lantern a memoir of mentors

7 aha Moments from Lanterns A Memoir of Mentors

So I’ve challenged myself to read a more books this month. In fact, I wanted to stick with memoirs or biographies of women I admire. As an educator, Marian Wright Edelman, is someone I look up to. She has been a champion for children and education way longer than I’ve been alive. But she didn’t start there. She started as one of the youth of the 60s who fought to end segregation then went on to law school because she couldn’t sit on the sidelines and not help people in Mississippi gain the right to vote.

But this post isn’t about the amazing accomplishments in her life. This post is about the 7 aha moments from Lanterns A Memoir of Mentors that I had while reading this inspiring book. If you’re not an activist at heart or a secret activist then this book may not be for you.

lantern a memoir of mentors


This book is for people who won’t sit on the side lines waiting or hoping someone else will do the heavy lifting when it comes to truly calling for education reform in this country.

This book is for people who are ready to take the knowledge they have and get out there to make a real difference. To leave an imprint on this world even if their name is never recorded in a history book.

You’re probably wondering what this book has to do with business or blogging.

Well, it has a lot to do with it.

The aha moments I experienced reading this book has engrained in my heart that living my truth is the only way to blog and run a business.

That truth is the way to finding your true purpose in life.

That truth won’t allow you to sit around and not share your God-given talents with the world.

That to experience truth you sometimes will have to look at the lives of others.

That truth can be shared with you by a mentor even if you never considered that person a mentor in the “traditional” sense. But that person took the time to help you take 1 more step towards living your truth. Those are the real mentors in your life.

Here are the 7 aha moments I gleaned from Lanterns A Memoir of Mentors:

  1. “They don’t know from hard as they excuse themselves from trying and decide to give up after the first, second, fifth or tenth failure, or dissolve into despair or lash out at others when somebody hurts their feelings or insults them.”
  2. “I learned that girls are as valuable as boys and that I could go around, under, and over- or knock down- the extra hurdles girls, especially Black girls, face.”
  3. “No one would ever again define my place or what I could achieve or be on this basis of race and gender.”
  4. “Don’t commit suicide when there’s a job to be done to let your reason, not your emotions, govern.”
  5. “Learn the difference between heroism and celebrity and not confuse money with meaning, educational degrees with wisdom and common sense or power with worthwhile purpose.”
  6. “The hero is known for achievements, the celebrity for being well known. Celebrities make the news, heroes make history. Time makes heroes, time dissolves celebrities.”
  7. “Be real. Do what you say, say what you mean, and be what you seem.”

If you haven’t noticed the pattern that jumped out at me is that we shouldn’t be reaching towards being a celebrity. In today’s society that is on the mind of quite a few people. But in business you should be more concerned with how you run your business, the legacy you are leaving behind and knowing that being a woman shouldn’t prohibit you from going after anything you want in life.

I have 3 more books to read and share with you this month. Hope you’re enjoying learning about new books to read and women to learn more about. If you haven’t checked out the first two books catch up on Our Black Year and Put on Your Crown Queen Latifah.