Decision 2016: What You Need to Know

The stakes are high in the upcoming presidential election. Often it is hard to sift through the political rhetoric and get to the core of the candidates stance on important issues. After reviewing their websites, we have outlined the candidates stances on key issues impacting parents in our communities.

The stakes are high in the upcoming presidential election.  In can be difficult sifting through the political rhetoric and getting to the core of the candidates stance on important issues. After reviewing their websites, we have outlined the candidates stances on key issues impacting parents in our communities.

On Education

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

  • Secretary Clinton wants preschool to be standard for every four year old child in the United States.
  • Secretary Clinton said she does not think any family should have to pay in excess of 10% of their income in childcare.  To ensure this she wants to increase government investments in child care.
  • Secretary Clinton believes that the child care workforce in the United States is underpaid and the quality of child care and early learning could be improved by raising the pay for these workers.
  • Secretary Clinton wants to raise government expenditure on Early Head Start and the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Program at least twofold.
  • Secretary Clinton supports initiatives like evidence-based home visiting programs; these involve social workers or nurses visiting a mother in her home during and immediately after pregnancy.  She wants to increase women’s access to these type of programs.
  • Secretary Clinton wants to help college students who are supporting children while attending school by offering scholarships of $1,500 to as many as one million students.  The scholarship funds could be used for child care or emergency financial aid.
  • Secretary Clinton wants to increase government funding for child care centers on college campuses to provide more support for parents who are also attending college.

Donald Trump

  • Donald Trump wants to have an immediate federal investment of twenty billion dollars for school choice; this is the premise that parents can pick where their child attends school without geographic limitations.  He claims this can be accomplished by redistributing current federal dollars.
  • Mr. Trump wants to give this twenty billion dollars to states that have favorable laws regarding school choice; specifically for private schools, magnet schools and charter schools.  He also wants states to allow funds to go with an individual student to the school they attend.
  • Mr. Trump wants to set a federally mandated goal that school choice be available to every family with school aged children that live in poverty.
  • Mr. Trump wants the states to all contribute $110 billion dollars of their education budgets toward school choice, in combination with the federal funds of $20 billion dollars, which he claims will provide $12,000 in school choice funds for every student who lives in poverty from Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade.
  • Mr. Trump wants to collaborate with Congress on legislation that would ensure universities are making a good faith effort to reduce college debt as a consideration for the federal aid that the universities receive.
  • Mr. Trump has a goal to make it easier for people to attend, pay for and finish two or four year colleges or pursue trades through vocational education.

On Police Violence

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

  • Secretary Clinton proposes to prevent police-involved shootings by: 1) having a set of national standards around how to manage the situations including training to prevent situations and 2) restore bonds between communities and law enforcement by investing in community policing and making sure that local police have the resources to build the resources in the community to prevent deadly incidents.
  • Secretary Clinton has said she wants to end private prisons and immigrant detention centers.
  • Secretary Clinton has been criticized for her and her family’s involvement in the War on Drugs at home and abroad, and the implications that has had on communities of color.

Donald Trump

  • Donald Trump commented on the police shooting deaths of two black men, Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma and Keith Lamont Scott in North Carolina, in mid-September 2016 and noted that Crutcher appeared to be complying with law enforcement.
  • Trump has expressed his support for law enforcement. At the candidates first televised debate on September 26, 2016, he reiterated the answer to police violence in communities of color is “law and order.”
  • Trump believes the previously ruled unconstitutional “Stop and Frisk” policy was “so incredible, the way it worked.” At the September 26, 2016 debate, he again argued it efficacy in reducing crime.

On the Economy

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

  • Secretary Clinton wants to pass legislation in her first 100 days that would create a large federal investment in infrastructure to promote massive job creation.
  • Secretary Clinton’s goal is to make college debt free and to help people with student debt refinance their loans.
  • Secretary Clinton wants to promote legislation that benefits companies that have profit sharing plans with their employees and punish companies that take their jobs overseas by taking away their tax breaks.
  • Secretary Clinton wants to increase the taxes on Wall Street firms and the richest Americans in the country to pay for her other initiatives.
  • Secretary Clinton says she will fight for equal pay and guaranteed paid leave.

