European Tourist, Black Churches and Race

A few weeks ago a friend and business colleague of mine posted pictures on his Facebook site of European tourist standing in line to enter black churches. My colleague was enjoying a vacation in New York while sending back photos of interest. The churches, doubling as tourist attractions are located in New York City (NYC). My mind, being what it is, first thought was…this a wonderful idea. As long as church members didn’t mind, why not accommodate the visitors?

Obviously, I wasn’t the only one who had not heard of this practice. By the time I saw his post, my vacationing friend had dozens of comments. They ranged from surprised, befuddlement, and suspicion with most in agreement to let the visitors see and learn.

It immediately sent me into research mode. Well…how long has this been going on you ask? If you are not familiar or heard of the practice, it seems to have caught a few national journalist attentions in 2012. The actual practice began in early 1980 and has become part of NYC Tour Company’s itinerary. Some of which are selling tickets at charges up to $55 per person, and providing most participating churches a cut of the profit. Plus you can be sure each church goes through their donation process to take advantage of all these visitors.  Naturally it brings about several questions, problems, and issues. What are the pros and cons? What do the church members think? How about the Pastor and Deacons? What do they think about this practice? Do the financial gains outweigh members or church officials concerns? Oh yes…there is that word again, finance. In other words is everybody concerned getting their fair share of the cash flow?

After taking a look at the NYC European tourist history and current practice, for me, there is a deeper issue. It is centered on how we as a people are portrayed in today’s media. Better yet, how much time should we give in an attempt to balance out the tendency of our white owned-managed national and local media? Those tendencies are targeted to an overwhelming majority of white readers or electronic viewers.  It reminding me of another recent headline, that went something like, is it the black folks responsibility to educate white people about race issues?

And…taking into account the past Memorial Day, it brought back another old memory for me. Back in the sixties, I took a Greyhound bus ride home from a US Army post (Fort Carson, Colorado). I could have taken a plane, but the bus ride wasn’t a long trip to Milwaukee. I was just getting out of basic training and wanted to save a little bit more spending money.  After all, I was looking forward to a little R&R with assorted partying on the side.

Anybody who has been on a bus knows that it stopped at every little nook and cranny town and corner bus terminal on its way to Chicago ending up in Milwaukee. One of our stops was in some little godforsaken spot south of the boonies. I got out and went into the little bit larger than a bathroom sized terminal to get a candy bar. We had already been told by the bus driver that lunch could be bought further on up the road.

The moment I walked into the little outlet, all eyes were on me including somebody’s dog that started barking. Since I was still a little groggy from just waking up, it finally dawns on me what was going on. I was a dark black man in a full US Army dress uniform, shining metal coat buttons, and spit-shined shoes. Keeping in mind I was also the only black person on the bus and certainly in the little bus stop.

As I made my way to the vending machine, one little blond hair girl was staring so long, I could actually see the fear in her eyes. I walked forward toward the machine which was to the right of the ticket window. She began to back up, feeling for her mother’s leg who was transacting business at the ticket agent’s window.  Her eyes were wide and fixed on me. I smiled and waved to no avail. For a second, she reacted in kind but evidently thought better of it and decided to take the cautious route. The girl let out a low whimper and turned to grab onto her mother’s leg. The mother was temporarily startled by her daughters’ action. With an annoyed facial expression, while attempting to reassure her daughter, the mother turned around to see what or who caused such a reaction. By then I must have been about six feet away from them. She placed her arm around her daughter and called out her name advising the youngster to “settle down and be quiet.”  Looking directly at me, she immediately understood what had almost set off her little girl. She smiled at me and admonished her daughter telling her “that soldier is not going to bother you.” Still fondling her daughters head pressed against her leg she returned to transacting her business with the ticket agent. I bought three candy bars and gave the little girl one of them. Her mother immediately took the candy out of her daughter’s hand and saying “you can have this later.” She nodded to me with a smile and turned back to taking care of her ticket window transaction.

As I settled in my seat, I remember thinking, I was probably the first black person that little girl had ever seen up close and personal. That was why I made the conscious effort of offering her the candy bar. I wanted to reassure her, as did her mother, there was nothing to fear from me.

