Mom in the wilderness

I would like to thank this post that got me thinking about posting this post. Post. http://www.scarymommy.com/dont-get-mom-culture/

I am a mom. I am many other things as well, being a mom does not completely define me. But as other moms know, you NEED mom friends. Friends who get the reason you are tired even though your kids are older. Friends who can help with carpooling and who understand why you need your kids to have a play date at the other mom’s house.

In addition, you need non-mom friends – friends who by choice or not do not have kids. Because you need to have a conversation not about kids. Conversations about work, music, and whether or not a spoon can be used to eat ANYTHING (you know who I am talking about).

I don’t know if it’s just the way adult friendships work or what, but with all my great mom friends out there, I many times feel very alone.

Before you get all group huggy on me and junk, understand that I am not saying this because I need to hang out more or to make people feel guilty. Even though I am an extrovert and love to socialize, I often politely decline a lot of invitations to events and outings because I am just not that mom.

 

Alcohol

I first became aware of the wine mommy culture when my daughter was in preschool. The preschool had a family party and served wine on the playground. I raised my eyebrows, but whatever, most of the parents seemed to like it. Now I see “Wine Wednesday” is it “Wine O’Clock” or “The most expensive part of having kids is all the wine you have to drink.” Reminds me of the song by the Rolling Stones called “Mother’s Little Helper.”

I very rarely drink. If I get an alcoholic beverage, it’s usually a daiquiri and that is enough to make my head spin. I used to be able to hold a couple of drinks down without a problem, but not so much now. I am also on medication that really doesn’t interact well with alcohol.

I don’t like paint and wine parties. I don’t like wine festivals because I stand around in the heat/rain getting bumped by tipsy drinkers while I just stand there holding coats. Same with beer festivals.

I am not anti-alcohol, but my way of dealing with kids who are getting on my last nerve is to shut myself up in my room and read a book. I am not shaming, but I want people to know it’s not just something I do. I have even had moms say to me “Oh yeah, you don’t drink” not in a sarcastic way, but kind of like that is not the norm for moms.

 

Group Exercise

I HATE group exercise. Mostly because I am fat and out of shape and when I run I am basically going as fast as the average walker. 80 year old walker. OK, 80 year old with a walker. I am uncoordinated and I don’t have nice looking exercise clothes. I have ripped shorts and a big t-shirt. I admire, I mean to the point of just in awe, of women who run together, walk together, do Jazzercise, and more with friends. And these people hold conversations while doing it!  If I were to exercise with a friend, the conversation would consist of them constantly asking if I was OK, was I going to puke, and do they need to call 911. For the most part though, exercise is me time. I put on my podcasts and go – slowly.

 

Multi-level marketing/home parties

I do not do Lularoe, Tupperware, Thirty-One, Pampered Chef, or adult toy parties. I know a lot of friends do. I get that. At first I would go to the parties to help a friend out. But then the sales pressure from the person selling and my guilt for just not wanting any of the stuff and just going for the free food has gotten to me. I am basically wasting your time by going. If you need people just to show up and not buy, let me know.

 

Shopping

I don’t shop for fun. It’s not fun. It’s a chore. Unless it’s at a bookstore. Then you will see some damage.

 

What some moms will probably never get about me

I never complain about my husband to others. Period. Maybe a little snide comment here and there, but if we are having issues over something, it is our business, not other people’s.

On the other hand, my life isn’t all wine (ha) and roses. I do have a wonderful husband and kids, but they are not the best thing EVAR in the world! At least I don’t post about that all the time on social media. If you ask me how things are going, be ready for a true answer. Don’t ask if you don’t want to know.

I have a sick sense of humor. Wait – many of you moms get that. Carry on.

I don’t censor bad language in media. The kids hear it at school. I just tell them to ask me what it means if they have questions. I also let them know if something is a bad word or not. Confound it!

I love true crime podcasts. Yes, I did listen to that podcast about the kid who was killed who was the same age as my child. Did it bother me? Yeah, but I am not desensitized as much as I am not a panicked parent.

I am not a panicked parent. For example, a guy from another city recently exposed himself outside of my son’s school. The kids were ushered inside while the police took care of the guy (he was a registered sex offender). I laughed with another parent about it – mostly making size jokes. I am sure some moms would be shocked. I don’t freak out about outbreaks of illnesses or if a school is on lockdown. I can only worry about so much and some things are out of my control. I teach my kids what they need to know to be safe and go from there.

I am lazy.

