This year for Black History Month I thought I’d share the stories Thurgood Marshall and Hazel Scott.
Justice Thurgood Marshall…
never stopped having empathy for the common folk and the disadvantaged” and he used the law to help those folk…. Regardless of color. He proved a tremendous force for good and is someone that everyone should know about. Here is a short 8 minute clip…. you won’t be disappointed.
was a Trinidadian-born jazz and classical pianist, singer and actor. She was also an activist. Here is her story….
Here are some of my songs of romance…..
Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with one another.
My staff here at gregoryabbott.com thought they’d have a bit of fun and came up with this Valentine’s Day t-shirt. lol
“I know of only one duty and that is to love”
A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR ALL
I wrote recently about my long term interest in learning about and understanding how to address … as a planet… a sustainable future for all. There are seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that were adopted in 2015 by countries all over the world. I spoke about the first… which is to end poverty in all its forms everywhere.
The SECOND is to end HUNGER
World hunger is caused by so much more than a shortage of food. Even in places where food is plentiful or can be grown, challenges like disasters, conflict or poverty prevent people from accessing it. Imagine…. if one of us was living in a country that made the basic necessity of food a challenge….People in poverty generally spend between 60 and 80 percent of their income on food, which can force them to prioritize feeding their families over meeting other basic needs or reaching long-term goals, like sending their children to school. If an emergency strikes, they may need to skip meals in order to cope financially — and the cycle of hunger continues.
Despite decades of progress in reducing world hunger, 2017 saw increases in the number of people who are hungry. More than 820 million people still go to bed hungry every night — that’s one in every nine people who don’t have the food they need to live a healthy, productive life.
What can WE do?
Well…. here are a few ideas people are coming up with…. Non profits are doing most of the work and there is no one way to do this. It takes a group effort on the part of all of us. The main thing is to be aware that this is happening….
Top 100 Eco Friendly Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2020 https://blog.feedspot.com/eco_friendly_blogs/
As always, I am musically yours, Gregory
P. S. My prayers for an effective end to the threat of the coronavirus.
A World Health Organization committee is set to meet for the second time in a week to decide whether the outbreak is a global health emergency. Today’s meeting comes as the number of confirmed cases surpassed 7,700 worldwide, most of them in China
UPDATE: The virus has now been declared a global health emergency.
You Are What You Think
I read an article recently that talked about how important it is to pay attention to the way in which you do things. As we all are aware, these are indeed trying times. But the way in which we think about them, and the way in which we do our work and live our lives is as much our own responsibility as the crazy outside forces affecting us.
This Too Shall Pass
Remember that while we worry about politics or whether that crazy neighbor is going to have a loud party again which might keep us up all night, to keep it all in perspective. We can be comfortable in our issues while we work them out. We can keep fighting the “good fight” and remember that right will win in the end. Welcome to life……
Be Proud of Yourself
Remember to pat yourself on the back for what you ARE accomplishing….. Bravo! Try and keep in mind that your only competition in life is YOURSELF and making yourself better as time moves on. Conquering your fears, overcoming your obstacles learning things you don’t know… in essence becoming a more centered more capable more loving person is all we really need concern ourselves with.
Black History Month
There is so much we don’t know about African American history. We didn’t learn what we Americans should have about all the contributions we’ve made in the United States. I hope one day that will be a thing of the past…. in the meantime I like to use the month to honor people. This year I’d like to recognize four.
Dr. Garret Morgan, Paul Cuffee, Miriam Benjamin and Shirley Chisolm.
Born to slaves, Dr. Garrett Morgan was only educated to the 6th grade level… but like many inventors he had an innate mechanical mind as was a skilled entrepreneur. He received a patent for the first gas mask invention in 1914. He also invented the traffic signal which of course we probably couldn’t live without today. Learn more about Garrett Morgan HERE
Paul Cuffee’s father was captured as a child and sold into slavery. He was freed by his Quaker master in Massachusetts in the 1740’s. Cuffee built a successful shipping empire in New England and established the first racially integrated school in Westport Massachusetts. He was a devout Christian and abolitionist, and helped establish the colony of Freetown in Sierra Leone. You can read more about him HERE
Miriam Benjamin was the second Black woman to receive a patent in 1888. Her invention consisted of a light-up chair, originally used in hotels to notify wait staff when patrons wanted service. However, this technology has since been adapted to airplanes and the U. S. House of Representatives. Its a powerful and impactful tool that we still use today. So… every time you call the airline steward or stewardess you can think of Miriam Benjamin. Here’s a link on her full story.
The great turnout in the mid term elections this past November and the resultant record numbers of women being elected made me think of Shirley Chisolm. A Brooklyn native, Shirley was the first black major party candidate to run for President of the United States in 1972 and the first woman Democrat to do so. While running for City Council she’s often quoted for her statement “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair”.
While running for the presidency she said “I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud. I am not the candidate of the woman’s movement of this country, although I am a woman and equally proud of that. I am the candidate of the people and my presence before you symbolizes a new era in American political history. And so it did… You can read all about this wonderful woman HERE
As a last thought for Black History Month, I would also like to share a short documentary film that I really enjoyed called “Railroad Ties”. Its only about twenty minutes. It won a 2019 Sundance award and happens to refer to a church I am quite familiar with.
Happy Valentines Day for all you lovers out there.
There are several stories about who Saint Valentines was. One dates to Roman times, another from the 17th century. In both cases the tradition can be traced to a priest who married young couples in secret. Whatever the true story may be, love is a global phenomenon and Valentines Day is celebrated around the world in fascinating and different ways. If you’d like to learn more about the celebration around the world click HERE.
Quotes for this post
Optimistic people play a disproportionate role in shaping our lives. Their decisions make a difference; they are inventors, entrepreneurs, political and military leaders – not average people. They got to where they are by seeking challenges and taking risks. DANEIL KAHNEMAN
Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. WARREN BUFFETT
Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. FRANCIS OF ASSISI
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. MAYA ANGELOU
Be well everyone…
As always, I am – Musically yours, Gregory