Black History

Black History
I had no idea history was being made. I was just tired of giving up. -Rosa Parks

Saturday, March 26, 2011

National Black Marriage Day

To say that my life has been overwhelmingly busy since my last post 4 weeks ago, is an understatement! My daughter was in her spring school production, "Combinations," and I was the cast party host for 2 shows. Micah also celebrated her 13th birthday, which brought on a week-long celebration from a hair "makeover", to a limo ride & dinner with friends, to a friends & family rights of passage gathering over dinner at home. From there we went straight into the golf season opener...Micah plays on both her school team and a city-wide team sponsered by the LPGA (by the way, she won her first match by 4 strokes!). We rounded this past month off with the Clark Atlanta University "Spirit of Greatness" Gala last Sunday! The Mr. does an original art piece for the Gala each year, which means the Mrs. is at his beck and call until the last guest leaves the ballroom (it also means the Mrs. gets caught up rolling 400+ poster/prints and inserts them into 400+ 3mm wide poly bags!).

So...WHEW! I took care of my fam but neglected our project to share our history...but its all relevant! African Americans have thrived on familial connections...generation after generation....its what keeps us going. Positive or negative, our family is our motivation to take it to the next level.

I don't know about you, but when my family has me on the go, I usually talk to my girls about whats going on...whats stressing me out...what could be done differently. My girls are my constant cheerleaders. They remind me that in all of my comings and goings I have to take care of myself, that there is no such thing as perfection, and they also remind me that its okay to say "NO!" from time to time.

Sometimes when we are constantly trying to please everyone, constantly striving to make everything alright, and although its embarassing to admit...sometimes we do strive to pull off perfection (or at least the perception of perfection to satisfy the onlookers). When we work so hard to pull something together, we feel a "high" upon successful completion. However, oftentimes our efforts are overlooked or under-celebrated, which results in a "low".

I don't know about you and your household, but in mine...EVERYONE feels underappreciated! I give my husband constant shout-outs via social networks, bragging about his latest project. I tell him (and show him...wink wink) "thank you" about a million times a day for providing, organizing, hanging out with the kids, or helping out around the house. However, he doesn't always hear it. In his mind, he tells me "thank you" a million times a day for my efforts...but in the same vain, I don't always hear it. That's the point the author of "Love Languages" is trying to get to. We can say it with our mouth, we can say it with our actions...but if we're not "speaking" the "language" our partner can comprehend...we're not really saying much of anything at all...simply because we're not reaching them.

Tomorrow, Sunday, March 27th is National Black Marriage Day.

The goal is to change the hearts and minds of the Black community to cherish and celebrate the marriages that we currently have while encouraging others to commit themselves to marriage so more children grow up with the gift of a two parent family.

Marriage is HARD WORK (if you didn't know!). Every married couple of my generation that I am close to is either already divorced or they're bustin their ass not to be! My father has been married 4 times; my mother was married twice. I still live with the pain and confusion brought on by divorce, re-marriage(s), step-mothers, step-sisters, half-sisters/brothers, etc. It was a lot of love...don't get me wrong...but I grew up with way too much information...but not necessarily the right information necessary to find, develop and maintain a happy, healthy marriage and family. Its a constant work in progress. Luckily for me, my parents (as well as my surrogate parents, mentors, etc.) found their way along the way; they got smarter; they became grounded in The Spirit; and although they can't undo the damage of the past...they do work hard to suggest modifications for the future.

One constant theme in the advice I receive from my to PRAY! To remain grounded in God, to be faithful and faithfilled.  While this isn't a traditional post about Black History per is about our Black legacy! (Besides, this is my/our Blog...we have the privilege of defining what is or isn't "traditional!") To maintain and nurture our legacy...the legacy of strong family, I want to share this prayer that I pray daily (in good times and in bad). I shared it with a few friends, and didn't realize the impact it had on so many people. I've watched this prayer be passed around via Facebook and Email to my friends friends...and even strangers and their friends.

So, in honor of National Black Marriage Day; In honor of our legacy; In honor of strong, healthy families... here's one of my favorite prayers:

Father, I come boldly before Your throne of grace at this time in our marriage. For Your Word says that You are a very present help. So I look unto the hills (unto You), from which comes our help. For I know that our help comes only from you.

