Lucille Clifton

For Black History Month, I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes by the late poet Lucille Clifton. Lucille’s works of poetry were so good that she almost won a Pulitzer Prize twice.

Lucille is known for several of her quotes, but there is one quote of hers that stands out from the rest. This particular quote was born out of her frustration with racism and discrimination. Lucille was born in 1937, so one can easily see how frustrating it must have been to live during that time as a Black person.

When you see this quote of hers, you will instantly have a connection to it. Why? Because millions of people use this very same quote to offer encouragement and advice. What quote am I referring to?

This one:

Do you agree? πŸ‘†πŸΎ I do.

Until next time…

Don Cornelius

When you mention the name Don Cornelius amongst the Black community, there is no need for an introduction. For those who are unfamiliar with Don Cornelius, he was the writer and producer of the nationally syndicated dance and music show Soul Train.

Soul Train was formed because Don noticed in the late 60’s that there weren’t any television shows geared towards Black artists and soul music. With the creation of Soul Train, soul and funk artists could showcase their talents.

Prior to Soul Train, Black people were limited to occasionally performing on TV as guests on White programs. All that changed with Don’s creation of Soul Train. Soon, White audiences started to tune into Soul Train and it’s popularity skyrocketed. Eventually, Soul Train would even showcase White artists whose music was centered around soul, funk and R&B.

I loved watching Soul Train as a child because I loved seeing some of the artists I grew up listening to perform live. And who can forget the infamous Soul Train line and those Ultra Sheen and Afro Sheen commercials? Ultra Sheen and Afro Sheen played a part in Don’s Black is Beautiful campaign.

Listening to Don talk with his nicely shaped afro and smooth deep voice was a treat. I could listen to him talk all day. One of my favorite parts of Soul Train is when it was ending and Don would say: “I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!”

With all the success and positivity that Soul Train brought to the Black community, it saddens many how Don Cornelius’s life ended. Don suffered with seizures, battled Alzheimer’s and his health steadily declined. He was in constant pain the last 15 years of his life and unfortunately he decided to end his life.

Soul Train will always be one of those shows that is cherished amongst the Black community because it was a show where Black people were portrayed in a good way. It also showed people how to have fun, dance and get down!

If you have never watched an episode of Soul Train, you are really missing out. To see a brief clip of one of my favorite episodes, click here.

The next time you are on YouTube, search for it. It’ll have you smiling and dancing before you know it. πŸ‘ŒπŸΎ

To listen to a brief catchy remix of the theme song, click here.

Until next time…love, peace and soul!

Black History Trivia Revealed

The other day, I asked the following question:

Do you know who was the first African American to hold a medical degree?

I also gave the following hints:

1) This individual was the first University trained African American.

2) This individual graduated at the top of their class while also being the only African American in their class.

3) This individual was an abolitionist, a writer and author.

For those of you who are wondering, it is Dr. James Mccune Smith.

If you guessed right, give yourself a pat on the back. πŸ™ƒ

In addition to the accomplishments above, Dr. James Mccune Smith helped start the National Council for Colored People in 1853 and he was the only African American in the world (during his time) to run a successful pharmacy in Scotland.

When you get a moment, read a little bit more about him. His story is both amazing and inspiring.

Until next time…

William and Ellen Craft

Many people, Black and non-Black, have never heard of William and Ellen Craft. In fact, many have never heard of this couple’s daring escape for freedom. For Black History Month, I’m going to share their incredible story with you.

William and Ellen Craft were an enslaved couple from Macon, Georgia. William was a carpenter and Ellen was a house servant. William and Ellen wanted to raise a family but like so many other slaves, they didn’t want to bear any children into slavery. William and Ellen’s strong desire not to bear children into slavery resulted in what’s been called the most ingenious plot in fugitive slave history.

Because Ellen was a quadroon, she could easily pass for White. Since it wasn’t customary for a White woman to travel alone with a Black male servant, Ellen and William decided to dress her up as a White male slave owner. William, in turn, would come along with her as her slave.

William and Ellen bought clothes similar to what White slave owners wore and styled her hair in a way that would give her a manly appearance. To hide the fact that Ellen couldn’t write, William put her arm in a sling. By putting Ellen’s arm in a sling, this would evoke pity on her part.

