Day 2 of 30 Days of Poetry, Jazz & Earth Awareness – Celebrating Duke Ellington’s Jazz, Ethelbert Miller’s Defintion of Poetry, Poetry of Ntozake Shange & Twitter Poetry

Happy Friday!

I started my morning with yoga, meditation, and Reiki.  My sun salutation practice was truly juicy.  I listened to jazz musician Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige CD, a jazz symphony written for his first concert at Carnegie Hall, on January 23, 1943. I discuss Black, Brown and Beige in my debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One. His composition “Come Sunday” featuring Mahalia Jackson plays a key role.   Click on the YouTube video below to listen to a part of the CD.  It is one of my favorites!

Did you know Ellington’s full name was Edward Kennedy Ellington? He was born on April 29, 1899 to James Edward Ellington and Daisy Kennedy Ellington in Washington, DC.  He lived a long, creative, and fulfilling life as a pianist, composer, and band leader.  FYI He led his band from 1923 until his death on May 24, 1974.

I also read a poetry quote by my literary mentor E. Ethelbert Miller that reminded me of Ntozake Shange’s Nappy Edges poetry book.  I included Ethelbert’s quote in my new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-DiscoveryNappy Edges was the first poetry book I bought during my freshmen year at St. Elizabeth Seton High School (1978).  Shange’s poetry inspired me.  I discovered her creative work while watching her chorepoem for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.

Click on the my Cinchcast audio blog below to hear Ethelbert’s poetry quote, Shange’s poem, and my Twitter poetry (an excerpt from That Which Awakens Me) Enjoy!

When you think of jazz on a Fridays what songs come to mind?

Do you have any favorite poems about music? If so, what are the titles? Who are the poets?

Do you have a six-word memoir for Friday? My six-word memoir is Poetry. Jazz. Earth.  Shange. Duke. Gaia.  What do you think?

Have a great weekend!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Gratitude for Shange’s poetry, Duke’s jazz, and Gaia’s planet,


The Business of Being Ananda Leeke – Part 2: The Power of an All-Girls School in My Life


Happy Tuesday!

Today I thought I would post Part 2 of The Business of Being Ananda Leeke.  Being Ananda Leeke is rooted in the experiences I had while attending an all-girls school in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  What a powerful time in my life!  

This morning I listened to a recording of WCPN 90.3 FM’s The Sound of Ideas show. The theme was “Lessons from Girls’ Schools.”  Click here to listen to the podcast:  It made me think about St. Elizabeth Seton High School (, the all-girls Catholic school that I attended in Bladensburg, Maryland .  My mother Theresa is the reason I went to Seton.  She gave me the same gift of support her mother Dorothy gave her when she decided to attend St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Indianapolis, Indiana during the 1950s. 

Seton gave me the opportunity to find my own voice, dream big dreams, develop and share my own opinions, and speak my truth.  I learned to be who I wanted to be without concern for what boys might think.  My academic experience gave me confidence, promoted my creativity, and established my courage to take risks.  Seton also taught me how to manage my time, be independent, serve my community, and actively pursue learning as a passion.  The Sisters of Charity and lay teachers challenged me to be the best and achieve at very high levels.  They did not accept mediocrity.  They reinforced the lessons my mother taught me:  own your own abilities and shine your higher self at all times.  That’s why I decided to become a lawyer at 16.  That’s why I learned how to be a public speaker and entrepreneur through Junior Achievement in my junior and senior years.  That’s why I was a student leader, member of the Gospel Choir, and budding artist and writer.   

How did your high school years influence you?

Peace and Creativity,