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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

#WakeUpAmerica, Please

To those who are still asleep or in denial in America, history is repeating itself! There are many, many people agitated by Kaepernick and other athletes for not standing during the national anthem/saluting the flag at football games. I’ve read comments saying “He needs to shut up and play football”, “This isn’t the proper forum for that”, “Patriotism before humanity”, “If you hate America so much…leave”, etc. Let’s get one thing straight: the silent protest during the anthem has nothing to do with the US military or its veterans. It has everything to do with America’s treatment of minorities, specifically people of color. In order to have this conversation, you have to leave that at the door.

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Where and when is the proper forum for protesting? Should it be where people can ignore it by changing the channel or walking away? Should it be done only when everyone approves and no one is offended? Protest is most effective when it’s peaceful and presented on a broad spectrum. It’s meant to ruffle feathers and make one uncomfortable as it exposes social issues/injustices and question our way of thinking. There are some that believe sports shouldn’t be weaved with such issues. But guess what: this is America. In this country, we all have the freedom to express ourselves. I understand those who are unsettled, or angered, by it don’t want to be reminded or challenged. And that’s a problem. You need to be reminded and challenged because that’s the only way to bring about change and stop HISTORY FROM REPEATING.

JFK tried to talk MLK out of the March on Washington because it wasn’t the right time. Ali was convicted of draft evasion, sentenced to 5 years in prison, fined $10,000 and banned from boxing for 3 years because people believed him unpatriotic. Many thought it improper for Rosa Parks to refuse to surrender her seat to a white passenger. Before the SCOTUS’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, desegregation was unthinkable. Many people felt it wasn’t the proper forum for Blacks to have lunch counter sit-in protests through the 60s. And now we’ve come full circle to the #BlackLivesMatter movement and athletes’ silent protests. People are still responding with the same rhetoric. #WakeUpAmerica

One might argue that Kaepernick is no MLK, Ali or Parks. However, they weren’t revered by the nation when they stood up for what they believed in, much like Kaepernick now. His protest is for people like me, much like MLK protesting for my grandparents, parents and future generations.

For those calling any athletes unpatriotic and disrespectful of the flag, that’s the furthest from the truth. You see, America has a history of ignoring the real issues and like to place blame or distract from the point, and objects when Black voices demand equality. Being patriotic goes beyond standing for an anthem, saluting a flag or voting for a president every 4 years. Side note: You know how Hitler began? Mandating patriotism. #FoodforThought

Don’t you see the problem? If you don’t then you’re doomed to keep the vicious cycle going. Yes, we all matter but it’s a fact that I live in a country that discriminates and displays bigotry against me routinely. And this is due to the melanin in my skin being darker than my white counterparts.

Pause and examine why you’re angry, or fearful, about the protests and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Understand that people of color aren’t trying to start a war. We want awareness and change. Identify with us. Walk with us. Recognize our struggle and value. Make the change with us.

Remember: the man who doesn’t learn from the mistakes of his ancestors is bound to carry their scars.

#FoodforThought

#YouBetterRecognize

#StopHistoryFromRepeating

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Happy 2 Years to My Blog!

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Good Day Readers!

Not only is it Turkey Day, it’s the 2nd year of my blog. I never imagined getting this far. My hope going into 2015 is to produce 2-3 posts a week and double my readers. So, if you have any topics you think are interesting please let me know.

I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Enjoy!

~Anita

Follow Anita on Twitter and Bloglovin’: @Emranija & Anita Young

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James Garner Died Today, Age 86

I can’t believe it but James Garner dies (aka the old Ryan Gosling in The Notebook). Garner was such a great actor! I remember his roles in Maverick, The Great Escape, and Victor/Victoria.

NPR Article: James Garner Dies

5 Things You Should Do This Summer

Welcome Summer 2014!

I know I’m late, but the first day of summer (June 21) slipped right passed me. I was too busy enjoying one of my favorite summer pastimes, eating blue crabs. Summer seems to activate some sort of youthful vigor in me, making me want to do everything under the sun! The northern hemisphere is alive and vibrant with a multitude of activities to partake in, places to visit, and people to see it all with. So, in honor of the summer solstice, I’ve come up with five things you should do during the season:

1. Movie night outdoors: There’s nothing better than a tub of buttery popcorn or a box of Raisinets and fresh air while a movie plays in the midst of nature.

