The Front Porch : Why or Why Aren't You - Becoming A Premium Member?

Jan 22, 2001
betwixt and between
Website Consultant
Hello Family,

The launch of our "Premium Membership" is a major change in our community. It will help us better serve the Family in the future, if you'd share why, or why you are not, becoming a "Premium Member."

For example, if you are not going to join us as a "Premium Member," is it because ...

- can't afford the monthly due
- it's not worth paying for
- can find better at another site, for less or free
- something completely different (please share)

If you are going to join us (or have) as a "Premium Member," is it because ... (whatever you'd like to say.)

These are just examples, please feel free to share your own thoughts. Thanks Family.

Much Love and Peace.




Apr 22, 2003
Hey sister Destee! (waving)
You know I'm gonna support
the famly. Just waiting for

Luv ya!

Jan 22, 2001
betwixt and between
Website Consultant
Haaaaaaay Sister PurpleMoons ... :wave: ... i certainly know that you stepped up last year and helped us when we asked for contributions. Your previous contribution does count now, and you will be given full credit. So, if you gave $50.00 before, you are good for 5 months of "Premium Membership" beginning May 1st, 2004. (Premium Membership rates are $10.00 per month or $100.00 per year.) If you'd like, you can give another $50.00 to make it $100.00, so you can take advantage of the full year option, which gives 2 months free ... but this is not required ... at the end of your 5 month period, you can just pay again then.

Thank You Sister !!! :love:




Well-Known Member
Mar 17, 2002
boringham, alabama
i truly hesitated 2 put this post up b/c i suspect it will b misunderstood & possibly attacked, but, hey, won't b the 1st time. the ? was asked sincerely, so i felt it deserved an equally sincere answer.

a little over 3 yrs ago i made a committment 2 write my version of the gr8 amerikkkan novel, w 2 slight differences: it probably wouldn't b that gr8; & its slant might b considerd more anti-amerikkkan than anything else. since i didn't feel confident i would b able 2 do that while working full time, i decided 2 stop (working, not the novel). yes, i realized ppl wld think me crazy, but u hv 2 keep 1 thing n mind: ppl who r certifyably insane don't spend a gr8 deal of time worrying that ppl might look at them like they're crazy. they xpect it & r used 2 it. it meant a change n lifestyle: i said tearful goodbye's to: cable; cell phone & beeper; driving my 2 yo overpriced import (yes, it's sitting n a garage now dry rotting, but i hv visitations on wkends); my once every third month blind date, n a good year (seeing women won't date me anymore); premium web service (now i've got the k-mart blu light special of isp's); along w any hope of ever meeting serena williams w/o getting arrested. i wish i cld say that i hv reached some spiritual higher plane or purified my soul by extricating myself from all those materialistic entanglements. but i can't. the reality is, it sucks & i want my toys back!

i know, get the violins & hankies out, boo-hoo. i've cut my expenditures 2 the bone, hopefully temporarily. what i didn't xpect, was 4 the bottom of the real estate market, at least here n boringham, 2 fall out @ the same time. i'm not posting this 4 sympathy or criticism. it was my decision & i still don't regret it (xcept 4 the part about serena). i remain committed (i mean that n the non institutionalized sense, at least not yet anyway) 2 seeing this project thru (self publishing the novel) even thou some measue of postponement is inevitable until the economy rebounds somewhat. of course, the broader ? u posed, asking f ppl felt the site was worth it, i am not willing 2 address n a messege board, but wld discuss w u privately, shld u desire 2 do so.

i would offer the following, merely as suggestions 4 consideration, hving no doubt some, or all, hv already been submitted or discussed:

consider gradualizing the membership fee: 2 my ears, given the current economic climate, the rate of change was a bit sudden. while ppl r paying $50 & $60/mo 4 cable (or more), & similar fee's 4 cell phones, $10/mo seems miniscule by comparison, but those comparisons ignore the intense competition 4 market share by said businesses, & consumer resistance 2 changes n their spending habits. ppl r reluctant 2 spend $ 4 something they r used 2 receiving @ no cost. personally, i wish there had been more of a transition period n which some costs were gradually passed on 2 members. something like $25 the 1st yr, $35 the 2nd & so on. of course, i'm not privy 2 information on whether that amount, even f contributed by, 4 instance, half the membership, would cover the operating costs of the site.

