Al Sharpton Black Unity

Al Sharpton: Keeping It Real With Black Unity

Al Sharpton: Keeping It Real With Black Unity

I have never listened to this radio show before but I was driving my grandparents on a road trip. They wanted to hear some gospel music. However, the station was airing Al Sharpton’s Keeping It Real show. I know many people have their own opinions of Al Sharpton. However, he really made a point on the topic of Black Unity. Not unity in the simplistic sense of the word, but unity in the sense of coming together despite a plethora of differences among us. Sharpton noted (and I agree) that many times, we have our own set of beliefs about Black life and varying methods towards gaining Black freedom. Essentially, we work in sets. We have the Muslim set, the old school Civil Rights set, the Black Radical set, the Pan African set, the feminist set, the Capitalist set, and etc.

Nothing is wrong with us having varying opinions. The problem comes in when we bicker amongst each other over petty judgmental differences. For example, group A may think that group B is too radical and will refuse to associate themselves with the group B. On the other hand, group B will refuse to associate themselves with Group A because they feel that group A is not Black enough. What usually happens is that both groups continue to argue, and thereby continue to hinder any real progress in the Black community. Sharpton noted that in reality, we all need each other and need to listen to one another. No one group is better than others. We have to realize that there are different constituencies among us. They all deserve respect and they all must work together. In the end, our common goal is the elevation of Black people. This is important. We can’t get anywhere if we don’t realize this. The Christians can not go anywhere without the Muslims and vice versa. The Socialists can not go anywhere without the Capitalists and vice versa. The Black Nationalists can not go anywhere with out the Black Feminists and vice versa.

We can not continue to cut ourselves off from each other because of varying ideologies. In the end, if those ideologies do not incorporate an all inclusive sense of Black unity then they will never succeed. If we say we want freedom for Black people. It should be freedom for Black People. ALL BLACK PEOPLE. Not just the type of Black people we agree with. We can not lock in our perspective of what is acceptable Blackness. When I say I love black people, it is not just something I say to sound good. I love Black people without any restrictions or requirements. I Love Black People. Point blank period. I love Black people because they are me and I am them and we are us. Christian, Muslim, Gay, Straight, Black, African, African American, African descended, Afro-Latino, West Indian, Socialist, Capitalist, Conservative, Liberal, and the list goes on and on. Loving Black people is a life long process and a journey of dedication.

No we are not monolithic, but yes are one and we are a billion strong. The truth is that separately, none of us have the answer. I don’t care how many books you’ve read or written. I don’t care what school you went to or how high you’ve climbed the academic mountain. I don’t care how spiritual or African you can be. Your perception alone is not enough. Separately, non of us have the answer to our liberation. Yet, together, no one knows what we can accomplish. No one is afraid of us when we are fighting but when we stand together the world gets quite and there is a hush. There is a fear of our unity. This is why there are so many mechanisms put in place to keep us at each other’s necks. And we keep falling for it time and time again.

I’m not saying that we should never disagree with one another. In fact I encourage loving informative debate, because it increases growth. While at the same time, we should recognize that there are common goals at hand. Thus, we need to find a way to incorporate understanding and balance, and push pride to the side. Too often our pride prevents us from admitting our faults and listening to others. We all have something important to say. All of our perspectives are valid. In order to succeed, we have to work from love, using love as the key to our unity and our liberation. However, we must remember that love endures all things, not just the things that we like.

Love,

Jam-the-lbg

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Pregnant Black Teen

Should Black Women Stop Getting Abortions?

Should Black Women Stop Getting Abortions?

If you live in Atlanta, Macon, or Augusta GA, you may have come across one of these signs.

Black & Unwanted billboards are springing up in various areas of Georgia. The Radiance Foundation and Georgia’s Operation Outrage have joined forces to encourage Black women to stop having abortions and to encourage Black couples to adopt black children. When I first heard about the website toomanyaborted.com, I had my own opinions. I am a strong advocate for women’s rights. And I have to admit, I didn’t really give their initiative the time of day. It infuriated me. The billboards along Georgia highways upset me even more. However, upon putting my frustration aside, I realized that they may have a few points to their argument.

 Let me first say that I believe in woman’s right to decide what to do with her body. Yet, the fact that there has been a historical attack on Black life for the past few hundred years is ever present. The Eugenics movement is very real.  There are those out there that are trying to create a prototype for the “perfect” human gene pool and for many, Black isn’t a part of it. Scientists, corporations, and governments have attempted/ are attempting to increase particular human characteristics while decreasing others. How can this be accomplished? By reproducing more of what is “wanted” and discarding more of what is “unwanted”. As a result, Black women have been sterilized unknowingly. Black men have been castrated. Black babies have been killed in the name of science. All of this is true. I do believe there is a movement to eradicate Black people, especially when we stand in the way of capitalist gain.

