I was mystified during my childhood with the stories I’d heard of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I was born at the City of Memphis/John Gaston Hospital (now the Regional Medical Center) in Memphis, Tennessee,* the city in which he’d conducted a march on behalf of striking sanitation workers and where he delivered his famed “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech at Mason Temple before his assassination not far from where I was born and raised. *Memphis is the namesake of an ancient Egyptian city, Egypt where the children of Israel had been held in captivity since Biblical Joseph’s brothers sold him to Ishmaelite and/or Midianite merchants who in turn sold him to the Egyptians.
Amusingly, my mother visited Dr. King’s grave in 1972 (a year preceding my conception and birth) with her senior class at then SandFlat High School (now H.W. Byers High School). Perhaps my mother was visited at her visitation of Dr. King’s grave, and was obliviously overshadowed by the King, though I would have an earthly biological father. It is too amusing that when my parents married when I was about three-years-old my mother’s initials became F.B.I. The Creator was making a statement, I believe, that He is THE Investigator Who is monitoring and judging the Federal Bureau of Investigation and others who were specifically involved in Dr. King’s assassination and those of others generally who stood and stand for what is right…
During my studentship at Humes Middle School in Memphis, too the famed alma mater of the king of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, I met and became good friends with Donald Ray Draine, who was popular at and outside of school. We were so close that it was popularly believed that we were dating, though the thought never entered either of our minds. We were like real sister and brother. If I wasn’t at his house he was at mine. He was friends with my boyfriends and vice versa. I have wondered retrospectively if my unusual friendship with Donald, who we typically call by his last name, was divinely ordered to hint at James Earl Ray’s significance to though innocence in Dr. King’s assassination.
Once when I was a teenager, I was perusing the A.M. dial on the radio and landed on a program called Martin Luther King Speaks. I listened intently to speeches by Dr. King that I’d never heard before. I was inspired by his words, though I think that much of my gravitation to Dr. King centered around the fact that his voice sounded like that of my maternal grandfather, Lawrence Martin, Sr., who very much resembled recording artist B.B. King,* and who was typically swearing hilariously or shouting profanities whenever he raised his voice (Notably, both Dr. and Mrs. King resembled close members of my family). My grandfather had a low tolerance for what he considered non-sense, and frequently described the bringers of such triviality as “birdbrain motherf*ckers. I was very close to my grandfather and had been deeply disturbed by his death.
*My Aunt Bonnie had a roughly 30-year common law marriage with Curtis Miller, the ex husband of B.B. King’s first cousin, Sarah. Curtis and Sarah had twin daughters, Rhonda (a fitness trainer in Memphis) and Rhola (who resides in Detroit, Michigan). Rhonda and Rhola are sisters to two sons (Curtis, Jr. and Julius) that Uncle Curtis would have with Aunt Bonnie. Uncle Curtis, who was muscular back in the day, would carry my mother up the stairs of our Lane Avenue apartment after she became paralyzed when I was about five years old, shortly after the birth of my brother. Aunt Bonnie’s name is the nickname of Dr. King’s youngest daughter, Bernice.
My senior year at Northside High School in Memphis I entered and won the grand prize of a $10,000.00 scholarship in the Memphis area Share the Dream essay contest. I accepted the honor in the auditorium of the then Memphis City and now Shelby County Schools Board of Education, which I had not entered or seen in more than 20 years until I reported there on an occasion fairly recently to retrieve my pay check as a Shelby County Schools educator (prior to enrolling in direct deposit and/or on an occasion when there was a glitch of some sort with payroll)…
The event was hosted by WHRK/Mike Evans* and Ce Ce McGhee of k97 fm radio and WHBQ TV 13/Claudia Barr *I marveled years later when I began receiving correspondence from another Mike Evans of the Jerusalem Prayer Team, considering my love for the Creator and for Israel and when Claudia Barr went to WREG News channel 3, where one of my first cousins, Herbert Walls, is a news director. On the day that Northside presented me with the plaque from Coca Cola Enterprises recognizing my win, I took the plaque with me to my clothing production class and laid it on the desk of the sewing machine that I was working from. On that particular day our regular instructor was out, and when the substitute got to my name on the roll, instead of calling my name, she asked “Who is Yolanda Martin?” I informed her that I was present. And when she proceeded to ask me if I realized that I had Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s and his daughter’s name I got a rush as I received the epiphany. I felt faint and my heart began to beat rapidly as I looked down at the plaque with my name on it. It had never occurred to me, despite my affinity for Dr. King. I really had not known much about Dr. King’s family at that time. Perhaps I would have never realized the significance of my name had it not been for that substitute.
I realized in that instance that the Creator was and IS real, and I had encountered Him in a very unique and startling way. It was the same feeling that I’d had on the day that I’d won the scholarship and I’d gone with an entourage of my neighbors to show the huge check that I was awarded to my neighbor, Anna (who resembles recording artist Jody Watley), who I’d written about to win my scholarship. She was addicted to drugs, and was so thin that she appeared to be near death on that particular evening. She looked at me and then the date on the check, February 26, 1992. It was her son Andrew’s birthday.
I too found and find it amusing that Anna is named after Christ’s grandmother (Mary’s mother) and her sister Elizabeth was named after Mary’s cousin, the mother of John the Baptist, who the angel Gabriel asked Mary to pay a visit when she was pregnant with Jesus and when Elizabeth was pregnant with John. Anna’s son Andrew (who is extremely attractive and whom we affectionately call Lee Lee) is named after Jesus’ disciple, who’d queried him about the sign of His returning. Anna proceeded to tell me that one of her sisters, who was a writer, like me, and had died years before, was reaching out to her through me. The encounter apparently saved Anna’s life.
