26th I Believe Anita Hill Party


Today, the 26th I Believe Anita Hill Party will take place in Columbia, SC.  This must attend event for individuals who believe in Women’s Rights had simple beginnings.  In 1991 a group of women across various political, socio-economic statuses, religions, and professions gathered together to watch Dr. Anita Hill testify during Clarence Thomas Senate Confirmation Hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice.  The first gathering was organic and merely a method of support.  In 1992 it was decided to remember Dr. Hill’s testimony and voice it gave women with an event to mark the year anniversary.  26 years later it is still going strong.

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The Author with Dr. Anita Hill (c) 2016

Last year, I had the honor to meet and personally thank Dr. Hill for her courage and speaking up on such a taboo subject.  When she gave her testimony in 1991 there weren’t standard workplace rules dealing with sexual harassment.  It was an unspoken rule that as women there was a chance you would have to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace.  Dr. Hill’s testimony helped set the foundation for women to speak up and legislation to protect them.

With the latest Hollywood news of Harry Weinstein’s sexual abuses toward numerous actresses recently being revealed, we are reminded there is still much work to do.  Prior to Weinstein, mega celebrity Bill Cosby’s sexual abuses were revealed.  Both of these men’s accusers were sometimes questioned as to why they waited so long to come forward.  The question to me shouldn’t be about when they came forward but why must women have to continually deal with sexual harassment in the workplace?

I look forward to this day when women of all ethnicities, socio-economic background, political beliefs and religions come together to remember our shero.  A woman who carried truth and stood behind it.  She opened the way for millions of women to speak up about their own sexual harrassmsent experiences.  Dr. Hill helped set in motion legislation and workplace regulations to help provide a fair and safe workplace for women everywhere.  Women are still fighting for the right to be safe in their workplaces but today we remember and continue to believe the historic and brave testimony of Dr. Anita Hill.

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Life is Fragile


While remnants of Hurricane Irma bring a rainy and windy day to South Carolina. I think back to 2001. That year on this date my 92 year old grandfather had successful surgery to remove a sub dermal hematoma (blood cot) from his brain. While sitting in his hospital room my hubby & I watched in horror the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, & potentially the White House.
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I also thought about one of my oldest friendships and it being my sister-friend’s birthday. Her special day was forever changed. This happens when hideous things occur on any special day but September 11, 2001 was not a normal day.
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Also on that day was my mom’s last day working at O’Hare airport. She left work and stopped at my grandmother’s to take a nap as usual. She awoke to a world changed. Her former co-workers wouldn’t return back to work for weeks and then it was a whole different world.
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Life can change in an instant. It can be by the hands of humans or by natural disasters. Today I think of the number of hurricanes and earthquakes and think some of it is due to human’s arrogance. We all need to respect the planet because she is speaking loudly & boldly. May all who read this remember to hug & tell someone you love them today. Tomorrow is never promised.
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The Path of Totality


Once in a lifetime events don’t land at your front door every year.  A total solar eclipse occurs approximately every 18 months somewhere around the globe.  Today various cities in South Carolina were in the direct path of totality.  The path of totality is where an eclipse is at 100% coverage.

There are a number of friends that held events today.  I decided to attend an eclipse viewing party of a friend who enjoys meteorology and astronomy.  He had a number of friends over for what turned into an amazing afternoon.

Prior to the beginning of the eclipse, wearing our verified certified glasses we looked at the sun.  Never having looked directly at the sun it was amazing to see the orange glow.  No one looked for a long period but just enough every so often.

One of the most notable changes was within the hot & humid temperatures.  We physically felt the lowering of the temperature during the start of the eclipse.  On a regular basis we donned our glasses and would look to see the moon passing in front of the path of the sun.  During the time right before totality with glasses you could view, the diamond ring and the effect of Bailey’s beads.

Leading up to the eclipse including the transition of temperature and shadow were awe inspiring.  However, the start of the moment was when you were able to remove your eclipse glasses and view one of the most amazing moments in the universe.  Seeing the total eclipse and the corona effect from the sun was a WOW moment for all watching.  In addition looking to the left we were able to view the planet Venus…for a few minutes I felt like a little kid.

Regardless of your spiritual or religious beliefs, you cannot ignore the amazing moment today when the moon passed in the path of the sun.  Where I stood I had 2 minutes and 36 seconds to view the total eclipse.  It seems just as amazing as when the eclipse began it ended with the sun taking back her reign again.  Tonight is a new moon and earlier today that moon showed she too demands respect.  Thank you moon, thank you sun, and thank you amazing universe.

Check out the photos taken by party host Chris McCurry using solar filters and a Pringle’s potato chip can to capture the historic moments throughout the day.

