100 Posts!

99 posts ago we embarked on sharing our travels, meals and thoughts with the world.  Since, we’ve garnered more than 500 likes and 50 followers.  To us, it feels as though we’ve been allowed to meet a few more people around the world we may have never bumped into on our journey.  Thank you for visiting with us and inviting us into your lives daily.  I’m additionally grateful for the consistency we’ve maintained in posting each weekday.

How long have you been a blogger?  What tips would you share on blogging?



Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

Thankful: This is a picture of the broom we jumped at our wedding.  Jumping the broom is an African-American tradition that dates back as early as slavery and some argue even prior within West African traditions.  During slavery, marriages between  African-Americans weren’t recognized because slaves were considered property and could be separated by sell at any time.  Our ancestors would hold ceremonies in their housing quarters and jump the broom to symbolize their marriage.

We chose to place pictures of our parents’ weddings on our broom, pictures they took with their parents.  It was a way of bringing our grandparents, who each are no longer with us, into our ceremony.  We are beyond thankful for our elders and ancestors, from whose strength and endurance we draw.  Though many of them had limited freedom and resources, they gave us a wealth that is unmatched and beyond appreciated.  

Are you participating in the Weekly Photo Challenge?


Why I Don’t Shop At Walmart

More than 112 people lost their lives this past weekend while working in a clothing factory in Bangladesh. It’s indeterminable how many lives could have been saved had it not been for nonexistent fire escape, inoperable fire extinguishers and piss poor government regulation. One corporation benefiting from this factory’s production is the world’s largest retailer – Walmart.

Walmart is a corporation owned by the Walton family whose members place #s 6, 7, 8 and 9 on the Forbes list with a combined wealth of more than $100 billion. *let that resonant* And I know that on Monday Walmart claimed they had no knowledge that some of their clothing was still being produced at this particular factory. It may be true; however it’s unacceptable when you are one of the largest corporations in the world and have the resources to understand exactly what is occurring at each link in the chain. In fact, since Bangladesh has and continues to have great safety issues in its nearly 4,000 garment factories it’s unacceptable that Walmart continues to partner with any factory in that country. Given the current economic state of our country, it’s unspeakable that they haven’t opened factories here, in the United States, to not only employ the very people whose money they desire to be spent in their stores, but whose regulation would ensure the safety of its employees.

Truth be told, I didn’t need an additional reason to not shop at Walmart. I haven’t purchased an item from its stores in years because its employees earn a minimum of $8 an hour forcing those very workers to require federal assistance to survive all while its corporation continually produces record profits and its owners are among the richest in the world; Walmart employees have filed numerous charges of unfair labor practices; and healthcare remains unaffordable for many of its employees. It disgusts me and I cannot allow our hard-earned dollars to continue to increase the wealth of a few at the expense of far too many.

Are there any companies you refuse to financial support?

P.S. – I know Walmart isn’t the only corporation with despicable practices.  IKEA, we know you also benefit from Bangladesh factories as well.

16th Street Baptist Church

Though they lived in a climate of perpetual hate caused by ignorance and racial segregation, thousands of young people packed Sunday School rooms around Birmingham to engage in lessons of love and grace.  However, several adults were determined to teach a contradictory message.  At 10:22 a.m., a bomb exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church killing four young African-American girls and injuring 20 others.  15 September 1963 became anything but a normal Sunday.

I’ve traveled to Alabama numerous times throughout my life, but have never visited Birmingham. Of the many historical lessons my parents taught and instilled in me, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing resonated with me differently – maybe because I was a young girl full of life learning about young girls losing their lives.

The dichotomy of the Civil Rights Movement is beyond evident – nonviolent advances met with violent resistance.  Clashes were rampant in the Jim Crow era.  The church bombing, however, was deemed exponentially different because of its intersection of location, time and age of victims that fateful morning.  Regardless of one’s belief, our society has typically respected places of worship as peaceful places, designating them as off limits to anything but worship, especially in the South.  The same regard was held for Sunday mornings, so much so that many areas of the South continue to prohibit alcohol sales and keep places of business closed until noon on Sundays.  Despite the hatred one group held for the other, children were less frequently the victims The fact that this resistance not only claimed lives, but those aged 11 – 14 was beyond unspeakable.  Like Rosa Parks’ arrest, this event was another event to better illustrate to the rest of the nation and world the atrocities African-Americans faced daily.

It was imperative for us to visit the 16th Street Baptist Church and honor those whose lives were lost and those whose lives were forever changed one Sunday in 1963.

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

more photographs

What historical places have you visited?  Which places remain on your bucket list?


Success With What You Have

Happy Monday! Are you making the best of your circumstances?  Do you look for the gold in a sea of trash?  Have you seen the rose growing through the concrete?  Kelvin Doe, a self-taught teen from Sierra Leone, is an engineering whiz.  With very limited resources, he has scoured garbage to find items he can use to create transmitters, batteries and generators.  Kelvin, who is known by many throughout Sierra Leone as DJ Focus, created a radio station where he plays music, broadcasts news and encourages dialogue addressing issues concerning his country.  He was recently invited to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to participate in the Visiting Practitioner’s Program making him the program’s youngest participant.

Kelvin has inspired me to no end.  DJ Focus couldn’t be a more appropriate title for this young man.

What are your thoughts on Kelvin’s story?  What does it motivate you to accomplish?