Checking Our Life Progress at Age Forty

My online pastor, don’t trip, I also attend First Baptist in Pittsburg. As I was saying, a few Sunday’s ago Doctor Lance Watson of Saint Paul’s Baptist (Richmond, VA.) began a new sermon series.  The new series is entitled “Fortyish.”  The subject is as it sounds, people reflecting on their current status in life at the age of forty. Naturally, Dr. Watson looked at it from a biblical sense.

It started me wondering about my state of mind after turning Forty. First of all, I had my midlife crises in my early thirties. I had to close a thriving retail business because I didn’t have the collateral to get a business loan. With two kids and a wife, finding a career that had growth possibilities at home was a lost cause. After closing our retail outlet, I reasoned that my future was not in Milwaukee.

I was familiar with the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Area. As a young soldier, I was once stationed at Fort Ord, outside Salinas and Monterey, CA.  From there I was assigned to Oakland’s Army Terminal to await a ship that took me to Korea. While there, I’d settled in so well, the Forty- Niners’ became my second favorite football team, after the Packers. Reluctantly my wife agreed, and we decided to move to Northern California. I should also say my life took a drastic change for the better with that decision. I put in an application for a governmental position in Alameda. I got hired as a Supply Clerk by a lady I ending up calling my West Coast Mother. She called to tell me I had the job and found my wife to be pregnant expecting our third child. Ida M Brown (RIP) allowed me to report, two months later after the birth of the baby.  After I had arrived, she suggested I move into the Oakland YMCA, which I did and invited me and my new friend, Denny, over to her house for a Thanksgiving Dinner. I never forgot her kindness. That was in 1978.  I was thirty-four years old.

But let’s stay on point. I should note that I passed my forties over two decades ago. By age forty, I was working as an Accounting Technician at Naval Supply Center. I transferred from the Accounting Department and took a job in the Procurement Department. My dream had come true. I was a Purchasing Agent and feeling like I’d made real professional progress.

For most people, as Dr. Watson says, turning forty is a time we spend taking inventory of our life. Specifically, we look at our professional life, social environment, and friends.

Professionally we compare our dreams and hopes at twenty to our current reality. We look at our professional gains or losses. We wonder if we had taken this or that turn would we be in a better financial position. Are we happy in our chosen profession?  Are we in an upward position or a dead end? Is my position as rewarding as I originally thought, does it provide me the required security. And one of the most important aspects of a career, am I paid enough for the work.

Should we make a slight change in direction or change careers?  In these days, maybe the choice has been made for you. Companies continue to downsize, and look for ways to cut staff as a way of improving their profitability.  In my opinion, all possibilities must be reviewed including starting your own business.

We also take stock as to who in our lives are worth keeping and who might need to write off as a loss or nuisance.  Sounds cold? Come on; we’ve all had those people in our lives. Friends and, or relatives who have and will continue to cause constant problems in our daily existence. Most mean well, but come into your life with their personal agenda. Some go so far as to get what they need from you and move on to other sources. For a few, you may just have to say enough is enough; we just can’t be around each other. That would also include those in our love life. Is this the person I want in my life. Have the past years been as wonderful for both of us or neither one of us?

There is also an important examination that is biblical in nature. Do our possessions Golden Eggscontribute to our mental well-being?  In short, what we have purchased or personally own is the subject. Do our toys, for lack of a better word, make us happy? The size, brand or value of your toy may not mean the same to other individuals. Maybe it is a status toy like a home or automobile. Whatever the case, the question remains the same. Does it make you happy?

Sometimes we find that after getting a new toy, we are bored and begin to set our sights on a more expensive or new toy. In other words, we may find ourselves always longing for something we don’t have and possible can never own. That calls for self-examination of our values. Do we need this or another toy or can we find happiness with what we already own? And just where do our friends, family, and spouses fit into our toy equation? The value of human contact and interaction should always outweigh our desires for toys.

The point of the exercise is to examine all aspects of your life at this stage. It’s a case where you have to be selfish and honest with yourself.  If the exercise is carried out in the correct way, one will learn a lot about themselves and people around them.

This article is a series of personal examinations at the subject decade milestones in our lives. We welcome comments on your thoughts as write about each topic point. We can all learn from others experiences as well as our own. Look for a new article every two weeks.

Next up: What Happens When You Reach Fifty?

Followed by: Sixty, the new Forty or Fifty?

Ending with: Seventies, are you Done?

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-98

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

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

Or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

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

 

Dalila (DD) Dynes, Philanthropist & Entrepreneur

Dalila (DD) Dynes, a practicing hair stylist was the owner-manager of a North Oakland Salon for the last sixteen years. Her specialty was serving a diverse clientele with varying hair color and texture. “There weren’t any salons catering to all humans, so I opened one,” she says. It was a full-service business that housed a Jacuzzi Spa and massage service. Her customers also enjoy the garden patio, art gallery and performance stage as accouterments to her business.

There’s more to this Oakland born and raised Philanthropist. She’s an award-winning (Oakland Fence Project) photographer with a social conscience. DD is an entrepreneur who has a passion for the world of art, along with all forms of expression from the perspective of an artist.

She recently closed her salon for a year, opening a 600 square foot photography studio. “My photography is used to tell stories, to inspire, to communicate. I help my clients by capturing the images they want to convey. By listening to their needs, I create fantastic images. Any occasion; albeit portraits, wedding, professional employment, boudoir, or social setting for dating. Let us help you make a great first impression!”

DD’s Alameda-based studio offers a gallery showing the art of all mediums including music. She has included Live Streaming (#thecurrentpress) to the internet.  Her interest in the success of another artist within our Bay Area communities was a prime motivator for taking on such a venture. “The Current,” (www.thecurrentpress.com) style and shoot photography, helps professionals personal branding by offering styling and hair services as well as on-site photo shoots.

She has developed a collaborative artist series to benefit a different children’s organization every month. The series has multiple benefits to all who participate in an event. The event itself is important because art is universal, meaning each event will consist of people from all age groups and backgrounds. DD says “When people come together in agreement they begin to find more ways to agree.”

A participating artist can offer art for sale. Keeping in mind, we are talking about an artist of all types. Any artist can craft their show, exhibit and exposed to various demographics and markets they were not privy to in the past.  They are provided tickets to invite the press, investors or whoever they want to attend their exhibition or performance. For those investors who cannot attend, they have computer access to the best talent in the Bay Area.

 

DD April 22 Show                DD's April 22 Show

As noted by the pictures above for the last show. In fact, Oakland and other Bay Area Residents who long for culture art and authentic Bay-ness can get inexpensive tickets to a wonderful event. She offers a “swanky art gallery with awesome parking.” And the kicker is since it benefits a children’s organization, the tickets and event expenses are tax deductible. Once again, children’s organizations get money and free marketing for their entities day to day expenses.

All artist participation is voluntary and free. The children’s or group recipients change on a monthly basis.

DD will be a guest on our May 4th Blog Talk Radio show, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica/2016/05/04/hcofa-this-that-and-the-other-show

Join us for a lively discussion of Dalila (DD) Dynes new direction as a Philanthropist and Entrepreneur.

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-8n

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

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

Or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

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

 

Do You Like Soul Music, Yeah! Yeah!

It’s easy for us old fogies…lol. When was the last time you heard that term? In fact, some of you may have never heard of or referred to older folks in such a way. As I was stating, before interrupting myself, it’s easy for the baby boomer generation to flip at hearing the beginning of a song.

Most of the time, hearing the first few notes allows us to name the song, artist, where, what and who we were doing the first time we heard a timeless classic. We might yell out, “Oh s_ _t, that’s my song.” We start to sway, bob our head, snap our fingers and tap our feet at the same time. All of those moves from a standing or sitting position. Talk about an instant flashback.

For me, it is Soul on a roll, whether it’s a bagel, garlic bread or hamburger bun, I’m getting ready to throw down, get down, get funky with it. The tune can come from the sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties, or even the first decade of 2000. We are talking about the BR (Before Rap) years or today’s version of Pop.  The sound of which is a blend of no real genre of music. Some of the instruments, background singers are artificially created with the help of a computer.

Hey, I’m not trying to dis anybody’s generation. Today and now is your time, your era.  Hip-Hop rules say most dope (cool) folks. I hear you. I watch most of the award shows. Although sometimes I find myself wishing that some Rappers pants, currently hanging below his butt, fall all the way down around his ankles. Just once, I would like to see that on national TV. I think that video would go viral within minutes. Seriously, every generation should be unique in their right.

