RSS

Author Archives: Reflections

About Reflections

Allegra S. Hoots is the proud mother of one adult son, Davaughn. She is a retired Newark [New Jersey] Public Schools Teacher and a United States Army Vietnam Era Veteran. She earned a Master of Divinity from Harvard University, a Bachelor of Arts Liberal Studies from Western New England University, and an Associate of Arts Liberal Arts from the University of Maryland. She is also a graduate of the United States Army Noncommissioned Officers Academy. In 1994, The Congress of National Black Churches, Washington, D.C. awarded Ms. Hoots a National Fellowship. She formerly served as Co-director of the Children’s Defense Fund Black Community Crusade for Children, Washington, D.C. and as a professional development trainer with the United Army at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. She is a preacher, public speaker, and workshop presenter. Her professional publications include: Prayers for Our Children; Prophetic Voices: Black Preachers Speak on Behalf of Children.

“god of Imagination”

 

Spindly, swishing, swaying

    bending like a reed bowed by a gentle breeze

Slinking, slippery, sliding

   wiggling like Jell-O moving around on a flat plate

Shifting, shuffling, sifting  

   spiraling like sand in a glass spinning top

Shunning, snubbing, searing

   subjugating like a corralled majestic stallion

Teeny, tiny, tipsy

    narrow and prickly like a needle

Picking, piercing, prancing

   swollen like a bubble created with gum

Yanking, yearning, yelping

   elusive like Santa Clause conjured up by human desire and will

Dancing, dangling, doting

   gliding over injustices life a super-surfer selectively riding waves

Accepting, affirming, alternating

   glossing and smoothing over cruelty like makeup temporarily hides flaws

Engaging in artificial competition, god of imagination

   gloats like a true Olympian

Foolish and powerless, except in the minds of those whose

  creation it is, god of imagination!

 

 

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 4, 2017 in Inspirational

 

The ABC’s of Friendship

Friendship is…

Accepting

Believing

Caring

Daring to trust

Embarking on, embracing, and exploring life’s various journeys,

   or maybe just sharing one meaningful adventure

Freely showing one’s authentic self, without fear of judgement

Giving without expecting or hoping to receive

Honoring

Identifying and investing in common interests  

Jumping in to help, when and where help is needed

Kindly accepting and expressing differences

Laughing and learning

Motivating through actions and with words

Nurturing and nursing

Opening that which affirms

Practicing patience and peace

Questioning only for clarity

Reflecting, repenting and renewing

Searching and sharing

Trusting, not trampling

Uniting and unifying

Venting and vesting

Watching and waiting

X-raying one’s own heart

Yearning and yielding

Zigzagging and zestful

Friendship is priceless!!

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 1, 2017 in Inspirational

 

Justice for All Includes Members of the LGBT Community

There is no place in a civil society for acts of barbarism.   On, Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12, 2016  Omar Mateen, the shooter in the Orlando, Florida night club massacre, committed such an act.  Whatever his motives, his actions were wrong. There is absolutely no justification for the horrific act of violence he inflicted on innocent people.

According to media reports, the Pulse is a popular gathering place for members of the LGBT community.  Many believe that is why Mateen chose to attack the patrons there.  If that assumption is true, it is imperative that people outside of the LGBT community explicitly and boldly condemn attacks against LGBT people.

To eradicate injustice people of goodwill, who are not directly negatively affected by the unfairness perpetrated against an individual or group, must work alongside the oppressed to offer support and to eliminate the factors that cause suffering.  Such was the case in the fight to end slavery and Jim Crow Law in America.

The American abolitionists took measures to eradicate slavery at the risk of great harm to themselves and their families. They faced, and many experienced, death, incarceration, loss of wealth and status, and being ostracized by loved ones. Likewise, many non-Blacks who fought alongside the black activists of the 1950s and 1960s to end Jim Crowe Law suffered fates similar to those of the early abolitionists. Those who lived through the struggle recall the brutality that took the lives of the Freedom Riders-blacks and whites- and the suffering inflicted on all who dared speak openly against discrimination and who worked to eliminate racist practices in America.

Non-black abolitionists and Freedom Fighters had everything to lose and little to gain by openly joining blacks in the struggle for justice, a struggle we are still battling. Non-blacks were better positioned within their own core groups than blacks to highlight the errors in moral reasoning that facilitated oppression.  They used their positions to aid in the fight for black liberation.

Citing the Constitution and sacred texts they appealed to members of their own circles to stop the inhumane treatment of blacks. Blacks could not have won the battle alone because they needed access to resources they simply did not control.

