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WashedOut|”Impressions”

      First Impressions”? Yeah, I could see why for an interview maybe because you really want or need that job, sometimes you have to make a stretch. After all, they can’t fire you when the charm you had in the interview suddenly leaves after the first month on the job—its business as usual.

     For everyday, normal people? I fail to see the reverence. You may counter argue that maybe one day these normal, everyday people may be in a position one day to do some extraordinary things. It is true, however, if I only interacted with people who I thought would “be somebody” one day, I’d be cheating myself out of my own potential.  In situations like these, reality can get you kicked out the door as fast as illusion got you into it; it’s not an interview with laws to protect you after the fact. Beyond this, when most people do things “extraordinary” for you, it’s a give and take situation. Nothing not given freely will ever come freely.

    Typically at this point, there are many who are hung up on trying to make a “good “ first, second, and third “impression”, so in reality you don’t really get to know them until after the fact anyway, and that could be a good or bad finding.

I guess there are those who do this because it actually works on the majority! I’ve never understood and never will how someone would be charmed by someone who is trying to charm, maybe it’s not so obvious then but look at the situation and that within itself is obvious. In certain situations people tend to overcompensate for something by exaggerating some other aspect that is not just a natural inclination for them.  I’ve seen many “sweet“-labeled people eventually show their true colors as the complete opposite
 An “impression” is often giving one’s self a false persona that is more than likely revealed sooner or later to be just what it is, an illusion. The first impression is never the last.

 It reminds me of children who don’t feel comfortable being themselves, as they have to “fit in” somewhere, like a piece to a puzzle, so they pretend. The sad part about this is a lot of people will go through their entire lives not ever being able to freely be themselves–that is, be comfortable being themselves around others. 

     Maybe just being one’s self isn’t as impressive as pretending to be something else for most people. My “impression” is just me being me—but then that’s not an “impression” at all; it’s reality and incapable of becoming washedout. I’d prefer to be around people who are more in touch with themselves and the latter; those are the people who impress me, not the WashedOut Impressions– but the lasting and truthful reality being that they are genuine and there truly aren’t too many of their kind left in the world.

White| in America

Yeah, white people have thier own set of issues too…..

I found this to be very interesting. Most people were wondering what something like a “White in America” documentary would look like. Well, here’s your chance to actually see.

I saw this at Macon D’s blog:

 

Black Models| Italia Vogue 2008

The European standard of beauty has become so much an axiom that black beauty is nearly “lost in translation” for good. I see people searching for black models and black beauty constantly on search engines and the likes and coming up short with a few they can count on one hand. That could change.

Of course, black women are beautiful on or off a magazine, on or off a catwalk, whatever and wherever. I think the problem is relying too much on main stream to get ourselves out there when we can BE main-stream.

Why is it that almost every time I see a beautiful spread in a magazine featuring a model, it’s in white mainstream media?—-Do blacks not have the same ability? Of course they do, that was a rhetorical question. It’s well known that most of the people who bought the Italian EnVogue magazine were black, and it sold well. Blacks support blacks’ period—especially in incipient business ventures. If things are done right and professionally with class etc….support will double, and maybe even come in unlikely places, because it will not be about the fact that they are black owned but that their work wreaks quality.

Here are some of the pictures from the “all-black” Italia Vogue: From Left to right (Alek Wek, Arlenis Sosa, Iman,  Karen Alexander, Naomi Campbell, Noemie Lenoir,  (2)Toccara Jones, (3) Tyra Banks,  Ubah)

Between the continent of Africa and the other majority black countries who are having similar issues of black model’s not getting work—we could ubiquitously take the world by storm because there are some undeniably beautiful black women out there; that’s veracity. Where are the black photographers and the black modeling agencies? Hiding? I am not talking about those photographers that do borderline porn; I’m talking professionals.

I know Ebony and the likes have modeling agencies and there are plenty of blacks who have their own clothing line, some not so well known but classier than those that are well known, and that is an issue–they are not put out there. If Ebony along with other more recognized black modeling agencies monopolized around the world—made this not just an African American thing but a Caribbean thing, and African thing—a black thing, I really think the potential of this is prodigious.

That gives more diversity, more exotic looks, more style, and flare. That makes the problem of not being well known obsolete and a broader audience to which one can appeal. When white, main stream starts noticing a decline in their sales, which means their avarice is not satisfied— I assure you they will take notice but by then, they will not be an issue, merely a side note.

