Posts Tagged ‘African American’

2015 Tom Joyner Foundation “Full Ride” Scholarship

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment


— Graduating High School Seniors Can Win Full Scholarship to a Black College —

Tom Joyner Foundation

Dallas, TX ( — The Tom Joyner Foundation® announced the ‘Full Ride’ scholarship program that will cover all the expenses of one student planning to attend a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the fall of 2015.

“The cost of a college education isn’t getting any cheaper,” said Tom Joyner, chairman of his Foundation and host of the top-ranked nationally syndicated radio show. “So, I want to help a graduating high school senior with a chance to attend a black college to pursue their dreams.”

Past Full Ride Scholars have impressive backgrounds, including last year’s winner the first winner, Titus Zeigler, who was a top student at Atlanta’s Henry W. Grady High School. The future trauma surgeon was a member of the Junior ROTC program, tutored kids at a local middle school and volunteered for the Atlanta Food Bank. Britney Wilson, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., who graduated from Howard University, and she is now in her second year of law school at the University of Pennsylvania. Cheyenne Boyce of Detroit is now a senior at Spelman College, where she is an international relations major who is fluent in Japanese. Read more…



October 27, 2014 Leave a comment

 photo ronald-mcdonald-house-charities-black-enterprise_zps7df83742.jpgRonald McDonald House Charities® African American Future Achievers Scholarship (RMHC®-AAFA) announced it will be awarding four-year scholarships to local graduating high school seniors. Applications are now available online for students who have at least one parent of African American or Black Caribbean heritage in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut (Fairfield County) areas. The submission deadline is January 20, 2015.

“At RMHC, we believe it is imperative to provide support for the next generation to receive a proper education so that they may have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams, regardless of their financial background,” said Christopher Perry, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Tri State Area. “By giving tomorrow’s innovators and thought leaders a foundation to build upon, we are confident their futures will be bright.” Read more…

‘Justice While Black’: A Must-Have Book for Black Families in These Scary Times

October 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Justice While BlackAs an author, one of the most gratifying experiences you can have is for people to tell you that your book saved their life, or was extremely useful and relevant to them. But when you write a book like “Justice While Black: Helping African-American Families Navigate and Survive the Criminal Justice System,” your feelings are a lot more complicated. I was hoping it would prove useful to the Black community, but it’s turned out to be waaay more relevant than I’d ever want.

When Atlanta attorney Robbin Shipp and I sat down more than a year ago to start writing “Justice While Black,” it was the specter of Trayvon Martin that hung over the room. The Black community had just suffered through the numbing shock of George Zimmerman’s acquittal. For nearly two decades, Robbin had been witnessing the parade of Black males carted through the criminal justice system in Georgia. For just as long, I had been writing about the stultifying list of African Americans who had been summarily executed by American law enforcement, often for no apparent reason other than their skin color. We both felt compelled to do something, to use our respective talents to make a difference.

But in the months leading up to the book’s release and in the two weeks since “Justice While Black” has been out, the nation has witnessed an outrageous number of African Americans dying or suffering at the hands of law enforcement. As the book’s publication date approached, I was even asked to pen an essay in the October issue of Ebony, looking at the issue from a dad’s perspective, because the topic of the book was so incredibly relevant. Read more…

It Needs To Be CED: I’m Not African-American Either

October 8, 2014 1 comment

 photo im-not-african-american-either-the-industry-cosign_zpsfe2e9c3b.jpgWhen I heard that Raven-Symoné said on Oprah’s Where Are They Now that she isn’t African-American, I didn’t give it any thought, in fact, I still haven’t seen the episode or read about the news reporting it. I blew it off because I’ve been saying that same thing for years!

