Stacey Abrams

Stacey Yvonne Abrams was born December 9, 1973 in Madison, WI. The second of six siblings, Abrams was born to Robert and Carolyn Abrams and raised in Gulfport, MS. Her family moved to Atlanta, GA allowing her parents to pursue graduate studies at Emory University, eventually becoming Methodist ministers. With parents who valued education, Abrams attended Avondale High School, graduating as their valedictorian. She went on to attend Spelman College, the #1 HBCU for over 10 years as reported by U.S. News and World Report (this author also graduated from Spelman, so I am biased)! As a Harry S. Truman Scholar, Abrams studied public policy at the University of Texas at Austin‘s LBJ School of Public Affairs, where she earned a Master of Public Affairs degree in 1998. In 1999, she earned a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.

As a student at Spelman College, Abrams was very active. She worked in the youth division office for Maynard Jackson, the mayor of Atlanta at that time and later interned with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Abrams was also an active participant in political and civil rights, a trait that is promoted at Spelman. She participated in a protest to replace the Georgia state flag. At that time, it still contained the Confederate flag image.

As a politician, Abrams was the Democratic nominee in 2018 for the Governor of the State of Georgia. Despite an excellent campaign, she was defeated in a controversial decision. This did not deter Abrams political career. She founded Fair Fight Action, an organization founded to address voter suppression, especially in Georgia and Texas.

Having served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017, Abrams had a prominent career in politics. She decided to continue her career by running for governor in 2018. The 2018 gubernatorial race received national attention for irregularities in voter access to the ballot. At the time, Brian Kemp was serving as Secretary of State for Georgia and was responsible for the state’s voter rolls. He stalled 50,000 votes, which was interpreted by Civil Rights groups as intentional voter suppression since his action affected predominantly black voters. Kemp gives a whole new meaning to be careful what you wish for, as he may have never foreseen the consequences of his actions.

Despite losing this election, Abrams was encouraged to and considered running for U.S. President. Ultimately, she decided to establish Fair Fight Action, commit to fighting voter suppression and go on to change the world as we know it today!

One of my Spelman sisters who I admittedly have only seen on campus as a student in 1991-92 and an alumni at campus events, I am so proud to call her my Spelman Sistah and share that she has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021.

A little known fact about Stacey Abrams is that she is also an author of fictional work! Under the pen name Selena Montgomery, Abrams is the award-winning author of several romantic suspense novels having sold over 100,000 copies. Abrams wrote her first book as a third year student at Yale Law. Check out Selena Montgomery’s books. You will be pleasantly surprised! Despite her busy schedule, her writing career is still flourishing. Abrams will publish her newest book under own name in May 2021. It is called When Justice Sleeps. I can’t wait to read it.

At a time when the intellect of people of color, veracity of American history and the value of Black women is questioned and distorted, it is so important to share the story of American people. As Black people and Black women, WE ARE Americans. We have a story to tell, and it is the success and work of people like Stacey Abrams that inspires and truly changes the world!


Check out this article on Stacey Abrams’s nomination for the Novel Peace Prize.

https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/politics/a35383161/stacey-abrams-nobel-peace-prize-nomination/?fbclid=IwAR2H56TN5ZS3xTxQzWMG7288-6-GZMIEe_aofOn5U7htykQy4TkMHASdIt0

Harriet Tubman

Anti-slavery crusader and Civil War veteran Harriet Tubman was born a slave named Araminta Ross some time between 1815 to 1822. The range of her estimated birth is so long because records were not maintained for slave births. She lives a life of service and was recognized as the first African American woman to appear on a U.S. postage stamp, the first in the Post Office’s Black Heritage Series.

Tubman’s appearance on stamps was emblematic both of the progress made in recognizing African Americans’ contributions to American history and of the ongoing effort to put abolitionists on equal footing with slaveowners in the nation’s historical canon.

Born to separated parents Harriet and Ben Ross on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Tubman was one of nine children. Known as “Minty” to her family and close friends, Tubman’s family struggled to stay together. Three of her sisters were sold to other slave owners, and Tubman was “loaned” out to other families on a regular basis as a tender-aged child under dangerous and unfavorable conditions.

Some time in her twenties, Tubman married a free Black man John Tubman. In honor of her mother Harriet or “Rit” as she was called, Tubman changed her name to Harriet, thus now known as Harriet Tubman. Marriages between free and enslaved Black people was common during the mid to late 19th century.

