NFL and NBA Female Coaches and Officials…It’s About Time!

All I can say is, “it’s about time!” Kathryn Smith will become the NFL’s first female full-time assistant coach, working for the Buffalo Bills, as it’s special teams quality control coach.

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Last year, the Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter, to coach the team’s inside linebackers, through the team’s training camp/preseason coaching internship.

Jen Welter

Let’s also congratulate (and tell the haters to stop hating) the first full-time official hired last year by the NFL, Sarah Thomas (a former Conference USA Official).

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Now let’s dribble over to basketball…in 2014, Becky Hammon became the NBA’s first full-time female assistant coach, with the San Antonio Spurs. Last summer she was the first woman to ever serve as head coach in the NBA’s summer league.

becky-hammon

These are all huge steps, especially since we haven’t seen such a powerful presence of women in either the NFL or NBA. In 1978, Adele Harris was the first Black female executive in the NFL, working as the director of community relations for the Cardinals.

ADELE HARRIS 1

DIGITAL — 31385 — After nearly 30 years working for the Cardinals, Adele Harris will be retiring from her position of director of community relations this week. Photo by Tim Koors 1/29/01

Fast forward almost 40 years and check it out…like I said, “it’s about time!”

 

Prentice Powell Explains the System Controlling You

By Natasha Foreman Bryant

Below you will find a beyond amazing performance by spoken word artist Prentice Powell. It speaks to my Call to Action posts that I have shared for men and women asking that they stand up and help our youth, families, communities, and world be better, stronger, and more dignified (note: a Call to Action part two is coming ladies).

Prentice Powell is speaking the truth and we need more Powell’s sharing the reality that we all have helped create, want to ignore, point fingers at, or are still playing a role within. If you take offense to what Powell says, then you are quite possibly one of the offenders he speaks of throughout his performance.

Yes, his message is very much directed to and about Black people, but honestly, you can insert any group of people into this configuration and see some or most of what he is addressing. What is most visible, embarrassing, and heart wrenching for him (and for me) is the breakdown within the Black community, and the accepted role within “the system” that Black men and women alike play. So this is what he speaks of, but I have friends of other nationalities, races, and cultures who could easily plug and play their “people” in this example, and say, “that’s us too”.

So I ask that you come from a place that is familiar to you, or try to see through Prentice’s lens, and then ask yourself, what you can do to help bring about a positive change to this epidemic that affects all of us—because believe it or not, we’re truly in this boat together.

Please view the video below and then share it with others. We must change our thinking and habits, and be the change that we want to see in the world. We must disengage our role within “the system” and engage in a more healthy environment for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world. Please share this with your circle of influence and re-post for the world to see, hear, and to begin a healthy (and productive) dialogue.

Thank you.

~Natasha

Video Source: http://youtu.be/R04kzrpuDY4

Video posted on YouTube by: Arsenio Hall Show

Prentice Powell: https://twitter.com/FollowPrentice

Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved.

 

A Call to Action for All Men: Part One

By Natasha Foreman Bryant, MBA
 
 I’m fed up so I’m speaking out and I’m calling people forward to join me, and to do their part to change our situation. Every week I will post a Call to Action. Today I share part one of this series.
 
 Today and every day I call for men to stand up and be men in your families and households, communities, and in the communities that are in need of positive male images. I don’t care your color, racial makeup, nationality, religion, or how much money you earn. I just want to start seeing men lead and work to take back our neighborhoods.
 
 I want to see more men investing time in classrooms, in before and after school programs, in local community centers, in churches and religious centers, and in outreach programs. I want to see more men tutoring our youth, and telling them about the struggles of adulthood while encouraging them to accept the challenge with dignity.
 
 I want to see more men teaching young boys what it really takes to be a man, and that it has nothing to do with his age, the money in his pocket, the number of females he can impress and have sex with, the size (or capability) of his sexual organ, how far he can throw a ball, how well he can dribble or shoot one, or how fast he can run. These boys need to learn that making babies doesn’t make them a man, taking care of them and treating their mothers with respect is what separates the men from the deadbeats.
 
