My wife, Ruthie, and I attended and participated in the 21st Annual Black Writers On Tour and Southern California Black Expo, last week. Dr. Rosie Milligan has survived for twenty-one years, presenting the Black Writers and Expo Conference. We are excited to be a part of the conference. For our part we get a chance to present our writings and meet others who have accepted Dr. Milligan’s challenge to give birth to the book that is inside all of us.
We thank Dr. Milligan for keeping up the struggle and providing this opportunity for our people to tell our own story. Dr. Milligan is living symbol of the Edward (Teddy) Kennedy statement that, “The work continues, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.” His brother (Robert) said, “The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.” On the wall of my so- called home ofﬁce, I keep a picture of the baseball teams who played the 1924 ﬁ rst “colored” World Series. They were The Kansas City Monarchs and The Hilldale Giants.
I keep the picture as a constant reminder of what could have been if we had understood Teddy Kennedy‘s statement. I wonder what could have been if we had kept the course and kept moving forward. If you think about it we could have kept the market for Black sports, like the Harlem Globe Trotters, times twenty. We have over one-hundred Historical Black Colleges and Universities and thousands of Black churches. Although they are not as ﬁnancially rich as the Harvards and the Stanfords, they are ours and we should be proud. Ownership is the key to real progress. Leadership is in our hands, providing living proof of what President Barack Obama says when he says, “Yes We Can”.
Dr. Milligan’s Expo this year was a packed house at the Torrance Community Center named after Congresswoman Juanita Millinder McDonald, a Black Congresswoman (now deceased). This is another source of pride and role model for young Blacks that says, “Yes we can”.
The conference includes numerous classes and seminars on life and business. After reviewing my wife‘s book, “Miss Ruthie Speaks,” I signed us up to do a seminar on marriage and family next year. You can get a copy of her book at The Journal ofﬁ ce (1541 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena CA) or at Dr Milligan’s store at 1425 West Manchester in Los Angeles, CA.
This year I met a woman named Casey Grant at the conference. She was one of the ﬁrst Black Women to become a Flight Attendant. Her Book tells her story of the struggles of becoming one of the ﬁrst. She introduced her friend Patricia Murphy who was the very ﬁrst Black DELTA Airline Flight Attendant. Her Book is entitled “Stars in the Sky”. It is a great read for young women seeking a career.
During the sixties and seventies we saw a lot of progress with doors opening for Blacks for the ﬁrst time. We need more activity like Dr. Milligan’s to keep the ball rolling. We need to keep supporting role models like Dr. Milligan. I suggest you stop by her business at 1425 West Manchester, in Los Angeles, and be inspired. Buy a book while you are there. That is how you can help make things better for all of us.
Maybe you have a story to tell that may help somebody. Let Dr. Rosie help you tell your story. Why not sign up now to be at the Black Writer’s on Tour, next year. Take part in one or more workshops such as how to write, publish & sell your book, how to write a best-selling novel, the right marketing strategies, protecting your writing rights, and more. There are also special workshops such as, a close look at the politics of street life, children’s workshops and “Let the Elders Speak” forum for men and women to share their success stories. Remember, “The work continues, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die,” as long as each of us do our part.
Also, calendar June 24, 2017 for the JUNETEENTH event at Hopkins’ Village. Interested Vendors may call the Journal Offices at 636-798-3972. Ask for Ife.