Lately many on WordPress have taken to bashing Facebook. Of course it’s your choice whether to join or not join as the case may be however I have found Facebook to be helpful to me in certain cases.
My main purpose in using Facebook is connecting with friends, family, former and current co-workers. I have found school classmates from 45/50 years ago! Facebook is the easiest way to set up meetings, get-togethers, parties, etc….. There is no way in the world you can know everyone’s phone number or email nor do you have the time to make that many phone calls. Also it is a way to share important news via Facebook Messenger. That’s how I found out one of my former co-workers had died a few months ago. If another co-worker had not let us know on her page I would not have been able to attend the viewing/funeral. Despite it being a sad affair because the woman who died was only 54 I did get to see co-workers I had not seen in nearly 20 years. Basically you really only see people at weddings or funerals. Lately for me mostly the latter. Many of my friends have gotten married, moved outside or New York City or live too far away for immediate contact. Also my museum and my Union DC 37 has their own individual pages that distributes relevant news to Union Members. It is also a place to ask questions and voice concerns. Yes we do have union meetings but the museum has three separate locations and various shifts and those of us not in the Main Building cannot attend the Union Meetings.
Also you have a better chance of contacting me via Facebook rather than calling or emailing me. I work long strange hours however I check Facebook every day. I also check my email every day so either are good in my case.
In terms of business, marketing and promotional use I use Facebook now to showcase my photography blog Roaming Urban Gypsy.
One Mothers Day several years ago I posted my Maternal Grandmother Hattie Finney Banks photo on the Black Genealogy Page. Now this page is not just for African-Americans. Many whites go to the page in search of their Black ancestors. One such white lady saw my Grandmother’s photo and contacted me. She was actually searching for her Black son who had died but who had left behind a daughter. Her goal was to find family connections for the little girl.
This woman had information on my grandparents and Great-grandparents including death certificates and newspaper articles that I would have never found on my own. She still lives in the West Virginia town where most of my maternal family members including my mother were born. Turns out we were not related but we became friends and I’m always happy to hear from her on Facebook.
In May of 2015 the New York Times published an article about me and my brother Stephen. I posted the article on Facebook and it went Viral! My friends, family and co-workers share it on their pages and everywhere. The result: Jan. 2016 while at work I received a phone call from Gov. Cuomo’s office personally inviting me to a Paid Family Leave Rally in the city. Next year starting Jan. 2018 the state of New York will have Paid Family Leave for all it’s residents!! Booyah!! I’m not going to reprint all the past links but if you search between May 2015 and Jan. 2016 you’ll see all the work I put in along with my team to help achieve this goal.
Now if I had published the same New York Times article on WordPress which I did eventually I would not have gotten the same result mostly because most of my Subscribers/Followers on WordPress are from countries outside the U.S.A. and this news would not affect them or have any meaning. Even those U.S. Followers/Subscribers most of them are not from New York again my news would have not meaning so there would be no reason to share.
Also every last U.S. elected official has a Facebook page. This is how you contact them. That’s how I communicated with the representative for Stephen’s district. Many times this is easier than all the phone calls I’ve been making.
Facebook has many benefits if you use it in the right way. Activism and Advocacy takes place on Facebook. This is how Activists like myself find out at demonstrations, rallies, marches, etc… For those of you who are anti-Facebook we are not going back into time. Whether you are selling books, artwork, photography or establishing coalitions for positive change Facebook will continue to be a tool for effective communication.
Last but not Least you don’t have to Friend everyone who contacts you. Plus if the person becomes a problem just UnFriend or Block them! Don’t like the racism, discrimination in certain FB Groups. Leave! Problem solved. Folks the FB Genie has been out of the bottle for years and there is no going backwards in time.
When Frederick Douglass reached New York in 1838, after narrowly escaping the clutches of slavery, he wrote in a letter to a friend, “I felt as one might feel upon escape from a den of hungry lions.”
Today, an eight-foot bronze sculpture of Mr. Douglass stands on the northwest corner of Central Park, along a boulevard named after him.
Indeed, New York has long been a hub of black life in America, from the Harlem Renaissance to the elections of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Shirley Chisholm, and the city is rich with monuments, events and exhibits celebrating that history.