Donald Trump

  • Donald Trump’s goal is to create an economy that will add 25 million new jobs over the next ten years.
  • Mr. Trump wants to change the tax policy, create an “America-First” trade policy and take away regulations on American energy policy.
  • He has a goal to increase economic growth by at least 3.5% per year.

On Health Care

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

  • Secretary Clinton says she will fight against a Republican Congress to preserve the Affordable Care Act and wants to expand it to cover more people.  She also wants to allow people over 55 years old to buy into Medicare.
  • Secretary Clinton has a goal to help reduce copays and deductibles arguing that this can be done because there has been a slower growth of national spending on health care.
  • Secretary Clinton has a goal to promote legislation that will reduce costs for prescription drugs.
  • Secretary Clinton wants to increase competition in the drug making business to reduce costs to consumers and create punitive measures for companies that raise their drug prices suddenly.
  • Secretary Clinton wants to give incentives to states to expand Medicaid and increase access to health insurance for poor citizens.
  • Secretary Clinton wants to allow families to purchase health insurance on the health exchanges regardless of their immigration status.
  • Secretary Clinton wants to ensure that all American women have access to inexpensive contraception, legal abortions, and preventative care.

Donald Trump 

  • Donald Trump wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
  • Mr. Trump wants to collaborate with Congress to create a replacement health care system for the Affordable Care Act.
  • Mr. Trump wants to collaborate with states to guarantee access to health insurance coverage for people who have not had continuous coverage.
  • Mr. Trump wants to allow citizens to buy insurance in every state across state lines to create a sustainable insurance market.
  • Mr. Trump wants to give block grants to states to allow them to design their Medicaid programs to deliver coverage to their poorer residents.

On Taxes

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

  • Secretary Clinton wants to promote legislation that will close tax advantage loopholes for millionaires and billionaires and add a surcharge tax to capture more of their income to ensure their tax rate is equivalent with other Americans.
  • Secretary Clinton wants to close tax loopholes that benefit major corporations and firms on Wall Street and wants companies to be charged an “exit tax” that leave the United States.
  • Secretary Cinton has a goal to reduce taxes for small businesses and simplify their process for tax compliance to encourage them to spend more money on investing in their business.
  • Secretary Clinton has a goal to provide a reduced tax burden for working families that face rising cots for goods and services.
  • Secretary Clinton believes that by taxing the wealthiest individuals and major corporations she can pay for debt free college and major infrastructure investment by the federal government without increasing the country’s debt.

Donald Trump

  • Donald Trump wants to reduce tax rates for every group and especially for those who are working and middle class Americans.
  • Mr. Trump says he wants to ensure the rich are paying an adequate amount, but worries about destroying job creation and minimizing America’s ability to compete.
  • Mr. Trump says he wants to eliminate loopholes for special inerests, but also decrease the business tax rate.
  • Mr. Trump wants to allow families to deduct fully the average cost of childcare from their taxes; this would include stay at home parents as well.

 

Remember, although the presidential election gets the most press, other federal, local, state, and municipal elections are just as important! Register, do your research and most importantly, VOTE! For more information, on elections and deadlines in your state, visit Ballotpedia.org.

Information attained from:

hillaryclinton.com

donaldjtrump.com

ballotpedia.com

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About The Author

Rick McCray is a maRAMrried father of three amazing sons. He is also a proud graduate of Duke University where he holds a BA in History and African/African American History, and Howard University School of Law. He is also a regular commentator on the In The Black podcast.  Rick is passionate about our history and helping to educate our community concerning the great contributions of people of color to the world. You can find Rick on Twitter @RealRickMcCray.

25 Positive Affirmations For Parents

Though the ability to parent is a gift and a blessing, it can also be tough. It’s easy for self doubt to creep in which can leave you questioning your ability and worthiness. Say these 25 positive affirmations to get you on the right track.

Though the ability to parent is a gift and a blessing, it can also be tough.  It’s easy for self doubt to creep in which can leave you questioning your ability and worthiness.  Say these 25 positive affirmations to get you on the right track.

