Ashanti Douglas, Topping the Charts and Helping Frontline Workers

File: Ashanti 2012.jpg” by MoniqueTatum is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

| Written by Melony F. Carter | February 14, 2021|

Grammy award winner, actress, songwriter, and student of professional dance— Ashanti Douglas was born October 13, 1980 in the small city of Glen Cove, not far from Long Island, New York.

Ascending From Dance to Music

With a strong foundation in performance arts, she studied at the school of Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center. Ashanti’s mother, now “momager” Tina Douglas and father, Kincaid Douglas had allowed Ashanti to express herself as a talented dancer.

Soon her dedication would yield results, allowing her to perform at Carnegie Hall and the Apollo Theater. As a youth, Ashanti would go on to earn a spot in the Disney TV movie, “Polly” for director and choreographer Debbie Allen.

Cultivated to dance, at eleven, Ashanti’s mother was convinced her daughter was born to be a star. One day upon overhearing Ashanti singing an acapella version of Mary J Blige’s, song, “Reminisce” Tina believed she was meant to sing.

The Record Label’s Lead Vocalist  

An honor student in high school, Ashanti was offered athletic and academic scholarships for Princeton University and Hampton University. But it was her passion for a career in music that drove her to continue pursuing a record deal. For her, to nestle her R & B techniques with hip-hop and rap, would allow her to standout. Ashanti searched for the right record label. After leaving Def Jam she signed with gangster label, Murder Inc. becoming the first lead vocalist. With the chance to flex, Ashanti showcased her talent on the chorus “How We Roll” with artist Big Pun.

Topping the Billboard Charts

Confident, that Ashanti was ready for the mainstream, executive record producer Irv Gotti, decided it was time for the songstress to release her own album, “Ashanti”.

In April of 2002, with hits like “Always on Time” featuring Ja Rule, and so forth, Ashanti was the first artist since the Beatles, to have two songs, “Foolish” and “What’s Luv?” in the Hot 100 Billboard top ten— alongside, the third, that she wrote for singer, Jennifer Lopez, “Ain’t It Funny” in the first week of her album release.

Acting, Awards and Philanthropy

Holding over 73 acting credits and the recipient of many awards, Ashanti has appeared in role such as, the film Coach Carter (2005), Malcolm X (1992), John Tucker Must Die (2006) and Resident Evil: Extinction (2007). She has also appeared in the TV series Proud Family, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. 

Most recently, today, Ashanti Douglas, during the pandemic— has reached out in support of frontline workers in New York Hospitals by providing 30,000 N95 masks and 400 breakfasts from “Beyond Meat and Dunkin’ Donuts,” vegan breakfasts sandwiches. She has also released her new single, “I Want You” (2021) which is already streaming on most social media platforms.   

Cited Works:

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Ashanti.” Encyclopedia Britannica, February 14, 2021 https://www.encyclopedia.com/people/literature-and-arts/music-popular-and-jazz-biographies/ashanti-singer

Staff Writer, Los Angeles, CA, Enjoli, Audrey of Live Kindly. “Ashanti Supports Frontline Workers With Free Vegan Meat.” MAY 1ST, 2020 https://www.livekindly.co/ashanti-frontline-workers-vegan-meat/

Rosa Parks

Rosa ParksRosa Parks

Written by, Melony F. Carter
Picture: Creative Commons
Date: February 11, 2019

Selfless, in my opinion, this word honestly depicts Rosa Parks in this image. Undergoing fingerprinting on December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama for her stance against racial inequality practices in the United States, as an African American activist Mrs. Rosa Parks is a global hero.

Early Years

Born in Tuskegee, Alabama on February 4, 1913 Rosa Louise McCauley was married to Mr. Raymond Parks in 1933. Working by trade as a seamstress, Rosa had a second job as a secretary for the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). One afternoon, December 1, 1955; after getting off work from the department store Mrs. Parks who took the Montgomery Cleveland Avenue bus had refused to give up her seat in the front row, when the driver had demanded she do so and move to the back row. During that time, noncompliance was considered a criminal act in the state of Alabama.