 Come on fellas, step up and tell these young brothas about the dope game and how they are setting themselves up to be locked up or stone cold in a grave, and how they are risking their families lives every single day. Tell them about the marijuana and crack possession laws that are slanted to incarcerate and keep them mentally enslaved for years. There is no credible and long-term retirement plan for drug dealers or gang members, and their families.
 
 Tell them why being in a gang doesn’t bring them power or respect, because they don’t own the streets they terrorize, and no one respects a person they fear—they merely tolerate them and hope that God or the government will remove them from their life. The disdain that they feel by the so-called “power structure” is the same disdain their community has for them. Oh and those big, bad guns that they (and others) want to tote around, their usage proves nothing to the rest of us—anyone can pull a trigger. I don’t condone violence, but two pairs of fists make a point better than a bullet, bat, knife, or other weapon. If you can’t put up those fists and take a “chin check”, then you need to stay out of drama and don’t let your mouth write a check your butt can’t cash.
 
 Pulling a trigger, stabbing, kicking or beating a person, stealing from or robbing someone doesn’t make you hard or brave. It makes you weak. It sets you up for a life of failure, incarceration, or a shortened lifespan. Tell them this. Explain this to our boys and young men.
 
 A weapon used for revenge or punishment is a cowards way out. You can’t claim self defense when you go out looking for the person to harm. People are outraged about George Zimmerman, so am I, but I’m also outraged by the countless young Black, Brown, Yellow, and White boys who are killing each other like it’s a video game. The players don’t reset themselves in real life like they do in a video game. In real life once the person dies the game is over.
 
 Even a person being bullied doesn’t really get an “eye for an eye” sort of revenge when they pull out a gun and begin firing. Now one or more people are dead or injured, and the person bullied is heading to jail (if they didn’t turn the gun on themselves or get killed by a third party). I need the men to stand up and explain this to our youth and young adults.
 
 Men I need you to stand up, stand up, stand up, and get to work. Don’t close your eyes or turn your head, get to work. We have a world to save!
 
 ~Natasha Foreman Bryant
 
 
 
 Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.
 
 
 

Are you or Your Spouse at Risk of Losing Employer-Sponsored Insurance Coverage?

Today I wrote an article for my Business Management Firm, Foreman & Associates LLC, highlighting an article that I read about UPS’s decision to cut insurance coverage for 15,000 spouses of non-union workers in the U.S.

Read my article here: http://wp.me/p11NVc-5X and share your thoughts, experiences, and possible solutions for small business owners, and the employees that are caught in the middle.

Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Natasha L. Foreman.

Reflecting on the Orlando Shaw’s, Shawty Lo’s, Video Vixens, and Reality Stars of this Country: We Need a Wakeup Call.

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

I am blown away by our society, especially here in the United States. I feel like someone sucker-punched me and I’m left gasping for air in desperation every time I read, see, or hear news about a person acting a complete fool one way or another—-especially when it’s a person of color. I say this because there is a stigma associated with so-called minorities. Think of the various stereotypes you have bought into about Asians, Latinos, Blacks, those from the Middle East, and others with darker skin pigmentation. Now multiply that exposure by millions, and we then are left with millions of people thinking the same thing about these racial groups.

So imagine how it feels to turn on the news, open the newspaper, or read an online article about so-called men who also happen to be Black who walk around thinking it’s okay to impregnate dozens of women (who already have low self-esteem and dignity) but they don’t take care of the children that they help to bring into the world. Can you say Shawty Lo and Orlando Shaw?

Imagine how a person’s stomach turns to see children walking around with little to no exposure or interaction with the “men” who helped to bring them into this world. Imagine the disgust of knowing that the money that comes into each of those households is being provided by our tax dollars through the state, and not by these so-called “men” who want to be called “daddy”.

Take it all in as you visualize how these children with poor role models will eventually grow up, and how they will impact our neighborhoods, country, and the world.

Now let me just zoom in and focus on Black people, since the article that I’m about to reference is addressing a deadbeat dad who also happens to be Black.

Our world has a stereotypical image of the Black man. He is loud, angry, violent, ignorant, lazy, has low IQ, good at sports, physically strong, extremely high sex drive, and has a well-endowed sexual organ.