For example, Africa has been swarming with NGOs advocating safe sex through the usage of condoms. While condoms may protect against HIV/AIDS, it could also affect population growth. This is interesting, because the conversation then turns to the “Africa is over populated” rhetoric. This is completely untrue but it’s being said in an effort (I believe but could be wrong) to decrease the amount of children born to African mothers. Africa is the richest continent on the planet in terms of natural resources. Yet, many of these natural resources such as oil, gold, cocoa, fish, diamonds, tanzanite, coltane, and much more, are controlled by European countries/corporations and world powers (the U.S. included). Even though there is enough food in all of Africa to feed all the people of Africa and more, the capitalist mode of production within this neocolonial era has made it so that these resources are unattainable to many African people. This control was obtained through slavery, colonialism, and neocolonialism. African people are fighting to gain back the control over their natural resources. Wouldn’t you think that this fight would be easier for global corporations if less Africans were in the world? This is why I question the theories behind the beginning of HIV/AIDS.

What does this have to do with Black women and Abortions?

Well, if you are Black, even if the world calls you Latino or American, the African descent or DNA that runs through your veins is often the ultimate prevailer in determining your socioeconomic status in the world. If you look around, you will find that almost everywhere you go in the world Black/African lives are secondary to others in society. We are often the ones that suffer the most and die first. Many times these are needless, easily preventable deaths or illnesses. Yet, somehow, there is always a mysterious issue in solving these problems. This, I think, is not a coincidence. Indeed Black is unwanted except when Black life is used for hard labor or for entertainment purposes. Ironically, in both fields Black life is used, exploited, and then discarded after use.

Therefore, because of the history of Eugenics in the U.S. and abroad, I do not completely disagree with the sentiments of the Radiance Foundation. There are people out there that do not want Black life to grow and prosper. However, I do not believe that attacking the reproductive rights of Black women is the answer to fighting Eugenics. This is because there are many factors that surround any Black woman’s discussion to get an abortion. The reason why there is a higher rate of abortion among Black women than other races is because of higher poverty rates. Maybe we should be looking more into poverty and trying to alleviate poverty in black communities. The fight then becomes against the true source of higher abortions rates instead of against Black women.

Black women also face a lot of scrutiny when we become pregnant that other races do not face. If we become pregnant out of wedlock we are the dreaded “baby mama”. If we have a baby that we cannot financially take care of without government assistance, we are labeled as “irresponsible lazy welfare Queens”. If we take the father of the child to court for child support, we are “bringing a brotha down.” If we get pregnant by different men, we are a “Whore/Ho”. If we give the child up for adoption, we are uncaring mothers. If we choose not to go through with the pregnancy, we are labeled as abortion sluts.

We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t!

Furthermore, a woman’s body may not be ready to handle the effects of another pregnancy. She may not have the financial ability to take care of a child (in which case adoption could be an option). She may not be mentally stable enough to go through with a pregnancy. Some of you may be thinking, “Well she shouldn’t have gotten pregnant”. This is the sentiment of some Black women. And I understand where you’re coming from. But this is a decision that you should have to make for your own body. If I were to come along and force you to give birth without your consent, how would you feel? This is the experience of our Great Great Grandmothers.

On plantations, many of them were raped and forced to give birth over and over again against their will. These rapes, along with the forced child births, wreaked havoc on their bodies and spirits. We know live under different circumstances. Fortunately, we can now determine for ourselves. This is why I am reluctant to fully support the efforts of the Radiance Foundation and Georgia’s Operation Outrage. I do not wish to teeter between the lines of force and choice. I will always be for choice.

However, I do agree with them in that choices should always be made in conjunction with full knowledge of what we are doing, so that we make the correct decisions for our lives. Abortion is not always the best choice. There are black women experiencing medical problems, mental anxiety, and depression in conjunction with the abortion/s they had. This is a decision that should not be taken lightly and should be accompanied with knowledge in order to prevent this from happening.

I also support their efforts to encourage adoption in the Black community. I find that we get upset about white people adopting black children yet we do not take on the obligation to take care of these children ourselves.

Whew…that was a lot of writing! What do you think? Should black women stop getting abortions? Do you agree or disagree with the Radiance Foundation?

 Love,

Jam-the-lbg

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The Beef Between Africans & African Americans: Why Can’t We Get Along?

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By Guest Writer Tanikia Thompson

“You’re not African American, you’re American. You guys just say African American so you can have some relation to Africa.”

These are the words that were spoken to me from a Nigerian lady that I attended college with. It was hurtful to hear her say this. I have traveled to Zambia twice and the first time was challenging. In a debriefing session I explained to the white people on the trip, that my entire life I had been told that I am African American, and here I was in Africa and had no culture to call my own. When a man in the market realized that I couldn’t speak Bemba he told my Zambian host that I should be ashamed of myself for not knowing my language. He didn’t know that I wasn’t from Zambia, because everything about me along with the rest of the African American community screams Africa. While in Zambia, I noticed how the people looked just like African Americans back home. It was very evident that African Americans are from Africa.

