Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day

Labor Day was founded after the Pullman Strike of 1894, when President Cleveland was hoping to gain political allyship by honoring railroad workers. However, the story about the involvement of the Black Pullman porters in the labor movement is not always told.

“Pullman porters were black men who worked in the train cars attending to their mostly white passengers, performing such tasks as shining shoes, carrying bags, and janitorial services. During this period, this profession was the largest employer of blacks in the nation and constituted a significant portion of the Pullman company’s workforce…”

-Theodore R. Johnson

Despite Black porters being a significant part of the Pullman’s workforce, they were not allowed to strike and were also denied access to the labor union.

This led Black railroad workers to form their own union, the Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car Porters, which was the first Black union in America. A. Philip Randolph was the first president of the union, and he was also the brains behind the first March on Washington. The march ended up being called off after President Roosevelt met with Randolph and other Civil Rights leaders. The event was canceled because President Roosevelt signed an order “barring racial discrimination in the federal defense industry.”

This was a major win for Randolph and other Civil Rights activists, as it allowed many Black people to get employed in industries that they were barred from. It would not have happened if it were not for Black workers fighting for equality in the workforce.

While folks are enjoying their Labor Day holiday, let’s make sure we pay homage to those who fought for us to enjoy the day with family and friends.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Happy Birthday

What a time it has been.
These last 8 years have been nothing short of change.
When collectively we came together as one and focused on what was not best for "I" but what was best for "US". 
"US" meaning "We the people". (LoL!! I can hear my friend John right now starting one of his many rants with those particular words.)

I watched a clip of local retired Minister/Civil Rights Activist Paul McDaniel last night on our local news station. He spoke about being  a young man and attending Morehouse College with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  While highlighting all the phenomenal things that Rev. McDaniel has done, the one thing that stuck out the most for me is when he stated that he wishes Dr. King could have seen all the work that he had done was not in vain. The main statement that struck a cord was "Now no one would look at a black child and laugh because they said they wanted to be President of the United States." I remember how people would laugh at any black kid for wanting to be a Doctor, Lawyer, Dentist, and of course President. Outside of the entertainment industry a lot of things weren't considered realistic for black kids. Now, the highest level of office in this country is to be added to the list of our accomplishments and continued aspirations. 

I thought about how my great grandmother felt when she not only got out to vote for President Obama but when she watched his inauguration on TV. To think that at one time the mindset of our people in this country could not move past the conditions and the institution of slavery. Those who were taken away from their respective countries and continent to be brought to a strange land and be put through years of torture and be the primary target of inequality. What we have had the opportunity to witness, they probably couldn't have imagined it. .but it happened.

There are many Black First embedded in the fabric that is America. Even though my views are different regarding the experience and what we have made our lives to be here "in spite of" I feel that each person of African descent (Black, African American, Black American, etc.) should take pride in all we have done for this country.

Far from the some of the successes of the Obama administration, the greatest impact for me was to see a woman that looked like me as the "First Lady". How I wish the women before me could look and be proud of her poise, intelligence, and life. 

We will say goodbye to one of the greatest first families this week (along with the Biden's). However, today we celebrate Michelle Obama's last birthday as our First Lady. It has been nothing short of an inspiration and motivation. Meeting her is one of the great moments I've had in my life. I know that her work won't stop and she will continue to inspire us each day. I thank you Mrs. Obama for giving all of us the best of you. How you never forgot where she came from and showed us it was ok to be from around the way!! How you always showed the upmost empathy for those in need. How you put the health of children and all American's first. How you held your head high no matter what others had to say about you. How you stood your ground for what was simply right at all times. How you were transparent. How you simply just made each and every brown girl proud to be BROWN!! How you made us dream bigger. How you gave us hope. How you simply reminded us that no matter where we are in life or where we come from, it's never to late to be great. 

To all my Sistah's out there. .Don't forget to ROCK your pearls today!!

Happy Birthday First Lady!!
We love and Thank You!!

The Sophisticate Chronicles
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Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday Motivation

Living in this world can be the hardest challenge at times. I just wrote a little something for ALL my Sistah's this Morning. A little motivation. Even if your day is off to a great start and even if it's not. .we can all use this affirmation. I hope this lifts your spirits. I hope this adds to your joy.

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Losing my grandmother to Breast Cancer and complications from a severe Stroke was one of the hardest things I've faced in my life. She battled the disease for over 6 years, had a single mastectomy (right breast), and see her cancer go into remission twice before returning for the last time.