Our world has a stereotypical image of the Black woman. She is loud, angry, violent, ignorant, lazy, has a low IQ, good at sports, good at gyrating her hips while dancing proactively, extremely high sex drive, and has a big rear end that she likes to parade around for the world to see.

And some Black men and women are, “attractive for a Black person”. I will let that marinate in your mind and gut for a bit.

Depictions of Black people are always conflicting as in the same breath a Black person could be called both lazy and a hard worker, violent and nurturing, one who can’t be trusted yet also dependable and loyal, great at sports but not smart enough or talented enough to be in the celebrated role of quarterback, pitcher, coach, general manager, or owner. With all of these conflicting terms and depictions floating around, the likelihood is extremely high that these negative portrayals are deeply embedded in the minds of those being stereotyped. If you hear something long enough and hear no counter-argument refuting the claim, you may begin believing what is said about you. If enough people tell you that you are dumb or ugly, then you may begin seeing yourself that way, and eventually acting that way.

This isn’t the case just for Black people, it’s all of us. What about the Asian who makes average or below average grades but has been historically stereotyped as brilliant, what happens to their psyche when they experience this conflict? What about Latinos who are devalued and seen as only laborers and always perceived to not know how to speak English, so how could they possibly compete with the masses? Our once-beloved Middle Easterners now have a “terrorist” label attached to them. What does all of this do to the minds of the people who are subjected to this negative talk and portrayal of them?

Why are we not surprised that people go to the extremes, either trying to be accepted through assimilation or trying to separate themselves completely using terror as their weapon. Think about it, a gang is an organization that takes in those who don’t feel loved, valued, appreciated, understood, powerful, or protected. They need counseling and better role models. Just as anyone willing to change their name, get plastic surgery, and bleach their skin to appear more white and accepted, needs counseling and better role models.

Let’s look at something shall we?

Circa 1989 the music and film industries began cranking out songs and movies about gangs, marijuana and other drugs, including alcohol. Now everyone seems to be a thug, gangsta, getting high, drunk, selling drugs, or getting busted with them. From 1970 to 2007 we had the highest incarceration of Black males, yet no one has rang the bell of enlightenment for the masses to hear and identify with this reality that the more Black males who get busted for possession leaves more women and children alone to fend for themselves, and live off of state assistance provided by our tax dollars. Nope, folks keep gang banging, drinking in excess and getting high on their own supply or someone else’s, and then wondering what happened to their lives after getting locked up or serving a life sentence due to HIV/AIDS, etc.

Then around 2003 I started hearing more and more songs about strippers and models, and I had the nerve to be shocked to see thousands of young ladies desiring to be strippers and models. Shouldn’t I have expected to see young girls and women smacking their butt cheeks and dropping it like it’s hot, while posing for pictures that would be used for club flyers, magazines, and the like? Shouldn’t I have expected to see females rushing to casting calls for music videos so they could work those hips and cute faces for $50 on average per day? Shouldn’t I have expected to see oiled up females sliding down stripper poles twisting their bodies like pretzels hoping, wishing, and praying that they can leave that night with more than $50 and sore feet?

Don’t get me wrong I used to want to be a model, and even took some shots for a portfolio when I was 18, but it was short-lived because I took the time to learn the business and realized that my looks would only last so long and then what would I do? Lord knows I wasn’t willing to go to the extremes to be discovered and represented, and I wasn’t going to have an eating disorder or sample drugs to stay thin and pubescent looking for designers. But the vast majority of females don’t put that much thought into it. No, instead they see themselves as beautiful and gorgeous, one of a kind, and far prettier than the rest, and then convince themselves that they are deserving of a Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell salary and lifestyle right now.

Instead of being ticked off by the songs that encouraged men to go to strip clubs, and celebrated the gyrating strippers, females felt empowered by the songs, music videos, and magazine articles to showcase their bodies for the world to see, with hopes of being labeled the next video vixen, top model, or baddest b****. I’m not sure how they thought the top agencies would look past their “hood” portraits and showcases at the Big Booty Tavern (gosh, I hope that’s not a real strip club name). Why would a top agency want to contract with the girl bent over the hood of a deuce and a quarter wearing a thong and six inch heels? How could that agency conceivably market this girl to their biggest clients? How could they cross platforms? It’s hard enough breaking into modeling and acting as a Black woman, a resume filled with stripping and booty shots won’t make it any easier. But this logic isn’t running through the minds of the girls and young women who have ambitious dreams of being rich and famous.

