September 19th is not only my birthday, but a day I dedicate to all the ancestors in my family tree. Why this particular day? Without their blood, endurance, strength, and tears there would be no “me,” or a birthday on this day to celebrate.
I often wonder what my ancestors would think if they could see, hear, and be near me in this time and place on September 19, 2020. Well . . . I’d like to believe that the t-shirt I wore today below captures their thoughts and then some . . .Don’t you agree?
On the evening of May 25th, George Floyd Jr walked into a shop in Minneapolis and tried to use a $20 note. Within half an hour, his limp body was loaded into an ambulance. What happened in between has been viewed across social media platforms, and news channels around the world, millions of times. On this week’s Beyond the Headlines, Archer Hill, social media journalist at The National looks at how phone cameras, and social media, have affected racial progress in the US, and globally. We speak to Nicol Turner Lee, Senior Fellow at the Center for Technology Innovation at The Brookings Institution about the way videos and telecommunications have progressed from the civil rights movement to George Floyd and what lies ahead.
I want to take this time to CONGRATULATE photographer, Roxanne Quezada Chartouni, for her exquisite photography in – “A Look At Fourth Ward” that was published in the Houston History Magazine on April 8, 2020!
I also want to send virtual (((hugs))) to my awesome and wonderful cousin Cecelia Cook Drew who is gracefully captured in one of the photos waving a white hanky in the wind. Her efforts to keep cool in Houston’s brutal heat is futile. But she is definitely – as the caption reads, “looking beautifully cool,” — through it all!
The culture, history, and true feeling of freedom for all Freedmen who settled in Houston’s Fourth Ward after emancipation is literally being swallowed up today by gentrification. My connection, and Cecelia’s connection, to this community comes from our Chapple/Chappel ancestors who lived and loved hard, worked hard, and played hard right here at the turn of the 20th century. So THANK YOU Roxanne for capturing a community that is near and dear to our hearts and our family’s history before it’s gone from view forever!
Be sure to visit & “Like” Houston A Look At 4th Ward – 1987 Facebook Page for more great photos as past and present community members of 4th Ward interact with Roxanne and assist with the identification of the photos for publication – https://www.facebook.com/Houstonalookat4thward/
Just after 6 pm on April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at age 39, was assassinated while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers’ strike. He was preparing to leave the motel to go to dinner when a bullet struck him in the jaw and severed his spinal cord. Dr. King was pronounced dead after his arrival at a Memphis hospital. I was 8 or 9 years old when he was assassinated and saw how his death affected my family and our friends in the community and at church. I could not help thinking about how did his children feel about losing their father in this awful way.
YouVersion’s exclusive conversation with Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King below gives me some insight on what I often wondered — how were the King children coping emotionally and mentally through the years over their father’s death. I suspected there was anger towards white people in general. But despite her anger over what happened, it’s comforting to hear how the power of God’s Word is how she found the ability to forgive. I love her challenge to us to take God at his word when she said, ” . . . we too can tap into that same power today, in order to practice true justice towards others: by walking in mercy and humility. When you start practicing in this vein — doing justice, and loving mercy — it invites God into the equation and gives Him room to operate.”
Isaish 55:11 – “so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: It shall not return unto Me void . . .”