There are two major problems at hand: not enough African Americans acknowledge that they are Africans and not enough Africans acknowledge that African Americans are African. I’m sure growing up we have all heard the “You look like you African” jokes. Well that cruel joke has followed us to adulthood. How can a Black person look like an African, when they are African? And why is that meant to be offensive? I will admit that it wasn’t until after my voyage to the Motherland, that I began to take ownership of my African roots. What’s weird is when I say that I’m African around African Americans that know me, they look at me like I’m crazy and question me. I respond by saying “You’re African too!”

On the other hand I have heard Africans speak like the Nigerian lady who told me that I wasn’t African. Is the history of slavery not enough explanation on how we separated from our homeland? That isn’t American history; it’s African and American history. There are African Americans like myself who have gone through major identity crisis’ and struggled over the fact that we have no knowledge of what country in Africa we came from. Just because we weren’t born in Africa, don’t strip us of our African identity and heritage.

What frustrates me is I can see how the media has played a crucial role in dividing us. In America they have presented Africa to us as the Dark Continent with uncivilized people. To an extent we have believed everything we’ve seen on television. I remember on my first trip to Africa I was scared that some random men were going to break into the house I was staying and rape me. How crazy is that? In Africa they have presented African Americans as all being uneducated, rappers, thugs, and hoes. It was very irritating when the Africans would try to use slang with me. The media alone has caused us to form stereotypes about each other.

This is an issue that frequently comes up in my diverse circle of friends, so I wanted to share it with you guys. I leave you with this question:

At what point did African Americans stop being African? When we got off the slave ship?

Yo I tell you the rest when I see you… Peace!

Nikki

Follow me on twitter: Nikkiandthecity

Check out my blog: www.nikkiandthecityadventures.blogspot.com

Regina King

Regina King says, Black Women Should Date Other Races

Regina King says, Black Women Should Date Other Races

Regina King recently released an article on Vibe.com about Black women and our need to explore our options in mates. She believes that black women should stop limiting ourselves to Black men. According to her, dating only Black men lowers our likelihood of finding love.

King says:

Of all groups of people, Black women are the least likely group of women that will date outside of their race. When you have everyone else who is willing to explore but a Black woman is like, “I want me a brother,” well, if the brothers are out and they’re open to date everybody and the majority of Black women aren’t willing to look twice when a man outside of their race is sending them messages, then that makes our percentage rate lower and the chances of finding love, because we’re only looking in one specific place for finding love—with Black men.

She goes on to state:

Every single one of my girlfriends won’t date men that aren’t Black…I think Black women need to open up. A lot of Black women still carry a lot of pain when they see Black men with women who aren’t Black and that’s really unfortunate that that could make us so upset. It has to do with self esteem.

What does JAM think?

I’ve been thinking about subject for a while now. Everybody keeps talking about Black women and our “inability” to find a man. Quite frankly, I’m tired of Black women always being under the microscope. However, I feel that more of us do need to consider more options. There are so many different types of men: Mexicans, Indians, Latinos, Caucasians, Asians, Arabs, and etc. We could also date other Black ethnicities including: Africans, West Indians, Afro-Latinos, and the list goes on. I love Black men but why should we limit ourselves to just brothas? They certainly are not limiting themselves.

What do you think? 

Love,

Jam-the-lbg

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The 7 biggest misconceptions about what black men want from black women

The 7 biggest misconceptions about what black men want from black women

By Guest Writer Stephanie Willis

I’ve compiled a list of the most prevalent misconceptions about what black men are looking for in a woman as well as opinions they have about other subjects. It’s important that these fallacies are addressed and debunked because matters like these directly correlate to the fact that there are so many single black women in the United States. Communication between men and women in the black community has become strained and therefore has resulted in many assumptions that are just not true being spread throughout the media and social settings. I hope the following reveals some truths and clears up things once and for all.

1.)     Having a bachelor degree, masters’ degree, new house, expensive car, and money in the bank make a good woman.

Most men couldn’t care less about how much money a woman makes or the type of car she drives. In today’s society, women have been able to achieve and flaunt unprecedented amounts of success in the form of great jobs, higher education, expensive homes, lots of disposable income, etc. However, the building blocks of a good woman have remained the same. This means striving to be a good listener, working to be a caring and compassionate partner, supportive, having respect for yourself and others as well as maintaining house and home. Never underestimate these attributes. What grandmother taught you still matters, especially to a black man. Having a great career and money in the bank should complement a woman’s’ good personality and classy demeanor. Sometimes women put so much energy into the superficial things that society deems most important that they don’t take the time to truly develop their own personality. Having all the trappings of success can not replace the simple characteristics that all men desire.

2.)     A black man is  intimidated by a successful woman

A secure man will never be intimated by the fact that his woman is intelligent, successful, and financially stable. If a woman perceives her man to be intimated or jealous by her accomplishments it may be one or all of the following: That man is ashamed that it has taken him longer than he hoped to reach his own career goals, He feels his lady has un realistic expectations of where he should be success wise in relation   to hers’, his woman try’s to control the relationship and in doing so he doesn’t feel like an equal partner, or lastly, it could be that he isn’t truly as secure as he’d like to be.

