Forming Co-operatives is a Smart Business Decision

The right kind of Co-op is a boost in spending power, product and inventory management for the small Entrepreneur. Wikipedia defines a Co-op as “an autonomous association of people who voluntarily cooperate for their mutual social, economic, and cultural benefit.”    The operative word is cooperative. Further, it means that a group of individuals has decided to band together because it makes them stronger in some manner than trying to go it alone.

Back in the day, my wife and I was the owner-manager of a Gift and Record Shop. We got lucky enough to be located next door to a pizza restaurant. During one of the hot and muggy summer weekends, say like…Thursday nights through Sunday night, my eyes were opened. After the bars had closed, the parking lot filled up with a lot of couples, or people stopping to get food before turning in for the evening. I extended my hours to accommodate this crowd. Now I was getting the spinoff from that jolly and enthusiastic crowd who’d had a few drinks and noticed that we were still open too. After eating or ordering a pizza to go, they would stop in buy a record or some pretty little gift to impress their date and head off into the night, smiling from ear to ear. Oh, don’t be coy…you know what would come next between those couples.

That particular summer saw a big threat to the mom and pop record stores. They were being chased out of business by the large record store chains. Now that I had a good customer base, I thought I would try to talk to some of the other small shop owners into forming a co-op of sorts to buy records directly from the large record labels.

Five of us met in the shop of another record store after business hours. We will call him Jim for this article. I presented my plan to the group. It fell flat on its face. There was no debate; the plan was no good, according to Jim, the oldest shop owner in the group. Even though we all were currently getting our records from the same downtown wholesaler (let’s call him Bossman), paying the same price regardless of the quantity, we could not strike up a deal.

I’d already spoke to a large chain out of Chicago that was willing to sell us records at an average savings of fifty to seventy-five cent less than we were currently paying Boss man. And, depending upon the size of the record (45 single or 33.3 LP), artist, and label, some purchases were returnable if we didn’t sell them over a certain period of time. It was a sweetheart of an offer, but we had to buy in certain quantiles to get the deal. It was an ideal reason for forming a co-op.

The co-op deal fell through not because it didn’t make sense, but because of the old “who died and made you the big chief” syndrome. It was quickly noted that I was the youngest of the group. Jim, approaching his tenth year of business, did not see any value in the proposal. He and one other guy, who I later learned was a friend of his, didn’t want to anger Boss man. I never could find a way to validate Jim’s wholesale price. I suspect he had a different kind of deal. His shop was smaller in size, as opposed to others, only sold records. Although he said, we all were paying the same price. I’d already been told that every business owner paid the same prices by Bossman. He also gave me a printed wholesale price sheet.

The Bossman supplied almost all of Milwaukee Record stores, white, black, Hispanic or whoever bought records wholesale. He even shipped to the suburbs. The biggest problem I and others had was that Bossman would put his LP’s & 45 on sale for the same price he sold them wholesale. He was not trying to help you out in any shape of form. If you bought 4, 5 or ten copies of a record, no matter the format, you owned it. No returns unless it was discovered the records was scratched. So you either had to sell the record at some price, usually at a loss if it was old or eat the cost and get rid of it any way you wanted. Either way, Bossman had been paid his price and was also selling the new release at the same sale price he asked us for at wholesale. Now day’s people are savvier about their industry than we were at the time.

Today allows for a much more level playing field. There still may not be much profit margin between wholesale prices versus a retail price, especially for small stores. Product cost is always going to be the number one concern of the consumer, thus the retailer. Yet, now I believe an invaluable difference is how you market your product, the quality of the same and your shops customer care and service. You hear certain entrepreneurs talk about it all the time. After you have settled on a competitive price for your goods and product, you have got to produce an environment in which to offer the same.

As people, we always remember how we are treated, was it a pleasant experienced at say…a dentist office? I have a local dentist I’ve used since moving to Pittsburg in 1996. He was recommended to us by my wife’s co-worker. I was nervous on my first visit to his small office. Normally I am one of those people who warn (which I did) the dentist before I sat down. “Don’t start anything and there won’t be nothing.  Doc, I cannot stand pain so…watch it.” He just smiled, while reassuring me that I was in good hands.

First of all, you sit in his dentist chair, serenaded by soft jazz music. The pain you ask, I don’t remember. I do remember the precision he showed as he went about his work.  He shook my jaw and gave me a shot to numb the area he needed to drill and fill. I never lost consciousness as he carried on a conversation with me trying to contribute with my mouth wide open. My ears were also fixed on the sounds emitting from his office speakers. Suddenly it was over; he was telling me he will see me in six months. I got in the car and could not wait to tell my wife what a wonderful experience I had at this dentist office.

I know, this might be an extreme example, but you can equate this experience with any profession. Look at today’s restaurants, displays in the mall windows, on the department store’s floor. They don’t only make attractive displays for holidays. You walk in one of the malls quaint shops or a high-end jewelry store, the temperature’s just right and they have impeccable display lighting. The product is laying there as if it’s saying “Hi there, take me home with you.” Not trying to shock your system while you daydream but now think of WalMart. Do you see the difference?

As a small entrepreneur, there are many subtle changes you can make to create atmosphere.  And there is no doubt you can and should create it, especially if you want staying power. That goes for websites, as well as brick and mortar stores.

