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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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