Victory And Defeat


When Barack Obama took Iowa I served as a precinct captain for the Obama campaign and it was an awesome experience. It was amazing for me to see so many white people show up and support a black man, who only 30 years ago, would have drawn that type of crowd at his lynching.

Although the atmosphere was electric, and as we settle into his presidency, let us not forget what was lost in his victory, let us not forget who was lost fighting for this victory and most importantly, let us not forget that the battle is not yet over. We will lose more than we gain sometimes in this life, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't reach further than our grasp.

I took my children to the caucus with me that cold night and they were a part of the campaign from the beginning. They canvassed, made phone calls and they helped me count participants at the caucus. They led the Obama chants and felt inspired by our victory here in Iowa. My son got to see a black man win in a place where he expects no one to look like. As a mother, sister, aunt, friend of a black man, how do you not get excited about a black man in the White House.

I am not using this blog as an endorsement of Obama’s politics, but as a battle cry to our sons, brothers, fathers and uncles. Barack has helped to restore a hope and a hunger for change in this country, but most of all he has inspired our sons to be proud of themselves and aspire to be more.

Harry Truman once said that in reading about the lives of great men, he found that the first victory they won was over themselves . . . self-discipline with all of them came first.

Resolve to be victorious and start with yourself. Until next time, stay strong, smart and powerful.



Raising The Bar

My grandpa died May 23, 2007. He was 94 years old. I still get a large lump in my throat when I think of him. He lived a very good life and he ran a good race. My sadness however, is selfish. I am sad for me. My grandpa was a very strong, proud man; he was a giant to me. He was the first and only man to ever really love me. He was my hero, my biggest cheerleader, my standard by which I judge other men. He always sounded happy to hear my voice on the phone (even if he wasn't). He's gone now, which means the love I felt from him is gone as well. There is a profound emptiness when a love you've always known is no longer available to you. I am still waiting to know that love again. Maybe I will find it in Heaven when I get to see him again.

My grandmother, however is probably feeling an emptiness that spans the distance from here to eternity. They were married more than 60 years. They were together longer than they were not together and she sat by his bedside everyday watching him slip away. How many of us will ever know love like that. My prayer is that our black men will strive to be like my grandfather. A protector, a nurturer - A GIANT among men!!!! How many of you will have lived a life that will be celebrated upon your death. Will you love with such an open heart that others will see past their own pain to comfort you in your last days.

Through the pain of losing such a wonderful man, I realized that what's important is the legacy my grandpa. Now it's my responsibility to carry it to the next generation of men in my family, starting with my son. I realized that it's not that we don't make men like my grandpa anymore, we just don't require much of our boys so they never get the opportunity to be the kind of man my grandpa was. We need to do a better job helping our boys live up to their God given potential.

We need to require MORE of ourselves and our children. Let's stop complaining about each other. There are still good men and women in this world. The problem is they have not been required to be better, or do MORE. Let's do our part to make the world a better place than we found it and let’s start with self. Anyone can rise to LOW expectations. Raise your standards people, stop accepting the norm and require something MORE of yourself and of others.

Dream big and God will meet you there, but know that it will require you to work at being better, being MORE. Stand up and take your places - we need you to raise the bare for yourself and those around you.

Until next time, stay strong, smart and powerful.



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