Home

As I listened to Solange Knowles latest music project, “When I Get Home”, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own journeys back “home”.  I believe on some level that was her intent when creating this piece.  Yes, not only to share her experiences and talent but to provoke the listener and viewer (in the case of the movie that accompanies this project) to reflect on their own “home” experiences.  The music is stunningly genius as she shares with us her memories, perspective on Houston, Texas.

I thought back to when I was in my early 30’s in an effort to heal from an emotional and physical trauma, I left the suburbs and moved back to the city of Chicago (a place that I call home) with my young son in tow.  We visited the Bronzeville neighborhood where I grew up.  The rich vibe was still there.  The heartbeat of African-American life and culture (the best and the worst) was ever present.  I took him to all the places that I liked going to as a child and young adult—the lakefront (particularly The Point); DuSable Museum and Washington Park; downtown Chicago and Grant Park; Navy Pier; Cite’; Rock and Roll McDonald’s; Gibson’s; Edna’s Soul Food; Gladys Soul Food Luncheonette (right before the doors closed for good); Johnson’s Publishing Company; the (new) Regal Theater; Comiskey/White Sox Park; the beautiful churches and community organizations; and so many other locations.  My father was there as he had been for more than 30 years (currently more than 50 years).  Back to familiar places and faces.  Other family and friends were still there.  Home.

I get the same “home” feeling every time I go back to Mississippi (my birth place).  My parents migrated to Chicago like many other black families in the south did in pursuit of a better life.  Nevertheless, Mississippi is still “home”.  I enjoy seeing the familiar places, like “uptown”; the family churches; the Piggly Wiggly.  Oh, there’s nothing like that black southern culture/hospitality.  It’s heartwarming to reflect on times past and to ooh and ahh over the new developments and changes that have taken place.  Familiar faces were there—family, friends, friends of family.  Home.

In my 40s, I found myself back “home” again.  This time back to Joliet, Illinois where I also grew up (mainly during my teen years).  Back to familiar places—Eastside, Westside, downtown; the historic churches; Louis Joliet Mall; Rialto Theatre; Route 66; I-80; etc.  The familiar faces.  My mother was there as she had been for the last 47 years of her life.  Family and friends are still there.  Home.

Solange reminds us that “home” is a physical place but it can also be a heartfelt place as a result of our experiences, memories, emotions, even spirituality.  I feel “home” in just about any church building; in the studio; anywhere with my loved ones; with myself; on the mic; with that special one; during devotional and prayer time; and oddly, sometimes with someone I barely know—that kindred spirit. Home is Love.  Wherever God is, it’s safe to say you’re Home.  Where’s your home?  What makes you feel home?  Comment here.

Remember, no show this weekend.  The next show will be posted Saturday, August 24th, 2019 on https://www.youtube.com/MarilynsCafeSociety.  Also “like”, subscribe, share, and/or follow my social media platforms at marilynscafesoc on Twitter; Marilyn’s Café Society on Facebook, YouTube; and marilynscafesociety.com.  Peace.

Live. Laugh. Love.

Marilyn

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It’s Ringing!

Hello friends.  Can you hear it?  It’s ringing!  Can you hear it ringing!

It’s freedom!  Freedom is ringing everyone!

For the United States of America in 1776 and even now, freedom meant becoming independent from the oppressive British rule and gaining all kinds of individual rights including being able to act, speak, or think independently without fear of backlash.   In 1863 for Africans in America or those born in America , freedom meant being released from dehumanizing slavery and all the ugliness that followed.  For Women in America in the 19th century to date, freedom meant/means having the right to own property; the right to vote; the right to hold public office; the right to work in any occupation or job with equal pay; the right to make their own health related decisions; and more.

For people in the American LGBTQ community from the 1960s to current times, freedom means having the right to live openly without experiencing any form of discrimination.   For immigrants fleeing from their home countries for various reasons (like political and economic unrest that led to war, famine, and poverty) in the 1700s and even now, freedom meant/means a new, safe, fresh start in the Land of the Free, America.  For those unjustly incarcerated in America, freedom means being exonerated; having their name(s) cleared; having their record(s) expunged; having their lives restored.