Use your business associates to help you improve, buy in quantity or bounce ideas off them while networking. If you do not remember anything else about this article, remember this…pick those business associates, and people who you interact with on a daily basis very carefully. The one mantra one continually hears when attending “Success” seminars in any field, including personal growth, is to choose your associates and friends wisely. The difference between me back in the day and now, is I do not waste time interacting with people who have no plan or in the extreme case really have no clue. I am not mean or anti-social. I love people, but I know some type of people is not good for my state of well-being. So I just avoid them as much as possible. It’s for personal and business reasons.  I can now report that I have a great group of people that I interact with on a continuous basis. They all bring something to the table as I hope I do the same for them. People who have your type of goals and aspirations are not hard to find these days. You just have to reach out and network with all kind of people. This attitude is also the reason I love communicating that fact to all of you via my articles and books.

No matter what anyone says, there is still room in the retail and even services marketplace for creativity and cooperation. Don’t, believe me, sat down in a quite area and turn on your laptop or tablet. Disregard the news headlines on the portals; listen to your electronic friend talking to you. It’s saying, “Where we going today Boss? What is it you want to know? What can I do for you?”  Let your creativity flow and you will find the answers to your questions are not that far away after all.

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-3V

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/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

Prelude and In Honor of My Father

Following is a rewrite of a blog I wrote back in 2009, republished in 2013 in honor of Father’s Day. It is included in my latest book entitled “The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp.” More importantly, it was an inspiration for my next book, which is about the life and times of my father. Look for its release during this September/October timeframe. For this Father’s Day, allow me to repost an updated version of “In My Fathers Honor.” A faded but priceless picture from mid to late fifties. Left to right (My stepsister Johnny Mae, me, my stepmother Rosalie, baby sister, Delois Ann, and the man himself, Codis Hampton.) 

Those who know me, often hear me talk about my father in glowing terms. Many of my “old school” crowd has or had fathers with attitudes in the same mode. He worked hard and played hard. He was so full of, yet simply enjoyed life. He said what he meant and meant what he said, and did not like repeating himself. When I was a young lad, there were numerous teachable moments. If he gave us the warning to get our act together and we did not hear or misunderstood him. His famous words were “You heard what I said.” At that point, we better figure it out because if we made that same mistake that brought on his warning in the first place? Well, let’s just say that Papa did not take no stuff.

It took my hard head years to figure out that he was truly doing these things for my benefit. Another one of his favorite sayings was “I’ve been down the same road you are traveling.” While, in my teenage, and smart mouth years, I would reply, “But daddy, the roads have been paved, there are new things to see and conquer.” It was an obvious reference to him growing up in the South. Now, I laugh when I think about it. Because, he would just look at my dumb butt and say “Keep on living son, keep on living.”

Codis Hampton worked for the City of Milwaukee for twenty-eight years and retired (2-17-1985) as a trash collector. He was one of the men that walked behind the truck, emptying neighborhood houses trash receptacle. Today it is called recycling. Often, he would bring home items people threw away and repair them. We would use it, or he would sell it for extra spending cash. At times, he would have a basement full of old fans, toys, radios, and other small appliances. The bounty was a bonus for him working the wealthy side of Milwaukee. Some of our neighborhood kids teased me because they would not differentiate between a trash and garbage collector. I just laughed, for my family of small means, it was like shopping. “What you get today, daddy?” He once told me they offered him the truck driving position at one time.  He turned it down. A position change would interfere with his hustle.

In the wintertime, it almost took him twenty minutes to get out of his clothes.  He would have so many layers on to keep away the hawk. Yeah, Milwaukee, we knew “The Hawk” (cold weather) up close and personal. His message to his kids, get an education, and you will land a “good job”. He, like all parents, wanted his kids to be better than their parents. He probably never knew, but I always felt being a better man than my father would be a tough job. He was just that unique in my eyes.

Daddy grew up in Banks Arkansas. He moved his family (me and my mother) to Milwaukee when I was four months old. Being from Arkansas, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and all the country stuff. We went fishing almost every weekend of the summers. During our teenage years, my stepsister and I didn’t want to go. We wanted to hang out with friends. Eventually, they trusted us to stay home. Did that mean party time in the house? Not hardly, because if we had brought a bunch of kids to the house while they were fishing, and they found out about it. We would have had to leave town. Did I say Papa did not take no stuff? Although, he was the most loving and caring man you would ever want to meet.

My father was soft spoken, a man of few words. That is until he had his weekend drink. Imagine having a conversation with him on the front porch of a bright summer day. The next door neighbor might play a James Brown record. He hears the music. Daddy would stop the conversation, yell “That’s my record or jam”, and break off into one of his dance routines. That could be any record, R&B, Blues, or even Country Western, anywhere, or any time he was in a playful mood. He just had to dance and dance he did. I’ve got a picture of my father in a hat, dress shirt and pleated dress slacks with a dirty spot on one knee. That’s right; invariably he would do a half split or just go down on his knees and slowly gyrate back up never missing a beat.

