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WORDS FROM THE PUBLISHER A Message To My People
WORDS FROM THE PUBLISHER
3 FEATURED STORY OF THE MONTH BLACK COMMUNITY: Are You Pissed Yet? 4 OBAMATICS A Message To My People
Arrogance Of Being A President While Being Black
Can a Black Woman Raise a Boy to be a Man by Herself?
LET US NEVER FORGET The Dred Scott Decision
The Truth About Black Women Being Gold Diggers!!!
THE BLACK HOLOCAUST Mother’s Stop Killing Your Kids!!!
6 6 7 7
As Government plays Father…Black Males have become Dispensable
OUR LEGACY BEFORE SLAVERY In The Reign Of The Black Pharaohs
MIND, BODY & SOUL August Is National Breast-Feeding Month
SINGLE INDEPENDENT SISTAH Don’t Ask For A Smile
EDUCATION Education vs. Black Folk
Should I Fight For My Marriage Despite My Husband’s 14-Year Drug Abuse
BLACK MAN, BLACK WOMAN War On Drugs Is a War On Black Men
8 8 9 9 10
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Raising Black Boys:Exploring the Journey From Boys to Men
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FEATURED STORY BLACK PEOPLE
Have You Had Enough? By: Clarissa R. Douthit
This is an article for those living
in the Black Community and feeling as though they are powerless to do anything about the dire circumstances plaguing their community. People are pissed because the economy has went to hell at the timing of yet another debt ceiling raise. Who’s pissed about the many Black children inability to read, write, or do basic math? Who’s pissed about the Black male prison population? Who’s pissed because many Blacks have not lived the “dream” that Dr. King died for? Now, that’s something to be PISS OFF ABOUT!
How can we get angry with President Obama about his inability to support the black community until we pick up that broom and begin to clean our own houses. We need to raise our children to respect authority, which begins with their parents showing respect for others. We can have a differing opinion; but we cannot degrade, cuss out, and spew cruel words about others, especially to our children, and expect our chil-
we have allowed them to either close or have our children bussed for hours to attend a school more than an hour away. What’s wrong with us? We need to raise our daughters to respect themselves and that begins with how they dress. Appropriate dress must be modeled by their mothers and other female caregivers. If the women in their lives dress like hoochies; then, how can we expect our daughters to dress
must know how to dress for a job interview and that wearing braids, jeans and oversized t-shirts will not cut it. Our young Black men need to be held accountable and responsible for their actions as well. Our Black men must teach our Black sons that Black women (ALL WOMEN) are to be respected. Their role models should not be the likes of Li’l Wayne, Snoop Dogg, or Kanye West. They should be taught that
dren to treat us and others with respect.
differently? If we are to have young men respect us, then we must first respect ourselves. Our Black women and daughters must know that the words that come out of their mouths define their character and virtue. Foul language just isn’t becoming of a lady. Our daughters’ role models should not be New York, Li’l Kim, or Nicki Minaj. Role models should start at home.
they cannot call women “w-----, b-----, and other awful words. Black men must teach our sons that hiphop and rap do not respect them or the women in their community and that they can write positive messages. Our Black youth must know that it takes more talent and creativity to write positive lyrics without derogatory words.
“The Black community should be pissed at itself for allowing Blackon-Black crime. The Black community should be pissed at itself for allowing our schools to fail and be closed. “ The Black community should be pissed at itself for allowing our daughters to be pimped by grown men. The Black community should be pissed at itself for allowing our neighborhoods to become overrun by drug dealers. The Black community should be pissed at itself for allowing our Black men to run from family responsibilities. The Black community should be pissed at itself for allowing our families to live off welfare for generations. The Black community should be pissed at itself for allowing television, the latest fashion, the Internet, and hardcore rap and hip-hop to raise our children. ARE YOU PISSED OFF YET? If not, here’s more POISON FOR YOUR POT. When are we going to take responsibility for our fate? My great-grandmother, Lillie Mae Jackson said it best. She said, “You need to clean your own house before you tell someone else their house is dirty. 4
As a Black community, we have failed our children miserably. We need to raise our children to respect education. They should be raised to NOT have the option of NOT going to school. They should know that going to school is the ONLY option. In America, education is free. Yet, the Black community has the worst academic record. Dr. King would be turning in his grave if he knew how we have squandered our educational opportunities. Don’t blame the city, state, or federal government. And, please stop blaming White America. The Black community has (or had) schools in our neighborhoods; but
The Black community has failed in Our sons should be taught to dress protecting our children. Our chilappropriately, too. Sagging pants dren cannot be allowed to wonder are not honorable. They must know the streets at all hours of the night. that it is a statement for being in They must be taught to be responprison; and that is not what we want sible citizens. Adults should be the our young men to aspire to. Our guardians and protectors of our young Black men must know what children. The Black community is a tie is and how to tie one. They responsible for what happens to
our youth. Our children need and want boundaries. We were children and we tried our parents, too. So, we have no excuse for not knowing how to stand firm and love our children through protection and correction. Teen parenthood should not be rewarded as if it is a badge of honor. The Black community should teach our children about sex. It should start at home; but if a parent is uncomfortable teaching their child about sex, then reach out and ask for help. We need to stop being so proud that we sacrifice of our children. If teenage parenthood does happen, there must be resources to help them get back on track. We must no longer allow the teen-aged girl shoulder the burden alone. She did not make the baby by herself. We must hold the father equally accountable. The parents of the children should be responsible and accountable for working together to get these kids back on track after the birth of the baby. However, if the baby-daddy happens to be an adult, he needs to be prosecuted and put in JAIL!!! The Black community can no longer afford to be a refuge for pedophiles. We must call a spade a spade. If a teenage girl gets pregnant and the baby daddy is a legal adult, HE IS A PEDOPHILE!!!!!! So, Black woman, this one is for you. Tell your sons to keep it in their pants. If they MUST have sex, instruct them to have safe sex with someone their own age or they will be prosecuted and become a registered SEX OFFENDER! We want to blame everyone else except ourselves. It’s a painful notion, but it is real. We have to stop the blame game and start owning up to our failures as a people. To do this, we must step away from the so-called “Black Leaders”. They are just media pimps and the Black community is their money-making
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OBAMATICS Arrogance of Being President While Being Black I Am Ashamed To Be White Right Now! By: Staff Writer
don’t think anyone was under some real illusion that the election of Barack Obama actually means the end of racism in America . I’m pretty sure that the president-elect knew it better than anyone. After all, he saw it every day, from the moment he announced his candidacy. To some degree, he saw it within his own party during the primaries. And he saw it in all ugliness during the general election. For half of this country, he was “That One”. No matter how big and clear his victory was. No matter how smart he is. No matter how decent he is. No matter what a true patriot he is. No matter how optimistic and positive his vision for America was. All that didn’t matter. Because at the end of the day, he was still black. I’m quite old. I remember, vaguely, where my parents were on November 22, 1963. I’ve seen so many presidents. Some were feared, some were hated, some were adored, some popular and some not. But all of them, without exception, were treated with the highest respect deserving the office of the president of the United States. That is until a black man won the right to occupy this office. It’s been 933 days now, and in the eyes of so many, Barack Obama is still that one. He is being disrespected
and at the same time being held to the highest standard of any president I’ve ever seen – and not just by the Republican side! He has to perform three times better than any president in history, and even that may not be enough. For the media, he is many more times just “Obama” than “President Obama”. They create scandals out of nothing issues. It took them at least 6 years to start giving Bush a small part of the shit he deserved. It took them 6 months to begin crap all over Obama because he’s yet to fix the catastrophe that was left for him. They use condescending tones when they talk about him, and only mildly less condescending when they talk TO him. With anyone else, CNN wouldn’t dare go to commercials every time the president speaks, like they did during that summit on Thursday. They wouldn’t dare be counting how many minutes George Bush or Bill Clinton were talking. Chris Mathews wouldn’t dare make an issue out of Ronald Regan calling members of congress by their first name, like he is not actually the president. They fully cooperate with the Right-Wing smear machine when it comes to president Obama’s national security performance – even if almost every
independent and military expert actually thinks that he’s a terrific Commander-in-Chief. You’ll never see them on TV, and virtually no one from the Left, in congress and outside, defend the president on this matter. I don’t care about the Far-Right. They’re just crazy ignorant Neanderthals. It’s the way the beltway and the mainstream treats this president that is shocking. Almost every Republican has no trouble interrupting him in the middle of a sentence. They looked like they’re going to vomit every time they had to say “Mr. president”. They all had this Eric-CantorSmirk whenever he spoke. Then they went out and started to spit their stupid talking points, to the delight of the media. Sarah Palin, a woman who can hardly read, thinks that he was “arrogant” towards John McCain, and somehow this is an important news. Because you see, “Obama’s Arrogance” is the talking point of the day.
points. He is arrogant (because he knows the facts better than all of them combined). He is an elitist (because he uses big words that they don’t understand). He is weak on national security (because he actually thinks about the consequences). He divides the country (well, he did that the day he had the audacity to win the election). Worst of all, he actually thinks that he’s the president. He even dared to say so. How arrogant of him. You’d think that previous presidents didn’t have any ego. Somehow it turned out that the one president who treats even his biggest opponents with the utmost respect – is the arrogant one. I wonder why?