I will probably watch the show to see why she said it but if you’ve read any of my CEDitorials over the years, you will never see me using the term African-American, I always refer to myself as Black or to my peoples as Blacks. And yes, I capitalize Blacks all the time! When I’ve written for other publications, the editors always ‘de capitalize’ the B, I have no control over that, but, on this site it will always be a capital B! I see that editors capitalize other ethnicities such as Asian and I figure why can’t I capitalize my race? Read more…

Rahiem Shabazz: ‘Elementary Genocide is More Than a Documentary, It’s a Call to Action’

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

 photo Rahiem-Shabazz-the-industry-cosign_zpsf2c0e943.jpgStories are meant to be told, documentaries are meant to be seen. There are so many different tales that need to be acknowledged and documenting via film is one of the most effective ways to tell a story. There are many issues in the black community and this cannot be denied. Education is the key when it comes to trying to uplift your people, and what better way to do that than through film?

Rahiem Shabazz, award-winning journalist and filmmaker, has a story that needed to be told and with his cunning skills as a journalist and passion for the subject at hand, there was no way he was gonna drop the ball! The critical praise of Elementary Genocide has propelled him further in the game to a point that, although this isn’t his first film, it’s an effective start to many more to come.

The Atlanta resident spoke to The Industry Cosign about why he felt the need to film this subject matter, the marketing details, and what’s next for the camera lens. Read more…

ASPiRE Announces Partnership with The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs)

September 22, 2014 Leave a comment

 photo aspire-the-industry-cosign_zpscd14ed45.jpg                                                                 






Network Aligns with the Billion Dollar Roundtable to Sponsor the Inaugural Class of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ HBCU All-Star Students during the

2014 National HBCU Week Conference in Washington, DC


ASPiRE Will Produce ‘I ASPiRE’ Profiles Highlighting HBCU All-Star Students and “ASPiRE to Change the Game” Vignettes


ATLANTA – September 19, 2014 – ASPiRE, the television network that celebrates the groundbreaking achievements of African-Americans, announced today a partnership with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCUs) to increase awareness of the value and the legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), to expose college students to entrepreneurs and professionals in corporate and private businesses and, to guarantee the future success of African-American students, our communities and our nation. The strategic collaboration is a part of ASPiRE’s initiative to promote excellence in education among African-American students at HBCUs and to provide those students with professional development and support.

Read more…

3-Day Women’s Empowerment Retreat in Florida

September 10, 2014 Leave a comment


— Three day seaside, unplug that utilizes West African and Native American healing principles to illuminate the divine feminine —

So Be Light Women's Retreat

Key West, FL ( — A special time a part with sisters of the Spirit to remember, recall reclaim our wholeness. Designed to awaken, within women, true potential, that will then expand to increase the light of this world; shinning brighter as our own inner light expands… So Be Light! A Women’s Spiritual Empowerment Retreat is scheduled from November 7- 9, 2014 in Key West Florida at the Pigeon Key Island Facility, hosted by Arida Sister Africa Wright of Powerlines Healing by the Sea Ministries. Read more…

Nate McCray: Sports Agent

July 1, 2014 Leave a comment


Nate McCray, DSM IncorporatedEntering a field and/or a position where you are in the minority can be challenging and essentially places you in the spotlight. But it also gives you a chance to shine by becoming the best you can be because you are in the minority and you will be noticed.

In the world of sports, blacks are in abundance on the field and on the court, but when it comes to management, ownership and representation, the numbers fall off drastically. You would think that in this day and age, black players would feel comfortable being represented by other blacks, but sadly, it isn’t so.

Sports agent, Nate McCray, wants to help change the perception that blacks are only good for playing and not successful off the field. This is what makes him work three times harder than his white counterparts to represent his client to the best of his ability to help sustain a successful career on and off the field.

