a Black woman, myself, and a blogger who lives in Baltimore, it is my duty to talk about the problems my city faces in the eyes of millions, nationally and internationally, who are watching my town react to police brutality towards yet another African-American male, who met his end in the most unfortunate and unfair manner society could ever grant, death by the very people meant to protect him.

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Who is Freddie Gray?

If you don’t know by now, get the fuck off my blog. You don’t care enough. This post isn’t for those who rather sit in their ignorance while we are at war. This post isn’t for the people seeking to view how “ratchet” and “routy” my city is to confirm our “home of The Wire” reputation. This post is not for people who go on major media outlets social media pages to read and participate in the racist comments. This post is to wake you the fuck up! This post is meant to make you realize from the eyes of a Baltimore writer that something really messed up is going on. So open your eyes.

Baltimore, what are we doing? No, let me redirect my concerns to the correct group of individuals… America, what are we doing? No, no, no. WORLD, what the fuck is going on?!

These last two years of my life has been about watching a massacre of black men, AND black women, being slaughtered by a system who prays on a culture who isn’t united and hasn’t been since we were active in the 1960s US Civil rights movement. The way that I feel about it, I have no words for what’s going on in my heart. I have no words for how I see my country being portrayed. I have no words for how my race is being treated. I only feel a fire burning within me from how close to home Freddie Gray’s death has hit thousands and thousands of hearts around this country, and I’m in awe because I would have never thought something this relentless happening in front of billions of people watching is happening in my very own backyard.

I CANNOT BELIEVE MY EYES! This shit happens everywhere else, not in my home.

As each month unfolds since the death of Trayvon Martin, I started to view my country as the ultimate hypocrite and bully. I use to watch and read about the United States in international affairs while growing up, thinking how phoney we must be to walk into other countries, like Liberia and South Africa, trying to assist with their racial issues when in neighborhoods where I live didn’t match up to the persona America tries to paint for the world to see. It is here, the media hides what’s really happening between blacks and whites, until now. Why? Our country’s own racism was hidden and blocked from mainstream media and majority of this country’s citizen for so long, so we could believe we were past oppression; to make us feel like we could give a helping hand to other cultures around the world. America needed us on the same page so we could be viewed by countries around us as “land of the free” and “home of the brave.”

Black people have fallen by the arms of police officers since forever ago, and white people, and even black people, still want to yell out one of the most irrelevant and most repeated statements recited in recent years as if it’s an excuse for why we shouldn’t make a difference in our law enforcers policies. “Blacks kill blacks all the time.” WE KNOW THIS! WTF DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH POLICE KILLING US TOO!?

Black people I need you to listen! I need you to open your eyes because this is what’s real.

Do you know we are being manipulated by national news? Of all things to capture and broadcast to the world, they choose the most uncalled for and offensive images to represent our race at such a delicate moment in our history because they know it will make our uneducated youth move and take an opportunity like protesting as an excuse to “show out” and express their anger, when they don’t even know what to be angry about. Do you know we are being made to have opinions that we’re unsure of because the media knows this will make us angry and ready for a revolution? And why is it that our own news stations WJZ and WBAL are taking a different approach in reporting about Freddie Gray than stations like CNN and the Huffington Post? Nothing’s making sense. This isn’t adding up.

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Do you realize the media’s power, now? LISTEN!

Though we are made to believe the media is not bias, people of Baltimore and black people around the world, we do not have control of the media’s motivation to stay unbiased. Even I am being bias now (and I encourage you to continue to have your own opinions during this time. All I ask is that you realize and watch everything going on)! The media is what’s making police brutality the fuel of our anger ; it’s turning it into something bigger than expected. The media, which is funded by BIG corporations who bank on black people’s money, are making my culture out to be unruly savages and it does not sit well with me. It makes me angry. It’s what made me step up and write how I feel today. Black people I don’t blame you at all. We have a right to be mad, but it is unwise to be so turbulent.

To me, this is beyond race. Racism is being used as a tool to push a bigger motive because it’s the only way to get large bodies of people to move. We have to be wiser. We have to be smarter in our decisions because 10 years ago, we lived in a better peace. But with the media suddenly pushing stories about police brutality incorrectly more often, seems every couple of weeks to days, it’s also corporations that are funding the media’s weapon to wither our peace away and box us in for something we don’t fully understand yet.

So what is real? What is true? We can’t rely on our reporters to be honest and staying away from these stereotypes we’re fighting about.

To all the kids who are reading this, you must choose now to learn your history. You need not act before you are educated. Do you see how dangerous it is to go through this? This entire ordeal isn’t transparent enough, and this anger escalating within us is not good, especially coming from a group like us who can’t get past light skin and dark skin.

Peace, love, joy. Peace, love, joy, everyone.

Why is it that America decides to use my backyard as a war zone this week? America decides to take the city that I’ve spent the last 3 years trying to help put on the map, positively, as a target and guinea pig for a bigger agenda. Can you image how I feel right now? For someone who spends all her spare time trying to help the city become angry with her fellow Baltimoreans. They don’t see the bigger picture, and rather dig a bigger hole for us to climb out of? I’m so disappointed and proud at the same time. This is why I have no words. I’m so all over the place.

I doubt this will be my last post on this. I’ve been awakened.

I ask that anyone who lives outside of my city to turn to the World Wide Web for real accounts of what my city is doing in honor of Freddie Gray and not CNN. I ask you to read about what we are really going through from us. I ask that you empathize for us. I ask that you pray.

#PrayForBaltimore #PrayForMyCity

Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath. -Proverbs 28:9

Let us be wise men. To Be Continued…

Did you participate in the Baltimore Protests? Read “The Current Generation Doesn’t Take Part In Civil Rights Movements Because…” on Doc’s Castle Media.