Monday, January 21, 2013
African-Americans are dealing with unemployment at 14% and rising, as well as health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure among other things. Not to mention, we are now dealing with high abortion rates, which has now become the fastest killer of African-Americans. Surely, he wouldn't be happy about that.
It's funny how every year, around Dr. King's birthday, people tend to categorize Dr. King in only the "I have a Dream" speech. We hear it every year, in sound bites on television and radio. Yet, rarely do we hear about the Martin Luther King who called the U.S.A. "The greatest purveyor of violence." Nor do we hear to often, my personal favorite Dr. King Speech, that ended up being is last, "I've Been To The Mountaintop."
It just so happens that Dr. King was there helping the Sanitation Workers, who were fighting not only for just wages, but to be treated as men. Men that want and do provide for their families, something sadly that is missing these days. Just as it was in 1968, Dr. King would be there fighting on behalf of the poor and the African-Americans whose unemployment rate has been rising. He would demand that President Obama would address those issues and hold him accountable because President Obama is not a King, but a servant to the people as what the presidency should be about, not serving corporate interest no matter the political party.
Finally, would Dr. King be happy about the division and the break-up of the black family? I wonder what he would think of shows such as All My Babies' Mamas or Basketball Wives. The examples that they are setting to our youth. No, Dr. King would not be smiling, he would be fighting and challenging our people to accomplish things better for themselves and most importantly, for our youth. I know that Dr. King would be happy to see a beautiful First Family that looks like him, but that was not the only part of "The Dream". More work is to be done. Work that would lead to an equal playing field. Let's not just have a Black President when the nation is 9 trillion dollars in debt, and there's two wars. Give me the keys to the mansion with all the rooms furnished.
If you have one black president, have 43 more black presidents on an equal playing field. Now, that truly is a Dream.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
In a subsequent post, I’ll talk more about what qualifies me to give the this type of advice, but for brevity’s sake, I can tell you that I was someone who looked for a “good job” for more than a decade, only to find multiple years of unemployment and underemployment. It took a lot of soul-searching, but eventually, I changed my mentality from that of a “jobseeker” to an “entrepreneur” and I’ve never looked back!
I keep reading these unemployment numbers for Black folks and I know it’s worse than what’s being reported, because I personally know people that are no longer receiving unemployment and thus aren’t counted any more, despite the fact that they aren’t working and haven’t been fully restored as productive members of the workforce.
I know what it’s like to be unemployed. I know what it’s like to be Black and unemployed. And I know what it’s like to be Black, educated, and unemployed, which in my opinion, just adds another nail to the coffin! For this reason, since I believe in being solution-oriented, I have put together some immediate steps that I think Black folks can take to turn “unemployment” into “self-employment”.
My goal in sharing these tips is to show that there is hope and there’s something you can do: CREATE A JOB, WHEN NO ONE WILL GIVE YOU ONE! It’s not easy, but it’s an alternative!
Tip 1: Use your local library. I save an average of $3000 a year by using the resources of my local library. Before I shelled out money I didn’t have, I checked to see if the library had the book, and in some cases, I asked them to order it, and they did (thus making me the first person to check it out). Many times, I’m able to preview a book and find out if it’s really worth me paying for and adding to my personal library.
Tip 2: Use the internet (effectively). There’s virtually nothing you can aspire to learn that you can’t learn more about on the internet! The internet can be a great resource in helping you figure out ANYTHING, but you have to use your time on The Net efficiently. I would suggest using a timer. Have a specified period of time that you allot for certain activities (e.g. searching for articles/books/links, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.) and get disciplined about sticking to it. Especially when it comes to social networks. They can become great tools to use to promote your brand whenever you figure out what you’re selling, but if you’re not careful, they become a MAJOR time suck. So, just remember most time spent tweeting and liking people’s pictures and comments isn’t time well spent.