  1. I love my child.

  2. I am loved.

  3. I am strong.

  4. I am reliable.

  5. I am capable.

  6. I am motivated by love in caring for my child.

  7. I act in my child’s best interests.

  8. I can manage my child’s needs.

  9. I show my children I love them.

  10. I enjoy my children.

  11. I respect my children.

  12. I challenge myself.

  13. I am not afraid.

  14. I am present.

  15. I have good judgment.

  16. I am intuitive.

  17. I am consistent.

  18. I am fair.

  19. I am patient and calm.

  20. I am worthy of self-care.

  21. I am worthy of respect.

  22. I am doing my best.

  23. I am inspiring.

  24. I am valued.

  25. I am needed.

    ***

    About The Author

    Faye McCray is anMcCray_AuthorPhoto (1) attorney by day and writer all the time. Her work has been featured on My Brown Baby, AfroPunk, AfroNews, For HarrietMadame NoireBlack Girl NerdsBlack and Married with Kids, and other popular publications.  Faye also has a number of short stories and a full length novel available for purchase on Amazon.  Most importantly, Faye is a proud wife and mother to three beautiful and talented young boys who she is fiercely passionate about raising. You can find Faye on Twitter @fayewrites and on the web at fayemccray.com.

5 Amazing Facts About the NEW Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture

On Saturday, September 24, 2016, the National Museum of African-American History and Culture will open to incredible fanfare in Washington, D.C. This magnificent museum is finally opening after decades of hard work from luminaries who were dedicated to creating a national archive that told the our story of strength and perseverance. Here are five facts about how we got to this glorious day.

On Saturday, September 24, 2016, the National Museum of African-American History and Culture will open to incredible fanfare in Washington, D.C.  This magnificent museum is finally opening after decades of hard work from luminaries who were dedicated to creating a national archive that told our story of strength and perseverance.  Here are five facts about how we got to this glorious day.

1. For Founding Director, Lonnie G. Bunch III, the National Museum of African-American History and Culture has been almost 40 years in the making.

Lonnie Bunch has wide-ranging experience in making history come alive.  In the 1980s, he served as the curator of history and program manager for the California Afro-American Museum.  In this role he organized successful exhibitions like, “Black Angelenos: The Afro-American in Los Angeles, 1850-1950” which was an award-winning feature that explored the Black contribution to Los Angeles history and culture.  He also produced historical documentaries that aired on public television.

His work with the Smithsonian began in 1989 when he worked as a supervising curator for the National Museum of American History.  During his tenure, he managed curatorial staff, worked on educational projects, and helped create the “Smithsonian’s America” for the American Festival Japan 1994.  This was an exhibit presented in Japan, which revealed the history, culture and diversity of the United States of America.

He has taught at his alma mater, American University, and the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, and George Washington University.  He is a prolific author and has either written, co-written, or contributed to over thirty books.  He has traveled internationally and given lectures on education and museum curation to professionals throughout the globe.  He was appointed the Founding Director for the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in 2005.

2. Over 75% of donations from individuals came from the African American community!

The Museum’s final price tag was $540 million.  In 2003, Congress passed the legislation establishing the Museum and pledged to fund $270 million or half of the Museum’s expense.  Interestingly, previous Smithsonian museums had received all or most of their funds from the government.  The shortfall was made up by donations from major corporate sponsors and our community.  Churches, fraternities, sororities, celebrities and civic organizations were galvanized for the fundraising effort.  Over 75% of donations from individuals came from the African American community.  Over $4 million in funds came from people donating in amounts less than $1,000.  Oprah Winfrey has been the largest donor at $21 million.  As of this writing, the Museum has raised over $315 million in private funds which far exceeded the congressional requirement.

