Sandra Parks, You Are Not Forgotten

Dedicating an upcoming program to a young lady who died so senselessly. #endgunviolencetogether

#staplesingers #mavisstaples #stax  #endgunviolencetogether #MLKDay2019

Working on the Dr. King 2019 program, and dedicating it to Sandra Parks. The featured artist will be The Staple Singers during their tenure on Stax Records, 1971-1974. 

To say that her story touched me in ways I cannot describe is the understatement of the year. As long as I can keep this website going, I promise that annually, you will hear her name and her story.

As someone who lost a young Black son 30 years ago in an equally senseless but different way, my heart goes out to her family. While so many of you were out shopping and enjoying the holiday, her Mother had to spend this holiday season without her truly beautiful and talented daughter.

As I read her essay about gun violence, I kept hearing the voice of Mavis Staples of the Staple Singers, who, in the early 1970’s, were attempting to keep the vision of Dr. King alive through music that was honest, forthright and direct.

Because of this, I am featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees The Staple Singers on Stax Records from 1971-1974 on this program.

This is the text from her award-winning essay. Know that every time I read this, I burst into uncontrollable tears.

“Our Truth”

By Sandra Parks

Sometimes, I sit back and I have to escape from what I see and hear every day. I put my headphones on and let the music take me away. I move to the beat and try to think about life and what everything means. When I do; I come to the same conclusion … we are in a state of chaos. In the city in which I live, I hear and see examples of chaos almost everyday. Little children are victims of senseless gun violence. There is too much black on black crime. As an African-American, that makes me feel depressed. Many people have Lost faith in America and its ability to be a living example of Dr. King’s dream!

The truth is faith and hope in what people can do, has been lost in the poor choices we make. We shall overcome has been lost in the lie of who we have become! So now, the real truth is, we need to rewrite our story so that faith and hope for a better tomorrow, is not only within us, but we believe it and we put it into actions.

Our first truth is that we must start caring about each other. We need to be empathetic and try to walk in each other’s shoes. We shall overcome when we eliminate the negative and nasty comments people make about each other. We shall overcome, when we love ourselves and the people around us. Then, we become our brothers keeper.

Our second truth is that we need to have purpose. We are the future generation, therefore we must have an education to make a positive difference in the world. We are the future leaders, but if we don’t have an education, we will accomplish nothing. We will overcome, when we use our education to make the world a better place. We will become the next President, law enforcement officers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and lawmakers. We cannot continue to put the responsibility on other people. It is our responsibility as future leaders!

We must not allow the lies of violence, racism, and prejudice to be our truth. The truth begins with us. Instead of passing each other like ships in the night, we must fight until our truths stretch to the ends of the world.

She was just 13 years old. Let me repeat this…


You single-issue gun voters, NRA members and all-around firearm fanatics, know this show isn’t for you. You help foster the environment that caused this and other senseless deaths. Take your ignorance and your domestic terrorist weapons of mass destruction and stick them where the sun don’t shine. No, seriously, you are not welcome here.

Working on making this thing sound perfect. Because reasons.

You can read more about her truly sad and senseless passing at this link from CNN. Only by getting up off your ass and really doing something can we, together, ensure that this doesn’t happen again. Check your privilege at the door and get your hands dirty. Your child or grandchild might be the next person we save from this.

Love to you all.

Ben “Bear” Brown Jr., owner

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