Back in the early sixties while traveling as a soldier, there were similar incidents. Believe it or not, most odd reactions and staring came from adults rather than kids. At the time, a soldier must be in a full dress uniform when traveling to get a servicemen ticket rate. My family use to tease me. They wondered why the only time they saw me in uniform was when I arrived or was leaving home. I avoided wearing it during my R&R times because…sooner or later somebody in the hood would always want to challenge a uniformed soldier to a fist-fight. Sometimes all they needed was to hear you were in the military. They always wanted to test your toughness. I don’t know, I guess it was just a street thing.

As for the stares and the little girls’ reaction, remember this was the early sixties. Besides Amos and Andy, several appearances by Nat King Cole or Sammy Davis Jr. on the Ed Sullivan Show, blacks on TV were null and void. Where else would white folks come in contact with black people? Not in those small towns and rural areas.

Too much you say. Again, why should we act as educators on race issues? I say, because like it or not, we are ambassadors for our race when we are out and about in public. And frankly, it doesn’t matter if we are in mixed or non-mixed company. Remember Chris Rock’s rant, “I love black people but I hate (you know the word).”  We, as do all races, including white people always represent our race-ethnicity in dealing with the public on a daily basis. Why because, every time someone begins talking about an incident they observed, were involved in, or heard about they always mention the person’s race. If they don’t, somebody listening to the story will ask…was they black, white, Hispanic, Asian, etc., etc. It’s because we, especially in this country are obsessed with race.  I don’t necessary like it either…but somethings are out of our control. People are going to look at people through a racial microscope, good or bad. We are just trying to project who people of color really are, not somebody’s twisted imagination of who they think we are.

Just as some of you hate reading these race issue articles, I hate writing them. But then, I am compelled, no…not forced, I enjoy acting as a counterpart to the Bill O’Reilly’s, Sarah Palin’s, Rush Limbaugh’s of the world? Add an occasional slip of the tongue by some politician, entire political parties that thrive on creating a hostile “we against them” environment. Or attacks on our voting rights by Republican Governors, there is no shortage of voices needed to combat these forces.  These people need to be checked, rebuffed and corrected every time they voice an ignorant opinion. We all need to be involved and aware at all times.

We ought not to display our talents to others as if we are in a zoo, but rather on stage. When someone wants to see us at prayer, play, or exercising our abilities in the Arts, we should accommodate them. We should be glad to education those who have a natural inclination to see who we really are in our natural habitat, so to speak.  Anytime that black folks can have a real teachable moment or event that contradicts stereotypes, we should take advantage.

We are a people born with special qualities that some may not possess. That does not mean we are better than any other race. What it does mean is we are and should be responsible caretakers of our heritage and customs. These are very special traits that should be passed on to our young. Our children, who are smarter than we were at their age will have the same responsibility. They will pass it on to their children. If the History of Race in America has taught us anything, it’s that we can never become complacent. That just the way it is my people.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

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Get my latest book, a collection of my Blogs/Articles from 1999 through 2014. It’s entitled The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp. Go to the following Authors page link for details. http://www.outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478746232

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Codis Hampton II’s Episodic Thoughts of Hamp Offers Fly-on-the-Wall Insights on Movers and Shakers

 

Episodic Thoughts treats readers to amusing observations on the private discussions of movers and shakers and lawmakers.

 

January 15, 2015 – Denver, CO, and Pittsburg, CA – Two-time Author and blogger Codis Hampton II takes readers on a journey that’s both personal and politically and culturally insightful with his newly released African-American and pop culture book, The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp. The book is published by Outskirts Press.

 

The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp is a timeless collection of articles about comparing ones individual lifestyle with notable and relevant people and events in the political, entertainment, social and personal realms from 1999 through 2014. The articles/blogs are written in an informative manner offering different viewpoints while highlighting the fallacies presented by the subjects of his writings. Hampton reports not just what is said, but points out the relevance of what is left unsaid, what should have been said – and what should have been done. Readers will find the subject matter relevant to their personal and business economic status in America.

 

Hampton’s creativity is on full display with his creation of a set of new characters, Kyle and Jamal in their own Blogs.  They are literally hip “flies on the walls” buzzing around Congress and other major newsmakers. Through Kyle and Jamal, readers are treated to amusing observations as they listen in and report on the private discussions of movers and shakers and lawmakers. Throughout The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp the author ties in the broader events to one man’s upbringing, family relationships, internal and external personal issues, as well as black history to illustrate the relevance of the conclusions reached within these pages.

