Have you ever wondered what amazing things we have today because of the innovation of Black Americans? Are you curious about entrepreneurship but need some motivation? These short biographies might spark something.
I recently watched a YouTube video titled "Something weird is happening in hip-hop." I don't care enough to rewatch it to challenge my initial thoughts. All I remember was the author boasting about experimentation in music production and a comparison to the punk genre. I primarily want to explain my opinion to the clickbait-ish "Hip Hop is Dying" thumbnail message. TL/DR: many Black hip-hop/rap artists are returning to the roots - Black culture.
After having the nerve to write an unofficial address to students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), I used that momentum to consolidate a HBCU music playlist. Below are some social media platforms to keep HBCU students in the know about college news, specifically HBCU culture.
Black folks serious about reparations need to ensure your family tree is squared away, traced at least back to slavery. Below are some (mostly free) online databases for researching ancestors.
I know, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are more inclusive than predominately White institutions (PWIs). However, this is an exclusive message specifically for native Black Americans, including those who identify as American Descendants of Slaves (ADOS), Foundational Black Americans (FBA), or United Sons and Daughters of Freedmen (USDOF).
It takes a lot of effort, but native Black Americans must learn and share our lineage and history. Here are two legislations you should be aware of with the constant discussions of reparations for Blacks.
While reading Michael Harriot's blog post ripping Florida's Black history education plans arguing that slavery benefited slaved, a specific section spiked my curiosity about people known as "Black Loyalists":
"Approximately five thousand Black men fought for America in the Revolutionary War; more than 20,000 fought against America. Even the Black Loyalists in the American Revolution were not fighting to preserve the British empire. They were fighting for their freedom."
In March 2023, the National Education Association (NEA) reported that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis planned to drastically limit what can be taught in grade school and colleges, particularly Black history. I kept a lookout on this because Florida has a lot of rarely explained Black history per Dr. Claud Anderson's books. Those wishing to deep dive into Florida's Black history should check out Dr. Marvin Dunn and his book "A History of Florida: Through Black Eyes." At the end of July, I heard troubling updates to the story.
My mind wandered a bit while watching the 2005 military TV series E-Ring episodes 3-6. I thought of a black person who tries to make everything about race when discussing two people not getting along. I don't remember why. This made me wonder. Who were my primary battle buddies during each duty station from basic training to end of service? Who were my closest military family members?
A few months ago, I attended a Norfolk State University (NSU) black history webinar about how native Black Americans are treated by healthcare service providers. I saw few men in attendance. Furthermore, the talk was led by and mostly catered to Black women. There was one major point that deserved more attention.
Starting with the basics, what is an HBCU? "HBCU" stands for "Historically Black College and University" (in the USA). How many HBCUs are there? At least 100, mostly in the south-eastern US. You likely know of the IBM technology corporation. But what is an IBM HBCU ambassador, and why is it important for native Black Americans?
I've discussed the importance of teaching Black youth about navigating racism and messages in popular media. Since grade schools are teaching less and less about true Black history, below I'll share a few Black-owned parenting companies educate Black children about their lineage.
I want to quickly share some thoughts on this YouTube video titled "Swiss Guns: What the U.S. can learn from Switzerland’s gun laws."
Some RallyPoint members (RP) recently praised arguments in an article titled "Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea for Blacks [And racist too]." I replied to the post in detail but wanted to also write it here for a few reasons:
June is lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. In this summer month, gays (many, obviously not all) flood the streets for pride parades wearing rainbow pride flags and boasting about gay unity. Then there's the LGBT "slacktivism," a fancy synonym for "virtue signaling," which basically means speaking about issues without actually doing anything to support a solution. For example, many companies overlay the rainbow pride flag over their logos on social media. How often do you hear about those same companies giving opportunities to gays and trans folks? I liken it to people with "#BLM" in their Twitter bio but nothing to show that they truly support or even understand Blacks' fight against racism. But my primary issue with gay pride month:
How native Black Americans care more about it (and gay pride in general) than Black history month and Black pride.
Inline with the Black empowerment content I've been writing, I wrote a listacle on how to wear Black-owned business apparel in uniform. Continuing the trend, here is a short list of organizations specifically for Black military veterans.
I'm no Kevin Samuels or The Lead Attorney, but I do know that we Black men should care a bit more about professional dress. I'm all for having our own flavor, but I think fellas should have at least one good suit. And it, along with all accompanying accessories, should be from Black-owned suit businesses.
I recently wondered how I would support Black businesses if I were currently active duty Army. This list simplifies the process for Black service members who understand the Black first (B1) mindset and want to do their part.
Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU) culture was a hot topic when Deion Sanders left Jackson State University (JSU) for University of Colorado (CU). More than I'd ever seen before, people were comparing predominately white institutions (PWIs) and HBCUs. People were debating integration versus segregation. What I found most interesting was the talk about how HBCU alumni can better support those who attend those schools, which seemingly influenced Coach Prime to leave JSU.