3. The museum’s collection was built from scratch.

Museum Director Lonnie Bunch and the other organizers of the museum had the monumental task of building the collection from scratch.  Unlike any of the Smithsonian’s eighteen previous museums, the National Museum of African-American History and Culture was created without any artifacts on hand.  To grow a collection, the organizers came up with the unique idea of “Saving African-American Treasures,” which was a 15 city tour launched in 2009.  During this effort, they encouraged Americans to donate family heirlooms to the museum.  The result was amazing.  Precious artifacts were found hidden in the community.  One woman from Virginia Beach, Virginia donated Nat Turner’s Bible which had been kept safe in her closet for decades!  It is estimated that over half of the Museum’s 37,000 artifacts came from donations.

4. The building’s architecture is an ode to African and African-American roots.

The principle architect for the building, David Adjaye, wanted the building to be unique and speak to the creativity of Africans throughout the Diaspora.  The building is inspired by a Yoruban caryatid, which is a column popular in West Africa with a corona at its peak.  The building’s patterns also allude to architecture found in Georgia and South Carolina that was built by enslaved and freed Blacks.  This metalwork inspired Mr. Adjaye and the bronze color and shape of the building is an additional aspect similar to that Southern style of architecture.

5. The fight to create a museum to honor our history initially began in the 1800’s.

The idea to create a museum that honored African-American history started from a desire to create a museum that honored Black Civil War veterans.  After different permutations of honoring African Americans with a national museum festered, the strongest push came in the 1980s.  In 1988, Mickey Leland who was a Representative in the United States House of Representatives from the state of Texas, co-sponsored legislation with fellow Representative and Civil Rights legend John Lewis of Georgia to establish a museum honoring African-American history.  Mr. Leland died in a plane crash the next year, so Mr. Lewis took up the cause himself.  Each year for the next fifteen years, Mr. Lewis proposed his legislation but it was defeated.  In 1994, it passed the House of Representatives but staunch segregationist Jesse Helms of North Carolina filibustered against the bill and it died in the Senate.

It was not until the early 2000s when Republicans like Representative J.C. Watts of Oklahoma and Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas showed their support that the bill was passed.  On December 16, 2003, George W. Bush signed H.R. 3491 into law which authorized a Smithsonian Institution museum created to honor the legacy of African Americans in America.

Information attained from:

Michael Kimmelman, “David Adjaye on Designing a Museum that Speaks a Different Language”, New York Times, published September 21, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/22/arts/design/david-adjaye-museum-of-african-american-history-and-culture.html?action=click&contentCollection=Art%20%26%20Design&module=RelatedCoverage&region=EndOfArticle&pgtype=article

Graham Bowley, “How the Fight for a National African American Museum was Won”, New York Times, published September 4,2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/05/arts/design/how-the-fight-for-a-national-african-american-museum-was-won.html

Lonnae O’Neal, “Our place in America: New Smithsonian museum portrays the furious flowering of black history and culture”, The Undefeated/ESPN.com, published September 22, 2016, http://theundefeated.com/features/smithsonian-museum-of-african-american-history-our-place-in-america/

African American Registry, “H.R. 3491 Signed to create African American museum in Washington,”http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/hr3491-signed-create-african-american-museum-washington

Newsdesk, “Staff Biographies: Lonnie G. Bunch III,” Smithsonian, http://newsdesk.si.edu/about/bios/lonnie-g-bunch

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About The Author

Rick McCray is a maRAMrried father of three amazing sons. He is also a proud graduate of Duke University where he holds a BA in History and African/African American History, and Howard University School of Law. He is also a regular commentator on the In The Black podcast.  Rick is passionate about our history and helping to educate our community concerning the great contributions of people of color to the world. You can find Rick on Twitter @RealRickMcCray.

 

 

 

 

 

From Long Beach to Valedictorian: Interview with University of Memphis Head Chef Tyrece Higdon

Pursuing a dream is rarely, if ever, easy. Along the way, you inevitably face set-backs and obstacles that stop many people before they even started. University of Memphis Head Chef Tyrece Higdon is not one of those people. Check out the inspiring story of his road to success.

Pursuing a dream is rarely, if ever, easy.  Along the way, you inevitably face set-backs and obstacles that stop many people before they even started.  University of Memphis Head Chef Tyrece Higdon is not one of those people. Check out the inspiring story of his road to success.

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Q. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you live? How would people who know you describe you? 

