Trends, Travel, History and Books

February 25, 2012

Education, Entertainment, Trends

Travel, history, art, education and books are all great gifts that add to one’s personal growth, wisdom and prosperity. shares the following information in the hope that it will enrich your spirit and mind.

Spring into Yuma

At Yuma Lettuce Days (March 10 & 11), get a taste of the bounty produced in this fertile river delta – and all the delicious dishes that can be created from local products.  The headline attraction at this “agri-culinary” celebration are live cooking demonstrations by  Brian Malarkey of San Diego’s Searsucker and Burlap restaurants and “Top Chef 3 Miami” competition, along with an all-star lineup of local talent.  Also on tap, a New Belgium beer garden, lots of Kids’ AG-tivities, cooking contests, a farmers’ market, fancy vegetable and ice carving, plus a tasting event with an array of specialties from local restaurants, along with wine and beer.
Look to the skies March 17, as Marine Corps Air Station Yuma celebrates the centennial of naval aviation with a mighty roar at its annual MCAS Yuma Air Show.  The headline attraction at this year’s show is the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, an elite air demonstration squadron, along with other aerial performances and static displays.  This show is free to all as a token of the Marine Corps’ appreciation of the welcome they receive here.

Don’t forget that though Arizona’s official “birthday” has passed, our bold Centennial offer still stands: guests at participating Yuma hotels eat free every day the sun doesn’t shine – through July 31 of this year! Get more info & download a visitors guide at


A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – One of the most recent and fascinating Black History memoirs published in 2012 tells the little-known six-month adventure of an African-American cowboy who rode horseback from Manhattan to California.  That gripping journey by Miles Dean, filled with stops to recognize sites that were milestones in African-American culture, is shared in detail by author Lisa K. Winkler in On The Trail of the Ancestors: A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America (ISBN 978-1468123920, 2012, Create Space, 148 pages, $12.95 available on Amazon).

Miles Dean rode his horse more than 5,000 miles across the country to celebrate the contributions of African-Americans to U.S. history. A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America will resonate with horse people, armchair travelers, educators, parents and young people who are connected with the African-American community.  Winkler met Miles Dean while teaching inner city youth in Newark and became so enthralled by his account of riding horseback across America that she agreed to write the book. Shortly after meeting Miles Dean, Winkler wrote an article on black jockeys for the Smithsonian Institute and has since interviewed several black history scholars.

“When I first met Miles Dean, I was hooked,” recalls Winkler. “His passion for his subject and determination to accomplish something that few would undertake awed me. I am the daughter of liberal parents who marched in Washington, D.C. for civil rights and was enthralled by the stories Miles told and his encounters with black history while riding across America.”

Among the little known jewels of black history included in A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America are these accounts:

African-Americans who served as US marshals, upholding the law protecting settlers by chasing bank robbers, cattle thieves and other bandits.

Black cowboys who, for the first half of the 20th century, were barred from competing against white cowboys in the prize events at rodeos and were banned from appearing in motion pictures, both ways in which cowboys supplemented their ranch wages.

Philadelphia’s Washington Square, once called “Congo Square,” was the site of several slave auctions that separated Africans from loved ones, sending them into servitude.

As the nation’s capital from 1790 to 1800 Philadelphia hosted George Washington’s presidency. A known slaveholder, Washington brought his slaves to Philadelphia, circumventing the law that granted slaves freedom after a six-month residency by moving them back to Virginia.

The jockey who rode Man o’ War, who won 20 of 21 races in the early 1920s, was the black jockey Burns Murphy, son of a former slave. Murphy claimed three Kentucky Derby victories and won 44 percent of all the races he rode, a record still unmatched.

The participation of blacks in racing dates back to colonial times, when the British brought their love of horseracing to the New World. Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson frequented the track, and when President Andrew Jackson moved into the White House in 1829, he brought his horses and his black jockeys with him.

The first performer on the Grand Ole Opry was DeFord Bailey, an African American country music star from the 1920s. A grandson of slaves, Bailey learned to play the harmonica while convalescing after polio. He premiered on radio, recorded many albums, and toured with other country stars throughout the South and the West.

Marian Smith Holmes, an associate editor for the Smithsonian Magazine, has described these accounts as “precious nuggets of our American past that bear telling to people of all ages and races.”

“It was tremendous to see how much pride my  middle school students took in learning about the many valuable contributions that African-American cowboys and jockeys made to our country’s formation,” stresses Charity Haygood, principal of Brick Avon Avenue Academy in Newark. “I loved that our students had Miles Dean who not only taught history but actually had the guts and real personal drive to make history living! He truly had his horse, ‘walk his talk!”

