Freedom, Oh Freedom!
When I look at the picture of my dad in his army uniform I see freedom. You see my dad didn’t choose the military, the military chose him. I know what you’re thinking, but R.J. how is that freedom? Hold on. Hold on. Let me explain.
My father was drafted during the Vietnam War. A teenager when he left home, a teenager that was leaving home to fight for the country he was born instead of pursuing a college degree. After he was discharged, he resumed working full time, and began raising a family.
He instilled freedom in the three children he raised. The freedom to be what we wanted to be, with one catch. You must attend college FIRST. Centuries ago we had ancestors that were not afforded the opportunity of freedom of speech, education, or rights.
The opportunities that I sometimes take for granted would not be available to me unless there were others before me that fought for freedom. We have come so far, but yet still have so far to go. At least I can be #SteeleThankful for the veterans that continue to fight for freedom, freedom for us all. One day my child, one day, we will all be free. Free of the bondage of the mind, body, and soul.
What are you #SteeleThankful for?
It took me a minute to understand, and believe how powerful passion can be. It’s such a strong emotion. So, when I think of passion I automatically think of history. I love it! I fell in love with it as a little girl. I was more intrigued with the fact that according to the history textbooks in school was that black history began with slavery. I kept asking the questions, well where did we come from? How did this happen?
If you read some of my last post I spoke about a red book that my dad purchased when I was a little girl. That book provided biographies of notable figures in black history. Just a little nugget, parents when you see your children are passionate about something, encourage and support them.
I fell in love with reading about history, mystery, and horror books. There weren’t many history books for children with characters that looked like me, so I was reading Nancy Drew and Goosebumps. When I was in grad school the first thing I thought about was writing a children’s book. I wanted the main character to resemble me but with a twist, which means a combination of my sister and I.
My passion for history led me to this point. I read, researched, and executed the plan. I wanted a cool way to learn about history, and I ended up here. I’m continuously amazed by how your passion can give you so much joy. I’m thankful for that book that my dad gave me over 20 years ago, because that book led me to this moment, with my Alleykats!
What are you #SteeleThankful for?
I’m R.J. and I love History. I just wanted to get that out of the way. So, you aren’t confused at all. Lol. There are many things that I enjoy but I honestly love history more! On Periscope, I present live broadcasts of myself (and sometimes I’m able to drag a friend along) touring the country doing tours at varies historic sites and I call them “Historical Tours w/R.J.” I like to challenge people with the question of, “What’s in your archives?” Your personal archives expresses so much about you and helps you focus on your legacy in a more succinct way. Today is #TBT (Throwback Thursday) right? Well, I decided to reach into my archives and pull out a photo from my days as an Americorp member, (amazing experience I might add).
The historical tour took place at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina. The center and museum is housed inside of the former Woolworth & Co store. College students from a local Historically Black College and University (HBCU) decided on February 1, 1960 to take a stand against segregation at the “whites only” lunch counter. Their efforts at the “Greensboro sit-ins” would go on to change the course of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.
To learn more about this amazing place, please check out their website, www.sitmovement.org
I highly recommend this place as your first stop if you’re ever passing through on I-85 in North Carolina or visiting for the weekend. Don’t forget to tell them that R.J. sent you!
The girl behind the lens…