It just so happens this article is about Soul music, Rhythm & Blues. Songs from artist like the Ohio Players, Maze, The Commodores, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Earth, Wind and Fire who we simply called The Elements. We name a few because it is too many to name for this article. We partied, danced and made love to the sounds of Soul Music, Brown and Blue-eyed Soul. There just is no mistaking the beat, rhythmic flow or lyrics of a love affair going good or bad. We love it.

They created such great music, although there were clunkers too. The music bought ethnic groups together. The music itself played an intricate part in the Civil Rights movement. Have you ever heard of Curtis Mayfield’s, “We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue?” How about his soulful rendition of “The Makings of You?” Gladys Knight did a version in the movie, Claudine. Does James Brown’s “I’m Black, and I’m Proud” remind you of that era? Certainly you remember Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues,” from his “What’s Going On” statement Album. Or have you heard Donny Hathaway’s  “The World is a Ghetto?”

Some of the music protested the Viet Nam War, like Edwin Starr singing “War.” The lyrics, “War, humph, good god yawl, what is it good for…absolutely nothing, saying again yawl. War…” Get the point? Tell me it doesn’t ring true today. For a complete understanding of that particular period, you only need to listen to Marvin’s entire Album of songs in the classic “What’s Going On.” The Rhythm & Blues sound caused up and coming artist from around the world to imitate its artist. Check the Rolling Stones. Oh I know, its only Rock and Roll is their theme song but check Mick’s style of singing. Or Tina Turner’s (after Ike) Rocking Soul as she calls it.

As further testament to Soul music’s appeal, numerous Old School or Back in the Day radio programs are playing Soul, R&B and Smooth Jazz for your listening pleasure in 2016. That would include me via Hamp’s Corner of America Blog Talk Radio Show.

By the way, please tune in and check out a few cuts I am going to play on this Saturday’s Show, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica/2016/03/26/hamps-selections-from-his-collection-of-soul-jazz-music-vol-xiii.Notes Piano and Guitar

The music is from the man I call the Rhythm Philosopher, Mr. Curtis Mayfield. Many of you know him from his hit and movie title “Superfly.” What you may not know is Curtis was one of the most influential artists of the day recording and releasing music that made you think about your color and economic status. Speaking of truth, you have got to hear these cuts from his “There’s No Place Like America Today.” You may listen to the lyrics of those tunes and say as of today; not much has changed.

Another testament to the everlasting popularity of Soul-R&B is the music you hear in commercials, TV programs and of course the movies. And finally, let me not overlook the current superstars of today’s recording industry. Many of whom are children of Baby Boomers and following generations that embraced Soul-R&B. They grew listening to the superstars of yesteryear. That doesn’t mean they don’t love Hip-Hop, Rap and the music of today. It simply means they are still recording Soul-R&B. Artist such as Fantasia, KEM, Calvin Richardson, India Arie and Anthony Hamilton to name a few. So…are there musical superstars that make good music today regardless if it’s Soul or Rhythm & Blues? Of course, there are…again, way too many to mention in this article. There is enough for me to say the music industry is not short of talent and professionalism, regardless of those with their pants hanging below their butt.

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-7Z

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

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

Or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Reading for Knowledge is Mandatory, Part 1

I know you’re wondering, who is this fellow? What credentials, education or background gives him the authority to suggest what I should do, much less how I should advise my family?

Well, I am really nobody special, just a black man, an interested party in the growth, survivability, of my people and their ability to compete for whatever job in every profession available in the worldwide job market. I want us to take ownership in our community and stop waiting on others to dictate what happens there. I didn’t go to Harvard or a historically black college. In fact, I’ve never graduated from any major college. But I did graduate cum laude from the School of Hard Knocks, with a major in “Common Sense.”  So, this year I will use my media sites (HCofA’s “Reading for Knowledge” Initiative) and credentials to advise us all to read more, especially during this political season.

Believe me when I say, I’m not trying to be flippant here, but I do want you to consider the following information.

A Huffpost Books headline screams “The U.S. Illiteracy Rate Hasn’t Change in 10 Years.” Granted it’s from a December 12, 2014 update, but do you think it has gotten better since then? In the article the U.S. Department of Education along with the National Institute of Literacy states 32 million adults (14% of our American population) in the U.S. can’t read. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read. Major question…how do they graduate if they can’t read?

