Tag Archives: author

Frederick Douglass – Intelligent

Intelligent – having or showing intelligence, especially of a high level.

Frederick Douglass is one of the most well-known human rights leaders in the anti-slavery movement and the first African-American citizen to hold a high U.S. government rank. He is also a famed author and orator.

Born into slavery around 1818, Douglass was selected to live in the home of his plantation owners, one of whom they say could have been his father. Eventually Frederick was sent to Hugh Auld’s Baltimore home, which is where he learned to read and write. Auld forbade his wife from teaching Frederick anymore, but he continued to have a zeal for learning.

Later, Douglass became an abolitionist as well as a women’s rights activist. He published three versions of his autobiography during his lifetime. He also produced some abolitionist newspapers: The North StarFrederick Douglass WeeklyFrederick Douglass’ PaperDouglass’ Monthly and New National Era. In 1848, he was the only African American to attend the first women’s rights convention in New York.

When I think of Frederick Douglass I think of intelligence. Is there any surprise why?

One and God make the majority. – Frederick Douglass

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Ode to Black History

Just like Maya

I wish I could write

I wish my words

Would inspire others to join the fight

 

Like Harriet

I wish I was brave

I’d be so legit

Leading to freedom, today’s modern slaves

 

I wish I could dream

Like Langston or Martin

I’d come up with great things

To have a part in

 

And if I was bold

Like Angela Davis

I’d be like Sojourner Truth

I’d be courageous

 

Or maybe I’d want to be immovable

Like Rosa Parks

I’d want even my sitting

To light a spark

 

Or what if I could speak

Like Mr. Frederick Douglass

I’d be able to voice the truth

For so many of us

 

And if like W.E.B. DuBois or Carter G. Woodson

I was smart

I would know where to end

I would know where to start

 

Yet if I was like Hattie McDaniel

I’d play my part

I’d create and cultivate

I’d perfect my art

 

If I were a strong leader like Malcolm

With the influence of Martin

Maybe I would soften some hearts

That have been hardened

 

But even if I’m just Chanel

With limitations

I can still do my part

To motivate this nation

 

If black history

Means so much to me

I’d put into practice

All that I could be

 

I’d learn from their examples

And I’d do my best

I would be who that had in mind

When they were on their quests

 

 

 

 

 

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Phillis Wheatley – Poetic

Poetic – relating to or used in poetry.

Phillis Wheatley was kidnapped from West Africa and enslaved. She became the first African American and one of the first women to publish a book of poems. After being educated by her owners, in 1767, she published her first poem and her first volumes of poems in 1773, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.

This publishing made Wheatley the first African American and first U.S. slave to publish a book of poems. In 1776, Wheatley wrote a letter and poem in support of George Washington. He later replied with an invitation to visit him.

After the Wheatleys death, Phillis was forced to support herself as a seamstress and poet. She later married John Peters, whom she had three children with that all died young.  Her financial struggles made it hard for her to receive other publication. Many of her poems that would be used in her second volume of poetry disappeared and have yet to be recovered.

 

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Langston Hughes – Creative

img_0151Creative –  having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas

If you know me, you may know my love for Langston Hughes’ poetry. He reminds me to create with my words. And not just my words, but with my dreams. After all, being a dreamer is only wrong when you let it defer, right?

Due to his poetry, play writing, and novels regarding life as an African American, Langston Hughes was a primary contributor to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. He has created numerous poems highlighting the life and struggle of African Americans in the United States, as well as those of blue collar Americans and other minorities. As much as I want to write about Mr. Hughes I think it’s best I let you read his words for yourself. Enjoy.

I Dream A World

I dream a world where man

No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!

Democracy

Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.

I have as much right
As the other fellow has
To stand
On my two feet
And own the land.

I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.

Freedom
Is a strong seed
Planted
In a great need.

I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.

 

As you can see, I can’t help but feel the challenge to create when I read Langston Hughes’ work. Mr. Hughes, on behalf of everyone who has had the pleasure of reading your work, I salute your creativity. Thank you for inspiring us all to use our voice to speak truths for America while continuing to dream of a better day for us all.

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Maya Angelou – Eloquence

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Eloquence – fluent or persuasive speaking or writing.

When I think of Maya Angelou, I think of eloquence. To me, eloquence is more than just having a way with words. It’s making your words come alive. It’s moving your reader to the point of feeling what you felt. Eloquent speech is captivating.

Eloquent speech requires well used words placed properly in order to grasp and motivate the reader. Maya Angelou’s poetry was eloquent. Maya Angelou’s books were captivating. Maya Angelou was eloquent.

Today, I am motivated to be eloquent with my words. To have purpose and meaning behind what I say and write. I am motivated to inspire with my speech. I am motivated to choose my words carefully. I am motivated. Eloquence does that.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. – Maya Angelou

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