History repeats itself because no one was listening the first time. ~Anonymous
My husband and I frequently have poignant conversations. There is a phrase that shows up almost every time and that is 'perception is reality'. Your intent may come from a good place, but what matters is how it is perceived. Blackface showing up anywhere in today's society is not well-received. As a matter of fact, it isn't received at all. The intent is shattered to pieces and we are left with the perception that the African American culture is being demeaned - once again. I wanted to address the historical reasons why it is so offensive. If there is anyone left in the world that still has no idea why millions of people of all races light up their social media accounts with heated discussions in response to the countless stories that have been brought up in the past month, then hopefully this brief article will assist in providing the answer.
Blackface was originally used in minstrel shows in the 1830s where white entertainers would use shoe polish or burnt cork on their face to appear to be black. They dressed in tattered clothing and imitated slaves on Southern plantations. These performances characterized blacks as lazy, ignorant, superstitious, hypersexual, and prone to thievery and cowardice. Plainly stated, slaves were the butt of a humorless joke. We were mocked, degraded, and mischaracterized. In an era where we were thought of as 3/5 of a person, the stereotypes were created to increase the validity of white society - the majority.
If I could have the nigger show back again in its pristine purity,
I should have little use for opera." -- Mark Twain
According to the National Museum of African American History & Culture, blackface and the codifying of blackness— language, movement, deportment, and character—as caricature persists through mass media and in public performances today. In addition to the increased popularity of “black” Halloween costumes, colleges and universities across the country continue to battle against student and professor blackface performances. In each instance, those facing scrutiny for blackface performances insist no malice or racial hatred was intended. Remember what I said in the beginning of this article regarding intent?
Blackface performers are, "...the filthy scum of white society, who have stolen from us a complexion denied them by nature,
In which to make money, and pander to the corrupt taste of their white fellow citizens." -- Frederick Douglass
It seems simple to me - if it remotely resembles blackface then don't do it. If you have to ask if something is offensive, then it might be safe to decide not to do it or say it. And for all of my 'woke' friends and family, let's try to remember that your perspective is not the only one that should be considered. Our experiences as humans will never be the same, but they are all valid and should be treated with respect whether we agree or not.
No more blackface, ok America?.
Written by C. Morrison
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is an American lawyer and writer who was First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and was the first African-American First Lady.
So many amazing women play a major part in Black History! They left permanent marks that we will cherish for ever!
Fat happens. It seemed to come without warning, and despite my attempts at everything from Atkins to Weight Watchers, I couldn’t seem to get rid of the weight that had gradually crept on a bit at a time since my college days. It was after having my first child that the scale, to my astonishment and disbelief, hit 208 pounds. Shortly after that, I had treated myself to a day of beauty at a day spa, and was mortified when I had to return to the desk and ask an unsympathetic receptionist if they had a larger robe, as the one size fits all robe was lying. That was my “aha moment” and a story that as a fitness blogger and published weight loss success story, that I’ve told countless times.
When I first lost ninety-six pounds a few high school girl friends messaged me on Facebook asking me how I lost weight, and I began giving them advice on what worked for me. I began commenting if they would post pictures of decadent desserts or cocktails on social media, and they would even text me from restaurants asking me what to order. I was always trying to encourage them to bust any excuses why they couldn’t work out or make healthier food choices. This earned me the nickname “Facebook Jillian” or “FBJ” for short as I was a fan of Jillian Michaels. As they began losing weight, several of their friends started messaging me as well so I created a facebook page, and eventually my blog at www.fbjfit.com, dedicated to giving diet/fitness tips, sharing healthy recipes and overall fitness inspiration. The page has grown to over 4000 followers, and I have heard from people around the world who tell me that my story and tips have given them hope and inspired them. I have found my page and blog to be my labors of love, and try to share advice and encourage those who follow it, as I learned so much along the way of my own journey that I wish I had known when I started out. I find that doing the page keeps me on the straight and narrow as I try to set a good example. There have been several occasions where I’ve been at a party, and someone would come up to me and tell me that they follow my page and ask me questions. One time I was at a team soccer party for my son when this happened, and I laughed and said, “Good thing I was having the salad and not the pizza!”