A. I was born and raised in Long Beach, NY.  I currently reside in Millington, TN.  I am very outgoing, laid back, silly, and all about positive thinking.

Q. Describe your job. 

A. I am the Kitchen Manager/Head Chef over Residential Dining at the University of Memphis.  I am responsible for ensuring over 1,200 people are fed daily.  On a daily basis, I lead a crew of cooks to produce food from standardized recipes.  In addition to overseeing the food production, I do the ordering, keep track of inventory, station merchandising, and training, just to name a few of my tasks.

Q. What were you doing before you decided to pursue culinary arts?

A. I owned a bread route in the Memphis Area, waking up at 2:30am, 7 days a week.

Q. What made you decide to change careers?

A. I ruptured my Achilles tendon.  Being a route owner, I was forced to sell my route due to being physically unable to run my business  effectively.

“I have two children that mean the world to me.  I wanted to show them to never give up on your dreams.  So, I hopped into culinary school on crutches and walked out Valedictorian.”

Q. What did you have to do to pursue your current career? For example, education, internships, certifications. How much time did it take? 

A. I started school at the age of 33, with NO restaurant knowledge.  I used financial aid assistance, student loan approval (40k), a lot of determination and on crutches.  I spent two years in Culinary School.  Then, I worked as a Sous chef for 3 years and I have been working catering events for 3 years.

Q. Who was your biggest inspiration? Mentors? Family? Friends?

I would most definitely say my mother.  To watch her have the strength to raise 4 children and fight and defeat her demons gave me that kick I needed to not just “TRY” but “DO.”

Q. What was your biggest motivation? In other words, what kept you going?

A. I have two children that mean the world to me.  I wanted to show them to never give up on your dreams.  So, I hopped into culinary school on crutches and walked out Valedictorian.

Q. Did you experience any setbacks? How did you overcome them?

My only setback was the inconvenience of being partially disabled, due to crutches and a walking cast.  Since I was unable to hang out or do a lot of ripping/running, I utilized my time to study fiercely.

“When it comes to pursuing dreams, give your all to it.  Use your nervousness as adrenaline to do great.  Don’t be afraid to fail at first because even a failed attempt is experience and knowledge of what not to do.”

Q. If you had a chance to go back in time and speak to your 15 year old self, a) would he be surprised to see where you are now? b) what would you say to him?

A. If I could speak to the skinny young me, I’d probably laugh at the weight I’ve gained, since I never thought, I could gain weight. I know I’d be giving myself a high five being that I made the decision back then that these streets will always be here.  I would tell young me to focus more in school.  You have a brain so use it and stop worrying if your so called friends are jealous. Do you with no holdbacks.

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Q. What advice would you give to someone thinking about pursuing culinary arts or going after any dream?

If going into the culinary arts field, know for sure that this is what you want.  If you are going just to learn how to cook using different methods, that’s cool, but very expensive if you are not putting the learned knowledge to use.  If you are going to become a great chef, who is passionate about his/her craft, and wants to teach others, then by all means, the right program is worth it.  When it comes to pursuing dreams, give your all to it.  Use your nervousness as adrenaline to do great.  Don’t be afraid to fail at first because even a failed attempt is experience and knowledge of what not to do.

Q. Any long-term goals or dreams?

I hope to one day be able to instruct urban youth on how to prepare nutritional meals.  I have been blessed with a strong culinary IQ, and I would love more than anything to help the youth and have the tradition carried on.

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Minute Mentor provides a space for real people to tell their stories so if you or your little one is in search of mentorship on how to achieve their dreams, you can look no further than right here! Sometimes the best inspiration comes from seeing someone that looks like you achieving similar goals.

If you have any questions or comments for the featured guest, leave a comment, and we will do our best to bring it to their attention! Happy imagining!

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About The Author

Faye McCray is anMcCray_AuthorPhoto (1) attorney by day and writer all the time. Her work has been featured on My Brown Baby, AfroPunk, AfroNews, For HarrietMadame NoireBlack Girl NerdsBlack and Married with Kids, and other popular publications.  Faye also has a number of short stories and a full length novel available for purchase on Amazon.  Most importantly, Faye is a proud wife and mother to three beautiful and talented young boys who she is fiercely passionate about raising. You can find Faye on Twitter @fayewrites and on the web at fayemccray.com.

