Sunday, February 27, 2011

African American History Month-Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 27, 1897.

Today is the 114th anniversary of her birth. She was a contralto, perhaps best remembered for her performance on Easter Sunday, 1939 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Anderson joined a junior church choir at the age of six, and applied to an all-white music school after her graduation from high school in 1921, but was turned away because she was black. Later, she debuted with the New York Philharmonic on August 26, 1925 and scored an immediate success with the critics. In 1928, she sang for the first time at Carnegie Hall. Her reputation was further advanced by her tour through Europe in the early 1930s where she did not encounter the racial prejudices she had experienced in America.

Ms. Anderson won the Julius Rosenwald scholarship allowing her to train abroad in England, France, Belgium, Holland, the former Soviet Union and Scandinavia. She toured Europe many times in her career.

In 1939, she was denied the right to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. because the venue owners, The Daughters of the American Revolution enforced a clause in their contract that stated “concerts by whites only.” DAR member Eleanor Roosevelt and several other members resigned in protest.

As an alternative to the Constitution Hall concert, Marian’s representatives arranged for her to perform at the Lincoln Memorial. In attendance were 75,000 people, the largest turnout to date at that time, and heard by millions of listeners on the radio.

Although she was reluctant to view herself as an activist, the Lincoln Memorial concert has been said to be one of the most dramatic events in civil rights history.

Several weeks later, at the invitation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ms. Anderson performed at the White House for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England, making her the first African American to perform at the White House.

In spite of her treatment by the Daughters of the American Revolution Ms. Anderson remained a patriot. She performed in hospitals and bases for the troops in World War II and the Korean War.

In 1957 she toured India and the Far East as a goodwill ambassador through the U.S. State Department and the American National Theater and Academy. She traveled 35,000 miles in 12 weeks, giving 24 concerts.

Upon her return President Eisenhower appointed her as a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. As a member of the United Nations Trusteeship Committee, Ms. Anderson helped oversee the well-being of more than 100 million people living in U.N. trust territories in Africa and the South Pacific.

She sang at the inaugurations of Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy.
Most important was her international stardom – she traveled the world extensively and enjoyed more freedom and appreciation abroad than at home.

In 1963 Ms. Anderson also sang at the historic March on Washington. She was alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I was able to see and hear her on that day along with my family and friends who attended the March. That same year she was awarded the American Medal of Freedom.

Ironically, Marion Anderson launched her retirement tour at the very hall where she had been denied so many years before, Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

Marian Anderson passed away on April 8, 1993 at the age of 96, leaving a legacy of excellence and selfless service to a world of adoring fans.

On January 27, 2005, a commemorative U.S. postage stamp honored her as part of the Black Heritage series.

Ms. Anderson was a recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest adult award given by the Boy Scouts of America.

She symbolized the civil rights movement with dignity and grace; and was the first African-American to be named a permanent member of Metropolitan Opera Company, also, she was a frequent performer at the White House.

Four years ago, while visiting Philadelphia, I had the opportunity to visit the home of Marian Anderson. It was a special experience as we were shown around by her family members. The home has the original furniture, piano, and china just as Ms. Anderson used them when she lived there. Even some of her dresses were on display. I would encourage anyone who is in the area to make an appointment to visit.

While hearing the personal stories of her life, I was, once again, in awe to think of the many experiences that she had and the courage that she exhibited while enduring racism and prejudice by others. She carried herself with dignity and with her head held high.

Her story is an inspiration for everyone.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

5,914 - U.S. Military have died since 3/19/03

5,914 US Military have died since Iraq
war began on 3/19/03.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Today is President’s Day in the USA. It is named that way to recognize two former presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, who happened to have birthdays in February.

This month is also designated as African American History Month and on this blog I have been writing about some famous people who contributed to Black History.

It just occurred to me that it would be appropriate to write about President Barack Obama on President’s Day in African American History Month.

He is, after all, the first person of African descent to become a President of the USA. Yes, I know that there have been some rumors that there may have been former presidents who had African blood in their lineage but he is the first one who is openly acknowledged to being fathered by an African parent and his complexion leaves no confusion there.