Molefi Kete Asante, author of 100 Greatest African Americans, had this to say about Winkler’s book: “Lisa Winkler has written an inspiring book; she has engaged us at the level of concrete contributions of African Americans to the history of the United States. Miles Dean’s own participation in that history is inescapably awesome. I salute this work and encourage everyone to read this powerful book.”

After returning from his journey, Miles Dean is now enjoying an extended stay in South America but will be returning in time to stage an African-American parade in Newark to celebrate Memorial Day weekend.

About the Author
A former journalist, Lisa K. Winkler has an extensive career as an educator working with inner city youth. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Winkler lived in London from 1982-87 before moving to New Jersey where she now resides. She earned her BA degree from Vassar College in 1978 and an MA in Education in 1992 from New Jersey City University.

Winkler was a middle school language arts teacher for more than 10 years who has just completed a five-year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, New Jersey.  She has written several magazine articles, essays for book anthologies, several study guides for Penguin Books, and still writes for Education Update, an education newspaper based in New York City. Winkler is a frequent speaker at conferences, seminars and workshops.




-- "Make A Joyful Noise!" By Kathryn Baker Kemp is available in print and e-book formats. --

Chicago, IL – Kathryn Baker Kemp, a Chicago resident, is a retired music director, administrator and educator. She traces the journey of gospel music from its indigenous roots in Africa to the genres shaped by enslaved Africans and their descendants in America. Dr. Kemp, a licensed minister, has witnessed the power of gospel music and its message throughout her life.

Make a Joyful Noise!  A Brief History of Gospel Music Ministry in America tells the story of the resiliency of an African American people who worshipped their God with praise and thanksgiving – even in the midst of brutal oppression – through music.

This book shows how music – gospel music in particular – has been a vehicle utilized over the years by people of African ancestry as a personal treasure, an expression of joy, a call for freedom, and a source of release despite oppression, Jim Crow laws, segregation, and racism.

The legacy of Dr. Thomas A. Dorsey and Rev. James Cleveland is honored through the gospel organizations they founded. The National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, Inc., the first gospel organization was founded by Professor Thomas A. Dorsey, and the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc., was founded by Rev. James Cleveland, a mentee of Dr. Thomas Dorsey.

Part One of the book concludes with discussions of the future of gospel music and references some major secular events that highlight its widespread appeal.  Interviews with evangelists, composers, songwriters, musicians, gospel artists, ministers of music, and members of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc. express the richness of this heritage in Part Two of this work.

Make A Joyful Noise is a valuable resource that provides first-hand accounts of the impact and importance of gospel music to America.

Former Target Stores Toy Buyer Children’s Book Business Honors Grandparents


Lehman Riley and Paul Dixon, Business Owners

Nationwide — Paul Dixon has worked in the Toy industry for the past 18 years. His experience includes working as a Target Stores Toy Buyer, Toy Consultant and a Toy Salesperson for Disney Consumer Products. He has seen numerous products come and go during this timeframe. However, his most fulfilling experience has been forming a children’s book publishing company with his cousin Lehman Riley in July 2004.

During his childhood author Lehman Riley was fascinated by his grandfather Papa Lemon. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1973 when Lehman was 10 years old, but Lehman’s love and admiration for Papa Lemon inspired him to write The Adventures of Papa Lemon’s Little Wanderers children’s series book.

Papa Lemon’s Magical Train transports 5 racially diverse friends, the Little Wanderers, back in time in order for them to meet great U.S. historical figures. Most importantly, Papa Lemon serves as a positive African American grandfather role model for the five friends.

Paul and Lehman feel they have a unique concept. Paul states, “How many middle age African American cousins have created a series book featuring their grandfather as the main character?”

There are currently five Papa Lemon Books in circulation. The books are illustrated, paperback, 40 to 56 pages in length and for children between the ages of 7 and 12. The historical figures/events in the five books are Dr. Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, a Navajo Wind Talker, Babe Didrikson and the California Gold Rush.

During Paul’s career he has rarely seen an African American as the lead character in children’s entertainment. Paul comments, “There is a lack of positive African American role models in children’s literature. Hopefully, Papa Lemon can help fill this void.”

In order to spread the word about Papa Lemon, Dixon and Riley have traveled to 23 U.S. cities, exhibiting the Papa Lemon Books at 100+ events since 2006. Lehman has also spoken to more than 11,000 students in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

Their ultimate goal is to make Papa Lemon an Educational Icon that promotes the “Love of Reading” and “Enjoyment of Discovering History”. They believe they will attain this goal one child at a time!

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2 Comments on “Trends, Travel, History and Books”

  1. kathryn kemp Says:

    Thank you for this diverse and informative post.

Keith Warren Justice Site

"What is it that the systems doesn't want me to know about my child's life and or death?"- Mary Couey

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