Archive for February, 2016


By Vernalee
The history books left us out. Many contributions, inventions, and discoveries by Black Americans were omitted. For example, in my native Mississippi where cotton was king, Eli Whitney was credited with inventing the cotton gin, but it was speculated that a Black man was at the helm of this invention and process. Much was stolen, but the truth always manages to rise above ignorance. This past Friday, a colleague asked me about a Black History program that was being taught to youngsters at her church. I hadn’t recently thought much about inventions made by the hands of Black Americans, so I did a little research. I knew about many of the obvious ones, but I discovered so many new facts unknown to me. What an amazing historical journey I encountered! Because of the enormity, all could not be included. However, some of the salient ones are listed below. Here is what I found.
Top Inventions by Blacks:
1. George Washington Carver – Invented 300 uses for Peanuts.
2. Protective Mail Box – Philip Downing.
3. Blood Bank – Dr. Charles Drew.
4. Walker Hair Care System – Sarah Breedlove known as Madame Walker. ( I.e. The straighten comb).
5. Carbon Filament Light Bulb, Lewis Latimer.
6. Elijah McCoy – Automatic Oil Cup.
7. Jan Matzeliger – The Shoe Lasting Machine.
8. Granville T. Woods – The Multiplex Telegraph.
9. George Crum – Potato Chips.
10.Sarah Goode – Folding Bed.
Below are Inventions that are not widely known with some not being attributed to the wisdom of Black people: (Dates and patent numbers are listed).
. Air Conditioner Unit Design – Frederick Jones 4/28/42 D132,182
. Art Museum Design (Philadelphia) – Julian Abele 4/29/1881
. Baby Carriage Safety Leveler – William Richardson 6/18/1889 405,599
. Bicycle Frame Folding/Separating Version – Isaac Johnson 10/10/1899 634,823
. Blimp (Air Ship) Modern Version – John Pickering 2/20/1900 643,975
This blimp (i.e., air ship) was the first to be powered by an electric motor and to have directional controls.
. Bridge Safety Gate – Humphrey Reynolds 10/7/1890 437,937
. Chair Folding – John Purdy (& Daniel Sadgwar) 6/11/1889 405,117
. Clock – Benjamin Banneker 2/6/1753
. Clothes Drier — Modern Forerunner George Sampson 6/7/1892 476,416
. Computer World’s Fastest – Philip Emeagwali 1989
. Curtain Rod – Samuel Scottron 8/30/1892 481,720
. Dry Cleaning Process – Thomas Jennings 3/3/1821 3306X
. Elevator Automatic Electric Shaft Closing – Alexander Miles 10/11/1887 371,207
. Fire Escape Portable – Daniel McCree 11/11/1890 440,322
. Fire Extinguisher Improvement – Thomas Martin 3/26/1872 125,063
. Firemen’s Mobile Ladder – Joseph Winter 5/7/1878 203,517
. Gas Mask – Garrett Morgan 10/13/14 1,113,675
. Golf Tee – Dr. George Grant 12/12/1899 638,920
. Heart (Open Heart) Surgery – Dr. Daniel Hale Williams 7/9/1893
. Heating Furnace Ventilation System – Alice Parker 12/19/19 1,325,905
.Ice Cream Method and Recipes – Augustus Jackson 1832
.Ice Cream Scooper Spring Loaded – Alfred Cralle 2/2/1897 576,395
.Ironing Board Improvement – Sarah Boone 4/26/1892 473,653
.Lawn Mower Improved, Rotary Blade – John Burr 5/9/1899 624,749
.Lawn Sprinkler Swiveling – Joseph Smith 5/4/1897 581,785
.Library Design (Free Library — Phila.) – Julian Abele 4/21/1881
.Lock Modern – Washington Martin 7/23/1889 407,738
.Mail Box Phillip Downing 10/27/1891 462,093
.Overnight Delivery Package Receptacle- Folarin Sosan 1997
.Pants Modern Suspenders – Archia Ross 11/28/1899 638,068
.Pencil Sharpener – John Love 11/23/1897 594,114
.The “Real McCoy” – Elijah McCoy 4/2/1843 Born
The term “The Real McCoy” is used to describe anything that is of excellent quality.
.Refrigeration Transport System – Frederick Jones 7/12/49 2,303,857
Although he patented it in 1949, he actually invented it in 1935.