Aftermath|of CNN’s Black| in America

Some are saying OK…we get the problems….where are the solutions?

What can WE do?

Well, I say to you…..put the same or more momentum in this as you did for Obama and that is your solution. This is by no means an overnight success but change is possible; it takes dedication and hard work from people who are passionate about their people and the future of black America. It’s the first step of many steps.

Resources:

The following link is a list of local and national organizations and programs designed to address many of the issues raised in “CNN Presents: Black in America” and “CNN & Essence: Reclaiming the Dream.” Some of the people or guests featured in the programs are involved in some of these organizations

CNN does not endorse any organization, and information is provided only as a resource and inspiration to help people explore the many local and national organizations involved in these areas.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/07/18/bia.resources/index.html

I imagine a lot of people probably do not know about these programs. The links are extremely helpful.

 

BET:

  1. Write letters to the network and president demanding change in videos and programs shown on BET that promote negative stereotypes and images of black people that our children often  use as a reflection of themselves, and demand more educational programs.
  2. Boycott the program (children and adults alike) so that BET will loose money and their ratings will drop. I assure you; this will ring loud and clear.
  3. Here are three petitions that are currently going around; bring awareness and send these things  to those you know and those you don’t know to the dangers of such programs:

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/change-bet.html

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/betterBET/

http://www.petitionnow.com/BETVIDEOS/petition.html

 

In Addition:

  • Promote education at home:

http://www.ehow.com/how_2147355_promote-early-reading-home.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art

 

  • Start some educational and inspirational after school programs in black schools and churches:

http://www.ehow.com/how_2335689_start-after-school-care-program.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art

 

  • Start free parenting class in your community –even if it is only one or two days out of the week.

http://www.fathersworld.com/fulltimedad/issue2/bf.html

http://www.blackparents.org/

 http://www.babycenter.com/0_fathering-classes-could-you-use-one_8249.bc

 

  • Start free abstinence classes, not just Safe sex, in your local black churches and black schools, especially HBCUs:

http://www.physiciansforlife.org/content/view/247/27/

 

  • Send copies of the CNN’s Black in America special to your church and school.  (This is something I am very intent on doing)

Black|in America|Part I: A Positive Review

From what I saw on the program, they did go over some  positive aspects of Black America. I wouldn’t say the entire show was aimed towards this, but all the same there were very positive aspects. Can we ignore the bad in search of something good? Were we expecting an entire show dedicated to the positive aspects of black America when half of black America is, indeed struggling?

Since most have already pointed out the negatives of the program, I’ll point out the positives that I saw:

The black family with both parents and 5 children, all of which they successfully sent to college, except one because she/he was not of age yet and the parents have their own family business.

They covered a child who successfully made it out the “hood” and went to Julliard for dance and we all know Eric Dyson’s success story.

I remember them talking about the rapid increase of black business (up 45%, I believe) in the last decade which often the media ignores.

I remember them covering a large family who annually held family reunions, strongly stuck together and helped each other, and knew their family history tenfold.

They talked about the large number of black sisters who hold a degree. They talked about the many intelligent, financially well off sisters who are doing  very well for themselves.

They covered the 2 year experimental program in NY for less fortunate children which actually pays children to go to school and is designed to help motivate young black children in learning and give them a more promising future that would probably otherwise be bleak. So far , it has proven to be a successful motivation tool for learning.

I’d give the program a chance to play itself out before I denounce it. I’ll be tuning in tonight @ 8pm central time for the Black Men segment.

Besides this, I was watching it with some family members (cousins, aunts)—some of whom fall into the category of single parent mothers and they were very pleased to have an open dialogue about these issues and it opened their minds to many other things mentioned on the program. I think overall, it was more helpful than harmful.

Paying|Children|to Attend|School

1 student every 26 seconds drops out of school in America. Nationally, only 53.4% black Americans get a high school diploma. What happen to the other half? Numerous factors, of course, weigh in on this statistic.

As Soledad O’Brien’s part 1 report in the CNN special of Black in America reveals, some people are taking steps to change this. In New York, there is a program in process that actually pays children to go to school.

The program last 2 years and is obviously experimental; the children who participate in the program start young (10yrs old), and they get paid for scoring perfectly on test given.

