Being your own boss

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Entrepreneurship has been on the rise for the last 3 years. Everywhere you turn, you see someone opening up a business- even if it’s just an online business. There are memes all over the place encouraging people to exit their 9-5’s to become entrepreneurs. “Do what you love and get paid for it,” is a popular slogan that’s often viewed via social media. There was also a post that said something along the lines of “we congratulate people that get new jobs, but don’t congratulate those that start their own business.” Shouldn’t both be congratulated and celebrated, though?

“Someone will pay you to build their empire if you don’t build your own.” is another one. Building your own empire and quitting your 9-5pm sounds glamorous, and so easy to do! However, no one seems to mention the extreme hard work that entrepreneurs put in on a daily basis without any compensation or return. People don’t mention that on average, entrepreneurs don’t actually see a profit until 5 years later. It’s probably not mentioned because many entrepreneurs don’t realize they are just getting the money back that they’ve invested.

Everyone should follow their dreams, but the harsh reality is everyone is not built to be an entrepreneur. It’s not for everyone. People need jobs and jobs need people. It’s how society has been designed. Please stop attempting to put people down because you think they should create their own business, and be leary of those who up and quit their jobs to pursue a hobby or their own business out the blue. It’s been noted that many of those people live with their parents, have no real responsibilities, or they have someone that will help them financially- which makes it easy for them not to work. People won’t tell you everything, just what they want you to know.

There are also many people selling products for a larger company, and they consider that entrepreneurship. However, that’s still working for someone other than yourself- especially if team building is involved. People often play word games when money is involved, so be careful. Do what’s best and beneficial for your own circumstances.

To those who are happy with their jobs and/or careers, continue to maintain your balance. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel bad for being employed. There is someone right now wishing they had a job or career. Entrepreneurs, be sure that you start a pension plan, IRA, or 401K with whomever you bank with. Also, find and purchase a suitable healthcare plan for yourself as well! Keep striving and protecting your craft.

If you work a 9-5 and you want to be an entrepreneur, use your job to fund your dream!

Kalief Browder

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A couple of years ago, I hosted a podcast discussing the prison system in America, and the mistreatment that the prisoners receive there. During the podcast, I began to discuss Kalief Browder. Kalief Browder was a 16 year old black male from the Bronx, who was arrested by the NYPD on his way home for allegedly stealing a bookbag. Kalief proclaimed his innocence, but was still sent to prison. He was taken
to Rikers Island, which is an adult facility. If you have ever watched a single episode of Law and Order, you know Rikers is not where you want to be.

Kalief had several court dates that were cancelled for various reasons. His bail was set at $3,000, but unfortunately the Browder family didn’t have the resources to bail Kalief out of prison. When they were finally able to get the money, his bail was denied. Kalief spent 1,000 days in prison without an actual conviction. 800 of those 1,000 days were spent in solitary confinement. Kalief was finally
released in June of 2013, and he began publicly speaking about the abuse he endured while in prison. His speaking appearances began to shed light on what really goes on within prison facilities on a larger scale, and the media began to get involved. Kalief explained how he
was jumped on by a gang of teens while the guards watched. He even discussed how the guards would beat and starve him for days.

It was noticeable to family and friends that Kalief was not the same person that he once was. Even Kaleif realized that he was no longer the same. Solitary confinement for a few days is enough to cause a
person to have a mental breakdown, so one can only imagine what 800 days as a teen could do. Kalief had trouble sleeping at night, and would often drift off and have active flashbacks of the vile treatment
he endured while in prison.

Kalief’s mental state caused him to hang himself in June of 2015. Since then, Kalief’s story has been a national discussion. His documentary recently aired on Spike TV, which will ultimately bring
more awareness to the prison system in the United States.

How many other Kalief Browder’s are in prison being tortured for a crime they didn’t commit? The state of New York’s “justice system” needs to be completely wiped out and revamped. Stop and Frisk is in full effect in New York, and it allows the police to stop you and search you at any given time for no reason at all. 87% of Blacks and Latinos are stopped and frisked in New York. It’s noted that more
young Black men were stopped by the NYPD in 2011 than there are young
Black men that actually live in New York city (Huffington post). New York and North Carolina are the only states that charge 16 year olds as adults. That sounds like a setup for failure in life. 16 year olds
do not have the same maturity level as an 18 year old.