Her Charge

Arrested, for her act, she was fined $10, which was paid for by E.D. Nixon. Reports of her charge caused a domino effect that ratified the entire system. Being a member of the NAACP (1943 – 1956) and The Women’s Political Council (WPC) news spread quickly about the arrest. And discussion of a boycott to end segregation begun.

Overcoming the Pressure

The news was so prevalent that it was publicized on December 4, in the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper. Once the boycott arose it lasted from December 5, 1955, through December 20, 1956. The nonviolent boycott’s led by such members including, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ultimately ended the city’s racial segregation ordinances.
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Today in Honor Of

Enduring, bomb threats, violence, and protests Rosa Parks is an example of the change that real determination can bring. Awarded with the Congressional Gold Medal from the U.S. Congress in 1999, Mrs. Rosa Parks, is a legendary civil rights activist. Her act of bravery, in the face of racial turbulence will always be remembered as a pivotal celebrated moment in American History.

Works Cited
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Rosa Parks
American civil-rights activist.” Encyclopaedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Rosa-Parks.
The Editors of History.com. “Montgomery Bus Boycott.” History.com, https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/montgomery-bus-boycott

Mr. Chestnut

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Written by, Melony Carter

Morris L. Chestnut the husband, father, actor, and producer; was born January 1, 1969 in Cerritos, California. As a former college student –with aspirations of playing in the NFL—Morris attended California State University where he studied drama and finance.

Acting since the early 90’s, he first appeared in an episode of Freddy’s Nightmares in 1990. That following year in 1991 he was able to land his first big-time role, as Ricky; in the film ‘Boyz n the Hood’, which was directed by John Singleton. Later in 1993, Morris acquired the leading role in the Civil Rights movie, ‘The Ernest Green Story’.

Some of his other acting accomplishments include: his performances in the films The Best Man (1999) and its sequel (2013), The Brothers (2001), Two Can Play That Game, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), G.I. Jane (1997) and Half Past Dead (2002), Breakin’ All the Rules (2004) and the Bishop T.D. Jakes’s novel-based film Not Easily Broken (2009).

Married to Pam Byse in 1995, they have two children. Nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 2000 for The Best Man; he has also performed in the off-Broadway play Love in the Nick of Tyme (2007). Currently, Mr. Chestnut is hosting and the co-excutive producer of the BET show Vindicated.

Water Bottle

Water Bottle 2

Written/ Photo By:Joyfilledwords
September 2, 2013
(Inspirational Read)

On Friday, I founded this little reminder of God’s great love inside of my water bottle. Of all places… Can you believe it… The ice is frozen in the shape of a Heart… Which is a nice reminder that God has the ability to do anything that He wants to do!

Whelp… After work on Friday I was feeling good and looking forward to Labor Day, and the three day weekend, when suddenly that same night I found myself starting to get sick… I was coughing, congested and had a runny nose. So, in the morning I went to Quick Care only to find the office was unusually closed that day…

Persistent to feel better I preceded onward to “Plan B” which involved: Soup, Orange Juice, Lemons-Honey-Tea, Medicine and Apple Sauce…

For all my friends, family members, and anyone else who knows me; their very aware of the fact that I don’t like to be sick. So, on Saturday, feeling extremely unhappy about the situation I decided, “Nope, I’m not going to stay sick!” I got up, cleaned up, and even worked out.

The funny part about my three day extravaganza, is that I had my mind all set to watch movies, eat BBQ, and catch up with some Much-Desired-Extra-Relaxation time but the attacks on my body wouldn’t permit it.

For me, it almost felt like I had to work harder not to feel any worst… 

During the next two days everything seemed opposite… When I tried to sleep, my nose got congested. When I tried to eat, I automatically felt full and after I tried to cool down minutes later I began to sweat.

What was I to do???

Determined not to allow this sickness to rule me, I decided to get out of my slump the best way I know how… So I put on all the Praise & Worship music that I could possibly find and started singing as loud as my congested voice would allowing me too until I could hear my normal voice range again… 

And thank God it worked!

