BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL
This month has been full of great moments in celebrating black history and celebrating blackness and all it encompasses. At the forefront, we have the Black Panther movie that was something the black and African communities needed. Fictional universe or not, these communities finally saw their people, history, and cultures represented for what they truly are and in a way we haven’t really seen before. That movie was just one example of the greatness and beauty of blackness.
Before Black History Month is over I’d like to share another inspiring piece of work that shows and is all about the beauty of blackness. This amazing photography done by Kayla Butler aka Afrovert, gives us raw black beauty. I love that this creative artist uses her talent to showcase the beauty of blackness and celebrate it for what it is. It is truly inspiring when black people are uplifted and positively represented from within. So, go check out her work and witness all the glorious beauty for yourself.
Check out her website here!
SOMEDAY AT CHRISTMAS
Christmas music is something I'm sure we can all agree is something we all enjoy, at least during the holiday season. This one particular song, Someday at Christmas , is one I really enjoy because it inspires hope. The song gives us hope for a better future and a brighter tomorrow. The song discusses peace, love, equality, and freedom; things we can all agree our world desperately needs. Every year this song is played and one lyric stands out in particular "maybe not in time for you and me", saying that everyone might not get to see this changed world. We all might not get to see it, but we sure can do our part to make it happen. Take a listen and hear the beautiful message and envision the world it speaks of.
BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED
I received this advice over the past weekend, and I found it motivating. I was told to "bloom where you are planted." What this means is to grow and better yourself in the situations you are in currently. This means don't wait until its too late to try and accomplish certain things. Blooming where you are planted is being able to reach fulfillment, go after goals, and find purpose where you. It is not constantly looking to bloom in other places all at once or worrying about where you can go next, but what you can do now where you are and with what you have. Once you bloom where you are there is nothing stopping you from spreading your roots, planting new seeds, and blossoming somewhere else.
LET'S FALL IN LOVE
Who doesn’t love a good love story right? Well if you’re ever looking for a little inspiration for your love life look no further. Let’s Fall in Love is an amazing blog sharing the stories of black couples on their love journeys. Hearing about how two people found each other and how they have happiness together can inspire us all. It makes us want to love a little more and makes us want to work harder to get it. It’s truly inspiring when we see love in its purest form. Creator of the blog Mikayla, is truly inspiring as she does a wonderful job bringing us the stories of young black couples in hopes of celebrating how beautiful black love is. Hopefully we’re all inspired by her and her blog to continue spreading love and sharing it with the world. Be sure to check out her blog at letsfallnlove.com, it’s a great read!
This past weekend I rediscovered Diana Ross’ 1970 hit Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand) which charted at #20 on the Billboard’s Top 100 list that year (A little music history for you). After hearing this song, it spoke to me and reminded me of something we all too often forget…to reach out. Whether it be asking a family member how their day was, calling up an old friend to see how they’re doing, helping someone who is struggling with something, volunteering, or donating to a worthy cause we must remember to reach out to others. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own lives we forget or tend not to even think about others.
In this song, Diana Ross sings about reaching out to others to make the world a better a place and sharing someone else’s problems because it could be you. In our society, we need to remember this now more than ever. We must come together and stick together during both good and bad times. So, I encourage you to take a little time out of your day to reach out, offer encouragement, give support, and lend a helping hand to touch someone else’s life in some way. Listen to this classic and be inspired to make the world a better a place.
WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH
With it being the last week of Women’s History Month, I thought it would be nice to share a moment in history where one extraordinary woman in her own right took the time and effort to honor other extraordinary women. None other than Oprah Winfrey was able to bring together 25 African American women in art, entertainment, and civil rights and honor them for their accomplishments and being an inspiration to countless others. This three-day celebration was the “The Legends Ball.” We can all learn something from Oprah and that is we should do our best to uplift women for all they do and all they can be. Men and women should take more opportunities to appreciate women rather than tear them down as we see done all too often. Look at the Legends Ball as a shining example of just how much of an impact women can have on the lives of others and how we should honor those women. If you have never seen it or just need a friendly reminder check out Oprah’s Legend’s Ball.