3.) Black men like their women thick

       Some men prefer a little meat on their woman’s bones where as some prefer the super model, size 2 physique, but make no mistake, men across the board would prefer their women to be healthy and fit. There is such a misconception about black men wanting their women to big “thick” that I’ve known people not to work out for fear of losing their big booty or thick thighs. The truth is that being “thick” as far as what black men are referencing is a certain body type that a woman naturally has: not something they can create with food and lack of exercise. Many black men agree Lisa Raye is attractive due to the shape of her body and overall appearance. Women have to realize that there isn’t a certain brand of jeans, diet, or exercise Ms. Raye did to make her body look like that. Body type is something you’re born with and can only change with plastic surgery which can be costly and dangerous. Above all else women should strive to maintain a healthy weight and whatever form their body takes be thankful for that. Don’t throw away your treadmill or fill up on fast food in the hopes that it will make you “thick” when doing so might just leave you fat and running to the nearest Weight Watchers meeting.

4.) Black men like weaves, wigs, and extensions more than a woman’s own hair due to their obsession with long, flowing tresses.

    Most men like long hair. It’s the truth whether women like it or not. The consensus in the locker room and barber shop is a woman who is rocking her own hair is preferred be it short or long. Most men don’t mind a modest weave or even a wig for a special occasion but nothing beats running their fingers through real hair. If a man says otherwise it doesn’t mean he’s lying. He either doesn’t want to hurt that woman’s feelings or her weave actually looks pretty natural and it’s not over the top. Whether your hair is short or down your back if its natural that’s best in a black men’s eyes. A man will take short and real any day over long and weaved. If you’re a woman and you don’t agree with what I just said don’t shoot the messenger. This came straight the mouths of men. 

5.) Black men have a fear of commitment

Often times if a man is reluctant to put a title on a relationship or ask a woman to marry him after a certain amount of time women think it’s because he’s afraid to commit. More often than not that man just doesn’t want to commit to that woman and is giving her excuses while he’s actively searching for someone he truly wants. A man that’s ready for marriage and a long term commitment isn’t afraid of getting serious. Men don’t like to be in limbo. If they want someone they’ll make it crystal clear and take the steps to move things forward. She won’t have to guess how he feels, or nag him about being exclusive. If he doesn’t want that woman then that’s when the games, lies, and excuses will start. Women have to recognize when they’re dealing with a man who has no intentions of committing to them for whatever reason. If you’re a woman reading this and you find  that statement hard to believe just think of all the relationships you’ve heard about where a guy strings a girl along for years, never bringing up marriage, and then after they finally break up he announces he’s found the one and is engaged.

6) All black men cheat

    There is no one race of men that cheat more than the other. Just because past relationships may have ended in cheating and heartbreak doesn’t mean they all will. A man will only treat a woman how she allows so she should set standards from the beginning as to what she will or will not tolerate. If you run across a woman who tells you that all black men cheat it’s usually because she’s been cheated on herself and has unresolved anger towards that man. Women can’t let failed relationships shape their views on all black men. It will only cause them to come off bitter and emotionally unavailable. 

7.) To be the ultimate catch to a black man you must look like Beyonce     

Because the media often portrays black women in six inch heels, extremely long flowing hair, tight revealing clothes, and Barbie doll inspired make as being the desired look by men it’s no wonder women are often confused about what men will find to be attractive. The question shouldn’t be what a black man finds sexy but what does that woman feel comfortable in: what looks good on her body type. Men like a women who’s confident in her appearance. They can tell when she’s trying to look a way that doesn’t come natural to her. The worst thing a woman can do is try to be something other than who she is. It’s not sustainable and eventually the real you will have to be revealed. This would include women who wear so much makeup that no one recognizes them when they aren’t dolled up. I could expand upon that issue forever but you all get the point.

I hope this article was informative as well as thought provoking. Spread the word far a wide people so these lies can stop being spread throughout our community and the media.

 …..And that’s all folks. 1 luv :)

Stephanie Tru

Visit Stephanie’s Blog, 

Confessions of a 20 something – Single Black female http://sbfconfessions.wordpress.com/

African American History for dummies

Black people naturally unintelligent? One Harvard student seems to think so!

Black people naturally unintelligent? One Harvard student seems to think so!

A private email found its way in the middle of a firestorm. Six months ago, Stephanie Grace attended a private dinner that included a controversial conversation. The topic was affirmative action. Somewhere in this conversation, the genetic predisposition of African Americans was questioned. Apparently, Grace felt as if she had not expressed herself adequately and decided to write a long email summarizing her beliefs. In the email, she is quoted as saying, “I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African-Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent….I don’t think it is that controversial of an opinion to say I think it is at least possible that African-Americans are less intelligent on a genetic level, and I didn’t mean to shy away from that opinion at dinner.’’

