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This site was created by Nicholl McGuire, Inspirational Speaker and Author. Feel free to comment, share links and subscribe. If you have a business or would like to guest post feel free to contact. Check out topics on this blog and select what interests you. They are found at the bottom of this page. Peace and Love.

Friday

Uncle Tom & Aunt Tammy: What about em?

On election night 2008, Ralph Nader said about Barack Obama, "To put it very simply, he is our first African-American president, or he will be. And we wish him well. But his choice, basically, is whether he is going to be Uncle Sam for this country or Uncle Tom for the giant corporations," according to Wikipedia, the free Internet encyclopedia. So the question of the day is, what type of character must you have to be an Uncle Tom or an Aunt Tammy (for black females)?

Wikipedia defines Uncle Tom as "a pejorative (words that imply disapproval or contempt) for a black person who is perceived by others as behaving in a subservient manner to White American authority figures, or as seeking ingratiation with them by way of unnecessary accommodation. The term Uncle Tom comes from the title character of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, although there is debate over whether the character himself is deserving of the pejorative attributed to him. Stowe never meant Uncle Tom to be a derided character, but the term as a pejorative has developed based on how later versions of the character, stripped of his strength, were depicted on stage."

Depending on the background you grew up, any black person who attended college, moved out of a predominately black community into a white one, married someone the opposite of his or her race, and spends time with primarily the white race would be considered an Uncle Tom or Aunt Tammy. So if Barack Obama had a white woman on his arm instead of a black woman then he may have been labeled as an Uncle Tom. As you just read an attempt was made to label him as such. I personally feel that in order to get the label of Uncle Tom put on someone by me, you would have to totally isolate yourself from the black race in almost every decision that you made, gone above and beyond the call of duty for every white person that you met, and did things to your face, hair and skin to make yourself look more European looking. You see to be an Uncle Tom or Aunt Tammy for me, you would have to be willing to play the part in everyway as far as I'm concerned. Although I have personally met some terrible actors in my life's journey. They talk the talk with me, "Hey girl...What??...Dat one...No dos...dis one..." Then when they get around another race, "No, I would prefer that one. Maybe this one with a side order of those." These terrible actors are the same ones who will report you if you are late for work, talk about how you are not up to par as an employee behind your back with someone different than his or her race usually or another Uncle Tom or Aunt Tammy type, and roll their eyes right along with whoever they are trying to impress about you. Then come to you and act as if they did or said nothing, "You know how she is girl..." No, I know how you are!

I met alot of these Uncle Tom and Aunt Tammy types on the east coast. They would have been the ones telling on the rest of us to the master while eating the good piece of chicken and we would be eating the crap letover from the pig. They are the teacher's pets of society and that's okay if you are trying to better us and enable all of us to get ahead, but usually they are doing nothing more than bringing us down. I saw my share on the west coast too. You walk by them and they don't want to make eye contact or speak, so afraid of what they might hear come out of your mouth. "Oh she is one of them...I know her type." The funny thing is that they know nothing about any type, but themselves. There interest "money" bottom line. Don't invite a west coast black to any functions unless you have something worthwhile to give them, because these blacks out here are about social classes. How much money do you make? That's all they want to know. If the money is right, you are in, but if the money ain't right, "do I know you?"

Uncle Tom and Aunt Tammy you may have seen them in your family talking and the rest of your family said things like, "Listen to her talking white...look at the way she cook, what is it that he is wearing..." If they are giving back to you and the community you live in, shut up! They are just educated they can't help themselves, they are conditioned by a society that told them to act and dress a certain way and by acting that way they have been able to get ahead to help you! One day they will wake up and find their true selves, so leave them alone. But if you don't see those other members of your family but once in a blue moon and when you talk to them they act like they have an attitude, that includes those on your job too, watch your back and don't share any details about your life to them, they might be looking for a warrant for your arrest so that they can capitalize off your capture, better yet they may see that you are on your way up and they know there isn't too much room at the top, so they might make it difficult for you to get there!

As for that statement about Barack Obama, only time will tell.

Written by Nicholl McGuire

Being Black Isn't Popular With Some Survey Companies

I decided to test some of these survey companies who brag about how much I could make taking their surveys. Many of which consistently emailed me with requests and many who turned me down quite often too. So I thought, "well maybe I just don't fit the demographic they are looking for..." Funny thing is over a year later, some of these companies still have yet to "accept me" so I decided I was going to test them out. So I started off filling out surveys as the black female, they would say that I didn't qualify, not that the quota was already met, but I didn't qualify. However, when I was Hispanic and white, I passed with flying colors. Interesting. Huh?

Written by Nicholl McGuire

Tuesday

There is a Mental Illness Among Certain Blacks: Hating The Skin Their In

Okay, at first I didn't want to admit it, I just wanted to sweep it under the rug, but my brothas and sistas, some people in our circle are sick. They suffer from what I would like to call, "I hate my black self." Now they won't come out and say it, because they know they will have to face much ridicule from family and friends, but the evidence is clear. From the way they act around other races of people from the things they buy, someone in their family must have hurt them so bad that they just don't do black any longer.

My first experience observing a black with this mental illness I speak of was back in high school. I met a black girl who had mannerisms that said, "I hate my black self and I am running away from it too." People called her all sorts of names because of her dark skin. I wasn't one of them because I had my own issues of being black, I never saw myself as a lightskin black, but other people did and needless to say I experienced racism within my own race. I didn't know the history behind my skin tone, nor did I think I had some special incentives because of it. But I digress and will have to explore that topic on a later date, but back to her and my point for writing this blog, anyway, she would talk in a way that seemed rehearsed. She used, "like really..Oh my God...and what the f*ck man..." you know statements that we would consider "acting white." Now I liked her, thought she was cool, but I knew my sista had some serious issues. She watched mainly movies with white people in them, exclusively dated white men, went places that were primarily shopped by whites, eventually got pregnant by one and he left her. And she would tell me alot about white people. She definitely had her hands in the cookie jar and I was curious. But what she didn't tell me was how much she hated being black. Instead, it showed up in her actions. I knew there was something wrong and when I met her mother it reinforced the weird feeling I felt the more I hung around her. Her mother wasn't too happy with her black self either. So there it was the root of her issues passed on by her mother. So I say all of that to say this, why do blacks think that by hanging around exclusively white people that some how they will still be able "to keep it real?" It just doesn't happen that way over a long period of time, being around any race other than your own on a regular basis will change you in some ways. I live in a predominately Chinese community and trust me, if I had a choice in the matter, it would have never happened, but the man I am with picked it because it is minutes away from his job. Further, I don't think I'm Chinese, but I will tell you that now that I live here, I have an appreciation for Chinese art that I never had before. I will spend some time looking at the detail in the furniture that the Chinese create and will study their portraits, abstract art, and statues. I think if you are around anything long enough you will be influenced in some way.

