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WSSN Stories

BOTTOMLINE: “Change is Occurring…and Hope is Alive!”


Publishers commentary by Wallace J. Allen

Dr. King’s Birthday requires us to annually measure the amount of successful change that has occurred since his death. Our friend Celes King IV was quick to say, “Perception is reality.” I think we can agree that the election of Barrack Obama to President of the United States boosted the image of Black men across the planet. It must be considered that if “Black lives matter” is a truer statement today than when Dr. King was alive, that Barrack Obama being President adds to that truth!   In several years, by 2016, people aged ten years and younger will represent members of an exclusive group. The only President of the United States that they will have experienced is a Black Man.  They, having witnessed such proof, will grow up expecting that Blacks can and will excel. That is a major long term benefit of Mr. Obama being President.  He is an inspiration. He inspires young Black children to want to be like him, to become important and influential members of society. He also shows the non-Blacks who harbor the false impression that “Blacks can’t” to understand that “Blacks can” and that society benefits when “Blacks do!  We know that low expectations generally come true.  Increased expectations allow room for increased participation and performance.

Increased expectations will cause among other things, a greater competition for participation and an expectation that winning is for the well prepared. Just because the world is more willing to accept that a Black man can do, does not mean that it will be easier for him to do; however, easy is not a requirement!

As we measure successful change, access to opportunity for those who have been deliberately denied that access, is an issue. The imagery of success is great for perception, but reality requires a job count and a measurement of education and quality of life. Access to education, jobs and quality of life for most Americans, Blacks in particular, has diminished since Dr. King’s death. The image of the most prestigious office holder on the planet, being racially disrespected under the guise of politics has been a reminder to “old school” witnesses, that racism is alive and that to some Republicans, greed and or “white privilege” is more important than the welfare of the Country.

So, in closing, I will say that the fresh sheets and pillow cases of opportunity make the American bed look better, but the mattress is still lumpy with racism, making a peaceful night hard to come by. Change is occurring but the need for hope is very alive!






The NAACP Images Awards Prepares for the Big Day with Luncheon


Imani Hakim

Imani Hakim


 BEVERLY HILLS, CA- The stars of Hollywood, along with authors, poets, screen writers, and directors came dressed to impressed as they stepped on the red carpet prior to the 34th annual NAACP Image Awards luncheon. The private luncheon was held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California on Saturday, January 17. The 34th Annual NAACP Image Awards will be held on Friday, February 6 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium located at 300 E. Green Street in Pasadena. The show starts at 8 p.m. and is a black tie affair. To purchase tickets, please visit www.naacpimageawards.net. To view more photos, visit sophisticatedrelations.com/naacp-luncheon. 


Whatever Happened to an Old-Fashioned Handshake?

Dr. James L. Snyder

Dr. James L. Snyder

By Dr. James L. Snyder

I must confess I do have some old-fashioned biases. I would be the first to admit I’m not up to date on the latest fad or trend.

I come from that era that believed the well-dressed man is one that doesn’t stand out from everybody else. I’ve tried to keep to that all these years. I certainly don’t want to stand out and have people recognize me or point their finger at me and whispered to each other.

For years, I’ve been very careful about that. Now, it seems that because I try to dress like a well-dressed man and not stand out I am in fact standing out. Nobody, except me and two other people, really care about being well-dressed.

This has never been an issue with me and it even now is not an issue. But reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the year before me, I have to take some calculations. According to my calculation, I no longer fit into that “well-dressed man” category, because the term “well-dressed man” does not mean what it used to mean.

I hate it when something outlasts its definition.

To be a well-dressed man today, according to the latest fads and trends I have noticed, I need to throw away my belt and let my trousers drop all the way down to my knees.

Let me go on record as saying, never in a million years will that happen.

Then there is the issue about a necktie. Am I the last person on planet earth wearing a necktie?

Very few people today know how to tie a necktie. Well, I do and I will until they put me in a casket and then I hope I’m still wearing a tie. So if you come to my funeral and look at me in the casket and I’m not wearing a tie, complain to someone for me.

The latest trends and fads have no interest to me whatsoever.

This came to my attention recently when I had to sign some legal papers for something to do with the church. I had to sign here, initial there, sign the next page, initial three pages and it went on and on until I ran out of ink.

I’m one of those old-fashioned guys that use a fountain pen and all that signing and initialing drained all of the ink out of my fountain pen. Before I finished, I was on the verge of carpal tunnel.

I sighed rather deeply, looked at the gentleman (I think he was a gentleman because he was dressed like a gentleman), and said kind of sarcastically, “Do you remember the old-fashioned handshake?”

He looked at me without smiling and then said, “Here are some more papers for you to sign.”

I thought I was signing my life away, but in reality, I was just signing my ink away.

I do remember when a handshake really meant something. Just about everything was sealed with a handshake and both parties were as good as their word. It would take a lot of undoing to undo that handshake. Now, you’re only as good as the word on a piece of paper over your signature. Then, some lawyer can finagle it around to mean something other than what you really meant it in the first place. So what’s the purpose of all this?

I know you’re not supposed to say this, but I will, I sure long for the good old days when a handshake was all you needed. I get tired of the rigmarole passing as business these days. I get tired of paperwork that’s piled higher than the tallest tree in the forest.

Of course, if we go back to that handshake scenario, it will put many lawyers out of business. What would these people do for a living? I have some ideas, but I’m going to keep that to myself.

Trust has gone out of our culture today because everybody is only after what they can get for themselves and they don’t care how they get it.

A handshake met something in “the day.” In fact, I believe it was more binding than all of the paperwork and signed documents and legalese we have today. It’s hard to sue a handshake!

What I want to know is simply this. When we replaced the good old-fashioned handshake with all of this legalese stuff, are we better off? Have we simplified everything and covered all of the bases?

The answer is a loud no.

A man’s word used to be his bond and something he would never go back on.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I have lived on that marital philosophy all of our married life. I know in the marriage ceremony there is no “handshake.” But the philosophy of that handshake is right there. When I said “I do,” and she responded by another “I do,” we were shaking hands and saying to everybody around us but particularly to one another, “We do.”

I think James shook the right hand when he wrote, “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation” (James 5:12).

I’m all for getting back to the good old days when a handshake was all you needed.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net or website www.jamessnyderministries.com.