By now, you’ve probably heard that my great-uncles, Meeks and Thomas Griffin, received posthumous pardons the day before yesterday. My family and I experienced the sweet smell of victory when an injustice served almost 100 years ago was reversed. Nothing could bring my uncles back, but we did as much as we could. And sometimes that’s all you can do.
The publicity of this case has triggered lots of phone calls and text messages from people who also have family members who are currently in a tight spot. To them, I can only say that this is a battle that takes a lot of time and a lot of money to fight. The ideal thing would be to get support from an organization that specializes in advocacy, like the Rainbow PUSH Coalition or Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.
When I think about all the years and all the things that have transpired since this horrific incident ended the lives of my uncles, I wonder how my life would have been different if it hadn’t happened. After all, the execution led to my grandmother leaving South Carolina, growing up in the migrant town of Plant City, Florida, marrying my grandfather, attending FAMU, where she would go on to obtain a Masters degree and become a school teacher, a hairdresser and a florist.
Yeah, that’s right, working hard is part of my DNA … and so are HBCUs.
In some strange way, the worse thing that could have happened to those two brothers played a role in who I’ve become. And get this: If I weren’t who I am, Skip Gates wouldn’t have invited me to be part of his genealogy research, and I never would even have known about the plight of Thomas and Meeks Griffin or been able to get the kind of fact-finding done that it took to get that pardon. But the bigger point is actually not what happened, but how what happened was handled.
We all have tragedies in our lives. And I’m here to tell you that how we handle them can impact our family members now and for generations to come. You might not be able to solve every problem today, but if you work hard and keep your eye on the prize, somebody in your family will have what it takes to do things you couldn’t dream of doing yourself. It all matters and puts a heavy responsibility on us all. For every action, there is a reaction. Even if it’s nearly a century later.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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