Tag: Blogger

Who Are You?!

You may or may not have heard uplifting words spoken over you while growing up. You may not have been told you’re beautiful, or worthy enough to step into your preordained greatness.
You may have been one who spent lots of her time comparing herself to others while feeling as though you don’t quite measure up to the next person. You may have only been told you’re beautiful by a man only when he wanted sex from you. Though this may have been your past experience, it doesn’t have to be your present and most definitely doesn’t have to dictate your future. More important than what man says about you is what God says about you.

God says you’re beautiful and that you’re fearfully and wonderfully made.  Psalm 139:14
God says you’re more than a conqueror made in His image and likeness – which means when He created  you, He created a carbon copy of Himself.  Romans 8:37; Genesis 1:26

God says you are His workmanship created unto good works and that you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood and a holy nation to show forth the praises of Him who called YOU out of darkness into His marvelous light.  Ephesians 2:10, 1 Peter 2:9

God says you are worth waiting for, and the man He has for you is worth the wait, if that’s what you desire, but while you wait God wants you to be reminded that right now, that He’s all the man you would ever need.  Philippians 4:19

Speak over yourself, every day out loud if you have to.  Don’t allow the enemy’s thoughts which creep into your mind that go against what God says about you determine who you become – let God determine who you become. No, you’re not a victim, you are victorious In Jesus Name!

You’re victorious because you are in Him, and in Him you live, move and have your being. Acts 17:28. Don’t let situations or circumstances shut you up or cause you to no longer believe you are who God says you are. You are who God says you are simply because you’re His.  Speak the Word over your life and watch, you’ll see, eventually you’ll BECOME all God ALREADY predestined you to be.

*Originally published on Kim on the Web.

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#SaturdayStamps: Edna Lewis

Edna Lewis inspired a generation of young African American chefs and ensured traditional Southern foods and preparations would live forever.

Who Was Edna Lewis?
Ms. Lewis was born in 1916 in Freetown, Orange County, Virginia, one of eight children. Her grandfather, an emancipated slave, helped found the community, hence its name. The family lived on a farm that had been granted to her grandfather and central to the family’s life was food in all its phases: growing, foraging, harvesting and cooking. Without any modern cooking conveniences—everything was cooked over wood and, lacking measuring spoons, baking powder was measured on coins—food preparation called on creativity, resourcefulness and ingenuity.

At 16, after her father died, she left Freetown for Washington, D.C., and then New York City where her culinary journey got off to a rocky start with her first job ironing in a laundry. She had never ironed before and was fired after three hours. She may not have ironed but she had sewn, and quickly found work as a seamstress. She copied Christian Dior dresses for Dorcas Avedon (the wife of photographer Richard Avedon), made a dress for Marilyn Monroe and became well known for her African-inspired dresses.

In New York, after a series of jobs, she opened a restaurant, Café Nicholson, in Manhattan’s East Side. She became a local legend and cooked for many celebrities such as Marlon Brando, Marlene Dietrich, Tennessee Williams, Greta Garbo, Howard Hughes, Salvador Dali, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Truman Capote. In the late ’40s, female chefs were few and far between and black female chefs were a rarity, yet Edna Lewis became well known and beloved for her simple, but delicious Southern cooking.

Edna Lewis cookbooks: Ms. Lewis was the author of three seminal cookbooks that, to quote The New York Times, February, 2006, “revived the nearly forgotten genre of Clarinex while offering a glimpse into African-American farm life in the early 20th century.” Her cookbooks include: The Edna Lewis Cookbook (1972), The Taste of Country Cooking (1976) and In Pursuit of Flavor (1988).

Among her many awards are: “Who’s Who in American Cooking,” (Cook’s Magazine, 1986); “Dr. Edna Lewis is lauded as one of the great women of American cooking. A specialist in Southern Cooking, She has received an honorary Ph.D. in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University (Norfork), College of Culinary Arts May 26,1996”; “James Beard Living Legend Award” (their first such award, 1999), and being named “Grande Dame” (Les Dames d”Escoffier, 1999).