So I think some of these blacks who choose to spend the majority of their time with other races; instead of their own are doing it because they don't like what they see within nor do they like what they see around them. If you grew up around a bunch of busybody, loud mouth, impoverished blacks whose idea of a good time was talking about you and your momma, then I guess I wouldn't want to be around those certain type of black folks, but I wouldn't close myself off to an entire race either.

Another issue I have with this mental illness of hating onself in the black community, is with brothas who claim they want to be with a sista then when they get her, they want to talk about her "attitude," like they don't have one, and to make it worse they will treat every other race of women so polite and nice then come home with no smile, barely speaking, and then taking out their "attitude" on her. It's always her fault for why he can't be happy, get ahead, find something, go somewhere, etc. Instead of holding himself accountable. Then when he can't seem to make things right with her, because "she got an attitude," he starts looking out in the street, at work, and on the Internet for his next victim. I say victim, because every sista starts off smiling, boasting, buying, and loving a brotha and then when it's all said and done, she is frowning, lying, witholding, and hating a brotha. I can speak to this issue, because I have experience. You see, a few of the men I dated had this mental illness I speak of. They got with my lightskin self, because as one brotha put it, "I got the best of both worlds." He went on to tell me that he "had a black woman with some white girl ways," now you know I had to leave that sick brotha alone. What college-educated black woman doesn't have some white ways since she has "to perform" in order to get ahead. There will be no shucking and jiving when talking to the man!

This issue of hating one's self because momma left a bad taste in some brotha's mouth so he will only do women who are totally the opposite of momma or hating black men, because she allowed too many to break her heart, or some other crazy reason for losing one's self in a sea of brown, white, red, yellow, or some other color is sick! You know it and I know it. I can respect someone who is open-minded to date all sorts of races just because they are in search of love, that has always been me and anyone who knows me, knows that. But this twisted thinking that if you can get a lightskin or white skin person to fall in love with you so you can have pretty babies is absurb and I can't help but think that some people I know have been guilty of this! This crazy thinking that somehow I can feel better about myself if I talk and walk like other races and spend most of my time hanging around nothing but white people is damn near suicidal! And last but not least, to teach one's child to never trust a brotha, live in a black neighborhood, give a fellow man your business, or sit down and eat at his house is ridiculous! But there are blacks teaching their children these things like the Bible, I can hear them now after Obama was elected and picking members of his cabinet, "See Matthew and Theresa you too can be just like Obama one day just so long as you surround yourself with white people. White people got Oprah far...White people got Clarence Thomas far...White people got your mommy and daddy far, leave those no n*ggas alone, okay?" The children respond, "Yes mommy and daddy we will." Another generation shall grow up fleeing black!

"So what is the bottom line and what does this idea of certain blacks hating themselves have to do with me?" I'm glad you asked, but if you had to then you either aren't black or missed my entire point. It has everything to do with you if not now, some time in the future. Because if you have children and these self-hating blacks are teaching your children in schools and in other programs, something is going to be said at some point that will change the way your children think about themselves. If your misguided cousin, aunt, uncle, sista, or brotha, starts bad mouthing blacks, or dare they say it, "N*ggas," or whatever other name they come up with, their attitude will affect how you choose to deal or not deal with them as well as anyone who is in a relationship with you. "Don't worry about my crazy relative..." will not smooth over hurt feelings, check them before they end up checking whoever you decide to have a serious relationship with. Their attitude may influence those around you to not want to deal with you, because you may be "too black, ghetto, poor..." or what ever other thought they may have about you. So you see, it is a mental illness amongst a few that can infect the whole family and/or whole nation. And as you may know, anyone who hates themselves, can be a problem on the job, in a social group, or somewhere else where harmony is a must. It makes you wonder if self-hating blacks are really the ones behind the negative images or lack of representation we see on television? Just think a powerful black in the boardroom saying, "No, I rather see Lily do that scene, because well you know how Keisha can be..." or what about a potential job offer or an opportunity to join a group this self-hating black, "No, I think Tyrone wouldn't be good for the organization, well you know his dreadlocks are a problem. Let's pass on Katina too, because you know she has all those kids to care for." Sometimes these self-hating blacks only want to be the only black on a job or organization, so they will stop at nothing to keep you from meeting any quotas, we will have to touch on that issue another time!

Written by: Nicholl McGuire

African Americans: A Look in the Mirror, Part 1

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin At present, African Americans stand at the crossroads of great hopes for wealth and freedom exceptional for the great-and great, great-grandchildren of former slaves and great despair caused by family disintegration, generational poverty, educational disparities and the digital divide. The threat is that we will form a permanent underclass is this new society as the demand for skilled and highly educated workers and new business owners reaches a peak. You might not like me too much for the data I present in this chapter that reveals the depths of our situation. Bill Cosby has been speaking out about these things and has taken some heat for his coarse rhetoric. We can’t change our situation until we know what we are changing. I believe that once you see the data, you will be compelled to make some changes. If that is the case, I am confident that you will finish the rest of this solutions-oriented guide.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 70% of black children are born out of wedlock. Many times, the father is absolutely out of the picture. Single moms have the toughest job there is in this country. No work demands as much immediate attention and delayed gratification. You cannot pay someone enough to do this job yet the single black mom is the poorest demographic in our society. An unimaginable 39% of black female heads of household and 33% of black children are living below the poverty line compared to 18.6% of white female heads of household and 9.6% of white children. The true shame is that all odds are stacked against these families compounding every challenge normally faced with raising children into healthy, confident and independent adults. They face long odds when it comes to living in poverty, being victimized by violence, lacking quality education, low self-esteem and poor role models. Having a loving father around is a spiritually, mentally, emotionally and financially stabilizing force needed by every child. The numbers bear this out to be true. Only 7.1% of black married couple families live below the poverty line and only 3.3% of white married couple families live below the poverty line. God created the family to consist of both a father and mother and all other arrangements are sub-optimal for children. Be that as it may, everyone must also make the best of their situation as it may be right now. The reality is that 300 years of slavery has devastated the African American family unit. There are many African American families that are loving and meeting the needs of their children that we don’t here about that share in the values and beliefs that stable families are good for our children. The challenge is that we were deliberately denied the benefits of family for too long. Saving the African American family needs to be the number one priority of every organization that says its purpose is to help black people. A father is the first competitive edge any young person can have in this world. A young person of any race that is raised in a fatherless home has several strikes against him or her already. Building and strengthening African American family is the first preliminary step we need to take to get started on the track to building wealth as a people in this society.

