Learn About KnowledgeBase's Educational Materials Store - Or Start Shopping (Purchase Orders Are Welcome)!

Buy "Follow The Leader" (changED - Volume 2) - The Album / Mixtape!

Buy changED (Volume 1) - The Album / Mixtape!

Subscribe To Our Podcast Via Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Amazon Music | Pandora | Pod Chaser | Podcast Index | Email | Android | RSS

Reach – Then Teach (Character Education Guide)

Character Education Crossword Puzzles (Volume 1)

Common Core Math
Word Problem Of The Day

Writing Your First Business Plan (Writing Project)

(All titles available at our Teachers Pay Teachers store - an online marketplace for educators!)

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Dear Hannah: Mission Statement Part 2 - Red Beans and Rice (RBR)

Dear Hannah,
My name is Derrick.

My name means "leader of my people".

I am the brother from another planet.

"My people" do not always know that they are "my people".

For I dream a world
I may never see ...
... but know change must begin
inside of me ...

I know why the caged bird sings ...

... and still I rise.

Let me show you something ...



NOTE (5-1-2024): YouTube has blocked this video. Here is an alternative link.

Support Our Work - Buy This (And Other) Podcast Series (SEE BELOW)!

"Daddy's Home" (2018)

(The "Follow The Leader (changED - Volume 2)" Audio and Video Album / Mixtape is also available at TeachersPayTeachers.com) 

(The "changED (Volume 1)" Audio and Video Album / Mixtape is also available at TeachersPayTeachers.com)




"Mission Statement (Part 2 - Red Beans & Rice)"
By Derrick Brown

My name is Derrick.

My name means "leader of my people".

I am the brother from another planet.

"My people" do not always know that they are "my people".

For I dream a world
I may never see ...
... but know change must begin
inside of me ...

I know why the caged bird sings ...

... and still I rise.

Let me show you something ...

[1] [Display Red Beans & Rice]

I love red beans ...

... and rice.

I was introduced to red beans by friends in Baton Rouge, LA during the 1990s.

I then learned how to cook them ...

... with slow, low heat ... and a lot of patience.

My grandmother taught me how to make rice.

"For every dry cup of rice ...

... add two liquid cups of water."

I was amused, amazed, then humbled to learn that this was a side dish that was sometimes the main dish ...

... because it was the only dish.

But you would never go hungry.

These beans stick to you.


I attend a multicultural church that focuses on racial reconciliation.

This reconciliation (and its resulting fair opportunities and circumstances) is still part of my dream.

It is deferred, but not denied.

This year, the church held a festival of foods that illustrated the diverse, inclusive culture of our church.

I made red beans and rice for the festival.

I also prepped to tell the story of red beans and rice.

To me, this was the golden LEarning opportunity.

It would connect and resonate with our reconciliation-focused congregation.

I put a nice slide show together to display during the festival.

I would then narrate the show for anyone interested in "the rest of the story".

But then "real life" interrupted my dream.

I provided one serving of red beans outside of my immediate family.

No one else touched them.

I told no one my story.

I should know better by now.

When I get really "geeked" and wrapped up in a story ... I get way ahead of myself.

But that is good news that seems like bad news at first.

I did not get to tell them.

So now I get to tell you!

Be warned and wary ... there are some useful rabbit trails in this one.

They are worth following.

Please believe.

Let me show you something ...

[2] [Display Haitian Monument on Savannah's Franklin Square]

I travelled to Savannah, GA earlier this year.

LEarned a lot.

I spent a morning showing my daughter this Haitian monument on Franklin Square.

The monument honors the volunteer soldiers who helped America capture Savannah from the British during the American Revolution.

It displays themes of vision (illustrated by the soldier on the right who surveys the battlefield); mission (the 3 soldiers with weapons ready and aimed); sacrifice (the wounded soldier); and celebration of freedom and justice (the little drummer).

That right there will preach, not now for "the rest of the story".

These soldiers returned to Haiti to liberate it.

They were victorious in their fight for liberation, but it still led to lots of people leaving Haiti.

Lots of them went to New Orleans, LA.

They took red beans and rice with them.

Contributed to New Orleans' "melting pot".

Let's move on ...

[3] [Display washing machine patent]

Sunday was an important day in New Orleans culture.

There would a big Sunday dinner.

It would usually include ham containing a big bone.

It would usually be prepared by women.

Monday was an important day, too.

It was "wash day".

