December 28th, 2014 by harlemhouse

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“Don’t quit.  Suffer now and live
the rest of your life as a champion.”

  • Muhammad Ali

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August 11th, 2014 by harlemhouse

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“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led
by your dreams.”

  • Ralph Waldo Emmerson

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April 10th, 2014 by HarlemMom

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“Above all, be the heroine of your life,
not the victim.”

– Nora Ephron

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January 17th, 2014 by harlemhouse

martin_luther_king_jr portrait

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted in Community, Culture, Education, Faith/Religion, Harlem, HarlemCondoLife, Quote Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

January 11th, 2014 by HarlemMom

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“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen.  Keep in the sunlight.”

~ Benjamin Franklin

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January 2nd, 2014 by HarlemMom

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“Kind words can be short and easy to speak.
But their echoes are endless.”

– Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa was the recipient of numerous honours including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. In late 2003, she was beatified, the third step toward possible sainthood, giving her the title “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta”.

Posted in Harlem, HarlemCondoLife, Poetry, Quote Tagged with: , , , , ,

December 2nd, 2013 by harlemhouse

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“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

– Oprah Winfrey

* Interesting Fact – Oprah Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood.  After she experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, she was sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee.  Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the young age of 19.  Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime-talk-show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place, she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated.  The rest is history.

Posted in Harlem, HarlemCondoLife, New York City, Quote Tagged with: , , , , , ,

November 10th, 2013 by harlemhouse

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“We don’t stop playing because we grow old;  we grow old because   we stop playing.”

– George Bernard Shaw 

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October 13th, 2013 by harlemhouse

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“You know, I love all kinds of activism.  I certainly think blacks deserve to have something whether it is affirmative action or an opportunity that should be opened up to them.  But at the same time I believe that people of color are not the only poor people in America and all over the world.”

“Respect your parents.  What they tell you is true.  Hard work, dedication and faith will get you anything.  Imagination will drive itself.  You can get anything you want, but you have to have faith behind all your ideas.  Stick to your goals and have an undying faith.”

– Russell Simmons

_________
EDITORIAL:

We wanted to quote Russell Simmons this week again (one of many times that we have quoted Simmons here on our blog in our inspirational quotes archive) as a follow up to our quote from Don Lemon last week.  I believe both of these public figures are inspirational to our children and the community.

It’s ok to come from different view points and have a discussion or a debate. Especially when ultimately everyone wants the same thing, people growing into the best person that they can be.  Self-empowerment (as Don said) and recognizing your self worth.  The  important bottom line here is to have the discussion.  This discussion which has been brought up several times over the years by many public figures such as Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey, Jay Z and Common.  I remember on the Oprah show when Jay Z was on, and they politely disagreed with each other about his lyrics.  But you believed that they walked away with respect for each other even though they viewed the topic differently.  I love interviews like this because it brings up a discussion.  It is an important discussion to keep having.  Whether agreeing or disagreeing have a discussion with your kids and each other and keep it moving.

I really like the second quote above by Russell Simmons “Respect your parents…” The message really helps to mold your/our way of thinking.  And if not your parents, your grandmother, or your aunt or older brother, sister etc.  To discuss helping people, improving yourself, helping each other, treating one another with kindness and respect, I can’t think of a better or more important discussion to have.  Even if it starts with a disagreement it might end with an agreement or at least an understanding.

And just one last thing, living in New York is one thing, but living in Harlem is a bigger feeling of community, and focus and passion towards helping those that need it.  At least this is the Harlem that I have come to love.  People here in our community black, white, spanish, artist, corporate, community organizers, politicians, rich, poor, moms, students whatever, all seem to step it up a notch or two and this is a great thing.  I was speaking with someone the other night at a Harlem event (at the HarlemGarage) and we were discussing Detroit (the woman I was speaking with was from there) and the turmoil that Detroit is going through right now.  She said she wants to go help in some way.  We both shared an enthusiasm on how we might help – help is really where it all begins.  That’s what I’m talking about.  People that give a sh#! (pardon my French) and walk the walk don’t talk the talk.  I think Russell, Don, everyone that I’ve mentioned above  are perfect examples of people who care and act.  And if you disagree, just wikipedia any one of them.

Keep it moving, have faith, keep having the discussions.  We all want the same things, though we may get there in our own way, style and time.

Posted in Books, Celebrity, Central Harlem, Community, Culture, Don Lemon, East Harlem, Education, Faith/Religion, Health & Wellness, History, Kids, New York City, North Harlem, Quote, Russell Simmons, South Harlem (SOHA), West Harlem Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

October 3rd, 2013 by harlemhouse

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Our Inspirational quote this week is by Don Lemon.  It is not a single sentence or phrase.  But rather Don’s “open letter” response to Russell Simmons.

