CAREER WEEK: INTRODUCING THEM AT THE RIGHT AGE

Man Wearing Gray Top Fixing Red Necktie

“We need to mandate this day.”


a week in school

Career day has always been a day for students in school to see what their interest might be for a career one day. But what about if there was a career week in school? Maybe one day is not long enough to figure out what that young person might be interested in or shine. A lot of children are not prepared for the long road ahead of them in their career journey. And when looking at a day, it’s just not long enough to observe a career. The student might even be surprised at the career that they are good at, or what they might like from a job.

knowing more than they know

For me growing up in an inner city, the only thing young boys want to do is become professional athletes or rappers. And only a small percentage go pro and stay pro. With also a small percentage making a big salary. So to think that you are going to be this rich athlete is nonsense. But a week dedicated to schools in these types of environments would mean another career outlet. Because usually when young boys growing in neighborhoods like the ones I grew up in don’t go pro in sports, they turn to crime. This dream that everyone will be ball players is not real. Investing in a community will mean far more children succeeding in life than living a pipe dream.

tests say a lot

How do you know what kid is good at what? Well, we test them and come up with an idea of what they might like or be good at in a job. Because you want to first get their interest, but then you want to test them to see what they could do in life. The test is more trustworthy than asking them or letting the teacher decide. Now, does this mean this is what they will do in life, no. This is just something to give them an eye opener into their potential options.

at what age

Now, what age would be appropriate for this week. And to me, this should be for strictly seniors in high school. These are young students who are going to be getting their first taste of the real world after graduation. And so many have no clue what they want to do. The options that this career week will give them can open their minds to many options. This, I’m sure, would be rejected initially, which is why it should be implemented at very few schools in the beginning. Then we can take it from there after the program proves to work.


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INNER CITY GOLD: WHY INVESTING IN THE COMMUNITY IS WORTH THE DOLLAR

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“Making out or make it out of something.”


Growing up in the inner city, you have these goals of what most would say, “Making it out the hood.” But have you ever stopped to think to make the hood out of something good? And why do so many of us as African Americans attain wealth and then flee these poor environments. Well, for starters, it has to do with how anyone else in America growing up with humble beginnings views this country. You want to have that American dream: the colonial style house, two car garage, the boy and girl, the cat and dog, with the husband and wife. This image has been the face of our nation for so long, that is the foundation for what is considered the good life. Another reason Black people seek to make it out the ghettos of America is because of the disproportionate numbers of violent crime that exist in the community.

What’s crazy about the numbers of crime is that the criminal element only constitutes a small percent of the community; maybe less than 10% of the total population. So even in low income housing projects, you might have a population of 2,500 to well over 5,000 in some housing developments. And the criminal element is between 5% – 7%, maybe in some places 10%. So you’re talking 125 -175 people in the low populated housing, and 250 – 350 in the high populated projects that are the worst of the worst. So something so small becomes major when living in these environments; and on top of it all poverty. It’s a perfect recipe for disaster in a community. Yet, is there anything that is of salvageable value that is in the community so that it can be uplifted from poverty. Because right now, you have a lot of people living so much off the tax payers dime.

And the answer is yes, there is something of value that is salvageable; the children. Yes, that’s right, the kids. Investing in the future generations is a great way to change the landscape of any poor community. Because once you invest in the minds of the young, they will have it hard-wired in their minds the intellectual capital to build and reshape a community. We say in the community that we need jobs, but if you invest in the young, that will get built. There is this place in Harlem called the Harriet Tubman Learning Center that caters to the community as a school. Schools like this or the Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy built in the neighborhood base around aiding poverty stricken families with workshops for parents learning facilities for children. These places are based around cultivating learning in a young generation which will re-contextualize the way they see society.

And when your mind opens up to changes and all the possibilities you can’t go back to what you used to know. In the end, you always hear what can the government do to fix issues in the community, and that really is nothing much. Yes, there are still kids who go to public schools that are underfunded and overpopulated that could use help. But a lot of the major problems has to be something that starts internal. The community has to figure out a way to deal because Black people are $2 – $3 trillion of America’s economy. The fact that our communities are in the shape they’re in yet we have some of the top spending power in the world is beyond me. #FUTUREGENERATIONS


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1619: HOW FAR HAVE WE COME AS AFRICAN AMERICANS

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“What happens when identity has to be recreated?”


