The Legends Ball, which was inspired by Oprah Winfrey’s desire to pay homage to those before her, gave me many levels of inspiration and generous amounts of motivation. To see all of those beautiful talented black women under one roof was beyond amazing. I only wish I could have been a part of such a historical event.

The blessing behind all of this is that Oprah was able to honor women such as Coretta Scott-King, Maya Angelou, and Ruby Dee before their untimely death.  Watching this momentous celebration, I felt proud.

Although I have yet to do anything much profound and awarded for such as these ladies, I felt proud to be a black woman doing what she love…writing. Oprah’s Legends reminded me to keep on keeping on and never quit. They’ve reminded me to stay proud of who I am, my talent, determination and will to become better while celebrating the next sistah before and after me.

Whatever ambition we carry and whatever goal we set ourselves to achieve is created from the fire in our hearts. Oprah’s legends remind me that the only way we lose that fire is believing that no one will appreciate what we’re striving to do or become. We all have at least one person who is rooting for us, observing us, and look up to as inspiration. That’s all we need to keep going. That one person could be your daughter, your mother, your sister, or that young lady you’d never thought was paying any attention to you.

Oprah’s legends also remind me of how soulful, powerful, strong, beautiful, and talented black women are. No matter what the music and film industry does to undermine the beauty and talent of the black woman, we’ll always admire our singers, actresses, authors, journalists, dancers, and political leaders before us and after us. Their boldness led them to enhance their God-given talent, so they could share them with the world. I’m pretty sure they’ve all came across a few doubters and naysayers during their journey. Obviously, they didn’t let them stop their journey, or they wouldn’t have been invited to the Legend’s Ball, sitting with the likes of Diana Ross, Maya Angelou, Angela Bassett, Leontyne Price, Michelle Obama, and so many countless women we’ve all admired from entertainment, literature, and politics.

Although I wasn’t there, Oprah’s Legends Ball left me wanting to do more, to be more, to become better by enhancing any God-given talent I have.

Just like Oprah celebrated her sistahs, I’ll continue to celebrate my sistahs who are all doing the damn thing!

If you have 40 minutes to spare, please watch the events of Oprah’s Legends Ball.

 

 

 

ELLE recently published a featured article on these beautiful women, and I was so intrigued and inspired, I had to share the story.

It’s awesome when ANYONE starts a business. It’s fantastic when the business owner is a woman. It’s sensational when the business owner is a woman of color! This story of three African-American women who started a law firm together makes me prouder of my people!

Because one woman, Yonde Morris, decided to step out on faith, she and her friends Keli Knight and Jessica Riddick, are working for themselves and guess what…they used the social media giant, Twitter, to help turn their dream into fruition.

By Elle:

Every business has its Hollywood origin story—the wee-hours revelation, the “Eureka!” moment, the so-crazy-it-just-might-work experiment. But the tale that the partners of the African-American- and female-owned KMR Law Group like to tell isn’t some blockbuster epic. It’s made of about 140 characters and one very consequential tweet.

“I had been doing some work that I definitely didn’t love,” explains Yondi K. Morris, a founding partner of KMR. “Technically, I was a contract attorney, which means I went into law firms to help them with whatever they needed for some period of time.” Newly installed at a law firm that she is too polite to shame, she was on the clock when a partner went over to check in on her progress.

“He just looked at me and said, ‘Okay, slave, get back to work.'” She was the only person of color in the room. “I looked around and just waited for someone to catch my eye,” she remembers. No one met her gaze. Worse still, no one looked surprised.

“For me, honestly, I wasn’t just insulted as an African-American woman. I didn’t want to be viewed as a worker bee anymore.” She went home and logged on and tweeted, “I need to start my own firm.” Keli L. Knight wasted no time. She replied right away, writing, “Let’s meet to discuss.” They did, and invited Jessica Reddick, an old friend that Morris had known for a decade, to join. “We got together one day in Starbucks and that was the first meeting,” Morris says. “We just all clicked—our personalities, our dreams, our ambitions. In that moment, it all made sense.” Adrenaline and caffeine flowing, they sketched out a provisional logo on scrap paper and drafted an informal business plan to start a law firm in Chicago. “We decided we were going to do it,” Morris says, “and haven’t looked back since.”

