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Chocolate Vent’s Question of the Day – What is one situation in which you’ve felt completely helpless?

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Still Believe

What Word have you let slip so far this year?

Or even prior to that, have you given up hope on the promises of God for you, whether it was last year or previous years – have you grown complacent and taken on the mantra, “It is what it is.”

Have you grown to accept “business as usual” and stopped expecting the unexpected in your life?

This reminds me of the story of Mary.  Mary was a woman of God who received a message from an angel of God- she was to give birth to a Son, Jesus Christ, though she was a virgin.  She couldn’t see how it could happen at first, then she just accepted the proclamation as she stated, “Be it unto me, according to thy Word” (Luke 1:38)

However, in the meantime and in between time, she got pregnant and had to carry Jesus to full term and give birth to Him – all in faith.  At any moment she could have chosen not to believe; she could’ve said, “Me, pregnant? How could that be? I don’t think so!” Yet she still chose to remain steadfast and unmovable, believing God’s Word from the messenger of God to be true.

In the same manner, what Word has God spoken to you about? Has God told you years ago that you will be married one day, yet you haven’t seen the manifestation yet?

I’d just like to encourage you, in spite of how long it’s been, to hold on to God’s Word, and hold on to your faith. Don’t let it slip, get back on top of things when it comes to reading God’s Word and believing it to be true for you.

As Mary has learned and as you know – with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26) Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.  (Hebrews 2:1) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

*Originally posted on Kim on the Web.

Black History Month is Over (but there’s always more to learn!)

Unfortunately, Black History Month is officially over (darn!) but I hope that you were able to gain something from my daily Black History posts. I love this time of year because it allows me to introduce lesser known, yet highly influential African Americans in history. We have made so many contributions to this country; I absolutely love celebrating February!

Even though February is now gone, I will continue to post topics that are relevant to the African American community or share articles of interest pertaining to my heritage. I’ll also continue to highlight African American artists throughout the year every Saturday – #SaturdayStamps. Feel free to post photos of any old stamps you may have!

March is here and I have a lot of new topics. I will continue to include articles of interest on subjects like dating, marriage, having children (or not), friendship, church, etc. And the Question of the Day is coming back! I’ve got plenty of great questions that I’m going to throw out there so please Respond, Like, or Re-blog (or all 3)!

Here’s the new schedule:

  • Sunday: I’ll continue with my weekly scriptures & my inspirational quotes of the week.
  • Question of the Day: They’re back starting next week.
  • Monday – Friday: These posts will vary day-to-day, so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing! Please Respond, Like, or Re-blog
  • Saturday: African American postage stamps will be posted every week. #SaturdayStamps
  • Instagram (Chocolate_Vent): More from Chocolate Vent!
  • Facebook (Choc.Vent): Articles about any & everything will be posted here.
  • Twitter (Chocolate_Vent): My usual “randomness” throughout the day. Keep up if you can!

Happy reading & please leave comments. I love hearing from my readers!

#FashionFriday: Ann Lowe

Ann Lowe — a highly sought after designer in her day — is the first world-renowned black designer who created dresses for socialites and brides. She created looks for families including the Auchinclosses, DuPonts, Kennedys, Posts, Rockefellers, and Roosevelts. She is also the first black designer to own a boutique on Madison Avenue. And her stunning creations were also sold at Henri Bendel, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus.

Lowe was born in Clayton, Alabama in 1898 although the specific date is unknown.  Lowe was a great-granddaughter of a skilled seamstress slave and a white plantation owner. Her mixed-race grandmother, Georgia Tompkins, was given her freedom after being purchased by a freeman named General Cole. Ann learned to sew from Georgia and from her mother Janey Lowe, who made dresses for Southern society women. Janey Lowe died in 1914 when Lowe was sixteen. At the time of her death Janey Lowe was working on four ball gowns for the First Lady of Alabama, Elizbeth Kirkman O’Neal. Lowe finished the dresses.

In 1912 when she was fourteen, Lowe married Lee Cohen with whom she had a son, Arthur Lee. Lowe’s husband wanted her to give up working as a seamstress but she left him after she was hired to design a wedding dress for a woman in Florida. In 1917, 19-year-old Lowe and her son moved to New York City, New York where she enrolled at St. Taylor Design School. The segregated school required Lowe to attend classes in a room alone. After graduating from St. Taylor Design School in 1919, Lowe and her son moved to Tampa, Florida. The following year, she opened her first dress salon “Annie Cohen.” In 1928, Lowe returned to New York City after saving $20,000 of her earnings. While there she began to work on commission for Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel, Chez Sonia, and other prominent retailers.

In 1946, Lowe designed the dress that actress Olivia de Havilland wore to accept the Academy Award for Best Actress. In 1950, Lowe and her son open a second salon called Ann Lowe’s Gowns, on New York City’s Lexington Avenue. Here Lowe created designs for some of the most prestigious families in the nation including the Rockefellers, the Lodges, the DuPonts, the Posts, and the Biddles. In 1953, she was hired to design a wedding dress for Jacqueline Bouvier for her wedding to Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy but was never properly credited for her creation. Lowe was chosen by Jacqueline’s mother Janet Auchincloss, who previously commissioned Lowe to design the wedding dress she wore when she married Hugh D. Auchincloss in 1942. The wedding dress was widely admired at this highly publicized social event.

Throughout her career, Lowe worked for wealthy clients who often persuaded her to charge hundreds of dollars less for her work than her competitors.  Eventually in 1962, she lost the salon in New York City after failing to pay taxes. That same year, her right eye was removed due to glaucoma.  Lowe also developed a cataract in her left eye which was saved by surgery. In 1968, at the age of 70, Lowe opened a new store called Ann Lowe Originals, on Madison Avenue.  She retired two years later in 1972.

Lowe was married twice.  Her son by Lee Cohen, Arthur Lee, was Lowe’s business partner from the 1930s until his death in 1958. Lowe married a second time but that marriage also ended in divorce. As a single woman, Lowe later adopted a daughter, Ruth Alexander.

Ann Lowe died on February 25, 1981.

Chocolate Vent Quote of the Week: “GOD IS ONLY LIMITED BY YOUR SILENCE.”

Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” {Ephesians 5:18 – 20}

#ThursdayReads: Colette Barris

“Claretta Street” follows the lives of four young African-American girls living in Pacoima as they navigate the turbulent change of the 1960s, coming of age in the decadent and destructive 1980s.

Through the lenses of the young women, the sound and textures of life unfold as the devoted friends provide vivid accounts of one of America’s greatest periods of social change.

This work of historical fiction is the first novel by Pacoima native Colette Barris, who was inspired to write her debut book as a testimony to the struggle and triumph of Africans in America.

“Much is written about the African-American experience, most of which purposely spins black achievements as not much more than snippets of missteps, one depicted (often) as simple and jovial,” Barris said. “While in actuality, the black experience is one of unbelievable intelligence and courage.”

In “Claretta Street,” Barris explores America’s black past without marginalization. The author hopes readers gain “knowledge and appreciation of black female sisterhood and comradery” and “depth and insight of the African-American experience in the development of America further dismantling the mythology of American development.”

The author’s favorite character is Denise, the protagonist, because of her love and appreciation for family and sisterhood.

“I wanted to bring up the element of sisterhood for young African-American women because they need to know that they have it within them,” Barris said. “It’s in their DNA and they can reach out to one another for support.”

“Claretta Street” is the first installment of Barris’ trilogy. The second book is set to debut in early 2019.

You can find our more information about here by visiting her website: http://colettebarris.com/