This Black History month, I would like to feature Toni Morrison, for her literary excellence. Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize Winner, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Morrison is an American writer noted for her examination of Black experience (particularly Black female experience) within the Black community. Let’s take a moment to honor this literary genius this, black history month.
Toni Morrison, original name Chloe Anthony Wofford, (born February 18, 1931, Lorain, Ohio, U.S.—died August 5, 2019, Bronx, New York), American writer noted for her examination of Black experience (particularly Black female experience) within the Black community. She received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.
Morrison grew up in the American Midwest in a family that possessed an intense love of and appreciation for, Black culture. Storytelling, songs, and folktales were a deeply formative part of her childhood. She attended Howard University (B.A., 1953) and Cornell University (M.A., 1955). In 1965 Morrison became a fiction editor at Random House, where she worked for a number of years.
Toni Morrison The Bluest Eyes
Morrison’s first book, The Bluest Eye (1970), is a novel of initiation concerning a victimized adolescent Black girl who is obsessed by white standards of beauty and longs to have blue eyes. This book was my introduction to Toni Morrison. I loved this book. I loved the character, how Morrison showed a poor black girl struggling not only with her looks but with becoming a young lady, and wanting to be beautiful like her white blue eye dolls. At the time when I read this book a lot of black women were putting in blue contact lenses including my daughter. This book really brought it home and allowed black women to start loving our skin, eyes, hair and black features.
In 1973 a second novel, Sula, was published; it examines (among other issues) the dynamics of friendship and the expectations for conformity within the Black community.
Song of Solomon (1977) is told by a male narrator in search of his identity; its publication brought Morrison to national attention. Tar Baby (1981), set on a Caribbean island, explores conflicts of race, class, and sex.
Toni Morrison’s Beloved
Toni Morrison became mainstream with her critically acclaimed book called Beloved (1987), which won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, is based on the true story of a runaway slave who, at the point of recapture, kills her infant daughter in order to spare her a life of slavery. A film adaptation of the novel was released in 1998 and starred Oprah Winfrey. The again was powerful for me. The character of Beloved was played to perfection by Thandiwe Newton and showcases how Sethe’s guilt, played by Oprah Winfrey can reincarnate and haunt us in this life.
In 1992 Morrison released Jazz, a story of violence and passion set in New York City’s Harlem during the 1920s. Subsequent novels were Paradise (1998), a richly detailed portrait of a Black utopian community in Oklahoma, and Love (2003), an intricate family story that reveals the myriad facets of love and its ostensible opposite. A Mercy (2008) deals with slavery in 17th-century America. In the redemptive Home (2012), a traumatized Korean War veteran encounters racism after returning home and later overcomes apathy to rescue his sister. In God Help the Child(2015), Morrison chronicled the ramifications of child abuse and neglect through the tale of Bride, a Black girl with dark skin who is born to light-skinned parents.
Toni Morrison and the Black American Experience
It is great to showcase Toni Morrison’s work for, Black History month, because The central theme of Morrison’s novels is the, Black American experience; in an unjust society, her characters struggle to find themselves and their cultural identity. Her use of fantasy, her sinuous poetic style, and her rich interweaving of the mythic gave her stories great strength and texture. In 2010 Morrison was made an officer of the French Legion of Honour. Two years later she was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) is a documentary about her life and career.
Out of the Snares, a story of hope and encouragement is a book written to encourage women of color who were born in lack. It showcases my, personal growth, journey and how I got, out of the snares, of poverty and, child abuse.
Myrna – I am a, life coach, I host a show on the preach the word television network called Transform Your Mind to Transform Your Life, one of the reasons that I wrote the book, Out of the Snares, is because I believe and I wanted to encourage women that it is not where we come from, but where we end up that’s important.
It’s also the only way that we can go through that transition like from a caterpillar to a butterfly is if we allow the things that happen to us in life help us with, personal growth. We should use challenges to transform ourselves and for our, personal development.
So, the book, Out of the Snares, is basically a story of my life. I wrote it from a, life coaching, perspective with 10 principles of, life experiences, that happened to me and what I learned from those, life experiences.
I’m a, life coach, but I do most of my coaching on my show Transform Your Mind. It is a radio, podcast and a television show.
Dr O.C Pringle: You’re doing it all sister Young, you’re doing it all right and so of course your inspiration would be your, life’s experience, and, child abuse. let’s talk about that.
