Tuesday, 26 March 2013 18:31
Kermit the Frog is a Muppet character often seen on the popular show Sesame Street. He is famous for singing a song with the popular line in it that says, "It's not easy being green". As a Black person in America watching the states trying to turn back the clock to a time when inequality for African Americans was the law of the land, it seems that Kermit's theme song could be modified to say, "It's not easy being Black, either". Or, as I prefer to say, "It's a full time job being Black".
For Kermit, there is a certain amount of discrimination for a green frog. He gets passed by while sitting on green leaves. He would be more noticeable if he were more colorful like red or gold. For Black folks, the source of discrimination is multi-faceted and it doesn't really go away. When you're young it's the schools. When you get older its jobs, where you can live, and even your right to vote that reeks of discrimination.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 18:48
For our 23 years in existence, The Journal has promoted education and entrepreneurship as the key to career opportunities on the path to progress. This year's Women of Achievement Breakfast on Saturday, April 13th will highlight women who are entrepreneurs, to make the point. The lessons are good for male and female.
Tragically, when people think of young Black males, they don't think of accomplished young men with skills. Too often, they think thug and prison. If they think of careers at all they think ball player or rapper. The reality is that since only one out of a million get to a real lifetime career as either a musician or ball player, far too many end up in dead end jobs or no job at all with which to support their families. Consequently, many end up in the underground economy and prison.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 10:34
This week in America, Black men demonstrated their ability to survive and achieve again, in spite of the odds. At the national level, the world watched as America's Black President demonstrated that he was large and in charge of the most prosperous country in the world – The United States. At the local level, I am just as impressed with Black male success and the comings and goings of two local role models. John Kennedy and Rodney D. Wallace. These two local men fit in the category of new beginnings. This is true even though one reached a milestone of retiring. His final words at his retirement party were, "I'm going to wait and see what God has in store." Here's my take on these two local men. They serve as reminders that surviving and thriving in America for Black men is an achievable course in miracles.
John Kennedy is the winner of the most watched city council race in Pasadena, California, last week. The District, known as District Three, may mark the first time three Black men ran for a seat to represent a constituency in Pasadena's history. The District is far from being just a Black District. It stretches throughout one of the largest and most prosperous and influential business areas of this city, known as the City of Roses.
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 09:50
On February 8, 2013, a 60 year old white man, Joe Rickey Hundley, on an airplane slapped a two year old black child and drew blood just below the child's right eye, and told the mother to "shut that N----r baby up". Hundley was an aircraft parts executive and was allegedly arrested and charged with simple assault. I wonder what would have happened to a black man slapping a white child on a plane.
When nine year old Quvanzane Wallis was nominated for best actress for her recent film, a tweet from The Onion blog called her a cu_t (rhymes with runt). This is just as when young Gabby won a Gold medal as a gymnast at the Olympics. There, the talk was about her hair. Why? There is no post-racial era, yet.
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 22:24
In February 2011, I was honored to be asked to be one of the speakers at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles (CAAM) in their conversations program focusing on journeys, issues and insights of individuals. I shared my life story, in brief, as part of their Black History Month program. This year, I was asked to share my civil rights experiences with the black students at PCC on February 26, 2013.
It's always surprising to me when I get an invitation to speak, since it doesn't happen that often, but it usually ends up being a stimulating experience. I consider my life as a normal one for a black man who grew up with three siblings and both parents in California's Jim Crow Bakersfield. I call it Jim Crow because, though it is in California, the culture was Southern. Although Texas and Oklahoma are not considered to be in the South like Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Mississippi, that distinction is only geographical. On the map they may not actually be in the South, but culturally the difference was insignificant, as it was truly a distinction without a difference. For those historical purists, Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona could be said to be the Southwest. But if you were black they were all thought to be in the South.
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