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Authors: Jack Canfield

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Chicken Soup for the African American Woman's Soul

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN'S SOUL

CHICKEN SOUP
FOR THE
AFRICAN
AMERICAN
WOMAN'S SOUL

Jack Canfield
Mark Victor Hansen
Lisa Nichols

Backlist, LLC, a unit of

Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC

Cos Cob, CT

www.chickensoup.com

Contents

Introduction

1. THE SHOULDERS WE STAND ON

A Line in the Sand
Sherie Labedis

Legacy
Jerilyn Upton Sanders

Letters of Love
Lorraine M. Elzia

Walking the Lessons of Life
H. Renay Anderson

These Precious Hands
Sheila P. Spencer

My Mother's Shoes
Andrea Blackstone

My “Shero”
Lisa Nichols

What She Said
Betty DeRamus

Getting to Know Miss Gladys
Bari-Ellen Ross

The Ring
Monica Montgomery

Just Like Mom
Linda Coleman-Willis

Mama's Hands
Evelyn Palfrey

The Outfit
Berthena Kemp

Birthdays and Blessings
Anesia Okezie as told to Karen Waldman

Dancing in the Kitchen
Barbara Holt

History Through
Her
story
Emma Ransom Hayward

Ninety-Pound Powerhouse
Swanee Rivers

2. IT TAKES A VILLAGE OF MOTHERS

My Womb's Butterfly
E. Claudette Freeman

The Wisdom of Motherhood
Lolita Hendrix and Briana Hendrix

One Day, You'll Understand
Kelly Starling Lyons

Even a Dancing Time
Angel V. Shannon

Keeping Faith
Tracy Clausell-Alexander

Handpicked to Nurture
T. Rhythm Knight

Single-Mommy Love
Dayciaa C. Smith

The Christmas Sparrows
Joe Gurneak

Soul Food Rite of Passage
Anita S. Lane

Lesson for a New Life
Evelyn K. Lemar

3. BEAUTIFUL—JUST THE WAY I AM

Discovering Me
Lisa Nichols

Bathed in Love
Adiya Dixon-Sato

My Cup Runneth Over
Nikki Shearer-Tilford

Meet Me in the Middle
Connie Bennett

The Dreadful Story
Lisa Bartley-Lacey

Gluttony to Glory
Lindale Banks

Getting Real
Elaine K. Green

Crown of Splendor
Sheila P. Spencer

Birth of a Nappy Hair Affair
Linda Jones

4. MY SISTER, MY FRIEND

A Cup of Tenderness
Brenda Caperton

Sistahood
Jeanine DeHoney

Who Is Helping Whom?
Margaret Lang

Merry Christmas, Emma
Mary Saxon Wilburn

Elegant Ladies . . . Again
Karla Brown

Friday Afternoon at the Beauty Shop
Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig

Sisters' Song
Rita Billbe

5. THE POWER OF A WOMAN'S PRAYER

Divine Intervention
Michelle Cummins

Holy Ghost Filled
Kiana Green

God's Will
Sophfronia Scott

The Bus Vouchers
Ruthell Cook Price

You'll Do It for Me
Nancy Gilliam

Solid Ground
Yvonda Johnson

Lord, Please Make One for Me!
RuNett Nia Ebo

6. LOVING BLACK MEN

My Divas
Antonio Crawford

Love, Laugh and Live Today
Charles Stanley McNeal

King Kong
Susan Madison

It Was Magic
Nancy Gilliam

Forgiving Daddy
Carol Ross-Burnett

A Twenty-Dollar Education
Nadine McIlwain

No More Drama
Patricia L Watler Johnson

A Daughter's Forgiveness
Dawn Nicole Patterson

A Gift from Above
Leslie Ford

Where Have All the Old Men Gone?
Marvin V Arnett

7 BREAKING THROUGH MY BARRIERS

Music in the Rooms
Carolyn West

Turning My Mess into My Message
Sanyika Calloway Boyce

The Graduation
Bernetta Thorne-Williams

More Than a Dream
Phyllis R Dixon

Shades of Black and White
Dorothy Jackson as told to
Hattie Mae Pembrook

Moving On from Militancy
Damita Jo Johnson

Never, Ever Give Up
Tanya Hutchison

Queen Charlene
Charlene Copeland as told to Sonya Simpson

Reclaiming My Soul
Lisa J Whaley

Greatness by Design
Blanche Williams

Kwanzaa on the Prairie
Jacinda Townsend

The Bus Stop
DeAnna Blaylock

Who Is Jack Canfield?

