An Accidental Day


I’m somewhat of a planner not every day but most days.  I don’t have a set in stone daily routine or plans but a general outline in my head of my day.  My days are pretty consistent there is my morning routine, work routine, and evening routine.  Then I sleep and repeat just as most people.  Some days during the week there is a switch up.

Sunday was one of those days that I had planned out.  Regular morning worship, then stopping for a cool cup of Italian ice, then stop to see an art exhibit at my local art museum, then buy something for a pot luck poetry workshop.  Morning worship received a completed check mark and so did buying Italian ice.

I entered the Columbia Museum of Art to view the “Enduring Spirit” exhibit by Tyrone Geter.  I wove through the Salvador Dali exhibit titled “Fantastical Fairy Tales”, which I had seen but was packed since yesterday was the exhibits last day.  Entering the gallery space that contained Mr. Geter’s work, I was drawn to one particular piece titled “Homeless in the Promised Land.”  I was mostly pulled in by the message which was derived from Trump’s “Make America Great Again” theme.  The figures depicted did not appear to be doing well and it showed an America that has always existed with poor and homeless regardless of race.

Homeless in the Promised Land

“Homeless in the Promised Land” by Tyrone Geter, 2016

“Homeless in the Promised Land” is a multi-media and multi-layered piece of art.  Complex in messaging and depicting magnetic figures.  A Trump supporter, a homeless woman, and a homeless man.  There is a collage inspired 3-D effect of a blanket with a unique pattern.  Hidden in the piece is messaging that makes it clear Trump’s political rhetoric does not address the simple truth of those depicted.  Food, clothing and shelter are their most urgent need.

Stepping away from the piece, I was told by the security guard the artist was in the building.  The best part was he would be giving a gallery talk at 2pm.  I immediately was conflicted because I had a poetry workshop at 2pm.  However, how often do you get to hear a shy artist speak about his work?  I quickly updated the Facebook event for the poetry workshop to “can’t attend” along with a quick status comment.

Trying to confirm where the talk would occur, I went to the information desk to ask.  To my surprise standing next to the desk was Mr. Geter, the artist himself.  A kind elderly gentleman who had just learned he was speaking.  While standing and chatting with Mr. Geter, a museum employee approached responsible for a renovation space tour for visitors from another museum.  The best part was I was invited to tag along.  There definitely are perks to being a dedicated museum member and volunteer.

Tyrone Geter, Artist of "Enduring Spirit"

Tyrone Geter, Artist of “Enduring Spirit” Exhibition

Both the tour and gallery talk did not disappoint.  Along with members from the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC I heard about detail of upcoming renovations and expansion of gallery spaces.  The cherry on top was the gallery talk by Mr. Geter in front of his artwork.  Learning of his history and the determination of his mother who only had a 3rd grade education was inspiring.  However, above all was to hear the various muses and motivations behind his artwork.

"My Beauty is Not My Beast" by Tyrone Geter, 2016

“My Beauty is Not My Beast” by Tyrone Geter, 2016

 

Mr. Geter indicated the ultimate goal was to emotionally move those who view his work and tell a story.  His goal is definitely met with the “Enduring Spirit” exhibit.  The exhibit will be at the Columbia Museum of Art until June 11th.  The CMA is a winner of the 2016 National Medal for Institute of Museum & Library Service.  Thought provoking and current as well as historical art collections is one reason for visiting the award winning museum.  Even with renovations in the permanent galleries there is still plenty to see.  The National Medal was awarded to the CMA, primarily for its impact to the surrounding community and it does that with outreach to various youth orientated programming.

I know if you visit the Columbia Museum of Art and check out the “Enduring Spirit” exhibit you’ll love them as much as I do.  And you just may have a great accidental day as well.

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Why I Love The Obamas


There have been 43 White men as U.S. President.  President Obama finally broke up the club of whiteness and added some diversity.  He is truly in all aspects of the term African-American; since he was born to a White mother from the Midwest and an African father from Kenya.  When running for office there was a dichotomy of opinion whether he was Black enough or if he was too Black.  Some wondered would the White House now become the Black House?  During all the negative rhetoric I watched not with despair but with pride to see a Black man take the oath of office to become the 44th U.S. President.  Wait, let me correct, I listened while on Pennsylvania Avenue standing in Freedom Plaza along the Inauguration Parade route just around the corner from the White House on January 20, 2009.

