From Charleston, South Carolina: Thank you President Obama and First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama for Truly Loving the People of this Great Country

Expressing Appreciation for the Presidency of Barack Obama

By Terri Mae Owens

As an African American Woman, I could not be prouder of the way President Obama and First Lady Mrs.Michelle Obama lead this country from 2008- 2016, and during their final days in 2017.

Watching the President and First Lady love, and express kindness and concern for the general health and well being of the citizens of this country, as well as for people around the world, in spite of harsh criticisms and personal attacks on their humanity, has inspired me to live my life by their example of taking the high road.

They have inspired me to not be complacent in my position as a citizen of this country, but to find ways to reach out to others, especially those who do not look like me, by using my gifts and talents as a human being, a historian and as an artist, to inspire unity, and effect positive change that helps to strengthens race relations in our country.

America belongs to all of her citizens, and in spite of the racist rhetoric expressed during the campaigning of President Elect Donald Trump, I am encouraged by knowing that regardless of race or religious affiliation, as citizens of this great country, that there are more of us that are unified in fighting to protect for all citizens, the freedoms and rights we value and hold dear as citizens of this great country, than those who are divided.

I am Looking forward to seeing how the Obama family continue using their experience and influence to help build an even more perfect union.

         Sharing Memories of the Obama Family and their Administration

Thank you President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for Coming to Charleston During Our Time of Enormous Grief

President Obama Eulogy: Clementa  Pinckney’s Furneral

Thanks Jenna and Barbara

for sharing your letter and these pictures:

People Magazine

“Love and Happiness:An Obama Celebration”

“Yes We Can: People Share Their Most Memorable Moments

From the Obama’s Presidency

President Obama Farewell Speech in Chicago

Mrs. Obama, Thank for the Example you Set of Character

When Women Attacked your Humanity


Songs of the South

Jr. Walker & The All Stars


This song makes me remember growing up in Jim Crow South.

St. Phillip A. M. E Church

With Christmas almost here, I am reminded of Christmas time, when the churches would give each girl and boy a brown paper bag stuffed with hard candy, an apple, orange and a pair of Bobbie Socks, boys socks, or stockings for the teens.  The people in this picture were members of St. Phillip A. M. E. Church, in Charleston, South Carolina, and were like my extended family members. My Papa was the Associate Pastor and is seated next to my Aunt Lily on the first row far right. My Great Grandmother Dah, is standing to his left. On the very top row is my mama, Josephine Wilson, and I am on the bottom row third from the left.

terr's art 444
197 Jackson Street

Feeling so very grateful this morning for the way my parents conducted themselves and for the way I was raised. Memories of being loved as a child in that little cottage we lived in on Jackson street and later,after Papa died, and we moved to Huger Street.

In spite of the tone expressed, of race hatred and religious intolerance, in our country at this time; I believe that there are more people in this world who want peace and unity among the races than there are those with racist intentions seeking to divide us as a nation.  Media attention however, is less likely to focus on those groups of people as regularly as they focus on those with negative outlooks and views. As a country, we have not too far in the past traveled that road of segregating the races based on skin color.  It should not be a path that we as a nations want to travel again.

Sam Cooke

A Change Gonna Come

First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama’s speech’s have always been inspiring, but I really appreciated her thoughts on diversity and inclusiveness in her tribute to African-American women whose contributions in the building of this nation is not always exposed in the teaching of America’s history. Continue reading “Songs of the South”

Dylan Storm Roof A Plea of “Mercy” by Terri Mae Owens

“You Cannot Change the World By Doing What’s Convenient or Comfortable”

Bryan Stevenson

One Plea of “Mercy” for Dylan Storm Roof

When I read that the death penalty is being sought against Dylan Storm Roof, for the murders of the nine men and women whom he shot to death in Mother Emmanuel A. M. E. Church, a year ago this month, I felt a sense of sadness and remorse. My sadness however was not felt only for Dylan’s fate, but for the fate of race relations in a country that as Americans we love.

As much as we mourn the loss of lives that were taken in such a horrifically insane manner, taking the life of Dylan Roof, will not bring any one of them back.  In fact, to issue the death penalty would be expressive of the same barbaric disregard for human life that he showed towards parishioners who expressed only kindness towards him.

The deaths of the nine men and women of Emanuel grieved this entire nation, as well as people around the world. We here in South Carolina are presented with a great opportunity to continue the legacy of the Charleston Nine by not just professing to be a humane society, but by actually showing that we are.

I am an African American woman, a mother and a grandmother whose hope it is for a more kinder and just society for people of all races and ethnicities.  I am hopeful that one day skin color and religious belief or practice will not continue to divide us.

There is no question that what Mr. Roof did was wrong. However, as terrible of a thing that he has done, he is a member of a community of citizens called Americans. As Americans, we are connected by a shared history, and that history is in part founded upon the branding of the flesh of human beings to document them as property, as inventory, and not as people.

Because Mr. Roof grew up in a country whose foundation was built upon a blatant disrespect of human life, it seems ironic that a country whose history was established upon laws that made it legal to commit cruel and inhumane acts against human beings including children, for financial gain, would establish laws that would sentence an individual to die in a most inhumane manner because he committed a cruel and inhumane act against humans beings. The message that this type of reasoning sends is at its worst hypocritical, and at best conflicting.

Our forefathers owned human beings, and yet they established laws to govern our nation.  Laws that children are taught did not recognize African Americans as human beings, and certainly not equal to whites. It took a civil war just to grant them freedom and document their humanity.