As a result of non-blacks working alongside blacks in the struggle for liberation, we Blacks are beneficiaries of the following. (The list is intended to highlight some of the liberties gained by Black Americans. It is not inclusive and it does not address the institutional racism that still exist in this country.)

  • The right to vote
  • The right to receive a free and quality public education
  • The right to live wherever we can afford and to attend the schools of our choosing
  • The right to earn the same amount as our white counterparts
  • The right to drive or walk in any neighborhood without threat of illegal incarceration
  • The right to receive treatment at any hospital and to be treated by competent medical staff
  • The right to eat at any restaurant and to shop in any store

Young Americans and those new to the country,  tend to take the aforementioned for granted. However, those of us who lived under Jim Crowe Law remember well that just a few decades ago many things on the preceding list were not the norm for African Americans. Those things came about because of the sacrifices made by people from all walks of life working together to change America for the better.

Similarly, the time has come for all Americans of good will to openly oppose violence against members of the LGBT community. To keep silent is wrong and the potential consequences are grave as expressed in the following quote by Aleksandr Solzhemitsyn.

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.”

 ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

God, grant us the courage to stand for justice for all even when we are not personally affected by the injustice.

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 17, 2016 in Inspirational

 

Six Things I Want from Political Candidates, regardless of party affiliation

1.  Don’t engage in petty arguments.  

2. Don’t hurl personal attacks at opponents to avoid discussing important domestic and foreign policies.  

3. Don’t make promises that we know you cannot fulfill.

4. Discuss and delineate your proposed domestic and foreign policy plans.

5.  Demonstrate genuine concern for the issues that are important to Americans. (I’ve got news for you: defending a bruised ego in a public setting is not appealing.  To the contrary, it makes one seem egotistical, easily offended, prone to tantrums, inconsiderate of others, and lacking the maturity to separate personal feelings from professional responsibilities and to remain focused under pressure.)

6. Focus on serving the common good; not on destroying opponents by insulting and or slandering them!!!!!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in Inspirational

 

The Other: Part of Us

human trafficking

  child labor

 

Bigotry, inequality, and injustice are fueled by the drive to acquire and maintain economic, political, and social advantage-power. Even when race is not a factor brutal oppression exists. World history and current events confirm the truthfulness of the preceding  claim.  

 

Wherever humans are there are efforts by individuals and group(s) to exploit, marginalize, and subjugate others-women, children, the poor, old people, and those physically and or mentally challenged- who share the oppressor’s ethnicity .  

oppressed children 3

If we humans fail to acknowledge and deal with the fact that oppression of one group by another is a universal human phenomenon, then systematic and systemic oppression will continue, and the gross a middle passage slave shipinjustices of the past, like the African Diaspora and Holocaust, are destined to be repeated.                                                                   

God help us all!

oppressed children

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 17, 2016 in Inspirational

 

Reminiscing

Bell bottoms, hip-huggers and hot pants

Polyester pants, mohair sweaters, leather jackets, suede boots and wool skirts

Black and blue, brown and orange, yellow with red polka dots

plaids and stripes, patchwork and straight lines

boys- looking and laughing, smooth talking and exciting!

 

Mini-skirts, halter tops and A-line dresses

Knee-hi boots and fish-net stockings

Mascara and eyeliner

Afros and beehive hairdos

Styling and profiling all for the boys!

 

Boy watching and boy attracting

Prancing up and down the streets

Dancing in the school gym

Smoking cigarettes and walking to school

Scoping and hoping to get noticed!

 

The Temptation, The Supreme and Ike & Tina Turner Revue

Jerry Butler, Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Isaac Hayes

Mary Wells and Aretha Franklin

James Brown, the Isley Brothers and Junior Walker and the All-Stars

WAMO, transistor radios and sweet soul music!

 

 

 

 

The Drive-in Theater, Highland Park, Kennywood Park and the Black Arts Festival

Gimbels, Kaufmanns, Joseph Horne, Lerner Shops, G.C. Murphy and McCrory

Fifth Avenue, Penn Avenue, Washington Boulevard,

East Liberty, Homewood, Rankin and Braddock, Downtown

Places to go and so many people to see!

 

Dancing, singing, reading, and writing

Dreaming, walking, happy and hopeful, playing foolish and potentially hurtful pranks

Trusting, naïve and far from being centered

Forward looking and believing all things are possible!

Goal setting, planning, working; goal setting, planning, working; goal setting planning, working…!

 

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 17, 2015 in Inspirational

 

2015 Second Sunday in Advent

Source: 2015 Second Sunday in Advent

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 7, 2015 in Inspirational