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My Ancestor's Wildest Dreams

This morning, as I looked in the mirror, I saw my grandmother's face.

Mother Dear, as we affectionately called her, stood at four feet five inches tall. However, in my eyes, she loomed like a giant among women. She was the kind of woman who, by modern standards, would have owned a fashion house and her own designer label. She passed on some of her sewing skills to me and she was capable of crafting an entire collection of dresses and suits, with or without the aid of a sewing machine.

My grandmother was raised during the Jim Crow era, a period when her opportunities were constrained by the color of her skin rather than her natural talents.

As I gazed into the mirror and saw my grandmother's reflection, the phrase "My Ancestors' Wildest Dreams" resonated powerfully within me.

In that instant, I grasped the significance of my grandmother's life, her mother's, and her mother's before her, for both me and my granddaughters. The opportunities she didn't have, but also the dreams and hopes she had for those who would come behind her.

As we celebrate Juneteenth this month, I am reminded more about why I don't celebrate the late sharing in Texas of the news that slaves were free. Rather, I choose to focus on more of what I learned about faith, family, and freedom from my ancestors. What I learned from my grandmother isn't something I learned in my bachelor's or master's degree programs.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the reminder that Juneteenth provides about the US system of slavery, as it's as important as remembering, for example, the Holocaust.

However, what I choose to focus on this time of year are the strengths and character that were passed down from my ancestors who came through and survived some of the most challenging aspects of human life.

I jotted down five strengths that my grandmother passed down to me that guide my life, my work, and my leadership in the community today:

1. Curiosity and interest in the world. I am curious about everything. I am always asking questions, and I find all subjects and topics fascinating.

2. Hope, optimism, and future-mindedness. Like many of you, I see all of the trauma that is going on in the world around us. But, when I look back at history, we have always had to deal with traumatic events like slavery, war, famine, and even a global pandemic. But we as a species, well we survive. I look to the future just like my ancestors did.

3. Love of learning. I love learning new things, whether in a class or on my own. I have always loved school, reading, and museums.

4. Forgiveness and mercy. I truly believe to make the world around us better we must operate from the perspective of forgiveness, and we must be merciful. Even when we don't receive forgiveness or mercy in return.

5. A sense of purpose, and faith. Although my grandmother was restricted through Jim Crow laws, she never let it deter her purpose as she lived her faith out loud.

I am my ancestor's wildest dreams. And through all that I have learned, I will pass those dreams down to those who come after me. Here's to remembering why we celebrate Juneteenth and why the memory of all of our enslaved ancestors still matters.


Attention Bias

What is attention bias? Attention bias is our tendency to prioritize certain types of stimuli/information over others. At any given moment, an individual's senses can perceive countless stimuli in our immediate surroundings. Threat-related attention bias refers to the tendency to prioritize the processing of threats over benign or neutral stimuli. Is it no wonder we have biases related to race, ethnicity, disability, and more?

Each of us individually generates more information than ever before in human history. We take in almost 90,000 pieces of information daily, yet our brains can only filter in about 10 percent of that information. The rest, well is stored in our subconscious minds and often when we perceive a threat we act upon it.

How do you perceive the world around you and how can you understand your attention bias?


The WEBB Advisory Group Presents

The WEBB Center For Social Impact was developed and designed from more than 50 years of lived experience as a Black Woman in America.

Focusing on domestic policy specifically, our institute provides a global worldview perspective for black and brown women from the diaspora living in America today.  

Using research data, lived experiences, and stories of impact, policymakers and leaders can understand the social impacts various policies have on black and brown children and women, today and tomorrow.  

In response to various incidents in our country's recent history, history mustn't repeat itself.  Therefore, the WEBB Center For Social Impact strives to provide voter information, information on issues for policymakers, information for community activists, and information for anyone who seeks to understand the social impacts of public policy on individuals and communities.


WEBB Advisory Group

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"Inspired (In Spirit), we live and move and have our being."

Learn More About the WEBB Advisory Group

Prayer for the Week

Dear God,

Grant us grace to continue to fight back fearlessly against oppression of the human spirit, and every human right to the dignity of life and freedom of expression of that life.

Like our ancestors before us who resisted the evil of slavery and human bondage help us to continue to fight the good fight of justice, and equity, and to use our freedoms to lead wisely, greatly, and justly. Amen.

"Inspiring Humans...Changing Communities."

"And So It Goes..." is a weekly blog post. We welcome the voices of all people. Are you interested in writing for us? Let us know.

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