It’s ringing everyone!  Freedom is ringing.  The ringing MAY NOT be clear, on pitch or tone buts its ringing.  Sure there’s still work to do but its ringing!

On a lighter note, for the song bird, Deniece Williams (Wanna Be Free) or the funktastic band of the 1960s-70s,  the Ohio Players (I Want To Be Free), freedom meant/means breaking free from a love relationship that no long made/makes them happy.

Last and certainly not least, Christians/believers in America and around the world have the best kind of freedom, spiritual freedom.  We have been liberated to walk in relationship with our Heavenly Father, God and to be ALL that He created us to be including being his hands and his feet.  Trust and follow Him in order to find joy in the best Freedom that we’ve been given.  Blessed to be a blessing.

Indeed, Freedom is ringing everyone!  It’s ringing!  Can you hear it?

Enjoy the July 4th holiday and remember to checkout the latest edition of the show tomorrow, Saturday, July 13th, 2019 on https://www.youtube.com/MarilynsCafeSociety.  Also “like”, subscribe, share, and/or follow my social media platforms at marilynscafesoc on Twitter; Marilyn’s Café Society on Facebook, YouTube; and marilynscafesociety.com.  Peace.

Live. Laugh. Love.

Marilyn

Happy Summer!

Well, it’s official everyone! Summer has arrived. Today is the longest day of the year (also known as the Summer Solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere.  In Chicago, that means more than 15 hours and 15 minutes of daylight.

As I really think about the earth tilting in such a way that allows the sun to shine longer on our part of the earth, I’m in awe.  It’s all just so special. You know, it reminds me of the importance of “the light” within us!  How we have the ability to let our “light” shine ALL the time—all day and night. I know. I know.  I’ve talked about this before so I digress.

Everyone, make sure that you get outdoors and enjoy all that the warm/hot weather has to offer.  Here’s a few suggestions:

*Take time to take in some sunlight. It’s good for you (natural Vitamin D). However, remember to protect your skin if you’re going to be out in the “hot” sun for long periods of time.

*Really notice and experience being outdoors. Enjoy the fresh air. Take long walks. Get in OR by the water (rivers, lakes, the oceans but be safe and cautious). Notice or create beauty all around you. The greenery. The flowers. The children frolicking.

*Self-reflect, self-correct, illuminate, elevate, be vibrant and spread good energy.

That’s it.  We’re half-way through the year everyone! Let’s make it a sonsational summer!

Remember to checkout the latest edition of the show tomorrow, Saturday, June 22nd, 2019 on https://www.youtube.com/MarilynsCafeSociety. Also, be sure to “like”, subscribe, share, and/or follow my social media platforms at marilynscafesoc on Twitter; Marilyn’s Café Society on Facebook, YouTube; and marilynscafesociety.com.  Peace.

Live. Laugh. Love.
Marilyn

Won’t He Do It?!!

You’ve heard that saying before, right?  Won’t He do it?!!!

Usually the person saying it is giving honor, respect, and credit to God for a blessing of some kind that only He could have made happen.  The blessing could be a dream job, an opportunity, or a position that you really wanted; healing of your body or a special relationship; a profitable business idea; saving someone’s life or your own; overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles; etc.

My latest “Won’t He Do It?!!” moment was having the opportunity to model in and commentate for a couple of fashion shows.  Those who have been with the show for a period of time know that I’ve shared on occasion that I trained to be a model when I was in my teens and never really had much success in that arena.  Over the years, I have modeled here and there in small shows.  Those opportunities were a rare few.  Fast forward to this May, out of the blue, I was invited to model in the local Macy’s fashion shows.  I posted pictures on one of my previous blogs.  And, as I shared last weekend, I modeled again and was also commentator.  I really had not thought much about modeling lately as my plate has been full with other endeavors But God has a way of making sure that all of our gifts, talents, skills, etc. are put to use.  Please know that every single thing that we learn, polish, or perfect IS NOT done in vain.

