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January 9, 2010

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“A Minority Perspective”

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Starting Off the New Year Right P.1

One Woman’s Opinion P.1

Remaining Optimistic During the Recession P.2

Did y ou know?

Where’s My Daddy P.3

Starting Off the New Year Right By Patrick A. Sellers, An Illinois Correspondent for The Populace Now

On January 8, 1967, Chairman of the House Education and Welfare Committee, Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., was ousted from his position after he has charged with wrongfully appropriating Congressional funds, Powell accused his critics of racism. On January 8, 1946, Countee Cullen, poet, died on this date. Cullen was a major contributor to the “Harlem Renaissance.” Cullen was a 42- year -old French teacher at a Harlem public school at the time of his death.

Many of us have made up our minds to carry over negative thoughts, behaviors, anger, resentment, jealousies and other destructive forces. In time, these will hinder our progress and damage our health. 2009 had its ups and downs. 2010 will be no different. So it is up to us to let go of the things that we can’t control and allow good to flow into our lives. Think of it this way: Would

you deliberately feed your body garbage? No. Then why would you feed your spirit with negative thoughts, behaviors, resentments, etc.? Negativism is nothing more than garbage. Sure, some things are hard to let go. But I’m a firm believer in the fact that things are only as hard as we make them. If an individual wrongs you, remember that anger and resentment only hurts you. Often the person goes on their merry way, oblivious about how you’ve been affected.

Instead of holding on to these things, why not try forgiveness and reconciliation? These are necessary if you plan to have any happiness or success in 2010. Forgiveness cleanses and purifies the spirit. It wipes your slate clean and prepares you to receive all the good will that is yours by “Divine Right.” Reconciliation will naturally follow a decision to forgive. Happy New Year!!! From The Populace Now!

One Woman’s Opinion By Bobbie Collins, An Illinois Correspondent for The Populace Now

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E v e r y reader will agree, we live in a “live and let live” nation. That’s been the prevailing attitude, maybe since the 60’s? It’s like: mind your business and I won’t bother yours. That said, let me say that interracial relationships (primarily involving black males and white females) are something I’ve been

aware of for a long time). It is only lately that the number of interracial couples has accelerated to the point in America that it’s really gotten my attention. But since I’m neither Cupid nor a fortune teller, I’ve looked around and seen that in our “land of the free and home of the brave,” we seem to be getting further away from my ideal. In fact, so much mixing it up is going on that it seems (in my little corner of the world— small town America) that

every other couple is interracial. When men and women of different races choose to be together, it’s as personal as it gets. And certainly no one else’s business. However, I can’t help but make a few comments, as a single black woman with opinions. I have a preference for meeting and marrying a fine human being who happens to be “tall, dark, and handsome,” to quote a famous phrase. (Continued on the bottom of pg.4)

Volume 2 Issue 23

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The Populace Now

Remaining Optimistic During the Recession By Buffy Griffin, A North Carolina Correspondent for The Populace Now

As the recession continues, many choose to face it by utilizing their ability to be positive and create opportunities of enjoyment for themselves and others. Some have even managed to both increase their income and enlighten their hearts while coping with the current state of the economy and personal financial challenges. Many are volunteering/contributing to local and afar charities as much as they are able, providing help to those

less fortunate. There’s nothing more rewarding than showing compassion to others, especially when you realize your circumstances could be worse. Research shows families are finding joy partaking in free services such as museums and parks as well as playing games with family and friends, taking walks and other forms of exercise, reading, writing etc. Movie/date nights are spent at home instead of going out. Even movie rentals are thought through as many avoid some of the larger video establishments and opt to use the portable stands and

online rentals at more affordable prices. Spending for others may not be at a complete halt but is certainly well planned before making purchases that can wait or possibly be unnecessary. Even window shopping is a treat which is something I have always enjoyed and recently did while forming ideas and comparing prices before purchasing some office furniture. What better way to get through hardships than to be helpful, hopeful and positive in words and deeds!

One Woman’s Opinion (Continued from pg.1)

I see brown men and brown women producing brown children and living happily ever after. This in part, has to do with black pride and awareness of the black culture’s sufferings and origins. It also has to do with being a student of (and participant in) black history. More on this next month. Observation of other races and their customs and preferences informs me that I am not the only person that identifies strongly with color and background. It just seems (and maybe I’m imagining this), that blacks are the only folks that people get sensitive about when racism, unfair treatment, and scarring prejudices are pointed out. And when interracial relations is the subject, many become defensive, and even angry when I (and others who share my views) want to see blacks marry blacks because of concerns that my race and heritage could someday disappear. With that question, I turned to my friend, social studies teacher Mr. William Vann who explained to me that he

is from the Chicago area and is married to a woman who is very fairskinned. Though his preference was for a black woman, he has a number of siblings who chose to marry outside the Negroid race. Mr. Vann addressed my concern about the possibility of our race disappearing by saying that it is not going to happen. He says that when our blood mixes with that of fairer races, particularly those of European descent, the skin remains that of a “person of color.” That the black genes dominate, always. He cited the writings of Christopher Columbus (yes, that one): “The natives are neither light nor dark. And look like the people from the Canary Islands.” (the Canary Islands are Spanish-controlled islands off the shores of Northwest Africa). This leads us to believe that Columbus categorized the people he observed as multi-racial as early as 1492. EVERYTHING one is thinking does not need to be shared with others. Because our stated emotions and feelings can unnecessarily offend others. Offending should be left to those who’ve carefully chosen their battle and deemed that battle worthy of of-

fense. (Can I get an Amen? ☺) But I am a communicator and love all people. And it is my hope in this and other future The Populace Now (TPN) articles, to share and show that I care. To share and get your feedback. And to share without compromise so that general human understanding is reached. Let me conclude: My gripe is not with those who meet, fall in love and marry. Again, it’s your business who you date. My problem is with those who look and choose based on a lustful, self-serving attitude that then produces children who may not identify at all with their African-American roots and may be confused about who they really are. It is clear that some men and women pursue someone of another race for sexual favors (or as one movie called it, a “booty call”), material gain or community status. And that should be unacceptable to any member of the human race.

