Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How to Leverage Conference Networking

Greetings, all.

Where do we start with conference networking? How does it differ from local networking?

Click here to read an article by Twitter's Smallbizlady Melinda Emerson on How to Leverage Conference Networking.

To read my interview with Melinda on how she gained over 15,000 Twitter followers, and for advice from other Black business experts, click here to download More Black Success Volume 10.

Ever wanted to attend a conference but lacked the funds? Click here to download my ebook Shaking the Money Tree.

Here's to your success!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Moving Forward - What We Can Learn from Troy Davis

As I said in yesterday's blog, one thing we can learn from the tragic, horrendous case of Troy Davis is that justice often stops short of where we need it to be. Click here to read more.

People of African heritage are over-represented in the prison system. This is true on both sides of the Atlantic.

I truly believe that Spiritual Response Therapy (SRT) can help in many cases in which there have been miscarriages of justice.

SRT can produce amazing results. I have seen this in my own life many times. We are capable of producing miracles.

The Higher Self always works to find the best possible solution for everyone in a given situation. SRT is just one way in which the Higher Self works.

To read more about the Higher Self and SRT, see my book Success Strategies for Black People.

If you are willing to try new things, you can learn how to produce these amazing results and help to create a better future - for everyone.

When these kinds of terrible, tragic situations arise, we need to see this as a wake-up call. We need to find new methods to help us to move forward.

Click here to order your copy of Success Strategies for Black People now. It could help you our someone you love.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Letter from Troy Davis

Click here to read a letter from Troy Davis.

As I blogged yesterday, Troy Davis's appeal for clemency has been denied despite worldwide protests. His supporters are still fighting hard in these final hours before his scheduled execution.

This 2003 Justice Department report gives statistics of imprisonment in the United States.

It gives figures going back to 1974 showing that African American males are disproportionately represented in the prison system.

In other words, this is nothing new. African American males have also long been disproportionately represented on death row.

It is important to remember that the fight for justice did not begin with Troy Davis and it does not end with him. This is a fight for all of us. When one person is denied justice, we all suffer.

La luta continua.

Why We Need to Identify as Black

From time to time, I receive comments from people about the fact that I use the word “Black” to refer to people of African heritage. Thus, my books are called Black Success Stories, Success Strategies for Black People and More Black Success.

The history of the word Black is an interesting one. In traditional African spiritual practice, the colour black is considered to be the strongest, most powerful colour in existence. When we want to attract something, we use the colour black to attract it.

To take an example from nature, a black hole in space attracts everything to it.

My opinion – this is a personal view – is that white people, people of European descent, as well as other light-skinned people such as Arabs, were aware of the power of the colour black, and that is why they feared it. So they started to associate blackness with negativity.

However, as African people, we have no reason to fear the colour black or the word “black”. Plus, many of our ancestors were black, the colour of the earth, and there are still many black-skinned African people in the diaspora, all over the world.

The rich, deep dark blackness of Black skin - "coal-black, plum black, blue black" to quote Maya Angelou.

So Blackness is an important part of our identity.

As an African American, I am proud to identify myself as Black and I shall continue to do so.

This blog contains hundreds of Black history resources. If you type “Black history” into the search box, you can access them.

Please leave your comments below.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Troy Davis Denied Clemency

In case you have not heard, Troy Davis has been denied clemency. He is scheduled for execution tomorrow, Wednesday the 21st of September

This is just one more case of the criminal justice system being used to murder a Black man legally. Troy Davis is being treated as guilty until proven innocent.

Amnesty International is urging us to take action. It is not too late to stop the execution of Troy Davis. Click here to read more.

Click here for the Amnesty International blog.

Seven of the nine witnesses who testified against him have now recanted on their statements. Click here to view a video from the Huffington Post.

How to Research Black History

In my book, Black Success Stories, the late Len Garrison, founder of the Black Cultural Archives in South London, gives his steps for researching Black history.

He talks about defining a Black identity, why he started to teach Black history and how he founded the archives.

Click here to order your copy now. Black Success Stories also makes a great gift.

Black Success Stories also contains an interview with Jak Dodd, the creator of the Nubian Jak Black history board game.

Knowledge of Black history – the history of African people - starts at home. It’s down to the parents – we cannot rely on the schools to do it.

My parents taught me about my history from a very young age. They planted a seed. All of our parents and grandparents carry valuable knowledge which we need to share.

Once we have an awareness of even a little Black history, we can build on this. I continue to attend Black history events and I always learn something new.