Just as it was in a lot of households in those days (late fifties, early sixties), daddy did not want his wife working, so my stepmother was a housewife. She was responsible for me, my stepsister, and after their birth, my younger half-sister and brother. I was the oldest. I thought we were poor, according to the standards of some of the neighborhood kids. Sometimes Santa Clause skipped our house altogether. We always had a Xmas tree, decorations, and visits from family and friends. Gifts were items of need, like school clothes and new shoes. Or in my case those doggone black ankle high “Brogan Boots.” They had a metal tap plate on the front and a metal horseshoe-like plate for the heel. They also had a steel toe. They were similar to today’s safety shoes for hazardous workplaces.  One could not tear up that boot with a blow torch. At times, I used everything but, trying to destroy those boots. I think one pair would last something like two years. For maintenance, all I had to do was polish them.  After which they would look…polished.  I was so glad when I turned thirteen. I did not have to wear them anymore.

We never went a day without food or a hot meal from my stepmother. Never went a day without clean and freshly iron clothes. We never came home to a nasty house unless there was a gathering culminating with them playing cards and drinking on a Friday or Saturday. Either way, Mama Rosalie had that house spic and span by the next day. Little doilies placed on the arm of the couch. Pillows smartly placed where they should be, end and cocktail table shining with furniture polish, clean ashtrays for company. She would put out one or two ashtrays that could be used by the guest. We had ashtrays for show that were never used. And cook, she is the only woman I’ve ever known that could make beans, neck bones and cornbread taste like a Rib- eye steak dinner, with all your favorite side dishes. She was also the first lady I called my friend. That was partly because she liked to talk and would try to answer my questions.  All we had to do was to keep our bedrooms clean. In our house, everything had a place and everything was in place.

It was not only my house. Most neighbors and family members I knew kept a clean house and somehow dust free. Now, I often wonder where all this dust was when I was a kid. Oh, there were the exceptions and everybody in the neighborhood knew the identity of that family. Why? The entire neighborhood talked about them.

I was living the American Dream at home and did not even know it. I learned more about being a man, being part of a family and life itself from watching my dad live his life. As previously stated, the men back then did not talk a lot. There were times I wanted him to explain things to me. Now that I look back on it and being as inquisitive as I am, he probably felt like he did not have the time to explain every little thing in long detail to me. I practically ran the nuns crazy at St. Benedict (Grade and later, Jr high school) asking them about God and racial relations.

All in all, he was a great dad. I would not have had him behave in any other way. He taught me by words and deeds. After moving my family out west, (1978), I would always call him, a couple of uncles, cousins, and my mother. Living a Long distance from family, each of you not so sure when you will see each other again, has a tendency to eliminate all taboo subjects. Conversations were meaningful, heartfelt, and simply enjoyable.  These were people who I missed talking too, seeing or simply being in their presence. I learned so much more about them and from them during those conversations than I ever knew.

Today, many of them have passed on; I will never again talk to them on this earth.  My father died of a stroke (January 14, 1988), twenty days before his 63rd birthday. I knew at the time how important it was for me to have had those memorable conversations with him. Especially… those that were between a once knuckled-headed son and a very understanding father. You think you and your homies are close, try family. That is a real bond of blood for life and eternity.

So today, or on his special day, if you have the opportunity to look into your father’s eyes, smile at him.  He probably is not really looking for flowers, candy, or some other small gift from you this Father’s Day. That’s not the way daddy’s roll. You might just catch him staring at you. Know that he stares because he is looking at his finished product, so to speak. You, just happen to be the one great legacy or gift he gave this world. He looks at you knowing that in you, he has placed in this world another part of himself. The remainder of his dreams and aspirations are in you. Oh, he won’t say it because he doesn’t want to put a large burden on you. But you can bet your last bottom dollar, he wants you to carry on. That is the way daddy’s roll.

On a personal note, I’m having so much fun reminiscing while working on daddy’s book. It’s a pleasure to write about the man for whom I give the credit (besides God) for making me into the man I am today. I just wish you all had met him. You would have remembered him because he was the kind of individual that left a lasting impression. RIP, I love and miss you, Daddy.    

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-3L

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

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   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa-3o

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/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.

 

# # #

 

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

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

Whose Time’s More Valuable, Yours or Mine?

Man Running with BriefcaseHere is a question for you…whose time is more important, yours or mine? I ask because the answer is obvious. Most people who answer truthfully will, of course, say their time. We all think our time is a premium possession in which, often we don’t have a spare minute.

Some people, who have shortcomings in a particular area of entrepreneurial expertise, have no problem in asking for your help on their project. This is especially true for those who may not possess good business person skills. They often ask you to give your time and effort for free, without any type of compensation. They appeal to your sense of pride in your race, community or country. They want to reap the benefits of monetary reward or prestige for their pet project. But as far as your contribution to the same, they want something for nothing.

I have found the perfect solution to those types of situations. It is no secret, for I learned this lesson in my thirty’s. There is nothing like putting words in a contractual or agreement format to ensure that all involve understand what is required and expected from any type of collaboration. Presenting this type of document to others has a way of weeding out those who want something for nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, the document is not asking for some outrageous fee. You are just putting together stipulations of a working agreement between business persons. Both of you are going to agree on whatever is included in the document. Most Entrepreneurs will understand, except those who wanted something for nothing. They suddenly have second thoughts. For me, I just laugh to myself and thank God I saved a lot of time by weeding these type folks out of my life. Because…in the end, time is of the essence with me.

There is that word…time. Let’s go a little deeper into that thought. Young folks…say eighteen to thirty don’t have any time for anyone. At least that is the way it seems. We rush from thought process to the thought process, relationship to relationship, maybe even one career to a completely different type. How we make, our living is of the utmost importance at this stage of life. Indeed, how much we are paid for our services is the primary reason we choose a particular profession.