Now let me broaden this discussion beyond Black people, although they are still part of this conversation (but definitely not alone).

We have seen people dying like flies behind cases of HIV, AIDS, and other sexually-transmitted diseases, yet people are still less inclined to invest a couple of bucks in a condom, and get free screening two times per year. We know that birth control works 90-99.9% of the time when used correctly, and we also know that there are a lot of free and low cost clinics around this country that will provide birth control to males and females who know they are in no position to bring a child into this world. Yet, we keep seeing the babies popping out left and right. We keep seeing folks who are bound for the Jerry Springer and Maury Povich type shows. We keep seeing more and more reality TV shows that were supposed to help slow down teen pregnancy rates, somehow get hoodwinked in a reverse psychology where more teens find it cute to walk around playing house after barely hitting puberty.

These aren’t just Black people doing these things, nope this ignorance covers the rainbow spectrum across these good ole’ United States. The talk shows have representatives from every racial group in the U.S. and the reality shows focused on teen pregnancy have roughly a 90% makeup of white teens starring on the show and as viewers.

I’m saddened, disgusted, enraged, and embarrassed!

Awhile ago I remember hearing about Orlando Shaw, the Black male (not a man by any decent human being’s standards) who thought it was cool that he impregnated 14 women and had 22 children by them. I almost swerved off the road in utter disbelief as I heard the ignorant ramblings coming from his mouth through my car radio. He had little regard or concern about those 36 lives he has now negatively impacted. Yes, 36 lives.

The 14 young women who obviously think their value rests between their legs and not in their heads. These women who obviously also don’t have strong, positive female (and mother) role models in their lives, for if they did they would never subject their children or themselves to the madness that they are currently facing and the darkness that is around the corner. For those women who have more than one child with Orlando Shaw aka the “sperm donor” (my name for him) they will feel less inclined to pull themselves out of this dark pit he has helped place them in, and instead they will settle with trying to survive in what they depressingly consider “comfortable”, living off of the Tennessee taxpayers, and letting Orlando come over whenever he wants to get some “lovin'”.

Then there’s the 22 precious and innocent children who will most likely grow up with the image of Orlando as their example of a man, daddy, and father. If he has daughters, they will spend most or all of their lives looking for “daddy” in every male they encounter, and settling for “baby daddies” over husbands, and any sons that he helped produce will spend most or all of their lives following their sperm donor’s footsteps, broke, jobless, and treating women like human receptacles. That is unless there is a major intervention that can thwart this outcome, and I mean a major intervention!

Well Orlando Shaw has popped back on my radar again this morning as I surfed through my online news sources. Dr. Boyce Watkins has written a piece updating us on the latest pimp network supporting Orlando’s baby making spree. Ole’ Orlando is slated to get his own reality show supposedly to help pay off his child support debt. Now Orlando has chosen not to work, not to help his children financially, and the TV network and Shaw want you and I to believe that he has every intention of taking this money and taking care of his 22 kids!

Really?

Here’s the deal, his ignorance will be watched like a hawk because the world loves to gawk over the buffoonery, bloops, blunders, and misery of others. We absolutely get a thrill out of watching people fall, get hit, make a fool of themselves, and scream out in pain. Our society loves to see someone worse off than we are. Someone else’s pain is our pleasure. So people will tune in to the world of Orlando Shaw and the TV network will make millions of dollars exploiting Orlando, the women, and the innocent children. Even if the contract between Orlando and the network states that a portion of the money will be withheld and allocated for child support administration, where’s the allocation to go towards counseling and other support needs that these women and children will need? And what about the counseling Orlando needs?

