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HE TC HOCOLATE VOICE
4| Remarks from the Publisher 5-6| In Ernies Mind 7| In the Path of a Tiger by Shirley Robinson Sprinkles, Ph.D 8| Women Who Paved the Way 9| It’s never too late to Get in the Race & Women’s History month by Monique Alvarez 10| Walking in my Shoes - Unseen Woman 11| Table Talk by Artress Cornmesser 12| Waiting on a Blessing by Dr. Amanda Goodson
13| Letters to the Publisher No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.
©2009, The chocolate voice All rights reserved.
14| March Events
of women is still not quite recognized to the level that it should be, particularly since there are so many out there who have never heard of Women’s history Month, which by the way has been celebrated for the past 30 years. The importance in honoring National Women’s history Month allows for the chance to educate the public at large about the significant role of women in american history.
“if that’s not passion i don’t know what is,” says a friend during a casual conversation over dinner about careers, life and balance. The focus of the discussion revolved around the subject of money, and why would a person want to work at something that has no financial gain. The quote resonated with me heavily while reflecting on people, women in particular who have paved the way and, the obstacles they’ve faced while fulfilling their dreams and goals at whatever cost. often times as women, the “things” that we’re most passionate about is embedded deep down in our souls yet, dreams are forced to take a backseat so that others in our lives can live in pursuit of their own dreams. i can honestly say that i’m guilty of this because for me, nothing is more important than seeing someone reach their true potential. Now that’s what i call passion. how many of you are aware that March is Women’s history Month? Well it’s true, throughout March there are hundreds of thousands of events held across the country to acknowledge and recognize the amazing accomplishments of women who have pursued a passion that cemented their name in history. in our opinion, the celebration 4 | The chocolaTe voice
The national celebration and recognition of women’s historic achievements began in 1980 when, President Jimmy carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation which started out as a one week celebration that led to one month declaring March as National Women’s history Month. classrooms across the nation have introduced curriculum recognizing women who have played key roles around the world and, in their own communities. Gaining knowledge of women’s history provides an opportunity to view extensively, the capabilities of what women have gone through in order to move us as a society to where we are today. Focusing on the perspectives of iconic women including; ida B. Wells, oprah Winfrey, Michelle obama, Joan of arc, althea Gipson and Sonia Sotomayer, just to name a few, encourages girls and women to think broader and can offer males a greater understanding of the female experience. in this month’s issue of The chocolate voice, we highlight Women’s history Month pointing out a few women as previously mentioned to the magnitude of others who have paved the way. as we celebrate familiar faces, let’s not forget to celebrate the local women in our communities who have made great sacrifices to make the world a better place. i am sure that you will enjoy reading the story on 70 year old Brenetta hicks-Jones, an avid fundraiser and, Tucson arizona resident who decided to run a marathon at
age 65. in addition, we’re excited to have entrepreneur Monique alvarez write for us on the importance of learning from those who have gone before us as in heroine Joan of arc. also contributing writer for over two years, the phenomenal Dr. Shirley Robinson Sprinkles writes in her book: From Dunbar to Destiny on being the first african american to teach at Bellagio Road elementary in the prestigious Belair, california and this month she gives us a honest and straight forward perspective in her article, “in the Path of a Tiger,” as in Tiger Woods. Regina Brown joins us again as she writes her second article titled, “Walking in my Shoes, history of the Unseen Women where she focuses on honoring the DNa which flows through us makes us one.” additionally, we’re honored to have the dynamic and faithful contributors Dr. amanda Goodson who keeps us in check with her point of view on the importance of faith and artress cornmesser eho keeps us eating healthy in Table Talk. Most of you are aware that we had a few challenges with our February 2010 issue which excluded the work of one of our beloved writers who has also contributed for over two years, Mr. ernie Mccray. let me just say we heard about it loud and clear. With that said, this month we will make it up by publishing two of ernie’s writings for you to enjoy, Daddying and honorary Degrees as apologies. Finally, we want all of our readers to know how grateful we remain for the support that The chocolate voice continues to receive. We are pursuing our passions and are overwhelmed that you are along for the ride. We welcome your comments, contributions and concerns about this two year old publication. Your feedback means a lot and it does have an impact on which direction we’re headed.