By the time we reach the thirty to the forty-year-old range, there is a gradual or sometimes sharp turn in one’s priorities.   Here we began to seriously look at where we are in life. We look at our current social and intimate contacts as well as our financial status. If we have children, or maybe grandchildren, we begin thinking of their well-being for the future. Bottom line, at this age bracket, most have gotten real serious about life. Time is becoming a premium that is not to be wasted as we did at a younger age.

Fifty to sixty is another age range where people look at time differently. It’s like you began to hear Rod Sterling’s “Twilight Zone” theme music. You know that you are about to enter a time zone of no return. It’s not too late to prepare yourself for old age. Make no mistake about it, some may figure that fifty is the new forty. That really makes no difference to how young you feel, the fact is you are still dealing with irreplaceable time.

For those of us over sixty, time for all practical purpose, indeed for any purpose is what we are now trying to measure. The primary being how much more time do we have on this earth. By the time one reaches this age bracket, you began to look back and see what you have or have not accomplished. We believe it’s too late for some things and not too late for others, depending upon your perspective and previous ambitious. Some of us find other careers later on in life.

From a social perspective, you no longer have the patience you once had with trivial matters. You have no time for rude people. You have reached a heightened understanding of people’s motivation that causes them to act in a certain manner.

From that special relationship with a spouse you value the time you have spent together. If the person is still around, you laugh and reminisce at the crazy times you two had or marvel at the things you accomplished. You wonder what might have been had you went in this or that direction in your life. Overall, you are thankful you can sit back and think about how it was at that time. Most of all, you appreciate the now.

And finally from a business perspective you might have things you want to accomplish, or to be more exact, unfinished business. We are trying to make a difference by leaving something of ourselves behind for others to know that we were here on earth at a specific time. No matter what age group you fall in, think about that a minute.

Maslows NeedsThat is the primary reason for me to refer to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Without going into Maslow’s entire theory, all one need to understand is to look at his pyramid of needs pictured in this article. For those who are not familiar study it a minute. And then think about the fact that any age bracket in your life you may had reached a certain level in this pyramid. Maybe it was just one of the sub-titles at a particular level. Then, for whatever reason, you fell back down to the “Basic Need” level. The point being and the primary idea of Maslow’s need is that it is rare for one to have reached the pinnacle level of “Self-fulfillment Needs.” Why? Because most of us spend a lifetime of running up and down this entire pyramid.

There is no doubt that each rung on the ladder of this design takes time to get, solidify, and maintain throughout a lifetime. Most believe the time is really controlled by God. For that atheist out there, let me put it another way. You do not control the length of time you will be on this earth. And that is why each and everybody’s time is most valuable to them.

So the next time you ask someone in the over sixty age bracket if they have a minute, an hour, or anytime, realize you are asking for their most precious commodity. If you are coming at them from a real place of need or help, they most likely will find the time to give you. If not, don’t be surprised if they look at you like you are crazy, shake their head and just walk away without a word. You feel me?

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

Codis Hampton II

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

Black Legends of the Wild, Wild West, Part 4, #BHM

This is the fourth and final article of a Four-Part Series on Black Folks, who helped to tame the West. First, we looked at US Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves, followed by Mary Fields, aka Stagecoach Mary. Then James Pierson Beckwourth, American Mountain Man, and our final legend from the old West is Nat (pronounced Nate) Love, aka Deadwood Dick and a few others.

Nat Love and 3 little cowpokesIf I told you that it was reasonable to assume that one out of every three cowboys, or even three out of every five in the old West were men of color, would you believe me? Keep in mind the duties of cowboys, especially drover’s included driving herds of cows over a long distance, often forging new trails, facing rustlers of all colors and creed, land barons looking to make a fast buck for allowing passage, and the always possibility of losing a small number of the cows along the way if not the entire herd. They had to manage the heat, wind, or rainstorms and lighting that may spook the cattle into a stampede.
Ever seen movies where the herd is restless on a night with the sound of accidental gunfire, thunder, or lightning, maybe even the rattling of chuckwagons metal plates and cups sets them off. All trail hands mount up to stop them from running off a cliff or running themselves to deaths. Every seen the width of the horns on a Texas longhorn cow or steer? Imagine riding a galloping horse in the dark, trying to avoid gopher holes and other obstacles on the ground. Cowboys turned the stampeding herd running at speeds up to twenty-five, thirty-five, or even forty-miles-per hour depending on their size and what frightened them.
Once the remainder of the herd’s delivered to the loading pens, the trail hands jobs finished. They were off to celebrate a long hard journey by whatever amused them at the time. As depicted in the movies, since these were underpaid and overworked young men, they looked for quick thrills. There was then, as is now for that matter, nothing like wine, women, and song to provide a day and night to remember for a young man. I remembered one night in South Korea in 1962…me and…whoops, sorry I almost forgot this story is about the old West.

Those cowhands that worked in the loading pens were considered less than the trail hands. You had to walk among the cattle prodding them along to different parts of the stockyard. Sometimes those cattle had been in those pens for days, eating, drinking water, and releasing waste of all kinds’ right where they stood. So walking around in those pens could be difficult, made even worse if you are trying to cut out the group of cows from a large corral. Or steer, by prodding a bunch of cows with long poles, one at a time up a ramp to load them onto a train’s cattle car. Thus the name “cowpuncher” was awarded to these men. That could be dirty and nasty work for even less pay than a trail hand. Recorders of History via books and writers of movie, TV scripts have all grouped these individuals that handle cows on ranches, trail drives, and pens at the end of the trail as “Cowboys.” Now I ask again if I told you on an average, one out of every three Cowboys were men of color, would you believe me?