There is no doubt about it that this image he wants to portray as a self-proclaimed “Romeo” (his word not mine) is all a shell for the insecure child that hides inside of him scared to stand up and be a man. For this child known as Orlando Shaw, impregnating females is merely a game, and the easiest way for him to claim manhood besides the age listed on his state identification card. Orlando and the women who have been forced to be caretakers need psychological help, job and career training, financial dignity training, parenting courses, and a laundry list of other sources—-that Orlando’s network deal should pay for. Orlando needs to learn the family structure and his role in it, and that his children are not his “siblings”, yes you read that correctly, Orlando continues to refer to his children as his “siblings”. You shouldn’t laugh at that, it should disturb the mess out of you!

Those 22 children need counseling, access to support groups and mentors, tutors and after school resources. Those children need access to men and women who can show them that their current state of living does not have to be their long-term reality. Yes, the TV network that wants to exploit and pimp them should pay for that also. But here’s the thing, what about our responsibility and culpability in all of this?

When will we get tired of celebrating ignorance and buffoonery? When will we say, “no more” to these reality shows that are laughably unreal, scripted, and geared towards dumbing down people and highlighting the ignorance of others? Every time you tune in to one of these shows you are making the executives behind the cameras richer and wealthier. Every time you tune in you are helping to pay someone’s mortgage, sending their children to expensive colleges and universities, paying for lavish vacations, and helping to improve their lifestyle. But how’s your life?

How’s the lives of these so-called “reality stars” who are being rationed out small morsels of money compared to the network executives? Have you noticed that a vast majority of reality stars end up strung out on drugs and alcohol, or arrested for something crazy? Then they are geared up and propped up for a star appearance on a celebrity intervention or rehab show. Our society enjoys dragging people through the mud and watching them self-destruct on TV, the Internet, and in tabloids.

Do we not care about these individuals? Do we not care about how this negative influence will impact their families and generations to come? Do we not see how this negative impact then affects each and every one of us? Whether we get hit with taxes to pay for their children, pay for their time in jail or prison, or for some other situation, we too are negatively impacted by the decisions these folks are making. The drunk driver, the mugger, car jacker, robber, rapist, suicide victim, or even the person living out on that sidewalk—-they could be one of these people (or their children) one day. Do we turn a blind eye? Do we ignore it until we are a direct victim? How can their problem, their illness, not be an issue of concern for you?

As long as there are stereotypes, discrimination, racism, and a slanted justice system we all are impacted by the images and actions of others. As long as there are stereotypes, discrimination, racism, and a slanted justice system we all are susceptible to buying in, exploiting, and being exploited by others. As long as we are comfortable being ignorant we will continue to be treated and regarded as ignorant. Other countries laugh at us and I can see why. The most powerful and wealthiest nation in the world, looks down upon others, but has a glass house with holes and cracks so big that planes can fly through, and we keep hoping that no intense storms shatters our glass house. We are quick to judge other nations, but let’s look inward at our own. Yes, our country is great and far better than others, but we could be better—-and if we are to lead the world then we must lead by example—and not with a “do as I say not as I do” mantra.

It should not be a first or second thought of “I can just get state assistance” when contemplating pregnancy, not when our country has so many options and resources to prevent pregnancy and to give every citizen and resident a chance at living a dignified life as a hard-working contributor through employment, business ownership, etc. We need to help our children and young adults to see the positive role models in the country, around the world, and most importantly in their neighborhoods. Let’s not just clothe them and feed their stomachs, let’s feed their minds with relevant topics and subjects, and show them the possibilities for today and tomorrow. No more pipe dreams, just dreams and goals with trackable benchmarks.

Let’s show them how to be bonafide (and legal) entrepreneurs at the age of 8-20. Let’s show them how to apply for grants and scholarships, how to save and invest money, how to walk with dignity, and how to rebuild and protect their neighborhoods while also being concerned about other neighborhoods. Let’s show them how to respect and care for our elders and our parents. Let’s show them how a weapon isn’t necessary to settle a disagreement, and how fighting doesn’t solve anything (and usually causes a domino effect called revenge). Let’s show them that bullies are bullied, and how to help squash bullying and how to get help for both sets of victims. Let’s teach them that their bodies and sexual organs are not to be exploited and broadcasted for others enjoyment. Let’s teach them the beauty of marriage and that it is to be entered by two people in love, who vow to work through thick and thin for the rest of their lives as a team—not entered into like a dance competition that when one misses a step you instantly break up the team and go separate ways.