The email was linked months later and found itself plastered all over the web. Grace suddenly has a change of heart now. She has apologized to The Black Law Student’s Association and various faculty members. She states, ““I am deeply sorry for the pain caused by my e-mail. I never intended to cause any harm, and I am heartbroken and devastated by the harm that has ensued. I would give anything to take it back… I emphatically do not believe that African-Americans are genetically inferior in any way. I understand why my words expressing even a doubt in that regard were and are offensive.”

My opinion?  LMFAO!

Who are these people? The subject of Black intelligence continues to come up as if we live in an equal society and everyone within it has the same opportunities as well as socioeconomic statuses. I really don’t care what she or any body else thinks about Black people. I just find it funny and extremely unintelligent to question the intelligence of the very same people that:

  1. Built the ancient Egyptian pyramids that modern science still can not explain
  2. Produced some of the greatest thinkers and leaders in history including: imhotep (who the Greeks considered a god), Martin Luther King, Queen Nzinga, W.E.B. Dubois, Zora Neal Hurston, Cornel West, Bell Hooks, Iyanla Vanzant, Malcolm X, Benjamin Banneker, Phyllis Wheatley, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Barack Obama, Fredrick Douglas, Mary McLeod Bethune, Kwame Nkrumah, Toussaint l’ouverture, Shirley Chisholm, Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Wangari Maathai, James Baldwin, Richard Allen, Charles R. Drew, Martin R. Delany, Ella Baker, Prince Hall, and many more. THE LIST IS LITERALLY AND IRONICALLY NEVER ENDING.
  3. Invented damn near everything:
  1. air conditioning unit: Frederick M. Jones; July 12, 1949
  2. almanac: Benjamin Banneker; Approx 1791
  3. auto cut-off switch: Granville T. Woods; January 1,1839
  4. auto fishing devise: G. Cook; May 30, 1899
  5. automatic gear shift: Richard Spikes; February 28, 1932
  6. baby buggy: W.H. Richardson; June 18, 1899
  7. bicycle frame: L.R. Johnson; Octber 10, 1899
  8. biscuit cutter: A.P. Ashbourne; November 30, 1875
  9. blood plasma bag: Charles Drew; Approx. 1945
  10. cellular phone: Henry T. Sampson; July 6, 1971
  11. chamber commode: T. Elkins; January 3, 1897
  12. clothes dryer: G. T. Sampson; June 6, 1862
  13. curtain rod: S. R. Scratton; November 30, 1889
  14. curtain rod support: William S. Grant; August 4, 1896
  15. door knob: O. Dorsey; December 10, 1878
  16. door stop: O. Dorsey; December 10, 1878
  17. dust pan: Lawrence P. Ray; August 3, 1897
  18. egg beater: Willie Johnson; February 5, 1884
  19. electric lampbulb: Lewis Latimer; March 21, 1882
  20. elevator: Alexander Miles; October 11, 1867
  21. eye protector: P. Johnson; November 2, 1880
  22. fire escape ladder: J. W. Winters; May 7, 1878
  23. fire extinguisher: T. Marshall; October 26, 1872
  24. folding bed: L. C. Bailey; July 18, 1899
  25. folding chair: Brody & Surgwar; June 11, 1889
  26. fountain pen: W. B. Purvis; January 7, 1890
  27. furniture caster: O. A. Fisher; 1878
  28. gas mask: Garrett Morgan; October 13, 1914
  29. golf tee: T. Grant; December 12, 1899
  30. guitar: Robert F. Flemming, Jr. March 3, 1886
  31. hair brush: Lydia O. Newman; November 15,18—
  32. hair conditioner (For Black Hair): Madam C. J. Walker; Approx 1905
  33. hand stamp: Walter B. Purvis; February 27, 1883
  34. horse shoe: J. Ricks; March 30, 1885
  35. ice cream scooper: A. L. Cralle; February 2, 1897
  36. improv. sugar making: Norbet Rillieux; December 10, 1846
  37. insect-destroyer gun: A. C. Richard; February 28, 1899
  38. ironing board: Sarah Boone; December 30, 1887
  39. key chain: F. J. Loudin; January 9, 1894
  40. lantern: Michael C. Harvey; August 19, 1884
  41. lawn mower: L. A. Burr; May 19, 1889
  42. lawn sprinkler: J. W. Smith; May 4, 1897
  43. lemon squeezer: J. Thomas White; December 8, 1893
  44. lock: W. A. Martin; July 23, 18–
  45. lubricating cup: Ellijah McCoy; November 15, 1895
  46. lunch pail: James Robinson; 1887
  47. mail box: Paul L. Downing; October 27, 1891
  48. mop: Thomas W. Stewart; June 11, 1893
  49. motor: Frederick M. Jones; June 27, 1939
  50. peanut butter: George Washington Carver; 1896
  51. pencil sharpener: J. L. Love; November 23, 1897
  52. record player arm: Joseph Hunger Dickenson January 8, 1819
  53. refrigerator: J. Standard; June 14, 1891
  54. riding saddles: W. D. Davis; October 6, 1895
  55. rolling pin: John W. Reed; 1864
  56. shampoo headrest: C. O. Bailiff; October 11, 1898
  57. spark plug: Edmond Berger; February 2, 1839
  58. stethoscope: Imhotep; Ancient Egypt
  59. stove: T. A. Carrington; July 25, 1876
  60. street sweeper: Charles B. Brooks; March 17, 1890
  61. phone transmitter: Granville T. Woods; December 2, 1884
  62. thermostat control: Frederick M. Jones; February 23, 1960
  63. traffic light: Garrett Morgan; November 20, 1923
  64. tricycle: M. A. Cherry; May 6, 1886
  65. typewriter: Burridge & Marshman; April 7, 1885