I expected that his winning the Presidency would bring out some ugliness, but it’s been far worse than I imagined. The racism coming from the Right is obviously clear and shameless, but there’s also some hidden and maybe subconscious and disturbing underline tone behind some of the things that I read here and throughout the Left blogosphere, even before the end of Obama’s first year - ‘He’s weak, he’s spineless, he’s got no balls, primary him in 2012’. It’ll be dishonest to deny that. The fact is that for millions in America , Barack Obama is this uppity black man (Not even a “real” black), who received good education only due to affirmative action, and has no right to litter the sacred Oval Office with his skin color. They just can’t accept the fact that the president is a black man, who unlike his predecessor, was actually legally elected. But what’s really sad is that it’s not just the fringe, its deep deep in mainstream America
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Oh, those talking
BLACK PERSPECTIVE Can a Single Black Woman Raise a Boy to be a Man by Herself? Most Black Men Don’t Think So… By: Staff Writer
A new survey at YourBlackWorld.
com reveals that black men and women have different perceptions on what it takes to turn a boy into a man. The survey finds that while most black men do not believe that a woman can raise a boy to be a man without m a l e
intervention, nearly half of all black women believe that they can. Survey participants were asked, “Can a woman raise a boy to be a man (whatever your definition of manhood may be) without male intervention?” Among the men, only 31.6% said that a woman could raise a boy to be a man, while the majority (57.9%) said that she could not. Another 10.5% of all men were not sure. The women had a different point of view. Nearly half of all women (49.6%) said that a woman could raise a boy to be a man without male intervention, while a mildly reduced percentage (42.1%) said that she could not. Another 8.2% said that they were not sure. This is a complex question that serves as an intriguing and critical
point of discussion within the African American community, especially given that 70% of black children are now being raised by single parents (usually women). Also, there is no generallyaccepted definition of what it means to be a man, so this adds another level of complexity to the results. I spent a great deal of time mulling over this issue, reflecting on my own life to help me understand the matter. As a child, my biological father left me behind, but I was fortunate enough to be raised by another man from the age of three. He taught me nearly everything I know about manhood, including the importance of being strong, responsible, and navigating my life among the other males I would encounter. I am not sure if my mother could have taught me these same lessons (although she was my first and
most relevant teacher in many ways). There is a gender bias in this difficult question, given that it’s hard to “know what you don’t know.” If I were to raise a girl by myself, there are many subtleties of being a woman that would go right over my head, like the importance of getting your hair done regularly (my daughters look just fine in pony tails), or the idea that women tend to be much cleaner than men in nearly every way (I see no reason to clean the house everyday). Of course, these are broad generalizations, but the point is that I can’t imagine myself being able to teach a girl everything she needs to understand about managing the complex world of womanhood. The corollary is that being a man requires instincts, skills and abilities that end up determining whether other men respect
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LET US NEVER FORGET
The Dred Scott Decision Death Before Freedom By: Stephanie Robinson
One of the most important cases
ever tried in the United States was heard in St. Louis’ Old Courthouse. The two trials of Dred Scott in 1847 and 1850 were the beginning of a complicated series of events which concluded with a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1857, and hastened the start of the Civil War. When the first case began in 1847, Dred Scott was about 50 years old. He was born in Virginia about 1799, and was the property, as his parents had been, of the Peter Blow family. He had spent his entire life as a slave, and was illiterate. Dred Scott moved to St. Louis with the Blows in 1830, but was soon sold due to his master’s financial problems. He was purchased by Dr. John Emerson, a military surgeon stationed at Jefferson Barracks, and accompanied
him to posts in Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory, where slavery had been prohibited by the Missouri Compromise of 1820. During this period, Dred Scott married Harriet Robinson, also a slave, at Fort Snelling; they later had two children, Eliza and Lizzie. John Emerson married Irene Sanford during a brief stay in Louisiana. In 1842, the Scotts returned with Dr. and Mrs. Emerson in St. Louis. John Emerson died the following year, and it is believed that Mrs. Emerson hired out Dred Scott, Harriet, and their children to work for other families. On April 6th, 1846,
Dred Scott and his wife Harriet filed suit against Irene Emerson for their freedom. For almost nine years, Scott had lived in free territories, yet made no attempt to end his servitude. It is not known for sure why he chose this particular time for the suit, although historians have considered three possibilities: He may have been dissatisfied with being hired out; Mrs. Emerson might have been planning to sell him; or he may have offered to buy his own freedom and been refused. It is known that the suit was not brought for political reasons. It is thought t h a t friends in St. Louis w h o
opposed slavery had encouraged Scott to sue for his freedom on the grounds that he had once lived in a free territory. In the past, Missouri courts supported the doctrine of “once free, always free.” Dred Scott could not read or write and had no money. He needed help with his suit. John Anderson, the Scott’s minister, may have been influential in their decision to sue, and the Blow family, Dred’s original owners, backed him financially. The support of such friends helped the Scotts through nearly eleven years of complex and often disappointing litigation. It is difficult to understand today, but under the law in 1846 whether or not the Scotts were entitled to their freedom was not as important as the consideration of property rights. If slaves were indeed valuable property, like a car or an expensive home today, could they be taken away from
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REAL TALK The Truth About Black Women Being Gold Diggers!!! Why She Keep Taking Your Money? By: Staff Writer
My Godmother has been married
for 45 years. Her husband has always been the major breadwinner. While she worked, off and on, selling Avon on the side or having a part-time job nurturing either children, the sick, or the disadvantaged, I would marvel at her because she was the Black woman being taken care of by a Black man, a regular man who worked in a meat packing house. They have been homeowners for 44 years, raised great kids, and he retired after being employed for 45 years on the same job, and now they live comfortably in their older age. I remember my Godmother telling me that when she was dating her (future) husband, she would be HURT if he got paid and didn’t buy her something like a new dress, a piece of jewelry, a fancy dinner, or arrived to pick
Today, if she tried the same thing, she would be a part of the epidemic single Black female that would probably end up being a single mother with no man to provide and protect her and her children. Black men have lost their way in what is their duty and have confused their purpose with labeling Black women who want anything from them as gold diggers.
her up without a beautiful bouquet of flowers. She said he made her feel loved, honored and cherished. She simply fell in love with him and they always had such a wonderful time because his kind gestures broke down the barrier that makes women skeptical. In reality, too many men have dishonorable intentions. Time and time again, I hear from Black men that Black women are gold diggers. My wonderful and loving Godmother would have been thought of as a gold digger in this day and time. But due to the low resistance of men to do whatever they could to earn a woman’s love, many couples have made a wonderful life together. My Godmother knew she had to tap into a mans masculine trait so to establish a secure home for him, her, and their children.
