Friday, December 31, 2021

2021 Year End Wrap Up: OP-ED By Distinguished Contributor Tolson Banner

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I’m Puttin’ 2021 In My
Rear-View Mirror:  Post Haste!
Art Credit nZinga Austin | Photo Credit Kamau Austin 

I’m Puttin’ 2021 In My Rear-View Mirror: Post Haste!  OP-ED By Tolson Banner

I’m jumpin’ into my black hoop-dee.  I gotta jet out of 2021 ASAP!

My spirit tells me to head to the NORTH STAR to meet the new dawn of twenty deuce deuce (2022) - the moment it peaks over a new horizon.  I’m feeling a mystic cord of memory: like the great black migration from the south - a push and pull of the soul.

Historians have captured this Black journey with this soulful flow: “The lazy laughing south, with blood on her mouth and I who am black would love her; but she spits in my face.  So now I seek the North, the cold face North, for she, they say, is a kinder mistress.” I don’t believe we ever met that mistress.

I’m blazing out of 2021 like black people fleeing their homes set ablaze by the vitriolic antics of the Tiki torch boys or duped by the mortgage sub-prime loans orchestrated by the banks.

I don’t think I’ll travel along route US 50 (red and blue states).  I’ve convinced myself to revisit the roads less travelled - like Promise Street, Voting Rights Circle, Defund The Police Street (I think?) and Democracy Court.  I floored my black hoop-dee and got busy on Freedom Expressway.

I took the first exit up ahead, Promise Street via Biden Avenue.  The streets were strewn and dilapidated.  Word around here was these blocks held so much promise for change, like meeting the “kinder mistress.”

Blacks Helped Save President Biden's Candidacy But
Many Feel He Hasn't fulfilled His Promises
Photo Credits Wikipedia

OP-ED On Tolson Banner's I’m Puttin’ 2021 In My Rear-View Mirror:  Post Haste! Continues After Sponsor's Message Below...

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Black Lives Matter Protest | Credits Wikipedia

OP-ED On Tolson Banner's
"I’m Puttin’ 2021 In My Rear-View Mirror: Post Haste!" Continues Below...

So many promises had been made to turn things around for the better – never coming to fruition.  Many characterize the broken promises as dreams deferred.  There was no evidence of any promises kept.

The politicians’ hollow promises were couched in Harvard rhetoric still reverberating in the sullen air.  I had to keep moving!

I stayed on Biden Avenue and took a hard right onto Voting Rights Circle.  It seemed like I had looped this circle before back in 1965.

I guess that is why I felt like I was going in circles.  The circle was under construction and the signs read: restoration work underway.

But the signs did not reflect the reality.  There was no restoration work taking place.

Eerily, I was reminded of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act that would restore and strengthen certain portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were deconstructed by the Supreme Court.

I was told it was under construction after being gutted.  But just like the circle, there was no evidence of restoration work taking place – legislatively speaking.  I put the pedal to the metal.
Civil Rights Icon John Lewis' Voting Right legislation
has been derailed along with Police Reform and
Build Back Better Legislation Credit Wikipedia
I thought I was crossing over to Senator Tim Scott and Vice President Kamala Harris Boulevards.  Upon closer investigation, neither Scott nor Harris showed up on my Black Freedom Expressway GPS.

Their respective routes did not illustrate any coordinates for a NORTH STAR destination.  I tried Obama Way as well.  Same thing.   I boogied outta there.  

“Peaches” my Black GPS Siri, told me the approaching street was once named Defund The Police.  Peaches said it had been reprogrammed in my data base as Reimagining The Police.  

I asked, “Will this take me to the new dawn on the horizon?” Peaches said she doubt it because it did not allow me to use adjacent streets for access to mental health experts when there were mental health crises in the black community; drug counselors when there were drug overdoses; and removing the secrecy surrounding the convening of grand juries in police misconduct cases.  Siri Peaches bellowed out, “This street is a dead end!”

Peaches warned me to get off of this one-way thoroughfare.  Peaches said I was in danger even if my hands were up.  I got ghost.

I asked Peaches to recalibrate my GPS.   I reappeared on Democracy Court, a stone’s throw from US Capitol Road.  There was anarchy everywhere.  The insurrection ensued without regard for the Constitution which sets forth the steps for the peaceful transition of power.  

Despite the legality of the Biden Presidential election upheld by the courts, the tribal war took hold at a frenetic pace.  US and Confederate flags were being flown to symbolize America is the “white man’s” land.

There were no sightings of any Red, Black and Green flags.  It was well known the black vote was the crux of their angst.

January 6th, 2021 Insurrection: Credits Wikipedia
Peaches navigated me back to the Freedom Expressway.  I was pushing ahead hard; I was hoping the distance created would swallow 2021.

I briefly glanced into my rear-view mirror.  My eyes caught this inscription: OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR.

I gunned the engine with all deliberate speed pointing my black hoop-dee towards the NORTH STAR.  My Siri GPS Peaches reminded me I was heading in the right trajectory.  My black hoop-dee disappeared into the darkness of night.  You can color me GONE.

Art Credit nZinga Austin | Photo Credit Kamau Austin

About The Author:
Tolson Banner, is CEO of, the nation’s premier Black entertainment music streaming network. Banner is a graduate of Clark Atlanta and Howard Universities where he received degrees in Broadcast Journalism and a Master’s in Business Administration, respectively.  Please write your comments to Tolson at the bottom of this web page.

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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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