Family

Happy 41st Birthday to Tunicker M. Jones

Tunicker M. Jones

(Photo Courtesy of Tunicker M. Jones)

After years of her being envious of my best friend, Dr. Santresa L. Glass, I reluctantly decided to write a brief piece to wish Tunicker M. Jones a Happy 41st Birthday! Each year, I compose a piece, an ode to Dr. Glass on her birthday. Jones has desired the same, with me denying her request each year. She has the privilege of being my sister, which, of course, is the greatest fact of her life, of her existence.

Ms. Tunicker M. Jones earned her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice at Troy University in Troy, Alabama and her master’s degree in Special Education at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. As a certified educator, Jones has over 10 years of professional experience teaching middle grades regular and special education students.

The passion Jones has for ensuring special needs students receive a quality education is commendable. She’s truly committed to helping every child, including our most vulnerable, to be prepared for the future and to experience success.

As I reflect on the vital and challenging work you do each day, I guess you deserve a little recognition on your birthday. Savor this piece, as it’s likely to never happen again.

Although the most important national and international holiday is on March 27th, which, of course, is my birthday, I’ll let you have today.

Happy Birthday!

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Nature Speaks, Nature Remembers: My Strong, Protective Flower Tree

Flower Tree

(Photo Credit: Ginnie Ann Daniels)

I had some trees cut around the house that seemed likely to fall. After the trees were cut, some of the remaining stumps left such distinctive prints. One, in particular, evoked the memory of when Billy and I, as a young couple 30 years ago, purchased our home. What follows is the dominant impression this idiosyncratic tree, uniquely mine, engendered.

The tree reminded me of you 30 years ago when we first moved in, so strong with muscle limbs, protecting our little family from storms and harsh sunrays. Yet, with time, the strong become weak but still try to withhold winds and persevere. Each year, more dead leaves fell, and we could tell—with unspoken words—this once robust tree was dying.

Flower Tree

(Photo Credit: Ginnie Ann Daniels)

Your strong roots embedded lasting memories for your seedlings, family and friends. We have to let go and start anew. With exultation, however, we never forget that the strong leave roots in the dirt with everlasting memory of the last leaf that fell.

I can now look out of my window to see and remember my strong, protective flower tree.

In loving memory of Billy Daniels, spouse of Ginnie Ann Daniels, married nearly 44 years (23 days short of 44 years).

Ginnie Ann Daniels, El Dorado, Arkansas, Author

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Editor

Black Mother of Three Kids Needs Your Help Immediately

Charmine Mitchell

(Photo Courtesy of Charmine Mitchell)

Recently, Charmine Mitchell, a devoted black mother of three precious children, unexpectedly found out that her husband, Royce Mitchell, passed away. Unfortunately, her husband did not have any insurance to cover burial expenses and other essential living expenses for his wife and children. Although Mrs. Mitchell is seeking employment, she’s currently unemployed and is left struggling to pay the mortgage for her and her children and is left struggling financially to support her children’s needs. In America, when tragedy strikes some of us, we all share in the heartache of those victimized by tragedy. Americans always rise to the occasion and help fellow Americans in need. By making a financial contribution—no matter how small—you can make a significant difference in helping to ease the struggle this widower and her children are now facing. It’s already horrible that the family is facing the heartbreak of the loss of a husband and father, but to have the added burdens of not having any money for burial expenses, to pay the mortgage and support their living expenses is tragic as well. Go to Mrs. Charmine Mitchell’s GoFundMe Page and provide the best financial contribution you can make: Click Here to Donate! All contributions are greatly appreciated, and Mrs. Mitchell and her kids are grateful for your support in this difficult time for them.

Many thanks,

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Let the Power of Discovery Begin at Home

Black Family

(Photo Credit: Black Enterprise)

Before you go out exploring phenomena outside of your home, discover the new things you can learn about those inside of your home.  How often do you ask questions to those in your immediate family?  How well do you really know your family members?  Too often we assume we know a tremendous amount about our immediate family members, but there can be so many things we don’t know about them.  Many people can be so busy trying to find out what’s going on in other people’s homes that they’re missing the greatest attractions developing inside of their own homes.

Parents, how well do you know your children’s friends?  For parents with older children who are in relationships, how well do you know the individuals they’re in relationships with?  Do you know why your children decided to be in relationships with these individuals?  How did they first meet and what attracted them?  Are your children too secretive about their relationships?  Why?  Do you have children you find it strange that they are even in intimate relationships?  Have you asked questions that will provide you with more information to make it less strange?  These aforementioned queries are just some you can posed to members of your immediate family to discover some potentially novel things.

One of the best ways to build and maintain strong families is to place a strong value on communication in your home.  Your home should be a place where frank and open communication are truly valued.  The members of your immediate family should feel comfortable to talking to one another about virtually anything.  One thing I’m very proud of about my immediate family is the members of the family feel comfortable talking to one another about anything.  We can share things with one another without feeling like any member is going to bring condemnation for what’s disclosed.  My immediate family is loving and supportive, and it has been the welcoming and embracing of frank and unrestricted communication that has been essential to the love in my family.

If you talk more to your immediate family members, you may learn ways you can be useful in helping them to overcome physical, social, emotional and/or spiritual challenges and problems.  Before sending a family member to see a psychologist or psychiatrist, determine if this is even necessary.  Those situated inside the home can serve as the only psychologist or psychiatrist the person needs.  We often miss opportunities to be helpful to those who live in our own homes because we allow ourselves to become too busy to look for the potential needs of our family members.

Use this piece as a conversation-starter with the members of your immediate family.  Let this piece become a way for you to ask questions of the members of your immediate family that you’ve always wanted to know or failed to ask.  You may discover some things about your immediate family members you needed to know before they died.  Don’t make your family members think you’ve turned into a private investigator (unless you truly are one).  Just let them know you want to grow closer as a family through the power of discourse and inquiry.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison