Thursday, May 31, 2007

Success vs. fulfillment. Which is it for you?

Jeffrey Gitomer

Author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless

People make life choices, career choices, and business choices, even relationship choices based in large part on their tolerance for risk – weighted against their greed. As life progresses, these decisions will be mitigated and compromised based on existing conditions of family and debt. Often not in that order.

When you’re young you have goals and dreams, often verbalized by the statement, “When I grow up, I want to be a (fill in the blank).” And as you mature, you may, based on your life experiences, change your mind.

Here are the elements of achievement:

You have a drive.

You have a desire.

You have a goal.

You have a dream.

Your dream may be different than your goal.

Your goal may be to make your quota, or become the number one salesperson in your company. But your dream may be to live on the ocean or start your own business.

The question is: Do you have a love for what you are striving for, and is it the same love as what you’re dreaming for?

Love drives true passion. Passion drives achievement.

If you don’t love what you do, odds are you will not achieve your goal, let alone your dream. Why would you put that much energy into something you don’t love? The answer is: you probably wouldn’t. Love is also the breeding ground for intention. And intention is the first step in achievement. continue

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Father Factor

The importance of fathers in raising African American teens.


"Show me a room full of boys, and nine times out of ten I can tell which ones have fathers at home—they sit quietly and exhibit self-control," says Jelani Mandara, assistant professor of human development and social policy, who came to Northwestern this fall from the University of California, Riverside.

Mandara studies family dynamics and the effects of fathers on child and adolescent social and personality development. His longitudinal research project, funded by the National Institutes of Health, focuses on African American families and takes a typological approach.

Fathers have a strong impact on girls as well as boys in African American families, but the effects are different and less immediate. Fathers generally exhibit a tougher disciplinary style than mothers and are stricter with sons than daughters. As a result, sons develop a sense of manliness, self-esteem and self-concept. When fathers are absent, less is demanded of sons.

Although the presence of fathers enhances children’s self-esteem regardless of gender, the effects on daughters are often seen later in life. "Fathers influence daughters’ later relationships with other men," says Mandara. Absent fathers and lack of parental monitoring in general have been found to decrease self-control and increase a teenage girl’s propensity for sexual activity.

"As I continue my research at Northwestern, I hope to develop a family environment instrument—a measurement tool for families similar to accepted measures of personality," says Mandara. I want to measure different aspects of the family environment—family relationships. Every family has a personality."

With his research, based on observational data as well as self-reporting questionnaires, he has grouped black families into three types: Cohesive-Authoritative, Conflictive-Authoritarian and Defensive-Neglectful. Each type has distinctive characteristics and predicted teen behavior outcomes.

Cohesive families exhibit the highest overall level of family functioning as measured by a focus on recreational activities, demonstration of affection and balanced control of the children.

In contrast, chaotic family relationships, a focus on achievement and tight parental control are hallmarks of Conflictive families. Children feel they are not allowed to express their feelings or question authority.

Defensive families are at high risk of becoming dysfunctional. Parents are not nurturing or supportive, yet are very critical. Significantly, fathers are present in 58 percent of Cohesive families, but in only 27 percent of Defensive families.

Adolescents in the three family types develop and behave differently. Teens in Cohesive families perceive themselves as obedient and conscientious with high self-esteem and ethnic identity. This is most likely due to the finding that Cohesive family parents let their children know they are valued. In contrast, the other two family types are more likely to express unhappiness with their children’s abilities and performance. The Cohesive family has found a balance of control and nurturing that is the most beneficial to their children.

A distinct difference in teen personalities emerges from the three family types. Adolescents in Cohesive families are good-natured and trusting. Because they are conscientious, they are likely to be organized, reliable and self-disciplined. These adolescents would be considered well adjusted.

Conflictive adolescents are somewhat disagreeable, cynical and uncooperative. Despite their parents’ focus on achievement, they are not very conscientious, perhaps because their parents rarely show satisfaction with their achievements.

