Tag: Motivation

#SaturdayStamps: Charles W. Chestnutt

Charles W. Chestnutt was born June 20, 1858 and died November 15, 1932 in Cleveland, OH.

Chesnutt was the son of free blacks who had left their native city of Fayetteville, N.C., prior to the American Civil War. Following the war his parents moved back to Fayetteville, where Chesnutt completed his education and began teaching. He was named assistant principal (1877–80) and then principal (1880–83) of State Colored Normal School (now Fayetteville State University), but he became so distressed about the treatment of blacks in the South that he moved his wife and children to Cleveland. He worked as a clerk-stenographer while becoming a practicing attorney and establishing a profitable legal stenography firm. In his spare moments he wrote stories.

Between 1885 and 1905 Chesnutt published more than 50 tales, short stories, and essays, as well as two collections of short stories, a biography of the antislavery leader Frederick Douglass, and three novels. His “The Goophered Grapevine,” the first work by a black accepted by The Atlantic Monthly (August 1887), was so subtle in its refutation of the plantation school of Thomas Nelson Page that most readers missed the irony. This and similarly authentic stories of folk life among the North Carolina blacks were collected in The Conjure Woman (1899). The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line (1899) examines colour prejudice among blacks as well as between the races in a manner reminiscent of George W. Cable. The Colonel’s Dream (1905) dealt trenchantly with problems of the freed slave. A psychological realist, Chesnutt made use of familiar scenes of North Carolina folk life to protest social injustice.

His works outranked any fiction written by blacks until the 1930s. Chesnutt’s thematic use of the humanity of blacks and the contemporary inhumanity of man to man, black and white alike, anticipates the work of later writers as diverse as William Faulkner, Richard Wright, and James Baldwin.

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Don’t Give Them A Voice

I feel ugly

I’m depressed

I just don’t feel it

I’m not good enough

Nobody wants me

Life is too hard

It’s not worth it

I have nothing to look forward to

God hates me

I’m fat

It’ll never happen for me

I’ll never get any better

Life is so unfair

I can’t

What’s the point?

I.Just.Can’t.

I can’t help it

I’m getting old

I am too old

No one cares about me

It’ll never happen for me

Examine Your Relationships This Year

There is a saying, you can’t pick your family but you can pick your friends.
An ideal, healthy friendship relationship, whether it’s with your girlfriend or a male platonic friend, is one that, as the Word calls it, iron sharpens iron.
Proverbs 27:17 reads, Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Sharpen means to be or make sharp and the word, countenance, means face, favor, or presence.
You want those in your presence, whether they’re close friends or acquaintances, to sharpen you, keep you on your toes, and you do the same for them.  You don’t need people around you who simply agree with you all the time.
You need people who, when trouble comes, they can speak a Word to you in due season, encourage you when you’re down, and help you see how through God’s Word and God’s love you can press on.
Examine your relationships and see which should stay and which should go away, then act accordingly.  As the saying goes, some people are in your life for a reason, for a season, or for a lifetime.
Pray about which category your friends fall, then pray and ask God how to proceed.

*Originally published on Kim on the Web.

#SaturdayStamps: Clifton R. Wharton Sr.

Clifton Wharton earned a master of law degree from Boston University School of Law in 1923 and joined the Department of State as a law clerk. His diplomatic career stretched across nearly four decades of distinguished service.

In 1925, Wharton became the first African American to enter the Foreign Service after the passage of the 1924 Rogers Act, which consolidated the Department’s Consular and Diplomatic Services. He would be the only African American admitted to the Foreign Service for the next 20 years.

Wharton held various posts at embassies and consulates around the world—Liberia, the Canary Islands, Madagascar, the Azores, and Portugal. In 1953, he became consul general in Marseilles, France. Five years later, President Dwight Eisenhower named him minister to Romania, making him the first black career diplomat to head a U.S. mission in a European country. At the time, U.S. diplomatic relations with Romania were strained. The United States demanded reparations for damage done during the Communist takeover and froze Romanian assets in American banks. Romania accused the United States of espionage. By 1960, Wharton had helped negotiate a settlement. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed him Ambassador to Norway. Wharton was the first African American career Foreign Service officer to become an Ambassador. In May 2006 the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp to honor his service.