I enrolled in Job Corps (The Atlanta center) after graduating from high school, aware of the conglomeration of historically African American colleges there, and considering that my scholarship had to be utilized at an HBCU. Not long after my enrollment in Job Corps I was encouraged by a gentleman named Mr. Lattimer (Robert, I believe), the student activities coordinator, to volunteer during King week events at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change; and after doing so, I decided to become a regular volunteer in various departments. This included working directly with Mrs. Coretta Scott King and her assistant Lynn Cothren, Hilda Tompkins in Public Affairs, Dexter Scott King, and his assistants, Barbara Harrison, Kevin Branch, etc., and Cynthia Lewis and Elaine Hall in the King Library & Archives, where I’d eventually be hired as a temporary Archival Assistant.
Mrs. King’s Generosity to Her Staff & Volunteers
I was invited to and attended (as a volunteer and King Center staff member employed through a local Atlanta staffing agency) a number of dinners sponsored by the King Center (i.e. Salute to Greatness Dinners, where I and other staff members, formally dressed and ate what I’m told were $1,000.00+ plates, etc.). Then there were less expensive events to which we were privy free of charge (though distributed event tickets), like the Labor, Management, Government, Social Responsibility Awards Breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on January 14, 1995…
We attended a dinner at the Mariott Marquis Hotel that evening, in which members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People were present, including Mrs. Margaret Wilson, the NAACP’s first chairwoman. Once, Mrs. King threw a Christmas party for us in a penthouse* at the Mariott Marquis Hotel in downtown Atlanta. She was the eldest and I was the youngest in attendance there. It was very nice – food galore, but back in the days when I was wearing safety pins to hold up my size 10 clothing! *My supervisor, Cynthia, is photographed below dancing at the party. Among other games, we played charades. I remember losing a guess to Tony Gomez, a King Center employee who later became a local Atlanta television personality, and having to allow him to kiss me -his idea – as a consequence of my loss.
Mrs. King once treated us to dinner at Paschal’s restaurant, which is now owned, I’m told, by Clark Atlanta University. We ate fried chicken, green beans…dinner rolls, and desserts, while Mrs. King explained to us that the location was where Dr. King had begun making plans for his “Poor People’s Campaign.” I recall that singer, Michael Bolton, was in attendance there, and people were calling him “Jesus” because of the length of his hair.
Listening to Mrs. King speak, I realized, beyond a shadow of doubt, that my presence there was truly providential. I was born with the same passionate interests for improving social problems (which is demonstrated on this and other blogs of mine, etc.), and I was acting on those interests before I really understood who Dr. King was.
An extremely accomplished gentleman by the name of Mr. Harllee Branch, Jr., who’d been the president of Georgia Power, an attorney, an Emory University committee member, etc. had taken proactive measures to meet and speak with me after reading some material that I wrote and that I’d distributed during a book talk that I participated in at the Lenbrook Square in Buckhead Retirement community, where he lived and where I was employed as a receptionist/concierge at the time. Mr. Branch had his wife, Mrs. Katherine Branch, to fetch me after I’d repeatedly put off our fated meeting due to my brief, 30-minute meal break. Mrs. Branch called down to the front desk and told me that she particularly wanted me to deliver a package to her that she’d received. Upon my arrival, she told me that she really wanted me to meet her husband, Mr. Branch, as I was aware, and that that was her intervention to assure that that would happen. Mrs. Branch had prepared my lunch, and brought it out to me, as Mr. Branch was entering the room to speak with me. Naturally, I was a bit intimidated by the man who’d not long before our meeting had an entourage of reporters from a local news network in Atlanta to film a documentary about him. Mr. Branch explained how throughout the course of his life and career he’d been called a “Nigger lover” because of his belief in equality and practices of extending fair treatment to African Americans.
What impressed me most is that, though Mr. Branch was an extremely nice person, he also had a very strong personality that exuded that he was far from a push over. He was not a follower, definitively a leader. He was exemplary, the type of person that I aspired to be and that I wish all people were or would become. By the end of our talk I was tremendously inspired, particularly in light of racial discrimination and harassment that I was experiencing at that particular community. His words verbatim: “I want you to know that what you have is a gift, and my kind will envy the hell out of you for it, but don’t you let anyone stop you!” I believe that Mr. Branch was aware of discrimination that I was experiencing at Lenbrook and simply wanted to provide moral support that I very much needed. Shortly after Mr. Branch passed away, Mrs. Branch telephoned me again to tell me that she’d found a note that he’d written to me that she’d have her assistant to deliver to me. In the letter he acknowledged reading some of my work, and discussed how he’d chaired a committee to open Emory University to all students of competence without regard to race, and how my writing talents proved that they were right. I never personally attended Emory, though I conducted legal research there for a lawsuit that I eventually brought against Lenbrook for defamation and racial harassment, etc., after learning that the company had solicited and acquired fallacious statements from a psychiatrist who I never conferred with regarding his opinion of my mental health based on statements that he received from Lenbrook’s then attorney, who I’d never met or spoken to either, and false statements acquired from a newly hired first shift concierge (who I very briefly interacted with during the changing of our shifts) a day after I submitted a legitimate complaint of harassment to the company’s human resources department. One of my cousins did graduate with honors from Emory, however. The son of one of my ex beaus too graduated from Emory, and Dr. King’s daughter, Bernice, graduated from Emory with a law degree. I have personally entertained the idea of attending Emory’s and/or some other law school some day, however, to become a licensed attorney or judge and/or for legal writing purposes, or to further pen proposed improvements to the law and judicial processes.
