August is Black Business Month. That will mean a lot of things to a lot of people. But we will deal with the inspiration to be found from those people who have been enterprising. Keep these quotes nearby for the encouragement or share them on a graphic or with some biological information about the business leader quoted.
- “All business is personal… Make your friends before you need them.” — Robert L. Johnson
- “I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madame C. J. Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge.” — Oprah Winfrey
- “The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself—the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us—that’s where it’s at.” — Jesse Owens
- “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” — Frederick Douglass
- Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” — Booker T. Washington
- “If you’re a competitive person, that stays with you. You don’t stop. You always look over your shoulder.” — Magic Johnson
- “You’re not obligated to win. You’re obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day.” — Marian Wright Edelman
- “If we are going to be part of the solution, we have to engage the problems.” — Majora Carter
- “Have a vision. Be demanding.”
— Colin Powell
- “Trust yourself. Think for yourself. Act for yourself. Speak for yourself. Be yourself. Imitation is suicide.” — Marva Collins
These are certainly inspiring and motivational quotes. Maybe sending one a day to friends via an email or text message is another way to spread the message and share the love.
Goodness, where has the time gone? We’re four months away from ending the year. Maybe that’s not a bad thing given the circumstances. But life goes on and there are things to celebrate like the following observances.
- American Artists Appreciation Month Link
- American Indian Heritage Month Link (See also November)
- American History Essay Contest (8/1 – 12/15)
- Black Business Month
- Boomers Making A Difference Month
- National Read A Romance Novel Month
- National Wellness Month Link
- Read-A-Romance Month
- What Will Be Your Legacy Month
Days in August
- National Girlfriend’s Day: August 1
- World Wide Web Day: August 1
- American Family Day: August 2 Link (First Sunday)
- Friendship Day: August 2 Link (First Sunday)
- National Coloring Book Day: August 2 Link
- National Kids’ Day: August 2 (First Sunday) Link
- Sister’s Day: August 2 (First Sunday)
- Book Lovers Day: August 9 Link
- Smithsonian Day: August 10
- Baby Boomers Recognition Day: August 17 Link
If any or all of these observances resonate with you in some way, create interesting content with your social followings. You never know when you will make someone’s day with a meme or blog post.
The coronavirus crisis has given us all a different perspective on how we use our time. Some of us are realizing that we had more time to accomplish things than we previously thought. One of those things is volunteering, helping out without risking our health or the health of others. Here are a few volunteer opportunities that involve writing, researching and some fun that can be had right in your own home.
NMAAHC’s Transcription Center Project. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is seeking volunteers to transcribe historical documents. Transcribers can live anywhere in the world and do. An immediate and ongoing need: Freedmen’s Bureau record transcription.
Infinity Hearts is an ongoing memorial featuring people who have succumbed to the coronavirus and related illnesses. This site could use obituaries of those who have died from the disease. The owner, a black woman, had a desire to see people celebrated during these times when loved ones are limited in how they mourn and grieve. Use their contact form to inquire about volunteering or simply choose a plan (free) and contribute obituaries. Though IH is not a nonprofit, the significance of it is that it is a site that will enable people to find relatives for family trees as well as memorialize those people who basically died alone.
Project Gutenberg – Founded in 1971, this may just be the virtual volunteering effort that started it all. The goal is to create the largest digital library, and so far they’ve amassed 59,000 free eBooks. Volunteer by donating eligible materials, transcribing books into a digital form, or proofreading others’ work.
AARP Local Volunteers – AARP has local, statewide and national initiatives that require volunteer service, some of those opportunities are virtual. Your local AARP also lists local volunteer jobs available.
These are a few opportunities, but you can contact any of your local nonprofits and some for-profit businesses to volunteer your services. If you know of a H.S. or college student in need of volunteer service for their resumes, please note that there are sites like Do Something that have volunteer boards.
The pandemic has limited many of our usual summer activities but in some ways it has challenged us to be more creative. Summer is supposed to be fun time and time for gatherings. It can continue to be both with some social distancing and purpose that keeps us safe and connected. Here are 10 ways:
- Begin a genealogy “club” with friends who need a boost in creating their family trees. Facebook Groups and Messenger Rooms. Share family histories and resources.
- Begin a genealogy “club” with family using the same tools as above but also include sharing photos, videos, and anything that helps you all tell your family’s unique story.
- Introduce younger family to their history by creating digital or paper scrapbooks together.
- Use a free, library-based app like Kanopy to watch movies (including documentaries) together and then host a Zoom or Messenger Rooms chat.
- Screen share with Google Meets or Zoom to explore virtual museum exhibits together online.
- Swap outdoor chores and fix-it needs. Good at gardening? Help a friend with theirs. Bad at grilling? Have your friend grill for you. Need your lawn mowed? Ask a family member to cut it. Know someone who needs minor house repairs? Go over and fix a few things.
