Looking Back & Leaping Forward with Mahalia Jackson

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Dear Readers,

I can remember hearing this song as I child but I admit that I did not fully understand why the elders loved it so. Well, 50+ years later, and with the many challenges that every person I know has so fearlessly overcome, I understand. Here is our dear Mahalia Jackson singing “How I Got Over.”

Monique

Brooklyn Legends Serenity Sunday – “Finding My Voice”

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Dear Readers,

Wishing you a happy Serenity Sunday and a day filled with peace. As I was planning today’s post, I was drawn to this video by Maya Angelou in which she shares how she found her voice.

We all encounter challenges that force us to retreat from the world and the only thing that we can do is go within. However, when we find the courage to emerge, and give voice to our feelings, something wonderful and magical happens. Only then, can we begin our journey with peace and serenity as our companions.

Thank you for joining us for Brooklyn Legends Serenity Sunday. Have a great day.

Fondly,
Monique

 

Brooklyn Legends Brunch with the Arts – A Candid Conversation

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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

We Celebrate Women’s History Month and Empower Young Women & Girls

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Dear Readers,

As we continue to applaud the achievements of women around the globe, we must embrace young women and girls as they make their way in the world.

Despite our “busyness” we must advocate for needs of our younger sisters as often, and as loudly, as we can.  Our commitment to empowering the next generation is truly a collaborative effort — one that will require great resources if we are to succeed.  This endeavor is not without its challenges, but I am confident that we can do this.

Leymah Gbowee - via Mic.com

Leymah Gbowee – via Mic.com

I opened today’s post with a video by Leymah Gbowee, the Liberian activist and 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, who shares the story of her personal transformation and implores us to find ways to unlock the untapped potential of girls.  If you are reading this post on your smart phone or table, and cannot see the video, please follow this link to the Ted Talks website. Once there, type Leymah Gbowee into the site’s search engine.

Here is a brief overview of Ms. Gbowee’s amazing achievements from Mic.com.

Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee was sick of enduring the civil war that had been ravaging her country since 1999. Using her education in peace studies and in collaboration with the organization Women in Peacebuilding Network, Gbowee led a mass women’s movement of peaceful protests and strikes. The group also enacted a now-infamous sex strike, in which many Liberian women refused to sleep with their partners until peace was achieved.

The movement culminated in Gbowee and her comrades daringly holding the delegates responsible for peace talks hostage until they reached an agreement. Harnessing the power of women banning together and the tactic of peace, Gbowee successfully helped bring the Second Liberian Civil War to an end in 2003. “It’s time for women to stop being politely angry,” Gbowee once said.  Thankfully, Gbowee continues to lead by example and loudly continues to demand justice, through writing, speaking and her work with the Gbowee Peace Foundation.

Brooklyn Legends is pleased to join with the Gbowee Peace Foundation, and organizations world-wide, in advancing the cause of women and girls. We hope that you will join us in this endeavor.  There is plenty of work to do.

Fondly,
Monique

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Credits:
50 Years From Now, Here Are the Trailblazing Women We’ll Be Celebrating as Poineers – via Mic.com
Leymah Gordon’s speech – Unlock the Intelligence of Women and Girls – via Ted.com

A Plea for Gender Equality – International Women’s Day 2015

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Dear Readers,

UN Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka makes a plea to “all countries to ‘step it up’ for gender equality.”

At Brooklyn Legends we celebrate the achievements of amazing women from the African diaspora everyday.  It is our privilege to join the world in celebrating International Women’s Day, and to add our voice to the plea for gender equality.  Won’t you join us?

Please take a few moments to follow today’s conversation on Twitter @womensday or @Women_on_IWD.

Fondly,
Monique

We Celebrate Dr. King and You

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Dear Readers,

From time to time, we each need to be reminded just how important our contributions are.  We may not have a public platform, but what each of us has to offer has a greater impact than we could ever realize.

As we recognize the 86th birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I wanted to share this video on the Dignity of Labor with you.

As you go about your plans to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, please remember to celebrate yourself, and each other!

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Marketingartfully.com via the Seattle Times

Fondly,
Monique

“What A Wonderful World” – My Thanksgiving Playlist #3

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Dear Readers,

Deciding which songs to share from my Thanksgiving playlist has been one of the most relaxing things I have done all week.  Since Thanksgiving is just a few hours away, it would be impossible to post every song that I cherish, but I hope that my selections have inspired you to create your own list for tomorrow.

There is one more song that I must share, particularly as it seems to appear on everyone’s Thanksgiving playlist each year – Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.  I hope it inspires you to relax – for just a moment –  and remember the good things in your life.

Enjoy!

Monique