Watching my mother take care of her day end and day out was truly life changing. My mother who is a RN (BSN) made sure that her every need was met. My mother is the epitome of what a daughter should be to her mother!! I remember the day she died vividly. I can still feel her hand in mine and see her smile. I remember my grandmothers doctor calling my mother after 3 am to tell her (us) to get to the hospital. Earlier that day my mother was able to recall having the BEST day ever with my grandmother. They had breakfast and lunch together. They later sat around filled with laughter/love as they talked about me, my cousins, and my aunt. One thing that was never a question was that she truly loved all of us to her core, was there for us, and would do ANYTHING if need be no matter her circumstances. My mother said when she got up to leave she hugged and gave my grandmother her usual forehead kiss. As she walked out the room and down the hallway she she began to feel uneasy and broke down crying. Someway my mother knew that the end had come and wasn't surprised by the phone call later the next morning. The Doctor said that my grandmother would not go until she knew we were there. Thinking about it now my Mother had never drove that fast in my life getting to her. LoL!! Glory!! We made it though. We walked in the room with the Nurses and her doctor all standing around. They told her that we had made it and we each took one of her hands. I remember here opening her eyes looking at me and looking at my mom. She smiled, then squeezed both of our hands, and then she was gone.

My grandmother came from a long lineage of women who have what I call the "Warrior Spirit". They fought and did anything necessary for themselves and their families. My grandmother fought like a Champion against Heart Disease, Stroke, and Breast Cancer until the very end. She will forever and always be MY Sheroe!! 

This month support and show that you are AWARE of the fight against and to find a cure for Breast Cancer.
I ask that each of you make a donation in honor of a loved one, friend, or just to show you support. One Organzation that I have supported and am truly thankful that it exist is the Sisters Network. This month I ask that you make a donation specifically to them. Here is a little information on them and WHY you should make your donation or become a volunteer. .

The Sisters Network® Inc. (SNI) is a leading voice and the only national African American breast cancer survivorship organization in the United States. Sisters Network is governed by an elected Board of Directors and assisted by an appointed medical advisory committee.

Membership is 3000, which includes more than 40 affiliate survivor run chapters nationwide.
The organization’s purpose is to save lives and provide a broader scope of knowledge that addresses the breast cancer survivorship crisis affecting African American women around the country.

Don't forget to ROCK your PINK all month long!!

Get out and be involved all year. 
Visit the links below to see how you can help and become a voice in the fight.

American Cancer Society 

Susan G.  Komen

Sisters Network

To those who fought the good fight, may they forever rest peacefully. To all of those who are still here "Fight like a girl and Warrior". We love you 💕

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Life. .Reflection

I knew this trip was coming up and I wouldn't be going with a team of people but with a new mission and purpose. All alone to share my testimony. I chose not to announce it, post where I was, or Go Live (on Facebook) No one knew but my Mother and a select few.

My Mother seems to always come up with the coolest ideas. I know a lot people who carry around precious items from their loved ones who have passed away. It's a way of keeping their spirit close. I wanted to carry things from the women in my family because without them, I wouldn't be who I am. 
I think about how hard they worked, all the sacrifices they made, and I wanted to just feel them with me so that I knew I wasn't alone. My mother came up with pinning the rings of my grandmother and both my great grandmothers to the inside of my dress. 

My "Ugly Cry " moment came when I walked up to President Obama and he said to me "If you are what everyone in Chattanooga is like, then it must be an awesome city". That meant a lot because there are many of us who struggle each day to do our part, stay in our own lane, and its ALL for the betterment and LOVE  for our respective city/state. Sometimes it's received with positivity and sometimes it's not. No matter what, it's moments like this that make all you do from your heart worth it. One thing that will always be known is that I was born and made in Chattanooga, TN. That will never change.

I told my mother I immediately started to cry. It shook me to my core. I remember sitting across from my great grandmother at her dinning room table as she glanced at the cover of Essence. 

(I found the magazine in her bedroom after she died and now I have it at home with me)

She was so overjoyed to see not only a man of African descent as president but the fact that it was a mere possibility that became a reality. She said "Look at them Tina. I never would have imagined".