by Ernie McCray My mind can’t move away from thoughts of fatherhood ever since i wrote a piece sometime ago (“an Unrequited Wish” for the oB Rag: http://obrag.org/) wherein i shared my belief that my late soul mate’s dad’s indiscretions with her throughout her childhood led to her taking her life. Most of my reflecting has been about my own experiences as a dad starting back when i first heard that i was a father to be. The news caught me off guard completely. i mean, in one moment, i was strutting down the halls of Tucson high, wearing my big red “T” for my basketball artistry, all-city, all-State, all-Star, all-ego, in the flow, high fiving and asking “What’s happening?” of everybody i happened to know, throwing in all the latest dance steps just to diversify the show - and, in the next moment, somewhere in the middle of all the festivities my girlfriend managed to say to me: “i’m pregnant.” The world, as they say, stood still. i replied “Say what?” at decibels that had to have awakened
the dead, even those who had died deaf. i was as stunned and confused as if she had said she had grown another foot. at the tender age of 18 i just hadn’t had the experience of someone looking me in the face and using the words i’m and pregnant in that order. But a part of me, even as i stood in the throes of shock, understood that fatherhood, no matter what else came with it, wasn’t something to be taken lightly. and in January of ‘57 when i gazed down at my first child’s beautiful round face her expression said to me ever so earnestly and clearly: “hey, dude, i don’t know nothing from nothing; i can’t walk and i can’t talk so i’m counting on you big time.” i caught her drift and my mind, on its own, although i didn’t “know nothing from nothing” either, zeroed in on lessons i would have to teach someday, those “look both ways before you cross the street” and “don’t talk to strangers” admonitions. and i began mentally forming the lists of things i would have to protect her from, those activities that parents fear could break their children’s neck or stunt their growth, fears that have haunted parents across the ages. Now i know i had a lot to learn, having to dive into adulthood overnight, but i was up for the task and over time i’ve welcomed three more daughters into the world. in the process of daddying, if you will, i’m sure i’ve done some things that weren’t in their best interest, but i’d like to think that since i’m nowhere near being perfect that whatever wrong i committed was due to ignorance or stupidity. But the propensity to protect my children has always been and still is as natural to me as breathing.
just nothing within me that can comprehend, to any degree, how a father could do anything intentionally that would or could harm his children immeasurably, for the rest of their lives - like molesting them sexually. how does one go there, knowing the magnitude of the harm that could befall one’s progeny, members of the offspring branches of one’s family tree? as i look back i think being a father is pretty much, in the grand scheme of things, all i’ve ever wanted to be. it’s an honored position, i would think, in every society. and now that i know, up close and personally, how damaging and tragic immoral parenting can be, i can only dedicate myself, in whatever way i can, to, as a man recently suggested to me: educate, prevent and protect. i owe that to my beloved, the mother of two of my daughters, and to all the girls in the world who live with fathers and uncles and whoever else who has no sense of boundaries when it comes to their warped proclivities. i will speak for them until my last breath on this earth comes to me. hey, i’m just daddying. can’t help myself.
Growing up each one of my daughters were pretty little girls and they all matured into physically attractive women but acknowledging such is as far as i can go when it comes to objectifying them. i guess what i’m saying, as i struggle to make sense of things, as i ponder fatherhood, is there’s
The chocolaTe voice | 5
Honorary Degrees by Ernie McCray
once upon a time, at the outset of World War ii, Japanese american students at caiifornia State Universities were rounded up and shipped off to internment camps. Now those institutions of higher learning would like to grant honorary degrees to the students who suffered such indignities. and i guess that although an honorary degree might not be as profitable as getting a home to replace the one you might have lost or as powerfully emotional as being reconnected with an old pal you were separated from and have never seen again - it’s never the less a nice gesture, a needed touch, perhaps, in making the world a better place. charles B. Reed, the california State University chancellor, views the granting of honorary degrees as a way to hopefully “achieve a small right in the face of such grave wrongs,” seeing the internment of the students as representative of “the worst of a nation driven by fear and prejudice.” and i know of what he speaks. i was on the scene. The times were mean. as a child back then shooting “Japs” (the first derogatory expression i ever learned other than “Nigger” which referred to me) was the theme of most of our games at play. and i’ll always remember the day, in ‘46 or ‘47, that i first saw a Japanese person live. in this case a little boy like me. allen hasegawa. allen and i were about to step through the doorway of the downtown Tucson YMca but our feet never touched the floor because the moment our eyes met we took off in the opposite direction like jet engined hydroplanes flying along smooth unbroken waters. The Roadrunner had nothing on us. The Y director that finally calmed us down must have used one of those tail hooks that bring jets to a halt on aircraft carriers. “horrified” doesn’t even begin to describe our prejudiced fueled fears. i’m assuming, based on how i felt at the time, that i must have looked much like allen looked and he had a look on his face that you would expect to see on the face of someone who,
6 | The chocolaTe voice
say, discovers some alligator eggs and looks up at the mama alligator just as she rushes towards you to protect her nest.
