Posts Tagged ‘Black’

3 imageFinally I have returned to BLWN, and clearly I took more than a hiatus. For that I apologize, I don’t realize how many people the lack of our writings effect. As I navigate through my daily movements and get away from the website, I manage to come across somebody asking ‘when is our next post?’ ‘when should I expect something?’ ‘is anything in the works?’ and reluctantly I reply something is on deck. Which in actuality is the truth, my mind is always racing and I have plenty of posts I just don’t sit down and write them. For those people who keep me on my toes thank you kindly. A lot of persistent people our there challenging me and staying on the look for something new. With that said July is a long time many topics were missed and left untouched by the duo here at BLWN. I’m working on writing to everyone more often. If you’re still following we are still here. 2015 will embark on our third year of having the website up and we have had great feedback. Unfortunately we have not put the required effort to keep everyone entertained. Looking forward I will aggressively work on getting back to everyone more expeditiously. Three being the third year is for me. Taking a walk through my thoughts, experiences and understandings is my plan for the website this year. As a duo our lives are constantly changing and our views on the world expanding. With that said I look forward to the new challenges life has to offer. It’s entirely too many things going on that I have not touched on.

Three years is a long time, many changes have occurred during that time. (more…)

crabs-in-a-barrel-ka-son-reeves

Hey what’s going on good people, it’s one half of the crew returning. I was told to step my post game up since I stay away too long. Realized I do need to get on my grind for you guys. With that said, let me get on it. As always I was having an interesting conversation with peers. The topic of choice was about cultural dynamics and the togetherness noted throughout different communities. The conversation progressed into several subtopics and the hierarchy found throughout different cultures. Based on the title of this piece I am sure everyone is wondering where I am going with this whole concept. Of course my wheels were spinning again causing me to come on BLWNL.com and talk my talk. Walk with me for a minute as I travel this path.

Given that I am an African-American male in my late 20’s I tend to view life as it relates to me first. Then I try to see life from a different perspective and combine the two ideals. As previously stated the conversation was about different cultures and I became so intrigued and disappointed at the same time. The concept of strengthening a community from within appeals to me as a community driven person. As I sat down and viewed other cultures, ultimately I had to compare my own. The black community or African American community is that of which I have always identified, so I speak from what I know. The Jewish and Asian cultures are two of which I believe are structurally intact. They come in, set up shop, profit, bring family in, move on to the next situation. The Jewish as well as the Asian also assist others that may not be family. Meaning if they identify with you they attempt to help you succeed in some form or fashion. I respect that 100%, something unfortunately I feel the African American community has gotten away from.

Naturally everyone has heard the cliché of “crabs in a barrel” but what does it really mean. For those of you whom have been living under a rock all of your life, picture this concept. (more…)

stuck in a box

 

Growing up you’re bred to work.  Many of us have dreams of the types of jobs we would love to work.   However, as we matriculate through life sometimes we fall short from our dream job.   Other times our dream job may not be a stable money making profession leaving us stuck in the pursuit of something more financially pleasing.   Given the fact that life is expensive,  every one understands.   The thing that we tend to lose is what we want to do verses what we need to do.   I was listening to a Kanye interview he was giving with Ricky Smiley last month that really caught my attention.  Those that know me know that Kanye is one of my favorite artists out right now, so I really locked on his conversation.  He mentioned the concept of not being put in a box, which spoke volumes to me.   I tend to draw motivation from various avenues, often times from the rap world.  With that said, Kanye mentioned in his statement that he was more than a just a rapper.   As I heard those words I instantly understood and knew exactly what he meant.   In my understanding of his ( Kanye’s) interview, my gears got to grinding again.   This time I decided to return to BLWNL to share thoughts with everybody.

(more…)

 olivia-pope-2_240x340_34 gabby union



What’s good free world? It’s one half of the duo ready to hit y’all in the head with another post. After some discussion with my right hand man, we figured we should try to write a post geared more towards our female readers. I know as young black men, we sometimes get caught up seeing the world through only our Ray Bans. But we also know that’s it’s a whole other world when looked through a woman’s eyes. So with that out the way let’s get down to business.