Simmons and others criticized Lemon for a broadcast during which Lemon shared his “5 points” on self-emporwerment and self-responsibility, the backdrop of which was the murder of  Trayvon Martin and the Zimmerman “not guilty” verdict.   Mr. Lemon invited Simmons to come on CNN several times to discuss the matter where Mr. Simons initially declined resulting in Lemon’s open letter.   Russell Simmons eventually accepted the offer and appeared where they had a face to face discussion.

We have quoted Simmon’s uplifting messages many times (view QUOTE archives).  We are fans of Russell Simons.  We were surprised by the nature of his attack of Lemon.  We thought the way Lemon approached the conflict and what he said were in and of themselves lessons in who we should want to and need to be.  Communication is the key.

Don Lemon’s “An open letter response to Russell Simons.”

The video 

The transcript:

“Russell, I’m glad you wrote the letter.  Honestly I really am.  Initially though I wasn’t even going to respond to your letter, not because I think you completely missed the point, not because, like many of the other critics I thought you were just using the occasion as a promotion for one of your businesses, your Web site, but I wasn’t going to address it because, quite honestly, it was hard to take you and it seriously after you called me derogatory names like slave on Twitter.  That accomplishes nothing especially when lives are at stake.

That said, I’m going to respond and I’m going to take the high road at the same time by not calling you names and simply addressing your points.  And just to be clear before I start here I have asked you on this program on CNN several times to discuss the issues I have addressed.  I have invited you again tonight but you declined again.  That is fine.  But don’t throw stones and hide your hand.

Russell Simmons, we are in a crisis right now and you of all people need to understand what I’m saying and understand what you’re doing.  Because of what you do and who you are, you have much more influence on young people of all races than I do.

So, first.  You say I sound like conservative hosts or pulling strings writing, you write this, conservatives love when we blame ourselves for the conditions that have destroyed the fabric of the black community.

My response is, you should take that up with a conservative or a liberal or someone who is concerned about political affiliation in this particular situation. That does not save lives. It shouldn’t matter if someone is black, white, brown, purple, green, democrat, or Republican. If the truth they speak is saving lives, then no matter their intentions or background, we should listen, attack the problem, not the messenger.

You also write, I can’t accept that you would single out black teenagers as the cause of their own demise because they don’t speak the King’s English or where belts around their waist bands.

That really makes me question whether you even watch the segment or even wrote the letter yourself because I never blamed anyone for their own demise.  I never pinned it on any teenagers, on anybody. Nor did I mention the King’s English.  I did, however, mention the “n” word.

You also wrote, young people sagging their pants today is no different than young people rocking afros or platform shoes in the ’60s and ’70s.

Russell, afros came out of the struggle of the after American civil rights movement.  The dashiki is a traditional form of African dress.

Sagging, Russell, the hip hop community which you helped established, dropped the G on the word so that spelled backwards the word reads n- i-g-g-a-s.  It came from Riker’s island in New York, one of the largest attention centers in the U.S.  It was originally called wearing your pants Riker’s style.

When you went in you turned in your belt, your shoe laces, and the only shirt the jail provided was a white double XXL-shirt.  Are you equating dressing like a criminal to African pride?  Are you saying it is OK to perpetuate the negative stereotype of young, black men as convicts, criminals, prisoners?  How does that enhance their lives or society as a whole?

I do give you, Russell Simmons, and some of the hip hop and rap community credit for trying to clean up your act.  Some like J. Cole and Kanye West are now rapping about social issues like the prison industrial complex.  More of that, please.  We welcome that.  Everyone does.  But you’re not off the hook.

Finally, you write in part, I want the black kids to grow up and be like you.  I want them to know that their imagination is God inside of them.  Russell, I really appreciate that, but I don’t want black kids or kids of any race to be just like me.  I want them to grow up to be better than me.  That’s what my parents wanted for me.  And their parents wanted for them.  And as we approach the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington, we should all realize that it’s what those brave men and women who risked their lives for our freedom and equality wanted for us.  They fought for us and generations to come to be better than them, not to be illiterate or deadbeat dads or criminals.  We must stop the blame for things that we can change ourselves and, again, as the first African-American president of the United States says, no more excuses.”

– – – –

QUOTE:  “President Barack Obama – Nobody cares how tough your upbringing was.  Nobody cares if you suffered some discrimination.  And, moreover, you have to remember that whatever you’ve gone through, it pales in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured, and they overcame them, and if they overcame them, you can overcome them, too.”

*We are happy that eventually they spoke, discussed and shook hands over this matter.  Hopefully in the future, though they may disagree, they will both continue to help inspire and educate people in their own ways.

Correction;  A previous version of this post stated that Lemon’s 5 points pertained to racism.  They instead pertain to self-emporwerment and self-responsibility.  

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