allen and i, as innocent children, were the victims of our nation’s fears and prejudices. When i saw him i knew that if i didn’t vacate the scene it was over for me because society had convinced me that people like him had only one goal in life: to kill. and it sure didn’t help that they would kill themselves, with no second thoughts, if that’s what it took to kill you. That was the story. The terms of suicidal killings, “kamikaze” and “banzai,” were as much a part of our war games as “Mother, may i” and “Simon says” were in our more benign games. Now allen knew he was a goner because his image of “Negroes” revealed us as wild savages with long scary tails who, as “dummies,” pretty much didn’t know our aBc’s. oh, let me tell you, intolerance is easy to come by. i was taught by all the “squinty eyed buck toothed” portrayals of Japanese americans and immigrants in the movie newsreels and posters around town to hate people i had never seen. and i hadn’t seen them because my government had rounded
them up like they were so many cattle on the range. as i reflect on those days of my life’s history i’m glad i survived them and managed to shed the dreadful stereotypes of Japanese people that were passed on to me and, in that spirit, i find myself applauding the idea of honorary degrees being bestowed on anyone who endured one of humankind’s great lapses in “doing onto others what you would have them do onto you.” it seems to me that any form of reaching out and making amends contributes something to helping human beings discover better ways of relating to each other. i can’t help but wonder, though, how many internees are still around. i’m thinking that the honorary degrees, if they can find the families, are going to end up with younger generations of these people’s family trees. and maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be because any making of a better world, in the 21st century, will most definitely need the energy of the younger members of humanity: children like allen and i used to be.
IN the PATH of a By Shirley Robinson Sprinkles, Ph.D People often tell me that i’ve lived a remarkable life. each time i hear those words, given how chaotic much of it has been, i wonder how they have reached that conclusion. To me, i’ve lived a pretty normal life with a reasonable distribution of good and bad luck sprinkled across seven decades. i guess what they mean is that it’s remarkable that i’ve landed on my feet following several missteps that could have short- circuited the ambitions that i aspired to achieve. a more accurate assessment is that i’ve gotten up again and again from slips and falls, determined not to stay down. oh, don’t get me wrong—i know that, compared to a lot of women, i’ve had mere skirmishes to rebound from—my scars are not very deep; not like the “keloid”, visible ones that i’ve witnessed in many a female friend. i’ve never been depressed enough, for instance, to resort to drugs or alcohol—but sex? let me think about that one. . . okay, yeah, i confess, i’ve been there, done that. i’m not at all proud that, like a bijillion other lonely or angry women, i found myself on the wrong side of a compromise more times than i care to remember during my single days—but never with a married man. That’s why i just can’t find any sympathy in my heart for the women who put themselves in the path of a tiger—Tiger Woods, that is. as the dust from the media storm created by his Thanksgiving night car accident settled, the subsequent uncovering of Tiger’s multiple affairs with assorted varieties of women around the globe loomed large on the screen. Not surprising, at the base of the murky dust cloud stood the naked bodies (figuratively speaking) of a bevy of wreckless, conniving, and, (i think) desperate females. Not all of them were poor, uneducated, attention-seeking “hoochies” like the images that come to mind when we think about the types that follow behind football and basketball stars. No, not at all—some of the women in Tiger’s “bag” were well-heeled, wealthy, highly educated women who knew exactly what they were doing when they laid it
all on the line to be with the king of the international sport of gentlemen—golf. he was the prize of prizes, and they each wanted to own him for whatever time they could get.
it is one that their “steamy” little female counterparts must receive, also. Both need to hear the words of an old Texas cliché: “Don’t start nothin’—won’t be nothin’.”... if only Tiger had listened!
it has been reported by reliable sources in sports media that women like these use every means within their power to position themselves where they can’t be missed by such high profile athlete targets as Tiger Woods—even going to the extreme of traveling to locations where they are playing, securing keys to their hotel rooms, and waiting there for them—poised to supply their every need and desire behind closed doors. They mean for them (him) to succumb—and most do. and guess what? Now that the scandal has surfaced, they all want to be acknowledged! “Don’t leave me out!” Where is my grandmother with her back-hand slap when i need her?