As Black History Month begins today, here are a few things worth exploring:
• At the Arsenal in Central Park, the Ebony Society presents an exhibition on the legacy of African-American public service.
As always, the Schomburg Center in Harlem has a large array of panels and lectures. This month’s selection includes discussions on teaching about slavery in New York, on the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat and on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Regardless of what you choose, kick off the month with “Harlem,” the poem by Langston Hughes, who was born on this day in 1902.
And be sure to explore a new compilation of unpublished photos of black history from the New York Times’s archives.
Abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass was born into slavery sometime around 1818 in Talbot County, Maryland. He became one of the most famous intellectuals of his time, advising presidents and lecturing to thousands on a range of causes, including women’s rights and Irish home rule. Among Douglass’s writings are several autobiographies eloquently describing his experiences in slavery and his life after the Civil War, including the well-known work Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. He died on February 20, 1895.
Life in Slavery
Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born into slavery in Talbot County, Maryland, around 1818. The exact year and date of Douglass’s birth are unknown, though later in life he chose to celebrate it on February 14. Douglass initially lived with his maternal grandmother, Betty Bailey. At a young age, Douglass was selected to live in the home of the plantation owners, one of whom may have been his father. His mother, an intermittent presence in his life, died when he was around 10.
Frederick Douglass was eventually sent to the Baltimore home of Hugh Auld. It was there that Douglass first acquired the skills that would vault him to national celebrity. Defying a ban on teaching slaves to read and write, Auld’s wife Sophia taught Douglass the alphabet when he was around 12. When Auld forbade his wife’s lessons, Douglass continued to learn from white children and others in the neighborhood.
It was through reading that Douglass’s ideological opposition to slavery began to take shape. He read newspapers avidly and sought out political writing and literature as much as possible. In later years, Douglass creditedThe Columbian Orator with clarifying and defining his views on human rights. Douglass shared his newfound knowledge with other enslaved people. Hired out to William Freeland, he taught other slaves on the plantation to read the New Testament at a weekly church service. Interest was so great that in any week, more than 40 slaves would attend lessons. Although Freeland did not interfere with the lessons, other local slave owners were less understanding. Armed with clubs and stones, they dispersed the congregation permanently.
With Douglass moving between the Aulds, he was later made to work for Edward Covey, who had a reputation as a “slave-breaker.” Covey’s constant abuse did nearly break the 16-year-old Douglass psychologically. Eventually, however, Douglass fought back, in a scene rendered powerfully in his first autobiography. After losing a physical confrontation with Douglass, Covey never beat him again.
Freedom and Abolitionism
Douglass tried to escape from slavery twice before he succeeded. He was assisted in his final attempt by Anna Murray, a free black woman in Baltimore with whom Douglass had fallen in love. On September 3, 1838, Douglass boarded a train to Havre de Grace, Maryland. Murray had provided him with some of her savings and a sailor’s uniform. He carried identification papers obtained from a free black seaman. Douglass made his way to the safe house of abolitionist David Ruggles in New York in less than 24 hours.
Once he had arrived, Douglass sent for Murray to meet him in New York. They married on September 15, 1838, adopting the married name of Johnson to disguise Douglass’s identity. Anna and Frederick settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts, which had a thriving free black community. There they adopted Douglass as their married name. Frederick Douglass joined a black church and regularly attended abolitionist meetings. He also subscribed toWilliam Lloyd Garrison‘s weekly journal The Liberator.
Eventually Douglass was asked to tell his story at abolitionist meetings, after which he became a regular anti-slavery lecturer. Garrison was impressed with Douglass’s strength and rhetorical skill, and wrote of him in The Liberator. Several days after the story ran, Douglass delivered his first speech at the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society’s annual convention in Nantucket. Crowds were not always hospitable to Douglass. While participating in an 1843 lecture tour through the Midwest, Douglass was chased and beaten by an angry mob before being rescued by a local Quaker family.
At the urging of Garrison, Douglass wrote and published his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, in 1845. The book was a best seller in the United States and was translated into several European languages. Although the work garnered Douglass many fans, some critics expressed doubt that a former slave with no formal education could have produced such elegant prose. Douglass published three versions of his autobiography during his lifetime, revising and expanding on his work each time. My Bondage and My Freedom appeared in 1855. In 1881, Douglass published Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, which he revised in 1892.