Quick question ladies who would you rather be Mary Jane or Olivia Pope? If you don’t know who these ladies are as a black woman in America, you must obviously live under the rock. But for those living in the caves, Mary Jane and Olivia Pope are lead fictional characters on award winning dramas on national television. Basically the shows chronicle the everyday lives of the two ladies, the ups, the downs, the lows, the highs and everything in between. I think the concept of the shows are unique in the sense that they have black women being the lead characters. Lately I have been asking women that I have come across who would they rather be in real life Mary Jane or Olivia Pope and so far I have been getting back mixed answers. (more…)

Martin_Luther_King

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. ”  Martin Luther King Jr 

Hey good people, one half of the team returning to talk to everybody.  In honor of MLK day, I figured I could drop a little knowledge for everybody.    Martin Luther King, Jr. day was first observed on January 20, 1986.   A day to take time and pay homage to a great person with great beliefs.  In memory of his movement,  I have the I Have A Dream Speech in its entirety.   I realized I did not read this whole speech until I was in my early 20’s.   Made me wonder how many people have not seen the entire speech.   As with anything, my wheels got to spinning.   So enjoy!

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s Capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. (more…)

dark cave

“I sit alone in my four cornered room staring’ at hammers
Ready to go bananas, Two vests on me, two techs, extra clips on me
I know my mind ain’t playing’ tricks on me,
I ain’t skitz, hommie, ain’t nobody drop a mick on me
It’s like they tryna plot a set on me
I hear this voice in tha back of my mind
Like mack tighten up ya circle before they hurt you”

A piece of a verse from one of my favorite rappers Beanie Sigel from the song ‘Feel it in the air.’  Now given the diversity of the people reading this some of you probably sang along, others got the confused face as you continue forward.   Well stay with me for a second as I navigate through my thoughts and your minds.  Allow me to explain my madness, rap is my heart and everything in life can be depicted through music.  This song more so this portion captures a dark time for the rapper.   He is stuck in a room by himself, with nothing but his thoughts.  His thoughts are driving him crazy, got him thinking the worst and plotting something dangerous.  The voice in his head telling him ‘ to tighten up his circle’ or pay better attention to things in his life.  Very crucial mindset to have, where he basically discussing going through a dark phase in life.   A dark period is something we can all relate, which brings me to the reasons for this post.
Lately I have been witness to people being in a dark place and trying to figure out the next move.  As the avid followers of the site know, my co writer and I speak from experience.  Recently both of us as well as close friends have gone through dark hours, (some have last longer than others) but still not the best nonetheless.    It’s interesting having the different conversations with people when that moment of dark takes over.   Everybody goes through their dark time differently as well as people are in different stages of dark.   Picture night fall after work, it’s not as bad street lights may not be on yet, still some sun light, things are still visually manageable.   Fast forward a couple of hours later when the lights kick in and stores begin to close.  Lights are on because sunlight has left but still somewhat feasible.   Continue to later in the night when the dark has set in and visibility is minimal.   This is about the time when you try not to be out alone or go down paths you never previously traveled.  Last there is the dark right before the sun rises, that morning dark that let’s you know a new day is upon us.   Life tends to work in this same cycle matriculating through to next stage of dark/light.
The thing about that is, as people we tend to get caught up in the degree of dark that we are at currently.   Understandably so, because it’s easy to lose track of the light.  Lets take 8pm, a time when street lights are on in Baltimore.  (This would probably be the second phase of dark as mentioned earlier) A person without a watch has no clue it’s 8pm, they just know it’s dark.  Panic begins to set in and you question when in the sun coming back out.  For those overreacting people somebody may even question ‘is the sun EVER coming back?’  (more…)

travyon martin

Normally I would give a little background information, explain somethings about why I haven’t been writing or where my thought process is coming from.  Not today, I believe everybody knows my thought pattern.   A year ago I had a post about this case when it initially occurred, however I shelved the post and decided not to continue with the writing.  I can’t step back on this story today.   All of America knows that the killer in this case was found not guilty and cleared of all charges.   I have had this conversation with different people about this outcome, the thoughts, the reflections, the backlash.