Whenever it came time to speak, Ellen pretended to have an illness or speech impediment. While on the run, they traveled first class, stayed in the finest hotels and even dined on fine foods. By the time their ingenious plot was figured out, they were already up North living as a free Black couple with their children who were born free.

William and Ellen Craft’s escape, like thousands of other Black slaves, angered White slave holders because slaves weren’t deemed as human, educated or equal. Their successful escape to freedom was a threat to their unjust society and a blow to their ego.

The Craft’s story, like so many others, shows that when a person really wants to be free, they’ll stop at nothing to attain it. If they can’t attain it, they would rather die trying.

Until next time…

Black History Month

Hello and Good Morning! It’s Black History month everyone! πŸ–€ For all my new subscribers and followers, throughout the month of February, I’ll be sharing hidden and unknown Black History facts. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Since I’ve been sharing Black History facts on this particular blog, I’ve had many non-Black readers express how intrigued and inspired they are by some of the things I’ve shared. The Black Experience is full of stories of triumph, betrayals and heartache, but it’s those stories, those experiences that deserve to be shared. Especially those who have lost their lives due to racism and false accusations.

Get ready to be educated, inspired and enlightened because what I share is not discussed in schools. I think it’s because many non-Black teachers are afraid to or don’t know how to.

Until next time…

Jezebel

I’ve been on the fence about whether or not I should discuss the Jezebel stereotype, but I feel like I must even though it’s explicit in nature. I love blogging about writing and books, but as a Black woman, I also like to blog about Black history facts and the Black experience.

Warning ⚠: Some images may be disturbing.

When it comes to the Jezebel stereotype, the depths of this stereotype is rooted in both racism and sexual violence. To make a long history lesson short, the Jezebel stereotype was created by White men to justify their raping of Black women. In other words, this stereotype claims that Black women are promiscuous and hypersexual so they can’t be raped.

Many today still see Black women as promiscuous, “easy” and “wild” when it comes down to sex. I can remember one of my White professors sharing stories of other White men who admitted that they envied their forefathers. What exactly were they envying? The raping of Black women and having multiple Black women as bed wenches. How disturbing, deviant and sad.

What’s even sadder is the unfortunate fact that some Black women have allowed themselves to be bedded by some of these White men who believe in or base their opinions of Black women off of the Jezebel stereotype.

I can tell you the few Black women who allowed themselves to be made into a fool by some of these White men definitely had low self-esteem. Sadly, they also craved the approval, acceptance and attention of White men. How tragic, desperate and unfortunate.

As a Black woman, I can spot them a mile away before they even try to come in my face when I’m dressed up and out on the town. Some of them walk around as if they are God’s greatest gift and that I should fall all over them or at their feet. Anita aka BookingAnita will NOT stoop to such a low level.

I wish that there was a way to do away with this Jezebel stereotype, but unfortunately, it will always exist. Just know that the majority of Black women back then and now aren’t like that.

If you think I’m hitting you with some hard-hitting Black history facts now, you just wait until next month, Black History month.

Until next time…

Books And a Bit of Research

As I’m preparing to write my next novel, I decided to do some research on a few more of my relatives. I never have to look far for inspiration or storylines because my relatives, my ancestors had very interesting lives.

When I put in my book descriptions, inspired by true life events, I mean just that. These are events that happened in real life to my people, my ancestors, my relatives. These aren’t things that I dreamt up out of my imagination. These things really did happen.

One such relative I had the pleasure of discovering more about was my other Grandfather. I never got the chance to meet him, but I heard so much about him. I could remember hearing stories how he was tall, dark, good-lookin’ and born in the late 1800’s. The trouble with that is no one knew the exact year he was born.

Do you know what I did? I did some digging.

Turns out, this Grandfather of mine was in fact born in the 1800’s, 1883 to be exact! How incredible is that? This 80’s baby has one Grandfather that was born in 1919 and the other Grandfather was born in 1883. To see it on paper made a world of difference to me. It made it real.

This discovery however is a little bitter sweet because I had to remember (once again) that my Grandfather’s parents were born as a slaves. Keep in mind that on June 19, 1865, the last of the remaining slaves in Texas were freed. It takes my breath away knowing that my Grandfather was born 18 years after the last remaining slaves were freed and 20 years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

How’s that for a family discovery.

Until next time…