Most of you know his story –

Barack Hussein Obama II (born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States. He previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned after his election to the presidency in November 2008.

A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, he graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.

Barack Obama served in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid against a Democratic incumbent for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he ran for United States Senate in 2004. Several events brought him to national attention during the campaign, including his victory in the March 2004 Democratic primary and his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He won election to the U.S. Senate in November 2004. His presidential campaign began in February 2007, and after a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries he won his party's nomination. In the 2008 general election he defeated Republican nominee John McCain and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009.

He and his wife, Michelle, were married on October 3, 1992. Their first daughter, Malia Ann, was born on July 4, 1998, followed by a second daughter, Natasha ("Sasha"), on June 10, 2001.


When the outcome of the U.S. election was announced I received an e-mail that showed the front page of the newspapers of every state in the Union. All of them were hopeful and jubilant. Included in that message were also the front pages of newspapers from around the entire world. They all expressed joy at the election of Barack Obama.

President Obama has a multicultural background and is also very intelligent. In the days following his inauguration some of his first actions were to reach out to the opposing political party and he also reached out to leaders of many countries, cultures and faiths around the world.

This did not go unnoticed and I believe that this interaction along with the many visits from world leaders and his visible presence and rapport in many countries are directly responsible for his receiving the honor of Nobel Peace Prize Recipient.

There are some moments in our lives where we have an "I was there" moment. A moment that despite your best attempts to explain how you felt you can't convey how remarkable an experience it was that you just shared. I had that moment personally, on Thursday, July 16th, 2009 along with many others when President Barack Obama was the guest speaker at the 100th anniversary convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in New York City.

I was there.

As he spoke that evening his remarks embodied an understanding that we've made progress but we have more mountains to climb. They also reminded us that we have to dream higher and obtain more, which he so beautifully stated by saying, "our children can't all aspire to be LeBron or Lil Wayne. I want them aspiring to be scientists and engineers -- doctors and teachers -- not just ballers and rappers. I want them aspiring to be a Supreme Court Justice. I want them aspiring to be the President of the United States of America."

Many of us in attendance remembered moments that we had taken part in that included marching, protesting, sitting in and standing tall- that night we all shared in this once in a lifetime moment - we were listening to the first African-American president who was in the house, and also living in the White House.

We had the good fortune to be sitting in the front row and were just a few feet from the President as he gave his speech. So, for generations to come, we are able to tell our children and grandchildren that we were there.

We believe that unbelievable things can happen - we have witnessed it!

Happy President's Day to President Barack Obama and to those who went before him.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

African American History Month - Muhammad Ali

African American History Month

I first met Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay at the time) when he would visit his friends in Springfield, Massachusetts. He would do his daily workout in Blunt Park and then have breakfast at his friend’s house in Amore village. I lived in the neighborhood and we were always welcomed to attend. He was a pleasure to be around and we all admired him because he was able to speak up for himself publicly in an era when it could have been dangerous to do so.

So why do I, a pacifist, have so much admiration for a pugilist? Here is why. When Muhammad was inducted into the U.S. Armed Forces in 1966 he declared himself a conscientious objector.

At the time the United States was engaged in the Vietnam War. Muhammad stated that "War is against the teachings of the Holy Qur'an." When appearing for his scheduled induction into the U.S. Armed Forces on April 28, 1967 in Houston, he refused three times to step forward at the call of his name. He was warned that was committing a felony punishable by five years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Once more, Muhammad refused to budge when his name was called. As a result, on that same day, the New York State Athletic Commission suspended his boxing license and stripped him of his title. Other boxing commissions followed suit.

At the trial two months later he was found guilty. After a court of appeals upheld the conviction, the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court. Later, on June 28, 1971, the Supreme Court reversed his conviction for refusing induction by unanimous decision in Clay v. United States.

Boxing fans adored his courage in the ring and he is widely respected, but I admire the courage he displayed in his personal lifestyle.