For more about the importance of Black history, see: Our History, Our Healing.

This blog contains hundreds of Black history resources. If you type “Black history” into the search box, you can access them.

Please leave your comments below.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tribute to Gil Scott Heron - Message to the Messengers

A tribute to Gil Scott Heron, Message to the Messengers: Mi Revalushanary Frenz will be held at The Drum in Birmingham, UK, on 27th October as part of their Black History Month programme.

Gil Scott Heron was one of the most talented and outspoken spoken word artists of ANY generation. His words, with drums or with jazz accompaniment, forecast some of the issues we are facing today. See below for videos of the classic "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised".

Click here for more details of this and other BHM UK2 2011 events.

Click here for another hard-hitting version.

See below for a video of Gil Scott Heron talking about this piece.

This blog contains hundreds of Black history resources. If you type “Black history” into the search box, you can access them.

Please leave your comments below.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kwanzaa Stories Wanted

I am seeking original Kwanzaa stories by writers of African heritage for publication.

I am looking for short stories of 500-1500 words on the theme of Kwanzaa, and/or set at Kwanzaa. Your story must be suitable for a family audience.

Click here for more about my work.

Click here for details of how to submit your story for consideration.

For more about Kwanzaa, see: Kwanzaa - Celebrating Traditional African Values.

Deadline: 31st October 2011

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Gollywog Issue (Again)

On Channel 5's The Wright Stuff this morning, they are discussing gollywogs. Should they be banned? Someone put a gollywog in their window in order deliberately to offend their Black neighbours.

In my book Black Success Stories, the founder of the Black Cultural Archives, Len Garrison, talked about the research he had done into the use of groteque images of African people in the British colonies. He was struck by the amount of money manufacturers had invested in preserving these types of images.

Yet some people still find the need to defend the use of these dolls with their grotesque features.

I find it fascinating the way The Wright Stuff tackles issues, including racial issues. They look at issues from lots of different angles and different people on the panel have widely varying views. And Matthew Wright genuinely appears willing to learn - at least sometimes.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Further Thoughts on the Riots

There was a lot of destruction caused by the riots across London and the UK a few weeks ago. As ever, my first thought is, why did people feel the need to riot, loot and burn?

Obviously, as I said in previous posts, people are angry. There is a lot of anger being expressed in these situations. I believe a big contributing factor is that the government has refused to listen to what people want. And it is still refusing to listen.

Why is there so much anger and disssatisfaction? We can only find out by asking the people involved.

There has been an enormous amount of speculation. And an enormous amount of stereotyping.

We need an alternative. We need to turn this situation around.

The media have blamed "young people" for the rioting and destruction, although only about 20% of the people involved have been under 18 years of age.

The media have stereotyped the Black community as rioters and looters. The Evening Standard was full of photos of African people being taken to court. But the truth is somewhat different.

Black community leaders have taken it on themselves to try to address what have been long-standing problems between young Black people and the police. These problems certainly may have contributed to the events of a few weeks ago.

The shooting of a young Black man, lies and rumours about this incident, and the assault by police officers on a young woman on a peaceful demonstration may well have contributed. But people of many different racial and cultural backgrounds took part in the rioting and looting.

Orthodox Jewish people were filmed at the riots in North London.

The fact that white people have been rioting in London since last year has been all but forgotten.

In Nonviolent Communication (NVC), we say that people's actions are always an attempt to meet a need.

In order to get someone to do what you want, you first need to give empathy to that person. That is, you have to connect with that person's feelings and needs. For more about this, click here to read my article on Nonviolent Communication.

I have not heard any empathy at all from the government or the media, although I have heard empathy from some of our community leaders.

Mostly what I have been hearing is "bring in the Army", "bring in water cannons", "impose harsh sentences". This is the opposite of empathy. This is a fear reaction and does not address the causes of the rioting.

At a recent meeting in London of the African People's Parliament, which had met to discuss issues arising from the riots, the police sent a helicopter and shined a light on the door of the building.

We need to use different methods, as I said previously. I saw this coming, as I said on a previous post. And I predict more rioting as long as the government continues with this blame game, and continues to avoid dealing with the underlying issues.

It takes an enormous amount of courage to say, "we will not give in to fear. We will not give vent to our violent impulses". But this is what we need to do.

People need to stop posturing, stop pointing the finger and start using more effective methods.

Click here for my workshps in London.

We have been presented with a golden opportunity to turn things around. Let's use it.

Please leave your comments below.