Brooklyn Legends Week in Review – My Magnificent 6

Dear Readers,

Time.com

Content.Time.com

Last month President Obama presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 17 individuals “who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

I was delighted to see 6 women among this highly esteemed group and 2 are Brooklyn natives. For me it just doesn’t get any better.

It is truly an honor to salute:

Major Bonnie Carroll (Retired US Air Force), a public servant who has devoted her life to caring for our military and veterans.

Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm (posthumous), the first African-American woman elected to Congress, the first major-party African-American female candidate to make a bid for the U.S. presidency and Brooklyn resident.

Gloria Estefan, one of the first mainstream Hispanic artists to crossover between English and Spanish language music paving the way for countless other Latin artists to follow.

Katherine G. Johnson, a pioneer in American space history and a NASA mathematician whose computations have influenced every major space program from Mercury through the Shuttle program.

Senator Barbara Milkulski, who became the longest-serving female Senator in 2011 and the longest-serving woman in Congress and the first female Senator to chair the Senate Appropriations Committee in 2012.

Barbra Streisand world-famous singer, actor, director, producer and songwriter and one of the few performers to receive an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and a Tony.  Ms. Streisand was born in Brooklyn, NY.

Brooklyn Legends is pleased to join the world in saluting all of this year’s Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, especially My Magnificent 6. To learn more about this year’s honorees, please follow this link.

Fondly,
Monique

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Credits:
The White House Briefing Room

My Thanksgiving Playlist #6 – “Home”

Dear Readers,

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your day.  I am pleased to share the 6th song on my Thanksgiving playlist, Home by the amazing Ms. Stephanie Mills. She is also a Brooklyn native.

The title of the song says it all – Home. During the holidays we all long to be surrounded by  family and close friends in the comfort of home.  For me this is one of the greatest joys around.

Fondly,
Monique

My Thanksgiving Playlist #3 – “I Believe in You and Me”

Dear Readers,

I am pleased to share the 3rd song from my Thanksgiving playlist – I Believe in You and Me by Whitney Houston. There are days when I still cannot believe she is no longer with us. Whitney’s voice was legendary and her delivery was spectacular.

This is my last post for today, but you will be hearing from me tomorrow. For now, please enjoy the fabulous Ms. Whitney Houston.

Have a great evening.

Fondly,
Monique

Brooklyn Legends Brunch with the Arts – A Candid Conversation

Video

Dear Readers,

I hope that you are having a sensational day!  On Saturday October 10th we shared the exciting news of A Ballerina’s Tale the documentary chronicling Misty Copeland’s career as a ballet dancer. This eagerly anticipated movie, written and directed by Nelson George, made its public debut on Wednesday, October 14th. If you missed Brooklyn Legends Brunch with the Arts – A Ballerina’s Tale please follow this link.

I have seen the movie twice and I am in awe of Misty Copeland’s determination and the sensitive manner in which Nelson George shared her story with us. Misty’s career trajectory took many twists and turns and she paid a tremendous price for her achievements just as you and I have. I also remember a conversation with a good friend around the challenges we often face when shaping our careers and the misperceptions many have around “success” and it comes down to this –the world doesn’t see your struggle, they only see your shine. Perhaps we need to tell our stories more often.

On Monday, October 12th, two days before the movie’s public debut, the 92nd Street Y hosted a screening of A Ballerina’s Tale followed by a discussion with Misty Copeland, Nelson George and Gayle King. For today’s Brooklyn Legends Bruch With the Arts, I am pleased to share this conversation with you.

Have a sensational Saturday.

Fondly,
Monique

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Credits: The 92nd Street Y

Meet FDNY Firefighter Regina Wilson – ‘The Hero of My Own Story’

FDNY Firefighter Regina Wilson - NYDailynews.com

FDNY Firefighter Regina Wilson – NYDailynews.com

Dear Readers,

Welcome to Brooklyn Legends Tenacious Tuesday and thank you for spending time with us. We invite you to visit our Facebook page for today’s words of encouragement. Connecting with us is as simple as clicking on this link.  We want this to be an interactive process and we encourage you to let us know if a particular post inspires you along your journey.

Today we are excited to introduce FDNY Firefighter Regina Wilson, one of our newest generation of trailblazers.

Firefighter Wilson is a Brooklyn native and graduate of Samuel J. Tilden High School where she joins a list of distinguished alumni including: Nelson George, featured in our recent post Brooklyn Legends Brunch with the Arts – A Ballerina’s Tale, Lucille Roberts, the businesswoman and founder of health club chain bearing her name and the Reverend Al Sharpton, host of MSNBC’s weekly talk show PoliticsNation. When she joined the FDNY in 1999, she was only the 12th African-American woman to achieve this distinction. During the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, she was among the first responders at the scene. Tragically, seven members of her firehouse – Engine 219, Ladder 105 in Brooklyn, New York – died that day.