The seven critical 21st century skills outlined in the book, The 7 Simple Secrets to Wealth Building: An African American’s Guide to Wealth Building in the 21st Century and Beyond, is a book about overcoming obstacles to wealth that plague a large segment of the Black community and will work for anyone. Realistically, accomplishing anything will always be more difficult for those with so many odds against them that they must overcome and being fatherless is a long odd, indeed. This article is not meant to discourage anyone. Hopefully, it will encourage each of you to more carefully consider the needs of Black children and to find ways to provide them with what they need to flourish in this new economy starting with a responsible, loving father figure.

About the author: Bret Searles is a freelance writer on Black personal finance and business issues, author of an ebook "The 7 Simple Secrets to Building Wealth: An African American Guide" and publisher of the Black Wealth Now ezine found http://www.blackwealthnow.com

Soul Food

The history of American soul food can be traced all the way back to the days of slavery. More often times than not, the slaves were given the most undesirable part of the meal, the leftovers from the house. Pairing this with their own home-grown vegetables, the first soul food dishes were invented. After the slaves were freed, most of them were so poor that they could only afford the most undesirable, inexpensive cuts of meat available to them. (The leftover, unwanted parts of a pig such as tripe, tongue, ears, and knuckles). As in the days of slavery, African-Americans used their own home-grown vegetables and things they could catch or kill to complete their meals. In the modern United States, soul food has truly evolved. It has become part of the African-American culture, bringing family members together on all occasions from birthdays to funerals, to spend time together preparing meals.

The history of soul food is mainly an oral one; recipes were never really written down so while two families may be preparing identical meals, chances are that they don't taste very much alike. Different ingredients, cooking methods, and techniques go into preparing soul food meals, causing the end results to come out differently. One of the most obvious and widely-recognized characteristics of African-American soul food is the fact that hot sauce and more intense spices are incorporated into meals as often as possible. For this reason, soul food is not for those who can't take the heat or are prone to heart burn!

Another characteristic of true African-American soul food is that nothing is ever wasted. Having originated from the leftovers of just about anything. Stale bread was quickly converted into stuffing or a bread pudding. Over ripe bananas were whipped up into banana puddings, and other ripe fruits were put into cakes and pies, and leftover fish parts were made into croquets or hush puppies. Sunday dinners are definitely the times when soul food is most commonly seen on tables. Sunday dinners are a time for African-American families to get together to prepare and partake in a large meal. Sunday dinners normally take up the entire day (normally following a church ceremony), and family members come from far and wide to partake in this meal together.

Sunday dinners took place in the form of potlucks, also, where various family members contribute a dish or two and form a big, fine meal. Collard and mustard greens, kale, ribs, corn bread, fried chicken, chitlins, okra, and yams are all excellent examples of African-American soul food that might be found at a Sunday meal. Soul food is not generally a healthy option for a person that must monitor their diet. Fried foods are generally prepared with hydrogenated oil or lard, and they usually tend to be flavored and seasoned with pork products. Since this may be what contributes to such a high percentage of African-Americans that are significantly overweight, soul food preparation methods are now slowly starting to be refined, bringing a lot more healthy options to the table. Rather than the increasingly unhealthy pork products, use of turkey-based products is becoming more and more popular as time passes. The fried foods that are so beloved of the culture can now be prepared using a lower fat canola or vegetable oil.

About the author: Troy Pentico
Visit The Tasty Chef for more great tips, techniques, and insights pertaining to cooking and recipes.

NOTE: If you have read this article, feel free to contact Nicholl McGuire for a chance to win a free DVD on Soul food!!! The contest ends February 1, 2009.

Friday

African American Skin Care Products That Really Work

If you want African American skin care products that really work, you need to choose ones that contain the right ingredients. You also need to know about some ingredients to avoid. Some compounds cause "hyper-pigmentation". Others cause "de-pigmentation". Of course, the best ones even out the skin-tone and protect the skin's overall health. Here's what to look for and what to avoid.

Compounds to Avoid

Sodium methyl paraben has been banned from skincare products in the EU, but it is still found in products manufactured in other countries. It has been shown to have a de-pigmenting effect that may be permanent. Check your products carefully for this ingredient.

Petroleum-based products, wood based alcohols and propylene glycol can cause "hyper-pigmentation" or the appearance of darker spots that do not match your overall complexion. These ingredients are commonly found in African American skin care products that claim to relieve oiliness. Excessive oiliness is often caused by the products that you are currently using. If you have some oily spots, check your personal care products for petrolatum, mineral oil and other petrochemicals. Those cause excessive greasiness, without actually moisturizing.

Don't choose products that contain chemical bleaching agents. They are quite harsh and may do more harm than good

Compounds to Seek Out

. If you want to even out your skin-tone, look for an ingredient called extra-pone nut grass. You may only need a little to see a dramatic difference.

In addition, you should look for natural vitamin E, an antioxidant that will repair any hyper-pigmented areas caused by using the personal care items containing the ingredients mentioned above. If uneven tone is a problem, African American skin care products containing nut grass and vitamin E will help.

Effective Moisturizers that Balance Sebum Production

If you are like most of us, you have areas that range from mildly to excessively oily and others that are mildly to excessively dry. Sometimes, this is caused by using the wrong lotions or creams, but it can also be a natural difference in the number of follicles present in the skin.