The way my Godmother needed verification that the man that was courting her was serious about a relationship with her, is probably similar to the way that many Black women behave today. Only now Black men have been taught that its a disgrace when a Black woman asks for a $15 pedicure. You see the success of their relationship was based on knowing
each others role as a man and as a woman. He knew he had to provide for her to have her for himself. She knew that he needed a goal and a purpose in life to provide and protect her because when she put it out there; he gladly took the role of supplying her with everything that she needed. Of course, she would work sometimes, but it was to keep herself busy while the kids were in school or to have spending dollars to buy something special for the kids or surprise him with a lavish gift for his birthday. There is absolutely no proof that Black women are gold diggers, just the complaint of it, and a reputation that is self-destructive for both the Black male and female. The Black female gold digger unsubstantiated reputation leads to
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THE BLACK HOLOCAUST
Mother’s Stop Killing Your Kids!!! A Rising Epidemic In The Black Community By: Tina Clark
say “crazy” instead lets continue to blame “postpartum depression” or baby blues on the many counts of filicide (killing of one’s own child).
“We open with new development in the murder/suicide involving three small children and their 29 year old mother.” I wouldn’t be honest if I said that the thought of a mother killing her own children doesn’t continue to piss me off, no matter how many times a week I hear about it, I still cringe and in some cases even mourn the loss of someone else’s child.
We don’t ask “why” a woman kills her own child when she falls into the stereotype of poor, uneducated, too many baby daddies, instead we only ask “why” when white middle class mothers kill their children and waste over a year of tax money hiding and lying. The future of a society is directly linked to its ability to care for and educate its young. This task often falls to mothers and female caretakers,
he evening news anchor stared blindly into the camera and announced what has become a weekly story in nearly every city.
Within this past year alone mother’s have microwaved their children, mutilated, drowned them, shot them in the head execution style, poisoned them, suffocated them, drove them from bridges and beat them to death not to mention this crazy ass woman Casey Anthony, oh I’m sorry I shouldn’t
women that can’t effectively care for their children without assistance can abuse, neglect or even kill their own children. The roots of this phenomenon must be understood in order to prevent it. Studies suggest that woman express violence in response to stress and frustration, in fact 61% of all child abuse cases is committed by biological mothers while only 25% is committed by fathers. Mothers who kill their children fit into five
categories: 1. Mothers who kill through neglect 2. Mothers who kill through abuse 3. Mothers who kill through neo-naticide
(killing baby within 24 hours of life) 4. Mothers who are assisted or coerced into killing 5. Mothers who purposely kill Frequently, women who deliberately killed their children suffered from some form of mental illness or had a history of mental illness. About 30% of murders to children by the mother were premeditated, a disorder commonly known as “Medea Killings” named after an ancient Greek myth, Medea, a mother who wanted to punish her abusive husband by killing their three children. Although it seems unnatural for a woman to kill her own children, it is not uncommon in fact more than 200 women kill their children each year according to a recent study by the American Anthropological Association. Studies show that homicide is the leading cause of death in children under four
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OUR PERSPECTIVE As Government Plays Father… Black Males have become Dispensable By: Staff Writer
t’s perhaps not the most politically correct take on welfare in America’s black community, but an interesting one nonetheless. Walter E. Williams, a George Mason economist and author of “Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?” is not a fan of the welfare state that exists in the country. In an appearance on Thursday night’s “Stossel” on the Fox Business Network, Williams argued that welfare has done more damage to black society than slavery or Jim Crow. “The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery could not have done, the harshest Jim Crow laws and racism could not have done, namely break up the black family,” Williams said. “That is, today, just slightly over 30 percent of black kids live in two parent families. Historically, from 1870s on up to about 1940s, and depending on the city, 75 to 90 percent of black kids lived in two parent families. Illegitimacy rate is 70 percent among blacks where that is unprecedented in our history.” But this isn’t just relegated to the American welfare state, but is seen in European welfare states as well. “Now, it’s not just a matter of a racial thing. Sweden is the mother of the
welfare state and illegitimacy in Sweden is 54 percent,” he said. Williams explained to host John Stossel that this is a natural effect of welfare policies. “Well, because, look, if you subsidize anything, you’re going to get surpluses of it, and if you tax something you’re going to get less of it,” he said. “If you did not get welfare, then people would decide, I’m going to go out and get a job, I’m going to live more responsibly.” And with these policies, they have taken a toll on the black family, specifically the black father. “The government has said to many young women, I am the father. And so the father, black males, have become dispensable,” he said. “And that’s a heck of a start in life, that is, to be born — you don’t know who or where your father is, that’s not really great start in life.”
OUR LEGACY BEFORE SLAVERY Mansa Musa Subtitle
ansa Musa was an important Malian king from 1312 to 1337 expanding the Mali influence over the Niger city-states of Timbuktu, Gao, and Djenne. Mansa Musa ( Mansa meaning emperor or sultan and Musa meaning Moses), the grandson of one of Sundiata’s sisters, is often referred to as “The Black Moses” Timbuktu became one of the major cultural centers not just of Africa but of the world. Vast libraries,madrasas (Islamic universities) and magnificent mosques were built. Timbuktu became a meeting place of poets, scholars and artists of Africa and the Middle East. Even after Mali declined, Timbuktu remained the major Islamic center of Africa.
Mansa Musa maintained a huge army that kept peace and policed the trade routes. His armies pushed the borders of Mali from the Atlantic coast in the west beyond the cities of Timbuktu and Gao in the east — and from the salt mines of Taghaza in the north to the gold mines of Wangar in the south.By the fourteenth century, Muslim traders were established in the town of Djenne, located in the inland delta of the Niger. The most impressive monument of intercultural borrowing is the Friday Mosque at Djenne. There, salt from the Sahara, goods from northern Africa and fine silks were exchanged for gold, and ivory. The monumental mosque was constructed around
1320 (the present building was reconstructed on the foundation of the original mosque in 1907). The rectangular, flat roofed building had walls supported by
plaster-like buttresses topped by finials. The massive rectangular towers reflect the Islamic model while the building materials echo an older Mande architectural style. The toron (horns) projections from
the walls are a feature of local architecture serving as scaffolding when the facade is periodically replastered with clay. The African societies shaped and molded the religion with traditional beliefs, values and sensibilities, as well. The Islamization of the Malian Court, in the late thirteenth century, is recorded both in oral traditions of the Mande people and written accounts by Arab historians and travelers. Ibn Khaldun described the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) of Mansa Musa in 1324. In 1883, Negus Menelik married Taytu Betul, a noblewoman of Imperial blood, and a member of the leading families of the regions of Semien, Yejju in modern Wollo,
and Begemder. Her paternal uncle Dejazmatch Wube Haile Maryam of Semien had been the ruler of Tigray and much of northern Ethiopia. She had been married four times previously and exercised considerable influence. Menelik and Taytu would have no children. Menelik had, previous to this marriage, sired not only Zauditu (eventually Empress of Ethiopia), but also another daughter, Shoaregga (who married Ras Mikael of Wollo), and a son Prince Wossen Seged who died in childhood. After the suicide of Tewodros II in 1868 following his defeat at the hands of the British at Magdalla, Menelek continued to struggle against the various other claimants to the Imperial throne.
MIND, BODY & SOUL August Is National Breastfeeding Month Do You Know The Benefits of Breast-Feeding? By: Tina Clark
ue to the over sexualization of the breast, some women have forgotten or are even uncomfortable with using the breast for it’s actual intended purpose. “Human milk was made for human babies, I can’t express enough how breast milk is the best milk” Melissa Courts said during our interview on the importance of more African American women breastfeeding. Melissa and Vaniti Byrd encourage mother’s to opt for breastfeeding through the Montgomery County WIC Program. In a recent issue of Essence, there was an article “Black women are not breastfeeding” the article stated that African American women breast feed less than women of other races. In fact according to the CDC
81% of Latino’s breastfeed their children, 76 % of Whites breastfeed while only 58% of Black mother’s breastfeed their babies. Only 20 % of Black Women breastfeed at the recommended 6 months. “Many African American mother’s are not breastfeeding because of lack of support and being misinformed” stated Vanity
reduce several health risk that are primarily associated with Black women such as breast, ovarian,
“I have even come across African American women who refused to breastfeed because they were sexually abused and it just feels nasty to them.” Many black women are comfortable with the idea of formula feeding their babies. However, breast milk contains just the right amount of vitamins, minerals, fats, sugars, proteins and enzymes that a baby needs for optimal growth and development.