If you need help, I will be there for you. I don’t do the quid pro quo thing either. I don’t keep track of who I did what for – I just understand that parenting is overwhelming and when life throws a curveball at you sometimes you need to call on a friend.

The Ugly – Stagecoach Mary Fields

This month I will share stories on Black History Month – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. History isn’t always pretty and sometimes we sanitize that which makes us uncomfortable. Here I will share all facets of Black History and try to focus on people not necessarily in the history books.
The Ugly – Stagecoach Mary Fields

 

Stagecoach Mary
Stagecoach Mary

Mary Fields, also known as “Stagecoach Mary” was born around 1832 in Hickman County, Tennessee as a slave. She was freed in 1865. She worked for Judge Edmund Dunne and after his wife died in 1883, Fields took their children to Toledo, Ohio to be with their aunt, Mother Mary Amadeus. The next year, Amadeus was sent to the Montana Territory to start a school for Native American girls at St. Peter’s Mission. It was there she caught pneumonia and Fields went to Montana to nurse Amadeus. Fields stayed and worked doing whatever was needed, eventually becoming forewoman.
She was six feet tall, short-tempered, and carried two six-shooters or a shotgun. Rumor had it that she broke more noses than any other person in central Montana. The Native Americans and local whites had no idea what to make of Fields. Native Americans called her “White Crow” because “she acts like a white woman but has black skin.” A child wrote an essay about her saying “she drinks whiskey, and she swears, and she is a republican, which makes her a low, foul creature.”
In 1894, one of the hired hands at the convent complained that he was making $2 less than her a month. She was a black woman after all. He shared the complaint in a local saloon where Fields was a regular. Mary, not known for her even temper, went to shoot the man as he cleaned out the latrine. She was going to dump his body in there. Instead she missed, he shot back, and it was on. Neither hit each other directly, but one of Mary’s bullets ricocheted off the wall and hit the man in the buttocks. She was asked to leave the convent. The man got a raise.
Amadeus helped Fields open a restaurant nearby in Cascade, Montana, but the restaurant went broke in less than a year thanks to Fields practice of serving anyone – whether they could pay or not. At age 60, Fields was hired as a mail carrier because she was the fastest at hitching a team of six horses. She was the first African American woman to work for the Postal Service. She never missed work and if the snow was too deep for her horses, she would deliver mail on snowshoes, carrying the sacks on her shoulders.
People in Cascade loved Fields and her birthday became a school holiday. She was the only woman in Montana allowed to enter saloons. She retired at age 71 from the mail service, but continued to serve families in Cascade with a laundry service. One customer who didn’t pay his bill found his face the target of the 72 year-old woman’s fist. She continued hanging out at the saloon, drinking whiskey and smoking her nasty cigars.
She died in 1914.

 

Resources:
Mary Fields. (n.d.). In BlackCowboys.com. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from https://www.blackcowboys.com/maryfields.htm
Mary Fields. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Fields

The Bad – Antoinette Frank

This month I will share stories on Black History Month – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. History isn’t always pretty and sometimes we sanitize that which makes us uncomfortable. Here I will share all facets of Black History and try to focus on people not necessarily in the history books.

 

The Bad – Antoinette Frank

 

I finish up this month’s bad with a woman who is bad. Very bad. Sometimes there are cases you hear that you think. “Yeah, this is why we have Capital Punishment.”

 

Antoinette Frank
Antoinette Frank

Antoinette Renee Frank was born April 30, 1971 in Opelousas, Louisiana. Her childhood was unstable. Her brother was a fugitive and her father drifted in and out of her life – abusing her sexually, mentally, and physically when he was around. She sought psychiatric help to help her with the abuse.

 

In 1993, Frank applied to become a New Orleans police officer. She was not hired due to numerous red flags that came up – including her lying about her mental state. The psychiatrist who examined her stated she should not be hired due to the fact she was “shallow and superficial.”

 

But Frank was hired the second time she applied. The police department needed officers as they were losing officers to higher-paying areas. In addition, officers were being arrested for murder and drugs use, and at the time officers had to be residents of New Orleans. All of these issues led to Frank getting hired on Feb. 7, 1993 and graduating from the police academy on Feb. 28, 1993,

 

She graduated near the top of her class, but her fellow officers thought she was shy and needed more training. On occasion she seemed irrational in behavior.

 

On Nov. 25, 1994, Rogers Lacaze, a known drug dealer was shot and Frank had to deal with Lacaze. Thinking she could turn the bad boy good, Frank became close to him. Soon their relationship turned sexual, even though Frank risked her job. They were not great at hiding their relationship from other officers, and even went so far as to use her police car to pull over drivers only to rob them.

