Archive for December, 2013

Winners and Losers of 2013

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags on December 31, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Barack Obama

By Raynard Jackson

Well, it’s that time of year once again for me to pick my biggest winners and losers for 2013.  Unlike most of the year end lists, mine will not be based on polling data, or popularity. Rather, it’s from the lens of a businessman. Based on the contribution of time, money, or intangible capital, did the person or group receive an appropriate rate of return on their investment?

I will begin with the three biggest losers and work down from there.  By far, the biggest loser of the year and of the Obama presidency was and is the Black community.  How can a group give a president 96 percent and 94 percent of their vote to him and have little, if anything to show for it. If the White unemployment rate was the same as the Black unemployment rate, it would be declared a national crisis. No sitting president, regardless of party, would have won reelection with that dynamic at play.

According to the November 2013 unemployment report (the most recent data available), the national unemployment rate was 7.2 percent. For Blacks, it was 12.5 percent; for Latinos 8.7 percent, and Whites 6.2 percent.  According to Heidi Shierholz, an economist for the Economic Policy Institute, “the Black unemployment rate has always been higher, largely due to long term structural trends that include a lower education level and a more limited social circle.”

Blacks have been the most loyal voting bloc for Democrats and for Obama particularly in the history of the U.S. and yet this president says he is not going to do anything specific for Blacks because he is president of all of America. All except Black America.

Yet, this president can’t go a day without trying to shove homosexuality down the throats of Americans and Africans. He doesn’t have the guts to try this in the Middle East because he know how the pro-Israel lobby will react.

This president can hardly go a day without trying to give amnesty to those in the U.S. illegals. He wants to inject millions of new people into the labor market to compete with Blacks for low and unskilled jobs, thus further exacerbating the high unemployment rate in the Black community.

And to think, educated Blacks said all of last year, that if Obama won reelection he would then help Blacks since he didn’t have to face the voters again.  When a person shows you who they are, you better believe them.

The second biggest loser is the “truth.”  According to Obama, “You can keep your own doctor.”  Enough said.

The final biggest loser is the media.  They have bent over backwards to curry favor with Obama and his minions.  They worked hand in hand with Obama to perpetuate the story line that Benghazi was about a video tape.  They reluctantly covered the IRS scandal and many of them hold out Edward Snowden as some kind of hero. Obama has more active journalists in his administration than any of his predecessors, yet he is one of the least transparent presidents.

By far the biggest winner of the year is the homosexual movement, both under Obama and the U.S. Supreme Court. Obama has done more to expand the homosexual movement than any other person on the face of the earth.  He is the same person that Newsweek magazine labeled  the “first gay president.”  It is estimated that homosexuals account for 2-5 percent of the U.S. population, but they have been showered with more tangible benefits under Obama than all other groups combined. And the Supreme Court has also been complicit in furthering that agenda.

The second biggest winner of this year are those in the country illegally. They can’t even vote, but yet they have received more attention and action from Obama than the Black community.  As if this weren’t bad enough, you have the NAACP and the National Urban League supporting illegals and their push for citizenship. This defies logic that they would put a group of non-citizens before the interests of citizens they purport to represent. What is it about Black organizations that they have to be “inclusive” yet other effective groups look after the narrow interests of their supporters.

The third biggest winner is Vladimir Putin.  During his annual state of the nation address two weeks ago, he said, “…We do not infringe on anyone’s interests, we do not force our patronage on anyone, or try to teach anyone how to live…We know there are ever more people in the world who support our position in defense of the traditional values that for centuries have formed the moral foundation of civilization, putting traditional family values top of the list.”

Wow!  Who would have ever dreamed that the U.S. would be lectured by Putin on traditional values and the sanctity of the traditional family?  This was a direct rebuke of Obama’s attempt to force other nations to accept his views on homosexuality.

So I end this year as I began—trying to get people to think a new thought.  Happy New Year!

Raynard Jackson 2013 Raynard Jackson is President & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his web site, You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.

