Icy waves ravage the shore

before returning for more.

Soaring birds ride the mighty towers,

refusing to yield to their powers.

Dolphins coast in the swells,

ignoring the death bells.

Tides hit the rocks

with frozen blocks.

They plow through the sand

with sharp claws in hand.

Momentum without end;

A force we cannot bend.

Welcome to Day 4 of  Shirley Harris-Slaughter’s “MOTHER’S DAY AND OTHER FAVORITE THINGS” Blog Tour! @sharrislaughter @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org #RRBC #4WillsPub.


(2) $5 Amazon Gift Cards

(5) Tickets into RRBC’s WC&BE Raffle for (7) $100 Amazon Gift Card Gift Baskets 
Please leave the author a comment below for your chance to win one of these awesome prizes!

DAY 4 MOTHER’S DAY AND OTHER FAVORITE THINGS BLOG TOUR @sharrislaughter @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org #4WillsPub

TUESDAY, MAY 16, 2023


The Apple Doesn’t Fall Too Far From the Tree


By now many of you know me pretty well but for those who don’t my name is Shirley Harris-Slaughter and my twitter handle is @sharrislaughter.  I was born in the great state of Michigan and raised in the Charter Township of Royal Oak. I spent most of my time dreaming of the day when I could get out and start my life elsewhere. Then I discovered we were a historical community founded by a runaway slave on the “underground railroad.” I began to appreciate my roots. I discovered all this history way before ever thinking about writing.

My mother was a gifted poet and writer of children’s stories. She also was a great speaker. So, what in the world could I contribute to this family? My parents were activists in the community, and I watched them not realizing they were shaping me. I became a community activist and developed an appreciation for historical places and buildings which led me to try and save our local train station. I researched and wrote The Implementation of the Most Comprehensive Approach to Restoring the Michigan Central Depot. This brought lots of attention and publicity to this neglected historical site. I don’t know why it’s taking me so long to get a copyright but it’s on my to-do list.

All of this led me to try and capture the history of our Catholic Community. So, I wrote about my experience growing up in this environment. I titled the book, Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African-American Catholic Community. The title stuck although my intention was to change it. This book had been gathering steam in my head for a long time before I actually set down to write. Our history was gone because the church had merged, and the school was razed after sitting empty for years and becoming an eyesore.

I was invited to speak about this to the Fred Hart Williams Geneological Society affiliated with the Detroit Public Library’s Burton Historical Collections. Mark Bowden tagged the genre a Narrative History. You see, geneology is normally written in a timeline order. I was surprised that they found me and asked me to speak before their group. They never had history told in narrative format before and certainly not this topic. I presented a powerpoint presentation. I was paid a speaker’s fee and was able to autograph and sell books after the presentation. It was a humbling experience. The attention and respect they lavished on me … just like a celebrity!

And now the church that I had known most of my life is closing its physical doors and moving over to a little chapel inside our sister parish, St. Scholastica. We get to keep the deacon and our weekly priest. We get to retain our name.  I guess that’s supposed to make us happy. This was a wealthy parish mind you. Over the years enrollment started dwindling with the closing of the school and people passing away. Despite that we still managed to reach our fundraising goal of approximately $150,000.00, in 2013 but it wasn’t enough. The Archdiocese of Detroit has a lousy policy that’s not conducive to nurturing and growing our little community. With a different set of rules, we could have stayed open and thrived. You must own something in order to do that. Catholics don’t own their churches. And so, in my opinion, this will continue to happen.

The merged Presentation-Our Lady of Victory is closing its physical doors on February 22, 2014. It is another experiment I’m afraid. The first experiment came when they merged Our Lady of Victory with Presentation Church. It didn’t go very smoothly. It was a sad turn of events. 

The saga will go on and on. I appreciate being able to share this story with you.  I hope you get as much out of this book as I got out of researching and writing it. It has been quite a journey and the knowledge acquired while doing this very worthwhile project is priceless. You can get the complete story from the book. The history is who I am.

I am my mother’s daughter!