As crazy as this may sound to some, this isn’t anything new. In the mid 1990s, Mexico implemented a similar plan except it paid poor parents to keep their children in school and to take them for regular health check-ups.

The Million”, another experimental program implemented, is a cell phone that disables text messaging, certain internet features, and other distracting features of cell phones while children are in the class. These particular phones allow children to learn and take test via their cell phone incorporating traditional teaching as well. When outside of the classroom, the cell phones function normally.

Most of the children in these programs are children from poor backgrounds and/or broken homes, which makes them all the more likely not to graduate from high school among other things.

Some people may look at this as a “bribe” of some sort, and basically, it is. It serves  more as motivation for the children than anything else.

People above the poverty line may take motivation from those around them, family, friends, etc. On the other hand, 33% of all black children live below the poverty line and these children typically do not have this kind of motivation in their lives. Most of their families/friends are poor like I mentioned earlier, so they don’t have the degree(s)/careers and such for a child to “look up to” so to speak. Often the things that they do have to “look up to” is very bleak.

For people like you or me who may look at things from a long-term point of view, we may think motivation lies in getting the diploma, degrees, and then great careers, supposedly, that are to follow. We are motivated in knowing we will eventually get to that point with the right steps taken.

However, these children mostly look at the “now” because most of their circumstances are based on the now and not the “later”.

For example, if there is no food in the refrigerator and their mother/father doesn’t have the money to buy food today for them to eat because they don’t get paid until 3 days after today, and the parent is barely living and providing pay check to pay check—- the child is still hungry and waiting for those three days will not cure his/her hunger.

So far, the program has been successful but it is simply too soon to tell if the true success of graduating these children from high school, furthering that into college, and giving an overall promising future will actually be achieved.

The “N”-Word|In 2008

To the bewildered:
To begin, let me first say that I disagree with the word myself. However,  you probably don’t  realize that the word’s meaning, for black people who do use it, is completely different from the meaning someone white may think. Most whites look at it as a disrespectful term because of the historical aspect of it, and for that reason I and other blacks think so too. The historical aspect is to degrade and belittle black people.To black people who use the word, it means, almost as if to say, “You’re one of us” but without the negative connotations that are tied to it historically. 

When Whoopie Goldberg, from The View, made the comment about “owning” the word, this is how black people feel who use the word. They feel because they have been degraded with the word down through the years, they would take it for themselves, in turn, and use it to their own advantage, as oppose to their disadvantage. I believe this came from the hurt, shame, and pain of it all.

With that being said, what reason would a white person have to say it and what would their meaning be for those who think a double standard exist? Most certainly, it would not be for the same reason I just stated above—and that is what makes it offensive coming from them. To make this simpler…think of it as reverse psychology because it is very similar. I just wanted to say that for clarification as to the differences in how some blacks view the word and how whites view it.

To my fellow black readers, and still the confused- As for my personal take on this:

My rejection of this word has absolutely nothing to do with me wanting not to sound “black” and has everything to do with respect for my ancestors, people, and myself. Unfortunately, there are so many African Americans (old and young) who use this word for each other, and either way one looks at it, it’s still negative even when said by us—truth be told, a lot of us don’t see it this way. I am not sure if this is out of habit or upbringing but it’s disgraceful all together.

When my great grandmother and granddaddy were addressed as, subjected to, whipped and killed in the names of “coon” “colored” “nigger” day in and day out— there’s absolutely nothing to take from that word, and just because one takes off the “er” and gives it an “a” at then end, makes no difference. It’s like calling a stone a rock—it’s more or less the same thing…..coming from an insider.

Check out: http://www.abolishthenword.com/

I am compelled to say, however, that most people were shocked at hearing Whoopi’s comments concerning black and whites living in different worlds. I’m sorry to break this to anyone living in “Dream Land“, but she is right.

 We have yet to reach equality for all; discrimination is still at large.

The double standard that Elizabeth talked about on The View is more in the “democracy” of America than anywhere else. There are double standards in education, there are double standards in housing opportunities for blacks, double standards exist in the media, there are double standards even with buying cars in America—- compare that to the black and white world. Want proof?

http://www.cdc.gov/omhd/Highlights/2007/HFeb07.htm

http://faculty.winthrop.edu/stonebrakerr/book/automobiles.htm