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United It IS Our Legacy

     I’d like to invite you to share my dream.  I call it U.F.F.O.(United Family Foundations Organization). Opening eyes to the damages of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.  With a more in-depth look into P.T.S.D..  Did you know that war is not the only cause?  For many years we have looked the other way, so to speak, leaving those whom have already been victimized, to yet again feel like a victim.   It is time that this form of neglect comes to an end.  I had no idea exactly how many children were subjected to such unbelievable things.

I am aware that this is a very controversial subject, and that some people may or may not be prepared or willing to openly address it.

   People in today’s society are too concerned with their reputation or public image, that they have neglected the very foundation upon which a family and our nation has been built upon.  It is extremely rare to find anyone whom believes in core values, and whom give love to family, let alone to people they don’t know. I am one of those people that continues to give, even when I get nothing in return.  I have continually been looked down on, viewed as the black sheep, and haven’t been given the time of day.  I was raised Christian, as of late, I can’t say that I claim a specific religion or political group. I do not go to church regularly but I do pray every day, and live my life accordingly. I am human, I do make mistakes, and I do believe in GOD.

   It is not my place to judge anyone else, nor do I condone certain things.  In the end, all I truly want, is to know that I did everything I could do to raise my children right. By right, what I mean is that they know love, respect, honor, responsibility, loyalty, humility, and empathy, as well and being able to reciprocate it back.  

     Standing here today I know 100% that a lot of my friends and family know what I am talking about.  I am aware that some will follow,  while others will deny the truth, or reject its validity. So whether or not I’m ready has never been the question for me.  The question has always been will you stand up for the children?  My answer absolutely positively 100% I will.

                                        Are You With Me?
What is P.T.S.D.?

United Family Foundations

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Featured

Aretha Franklin “The Queen Of Soul”

Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942 in Memphis Tennessee to Barbara (Siggers) Franklin and Reverend C.L. (Clarence L Vaughn). She began her singing career at a very young age, singing gospel with the choir at New Bethel Baptist Church, where her father was the minister.  Franklin was always a pretty reserved and private person.  Often times her interview responses were short and to the point.

Aretha Franklin was a self-taught pianist, learning to play without ever having learned to read sheet music.  In addition to her voice being sultry,and soothing, she also had a four octave vocal range.  At the age of 18 years old, Aretha began emerging on the big stage when she signed on with Columbia Records.  Though her major successes were not until she’d signed with Atlantic Records in 1966.  Songs like “Respect”, “A Natural Woman”, and “I Never Loved A Man” catapulted her career and brought her voice into many homes across the United States,  and World Wide.  By the end of he 1960’s Aretha had earned the title “The Queen Of Soul”.

Between 1968-1975 Aretha Franklin won 18 Grammy’s, 8 of which were awarded for Best Female R & B Vocal Performances.  She’d earned the top spot as most charted female artist in history.  Aretha has sold over 75 million records world-wide.  She was given a Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 1978.  In 1987 she became the first female singer to be induced into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone’s ranked Aretha number one greatest singer of all time.  Aretha has performed at three separate presidential inaugurations, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

(Click link below for full list of awards)

On August 16, 2018 at 9:50 am, Aretha Louise Franklin passed away at her home in Detroit at the age of 76.  Franklin’s oncologist Dr. Phillip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit confirmed that the “official cause of death”  was due to advanced pancreatic cancer.

Aretha Franklin has played a huge role in the lives of many people around the world.  Though she will be greatly missed, her soul shall live on in our hearts forever through her music.

Continue reading “Aretha Franklin “The Queen Of Soul””