It amused me to read in Dexter’s book, “Growing up King,” that his sister, Yolanda, had portrayed a judge in a theatrical production, considering my own interest in law.
I do not believe necessarily, as many people do, that I’m a reincarnated, female version of Dr. King,* or I cannot affirm or dismiss the theory. *Even the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis began following me on Twitter shortly after I created an account, and varied persons have directed the song “Jesus is Love” by the Commodores to me, clearly about the King children. The song bids in opening, “Father, help your children.” This has overwhelmed and even terrified me to some extent, considering the many things I’ve already done for them, wondering if it might be possible that I did return from a previous life to specifically help them while resuming/finishing work that I could not then.
I do feel that, as a matter of law, I should be treated as though I’m the person I am today, a woman with two minor children (Ebony & Justice) who are indubitably mine. I believe more so than anything that the circumstances surrounding my birth and life have served as a compass for the person I’ve become,*which is of much less relevance to the King family today. Even Dr. King himself was about the Master’s business… *My being sequentially named for Dr. King’s first two children is equitable with Oprah Winfrey’s being providentially placed in a starring role as Harpo’s wife in the Color Purple (fiction), Harpo being Oprah’s name backwards, and many other acts of divine providence that most of us experience and pay little attention to…
I recall, nonetheless, looking in a mirror during my adolescent years at the lines in my neck, touching them, and, to this day, being self-conscious about them; and when I learned that Dr. King had been shot in his neck I was simply astounded… Cynthia Lewis, the Chief Archivist in the King Library & Archives, and my supervisor at that time, confided during one of our conversations that the clothing that Dr. King was wearing when he was assassinated were in a room in the archives, and that she would get around to opening the door to let me see them. She stated that they still smell of the iron in his blood. I wanted to see and touch them, though I never got the chance to do so. It would eventually slip both Cynthia’s and my mind. I was also amused to read in Dexter’s book, “Growing Up King,” that Mrs. King brought him to a sleep clinic in Memphis when he was 12-years-old, the year that I was born, because of dreams and sleeping problems that he was having.
I began attending Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King, his father, and maternal grandfather were all ministers. Ebenezer is the first and technically the only church I’ve ever officially joined.
A Miracle During my Baptism
After my baptism at Ebenezer I returned to my dormitory at the Atlanta Job Corps Center, where I began to experience pain all over my body, primarily in my lower extremities. I remember commenting to my roommates that I was going to check myself into the hospital if I didn’t feel any better the next morning. When I got up the next morning to use the lavatory I discovered my clothing soiled with blood, and realized that what I’d been experiencing was pre-menstrual syndrome. I was awestruck because I had not experienced menstruation in roughly seven years, due to female health issues that I’d had, and I did not have a shadow of doubt that it was because of my baptism. I was startled by the incident because it was not something that I expected to happen. That was one of the happiest days of my life because it further proved to me that the Lord is real, and that “He’s still in the healing business,” as the folks at Ebenezer often say. I thought of the woman in the Bible who’d had the issue of blood for 12 years and was healed after permeating a crowd to touch Jesus’ clothes. For a considerable span after this, I would sporadically burst out into tears, in private or public places. When people would ask me if I was alright, I’d just say that I was happy… Whenever the Ebenezer choir sang “The Blood Will Never Lose It’s Power,” I’d would just cry uncontrollably, and I wondered if they really knew what I knew.
I quickly gravitated to Mrs. Lornell McCullough, who led the Pearle Reese bible class, of which I would become a member. Mrs. McCullough unofficially adopted me as her daughter, as did Mrs. Marie Wright (also an Ebenezer member and best friend of Ms. Helen Jackson, the mother of Reverend Jesse Jackson, who is too the son of Mother Wright’s cousin). I lived with Mother Wright, as we all affectionately called her, before I eventually got my own apartment at 361 Westview Drive across from the back gate of Spelman College and next door to Morehouse College in Atlanta’s West End. The 4-unit complex was owned by Julian Bond‘s family. I resided in apartment 4, which is upstairs, right above the apartment where Julian’s mother, Julia, and brother, James, resided.
Mrs. McCullough and Mrs. King, as it turned out, were good friends. Mrs. McCullough had even babysat the King children (Yolanda, Martin, Dexter, and Bernice) at their home when Dr. and Mrs. King participated in civic activities.
Mrs. King, Mrs. McCullough, and I were all also members of Ebenezer’s April club, of which I was the secretary—I’d get a rush of surrealism whenever I was asked to cut and distribute the birthday cakes, particularly when it came to delivering to Mrs. Corrie. I wasn’t afraid of her; she never treated me (or anyone that I’m aware of) with anything less than respect. Just being in that moment after everything that I’d learned about her, Dr. King, and myself just gave me the jitters. Mrs. King was a rather tall woman, not what I imagined from watching her on television and seeing her in books and other publications, or she was significantly taller than me at 5 ft 4 inches… And her stoic personality was equally intimidating, though, again, she was very cordial. Nonetheless, whenever telephoning or accepting calls from her or other members of the King family became a part of my job duties, I became numb.