According to the Department of Justice, “The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure.” According to BeginToRead.com “85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, and over 70 percent of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level.”  They predict that “2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the 4th grade will end up in jail of on welfare.”

Although these are the statistics from all juveniles regardless of color, creed or origin, shouldn’t this concern you for Americas present and future? What about the People of Color community? Do you see growth in these numbers? A collogue recently posted the following sign on Facebook. It read “No one is coming to save you. This life of yours is 100% your responsibility.” Even God expects us to do certain things for ourselves by utilizing the human gifts he has bestowed upon us.

 

I’m a history lover; World, American and especially Black History. I’m just as fascinated today to read of black people, their inventions and exploits as I was as a kid. I used to skip school to go to the library because I believed they were not teaching me what I needed to know in school, parochial or public. canstockphoto7386027It was dumb on my part because even today, you still need that degree now more than ever to compete for a decent job. Yet, never overlook the importance of reading a book for some type of media for knowledge.

Why don’t we get personal and look at the people in our circle of acquaintances, people we meet and talk to on a day to day basis? An irritating person is someone with whom you’re having a discussion that obviously does not know what they are talking about. During the conversation you find that the source of what little information they have on the subject comes from a friend of theirs or something somebody else has told them. Since they haven’t taken the time to read up on the subject, they are not aware they are repeating the wrong information. Yet they hang on to their erroneous information as if its word of Jesus Christ. Often time they are the most opinionated individual in the conversation and refuse to admit that their real lack of knowledge. Do you know anybody or ever been involved in that type of conversation?

Add to the mix those individuals, which can be any ones of us at times, who drive up to a neighborhood street, a store, a strip mall, or city business that is closed or moved to another facility. We wonder why we hadn’t gotten the word of this major detour or event. Not only are some of us not watching the local news, we are not aware of community developments. All that is needed is to browse our city websites or attending monthly meetings at the city hall. No…we tend to wait until some event strikes a personal nerve. Then we are all over it only to find out decisions about this particular project were made months ago. We are now too late to effect any kind of change in plans.

What about those who are backing a particular local or national political candidate knowing nothing about their real plans or reasons for running for office in the first place. Yet we are sometimes sure about whom we don’t want to vote for or we simply don’t vote. When that happens we get the kind of local or national Representatives, senators, or Presidents that don’t have our interest at heart. Or we are surprised by a position the newly elected official has taken that is opposite of our beliefs and the will of the people or everyday citizen. Once again, does any of this sound familiar to you?

There is a dire need for all of us to stay current on local and national events.  We need to know the true details in order to avoid and in some cases provides us the ability to take action to effect change that affects your bottom line. That bottom line includes economics, community lifestyle or your children’s future.

A prime example is some in our local police department with cowboy attitudes when it comes to certain people of color. Does it really take a bevy of cops to empty their firearms into an individual’s back, front, or side that is armed with a knife? With the police chief stating at a press conference the officers feared for their life. Yet the video tells a different story of events.

Why must we wait for that to happen in our community? Why can’t we insist that our local officials, mayor, council persons demand additional training and a change in cultural in police? What is wrong with our policemen taking a stress test along with their fitness test every year? Such a physiological test is bound to reveal psychotic symptoms from certain individuals that should not be on the street with a weapon.  Maybe they have been on the street too long to have a clear judgement in a normal response to a police action call. And overriding evidence has revealed that certain police tactics need a vast overhaul.  The point is to implore the people who can effect change to act beforehand.

As a community of people, we must be more proactive instead of reactive. We start by being aware of current events in our community and nationally. Next, more remedy’s to the problem in Part 2 of this article.

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-7P

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

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

Or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

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

 

 

An International Thanksgiving

As is the Hampton family custom on Thanksgiving, my wife Sandra and I visited our son, Richie and his wife Endeliza for dinner at their house. Our wives agreed on a menu beforehand as well as who will prepare what for our little get-together.

Keep in mind that although Rich and Liza have been married going on twenty years, and together for five more, they don’t have any kids. My wife, always the one to crack a joke, makes reference to the absence of a possible grandchild by them in this way. Referring to Rich’s younger days when he was in the streets, she always asks, “Well, when is little snub-nose going to join our little family?”  Liza always laughs, plays it off and reminds her mother-in-law of that Christmas long ago when she gave her a stuffed doll and told her she could pick any name for it. Anyway, the couple is happy in their life with each other, and that’s all that counts.

