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Category Archives: History

Freedom Friday: The Inauguration Edition aka National Day of Service


Hello Good People!

Happy New Year to each of you. ThatKellieGirl apologizes for being MIA, but I’ve been in #weddingworld! :-) Ever since January 1st, I have been in overdrive planning for my upcoming nuptials. I’ve had some challenges with vendors, deleting names off the guest list, and thinking about how much we are going to spend! But deep inside, I feel like everything is falling into place, and that it will be a life-changing event. And to see family and close friends step up to show their love and support has meant so much to me. Words can’t express the love and endearment I have for each of these folks. I am totally excited about this next phase in my life. :-)

So if you were like me, I was very disappointed about the Inauguration ticket snafu. I was ready to purchase my tickets on the designated release date. So I was dismayed that the tickets were released a day before. Even with an early release, I would purchased tickets if I wouldn’t have been on an airplane returning from Ohio!!! Then when I received an invitation to purchase parade tickets, originally sold for $25 now $250, that just added insult to injury. *smh* Even though ThatKellieGirl might not be at an official Inaugural Ball, there are still some great and affordable events in order to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama. So check out these events below.

And for those who want to dress-up, star gaze or ball out, check out these lists of Inaugural Balls here and here and here.

And remember, in honor of MLK Day, sign-up for the National Day of Service. There are service events all weekend.

Peace, Love & Blessings, ThatKellieGirl :-)

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Freedom Friday: It Takes a Village to Raise a Relationship Edition

Hello Good Folks!


Love is in the air for ThatKellieGirl.  I am happy to announce that my Honey proposed to me on Valentine’s Day!  I have been on cloud 9 ever since.  It was truly one of the happiest days in my life.  And what makes it even more special is the overwhelming response of love and support from family and friends.  I truly feel blessed. 

However, what is so interesting to me, is that as I make this transition to “become one” with the love of my life,  I find it even more important to have a stronger relationship with my family and friends.  I know a lot of people enter into a relationship with a “bonnie and clyde”  or “us against the world” type of mentality.  And  I guess that makes the relationship stronger.  However, I prefer to use love as the foundation of this marriage (and really ALL my relationships).  

 I also am  understanding the importance of  the village or  a support system.  Not only do you need a village to raise a child, but to raise a family.  I believe that marriages are at a dismal low because society celebrates the self, the ego more than the family.  The single person is supposedly happier than the married couple.  This might be true, but I tend to think it just depends on the person.   Yet, the barrage of messages and lack of examples makes it challenging to enter and maintain a relationship, let alone a marriage.  I believe a married person can be just as fulfilled as a single person.  The variable is the willingness of the person, single or married, to work at it.  

My village is  my family.  They  provide the most support to me.  And as I have matured, I find that a support system is more about learning and giving than receiving.  At times, we don’t nurture our relationships, and wonder why we have drifted from friends and family.  Or the relationship is one-sided.  We only reach out when we need something or to vent instead of consistently connecting to learn, love and encourage each other.  So as I move into marriage, I am humble because I have so much to learn and improve upon.  I can admit that I don’t know everything, but I do know that I want to be the best that I can be.   

So as I grow through his journey, I will be sharing my musings and experiences with you. I want to share and learn, so please comment. Let me know your thoughts or experiences about love, marriage or anything else in between.

In the meantime, enjoy the long weekend.

Peace and Blessings, ThatKellieGirl  

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Freedom Friday: The Red Tails Edition

Happy Friday Everyone!

If you are looking forward to catching Red Tails this weekend, I recommend buying your ticket last week! :-) It looks like theaters will be packed with enthusiastic movie-goers.  I am glad that this overlooked part of black history, American history is coming to the forefront again.  How many WWII films and documentaries were made with no mention of African-American soldiers and their accomplishments?    Some folks have pointed out that this isn’t the first time the history of The Tuskegee Airmen was turned into a movie.  And I think that’s great.  Our stories must be re-told consistently to ensure that we don’t forget our history.  I also hope we continue to stay enthusiastic about black history.  We have such a rich history that has never been fully told, and we shouldn’t wait until someone makes a movie to learn about it.  We can  read a book, an article or watch a documentary.  Or here’s a novel idea, talk to members of our family! :-)  More than likely, we have uncles, aunts, or older cousins who can talk to us about our history in a real way, not just to be entertained, then forget about it.  Movies are a very powerful and impactful platform, but that is just a starting point.  Let’s use this as an opportunity to connect and inspire one another to accomplish even greater things in the future.