I saw him again in 1985 when I was having breakfast with a friend, Susana, at a well-known hotel in London, England. He was walking through the buffet line selecting items for his meal. I was amazed to see the difference in him. He had his forever-present smile on his face but his ambulation was slow and his hands and arms were trembling noticeably. I had heard that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s but was not prepared to see how it was affecting this courageous warrior.

Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., was born January 17 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. He was named after his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr., who was named for the 19th century abolitionist and politician Cassius Clay. He changed his name after joining the Nation of Islam in 1964, subsequently converting to Sunni Islam in 1975 and then Sufism.

Daring to go against political policy to help people in need, Muhammad has made goodwill missions to Afghanistan and North Korea; delivered sorely needed medical supplies to an embargoed Cuba; traveled to Iraq and secured the release of 15 United States hostages during the first Gulf War; and journeyed to South Africa to meet Nelson Mandela upon his release from prison.

Today, championing the issues in the developing world has become a major focus of his life. He has been instrumental in providing over 232 million meals to the world's hungry. Traveling across continents, he has hand-delivered food and medical supplies to children in Cote D'Ivoire, Indonesia, Mexico, and Morocco among other countries.

In addition to his international efforts, Muhammad is equally devoted to helping charities at home. He has visited countless numbers of soup kitchens and hospitals, and helped such organizations as the Make-A-Wish-Foundation and the Special Olympics.

To me his greatest triumph lies in his legacy as a champion, leader, humanitarian, and artist. His honors and recognitions include: (read this list slowly to allow these thought-provoking words to sink in)

• Sports Illustrated's "Sportsman of the Century"
• BBC's "Sports Personality of the Century"
• GQ magazine's "Athlete of the Century"
• World Sports Award's "World Sportsman of the Century"
• United Nations Messenger of Peace in 1998-2008, for his work with developing nations
• Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the United States of America's highest civil award
• Amnesty International's Lifetime Achievement Award
• Germany's 2005 Otto Hahn Peace Medal, for his involvement in the U.S. civil rights movement and the United Nations
• International Ambassador of Jubilee 2000, a global organization dedicated to relieving debt in developing nations
• State of Kentucky's "Kentuckian of the Century"
• The Advertising Club of Louisville's "Louisvillian of the Century"
and February 12,2009 - NAACP's President Award

Other honors include an Essence Award, an XNBA Human Spirit Award and recognition from the National Urban League; 100 Black Men; Givat Haviva; the Oleander Foundation; The National Conference of Christians and Jews; TIME magazine and many other.

President Jimmy Carter once cited Muhammad as "Mr. International Friendship."

Muhammad published ‘The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life's Journey’ in which he discusses the meaning of religion, forgiveness, and some of the defining moments in his life and career. He is also the co-author of 'Healing: A Journal of Tolerance and Understanding' and 'The Greatest: My Own Story.'

Whether promoting tolerance and understanding, feeding the hungry, studying his religion, or reaching out to children in need, Muhammad Ali is devoted to making the world a better place for all people. No athlete has ever contributed more to the life of his country, or the world, than Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali is a retired American boxer and as a professional, he became the only man to have won the linear heavyweight championship three times. They tried to humiliate him when they stripped him of his title. From being publically disgraced to being the recipient of America's highest civil award the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 is an incredible testimony.

You may have seen him on TV on Inauguration Day. He was walking very slowly with the aid of a walker. He was slouched over and it was obvious that he was concentrating hard on the process of moving forward. My heart went out to him – this man who has always refused to give up. He stood tall when they took away his belt and title, he stood tall when they tried to break his spirit and on this day, in my eyes, he was walking even taller.

He would always say, “I’m the Greatest!”
Yes, Muhammad Ali, indeed you are!


For a great treat copy and paste this website into your computer –For those who remember him when he was Cassius I dare you to try not to laugh!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Reflection - An Act of Kindness

Matthew 25:35-40 (New King James Version)

35 For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’


A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago.
They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner. In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples.
Apples flew everywhere.

Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding.

ALL BUT ONE!!! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been

He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to
call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking
a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over
the terminal floor.

