Hello there my friends! What’s happening with you? I am well. Actually, I was just thinking about the word for this month– empyrean, which is pronounced em-peer-re-en. Those who follow the show on YouTube know that since last December, I’ve been challenging myself and viewers/listeners to learn a new word each month. Empyrean is the new word for June.
Empyrean means relating to heaven or the sky. While out and about earlier today, I looked up and decided to bask in the brilliance and beauty of the sun and the pretty blue sky. I thought about the entire universe and its endless space. I thought about heaven and how impossible it is to even fathom its vastness. I thought about how empyrean represents the possibilities of mankind. “The sky is the limit”. You’ve heard that before, right? OR, symbolically, how we can “call Heaven to earth”? Meaning all of your God given ideas, talents, wants, needs, desires are possible.
Friends, I don’t know about you but going forward, my thinking will be empyrean—heavenly, limitless. Join me and as always, stay safe and be well. Remember to strengthen your immune system by eating healthy and taking a good multi-vitamin; wear your mask; watch your distance; and wash your hands often. In Jesus Name. Amen. And, so it is.
My friends, how are you doing? Enjoying the summer-like weather? This week, I thought that I would share the updates on the journey to renaming outer Lake Shore Drive to DuSable Drive. Read this press release from earlier this month.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor’s $30m dollar proposal for DuSable Project pleasant surprise to
BHM Coalition Chairman but must be in addition to DuSable Drive
(CHICAGO- June 1st, 2021)
After one year of the Black Heroes Matter (BHM) Coalition launched to correct the wrongs to Chicago’s Founding Father, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, Coalition Chairman, Mr. Ephraim Martin reiterated during a meeting with BHM members and supporters that despite the deferral by Mayor Lightfoot and two Aldermen last Wednesday, May 26th, BHM- DuSable Project are on a winning track with no plans to look back.
We can declare partial victory, because of the BHM Coalition campaign, the Mayor is proposing $30 million dollars to build the major Monument; start the process of building DuSable Park that was authorized 34 years ago by the first Black Mayor of Chicago, the late Harold Washington; and develop a DuSable Riverwalk among other honors. However, the proposal must also include the renaming of Lake Shore Drive to DuSable Drive as first priority next month.
The Mayor, while announcing her proposed $30 million dollar plan, said they, (meaning the Black Heroes Matter Coalition and/or Alderman David Moore), “want Lake Shore Drive or nothing.” To set the record straight, what Mr. Martin recently told the Mayor’s Administration is that “We have already compromised. Alderman Moore and Alderwoman Sophia King, the sponsors for the delayed ordinance, have long changed the order to make the renaming for the Outer LSD only. We told the Mayor’s Administration that we want outer Lake Shore Drive and everything else that we have been requesting for DuSable since last May of 2020.”
As an enhancement to DuSable Drive which the BHM expect will be voted on and confirmed by June 23rd, the BHM welcomes the funds the Mayor has offered. However, we need to see the proposal in writing and with a timeline from start to finish on all the projects.
The main objectives of BHM continue to be renaming the Outer Lake Shore Drive (LSD) as Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Drive, a full city Holiday, and a minimum of 25-foot Monument for DuSable. Also, to further end systemic racism including police brutality as well as to bring change to the U.S. Postal Zip Code System.
Again, the three demands outlined in our July 4th, 2020 protest, rally, and march from DuSable Bridge at 401 N. Michigan Avenue to the Grant Park Petrillo Music Shell came with deadlines. The people want and need to see the progress. The interruptions by the Mayor’s administration over the last six months has slowed the progress on renaming LSD as DuSable Drive. If the Mayor will allow the June 23rd vote, we can see real progress with the renaming of LSD as DuSable Drive.
