Business

13 Blacks Influencing Technology In a Major Way Today – Blerds

13 Black initiated businesses that are making great strides in technology. The list may surprise you.

Here is a list of 13 Blacks influencing technology today, according to Business Insider.

Condoleezza Rice, Board of Directors, DropboxEarlier this month, online storage startup Dropbox added Condoleezza Rice to its board of directors.As the former secretary of state and an adviser to the National Security Agency, having someone like Rice as a liaison to Washington, D.C., could be very helpful to Dropbox.

Condoleezza Rice 2014

via 13 Blacks Influencing Technology In a Major Way Today – Blerds.

5 Powerful Ways Black People Can Help Counter White Supremacy – Page 2 of 5 – Atlanta Blackstar | #OYRchallenge

Build and Support Black Institutions

Support Black organizations whose goal is to uplift and improve the Black community. Learn about the Black community and find out what can be, should be and needs to be done to improve it. Join Black organizations and be a part of supporting the Black community. The goal of these organizations should be to provide guidance and direction to the Black community that will create a multi-generational movement toward improving the Black community.

via 5 Powerful Ways Black People Can Help Counter White Supremacy – Page 2 of 5 – Atlanta Blackstar.

Black Neighborhood Unites to Open a Grocery Store | Techyville | #OYRchallenge

This is the America I remember. With all of the haggling over politics and city officials doing their jobs appropriately, folks are getting tired of waiting. One New Black Wall St. GoFundMe campaign by the residents of Moodus, Ct, mainly Oya – Tef Shu, are bidding on an abandoned town up for auction in Connecticut to build a complete New Black Wall St community.

…for the empowerment of our people, and to create a front for independant black owned businesses to establish themselves. This is also a time for us to create housing for the black community , create schooling that is for us and taught by us , also a golden opportunity for us to practice agriculture and produce fresh and all natural foods.

Their campaign has taken in an added $1,000 in the last two hours, while I researched other action-oriented communities. We can only imagine how much more their campaign will garner before I finish this post. Habari  Gani, America! salutes your efforts.

Another move forward is by the Renaissance Community Co-op, a Black northeast Greensboro, North Carolina neighborhood, who are without a local grocery market. The residents decided it was time to band together and open one of their own. The video and excerpt from the titled Kacie Whaley article explains it all.

This is what happens when good people get sick and tired of the same ole thing pushed on them the same ole way.

In 2012, community members and leaders gathered  to form the Renaissance Co-op Committee RCC.  The RCC dedicated themselves to learning the ins and outs of opening and maintaining a cooperative grocery store, according to the store’s webpage.

In 2013, the RCC elected its Board of Directors for what would become the Renaissance Community Co-op, including a black president.

The aim of the community-owned store is to provide Greensboro with “healthy foods at affordable prices and [commit to] locally sourced foods, community education and dignified jobs,” the store’s webpage reads.

The co-op is serious about being committed to providing its workers with a livable wage.  They are starting their employees out with a wage of $10 per hour.The store is projected to open its doors officially in 2015, but for now, they are preparing for that day with community meetings and newsletters.  They are also taking donations and seeking those interested in becoming co-owners.

The co-op created a video called “We Want Co-op” in which members of the community, both young and old, express their desire to have a grocery store that citizens own and that they “can walk to.”

via Black Neighborhood Unites to Open a Grocery Store | Techyville.

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson Booed Off Stage in Ferguson Missouri – YouTube | #OYRchallenge

This video brought me back to a “Black people don’t vote” meeting held in one of the most federally reliant cities in the Capital Region, NY. The message was, African Americans do not vote, therefore if you are arrested and not a registered voter or have not recently voted, – you are disregarded. Another was, African Americans do not have collective issues such as other communities and groups. One of the attendees, a young child replied that her mother, with a Master’s degree, could not find employment –  “because she is Black.” The room went silent.

