top of page


Updated: Jun 27, 2020


I came across this today it immediately took me back to my pageant days, this is the song l sang as my talent. As a young girl ‘Mahogany’ starring my all time favorite icon Dianne Ross l loved her music. l believe if you were a lil black girl in the ‘70’s you’ve sung her songs, at least l know my sisters and l did! This movie after recently viewing l now see the struggle of the inner city and the racism in it, but as a young girl, l only knew that it was a movie of hope dreams and determination. It’s still a must see...#Mahogany1975#doyouknowwhereyougoing #myblackhistory #listengoodmusic#mynightlyrambling🖤💚❤️✊🏾



Mahogany and Me

Diana Ross was the woman she wanted to be and I wanted to have...

Michael A. Gonzales

Sep 18, 2014

In the fall of 1978, when I was fifteen, mom moved me and baby brother from New York City to Baltimore. Having lived in Harlem all of my life, it took about six months of sulking before I finally got into the swing of Charm City, as the town was called back then.

Living on Monroe Street and North Avenue in those pre-crack, pre-heroin, pre-The Wire days, reminded me of the working class images of the Ernie Barnes paintings used in the sitcom Good Times. Our piece of Baltimore was a pleasant lower-middle class community where small businesses thrived. Cheery neighbors greeted one another warmly as their brown-skinned children cleaned the white marble steps of their row houses on Saturday morning.

After tenth grade, mom was determined that I wouldn’t spend my days drowning in the four-color daydreams of Marvel comics and Harlan Ellison short stories while listening to “Ziggy Stardust,” so she found me a job at a local youth program.

A day after my sixteenth birthday on June 23, I walked the two blocks to the office located inside a renovated row house. Inside, the walls were painted blue and overhead rows of fluorescent lights gently hummed. Slowly walking to the front room, an overweight light-skinned woman sat at a paper-cluttered desk.

“My mom sent me,” I blurted.

The lady looked me in the closely and smiled. “Your mother? Who is your mother?”

“Frances Gonzales. My name is Michael.”

“Yes, yes, I remember her,” she said.

Her voice was heavy, but not mean. She reached into a stack of papers next to a black telephone and handed me a few sheets. “Here, fill out these applications.” Shy by nature, I was a little scared, but also excited. Quickly finishing, I handed the forms back and was instructed to return to the office the following Monday. “And don’t wear anything fancy. You’re going to be doing some real work.”

On my first day, after an hour orientation covering the tedious rules and regulations, the crew was assigned to clean the streets. Mrs. Carter broke us off into groups of four, and supplied us with brooms, shovels and black plastic bags. The leader of my group was a cute girl named Virgie. Later she told me, “My real name is Yvonne, but everybody calls me Virgie.”

While short in stature, she was tall in attitude. Besides a little lipstick, Virgie wore no makeup. Like the rest of the bunch, Virgie usually wore t-shirts, jeans and sneakers to work. Below her neatly trimmed Afro, there were gold studs in her ears and her smooth skin was the color of pecans.

Within a few days, Virgie and I were friends and were talking as