Saturday, November 28, 2009

Think HBCU

When the time comes for you to select a college or a university to attend, please THINK about attending a Historically Black College or University. These institutions of higher education offer degrees in every field imaginable. You will obtain a quality education that you will be proud of for the rest of your life!

Some people have questioned the need for these schools as we know them. For those who question the necessity for their existence I would like to say that these schools are still needed. These schools will be needed until there is parity in the educational funding system across the country, especially in our nation's inner cities. HBCUs understand the challenges of inner city students who may need just a little more support to make it in college. We are there for you because we care, we share and we understand that you may not have been afforded a few things along the way. With that being said, we also attract some of the country's brightest and highest achieving students. We also have very diverse student populations unbeknownst to many. HBCUs are not just for African American students. Our doors are open to everyone!

HBCU campuses provide a very rich social environment which will help to prepare you for the life after college. In addition to earning your HBCU degree, you will have a network of friends that you will stay in contact with for the rest of your life! You also look forward to attending your school's annual homecoming event because of these special relationships.

A majority of today's Black leaders, doctors and entrepreneurs received their degrees from a historically Black college or university. Most of them will also tell you that they are who they are today because of their Black college experience.

Although this site features historically black colleges and universities, the scholarship links are the most important aspects on this site. It does not matter how smart you are. If you do not have the financial resources to complete college, a college degree is just a topic of discussion.


Copyright © 2007- 2009

You Come...You Learn...You Graduate!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Michael Vick tells Philadelphia high school students to avoid peer pressure

PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Vick, speaking to a group of Philadelphia high school students Tuesday, warned against the dangers of peer pressure and offered himself as a cautionary tale of what can happen when someone is a follower instead of a leader.

The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, who served prison time for running a dogfighting ring, addressed a rapt audience of 200 freshmen on their first day at Nueva Esperanza Academy, a North Philadelphia charter school. He urged the students to make the right choices and to resist the temptation to follow the crowd.

AP Photo/ Joseph KaczmarekMichael Vick addresses students at the Nueva Esperanza Academy in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

"I didn't choose to go the right way, which led to 18 months in prison, which was the toughest time of my life," he said. "Being away from my family, being away from my kids who I adore dearly, and being away from the game of football, doing something so foolish, and I wish I could take it all back.

"I was influenced by so many people when I should have been a leader, not a follower."
Speaking without notes, Vick told the hushed assembly during his 10-minute talk that his poor decisions imperiled the goals he had set for himself.

"Growing up, I had dreams and I always wanted to have this great, lavish life and make it to the NFL, go and accomplish great things and leave a great legacy. That was my goal from a young kid," Vick said. "My future was promising ... at some point, I got sidetracked. I started listening to my friends and doing some things that were not ethical and not right."

He said he tried to do the right things at school and at home, "but I had another side to me, and it was a dark side."

Vick visited the school with Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. Pacelle has said he met with Vick in prison at the quarterback's request and that Vick sought to work with the group after his release.

Vick and the organization are working on "a national campaign to try to reach especially young people so we can all be voices against organized animal fighting," specifically dogfighting and cockfighting, Pacelle said.

"It's really a test of our character as individuals about being good to those who are less powerful," he said.

Once the highest paid player in the NFL, Vick spent 18 months in federal prison and was suspended from the league following his conviction in August 2007 on charges of conspiracy and organizing the dogfighting ring. He was released from federal custody on July 20 and the Eagles signed him last month.

Several animal rights groups criticized the team's decision to sign the quarterback, saying he is a poor example for young people.

Eagles spokeswoman Pamela Browner-Crawley has said the team has an obligation to the community and work with children particularly, to discourage them from engaging in dogfighting or any animal abuse.