Tip 3: Find Your Talents and Follow Your Passion. Someone once told me that if you find what you would do for free, then start doing it, and get good at it, eventually someone will pay you for your expertise. I admit, when I was first introduced to this notion, I thought it was a crock! Now, as a person who gets paid to show people how to tweet, blog, and use Facebook effectively, I laugh at my own self for being so naïve. Plus, as with any new convert, I am the MOST evangelical about the “Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow” mantra, because IT IS TRUE!
Tip 4: Block out the negativity and find a support base. Being unemployed is very discouraging, especially if you’ve landed there through no fault of your own. The longer you’re unemployed or underemployed, the worse you may feel. It’s important to not get wallowed down in those feelings. Find a local support group, a Meetup gathering, or even an online forum. If you have a field that you know you’d like to work in, find a mentor. Just keep in mind that almost everyone describes themselves as “busy”, and if you’re looking to be mentored by a truly busy person, you’d better make that time efficient (i.e. have set meeting times and an itinerary for you’ll talk about and how much of their time you’ll need).
Tip 5: Pray. Meditate. Or Do Whatever It Takes to Find 20 Minutes of Peace in Each Day. It’s okay to be sad sometimes. If you need to: reflect on what happened, then think about what you can do to make changes so it doesn’t happen again. At the end of the day, know that no matter what you’re going through, YOU ARE GOING THROUGH IT, and you will get to the other side!
I hope these tips help you. They were very helpful to me and that’s why I’ve shared them. I believe in helping people who want to help themselves. At some point in our lives, we all need help. I’ve gotten this far because someone (or quite honestly a whole host of “someones”) helped me. My unofficial motto in life is “I try to do, what I can do, when I can do it”, so if I can help, I will. Like everyone, I have a finite amount of time, energy, and resources, but if you need the support, I’m here.
Kindra Cotton, Serial Entrepreneur
About Kindra Cotton: Serial Entrepreneur, Technology & Social Media Specialist, and Jill of All Trades, Kindra is actually one of the FEW people who has been rigorously trained in the arenas of Social Networking and Online Marketing. A Certified Search Engine Marketer, she’s used her decades of experience on The Web, coupled with her Masters-level study of participatory patterns in social networking, and emerged as a uniquely qualified Trainer and Consultant in New Media Implementation and readying organizations to capitalize on the widespread popularity of social media for promoting brands. Perfecting her skills while working with small businesses, today she offers Simplified Social Media Solutions to small and medium-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, and universities seeking to take advantage of the free and low-cost marketing avenues that exist in The Web.To help improve “The Cure for Unemployment” blog series and the upcoming cureforunemployment.com website, please take a few minutes and fill out this brief survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FBJT38V
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
AS THE WORLD WATCHED
“Without a struggle, there can be no progress.” -Frederick Douglass
As we near the end of Black History Month, it is important that we, as a Black community, maintain ownership of our history, and continue to reflect on the strategic genius that was a signature of the Civil Rights movement, along with the people who led it. The United States is still a relatively young country, and the scars of its original sin of slavery run deep. There are still significant layers of pain and suffering from the recent past that we, as a country, need to heal from. The stories of our Civil Rights heroes need to be told, and retold, over and over again, so that we never forget the blood-stained path that our community has traveled.
In a lot of ways, America is an idea. It is a grand experiment. America is one of the few nations ever to grace the face of the earth, where sons and daughters of former slaves, and sons and daughters of former slave-owners have attempted to live together as equals. In many respects, the outcome of this experiment still remain to be seen, but whatever the ultimate result is, the Black experience has always been one of constant struggle in the face of structural and societal discrimination. The 1950’s and 1960’s, in particular, served as a touchstone flashpoint period, when the demands by Blacks for fairness and equality could no longer be satisfied by empty rhetoric or placation. As injustice built upon injustice, and indignity built upon indignity, the movement moved into high gear, capturing the attention of the country, and the World, as they became more familiar to the plight of the African American Negro.