Read more here

 

See what happens when you step out on faith?

These three sistahs are making it all happen for themselves.

I knew Twitter would be good for something!!

Check out the website for more information on KMR Law Group here

 

We “did our damage” in the sixties and seventies – protesting, demonstrating, and marching til our feet were sore. It worked for us, but that was a different time, a different generation.  Today, things have gotten even worse.  What worked for us may not work for you.  It is time for us to pass the torch to your generation and let you lead the way – and we will follow.

I have but one answer, and that is “never forget”.  How is that done?  We have a small, but very concise and fitting manifesto:  Black Lives Matter.  We cannot let that manifesto be appropriated by slogans like “All Lives Matter”.  They do.  It’s a fact.  However, at the moment we are focusing on the wholesale slaughter of people of color who are being needlessly killed with each passing day.  “Slavery was a long time ago”.  Yet, the effects are still being felt.  “You can’t blame me for everything that happens to you”.  True.  Not everyone is to blame, but for those who are to blame, we are calling you out.  Black Lives Matter CANNOT and WILL NOT be appropriated.

When it comes to people of color being killed by the police, one of the things that comes up more and more, stated by officers of the law, is “I feared for my life”.  If you fear an unarmed person, then, you have signed on to the wrong vocation.  I can almost see someone being a bit cautious when a big, Black man is coming towards them.  Almost.  But, what about a confrontation with Black women and Black girls?  Policemen are armed to the teeth yet claim that they are still afraid for their lives??!!

Tanisha Anderson – Police were called to her mother’s home, by her mother. The police physically restrained her (Tanisha) and death ensued.  She was unarmed.  Her death was ruled a homicide.

Yvette Smith – Deputy Daniel Willis was called to her home in regards to a fight between several men at the home.  She was told to come out of the house.  When she did, Willis shot her twice, killing her as she stepped out of her doorway.  She was unarmed.

Malissa Williams – She was in a car with Timothy Russell when police claimed they heard shots coming from the car.  The police chased them and cornered them in a school parking lot.  The police opened fire, firing a total of one-hundred-thirty-seven (137) bullets into the car, killing them both.  They were unarmed.  ONE-HUNDRED-THIRTY-SEVEN shots fired by the police.

Rekia Boyd – Police Detective Dante Servin had a brief conversation with a group of four people walking outside, near his home (he was off-duty).  He drove off but thought he saw a man pull a gun and point it at him.  He then fired five (5) shots through his car window, hitting the man in the hand and hitting Boyd in the back of the head, killing her.  The man did not have a gun, but, instead, a cellphone.

Aiyana Stanley-Jones – While she was asleep on the couch with her grandmother, police entered the home with a “no knock” warrant (which means that the police break down the door without warning), and discharged a “flash bang” grenade.  The first officer to enter the home shot and killed Aiyana.  She was seven (7) years old.  And, of course, unarmed.

Alberta Spruill – In another case of a “no knock” warrant incident, officers broke into her home, threw a concussion grenade.  Spruill was handcuffed briefly but she was released when they realized that they were in the wrong home.  A few hours later, she died of a heart attack in a nearby hospital.

Sandra Bland – She was pulled over while driving (for a minor traffic violation) and was arrested for refusing to put out her cigarette.  She was slammed to the ground during the arrest.  Three days later, she was found dead in her cell of an “apparent” suicide.

 

The list goes on.  And on.  And on.  We must stay vigilant, we must never forget, and we must always cry out for justice even as hopes of its capture flee like the light of day.  The manifesto of Black Lives Matter must not be appropriated.  And so that we never forget, we MUST   #SayHerName

 

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