Today is my last day of being 32. It has been a year of heartache, getting over my fears, having my life flash before my eyes, accepting every part of me for me, and preparing for the next phase. I have been tested in EVERY way imaginable and a lot of the time I thought that I wouldn't make it through. Life can be truly overwhelming at times. September has come with more challenges (I feel like I've been crying the whole month) and life changes but we all must look back and apply the knowledge we have gained to move forward. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I would be where I am today. What I wanted to do/have in life is the total opposite of what God chose to do with me. I still have a long way to go in areas of my life too. More Goals. More dreams. More knowledge to obtain. More work on me to be a better person/mother/daughter/wife/friend/family member/world changer. We will all continue to be "works in progress" until our time on this earth is done.

I leave you with this. .
Take life one day at a time. 
Treat and accept people for who they are with love and respect. 
Appreciate your family/friends/tribe who always love, support, have your best interest, and most importantly have your back no matter what. 
Be the best YOU each and every single day. 
Love yourself.
Help your fellow brother/sister in the best way that you can. 
Live and know that your life isn't in vain. Be a light and rock to the children in your life or the ones you come in contact with because they need us in every way for their dreams to become a reality. 
Be proud of all that you overcome and accomplish. 
Have Faith. 
Trust God. 
Never stop believing.Lorean~*
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Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Motivation

Monday had become one of the most dreaded days of the week. Why? For most it's a slap back into reality. That reality includes work, school (for those who are currently enrolled or those with children), and the realization that the weekend is OVER. LoL!! Some of us have coping mechanism to get us through until Friday and well. .some of us as they say simply just "Push Through".

The reality for a lot of us is that we may not be living up to what we feel is our  potential. Working a 9 to 5 or simply chasing a degree that won't satisfy every aspect of our creative being. That's a hard pill to swallow day in and day out. We deal with the reality of this in many ways. Some of us are even dealing with internal emotional, mental, and physical battles within due to this very thing. 

I myself have dealt with many levels of feeling that I don't have enough time in the world to fulfill all that I know I have been created to do. Many talents. Not enough time. Plus the fact that everyone doesn't understand what it's like to be multi talented aka "have more than one passion you are in pursuit of". It hurts more than anything for people to put you down and not be open to understanding how/what you were created to do. 

One thing that I have faith in and know is that EVEN in the darkest of times your purpose is still in tact. The most high  God has set us apart because we are not meant to be carbon copies of one another but to be authentic individuals. Your individuality is what you have to become comfortable with and take pride in. The life that has been designed strictly for you may come with similarities to others and that is simply for us to be able to relate (empathize) accordingly. If we were all out here to do the same thing, this world wouldn't be what it is today. Our work and purpose is designed to magnify, exhibit, and show what/who God is on this earth daily. We must rejoice in being set apart and know that in every aspect of our lives love, career, family, etc. everything that is for us is already set aside for us. Be prepared for what discernment reveals and trust that what God has for you is for you. 
The very things that I have said in this post today are the very things I (my mom and SisterFriends) have to remind me of on a daily basis. It's hard sometimes out here but we have to trust and simply believe.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Thrifty Finds

Back at it!!

I've Blogged about one of my FAVorite things to do and that is "Thrifting". Now "Thrifting" can be classified as many things shopping at Thrift Stores, Goodwill's, or Consignement/Resale Shops. Most of these places serve as a means of helping a certain Non Profit Organzation, don't want to to use EBay, Etsy, etc. or for those who simply don't have a way to sell their clothes

Today I'm excited to post a pic featuring one of my NOW favorite TShirts.
While shopping at a local Thrift Store this Sunday (Sept 4) the cashier at the register told me about a "Free Container" full summer shirts. Now you don't have to tell me anything is FREE more than once for me to check things out. She told me to check it out and see if I found anything I liked.

I began to look and found a few things. But OH LET ME TELL YOU!! Low and behold I found a Jewel!! Straight from "Brooklyn Mint" a Notorious B.I.G. "Brooklyn's Finest" graphic tee!! When I tell you I let out a scream. .I did. I am an ALL out Biggie and Bad Boy fan (Super excited to check out the reunion tour). I took it to the register because I really wasn't that sure if it had been misplaced or if it REALLY and truly was free. I literally screamed when she said it indeed was free too.  Even my Mama was excited. 

I decided to rock it today!! I kept it very sophisticated but casual. I paired my new tee with Express Platform Black Wedges $3.00 and Seven Jeans $6 (TJMaxx).

My whole outfit only cost $9. When I tell you that is what I love MOST about thrifting. It's nothing like feeling confident and looking good for less!!  

Check back  and keep up with my Thrifty Find Chronicles 😉

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