I recently saw a YouTube short by a light-skinned woman titled "Who Cares If Your Business Is Black Owned", where she argues that it doesn't matter. This brought a few questions to mind that I've yet to address.
I've lost a lot of interest in RallyPoint.com, "RP," since writing about professional conduct on the military site five years ago. After sharing links about Black culture like "Complex Layers of Racism" on site last year, I noticed more White people sharing not so subtle pro-integration comments against Blacks supporting our own.
Things are getting intense in the United States of America. Inflation continues to affect the cost of, well, everything. The Fedcoin versus Bitcoin (and other digital currencies) war for a cashless society has people looking to acquire more tangible assets such as land, precious metals (silver, gold, etc.), and seeds for food. Below I'll list my recommended resources for Black survivalists.
Let me get this out of the way. I think you'll enjoy "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" if you can ignore the subliminal messages. The movie aggressively targets Black females who might be interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). I'll be discussing the movie from what many today call "red pill" and "Black masculinist" perspectives. If you're not a fan of controversial takes regarding racism and sexism, this ain't for you.
Spoilers. Spoilers. Spoilers.
This is not an inside scoop. It is a hypothetical case.
If you actively work on information security (InfoSec) at any point, you'll end up working on a disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) plan to maintain operations when the unexpected happens. You'll likely improve your system backup process or add security features. Hopefully, you at some point realize address the need for a backup plan in case your primary IT solution shuts down permanently.
If you graduated from a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) after #BlackLivesMatter, you should have merchandise representing that milestone from a Black-owned business. Here are three quietly awesome choices to choose from.
I've purchased from over 20 Black owned businesses in the past few years. I've recently heard that Black men are refused financing to start businesses at a higher rate, compared to Black women. Dr. T Hasan Johnson has shared stories about Black men bringing on a Black woman simply for the higher rate of approval. This made me curious.
What is the ratio of "Black first," or "B1," companies owned by Black men compared to Black women which I have supported? And what are the correlations?
After covering platforms focused on bettering the Black community, I need to focus on Black men working to be better than the negative "no good" stereotype against us. African American men have heard most of these before, but have you thought about what they really mean?
The idea for writing this unofficial PowerNomics guide for Blacks, American Descendants of Slaves (ADOS), African Americans, etc. came from a short PowerNomics reading session. I only had time to read maybe four pages before having to stop. However, I think this quick-start manual will prove helpful for Blacks who want to contribute to their community but lack the energy for reasons that I'm not here to judge.
At times I'll drop random ideas that could be a useful starting point for those considering the entrepreneurship route. If you take on any of the ideas, share it with your community via social media so that we can support you. So that I can support you.
I'm not Christian. I'm a fan of astrology. I view horoscopes as a framework, similar to Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness (DISC) assessments. I know that their results and usefulness change based on my environment. I also realize that what I put into anything determines what I get out of it.
All that to say that I'm not looking to bash Christians. Everyone must believe in something. But I do want to discuss traits that seem directly tied to issues plaguing the Black community.
A lot of American women have given up on weight loss goals. Now, fat acceptance is being pushed in lieu of pushing benefits for regular exercise and healthy eating and sensible road maps. The weight room keeps me sane and creative. You can do it, no matter how overweight you are. No matter how much time you have. No matter what lingering injuries you have. Losing weight isn't impossible.
There are some simple exercises you can start with today, without any equipment, anywhere.
This topic came to mind after I watched an eye-opening movie about Black history. The movie centered around an actor I last saw in a Marvel movie. This made me think of other Black actors who have appeared in the Marvel cinematic universe (MCU) as well as other thought-provoking films.
The last Black culture film I wrote about was about police brutality in 2020. But there are a lot of great, older films on YouTube and other video hosting platforms for free. I'll share links when possible.
The Infinity saga (phases 1 through 3) of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is amazing because it consists of over twenty movies and even more stories that led to the war against the mad Titan, Thanos. Marvel movies made comic book stories accessible to those of us unwilling to read comics. Many of those comic book movies tackled real-life issues to which many Americans can easily relate.
Below are some Marvel films and television series that Black parents could watch with their children to initiate conversations about Black adulthood.
This listacle covers Black owned hygiene businesses for those looking to infuse Black pride in their bathroom activities.
COVID-19 reminded us how important it is to have savings. Companies are laying off employees to downsize. Many 9-to-5 workers are doing side-hustles to pull in extra income. Some have found ways to lower expenses such as biking instead of driving or moving to a smaller home. It feels like the United States is being tested on concepts covered in the Essentialism book. Great book, by the way.
Even with the recession and increased cost of living country-wide, some people are still neglecting the basics of money management. With issues like single mothers and crime increasing more, especially within the Black community, you have to check yourself and reflect on your financial choices. I'm no professional in personal or professional finances. I'm not going to talk about stocks, bonds, or anything of the sort. Everything I say below, you can work on now.