They live a block from Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland so that you can imagine the size of their apartment. It is perfect for them, with a small kitchen, small living room, small office space and a bedroom with a nice queen size bed. Although small, you did get that didn’t you? It reminds me and my wife of some of the little love nests we rented back in the day. The point is although small, it’s designed to accommodate the two people who inhabit it.

We had no idea as to who was joining us but was very surprised when four more people arrived a half hour after my wife and I. Richie answered the knock on the door. “This is Paivi. She is from Finland. This is Nicoletta. She is from Italy. And then there is George, he is African but has been living in the US forever. And last but not least, this is Carol, she is from Ohio,” Richie stated as we shook hands and acknowledge each other.

Me, who cannot ever seem to remember names when first introduced, remembered the homeland of each person. After setting down, my wife who received a cell phone call from one or our friend wishing us a happy Thanksgiving quickly summed up the affair. “Oh yeah, we are having an international Thanksgiving with Richie and Liza.”  I, never wanting to offend anyone looked at Sandra, who asked me “What’s wrong with that?” On second thought nothing, I reasoned as she had perfectly described the gathering.

My son, looking at his parents questionable expressions went on to say the group (the three ladies excluding George) had just arrived in California to attend a concert in Santa Cruz and took the time to visit him in Oakland. They were leaving the day after the concert. They all met on Facebook and were seeing each other for the first time on this trip. At least that is what I got out of the conversations.

It was fun watching my daughter-in-law work it. Liza, always the make do with whatever you have, efficiently did her thing. She made everyone comfortable by placing the dinner table in the middle of where everyone was already seated in chairs or on the sofa.

DSCN0414.JPG

As you can imagine the before, during and after dinner conversation was interesting, especially while listening to the newcomers’ impressions of the United States. Nicoletta was told to bring a bikini as it would be bikini weather. She chided George, who was the one who gave her such a tropical weather report. His report caused her to pack clothing as though she was headed for beach weather. Sunshine and blue skies were dancing in her head. Needless to say, she had to buy a warm coat to deal with the Northern California cold weather.

It was her description of differences in the US driving requirements versus Italy that brought about an almost universal agreement. For those who have driven in Italy or know that the speed limits are, well let’s just say, a driver is practically on their own in gauging how fast they should drive in certain areas. She felt a speed limit of 25 miles per hour was “just too slow.”  And the fact that you had to stop at a stop sign whether anyone or a vehicle was around was as she described it “Stupid.”  Ummm…are you reading this DMV?

Paivi was a little shy, except when asked a question. She smiled a lot as others dominated the conversation. I was trying to get in a question regarding the social aspects of Finland, but it never happened. Finally, she responded to another subject question directed at her.  It turned out she was not as shy as I thought. So she felt comfortable enough to express herself in perfect English. It was Nicolette that was having problems with translating her thoughts into English. In the end, she got her point across where as everybody understood her.

George was the talker, and who seem like the main guide for the ladies. He played the role well. No hanky-panky here as all had left mates back home. It was a just a genuine friendship between them that allowed each to be themselves.

And of course, we learned that Carol was a nurse from Canton Ohio, home of the NFL Hall of Fame. She stated her family lived a few blocks from the old stadium where they played the game.  Adding her kids played high school ball in the stadium. They’ve torn the old stadium down making way for a brand new one. The NFL is also building a new four-star hotel to house the dignitaries, guest, NFL personnel and the new honorees as well as the old inductees. She says the event is more like a two-week celebration up to the Hall of Fame Game and shortly after that.

All in all, we had a very nice Thanksgiving meal with interesting conversations from nice people. We also got to visit with our son and daughter-in-law.

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/p679Jy-cA

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

“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

Or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

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

 

 

What Am I Thankful For In 2015?

What am I thankful for on this Thanksgiving? Where do I start? First of all, I am thankful for being the child of Doreatha (Childs) and Codis Hampton. Two people whom I dearly loved and will miss through eternity. And my heavenly father for placing me in their care and guidance in the first place.

I am thankful for having such wonderful siblings as my sisters, Delores, Carol, and stepsister, the late Johnny Mae. And let me not forget my little brother James Edward. I was the oldest and should have been the most responsible, but forgive me when I strayed to the dark side in my late teenage and young adult age.