2. Nature scavenger hunt: This activity keeps the whole family busy and you can do this almost anywhere there’s nature.

3. Go on a camping trip: I haven’t been on a camping trip in two years, but I still consider myself an outdoorsy type. Even if you can’t make it to the nearest state park or mountainous area, you can camp out in your own backyard. My favorite part is cooking every meal and a cast iron skillet over a campfire.

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4. Take swimming lessons: Unless you’re Michael Phelps then you should take lessons or at least keep from getting rusty. You never know when the backstroke could save your life.

5. Eat a crustacean (ignore if you’re allergic): There’s nothing like a glass of lemonade and a huge pile of well-seasoned blue crabs in front of you while soaking up some vitamin D. If you’re not a fan of blue crabs then try Snow or Alaskan King crab legs. Either way, you can’t go wrong with the summertime treat.

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Enjoy!
~Anita
Follow Anita on Twitter:
@Emranija

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Happy Birthday Toni Morrison

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Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford on February 18, 1931) is an American novelist, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed characters. Among her notable novels are The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon and Beloved. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for Beloved and the Nobel Prize in 1993. May 2012, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Moments in Black History: Mary McLeod Bethune

Did you know that educator and civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune founded Bethune-Cookman University and was an advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt? Dubbed “The First Lady of The Struggle” because of her commitment to the racial advancements of African Americans, Bethune started the school for African-American students in Daytona Beach, Florida.

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Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary Jane McLeod was born in Mayesville, South Carolina on July 10, 1875 to Samuel and Patsy McIntosh McLeod, both former slaves, . Although she began working in cotton and rice fields at the age of five, she demonstrated an early interest in her education. Bethune’s teacher, Emma Jane Wilson, helped her obtained a scholarship to attend Scotia Seminary from 1888-1893. After graduating from the seminary, she went to the Dwight Moody’s Institute for Home and Foreign Missions in Chicago with hopes of becoming a missionary in Africa. Bethune decided to be a teacher when that dream didn’t materialize. In 1904, she started the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for African-American girls. The school started out with only five students (four girls and her son), but the institute grew to more than 250 students over the first few years.

Mary married fellow teacher Albertus Bethune in 1898. The couple had one son—Albert McLeod Bethune—before separating nine years later. However, she remained married until his death in 1918.

Bethune served as the president for the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute and she remained its leader even after it was combined with the Cookman Institute for Men in 1923 (some sources say 1929); becoming the Bethune-Cookman College. The college was one of the few places that African-American students could pursue a college degree. Bethune stayed with the college until 1942.

Additional to her work in education, Bethune contributed largely to American society. She served as the Florida chapter president of the National Association of Colored Women for many years. In 1924, she became the organization’s national leader, beating out fellow reformer Ida B. Wells for the top position.

Bethune also became involved in government service, lending her expertise to several presidents. President Calvin Coolidge invited her to participate at a conference on child welfare. For President Herbert Hoover, she served on the Commission on Home Building and Home Ownership and was appointed to a child health committee. However, her most significant public service roles were with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

By 1935, Bethune became a special advisor to President Roosevelt on minority affairs. That same year, she also began the civil rights organization, the National Council of Negro Women, which was created to represent numerous groups working on critical issues on behalf of African-American women. President Roosevelt gave her an another appointment the following year. In 1936, she became the director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration. One of her main  concerns was helping young people find job opportunities. In addition to her official Roosevelt administration role, Bethune became a trusted friend and adviser to both the president and his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt.

Bethune spent much of the rest of her life devoted to social causes after leaving Bethune-Cookman College in 1942. She took up residence in Washington, D.C., at the National Council of Negro Women headquarters in 1943 and lived there for several years. As an early member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), along with W.E.B. DuBois, she helped represent the group at the 1945 conference that founded the United Nations. In the early 1950s, President Harry Truman appointed her to a committee on national defense and appointed her to serve as an official delegate to a presidential inauguration in Liberia.

Eventually, Mary Mcleod Bethune returned to Florida to retire and then died on May 18, 1955, in Daytona.

Bethune’s legacy advanced the rights of both African Americans and women in early 20th century America. Yet, her renowned dedication to education of African-Americans was highly important in the black community. Before her death, Bethune penned “My Last Will and Testament,” which served as a reflection on her life and legacy in addition to addressing a few estate matters.

Enjoy!

~Anita

Follow Anita on Twitter: @Emranija

Resources:
Biography
Wikipedia

NPR: Is Early Sochi Criticism Par For The Course?

http://n.pr/1dvHBP0

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