For More Info Please E-mail Tina At:
Breastfeeding is shown to
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SINGLE INDEPENDENT SISTAH
Don’t Ask Me For A Smile
Don’t Assume That I’m Having A Bad Day? By: Staff Writer
I consider myself a
pretty reasonable person. I try not to let little things irritate me, but I’m human and like many, I have a few pet peeves. They may not seem like huge deals to others, but when confronted with these things, it’s easy to find me slowly counting backwards from 100 or repeating the serenity prayer to myself like an enraged Bruce Banner trying not to change into the Hulk. So, I understand that I may be the only woman
in the world who feels this way, but I admit that I get completely irked when a strange man asks me to smile. For clarity, let me offer an example. I’ve parked my car at the local town center and am on my way into the dollar store. My stream of consciousness is something like this: “I wonder if Oprah still goes to the dollar store. Even if you have $1 million, there are some things that are just not worth more than a dollar. Like, I’d never pay more than a buck for a fly swatter. Does Oprah have flies? I mean, just ‘cause you rich doesn’t mean you don’t have flies. They’re not like roaches. If she had roaches, that’d be a problem. Can you imagine little roaches
climbing out of Oprah’s bag when she gets to Harpo Studios? That’s some mess. Oprah got roaches, and Stedman says she brings her roach-infested lunches to work. That’s just nasty. Wait. Why am I at the liquor store?….”So after leaving there, returning to the task at hand, walking two doors down and reaching my intended destination, some random guy who’s coming up the street loudly says to me, “Smile. Why you look so mean? It’s not that bad.” Pause… Say what? It seems like a small thing, and I’m sure the nameless fellow didn’t mean to offend, but let me explain what I hear when this is said.
Your Face is Whack: So, he didn’t directly insult my face, but then again, didn’t he? Basically, what I’m being told is that my face looks so twisted, distorted and unappealing that something must be wrong with me. I must be angry, having a bad day or maybe even contemplating suicide. The reassurance that things aren’t as bad as my face suggests just isn’t a compliment. You Care What I Think: I don’t make a habit of asking strangers on the street what they think of me. The truth is that whether they think I’m fly or funky, it really doesn’t matter much. It’s true that you never know when you might bump into someone
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Education vs. Black Folk
What The Schools Won’t Tell You By: Gaston Caperton and Henry Louis Gates Jr.
to choose between personal obligations and academic responsibilities.These can be torturous choices that pit a family’s past against its future. But at a time when human capital is the world’s most valuable natural resource, education is America’s future, and we need to ensure that all of our students — men and women, of color and not — have the skills and support to succeed in college and beyond.
ince this nation was founded more than two centuries ago, there has been nearly constant tension between tradition and evolution. Yet over the years, from the Civil War to the civil rights movement, the forces of progress have haltingly advanced, and continue to do so today. After all, just 50 years ago businesses still hung signs that screamed, “For Whites Only”; universities openly discriminated; and the government struggled mightily to suppress the memory of “separate but equal.” There’s no doubt that our country has come a long way. But few would argue that our progress is complete, and it continues to mask a deeper dysfunction of the status quo. There is an education crisis facing young men of color. It’s not on the front page of the newspaper. People aren’t organizing on Facebook or Twitter. But it’s out there, and if we fail to address this crisis together, the education level of the entire
American workforce will decline for the first time in our history. President Obama has challenged our nation to reclaim its position as the world leader in college degrees, and young men of color are the key to achieving this goal. In the past, when a president called on us to act for the sake of our shared future, we responded. We built warplanes and rocket ships. We invested
in science and the arts. We achieved prosperity unparalleled in human history. Today, young men of color face a challenge that lends itself much more toward apathy than activism. Many young men of color are not pushed to their limits by rigorous coursework in high school. Many find themselves adrift at large universities without organized support systems. And some are forced
Unfortunately, too many young men of color never get their shot at success. Just 26 percent of African Americans, 18 percent of Hispanic Americans and 24 percent of Native Americans and Pacific Islanders have at least an associate degree. In fact, a recent report commissioned by the College Board found that one out of every two young men of color aged 15-24 who graduates from high school will end up unemployed, incarcerated or dead. These aren’t just sobering statistics. These are the stories of our friends and our neighbors, real people with devastating
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Dear Ms. Boe,
Advice, Relationships & Marriage Tips
Should I Fight For My Marriage Despite My Husband’s 14-Year Drug Abuse By: Bonita Saunders
course he said he was sorry and should have told me but he said it wasn’t serious. Although the woman is married herself, she said she’s going to leave her husband for mine.
t just have a question. I’ve been married to my husband for 17 years. I recently filed for divorce but now I’m having second thoughts. Let me tell you about this situation.
My question is should I try to keep this marriage or let it go? And also should I cut off communication with him? He said the reason why he didn’t tell me was because he knew I would’ve said don’t call me anymore. Which is what I said when he confessed. I’m lost for words. Should I just move on and forget about him or should I try to make this 17-year
I met my husband through a mutual friend when I was 19 years old. I already had a son who was 1 year old at the time. His father passed away almost 1 year later. My husband is a good person but he wasn’t a provider for us. He got on drugs within 3 years of us being together. I was young back then and didn’t have a lot of firsthand experience with drug users. So, he went to a lot of treatment places. I stuck by him every time he went. I was always thinking he loved me and he would stay clean – well, he didn’t stay clean for long. He’s been in and out of rehab centers and, of course, detox. He’s broken into my apartment and stole my things, has taken money out of my bank by stealing my ATM card. When I confronted him at first he lied but then he later confessed. So I finally
Continued on page 16 had enough. I sent him home to his family out of state to hopefully get him back on track. He was clean for 6 months, and I was stressed wondering what he was doing down there. Well, he came back and everything was fine for 2 weeks, then he started using again. Once again I talked to him and he said he was going
to get clean, but he continued to use. So, once again I sent him out of state. Now, he’s been gone now for almost 9 months. I got a call from a woman a few days ago saying they have been seeing each other for the last 5 months but he never told me anything about this woman until I confronted him on the phone. Of
YOUR ROMANCE GUIDE, DATING ADVICE, LOVE, REALATIONSHIP AND MARRIAGE TIPS. Give us your feedback.
E-mail your questions in to Ms. Boe at: firstname.lastname@example.org
BLACK MAN, BLACK WOMAN War On Drugs Is a War On Black Men It’s Time To Fight To Save Our Brothas. By: Staff Writer
begins with this unambiguous declaration: “The global war on drugs has failed.”