It seems that Kalief’s story makes him a martyr. He was failed by the system like so many others. It seems the less fortunate always pay the ultimate price for crime and being poor. It’s a triple disaster if
it’s a person of color. What can we do? How can we demand reform from
our Government when new private prisons are being built regularly? Private prisons are being encouraged!

Those that are incarcerated are still humans. They are already caged,
but if you treat them like animals they will certainly behave as such. It’s time for police and prison reform. We owe that much to Kalief.

What happened to Kym Worthy?

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The first time I heard the name Kym Worthy, I was 8 years old. The city of Detroit was in a state of bedlam due to the Malice Green beating. It was definitely a time for the community to be upset. Police officers had been getting away with murdering and harming African American citizens like Malice and Rodney King for decades.

Kym Worthy was the Chief Prosecutor in the Malice Green case. She was a 36 year old well educated Black woman who graduated from the University of Michigan and Notre Dame Law schools. With her long, jet black hair and stylish nails, she was fearless in the court room. Kym made a name for herself in the legal world with her dramatic tactics, coupled with her winning 90 out of the 100 jury trials she had conducted in her 9 years with the Wayne County prosecutor’s office.

Kym being the Chief Prosecutor in the Malice Green trial is what put her in the forefront of the world! From there, she went straight to the top! Kym now serves as our County Prosecutor, which is huge! She’s the second African American to serve as a county prosecutor in Michigan.

Like most things and people, change occurs with them over time. This past summer, I watched Kym defend her actions of refusing to release Davontae Stanford, an innocent young man that was charged with murder at the age of 14. Hitman Vincent Smothers confessed to killing the people that Stanford was charged with killing two weeks after Stanford was convicted, yet Kym still would not clear Stanford. Kym’s favorite slogan is “facts matter.” But if that were the case, Mr. Stanford wouldn’t have been left in prison. Kym took no accountability for her actions.

There are more issues regarding Kym Worthy’s misconduct, lack of accountability, retaliation tactics, questionable ethics and judgment, but for the sake of time I’m going to get right to the point! Last year I was dropping my cousin off at a birthday dinner at Benihana located in Dearborn, MI. When we arrived, I noticed multiple police cars along with a car that was clearly undriveable. My exact words were “who have they killed now?” I didn’t find out until the next day that the woman they murdered was my middle school classmate. Of course the Dearborn police claimed their lives were in danger. They went as far as saying she tried to run an officer over with her car. I thought to myself “it sounds like she was trying to get away from the police.”

The video footage of the actual shooting was released last week. As I watched the video, I could not help but to become emotionally upset and distraught as Officer James Wade fired shots through the vehicle. The dash cam doesn’t show any officers in front of the vehicle. With their guns drawn and pointed, they were in no danger. His partner then says “you did what you had to do.” That’s not what he had to do, that’s what he wanted to do! James Wade is a DEARBORN PIG! Before killing this citizen he had just been suspended for his aggressive tactics, and had two other incidents on his record for aggressive tactics.

Guess who’s desk this came across? No other than Kym Worthy! Kym stated that the woman who was killed drove her car toward the officers, so no charges would be filed. I’m trying to figure out what footage she watched, and just how thick and current her eye lenses are? The very same kind of case that made her career what it is today is the same type of case that she has turned a blind eye to twice in the same city (Dearborn). What happened to Kym?

What happened to the woman who believed in justice and making things make sense? She actually had me believing for a while that she cared about the citizens and the justice system, and that she was on the right side of the law. It seems as if once she became eager to prosecute the former Mayor of Detroit, that was her initiation into the good old boys club (Not that she will ever truly be one)! However, she is accepted and tolerated, and all of the things she has done improperly are over looked. Every once in a while someone will muckrate, but the power of the political circle she’s in crushes it every time.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised or upset because I’m aware of how this game is played. It just hurts a little when someone who gave you so much hope about improving the justice system reminds you that there is a cost for everything- particularly major success and recognition. When paying that cost, people often lose themselves and forget why they originally began that journey.

