Having watched Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech today, I find myself emotionally moved and in love.
I was less than a year old when the March on Washington took place. My parents, our family and all of their friends, neighbors, clergy and business owners in their circle where there. My heart is full as I picture this event. My spirit is soaring as I remember my parents and all they did for me. My father, Arthur C. Smith was a Tuskegee Airman, a member of the Original Freedom fighters, and an associate professor at Cheyney University, the first black college in the country. My mother, Valerie Louise Harewood Moultrie, was one of the first three African American women in the United States to hold the position of Vice Principal. She was one of the first black people to be invited to play Contract Bridge in the American Contract Bridge Club due to her expertise, integrating, an organization exclusive to white players.
My parents gave me the invaluable gift of a private primary school education at a Quaker school and growing up in neighborhoods surrounded by like-minded people with ethnic and religious backgrounds from across the globe.
Today, I am present to how the laws of this great land have shifted since its inception. As American citizens, in the midst of a injustices that are yet to be rectified, we are blessed with abundances beyond measure, made available to us all by design. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke our future as a people into existence that day. Four years after his death, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American to serve as a the Supreme Court Justice under president John F. Kennedy, after being nominated by President Johnson in 1967.
Today, we have had an African-American President in office for almost 8-years. We are living extraordinary lives at an extraordinary time.
Dad in Television Studio at Cheyney University
My mom, Valerie Moultrie, reading at Parent’s Day – Oak Lane Day School, Blue Bell, PA – 1966
Over the weekend, I participated in a review of the Landmark Forum in Scottsdale, AZ.
To be really straight, I registered to accomplish is finding the man of my dreams and growing my business. What I actually accomplished was discovering my endless capacity for love and the deep appreciation I have for human beings and whatever it is they are dealing with.
My father was a Tuskegee Airman, one of the original Freedom Fighters. He was incredibly loving, brilliantly creative, generous and funny. Over the last 10-years of his life, he developed Dementia and his health diminished. During the Forum, I saw how over the years, as my dad’s health declined, I reduced the intensity of the love I have for my dad – just a little. I made sure I would not completely fall apart when he died.
A year-and-a-half ago, I flew back to Philadelphia to be with my step-mom for several days before my dad passed. I even made sure I talked to every one of my family members. There was nothing left unsaid and I did not fall apart. I also chose not go back for his memorial service; and up until Saturday night — I had not watched his memorial video.
On Sunday morning of my Landmark Forum, I watched the video. I cried and allowed myself to fall deeply in love with my dad in a way I had not felt since I was a little girl.
I also saw that I am the kind of woman who had a super-hero for a father, who allowed me to be a super hero for him.
For almost 2-years now, my writing has been stifled. Words were not coming easily and I was truly worried about having everything I said be scrutinized. Today — Sharing this intimate part of my life with you was as easy as breathing!
My concern for what people may think of me, has disappeared and I am free to invite you in to my life!
While I was a graduate student at The New School in New York, during my Media Theory class I combined three of my passions: African-American history, film history for a research paper. I embarked upon an exploration into the literary reviews of the contemporary psycho-thriller/horror genre and a semiotic analysis of the African-American lead, ‘Ben’, in the film Night of the Living Dead, the film credited with being the Godfather of the splatter film genre.
While researching, I found numerous articles on the horror and psychological thriller genres. However, with the exception of discussions of Blaxploitation films, dialogue pertaining to this genre in relation to the psychology and culture of the modern-day African American community was virtually non-existent. As a result, the research took me months to complete, which is why I’m so thrilled people are finding my work useful.
DOWNLOAD THE PAPER
Duane Jones as Ben in "Night of the Living Dead" 1968
I published this paper for two reasons. First, I wanted to ease the strain of research gathering for other African American students wishing to gather information relevant to their own history and experiences. Secondly, desired to play an active role in how African Americans are perceived, and this paper provides a perspective I am proud of.
This film is the THE horror film that started decades of tales of the flesh eating undead. So, If you haven’t seen this original classic, I HIGHLY recommend that you do!
In the spirit of a tradition bestowed to me by my Tuskegee Airman, Freedom Fighter, College Professor Dad – Arthur C. Smith, who annually said, “All Black People should be working TWICE as hard on MLK’s birthday…” I’m spending my day supporting attorneys in the development of their firms.
I can’t think of a more befitting form of self-expression of my admiration and commitment to humanity. Even as a very little girl, I remember my dad’s teachings and the sound of Martin Luther King’s voice resonating through our living room. I distinctly recall how incredibly privileged I was to have a family around me who loved me so much.
Growing up, my parents made sure I had friends from across the globe from every imaginable faith, and ethnicity — yes, the little person in pink & gray is me!
Mom, Valerie Moultrie, reading to my nursery school class, at Oak Lane Day School in Blue Bell, PA - 1966
I quickly realized how strong and huge hearted my parents were and that they worked along with their friends and Martin Luther King to create our incredible United States as I know it. True – we have much work to do as humans in the realm of communication, compassion and cohesiveness. I am the last one to “sugar coat” anything!
