Tuesday, November 22, 2022

North Carolina A&T Penalized for its Success

The UNC Board of Governors recently announced they were reducing  the budget for NC A&T University by nearly two million dollars because they're having too much success.  This Historical Black College had the audacity to enroll too many out-of-state students.  How dare they?  Who do they think they are?  The Board said the HBCU has a cap of being allowed to enroll 35 percent of students from other states but they went out and registered 41 percent. This was the equivalent to an additional 171 students.  As a result, they must be punished for thinking they could get away with it.  Never mind the fact that the university can boast about having one of the best engineering programs in the country or that it is recognized nationally for its excellence in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM) programs.  You can't go getting all uppity!  You got to know your place!

According to the Board, enrollment limits are placed on colleges and universities for out-of-state students to help ensure there would be enough enrollment spots for qualified NC students.  The key word here is "qualified."  Perhaps if the NC lawmakers did more to fund the K-12 educational system, they would be able to find college ready students, but that's another story all together.

Although I didn't attend a Historical Black College or University (HBCU) I take pride  in being an Aggie mom.  My daughter is a 2012 graduate of North Carolina A&T.  So is her father.  

The university was originally founded in 1891 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race.  This was supposed to be an alternative to UNC-Chapel Hill (founded in 1789), NC State (1793), Duke (1838) since we all know the chances a black student had in getting into ANY white institutions of higher learning in NC or anywhere else for that matter.

Perhaps NC A&T is given more consideration because its out-of-state tuition is far lower at 20K in comparison to a college with similar programs like Georgia Tech at 34K or Massachusetts Institute of Technology at 57k+ .  Perhaps students want to add their names to the rolls of alumni like American astronaut and physicist Ronald McNair, First African American Chief Justice to the NC State Supreme Court, Henry Frye or civil rights activist Jesse Jackson.

But shame on NC A&T for wanting to grow. 


Saturday, October 22, 2022

What Season Best Describes You?

Guest Blog Post by Ivette Harris

The changing colors of fall best describes me. This is the season where the heaviness of years gone by fall down and blow away. The weight of leaves, the nest of newborns, and over-ripened fruit all drift aside and forge into new beginnings.  For me, it is the time to shed the used portions of life, to rest, and regroup in the enchanting fragrance of new-found time. Fall is a charming season in life – like a shedding of the old life, the old career, the old routine, and the old thoughts. 

Retirement reminds me of fall, the season of life filled with a zealous spirit for upcoming celebrations spiced with the perfect décor for the quirky part of my journey. My limbs are bare of career responsibility, my nest is empty of children, both mine and others, and I have discovered a euphoric feeling in my home. 

In this season, I find a vivacious view for life to come, like sowing the seeds to learn creative writing skills, and I plan to do more.  

What season best describes you?

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Sleaziness of White Privilege


If Brett Farve had not become a successful NFL quarterback, I believe he would've been just another good ol' southern, blue collar country boy.  Some might've even labeled him as "poor white trash." 

Favre was born in Gulfport, MS in 1969 and raised in the unincorporated community of Kiln (just outside of Gulfport).  Kiln, with a population of around 2200, once had a reputation for being known as the "moonshine capital of the world." It's also important to note that less than one percent of blacks live there.  One report indicates there were only 2 black residents:  Kiln, MS stats

 Of course, we all know Favre went on to make millions in the NFL and kept making $$$ with endorsements after his  career ended.  It's safe to say Brett Favre benefitted from being a white male and he knew how to use his executive white privilege card to get things accomplished.

He used that privilege card to allegedly siphon funds from the Mississippi Welfare Fund to build a volleyball facility at Southern Mississippi University, where his daughter just happens to play the sport.  This good ol' boy also reportedly leveraged his status to secure funds for a start-up biotechnology company that ended up going belly up.  Of course, Favre claims he had no idea the money was being taken from the poor to give to the greedy and he hasn't officially been charged with anything as of this moment.  Text messages, however, implicate him on just about every level including the one he sent asking the woman, who allocated the funds, if the media could ever find out where the money came from and how much.  Wow! Just Wow!   

