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No Nonsense Telling It Like It Is- Black History Month Facts- Today In History

On today, February 18, 1931, Chloe Ardelia Wofford was born.  We have come to know and love her as author, Toni Morrison! Toni was born in Lorain, Ohio.  At the age of 12 she became a Catholic and received the baptismal name “Anthony” which was turned into the nickname Toni.

Toni loved to read as a child and her father told her many folk stories that later influenced her writing.  She graduated from Howard University with a B.A. in English in 1953 and received a Master of Arts Degree in English from Cornell University in 1955.  While attending Howard University, Toni began writing fiction with an informal group of writers and poets.  She developed her first novel The Bluest Eye during this group.

In 1958 she married Harold Morrison, a Jamaican architect and they had two sons.  Their marriage ended in divorce.  After her divorce, Toni became a textbook editor in Syracuse, New York and later moved to New York City to work as an editor for Random House.  During this time, she also taught at Yale University and Bard College.

Toni is best-known for her novels SulaSong of SolomonTar Baby and Beloved

  • Sula was nominated for the National Book Award
  • Song of Solomon won the National Book Critics Circle Award
  • Beloved won the Pullitzer Prize for Fiction and the American Book Award
  • In 1993 Morrison received the Nobel Prize in Literature
  • In 1996 Morrison was selected for the Jefferson Lecture by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the government’s highest honor for achievement in the humanities
  • In 1998 Beloved was adapted into the film Beloved starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover
  • In 2006 The New York Times Book Review named Beloved the best American novel published in the previous 25 years
  • In 2012 Morrison received the Presidential Medal of Freedom


Over the years, Morrison taught English at State University of New York and Rutgers University, New Brunswick Campus.  She was also the Robert F. Goheen chairwoman in the humanities at Princeton University.  Toni has also written children’s books and published the novel Home in 2012.

We honor Toni Morrison for her creativity and imagination.  We commend her courage for exploring what others may see as taboo topics.  She is truly a renaissance woman and writer!




Written By

Cynthia Rogers


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Serving Life By Default

U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder said, “The history of felony disenfranchisement dates to a time when these policies were employed not to improve public safety, but purely as punitive measures intended to stigmatize, shame and shut out a person who had been found guilty of a crime.”

United States Attorney General Eric Holder

What a poignant statement for the United States Attorney General to make.  The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights was held at the Law Center of Georgetown University this year.  U. S. Attorney General Holder used it as a stage to enlighten the participants of a mere fragment of the obstacles faced by the formerly incarcerated individuals in the United States of America.  His comments reverberated across the nation as a result of it.

An estimated 5.8 million Americans are disenfranchised because of restrictive laws directed at individuals AFTER they have paid their debt to society (Refer to Debt paid to society….Or is it? A previous blog on this site).  Of the aforementioned number of disenfranchised individuals 2.2 million of them are African Americans.  Holder said, “Although well over a century has passed since post-reconstruction states used these measures to strip African Americans of their most fundamental rights, the impact of felony disenfranchisement on modern communities of color remains both disproportionate and unacceptable.”

Let’s delve a little deeper if you will.  The State of Florida is home to 1.54 million of disenfranchised individuals.  Yes, one state is home to a quarter of the nations disenfranchised individuals.  What’s worse is they are basically barred for LIFE pending clemency from the sitting Governor.  The majority of the other states (excluding Iowa and Kentucky) have variations of the law that grants Civil Rights Restoration after certain portions of their sentence is completed e.g. probation, parole and restitution.  Yet, in Florida which has a major role in most Presidential elections 10% of the voting population is ineligible to vote regardless of what they have done since release to rehabilitate themselves and contribute to society.

This issue isn’t a black or white issue nor is it a political party affiliation issue.  Several Democratic and Republican leaders have weighed in on this issue proving that including but not limited to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

“These restrictions are not only unnecessary and unjust, they are also counterproductive.  By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, the laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes,” Holder said.


