Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

According to a recent report, four of the 11 worst graduation rates in public institutions belong to HBCUs.

Evening people. I’m sure you’re getting tired of my excuses as to why I’ve been away from you for a while, but if you love me, you’ll get over it. For those of you who navigated to this page looking for Part III of Why Women Have Sex, you’ll be comforted in knowing that the rest of the series will be featured on What Black Men Want. You can find it and all my posts under The Fly Young Intellectual.

Also, if you didn’t know, June is Black Music Month. This means you are obligated to check out my blog R&B Essentials. If you don’t, it means you’re racist. Or you harbor a deep self-hatred…..Ok, not really. But please check it out. I put a lot of my heart and soul into that site and I think it shows in the level of content. Besides, it’s heavy on videos, light on words.

Continuing with the Randomness of this post, I want to bring your attention to two stories I came across on the internet today. The first one is a sobering one, dealing with a subject near and dear to my heart: Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The article named four HBCUs, including Southern (LA) University at no. 1,  in the 11 Worst Public University Graduation Rates. Luckily, my beloved Winston-Salem State University was not among them, but it still made me cringe. I know the original purpose of these schools is to provide a chance at higher education for those who would not otherwise have the chance, probably myself included. But somewhere along the line, we’ve got to find a balance between finding opportunities and meeting higher standards. I could go on, but it’s a Monday night, so I won’t.

So let’s end this on a positive note. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen multiple stories about Black women and weightloss/exercise, most of it non-flattering. I wrote about this topic a few weeks ago on What Black Men Want. Well, meet Earnestine Shepherd. This 75-year old from Baltimore was recently inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest female bodybuilder in the world. Check out her story.

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Why do women have sex?

Anyone who knows me off the internets knows that I love to read. It’s more like a compulsion than a hobby. It started when I was young, reading a from a 1970s-era volume of The Encyclopedia Brittanica at home during the summer (I can’t tell you how bummed out I am that they won’t be printing them anymore) and quickly morphed into me reading Slam Magazine when I was supposed to be paying attention in class during my free time at school.

So with that said, it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite places in the world is the library. I usually go at least twice a month, and generally pick up more books than I should. I’m the type of person that gets bored pretty easily, even if I like a book, so I tend to read three or four books at a time. Since I currently have two books I’m not ready to return, I limited myself to just two books tonight.

One of those books was “Why Women Have Sex.” Being a heterosexual man, it immediately caught my attention. The book takes a scientific and emotional look at the underlying sexual motivations of women using a series of professional studies and interviews with real women. The combination of candid responses and scientific evidence has made  for an interesting first chapter so far.

The first chapter deals with factors that contribute to sexual attraction. On the surface, it’s nothing too earth shattering. Women like tall men who smell pleasant, have masculine faces, deep voices and wide shoulders. But this is where the research fills in the gaps, adding analytical pieces about why women are physiologically resistant to men whose chemical balance closely resembles their own. Pretty heavy stuff.

As I continue to delve in the book, I’ll share my thoughts. But in the meantime, share yours with me. Ladies, why do you have sex? Be candid, there’s  no judgement on this blog. Speak up!

The front page of today’s Statesville Record & Landmark.

This is the front page story from my hometown newspaper, The Statesville Record and Landmark. As you can imagine, it’s elicited quite a response in the community and on social media. This “White Unity” event is ironically set to take place in a small town called Harmony. I guess they forgot to poll the Black folks.

Growing up in that part of the country in the 1990s and 2000s, I can’t say that I ever saw any explicit Klan activity. Every now and then the old folks would talk about the Klan marching downtown or something, but it seemed like something from the history books. But as they say, history repeats itself.

Some are angry at the paper for placing the story on the front page, above the fold. They say it’s as if the paper is endorsing the rally. I can see how someone would look at this on the front page and think that, but inside the paper there is an editorial titled “Evil in our midst can’t be ignored,” which states the editorial opinion that people need to see what hate looks like in 2012. I totally agree.

For those who think with an African-American president in the White House we are in a post-racial society, this may come as a shock. For others, this is sad confirmation of the fact that we have a long way to go before all people are truly equal in this nation. For those who only now feel compelled to speak out about , it’s about damn time! But we must realize that the regressive policies currently being instituted by conservatives on the local, state and federal levels are more destructive than any gathering of backyard bigot barbeque could ever be. We progressives cannot fall asleep at the wheel like we did during the 2010 election cycle this year. Not with so much at stake. Stay vigilant and stay up. I’m out…

Sup folks? Today was the start of a new chapter in my professional life. It was the first day of my new job. The first day of a new job is kind of like the first day of school. You pick out your best clothes and stay up all night long, wondering if you’ll fit in.