 There are several “watch” parties for Red Tails this Saturday, here, here and here.

Peace and Blessings, ThatKellieGirl   

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FYI…Black In Latin America


If you get a chance, please check out Black in Latin America.  It is  a four-part series on the influence of African descent on Latin America produced by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. I have enjoyed and learned so much viewing this program.

Black In Latin America airs nationally Tuesdays April 19, 26 and May 3, 10, 2011 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).  You can also watch the full episodes on-line.  The segments examines how Africa and Europe came together to create the rich cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean.  The four parts focus on:

  • Haiti & the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided
  • Cuba: The Next Revolution In Cuba
  • Brazil: A Racial Paradise?
  • Mexico & Peru: A Hidden Race In Mexico and Peru  

Professor Gates discovers a shared legacy of colonialism and slavery, vivid stories and people marked by African roots. Latin America and the Caribbean have the largest concentration of people with African ancestry outside Africa — up to 70% of the population in some countries. The region imported over ten times as many slaves as the United States, and kept them in bondage far longer. On this series of journeys, Professor Gates celebrates the massive influence of millions of people of African descent on the history and culture of Latin America and the Caribbean, and considers why and how their contribution is often forgotten or ignored.

Black in Latin America is the third of a trilogy that began in 1999 with the broadcast of Professor Gates first series for public television, Wonders of the African World, an exploration of the relationship between Africa and the New World, a story he continued in 2004 with America Beyond the Color Line, a report on the lives of modern-day African-Americans.

Lastly, I want to give a shout out to my Honey’s family.  This morning, his sister and brother-in-law welcomed into the world a beautiful baby girl.  And Happy Birthday to Mama-Emeka  on tomorrow (4/28).  Peace and continued blessings to the family.

Happy Hump Day! :-)


Freedom Friday: Emancipation Day Edition

Celebrate our rich heritage, Celebrate Emancipation Day (Courtesy of

Hello Good People,

April showers bring May flowers!  Remember that? :-)

I hope everyone had a good week, and I know you are ready for the weekend.

In honor of the of the emancipation of slaves of African origin, Emancipation Day is tomorrow (4/16).  Check here and here for Emancipation Day events. Take this opportunity to pass on our rich history to young people.

Filmfest DC ends this weekend.  I checked out a movie last Sunday called Transfer.  I love sci-fi so I was quite excited to view this movie.  It was about  a rich old couple from Germany who decides to buy the bodies of two black Africans.  The German couple regain their youth while the Africans ensures that their families get money. However, four hours every night, the Africans regain control over their bodies.  After a while, the African hosts and the German guests begin to communicate with each other.  As the story progresses, the “Transfer” isn’t as simple as advertised.  Sci-fi Blogger, Martin Wikner  reviews Transfer as revealing “the relation between the rich and the poor in the world. In this movie we see how Europeans exploit Africans to the degree that “we” take over their bodies. This makes it sci-fi, but is a good metaphor for how we make others give up their life for our well-being, without really knowing or considering the costs. The African couple do sign their contracts by free will, but the question is how free the choice really is.”  A stand-out performance from actor BJ Britt.  

The Annual Servathon event sponsored by Greater DC Cares is tomorrow (4/16).  It is a great opportunity to give back to the community.  It’s not too late to sign up.

Enjoy your weekend!

Peace and Blessings. :-)

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White House Garden Tour

Hey Folks!

Check out my pics from the White House Garden Tour from yesterday.  It was a little nippy and cloudy outside, but we had a fantastic time on the grounds of the White House.  There was a military band playing (not sure which branch) and plenty of beautiful flowers and scenery. 

The White House Garden Tours have been a tradition since 1972 when Pat Nixon first opened the White House gardens to the public. Visitors are invited to view the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Children’s Garden and South Lawn of the White House.  A new addition to the tour was First Lady Obama’s Kitchen Garden.   The garden was named in honor of Thomas Jefferson.  The vegetables were grown from heirloom seeds used by Jefferson at his estate,  Monticello.  I was quite impressed.  You might see ThatKellieGirl in some overalls in the future. :-)


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Freedom Friday: The Global Citizen Edition

Hello Good People!

