Shoulders, Chest, Pants, Shooze…….

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

OMG!!!

WHY DID I GO TO THIS FREE DANCE CLASS THE OTHER NIGHT AND HAD THE TIME OF MY LIIIIIIFE!!!!????!!!!

OMG YA’LL
I HAD NO IDEA…

On Sunday, they had some kind of event at the hotel and mostly bad music was blasting all night, but the DJ did play a couple bangers and I got up to take a quick peak. When I got up, I couldn’t help but dance a li’l.

Dancing is like second nature when you’re a music lover like Love Amad. But, honestly? I hadn’t bust a move in like six months. Just haven’t been in the mood, you know? With all of the changes going on in and around me. But it felt really good to let loose. So, that night was sort of a precursor to what happened the next night.

I mainly went because the notice read that they serve a “healthy” dinner after the class, and Lord Knows, I haven’t had one of those in weeks! But, I told myself not to get my hopes up because I know you (my people) very well.

When you realize there’s something someone likes, needs or wants, you do your best to make sure she doesn’t get it. :/ I know. I know. Willie Lynch.

So, I just put it in my mind to try and have a good time.

And boy, Did I!!!

When I walked in, they were playing, “Cold Blooded” by Brother Rick.

and I was convinced I was going to enjoy the class.

But, I am from L.A. – the toughest crowd in the country.

So, I put my bags down and was immediately impressed by the instructor AND the students! They could ALL DANCE and one of them was a DEVIL!

But I stayed on anyway. :/

I walked around, looking at the pictures on the wall – just getting a feel of the space, but when I got where no one could see me, I went in! 😉

This is New Orleans, and good music must flow through the veins of these “Saints.” I mean how else would you explain it?

Finally, I joined the Class.

The Instructor smiled (I really dug her flavor) and the next song was some Zydeco remix of “Bad Mamma Jamma”
(My theme music NOLA style 😉 )

I let go!

Man, I was turnt up the whole class.

But, my favorite part….

She played some song where the guy says, “Shoulders, Chest, Pants, Shoes….” and I went bananas. It was like The Wop on steroids or something. I couldn’t wait until Thursday!

Oh Lord Jesus, I just watched the music video. I was so on point, the way I did it. These hoochies are lame.

FABIOLA! I MEAN FAIL!

Dinner was in the pocket. I didn’t eat the fish and told them why. It was Tilapia. But I ate the mashed potatoes even though the Messenger (PBUH) taught us to “Leave those old white potatoes alone!” But I hadn’t eaten potatoes since, I think 2008, when me and Hakim took the Greyhound to NYC. We stopped at Mickey D’s and I got some fries and a Shamrock shake. 😛 (That sounds like a dance, huh? “Say man, you know how to do that new dance, The Shamrock Shake, Brother?” LOL)

We had some cabbage and a green salad as well. Al Hamdulillah الحمد لله الله أكبر
I filled my plate then cleaned it. 😉

* * * * *

The next day, this Black-owned company was celebrating their Founder’s Day and 131st Anniversary. Yes, 131st Anniversary. As in One Hundred and Thirty One Years of Doing Business in New Orleans.

I can’t believe how old everything is out here. NOLA was colonized by the French in 1718 – Almost three hundred years ago, and it is not uncommon to find businesses, neighborhoods and families that have been here a good two hundred or so years.

That is mind-blowing to me, being born in Los Angeles, which was founded in 1781, but didn’t really become the thriving metropolis it is today, until the Gold Rush of 1849 – which is barely 150 years. New Orleans has been at it twice as long.

So, I knew in my heart, that I had to go and see how this family had been in business so long.

A couple of years ago, I wanted to do a documentary on Black Businesses that had been in existence for at least fifty years, and I thought that was a long time. But here are the Rhodes, celebrating nearly three times that length.

So, I went and I did some piecing together of certain facts and discovered that basically, you really just need to have a son to carry on the business. They are going into their fourth generation. All named after the founder. 😉

Expanding into other related fields must have helped too. It’s always good to diversify.

Theirs is the funeral business. The founder saw a need for Black people to be able to obtain a decent and respectable burial shortly after the Civil War, wherein we were still being treated little better than livestock.

So, he opened his funeral service and now over the course of three generations, the Rhodes have expanded to include an insurance company also a limousine service.

I am so thankful to my Zawji and my Saviour, for bringing me here to New Orleans and giving me a first hand view of what is possible when Black People truly do something for self.

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. I LOVE YOU!
#15moredayz #makethedayzcount

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

One thing I hadn’t planned on was the breakdown and solitude I had to seek out after reading an article about Hurricane Katrina and how they had to process all of the corpses. Reality is a mutha. 😥

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