By William “Duke” Smither “The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colours breaking through.” – Alexis Charles Henri Clérel, comte de Tocqueville (19th Century French political philosopher and historian) A ‘Failed Coup‘ In the wake of the December […]
Welcome to "Talking Drum Dialogues" (Formerly Backstreet Djeli's Blog)
The novel, "Backroads to 'Bethlehem': Odysseys of the Maroon Warrior..." is still available on-line. Its sequel, "PASSAGE(S) TO SAINT-DOMINGUE...," is coming soon. Blog activity is temporarily suspended while site is under reconstruction. Thank you for visiting.
by William “Duke” Smither “We must challenge this statement and this sentiment that the news media is the enemy of the American people. This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.” William H. McRaven, Retired U.S. Navy 4-Star Admiral, 9th Commander U.S. Special Ops Lessons Learned? From my childhood […]
by William “Duke” Smither “The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.” (Frederick […]
by William “Duke” Smither “We remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.” – President Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America This post is not about NASCAR (“National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing”), nor […]
By William “Duke” Smither “I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: ‘I served in the United States Navy.” – John F. Kennedy, 35th President […]
By William “Duke” Smither “I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.” Harriet Tubman (a.k.a., the Underground Railroad’s “Black Moses”) A few years ago, I wrote about the […]
By William “Duke” Smither “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore…” – from “The New Colossus,” written in 1883 by Emma Lazarus (American-born, Jewish Author, and Activist), displayed on the plaque of ‘Lady Liberty’, a gracious gift from France. […]
by William “Duke” Smither “Free people, remember this maxim: we may acquire liberty, but it is never recovered if it is once lost.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Swiss-born philosopher, writer, political theorist and 18th century “Enlightenment Thinker”). Over the years, I’ve come to think that revolutions, that is, the way we commonly define them, more […]
by William “Duke” Smither “Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” – Bob Marley (a.k.a., Robert Nesta Marley, 1945–1981, Jamaican singer-songwriter, proud Rastafarian and Reggae musician extraordinaire) Gone Too Soon… Proponents of Pan-Africanism, Ethnomusicology, and Black Music in general– but Jazz, our especially expressive music with African roots, in particular— […]
“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus…” Martin Luther King, Jr.