Sebum, the skin's natural moisturizer, comes from the sebaceous glands, which are located at the root of the hair follicles. So, in areas that are basically "hair-less", the skin is drier. The best African American skin care products contain jojoba and/or passion fruit extract. These have been shown to moisturize dry areas, without causing greasiness or leading to break-outs.

Anti-Aging Ingredients

It seems that everyone these days is looking for anti-aging creams and lotions. And, it looks like every cosmetic company in the world has something to offer.

According to clinical trials, the most effective anti-aging ingredients include Functional Keratin and wakame kelp extract, as well as the antioxidants coenzyme Q10 and natural vitamin E. Functional Keratin increases the production of new cells and fibers. Wakame kelp protects levels of hyaluronic acid, preventing sagging and increasing firmness.

Antioxidants counter free radical damage, which dermatologists believe is responsible for all of the signs of aging. So, when you find African American skin care products that contain all of these, you will know that they "really work".

I recommend checking out this website http://www.AHealthyRadiantSkin.com or for complete details that apply to all skin types.

Margaret Bell is a dedicated advocate of living a healthy lifestyle and diligent researcher of skin care systems. Visit her site aHealthyRadiantSkin to discover which is the Best African American Skin Care Products Margaret recommends for all skin types.

Be sure to sign up for her free Health newsletter for new updated skin care information.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Margaret_Bell

African Americans Everywhere Get Ready to Pay: What You Forgot About When You Registered to Vote

"Tell Peaches, Lukesha, JJ, and Rod that the government thanks you for registering to vote and making history, but you need to pay up!" That's right, if you have been hiding from those bill collectors, running from the law, or doing something else to try to keep some cash in your pocket like some of your family and friends, then you may have forgotten that when you registered to vote, your business went out in the street!

According to the California Voter Foundation (CVF), “voter data is widely disseminated to secondary users, including commercial interests in 22 states, typically without any notice to voters that their information will be shared.” This isn’t any breaking news for some readers, because they already knew it. The CVF study was conducted back in 2002, and in that study they report who can obtain your information. Although their findings don’t name specific entities, it does give you general information on who has access to your private information. It also lists the kind of changes they suggest state governments should make to protect our privacy. The study reports, candidates and political parties have access to voter lists, 43 states use the same list as a juror source list, and 22 states allow unrestricted access to the list and permit the list to be used for commercial purposes. There are four states who grant scholars and academics access to voter lists under state statutes and four states grant journalists access to voter lists under state statutes at the time of this writing. The site also reports that some states may distribute phone numbers while others won’t, birthdates, social security numbers, and driver’s license numbers.

The study suggested what changes needed to be made in states to protect voter information, I guess many states either overlooked the report, didn’t know it existed, or felt it not profitable to protect voter contact information. Some of the Foundation’s recommendations included: “limit collection of data on registration forms, protect sensitive voter data, prohibit commercial use of voter lists and voter registration data, and strengthen enforcement of laws that protect voter data from abuses by secondary users.”

For some registered voters, you will know exactly where a collector obtained your information by the way they address you. If you typically don’t use your middle name, but used it when you registered to vote, well they just may have obtained it from the voter list. There was only one way I filled out my recent voter registration form and I knew immediately where the organization got my information from – you guessed it the voter list! What makes me angry is that this is a collector that I have already been making payments to, but still calls me anyway looking for more money!

It’s only a matter of time that collectors will be contacting you about past due bills, maybe child support you owe, or companies looking to sell you something. I recently heard a radio commercial stating that the IRS has hired thousands more collectors. Mind you this was before Barack Obama had been elected, they already knew there would be a record number turnout; therefore, that meant more people would have updated contact information and they would be able to track them down for money owed. So while we were sending emails, reminding family and friends to register, what we didn’t know is that we were helping the IRS and other organizations, update their databases.

When I conducted more research on this issue of voter privacy, I noticed that websites such as Smart Voter (allows users to find their custom ballot and polling place by entering their street address and zip code) will not reveal your street address to anyone; however that has nothing to do with the registration form you filled out and sent to your local election office. So who gives our information out? I found the answer to that question in an article that was published in VanityFair.com back in December 2007 which reported on a voter registration broker named Aristotle. It turns out that Aristotle provides information about you to political organizations, campaigns, and governmental agencies. They are used to validate your identity. There are other voter registration brokers like Aristotle such as Choicepoint and Axciom who also provide information to the federal, state, and local government about you as well.

When I think of the registration form I filled out, I don’t recall anything in big, black, bold text stating that “…upon completion of this form your information will be shared with federal, state, and local government agencies as well as secondary users.” Now I may still have registered, but then again maybe not. Yes this was an historic election, but I’m sure there were many of us who didn’t know that by registering we would be bothered by companies and organizations from the past and the present wanting our time, money and for some, their freedom.

There was more to electing Barack Obama then meets the eye and the government knew it. Think of all of those people who were wanted by government organizations for one thing or another, so they got caught up in the moment of making history with a single vote, and now their lives will be forever changed in more ways than one. Think of all of the people who will be making payment plans with the IRS, student loan agencies, and other government organizations now that the government has their most recent name, address, and phone number. An economic boost to the economy, you be the judge or maybe jury, because it is only a matter of time you or I will be called.

Obama was going to win whether we voted or not, the government would have seen to it, (if you remember early in Obama’s campaign they caught up with him for some past due bills and he paid them.) Uncle Sam knew what kind of crowds Obama drew and what kind of money he attracted. Both in the states and overseas, Obama is a rockstar, like a name brand product, he brings in cash and a whole lot of it!

Written by Nicholl McGuire, Freelance Writer, Poet & Author

Wednesday

The History Of African American Magazines

The African American magazines or the black magazines are a source of information and entertainment for the community with a sense of identity, which makes it the most priceless of all publications. To some the African American magazines or the black magazines are considered as a source of discrimination in reverse. There is a segment of blacks who are of the opinion that African American magazines or black magazines have been used by the blacks to segregate themselves from the rest of the community and would only lead to reverse discrimination in the community. The more discerning of critics are of the opinion that this perception could not be further from the truth considering that the black magazines are more of a necessity of the African American community rather than an exercise in discrimination.

