Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Let the Countdown Begin!

get my countdown

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jana Downs: Vicktor Alexander ^-^ Enjoy!

Come on over and read an excerpt from my WIP "Justin's Angel" on Jana Downs: Vicktor Alexander ^-^ Enjoy!: Justin’s Angel By: Vicktor Alexander I struggled with what to write for this guest post for all of thirty seconds (once I sat down...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Love Is A Many-Flavored Thing: Friendly Friday - Featuring Vicktor Alexander

I did a guest blog over on DC Juris's blog called "Changing the World One Story at a Time".

Love Is A Many-Flavored Thing: Friendly Friday - Featuring Vicktor Alexander: CHANGING THE WORLD ONE STORY AT A TIME When I start writing a book, I don’t go into it with the idea that I’m going to write something th...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

SJD Peterson~*~It's all in the touch: Romance A-Z - Vicktor Alexander

I'm over at SJD Peterson's blog today. Come by, leave a comment and be entered to win a prize. SJD Peterson~*~It's all in the touch: Romance A-Z - Vicktor Alexander: A Very Tate Valentine’s Day It’s Valentine’s Day and the Tate pack couples should be excited and extremely lovey-dovey as they express t...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

30 Reasons Why I Love You

In honor of Valentine's Day, I decided to post 30 reasons why I love Daniel. Yes, I'm being cheesy, but did you know that in all of my 28 years, this is the first year that I'm not single on Valentine's Day?

I shit you not.

I've always broken up with whomever I was dating right after Christmas [or been dumped right after New Year's], so this is the first year that I have someone, it just figures that fate would give me someone across the Big Pond huh?

But anyway, I haven't done a "Love Across The Big Pond" post in a while, so we'll just add this onto the last one I did. [I'm also guest blogging over at: D.C. Juris Blog and at Chicks & Dicks Blog today, so go check it out and leave a comment]

On to the sappy, romantic cheesiness! LOL.

30 Reasons Why I Love You, Daniel

  1. You are constantly trying to get me to speak proper English, even though I speak proper American
  2. You get so excited about the games you play that it makes me smile
  3. You always seem to know when I need to talk and when I just need to know that you're there
  4. You make me laugh every time you try to bribe me into revealing one of your surprises
  5. You are just as passionate as I am about the music that you love
  6. You challenge me...in everything...and it makes me want to be a better man for you
  7. You have never seen anything or anyone other than Vic, you just see me, to the point where when I talk to you, I only see me.
  8. You can be just as romantic, if not more than, me but you fight it so much that it makes me want to fight even harder for you to show it
  9. You are the perfect counterpart to me. Strong where I'm weak and weak where I'm strong.
  10. You don't let me get away with bullshit.
  11. You don't let me beat up on myself either.
  12. You think people who treat me wrong are horrible and should be punished. You are so fierce in your devotion to me that it makes me unable to breathe sometimes.
  13. You are just as possessive of me as I am of you, even on Twitter and it always makes me feel loved.
  14. When you were having a bad day at work a few weeks back and you told Kat that you just needed to talk to me and you'd feel better, was one of the happiest moments in my life.
  15. You believe that I can and will change and save the world and it fills me with the courage and the desire to make you proud of me.
  16. Even though you challenge me...on everything...you know that I say what I say to you because I love you and want to take care of you and you don't fight me for long.
  17. Because you never go to bed without telling me goodnight, giving me a kiss and telling me that you love me.
  18. You don't like John Barrowman, Shemar Moore or Scott Hoying because I have celebrity crushes on them and it makes me feel loved, it makes me feel like you find me sexy and you want me all to yourself.
  19. You are just as anxious to see me as I am to see you, so much so that you moved your date to visit up from April to March 4th to March 2nd to March 1st.
  20. Because there are those moments when you don't even realize where you let me know how much you want me to keep you forever and it's in those moments that I know that even with all of my uncertainties, I will never let you go.
  21. You think that the idea of you not wanting to be with me is "stupid" and "ridiculous."
  22. You think people who expect you to not want to be with me are "stupid."
  23. You think I'm amazing [and an evil bastard].
  24. You say things to make me growl and be possessive because you love the Alpha male side of me and it turns you on to see me get all possessive
  25. You like my family [even if you get pouty when one of them snuggles with me or rubs my belly, because that's your job]
  26. You didn't think I was crazy when I was upset by Whitney Houston's passing, you understood and then made it your mission to make me laugh.
  27. You get upset when I don't take care of myself.
  28. You want me to love you, take care of you and make you happy [and of course fuck you and dominate you, but you know, this is supposed to be romantic]
  29. You agreed to at least be in the room with me when I watch Breaking Dawn, even though you said you'd be playing a game or reading the whole time.
  30. Because you are the most amazing, smartest, most talented writer, sexiest, most loving, funniest, most British man that I have ever met and you make me happy because you chose me.
*Bonus: I also love you, because I know that you're going to go through this list and telling me every misspelled, grammatically incorrect word or phrase in them and I lovdorish you for that as well*