 

Codis Hampton II is a blogger at https://katararhythm.wordpress.com/ and Blog Talk Radio Host at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica. Additional information about him and his work is available at these websites and the parent website of the CHIIA Group at https://hcofa.net/ You may also visit the retail site of the Group at http://frostyltd.com/frosty-ltd-com

 

 

The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp is available online through Outskirts Press at www.outskirtspress.com/bookstore. The book is sold through Amazon and Barnes and Noble for a maximum trade discount in quantities of 10 or more, and is being aggressively promoted to appropriate markets with a focus on the social science, pop culture, ethnic studies and African-American studies categories.

 

ISBN: 978-1-4787-4623-2           Format: 6 x 9 paperback cream                Retail: $16.95

Kindle: $9.99           Nook: $9.99        EBook for iPad and iPhone: $9.99

Genre: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture / Ethnic Studies / African-American Studies

 

For more information about The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp, visit the book page at the author’s webpage, www.OutskirtsPress.com/episodicthoughtsofhamp.

 

About the Author: Codis Hampton II is a jack of all trades who’s worked in the Department of Defense, as well as in self-employment ventures. His varied interests range from business and political commentary to creative arts such as acting, comedy, cartooning, and vocal and instrumental music. For more information about Codis Hampton II and his book, contact the author at P.O. Box 668, Pittsburg, CA 94565 or email champtonii@yahoo.com.

 

About Outskirts Press, Inc.: Outskirts Press offers full-service, custom self-publishing and book marketing services for authors seeking a cost-effective, fast, and flexible way to publish and distribute their books worldwide while retaining all their rights and full creative control. Available for authors globally at www.outskirtspress.com and located on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, Outskirts Press, Inc. represents the future of book publishing, today.

 

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Outskirts Press, Inc., 10940 S. Parker Rd – 515, Parker, Colorado 80134

http://outskirtspress.com 1-888-OP-BOOKS

What’s Wrong With Our National Media?

I was struck by the abrupt statement from Morgan Freeman while commenting on the Baltimore disturbances. The headline read F_ _ K the Media. This from such a level headed gentlemen who like many of us are disgusted with the coverage of news regarding black folk’s issues.

Never confuse education with intelligence You don’t have to be in your senior years, or even middle age to have finally had enough of the obvious distortion of incidents by local and national news people. Reporters, news editors, and station owners are no different than the rest of society; they bring their bag of opinions and prejudices to the party too. How they view, an incident depends largely on their interpretation of the facts leading up to, during, and at the concluding summation.

They will have their cameraman point to certain incidents, like burning and looting as an expert picturesque commentary on a lawless band of people. They begin their narrative of explaining what the viewer is seeing by simply stated something like “And there were people taking Flat Screen TV’s, whatever they could get their thieving hands on while causing destruction of private property.” Often what is not said is these people are wearing mask and hoodies to protect their identities. What is not said is that there are people who patiently wait for a national incident to break out. They purchase plane tickets to fly to these hot spots and contribute more to the unrest than solving the problem. Their mission is simple, cause unrest, creating such an environment as to allow for breaking into a storefront business to help themselves before they disappear into the night. They have taken the merchandise of their choice, sold it for cash or taken it back to their home, wherever that is. They are professional looters. You never hear about those people unless there is a need.

Don’t get me wrong, some local black folk are involved in the looting and disturbance too. Most of time, they are living on adrenaline and do not bother with putting on a disguise. Why, because they have a personal interest in the outcome of such incidents. They simply do not care who sees them being disrupting. “Black Lives Matter” they chat. They are angry and lashing out. Of course, we believe rioting, burning or destroying community property is not the way to deal with an incident such as the death of Freddy Gray.

Our complaint is the reporting of the news, incidents, and occurrences are so narrow-minded.  At times, it’s as if they are deliberately trying to muddy the waters to prevent anyone from understanding what really happened. You are almost positive the media has gone out of their way to find the most inarticulate bystanders to comment on the incident. That alone feeds into the stereotype of an uneducated race of people. At least, in the case of longer incidents they are finding more credible people to interview. Its just I am reminded of a cartoon I saw the other day. On the one hand, a black man was reading a newspaper headline which read, “Black man killed by Police Officer(s)” so he says…”Again?”  The drawing includes a white man reading the headline in a paper, “Black folk rioting in the city” The white man also says “Again” in disgust. The drawing points out the irony and perception of how race is viewed by a black and a white man.

