There's a Google ad that I love. It's the Most Searched: A Celebration of Black History Makers/ Moments in American History
It gives me chills of pride and joy so large whenever I watch it. As a matter of fact, It's been viewed over 72 million times!
In only one minute and thirty seconds some of the most famous people of color are displayed. If you don't know them, do some homework and Google search whatever the video tells you to.
Many of us know that Black History Month used to last only a week. Hopefully, we are starting to celebrate our history more often. I try to celebrate my history everyday, because I never want it to be lost or forgotten. In doing so, I don't only look to the past, because we are creating history right now.
If you could be anything that you've ever wanted to be, what would that entail? I tell my son that there are no wrong answers, not with decisions like these and you can change your mind at anytime. The decisions that you make today, may lead you to exactly where you need to be tomorrow. What will your role be; In your family, within your tribe, in your community, and in the world?
I have people all around me who are really making an impact not only within their family, but in their immediate world as well, or they're about to... Something or everything about them inspires me, because with cultivation and diligence, they only get bigger everyday.
My little sister, Chels is quite frankly one of the most dependable people that I know. Outside of being an integral part of DreamYard and The Brown Girl Recovery, she is also a web developer and a Howard University graduate. She reshaped the look of my website and I am so grateful, because I didn't want to do it myself. If you are looking for someone to help create or maintain your digital space she's your girl. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
To know Jasz is to absolutely love her. She danced her way into my life at a book signing event back in 2014 and I've been gravitating towards her ever since. She's an author, a fellow single mom and a motivational speaker. Her videos and dialogue keeps me going, because she's so full of life. Check out her book, How I Single Mom It and or find her on Instagram or Facebook @HowISingleMomIt.
SHANNON DAVIS - SHANNON DAVIS PHOTOGRAPHY
My friend, Shannon wears many hats. She's a supervising nurse, an author, a mom and a photographer. She very recently photographed me (find some of those pictures in my About section) at home in Harlem during the pandemic. If you're looking for someone to capture you as you are right now, look no further. She specializes in boudoir, bridal, pregnancy, baby and lifestyle photos. She's extremely professional, on time and gives a special touch of care. Shannon is located in New Jersey and will quite possibly travel to anywhere in the tri-state area. Check her out at www.shannondavisphotography.com
JOYCE THOMPSON - EKLEKTIC DESIGNS
Outside of her day job, Joyce has a thrift & consignment boutique in Englishtown, New Jersey and is also a jewelry maker. Her earrings are custom and fairly light to wear in your ears and makes any outfit pop. Take a look at what she has to offer on Facebook at Things I Like - Back on the Rack or on Instagram @joyce_things_i_like
CJ PHILLIPS VISUALS
My cousin, Phil takes the most breathtaking photos. He's located in Oakland, California, travels as a musician as well a photographer. He can pretty much take care of all of your visual needs. He does videography, cinematography, video editing, graphic design and specializes in commercials. See about him you won't regret it. Instagram: @cjphillipsvisualsllc
PAUL PHILLIP: LITTYATURE
My cousin, Paul is a local rapper from Harlem. He has just started a line of hoodies, joggers and t-shirts for his new clothing line Littyature. Keep an eye out for him. He's on the rise as a writer, rapper and entrepreneur.
CAROL MOORE - MOORE EMOTIONAL WELLNESS
If you're looking for a soothing pick me up, try these calm scents on your next self care Sunday or any day for that matter. There are so many fragrances to choose from. There are these cute bundles (which I personally like to send as gifts) for $30 which consists of body butter, an aromatherapy candle, bath soak and a creamy bar of homemade soap. I really must get better at ordering them for myself. I'm excited to get my hands on the turmeric soap. www.mooreemotionalwellness.bigcartel.com
EVA MILES - ANNA'S HOUSE &
TRINITI KELLY - SUGA SUGA KIDS CHARITIES
This grandmother and granddaughter duo hails from Dallas, Texas and shows us that giving back can be a family affair. Ms. Eva has made it her lifetime's work to give back and help out. Her current charity is Anna's House and A Way Out project which "is an organization dedicated to community development and providing women facing domestic violence a safe environment and the resources to effectively change their lives." She really doesn't stop there, because during the recent storms and power outages in Texas, she along with her colleagues and about 40-70 volunteers handed out tents and sleeping bags to the homeless population and cases of food to over 100 families in her area. If you're looking for a charity to get behind, check out awayoutproject.org
Think you are too young to give back or lend a hand? Think again. Trin has been at this giving game since she was a young child. Suga Suga Kids started off as a dream because she was always hanging around with her grandmother, Ms. Eva and she thought it was fun seeing her help others. So, she started a toy drive that continued even through the pandemic. Her charity provides new toys to all the kids who's families can not afford to buy them presents at Christmas time. This family gives me such a warm feeling and I am so happy to know them. Go to Triniti's Facebook nonprofit organization page, Suga Suga Kids Charities and hit the LIKE button. Don't take my word for it, check out her Black Nativity Christmas Special video.