No matter who’s in charge, we can never expect a system that was created against us to protect us.

Keeping quiet

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What’s one of the first things a person does when they are excited about a new business venture or idea? They share it with people! They share it with friends, family, and loved ones! After all, those are people that bring you joy, comfort, and love! There’s no harm in that, right? There is always a person that doubts your idea or makes a negative comment or two- mainly because they have no drive and don’t believe in themselves- but for the most part, you’ll have people that are genuinely happy and excited for you!

But then, you also have that one person who tells you it’s a great idea, and that they wish they would have thought of it themselves. You go on about your business and start making plans. Then, all of a sudden, the person that said they wish they would have come up with the idea has now stolen your idea! Now they are accelerating to get to the finish line off of YOUR plans!

Some people will even go as far as saying that they already had this plan in mind, or that “it’s just business.” This is the best and worst way to learn to keep your mouth closed! Imitation is not always a form of flattery. It’s often just a form of lacking originality! Imitation doesn’t have to be just about business either! I’ve seen people go so far as getting the exact same vehicle as their “friend,” and trying to make their life plans based around the events happening in their friend’s life! All of this sounds like some “Single Black Female” type of madness!

I see It happening everyday amongst people, and I will never understand why a person wants to copy the lives of others! Your path is your path! A person that feels as if they have to do what others are doing, or try to one up others is a person that’s not happy with themselves. Maybe they don’t know who they are. Some people think that their friendships define them.

Your friends should be inspired by you to do more, but they should never be in competition with you. That’s why it’s best to just keep your plans to yourself, and let your results be your mouth piece!

She has her own: Independent women

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I made a Facebook status posing the question “when did being an independent woman equal not needing or wanting a man?” Of course the comments section blew up. Some people stated that social media has a lot to do with this new found definition, while others said they actually heard women stating that they are independent and don’t need a man. However, I’m sure that the statement of not needing a man is being misinterpreted.

When most women say they don’t need a man, I believe it’s them stating that they don’t need a man to take care of them financially. After all, an Independent woman is a woman that takes care of herself, pays her own bills, and makes great things happen for herself. Shouldn’t men want women that are independent instead of one that’s begging for handouts? It seems men can’t seem to make up their minds on this matter. Do you want us to beg you for money on the first date, or do you want us to be independent?

Neyo made an entire song about Independent women, showing his love and appreciation for the women that handle their own business. The working woman. Being an independent woman has no correlation to not wanting a man or needing one. Everyone needs someone-It’s one of our basic needs as humans. Single women have no choice but to be independent. We can’t starve until we meet our future husbands.

Men should not be offended or intimidated by women who say they are independent. It’s just simply a way of a woman expressing she is proud for being able to provide for herself. She may not need a man financially, but surely there are other needs that she wants a man to satisfy.

The next time you hear a woman say that she’s independent and you’re confused about what she means by it, just ask instead of making an assumption…

End of year

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The month of December represents so much for so many people. We celebrate holidays, spend time with loved ones, and constantly hear about people dying. The combination can bring on strong emotions that often causes us to evaluate our lives.

I’ve been hearing so many people say that 2016 was a bad year for them. With there being only 1 day left in 2016, today!! I hope people can pinpoint what they would like to be different in 2017, and think about the actions that need to be made for that change. For myself, 2016 was not only a good year, but a tremendous learning experience.

I published my first book this year; that experience alone was a learning experience. During the commotion of publishing a book, putting together promotional videos, a book launch and getting the word out – I neglected my blog. I did get to discuss some topics on here such as the Flint(MI) water scandal, the death of Detroit Public Schools, and the Presidential election, my post were still far and in between.

2017, I am challenging myself to balance my time between all my businesses. Im increasing the amount of abundance in my life, and paying more attention to what people don’t say instead of what they do say. For my readers I wish you all happiness, good health and self-awareness. Remember that you are in charge of your thoughts and your inner thoughts reflect your outer reality!
Happy New Year!