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Fun & Festive Food for a Solar Event! Photo credit: J. Rose-Harris

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Camera is set to go! Photo credit: J. Rose-Harris

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Ready to see the sun and the moon kiss! Photo Credit: J. Rose-Harris

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The beginning… Photo credit: C. McCurry

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Almost at totality! Photo credit: C. McCurry

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Diamond ring and Bailey’s beads. Photo credit: C. McCurry

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WOW! The corona glow! Photo credit: C. McCurry

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A proud moment! Photo credit: J. Rose-Harris

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I Am A Black Woman…I Matter


I use to always think if I needed help I would run to the police department.  For example if I were being followed by an unknown vehicle.  I direct people begging for money to the local police department.  However, I don’t know anymore…and that saddens me.  Repeated incidents of police officers shooting unarmed men or shooting those posing no threat have worn me down.  Add to this the officers involved in the deaths of Freddie Gray and Eric Gardner incidents that get no jail time and it becomes a heavy weight of despair.   I know all police officers are not bad or intolerant but I do know many do exist. I’m forever an optimist but also very much a realist.  And the unvieling of the injustice  via digital media and the continual unjustified shooting of black men has worn away a significant amount of my optimism.

You want to know why there is a black lives matter movement? It’s for incidents like recently in Florida when a health care worker searching for an autistic patient does what he is told is still shot. A black man doing his job was shot by a cop even when he was complying. It’s because the cop actually said he didn’t know why he shot the man & admitted to having aimed for the autistic man playing with a toy truck. This was similar to another incident where an adult male was mentally incapable of understanding police orders and was tasered.

My husbands best friend has a 20-something year old autistic son. This could have easily been him in the mentioned situatuion. I’m pushing on the political activism end. I am using my words via blogs, letters, and with my local Democratic party but we all have to suit up and make it known black lives matter. Yes, I know all lives matter but right now the target is on the bodies of black men, even when they do as told.  Let’s make it known via the beloved matter called currency; so via your wallets and the daily choices we make. Eye for eye leads to more blood shed, I truly believe violence is not the answer nor is anarchy. We are better than that…our blood line comes from African kings & queens so let us act as such.

What can you do? Contact local law enforcement and work with them in your communities. Contact local elected officials let them know your concerns. Be present in your neighborhoods and call out those elements who may not be uplifting but criminal in nature.  Yes, I know we must also have opportunities to provide criminal elements another avenue.  However, we only uplift with identifying all components that deteriorate our communities and must be strong in that acknowledgement.  All of these things are needed in combination to make it know we are not merely existing but human beings and citizens worthy and deserving of full rights…each and every day.  Whether we are in a poor neighborhood or a high end neighborhood..driving a fancy car we deserve respect.

We’ve struggled since the first slave ship landed in Jamestown. But we must take ownership of our identity and be present in all human capacities. Don’t give up but be present where it matters. Let your voice be heard in every capacity…and more than ever via the ballot box. There is much we can do and it starts locally with us. Enough is enough; my husband is a black man and he matters; my brother in laws are black men and they matter; my father in law is a black man and he matters, my sister  in law is a black woman and she matter, my niece is a black child and she matters,  I am a black woman and I matter!

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I Choose Love


Last Friday, June 10th the memorial service of the late great Muhammad Ali was televised and streamed live.  It was an interfaith service filled with love.  The memorial was planned 10 years ago under the guidance of Ali.  Friends from across many faiths including Muslim, Christian, Mormon, Jewish, Native American just to name a few gave reflections on one of the world’s greatest humanitarians.  Throughout each message there was the underlying theme of love & kindness.

Join HandsDuring the early hours of Sunday, June 12th a gay club in Orlando, Florida was attacked by a man now known to have pledged allegiance with ISIL.  50 people were killed and 53 wounded in the attack.  This attack has caused some to say inappropriate and hateful things about choices and the LGBTQ community.  This includes the Lt. Governor of Texas who tweeted a Bible verse “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” – Galatians 6:7 NIV , he has since deleted it.  I am not a Bible scholar; I am however a Christian who believes in the golden rule.   “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6:31 NIV and “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Matthew 7:1 NIV

Having friends within the LGBTQ community makes the massacre in Orlando, Florida more real.  It could have happened anywhere .  It could have involved friends who’ve been in committed relationships over 20 years and just recently able to legally marry.  These are not people following a free lifestyle…they are in monogamous relationships.  For those who would remove their judgement glasses and really look they would see regular ordinary people.  They are lawyers, doctors, teachers, law enforcement officers, fireman, military personal, bakers, and every other profession.  Most importantly, they are mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, brothers, sons, fathers, uncles, and friends.

Whether it is religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation judging others to the extent where you believe it is your duty to kill or hurt them is wrong.  Hating someone for their beliefs is illogical to me.  I have stayed silent for longer than I should have.  I didn’t publicly speak up during the same sex marriage nor during the bathroom debates.  I have not posted anything during various pride events.  But the hateful murder of people enjoying themselves regardless of if you agree with their life choices is wrong.

