Writers Quote Wednesday 2015

Once again, I send a huge thank you to SilverThreading for hosting Writers Quote Wednesday 2015.

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This week in recognition of Black Music Month, I selected the words from a song written by the Father of Gospel Music, Thomas A. Dorsey.  

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In planning my mother’s funeral back in 1967,  I chose to have “Precious Lord Take My Hand”  as one of the musical selections.  I am among many who have made the same choice.

This song was a favorite of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and he had requested the beloved and famous gospel singer, Miss Mahalia Jackson, to sing it at his funeral.

Years before Dr. King’s funeral, around 1959, I went to see the movie, “Imitation of Life.”  Even as a 15-year-old, I ended up in tears when Miss Jackson began singing “Precious Lord Take My Hand” during one of the lead characters funeral.

When I hear this song it always brings back memories of sad times.  Yet it is my favorite gospel song; and, I am still trying to process why.

To give you further insight on Mr. Dorsey’ s music and life, I share this YouTube video.  It begins with and oral biography on Mr. Dorsey followed by Miss Yolanda Adams, one of today’s most famous Gospel performers, singing her rendition of “Precious Lord Take My Hand.”

Please click here for further biographical information on Mr. Dorsey.

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Writers Quote Wednesday 2015

 

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I really, really love Black music and it has been in my life since early childhood.  This month, I discovered that June is Black Music Month; and what a surprise to find out its been around since 1979.  Upon learning this, I decided for the remaining Writers Quote Wednesday 2015 in June to share quotes from Black music legends.

Last week, I shared a quote by one of America’s leading jazz vocalist, Miss Billy Holiday.  

My quote this week is from another legendary jazz singer, Miss Ella Fitzgerald.

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I invite you to enjoy “One Number Samba” performed by Miss Fitzgerald, the First Lady of scat singing; and, for readers who want to know a bit more about her click here.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday, 2015

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Thank you Silver Threading for hosting this event. This week, I selected a quote by author, Sarah Ban Breathnach.

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A close friend gifted me Breathnach’s book, “Simple Abundance” in the 1990s.  This was during a period in my life when I was in the throes of dealing with a newly diagnosed condition of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Depressed and devastated about having to leave a career that I had devoted tireless hours to building; I wasn’t open to embracing her theory.  Back then, I saw Breathnach and her book only as a popular read within my circle of friends.

Years later, I finally got it; and, since then, I read and re-read the essays in her book to remind myself how important it is to live simply and authentically.  Today, It is my go-to inspirational uplift.

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday 2015

The opportunity to share a quote from authors who have inspired, uplifted, or enlightened me over my many years of living and reading is a beautiful thing.  And, I am grateful to Silver Threading for hosting her weekly event.

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This week, I selected a quote by Toni Morrison:

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Toni Morrison is a well-known American novelist, editor, and professor.  Even though her work typically focuses on Black women, she does not define her it as feminist.

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Morrison first novel, “The Bluest Eye,” was published in 1970.  There have been nine novels released since that time.  She released her last novel, “Home,” in 2012.  But, in 2015, a new novel, “God Help The Child,” will publish in 2015.  Her best known novels were:

  • The Bluest Eye
  • Song of Solomon
  • Beloved

For Beloved she received the:  Pulitzer Prize (1988)American Book Award (1988) and Nobel Prize in 1993.

Morrison, also, shared her gift of writing through:

  • Children’s Literature
  • Short Fiction
  • Operatic Words (Libretto)
  • Plays
  • Non-Fiction

Born in 1931, Morrison celebrated her 84th Birthday on February 18.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday 2015

Thank you to Silver Threading for hosting this event.

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I selected Langston Hughes for this week’s writer’s quote:

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Born on February 1, 1902, Hughes first poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” published in 1921; and, his last poem, “Panther and the Lash,” posthumously published in 1967.

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2002 – The United States Postal Service Added the Image of Langston Hughes to its Black Heritage Series of Postage Stamps

For over four decades, Hughes’ portrayed the life of Blacks in America through:

  • Poetry
  • Novels
  • Short Stories,
  • Non-Fiction Books
  • Plays
  • Children’s Books

One of my favorite poems is “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.

I continue to dream that one day, despite our gender, ethnic, religious and cultural differences, we all will live together in peace, joy and happiness.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday 2015

Thank you to Silver Threading for hosting this weekly event.

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My  Writer’s Quote this week is one by Gwendolyn Brooke:

 “What I’m fighting for now in my work … for an expression relevant to all manner of blacks, poems I could take into a tavern, into the streets, into the halls of a housing project.”

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The first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1950, Brooke published her first book of poetry in 1945.

Her awards and recognitions are many including a 1962 invitation from President John F. Kennedy to read at a poetry festival being held at the Library of Congress.

Though ten years younger and we never met; I grew up in Chicago, we lived in the same neighborhood, and we attended the same school (Englewood).

Yet, I didn’t connect with this distinguished, gifted and talented writer until 1970 as a college freshman.

Sadly, in the 1950s, the Chicago Public School System did not include the literary works of  Gwendolyn Brooke in their curriculum.  At least, on the South Side of Chicago where I grew up.

Gwendolyn Brooke died on December 3, 2000 at the age of 83.  The gift of her poetic words remain for us to share and reflect upon for generations to come.