Farewell

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img_7755I watched President Obama address the crisis in Syria on December 16th, 2016. The press kept asking him if he was planning to help President-Elect Trump with such matters as Syria before leaving office. They also asked numerous questions about Trump and also, if President Obama believed that the outcome of the election were due to the Russians hacking the system (This matter is being investigated by the CIA currently).

President Obama answered each question with eloquence, as he always does. However, there was something he stated that stood out to me. When he was asked about the way he responded and if he felt responsible, he said, “I always feel responsible for everything.” I couldn’t help but wonder if he feels responsible for everything because many Americans blame him for everything. If the sky starts falling it’s President Obama’s fault!

I personally will be glad and sad when he leaves office. Of course Im going to miss him being the President. His charm, his whit, his kindness, and his politeness. Statistically, he has been the best President. Yet, when he’s out of office he can’t be blamed for the list of catastrophes that’s going to take place. All he can do is partially advise Trump on what he thinks is best and keep it moving!

President Obama and his family will be free, if that makes any sense to you. Hopefully, since they will no longer be in the White house they’ll be less accessible to severe scrutiny and be able to live their lives peacefully and privately.

Farewell First Family!

 

Real TV

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Sometimes it’s hard to find quality TV shows with African American leading characters or a predominately African American cast. We are currently in the era of Reality TV and have been for a while now. “How to Get Away with Murder” isn’t coming back on until January
and I’ve been missing two of my favorite TV shows, “Being Mary Jane” and “Scandal!” Recently, one of my male friends called me and told me I need to check out this show called “Insecure” on HBO.

He’s super critical about everything so I figured I should check the show out. I decided to binge watch “Insecure!” I was ecstatic to see a character that represents the in-between age/stage and feelings that Black women experience. Displaying how Issa started to question everything about her life is recognizable. It’s a feeling that most of us know; especially, at the age of 29 and when you hit 30! I’m sure many people can identify with having to re-word your thoughts so
you won’t say something offensive to your peers (coworkers) even though their statements offend you. The struggle is often too real when dealing with how you’re perceived in the workplace. Particularly when others are allowed to say and do whatever they want! Ugh moving on!

Do you know what Issa has, that Olivia and Mary Jane don’t have?! You guessed it, A MAN! Finally, a Black woman with credentials, leading role, and she has a long term relationship! Leading lady Issa has an educated, handsome man named Lawerence. Well at least she had a long term relationship with Lawerence (It isn’t over). The way Lawerence passed out those shots just thickens the storyline. It’s going to be interesting to see how this all plays out!

Did I mention Issa’s bestfriend Molly? Molly is easily identified as the bestie as the show makes it a point to display the lighthearted way they use the word bitch when speaking with one another. That’s almost how you know the love is real between friends. Molly adds an entirely different Black girl dynamic to the mix. I think we all know a Molly. Hell, you might be Molly! Enough is never really enough, and being educated yet single isn’t easy. Everyone has a friend or friends that has to bring them back to reality from time to time. The beautiful thing about Issa and Molly’s relationship is that they reciprocate that behavior to each other.

Needless to say, I’ve added “Insecure” to my list of shows that I can’t wait to return! If you’re looking for a smart, savvy, realistic, and funny show- you’ll find it all in Issa Rae’s “Insecure.”

Real TV is back!

Black Friday

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It’s that time of year again! Black Friday! The time when parents are doing whatever they can to get their children everything on their Christmas list, only to turn around and give the credit to a chubby Caucasian man in a red suit! And don’t you just love the crowded malls and cranky impatient people?! Although many of us are well aware of the shopping madness associated with Black Friday, a couple of years ago, a post started going around via social media that suggested that Black Friday originated from slave owners selling slaves for discounted prices. The post confused many people, prompting boycotts and making people question whether or not their original understanding of Black Friday was true or not.