Father, I know that it is the thief (Satan) who comes to steal, kill, and bring destruction upon our marriage. I recognize that he is the one that desires to steal our happiness and destroy our marriage. So I take authority over Satan, and over every principality, every demonic spirit, and every spiritual wickedness in high places, and I bind them from our marriage, by the authority of the name of Jesus Christ!

Father, You said that what You have joined together, that we should not allow any person, nor any demon in hell to put asunder or separate. Father, I believe that You put us together; so I refuse to let the devil take hold and destroy our marriage. I cast down every spirit of arguing, fussing, fighting, discord, and division. I render these, as well as every other demonic attack against our marriage to be helpless, powerless, inoperative, and ineffective against us.

I thank You Father that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty throuogh You, O God, to the pulling down of strongholds, and casting down imaginations. Therefore, I pull down every stronghold of Satan in our marraige; I cast down every wicked and demonic thought, imagination, and influence that is upon or against our marriage. I enter into the strong man's house (Satan) with one who is stronger than he, (The Lord, Jesus Christ), and I take back what rightfully belongs to us. I take back our peace, harmony, love, affection, and everything else that God has given and promised us for our marriage. Satan, I decree that you are defeated in our marriage, and you are under our feet. I decree all these things by the powerful, magnificent, and invincible name of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Father, I also thank You for the power and authority that You have given to us to speak to our situations and circumstances, and command them to be removed; therefore, I speak to the troubles in our marriage, and I command them to be removed, up-rooted, and cast into the sea. And even as Jesus spoke, and calmed the raging sea with the power of His Word, I also speak the Word of the Living God to this sea of troubles in our marriage, and I command them to be at "peace, and be still!"

I thank You Father that this satanic weapon that has been formed against us shall "not" prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against us shall be exposed and brought to an open shame. I thank You for contending with the enemy as he contends with us through this attack; and may You fight on our behalf, and rebuke the devourer from our marriage, for our sake.

Father, You said that You would perfect that which concerns us; and You know these troubles concern us. So I pray that You would perfect our marriage from these troubles, and bless our marriage to mature in Christ.

Lord, You are our Sheperd, and as our Sheperd, I pray that You would help us not to follow the voice of the stranger (Satan), but help us to follow Your voice (our Great Shepherd). Therefore, I cast down every thought and imagination of separation, infidelity, unfaithfulness, and divorce; and I thank You that neither my spouse nor I shall listen to the voice of Satan.

Father, You said that the effectual, fervent prayers of a righteous man avail much. I know that I am not righteous of my own works, but I am made righteous through Jesus Christ. Therefore, I thank You that my prayers for our marriage avail much in victory.

Father, I pray that You would bless our love to grow stronger and stronger, first of all for You, and then for one another. And as our love grows, give us a desire to please each other more and more. I pray that as we find faults and shortcomings in each other, that You would help us to be patient with one another, and bless our love to overcome our faults and differences. For Your Word says that love covers a multitude of faults.

Father, You instructed us to always remember our first love. So I pray that You would bless us to remember how it was when we first met. May You restore and revive that same first love affection and desire within our hearts, and help us to keep our love continually and passionately stirred for one another.

I pray that You would help us not to become conformed to what Satan would have us to see in each other, but bless us to rather, become transformed and renewed daily to see what You would have us to see in each other. May You renew our minds so that we see each other as exciting, attractive, sensuous, and more desirable than ever before. Bless us to care about what pleases each other, help us to become more sensitive to each other's needs and desires, and help us not to be selfish, but rather giving to one another.

I pray that You would help us to walk in unity, and in the spirit of agreement. And help us to both speak the same things (in the spirit of unity) and be on one accord in Christ.

Father, I thank You for the peace of God in our marriage -- the peace that passes all understanding. May You keep us in Your perfect peace (rather than confusion and contention), and help us to keep our hearts and our minds stayed upon You.