The speaker moved on with his agenda, pushing forward “his” chosen candidates, which was really the point of this advertised “empowerment” meeting. Who were these candidates? One woman who the speaker noted refused to personally address African American speaking engagements – the other, a woman who personally told me, when asked two years ago, how she stood on African American issues that she was only concerned with women and seniors. I left the meeting assured that these candidates would be elected on the African American vote since they were advocated through white Democratic-manufactured Black community leaders.

None of the current local or world issues was addressed at this meeting. The audience sat fearful of offending the speaker, thus projecting animosity towards the only Black city council official who had organized this meeting. The question begs, how is a city with a dormant Affirmative Action program addressed by hiring more white women, limited access to private industry employment, currently publicized race-based physical and psychological workplace attacks, and an African American community held hostage by Black representatives to manage city-wide issues affecting their health and well-being? This video may be a start. It has been proven that churches, the old stand-by, are not the answer. Community groups throwing civil service jobs, poverty programs and bread to the hungry are not the answer. One woman stated, “The birds are getting fat,” after shouting, “bread, bread, bread.” Black history month is coming fast upon us. Are we going to dig out worn photos of historic Black firsts in American establishments and politics? Or are we finally going to hold ourselves up to the mirror? If not now, then when?

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson Booed Off Stage in Ferguson Missouri – YouTube.

Schenectady Is Bad For Business | #OYRchallenge

QUIN1Wednesday morning held surprises for Albany St. businesses. Albany between Brandywine Ave and Kelton Ave is getting a face lift. Street paving crews began early and residents, especially drivers should be grateful. I said – should be. But there is always that little nuance that the Capital Region municipal workers seem to miss in minority areas, respect for minority businesses.

Street pavers usually cordon off work areas, while allowing for traffic to pass and commerce to continue in other areas. This morning however, “Emergency No Parking” signs were placed on the opposite side of the street from the work area, obstructing morning commuters from parking in front of stores on their way to pick up that on-the-way-to-work necessity. I specifically went into the City of Schenectady to patronize my favorite bodega. They are warm and friendly no matter how much you are spending and worth the trip into the city. What is usually a vibrant business was now empty. Store employees were milling about the entrance, when they are usually behind the counter filling orders as the cashier rapidly serves those at the counter. But today, no one.

Albanystblank

So now standing in front of this business operator; both him and I empty of emotion; and the store empty of customers, the reality of this year’s Schenectady campaign against minority businesses hit hard. The sentiment of valueless lives had passed to even the street service personnel, whose salaries these businesses paid. Alas, as I looked over my shoulder on the street, I saw the counter man abandoned his post to take his place in the doorway along with the other employees, while a blonde chippy cheerleader in a hard hat held her orange flag to her chest as she stood beside the pole. Emergency No Parking sign flapping in the breeze.

Full article to follow.

Financial Juneteenth | How One of The Richest Black Women In The World Did It With No College Degree | #OYRchallenge

Our beautiful billionaire Nigerian queen, Folorunsho Alakija, trumps the rush to college promoted by American politicians. She is rich and did it all without a college degree. As of late, we are seeing many clock the 7 figure mark before scaling the ivory towers. Most are teens. So what does they say for the future of academia? Only Folorunsho can answer that question. Folorunsho Alakija

When you go to high school you are pushed to figure out which college you want to attend and what you would like to do with your life. They make college out to be something that you must do if you want to be successful. This is not always the case however. You can still be very successful in life without having a college degree under your belt. That is exactly what Folorunsho Alakija did. She is Nigeria’s wealthiest woman. She revealed recently that she never went to college but yet she has still managed to become a billionaire.

via Financial Juneteenth | How One of The Richest Black Women In The World Did It With No College Degree.

‘F*ck it, I quit’: TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion – Lists – Weird News – The Independent | #OYRchallenge

KTVA’s Charlo Green took the #OYRchallenge to new heights and PUBLIC.  Her methodology left station execs reeling, and the desk reporter scrambling to recover. The Machine’s usual cover story came readily despite the worldwide broadcast that proved otherwise. “She was terminated!” No fool, she QUIT!