On April 29th, the Transportation and Ways Committee unanimously voted for the renaming of LSD as DuSable Drive but the full city council vote was blocked by the Mayor and two Aldermen, Brian Hopkins and Ariel Reboyras from the 2nd and 30th Wards. “We are asking the Mayor to adhere to the will of the people and the Transportation and Ways Committee. Let the full city council members, who were elected by the people, exercise their responsibility to vote on Alderman Moore’s and Alderwoman King’s ordinance to rename LSD to DuSable Drive.”, BHM Chairman, Martin said.
Last May, shortly following the gruesome police murder of George Floyd, Mr. Martin and his wife, the Hon. Shelvin L.M. Hall, Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, now retired, formed the Black Heroes Matter (BHM) Coalition, as an assumed name corporation under MIF. They started with more than 20 supporting organizations and has now grown to some 80 organizations and businesses. All supporting organizations and businesses, along with GoFundMe donors and petition signers can be seen at www.Blackheroesmatter.org.
Friends, be sure to sign the petition. As always, stay safe and be well. Remember to strengthen your immune system by eating healthy and taking a good multi-vitamin; wear your mask; watch your distance; and wash your hands often. In Jesus Name. Amen. And, so it is.
Hello Friends! This week I welcome the leadership of the Black Heroes Matter Coalition as guest blogger. Please read and support. Thank you.
MINUTES FROM HONORING FATHER OF CHICAGO, DUSABLE, JUSTICE WAS AGAIN DELAYED…
Chicago, IL (April 19, 2021)
With minutes to the long-awaited historic vote in the Chicago Council Committee on Transportation and Public Way, to rename the iconic Lake Shore Drive as DuSable Drive, which would set Chicago on the road to end Systemic Racism, progress was interrupted and is delayed for another ten days. Committee Chairman Howard Brookins told the Council Committee and Alderman David Moore who is the main sponsor for the ordinance, and the Black Heroes Matter (BHM) Coalition headed by Chairman Ephraim Martin, who is President of Martin’s International, that the issue would be pushed back to April 29, 2021 at 1pm for a vote.
“Today we call on Mayor Lightfoot and her Administration, not to interrupt the plan she promised to support correcting the wrongs to Chicago’s Founding Father, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, the man from the Caribbean country of Haiti. We want the renaming of the iconic Lake Shore Drive as Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Drive, a City Holiday and a 25-foot Monument” Mr. Martin stated.
The plan to delay the vote to April 29th was made following compelling comments from BHM Coalition members Ephraim Martin, Hon. Shelvin L. M. Hall, Ret. Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, Ms. Marilyn May, Communication Co-Chair, Tremell Williams – Youth and Entertainment Chair, Mr. Etzer Cantave- President of the DuSable Heritage Association, Ms. Yolaine Dauphin- Haitian American Lawyers Association.
MARTIN AND IRAWMA: Mr. Martin is also the producer for the world-renowned IRAWMA (International Reggae and World Music Awards) and is in full preparation for its 39th event originally to be televised worldwide from Jamaica on May 2nd. He was scheduled to be in Jamaica from April 25th, but has now officially changed plans, and has rescheduled the virtual IRAWMA broadcast to May 16th from Jamaica, saying. “IRAWMA is my heart, but since we are pre-taping and going virtual, it is easier to change the Awards date, than not to be here in Chicago for this historic vote to put this city, said by many as the most racist city in America, on the road to end Systemic Racism in Chicago.
For almost 30 years, we have been dedicating our various events for Justice for this Black man from the Caribbean who founded this great city. Since the death of George Floyd, under the umbrella of Martin’s International, we officially established the Black Heroes Matter Coalition with now more than eighty organizations and businesses and set our goal to change Chicago starting with the correction of the injustice to its founding father, DuSable, with a City Holiday, a 25-foot Monument, and to rename the most iconic street Lake Shore Drive as DuSable Drive. We told the Mayor in our meeting we cannot stop, we will not stop until victory is accomplished”, Martin said.
We want to again ask the Mayor, City Council members and those who are opposing, to go back 400 years and put themselves into the lives of the Black people, who were brutally enslaved, treated less than a person, raped, hanged, castrated; and when they achieved great things, their credit in history would be granted to white men.
Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable escaped the tribulation and came here to Illinois. Shortly, thereafter, in 1779 he founded this great city we enjoy as Chicago; but after 242 years, there is no Street, no Monument, and no Holiday for this founding Father who happens to be Black.
DuSable made his transition in 1818, and in 1830, Chicago’s first boundaries were set, for the first three streets, and they were all named after white men: Washington, Jefferson, and yes, the killer, John Kinzie, who purchased DuSable’s property; but the founder DuSable, was denied his place in history.
Today, there are hundreds of Chicago Streets in the names of men, but none for the founder who came from the Caribbean country of Haiti!
The atmosphere we are in today tells us to do the right thing, and if we should borrow a quote from Martin Luther King, “The Time is Always Right to Do What is Right”.
We know today that the vote was there to rename Lake Shore Drive as DuSable Drive. Let us change the Chicago narrative so the world will know and see that Chicago is ready to lead the way to put an end to Systemic Racism in America. Remember, as a people we are all one blood, regardless of our race.
Public Comments to Transportation Committee
“I am Justice Shelvin Louise Marie Hall, recently retired from the Illinois Appellate Court after 30 years of judicial service. I am here today solely in my capacity as Chair of the Political committee of the Black Heroes Matter Coalition.
The children and people of Chicago and the world need this historical acknowledgement of DuSable to give them the rooted strength exhibited by DuSable, a large, handsome, man who was an inveterate explorer, diplomat, builder, miller, farmer, businessman. One man, able to successfully wend his way between the U.S. Patriots, British, French, and Indigenous people during the time of the American Revolution and still create the first and only prosperous, non-indigenous trading post at the mouth of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan as the Founder of present-day Chicago.
The time is now, the brave horticulturists are you, show the world Chicago’s strong roots by honoring our history, opening – up our origins and celebrating our culture by renaming outer LSD the alliterative, DuSable Drive.”
Ms. Marilyn May, Host/Producer, Marilyn’s Café Society and BHM Communications Co-Chair in her comment, said, “ I just wanted to stop by today to encourage you all to vote to rename Lake Shore Drive to Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Drive today and the next full council meeting on Wednesday.
Now, I realize that there are some divisive and just plain old angry individuals who oppose this initiative but don’t let them affect you or your decision. Keep in mind that they have been raised and conditioned to devalue black people. City Leaders, you cannot and must not allow their negative beliefs and hate of black people influence your vote. Show your wisdom. Show your leadership. Override this ingrained racist thinking by voting Yes. Let the “I”s have it. Say Amen to the renaming of Lake Shore Drive to Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Drive. Go ahead, give a thumbs up; nod your head; raise your hand; wink your eye. Whatever way you communicate– just make sure that its affirmative. Again, you must move this city, country, and world forward. The ugliness is overwhelming! In the past week, a one year old and 7 year old was shot & killed in Chicago. Mass shootings have happened across the country and cities are bracing for the racial unrest that may follow after the verdict of the Derek Chauvin Trial is announced.
Do something positive! Vote Yes to ending racial injustice. Vote Yes to honoring Chicago’s founder, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable. Vote Yes to rename LSD to Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Drive.” Ms. May concluded.
Mr. Etzer Cantave, President of the DuSable Heritage Association (DHA) said, “I am here to urge you to vote YES! This will be justice for DuSable. For too long, he has been denied full recognition. We have watched others, who only had a fleeting encounter with the land, being recognized with all manners of symbols–monuments, plaques, street names, parks; while Chicago’s first non-Indigenous settler, first administrator, first real estate developer, first entrepreneur is left to languish and beg for recognition. What a shame! It is time to memorialize DuSable’s contribution to the development of Chicago as a hub for global business, as a world top-tier city.”
“[…] Some say, “Why Lake Shore Drive?” to which I respond: “Why NOT Lake Shore Drive? […]
When it comes to DuSable, we often hear the argument that things are too big or too costly. Nothing cheapens more the image and legacy of Chicago’s Founding Father than such utterances.