Defensive family teens are doing poorly socially and most likely academically. Because of their low self-esteem, they are defensive to criticism and are emotionally unstable. Moreover, because of low parental monitoring, they are more likely to become involved in such risky behavior as drug use and unprotected sexual activity.
Since fathers play such a crucial role in the development of self-esteem, it is clear that their absence has profound implications for social problems. "In a two-parent home, the balance between the mother’s and father’s different socializing patterns may be what keeps the self-esteem of boys and girls relatively equal," says Mandara. "The absent father upsets this balance.

The quality of family functioning affects youth violence and aggression, substance abuse, academic achievement, cognitive performance, social and emotional adjustment, well-being, ethnic identity and personality.

Although Mandara’s research into family typology does not include white families, he points out that, in general, discipline styles and family goals differ between the two ethnic groups. White families tend to be more permissive and encouraging with a high level of warmth and a low level of control, while African American families tend to be more authoritarian. White families’ main goals for their children are independence, self-reliance and achievement, whereas African American families stress discipline and respect. "Black children would never be permitted to speak to their parents the way white children do," notes Mandara.

The biggest ethnic difference Mandara has found is that the impact of a father’s absence in African American families is more severe and pervasive, perhaps because it is more common. Single black mothers face high levels of stress, which significantly and detrimentally affect their children.

Mandara’s research on the role of fathers has profound implications for family researchers, therapists and policy makers. He suggests that public policy be more focused on reversing the current trends of low marriage rates and high divorce rates. He advocates free or subsidized family counseling before and during marriage, increased visitation rights for non-custodial parents and school and community involvement to help fill the void of absent fathers.

"Society has stereotyped good fathers as emotionally detached financial providers, whose role in child development is to teach their sons how to play sports and warn their girls about boys," says Mandara. "However, good fathers are actively involved in the day-to-day socializing of their children—from changing diapers and rocking their babies to sleep to checking homework and playing in the park. Good fathers set limits, enforce rules, push children to achieve and use a form of ‘tough love’ that complements mother’s ‘unconditional love.’ When men are unwilling or prevented from being good fathers, the consequences for their families can be seen for generations."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls Tells an Important Truth About African-American Fathers

By Mike McCormick and Glenn Sacks
Wilmington Journal & others, 4/6/07

Today African-American men are often excoriated--most recently by presidential candidate Barack Obama--for being irresponsible towards their children. Yet we don’t hear nearly enough about men like Monty. These dads cherish their kids and, like Monty, often find that the family law system prevents them from playing a meaningful role in their lives.

In the movie, Monty is raising his three girls when his ex-wife, who has drug and personality problems, decides to demand full custody. As is typical, she goes to family court and wins, and Monty is given only occasional visitation with his girls. He decides to fight this and, with the help of a lady lawyer friend working pro bono, gets his daughters away from their abusive mother and back with him. Of the movie’s entire storyline, the only unusual part is the last one—most fathers cannot get shared custody of their children, and are relegated to being mere visitors in their children’s lives.

New research on minority inner city fathers demonstrates the harm these family court norms are doing to African-American children. A just-released Boston College study found that when nonresident fathers are involved in their adolescent children’s lives, the incidence of substance abuse, violence, crime, and truancy decreases markedly. Most of the families in the study, which was published in the journal Child Development, are low-income African-American and Hispanic families. The study's lead author, professor Rebekah Levine Coley, says the study found involved nonresident fathers to be “an important protective factor for adolescents."

The study also found that when teens begin to slide towards delinquency, nonresident fathers increase their involvement in response. The researchers found such involvement to be effective--the impact of father involvement was the greatest on the kids who had previously been the most troubled. click for full article

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Warrior Method

From Booklist
Psychologist Winbush offers a comprehensive parenting program specifically aimed at overcoming the impact of racism and negative experiences too often suffered by young black males, from the low expectations by teachers to racial profiling by police. Winbush has constructed a program that draws on cultural traditions of West Africa. He starts by recommending forming a mother's "birthing circle" to provide support before the boy is born and creating a "young warriors" program (modeled on Poro societies in West Africa) when the boy turns five and continuing through adolescence. Some of the advice--providing male mentors, handling encounters with police--has been offered elsewhere, but Winbush brings great detail and cultural context to his elaborate program for raising black boys. He also provides a wealth of historical background, statistics, and resources to chronicle the current low education achievement, high incarceration, and short life spans of black men and what can be done to change those troubling trends. A valuable resource for parents, teachers, and others concerned about black youth, both girls and boys

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Remembering Malcolm

"A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself."

Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little; May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was a Black Muslim Minister and National Spokesman for the Nation of Islam. He was also founder of the Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity.

During his life, Malcolm went from being a drug dealer and burglar[1] to one of the most prominent black nationalist leaders in the United States; he was considered by some as a martyr of Islam and a champion of equality. As a militant leader, Malcolm X advocated black pride, economic self-reliance, and identity politics. He ultimately rose to become a world-renowned African American/Pan-Africanist and human rights activist.

During a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964, Malcolm became a Sunni Muslim. Less than a year later he was assassinated in Washington Heights on the first day of National Brotherhood Week.

To read more on Malcolm click here

His site

Musical celebration

Saturday, May 19 marked what would have been the 82nd birthday of civil rights leader Malcolm X. To celebrate his life and legacy, several events are taking place around the nation. click here

Monday, May 21, 2007

Egyptians, not Greeks were true fathers of medicine

Scientists examining documents dating back 3,500 years say they have found proof that the origins of modern medicine lie in ancient Egypt and not with Hippocrates and the Greeks.

The research team from the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology at The University of Manchester discovered the evidence in medical papyri written in 1,500BC – 1,000 years before Hippocrates was born.

"Classical scholars have always considered the ancient Greeks, particularly Hippocrates, as being the fathers of medicine but our findings suggest that the ancient Egyptians were practising a credible form of pharmacy and medicine much earlier," said Dr Jackie Campbell. click here for more

Thanx D.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ed Boyd (Legend)

Ed Boyd was working at the National Urban League in New York City in 1947 when Pepsi hired him and a team of educated black salesmen to help the company drives sales among blacks.

"His groundbreaking history with Pepsi and the powerful, lasting impact that Ed made on both our company and our nation speak for themselves," Nooyi said in a statement.

"When I reflect upon people who have made a profound difference on our company, Ed Boyd's name will be foremost among them. I believe his passion and tenacity are the embodiment of the very best of what PepsiCo strives to be every day," Nooyi continued.

As an assistant sales manager who led the group, Boyd created a marketing campaign that showed blacks as respectable, middle-class consumers.

One store display, for example, pictured a smiling mother holding a six-pack of Pepsi-Cola as her handsome, young son reached for a bottle. There also were series that profiled 20 black achievers and featured top students at black universities drinking Pepsi.

The promotions differed sharply from the insulting images of mammies and pickaninnies in many ads at the time.

"We'd been caricatured and stereotyped," Boyd said. "The advertisement represented us as normal Americans."

Boyd and his team visited black colleges, churches and markets throughout the country to promote Pepsi, enduring the daily injustices of racism along the way.

The group rode on segregated trains and was refused service at white-owned hotels. Insults from some colleagues at Pepsi weren't uncommon.

"Jackie Robinson may have made more headlines, but what Ed did — integrating the managerial ranks of corporate America — was equally groundbreaking," Donald M. Kendall, retired chairman and chief executive of PepsiCo, said in a statement. to read his entire history click here

For a time line of Pepsi's diversity click here

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Spin Masters

What is mixing?

Play both a second apart and you have a concert

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

10 Great Novels by African Americans

Presented by Encarta

In his classic 1903 collection of essays, The Souls of Black Folk, African American scholar W. E. B. Du Bois called on black writers to create a new literary tradition that would celebrate the black experience. As if in direct response to this challenge, African American authors wrote some of the most powerful and innovative works of the 20th century. The following ten novels are just some of the gems in African American literature.