The news reporter, Charlo Green, is also the owner of Alaska Cannabis Club that connects legal cannabis prescription cardholders with area cannabis suppliers. In the current era of marijuana law reform and the growing number of states legalizing medical and recreational marijuana use, Green’s enterprise should prove quite lucrative.

There is also Green’s steadiness in her mission to consider. Few African Americans have the fortitude to cut ties with employment security after long struggles. We are not that strong as yet. Then again, few have moved beyond public and their employer’s expectations to cultivate their talents and abilities. Public opinion seldom takes second place to personal integrity. So if a few well-placed expletives deterred your vision from power at its best, you might want to rethink what your life truly stands for and the stands you have failed to make out of box. Build, empower yourself, then empower others. That is the ideology of the #OYRchallenge. So long, KTVA – hello life.  Congratulations, Charlo Green!

Excerpt:

In a jaw-dropping twist to the end of a segment she was presenting, she said: “Now everything you heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska.”And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, f**k it, I quit.”
via ‘F*ck it, I quit’: TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion – Lists – Weird News – The Independent.

Links:

Alask Cannabis Club – http://www.akcannabisclub.com/

Look for Power in All Things | #OYRchallenge

The OYR Challenge has been picked up from Alaska to Brazil, California to Luxembourg, by all peoples in all states of oppression. So what do they derive from these  daily and minute to minute recreations of language, icons, and medium? POWER! #OYRchallenge

Changing Minds (changingminds.org) posts the six stages of personal power taken from Janet Hagberg‘s book, Real Power: Stages of Personal Power in Organizations. Interestingly enough, I researched this subject back in 1990, when I felt my most powerless self. I had relocated from a large city to a smaller enclave where African Americans had few prospects other than state employment and menial positions. It was a time of layoffs and transfers throughout the national private business environment. African American employees, as well as everyone else, of large businesses relocated in order to keep their positions or afford those unable to relocate the opportunity to remain employed.

There was a catch. Small cities with a tighter grip on designated white-only positions were not far from the lynching crowds depicted in photos of the old South. My first day on the job, four white co-workers surrounded me as I entered the office and told me to, “Go back where you come from. You are taking the job of a white man with a family.” Few African American professionals picture this happening in offices where their peers have middle-class incomes, boats in the water, private planes at the airport, etc.

One rainy day in 1992, I met a man, almost a decade younger than myself, pacing the doorway of a local coffee shop. He looked wild-eyed, disheveled, but through this mess it was apparent he had kept his body manicured, almost metro-sexual. I grabbed a coffee from inside and we both stood in the doorway, each glaring out into the deluge the weather had now become. It is not clear who spoke first, but as he proclaimed his wish to end his life, we began to share our stories. It turns out, we both were transplants. Him from a sub-company of my parent company. He was an architect. His chin jutted at the power of that statement. My chest also heaved in response. We empowered each other simply in recognizing our value beneath our brown-skins. We compared notes … no church, NAACP, community, or other non-profit response to the deadly employment race discrimination in the area. Check! No response from long-time residents unless you were a recovering drug addict, prostitute, alcoholic, or destitute. Check! We were on our own. Check! We had the power to live or die, depending on how much we empowered ourselves. Check!

I do not know what happened to that young man after our communion, but my life changed drastically. Acknowledging you are alone in a fight you are bent on winning is the first step to empowerment. So I researched power, and therefore empowered myself to, no matter what, always remember and increase my value.  It is not an easy journey, but well worth it. So now I co-opt Hagberg’s six stages of power gathered from ‘Changing Minds’ for you to remember and utilize in your #OYR Challenge. My favorite is ‘Power by Wisdom.’ I am sure you will find your own among the list.