Now Father, I thank You for Your Word, and how that Your Word does not return unto You void, but it accomplishes that in which You send it to perform. So as I have prayed Your Word through this prayer, I thank You for our victory, and for our deliverance, restoration and reconciliation. I give You all the glory, the honor and the praise for what You have already done (by faith), and for what You shall continue to do in our marriage.

In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. AMEN!

(Prayer comes from the book: "The Weapons of Our Warfare" by Pastor Kenneth Scott; ISBN: 0-9667009-2-9)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Malcolm X

You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.  - Malcolm X
At a speaking engagement in the Manhattan's Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965 three gunmen rushed Malcolm onstage. They shot him 15 times at close range [and in front of his pregnant wife and children]. The 39-year-old was pronounced dead on arrival at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

Fifteen hundred people attended Malcolm's funeral in Harlem on February 27, 1965 at the Faith Temple Church of God in Christ (now Child's Memorial Temple Church of God in Christ). After the ceremony, friends took the shovels away from the waiting gravediggers and buried Malcolm themselves.

Later that year, Betty gave birth to their twin daughters.

Malcolm's assassins, Talmadge Hayer, Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson were convicted of first-degree murder in March 1966. The three men were all members of the Nation of Islam.
(Text copied from:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Their Granny, My Mommy, Your Diva

"When and elder dies, it is as if an entire library has burned to the ground" - African saying

While this is an unfortunate reality in so many families, it wasn't the case with mine. My mother lived out loud...she kept no secrets and presented her life story as an active testimony so that others could learn and perhaps benefit from her experience(s). My mother was an avid writer. She woke each day at 5:00am and with a strong cup of black coffee in hand she wrote something...anything. She would often say that if nothing else, just one sentence would do. Those sentences turned into paragraphs, the paragraphs turned into pages, the pages turned into one of the most remarkable tales ever told. Her legacy will live forever because with great intent she told her own story, her own way, refusing to leave it up to someone on the sidelines.

In a letter written not long after I announced that I was pregnant with my first child, my mother felt the need to explain explain the reasoning behind some of the decisions she made over her lifetime. The letter was a reflection of who she was as a woman...a daughter, a friend, a wife...but more importantly who she was as a mother. The thought of her last born, preparing for her first born, prompted her thoughts: are the highlights, the exchanges on my journey, the purpose of this letter is to fill you in on the blue roads and the red ones.  The highways, and the back roads. I don't expect to protect you from life, or to alter your journey in any way.  I want to show you what worked for me, what didn't, what mistakes I made, what factors went into the decisions I made.  I want to share with you what discoveries I made, what I missed, my impressions, my beliefs...
My mother identified herself as, "a Black woman who lived through racism, inequality, struggle, segregation, and integration." She says that she, "came of age at a time to be the 'first,' unthreatened, unafraid, and unstoppable." This was her gift to me, to her granddaughters and to anyone else willing to pull up a chair and listen. My mother was a warrior on every front...she taught me how to navigate and negotiate this world we live in. She was spirit-filled and spirit-led. She was patient, loving, and insightful. My mother wouldn't let me give up; she refused my excuses. She pushed me, pulled me, nudged me...all the while being gentle, comforting and supportive. She was my scaffold. She taught me how to be a daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife, and a friend.

I am so blessed to have a mother like Sylvia Althea Brent Elliott. Present tense intentional, as my mother is still a very active part of my life despite her physical absence. She was taken far too soon by a rare sarcoma cancer. She was diagnosed May 23, 2005 and died 7 weeks later on July 20, 2005. My mother believed in the afterlife and as a result, she remains my rock, my anchor, my greatest advocate and cheerleader.

To learn more about my mother, take a look at the glogster created by her BIGGEST fans, Micah and Elijah

You can also view her obituary:

Read one of my favorite poems written by my mother:

