Author Archives: Alex

MLK Day

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I believe that Martin Luther King Jr. should definitely have a holiday dedicated in his honor. He is a father of the Civil Rights movement and partially the reason we as African Americans can have some of the rights and liberties we all love so much. Martin Luther King day should be regarded in high honors just because of who this man was and still is and what he has done for all races albeit blacks in the name of freedom and liberty. For MLK day I went to the Interfaith Service at the Lawless Memorial Chapel where the Dillard University choir performed 2 songs, “Mary Had a Baby” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. We had a student from Loyola University read a Muslim Scripture from the Quran and we also had a Christian scripture read to go along with the interfaith theme of the day’s service. I had a great time listening to the service because it promotes a theme that I take dear to my heart. Nonviolence is something I take stock in because it promotes peace and respect for all parties involved. Martin Luther King Jr. was a catalyst of sorts, his hopes, dreams and aspirations fueled the nation and ignited some change among the people. People of all races were deeply saddened by the death of Mr. King because he stood for something more than just being a black, he stood for the equality that all races need to possess if we are to ever make it anywhere as a single unit. Dr. King was the pinnacle for excellence in the black community because he stood for everything we wanted and everything we wanted to achieve in the future. He was taken before his time unfortunately and that really held African Americans back in the race for Civil Rights.

Would the old you be surprised?

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Well, the main point of this post is to answer this simple yet complex question. If you looked in the mirror one day and saw a younger you, maybe 5-10 years younger, would he/she be surprised at your current hobbies, interests and how you interact with people today? Would the 11/16 year old version of you light up with delight if they saw you or turn away in shame at some of the things you have done over the years? For me personally, I believe the younger me would sit me down and try to have a discussion about where we were headed. I see him saying “hey bruh, what you on? You been slippin but I can help you get back on track”. I can honestly say that from then till now, I’ve made some choices that I don’t fully regret but looking back I could have thought them through a bit more before acting on them. My younger self would be for the most part surprised but also glad that I became who I am from what I was. I would want to go over everything I could, should, and would have done if I had the chance for a do over or two. I would think he would comment on the company I currently keep, and the caliber of women I’ve been with. I think he would tell me that everything I did wasn’t merely just a right or wrong choice but all apart of whom I am molding myself to be. I would ask him if he’s proud of me and if he thought things would be different. I’m thinking he’s probably going say that I’m cool and I have a lot of friends. I wonder if the conversation will be the same 5-10 years in the future and if I’ll be the one put on the spot. Just something to think about, but don’t think about it too much.

How do you feel on the subject matter at hand?

 

When’s the last time you did something for the first time?

Everyday you get up and you have a routine that you follow, you go to school or work then you go home or you might go hang with friends. The autonomy of daily life traps people into loops of actions that we rarely interrupt. Every day its usually the same thing but whens the last time you did something for the first time? When was the last time you were spontaneous and just let your inhibitions go and truly enjoyed yourself. Usually we as people look to others for acceptance in a few ways, such as; emotionally, socially, physically etc. Instead of doing what you always do, why don’t you just switch it up once in a while? I assure you that anyone could use some zest in their life at any point in time. Instead of choosing the safe route, the road you’ve traveled many a day, instead you should opt for the choice that you have never thought about before. Just try it, just once, I bet you will feel revitalized about life unless you have a bad encounter but that’s just life, you have to get back up on your feet and brush the dirt off sometimes. Good or bad you will still have the feeling of having done something new, while the bad experience mist dissuade you for a moment, you have to think about all the good experiences that life has to other. When’s the last time you had some time to your self and you used that time for the discovery of a talent or hobby you never even knew you had. When was the last time you indulged and did something you wouldn’t normally do but did it because you felt you needed the feeling above all else. When was the last time you truly lived?

Ezekiel Goodman

Reverend Ezekiel Goodman has many identities, In addition to his role as a pastor of a large congregation of worshipers; he is husband, father, community leader, adviser and a political activist. In spite of his many identities, Pastor Goodman’s “presentation of self” are unified, that is, his personality is not pulled apart by his many identities. The good Revered has conflicting feelings on how to be himself in front of all his peers and family members. Ezekiel has worked his whole life to be what everyone else has needed him for because he just has that great urge to help people. The Reverend lives a happy life that everyone on the outside can see like what he displays in his front regions but in his back region where he is alone, he can be his real self. A man of many faces as he calls himself, he is finally ready to open up Pandora’s Box and let himself be free.

His plight started when he was a young child of only a few years, he was growing up in a small town in rural Virginia with his multiple brothers and sisters. He was the middle child so he got little respect from his siblings in terms of hierarchy. He decided that he would always be in the background helping his brothers and sisters do whatever they needed to let the flow of things go smoothly around the house and in life in general. He grew up to grow closer to his sisters than his brothers because of him being the only son who was born after his father Joe Goodman left the family of his own will to live out his dreams. Ezekiel was reared by his mother and sisters so he grew very attached to them more so than his brothers.