UPDATE:  I am glad to hear that Beyonce donated the payment to perform for the Gadhafi family to Haiti relief efforts last year.  I hope the other artists will follow her lead.  Here and here.  Now she needs to do something about those pictures.

So I know you have heard about Beyonce in black face in honor of Fela Kuti and her African roots in a Paris fashion magazine. *smh*  It also has come out that Beyonce was paid by the Gadhafi family for private performances.  I believe that these incidents are indications of a lack understanding/ knowledge of our history.

As the adage says, if you don’t know your history, you are doomed to repeat it.  This is why we still see blackface images in the 21st century.  The Boo, who is African, felt that the image perpetuates the stereotype that all Africans are dark skinned.  She could have well-represented her African roots in her own skin color.  I believe the best thing she could do to honor Fela Kuti and her African heritage is to learn about the topics.  Pick up a book or even watch a documentary.  Or at least have an assistant do the research and give you a debrief. SHEESH!  Is it art? Is it offensive? Depending on who you ask, it is one or the other.   I just feel this could have been a great opportunity to bridge and represent the African diaspora in a more powerful and positive way to the world.  Beyonce should have declined the black face.

Now I was taken aback about her performance for Gadhafi’s son.  It is well documented that Gadhafi and his family flaunt their wealth while ruling Libya under a dictatorship.   Now, I will give Beyonce some credit.  Maybe she performed when Libya’s good standing was restored under President Bush, and then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice became the first Secretary of State to visited Libya since 1953.  And there are others who have applauded Gadhafi as a African leader who promotes pan-Africanism.  So as you see, this isn’t a black or white situation, which is why I believe Beyonce was just ill-advised.

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Freedom Friday: The Legacy Edition

Courtesy of MNSU

Hello Good Folks!

Happy Black History Month!

As a child, I loved black history month.  I loved the talent shows, the “I Have a Dream” oratorical competitions, the black history month choirs and the dance recitals.  I loved singing the national black anthem,  hearing Sounds of Blackness sing “As long as you keep your head to the sky, you can win, be OPTIMISTIC!”, and  Denise Williams singing “Black Butterfly“.  I love all the pageantry that came with black history month.

Growing up, these activities occurred either at church or in an academic setting.  So as I have gotten older, I have to make a conscious effort to be a part of the celebration.  We easily get caught up in the daily routine or feel like we already know our history.  However, what we know is usually just the basics.   I encourage everyone to participate in a black history celebration because it offers a renewed sense of pride and thanksgiving of our culture.  It is inspiring and makes you appreciative of those who sacrificed so much for future generations.  As well as knowing your cultural history, learn and celebrate your family history.  It is important to know where you came from to understand who you are.  You might learn that the entrepreneurial spirit runs in your family, or becoming aware of some chains or cycles that need to be broken.  Either way, you are building a  legacy.  It is up to you to determine what that life legacy will look like.

Here is a list of some of the black history month programs occurring in the District.

Peace and blessings!

The National Geographic Museum presents “America I Am: The African American Imprint,” a touring exhibition celebrating more than 500 years of African-American contributions to the United States. The exhibit presents pivotal moments in courage, conviction and creativity through 200 rare historic objects, documents, photographs, and multimedia.

Feb. 2 – May 1, 2011

National Geographic Museum

17th and M Sts. NW


Cheeky Sasso Entertainment Presents: Park Unplugged with Special Live Performance By Bilal.  If you are up for the crowd, it’s a great way to see some of your fav singers for free. Complimentary Admission until 10PM with rsvp to

Friday February 4

The Park

920 14th St. NW

3rd Floor opens at 7PM


One of the best poets I have seen, Messiah will be hosting “Messiah & Friends”.  Check it out!

Friday, February 4

Cre8 Art Gallery

1314 9th St NW



Klimaxx Ent. & East Coast Caribbean Events Present…Caribbean 1st Fridays / Fresh Fete

Friday, February 4


2001 11th St NW


Free before midnight


Soul maven Patti LaBelle’s strong vocals and pop, R&B and gospel renditions have earned her two Grammys and numerous chart-topping hits like “Lady Marmalade,” “New Attitude” and “ If You Asked Me To.”

Saturday, February 5


5301 Tuckerman Lane Bethesda, MD 20852


Get tickets here.