My journey began way back with the Obamas in 1996, when as a Clinton-Gore volunteer, I was tasked with phone banking and making down ticket calls for Barack Obama.  I didn’t know much about him except he had done organizing within his community.  He was a lawyer at that point having graduated from Harvard Law School.  He also taught constitutional law these were snippets of information provided over the course of the ’96 campaign.  It was a joyous time when on November 5, 1996, President Clinton and Vice President Gore were re-elected and Barack Obama won his first election for the Illinois State Senate.  During the Victory Party at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, getting my first hugs from Senator-elect Obama and his wife Michelle was heart-warming, yes they’ve always been huggers.

I relocated in 1997 to South Carolina, so Barack Obama was my Senator only for a short while.  However, I watched with pride when he was introduced to the world at the 2004 Democratic National Convention during the speech heard around the globe.  The most recognized part of the speech is:

“There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.”

However, one of my favorite parts of the speech is:

“If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child.  If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandparent.  If there’s an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.  It is that fundamental belief — it is that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sisters’ keeper — that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family: “E pluribus unum,” out of many, one.”

After hearing this phenomenal speech everyone wanted to know who is this State Senator and candidate for U.S. Senate?  I already knew and watched from that point waiting for the moment for when he would run for U.S. President.  It wasn’t a question of if but when.

Following many rumors in February 2007, in Springfield, Illinois U.S. Senator Barack Obama announced his run for U.S. President.  Among other U.S. Senators running were Joe Biden and Hillary Rodham Clinton.  In May 2007, I stopped by the South Carolina Obama Campaign Headquarters in Columbia, SC located on the corner of Calhoun and Assembly streets and began my volunteer efforts.  Starting off doing phone banking I knew my talent was better used in other capacities.  And over time soon became what I am known best as Data Goddess.  The Obama Campaign recreated how data as well as digital media was used during a campaign.  He created via his experience of community organizing a new mold for how to run a Presidential campaign.  With the blowout win of the South Carolina Presidential Democratic Primary, Obama and not Clinton became the candidate to beat.

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Taken by Staff Photographer in Manning, SC – November 2007

Upon becoming elected as the 44th President even during a campaign where rocks and stones were thrown his way, he pushed for an agenda passionate to him.  Unlike any other President before him his cabinet was filled with powerful and capable women.  Showing the importance of women, the first piece of legislation he signed was the “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act Bill.”  Over the last 8 years, President Obama has signed approximately 1,350 pieces of legislation into law.  His most famous and the piece of legislation marked for repeal by the 115th U.S. Congress is The Affordable Care Act.  Coming into the White House with a dysfunctional banking system and an auto industry near bankruptcy he made tough decisions in bailing both out with federal assistance.  Even when detractors thought this was not the better solution but time has shown it was the best solution.

There are far too many things to list regarding why I have such admiration for the Obama Administration.  However, I most respect the humanness of the President.  During addresses after shootings at Sandy Hook in Newtown, CT and last year at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida we saw a very human and compassionate President.  We also saw this when speaking about the killing of Trayvon Martin and during the numerous addresses made upon unjustified shooting of Black men and women by law enforcement across the nation.  It is the humanness, dignity, and intelligence that I most admire about President Obama.

With the incoming 45th President, I am greatly concerned about the openness and dignity that President Obama brought to the White House.  I do not have confidence in the leadership to come this is based on the vitriol hate displayed during the 2016 Presidential campaign by the Republican Presidential nominee.  I admit I am a staunch liberal and a leader within the South Carolina Democratic Party, so to many of course I admire and support President Obama.  However, I am fair and try not to pre-judge but what I have seen thus far from the U.S. President-Elect does not give me great confidence in the next four years.  I do not see an inclusive or diverse White House or one open to the public in the way the Obama Administration engaged the public.

I admit as a Black woman I have watched with pride the initiatives put in place by First Lady Michelle Obama.  She has worked for military families to getting young people moving and eating healthy to fighting for girls right to education around the globe.  Being a part of history also puts a smile in my heart.  On June 1, 2016, on behalf of the Columbia Museum of Art as their Community Member, I attended the ceremony and reception for 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.  It was hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama in the East Room of the White House.  And to the surprise of us all while in the Blue Room we saw Marine One land and take off on the White House lawn!  This opportunity seemed to be a full circle moment from when I first met the Obama’s in Chicago, Illinois.