Well today is Monday night and thank God I’m feeling so much better. I’m not coughing as much, or even cold. I even got a chance to enjoy some BBQ… 

Overall, even though I got sick in a silly-sort-of-way I feel like I got more accomplished this weekend then I would have done by following my own plan…

I can’t say that I understand it… But hey, that’s life and God allows things to happen for HIS Purpose.

Believe me, I can trust my God, who is even able to place a “Frozen Heart Shaped” reminder in my water bottle to let me know He is always the one in control…

Day 10: Time with the Family

Well I got up this morning and continued my work out but I must admit that today I ate way to many carbohydrates. I made the family fried chicken, corn on the cob, corn bread and mashed potatoes for dinner. I told myself to bake my piece of chicken but instead I ate the whole dinner. I’m not going to let it get me down. Tomorrow I’m going to get back on the treadmil and do my cruches. As for today I’m going to stop worring. For God is going to see me through my entire 20 Day challenge. Be blessed people.

Day 9: Pushing On

You know what the crunches seem to be getting easier, the walking is getting a lot better and the writing is becoming a lot more powerful all because of the presence of God in my life.

He is truly worthy of His praise. I have to say that I am truly happy that I was able to find a site and have the opportunity to share with so many helpful people. I am blessed and God is with me and God is with you too.

 

Day 6: Living Happier and Finally on Course

Today was another really good day. I’m really feeling positive because I was able to do my exercise routine and accomplish it for the second day in a row. Thank God… I even had a really good talk with several of my family members today. It felt good to get some stuff of my chest, laugh and even to encourage one another to stay strong.

This morning God truly blessed me with the understanding that I should not write material that is against Him. Since He is the most important being in my life I will honor Him with my talents.

 

Be Brave you can accomplish everything that God told you to do!

So right now I’m going to let you know that when I started I weighted 202 pounds… Ok. I’m pulling out the scale and it says…. 196….. Well by the end of my first 20 Day journey I will be at a healthier 185 pounds just by simply working out and eating right. (Without any pills or supplements) I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

Day 6 of 20

 

Pray for today:

Let the Lord watch over us all as we continue to praise His name together in Love. Thank you Jesus Christ for your plans for my life and I thank you for the courage that I now have to stand strong and do your will in Love. In Jesus’ name Amen.

Day 3: Wow

Wow…

“Words of Worth” is how I am going to start my blog off today…

I know that today I’m getting off to a rough start but it’s more important that I’m persistant and don’t give up. Like I mentioned yesterday I want a healthy life so I have to make the right choices on purpose.

Today I should have gotten up and worked out but I couldn’t because as soon as I woke up I found out that one of my dogs ran away and had been missing for two hours. I couldn’t believe it and thought that my family was joking but it turns out that they really weren’t.

I called myself trying to help them locate him but they really didn’t want my assistances. I don’t know all day long I felt like I spent so much time doing some of the wrong things when I really knew deep down in my heart what I really should have been doing.

Have you ever had that feeling of knowing there is something your avoid doing just because, well I don’t know,… you think you want be good enough?

I really want to do what I know in my heart God is calling me out to do but, if I try I don’t want to fail. I keep reminding myself that “Faith without Works is Dead”. I guess I have to let this fear go.

Day three I’m letting the fear go…

Pray:
Father God please help me let this fear go that continues to stop me from doing your will. Give me and my family comfort in our time of need and watch over us all every day and night in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen

Day 2: Let the Journey Begin

Well, two days ago I decided that it is time for me to become completely real about my health. So, I decided that it is time for me to live totally health, by being physically, spiritually and mentally healthy…                            
  And for me right now that means working out like I’m suppose to, doing what God wants me to do and being around the types of environment God has called me to be in. So far, over the course of my life, I’ve realized  that I’m happiest and at my best when I’m doing the right things. With that said I’m feeling inspired to purposely make the right changes in my life starting today to do those things that I know I should have been doing all along like eating right, working out, using my time wisely, and obeying Gods calling. Today is Day 2 of my first 20 day journey. Please be encouraged to start yours too. I am picking up my cross and following Jesus Christ.

Grateful

I got a new job today… A brand new job doing something that I never thought I would do but it turns out that I really enjoy doing it. God has richly blessed me and to Him I just want to say thank you Heavenly Father! 🙂