People I Admire

My GrandparentsMy FriendsKathy P. Wallace
Monica M. SmithDana D. GarzaNaga C. R.
Patti & Larry HamelLisa ClouatreCivil Rights Activists
Survivors of SlaveryEl Hajj Malik El Shabazz & Sister BettyPhyllis Hyman
Danny GloverMs. Dorothy DandridgeMorris Dees
Sister Mahalia JacksonRobert DeNiroVanessa Williams
Soul Food (Showtime), Melrose Place, The Cosby Show
Vanessa L. Williams
Actress, Songstress, Broadway Star
Samuel L. JacksonChris Rock
Janet JacksonYolanda AdamsThe Wayans Family
The Isley BrothersSIA, Santa Cruz, CAFather McElvoy
John BrownLudwig Van Beethoven

Also admired:

positive grade and high school teachers, humanitarians, and others such as Harriet Tubman, Nelson Mandela, William H. Seward, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Madame CJ Walker, John Amos, Muhammad Ali, Carlos Santana, Maynard Jackson, Colin & Alma Powell, Lyndon B. Johnson, Janet Hubert, Rosie O’Donnell, James MacLaren, Don Cheadle (I LUV THIS GUY!! well not in THAT way, but his work is awesome!), Angela Bassett, Dennis Haysbert (one of my husbands!), Loretta Devine, Alex Haley, Richard Allen, Morgan Freeman, Ruth J. Simmons, Denzel Washington, Sidney Poitier, Debbie Allen, Diahann Carroll, Al Roker, Tommy Hilfiger (great humanitarian work!), Willie Nelson, John Leguizamo, Margaret Cho, Dr. Michael Ain, Bob Heinemann, Martha H. Stanley, Alec Mapa, Kim Cattrall (our HERO!), Patrick McGuinness & Ann Finnell, Sting, Russell Wong (& he’s just too fine, or PHHFINNE!, scooch over a little LL Cool J), California Highway Patrol (overworked and underpaid professionals!), and so many others who make the day-to-day ho-hums so much more bearable.

The Tuskegee Airmen

I would like to pay a special tribute to The Tuskegee Airmen. Without them the losses of fighter pilots during World War II would have been significantly higher. The dignity and grace of these black fighter pilots was always present even when discriminated against before, during and after the war. All that was wanted was a better way of life for themselves and their family. Fighting for their country was believed to be one way to receive that type of respect just to live out their lives with dignity, the same dignity afforded to many European immigrants openly welcomed into the United States, while the “Not Welcome” signs were ever present within The Tuskegee Airmen’s own country.

Lt. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Jr., a West Point graduate was “silenced” during his entire time at West Point (a practice where other cadets would only speak to him for official reasons and designed to encourage the cadet to drop out). As a Lt. Colonel, Davis led the Tuskegee Airmen throughout their fighting during World War II. Not a single bomber was lost while being escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen. Over 850 medals and awards were presented to the Tuskegee Airmen. And all of this was accomplished while being denied basic rights and experiencing harsh discrimination both inside and outside of the Army.

If you are near any of the remaining Tuskegee Airmen and/or their family, acknowledge and honor them now. Those still alive and those who departed are living examples of what a good person is, respectful citizens and honorable human beings.

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