LIVING FOR THE WEEKEND

by: Valerie Fraling Special to the AFRO
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“He brought the country back from the brink of financial disaster after big banks caused the economy to collapse. He saved over a million jobs by bailing out the American auto industry. He gave healthcare to over 30 million Americans with the Affordable Care Act. He ended the war in Iraq and ordered the raid that killed terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden. In his second term, he fought to make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. He issued wide ranging executive actions on climate change, immigration and initiating sanctions against Russia for the atrocities in the Ukraine. So if you want to know what a president does…that’s what a president does!”-Whoopi Goldberg (honoring President Barack Obama for Black History Month.)

February is the designated month to celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans but we who know, celebrate Black history daily every time we plug in an iron, ride an elevator, navigate the traffic in Washington DC., eat a peanut, get a blood transfusion or have a shoe repaired and the list continues. Our Black history is rich in cultures including the Arts, Theater, and Music. So the next time you are at a red light, eating a bag of potato chips, ironing a shirt, read a classic by Richard Wright, hear Paul Robeson’s voice, or watch a play by Lorraine Hansberry or August Wilson,  remember you are celebrating Black history because an African-American created it and made it possible. We all are living history and we are history makers.

“I wish I knew how it feel to be free.”-Nina Simone

Did you know that Ethel Waters, Hattie McDaniel and Louise Beavers all played Beulah in the 1950’s debut of this TV show and were the first African- American women to star in a TV show as the main character.

Did you know Robert Johnson was called the father of the Mississippi Delta Blues? Legend has it that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil one midnight hour at the crossroad of 61st and the 49th in Clarksdale Mississippi after years of trying to learn how to be the best guitar player.

Coppin State University’s Homecoming 2017 was a huge success with different events to highlight the homecoming season. Among the activities were “Paint and Sip”, a red themed happy hour, green themed dinner dance and a jazz brunch featuring Isaac Parham.

The celebration continued with Coppin State University’s homecoming win over Bethune –Cookman in a close basketball game. The crowd of alumnus and friends remained on their feet until the final buzzer with Coppin winning by one point. The homecoming game win was a perfect ending to the weeklong activities that greeted students, friends and alumni with the theme from “The Wiz” “There’s no place like home.”

Baltimore County Urban League hosted their first Black and White Ball at Martin’s West with more than 250 people in attendance including Howard Henderson Urban League Director. Guests were enjoying and dancing to the music of Reminisce, a band featuring John Lamkins and Craig Alston. Our beautiful host Stacia Mobley gave each guest a thank you note with a power ball ticket making us hopeful winners. Guests sparkling in the night were Howard Eady, Cheryl Crawford, Sheryl Deer, Jerry Maddox, Odyssey and Myra White-gray, Debbie Allen, Senator Michael Bowen Mitchell, Alicia Jackson, Marc Boles, Dennis and Bernie Christmas, Mike and Debbie Daniels, Octavia Smith and Wendell and Andrea Billips.

Friends gathered at the newest restaurant Citron located in Quarry Lake to celebrate the birthday of my niece Sarita Murray Oak. From the valet parking to the décor one of Baltimore’s premier restaurants, Citron has several dining areas for large or small parties, including a heated deck that the owner graciously arranged for us as the party grew with well-wishers stopping past to wish Sarita a happy birthday. It was great seeing Rorye and Dominic Jordan enjoying a night out from their children’s busy schedule. Other folks stepping out on a Saturday night were Mildred Harper, Zerita Ross, Stephanie and Reggie Farmer, Kay B and George Ray, Donnell Moses, Lamont Doobie, Kim Smalls, Dawn Milner and Marcy Crump.

Happy birthday Jean Dennis, Marty Glaze, Lamont Doobie, Rosalind Anthony, Katie Lou Burrell, Dr. Heyward Burrell, Captain Gerald Brown, John Gilliam, Jai Matthews, Gabrielle Gilliam,Councilwoman Paula Johnson Branch, Sheryl Hamlett, Wayne Pulliam, Vernal Pulliam, Warren Pulliam, Marsha Reeves- Jews, Myrtle Britton and my youngest son, Michael Gregory Lee. A special 93rd birthday to Bernice Smith White, a history maker at the Social Security Administration who was the first African American woman policy maker.

A special thanks to Stephen and Kathleen Levinson for being such gracious hosts at their breathtaking Homeland home when my friend Ora Reed and her friend Atsuko Masutani from Japan were in town. Some of Ora’s Baltimore friends stopped by to visit. Among the guests enjoying a delightful Sunday afternoon were Barbara and Dwight Pettit, Marty Bass, Brenda Williams and Senator Michael Bowen Mitchell. Present in spirit was the Godfather of us all, James Biddy Wood, who was the connecting link in this dynamic friendship. Ora has entertained and lived all over the world, including Dubai and Japan, but still shares her love of Baltimore.

Good news: Robert “Bobby” Chambliss is recuperating at Future Care Courtland, 7920 Scotts Level Road.

“I’ve got an odometer on my voice that has out-odometered an odometer on an automobile.”-Al Jarreau. Rest peacefully Al and Professor Irwin Corey.

Remembering a sweet spirit, Viola Jordan, one of the neighborhood moms when we were growing up on Lyndhurst Street. Prayers to her children Sandra and Dr.Charles Coger, Annie Sinclair, Diane and Ivan Bell and Lozell Gibson.

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