What happened to Ezekiel?

What can you infer about his character?

Come back next week for the conclusion

Between Barack and a Hard Place

The subject of the book “Between Barack and a Hard Place” is white privilege and discrimination in its entirety, it is a Biography and it covers a wide scope of information pertaining to racial injustice and the mistreatment of blacks.

The book addresses the general problem of racism in America and how even though Obama is elected, America will still be unfair. The book affected me in a way that I can’t really explain, hearing the chilling excerpts of racism in the book startled me a sin they were pretty shocking that those types of things could still happen. My opinions about the topic at hand have not changed because as long as there is racial disparity I will still feel the same. This book is related to my course because it is an African American history class; they both go through history depicting the darker accounts of our past. The book coincides with my personal agenda because I want to do something in the field of law which means I want to help people as much as I can black or white.

I definitely feel that this book opened my eyes just a little bit more so I could see what really went on in certain time periods when black people were being discriminated against in present times. The avoidance of race issues that have now made it more difficult than ever to address ongoing racial bias is detrimental to our growth as a race and as people as a whole. Even though Obama is the most powerful African American in America we all still have to push for our acceptance of equality with white Americans.

If you have read this book, what is your take on it?

Do you feel america will ever be equal?

Do you see yourself as a color?

Lightskin Vs Darkskin

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Today I bring to you all a serious, albeit humorous look at one of the black community’s biggest problems which is self hate. Even though we are all black people as one some have taken it to a whole different degree and separated us even more by being classified as light skin or dark skin. My generation in particular has taken these two terms and made the problem more worse than it could be. It has gotten to the point where some light skin people wont talk to dark skin people and vice versa because both sides feel superior to the other. We have taken it and put a comedic light on it and left it there to entertain the masses on social media and the ilk. I believe that it isn’t too late to rectify the wrong we have done to ourselves but in order to do that we must first stop glamorizing the things that set our people back. We must first shed the immature skin that so many people have put up and end this personal injustice that our own have accosted us with. Even though it is bad enough that you see light skin this and dark skin that, they like to show our people in the most uncompromising of situations so we have no other choice but to look bad. I would agree that most people see it as young black people joking around like they usually do, since we seem to be cool as cucumbers or as some would say” cool as a ceiling fan”. I did not want this to sound like a rant because it is surely not, I just wanted to get these thoughts out you young black people and Cali(sp?)

One Love.

Are you #teamlightskin or #teamdarkskin?

How do you feel about the lightskin v dark skin controversy?

What can we do to stop this?

 

Gender ROles

Men and Women are socialized to be different in every way since birth; they are basically pigeonholed into doing and acting a certain way. Men are stereo typically labeled as the providers, i.e. the breadwinners of the family but recent studies have shown that more and more women are taking up the mantle for being the bread winner and sometimes sole provider of income for their respective families. Even with these women providing more for their families over their husbands, somewhere in between the lines it was skewed and there are still high earning women coming home after a long day and still doing all of the housework/chores while their husbands’ unwind. Some women are very anal about how things should be done and since they know they are better at doing housework than their spouses, they take it upon themselves to do it all, all the while wanting some even if it’s just a little help from their husbands. Most women notice that there is a mess right away and proceed to take ownership and clean it up while men just aren’t programmed in the same way. A man will see a mess and move it to one side and go on about his day. Other women do all of the housework because only they notice it needs to be done and only she can do it right the first time, they would rather do it themselves than have a fight and argue over who needs to do housework. Woman are naturally inclined to be care givers and are nurturing, they will put their own interests behind those of others and get the job done how it needs to be. Men and Women are exposed to society from birth and are socialized to the norms and rules of such. We have been taught that mothers should take care of the house no matter what they do in their spare time and fathers should be able to come home to a clean living space with dinner on the table.

What are the norms of your household?

What was the division of labor in your home?

Racism in 2013

So I was at a gathering at a friend’s house over the weekend outside waiting for more friends to come through to the party. While I was waiting outside, my friend pulled up and we were talking and all of a sudden we heard “Niggers” shouted from a car speeding by then we was flipped off while they sped down esplanade. I can tell you how I felt at that exact moment because that is the first time in a long while that I have actually experienced real racism albeit for an instant. Even though it was such a short moment it still resonated with me that even in the year 2013 some people still have hate in their heart towards people of other ethnicity or was it just plain ignorance or something they just did to do on their part. For the remainder of the night it stayed on my mind to a degree but I was in a place with uplifting spirits and energies so I couldn’t let it get me down for too long. The next morning I had spoken to some of my friends about the situation and they really didn’t have much to say other than “damn”, “that’s Metairie for you” or “that’s crazy”. I thought about it for a day or so and that was about the reaction anyone could expect from anyone about the situation. I didn’t even know if I was supposed to feel mad because I really couldn’t because it happened so fast out of the blue, or feel sad because there’s people that are still on that way of thinking. I guess I didn’t feel any type of way for very long and just realized that was just a part of the while we all live in, but I guess I did feel some way about it since I’m writing this to you all. I would really like your input on this.

