Tag: Thoughts

Demotivated Dating

 It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about dating or relationships, but here goes –

Dating is rough. No matter where you live, how old you are or what type of job you have, it’s hard to meet someone who is compatible, attractive and ready to commit all at the same time. Meeting people is the easy part; meeting the right person is the hard part. But after so many dates, it’s easy to want to give up on dating altogether.

Having to get dressed up (even for a virtual date), fix my hair and have an “on” personality requires a lot of energy. Hoping to meet someone you can bond with & possibly have a future with is quite difficult and can oftentimes leave one very discouraged when things don’t seem to work out time & time again. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can stop dating altogether. Instead, it means the opposite – you must continue to date despite not having the desire to do so (and in some cases, date even more than you were before).

This is what I call “Demotivated Dating”. It means you’re still going out on dates, just not as enthusiastic about it as you once were. It means that you still desire a mate or significant other, just not as fervent in your approach as you used to be.

What does “Demotivated Dating” look like? Well, it might mean that while you still go out on dates, you may not dress up as much as you used to or budget as much time for each individual date. It may also mean that you don’t go out on as many dates as you used to or space your dates out so that you can have ‘me time’ in between.

For me, “Demotivated Dating” means that I still date with purpose but am not as hopeful about the outcome. I know that there are men out there who may be just as demotivated as I am, so there may not be a whole hearted attempt on their end to date either but we still see each other because you just never know if that person may be “the one”. Dating takes a lot of time & energy and when you start to lose hope, you give a lot less of both of those elements when out on a date.

I’m trying to get motivated again when it comes to dating. I’m trying to get excited about the possibility of meeting my Mr. Right one day, but the longer it takes, the more discouraged I become.

Are you the same way? Are you discouraged when it comes to finding love? Are you just not as motivated as you were before when it comes to dating? Let me know in the comments below —

“Rona” Life Hack #15

Even though most of the nation is still quarantined, you never know when you might need to go somewhere in a pinch. There may be an emergency where you need to drive to care for someone or you may potentially have to go to a longer distance to get a hospital. Moreover, when the order is lifted, you can avoid long lines at the gas station. Not to mention, gas is the lowest it has ever been in certain parts of the country. According to NPR, gas has fallen below $2 in some states. Now is the perfect time to fill up your tanks with gas!

“Rona” Life Hack #14

Since most people are quarantined in their homes, a lot of businesses have opted to use Zoom to conduct their staff meetings. For some, this is the first time they’ve done video conferencing and may have some difficulty in figuring out all the “bells & whistles”. There are some shortcuts to using this software. See below –

  • Change your backdrop: If your bedroom wall isn’t cutting it as a backdrop for work calls or you just want to make your friends laugh, Zoom gives you the option to change your background to any image you want. Go to Settings on either your desktop or mobile and then click on the Virtual Backgrounds From there, you’ll see all the pre-installed backgrounds Zoom has, like the New York Skyline, Golden Gate Bridge, and even outer space. But if you’re not too fond of the options that are available, you can upload pictures of your own, from pretty landscapes to your favorite memes.
  • Annotation: If you’re a big notetaker during meetings, there’s no need to bring out the pen and paper. Zoom lets you make annotations and take notes right on your phone or even your desktop with its whiteboard feature. Just go to Settings, hit Meetings, and double check that the Annotations option is checked. Then, using your finger, a stylus, or your mouse, you can make as many notes as you’d like, either for yourself or for everyone in the meeting. Jot things down on slideshow presentations for work or draw up funny doodles to your friends in the middle of video calls.
  • Share your screen: If you’re giving a presentation or want to share a funny Instagram post or Tweet with your friends during a virtual happy hour, Zoom’s screen sharing feature is key. All you have to do is tap the Share Screen option at the bottom of your screen. You’ll be able to choose whether you want to share your entire computer desktop screen or just your screen when you’re on specific applications like Microsoft Word. Plus, you can pause your screen sharing so your coworkers don’t have to see you awkwardly fumble between apps.
  • Record your meeting: Zoom users have the ability to record meetings to a Cloud or their computers, so that important points and discussions are always on file. Just tap the Record button at the bottom of your screen and click where you want to save the video. Afterwards, you can access the video and any others you recorded by logging into your account and going to the My Recordings page.
  • See everybody all at once: Whether you’re on a work call or just chatting with friends, sometimes you want to be able to see everyone you’re talking to on the same screen. Well, with Zoom’s Gallery View, you can do just that. The feature lets you display up to 49 participants in one screen. Go to your Settings and then Video to open up your Video Settings options. There, you should be able to enable Gallery View. Then, all you have to do is start or join a meeting, and you’ll be able to see everyone in the video call all at once. You can also just click the little grid icon at the top right of your screen once you’re in a meeting.