 

Frank sometimes worked as a security guard at Kim Anh, a Vietnamese restaurant owned by the Vu family. On March 4, 1995, Ronald A. Williams II was working as a guard that night in the restaurant. He was also a police officer and colleague of Frank. Lacaze and Frank had been to the restaurant twice that night to get leftover food. After the second visit, Chau Vu who worked in the restaurant could not find the front door key.

 

After midnight, Chau Vu went to the back to count the money for the evening and went up front to pay Williams. At that moment, Chau saw Frank coming toward the building and knew something was wrong. She ran to the kitchen and hid the money in the microwave. Frank let herself in using the key she had stolen earlier. She walked past Williams and pushed Chau, her brother Quoc, and another employee into the doorway of the kitchen. Williams started to follow as shots rang out. Lacaze came into the restaurant and shot Williams in the head, paralyzing him. Lacaze shot Williams in the head again, killing him. When Frank turned back to see what happened, Chau grabbed Quoc and the employee and head in the walk-in cooler, turning out the light as they went in.

 

The siblings could see part of the kitchen and the front of the dining room from the cooler. The other siblings, Ha and Cuong were last seen sweeping the dining room floors when Frank came in but had no idea where they were now. They could see Frank searching the area where the Vu family usually kept their money, but could not find where Chau had hidden the money. Frank moved out of their line of sight and they heard more shots. Frank and Lacaze shouted at Ha and Cuong about the location of the money and pistol-whipped Cuong. Frank found the money in the microwave and then shot Ha three times as she pleaded for her life. She then shot Cuong six times. Once Frank and Lacaze left, Quoc ran to a nearby home to call 911.

 

Frank dropped off Lacaze and responded as a police officer to the call of officer down at the restaurant. She parked behind the restaurant and entered through the rear hoping to kill Chau and Quoc so there would be no witnesses. Chau ran through the front doors to the safety of the responding officers. She then told officers that Frank was the murderer.

 

On Sept. 12, 1995, after only 22 minutes, the jury found Frank guilty of all counts. Lacaze was also found guilty. Both were sentenced to death.

 

In addition, Frank’s father had stayed at her home months before the restaurant killings, but disappeared. Police found his skull, pierced with a bullet hole, buried under Frank’s house.

 

The victims:

Ronald Williams, 25
Cuong Vu, 17
Ha Vu, 24

 

Resources:

Antoinette Frank. (n.d.). In Murderpedia. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from http://murderpedia.org/female.F/f/frank-antoinette.htm

Antoinette Frank. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoinette_Frank

The Good – Moms Mabley

This month I will share stories on Black History Month – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. History isn’t always pretty and sometimes we sanitize that which makes us uncomfortable. Here I will share all facets of Black History and try to focus on people not necessarily in the history books.
The Good – Moms Mabley
Did you hear the one about Moms Mabley?

 

Moms Mabley
Moms Mabley

Moms Mabley is pretty much one of the main reasons stand up comedy actually exists. She was a pioneer of stand up comedy. A pioneer for African American comics. A pioneer for female comics. AND a pioneer for LGBT comics. She pretty much started it all.
Mabley was born Loretta Mary Aiken on March 19, 1894 in Brevard, North Carolina as one of 16 children to a business owner and homemaker. Her father was a volunteer fireman and was killed after a fire truck exploded when Mabley was 11. Her mother took over the general store the family owned, but she was killed coming home from church on Christmas Day after being hit by a truck. By age 14, Mabley had been raped twice, once by an older black man and once by the white sheriff, and had two children who were given up for adoption. After this she ran away to Cleveland, Ohio to join a travelling vaudeville show where she was a singer.
She changed her name to Jackie Mabley which she took from a boyfriend. She claimed that he took so much from her, that she figured she could at least take his name. The “Moms” was added later as she became like a mother figure to other comedians. At age 27, she came out as a lesbian becoming one of the first openly gay performers.
One of the top performers of the “Chitlin’ Circuit,” Mabely earned about $10,000 a week during her heyday. She became known to white audiences in the 1960s after playing Carnegie Hall and on the Smother Brothers TV show. Called “The Funniest Woman in the World,” she talked about racism in her routines. Although a lesbian, her main schtick was that of an older, toothless woman in a housecoat and a floppy hat who chased after handsome young men. She also talked a lot about sex, using double-entendres instead of obscenity.
In addition to being a comedian, she was the oldest person to ever have a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with her cover version of Dion’s “Abraham, Martin and John” in 1969. She was 75 years old.
Mabley would die six years later from heart failure in White Plains, New York on May 23, 1975. She was 81.

