His-Story, Her-Story And A Tribute – Black History Month

During Black History month everyone will remember the long line of history left to celebrate, and look toward the future of history being written with the Kings and queens, leaders, orators, champions and heralds of a great nation of people. Amongst these great people are those who may or may not get a full appreciation of the effect they have made on history and I want to dedicate this article to a cheerleader for children, poetry and motivation in the person of LaKisha Marie Tanksley.

I feel blessed and deeply moved to have met LaKisha in Chicago while working to close the digital divide through educating people to the uses of technology. The cliché of – this being a small world has never rung true in the fact of being able to meet and work with LaKisha while in Chicago, a humongous city of hard working people with a unique vision. Chicago has given us a some history makers in it’s own right Mayor Harold Washington, Author Richard Wright, Explorer Jean-Baptist-Point Du Sable the founder of Chicago, Talk Show host Oprah Winfrey and many more. After working with Lakisha for a too short while I knew in my heart that she was in the right place at the right time. Since her passing in the summer of 2005 I also know that she will be missed by thousands and hopefully millions that her work was able to touch.

Lakisha had a vision of motivating those around her in the same path as Oprah Winfrey and Gwendolyn Brooks. Her poetry touched and inspired those who read the living words she brought to light not only from herself but from children she worked tirelessly to inspire and reminded me of Cleopatra VII, Queen of Kenet an incredible linguist in her own lifetime.

In searching for wisdom her thirst for was just as royally steadfast as Makeda, Queen of Sheba. LaKisha would tell me about her quests to find ways to inspire others through poetry and motivation for all those who thought life was dark and hopeless.

Poetry was a beacon of light for LaKisha like Behanzin often referred to as the King Shark, a surname which symbolized strength strength and wisdom. LaKisha used words in her poetry to give strength and wisdom to her readers. She fed her poetry to anyone who would listen. Thankfully words were not something that just lay on a page, words were for inspiration, action, consolation, and comfort to LaKisha as anyone who came around her would immediately find out. If you stood still for a few minutes around LaKisha, your going to hear some poetic or motivational words – definite proof of her having the King Shark as an ancestor with his massive contribution to his time and ours.

During the summer of 2005 we lost another member of our motivational cheerleaders, especially one who would have proven to become an icon of motivation. I close with an excerpt from her collection of poems – Bridges of Hope, a fitting title for a book from a fantastic cheerleader of hope – Mrs. LaKisha Tanksley-Simpson, Poet and Motivational Speaker, Chicago, IL

I leave everyone with a small excerpt from one of her books – Bridge of Hope: an anthology of motivational poems and stories, with the 2nd book titled – There is an Oasis : a collection of motivational poems.

From the book ‘Bridge of Hope’, a poem titled ‘I Am Destined for Greatness’

I am destined for greatness.

I am determined to succeed.

I have what it takes to get what I need.

Because success is the core of my existence;

The manifestation will appear with time.

Determination is what my dreams are made of… When I seek I will find.

By Lakisha Marie Tanksley


The Parables of Jesus – 6 Rules of Interpretation

In his teaching, Jesus frequently used a variety of illustrations. The different hearers were aroused by figures drawn from the surroundings of their daily life. The parables, for example, contain some of the most profound and moving lessons taught by him. In the world of Jesus, people were raised on stories.

The more common definition for parable would be illustration. A parable, from the Greek word “paraballo” (formed by the preposition “para”, beside; and the verb “ballo”, to trow, to cast), signifying a story in which a comparison is made between some moral, spiritual, or literal truth and some human event or everyday things. In other words, parables are extended similes.

The parables are found in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). There are, at least, thirty-nine parables in the Gospels. Parables are usually relative to the kingdom. We can follow some rules that govern the interpretation of parables:

1. Differentiate two things: the illustration, or the image, and the main point, or the idea illustrated. Parables have two levels of meaning. The illustration is one thing, and the truth illustrated by the parable it is entirely a different thing. Do not treat parables like allegories. An allegory is completely filled with symbolic meaning, where every detail means something.

2. Understand the purpose of the parable. Jesus’ use of parables is central to his teaching. Notice that sometimes Jesus himself supplies the meaning.

3. Note the occasion when uttered and why and the cultural and historical background of the parable. In other words, see the parable in its proper context.

4. Understand the need that prompted the parable.

5. Analyze the structure and the language of the parable. The beginning and ending are very important. Who are the characters? What is spoken in direct discourse in the parable? What terms are repeated in the parable? Notice the stock imagery in the parable. Repeated images are paralleled in the Old Testament.

6. The interpretation of the parable must be coherent with the global plane of the book and with the general teaching of Scripture. For example, in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk. 16: 19-31), Jesus uses a popular belief to illustrate that the true riches are spiritual. The details of the parable do not have a significance in themselves. It is a mistake to use parable as source of doctrine.

Parabolic narratives have an appeal for ancient as well present-day readers. We all love stories, and Jesus, the great teacher, employed them to teach us about the riches of the kingdom.

Top 5 Interesting Facts About Louis XIV

5. Louis XIV was not very tall

Louis XIV was small in stature. And as evidenced in pictures, he would often wear tall wigs and high heels to add to his height. In fact, with the added inches, he is said to have appeared at least 7 feet tall.

4. Palace at Versailles

Louis XIV developed a distaste for Paris after being forced out of his palace during The Fronde. And he would eventually turn his childhood play place, a royal hunting lodge situated just outside of Paris, into a lavish monument of opulence. Not only did the King and his court reside in this 700 room palace, but so did the nobility and thousands of staff that he needed for upkeep. This structure helped to further establish the king’s dominance as it was the center for all political activity and a symbol of power.

3. Long Reign

Much like his great grandson, Louis XIV was also very young when he became king after his father’s death. He would start his rule at 4 years old and continue for the next 72 years-making his reign the longest in both French and European nation history.

2. The Nun of Moret

According to almost 350 year-old gossip, Queen Maria Theresa of Spain, wife of King Louis XIV, gave birth to a child fathered by an African lover, a dwarf servant named Nabo. This child was supposedly Louise Marie Therese, the Black Nun of Moret. The story was that upon her birth the public was told the child had died at birth. But she was actually secretly carried away to live with a wet nurse in the country for several years before entering a convent in Moret. The Black Nun of Moret is mentioned in the memoirs of several members of the French royal court, including King Louis’ mistress Madame De Montespan, as well as his second wife Madame De Maintenon. Writer and philosopher Voltaire was allegedly of the opinion she was the king’s daughter, as he’d had at least one African mistress. Pulitzer Prize-Winning playwright Lynn Nottage also wrote a play about the Black Nun of Moret entitled Les Meninas.

1. His successor was France’s 2nd longest reigning king

Plagued with family tragedy towards the end of his life, it seemed as if Louis XIV would have no heir to his thrown. His one and only son died of small pox. The very next year his grandson, great-grandson and granddaughter-in-law would die of the measles. Though he did have two grandsons left, one would be killed in a hunting accident and the other forced to renounce the French thrown so that he could remain ruler of Spain. As a result of this string of misfortunes, Louis XIV requested that one of his illegitimate sons be heir to his throne should the last remaining member of his bloodline die out. However, this was not to be-his sickly great-grandson would live to become king at the tender age of 5 years old and would rule for 59 years as Louis XV.