Following the publication of his autobiography, Douglass traveled overseas to evade recapture. He set sail for Liverpool on August 16, 1845, and eventually arrived in Ireland as the Potato Famine was beginning. He remained in Ireland and Britain for two years, speaking to large crowds on the evils of slavery. During this time, Douglass’s British supporters gathered funds to purchase his legal freedom. In 1847, the famed writer and orator returned to the United States a free man.
Upon his return, Douglass produced some abolitionist newspapers: The North Star, Frederick Douglass Weekly, Frederick Douglass’ Paper, Douglass’ Monthly and New National Era. The motto of The North Star was “Right is of no Sex – Truth is of no Color – God is the Father of us all, and we are all brethren.”
In addition to abolition, Douglass became an outspoken supporter of women’s rights. In 1848, he was the only African American to attend the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York. Elizabeth Cady Stanton asked the assembly to pass a resolution stating the goal of women’s suffrage. Many attendees opposed the idea. Douglass stood and spoke eloquently in favor, arguing that he could not accept the right to vote as a black man if women could not also claim that right. The resolution passed. Yet Douglass would later come into conflict with women’s rights activists for supporting the Fifteenth Amendment, which banned suffrage discrimination based on race while upholding sex-based restrictions.
Civil War and Reconstruction
By the time of the Civil War, Douglass was one of the most famous black men in the country. He used his status to influence the role of African Americans in the war and their status in the country. In 1863, Douglass conferred withPresident Abraham Lincoln regarding the treatment of black soldiers, and later with President Andrew Johnson on the subject of black suffrage.
President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which took effect on January 1, 1863, declared the freedom of all slaves in Confederate territory. Despite this victory, Douglass supported John C. Frémont over Lincoln in the 1864 election, citing his disappointment that Lincoln did not publicly endorse suffrage for black freedmen. Slavery everywhere in the United States was subsequently outlawed by the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
Douglass was appointed to several political positions following the war. He served as president of the Freedman’s Savings Bank and as chargé d’affaires for the Dominican Republic. After two years, he resigned from his ambassadorship over objections to the particulars of U.S. government policy. He was later appointed minister-resident and consul-general to the Republic of Haiti, a post he held between 1889 and 1891.
Douglass became the first African American nominated for vice president of the United States as Victoria Woodhull‘s running mate on the Equal Rights Party ticket in 1872. Nominated without his knowledge or consent, Douglass never campaigned. Nonetheless, his nomination marked the first time that an African American appeared on a presidential ballot.
In 1877, Douglass visited one of his former owners, Thomas Auld. Douglass had met with Auld’s daughter, Amanda Auld Sears, years before. The visit held personal significance for Douglass, although some criticized him for the reconciliation.
Family Life and Death
Frederick and Anna Douglass had five children: Rosetta, Lewis Henry, Frederick Jr., Charles Redmond and Annie, who died at the age of 10. Charles and Rosetta assisted their father in the production of his newspaperThe North Star. Anna remained a loyal supporter of Frederick’s public work, despite marital strife caused by his relationships with several other women.
After Anna’s death, Douglass married Helen Pitts, a white feminist from Honeoye, New York. Pitts was the daughter of Gideon Pitts Jr., an abolitionist colleague. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Pitts worked on a radical feminist publication and shared many of Douglass’s moral principles. Their marriage caused considerable controversy, since Pitts was white and nearly 20 years younger than Douglass. Douglass’s children were especially displeased with the relationship.
Douglass and Pitts remained married until his death 11 years later. On February 20, 1895, he attended a meeting of the National Council of Women in Washington, D.C. Shortly after returning home, Frederick Douglass died of a massive heart attack or stroke. He was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York.
Yesterday one of my former Followers/Subscribers decided to UnFollow/Unsubscribe because as she put it my blog had changed from one that was inspirational to one that she felt was filled with hate. You know it would be easy to ignore what is going on in the U.S.A. and just discuss flowers, (which I don’t grow), recipes (that I don’t cook) and fabulous trips that I don’t take. Now I have nothing against those people that do or who write about these things. That’s their world. My world changed as of 11/9/2016 and really began to go downhill as of Jan. 20, 2017. I cannot and will not ignore what is going on around me.
May she/he continue to live in their White-bread Newburbia world. I’m sure in much of Middle America, the Evangelical Bible Belt (and I cringe at their brand of Christianity) they have never seen, spoke to or broke bread with a Black, Arab, Iranian, Iraq, Muslim, Hispanic or Native American person and get all their information about us from Fox TV!!
Now considering what Trump is doing to destroy America how am I the one filled with hate?! So because I don’t support his racist, bigoted, fascist, anti-Muslim and ultimately anti-American agenda I’m the one in the wrong?! I think that person has their priorities mixed up. I really don’t give a rat’s ass about her opinion.
I’m old enough to remember the Civil Rights Movement. As a Black Woman when I go to work I experience racism, bigotry and discrimination almost constantly. Well less now that I work the evening/late shift. I’m always called into question because I am a Black Woman. That’s a fact. I am and can never be just an individual. I’m judged based on the color of my skin and my gender which I have discussed in previous posts so when Dhrump’s policy decision to block people in seven Muslim countries from traveling to the U.S., block them from immigrating here or seeking refuge that affects me. Whatever affects my Iranian friend and her family affects me. She has been more of a family to me than my own Christian relatives.
Because I work with the public and that public is mostly rich, wealthy well to do white people I hear insults, snide remarks and experience racism constantly. Only good thing is now that I work the late/night shift I don’t deal with the public as much but I still hear some pretty god awful racist bigoted and just plain stupid remarks that make me wonder if these people take stupid pills when they wake up in the morning or they were just born dumb and uneducated.
Even though I’m pretty used to hearing and seeing stupidity in action, sometimes it still boggles the mind when you people actually have the nerve to tell you that your/my blog is not living up to their expectations as though I’m writing this blog for them personally. That person’s opinion does not matter to me however the hell that my Iranian girlfriend is going through Yes That Matters to Me. What she suffers. I suffer. When she hurts. I hurt.
I will leave you with the words of Jesus (plus a few New York Times news articles at the bottom) and I want you all to think on Jesus words. In this scripture passage Jesus is speaking of his cousin John the Baptist. Both John the Baptist and Jesus had some rather harsh words for the false religious and government leaders of their day. Whether you are a believer or not. Please have an open mind and conduct your own personal studies on Jesus as Rebel and Revolutionary. As a Follower of Jesus I too am taking up the mantle against any kind of race or religious discrimination.
New International Version (NIV)
7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind?8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces.9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.10 This is the one about whom it is written:
“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’
New International Version (NIV)
25 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces.26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.27 This is the one about whom it is written:
“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’[a]
28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
29 (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John.30 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)
On Friday, a group of suburban synagogue members clustered at O’Hare International Airport, waiting to greet one of the last Syrian refugee families to be accepted in the United States, to give them the warmest possible welcome to a country that no longer wanted their kind.
In Washington, the presidential limousine was already speeding toward the Pentagon, where President Trump would sign a paper officially slamming the door shut on Syrian refugees. But here the volunteers had yellow roses, more warm coats than the newcomers would need and, a few miles away, an apartment ready with a doormat that said “welcome” in 17 languages.
Went for a Follow-up visit to my G.P. My doctor found my pulse and blood pressure to be normal. Gained some much needed weight. Received my Flu Shot. Made appointments with the ENT specialist and gastro specialist. Will see the ENT today to find out the cause of the clicking and popping noises in my right ear. As for the gastro he is booked until November. So must wait until then. All in all a good doctor visit. Doctor also says much of my joint pain will subside once I retire. Prolonged standing, in my case 8 to 12 hours a day is not good for anyone.
One thing I wanted to add especially for my new Followers/Subscribers is that I had a mini-stroke while at my job Nov. 2008. I was lucky in the sense that I had the stroke at work because I live alone and if I had the stroke at home I would have been dead. Unlucky in that job-related stress can either disable or kill you. Since 2008 I have had Retina Surgery and been rushed to the hospital several times for various ailments. So far 2016 has been a good year for me just because no hospital visits or stays. However I must admit to myself I am getting older and with age come health issues.