The Industry Cosign got a chance to speak to McCray as he expresses what makes him go and his desire to get his clients to see the big picture and focus on what really matters in terms of life as opposed to bling-bling and purchasing the latest automobile. Read more…

Prostate Health Symposiums For African Americans

June 2, 2014 Leave a comment


— “Churches join PHEN to take the lead in educating Black communities about prostate cancer” —

Thomas Farrington at a PHEN Symposium

Thomas Farrington, PHEN President and Founder

Boston, MA( — The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) will partner with churches in 16 cities to host groundbreaking prostate health educational symposiums within African-American communities. The host churches have a collective membership of more than 100,000 persons. In addition, the symposiums, which are free and open to the public, will outreach and attract attendees from throughout each city. The symposiums will address the need for increased knowledge and awareness within Black communities in their fight against a prostate cancer crisis existing throughout Black America. These educational events will take place at churches, on Saturday, June 14th in conjunction with PHEN’s “Sixth Annual Fathers Day Rally Against Prostate Cancer” on Sunday, June 15th. Read more…

What Black Educators Are Saying About the Effects of Race On Our Sons

May 31, 2014 Leave a comment

by — May 30, 2014


The Hechinger Report, a non-profit organization that contributes stellar reporting on education issues, asked Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Nick Chiles to go to Mississippi to start chronicling the educational and societal woes of Black boys in the state, he jumped at the chance. Following is an excerpt of his first dispatch. We are pleased to share it here, at MyBrownBaby.

* * *

Howard Stevenson is a professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania whose area of specialization is a topic most white educators would probably rather sit for a root canal than confront head-on: How their unwillingness or inability to deal with their own racial biases and stereotypes leads to horrible and stressful interactions with black boys in their classrooms—interactions that can have a devastating effect on the boys’ academic achievement.

For whites and certainly even for African Americans, thinking about, discussing and recounting a racial encounter can be enormously stressful. Stevenson demonstrated by having the participants in his Coseboc workshop pair up and tell each other about any racial incident that came to mind. When asked to share their feelings later, the participants were surprised and alarmed by how much stress they felt during the retelling, almost like they were living through it again. Read more…

Microsoft Looking to Hire Black Techies in Wash DC Area

April 23, 2014 Leave a comment


Microsoft HBCU Connect Networking Reception

Washington, DC( — In partnership with Microsoft Cloud & Enterprise Business, Microsoft IT, and Global Foundations Services, HBCU Connect is offering black technical professionals the opportunity to meet with representatives from Microsoft to learn more about career opportunities, network with their peers, as well as open up one on one discussions with Microsoft team members that could lead to future employment. Read more…

Film & Stage Star Obba Babatundé To Host Angel City Links’ 33rd Anniversary of “Affair of Honor”

April 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Film & Stage Star Obba Babatundé

To Host Angel City Links’ 

33rd Anniversary of “Affair of Honor”

Celebrating 27 Extraordinary Young African American Men

Read more…


April 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Don Jackson, Chairman and CEO Central City Production will be presented with the Trailblazer Award at the 2014 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo

 photo jesse-jacksonjpg-being-honored-at-black-enterprise-entreprenuers-conference-2014-the-industry-cosign_zpsd37433d9.jpg

(New York, NY) April 15, 2014— Join the Small Business Revolution asBLACK ENTERPRISE holds its 2014 Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide Insurance on Wednesday, May 14 through Saturday, May 17, at the Hyatt Regency Columbus in Columbus, Ohio, with a powerhouse line-up of some of the nation’s most accomplished and celebrated entrepreneurs.

An annual highlight of the conference is the presentation of the nation’s top awards for African American business achievement and community involvement. The B.E. Community Empowerment Award which recognizes outstanding achievement of an individual dedicated to the economic empowerment of communities, as a champion of entrepreneurship and business growth, employment opportunities and wealth creation for African Americans, will be presented to civil rights activist and founder of Rainbow/PUSH, Reverend Jesse Jackson at the BE 100s Dinner on Friday, May 16, at the Hyatt Regency Columbus. Read more…

7 Super Important Dates For Black People in March and April

March 16, 2014 Leave a comment



Time For Action

Nationwide ( — Spring time has finally arrived, and the summer months are closer than ever. But don’t start getting lazy yet! Below are the top seven dates that are crucial to African Americans during the months of March and April. They include scholarship deadlines, a business grant deadline, a healthcare deadline and as you already know – a tax deadline.

