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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.


Unique African American Gifts

There is a wide range of unique African American gifts available today. For history buffs, a figurine of a historical figure would be a welcome gift for any occasion. Figurines of Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Madam C.J. Walker, Ida Wells, Frederick Douglas or a Buffalo Soldier, Tuskegee Airman or member of the Kansas Infantry will be proudly displayed.
Some African Americans collect memorabilia that has to do with the life, punishment, flight and emancipation of their ancestors. These collectors love to receive replicas of posters, documents and segregation signs. Some collect such things as chains and shackles that can be purchased at auction sales and are a part of history that is slowly fading away.
If your gift recipient is a lover of angels, there are so many beautiful ones available on today's market. Angels are popular and now you can purchase a line of African American angels. From the innocence and simplicity of child angels to the exquisite angels with flocked wings and carat gold trim, angels bring the feeling of love and peace into a home.
For a warm cozy feeling, give your gift recipient a blanket or throw. Perfect for a wedding gift is a throw that depicts an African American couple jumping the broom.
Black Heroes and African American Women are honored on throws and many have cushions to match. Throws depicting more contemporary scenes are also available.
For the religious gift recipient, give a beautiful Bible cover or organizer that shows a scene from the Good Book with African Americans going about their daily business of worshipping and praising God. Praying Hands and Mud Cloth designs are also available.
For children, there are a wide variety of books and games available. A good read is always welcome to the avid reader. Children will love learning about their culture by reading such books as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas or The Underground Railroad. These books teach children the history of both their ancestry and America.
From African American calendars, books and figurines to CDs, DVDs and posters, you can easily find a unique gift for those of African American descent. Check stores that carry unique gift items or search online for that very special gift made just for the gift recipient.
Article written by Cassaundra Flores, owner of


The Best Chemical Peels For African American Skin

Chemical peels are popular cosmetic treatments that help to even the skin tone, texture and reduce wrinkles and fine lines. As African American skin is more prone to hyperpigmentation than other skin types, many African Americans look to chemical peels as an option to quickly even the skin tone. Not all cosmetic procedures that suit Caucasian skin types will suit other skin types so you may be wondering about chemical peels for African American skin. There are several different types of chemical peel available and some are definitely not recommended for African American skin. Whether you perform the peel at your dermatologist's office or at home, this article will tell you about the different types of chemical peels for African American skin.

There are superficial peels, medium surface peels and deep chemical peels available. Phenol peels are the deepest kind of peel that there is available and are definitely not recommended for black skin as there is a risk of severe damage. Phenol peels are used to treat scars, deep wrinkles or severely sun-damaged skin and can only be carried out once in a person's lifetime. A phenol peel cannot be carried out at home and the patient is usually under general anaesthetic while the peel is applied.

TCA or trichloroethanoic acid is a medium surface peel and should not be carried out at home on African American skin. TCA is excellent for fading dark marks, evening the skin tone and lightening the skin but should really be carried out by a licensed professional. Ensure your dermatologist is experienced in carrying out TCA peels on dark skin before making an appointment.

Superficial peels are by far the safest but they are also effective at dealing with skin discolorations. Salicylic acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid can all be used for superficial peels. Lactic acid is the mildest of the three but it can be used weekly or every two weeks depending on the concentration of the acid used. Lactic acid is effective for fading acne scars and other minor hyperpigmentation problems.

Salicylic acid is usually used for treating acne more than for hyperpigmentation. Salicylic acid is often found in face washes and moisturizers that are used to treat pimples or acne problems.

Glycolic acid is the strongest of the superficial peels and is effective at treating mild hyperpigmentation on African American skin.

It is important to remember as effective as these peels are for treating hyperpigmentation, they are acids and carelessness can damage your skin. When carrying out chemical peels for African American skin, be sure to discuss it with your dermatologist and follow the instructions very carefully if you decide to do it at home.