Just as they need to stop relying on the government to take care of them, we need to stop relying on and waiting for the government (or self-designated “leaders”) to clean up our mess. We created it or watched it happen so we need to clean it up, one home at a time, one street at a time, one neighborhood and city at a time, until we reclaim our beautiful country and restore it to where we all wished it to be when we were small children—-safe, loving, caring, considerate, dignified, respected and respectful, forgiving, embracing, honorable, open-minded, receptive, compassionate, accepting, and tolerant.

If you would like to read Dr. Boyce Watkins post about Orlando Shaw and the state of America, and Black America, read more here:

http://naturallymoi.com/2013/07/news/man-with-22-kids-by-14-women-may-get-his-own-reality-show/

Share with me your thoughts on my article and Dr. Watkin’s article. What do you think that you could do to help reverse the negativity in our neighborhoods and throughout our country? What are you willing to do today to help right these wrongs? What are you already doing to bring about positive change in your community, state, and for the broader good of our nation? I would love to hear from you. We have to be the change that we want to see.

~Natasha

Copyright 2013. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

My Response to John Hope Bryant’s Article “If Bill Gates Were Black”

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

 

I wanted to share my thoughts regarding John Hope Bryant’s brilliant article that was posted on and by Bloomberg BusinessWeek today. I also wanted to have a healthy dialogue with those individuals who showed their lack of critical thinking skills before they reacted, and quickly responded in the negative, to the article.

It is my opinion that the moment many of us don’t understand something or it rubs us the wrong the way, the remaining of what we read or hear turns more into an episode of Charlie Brown, just a bunch of whah whah whah blah blah blah…and we don’t hear or interpret anything else. We are then too focused on a counter argument, but never on seeking clarification. Here is the link to John Hope Bryant’s article: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-04/if-bill-gates-were-black-dot-dot-dot

Below is my comment that I submitted to Bloomberg, that they will hopefully post in their comments section below the article. After you read John’s article and the comments made by other readers, please share your thoughts about the article and comments (inclusive of mine). Let’s have some healthy dialogue and if possible, some positive solutions to issues facing the Black community specifically, and all underserved communities in general. Here you go:

Economic empowerment and the eradication of poverty first begins with understanding the history of how this country was built, how we rebuild during economic downfalls, and how the least of God’s children are impacted. It requires us to look at the missing piece between the have’s and have not’s. 

So yes, possessing a bank account versus being robbed blind at check cashing centers is a bonus. Yes, having a credit score around or higher than 700, instead of 550 and lower, is a huge predictor of a community’s growth and prosperity—as well as an individual’s ability to thrive not just merely survive. Yes, being financially literate is imperative, because if you aren’t then you run the risk of falling prey to predatory lenders who can smell your desperation miles away.

If you don’t have a bank account then how are you depositing or cashing checks? Are you going to check cashing centers and giving them a portion of YOUR money to gain access to YOUR money? That doesn’t sound like the wisest of choices when you have a choice. Show me one millionaire or billionaire who doesn’t have a bank account. Show me one entrepreneur without a bank account. Show me. I’m sure you can’t.

The banking system isn’t corrupt, there are corrupt INDIVIDUALS in the banking system; just like there are corrupt individuals in countless other systems including government, religious organizations, educational institutions, charities, etc. You can’t blame a crisis caused by unethical behavior on an entire system, because just as there were predatory lenders who knew customers were potentially high risk for loan defaults, there are some ‘victims’ of this economic downfall who knew they bought more house than they could afford, who knew that they didn’t have true job ‘security’ but gambled with the odds anyway, who claimed to earn more than they actually had (and eventually they had more month than money). So unethical decisions from individuals caused our country to suffer these past few years.

This is a brilliant post by John Hope Bryant, that clearly expresses the sentiment that if African Americans had a Bill Gates-type-entrepreneurial role model then the vision for the Black community would not be limited to a mindset of ‘only the lucky get out’, and the ‘victory’ would not be narrowed to simply having a ‘Black President”.  

Think about it, if Bill Gates was a Black man, the money he donates and invests would be injected within his community first and then worldwide. Don’t most of us consider taking care of ‘home’ before we take care of the rest of the world? Don’t we start local and then go global? Well if this were the case, then Black communities would be resuscitated through Gates community giving, and the country (and world) would see a different ‘picture’ of these communities. 