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No Nonsense Telling It Like It Is- Black History Month Facts- Today in History

Today, February 17, 1942, Huey Percy Newton was born.  Later in life he would be recognized to the world as a co-founder of the Black Panther Party For Self Defense.  Known to many as the Black Panther Party!






Newton was born in Monroe, Louisiana but his parents moved their family to Oakland, California in 1945.  He graduated from high school without being able to read and later taught himself to read.  Newton attended Merritt College in Oakland and supported himself by robbing homes.  While in college he became involved in politics and became a member of Phi Beta Sigma.

During this time Newton met Bobby Seale and they co-founded the Black Panter Party for Self Defense in 1966.  Seale was chairman and Newton was minister of defense.  The party spurred the Black Power movement during the 1960s and 1970s.  Their political format was based upon better education for African Americans, jobs and housing.  They believed violence or the intimidation of violence, could bring about social change.

While some believed the party to perpetuate violence, the Black Panthers started several social programs in Oakland including the Free Breakfast For Children Program and founded the Oakland Community School.

Unfortunately, Newton was accused of embezzling $600,000 of state aid from the school in 1982.  At this time, Newton ended The Black Panther Party.  The charges were dropped in 1989 after Newton plead no contest to cashing a $15,000 state check for personal use.  He was sentenced to six months in jail and 18 months probation.

Violence surrounded Newton’s life from a young age.  It was rumored during his lifetime he killed or ordered the assasinations of many. Ironically, Newton was shot and died in 1989 in West Oakland by Tyrone Robinson, a drug dealer and Black Guerrilla Family member.  This time police evidence concluded Newton was unarmed disputing Robinson’s claim that Newton pulled a gun on him.  Robinson was sentenced in 1991 to 32 years in prison.

Newton’s last words he spoke before he was shot twice in the face were  ”You can kill my body, and you can take my life but you can never kill my soul.  My soul will live forever!”

Despite a violent past, Huey Newton, changed the face of a nation inspiring Black Power and Black Pride!


Written By

Cynthia Rogers

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All I Really Want is to be Happy!

How to Live a Happy Lifestyle

5 steps to Living a Happy Life

Don’t let people get to you. If someone says something mean to you or one of your friends, just let it go. You shouldn’t get yourself down over something said to you. You can be anyone you want to be, no matter who says what!

Do the things you love. If you like skateboarding, then skateboard. If your passion is painting, then paint. The most important thing in your life is you.

Remember your duties. It’s important to keep up with your busy schedule, but don’t let your obligations bum you out. Sticking to a routine will lower stress.

Spend time with your family and friends. These are the people who get you through the day, so don’t shut them out. Without them, you wouldn’t have many people to talk to!

Look on the bright side of life. If things aren’t going too smoothly, try to find a positive about the situation. There’s almost always something good to look forward to!

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Welp! It’s officially here! The day some of you all have been waiting for! Just wanted to wish every couple and yes all my singles a very Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy this special day with your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, best friend, significant other, etc and live this day up! Even though this is a holiday to express your true love and to go all out on gifts and candy, just remember that showing your lover how much you care for them should be shown EVERYDAY! Not just this one day where cupid can have it’s way.  Most importantly to all my singles out there, don’t stress over this day because you all can have fun as well! Hang out with friends and go out to eat or the movies! Don’t mope around the house playing sad songs and feeling depressed because you are in a very special position in your life right now.  God is still preparing that special someone in your life, so just relax and be patient…and don’t do anything stupid (one-night stands, having sex with some stranger) because at the end of the day you will regret it! Temporary feelings don’t mean anything when it’s based on temporary decisions! And for all my couples out there, enjoy this special day and remember the worst thing you can do to ruin this day is to argue! So be happy today and remain positive.  The devil is busy and he wants to see lots of relationships and marriages destroyed! Live it up! LIVE IT UP!  Once again, Happy Valentine’s Day and enjoy this day of special moments and memories! And just remember that the deepest love is God himself!

Peace and Blessings!

Lil Woman On A MiSShUn

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