Here they are:

#1 – MARCH 24TH: Deadline For The Jerry Malloy Negro Baseball League Scholarship
The Jerry Malloy Negro Baseball League Scholarship is open to high school seniors who plan to attend college and work towards a college degree. Two scholarships will be awarded to the students who write the most compelling essay on a topic pertaining to Negro League baseball. Read more…

‘Promises Kept’ Offers a Gold Mine of Tips on Raising a Successful Black Child

March 14, 2014 Leave a comment

by — Mar 14, 2014

Promises KeptIf you have any interest in understanding how to raise brilliant and successful African-American children, particularly boys, you have to grab a copy of “Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life.”

Written by married couple Joe Brewster, M.D., and Michele Stephenson—the filmmakers behind the masterful documentary “American Promise”—with the considerable assistance of writer Hilary Beard, this book is a profoundly important work presenting the latest research and innovations that can nearly guarantee improvement in the outcomes for Black children.

Thanks to President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative—and, unfortunately due to the disturbing murders of Black boys like Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis— the challenges surrounding Black boys in America have suddenly found a place on the front pages of the nation’s newspapers and websites. But as you know, it’s an issue that we’ve been writing about for years here at MyBrownBaby.

When I was working on my series for Ebony magazine on the state of Black boys in America, which Ebony called “Saving Our Sons,” one of the first people I turned to was my good friend, writer Hilary Beard. Hilary is a three-time New York Times bestselling author who is a master collaborator, working over the years with such big names as Venus and Serena Williams and Angela Bassett and Courtney Vance to bring their stories to life in books such as Venus and Serena: Serving From the Hip: 10 Rules for Living, Loving, and Winning and Friends: A Love Story. In other words, Hilary does the same thing that my wife Denene and I do—helping celebrities and other successful folk tell important stories that advance our understanding of the human condition, particularly that brand of the human condition lived by African Americans. Read more…

ORDER: The Immersive And Controversial ‘Elementary Genocide’ DVD NOW

March 7, 2014 2 comments

Free Web Proxy
Elementary Genocide: From Primary to Penitentiary” exposes the socially engineered mechanism created by our government and utilizing the public school system to label elementary aged African American males as work for hire targets within the US penal system.  Many refuse to believe there is a corporate attack on the minds and productivity of Black youth through intercepting  their educational, economical and social development, and resulting in statistically funneling them through the revolving doors of the criminal justice system. Elementary Genocide confirms this theory and seeks to educate parents, teachers and families, so that we can reclaim our young men and ensure the future of our community. Read more…

Help Lines For Black Families With Money Troubles

February 21, 2014 Leave a comment


– As a public benefit, CareConnect USA has published several toll-free help lines for families seeking financial assistance. —

Waxhaw, NC ( – When a household relies on two paychecks, budgets are strained if one job is lost. In cases like this, a family can tread water for a time. But as they struggle to find work, many will fall into troubling debt. Fortunately, more households are finding lifelines for help.

Since 2009, phone calls to financial help lines have risen 10% per year. As a public benefit, CareConnect USA publishes help lines for families seeking financial assistance. According to national director David Moakler, awareness is the key. “Although we are pleased that more people have learned about programs to ease their money troubles, the sad news is that the need for such help continues to grow.” The national rise in calls to the help lines has been especially strong from African-American regions. Read more…

Three Remaining Black History Month Scholarships

February 20, 2014 Leave a comment


— All Have Deadlines on February 28, 2014 —

Nationwide ( — There are only 28 days in Black History month, so the month does seem to go fast. As a part of their celebration of African American culture, many companies launched initiatives including special programming on TV, celebratory web sites and even scholarship funds. There are actually just three more major Black History month scholarship programs left, and all of them have a deadline to apply on February 28, 2014.