while its refreashing 2 relax n an advirtisement free environment, i might b willing 2 tolerate, 4 instance, 1 ad located somewhere on the page n xchange 4 reduced membership fee's. ad's saturate virtually every page n cyberspace & most of us hv adjusted, so i don't think that wld b viewed as 'selling out', at least not by me.

online pay per participant:

guest author/poet/lecturer: i've heard parry a. brown (author of: sittin n the front pew; & the shirt off his back; both were on the essence bestseller's list @ 1 time) twice now. the most extensive lecture occurred at my local library @ a free (or at least no cost 2 the public) event. this woman is a dynamic, forceful, articulate orator, & is not afraid 2 tell u she's about tryin 2 make a buck. but she'll tell u jus as fast she's about helping folks, when she can. i'm easily bored by lectures, &, hving been 4tunate enuff 2 hear some of the most prolific speakers n the country (they nearly all come 2 nyc at 1 time or another), not easily impressed, but parry was up 2 the task & was decidedly the best speaker i heard that year. i got the feeling from speaking w her, she could b open 2 negotiation & availible 4 seminars & workshops, possibly online, thou i don't proport 2 speak 4 her. last i checked, she was still touring around the country promoting her latest book. i think there r many other ppl availible n a similar manner. these restricted chats/discussions could b fee based & needn't involve any physical transportation by the author or those wishing to attend.

perhaps other, similar but distinct online wkshops could b developed:

artist showcase wkshops:
how to: merge ur poetry w music effectivly; purchase licence rights 2 music; market ur cd locally, regionally, nationally; how 2 evaluate ur marketing strategies objectivly;

writing workshops: established author's critique poetry, annonymously submitted, 4 group & xpert critique; where & how 2 sell ur poems, what sells, what doesen't & y; current market trends n poetry; where the markets 4 poets r & how 2 gain access 2 them;

self publishing: the fundamentals; how much $ u nd 2 get started; dis/advantages; pitfalls 2 avoid; leaving ur book on consignment, what the stores don't tell u; how much shld u pay 4 editing, & who shld u get?; how 2 choose a printer; do u need an agent?; advertising, how much bang per buck; when 2 get an agent & how;

of course the variations r virtually endless, i presented these as suggestions 4 consideration only. the bookamericaexpo this yr is holding a 1 day seminar priced @ $150.00, not including the cost of travel & accomodations. of course, they're bringin n some pretty well established ppl n the publishing world, & spending who knows how many millions on advertisements. still, it jus seems 2 me, there shld b a way 2 compete, virtually, & tap n2 that market. w lower overhead, reduced admission, & unlimited seating, it seems, theoretically at least, possible 2 tap n2 a portion of this market. jus throwing out ideas here.

the rapidly escalating membership of this site is adequate testimony to its growing popularity and value 2 the community it serves. there is no serious ? as to it's integrity or whether or not it's making a significant contribution toward blk unity. the overwhelming majority of active members in both the forums & chat r courteous, respectful, sincere, and committed, n 1 way or another 2 working 4 improvements n the communitys they work & play n, from their immediate neighborhood 2 our global planetary home. this site can teach, motivate, & inspire as well as actually generate information & activities directly impactful & ultimately beneficial 2 the blk community. i hv certainly com 2 regard destee as my cyberhome & cherish most of the ppl i interact w here. i regret not being able 2 contribute financially at this time. i will b watching, even f it has 2 b from the outside looking in.


