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March 1, 2017 is the start of Women’s History Month 2017! It’s also Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten Season!  

Wow!! That’s a mouthful. Who had any idea that one day could have so much going on. Well, actually, women do, so it’s appropriate. There will be a lot to share and say and process this month as we celebrate women while remembering those that came before us and the last days of a man who made the ultimate sacrifice for no other reason than LOVE. 

So today, As we prepare to make short-term sacrifices, I want to share the writings of a woman whose writing I admire. 

In her blog, “Pinch Me Living with Bernadette Logue,” she expresses, 

We are all beautiful human beings here in this world trying to find our way.

Every day we seek to better understand the meaning of our lives. We long to discover our gifts and release them fully into the world, and we hope to find happiness and peace along the way.

For some of us these desires ring loud and clear, driving what we do and how we do it.

For others, these deep seeded needs are buried below the noise of daily life, below ego, below fear, below the pressures and norms that we face in society… and thus, they are rarely addressed.
Along my own journey of self-actualization, I’ve witnessed many great people discover their own paths to happiness and self-fulfilment, and I’ve noticed common themes emerge.

In all cases, the happiness they discover and gradually develop internally is seeded by the realization of certain fundamental truths.

It seems we are all here to realize these truths, in our own way, in our own time. And once they resonate fully, not just intellectually, but emotionally and spiritually, we are then able to find the happiness and peace we seek…

At this point, she shares concepts for self-actialization. The things that you need to embody to realize peace and self-satisfaction. One thing I appreciate about humans is that we are free to agree in some areas and not in others. For those that have a mantra, a saying that motivates and reminds you of the potential you possess, say it daily and keep these things in mind.

1. It’s impossible for anyone to define you. Only you can do that. 

2. You were born with everything you need. 

3. Perfection is a man-made illusion. Strive for progress, betterment, knowledge, NOT perfection. 

4. You are not your thoughts. 

5. Your beliefs can be modified to lift you up. 

6. Now is the moment. Be true to it!

7. Your calling is to fully express who you already are. 

8. Challenges are gifts for your growth. 

9. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. It’s for you!

10. Surrender is the gateway into sustainable inner peace. 

Post these principles over the best 40 days of Lent or for the entire life. It could make all the difference. 

52 Years After the Loss of our Black Prince

malcolm2  52 Years ago today, on February 21, 1965, Malcolm X, described as ‘our shining Black prince’, was assassinated in Manhattan’s Audobon Ballroom.  His body riddled with bullets, 21 in all including 10 buckshots from a single shot-gun blast.

Recently, an elementary student asked about Malcolm X.  Not being prepared with a response, the teacher could only respond that he was a man who believed in fighting for civil and human rights “by any means necessary” insinuating a more violent leader than another civil rights activist of that time.  I don’t know that it was her intention to invoke violence in the conversation.  Nevertheless, her words portrayed a comparison that was not lost on her audience.  In fairness, that’s how the some Americans may see this man, voiced by the responses to his death in 1965.

Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in a telegram to his widow Betty Shabazz, “While we did not always see eye to eye on methods to solve the race problem, I always had a deep affection for Malcolm and felt that he had a great ability to put his finger on the existence and root of the problem. He was an eloquent spokesman for his point of view and no one can honestly doubt that Malcolm had a great concern for the problems that we face as a race.

Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam at that time, stated “Malcolm X got just what he preached.”  Some allege that this is in response to allegations that the Nation of Islam took part in his assassination.

Various publications gave varying views of this death.  The New York Times described Malcolm X as, “an extraordinary and gifted man” whose life was “strangely and pitifully wasted.”  While The New York Post portrayed a man whose “sharpest critics recognized his brilliance—often wild, unpredictable and eccentric, but nevertheless possessing promise that must now remain unrealized.”  Time magazine labeled him a demagogue whose “creed was violence.

It is the voice of Ossie Davis who eulogized Malcolm X in the presence of notable civil rights leaders of that time, such as, John Lewis, James Forman, Andrew Young and many others, states:

malcolm3Malcolm X “didn’t hesitate to die, because he loved us so. There are those who will consider it their duty, as friends of the Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to flee, even from the presence of his memory, to save ourselves by writing him out of the history of our turbulent times. Many will ask what Harlem finds to honor in this stormy, controversial and bold young captain—and we will smile. Many will say turn away—away from this man, for he is not a man but a demon, a monster, a subverter and an enemy of the black man—and we will smile. They will say that he is of hate—a fanatic, a racist—who can only bring evil to the cause for which you struggle! And we will answer and say to them: Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him, or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? Did he ever do a mean thing? Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance? For if you did you would know him. And if you knew him you would know why we must honor him … And, in honoring him, we honor the best in ourselves.

Malcolm X was killed just as he was beginning to think for himself, as he was taking the knowledge gained through his life’s experiences to develop a new way for Black liberation. No one can deny his love of Black people, and his desire to see them unshackled.  Had he lived, we have no idea how his beliefs may have developed.  We are only left with his own words and our interpretation of their growth captured in his speech, “Ballot or the Bullet” April 3, 1964, less than one year preceding his death.

Many will remember Malcolm X.  Many will remember those that lived during and after his time.  Today, I remember a man who understood the life of Blacks who lived above the Mason-Dixon line with a struggle very different from their Southern counterparts.  Today, I remember a man misunderstood by some who started a movement that continues into the 21st Century.  Black is Beautiful Brother Malcolm. Thank you for allowing us to feel it.

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Related Article: The Legacy of Malcolm X

Facts from First 100 Days as of 1/31/2017

Check out the results of round 1 below!!!!!

One month in office…almost to the day.  Hey GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES!!!! You are next. He promises smaller government, so some of you have to go!!! 

