Family and Friends: We hope all of you are doing well. Happy Black
Valentine's - Exhibiting and Practicing The True Meaning
as long as we have known and have celebrated Valentine's
Day; a great number of us have associated this day as a
celebration, and one to express our love and affection to
our lover or the special person we love dearly. However,
in recent times this has not been the case.
Day celebrations and expressions of love now encompass
everyone, and not only a lover or romantic couple.
Yes, all the gift giving and card giving includes
friends, parents, children, Teachers or just about anyone
we find dear to our hearts and soul.
This day is set aside to express/show affection to
everyone we love dearly!!
Valentine’s Day was something I had no clue about while
growing up in the Island of Trinidad, actually I don’t
recall it ever being celebrated in my time while growing
up there [LOL, so long ago…the old head I am, huh?]
It was only when I came to this country I was
introduced to this holiday/celebration.
the years my husband Todd and I never really celebrated,
because we live in such a manner that every day is
Valentine’s Day in our life and home.
Todd has never believed in just using this one day
to express love, he believes an expression of love must be
exhibited on a daily basis.
I do recall though, one year for Valentine’s Day
when we were much…much younger; him presenting me with
the cutest heart shaped gold Earrings. I remember it [like it was yesterday] being quite excited, but do recall making a
weird statement...saying: “thank
you so much…but
they are so small and cute.”
Lord knows where those Earrings are after all these
years…LOL; probably in my mother’s possession in
believe that was the first and last time we actually
officially celebrated Valentine’s Day. Although, we still from time to time exchange cards on this
day, and have a nice dinner in our home or away from home;
[but then again we do the nice dinner thing all the time.]
Todd has always felt this holiday is one that is extremely
commercialized. He doesn’t agree with all the
“hoopla and hype” of running around buying gifts, cards,
flowers, chocolates, etc. just on this day to express
love; and I certainly agree with him wholeheartedly.
Indeed, LOVE should be expressed all the time.
I talk about this special thing we call LOVE, and really
reflect on it in my everyday setting; I have seen in
today’s times and society that this incredibly powerful
thing we call LOVE has very little meaning to many, and is
shown/expressed…a whole lot less.
In fact, the word LOVE is taken for granted and is
expressed in some despicable ways!
I say this because I have witness people having a
tendency of doing many unpleasant things and saying some
of the most horrible things to/about their friends,
associates and even family members (whom they claim they
love, and should be loving unconditionally.)
The “hating syndrome” is running rampant and is
infiltrating our lives to the point where the true meaning
of LOVE is non-existent.
It has no life or meaning in our homes, work,
organizations, committees, and in just about anything.
I have seen people (1) claiming and conveying they
love and care in one breath, and in the next talking with
someone else about you in a negative manner.
(2) They are talking with you about your thoughts,
and can’t wait to get out of your sight to use all your
words and ideas in whatever plan they think they will
succeed in (without you).
Throughout the years of watching, growing,
developing and building I have seen some of the most
obnoxious things people have done, and how resentful they
are, but claim they LOVE you.
I absolutely pray that the FAKE love people freely exhibit
in these times STOP! And
that folks genuinely begin to really LOVE from deep within
pray that this Valentine’s Day will be the beginning of
the new and true meaning of LOVE.
The LOVE that is absolutely pure, innocent, and
deep! Where LOVE is (1) the willingness to see one’s
mistake/s, and being open and eager to help them fix
it/them [together;] (2) being truly joyful of one’s
successes; (3) being a true friend unquestionably and
eager to do anything for that person [whether it’s the
person you are “in love” with or just an associate,
partner, worker or family member;] (4) filled with profound trust;
(5) caring unconditionally; (6) complete patience; and (7)
total kindness. Most
importantly, LOVE is loyalty, hopefulness, respecting,
protecting and absolute devotion.
us truly LOVE from the bottom of our hearts beginning on
this Valentine’s Day – February 14, 2011.
patient and kind.
is not jealous or
boastful or proud or rude.
not demand its own way.
not irritable, and it keeps no record of
it has been wronged.
is never glad about
but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance.