Vick is suspended for the first two games of the regular season and is eligible to play beginning Sept. 27. In two preseason games, Vick completed 11 of 15 passes for 45 yards with one interception and rushed for 36 yards on eight carries with one touchdown.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life - Wal-Mart

Tony Dungy's words and example have intrigued millions of people, particularly following his victory in Super Bowl XLI, the first for an African American coach. How is it possible for a coach--especially a football coach--to win the respect of his players and lead them to the Super Bowl without the screaming histrionics, the profanities, the demand that the sport come before anything else? How is it possible for anyone to be successful without compromising faith and family? In this inspiring and reflective memoir, Coach Dungy tells the story of a life lived for God and family--and challenges us all to redefine our ideas of what it means to succeed. Includes a foreword by Denzel Washington and a 16-page color photo insert.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ten9Eight: Shoot For the Moon

In America, a kid drops out of high school every nine seconds. Imagine if they didn’t. This is the compelling question behind award-winning filmmaker Mary Mazzio’s newest project TEN9EIGHT, a thought provoking film which tells the inspirational stories of several inner city teens (of differing race, religion, and ethnicity) from Harlem to Compton and all points in between, as they compete in an annual business plan competition run by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

In theaters: November 13, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

The biggest lies about Black male and female relationships

THE "happy Black couple." To some, that phrase seems like the ultimate oxymoron. That's because so many people buy into the notion that the battles between Black men and Black women are so fierce that maintaining a stable, committed relationship is virtually impossible. True enough, Brothers and Sisters often find themselves staring across a great divide that makes coupling up a challenge. Still, countless Black folks are hooking up and staying hooked up, defying the stereotypes and the mythology that says Black couples can't make it.

In fact, as Black and White scholars have demonstrated, Black family relationships were as stable and strong as Southern White households and Northern White ethnic households until the 1930s. Since that time, the situation has changed, primarily because of a lethal combination of racism, urbanization, unemployment and drugs. "What is astonishing under these circumstances," as one historian noted, "is not that some Black couples have problems, but that so many Black couples still love and give." These couples are all around us, and we can learn from them and from Black history how to identify--and how to defy--the biggest lies about Black male/female relationships.

On the following pages are some of the biggest myths associated with Black male/female relationships and some ways in which you can avoid falling into the emotional and mental traps that make these pitfalls seem too big to steer clear of.

1. Black Relationships/Marriages Don't Last

Many people accept this notion as fact despite the contrary evidence presented by the thousands of Black couples who each year celebrate marriages that have lasted 50 years or more. Jet magazine features them each week. They are couples like Lurline and Wendell Cotton of Garland, Texas. The Cottons, both 80, celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary on February 6.

Not only have the Cottons lived together for most of their lives, they worked together for nearly 40 years in Wendell Cotton's dental practice in California. Lurline Cotton served as her husband's office manager until the couple retired and moved to Texas in 1984. What's the key to their marital longevity? "Mutual respect," says Lurline Cotton, who had three sisters, each of whom also was married over 50 years. "You've got to have that respect for the other person. There are going to be hard times and some disagreements in a marriage. But when you have that respect, then you are allowed to be who you are and your partner is allowed to be who he is, and you can work through anything."

2. Black Male/Female Relationships Are Only About Sex

It's true that sex is a critical component in any marriage or committed relationship, but its significance as the only thing that cements Black male/female relationships is highly exaggerated. "Sex is important; every man will tell you that," says Dr. George Smith, a Chicago psychotherapist who has counseled more than 2,000 couples in relationship trouble. "But if sex is all you have holding your relationship together, you're in trouble because you don't have a true relationship."

Smith says he tries to show the couples he works with how to communicate and trust and support each another so that their relationship is about more than sex. More often than not, he's successful. He helps couples find the bonds and mutual goals that make their sexual relationship a sustainable partnership. "Any relationship of substance has to be based on trust and commitment and respect," he says. "If you have those things, you'll not only have a true partnership, you'll have great sex."

3. All Black Male/Female Relationships Are Filled With Arguments, Hardship And Pain

Love may hurt, but it doesn't have to, the experts say. Many Black couples in healthy and stable relationships can and do disagree without becoming disagreeable.

But the image of the constantly bickering Black couple has taken over popular thought to such a degree that most people assume it is the norm, says Tiy-E Muhammad, assistant professor of psychology at Clark Atlanta University. "Many people believe that couples must have dramatic occurrences--cursing at one another, being put out of the house, keying somebody's car--in order to appreciate one another," Muhammad says. "WRONG! It is very possible--in fact, it's the norm--for a couple to have a nice, respectful relationship without all of the drama that society is starting to make us believe is normal."