Jan 22, 2001
betwixt and between
Website Consultant
Brother Alkebulan ... oh my gosh ... see ... see ... see what i mean yall ... how can we ever have a day that Brother Alkebulan, who brings so much knowledge and wisdom to this community ... so much peace and warmth ... how can he be on the outside looking in ... when we know he'd give if he could ... ?? ... how can we do that ... ?? ... :cry:

Brother Alkebulan ... you said ... "this site can teach, motivate, & inspire" ... no Brother, it's not that it can, it does. You have done those things for me, taught, motivated, and inspired, from the moment you walked in the door. Among other things, you have taught me to want the "hard truth," even though i must brace myself for it.

I am honored that you feel so comfortable to share such intimate details regarding your life. This is very humbling Brother Alkebulan. I have so much respect for you. It's sorta kinda like we did the same thing, quitt'n jobs like we aint got 99 chiren ta feed! :wink: So you know i understand and respect all that you've said.

Thanks too for the many suggestions. It's so refreshing to have wonderful people surrounding me, that have wisdom and are willing to share it. I don't know what i'd do without that part!! ... oh my gosh ... if i had to think of everything, do everything, plan everything, work everything, finance everything ... i'd be more krazee than i am ... and hey, you're right, i already thought you were krazee before you shared the above information ... lol ... but back to da topic ... i'd be more krazee than i am, if i didn't have you, the Family, to help. Right now we are focusing on building the "Premium Membership" base, which will give us breathing room, to consider other things. Hopefully we'll be able to implement all of the wonderful suggestions and plans we have for the community.

Bett not no one attack you !!! ... :nono: ... they are welcome to misunderstand, but that's all ... :)

This is only the beginning of our transitioning Brother Alkebulan. Actually, we've sorta been moving in this direction for about a year, since i first polled the Family regarding Premium Memberships. It's a process, our entire being here, and it moves slowly as we adjust all of our selves to the climb up the mountain. The transitioning is not complete, so let us continue holding on, continue believing, because i cannot ever imagine you "on the outside looking in."

Thank you for sharing with us.

Much Love and Peace.



Jan 22, 2001
betwixt and between
Website Consultant
Brother Alkebulan ... GUESS WHAT???!!! ... :jumping: :jumping: :jumping:

Brother Gladiator read your response and asked if he could sponsor your "Premium Membership!" ... :jumping: :jumping: :jumping: ... He didn't just ask to sponsor it for one month ... oh nooooo ... :nono: ... he's paid for a YEAR of Premium Membership for you !!!! :toast:

Oh Brother Gladiator ... this is so sweet of you ... this is the very Spirit of our community, manifesting itself all out in the open for everyone to see! For the whole world to see! We are so blessed and we truly do have a unique and thriving Family here! Who else but one's own Brother / Sister would do such a thing?!!!

Brother Alkebulan ... Brother Gladiator, the entire Family, and myself know that you did not share this in anticipation of such a thing happening. No, that's not the case at all, and we know it. We appreciate you sharing here. We love you sharing here. We recognize the depth of which you go to share your wisdom and peace here. We know you love us!!! :)

For those that don't know, without Brother Gladiator sharing his expertise with me all these many years, we would not be where we are. This Brother did not just start giving, he's been giving to me long before there was a community. He's given so much, that when i asked for contributions last year, i didn't even consider asking him to give ... but you know what ... i didn't have to ask, he offered, he gave, he is one of our largest contributors. He's been my friend forever. Brother Glad, i'm almost speechless (you know it's difficult for me to become all the way speechless) ... my heart is so at peace this moment, so soothed, so encouraged ... exactly how you always make it feel. I Love You. Thank You.

Oh My Goodness ... we are headed in the right direction ... to the top of the mountain! C'mon Yall !!! :)

Thank You Brother Gladiator. Thank You Brother Alkebulan. Thank You Family.

Please continue to share your thoughts.




Well-Known Member
Aug 24, 2002
The Diaspora
I decided to become a premium member out of love. Love for Destee & the house she built. Love for my people, and blacks across the Diaspora. This place is unique. Where else can black people from different backgrounds, different economic classes, different education levels, even different countries, go on the web and converse with one another?

