In Black and Brown News, Consider This, Culture on 15/05/2012 at 21:29
Several months ago, Americans marked the national observance of the birth of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As I reflect, I think about what a brave soul Dr. King was to transform his fight for “Negro” equality with White America and one that was based on Civil Rights, to a fight that was global in scope and based on Human Rights.
Like others have, I often ask myself what would Dr. King think about today’s America and the world as a whole? Would he feel as though all of his efforts achieved their end goal? Would he support the various Occupy and other social movements taking place the world over? The answers I keep coming up with are NO and YES respectively.
Given the continued disparities across every major aspect of life in America for Black Americans, I could not imagine Dr. King would be pleased with our progress. Yes, we have a Black President and we certainly have achieved great success in many areas of the business, sports, entertainment, the arts and the social world. However, we do not live in a “Post-racial” society. As a collective group, the majority of Black Americans have not benefited from the accomplishments of a few.
Statistically, we are breaking records in all the wrong categories of life:
- We are #1 in Incarceration rates proportionate to the overall American population
- We are #1 in Healthcare disparities
- We are #1 in Education disparities
- We are #1 in HIV/AIDS contraction rates
- We are #1 in Quality of living disparities
- We are #1 in Divorce and Households lead by single mothers
- We are #1 in Sperm donors who happen to be males not being fathers
- We are #1 in just about any other negative thing you can think of as it relates to simply living
It is not my intention to bring anyone down or paint such a dismal picture of life for the majority of Black Americans, but this is not my subjective truth. This is the reality of too many of our people. The bottom line, Dr. King’s goals have not been achieved.
We do not live in a “Post-Racial” America and we need to WAKE UP!!! (cont … Black and Brown News)
In Black and Brown News, Culture on 14/05/2012 at 12:39
The 2012 graduation and commencement season is upon us.
Over the past few years a list attributed to Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, has been circulated in newspaper articles, YouTube videos and various social media platforms. Supposedly, Mr. Gates delivered a commencement speech to the 2007 graduating class of Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia, California. Now in 2007 Mr. Gates did give a speech, but it was at Harvard and not at Mt. Whitney High School. A now famous list of 11 rules for these high school graduates has been used time and time again to inspire future graduates as to the realities of the world that awaits them.
The reality is, this list actually comes from a 2007 book written by Charles J. Sykes called 50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn In School: Real World Antidotes to Feel Good Education. His previous work was the 1996 book Dumbing down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can’t Read, Write, Or Add. His most recent work, is A Nation of Moochers: America’s Addiction To Getting Something For Nothing. All of his books have a common theme : if you want something, you’ve got to work very hard to get it and not make excuses.
This is probably why his list resonates so well with people above the age of 40. Now that it has been cleared up as to who actually authored this list, it is important to not only provide this list, but to also show three points made by the author that are often omitted from what most people have come to know as the 11 Rules.
14 Rules You didn’t Learn In School:
Rule 1: Life is not fair — get used to it!
Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school [or college for that matter]. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both. (cont … Black and Brown News)
In Black and Brown News on 09/05/2012 at 16:53
Since 1949 May has been dubbed Mental Health Month in America. Its sole purpose is to raise awareness of mental health conditions and illnesses for all Americans. However, I am dedicating the following to address Mental Health in Black and Brown American communities.
Certainly this is not a topic most are comfortable discussing. And I would dare say Mental Health throughout the African Diaspora is a taboo topic. In my humble view, we are simply too afraid to broach the topic because it carries so many stigmas with it. Especially if you are the person suffering from an identifiable mental illness. In many cases, however, there is a family member, friend, co-worker or acquaintance known to have such problems. But still we will not talk about it in the open.
Consider the following from the Black Mental Health Alliance:
- Nearly one in five Americans suffer from some kind of mental disorder, which can be successfully treated.
- Less than half of African American adults with mental illness seek treatment for mental health problems, and less than one third of their children receive treatment.
- Black Americans make up about forty percent of the homeless population, the majority suffering from mental illness are self medicating to treat mental illness.
- Seven percent of Black American men will develop Depression during their lifetime. This is likely to be an underestimate due to lack of screening and treatment services.
- Stigma and difficulty paying for care keeps millions of Americans from treatments that have proven successful. (cont…Black and Brown News)
In Black and Brown News, the World, Thinking Africa on 09/05/2012 at 16:04
Today, one of the most important conferences in the world will begin in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. That conference is the World Economic Forum on Africa 2012. Although this is a yearly conference there is no other time in recent history that this conference has the type of significance it has now. Seven of the fastest growing economies in the world are on the continent of Africa.
“Africa is on the brink of a major transformation. Over the last decade, the continent was home to six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies, and the outlook for the region remains bright at a time when the rest of the world is facing major political and economic challenges. However, attaining Africa’s aspirations in a new global context will require bold and actionable ideas, as well as strong leadership on regional, national and industry levels.
In 2012, Africa’s projected growth rate of 6% will be driven by improved macroeconomic and political stability, an ongoing resource boom and a growing consumer base. In addition, deepening links to fast-growing emerging economies and an increasing appetite of global and regional champions for long-term investments in Africa’s frontier markets are fuelling a renewed optimism about the continent’s future. At the same time, resource price volatility, youth unemployment, food insecurity and the adverse effects of climate change remain important challenges. Strengthening Africa’s leadership, accelerating investment in its frontier markets and scaling innovation will be essential in transforming Africa’s growth story into shared opportunities for present and future generations….” (cont. Black and Brown News)
In Black and Brown News, Culture on 07/05/2012 at 21:43
I must admit, when it comes to comic books, science fiction and movies made from those stories I am the world’s biggest GEEK. I remember December 1989 when the first redo of the Batman story came to the big screen. Michael Keaton played the protagonist Bruce Wayne aka Batman, Jack Nicholson played the antagonist the Joker and Tim Burton was at the helm as director. This movie was not without its detractors, but all in all Warner Brothers pulled it off. Before this reboot of Batman, we had Christopher Reeves’ Superman. The first two Superman movies were the best. After that it became a caricature of the what it should have been.
You see, we comic book fans are quite harsh when it comes to bringing our favorite characters to the big screen. Sadly, this is what happened to Superman and the initial Batman reboot after Joel Schumacher took over from Tim Burton. Since that time we have had a number of very good movies bring comic book characters to the big screen, namely the Spiderman, X-Men, Wolverine, the reboot of Batman aka the Dark Knight, the Hulk, Thor and Captain America. In the not so good category is the Fantastic Four, the reboot of Superman, Ghost Rider, and many others I will not name because it saddens me to think of how bad those movies were. (cont. Black and Brown News)