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How a lady forced to sit apart from friends on flight fell in love with a stranger

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Woman, 37, who was forced to sit apart from her friends on a nine-hour flight reveals she ended up falling in LOVE with the man in front of her – and the pair are now happily MARRIED

A woman who was forced to sit alone on a nine-hour flight after being separated from her friends has revealed how she ended up falling in love with the man sitting in front of her – and now, the married couple spends their days traveling the globe together.

Martina, now 37, and Leslie Johnson, now 41, met by chance when they were both flying to Kenya back in 2014.

Martina, from New Jersey , was traveling with five of her pals, but when she found out that she wouldn’t be sitting with them, she was left scrambling.

Desperate to not be alone for the immense journey, she begged those around them to switch seats – but no one obliged.

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Martina, 37, and Leslie Johnson, 41, met by chance when they were both flying to Kenya back in 2014 and were assigned seats one row apart. They’re seen recently
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The two ended up hitting it off and talking ‘the entire flight’ – and by the time they landed in Nairobi, Martina said she knew they ‘were going to be together’ one day
‘We talked the entire flight. We had a really good conversation,’ she told CNN Travel recently. ‘In the back of my head, I¿m thinking, “If he¿s single, we¿re going to date.”‘ They’re seen recently
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After they both got back to the States, Martina decided to send Leslie a text. They then started talking about what they had been up to on their respective trips and after a few days of chatting nonstop, Leslie asked to take her out to dinner

A disappointed Martina ended up sitting in the row behind New York City-native Leslie – unknowing that he would one day become her husband.

The two ended up hitting it off and talking ‘the entire flight’ – and by the time they landed in Nairobi, Martina said she knew they ‘were going to be together’ one day.

‘We talked the entire flight. We had a really good conversation,’ she told CNN Travel recently.

‘In the back of my head, I’m thinking, “If he’s single, we’re going to date.” But I didn’t know if he was single.’

What makes their meeting even more magical is that Martina almost didn’t go on the trip because she thought it was a ‘scam’ when she first discovered how cheap the flight was – only $279 for a round-trip flight to Africa.

After chatting all the way there, Martina asked for Leslie’s number before the two went their separate ways.

They thought that might be the end of it, but when they coincidentally ran into each other at a restaurant in Kenya a few days later, it seemed like fate.

The couple explained that they both noticed each other almost immediately, but didn’t realize that the other person had seen them.

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Three months later, they made their romance official, and around year after that, Leslie got down on one knee and asked Martina to marry him during a romantic trip to London
They tied the knot in October 2018, and now, nearly a decade after they met by chance on an airplane, the couple have used their mutual love of travel to become viral online stars
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They’ve visited Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados (seen), The Maldives, Turkey, and Guatemala all within the last year

‘I went to the restroom, but I didn’t think [I] caught [her] attention. So I ended up going back like two or three more times,’ Leslie explained. ‘But I still didn’t make any kind of eye contact with her.’

Martina recalled, ‘I was excited to see him. But I was also playing it very cool.’

The two finally spoke when they were both done eating, but Martina admitted the interaction felt ‘a little awkward.’ Even so, she left with the same feeling she had on the airplane: That they would somehow end up together.

He told CNN, ‘I met someone who lived not too far away from me, but I met them on a plane – thousands or whatever miles away from home’

‘It’s weird, because it was just a matter-of-fact feeling. It wasn’t necessarily like, “Oh, I just met this guy – I’m so excited.” It was just a very calm, matter-of-fact,’ she gushed.

‘Like, we just had a great conversation and he seemed like a great person. [I thought], “If he’s single, that’s it. We’re going to date.”‘

‘Everything just kind of seemed like it was meant to be, or just was happening for a reason,’ Leslie agreed.

After they both got back to the States, Martina decided to send Leslie a text message, which read, ‘How’s jet lag treating you?’

They then started talking about what they had been up to on their respective trips and after a few days of chatting nonstop, Leslie asked to take her out to dinner.

They went to a South African restaurant in midtown, and after that, they were inseparable.