 

Resources:

Bennett, Leslie. (1987, August 9). The Pain Behind The Laughter of Moms Mabley. The New York Times. Retrieved February 25, 2017, from http://www.nytimes.com/1987/08/09/theater/theater-the-pain-behind-the-laughter-of-moms-mabley.html

Moms Mabley. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 25, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moms_Mabley

The Ugly – Doris Payne

This month I will share stories on Black History Month – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. History isn’t always pretty and sometimes we sanitize that which makes us uncomfortable. Here I will share all facets of Black History and try to focus on people not necessarily in the history books.

The Ugly – Doris Payne

Yeah, she’s bad, but she’s fun to write about.

Doris Payne

Doris Marie Payne was born in Stab Fork, West Virginia on Oct. 10, 1930, the youngest of six children born to a coal miner and a part-time seamstress. Her father was African American and mother was Cherokee. Apparently her mother was so beautiful that her father would “beat the pretty out of her.” Payne wanted to get her mother out of that situation.

When she was a teen, the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio. One day, her mother gave her $5 – $2 was for Payne to get her hair straightened and the rest to pay a bill at a local store. The store was owned by Bill Benjamin. After Payne told Benjamin that she was going to get a watch from her mother if she got good grades, he showed her some watches. She tried some on, but as she did, a white customer came in. Not wanting to be seen being nice to a black girl, Benjamin rushed her out the door. When she got to the door, she noticed she was still wearing a watch. She pointed it out to the store owner, who then grabbed it off her wrist. It was then she realized that people forget.

Payne and her friends turned it into a game. She would try on so many watches that the clerk would forget how many she tried on. She would keep one on her arm just to show the clerk how easy it was to steal.

After graduating high school Payne and her mother lived together after her mother left her abusive husband. Payne was pregnant and would give birth to a son and later a daughter. At the time she worked at a nursing home. It was about this time that Payne told her mother that she knew how she could get money for them and explained what she did as a teen with the watches. Her mother disapproved and it was never mentioned again.

Payne started working on her plan. She knew jewelry shops wouldn’t want to help her if she didn’t dress and act the part. She dressed up was a wealthy woman and went to some of the bargain stores, but they played by the rules and would only show one item at a time. At age 23, she took a bus to Pittsburgh and visited a jewelry store there. In no time, she walked out of the store with a $22,000 diamond ring – that’s over $181,000 today. It was so easy, but she didn’t think about how to sell it. She remembered a song about pawn shops so she headed to a broker and offered to sell the ring for one-third the price. She made $7,500 with no questions asked.

Burglary came easy to Payne. She even received help from her boyfriend who would call stores, pretend to be a lawyer, and say he had a wealthy client coming. But for the most part, she was a one woman show. She would come up with a story and the jewelers would believe her. In one case, she went to a fine dress shop wearing a ring she had just stolen. As the sales lady commented on the ring, Payne with crocodile tears said that she had to sell the ring due to a divorce. The sales clerk told the store owner and the owner paid $3,500 for the ring.

In the 1970s, Payne went international. In Monte Carlo she stole a $500,000 platinum diamond ring. As she at the airport in Nice, she was stopped by customs who believed she had the ring. But they could not find it. Authorities kept her in a cheap motel while they searched for the ring. When they were not around, Payne pried the ring from the setting, threw the setting into the Mediterranean Sea, and sewed the diamond in her girdle. She made off with the diamond.

She did get caught a few times with the longest sentence at five years in Colorado in 1998. She stole a $57,000 diamond ring from Neiman Marcus. Stealing the ring, she sold it and went to Europe. The FBI searched her home in Ohio and found $10,000 in cash and several passports. Over the years, she has used at least 22 aliases. But no matter the name she used, she was always pleasant, refined, and sweet – which allowed her to get away with so many thefts.

Doris Payne in 2005
Doris Payne in 2005

At age 75, Payne swore off stealing. But in 2010, she was arrested from removing the tags off of a $1,300 coat, The next year she was sentenced to 16 months in prison for stealing a one carat diamond ring. At age 83, she was arrested for stealing a $22,500 ring. She was sentenced to two years and prison and told to stay away from jewelry stores. She was released early and in 2015 may have stolen a $33,000 ring but she did steal earrings valued at $690. Her most recent arrest was on Dec. 13, 2016 for larceny.

