Today I Honor my Mother, Warnita Pleasant

The Book of Ruth is one of my favorites, and not because I am preparing myself to meet “my Boaz” like some of my single sisters patiently waiting on God to send them a Husband! Good luck with that if you’re in the state of Louisiana! black wedding The character that fascinates me in this book is Naomi because she gives a truthful close-up of a Woman dealing with a multitude of issues. I love the way Solomon describes a “Virtuous” Woman in Proverbs 31:10-31, but let’s be real; We all know Bathsheba went through some things prior to becoming a woman of virtue….OK! We all go through some things prior to becoming the women that God ordained us to be; and Naomi in my opinion, does not get enough credit for being a female genius who sat her problems on a chessboard and strategically played her opponents; grief, heartbreak, poverty, shame, and mental instability, and in the end she beat the odds for herself and the daughter she acquired. CHECKMATE!

Naomi is the female version of Job. She had a husband, children, and she even acquired two daughters-in-laws. Naomi was not familiar with struggle because her family had wealth. She was happy and comfortable until God allowed for that life to be taken away from her, leaving her with nothing but a loyal daughter-in-law named Ruth who refused to live her while she was down. A daughter-in-law named Ruth who with Faith, told her mother-in-law Naomi, that she would go with her and whatever God she served, she would serve him too!

So together they went back to the home of Naomi‘s DNA; Bethlehem. Naomi was so broken that when her hood starting noticing her she said, “Don’t call me Naomi, Call me “Mara,” because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.

I believe that all of us has had a Ruth 1:20-21 moment! This moment creeps up on us when our lives our out of control to the point of having us questioning where is our God, and why is he allowing these circumstances to occur in our life. We feel restless and peace is far from us, and that is why The Book of Ruth is one of my favorites because it reminds me that whenever I feel like changing my name to “Mara,” there is always a Ruth, or a person that God has ordained with the FAITH to get me to my next level.

Naomi ends up getting her daughter-in-law married to a King McDreamy, balling out of control, and in generations to come; bringing forth a boy named David who would slay giants, write a book that is of full of praise and worship, and become a King.

So today on October 03, 2014. I need my mother; Warnita Pleasantme and mama to know that The Book of Ruth is one of my favorites because MAMA, you are my Naomi! You have been through hell and back and yet you taught me about your God and I am alive because of that.

You are my Naomi, because you taught me that action speaks louder than words and I know how to recognize the people who were really sent for my good.

You are my Naomi, because you put aside you “Mara” moments to teach me how to genuinely love people.

You are my Naomi, because when I’m having a “Mara” moment, you speak my life and future back into existence.

You are my Naomi, because you embedded in me to never have a “poor old me” attitude and that is why I just can’t give up now (in my Mary Mary voice:)

You are my Naomi, because I am a Beast because of you. There is no topic, no title, no nationality or culture, that intimidates me.

For the rest of my life, I will follow you and I will serve the God that you serve. I will honor who and what God created you to be. I will be there with you on top of the mountains, or trapped in the wilderness. I will cut up and act a fool to get you back when you go into LALA land. I love you MAMA!

Happy Birthday:)

Meet Mary Pleasant – The Mother Of Civil Rights in California

Mary Pleasant

I researched Mrs. Pleasant’s story using the following link, As always feel free to check it out for more detailed information. Special thanks to Susheel Bibbs (aka Cheryl Susheel Bibbs) for bringing her story to life!

Called “the Mother of Civil Rights in California” from work begun in the 1860s, her achievements went unsurpassed until the 1960s. Pleasant was once the most talked-about woman in San Francisco. When other African Americans were rarely mentioned, she claimed full-page articles in the press. Her dramatic life was part of the story of slavery, abolition, the gold rush, and the Civil War; she helped shape early San Francisco, and covertly amassed a joint fortune once assessed at $30,000,000! Americans today deserve to know her because she could love across boundaries of race and class without losing sight of her goal — equality for herself and her people.

According to her various memoirs, Pleasant, was born a slave near Augusta, Georgia between 1814 and 1817, and according to ships records and confirming testimony, she arrived in San Francisco in April, 1852 to escape persecution under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, for slave rescue work in the East. However, the courage to do that and other great deeds started in childhood.

At birth, Mary had no last name. In her first memoir she said that she was born the illegitimate child of a Virginia governor’s son (John H. Pleasants) and an enslaved Haitian voodoo* priestess, so Mary had to create names for herself. After witnessing the death of her mother at the hand of a plantation overseer, Mary had to make her way largely on her own. But, how did she emerge strong and able to love across racial lines from such difficult beginnings?