Mistakes? i’ve made them by the dozens! We’re all human and quite fallible. i believe the key is not to wallow in them, but to get up and get on with life as you want it to be. The best thing about making a mistake is that it provides you with a point of reference—you know what NoT to do. i’m sorry that Tiger Woods had to experience this fall just when he was riding so high, but, boy, am i glad that he has so much time to recover and get it right! in a short while, people will have forgotten about his personal problems and we’ll all be applauding his performances on the golf course. That is, if he puts this episode behind him quickly and returns to the place where his strengths shine—which is not in front of cameras apologizing for immature, immoral behavior with predator, immoral women. They probably won’t go away, but he must now view them for what they are and make the right behavioral choices.
Now we are told that Tiger has a psychological disease called “sex addiction” and that he must spend time in rehab to be cured of it. i say, show me a thirty-two year old man who doesn’t have this same disease! Just show me oNe! Who writes this stuff? any mother who has raised boys to become men beyond the tender age of thirty can testify that it ain’t no disease that they won’t get over with time. Why label this man-child with such a debilitating handle? Don’t the women he was with have it, too? are they going to rehab to be cured of running after unattainable married men? if not, why not? if i’ve learned nothing else in life, i’ve learned that it is the decisions we make that determine our destiny. Not all of mine have been good ones, but, luckily, the bad ones haven’t brought me to my knees. i’m sure that Tiger Woods heard the words of wisdom often credited to his Buddhist faith: “One must choose between living a life of discipline or living a life of regret.” Too bad that he ignored them. i repeat this admonition often to my young grandson who has just stepped into manhood. i wonder if the message sinks in. it is a message not just for our male children;
i, for one, hope Tiger’s family is restored and made stronger for what they’ve been through. There are far too many marital failures caused by irresponsible decisions around sex --made by both genders. living with the consequences of those decisions can take a lifetime-and usually does. i think i hear a loud “amen” from the choir!
Women on Nov. 3, 1992, carol Moseley-Braun of chicago became the first Black woman and only the second african-american since Reconstruction, elected to the U.S. Senate. Shirley chisholm was the first Black woman to serve in the U.S. house of Representatives when she was elected by her New York constituency under the campaign slogan “Unbought and Unbossed” 1968. chisholm later became the first africanamerican to make a serious bid for the U.S. presidency. She received nearly 152 votes on the first ballot at the Democratic Party’s 1972 convention. charlotte e. Ray (1850-1911) was admitted to the bar of the District of columbia in april 1872, becoming the first Black woman lawyer in the United States. When ida Gray Nelson Rollins graduated from the University of Michigan Dental School in 1887, she became the first Black woman to receive a dental degree in the United States. First lady, Michelle obama: lawyer, chicago city administrator, community outreach Worker and wife of the first african american President of the United States Barack obama. ida B. Wells africanamerican educator, newspaperwoman, anti-lynching campaigner, and founder of NaacP. oprah Winfrey, american television host, producer, and philanthropist, best known for her self-titled, multi-award winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history Delores huerta, social activist whose mission is to build active communities working for fair and equal access to health care, housing, education, jobs, civic participation 8 | The chocolaTe voice
Who Paved the Way…. and economic resources for disadvantaged communities with an emphasis on women and youth. Barbara harris became the episcopal church’s first female bishop when she was elected on Feb. 12, 1989. Bishop harris is noted for her outspoken advocacy on behalf of african-americans, women, the poor, and other ethnic groups. althea Gibson became the first and only Black woman to win the prestigious Wimbledon singles competition, not once, but twice. credited with breaking the color barrier in professional tennis, she first won in 1957 and again in 1958. Sonia Sotomayor nominated to be the first hispanic justice on the United States Supreme court. Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter who used vibrant colors in a style that was influenced by indigenous cultures of Mexico and european influences. on June 21, 2001, she became the first hispanic woman to be honored with a U.S. postage stamp. Jackie Joyner-Kersee was the first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the intensely fierce heptathlon competition. She won her first medal in 1988 during the Summer olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, and repeated the feat in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain. Gwendolyn Brooks was the first african-american to receive a Pulitzer Prize. She won the prestigious award in 1950 for her book of poetry, annie allen, only the second book of poetry she’d written.