Happy Valentine's Day Brit Boy. I love you....Brat.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Why I'm Crying [R.I.P. Whitney Houston]

I've been raped before.

What a way to start this post but literally my brain is stuck on a few facts right now and they keep playing repeatedly.

I was raped. And when I went into the hospital, Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" was playing on the speakers. While I was questioned and examined, Whitney's voice sang and told me about how she wished good things for me and how she would always love me.

Yes, I know it was just a song and it wasn't directly for me but it helped make that whole thing bearable.

Every break-up I listened to Whitney Houston.

Every time I realized how miserable I was with my biological family, how much I hated hiding some part of myself I listened to or sang "I Want to Run to You."

When Christopher passed I listened to "Why Does It Hurt So Bad?" and when I finally accepted that he was gone I listened to "Exhale (Shoop, Shoop)" and "I Will Always Love You."

And last week when I was doubting that I could be in a relationship with Daniel, when I was thinking about breaking things off with him so that he could find someone good enough for him, Whitney's song "I Believe in You and Me" came on and then "Saving All My Love for You" right after that, even though iTunes was on shuffle.

Just like with Michael Jackson, listening to Whitney Houston got me through some of the toughest moments of my life. The first time I auditioned for American Idol, I sang Whitney Houston's "I Want to Run to You." And when I got ready to move to New York "The Greatest Love of All" was playing on my phone/iPod as I sat on the plane and in between connecting flights.

So while others may not understand why I'm crying over Whitney's death, seeing as how I never met her (although I did meet CeCe Winans and talked to her about Whitney, so I was almost there), but her death devastates me, because her music, her voice got me through so much heartache, pain and devastation in my life and while I knew that it would happen one day, her death makes me relive those moments. As irrational as it sounds, listening to her music, crying to her music, made me feel that she was going through them with me, her, Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera and Michael Jackson were the ones who were with me, the ones who saw me cry, who heard my words, saw my pain and losing them means those moments become even more painful.

*Sigh* I was going to sing a song in tribute to Whitney and post it here, but I can't sing more than two lines without crying, so I'm just going to post videos.

RIP Whitney Houston, your voice came from the Heavens and now it returns there, but you will always be missed.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chicks & Dicks: MM Romance: First Encounters and Lasting Impressio...

Now that you've read my rant go check out Matty's (of the 2BoysinLove blog) post on Chicks & Dicks. You won't be sorry. Trust me.

-Vicktor Aleksandr

Chicks & Dicks: MM Romance: First Encounters and Lasting Impressio...: (Dedicated to Bradley, the love of my life, whose first encounter made a lasting impression) I first started reading MM romance whe...

My Black is Beautiful,T-shots, and the Reality of Being Black, Trans* & Gay

I am writing this post, curled up on my right side, with a buck on the floor, underneath my head and a bottle of ginger ale and a cup on the desk next to the laptop.

Just in case you couldn't catch it from that long-ass description, I'm sick. Yesterday I was at "Oh my gosh, just kill me now," sick and today I'm just at "Everyone's getting on my damn nerves," sick which means I'm almost past it.

I'm not sick because of the flu or a cold or a stomach virus, I'm sick because I had my first T-shot (Testosterone shot) yesterday. Yay! That's right, the VA finally got their shit together and got me started on testosterone hormone replacement therapy (they had originally prescribed me Estrogen......really?). So, my body is going through massive changes and because of that it apparently has no further use for my internal organs and so it's going to puke them all out. But it's all worth it, because I'm on the path towards being who I was born to be, which is awesome.

My Black is Beautiful
I had a comment left on my official author website (Vicktor Alexander) about the character of Howell. The reader mentioned that Howell was black in the book but that the man on the cover was white....