An account by Nevada writer Sam Davis, one of Pleasant’s biographers, infers that, in childhood, Pleasant was bought out of slavery by a sympathetic planter. No one really knows his name or if it this is true since Pleasant was a survivor who altered and embellished her story in several memoirs to offset the criticisms levied against her. However, her final memoir (Davis, 1901) says that this rescuer sent her first to New Orleans to work as a linen worker at the Ursaline Convent and subsequently to work as a free servant for his friend (Louis Alexander Williams), a merchant in Cincinnati. His promise was that, after she served the Williams for some time without pay, she would be freed. However, Williams, in debt and ultimately jealous of his wife Ellen’s affection for the girl, eventually placed Mary, not in freedom, but into nine years of indenture (Mary called it being “bounded out.”) with an aging Quaker merchant, (merely called Grandma Hussey) in Nantucket, MA. Indentured servants could be of any race, and Mary, a mulatto child who in her earlier years was very fair, was told not to reveal her race — a heavy burden for a girl of about eleven.

In Nantucket, Mary adopted Ellen Williams’ name, becoming “Mary Ellen Williams,” and she learned business as a clerk in Grandma’s general (huckster) store. Although she could not read or write then, she said in her final memoir, “I could recall the accounts of a whole day, and she [Grandma] would set them down and they would be right as I remembered ’em.” Mary grew smart and witty, and despite being “in service”, she grew to love her Quaker guardians. The Husseys, and later Capt. Edward W. Gardner and family, reveal in their letters that they grew to love her too. Mary also adopted abolitionist beliefs and the principles of equality that they taught her. So, in Nantucket Mary learned enterprise, equality, and love— In Nantucket, she took the shackles of slavery off of her mind!

Later in the 1840’s, when her service had ended, the Husseys helped the brilliant and talented twenty-something, young woman, become a tailor’s assistant in Boston. She also became a paid church soloist there. There Mary Ellen Williams soon met and married James W. Smith, a wealthy mulatto. According to a letter fragment by Mary (letter dictated to Mrs. S), James (part Cuban-mulatto, part white) was a contractor/ merchant who “passed” for white (Cuban) so as to serve as a Southern contributor to William Lloyd Garrison’s abolitionist paper and a rescuer on the Underground Railroad. Soon both Smiths served on that Railroad — the trackless series of homes and volunteers who helped slaves escape to freedom by various routes (tracks) to Canada, Nova Scotia, and Mexico.

James Smith’s “track ” took slaves from Nova Scotia to Virginia. He also owned a plantation near Harper’s Ferry, left to him by his white father. Smith staffed it with freed slaves (freedmen), whose freedom he helped secure. However, daring as he was, James was very restrictive of Mary. She says she still grew to love him. However, when he died suddenly (sometime between 1844 and 1848) some felt that it was by Mary’s hand. Nothing ever came of this accusation, however, but James Smith left Mary a wealthy woman. She eventually remarried, but she continued their slave-rescue work between New Bedford, MA, and Ohio out of her own inner calling. Mary says that, disguising herself as a jockey so that she could steal onto plantations, she soon became a much-hunted slave rescuer, and there is some support for this account.

Finally, in 1851, with slavers hot on her trail, she fled West. The route taken between 1848-1851 seems to have carried her to hide out in both Nantucket and New Orleans. In the latter, she lived with her second husband, John James Pleasance (“J.J. Pleasants” when Anglicized). Pleasants was not related to her father, John Pleasants, as some have alleged. In fact he told friends that the Pleasants name had simply been assigned to his father and that his real name surname was “Christophe.”

Once in New Orleans, JJ., a ship’s cook, took off to scout a safer life for them in California gold-rush country, but Mary stayed behind to own up her heritage by studying with the social/activist Voodoo Queen Mam’zelle. Marie LaVeaux. LaVeaux had invented a way to use Voodoo to aid the disenfranchised, and Mary, who should have inherited a voodoo priestancy from her mother, wanted to learn it. Said the only eye witness of this study, LaVeaux’s granddaughter, “She (LaVeaux) was teachin’ Mrs. Pleasants Voodoo so she could use it some way.” So, from Mam’zelle LaVeaux Mary learned to mentor her people and to use the secrets of the rich to gain aid for the poor — a “model” that would serve her well in San Francisco. Soon JJ sent for her (and her money, which, said Mary, he loved as much as he loved her), and being again hunted for slave rescuing, she fled to San Francisco, assisted by Marie LaVeaux.