Mary Mcleod Bethune was the first Black woman to receive a major federal appointment when, on June 24, 1936, she was named director of the Negro division of the National Youth administration by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
lorraine vivian hansberry’s play, a Raisin in the Sun, about the struggles of a Black family, significantly impacted Black theater. in 1959, she became the first Black woman playwright to have her work performed on
condoleezza Rice is the second woman to be US Secretary of State, after Madeleine albright during the clinton administration. She is the first black woman to be Secretary of State, and she holds the highest position in a presidential cabinet that any black woman has held. Ursula Burns ceo of Xerox is the first african-american woman ceo to head a S & P (stock market index of Standard and Poors) 100 company. She is also the first woman to succeed another woman as head of a S&P 100 company.
It’s Never to late to “if oprah can do it so can i,” said the confident 70 year old New orleans native Brenetta hicks-Jones when we spoke by phone a few months ago. The grandmother of seven and great grandmother of 3 felt so inspired by the iconic Winfrey’s accomplishment of running a marathon that, at age 65 she set a goal to do the same. once she made the commitment to participate in a race next came the question as to where to race and which cause to support. For hicks, this wasn’t an easy choice. She says, “There are so many worthy causes in the world today and i have helped to raise funds for many of those in need.” She goes on to say, “The choice wasn’t an easy one but, for no other reason other than support, i decided on the leukemia and lymphoma Society.” according to hicks, fundraising for those in need is an extremely gratifying experience.
get in the race
after making the final decision as to which cause to support, up next came the hardest part, training or getting in physical shape. in preparation for the marathon, she trained with the Phoenix Desert Mountain chapter of Team in Training which consisted of walking for 20 miles uphill. admitting that it was extremely hard work, hicks says it takes strong will, determination and focus plus, a wonderful support system to help get through it.
The retired hughes aircraft employee is currently a long time resident of Tucson, aZ a city that she admits to loving everything about, especially the weather which is quite tolerable when it comes to outdoor activity. once she completed the training, all of the hard work was put to the test in June of 2007 when show time came as she headed for San Diego to participate in the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon at age 67 to walk/run in the13.1
Women’s History Month
miles half marathon. Walking proudly alongside her granddaughter Raissa harrell, hicks finished with a time of 4:45. her next challenge was in 2008 at the PF changs Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in Phoenix, where she completed another 13.1 miles at age 68.
as of May 2009 hicks has participated in a total of three marathons improving her record time from 4:45 to 4:20 and, at age 70 hicks has set a new goal for herself, she is preparing for the 60 mile breast cancer walk with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the cure™. What hicks says the experience taught her is that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. “it was such a rewarding experience and, it’s so inspiring to see how grateful the survivors are.”
Monique alvarez is a third generation entrepreneur who is hell bent on training those who have the courage to build their own business and be leaders in their industry. For more on Monique’s work visit http://DriveTheline.com
“i am not afraid…i was born to do this.” Joan of arc
the opposition. They were not traditionally feminine.
From everything i have read on Women’s history Month, it was designated as such because the contributions of women to history have simply remained unrecognized in the history books.
Their lives inspire me. one in particular comes to mind today - Joan of arc. She was young and she was fearless.
it makes sense. Set apart a month to celebrate the women who have shaped history and the world. My mom bought me a deck of cards titled, “Women Who Dare”. each card pays tribute to one woman who was courageous enough to face, and strong enough to overcome, seemingly insurmountable odds. The women are from every walk of life and various professions, but they all have made significant contributions to their communities and society at large. curiously, as i started reading each card, i realized that i had only heard of a few of the women. i smiled as i read their stories, because they broke the rules and did it deliberately. They went against the grain and embraced
if you do not know her story, i recommend you look it up.
i love that the women did not check the cultural thermostat of their generation before they lived their lives. When we live out of our truest selves, we are going to be ahead of our time. We are going to turn heads and rock boats. That is ok.
What stands out to me is how unconcerned she was with pleasing the masses. She had absolute clarity, was completely focused, nothing deterred her from her mission.
learn from those who have gone before us. Joan of arc was killed for being a heretic and a witch and centuries later she is hailed as a Saint.