So I realized that this reader just wasn't aware of the different shades there are to black people, so I tried to educate him. But in the end it made me think. Here recently I've had at the very least, four people that I knew who have bluntly stated that someone wasn't "black" just because the color of their skin was too light.

Now, you all have seen pictures of me, you can look at me and tell that I am predominantly "African-American." The thing is, you'd be wrong.

My biological father is Caribbean. He was born in Barbados. His skin color is darker than mine. However, both of his parents are what is termed "biracial." His mother was half Bajan (someone born in Barbados) and half British, his father was half Bajan and half Trinidadian. But even though that's how they identified themselves, that was still incorrect because my paternal grandmother's mother was British and Irish, and her father was Bajan and Scottish. But her mother looked white and spoke with an British accent and her father looked black.

That's just on the biological father's side.

So as I thought about all of the different ethnicities and cultures running through my veins (my great grandmother Mary whose mother was Cherokee Indian and her father who was "black and a whole lot of other stuff"), I realized that people will continue to visually categorize people. You see someone whose skin is tanned, but not brown, so they must be Hispanic/Latino. You see someone whose eyes are slanted, skin is pale but not too pale so they must be Asian. You see someone whose skin is olive and tanned, whose features are refined so they must be Indian. You see someone whose skin is pale, hair looks soft, and eyes are blue or green so they must be Caucasian. You see someone whose skin is brown so they must be African. But upon talking to them you find out that person 1 is Native American, person 2 is Alaskan, person 3 is Puerto Rican, person 4 is African-American and person 5 is Indian.

Such wrong misconceptions, purely based on color.

"My Black is Beautiful" is something that celebrates African-American women and their varying shades and colors and sizes and there's a picture of some of the women who are involved in this movement, this project, and even though I am a black man, I am a black man who so strongly believes in supporting black women that I'm going to use MBIB to get my point across. Here's the picture:

Every single one of the women in this picture is African American.

All of them.

And you'll notice that they're all different colors, shades, sizes. Their hair is different, their style is different. They are unique and fascinating and beautiful.

One of the reasons that I have the unexpected character be the hero in my books is because I'm trying to pull people (quite forcefully sometimes) out of their preconceived notions of what is beautiful, what is strong, what is manly, what is womanly, what is gay, straight, bisexual.

What is black.

What is transgender.

Because people are unique, flawed, varying shades of being and looking at someone and thinking you know everything just from looking at them is why racism, discrimination, bigotry and hatred still exists in this world.

The Reality of Being Black, Trans* & Gay
There are no transgender people in the black community and there are very few gay people.

No seriously.

We don't exist.

We, those of us who identify as black, transgender and/or gay, are not recognized by the black community, because the black community is one that prides itself on being "Christian," or "religious." I kid you not. Rappers, who spit lyrics with words like "pussy," "fucker," "bitch," "ho," etc. are the ones who when they win their awards get up behind the microphone and thank God. They were all raised in the church. Raised to believe in God. Raised to believe in what the Bible says.

But only the big sins apply to them, or to anyone.

Like the sin of being gay or transgender.

So if you are gay or transgender and black you typically hide it because you know that you can be attacked, beaten up or even killed by your friends, family members, etc. and they don't have to worry about the news media broadcasting about the gay-bashing going on within the black community or the hate crimes against transgenders that takes place on a daily basis, because it's involving black people and that stuff only gets coverage if it's coming from a black celebrity and directed towards others.

Harsh, but true.

And no, the black community isn't full of bigoted, homophobic, violent assholes. There is a lot of good that takes place there. The strength of the black community, the way that we all come out in droves to support each other and stand with each other when a racial injustice is being done is something that has always fascinated me. But don't get it twisted, it is beyond dangerous to be gay and/or transgender and to be black.

So when I hear people talk about remarks that blacks make that are considered "hate" speech, I have to remind them (I try to do it gently), that in the black community that stuff is normal, that is acceptable. They were raised that way. They heard that being shouted from the pulpits ("And the Lord will see all gays and lesbians, all transgenders, will burn in hell for their perversions!"), they had it hammered into them as a child, they were smothered in it through their television programming. And no one really watches BET and TV One outside of the black community but you don't see gay characters there and the reactions in the shows and the movies, the words that are used, the entertainers who are exalted teaches the children that being gay or transgender is shameful and wrong.