How would you have reacted?

How would you have felt?

Is being nonchalant about the matter the only way to not let it affect you?

The Magnolia Flower

magnolaThe name magnolia is derived from the scientific names Magnolia glauca L., Magnoliaceae and Magnolia family. The magnolia family consists of cucumber magnolia, magnolia virginiana, and magnolia tripetata etc.  Magnolia can be found in the Atlantic and the gulf coast states. The cream colored flowers blossom up between the months of May and August of each year. The leaves of this evergreen tree are leathery with alternate sides. On the top the leaves are glossy and bright green and on the bottom they are pale. For human beings this tree comes in really handy. It can serve as a medicinal herb for those who are suffering from certain illnesses. Even more so the Bark on the plant is what’s giving to people.

The Magnolia bark also has a fine smell to it, its almost like the fragrance of a women. The unmistakable pleasant fragrance of magnolia bark is primarily due to the presence of two groups of compounds: biphenol compounds magnolol and honokiol. The fragrance is said to awaken the spleen to distribute dampness, and the fragrance can also penetrate through damp accumulations to assist in breaking them up and allowing the fluids to flow freely.

Although the tree is not known to most as a herb, but those who know use it as a special ancient remedy. Although a lot of people still do not know the health benefits they can gain from this medicinal herb. The bark can be used for diaphorectic, stimulant, tonic, astringent, aromatic, febrifuge, as well as antiperiodic can be used to treat malaria, fever, dysentery, dyspepsia as well as erysipelas.

This herb is also good to treat stomach ache and indigestion. Mainly the ability to lower the amount of cortisol in the body has made it a popular weight loss supplement. Some people have been cured of the tobacco habit by drinking magnolia bark tea. Magnolia bark can be substituted for Peruvian bark, as a safer remedy. It can do the work of quinine with no after effects. This herb can be taken for long periods without any ill effects. Because not so many people call the evergreen tree other names like; swamp laurel, red laurel, sweet magnolia, red bay, beaver tree, Indian bark, sweet bay, swamp sassafras and holly bay.

Magnolia tree bark is mainly used in china.  Magnolia bark is a “highly aromatic herbal material obtained from the Family Magnoliaceae.” Though Chinese people call the herb “houpu” it means the same thing. They describe it as “bitter and warm, non-toxic, mainly treating wind-stroke, cold damage, headache, cold and heat, blood impediment, and dead muscle.” It is mostly found in mountains and valleys in china. The part of the bark that is given to people is obtained by stripping the bark from stems, branches, and roots. When stripping the bark it is taking very fine pieces off. Each medicine made from Magnolia has its own special formula mad from the bark.

References

http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-magnolia.html

http://www.greathomeremedies.com/herbs/magnolia.html

http://www.herbalist.com/wiki.details/417/category/11/start/20/

Illegal Immigrant Crime Wave

The rising number of Illegal Immigrants entering the country each year has made the crime rate skyrocket to insane heights in some areas where they have taken refuge and set up communities. Illegal Immigrants bring with them many problems because of all of the crimes some have partaken in such as Drug Trafficking, Gang Membership, Human Smuggling and Identity Theft. However, not all Immigrants are criminals; most leave their home countries because of deplorable conditions and a bad living situation but there are also many immigrants who have to leave their home countries because they’re fleeing from the law. There’s an influx of Illegal Immigrants who are not in this country to work and better themselves and the lives of their families but to commit criminal acts and find refuge in the United States. Patrick Ortega says “Institutionalizing illegal immigration creates a mindset in people that anything goes in the U.S” (Mac Donald, 2004).

            “The first lesson that immigrants learn about U.S law is that Americans don’t bother to enforce it” (Mac Donald, 2004). Every year there are multitudes of illegal immigrants, hailing from all over world that infiltrates America with hopes to live and be prosperous in this land of the free. Although this may be the dream of many people looking at this country from the outside point of view, they don’t realize that with them come crime and a whole new set of troubles for whichever community they reside in or if they decide to start up their own. Through the Texas/South-West border is where “Thousands of tons of drugs and millions of Illegal aliens are entering the U.S on an annual basis” (Taylor, 2007). They enter through that border because neither the United States nor the Mexican governments have absolute control over the borders in which they hopelessly protect. In 2005, “2.2 million kilograms of cocaine and 11.6 kilograms of marijuana were smuggled through via the Mexican border” (Taylor, 2007).

How do you feel about illegal immigrants?

How would you remedy the problem of illegals crossing the border?

Bibliography

  1. Taylor, J. (2007, November 27). Illegal immigration: Drugs, gangs and crime. Retrieved from http://www.nccivitas.org/2007/illegal-immigration-drugs-gangs-and-crime/ (Taylor, 2007)
  2. Mac Donald, H. (2004, December). The illegal-alien crime wave. Retrieved from http://www.city-journal.org/html/14_1_the_illegal_alien.html (Mac Donald, 2004)