Tag Archives: community

Question: Who is this “We” people always refer to when talking about change in the Black community?

I’m looking for WE.  You know, the “WE” that Black journalists, commentators, business people, politicians, and pundits talk about when they are interviewed on television and radio.  When they say things like…

  • We need to educate our children and take back our communities.
  • We need to harness our socioeconomic power and influence corporations.
  • We need to support “X” and “Y” legislation.
  • We need to step up and be fathers, mothers, mentors, leaders, business people, etc.

Do you know who “We” is?

In my opinion, the homogeneous black WE is a figment of the imagination.  We as African-Americans are not of one economic or social strata.  We are not all college educated or high school drop outs.  We don’t all have the Cosby family dream or come from strong single mother households.  It is this reality that is overlooked when people call on the WE.

When you call out to someone who isn’t there…they don’t hear you.  Black America is not hearing the call of some of it’s best and brightest leaders because they aren’t calling US collectively.  We are not WE…we are YOU.  You are the poor sista on welfare who is looked down upon because she needs food stamps to survive.  You are the brother who was passed along by “No child left behind” so that the graduation rates would be acceptable.  You are the child who is told they can be a great as Martin Luther King, but faces a reality in their neighborhood that says they will be lucky to secure a decent paying job after high school graduation.

When we all see our brothers and sisters as ourselves we gain the perspective that compassion and understanding brings.  Advising from a place of understanding brings context, and context makes words relevant.  You must take on the challenges, differences, issues and problems and see them on a personal level.  Seek to understand, not just provide lip service.  Then we can go from You to US.  Community.  You are then able to speak to the community at large as well as segments of the community in the ways that are most effective.  From there we can move the community to action, because as we all know, actions speak louder than words.

I don’t think that many people I hear are talking about US when they say “We need to”.  I think they are really saying that “The Talented Tenth” needs to.  They may be saying “You people” need to.  I think the appeals and advice, no matter how good and well intentioned, is falling on deaf ears.  We need action plans and road maps to the future that are formulated to appeal to our diverse community.  Black History Month is a great time to consider whether it’s time for talking or time for us to build community and effect change.

Hello, Negro family, I’d love to know your thoughts on this.

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Filed under activism, african american, black, black men, black women, opinion

Black Women Doing the White Thang in the UK

As black women dating white men becomes a topic I see more and more of in the black press and on blogs, I wonder…Will the stigma that haunts these relationships in the US be as large as the one that haunts Black Male/White Female relations.

From Why black women are doing the white thing

Now, rather than sitting around dreaming about the perfect black man, black women are considering the possibility that ‘Mr. Right’ could be white.  Casting aside reservations about interracial relationships – for some, due to the atrocities committed during slavery – they are beginning to look past race when choosing a potential mate.

Race doesn’t matter to Paul Kennedy and Michelle Clarke. Best friends since primary school, they are now in a relationship together. Kennedy is white and Clarke is black.  “People are finding people with common interests and common perspectives and are putting race aside,” says Clarke, 26, a Middlesex University graduate who works at Barclay’s Bank.

Clarke and her friends are among the new generation of black females that are opting to date outside of their race due to their social environment. Like Clarke, the majority of young people have friends or acquaintances of different races and nationalities, and are seen as more tolerant and open-minded than previous generations. Unlike their parents and grandparents, today’s teens and twenty-somethings have grown up hearing the buzzwords ‘diversity,’ ‘multicultural’ and ‘inclusion’, and are used to seeing interracial friendship and romance portrayed in films and on TV – especially in soap operas and adverts.

“I don’t see colour as an issue,” states Clarke. “We have been very happy together and apart from a few isolated incidents, we have not experienced any open hostility towards our relationship.” Continue reading


Filed under black, black man, black women, change, culture, dating, news, opinion, relationships, society, stereotype, women

Jesse Jackson and leaders speak on the subprime crisis

|Chicago Tribune staff reporter
Rev. Jesse Jackson joined with Chicago legislators and aldermen Tuesday to highlight what he described as an “economic tsunami” of foreclosures that are expected to affect homeowners unable to meet higher mortgage payments when their subprime loans jump to higher rates this year.

Jackson said 2 million U.S. homeowners faced foreclosure at the end of last year and the rates on another 2 million subprime loans are expected to change, or reset, this year, leaving families vulnerable to eviction and driving down property values, especially in African-American and Latino neighborhoods.

“We need to declare a moratorium on the resets and choose massive restructuring on the loans rather than massive repossessing,” Jackson said.

“Whole communities are sinking.”

Jackson and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) said they plan to invite major mortgage lenders such as National City Bank, Countrywide Financial Corp. and Washington Mutual to a Jan. 25 meeting and urge them to help families at risk of foreclosure by restructuring subprime loans.

“It will be a full-fledged discussion looking for solutions,” Davis said.  In addition, Davis urged families to seek help from community organizations and housing assistance groups if they are facing foreclosures.


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Tips for Marketing to Negroes

Most people use word of mouth, either giving or receiving advice about brands. But influencers, who have sway over others and often engage lots of different people, are especially attractive to marketers who want to spread brand news quickly.   Nobody does word of mouth like Negroes.  From the Beauty Shop, to Girlfriends on the phone all night, we love to get confirmation from friends and love ones to inform how we spend our money…what we buy, movies, travel, private schools, clothing…you name it.  Everyone knows a Black influencer.  Someone who is ahead on all the trends.  Someone who recommends the best restaurants.  Someone who talks a lot.  LOL

Of course companies want to know how to best reach black consumers, because black people spend money like it’s going out of style.  Who else spends thousands on gold and diamonds that you put in your mouth and are only visible when you smile really really hard.  Anyway, when it comes to Marketing to African Americans, you should know…

  • African-American influencers appear to spend significantly more time than those from other demographic groups talking with family, friends and co-workers.
  • African-American consumers influencers are especially well-networked. According to the study, each individual in this segment speaks to an average of 56 people every day. That is 40% more people than the African-American population as a whole, and 20% more than US influencers overall. 
  • Philanthropy toward the African-American community rated very highly, as did well-regarded spokespeople.
  • Influential African-Americans spent somewhat less time interacting online than influencers overall, but read more news online and shopped online somewhat more.

Source: emarketer.com

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PSA: Black Men and Negative Statistics

This  clip is brought to you by What Black Men Think“, a movie by Janks Morton.  He is concerned about what African Americans think of themselves.  He is concerned that the Black community will accept negative news stories and negative statistics without questioning or researching the facts for ourselves.

“The film sets out to debunk stereotypes that he said have been perpetuated for so many years that they have struck the black community to its core. Stereotypes that have insulted, demoralized and humiliated. That have left others intimidated by black boys and black men.

The “docu-logue” is in a style akin to Michael Moore’s, with interviews of black intellectuals. It’s infused with graphics, historical footage of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and provocative moments, such as black women calling black men dogs.” – Full article from the Washington Post

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