Corinthians 13: 4-8a
Application Bible, New Living Translation
celebrating and acknowledging African Americans - Happy Black History
most important month is flying by extremely fast; and there
is absolutely not enough weeks in this month to honor,
memorialize, recognize, commemorate, celebrate and even “big
up” our leaders who are with us today; and the many
who have come and gone before us. Yes, these leaders who have made exceptional accomplishments
and contributions throughout history must be commemorated to
the fullest. We
must absolutely educate ourselves, and our Children about
the rich history and culture of African Americans; and bring
awareness to the historical and extraordinary things they
have accomplished throughout time.
reflect on my years during school, I don’t recall having
many classes available that would educate me on Black
History, and teach me on the many things/items African
Americans geniuses invented, created and developed; that
makes our lives easier today.
Hum, it’s truly mind boggling learning and knowing
about all the fascinating inventions; such as: propelling
means for airplanes; railway signal; postal machine; ironing
board; Torpedo Discharge means; the street sweeper; weather
& severe weather detector; the home security system; the
lawn mower; typewriting machine; boot & shoes; Stove;
Blood bank; refrigerating apparatus; guitar; flame
retardant; machine gun; motor; gas burner; steam boiler;
weaving machine; asphalt paving vehicle; fountain pen;
traffic data processing system; traffic signal for
automobiles; clothes dryer; comb; method of
soften/smoothen/straightening hair; and sooooo many, many
this point, I must thank and commemorate, plus give full
credit to Dr. Carter G. Woodson (Harvard Scholar) who was
determined to bring Black History into the mainstream public
arena. Dr. Woodson devoted his life to making
"the world see the Negro as a participant rather than
as a lay figure in history." In 1926 Dr. Woodson
organized the first annual "Negro History Week",
which took place during the second week of February (Dr.
Woodson choose the date to coincide with the birthdays of
Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln - two men who had
greatly impacted the black population). Over time
"Negro History Week" evolved into the "Black
History Month" we know today - a four week-long
celebration of African American History.
I bring my thoughts to a close for this week on Black
History, I felt it would be educational to share with you
the accomplishments of a Black Woman born in my country
Trinidad and who migrated to America. She was a
performer and recording artist with exceptional talent and
appeal and was a popular singer, pianist, as well as a
writer. Additionally, she was the first
black woman to host her own television show;
and she fought extremely hard against racial injustices.
Read below about Hazel Scott, and lets commemorate
her life, works and contributions.
Hazel Scott was born in the Island of Trinidad on
June 11, 1920, and she was best known as a
Classical and Jazz Pianist.
At the early age of 3 she was playing the
piano, at 4 her family migrated to America, and by
her 8th birthday she performed in New
York City and received a scholarship to study
Classical music at the Julliard School of
age 13 She had her first recital, and at 14 in
1934 Ms. Scott appeared at Apollo Theater in
Harlem where her mother Ms Alma Scott was
performing as a saxophonist in the supporting
band. In late 1934 she also performed
Tchaikovsky's "Concerto No.1 for Piano and
Orchestra" at Carnegie Hall. At 15
she was touring with her mothers band "The
American Creolians" and was performing in
Bars and Nightclubs. In 1936 at age 16 she
had her own radio show and in 1938 at age 18 she
made her stage debut on Broadway with the Broadway
revue "Sing Out the News"
Scott appeared in the production called "Priorities
of 1942" and played twice at the famed
Carnegie Hall in New York. She starred in
several films: "Something To Shout
About"; "I Dood It"; "Broadway
Melody"; "The Heat's On" and
"Rhapsody in Blue"
1945 Hazel Scott married the Rev.
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. who was a
noted Congressman, preacher and editor.