 

Resources:

Doris Payne. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doris_Payne

Wagner, Angie. (2005, November 11). 75-year-old jewel thief looks back. NBC News.com. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://www.nbcnews.com/id/10072306/#.WLCYLm8rIkI

The Bad – Henry Louis Wallace

This month I will share stories on Black History Month – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. History isn’t always pretty and sometimes we sanitize that which makes us uncomfortable. Here I will share all facets of Black History and try to focus on people not necessarily in the history books.

The Bad – Henry Louis Wallace

Henry Lewis Wallace
Henry Lewis Wallace

Henry Louis Wallace was born on Nov. 4, 1965 in Barnwell, South Carolina. He was the product of an affair between his mother and a married school teacher who abandoned her when she was pregnant. Wallace’s mother was a textile worker who constantly criticized him for the smallest mistakes. He graduated high school in 1983. He tried several colleges before joining the Navy where he was honorably discharged in 1992. In 1985, he married his high school sweetheart, Maretta Brabham.

Wallace began using drugs while in the Navy. He was a burglar and was arrested in 1988. He was released on probation, but rarely met with his probation officer.

In 1990, the body of Tashonda Bethea was found in a lake in Wallace’s hometown. He was questioned about the murder, but was never arrested. He was also questioned about the rape of a 16 year-old girl. While this was going on, his marriage fell apart and he was fired from his job. He moved to Charlotte in 1992 and worked at several fast food joints.

Sharon Nance was a sex worker and drug dealer. When she demanded payment for services from Wallace, he beat her to death and dumped her body by some railroad tracks. Later that same year, he raped and strangled Caroline Love, a friend of Wallace’s girlfriend. He and her sister filed a missing person report and it wasn’t until March 1994 before her body was found,.

On Feb. 19, 1993, he had sex with and then strangled his Taco Bell supervisor Shawna Hawk. He had the nerve to attend her funeral. On June 22, he raped and killed another coworker, Audrey Spain. Less than two months later, Wallace raped and strangled a friend of his sister’s,  Valencia M. Jumper. He then set her on fire to cover up the crime and also attended her funeral. A month later, he went to the home of another Taco Bell coworker, Michelle Stinson. Stinson was a single mother working her way through college. Wallace raped her and then stabbed and strangled her in front of her oldest son. On Feb. 20, 1994, he went to the apartment of another coworker, Vanessa Little Mack, and killed her. Mack had two daughters, aged seven and four months. Weeks later he robbed and strangled Betty Jean Baucom. That same night he went to the home of his girlfriend Brandi June Henderson and raped her while she held her son. He then strangled her and her son, but his son survived.

Police started ramping up patrols in the area, but even then Wallace was able to sneak into the home of Deborah Ann Slaughter and rob and kill her. He was finally arrested on March 13, 1994. He confessed to 10 murders in the area. On Jan. 7, 1997, Wallace was found guilty of nine murders and he was later sentenced to nine death sentences. No execution date has been set.

Resources:

Henry Lewis Wallace. (n.d.). In Murderpedia. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from http://murderpedia.org/male.W/w/wallace-henry-louis.htm

Henry Lewis Wallace. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Louis_Wallace

The Good – Percy Lavon Julian

This month I will share stories on Black History Month – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. History isn’t always pretty and sometimes we sanitize that which makes us uncomfortable. Here I will share all facets of Black History and try to focus on people not necessarily in the history books.
The Good – Percy Lavon Julian

Percy Julian
Percy Julian

Percy Lavon Julian was born April 11, 1899 in Montgomery, Alabama, the oldest of six children. His parents both were college graduates and encouraged all their children toward higher education. Julian went to DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana which accepted few African American students. He could not live in the college dormitories and the boarding home where he lived refused to serve him meals. Eventually he found work firing the furnace, waiting tables, and other odd jobs at a fraternity house in return for being able to sleep in the attic and have meals at the home.

In 1920, Julian graduated a Phi Beta Kappa and valedictorian. He wanted to get his doctorate in chemistry, but it was too difficult for African Americans. He taught chemistry at Fisk University until 1923 when he received an Austin Fellowship in Chemistry at Harvard where he could get his Ph.D. But Harvard withdrew his teaching assistantship believing white students would not want an African American teacher.

Eventually Julian would get his Ph.D., but he had to go to the University of Vienna to get it. While in Europe he found greater acceptance and was able to participate in social gatherings, the opera, and more. After Vienna Julian taught for a year at Howard University, but resigned after a scandal involving letters he wrote from Vienna and an alleged sexual tryst with a married woman.