Mary arrived in rough an’ ready San Francisco on April 7, 1852– a place with about 40,000 people, 700 drinking and gambling establishments, and 5 murders every 6 days. There were six men to every woman. It was not a safe place, but Mary was up to the challenge. Once there, she was forced to use two identities to thwart capture under California’s Fugitive Slave Act. Under this law anyone without freedom papers could be captured and sent into slavery. Mary had no papers. Still Mary, both as “Mrs.Ellen Smith” (white boardinghouse steward/cook) and as “Mrs. Pleasants” (abolitionist/entrepreneur) helped her people. As Mrs. Smith, she served the wealthiest and most influential men in San Francisco, and using their regard for her as well as the “LaVeaux model” of leveraging their secrets for favors, she was able to get jobs and privileges for “colored” people in San Francisco. It is said that for this they nicknamed her “The Black City Hall.”

In the “colored” community, in her true identity as Mrs. Pleasants, she used her money to help ex-slaves fight unfair laws and to get lawyers or businesses in California. She became an expert capitalist, owning every kind of business imaginable, and she prospered. However, her people suffered as European immigrations took the menial jobs once held for them and as anti-black sentiment and national depression mounted. So, in 1858 Mary decided to return East –not to live, but–as she once said in a letter — to help her former brother in law gain release from slavery and to help abolitionist John Brown end slavery forever.
In Canada, she and JJ bought land on Campbell St. to help Brown house the slaves that he planned to free near Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. His plan was to capture the Federal arsenal there with only 21 men. He would set up maroon-like militia made up of runaway slaves throughout the Virginia Mountains, as the Haitians had done. Then, he would ferret some slaves from there to Canada. Mary gave Brown money for arms and came back the following fall to ride (in disguise as a jockey) in advance of Brown to alert slaves near Harper’s Ferry of his coming. It was a good, but risky, plan, but, unlike some other Black leaders, Mary (believing that slavery had to be ended by force) was willing to help. “I’d rather be a corpse than a coward,” was always her motto.

Of course, Brown acted too soon and was hanged, and Mary narrowly escaped with her life. On her return, however (hunted for treason), she continued to fight, and after the Emancipation Proclamation and the California Right-of-Testimony of 1863 law, she declared her race openly. She orchestrated court battles to test the right of testimony, and in 1868 her battle for the right of blacks to ride the San Francisco trolleys without fear of discrimination set precedent in the California Supreme Court.

Mary Pleasant went on to become celebrated as a philanthropist and business woman and to amass a $30,000,000 fortune with her secret partner, Scotsman, Thomas Bell. In 1883 she even helped challenge the powerful Senator William Sharon in a scandalous case in the cause of Human Rights – She backed the plaintiff financially. Despite the fact that the plaintiff eventually lost this case, and Pleasant eventually lost most of her wealth, and even her good name through twists of fate, treachery, and the press, her legacy of love and courage lives on. In fact, her 1868 Trolley case set precedent in the California Supreme Court and was used to win a case in that same court in 1983. Pleasant was a winner!

Ginger’s Thought’s – This woman was awesome! Well she had to be; her last name is PLEASANT!

Marcus Garvey, GodFather of Civil Rights

I want to thank A Field website for sending me this Express Yourself link pertaining to the many accomplishments acheived by a Civil Activist Icon named Marcus Garvey.

I have copied the link for you, so feel free to visit this page; as well as the website, because you will find a range of interesting article.

M. Garvey

Marcus Garvey was one of the greatest black leaders we ever had. He organized more black people than any other black leader in the world. Marcus Garvey said that black people will never become successful depending on whites or other races of people, he said that as black people we must come together and do for self.

I’m going to list some of Marcus Garvey’s achievements:

1. Marcus Garvey built factories, and his factories made clothes and they also made black dolls for black kids to play with.

2. He built a hotel.

3. He built a chain of grocery stores.

4. His organization had their own trucking company.

5. He built schools.

6. He built restaurants.

7. His organization had their own printing press.

8. He started 3 newspapers.

9. His main newspaper was called the Negro World, and that newspaper was published in English, Spanish and French.

10. His organization bought 3 ships and they started practicing international trade and commerce.

11. Marcus Garvey’s organization owned office buildings.

12. His organization also bought an auditorium in New York, and that’s where Garvey did most of his speaking and that place was called Liberty Hall.