The communication wonder - black magic

The black community uses the black magazines as a media to communicate and circulate exclusively black related issues but at no stage does it communicate hate for other communities so reverse discrimination cannot be further from the truth. The mainstream magazines do not cover African American issues - whether it is police brutality or civil rights issues. On the contrary the mainstream magazines focus primarily on all white issues and rarely if ever focus on the African American issues making it all the more important for the black community to publish black magazines. It is in appropriate to believe that the black community excludes the whites from the black magazines - the reality being that when black issues whether civil rights or otherwise are being addressed the whites would be excluded just as when mainstream magazines are published the blacks are naturally excluded

The merging cultures

The concept of having black magazines like Jet Magazines is not racial - rather it is cultural - to have a all black magazine with all black issues being tackled is not racist for all are invited to comment or read - making it cultural rather than racial. To illustrate - a Chinese restaurant serving all Chinese cuisine by a Chinese staff is barely racial - it is cultural. The black magazines are known to be supported by corporate America - coca cola, wal mart and the likes. This only further reiterates that the black magazines are an asset to the blacks community and not racial or an antipathy considering that corporate America would not support a racial movement - regardless of the fact that they are making a profit out of these black magazines.

On the contrary it is a near amazing fact that the black magazines in some instances are published in collaboration with the white community too making it a highly cohesive move with the sole motive of co existence of two ethically different communities in co - existence with mutual respect for each other - be it the blacks or the African American community as they are known and the whites. The commercial sense associated with the black or African American magazines underlines the need for a black magazine, which would advertise black businesses other than addressing black issues. This further enhances the scope of black businesses like printing, publishing, PR firms and the like making a black magazine more than just a source of entertainment - it is a complete way of life for the black community!

About the Author
David Chase is a fan of African American Magazines. phone: 323-933-9291offers. Or email him: davidc@magmall.com

I Am Not An African - American

I am not an African-American. Don’t call me an African –American. I’m an American plain and simple. I was born here as were my parents and grandparents and you would have to search many a generation back before you found anyone in my family who originated from the continent of Africa. It’s time black people in this country stop trying to identify with a land whose culture is not their own. It’s time we stand up and say “This land is our land” and let everyone know we have a right to this country as much as anyone.

I understand the need for black people in America to find an identity all their own. We are as displaced as a people can be. Brought here in the early seventeenth century, first as indentured servants then as slaves the richness of culture these individuals brought from their various tribes was systematically ripped away from them.

Maybe in calling ourselves African-American we feel we can retrieve some of that richness that is lost to us and was stolen from our people so long ago. However the atrocities of the past are just that, the past and trying to identify with lost cultures isn’t going to help us achieve the respect and prosperity that has alluded us for so long in a country that is still hostile to those of African descent.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way suggesting we forget about the past. It’s important to study and learn from your forefathers’ triumphs, mistakes and pain. Continuously changing our identification however, is not the best way to use that knowledge. We’ve had several “identities:” from Colored to Negro, Black and now African-American.

How can we expect anyone else to know who we are if we’re not sure of our own identity? How can we expect to come together as a people if we can’t agree on something as simple as to what to call ourselves? Hell the government is not even sure who we are if the 2000 census form was any indication with their Black, Negro, African-American non-hispanic category.

I say dispense with all of the confusion. We’re American. The sweat of our brow helped build this country. Benjamin Banneker a black man, helped design the white house. Something as simple as the traffic light and as life saving as the blood transfusion were created by black people. Americans. From music, to dance, to literature we have given much more to this country then it has have ever given to us. We can be proud in simply calling ourselves Americans because we have more then earned that right. It’s time we make use of it.

I was once asked if I viewed myself as an American first and black second. The answer is as long as America views me as black first then I’ll always be American second. But I’ll never be anything other then American, plain and simple.

About the Author
Tamika Johnson is a freelance writer and owner of PrologueReviews.com. To read more reviews by Tamika or to have your book, music or film reviewed visit http://www.prologuereviews.com

African American Scholarship

The African American population had been the most discriminated race in the country for the past decades. This resulted to fewer opportunities for the Blacks and lesser chances for them to prove their worth. And the worst hit was their opportunity to study.

Meanwhile, the new generation of African Americans is slowly entering the world of the all-White dominated society including the all-White fields such as Medicine, Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering, and Business. However, the African American’s participation in these mentioned fields is still unnoticed. There is still a great need for African American to take a significant chunk of pie in order to get noticed and be recognized. Although we can say that there are some African Americans who are outshining others in their fields, this is not enough.

Good thing, there are several institutions that are dedicated to provide the African American population with a good opportunity to study and become great in their own chosen fields.

For one, the United Negro College Fund has been helping African Americans to acquire education for years. They have awarded financial aids worth that go directly to 39 Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the United States. They have been receiving money for various organizations that are willing to help the African Americans to go to school. Two main sponsors are The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funds and the Bank of America.

What are the 39 Historically Black Colleges and Universities?

The 39 Historically Black Colleges and Universities are schools wherein African Americans can study with relatively low tuition fee (as much as 52%) compared to other schools in the country. And with relatively low tuition fee, it never means that these schools are some backcountry community colleges. Some of these schools are well known such as Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

And with the increasing involvement of women in the world, there are institutions that provide African American women to study and finish with a degree. The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. has 2 scholarships to be awarded to women who want to pursue undergraduate studies.

Another Scholarship institution that focuses in supporting African American students who want to pursue in the field of Science or Technology is the Development Fund for Black Students in Science and Technology.

There are more out there. If you are persistent enough, you will be able to find one for you.

This content is provided by Low Jeremy.

Where Were You When Obama Was Elected?


Just as our mothers, fathers and grandparents can recall where they were and what they were doing when great leaders such as Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy were slained, in our generation we will be able to remember when America gave life to one, President-elect Barack Obama.