Out of the Snares of Child Sexual Abuse
Myrna: I was, sexually abused, as a child in Guyana by a family friend. He was technically my Godfather, but being from a third world country, a very poor country and he was very rich.
We would call him a, pedophile, he showered me with a lot of attention, and bought me a lot of gifts and then took advantage of that.
I didn’t realize that we were doing anything wrong until I became 13 and started having Boyfriends.
DR O.C Pringle: Until you became what? Wait how old were you?
Myrna: This, sexual abuse, began at age 10.
Dr O.C Pringle: Wow did anything ever happen to this guy?
Myrna: No, because like most children I didn’t say anything about it. I told no one. This book was my first experience talking about it and I in my 40’s when I wrote, Out of the Snares. My dad read the book and was very upset that he did not know this was going on.
Children carry a lot of shame regarding, sexual abuse, I still carried shame when I wrote, Out of the Snare. As you can see I used my maiden name Trotman for the author name.
Dr. O.C Pringle: So, you placed Myrna Bernadette Trotman on the cover of the book, because you didn’t want people to know it was you, but your picture is on the cover!!
Myrna: I started to release shame when I started talking about the, sexual abuse, and when I learnt that children can’t give consent for sex. So whatever guilt and shame that I had attached to my, sexual abuse, I released it.
Dr O.C Pringle: Well listen it worked out for your good, but all things work together for the good of them that loved God and are called according to his, purpose, so your, sexual abuse, worked in your favor. You were able to redirect that energy into something positive where you’re helping people all over the world. You’re on radio and on television, yes you are some kind of a woman.
Out of the Snares, a story of hope and encouragement
So, let’s talk some more about the book.
Myrna: Out of the Snares, is made up of 10 principles in life that we should live by:
Keep Your, Vision, in Front of you– Dare to dream big dreams and understand the principles of vision casting.
The events in your life whether good or bad, work together for good– God said I know your expected end. Stay the course; don’t give up until you win.
Let the, Universal Laws of Attraction, the, Laws of Intention, work for you– Ask and it will be given unto you.
Have a, Positive Mindset– Take control of your thoughts and attitudes. Get rid of ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts)
Use what you have in your hand– You were created with a purpose; God gave you the skills and talents you need to complete your task. Stop waiting for the right time.
Be intentional about your Growth– Be proactive, be intentional, build on your gifts, and continually improve.
If you build it, they will come“ Be a servant first.
Find your Passion– it is the Fire in your belly. Become conscious of what lights you up. God put that Fire in your belly as a beacon to achieve your purpose.
Love– it is what makes this Human experience worthwhile. Love yourself first. Love is spirit, God is spirit.
Business Consciousness– how to create a startup company and succeed in marketing.
How did you come to become passionate about, diversity and inclusion, for, women of color?
How to Get a Seat at The Table
I first really started thinking about, a seat at the table, when I was a very young reporter in Charleston, South Carolina. I was the only female reporter at the time within this 600 person company. And what I was struck by is that there were so many decisions that were being made that we would complain about; but none of us had, a seat at the table, to help make those decisions.
I realized that if I didn’t have a place in the room that I was both invisible and silent; so it didn’t matter how much I complained or how much I didn’t like what was going on or simply just didn’t understand it because I was not part of the discussion; I needed, a seat at the table.
So that’s where my passion for, diversity and inclusion, was born.
CNN wrote a column on getting, a seat at the table, for women. They were discussing congresswoman Harris, basically what they’re saying was that women are invisible and they have no say. When they speak no one listens. So I understand what you are saying.
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What happens when there is no seat at the table
I stayed in that company as a reporter without, a seat at the table, about 12 years. It took me that long to get that awakening. Sometimes we think that we are fortunate to have a job so we don’t want to stir the pot. I just increasingly became more and more of a little rebel challenging the status quo. Eventually I left and ventured out to write my first book. I was scared to death. Because here I am I’m going to write a book, I’m going to leave my job. I took a leave of absence to write the book; but it was really a step of faith and in writing the book and doing the research.
I became energized when I interviewed older relatives, my mother and great-aunt who were already in their 80s and 90s at the time. I became energized by their tenacity as, Black women. I knew that we had a lot of strong men in my family, but my eyes are really flew open at the strength of the, black women, and how they held businesses up, they held a family up and the men of the family up, and brought us all together.
