A Memorial Day Tribute

Dear Friends,

As we commemorate Memorial Day 2016, let’s take time out to honor the women and men who have served our country with dignity and distinction AND pay it forward by finding ways to show them our appreciation everyday.

I am pleased to share images from my Pinterest board created in honor of Memorial Day.



Brooklyn Legends Honors ‘American Masters: The Women’s List’

Dear Readers,

Welcome to Brooklyn Legends Tenacious Tuesday and thank you for allowing us to be a part of your day. The days are moving at such a fast pace, in less than 2 weeks November will arrive. Actually, I am very excited as Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.

September was a busy month and I am just moving through the list of topics I prepared to share with you, among them Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ much-heralded film, American Masters: The Women’s List which aired on PBS last month. Greenfield-Sanders invited us to “meet 15 women who have created and defined contemporary American culture.” This amazing list of trailblazers consists of:

Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 1997-2001, Gloria Allred, lawyer, Laurie Anderson, artist, Sara Blakely, entrepreneur, Margaret Cho, comedian, Edie Falco, actor, Elizabeth Holmes, scientist and entrepreneur, Betsey Johnson, fashion designer, Alicia Keys, singer-songwriter, Aimee Mullins, athlete and fashion model, Nancy Pelosi, politician, Rosie Perez, actor, Shonda Rhimes, writer-producer, Wendy Williams, talk show host and Nia Wordlaw, pilot.

Owing to time, I can’t show the full film, but I have included the trailer at the beginning of today’s post. To learn more about this masterpiece, and how to purchase the DVD, please follow this link. Here is a quote from PBS’s website prior to the film’s release:

American Masters Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

American Masters Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

American Masters: The Women’s List focuses on these individuals’ exceptional achievements, struggles and identities. All trailblazers in their respective fields, these women share their experiences struggling against discrimination and overcoming challenges to make their voices heard and their influence felt.

Toni Morrison opens the film with a reading of an introduction she wrote specifically for The Women’s List.

Brooklyn Legends is pleased to salute these phenomenal trailblazers and we celebrate each woman’s tenacity. Thank you for joining us for Brooklyn Legends Tenacious Tuesday.  Have a wonderful day and week.


PBS American Masters: The Women’s List – pbs.org

We Will Never Forgot – September 11, 2001

New York Daily News

World Trade Center Towers – New York Daily News

Dear Readers,

In a few hours we will commemorate the 14th anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the United States.  I am surprised at how vividly I can recall everything I was doing that day, even the outfit that I was wearing. This was truly one of the saddest days I can remember as an adult. So many lives lost, so much pain and tragedy.

Freedom Tower - komonews.com

Freedom Tower – komonews.com

Today the new Freedom Tower graces the New York City skyline and it is truly beautiful. Whenever I walk past this elegant building, I am amazed at the tremendous progress. However, there are times when an eerie feeling comes over me; just for a few moments and then it passes.  I imagine the time will come when I am less emotional, so I will continue to be patient.

For now, all that I can offer are my prayers.  I pray for the men and women, husbands and wives, and sons and daughters who lost their lives on that day.  I pray for their families as there are some painful memories that time may never erase.  I pray for those who work within walking distance of the new Freedom Tower, for life can change at any moment.

When I arrive home safely each night I am truly grateful, and count it as one of my greatest blessings.  In honor of the men and women who will never again be able to say “I’m home” we will never forget you.


World Trade Center Memorial South Pool - landlopers.com

World Trade Center Memorial South Pool – landlopers.com


On Memorial Day – To Love, Honor and Cherish

single-red-roseDear Readers,

I recently came across two photographs that many military and veteran’s wives share with each other as Memorial Day comes near.

Captured by photographer Todd Heisler for his 2005 award-winning series “Jim Comes Home” for The Rocky Mountain News, these photos show the return of Second Lieutenant Jim Cathey, a Marine who lost his life in Iraq, as his young widow Katherine Cathey, prepares for his burial.

In the first photo Mrs. Cathey, who is pregnant, spends the night before his burial in front of his casket. She has a laptop so she can listen to songs that remind her of her husband. A Marine stands guard over both of them.

In the second photo we see Lieutenant Cathey’s casket being unloaded from the cargo hold of an airplane. We also see the faces of the passengers as they peer through the window.

No words could ever take away this painful moment in Mrs. Cathey’s life. How many women (and men) have experienced this devastating loss? How many more will there be?

Brooklyn Legends salutes the women and men who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy.



As Memorial Day Nears, a Single Image That Continues to Haunt, Lily Burana, The New York Times, May 25, 2012

A Toast to the New Year – “Here’s To All Of Us”

Dear Readers,

The past couple of posts have focused on various New Year‘s traditions; and I have one more to share with you – the New Year’s toast.  On this occasion, my husband and I are thrilled with a glass of perfectly chilled champagne.  There have been times when we have been just as content with a glass of sparkling apple cider.