ear President Obama,
Right after your election, somebody asked if I thought having a black president meant black people’s concerns would now receive attention at the executive level. I told them I expected the opposite. There used to be a saying — only Richard Nixon could go to China. Meaning, of course, that only he, as a staunch anti-communist, had the credibility to make overtures to that nation without accusations of being soft on communism. By the inverse of that political calculus, I never expected that you, as a black man, would do much to address black issues. And the limitations of your presidency where African-Americans are concerned have never been more obvious than they are this week. On Friday, it will be 40 years since the aforementioned President Nixon asked Congress
for $155 million to combat a problem he said had “assumed the dimensions of a national emergency.” Thus was born the War on Drugs. Seven presidents later, the war grinds on. And if it has made even a dent in drug use, you could
not prove it by me — nor, I would wager, by most observers. Last week, the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a group of international leaders including Kofi Annan, the former secretarygeneral of the United Nations, issued a report that
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of cops, judges and other law women and men, calculates we have made 40 million arrests and sunk a trillion dollars into that failure. This week, it issued its own report, criticizing you for talking a good game but doing precious little when it comes to reframing drug abuse as a matter of public health — not criminal justice. Frankly, Mr. President, you should take this one personally. As you must know, the War on Drugs has been, in effect, a war on black men. Though whites are the nation’s biggest users and dealers of illicit drugs, blacks are the ones most likely to be jailed for drug crimes and to suffer the disruption of families and communities that comes with it. You have done little to address these and other racial
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Does the Man’s Opinion Even Matter? By: Staff Writer
ast week there was a news article about a man in New Mexico who took out a billboard accusing his exgirlfriend of having an abortion without his knowledge. When a woman gets pregnant, is she obligated to tell the man? Once informed, does the man’s opinion matter in her decision to keep the baby or not? This billboard has also sparked a new debate about the limits of “free speech” and privacy rights. Actually, his girlfriend sued him, but I believe he will win because the billboard does not name the ex-girlfriend. In fact, had she not sued him no one outside of their friends would even know who she is. Furthermore, I think the Supreme Court’s dumb decision earlier this year to allow the Westboro Baptist Church to protest at military funerals under the protection of Free Speech set the kind of precedent that will allow this type of billboard (and worse) to
exist under the protection of law. Specific to the questions I asked above, my opinion is that if a woman gets pregnant – and she knows who the father is – she should tell him. I say this because if a woman were pregnant by me, I would want to know. However, in real life, I have had more than one woman tell me that if she got pregnant she wouldn’t tell me. They had their various reasons but fortunately – well, as far as I know – these hypothetical situations never came to fruition. Concerning my opinion on abortion, I’m not pro-choice or pro-life. That’s a decision – whether you like it or not – for your elected lawmakers to dictate. I would not pressure a woman to keep or get rid of a baby one way or the other. If she wants to talk about it, that’s fine, great even. I just don’t buy into the mindset that I have the right to tell a woman what to do or what not to do with her body for 9 months and if she decides to keep it, as opposed to giving the baby up for adoption or having
an abortion, then that decision may affect her for the rest of her life. The impact it will have on me is relative; e.g. I have the option to: commit to her, pay child support, etc. This is different from the physical and possibly mental toll it will undoutedly take on her regardless of her decision. I would hope that whenever I get a woman pregnant it would be someone I can see myself being with or at least someone I can stand having in my life for a minimum of 18 years. On the other hand, I know “sh*t happens,” which is why I try to minimize placing my [Richard] in women I don’t like. This story brought up an interesting discussion on a talk radio show I frequently listen to from a perspective I had really o n l y
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passively considered. The host, a woman, pointed out that while a woman can choose to keep the baby or
THE URBAN SOURCE BOOK REVIEW
“Can’t Knock the Hustle” Nate “Nati” Holmes By: Tina Clark
“In order to be a go getta, you have to have a solid plan. We as humans have all said that we are going to do something and never did it at one point or another” - Nate “Nati” Holmes Nate Holmes is the CEO of Hustle Hard Publications. Hustle Hard Publications is an urban entertainment company that thrives on producing and publishing real life material with a message which will always include a street twist. Mr. Holmes is an Author, Poet, and Activist for inmates, it was while incarcerated on a five year penitentiary bid that Nate stumbled upon his own gift as a writer. Having no financial support from family or friends on the outside to provide for his daily needs, he entered a short story writing contest. Holmes was awarded third place in the “Hear me Project HIV/AIDS Campaign 2006 Contest” which inspired him to write a full novel. With the release of Mr. Holmes debut novel
“Can’t Knock the Hustle” the idea was born to start his own publishing company that would also seek to assist men and women in prison with the opportunity at exposure for their work. Tina- How does your writing style differ from the next author? Nate- My writing style differs from other’s because I write with a more conscious mind-set, yet I do not preach to my audience Tina-What are you currently working on right now?
the Hustle”? NateThe inspiration from “Can’t Knock the Hustle” comes from my life. The way I used to live was worth words. When you experience the things that some people in the inner cities around the world experience, I think that anyone could agree that you went through enough trials to share with the next person.
major book and television deal with Augustus Publishing and co-founded “Hustle Hard TV” where he host open discussions on some of the latest urban novels. Mr. Holmes has two authors under the banner of Hustle Hard Publications and is seeking other writers to add to the publishing house, to contact Nate send emails to: email@example.com
Tina- Where can we find your books and where can you be reached?
Nate- My latest book entitled “Prison Poetry & Politics Revolutionary Minded which is due to release this summer.
Nate- You can find my books on my website www.hustlehard.com I tried to do the Amazon and Barnes and Noble thing for my first project but man that shit cost a lot of money. But, you can go into any bookstore and tell them my name and have the store place an order for you.
Tina- What inspired you to write “Can’t Knock
On December 7,2010 Nate Holmes signed a
URBAN SOURCE TEEN ADVICE
I Ain’t No African…
Why Do Blacks Hate Being Called African Americans? By: Tina Clark
spent a lot of my childhood wondering why so many white people hate Black people. I wondered why all the other colonized, brainwashed people of color (who white folks also despise) hate Black people. Most of all, I wondered why so many Black people hate being Black and presumably/most likely descended from Africans. I cranked my brow at the fact that my mama not only wastes money on red, white, and blue paraphernalia but, most importantly, my mama has said all my life over and over again– “I ain’t no African.” I’m descended from dark-skinned Indians. I ain’t that black. We got Italians and Germans in our family. Your great granddaddy on your grandfather’s side was Mexican.
You’ve got Native American cheekbones, see there? Your great grandparents on your grandma’s side are both mulatto. Africans are old nasty, stuck-up, greedy folks–they don’t like Black folks over here no way and won’t say a word to hep you. Those are some of the words that encouraged me to pursue the harmful, brutal, stunting environment of a predominantly white international institution ofhigher education. Literally, it nearly killed me. When I set off for college, I thought, It doesn’t matter that I’m Black. I can go out into the world and be what I want to be. America
can defy its history if I try hard enough. My sister always called me white anyway. I wasn’t “like the other Black folks“. I liked to read and write. Being black to some people means anti-education. This is wrong for two reasons: 1. Black people in this country were intentionally and lawfully barred from being educated (which means as an oppressed and enslaved group they were not allowed to read or write therefore they were not taught or allowed to go to school generally). 2. The American education system is a white supremacist education system on the whole and
it seeks to hide, misrepresent, and outright lie about its violent racist history. Look no further than HB 2281 in Arizona for some evidence. Can you hear a cynical laugh? Why is it so wrong to be Black? What’s wrong with being Black? I always thought as a child, in school watching videos of brutality against protesters by police and racist whites, reading testimonials of violent rapes and lynchings of Black women who were enslaved and even after slavery, looking at photos of lynched Black peoples, men, women, and children beaten, broken, dismembered, tortured bodies. America was not going to protect us when it could get away with it. Why does blackness inspire so much hatred and violence from other races? I was born Black and female. I didn’t ask to be. Its part of who I am. Why does everybody want to be anything other than Black? “I ain’t no African.” Despite those words from
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GUEST CONTRIBUTING WRITER Dick & Ayanna Gregory Interview A Ballad To My Father By: Tina Clark
henever a child is hurting, who is the first person that a child calls to, huh? I’ll tell you who, Mama that’s who. hurt as a Whenever we people, we have a
tendency to run to the first person that we believe can heal us, can fix us, y’know, so in my opinion that’s what we, the black community expect from President Obama, it’s only human nature to run to the person who we identify with and feel a level of comfort with to ‘fix’ us. Because only a mother can speak to her child. y’know what I mean, only a mother can heal. Sista, do you realize how powerful the Supreme Court is, huh? do you understand that the Supreme Court is the number one white supremacist and instead of making the laws they interpret them telling us that our Chief of Justice ain’t no good.” I must admit that before my interview with Dick Gregory I paced the living room back and forth reciting the questions that I wanted to ask over in my head, my palms were
moist, I was intimidated, not so much by the man, but what he represents. Some people vaguely remembers Dick Gregory from his infamous weight loss drink, most don’t know that he was, pardon me, continues to be one of the greatest civil rights and humanitarian activist in the 21st century. During our conversation he recalled a moment that he and Dr. Martin Luther King had experienced. “Honey, we was in Alabama and those white folks was screaming and shouting ‘kill all these niggers’ and so me and King, y’know we was up front, we locked arms as tight as we could and jus’ walked
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COMMENTARY Raising Black Boys:
It Takes A Certain Type of Man To Be a Father By: Staff Writer
are underrepresented in gifted and honors classes. The top three influences on African American boys today are peer pressure, rap music, and television. However, Kunjufu believes that the greatest problems facing Black boys are a lack of spirituality and fatherlessness.
