“Never forget where we came from and always praise the bridges that carried us over.” Fannie Lou Hamer
I had the pleasure to join thousands of people at the National Women’s March on January 19, 2019. I marched with women, girls, men and boys in Atlantic City New Jersey. The experience inspired me. Have you ever attended an event or heard a message that simply moved your soul? Marching with this group, hearing from our Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver and many Freeholders and community leaders encouraged me to remember my history and take action to “make history”.
To walk, dance, sing and shout with perfect strangers on a mission to lift our voices and move the world.
This particular march was not just a women’s march. It was a historical, commemorative event that honored the life and legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer. It was 55 years ago in 1964 that Ms. Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Party sough to take their rightful seats at the 1964 Democratic Convention which was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The exact auditorium we sat in was the same venue Ms. Hamer traveled to from Mississippi to testify about the brutality of Jim Crow and segregation.
Unfortunately, knew very little about Ms. Hamer before attending the march. I vaguely recall she was a civil rights leader in the 60’s and was influential in the voter’s right movements. I had know idea how powerful, courageous, and strategic this woman was. You are now encouraged to look Ms Fannie Lou Hamer up. Share your thoughts and insights with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You see, I am blessed. I stand on the shoulders of many bold, confident, resilient, progressive Black women. I will never forget where we came from as a people. The future is female. It’s time for women of all colors, religions, ethnicities, cultures, nationalities to Stand Up, Raise our Voices and Move the World in a positive direction just like Ms. Fannie Lou Hamer did.
I salute all the women that took a stand and ran for political office in November during the Mid-Term elections.
The outcomes were great and we can do so much more!
This past weekend I watched the Golden Globe Awards. Actress Regina King won Best Supporting Actress for her role in “If Beale Street Could Talk”. During her acceptance speech she declared she would make sure that her projects going forward would employ 50% women.
This was a huge declaration. No one has ever made such a statement on this platform. Being the founder of BlessedGirls (mentorship program for girls) and a passionate advocate for equal rights, I was so proud of her desire to assure that females will be represented equally in her work.
The following morning she was interviewed on CBS. Regina was asked about her declaration. She said “I figured I would shoot my shot”.
When I heard her say that it really resonated with me. Honestly, when she made her speech I was moved by her bravery and passion to assure that she would work with more woman. I was inspired and encouraged that she took a stand and thus will make a difference in Hollywood and perhaps around the world.
Once I saw her interviewed I was even more inspired by her candor and humility. She knew she was taking a chance by making that statement. However as she said she took her shot.
It got me thinking……
Am I taking my shot?
Are you taking your shot?
Often times opportunities present themselves and we have to decide whether we will take the opportunity or wait for the next one? The ball is in your hands. Will you take the shot, pass the ball or go sit on the bench?
Most opportunities involve a risk. Surely Regina King didn’t know how the audience or her colleagues would respond to her declaration. But that didn’t matter. She took her shot.
Many times we will have to take a risk and shoot your shot. I recall times in my life as a speaker, business owner, administrator and even as a parent I had to take my shot. There were many times in my career that I had to take my shot and bet on me.
Have you ever been in a meeting or at a event and they ask for volunteers? You’re not sure what your volunteering for but you do? You took your shot. Funny thing is. The more shots you take the more comfortable you will becoming at ‘shooting your shot’.
Have you ever been put on the spot to sing, dance, or read your poetry? Did you take your shot and share your gift?
Have you ever had this great idea to share with your boss? In idea that would improve a process or increase employee or customer satisfaction? Did you shoot your shot and share with your boss?
Did you ever have an idea for an invention? Something that would change the way people do things? One day you look up and see a commercial for a product that you had an idea for? You didn’t shoot your shot.
Or one last thing. Did you have a chance to meet or speak to someone you admired? Did you speak to them or stand in the background and watch others approach he/she and get their questions answered and pictures taken? Or did you shoot your shot and meet the person?
These are just a few examples of TAKING YOUR SHOT!
I am the mother to 3 wonderful boys. Each of my boys play various sports. my younger sons are currently playing soccer and basketball. Many times as I watch them play, I am on the sidelines screaming “take the shot”! Why is that something I have to encourage them to do? Surely, they’re on the team to contribute and help the team win. Why do they need me to tell them to take the shot?
Often times the boys are not confident enough in their ability to make the shot. They’re afraid of being judged if they miss the shot.
Is that why you and I don’t take the shots presented to us in life?
Well allow me to be your coach today. I am on the sidelines yelling “shoot your shot”!
Michael Jordan possibly one of the greatest basketball players of all times said this. ” I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my like. And that is why I succeed.” How can one of the most successful athletes of all times admit to missing shots? He was so successful simply because he always took his shot.
I conclude that in order to succeed, you must take the shot. It doesn’t matter whether you make the shot. Take the shot with courage and confidence. It doesn’t matter if you make the shot. What matters most is that you took the shot.
Life is not a dress rehearsal. We have one life to live. We have one game to play. When you get the ball, take the shot!
Your team is depending on you! The world is waiting on you to Shoot Your Shot!
Anana Phifer traveled to Georgetown, Guyana as a delegate with Speaking to Nations. The Hon. Sydney Allicock, Astell Collins, Ambassador Dr Clyde Rivers and Dr Ruben West were all in attendance. Anana met with the Hon Sydney Allicock and was featured on the NCN News. She was awarded the Astell Collins Global Inspiration Award. The award recognizes Anana Phifer as a Generational Leader for her services with BlessedGirls. Ichange Nations recognized Anana as an inspirational role model to the rising generation who will bring their values, culture and ideologies to the nations of the world.