AKAs in Atlantic City

Every spring, I join over 3,000 women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA), as we take cars, busses and Amtrak trains heading out of cities from Massachusetts through Maryland, to envelop a host city in the official sorority colors of pink and green. In the destination city, nearby restaurants will be filled to capacity with graduate and undergraduate members of all ages, retailers will change their storefront windows to feature trinkets designed to entice AKAs to shop. Anyone within a few feet of the local convention center will see a constant stream of color-coordinated women flooding the area. This AKA takeover lasts about four days, and is commonly known as the North Atlantic Regional Conference (NARC). These energetic visitors generate at least one million dollars into the city’s […]

By |April 29th, 2015|Blog
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    An Eco-State of Mind: Go green at these environmentally friendly destinations

An Eco-State of Mind: Go green at these environmentally friendly destinations

As I make my way up Shingle Creek, the motion of the kayak sends a ripple across the still waters of the Florida Everglades.

Tiny insects hover above a small rivulet and the little snouts of baby alligators breach the surface of the water amid a cluster of bald cypress trees. Except for the chirps coming from birds flying above and the light splash of the paddle as I try to navigate against the current, it’s absolutely quiet. Freakishly quiet.

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It’s hard to believe that this private, swampy oasis of flora and fauna, wet prairies, marshes and mangroves is only 20 minutes away from the most visited vacation resort in the world. But that’s what makes the Grande Lakes Resort in […]

By |April 22nd, 2015|Blog

The Black Cowboy

Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Gene Autry and Clint Eastwood are iconic personalities synonymous with the great American cowboys of yesteryear. Their images were captured on the boob tubes of the 1950s and 60s, forever immortalized in our cinematic psyches. Legend, myth and ruthless avengers of justice on the frontier, cowboys were the American heroes celebrated and admired all over the world.

Unfortunately, the images we know and celebrate are Hollywood’s idealized depiction of the cowboy because there were practically no black cowboys represented on TV or in movies.

The truth is that in the post-Civil War heyday of the cattle drive, one in four cowboys were African American and one in three were Mexican. So yeah, they sure did exist.

The first time it occurred to me to even consider the existence […]

By |April 20th, 2015|Blog

Another Side of Nashville

Music.

Music is the first thing that used to come to mind when the city of Nashville was mentioned to me in the past. Not black history, not really. Tennessee’s capital city owns all of the bragging rights to its musical heritage. A trip there reveals that, quiet as it’s kept, throughout its 218 years, African Americans have contributed greatly to the city’s rich history and culture, with the black presence found in small, tucked-away artifacts and within the walls of centuries-old buildings. Nashville does not so much shout its black history as slowly reveal it.

To the many of us on the trail of history, nothing is more satisfying than artifacts — the objects, relics and handiwork that say someone lived once, existed. About 20 minutes from downtown […]

By |April 13th, 2015|Blog

Celebrate Art and Soul in Indianapolis

A prominent saying in the Hoosier State declares, “There’s more than corn in Indiana.” Indianapolis, the state capital, is living proof of this fact. The city is culturally rich in festivities during Black History Month. Tourists traveling during this season can engage in cultural activities at Art and Soul, and also experience the historical amenities of the twelfth largest city in the country. As an Indiana native, the city always feels like home to me and the thousands who visit each year. I share some exciting tourist attractions, great dining and shopping in the Circle City to help you partake in this month-long celebration.

The Arts Council of Indianapolis plans activities every February to commemorate African American art and artists in Indiana that feature music, poetry, storytelling, dance and visual […]

By |March 26th, 2015|Blog