I want to take this time to CONGRATULATE photographer, Roxanne Quezada Chartouni, for her exquisite photography in – “A Look At Fourth Ward” that was published in the Houston History Magazine on April 8, 2020!
I also want to send virtual (((hugs))) to my awesome and wonderful cousin Cecelia Cook Drew who is gracefully captured in one of the photos waving a white hanky in the wind. Her efforts to keep cool in Houston’s brutal heat is futile. But she is definitely – as the caption reads, “looking beautifully cool,” — through it all!
The culture, history, and true feeling of freedom for all Freedmen who settled in Houston’s Fourth Ward after emancipation is literally being swallowed up today by gentrification. My connection, and Cecelia’s connection, to this community comes from our Chapple/Chappel ancestors who lived and loved hard, worked hard, and played hard right here at the turn of the 20th century. So THANK YOU Roxanne for capturing a community that is near and dear to our hearts and our family’s history before it’s gone from view forever!
Be sure to visit & “Like” Houston A Look At 4th Ward – 1987 Facebook Page for more great photos as past and present community members of 4th Ward interact with Roxanne and assist with the identification of the photos for publication – https://www.facebook.com/Houstonalookat4thward/
Just after 6 pm on April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at age 39, was assassinated while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers’ strike. He was preparing to leave the motel to go to dinner when a bullet struck him in the jaw and severed his spinal cord. Dr. King was pronounced dead after his arrival at a Memphis hospital. I was 8 or 9 years old when he was assassinated and saw how his death affected my family and our friends in the community and at church. I could not help thinking about how did his children feel about losing their father in this awful way.
YouVersion’s exclusive conversation with Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King below gives me some insight on what I often wondered — how were the King children coping emotionally and mentally through the years over their father’s death. I suspected there was anger towards white people in general. But despite her anger over what happened, it’s comforting to hear how the power of God’s Word is how she found the ability to forgive. I love her challenge to us to take God at his word when she said, ” . . . we too can tap into that same power today, in order to practice true justice towards others: by walking in mercy and humility. When you start practicing in this vein — doing justice, and loving mercy — it invites God into the equation and gives Him room to operate.”
Isaish 55:11 – “so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: It shall not return unto Me void . . .”
Even though I wasn’t able to attend the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC when it first opened to the public August 22, 2011, seeing it on a rainy day years later in the Fall of 2016 was just as exciting and emotional for me as I’m sure it was for everyone in attendance on opening day!
The 30-foot statue of Dr. King rising out of a stone of hope, with arms folded across his chest, is simply breathtaking and captures his likeness perfectly! This monument covers 4 acres and includes 17 quotations from Dr. King’s popular speeches inscribed in granite panels by Chinese sculptor, Lei Yixin. The inspiration for the memorial design comes from a line in Dr. King’s “I HAVE A DREAM” speech:
“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
If you plan to visit the monument today in celebration of Dr. King’s legacy or have this “Must-See” national treasure on your U.S. travel bucket list, the official address of the monument is 1964 Independence Avenue, S. W., commemorating the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There is no fee to visit. The memorial is open 24 hours a day because of its outdoor setting. Bookstore, restrooms, and drinking fountains are located across the West Basin Drive near the main entrance.
While you’re in the area, located at the northwest corner of the Tidal Basin, is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial to the northwest, and the Jefferson Memorial to the southeast that you should visit too!
A heartfelt Memorial Day message to my family from BillionGraves.com
Dear Claiming Kin,
Memorial Day is a chance to pause and share our gratitude for the brave servicemen and servicewomen throughout the world. We pause to remember not just those in the United States, but all people who gave their life, or who continue to risk their lives, for the pursuit of freedom, love, and equality for all people.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you and your families for sacrifices you all have made to make the world a better place.
My celebration of National DNA Day and fascination with genetic DNA testing began with my first mitochondrial test (mtDNA) on 30 December 2011. The results of my mitochondrial lineage — Haplogroup L2a1l1b — just confirmed what I already knew about myself and the female ancestors in my family tree — our ancient origins/roots are in Africa!
As more genetic tests became available, my desire to know more about my ancestral roots prompted me to expand my results. So from 2011 to 2016, I completed the mtDNA Plus, Family Finder, mtFull Sequence, and Autosomal tests. With each test, I learned some amazing information about my lineage and ethnicity!
I’m 84% African. No surprises there!
I’m 12% European. It was interesting to learn which areas of Europe are a part of my DNA!
Guess what?! I’m 2% Asian! Who knew?! – ROFL!!
To every family member who told me that my great-great-grandmothers on both sides of my family tree were Native Americans (and I didn’t believe them), this one is for you!
I’m 1% Native American! So I guess those relatives who talked about having high cheekbones, being hairless with straight hair that is not exactly curly, kinky, or spirally may have been on to something here — LOL!
So, how will you celebrate National DNA Day? Feel free to celebrate with me here by sharing your Haplogroup and/or Ethnicity results in the comment section of this post if you like!