She stood silently on the cracked asphalt, her summer dress billowing in the breeze, the calm at the center of the storm that was spreading across the country. Around her swirled police officers and demonstrators that had blocked Airline Highway in Baton Rouge to denounce the death of Alton Sterling, shot by police outside a convenience store. Many protesters carried signs. Some shouted into bullhorns. ‘She just stood there and made her stand,’ said photographer Jonathan Bachman to Buzzfeed News. ‘I was just happy to be able to capture something like that.'” – Michael E. Miller
Ieshia Evans is a 28 year-old mother with a 5 year-old boy.
She wanted to look her son in the eyes to tell him she fought for his freedom and rights,” says Alex Haynes, her best friend since the age of eight.
This is not an unemployed troublemaker.
This is an accomplished woman, a successful LPN.
And this was her first protest.
But young black men are dying when they should not.
And her son is a young black man.
When Ieshia Evans was 3 years old, Disney released a children’s movie called Beauty and the Beast.
That movie is about a girl named Belle, the non-conforming daughter of an eccentric inventor. Belle is ostracized by her peers due to her intelligence and love of books. But when her father is imprisoned by a cold-hearted beast, Belle offers the beast her own freedom in exchange for her father’s.
Does that story sound familiar?
Belle was not a new character. Disney has been holding up strong, young women as role models since 1950, when Cinderella ran an entire household by herself, prepared the meals, did the laundry and fed all the livestock until she was encouraged by an older woman – her fairy godmother – to rise above her circumstances and all the haters who were trying to hold her down.
Cinderella lived happily ever after as a princess in a castle.
Admittedly, the vehicle of Cinderella’s escape was Prince Charming.
But that was 1950.
In 1953, Disney gave us Tinker Bell, a loyal, brave and determined pixie forever trailed by glittering pixie dust that can help humans fly if they think happy thoughts. Tinker Bell became one of Disney’s most important icons.
1964 Mary Poppins is an independent woman who knows her own worth. She demands respect at her job and stands up to her boss from the get-go.
1977 In The Rescuers, Penny is a tough little orphan girl who is kidnapped and held prisoner in Devil’s Bayou, where she faces down a pair of trained crocodiles, Brutus and Nero, and thwarts her captors entirely with the help two little mice.
Thirteen years ago I wrote the following in the Monday Morning Memo for February 17, 2003.
Heroes are dangerous things. Bigger than life, highly exaggerated and always positioned in the most favorable light, a hero is a beautiful lie.
We have historic heroes, folk heroes and comic book heroes. We have heroes in books and songs and movies and sport. We have heroes of morality, leadership, kindness and excellence. And nothing is so devastating to our sense of wellbeing as is a badly fallen hero. Yes, heroes are dangerous things to have.
The only thing more dangerous is not to have them.
Heroes raise the bar we jump and hold high the standards we live by. They are ever-present tattoos on our psyche, the embodiment of all we are striving to be.
We create our heroes from our hopes and dreams. And then they attempt to create us in their own image.”
Through their skillful crafting of heroes for children, Disney has been telling women to rise up and be free for the past 63 years.
1989 Ariel, The Little Mermaid, is curious and bold, quite unlike anyone else under the sea. Her thirst for knowledge makes her special.
1995 Pocahontas is a wise and courageous girl who breaks with tradition to follow the beat of a different drummer. She creates peace between two civilizations and saves a lot of lives.
1998 In Mulan, a young Chinese girl saves her father from a burden he cannot bear, keeps up with all the boys in the army, climbs a pole with heavy cinderblocks attached to her hands and saves the city from attack. The emperor, along with thousands upon thousands of people, bow to her. Evidently, it’s okay to want to be on the front lines instead of waiting around for Prince Charming.
2009 In The Princess and the Frog, Tiana is the “anti-princess” princess, a hardworking girl who would rather fulfill her own goals than pin her hopes on the actions of other people. Tiana wants to own her own business. She is also notable as Disney’s first African-American princess.
2012 In Brave, Merida is a rambunctious and strong-willed warrior girl, a force to be reckoned with. She learns from her mistakes, gains compassion, and comes to understand what’s truly important in life.
And that brings us to Elsa in Frozen.*
Pennie and I have two sons, Rex and Jacob, and two grandsons, Hollister and Gideon.
We’ll have our first granddaughter in September.
I plan to watch these movies with her.
Roy H. Williams
* I asked Roy not to tell you about Elsa, but to leave that to me in the rabbit hole. Just click the photo of Ieshia Evans at the top of this page and you’ll be there. Each click of an image thereafter takes you one page deeper. Aroo. – Indy
Business owners often ask, “What if I spend a lot of money to train my employees and then they leave?” The answer is this: “What if you don’t train them and they stay?” But now you can train your people perfectly without spending a lot of money. The most successful companies are doing it. You should, too. Let Rich Carr show you how. It’s a special event, How to Create Online Education for Customers and Employees, August 10-11 at Wizard Academy.
This successful novelist is just 9 years old. Emerson Daub just published his second book, HyperKid v. BullBorg. The juvenile novel is selling well on Amazon in several categories. Have you ever considered teaming up with a young son or daughter to create a book, write an opera or launch a business? Roving reporter Rotbart – in his best investigative mode – walks away with the full meal deal after talking with Emerson and his proud papa Richard. If you think it would be fun to go into business with a child, grandchild, niece or nephew, you’ll be encouraged by the inspiring tale behind Hyperkid v. BullBorg. MondayMorningRadio.com.