Happy New Year People!
*Varnell Hill voice* Didya miss meeeee?
My hope is that when you read the title you immediately started singing Mark Morrison’s 90s hit “Return of the Mack.” If you didn’t, here’s your chance ..
Return of the Black ..oh yeah
Now before the hoteps and woke folk come for me, I’d like to give the following disclaimer. The title and topic therein do not suggest nor elude that black folks been out of style, on the backburner, or anything similar.
If we look at recent events, one might believe that there is a spirit amoving amongst US.
Alabama – The election of Doug Jones. Not only did black folks show up in number, we made an impact. We snatched a Senate seat that had been held by Republicans since 1992. But let the experts tell it, we only vote during presidential elections.
Black Panther – A Marvel superhero flick featuring a black superhero and cast. The online ticket retailer Fandango reported that “in its first 24 hours alone, the film – directed by Ryan Coogler – overtook Captain America: Civil War to sell more advance tickets than any other film released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.” Movie ain’t even out yet, and we already “buying out the bar!”
H&M – The social backlash alone. This wasn’t even an ad campaign. This was somebody thumbing through the online catalog, probably looking for the latest marked downs during the Christmas sale, got to the kids section and was like wait a daggon minute…
Regardless of what your opinion is of the situation, you have to admit the public’s response was overwhelming. And they say the Beyhive swarms on folks, well the Blackhive came through with the quickness and shut it down.
But these are just a few, quick examples
You know .. maybe this “shithole” presidency deserves a little credit. By doing too much, these fools have inadvertently set a fire left by the spark President Obama lit.
Reality is hitting.
We can’t count on nobody (specifically– other races) to advocate on our behalf, heck they almost elected a pedophile.
So I’m proclaiming 2018– our year. The Return of the Black.
Get involved – Locally, there are so many organizations that need your help. If you can’t donate money, invest some spare time. There are so many great grassroots causes within arms reach, that could use some extra help. Be a big brother or big sister. Run errands for your elderly neighbors. Join the campaign of a local official trying to get elected. Write emails to your school board about things your tax dollars should be paying for. Show up meetings, and make your voice heard. Don’t let the 3 people that show up to meetings be the voice of masses.
Go support – Entrepreneurship is on the rise in 2018. Support black owned business! Now before we start sighing and rolling eyes, let’s discuss. We tend to hold black owned businesses to higher standards. Not realizing they are no different than a mom/pop business. Meaning they don’t have a separate customer service department, shipping department, PR department…these duties are run by a small number of folk, if not the same folk. Before you go on social media leaving a scathing review of said business, reach out to them.
“I’d really like to support your business, but your prices aren’t in my budget this week. Do you have a coupon code for a first time buyer? Do you have any sales coming up?” Talk to these folks.
If you’ve encountered poor customer service, before you go to social media blasting them to smithereens. Send them an email or a private message on social media. Don’t be the bitter bunny in the comments.
“I submitted an order 5 days ago, I haven’t received confirmation or shipping information. Can I suggest that you add a note on your website on how long order processing/shipping takes?”
“I recently visited your restaurant after hearing great reviews. My experience wasn’t favorable … Can I recommend that..”
If you are going to be over them, at least let them know what occurred, and what you would do to correct it if it were your business. (Note: For those of yall that just like to complain, skip over these options. We’re fine with you guys just being done with them.) The business can take your suggestion and wipe with it, but they may actually make a change based on your recommendation.
Get Hip – Stay abreast of what’s happening locally and nationally. Don’t just get your news from Facebook or theshaderoom. And definitely don’t rely on truths from Fox News. I’m not talking about our local channel Fox 5 with the beautiful Allyson Seymour either. I’m talking the giving-racists-a-platform Fox News Network. The one that’s on the cable guide somewhere between MSNBC and CNN.
I understand that the news can be depressing. But, read your local paper. Gentrification doesn’t always just pop out of nowhere. Changes occurring within your state may not be worthy of air time in the evening news, but its definitely going to be in that local paper. On a national level, its hard to keep up. In between the ridiculousness, pure savagery is occurring. The re-institution of mandatory minimum sentencing, the pulling back of Obama-era policies on recreational marijuana usage and pretty much anything with Obama’s name on it, passing tax reform for the rich. As I described above there is power in numbers, but we have to keep up and make sure we are letting things slip by due to our lack of awareness.
Establish and maintain a self care routine – They said that more people have experienced anxiety and depression since President Obama left office. Maybe you don’t follow current events but have noticed within the last 1-2 years you’re more stressed and on edge. Take a social media break. Commit yourself to an hour a day where you turn your phone off and listen to music, pray, or even read an inspirational passage. Find your balance in this world of chaos. On those rough days, I recommend you find your way to black twitter. Its the perfect storm – where ignorance meets comedy meets inspirational meets controversial and all of which is totally relatable because you’re black too.
Be an influence – You ever scroll over an “I told yall …I tried to tell yall..Yall don’t listen .. ” rant on social media? You know that post where somebody is cussing folks out for not listening to them about something. Well here’s a thought, if no one is listening to your message, maybe its not the message but the messenger.
Start by changing your delivery. Instead of kicking folks for not, re-paint the picture for why. Be a salesman. Sell your thought. Nobodies gonna listen to you just because you know something and you said so. Its a hundred people on a newsfeed daily that swear they’re an expert. Use your voice and be influential.
Own Something – Don’t listen to those folks saying owning a home is overrated. Let me tell you what’s overrated. Overrated is having your rent increased every year because the owner feels like it. The amount of their mortgage surely hasn’t changed over the last year, why the increase bruh? Overrated is when a landlord can enter your home whenever they choose because its still their property. Overrated is when you’re paying a landlord a monthly rent, and their not even paying their mortgage. Overrated is when an owner tells you that in 30 days they’re selling the place and you have to move. Home ownership does have costs. If something breaks, you gotta pay to get it fixed. If trash neighbors move next door, you can’t just up and move. But, the tax deduction alone is worth the repair hassle of owning a home. Sooo don’t let nobody tell you its not worth it. Because it is. It is a big purchase and it requires research just like anything else. When you plan a vacation, don’t you typically go to tripadvisor and read hotel reviews? Well when you buy a house, you research neighborhoods and school zones – same effort. If you love the convenience of city living, buy something in the burbs and rent out. Helloooo, supplemental income!! Until we get our 40 acres back, buy up the block!!
Build your Brand. Create your Legacy. – Building a brand doesn’t mean opening a store and marketing a product. You as a human being is a brand in itself. You are your own brand. The decisions we make now can affect our future generations. Build something the grandkids, grandkids can have and be proud of. Take care of yourselves. Eat better. Lose weight if you need to. Moisturize. Exfoliate. Seriously, get a life insurance plan, invest in a stock or 2, join a savings club. Long term planning is the ultimate end game here.
Go where the spirit leads you – In 2018, my hope is that you will follow your heart, your mind, your soul, and/or your passion — follow wherever that path leads you. Start that business. Take a leap. Fight for that cause. For we are the descendants of a strong people. There is strength, bravery, and courage all up in our blood. We are the descendants of folk who didn’t give up because life was hard. We are the descendants of folk who watched their families get torn apart. We are the descendants of folk who survived and persevered through the HARSHEST emotional and physical conditions known to man. Don’t you dare give up cus the path got a little bumpy. PUSH on King, PUSH on Queen. We are destined for greatness because we came from greatness. We are greatness.