Here they are: Read more…

2014 Top Blacks In Healthcare Awards

February 17, 2014 Leave a comment


Chicago, IL ( — As the leading provider of culturally-relevant health news and resources for African Americans, seeks to educate and celebrate the black community. In partnership with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions, salutes 42 black healthcare professionals named as the inaugural “ Top Blacks in Healthcare” 2014 award recipients.

“Our program seeks to recognize distinguished African American healthcare executives for their contributions to the industry and serve as a role model to other minority healthcare leaders and the black community overall,” said Reggie Ware, President & CEO of

The list of noteworthy 2014 honorees was selected from among 250 of the most accomplished black healthcare professionals in America by a panel that included editors and key individuals from partner organizations such as the National Medical Association and Johns Hopkins University. Read more…

Black History Scholarships For Feb 2014

February 5, 2014 Leave a comment


Nationwide ( — February is here again, and Black History month is being celebrated all around the world. Many television channels have launched special programming for the month, companies have launched special advertising campaigns, and many of their foundations have launched scholarship programs.

Below are the top 10 Black history month scholarships with deadlines in February 2014: Read more…

Controversial Documentary “Elementary Genocide” Premieres MLK Weekend

January 9, 2014 2 comments




Award-winning filmmaker & journalist Rahiem Shabazz debuts film to reignite Rev. King’s dream



(Atlanta, GA) Rasha Entertainment will premiere award-winning filmmaker and music journalist Rahiem Shabazz’s latest documentary “Elementary Genocide: From Primary to Penitentiary”in Atlanta, GA on Monday January 20, 2014 at the historic Plaza Theater located at 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave in commemoration of the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. Shabazz envisioned introducing the film on King holiday to honor the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and to encourage the community to continue pushing towards the fulfillment of King’s dream.


A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on Military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” – MLK Read more…


November 18, 2013 Leave a comment



Las Vegas Urban League hosts Equal Opportunity Day hosted by Malik Yoba


Kevin E. Hooks (Las Vegas Urban League President) & Munson Steed (Steed Media Publisher & CEO)


(Atlanta, GA) The Las Vegas Urban League held its annual fundraiser EQUAL OPPORTUNITY DAY (EOD) Community Luncheon on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. Las Vegas Urban League’s president and CEO Kevin E. Hooks honored Steed Media CEO and Publisher Munson Steed with the Innovator of the Year award.


Munson Steed is the CEO of the Steed Media Group, a multimedia company that includes fifteen year old publication, rolling out— the largest chain of African-American-owned weekly newspapers in the country. “Munson Steed was given the Innovation Award for his accomplishments in transforming his company from a single newspaper into full-fledged media content development company. Steed has taken a newspaper product and transformed it from one newspaper to an entire chain. As technology advanced, he transformed rolling out from a national print publication to the largest transformed web destination for a print publication conversions, while still printing two million people a month at,” explained Las Vegas Urban League president Kevin Hooks.

Read more…

Black Novel – “Dark Side of Money”

November 18, 2013 Leave a comment


— Written by d. E. Rogers and uniquely fusing fact with fiction, ‘The Dark Side of Money’ proves that some people would do anything to retain their wealth and the promise of the American Dream – even if it means killing their family. As one of the few books to focus on the successes of African-Americans, the novel is poised to resonate with readers from coast to coast. —

Bookcover and author, d. E. Rogers

San Francisco Bay Area, CA ( — While thousands of books depict African-American families as struggling to reach the success of wider society, The Dark Side of Money showcases the high-life millions of families enjoy. However, no book of gripping fiction is worth its weight without a heavy dose of action, suspense and murder.

Thankfully, author d. E. Rogers gives readers all three with gusto. The novel’s narrative thrusts readers from the fruits of success to the tumultuous consequences of trying to hold onto the American Dream.

Synopsis: Read more…

New Mobile, Fluency in Any Language

September 19, 2013 Leave a comment


— The innovative app was developed by 29-year old African-American tech CEO and Co-Founder Leonardo Hudson. —

Nationwide( — Seln (Celine) which stands for “Simple Enough to Learn Now,” is a mobile app, designed to make the user fluent in any language. Seln is leveraging innovative technology and combining it with entertaining audio and video lessons, games and other features to create an engaging learning environment perfect for fluency.

