Embracing Diversity in People

Trayvon Peace Walk 2014

It’s Monday, and a start to a brand new week!

Now, about a week ago, I was still licking my wounds, so to speak, from being laid off and the financial turmoil that follows, especially with NO severance package … just good bye. Feeling much better about myself and my situation for various reasons. You know, the lack of money in this capitalistic society can really make a person lose it. Thank God and my parents for instilling in me a great work ethic coupled with a variety of talents and interests. Imagine that … “Imagine” … sang the Beatles.

It is still Black History Month, y’all. There are a few things I want to write about but before I begin, I wanted to thank each of you for your continued reading and occasional replies to these e-mails. I also have over 400 blog entries on Word Press for Educational Excellence. I was telling my daughter the other day, since she has relocated to Florida, that I seem to always make a mistake either in spelling or syntax or even sentence structure in these e-mails! I had one person remark on the blog that there were too many. I am sure he wasn’t looking for the message anyway. Yet, I do take into account my imperfections and wanted to say thanks for reading in spite of my imperfections. My daughter replied, “Well, if I was up at 6:00 am writing, I would probably make some mistakes, too!”

Have you ever had someone tell you that you should be doing “this” or should be looking into “that” rather than asking what your interests are, in my case traditional options of employment? Now, sometimes, I would get a bit edgy because if someone wants to have a supportive conversation with you, it (the conversation) would be an interactive one, not one of directives on what you should or should not be doing … methinks! Yet, the diversity in personalities of people is something that we can certainly learn to embrace, rather than being offended and ending a possible friendship or relationship, perhaps even before it can begin.

This past weekend on Saturday, a Peace Walk was held in Miami Gardens to honor the second anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s birthday, suggested Sabryna Fulton, which is February 5th, 1995. While we watched the squeaky wheels of injustice roll backwards, others like Martin’s parents and the more spiritual people in the community decided to continue to move forward. The event had very touching speeches from both of Trayvon’s parents, and also included a message from Jamie Foxx. If you have children who are teens or younger, teach them well, love them a lot. If you have black sons, teach them the extra etiquette needed to survive and excel in a country that once considered their ancestry fit to be slaves. Even George Washington, the first president of the United States, had an abundance of slaves who waited on he and his family on his plantation in Mt. Vernon! There is more that they need to be taught so that they can prepare themselves for such injustices as Trayvon’s murder and Zimmerman’s walk to “freedom” after such a murder. It takes all kinds of people to start non-profits to provide a support net for the less fortunate as well as people to rise to heights of civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. (RIP, Sir!) to Thurgood Marshall (RIP Esquire), the first African American Supreme Court Justice.

Mr. Marshall was actually denied entry into the law school at the University of Maryland … because he was black!!! Clearly, his goal was to rise to the top of this nation’s judicial system and do some awesome work. It is in descriptions like this that I use the word “awesome” to describe such a person like Mr. Marshall whose youthful past time was to listen to court cases at the local courthouse and then discuss them with his family once at home! His life is what awesome really means …. not your favorite snack or outfit, if you will. Now here’s the element of diversity that I wanted to share with you about Thurgood’s rise to national prominence as he literally won the Brown vs. Board of Education Case in 1954, which deemed the segregation of public schools in this country illegal. Thurgood attended a prestigious all black university called Lincoln University where amongst his classmates were jazz musician Cab Calloway; the future president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah; and poet extraordinaire, Langston Hughes! These men paved the way for many African American men today. May we give them their rightful places in our history and in our hearts, in African American History as well as American History if people are spiritual and real enough to accept such facts. Thank you ALL!

Here’s a good reason to do what you do best, and, thanks for your support in helping me do what I do love, too! There’s room for all of us in Our Creator’s universe. Dare to be different, you dig?! Be yourself because you ARE YOU!

As I continue to get back on track with work options, please feel free to use the Pay Pal account in the signature section of this e-mail to make even the smallest of donations. I am anticipating doing something like a local poetry reading this year to aid in fundraising for Educational Excellence’s 501(c)3 status. Correct, I am not giving up just like Thurgood didn’t give up when he was denied entrance into The University of Maryland’s Law School, which is in the same country that he rose to become the very first African American Supreme Court Justice, and soon after, won the Brown vs. Board of Education case!


John I. Cook, Director

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