1. The Marrow of Tradition (1901), by Charles W. Chesnutt. One of the first novels to depict violent racial clashes, The Marrow of Tradition is based partly on the race riots that shook Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1898. It also explores the debilitating effects of racial segregation by dramatizing the aftermath of Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court case of 1896 that established "separate but equal" as the law of the land.

2. The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912), by James Weldon Johnson. This groundbreaking novel tells the story of a black artist who chooses to "pass" as white, a decision that ultimately compromises his artistic talents. Johnson first published the novel anonymously, and then republished it under his own name 15 years later, after he had become famous as a literary and political figure. Much to Johnson's amusement and satisfaction, the book was initially received as a genuine autobiography rather than as a piece of creative fiction.
Zora Neale Hurston (Image credit: Huynh Cong/AP/Wide World Photos)
3. Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), by Zora Neale Hurston. Considered the first black feminist novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God tracks a Southern black woman's search for her true identity. An anthropologist as well as a writer of fiction, Hurston delighted in describing the richness of black culture and folklore. She became a central figure of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s, but then fell into obscurity. Her work was rediscovered by feminists in the 1970s, and she is now considered one of the central writers of the African American literary tradition.

Richard Wright (Image credit: Archive Photos)
4. Native Son (1940), by Richard Wright. Native Son shocked readers when it was published, and it still has the capacity to shock today. Its main character, Bigger Thomas, is a young black man, hardened by racism and ignorance, who accidentally murders his white lover and is condemned to death. Despite his impending execution, the young man seems to get his first taste of freedom in the murder: For once in his alienated life, he has brought about an event to which others must respond. The most militant novel about American race relations of its time, Native Son became a huge bestseller, a Book-of-the-Month-Club selection, and was dramatized on Broadway by Orson Welles.

Ralph Ellison (Image credit: UPI/THE BETTMANN ARCHIVE)
5. Invisible Man (1952) by Ralph Ellison. One of the most famous and influential American novels of all time, Invisible Man is a masterpiece of modern alienation and black consciousness. The story follows its unnamed black narrator from the American South to the North, from innocence to experience, from community to isolation. Invisible Man was immediately celebrated not only for its exploration into an African American psyche, but for its depiction of alienation and the lack of self-knowledge experienced by all people.

6. Mumbo Jumbo (1972), by Ishmael Reed. A satirical denunciation of Western culture, Mumbo Jumbo is a scathing and often hilarious critique of race relations, consumerism, mass media, imperialism, and all manner of other mumbo jumbo. The novel presents a counter-mythology, called HooDooism, that challenges the myth that Western culture must be valued at the expense of all other cultures. Blending folklore with contemporary politics, historical figures with fictional characters, Mumbo Jumbo is an idiosyncratic celebration of multiculturalism.

7. Dhalgren (1975), by Samuel Delany. One of the bestselling science-fiction novels of all time, Dhalgren is a sprawling exploration of gender, art, race, identity, and much more. After a mysterious catastrophe strikes Bellona, a fictional Midwestern American city, most of the population flees. But others migrate to the ravaged city, which becomes a kind of post-apocalyptic community for outcasts--the poor, youth gangs, deranged prophets, and other marginalized individuals. Dhalgren is the rare science-fiction novel that is acclaimed by sci-fi fans and literary critics alike.

Alice Walker (Image credit: AP/Wide World Photos)
8. The Color Purple (1982), by Alice Walker. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the American Book Award, The Color Purple brought Walker to international fame. The novel tells the story of Celie, a rural black woman in an abusive marriage, as she struggles to find her self-worth. The Color Purple is often praised for its distinctive narrative style, which is told entirely in the form of letters written by Celie and by her sister, Nettle, who lives in Africa. The Color Purple was adapted for film in 1985 by director Steven Spielberg.