ESL & Lil SoSo Productions Present: The Sol Power-All Stars.  After an extra month off due to the new year, their residency continues. From here on out, Sol Power will be there the first Saturdays every OTHER month.

Saturday, February 5


1212 18th St NW

5 bucks before 11PM, 10 bucks after


This Saturday, Adrian Loving and Jonah Brotman will be in the house. In The Cut offers something for everyone. We have taken over the entire second floor so we have space for you and your friends. This is the alternative, local legends, no out of town big names, no big lines, no hassles or egos, just great house music and great DJs.

Saturday, February 5

Mie N Yu

3125 M Street, NW



Rescheduled due to the inclement weather on 1/26, Questlove will be deejaying on Sunday while you catch the game.

Sunday, February 6


2001 11th St NW



Join I&I Productions on Sunday, February 6 for an all day Bob Marley’s Birthday Celebration (born Feb 6 1945) & Super Bowl XLV Watch party called TRENCHTOWN ROCK. It will start with a Jamaican Style Brunch, then a viewing of Rebel Music: the Bob Marley Story, then ending with the Super Bowl.

Sunday, February 6

Ras Lounge

4809 Georgia Ave. NW



Enjoy the weekend!  Go BLACK & GOLD! :-)

Freedom Friday: The MJJ Tribute Edition


ThatKellieGirl (second place in HHTN), Sasha Ryan (founder & hostess of HHTN) and Killa Cameron (first place in HHTN


Hey My People!

I want to give big-ups to the founder and host of Hip Hop Trivia Night, Sasha Ryan!  Yesterday was the one year anniversary of HHTN.  Everyone in the room had an opportunity to battle and show their Hip Hop knowledge.  Wouldn’t you know yours truly, ThatKellieGirl came in second place!  If ya’ll didn’t know, ya’ll better find out! :-)  Remember HHTN every 4th Thursday at Queen Makeda’s (1917 9th Street NW).

This is going to be a spectacular weekend!  I mean there is something going on for everyone AND their mama. :-)  So I am not even going to delay you.  Let’s go!


To be quite honest with you, all you need to know is that there will be celebrations all over the world for one of the greatest artists of our time, MJJ.  U Street Music Hall is kicking it off with a happy hour.  Presented by TGRI Online,  Harry Hotter, James Nasty and Andrew Jaye will be on deck.

Friday, August 27

U Street Music Hall

1115 U Street, N.W.

5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Free/ 21+


Tonight the official MJJ Tribute Party will be at the 9:30 Club.  DJ Dredd presents  DC’s biggest Michael Jackson Birthday Celebration featuring all the music & video by MJJ & the Jackson Family. 

Friday August 27
9:30 Club
815 V St. NW
9:00 pm – 3:00 am
All Ages
Get tickets here.


Forty-seven years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his I Have a Dream speech at the March on Washington.  In honor of this historic event, participate in the “Reclaim the Dream Rally & March.”  Speakers include:
Reverend Al Sharpton , Martin Luther King III , Marc H. Morial, Tom Joyner  and Melanie Campbell.  Co-Conveners are Harry Thomas, Jr. (DC Ward 5 Councilmember) and Reverend Willie F. Wilson, Pastor, Union Temple Baptist Church.

The Thursday Network is looking for volunteers to help out with this event.  If you are interested, please meet Thursday Network members in front of Dunbar High School at 10:00am. Look for the Thursday Network Banner.

Saturday, August 28

Dunbar Senior High School

1301 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.

11:00 AM Rally at Dunbar High School

1:00 PM March to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial

Click here for more information.


The National Park Service and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) are teaming up again to host the second annual Feet in the Street celebration in Fort Dupont Park.  Feet in the Street promotes physical activity, sustainable transportation choices, and community spirit.  

Residents and visitors are invited to come put their Feet in the Street and run, walk, bike, skate, and play along this 1.6 mile long corridor.  There will also be organized activities and programs including a 5k Walk/Run to kickoff the event, guided nature hikes, rock climbing wall, garden tours and vegetable gleaning, healthy cooking demonstrations and more!

Saturday, August 28

Fort DuPont Park

3825 Alabama Avenue SE

9am -3pm

For the full schedule, click here.


Head  to Columbia Heights Day to see what is new in that area of the city.  The goal of the event is to highlight Columbia Heights businesses, to provide information from community organizations, and to promote the values, character and history of Columbia Heights.  Check it out!  