JAH'CHINA DE LEON
One of my favorite types of people in the world are young artists and this one is still learning at Parsons School of Design. Lucky for you, she's open for commissions. I had the pleasure of meeting Jah'China at a DreamYard event and she agreed to create two pieces for me. One is a portrait and I love it so very much every single day.
You can find her on Instagram: @Sunny_mind_state
Keeping up with the theme of talented artists of color, this young lady hails from New Jersey. I saw one painting and had to have it. Luckily, I know her mother and had an in and got my hands on a fresh version almost immediately. Now, my entryway will never look the same without red lips on the wall. Check her out online: https://urbaanmisfit.store/
or on Instagram: @shopurbaanmisfit
THE CROCHET CLIQUE
These young ladies are really doing amazing things in the world of crochet. They are so official and I am so proud to be apart of a growing community. Follow them if you're looking to hone a yarn based talent. They are my absolute favorite crocheters to follow right now.
See about them on Instagram, from left to right and top to bottom:
Whether she's rollerskating or painting pictures of cats, dogs or creating stickers of Childish Gambino, Kenndal will keep a smile on your face while inspiring you to do something that brings you total joy. Find her on Instagram: @KenndalJustFreaking
EVELYN FROM THE INTERNETS
My fake cousin, Ev really is the best. Whenever I am in my feelings and need to get out of them, I can count on her to pick me right up out of the dumps. This pandemic has a way of getting very silent for long pockets of time. So, when I need to hear casual conversation, I tune in to her YouTube channel...take a peak...
Doesn't matter whether she's cleaning out her closets with the Marie Kondo method or whether she's making a vegan meal, I wanna see it. Check her out in smaller increments on Instagram @EvelynFromTheInternets
My list could truly go on and on, but I know you only have a limited amount of time before you get plain sick of me. My whole reason for this post is Y O U. There are so many things to do now. There's time, you're young even when you don't feel like it. Anything you want to do starts as an idea. The minute you write it down it becomes a plan. Take the necessary steps to do something and you are creating Black Present which will one day become your legacy, in other words our Black History. You are a part of it. So, go ahead and take a free web design course, or start taking pictures of the world around you, design some jewelry, make some clothing with yarn, fabric or anything. Make music, paint, cook, go out and roller skate, give of your time and donate when you can!!! Just don't forget to aim to be diligent at it. Go be great. I'll tell you a secret, 50,000 writers aren't enough. Nor are 50,000 photographers. Even 50,000 chefs don't cut it. We need you.
Let me leave you with the books that I'm currently reading this month, the things I've watched and what I'm listening to.
My Reading List:
- Song Of Solomon, by Toni Morrison (I can't tell you why, but this one is juicy)
- Just As I Am, by Cicely Tyson (This one came out just in time and I'm so happy it's in my hands)
My Music Selection
- Heaux Tales, by Jazmine Sullivan (Five STARS!!!)
- Judas and the Black Messiah, by Various Artists (I feel like a slight fraud because I haven't watched the movie yet, but we'll watch it together)
- The Greatest Hits, by The Notorious B.I.G. (Thank you to my cousin, Dionne who buys me albums all the time - this is the one Sis!)
My Watch List
- Black Art In Absence of Light (HBOMax) BUY BLACK ART!!!!!!!!!!
- Malcolm & Marie (Netflix)
It's my young man's 17th birthday today. I can't not say that in all of my spaces. I celebrate you, because you are me. Happy Birthday my love, enjoy life, give back and it will come back to you ten fold.
Oh, yeah...me :)
Ever the work in progress. Making mistakes, correcting them, but grateful all the while. I'm working on a few things so look out for me as well.
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L O V E,