Before, and even more, freed and former slaves after the Civil War filled these low paying jobs. History occurred during a time (the late 1860s to mid-1890s) when the big herds were driven from the West to eastern shipping points and beyond. Most still earned less than their white counterparts. Emancipated Blacks contributed to filling a workforce void of white men because of the huge number of the workforce lost by the Confederacy and the Union States alike. Add that to losses in the West, such as the Indian Wars, rampant diseases, land rights skirmishes, and Saturday night shoot-outs or just overall drunken gunfights. One can see why the life expectancy for those type individuals (cowboys, gunslingers & outlaws) was around thirty-five.

Over 186 000 black people were serving in the Union Armies. A very small number served in the Confederacy, most until the first chance they had to run away from the masters who had them there to fill the dirtiest jobs that Southerners did not want to do. At war’s end, the Union Army established colored units from those men who fought during the Civil War. There were four infantry units and two Cavalry regiments. All units accepted recruits who were fit for duty. It was also a way for emancipated blacks to earn a living and get an education while gaining respect from most in the nation as part of the Armed Services of the United States. All units, 24th, 25th, 38th, 40th, and 41st Infantry regiments, along with the 9th and 10th Cavalry stationed in the south-western Plains.
It was right in the heart of the Indian Wars fought on behalf of the residents and new settlers to the area. By now, you have heard of the term “Buffalo Soldiers.” A term of respect for their bravery bestowed upon the 9th and 10th Cavalry by the Cheyenne and Comanche Indians. The Buffalo Soldiers fought Indians, cattle rustlers, Mexican revolutionaries, outlaw gangs, all while patrolling small ranches and railway construction lines. They contributed to building military outposts and erected telegraph lines.
Some call him the most famous black cowboy of them all. Nat (pronounced Nate) Love was born a slave in Davidson County, Tennessee, in 1854. Reading was against the law for slaves; nevertheless, as a child, he was taught how to read and write by his father, Sampson. After slavery had ended, his father, once a slave foreman in the fields, and his wife (Nat’s mother, a former manager of the plantation’s kitchen) settled on a small farm. Sampson Love died after the second year planting of tobacco and corn crops. Nat had to take a job on a neighboring farm to help out with the dwindling family finances.
After a few more years of odd jobs in the area, he left for the West. He was in search of a better life and earning a living while yearning for a free young man’s adventurous lifestyle. He met Bronco Jim, one of the black cowboys who were part of a Texas bunch preparing to return home after delivering their herd to Dodge City, Kansas. Asking for a job, the trail boss agreed to hire him if he rode and broke one of the orneriest horses in the outfit. Bronco Jim, his name given his profession, gave his newfound friend a few quick pointers. Albeit the toughest ride of his life, he survived the ride and hired on the spot.
Indoctrination didn’t take long for the hard life of a cowboy. After being involved in hostile Indian attacks and fighting off rustlers, he took every chance he could to practice shooting his forty-five pistol. He became a marksman with the weapon. He left his Texas Panhandle job and landed in Arizona, working with Mexican vaqueros. Nat picked up the Spanish language and learned to identify cattle brands. The spring of 1876 saw his outfit head out for Deadwood City in the Dakota Territory to deliver three thousand head of cattle. They rode into town on the day before the Fourth of July celebrations.
The betting members in the town had put together a sporting event in honor of the holiday. It was a contested ideal to show off the expertise of a cowboy. $200 (equal to $5000 today) would be awarded to the best man who could rope, throw, tie bridles, saddle, and ride some of the wildest mustangs, chosen for the contest. Note the winner had to perform the feat quicker than any other in the contest. There were a dozen men, six of them black, who entered the event. Nat completed the task in nine minutes, three minutes, and twelve seconds better than his closest competitor, another black cowboy. Next was the rifle and Colt shooting event. Each contestant was to fire rifle twelve shots and the same amount of pistol rounds at a black bull’s eye target placed at 100 and 250 yards. Nat hit the bull’ s-eye on all his rifle shots with ten of the twelve pistol shots hitting the target almost dead center. Nat Love’s display of his cowboy skills and marksmanship earned him the $200 in prize money so much so that Deadwood City town folk gave him the name of “Deadwood Dick.”
The words of Nat “Deadwood Dick” Love, which appears in his self-authored 1907 autobiography, entitled “Life and Adventures of Nat Love, Better Known in the Cattle Country ad ‘Deadwood Dick’ by Himself.” are descriptive of a specific era in our history. He wrote, “It has now been many years since I quit the range, and as my mind wanders back over those years as it often does, memories both pleasant and sad pass in review and it is but fitting that I record a few of them as a final to the history of my life which has been so full of action, which is but natural as the men of those days were men of action. They had to be, and probably their actions were not all good, that I freely admit, but while that is so, it is equally so that their actions were not all bad, far from it. And in the history of the frontier there is recorded countless heroic deeds performed, deeds and actions that required an iron nerve, self denial in all that these words imply, the sacrificing of one life to save the life of a stranger or a friend. Deeds that stamped the men of the western plains as men worthy to be called men, and while not many of them would shine particularly in the polite society of today or among the 400 of Gotham, yet they did shine big and bright in the positions and at a time when men lived and died for a principle, and in the line of duty. A man who went to the far West or who claimed it as his home in the early days found there a life far different from that led by the dude of Fifth Avenue. There a man’s work was to be done, a man’s life to lived, and when death was to be met, he met it like a man.”

