Christi Brittain has always been interested in art since she was a young girl. Her first exposure and lesson was at a summer camp when she was around eight years old. She watched a camp counselor draw a portrait of a woman and was really intrigued. She started drawing black and white images all the way through high school and then on to college.
Seven years ago Christi decided to try painting. Other than taking an art class in high school and a pottery class in college, she had never taken a painting class. Drawing came much easier for her than painting in the beginning. It took some time for her to be able to paint what she was actually envisioning in her mind. As with anything, through time and trial and error, her painting continued to improve. Her painting has now become as natural as her drawing skills.
With the support and encouragement of her mother, husband and friends, Christi finally decided to move forward to share her art with others and formed her business called-‘Freckles N Toes’.
In1988, a shining star guided a fishing boat with Vietnamese refugees to safety, and ultimately led to a new dream.
Phuoc Nguyen and his family was one of several families who survived a dangerous escape attempt from Vietnam on a fishing boat. Phuoc was only 13 at the time when he fled Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City, with his single mother and five siblings. Prior to boarding the fishing boat, children were not told the purpose of the trip and how it would change their lives forever. Along the way, the children learned the purpose of their journey. Hearing conversations of other refugees not surviving their escape and encountering pirates, the reality of the situation set in.
After several days of navigating through Vietnamese government patrolled water, Phuoc’s ship had lost its way. It was at that point the captain decided to “take a chance on following a bright shining star,” said Phuoc.
With Father’s Day coming up, I am not only thankful for the sacrifices my Asian mother made, but to my American born (caucasian) father who returned to Vietnam for my mother and me after his time in the American War in Vietnam. From the racism I experienced from others, I had to learn how to work through my own internalized racism. Today, I am no longer ashamed, but proud of my Asian Heritage and I am most definitely proud of my Asian Immigrant mother. She left in the middle of war to follow her heart and the man she loved. She had to leave her parents and all of her family in Vietnam behind. (My reflection I wrote to my mother below video clip).
Hear more reflections from other children of Asian immigrants about the gratitude for the sacrifices made by their immigrant parents in the video clip below. Some day I will share more of my experience and reflections.
Black History Month is an opportunity to educate the public about the true experiences of black America in its entirety. Some have asked, “but what about a white American history month?”
American history has been predominately about white history. It has always been taught to us 12 months in a year. American history only teaches about white Americans, their experiences, and their perspectives. Through the years our history books claim how white Europeans discovered this land and turned it into the great country that it is today. However, history books used in our schools for many generations have painted a very different picture from what actually took place for the people of color in our country. (Future examples coming)
During Black History month we not only want to highlight the unfortunate parts of our history we need to learn from, but also about the contributions all of our Americans have made.
Black History Month is a time to highlight positive images of black Americans rather than the stereotypes and myths that are presented and perpetuated throughout the media. It is a month to educate white and other Americans not only about the struggles and injustices, but the leadership and contributions of black Americans. This month is to honor those who have carried the cross and paved the way toward making change not only for blacks, but other minority Americans in our country.
There are many black inventors and inventions, pioneers in various fields, artists of various genres, that most of America have never even heard about and our history books have left out. This month is a time to introduce, highlight, and honor them and their contributions.
This man is brave and authentic. What he says about governments and many involved with religions has shown to be true, not just in Pakistan, but all over the world. One man out of poverty is recognized as the Mother Theresa of his country reaching out to the most underserved populations. Learn more about him and his work.