three-year-old boy struts down the street wearing “gangsta” gear. A fourth grade boy can’t read the comic book he holds in his hands. A teen male sells drugs to support his mother. A high school senior won’t be going to college because his parents can’t afford to send him. The old saying, “Boys will be boys,” takes on new meaning in the Black community, where boys are suffering from academic failure, low self-esteem, frustration, and a lack of direction. According to Jawanza Kunjufu, author of the bestselling Raising Black Boys and a father of two sons, “The spirits of too many of our boys have been broken. During the preschool and kindergarten years, our boys are energetic and curious. They love learning and ask thousands of questions. There’s a glow in their eyes. By the time they reach high school, however, that glow has been replaced with suspicion and anger.” The statistics paint a disturbing picture of life for Black boys: •72 percent of African American boys lack a
“If you look at all the woes in our societydrug addiction, teen pregnancy, illiteracy, grade retention, incarceration-the common thread running through them all is the absence of the father in a child’s life,” says Kunjufu.
father in the home. •Nationally, African American males have a 53 percent chance of dropping out of high school. In some districts, the rates are significantly higher. •While African Americans make up 17 percent of the total school population, they account for
32 percent of the suspensions and 30 percent of all expulsions. •One of three Black males are involved with the penal system. •African American male teens are placed in remedial or special education classes at triple the rate of their white counterparts, and they
The 9 Types of Fathers Explained in Raising Black Boys •Sperm Donors – define their masculinity based on the quantity of children they create, not the quality of their childrearing. •No-Show Dads – promise to pick the child up for the weekend, but they don’t show. •Ice Cream Dads – instead of spending quality time with the child, they buy presents
Continued on page 16 13
August Is National Breast-Feeding Month continued..... cervical and endometrial cancers, diabetes and high blood pressure not to mention that breastfed children are said to have higher intelligence levels. In 2010 Michelle Obama campaigned for more breastfeeding around her initiatives on childhood obesity, which is commonly found in formula fed children. Formula fed babies are more likely to die from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and suffer from chronic ear infections. Breastfed children have less emotional and mental challenges and a reduced prone to
violence and depression. Studies show that the bond between a mother and a breastfed baby provides lifetime security. When I first began breastfeeding my now 16 year old son, you could have gotten arrested for feeding in public, we were forced to take our babies to the nearest restroom to breastfeed, by the time my last child was born in early 2000’s it was common to walk in the park and see a mother nursing her child with a blanket tossed over one shoulder. “As successful African American breastfeeding moms, we envision inspiring others and being role models that will make a
Education vs. Black Folk continued..... problems — problems that cannot be solved through rugged individualism or unyielding hope alone. W.E.B. Du Bois, the great scholar and thinker, said, “We cannot base the education of future citizens on the present inexcusable inequality of wealth nor on physical differences of race. We must seek not to make men carpenters but to make carpenters men.” Booker T. Washington, another great champion of education, differed with Du Bois on many things, but on this
crucial issue they were in agreement. He said, “You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.” Du Bois and Washington understood an essential truth about America — that as long as educational opportunities are limited for some of us, we all suffer. We rise as one nation and we fall as one nation. But if we keep working hard — if we keep listening to each other and to our students — we can soften our landings and reach historic new heights.
The Truth About Black Women Being Gold Diggers continued.....
Black male failure because the male species is motivated to acquire and achieve so to please and have a woman of his own. This is natural, innate, God-given, and normal. Labeling the Black woman as a gold digger has serious consequences that demote innate motivating factors for Black men to achieve and acquire. The gold digger lie is a deliberate distortion of gender roles and is another method to destroy Black love, which inevitably leads to Black male failure, and that is directly tied to Black race malfunctions. As far as Black women being the nurturer, she needs to be provided and protected so she can concentrate on her duties as a woman and not have to worry about paying the bills, protecting her children from harm, and feel secure enough to love the man that provides for her unconditionally. The male species is built to be the provider and the protector. On average and on every level that judges what gender is the strongest and the tallest, the male wins hands down. The males major job is to provide and protect his family and his group.
Mother’s Stop Killing Your Kids continued..... and although women commit less than 13% of all violent crimes they are responsible for about 50% of all parental murders.Additionally, most mothers who kill their children are psychotic, under severe stress, isolated, have been abused or have witnessed domestic violence repeatedly as children. There are currently 62 women on death row 10 of them for killing their kids. The sentence for a mother killing her children is less time than catching a case for possessing two kilos. Most Judges believe that the mother suffers from “postpartum depression” or some other repressed childhood trauma and would prefer to offer mental hospitalization than incarceration. Earlier last year, billboards soared high throughout the nation listing black babies as endangered species due to the excessive abortion rate in the black community, now, However many black mothers are just taking out their stress on these babies, that didn’t ask to be here in the first damn place. Until we learn to help vulnerable families care for their children, we will continue to see such tragedies. They are to some degree preventable, until we finally recognize the importance of and support the parental task of caring for our young, we will not stop the cycle of violence. 14
difference when it comes to breastfeeding in this population” - Vaniti & Melissa For more information, call your local WIC clinic at (937) 225-4491. Breastfeeding Club (hosted by Vaniti Byrd) 2nd/ 4th Wednesday @ Sunrise 10:00 - 11:00 am Infant Feeding Choice Class (hosted by Melissa Courts) 2nd/4th Thursday @ Drew Health Center 3pm.
Arrogance Of Being President continued..... Barack Obama’s ability to remain above all this slob, to keep his optimism and his strange and mostly unjustified faith in people, while continuing to gracefully deal with an endless shitstorm – is one of the most inspiring displays of human quality I have ever seen. And I can only hope that the Cosmos is on his side because God is and He never makes a mistake. Sometimes, they make me feel ashamed to be a white man!!
Don’t Ask For A Smile continued..... who may become a great friend, future employer or an otherwise significant part of your life, but more often than not, people whose paths you cross when running errands aren’t going to end up in your cellphone contacts list. So, the comments strangers voice about others reeks a bit of self-importance. However, responding with a, “Your opinion is worth less to me than this fly swatter I’m about to buy,” probably wouldn’t help the matter. I’ve Got You Figured Out: Every human being is different. I do have friends who walk down the street showing off their pearly whites. I smile at strangers at times, like when people stumble on their own feet and try to play it off like they tripped on an invisible crack in the sidewalk. I smile at them so they know, “It happens to the best of us.” However, the absence of a smile on my face does not necessary indicate that I’m depressed or in a foul mood. The fact that someone I’ve never met would assume to know me well enough to interpret my facial expressions is just a bit presumptuous. No? That would be like assuming every random guy who requests that I smile at him is in desperate need of attention and validation from anyone who’ll entertain him. As insulting as the delivery can be, I do assume the request is meant to be a compliment. However, if the goal is to solicit a smile from someone, in my unsolicited opinion, a simple “hello” would work a lot better.
Can Black Woman Raise A Boy continued.....
you or not. A boy’s mother may not always understand why her son might have to confront the bully to earn his respect or why he really wants to play football in spite of the danger - there are rights of passage for men that sometimes only other men truly get. Also, it’s hard to know if you’ve failed to raise your child to succeed as a man or woman, for life doesn’t exactly grant you a final score for your performance. Many of us raise children who struggle in nearly every aspect of life, and we are somehow led to believe that their struggles are the result of bad luck or a society that is stacked against them. But we’d be lying to ourselves if we didn’t acknowledge that the majority of the young black men in prison were raised without fathers in their lives. With that being said, the role of both parents can be of equal importance when seeing a child to adulthood. If the primary parent is not available, then an adequate substitute might be necessary. The job of parenting is incredibly difficult, and while it is tempting to believe that we have all the answers and always know what’s best for our kids, we may also have to have the humility to consider other points of view. Love, selfishness and arrogance do not belong in the same spiritual space.