I thought of all of the things that I’d learned about Dr. and Mrs. King growing up in Memphis. I thought about the King Holiday video (which I think should be updated or re-done with original and other recording artists), and the surrealism was overwhelming…
My supervisor, Cynthia Lewis, strongly encouraged my communication with Mrs. King, and I made those calls, horrified. Mrs. King’s bodyguard, Clifford Lock, who is also an Atlanta police officer, and I became very good friends. I could call him for anything and he’d come and see about me. Once my car stopped as I was en route to work at the King Center. I gave Cliff a call and he was there instantly to fix it. He’d also, occasionally, pick me up from my other job at Lenbrook when I was having car problems.
Clifford made me feel very special and safe, though my relationship with Clifford made many people believe that I was a spy or detective of some sort. My development of friendships with Mr. Christopher Lovett,* a private investigator, who happens to be the father of Destiny’s Child’s Kelly Rowland, and Mr. Randolph Scott, a minister/law enforcement officer (who happens to be the father of Latocha and Tamika Scott of the famed R & B recording group “Escape”) with whom I worked at the Atlanta Job Corps Center, helped to corroborate those erroneous beliefs.
I’ve never been a spy, however, only someone who is passionate for justice and righteousness. There’s no other way to describe my relationship with these men, who I saw and see as father figures, than divinely ordered. I was estranged from my own father at the time, and they just showed up to minister to me, to tell me things I needed to hear, from Scriptures to dating advice. *Mr. Lovett and I would talk for hours, primarily about the Bible. During one of our conversations I was discussing Moses and how the children of Israel became frightened of him when his face started glowing after his encounters with the Shekinah glory of the Lord. Moses had to cover his face whenever he went to address Israel or to relay what the Lord had said… Mr. Lovett looked at me and said, “Yolanda you are glowing.” I had attended Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church, one of my favorite churches* in Atlanta, where, per Mr. Lovett, he was and is, perhaps, still a member (*Reverend R.L. White is one of my favorite ministers). I’d attended Mt. Ephraim for several years, though never joining, for a few years prior to meeting Mr. Lovett, who reminded me of Sherman Hemsley. Mr. Lovett was a security officer for a brief stint at Lenbrook. It really amused me when I listened to him talk about his daughter, Kelly, and how the group, “Destiny’s Child,” was formed after he and Kelly’s mother divorced and she and Kelly went to live with the Knowles in Texas. The former Mrs. Lovett worked for the Knowles. Beyonce and her mother, Tina, both designed clothes for Destiny’s Child. I thought of a conversation that I’d had with one of my high school classmates for whom I’d designed a prom dress our senior year; she said that she’d had a dream that she and I were in a singing group and that I designed our clothes (It is additionally amusing that Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child became a gospel recording artist).
I showed Mr. Lovett some of my sketches/original fashion designs. He was extremely impressed, and even named my future fashion label “YOMA,” the first two letters of my first and last names)…
I developed my drawing skills and fashion portfolio in Mr. Larry Jefferson’s art and photography class at Northside High School (Memphis). Jordan Houston aka Juicy J was in this class with me. He developed a major crush on me that our classmates teased me about. I turned him down when he tried to date me, primarily because my boyfriend at the time (Darrick Smith) was in the class with us.
It is amusing that Jordan liked me so much because of the significance of his name. The Israelites crossed into the Promised Land via the Jordan River and Jesus was baptized there. *I found this particularly amusing considering that I was physically healed when I was baptized. It is notable that Whitney Houston was baptized in the Jordan River and years afterwards she and her daughter would die by drowning. It is amusing that Whitney was born in 1963, considering the significance of the numbers 6 and 3 to Jordan, who was once a member of a rap trio called Triple Six Mafia. It is further amusing that Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown were married and the movie The Bodyguard came out in 1992,* the year that I graduated from high school, after repeating my junior year (Jordan graduated the following year, I think). *Barack and Michelle Obama were too married in 1992. (I’ll note here that I do NOT believe that any of this means that I should marry or date Jordan, even if the Creator initially had this in mind. I’ve heard through the grapevine that Jordan is already married with children. Even if he wasn’t married, and though I’ve heard that Jordan’s father is a minister, Jordan and I clearly live very different lifestyles).
It is additionally amusing that Whitney Houston’s “honorary aunt” was R & B and gospel recording artist, Aretha Franklin, who resembles members of my paternal family, and is a native Memphian. One of my Atlanta play moms, Annie Jones, who I met and worked with at Lenbrook, informed me that Aretha often visits her home church (Salem Baptist).
Annie’s unofficially adopting me as her daughter was also an act of providence, considering that my half brother’s mother is also named Annie Jones. When my real mother lived with me in Atlanta for a while, we decided to attend Salem with Annie one Sunday. When we entered the church, my mother sat for a while and suddenly said “I know these people,” and went on to explain that the father of Reverend Jasper Williams pastored Salem church across the street from the apartments where we lived on Lane Avenue (now J.W. Williams Lane) in Memphis. Reverend C.L. Franklin (Aretha Franklin’s father) had also been a pastor at Salem. Ms. Franklin and her family were friends of Dr. King’s. She currently resides in suburban Detroit, again, where my step-cousin, Rhola (a close blood relative of B.B. King), resides and has for some time now. The song “Wholy Holy” came to mind when I considered the divine providence.
Mr. Jefferson is one of my most memorable and favorite teachers.* His was a fun class. Once Mr. Jefferson attempted to create a mold of my face before the class. I was placed on a table and had tissue placed in my nostrils. I was given a straw to breathe out of before the plaster was applied to my face. One of my classmates jokingly asked if my insurance was paid up. I burst out into laughter and plaster went everywhere. I jumped up and ran down the hallway rubbing plaster from my face while my classmates laughed as hard as I did. There was also a dark room in Mr. Jefferson’s class where we learned to develop pictures we’d taken utilizing liquid and varied techniques, i.e. stockings on a lens to create a faded effect.