My point in listing all of these things is not to prove that Black people are intelligent. My point is to show that anybody who believes we are not intelligent must be innately and genetically predisposed to stupidity.

Love,

Jam-the-lbg

Black Inventors List is from The Creative Brother http://creativebrother.freehosting.net/index.html



10 Things I Hate About Black Greek Life

                                                                                    Leave a Comment and tell us how you feel about this topic:)

By Guest Writer Tameka Floetic Prodigy Dean

I’m writing this for anyone who is considering Greek Life as a warning to not conform to the foolishness that has managed to seep into Historically Black Greek-Lettered Organizations. I respect all the organizations for their initial purpose and I by no means ever regret being apart of what I think is one of the greatest influences in my life, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. However, please know these views I’m about to express have been on my mind since before I became Greek and explains why many are turned off from Greek Life or fail to respect those who become apart of these organizations.

With that said, I encourage people who join to be INDIVIDUALS who are apart of what they believe to be something greater or in alignment with GOALS you already had in place for yourself. A wise friend once told me, become a part of something because it brings out more of who YOU ALREADY ARE NOT WHAT YOU HOPE TO BECOME.

With that said……

10 Things I Hate About Greek Life

1. THE BATTLE OF PAPER VERSUS REAL

First off, let me say, YOU ARE PAPER if you don’t do anything for your organization, its goals, and its objectives. I don’t care how hard your process was, because guess what…when you finish, your work is not done! Greeks, please stop acting like your process was the completion of your duties. It wasn’t. You have a lot more to do. I don’t know about your other organizations, but being apart of Zeta is a lifelong commitment. Its not 4 years of undergrad fun and then you are done, not financially supportive, and all we can do is find you at the step show or stroll off but not at the March of Dimes Walk or at a Storks Nest Session.

And if you didn’t have a “process” or whatever, but you are dedicated to the mission and you follow through on everything you are supposed to do (I’m not sure if this is the case or not), then your other sorors or frat brothers need to acknowledge that….even if they think they are realer than you. At the end of the day, you are now apart of the SAME organization. Sorry folks, they paid their money and in most cases they actually statistically stay financial and active for longer periods of time than those who went through a process. Either way, if you aren’t doing anything, YOU ARE PAPER, Your leadership position looks good only on paper. The organization looks good, on paper. The number of members you may have in your chapter, looks good on paper. But what are you actually doing that people can visibly see for the community? why should anyone be motivated to be apart of much less acknowledge an organization they feel is completely useless……you are just hurting the cause.

2. GREEK SOCIAL LIFE IS FUN BUT NOT A REASON TO ACT A FOOL

I will admit, the social aspect of sorority or fraternity life is fun. You get to meet a lot of different people and have fun doing it. However, this is not a reason for you to just cut up, get drunk and sloppy, and act crazy. If anything, you are making your own organization look bad. So please, especially if you are Zeta, take your letters off. Uphold yourself in a respectable manner. If you say that by being apart of your organization, you hold yourself to a higher standard, then do so. I once thought being greek and a Christian was an oxymoron but there are plenty of ways to have fun with your sorors or frat brothers without being drunk, ho’ing your back out, or just not keeping yourself respectable. Do better.

3. NO ONE NEEDS TO SEE YOUR CHAPTER’S DRAMA
Whatever happens in your chapter, needs to stay in your chapter. Other Chapters don’t need to be involved in yours nor do non-greeks need the ammo to say” Oh that organization is a mess..they don’t even like each other.” Once again, respect your sisters or brothers enough to not spread rumors about them to other people. One, you make your organization look bad. Two, you make yourself look bad by how triflin’ you are. keep the drama in-house, work through it and get over it. These are people you are going to have to learn to work with. For some people, you can’t be the best of friends with all your sorors or frat brothers, but you came together to get something done. Thats how the real world works…you think you are going to absolutely love all your co-workers? No, but you have to come together to get something done, so do it. No one needs to see your dirty laundry, keep it to yourself.

