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Hmmmm: Montel Williams for endorcing “bad credit loans”

Montel Williams received noteriety for his late 1980s tour, Mountain Get Out of My Way, that motivated teenagers to overcome obstacles, and he was rewarded with his own talk show, The Montel Williams Show, that ran from 1991 to 2008. But now Montel is contributing to the demise of so many Americans by endorsing “bad credit loans” from Money Mutual in which consumers can borrow as much as $1,000 as long as they have a job making at least $800 a month. These short-term loans are also known as payday loans or cash advances. These are the worse loans you can possibly get, and Williams should be ashamed of himself for promoting them. Next to the former talk show host’s face, Money Mutual ads state: Need some additional cash? Bad credit OK? This is bad for several reasons. Find out why on my financial advice blog, www.mytensense.com , and "like" my Facebook page to get my latest money tips. The post Shame on Montel Williams for endorcing “bad credit loans” appeared first on Black Like Moi . Read More »

Letting Go of a Bad Relationship: 3 Tips on How to Move On

Life is about relationships. Whether they are business connections, platonic friendships, or romantic involvements, relationships are inevitable. Each relationship certainly teaches us lessons that we will carry on throughout life. These lessons help mold us into the people we are and will become. Nevertheless, we become prisoners to the lessons that are unpleasant or toxic Read More »

BlackLifeCoaches.net: How to Get Off the Fence of Indecision

Anyone who’s had to navigate in the tough job market and economic climate today will tell you that indecisiveness can be crippling. Not having the ability to process information to make a quick strategic decision usually means the difference between prospering and utter failure. Many secretly struggle with “professional paralysis” and remain frustrated because they’ve Read More »

Yvette Carnell: Here We Go Again, Zoe Saldana Replacing Mary J. Blige in Nina Simone Biopic

Zoe Saldana played a 120lb killing machine in the movie Columbiana. Pure fiction. Good fiction. But can she, should she, be cast as Nina Simone? Word on the Hollywood street is that Saldana has replaced Mary J. Blige, who had other film commitments. For the record, I’ve been here before. A month or so ago I questioned why the fair skinned actress Jaqueline Fleming ... Read More »

Julianne Malveaux: We Get Olympic Excellence But Educational Mediocrity

by Dr. Julianne Malveaux The Olympic games are a celebration of excellence and athleticism.  Whether we are cheering the Williams sisters in their gold medal-winning doubles match, or Serena with her gold, or the graceful Gabby Douglass in flight, or some of the many others, we are cheering their excellence, their indomitable spirits, their drive.   We are also acknowledging the tens of thousands of hours that they must have put into practice.  Even as we cheer, there are lessons for each of us, both individually and in a social policy context. We’ve all heard, time and time again, “get out there and do it”, or “just do it” or “I worked hard for this”.  Often the difference between a gold and silver winner is the one was hungrier, wanted the gold more intensely, and worked harder than the other.  To be sure, some Olympians have good days, and others have days that are less than good.  But there is no such thing as “luck” in the Olympics.  Luck is the collision of preparation and opportunity. Was Gabby Douglas lucky to have been taken on by Liang Chow the coach that trained her to earn the gold?  No, she was prepared to shine in a way that made Chow see her potential.  And she sacrificed, moving from Virginia to Iowa, missing her family and moving with a generous white family who, for all their goodwill, were culturally out of synch with Gabby’s black experience.  She worked hard, she sacrificed, and she won the gold medal. There is a parallel between Olympics wins and the state of United States education.  Even as the Congress considers sequestration when they come back from their month-long break, educators are concerned that education dollars may be cut.  Gabby Douglas worked hard, she sacrificed.  For all the effort on education, sometimes it seems as if we are spinning our wheels.  We know what some of the problems are, but we won’t act on these problems.  The achievement gap can be addressed, and it is in some school systems.  In others, little is being done. Gabby Douglas made sacrifices, so much so that the redundant use of the word in this column does not even begin to speak to her investment in herself.  Our nation has made few contemporary sacrifices, and an insufficient investment, for the cause of education. Instead, teachers are being laid off, school hours are being cut, and essentials like civics, art and sports are being cut or augmented by parents who contribute so that their sons and daughters can have these classes.  Meanwhile, the children of those who don’t have the dollars to contribute to public education find their achievement gap growing each year. As a nation, we will get that in which we invest.  If we invest in the Department of Defense, we will get war.  If we invest in the Department of Education, along with state and local school systems, we will end up with a better-educated population.  If we choose, instead, to invest in correctional facilities, we’ll end up incarcerated people.  If past trends are any indication, most often these folks will be African American.  If we invest in inner city schools, we close the achievement.  If we behave as if the world is race-neutral (or post-racial), when the data say differently, then we end of broadening, not narrowing, the achievement gap. Our Olympians, especially the medalists, are dedicated, hard-working athletes who have committed themselves to achieving excellence.  While we give a lot of lip service to educational excellence, the fact is that we are not as dedicated and hard working to that end as we might be.   Who feels so passionately about education that they will flood Board of Education meetings and insist on necessary changes?  How many are willing to fight for after-school and summer programs, or provide tutoring.  More importantly, how many are willing to change the policy les through which we view educational issues, insisting that our legislators address issues of education.  There is an anti-tax lobby, led by Grover Norquist of the Americans for Tax Reform, that will not endorse candidates unless they pledge not to raise taxes, and the Tea Party that is so effective that they are unseating Republican stalwarts. Might a group of education advocates come together to develop power as formidable as that of the Tea Party?  Might that group decided that any legislator that cannot support a robust educational agenda, is unworthy of reelection.  Might we have the will to assert that all children can learn, and then make their learning a priority?  We will get what we invest in and, unfortunately, we aren’t investing enough in education.   Read More »

