Famous Black Women Entrepreneurs --The African American Heritage told By Gramps James
- The Ultimate Expression Of Love
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TODAY, FEBRUARY 2nd
ON MY COMPUTER
I am a 27 years old Electrical Engineer and I can tell you right now that 'pride and glory' run through my veins. Honestly, being African-American is just a blessing; half Italian and Cherokee, on my grandma's side can tell you about my own beginnings...
This is the first draft of my own story and others. Tonight, yes tonight was chosen to write about my gramps or 'Pop-pop'... and how he changed my life.
Every year since I was 5, I think, He would take me to my Parents' front porch and ceremoniously would make me have a sit on a wooden bench next to him... and start talking about slave trade and the Civil War. Isle of man, Accra-Ghana and 'Amistad' before the feature Movie.
However, hum... what I remember the most was his voice, a well educated man, he became a history teacher after coming back from Korea. He met grandma one night at a reception near the steel mill here at the Monongahela Valley back in 1958.
He studied History like no one else, and... I guess this was set by a supreme and Godly intervention; he became my mentor and more than a grand daddy. He Joined my granny at the steel mill but was offered a job at the local high school. Grandma, unfortunately, died in 1979 after a fire on the welding area. Every February the 2nd he would talk to me about our own History... and you know what? That was the date when my beloved grandmother died (February 2nd, 1979)
- "My ex-Hubby Loved Me... But I Didn't Feel His Love"
Two couples meet on a blind date, and all of a sudden they relate innmediately while chatting. Humorous but with certain sound advice at times; the story immerse us into the lives of Joseph and Maxine.
ON MY COMPUTER
I can remember this special day and...(tears), I would have to go back to 1993 when I was barely nine years old and, I think I was on 4th grade. I had an assignment on black History month for my school, and I had brought home several books. I had to make a choice. It was hard but he told me to close those books and just listen to him "With my heart...and his own."
"Lets choose Oprah, Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman and gramma Lorraine," he said with watery eyes. "But grandma Lorraine is not in the books," I said to my 'Pop-pop.'
"But she is in our hearts! Come and feel my heart dear Leroy," said to me raising his voice with pride. "She was a magnificent welder at the steel mill and became an entrepreneur in her own right, back in 1968.
"Grandpa, why do you get so emotional when you talk about grandma?"
"When you get older and remember these words, you will be crying like Oprah"
"I think you make sense grandpa"
His style became mine and... yep! he would always make me finish a sentence that was started by him.
"Why did these women succeed Leroy?" I was ready to answer by heart: "perseverance, being able to believe in themselves and being thankful to?" At first I would say, "to their parents," but he would correct me by saying: "being thankful to the Maker.."
His way of teaching was beyond any explanation and I 'literally' enjoyed his deep and particular reasoning.
"Now this 'drinking Gourd' you see right now on tonight's starry sky, was genetically instilled in my genes, your genes and the four ladies we are talking about."
I was shocked by his words!! "There was a North Star, a goal and the desire to be better and excel," he said all these words while pointing to this Big Dipper up on the sky. Can you imagine a child at nine being taught History like no other? My grandpa James was in my life for a reason....but let's hear from him again:
" Only the fitest would survive the black plague, laying down next to rats on 'Amistad.' Being able to recall adversity, made us stronger dear son. Now pay attention, for instance... Maya's style of Poetry was concocted from within. Eyes, hands, 'emotional breathing' and her heart...all these made her unique. Her words would flow like healing souls that would keep anyone in awe," said my grandpa making a fist that would reach out to make his point strong enough for me to understand. Hallelujah!
"Oprah overcame poverty and... If you see, or noticed it, her voice was an important tool to get her to the top. Like Harriet, she would never look back to adversity. The strength was there and, as you can see, they became icons without even noticing it."
Before long my beloved grandpa finished these words he took a picture from his Old Army jacket. It was a Photo of him and grandma seated on this very bench. Dressed to the Motown era. His eyes got watery (again?), as he held that picture against his heart, and for the very first time we cried together and embraced. He was right! His grandson was getting the lesson of a lifetime and was impregnated deeply with emotions never felt in memories, and cathartic neurones.
"Women were entrepreneurs, before men. They made decisions, they raised FUTURE legends and leaders, and above all... above all, were never recognized.
You won't find these thoughts in any search engine son. My words come from my heart and you will win in the end. No one, until today, could ever feel ancestry through our pores..." His knowledge became mine and changed my future forever. That night he made me feel proud of him and our race... As I finish writing these lines I cannot stop crying, because he passed away on February 2nd, 2008. God bless grandpa and grandma!
Note: Before dying, he became blind due to Glaucoma, but he still was himself: He did persevere, and believed in himself....and myself!
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- Famous Black People in History Whose Work Changed the World-- Don Cornelius
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