Tag Archives: Martin Luther King Jr.

Memphis/220

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My heart aches for Memphis….

35 years

I have lived in Memphis, TN my entire life. I have so many memories that a collection of books couldn’t contain them all. From childhood memories to memories of historical events that only a Native Memphian could truly embrace. I remember being a little girl and  going down to The National Civil Rights Museum on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to march. I remember going to Libertyland during the summers with my classmates because for Memphis City Schools it was an annual field trip that ALL of the schools participated in. I remember the big ice storm of 1994. It was something we had never experienced before. The entire city was frozen.

Memphis is the place I was born, raised and decided to get married and have children in. Memphis is where the majority of my family resides. I hold it so dear to my heart and that is why Memphis at its current state breaks my heart. The violence leaves me speechless.

220

Memphis currently stands at a staggering 220 homicides as of today. From January 1, 2016 to December 18, 2016 220 people have been murdered in my city. It is not only disturbing but it is also frightening. Every day faces of victims flash across the news screen. Teenagers being gunned down in cold blood. Elderly people being robbed and shot to death. Innocent working people being preyed upon and murdered in their own homes. From family members to familiar faces of former classmates and notable people throughout the city, hearing of violent crimes daily has become the norm for the citizens of Memphis. The majority of the cases result in arrest of the suspects, however the fact that people are being murdered almost daily in the city is still breathtaking.

Along with a high volume of murders are a high volume of robberies, home invasions, domestic assaults and other violent crimes. This city is dangerous and I as a citizen am alarmed and disappointed. Might I add that daily I am also scared of what might happen to myself and my family. I am raising children in this city and it is a terrible feeling to know that shots are being fired, people are being killed and my children could be an innocent victim of someone elses’ recklessness.

What Happened?

I remember a city where neighbors knew each other, families helped to raise the children, teachers and public officials provided assistance and mentoring and the VILLAGE was strong. Children could play without fear, elderly people sat on their porches enjoying the weather and working people could safely make a living. But something happened. Now the children have developed a natural instinct to get on the floor when you hear gunshots, the elderly people peep from their blinds, they dare not sit outside and working people lock their doors immediately upon entering their vehicles, they set their alarms at home and dash from the car into what used to be the safety of their homes.

Love. respect and the desire to live as decent citizens has left the city of Memphis. So many parents are living loose, drug-filled, careless lives themselves that they are unable to acknowledge that their children are the robbers, murderers, carjackers and rapist that we see on the news. The desire to have good children who know right from wrong is no longer a desire for many parents of this city. They no longer care to teach their children to stay away from drugs because they do drugs themselves! They cannot tell their children not to act out violently because they themselves act out violently and are proud of it!  Respect for authority has been tossed out of the window. No one feels the need to respect anyone other than themselves and unknowingly they don’t realize that the lack of respect that they have for their neighbors, authority, friends and family members reflects directly back to the respect or lack of respect they have for themselves.

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Black History Facts …hmmm interesting

Black History Facts…the ones you never hear about

hmmm interesting!

I am the mother of two boys and like many mothers with sons I became very familiar with Thomas the Tank Engine and his crew. Well this first Black History Fact is one that I was enlightened to find out about. The only reason I think I have ever heard the word coupler was from Thomas the Tank Engine and I definitely had no clue that the coupler; which is a device that allows train cars to hook themselves together when they are bumped into one another was invented by a black man.

 

The diagram from Beard's 1897 coupler patent.

Andrew Jackson Beard
Born 1849 – Died 1921
Car-Coupling
Patent No. 594,059

Inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006

Andrew Jackson Beard invented the “Jenny Coupler” in 1897.  The device saved the lives of many railroad workers, who originally had the dangerous job of hooking the moving cars together by hand.

Born a slave in Woodland, Alabama, Andrew Beard developed the Automatic Railroad Car Coupler to make railroad work safer. Emancipated at the age of 15 and married at 16, Beard became a farmer near Birmingham for a few years, later working as a carpenter, blacksmith, railroad worker, businessman, and prolific inventor. Beard built a flour mill in Hardwicks, Alabama.  In 1881 he patented one of his plow designs, selling it in 1884 and inventing another plow in 1887. In 1889, Beard invented a rotary steam engine that he patented in 1892. 

During work on his rotary steam engine, Beard began to experiment with the idea of an automatic car coupler for railroad cars. After losing a leg during his own work on the railroads, Beard wanted to make the dangerous task of coupling cars safer. He invented the Automatic Railroad Car Coupler, also known as the “Jenny” coupler, which was patented in 1897.

Beard’s life from 1897 until his death in 1921 is unknown.  source

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Being an aspiring writer, I love to hear and read about the magnificent happenings in the world of writing. I am proud of Maya Angelou for being recognized in 1995  for remaining on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller List for two years—the longest running record in history. Do you realize how long two years is when it comes to the writing world? Millions of books are published each year, so for Angelou to hold her place on the New York Times Bestseller List for two years is impressive! Maya Angelou also composed the score for the 1972 film Georgia, Georgia. Her script, the first by an African-American woman ever to be filmed, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Maya Angelou is definitely a Phenomenal Woman!

source

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