KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 7: IMANI = Faith

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!



KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 6: KUUMBA = Creativity

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

By |December 31st, 2014|Announcements, Events|0 Comments

KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 5: NIA = Purpose

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

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

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

By |December 28th, 2014|Announcements, Events|0 Comments

KWANZAA 2014 ~ Principle 2: KUJICHAGULIA = Self-Determination

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!


CAPITOL HILL: Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!

Capitol Hill Hands Up

Capitol Hill’s Black Staffers Walk Out to Say ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!’


By |December 11th, 2014|Announcements, Journal|1 Comment

And So It Begins: Why Does MY Preservation Matter?

Wingfield-Genealogy---CurationI often wonder what African American descendants researching Slave Ancestry could learn about our Ancestors and heritage if descendants of every slave owning family shared their research data OR donated legacy documents to a repository for public consumption? What could we learn if our own families had preserved Great Grandma’s bible and funny childhood tales or shared freely the rare, coveted Ancestor photo or cloaked family “secret”?

When I visited Duke University Rubenstein Rare Document & Manuscript Library last November I *thought* I knew what to expect. I’d been hoping to touch the collection since discovering it online in 2009, so at least I knew what was “physically” there.

But how could I have known the shock and multitude of answers contained in Samuel WINGFIELD’s plantation ledger? Or known how much seeing and touching the names of my Ancestors branded on those ancient papers would mean to me?

Had it not been for Mrs. Alexander BAIRD’s August 1990 submission to Duke’s Special Collections Library, I’d never know the weight and financial yield of my WINGFIELD Ancestors labor or the names deserving to be called and brought home.

I still don’t know Mrs. BAIRD’s relationship to the WINGFIELDS. I don’t really care. It doesn’t matter. What does is that some 14 years ago she had the forethought to make sure history that’s irreplaceable could rest in a place dedicated to preservation.

I’ve begun talks with Spelman […]

Just Do Right. Thank You Maya Angelou!

Maya Angelou - Just Do RightDr. Maya Angelou ~ 1928-2014

This week the world grieved the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou.

There were so many beautiful posts (checkout Michael Twitty), quotes and thoughts shared about Maya, I’d really not planned to post anything. I thought watching and reading the praise as it flowed, knowing what Maya Angelou’s transparency and pen meant to me, was enough.

I took in Maya’s charge to “just do right”, and shared it with my kids. Like everyone, I thought about how her life has gifted me and words anchored in my heart long ago.

Yet I still planned to keep quiet… like the freedom from shame Maya relieved me of so many years ago, was our secret.

But after reading “What Maya Angelou’s Past Can Teach the Feminists of the Future“, I felt I had to affirm writer Lauren Davidson’s assertion, that Maya Angelou’s darkest life moments were as inspiring and enlightening as her brightest and most celebrated accolades.

I was 18 years old when I first learned of and read Maya Angelou, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. I had a BEAUTIFUL toddler, my firstborn Jerold (Jay) and was heading to nursing school, having just graduated with Honors.

In spite of the merit I earned by being a “good, young Mother” and […]

Some Friday Wisdom… Character

11.3.31 - Character

You Got Roots?! | Sunday, 2 March 2014 @ 6PM ET | @AAGSARFacebook