4. YOUR ORGANIZATION DOES NOT DEFINE YOU.

First off, let me say that if no one liked you and you were lame before you had letters, guess what?, still no one will like you and you are still LAME. The only people who will tolerate you are the next group of people who want to be apart of what you are apart of and suck up to you. But that doesn’t mean they will respect you, especially if they actually become apart of your organization. You should be able to say, “My name is…..and I’m a …..” Not, for example “Hey I’m a Zeta and by the way my name is Tameka” What? Why should anyone respect you as an individual when the only memorable thing you can say about yourself is that you are a Delta, an AKA, blah blah blah. People should know who you are and what you are about and see that these qualities are further brought out by you being apart of that organization that you hold with such high esteem. YOU ARE NOT YOUR ORGANIZATION. The organization doesn’t make you. You should have joined because it reflected qualities you already possessed. These are the types of people they need: people of quality and high achievement. These are the types of people who started these organizations. They don’t need drones and tshirt wearers. They need people who are dedicated and carrying out the mission. But time and time again, WEAK, INSECURE, people with nothing else going on for themselves slip in somehow and now we are at a point where being Greek is no longer about being held to another standard. GREEK LIFE IS DEAD AND YOU ARE KILLING IT.

5. GREEK DIVISION

We are different organizations. I get it. Enough said. We have our own traditions, histories, and distinctive values. I may not think your organization was the right one for me because of my personal values, but I still respect your organization for what it is. When I came to Georgia, AKA’s and Delta’s were some of the most influential people in my life. To be honest, if some organizations were missing, it would be noticed somewhere IF in fact your organization, at least on a national or international level if not on community or local chapter level was actually doing something. So as much as I hear other organizations diss Zetas or any other sororities….if we were missing, even being one of the smallest, you would notice. I don’t see Deltas or AKAs holding Storks Nest sessions to helping underprivileged pregnant women and educating them about their pregnancy to prevent premature births, giving them essential baby items and support. Our agendas are DIFFERENT. We employ DIFFERENT MEANS to contribute to the betterment of the black community. So how can you even possible say things like “Our sorority is the only sorority and the best” WHAT? THE BEST AT WHAT? We don’t even focus on the same aspects? I don’t need your stamp of approval from your organization in order to go hard for my own. I didn’t join for that. So as I tell haters alike (you don’t need to be Greek to be a hater..thats universal), please stay in your designated hating areas. We don’t need to choke from your second-hand hate. Kill your own happiness, not everyone else’s.

6. GREEKS NEED TO COMPETE ON THE THINGS THAT MATTER

Ok so let say I even tolerate your claim that you are THE BEST. Then be the best…..at THINGS THAT MATTER. No one cares how good you are at strolling, stepping, or party hopping….and some of you can’t even do that and just rely on the fact that you feel you look good in your letters. Please Grow Up. Welcome to the real world, outside of your college bubble. In the real world, these skills are not transferable to anything important. You will find yourself graduating years late, GPA low, and still can’t get a job even if you do network with your sorors. Do better. So if we are going to compete and you want to assert some sense of elitism, lets compete on things that matter like PROGRAMMING, ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT, COMMUNITY OUTREACH, YOUTH ENRICHMENT, etc. The other aspects of Greek Life ARE FOR FUN. Keep it that way. We may make fun of each other for fun but its not that serious to the point where you feel like you have to put someone else down to make you feel like you or your organization is a threat. People who are actually doing something, don’t need to chant the loudest, make appearances, and do all this talking, etc. People notice them for what they do and respect them for it. YOU EARN RESPECT NOT CONVINCE PEOPLE TO RESPECT YOU BECAUSE YOU MAKE AN APPEARANCE. So do better…if not for yourself according to your own standards because they aren’t high enough, at least for your organization since you may seem to think that makes you who you are. DO BETTER.

7.NPHC IS A JOKE

When I was a naive neo coupled with my “save the world” mentality by wanting to be a doctor, I thought all the Greeks came together to impact the black community as a whole. I was sooo wrong. Historically Black Greek Lettered Organizations are more worried about tooting their own horn, outshining others, and being individual organizations. So..at this point… I quit. It’s sad to think that even until this day, black people still CANNOT work together….still crabs in a bucket. Keep your attitudes, judgments, whatever..people should not have to convince you to go hard for your organization’s agenda…which is holding yourself to a higher standard and doing effective programming. The social aspect is fun but once again, that is not the only thing that Greek Life is about. Its a balance and sometimes its good to work with other organizations and combine resources to make a bigger impact, especially if you DO NOT…I repeat..DO NOT go to an HBCU, which leads me to my next point.