 

#FlybySaturday: Benjamin O. Davis Jr.

Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr. was born in Washington. D.C. on December 18, 1912, the son of Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. and Elnora Dickerson Davis. His father was a renowned military officer, the first Black General in the United States Army. Benjamin, Sr. served in various capacities (beginning in the Spanish-American war), including serving in one of the original Buffalo Soldier regiments. Unfortunately, Elnora died from complications from childbirth in 1916 when Benjamin, Jr. was four years old.

When Benjamin, Jr. (hereinafter just Davis) was 13 years old, he attended a barnstorming exhibition at Bolling Field in Washington, D.C. (now Bolling Air Force Base). One of the pilots offered him the opportunity to accompany him on a ride in his plane. Benjamin enjoyed it so much that he became determined to pilot a plane himself one day.

With his father moving around in his military duties, he attended Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated in 1929. He enrolled Western Reserve University  (1929-1930) and later moved on to the University of Chicago (1930-1932). Still desiring to serve as a military pilot he contacted Illinois Representative Oscar De Priest (the first Black alderman in Chicago, and at the time, the only Black serving in Congress). De Priest sponsored him for a spot in the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. His time in the Academy was harsh, hostile and relentless in the challenges and obstacles it put in his way. Throughout his four years, none of his classmates would speak to him outside the line of duty. None would be his roommate and none would sit with him to eat. Nonetheless, he graduated in 1936, finishing 35th in his class of 278. When he received his commission as a second lieutenant in the infantry he became one of only two Black combat officers in the United States Army – the other being his father Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. Upon graduation, he married Agatha Scott, a young lady whom he had dated while attending the Academy.

Because of his high standing in his graduating class, Davis should have had his choice of assignments, but when he opted to apply for the Army Air Corps he was denied because the Air Corps did not have a Black squadron. He was instead assigned to the 24th Infantry Regiment, an all-Black division located in Fort Benning, Georgia. Although an officer, he was not permitted to enter the officers club on the base. After attending the U.S. Army Infantry School, he followed in his father’s footsteps and traveled to Tuskegee, Alabama to teach a military tactics course at the Tuskegee Institute. On June 19, 1939, he was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant and subsequently up to Captain, Major and then temporarily to Lieutenant Colonel (a rank he would hold permanently in June 1948).

Despite the prestige of being an instructor, Davis still wanted to fly. Fortunately, others had the same desire and pressure was mounted on the Roosevelt administration to allow for greater participation by Blacks as the country was moving towards war. The administration, therefore, directed the War Department to create a Black flying unit. To his delight, Davis was assigned to undergo training in the first class at the Tuskegee Army Air Field. In 1942 he finished his training and was one of only five Blacks to complete the course and then became the first Black Officer to make a solo flight in an Army Air Corps plane. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and in July 1942 he was assigned as the commander of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, known by history as the Tuskegee Airmen.

In 1943, the 99th Pursuit Squadron was assigned first to Tunisia, then to a combat mission in the German-held Island of Pantelleria and finally took part in the allied invasion of Sicily. In September, Davis was recalled to Tuskegee to take over a larger all-black unit preparing for combat in Europe, the 332nd Fighter Group.

Almost immediately, however, problems arose for Davis.  A number of Senior Army Air Corps officers complained to Army Chief of Staff George Marshall that the 99th Fighter Squadron had under-performed and should thereafter be taken out of combat. Major General Edwin House, Commander of the XII Air Support Command wrote in September 1943 that “the Negro type has not the proper reflexes to make a first-class fighter pilot.” A furious Davis argued that no information had been presented to him that showed anything to suggest that the Black fighter pilots had performed unsatisfactorily. He presented his case to the War Department and held a press conference at the Pentagon. General Marshall did call for an inquiry but allowed the 99th Squadron to continue to fight while the investigation continued. When the results of the inquiry came back, the 99th Squadron was vindicated and found to have performed similarly to other fighter squadrons. Any continuing arguments ceased in January 1944 when the 99th shot down 12 German fighters in a two day period.

Soon thereafter Colonel Davis and the 332nd Fighter Group arrived in Italy where they were based at Ramitelli Airfield. The 332nd, called the Red Tails because of the distinctive paint scheme on the tails of their planes, performed well as bomber escorts, often being requested by bomber pilots because of their insistence on not abandoning the bombers. The group would eventually move into the use of state of the art P-47 Thunderbolts.