Underground Railroad routes as reported by the National Geographic Society

Tubman was a singular figure of the abolition movement, an enslaved woman who escaped captivity in Maryland and made at least 19 trips back to free more slaves. Tubman is estimated to have helped several hundred enslaved people find freedom in Canada via the Underground Railroad and is said to have “never lost a passenger.” During the Civil War, she freed 700 more when she led Union forces on a raid on Combahee Ferry in South Carolina. In her later life, though she had little money of her own, Tubman worked to house and feed the poor and became an important figure in the fight for women’s suffrage. Despite these extraordinary efforts, which earned her the epithet “the Moses of her people,” Tubman did not receive a pension for her services in the war until 1889 and died with little to her name.

Her deeds were not forgotten, however, and in the wake of the civil rights and Black Power movements there was a push to recognize overlooked figures like Tubman. Her inclusion in the Black Heritage Series put her alongside figures like Martin Luther King, Jr., Booker T. Washington and Jackie Robinson.

Despite being disabled as a teenager when an owner trying to stop the escape attempt of another slave, threw a large weight across a room, striking her in the head, Tubman achieved extraordinary things! Her life as a slave can only be described as cruel, inhumane, and abusive. Being just about 5 feet tall and small in stature and abused, she did not always receive the medical treatment that she required. Even after being accidentally hit in the head, she was not sent to a hospital for treatment, was sent back to work and suffered what we may call epileptic seizures foe the rest of her life. Despite her physical disability, Tubman had a string sense of community and justice. She freed herself on the 2nd attempt through the Underground Railroad and went on to free hundreds more, including her work with the Union army.

Justice delayed does not always mean Justice denied. In 2016, following years of calls from activists, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that Tubman’s face would replace that of President Andrew Jackson, a slaveowner and avowed white supremacist, on the twenty-dollar bill. The following year, Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, delayed the switch, saying, “We’ve got a lot more important issues to focus on.”

Although President Biden has only been in office for less than 30 days, his administration has prioritized recognizing Tubman’s accomplishments. In January 2021, President Biden’s administration announced they were taking steps to move forward with the redesign.

The facts and excerpts of this story are courtesy of History.com.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

On January 27, we celebrate International Holocaust Remembrance Day!

The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

How to Remember

International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration

Wednesday, January 27, 1 p.m. ET

During this ceremony, leaders from the United States and Europe will join Holocaust survivors in conveying the urgent responsibility we all share to protect the lessons and legacy of Holocaust history and to defend the truth—now more than ever.

Learn more about the Holocaust. You must know your history to plan for your future.

Warnock for America

The Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock has been elected to the United States Senate and was sworn in on January 20, 2021 by Vice President Kamala D. Harris.

Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock

I will never get tired of sharing that statement. He is my Morehouse brother, classmate and friend, my forever Pastor, and the best person for the job! It is with immense pride and joy that I share this news over and over and over again.

In Senator Warnock, Georgia has an advocate for everyday people with everyday needs. Georgia has a PUBLIC SERVANT, not a politician. Georgia has hope for the needs of her families, her community, her future. Georgia has a man who will advocate for not some of the people, but ALL GEORGIANS!! America has a servant who will learn, lead and live by example.

I’m so proud of you my friend. Brava!!

Raphael and Monica

Gov. Hogan Calling for Schools to Open by 3/1/2021. Why?

Today, I am sharing the Maryland Governor’s plan to force schools to begin opening by March 1st or face legal action. Has the Governor’s office reached out to each school system or is he and the Maryland Superintendent dictating from their offices? I suggest that instead of threatening legal action, the State of Maryland officials should learn from President Biden and find ways to work together, not make arbitrary threats. They should find common ground and work with public school systems. It seems that since he took office and defunded the Baltimore City Public School Systems, he is much better equipped to dictate than he is to work cohesively with his colleagues. While Larry Hogan has done a good job at mandating masks in Maryland and showed leadership when there was a lack of leadership on the federal level, he has not shown a capacity to work with local leadership to support ALL MARYLANDERS and not just the businesses and constituents who support you.

Don’t take my opinion. Read the plan to return to the classroom that the Maryland Governor posted and let me know what you think.

Maryland Governor Hogan Plan to return to in-class learning by March 1st

Habari gani!?! Imani

Today is Day 7 of Kwanzaa when we focus on the principle of Imani or Faith!

Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday held annually from December 26 to January 1. The word “Kwanzaa” itself comes from the Kiswahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning “first fruits [of the harvest].” At its core, Kwanzaa celebrates family, culture, community, and the harvest.

Kwanzaa highlights seven principles, known as the Nguzo Saba, represented by each day of the seven-day celebration. These principles are unity(umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility(ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (imani).

Kwanzaa was created and developed by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966, making it a new holiday despite being steeped in rich African history and customs. Since Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, many people celebrate it along with Christmas, Hanukkah or other religious holidays. It is celebrated primarily in North America and the Caribbean.