Members of the Committee, Justice has no price. Let’s make it right for Haitian-born Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable. Please vote “YES” to rename Lake Shore Drive Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Drive.”, Mr. Cantave told the Council.
Atty. Yolaine Dauphin member of the Haitian American Lawyers Association, one of the many organizations which support renaming Lake Shore Drive in honor of Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable. “I stand here, however, not as an attorney but as a representative of the many Haitian Americans and descendants of Haitian immigrants who call the City of Chicago home. … Renaming Lake Shore Drive to DuSable Drive will accomplish several goals: first it will raise the profile of this Black Hero and confer appropriate recognition; second, it will demonstrate to the black and brown children growing up in Chicago that they matter and the contributions they will make to the city and to the world will be recognized and celebrated; and third, it will demonstrate to a Haitian American community that stretches from Evanston to the far south side of Chicago that the contributions of all immigrants are valued and celebrated. I urge each and every member of the Transportation Committee to vote yes on the proposal.”
That’s it everyone. We will push forward. Join us and in the meantime, stay safe and be well. Remember to strengthen your immune system by eating healthy and taking a good multi-vitamin; wear your mask; watch your distance; and wash your hands often. In Jesus Name. Amen. And, so it is.
Greetings, my friends. Did you know that Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable is the Founding Father of the City of Chicago? Don’t believe me? Just google it!
As a member of the Black Heroes Matter Coalition, along with the founder, the other members, and thousands of supporters, I ask that you support our call for the City of Chicago to properly honor DuSable in three ways.
*Change the “Day of Observance” to an official City Holiday
*Fund and erect a 25ft monument in his honor
*Rename Lake Shore Drive to Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Drive
We are currently working on curriculum for Chicago Public Schools, museums, and other institutions to utilize so that young people (specifically blacks) will know their greatness and realize their potential; various programming and special events centered around the proposed DuSable City Holiday; and more. Also, we have “called” for a “Yes” vote this month to rename Lake Shore Drive to DuSable Drive! Please support us! Go to https://www.blackheroesmatter.org to sign the petition; download the flyer to share via email, etc.; and donate—this week/weekend!
In the meantime, my friends, stay safe and be well. Remember to strengthen your immune system by eating healthy and taking a good multi-vitamin; wear your mask; watch your distance; and wash your hands often. In Jesus Name. Amen. And, so it is.
Hello everyone. I hope that you all are experiencing a wonderful week. Overall, I’m good. However, I received some disturbing news earlier this week about Jazzy. Who is Jazz?
Jazz was a special guest on my radio show 10 years ago. She and her sister Jojo performed at my 4th annual Christmas Charity Event that was later renamed “The Christmas Celebration Broadcast”. They didn’t want anything for the performance. They simply wanted to help increase donations to help the less fortunate. The father, Marvin, produced the song, made sure they arrived on time, and even assisted me with some behind the scenes production at the venue. It was Marvin who told me the hurtful news about Jazz being brutally attacked at a club in Quincy, Illinois near where she attends college.
Here’s the link to the performance. I’ll talk more about what happened to Jazz during my show later in the week. https://youtu.be/B8WXijP-5tA.
In the meantime, please pray for her complete recovery as well as strength for her family. Stay safe and be well. Remember to strengthen your immune system by eating healthy and taking a good multi-vitamin; wear your mask; watch your distance; and wash your hands often. In Jesus Name. Amen. And, so it is.
Peace everyone. What’s happening with you? Are you feeling stronger? Well, we all should be! However, before we go off chanting “If it is to be. It is up to me!”, we must remember to first and foremost be grounded spiritually. A solid spiritual foundation alone, will provide us with all the confidence or “Godfidence” that we need to continue “strengthen your strength”.
