As I sit here, I struggle to find the words to describe how beautiful and rare this weekend truly was for me. This past Saturday, January 15th, I was a fortunate witness to the journey that African Americans have progressed upon from the time of our ancestors to present day. During the African Culture Fest held at the Cincinnati Museum Center, a celebration of the heritage and cherished culture of African Americans took place through artistic expression! There were works such as “The Balancing Act”, by Velma J. Morris, “Dancing2” by Jimi Jones, and “Into the Fellowship” by Melvin Grier, and countless others that spectacularly captured the special moments in African American culture that make us distinctly unique and extraordinary. Not only were there visual arts but also tables stretching of limitless and colorful jewelry that adorned the garments and linens they rested upon. There were exquisite dishes with an African American flare, and spoken word! Oh thank God for the poetry that just surged from the spirits of the poets that so selflessly and graciously gave of themselves during the Dada Rafiki: Poetry, Passion, and Power. The women that shared where absolutely phenomenal women whose hearts and poetry were just as rich and beautiful as they were. There was Sharon Draper, Gifted, Faith Daniels, JaHipster, and the woman responsible for bringing us in the intimate setting of the Reakirt Auditorium, to exist in togetherness, was Annie Ruth and many more. I was also blessed with the pleasant opportunity to meet the some of the great Tuskegee Airmen. There were not only blacks that day, but people of all colors and backgrounds and ethnicities participating together in unity and enjoying their fellow man.
Today, Monday, 1/17/2011, will be a day forever etched in the memory of my heart. I have never been so privileged and honored to have been even a spectator of all that I witnessed. The King Legacy Awards Breakfast was held today in the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. It is widely known he had a dream, that one-day people would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. There were many wonderful and amazingly talented people in attendance. There were people like freedom rider Betty Daniels Rosemond, Senator Eric Kearney, profound speaker Courtis Fuller and many others that God Himself has personally given me the privilege of encountering today. I believe Dr. King would be proud. I believe he would look upon us and his heart would smile, for we have come a might long way and we are still progressing forward. It was such an honor to even be in the same building, much less the presence of all of that wisdom and perseverance and determination, and follow through and that “I Have a Dream”, and “I Will Succeed” spirit that Jesus wrapped up in those beautiful souls that ever so diligently paved the way for people like me and you. There were many encouraging words and words of wisdom spoken today such as words having complete and absolute power to shape the world around you. Jesus brought us into existence by words, He even flipped the world upside down through words, great movements of history were brought about by words, and there is power in words.
If you don’t take anything else from this blog, take this: the power of words change the world. There is great influence through words and great people have come from using words wisely as well has having great mentors. Since my platform is youth empowerment through mentorship, the arts, and global awareness, and January is National Mentor month, I urge you to get a mentor if you don’t already have one, if you need someone to mentor, start today. You may be a mentor and not even know it, but someone somewhere is watching you. Be the impact in someone’s life. Be the light of God and the example of all that a man or a woman should be. Great people like Dr. King had mentors to guide them and set a magnificent example. So I ask you, who is mentoring you? Mentoring is what matters because you may very well be someone’s dream. The crown that I have been given and the sash that I wear are only materials. Significance, standard, and purpose are brought about to these materials through the lives young and the old. The thing that inspires me is the youth, the dreamers and achievers such as the young and very talented vocalists Mckenzie Mack, and Isaiah Reaves. The high school honorees Iva Durand III, William M. Merritt, and Margarette Tarver and all of those that made today possible. I thank God for being with me and guiding me on this journey. I thank God for Terron Austin, a wonderful and dear friend whom I hold close to my heart, and for DeMarcus Banks. I thank God for all you. From my heart to yours, thank you, and may God bless you abundantly.