- Share lunch in the parking lot of a restaurant. Park next to a relative or friend, stay in your vehicle, eat lunch and chat it up. Tell restaurant management what you’re doing ahead of time so that you are not interrupted or harassed.
- Go strawberry or peach or apple picking at a local farm.
- Read bedtime stories to your little relatives or the small children of friends who live far away or who are practicing social distancing.
- Host a weekly dance party via Zoom or Google Meets. It’s a great way to laugh and exercise and you can do it for as little time or as long as you like.
We want you to have fun. We want you to be comfortable during this virus crisis. If you have an idea, please share in a comment. It would be deeply appreciated.
We won’t count down to the end of the year just yet, because there’s simply too much to enjoy about now. July is much more than Independence Day to blog about or discuss on social media. We have selected a few observances to loosen your creative juices and give you some inspiration.
- Independent Retailer Month
- National Anti-Boredom Month
- National Black Family Month
- National Culinary Arts Month
- National Grilling Month
- National Make A Difference to Children Month
- National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
- Sandwich Generation Month
- Self Care Month
- Social Wellness Month
Do you have an online store you want to promote? Talk about or write about independent retailers. National Black Family Month is a great time to talk about family issues and bonding. Do you have any particular insights about sheltering in place? Social Wellness Month offers myriad opportunities to share about social distance has been challenging. You’ve got a lot to work with here. Follow some of the observance hashtags to get a few ideas.
If you’re one of the sums still working from home, your time for you has either increased or decreased. We are accustomed to YouTube videos, but Vimeo and Facebook and other sources have a wide selection of entertaining videos that educate as well as delight. We have selected a few channels and videos you can squeeze in during lunch breaks or after work to unwind.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
PBS American Masters
PBS Black Culture
These are a small sampling of what’s available online, but do a Google search for a topic you are interested in, and you will be pleasantly surprised at what’s available to watch and enjoy.
We know you already know it’s not summer until you do what you generally do in the summertime. But what if you get busy and mired by a few life events? Here are some reminders that it’s not summertime until you have a little fun.
- Dangle your bare feet in a pool or pond and even walk around barefoot in clean grass.
- Sip iced tea and watch the sun go down from your porch or patio.
- Get up early enough to listen to the birds sing and watch the sun go up.
- Buy or cut fresh flowers to be arranged in a vase for your home and eyesight.
- Open all of your windows (and doors) to let a summer breeze flow through your space.
- Take a ride in the country to buy some fresh produce and take in the scenery.
- Buy a big floppy straw hat to wear out in your garden or to shop and protect your skin from the sun.
- Catch a firefly.
- Bake a cobbler from scratch using an old family recipe.
- Wave at your neighbors, because they would probably like it.
- Make a summer playlist to stream from sunup to sundown.
Sometimes the best things in life are free and easy. Here’s hoping you have a wonderful summer filled with things that make you smile.
This is a time that is both confusing and yet clear. Sometimes it’s just best to decide to not make sense of it all and to simply live it and be inspired. Here are several quotations about life by the late Gwendolyn Brooks (Born June 7, 1917) that you can use for inspiration and to inspire the people who follow you on social media.
“What, what am I to do with all of this life?”
― Gwendolyn Brooks, Maud Martha
“My Poem is life, and not finished.
It shall never be finished.
My Poem is life, and can grow.”
― Gwendolyn Brooks
“This is the urgency: Live!
And have your blooming in the noise of the whirlwind.”
― Gwendolyn Brooks
“Live not for Battles Won.
Live not for The-End-of-the-Song.
Live in the along.”
― Gwendolyn Brooks
“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.”
― Gwendolyn Brooks
“She was learning to love moments. To love moments for themselves.”
― Gwendolyn Brooks
“Poetry is life distilled.”
― Gwendolyn Brooks
Well, it is June and half of the year is almost over. Are you a blogger or do you have a social network in need of engagement? Here are a few monthly observances you can blog about or chat up on your social networks.
- African-American Music Appreciation Month
- Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month
- Caribbean-American Heritage Month
- Country Cooking Month
- Entrepreneurs “Do It Yourself” Marketing Month
- International Men’s Month
- Rebuild Your Life Month
- Professional Wellness Month
If you’re like many of us, you have been cooking at home more than usual, this would be a great time to talk about it during Country Cooking Month. We are certain you have some marketing lessons you have learned that you can blog about and share. Rebuilding one’s life is not an easy task, why not celebrate the people who have done so and encourage those who are doing so now? And for Professional Wellness Month, talk about the stress and strains of working and offer a few solutions to your followers and friends.
Jane Friedman is a genius when it comes to dispensing advice to authors – new and old. We have featured some of her advice over the years. Here are five (5) blog posts that can help you with your writing or the business of writing, especially during the Coronavirus crisis.
We think these will inspire you if you endeavor to write and sell books. Best wishes and happy reading.