Toni Morrison (Image credit: Ulf Anderson/Liaison Agency)
9. Beloved (1987), by Toni Morrison. Beloved was immediately hailed by critics as a major literary achievement, became a national bestseller, and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Set in rural Ohio shortly after the Civil War, Beloved focuses on a single family to describe the wrenching story of slavery and its aftermath. The narrative follows Sethe, a runaway slave who kills her daughter Beloved rather than have her grow up as a slave. Through the use of multiple timeframes and the ghostly reappearance of Beloved, the novel is a lyrical exploration of history, memory, race, and identity, among other themes.

10. Devil in a Blue Dress (1990), by Walter Mosley. Devil in a Blue Dress is the first published installment in a series of mystery novels that center on the same Los Angeles protagonist, a working-class African American detective named Easy Rawlins. Set in Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s, the "Easy Rawlins Mysteries," with their depth of character and thoroughly researched historical details, are often compared to the hard-boiled, atmospheric detective fiction of Raymond Chandler. A film version of Devil in a Blue Dress, starring Denzel Washington as Rawlins, was released in 1995.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Educating out of the Box

n order to combat rising high school dropout rates, North Carolina has formed "Early Colleges," where students can obtain both a high school diploma and an associate's degree. Lee Cowan reports.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hip Hop as a Means of Empowerment

The Hip Hop Project is the compelling story of Kazi, a formerly homeless teenager who inspires a group of New York City teens to transform their life stories into powerful works of art, using hip hop as vehicle for self-development and personal discovery. In contrast to all the negative attention focused on hip hop, this is a story of hope, healing and the realization of dreams.

For more information about the film please visit -
From Executive Producers Bruce Willis and Queen Latifah,

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Nut Shack

Following the good or bad example of the Boondocks is the Nutshack

The Nutshack is the first animated series made by Filipino-Americans, a Mexican and a black dude...with apparently zero cultural sensitivity. Featuring the voices of comedian Rex Navarrete, show creators Ramon Lopez and Jesse Hernandez. Don't miss a minute of the off the wall adventures of Jack, Phil and the rest of the Nutshack crew as they offend all cultures, sexes and animals.

SCHEDULE:The show airs on MYX Wednesdays at 8pm HI ,10pm PST, 11pm MT, 12 CST, 1am EST with replays on Friday, and Sunday nights in the same timeslot.

click here to see episode 1

Friday, May 04, 2007

6 Reasons Why Things In Hip Hop Are Changing for Good by Jahi

by Jahi
#1 KRS-One and Marley Marl
Why there is no conversation about this being the most anticipated album
in a long time is crazy to me. Have you heard the lyrics to

"Kill a Rapper?" Instead of talking about all the things that are wrong,

KRS and Marley Marl stand as giants and bring it where it needs to be. On Point.

#2 Stephon Marbury
The Starbury line of shoes is the most revolutionary
thing happening in the sneaker world. While we've all known
that it only costs a fraction of what we are paying for a fresh pair of
Air Ones, Jordans, Bapes, or whatever you are rocking, Stephon Marbury
has become a champion to this cause. For 15 buck you can get his
Starbury shoe, and it matches up in quality and style with all
these high price shoes in the marketplace.
Maximum respect to Stephon for this.

#3 Eryka Badu is coming back...finally
I heard "Real Thing" (Music is Everything) on
It is so refreshing to hear my sistah come back to balance the equation.
I don't know about you but I missed her. It's time for the feminine
energy to speak on what's happening from a female's perspective,
so we can have a balanced overstanding to what is going on. Lovin you Badu

#4 Chamillionaire steps up to the plate
I have to be honest, I may not be dude's number one fan, but
I really respect the fact that he publically came out and responded
to all this controversy by doing a clean album. Everyone has been saying
it's freedom of speech, it's not my job to raise your kids, bla bla bla,
but this brother was smart enough to know it's better to embrace
change than to fight it. Props.

I know a lot of people have a lot of opinions about myspace,
but I feel like it's how you use it that makes it powerful.
I don't know about you, but I've connected with some serious minded,
progressive, Hip Hop to the core folks via myspace.
I've worked with producers overseas got up to date news,
found out about a new artist, a new spot to go check out, and great
video and social commentary. It's an avenue that's bigger than soft
porn and trying to virtual date. Use technology to your advantage
is what I say.