So now our attention has focused on the Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka (who happens to be black with NO privilege card) and his scandalous sex scandal, while most of the media continues to remain relatively silent about the man robbed from the poor to give to the rich.  Why isn't the NFL up in arms over one of their own abusing his power?  I say kick him out of the Hall of Fame but I have learned that there is nothing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame bylaws that allows the  removal once enshrined.  (That's probably why O.J. is still there). 

That's what white privilege can do for a good ol' southern country boy.

Monday, September 05, 2022

Selling Out

I must admit, TikTok can be filled with a lot of foolishness but every now and then you come across a video that makes you feel the need to do a deeper dive into the information being given.  Recently I saw a video of a young woman talking about all of the black business entrepreneurs who ended up selling their products to white companies. That led me to do further research and I was shocked to discover she was absolutely on point.

According to an article in Newsweek,   more than 30 products, which were black-owned at one point, are now controlled by white companies.  The one that sticks out the most for me is Carol's Daughter.  I remember seeing an interview with the woman behind the black hair care products (Lisa Price) who was so excited to see her brand being picked up by Target for the first time.  In 2014, however, she reportedly sold her business to L'Oreal for $27 million dollars. One might argue that's probably more money than she could ever make on her own as a black entrepreneur but Carol's Daughter fits into a pattern of how black entrepreneurs become sell-outs to the white corporate structure.  

Who remembers Nadinola skin lightening cream?  How about blue magic or sulfer8 hair grease? These, coupled with a long line of other ethnic hair and skin care products, are owned by J. Strickland and Company, which was founded in 1936 by a white man named George B. Long.  Now you and I both know that in 1936, Long  wasn't partners with a black man or woman.  It is more likely that he stole the idea.

Then there's Softsheen, which was founded by a Black couple in 1964, but sold to L'Oreal in 1998 and Shea Moisture, which was founded by a woman in West Africa in the early 1900's, but is now owned by Unilever.

It is hard to comprehend why someone would work so hard to create and market their product and then turn around and sell it to a white corporation.  It's also hard to comprehend how deeply rooted racism has been in every aspect of our lives and kept all things from being equal.

If all things were equal, these transactions would never be necessary.

On the other hand, if someone wants to pick up my Vocabulary Bingo game, I, too, would become a sell-out!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

What Kind of Parent are You?


Parenting seems to have changed quite a bit since I was a child.  My parents weren't trying to be my friend.  They were, what you might call, traditional parents.  Traditional parenting is inflexible and rigid and riddled with discipline. The focus is to raise responsible and functional adults with good manners, proper education, and worth ethic. 

Today there is something called "modern parenting" where there is more of a focus of nurturing, involvement, and allowing children to express their individuality freely. Today, many parents are much closer to their children in age and  many children are growing up in single-family homes.  According to statistics from the Pew Center, the U.S. has the world's highest of number of children living in single-parent households. 

So the question is:  What kind of parent are you when it comes to raising your children?

Helicopter Parent:  These are parents who hover over their children and continue to do so through college (and even beyond in some cases).  These parents are over-involved and may be the reason their children don't develop a level of maturity needed to achieve success.  They know if they fail they can always return home and free-load.  

Lawnmower Parent:  These are the parents who "mow down" a path for their children by removing all obstacles that may cause discomfort, challenges or struggles.  These parents go out of their way to help their children and they believe their children can do no wrong.  These are parents who will do whatever it takes to help their children achieve success---even when the child may not be interested.  Remember actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, who paid specific colleges to get their daughter's admitted?  Those are definitely lawnmower parents.

Tiger Parent:  These are the parents who push their children to achieve excellence in academics.  They limit their leisure time in order to make sure their child is a high achiever in the classroom so they won't have any problem getting into the University of their choice (and usually it's the college of the PARENT'S choice.  They expect their child to stay focused at all times and giving up is never an option.

Free Range Parent:  These are the free-spirited parents who give their children freedom to explore and to establish their own independence.  These are parents who see their children as friends as they get older and don't have a problem socializing with their friends to show how "cool" they are.  These parents also tend to be less than 20 years older than their children.  Meanwhile, there are some psychologists who believe this type of parenting style is dangerous because it lacks structure.

So what type of parent are you?