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Actress, Filmmaker Releases Book To Help Others Escape Domestic Violence

Tahirah OgletreeBy Naomi K. Bonman

To commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I recently interviewed the author of “A Survivors Celebration of Life Beyond Domestic Violence”, which is written by Tahirah Ogletree.

Olgletree is an African-American actress, print model, author, filmmaker and advocate for domestic violence. Originally from Cleveland, Tahirah moved to Phoenix, Arizona to pursue her passion for film and acting. Over the years, she has been featured as a commercial print model in nationwide magazines and catalogs, starred in Internet commercials, and landed a role in a 2008 SIS TV Production. In 2011, she was rated as America’s top-aspiring African American woman, and was featured on the prestigious cover of the Blow, Hair & Fashion magazine. In 2012, Tahirah established her own film company, O’Tahirah Films, LLC. She wrote, produced and starred in two short films, Battered But not Broken and Phoenix Finest in Blue. In “Battered But Not Broken,” Tahirah played a battered woman who finds the strength to take back her life from the deadly grips of her abuser. Tahirah wrote “Battered But not Broken” to raise awareness on domestic violence and how rapidly it’s becoming an epidemic in so many households across America.

A Survivors Celebration of Life Beyond Domestic Violence is dedicated to every victim and survivor of domestic violence with the purpose of empowering, inspiring, educating, and helping to save and change lives. It is intended as a celebration of the beauty that all survivors have within, and is a reminder to everyone that there is life beyond the deadly grips of domestic violence. This empowering coffee table book is filled with inspiring quotes, tips on how to detect the early warning signs of domestic violence, tear-jerking testimonials from survivors around the world, Tahirah’s own autobiography, and a list of domestic violence hotlines with 24/7 access to highly trained advocates for immediate support.

In conjunction with her book release, Tahirah’s clothing line debuted with the launch of two t-shirt designs. The first derives from her original art pieces called “ Power Beyond the Fist.” The striking image translates two powerful messages. On one hand, it’s a collection of 52 inspiring phrases that help domestic violence victims understand they can overcome through faith in God, encouragement, forgiveness and a great support system. On the other, it sends the message to males that real men don’t hit women. “The Nubian” shirt hits the positive message home to victims and survivors that there is no excuse in settling for a life that’s less than one is capable of living; that there is true purpose in life beyond domestic violence. It is necessary to rise above and become the best version of oneself. When worn, these high-quality shirts act as strong messages to society, supporting the theory that we can break the silence of domestic violence.

To listen to the audio interview, please visit http://bit.ly/1JAuQCr. For more information on the book and how you can get it, visit otahirah.com.

“How Can You?”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Jesus was mistreated by Roman soldiers, Matthew 26:27-31. He was ridiculed by the Jewish leaders, Matt. 27:39-43. He was even ridiculed by the two thieves who were crucified with Him, Matthew 27:44. He endured all of this so that He might make a lavish purchase and redeem you from the slavery of your sins. If you stop and think about the price God paid to redeem you, how can you turn a deaf ear to His call? When you consider the price He paid, the shame He bore, and the lengths He went to, to make salvation possible, how can you not bow before Him in love, in obedience, and in gratitude? Oh I know… because you are selfish…. You are just like those who was in the days of Noah Matthew 24:37-39 eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage… selfishly going about life as usual, while ignoring the truth in the face of impending doom and judgment. How unfortunate! Wrapped up in you and not caring. Lost and on your way to Hell! You’ve forgotten your history. You’ve forgotten where you came from; you forgotten the blessings you have received along the way. And when that happens, you forget to be grateful to the One who has blessed you along the way. What tragedy!  Psalms 81 tells that story and the results for Israel. There is a history lesson and a warning in this psalm for us. If we forget our history with God, we will forget God. We will forget the good things He has done for us, chief of which is saving us from sin. Why want you choose to remember!