Unconscious Daughters: Hip Hop and Misogyny

by Victor “Doc V” Trammell On August 10th, the celebrity tabloid site Bossip.com released a story about Atlanta-based rap artist T.I. The story reported an incident involving a young man who commented on an Instagram photo of T.I. and his step-daughter Zonnique, who posted the photo online. The young man allegedly made a vulgar comment on the photo directed at T.I’s step-daughter. Subsequently, another comment on the photo was made reportedly from T.I. The post displayed threats to the young man and made quotes such as, “I’m gon’ throw more money at ya head than it takes to build yo mama a new house.” Some would call it a raging rant coming from a protective father storming to the defense of his daughter. Others would say it is an over-reaction aimed at a harmless male teen admirer of Zonnique. In any case, it is a reflection of the reality coming of age hip hop artists face when it comes to the image of their teenage offspring or step-children. Rap veteran Nas recently released his album “Life Is Good” and it features a heartfelt song called “Daughters.” It is an inspiring ode to his 17-year old daughter Destiny. The song’s lyrics refer to the struggles he has endured as a father engulfed in a lifestyle and business, which at times can be counterproductive to the positive image black parents try to instill into their children. Daughters in our society are often perceived to be more vulnerable than sons. This perception creates the atmosphere for parents to be more vigilant regarding the image of their daughters. The irony of this in regard to hip hop artists is that most of them have recorded songs, appeared in videos, or acted in movies that display women in a manner most of them would not want their daughters emulating. Hip hop culture has long been accused by its critics as being misogynistic. The late women’s rights advocate and politician C. Delores Tucker dedicated much of her career to emphasizing her stance that rap music endangered the moral welfare of the black community. Many other critics have cited the lyrics as being sexually explicit and use derogatory names to describe women. As rap became more commercialized, budgets for videos grew, record labels spent more money on marketing, and the images exhibited more intense volumes of hyper-sexualization. In defense of the critics, one could argue that hip hop culture provides a one-dimensional representation of the women within its existence. The women in most videos and the female rappers who gain the most popularity present themselves to their fans and naysayers alike in a hyper-sexualized fashion. However, in defense of the artists of both genders and other models of the image, one could contend (as most hip hop advocates have) that hip hop culture is not the only element of popular culture that presents a marginal image of women. Other modern pop figures (such as Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus) may have got their start portraying adorable child stars, only later to find themselves as adults on the edge struggling with drug addiction and also negatively hyper-sexualizing themselves. Hip hop should not be singled-out as the only genre and culture pressured to clean up its act. From the early days of “Rapper’s Delight” until now, hip hop has reached a point where some of its most popular artists have daughters old enough to get a driver’s license, purchase tobacco, and in some cases, legally consume alcohol. A rapidly growing world is out there for them to either build themselves up or break themselves down. There is a thin line between expressing an art form and leading a real life. It is much easier for these hip hop fathers to raise and protect conscious daughters (no pun intended) if they are not the same proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing they seek to keep away from their proverbial sheep. The keeper of the sheep must be a shepherd, not a wolf. Read More »

Stephanie Humphrey: Maybe It’s Time for You to do a Technology Makeover

Techlife expert Stephanie Humphrey talks about why you should consider getting a tech makeover.  This is especially true if you’ve got a bunch of gadgets from the year 2000 hogging up space in your home.  She says that having a good smart phone is a great way to enhance your productivity on the go, downloading apps that can make your life much easier. If anyone understands technology, it’s Stephanie Humphrey. We recommend you follow her on Twitter at @TechlifeSteph.  Her interview is below:   Read More »