“Since we live in a mobile and social world creating a platform for a person to be fluent in any language should be inexpensive, fast, and cool,” says 29-year old African-American tech CEO and Co-Founder Leonardo Hudson. “We know that there aren’t many products currently fulfilling the needs of the modern user; guaranteed fluency, reasonable price, cultural immersion, and a phenomenal user experience. Our team is proud to build something that will make the world awesome.” Read more…

The Kinsey Collection: Jordin Sparks Introduces Black Girls to the Fierce Courage of Phillis Wheatley

July 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Post image for The Kinsey Collection: Jordin Sparks Introduces Black Girls to the Fierce Courage of Phillis Wheatley


As the father of two talented young black girls, I know that sometimes the most important thing I can do to spark their ambition is to simply tell them that they are capable. I can see something click in their brains: if Dad thinks I can do it, that means that I can. The trust and the encouragement from someone who loves them are incredibly powerful tools of motivation.

I couldn’t help but think of the act of instilling bravery in my little girls when I watched pop star Jordin Sparks talking about the incredible legacy of Phillis Wheatley. Wheatley, a slave who was eventually freed before her death at age 31, was the first published African-American poet and the first published African-American woman.

The folks at Wells Fargo chose the talented and adorable Sparks (Watch her video BELOW) to help them publicize the incredible treasure trove of African American history that’s been gathered over the years by Bernard and Shirley Kinsey in what is now internationally known as The Kinsey Collection—what the remarkable couple call their “35-year life of collecting the African American experience and culture.” The Kinsey Collection is touring the country this summer in an exhibit sponsored by Wells Fargo to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. (At the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Art + Culture in Charlotte, North Carolina from June 27–September 14 and at Baltimore’s Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture from November 1–January 10, 2014.) Read more…

Laila Ali to Host the 20 Year Anniversary Little Miss African American Scholarship Pageant

July 16, 2013 Leave a comment

Laila Ali to Host the 20 Year Anniversary Little Miss African American Scholarship Pageant

Chandra Wilson, James Pickens, Jr., Kym Whitley and Arjay Smith Join Pageant Producer Lisa Ruffin for 20 Year Little Miss African American Scholarship PageantImage Hosted by
Los Angeles – The beautiful athlete and television personality Laila Ali will inspire the hearts of many when she hosts the 20 year anniversary of the Little Miss African American Scholarship Pageant (LMAA) on Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. Pageant producer Lisa Ruffin has planned a luminous affair for her participants and attendees this year with a host of celebrity judges that include ABC-TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy” stars Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, Jr., OWN TV star Kym Whitley from “Raising Whitley,” Nicklelodean’s Arjay Smith and “Girlfriends” Golden Brooks.  The Wilshire Ebell is located at 743 S. Lucerne Blvd. in Los Angeles, south of Wilshire Blvd.  Tickets are available at and at the Wilshire Ebell box office. Read more…

Affirmative Action & the Supreme Court: Why Diversity Matters To Me and My Kids

June 18, 2013 Leave a comment

by Denene Millner

Post image for Affirmative Action & the Supreme Court: Why Diversity Matters To Me and My KidsI am an Affirmative Action baby. Long Island Newsday paid my college tuition, in part, because of the color of my skin. It was my chocolate hue, too, that opened wide the door for my first job out of college, as a reporter forThe Associated Press. I tell you these things because the Supreme Court will rule any day now on whether public universities can consider an applicant’s race in their admissions policies, changing the landscape of Affirmative Action. And as the discourse on the subject intensifies in anticipation of the ruling, I’ve grown mad tired of the chatter.

Chatter about exactly what Affirmative Action does.

Chatter about whom it’s helped and who it’s affected.

And especially the chatter about how awful and ineffective it is.

