Friday, June 24, 2016


How would the Southern States  be brought back into the Union after the North won the American Civil War?  That was the question, and every body had their ideas.  But how to do Reconstruction came down to three groups, Lincoln, Johnson, and Congress.  Ultimately the military won!   They divided the South into five military districts and assigned a general to each district to make  sure the new rules were being followed.

While the military was there the Southern States did as they were told by the National Government.  They had to ratify the Civil War Amendments - 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.  The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, the 14th Amendment gave the Freedman their rights as citizens, and the 15th Amendment gave Black men the right to vote.  The 14th Amendment is a fantastic amendment because now it guarantees our rights as citizens!  

One of the first African American Congressman from Mississippi, Hiram Revels

Real progress was happening from 1866 to 1877.  Partly because the military was there enforcing acceptance!  For white Southerners acceptance was super hard to do.  A culture had been created of racial superiority.  In colonial days plantation owner figured out that poor whites and slaves were in the same boat.   And the thought of them teaming up, and overthrowing them terrified them!  That was a real possibility - so to make sure that never happened they created a divide among the two groups.

They told the poor whites for over a century your life is hard, but at least you are better than a slave!  This worked, and now they had to abandon that idea, and accept equality!  That could not be done overnight!  I truly believe we  are still struggling with this today!  Our race issues stem from this time period!  That is why we need to respect President Obama!  One he is the President!  He has earned your respect!  And two this country elected a black man to the highest office in the land!  Twice!  

I was so thrilled we could watch his inauguration at school!  It was encouraged!  I just sat there, watching, and sobbing!  So many students looked at me funny!  But I said if you knew the history of this country - you'd be crying too!

This is respect!  This 92  year old WW Veteran had the opportunity  to meet the President, and stood!  President Obama was embarrassed  and said you can sit!  The veteran said no -  I am meeting the President!   Wow!

Then the Compromise of 1877 happened, and everything changed!  The South hated the military being there, and saw their opportunity to get rid of them!  Hayes was running for President, and wanted the Southern States.  The South basically said if you get rid of the military - we will give you our vote.  Hayes said deal, and the first thing he did as President was  get rid of the military.  Reconstruction was over!

Now the South could do what it wanted!  They wanted to make sure the Freedman did not exercise their new freedom.  Really it is heartbreaking!  Groups like the Ku Klux Klan formed to use violence and intimidation to make sure Black Men did not vote.  Jim Crow Laws were written to keep the races separate.  Plessy v. Ferguson in the 1890s upheld Jim Crow Laws and stated Separate but Equal.  Sadly things were not equal.  This was overturned in 1954 with Brown v. Board when the Supreme Court said  Separate is inherently unequal.

The above image is scary to me!  The question becomes Was it better to be a slave, or a free man?  This is a fun question to discuss, and debate!  The students always say the most interesting things!

White Southerners used fear, intimidation  and violence to make sure blacks voted the way they wanted!  After the military left the enacted Poll Taxes (requiring people to pay to vote - whites were grandfathered in - if your grandfather was not a slave you did not have to pay) and Literacy Tests.  The 24th Amendment abolished Poll Taxes.  They lasted almost 100 years!  That is sad!

It was this ridiculous

I cannot imagine living in a society where everything was separated!  I read an interesting article that said in a generation or two - there will not be anyone alive who was living during Jim Crow.  I wonder what impact that will have?  I will say one thing I love about the younger generations is that you are more tolerant!!!!

This song sums up the South!  It was written by a confederate soldier!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Congrats BTW Speech and Debate!!!

From Tulsa Public Schools: 

Congratulations to Micah Cash of Booker T. Washington for being named the "Best U.S. Extemporaneous speaker" at the Speech and Debate Association National Tournament last week. This is no small feat, as Micah competed against 250 other students at the largest academic competition in the world. This is the highest honor any student can accomplish in the world of high school speech and debate. Pictured with Micah are his two coaches, Meredith Deaton and Kelly McCracken. This is the third time in four years that a student from Booker T. has won the "Best Extemporaneous speaker" award. More than 3,000 students participated in the tournament in Salt Lake City.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Do not be afraid of FAILURE!

I have heard this my whole life, and now in my 30s I know it is true!  Life happens in the failures!  We learn from them, and grow!  This morning I heard Ben Afflek say "Life is going to knock you down, but you have to get back up!"  It is true life is going to knock you down.  It is different for everyone!  But   how are you going to deal with it?  For me it was being diagnosed with MS.  This is a hard disease to live with!  I  get tired easily, my vision is not the best, hot weather is really bad for me, and my walking can be bad.  There is more, but it would be a novel to list them all!  But for some reason this is the hand I've been dealt.  I've accepted it, and live life to the fullest!

So do not be afraid of failure!  Grow and learn from failure!  What matters is your living, and you are figuring out what does not work!  Be thankful for that!  I love this pic of famous failures!  What if they stopped? Do not stop, or give up!

I love this advice from Oprah!  Preach it sister!  Watch and listen!  Relax!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Do Not Ever Give Up!

On the plane home I got the  opportunity to watch "Eddie the  Eagle".  I never saw it in the theaters, and I really wanted to - so I was excited to watch it!  It did not disappoint, and at the end I cried!   I wanted to tell you about this movie because it has a great message!  

One thing that really stood out to me was his dream to be an Olympian Athlete!  Everyone told him there is no way that would happen, made fun of him, and laughed at him.  He did not care!  He never gave up, and stopped training!  It is really inspirational!

That is one of my favorite things about history!  We can learn life lessons from it!  Trust me life is too short to learn all the lessons individually!  This movie reminds us to go for our dreams and never give up on them!

The real Eddie!  Best part is that this is a true story!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

I am home from France!

I got home today!  This trip was magical, and the best way to start the summer!  Here is a small collection of the pictures I took!  I took 100's - so it was hard to pick!  Hope you are having a GREAT summer!

This is my beautiful  Mom!  She took me to France, and there are no words to describe my gratitude!

I always feel so grown up traveling to Europe.  I had a 6 hour layover in Zurich, and found a Starbucks!  They are everywhere!

The first Two weeks we were in Sancerre.  An ancient, Roman city!  This was the view from our apartment!

This was our street our Apartment was on in Sancerre!  I took this from a tower - 195 steps to  the top!

The last week we were suppose to go to Nice, but the trains went on strike.  So we had to spend it in Paris!  We were not sad!  This was my 12th time to Paris, and seeing the Notre Dame de Paris never gets old!

Paris Metro

Le Cafe Buci - this was right around the corner from our hotel.  We went everyday - We fell in love!  The coolest part was the waiters got to know us!

At Le Cafe Buci on our last  day!

One of the most memorable moments was having my outstanding Mom treat me to lunch on the top of the Eiffel Tower!  I have never done that!  We got our own private elevator to the restaurant!  It was magical!

We spent a whole day at my favorite museum - Musee D'Orsay - we turned the corner and there was Monet!  WOW! Here is the crowd looking at the masterpieces!

I love this scene!