Volume 2 Issue 23

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The Populace Now

Where’s My Daddy By Jim Neusom, A California Correspondent, for The Populace Now

As you can imagine, it caught me totally off guard. The reason that I raise the issue, is to give hope to fathers who have lost their children and to children who are in search of their parents. There has been a lot of talk lately about the lack of two-parent families in the Black (meaning the descendents of American slaves) community. Some would like you to think that Black men are just baby-making machines, not fathers. That our community lacks family values…don’t believe the hype! There are many reasons why Black families are separated in our society (some legitimate and some not). As a believer and supporter of the Black family being the greatest power on earth...I want to tell you a story about a 17-year old poor, Black girl out of Meridian Mississippi and her beautiful, resilient, determined daughter, who kept asking the question…Where’s My Daddy? I was in the Navy and stationed in the South during the 70's. There I met an intoxicatingly, gorgeous, young sister. We fell in love and spent a magical summer together. Then I was shipped off to the Far East, never to be seen or heard from again. I didn’t know when I left that she was pregnant with my child. Her family (having warned her about the dangers of dating sailors) disowned her. She was left alone to fend for herself with a baby and no support, no education, and no hope. Being the strong Black women that she was (even as a child), she picked herself up, got a job, enrolled in night school and moved on with

her life. Some 35 years later that abandoned young woman became a college counselor in North Carolina, earned two Master’s Degrees, married and now has two grown and gone kids, a true American success story. Overcoming racism, sexism, poverty, and life struggles, she Journalist Jim Neusom pictured here with daughter made it. Shanin Having attained a productive career, loving family, and material wealth, she had put her past behind her. But her daughter hadn't. Her daughter, even as an adult...wanted to know, Where’s My Daddy? Being raised in small town Mississippi, my daughter had experienced all the pains of illegitimacy. So she was constantly searching for her father. There was a hole in her life. Her bond with her mother was strong but the relationship was turbulent. No one seemed to care what happened to my daughter; get over it, move on. This was the constant advice from family and friends. But she could not let it go. This naturally caused issues in her life. She was married twice and gave birth to two boys. Yet something was still missing and could not fill that hole in her life. Her mother tried, her maternal grandparents tried, the men in her life tried, but nobody could locate Seamen James I Neusom, US Navy. They wrote letters all the way up the

chain of command to the Secretary of the Navy. No success. What nobody knew, was that my military records, were mysteriously lost after I participated in racial unrest activity (some called it a mutiny) aboard the USS Ranger. As a journalist, promoter, and onair personality for Armed Forces Radio and Television (AFRTS), I was constantly on the move. My duties included, traveling from one military base to another, organizing events and entertaining Black troops. You name any major city in Asia…and I was there. Once I left the military, I went back overseas for another 10 years producing my own shows, and trying to break into the entertainment industry. Like most entertainers and radio personalities, I went by many stage names; Jimmy Gunn, Rev. Funk, Master J…I was not easy to find. The smartness of my daughter was underestimated. (Continued on pg.4)

Where’s My Daddy (Continued from pg.3)

In the 70’s conducted random searches for me. Calling anyone and everyone with the last name Neusom and the spelling variations thereof. Then years later, she got a gut feeling about a profile she found on the World Wide Web. He’s from Los Angeles, Lived in Hawaii, about the right age, has small eyes, and was in the Navy, She made a long distance phone call. More out of routine then with any hope that this was a valuable clue. After 20 questions, that all ended with yes…her heart jumped into her throat. There was a trembling in her voice as she struggled to utter the words she had dreamed of all her life.

“I know this will come as a surprise, and I don’t want anything, but…I’m your daughter!” The voice on the other end of the line was silent. After what seemed like an eternity, I asked “And what makes you think that?” She began to cry as she told me about her mother. Then she repeated a key story her mother had told her all her life. “You had three pieces of glass in your face from an automobile accident when you were 18. Silence on my end again. Then I thought to ask, “Can your mother be contacted? She immediately dialed her mother via the convenience of three-way calling. After the initial shock of hearing who was on the line…her mother somehow uttered the greeting, “Hi Jimmy!” and the confirmation, “This is your daughter, Shanin.”

Words cannot illustrate how I felt at that moment or how proud I am of the both of them, their achievements, their struggles, and their bond with one another. As the shock of unexpected fatherhood wears off, I write this story today for more than one reason. Maybe it’s just because I’m a writer and I feel this story of my child’s persistence and tenacity has to be told. And maybe the pride of a father motivates me to write you today. For all the sisters and brothers out there still searching, longing and wondering about their missing father, mother, son or daughter, don’t give up the struggle. There is hope. And one day, with persistence, you too will find your loved one.

1/27, 8:00-9:00 PM TAVIS SMILEY REPORTS “One on One With Hillary Clinton”

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