Luckily, everything was great. Everyone was really friendly and helpful, and it all seemed very genuine. I think I’m going to be very happy. But if I had to pick the highlight of my day, it was the conversation I had with the HR associate who interviewed me over the phone. She told me that what stuck out about me was how I talked about my former place of employment. She said she’d interviewed several potential candidates from the same job and all of them had plenty to say about the company. None of it good.

“But you didn’t say anything negative about it, and that really impressed me.”

This is not to elevate myself above those other interviewees, because honestly, the things they said were true. I’ve felt exactly the way that they’ve felt many times. But my mother used to always tell me, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” That was one lesson out of many that I try to help guide me on this journey called life, and like pretty much everything else she’s taught me, it turned out to be right. Mother really does know best!

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If you’ve turned on the TV at all today, or the last week, chances are you’ve heard plenty about the Trayvon Martin case. On Tuesday, we were introduced to Joe Oliver, a black man who claims to be a friend of Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman. Oliver has been on all the major news shows defending Zimmerman, who he claims is not a racist and feels horrible about Martin’s death.

Among the most controversial claims Oliver has made have been regarding Zimmerman’s reported usage of the phrase “Fucking coon.” Oliver claims that Zimmerman called Martin a “fucking goon,” which he claims his 17 year-old daughter told him is a term of endearment. Most commentators, including Michael Baisden have balked at the suggestion that friends would refer to each other as such a derogatory term.

The dictionary defines a goon as a stupid, foolish or awkward. Not exactly the friendliest of terms, right? So to your average 40 something, this is what goon means. Go to urbandictionary.com and you’ll get a much different definitions, including a low-level gang member. This is what Oliver is alluding to and trying to use to combat the racial element of this story.

If you’re under the age of 30 and listen to rap, you’ve probably heard of Plies, a rapper who coincidentally hails from Florida. Since his debut album dropped in 2007 he has repeatedly referred to his friends and even himself as “goons.” He even named his fourth album Goon Affiliated and turned out tracks like “Me And My Goons.” Like the word “nigga,” this term has been commercialized and transformed into an acceptable phrase by young African- Americans.

As sad as this is, it’s even sadder that any parent, much less a Black man, would go on national television and defend a man who hunted and gunned down a child. And then to play our intelligence into thinking that Zimmerman didn’t use a racial slur and was simply using some generic term for Martin.

He also defended Zimmerman by saying that no one he knows under the age of 40 uses the term “coon.” I’m 26 years old. I can plainly remember being in high school and hearing that term mumbled under the breath of some of my classmates in racially contentious moments. Nice try, but we’re not buying it.

Luckily, Oliver’s time as a credible source on George Zimmerman is coming to an end, if it hasn’t already. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell well prepped interview revealed that other than working with Zimmerman previously, Oliver doesn’t know much more about him than most of America. It was also revealed that Oliver has quit his job to defend Zimmerman to the public. Now we all have friends that we care dearly for and would do anything to help them in a time of need, but how many folks would actually quit their job to defend someone they barely know for free? It’s obvious that Oliver is being paid to do public relations for Zimmerman. It’s a damn shame that some folks will do any thing for money. As I said last week in a column for whatblackmenwant.com, any Black man who doesn’t hear the blood cry from Martin’s body is out of touch with reality. Oliver is a shining example of that.

The Finger of The Right

Posted: January 26, 2012 in Money, Sports, Uncategorized

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer confronts President Obama moments after he lands in a Phenoix airport.

In a world where we are exposed to media on a near constant basis, the old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” seems outdated and cliche. Between 24 hour news channels and the internet we are inundated with images so quickly that we rarely take the time to do more than glance at them and briefly attempt to digest them before the next one comes along. The image above, however, warrants some level of deeper observation and reflection about the true state of our union.

Less than 24 hours after delivering his annual State of The Union Address, President Barack Obama landed in an Arizona airport where he was met by Governor Jan Brewer. The bad blood between the two got its’ start after the Governor called Obama’s demeanor during a meeting last year “condescending.” The President took issue with her opinion assessment which evidently compelled Brewer to confront the President.