I stumbled into the nonprofit arena by my volunteer work. I was volunteering and working on writing the book and one thing led to another. I got to a small job at an organization that was run by a, black woman, who became my mentor. She took me under her wing and even though I was just volunteering she taught me so much about strength and tenacity and making your voice count.
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Her company was called Family Assistance Management Services
And she was the first black female insurance broker in SC. She had been a full time teacher before she built quite a nest egg with her husband. They owned several pieces of property in Charleston SC. She then became a broker and started several businesses, an insurance company, a computer training clinic all kinds of other businesses, because she had a passion for helping people.
You got your feet wet on the nonprofit arena and but it sounds like you have, a seat at the table, at Goodwill Industries. Why you write the book, “A Seat at the Table or a part of the meal?”
I was born in September 1964 a month after the discrimination Act, and my parents had not long moved to Charleston, SC. All of my siblings, I have one brother and two sisters, they had all been born at home in the country by a midwife so since it was now illegal for place public places to discriminate my father thought, well I will take my wife to this nice Hospital for my fourth child to be born. So my mother was in labor he rushes her down to this hospital the Medical University of South Carolina and by this time she’d begun to hemorrhage as I was a breech baby.
It was pouring down rain and he got my mom into the emergency area into the lobby and he started screaming for the doctors to come and help they turned looked at them and turned their backs right away. All the white doctors and nurses ignored them, so he ran up to them and screamed my wife is bleeding you got to help her and someone told him to just sit down we’ll get to you.
So he scooped her up, put her in a wheelchair and ran with her down the street to the black Hospital. McLennan banks Hospital in the pouring rain with my mom gripping for life on that wheelchair. He pushed her up into the emergency area and as soon as they saw that she was drenched in blood they rushed her into the emergency room and delivered me. The doctor who delivered me was a, woman of color, from South Africa and he named me Kimberly after the Kimberly diamond mines.
Black Women are born to be at the table
It sounds like you were born in to do this work!
I was tried of being the only, Black woman, in the room. I felt we as, Black women, have to do something to get , a seat at the table. If anyone was going to wave that flag of, diversity and inclusion, equity and of, diversity, it should be Goodwill Industries. So it really began then. We started a task force with a group of CEOs and started to study, diversity and inclusion, and equity programs with fortune 500 companies and fortune 100 companies and other nonprofit organizations. We studied who was doing it well, what were they looking at, what were the metrics and how do you build that diverse pipeline. We came up an implementation plan.
We were really intentional about attracting, maintaining and keeping a, diversity, workforce. Whether it is individuals who are Hispanic or individuals who African-American or LGTBQ or disabled. We recognize that all of that build a table of, diversity.
The first time that I heard the phrase, a seat at the table, was from one of my coaching clients and I’ve heard it several times since. I heard Gabrielle Union say it that she’s just gonna make her own table because you know the black actresses in Hollywood are still working to, get a seat at the table. They go through the same discrimination with, diversity and inclusion. It’s not just in Corporate America or in the board rooms.
Women of Color getting a seat at the table
Kimberly you have, a seat at the table, what advice would you give to women who are hitting the glass ceiling and get, no seat at the table.
African-American women unfortunately have been absent from the room! We have not even been invited into the room much less have, a seat at the table, for quite some time. Women in general have been hitting the glass ceiling for quite a long time. I’ve heard that men are hired based on what their hiring manager or that supervisor thinks that they can do while women are hired or promoted based on performance. it is that way because the majority of the, seats at the table, are already held by men. Predominantly white males and they look for men who look like act like they came from where they come from.
Don’t wait until sexual temptation attacks you before you see it as a formidable force which seeks to destroy you. Its insidious tactic is designed to enslave you into sexual sins and keep you locked into erotic desires. How you perceive sexual temptation in your life, determines how well you will overcome its deceitful force, and walk in total victory.
“Naked and Ashamed, the Battle of Sexual Temptation.” is a Christian self-help book that explains what sexual temptation is, and gives you Biblical scriptures on how to control your sexual desires, and unnatural urges. With chapters such as recognizing the tempter, and rejecting the flesh, you will study strategies on how to recognize situations that tempts you, and learn how to keep your flesh under subjection. Although we will all be tempted sexually at some time, we can learn from this book on how to refrain from overreacting and falling into sexual bondage. So put on your seatbelt and get ready to be free from all of your unwanted sexual desires and temptations. Order “Naked and Ashamed, The Battle of Sexual Temptation” today! Written by Sheela Fields, now available on Amazon.