Neither Scott nor Powell shied away from
controversy, nor were they shy about taking a
public stand against racial injustices. When
the Daughters of America Revolution refused to
allow her to perform in Washington's Constitution
Hall, Scott and Powell made a federal case of it,
leading to protests and calls from the group to
lose its Chapter for its discriminatory
Scott released several dozen albums. Her
most famous hit was "Tico Tico"
and her style is a Stride/Boogie Woogie popular in
the 40's. In the late 1940s, Ms. Scott
became the first black woman to host her own
television show, which she lost in 1950 when she
was accused of being a Communist
sympathizer. She refused to perform in
segregated theaters and became an outspoken critic
of both the McCarthyism and racial
injustice. To overcome being accused
of being a Communist Sympathizer she volunteered
to testify before the House Un-American Activities
Committee and her testimony drew praise.
her divorce from Rev. Powell in 1956 she moved to
Paris and lived there for five years. In the
1960's, she returned to the U.S. and to her
television and nightclub career.
Scott was called a "musical chameleon"
for her ability to shift from Jazz to Classical to
Blues, she credits her Jazz techniques to Art
Tatum and Teddy Wilson who were her personal
friends. Because of her combination of the
two approaches to piano in classical and jazz this
made Ms. Hazel Scott an outstanding contributor to
continued to perform until she died from Cancer in
us as we continue with acknowledging and celebrating African Americans
throughout this month! Don't forget about the fantastic and
currently showing in
Washington DC at the
National Geographic Museum
celebration of Black History Month.
This exhibit is presented by "Mr. Tavis Smiley" [Talk
Show Host, Author, Political Commentator, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist.]
It is called “America I AM ~~~The African American Imprint”
The exhibit celebrates nearly 500 years of African American contributions
to this country.
It affords all Americans of all backgrounds to come together and
achieve a greater understanding of their shared culture and history.
African American Imprint
Log on to the site for all the details http://www.americaiam.com.
set some time out of your schedule to visit, and take your entire family
along with you to visit this educational and awesome exhibit.
It will run from now until May 1, 2011 and it’s at the National
Geographic Museum , located at 1145 17th Street NW , Washington, D.C.
Ticket prices are as follows: Adults $12.00; Children (ages 2-12)
For additional prices regarding groups, military, seniors, etc.;
log on to: www.ngmuseum.org or
call 202-857-7700 (Ticket Sales).
For Visitor Service call: 202-857-7588.
Presented by Mr. Hollis Lashley
inspired and Motivated to increase your Spiritual Energy
Arious Family, Greetings from the Muse Of Ideas. On a recent
trip to Brooklyn, after a long absence, I was struck by the
ordinary blessings with which we are surrounded every day,
and which we take for granted. In celebration thereof, here
is the start of a series, the name of which I would
reveal later. Here is part of chapter one, and your
responses are welcome.
Hollis Lashley, Author, Gifts From the Heart
Need an Uplift? Visit www.HollisLashley.com
Find Inspiration, Motivation, Spirituality & Poetry.
For Copies of "Gifts From the Heart" see web site
Comments or Suggestions? I welcome your emails.
Harmony, Peace, & Love in Your Life Always
I am cocooned in a
joy and happiness which is difficult to describe, and yes
you may ask, why? I have not yet won the lotto. I have not
yet won the Pulitzer prize. I have not met a good looking
Caribbean woman, but I am on a spiritual high.
I simply visited
Brooklyn, something which I had not done in a while.
Tut called on
Saturday morning. “Flash, what you doing? Yuh want to run
down to Brooklyn wid me?”
“What happen to yuh
car that you have to run?”
Anyhow, after the
usual hemming and hawing, I decided to make the trip.
The weather was
cloudy, but the traffic was flowing steadily. No cause for
concern. One stop for gas, peeing, and snacking. Being who
we are, we choose nuts,
Manhattan, then Brooklyn. Angie, my sister was expecting me.
