It may seem strange that we celebrate the death of a young, vibrate, Black woman who served her community and was simultaneously struck down by it because her life meant less to someone with a little power.
Breonna Taylor is a 26-year-old Black woman, who was fatally shot in her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment on March 13, 2020. Exactly one year ago today, three plain clothes white officers arrived at her home as part of a drug investigation and shot her to death. Those are the facts. We can discuss the nuances, reasons and details for why they happened, but when you get to the least common denominator of this situation, those are the facts.
A friend wrote on her timeline that Breonna Taylor should be home enjoying her family. And she could. I cried when I read it.
Today was a great day foe my family. My nephew and his team won the Big East Championship for the first time their school’s history. He is headed to the NCAA! It is amazing 🤩 Last year, they were right at this point last year when the pandemic happened. Covid-19 stripped them of the opportunity to win the Big East. This year they made it and I was so happy foe him and his parents that I could almost burst.
But I could not celebrate without remembering the sacrifice of Breonna’s family on this same day in history. I thought about the fact that as I celebrate, her mother continues to relive what may be the worst day of her life. No one has paid a price for her sorrow. No one is accountable for the fact that three (3) plain clothes officers entered a woman’s home and shot 32 bullets hitting her 6 times. They never even search her home, and no one has been charged in her death. Despite my joy today, I cry for yesterday… and cannot live without working to keep it from happening again. #sayhername #BreonnaTaylor
At the young age of 14, Lynda Blackmon was allowed to march from Selma to Montgomery.
In the height of the Civil Rights Movement, hundreds marched from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in a nonviolent protest for voting rights. February 2020, Bay Area News 9 wrote these words sharing her story, her struggles and how she continues to live with the aftermath of Bloody Sunday.
“But the March 1965 demonstration was met with violence in what is now known as “Bloody Sunday.”
For Lynda Blackmon, the youngest demonstrator allowed to march that day, it’s still hard to talk about.
“I can’t forget those feelings to this day,” said Blackmon, who was 14.
She was hit twice in the forehead and shoved to the ground.
“I was running into a cloud of tear gas and this man was running, beating me, hitting me in my head,” Blackmon said.
The book Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom tells her story.
Blackmon said she became involved in the movement at 7 years old after her mother died.”
Learn about the women of the civil rights movement. They may not be household names but they are living history. Women have a story to tell. Learn their stories. This woman who walked with some of our civil rights giants had been through a tremendous ordeal at a young age. She had lost her Mother, her foundation, the person who loved and cared for her. For her to even participate in civil rights was a tremendous feat and a testimony to her mother, her tribe, her community. Learn the stories of everyday people in your community. It will change your life, change your perspective.
Black History happens everyday by the extraordinary women and men who stand on the shoulders of our ancestors fighting for a life that is better today and tomorrow than it was yesterday. Renee Danielle Montgomery made not just Black History in 2021 but American history. She saw injustice in the league that she had played for 11 years and decided that she would either be part of the problem or the solution. What a solution she found.
Renee Montgomery just bought out Kelly Loefler’s stake of the Atlanta Dream, the WNBA team which she owned when she was appointed as a US Senator foe the great state of Georgia and lost to the Honorable Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock in November 2020. What makes this so spectacular and newsworthy is that Ms. Montgomery decided to take off a year after Ms. Loefler threw her Black team members under the bus during her campaign. Those same team members and along with others in the WNBA banded together to support Rev. Warnock against their team’s owner.
In the summer of 2020, members of the Atlanta Dream and Phoenix Mercury came together on national television wearing Black t-shirts with bold white letters that read “VOTE WARNOCK” in all caps. At the time, some members of the WNBA didn’t even know who or what Warnock was. Now the world knows!
One of the leaders of this movement was Renee Montgomery. She made the conscious decision to ignite a campaign against the team’s former owner and won. She asked to meet with the team owner and respectfully discuss their differences. This now former team owner decided not to meet with Ms. Montgomery and her allies for political reasons. That was a mistake on her part. Ms. Montgomery and her allies went on to support Rev. Warnock helping him win his campaign on January 5, 2021. Ms. Montgomery would not stop there.
With the support of her teammates, fans, the community and eventually the league, the stakes owned by the now defeated Loefler were bought by Ms. Montgomery and an ownership group that she joined. In just one year, Renee Montgomery went from being an Atlanta Dream team player to an Atlanta Dream team owner.
Renee Danielle Montgomery has only just begun which in my book make her one of the the greatest! To learn more about Renee Montgomery and the Atlanta Dream, please visit the following links. She is Black History. She is American History. She is Women’s History!
Smith & Company is a leading strategic and crisis communications firm with offices in D.C. and Los Angeles. Smith honed her skills through experience with some of the most historic events of our time, including the Iran Contra investigation, the prosecution of former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry and the 1991 Gulf War. Smith has also served as a consultant for high profile, entertainment clients including actor Wesley Snipes & NFL quarterback Michael Vick. As a result of her ground breaking career, Shonda Rhimes, developed Scandal, a television drama about the world of crisis management.