Listen, sometimes, you only get one chance. And if you miss it, you never get the chance to do it again. God says, “Behold.” “Pay attention!” “Listen up!” Hear what is being said!” There will be no reprieve. There will be no second chances…” Amos 8:11-14. I want you to know that if you are going to survive and thrive, you must be able to get a word from the Lord. When you refuse to hear the Word of God, God will give you His silence in Judgment. That is a judgment greater than any other. Jesus said in Matthew 11:15, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” I want you to know that those who turned a deaf ear to the Gospel of Christ, they all went to Hell Psalm 9:17. It is interested that the Bible says those who perished in the flood knew not until destruction was upon them. They sincerely didn’t believe Noah’s message of coming judgment and doom. The rich man knew not until he awoke in the fires of Hell. I know that many people alive today will not wake up until they are burning in Hell with the rich man, because they refused to listen.  While we are facing impending doom and destruction in this world, most people couldn’t care less. Just as the world didn’t care before the flood came and swept them away. Just as Sodom didn’t care before God reigned down fire and brimstone to consume them. Just as Jerusalem didn’t care before Babylon utterly destroyed them. Just as the rich man didn’t care before God cast him into the flames of Hell, so also is the wicked, who don’t care about the truth; but I want you to know… eternal judgment is coming!

I will leave you with food for thought…. the message in Hebrews 3:8-18 “Do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were when they rebelled against God, as they were that day in the desert when they put him to the test. There they put me to the test and tried me, says God, although they had seen what I did for forty years. And so I was angry with those people and said, “they are always disloyal and refuse to obey my commands.’ I was angry and made a solemn promise: “They will never enter the land where I would have given them rest! My friends, be careful that none of you have a heart so evil and unbelieving that you will turn away from the living God. Instead, in order that none of you be deceived by sin and become stubborn, you must help one another every day, as long as the word “Today” in the scripture applies to us. For we are all partners with Christ if we hold firmly to the end the confidence we had at the beginning. This is what the scripture says: “If you hear God’s voice today, do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were when they rebelled against God.” Who were the people who heard God’s voice and rebelled against him? All those who were led out of Egypt by Moses. With whom was God angry for forty years? With the people who sinned, who fell down dead in the desert. When God made his solemn promise, “They will never enter the land where I would have given them rest” – of whom was he speaking? Of those who rebelled.

To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear?


Adrena Ifill Blagburn Receives Prestigious Advocacy Award

Adrena Ifill Blagburn

Adrena Ifill Blagburn

Adrena Ifill Blagburn is the 2015 recipient of the J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award was presented at a ceremony during the SAA Annual Meeting in Cleveland, August 16–22. The award honors an individual, institution, or organization that promotes greater public awareness, appreciation, or support of archival activities or programs.

Since founding the strategic communications firm, Ifill/DoubleBack Global Group in 2002, Ifill Blagburn has been a leading advocate for the preservation of archival records documenting African-American Congressional history. As a result of her efforts to educate Black lawmakers about record retention policies, Ifill Blagburn has increased public awareness on the importance of not only preserving these records, but of the benefits of utilizing them for educational and historic programs. As a consultant, she directs the Avoice Project of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. As Chief Strategist for DoubleBack, she has developed exhibits, videos and events for various organizations to reach diverse audiences and empower them “to take history off the shelf.” Ifill Blagburn’s many strategic partners include the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University, the Robert J. Terry Library at Texas State University, the DC Archives and the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives.

Ifill Blagburn is a graduate of Williams College and received her MBA from Howard University. With roots in the Caribbean and North Carolina, she learned firsthand the importance of preserving history and its global impact. Gaining access to “lost” collections and being able to double back with the descendants of unfamiliar historic figures to devise, creative ways to communicate these stories is one of Ifill Blagburn’s favorite things. Her advocacy is partly mission driven, tied closely to providing excellent customer service and assembling a team with in-depth knowledge of her clients’ specialty areas that produces innovative and timely results.