Despite my love for art and fashion, and initially planning to attend art and /or fashion school,* I decided on Philosophy and English as collegiate majors. I wanted to further develop my critical thinking and writing skills, or to cultivate my voice for articulating solutions to tough world problems. *I would still like to attend art and/or fashion school some day, however…
I matriculated into Atlanta Metropolitan College for ACT (Advanced Career Training) via the Atlanta Job Corps, from which I graduated with a Business Clerical diploma. I graduated from Atlanta Metropolitan College with an Associate of Arts degree in philosophy and eventually transferred to Georgia State University to major in English (Advanced Composition and Rhetoric)…
I met and became romantically involved with Donnell Adams while I was attending Atlanta Metro College. Donnell was working as a full-time security officer at the time at Lenbrook Square Retirement Community, where I was employed as a full-time receptionist/concierge. Donnell and I moved in together and had/have a son, Justice. Donnell was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where, per Donnell, Patti LaBelle (one of my favorite recording artists and a friend of Donnell’s mother, Joann), regularly visited and had dinner at their home. Donnell and I planned to get married. Yep, my name would have been Yolanda Adams, the name of my favorite gospel recording artist. This was really amusing considering Yolanda Adams’s song “Never Give Up,” in which she discusses the world changing visions of an ordinary girl who resembles her. It is additionally amusing that Yolanda Adams released an album entitled Save the World in 1993, the year after I graduated from high school a year behind me, and that she was born and taught school* in Houston, Texas *I too worked as an educator in Memphis via Shelby County Schools.
It is additionally amusing that my daughter’s dad, Neloso Lee Frazier (who resembles a younger version of Keith Sweat), was born on January 18, 1975…, three days after Dr. King’s birthday and one day after Michelle Obama’s birthday. Neloso took the surname Frazier when his mother married. Neloso’s biological father, who is from Harlem, New York, is surnamed Robinson. This is amusing because Keith Sweat was born in Harlem, New York and Michelle Obama’s father’s name was Fraser Robinson. It is too amusing that Keith Sweat, Barack Obama, Dexter King, and Yolanda Adams were all born in 1961… (Donnell, my son’s dad, was born in 1962).
Georgia leaders may have played a role in *Michelle Obama, an attorney, becoming the first lady of the United States, or in President Obama being nominated/elected, because of my involvement with specifically federal and appellate courts in Atlanta (though President Obama did not win the Georgia or Tennessee electoral votes in 2008 nor in 2012, despite the fact that I and other Georgians and Tennesseans had voted for him—I voted in 2008, though not in 2012). Perhaps the Creator Himself orchestrated it all, and was showing me PDA (a Public Display of Affection).
The movie Legally Blonde starring Reese Witherspoon additionally came to mind. In the movie, Reese’s character, Elle Woods, was a fashion designer with an interest in law, like me.
She’d followed Mr. Wrong, who didn’t think she was intelligent enough to be there, to law school. While there, she meets Mr. Right, who encourages her to stay and graduate after realizing that her boyfriend was engaged to another girl and after she is propositioned by a professor who’d awarded her an internship slot on a real case after she won some class arguments. Elle replaces the indecent professor who is fired from the case and wins it.
During the court scene, she is notably wearing pink, a color frequently imputed to me because of my now historic gravitation to this color. The Legally Blonde graduation scene, which always makes me cry, is very impactful…
I concluded that it was more of a miracle if Barack and Michelle Obama had not been appointed to the White House by earthly leaders and others who’d had knowledge of my cases. That would demonstrate more than anything that they’d been strategically placed there by divine order, particularly in light of the timing, around the time that I’d gone pro se in very merited lawsuits that I filed against actually two of my previous employers for racial harassment & discrimination, defamation, invasion of privacy, etc. (noting that these cases were essentially related, or the latter company took adverse actions against me after learning about the lawsuit that I’d filed against the previous company, though I’d never behaved unseemly at either of those companies).
I conducted my own legal research utilizing the law libraries at Emory and Georgia State Universities. I also frequently conducted research at the Southwest Branch Library in Atlanta, which has a set of Georgia Code Annotated and other legal resources. I additionally learned a lot from the judicial process itself from the several attorneys and judges I corresponded and conferenced with for about four years. I’d come to present my briefs, motions, and recital of case law with the same professionalism as the licensed attorneys and judges… There were frequent discussions in Atlanta about my intelligence relational to my work on these cases. After I declined to settle the first lawsuit, however, my then employer appeared to take issue with it. Once during an assembly at the Atlanta Job Corps, of which I am an alumnus, and which was my employer at that time, the Center Director, Mrs. Annie T. Matthews, discussed how she’d received calls “all the time” about how intelligent Job Corps students and/or alumni are, though we have “no negotiation skills.”
