| I recently visited Tulsa, OK speaking in the place of the original Black Wall Street. |
A sacred place sadly burned down in one of the country’s most racist and deadly attack. That dark day has not stopped Black people here from still rising and shedding light on the story to ensure that never happens again.
One of my top three values in life is freedom. As the descendant of enslaved African Americans, I take my ability to go and do as I please as a sacred gift I fiercely protect. And probably why I love loud colors and big hair. It makes me feel free.
The way I viewed life forever changed when I learned the stories and locked eyes through photos of my ancestors who endured slavery.
|That includes my third-great grandparents Jerry and Sylvia Williams: both born into slavery.|
|They got their freedom together and my Granddaddy Jerry went on to found 14 churches in South Carolina and be a known leader, orator and teacher in the community.|
He also was a bit of a matchmaker (I know!) bringing his son along to meet the daughter of a family he knew in another town. It worked out and they married and had kids. Grand Sylvia was a seamstress and more than likely made their outfits in this photo.
How do I know this when they both died more than 100 years ago?
Because somebody wrote down their story and captured this image.
That’s why I’m so excited to coach dope souls to make more impact through media. Capturing our stories locks in our legacies (and generational bragging rights).
I embrace my birthright of freedom – including freeing myself of who I think I should be. I honor the battle it took for me to breathe right now. I’ve earned the fullness of my breath and the fullness of life. Everyday is a fresh start.