#TheologyThursday: James Cone

Professor James H. Cone, known as the founder of black liberation theology, was the Bill and Judith Moyers Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary. He attended Shorter College (1954-56) and held a B.A. degree from Philander Smith College (1958). In 1961, he received a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett Theological Seminary and later earned an M.A. (1963) and Ph.D. (1965) from Northwestern University. Dr. Cone was conferred thirteen (13) honorary degrees, including an honoris causa from the Institut Protestant de Théologie in Paris, France.

Among his numerous awards were the American Black Achievement Award in religion given by Ebony Magazine (November 1992), the Fund for Theological Education Award for contributions to theological education and scholarship (November 1999), the Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion (2009), the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award in recognition of seminal theological scholarship from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (2010).

Dr. Cone was an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He is listed in the Directory of American Scholars, in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Religion, Who’s Who among African Americans, and Who’s Who in the World. He was the author of twelve (12) books and over 150 articles and lectured at many universities and community organizations throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He was an active member of numerous professional societies, including the Society for the Study of Black Religion, the American Academy of Religion, and the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT) in the Philippines, and was a founding member of the Society of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion (SRER).

Dr. Cone was best known for his ground-breaking works, Black Theology & Black Power (1969) and A Black Theology of Liberation (1970); he was also the author of the highly acclaimed God of the Oppressed (1975), and of Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare? (1991); all of which works have been translated into nine languages.  The 30th Anniversary of the publication of Black Theology & Black Power was celebrated at the University of Chicago Divinity School (April 1998), and a similar event was held for A Black Theology of Liberation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (April 2000) and at the Catholic Theological Society of America (June 2001). His research and teaching were in Christian theology, with special attention to black liberation theology and the liberation theologies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  He also taught 19th & 20th century European-American theologies. His 2012 book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, received the 2012 Nautilus Silver Award in Religion/Spirituality-Western Traditions. It was an Amazon.com #1 best seller in religion in February 2012. Naming it one of the top religion books of 2011, Huffington Post editors said: “One of the great theologians of the late 20th century, Cone forces us to look hard at suffering, oppression and, ultimately, redemption.”

Dr. Cone passed in 2018.

How Much Should A Single Woman Compromise?

As you get older, you start wonder what it is exactly that is keeping you from meeting that “special someone.” You see your friends, younger family members & your co-workers get married and even get re-married and you wonder why haven’t you been able to find the love of your life yet although it seems like everyone else has. To know that people are on their second and even third marriages while you’ve never even been married once can be a painful blow not only mentally but also emotionally. How is that some people can find multiple partners, yet I am unable to have just one?

It makes you wonder if there’s something wrong with you or if you’re standards are too high. Why is it so difficult to find the person who is just right for me? Grant it, everyone wasn’t meant to be married and others have chosen to never get married (like a priest or a nun) but when you want something really badly & don’t have it seems like you’ll never have it, it’s only natural to look introspectively.

Naturally, my journey of looking inwards begins with me. How do others perceive me? Am I putting myself out there enough? Or maybe too much (can’t keep going to the same watering holes expecting to meet new people). Do I look & dress the best I possibly can when I go out? Do I reek of high self-esteem or are men turned off by whatever vibe I might be putting out there? Am I making an effort to be the best woman I can be to attract the right type of man (attracting men is easy; it’s all about attracting the right man)? These are all questions every woman should be asking herself when she’s not meeting the kind of man she wants to meet.

Next, I look at my standards. Should I be willing to compromise my standards? And if so, which ones? –

  • Should I start dating men with kids?
  • What about dating men who don’t have any formal education?
  • Should I be okay dating men who are inconsistent & don’t call or take me out regularly?
  • What about men who text a lot even though I’ve made it quite clear that I prefer phone calls instead?
  • Is it too much to want to be with a man who actually attends church?
  • Can I meet a man who doesn’t automatically expect sex (either before or during a relationship)?

These are only some of the standards that I don’t want to compromise & shouldn’t have to. Why is that too much to ask for?