And no, I'm not condoning this, but I am pointing out that in the black community being gay or transgender is about 100 times more dangerous than people realize. I'm glad that I live with Cherie because honestly, had I come out and stayed in Florida, I would have been hospitalized by now, because I'd been attacked. No joke.

Something to think about and realize that instead of ripping these people a new asshole for saying stuff they grew up hearing was the right thing to say, realize that they need to be re-educated.

Education is good, but gays bashing gay bashers is not.

-Vicktor Aleksandr

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chicks & Dicks: MM Romance: Femmeing it Up Across Generations With...

One of my little brothers, Brad, from the blog 2 Boys In Love, did a guest post on Chicks & Dicks about untraditional heroes. I totally think you should check it out and leave a comment.

Okay, let me rephrase that....go read it and leave a comment.

There, that's better.


-Vicktor Aleksandr

Chicks & Dicks: MM Romance: Femmeing it Up Across Generations With...: The title of this post is a mouthful and probably a little confusing. Or maybe a lot confusing. When I showed it to Matt, he read it a co...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I Thought We Were Done With Separate But Equal?

I hadn't planned on blogging about this on The Purple Fantasy Den or on here either. Had instead intended to raise my voice on other blogs and leave it at that. However, in a conversation with an old friend of mine, he asked me when was I planning to give up my dream of trying to change the world. I told him that I'd give up that dream when change was no longer needed.

In light of that conversation I knew that I couldn't be quiet about this. Especially not with it being Black History Month and a time when many people recognize those who gave their lives fighting for equal rights for everyone. This is certainly a human rights issue, because this isn't just about writers, if same-sex romance in books makes these people "uncomfortable" then those of us who engage in same-sex relationships and identify as part of the rainbow makes them "uncomfortable" as well. With that truth ringing in your mind I encourage you to read the blog (and yes, I know I can talk, but trust me this is an important one) and then sign the petition, by following the link below.

This is a portion of a blog post from Heidi Cullinan:

– Note: MTM will no longer accept same-sex entries in any category.

from the contest rules for the More Than Magic contest hosted by Romance Writers Ink Chapter of RWA

It’s taken me several days to be able to write this blog post, and the worst part of it is that my job isn’t done with this. As president of the Rainbow Romance Writers, RWA’s chapter for LGBT chapter, it’s my job to address the situation. I intend to, but I admit, at this point I keep reading that above line and feeling heavy and tired and depressed. I try to tell myself it’s because I’ve been felled by a pretty impressive cold for over a week and that it’s what’s making me tired. It’s a good story, and I wish I could buy it. But the bald truth is that I read that line, and every time it just hurts all over again.

The membership of RRW has been braver than me. Several members have emailed to ask why the change; one member got a reply. She was told it was a hard decision, but some members of the chapter felt “uncomfortable” with same-sex entries. That word keeps resonating too. Uncomfortable.

Well, I have to say, RWI. Discrimination makes me pretty uncomfortable too.

I just can’t get over the balls of stating, right there in black and white on a freaking website, “no same-sex entries.” No Irish need apply. Whites only. Pick your discriminatory phrase and insert it right there, because they all fit. Does that seem harsh? Probably only if you’re not gay or passionate about the rights of LGBT persons.

Here’s the truth. LGBT romance is growing more and more every day, but don’t let anyone try and delude you it’s anywhere but at the more sunlit alleys in the ghetto of the publishing world. Despite our very good sales within our digital-first houses, we aren’t even on the map for most New York publishers. Anyone within the genre knows too that LGBT romance gets plenty of flack from LGBT literary. It’s the same fight mainstream romance has with the mainstream lit fic genre (much like snotty religions, they don’t think they’re a genre, just the True Disciples of Book) except LGBT romance gets some nice kicks in the teeth for having straight women in the room. I’d point out a whole hell of a lot of us are bi, but if you know anything about arguments within the alphabet soup, you know that gets a lot of sneers too.

So it’s nothing short of a fine slice across the hand to be skimming through places LGBT romances might submit entries for contests, trying to get more exposure and out of the ghetto—this one is for published books and last year an m/m novel won—only to find a big fat NO GAYS sign.

When I asked about this, I was told the board made a ruling on same-sex entries in contests and said basically that chapters could make their own judgments based on genre. The heading of the issue was labeled “same-sex entries in contests,” so there’s no question this is the clause that made RWI feel they could pop that line I opened with onto their website, sigh in relief, and move on with their day. Make no mistake. RWA national said this is kosher.