‘We were constantly in touch,’ Leslie revealed, with Martina adding, ‘It was very easy. There were no gray areas. We liked each other, and we hung out, we spent time together.’

Three months later, they made their romance official, and around year after that, Leslie got down on one knee and asked Martina to marry him during a romantic trip to London.

They tied the knot in Columbus, Ohio, in October 2018, and the theme of the wedding was ‘Love at first sight.’

Now, nearly a decade after they met by chance on an airplane, the couple have used their mutual love of travel to become viral online stars.

They have racked up nearly 100,000 followers on their joint Instagram account, called The Couple Who Travels, where they document their endeavors and share travel tips.

They’ve visited Antigua and Barbuda, The Maldives, Turkey, and Guatemala all within the last year.

Looking back on how their romance began, Leslie still can’t believe how lucky he got, telling CNN, ‘I met someone who lived not too far away from me, but I met them on a plane – thousands or whatever miles away from home.’

As for Martina, she hopes that their story will encourage others to get out and travel more.

‘Do what you love, and it will lead you to everything else,’ she concluded. ‘I love to travel. I traveled and I met the love of my life.

‘So find that thing that you love and you don’t know what breadcrumbs that will lead you to.

‘It might lead you to the love of your life. It might lead you to your purpose – you just don’t know, but we all have unique desires and things that we are passionate about.

‘Don’t ignore it. Don’t wait for someone else to go with you. Just do what you love and see what happens.’

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Otu-Umuokpu Anambra USA in Houston Gets New Leadership  

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Houston – TX: The Otu-Umuokpu Anambra USA Association Inc., Headquartered in Houston, Texas, has inaugurated its new executive leadership. An election was held in November 2023 where a set of new executive leadership emerged and was officially sworn-in on February 4, 2024.

Adaeze Stella Icon Adeone Samuel ( Stainless) is now the group’s new President, whereas Adaeze Nkiruka Mbonu ( Mmili doluedo) is the  Vice President.  Former President, Adaeze Dr Maria Elioku (Nkpulunma) remains the President Emeritus. A complete list of the new executive board members will be available on the group’s website, it was gathered.

While welcoming the new leadership team, President Emeritus Dr. Elioku thanked the outgoing executives for their impeccable service during their tenure. “As we all know, our mission as Otu- Umuokpu Anambra, USA Association is to promote and uphold our welfare and culture as well as foster unity, love, and harmony among us; and I am glad that within the past years, we were able to curtail distracting challenges to uphold those values,” she said.

Otu- Umuokpu Anambra, USA Association is a community of all paternal daughters of Anambra State of Nigeria with the core mission to promote and uphold the welfare and culture of her members; and foster unity, love, and harmony among them. The group has since its inception shared the uniformity of their ancestry as a unifying tool for community development and bonding of sisterhood.

For more information about Otu-Umuokpu Anambra, USA Association, Inc., please call 832-640-6329 or click to visit their website >>>>

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Texas Woman Allegedly Killed Boyfriend With ‘Prison Shank’ After Fight

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A Texas woman was arrested last week after she allegedly stabbed her boyfriend to death with a “prison shank,” in late December.

San Angelo police first spoke to Ebony Gasca after her boyfriend Jermaine Johnson was found suffering from multiple stab wounds . When police arrived at the scene on December 26, Johnson was “sitting in an upright position struggling to breathe,” at the end of a residential driveway.

He was subsequently taken to a hospital where he died from his injuries , according to KLST .

Gasca told detectives that she and Johnson got into an argument while they were driving to a Dollar General. The argument was initially verbal but escalated when Johnson allegedly hit Gasca in the face.

“The defendant in return struck the victim in his face with an open hand,” the court documents said of Gasca’s response, according to KLST.

Surveillance footage from the store shows the two arriving at the business but whether they argued was unclear from the video.

The two continued arguing at the store and on the way home, with Johnson allegedly taking Gasca’s phone out of her hands and refusing to return it. When the pair got out of the car, Gasca told detectives that she put a homemade “prison shank” in her pocket, KLST reported.

