Sugar Shack

Good Evening! I hope to find each of you doing well this Sunday. I was reading an article not too long ago about a famous painting by an unlikely famous artist. Now that I have a little down time, I wanted to share it on my blog.

I love, love, love art and I have a strong fondness for African American art. Not only because I am African American, but because of the uniqueness and depth of African American art. Millions of people agree so I’m not alone in making such a bold statement.

The Los Angeles Times published a piece on the late Ernie Barnes’ Sugar Shack painting on August 28th and I just about flipped. I have admired this painting after seeing it for the first time on the show Good Times.

Sugar Shack is such a beautiful and enamoring piece amongst the majority of African Americans because many of us share same or similar stories of how our grandparents and great grandparents boogied down in a Sugar Shack. I know in my family, such places were also called juke joints, barrel houses or a hole in a wall.

I was not surprised when The Los Angeles Times reported how many people lined up to take a look at this painting up close and in person. I would too because it’s such a powerful painting that captures a major part of the Black experience.

Ernie Barnes, a professional football player, author and painter, was known for his unique style of painting. His artwork is just as unique as his back story. I invite you to read a little more on Ernie Barnes when you get a chance. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, you’ll be inspired.

To read more from The Los Angeles Times on Ernie Barnes’ Sugar Shack, click here.

Man, I would love to own an original piece of Ernie Barnes’ artwork. A woman can dream, right?

Until next time…

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee

When you hear the last name Ross, most people think of legendary singer Diana Ross and for good reason. Diana Ross has broken down a number of barriers for African Americans in regards to her music, acting, and etc. Tonight, I’m going to introduce you to another Ross. Diana Ross’s big sister, Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee may be the older sister of Diana Ross, but she is well-known for something else. A fierce and dynamic woman in her own right, Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee is known for her advancements in healthcare and medicine for people of color as a groundbreaking physician. She has earned a number of distinguished awards and accomplishments, one of them being the first African American and female Dean of a medical school.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee was first was selected as Dean of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1993 and again in 2002 for the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. Not bad for a girl who grew up in the Detroit projects.

Barbara on the right and Diana on the left.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee is even more well-known for her humble spirit and positive demeanor despite the amount of racism and prejudice she had to endure to get to where she is. In fact, such experiences shaped her into the phenomenonal physician that she is today.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee has never been prideful nor arrogant of her accomplishments and advancements in the field of medicine. How admirable and commendable of her.

At the age of 77, Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee is still working, advocating and helping to make advancements for women and people of color in the medical field. She is an ageless beauty in my opinion and in addition to that, she is smart and fierce.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee is a name many people within the field of medicine and Osteopathic Medicine are familiar with and for good reason. There are a number of things that are taking place today in the field of medicine because of her.

When you get some time, read more about this amazing woman. Ladies and gentlemen, you have just met the phenomenonal Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee. If you didn’t know about her before, now you do.

On a side note, I have to express how well Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee has taken care of her hair over the years. Even though she has chopped a good bit of it off, her hair is still beautiful and healthy with all that gray.

Until next time…

Just Disgusting

I had a dear in-law of mine ask me if I would blog about an unpleasant experience she had to unfortunately deal with. Not only that, she asked if I would share my own personal experiences. For her, I most certainly will. Let me warn you, this is going to be a long blog post.

One of my dearest in-laws who is White was called a coal burner. Why? Because she is married to one of my cousins who is Black. How disgusting! It upsetted her so bad that she broke down in tears. That really made me angry. From what she and my other White in-laws have explained to me, if you’re an attractive White woman who dates or is married to a Black man, you are called this derogatory term by racist / prejudiced White men. SMH…

You see, the White women my cousins are married to are attractive slim blondes and brunettes; I’m led to believe that this upsets racist / prejudiced individuals with low self-esteem. This notion of mine was backed up by my White in-laws. Now that’s some foul and disgusting behavior.