By Anita Greenwood

Not sure which skin lightening product is right for you? Visit Black Skin Lightening for reviews of the African American Skin Lightening Treatments to fade dark marks and lighten your skin tone.

MyChelle Dermaceuticals


Don't Underestimate That Ghetto Family Member or Friend

The college experience was something I was proud of as a late teen (1992) through my young twenty-something years. It opened up mental and physical doors that I would have never imagined! However, as I grew older, I began to think those same doors could have been opened at least expensive places, so I gave up my idea of being a career college student back in 1997. But like so many career-minded people, I realized I was brainwashed into forking over borrowed money; meanwhile, with broke relatives and friends in my ears cheering me on with empty hands!

Anyway, upon reflecting on my past college experience, I remember returning home between semesters for a visit and my grandmother saying, "You talk funny." I didn't know what she meant at first. I mean as far as I was concerned I was still same old me just a tad bit older. But then I started paying attention to other blacks, like myself, who spent the majority of time being in predominately white classrooms, participating in white-dominated extracurricular activities and social events and then that's when I realized what she was suggesting. The age old, "You act white!" is what she really meant.

Of course I would be influenced by the white populace! I went to their schools, wore their style clothes, and ate their less than seasoned meals. I couldn't help what I had become, it was all around me! Coming back home, exposed me to all sorts of ignorance. At times it angered me. There was a time and place for everything and it seemed that I was forced to take off my white persona and "act black." So sad, but true!

It seemed that the more time I spent in college, the more I resented some of my very ignorant relatives and friends. I began to distance myself from them. "What could I learn from poor black folks with no education anyway?" I told myself. There was all sorts of weird and confusing philosophies, opinions, and religious views given to me during my upbringing I began to question especially when a white person would ask me, "Where did you get that idea from?" First it was the superstitious behavior I had been pre-conditioned with, "Don't put your purse on the floor that's bad luck! You will stay broke that way. Don't split the pole! Spit on the broom you swept my foot! You know what that means if you break a mirror!" If all these statements were so true then I must have a lot of wealthy, good luck charms for relatives with great lives, right? Wrong! Secondly, there was the "God don't like ugly," statements. Then there was the "name it and claim it" gospel. Well if God don't like ugly there was a lot of it both inside and out. Why didn't the so-called wise elders practice their own gospel? Besides, if everything I spoke to their genie gods, I should have got, then why am I still in so much debt in 2010? I learned later in life about the one true God. Lastly, I had grown weary of my folks saying things like, "When I hit the lottery I will give you somethin'." A few times that happened, but it wasn't enough to do much of anything. What was wrong with"flipping," investing or saving money?

Someone who never attended college always had some negative commentary about someone who did. "You don't need a college education to know that..." they would say. Attempting to insult one's common sense. "I could pick up a book and read it myself. I don't need to go to school for four years to know that!" Oh the sounds of jealousy would permeate my ears. But through it all, I learned a thing or two from some of my ghetto folks.

I learned that some missed their callings to be psychologists, lawyers, entrepreneurs, bankers, and CEOs. At the bottom of the melting pot of ignorance were smart people who lacked the discipline to achieve. Rather, they enjoyed drugs, sex, and partying far too much than education. Anyone who aspired to be something better than average was mocked in my part of town. My ghetto card was long revoked by family and friends who would whisper, "She's weird." They didn't understand that there was more to life than working in the rat race and watching TV. They were too fearful of change!

Since those college years, I became an observer; rather than a participant in the ghetto lifestyle. I had my share during childhood between suckin' teeth when adults asked you a question to cracking gum. When I became older and disgruntled with the smooth talk and deceitful ways of the ghetto, I told myself, "these people are going to line my pockets with cash since they always want to borrow or take something from me." I would use what I learned from them, put an educational spin on it and make it work for me as an author, poet, sales person, etc. I saw far too many times "the ghetto" eat up the naive, generous and intelligent folks (black, white and otherwise) and spit them out! "There had to be a way to balance the white man's education with the ignorance of a black society," I thought. That is until I realized the power of the one true God is far greater than any education man could provide! Hence, this blog was born, my books: When Mothers Cry, Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate and over 500 articles throughout various websites and still counting. The ghetto is full of life lessons -- parables and proverbs.

