Life Lessons, Lupita Nyong’o and Dancing In The Rain (Inspirational Links! )


Actress Lupita Nyong’o accepts the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role award for ’12 Years a Slave’. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Last night when the news broke about Lupita Nyong’o’s Oscar win, I nearly cried. As she spoke, I thought of all those mahogany hued sisters rendered nearly invisible by white supremacy, colorism and our own collective self hatred.

Those simple yet profound words of hope resonate so deeply with me:
“When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.” Oh what a way to begin the week!

There is so much dynamic writing and music online about empowerment (our inspirational word of the month), awareness, life lessons and dancing in the rain. I hope you’ll enjoy reading these pieces, too!

On Changing Dreams

Re-Learning to Dance In The Rain

Fear is the Root of Your Problems

What’s Wrong With Telling A Little Girl She’s Pretty?

Pictures of people who mock me

Live In Color! – Emelda


Rhonda Robinson, Rocket-Scientist-Turned- Jazz-Musician

Rhonda Robinson  Photo courtesy of Rhonda Robinson
Rhonda Robinson
Photo courtesy of Rhonda Robinson

Listen  here to our February blog chat with accomplished jazz musician Rhonda Robinson. Read more about her fascinating background below (from rocket scientist to jazz vocalist and flutist). Don’t miss her upcoming event at An Die Musik, Hot Winter Nights Part 6: Rio in Baltimore on Friday, February 28, beginning at 8pm. If you miss the 8pm performance, don’t despair, there is another one at 9:30pm.

The Rhonda Robinson Quartet L-R: pianist Todd Simon, bassist Steve Synk, vocalist Rhonda Robinson, drummer Robert Shahid  Photo courtesy of Rhonda Robinson
The Rhonda Robinson Quartet
L-R: pianist Todd Simon; bassist Steve Synk; vocalist Rhonda Robinson; drummer Robert Shahid
Photo courtesy of Rhonda Robinson


It’s that time of the month again! If you are a regular, you know we feature inspirational folks in a variety of fields from the arts to business for our blog chat series.Yesterday I spoke with local jazz vocalist and flutist Rhonda Robinson about following your passion, creative inspiration and more.

This former rocket scientist, educated at Johns Hopkins University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, left behind an engineering career to pursue her first love, music.  She now leads the Rhonda Robinson quartet and regularly performs throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, appearing at An Die Musik, Creative Alliance at The Patterson, and at a host of other venues.

Some of the group’s notable appearances include opening for prominent poet and activist Amiri Baraka and Blue Ark Ensemble at University of Baltimore and performing for “A Night at Ethel’s Place,” a fundraiser for city concert artists, which also honored legendary jazz vocalist and Baltimorean, Ethel Ennis.

This coming Friday, February 28, beginning 8pm, don your party attire and catch her performing live at An Die Musik for Hot Winter Nights Part 6: Rio in Baltimore featuring world-renowned Venezuelan pianist Benito Gonzalez, accompanied by bassist Max Murray, and drummer Jesse “Jay” Moody.

Live In Color! – Emelda


Be Your Own Boyfriend, Wisdom from singer Nina Simone and More (Inspirational Links)

Photo Credit: Keston De Coteau

I lose whole chunks of time reading, whether on the bus ride home, or in those rare hours of solitude at a cafe. These days, my mind and eyes move quickly, zig zagging from articles and blog posts to podcasts (NPR, SoundCloud, Marc Steiner show, etc.).

Yes, sometimes this leads to information overload, but it also pushes me to continue growing, exploring and understanding novel ways of seeing the world. The inspirational links below connect to an overarching theme, love: love of self, culture and community. Enjoy!

Colorful and vibrant paintings by Kenyan-American artist Jamilla Okubo on Specter, an elegant art and literature online magazine.

Treat yourself royally, every day. Be your own boyfriend and soar according to relationship expert, author and all around inspiring personality Kaneisha Grayson. While you’re at it, explore the site for Walker’s Legacy, an awesome business collective for women of color.

Are you in a rut? I find myself digging out a lot lately. Find out how to fall back in love with your life on Tiny Buddha.


Nina Simone taught us so much; one of those lessons is to reach back and pull the generation behind you up. Check out this clip on the awesome blog, In Her Shoes.

One woman in Chicago made a home for her family and fought foreclosure. What odds? She blazed through obstacles! Read her encouraging story on Yes! Magazine and then get the book by author Laura Gottesdiener, A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home.

Live In Color! – Emelda