A patent application for the machine pictured (courtesy of the Smithsonian Institute) says it is "for large families, schools, or hotels, and with which a woman can wash say twenty-five shirts at once."

It might be a safe call to think that women ran "wash day", too.

I could see them making red beans (infused with that leftover ham) because they kinda "cooked themselves".

The beans could sit on the stove with a pot of rice, and everyone could help themselves to this makeshift main dish when they were ready.

This is the part of our show where the guilty voice of patriarchy chimes in to deflect and justify this as the "perspectives and signs of the times".

This voice may try to mute my voice by hinting that I am teaching "divisive concepts" ... or that my perspectives about past deeds "lack diversity" ... or that I "wanna be startin' something" because I spot trends and patterns.

This voice has been present in many rooms I have addressed in the last several years ... especially the churches I have attended.

I see that these once prideful, pronounced, prevalent, pervasive trends and patterns are now more silent, subtle, and systemic ... but perhaps more pervasive.

I do not ignore them, but I have learned how to circumvent these voices that try to mute mine.

I do so by knowing when (and what) to reveal, and when (and what) to conceal.

Hit me ...

[4] [Display Louis Armstrong]

This dude (Louis Armstrong).

Played that trumpet like every song might be his last.

Folks would know him with or without that horn in his hands.

Born and raised in New Orleans.

Loved its food and culture.

Loved red beans and rice.

Loved to write letters.

Signed them "Red Beans and Ricely Yours".

Frustrated biographers and historians because he could tell some "tall tales".

Was criticized by many for being too neutral and silent on civil rights issues of the times.

But when he spoke (especially about Little Rock), people listened.

Even FBI folks listened.

Watched his every move.

We'll come back to him soon.

[5] [Display Booker T. and The M.G.'s]

These dudes.

Booker T. and The M.G.'s.

In Black & White (pun intended).

The "house band" for Stax Records.

Memphis Soul.

Otis Redding.

Sam & Dave.

Wilson Pickett.

Perhaps America's first chart-topping interracial band.

Let me get their color photo ...

[6] [Display Booker T. and The M.G.'s 2]

An album called "Melting Pot" from perhaps America's first chart-topping interracial band ...

... I cannot make this up.

They wrote instrumental songs with food titles.

Allow me to transition from #StandupStoryteller to #StandupDJ.

Here's a little number from Booker T. and The M.G.'s called "Red Beans and Rice".

[7] [Display and play "Red Beans and Rice"]

Booker T. and The M.G.'s most famous track happened by accident.

They were waiting to back up an artist who was running late.

So they messed around and dropped "Green Onions" ... a perfect complement to "Red Beans and Rice" (I cannot make this up, y'all) ...

[8] [Display and play "Green Onions"]

If this rabbit trail has not had enough twists and turns ...

The band's two white dudes joined John Belushi's and Dan Ackroyd's "Blues Brothers" band for the movie of the same name in the late 1970s.

Wilson Pickett was in the movie.

The Blues Brothers covered Stax Records classics like "Soul Man" and "Hold On, I'm Comin'".

Don't get me started about White artists and song covers, y'all.

I could stay there all day.

We have somewhere to go, though ... so let's get back to Louis Armstrong's version of "I Have A Dream" ... here's "What A Wonderful World" ...

[9] [Display and play "What A Wonderful World"]

Look, y'all.

I love my wife, child, life, and family.

I will be alright no matter how I am treated.

But I would like to be treated better.

I want us all to get along a little better.

So I will still dream my dream.

But I will inform my dreams with the cold, harsh realities that continue to await ... solutions to the problems of our existing state.

I will close with my own missive that paves the road to reconciliation for those who have ears to hear.

If you are made uncomfortable by these words, let's talk about "why".

I you believe and receive the words, let's talk about "how".

Because civil discourse - especially between dissenters - promotes growth.

It allows us both to see that we are diametrically opposed points on the same circle ...

... and that preservation of the circle is more important than our "points".


Here's "Reconciliation (Not Done Yet)".

Y'all enjoy.

"LEarning (Reconciliation (Not Done Yet))"
By Derrick Brown

NuSkool Piano (eJay Sound Selections 2) (Take 3) (9-22-2017) (9m30sec) (90 BPM).MP3

<begin intro - 45 seconds>

The road to reconciliation

starts with

realization (of both the might and the plight),
respect (both spiritual essence and natural function),
reassurance (of commitment to the corrective plan and path - don't ask for trust ... EARN IT),
and REAL relationship (dealing with each other as EQUALS).