Black women in order to get, a seat at the table, have to do 3 things:
They have to network. It’s all about relationships. Else there is, no seat at the table. Everything that you do is about relationships and it’s about networking. If you didn’t grow up playing golf, learn. Go around places and do things that make you feel uncomfortable. But you must be part of the conversation. Go to the theater, go to the Opera, you could serve as an usher and get free tickets.
Get a mentor – All women should have a mentor.
Get a Sponsor – a sponsor and a mentor are two different people. A mentor is someone that you can talk to about your fears and your aspirations. A mentor can give you sound advice and can talk you through some of the issues that you’re having and help you create a plan a plan of attack.
A sponsor on the other hand is going to be that person who’s going to make sure that you’re invited to that meeting. They’re going to take you under their wing. They’re going to make sure that there’s a place for you in the conversation and that there is, diversity and inclusion, that you are a part of the discussion. Sponsors are usually white males.
Have you ever wished that you had the information to elevate the conversation at work on how to build a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion? Well, now you do; with my newly published book A Seat At The Table or Part of the Meal, by Kimberly Bussey Lewis. This book will give you examples of intentional efforts that will level the playing field and yield dividends for your career and your company. The book can be found on Amazon – A Seat at the Table Or Part of the Meal, by Kimberly Bussey Lewis or on www.motivationalmuse.com, so get your copy today and your seat at the table.
Love, is a spirit and if you speak to love it will return back to you when you call it. Black Love, is no different; but we need to change the narrative because, Black women, deserve, love.
I think that, love, is waiting for everyone to be silent, so that, love, can speak for itself.
Today we are celebrating, black love. My guest is Lisa Kimberle author of “500 ways to celebrate black love”
Here is the synopsis of 500 ways to celebrate, Black Love
500 ways to celebrate, black love, provides an accelerating approach to, black love, relationships. Love coach and enthusiast Lisa Kimberle gets candid through personal reflection in hope of inspiring real, black love, stories. This is her, love story, a story filled with passion and discovery that led her to a wonderful fulfilling, black love, relationship. This is a, black love book, and it introduces the, blackdatebox, a subscription box created with love for all relationship stages. Black love box, asks the question, what is, black love? It celebrates, black love, and highlights black owned businesses and retailers.
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Why did you write the book “500 ways to black to celebrate, black love?”
For me it all started from my personal journey. What I was personally going through in my, love story. I was in a relationship and everything seemed right, we were very compatible. It seemed like it was love at first sight, and then when we further got in the relationship, we discovered that we just were not meant to be together. He was not a bad person or anything like that; but it was for someone else, it wasn’t for me and we were both totally fine ending the relationship. It was a three year journey that I spent discovering, what is black love.
I started researching family history and I discovered things and thoughts that existed within the family passed down from my grandparents and from my parents. One of the interesting things that I discovered about my grandmother was that for whatever reason my grandmother hated relationships. I kind of discovered during the journey about, black love, and what to do to break your patterns, because these patterns are cyclical and runs for generations.
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I don’t know your, love story; but I know as a, Life coach, I know women who cycle from abusive relationships into new abusive relationships. That’s their pattern, and they keep going into those relationships. They don’t look for them, but it just happens. So what you’re saying is exactly what happens, we all attract the same kind of man and it’s something unconsciously that we’re doing. You traced your pattern and you found that it came from parental influence.
The second thing I discovered when I began researching, black love, is that the internet portrayed, black love relationships, as nonexistent. I bumped into articles such as the one in Marie Claire magazine titled “Marriages are for white people” and then when I read the article it goes further on to explain how, marriage, isn’t for, black women!
So now I am dealing with the generational belief passed down from my parents and grandparents, then it’s the societal belief that, black women, does not deserve, love.
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Is, Black Love, different than White Love?
No, Love, is a spirit and it does not define color. But as, black women, we have some challenges to find fulfilling black, love story. After my 3 year relationship went sour, I really wanted to help, black women, find that perfect, love story. Since I couldn’t find any, black love books, I decided to write one.