He was glad he did.

The 16-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping and no one to care for her plight.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.

When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, 'Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?' She nodded through her tears... He continued on with, 'I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly.'

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him,
'Mister....' He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes.
She continued, 'Are you Jesus?'

He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch
the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul:
'Are you Jesus?'

Do people mistake you for Jesus?

That's our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the
difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love,
life and grace.

If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It's actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.

You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.

Sometimes we just take things for granted, when we really need to be sharing
what we know...

Author unknown

Friday, February 11, 2011

February 11, 2011 - Egypt - The people have spoken!

Cairo, Egypt – the people have spoken.

A woman in Tahrir Square reacts as it is announced that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was giving up power February 11, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. After 18 days of widespread protests, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who has now left Cairo for his home in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheik, announced that he would step down.


A message from President Barack Obama related to today's events:

There are very few moments in our lives where we have the privilege to witness history taking place. This is one of those moments. This is one of those times. The people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same.

By stepping down, President Mubarak responded to the Egyptian people’s hunger for change. But this is not the end of Egypt’s transition. It’s a beginning. I’m sure there will be difficult days ahead, and many questions remain unanswered. But I am confident that the people of Egypt can find the answers, and do so peacefully, constructively, and in the spirit of unity that has defined these last few weeks. For Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day.

The military has served patriotically and responsibly as a caretaker to the state, and will now have to ensure a transition that is credible in the eyes of the Egyptian people. That means protecting the rights of Egypt’s citizens, lifting the emergency law, revising the constitution and other laws to make this change irreversible, and laying out a clear path to elections that are fair and free. Above all, this transition must bring all of Egypt’s voices to the table. For the spirit of peaceful protest and perseverance that the Egyptian people have shown can serve as a powerful wind at the back of this change.

The United States will continue to be a friend and partner to Egypt. We stand ready to provide whatever assistance is necessary -- and asked for -- to pursue a credible transition to a democracy. I’m also confident that the same ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that the young people of Egypt have shown in recent days can be harnessed to create new opportunity -- jobs and businesses that allow the extraordinary potential of this generation to take flight. And I know that a democratic Egypt can advance its role of responsible leadership not only in the region but around the world.

Egypt has played a pivotal role in human history for over 6,000 years. But over the last few weeks, the wheel of history turned at a blinding pace as the Egyptian people demanded their universal rights.

We saw mothers and fathers carrying their children on their shoulders to show them what true freedom might look like.

We saw a young Egyptian say, “For the first time in my life, I really count. My voice is heard. Even though I’m only one person, this is the way real democracy works.”

We saw protesters chant “Selmiyya, selmiyya” -- “We are peaceful” -- again and again.

We saw a military that would not fire bullets at the people they were sworn to protect.

And we saw doctors and nurses rushing into the streets to care for those who were wounded, volunteers checking protesters to ensure that they were unarmed.

We saw people of faith praying together and chanting – “Muslims, Christians, We are one.” And though we know that the strains between faiths still divide too many in this world and no single event will close that chasm immediately, these scenes remind us that we need not be defined by our differences. We can be defined by the common humanity that we share.

And above all, we saw a new generation emerge -- a generation that uses their own creativity and talent and technology to call for a government that represented their hopes and not their fears; a government that is responsive to their boundless aspirations. One Egyptian put it simply: Most people have discovered in the last few days…that they are worth something, and this cannot be taken away from them anymore, ever.

This is the power of human dignity, and it can never be denied. Egyptians have inspired us, and they’ve done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained through violence. For in Egypt, it was the moral force of nonviolence -- not terrorism, not mindless killing -- but nonviolence, moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice once more.

And while the sights and sounds that we heard were entirely Egyptian, we can’t help but hear the echoes of history -- echoes from Germans tearing down a wall, Indonesian students taking to the streets, Gandhi leading his people down the path of justice.

As Martin Luther King said in celebrating the birth of a new nation in Ghana while trying to perfect his own, “There is something in the soul that cries out for freedom.” Those were the cries that came from Tahrir Square, and the entire world has taken note.

