Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lupita Nyong’o, the Beautiful Swan

People magazine named Lupita Nyong’o one of the world’s most beautiful people. Not only is Lupita known for the Oscar she won for her role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave, but she also is known for her graceful elegance on the red carpet. However, Lupita was not always appreciative of her beauty. When she was a young girl, she compared herself to the beautiful women she saw on television. Like the young swan we know as the “ugly duckling,” Lupida believed that because she did not look like the models and actresses on television, she wasn’t beautiful. Lupida even admits to praying to God that she would wake up and look like the women on television, but God never answered Lupida’s prayer. Every morning Lupida woke up, her skin was still brown (Lamour, n.d.).

In the fairy tale, the ugly duckling eventually met a beautiful swan in the lake and compared his reflection in the water to the swan. He realized that he was not an ugly duckling but a beautify swan. Just like the young swan, Lupida found someone with whom she could identify--model Alek Wek. That’s when Lupida began to appreciate her beauty (Lamour, n.d.).

Lupida also knows the value of the beauty within, a lesson taught to her by her mother (Lamour, n.d.). As she graces red carpets and stages, it is not only the outer beauty we see but also the inner beauty that radiates through her graceful elegance.

For what unanswered prayers are you grateful? This is the story in you. Share it.


#LupitaNyong’o   #AlekWek   #12YearsASlave   #Oscar   #UglyDuckling  #BeautifulBrownSkin

Lamour, J. (n.d.) Upworthy. Retrieved from

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ban on Affirmative Action Upheld but Don’t Abandon

The Michigan Supreme Court upheld the ban on affirmative action in the public university admissions process, but that does not mean minorities should abandon hopes of attending the universities of their dreams. For now, the chapter on affirmative action has ended in Michigan and many other states, so it’s time to write a new chapter.

I am reminded of Augustin Hadelich, the renown violinist who would not take “no” for an answer. Augustin learned to play the violin when he was 7 years old, and he was exceptional. However, this chapter ended when he was 15 years old. He was severely burned in a fire. Doctors originally told Augustin he might never play the violin again because of the damage to his left arm. With physical therapy and determination, Augustin wrote a new chapter. He persevered and is now a successful violinist who performs all over the world (Schweitzer, 2010).

Grade point average, ACT and SAT scores, college prep courses, essays, and extracurricular activities are just some of the many factors universities use to select students. These factors can be the starting point in beating the odds in the college admissions process. Urban schools need programs that will assist students along their journeys. Programs should focus on study skills, test-taking, and reading and writing. Because higher education is rigorous, students must be offered rigorous courses at the high school level. Furthermore, mentoring and volunteering programs make dynamic extracurricular opportunities for students to learn and hone skills and strategies.

Writing a new chapter might be challenging, but it is not impossible. Woven throughout the rich history of minorities is the golden thread of determination. Frederick Douglass became an intellectual when it was against the law for African Americans to learn to read. George Washington Carver developed more than 100 products from the peanut. Dr. Patricia Bath invented the Laserphaco Probe that improved treatment for cataracts (A&E Television Networks, 2014).

“Remember not to hear praise in a whisper and negative things in a thunder” (Robert J. Wicks as cited in Borchard, 2014).

How have you persevered in the face of adversity? This is the story in you. Share it.


#AffirmativeAction   #BanOnAffirmativeActionUpheld   #MichiganSupremeCourt   #Augustin Hadelich   #FrederickDouglass   #GeorgeWashingtonCarver   #Dr.PatriciaBath   #LaserphacoProbe   #Cataracts   #ACT   #SAT   #CollegeAdmissions   #GPA   #GradePointAverage   #Minorities   #RobertJWicks


A&E Televisions Networks. (2014). A&E television networks, LLC. Retrieved from

Borchard, T. (2014). Everyday health media. Retrieved from|main5|dl8|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D468991

Schweitzer, V. (2010). The New York Times company. Retrieved from

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Capturing the Spirit of the Holidays

Holidays are special times when family and friends gather together to celebrate and make connections. Create a scrapbook for these cherished memories—one for each holiday you celebrate. Include following:
  • Family recipes that have been handed down over the years--Embrace the stories behind the recipes by writing them out from the perspectives of multiple family members. Describe how the recipes may have been modified for gluten free and vegetarian diets
  • Photographs with descriptions of the event or thoughts and feelings about the event--Describe who, what, where, when, why, and how of the story behind the photos.
  • Voice recordings of loved ones--Purchase an inexpensive recording module used for stuffed animals or greeting cards. The modules allow you to record for approximately 10-20 seconds, which is long enough to capture the essence of a loved one’s laughter, riddle, or advice.
  • Mementos--A dried flower, leaf, food or beverage label, or a decorative napkin can serve as memory triggers in a holiday scrapbook.
  • Newspaper articles--Separate the scrapbook into years. To capture the behind-the-scenes stories, include a newspaper clipping of a major event that took place in the city on that day.

How have your family traditions shaped your life? This is the story in you. Share it.

The Memory Keepers’ Daughter,


#scrapbooking   #holidays   #traditions   #photographs   #RecordingModules   #recipes   #FamilyRecipes   #mementos