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2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service Program

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Karen Brosius, Michelle Obama, Joyce Rose-Harris – White House East Room           June 2016

Finally, I say thank you President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for your leadership and dedication to the American people.  Seeing a Black couple occupy the White House makes me proud not merely because they are Black but because they worked hard to get to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  There was no silver spoon for them during their childhoods but there was the knowledge of how important it is to get an education and then to uplift their communities.  I will miss the weekly addresses by President Obama and the many initiatives of First Lady Obama but I know now they will take their work to Chicago, Illinois in a year or so, putting their knowledge and activism in the Obama Presidential Library and Center.  I know there is much more awesome things to come for the Obama family.  Thank you President and First Lady Obama for showing citizens of the United States and the world how to rise higher.

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Simple Savings Plan


savings

One of the top three New Year resolutions is to save more money.  Here is a quick and simple way to save well over $1,000 during the year.  You won’t believe how easy it will be just start with $1.00.  Yes, that is correct $1.00 during this the first week of 2017, then next week save an additional $2.00 then the third week add $3.00.  Below is the breakdown and summary of what you will save over a years’ time.

Now get to saving!

Week

Deposit By

Amount Deposited

Total for Year

1 1/6/17 $1.00 $1.00
2 1/13/17 $2.00 $3.00
3 1/20/17 $3.00 $6.00
4 1/27/17 $4.00 $10.00
5 2/3/17 $5.00 $15.00
6 2/10/17 $6.00 $21.00
7 2/17/17 $7.00 $28.00
8 2/24/17 $8.00 $36.00
9 3/3/17 $9.00 $45.00
10 3/10/17 $10.00 $55.00
11 3/17/17 $11.00 $66.00
12 3/24/17 $12.00 $78.00
13 3/31/17 $13.00 $91.00
14 4/7/17 $14.00 $105.00
15 4/14/17 $15.00 $120.00
16 4/21/17 $16.00 $136.00
17 4/28/17 $17.00 $153.00
18 5/5/17 $18.00 $171.00
19 5/12/17 $19.00 $190.00
20 5/19/17 $20.00 $210.00
21 5/26/17 $21.00 $231.00
22 6/2/17 $22.00 $253.00
23 6/9/17 $23.00 $276.00
24 6/16/17 $24.00 $300.00
25 6/23/17 $25.00 $325.00
26 6/30/17 $26.00 $351.00
27 7/7/17 $27.00 $378.00
28 7/14/17 $28.00 $406.00
29 7/21/17 $29.00 $435.00
30 7/28/17 $30.00 $465.00
31 8/4/17 $31.00 $496.00
32 8/11/17 $32.00 $528.00
33 8/18/17 $33.00 $561.00
34 8/25/17 $34.00 $595.00
35 9/1/17 $35.00 $630.00
36 9/8/17 $36.00 $666.00
37 9/15/17 $37.00 $703.00
38 9/22/17 $38.00 $741.00
39 9/29/17 $39.00 $780.00
40 10/6/17 $40.00 $820.00
41 10/13/17 $41.00 $861.00
42 10/20/17 $42.00 $903.00
43 10/27/17 $43.00 $946.00
44 11/3/17 $44.00 $990.00
45 11/10/17 $45.00 $1,035.00
46 11/17/17 $46.00 $1,081.00
47 11/24/17 $47.00 $1,128.00
48 12/1/17 $48.00 $1,176.00
49 12/8/17 $49.00 $1,225.00
50 12/15/17 $50.00 $1,275.00
51 12/22/17 $51.00 $1,326.00
52 12/29/17 $52.00 $1,378.00

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PaisleyPerspective Turns 6!


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On January 1, 2017 PaisleyPerspective celebrated 6 years! With a new year comes evaluation of the past and what is to come.  Personally 2016 has been an amazing year for me.  There are many milestones that occurred in the year.  The primary event for me was being invited to the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama.  This definitely stands out as one of the major moments of the year.

However, on a public level there have been many events that have occurred that are not so great.  Multiple celebrity deaths of iconic individuals one being Prince Rogers Nelson my favorite musician.  Conflicts in various regions of the world and the election of Donald Trump at the 45th U.S. President.  The President-Elect has stirred up discontent among other nations even prior to being inaugurated.  I don’t have to go on here with why Trump is not fit, I have written blog posts that outline my reasons for this comment.

In a new year we all want to miraculously become a better person.  We want to lose weight, eat better, be nicer, save more or be more organized.  The reality is we are the same person we were at 11:59pm before the clock struck midnight in a new year.  So the same person I was in 2016 is the same person I am in 2017.  A new year doesn’t dictate whether I become a better person this is something that can happen anytime of the year.