.Security System, Home – Marie Brown 12/2/69
.Statue of Liberty — A Black Female 1875
.Thermostat and Temperature Control System – Frederick Jones 2/23/60 2,926,005
.Toilet Modern Bathroom Features – Thomas Elkins 1/9/1872 122,518
.Traffic Signal – Garrett Morgan 11/20/23 1,475,024
.Trolley Electric Railway – Elbert Robinson 9/19/1893 505,370
.Typewriter Improvement – Lee Burridge (& Newman Marshman) 4/7/1885 315,366
.Watch U.S. (Refer Above To Clock) – Benjamin Banneker 2/6/1753
.Weather Forecasting Computerized – Philip Emeagwali 1989
.Wrench Updated – Jack Johnson 4/18/22 1,413,121
This is the very same Jack Johnson who became the world’s first Black heavyweight champ.
.Wheelchair Stair Climbing – Rufus Weaver 11/19/68 3,411,598.
Knowing our history is empowering and enlightening. It produces pride. Read, learn, and grow!
Happy Black History Month!
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By Vernalee
A virtuous woman. How does she look? How does she act? What does she do? As with all things, the answer is found in the Word. Proverbs 31: 10-31 spell it out. These verses provide a complete description. What a woman you will be if you measure up to these qualities. Read about her – this virtuous woman – below.
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 Sheselects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
I seek to be that woman – plain and simple. The descriptive words seem simple, but the tasks are not. It is work in progress for many women. Accomplishing those qualities are pleasing to God, your family, and you – of course!
Happy Sunday! God bless!
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By Vernalee
If you fail to make critical decisions, you delay progress. You become a “sitting on the fence” person. In other words, you fail to make (or delay) a choice between two possibilities. Harry Truman once said, “I never sit on the fence. I am either on one side or the other.” True that President Truman. If failure is the fear, many feel that not doing anything is the panacea. Not true. For sure, if you make a decision, (whether it is a good or bad one), you progress your decision making. Movement not stagnation is the solution. Often times, wrong decisions enhance your learning curve. At least, you become better because you have learned what not to do; what doesn’t work. Learning the hard way is better than not learning at all. Sitting on the fence only gets you splinters and a sore behind. Get up, move around, exercise your cognitive skills, and make a decision!
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BrandYourself-By Vernalee
As entrepreneurs, it is imperative that you become your own brand. No one can sell you better than you. The question is: How do you become a brand; a recognizable brand at that? Let’s see what the experts have to say.
1. First …Become an expert on something that relates to your business.
2. Establish a website or blog under your full name preferably and / or theme a recognizable subject name that you can call your own.
3. Learn how to be a good source.
4. Generate brand awareness by networking.
My “Vernalization” of branding translates into becoming a knowledgeable brainchild whereby you unequivocally know what you are talking about and whereby you can promote and establish yourself as an authoritative expert. Lest not forget that you seek to become the primary source; people should ultimately come to you for the quote as the recognized expert. As you expertly craft a good name and reputation for yourself in the stratosphere, your network and the world will recognize you for your skills, knowledge, and talents. The traces of the legacy that you will leave behind is mounting. A good name is hard to beat. Your good name and the vast amount of knowledge that you possess will draw people to you like bees to honey. Speaking of networking, here are some pointers:
The four rules of networking that you should keep in mind are mutualism, giving, targeting and reconnecting.
•Mutualism: You have to create win-win relationships in business, making sure that you don’t benefit more than the other party.
•Giving: Help someone out, before asking for anything in return. This makes people want to support you.
•Targeting: You want to be very specific with the types of people you network with, in order to save time and to attract the right people to your brand.
•Reconnecting: Never lose touch, that way networking contacts remember you when new opportunities surface.
It reminds me of the old folks sitting back in their rocking chairs on their screen porches in Mississippi. Without anyone asking for their input, they voluntarily would put in their two cents. “That child sho nuff knows what she’s talking about. Her mouth might get her somewhere someday. For sho, she meets no strangers. She can work the room better than anybody I know. Can’t she?” What a compliment the old fashioned way! In closing, you will know that you have become a brand if a letter is mailed to you with just your name on it and it arrives at your doorstep. Okay folks, don’t flood my mailbox with letters address to Vernalee. If you do, I claim it …the branding success and the letter of course!
Photo credit:; Source:


By Vernalee
Girl Talk: Have you found your Soul Mate? Here are 24 signs.
