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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)
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Obama’s|Overt|Truth

So,  some African Americans are offended ( most notably Jesse Jackson) because Obama is not a descendent of slaves while others think he’s an African immigrant and yet “talks down” to the descendents of slaves. First of all, the man is NOT an African immigrant. Since when did the constitution allow immigrants to run for presidency?

To an African, because Barack’s father is African, they will consider him African as well, but the fact remains he’s only been to Africa a few times in his adult life, probably knows little to nothing about the culture….defiantly hasn’t been submerged in it. Perhaps the fact that Obama is faring so well now, is the only reason why some Africans even claim him as their own. Moreover, sounds like he’s more/less an African American since he doesn’t know his culture etc….not to mention the fact Obama considers himself African American.

 The point is that his father was an African immigrant, not Barack, so calling him an African immigrant is a bit rash and arbitrary. He is not the descendent of slaves, but if that’s all that makes an African American an African American then there are many things seriously missing.

Obama is affected by the same issues black America is affected by. He spent most of HIS LIFE fighting for black people. Even though he went to an Ivy league school, white America still saw him as black and most likely as a black descent of slaves, not knowing his background. Let’s face it, if you didn’t know his background, you would too.

His children and wife are African American; why shouldn’t he be concerned or have a voice in such issues? Even if someone white said it, as long as they understood the implications, historical aspect of it, and presented some solutions, why would someone be offended?

I’m African American and I am not offended at the things Barack or Cosby says; they both speak truth. That’s all I’m interested in, and that’s all anyone should be interested in who maintains a progressive mindset: truth and solutions.

People who are offended, this is what you are telling me:

It’s OK to wallow in your own mess and be aware of your own spiraling demise but when someone who is not in that mess, even though indirectly affected, points it out, then the problem is the person who pointed it out instead of the mess that you are obviously in

—that’s not forward thinking, not unless, of course, you enjoy the mess you’re in.

It’s one thing if what he said was wrong on a contextual basis or if what he said stemmed from his not understanding something and misinterpreting it, but then again….there is no misinterpretation.

Those who were offended were just upset that he said anything at all not because of  who he was, or how he said it (Bill Cosby). All the before mentioned seems just an excuse. Frankly, I feel those who are offended by people who tell the truth are pusillanimous, especially when they are taking no progressive moves to make a change —because the truth often hurts.

It doesn’t matter who said what, when they said, or even where. What matters is if what they said is true, and indeed, it is. It’s the problem, itself, one should be concerned about; it shouldn’t take anyone else to point it out, let alone be criticized for it.

One has to want better for themselves in order to take action and be better; this silly bickering about who said it is useless; what will we, as a people, do about the problem? I’m not saying it will be easy or that we couldn’t use some help, but I am saying that we stop thinking someone will come save us from ourselves; think pro-actively.

Discussing something very irreverent to the problem is obviously discussing issues outside of the problem. While everyone is pointing fingers, no one is concerned about solving issues–childish thinking. Get out of the cyclic mindset, it makes me dizzy.

Like Amel Larrieux sings in “Get Up”, ” I know you’re down. When you gone get up? I see you’re down. When you gone get up?”

You know, meanwhile, while we are discussing people’s mere offences to Obama’s overt truth, where is their “offence”, action, and outrage to the fact that black America is suffering from poverty, HIV, broken homes, rapid abortion rates, high crime rates, drug abuse, etc.? No where in sight.

These are issues, that simply need to be addressed and if it takes someone like Barack (an outsider) or Cosby (an insider saying the same thing) for people to actually start caring, become pro active and cease the passiveness, then I hope they as well as others continue to.

Lastly, Jesse Jackson is not a black leader——he’s just a damn fool and obvious joke.