Today belongs to the people of Egypt, and the American people are moved by these scenes in Cairo and across Egypt because of who we are as a people and the kind of world that we want our children to grow up in.

The word Tahrir means liberation. It is a word that speaks to that something in our souls that cries out for freedom. And forevermore it will remind us of the Egyptian people -- of what they did, of the things that they stood for, and how they changed their country, and in doing so changed the world.

President Barack Obama


The people are chanting - This is our day - this is our country!

Wonderful smiles on every face.

The people have spoken!

Egypt’s history has changed forever.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

African American History Month - Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth - Abolitionist, Women's Rights Advocate

The following reminiscences were recorded by Frances Gage who was in attendance at The Ohio Women’s rights Convention, Akron Convention, Akron, Ohio, May 1851.
"There were very few women in those days who dared to "speak in meeting"; When, slowly from her seat in the corner she rose. She moved slowly and solemnly to the front, laid her old bonnet at her feet, and turned her great speaking eyes to me - I rose and announced "Sojourner Truth," She stood nearly six feet high, head erect, and eyes piercing the upper air like one in a dream. At her first word there was a profound hush.

Ain’t I a Woman?

That man over there say a woman needs to be helped into carriages
and lifted over ditches and to have the best place everywhere. 

Nobody ever helped me into carriages
or over mud puddles or gives me a best place . . .
And ain’t I a woman? 

Look at me. Look at my arm! I have plowed and planted
and gathered into barns and no man could head me . . .

And ain’t I a woman?

I could work as much and eat as much as a man–

when I could get to it–
and bear the lash as well

And ain’t I a woman?

I have born 13 children and seen most all sold into slavery
and when I cried out a mother’s grief none but Jesus heard me . . .

And ain’t I a woman? 

That little man in black there say a woman can’t have as much rights,
as a man cause Christ wasn’t a woman

Where did your Christ come from?
From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with him!

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down,
all alone together women ought to be able to turn it
rightside up again.


Sojourner Truth - Born: (c. 1797-1883)

Born one of twelve children, Isabella Baumfree in Ulster County, New York, she was freed by the New York State Emancipation Act of 1827 and lived in New York City for a time.

Around this time she had a life-changing religious experience and became a devout Christian. On June 1, 1843 she took the name Sojourner Truth which she felt God had given her and she assumed the "mission" of spreading "the Truth" across the country. She became famous as an itinerant preacher, drawing huge crowds with her oratory (and some said "mystical gifts") wherever she appeared. She became one of an active group of black women abolitionists, lectured before numerous abolitionist audiences, and was friends with such leading white abolitionists as James and Lucretia Mott and Harriet Beecher Stowe. She also became involved with the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

Some amazing statistics for a woman in the 1800’s – especially a woman of African descent:

- Before freedom she was sold three times: 1806, 1808, 1810

- She had five children -- Diana (c. 1815); Peter (c. 1822); Elizabeth (c. 1825); Sophia (c.1826) and Hannah who died in infancy. (Some controversy came about her ‘Ain’t I a Woman’ speech. In it Sojourner is quoted as having 13 children. Historians today primarily agree on five.)
- She filed and won a lawsuit to secure the return of her son, Peter, who had been illegally sold into slavery in Alabama from New York (1827-28).

- With the outbreak of the Civil War she raised money to purchase gifts for the soldiers, distributing them herself in the camps. She also helped African Americans who had escaped to the North to find habitation and shelter.

- In 1844, she joined the Northampton Association of Education and Industry in Massachusetts. Founded by abolitionists, the organization supported women's rights and religious tolerance as well as pacifism.

- In 1853 she met with Harriet Beecher Stowe in Andover, Mass.

- She owned three homes in all. Northampton, Mass. (1850), Harmonia village outside Battle Creek, Michigan (1857) and College Street, Battle Creek, Michigan (1867).

- In 1864, Sojourner was employed by the National Freedman's Relief Association in Washington, D.C. She worked diligently to improve conditions for African-Americans.