THE MAN BOX
In this video, Tony Porter delivers an inspiring and motivational speech for both men and women. We constantly have people telling one another how men and women are supposed to act, which Porter sums up as the "man box." We do this as if there is some rule book. There is no rule book, there are no laws telling people how they should act as a man or woman. Men can have feelings and express their emotions and women can be dominating and wield power. There are no single non-physical traits that constitute what it means to be a man or woman. We have to get away from this kind of thinking. Porter does a tremendous job of explaining this concept and how it relates to violence against women. There are many more issues we could face if this kind of thinking continues. Take a look at the video and really think about your life and how you and others are affected by the concept of the "man box."
Love is in the air is what they say right? Thinking about that phrase, it means a lot more to me now. A lot of people think Valentine's Day is strictly for couples, but they are wrong. This day is for love, no matter what form it comes in. Do not waste your time today being against this day, share in the love. Tell a friend what they mean to you, call your parent(s) and tell them you love them, send your siblings a V-day card, got an aunt, uncle, cousin, godparent, or family friend you are close with let them know what they mean to you. Whatever the situation may be, whoever the person is, share the love. There is no greater feeling than loving and being love. If you still feel as though that is not for you at least take the time today to love yourself, self-love is still love. Be inspired by love, share the love. Happy Valentine's Day!
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BLACK HISTORY MONTH: SELMA TO MONTGOMERY MARCH
In honor of Black History Month, I will be spotlighting some inspirational moments and people in black history. To kick things off, I want to start with the Selma to Montgomery March. One of the truly great and inspiring moments in black history that ultimately helped gain African Americans the right to vote without resistance. Although met with brute force and all odds against them on their first attempt, this group of protesters was not deterred. They eventually completed a successful march from Selma to Montgomery, that in the end proved to be beneficial aiding in the establishment of the Voting Rights Act. What this moment tells us, is that even in the face of adversity never give up and fight for what we believe. We should be inspired by these people because if not for their efforts and sacrifices we would not be where we are today.
THE ULTIMATE MEASURE OF A MAN IS NOT WHERE HE STANDS IN MOMENTS OF COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE, BUT WHERE HE STANDS AT TIMES OF CHALLENGE AND CONTROVERSY- MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
As this is the birth month of the legendary Dr. King I feel it is only right that I share one my favorite quotes from him. Martin Luther King Jr. stood for many things including peace, justice, and love and he exemplified those values every day in which he lived his life. The extraordinary thing about MLK was that those qualities about him never changed no matter what challenges he faced. I hope you are not only inspired by this quote but inspired by Dr. King's example to stand as firmly in times of challenge and controversy as you do in times of comfort and convenience, because that is the true testament to who you are.
FAREWELL PRESIDENT OBAMA
Whether you loved him or hated him, you have to respect his graceful exit. President Obama in his farewell address to the nation spoke with so much grace and class. This speech was all inspiring as our president spoke with not only love and respect for this country and its citizens, but for his family, friends, and entire administration. President Obama spoke with as much hope and belief in change for the future as he did eight years ago. In case you missed it or just want to reflect on what the president said, here is his speech in its entirety:
Watch the speech here!
THE AMBITIOUS GIRL
Although rapper Wale wrote this poem as a message to women, I think we can all learn something from it. The Ambitious Girl prompts women to live ambitiously. Wale wants women to follow their aspirations and live out their dreams, something we all should do. Be ambitious, look for the ambition in others, and support that ambition. If you have already heard this or are listening for the first time, just hit play, listen to this beautiful message, and dare to be ambitious.
TIME IS SIMPLY HOW YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE -CRAIG SAGER
This quote says it all, let's not look at time as running out or something we do not have enough of, but let's look at it as how we live. Make the best of your time and use it wisely.