Viewing: African-American Issues - View all posts

From Gordon Parks to Donald Glover: The New Appreciation of the Renaissance Man 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             I know this sounds corny, but the first time I heard the name Gordon Parks was when Larenz Tate uttered it in Love Jones (1997).  I was immediately drawn to the name.  Maybe it was the slick coolness in which Darius Lovehall name dropped him to impress Nina Mosley or maybe his name was just that powerful to make me want to learn more.  Either way; he was officially on my radar.   That fall, his book “Half Past Autumn: A…

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Emotional Crutches, Security Blankets, and Why I’ve Only had 2 Addresses 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     I’ve always been enamored with individuals who’ve moved regularly throughout their entire lives.  There are those that grew up in households where a parent was in the military, those who grew up in families where quick shifts in income meant multiple moves and others who just don’t like being stationary in one spot for too long.  For years when clients and friends have confided in me about their lack of family pictures, it’s followed by, “We‘ve…

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My Effort, Resentment, & Guilt and My Grandfather's Judgement. 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     I had just wrapped up a pretty decent first date with a young lady; nothing major - just food and conversation. She invited me into her home to meet her mother so I took a seat on the couch, but by the time her mother came downstairs to greet me; I had kicked off my shoes and fell asleep. It was 1995, I was 19 years-old, I was trying to work 2 jobs and go to school but exhaustion had caught up with me. 

     Now let me give you this…

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Jay-Z, Chris Cornell and Being Aged out in Hip-Hop 

    

    In a lot of ways being a hip-hop artist is like being a professional athlete.  You have a short window to make a lot money and you’re going to have to come up with creative ways grow your income after your 20s are over.  But many emcees stick to the music no matter how hard the struggle becomes.  A lot of us paid top dollar to see our favorite emcees sell out venues like Joe Louis arena in the 90s but then paid barely anything to see those same artists at St. Andrews ten years later (and in some…

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My Grandfather and Real Friendships 

    It seems almost anywhere that serves reasonable priced coffee or cheap beer; there will be a quartet of men, late in their years; congregating. They’ll meet weekly and even daily. If you’re a fly on the wall for any of the conversations, you’ll hear the usual talk of politics, sports, and personal stories from yesteryear. Bartenders and baristas will know them  and their beverage preferences by name. This is the actual “country for old men.” It’s where they go when they’re not with the grand kids…

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Drake, Curry, The 90s, and Displaced Urban Masculinity 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    The barbershop discussion sounded the same as others I’ve heard. 

“Isiah Thomas would have D’ed Curry up and dropped 40 on him. “ 

“Steph too soft to play in the 90s.” 

A few weeks later I walked into a similar conversation at a social gathering. 

“I just don’t see why people fuck with Drake, soft ass niggah.” 

“I don’t see it either” 

“A niggah like that wouldn’t have survived the 90s.” 

    And there you have it. Add this to the list of…

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Why Love Jones Was the Most Important and Unique Black Movie of the 90s 

      Many African American movies of the early 90s gave us insightful looks into the culture of violence that resided within the black community.  Sometimes the movies really hit close to realty and other times they were just entertaining.  None were bad movies but all them took used their creative approach in different ways.   
       New Jack City (1991) was mostly entertaining and the portrayals of drug dealers, crack heads were exaggerated.    Boyz in the hood (1991) hit home in a way that made you…

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#FaSho90sBox “My Personal Journey Through Urban Fashion” 

#FaShow90sBox is my story and my journey through urban fashion.  I went from being a kid that just wanted to dress like his grandfather to being a kid what wanted to dress like his favorite rapper.  Because my grandparents were so rigid with money; the allure of the clothes the cool kids wore only intensified. The memory of what you “wanted” can be just as vivid as the memories of the stuff you had. 
  
So I decided to add my collection of vintage and retro clothes with me and my wife’s childhood photos to…

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Why Kayne West Is Not Hard to Understand 

Writer and blogger Jessica Ann Mitchell says Kayne has a “Frantz Fannon complex,” and his social and racial rants have more to do with him not getting a “seat at the table” rather than him actually caring about social and racial issues.  Another blogger attributes Kayne’s blond hair and recent political affiliations to his mental health crisis. 

Well; that all could be true but there is another layer. 

Kayne has shown he’s the kind of cat that feels he can remake, redefine, and reevaluate any damn thing he…

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The N.W.A. Complex, Why Many of us have it 

   I know it feels kind of awkward.  The N.W.A. movie is coming out and you have mixed guilt and feelings about wanting to see it.  Let me guess; you’re my age (39).  You grew in the prime of the gangsta’ rap era.  “Boyz in da Hood” made you feel rebellious and “Bitches and shit but hoes and tricks” was a mainstay on your Sony Walkman.  You bought your Raiders cap from the gas station for 5 bucks, yo’ mamma cussed you out for answering the phone by saying, “Who dis?” and every chance you got- you answered a…Read more

Parenting to your Strengths 


My grandfather had story for every situation & obstacle in life.  He constantly used his past experiences to help me (try to) avoid mistakes and guide me.  My grandmother never shared many personal stories.  Most of her parenting was through the muse of prayer and bible study.  My grandfather on the other hand rarely used religious teachings to get his point across to me.  For the most part he was a pretty proud Christian, but was also at his best when he used his own familiarities to relate to me…Read more

Entrepreneurship, Damon Dash, Guilt, and Understanding Your Personality  


Damon Dash made quite a buzz on the Breakfast Club when he challenged everyone to be their own boss.  Most of what he said was on point but it deeper than just, “not wanting to call another man boss.”