1. Powerlessness
We start from a position of powerlessness. When we join an organization we know nobody and are totally dependent on others for initial assistance in understanding how things work, how to influence others and how to get things done.

2. Power by association
Power by association is the power we gain by being able to utilize the power that others already have.

As we get to know people and gain their respect and trust, we may leverage their power, for example in asking them to ask others to do things or asking them for introductions. The secret of gaining associative power is hence in being able to create bonds and draw on relationships.

We can also join teams, clubs and form other associations and coalitions, thereby gaining the power of the group.

3. Power by achievement
Power by acquisition is that power which we gain through what we do and the persuasive evidence that others perceive in this.

Achievement leads to achievement. If we do well at work then we are given more important work and may also get promoted. The power we get from this multiplies, as people cede power to those who prove their ability, which then allows them to achieve further still.

4. Power by reflection
In a curious reversal of depending on others for power, we can gain power through internal reflection and realizing we have all personal power on which we can draw.

A person at this stage is competent and has sound integrity. They are widely respected and this strength draws others to them, on whose ability and power they may consequently depend. Paradoxically, as they let go of their ego, they gain more power.

5. Power by purpose
People at this stage are driven by their purpose. Their power comes from within. Their inner power is so much greater than the power of those around them, they can influence decisions of many others.

Great leaders show this purpose in stirring speeches and powerful and symbolic action. They succeed because they believe in a greater purpose beyond themselves. They are visionary and self-accepting, humble and spiritual.

6. Power by wisdom
Stage six people feel a deep connection to the greater universe. They may often spend time in solitude, connecting and reflecting. They may have been through great pain and crisis on more than one occasion, yet have used these events to learn and grow.

They have found contentment and live on an ‘even keel’. The purpose they work to is very high. The know and accept powerlessness and in doing so find ultimate power. They embrace paradox and do not need to take sides.

Changingminds.org #OYRchallenge Click the link to get started: OYR Challenge

The “Own Your Racist” Challenge #OYRchallenge

What is the OYR challenge?

African Americans have been at war – mentally, physically, economically, and socially ever since the first African was dragged from the African continent onto a slave ship bound for the American shores. The volumes of histories (European and African American), movies, television series, news reports, studies, and other publications serve as qualitative evidence to support this claim. It has always been the strategy of Racist and their race collaborators to present the resulting body count as isolated or individual incidents to be argued within the confines of the criminal justice system, race discussion forums, and/or the same models used to maintain White Supremacy.

These systems have eroded and the people lax into comfort that the myth of Black powerlessness is firmly in place. They have secured the veil with a 21stcentury Bi-racial President of their choosing, replacing the Civil Rights icons – until now. Every playbook must be revised. Our young are inundated with slave songs, yet no one drills them with the principals that created Black Wall Street and other past ultra-wealthy and sound communities. There are only so many times African American children can attend the funeral of a murdered/lynched family member, friend or neighbor, buried with Amazing Grace and “I Have A Dream,” before they stop listening.

21st century African American youths acknowledge that they are human and know that humans are fallible. In a 1992 televised panel discussion, The Issue is Race, Sister Souljah points to the need for Black empowerment and business. She also points out that every municipality has their game in place to crush African American businesses much more easily now than with the attack on Black Wall St.

Crime in the African American community, the most readily used silencing cue in the racist toolbox, reflects that humanity and the substantive pressures placed on that humanity. Our young in 2014 Ferguson, MI reformed the messages of African American history that racist and African American collaborators use to teach them powerlessness. Yet, take a look at how school systems are now trying to formulate a methodology to discuss the current events in Ferguson and other cities.

Why control the conversation? For the same reason our children in African American venues are taught slave songs instead of empowering verse? Our dialogue needs to be controlled to include silencing, powerless training. HBCU institutions provide tools to exude our power along with the history lesson. The intelligent heed the message. The fearful and mediocre cite statistics.  The European face of government and class conscious models of respectability politics band together to quell Black cognitive dissonance. But that dissonance also creates race-collaborators. This is also human. Fear is human.