The reason that I did not settle the lawsuit, however, was because of the demeaning behavior of Ruth Woodling of Fisher & Philips LLP, who minimized what was a very serious ordeal/crisis that I and my then seven-year-old son had been subjected to by her client. Additionally, I was interested in seeing my former co-workers, many of whom had suffered similar and even worse horrors than I’d experienced, appropriately compensated for the abuse that they’d experienced, and privileged to better treatment. The King Center was subpoenaed during that case, as one of my previous employers (though I’d worked there through a temp agency). Upon discovering this, I telephoned Mrs. King at home to explain, but wounded up having the discussion with Martin Luther King III. I explained that it was standard protocol in employment litigation, and that it was nothing harmful to them… During the time that I was employed at the King Center I’d developed the equivalent of a school-girl crush on Dexter, Dr. and Mrs. King’s youngest son, and this was something that was popularly known amongst King Center staff, some of whom actually encouraged it. They thought I’d be good for Dexter…
Out of concern that the defendant’s attorneys might try to use my admiration of Dexter against me, however, and though my Dexter crush had ended several years prior to this, I decided to write what would eventually develop into more than 100 pages of business proposals for the King Center, which included my suggesting that the King Center’s Freedom Hall complex should be converted into a hotel. I even named it the “King Suites Hotel,” which would cater to a significant sect of the more than 700,000 visitors that the King Center receives each year. I also suggested that it be utilized for conventions and conferences of relevance to social change. I added further that the televisions in the hotel rooms, lobby, and other areas should show varied speeches by Dr. King and other documentaries about the Civil Rights movement on a designated channel, and that relevant research material be accessible from computers throughout the facility. Another major suggestion that I made was to merge the King Center and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization that Dr. King founded and through which he worked. I made this suggestion because of the number of vacant offices at the King Center, juxtaposed the fact that these organizations serve or should serve the same purpose of impacting social change; and their sharing resources would avail both entities more financial and other resources to do so. I suggested that the Park Service and the government generally, etc. invest in the initiative, which would become a significant source of revenue for the King Center (I never meant for money from my lawsuit to be invested in this or any other King Center initiatives that I’d penned, however).
My Weight Gain, Abuse, and Other Antenna-Raising Ordeals
Around this time I’d put on a significant amount of weight. I was no longer the size 8 to 10 I was when I was employed for the King Center, and had to wear safety pins to keep my pants from falling off, but I’d plummeted to a whopping size 16, around Jennifer Hudson’s size in Dream Girls… When I saw this movie for the first time and considered its title, my jaw dropped. I was wowed all the more when realizing retrospectively that Jamie Foxx, who’d co-starred in Dream Girls, portrayed a member of the King family who owned a hotel on the Jamie Foxx Show, something that I had not thought about when I penned the idea for converting the King Center’s Freedom Hall into a hotel…
Major Atlanta power players apparently liked my King Center ideas, though I was rewarded for my work with mistreatment – The issue of my weight gain became a major issue in Atlanta, so much so that my life was being threatened because of it. It became so serious, in fact, that I began to fear that my eating at local restaurants might incite a literal war. I was harassed off several jobs from companies that had employees who were much heavier than I was. I was even forced from my apartment and into homelessness for roughly two years while I was attending Georgia State University. I could hardly believe this was happening to me. I thought for sure that someone would step in and intervene to stop this ordeal. They never did, however. I have not had a real (full-time) job in more than 8 years and have very little to no income, despite my fervent employment searches. Both of my provable children have also been tormented surrounding the King ordeal.
As fate would have it, things turned out for me precisely the way Jennifer Hudson’s overweight character did in Dream girls. I ended up on welfare while others were profiting from my talent and work. I really didn’t and to this day don’t understand why I’ve been under attack over my weight because of Dexter, considering, again, that I have no romantic or other interests in Dexter, who is married now. The notion that I should cease to exist because Dexter got married is non-sense. I wish Dexter and his wife all the best. I have no intentions whatsoever of turning my life over to them, however… They are free to utilize all of the business proposals I gave them. They do not own any of my intellectual properties on this or either of my other blogs, however, and they are not authorized to monetarily profit from them.
Among the group of powerful men who’d implicitly taken an interest in me throughout my placement under a microscope in relation to litigation of my involvement and in relation to papers that I’d penned at Georgia State were pop star Michael Jackson, whose sister, Janet,* was dating Atlanta’s Jermaine Dupri at the time.
*I met Janet and Michael’s choreographer, Jimmy Lucas (who I instantly remembered from Janet’s Rhythm Nation video) while I was employed at the Omni Coliseum. Jimmy was employed there as the choreographer of the Atlanta Hawks dance team. When I expressed to Jimmy, who is significantly short, how the Rhythm Nation album had inspired me to graduate from high school when I’d nearly dropped out, he jumped up and kissed me on the cheek. It was a surreal moment. I could hardly believe it. Jimmy routinely walked through the ladies dressing room, where we changed into our work uniforms, and none of us minded that he saw us in our bras. Amusingly, not long before this encounter I’d written to Janet’s company/fan club, JDJ Entertainment, and told them how the Rhythm Nation album had inspired me to graduate from high school. They responded by sending me a package of items that included a Rhythm Nation t-shirt, a duplicate of the single earring key that Janet frequently wore, several Janet Jackson buttons, and two VHS cassettes, one of which was a compilation of Janet’s videos, and the other of which was a Rhythm Nation mini-movie. It turned out that the album had inspired several others to graduate, including two young ladies who’d also written to Janet expressing how the album had impacted them. Their story is featured in the epilogue to one of the videos.
I’d penned the rough draft of a short story entitled “The Right Hand Man” in a Creative Writing: Fiction course in which I was enrolled. The story, which is named after a labor pool in Atlanta where I worked for about a year during my period of homelessness, is actually a true story about a romantic relationship that I’d developed with a contract killer who’d been hired to murder me, and who I’d mutually fallen head over hills for because he bore a striking resemblance, particularly when he smiled, to one of my ex boyfriends in Memphis named Tyrone Johnson who I’d deeply loved. I expressed how Tyrone reminded me of Michael Jackson in his “Rock With You” video, or prior to Michael resorting to cosmetic procedures that significantly altered his appearance. Atlanta leaders apparently became increasingly concerned with my physical appearance in light of the interest of these high profile men, and hiked its endeavors to whip me into shape. My being harassed about the Jacksons soon overshadowed or at least became as equally pervasive as harassment that I was and am experiencing concerning the King family. It was and is to this day nearly unbearable.