Black ignorance complete with the gossip, slang, sassy head movements, loud laughing, and eye-ballin' are all signs of the darkness within! The feeling of being unsatisfied with one's life, but too lost and confused to do anything about it has sent some black folks to their graves or put others in the graves with them. There is an anger of being overlooked, suppressed, and told that one isn't good enough which comes out in the cussing and fighting that you either witness or hear about in the ghetto. So when you show up with a little somethin' somethin' in the ghetto, there is always someone who wants to call you back home or in other words call you out on your realness. "Keep it real! You keepin' it real? You a fake!"

It's hard to be happy for others when you aren't happy with yourself. It is a challenge to uplift your fellow man when you are down yourself! So when it comes to dealing with those ghetto relatives who rub you the wrong way, I say rather than cuss them out, learn from them. Pay attention to their tactics to brainwash, manipulate and scheme to get you to do what they want when they want. Create a plan before you are in the line of fire to protect yourself spiritually, mentally and physically. Learn how they work "the system" and avoid getting caught up in their conniving ways! Study them like an algebra test, know how they make math work for them. They are skilled people in their crafts. We all should know, because many of us were either exposed to them or are still very much ghetto!

Nicholl McGuire

Understanding the Importance of African American Studies

There is such a great importance to the studies of African American History. As stated by George Santayana, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it".
The history of the African Americans in America can sometimes be a touchy subject because of all the attachments that comes along with the story. The mere thought of the North American slave trade in such a modern time as this causes many to feel uncomfortable. As uncomfortable as it may seem I think there is a lot to be celebrated post the Slavery Era, Reconstruction Era and Civil Rights Era. Through the proper study of African American History/American History/World History one can see the great maturity of a Nation!
African Americans and America have come alone way since our original blend in 1619 when the first 20 slaves arrived to the Colony of Jamestown, Virginia. If you truly examine the tenacity and the courage that was displayed by these Africans turned Americans you would be nothing but inspired. Here you have a people that even when being bound by chains and restricted by the laws of the land, still found a way to rise above these complexities.
A clear and precise study of the African American people should be mandatory to all Americans because many of the traditional History books in the classrooms throughout American have left many to believe that the African American people have always been a helpless/hopeless people, a people of despair. However, when one thoroughly study and examine the likes of Anthony Johnson who was one of the original 20 slaves turned first African American Entrepreneur, Denmark Vesey who fought to liberate his people from slavery by organizing 9000 slaves and freemen to revolt and Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler who was the first African American woman to earn a medical degree in the US, they would conclude that African Americans have always been innovators, fighters and intelligent.
Growing up as a young African American male I often felt lost as if I had no identity. In my mind all whites were slave owners and all blacks were slaves. I lived with this for some 30 years. This made me feel as if whites were superior and that we as blacks were inferior. Once I became a dad to a boy child I had it in my mind that my son could not and would not grow up not knowing who he is as an African American. So I told myself that I must learn and teach from this point on. When my son reached his preschool years and Black History Month rolled around I felt as if I was being put to the test. Of course he would start to learn about the first of Black History Month's Fav 5 "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr". I felt that there could not have been a better time than this to teach him more. Therefore, we packed our bags and headed to Atlanta for the weekend.
This trip to Atlanta was the start of his cultural education as well as mine. While in Atlanta we visited the Dr. King Memorial Site and King Center. My then 5 year old son was very intrigued with the images he saw on the walls throughout the King Center and was fascinated to actually see the very house that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in. Our Atlanta fun soon came to an end and we had to get back home to St. Louis and prepare for another week of pre-school and work. Though we had left Atlanta and had left the King Center my sons' mind did not stop ticking. On our drive home my son inquisitiveness kicked into full gear. He asked me, "Daddy, can you turn off the radio so we can talk?" From this point on I became a true student of the history of people that defeated all odds.
Back home from our Atlanta trip my son would often sit on my lap, turn off the TV and ask, "Daddy, would you tell me about more important black people I should know about in our history?'" These questions and my own quest for knowledge led me to doing extensive research of the African American people. After spending countless days and nights studying I was beginning to fall in love with who I was as an African American. I know longer felt inferior; neither did I feel that whites were superiors.
For the first time in my life I felt that we were all the same. I found many eye opening facts like blacks and whites would work together, fight together and live together in times as early as the 1600's. Do this mean that all blacks weren't just slaves and that all whites weren't just slave owners? That's what it is beginning to look like. Why then are these things not discussed in classrooms and homes all across America? This would truly put an end to the age old race divide and would instill great self value and self worth to the millions of African American kids who grow up feeling the same way I did.
Learning and teaching my own history (the African American History) in my own home led me to putting together a collection of phenomenal African American Achievers' biographical summaries and composing them into a book entitled "RISEN: From Jamestown to the White House." I wrote the book RISEN after being inspired by my now 8 year old son to inspire others through the lives and contributions of some great African American Achievers dating back to the year 1619 when the first 20 slaves arrived to the colony of Jamestown, Virginia up to our present day in time when we have a family occupying the White House that resembles those same 20 passengers that arrived some 300 years ago.
To conclude there is a great importance in studying African American History which includes instilling self worth/self value in African Americans, it showcases African Americans as we truly are, as a tenacious and hopeful people and it paints a beautiful picture of Americas Maturity!
Anthony McDonald is an author who lives in St. Louis Missouri. He grew up in the crime-ridden section of the North Side. As an A student in an inner city environment, he often felt ostracized from his peers. His desire to belong complicated with a challenging home life led him on the wrong path of life. Years later an intervention of faith and purpose instilled a desire to change. Today McDonald's greatest joy is being a father to his son, Anthony JR. He plans to pursue his dream to obtain a higher education degree in African-American studies.
More about Anthony McDonald and "RISEN: From Jamestown to the White House"