The way to avoid having your relationship dispute degenerate into screaming matches is to learn how to fight fair. Don't choose the moment of a dispute about money to hit your partner with a "low blow" about sexual performance or inattention to your emotional needs. "Make sure that what you're fighting about is really what you're mad about [at the time]," says Kathy Grant, a Miami marriage counselor. "When arguments blow up into huge, dramatic fights, there's more at work there than what people say they're arguing about. That's why constant communication is important."

4. All Black Men Cheat On Their Partners

This is such a widely accepted belief, many Black men won't even dispute it. But while monogamy can be hard, it's a behavior many Black men conform to with the love and support of strong Black women.

But due to the myriad social and environmental forces that have not been supportive of strong, Black male role models, "a lot of Black men don't know how to be a husband or father," says Dr. Smith. "But if you work with him, nurture him, talk to him, you can help him to be the husband and father you want and need him to be."

Smith also cautions Black men not to allow ego and insecurity to push them to live up to the myth of the Black superstud at the expense of their relationships. "A lot of times, as Black men, our huge egos are all we bring to the table in a relationship, and when that ego gets hurt, we strike out with the one weapon we think we have," Smith says. "But a lot of Black men, with the help of their women, are learning to open up. They're learning how to deal with frustrations in their relationships in other ways besides having a woman on the side."

But women also bear some responsibility for the promulgation of the belief that all Black men cheat. "A lot of women withhold sex as a form of behavior modification or punishment when they're angry with their spouse or boyfriend," says Dr. Grant. "That's not only not healthy, it doesn't work. It's the surefire way to send a man looking elsewhere, especially since society is conditioning him to believe that's what is expected of him."

Both Grant and Smith say communication and maintaining an active sex life are essential to keep a man from straying. "It can be tough," says Grant. "Especially for the working mother, who on top of her job, still takes the lead role in caring for the kids and home. She's often just too tired for sex. But you've got to find ways to make that a priority in your relationship. Help him see how sharing in the housework and taking care of the children will also help in the bedroom. Don't withhold sex if he doesn't do those things. But help him to see how rewarding it can be when he does."

5. Black Women Can't Hold Relationships Together Because They Are Too Domineering And Demanding

It is ironic that the strength and determination for which Black women are revered as mothers and stalwart family supporters are also the qualities around which a great deal of relationship mythology is centered.

Part of the problem is the ambivalence many men have about what they really want in a partner/mate. "Modern-day men enjoy having an independent woman," says Tiy-E Muhammad. "Most men will say, `I want a woman who's got it going on.' But after the relationship has begun, those same men will now want that woman to submit and be a part of his vision and his dream. He will want to be the dominant figure in the relationship in order to feel whole."

In relationships that work--those that endure for decades--the individuals who make up the couple take turns allowing the other to be "boss." "You don't have to be totally submissive," says Lurline Cotton, "but sometimes you go along with what he wants to do, even if it's not exactly what you want, and he goes along with what you want to do, even if it's not exactly what he wants."

This only works if there is trust in the relationship. "You have to be secure in the feeling that your mate is operating in your best interest," says Dr. Grant. "But a lot of Black women have had experiences that may lead them to believe that every guy is trying to get over on them, and that's a hard barrier to get over. So men have to work hard to show them that they're deserving of that trust. It may take time and a lot of effort on the man's part to get through that barrier, but a lot of couples manage it."

Black women also must relinquish some control, especially on the home front, which many women see as their dominion. "Just because he doesn't feed the baby exactly the way you would or make dinner exactly the way you would, you don't just take that away from him or degrade his approach," advises Dr. Smith. "If you nurture him and show appreciation for the way he does-things, you're showing him respect and building up that trust in the relationship."

The bottom line is that Black couples do make it--more make it, in fact, than our society ever really acknowledges. And if more people followed the examples of the couples whose relationships do endure, and the tips from the experts who help struggling couples get over the hump, perhaps the myths about Black male/female relationships would fade--replaced by more stories like those of Lurline and Wendell Cotton, whose 59-year marriage is still going strong.

"It takes a commitment to what you're trying to build together," Lurline Cotton says. "But if you have the respect and th,e love, the commitment is a lot easier to maintain."

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COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group