GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 19

but there are so many pressures that make us say, ‘I can’t take on another thing.’” This project is deeply personal to Taylor. She says, when she looks at “these young vulnerable children of any race, I see myself.” She is honest about her upbringing in a caring family, but one where her father was not emotionally present. It led her to look for affection outside the safety of her home. “I was caught on the roof with a boy when I was about 10 years old, my granddaughter’s age. It was devastating. A neighbor came to our apartment, and he told my mother. I thought it was the worst day of my life—my father was going to kill me. And he tried to, before my mother communicated to him. Shortly after that, we moved to Queens. I just vowed I would have a new life and I wouldn’t shame myself or my family. They gave me a chance to recover myself and get on a different path.” Noticing she often uses the term black vs. African American, we asked if it is because she wants to be all-inclusive of people from across the African diaspora. “Absolutely, because I’m of Caribbean ancestry and there are vast numbers of Caribbean Americans in the United States, and my audience is beyond the continental United States—it includes many, many African peoples in the UK and all throughout the Caribbean…actually lots of folks in English-speaking West African countries and southern Africa. There are times I say African Americans when it’s specific to African Americans.” Recently, Oprah Winfrey honored Taylor’s years of work at Essence while raising funds for the National CARES Mentoring Movement. When asked about how she felt about this honor, she humbly responds: “I was deeply grateful for the honor, but it wasn’t anything I wanted or needed. It took people months to even convince me to do this. My honor is my life, my family. When I look at For playback of video click on image. my granddaughter, my daughter, my husband [Khephra Burns], I have a sweet life. And that’s my honor…. “It was a good gathering. And Oprah saw that I was stressing about it, and she asked me how much I wanted to raise, and I said $500,000. She said, ‘Relax, I’m going to give you that.’ And then that night when she stepped up to the podium to speak, and she spoke so eloquently, she said, ‘Susan cannot run all over this country with a staff of two and try to create this movement that is so critical. And I made a commitment to her to give the money she was trying to raise tonight, which is half a million dollars, but I’m going to double it. This is what I can do. Now, what can you do? What will you do?’ And that was her message. She donated the million, and the benefit raised $1.3 million, a little more than that, actually. Money is still coming in.” Of course, Amina shared in this special moment with “Sweetie,” as she calls Taylor. Reflects Taylor: “It was so beautiful having her there, and having my whole family there.” G FEBRUARY 2009 GRAND 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - February 2009

GRAND Magazine - February 2009
GRAND View
Contents
GRAND Central
On the Cover: Susan L. Taylor, One in a Million
Get a Job!
The Healthy Crib
Movin’ to the G’Kids
Closing In
10 Disney Secrets
Ask GRAND
Just the Family We Are
Grand Prix: 0-3
Left Behind
Cycle Safe
Resources
GRAND Finale
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - GRAND Magazine - February 2009
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Cover2
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 3
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - GRAND View
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 5
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Contents
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 7
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 8
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 9
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 10
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - GRAND Central
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 12
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 13
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 14
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 15
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - On the Cover: Susan L. Taylor, One in a Million
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 17
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 18
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 19
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Get a Job!
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 21
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - The Healthy Crib
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 23
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 24
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 25
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Movin’ to the G’Kids
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Closing In
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 28
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 29
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 10 Disney Secrets
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 31
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Ask GRAND
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Just the Family We Are
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 34
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 35
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Grand Prix: 0-3
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 37
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Left Behind
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 39
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Cycle Safe
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 41
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 42
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Resources
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 44
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - 45
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - GRAND Finale
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Cover3
GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - Cover4
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