The Silver Tea Experience
“There you are “, Cynthia said calling my name. She was behind the podium in the far corner of the room. Weaving my way around tables dressed in soothing lilac table cloth, fresh pink flowers in the center surrounded by elegant china place settings, silverware and Teapots, I greeted her with a hug. Cynthia Richardson the founder of Ladies of the Silver Tea looked regal in red.
“I’ve been hosting teas since 2004, which is about the same time I met Betty Stallings Murray. We realized we shared the same concept of teaching African American culture & History while serving our community the best way we know how.
My goal is to urge you, young women, to step into the sensible shoes of your Grandmothers, Great-Grandmothers or whoever you look-up to, or really admire, to learn something from them while they are here and can pass on priceless wisdom and knowledge to you.
When I was growing up in South Carolina, The Silver Tea wasn’t only a social event for Black Women of the South. It also provided a setting for our Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunts, and neighbors to communicate, share and actively contribute to the good and well-being of the entire community.
Sundays after Church usually between 4:00-6:00 pm. over- worked, under-appreciated, maids, cooks, kitchen/cafeteria workers and mothers who did not work outside the home, transformed into elegant, graceful, proud, confident Ladies
Black women were always the pillars of our communities and particularly in the South there was a sisterhood, because they needed each other for survival. Most Black women had to work outside their homes to support their family. Women assisted each other in caring for children and the elderly; teaching/mentoring young girls & boys to become proud, confident, successful adults. Our schools and churches could not exist without the hard work and effort of our women consistently working together.
Although it was exceedingly difficult to live with the oppression of Segregation, Jim Crow Laws and all the other indignities we suffered, look around you, be thankful for the ones who paved the way, digging ditches, scrubbing floors and taking the beatings, so that as a group we now have a seat at the table. It is important to maintain those traditions and behaviors that make us unique and mentally/emotionally healthy as a group. Institutionalized racism and discrimination are alive and well and will remain for generations.”
Cynthia’s sense of community service was taught to her by her parents. It is these qualities that created her vision and dedication to teaching and speaking on topics that add value and meaning to the lives of African Americans.
“Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It’s important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It’s the way in which we ourselves grow and develop” Dr. Dorothy I. Height
The Silver Tea purpose: explains Historically Black College/University (HBCU) experiences by Alumni and current students.
Guest speaker, Alexis Lorenzo Esq. is a senior Attorney at Legal Services NYC since 2010. She traces her roots through her Mother to Cuba. After struggling with the college process in high school she eventually attended Hofstra. Her immigrant family background did not prepare her for College so life at first was miserable until she pledged a Sorority then her social life took off.
After college she was invited by a sorority sister who lived in DC to consider Howard as a choice for pursuing Law. She accepted her friend’s offer which paved the way for her to apply and was accepted to Howard.
Drawing a comparison between her first college experience and life at Howard Ms. Lorenzo summed it up as “nurturing”. She felt welcomed into a family with all the rights and privileges of a traditional African American family that is; “you are looked after, looked out for and if necessary scolded with love.”
It was no surprise she thrived and excelled.
Shawn Brannon attended Clark Atlanta University (CAU). Currently his job is in the high powered field of Marketing & promotions for Radio stations Hot 97 and 107.5. While living in Columbia, SC he went on a college tour with his father. It was a happy accident for him when he discovered Clark sandwiched between Morehouse (all male) and Spellman (all female) Clark was co-ed and offered the best of both worlds.
When it was my turn to speak I gave a brief outline of my story and the journey the synchronicity and events that helped me to meet Cynthia.
It was unfortunate for me when a devastating diagnosis abruptly ended my corporate profession. While home heavily medicated my world reduced to a foggy blur, a relative gave me a bottle of Herbal supplements which opened my eyes to the possibilities of Complementary and Alternative medicine. Eventually I started feeling better; I experienced fewer side effects after adding more herbal supplements to my daily routine.
Then I attended a meeting at my son’s Elementary school, and challenged myself, my fears and limitations by volunteering to help the PTA. I was fortunate to meet a group of wonderful parents and Teachers, and some of the most generous, wise and uplifting women became long-standing friends. Jackie or Nurse Jackie as she likes to be called and I became friends. Our friendship took us on an adventure to start Bronx Wholistic networking group. By hosting monthly meetings at Barnes & Noble store, Bay Plaza I met many people following their calling to serve their community and I met Cynthia.
Beverly Ewan Wholistic Marketer offers, consultations, coaching, website content creation and workshops. Contact Beverly for more information. Admin@wholisticmarketer.com