We've got a long way to go

because we keep trying to

start at the finish line

and often label

voices of reason

as voices of treason

but 'tis the season

to answer folly

defeat conceit

... then rinse and repeat.

we are not done yet.

<end intro - 45 seconds>

<16 bars> realization (of both might and plight)

is more than race-related
gifts must be located
voices elevated





laws that


"we sorry
that you waited ...
... the check
- it was post-dated."


please don't
get fixated
these issues
are conflated

the breach
is still vacated
our reach has
been negated

blame shift

no thrones
they gated!


by thoughts

to see what's

though it's

keep 'em
make 'em



yo - we are not done yet.

<16 bars> respect (both spiritual essence and natural function)

am i your equal?
do you respect me?

am i your sequel?
do you subject me?

the answers
you see

resolve a

based on
a history

of how
you treated me

see I'm not -
fooled easily

eyes wide shut
to the nth degree

don't walk on bended knee
remember wounded knee

let's say
my mind is free

then let me
sip my tea


now on equality
let's chop the cherry tree

if there will ever be
a "we" - that's you and me

then either build a bridge
or else fill in the sea

embrace the potpourri
of my humanity

my functionality
and personality

my character

the spice of life

respect my name
'cause I'm somebody



my man - we are not done yet.

<16 bars> (of commitment to the corrective plan and path - don't ask for trust ... EARN IT)

my m.o.
is trust


help my unbelief
see if you qualify

give peace a chance
share a piece of pie

ideas aplenty
ready to apply


call out misdeeds
don't try to justify

that's how we rectify

plant a seed
then let it multiply

take a closer look
yep - magnify


own up to sleights

speak truth to power

clean up this mess
don't oversimplify

no scapegoat
fall guy


no secret agent man
i spy

don't ride the black horse
bad guy

don't ride the white horse
good guy

make a conscious effort
try try


we are not done yet.

<16 bars> REAL relationship (dealing with each other as EQUALS)

begin with "hey"

then take their course
la vie c'est

balance is zero
you ain't gotta pay

credit is zero
don't ask for no delay

spit out them bones
let's deal with the fillet

world is watching
what we gon display?

let's get together
build a pathway

shift some paradigms
start anew today


commit some generations
it's overdue, you say?

let my daughter's daughter
write a true essay

'bout how her granddaddy
put the ball in play

and how her mama
added an array

of color and beauty
and a nice bouquet

'cause the world loved her
gave her some cachet

granddaddy left a trail
personal dossier

also left a knot
gave her some cache



and we are not done yet.

We dream of a world where all men are equals ...

... not one where some men are sequels

... all women are subjects

... and people of color are quietly marginalized

by the winks and nods of a colluding, crafty majority,

the benevolent, subtle patronage of the church ...

and the unconscionable emulation of oppression

by the oppressed

against the more oppressed.

... all are ready to defend and deflect any

blame for racism, bias and privelege.

... all are ready to eat, sing and pray

with their prey.

There is a more excellent way.

I hope I am on the path to finding it.

Y'all pray for me.


About Derrick Brown (Standup Storyteller)

I am Keisha's husband, and Hannah's father.

I am a “standup storyteller.”

I fuse rap, spoken word (poetry), oration (traditional public speaking), singing, and teaching into messages of hope, healing, and change that I write, direct, and produce to help people who help people.

Everything must change - and stay changED.

Tradition begins and ends with change.

Change begins with me and the renewing of my mind ... then continues through efforts to effect small-group discipleship (equipping others to equip others) with audiences that respect and embrace mentoring, mediation, and problem solving as tools of change.

I am the product of my mentoring relationships, peacemaking (and peacekeeping), and problem-solving ability.

My education began when I finished school.

After school, I enrolled in a lifelong curriculum that includes classes in ministry, entrepreneurship, stewardship, literacy, numeracy, language, self-identity, self-expression, and analysis / synthesis.

My projects execute a ministry that has evolved from wisdom earned through lessons learned.

I want to share this wisdom to build teams of "triple threat" fellows - mentors, mediators, and problem solvers.

We will collaborate in simple, powerful ways that allow us to help people who help people.

I now know that power is work done efficiently (with wise and skillful use of resources, interests, communication, and expertise).

Copyright © 2024 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.


No comments:

Copyright © 2020 Derrick Brown and KnowledgeBase, Inc. All Rights Reserved.