To get you through this challenge, we need to revisit and establish in our lives how we accommodate, participate, and sometimes instigate our own demise. Here is the catch, if your town has no industry that will support your degree as well as your Africanism, there are always municipal positions available. And those who become a part of the machine (thinking they can make change from within), soon become THE MACHINE, despite their good intentions. Get over them … but do not give them a pass. Racist tactics are methodical complete with literature and verbal cues that African Americans are trained to absorb and respond to appropriately. Within this context, we must not forget that on an individual level, racist are confident that whatever their mistakes, there is a cue (crazy toolbox) to combat African American claims to racist attack and the victim will disregard their rights within that transaction. Add an insecure, incompetent collaborator and you have a cocktail for a now seemingly powerless victim.

So here is your challenge. There are two parts.

Part I: At least once per day, approach your racial encounters with power. Inner power. Victories, no matter how small, are the key to this challenge – no hubris, retaliations, pettiness, or abuses exude power or is the aim of this challenge (put away your crazy toolbox; not needed here). This can only be done if you follow principles that we ourselves will create during this adventure. There are a few listed to get you started.

  • We are human.
  • In our humanity, we fail, but as humans we are resilient and rise stronger.
  • Remember, racist gain their power in OUR acceptance of dehumanizing media, literature, slurs, and behaviors on their part.
  • We must know the laws and devices used to counter those laws that work in our benefit, during ANY transaction.
  • We must examine, in any situation, where and how we must exude our power effectively, and when racist malaise will cause them to empower YOU.
  • Recognize oppressive methodology, no matter who attempts it – these 4 indicators may help: Insult, Deny, Threaten, and Attack (these are all a part of the verbal cues). Find them in yourself first, and then you will recognize these tactics in others.
  • Act with a sound, still mind. If you become flustered, BREATHE, SING, or whatever you have to do to get back on track. It may seem crazy to the offender or allow them to feel momentarily “uber” empowered, but the whopper you will deliver will soon change that.
  • Most importantly, never, ever take your failure to control any situation as defeat. Remember, you were trained how to be powerless (regardless of how much Black literature you read or education). Regroup and fortify yourself for the next encounter, and you will recognize more of them as you learn to live as a citizen, instead of props in someone else’s theater.

Part II: You MUST develop your own strategies through these contacts and expand on these few lines with posts using the hashtag, #OYRchallenge. Your stories are important as they energize those too weak to accept this challenge. Start with the meager crumbs I have put before you and together we will create a banquet.

The alternative to this challenge is this – continue doing what you are doing expecting different results. Hence, buy a scooter to carry your crazy toolbox. It will only get heavier.

 

Financial Juneteenth | 15-Year-Old Teen Launches Investment Firm, Writes Two Books |#OYRchallenge

Warren Cassell, Jr.

The 15-year-old budding entrepreneur first started his Island business at the tender age of eight. He supplied greeting cards to customers, the whole process of which, including the graphic designs, he did all by himself. The only help along the way for his business was a small capital outlay from his parents to get him started. He became successful and attained international customers.After his success in the greeting card company, young Warren turned his hand to making investments in hedge funds, private equity, and real estate, all by the time he had reached the age of 13. His company, the Abella Group, now has around 50 to 60 clients worldwide for whom he designs and maintains websites.

via Financial Juneteenth | 15-Year-Old Teen Launches Investment Firm, Writes Two Books.

Town of Eatonville Florida

Eatonville, Florida

On August 18, 1887, only ten years removed from Reconstruction 1863-1877, a group of twenty-seven Negro men led by Joe Clark convened with the purpose of founding, what would turn out to be, the first incorporated African American settlement community in the United States. Eatonville, the town born on that day, was named for a White man, Josiah Eaton, who served as mayor of the neighboring town of Maitland from which most of the future Eatonville residents originated.

via Town of Eatonville Florida.