The African American Church - Growth, Essence and Context!

When it comes to the historical development of the African-American Church like no other, various areas of expertise were blended and many backgrounds united on a common ground. The main purpose of these unified bodies was to establish and advocate a common goal for the development of the African-American Church, which some refer to in an interchangeable manner as the Black Church.

The collaboration of these inspiring individuals, and functional groups, were centered on a shared and singular vision of establishing and uplifting the African-American Church for African descendants. There were many pioneers in this effort including the following: W. E. B. Dubois who authored The Negro Church (1903); Carter G. Woodson, author of The History of the Negro Church (1921); E. Franklin Frazier who penned The Negro Church in America (1963); and Benjamin E. Mays and Jacob Nicholson, who collaborated on writing The Negro's Church (1969).

Additional support was received from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1966 by the hiring of Dr. Henry H. Mitchell as the first Martin Luther King, Jr., Professor of Black Studies. The university provided intellectual, professional, and inspirational development and guidance coupled with transformative leadership for the establishment and enhancement of the African-American Church.

Inspiration and development were acquired in the areas of innovative teaching and learning based on imaginative vision and ministerial leadership of Black Christianity. Potency in the program fostered and cemented when Whites, Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans bonded together to support and promote the program by taking courses to strengthen their vision and base of knowledge regarding African-American Christianity.

Consequently, the springboard effect of this critical and methodical approach evolved into a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary intellectual richness of practical and theoretical African-American Spirituality. The interdisciplinary area resulted from an integration of rich and vibrant knowledge from a perspective of multiple disciplines, which holistically solved many issues through the medium of research and educational applications.