8. HBCU’s VS PWI’s

Moment of clarification HBCU stands for Historically Black Colleges & Universities. PWI is a term used to describe Predominately White Institutions and that is precisely what Georgia College & State University is. The Greek organizations here may go from 2 – 8 members per each organization if we are lucky. The division is not necessary, neither is individualistic elitism..we get it…your organization is DIFFERENT. So in terms of our chapter, we find more alliances with non-black greeks for program support and collaboration and even non-greek organizations. Black Greek organizations at PWI’s need to realize that we already come from a small pot, so further division only hurts the cause and then you wonder why no one is interested in Greek Life. If we only have like a handful of black people from the start, most of us should be Greek anyway because the movers and shakers and people getting things done will most likely have to rely on the efforts of minority activism and participation as a whole. When I first came to this campus, most of the people were Greek and yet I could relate to them on other levels beyond being Greek because those same people were in the organizations like Black Student Alliance, NAACP, etc. Now what I see is people who are just Greek and only stick with their Greek people to do social Greek things. There is no reason why you should walk into a room, not speak to anybody but still want to be recognized because you are wearing your letters with your sorors or frat….sitting in the corner like LAMES talking about other people. Please GROW UP! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? I barely see those same people being apart of their campus community except when it comes to parties. Then you have the nerve to talk about other people and say you are better? Better according to what standard? Because, last time I checked, there are plenty of other people on a PWI campus who are doing things for the campus community and local community and ARE NOT GREEK. Yet you don’t make attempts to work with these people and band together because collectively you are a black minority. And given the circumstances, some of you WOULD NOT…repeat…WOULD NOT even have survived on an HBCU campus, much less even been able to withstand crossing at an HBCU campus. So I wish the nonsense would stop. Collaborate and work together….IT IS NOT THAT SERIOUS!

9. GREEK PERSONAL ISSUES GOING TOO FAR

Lets see..hmm..should I even bother with this one? So, basically this describes people who have personal vendettas against people and then transfer that to Greek Division. Time and time again, I hate when I speak to people and they are nice as individuals but because one of their sorors doesn’t like me or someone in my organization, they act different around their sorors or frat collectively. Make up your mind…either you like people or you don’t like people. Who cares? I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who knows there is a world outside this campus…and if anything I network with other people who are in other Greek organizations because I know people in general in different arenas from educators to doctors to scientist to nurses and it goes on. It would be completely ignorant for them to be like…oh Tameka, you are a Zeta now so now I can’t help you…what? It doesn’t work like that, so stop making it seem like it works like that on this campus. We all work with each other in one from or another, so stop letting personal issues be masked in your Greek letters. If you don’t like someone it’s because you don’t like someone…keep it yourself. You don’t need to start GANG MENTALITY and get the rest of your crew to not like someone or treat them differently when you are around each other. Very ignorant. I hope you finally climb out the box you jumped so deep into.

10. BREEDING CARBON COPIES

I will say it over and over again..be an individual. Be a person of quality. Stop trying to mold yourself into what that particular chapter wants you to be so that you can feel some sense of belonging. That shows weakness in character. And unfortunately people who aren’t about anything usually are the ones that breed more weak-minded individuals…and the cycle continues…I don’t understand that by even slightly mentioning you are interested in a particular organization to a person who is in the organization means you should automatically be kicked down, humiliated and pre-hazed. What? Just because an aspirant admires your organization (that’s a compliment by the way) and wants to know what they must do to join (and this before an interest meeting or anything is being done for a process), that does not give you a reason to put them through all this drama only to tell them that they can’t join because you don’t like them. Why would you waste an individual’s time like that…is it some deceitful revenge you must do because it makes you feel better about yourself? But now I understand the tactic…you actually WANT to find weak individuals..that is your goal…to see who will bend and fear you right off the back. Trust, if I had experienced anything like that, I would have  to politely take off my Christian and say some things to you. First off, I don’t come from a sheltered background..don’t let my proper annunciation and command of the English language fool you (You wouldn’t last 5 minutes outside your suburban bubble). I know what real GANGS are…I don’t fear you. I fear no man. You can’t do anything to me but say no…oh wow..the end of the world..I don’t get to wear your letters…faint*. Whatever..STILL going to med school..STILL going to succeed…STILL going to make a difference in my community…I joined Zeta because I wanted to surround myself with people who shared my vision and would be my backbone for success.. these other individuals (found in all organizations) only breed other weak minded individuals. Once again, I am glad I had the experience to join Zeta. When I was interested, I respected them and kept my place but not once was I belittled into some little minion. Of course I had to work for it and to this day I am still working for it and I appreciate the experience. But not once was I made to feel like less of a person. If I don’t have to try that hard for Jesus…I’m definitely not about to feel like scum of the Earth because you had letters on and thought you were better…because at the end of this life..AKA land, Delta Land, Zeta Land ..whatever..must be in HELL because I don’t see it in the Bible…so yea…whatever (that’s for another rant).

So I wrote this because I’m continually saddened about the state of black people. That perpetuated sense of slave mentality. It had nothing to do with how these organizations got started, yet the foolishness seeped back in. Perhaps its because these individuals..looking for someone to own them…looking for a reason to feel important…infiltrated and corrupted the entire vision.

SO IF YOU ARE OFFENDED…GOOD…YOU SHOULD BE..BECAUSE IT MUST MEAN THAT THIS APPLIES TO YOU AND YOU NEED TO DO BETTER. If it doesn’t apply to you, you wouldn’t have a reason to be upset. I’m just summarizing my experience with people as a whole since before I became Greek up until now..where I see even more of it. STOP THE FOOLISHNESS…PLEASE.

Thanks. I’m outie. One Love..and Deuces..Cuz good things come in Threes. Over and Out. 

Tameka Floetic Prodigy Dean

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