Hand-Me-Down Mothering by Sylvia Elliott

           When I was a young and active mother
I was engaged every minute of the day
planning meals activities and life for my children
they did not miss very much at all
their childhoods were thoughtfully constructed
very much like my mother had constructed
my own guaranteed to enrich my life
If I had forgotten any thing of it
I get to see the rerun with my
daughter being active with
her young children
engaged in planning meals activities and life
My granddaughter standing on a stool
helping her mother make dinner
at the age of four just as her mother
helped me when she was four and I
helped my mother when I was four
I suspect my mother stood on a stool
when she was four and helped her mother too
When they were little I took them to
the circus so they would be amazed
the zoo to see the animals move and play
the movies for the thrill the theatre to see it live
to restaurants and formal dinners
so they could be served by men in
white gloves to visit relatives so they
could get to know them to visit santa 
so they would know expectation
I gave them elixir for their pain
I spanked them when they needed correction
They got to see sickness and death
I comforted them in their losses
I took them shopping for groceries to
learn the names of food and see it raw for clothes to see
the choices       I took them to school so they
would love to learn to church so they
could hear the stories
            I showed them the sun the moon
the stars and the rain so they could know God
I showed them flowers blooming and the
colors in the rainbow so they could know God more
I read them books sang them lullabies baked them cookies
made popsicles and pop corn and
snow angels
I hugged them and kissed them
And bathed them and loved them
cut out valentine hearts swam in
lakes rivers oceans and the sea
I gave them the things my mother gave to me
            But the greatest gift is to see my daughter
Give her children the things I gave to her

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Micah Loves Chips...and Their Creator!

George Crum invented the potato chip. George was just a normal guy when one summer, the summer of 1853, he was employed as a chef at an elegant resort in Saratoga Springs, New York. One dinner guest found Crum's French fries too thick for his liking and rejected the order. Crum decided to make his guest mad by producing a slice that was too thin and crisp to skewer with a fork. The plan didn’t really work; instead, the guest loved the browned, paper-thin potatoes, and it was so good that other diners began requesting Crum's potato “chips.”
Personally, I love potato chips, so I am so thankful for him. There are a lot of people I know who couldn’t live without potato chips. People should be more grateful and appreciative towards Mr. George Crum, but most people don’t even know who he is.
To learn more about George Crum, check out the Glogster I made all about him!
-Posted by Micah B.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Micah Reflects on Calvin Peete

Calvin Peete was born on July 18, 1943 in Detroit Michigan. He was in a family of nine brothers and sisters. He is one of the most successful African-American golfers on the PGA tour before Tiger Woods. Calvin played on the 1983 and 1985 US Ryder cup teams. He won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average in 1984. He was in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings for several weeks when they debuted in 1986. Calvin didn’t start playing golf until he was into his 20’s, but he learned very fast.

I believe the contribution he made to the game of golf opened the door for other African Americans to want to play golf. He also showed others that they weren’t the only ones that were capable of playing golf. Most people believe that black people are to play sports such as Football, Basketball, and Track and Field. Having more African American golfers on the course will make it seem more “normal”.

Calvin Peete means a lot to me because I also happen to be an African American who enjoys the game of golf. The only difference is that I’m a female which is also something major. A lot of people believe females don’t play golf. But I proved those people wrong just as Calvin Peete proved all those other people wrong. I am THE first African American to join my school golf team at Simmons Middle School. I also helped form Simmons first girls’ golf team.

Without trend setters, trail blazers, and people who think outside of the box like me and Calvin Peete, the would continue to see us as different, treat us as outsiders, and continue to think we are not capable of things.

Check out the Glogster I made about Calvin Peete…ENJOY!

Today in Black History

Here are some links to help you dive a little deeper into events that happened on February 15...

1968:    On this day Henry Lewis becomes the first African American to lead a symphony orchestra in the United States.

1965:    Nat King Cole, singer and pianist, died in Santa Monica, California.

1964:    Louis Armstrong's "Hello Dolly" recording becomes his first and only number one record.

1961:    U.S. and African nationalist protesting the slaying of Congo Premier Patrice Lumumba disrupts U.N. sessions

1851:    Black abolitionists invaded Boston courtroom and rescued a fugitive slave.

1848:    Sarah Roberts barred from white school in Boston  in Boston. Her father, Benjamin Roberts, filed the first school integration suit on her behalf.

1804:    The New Jersey Legislature approved a law calling for "gradual" emancipation of African Americans. In so doing, New Jersey became the last Northern state to outlaw slavery.

Black History Resources

My husband wanted to share this collection of Powerpoints and websites with you all. Great BHM resources!