Life

Independence Day 2020

Freedom is not free. What sacrifices are you willing to make?

What legacies are you passing on? What will your descendants say about you?

Please watch NPR’s YouTube video, Frederick Douglass’ Descendants Deliver His ‘Fourth of July’ Speech, and please, please share. Note: The actual speech is titled, What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

Here are my thoughts after watching the video:

I believe Frederick Douglass’ descendants reading his “Fourth of July” speech is just as powerful as the speech itself. It is up to us to continue the difficult conversations surrounding racial issues, even on Independence Day.

Honestly, I considered not sharing this video. I did not want to interrupt the happy celebrations. But are the celebrations truly joyous? Because after the fireworks, BBQs, SAFE social gatherings, and “Happy 4th of July” pictures and posts, racial inequality remains. I mean.. only a few days ago Mississippi finally removed its racially divisive flag— in 2020!! What year did the United States gain its independence? Umm..1776. What year was slavery abolished in the United States? Supposedly 1865. And what year is this, again? Hmm.. 2020 in the 21st century.

Y’all, we cannot continue to pretend everything is okay, because IT IS NOT. Change is happening NOW, and WE must keep up the momentum. We cannot sit back and wait for another great leader to come along and tell us what to do. They have already done that. They have already equipped us with everything we need. Now it is our time to follow through. Not tomorrow or next month, but NOW!

Who’s with me?!

P.S. Be sure to watch the commentary at the end of the video. POWERFUL‼️

‪#HappyFourthOfJuly‬

Shaun

Life

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!

Please allow me to interrupt my usual “Hello Sunday” blog with a tribute to my father. I must say, it is truly an honor and blessing to spend Father’s Day with my dad. After suffering from two strokes over the past two years, I did not think he would still be with us. Y’all, God is so good!

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to get to know my father better. To get to know the man behind “Mr. Sutton.” For as far back as I can remember, all my dad has ever done is work. He was a teacher (now retired teacher), a truck driver, the snowball man, the fireworks man, the Valentine’s Day man, the tombstone man, and now the graveyard man. Yes.. my father has a tombstone and graveyard business. Y’all, he is always working.

On Father’s Day 2016, I interrupted his work schedule. That morning I informed him that I was going to work with him. He was not thrilled to hear it, but allowed me go anyway. Y’all, I was a grown woman going to work with my daddy. Lol! And you best believe he put me to work. He does not believe in people just sitting around talking and watching. If you are with him, you better be prepared to work or be prepared to leave.

Here is what I wrote and posted on Facebook the following year:

It’s amazing how you think you know someone, but in reality you only see what’s on the surface. Last Father’s Day, I discovered so much about my dad. After we made snowball juice and bagged ice, we had a long conversation about dreams and goals.

Throughout the years, we’ve had conversations about his childhood and people, but never about his dreams. After showing me the picture below (the prototype for his first snowball business), he tells me that he never thought he’d go to college. He stuttered constantly and had dyslexia (back then they didn’t know what it was). He was able to go to college on a track scholarship (yes- my daddy could run!). He said he studied so hard to make it through college; while selling snacks from his dorm room (what can I say, it’s in his blood 😁). One of his most prized possessions is his thesis. He said he worked his butt off to complete it.

Prototype for Sutton Rolling Store 1978. He said all he had was a bike and a dream. On that day, he also showed me the concept behind his tombstone/monument business.

He ended our conversation by telling me to go after what I want in life. He told me to never give up on my dreams no matter how impossible they may seem or who doubts me. He said people will laugh, but keep trusting God. It may take years, but it’ll come to pass. NEVER give up!

On that day, he gave me the boost I needed to pursue all of my dreams. So, if you see me reaching for other galaxies, you know where I got it from. Yes- I’m my father’s child. Happy Father’s Day, Alton Sutton!

Y’all, I love my Daddy! I cannot wait to spend today with him.

Happy Father’s Day to you and/or your father!

Be Blessed,

Shaun

Life

Up Thinking

I really need to be asleep. Have to be on the road in a few hours. Today we are honoring my great aunt, Aunt Deloris. She will be 75 next month. She told us that she wanted her roses while she was still here, and ain’t nothing wrong with that! So, today is her day. I cannot wait to see her. Wish I could love on her but with cases of COVID-19 steadily increasing, I will love her from afar. Being in her presence will be more than enough.

Anyway… I cannot seem to turn off my mind. Been thinking about events that have taken place over the past month. Especially events in Mississippi.

In June 2014, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer 1964. I watched the documentary (click link attached to Freedom Summer 1964) a few days before my 41st birthday. Side note: Since the city of Hattiesburg had a significant role in the movement, the documentary was shown at The University of Southern Mississippi prior to being aired on television (which aired on my birthday- Woohoo!). After watching that documentary, my brain started working overtime. I had all kinds of ideas about doing a follow-up documentary about Mississippi, 50 years later. I had so many questions and was eager to find answers.

As I stated earlier, the events that have taken place over this past month reminds me of Freedom Summer 1964. However, this time the white people who are marching and volunteering along side Black Mississippians are actually Mississippi residents. Unlike Freedom Summer, they did not travel here from other states. Many were born here. Some are descendants of those who opposed change in the 60s. In the documentary, someone said, “Crack Mississippi and you crack the whole South.” Well . . .

Hopeful. Very hopeful. Change is here. Change is happening. Mississippi IS Thriving!

Anyhoo.. I need to go to sleep. My alarm goes off in less than two hours. I’ll probably hit the snooze several times before I actually get up. I am so excited about seeing everyone… from a distance, that is. Lol

By the way, I am way too sleepy to proof this. So forgive any errors.

Shaun

Life

Forever Grateful

Grateful
Thankful
Blessed
Loved
and
Humbled

Sometimes you may feel like what is will always be. Not so! Trust God and keep believing. He is working. He is always working.

Here is my blog from this day a year ago: June 17, 2019. Even in the midst of my doubts, God was still working.

Grateful
Thankful
Blessed
Loved
and
Humbled

Shaun

Life

My Life

Mary J. Blige’s My Life has been playing over and over in my head since yesterday morning. Can’t turn it off. This one part seems to be stuck on repeat. Mary is singing–

Life can be
Only what you make it
When you’re feeling down
You should never fake it
Say what’s on your mind
And you’ll find in time
That all of the negative energy
It will all decease

My life . . .

Blessed

Shaun