On the other hand, the multidisciplinary integration of efforts encompassed various fields of study which were delved into, thus resulted in conversations which illuminated the objective areas of African-American Studies and the Black Church. Many of the applications used during the program investigated and solved grievous problems arising from:

  1. Racism and its disparaging and discriminatory impact on African-Americans
  2. Sexism and how such practiced negatively affected African-Americans
  3. Classist society and its adverse influence on African-American members of society

The eventual realization of this combined undertaking proved that the Black Church was and still is a necessary, vital, integral, and developing component of American society. The awakening resulted in the Black Church emerging in the forefront of religion as an interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and culturally dynamic component: Naturally, it cuts across the spectrum of African-American spirituality thus providing a larger view and context of the Black Church.

Joseph S. Spence, Sr. (aka "Epulaeryu Master"), is the author of "The Awakened One Poetics" (2009), which is published in seven different languages. He also co-authored two poetry books, "A Trilogy of Poetry, Prose and Thoughts for the Mind, Body and Soul" (2005), and "Trilogy Moments for the Mind, Body and Soul," (2006). He invented the Epulaeryu poetry form, which focuses on succulent cuisines. Joseph is a Goodwill Ambassador for the state of Arkansas. He has completed over twenty years of service with the U.S. Army.


High Blood Pressure Causes in African Americans

More than 40 percent of African Americans suffer from high blood pressure, according to a study just released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Many theories exist about why black Americans experience higher levels of hypertension disease than other groups. One major study suggested a connection between high levels of uric acid and hypertension among blacks as a possible explanation. Researchers and medical professionals already know that excessive levels of uric acid are a major cause of kidney disease. African Americans also experience higher levels of kidney disease.
Other theories include a failure by bodily systems to eliminate excessive salt in the urine and the presence of higher levels of the hormone aldosterone. Let's look briefly at each of these.
Do High Uric Acid Levels Cause Hypertension?
Study results, published in the American Heart Association's Hypertension Journal in 2006, revealed a stronger connection between high uric acid levels and high blood pressure (HBP) among African Americans than for other groups. The level of uric acid in the body is influenced by diet. For example, eating large amounts of protein can increase uric acid levels.
Usually, uric acid is eliminated through urine. But, when the body produces excessive amounts of uric acid and the kidneys fail to remove enough of it, then it can build up in the blood.
None of the 9,104 participants in the study, conducted by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, had HBP when the study began. Participants represented multiple races and ethnic groups and ranged in age from 45 to 64. This was the first time that African Americans had been included in this type of study in numbers that were statistically significant. All participants' blood pressure and uric acid levels were examined every three years.
Participants whose uric acid levels registered in the highest quartile had an increased risk for high blood pressure of about 15 percent. The strongest link between uric acid and hypertension was found among black men. The interracial findings were particularly telling. African American women whose results registered in the highest quartile were at a 30 percent higher risk for hypertension than African American women who ranked in the lowest quartile. African American men in the highest percentile had double the risk of African American men in the lowest percentile.
The implications from the study suggest that if doctors can lower uric acid levels in patients, they might be able to prevent or control high blood pressure in black Americans and other groups with higher than normal levels. A blood test for uric acid levels could predict whether an individual was at risk.
Does Excessive Salt in the Urine Cause HBP?
In a healthy body, stress is relieved by the release of sodium into the bloodstream. That salt is then later removed from the body through urine. However, in a recent study, researchers found that this fail-safe system breaks down in about one-third of African American youths. The result is that excessive salt levels remain in the body, putting them at risk for high blood pressure now and as they grow older.
The study of 168 black and white youths by researchers at the Medical College of Georgia found significant differences between the functioning of this natural blood pressure regulator system in the two groups. The system, known as renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAAS), works by instructing the kidneys to retain salt when blood pressure is too low and excrete it as urine when it is too high.
Researchers are doing further studies to determine whether a genetic mutation may interfere with the proper release of salts from the kidneys in African Americans.
Is Too Much Aldosterone the Cause?
Another possible cause may be aldosterone, according to a study conducted at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that causes kidneys to retain salt.
The study, whose findings appeared in the September 17, 2009, edition of the American Journal of Hypertension, compared African Africans with HBP to those without it. The 224 blacks with HBP had statistically significant higher levels of aldosterone than the 217 blacks who did not have it.
The research, funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for more than a decade, suggests that aldosterone not only contributes to high blood pressure but to heart, kidney, and blood vessel diseases among African Americans as well.
Researchers continue to study these and other theories that may one day reveal the key to preventing high blood pressure among all groups.
Copyright 2010 by High Blood Pressure Natural Remedies.
Sher Harrison researches and reports on health-related issues. 