To learn more about Judy Smith, visit her website: Judy Smith
As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, allow me to highlight one of my Spelman Sisters!!
Rosalind ‘Roz’ Brewer from our Mighty C/O Spelman ‘84, is leaving her Chief Operating Officer position @ Starbucks to become CEO of Walgreens! Wow! Stocks are responding favorably! Congratulations to my Spelman Sister!
Roz Brewer becomes the only Black woman leading a Fortune 500 company. The ‘Glass Ceiling’ has been shattered!💥🔥💥
If you don’t know me, you don’t know exactly how much I love and admire Whoopi Goldberg. Not because many have compared us in looks and attitude but because I admire her independence, her ability to pave a way for women in comedy, acting and advocacy. I love her as much as I can a person who I’ve never met.
Now let me be clear, I am not a person who is enamored with celebrity or famous people. But there are a few people living and dead that if I could have lunch, coffee or just a brief meeting, it would mean the world to me. I’ve shared my admiration here for Muhammad Ali, Billie Holiday, Malcolm X. You can add Whoopi Goldberg to that list.
Caryn Elaine Johnson, known professionally as Whoopi Goldberg, is an American actress, comedian, author, and television personality. A recipient of numerous accolades, Goldberg is one of sixteen entertainers to have won an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Tony Award. She is an original!
Currently Whoopi Goldberg is the lead host on “The View” and leads that group as she has so many others I suspect. She is opinionated, thoughtful, insightful, responsive, helpful, informative, insightful, legendary, beautiful, amazing, hilarious, sarcastic, groundbreaking, iconic, the list just goes on.
So as we begin Women’s History Month, we celebrate that I know and those that I wish I had meet in their lifetimes and mine. We will celebrate the Randallstown Moms who live and love in my immediate community, the civil rights icons who used their platforms to advocate for equality and human rights, the women of the Bible who set an example thousands of years ago that holds true today. We will celebrate the women who molded and raised me, the women who shaped my girls and me, and the women in our collective family who watch over us everyday as we achieve greatness, become icons like Whoopi! Happy Women’s Month to you all #themonthofwomen #whoruntheworld #knowourstory #randallstownmom
It’s been 33 years since the release of the legendary film with iconic characters created by Eddie Murphy. It was the first time that my generation saw Black Royalty on the big screen. It is etched in our hearts and minds forever! How many people still quote the original “Coming to America!” Who knows “sexual chocolate” and what is it? Is it true that the first mic drop was in the original “Coming to America”? How many people wanted to go to Zamunda before we had ever heard of Wakanda?
Eddie Murphy is a living legend that I have admired and laughed with since SNL and “Delirious”. He is a comedic and storytelling genius. A native New Yorker, Brooklyn born and bred, he was my school girl crush when the rest of my peers were pining over Prince and Michael Jackson. Now don’t get me wrong I loved Prince, but Murphy was who I wanted to bring home to Momma. 😝 I can’t wait to share both movies with my family and friends. To see Shari Headley looking amazing 30 years later. Who else will return? Whose been added to the cast? It’s going to be epic!
One of the things that makes this movie so special is the new generation of actors who star in the film, including Murphy’s daughter Bella Murphy. She auditioned like every other actor and worked hard to get the part. This was not just handed to her. What an awesome opportunity to work with her Dad and some of the greatest actors of our time.
Jermaine Fowler, Kiki Layne and Teyana Taylor are also featured, and they will not disappoint. Of course many of the Black actors that we have come to know and love will return for this latest edition to Murphy’s portfolio.
No matter what, this film is getting lots of buzz. This film enthusiast is excited that Murphy has given us a look into their lives 30 years later. Eddie Murphy is Black History! I would have been remiss to not include this living legend in my Black History Month series!
I saw this list online and had to share the quantifiable markers that point to the success of HBCUs and the people who matriculate through its halls. HBCUs are as necessary and relevant today as they were with the founding of the first HBCU in Cheyney, PA in 1837.
While HBCUs account for only 3% of the nation’s colleges and universities, they account for about 20% of the degrees awarded to African Americans.
Over half of all African-American professionals are HBCU graduates.
In 2015-16, HBCUs granted 14% of all Bachelor’s Degrees conferred to African-Americans, 6% of all Master’s Degrees, and 11% of all Doctorates.
HBCUs produce 19% of undergraduate science graduates and 20.1 percent of black undergraduate engineering graduates.
Forty percent of African Americans receiving four-year degrees from HBCUs are in STEM areas.
Twenty-four percent of all Ph.D.s earned each year by African Americans are conferred by twenty-four (24) HBCUs.
HBCUs graduate 50% of African-American teaching professionals.
Among African-Americans, 80% of judges graduated from an HBCU.
Seventy percent of African-American dentists earned degrees at HBCUs and 44.2% earned their dental degrees from an HBCU dental school.
HBCUs produce 70 percent of all black dentists and doctors, 50 percent of black engineers and public school teachers, and 35 percent of black lawyers.
HBCUs boasts an excess of $10.2 billion positive impact on the nation’s economy