Born in Camden, New Jersey and a lifelong resident of New Jersey,
Francine has dedicated her life to the world of fine arts, writing and
In 2005 Io began The Legacy Of Promise program, consisting
of an art exhibit, books, music and historical - inspirational speaking.
My passion and promise to my sister Bonita Jean Still Austin - who passed away at the age
of 36 years old became my inspiration!
As I went around giving presentations I heard the cries of people - "Who will carry our
legacy? Where are the young people in all of this? How can we get the next generation
involved?" This deeply disturbed me and my creative mind began to flow and it came to me, I
wouldn't have to go far to find the answers - we must live by example, this I knew. Some
years back prior to "The Legacy Of Promise" program I asked my sons Bryant and
Brandon, "Sons... would you continue your legacy with the gifts and talents you have if
anything were to happen to me? And would you like to join me in the message of The Legacy
Of Promise?" They found it an honor to support me in their historical legacy with their musical
gifts. They have seen and heard of my struggles in life - and along the way they have
experienced some of the pain with me. So, they came on board contributing with their musical
gifts and became a part of the great tapestry. At this point I felt the strong presence of my
forefathers and the grace of Providence instructing me to combine all of our creative gifts
together; giving the program a total completion.
We all take part in the great tapestry of life, whether we recognize it or not. As I grow in l
life I'm finding that we all are struggling in one way or another. Our struggles aren't much
different from the days of old - our clothing and technology have evolved, but our desire to
live a rich and fulfilled life is the same.
I continue to give inspirational lectures throughout the community libraries, schools, churches
and senior citizen communities - in hope to bring enlightenment of history through
inspirational speaking, books, music and art. The Legacy of Promise has come to fruition
passed onto me through my ancestors and The Great Providence.
My illustrative art work can be found on the cover/illustrations of author Charles L.
Blockson book “The Ballad Of The Underground Railroad” - cover &i llustrations for
Dr. Jacqueline Leonard of Temple University “Culturally Specific Pedagogy in the Mathematics
Classroom” - Renaissance oil painting for the dusk jacket of the 2005 revised edition, "The
Underground Rail Road" by William Still published by Plexus Publishing and was critique by
The Princeton Gazette, comparing the art work to the great master Diego Rivera’s work. The
most recent renaissance oil was a portrait painting for Dr. Mike Murdock, founder of The
Wisdom Center Fort Worth, Texas.
“Our Creative Gifts Gives Us Golden Opportunities To Grow In Life."
The musical group, "Strategy" became a part of the presentation and programming of "The Legacy Of Promise" in 2006.
Arrangements are by keyboardist, Bryant E. Hicks 36 yrs. old, writer/producer. His younger brother Brandon C. Hicks 29 yrs. old, is guitarist, does some arrangements and is writer/co-producer.
Bryant states, "The music that we have created has been composed to bring healing, celebration and peace to all of humanity. My grandfather James F. Still taught me three major chords. He told me once I learn these chords on the piano, I will be able to play anything. I will carry my grandfather's legacy through my musical career."
"The foundations my forefathers built continues to inspire me to be the man that I am and the man I wish to become." Bryant E. Still Hicks
Brandon says, “My inspiration came from a diverse family and community. Listening to a wide variety of music genres I tuned into each instrument and how each instrument related to one another. I applied this knowledge of using different instruments to create a universal sound. With this universal sound it made me reflect upon my family roots.”
"Our historical roots have an universal sound of colors and tones, creating a musical composition of our life." Brandon C. Still Hicks
"Strategy" (Black Box Theater, Susquehanna Bank Center 2011)
Art work on screen by Francine Still Hicks (The Phantom series)
“Music… Nature’s Call”
The sound of music calls forth nature – and nature responds in a rhythmic movement. Flowing gently, Mother Nature dances to the voice of the universal vibration by the Father. Harmoniously, the balance is kept in nature by the tuning in of the call. The elements, animals, trees, fowl of the air – and fish of the waters respond to the music of life.
We can learn so much listening for the call of music – and observe nature’s response. When the wind blows, we would hear the melody of a sonata playing on a piano. We would see life for its beauty – and movement.
My soul was crying out to express itself through all of my given gifts – and piano was one of my first at the age of five years old. In the late eighties, I began composing my first piano compositions.
By the year of 1997, I had completed twenty-two new age, classical piano compositions. In the year of 2000, I had copyrights placed on my music. In my heart – I knew the time was not right to share with the world, so I held on to my music until the proper timing.
Music & Video by:
Writer/Composer/Pianist/Producer by Francine C. Still Hicks
“Music… Nature’s Call” (classical new age) copyrights 2000
"The Legacy Of Promise" lecture at the Ocean County Library (main branch) Toms River, New Jersey; hosted by The Adult Programming.
(Meagan Toohey (left) director and Francine C. Still Hicks)
( "Line On The Pines" March 11, 2012 )
With my son Bryant Still Hicks/Strategy at table continuing his III great grandfather Dr. James Still's legacy and Linda Stanton the matriarch of "Line On The Pines." Sunday March 11, 2012 was a full day of great blessings and sharing the love of the Piney Family. My love for them lies deep in my heart and the rich soil of New Jersey where my roots lies..."The Pine Barrens!"