War On Drugs Is A War On Black Men continued..... inequities of the criminal injustice system. Here’s the exception that proves the rule: Until recently, sentencing guidelines treated one gram of crack cocaine (i.e., the “black” drug) the same as 100 grams of regular cocaine (i.e., the “white” drug). You signed a law changing that 100-to-one disparity. It is now an 18-toone disparity. Pardon me if I don’t break out the confetti. Here’s the thing, Mr. Obama: Our last three presidents are known — or in George W. Bush’s case, strongly believed — to have used illicit drugs when they were young. None of you was caught. But what if you had been?
They might have been given a second chance by some judge who saw merit or potential in them. They might still have gone on to become productive men. Mr. President, what do you think would most likely have happened to you? You know the answer as well as I do. And what you know should compel you to do something about it. No, that might not be politic, but it would definitely be right. The most fitting way to mark the 40th anniversary of the War on Drugs is to ensure the 41st never comes.
Black People Are You Pissed Yet continued.....
whore. They make millions off the miseries of the Black community. They perpetuate the “slave mentality”. They tell us it isn’t our fault for all the bad things that are going on within our communities. They live in their mansions and only visit the “hood” when a sensational media opportunity arises. They drive their fancy cars while many in the Black community cannot get the local government to provide adequate bus transportation so we can get to work. They send their children to private schools while many schools in the Black com-
munity fail or are closed. They travel in private jets or first class when many in the Black community cannot afford bus fare. These socalled “Black Leaders” have sold their souls to live off the blood, sweat, and tears of Blacks like Dr. King and Malcolm X who are intellectually poor because if the Black community educated itself, we would see right through these pimps and kick them to the curb! These so-called “Black Leaders” are afraid for us to step back, look around, and assess what they have NOT done to help improve our lives.
their owners because of where the owner had taken them? In other words, if you drove your car from Missouri to Illinois, and the State of Illinois said that it was illegal to own a car in Illinois, could the authorities take the car away from you when you returned to Missouri? These were the questions being discussed in the Dred Scott case, with one major difference: your car is not human, and cannot sue you. Although few whites considered the human factor in Dred Scott’s slave suit, today we acknowledge that it is wrong to hold people against their will and force them to work as people did in the days of slavery. The Dred Scott case was first brought to trial in 1847 in the first floor, west wing courtroom of St. Louis’ Courthouse. The Scotts lost the first trial because hearsay evidence was presented, but they were granted the right by the judge to a second trial. In the second trial, held in the same courtroom in 1850, a jury heard the evidence and decided that Dred Scott and his family should be free. Slaves were valuable property, and Mrs. Emerson did not want to lose the Scotts, so she appealed her case to the Missouri State Supreme Court, which
in 1852 reversed the ruling made at the Old Courthouse, stating that “times now are not as they were when the previous decisions on this subject were made.” The slavery issue was becoming more divisive nationwide, and provided the court with political reasons to return Dred Scott to slavery.
Let’s open our eyes and see them for what they are. If we did, the Black community would be PISSED OFF and REVOLT! All we have to do is look at the so-called “Black Leaders” and accept the fact that they have failed miserably. Most of all, we have failed ourselves miserably. Just look in the mirror each day and see who is really responsible for the failure of our community. Until we do, we will continue to be like the Old Testament Hebrews - wandering blindly in the desert of ignorance, poverty, and self-destruction.
Dred Scott Decision continued.....
The court was saying that Missouri law allowed slavery, and it would uphold the rights of slave-owners in the state at all costs. Dred Scott was not ready to give up in his fight for freedom for himself and his family, however. With the help of a new team of lawyers who hated slavery, Dred Scott filed suit in St. Louis Federal Court in 1854 against John F.A. Sanford, Mrs. Emerson’s brother and executor of the Emerson estate. Since Sanford resided in New York, the case was taken to the Federal courts due to diversity of residence. The suit was heard not in the Old Courthouse but in the Papin Building, near the area where the north leg of the Gateway Arch stands today. The case was decided in favor of Sanford, but Dred Scott appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.On March 6th, 1857,
Chief Justice Roger B. Taney delivered the majority opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case. Seven of the nine justices agreed that Dred Scott should remain a slave, but Taney did not stop there. He also ruled that as a slave, Dred Scott was not a citizen of the United States, and therefore had no right to bring suit in the federal courts on any matter. In addition, he declared that Scott had never been free, due to the fact that slaves were personal property; thus the Missouri Compromise of 1820 was unconstitutional, and the Federal Government had no right to prohibit slavery in the new territories. The court appeared to be sanctioning slavery under the terms of the Constitution itself, and saying that slavery could not be outlawed or restricted within the United States. The American public reacted very strongly to the Dred Scott Decision. Antislavery groups feared that slavery would spread unchecked. The new Republican Party, founded in 1854 to prohibit the spread of slavery, renewed their fight to gain control of the Congress and the courts. Their well-planned political campaign of 1860, coupled with divisive issues which
When Dr. King marched, he did not ask for a lift nor did he wait for someone to initiate freedom. He put on his shoes, tied his tie, buttoned his coat, kissed his wife and kids, and stuck out on his journey toward freedom. Dr. King made life happen. He did not wait for life to happen to him. So, Black community, please stop blaming others for our ills. Let’s put on our shoes, tie our ties, button our coats, and kiss our families as we walk out the door toward reclaiming our children, our neighborhoods, and our freedom. split the Democratic Party, led to the election ofAbraham Lincoln as President of the United States and South Carolina’s secession from the Union. The Dred Scott Decision moved the country to the brink of Civil War. Ironically, Irene Emerson was remarried in 1850 to Calvin C. Chaffee, a northern congressman opposed to slavery. After the Supreme Court decision, Mrs. Chaffee turned Dred and Harriet Scott and their two daughters over to Dred’s old friends, the Blows, who gave the Scotts their freedom in May 1857. On September 17, 1858, Dred Scott died of tuberculosis and was buried in St. Louis. His grave was moved in the 1860s to Calvary Cemetery in northern St. Louis, and marked due to the efforts of the Rev. Edward Dowling in 1957. Dred Scott did not live to see the fratricidal war touched off at Fort Sumter in 1861, but did live to gain his freedom. The ultimate result of the war, the end of slavery throughout the United States, was not something Dred Scott could have foreseen in 1846, when he decided to sue for his freedom in St. Louis’ Old Courthouse.
Abortion: Does the Man’s Opinion Even Matter?continued.....
not the man has absolutely no (legally defensible) choice in deciding if he wants to pay child support or not. In other words, if he wants to have the baby but the woman does not she can have an abortion without his consent. Conversely, if he does not want to have a baby, the woman can still have the child and legally force him to pay 18 years of child support despite the fact that he clearly stated from the beginning that he did not want a child. What are your thoughts? Is a woman obligated to inform the man she’s pregnant by? After informing him, is the final decision up to the woman about whether or not she keeps the baby (versus an abortion/adoption)? Should the man have any say? Beyond the legalese, in your opinion, should a man be forced to pay child support regardless of if he stated from the beginning he did not want to have kids? Remember boys and girls, it may take two to tango but it only takes one to have a baby. Wrap it up, b. WRAP. IT. UP.
Raising Blacks Boys continued..... out of guilt. •Dead Broke Dads – may be penniless, but they still want to participate in the child’s life. Some mothers’ “pay to play” philosophy prevents the Dead Broke Dad from raising his child. •Dork Dads – are physically in the home but are not emotionally present. •Divorced Dads – although divorced from their wives, they would never abandon their children. •Stepfathers – often see their wives’ children as their own. •Daddies – stay with their spouses, and they enjoy being fully involved fathers.
•Single-Parent Dads – assume full responsibility for the children when the mother walks. Single-Parent Dads demonstrate that men, too, can develop a strong bond with their children. Using research and examples from his own life and the lives of prominent African American men such as neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Kunjufu goes beyond the gloom and doom reports that haunt the Black community and provides sound strategies and a ray of hope for parents, teachers, ministers, and mentors who are struggling to raise Black boys against tremendous odds.