A myriad of emotions ran through me like so many other African Americans. I thought of my grandmother who was alive to see a moment she thought she would never see. She told me, "We are blessed." She reflected on a time when blacks were disrespected by whites, "We weren't good enough to eat their tuna fish." She recalled those sad times when she couldn't enter through the front entryways of white-owned establishments. "We cleaned their floors on our hands and knees, but we couldn't walk through their front doors." Other family members told of stories where they couldn't look white people in their faces and had to address them as Mr. and Ms. (which some still do today.) They talked of water fountains that were for the coloreds, bathrooms for the coloreds, and other similar things that illustrated that black or any other color, for that matter, were not allowed to be in certain places, riding in certain cars, or walking in certain areas. "If you were white you were alright, but if you were black step back."

There was a deep heartfelt resentment, anger, and rage that permeated with many who lived in a time of segregation, for some they couldn't hold back their own racist remarks, "It's about time...the white house is now black!" I couldn't help but feel happy that Barack Obama is going to the White House, because I knew what this meant for many, another door would now be opened for anyone who wasn't traditionally white and male. But as my grandmother warned, "Don't get too happy, we must pray. There are still many who don't want him in there. Let's hope he doesn't get killed."

As I type this blog, I think of the joy I experienced on November 4th, 2008 when I read on the screen that "Obama is elected President." I thought of the black men who I had spoken to in the past who cried about their plights and how the white man had his foot on their necks, "No more excuses," I thought. "No more blaming the white man my bruthas. Obama just set a high learning curve and now it is up to you to follow suit or step aside!" I was excited to the point of tears, thinking about my four sons! They could see that a black man could do much more than make media headlines for acting, running, jumping, driving, singing, dancing, fighting, and playing. Those things were nothing new under the sun even back during times of segregation. Rather, he could make headlines for what was between his ears!

Education--that's what really matters. When you become too old to play ball, what does a black athlete have to do? Put what he has learned in college, business and trade schools, or independent study to good use in order to keep those dollars flowing. If Barack hadn't demonstrated "consistent" intelligence in his mannerisms and speech, he would have never won. If he hadn't been careful in what he said and did more listening than talking, he wouldn't have won. If he hadn't taken the time to look outside of his bubble and not only befriend those different from him, but study people of other races and creeds around him, he wouldn't have won. (Oprah is the master at that!) If he hadn't put God and his family first, rather than being a selfish, inconsiderate, Negro from around the way while profiling with women and bling, he wouldn't have won. He wasn't running for president to make people laugh, to entertain with catch phrases, to befriend the bruthas and muthas from the hood, or to glorify himself, it was all about selling people on change --a platform that McCain stole when he saw that it was working, and in the end it still didn't help him win.

Michelle Obama said it right, "For the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country, because it feels like hope is making a comeback." Irregardless of what she really meant by this statement which she clarified by being proud of the states her husband won, those who participated in the political process, etc. Depending on your experience in this country, her statement is left up to open interpretation. As a voter in the political process, I was glad to see people went out and voted in record numbers. After the Hanging chad incidents back in 2000, it left a bad taste in many people's mouths. But as an African American born and raised in this country, what made me proud was that people of all races was giving a black man a chance. Minorities get tired of being micro-managed, second-guessed, told that what they are saying isn't making any sense, followed around in stores, stared at because their skin is a different shade, overlooked because their skin isn't the right shade --are any of these things one should be proud of in a country that boasts opportunity, justice, freedom for all?! For once, just once, we all want not just "a someone" to respect us and hear what we are saying, but a group of people, a powerful entity, to look at you for who you are and what you stand for, Barack Obama did just that! People not only said they would support him, but they put their money where their mouth was! On November 4th, thousands upon thousands of those who grew up in the segregated south and later moved North, silenced their own ignorant voices and those around them and did what was right, not what was white! We saw evidence of this with the voter turn out in Ohio and Pennsylvania which have historically been won by Republicans.

And when my tears were about dried up, I thought of the old saying that, "Behind every black man there is an even stronger black woman!" I had hoped that African American women everywhere would take notice that Michelle Obama loved her man. She knew how to carry herself with class not crass. If it wasn't for her being the "rock" in Barack, he wouldn't have made it this far! I had also hoped that black men everywhere would recognize that with a wise woman alongside of them "they could do all things through Christ who strengthens them." Maybe just maybe if enough images of the new first family are seen everywhere by black men that they will do the right thing by the mothers of their children.

I am not niave to think that racism is behind us, far from it, but just like President-elect Obama, I am hopeful. Change has to start somewhere and it is up to us to make things happen just as he has done. Had he not took the first step, we would have never heard of Barack Obama.

So when my four sons ask me when they become older, "Mommy where were you and what were you doing when the first black man of the United States became President?" I will tell them "sitting in front of the television shouting, crying, and hoping that one of you would make a significant impact on our society like Barack Obama has done."

Nicholl McGuire

Obama: the Nation's Next Martin Luther King?

Like Martin Luther King moved blacks in the sixties with the civil rights movement is Barak Obama going to move the nation with his presidency? One can only hope.

Martin Luther King had a vision for change and spoke with people about his vision. They organized and they came out in full force to see that things got done. Well, I have a dream of my own and it goes something like this: "I dream that one day Barak Obama will be walking the streets of Small Town USA in full force with senators, state representatives (and whoever else that has power to go from city to city) meeting with local government offering suggestions and holding people accountable. I dream that one day, he won't be walking with these people because of some tragic event or some selfish reasons. He will be doing this because he organized this march. A "March to Change." (Unlike the Civil Right's Movement no one would be foolish enough to spray him or his supporters with a fire hose, get the dogs out to attack him or anything else unless they want to be buried under the jail.)

People will be emotional! Crying tears of happiness and not sorrow! They will hold up all sorts of signs with various issues that are close to their hearts like, "Stop Rising Gas Prices! New Jobs Now! Save the Environment! Universal Health Care Today! Free Education Now!" Others will get personal and controversial like, "Save Marriage! Church and Government are Friends! Get My Money Back from Big Businesses! Find My Mother Tell Her I Love Her!" You know, there is always some wild people among us.

I believe that one day we will see local news media reporting that "President Barak Obama and other government leaders were in Small Town USA today. As a result of this visit, "Small Town USA will be doing XYZ, and a program planned during the visit will be implemented by January 1, 2010, says the Mayor. There are other cities that will be visited in the next few months, stay tuned for a city near you." After the local visit, government will follow up to find out if their suggestions fell on deaf ears and for those government officials that didn't do anything, they will be faced with many consequences." Oh yes, I have a dream!