Davis participated in numerous missions, flying in P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs. He was awarded the Silver Star for a mission in Austria and won the Distinguished Flying Cross for a bomber-escort mission to Munich, Germany in June, 1944.

In 1945, Colonel Davis was placed in charge of  477th Bombardment Group, the group being comprised entirely of Blacks, stationed at Godman Field in Kentucky. After the end of World War II, the new President Harry Truman dispatched an order to fully integrate the military branches. Colonel Davis was called upon to help draft the new “Air Force” plan for carrying out this order. For the next few years he was assigned to the Pentagon and to posts overseas. When the Korean War broke out, he once again participated in the fighting, manning a  F-86 fighter jet and leading the  51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing.

In the summer of 1949, Davis was assigned to attend the Air War College. He was the first Black permitted to attend the college and it was significant because further promotion was dependent upon successful graduation. Despite dealing with the racial climate in place in Montgomery, Alabama, where the War College took place, he persevered and excelled and upon graduation received an assignment to serve at the United States Air Force Headwaters at the Pentagon.

He next served as Director of Operations and Training at Far East Air Forces Headquarters, Tokyo and then was assigned the position of Vice Commander, Thirteenth Air Force and was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, a rank not made permanent until after his temporary promotion to Major General. His assignments around the world became almost too numerous to list but included:

 

  • Assigned command of the 477th Composite Group at Godman Field, Kentucky
  • Assigned command of Lockbourne Army Air Base, Ohio
  • Assigned command of the 332nd Fighter Wing.
  • Named Chief of the Air Defense Branch of Air Force operations
  • Named Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
  • Assigned command of the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, Far East Air Forces, Korea.
  • Named as Director of Operations and Training at Far East Air Forces Headquarters, Tokyo
  • Named Vice Commander, Thirteenth Air Force, with additional duty as commander, Air Task Force 13 (Provisional), Taipei, Formosa.
  • Named Chief of Staff, Twelfth Air Force, U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein, Germany.
  • Named Deputy Chief of Staff for operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany.
  • Named Director of Manpower and Organization, United States and Headquarters U.S. Air Force and Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Requirements.
  • Named Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Programs and Requirements.
  • Assigned as Chief of Staff for the United Nations Command and U.S. Forces in Korea.
  • Assigned command of the Thirteenth Air Force at Clark Air Base in the Republic of the Philippines.
  • Named Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Strike Command, with headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.
  • Named Commander in Chief, Middle-East, Southern Asia and Africa.

He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in May 1960 and to Major General in January 1962. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General in April 1965 and retired from active duty on February 1, 1970 after more than 33 years of military service. Finally, on December 9, 1998, President Bill Clinton decorated him with a four-star insignia, advancing him to the rank of General, U.S. Air Force (Retired).

He did not slow down upon his retirement, instead moving on to other ways to serve. In 1970 he was put in charge of the Federal Sky Marshall Program and in 1971 was named Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Environment, Safety, and Consumer Affairs. In this role, he oversaw the creation and implementation of airport security and highway safety programs and procedures (this included the establishment of the 55 mile per hour speed limit to improve gas efficiency and to promote driver safety). After retiring from the Department of Transportation in 1975, he followed in his father’s footsteps again by serving on the American Battle Monuments Commission. Finally, in 1991 Davis wrote his memoirs, relating his challenges and achievements over the years in his book Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.: American.

General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. passed away on July 4, 2002 and was buried with full military honors on July 17, 2002 at Arlington National Cemetery (his wife Agatha had died earlier in the year). In addition to the honor of being buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Davis received many accolades over the years included having a number of schools named after him. His military decorations include:

  • Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
  • Army Distinguished Service Medal
  • Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
  • Philippine Legion of Honor
  • Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
  • Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
  • Silver Star
  • Distinguished Flying Cross

Whether it was in the skies or the classroom, whether training pilots or advising presidents, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. led of life of professionalism, dignity and achievement, never allowing racism and other obstacles to slow him down. In doing so, he opened avenues within the military for generations of soldiers and pilots who followed in his enormous footsteps.

 

 

 

#EntertainmentThursday: John Singleton

John Daniel Singleton was born on January 6, 1968, in Los Angeles, California. He grew up in South Central Los Angeles and his work as a film director, producer and screenwriter depicted these turbulent, often violent roots.

Singleton studied screenwriting at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, winning three writing awards from the university, which led to a contract with Creative Artists Agency during his sophomore year.