Dr. Boyce: Scholar Says that Hip Hop is as Bad as White Power Music

by Dr. Boyce Watkins Scholar John McWhorter wrote a piece for “The New Republic” about the recent Sikh Temple massacre and the man who caused it, Michael Wade Page.  Page was one of the few white supremacists who turned his anger toward people of color into real violence, killing six people and wounding four others. Some have pointed to White Supremacist music as part of what motivated Page to go out and kill innocent people that day.  McWhorter doesn’t agree and thinks that those who feel that music caused him to kill are grasping for straws.   According to McWhorter: “It has been fashionable in the wake of Wade Michael Page’s tragic acts in Wisconsin to speculate on whether the White Power music he listened to helped stoke him into the senseless murders he committed. Such speculations, however, are as incoherent as they are pointless—and they are marked, above all, by a cloying air of self-congratulation.” Interestingly enough, McWhorter compares White Supremacist music to hip hop music, which also has a set of nasty and violent messages of its own.  One interesting case-in-point is the song “We Be Steady Mobbin,” where Lil Wayne says that he will take your girlfriend, turn her into a hooker, have sex with her and then “murder that b*tch and send her body back to yo ass.” Oddly enough, there’s a lot more where that came from. McWhorter’s argument isn’t entirely off-base.  You can’t say that music alone causes anyone to do anything.  You could play the most violent music and movies in front of me and I wouldn’t go kill anyone, most of us wouldn’t.  But places where McWhorter and others might want to reconsider their arguments are in two areas: 1)      Hip hop itself is not the source of violent music.  It is actually the commercialized, bastardized form of hip hop we hear on the radio that serves as the source of shameful lyrical content that teaches young black children to worship material possessions, to disrespect women, to stay high on drugs and alcohol all day, to engage in massive amounts of sexual promiscuity and to celebrate killing one  another. The bastardized form of hip hop grew out of the emergence of gangsta rap on the west coast, with groups like NWA.  Much of their music was a reflection of the Post Traumatic Stress disorder and other ailments suffered by young children forced to grow up in a war zone created by the allowance of massive amounts of drugs and guns into black communities.  They were rapping about what they saw, but they also spread a toxic message that helped promote gang culture throughout the entire United States.   As Terri Williams says in her book, “Black Pain,” “Hurt people hurt people,” meaning that those who’ve been traumatize can spread this trauma to others. 2)      While violent music doesn’t make anyone violent, it can certainly accelerate and enhance emotions that already lie in the soul.  If a child has grown up with very little mentorship or parental guidance (as too many children already do), this music might impact the moral code of the young man who could choose to rob, steal or kill if it will help him find a way to eat or get whatever he wants.  Violent music has as much impact on the outlook of a teenager as a sad love song has on a woman who just lost her boyfriend.  Anyone who spends time around black teenagers will notice that their style of dress, language and all-around demeanor tends to evolve with whatever their favorite hip hop artists are doing. There is a correlation between the promotion of drug/alcohol consumption and the fact that so many young black men are being busted for marijuana possession.  A lot of young black men have dreadlocks in their hair, not because of some kind of complex spiritual awakening, but because they saw that Lil Wayne was rocking dreads in his last video.  Not that there is anything wrong with dreadlocks, but the point is that music does influence who we are, especially if we don’t already know who we are.  For young, impressionable minds, it can make all the difference. So, it seems that in his article, McWhorter, who I’ve always thought to be a conservative, is letting white folks off the hook by letting rappers off the hook.  This effectively makes him a conservative using a liberal argument to do what conservatives tend to do (defend other conservative white people).  While his argument isn’t entirely off-mark, we cannot presume that hip hop music somehow defies the logic of nearly any psychologist, who would agree that messages and mantras being consistently absorbed by our subconscious do have an impact on our thinking. Music alone can’t drive an innocent person to kill, but it might certainly cause a misguided criminal to go ahead and do what he was thinking about doing in the first place.  Music is not the alpha and omega of cause and effect; rather, it can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.   It does have an impact on our thinking. Read More »

The Truth Is….There may be times we are ashamed of our past, but we are not ashamed of The Gospel of Jesus Christ

In the book of Romans chapter six verse 21 The Apostle Paul asked a question that all Christians should consider; “ What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?” In continuation of that same verse Paul tell us the outcome of our past follies; “Those things result in death!”  In the following verses Paul tells us the hope that we have; “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life . For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In Colossians chapter three verses 5-10, Paul gives the Christian community instructions concerning what their character should not be. The Apostle tells us to, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways , in the life you once lived.   But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other , since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”   The Apostle then continues to tell us what the Christian character should be. In this same chapter of Colossians verses 12-17 we find written, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.   “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared , he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life .” (Titus 3:3-7) We must remember that flesh and blood will not enter into the Kingdom of God, but only those who do God’s will. God’s will is that we have faith in his son and love one another. If you are still struggling with sin, and I believe most of us are because no one is perfect; always ask for forgiveness and the power of the Holy Spirit to take control of our life. This is our Prayer. Read More »

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