With his message of change, Barak Obama, has more people supporting him financially than his predecessors. What can we expect from him? I can tell you that my views are simplistic and commonly shared.

I expect a president that is going to be true to his words that he isn't going to tell us one thing and do another like former presidents have done. (Good luck, some of you say! I can't help but wish.) He can stop the lying, propaganda, manipulation and whatever other tactics the ones before him has used beginning with himself. Just because it has always been done, it doesn't have to continue. The same number of people who came out to support him, better go out in droves and make him accountable!

I also expect the president to listen to America first. Let the business at home be a priority everyday! Don't allow the foreign dollar to misguide, threaten, or control you and everyone else! Take a risk and do something different like shake up the 10% of the wealthiest in our country. What do I propose? I propose a universal health care plan that includes a nurse to go home with the mother who just had a baby and teach her a few things about raising him or her! Our nation's foundation starts with mothers! Mothers who are having babies with or without family support. There are plenty who lack support from their mates who are quick to cuss, cheat and leave when the going gets tough (the nurse should also educate fathers as well.) When the mother is stressed due to lack of health care, money, bills, daycare (only if she can afford it and works), etc. her child experiences her stress. This stressed out child will one day become your child's boss, mate, doctor, teacher and so much more with a chip on his shoulder! "Society will pay for what I didn't have when I was growing up!" The dysfunctional child will tell everybody. It all started because mother was stressed. She was stressed about her relationship, mistakes made with choosing a mate and everything else in between! Every psychologist preaches that many of our problems begin with childhood! So why isn't more being done to help these mothers and fathers? Taking money out of their pocket is not the solution! How many have you been raised by a mother who could have been a better mother if...you fill in the blank? So what happens when no one makes child education, marital counseling, and other related support a requirement rather than an option? If people have to read a book and be tested on driving before they can drive, then people should be trained as early as 13 on relationship and parenting issues.

Some of you are probably thinking, "why should we have to pay for the mother's mistakes?" No one is asking you to pay for someone's mistakes. Instead, what we all should be doing is looking out for one another-- the ones with and the ones without. It isn't guaranteed that you will always have what you have. One day you may be needing someone to help you. There are many good people who did everything "right" so to speak, graduated from college, got married, bought a house, had children and then lost everything! Now they are looking for us to help them, I wonder if they thought like some of you are thinking too, be careful. In the end what you gave to the world and what you and your family now receive, balances out! For instance, if you gave someone $10. You may have received $10 off on a purchase you made. If you gave a donation to your favorite charity, someone may have given your child something they needed. We could go on and on about what you gave and what you have received, but that takes away from the point of this editorial, so I won't go there anymore. The bottom line is we need universal healthcare and the government knows most of us will not visit those countries mentioned in that movie, Sicko, directed by Michael Moore. Therefore, you and I don't know all of the details unless we actually lived there, but I'm sure that those people on the film don't have much to gain for lying considering their faces are everywhere and they are putting themselves out there to be attacked.

While I am thinking about universal health care, let's throw in a universal education plan, and any other plan that's going to rock business as usual! Education that has to be paid for years and years before a young adult has a chance in life is robbery! Why are these students settling for this? You know why because they are told all through high school you don't want to work a blue collar job, set your sights on something higher. Well not everyone can afford to reach higher. When the race began in life, we all started at the same pace if we were poor and middle class, but if you are wealthy you are way ahead of everyone else. Would you watch an Olympic race, car race, or horse race if there were some already ahead of the other racers? So why do we allow these institutions to do that to our children? Parents should be coming out in numbers boycotting everywhere! It's a good excuse to stop paying for college isn't it? But then again, maybe they don't come out in full force because they are too busy planning to change their daughter or son's room into another place to keep their junk. Speaking of junk, isn't that the end result of greed? Which brings us to another topic.

Greed is killing this country and the next president should see that. Look at all of the obese people in the world, dying from food!? What you have is never enough, that's the American way. People who make less than $30,000 are considered poor in California. They can qualify for certain government programs, what? Nothing anyone buys, sells, says or does anymore is ever good enough, look at all of these judges on these reality shows. I see someone doing something better than you, I want ten others just like her or him and I don't find them. So now I have to come up with a way to rob from the least talented to make up for the lack to feed my greed. Let's exploit the ignorant, the unattractive, the rude, and the poor, America likes to laugh at these kind of people, but I digress...

I expect the president to find the power within to start making these gas companies, airlines and any other company that's always playing with the figures from one day to the next to be penalized. I know the president watches sports, he can whisper in someone's ear to form a watch group over these referees who want to make calls on plays knowing full well that they are wrong and have them investigated. Also, he can sound the alarm on these athletes who take performance enhancing drugs. Just imagine a call from the president, "I saw that basketball game the other day. You and I both know that the referee was making wrong calls all night. I want him investigated!" You say that is a petty issue, the president is too busy. I say, he isn't always busy. He may be seated on his throne in the bathroom watching the game, you never know. How long does a simple phone call make, anyway? He just doesn't realize how many women he can save from at least one beating, because her husband was just that angry over a bad call.

I would hope that the president would hold the police accountable too, find a way to humble them when they do wrong! You want to shoot a man, woman or child, use excessive force, harass people because you wear a badge? Then how about putting them in population with the ones they arrested? How about an even more radical idea, I would like to see that these jails are torn down in our community. That's right I said torn down, build a community for the convicts on islands and deserted areas on our Earth, then allow them to act like human beings first such as living in a civilized society (like Norway,) then if they can't utilize the training given to them and make something of themselves on their own island, then my idea is to lock them up on their own island and let them watch their fellow inmates make something of themselves. They need to work just like we do! Let them build their own houses. Why do we have to look at a jail minutes away from home?