In the Morgan Freeman article, he says MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN are just commentators. Each station shows you a picture followed by what seems like an endless commentary on the subject at hand. What did the perpetrator know, when did he know it, and who did he share it with? What are the laws? Will the president or Congress get involved?  Followed by the endless innuendos, action interpretations, and so-called experts in various fields giving you their idea of how it should go. Remember, there are stations like Fox News that subscribe to the tea and Republican doctrine of “hate everything that Obama stands for.”

By the way, why should we not be surprised that the Baltimore Policemen Union has turned on their State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby? She brought the charges against the 5 policemen and 1 policewoman involved in the Freddy Gray case. Monday morning, the Sherriff of Milwaukee County speaking on CNN had a gripe against this young woman. He called it a “Rush to Judgment.” I guess the unwarranted, unnecessary arrest of Mr. Gray was a “Rush to Arrest?” He said he had never seen a case where charges were brought against someone within 24 hours as had Attorney Mosby. Besides having the nerve to issue such a ridiculous statement he was reminded of a fact by the CNN reporter. Attorney Mosby had been conducting her own investigation for two weeks before she got the official package from the police department. As an aside, considering what is going on in the streets of Milwaukee, I would think the Sheriff would too busy trying to clean up his city streets instead of trying to be the voice of fellow officers from another state. Hey, Sheriff, I am Milwaukee raised and still have plenty of friends and relatives there. Please stick to your day job.

And one other thing (is it just me), has the policemen unions in this country become blind to facts and simply out of touch with their average community when they are defending one of their own?  Do they remind you of the National Rifle Association? What should we call their tactics, “A Rush to protect their own?” I have no problem with any group or organization in this country looking out for their members except when it comes at the expense of real law and order for all.

What is wrong with the national media, you say? I am glad you asked. I think that they have been on this “Enquire” or “Star” (found at your grocery store rack) reporting cycle for almost two decades. You know; the premise that says the headline is everything. The more spectacular or shocking the better the headlines chance of gaining the interest of a reader. Television Newscasters are no different. They are competing with cable stations that sometimes have a little more leeway than network stations. And most cable stations are directing their rhetoric to specific audiences either liberal leaning (MSNBC) or conservative (almost all other stations) in nature. And the number one station (Fox News) has a tendency to slant every news story while appealing to right-wing Republicans and almost any fringe group that sees the world as black and white. By the way, read the following headline regarding Fox News, http://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/fox-news-apologizes-for-misreported-baltimore-police-shooting-%e2%80%98we-screwed-up%e2%80%99/ar-BBjbhSB, and you get a great picture of what I am talking about here.

Add that to the current 15 to 30-second attention span of most people on the left side of fifty-years-old and…well you get the picture. This may surprise you. All this happens before the race issues are added to the equation. Think about that for a minute. Then you will begin to understand why most national media has a credibility problem. Fact checking has given way to who got the scoop out first?  Is it tantalizing enough to grab a large audience?

And finally, a lot of the general public is simply burned out from all the negative political ads, mailing, and billboards. As evidenced by the last mid-term elections. They are trying to turn it off which leaves the diehard conservatives and fringe loonies as the majority of people responding to surveys or commenting on internet columns. Every time someone with common sense contributes to the discussion, they are shouted down by some lunatic right winger. Who wants to try and reason with a fool?

One of my favorite quotes attributed to Abraham Lincoln simply says, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”  That is what is wrong with the national media; they have a problem providing the public with “the real facts.”

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-1u

Join us at the live broadcast of our bimonthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

Get my latest book, a collection of my blogs from 1999 through 2014. It’s entitled The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp. Go to the following Authors page link for details. http://www.outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478746232

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at https://hcofa.net/

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Black Legends of The Wild, Wild West, Part I, #BHM

This is the first article of a Four Part Series on Black Folks, who helped to tame the west. Originally publised in April of 2015, republised today in celebration of our Black History Month of 2020. Today we take a look at U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves.