The principles of Kwanzaa are designed to educate and empower individual development and community awareness. During Kwanzaa, people greet one another with the expression, “Habari gani” or “What’s the news!?!” The response is the expression associated with that Day of Kwanza. It is based on the principle for Day 7 that is the foundation for my 2021!

Each year, I choose a ‘word of the year’ that will define my devotions, words and actions. This year, I choose Imani. It is such a beautiful word and the basis for everything that I plan. I will act, speak and walk in faith, by faith and with faith – today and everyday!

“I believe with all my heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, (our collective community) and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.” Everything that I am and do in 2021 is based on and guided by this principle!

Happy Kwanzaa and Happy New Year💋

Women Deserve Shame-free, Outrageously Enjoyable Orgasms. Let’s Make that Happen!

Year after year, women are becoming more comfortable with their sexuality and asking for what they want in the bedroom, but there’s still a significant gap in orgasms reported by heterosexual men and women across the board.

One study says “heterosexual men were most likely to say they usually-always orgasmed when sexually intimate (95%), followed by gay men (89%), bisexual men (88%), lesbian women (86%), bisexual women (66%), and heterosexual women (65%) (Frederick et al., 2018). Let’s take a closer look at this information.

Of all women, lesbian women reported that they experience orgasms more often than bisexual and heterosexual women when sexually intimate. Only about two-thirds of heterosexual women report that they usually have orgasms when having sex. Shocking, right? So why is there a 30% gap between heterosexual men and women?

Let’s start with the fact that sexual pleasure is still somewhat of a taboo topic. It’s rarely discussed in sexual education, and when it comes to women, often not discussed at all. We’ve been taught that it’s normal for a man to want and enjoy frequent sex, whereas many women are shamed and stigmatized for sharing those same desires. It’s true, the world is becoming a more sex-positive place, but many women still feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about their sexual desires and pleasure with a partner. Lack of communication can lead to a variety of outcomes such as faking or pretending to orgasm (please stop doing this!), having mediocre sex, or feeling sexually inhibited—meaning, there’s a low desire for sexual experiences or a lack of comfort during those experiences. These outcomes are not only harmful to your pleasure and satisfaction but they’re hindering you from living your best sex life. Talking about sex and pleasure with a partner doesn’t just strengthen your relationship but it can lead to sexual liberation, overall sexual satisfaction and, are you ready? … MORE ORGASMS!

Studies show that engaging in a variety of sexual behaviors during intimate encounters contribute to the experience of orgasms. It’s also important to note that not all orgasms are the same. Nearly 1 out of 5 (18%) women said that intercourse alone is sufficient for an orgasm, about 2 out of 5 (36%) women said they needed clitoral stimulation for an orgasm, and another 2 out of 5 (36%) women said that clitoral stimulation is not essential, however, their orgasms feel better if the clitoris is stimulated during intercourse.

To stimulate or Not to Stimulate. That’s the question.

The takeaway here is that women’s sexual arousal preferences vary. The desire for genital touching (i.e., clitoral stimulation, vaginal fingering, oral sex) and the duration of these activities, varies also. Additional factors that can impact someone’s ability to experience an orgasm include stress, feeling depressed, and taking certain medications, amongst others. Typically, women take more time to reach full arousal compared to their male partners, which can also be a factor.

How Do We Close the Gap?

In order to close the orgasm gap, sexual communication needs to happen. Partners can encourage this communication by playing sexual games, talking about sexual fantasies, and/or discussing sexual activities that have been pleasurable in the past. If you’re a woman who needs more stimulation during sex, consider adding a toy into the mix. If you need tips on how to build intimacy with a partner, check out our 7 step guide to next-level physical intimacy. Interested in spicing things up a bit? Dive into the world of kink!

The bottom line is—your sexual satisfaction is just as important, and just as deserved, as your partner’s. The goal isn’t always achieving orgasm, it’s having fun and being present in the experience. Sex is about being able to be authentic, free, relaxed, and comfortable. Enjoy the process, and you will find the goal. Let your pleasure be your measure.

Original Material provided from The Buzz by Pure Romance.

The Buzz by PR

WHEN YOU THINK OF SEX, WHAT COMES TO MIND FIRST?

An article courtesy of buzz.pureromance.com

Is it the thought of being stimulated and aroused by a variety of activities like kissing, sucking, licking? Or do you think about penetration and orgasms?

Regardless of what you think about first, did you know that all of these types of activities are phases of the sexual response cycle? Our sexual response cycle is the progression of physical and emotional changes that happens when we are sexually aroused and engaged in activities that are sexually stimulating. The sexual response cycle, developed by Masters and Johnson, is a four-phase model to describe these changes during sexual stimulation.