Tears for Jordan*

One mom’s emotional reflection on parenting in the era of increased gun violence.

Featured Photo (c) Faye McCray 2016 All rights reserved.

He’s up from nap.

He stretches his long legs out over his blue and green sheets, snuggling his curly hair into his pillow.  He opens his big brown eyes and looks at me, a soft smile on his face, then he closes his eyes again, turning so his chubby golden cheeks nestle deep into his pillow.  He curls in a ball, drawing his knees to his chest and breathing softly.  He looks so tiny in his new big boy bed.  His three-year-old frame only making up a third of its length.  The rest crowded with his stuffed animal friends and fluffy comforter.

Are you up, baby?

I whisper it, kneeling beside his bed and breathing in his smell.  He smells like cookies and clay.  From the morning of playtime and the snack he just had to have.  I kiss his nose and he wipes it away, sitting up slowly.  His bare feet dangling over the edge of his bed and his eyes still hanging low from sleep.  I watch as a soft yawn escapes his tiny pink lips.  I remember him as the colorless baby, swaddled and content, nestled in my arms as I dreamed for him, wondering what his new life would bring.  Fresh steps, new soul.

Now, he reaches his arms out for me and I lift him.  Letting him nestle his head into that soft dip near my collarbone, and wrap his little legs around my waist.  I feel his body release a heavy sigh.

He is safe and he feels it.  I run my hand over his warm back, and I do too.

He fills me.  My soul forever pregnant.  Giving birth to thoughts and plans of his life and his brother’s, mine, ours and theirs.  I remember the love that made them.  The love that sustains them.  I nourish it so we witness them hand-in-hand.  I nourish my mind so I don’t miss a moment.  I dream of being silver-haired and watching the children they make, play off a country porch, their shadows dancing at sunset in a lake.  Smiling to myself, content.  Lived and full.

But now I cry.

My tears are puddles at my feet.  Joining in the streams that fill the rivers, staining the Diaspora.  For Lucia and Sybrina.  For Emmett, Addie Mae, Cynthia, Carole and Denise’s Mommies.  For Hadiya’s Mommy.  For Baltimore’s Mommies.  For Chicago’s.  For Detroit’s.  For New York City’s.  For all the dreams halted by bullets.  The joy buried in caskets.  The Mommy’s whose babies they were helpless to protect.  Guns loaded with worthlessness both mandated by a careless society and perpetuated needlessly by its victims.

It’s all hate crimes.

I once again lower my head beneath a stream of water and wash a festering sore.  Hoping to rinse away the virus infecting my dreams.  The virus that worries about the evil in others, the criminalization of the beautiful brown skin love made, and the lowered expectations of every teacher under a brainwashed spell.  That virus that caused me to worry when my sons grew out of their toddler clothes because I knew it was only a matter of time before the world stopped seeing the beauty I did.  Before those kind smiles and waves from strangers, became purse clutching, eye-avoiding fear, nurtured and fostered by an unkind media and an unfair justice system.

I place a Band-Aid on the festering sore and dream awake.  The lullaby of lies is only comforting to the unconscious.

My eyes are open now.

He’s awake.

 

*In 2012, after an argument over loud music, Michael Dunn, a 47-yr old white Floridian fired ten shots into a carful of unarmed black teenagers, killing Jordan Davis, a seventeen year old boy.  Yesterday, after more than thirty hours of deliberation, a jury found Dunn guilty of three counts of attempted second degree murder and one count of firing into an occupied car.  A mistrial was declared on the first-degree murder charge.

This post originally appeared on http://www.fayemccray.com.

***

About The Author

Faye McCray is anMcCray_AuthorPhoto (1) attorney by day and writer all the time. Her work has been featured on My Brown Baby, AfroPunk, AfroNews, For HarrietMadame NoireBlack Girl NerdsBlack and Married with Kids, and other popular publications.  Faye also has a number of short stories and a full length novel available for purchase on Amazon.  Most importantly, Faye is a proud wife and mother to three beautiful and talented young boys who she is fiercely passionate about raising. You can find Faye on Twitter @fayewrites and on the web at fayemccray.com.

