July 27, 2016

A Legacy Worth Leaving

There will come a funeral one day that you will attend that will bring tears.

Tears that continue to flow. Tears that you can not stop from coming. 
Tears for the past. Tears because it's the end. It's is the end of a "story".
Tears because in one life, your life has been interwoven and molded.
Tears because it's time for a new beginning.

That junction point funeral come for me on Tuesday, July 27, 2016 in my Aunt Bernice.

My aunt who sacrificed her life in her 40's to raise me from zero to five, my formative years. 
My aunt who loved me.  She raised me like I was to grow up to be a queen.
My aunt then sacrificed again as she gave me back to her brother and to my real family.

All I could do was sit and stare at the casket and the yellow roses on the casket.
There was singing and piano playing, I didn't see the singer and piano player.
There was a preacher, preaching and I heard him but looked through him.
The preacher was a messenger.  I heard the message loud and clear.  The message was that I was right where I was destined to be. I was on the right path.  I was not off track. I sat in awe as....

The Old Testament Scripture was read: Be Still and Know I Am God.  Psalm 46.  This is something I have been meditating on for years: Be Still and Know I Am God.  It is a powerful mantra. It will anchor your thoughts.  It will change your life. 

The New Testament Scripture was read: Revelation 7 which is the very book of the bible that I had read at my kitchen table two Sunday's prior to the funeral while listening on the radio to a Davidson College Presbyterian Church sermon.  I remember reading about all the tribes of  Judah and I sat in awe again as I heard that scripture read at my aunt's funeral.  I just kept wondering...What are the chances?  What are the chances that this book of the bible would find it's way back to me?  What are the chances?

Then the eulogy was entitled A Legacy Worth Leaving, What Will Your Legacy Be?  That lead me back to this post and The Black Folder Project.  As much as I want NOT to go forward I MUST. I have to print booklets, I have to market a workshop, I have to hold a workshop, I have to. This is part of my story. This is part of my legacy.  

There will come a funeral one day that you will attend that will bring tears. 

May 29, 2016

The Black Folder Project Moves Forward

After many years the project continues with a downloadable workbook followed by workshops.

What a journey this has been; but life is a journey...to be enjoyed. 

Workbooks are available via my Etsy shop.  

January 9, 2016

Loving My History, Culture, People and Myself

I didn't know why, but I had to find Dupp and Swat in Charlotte, NC.

  Didn't know, but the moment I walked in I figured it out.  

I saw this shirt the moment I walked in. 

That was the reason I needed to go there. To get this shirt. When I got home I put on the shirt and felt like a million$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ dollars. I felt all the wisdom and the glory from People With Color (I want to make that stick instead of People of Color) over the ages of time all the way back to the Ancient Egyptians. 

Loose. Free. Love Me. Love Us.    

December 30, 2015

Rest In Peace Justice Pharr Ward

Again...it happened again...
A young person that I knew. Gone. Died. Unexpectedly.

Death does not happen to just the aged.
Death comes to everyone.
Expect death to come.

Prepare for death to come.
Leave a legacy.
Pick a favorite color.
Pick a favorite song.
Prepare your family.

Death. Coming for us all.

Death came for Justy.
She left a legacy.
She had a favorite color.
She was a song. She was music. Beauty.

Rest in Peace Justice. I am thankful for knowing you and experiencing your beauty.

November 13, 2015

In Memory of Justin Wray Hilliard

I don't understand.

My son's friend Justin Hillard is dead at 30 years old. Killed by a bullet that as my son put it: "wasn't meant for him".

So much life left to live.
So much hope.
Now so much pain, anger and disbelief.

As a parent of a black child, teenager and young man you live in fear of this day. Well, this day is here for Justin's mom.
I just don't understand.  Do. Not. Understand.

This was a young man with so much promise.
This was a young man who read the newspaper EVERYDAY when he was in high school.  Smart. Kind. Happy. Always smiling. 

This was a young man whose life was cut short and it doesn't make sense. 

How and when do I tell my son and his friends that they need Black Folders too???  Good Grief.  

Rest in Peace Justin. 
Rest in Peace. Justin Wray Hilliard

September 12, 2015

What Legacy Will You Leave?

The above is a tree that is on the grounds of Historic Brattonsville plantation.  Saw it while visiting during a "By the Sweat of our Brows" program.  

Being from the Williamsburg Virginia area I have visited many plantations. I am always drawn to the old trees on the these plantations because they are living which mean they were THERE during slavery.  

It is always interesting to watch the folks dressed in garp of that day retelling stories from training sessions that taught them what happened on that plantation or during those times. THEN I look at the gnarled trees with their large canopies that just STAND there KNOWING what happened. 

This tree says --- LOOK AT ME ---- LISTEN TO ME ---- I KNOW!

Then I think ---- what will last when I'm gone?  What will say I was here? What legacy will I leave? What about you??? What will stand and tell your story when you're gone? I mean really...think about that.

July 4, 2015

Charleston's Emanuel AME Church

This 4th of July Holiday I decided to go the Charleston SC. 

Since the shooting I have been meditating on those who were killed, the killing itself, the church bells ringing, the unity, the funerals, President Obama singing and the lives that were lost.  

I worked on a prayer rock over the past two weeks, and kept it on my kitchen table and just stared at it as I lit a candle and had my daily meals.  On the back of the rock I put all the names of those killed.  They each had fascinating stories and lives and who would EVER imagine you could go to Wednesday night bible study and die there. 

Driving into Charleston was not a long ride but seemed to take forever.  I was getting caught up in my head and wondering exactly what I was doing THEN I saw a billboard with Cynthia Hurd's name and nine candles then knew exactly why I was driving to Charleston.  I remembered their stories, my meditation and I started to cry because reality was settling in.  This happened.  This was real.  These were real people.  I didn't have to meet them to know them.  My meditation on their lives told me that I knew them.  They were me and I was them. 

At the Church 

After I found the church and parked I walked ceremoniously down the streets of Charleston with the rock in my hand.  I got to the church and held the rock while I prayed and waited for the when and where I was suppose to place it. 

A lady came up to me and asked if she could take a picture of the rock.  She was nice.   She became emotional and I understood.  It was hard to be in a space like that and not feel something.   It was if all humanity was right there at the foot of that church. 

I stood there about 30 minutes waiting for a sign for placing the rock and then it came.  Two men came up and each gently placed one single flower on the memorial. That was the place, with their flowers.  It felt right.  

It was Rock Bottom but Love was there. 

All I kept thinking was this happened in 2015.  This actually happened.  Below are some pictures to help remind me that this actually happened.
Back of the Rock
Loved This Poster!

Rock Bottom - At the bottom of the stairs

The Rock in front of the flower and Jesus Candle

The Memorial and Folks Paying Respect
Amazing Story of the Church

Rev. Pinckney's name is still on the kiosk