Please leave a comment below and don’t forget to visit the other blog tours. Thank you so much for stopping by today.


Mama could tell a joke. Next thing you know, you are rolling on the floor from one of them. She loved to play the lottery and religiously purchased tickets every chance she got. If you fail to buy her tickets when she asks you, she will tell you that was the winning number … “If you had done what I asked, I would have won.” It was classic!

She was just as passionate about her faith and could quote passages from the bible all day long, which she did. She was a good mother and made huge sacrifices for her children.

She was the woman who wanted to be an actress but never got the chance. She was the woman who worked at a naval air base in Alameda County, California, screwing rivets in wings of airplanes. They were called “Rosie the Riveter” during World War II.

She was the constant in our lives.

This is how I remember my mama!


Shirley Harris-Slaughter is the author of Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African-American Catholic Community which was written to address a need to preserve Catholic history in her local community. She mentored four freshman girls at the local middle school in the Winning Futures Mentor Program. She is active in her church and Rave Reviews Book Club a virtual book club community where she has added another biography and fiction to her repertoire. She is married to Langston and is a Michigan Native.

And now, Slaughter has written a memoir about her mother, Joyce Winifred Harris-Burkes: How I Remember My Mama. It talks about memories regarding her life, and her works. The theme is about how the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Slaughter is an activist just like her mother.


Twitter:  @sharrislaughter

Facebook:  Shirley Slaughter

Amazon Author Central Page


Shirley Harris-Slaughter

Remember Our Lady of Victory


Joyce Winifred Harris-Burkes: HOW I REMEMBER MY MAMA

Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African-American Catholic Community 

Ronald L. Powell: Missing in Action

Crazy! Hot! And Living On The Edge!! 

Newspaper Chronicles

A CITIZEN’S GROUP IN ACTION: Saving a Train Station

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site. If you’d like to schedule your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HEREThanks for supporting this author and her work!


Welcome the night

And its good friend, the moon.

Do not take flight

From the man in the moon.

Let the moon take over

From the sun’s bright reign,

As the sun takes cover

Without feeling pain.

A thick blanket will fall,

Giving security.

Darkness will cover all,

With its fine purity.

For the sun, we need not pine.

Don’t waste time mourning.

After the stars twinkle and shine,

The sun rises each morning.


Red Path


I take the winding path shaded in red,

instead of hiding in my comfy bed.

The road widens and narrows its scope

as it weaves away from any hope.

Blood red threatens the night sky

as laughter follows me high.

Rivers of crimson red coat my aching feet

as I walk the road of shame and defeat.

“Is it too late to take the high road?

I ask if I may be so bold.

I run toward the rainbow in my mind

in the colors and hues I hope to find.


I accepted the challenge on Linkedin to write a new version of A Perfect Summer Day that rhymes; now, it’s a love poem.

Broad brushstrokes of blue and gray
Meet to greet the perfect day.
The meandering swipes of teal
Mirror how you make me feel.
The foaming white swells drift apart,
As your kiss lingers in my heart.
My fingers reach for the brush,
But I tell my mind to hush.
No painting needed today
To capture the perfect day.
Nature speaks of the time
When you were only mine.



Portovenere, Italy ~ Luca Libralato

Brushstrokes of blue and gray

outline the puffy clouds.

Broad swipes of teal and aquamarine

meet the neverending horizon.

Swells of purest white

rise from the blue depths.

As my fingers reach for the canvas,

my gaze travels to the brushes,

and I shake my head.

No painting is needed

to capture the perfect day.

I stare around me

at nature’s perfect handiwork.



Color my world in shades of pink,

so long as I don’t have to think.

Brush more color in strokes of blue,

so I don’t have to think of you.

Add a mist of dark green

until I’m ready to scream.

Throw more colors at me,

but I know what I’ll see.

The world fades to black

until you come back.

Who Goes There?


Into the woods, I flee,

yearning to be set free.

I don’t know which way to go.

I turn around, to and fro.

A light shines between the trees.

I peek between the thick leaves.

No one is along the path.

I can do the simple math.

It’s them against me.

I’ll never be free.