From the decor, to the dynamic Hip Hop Speaker, to the performances and my God the beautiful black and brown people in attendance, The 3rd Annual Speak Life Tour Awards Gala was indeed a spectacular night to remember.
I had the esteemed privilege of interviewing the Speak Life Tour Sponsors, Artists, and Attendees of the event. Their stories and encouraging words of praise solidified the powerful and impactful work that The Speak Life Tour has done and is doing to penetrate, elevate and inspire the minds of the black youth in our communities. The night was filled with performances from the talented and beautiful Melanin Reigns, RICKOCHET Dance Group, Song and Liturcical Dance via STAR, poetry by Epiphany Words, Singer Brandon Gatewood and many other Speak Life Tour Artists.
Hip Hop Motivational Speaker Carl Michel spoke an intense word filled with positivity and purpose. His words inspired us to stay focused on accomplishing our goals, live out our dreams, love ourselves first, to honor God and in turn honor the God within us.
All this was done with influential lyrical references from Kendrick Lamar, Nas, KRS ONE and Carl dropped a few bars of his own.
The night would have been amiss without a tribute to Founder and Creator of The Speak Life Tour, Catherine Trotter. Her tireless efforts, sleepless nights and persistence have blossomed into what we now know as THE SPEAK LIFE TOUR. The Artists, sponsors, friends and attendees gave their deepest expressions with gifts and words of thanks for THE SPEAK LIFE TOUR and praise for Catherine's influence on each of their lives. She left us with words of insightful words wisdom. "Never give up on your dreams, follow your calling, push forward and be all that you are called to be"
I had a wonderful time at the Speak Life Tour 3rd Annual Gala and look forward to what's in store for 2017 and beyond!
Photos from the SPEAKLIFETOUR 3rd Annual Awards Gala
Visit www.speaklifetour.com to find out more about the organization.
Richard Lucas III is a 21st Century Leader spreading the message of hope and sending a call to action for Young (and Old) Blacks living in these here United States of America. His life calling is apparent through his social justice activism and prolific speeches in which he is constantly charging black folk to demand justice, claim our deity and walk in our greatness. Richard Lucas III is the former 2015-2016 BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY SGA President and is preparing to complete his graduate studies at YALE UNIVERSITY this fall. He is a distinguished member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Richard III has also served in numerous other leadership roles throughout his academic career AND he's my baby brother! (#proudbigsister)
"LET THERE BE LIGHT" is an uplifting call to action from Richard III to the incoming 2016-2017 Freshmen at BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY. He shares his ideologies in walking with purpose, remaining focused and committed to our goals in order to uplift and empower the Black Community. His speech concisely articulates the tragedies and triumphs of our black existence. Richard III's message is clear, his words are sharp yet healing. We are here to do a great work, to bring and to be, THE LIGHT. Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine...You gotta watch it to catch it!
This right here will be the most impactful 12 mins of your day, trust me we all need to hear this...
I met her at my soon to be Alma Mater, Bowie State University about a year ago. I had heard so many stories about Dr. Welsing, her education of and influence in the Black Community, her writings on social justice, white supremacy and white extinction. My mentor has mentioned her tireless commitment to the enlightenment of Blacks in many of our conversations on the state of Blacks in America. I know she was a Warrior of Truth and she will be remembered as such. She will be remembered as an educator, as an inspiration, as a reference point to the ongoing progression of "knowledge and freedom of self". The words Dr. Welsing spoke that night at Bowie will always resonate within me. Her teachings, her studies, her life's work will live on through me.
"I will not rest until Black children are taught to love themselves as themselves"
-Dr. Frances Cress Welsing
Black Power Lives Forever, we will continue your Legacy my Queen, Rest in Paradise.
I remember whispers of Kwanzaa growing in my younger years in church, in school and at home but I don’t ever remember consciously reverencing the Pan African Celebration. I decided around Thanksgiving time this year that I was going to celebrate Kwanzaa in its entirety, I had not done my research and unfortunately I did not properly prepare for the celebration. In addition to the daily reverence of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, I learned there are seven basic physical symbols and two supplemental ones that also represent values and concepts of Kwanzaa. Now I know for next year! I am still extremely excited and fully committed to the celebration and will reverence each principle daily in my home and via social media.
For those who may not know Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates family, community and culture. Celebrated from 26 December thru 1 January, its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language.
The first-fruits celebrations are recorded in African history as far back as ancient Egypt and Nubia and appear in ancient and modern times in other classical African civilizations such as Ashantiland and Yorubaland. These celebrations are also found in ancient and modern times among societies as large as empires (the Zulu or kingdoms (Swaziland) or smaller societies and groups like the Matabele, Thonga and Lovedu, all of southeastern Africa. Kwanzaa builds on the five fundamental activities of Continental African "first fruit" celebrations: ingathering; reverence; commemoration; recommitment; and celebration. Kwanzaa, then, is:
Kwanzaa Description “Roots and Branches” and photo from www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org
Are you celebrating Kwanzaa this year? How will you apply Kwanzaa’s principles to your personal life throughout the year?
For more info on Kwanzaa visit www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org
I love my HBCU! Students came out today for the Hype Fest Day Carnival! There was free food, free henna, music and more!! I thought I would catch a couple people in action + next time I will have somebody...anybody snap my pic. GO BULLDOGS!!!