Now, to some this local fashion show may not mean anything OR may seem superficial.  However, for me, this “out of the blue” opportunity was once again a wonderful reminder of how God is truly amazing.  Won’t He do it?!!   What’s your “Won’t he do it?!!!” story?  Here’s a few amateur pictures from last Saturday’s fashion show.

Marilyn headed to Macy’s Fashion Show!

Marilyn introducing next Macy’s model, Robert (at the top of stairs). Commentates on his Polo attire.

Macy’s models pose after the fashion show.

Tune in Saturday, June 15th, 2019 for the next show on https://www.youtube.com/MarilynsCafeSociety.  Also “like”, subscribe, share, and/or follow my social media platforms at marilynscafesoc on Twitter; Marilyn’s Café Society on Facebook, YouTube; and marilynscafesociety.com.  Peace.

Live. Laugh. Love.

Marilyn

MVP

Hello there!
How is your week going? I’m good and still “birthday-ing”–in my mind! I’m especially excited about the warmer weather. Sunshine certainly helps make the days brighter in more ways than one. Shine, sun, shine!

So, during a recent conversation about the NBA Finals, more specifically who will be the MVP (Most Valuable Player/Person), I thought about life in general and who would be the MVP in my life, your life? No doubt, most of us would say our parents and rightfully so. After all, they were there from the beginning teaching, training, coaching us in our various stages of mental and physical growth and development. As we grew older, they were there to encourage, support, and invest in our interests or activities.

Some would say that a teacher, coach, or mentor would be their MVP because they picked up where the parent left off or stepped up when the parents could not for whatever reason(s). For example, if you were an athlete but your parent was not then the coach was present to teach you all that you needed to know. If you were academically gifted and your parent(s) were not, a special teacher stepped up to take you to the next level. You may have or had a business, career, or spiritual mentor to help you become successful. All of these people would qualify as MVP in your life because, again, they were there to push and lift you.

We may even come up with other people near or far (meaning we may or may not actually know the person but was somehow inspired by them) that we would credit as MVP in our lives. However, the one person that most of us would not even think to acknowledge as MVP in our lives is—ourselves! Right?!! Well, I’m here to remind you that you, too, are your own Most Valuable Person! Without you, who would those other people have to encourage, inspire, support, lift? We must value self–all that we are and are not! It doesn’t mean that you are selfish. In fact, in an amazing, mysterious way, valuing who you are makes you more selfless. Being your own MVP also means you’re very careful about with whom you share your knowledge, ideas, dreams, plans, and very presence. Some people just aren’t worthy.

Finally, being your own MVP means that you will not allow your gift(s), talent(s), purpose(s), existence go to waste. Listen, MVPs, I encourage you to choose to let your light shine the best way that you can and eventually, other MVPs will emerge bringing you even more sunshine!

Remember to tune in Saturday, June 8th, 2019 for the next show on https://www.youtube.com/MarilynsCafeSociety. Also “like”, subscribe, share, and/or follow my social media platforms at marilynscafesoc on Twitter; Marilyn’s Café Society on Facebook, YouTube; and marilynscafesociety.com.  Peace.

Live. Laugh. Love.
Marilyn

Action Speaks Louder than Words

Does Your Actions Match Your Words?

Well, hello there!  I’m almost back on track.  Today is Thursday and this time I’m just one day past my blog deadline!  I said that I would get back on track and I’m making every effort to do.

Speaking of doing what I said I would do, how often does your words and actions match?  Do you say what you mean and mean what you say and then show it through your actions?  Need generalized examples???  Saying you love someone or something but never invest time or money; saying you want to be healthy but eat unhealthy foods and never exercise; etc.  Now listen, I know that circumstances can happen or come up, but you must match your words with action at home; at work; at church; at school; at play; in all areas of your life!  Your loved ones, employees/employers, students/teachers/mentors, business/customer/client/vendor, etc. deserved it; and so do you!!  Remember, ACTION speaks LOUDER than words!

Now, I must give this game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Series (Portland vs Golden State) my full attention. What a game!!!