Julian was rescued by his former mentor, William Blanchard, and offered the chance to teach organic chemistry at DePauw. Julian invited his former classmate in Vienna, Josef Pikl to work with him. The team completed the total synthesis of physostigmine and confirmed the structural formula assigned to it. However, racial discrimination would rear its ugly head again, as Julian was denied a professorship and a job a DuPont.

While all of this was going on, the Glidden Company, a supplier of soybean oil products, offered Julian a job as director of research after he had asked for a five gallon sample of soybean oil for synthesis of human steroidal sex hormones. Part of the reason for the request was to help with his wife’s infertility. His development of male and female hormones from soybeans helped prevent miscarriages, was used to fight cancer, and other illnesses. He also came up with a synthetic form of cortisone which became a cheaper alternative for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis.

Julian designed the first plant for the production of industrial-grade, isolated soy protein from oil-free soybean meal. His isolated soy protein was sent to National Foam System Inc. This protein was used to develop Aer-O-Foam which the United States Navy used for firefighting.

In 1950, Chicago names Julian Chicagoan of the Year. It was quite the honor and Julian and his family bought a home in Oak Park, Illinois. But before they could move in, on Thanksgiving Day of that year, his home was set afire by an arsonist. The next year, someone from a passing car threw dynamite at his home. The dynamite exploded outside the bedroom window of his children’s room.

As Glidden stepped away from the steroid business, Julian founded Julian Laboratories, Inc. in 1953. He won a contract with Upjohn to provide $2 million worth of progesterone. Finding that Mexican wild yams were better than soybeans for his product, he opened a lab in Mexico City. In 1961 he sold his plants to Smith Kline and French for $2.3 million.

On April 18, 1975, Julian died from liver cancer.

 

Resources:

Chamberlain, Gaius. (2012, March 23). Percy Julian. The Black Inventor. Retrieved February 21, 2017. http://blackinventor.com/percy-julian/

Percy Lavon Julian. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 21, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Lavon_Julian

The Ugly – Bishop Eddie Long

This month I will share stories on Black History Month – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. History isn’t always pretty and sometimes we sanitize that which makes us uncomfortable. Here I will share all facets of Black History and try to focus on people not necessarily in the history books.

The Ugly – Bishop Eddie Long

Bishop Eddie Long
Bishop Eddie Long

Eddie Long was born on May 12, 1953 in Huntersville, North Carolina to Rev. Floyd M. Long, Jr. and Hattie Long. In 1977 he graduated from North Carolina Central University with a degree in business administration. He worked for Ford Company, but was fired for submitting personal phone calls as expenses. He decided to go into ministry.
Long moved to Atlanta to study theology and pastored at a small Jonesboro, Georgia church. He became the pastor of the New Birth Missionary Church. The church grew from 300 members to 25,000 under Long. At this time he married Dabara S. Houston and had a child with her. Houston filed for divorce claiming cruel treatment and that Long had a “violent and vicious temper.” She was awarded custody of their son in 1985.
In 1990, Long married Vanessa Griffin. She filed for divorce in 2011 after Long was accused of sexually abusing boys in the church. They never divorced. But Long’s school New Birth Christian Academy, lost donations and closed due to the allegations.
The sexual abuse claims came in 2010 from Maurice Robinson, Anthony Flagg, Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande. They each filed separate lawsuits saying Long coerced them into sexual relationships. They were paid off with jobs at the church, cars, overseas trips, and other gifts. Apparently Long would quote scripture to the boys supporting the sexual relationships. The lawsuits were settled out of court.
In addition to the sexual misconduct, Long was sued by several church members after they were convinced by Long to invest in a Ponzi scheme instigated by Ephren Taylor. Taylor said he was going to use to money for charities and helping blighted areas, instead the money was used in investments and his own use.
In August 2016, Long showed off his weight loss claiming it was from eating raw vegetables. In truth, he was suffering from an aggressive form of cancer of which he died from on Jan. 15, 2017.

 

Resources:

Eddie Long. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 20, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kermit_Gosnell

Manuel-Logan, Ruth. (n.d.). Eddie Long Settles Lawsuit With Church Members In Alleged Ponzi Scheme. Newsone. Retrieved February 20, 2017. https://newsone.com/2868179/eddie-long-ponzi-scheme/

The Bad – Kermit Gosnell

This month I will share stories on Black History Month – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. History isn’t always pretty and sometimes we sanitize that which makes us uncomfortable. Here I will share all facets of Black History and try to focus on people not necessarily in the history books.

The Bad – Kermit Gosnell

Reader warning – this post deals with details of abortion. Reader discretion advised.  

No matter what your opinion on abortion, this man is a horror.

Kermit Gosnell
Kermit Gosnell

Kermit Gosnell was the only child born to a Philadelphia gas station operator and a government clerk on Feb. 9, 1941. He was in the top of his class in high school and graduated from Dickinson College followed by a Medical Degree at the Jefferson Medical School in 1966. He started his medical career working among the poor in West Philadelphia. He opened the Mantua Halfway House, a rehab clinic and a teen aid program. An early proponent of abortion rights, he opened up an abortion clinic in Mantua in 1972. Gosnell told the Philadelphia Inquirer:

as a physician, I am very concerned about the sanctity of life. But it is for this precise reason that I provide abortions for women who want and need them

In 1972, he performed 15 second-trimester abortions using the super-coil method. This method had coils into the uterus, where they caused irritation leading to the expulsion of the fetus. Nine of the 15 women suffered complications from the procedure, three of which were severe. Some called this procedure the “mother’s day massacre.”

Gosnell troubles started in the 1980s as he faced state tax liens against his halfway house and abortion clinic. But he faced more legal troubles, (directly quoted from Wikipedia):

  • 1989 and 1993 – cited by Pennsylvania Department of Health for having no nurses in the recovery room.
  • 1996 – censured and fined in both Pennsylvania and New York states, for employing unlicensed personnel.
  • Around 1996 – Pediatrician Dr .Schwartz – the former head of adolescent services at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and as of 2010, Philadelphia’s health commissioner – testified in the 2010 hearing that around 1996 or 1997, he had hand-delivered a letter of complaint about Gosnell’s practice to the Secretary of Health’s office and stopped referring patients to the clinic, but received no response.
  • 2000 – Civil lawsuit filed on behalf of the children of Semika Shaw, who had called the clinic the day after an abortion to report heavy bleeding, and died three days later of a perforated uterus and a bloodstream infection. The case alleged that Gosnell had failed to tell her to return to the clinic or seek emergency medical care. It was settled out of court in 2002 for $900,000.
  • Around 2001 – Gosnell claimed to be providing children’s vaccines under a program administered by the Health Department’s Division of Disease Control, but was repeatedly suspended for failing to maintain logs and for storing vaccines in unsanitary and inappropriate refrigerators, and at improper temperatures.
  • December 2001 – ex-employee Marcella Choung gave what the Grand Jury would later call “a detailed written complaint” to the Pennsylvania Department of State, one which she followed up with an interview in March 2002.
  • 2006 – Civil lawsuit filed by patient but dismissed as out of time. The complaint was that Gosnell had been unable to complete an abortion, but then apparently failed or refused to call paramedics or other clinical emergency personnel, after the patient had needed help. The patient reported, “I really felt like he was going to let me die.”

Gosnell had 46 known lawsuits had been filed against him over some 32 years. Gosnell was known to be an abortion provider for poor minority and immigrant women charging $1,600 – $3,000 per abortion.

Everything hit the fan in 2010.

On Feb. 18, Gosnell’s clinic, the Women’s Medical Society, was raided after an investigation into suspected illegal drug prescription use at the practice. In addition, investigators were looking into the death of patient Karnamaya Mongar in 2009. Mongar’s death brought to their attention the unsanitary conditions, the use of powerful drugs without proper supervision, and the use of untrained staff. Here is some of what was reported:

When the team members entered the clinic, they were appalled, describing it to the Grand Jury as ‘filthy,’ ‘deplorable,’ ‘disgusting,’ ‘very unsanitary, very outdated, horrendous,’ and ‘by far, the worst’ that these experienced investigators had ever encountered. There was blood on the floor. A stench of urine filled the air. A flea-infested cat was wandering through the facility, and there were cat feces on the stairs. Semi-conscious women scheduled for abortions were moaning in the waiting room or the recovery room, where they sat on dirty recliners covered with blood-stained blankets. All the women had been sedated by unlicensed staff – long before Gosnell arrived at the clinic – and staff members could not accurately state what medications or dosages they had administered to the waiting patients. Many of the medications in inventory were past their expiration dates… surgical procedure rooms were filthy and unsanitary… resembling ‘a bad gas station restroom.’ Instruments were not sterile. Equipment was rusty and outdated. Oxygen equipment was covered with dust, and had not been inspected. The same corroded suction tubing used for abortions was the only tubing available for oral airways if assistance for breathing was needed…”
[F]etal remains [were] haphazardly stored throughout the clinic– in bags, milk jugs, orange juice cartons, and even in cat-food containers… Gosnell admitted to Detective Wood that at least 10 to 20 percent… were probably older than 24 weeks [the legal limit]… In some instances, surgical incisions had been made at the base of the fetal skulls. The investigators found a row of jars containing just the severed feet of fetuses. In the basement, they discovered medical waste piled high. The intact 19-week fetus delivered by Mrs. Mongar three months earlier was in a freezer. In all, the remains of 45 fetuses were recovered … at least two of them, and probably three, had been viable.”