Dr. Edna Lewis died in 2006 at the age of 89.

Remembering Kenneth A. Gibson (1931-2019)

Kenneth Allen Gibson, the first African American mayor of Newark, New Jersey, was born in 1931 in the town of Enterprise, Alabama.  He graduated from high school in Enterprise in 1950 and joined the U.S. Army as a civil engineer.  He remained in the Army until 1958. After his discharge, he took a job as a New Jersey State Highway Patrol trooper while simultaneously attending Newark College. Gibson graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1963.

After college Gibson took an engineering position for the Newark Housing Authority where he oversaw urban renewal projects from 1960-1966. In 1966, he became Newark’s chief structural engineer. He was also the head of Newark’s Business and Industry Coordinating Council and served as vice president of the United Community Corporation, which fought poverty in Newark during that time.

In 1970 Gibson ran for Mayor of Newark, New Jersey and defeated incumbent Hugh J. Addonizio, who was subsequently convicted of extortion and conspiracy charges. Gibson took over a predominantly African American city, still recovering from the race riot of 1967 which left 23 people dead. He was credited for economic revival that resuscitated the city’s economy. When he first came into office, the city was in the midst of a population loss from 400,000 to 300,000.  By the end of his first term, the numbers slowly began to grow again as Gibson encouraged the return of middle class residents with urban housing developments such as Society Hill.  His administration was also initially identified with black nationalist poet and playwright Amiri Baraka whom many credited with Gibson’s first election to the mayor’s post.

Kenneth Gibson served four consecutive terms in office until 1986 when he was defeated for reelection by Sharpe James following a scandal which resulted in his indictment on conspiracy and misconduct charges.  Gibson was acquitted in his subsequent trial that took place after he left office.

Gibson was actively involved in a number of civil rights organizations such as the National Urban League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).  In 1976 Gibson also became the first African American to serve as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Remembering Damon Keith (1922-2019)

Judge Damon J. Keith has had an illustrious career. Born on July 4, 1922, he has served as a United States Court of Appeals judge for the Sixth Circuit since 1977. Keith was the youngest of six children born to Annie and Perry Alexander Keith and the first to attend college. He graduated from West Virginia State College in 1943 and was then drafted into the military. His experiences in the segregated Army strengthened his conviction to the cause of civil rights. Keith received a J.D. from Howard Law School in 1949, passed the Michigan bar exam in 1950, and earned an L.L.M. from Wayne State University School of Law in 1956.

In 1964, Keith established his own law practice, Keith, Conyers, Anderson, Brown, & Wahls, with four other African American attorneys. Keith was also very active in the Democratic Party and used his political connections to help his community. He served as the chair to the Detroit Housing Commission and the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson appointed Keith to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, where he served as Chief Judge from 1975 to 1977 before President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Keith took senior status in 1995.

In 1993, the Damon J. Keith Law Collection, an archival resource devoted to the substantial historical accomplishments of African American lawyers and judges as well as the African American legal experience, was created at Wayne State University and named in his honor. Keith has received numerous awards and honors, including: thirty-eight honorary degrees from various colleges and universities; the NAACP’s highest award, the Spingarn Medal; the 1997 American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award; the Detroit Urban League’s 1998 Distinguished Warrior Award; the Distinguished Public Service Award for the National Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith; the prestigious Edward J. Devitt Award for Distinguished Service to Justice; the Pinnacle Award at the 2000 Trumpet Awards in Atlanta; and the American Bar Association Spirit of Excellence Award in 2001.

Keith has also received the lifetime achievement award from the National Black College Alumni and was inducted into their Hall of Fame. Keith is married to Rachel Boone Keith, M.D., with whom he has three daughters.

Keith passed away on April 28, 2019.