What is really interesting about Joan of arc is that she was burned at the stake for her beliefs and actions and then 500 years later she was canonized as a Saint by the same catholic church that martyred her.
i am not naïve enough to believe that in my generation the contributions of women will find comparable recognition and esteem in the history books as those of men.
after reading her story, i returned to my deck of cards and recognized a common theme. all of the women were ridiculed because they were ahead of their time. When they lived, women were supposed to be seen and not heard. The modern ideal of the assertive and vocal woman did not exist. Women were meant to bear children. and they certainly were not considered equals.
Regardless of how the history books are written, i pledge to live my life to the fullest, following my own inner compass. i am courageous and unique. i will teach anyone who wants to follow my lead. May your contributions fill the pages of your own history book! “i will not look back to see if anyone else is following.” – Joan of arc
The chocolaTe voice | 9
Underneath the clothes, the hair, the pedicure, the manicure, the outfit and even under the silk lingerie resides a multifaceted, multilayered being called woman. in order to bring out the beauty of womanhood, i ponder the historical realities that flow through us like oxygenated DNa breathing through our very pores. Just thinking about it, as a woman, gives me an empowered feeling for life. our name gives us individuality. however, the multiplicity of titles that we share shows the oneness of who we are. Being daughters we represent the unity of family ties to mother, father and siblings. We share similar attributes with family members while we maintain the ability to mature and develop independently. Puberty brings an awakening that we carry eggs and a womb that are needed in the life producing process. Responsibility comes later. We become sisters when a common bonding occurs naturally and our minds merge to meet one another and recognize that we can fill the void or loneliness that only sisterhood or friendship can fill. We realize that we can be a sister to one – or a sister to the world. The title of Miss, symbolizes respect with the attitude of dignity, morality and mature development. accompanied with our name signifies belonging even when we are alone. if we become a Mrs. this represents the ability to become one with a man and releases our vulnerability to trust being in his care. This title represents that we are held in high esteem by one who takes the responsibility for us in
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Walking in My Shoes
History of the Unseen Woman (Honoring the DNA which flows through us and makes us one) a manner that opens up our most intimate places. We pour out ourselves in service to him having tasted of his love for us. This title has been tainted and leaves a bad taste in some of our mouths – misrepresentation, deception, lies, and abuse have all taken their toll, none the less, when we are allowed to be Mrs. we blossom into the most gifted creatures on the face of the earth. The title of Mother represents womanhood to the level of bearing, or the adopting of children. it shows caring, responsibility, respect, nurturing, educating, and self sacrifice. it further represents the glue that makes us community. We have been called caretakers, the other half, better half and terms that mean far less than half. We are lovers, friends, counselors, confidants, visionaries and more. additionally, we have become doctors, lawyers, directors, ambassadors, construction workers and yes, even pastors. This shows our choices to gain knowledge and enhance from level to level in any area we desire to further our assistance with mankind. contrary to popular belief, while we maintain the ability to maneuver and survive in any situation these titles do not make us who we are. it is the unseen agent within our DNa that makes the titles stand out and be recognized. Throughout history these have been a few
designated titles for women and they still exist today. These titles do not go away if we mess up, get locked up, torn down, or beat up. They do not change in the face of adversity, poverty, wealth or bondage. The titles given to us during the growth stages of our lives is what brings us back to whom we are and who we are becoming. even during times when the light of who we are gets dim, we can look inside ourselves and realize we are WoMaN. The culmination of all the above adding in feminine, kind, gentle, sexy, with the ability to laugh, cry, shout, dance, and spin. We protect what we love and recycle the rest. We are amazing! We have been kissed by God and sent to earth as co-manager with man. WoMaN, says it all Today, i am walking barefoot with my gold diamond shoes around my neck, so that my feet can touch the soil from which we were made. ambassador “WoMaN” Brown – Stepping out! Because i can – email me: RS3@ambassadorbrown.mysite. com or ebonytucson.ning.com/profile¬/ ReginaBrown , or write me P.o. Box 17594, Tucson, arizona 85731
Table Talk By the time my children started 1st grade they could add and solve simple fractions because i cooked with them at least once a week.