Two years from now will be the year 2019, which will mark the 400 year period since the first Africans were brought to America. So much between then and now has happened, and the question now remains. How far have Black people come in America and how far do we still need to go? Let’s take a look in the past for just a moment. Imagine, each person, coming from their respective tribes, with their respective cultures. Being dragged to a new land, not knowing what was in store once you got there. Trying to understand why looking out into the sea you can’t find the river banks from which you came to return back home. And now you’re in this new place for life, with people you don’t know.

Fast forward to today, where we have been for almost 400 years. But, we have really only had rights since about the early 1970’s. That means African Americans have been experiencing freedom for roughly 45 – 50 years. You america, architecture, famousmight say, how so? Well, freedom allows you to vote, which we couldn’t do until coming into the 1970’s from the 1960’s. Freedom says you can go to any school you want to attend. But in the 1970’s and even as early as the 1980’s institutions were resistant in letting Blacks attend. Freedom grants you housing wherever you want to live, which is even more recent than the right to vote. Freedom grants the privilege to marry who you want without question. Laws on books forbid interracial marriage in various states in this country. The only progressive environment that has moved with more pace has been sports and the United States Armed Forces.

But what still needs to happen. Because we have poor education in inner city communities. There is a disproportionate number of violent crimes and a breakdown of the family. What’s interesting is that this is more of a recent phenomenon. If you look into the past, two parent households were the norm in the Black community. Black people had close nit communities, crime was nearly nonexistent, and overall morale was in tack. So what does that mean, we have to back track and lose our rights again to have control over our communities. Is there some sort of trade off, “You go back to segregation and then life will change.” Or is it more simple than that?

For example, I look at Chicago, a city that is plagued with crime, and also my father’s place of birth. And he has stated that it is a mixture of heavy Whtie and Black Police Car on Roadgang recruitment and lack of establishment by the law because of politicians not doing their jobs. It has been a rogue city for quite some time and with more and more schools closing, yet children are not being placed in other districts, problems are going to really climb. Which brings me to my next question. If schools are closing and countless kids are left in these inner city areas without a school home, should we start to home school as a community? Should Black people disregard the public school system in cities like Chicago? I mean, they’re shutting them down anyways, why not.

And that is the lead in to my next question, What is in the future? America is changing more and more everyday, and if we are not prepared issues will worsen. And not really on just a racial side, but economic. In today’s society, there is still not adequate access in poor areas to a lot of opportunities. Or is it? Black people are one of the largest demographics of smart phone users. That is a tool for learning all on it’s own. Which brings me to the next phase, putting yourself in the know. Those who are willing to put themselves in the know can and will elevate no matter what their economic circumstance or ethnic background. Having that mobile device means you do now have access to a lot of opportunities.

You may say how so? Well, this is not your mother and father or grandparents generation. Google search engine and YouTube has allowed access to what was once the unknown the know. For example, I Black Samsung Tablet on Google Pagelearned to write screenplays, my books, setup my website, and build social media all through tutorials on YouTube and searching through Google. So if we are big smart phone users, then we have the access in hand. All it takes is the attempt to sit and learn. Open yourself up to the opportunities that lie ahead. So, in the end, we have to do something. Life is getting harder by the day; and not just for us, everyone. Adjusting to the major technological shifts that will happen is a must in succeeding in life. If you are not bent on learning and broadening your base, then that America dream you want will no be anywhere within your sights.


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GANGS CULTURE: WHY WE JOIN


“Have you ever sought to belong to something?”


Growing up in an urban community, gangs are all around you. But most importantly, the psychology behind gangs are just dangerous as the criminal activity associated with the gang. And when I say psychological, I mean why young people join gangs to the construct of the gang itself. The control factors of the gang is more stringent than a day to day job. And the danger is a lot higher. So why are so many young people willing to join. Well, let’s look more at the psychological ramifications of joining a gang. And one of things is observing the need to belong.

There are so many young people in our society with a need to belong to something. It’s also the reason we see a rise in the youth fighting online. Everyday you see a video posted on social media of some fist fight. The need for attention and the need to belong no matter how gruesome the actions. This why gangs don’t even have to recruit anymore. There is a multitude of young people running to the gangs. So how do you fix this problem? Because even though young people want to belong, there are other reasons for joining as well. Another issue that leads to gang initiation is lack of structure.