Finally, on the last day of 2016 I attended the funeral of a fellow poet.  His name was Tavis P. Brunson.  It is difficult to speak of him in the past tense but that is what we do when someone has died.  I hesitate to say funeral because it actually was a true celebration of life.  A beautiful gathering in a fairly large church packed with poets from all over South Carolina and North Carolina.  With those present wearing Batman t-shirts, Dallas Cowboy jerseys and caps, or poet inspired gear,  it was a blessing to see that Tavis’s family understood he was a poet specifically one of the best slam poets not only in the United States but internationally.  And that his other passions were incorporated in the celebration.  The continuous theme that was said by nine poets on program and during his eulogy was that he lived his purpose.

With regard to PaisleyPerspective, my primary goal is the same as it always is and that is to live my purpose; and sometimes to share it here.  PaisleyPerspective wishes you an abundantly blessed New Year where you are your best self.

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Voting Matters


I am the product of generations of activists. African American along with Native American ancestors who consistently fought for their civic, civil, and human rights. It is in my blood to be active and present in my own existence. I first became aware of the political process in the third grade, while attending William H. Brown Elementary School in Chicago. A huge red voting machine was brought to my school. Levers and buttons were used to vote for the candidates of your choice. The machine was intimidating but it helped me to understand that my civic duty of voting might not be easy.

20140610-105237-39157510.jpgMy next experience with politics occurred the summer I turned 10 years old. I learned about a candidate for President of the United States that hailed from the state of Georgia. James (Jimmy) Carter seemed to just be a peanut farmer but digging deeper he was a man with clear political goals. A former State Senator and Governor the political arena was very familiar to him. I did not know much of about Jimmy Carter when I was a child but his daughter was my age and my parents liked him. So I decided that he was the candidate, I wanted to win.

I was a freshman in college during the historic 1984 Presidential Election. Where on the Democratic ticket the first female Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro was alongside Walter Mondale. Sadly they lost terribly to Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush but I was still proud to have cast my first vote. I knew at that point that I would always vote for the persons I thought best to hold the office.

As I stated earlier voting is not easy. It takes effort not merely at the polling place but before you enter the building to vote. Some things that are a must prior to reaching Election Day is to ensure that you are registered to vote. In some states there are voter identification laws that require approved identification to be presented upon voting. In many states this Saturday, October 4th will be the last day to register before the Tuesday, November 4th elections.

Many people do not think their vote matters but it does. It not only matters, it is your civic duty. Elected officials write legislation and regulations that impact you every day. From teacher salaries to whether Medicaid is accepted in your state to other impacts to your community, the individuals who win elections have your life and future in their hands. Voting is a right that other nations are fighting to obtain. Finally if you fall into the category of minority or are a female this right came with a struggle, fight and bloodshed. Don’t take your right for granted; remember your vote is your voice, don’t remain silent.

First published on PaisleyPerspective.com on October 1, 2014

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Why I Support Hillary Clinton For President


Since this was originally posted I have become even more committed to getting Hillary Clinton elected as the next President.  The decisive nature of Donald Trump and any of the Republicans that follow him should be a major concern.  The Republican Party is known for using fear as their main campaign tactic, however, intolerance and lack of compassion for anyone different themselves should not be tolerated.

Since this was posted some 6 months ago, I have attended the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.  It was an appropriate location since it is the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection.  In short Hillary Clinton has the experience and the compassion to lead our nation.  I am still with her and I believe you should be too.  Read the contents of detail below and then find your local campaign office at hillaryclinton.com.

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Original content:

“Didn’t Bill Clinton sign the three-strikes bill into law?’  This was a question asked by a friend when I was advising that I support former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.  My response is as follows along with a summary of just 10 of the many reasons why I support Hillary Rodham Clinton for President of the United States.

FullSizeRender 2First off yes former President Bill Clinton did sign a bill that included the three-strikes legislation; however, there were other components of the legislation to help benefit the Black community.  But before I get into the other components during this time the Congressional Black Caucus unanimously supported the bill.  Included in the legislation were rehabilitation reform for federal prisoners; expanded school hours to reduce time children of working parents are alone; and increased funding for urban police departments.  This is just a few of the additional components of the legislation put into law in 1993.

Former President Clinton has indicated that he takes ownership of the three-strikes component of the legislation.  It was a different time with extremely high crime rates but hindsight is 20/20. Now comes to the big news.  In April 2015, the first issue that Hillary Clinton announced she would tackle is criminal justice reform and I applaud that fact.  One it needs to be done and two who better to reform the three-strikes legislation signed into law by Bill Clinton.