Have you found that person who makes you feel complete; that you cannot live without; that the thoughts of them wake up with you, are carried with you throughout the day, and go to bed with you. They stay on your mind. You know who they are? Hopefully, it is a two way street in that they feel for you what you feel for them. A soul mate is the person who may come around only once in a lifetime. So keep your antennas up; don’t miss them. Let’s see how we can distinguish the sweet fragrance that our soul mates leave in the midst of the air that we breathe; in the tantalizing midst of our soul!
Here goes:
1. You can convey what you’re thinking by just looking at each other.
2. You can’t even remember what it was like to be without them — and you don’t want to!
3. They challenge you every single day.
4. They know exactly what to do to calm you down when you’re mad, to help relieve your stress, or to cheer you up.
5. They also know exactly what to do to get under your skin . . . and they at least attempt to not do those things.
6. Even after years of being together, you still have great chemistry.
7. You are completely comfortable in their presence.
8. After spending a few days apart, you both talk a mile a minute to catch each other up on everything you both missed.
9. It feels like you’ve known each other your whole lives.
10. You disagree on some things, but are always on the same page when it really matters.
11. You have a bond that people around you don’t understand.
12. Their family feels like your own family.
13. You don’t feel the need to keep searching for more because you are so at peace with what you have.
14. You hurt when they hurt; you smile when they smile.
15. They are part of almost every story you tell.
16. They think the weird, quirky things you do are adorable, and you feel the same way about them, too.
17. You are a better person with them than without them.
18. They support you and your dreams — even if they don’t entirely understand them.
19. You are a dynamic duo, a perfect pair, a true team.
20. You feel protected by them and secure in your relationship.
21. For the first time in your life, you realize that home is not a place, but a person.
22. In some ways, you have become pretty much the same person.
23. You are your best and worst self around them, and they love you for both.
24. You know, in your gut, that this is it for you.
Questions – Have you found that soul mate of a person yet? Do they light up your soul like a flaming fire? Is the compatibility – sexual and otherwise – present? If not, are you looking in the wrong places? At least be cognizant of who your soul mate is not? If there is an aura of foreign air when you are in their presence, he or she is probably not the one. No worries – your soul will identify your soul mate. It will talk to you. Your soul may even tell you to move on! Listen! Heed the talk! Take the advice … no one knows better than your soul.
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By Vernalee
Last week, The Today Show had a feature that struck a nerve. Digital declutter was the topic. For those whose Inboxes approximate the ten of thousands, this message is for you. Take the dive; dig yourself out! How can you be effective, responsive or organized with tons of unread / unopened emails resting in your Inbox. How many opportunities have you missed? It is a difficult process, particularly for people who have multiple email accounts (like me)! The email clutter has become such a big problem that there are businesses dedicated to the science of decluttering your email inbox! According to the experts, there is a great app called Perhaps, it is worth a click for those carrying massive amounts of unread emails. It has also been suggested that if you remove emails from your Inbox and place them in a To do folder, your clutter will gradually become manageable. Of course, then you have to deal with cleaning out the replacement folder. There is no easy way out when you are in too deep. If your storage is becoming limited, remember Emails and Photos take up space. Assign your many, many photos to a Google Photo or Drop Box. We love taking photos, don’t we? Selfies, anyone? Bottom line: Get organize; take baby steps; use apps that can help! Knowing where you are is a great management tool in our high tech world since so much business is transacted through email and various forms of social media. Missing a sale hurts when it was transmitted via an email that you never opened. OUCH! Lost sales and revenue affect the bottom line. Stay on top; get organized! When it comes to communications, the world is flat; it is not business as usual… the old fashioned way. You cannot hide your negligence. Not reading your emails is known by others. Remember, you never responded to them either. Success dictates that we keep up! Managing our emails (which is our communications to and from the world) is a positive step forward in that direction.