Collectively as a people and a nation, we have journeyed to this point in our country’s history where a 21-year-old white male entered a church and assassinated nine people. The result of racism.  Racism was described by Toni Morrison, during an interview with Charlie Rose, as “Bereft.”

“The people who do this thing, who practice racism are bereft, there is something distorted about the psyche. It is a huge waste and it is a corruption and a distortion. It’s like it is a profound neurosis that nobody examines for what it is. It feels crazy, it is crazy, and it has as much of a deleterious effect on white people and possibly equal as it has on black people.” 

What has being a nation of people, whose history of race relations in this country, as exhibited through the Civil Rights movement, produced? It has produced confused citizens like Dylan Roof. How can we as a country not take responsibility for his brokenness and for ours? Laws punish, but they also protect. Dylan clearly shows signs of mental illness.

Dylan is one of America’s sons and we have failed him.  We are products of a history based on treating people like the “Other” and like they do not belong here in the United States of America, a country built by the free labor of slaves.

We must admit that we have, and in many cases continue to set bad examples of what a humane country looks like.  Our country’s stance on race was aired on television for all to see.  During the Civil Rights Movement African American men, women and children marched with signs in hand that read “I am a Man” “I am Somebody” “We Shall Not Be Moved” and were attacked by German Shepherd dogs, beaten with clubs, and sprayed with water from fire hoses, while Jim Crow Laws segregated even water fountains.

This is an opportunity for our country to begin doing a better job of teaching that what happened to African Americans and Native Americans in this country was wrong and that it should never be replicated, and when blatant acts of racism occur we must denounce them.

We can change race relations in this country by teaching America’s children to respect diversity, and to see all people first and foremost as human beings.

Yes, justice must be served against Dylan, but let’s not forget our history. A history that included the horror of lynching a human being and then setting the corpse on fire while children were in attendance having a picnic with their parents.

Dylan deserves to pay for his crimes, but must we kill him as if exterminating him is going to heal race relations in this country? It is my plea that Dylan Storm Roof not receive the death penalty, and that this country cease to use it as a method of punishment for crimes committed until America’s judicial system puts itself on trial for the enforcement of unjust laws that destroys people lives.  10/6/16

Capital punishment is immoral, and making an example of Dylan by sentencing him to death by the cruelest method of punishment imaginable will not deter repeated behavior of the same from happening.


Choose to be happy.

It is a choice that we all can make on purpose each and every day that we are blessed to be awakened with breath in our bodies, and a choice to make in spite of the way others view you, or treat you.

I find opportunities to feel happiness by engaging in different activities.  My favorite thing to do is to paint art that I dedicate to the memory of women and girls who were lynched in America.

Painting art for that purpose might seem depressing to many, but the act of painting art is my daily prayer of thanksgiving to God for the many gifts and talents that he has blessed me with.

Painting art is also my personal prayer of condolence for each woman who died under unjust and inhumane conditions, as the result of being lynched.

Their lives had purpose and meaning.  I use color to celebrate their lives!

In addition to painting, I Blog. I love conducting research and writing.  It makes me happy when I find information, especially of a historic content that I can share with others.

 This Blog is dedicated to finding, experiencing, and sharing happiness.  It includes happy music, inspirational quotes, pictures that express happiness, The authenticity of Serena Williams, and a great article by Anna Quindlen!

Have a Happy Day!

Congratulations Serena!

You are a Class Act


Anna Quindlen Talks to Yakima Audience

Happy Music












  Amy Purdy Super Soul Sunday


Amy & Derek


First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama and Eleanor Roosevelt: Bullying


“Mrs. Roosevelt used her lectures, her radio talk shows, her column and articles, her  press conferences, and her endless travels throughout America to publicize her views on social justice, and to help bring the White House closer to the American people.”

“The most outspoken of First Ladies, she became a powerful advocate for the weak and disadvantaged in American society for blacks and other minorities, for tenant farmers, the unemployed, the hungry, and the homeless, for all those who had no platform or spokesperson of their own.”  (104)

“Anyone who has gone through great suffering is bound to have greater sympathy and understanding of the problems of mankind.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

One of the most ruthless forms of bullying was the lynching of children, women and men.  1800’s to 1950’s.

“One can, even without any particular gifts, overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable if one is willing to face the fact that they must overcome; That, in spite of timidity and fear, in spite of a lack of special talents, one can find a way to live widely and fully.” 

Eleanor Roosevelt

Art in Memory of Women Lynched in America

  “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…you must do the thing you think you can not do.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“Looking back it strikes me that my childhood and my early youth were one long battle against fear.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

 “If anyone were to ask me what I want out of life I would say—-The opportunity for doing something useful, for in no other way, I am convinced, can true happiness be attained.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

 “Life has got to be lived.. that’s all there is to it.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Art in memory of women lynched in America

“Because Eleanor Roosevelt never hesitated to take a stand, she made enemies as well as friends.  Eleanor was often branded a “Socialite” or a “Communist.”   But the most savage attack came from those who were enraged that the First Lady of the land would speak out against segregation.  They spread nasty rumors about her personal habits and social life, and they warned that her views on civil rights would ignite violent confrontations between blacks and whites.” (111, 112).

“Women, whether subtlety, or vociferously, have always been a tremendous power in the destiny of the world.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

“Eleanor’s admirers saw her as an inspirational figure, a woman of compassion who listened with sympathy and understanding to the concerns of ordinary people.  They marveled at her honesty, her energy, and her independent stance as a woman making a mark on the world.” (112, 113).

First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama, the mother and father of two daughters, make their mark on the world.

White House Bullying Convention



Lessons for Girls