I had the honor of meeting NYC’s first and only black mayor, David Dinkins, at Mayor De Blasio and 1st lady Chirlane McCray’s Black History Month reception. I had a wonderful moment speaking to Mr. Dinkins about what the next generation of leaders should be doing now. He said they should find an organization to partner with and do the work within. He said, “See that turtle over there on that fence? That turtle didn’t get there alone. That turtle got there by standing on the shoulders of those who came before it.” #BlackHistory
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I experienced history in DC at The Women’s March on Washington. The energy was electric! The vibe was so warm and nurturing. The speeches were amazing. The march passionately shut DC and cities across the country down. I am so happy to have witnessed and been a part of something that will be in history books. These are just some of the pictures I took. #WomensMarch
MLK Day is not a day off. I was raised to know that today is a day of service. I’m blessed that the work I’m paid to do doubles as community service.
My #MLKDay 2017 to do and got-it-done list:
1) Sent my kid to a youth leadership conference.
2) Worked on a speech I’ve been hired to write for the Women’s March on Washington. #Speechwriter
3) Wrote & edited campaign materials for Amnesty International campaigns against Police Brutality & The Syrian Refugees Crisis
4) Soul food dinner with family.
Dr. King would be proud. :+) Productive. Busy. Satisfying. Today was a good day.
Check out Taraji’s real-life character, Katherine Johnson in the upcoming film, Hidden Figures about black female NASA scientists. I was happy to read her story in Vanity Fair. #BlackHistory #BlackGirlMagic
I’d really like to meet this man, fellow scorpio and activist, Colin Karpernick. Would love to build with him on so much, especially his new “Know Your Rights” camp he created in California, inspired by The Black Panther’s youth camps.
Stepped into The White House for the first time thanks to Beverly Bond and her amazing new initiative #KingMe! Partnering with Obama’s #MyBrothersKeeper, King Me Works to empower black boys to rock in the same way Black Girls Rock brings love, support, and encouragement to girls worldwide. Had an amazing time at the stimulating panel discussions and the post reception. Check the pics below!
Having fun posing with a couple of long-time friends (Chuck Creekmur and G-Rock) at the post-reception
I had a wonderful time attending the closing night panel and festivities for #SayHerNameNewark. A young women’s empowerment event, in Newark NJ, dedicated to giving voice to the issues, causes, and names of black women killed by violence – police brutality, domestic – sexual and physical violence. Adults and youth spoke along with assorted art performances and displays to represent the struggle. Shout to Kim J Ford & Leah Jackson for inviting me to this amazing event. Check the pictures below!
Posing with my fellow panelist, a powerful group of women all active in their community
Young black girls packed the building. Based on what I’ve heard from these kids, the future looks very promising.
Kim Ford did an excellent job hosting and moderating.
Meet Gail Marquis: Olympic Star, Wall Street Executive, Activist, Star of The University of Phoenix CommercialsPosted in Black Lives Matter, Uncategorized with tags Commercials, Gail Marquis, Raqiyah Mays, Still I Rise, University of Phoenix on November 3, 2016 by Raqiyah Mays
Saw the amazing Gail Marquis in a University of Pheonix commercial about her life from Olympic Champion to LGBT activist to Wall Street Executive. I was standing in front of the TV screaming with happiness taking pictures. If you don’t know this lady, you need to. Proud to say we performed together with so many other amazing women, years ago, off Broadway, in “The Vagina Monologues.” But this commercial? So much bigger. SO AMAZING. So inspiring. Wow. #Dope #GailMarquis#BlackGirlMagic
SEE THE COMMERCIAL HERE: Still I Rise – Gail Marquis – University of Phoenix Commercial
READ THIS:@nytimes Flint Hit With Bacterial Illness as Residents Shun City Water http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/10/05/us/flint-hit-with-bacterial-illness-as-residents-shun-city-water.html?referer=https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FD5ntiRf9ZD
They say “Birth of a Nation” only made $7 Million during its opening weekend. There’s debate as to why it didn’t make more. Was it Nate Parker’s rape case that overshadowed the film? Are black folks tired of “just another slave movie”? Or does the black audience not understand the importance of seeing films during opening weekend, as opposed to wait till they are “mentally ready” to see a movie that may trigger angry emotions such as “Birth of a Nation”?
Whatever the case, none of these reasons negate the fact that this movie is necessary viewing and damn good. Friday night, the day of its release, I ran into sold-out screenings across NYC, forcing me to look for a screening to attend. “Birth” left me speechless and emotional. Tears during scenes when sisters are violated and brothers emasculated. Discomfort and slight shock, mixed with understanding, when the 97% black-filled movie theater in Brooklyn clapped during graphically violent scenes of the bloody slave revolt featuring white people butchered by the hands of Black men. I needed a moment of silence afterwards. A walk. A talk. A drink. All while my emotions morphed from feeling sullen and sad to angry to having to intellectually break down the build-up of this film. Everyone needs to see #BirthofaNation. It will shift your mindset and stimulate critical questions.
It’s why actress Aunjanue Ellis, who wonderfully plays Nat Turner’s mother, eloquently wrote an op-ed on why this film is necessary for all to see. Aside from the fact that at one of its roots, “Birth” is about the positive maternal influence on a black man and his love turned to vengeance as a result.
In the end, box-office flop or not, you’ll be happy Nate Parker made it. #MustSee #BirthofaNation