- In 1865, while working at the Freedman's Hospital in Washington, she rode in the streetcars to help force their desegregation. (90 years before Rosa Parks claimed her seat on the bus.)

- 1871 - Frederick Douglass signed her Book of Life while she was making rounds for freedom in New York.

- In 1872, she returned to Battle Creek and tried to vote in the presidential election, but was turned away at the polling place.

- She actually had an audience with two Presidents of the United States in the White House. Abraham Lincoln (1864) and Ulysses Grant (1870).

Age and ill health caused her to retire from the lecture circuit, and she spent her last days in a sanatorium in Battle Creek, Michigan. When she died on November 26, 1883, her last words were, "Be a follower of Jesus."

She is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Michigan. Her grandsons, Sammy Banks and William Boyd, and her daughters, Elizabeth Banks Boyd and Diana Corbin are buried in the same plot. Despite her hardships she had managed to keep her family together.

Illiterate all of her life, Sojourner’s courage and candid, homespun way of speaking against the evils of slavery and the denial of women’s rights made her a major presence in her day. She still stands preeminently as the only woman of color who gained a national reputation on the lecture platform in the days before the Civil War.

A woman of courage and tenacity who believed she had God on her side.
Her life is a testimony that she did.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday Reflection - For Everything There Is A Season

Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses:

For everything there is a season,

And a time for every matter under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

A time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to seek, and a time to lose;

A time to keep, and a time to throw away;

A time to tear, and a time to sew;

A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate,

A time for war, and a time for peace.

-- Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

From the Holy Bible: the book of Ecclesiastes contains the thoughts of 'the Philosopher,' a man who reflected deeply on how short
and contradictory human life is.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

In Solidarity With the People of Egypt

Women protesting in Egypt

AP photo

Poem for the People of Egypt: On This Day of Awakening

by Magdalena Gomez on Tuesday, February 1, 2011

On This Day of Awakening

(for the people of Egypt; you are bread for a starving world)

For you, with fists in your voice,

who without arms or rope

break the aberrant mule.

(All apologies to brother mule

who once carried water

to my mother’s mouth.)

For you, who plant lush gardens

in the putrid fields of caution,

rousing the dead into epiphanies

and face to face contact;

For you who shame the silence

of tyranny’s allies

those thugs with perfect teeth

and unworn boots,

who tug at straining vests

from safe distances;

their only rebellion

a rumbling, soft stomach.

Threats arrive

from the sewers of greed,

where secrets,

and soldiers

huckstered from their youth,

are buried beneath

lies of bread.

The helicopters,

the trucks,

the guns,

the planes,

the shadows,

the sounds,

the gas,

the smoke,

the looks,

the signals,

the orders.

Check all of the above

for stamps of origin.


rears up straight

from broken ground,

dips her tongue

deep into the bruise of night,

writing over Cairo

the undelivered letter

to be read by the world.

The promise of the last word

makes The People One,

making fools of governments

and masters who command

with broken sticks

poking out from their ears.

For you who




Survivors and Witnesses:



each and all.

From every pore of body and soul

a million sets of eyes open at once

on the face of holiness;

a sacred prayer

erupts around the world

that in every language

sings: “Not enough! No more!”

-Magdalena Gómez

Copyright, 2011


To my friends - this wonderful poem shown above was written by a friend, Magdalena Gomez, in Western Massachusetts. She has given permission for it to be passed along to others if you wish.


Egypt: ‘Protesters streamed into Tahrir, or Liberation Square, defying a government transportation shutdown to make their way from rural provinces in the Nile Delta. The peaceful crowd was jammed in shoulder to shoulder — schoolteachers, farmers, unemployed university graduates, women in conservative headscarves and women in high heels, men in suits and working-class men in scuffed shoes.’ (AP)

I just saw a news clip showing hundreds of carloads of people with their entire families coming into Cairo from all over, to take part in the million person demonstration - also, it is reported that the army will not harm them. This is good! Reminds me of the passion of the Civil Rights Movement here in the United States in the late 60's.