January 2015

KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 7: IMANI = Faith

By |January 1st, 2015

ANCESTORS River RiseIMANI (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

2014 has been a year where we’ve felt our faith in humanity stretched to its limits. The year when when I gave voice to my greatest fear, mankind is hopeless and beyond repair.

In my darkest and angriest times, I take refuge in Spirit. I hold fast to faith that flows beyond any ignorant deed or act of aggression; faith that rises above my understanding and despair.

It’s my faith in the larger plan, the bigger, DIVINE picture that I am anchored to. It’s my awareness of what my Ancestors endured that assures me we CAN and WILL make it.

We are not alone. This is all part of the journey. This day must manifest so better ones can follow.

Just like the seeds of America’s past have yielded fruit, so has (and will) the harvest planted by our Ancestors, family and community. And in that harvest, I plant my faith.

Habari gani? IMANI!



December 2014

KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 6: KUUMBA = Creativity

By |December 31st, 2014

yellow-harvest-sun-DBF REDUXKUUMBA (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Embrace life. Make fruitful your gifts. Plant good seeds. Reap an abundant harvest.

Take nothing, NOTHING for granted.

Habari gani? KUUMBA!


Image: Yellow Harvest Sun by Artist Danielle Boodoo Fortune

KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 5: NIA = Purpose

By |December 30th, 2014

NIA (Purpose) Day 5 KwanzaaNIA (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Wow. Another year has come and gone, and it was a blessed one!:)

No it wasn’t without its struggles, life challenges and character building opportunities but it was blessed nonetheless.

We’re here. Healthy and with presence of mind, we’ve been given yet another opportunity to live to NIA (purpose).

I rebelled for many years against the notion of being born to help others. Such weight always seemed unfair to me, as if my 9 Life Path could be altered by my own selfish desires!

Aging is beautiful when we accept ourselves for who we are, invest on changing what can be improved and offer grace/forgiveness to our own humanity.

I’m thankful that my questions related to my purpose are no longer WHY but HOW?

2015 upon us Family. What will we do with this gift?

Habari gani? NIA!



KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 4: UJAMAA = Cooperative Economics

By |December 29th, 2014

The Road To TaosUJAMAA (Cooperative Economics): To build our own businesses, control the economics of our own community and share in all its work and wealth.

In 2013 I posted this picture to offer friends and family a view of the road ahead for me. It’s the road leading to Taos, N.M.

1 year later I’ve made the journey. I take in that glorious blue sky and those mountains bringing me such peace, daily.

Today is a reminder for me my work is not finished. It’s not just enough to make it here. I must fulfill ALL the reasons I came for.

I’m surrounded by inspiring examples of UJAMAA by way of my circle of friends. Tonie V. who recently opened her Taos Libelulas Etsy store showcasing her beautiful beaded jewelry. Michelle L. the dynamo behind our favorite soap EVER – Nature’s Emporium Cherokee Soap. Adrian T. who despite my lectures begging him to slow down, continues on the grind selling from his collection of amazing global artifacts at SAIOTE. Rocking the showroom of my interior design dreams Ivelisse B. of Antiquarius Imports. And my earliest Taos inspiration, Lenny F. of Living Light Gallery. For his photography there are no words! Lenny’s “Healing Hands” was my 1st […]

KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 3: UJIMA = Collective Work & Responsibility

By |December 28th, 2014

UJIMA (Collective Work & Responsibility) Day 3 KwanzaaUJIMA (Collective Work & Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.

Though we could live happily without the tragic circumstances that spawned it, the #BlackLivesMatter movement spanning the globe is a powerful and necessary display of Ujima.

Your problems are our problems.

In both big and small ways, we must — yes MUST — seek out ways to support each other through life’s challenges and in the case of #BlackLivesMatter, to fight against injustice.

With police shootings of Black Americans reaching epidemic proportions, and justice system rulings mimicking it’s Jim Crow predecessor, if ever there was a time to bond together as a community undivided, it is NOW.

The lives and future of our children depend on it.

Capitol Hill Hands Up


UJIMA = Collective Work & Responsibility

KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 2: KUJICHAGULIA = Self-Determination

By |December 27th, 2014

KujichaguliaKUJICHAGULIA (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.

In 2014 I renewed my commitment to living a life defined on my own terms.

I sat aside the expectations of others to decide how I should work and/or where I should live.

I discarded the opinions of anyone who questioned my ability to “call the shots” for my life and shut down anyone who dared to define “my normal”.

I’m blessed to know who I am at my spirit’s core and to be totally at peace with who she is.