I personally have received “looks” of disapproval because the White men who ask me out are tall, well-built and well-off. The “dolled up” Anita pales in comparison to the Anita most people see during the day. I remember overhearing one woman say I was asked out only because my weave made me look “mixed” SMH. Did you know it’s unreal for a Black woman to have hair all down her back that’s hers? (Insert Sarcasm) Don’t get me started on the expensive gifts I’ve received and still receive. It’s enough to send racist / prejudiced inviduals into a full blown anger induced conniption fit! How sad…

Why make hurtful comments towards an individual because they chose to fall in love with a person based on their character and not their color? Also, one cannot assume that because an individual chooses to date or marry someone of the opposite race that they don’t care for or have never dated within their own race. Love doesn’t have a color and if more people spreaded love instead of hate, the world would be a much better place.

Until next time…

Neffie’s Grip

Getting a well-respected Book Blogger to review your book can be a tedious process. Why? Because they are bombarded with book review requests daily. Some Book Bloggers get review requests from both published and self-published authors which is why many are understandably super busy.

If you happen to get just one well-respected Book Blogger to agree to review your book, you’ve made some good headway in getting more readers introduced to both you as an author and your book(s). I received an email back from one of them yesterday. Imagine my surprise when I saw the following message yesterday morning:

You have no idea how that email made me feel. Neffie is a representation of all the strong women who came before me and I wanted to tell her story. To see readers become enamored with her is a very rewarding feeling. And yes, I will be sharing my interview and guest post when the time comes.

Neffie, you sure know how to hold onto a reader and just think, this is only the first novel series. As The Chronicles of Neffie ebook continues to remain in several top 100 categories on Amazon, my heart continues to overflow with joy. Saturday she was at #2 again in one category in ebooks and last night she was at #5. The ebook sales have been great!

When it comes to Neffie, you can’t help but to love her and maybe even hate her a little, yet her strength, honesty and courage is something to admire. I was asked if I would have an artistic portrait made of her since a lot of readers want to know what she may have looked like. Who knows? I just might. I just might…

Until next time…

If Only

June is just around the corner and as I begin to prepare for my appearance in a well-respected literary magazine, I can’t help but to wish my father was still here to see it. My mother is sooooooo proud and I have no doubt my father would be too. To see their youngest daughter appear in a well-respected literary magazine is something they couldn’t have imagined. Neither could I to be quite honest.

Am I bit nervous? Yes, but I’m more excited than anything else. If you were to have asked me 10 years ago could I see myself in a well-respected literary magazine, I would’ve quickly said NO. You see how life works? People can change and so can their circumstances. If only my father was still here to see it. That’s okay, I know I’ll be able to tell him one day ❤️.

Until next time, I’m wishing you all the best and much success! P.S. Don’t forget to smile!!

MyHeritage DNA Results Video

A few days ago, I got an email stating my ancestry results were ready. It took a little longer due to some errors per MyHeritage. That is NOT something you want to tell a person like me because now I’m questioning some of my results. It’s a good thing I bought this test on sale during Black Friday or else I would’ve been upset.

One of the things I was hoping to have was a large percentage of African ancestry. That was my sole reason for doing an ancestry test. According to MyHeritage, I have a beautiful mixture of African ancestry as you will see in the video which made me very happy. I found it odd that MyHeritage didn’t pick up my Native American ancestry, but when I uploaded my raw DNA data to two other reputable sites for comparison, they did. Hmmmm???

I have a small amount of European ancestry, but to my surprise I have a good bit of Middle Eastern ancestry. As a matter of fact, the other tests showed that I have much more Middle Eastern ancestry than Native American ancestry! Now that was a shock because no one in my family knew anything about having Middle Eastern ancestors.

So, are you ready to see what MyHeritage estimated my African ancestry to be? Turn your sound on and click here. I’ll be blogging about this again in future because now this has opened up some more questions about my ancestry.

Until next time…