I invite you to revisit Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech today — and allow yourself to be moved. I’ve no doubt his words will inspire you to continue manifest your dreams and serve those that matter most to you.
Our nation’s acknowledgement of Martin Luther King’s Birthday and the wonderful honor bestowed on The Tuskegee Airman — provides us all with an opportunity to remember the past and see how incredibly far we have come! Many, Many Blessings and Much Joy to you today as you celebrate human-kind!
My father, Arthur (Art) C. Smith passed away peacefully in early December, 2011.
Dad in Television Studio at Cheyney University
For the multitude of our family’s dear friends who are discovering about my dad’s passing for the first time as they read this, I apologize for my delay relaying the news. Our family wanted to make sure the memorial service held earlier this month was a quiet and personal family event. The additional time gave me time to gather my thoughts and emotions, and present this article to you now.
My Step-Mom, Jan called me late one night to tell me dad had a stroke and I immediately flew back to Philadelphia. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to be present for my dad’s return to consciousness for 2-days, eating and giving me a squeeze when I told him I loved him.
Dad holding my hand
Daddy died peacefully in his sleep about 5-days later. Unfortunately, I was not able to return to Philadelphia for the beautiful memorial service on December 17, 2011 that Jan, my sister Lisa, Pam and Peter and Marcella put together for daddy.
However, as the media-mogul daughter that I am, I shot this video, which Peter graciously included in the video that showed throughout the service. So, thank you to all of you for making sure I was “present”…
In the wake of Dad’s passing, I have been reunited with many of my family members who I hadn’t seen or spoken with in many years. The link below goes to my cousin Kamau Smith’s photo album on Facebook containing photos from the memorial service. (I had not spoken with him for more than 15-years!)
The gentlemen in blue jackets are Dad’s fellow Tuskegee Airmen who graciously came to honor Dad in style.
My sister Lisa and I followed in dad’s academic footsteps. Me, with an M.A. in Media Studies and my sister Lisa, with an M.A. in Cross Cultural Education.
Dad taught at Fitz Simons Jr. High School in Philadelphia, where he was chair of the Arts Dept. for many years. In 1968, Art accepted a position at Cheyney University.
He was greatly loved by his students at Cheyney and many of his students became lifelong friends, like Pam Bracey and Michael Bailey.
While there, he became the Director of the Educational Media Program and sponsor of the yearbook and the sponsor of the original models which groomed the students for the Miss Pennsylvania competition during his tenure at Cheyney. Also he became the sponsor of the Cheyney University Video and Television Studios.
In 1988, Art retired from Cheyney after 20 years of dedicated service. At age 9- Art won an art competition, and this motivated his interest in photography and art. He was recognized as one of the most dynamic and creative artists of his time.
Long before the term, “thinking-out-of-the-box” was coined, Art thought out of the box. His ideas and concepts were always a challenge to his family and friends. Dad was sure to keep us laughing and on out toes one of his provocative jokes!
Art Smith’s intelligent wit always made you think. Art was a familiar figure in the Germantown and Mt. Airy community. He was the coordinator of Mt. Airy day for 2-years. He was often seen riding his bike through the community and knew just about everyone.
You may know that I relocated Karasma Media to Phoenix, Arizona about a month ago. I must say, it’s pretty phenomenal being in the midst of mountains and sunshine!
I’ve been fairly quiet with my online conversation for the last several months, and I wanted to provide you with some clarity about what’s been going on with me. In January 2010, I looked up and noticed that I put on 50 pounds! Honestly, it was as if I suddenly woke up and someone had played a very mean joke on me…
I was always tired regardless of how much sleep I got, stressed, and it seemed like I stayed hungry…
Using some very special products and with the assistance of my nutrition coach, I’ve already lost I’ve lost more than 14 pounds and 24-inches of body fat. The best thing is, I have so much energy that it’s amazing how much I get done!
It’s no wonder that my enthusiasm for writing and marketing in general slowed down…
I’m feeling so good about the products and the company, now that I’ve become and Independent Distributor. Needless to say, contributing to intercontinental nutrition and financial well-being completely supports my desire to make an ongoing difference with the overall well-being on our the planet.
Here’s a linkto a video that encompasses what I’m up to pretty well, so please do take a look and feel free to call me if you have any questions
Karasma Media is alive and well in Phoenix. Please stay tuned for more info!
I received word today that three graduate research I published on The Social Science Research Network (SSRN ), made their 2010 Top Ten Lists.
*UPDATE:I received an e-mail from Gregg Gordon, the President of SSRN early the morning of January 4th, containing the following text:
We apologize for sending you one or more incorrect email messages last week. While testing some new functionality, our servers sent “Top Ten” emails to the top one hundred downloaded papers in certain ejournals instead of the top ten.
Oh well… I made the top-20 in two categories, and the top 50 in others…
Listed on SSRN’s Top Ten download list for AFAM Subject Matter eJournals, Film eJournal – Forthcoming, HRN African-American Studies Research Network, HRN Performing, Visual, & Fine Arts Research Network, Literary Theory & Criticism eJournal and PVFA Subject Matter eJournals. Downloaded 126 times
Being in SSRN’s top-10, three times is very exciting news, as I build this new leg of my career, and it is exhilarating to receive affirmation that my work is being read.