It is no secret that gay Black men are used to emasculate the image of the Black man and portray Black females as leaders of the Black community by mainstream media (MSM). Yep, I'm going there already. This isn't about the ladies, as you can tell from the post title. This is about how homosexuality affects the perspective and social norms of the Black men, among Black men.
As a bisexual man, I've at times felt like I don't belong in straight or gay social circles. I feel like I'm too masculine for some gay settings, while simply being gay instantly excludes me from many religious and political environments. Can't serve two masters, indeed. And telling someone that I only date females sometimes leads to a conversation about whether I'm confused. I'm not, but I digress.
How do straight Black men react to the presence of an openly gay Black man? I'd imagine there are five questions that instantly come to mind in individual and group settings.
I've learned a lot about how black entrepreneurs approach digital marketing since starting to support black-owned businesses, starting with D'iyanu, a few years ago. After purchasing products from over a dozen black-owned small businesses, I've realized some common mistakes that I'd like to share with everyone. I hope this helps small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners rethink how they approach digital marketing.
I finally got my hands on some black-owned business basketball shoes. Negash mid-top basketball shoes come in two color styles in Amazon at the time of writing:
- White, gold, and blue
- Black, red, and gold
Basically, Michael Jordan colors - University of North Carolina (UNC) Tar Heels and Chicago Bulls. I bought a pair of each. Here are my thoughts on Negash's hooping shoes.
I released my first blog about black-owned businesses in early 2021. Since then, I've written multiple posts about Black culture including one specifically about digital marketing tips for Black business owners.
This opinion piece is in response to my anticipating hearing this question more often as I create such content.
I don't know as much about hip-hop music history as I believe I should. Within recent years I've actively worked to fix that. Learning about the beginning of hip-hop and rap adds context to how we got to this era where mainstream rap music is prominently Roland TR-808 drums, street life boasting, and lacking substance.
I'm not a scholar with a years logged researching the complex layers of racism, or critical race theory (CRT). My passion is in helping others use tech to ease life. I didn't take college courses on African American history, African history, or even American history. I didn't see the point since curriculum's often grow outdated and other courses could help me immediately.
But I am at a point where I feel the need to discuss racism and ways to improve my community, the black / ADOS community, more. As complicated as it seems, there are ways to break it down into manageable building blocks.
There are companies helping to improve the black community. However, those efforts fail if we the people don't do our part as well. We must support such initiatives while holding ourselves (blacks) to a higher standard. One of my pet peeves is hearing a Christian say "if God wants it for me, I'll have it" or something along those lines. Another one, hearing people who nothing about politics or American government assuming that simply electing a new president will change the country overnight...for the better.
I've covered black owned businesses in the footwear, fitness, and underwear industries. In this blog I'll share some black owned companies in technology.
I've written enough about black-owned apparel brands for now. I want to switch it up by sharing some black-owned businesses focused on building the black community. These companies and entrepreneurs are about the black economy, PowerNomics type of stuff. This is different from organized initiatives such as American Descendants of Slaves (ADOS).
Last year I talked about ten random black-owned businesses worth supporting. Before this blog I wrote about black-owned sportswear businesses. Now I'll share some black-owned footwear businesses that are great for exercising.
Some experienced weight lifters recommend wearing shoes with flat soles and minimal cushioning for compound leg exercises - squats, lunges, etc. You've probably seen plenty of guys doing heavy barbell squats wearing Converse Chucks. I prefer Blairisms. Interesting patterns. Fair prices. And they're durable. Here are some more from black-owned workout attire brands.
Get rid of the Under Armour, Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, or whatever else undies you got. I found some black owned businesses that create beautiful, dependable compression shorts. My new favorite underwear brands:
There are five conversations I'd like to have with experts (and anyone passionate about the subject), with tact, and preferably with facts, research, and statistics. Prepare for opinions about controversial topics.
I try to do my part in supporting black owned businesses financially and with social media (and this blog). You can browse African-centric reseller stores like ShoppeBlack.us but many brands don't have a lot of reviews, social media activity, or social proof in general.
To be fair, active social media management is difficult even with Hootsuite or Buffer. That's why companies, and some bands, have a dedicated team member with that as the primary focus. To compensate for this, and help build black culture, I'll share my knowledge and experience about some reputable black businesses with good longevity.
First published on June 6, 2016
When I took a course on the relationship between music and politics last year, I got the opportunity to write a two thousand word essay on my choice of topic related to the course. I decided to write about the transition and differences between what Hip Hop/Rap was in the beginning and what it is today. I emphasized the use of racial slurs and others’ view on it, also. Admittedly, It’s not a very well written piece. However, If you’re interested, feel free to read on.
First published on December 13, 2016
BLUF: There are offensive racial slurs and opinions regarding Black Americans ahead in plain text.
Let’s look in the mirror for a minute – some self-reflection. Read and criticize this. Judge me and my content. But read on, and read the whole thing. Don’t be simple and skim through it. Targeted to Blacks but can apply to all, some of you will need some tea for this.