In addition, Gosnell was not trained in obstetrics and gynecology. His clinic also made an additional $10,000 – $15,000 a day in prescriptions.

Gosnell was arrested on Jan. 19, 2011 and charged with 8 counts of murder – 7 were babies born alive but had their spinal cords severed with scissors; the other death was that of Mongar who died in his care. Gosnell was charged with 7 counts of first-degree murder, 1 count of third-degree murder, infanticide, 5 counts of abusing a corpse, multiple counts of conspiracy, criminal solicitation and violation of a state law that forbids abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy. Some charges were dismissed at trial, but in the end, Gosnell was sentenced to life in prison without parole in May 2013.

There is way more Gosnell was found guilty of, but it’s too much for this blogger to attempt to write about, so read for yourself if you want.

 

Resources:

Kermit Gosnell. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 20, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kermit_Gosnell

Williams, R. Seth.(2011). In the Court of Common Pleas First Judicial District of Pennsylvania Criminal Trial Division (Report No. 0009901-2008). Retrieved February 20, 2017, from Scribd https://www.scribd.com/document/135646678/Grand-Jury-Report-Kermit-Gosnell-Womens-Medical

The Good – Marian Anderson

This month I will share stories on Black History Month – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. History isn’t always pretty and sometimes we sanitize that which makes us uncomfortable. Here I will share all facets of Black History and try to focus on people not necessarily in the history books.

The Good – Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson in 1940
Marian Anderson in 1940

Marian Anderson was born on Feb, 27, 1897 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the oldest of three girls born to a devout Christian family. Marian and her family attended Union Baptist Church. Marian’s aunt Mary was active in music at the church and when she noticed her niece’s talent for singing at age 6, she had Marian perform with the junior choir. She would often sing solos and duets with her aunt. They also traveled to other churches and community events to perform, even getting paid for some performances.

When she was 12, Anderson’s father died a month after an industrial accident. The family moved in with her fraternal grandparents and she became close with her grandfather. But he died about a year later.

Anderson graduated from grammar school but her family could not afford to send her to high school or for music lessons. She continued to perform and learned from anyone who would teach her. She joined the People’s Chorus and soon the chorus and her church raised money for her to go to high school and receive singing lessons from Mary Saunders Patterson. After high school, Anderson applied to Philadelphia Music Academy, but was rejected because she was black. Forging on, she signed up to learn from Giuseppe Boghetti and Agnes Reifsnyder. Anderson auditioned for Boghetti singing “Deep River” which brought him to tears.

She got her first break in 1925 when she won a contest to sing with the New York Philharmonic. The concert was a huge success with the audience and the critics. However, she still had to deal with racial barriers in the United States when it came to performing. So she went to Europe to tour and was very successful.

In 1934, she was convinced by Sol Hurok to come back to the United States and he would be her manager. She continued to tour both the United States and Europe and became famous. However, she still faced prejudice in the United States at certain hotels and restaurants. Albert Einstein would often host Anderson so she could have a place to stay while performing locally – the first time at Princeton University.

Anderson was denied the chance by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1939 to sing for an integrated audience at Constitution Hall. The outrage from the NAACP and other organizations made it all the way to the White House where Eleanor Roosevelt, like other DAR members, resigned from the organization. It was then that President Roosevelt, the head of the NAACP Walter White, and Hurok convinced the Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes to let Anderson sing at an open-air concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial. She performed Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939 to an audience of 75,000. She would later perform for DAR at Constitution Hall in 1943.

In 1955, Anderson became the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Later she would sing for both Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy’s inaugurations. She would tour Asia as a goodwill ambassador and perform at benefit concerts for the Congress of Racial Equality, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. She would retired from singing in 1965.

She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Kennedy and in 1991 received a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Anderson died of heart failure at April 8, 1993 at the Portland, Oregon home of her nephew, conductor, James DePriest. She was 96.

 

Resources: 

Marian Anderson Biography. (n.d.) Retrieved February 18, 2017, from http://www.biography.com/people/marian-anderson-9184422

Marian Anderson (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marian_Anderson