Too often, young people don’t have structure at home. Youth who have home structure are far less likely to join a gang. As a matter of fact, gangs are more strict than home life. So if you have the ability to follow the rules of a gang, you can follow rules of society.

But why, why is it so hard for these individuals to follow what is actually more strict? Abiding by the law requires you to think a certain way. You have to look inside and go I am the problem. Gangs allow you to transfer responsibility to someone else. My enemy is in my way. They are the ones keeping me from attaining what I want in life. So you commit an act of violence because you think it makes you admirable, but it shows a complete lack of accountability. But when the people around you cosign your actions, then you will never learn. Not until it is too late.

In the end, what do we do? How do we make young people see that defining your entire existence in this one moment is not worth it. What if the Bloods, Crips, Vice Lords, Gangsta Disciples, and Latin Kings were community based organizations? Organizations that recruited young boys who don’t have a family and turn them into productive members of society. Our communities would be far less dangerous, and it would create a generation of great young minds. But as long as young people see gangs as the only way out, we will always see a sharp rise in crime and prison populations increasing as well.


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LOCKED and LOADED

Image result for gun seizure

“Where did they come from?”

The above photo which shows guns lying out on a table are not in preparation for a gun show. This is not a manufacturing plant either. The guns above are of many firearms seized from drug/gang raids by the police. The topic of illegal firearms have been on a lot of people’s minds lately. Well, actually, guns in general have been a long debate in this country for some time. But when we discuss the illegal guns nowhere is it more prevalent than in inner cities across the country. Why do inner cities get so much attention. Well, that’s where the disproportionate amount of violent crime where guns are used occur.

Then a way to combat might be the suggestion from various political figures, such as the use of “Stop and Frisk.” This was a policy implemented in the city of New York to combat crime. Now during this time people said crime declined. Now did it, yes, but there was blow-back. Why, if it worked? This is why because the criminals were not being stopped. It was everyday citizens who have done nothing wrong. So my best guess as to why the crime decreased is because criminals saw the tactics and slowed their firearm carrying.

Now, a politician might say, hey, they are thinking twice. So what the people were innocent, at least criminals thought before carrying. Well no. Well why no if the crime went down. This is why; yes the criminals think twice, but what happens is people who are innocent get disgruntled. And when that happens even when the crime decrease, you lose respect from the community. Once this happens, anytime the police need assistance on bigger cases, they are unable to come to this same community because the relationship is ruined. So in other words, you decreased violent crime, but you inadvertently made criminals more powerful. So now, they don’t need to carry guns, they have more willing cooperation from the people.

In addition, the policy was deemed unconstitutional considering it only targeted certain minority groups. But guns are still an issue. Let’s say for instance Stop and Frisk worked how the city wanted it to work. Then guns would constantly be removed from the street. But you run into another problem. Eventually the citizens would want to know where these guns are coming from. And that’s when the plot thickens. Because how does a kid from the housing projects shy of his 18th birthday manage to get a hold of military style weapons?

Here is when the idea of corruption comes into play. There aren’t any gun manufacturing plants  in inner cities. So how does a teenager from an inner city get his hands on guns ranging from handguns to assault rifles? Well, the reply is that they are stolen. Well, let’s analyze that fore a moment. A handgun could be stolen or illegally purchased. But purchased from who? Who are guys in the street getting their guns from? But also, how are assault rifles being funneled into inner cities? You keep throwing out Stop and Frisk all you want, eventually you have to answer the question of where do these guns come from?

I had a guy in middle school brag to me once about how he owned a gun that belonged to a police officer. That’s odd, police firearms on the streets. Then I started thinking about why guns are in the inner cities. Drug dealers need guns to perform their jobs. How do they do so without guns for protection? Then with a mixture of guns and drugs, we now have to now create a budget for FBI and DEA, as well as the ATF. Men are placed in prisons all over the country and private cooperations capitalize off the inmates. And there you have it, an entire production line.

Yet all it will take is for one of those guns to be used in the death of an innocent White male or female, then you’ll see the FBI and ATF work to try to look like heroes. But once that happens it has to be for good. Meaning, bye bye narcotics, bye bye privatized prisons. And that’s when the illusion becomes real. To say we need to Stop and Frisk without working to keep guns from coming in, in the first place, is like saying three buildings constantly keep catching on fire just water them down. Eventually, people are going to want to know what is it about these three buildings that keep catching on fire.