620bass-reeves-portraitlarge

The subject matter and individual I’m writing about this Black History Month cause me to be reflective of my personal history. I remember when I was a nine, ten, eleven-year-old kid living in Milwaukee. Yes, it was that red brick apartment building located on thirteenth and Juneau that many have heard me lovingly refer too.

It reminds me of Saturday mornings spent watching ‘Tales of the Texas Rangers,’ Lash LaRue, the Lone Ranger, and yes, even Roy Rogers as well as other Cowboy television programs. We would eat breakfast and hurry to the living room to watch my father’s, subsequently, our favorite shows.  I had a makeshift holster and belt. It was just a blue boy scout’s belt with the shiny brass buckle running through a leather holster that held my trusty six-shooter. I would tie that holster down to my right thigh with an old shoestring just like a real gunfighter.

Talk about imagination; I was full of daydreams during those years. Whenever my friends or cousins came over, we would play in my back yard. We’d use the fifty-gallon oil drums sitting on A-frame stands as horses; throw rags and an old blanket over the barrel as saddles. It didn’t help, because after we finished playing and went back inside? My stepmother would smell the coal oil residue on my pants and me. I would get another warning about her having to wash those pants in with other clothes spoiling the pleasant aroma she was creating with detergent fresher of some type. I am not sure, but I think after several warnings, she washed my play pants with daddy’s work pants.

Back then (mid-fifties), all the cowboys seen on television, movies were white. My father always told me not to worry about it because there were black cowboys in the old west.  Just because television program writers didn’t write about them, did not mean they didn’t exist. He’d tell me, I can be anything I want to be, but make sure you’re the best at whatever you choose. So in my mind, it was my blackface riding that horse chasing rustlers, bank robbers and fighting range wars. I would imagine myself, family members, and other people I knew, would be just as comfortable in the old west as anybody.  Of course, later on in the sixties, seventies, and eighties, the public did see black faces appearing in cowboys, gangsters and all kinds of entertainment. It was readily known that Sammy Davis Jr was a fast draw expert in real life, seen as a frequent guest star in several of the cowboy television series. By that time, I’d hung up my gun and holster, turned to chase girls instead of rustlers and the like.

One such real live lawman who roamed the old west while dishing out justice was U.S. Deputy Marshall Bass Reeves.  Born as a child of slaves in Paris, Texas, in 1838, he served as a water boy until old enough to become a field hand. He became his master’s body servant and personal companion at an even older age.

Bass reportedly ran away after beating up his master (George Reeves) after some dispute during a card game. He found a haven by living with the Seminole and Cherokee Indians, where he developed his skills with the pistol and rifle. It’s also where he became fluent in several Native American languages, finally freed in Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation order of 1863.

Moving to and buying farmland in Van Buren Arkansas, while marrying Nellie Jennie a year later. He would go on to father ten children (five girls and five boys) from this union. Although the family lived happily on the farm, Frontier Law answered Bass’s restlessness and yearning for adventure.

He was appointed as part of a 200-deputy crew by U.S. Marshall, James Fagan in 1875, because of his specific knowledge of the Indian Territory and his ability to speak their language. At the time, the area had become inundated with outlaws, thieves, and murderers looking for an area that before had no federal or state jurisdiction. With a patrolling area covering 75,000 square miles, the deputy’s instructions were to bring in the perpetrators dead or alive.

Bass-Reeves-group-cropped

At 38 years old, he was the first black U.S. Deputy Marshall to serve in that capacity west of the Mississippi River. Known as being courteous and impeccably dressed in his boots polished to a shine, he rode a large reddish stallion with a white-blazed face. While marshaling in the Oklahoman Native American Territory, over his 32 years of service, credited with killing fourteen outlaws and having arrested 3,000 felony lawbreakers of all kind. At 6’2”, approximately 200 pounds, he was ambidextrous with a reputation for being quick, accurate and deadly with his two guns. He was just as skilled with a rifle. Maybe that is why in all those years, he never suffered a gunshot wound, although his hat was shot off more than a few times. A big man with those kinds of skills had to be imposing enough to look at much less take on in a gunfight.