Nat Love worked as a Pullman porter on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad in the latter part of his life. He died (1921) in Los Angeles, California, at the ripe old age of sixty-seven, some thirty-two years beyond the life expectancy of his peers from that era. Men like “One Horse Charlie,” a black cowboy who reportedly rode with the Shoshone Indian tribe.
There are numerous black cowboys from that era. Men like Bronco Sam, who once rode a longhorn steer on a dare. This, after his crew, roped and saddled the animal for the black bronco-buster. He rode the bucking and frightened steer down the main street of Cheyenne, Wyoming, followed by his crew yelling in encouragement. After seeing its reflection in the glass window of a clothing storefront, the animal charged through the window directly at his reflection. Store shoppers and clerks went diving to get out of the way of this bucking animal. People on the outside watched as the animal turned back toward the hole he had made with is the entrance. He ran, still bucking and trying to toss off Bronco Sam, who was still in the saddle. His horns had a few store items, underwear, pants, coats, and other assorted pieces of or whole garments. It’s reported that Bronco Sam shouted after dismounting the steer now once again roped to be led back to the herd, “I brought out a suit of clothes for everybody in the crew.” Bronco Sam rode back into town and paid the shopkeeper $350 he said was owed him for the damages.
Then there is Jesse Stahl, who competed in an early 1900 Rodeo in Oregon. He felt he was cheated out of an outstanding first place ride by a racist judge who awarded his second place. In protest, Jesse rode his next bronco facing backward with a suitcase in his hand, to show off his abilities for all to see.
Other men like Addison Jones, Range Boss, (1845-1926) aka “Nigger Add” or “Old Add.”
He was a range boss for the LFD outfit, where he led a crew of south Texas black cowboys. A man whose recognized cowboy skills in western Texas- eastern Mexico labeled him as “the most noted Negro cowboy that ever ‘topped off’ a horse.”

 

Isom DartBose Ikard (1843-1929), born a slave in Mississippi, arrive in Texas as a child with his owner Dr. Milton L. Ikard. After the Emancipation Proclamation, he stayed on with the Doctor as an employee until 1866. At which time he joined a trail drive to Colorado in the employ of Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving. Eventually, he worked for Oliver Loving, who was killed in a skirmish against the Comanche’s and then as a tracker, cowboy, and de facto banker for Charles Goodnight. The “Goodnight Loving Cattle Trail” was named after his bosses. Upon his death, Goodnight, paid for a grave marker for Bose Ikard. On it, he inscribed “with me four years on the Goodnight-Loving Trail, never shirked a duty or disobeyed an order, rode with me in many stampedes, participated in three engagements with Comanche’s, splendid behavior. C. Goodnight.”
Goodnight was quoted by the Weatherford Daily Herald in June of 1929, saying, “I have trusted him farther than any living man. He was my detective, banker, and everything else in Colorado, New Mexico, and the other wild country I was in.”
Authors Note: I was proud to learn that the character of Joshua Deets (portrayed by actor Danny Glover) in one of my favorite cowboy movies, the TV mini-series, Lonesome Dove, was based on Bose Ikard. By the way, Lonesome Dove’s four episodes in 1989 were Co-Executive Produced by Motown’s Suzanne De Passe. It has an outstanding all-star cast and storyline. A storyline I also learned while researching this article is based on the lives of Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight. It’s why I love American history.
Not so final, but finally, for this article is Ned Huddleston (aka Isom Dart) (1849-1900). He was born as a slave in Arkansas he later earned such nicknames as the “Black Fox” and the “Calico Cowboy.” He ended up in Texas as a twelve-year-old in the company of his owner in 1861, a Confederate officer during the Civil War. After the war, he left for the southern Texas-Mexico border region. He found work as a stunt rider, which enhanced his horse skills. He was labeled as an Outlaw while working with Terresa, a young Mexican , a young Mexican bandit as they rustled horses in Mexico. They brought the stolen mounts back across the Texas border, selling them for cash.

By 1875, he’d join up with the Tip Gault cattle and horse rustling Gang working out of southeastern Wyoming. The gang was eventually ambushed by an angry rancher and his men.  Everyone but Ned Huddleston was killed in the gunfight. Changing his name to Isom Dart, he began a new life of hard work as a bronco buster.