I readily raise my hand to say that those who argue against it are either clueless, blind or straight lying about how Affirmative Action affects mainstream America (read: white folks), and certainly how it changes classrooms, our workforce and lives.

This Affirmative Action baby’s story? My parents were by no means rich or educated: we lived a middle class existence financed by my parents’ factory jobs, and by the looks of it, we were living the American dream: Mom and Dad had a nice house with a yard and two decent cars to get them to work and church and bowling on Saturdays. But they were only a few paychecks off of having to ask for help, and, on a few occasions when my dad couldn’t find work, they did get that help. There were no fancy family vacations. New clothes came on special occasions—the start of the school year, Easter and Christmas. And extracurricular activities we take for granted today—eating out, taking in a movie or a concert, throwing a fancy birthday party—were rare because money and time were at a premium. Basically, money was tight. Read more…

Get A Degree, Go Straight To Jail: A Mom Learns A Tough Lesson After Shoplifting

May 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Post image for Get A Degree, Go Straight To Jail: A Mom Learns A Tough Lesson After Shoplifting


Right after graduating from college I went to jail for shoplifting. I charged the four storage bins in my shopping cart but left two packs of boys undershirts tucked underneath the last bin on purpose. Adrenaline convinced me that my plan and excuse of it being an “honest mistake” would work to get me out of the store or out of trouble, if I got caught. I was no stranger to stealing but had vowed that I’d stop since becoming a college graduate from a two-year school. As a twenty-five year old African American, single mother of two, receiving public assistance, my degree didn’t feel real yet. I still had the low self esteem of the troubled high school dropout I’d been.

I was trying to get out of an abusive relationship. The psychiatrist I saw weekly prescribed Zoloft for my depression but I flushed the pills. I feared the medication would make me zone out since the first time I took them I’d almost crashed by driving through a red light that looked green. I smoked three cigarettes to calm my nerves then drove to the liquor store to buy two cartons of Benson and Hedges. One carton was never enough. I feared the combination of the drugs and therapy would be too much to handle. I convinced myself that I was in control. I’d already dissected in therapy the repercussions of being abused by my father and why I’d cheated on my ex-husband. I believed I was making progress. Read more…

Federal Government Forgets I am a man

April 8, 2013 2 comments

By Torrance Stephens

This week reminds me of why Martin Luther King, Jr. was in my home town when he met his untimely murder. It was because of the garbage strike, I suspect many folk don’t know about it to even care, or even understand its corollary with today’s US economic crisis.

Ask any Black person, and they will say the economy is growing. They will also say that it is all because of the policies of President Barack Obama. Ask the same folk how the dollar is doing in the world and the present US economic picture for employment prospects, and they will say he is doing his best and that it will take time, or that he is not just the President for Black Americans. But you never hear such pronouncements with respect to Jewish people, Gay or Lesbians or even Hollywood. They get mentioned and African Americans are conveniently left out of the conversation.
Read more…

It Needs To Be CED: Why Can’t We Celebrate Black History Year?

February 19, 2013 Leave a comment

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI guess I am impressed when I see people I know posting important facts (online) in Black History daily or several times during the month of February, named Black History Month. It’s the ‘cool’ thing to do, I suppose. But, I liken Black History Month right along with other ‘holidays’ like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Why do I need a certain time to acknowledge my mother, father, girlfriend or my history?

During the year, if I am in a relationship, I take my girl out, I buy her flowers, gifts, things I think she would need and/or like, acknowledging my love for her throughout the year. Same thing with my mother. I’m taking her out here and there, buying her whatever she needs or wants, checking up on her, doing the things I feel a good son should do for his mother. My father has passed on, but that doesn’t mean I only think about him or recognize him on Father’s Day. He is still on my mind throughout the year.

Now, as impressed as I am with ‘us’ being recognized ‘once’ a year, every year, I’m wondering why ‘we’ feel like we should celebrate when we are told to celebrate ‘our’ history? Read more…

%d bloggers like this: