STOLEN AMBITION: WHAT IF THE WOMEN OF THE PAST COULD HAVE HAD THE OPTIONS OF TODAY

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“What little they had made way for a lot today.”


My mother was born in the year 1960, making her the last of the baby boom generation. This was the first generation where men were coming home from the war and suburbs were being built up all across the country. Mass marketing and advertising was introduced and the influence of entertainment was taking hold. Why was so much going on during this time period? Well, it was because this was an era of mass population growth in the United States. Jobs were in abundance and the men who came home from World War 2 were settling in and with their wives building large families. But there was something else that was prevalent during this time period. And that is the fight which was taken to the streets by women all across the country along with the civil rights movements. Women were expected to act a certain way at times outside the realm of their choice.

It makes you think that what if these women were born in today’s society. How much would they have been able to accomplish had they had that push that women have today? My mother recently showed me a photo of her when she was a teenager running track and field. A sport that I took part in myself at a young age. Only difference between me and her is that, not only am I a man, but the encouragement I received was different than her generations. Girls were told to “shut up” and “keep quiet” when expressing their goals and ambitions. Ambition was for the boys, and staying at home was for the girls. It makes you think; how many of those house wives back decades ago often dreamed when being at home all day. What were their dreams when they would be cleaning floors or preparing meals for the family.

These were thoughts I never got a chance to ask my grandmother or great grandmother that I could ask my mother. I would have loved to ask my great grandmother, before you married my great grandfather what did you dream about in life. Because women today don’t have all these goals and women in the past didn’t have them. It’s just that women were not expected to do anything in life. I was an adult when my grandmother died, I wish I could have asked her what were her goals as well. Just so I could get some clarity into what life was like living with all of this bundled up inside. Asking them what it was like to not be able to do what you wanted to do.

See, in the end, so many young women say there is still a lot of work to accomplish for the women of today. But in the past, they had it much worse, even with the good times. I guess that’s why I push so heavy at my goals because my mother never got her chance to shine like she wanted at a young age. So many women at that time had so much potential to be great, but greatness was not an option. And for the ones who stood out front despite the lack of encouragement, it gave way to so many today.


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EMPLOYMENT WOES: WHAT TO DO IF YOU HATE YOUR JOB

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“Find something else and fast.”


Ever get the feeling like the job you’re working is a road leading to nowhere? That feeling you get when you’ve been somewhere for far too long. That feeling when you need a change of scenery. That feeling where everyone’s face is starting to become too familiar and you need something new. Where the pay is just not good enough. A place where the supervisors are just far too difficult to work for everyday. These are all the feelings of someone who is in dire need of a new job. So what must you do to combat your situation? Well, for starters, you have to put yourself in the right mind frame.

And what does that mean to put yourself in the right mind frame? That means to try not to get too down on yourself. This will create anxiety and depression within, and cause you to not even attempt to do better with your life. You’ll come home everyday, with the thought of hating your job, just to go to sleep and come back to work the next day. Which leads me into the next steps you must take. Putting yourself in the know of whatever it is you want to attain in this world. So many people might hear me say the know. And they’ll say in return, “What the hell is the know?” And the know is whatever it is your’re seeking to have that you already don’t have in life. Sounds difficult, it is if you are not in the right mind frame or lack self-awareness to put yourself in the know.

For example, if you are an Administrative Assistant and want to become an Executive Assistant, what steps do you take. Well, in society today, we have so much access to so much information, that libraries have become obsolete. Now, you can Google anything you want to learn and actually learn it. Some may say, I don’t have access to a computer. And you would be wrong, it’s called a cell phone. For me, I want a career as a writer, so I started this WordPpress Blog. And there are days I could not get to a computer, and typed out my blog posts from my cell phone. When you want something you’ll find a way.

I heard a motivational speaker tell a girl on a talk show that your dreams are not important to you. Because if I told you to meet me at a certain location and time to be there; where $10,000 was awaiting you’ll be there. He said that’s why procrastination is not real. It’s just your dreams are not important to you. Which brings me to the next step that people need to take, and that is chase your dreams not someone else’s dreams. I heard radio host of The Breakfast Club, Charlamagne tha God say “F” your dreams if it’s not your dream. At first it sound aggressive and rude, but looking closer it made sense through his explanation. Because usually our dreams are from what someone else’s success has become. And it’s usually not our dream.

And that’s what it is all about in the end. Being in the right mind frame, putting yourself in the know of what you want, then executing your dream not another person’s dream. But even with my explanation, there are people who will still look over the information. They will remain sleep, and ignore all of what you have said to them. And those are the people who never find there way, and become stuck in life, never accomplishing anything.


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GENERATION FRUSTRATION: WHY WE AS A YOUNG BLACK DEMOGRAPHIC CARRY SUCH ANGER

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“Where does it all come from?”