Naturally within the realm of people I associate myself with, everyone is thoroughly disappointed with the decision given.  Many people are shocked that such a crime did not fathom any punishment.   Surprisingly enough the verdict didn’t shock me, I felt funny about the case since it originally happen.  The thing that catches my attention is how the judicial system has so many loopholes.  There are cases that happen every year that question the validity of how the system works.  Moving forward pass this case, America has made the concept of murder acceptable in the notion of ” standing your ground.”  Now families throughout the state of Florida have to worry about the possibility of losing a loved one in a senseless act and not receiving any justice for the situation. (more…)

Hey good people, we haven’t forgotten about you guys.  We have just been keeping our conversations amongst ourselves, constantly challenging people in the more literal sense.  My co-blogger and I have engaged in some very interesting arguments and debates with ourselves and friends.  So much so that haven’t been able to post all this good stuff.  Recently we were having a conversation that really got my gears grinding.  Then earlier today another close friend and I had a very similar conversation.  So I took that as my key to hit the labs and get back to writing.   Both conversations we very interesting and definitely thought-provoking.  Essentially we discussed the concept of keeping up with others, how friends keep up with friends.  This is a notion that has been around for decades, most normally coined as “KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES”. (more…)

I wanted to do something a little different, this is not my typical post; but still along with my natural thought process.  Instead of me writing a lengthy post about this subject, I took the exact lyrics from a rapper I listen to.  Lupe Fiasco has been on the rap scene for sometime, and tends to make very thought-provoking songs.  He  has a new song entitled “b*%!h bad,”  that could be very controversial.  It definitely goes against the normal mindset of the popular rapper.  I have taken the liberty of supplying everyone with the lyrics to the song.

[Intro]
Yeah
I say b*%!h bad, woman good, lady better
Hey, hey, hey, hey

[Verse 1]
Now imagine there’s a shawty, maybe five maybe four
Ridin’ ’round with his mama listening to the radio
And a song comes on and a not far off from being born
Doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong
Now I ain’t trying to make it too complex
But let’s just say shawty has an undeveloped context
About the perception of women these days
His mama sings along and this what she says
“N*#&@s I’m a bad b*%!h , and I’m bad b*%!h
far above average”
And maybe other rhyming words like cabbage and savage
And baby carriage and other things that match it
Couple of things that are happenin’ here
First he’s relatin’ the word “b*%!h ” with his mama, comma
And because she’s relatin’ to herself, his most important source of help,
And mental health, he may skew respect for dishonor (more…)

“Can we talk for a minute, girl I want to know your name”…  came on last night, and I began to sing along with Tevin Campbell.  The song always catches my ears, no matter when I hear it.  As I was singing along, I realized why I like it so much.  Essentially it sets the tone for the conversation for the lady of interest, as well as gets her attention in a noticeable way.   More so, the phrase is a conversation starter with anybody.  ‘Can we talk’ has transformed into slogan to sit down and communicate.  Depending on the tone and inflection of one’s words that can lead to a positive or negative sit down.  Essentially communication is key to growth and survival, and over the past few days  my co blogger and I have dissected the way people communicate.  If wondering why; well as black men we have many goals, none more important than surviving.

Survival can best be defined as the struggle to remain alive and living.  For the purpose of this post, I view survival in a sense of over coming obstacles to get to the next level.   Communication is a major obstacle that civilizations struggle to overcome .  Today it seems with all the creative ways to communicate, we continue to lack even more when it comes to effectively communicating.   In order to understand how to communicate with one another, one must fully understand and comprehend the meaning of communication.  After looking up the definition I came across this: the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.  What does it all mean, basically to share thoughts from one to another.  The definition seems pretty simple, the act of communicating also seems simple as well.   However, the human race continues to struggle with the concept of communication, and that intrigues me to a point where I have to investigate. (more…)