And so, as I close out this blog series, I simply want to remind you of the reason you must “strengthen your strength”. We live in a world system that trains people to look for and point out weaknesses in others. Now, I’d like to think that its so that we can be given an opportunity to become better, more well-rounded people OR to simply learn something different. However, be careful because some people focus on your weaknesses to dismiss your strengths for their own selfish purposes that range from you being a threat to them to them just wanting to disqualify you or block you from receiving economic, professional, and/or social advancements and rewards.
You all, you must not allow this to happen to you. As I said last week, know thyself and continue to build on your strengths– whatever they may be. Listen, I just left a store where a young man was set up in the parking lot with a small sound system; and he beautifully played his violin. His wife and little girl were with him. Also, there was a big sign by their car that basically read, “I’ve lost my job and I need extra help to continue to take care of my family. If you enjoy my musical performance, please make a financial donation”. I do not know what kind of work he did but it should have involved playing the violin because he played it masterfully! Perhaps, he played the violin in a symphony orchestra??? If so, then his current situation is clearly circumstantial.
Regardless, this man is now forced to become more self-reliant and he is supplementing the family income by using his musical talent in a very public space. He undoubtedly knows that playing the violin is a strength that he has; otherwise, I do not believe that he would have put his family through that experience. As I sat in my car and listened to his performance, I observed at least 6-8 people drop money in his bucket before I got out to add my donation. I am more than certain that by the time he packed up to head home, he would have received hundreds of dollars in donations.
Stay focused, my friends. Whether it’s to counter an effort to keep you down or a real honest situational circumstance as described above, continue to “strengthen your strength”. Stand strong spiritually, physically, and professionally. And as always, stay safe and be well. Remember to strengthen your immune system by eating healthy and taking a good multi-vitamin; wear your mask; watch your distance; and wash your hands often. Oh, and have a wonderful Good Friday and Happy Resurrection Sunday a/k/a Easter Sunday! In Jesus Name. Amen. And, so it is.
Hello everyone. How is your world and point of view growing? I certainly hope that you all have become more “open minded” in the past week and continue to expand beyond your immediate world. Today’s blog will focus on one last tip that will help you “strengthen your strength” by becoming more self-reliant.
Now, I use the term self-reliant loosely. I know that first and foremost, it is imperative that we trust in our Heavenly Father, the creator, God. It is also important to have a mentor, mentors, or someone in our lives that we can reach out to for guidance, advice, and support. Nevertheless, we must learn to be more self-reliant.
If you viewed the show this week, you know that the guest (Tonya Lewis Taylor) recently authored a book entitled, Be You, Not Her. The book basically takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery and the gist of it is for us to learn and know thyself. I believe that once that is accomplished whether male or female, young or old, professional or worker; we can become more self-reliant. We will be more introspective and determined to make our dreams come true. We will rely on our own power to reach our goals.
And that, my friends, is owning your strength. Strengthening your strength. This undoubtedly adds value to our existence; our community; and our world. So, light it up! And in the process, stay safe and be well. Remember to strengthen your immune system by eating healthy and taking a good multi-vitamin; wear your mask; watch your distance; and wash your hands often. In Jesus Name. Amen. And, so it is.
Hey there, my friends. Have you been spreading your wings this past week? I have.. I have also been expanding my point of view.
As I reflect, I have discovered that I have been doing this for decades now. First in my public relations work and, certainly, as host and producer of my show. While, I have not become the country or globetrotter that I aspire to be, through my work, I have in a sense, travelled the United States and the world via the phone or internet. I have met and connected with people from all over! In the process, you all, I have managed to sharpen and maintain my “strength” through communicating and working with others from a variety of backgrounds and cultures.
Friends, we should indeed spread our wings and, also, expand our frame of reference or view of the world and cultures within it. Communicating with others who exist outside of our immediate circle of influence or community, allows us to understand people who come from a variety of backgrounds. We become more “open minded” and less tolerant of ‘small mindedness” or “small thinking”. As a fan of Shark Tank television show, I have, on occasion, heard Kevin O’Leary share his experience of living in other parts of the world as a child/teenager with his mother due to his stepfather’s various work relocations. He talked about how those experiences sharpened his business acumen as well as his understanding and view of the world economy. He also shared how he developed an appreciation for other people and cultures. Developing an expanded worldview will give us the soft skills that we need to build on our strengths. Listen, if you are not globe or country-trotting yet, use the internet and telephone to connect with others.