Gasca alleges that when she tried to get her phone back from her boyfriend he put her in a chokehold – at which point, she stabbed him twice, until he let go. She later told police that at one point Johnson hit her on the head with her phone – during an examination she had a lump on her head and her phone was damaged, according to KLST.

Neighbor Shevetra Mathis told investigators that she observed the altercation from inside her residence. Mathis filmed part of the argument, revealing that Johnson took off his clothing while yelling and being aggressive towards Gasca. The segment of the argument that Mathis filmed did show any physical violence between the two.

Mathis told detectives that she grabbed a knife and exited the residence when she saw Johnson put Gasca in a chokehold. The neighbor allegedly stabbed Johnson in the chest and left the scene without calling law enforcement, according to KLST.

Neither woman contacted the police but Gasca did make other phone calls, to a friend and to Johnson’s brother. Jaclyn Graves said that Gasca called and admitted to stabbing Johnson twice before leaving the scene. Gasca then arrived at Graves’ apartment and changed her clothing before Graves drove Gasca back to the scene.

Gasca also called Johnson’s brother six times before he called her back and she told him stabbed Johnson after a fight, KLST reported.

Detectives say there was no evidence of Gasca having any type of deep-tissue bruising or any abrasions that were visible to the naked eye. Johnson’s body, however, had several abrasions, gashes and stab wounds.

A warrant for Gasca’s arrest was issued on January 4 and she was booked on a murder charge on January 19. Her bond was set at $500,000.

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11 Black history facts to commemorate Black History Month

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From Harriet Tubman to Martin Luther King Jr., learn more about the luminaries and events that shaped the past and continue to define the future.

Each year from Feb. 1 to March 1, Black History Month is recognized in the U.S.

Set aside to commemorate the many contributions and accomplishments of Black Americans, the observation provides an opportunity to spotlight the sacrifices, heritage and luminaries that helped shape our country’s history.

What initially began as a week near a century ago, became a month-long celebration in 1976 when President Gerald Ford officially decreed Black History Month an official observation.

How that recognition evolved is one of many Black History facts you may not already know, but it’s instrumental in how we recognize Black History Month today.

There are also many other details you may or may not be aware of. For instance, you’re probably aware that Harriet Tubman was responsible for saving the lives of countless enslaved persons through the Underground Railroad. But did you know that after enlisting in the Civil War, Tubman was also the first Black woman to lead an armed military operation in the U.S.?

Read on to learn more about Tubman’s contributions, along with facts about other notable figures like Rosa ParksMartin Luther King Jr. and Carter Woodson.

You’ll also find details on the National Museum of African American History and Culture, who the first Black American to win an Academy Award was, which legendary Black musicians were among the first inductees of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and many other notable facts to honor and commemorate Black History Month this year.

Black History Month began as a week

Black History Month began as merely a week back in 1926 thanks to the efforts of one man: Carter G. Woodson. A scholar and teacher, Woodson was the second Black American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard among many other academic achievements.

Woodson believed that Black history was largely ignored in education, saying that African American contributions were “overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use them,” according to the NAACP.

Aiming to change that, Woodson launched Negro History Week in 1926 to honor and highlight the contributions of Black Americans, choosing the second week of February to align with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

The annual commemoration would eventually evolve into the month-long celebration that we now know as Black History Month.

President Gerald Ford established Black History Month

During America’s Bicentennial celebration in 1976, U.S. president, Gerald Ford, extended what was, then, Black History Week into a month-long recognition.

In a message delivered on Feb. 10, 1976, Ford officially designated the observation, urging citizens to join him in tribute to Black History Month, citing the message of “courage and perseverance” it brings.

“Freedom and the recognition of individual rights are what our Revolution was all about. They were ideals that inspired our fight for Independence: ideals that we have been striving to live up to ever since,” Ford said in his message and called on citizens to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments” of Black Americans.

Thurgood Marshall was the first Black American appointed to the Supreme Court

Though the U.S. Supreme Court was officially established in 1789, it would be nearly 180 years before a Black American was appointed as one of the justices.

