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Learn About Juneteenth in ‘Aunt Ester’s Children Redeemed: Journeys to Freedom in August Wilson’s Ten Plays of Twentieth-Century Black America’ Memoir

Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more generally the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South. Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in most states.

Redeemed BookRiley Keene Temple’s recently published book, “Aunt Ester’s Children Redeemed: Journeys to Freedom in August Wilson’s Ten Plays of Twentieth-Century Black America,” examines the redemption story of each play – how the southern black oppressed, descendants of centuries of slavery, put the pieces of themselves back together. Temple analyzes how Wilson’s language – his poetry and the blues — and his dramatic narratives expose the responsibilities, the opportunities, and the challenges of freedom.

Wilson’s plays include “Fences,” “The Piano Lesson,” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”  The New York Times obituary called him “the theater’s poet of black America.”

“Wilson, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, died in 2005 at the age of 60. He would have wanted to see the wondrous celebrations of Juneteenth. He would have seen them as both meet and right,” says Riley Keene Temple.  

Riley Keene Temple is an avid American arts advocate and supporter, and has been honored for his leadership of arts organizations. He is a telecommunications attorney in Washington DC, where his Board memberships include the National Archives Foundation and the Trust for the National Endowment for the Humanities. He holds a Masters degree, cum laude, of Theological Studies from the Virginia Theological Seminary. He has written frequently on theology and the creative arts.

What It Do With the LUE: DJ Damiq

DJ Damiq

DJ Damiq

By Lue Dowdy

DJ Damiq burning up the turn tables is WHAT IT DO! OMG, the feeling you get when the DJ starts playing your favorite song. Keeping a crowd entertained and engaged can be intimidating, but not for DJ Damiq. Dripping with confidence, swag, and humbleness all rolled into one, this DJ makes it happen in several clubs all over Cali. With a large fan base, he stays booked. He gives back by providing free services for charitable and community events.

Demico Sherman, better known as DJ Damiq a.k.a. The People’s DJ, roots hail from the South which includes Houston, Texas and Mobile, Alabama. He was raised in Highland, California as a preacher’s kid that loved to sing and perform. He started djing when he graduated in the summer of 2001 The Arcade, former teen club. What started out as a favor became a hobby and before you knew it, people wanted him at their parties and events.

Being in high demand, Damiq’s network has provided him a long list of DJing accomplishments. Not to mention, he was awarded at the 2016 “My Music, My Mic Indie Artist Award Show” held by LUE Productions for his hard work.

In his words, “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Even though I’m far from done, I’m at the stage of preparing the next generation of DJs that come along to have an equal amount of success. Team Work Makes the Dream Work!”

 The night life wouldn’t be right without DJ Damiq literally in the MIX. Until next week L’z!

“Lord, If You Just Get Me Out of This Mess…!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

I promise you I will never do it again! I’ll stop sinning! I’ll do anything you say, Lord! Please Lord! Help me! Get me out of this mess!  I tell you the nerve we have trying to bargain with God! Ain’t that ‘bout a pickle! But we do it all the time. We are all guilty. In fact, we are so good at it, and so used to it, that we think it is normal, right, and expected. Tell me, how many times has God come through for you? How many times has He moved mountains in your life? How many times has He caused peace in the storm? How many times has He met your need, done the impossible, and proven Himself to be God for you? But what I really want to know is how many times have you renege on your promise to God after he has delivered you out of your mess? And now you got the nerve to ask Him to deliver you again?

I tell you we ain’t no different they those in the Book of Old. You see Abraham tried to negotiate God’s peace with Sodom, in return for finding a certain number of righteous people in the city; Jacob was willing to devote himself to the Lord in exchange for safety and provision on his long journey; Jephthah bargained with what he assumed would be an animal of his to be sacrificed if the Lord granted him victory over the enemy; and Hannah was willing to give any son the Lord gave her back to Him, if He opened her womb. The truth of the matter is that we have no bargaining position. We are utterly owned by God and we are squatters on His land. Every breath we take is a gift from Him. Every virtue we perform is because of His grace.  We must remember that God owes us nothing; we are complete debtors to Him. The good news here however is that in all of these cases, God fulfilled their requests because of His love and His grace.

I want you to know that trouble is often didactic [intended to teach a moral lesson]. Some of the most amazing lessons of your life will come in times of stress and strain.  You may not believe this now while you are in your mess, but you will be better because of the trouble you went through! You will be stronger and you will be wiser because of it! Your praise will even be where it needs to be because of it! I tell you, trouble came to make us better. I can testify that by my own experience when I experienced trouble I became a better person because of it. The things I’ve learned in sorrow are the things I’ve learned the best! You see no matter how difficult the circumstances may be, you have to see the hand of God in it.

You know Job made a request to God and then he took a stand in God. Perhaps that is what God is saying to someone today who is big on the request side, but suffering on the stand side. You cannot ask God to do, if you refuse to be. Your convictions must be clear. Your stance must be sure. Your resolve must be resounding. You are not reading this because you wonder if God is going to do it. You have a history with God. You have seen God do too much over the years to even let doubt come out of your mouth. You know God is going to do it. The real question is how long are you willing to wait for God to manifest it into your life? I know it is rough, but wait it out. I know you are pushed to the edge, but wait it out. If you just wait this thing out, God will work it out. The trials and adversities of life are never pleasant, but it is in them that we learn the secrets of dependence, of grace, of hope and of God’s presence. None of us wishes for trials or adversity, but it is through them that God refines the metal of our lives and molds us into His image. Just as metal is placed in a furnace and heated to a white hot state so the dross can be removed, God allows us to enter the furnace of affliction so that He might refine and purify our lives. Rather than complain and be depressed, know there is a blessing tucked away in the midst of the trouble.

“If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established. [Isaiah 7:9]