This is a career that Firefighter Wilson never imagined that she would have. After attending a job fair at New York City’s Javitz Convention Center members of the Vulcan Society, a fraternal organization of African-American firefighters with an exemplary 75-year history, spoke with her and presented the FDNY as an option. That was 16 years ago. Since that time she has created a distinguished career with a very promising future. In addition to serving with Engine 219, Ladder 105, she is also an instructor at the Fire Academy on Randalls Island. A high-point of her career occurred earlier this year when she was the 1st woman elected President of the Vulcan Society.

Recently Firefighter Wilson was featured as a part of Makers – Be The Hero Series. During the opening you will hear Firefighter Wilson’s strong voice clearly articulate why she is a hero. To view the video, please follow this link.

I became the hero of my own story when I graduated from the Academy.  No one could ever tell me that I couldn’t do something again.
Regina Wilson

Brooklyn Legends is proud to salute Firefighter Wilson’s tenacity, strength and commitment to the people of New York City.

Fondly,
Monique

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Credits:
Makers – Be the Hero Series – Meet Regina Wilson – Aug. 24, 2015 Makers.com
First Woman Picked to Lead Vulcan Society – New York Daily News – Jan. 16, 2015

 

 

Brooklyn Legends Brunch with the Arts – “A Ballerina’s Tale”

 

Dear Readers,

I hope that you are enjoying the beautiful fall weather and our first holiday weekend since Labor Day. I welcome the down time from the hustle and bustle of my daily commute and, most important of all, I look forward to connecting with you.

Nelson George and Misty Copeland Credit Alex Welsh, The New York Times

Nelson George and Misty Copeland Credit Alex Welsh, The New York Times

On Wednesday, October 7th, the New York Times featured an article on Misty Copeland and Nelson George’s upcoming film “A Ballerina’s Tale,” which opens in theaters, and on demand, on Wednesday, October 14th.

This summer Ms. Copeland was promoted to principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater, a historic first for an African-American woman. Ironically she and Nelson George began filming “A Ballerina’s Tale” two years before this moment unfolded.

Misty was recovering from an injury she sustained when work began on the project. They met at a dinner party years ago and a chance seating arrangement was the spark that led to their collaboration.

Nelson George is a highly esteemed writer and filmmaker who is known for his work on hip-hop and African-American culture. In the New York Times article he candidly shares that he did not start out with an agenda (for the film). To use his words, “We didn’t know what was going to happen, but I knew she was going to get back onstage,” he said. He added: “I feel she’s the first big ballet pop star since Baryshnikov.”

I’m excited to be a part of this moment in history and I look forward to Monday evening. In the meantime, please enjoy Brooklyn Legends Brunch with the Arts and the trailer from “A Ballerina’s Tale.”

Fondly,
Monique

Credit: The New York Times, Oct. 7, 2015 Gia Kourlas

My Motivational Monday Reading List

Dear Readers,

Today is Motivational Monday at Brooklyn Legends. For the past few weeks, it has been a privilege to share with you inspirational quotes and other words of encouragement at the start of the work week.

Today, for a change of pace, I would like to share a some books and magazines that have truly inspired (and motivated) me at various points in my life. Perhaps there is a book here that you would like to add to your reading list..

Have a great evening.
Monique

My Motivational Reading List
Success Attraction Notes & Quotes – Dr. Stacia Pierce
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
What I Know for Sure – Oprah Winfrey
More Magazine – Meredith Corporation
The Warmth of Other Suns – Isabel Wilkerson
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell

 

Come and Meet Our New Trailblazers

Dear Readers,

Have you ever met a girl who aspired to be a model when she was ‘all grown up?’ Can you remember seeing her eyes and face light up as she sashayed across the living room floor; which had the distinction of serving as her runway. If you answered yes, then you are not alone. If asked, I believe many parents and guardians have a similar story to tell.

Many of these young ladies are among today’s leading models. However there are others who would not realize their dream owing to many roadblocks, including: financial constraints, height and weight challenges, mobility issues and age.

I am pleased to report the landscaping is shifting. Today I have the pleasure of presenting The Incredible Women Changing Fashion Week Forever whose stories were beautifully presented by Lauren Valenti for Marie Claire magazine. Each brave woman has her own unique set of challenges: Winne Harlow is a model who also has vitiligo, Karen Crispo is a model and a quadruple-amputee, Jillian Mercado is an aspiring model who has spastic muscular dystrophy, Madeline Stuart and Jamie Brewer are popular models who also have Down syndrome. We are proud to feature these beautiful Legends as a part of our Tenacious Tuesday series. To read the full story, please follow this link.

Come and meet our new trailblazers.

After reading this article I am so proud of these ladies for following their paths, and Ms. Valenti for bringing their story to life. Hopefully we will be seeing more beautiful women, whom we can relate to on a more personal level, grace the runway during New York Fashion Week.

Have a great day!

Fondly,

Monique

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Credits: Marie Claire Magazine

Welcome to Brooklyn Legends’ Week In Review

Dear Readers,

With hope that you are having a Sensational Saturday. This has been an exciting week as we have been focused on preparing new content and expanding the Brooklyn Legends’ Facebook page.