On Aug. 30, 1967, Thurgood Marshall was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, becoming the first Black person to serve on the nation’s highest court.

Nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Marshall served on the Supreme Court for 24 years before retiring in 1991.

Aside from Marshall, the other two Black Americans to serve on the Supreme Court are current Justices, Clarence Thomas and Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Two U.S. museums honor Black history, culture and heritage

The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., is a national museum exclusively dedicated to documenting the life, history and culture of African American citizens.

Boasting a collection of more than 40,000 artifacts, the museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution and was dedicated, fittingly, by the U.S.’s first Black president, Barack Obama, on Sept. 24, 2016.

The recently-opened International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina also recognizes the heritage and traditions of African Americans and their experience through art, language, music, food and more.

The first Black person to win an Oscar was…

In 1940, actor Hattie McDaniel became the first Black person to be nominated for — and win — an Academy Award for her performance as “Mammy” in the film “Gone with the Wind.”

Appearing in more than 300 films, it was her supporting role in the classic 1939 movie that earned McDaniel an Oscar plaque (statuettes wouldn’t become the norm until a few years later) for the honor.

Though the achievement was history-making, McDaniel and her guest were still required to sit separate from the other nominees as part of the still-enforced segregation. And despite the accomplishment, it would take more than 50 years for another Black woman to take home a trophy. A distinction that goes to Halle Berry, who won an Oscar for her role in “Monster’s Ball” in 2002.

Part of MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream” speech was improvised

The galvanizing speech given by Martin Luther King Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Monument in 1963 goes down in history as one of the most memorable of all time.

Known as the “I Have a Dream” speech, King’s address in front of more than 250,000 people gathered together for the March on Washington didn’t initially include some the historic passages that have since come to define the Civil Rights Movement.

In fact, some of King’s most iconic quotes came unscripted after gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, encouraged King to tell the crowd about “the dream,” leading him to improvise that portion of the speech, according to the National Constitution Center.

Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke and others are among the first ever inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has been honoring legendary musicians and performers since it was established in 1986.

Luminaries from the first class of trailblazers inducted into the Hall of Fame include the following performers: Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, Robert Johnson, Little Richard and Jimmy Yancey.

The first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Aretha Franklin in 1987.

Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday in 2021

On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden officially established Juneteenth National Independence Day as a federal holiday, the first since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was designated as a federal holiday back in 1983.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day that legalized slavery officially ended in Texas, the last of the Confederate states to abolish the practice.

Though the holiday wasn’t made official until 2021, Juneteenth has been commemorated in the U.S. and countries around the world for decades and represents Black citizens’ fight for equality, as well as honoring family and community.

Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat because she was ‘tired of giving in’

Activist Rosa Parks is best known for her role in the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott in 1955. Refusing to move to the back of the bus, as was customary for Black citizens, Parks sat in one of the front seats typically reserved for white passengers.

As a result, Parks was arrested, sparking a year-long boycott of the Montgomery bus system, which ultimately led to the desegregation of public transportation nationwide.

In the years since, some have suggested Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus simply because she was tired after work, a fact Parks refuted in her 1992 autobiography saying:

“People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

Harriet Tubman was the first Black woman to serve in the military

Known for helping enslaved persons escape and gain their freedom in through the Underground Railroad, it might be less known that Harriet Tubman also served for the Union Army during the Civil War which lasted from 1861 to 1865.

Working as a nurse, scout, spy and soldier, Harriet Tubman is considered the first Black woman to actively serve in the military, according to the National Women’s History Museum.

After serving in the war, Tubman helped raise money for freedmen along with joining Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in their fight for women’s rights.

Vermont was the first state to ban slavery, Mississippi the last

Known for its sleepy towns and breathtaking scenery, Vermont is also the first state in the American colonies to outright ban slavery. On July 2, 1777, Vermont’s legislature voted to not only abolish the practice, but also secure voting rights for Black men.

In subsequent years, other eastern states followed including Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

After a clerical error in which Mississippi failed to ratify the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery in 1865, the state became the last in the U.S. to officially abolish slavery in February of 2013 148 years after Congress passed the initial resolution.

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