“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or, fester like a sore, and then run? Does it stink like rotten meat/ Or, crust and sugar over like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?” Langston Hughes

During Black History Month, we recognize local citizens whose dreams were not deferred. They are “just ordinary people” like you and me; people who make a difference in our lives.  They are not headline makers but they do headline worthy news. Our silent newsmakers like Terrell Boston Smith, Kevin Brown, Dante and Candes Daniels, Anthony Leonard, Sarita Murray, Ann Winder, Donel Warfield, Steve Wise, Claudia McKee, Pless Jones, Marty Glaze, Kevin Johnson, Gloria “Tuttie” Bogans,The Arch Social Club, Ray Davis, Kim Butler Bennett, Bishop Josephine and Thomas Ridgley, Pastor Harrison Johnson, Pastor Joan Wharton, Pastor Ruth Travis, Jacqueline Richardson, Glenn Smith, Michele Emery, Dr. Marie Washington, Catalina Byrd, Darryl Strange, Cori Ramos, Shelonda Stokes, Bernice McDaniels, The Divine 9, Tina Jolivet, Ericka Alston-Buck, Devin Allen, Janora Winkler, Vernon Simms, Amy Sherald, Jerome Stephens, Michelle Brown, Lenny Clay, Sam Cassel, Linda Morris, Kevin Shird, Myra Owens Queen, Dana Moore Peterson, Takiea Hinton, Diane Hocker, Sonje DeCaires, Betty Hines, Donel Moses, George Ray, Marshall Glaze, Zach McDaniels, Kamau High, Randy Dennis, DJ Mike Jones, DJ Tanz, Ted Coates, Scott Phillips, Ralph Moore, Nikita Haysbert and Mike Taylor

“Just ordinary people God uses ordinary people. He chooses people just like me and you who are willing to do as He commands” Mom Winans

You ask who these people are; I have never seen their names in the news or on a marquee. They are African Americans who have made a difference in Baltimore; they are writers, restaurant owners, tailors, salon owners, contractors, club owners, authors, artists, barbers, pastors, builders of churches and casinos, political representatives, bank managers, media personnell,entertainers, event planners and community leaders. Just ordinary people, Black History makers making a difference.

“Guess who I saw today” Nancy Wilson

Great seeing Baltimore City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young and his lovely wife Darlene dining at Baltimore’s hottest restaurant Gordon Ramsey’s Steakhouse, celebrating Darlene’s birthday. Gordon Ramsey brings a unique dining experience; serving dishes like foie gras, butter poached lobster, smoked steak tartare and countless cuts of premium steaks, including Fred Flintstones’ favorite cut brought tableside so you can make your selection.

“Are you being served?”

Always a pleasure having my favorite waiter Corey serving us. He makes dining a pleasure describing each dish, adding a touch of humor. Speaking of great service, next time you go to Pappas in Cockeysville for a superb crab cake, ask Jessica to serve you. Like Corey, their personalities make dining a pleasure.

“I found love in you and I’ve learned to love me too. Never have I felt that I could be all that you see it’s like our hearts have intertwined and to the perfect harmony. This is why I love you ooh because you love me. I found love in you and no other love will do. Every moment that you smile chases all of the pain away. Forever and a while in my heart is where you’ll stay.” Major Harris

Wishing a Happy 61st anniversary to Mary and Lester Buster, who must have married in elementary school. Love agrees with you two lovebirds.

“Some enchanted Evening” Pennsylvania avenue was reminiscent of the old days with entertainment and dinner oh what a night.” Special thanks to Janora (Lady J) Winkler and Sozufe Nnamdi, president of the Arch Social Club for bringing live music back to the avenue. Do you remember the shows at the Royal Theater when the entertainers were dressed to the nines and giving you their best performance? Dare 2 Dream Productions brought the Royal Theater back to the avenue in their Sophisticated Soul production. The Historic Arch Social Club was transformed into the famed New York Cotton Club with red and white tablecloths, covered seats and tall vases with feathers and sparkles to the delight of the standing room only crowd.  Guests enjoyed outstanding performances by A.J. Miles, Lenny Miles, Roland, Luke, Billy and Guy Goodwin and a special guest appearance by Keith Matthews.  Each performer received a rousing standing ovation as they performed old standards by Sinatra, The Temptations, Arthur Prysock, Smokey Robinson and more

“When you been blessed it’s like Heaven” My dear friend renowned chef/ owner of SNAC by Nancy and Station North Art Gallery called and said he would be cooking dinner for me in my home. Kevin arrived with sous chef Marsha Jews and bartender Catalina Byrd (their new titles) with a rack of lamb that he instantly carved into chops, fresh salmon, red potatoes, berry salad and assorted cakes and his famous Natty Bo, two for him and one for me.

“We are family” We laughed and solved the city’s problems as Kevin skillfully prepared dinner from scratch. It was just what the doctor ordered and just like magic, he cleaned up and left and had it not been for the leftovers I would have thought I was dreaming.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Congratulations to the Dr. Toni Draper and the new leaders of the 125-year-old AFRO American newspaper.  Wishing God’s speed to Jake Oliver as he starts the next venture in his life. Thanks Jake for believing in Living for the Weekend as it celebrates its 10th anniversary next month. “Never could have made it without you.”

Wishing a happy birthday to my BFF former Councilwoman Paula Johnson Branch, my youngest son Michael Gregory Lee, John Gilliam, Gabrielle Gilliam, Jean Dennis, Mickey Shields, Marsha Jews and Jai Matthew.

I’ll be seeing you!