I believe that, love, is a spirit and if you speak to, love, it will return back to you when you call it.
I think that, love, is waiting for everyone to be silent, so that love can speak for itself.
Beauty is not just a superficial thing. It’s not just a matter of looking good.
Beauty it’s all about how you present yourself. It’s about being brave, being strong and having an attitude. It is about daring to trust yourself, overcoming your fears and going further.
Beauty lies within us all, allowing us to bloom in the dark and overcome any obstacle.
Just like the lotus flower.
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What are 3 of the 500 ways to celebrate. Black love?
What is Quantum Water Leaping and how does this celebrate, Black Love?
Black Couples, Quantum Water Leaping is utilizing water as a representation of life. I believe that water is life and so if it’s used as a representation to cleanse out the old, love story, whatever that is, whether it’s past relationships, marriages, things that you haven’t forgiven yourself for concerning past relationships or anything thing that can hinder your, black love relationship. Black couples, are using that water and jumping into like a new, love story. It’s a quantum leap.
Black Couples, Quantum Jumping is all about strengthening, black love relationships, because it is very true that relationships breakup because we’re carrying baggage. Leaping from one to the next is a perfect way to drop off your baggage!
Author Betty Tucker shares the story of her life in her memoir, Don’t Worry About The Mule Going Blind. Betty Tucker came of age in Belle Glade, Florida, infamous for its poverty and violence. Her childhood was one of de-bili-ta-ting poverty, borne of racism, exploitive migrant labor, multiple rapes and other abuse, and chronic illness among her family and acquaintances … the list is long and bitter. Betty moved to California, earned her College degree, and raised a family. Then, in 1997, she began a long and eventually successful search for the twin girls she had given up for adoption thirty years earlier. Don’t worry about the Mule going Blind is a book about Fear, insecurity, sexual abuse, and neglect: This memoir will look beyond the description of these difficulties in the author’s life to examine how she acquired the tools she needed to take more control of her life, and what decisions impacted her choices. Pick up your copy today! Don’t worry about the Mule going Blind now available on Amazon.
How does the, Blackdatebox, Help, Black Love Relationships?
The, blackdatebox, or, black love box, is a quarterly subscription, love box, that was created to celebrate, black love. We celebrate, black love, depending on the season such as Christmas and other holidays or occasions that, black couples, wants to celebrate. For example there is a quarantine, love box.
It has most of what you need to create a date at home and while you’re on the stay at home experience, you will kindle a deeper level of communication, a deeper level of, love.
The, black love Box, comes with the rose petals and the candles and whatever you need to create a romantic date.
We are coming into summer so the summer celebration, blackdatebox, 2020 has fireworks inside the box. There’s two different boxes for the summer celebration because some, black couples, may want to have a daytime date, so I have a brunch box. I work with a chef she lives in Alabama her name is Erika Barrett she makes these excellent pancakes, so she’s one of the African American business that are featured in the box. The, blackdatebox, comes with decorations for the ambiance and all the, black couples, have to do is add the feelings of, love!
I also have a product that is amazing. It’s a game with miracle berries and they’re actually from Ghana and some people have taste tripping parties.
You take these berries and they’re intact in form and then they dissolve on your tongue. You have to let it dissolve for about 10 minutes, once it dissolves and you suck a lemon or a lime it is going to turn everything that you’re tasting, sweet. It’s an amazing experience.
When somebody goes out and purchases your book, what do you hope that they will come away with?
I’m hoping that my readers get inspired and more empowered. I’m hoping that it will inspire them to their own self journey to finding, black love, and discoveries of their family history that could be blocking, black love. I want to change the narrative of, black love, and society. I want my book to be a form of mental jogging.
How do you advise women to set their intention for, black love?
Whenever you have good intentions for being in a relationship then you will manifest those intentions. One way to set intentions is with daily affirmations. Some of these affirmations are:
I am loved
I am black and lovable
I am black excellence
If your intentions are that you want, love, because of loneliness, change your intentions. Your purpose for wanting a relationship must be because you have something to give, not want. If you set your intentions in a good way then you’ll receive good results. Call, love, and it will come!
I pray that everyone every listener, every reader of my book that this will be the best year of, Black love, or any other love for them. I just want to pray that, Love, Finds them from the north, the South, the east and the West. I just want to pray that they receive total healing.