I am here to tell you that it’s NOT true! With all of the current issues and events connected to racism and slavery, I understand why people were so readily accepting the myth of Black Friday originating from the slave trade. However, it’s just not true. After doing some research, I discovered that Black Friday originated in Philadelphia in the 1950’s. Traffic cops had to work 12 hour shifts to monitor the outrageous parking, traffic, and crowds of people that were a result in the annual Army-Navy football game that was held in the city every year.

Last year, African Americans and other groups boycotted Black Friday. The majority boycotted due to large corporations not taking a stand with Black people when innocent unarmed Blacks were being gunned down by police. If you want to boycott Black Friday this year for that same reason, go right ahead! Whatever reason you choose, just remember that just because you see it on a meme, it doesn’t make it true! If you choose to boycott this year, be sure to research the causes before you commit to one. Choosing to shop with Black owned businesses on Black Friday is also a great alternative!

Happy holidays if you celebrate! Bah humbug if you don’t!

(This was originally posted on Black Friday 2016 at LetsTalkRaeStyle.com)

The Future President

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I was awakened this morning by a text message from my friend saying she was questioning so much about the world at the moment. I knew then that Donald Trump won the Presidency. To be honest, I’m not really sure how I feel, besides disgusted. While the numbers were being reported last night I tried my very best not to watch it. Yet, when my 10 year old niece called me and said “Ti Ti it’s really bad!” I indeed became nervous. Not to mention my Daddy was so distraught he just decided to sleep rather than watch the numbers.

I avoided writing about the election, until today! I am truly disappointed that so many people argued and ridiculed me for exercising my right to vote! Too many people decided to stay home because they felt that either candidate wouldn’t be a wise choice for the country. People were so high and mighty! They said, “Clinton is a criminal; You’re being tricked into believing she is a better candidate than Trump!” We the American people have been spoiled with the squeaky clean image of President Obama, so, we don’t think the normal dirt that Politicians partake in is acceptable! Please don’t misunderstand me I’m not trying to justify wrong doings, but I am saying if you think Politicians specifically on high levels don’t have to get horrible tasks completed for the greater good then you are naive!

Trump had a well known racist performer perform in Grand Rapids, MI the day before the election! Hell, Donald Trump’s Father was a Klu Klux Klan member! The KKK openly supported Trump! Guess what? We now officially have a full blown racist as our next President! Many people didn’t realize their was so much White rage in America! You know how you always hear about African Americans talking about how they are discriminated against in subtle ways? Those same subtle racist went out in numbers to display how strongly they believe we (we meaning anyone that doesn’t fall in line with White Supremacy) don’t belong here!

Trump’s plan for Police Brutality was “Law and Order,” which means there will be an even bigger open season session on African Americans and Latinos! Yet, he has his very own special victims case coming up next month, because he’s accused of rape! This election proves that most of America is still uneducated and would rather support what they think vs the facts! That goes for the racist voters and the people that didn’t bother to vote at all! When I say uneducated understand that I mean you let your personal feelings outweigh everything else. You’d rather have a President that has no experience at all than a woman President that is almost over qualified for the Presidency. You’d rather have a President that appeals to your personal feelings about other ethnicities… a President that has an extremely limited vernacular and NO POLITICAL EXPERIENCE OR KNOWLEDGE! It says so much about this country!

I tried to tell people that this was not the election to split the vote and vote for the Green Party. I was told that I was spreading fear! That I need to pay attention and stop being brainwashed. I tried to warn people that we are voting for more than just the Presidency. This is the one time that I’m terribly sad to be right! Some of us really underestimated those dirt poor Republicans and the hatred that so many people have for people of color! What I do know is that African Americans always survive even in the worse days of being oppressed. Politicians have failed us for years! I’m hoping and praying that there are no walls built, no people being deported, no increased attacks on people of color, and no attacks upon Muslim people.

This country is deep rooted in ignorance, racism, sexism, and classism! These are the very social issues that won the election last night. I’ve always seen your true colors America, but know this: We are all immigrants to this land and I am not my ancestors! I may carry them in spirit but that is all!

(This was originally posted on LetsTalkRaeStyle.com on November 9th,2016.