If you are thinking of champagne, and need some ideas, I hope this post will come in handy.  I have also included a few food suggestions for your consideration.  Whatever you decide, remember there is only one rule – please have fun.  So here’s my toast to you my friends.

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship,
but never in want.
Traditional Irish Toast

With Peace & Blessings,

On This Labor Day – I’m Grateful

Monique Brizz-Walker

Monique Brizz-Walker at work – NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Dear Readers:

As we prepare to commemorate another Labor Day, I find myself thinking about everything my grandparents instilled in me about the importance of hard work. They went to great lengths to remind me that job excellence was the highest form of gratitude that I could demonstrate.

There was a time when an African-American woman like me could only dream of having a full-time position with benefits and paid holidays. Of course there are days when I am ready to leave the building and retreat to the comfort of my home, but it does not take me long to realize just how fortunate I am. For me, this quote sums it up.

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance,
and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy Labor Day to all. Thank you for the important contributions you make to our great society.



As We Celebrate America – the Land of the Free

Dear Readers,

When preparing for today’s post, I came across two things that inspired me: Whitney Houston’s rendition of the National Anthem, and few quotes by some of the most influential leaders of our time.

To start us off, Ms. Whitney Houston.



“Who kept the faith and fought the fight;
The glory theirs, the duty ours.”
Bob Riley

“The brave never die, though they sleep in dust:
Their courage nerves a thousand living men.”
Minot J. Savage

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life
to something bigger than oneself.”
Joseph Campbell

“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have
always paid it.  And one path we shall never choose, and that is
the path of surrender, or submission.”
President John F. Kennedy

“There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of
freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure.”
President Dwight D. Eisenhower

“The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem.”
Aaron Kilbourn

Enjoy your week!

Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm Forever Stamp Unveiled Today

Brooklyn native Shirley Chisholm will be featured nationally on a postage stamp. Jeanine Ramirez, of New York 1 News, shared the following report.  

Shirley Chisholm’s portrait hangs at Brooklyn Borough Hall, right next to the nation’s founding father. Appropriate, because Chisholm was also a first. In 1968, Chisholm was the first black woman elected to Congress where she served seven terms. The Bedford Stuyvesant resident was also the first African-American man or woman to make a serious run for president in 1972. Now nine years after her death, the United States Postal Service will issue a Shirley Chisholm forever stamp.  The unveiling will take place today, January 31st, at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall.

“It’s something that should be done for the country. And it’s something that should be done for New York City and for the Chisholm family, so we are all grateful for the long process,” said William Howard from the Shirley Chisholm Cultural Institute.

The push for a stamp for Chisholm began shortly after she died. Howard was Chisholm’s campaign treasurer who now helps run the Shirley Chisholm Cultural Institute for Children. He says he pulled together a group of local elected officials to advocate for the stamp, with a big push coming from California.

“The person that really took the lead role was an intern in Chisholm’s office back in the late 60’s and 70’s, and that’s Congresswoman Barbara Lee out of California. Congresswoman Barbara Lee is the person that has championed the legacy of Shirley Chisholm in Washington,” said Howard.

Chisholm’s legacy includes serving in the New York State Assembly during the civil rights movement, representing Brooklyn in Congress, advocating for early childhood education and civil and women’s rights.

“Shirley Chisholm and Billie Jean King were able to change Title 9 for women who, now and have been for many years, get scholarships equal to men in colleges and universities in sports,” said Howard.

She was a Brooklyn College graduate. College staff will be among those at the stamp unveiling at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The school has the largest collection of Chisholm archival materials for its women’s activism study. And surely the postage stamp will be a highlight of the collection.


New York One News – January 28, 2014 Edition

On This Labor Day – I’m Grateful!



Workplace Diversity

As we prepare to celebrate another Labor Day, I find myself thinking about everything my grandparents instilled in me about work.  I was always reminded that job excellence was the highest form of gratitude I could demonstrate.

As we all know, there was a time when an African-American women like me, could only dream of having a full-time job with benefits and paid holidays.  Of course there are days when I am ready to leave the building and retreat to the comfort of my home, but it does not take me long to realize just how fortunate I am.

I came across a quote from someone whom we all admire that I would like to share.

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance,
and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Brooklyn Centenarian Susannah Mushatt Jones Celebrates her 114th Birthday


Susannah Mushatt Jones NY Daily News

Can you imagine the Civil Rights milestones that Ms. Jones, an African-American woman who was born in Alabama over 100 years ago, has lived through? In the coming days, we will share some of these historic moments with you.

Photo – New York Daily News, July 12, 2013