Do you?

I of course don't agree with this policy. In light of this being not just a GLBTQ issue, but a discrimination issue, I knew that I had to speak up. Much as others before me spoke up and marched and protested when faced with discrimination, bigotry and racism.

Here was my response on the petition that I signed:

There was a time in this country when people were “uncomfortable” with Native Americans and so they were forced onto a reservation, this was of course after they killed off as many of them as they could.

Then the time came when people were “uncomfortable” with blacks and so they were enslaved, many of them died on their way towards their enslavement, but their lives were of no account to those who were "uncomfortable" with their presence on Earth. When those blacks were emancipated, there were some people who were “uncomfortable” with sharing the same water fountains and bathrooms and counters with them, so "Separate but Equal" was created and these black people were given separate facilities, separate schools, separate everything to use, oftentimes they were of lesser quality, almost deteriorating in their upkeep, but the people who were "uncomfortable" with them, didn't feel bad about it, because at least *they* weren't "uncomfortable" anymore.

Interracial relationships made people "uncomfortable" so it was made illegal. The schools being integrated made people uncomfortable, so there were riots, protests, and those who tried to integrate those segregated schools received death threats and were attacked. This country has endured protests, lynchings, violence and riots because people felt “uncomfortable” with something that was “different.” Some ultra conservative, some racist, some bigoted person felt “uncomfortable” so people were denied their unalienable rights to love, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I am an African American, transgender male homosexual and I am an author of GLBTQ romance. I didn’t join RWA at first, because honestly, I didn’t see blacks in many mainstream romance novels as main characters, and I sure as hell didn’t see any gays in those positions. When I began to see authors sneaking them in I began to have some faith that maybe, just maybe, mainstream romance had recognized that there was nothing “wrong” or “disgusting” or “immoral” about gay romance. Romance is just romance. Plain and simple.

End of story.

To say that *romance* makes “romance writers” uncomfortable not only baffles my mind, it breaks my heart, because it’s just like *people* saying that other “people” make them uncomfortable and we see what happened when that happened before in history (ie, the Holocaust, slavery, Darfur, etc.). The RWA shouldn’t just feel ashamed, they should feel as if they have committed an egregious error not just against members of the GLBTQ community but against all romance readers and people in general by letting this decision stand. Bigotry, discrimination, and homophobia in any form is not to be tolerated from anyone. If we are going to be "uncomfortable" by anything, we should be "uncomfortable" by those things. 

So I am giving you all the link to go and raise your voice with the rest of us in the face of this situation. Whether you're a reader or a writer of GLBTQ or "traditional" romance, this is an issue that affects all of us that love to read about people falling in love. Those of us that are excited by the idea and the prospect of romance and passion and desire.

This is for those of us who believe that love is love.

Sign The Petition Here

-Vicktor Alexander

Friday, February 3, 2012

Black History Month Post: James Armistead

I just found out about James Armistead today and to find out that this man had a hand in helping the Americans win the Revolutionary War makes me proud. And in light of the day that I had today, it's good to be encouraged by the story of one man who stood up for what he thought was right and caused such an amazing effect on history. It's my goal and major dream in life.

James Armistead
(James Lafayette)
patriot of the American Revolution
Born: 1760?
Birthplace: ?
An African American slave in Virginia, Armistead sought and received permission from his master, William Armistead, to enlist under Gen. Marquis de Lafayette, a French officer who joined George Washington's army during the American Revolution. Lafayette was seeking men to spy on British general Cornwallis and his army at Yorktown, Va. Impressed with Armistead's intelligence, Lafayette had Armistead pose as a laborer looking for work. He was hired at Cornwallis's camp and was able to relay information about Cornwallis's plans to Lafayette. Armistead also earned the trust of Cornwallis, who asked him to spy on the Americans. As a double agent, Armistead was able to move freely between both camps. He provided Lafayette with critical information that enabled the general to intercept Cornwallis's much-needed naval support and ultimately defeat Cornwallis at Yorktown in Oct. 1781, the decisive battle that ended the Revolution.
After the war, Armistead returned to the Armistead plantation as a slave. He met with Lafayette in 1784, when the general visited the United States. He wrote a glowing recommendation for his former spy, which Armistead used when he petitioned the Virginia House of Delegates for freedom. He was finally freed on New Year's Day 1787. He assumed Lafayette as his surname and spent the rest of his life as a farmer in Virginia.
Died: Aug. 9, 1830

Thursday, February 2, 2012

In Honor of Don Cornelius and First Post of Black History Month

I grew up on Soul Train.