With this post I stand as an ally to those who seek to love whom they choose.  Two consenting adults seeking the love of each other or the same with two young people I choose not to judge.  Ultimately love is the answer and will shine through hate.  The aftermath from acts of terrorism usually bring love.  It rises above the devastation and gives all those accepting of others hope.  We will never always agree but let’s stop judging each other.

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Finally, this Friday will mark the 1st year anniversary of the Charleston, SC nine massacre.  Nine Christians were murdered after Bible study in their church.  This included the pastor of Mother Emmanuel AME Church who also was a Senator.  With quick effort Dillon Ruff was found and charged with the murders.  During the initial hearing the families of the nine victims forgave him.  I confuse, I don’t know if I would have been able to do that so soon.  They allowed Christian love to overcome what I imagine was a numbing grief to say the words, “I forgive you and may God have mercy on your soul.”  These family members and the example of Muhammad Ali who embraced all faiths and beliefs, should be a constant reminder of agape love.  Love will always, always, always overcome hate.

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Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling


Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropThe 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution passed in the Senate on June 4, 1919, this was 97 years ago.  The amendment reads “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.  Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”  Specifically, this amendment allowed women the right to vote.  This June history occurred, when Hillary Clinton became the first woman named as the presumptive Presidential nominee for a major political party.

Previously the closest a woman has come to being anywhere near the Presidency was when Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.  The invisible glass ceiling referring to women seeking to move up in business, government, or other leadership roles has been shattered.  I am happy, truly and honestly happy about a woman being a major party’s nominee but I wonder if the ceiling is self-healing?  Will the pieces come together again like in a sci-fi movie?  Or will there remain a clear opening for other women to rise through?

For females young and older around the U.S. I do believe that Clinton is a beacon of hope.  She has shown that even when mud and something else is slung her way she can take it.  This was shown back in October 2015 during an 11-hour hearing on Benghazi, like a true leader Hillary responded to the pounding of questions from the House Committee lead by Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC).  Most recently Clinton showed Presidential poise when she gave her speech on foreign policy.  In response to her speech and the comments around the instability of Donald Trump the presumptive republican nominee, Trump came back with random comments none of which related to his foreign policy plan.

Under constant investigation from when she was First Lady of the United States, U.S. Senator, and most recently Secretary of State, her record has and continues to be picked apart.  Just as President Obama faces obvious racism as the first African American President, Clinton will continue to face scrutiny if elected as the first woman President.  Sadly, the U.S. has issue with what is different and out of the norm and the norm are white males in leadership.  I would like to note that while giving her speech the night of major wins on June 7th she complemented her opponent Bernie Sanders.  Upon her comments there was respectful clapping of her supporters.  Yet when he complemented Clinton during his speech there were boos from the crowd.  Sanders did not even blink nor did he admonish the negative response.

Finally, I want there to be a day when we don’t have to focus on the fact a woman is in a position of power.  Whether it is the CEO of a major corporation or the nominee of a major political party.  The U.S. is merely catching up with other countries who have had female leaders for decades now.  Great Britain, Germany, Norway, India as well as many more nations have and have had female leaders in the highest offices or within the monarchy.  Now that this history has been made let’s move forward to the issues.

Content originally published by The MinorityEye on June 9, 2016

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In The News


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This weekend my intent was to focus on the resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Within the christian community this is the holiest of holidays. It is the time when the promise of Jesus saving the world through his crucifixion, death and then resurrection is celebrated. However, my attention has been distracted.

Bombings in Brussels have taken me to a place of wondering why are people so intolerant? Do those doing this devastation honestly believe this is the best and only way to get their message heard? There has to be a better way to speak your mind and your agenda then the death of others. This goes across vast areas (organizations & governments) and is to deep to delve into now.

Yesterday my concentration was broken regarding the recent terrorists attacks and celebrating Christ’s resurrection. I received a post on my Facebook page that had a link to an article about the support Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is receiving from Black women. The article was interesting but most interesting was the fact my face is in the photo used with the Associated Press (AP) news story. In the photo it is a friend, myself and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about to take a selfie of us.

Today, I learned that the same photograph and story is also in my local statewide newspaper. I am sure it is also in other newspapers or other sites that run AP news stories. I am mostly annoyed by this photo not because I disagree with the story content. My annoyance is because I did not give permission for my image to be used and hence wonder why this photo was published. However, I then realize there are photos of celebrities (I am not one) taken without permission and used every day in much less flattering ways.

I am going to voice my discontent with the use of my image via a letter to the editor of The State Newspaper. However, I know that my rant will probably be for naught, since as stated if you are present during a significant news moment your image may be captured and used. I have learned from this experience to be wary of the person with the super lensed camera.

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