Though my relationship with the ex who reminded me of my other ex who reminded me of adolescent Michael Jackson had become emotionally abusive (and I left him for that reason), a lot of ill feelings were brewing in Atlanta over my moving on with Neloso, who became my sounding board. We developed a friendship before eventually moving in together and conceiving our daughter. Shortly after we moved in with one another one of the members of the church that he and I attended asked if another church member named “Mike” could move in with us. Mike, a slender African American fellow with dread locks, appears to have had an agenda of blocking an intimate relationship between my beau and me, and despite our serious discussions of marriage. When my newest beau would eventually resort to coming home late, which really upset me, and we’d get into arguments about this, he’d tell me, “It’s not what you think, but I can’t tell you. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you anyway.” Though I was SURE that it had something to do with the powerful men who’d taken an interest in me, I became so upset that I left, learning subsequently that I was pregnant.
Accordingly, I lived nearly my entire pregnancy with my daughter in my car, after fervent though unsuccessful attempts to secure full-time employment…
Being harassed and blackballed by the companies I sued, again for MERITED reasons, and being staunchly harassed about my love life reminded me of something that I’d read in the Bible about a dragon sending flood waters after a woman, only I was pregnant with a female child. For a very brief period I reconnected with the ex who reminded me of my other ex who reminded me of adolescent Michael Jackson, who had not changed much and was not very receptive of my daughter, knowing that she’s not his. The harassment I was experiencing in Atlanta continued and escalated, though I was doing nothing to cause or escalate it. I was eventually asked to leave Gateway Shelter after refusing to drop out of college, and I drove to Memphis, where I’ve been ever since, to spare my daughter the experience of living in my car… I was very alarmed, though not at all surprised when my ex who bears the resemblance to my other ex who reminds me of adolescent Michael Jackson telephoned me three days after I and my daughter had been forced out of Atlanta to inform me that Michael Jackson had died. Earlier in the year, on the morning after an incident where Neloso wandered off with my cell phone at our mutual employer (the Georgia World Congress Center) while I was about eight months pregnant with our daughter, news spread in Atlanta that Michael Jackson needed an “emergency lung transplant.” It was Frank Ski of V-103 who I initially heard make the announcement, if my memory serves me correctly, though I never heard this outside of Atlanta. I believe that Neloso was being threatened, denied stable employment, and wrongfully criminalized* because of his relationship with me (*notably, Neloso was arrested several times after getting involved with me, though none of his arrests involved me), and his running off with my cell phone was his way of saying that he wanted out of the torture, though I would not let him go. As far as I was concerned, he was one of the only sane people left in Atlanta or on the planet, and our daughter needed and needs him.
On the day that Michael Jackson died, I developed a very unusual medical condition. It was essentially a strange form of a cold that I’d never experienced before that caused my eyes to swell and run water non-stop until I eventually resorted to taking medication that stopped it. I was stunned watching Michael Jackson’s funeral on television, particularly with a very pregnant Jennifer Hudson’s performance. I also found it amusing that members of the King family were present. I have considered the significance of Michael Jackson, however. I thought it was very amusing that Michael married a native Memphian, Lisa Marie Presley, who was born in 1968, the year of Dr. King’s assassination, and shares her birthday (February 1) with my son, who was born in 2000. Michael’s Remember the Time video is also significant to Memphis.* In the video he assumes a role that parallels that of Moses (Charleton Heston) in The Ten Commandments when he approaches Ramses and his wife, who’d once been romantically involved with Moses (*Noting, again, that Memphis, Tennessee is named after Memphis, Egypt)…
I thought of Eddie Murphy’s role in this video, and how it paralleled his role in Coming to America. I then thought of Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth* Missionary Baptist Church, which I joined unofficially after leaving Ebenezer. Bishop Eddie Long appeared to enjoy the attention from the King family (who resorted to attending New Birth shortly after I started attending) as much as John Amos enjoyed rubbing shoulders with the King and Queen of Zamunda in Coming to America. *I thought of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church when realizing that the band New Birth did a re-take of Skylark’s “Wildflower,” which is one of my favorite songs that happened to be released in 1973, the year of my birth, though my favorite version of the song was recorded by the Ojays on their “Live in London” album…
My family and most of my close friends call me by my middle name, Michelle, which is also, as I’d learn retrospectively, the female equivalent of the name Michael, which was Dr. King’s birth name and the name by which he was called until he was six years old, when his father changed both of their names to Martin Luther. When I asked my mother about my name, she informed me that a woman at John Gaston begged her to give me the name Yolanda (the name of Dr. King’s first child and eldest daughter), which, again, means purple flower, after the child that she expected to be a girl turned out to be a boy [Approximately five years and eight days preceding my birth Dr. King’s body had been taken to John Gaston]. My middle name, Michelle, means “like the Lord.” And my surname and Dr. Kings first name means “war.” Among amusing occurrences in 1929, the year of Dr. King’s birth, was the historic stock market crash. A few years later, in 1933, the movie King Kong*premiered (Hitler also rose to power in Germany around this time). *King Kong could infer, perhaps, that “The King has come,” despite sealing of the Golden Gate (Jerusalem) by the Ottoman Sultan and placement of a grave yard before the gate, which resembles the gate that King Kong bursts through in the movie (typically the Lord’s priests are not to go near a dead body, but Christ is the exception to this order because He is raising the dead).