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By Vernalee
Because they are stupid, you need not be. It takes minimum time and effort to develop a competency in the area of stupidity. Keep making stupid decisions and you will be there in no time. Years of stupidity will make you a master. It is not an attractive or desirable attribute; certainly not a characteristic worthy of aspiration. Beware. Practice makes perfect even when it is a “stupid perfect.” Paraphrasing what prolific writer and author Mark Twain professed, it is imperative to stay in your lane. When you place yourself on someone else’s level of stupidity, you can easily become defeated because they, not you, are masters of the stupid, underhanded games. They can “out stupid” you. It’s a mistake to imitate or follow the leader when he or she is a stupid one. When you cross the line, you are out of your league and in their sphere of stupid expertise. Stay within your comfort zone on an exceedingly high plateau so that your mind remains free… to grow, to excel, to prosper…to be you! Don’t follow prescribed paths if they don’t make sense. When in Rome, do as the Romans … but not if they are stupid Romans. No matter where you are – Stupid is as stupid does!
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By Vernalee
To be obvious or unusual form the basis for Standing Out From The Crowd. Our actions, behavior, leadership … determine where we stand. Certainly, our attitude and aptitude determine the altitude to how high we rise. If you want to be more than the average bear, mediocrity has no place in your world. As Susan Gale says, ” Normalcy is what makes you part of the crowd. Character is what makes you stand out from the crowd. But principle is what makes you rise above the crowd.”
Entrepreneurs in particular must pave their way through the maze. In this process, there are 5 secrets to stand out and rise above the crowd.
1. Take Initiative.
2. Have a positive mental attitude (PMA).
3. Have Goals.
4. Be open to take risks and keep an open mind.
5. Be a Go Getter.
We have to stay “charged up,” stay motivated, take the challenge, execute, deliver, and display positivity in our actions and leadership. As entrepreneurs, we are watched and judged. When we deliver the best and don’t short-step on quality, who we are don’t matter as much as what we produce!
Photo credit:; Source: Kenneth Cloutier, Get Motivated for Success.


By Vernalee



“A piece of pie is better than nothing at all.”
All or nothing! In or out! Sometimes, we want it all; right now, no questions asked – no exceptions. Later is too late; it’s not soon enough. We refuse to settle for less. It’s either now or never; it’s either the best or nothing at all. Somewhere between our desires and wants, reality sets in. The reality of life has an uncanny way of re-shifting, readjusting, and putting us back in line. Life through living can shake us up, turn us upside down, and put our feet hopefully on solid ground. It is then that we realize that what we want is not always what we get; what we want doesn’t just show up at our door; what we want requires time, attention, hard work, preparation, and God’s unchanging hand. Adjustments may be necessary. More time than expected may be needed to reach our goals. It doesn’t mean that we should give up and for sure, it doesn’t mean that we should cease or lessen our desire to obtain what we want. Vision helps us reach our destination. Realism, perseverance, and patience are the antidotes that we carry on the journey. As we climb, success may come in increments. It may not hit us all at once. We may slip and fall, need to be picked up, coached, and pacified from missteps and failures. Without question and measurably, a piece of the pie is better than nothing. Something is greater than nothing. The question remains. Which way? What should we do? The choice is always ours. The desire to have the entire pie is and should remain the goal. Snacking on a slice of pie during the journey isn’t bad! It eases the hunger and we partake of the taste of success, which may be the best motivator that we need. Nothing has changed. Our goals to accomplish remain the same. Sitting at the table with the whole pie is our goal – then and now. We have to remember though that the ingredients have to be gathered and the pie has to be made, sometimes baked before it is served. Patience is a needed ingredient regardless of which pie we like. We learned about patience along the way through trial and error and through guiding hands. We must continue – Stay the course! In Romans 8:24 -28, we are provided guidance. It reads: 24 “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
In this journey, let us not forget the spiritual admonition of Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Happy Sunday! God bless!
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My mentor, coach, friend, and attorney, the late Donald R. Murphy’s famous saying was, “A piece of pie is better than nothing!” I will remember those words, continue my climb, and not give up. May you rest in peace Attorney Murphy as your memories and teachings last forevermore.


By Vernalee
words on images
Are you a man or woman of your word? Why can’t people do what they say? Is your word your bond? Does a handshake deal mean anything anymore? When you tell folks that you will do something, you create an expectation. In some cases, that expectation forms a dependency. So when you don’t execute on what you committed to do, not only did you lie, you disappointed and failed people who relied upon your commitment. Lies damage when your actions don’t coincide with your words! Once again, that small tongue caused big harm! An unexecuted dependency becomes a lingering by product that enters the memory banks of a person mind and buries its pain in their heart. Lies have the ability to stick to a person’s heart like glue. It’s no wonder that when your words become lies that people become heartbroken!
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