#6 Black-Owned Roberts Broadcasting Cos. LLC
After all this Don Imus talk, a black owned company who has a
Hip Hop station and TV stations stepped up to the plate and
changed the format. They went against the grain and said they
would not support the garbage anymore.. Something Radio
One is not woman enough to do!!

The Return of Venus

She's back and this time she taking no prisoners

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Black Boy (or know your French Super heros)

Black Boy

Real Name: Horace Neighbour Jr.

Identity/Class: Normal human

Occupation: Adventurer

Affiliations: Fantax

Enemies: X, Johnny Brent

Known Relatives: Horace Neighbour (father, Fantax), Pat Neighbour (mother)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mobile

First Appearance: "Black Boy, G-Man" Rancho #5 (1955)

Powers/Abilities: Good fighter.

History: Horace Neighbour Jr. is the son of the crimefighter Fantax.
Like his father, Horace Jr. is an adventurer and foe of evil, better known as Black Boy.
He generally rides a souped-up red motorbike.

Comments: Created by Chott (pseudonym of Pierre Mouchotte).

Black Boy was an attempt by Mouchotte to resurrect Fantax
(indeed, many of his early stories were redrawn Fantax adventures)
killed by French censorship. By removing the mask, and focusing on more
"mundane" stories - many plots involve crime rings, spies and saboteurs - Chott
thought that he would escape the wrath of the censors. After the character
was launched it was entrusted to the talented Remy Bordelet
(who had already collaborated on Fantax) and to Francis Peguet.
Actor Lino Ventura was a clear inspiration for Black Boy's likeness.

Black Boy was initially published in Rancho,
with the first story being written and drawn by Chott, and subsequent ones by Bordolet.

Much of the information on this page comes
verbatim from Cool French Comics,

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Owning Up Part 4

Found this blog over at Afrogeek
Also check out my earlier blog on this issue click here
To snitch or not to snitch, that is the question. Actually, it’s not. It’s a reduction of a complex set of societal challenges into a slogan that can be put on a t-shirt. Keeping the complexity alive allows for the question: Given the legacy of police brutality does it make sense for those who engage in the guerilla economy of drug dealing to police themselves of their communities? And if so, do those self appointed individuals properly maintain an order that allows civilians, i.e. those not involved in the drug game, to live their lives in a fashion that regular policing would not support? Not so easy to put on a white T.
I was raised not to speak to police. I mean literally. They didn’t have any business with me so I should have any business with them. Even before I started doing the minor dirt that I did, however, I was stopped by police, had dogs sicced on me, had an N.Y.P.D’s knee in my neck for running for a bus, you know all the standard shit a young black man in the U.S has to deal with. But as for this bullshit question of if there was a murderer in my building would I call the police, my answer is and probably always will be “Hell yeah!” click here for more

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Another Review

NightBiters Review
Current mood: giggly
Category: Dreams and the Supernatural

Jamilah and Omari Jackson are in Oakland to spend the summer with their aunt and uncle. They soon find that some of their friends have become vampires and are dealing with personal issues of their own like abusive stepfathers, drugs, gangs and police.

This book has a diverse group of hip hop characters from the Bay Area that are actually intelligent and not based on stereotypes. The book has teens in the Bay dealing with regular teenage issues, as well as vampires gang violence. The characters are cool, there's African American's, Vietnamese, Latino's, Filipinos, Jews, Goths, ravers, taggers and possibly dirty cops and a guy who eats a rat. If you LOVE hip hop, or you're from the Bay Area you need to read this book. I love Night Biters because it's real hip hop, it's not derogatory or dogmatic, it's just real and entertaining.

Adrian Harper skillfully depicts the story's teens as youth who regret some of the poor choices they have made and the impact those decisions have on their families while avoiding stereotypes. Adrian also offers some interesting views on vampirism, viewing it more to an addiction than a spiritual damnation reminding the reader that there is always hope. Filled with clever twist and surprises, Night Biters is a delight.