Inspiration

                                     
From within the depths that is one’s soul
       That blinding light radiating from the very center of one’s being
That small raw nerve, exposed only at the core of one’s being
        The innermost prized, yet most commonly hidden purity within one’s self
The most incredible, awe inspiring, untouched beauty locked within
        The softest, most tender of anything that could ever be broken
Even then, the strongest most courageous piece of thine own self
        The one thing that is most certain, & the only thing absolutely undefined
One’s body, a seemingly shallow exterior, is the only thing binding us to this mortal world
        At first glance, just another body, yet another placard taking up space
Gander just a bit longer, & just maybe one becomes a moment in indefinite time
       Still, gaze yet a little deeper & find that the binding begins to unravel
What once had seemed so simple, has’t now evolved into the most intricate of art
       It is the sanctity & the freedom that one’s soul so desperately seeks
However, it is only you that can find it, yet it’ll take a single kindred spirit to ignite your desire
        It is that desire alone anyone could ever need to find their own purest inspiration
Inspiration is the very core element that drives one to become anything they can imagine
        You’ve heard it said that u can do anything that you set your mind to do
Well, then shall I dare ask you where your mind might be found
         An open mind is a happy soul, is a kindred spirit, is love and life
It’s not really about one’s mind, rather one’s heart, & where one wears it, on thy sleeve, or deep within
        If the eyes are the doorway to one’s soul, then wouldn’t the ears be the windows?
      I’d imagine thy eagle is that which inspires
Inspiring one’s self to become whom you truly are deep within thine own self
       One might just call me a dreamer, I’d concur, and I tell you once you’ve awoken
You too may find, anything is possible & that such a thing as impossible does not exist
                                      How high will you you let your eagle soar?
                              Will it ever land?     Better yet I ask you will it ever
                                    leave thy nest and set out to soar?

A Friends Point of View

Stories told, and as they unfold
You try to find the truth behind the lies
The beginning always brings you to the end
And the end always puts you at the beginning
Where to draw the line
Between your space and mine
Trust, is it too much
Or never quite enough
How do you put a limit
On the heart and it’s faith
How do you sow a seed
When it’s already been sown
How do you teach a heart to love
When it has never been touched
How do you teach a mind, to forget
When all it wants to do, is remember
How do you teach a soul to be happy
When all it’s ever known,is sorrow
And how do you teach a life, to go on

When all it wants is, to die!

DITCH EM

Are you ready?

Here we go,

It’s show time

It’s my turn to shine

With you by my side

I know I’ll do just fine

It’s all for you

For our truth

For your smile

For our past… Our Present…. & Our future

Nurturing my own wounds,myself this time

Where before you’d been my main focus

Now you turn your focus

to let me shine

I raise my glass…

A toast to the best of the west coast!!!

You’re damn right I got a right to boast.

You see this smile upon my face

I’m right in my place

Fat chance, you wanna race???

Bet you… I’ll win

Come on now move em out…

Let us do this one last time

I know you won’t mind

Being two steps behind

Oh don’t it just tickle…

those forgotten fragments of time

Emerging fresh in my mind

& yes we love it

Nothing ever gonna rise above it….

Tupac The Legend

https://abc7.com/video/embed/?pid=4237847
Video credit ABC 7

Tupac Amaru Shakur, born Lashane Parish Crooks on June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996. The following year, he was renamed after Túpac Amaru II, the 18th-century Peruvian revolutionary who was executed after leading an indigenous uprising against Spanish rule. {Wikipedia} Born in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, but later relocated to Los Angeles. Both of his parents Afeni Shakur, and Billy Garland were well-known active members of the Black Panther Party in New York during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Afeni Shakur was acquitted of nearly 150 charges of conspiracy one month before Tupac’s birth.

Shakur and his family moved from Baltimore to Marin City California, just north of San Francisco, in 1988. Where Tupac contributed to Tamalpais High School’s Drama Dept. by performing several productions. This is also where he’d written a paper called “Conquering All Obstacles”. Below is an excerpt from the paper:

our raps, not the sorry story raps everyone is so tired of. They are about what happens in the real world. Our goal is [to] have people relate to our raps, making it easier to see what really is happening out there. Even more important, what we may do to better our world. {Wikipedia}

Known for his major role in introducing social issues into what was then known as gangster rap. Well known by both of his stage names as 2Pac and Makaveli. Considered by a multitude of the rap community as one of the best rappers of all time, if not the best. As the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry grew, Shakur became well immersed in the battles. The majority of Shakur’s works have been noted for addressing social issues plaguing inner cities and lower class communities.

In Las Vegas Nevada, on September 7, 1996 Tupac was shot four times by an unknown gunman in a drive by shooting. Six days later Tupac passed on, leaving a legacy and a movement in his wake. The gunman, to this day, has not been captured.

At 11:00–11:05 p.m. (PDT), they were halted on Las Vegas Boulevard by Metro bicycle police for playing the car stereo too loudly and not having license plates. These were found in the trunk of Knight’s car and the party was released without being ticketed. At 11:15 p.m. (PDT), when they were at a stop light, a white, four-door, late-model Cadillac with unknown occupants pulled up to the right side of Shakur’s sedan. Someone inside rapidly fired gunshots at Shakur. He was hit four times, twice in the chest, once in the arm, and once in the thigh. One of the bullets went into Shakur’s right lung. Knight was hit in the head by fragmentation. Shakur’s bodyguard, Frank Alexander, was not in the vehicle; he said that Shakur had asked him to drive the car of Shakur’s girlfriend, Kidada Jones. After arriving at the scene, police and paramedics took Knight and the wounded Shakur to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. {Wikipedia}

In 1997 Afeni Shakur Founded the Shakur Family Foundation (later renamed TASF) in hopes to preserve her son’s legacy. It’s prime mission was to provide training and support for students who wanted to enhance their creative talents. The Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts (TASCA) in Stone Mountain, Georgia, was officially opened by the foundation on June 11, 2005. Under the supervision of Afeni Shakur, a documentary called “Tupac Ressurction” was released on November 14, 2003, and was entirely narrated in Tupac’s voice.

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For further reading

Nike Into Controversy Again

 

 

The most recent ad campaign being used by Nike today, has evoked dramatically mixed views. Nike has long since been known for its controversial way catching the eye of the people in the world. This is not foreign ground for the mega-brand. The message ringing loud and clear “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything!” Colin Kaepernick, Has now been out of work for nearly a year with the NFL.  He’s credited for inspiring a protest against racism and social injustice.  Kaepernick is most commonly known for his lack of vocal protest in his movement.

As a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick, started kneeling during the national anthem before N.F.L. games after consulting a military veteran back in 2016.  He said he wanted to raise awareness of racism, social injustice and police brutality against “black people and people of color.”  Sparking a trend that could not be ignored, he and former teammate Eric Reid, have yet to be signed to any team.  Despite his having led the 49ers to a Super Bowl, by November of 2017, the reality began setting in that teams were not going to sign him.

GQ the magazine, named him Citizen of the Year, in which he posed for photographs, but he declined to be interviewed.  The protest movement he’s started has been cited by some as being disrespectful to the American flag and the military, many of which have condemned him for it.  It continues to stir emotion, retaliation,  and judgement from all angles including celebrities, fans and even the president of the United States.  However, Kaepernick and his fellow football players have made it clear they are not anti-military and some veterans have expressed support for their actions.

In a speech delivered in the Netherlands, Kaepernick expressed concern that Reid had paid the same price he had for the protest and he sought to emphasize the original rationale of his protest: “As police officers continue to terrorize black and brown communities, abusing their power, and then hiding behind their blue wall of silence, and laws that allow for them to kill us with virtual impunity, I have realized that our love, that sometimes manifests as black rage, is a beautiful form of defiance against a system that seeks to suppress our humanity. A system that wants us to hate ourselves.”

Full Article at New York Times

Through the use of social media, where an audience in the millions follows him on multiple platforms and through strategic public appearances, he has made his case and movement well-known.  While he remains in the public spot light,  without using his own, he has mastered retweeting others comments and posts.  This is a tactic that has not been widely used in the past, so it has peaked interest where there may not have been if he’d been more vocal.  It seems he is getting his message out loud and clear.

Take A Stand To STOP Abuse!

Over the last couple of years I have seen more and more campaigns popping up in regards to stopping the cycle of abuse.  There are plenty of resources out there if you do not know where to start.  No More is a huge one, that has been supported by many celebrities, and high profile citizens.  The very first step to take is to take action.  If you feel someone you know and love is struggling with abuse, don’t ignore the signs, speak to them, help them to heal and break through.  Once the cycle begins, it becomes an infection that will destroy everyone it comes in contact with.  It is time for the world to heal.  We must do it together.

You may be saying to yourself:

What are the Signs?”

I don’t know what to do or say to them.”

It’s not my problem, let his/her family deal with it.”

Why should I get involved?”

 

(NFL Domestic Violence Ad Played During Superbowl)

These are some of the things that we will talk about in this article.  I am not a professional, and I do not pretend to be.  However, I have spent the majority of my life trying to understand why people behave the way they do.  I am drawn to people that seem to be different than most.  I desire to reach out to them and lift them up, to be there for them and to try to understand their struggle as they see it.  Through the years, I’ve learned that these strange, or unusual people, have a story to tell.  Many of which, don’t want to for fear of being criticized, put down, or worse yet being victimized yet again.  Many of them do not trust people, due to a combination of abuse, and lack of true compassion, care and understanding.  Unfortunately these individuals are often taken advantage of, and are prone to repeat victimization.  Unless we humans work together to accept and heal the damage that has been created by those before us, we may never see a better humankind.

Some Warning Signs of Abuse Are:

  • Controls what you do, whom you see, where you go, calls you names, and/or puts you down
  • Threatens and/or makes you feel ashamed, isolated, wrong, stupid, scared, worthless, or crazy
  • Punishes you by withholding affection
  • Isolates you from friends or family
  • Makes you feel guilty for spending time with someone else
  • Continually tracks your whereabouts by cell phone, pager, text messaging or GPS system
  • Uses your personal history against you

Find More at:  Warning signs

Some Things You Can Do to Help:

  1. Talk to the person you think is being abused, but only when her partner is not around. Approach her in a non-blaming, non-judgmental, and understanding way. Tell her she is not alone and that there are many women like her in similar situations.
  2. Say things like “I am worried about you and your safety” or “I’m concerned about the safety of your children.” If the person does not respond or minimizes your concern, respect it in the moment. But try again a few days or weeks later.
  3. Offer to be helpful. Ask what would be helpful to them. A victim/survivor is in the best position to judge her needs especially from a safety standpoint. Her decisions should be her own.
  4. Offer to listen.
  5. Use supportive language.
  6. Don’t say bad things about the abusive person. Don’t lament that she got involved with this person. This “blames the victim.”
  7. Don’t say, “I would leave the relationship if I was in your situation.”
  8. Remind the person that they deserve to be happy and healthy in their relationship.
  9. Remind the person that no one should treat them in a hurtful manner, and they deserve to be treated well. Tell them domestic violence is a crime.
  10. Use your local resources. Contact your local domestic violence agency for help in dealing with the situation.
  11. Provide the person with resource information like the number of a domestic violence hotline or agency.
  12. Be patient. Allow her to make her own decisions. You may want the person to leave the relationship, but it has to be her decision. She might not leave right away.
  13. Stay in her life by being supportive and by creating a safe space for her to talk about her situation.

The worse thing that you can do is to shut out a victim, and make them feel totally and completely helpless.  It is too often the case that after a suicide, or a tragedy, is when we notice the warning signs.  At which point it is too late.  If you or someone you Love is experiencing any form of abuse, please do not hesitate, Reach out today.  Help is closer than you think, and is available just about anywhere.

Find More Tips Here
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A Child’s Mind

Listen Here

 

Come along with me, let’s go sit out on the front porch swing.
Listen to the children laughing and playing
Let the sound be a melody to be heard
a child’s young mind so full of wonder
Feel the gentle breeze carry you back in time
Their first moments of discovery
Let them be a kiss of sunlight on your face
Their gift of imagination
Let it be the blue prints for your secret garden
Their newly formed knowledge
A tutor to guide you in a child’s ways
They are truly innocent both inside and out
Let them be a spark to brighten your soul
The purity of god’s love and grace
Let it be a torch to light your way
I dare you to teach them as they remind you
Every day to love, respect, enjoy and explore
All of the natural beauty and wonder
That this life and this world have to offer.

Life is too short to not spend some time appreciating all that there is to offer. I encourage you to use your five senses every day. Take notice of 10 beautiful things. Whether is be your favorite smell, taste, song etc. Take the time to teach your children to do the same, while they teach you how to imagine and wonder.

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Check out more poetry here
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