Not literally on the show....*rolls eyes* Silly people.

No, I grew up listening to what was called "good, old school music."

I grew up listening to singers like Smokey Robinson, The Miracles, The Temptations, Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, The Supremes, Diana Ross, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Al Green, Luther Vandross, Lionel Richie, Bing Crosby, Frankie Beverly f/Maze.....

And the list goes on and on.

One of the biggest things is that I grew up watching the show "Soul Train."

Growing up "black" in America was an experience in and of itself. Even in this day and age. I was taught many things not just from the biologicals, but African American history and African American culture I learned from watching Soul Train and other "black" shows (ie, A Different World, The Cosby Show, Living Single, Good Times, Parenthood, etc).

Don Cornelius was a major part of that. He was the man who started Soul Train. He was the one who worked tirelessly, fought the good fight, and never wavered in his belief that there should be quality television that showcased black musicians, in a time when buying black music when you weren't actually black was considered very taboo. Don Cornelius was an innovator. He was a history maker. He was a remarkable man.

Don Cornelius passed away (at the age of 75) just yesterday (February 1st) and it was a tragedy (a self-inflicted gunshot wound, he apparently was suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's) and something that definitely shot off waves and sparks through the black community. 95% of the black musicians who became "crossover" (more than just black, but listened to by all races) artist from the 60-80s owe their success to Don Cornelius and Soul Train.

So in honor of Mr. Cornelius and in honor of Soul Train, which is where I learned how to do "the robot" and other dances, and is also where I learned to sing the songs that grip a body and never let go, I would like to share these videos and pictures with you.

Rest In Peace Mr. Cornelius. You will be missed, but never forgotten.

Donald Cortez "Don" Cornelius (September 27, 1936 – February 1, 2012) was an American television show host and producer who was best known as the creator of the nationally syndicated dance/music franchise Soul Train, which he hosted from 1971 to 1993. (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Cornelius)
"“Soul Train,” which aired for more than 35 years, was the longest first-run syndicated television series in broadcast history. In addition to its cultural importance, with regular appearances by such musical giants as Michael Jackson, James Brown andAretha Franklin, the show represented a major advance in entertainment for African Americans.
Recognizing that the major TV networks had virtually no programs geared toward black audiences in 1970, Mr. Cornelius designed “Soul Train” as what he called “a black ‘American Bandstand.’ ”
As the show’s host, he promised — in a burnished baritone voice — to take viewers on “the hippest trip in America.” He drew dozens of star headliners to “Soul Train,” but Mr. Cornelius’s greater achievement might have been as a behind-the-scenes producer and businessman who helped persuade mainstream companies to spend advertising dollars on largely black audiences.
Cornelius left a legacy of creating a popular television destination for black culture and music that unapologetically catered to its core audience and made it part of mainstream culture. As Lonnae O’Neal Parker and Chris Richards explained:
Before BET or MTV, before cable television or the Internet, TV’s “Soul Train” taught a generation how to dance and let black America see itself having fun. At the center stood Cornelius in all his preternatural cool.
For one hour once a week, black people were the cultural insiders. It was fine if others tuned in, but all the fashion, all the jokes, all the references were black, even if that meant the rest of America didn’t get it. Even if the rest of America didn’t know Evelyn “Champagne” King, or wear their hair fried, dyed and laid to the side, or realize that there was a dance called the “Errol Flynn.”
“Don Cornelius made a major impact on television and on so many people around the country,” said D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray. “ ‘Soul Train’ really attracted a lot of African Americans when there wasn’t much for African Americans in that regard. . . . It was an opportunity to see people that you otherwise were not be able to see.”
Local music great Chuck Brown remembers Cornelius as “smooth, cool, extremely intelligent.” He met him on a “Soul Train”-sponsored tour in the early ’70s but didn’t get to perform on the program until 1979, when his definitive hit “Bustin’ Loose” topped the charts.
“I wasn’t satisfied with the performance, but he was,” Brown said. “He would make sure everyone was comfortable. . . . [He was] a great TV presence. He was the man.” (from http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/don-cornelius-dies-leaves-soul-train-legacy-of-music-and-culture/2012/02/02/gIQAbOS0kQ_story.html)