It is both alarming and appalling to think that the political climate of this country has deteriorated to the point where anyone, let alone another elected official, has the audacity to approach the President of the United States in this manner. This is the type of behavior one would expect from a cast member of Bad Girls Club or Mob Wives, not someone elected to political office.

This is just another example of the unparalleled level of disrespect this President has had to deal with in the last three years. There was South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson shouting “you lie” as President Obama addressed Congress. More recently Congressman Sensenbrenner attempted to make fun of Mrs. Obama’s behind. And don’t expect this to change anytime soon as we have already seen Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich refer to Obama as “The Foodstamp President.”

The sad thing about the whole ordeal is that this will likely up Gov. Brewer’s national profile among many conservatives. There will be those who see her hand hand inches from the President’s face and cheer her on for “taking the fight to Obama.” That’s what this election is about for them. Not taking the country in a positive direction, which the President is already accomplishing. Not settling the inequalities that allow Warren Buffet to pay a lower percentage of taxes than his secretary. That is the sole reason Gingrich’s prospects for becoming the Republican Nominee are looking better and better every day. The good thing is, the Republican’s hate for Obama is pushing the party further to the Right and making a second Obama term increasingly likely.

So in less than 12 hours from now, the year 2012 will be upon us. It’s probably been the most anticipated changing of year’s since 2000. This is the year that has been speculated on endlessly ever since the Mayans ended their calendar on Dec. 21, 2012 thousands of years ago. If we believe pop culture, this is the next trendy date for the end of the world. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe that no man knows the day or the our of the end. I’ve always liked to view each new year as a fresh canvas, waiting to be turned into a cosmic masterpiece by the Creator.

This year, I’m really focusing on getting my financial life together. I’ve always been kind of a by-the-seat-of-his-pants-type of guy and in these tough economic times, that just isn’t getting it anymore. I’m determined that by this time next year, my financial situation will be markedly better than it is right now. I plan on making my money work for me, building up my savings and setting myself on the path to financial independence. Here are a few things I either already do or plan to practice in the coming year.

1. Pay your tithes-first and in full.

This has to be my first priority. I believe when you give God ten percent up front, he will carry your 90 percent much further than the 100 percent you would have without obeying him. The times when I’ve stepped out on faith and paid my tithes on time and in full, I’ve seen God do miraculous things.

2. Go pre-paid.

If you are under contract with one of the major carriers, you’re probably paying way too much for your phone. And no doubt, you’re getting less for what you pay every day. Most traditional carriers have eliminated unlimited web usage while making you pay more to use it. If you’re a serious techie, have no fear–you can still get a quality smartphone without emptying your pockets. Prepaid companies have really stepped their game up in the last few years. For music lovers, Cricket’s Muve Music Plan may be the best thing since the invention of iTunes. It allows unlimited, free downloads without have to sync them to your computer.

3. Cut your own hair.

Now, I know what you’re thinking…This brother has gone too damn far! This might sound like blasphemy to members of the Barbershop Brotherhood but give it some consideration. Depending on where you live, including tips, the average haircut can run anywhere from $15 to $20. You gotta stay fresh, so let’s say you go at least twice a month. That’s $40. That’s almost five hundred dollars in a year. Sure, you say, everyone would like to keep an extra $500 in their pockets, but is it worth the risk of looking crazy? Well I’ve been cutting my own hair for three years now. I’m not going to lie, the first couple of times were rough, but luckily for you, there are plenty of good youtube videos.  Invest $30 to $50 in a good pair of clippers and keep some money in your pocket.

4. Get Thrifty

Forget what those lies purported by 90s Sprite commercials , image does matter. Everyone wants to look good, but going to the mall and buying a new outfit (or two or three) every week just isn’t in my budget. I started going to thrift stores about three years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. The great thing about thrift stores is that whatever brand you favor, you can find them there for less. I’ve gotten just as many compliments on pieces that I’ve picked up in a thrift store as I have for things I brought fresh out of the rack. I would really recommend this if you’re a recent college grad trying to build up your professional wardrobe on a limited budget. I’ll post more in-depth about my love of thrift stores at a later date.

5. Save Your Change

In a time where people barely carry cash, let alone change, this may seem like an antiquated, Leave It To Beaver type idea. Over the years most people have probably lost hundreds of dollars worth of pennies,  nickles and dimes. A dime here and a quarter there doesn’t seem like much, but when the bank account gets low, it’s nice to know you’ve got a couple of bucks to fall back on.

Have any other money-saving tips? Comment and share them with the world! Happy New Year everyone!