Archive for April, 2016

Black-on-Black Coalescence (Part Two) — April 2016

Articles | Posted by Jim Clingman April 23rd, 2016

Differences versus commonalities: Enslavement was different, for instance, in the U.S. from the brand that was practiced in the Caribbean and Brazil and other South American countries. Thus, we view our lives through different lenses when it comes to independence, entrepreneurship, and politics.

We must build bridges, learning from and sharing with one another as we go along, because we have a wealth of knowledge and command trillions of dollars in income. It’s simply a matter of pooling our intellectual talent and our economic resources to build and sustain our own economy within larger economies. Once that takes place, Black people will no longer have to worry about negative public policy issues that adversely affect our people. Economic leverage will take care of that and more.

Take a look at Caribbean economic enclaves established by various groups in this country, especially in New York City. Look at the number of businesses owned by folks from the “islands” and how some of those businesses started through the use of “Sou-Sous” or “Susus,” honor-based revolving loan funds used by the members.

Individual members deposit a set amount of money into the Sou-Sou on a regular basis, and the entire amount goes to one of the members each month. It runs at least until each member is given the entire amount. One person holds the money and makes the distributions. Businesses are started this way as well as other financial ventures, such as down payments for home purchases, paying off bills, and education expenses.

The concept of pooling Black dollars based on trust is a very strong and positive lesson for us, if we would just follow it. It is certainly not a new concept; we are just short on the trust factor. It is sad that, except for weekly church contributions, Black folks are very reluctant to pool our money and help one another. We trust preachers, many of whom use offerings to support their own lavish lifestyles, with no accountability and no benefit going back to the members. What would be so hard about trusting some of our brothers and sisters to manage a Sou-Sou?

The answer to that question is found in the One Million Conscious Black Voters and Contributors, where the key word is “Conscious.” Amos Wilson describes it very well in his book, Afrikan-Centered Consciousness Versus the New World Order, Garveyism in the Age of Globalism.

Wilson used Garvey’s words to point the primary ingredient for Black progress: Love. “Marcus Garvey recognized as well that we must, as people, love one another. As all great teachers have taught, love is the foundation for any group’s cohesiveness and unity of purpose. Love is the greatest inhibitor of aggression and internal conflict.”

Love, respect, and trust among our people would lead to a higher level of consciousness among our people, which would cause us—compel us, to organize and cooperate for the uplift of the entire group. Wilson went on to say, “…the kind of world you exist in reflects the kind of consciousness you have.” He admonished us to elevate ourselves into a “new level of consciousness” in order to change the way we approach and use real power.

Many of the problems we face today exist because we fail to see ourselves as a nation, again, as Garvey taught. The OMCBV&C not only understands that but is working hard to emulate the principle within our ranks. Wilson explained that consciousness and power go hand in hand. If we are conscious about who we are, first, and then use that knowledge in a very practical and appropriate manner, via our dollars and then our votes, we would harness the real power we must have in order to move to our rightful and deserved position in this nation and the world. Please go to the website: www.iamoneofthemillion.com, read the information, and decide if you want to be a part of this movement. If so, sign up and get busy.

We cannot be timid and hesitant about it, as we watch other groups doing what we must do. We cannot be made to feel guilty for building strength and using it to our own advantage, as we watch other groups taking care of their business. Our consciousness must be raised, and we must love, trust, and respect one another to the point that we are able to wield the leverage of a committed and determined group of Black people willing to contribute our time, talent, and treasure to gain the freedom and power we must have to be respected by others.

It has come down to coalescence or obsolescence for Black people. The examples and lessons from our people in the Caribbean and here in America are bulwarks for coalescence and, thus, for empowerment and the prevention of our economic and political demise.

Our future depends on us.

 

 

Sticky: The “Little” Book – First, You Cry

Book Orders | Posted by Jim Clingman April 20th, 2016

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A poignant and personal disclosure of the thoughts, feelings, fears, and hopes of a victim of ALS. A spiritual perspective tempered by real-life issues, the writer describes his particular trial in a way in which anyone, whether afflicted or in great health, can relate. He also acknowledges and describes the difficulties appertaining to caregivers of those who suffer from debilitating illnesses.

