All posts by afromadu

Consumerism: The Strain of the Black Community.

It is obvious that the American culture holds a strong materialistic value near and dear to their hearts. By buying new cars, clothes, shoes, and other things to shoot their social status up some points, can go a long way socially. People end up spending THOUSANDS of dollars on the idea of being in the latest “fad” or showing off the physical assets that they consume through the power of money.

No one is more disadvantaged from consumerism than the Black community. Not only do Black people feel the need to follow every trend and BUY everything that is popular, but Black people use these material items to define them and hold a status of money and power to the people “less fortunate” or the ones that don’t bother conforming to the idea of “consumerism”.

“The things we buy to cover up what’s inside…….” -Kanye West

Granted, buying things that make you happy which include expensive cars, clothes, and shoes shouldn’t be a big deal when you can afford them, but while African Americans are contributing great volumes of America’s wealth, WE OWN NOTHING.

Now we are stuck with the idea of spending money on irrelevant things to keep relevant, rather than investing in on other beneficial purchases.

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To help you guys understand, let’s break it down in this perfect scenario:

Waiting in line at 5am for the new Jordans to come out, spend hundreds of dollars on them that you worked so hard for, to rock them around and have people THINK that you have money, to go to a house that you dont own, work at a company that you don’t own, and live in a world where you have no say so in.

Of course we’ve all seen and know this problem because it is pretty prominent in our community. But where did it come from and how do we solve it? (should be the question running through your head.)

images-21It is a proven fact that our community today is the result of our history. For centuries Black people have been taught that their natural attributes does not compare to the ones that their oppressors have. So in cahoots with a theory of human nature, Black people try to assimilate and mock the things that these people have and the ways that they act, in order to achieve social status. I mean, a common rule in finding success is to do what successful people do. But you cant find success in materialistic if you are not owning anything that allows you to make money by itself, rather than working hard and buying things that will have you broke before you next paycheck.

The media (like always) plays a big part in the consumerism of the Black community. Rappers, professional sports player, actors, and all of the superficial people on these networks flaunt their expensive stuff to show hip they are to trends socially and how much money that they have. Because the media is well aware of viewers wanting what these TV celebs have, they end up promoting their costly things through them, making the viewers feel obligated to buy, buy, buy and spend, spend, spend!

Can we ever end the cycle of our bad habits? When will people, our people in particular, come to the realization that material items cannot buy our happiness?

Let’s begin by taking the funds we use and investing in stocks and bonds that will benefit us in a few years. Lets begin to make money, that will make money for us. Moreover, lets begin by making wiser decisions with the pennies in our pockets.

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Alas, I am no economist but this issue doesn’t add up. It’s time to devalue the trends and value life lessons and decisions.

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Forgot how to effectively communicate? Here are a few tips that TIME has design to give good feedback.

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When effectively administered, feedback is a powerful way to build knowledge and skills, increase skills, increase motivation, and develop reflective habits of mind in students and employees. Too often, however, the feedback we give (and get) is ineffectual or even counterproductive. Here, four ways to offer feedback that really makes a difference, drawn from research in psychology and cognitive science:

1. Supply information about what the learner is doing, rather than simply praise or criticism.
In “The Power of Feedback,” an article published in the Review of Educational Research in 2007, authors John Hattie and Helen Timperley point out that specific information about how the learner is performing a task is much more helpful than mere praise or, especially, criticism. In particular, research by Hattie, Timperley, and others has found that feedback is most effective when it provides information on what exactly the learner is doing right, and on what…

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Finding your Inner Peace of Mind.


meditation-retreats-2Nowadays life moves so fast that its hard to grasp the idea of living. Feel like your days are passing you by? Are there not enough hours in the day to finish everything you need to do? Are you just ready for the perfect break start a fresh slate?

Believe it or not, the problem does not lie in the little time we have, rather the way you value and use your time. This idea lives within the nooks and crannies of your mind and in order to save yourself, you MUST find inner peace and tranquility. This article is not going to outline your meditation regimen, but it will reevaluate your everyday routine in some aspects, and perhaps fix little problems that will allow you to live stress free, and actually grasp the life you live in front of you.

Finding you inner peace of mind simply means disciplining yourself to focus on your task and goals at hand. Doing so requires the renewing of basic characteristics that restrain your from focusing. This includes pride, blame, grudge and the idea to always be right. Does any of these characteristics sound familiar?

Holding grudges causes you to think about the specific thing you try not to think about. Doesn’t it sound redundant? of course it does, because it is. Learn to forgive! (if you haven’t already) Just coming to copes with yourself that your forgave the person or the certain situation allows your mind to come to peace and worry about better things, like YOUR LIFE! images-19

Living the life of being ahead and expecting the utmost respect also distracts your mind from life lessons, and instead requiring unnecessary attention to your cluttered life. The benefits of humility and never expecting anything can compliment your working peace and spark the element of surprise that your life lacks. Always being ahead requires you too no so much, instead of “going with the flow”.

Of course the weekly sessions of yoga, chai lattes, and the old fashion dose of relaxation can be a temporary medicine to peace, but you can’t forget these not so basic-  but BASIC- concepts of living a happy and healthy life 🙂

For more tips on Self-Disclipline and Peace of Mind, “Brian Tracy’s “No Excuses: The Power of Self Discipline” is a great read to the start of your new Self-Empower slate. 

Going Natural…With Lip products.