13. By 1922 Marcus Garvey organization had 6 million members.

14. His organization had over 900 branches in 40 different countries.

15. Marcus Garvey also started his own political party, and he named it The Peoples Political Party.

16. Marcus Garvey was the first black leader to teach black people to love themselves, and be proud of their heritage.

17. Kwame Nkrumah became the first president of Ghana, and he said that Marcus Garvey was his hero and his biggest influence. Nkrumah named Ghana’s shipping line the Black Star Shipping line in honor of Marcus Garvey. He also named Ghana’s soccer team the Black Stars.

18. Jomo Kenyatta became the first president of Kenya, and he also said that Marcus Garvey was a major influence on him.

19. Nnamdi Azikiwe became the first president of Nigeria, and said that Marcus Garvey was a major influence on him. He said that reading Garvey’s Negro World shaped his view.

20. Julius Nyerere became the first president of Tanzania, and he also said that Garvey’s teachings was a major influence on him.

21. Malcolm X parents were members of Marcus Garvey organization.

22. The honorable Elijah Muhammad the leader of the Nation of Islam praised Marcus Garvey. He said that Garvey was the forerunner and laid the foundation for what the Nation of Islam is doing. He said that they are carrying on the work of Garvey.

23. Marcus Garvey said that his organization employed 1000’s of people through the businesses that they created.

I obtained this information from using this link, Check out the link because is has two, detailed, pages of information regarding the life of Mr. Garvey; and trust me, it is very impressive!

“Marcus Garvey did all of that without any help from white people or the Government, and he did it with an 8th grade education. He did this during a time when there were no televisions or computers.”

Ginger’s Thoughts – Mr. Garvey’s picture should be in the dictionary next to the word, DETERMINATION! He did not stand for a movement; he was a movement! This man created his own political party….He became an entrepreneur in the days of slavery and segregation….He built himself up with an 8th grade education and no help from the government! I have been studying the wrong people., please bring put every book by Marcus Garvey in my cart..NOW!

‘Twerking’ Added to Oxford Dictionary (Thanks, Miley Cyrus?) The One Who Deserves to Get All of This “Twerking” Attention…

Miley Cyrus is getting all of this un-deserved attention for her poor, white, girl attempt at twerking. The media is going crazy and they are affiliating “Twerking” to her as if she was a synomyn used for this word. Used; however, would be a great adjective to describe her entry level stripper skills shown at the VMA awards.

Well, all of us from the “N.O.” find this hilarious as we know the true origins of the word twerk; as well as the correct way to perform this dance successfully; and for any persons un-familiar with Jerome Temple, AKA, D.J. Jubilee, I’m going to provide a brief bio of The Father of New Orleans Bounce music.

Jerome Temple began his career as an Special Education Teacher and coach for Walter L. Cohen High School. (Shoutout to graduate Cynthia Tee-Tee Pleasant, as she wears that class ring like it’s a gazillion dollars emerald) I don’t care how great your band, or high school football team was, no school could match the party atmosphere that Cohen’s DJ brought and so it was to no one’s surprise when this D.J. became an over-night sensation.

D.J. Jubilee should be a millionare currently because he could have sued the hell out of performers for stealing his music and SwaggerJacking. Don’t believe me, ask Juvenile and Beyonce:) !

Ginger’s Thoughts – DJ, you betta wake up and sue these people…..I invite you to check out this video and listen to the Father of Bounce, and for everybody else, let’s remember how we use to dance off of this entire song without getting out of breath:) “What’s the name of your school?….Rabouin!”

An Article For Every Black Single Mother To Save, Print, and Add to Favorites

Have you ever saw the Criminal Mind episode where Dr. Spencer Reid (the young, white, geninus, character) is walking toward a house surrounded by tall plants with Derek Morgan (the gorgeous young man whose skin looks af it was unpeeled from a Werther’s Original Caramel wrapper) and Reid suddenly closes the door and locks himself inside of the house to protect Morgan because he realizes that he has recently been infected with the Anthrax virus? Well if you haven’t, I pretty much described the plot.
Anyway, Scientist and Biochemist surrounded the house dressed in protective white gear that somewhat resembled Astronaut attire searching for the antidote that could save the young doctor’s life, and as residents began to approach the team questioning, “What the hell is going on?” The team decided that it was in the best interest of all to create a bogus lie for the public until they received a finalized resolution.

Gingerbread, where are you going with this?

I’m going into “Things that make you say Hmmmmm….” mode! ArsenioHall say hmmmm

As far as my memory allows, Black Women have been treated as if we were the killer substance named Anthrax! Like Reid, America locked us out and made Black Women the face of her economic defaults and disgrace! She and her assigned team concocted a bogus lie and hypnotized others to believe that self-sufficiency was an un-known word in a Single Black Mother’s mental vocabulary or physical capability, resulting in our Black male counterparts believing the hype and disrespecting us with even more hateful contempt, as they walk around publicly wearing that invisible astronaut attire I previously described to avoid the affect, of being infected by a woman of a race that matches theirs!