20 Life-Changing Quotes on Parenting

I didn’t know my capacity to love until I had my children. I didn’t know how fiercely I would fight to protect them. I didn’t know how motivated I would be to leave the world a better place. Parenting has inspired great thinkers, artists and activists past and present. Here are 20 quotes on parenting by some of the greats to give you inspiration and solidarity as you navigate rearing the loves of your lives.

I didn’t know my capacity to love until I had my children.  I didn’t know how fiercely I would fight to protect them. I didn’t know how motivated I would be to leave the world a better place.  Parenting has inspired great thinkers, artists and activists, past and present.  Here are 20 quotes on parenting by some of the greats to give you inspiration and solidarity as you navigate rearing the loves of your lives.

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1. “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglass

2. “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you and though they are with you they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you for life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.” – Kahlil Gibran

3. “My most important title is still mom-in-chief.  My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the center of my world.” – Michelle Obama

4. “Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.” – Cheryl Lacey Donovan

5. “Your children need your presence more than your presents.” – Jesse Jackson

6. “The reality is that most of us communicate the same way that we grew up. That communication style becomes our normal way of dealing with issues, our blueprint for communication. It’s what we know and pass on to our own children. We either become our childhood or we make a conscious choice to change it.” – Kristen Crockett

7. “In a child’s eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe.” – N.K. Jemisin

8. “You don’t have favourites among your children, but you do have allies. ” – Zadie Smith

9. “When mother-cow is chewing grass its young ones watch its mouth” – Chinua Achebe

10. “To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.” – Maya Angelou

11. “Black people love their children with a kind of obsession. You are all we have, and you come to us endangered.” – Ta-Nehisi Coates

12. “Loving someone as fiercely as my mom loves me must be like wearing your heart outside of your body with no skin, no bones, no nothing to protect it.” – Nicola Yoon

13. “The best thing she was, was her children.” – Toni Morrison

14. “Beautiful is the man who leaves a legacy that of shared love and life. It is he who transfers meaning, assigns significance and conveys in his loving touch the fine art and gentle shaping of a life. This man shall be called, Father.” – Stella Payton

15. “Behind every great man is a man greater, his father.” – Habeeb Akande

16. “The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving of ways.” – Unknown

17. “Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.” – W.E.B. DuBois

18. “Family doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be flawless. It doesn’t have to be what you had in mind. You can’t control it. But it is a gymnasium for love to work out in.” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

19. “I tried to be the greatest boxer in the world and a good parent, too. I had instant feedback on my success as a boxer. Often, parents don’t really know if what they are doing is right or wrong until their child is grown and it is too late to change any of the decisions. Whatever my failings as a parent, I am very proud of all my children. It wasn’t easy for them to make their own way with such a controversial and public father.” – Muhammad Ali

20. “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” – James Baldwin

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About The Author

Faye McCray is anMcCray_AuthorPhoto (1) attorney by day and writer all the time. Her work has been featured on My Brown Baby, AfroPunk, AfroNews, For HarrietMadame NoireBlack Girl NerdsBlack and Married with Kids, and other popular publications.  Faye also has a number of short stories and a full length novel available for purchase on Amazon.  Most importantly, Faye is a proud wife and mother to three beautiful and talented young boys who she is fiercely passionate about raising. You can find Faye on Twitter @fayewrites and on the web at fayemccray.com.

Living History: From the Black Panthers to Congress, Meet Bobby L. Rush

Congressman Bobby L. Rush has represented the 1st District of Illinois for over two decades. At almost 70, he has led a remarkable life full of activism and public service. Check out eight must know facts about this living legend.