One of his most emotional and personal manhunts involved the apprehension of his son, Benny Reeves. The warrant charged his son with the murder of his young wife. The ultimate fair-minded Bass Reeves demanded the assignment as other deputies were reluctant to take the job because it was his son. In 1902, after a two-week trek into the badlands, he found and arrested his son. Returning him to Muskogee, Oklahoma to face trial, he turned him over to Marshal Bennett. Benny was tried, convicted and served twenty years at Leavenworth for the crime. A citizen’s partition was instrumental in gaining his pardon and early release, after which he spent the rest of his life without further incidents with the law.

By 1907, Oklahoma became a state, and Reeves Deputy US Marshal Commission ended. He was 68 years old. He moved on to join the Muskogee Police Department until his health became a problem while attempting to carry out his duties.  Bass Reeves died of Bright’s disease in 1910. There are several books and articles written and available today. His life and exploits as a US Deputy Marshall was the subject of a movie entitled Bass Reeves, released in 2010. James A. House played the leading character. He confided that when independent filmmaker and owner of the San Ponderous Productions contacted to play the part, he “didn’t even know who Bass Reeves was.”

Here was a man who could not read or write. He had to have others read his warrants to him before searching for various outlaws. He would memorize the details from that reading, including which warrant was for whom.  When serving the document, he never failed to pick out the correct warrant belonging to a specific outlaw. It is amazing to me how our people always found a way to adjust and make progress on whatever job they had to do. That is an important legacy they left us, the ability to improvise. To this day, we use those skills in our everyday lives. Deputy Marshall Reeves goes down in US history as one of the greatest frontier heroes this country has ever known. And once again, my father proved to be right. There was black folk roaming the Wild West.  Look for Part II next week.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa C                                                                                                                      Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Join us for the live broadcast of our bi-monthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

We present the republication of the Authors’ tour of South Korea as a 17-year-old GI with Unchon-ni. Check out the details at https://outskirtspress.com/Unchonni

We are in a continuing effort to publicize, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years 1917-1953. Based on the life of the Authors Grandmother. The Novel examines an era of Jim Crow that many in our society may have forgotten occurred against people of color. Meanwhile, we celebrate the publication of his fifth book, Misguided Intentions. A book where family relationships questioned to the core. Read MI’s review at https://redheadedbooklover.com/gracie-hall-hampton-codis-hampton-ii/  Click on the publisher-Authors page at https://outskirtspress.com/MisguidedIntentions   

Get any of his books by visiting my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

Look for new books, updates of current titles, and submission of short articles to major magazines upcoming in 2020. We love to pass on our written word. – HampOur Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at http://hcoa.net/ and http://www.chiia.com/home.html. Our Retail Site is https://frostyltd.com/frosty-ltd-com

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment.

Black Hair Care, Open To All Entrepreneurs

4.1.1Sometime last year, I was surprised to learn that the United States 1965 decision to ban the import of any wig that contained hair from China contributed to the Koreans domination of the US Black Hair Care Industry.  Six months earlier in a successful attempt to aid their own wig manufacturers, the Government of South Korea banned the export of the desirable raw hair by anybody other than their own. The result was a Korean monopolization of the Black Hair Care as depicted in Aron Ranen’s, http://diaryofahairobsession.com/black-hair-the-korean-takeover-part-2/ documentary. In a four-part documentary, Ranen’s film points this out and provides in debt insight into the industry as of 2009.

You should note that the two acts by the governments “almost providing a monopoly.” In order for a monopoly to work, competition must be halted by regulation or lack of availability of the monopolized service or goods for sale. In this case, the consumers hold the key to monopolization.

Later on in the year, I picked what I thought was a fair representative number of local Beauty Shop owners. I called, spoke to the owners and explained my reasoning for asking if they were willing to be on my show. Those that did not want to be a guest, I asked about the Korean takeover of the American Black Hair Industry.  Some were reluctant, others were willing but cautious of the possible blow-back from their Korean or Korean associated suppliers. When it came time to call them back, no one was answering the phone. At least no one was taking my calls.

As luck would have it, I was interviewing Regi Kim (of Black Hair Heritage and Roots film documentary, Nappy Roots) on a show last December. She brought on Sam Ennon as an associate and call-in during the show. Afterward, I called him and he agreed to be a guest in March of 2015.

Membership PicMr. Ennon is the founder of BOBSA, a black-owned organization that offers the same type service as any Korean Beauty Supply Product vendor in this country. The organization was formed and also shown as an alternative to the Korean domination of the industry. Thus, they are still as of today, dispelling the idea that the Koreans have a monopoly on the Black Hair Care Industry.