There are 3 big things I would like everyone to think about here.

1.     Don’t’ feel “guilty” if you aren’t the type to start and run your own business.  It doesn’t make you less of a man or a bad example for your children.  Millions of people have the mental stamina to push themselves through undergrad, post…Read more

Saying, “No Thank You,” Grand Ma, and Integrity 













Growing up; once a month or so Mr. Martin would come by and check on his house and children next door to us.  He owned the 3 bedroom colonial but allowed his adult children to stay there.  He would pull up in his long Cadillac, visit all the neighbors, stop the ice-cream truck, and buy ice-cream for every kid who happened to be outside; except for me.  My grandparents never allowed me to accept ice-cream from Mr. Martin (though they did like him a lot). 
As I got a little older (11 years-old maybe), I would…Read more

African-American Nutrition and Disease - Where is the Leadership? 

















    The June 23, 2014 Time cover story says “Eat Butter”- Scientists labeled fat the enemy.  Why they were wrong.”   Though this is being presented as a new concept; it’s actually been discussed, lectured and written about by cardiologist Dr. William Davis, journalist Gary Taubes, Peter Attia, radio show host Carl Lenore, and a host of other rouge & underground nutritionists and homeopathic doctors.  The premise is simple to explain:  America’s reliance on carbohydrates, wheat, and sugar while blaming fat…Read more

Growing up in Detroit Pt. 1 Middle Eastern, Black, Hispanic, White, and Understanding Race Through Experiences  















           To say I grew up “sheltered” would be like saying an elephant is just a “little’ heavy.  My first 17 years on earth featured 10 grades of Catholic School, no riding my bike past the corner, streetlight curfews, more home cooked meals than B. King crowns, and a community of neighbors and friends to make sure I stayed in my lane.  It was understandable; my parents had died and my safety and future was taken very seriously.           
           I was also sheltered as it related to my interactions…Read more

White Pastor, Mixed Church, Malcom, Martin, & Mixed Results 

















I‘m almost certain that when my grandparents went looking for a church home in the late 1950s - it wasn’t a complicated process.  They probably visited a couple of churches that were walking distance or a short drive away. I’m sure they took into account the message, warmth of the congregation, and the overall “feel” of the church when it came to making their decision. 
Fast forward 60 plus years and looking for a church home is more comparable to looking for a new house.  There are 100 things you’re looking…Read more

Why African-Americans Should Care about The War Against GMO Food 



I’m going to keep this simple and short.
The problem:
GMO Foods

What are GMO Foods: foods produced from genetically modified organisms.  They have had specific changes introduced into their DNA via chemical, radiation, and mutation engineering techniques.

In Layman’s terms- its corn, wheat, veggies and fruit (etc..) that have been zapped or injected with weird shit to make it grow faster, more abundant, and look good.  However nothing good happens when you mess with Mother Nature.  God made everything…

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Love Letter to Black Women about Health and Obesity 



 

Over the past few weeks I’ve come across various statistical reports which say that half of African American women in this country are obese (49.5 percent to be exact), diabetic, or both.   Initially ladies; I discounted this as nothing but inaccurate statistics.  Ballooned up numbers trying to make black women look bad and feel worse.  But then I started paying attention and asking questions like -   -Why when I visit my aunt in the nursing home there are more of you than me? -When I go to church…

African-Americans, Disease, Solutions, Lifestyle and Death- Part 2. Native Americans and Africans 

 

Genetics is one of the cornerstones of treating and understanding disease and cancer. Knowing what cells and diseases your parents and grandparents had helps immensely in determining what an individual may be predisposed too.

 

But; what if learning what you're predisposed to goes back further than just grand ma and gran pa? What if your entire ancestry could tell you what you should and should not be eating? What if all the answers were in the historical development of your ethnicity?

 

-The Native

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African-Americans, Disease, Solutions, Lifestyle and Death- Part 1. Fast Food 





This is the first installment of an ongoing series addressing the health concerns within African-american community and the diet and lifestyle changes needed to correct those concerns.    
First – The Facts.
-Before age 50, African-American's heart failure rate is 20 times higher than that of whites (New England Journal of Medicine 2005) -63 percent of  African-American men and 77 percent of  African-American women are overweight or obese. (American Heart Association 2013) -African-Americans are