Uplifting and victorious in the end, but along the way, “First, You Cry” reaches deep into our hearts and souls to challenge and strengthen our fundamental beliefs, not in an ominous or fatalistic manner, but with a hopeful resolve and a buoyant spirit. This “Little Book,” as Clingman describes it, began as a personal journal for his family members to read, but is now a public disclosure of his trial, his tears, and his ultimate triumph over the scourge of ALS.

Price: $15.00 (Free S&H). Churches and Non-Profits: $10.00 plus S&H for 10 or more books
To order call 513 315 9866 or email to jamesclingman653@yahoo.com
Also available in Kindle eBook version at http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-eBooks/b?ie=UTF8&node=154606011





 

 

Black-on-Black Coalescence (Part One) — April 2016

Articles | Posted by Jim Clingman April 18th, 2016

Coalition-building is the best way for Black people to make the kind of progress we need to make in this country, especially when it comes to economic empowerment. Some have posited that Black people are swiftly becoming obsolete. From the agricultural economy to the industrial and mass production economy Black folks, in some cases, had it going on. Many individual Blacks did quite well with jobs and businesses in those areas. As we moved through the technology/information economy and now into the knowledge-based economy, the rules for survival have changed.

Are Black people as a group becoming obsolete? Someone said, “All the shoes have been shined and all the cotton has been picked,” which suggests that Black people are no longer needed by white folks, therefore, if we do not change our ways when it comes to business and job development we will indeed become obsolete. Frederick Douglass, Booker T., and Garvey spoke of a time when we would have to consider the question of Black obsolescence if we did not awaken from our deep sleep and refuse to be dependent upon the largess of others for our sustenance.

The strength we gain from coalescence will bring about this much-needed change, and one major step is to reach out and connect with other like-minded people of African descent. This should be done on a national and an international level, the closest area being just south of our country—the Caribbean.

One of the greatest Africans in modern history was born in Jamaica. Of course, that would be Marcus Mosiah Garvey, who founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Look across the Caribbean and you will find other Blacks who knew and followed through on solutions; they took action rather than merely talk about their problems. They stood up against aggression, ignorance, and oppression. They understood and followed through on the value of educating their people, and they subscribed to the lessons their elders left behind.

Haitian history shows us strength and refusal to submit to enslavement; it also shows us resolve and a willingness to help others, as in the case of Haitian soldiers going to Savannah, Georgia to fight against the British in the Siege of Savannah on Oct. 9, 1779, during the U.S. Revolutionary War. We also remember the irrepressible Toussaint L’Overture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and Henri Christophe, Haitians who led the only successful slave revolt in the western hemisphere.

Many Black people came to the United States from the Caribbean and brought with them the same spirit, the same dedication and drive, and the same resolute character that causes men and women to seek for themselves, as Richard Allen taught back in 1767. Our Caribbean brothers and sisters have come with the determination to do for self, to rely on self, to cooperate with one another, and build an economic system within their own ranks. This article is written in an effort to celebrate our people and establish relationships that will engender cooperation among our people.

Marcus Garvey instructed us to do one thing prior to taking on economic empowerment initiatives. He told us to “Organize!” He shared with us the truth about economic empowerment over political empowerment and how we should seek economics first. He said, “The most important area for the exercise of independent effort is economic. After a people have established successfully a firm industrial foundation they naturally turn to politics and society, but not first to society and politics, because the two latter cannot exist without the former.”

Lessons from Garvey and others have led a precious few of us to implement strategies that, in fact, will lead to economic empowerment; we need many more. One such effort is the One Million Conscious Black Voters and Contributors (OMCBV&C), which was established on Garvey’s words, “The greatest weapon used against the Black man is disorganization.” The OMCBV&C movement is underway, actively recruiting that critical mass of Black people who will take action rather than merely talk about problems. The One Million will leverage dollars and votes to obtain reciprocity in the marketplace as well as in the public policy arena. See: www.iamoneofthemillion.com

In the tradition of Marcus Garvey, the One Million is organized, cooperative, and supportive of one another. It is entrepreneurial in its philosophy regarding ownership and control of income producing assets. The One Million is molded in the very practical notion of using our own resources to help ourselves and our children. We are committed, dedicated, sacrificial in our giving, and unapologetically Black as we pursue our ultimate goals of economic and political strength—in that order.