In Case You Missed It! Things just got real!!!  The Senate voted 51 to 48 in late January:1. To end coverage for pre-existing conditions, veterans benefits, and aid to rural hospitals.

2. To remove discrimination protection for women in healthcare.

3. Against the provision allowing children to remain on their parent’s insurance till the age of 26.

4. To cut off funding for the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

5. Against ACA contraceptive coverage and maternity care provision.

6. To direct committees to send budget legislation to defund and repeal the Affordable Care Act.
For those who get health insurance through work, no pre-existing conditions. Lifetime caps for coverage are back for everyone. Real and disastrous actions are being taken that will affect more than just the 20-30 million people who will lose their health care coverage and the 3 million people who will lose their jobs.

Despite their assertions of this being an action to “repeal and replace,” no viable alternative plan has been proposed.

The House voted Friday 227-198 to repeal Obamacare. 

As of this moment, no replacement exists.

Wake up and Vote in All Elections. Mid-terms, which will be 2018, are just as important as the General. The Health of Our Country is at stake. Make your Voice heard with your Vote.
#dontbedistracted

He Who Must Not Be Named

It was the best of times… Many of us are feeling so sort of way. Between the election results, today’s social, political and economic climate, Super Bowl LI, and the list could go on, we just find it hard some days, some moments to deal with “It”; however you define It.

A friend shared Bernice King’s (the daughter of MLK Jr.) advice on how to deal with It:


“1. Don’t use his name; EVER it’s like acknowledging the class clown (45, he who will not be named, Him upstairs, Mista, etc will do)

Briggsy Note: it’s like “he who must not be named” in the Harry Potter series! If it works for Michelle Obama, Dumbledore and Bernice King, it works for me. 

2. Remember this is a REGIME and he’s NOT acting alone;

Briggsy note: what is happening is very strategic. While certain world leaders may be using 45, so is the GOP.

3. Do not argue with those who support him – it doesn’t work;

Briggsy note: this speaks for itself! Anything else I could add would only solicit negative reactions and feedback. 

4. Focus on his policies, not his orange-ness and mental state;

Briggsy note: these are distractions from what is really important, which includes Hitler-like rhetoric, business interests, taxes, relationship with his children, where his wife lives, etc. 

5. Keep your message positive; they want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow;

6. No more helpless/hopeless talk;

Briggsy note: Focus on what’s important in your life. I’ve started spending less time on social media because I found it affected my mood. Focus on those things that you can control, keep your thoughts positive, your words, deeds and disposition will follow. It’s contagious! 

7. Support artists and the arts;

Briggsy note: Go to the theater, symphony or a play. Follow @randallstownmom for local news on the arts and artists. The page is being updated weekly. 

8. Be careful not to spread FAKE news. Check it, check it twice;

Briggsy note: get your news from reputable organizations and news programs. There is a lot of fake news being spread. Be vigilant. 

9. Take care of yourselves; and

Briggsy note: learn to say ‘No’ sometimes. Be true to yourself first. You can’t help others when you don’t take care of you. I’m the first person that needs to take this advice. 

10. Resist!

Keep demonstrations peaceful. In the words of John Lennon, “When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight! Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.”

When you post or talk about him, don’t assign his actions to him, assign them to “The Republican Administration,” or “The Republicans.” 

Briggsy note: only post about he who must not be named if you must and only if you must. He does not deserve that much attention from you. Plus it’s so much bigger than one man. Don’t let the GOP play you. 

Reassigning his actions will have several effects: Republican legislators will either have to take responsibility for their association with him or stand up for what some of them don’t like; he will not get the focus of attention he craves; Republican representatives will become very concerned about their re-elections.

Briggsy final note for this post: It’s time to change our focus, be purposeful in our actions and know that our future is bright. Stay sexy in a great pair of shades!

Happy 125th Birthday Bessie Coleman

bessiecolemanBessie Coleman was an American civil aviator. She was the first African-American woman to hold a pilot license and also the first American woman to hold an international pilot license.

Born on January 26, 2017 in Atlanta, TX, Bessie Coleman was one of ten siblings born to George and Susan Coleman.  Education was important to the Coleman family, so starting at age 6, Bessie walked  4 miles to her one-room, segregated school daily.  After completing 8 grades, Ms. Coleman’s life of school, chores and church was changed.  To help improve family finances, her dad changed jobs moving to Oklahoma, but his family could not go with him. It was then that Bessie received a scholarship to attend the Missionary Baptist Church School.  Upon graduation, she attended the Oklahoma Agricultural and Normal University (now Langston University) but only had enough money saved for tuition for one year, when she was forced to return home.

Bessie Coleman moved in 1916 to Chicago to live with her brothers.  She took on several jobs to save enough money to pursue her dreams and become a pilot.  While American schools admitted neither women nor Blacks, she could have easily given up on her goals and settled for what was available in the U.S.A.  She choose not to do that!

Because of her hard-work, determination, and persistence, Bessie Coleman was encouraged and sponsored to take French-speaking lessons and pursue her dreams in Europe.  In November 1920, Bessie Coleman traveled to Paris to study and learned to fly a Nieuport 82 biplane.  She became the first African-American-Native American woman to earn her license to pilot a plane on June 15, 1921.

Bessie Coleman is an inspiration to us all, not just African-American and Native American women.  She teaches us that no matter how hard things may be, no matter what you have to go through, no matter what obstacles stand in your way, you should never give up.  We are as successful as we choose to be.  Greatness is in your future!  You just need to choose to pursue it!

Happy Birthday Bessie Coleman!  Thank you for your leadership and service!  Thank you for being an inspiration!  Thank you for showing us how to be GREAT!