Group Home Update
I spoke with the director of my brother Stephen’s Residence yesterday. He will conduct an inventory of his clothing and email it to me. For those of you who wonder why I don’t go there in person the reason being that I can no longer drive. That stroke I previously mentioned took much of the vision in my left eye. Stephen’s residence is not accessible either by subway or bus. The nearest bus stop is probably a mile away from the Group Home. I do not have anyone to drive me nor do I have the money or funds to hire a taxi to take me there.
I notice from my last post about my troubles with the staff at Stephen’s group home that most of the comments were about what I should be doing. Who I should be calling, etc… Now if I could or had the power to do any of these things I would be doing them. I suppose those of you who commented meant well but put yourself in my place. I’m Alone. I have NO Support System. ALL my immediate family are DEAD!! There are no programs/services available to full-time working Siblings that could help me.
For those of you who commented Put yourself in my place. Imagine ALL your family were deceased and I mean ALL. On top of that imagine working a low-paying job where you are barely making ends meet and your employer frowned on family leave. It is very difficult or nearly impossible for me to get time off for either Stephen or myself. As much as I Love my brother there are things that I cannot do anymore. I need someone right here, right now, physically available who can help me. See below NY Times Article.
The New York Times did an article on my brother Stephen and me. Please take time to read this eye opening article of our lives. Thank you. http://nyti.ms/1BktTeP
Between 2008 and early 2014 I actually had to go to the local Food Pantries in my neighborhood in order to eat. I’ve had to apply for government assistance even though I work hours and hours of overtime just trying to meet my needs. In 2014 my finances got a little better for a very short period of time. I was able to eat better and actually buy some winter clothes that kept me warm. New York City has brutal winters. Finally this year I declared Bankruptcy. Yes my finances are that bad.
As for my join pain, gastro problems and arthritis I won’t go into the lurid, nasty disgusting details but I don’t have any more sick leave because I’m always sick. There are days when I can’t get out of bed or function. There is nobody for me to call on for help. All my vacations are Staycations because I can’t afford to go anywhere and the money I do have is spent on doctors and searching for ways to alleviate chronic pain. Plus I’m tired No Not Just tired but physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted.
Those of you who talk about my capabilities/abilities or whatever trust me I have none otherwise none of these bad things would be happening.
Of course many times when I really feel burdened I wish I had somebody to talk to but in reality that person does not exist. If they do exist please provide me with the money to get there.
My Life was not always this way. When I was younger I did not have these health problems. For my Blog Newcomers I served my country in the military, the United States Army from Nov. 1977 – Nov. 1981, Please Don’t Thank me. I cannot eat or pay my rent with Thanks. Instead encourage Uncle Sam to be a better Uncle and provide more and better services to Women Veterans. I went to college and graduated with honors.
My downfall came partly from the economic crash the United States experienced from the time I got laid off from my good job Dec. 2006 right before Christmas and the rest from the steady decline of my health even though I never smoked, never did drugs, rarely drank and always did some moderate exercise.
It’s always easy to say what a person under extreme stress should or should not be doing but Keep in Mind You Know Neither their Story or Their Song.
Sometimes bad luck is irreversible. Sadly in my case all the balls I’ve been trying to juggle have fallen on the floor and I can’t reach them. All I can do is stand in wonder looking at them lying there and continue to wonder how I got to this point in Life.
When was the last time a stranger did something particularly kind, generous, or selfless for you? Tell us what happened!
When the New York Times did an article on my brother Stephen who has Autism and me. We received an overwhelmingly positive response and several people actually sent donations to help us out. Some funds came via PayPal and some via the New York Times reporter who sent the check to my home. I was very touched and moved by their kindness. Lord knows I needed the money. Even though I work hours and hours of overtime living in an expensive city like New York can quickly and easily drain one’s finances. I’m still very grateful for all the monetary gifts. It has been a real struggle for me to make ends meet and do those little extras that my brother Stephen enjoys.
I also appreciate the opportunity to share my story with others who will spread the word and help get the Family Medical Leave Law changed to include siblings and be Paid time off. A couple of Saturdays ago I met with my Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and gave him a copy of the article. Exposure is the key to changing the laws to not only help me and Stephen but for all people with developmentally disabled siblings. Please support PAID Family Leave that includes siblings and if you are in New York city the Caregivers Bill currently before the City Council. Thank you and God Bless. http://nyti.ms/1BktTeP