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 […]

VETERAN’S DAY 2013: Honoring Tuskeegee Airman LeRoy ELEY (1927-2012) & All Who Serve!

Tuskegee Airman Leroy Edward Eley Sr.I always joke about how my kismet luck is really rooted in my ability to surrender to the Ancestors who I believe called me to tell their stories. I just listen and follow; then somehow they faithfully navigate my feet to the most amazing places, to encounter the most brilliant people, to learn the most unbelievable things!

Meeting LeRoy ELEY in Spring 2010 was every bit an example of the Ancestors moving to not only make our 3rd Edition of CoAAG: They Served With Honor a VERY special event, but to gift myself, son Justis and a lucky elementary school of awestruck 4th graders with a historical time stamp to last a lifetime!

I still see Mr. ELEY with his charming smile… exuding pure pride, confidence and authority as he approached to firmly shake my hand! Beaming and chuckling about my coordinating savvy!:)

Don’t know how I came up with the idea of getting the MUCH in-demand Atlanta Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen out to talk with — no EDUCATE — 150+ 4th graders or how I coordinated the CoAAG event in under 2 weeks!

I just remember the day being magical! With Sandra and Bernard TALIAFERRO joining me, we witnessed the embodiment of African American pride and honor in Mr. LeRoy ELEY. I will never, EVER forget it!

Mr. LeRoy Edward ELEY transitioned on August 30, 2012. Once again flying high, […]

OBITUARY: Geraldine Barwick

Geraldine Barwick | 6 July 1941 ~ 5 August 2013

Geraldine Barwick ~ Cotillion


Geraldine “Gerrie” Barwick, daughter of the late William Charles Barwick and Fannie Louella Jackson Barwick was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 6, 1941. She departed this life peacefully on August 5, 2013.

As a teen Gerrie worked in her family’s neighborhood appliance store. She attended Cincinnati Public Schools and after completing her final years at St. Mary’s High School in Hyde Park, continued on to positions with the Cincinnati and Michigan Bell Telephone Companies. Gerrie also enjoyed a role as WCIN radio station’s midday on-air personality “Cindy Hamilton”, where Butternut Bread was her sponsor.

Gerrie loved the Lord and the Gospel, and spent her lifetime ministering to the spiritual needs of others. After accepting Christ as a young woman, in 1974 Gerrie joined Zion Temple First Pentecostal Church under the leadership of Elder Jasper Phillips where she was baptized and filled with the “Holy Spirit”. Gerrie continued her work in the ministry at Tryed Stone Missionary Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pastor Anderson Culbreath until her relocation to Atlanta, Georgia in the late 1980’s. At the time of her “Homegoing”, Gerrie remained a member of Antioch A.M.E. Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia, where the Reverend Stafford J. Wicker presides as Pastor.

Inheriting her Father’s gift for sales and entrepreneurial spirit, Gerrie established Atlanta’s Harvester Pine Straw Company. As a successful landscape-supply wholesaler, Gerrie traveled throughout the Southeast Region for several years building her reputation and expanding her customer-base.

Fiercely loyal and devoted to family, Gerrie never hesitated […]