A Message From The Creator

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

Inspirational Woman Of The Day

Dilma Rousseff

Homa Khaleeli

The Guardian March 7, 2011

Article History

Dilma Rousseff

The teenage socialist guerilla withstood imprisonment and torture and went on to become the first female president of Brazil

A teenage socialist guerrilla who withstood imprisonment and torture, Rousseff is the first female president of Brazil. Aged 63, she is said to be a tough, no-nonsense manager, who won power by promising economic stability, to reduce poverty and improve education and healthcare. She also promised to improve the lot of women, saying in her inaugaration speech: “I would like for fathers and mothers to look into their daughters’ eyes today and tell them: ‘Yes, women can.'” She vowed that nine of her 37 ministers would be women – a record for Brazil. (Although critics noted she not only ignored women’s issues during her election campaign, but that the twice-divorced grandmother also publicly reversed her position on the legal right to an abortion to placate the religious right and underwent several rounds of plastic surgery to gain her place.)

The daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant her childhood was affluent until the death of her father when she was just 14 when her life changed dramatically. The family struggled financially and Rousseff became involved with socialist and workers groups – eventually joining Palmares Armed Revolutionary Vanguard, which seized foreign diplomats for ransom and shot foreign torture experts sent to train the generals’ death squads (although Rousseff says she never used any weapons herself.) She was captured and tortured. After her release she returned to University, had a daughter with her second husband and started working for the government, eventually becoming finance chief of Porto Alegre, the state capital. In 2000 she threw her lot in with Lula and his Partido dos Trabalhadores, or Workers’ Party.

She is already facing a huge test – the recent floods which have killed hundreds and buried entire towns.

Inspiration Of A Literary Giant

Toni Morrison reflects on her life, new book

By theGrio

Toni Morrison reflects on her life, new book

GRAND VIEW-ON-HUDSON, New York (AP) — The Hudson River extends like the sun from the back of Toni Morrison’s house, illuminated and infinite, undimmed by an unseasonably drab afternoon.

“It’s interesting and soothing, and it changes constantly,” Morrison says from the comfort of an armchair. “And at night, with the stars and the moon …”

The Nobel laureate has lived in this converted boathouse since the late 1970s, when she spotted a “For Sale” sign while driving by. Her commitment was tested when the house burned down in 1993, destroying everything. But she had the house rebuilt and upgraded and so enjoys a setting both spacious and personal, with bookcases and paintings, plants and carvings, a patio and private dock.

Toni Morrison among latest Medal of Freedom honorees

The 81-year-old Morrison is in a relaxed, informal mood, her laugh easy and husky. You might mistake her for a neighbor ready for gardening until you see the pictures of her with James Baldwin, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Elie Wiesel, among others, or learn that the wooden table by her chair was a prop from the film version of “Beloved,” her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Morison does not need to worry about recognition. Nobel judges have honored her, and so has Oprah Winfrey, whose book club picks have helped Morrison’s novels sell millions. A Toni Morrison Society organizes conferences about her work and sponsors a Toni Morrison Book Prize. She has written children’s stories and has been the subject of one, Douglas Century’s “Toni Morrison.” Two presidential contenders, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, sought her support in 2008, and Obama will soon present her with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. Her play “Desdemona,” a collaboration with director Peter Sellars and the Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traore, will be staged in London during the Summer Olympics.

Toni Morrison tells Ohioans she won’t write memoir

The legend gets the glory; the real person works. Morrison has a new novel, “Home,” a brief, poetic story of Frank Money, a traumatized Korean War veteran who returns to the U.S. in the 1950s. Morrison has long used fiction as a private and alternative history, whether of the Civil War (“Beloved”), the 1920s (“Jazz”) or colonial times (“A Mercy”). With “Home,” she wanted to add some truth — about war, about racism — to the standard ’50s narrative.

“I was really trying to take off that scab, or that veil, or whatever it is, off the ’50s,” she says. “We’re told that it was good times, post-war, GI Bill, people had jobs and the television was full of happy stories and so on, and that’s it.”

Like “Beloved,” ”Song of Solomon” and other Morrison novels, the book is a journey and a reckoning. Using bus money given to him by a pastor, Money travels from the Pacific Northwest to Chicago to his dreaded hometown, Lotus, Georgia, “the worst place in the world,” where nobody “knew anything or wanted to learn anything.” Warned from the start that the North is no less racist than the South, he encounters violence and segregation and the lawlessness of police. Once in Georgia, he is almost relieved. At least the pace is “human,” Money observes. There was “time to instruct one another, pray for one another, and chastise children in the pews of a hundred churches.”

Rutgers pays Toni Morrison $30K for commencement

Morrison, a native of Ohio, never lived in Georgia. But for “Home” she drew upon stories from her father, a Georgia native, and from her memories of the South when she was an undergraduate at Howard University, based in Washington. She was on tour with fellow theater students in the early ’50s and was moved by how blacks took care of her and each other, a bond dramatized in “Home” and many of her works. She knew what to expect from the whites in the South, but the revelation was how “lovely and generous and capable” the blacks were.

“If we arrived at a town where the faculty had made arrangements to spend the night and either the place we thought was nice, wasn’t, or they didn’t want the students to stay there, one of them would go into a phone booth. They would check the yellow pages for a black church and then call up a minister and say, ‘We’re from Howard University and we’re a little chagrined because we don’t have a place to say,'” Morrison says. “And the pastor would say, ‘Call me back in 10 minutes.’ And in 10 or 15 minutes he had rounded up his parishioners to take us in. We would go into these houses. And the women, they just fed us, took care of us, put us on these sweet-smelling sheets and cooked, and wouldn’t take any money. We had to slip money under their pillows.

“And that happened everywhere. ‘Where do we eat in this town that has no places where blacks can eat?’ And somebody would say, ‘Here is a man who was a chef at the Waldorf Astoria, but he’s retired and he cooks sometimes for visitors.’ And you go to his house and get the best meal of your life. But that was within the community. There really was a community, there really was a neighborhood.”

Morrison has spent much of her life in the North. After graduating from Howard, she worked for years as an editor for Random House, then debuted as an author with “The Bluest Eye,” published in 1970. Her breakthrough came in 1977 with “Song of Solomon,” a Book-of-the-Month Club selection praised by New York Times critic John Leonard as a masterpiece akin to music. Her name reached ever higher. “Beloved” won the Pulitzer in 1988. The Nobel came five years later.

As she gets older, Morrison says, the world becomes more interesting and more distressing. She is appalled at some of the remarks about Obama and the speculation that he was not aU.S. citizen. But nature, and its mysteries, she responds to more than ever — the water, mountains, her garden. She watches “Planet Earth” on the Discovery Channel and marvels how it took “millions of years” for humans to evolve from “that thingy down there at the bottom of the sea.”

Saying that her writing process was unchanged by the Nobel — after a “few mental tricks” cleared the fog of success from her mind — Morrison tries to challenge herself with every book. In “Home,” she has Frank Money speak directly to the author, admitting that he has not been honest about his story. For her next novel, she wants to write about a black intellectual, a break from the uneducated characters who usually appear in her work.

“When I’m not thinking about a novel, or not actually writing it, it’s not very good; the 21st century is not a very nice place. I need it (writing) to just stay steady, emotionally,” she says.

“When I finished ‘The Bluest Eye,’ … I was not pleased. I remember feeling sad. And then I thought, ‘Oh, you know, everybody’s talking about “sisterhood,'” I wanted to write about what women friends are really like. (The inspiration for “Sula,” her second novel). All of a sudden the whole world was a real interesting place. Everything in it was something I could use or discard. It had shape. The thing is — that’s how I live here.”


“I guess that’s home.”

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


Women In The News


Published May 07, 2012


Behind the numbers: Why do women earn less than men?

President Obama and his Democratic allies are hoping to win women voters by a large margin — and part of that strategy involves making equal pay a big issue. 

“If you do the same work as a man, you ought to be paid the same wage as a man,” the president said at a reception honoring women from around the world in March of last year. 

Research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indeed suggests women on average make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. 

Those numbers, however, could represent an apples-to-oranges comparison. The stats compare the pay of all women as a group against the pay of all men as a group, without considering lots of differences. Some analysts are now producing research that suggests the pay difference might be tied more to the jobs men and women each choose than their gender. 

“The cardiac surgeon and the person who is checking out at a supermarket — they are being compared as if they are equals,” said Warren Farrell, author of the book “Why  Men Earn More” and a former member of the Board of the National Organization for Women in New York. 

Pam Villareal, of the National Center for Policy Analysis, points to another difference — the number of hours worked. 


So you might have a woman that works 35 hours, you might have a man doing the same job that works 50 hours, or he travels more in that job,” she said. 

Women are also less likely than men to work 40 hours, which would make a dent in women’s earnings. “People who work 44 hours per week,” Farrell said, “make 50 percent more than people who work 34 hours a week.” 

The reason for these and other differences is simple, they say. “Women are deciding not just what’s great for their career, they’re deciding what’s great for their kids,” said Kay Hymowitz of the Manhattan Institute. 

That’s not to say men never choose careers based on what’s best for their kids, or that women always put kids before career. 

But for women, there is a studied impact on their salary when they do choose to leave the workforce temporarily to have children and care for them. 

Hymowitz said “there’s no question that there is what some scholars call a ‘motherhood penalty.'” 

“It can be very difficult to get back in and earn the same kind of pay that you were earning before when you left,” Villareal said. 

Women are also less likely to take dangerous-but-better-paying jobs such as working in an oil field, coal mine or steel mill.


Beyond all that, there is one stat that could cast doubt on claims that working women are being discriminated against in the workforce. 

“Young women in their 20s who don’t have children, who are not married, are actually earning more than comparable young men,” Hymowitz said. 

Farrell said they’re actually earning 117 percent more — meaning women in that group earn 17 cents more on every dollar a man of the same age makes.

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