Another expectation I have of the president is before you go to some country that most of us have never been to and offer to help and give away our tax dollars, can we vote on it or better yet since that takes too long, how about make the affairs of our country priority? I am tired of hearing about monies being collected for our foreign neighbors, yet we have neighborhoods with good people in them hoping for someone to come in and straighten things out. Instead of giving long speeches in these communities, shaking hands and kissing babies, put some people to work! You know how you can do that? Visit the best communities in America and implement the ideas you learned from those neighborhoods to rebuild the older communities. You can begin by calling people who live in those communities to action. They want the best schools, best housing, best everything, than put them to work! Assign tasks for them to do like assist with tearing down the old buildings in the neighborhood and use their skills to build new ones! Make the police accountable in these run-down neighborhoods for passing by communities they know are notorious for gangs, drugs and everything else! Police, just like the fire department aren't always busy, so get them busy! Why do you think so many came out to volunteer for all these travesties in other areas? I'll tell you why, because many of them felt guilty that their brothers and sisters on the force were busy and they weren't, not only that, they also had a great opportunity to say they had been apart of something bigger than what typically goes on in their communities. Yeah, I believe some just wanted to do something nice from the goodness of their hearts, despite their time was already stretched thin, but that is some. Put them to work too!! Then after all is said and done, if the people of the community still have complaints, at least you did your part. They can look at one another and say, "Barak Obama came out here to help us and look you ungrateful S.O.B.s still don't give a d*mn!"

Obama: A Different Kind of Black Man

Is White American Racism Driving Some Republicans to Vote for McCain?

The newspaper headlines read, "McCain Wins!" Television news announcers report, "It was a close race, McCain is elected!" Radio broadcasters exclaim, "McCain is the next President of the United States!" Is this what you want? Is this what you really want? Have you bought into the hype that Senator Barack Obama is too inexperienced to be president? There were other Presidents before him that were inexperienced as well, can we say former President Bill Clinton for starters. What is the real truth behind the truth, I'll tell you, "He's black."

You know what your parents said about black people. You heard the big black man stories. You laughed at the black jokes. You watched the black lady in the store, you know the one "with the attitude." Black people what do you really think about them? There are black people who don't like black people. There are white people who don't like black people. There are Asians, Hispanics, and Europeans who just don't like Blacks. It doesn't matter what contributions they made to American history. There were ignorant White Americans seated at the Republican National Convention who still believe that blacks need to stay in their place and the White House is the last place they want to see any color, but white.

Fear

People fear what they don't understand. There are white people who can still walk this earth and not interact with a single black person that's a fact. I attended a college in rural Illinois and many of my classmates had never talked to a black person let alone touched them. They simply never felt the need to learn about black Americans, let alone bi-racial ones. Why? It's not like there were history books filled with examples of Blacks who ran corporations, owned oil companies or invested in the stock market.

Obama is technically not all black, he is bi-racial. He is mixed with Nigerian and Caucasian blood, interesting? A black and white man who hopefully will be black and white in his decision making as well, we need no gray areas, thank you very much! Anyway, I digress, the point is Obama knows white. What do I mean? He knows white culture, the white mindset, white mannerisms, and most of all the White House. Don't underestimate this man. He didn't grow up in a society that he could afford to move away from white people even if he wanted to, but white people could move away from him. Which brings me to this point, there are ignorant white people who don't know black. What do I mean? They may know about a black list, black market, or maybe had experience being black-balled, but they really aren't familiar with a highly-educated black man. Quite honestly, there are far more uneducated, jailed black men, then there are educated ones. So if an ignorant person isn't use to seeing a man like Obama behaving in a non-stereotypical way, he or she will find his or her self grasping for faults.

Ignorance

Many parents are still living who grew up during the time when there were whites and blacks separated by signs, seats, doors and the like. Therefore, these people who have unresolved issues about integrating with "you people" are still angry. However, some aren't going to come out and say what they really feel for fear of backlash. So they will hide behind stereotypical caricatures, catch phrases like "hockey moms", sit in places where the majority are white (ie. Republican National Convention) etc. These are simply smoke signals letting everyone who knows what they mean "to come join our side if you are tired of these minorities not staying in their places." The younger generation or those who haven't been exposed to ignorant parents, don't understand what is going on and they ask, "What's all the fuss about race?" Just sit back, be quiet and observe, and don't allow their behavior to rub off on you. Know why you do the things you do, say the things you do, and feel the way you do about any race and if it is negative, do something positive to change it.

Cultural Diversity Training

During his campaign, Obama has been hosting cultural diversity training workshops in a matter of speaking. I say that, because he is trying to educate America on who he is, where he came from and what he can bring to the table. The problem is there is a vast amount of people who aren't black or white that need to be reached. Who is this man they ask, really, honestly? They have to be sold on the issues bottom line. However, there are still those ignorant older white Americans who simply need to be re-educated on what really matters to them, "Are blacks really like this...What kind of black are you..." Let's be real, don't you want to know too? In the world of the ignorant, there are categories for certain blacks. There are hardworking blacks, lazy ones, thieves, rapists, etc. Is Obama tainted? They don't even consider that their are similar categories in their own race. Ignorant white Americans want to know what kind of black is going to the white house?

Racial Stereotypes

Obama seems to be a straight shooter, but then again maybe not. What would have happened had he shouted out a long list of stereotypes associated with being black and explained why he wasn't any of them? I'm sure he would have at least gained the respect of the head leaders of the Ku Klux Klan or Arian Nation. Don't tell me you think they don't exist, they are alive and well just put the names in your search engine window and be prepared to be offended! Obama needs to do a better job and kill the fear. That is why some accuse him in the black community of "acting white" these ignorant blacks want to know what kind of black he is too. They may support him, but they are worried. Is he really an Uncle Tom and his wife, Michelle Obama, an Aunt Tammy? Will they let blacks down on the issues to appease whites and other races?

Like new relationships that begin with unresolved issues, to have a relationship with Obama you will have to let go of the past in order to see the future! We all want to see change, even McCain, that's why he is copying Obama's platform. There are white Americans who really want to give Obama a chance and they are sincerely looking pass the fact he is black. However, there are still others who can't look pass his light skin, articulate speaking voice, and nice physique, he's a different kind of black man.

Nicholl McGuire

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Dating Advice, Relationship Problems?

Dating Advice, Relationship Problems?
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African American Planet Blog

African American Planet Blog
Writer, Poet, Author, Speaker, Virtual Assistant Nicholl McGuire
Creative Commons License
African American Planet: Relationships, Education, Products & Lifestyle by Nicholl McGuire is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at africanamericanplanet.blogspot.com.

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