Before he started school, my young son could tell you that 1/8 is half of the 1/4 teaspoon because his job was to measure out salt for the apple pies. Not only was it a fun time to learn but we got to eat the results. i had thought to carry on this same tradition with my children’s children but it was not so easy since they live an hour away and everyone works. Still i try. in august, i was baking with my 5 year old granddaughter who was measuring out 2/3 cups cornmeal when she said, “Just one more third and we would have a whole cup wouldn’t we Granny?” Well, i was pleased as punch, she had the concept! on my way to take her back to the city, i saw the 1st grade teacher who lives in the fork of our road, looking in her mail box. i stopped the car to say hello and to brag on my granddaughter for a few minutes when i noticed that she was using two crutches. “What happened?” i inquired. “oh, i broke my hip on the last day of school,” she said. “But that was weeks ago and you’re still on crutches? Did you get a hip replacement?” i was puzzled. “oh no, i’m doing it myself,” she answered, “i have faith that God will heal me and i’m going to pray and wait until he does.” i stared at her in amazement not wanting to believe that this intelligent, beautiful molder of little children’s minds, was actually waiting for God to put his business on hold and come down here personally to heal her shattered hip. let me say that i try not to debate religion and politics because i don’t know that
Author of Three books: “Unto the 3rd and 4th Generation, What Goes Around and, Occasions: 10 Short Stories” By: Artress Cornmesser
much about other folks beliefs, and quiet as it’s kept, you are talking to a person who voted for Nixon. But i wanted to help her in some way, and so i bit back protestations about God giving doctors the wisdom to help us, and instead told her the story of a man who was fishing in his little boat when a storm came up and washed him out to sea. For days the man clung to the capsized skiff, waiting for God to save him. a helicopter came to his rescue and let down a rope ladder. “Grab the rung,” they said, “we will save you!” “No thank you,” the man replied, “i’ll just wait on God, he will save me.” Next came a boat with a life jacket and a rope. “Put the jacket on and grab the rope.” The crew yelled down at him. “We will save you!” “No thank you, i’m waiting on God, he’ll save me.” The man said weakly for his strength was ebbing. When he finally died and went to heaven the first question that he asked was; “What happened, God? You said you was going to save me if i would only believe.”
a cooking day we’ll make seaweed soup, you’ll see.” and we did. The soup didn’t look so pretty but it was bursting with flavor. i took a pint to the teacher who lives in the fork of our road, along with a short note. Neighbor, While you are waiting have some seaweed soup. it is loaded with vitamins and lots of protein, just what you need to help heal broken bones.
SeaWeeD SoUP cook 1/2 pound of ground meat in a large soup pot until no longer pink add a quart of water and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes Pour in 2 cups asian broth or chicken broth Throw in 1/2 cup of chopped water chestnuts for crunch Tear 3 sheets of Nori seaweed into bite size pieces and stir into the pot
God said, “Well, i sent you a helicopter and a boat!”
Return to a boil and simmer uncovered for 3 minutes
i could only hope and pray that she got my point.
Stir in one slightly beaten egg and some chopped green onions
Back on the highway, my little granddaughter who gives new meaning to ‘little pictures have big ears’ said from her car seat, “What did the poor man eat while he was stranded out to sea, Granny?”
Serve with a couple drops of sesame seed oil in each bowl Makes enough for 4 but can be doubled
“Seaweed soup,” i answered absent mindedly, while battling the evening commute. There was a moment of silence, then, “i never heard of seaweed soup! You’re making that up, huh Granny?!” “No i’m not,” i assured her, “i used to work for a lady who made it often. it’s good and its good for you. Next time we have The chocolaTe voice | 11
Waiting on a
BleSSING Dr. Amanda Goodson George sat on the curb in front of the restaurant with his face in his hands – he was waiting on a blessing. he couldn’t go into the restaurant, he had no money for food and his clothes were tattered and worn. he waited on the curb patiently as if he expected something great to happen. amy drove into the parking lot and saw the man on the curb. her heart spoke to her and told her to ask him if he was hungry and to tell him that she would buy him something to eat. amy thought to herself,”i will surprise him!” i will buy the food and bring it back to him. She went drove through the drive thru and gave them her order. amy ordered three times the amount she needed, (her thoughts going back to on the curb and her surprise gift for him. She was so excited that she was going to help this man. as amy drove back around to the front of the restaurant, the man was no longer there. it was dark, and amy couldn’t see the man anywhere in sight. immediately amy prayed to God that she would see the man to give him the food that she had bought for him. Just seconds after her prayer, amy spotted George in the distance of the huge parking lot. She drove over to him and asked the questions that she was supposed to ask him while he was sitting on the curb. “are you hungry?” she asked. he said, “Yes, i am”. he said that he had been on sitting on the curb waiting on God to provide him food. he said that he had prayed for God to feed him, and he wondered what was happening and why God didn’t answer his prayer. her heart sank because she knew she had not told the man earlier that she was going to buy him food while he was sitting on the curb as her heart had led her to do. She reached out to the man and gave him the bag with the three sandwiches and said to 12 | The chocolaTe voice
the man “here are three sandwiches; maybe you will have some left for tomorrow morning.” he immediately lifted up his hands to heaven and said in a loud voice “thank you! Thank you, God!” Then he looked in amy’s eyes and said to her “you never stop believing in Jesus, NeveR!” he told her that there were two additional people traveling with him and this would be enough for them for the night. he took the bag into his hands and soon walked away into the night. amy sat in her car amazed at what just happened. With tears in her eyes, she asked for forgiveness that she hadn’t heeded the voice of God earlier, yet she was thankful that the three people would be fed for the night. During this new season, maybe you are waiting on a blessing from God. it may seem like the blessing is a long time coming. You may encounter difficult times while you are waiting .but keep on believing in your heart that your blessing will come. For those who can bless someone else, don’t hesitate…do it now – someone is counting on you. how awesome is that! We should feed each other, help each other. We should pray for each other and that we all will blessed.