However, in today’s world of on-line research availability, I can’t help wondering how many people are plagiarizing, and how many professors aren’t catching the students doing so — for a multitude of reasons.
I would very much like to hear other published professionals and educators about this issue and safe guards/software you utilize to offset it.
I’ll be keeping a leg of Karasma Media here in New York to continue to service clients here, and traveling as needed. We’re launching a new platform in February, so stay tuned!
Principal, Susan Green, of Alain L. Locke P.S. 208, and I had the privilege of being the recipients of PENCIL’S 2008-2009 Emerging Partnership Award last night. My company, Karasma Media, Public Relations & Publicity, responded to a need to create a new identity for the school.
We garnered a wide variety of media coverage, developed a new school logo and social marketing platform. The platform includes a blog http://alainllocke.org; that has helped to increase communication between teachers, parents and students, as well as businesses, elected officials and other members of the local community.
PENCIL, the nonprofit organization that develops innovative solutions to the challenges confronting public schools by creating partnerships between business leaders and principals, held its 2008-2009 Year-end Partnership Celebration last night. Sponsored by long-time supporter JPMorgan Chase, the event marked the accomplishments of more than 450 PENCIL Partnerships during the school year, and honored several standout partners with three inaugural awards for “Emerging,” “Innovative,” and “Veteran” PENCIL Partnerships.
NEHAL BELTANGANDY (logo designer) and PAUL LEIBOWITZ
“Through my PENCIL Partnership at the Alain L. Locke School, I have seen that—when provided with the right opportunities—children will take steps to proactively develop their future,” Smith said. “I am proud to be playing a role through PENCIL in creating new possibilities for young people that often help them defy their circumstances.”
The other two awards given:
The 2008-2009 Innovative Partnership of the Year Awardwas given to Principal Christopher Ogno of PS 247, The New York City College Partnership Elementary School in Brooklyn and Partner Ivy Cohen, President of Ivy Cohen Corporate Communications.
The2008-09 Veteran Partnership Award was given to Principal Rima Ritholtz of PS 176X in the Bronx and Justin Israel of Channel 13 WNET/21 WLIW. With a student body of more than 570 autistic pre-K to 12th graders, PS 176X in the Bronx called upon the veteran experience of PENCIL Partners Rima Ritholtz, Principal of PS176X and business partner Justin Israel, Senior Patron Advisor at Channel 13 WNET/21, to develop programs that would offer critical support to the students’ parents.
Congratulations to my fellow PENCIL Partners on a wonderful year of truly making a difference for the children New York City!
Kara Smith is the founder and president of Karasma Media, a Harlem based boutique specializing in Social Media Public Relations Campaigns for the legal marketing industry. She works with legal marketers to create a more clearly defined focus and distinctive business strategy that will provide them with a competitive advantage for new business, higher reputation recognition, and enhance their ability to attract, win, and retain the clients they really want.
Kara has worked in New York City’s corporate sector and as a freelancer for more than 20 years in the marketing, television, and film businesses. She studied Film and Film and Fine Art at Pratt Institute from 1991-1994. She went on to receive a BA in Liberal Arts in 2004; and an MA in Media Studies with a focus in Digital Design, and certificate in Media Management in 2007, from New School University.
In November of last year, Kara partnered with PENCIL, a not-for profit organization that connects hundreds of New York business leaders with the city’s public schools. Participants visit their respective schools and share the fundamentals of their profession with students. Then, throughout the remainder of the school year, the leaders and school principals maintain a partnership intended to “enhance … learning environments” and “support student achievement.”
During a multi-media presentation to the students, she shared with them her experiences as a public relations professional specializing in social media. “I encouraged them to focus on education and to do what they love and learn to do it the best that they can.”
Since her partnership began, Smith has worked with Alain L. Locke to launch the school’s environmental club – the first such club at any elementary school in Harlem. She is also working with principal, Susan Green to distinguish their brand, encourage community involvement, and design a social media campaign. She has garnered media coverage for the students on CBS, Fox, and Newsweek’s Online Magazine and Uptown Magazine Online.
Associations of membership include: Legal Marketing Association National Black MBA Association Cambridge Who’s Who in American Business
Karasma Media is the first Harlem based boutique specializing in social media public relations campaigns for the legal marketing industry.
This Blog is an interactive platform for Karasma Media visitors to discuss the challenges and benefits of social media for business growth and pertinent issues. Karasma’s campaigns utilize cutting edge-technology and the creativity of award winning writers and designers, in order to reach each client’s niche audience.
We believe social media optimization is the responsibility of highly skilled legal marketing professionals; so our campaigns are customized to meet produce results, and solicit a response.
Please add us to your distribution list, your RSS feeds, your Twitter andjoin our distribution list so we can include you in this conversation.
All the best,
Kara Smith Principal and Founder Karasma Media Public Relations