Tagged: Black History Month

Monday Motivation: “Just Keep Movin’.”

OK, so this post is not about a speech or presentation. Nor is it about a Cycle class. But this video is so delightful and inspiring that I was moved to share it here.

Besides, this Monday Motivation is about movement. That’s close enough, is it not?

Courtesy The White House

Virginia McLaurin, at 106 years young, fulfilled a dream–to be able to visit the White House. She did so as part of a Black History Month celebration. At 106, McLaurin most certainly has her own life lessons to teach us, with all that she has seen and experienced.

One lesson she teaches is how to enjoy the moments before us, and to live like we mean it. McLaurin didn’t hold back when she was introduced to the President and First Lady. She savored it. She walked fast. She danced. She displayed more energy and vigor upon meeting the Obamas than some folks who are a quarter of her age.

So my takeaways for the day, and week?

First, we are never old to see our dreams come true.

And second? The secret to long life, according to McLaurin, is to “just keep movin’.” I’m sold!

Michelle Obama: “I wanna be like you when I grow up.”

Virginia McLaurin: “You can.”

We all can–if we just keep movin’.

Speeches by a Most “Dangerous” Leader

We end Black History Month with a few speeches from a most “dangerous” leader: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some may find it hard to believe that the oft-quoted Dr. King–with his holiday and national memorial, as well as streets and schools named in his honor–was ever considered to be dangerous. The FBI thought otherwise. Alarmed by the increasing stature he won after delivering the I Have a Dream Speech, the FBI’s surveillance of Dr. King sped into overdrive.

Yes. The very speech that is now so familiar to so many.

The power of the “I Have a Dream” speech, however, was that it was built, in part, on the solid foundation of outstanding speeches and oratory before it. So read or listen to his 1955 Address to the Montgomery Improvement Association and his 1957 “Give Us the Ballot,” speech at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom (an event held at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.): lesser known speeches that no doubt helped build Dr. King’s stature.

Also be sure to read the Address at the Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March, ahead of President Obama’s visit to Selma, AL next week to mark the 50th Anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” march.

Words most certainly have power.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett: Bearing Witness

As you know, February is Black History Month. I celebrate this month by finding or re-discovering great speeches delivered by African American men and women.

One of those men and women is also one of my heroines, Ida B. Wells-Barnett: teacher, writer and fearless fighter for justice.


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