By 1875, he’d join up with the Tip Gault cattle and horse rustling Gang working out of southeastern Wyoming. An angry rancher and his men eventually ambushed the gang. Everyone but Ned Huddleston was killed in the gunfight. Changing his name to Isom Dart, he began a new life of hard work as a bronco buster.
Around 1890, he became a rancher, even though some of the Brown’s Hole locals felt he built up his herd with stolen cattle from their ranches. They hired the infamous Tom Horn, a range detective, to handle the matter. Horn, as was his style to take no chances, ambushed, killing Isom Dart on October 3, 1900. Some in the area were convinced of his guilt by the ranchers who hired Tom Horn. Others were not so sure as they saw a changed man in Isom Dart. They felt that cattlemen wanting his land were the real reason for the charge and killing.
Final Authors Note: For western yore and cowboy movie buffs like me, this has been a pleasure researching and writing this series. Doubling so because the stars are black like me. For all minorities, it is never too late to learn about your history and how America was built by people of all races, colors, and creed. That is the beauty of the computer and the internet; no one can tell you differently. There are too many to credit here, but a heartfelt thank you to all that have documented the information I found in research, including some that have died but left books. I do have my sources on file.
One more request if you will. I know that we are in an instantaneous cycle for delivering and interpreting information and news. Let me caution people of color. We are individually responsible for ensuring we get information that is not only credible but inclusively thorough. Too many reporters in the majority of media outlets are settling for the headline grabber without completing the authentication process. As a kid, I never heard of the individuals noted in this article. Yet they lived and made history that was not being reported during my childhood. Let’s not fall for the Okie-Doke again.

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

Codis Hampton II

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

Black Legends of The Wild, Wild West, Part 3 #BHM

This is the third article of a Four Part Series on Black Folks, who helped to tame the west. First we looked at US Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves, followed by Mary Fields aka Stagecoach Mary. Today we examine the life of James Pierson Beckwourth, American Mountain Man.

beckwourth

 

 

 

There is some discrepancy as to when James Pierson Beckwourth was born. Was it 1798 or 1800? There is no disputed of the facts about the impact he had on discovering what came to be known as the Beckwourth Pass and subsequent Trail. A trail that went through the Sierra Nevada Mountains between Reno, Nevada, and Portola, California, and in which thousands of settlers found their way into central California.
He was a mulatto, son of a black slave mother (third or thirteen children), whose father was Sir Jennings Beckwith, an English white man. As prescribed by the law at the time, his father raised him as his son. Yet legally, young James was considered a slave. His biography states that his father appeared in court, once in 1824, 1825, and 1826. All to “acknowledged the execution of a Deed of Emancipation from him to James, a mulatto boy.”
James, or Jim as sometimes called, was the only black person who recorded his exploits during the discovery and subsequent settlement of the old western frontier. While dictating his autobiography to Thomas D. Bonner (Traveling Justice of the Peace with corrupt reputation) in 1854-55 California goldfields, it was thought he stretched the truth. Later, some historians accused him of lying, although they may have had reasons for not wanting, who they called “a mongrel of mixed blood” to get credit for any discovery or good deed. Although many of the exploits detailed in the autobiography passed the truth test by others who substantiated his accounts of what happened, James’ role in events almost always made him the eventual hero. Many of his acquaintances who took part in forging trails and exploring the West didn’t see themselves as heroes but more of doing what they had to do to survive. That is probably why they viewed his 1856 book (The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth, Mountaineer, Scout, and Pioneer, and Chief of the Crow Nation of Indians, published by Harper and Brothers) as something of a joke. See Note 1.
Excluding those events that were substantiated by others as being accurate and true, James did have a way of exaggerating the numbers of Indians that attacked a particular exploration outpost or trading post. Historians found that some of the dates were also wrong or off by a couple of years. Some did consider the fact that the James dictation of events happened more than a few years and, in some instances, decades earlier. They also found that correcting the misspelling of names in the book helped to authenticate the events. Most of the misspelling of names were attributed to Judge Thomas D. Bonners transcribing what he thought he heard from James Beckwourth. In the end, the books considered by an excellent account of life with the Crow for instance, or life and hardships during a very historical era in our American History.
Captured by Crow Warriors (James account to his biographer) or assigned to the Rock Mountain Fur Company to the tribe to facilitate trade, according to a guess by independent sources (whoever they were and how independent were they is the question). James stays with the Crow Indian Tribe began sometime around 1828. He spent the next eight to nine years with them. Documents confirmed his eventual leadership role as a War Chief. James told his biographer he was appointed as the Chief of the Crow Nation immediately after the death of Chief Arapooish (Rotten Belly)

beckwourth2

 

 

 

 