Prayer: lord God, thank you for making me a blessing to the community. as we celebrate this new season and boast in You, i will follow the leading of my heart and obey your voice. i will be a blessing and i will thankfully receive all of your blessings. in the name of Jesus i pray, amen.
Phenomenal Women By Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say, It’s the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. They try so much But they can’t touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them They say they still can’t see. I say, It’s in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. Now you understand Just why my head’s not bowed. I don’t shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing It ought to make you proud. I say, It’s in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need of my care, ‘Cause I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
letters To The Publisher Dear chocolate voice
Dear chocolate voice
i noticed several key african american contributors eliminated from the cover of the February issue of The chocolate voice, including; Rev. Jessie Jackson, Martin luther King, Jr. and various others. however, i must say it was nice seeing names of individuals that i didn’t recognize and which led me to Google. Yet still, it’s always reassuring to see Jessie and Martin on the list.
i look forward to reading the magazine each month, particularly in ernie’s Mind. imagine how shocking it was to read his article in the February issue and it appeared to not match the title or, the photo. i sure hope you re-print. Faithful Subscriber from Baltimore, MD
Sense howard gatbonton email@example.com www.printsensesd.com
p. 619.482.9944 f. 619.482.9947 925 hale place, suite b-8 chula vista, california 91914
The chocolaTe voice | 13
Out and About MARCH 7-13
The Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of HIV/AIDS
“Not Going Back - Moving Forward - 14th Annual Friendship Fellowship Conference”
For more information, contact:
Yuma Hilton Garden Inn Pivot Point Conference Center,
Natalie Brown, (520) 299-6647 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARCH 12-14, 2010 Kuumba Fest Lyceum Theater, San Diego Repertory Theatre Ticket prices: single tickets $29 – $53; active military, student, and senior discounts available
MARCH 11-21 17th Annual Latino Film Festival Ultrastar Mission Valley, Hazard Center San Diego, CA Contact: Media Arts Center at 619-230-1938
310 N Madison Ave, Yuma, AZ Contact: Evangelist Ivory D. Martin, email@example.com or call 928-539-9012 Cost: $30 includes lunch, the conference booklet, personal gift and prizes.
APRIL 3RD THE MEN OF SOUL TOUR JEFFREY OSBORNE, PEABO BRYSON, FREDDIE JACKSON AND HOWARD HEWETT NOKIA Theatre 777 Chick Hearn Court, Los Angeles, CA Purchase tickets online at www.ticketmaster.com
J.D. Lawrence presents the stage play
SATURDAY, APRIL 17 – 7:30 PM
Clean Up Women
Spring Jazz and Wine with MINDI ABAIR and the BRIAN SIMPSON BAND
Spreckles Theatre in San Diego Purchase tickets online at www.ticketmaster.com
MARCH 26-28TH Arizona Black Film Festival, Tempe, Arizona Please visit www.azblackﬁlm.com for more information about this year’s event. For general inquiries please contact AZBFS at info@azblackﬁlm.com. 14 | The chocolaTe voice
JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa Tucson, AZ www.azentertainmentandevents.com 520-429-9803