Who Is Mark Victor Hansen?

Who Is Lisa Nichols?

Who Is Eve Eschner Hogan?

Contributors

Permissions

Introduction

S
weat was my great-grandmother's name.
weat Suffering was my grandmother's name.
Suffice was my mother's name.
Self-Sufficient is my name.

Emma Ransom Hayward

While we were working on
Chicken Soup for the African
American Woman's Soul
, two of the most powerful and influential African American women in our history—or rather our
her
story—passed away. Thus, it seems fitting to offer this book as a tribute to their lives and their work.Without Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, without their dedication, their courage and their sacrifices, it is questionable whether this book would exist. It is questionable whether many of the story contributors in the book would have had the awesome opportunities and successes that they were able to share in their heartwarming stories.

Sister Rosa Parks was a sweet but powerful lady who spoke softly while making a statement that screamed so loudly. I could see the gentle spirit in her eyes and in her smile, and hear it in her kind words. As I watched Mrs. Rosa's niece speak about her in an interview, I had two reoccurring thoughts:
How proud she must be to have had an
aunt like Mrs. Rosa
, and
Mrs. Rosa must have been the most
widely adopted “Auntie Rosa” by all of us who are thankful that
she took a stand for each of us. We are all proud of her.
Mrs. Rosa took a big stand by taking a firm seat, letting us know that even on our way home from work, on public transportation, in the middle of chaos, if we are willing to pay the price for our convictions, then we are ready to reap the rewards, as well.

When I was blessed with the opportunity to see Coretta Scott King speak, I hadn't before noticed how
really
beautiful she was. Previously, I'd admired her gracefulness, her stand for peace—and her choice in men. But that night, I found myself captivated with her every word, her beautiful disposition, her confidence and her gentle but steady strength. I felt as if I were holding my breath as she told the story of what it was like to actually “be” the stand for truth and justice. As she sat there poised to perfection, I saw for the first time the mother in her, the grandmother, the friend, and I caught a quick intimate glimpse of the solid rock of a wife she must have been.My eyes were fixated on Mrs. Coretta Scott King; my ears were enjoying the melody of her rhythmic and profound words. In the past when I'd heard Mrs. King speak, she had inspired me a great deal, but somehow this moment was different. On this night, she grabbed me; she held my heart, expanded my mind and stirred my soul. I felt her words. I listened as she explained that she was called just as Martin had been, that she was obedient to God in a different way but with equal conviction. She shared that she hadn't sacrificed her life in the same sense that Martin had, but she had definitely offered her life to the cause.

For the first time, I did not see Dr. Martin Luther King's wife, I saw Coretta, Coretta Scott, Coretta Scott King, a dedicated, passionate, remarkable African American woman powerful in her own right, not as “the wife of” but as the woman, herself.

The long nights of fear as mothers and wives, the endless organizing and protesting, the ongoing prayer and so much more, were not in vain. Because of Mrs. Coretta and Mrs. Rosa, we stand taller, we breathe deeper, we love ourselves more, and we have bigger convictions to be obedient to our own callings. Many are called but few answer because the price to pay for our convictions is often considered too high of a price. Today we get to be who we are because Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks had convictions for equality and were willing to pay the price not only for their own sake but for us all.

While the work is not yet done, they have shown us how much one or two people can do in the world. How can we make this world a better place? How can we contribute to the cause? We now know that by sharing our stories of success both large and small, by taking our own stands in honor of our convictions and by rising to the occasion or staying firmly seated as the situation demands, we work every day to live out that answer.

Chicken Soup for the African American Woman's Soul
offers a sampling of the stories that each of our lives hold— moments of love, hope, faith, courage, conviction, persistence and inspiration. Sometimes, we just need the inspiration to stop long enough to remember, to find those stories stored within our hearts and hiding within our life's experiences. It is our hope that as you read, powerful, heartwarming stories from your own life will pop into your mind, and you will be inspired to put the book down for a minute and turn to your children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, friends or coworkers and share your magical moments with them. It is our hope that you will take any inspiration this book gives you and share that blessing with someone else. In honor of Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, we offer the world this book full of stories by or about women who have benefited from their examples of God's obedience, manifested in the African American woman.

Lisa Nichols

1
THE
SHOULDERS
WE STAND ON

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