Fanning the Flames since 1978's Top 10 blog posts of 2012

Here is a list of the best blogs I read in 2012:

Why Do Black People Reject Conservatism & Rock & Roll?  by Vincent Jackson

I liked this blog because it tells the truth about the origins of a musical genre and a political party that black people have roots in. I get weird looks sometimes when I’m nodding my head to the likes of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and such. Also, I have noticed that I give off of a Republican vibe. Even though I have stated publicly my beef with the GOP.

This passages in the blog says it best:

In short, Black people don’t subscribe to conservatism or listen to rock music because they gave it away. Many of their reasons were valid but for the most part they are outdated. As long as we as a people limit our political perspective and our artistic tastes we’ll lock ourselves out of the mainstream and all the opportunities therein.

The Black Press Ponder Obama-Love by Glen Ford

As journalists, we are taught to be objective as possible but it is only human to be biased in some way. When I first read this blog, I was surprised at the anger the blogger had for the journalism profession and those in it. From what I see on Facebook and Twitter, some journalists clearly lean to the Democratic Party.  Maybe one day we can all get back to telling both sides of the story.

Chief Keef: My Love/Hate Relationship With Chicago by Josh A

As someone who was born and raised on the south side of Chicago I am often conflicted with everything that the city is. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

This excerpt from the article explains exactly how I feel:

If you ask anyone from Chicago how the city is doing, you probably are gonna get one of two kinds of answers. Someone who was born and raised on the north side, their answer is likely to sound like “I love it here. I couldn’t imagine myself living anywhere else!” If you ask someone from the south side, their reply probably will sound a little something like “Man……..I just wanna get the f*** outta here!”. Because for the most part, the North side is what you see when you Google “Chicago”. The South side is full of many people who struggle with the Chicagoan-existential dilemma: Do I stay to help/persevere, cherish the positives of my city? Or do it I run from the negativity?

Biracial Stories: She's the Mom, Not the Nanny by John Chatz

As someone who is in an interracial marriage, I know what it is liked to be stared at and judged because of who is on your arm. The blog written by John Chatz described an incident when a neighbor thought that Chatz’s wife was the nanny because she was walking their daughter around the neighborhood. This person clearly has certain roles in society that are reserved for black people. I guess “parent” or “mother” is way down the list.

The MLK Challenge: 5 Simple Acts We All Can Take To Live Martin Luther King, Jr's Dream by Exavier Pope

We live in a world where any opposite opinion are quickly refuted. This blog is one of the reasons I got into social media. I wanted to meet new people and hear some different ideas. I really like this blog because I often try to step outside of my comfort zone.  The blogger gives suggestions on how to do so. It’s not difficult. Go ahead and try. This world would be a boring place if everyone just stayed to themselves.

What nobody wants you to know about the violence in Chicago by Nikki Lynette

I liked this blog because the blogger gave a well thought out answer to someone who thought they knew better.  Here is the exchange:

One of my friends who runs a prominent hip hop blog here in New York asked me why Chicago is so much worse this year and why our city is so bad that people like Chief Keef were able to build a buzz by "talking that little kid street shit." I looked him in his eyes and said "Because people like you publicize it. You helped make Chief Keef a star. People in Chicago finally get to see someone from the block getting fame, and it just so happens the rappers from Chicago who y'all choose to acknowledge are on some goon shit. So don't talk to me about the violence in my city. You contributed."

RIP Children's Memorial Hospital, 1882-2012 by Sheila Quirke

I worked at Children’s Memorial Hospital part-time for two years. I got to see a lot of parents who lost their child there.  I don’t know what it is like for a parent to lose a child. This blog was written by a woman who had to go through that.  I soon found out that those people are some of the toughest people I have ever met.

Seven Deadly Sins: Anger - "Gun Violence In Chicago" by Woodlawn Wonder

Earlier this month I was a part of a Chicago Now blog series called “Seven Deadly Sins.” Each blogger discussed in detail the sin that has affected their lives. Woodlawn Wonder picked Anger. The things that go on in Chicago that makes me angry was the same things that made the blogger mad. I am still mad about those Kony ’12 signs all over neighborhoods that could use some help.

Are You Holding A Grudge? – A Lesson In Life From “Honey” by Tony Carbon

“Sometimes relationships become strained over time and, for selfish reasons. I’m guilty of this selfish act. I’ve carried this burden with me for far too long. I’m tired of carrying the weight that was probably never my fight in the first place.”

I have to admit, I have something similar going on right now. Do I forgive? Or should I just move on? I don’t want to wait until it’s too late but the damage might already be done.

Why are people such jerks about the suburbs?  by Jenna Karvunidis

I love Chicago so much that I have a tattoo of the city flag on my arm. Since getting married and visiting friends/family that has moved to the suburbs, I figure I can be a Chicago guy and live somewhere elsewhere. I used to be one of those “the suburbs are for the fake” type of guys. Seeing the type of violence that is going on, I will have to put the people I love in a better place. The person who wrote this blog recognizes that one day we all have to grow up. The person the blogger was speaking to just doesn’t get it.

This excerpt does it for me:

Look, if I were single, I'd buy a condo in Bucktown and call it a day. I'd wear nothing but three inch heels and dangly jewelry. I'd drive a two-seater convertible that blasted music with parental advisory lyrics. I'd probably smoke in my bath tub and swear before 8:00 PM. But I can't. I have two kids. Stuff like good schools and fresh air trump my ability to order Thai food at 3:00 AM now. It sucks. Tell me about it. But just because you move, doesn't mean you're dead. There are plenty of places to walk and eat on the north shore.

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