Ever see the crime rate in the inner cities throughout the country? You ever wonder where so much of this rage comes from? The frustrations comes from a multitude of issues in the community. It’s not just one thing to observe when trying to figure out why this exist. From the gun violence in the community to the rioting when the police shoot an innocent Black male. This rage comes from internal struggle as well as external struggles. But it’s not indicative of who we are as a people. The black community didn’t have these high crime rates during the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, or even the 60’s. And this was a time period when we barely had rights in America. Well, what happened?

I’ll say the first issue that came about was actually a positive as well. That double edge sword was the Civil Rights Bills passed in the 1960’s. After this time period Black people had this sense of accomplishment. We felt like the work had been complete. Yet, during the Civil Rights Movement, we had our own communities. Black people had our own businesses, schools, hospitals, and social programs. That Black owned mind-frame shifted after the movement. We thought to ourselves, “Why all the Black stuff, we are free now.” Then, communities dried up as Black people left our urban environments to take solace in upper middle or upper class predominantly White neighborhoods. So money left the community, while at the same time spending was poured outward. Whereas in the past money was circulated through the community.

What happened next, coming into the 1970’s as money left, narcotics took hold. The combination of Heroine met Cocaine, led to high crime rates and bombed out buildings. Fatherless homes left Black women dependent on welfare. Which leads into my next reason for the rage. The lack of a co-parenting  situation that made the women both mother and father. Initially Black men were gone from the house for a few hours. Why, well the family needed money from the welfare system. Then hours to days, days to weeks, and then weeks to months. In no time fathers were gone, beginning to get hooked on drugs and alcohol, while women were the new leaders of the community. Now we have this pride in the woman doing it all, when in reality it takes more than just Black women to keep young Black men out of trouble.

Men and women have different skills, thought processes, and emotions. So it’s no wonder why Black women have had such a tough time raising children alone; especially connecting young Black males. So, with no help and forced to work long hours to provide for the family, more than ever the term latch key kid came into play. With her at work and no father around, young Black males turned to gangs as a means of creating bonds with each other they weren’t receiving at home. Gangs started battling for turf over other gangs which were predominantly Black, leading to an even higher crime rate than before. This time was known as the Crack Cocaine years of the 1980’s and 90’s. Which leads to the rage as well of a generation.

Drug trafficking was an issue coming from the 1960’s throughout the 70’s, but nothing was like Crack. Crack took communities deviations down to nothing. KKK were far removed from our communities, while we took over where they left off. Black women who could have been beauty pageant contestants were taken down by Crack. Hair matted on their heads, eyes blood shot red, skull caps & ripped t-shirts, bodily scares from syringe use and scratching, and diseases stemming from drug use. Women who could have been doctors, lawyers, engineers, educators, were taken down by drugs. Black males were dying and getting hit with conspiracy charges and sent to prison for decades, as well as life sentences.

Then the 1990’s came and went, leading into the 2000’s. After a few decades of mayhem, we felt through this past 90’s into the 2000’s this sense of accomplishment as well. But entertainment became bigger influences than ever. Hip Hop hit in the 90’s and early 2000’s, making these men bigger influences than the Civil Rights leaders of the past. And here is another aspect of the rage from young Black males and females. Our entertainment was now raising us, and we would base more and more off of tangibles then intangibles. Boys were more encouraged to be players and pimps than boyfriends and husbands. And Black women were prompted to chase after ballers over day-to-day working men. So now, pickings are slim because expectations became so unrealistic.

So the relationship between Black men and women was even more fragmented. Then in 2008, the United States elected its first Black president Barack H. Obama. Black people flocked to Washington D.C. from all across the country for his inauguration. That sense of accomplishment reemerged and for the past eight years, we felt success. He, a Noble Peace Prize winner, and his wife Michelle Obama was inspirational as well through her public persona. After they left the White House, people geared themselves for Hilary Clinton, the first woman. But the nation elected Donald J. Trump in the year 2016. A man who pulled no punches on how he spoke. Unapologetic and aggression was enough to make him president. And that feeling of hurt emerged from the Black community. Hate crimes rose and everything felt bleak.

And in the end, that’s the feeling of rage from the Black youth of today. We have constantly been told things are different, but don’t feel different. My millennial generation and generation Y were raised into a community of crime and poverty. We feel lied to and with a feeling of limited opportunities, the rage rises. But there is a flip side to the rage. Trump has also had an inverse effect in other ways. Consciousness among young twenty somethings have risen as well. We may be headed toward another Black Renaissance like that of 1930’s Harlem. So with all the anger and frustration, we need more and more consciousness, especially in this troubling time.

ETHNIC WORKAHOLISM: HOW RACIAL STEREOTYPES HAS EFFECTED BLACK PEOPLE’S WORK ETHIC

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“Living to work.”

As a child my mother would explain to me the hurdles in life I would have to overcome to succeed in America. Conversing with me about how people in society who may not like me simply because of their own beliefs towards those who look like myself. She wasn’t giving me this knowledge as a means to keep me from pursuing my goals in life. She just wanted me to be aware of the pitfalls I may come up against. Was she lying, no; everything I was taught growing up, I experienced. What has it done, it makes you work harder. Sounds fine right; wrong. If anything, your life becomes a job and not necessarily one to be enjoyed. Well, what do I mean by not enjoying your existence?

After leaving high school, I experienced more of what I was raised I would experience. What it now does it that you not only work harder, but it becomes an obsession. You live to work and not work to live. Meaning hard working Black people, especially males, you tend to work to combat something that is racially driven. You’re not working to pay bills, feed yourself & family, or even enjoy your life. You’re just working on a daily basis to combat stereotypes. Most of which state that Black people are lazy and don’t want to work. So, a lot of times your home life or social life fails. Then to add to it, if you work in a professional environment where you’re one of only Black people working there you have to put in more. Because when you screw up, it will catch more attention.

Well, why, why when we do achieve as Black people it’s usually on such a high level? The reason being that we are taught as children that if you’re not twice as good as your White counterparts in your pursuit in life, you’re not going to be successful. We are taught you have to be twice as good to be average. It’s the same reason why Black athletes succeed at such a high level, Black entertainers bring so much to entertainment, and in day to day society we have to go so hard. My pursuit in life is to be a writer for the most part. While the average White male or female want to write compelling material, my goal is to be above Ernest Hemingway or Edgar Allan Poe. It’s only to be average to their work because I have to, not because I choose to.

There are plenty of days, I wish I could be just a normal run of the mill guy. But my average is seen as below average on the charts. So I have to try to crush the past generations of White men and women’s work to be their equal. If they sold 1 million books, you aim at trying to sell 5 million. Because throughout American history, your 5 is their 1. Now, some can say that’s ridiculous, but look at the leaders. There have been some pretty average White men and women who have held very powerful positions. There have been some pretty average, even less than average films and television shows that have not performed well in theaters, yet were given the most credibility. But how many Black people in those same positions have been mediocre, and held top positions. The answer is none, why, because you can’t.

In the end, I’m not saying that I want to be a loser. But giving your life over to working in a world where no matter how hard you work it is still average compared to everyone else is not normal. You tend to lose the ability to build relationships with friends or monogamous relationships. Your time is spent combating more issues than building. So as for me, will I believe the idea that I don’t have to work that hard. No, because still to this day that is evident. I have to beat you (non-Black people) to be average or equal to you.

PETRIFIED: HOW FEAR CAN LEAD TO URGENCY IN LIFE

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“Do you value your time on this earth?”

Ever hear the term time is of essence? That’s because the most valuable commodity in life is time. Money comes and goes, but you only have one shot at life. And for most people there is fear that lies in only having one life. But having fear is not all bad. Sometimes fear gives people more of an incentive to spend their time on Earth being more productive. When you realize that this is the only life we have and after that, that’s it, you’re quicker to get things done. Well, why do we waste time?

Like that old saying, why put off until tomorrow what you can accomplish today. This is not all about putting in the work to live a good life. In my life, I have witnessed the deaths of three very important people close to me: my great grandmother, and both grandmothers (mother and father’s mothers). Missing the relative will never go away, but you don’t have regrets as long as you were able to get the most out of life from them. Some people wait until the person in their family has passed then start asking questions: How come I didn’t call them? I wish I had just a little more time with that person. That’s what is meant by putting off until tomorrow. But we go, it’s ok, I’ll see them tomorrow. But when they pass, you can never get that time back.

Now, in context of working in society, we really put off things on a daily basis that could help us succeed.  It’ll be Monday, and we say things like, “It’s alright, I’ll do it tomorrow.” Then Friday comes and it’s still not done. Not only is it not done, but you may have to accomplish a new task that overlaps with the old one. As you get older, you do less and less of this because you’re more aware of your own mortality. It’s that fear that gives you urgency to get things accomplished. Then why not when we’re young. What is it about being young that we think we’re going to wake up everyday.

Well, when you’re young, you’re not as used to people your age dying. So if you’re 19 years, your time is spent hanging and not thinking about tomorrow. Life is all about drinking and hanging with friends. Life starts to set in around 30 years of age. This is a milestone where you start to realize where your life has come thus  far. It’s when you start looking at life more long term than short term. The fun can still exist, but it has rapidly declined because you understand the ultimate goal in life, and how much time it will take to get there.

In the end, fear can hold us back, but it can also propel us forward. For me, fear is used to help me succeed. If not for my fears, I don’t know how I would function. Not everyone need it, but I do, because it makes me have a goal to accomplish. So with each passing year, I assess where I am in life, and where I want to go. As long as I hit the majority of my targets I am on track to success.