The spark that set the movement ablaze was the courageous act of Rosa Parks, fondly referred to as “The Mother of the Civil Rights Movement”, who refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a White patron. For 381 days, Blacks refused to ride buses, at great personal sacrifice. As they walked mile after mile, and complete strangers carpooled for the cause, the community grew stronger and more united, bound together by a common sense of purpose. As fate would have it, the Montgomery Bus Boycott not only revealed the power found in collective organization, but it also birthed a son and a leader, named Martin Luther King, who would forever change the course of American history.
It is important for young and old alike, to understand and process this strategic bit of genius that runs contrary to common belief: Although often referred to as a “nonviolent” movement, the Civil Rights Movement was anything but nonviolent, and its leaders NEVER intended for it to be nonviolent.
In fact, the Civil Rights Movement thrived on violence. It NEEDED violence to advance its cause. As the people marched, there was a deliberate, calculated reason that Dr. King urged supporters to not respond physically to their White assailants. There was the sacrificial brilliance of parents who took themselves and their young children to the frontlines, at risk of being beaten by hoses, and bitten by dogs. Why? Because the leaders of the movement, and their followers, knew that these images of hostility would be beamed every night over the evening news, shocking the soul of the nation into action.
The Civil Rights Movement was not meant to win over the afflicted, since Blacks living through daily indignities didn’t need to be convinced that they were being mistreated. Neither was it meant to win over those with an intractable hatred of non-White minorities, because their views were too deeply entrenched. Rather, the movement was designed to sway those who had been laying in ambivalent dormancy, who felt an element of pity towards the Black plight, but not enough to actively take a stand and demand a halt to the inequality. Without violence, the movement may have sputtered, as its opponents continuously urged Blacks to be patient, utilize submissive supplication, and wait for things to unfold in their own “natural” time. Nothing else would have bent the curve of social justice for the Black cause in quite the same manner that raw, unmitigated hatred and bigotry could. Dr. King and the rest of the freedom fighters understood this, and played upon the racism of the Dixie South, as a concerto would play a finely tuned Stradivarius violin. Although it would ultimately cost Dr. King his life, his death became the cumulating act of violence, and would be the impetus that pushed President Lyndon Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
And yet, the battle for American equality continues in 2012 as essentially the same play, but with different actors.
With the election of the first Black president, it has almost become a full time task to demand the same amount of respect for the Office of the President, as previous presidents have long since enjoyed. Barack Obama’s grace and strength as President carries much of the same nonviolent and longsuffering undertones that were characteristic of the Civil Rights Movement. However, just like the movement, it exposes and highlights the deep-seated racism that many in our society secretly harbor. Indeed, although passive on its face, his patience and tolerance is actually an act of militancy, once again smashing the myth of a post-racial society, and pulling back the curtains on America’s latent sin of White privilege, and ethnic intolerance.
During this month of Black history, as we celebrate our past, acknowledge our present, and look with hopeful eyes to the future, we should take comfort in knowing that this is how social change often occurs in America. Victory is often slow in coming, but come it must.
And it will.
Written by C. Frank Igwe, PhD
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
By: Kirsten West Savali, Your Black World
Recently, as many African-Americans stumble blindly through this “post-racial” society, there have been intense---often antagonistic---conversations surrounding the gnawing need that many of us feel to shoulder the responsibility of each and every one of our brothers and sisters.
Kevin Ogletree is asking others to pray for his brother Calvin.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Your Black World reports:
Can we trust our children anyone these days?
Mark Chatman, a trainer with the Natchez High School girls' basketball team (Lady Bulldogs) in Natchez, Mississippi has been arrested for molesting a young girl when the team traveled to Magee, Mississippi to play in a tournament.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Kirsten West Savali: Atlanta Metro-Area School District Defends Using Slavery Equations To Teach Math To Third Graders
Your Black News reports:
Third grade math is not normally the course where students are taught about beating slaves and dehumanizing labor, but two teachers at Beaver Ridge Elementary School in Atlanta thought it was a perfectly normal integration.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Jakadrien Turner is coming back home after being accidentally deported to Colombia.