Beautiful

Black History, Editorials

Poet and orator Dr. Maya Angelou died May 28, 2014 in her home in Winston Salem North Carolina.  She will forever be remembered for her wisdom and inspiring spirit that led others to be someone else's rainbow in the clouds.

Poet and orator Dr. Maya Angelou died May 28, 2014 in her home in Winston Salem North Carolina. She will forever be remembered for her wisdom and inspiring spirit that led others to be someone else’s rainbow in the clouds.

I’m a woman, phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.” –Maya Angelou

 

15yrsBeautiful is my favorite word in the English language
It towers bold and triumphant
Transcending realms
Not needing clarification
Welling up from within
Reaching from the depth of a soul
Pouring fluidly from cracks and pores
Becoming transparent in actions
Making it a description, one’s character trait

Happy Birthday Trayvon Martin

Black History, Editorials

Trayvon Martin, a teen who was murdered in 2012 because of the way he looked, would have celebrated his 19th birthday Feb. 5, 2014.

Trayvon Martin, a teen who was murdered in 2012 because of the way he looked, would have celebrated his 19th birthday Feb. 5, 2014.

You had no way of knowing a bullet would have pierced your body the night of Feb. 20, 2012 causing your last breaths to escape from your body, your chest to rise and fall for the last time and your heart to no longer produce the rhythm of life.

All you wanted was some skittles and tea.

A Call for more Education during Black History

Black History, Editorials

Image

Civll Rights: On February 1, 1960 these NC A&T freshmen staged the first sit-in in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. This statue commemorates them at the University.

When I hear an African American child say with a matter-of-fact tone that Martin Luther King Jr. freed the slaves, I can’t help clutch my heart with distress.  The ignorance of black history is disheartening.  However, hearing from our own youth is downright painful.  I can only imagine that this lack of knowledge stems from the fact that we, as a community, have just become lazy with our teachings.

Mandela: An icon has passed away but his legacy lives on forever

Black History, Editorials

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion.  People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for loves comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."  Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for loves comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

The whole world is in mourning after the news that South African revolutionist Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela died Dec. 5 at age 95 in his home.

mandela

Former South American President, anit-apartheid leader and human rights advocate Nelson Mandela died Dec. 5 at age 95.

Over the last few days we have heard lots about the life and achievements of a man who spent 27 years in prison due to his opposition of apartheid then went on to become the first black president of South Africa.  He won his political seat in a democratic election, a system he believed in and fought hard to make a practice of in his country.

Mandela’s life is a story of freedom and forgiveness.  In a era filled with a plethora of racial hatred, he endured much abuse.  Yet his determination never favored.  The real inspiration, however, was ,despite it all, he advocated not to lash out at his enemies, but to use love as a means to overcome life evils.  Mandela believed in the inner strength of a person saying “when people are determined, they can overcome anything” and to look to our own selves to create change.

This icon’s life is not only a legacy, but a moral compass and a blueprint for true leadership.

What is a true leader?

A true leader is someone full of beliefs- a believer of themselves, others and the greater good.
A true leader is sacrificial.  They are not above the cause, but an insert into the cause.  
The cause is not a task but a life mission.
A true leader appreciates the advantageous differences in persons, because it brings about different ideas and plans.
A true leader values the human emotion of fear, and see’s it not as an hinderance but another obstacle to overcome.
A true leader walks in confidence with strides of wisdom… whether that’s in front of or behind the crowd.  
A true leader is Nelson Mandela.  

Rest in Peace Mr. Nelson Mandela. Your legacy and spirit is with us forever.

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Ode to Michelle Obama: A salute to American’s First Lady

Black History, Poetry

Michele Obama

Michele Obama, First Lady of the United States

A beautiful image, strong and proud
Aside the commander in chief you stand
Without words you speak for black women loud
Showing our worth and purpose in this land
Goes beyond mans objectifications
Portraying us as intellectuals
Independent, faithful and nurturing
Unafraid of the ramifications
Influential, not ineffectual
I’m left gawking here in admiration

My Black is Beautiful

Black History

Derek Walcott, Nobel Prize poet, receives a sketch made in his honor in San José, Costa Rica.

Nobel Prize winner and poet Derek Walcott, now aged by life, traveled from his wheelchair and sat in front of a Costa Rican audience to share his gift of insight.  He was the featured guest of a literary festival that would lead up to the Dia de las personas Negra or Day of Black Persons.