Below is an example of my statement. Whenever there is a post relating to an issue within our community, it’s simply demeaning to read comments off of “Black Owned” blog sites authored by assholes such as this.

“Exactly, the kind of response black women make and believe.

You hoes need to get married before having babies but you can’t do that because you have no self-respect.

When the white man finally cuts off welfare for unaccountable women and change child support laws you black women will be a$ out of luck with your beliefs.”

Unfortunately, this is not the only asshole in our world injected with lethal ignorance and bullshit…they are everywhere, and unfortunately we only have a few Derek Morgans searching for the plight of a Black Single Mother antidote!

Granted their are some infected Black women who are complacent and require a prescription of drive and a shot of motivation; but this silent killer is found in every race; however, for years America spoke as if Black Single Mothers were the only species with no forms of an antidote for the poverty disease. Some of us had logical explanations of our perdicaments when we requested assistance from our government; however, those types of situations were never shown or notated, as the team decided that the only input required from our race was numbers placed in the “lowest” statistical categories!

I came across an article that certainly could be used as an antidote for Single Black Mothers, because according to Yahoo Finance, white women are now equal too, or have passed Blacks with receiving government assistance, unemployment, and having children out of wedlock, and the percentile has increased of hispanics living in high poverty neighborhoods and decreased for Blacks.

ballin woman
Ginger’s Thoughts – So in other words; we have been handling our business! Congratulations to every Black Woman and Single Mother and make sure you read, save, print, and add this article to your favorites so that you will be prepared the next time you talk to, or read a comment posted from an Asshole:)

I Know It Was You….

My children and I went to the funeral of my Aunt Aline Lenoir today in Kentwood, Louisiana.

I met my Aunt Aline in my teens. My mother could no longer afford to take care of me, so she sent me to live with my Father’s side of the family. I felt like an orphan! I felt alone, nervous, and afraid of the unknown. I remember the first day I met this light skinned, green eyed, fast talking beautiful woman. She talked to me and it felt as if she was speaking to my soul secretly telling me that I was ok, and that everything was going to be alright. And it was!

My Aunt had taught her generation the true meaning of love. I mean, a lot of people call themselves Christians and wear WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) jewelry, and when tested, those hypocrites fail every time! But her Daughters, and their children, and their children, treated me as if I was one of their own. This family was there for me when others had closed their hearts to me, and I will never be able to find adjectives that could explain how much I love and appreciate them.

I did not visit My Aunt before she passed and that is a mistake that I will never make again. I am so sorry Auntie. Lesson Learned.

But the feeling of warmth that I felt each time I saw one of my family members, and the tears I held back as I hugged each one tightly in my arms, and the feeling of knowing that I was amongst people who truly loved me and my children; I know it was your Spirit in our presence each time.

I love you Auntie, and I know it was you.

Happy Birthday Grandma!!! The 5 Things She Taught Me

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Today, July 15, 2013, my Grandmother has made 71 years old, and so I want to take a moment to dedicate a post to her, and every awesome quality that she represents.

There are five things that she grilled in us and they are as follows:

1. Trust God and Pray because no matter what the situation looks like, if you pray from your heart, God will fix it!

2. Be an independent woman, make your own money, I worked three jobs my whole life, so do better with the one that you have, and if your man can’t piss, tell him to get off the toilet. (This means if he is not helping you, then put his ass out!

3. Every woman must have a house of their own, because no two women can live together unless they like eating hamburgers!

4. Never let your right hand know what your hand is doing.

5. Do not hold people in your heart. If you holding on to hate in your heart for them, then don’t even go to Church because God is not hearing nothing you are saying and you stupid because you holding your own blessings up!

Well Grandma, I felt you on 1 through 4, but let’s keep it real; until I get em back, I continue to hold them in my heart…well what can I say; I’m a work in progress!

Ginger’s Thoughts – I love you with everything and I am so proud of you. You were born on a plantation. You dropped out of school fairly early and picked cotton and sugar canes to provide for your parents and siblings. You left your comfort zone to move to New Orleans for more opportunities for your generations and we are Beasts because of it. We ain’t scared of s@@t! You worked you butt off and now you are a home owner, driving around like an “OG!” You live what you preach and if I could become half of the woman you are, I will be grateful.

Check out you Happy Birthday Song..Yo Gabba Gabba, Yo Gabba Gabba..