You all, let’s continue to light up the world with our presence. Strengthen your strengths and stay safe. Also, remember to strengthen your immune system by eating healthy and taking a good multi-vitamin; wear your mask; watch your distance; and wash your hands often. Be well. In Jesus Name. Amen. And, so it is.
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Happy Women’s History Month everyone! In case you did not know, we get a whole month because We Rock!!! Well, listen, this blog will be a bit brief but “meaty”.
And, so, strength, is the topic with a focus on women (for Women’s History Month). I believe I blogged about the different aspects of strength in the past. You know, the ability to endure and to persevere in the physical, the mental, the spiritual—in our work, careers, businesses, relationships, etc. Women have made great strides in the recent decades and we cannot afford to lose ground. Others see our mirific strengths and because they feel threatened or inferior they will choose to focus on our weaknesses to hold us down or keep us back. As a result ladies, you must not lose sight of your strengths. You must continue to light up the world and maintain your confidence. In this blog series, I’ll share some ways that you can maintain or hold on to your strength.
First, spread your wings. Yes, that’s right. Expose yourself to a variety of experiences that will allow you to fine tune your strengths while you also explore other interests. Now, to achieve this, you may have to create your own opportunities; and, thank God we live in a time and space where it is much easier to do that for ourselves. Should you discover a professional or work related weakness and don’t have the budget to hire someone to handle that particular task or function for you, then take a little time to learn what you can so that you can perform in that particular role until someone else can be hired or brought on board to do it for you. Also, if you find that you have weaknesses in your personal life, determine how important it is for you to make a change. Do you really enjoy dancing enough to want to perfect it? Will volunteering help make you a better person? Listen, experience is indeed the best teacher and seasoning for our professional and personal life. Fly. Better yet. Soar!
Friends, as we spread our wings, let’s stay strong and safe. Vaccine or not–Remember to strengthen your immune system by eating healthy and taking a good multi-vitamin; wear your mask; watch your distance; and wash your hands often. Be well. In Jesus Name. Amen. And, so it is.
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Hello everyone. This will be the last blog post on how to show love–at least for now. Oh, and by the way, I hope that you all are having a wonderful week. Okay. The focus this time is on “showing love” by giving gifts.
Why do people get so excited about birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, etc.? Some would say because they all present an opportunity to spend fun time with all the people that you love and care about. Others would say because 9 times out of 10, you can expect to get a gift! Well, both are correct! Listen, we all enjoy a good party (especially with those that we love and who love us); and we all enjoy receiving gifts. It’s a win, win OR love, love situation. So, is it okay to purchase gifts for business associates, neighbors, co-workers, clients, customers, etc.? Yes! However, be careful. You don’t want to go against company policy, be accused of bribery, flirting, or worse. I suggest that you give gifts around holidays, birthdays, and work or business anniversaries. For those who have been with my show for a while, you know that I conduct give-a-aways from time to time and particularly around the Christmas season. It is just another way that I show my listeners/viewers that I truly love and appreciate them. Do the gifts have to be material? No. Keep in mind that sharing crucial information is a gift; a smile is a gift; and any other meaningful gesture is a gift.
My friends, to wrap things up on this blog series, spending time is a gift; serving others is a gift; affirming words are a gift; and material, tangible items are gifts. Best of all, Love is the gift. The gift that keeps on giving! Now go! Show some Love! Also, remember to strengthen your immune system by eating healthy and taking a good multi-vitamin; wear your mask; watch your distance; and wash your hands often. Stay Safe. Be well. In Jesus Name. Amen. And, so it is.
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