Because my weight loss was so dramatic, I get asked all the time how I did it. People always seem a bit disappointed when I launch into my clean eating and fitness routine answers and my reply is always, “I know, it’s sad, you wanted me to say I ate cabbage soup on a Tuesday and the weight fell off!” People love to tell me how busy they are, and that being so busy makes it impossible to fit in working out. I explain that I have home law office, three sons and a fitness blog….we’re all busy, and a frequent FBJ-ism is “You’re no busier than a fit person!” “I hate exercise” is rapidly approaching “I’m busy” as a response from those seeking my advice. I recently saw a video a friend created showing old photos of the town I grew up in set to Michael Buble’s song “Home” and it made me very teary and nostalgic for a time gone by. I remember as a kid walking over to my best friend’s house and dancing in her bedroom to our favorite music, or doing cartwheels on the front lawn or riding our bikes to the center of town. During the summer months, my childhood friends and I would play baseball in the street with a tennis ball and a telephone pole was third base. I remember being very anxious to grow up and I try to tell my own children not to wish away time as the carefree years of youth are fleeting. When did just having fun and movement become exercise and something we think we don’t like? When did play become work? Words can stick with you, which is why I created my blog in the hopes it makes a difference to someone else who may be struggling. I remember reading the book The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and the main character was elderly and had a lot of pains and physical limitations, and when he goes to heaven, he goes through different periods of his life and the part how he described running as a youth, really hit me: Rubbery legs, no pain, just a free feeling of running. They were powerful words. Don’t limit your body by thinking you don’t like to move. It’s not true.
Recently, as I dropped my youngest son off at school one morning, I saw a father brushing his little girl's hair before she went into school. I thought it was so sweet. Now, it could be that I don't have a daughter (God had a sense of humor and gave me three boys), it could be that I joke that most kids apparently don't own a hair brush, or it could be that I miss my dad, but thought it was the cutest thing I've seen. The mystery dad in my story was dressed for work, and I was running a bit late for drop off, so they were too, but there she was standing inside the drivers door, while her dad stood behind her, brushing her hair. We’re all busy. You make the time for the things that are important to you. A healthier you will have more energy to help care for those you love, so if you feel guilty making time for yourself, than just think that you’re really doing it for them. There’s a reason the airlines tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others!
I think everyone has a vision of where they want to be physically and mentally, but getting there can be a complicated road. Having been on both sides of the spectrum gives me an appreciation for the struggles of one trying to lose weight, and the work and effort put into being a fit person. It means a lot to me that now I’m in a position to help other people, as it’s like I achieved my goal twice.
She became the first American first lady to ever win a public office seat when she was elected to the U. S. Senate in 2001. Hillary Rodham Clinton continued on a path that women have been paving for many years. From the Women’s Suffrage movement to the 19th amendment being added in 1920, women have been fighting for the chance to be taken seriously in all areas of society. This election year she has become the first woman in U.S. history to become the presidential nominee of a major political party.
You don't know where you're going until you know where you've been...
Every four years we have the opportunity to enjoy an extra day in February. A 29th day in February means an extra day to reflect on Black History month.
View Woman's ultimate goal is to empower and to create a positive image. In a world where race is still a relevant issue, we can only hope that our presence is creating thought provoking conversations that lead to change.
Black History month was originally created as Negro History week in February 1926 to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Achievements of African Americans are the reason for the time of reflection. Great or small - any feat accomplished to further the advancement of our presence in our country is worth celebrating.
We admonish you to continue to uncover those that have served in your local community. Once you've discovered something or someone, don't forget to share what you've found.
It's been several centuries since we were first planted in an unknown land without our consent. The sacrifices that were made by many became their life sentence. It is up to us to make sure those sacrifices are not forgotten. We've come a long way from being owned like property; from regularly beaten, raped, and murdered for no other reason than being black; from being forbidden to educate ourselves; from being unable to own our own land and work for ourselves, but there is still work to do.
Always be a part of the solution, strive to make changes in your own community, and be proud of who you are and where you've come from.
Did you know that there are many people within our local communities that have contributed to the advancement of our race? Many times when celebrating Black History we may unknowingly look over those that served within our own towns and cities.
Check out some facts about Longview's first and only hospital for blacks and one of the first black doctors to work in the city.
Camp Normal Industrial Hospital was Gregg County's designated medical facility for African Americans before the Civil Rights Act. Blacks were not allowed to be seen in hospitals with whites. The hospital was established in the late 1930s and the building still remains in it's original location at 506 West Methvin Street.
The doctor that was chosen to serve the black community was Dr. William Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell was a native of Dangerfield. He completed his undergraduate studies at Prairie View A&M and received an MD and PhD at University of Galveston where he finished fourth in his class.
