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Archive for October 29th, 2023

Anna Taylor Sweringen/Michal Scott: Hallie Quinn Brown – Inspirational Elocutionist and Hands-On Historian (Contest)
Sunday, October 29th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Sara D!

While sources differ on the year, Hallie Quinn Brown was born on March 10, 1850, to former slaves who migrated first to Canada then returned to the US and settled in Wilberforce Ohio. By the age of sixteen, she had graduated from the Chautauqua Lecture School and for the rest of her life gained renown as an eloquent elocutionist in Europe and America, speaking on the issues of temperance, women’s suffrage, and civil rights.

In 1873, she received a degree from Wilberforce College and lived a life dedicated to education as resistance. She taught in schools for the formerly enslaved in Mississippi and South Carolina. From 1885 to 1887, she taught at Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina, and also served as their dean. From 1892 to 1893, she served as Dean of Women at Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee Alabama. An interesting side note was provided my research by this Facebook video, Ohio oral historian Kweku Larry Franklin Crowe shares that Hallie Brown not only taught at Tuskegee but literally helped build it “sitting on a mule and dragging logs.” (The video is only 2 minutes long!)

She returned to Ohio to teach elocution at Wilberforce from 1893 to 1903. In the late 1890s, she frequently spoke on African American issues in London.

A firm believer in community action, she founded the Colored Woman’s League in 1896, served as president of the Ohio State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs from 1905 to 1912, and the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) from 1920 to 1924.

As head of the NACW, she helped spearhead African American opposition to a monument proposed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which would have depicted a Black woman caring for a white infant. The “Mammy” statue sought to foster the defeated South’s Lost Cause lie of slavery being beneficial to Blacks. Ms. Brown wrote “slave women are brutalized, the victims of white man’s caprice and lust. Often the babe torn from her arms was the child of her oppressor.” The bill proposing the monument died in the House of Representatives. Ron DeSantis and other Floridian history revisionists should take note.

Ms. Brown wrote four important works during her lifetime, the first, Bits and Odds, in 1880 and her fourth and most popular, Homespun Heroines and Other Women of Distinction, a collaboration with over twenty other women in 1926.

She died on September 16, 1949, in Wilberforce, Ohio. I stand in awe of women like Hallie Brown who not only inspired by her own example but also shared the accomplishments of others as well. I hope in my own small way with these blogposts I’m following in her footsteps.

For a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card share something about Hallie’s story that has inspired you.

The Spirit to Resist by Michal Scott
from Hot and Sticky: A Passionate Ink Charity Anthology

A woman may be made a fool of if she hasn’t the spirit to resist, but what does she do if, for the first time in her life, being made into a fool is exactly what she wants?

Excerpt from “The Spirit to Resist”

The fellows had terms for girls like Florence who made them hard and offered no relief.


Pee wee player.

Worst of all, vanilla.

Flirts and pee wee players were little girls in burgeoning bodies who tested the limits of their newly acquired womanhood. Timid and coquettish, they longed for, but feared, sexual experience.

Not vanillas.

Proudly defiant and unafraid, vanillas reveled in the effect their teasing had on their targets. The skill with which Florence taunted him proclaimed her Queen of the Vanillas. She’d be heading back to Brooklyn tomorrow. Today’s soiree was his last chance to obtain relief and release from this adept tormenter.

“Mother you’ve got to use every influence at your disposal to make sure Florence attends this Sunday’s soiree.”

His mother shook her head. “I doubt she’ll be making social rounds with all the packing she has to do. Honestly, you surprise me. I got the impression you two didn’t like each other.”

“That’s just a game we’re playing.” His mouth dried as if suddenly stuffed with cotton. He swallowed to free his tongue and spoke the unwelcome truth. “I like her a lot.”

A conspiratorial glint lit up his mother’s eyes. “Alright. We’ll make the Walters family guests of honor. That’ll insure her mother’s cooperation.”

Knowing his mother, her ploy would succeed. Florence would attend and he’d get his chance to put Florence’s teasing to the test.

Smirk away, Florence Walters. Your days as Queen of the Vanillas are over.



Sunday Tarot & Open Contests
Sunday, October 29th, 2023

Another Sunday and time to plan out my week. Let’s pull a card…

This morning, I pulled the King of Cups. Who is he? The lute was a big hint. Orpheus, the King of Thrace, was given a lute by Apollo when he was born. Orpheus grew into a gifted singer who could heal men’s souls with his songs. He accompanied Jason on his quest to retrieve the Golden Fleece. While he was a healer and a priest and a gifted singer bringing light to everyone around him, his own story was tragic. He married Eurydice who was attacked in the woods by a man when she was alone. She fought him off, but when she ran away to escape him, she was bitten by a snake, died, and was dragged down into Hades. Orpheus used his gift of song to charm his way into the Underworld. Hades gave him a chance to retrieve her. He could lead her out of Hades, back into the world, but he could never look back or he would lose her forever. Yup, just as he was ready to step out of the Underworld, he glanced back to make sure she was there, and she was gone. His end was sad as well. Dionysus–you know the god of wine and pary–was jealous of Orpheus’s popularity, so he sent his minions after him. They tore him into pieces. The Muses were so grieved they gathered his parts and buried him at the foot of Mount Olympus.

So, what does his card mean for me? Gah. Gifts, love of family. Tragedy. I’m not sure. In the picture, he holds a golden chalice and his lute. He wears his crown as King of Thrace. He wears his finery as he sits on his golden throne which sits on firm fertile land but also on the water. So, I’m going to say I can hold my gifts—talent (work), but must balance my seat (my writer’s chair) between my work, which is shared with others and those who hold my heart (my family, like he held his wife).

Knowing NaNoWriMo starts this week, I think it means I have to make sure I don’t shut the door on family while I make my daily wordcount.

See how this works? I stare at a card to divine its meaning, but I see that card through the filter of my obligations. Anyone can read cards!

So, what does The Mythic Tarot book say? “…it is time for the individual to experience this ambivalent side of himself or herself…” That’s helpful?!

Open Contests

  1. Flashback: Brotherhood Protectors — Guarding Hannah (Contest) — This one ends soon! Win a FREE book!
  2. Saturday Puzzle-Contest: Sweetest Day Celebration! — This one ends soon! Win an Amazon gift card!
  3. 10 Things I love about Halloween (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  4. Gabbi Grey: Trying It Short! Rise — Out now! (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  5. Meet your Weekend Book Boyfriend–Dylan O’Hara–and get ready for Halloween! (FREE Book!) — This offer ends soon! Everyone, get your FREE book!
  6. A Reminder & the Saturday Puzzle-Contest! — Win an Amazon gift card!