On the show, Sam provides a clear history of the black hair care industry from the freer open market era through the Korean dominance to the present. We learned that events, and in some cases a change in black consumer hair styles, are successful challenging the Korean semi-monopoly. You have got to hear this because you may never hear anyone describe the events and the playbook used by a couple of Korean Entrepreneurs to dominate the black hair care industry.  If you have not heard the show, check out my interview with Sam Ennon on the HCofA BTR March 18th Show, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica/2015/03/18/bobsa-stands-for-black-own-beauty-supply-association-and-you.

BOBSA acts mainly as a Networking business association that is available to Cosmetologist across this country. Whatever items you need for your beauty shop is available either through them or one of their associates. But that is just a small task associated with BOBSA.

Ask Mr. Ennon and he will tell you he is about the black hair care industry with no apologies for his preference for the industry.  Therefore, the products he is marketing either through BOBSA or associative organizations are black owned products. Given that scenario one should be able to determine from that statement, black dollars are being circulated back into the black communities. And that my friends equate to real black power. To put it another way, black power equals green power and green power translates into real power.

We see some evidence of that in various areas in local neighborhoods and none in others. One of the areas that are helping to level the playing field is our social networks. There is no doubt that currently the internet and email has allowed any and everybody to post items, articles, and opinions. Not to be overlooked is a major change in how large to small retail companies changed their marketing plans, budget and direction to include the advent of the internet.  That is why you hear Mr. Ennon state that social networking on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and other websites are allowing black entrepreneurs to reach individual consumers. Often, it’s more of a one on one with a customer who may be interested in their product or service.

In fact, there is a new product called The Black Box Barber Caddy for barber shops and salons servicing male and female clients. It’s a vending machine that dispenses (you name it) black hair products. As much as forty percent of the products are produced by black entrepreneurs.

You may have seen advertisement ads on social media for a Meet the Faces of B.O.B.S.A. event that Mr. Ennon is hosting in Detroit. They will be at the Greater Grace Temple, 23500 W. 7 Mail, Detroit, MI 48219 on April 25 through the 27th.  They will also provide information and product display at the event. And…entrepreneurs can get the full details on how to become an Investor, Distributor, Salesperson or Wholesaler of the Black Box Caddy trio of machines. Specifically, the Black Box Barber Caddy with men’s hair care products. There is the Black Box Beauty Supply with woman’s hair care products, and the Black Box Natural Products which addresses the natural black hair styles which are becoming more popular today.

Locally, we are going to highlight the Blitz Barbershop at 4156 MacArthur Blvd in Oakland, CA. They have agreed to set up a Black Box Barber Caddy in his shop. The owner, entrepreneur Quincy Scott will be on our May 20th Blog Talk Radio Show to give you his story and expectations for his business.

But that is not the entire story or even the beginning of another story. This story is about human nature and consumer behavior toward what is best for themselves and their community.  The question that stills begs for an answer and immediate action. It is one that is asked time and time again in our community, normally generating non-responses or all kinds of stereotypical answers.  Why can’t we as a people, work together for our overall common good?

As Sam Ennon previously stated, we are finding that attitudes are changing. Maybe one day we will finally put the “crabs in a barrel” syndrome to rest. Meanwhile, here is a warning for Black Americans. If we don’t take control of our communities via economical means, we will go out of style like a short-lived fashion craze. And that includes political influence in our state capitals and Washington DC.

We have got to take ownership of our neighborhood retail and residential property. We need to cooperate with the local police department by setting up Neighborhood Watch groups. I don’t care what some people think about the local police. I am a firm believer in getting our local officials, and that includes the police, their superiors and as far up the chain as necessary, to facilitate change in unsatisfactory behavior in the office and on the ground. Bottom line; enable ways to make those in positions of authority responsible for their actions.

Meanwhile, it is up to us to facilitate the change we are seeking. For the first time in our history, we have the means and abilities to improve our living standard. The computer is the primary means. Another is cooperating with organizations and business that are specifically circulating black consumer dollars back into our communities. You want to know more about current or future plans of B.O.B.S.A., give Sam Ennon a call at 650-863-3491 or go to the website at www.bobsa.org. Get involved in your own economic survival in any way you can.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

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