Mike , my friend was waiting. I planned to pass by
‘Sesame’, but of course not before getting some
Trini-Chinese food on Church and New York. Then to head by
Angie to drop off mih bag, eat, meet Mike and find a lime.
Called Mike when we
were finished eating. As usual, he did not answer his phone.
Why? That is another story. About twenty minutes later, he
“Yuh ready to
“Sure. Wey yuh
“ Ah jus rong de
corner. I go see yuh in ten minutes.”
Now, I know that
I’m in Brooklyn since Mike showed up one hour and five
minutes after the call.
Tut and I in his
vehicle, waiting, chatting, and he calling home every
minute, “Choonks, how you and the children. Yuh miss mih?
Leh mih kiss yuh. Leh mih kiss yuh.”
Tut, like a schoolboy
pushing move on a new thing. But, it was nice to see a man
expressing love for his wife of so many years. Yes, that was
Mike reach. “We
going by Harold and them mass camp. Follow me.”
He made a right on
Nostrand and take off like he was on the BQE. (The Brooklyn
“Slow down man. The
man following. Take yuh time.”
Mike slowed, and Tut
was able to follow the twists and turns until we got to the
As we entered, there
was Apo, with the usual greeting. “ Boy, what you doing
here.? You didn’t come for labor day, I ent see you. What
And it was then
the lime and the old talk start.
Hollis P. Lashley. © 2011.
presented By Mr. Hollis “Flash” Lashley, (Author,
Poet, Musician). To purchase a copy of Mr. Hollis Lashley motivating
book of poetry entitled "Gifts
From The Heart" or if you need an uplift; log
on to: http://www.hollislashley.com
Find inspiration, motivation, spirituality & Poetry. Comments or
Suggestions are always welcomed via phone: 202-299-8638 or via e-mail
found on www.hollislashley.com.
Family since the beginning of the month I have been using my Facebook
status to share important facts regarding Black History Month. Join
me on Facebook as I celebrate and honor African Americans in my little way
"Educating Oneself and Celebrating Black History Month"
always feel free to comment regarding this commentary
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with the Image"
running until March 10, 2011
the Image: Caribbean Interventions, an exhibition of
contemporary art from 12 Caribbean countries, was launched
at the Art Museum of the Americas (AMA) in Washington DC.
Featuring work by artists from the Bahamas, Barbados,
Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and
Nevis, Suriname and T&T, the exhibition is crated by
artist and curator Christopher Cozier and art historian
Tatiana Flores. Wrestling with the Image: Caribbean
Interventions presents works in a variety of media,
including photography, video, painting, graphic arts,
sculpture, and installation. According to a release, the
scope of the objects demonstrates how the region’s
contemporary artists are confronting stereotypes about the
Caribbean without denying their own surroundings or
rejecting the worlds in which they operate.
investigations on history, tourism, globalization, popular
culture and gender, these artists urge us to reconsider
our own expectations on how a Caribbean image should look.
Characterized by scholars as ‘the laboratory of
globalization,’ the Caribbean is a multifaceted locale
that transcends geographic boundaries. Its culture has
European, African, Asian, Latin American, and Native
American roots,” said Cozier. “This is a conversation
about movement in the Atlantic world, a dialogue about
dispersal rather than displacement.”
Many of the artists
themselves no longer live in the Caribbean, residing in
the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, nevertheless,
their experiences are the result of complex historical,
economic, and cultural processes that are part and parcel
of what it means to be Caribbean. Past and present, local
and universal, and self and other are among the
dichotomies addressed in this exhibition. The exhibition
forms part of the About Change emerging artists’
program, an initiative of the World Bank in partnership
with the Inter-American Development Bank, the OAS, and the
Caribbean Community (Caricom) Secretariat. Wrestling
with the Image continues until March 10 at the Art Museum
of the Americas, 201 18th Street, NW Washington, DC.
• For more information, or to arrange interviews with
any of the Trinidad-based participating artists, please
contact Mariel Brown at 796-4118
Picture is "Entourage", by Ebony Patterson from
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