Be sure to tune in Saturday, May 25th, 2019 for the next show on https://www.youtube.com/MarilynsCafeSociety.  Also “like”, subscribe, share, and/or follow my social media platforms at marilynscafesoc on Twitter; Marilyn’s Café Society on Facebook, YouTube; and marilynscafesociety.com.  Peace.

Live. Laugh. Love.

Marilyn

Whoomp! There One Is.

What’s happening?

Today is Sunday, May 5th, (Cinco de Mayo) and I’m still attempting to get this blog done!

Initially, I was going to share thoughts and information about gemstones after attending an EFFY Trunk show this past week.  By Thursday, I was ready to weigh in on the recent Facebook ban of extremists, Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulis, Minister Louis Farrakhan, and others whose views/voices has been deemed hateful and too inflammatory.  And, just yesterday, I was pretty sure that I had more to say about the evolution of beauty standards.

Needless to say, after getting caught up in last night’s NBA playoff series, Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets (what a game!!!), I didn’t write about anything.  Even  now, I struggle to settle on one of the above mentioned topics, as I half watch the Portland vs. Denver series and learn that Steph Curry has a brother that also plays in the NBA.

So listen, I have concluded that it is okay NOT to have something to say every time.  Better yet, it is okay NOT to share everything that you think or believe all the time.  Also, if you change your mind later and decide to share your thoughts with the world, that’s okay too as long as you’re not spewing hate, divisiveness, and provoking violence.

Whoomp!  There one is.

Be sure to tune in Saturday, May 11th, 2019 for the next show on https://www.youtube.com/MarilynsCafeSociety.  Also “like”, subscribe, share, and/or follow my social media platforms at marilynscafesoc on Twitter; Marilyn’s Café Society on Facebook, YouTube; and marilynscafesociety.com.  Peace.

Live. Laugh. LOVE.

Marilyn

Abundance

Hey Everyone.  I hope that all is good with you all and that you are experiencing abundance in all areas of your life.

Yes! Abundance.  On Thursday, I made the word abundance the word for the day on my social media.  Why,  you ask?  Well, first of all, just in general, I fully believe in abundant living.  I undoubtedly believe that our divine creator created us (humans), earth, and the entire universe with plentifulness in mind.  Think about the number of stars; the depths of the oceans; the vastness of the sky/universe; and, the number of hairs on our head and cells in our bodies!

Secondly, while prepping for today’s show earlier this week, I couldn’t help but notice a common undertone of “lack”, “limits” and “scarcity” in certain news reports that I read.  It compelled me to just say it—abundance! Listen, we have an ample supply of everything from food, water, air, to love, joy, peace, etc.  Abundance–the opposite of scarcity.  More than enough of the tangible and intangible.  Abundance!

Okay, I’ll stop.  Oh wait!  One more time.  God has given us every good thing that we need and want in an overflowing supply.  Wisdom.  Knowledge. Our cups runneth over!  I don’t know about you but abundant living is mine! Blessed to be a blessing.

Hey, did you catch today’s show?  It was delayed due to the Macy’s I.N.C. International Concepts Fashion Show that I walked in.  Here’s a couple pictures from the dressing room.

 

I’ll post a few from the actual fashion show on social media in a day or so.

Be sure to tune in Saturday, May 4th, 2019 for the next show on https://www.youtube.com/MarilynsCafeSociety.  Be sure to “like”, subscribe, share, and/or follow my social media platforms at marilynscafesoc on Twitter; Marilyn’s Café Society on Facebook, YouTube; and marilynscafesociety.com.  Peace.

Live. Laugh. Love.

Marilyn

Wonder Women

Hello you all.  I hope that you are having a “wonder”ful week.  I am good for the most part and making progress on the goals that I’ve set.