To our Facebook followers, thank you for your encouragement. If you have not visited us, please stop by and see what we’ve been up to.  Reaching us is as easy as following this link:  Brooklyn Legends’ Facebook page.

We have embraced a “message of the day” approach and the photos shown here are taken from this week’s blog posts. We plan to incorporate a similar theme when connecting with you on this platform.  Here is what we have in store.

Serenity Sunday
 Our day to share quotes selected to inspire, uplift
and encourage you as you prepare for the week ahead.

Motivational Monday
Through pictures, quotes and videos, we hope to provide you with
an extra dose of motivation as you start your business week.

Tenacious Tuesday
 Our day to introduce you to our Legend of the Week,
a trailblazer whose tenacity and commitment to excellence
will encourage you as you pursue your dreams.

Working It Wednesday
We will salute fashion elegance from the past
and highlight wardrobe items that are trending now.

Thankful Thursday
Our day to reflect and show our gratitude for all that we have
and are we working to achieve.

Finally its Friday
We will close the work week with a few suggestions
for your weekend social calendar.

Sensational Saturday
Our recap of the week
with a surprise included from time to time.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. We wish you a Sensational Saturday.

Fondly,
Monique

Saluting Women’s History Month & Dr. Josephine English

Dear Readers,

We are pleased to join the world in celebrating Women’s History Month. Sharing the important contributions of Brooklyn women from the African diaspora, and the accomplishments of women throughout the world, has motivated me to look for ways to make an impact on young ladies in my community.  What will be my legacy for the future?  How can I engage others?

Dr. Josephine English - NY Dailynews.com

Dr. Josephine English – NY Dailynews.com

Today I am pleased to tell you about the historical achievements of Dr. Josephine English – one of the first African-American women to have an OB/GYN practice in New York and one of Brooklyn’s earliest medical pioneers.

Dr. English was a tireless community leader, patron of the arts and philanthropist.  Most important of all, she was a wonderful mother to her children, and earned a reputation as a highly coveted OB/GYN to Brooklyn residents and notables, including Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X.

Dr.English's home - via www.ohny.org

Dr.English’s home – via http://www.ohny.org

Dr. English was born on December 17, 1920, in Virginia, and she died on December 18, 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, one day after her 91st birthday.  Although she lived in Bedford Stuyvesant for many years, she would spend her last days at the Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, where she was recovering after undergoing a surgical procedure.

Dr. Susan McKinney via Blackpast.org

Dr. Susan McKinney via Blackpast.org

As I was preparing this post, I wondered wouldn’t it be great if Dr. English had an opportunity to meet Dr. McKinney? Picture a room where Dr. English, a recent graduate from Meharry Medical College who was now living in Brooklyn, could sit and talk with Dr. McKinney, the esteemed Brooklyn native who was the first African-American woman to earn an MD degree in New York State and the third woman to earn an MD degree in the United States.  Can you just imagine the stories they would share?  As medical pioneers with their own series of “firsts,” in addition to their personal and professional triumphs and challenges, I envision a conversation filled with many “aha” moments.

Dr. English spent her childhood years in New Jersey.  Her parents were among the first African-American families to settle in Englewood.  She received a B.A. from Hunter College in 1939 and continued her education at New York University where she received a M.A. in Psychology.  After NYU, she attended Meharry Medical College and received her M.D. in 1949.  Dr. English was ready to make her mark on the world.  Her first stop was Harlem Hospital, where she worked for many years until she moved to Brooklyn in 1956.

Dr. English was a trailblazer who reached back to help others who were in need.  She was among our borough’s earliest women philanthropists who championed the importance of health care for women, men and children.  Shortly after moving to Brooklyn, she founded a Women’s Community Health Clinic in Bushwick.  In 1979, she founded the Adelphi Medical Center which provided services for women and men.

On stage at the Paul Robeson Theater via - www.northjersey.com

On stage at the Paul Robeson Theater via – http://www.northjersey.com

Dr. English loved the theater and she was determined to share her passion for the arts with the community.  In 1980, decades after opening many medical clinics, she purchased an abandoned church and converted it to the Paul Robeson Theater for the Performing Arts.

One year later, in 1981, Dr. English turned her sights to services for children and opened Up The Ladder Day Care and After-School Program which included a summer day camp.  In 1986, she became the first minority, and the first woman, to be awarded a license from the New York State Department of Health to develop a free-standing ambulatory surgical center in Brooklyn.

Dr. English worked well beyond what was considered to be retirement age.  She focused intently on her goals and did not let anything stand in her way.  She changed the health-care landscape for women, men and families, in Brooklyn by providing access to health education and empowering her patients to make healthy life-style choices.  She was a guiding force in Brooklyn and one of our brightest stars.  Her achievements are legendary and it is an honor to salute her.

Dr. English will be truly missed.

Fondly,
Monique

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Credits:
Josephine English, one of the first back, female OB/GYNs not stopping at 89 – nydailynews.com
Dr. Josephine English, 91 via Northjersey.com
Dr. Josephine English, Medical Trailblazer dies at 91 – via www1.cuny.edu
Dr. Josephine English, The HistoryMakers via http://www.thehistorymakers.com