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By Bethsheba McGruder

“Everybody can be great because anybody can serve…” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

I just finished reading Martin Luther King Day: 25 people who paved the way for MLK at thegrio, giving thanks to the people who work behind the scenes who make a “journey successful.” I always like to compare my hardships and disappointments to people who come before me. My roadblocks are the size of a pinecone compared to the great imprint of giants in the struggle.

My fight might not be public. The fight might just be everyday living of putting food on the table, paying rent, sending off query letters and receiving one rejection letter after another. But then, there is always a glimpse in one’s progress if I, we are in tune to it —the small things that make larger steps to my existence.

 

Here are my 25 people who serve(d):

  1. Jerome McGruder – Father
  2. Artlis Pearson- Godmother
  3. Dorene Jordan- Godmother
  4. Deidre Jordan -Friend
  5. Pam Giroux- Friend
  6. Lakeshia Massey- Friend
  7. Shaunta Wade – Friend
  8. Tracy Chiles McGhee – Friend
  9. Desiree Sanders – Friend
  10. Matanah- Friend
  11. Mrs. Charlie Andrews – (Nurtured both of my children while I went to work)
  12. Aunt Zenobia Lewis – (“Somebody prayed for me”)
  13. Pastor Joseph of Detroit Michigan – (who told me in 8th grade to look in the mirror everyday and say, “You are beautiful”)
  14. Janean Watkins – Editor of Northeastern University Seeds Literary Journal 2011
  15. Christine Bronstein – (Creator of http://www.abandofwives.ing.com who helped me raise enough money for my son to go to the National Young Leadership State Conference 2012)
  16. Little girl in Texas – who saw my six year-old crying after getting off at the wrong bus stop and took Chloe to her mother.
  17. Larry – (Stranger who in 1997 helped me when my car stopped and drove me and my newborn child home).
  18. Sfronia Jordan – Co-worker turned friend (saw me pay for my lunch with Susan B. Anthony coins. She gave me cash and held on to the Anthony coins until I received my first pay check).
  19. Luther Warner – Mentor (Invested start-up money for my bookstore)
  20. Sonsyrea Tate Montgomery – Judge for Hurston/Wright 2010
  21. Randall Horton – Editor-in-Chief of Tidal Basin Review
  22. Melanie Henderson – Managing Editor of Tidal Basin Review
  23. James Alan McPherson – Pulitzer Prize Winner (his comments written on my manuscript is my motivation to continue to write).
  24. Dovie Weston – Aunt (R.I.P)
  25. Chloe Gladys Augusta Bowman – Mother (R.I.P)

 Who are your 25 people?

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