The recent “National Hair movement” has sparked a wave of people to seek other ways to live a natural life. When i was asked about the lip products that i regularly used, a conversation with a person who has “natural lips” interest me to start researching the idea of natural lips..

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For those who use the most popular lip protectant, Blistex, can be quite intrigued with the information that I’ve found out. Blistex has a chemical ingredient that soaks up the natural moisture in your lips, making them become more dry and having the consumer (YOU)  apply more Blistex and buy more of their products. I can admit that Blistex was my guilty pleasure and it might be yours but there’s other options to keep your lip moisturized. I promise.

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ImageThe late and great natural product, BEESWAX, is a great way to protect your lips and keep them moisturized and healthy. Beeswax also has great UV protection from the sun and has a GREAT smell that is appropriate to apply to your lips. Unlike Blistex, you begin to apply less beeswax because its restoring the moisture in your lips, meaning you spend less $$$!

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Other organic products are available like the EOS egg that recently came on the market (and which i personally use) to begin my natural lip journey. Like any other transitioning method, it takes time and great patience to continue using these organic products to start seeing change. And its actually A LOT easier to just run back to the product that you have been always using. BUT HOLD ON, AND KEEP STRONG! I promise it has its benefits 🙂

To the college students who believe that they are only in college to get a diploma. hope this article encourages you to think again.

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College-admission letters go out this month, and most recipients (and their parents) will place great importance on which universities said yes and which said no. A growing body of evidence, however, suggests that the most significant thing about college is not where you go, but what you do once you get there. Historian and educator Ken Bain has written a book on this subject, What the Best College Students Do, that draws a road map for how students can get the most out of college, no matter where they go.

(MORE:Does College Put Kids on a Party Pathway?)

As Bain details, there are three types of learners: surface, who do as little as possible to get by; strategic, who aim for top grades rather than true understanding; and deep learners, who leave college with a real, rich education. Bain then introduces us to a host of…

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America: We get it, Why don’t you?

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The latest national buzz about North Korea and their planned attack to pierce a whole in Ohio with their nuclear weapons should be an IMMEDIATE time for America to check thereselves before we,literally, all die. The fact that an entire country rounded up rage and time to have the American government tip-toeing on North Korea’s marble floors should be a sign for possible reconstruction of the Western countries powers.

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Think about it this way: Imagine someone coming into your house, taking your guest bedroom and begin to make house rules and give orders, WITHOUT PAYING RENT. How long does it take for one to get mad at external orders?

Granted, America is VERY resourceful but taking advantage of one’s power is getting old. CLEARLY, someone wants their house back.

How much is too much? Should it take North Korea’s death threat to make the American government realize that they overstepped their boundaries in other people’s territory?

For years, the United States has been doing shady things in order to keep their label of “top dog” clear and precise. Between their heavy influence in some colonization of African countries, having military bases in majority of the countries in the world, to secret invasions that was ran through in Central America, the United States has more blood on their hands than a surgeon. Political vendettas and negotiations are pretty normal when dealing with international relations, but when innocent families and deaths are involved, people get mad and do things like make terrorist groups (Al-Qeda) and ummmm idk plan attacks on America?!?!?!?! (does September 11th make sense now?)

All I’m saying is, don’t expect someone to hit you back after you continuously beat them up. Eventually, countries will like to reclaim their throne and have some tyoe if power over their government and its people.

The New Natural

The New Natural

 

There are those women for whom the term natural is a term of endearment, and wear it like a crown. These women seek to enhance the beauties they know already exist in them, however unrecognized. However, this post is not about these women. This post is about someone else. You have met her: natural on the outside, processed on the inside. These are the natural women who want to be natural, but only a certain kind of natural–meaning possessing a certain texture. It afflicts all naturals at a certain point in the transition period, but can manifest later into a more devalued self worth. For instance, in the transition period it is healthy to feel frustrated with the curl pattern that develops. You have never had to deal with multiple textures on your head at once, and after relaxing it can be a challeng. Right? Even afterwards though, it is natural to question the curls you have as beautiful, given that the entire process of going natural is about first combatting the failed sense of beauty of black hair has evoked in all our consciousnesses. The problem occurs when one does not fall in love with the texture. One attempts to change the natural state into their then perceived notion of what beautiful natural hair is. What this post proposes, and what I argue is that one does not truly go until one falls in love with the texture of one´s hair.

This is extremely important for the growing of the self and resistance to a perpetuation of hegemonic beauty standards. Or in layman terms, you cannot dismantle the master’s house with the master´s tools.  The same narrow ideas of beauty exists in both people: someone who rigidly wants relaxed hair as well as in someone who rigidly wants loosely curl pattern; and for that matter for someone who only wants natural women to have kinky hair. I have heard it all.

¨Its not kinky enough. I want it like yours.¨

¨How do you get it curly like that. Is that a texturizer? Where can I get that¨

¨What do you really put in your hair?¨

¨But I can´t do that. My curl pattern is not like yours¨

¨See, look at my texture in this baby picture. I need it like that again¨

¨But your texture is not like mines, are you mixed with something? I wish my hair was like yours¨

We have probably all been guilty of saying things like this. I am. And lets not get into good and bad hair. Suffice all this to say that loving the texture of your hair is a key part in being natural. It may even be the essence of it all. Without it, you are still confined to the narrowness of beauty standards that compelled you to begin your journey, only now you fill your perceived inadequacies with olive oil and Miss Jessie´s rather than relaxer and Remy Indian.