Meet the Visionary and Author

I am a native Washingtonian, as are my mother and father before me.  I am #11 out of 13 children and the proud product of the Washington DC Public School System.  Of the 13 of us, nine have been in the classroom in some capacity – speech pathologist; math/science specialist; teaching test-taking skills; refrigeration/air conditioning; or one of the core subjects.  Teaching is something Tilghmans do.  It’s in the blood.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Black parents had one unified message for all children.  That message was to go to school; get good grades; go to college; and get a good job.  While I spent time in college – more honestly put, at the Punch Out across the street from campus when I should have been in class – the biggest influencers in my life did not come from institutions of higher learning.  Impactful people in my life were consistent and came well before my college days.  My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Cooke and my 6th grade teacher, Miss Gassaway at Smothers Elementary School; my 9th grade typing teacher at Kelly Miller Junior High School; and from Spingarn Senior High School, my 10th grade choir director and music teacher, Mr. Walton; my 10th grade Spanish teacher, Mrs. Coker; my 11th grade Latin teacher, Mr. Haywood, and my 11th and 12th grade English teacher, Ms. Doris Eugene were the people who helped mold me into the person I am today.  However, I must tell you that one of the most exasperating experiences I had when I finished doing all that I was told I should do, I felt no sense of accomplishment or direction.  The only thing I was sure of was I was more leader than follower

I spent some 30 years working for other people – as a substitute teacher; a writer and editor for a trade association; an office manager for an energy and health consulting firm; an executive assistant at two law firms in DC; and a Human Resources Manager at a charter school.  Woven through this 30-year period, I was introduced to various marketing ventures.  It was not until 1999, through a network marketing company, that I was introduced to the most valuable learning in life – personal development … working on myself to be my best self

For the last 20 plus years, I have – and continue to – work on myself.  This has allowed me to do things that I love … presenting, writing, speaking to audiences across the country, and teaching children Black History.  Currently, I co-host a weekly internet radio show, Community Love in Blaq Rose’s Garden on the Ablazin Radio platform where we work to shine a light on the missing and murdered in the Black community.  On that platform, we work to teach the fundamentals of civics and government – something too many school systems have abandoned teaching but is the life blood of how this society functions. 

As you read Black History: Our Footprints in Time, it is important that you read “my why” for putting together this information.  Some of what is written you’ve already heard.  Some of this information you should already know.  For those who fall into either of these categories, good for you!  What I do know is that too many of us do not know our history. 

Let us commit to learning our history, sharing it with our peers, and teaching it to our children.  It is crucial that we begin to do this now.  Our history mandates that we tell our story to our children.  To abandon that practice is to disrespect our heritage and culture. 

Knowing the greatness from which we come gives us a clearer vision as to where we can go.  Dr. Karenga condensed that greatness into the seven principles of Kwanzaa – those seven principles should be reviewed, reflected upon, and carried into the new year – every year.  Our culture dictates those principles should be taught and practiced daily.   Black people, especially, need to know of our greatness and this information will start you on the path of learning our heritage. 

So that you will not wind up in the “head-space” I was in when I graduated high school, let me impact these words of wisdom …

You are responsible.  Before you go to bed at night, go to the nearest mirror in your house.  Look yourself in the eye and say with conviction, “I am responsible.”

I am responsible for my life.  I know that life is choice driven.   I am where I am today as a result of the choices I’ve made.  When I get ready to choose differently, I know that I have the freedom to do so.  I can change my circumstances and change the course of my life but that is a choice that only I can make. 

I am responsible for my choices.  I am keenly aware that I can choose my truths, but I cannot choose my consequences.  If I have made bad choices, especially if those unwise choices impact other lives, I must live with the consequences.  I am responsible for working through those consequences and making a better choice the next time.  It may take me a while to get it right, but I must keep trying. 

Today, I choose to stop playing the “blame game.”  I may not have had it as easy as others or as easy as I would have liked but I will not continue to point fingers and find fault in others for the choices I’ve made. 

Today, I choose to make an “about-face” and turn my life around but that is entirely up to me.  I know I can take action, but I know full well that it is 100% my choice.

Angela Taylor