Thankful to pass on the charge to my children to be as different, unique and diverse as they need to be, so long as it leads to true happiness and enlightenment.

Don’t live outside the box — reject the notion of a box completely.

Just live. Be. Thrive.

As long as I have breath and presence of mind, may I continue defining who I am and who I need to be according to the Law of Luckie.

With God’s grace, I have that right and you do too. EMBRACE IT today for tomorrow is not promised.

Habari gani? KUJICHAGULIA (self-determination)


And thank you Audre Lorde for showing me the path. Walk in light Gamba Adisa. ASHE!


KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 1: UMOJA = Unity

By |December 26th, 2014

UMOJA (Unity) Kwanzaa - Principle 1UMOJA (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

It’s the relationships, the bonds, the fusion of like-minds with common purpose that carry us up and over life’s hills.

The beauty of aging with your spirit intact is the benefit of learning the truth about life and what sustains us.

Now we understand why preservation of family and community meant so much to the Elders who came before us.

Now we know. When we get down to it and evaluate what REALLY matters about this life journey, it always has and will rest with the circle of people we’ve had in it.

Be they living or walking among the Ancestors, it’s the bond that sustains us.

UMOJA = unity. Find it. Create it. Protect it.

Happy Kwanzaa Family!



High Priest in Tall Cotton: Cohentown, Wilkes County History

By |December 23rd, 2014

Sallie Cohen - High PriestThrilled to learn cousin Barrett HANSON’s Wilkes County historical on the Cohentown community is in print and ready for shipping!

My copy of High Priest in Tall Cotton: A Historical Narrative of Cohentown Wilkes County Georgia is on the way, and I’m looking forward to learning all about my Cohentown Ancestors! As Barrett tells us…

Cohentown was an all-Black rural farming and residential community in Wilkes County, Georgia. It was located off highway 44 Danburg Road, in the old Anderson or 179th General Military District. It was nestled south of Hog Folk Creek and northwest of Fishing Creek. Cohentown sat approximately 5 miles north of the county seat of Washington. It was here where family branches of the Cohen, Hanson, Wingfield, Lockhart, Gladman, Anderson, Charlton, Curry and others, would plant root, and call home. In this tight-knit community, everyone was an aunt or uncle, either by blood or community bond. From the early 1880s to about 1950, these families of farmers would become acquainted with both the bride of prosperity and the groom of depression.”

I’m a true believer in the power of Ancestors who want their stories told, and can feel new DNA dots being connected!

Barrett’s documentation of Cohentown ensures the preservation of a rich history that is all but vanished from Wilkes County memory. I know the signs. Stay tuned, the Ancestors have MUCH to say!

Book order information can be found here and Barrett can be contacted directly – highpriest.tallcotton@gmail.com or […]

12.13.14: Justice For All NYC & Washington

By |December 14th, 2014

Justice For All 12.13.14

March In Washington Draws Thousands Of Protesters Demanding Justice For All – DC

MillionsNYC 12.13.14

Tens Of Thousands March On NYPD Headquarters To Protest Police Killings – NYC

Open Letter to The Blatantly Racist & Passively Biased: I Am Out of Patience

By |December 13th, 2014

Civil Rights March - Seattle REDUX

I have no desire to see you enlightened or converted. I am not your voice of reason or by cultural default, source of untapped tolerance. There’s nothing in me willing to offer any measure of diplomacy to the sickness you openly and passionately spread. All the graciousness I’ve wielded for close to 30 years, in a desire to work and live among you peacefully, is depleted.

Make no mistake, though you observe me mothering with love, laughing with authentic joy and seeking refuge in the Divine, I’m brimming with anger I work hard to contain, daily.

To the BLATANTLY RACIST, I’m sickened by your transparent race hate, cruelty and cowardly attempts to veil your poison behind political rhetoric and desire for “American values”. Appalled by your ability to excuse, ignore and/or deny away your barbaric crimes against humanity — past and present. Disgusted by your boldness to reinvent a 21st Century incarnation of the Jim Crow South; once again hiding behind a deliberately broken justice system, jaded laws and morally corrupt champions who represent anything but peace.

You’ve created a psychotic American culture thriving on hate, ignorance and fear; rising by oppressing others. You are history on rewind, and of that you should not be proud.

To the PASSIVELY BIASED, your permissiveness is alarming. For you, racism is non-existent because after all, we elected a “brown President”. Dismiss all claims of bias and injustice as “playing the race card”. Complain frequently about how black people should “just get over it”. You boast of being “colorblind”, as if to be accepted my beautiful brown hue is better […]