So, as I grabbed my laptop and coffee to begin writing this week’s blog, I remembered that today was the day that Wendy Williams was going to have the sit down with Hip Hop Journalist, Dee Barnes.   Those who have been with me and Marilyn’s Café Society for a while know that I grew up loving and appreciating most music including Hip Hop/Rap.   Needless to say, I quickly tuned in and began typing the blog.  When the Dee Barnes segment started, I gave the show my full attention.  I wanted to hear her speak; hear her full story; hear that she is now okay.  I also wanted to hear how Wendy would handle the talk with Dee.  And, she did not disappoint   Wendy and Dee left us wanting to know, hear more of the story!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s the back story.  Dee Barnes is a pioneer Hip Hop artist and television host who was brutally beaten in the early 1990s by Hip Hop Icon, Dr. Dre because he was offended about how his group was portrayed in an interview that was conducted by Dee.  (For the record, Dr. Dre is a changed man and has publicly apologized to all the women he abused in his past.)  Now back to Dee, apparently, the backlash of the interview and the altercation resulted in Dee being black balled in the industry which led to the ending of her career.  Over the years, she has been relegated to minimum wage jobs and infrequent freelance work.  More recently, she faced eviction from her apartment so she started a GoFundme page and went public with her situation.  This all got Wendy’s attention and resulted in today’s talk segment on the Wendy Williams show.

While watching Dee attempt to talk today about what happened to her, I couldn’t help but think about that question that has plagued the black community and, quite frankly, society in general.  How can a man speak and be so violent toward, disrespectful to, and dismissive of their human counterpart, their gift from God—woman?  And, more importantly, how could other women know about it and remain silent OR, worse, go along with it?  Since this is a question that has been raised from way back when, many have attempted to answer it.  The most popular answer that I’ve heard so far is this—many are concerned about their own social and economic standing.  They don’t want to be shunned or black balled too.  They don’t want to be the next victim so, they say nothing OR simply go along with it.

But God!!!!  I know some of you all get tired of me bringing up God but how could you not see him operate in this despicable story.  Dee was kept!  God gave her the strength and courage to say something about her situation which, again, led to the outpouring of support that she is NOW receiving.  I curtsy Wendy Williams for shining the light on Dee Barnes’ story and giving her and her daughter a place to live.  I also raise my glass to Wendy for putting on her “Wonder Woman” business cape and offering her (Dee) a publishing and movie deal.  #LikeABoss The results of this “lift” for Dee Barnes will no doubt change her life.  She will now have financial security for her future and the future of her children.  I trust that Wendy will fair well too. Blessings Abound with God Speed for both women.

Well, what a “wonder”!  I ended up writing a completely different blog today.  This is it!

Hey remember to tune in Saturday, April 20th, 2019 for the next show on https://www.youtube.com/MarilynsCafeSociety.  Be sure to “like”, subscribe, share, and/or follow my social media platforms at marilynscafesoc on Twitter; Marilyn’s Café Society on Facebook, YouTube; and marilynscafesociety.com.  Peace.

Live. Laugh. Love.

Marilyn

It’s A Small World After All

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Earlier this week as I wrapped up my conversation with a friendly middle-aged man from Brazil, I realized that I have met and/or have friends or associates from all continents of the world with the exception of one.  I’ll let you take a wild guess at which of the seven that I have not met anyone. LoL  Anyway, my new acquaintance told me that he lives in an area that’s similar to a suburban area here in the United States and that its near the ocean.   He went on talk about the natural beauty there and how the weather is just about perfect year round. Well, needless to say, after listening to him, I’m now feeling that I’m just one more polar vortex away from relocating!!

You know, I’ve met and have friends or acquaintances from all over the world; and the one commonality that they all have is their sincere openness to connect with others and/or me specifically.  Most that I’ve met over the years, didn’t care that I was a woman or “of color”.  They just wanted to talk about their home country and learn more about the United States of America and its people.  Imagine, if we all shared that same honest interest to connect with each other as well as people from other countries; the title of this blog would ring true.

Speaking of connecting, be sure to tune in next Saturday, March 16th, 2019 as I connect with a young lady from the continent of Africa.  Also, by this Thursday my next Karioke Moment“ will be posted at https://www.youtube.com/MarilynsCafeSociety.  Be sure to “like”, subscribe, share, and/or follow my social media platforms at marilynscafesoc on Twitter; Marilyn’s Café Society on Facebook, YouTube; and marilynscafesociety.com.

Live. Laugh. Love.

Marilyn