I Ain’t No African continued..... my mother, I now have strong Black female, gender fluid identity that is growing stronger and healthier everyday. I have prayed to my ancestors and try to at least do what I think would make them proud. As much as I wish it existed the way it does in my fantasies, I now understand that Black unity is part myth; my childhood and experiences as a young adult have taught me this. Still I feel as if the struggling I endure is not in vain and I am not alone. I take pride in my Blackness and I try everyday because many of my ancestors fought and suffered and lived and died so I can have this chance. No I’m not through-and-through African, as in I wasn’t born in any of the prominent African nations where there are brown folks that look like people in my community. But I believe in the voices and spirits of those who have come before me and the strength and power that has brought me this far, here, today. That which will not let me die in the face of pain and adversity. That which shelters my heart and makes me to laugh and cry and continue to love.
Dear Ms. Boe, continued..... marriage work? – I Miss My Husband
you see how the Stockholm Syndrome works?
Dear Ms. I Miss My Husband,
Also, your husband got on drugs 3 years into your marriage, and you say you were young and you didn’t have firsthand experience with someone who was a drug user. Okay, I’ll give you that. But, chile, it’s 14 years later? What’s your excuse now? (I’ll wait. In the meantime I’m going to catch this matinee movie,Jumping The Broom. If you haven’t seen it, go check it out.) Your man has been gone for 9 months, and 5 of those months he’s been with another woman. Let’s bow our heads. Go head and lower yours. Lower. Lower. You smell that? That’s your crusty ass speaking to you saying, “Welcome, and thank you for letting me do the thinking all these years.”
You are a damn fool if you want to take that man back into your home! Just pure ignant! Yup I spelled it like that because you are ignant! You are the classic case of Stockholm Syndrome. I know your slow ass don’t know what that means so I guess I’ll be nice and break it down for you. And, stop that damn rocking back and forth before I take off your helmet and let you bang your big ass head against the wall. Now, Stockholm Syndrome is when a victim feels remorse for their captor or abuser and you empathize with them despite the torture, turmoil, hell, and drama they put you through. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors as an act of kindness. And, just like many Stockholm survivors, you have been with your abuser for years, and are unable to recognize reality. I noticed in the beginning of your letter that you stated, “My husband is a good person, but wasn’t a provider.” So, let us be clear, your husband, the man who has broken into your apartment, stolen from you, took money from your bank by using your ATM card he stole, and now he is cheating with another woman out of state, and you say your husband is a good person? Now re-read the previous paragraph I just wrote. Do
You know I have a saying also. It goes, “First time, shame on me. There won’t be a second or third time.” I refuse to let someone take advantage of me, treat me wrong, misuse me, or abuse me after I’ve learned the lesson the first time. There are no second and third chances. You’ve given your husband chance, after chance, after chance, after chance…. chile, just too many damn chances. Aren’t you tired of being the victim? Aren’t you tired of playing that role? Honey, you can only get so many Oscar nominations for playing the same role over and over again, and you still haven’t gotten the prize. BOOM! BAM! POW!
Look, Ms. I Miss My Husband, I truly don’t do foolish very well. And, I’m sorry about your situation, but girl, your husband has been on drugs for the majority of your marriage and have taken you through the ringer. What the hell are you sticking around for? Are you hoping he’s going to change and be the man you want him to be? Chile, puhlease! HE IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE. YOU CAN’T SAVE HIM. HE DOESN’T WANT TO GET OFF DRUGS. See, I wrote that in big bold letters just in case you claim you didn’t catch it, or see it. I know how you slow people are. And, the only reason you want his sorry drug infected ain’t got –ish and non contributing ass back is because another woman got him. Honey, you should be thanking that woman for taking your problem off your hands. Girl, if I were you, I would call her up and ask her where should you send his things and pack his –ish in some GLAD trash bags, and send them to her. And, then, see if she is willing to go half on a going away party for his tainted d**k. Who the hell wants drug d**k? Please make it stop baby Jesus! The universe has removed him out of your life, and you’re fighting to get him, and be with him. I swear, you dumbass people will ask for a miracle and blessing, but when it happens you fight and resist the blessing. Let him go. Let that man be! Pray for release of the bondage and stronghold he has over your life. And, pray that you can have the strength to loose
yourself and be free. Go ahead with the divorce and be free. GIVE US FREE! GIVE US FREE! (In my Djimon Hounsou voice). Wait, hold up, you hear that horn blowing outside your house? It’s the short yellow bus coming to pick you up and take you to my new school, The All-Women’s Academy For The Brainless And Dumbness His behavior negatively affects you in a physical way, having a direct impact on your demeanor and appearance, so that you don’t even recognize the woman you see in the mirror. As you are probably well aware, you need to let go of this toxic man, find your empowered self, and start anew. He is doing nothing but bringing you down. If you feel you can’t walk away just yet, then try the mirror technique, suggested in Toxic Men. The next time he yells, yell back. If he uses a gruff tone, use a gruff tone back at him. If he invades your space or scowls at you, mirror his actions and do it right back. You will be surprised to see his reaction when he realizes you are calling him out on his aggressive, bullying, toxic behavior. The truth is, the only thing keeping you with this toxic man is you, and you have the power to walk away. Turn to friends and family for the love and support you will need as you make this step. No one is worth losing yourself and living a miserable life with, so throw out a life preserver and save yourself.
Dick Gregory and Ayana Interview continued..... on past them white folks (laughs) now, of course we were ducking and dodging sticks and rocks being thrown at our heads.” I wanted to lighten the conversation, so I asked what he did in his spare. time “I walk for 3 hours and read 1,000 newspapers from all over the world every day, see sista, you gotta know how to read in between the lines cause they for sure ain’t gonna tell you the truth, look here, there’s not one single book in the library that all 10 of my children couldn’t read as kids” Gregory feels that one of the biggest problems that is currently affecting our community is the lack of involvement between the black churches and the community, too many black father’s are being taken from homes, “Black mother’s don’t receive any recognition” he went on to tell me more about the city wide tour that he and his daughter Ayanna Gregory has put together where they plan to empower black women by
offering health and wellness lectures for single mothers. I also sat down with Neo-Soul artist Ayanna Gregory, who is Dick’s youngest child. Ayanna debuted in 2003 with her album Beautiful Flower which featured her award winning single “Ballads to my Father” Ayanna and I sat on the telephone late into the evening talking like we were childhood friends, she recalled her first experience of racism. “First of all let me say this, none of the Gregory children had any idea what our father did and how important he was. The first time that I found out is when I read his autobiography ‘Nigger’ so everyone around us knew who my father was and what he spoke about. My first experience of racism came from my best friend, a white girl, I was in the first grade and I was staying the night at her house, she had another friend over that night, she was white to,
when her friend saw me walk in the room, she was like I don’t want to play with that nigger, when I cried to my friends mother thinking that she would console me, she says ‘Well Ayanna, dear, you ARE a nigger, even though I was so young I still understood what that word meant when it came from them.” I wanted to be prepared for the interview with Ayanna, so I did my homework on her, turns out that in the music industry she has collaborated with Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones and performed as a child with Bob Marley. She is compared to R&B/Neo- Soul vocalist India Arie, when I told her that, she laughed “Wow... really” she said bashfully. I asked questions about growing up with a father in the civil rights movement and how it affected her, “Well Dad kept everything to himself, we literally didn’t know anything, at least the kids, but when I got older and read his books, I was like wow...my daddy did that!”
I asked both father and daughter about their viewpoint on Herman Cain. “My dad would be so disappointed in me if he knew that I am not keeping up with the politics, I mean I like Obama, but that’s about it, that’s all I know, I don’t keep up with the rest of it, I should....yeah I should know what’s going on around me” Ayanna admitted. Now, when I asked Dick the same question he laughed loudly into the receiver “I love it!....I love the fact that now America has a choice between not one...but TWO African American...it’s like pick one em’ sucka cause that’s all we got!” Ayanna expressed how she feels that the baton hasn’t been passed down from generation to generation. The old “beaucracy in black structure” needs to be given to the upcoming young people, if we are to ever witness change in our communities, until that happens she says we will never collectively progress as a whole.