Sexual stimulation often begins with desire, or interest in sexual activity. A person’s desire can be heightened by our hormones, words and gestures by our partners, and even by our senses. Yes, you guessed it, this includes the things we see, smell, hear, touch, or taste. According to the sexual response model, sexual desire is not required, but it can definitely add to the experience.

FOUR PHASES OF THE SEXUAL RESPONSE CYCLE:

Arousal (or excitement) – The first phase in which physical or mental activities lead to sexual arousal. Activities in this phase can include but are not limited to kissing, touching, oral and anal play. In this phase, the heart rate increases, genitalia become hardened or erect (nipples, clitoris, penis), and vaginal walls begin to lubricate.

Plateau – In this phase, sexual arousal increases as well as sexual pleasure. Signs of this phase include rapid heart rate and a variation of shorter breaths or deep, long breaths. In this phase, a penis may release fluid (pre-ejaculatory or pre-cum) and the clitoris may become extremely sensitive.

Orgasm – This phase is the end of the plateau phase and often symbolized by quick muscle contractions or spasms that are involuntary. This phase is commonly associated with ejaculation (cum) from a penis. The orgasmic phase is also associated with increased vaginal lubrication. The sensation is described as intense sexual pleasure, however each orgasm may vary in the ways in which it is achieved (or experienced).

Resolution – In this phase, the body recovers sexual stimulation. The muscles begin to relax, blood pressure goes down, heart rate is restored, and breathing returns to its typical pattern. This phase is also the time the body needs before starting the cycle all over again. This period of time, also called the refractory period, can be shorter for women (or persons with a vagina) than for men (or persons with a penis).

Okay, so based on this information, here are some things to consider:
Many of us have heard several ideas about how sex should go, whether is the baseball analogy of “first base, second base, third base, homerun” or this idea that sex follow a script of foreplay then sex, then orgasm. Consider rethinking the idea that sexual experiences end with experiencing an orgasm. This way of thinking can limit sexual pleasure, especially because not all sexual activities – pleasurable, sexual experiences – will lead to an orgasmic experience.

According to the sexual response cycle, excitement and resolution are the longest phases, lasting minutes to hours. Orgasm is the shortest, lasting only a few seconds. This drives home the point that sexual stimulation during the arousal/excitement phase is actually one of the more important (and longest) phases of the cycle. Consider taking your time to enjoy the experiences and activities that are occurring. This can be a time of sexual exploration and liberation, a time to spice things up, or simply to slow things down. Don’t rush through it, enjoy it!

Lastly, keep in mind that women (or persons with genitalia including a vagina and clitoris) can experience multiple orgasms with little to no “down” time. Sexual stimulation can start over quickly, however, this is not a one-size-fits-all idea. Sometimes further stimulation does not lead to excitement, and in this instance, intimacy or rest may be the next best option.

If you would like to learn more about orgasms, take a look at these articles, Orgasm Gap and Outrageous Orgasm. Need a sexual liberating playlist?

Apples and Orgasms

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what can an orgasm do! By now, we all know the “Big O” feels good, but did you know it’s good for you, too? The benefits of an orgasm go far beyond pleasure. In fact, orgasms have an array of important health benefits for your mind, body, and beyond! As if you needed another excuse to have an orgasm, right?

1 – Reduces Stress: In her book, “The Orgasms Answer Guide,” sexuality educator, counselor, and researcher Dr. Beverly Whipple explains that orgasms happen when the hormone oxytocin is released from nerve cells in the hypothalamus. The chemical oxytocin that is released into the bloodstream stimulates feelings of warmth and relaxation. Although you might not have known the science behind it, we’re willing to bet you’ve experienced this too! In fact, a study done by clinical psychologist and sex therapist Carol Rinkleib Ellison found that 39% of women between the ages of 23 and 90 who masturbate claimed they did so in order to relax. So…sit back, Big O, and relax!

2 – A Fountain of Youth: The post-sex glow is no myth! Orgasms raise the levels of estrogen in your body which prevents the decrease of collagen, which, you guessed it, helps maintain your skins youthful appearance! Studies show that having sex three times a week with your partner can make you look 10 years younger!

3 – Pain Relief: Believe or not! An orgasm can help reduce your pain levels. Now that’s a new one! Remember that chemical oxytocin we mentioned earlier that helps relieve stress? That’s not the only thing this magical hormone does! Oxytocin, along with other endorphins that are released when you orgasm, are linked to relieving all kinds of pain. In her research, Dr. Whipple found when women masturbated to orgasm, their pain tolerance increased from almost 75% to over 105%!