Saturday, August 28

Columbia Heights Day

Harriet Tubman Elementary Field

11th and Kenyon Streets NW

10AM to 5:45PM

Click here for the full schedule.


In conjunction with Columbia Heights Day, the DC State Fair is this Saturday.  Come celebrate (and TASTE!) the home-grown talents of the District.

Saturday, August 28

Harriet Tubman Elementary Field

11th and Irving Streets N.W.


Click here for a full schedule.


For the grown and sexy crowd, Cheeky Sasso Entertainment, Dunlap & Rich, Cydni Bickerstaff Events, and Akil Waite Events are hosting The Summer Groove Mid-Day Soiree: Michael Jackson B-day Tribute. Complimentary Open Bar Sponsored by Belvedere from 4PM to 5PM.

Saturday, August 28

Muse Lounge

717 6th St. NW


Complimentary admission with rsvp and arrival before 4PM.  RSVP at


Another legend is celebrating their birthday this weekend, The Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown. Go show him some DC love!

Saturday August 28
9:30 Club
815 V St. NW
9:30 pm – 1:30 am
$25/ 21+
Click here for tickets.
Have fun out there and be safe!  Smooches. :-)

Rest In Peace

The world has lost two legends today….Dr. Dorothy Height and GURU.

We might the know the names, but not the story and the struggle.  Learn your history.

Dr. Dorothy Heights, the legendary civil and women’s rights activist died early today, April 20th, at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. She was 98.   Height, who spent her life championing equal rights causes, consulted with presidents from Eisenhower to Obama and was an inspiration to many women.

Dorothy Irene Height was born in Richmond, Va., on March 24, 1912, and grew up in Rankin, Pa. In high school, she won a scholarship to Barnard College after winning a national oratorical contest. But she arrived after Barnard had already admitted the two blacks it accepted per year at the time. Instead, Height earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at New York University in four years and did postgraduate studies in social work. By 1933, Height was working against lynching and for reforms in the nation’s criminal justice system and for free access to public accommodations.

Height, who was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004, is perhaps best known for her work with the National Council of Negro Women. In 1957, Height was named president of the National Council of Negro Women, a position she held until 1997.  Height was president emerita of the NCNW. The group’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., stands steps from where slaves were once traded in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol.

In 1937, Height was working with the YWCA in Harlem and was assigned to escort Eleanor Roosevelt into one of the Negro women’s group meetings. NCNW founder Mary McLeod Bethune noticed Height and asked the young woman to join the organization’s quest for women’s rights for full, equal employment, pay and education. In addition to her 33 years on the national board of the YWCA and her nearly 40 years with the NCNW, Height also served as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. from 1947 to 1957.

In 1963, Height was the only woman on the speaker’s platform when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. But she wasn’t on the program for the March on Washington even though she was the nucleus of the meetings held by the mostly male civil rights leaders who planned it.

The tiny woman was known for her impeccable attire — and her stylish, striking hats.  The musical stageplay If This Hat Could Talk, based on her memoirs Open Wide The Freedom Gates, debuted in the middle of 2005. It showcases her unique perspective on the civil rights movement and details many of the behind-the-scenes figures/mentors who shaped her life, including Mary McLeod Bethune and Eleanor Roosevelt.  She attended the National Black Family Reunion, celebrated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., every year.

Keith Elam a.k.a Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal a.k.a God is Universal a.k.a. Guru was born on July 17, 1966, near Boston.  Guru rose to fame in the late 1980s as part of the duo Gang Starr with partner DJ Premier.  

Their 1998 album Moment of Truth was among their most critically lauded collections and Gang Starr’s biggest-selling project to date. Gang Starr’s last group project, The Ownerz, was released in 2003.

Guru found solo fame in 1993 when he released the first volume of his Jazzmatazz series, an all-star project that featured a number of collaborations with jazz icons such as Branford Marsalis, Donald Byrd, Roy Ayers and Ronny Jordan, as well as vocals from French producer Solaar and N’Dea Davenport of the Brand New Heavies. The album’s mixture of jazz and rap was considered pioneering at the time, and the record spawned the hit “Trust Me.” Guru would go on to make four volumes in the series.

On February 28 2010 Guru suffered a cardiac arrest and, following surgery, days later fell into a coma.  He woke from the coma but died on April 19, 2010 after a long battle with cancer. RIP


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