Blame Yourself

“If you don’t have a job and if you’re not rich blame yourself.” Republican presidential candidate, Herman Cain stated these words in a recent interview discussing the Occupy Wall Street protests. He also goes on to state that people should not be jealous of others’ success. According the Cain, if you didn’t succeed in life its all your fault. I understand that Cain is trying to get people to be more accountable for their own actions. There is some truth to his statement. At times we blame others for our own misfortunes instead of taking into account our own mistakes. However, when discussing the big banks of Wall Street and how common people have suffered in the recession, it is unfair to dismiss their strife as “jealousy”. What about the oppression, elitism, and discrimination that has plagued America for centuries? These definitely affect the socio-economic statuses of many Americans, especially African Americans.

One documentary in particular, unknowingly highlights this. Born Rich is a documentary that has interviews with the people that we would call the 1% (the wealthiest people in the world). Throughout the course of the interviews, it’s easy to see that many of the rich families became wealthy during time periods that African descendants were forced to work as slaves, sharecroppers and low-wage workers. While the children of the wealthy families inherited the wealth (centuries later) without having worked for it at all; the children of the poor families inherited the poverty at no fault of their own. Its not a simple matter of who works harder. Many times its a matter of who was born into the “right” family, race, gender and economic class. Thus the effects of inequalities are passed on to new generations. Its kind of like a cycle. These type of cycles can be ended but it takes a very very long time. This is a fact of society that can not be ignored or disregarded.

Though we are born with various inequalities, the goal is to make society better for the whole, not “privileged” parts. Because of the historical privileges allotted to wealthy corporations and banks, many people are feeling disheartened as they struggle to pay their mortgages, find a job and put food on the table. I think this is the crust of the Occupy Wall Street movement. It is not about being “jealous” or “envious” it is about desiring a better life and pressuring the government to stop catering to certain privileges that are costing common citizens hundreds of millions of dollars. To a degree, I do understand Cain’s sentiment. Hard work should be valued and does help with achieving success. However, preexisting inequalities are highly relevant and should be taken seriously.


Jessica Ann Mitchell is the founder of Black Bloggers Connect. Mitchell specializes in multicultural outreach and communications. She also writes on her personal blog at To reach JAM email her at


If you believe in the power of people. Please share the link to this article on Twitter and Facebook and let us know about it. We will give you a shout-out on our next article and we’ll link to your blog or website.

See The Herman Cain Interview

Watch the Born Rich Documentary Here

Stop Apologizing For Being Black: Natural Hair In The Workplace


During this recent dip in the economy, many Black people have been forced to endure the dogged job hunt chase. Many of us are qualified (or over-qualified) citizens with plenty of talent and credentials. However, by being Black we are placed in a unique situation of double-consciousness. In the case of black women, we face a somewhat triple- oppression having to deal with our color, sex and socio-economic statuses. One key factor in the job hunt fiasco that specifically affects Black women is our hair. On countless blogs, websites and forums the questions continue to be asked, “ Is natural hair unprofessional?” or “Should I straighten my hair or wear a wig to get a job?” I have seen a plethora of answers and there is always the dreaded conclusion that we must alter ourselves in order to gain employment.

However this issue is much deeper than being about employment. When are we going to realize that the more we continue to alter ourselves to please “others”, the more we are succumbing to the sub-human state of existence that is being placed upon us? This is an issue of forcing the world to recognize our humanity, our God given right to exist the way we were created. When we change our hair, skin or body to please other people we are in essence saying, “You’re right, there is something wrong with being Black.”

When is the last time you saw a discussion about Caucasian women afraid to wear their hair straight for fear of unemployment?

You’ve never seen it because it doesn’t exist. European phenotypes are unfortunately perceived as normal. Meanwhile, African phenotypes are viewed as abnormal in a society that is predominantly Eurocentric. This is why multi-million dollar companies such as Nivea can create advertisements referring to Black hair as “uncivilized” without seeing anything wrong with it. However, this can change and it’s changing more and more everyday. It takes persistence, even in the face of hardships, to make the world respect our right to humanity. We are not three fifths of a man. We are human beings on this planet and we have a right to exist fully and completely.

The more we allow ourselves to be disrespected, the more we will continue to face blatant and overt discrimination concerning our hair, skin and bodies. Furthermore, do you really want to work for a place that does not respect you or your heritage? Wear your hair kinky, curly, straight, bald, twisted or braided but please do your hair the way it pleases you. Not someone else. Let us stop apologizing for being Black. We have to make the world recognize and respect who we are, as we are, unapologetically.

Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor is a writer, social justice advocate and the founder of Our Legaci. Learn more about her work at Email

@TweetingJAM – 

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


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!


Follow me on twitter: Nikkiandthecity

Check out my blog:

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


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


Ok so let say I even tolerate your claim that you are THE BEST. Then be the best… 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.


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. 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!


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.


I will say it over and over 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

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