I have been online since 1997, and I can say that there is no other website like If this place where to disappear because of a lack of funds, it would leave a void that would be impossible to fill. I am tight financially myself, so I understand where brother Alkebulan is coming from. But when I thought about what this place meant to me....I had to give. For those members who are still on the fence about whether to become premium members or not I encourage you to do the same....think about what this place means to you.


going above and beyond
Feb 9, 2001
Why did I choose to become a Premium Member? The reason is quite simple and it's not just because I enjoy being here. Since coming here I've learned so much and shared a lot about what I think as well. The exchange has been a wonderful experience for me. The most profound impact on me since coming here has been the many discussions we've had about "community" and "unity" among Africans/African Americans. When I learned that Destee needed our help to sustain the community, without a doubt I knew what I had to do, particularly as one of her community leaders.

Brothers Alkebulan, Gladiator and Panafrica, thank you for sharing your gifts with the community. I hope our members continue to share with us their thoughts about this topic and describe their situations in this thread. You never know who is reading that can make a difference in your life.

Peace and blessings,
Queenie :heart:


Lyon King Admin.
Mar 21, 2001
My story is like a book i've been with destee from the beginning when it was so few as many as 5 and building bonding caressing lives that visit watch many come and go i've support this community in other ways with loving warm embrace I became a premium member not because of destee but for the love of writting , sharing my poetry, for the bonding of so many cross the cyberspace world and in growth of the
best online community where we as people for the people make a different in lives
Destee not only gave us all a place to hub and feel safe but a place to meet daily
she has given to this site built from ground up her loyality and committment to us all
for years and served us well given the best and openning rooms/ forums / chat bringing to life voices to collab and share with each other as one of her TeamLeaders
for years bringing peace and love as time move at rapid speed supporting and funding
what is loved and where I look to come every day is & Destee so why
not give from that very little if not yearly but monthly in support of a community that
has given to us for years this has been the best site i've been in and grown to love
and meet many wonderful people it was my all out duity to support the growth and
become a premium member of for those who hold doubt or wonder why
should i pay to be a member let me tell you their is no other place like this that
offer great service and great grade A leadership / voice chat // open forums to
express and many wonderful caring people in one place doing what they say we
all can't do and that's come together as one supporting , bonding , building, loving
as people i am a true DESTEE.COM home bound member here and i tell you get in
on the wonderful things we have and upcoming as time permit and feel the vibes
of many topics //flowz and warmth who can anyone say NO !!! and walk away
from all this that was offered to us for so little ....I can't , funds never was an
issue nor problem again my history here is long deep as a story book but why
not support where you come and share , write and bond to build as we unite
in unity as a community but i also did it and became a premium member for the
love and support of one of the sweetest and loyal heart warming sistah for all
her years of hard work and giving birth to DESTEE.COM ((MOTHER QUEEN DESTEE))
thank u for u sistah become a premium member today , don't miss all this great
fun to hit a nother place like this will be a treasure hunt all the jewels right here
support and join us in a community of hope , teaching , learning , laughter , sharing
loving , building , embracing we are one and you make the different stand up be
heard and accountable we love you here why go , leave or turn away from it all
the place i love and charish a real gem .so here i am for the long haul
and willing to help those who fall short ....... remember that !


Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
somewhere ova da rainbow....
I am a Premium member!!!!!!
Because this is the best place online
I love it here I don’t know what I would do without
The warmth the love….
I knew I was loved when
I first came in the door and they never stop
And the comfort, love and support given and shown
when my uncle pass I knew I had found a wonderful place
but that just proved my point……I am with you Destee
and support and love you in all you have done to
make us this online home.

Consciousness Raising Online!

Allow the N Word - yes or no?

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  • no

    Votes: 6 42.9%
  • not sure

    Votes: 6 42.9%

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