Be inspired to continue to delve into the history of your own. You never know what jewels you will discover!
Who is Elle?
Known for her elegance, style, and classy confidence, Ms. LaKesha “Elle” Mosley is the Founder/Owner and Director of The Etiquette Training Center of Louisiana. Elle is known and respected as a leader in the etiquette and protocol industry; and regularly appears on television as a television personality and entertainment show host for local affiliate stations KTAL NBC-Studio6 and FOX 33-Morning Showcase.
Native to Shreveport, Louisiana, Elle conducts trainings in major cities and enjoys teaching time-honored traditions in etiquette, infused with a fresh approach to both young women and young men.
Elle’s love for etiquette began when she started modeling and competing in pageants; winning the title of Miss Southern University of Shreveport 1997 with a feature in national magazines Black Colleges Today and Ebony.
Elle earned an Associate’s Degree in Communications, a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations, and received several speaker awards as a collegiate debater. She also received the 2010 Emerging Business Award from the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce-Minority Business Council, all before leaving the security of full-time employment and becoming a full-time small business owner.
Elle is currently seeking her Master’s Degree from Walden University to become a Licensed Professional Mental Counselor and Clinical Psychotherapist. Her newest programs, “Project EL-A-VTE,” for inner city kids; and “Better For My Daughters,” a self-love program for young women, will launch in January 2016.
What’s In the Name ELLE?
With a Christian background, Elle studied the origin of her name, and learned that the first letter of her birth name LaKesha derives from the Hebrew root word “El” which biblically means “Of God.” To Elle, this was not a coincidence…it was her destiny, and her name Elle was born. Elle’s motivational speeches aim to El-A-Vate and motivate her audience to dream, to overcome, and to be greater!
Elle empowers people to become consummate professionals by transforming ordinary everyday tasks, into elegant – everyday style.
Her mantra is “There’s Etiquette In Everything!”
Sky Sudberry - remember that name because she will be taking the LPGA by storm in the near future. Sky, now 11 and from Spring, Texas, is considered to be a top golfer. At 9 years old, she was one of several talented young golfers featured in a Netflix documentary called The Short Game. During her brief career she has had the honor of meeting several celebrities that include Justin Timberlake, Ellen Degeneres, and Piers Morgan.
Sky placed 8th place in the US Kids World Championships in 2012. In the same tournament the following year she tied for 2nd place. She was also able to participate in the Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship at the Augusta Nationals in 2014. Drive, Chip, and Putt is a nationwide junior skills competition open to boys and girls ages 7-15 created by the Masters Tournament Foundation.
Keep your eyes on this budding athlete. She is going places. We can't wait to watch you, Sky!
By C Morrison
Felica Alford-Booker has a passion for serving. It is a natural instinct for her. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, tax consultant, friend, mentor - her list of natural talent is endless. If you happen to have a conversation with her it will be evident - especially since she serves as founder of Victory for Life Foundation. The idea for her foundation has lingered in her mind for about 10 years and stemmed from her own struggles and experiences. She just was never quite sure if the time was right.
In 2014 her good friend, Kimberly Rayson, was a victim of domestic violence and unfortunately lost her life. Kim was Felica's sounding board. They would brainstorm about how they wanted to impact their community in Longview, Texas. After Kim's death, Felica decided that she was delaying the inevitable and Victory for Life Foundation was finally official.
Victory for Life's purpose is simply to reach out to people in need in anyway possible - focusing on women and young girls. It is not a religious organization even though Felica's faith is what has empowered her to be able to serve. Victory for Life Foundation wants to help anyone in need. You don't have to be from a specific denomination or church affiliation to participate in any of their services that may be available.
Their first event, Gospel on the Lawn, will benefit an educational scholarship fund named in honor of Kimberly Rayson. Gospel on the Lawn will be Saturday, June 13th in Teague Park from 4 pm to 8 pm. Food, music, and local vendors will be on hand to enjoy. The foundation is asking for donations in the form of canned goods and gently used clothing, toys, and books to be donated to the Community Outreach Mission of Longview.
If you would like more information regarding Victory for Life Foundation or how to donate:
Victory For Life Foundation
PO Box 8734
Longview, TX 75607
You can also contact Felica directly: 903-387-1931
Thank you, Felica, for your selfless act of servitude. The community needs you. You inspire us all to our part.
By C. Morrison