That was a period when all five feet four of me thought to be cold blooded, hardcore and tuff was a prescription for survival in this country. The streets of Milwaukee called for guile, cunning, a bad attitude and short fuse. At least that is what I thought at the time. The first words out of my mouth to anyone who disagreed with me on any subject was F_ _ _ you, followed by I will kick your M-F A_ _. It made no difference if the guy was 5’4” 140lbs or 6’4” 250 lbs. My only suggestion to the person was to bring a lunch because it’s going to be an all-day fight to the finish. I won some and lost others. In fact, have you ever seen a group of different size dogs on the street or in a yard? The smallest runt of the pack is always barking the loudest, jumping up and down. The others may not even bark, but that runt is lunging at you as you walk by and seems to want to tear one of your limbs off your body. I was that runt.

I was mad at the world, didn’t care who knew it and was not planning on passing the age of twenty-one. And if that was to come to pass, I was going down swinging at my foe.  Along the way, I found out a simple truth. It didn’t matter who won, my body still felt the pain from being in a fight. ThanksgivingAll praise is to God; I got over and lived through that phase. I also give thanks to a three-year service in the US Army which helped me mature in a manner I never knew existed for a black man in this country.

I’ll tell you some other people who knew what I was  learning the hard way. And that is my mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, uncles, Aunts and adult cousins. If I had listened to them in the first place, well…that phase in my life could have been spent more productive maybe resulting in a master degree in something or the other. I have no regrets. That is what it took for me to get to 2015. Now it’s just another reason for me to be thankful today.

I am grateful for having met my wife, Sandra along the way. For our children, Shawn Lynn, Richie and Brandon, now grown and finding their way in life, I am all so proud of their accomplishments. They are down to earth people who are real and see life as it is not through rose colored glasses. My wife and I tried to raise them in the way we were raised hoping they would be better and avoid some of our mistakes. The fact that they are alive and well is a blessing in itself.

Today, I can say; I have family and friends that I keep in contact with, some daily, weekly, others monthly, and yearly. There are friends and family I haven’t touched bases with in a while who know me well enough to know I still care and think about them. As in life, there have been disagreements with family and friends causing them to fall out of touch for whatever reason. They should know; I’m not a person who holds a grudge or harbor some dislike for them because of some incident between us. Thank God, I can say, I’m not that kind of person today. I have evolved and continue to do so. I am a better person than I was years ago, last year and several months ago, as I continue to work on me every day. I am certainly thankful for that.

Make no mistake about it. I go through what you all go through on a daily basis. We have to deal with rude and obnoxious people in the grocery store or other retail outlets. Making a phone call to a vendor while trying to correct their billing error can be challenging. Is it me, or am I correct in concluding that customer service is lacking at too many of our service industry companies these days?  Sometimes it’s as though the Human Resource Office in these companies have hired a staff of incompetent, uncaring, and impatient individuals to answer their phones and yet call themselves a customer service representative. Most of time, I feel I should send them an invoice for helping them do their job. You feel me? But then, over the years I’ve learned not to let a person or persons put me in a bad mood for the day. I deal with it at that time with that person and move on; it’s that simple. And for that change in my personality, I am thankful to Jesus Christ.

I am oh so thankful for the new people I am meeting in my life. Some of which, I have never personally met or seen, but often communicate by phone as if we’ve known each other for a lifetime. I’ve met most of these new friends and contacts in connection with my church, BTR Show, publication of books or my role as their tax preparer.

Every day many of these people or colleagues give me hope there is a better day coming for our people of color and communities across this nation. We share a common goal for the human race and specifically for the black race. These are people of all colors who demonstrate on a daily basis that they are community driven first rather than only seeking profit for their endeavors. It is these people, along with my upbringing that keeps me going and selfishly giving of my time for my community.

I am so thankful to my Savior for guiding me as I take the actions required to give and contribute in my way to our community.  To say that I’ve evolved into a good husband, father, citizen and black man in 2015 is an understatement in my view. I’ve found peace with myself, my God, my family, friends and everyone else. And for that, I am eternally thankful this Thanksgiving.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all, may you find the same type of contentment in your life.

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

 

Codis Hampton II

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“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

or visit my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

 

 

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

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

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 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

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

Subscribe to this blog

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://hampscofa.net/