Screenshot taken by Black


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Are you familiar with the saying … behind every great man is a great woman?


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Yes, it generally refers to a woman working behind the scenes. But, in this instance, I am guessing that you are referring to Vice President Harris, who is also President of the Senate, and House Speaker Pelosi sitting at the rostrum while President Biden addressed Congress.


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Not fair! You stole my punch line. But politics aside, it was so inspiring and amazing. Although I'm sure you have a different perspective.

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Actually, I agree. It was a historic occasion. Especially when you realize that these two women are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the line of presidential succession.


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I didn't think of that, which makes it an even more powerful image. As there's no secret of the importance that President Biden places on women being not only involved, but having powerful and meaningful roles, in his administration. It's truly an amazing time for women and, perhaps more importantly, for girls. Wasn't it only last month that we talk about how the Senate Sergeant at Arms office was A Senate Dream Team because for the first time since it was created in 1789, its leadership team is all women?


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Says the woman who a month ago did not even know there was a Senate Sergeant at Arms office.


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Fine, but that doesn't change the fact that we're seeing more and more women in government with important leadership roles and high levels of responsibility. But it's more than just impressive positions and titles – they're role models proving "You too can do this."


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Even the military, which has had a "less than welcoming" history when it came to women (allowing them to serve during wartime but not peacetime, and questioning whether they were fit for combat), has taken great strides. Last month President Biden nominated two female generals to positions as four-star combatant commanders. And, last week the White House announced he'll nominate a woman as the first female four-star admiral in Coast Guard history.


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I think it's safe to say that would have been unthinkable not that long ago. When it comes to President Biden's campaign pledge to have more women in powerful positions, he really is putting his words into action. And that's not taking into consideration all the other appointments and nominations being made!


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Exactly. In fact, they just released his 100-Day Staffing Report, and of approximately 1,500 key agency appointees, 58 percent are women. At the U.S. Department of Labor, a critical agency in terms of the issues facing women in the workforce, almost 70 percent of the appointees are women. The report is barely two pages long, but it is obvious that when it comes to the support and advancement of women, it is an era of "historic and transformative leadership."


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No kidding. And well said!


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Actually, they are not exactly my words. I "borrowed" the phrase "historic and transformative leadership" from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's formal invitation to President Biden to speak to Congress and then applied it specifically to the women of his presidency.


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Which takes us back to where this conversation started …
Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

It started when Black sent Red a LinkedIn post about Louis Armstrong, asking her to "connect the dots" (one of Black's favorite things to do). Red knew that he was one of the most distinctive and talented jazz musicians in American history, but it was a complete surprise to learn that he had such a strong connection to a Jewish couple that immigrated from Lithuania and that he wore a Star of David for most of his life to honor them. That alone made it a "truth is stranger than fiction" story. The fact it's also a touching story about kindness and love makes this, at least for Red, even better than fiction.

Black, who prefers the pragmatic aspects of Armstrong's unusual journey – from being an impoverished black boy to an extraordinary career as a musician, singer, and composer – and sees it as a story of overcoming barriers, realizing your potential, and finding freedom (and she discloses an interesting connection between Armstrong and Independence Day).

Our July column, "RED & BLACK … The Sound Of Freedom," connects all those dots and is about so much more than surprising facts about Louis Armstrong. It's also about the power of music, inspiration, and hope, not to mention a very different way of looking at freedom.

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Everyone laughs and wants to hear the story when I mention that I was recently "ghosted" by someone I had dated. What I find interesting is that ghosting has become so prevalent in today's society (and is not restricted to dating) that there is a term to describe the sudden "disappearance" of someone who wants to avoid all future contact with you.

Going back decades, I know there have been first dates that, at the time, I thought went well. But, after getting the "I'll call you" line … I never did. As a teenager, I can remember anxiously waiting for the phone (a landline tethered to the wall – and yes, I am that old) to ring, not wanting to go out and possibly miss the call. And, being very disappointed by the silence. Now, I cannot even remember who they were.

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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I still can't get over that LinkedIn post that you sent me about Louis Armstrong. I almost put it on my pile of things to "read later" as I'm not a huge fan of jazz, although I loved him in the movie "High Society" with Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly.


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I figured the subject line, "Connect these dots … Louis Armstrong," would pique your interest.


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Well, it did. Although when I first started reading it, I couldn't figure out what a Jewish family who immigrated from Lithuania had to do with one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.
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