Thursday, July 22, 2010
Last night Pookie looked at the City of Atlanta Employee Credit Union website to check his account. He was surprised to see on the front page that the CEO of the bank had passed away. Pookie recalled seeing the man around several times in the past, and seemed taken aback by the whole thing. I asked how he died. Pookie said that their statement read that he'd died "suddenly." This morning when I got up and checked Mediatakeout.com I saw an entry that said "Prominent MARRIED Black CEO Gets SHOT AND KILLED In NOTORIOUS GAY PARK!! (Help SOLVE The Mystery) and I automatically knew what it was about. I opened it and sure enough was a picture of the man from last night. Pookie read the article and seemed disturbed. He said the whole thing was terrible and he didn't want to think about it anymore.
I looked at another blog I frequent, where they'd had more details on the case. I commented on how sad the whole thing was, but then I went back and half jokingly said that dude's funeral and services held in Atlanta would definitely feature a who's who of Black political Atlanta and would be a fantastic networking opportunity. I even joked about thinking about buying a new black dress for the occasion.
The more time went on, the more I thought about it. Although I'd never have the cajones to run up into a funeral of a prominent stranger with the intentions of just making connections, I started thinking about how much I would love to run within the circles that would be attending this funeral. Because I grew up in a household where my mother had moderate political connections due to her job at the Centers for Disease Control, I'd always had it in the back of my mind that I'd like to be more concerned with the social political circle in Atlanta as well. My first time seriously thinking about it was when I watched Black in America on CNN and they showed a black tie affair where many young Black college students and graduates were encouraged to mingle with older Black professionals. Everyone on tv looked so polished and poised that I said to myself that I'd like to step into that arena. The thought had kind of left me until the thought of the CEO's funeral came about.
While out with Pookie at the National Black Arts Festival over the weekend, I saw somewhere something about a gala that they'd held earlier for the event. I looked at him and said that the gala sounded like a lot of fun and that I would look at getting tickets for us next year. While in the car today, I told Pookie that I would like to be more active in the political scene in Atlanta. Like always, he seemed skeptical. I explained to him the benefits of us being in the loop.
I told him how when I was younger, my parents always knew at least one person that worked at the schools my sisters and I attended. My mother knew the principal at my elementary school through our church. At the time, we were members of Ben Hill, which in the 80's was the equivalent to New Birth or World Changers today. My mother also knew the owners of the pre-school I attended before we'd started going there (again, through the church). I also explained to Pookie how wonderful it would be if we could keep an eye on our child through the many personal connections we already have. If we joined "the loop" we'd be that much more aware if Pumpkin started running in bad circles. We'd be sure to get a phone call, which is what any concerned parent would want. I didn't even think about it until later, but we'd be a shoe-in to get Pumpkin into a good charter school if we had connections in the right spot.
I told Pookie that in part my desire rose from seeing my mother in the loop. He looked at me and said that her job with CDC would in no way lead her to Atlanta politics since her job was for the feds. That's when I told him that my mother was also a member of a group that at the time was called Blacks In Government or BIG for short. Granted, my parents were no Barack and Michelle, but they certainly were known when and where they wanted to be. They may not have been on a first name basis with the mayors, they'd met them all a few times and I believe that my mother may have known the former mayor's ex-husband personally.
I said to Pookie that working our way into inner circles would be a bit of a financial investment first. We'd have to attend galas, balls, fundraisers, and a few political gatherings to make it into the loop. Hopefully once we've worked our ways in and gotten on some mailing lists we can receive our own invites without seeking them out. Then there is also the coffee shop that I used to be a regular at that held a few big names. I remember once seeing Shirley Franklin (former mayor) stop in. Not to mention Black real estate investors, lawyers, doctors, architects, and more frequented that place. I think it's time for me to stop back in.
Coincidentally enough, while I was in the car, I'd heard the dj say someone that worked for the City called her from a department that seemed like something I could possibly work for with my degree in communication. Or I'd even started thinking that I could work for the city in the field of social work once I get my master's degree. Either way, I'd love to have a position working for the city.
Some people might be scared or anxious at the thought of taking on the challenge of rolling with the Black and connected in Atlanta, but the fact is that I've always been pretty social and whenever I've wanted to work myself into a crowd before, I always did. Just like I sought to do, I became active and rolling with Black Nationalists, I'd worked myself into Atlanta's major music scene, and I even managed to become homies with Atlanta's underground music scene. Hell if I can do that, why can't I hobnob with the political wives and their children?
Anyway, I asked Pookie if he'd be willing to be may date at some of these functions as I try to work my way into the political circles. He actually said to me "it would be a good chance to network." I decided that either Pookie or Portia will be my date for those kind of events.
So look out Atlanta politicians. There is a bug-eyed girl with big plans of becoming your new best friend.