I spent time in a few days in January with two of my sorority sisters Ohio Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge and former Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman.  They both gave insights into the Clintons that reminded me why I liked them and who they are to the core.

Yes, in 2008 there were some ugly things said during the Democratic Primary campaign toward then Sen. Barack Obama.  However, President-Elect Obama selected then Senator Clinton for the role of Secretary of State.  The role she was placed in made her his representative to the role…so I believe he has gotten pass any name calling.  So we his supporters should do the same.  In addition, without disrespecting the process, President Obama has hinted that he supports Hillary Clinton.  She is the hope to keep the legacy he has begun going.

Finally, Hillary Clinton has fought for the poor and disenfranchised during law school and has never stopped.  No she is not poor but do you need to be down and out to understand, I don’t think so.  The Kennedy’s are some of the biggest philanthropist and they have great wealth.  The Clinton’s have always been involved in making the world better…. including creating the Clinton Global Initiative.  Bernie Sanders has not been a major part of the Black community until this election.  He is talking about things that will benefit us but money needed would be impossible to have his legislation pass.

Around the planet there are nations with female Presidents.  Even in India.  I think it is about time that we give a former Children’s Defense Fund lawyer, first Lady of Arkansas, first Lady of the US, NY Senator, & Secretary of State an opportunity to be President of the United States.

Below are some of the most important issues and challenges that she will take on.  Including as mentioned above criminal justice reform.

  • As former Secretary of State; U.S. Senator; First Lady (of the nation and Arkansas); Lawyer; and lifelong advocate for women and families, no one is more qualified to be President of the United States than Hillary Clinton.
  • Hillary knows child care, equal pay, and paid leave are fundamental economic issues not merely women’s issues. She even sponsored legislation while in the senate around these issues [S.182 (110th); S.3609 (110th); & S.3635 (110th)].
  • Our next President could name multiple appointments to the Supreme Court…and if the Senate pushes back on President Obama’s appointee to replace Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia this will be sooner than later.
  • Hillary will defend Planned Parenthood and women’s health care from Republican attacks.
  • Hillary’s New College Compact would mean students would never have to borrow to pay for tuition to attend a four-year public college in their state_and the millions of Americans who have student debt can refinance.
  • After decades of fighting for progressive issues (and 11 straight hours of testimony in front of a Republican-led congressional committee), she’s proved nobody can stand up to Republicans better than she can.
  • It’s time to end for-profit private prisons in America.
  • We need a President who will fight to restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act after they were gutted by the Supreme Court.
  • She made LBGT rights a priority of the U.S. foreign policy.
  • There are cities across the country that are already leading on climate change_so she’ll launch Clean Energy Challenge that will form new partnerships with states, cities, and rural communities.

There is so much more that I could write, however, I will summarize my desire for a President who will serve the best interest of liberals and conservatives. I want someone who can channel their anger into progress and positive negotiations.  For example, when Congress blocked the initial efforts for Universal Healthcare during the 1990’s, she was able to negotiate to secure millions of children receive healthcare.  I am seeking a change maker and not merely a change talker.  These are just a few reasons why I support Hillary Rodham Clinton as the next President of the United States.

Now back to campaigning.

Source: Check out hillaryclinton.com for details on the issues.

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From The Editor – Issue 3 Volume 5


from_the_editor_2February is the month of love in addition it is the month when African American (Black) history is celebrated in the United States.  Red, white, and pink teddy bears are lining store shelves along with heart shaped boxes of chocolates.  Card aisles are over flowing with valentine cards and boxes of cards for children to give to class mates.  Teacher’s curriculums include special lessons for teaching Black History.

In the February 1st posts on PaisleyPerspective the subjects include the 2016 Black History theme, which is “Hallowed Grounds”.  There are those who question the purpose of Black History month and whether it is relevant.  A country primarily built with the labor of enslaved Africans is still healing.  Contributions of the descendants of those stole to work in this nation are great.  The sites of much history needs to be remembered.  The history of the United States is very much intertwined with Black History; February helps to highlight a history that might otherwise be lost.

Growing up in a two parent household, I had an opportunity to see how a couple works through their obstacles.  No love is perfect but there are characteristics of a positive loving relationship.  I share my insights about what makes for a solid relationship in “Good Love”.  Shockingly, I learned last year of a friend who dealt with over 40 years of domestic abuse.  I will share her story in an interview “Tainted Love”.  Finally leading into the interview is a poem, “Calling” related to the subject of domestic violence.

I am always looking for other voices than my own to share on PaisleyPerspective.  Check out the Submissions Guideline page for how to add your voice.

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