Congressman Bobby L. Rush has represented the 1st District of Illinois for over two decades.  At almost 70, he has led a remarkable life full of activism and public service.  Check out eight must know facts about this living legend:

1. He co-founded the Illinois Black Panther Party in 1968.

While in the military and stationed in Chicago, Rush became a member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).  He participated in civil disobedience demonstrations in the South and upon his return to Chicago, he co-founded the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panthers at the request of Stokely Carmichael who was one of his mentors in SNCC.  One of Rush’s most notable recruits to the Panthers was Fred Hampton who at the time was the head of the Youth Division of the NAACP.  Hampton went on to become an influential activist and one of the most famous Black Panthers.  He was murdered by Chicago police during a raid on his apartment on December 4, 1969.

2. He helped develop the nation’s first mass testing program for sickle cell anemia.

When Mr. Rush was Defense Minister for the Illinois Black Panther Party, he also administered the Panther Party’s Free Breakfast Program for Children and ran a free medical clinic in Chicago.  One of the initiatives created by the clinic was a massive testing program for sickle cell anemia which was the the first of its kind in the United States.  Through these efforts, the organization also raised public awareness of sickle cell anemia’s impact on Black citizens in Chicago.

3. He is a military veteran.

In 1963, Mr. Rush enlisted in the United States Army directly out of high school and served in the Army until 1968 when he was honorably discharged.  Throughout his political career, he has sponsored and supported bills that would aid veterans and their families.

4. He lost a son to gun violence.

On October 18, 1999, Huey Rich, the son of Bobby L. Rush who was named after Huey P. Newton, was shot and killed as he was walking to his apartment in Chicago.  He was murdered by two men in an armed robbery.  Mr. Rush has six other children with his wife Carolyn.

5. He was the last person to beat Barack Obama in an election.

During the 2000 Democratic Primary, Rush was challenged by a young State Senator named Barack Obama.  As an incumbent, Rush had a clear advantage and won the contest by over 80% of the vote.  Eight years later, he endorsed that same young State Senator for President of the United States in 2008.

6. In honor of Trayvon Martin, he spoke before the House of Representatives while wearing a hoodie.

On Wednesday, March 28, 2012, one month after the murder of teenager Trayvon Martin, while speaking before the House of Representatives, Rush took off his suit jacket, pulled a gray hoodie on over his head and put on sunglasses stating, “Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.” The teen was wearing a hoodie when we was murdered by George Zimmerman.  Rush went on to speak out against racial profiling and discrimination.  The House forbids its members from wearing hats, and Rush was called out of order and ultimately escorted from the hall. According to CNN, Rush said the purpose of putting on the hoodie was to send a message to young people, “to stand their ground, stand up and don’t stand down.”

7. He is a cancer survivor.

In 2008, Mr. Rush was diagnosed with a very rare form of salivary gland cancer.  A deep tumor was removed from his jaw and he went through months of a combination of radiation and chemotherapy.  When Mr. Rush was found to be cancer free, he went through speech and physical therapy.  His cancer scare prompted him to push for universal healthcare for all Americans.

8. He routinely wins reelection by over 70% of the vote.

Mr. Rush’s long history in Chicago of activism and public service has made him incredibly popular.  The predominately African American electorate consistently turns out for him every two years to re-elect him.  He has won each general election against Republican challengers from 1992 through 2014 with at least 73% of the vote going in his favor.

 

Information attained from:

“Rush, Bobby L.” http://www.blackpast.org/aah/rush-bobby-l-1946

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=R000515

John Mccormick, “A Father’s Anguished Journey”, Newsweek, published November 28, 1999, http://www.newsweek.com/fathers-anguished-journey-164318

Janny Scott, “In 2000, a Streetwise Veteran Schooled a Bold Young Obama”, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/09/us/politics/09obama.html?_r=0

Deirdre Walsh, “Lawmaker wearing hoodie removed from House floor”, http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/28/politics/congressman-hoodie/

 

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About The Author

Rick McCray is a maRAMrried father of three amazing sons. He is also a proud graduate of Duke University where he holds a BA in History and African/African American History, and Howard University School of Law. He is also a regular commentator on the In The Black podcast.  Rick is passionate about our history and helping to educate our community concerning the great contributions of people of color to the world. You can find Rick on Twitter @RealRickMcCray.