Effective Hair Loss Treatments For African American Hair - Tips For Growing Black Hair

In order for African Americans to successfully stop hair loss, they must take an approach that involves using regular hair loss treatments along with remedies that are designed especially for growing black hair. You must determine the type of treatment you will need in order to get your strands to grow back.
Why Strands Shed Excessively
Medical conditions such as anemia, thyroid problems, hormonal fluctuations, stress, unhealthy eating habits, or vitamin deficiencies can cause you to lose an excessive number of strands. It is considered normal to lose around 100 strands per day. Anything more than that is a problem.
Decide on a Course of Action
Talk with a physician or licensed dermatologist about your excessive shedding. This will uncover if it is caused by a medical condition. If there is a medical issue, then get treatment for that condition and that may be all that is necessary for your strands to grow back. Remember that certain medications can cause shedding. Do not stop taking medicines or switch medications without consulting your physician.
Nutritional Issues
Nutritional deficiencies can also affect your hair. Make sure that you are getting enough vitamin B and zinc. These vitamins keep the strands strong and cause them to grow. Biotin is a form of vitamin B that can really help regrow hair. You can also get vitamin B from potatoes.
You should also eat spinach, cabbage, and broccoli because they are loaded with iron, which is essential for maintaining healthy strands.
African American Hair Loss Treatments that Promote Growth
African American strands are very susceptible to drying out and becoming brittle, which can lead to breakage. Strands that are chemically treated are even more vulnerable. Keep in mind that your strands are made primarily out of protein. Strands that are constantly styled with perms and relaxers are stripped of their proteins. The protein must be replaced or the strands will break.
Give yourself regular hot oil treatments to give your strands their strength back. You can use castor oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. Massage one of these natural oils onto your scalp. Put a plastic cap on your head and leave it on for at least one hour. The cap will lock in the heat from your head. This will allow the natural oils to penetrate your strands and follicles.
Other Effective Hair Loss Treatments
You can also regrow your strands using certain herbs. Saw palmetto is very effective. This herb blocks the production of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes thinning because it attacks the follicles causing the strands to fall out. Rosemary, nettle root extract, and pumpkin seed are other herbal options.
Jenna Grey is a writer who does extensive research on treatments that help re-grow hair.


Weak African American Leadership in New York, Responsible For the Gentrification of Harlem