After giving an interview where he answered questions about the effects of colonization on afro-descendents especially in the Caribbean, Walcott began to read in a profound tone not disturbed by his noticeable hand shakings his own poems of life reflections that have earned him fame.  

Gabrielle Douglas’ Olympic Victory makes African American History

Black History, Editorials

Little girls across the United States grow up with the dreams of possessing the poise and grace of a gymnasts.  Many are enrolled in tumbling classes, practice flips, stick landings and compete in competitions.  As they grow up, some transition to cheerleading while others give up altogether. Financial reasons, size limitations and mere changes of heart tug these youth into different directions.  However, even in adulthood they still reminisce of the time they wanted to dress in a leotard, soar through the sky, smile big, feel beautiful and shine as a star.

Sixteen year old Gabrielle “Flying Squirrel” Douglas represents that small percentage that got to live out her dream and achieve big.  As the first American to win team and all-around gold in the same Olympics and the first African-American woman to win gold in the women’s all-around, the 4-foot-11 teen with the golden small and chic moves has earned her spot as a heroin and legend.

Hemsley remembered through his works

Black History, Editorials

Sherman Hemsley alongside co-star Isabel Sanford in television sitcom The Jeffersons.

Fish don’t fry in the kitchen, beans don’t burn on the grill! Took a whole lot of tryin’ just to get up that hill! Now we’re up in the big leagues, gettin’ our turn at bat.  As long as we livin’, it’s you and me baby, Ain’t nothing wrong with that.  We’re moving on up!

In Black America, this song represented our American dream and the Jefferson’s showed us that with hard work it would be possible to get our piece in the sky.

Sadly, main star of the Jefferson’s, Sherman Hemsley died on July 24 at age 74 of natural causes in his El Paso home.

Hemsley’s own life represented the ultimate success story.  He dropped out of his Philadelphia high school to join the air force, but later returned to Philly and worked at a post office while taking acting classes at night.  His big break came when he was performing on Broadway in New York in the production Purlie.  Television writer and producer Norman Lear was looking for a person to play a character that could stand up to Carroll O’Connor’s Archie Bunker on All in the Family, and had the hunch that Hemsley would be his guy.  After 2 years of Lear waiting, Hemsley joined the cast and George Jefferson was born.

George Jefferson captured America’s heart with his sly remarks, hunger for success, smooth dance moves, no-nonsense personality and big remarks.  Within two years, he was the star of his own sitcom The Jeffersons.  The show took on current social issues such as racism, integrated marriage, poverty and education.  Hemsley played the ignorant, money driven father who made you fall out of your chair laughing with his zingers but also made your heart melt with his underlying compassion for his family and others.  Reruns of The Jeffersons are still watched today.

After the Jefferson’s, Hemsley went to play Deacon Frye on another black casted sitcom Amen. The show was a depiction of African American values through the black church, and Frye was the deacon from everyone’s childhood who made you laugh, but worked hard to keep things running and together.

Througout his life, Hemsley’s career continued to blossom with guest appearances in other sitcoms and commercials, and music albums.

As Hemsley moves on up to that deluxe apartment in the sky, we will forever remember the feeling he gave us of anything is possible.  Rest in paradise Sherman Hemsley.

 

Rodney King gone at 47

Black History, Editorials

Rodney King, 1991 victim of a brutal police beating, was found dead at the bottom of his pool.

Can’t we all just get along!

That was the question Rodney King asked 21 years ago, after he was beat to what felt to him like death by police in 1991.  It is a a question many people still ask today.

Sadly, King will no longer question unfair treatment.  He was found dead Sunday, June 17 at the bottom of his backyard swimming pool.  He was 47.

We’ll Always Love Whitney

Black History, Editorials

August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012

One of my few childhood memories is watching “The Bodyguard” on T.V. waiting for the time when I could stand up and belt out my favorite song… “Don’t make me close one more door/ I don’t want to hurt anymore/ Stay in my arms if you dare/ Or must I Imagine you there/…I’ll have nothing”

At that age, I had no clue what the song meant.  But it still somehow spoke to my soul. Whitney Houston has been resonating with me since.

I could not contain my disbelief when I was first told International Pop Legend Whitney Houston was deceased.  I quickly turned to facebook and looked through status’s, that confirmed the truth.  I then googled the story.

Houston, 48, was found unconscious in the bathtub of her hotel suite Saturday.  She could not be revived by paramedics.