Black people, no matter where we were born or where we live, must appreciate the fact that we started out in the same place and our differences emanate from our experiences in the nations where our ships docked in the western hemisphere.

 

 

Piney Woods School Changing the world, “One student at a time.” — April 2016

Articles | Posted by Jim Clingman April 11th, 2016

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Piney Woods is a boarding school for grades 9-12, founded in 1909 by Dr. Laurence Jones. PW5
It is located 21 miles south of Jackson, Mississippi. Nestled among the pine trees, amid rolling hills, lakes, and farmland, during my initial visit, Piney Woods gave me the feeling of having found a lost treasure. As I walked the campus and learned about the history of this school, a deep sense of melancholy came upon me and, feeling almost ashamed, I questioned why I had not come to that magnificent, historic, and wonderful place much sooner.

Since that first visit to the school in 2004, when I spent two days and nights on campus, had meals with the students, sat in on their classes, and toured the grounds, I have been advocating for Piney Woods. When former President, Dr. Charles Beady, PW6told me the story about a national fundraising effort in 1954, I decided to start another such fundraiser some fifty years later; our goal was to raise $1 million ($5.00 each from 200,000 donors) for Piney Woods via a group we established known as the Blackonomics Million Dollar Club (BMDC). We helped a lot but came nowhere close to our goal.

Back in 1954, Ralph Edwards, host of the television show, “This is Your Life,” featured Dr. Laurence Jones’ life. Edwards was so impressed with Jones and Piney Woods that he put out a call to his viewers to send in $1.00 each to the school in an effort to raise $1 million; according to Dr. Beady, Edwards’ campaign raised about three-quarters of a million. I figured if $750,000 could be raised in 1954 from an effort that went out over television, a medium only a few families were fortunate enough to have, surely we could eclipse that effort in 2004 with the Internet at our disposal. Optimist that I am, I am absolutely sure we can do that in 2016.

By way of example, Brother Umar Johnson has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his proposed school. He has not yet determined where it will be located, but donors have responded with their dollars nonetheless. Piney Woods has been around for 106 years; it is viable, competitive, and dedicated to serving students and families, most of which are unable to pay the entire tuition necessary for room and board. Why wouldn’t we do the same—and more—for Piney Woods?
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Piney Woods President, Will Crossley says, “Our students – both male and female – hail from more than 24 states and foreign jurisdictions; from inner-city urban locations, as well as rural spaces; from points north, south, east, and west. As diverse as they are, our students share this status: they all receive scholarship support to help fund their education here. They also share an amazing result: admission to post-secondary educational institutions. I know these principles well and in a personal way. While I am the fifth president of this historic, 107-year-old institution, I am the first alumnus to head our school.”
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The school’s national press release states, “Piney Woods creates a living and learning environment where students are expected to excel academically, and become civically engaged and socially responsible. Over 75% of the pupils hail from lower income areas where the failing public school systems and negative peer pressure often inhibit them from accomplishing their life goals. However, after undertaking Piney Woods Schools’ rigorous educational, spiritual and vocational curriculums 99% of the graduating seniors are admitted to colleges and universities.”

The “Give from the Heart National Challenge 2016” fundraiser campaign for Piney Woods began in February 2016. On Saturday, April 30, 2016, an all-star benefit concert will take place at the Word and Worship Church in Jackson, MS. Please plan to attend; but if you cannot, please send a donation to this deserving and worthwhile institution.
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This is an opportunity for everyone to help Piney Woods maintain the same high-quality education it has provided for years, an education that results in 95% of its graduates going on to college. I believe in the “little from a lot” way of getting things done. In this case once again, if 200,000 persons sent $20.00 every six months to Piney Woods, the school could be well on its way to building an endowment, continue to have the financial ability to give even more student scholarships, pay its teachers and administration attractive salaries, and maintain the school’s infrastructure. Who knows? Maybe your child or grandchild will have the privilege to attend Piney Woods one day.
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Why not plan to visit the campus soon, and please send your tax-deductible donation to Piney Woods School, U.S. Highway 49 South, Piney Woods, Mississippi, 39148. For more information see www.pineywoods.com or call 601 845 2214.