 

Survival|of Africa

I was not born anywhere on the continent of Africa, I am only of African decent, as is everyone, although I am most noticeable in appearance. I also can not claim to know all about life’s struggles and troubles in the many countries the continent embodies; I don’t think anyone can truly attest to this but the dead and suffering. I am merely a descendent of African Diaspora. What do I know? I could not possibly offer any denouement, even with careful exegesis. Besides, I am insouciant, you know….living in America born and raised here—in the land of seemingly endless opportunity. EVERYONE has tried to solve the problems of Africa, yet no one has the answer(s). The government is corrupt, they say, and it’s people are sycophant, so there is really nothing….anyone can do to alter any of this. Perhaps, some say, Africa is an anathema. In fact, very few are sanguine about the future of Africa as it stands presently, which saps overall hope  and successfully flags others. I have heard many Africans say that Americans are so blind about the world and what happens in it, not realizing that everything that goes on in the world effects them too, either directly or indirectly. I concur; it is true; there is a lot of that going on. I would, like to add another group to the list as well—able Africans themselves.

The are many Africans who love their countries, in culture and in their people, but a lot of that love is obviously conditional. Then some are appalled by the fact that their “Americanized” offspring do not know their mother tongue in a voluble manner. There should be an exact that everyone going abroad to study must contribute to their country in some way for a certain amount of time after attaining degrees and table those not willing to comply. What cause do I have to say all of this? Some will come to America and go throughout Europe to attain different degrees and avarice, which hardly goes to the advancement of their own land—mostly it goes to the advancement of America and countries of Europe. This is especially saddening for Africa. I understand there is a process to this whole thing; I am talking about people with PhDs—the highest attainable degree—- still here or somewhere else other than home, who are not at least essaying something for the betterment of Africa. There are people who are not as able as people with PhDs doing more—this is a cardinal wrong.

Then when all hell breaks loose in their countries, as it often does, they complain and grumble but do nothing to alleviate the situation. Just as someone rails about the American government, under which I live, and all the fallacies by which it is enriched, but never attempts to make a difference in whatever they are grousing about…they really are not justified to complain; the same can be said here.

Certainly, most will send money “back home” to loved ones to help sustain their families, however, how many actually go back and home and try to DO something about their beloved country’s situations? In these cases, I am not so sure that it is love for one’s country so much as it is an attempt to seem consequential. I can hear the seething of someone’s teeth as I am typing these words; the truth hurts sometimes, but only it will set you free—not excuses because honestly, there really is no excuse. What do I mean?

Think about it for a minute. Just like me, you are in the safety of carefree America or Europe, land of the free, home of the brave; both of which are basically viewed as an apotheosis. Unlike you or I however, there are many people on that vast continent of Africa that actually LIVE there, not who were just born there and are now looking out from the safe haven of the US recalling some distant memory called “home” or merely going for a little visit—a lot of these people are struggling to survive each minute of their lives from common colds and other common disease that are easily treatable, hunger, thrist, AIDS while we, yes able Africans included, are enjoying the luxury of AC and internet; this is suppose to be your allegiance.

What can one do? Anything is better than nothing in dire situations such as these. I am not, in any way suggesting these things are an easy task, hardly anything in life comes easy, but to at least attempting to make a difference, is much better than doing nothing at all; to do nothing is simply pusillanimous.  Small things amount to bigger things if done by a lot of people and consistantly. Those who are chauvinist for the good cause, people who remonstrate and get jailed, those who participate in the dirge of fallen heroes who fight for the struggle are better than those who sit silently and do nothing. Someone writing a book, starting an organization, participating in ANY way is better than someone doing nothingFunny enough, those living in carefree America are at a better position to do this than those people back in Africa because they are putting themselves constantly in harms way and risk loosing everything even when they had little to begin with—but they don’t quail and they actually do it. There are people from other countries outside of Africa doing more for Africa than some people who are more able or equally able who are African and this is Africa’s fight more so than it is anyone else’s. It’s called sacrifice and it’s called love, and real love is unconditional.  Some have tried to do zero and claim nothing can be done; this is a sign of hopelessness at its worse. Keep waiting on the world; you’ll be there for a while. To all the people who do contribute other than sending bundles of money home every now and then for family, I truly admire you. It is only logically meet, that the only people who are truly going to save Africa is Africans, not the world.