John Hope Bryant is NOT saying that Black people don’t have entrepreneurial role models; he is saying that we need MORE business owners who are employing thousands, not merely hundreds (or less). He’s saying we need more innovators, more businesses in technology, etc. that provide a competitive advantage within the U.S. in general, and within Black communities specifically. He’s saying we need MORE Black entrepreneurs going into the community, going into the schools and teaching and sharing the ‘magic’ in their success. 

He is saying that in order to eradicate poverty and gain economic empowerment in the Black community it is going to take the Black community, not government, not charity, not handouts, but hard work and each person reaching back to an open hand and providing a hand up out of the pit. It’s going to require Black people with 700+ credit scores teaching those with 550 and lower credit scores how they did it. It’s going to require Black entrepreneurs to hire within their community, to bring on interns to learn the ropes at their company, and to mentor young Black children.

The majority of our role models that our children regularly see come from entertainment and sports backgrounds, which there is nothing wrong with that, except if you lack talent in either area, then what? 

Additionally, and no disrespect, but Oprah Winfrey, Magic Johnson, Bob Johnson, and others have built BRANDS that employ–but none to the extent of a Bill Gates level; and all three brands represent entertainment or sports. In 2007, Microsoft employed a reported 79,000 people. That was in 2007. Name one Black-owned company that employs 79,000 people?  

So John Hope Bryant’s article says, “what if Bill Gates were Black?” What changes would you see in the Black community? What would Black children aspire to become if they saw a Black employer hiring thousands of people within their community? How many Black people could be employed (since unemployment is HIGHEST in the Black community)? How many of our children would be encouraged to excel in STEM courses and pursue careers in those fields so that they too could grow up to ‘be like Bill’?

We need to take the emotion out; we need to stop wanting to attack everything we don’t understand, and start acting like we are intelligent enough to ASK for clarification if needed, and to ASK how we can individually and collectively help solve the problem.

How many of you volunteer in the Black community? How many of you work with the underserved and underrepresented? How many of you are helping to work towards a solution? Or are you merely only focusing on picking at and tearing down the things you don’t understand, and the things you are against? If you aren’t doing anything to help the Black community, and other underserved and underrepresented communities, then what does your opinion really mean, and what are you truly adding to this conversation? 

John Hope Bryant you did an awesome job with this piece. We need our children to aspire to be entrepreneurs as much as (or more than) they aspire to be athletes and entertainers. Great, they want to be a football star, but let’s teach them to also start and build a business (now) as an additional revenue stream—so when their football career ends, they still have a career…and wealth, not just temporary riches! 

A broke mindset only gets the same results…an unfinished puzzle!

 

 

Copyright 2012. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

“Frankie Leg”: A Fun Image of Grandmothers Shedding their Frail Stereotype, or is this Adding to a More Negative One?

 

I’m really not sure what to say about this video, its message, and the impact (if any). I also am not sure what it says overall about the people it will ultimately reflect upon and clump together into one classification. Is this a fun and possibly healthy image of grandmothers and grandfathers shedding and shaking away the frail stereotype normally associated with getting older? Or is this somehow only adding to the negative stereotypes about Black people?

I start thinking of the buffoonery we once used to fight so hard against, and I wonder if we really have gone full-circle and found ourselves smack-dab in the middle of where we once were; if we have grown to accept not only other nationalities laughing and mocking us, but also embracing it as a reality for ourselves–so we too take part in this…we too find it acceptable; so we laugh, dance, smile, shuck and jive, and roll around comfortably in mediocrity.

Are we really in that much pain that we would rather entertain ourselves in this manner than uplift ourselves out of our pit of shame and despair? What message are our children really getting? Where is our dignity? When is enough truly enough? I believe that music and dance is healthy, healing, and cleansing–but does the “Frankie Leg” fall into those categories?

I am still letting all of this soak into my mind (which may be dangerous). But let’s have a healthy conversation about it shall we?

 

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. The Paradigm Life. Paradigm Life. Rights Reserved.
Video provided by YouTube