The following statement was made in the July, 1911 edition of Harlem Home News, a real estate publication for Harlem at the time.
The Negro invasion must be vigilantly fought, fought until it is permanently checked, or the invaders will slowly but surely drive the whites out of Harlem.
One hundred years later, the script has now been flipped. Today's headline would read:
The Caucasian invasion must be vigilantly fought, fought until it is permanently checked, or the invaders will slowly, but surely, drive the African American out of Harlem.
Harlem became an African American community beginning in the early 1900's. It started with the Great Migration - a period where over a million and half African Americans migrated from the southern states to the northern states. This migration was precipitated by African American's desire to escape the oppression of Jim Crow laws and the promise of better employment opportunities up north.
By the 1920's Black Americans had formed a significant middle class community in many northern cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit. However, Harlem - New York, was the place where African American cultural, political and social consciousness manifested itself on a grand scale. This period of African American development is commonly known as the "Harlem Renaissance". This period of development came to a crashing halt with the arrival of the "Great Depression".
Today's Harlem bears hardly any resemblance of the "Harlem Renaissance" era. Black Americans in Harlem today wield little, if any, political and/or economic influence. This predicament has grown worse in the past two to three decades, due primarily to weak African American leadership in Harlem. The absence of strong, intelligent, and fearless leadership that functions with a high level of integrity is the primary reason why African Americans have no say in the future growth and development of Harlem.
This lack of strong, intelligent and fearless leadership was clearly demonstrated by what happened in Harlem during the 1990's. In the early 90's, the City of New York created a program that offered to sell city owned property in Harlem to the residents of Harlem at below market value. This was a great opportunity for African Americans to actually have some ownership of Harlem.
What happened next is indicative of ineffective and corrupt leadership. Buyers of these properties had no intention of making Harlem black-owned. Their intention was to make a profit in a most unscrupulous manner.
These buyers; mostly African American, would become involved in a scheme to basically defraud New York City and the Federal Government as well as the people of Harlem.
Here is how the game was played.
The original buyer of the property would find a church or other charitable organization to purchase the property from them, at or above true market value. The church or charitable organization wasn't concerned about the above market price of the property because they weren't using their money to buy the property. The church or charitable organization would obtain federally guaranteed 203(k) mortgages to buy the property. The church or charitable organization would then default on the "guaranteed" mortgage. The church or charitable organization would receive a kickback from the seller - the original buyer.
In the aftermath of the defaults of these loans, these building were left to further deteriorate; even though many of them were currently being occupied by tenants. This selfish act of greed caused harm to the people of Harlem and to the residential real estate market in Harlem as well. This period of Harlem history explains why approximately 90%-95% of African Americans in Central Harlem rent and not own their homes.
Strong, Intelligent, Fearless and Scrupulous Leadership This would not have happened if Harlem had strong, intelligent, fearless and scrupulous leadership. The gentrification of Harlem would not be happening today if Harlem had strong, intelligent, fearless and scrupulous leadership. Today, these properties are in the hands of greedy developers who are hell-bent in their endeavor to gentrify Harlem. The disheartening aspect of this is that the current leadership in Harlem appears unwilling or unable to do anything about it.
What Harlem needs right now is a blast from the past in regards to African American leadership. Harlem needs to rekindle the spirit of the Black leaders of the past; leaders who stood up for black people regardless of the price to be paid. We sorely miss leaders like, Malcolm X, Hubert Harrison, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Stokely Carmichael aka (Kwame Ture), Angela Davis, Martin Luther King, Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
Too many of today's African American leaders preach individualism. Individualism teaches our children to go for self; it teaches that "You" can be anything "You" want to be. Preaching individualism plays right into the hands of the enemy; those who wish to limit or control the political and economic influence of African Americans.
The problem with individualism is that it breeds selfishness. Selfishness is the antithesis of Unity. "Divide and Conquer" is a tried and true strategy. If African Americans want to improve their quality of life in America, then we must be willing to come together for the common good of African Americans - the descendants of African slaves. To further make my point I will end this article with a few quotations from true Black leaders.
"You cannot look at the success of black people by seeing who is on the front of Ebony magazine or by looking at Oprah. When you consider that only 1 percent of all business revenue comes from black-owned businesses, you have to ask yourself if this class disparity is the kind of society we want." -- Elaine Brown, Author and Former Black Panther Party leader
"Careful study of the modern black freedom struggle offers support for the more optimistic belief that participants in a mass movement can develop their untapped capabilities and collectively improve their lives."
Clayborne Carson - The Black Scholar 24 (Fall 1994).
Malik Green is the author of "The Black-Print: Black America's Blueprint for Achieving Wealth, Prosperity and Respect". To learn more about this topic and other issues concerning African Americans go to:

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Dating Advice, Relationship Problems?

Dating Advice, Relationship Problems?
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African American Planet Blog

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Writer, Poet, Author, Speaker, Virtual Assistant Nicholl McGuire
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