In 1991, Columbia Pictures bought his script for Boyz n the Hood and budgeted it at $7 million. The film portrayed life in crime-ridden South Central L.A. and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director in 1991, making Singleton the first African-American and the youngest person ever nominated for the award. The film also garnered a nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Singleton followed the win with Poetic Justice in 1993 and Higher Learning in 1995. Both films examined modern race relations, and while they enjoyed success at the box office, they were not as highly praised by critics as his debut effort.

Subsequent works include 1997’s historical drama Rosewood, 2000’s Shaft remake starring Samuel L. Jackson and 2001’s Baby Boy. In 2005, he produced the critically acclaimed indie film Hustle & Flow and directed the box office hit Four Brothers.

In April 2019, Singleton suffered a stroke and was placed in a medically induced coma at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He passed away on April 29, 2019.

#HumpDayLoveDay: Viola Davis + Julius Tennon

Many years before becoming “Academy Award winner Viola Davis,” the actress was just another woman navigating single life in Los Angeles, a city in which she felt incredibly lonely. One day, Davis was complaining to a friend about not knowing many people in LA, and within earshot was a man that Davis would come to know very well: Julius Tennon, her future husband.

As Davis shared on the OWN series “Black Love,” Tennon overheard Davis lamenting on that fateful day, so he introduced himself and gave her his card.

Though Davis was eager to meet a nice man, she was ashamed of having bad credit at the time, and delayed calling Tennon, an actor and former college football player, for several weeks. When they finally connected, Davis and Tennon set up their first date ― a date during which Tennon was open, honest and, as Davis puts it, terrifying.

“I was terrified, because he told me exactly who he was ― he was absolutely honest about his past,” she says.

On the date, the two had a great time together, and when Tennon dropped Davis off at her home, he shared his feelings directly. “He just said, ‘You are a very beautiful and nice woman, and it was a pleasure spending time with you,’” she recalls. “And he shook my hand.”

Tennon left, but called Davis 20 minutes later.

“I said, ‘You got home already?’” Davis recalls. “He said, ‘No, I’m at the Ralph’s down the street, but I just wanted to tell you again what a great time I had and what a beautiful woman you are.’”

Twenty minutes later, Davis’ phone rang once more. “He called again: ’I just want to tell you I got home, and you are a beautiful woman. I’m about to go to sleep, and I just wanted to tell you to have a good night,” Davis says.

The rest, as they say, is history. 💗

*Originally posted on HuffPo.

 

Receive By Faith

I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You [progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, perceiving and recognizing and understanding more strongly and clearly] and that I may find favor in Your sight… And the Lord said, My Presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest. Exodus 33:13–14

Everything that we receive from God comes by faith. When you are waiting for Him to speak to your heart, just believe that He will speak to you, even if you don’t hear anything right that minute.

Believe that because you have acknowledged Him, you can expect to see His hand moving in your life all day long. Then step forward, knowing that He will keep you on the right path because you have asked Him to do so. Watching God’s hand of favor move on our behalf is one of life’s greatest delights.

#SaturdayStamps: Aaron Douglas

In both his style and his subjects, Aaron Douglas revolutionized African-American art. A leader within the Harlem Renaissance, Douglas created a broad range of work that helped to shape this movement and bring it to national prominence. Through his collaborations, illustrations, and public murals, he established a method of combining elements of modern art and African culture to celebrate the African-American experience and call attention to racism and segregation.

Key Ideas

Douglas depicted African subjects in an innovative and bold graphic style that was inspired by modern art, particularly Cubism. His approach elevated both everyday experiences and non-Western history to be part of an international avant-garde. He also integrated the rhythms of jazz into his compositions, adding an additional element of African-American culture to his imagery.
Flattening his figures to two-dimensional silhouettes and generalizing their forms to be generic men and women, Douglas created imagery that celebrated African and African-American themes in terms that were universal and integrative. He employed this style across a range of different media, including painting, illustration, murals, and prints.
Douglas often worked with a narrow range of colors, instead using compositional elements and shapes like concentric circles and radiating beams, to create dramatic focal points and dynamic movement. These abstract elements enhanced the narratives of his paintings to make them more emotionally impactful.
Through his work with the Harlem Artists Guild and as the chair of the art department at Fisk University (a historically black college), Douglas worked to increase educational access and career opportunities for young African-American artists. He was an important mentor for second-generation Harlem Renaissance artists and an inspiration to contemporary artists who deal with race and identity in their work.