Amanda Gorman: Shines again at the Super Bowl LV

 

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, after drawing wide acclaim after her stunning poem recital at President Biden's inauguration, presented another masterpiece last Sunday ahead of Super Bowl 55.

The poem, titles “Chorus of the Captains” celebrated three community heroes chosen by the NFL to serve as honorary captains at Sunday’s game, including educator Trimaine Davis, nurse manager Suzie Dorner and Marine Corps veteran James Martin.

“Today we honor our three captains. For their actions and impact in a time of uncertainty and need,” Gorman read on Sunday.

“They’ve taken the lead. Exceeding all expectations and limitations, uplifting their communities and neighbors. As leaders, healers, and educators,” she continued.

Here’s the transcription of her poem:

 

Chorus of the Captains”

 

 "Today we honor our three captains
For their actions and impact in
A time of uncertainty and need.
 They’ve taken the lead,
 Exceeding all expectations and limitations
Uplifting their communities and neighbors
As leaders, healers, and educators. 

James has felt the wounds of warfare,
But this warrior still shares
His home with at-risk kids.
During Covid, he’s even lent a hand,
Live-streaming football for family and fans.

 Trimaine is an educator who works nonstop,
Providing his community with hotspots,
Laptops, and tech workshops,
So his students have all the tools
They need to succeed in life and school. 

Suzie is the ICU nurse manager at a Tampa Hospital.
Her chronicles prove that even in tragedy, hope is possible.
She lost her grandmothers to the pandemic,
And fights to save other lives in the ICU battle zone,
Defining the frontline heroes risking their lives for our own.

 Let us walk with these warriors,
Charge on with these champions,
And carry forth the call of our captains!
We celebrate them by acting
With courage and compassion,
By doing what is right and just.
For while we honor them today,
It is them who every day honor us."

 

We adore you Amanda Gorman, shine on!

 

 

 

 

 


Amelia Boynton Robinson: The pioneer civil rights activist

Amelia Boynton Robinson: The pioneer civil rights activist

Amelia Boynton Robinson, the matriarch of the voting rights movement, is known for her struggles and sacrifices that brought change in American political system.

She was among those beaten during the voting rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in March 1965 that is known as “Bloody Sunday”. The troopers tear-gassed and clubbed the marchers as they tried to cross the bridge. Her photo in a newspaper, that showed her beaten unconscious, drew wide attention to the movement.

Mrs. Boynton Robinson was one of the organizers of the march, the first of three attempts by demonstrators in March 1965 to walk the 54 miles from Selma, Alabama, to the capital, Montgomery, to demand the right to register to vote.

As shown in “Selma” the Oscar-nominated 2014 film directed by Ava DuVernay, Mrs. Boynton Robinson (played by Lorraine Toussaint) had helped persuade the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who would lead the second and third marches, to concentrate his efforts in that city.

Bloody Sunday took place on March 7, 1965. As they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, some 600 black demonstrators, led by John Lewis and the Rev. Hosea Williams, were set upon by Alabama state troopers armed with tear gas, clubs and whips. Walking near the front of the line and subject to the full force of the troopers’ blows, Mrs. Boynton Robinson, then known as Amelia Boynton, was knocked unconscious.

Half a century later the first black president of the United States Barak Obama joined her in a trip across the bridge during a commemoration. Frail, but resolute, Robinson joined the other veterans in the ceremonial bridge crossing in her wheelchair.

Mrs. Robinson reminisced in an interview that she could have died in the 1965 incident, but it made her even more resolute and determined to do anything that could make African Americans, the first-class citizens, and destroy the fear in them. She was invited to the White House for President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A monument in her honor stands at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

In 1964, Robinson became the first African American and first female democratic candidate to run for US Congress in Alabama. She received 11 percent of the primary votes in an area where only 5 percent of African Americans could vote. In the same year, she invited King and the SCLC to Selma, and she organized the Selma to Montgomery rights March.

Among her laurels is the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Medal, which she received in 1990. Amelia Boynton Robinson was an amazingly strong and inspiring woman who had great vision and courage, strength, and her life will continue to inspire every single citizens of the world till eternity.


The History of the Black History Month

Black History Month is observed each February in the United States, many people are not aware of how this started. And most people do not know that a Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson is the man behind this tradition. As a descendent of a formerly enslaved race, he was thoroughly familiar with how black Americans were being left out of the narrative of American history. His dream to correct this glaring oversight realized when he and an organization funded by him, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) announced and celebrated Negro History Week in 1925 during February, as the month encompasses the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Woodson hoped that Negro History Week would encourage better relations between black and white people in the United States as well as inspire young Black Americans to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of their ancestors.

The response from the celebration of the Black History Week was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort.

During the Civil Rights Movement, South’s Freedom Schools started observing the week and its curriculum to be a part of the mission. There were major problems with the then history textbooks like in the mid-1960s, the most popular textbook for eighth-grade U.S. history classes mentioned only two black people in the entire century of history that had transpired since the Civil War. To rectify such issues, colleges and universities across the country transformed the week into a Black History Month on campus.

American educators and historians both white and black started observing black history week and expanding the historical narrative to include black Americans. In 1976, when the USA celebrated its bicentennial, Woodman’s ASALH extended the weeklong celebration into a month, and that was the beginning of the Black History month.

President Gerald Ford urged Americans to observe Black History Month, but it was President Carter who officially recognized Black History Month in 1978. Each year, the ASALH gave Negro History Week themes, and that tradition has extended into Black History Month to help narrow people's focus to aspects of Black history. In 2021, the theme is "The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity".


Taking a stand to help others

Kia D to speak at the UNT on Survivor Advocate Program

 

Sometimes one inspiring story, one kind word or a small encouragement can change a life. A small support can help a victim become a survivor. This is the mission of Kia D.
Kia D, today, is the Founder and the CEO of the popular radio network “wetalkradio.com”, and a non-profit “Heels on the Move to Heal”, but once she has been a victim of domestic violence and sexual assault. When she left her abuser, she was not left with anything but courage and strength to rebuild her life once again.

Kia D is going to speak at UNT in March 2021 for their Survivor Advocate program.

Her participation in this program is in alignment with her work to let others know that it is possible to overcome the trauma of domestic violence and sexual assault. Being the CEO of WeTalkRadio Radio Station and founder of “Heels on the Move to Heal”, she uses her platform as a survivor to supply others like her with clothes and resources. Heels on the Move to Heal also stages an annual charity fashion show, where local youth create and produce local events, allowing them to explore roles like emcee, performer, producer, DJ, photographer and videographer.

She truly believes that it is more important to walk with people, just pointing in the right direction may not be enough.