The Significance of My Falling Head-over-hills in Love with Maxwell
I had not paid a lot of attention to singer Maxwell when I was in Atlanta, though he was very popular there. I fell head over hills in love with Maxwell via Twitter shortly after returning to Memphis, however, and really listening to his music via Pandora especially. I responded to a Pandora email prompting me to listen to another station that they (Pandora) knew that Maxwell was the only man I love. It amused me to discover that Maxwell was born in 1973, like me, and that he is a Gemini, like most men I’ve had passionate love relationships with. I’d fallen for the Black Summers’ Night version of Maxwell, though he was cute with the afro too, especially in Get to Know Ya. I wrote most of the content on my blogs, via which I’ve endeavored to save the world, while listening to Maxwell’s Pandora station. His voice has been therapeutic for me. Maxwell’s song, “This Woman’s Work,” may have been prophetic of this. Perhaps this will be documented in historical texts some day. Notably, a portrait of Dr. King is exhibited in Maxwell’s Matrimony Maybe You video* while he says the words “use me.” If King Kong were a woman, Maxwell would definitively be her muse, if she were me. Notably, Dr. King fell in love with and married a musician. *The Matrimony Maybe You video also reminds me of the time that I entered a beauty pageant in Atlanta that I eventually dropped out of due to my heavy school and work schedules. I do not recall what agency sponsored the pageant, which was facilitated by a lady named Irma Washington, if my memory serves me correctly. The Atlanta Daily World featured an article about my entry into the pageant. The most significant Maxwell song, I believe, is “Lifetime,” because I believe that this is the lifetime that we are to work it all out in terms of personal accomplishment and collective achievement of world peace. Bearded Maxwell resembles Charlton Heston’s version of Moses at certain angles, Moses, to whom Dr. King is traditionally compared. I want to state for the record, however, that I have NEVER compared Maxwell to Dexter or anyone else. I believe that my love for Maxwell may have made him a target for harassment by especially certain power-seeking men who are particularly interested in my work on this and my other blog, etc. Maxwell’s statements via social media about being harassed by varied individuals shortly after my showing him PDA, and the fact that other men I’ve liked and/or been involved with have been similarly attacked, lead me to believe this. I un-followed Maxwell on social media after other unflattering statements that he made that appeared to be about me, or, perhaps, his belief that I was involved in his being harassed. For the record, I have never uttered an un-kind word about Maxwell, though I have expressed strong opinions about particularly specific men, including some of my exes, who were and are demonstrably involved in quid pro quo sexually harassing me and are likely involved in harassing Maxwell and other men I’ve taken interest in or had significant relationships with. I have never done anything to harm Maxwell in any way, and I would never seek to impose on any significant relationship that he might have. I hoped that any and all individuals harassing Maxwell for my sake would leave him alone after I un-followed him. I still love Maxwell, and wish only the very best for him. I apologize if his life has really been turned upside down because of me.
The Significance of 1973
In 1973, the year that Maxwell and I were born, the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) was founded. I’m always astounded to hear TBN’s announcement that it is celebrating the number of years of whatever age I am of God’s miracles. According to the Bible, the Gospel had to be preached to the whole world before Christ’s return; and, thanks to TBN and other similar networks, this has occurred…
It is notable that Maxwell and I lived through recent tetrads and that Dr. King lived during tetrads that occurred in 1948, the year that Israel became a nation, and in 1967… (Tetrads, which are all synonymous with Israel, are a sign of Christ’s returning, according to the Bible). Joseph had told his brothers of dreams that he’d had predicting that they’d one day bow down to him. They were already jealous of Joseph because their father, Jacob (Israel), loved him more than his other sons. So Joseph’s brothers conspired against him. “Here comes this dreamer,” they said. “Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what becomes of his dreams.” (Amusingly, Dr. King was initially taken to St. Joseph’s hospital in Memphis after being shot at the Lorraine Motel and before later being taken to John Gaston Hospital. My maternal grandfather had also died at St. Josephs). Joseph’s prediction of his brothers bowing to him came to be true, however, after Joseph interpreted a pair of Pharaoh’s dreams that had predicted seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine; and, for this, Pharaoh appointed Joseph over the land of Egypt, making him second in rank only to himself. According to the Bible, this famine became worldwide, and Joseph’s brothers would have to go to Egypt for food. And when they went to Egypt for food, Joseph arranged for them and his entire family to come to Egypt to live. But Pharaoh’s successor, who did not know Joseph, feared that the Israelites, who were quickly multiplying, would join forces with their enemies during war, and leave; and he began to oppress them. You know the story, I’m sure. The Israelites cried out to God for a deliverer. And, thus, Moses was born…According to Numbers 33:3, the Israelites set out from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month, the day after the Passover. They marched out defiantly in full view of all the Egyptians. The fifteenth day of the first month on the Jewish calendar is actually April 15, though to us here in the Western world it is January 15, Dr. King’s actual date of birth, which we celebrate today and every third Monday in January. It is as though this particular scripture predicted Dr. King’s birth and what he would come to represent. Revelation 1:15 yields a description of the Lord, and particularly His voice, which parallels that of Dr. King’s reverberating voice. And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. No doubt, it was the King of all Kings who’d spoken through Martin, and Who’ll have the final say in all matters…