A restless man who tired of routines quickly, the fall of 1837 found him headed for the Seminole country and the war they carried out against the white man. By October, his travels led him to the Florida Everglades as head of a band of Express Riders and Muleteers, paid $50 per month. His account of the incidents was accurate. It was not the adventure James had hoped for as the initial mission ended with men and horses stranded for days on a reef until rescued by a steamboat. After the small boats carrying riders and horses ran into a killer storm which was too much for the inexperienced mountain men. There were no heroes in this story of men fired for refusing to continue their mission on foot.
It’s written that James Beckwourth also accurately described the Okeechobee Battle the following Christmas Day of the same year. Later, and for the next ten months, he scouted while carrying messages and military dispatches from point to point. His job had become boring to him so he left for St Louis, where he was without a job for five days.
Once again, he was in his element, working again for The American Fur Company in the land of the Cheyenne, Sioux, and Arapaho Indians. By the way, all three were enemies of the Crow tribe. As the agent-in-charge, he’s sent to Fort Vasquez via the Santa Fe Trail. That trade expedition lasted two years after having a very successful first year.
His California connection came during January of 1844. A year later, he was involved in the settler’s revolt against Mexican control of California. After experiencing the highs and lows of a marriage (Luisa Sandoval), independently traded with the Cheyenne angered his former employees. So much so, they tried to kick him, his wife, along with their almost thirty other settler families, out of the newly built Pueblo (now Colorado) trading post. He’s credited with helping found the town of Pueblo, Colorado. After being on the road again, James returned to Pueblo to find that Luisa had married another man. James said her current husband had produced a document that stated James wanted to be free from Luisa. He decided not to pursue the matter, once again becoming single.
Leaving, he wound up in Santa Fe and entering into a partnership with an acquaintance in ownership of a hotel. Outside of being an excellent trader, as evidenced by his trade with the Indians, he more or less left the administration of the hotel matters in the hands of his partner. James continued to do what he did best, scout, and blaze trails while carrying dispatches from the Army. News of the massacre of all the Americans living in Taos angered all settlers in the area including James, whose former boss, friends and acquaintances were among the dead. After the Indians and Mexican rebels defeat, he managed to witness the January 1847 hangings, which many saw as revenge for the Taos massacre. Keeping with his uncanny fortunate or misfortunate in some cases to be at a historic event and in most cases, is involved in many ways.
Such was the same with his trek to the California Gold Fields in the fall of 1848. There is the authenticated report James discovering a grisly murder of the family, servants, and visitors at the San Miguel Mission. While on an assigned route on the Monterey to Nipomo mail route, he almost tripped over a man’s body located in the house. He recalled the notion to look no further and rode to get a posse. He returned to the house to find the entire gross scene of eleven murdered family members (husband William Reed), wife, her infant child, a midwife, along with other children and Indian servants. The perpetrators tried to burn Reed’s house bodies and dwelling, but the fire died out. It turned out they were still in the house when James first entered and was intending to shoot him if he had opened a door behind which they were hiding. The posse caught the murderers near Santa Barbara. Beckwourth bio went on to state there were “two Americans, two Englishmen, and ten Irishmen,” responsible for the hideous killings. Others put the number at four men, one of which drowned in an attempt to escape the posse. The thought was that James Beckwourth biographer, Judge Bonner misunderstood the words an Irishmen to be ten Irishmen as James recounted the incident to him to transcribe. James did dictate the murderer’s fate as tried in his words, “we shot them, including the state’s evidence.” Meaning the one murderer who told them what happened while hoping to be spared immediate death, and sentenced to imprisonment for turning states evidence. At least that is how historians interpreted this account. As to who tried them or where anyone would go to prison, well, that’s another story not told here.
1850 found James (Jim) P. Beckwourth in northern California prospecting for gold. Without going into the descriptive details of his thoughts as written, he correctly surmised that a pass he found would accommodate horse or mule pulled wagons headed into what was called the American Valley (Central California). It would be especially helpful to those people coming from the east. It was the lowest mountain pass and a direct route through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which was no small discovery at the time. It saved travelers approximately 150 miles whereas they avoided having to climb several steep slopes like Donner Summit. Remember the Donner Party (1846-47), having to stay the winter. His discovery is currently called Beckwourth Pass.
After working to develop the trail during that summer, and well into the spring and summer of 1851, he led the first wagon train of settlers over the trail into Marysville, California. He’s supposedly paid for his discovery and efforts by the Marysville business community and other local gold towns. However, (also summer of 1851) when he tried to collect his earnings, Marysville blamed their inability to pay on two major fires that economically hindered the town. Subsequently, he had no other recourse but to accept their reasoning. As a black man, he could not sue for damages (see Note 2) in a California Court. Other wagon trains and travelers used the Beckwourth Trail and Pass up through 1855 and beyond. Even as the railroad became the preferred method of travel to California in 1855. The Western Pacific Railroad (at the time) used the route to cross the Sierra’s running along the Feather River.
Ever the enterprising trader, Beckwourth established his ranch and trading post in the valley just west of the pass. Add his hotel to the area located in the Sierra Valley that is now called Beckwourth, California. It’s the site and timeframe upon which his biography’s dictated to Judge Thomas D. Bonner, who produced the book. According to a contract, James Beckwourth was to receive half the proceeds from the book from Bonner, which never happened. Reportedly James stayed here until 1858. He left for Missouri in 1859, eventually settling in Denver, Colorado, that same year. He was employed as a storekeeper, also appointed as an Indian agent by Denver’s City Council.
In 1864, James forced to act as a scout against the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, which led to the infamous Sand Creek Massacre. The massacre resulted in ending any further contact or interaction between Beckwourth and the Cheyenne or Arapaho tribes.
In 1866, while acting as a scout for Forts Laramie and Kearny, he suffered nosebleeds and headaches, which complicated the carrying out of his mission or assignments. Finally, he returned to his beloved Crow Indians along the Bighorn River, where he died on October 29, 1866—finally placed on an elevated platform (customary of the Crow) in Laramie, Albany County, Wyoming.

Note 1: Bonner edited or “polished up” Beckwourth’ s rough narrative and submitted the book to the eventual publisher, Harper and Brothers in 1856. Despite its flaws in dates and misspelling of the subject’s name, historians have touted the book as an acceptable reference of Frontier Life. It also provides a look at government policies regarding alcohol, diseases, massacres, and war.
Note 2: In 1996, the Promoters of Beckwourth Frontier Days was instrumental in renaming Marysville’s largest park to Beckwourth Riverfront Park. This act was in direct recognition of the unpaid debt owed to James P. Beckwourth, causing the following growth of the city.

Peace & Blessing, stay vigilant for our American rights. Make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II
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. – Hamp
Our 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 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.

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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

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

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