They Peeked Out From Behind Dirt Floored…

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags , , on December 31, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Purnell Headshot

… But When I Became A Man,

            I Put Away Childish Things

By Purnell

Peeking out from behind rough-hewn slave cabin windows and gazing through the elegantly curtained windows of plantation mansions black slaves gasped at the sight they beheld…a sight they did not quite understand, but intuitively sensed constituted a power far greater than that of their masters. It was a martial tableau in motion that set the minds of anxious slaves racing in a search for its exact meaning. Unbeknownst to these confused blacks, their deliverance was at hand. Conversely, the entire unfolding circumstance was an apocalyptic nightmare for their panic-stricken masters. With regimental colors waving above them, a phalanx of soldiers in blue was entering Savannah; white men and black men, all wearing the blue uniform of the Grand Army of the Republic had arrived in coastal Georgia. A sound made by thousands of clomping horses hooves filled the countryside and mixed with the muffled footsteps of 70,000 infantrymen. The noise of teamsters whistling and shouting at their mules to keep up the pace filled the air and combined with the creaking and grinding of supply wagon wheels and the rattling of light artillery caissons.  Metallic clattering made by the sabers of hundreds of mounted Union officers heightened the ominous sense of foreboding that rode into Savannah that day. A massive Union military land force had overrun the coastal Georgia area signaling to friend and foe its willingness to engage any confederate unit that summoned the courage to challenge the presence of its seasoned Yankee war machine.

For the slaves of Georgia it was their first time seeing the fearsome display of the concentrated might of a Union army on the move in the heartland of the Confederate south.Entering the city of Savannah was the formidable, battle-tested Union Army of the Tennessee, 3rd Division of the 14th Corps, led by Major-General William T. Sherman. The march through Georgia to the sea had been brilliant. The approach to Savannah had been uneventful though token resistance from small confederate units had to occasionally be suppressed. The ferocious reputation of Sherman’s well supplied army had preceded its impressive arrival. Columns of U.S. infantrymen from the northern states with regimental colors waving above their heads, stretched for miles. Most of them were in the Deep South for the first time in their lives. Plantation owners who had previously proclaimed sworn oaths to die fighting the “damned Yankees”…, who spoke in disparaging terms of Union fighting prowess, took one look at the stunning display of Union military strength and promptly abandoned their plantation estates. Everywhere in the coastal area of Georgia, confederate military presence yielded to the imposition of Union military might upon the state.

Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman was under the direct command of President Abraham Lincoln with orders to break the will of the south to continue the war…and he was doing so with harsh efficiency. Curious slaves had no insight into the strategy and tactics of the opposing armies; but they could clearly see which side seemed most likely to win the conflict. They enthusiastically aligned themselves with Major-General Sherman and fell in behind the Union Army rear guard, willing to follow them no matter the costs or the perils. Any destination was better than their assured slave status if they remained on the plantations. When the Union army moved, they moved…when the Army rested, they rested…when the army was in battle; they helped, watched and waited. Their continued security was contingent upon their remaining within the U.S. Army’s protective perimeter, even if their swelling number sometimes interfered with military maneuvers. Improvements to the situation of these blacks, labeled as contraband by the U.S. government, would get better… better beyond their imagination. And then it would all crumble under the weight of political betrayal and the misfortune caused by the tragic assassination of Republican President Abraham Lincoln.

Fires in Atlanta, Georgia were probably still smoldering when the massive Union Army of General Sherman reached the outskirts of Savannah. The date was December 21, 1864. The next day, December 22, 1864, after offering only skirmish type token resistance to Union forces, the Confederate military completely abandoned the city. In the wake of General Sherman’s successful military “March to the Sea” campaign, were huge numbers of black former slaves and vast swaths of abandoned lands. Southern aristocrats, managers of the American “slavocracy” had hurriedly surrendered their privilege and power rather than stay and face the wrath of Union military might. The social/political vacuum created by the southern plantation class’s displacement was the source of these enormous numbers of emancipated slaves who immediately attached themselves to Sherman’s forces. These ragged black hordes were desperate to keep up with the pace of the advancing Union forces. Afraid and exhausted, they nonetheless had the good sense to refused to remain on the subjugated remnants of former plantations; the scenes of their human degradation.Anxious, happy and at the same time actively suppressing fear, these “contraband” blacks most certainly witnessed their sudden change of fortune in exuberant disbelief. They were probably wondering what could possibly be the eventual outcome of the horrific destruction that led to their sudden and almost providential gift of personal freedom from their previous condition of chattel servitude. This uncertainty lasted exactly 21 days for these former slaves of the coastal Savannah region. Within three weeks of the Union’s occupation of Savannah, a plan for the relief of the freedmen of Georgia and probably for the other nearly four million blacks in America, had been formulated. The blacks of Savannah had successfully organized for survival, economic security and political permanence.

So, why the excursion into Civil War history…? The answer, plain and simple, is to examine African American leadership; black leadership then and black leadership now. Since the political domain of America in 1865 was the exclusive territory of men, black men are naturally the central figures in the emerging political drama surrounding ex-slaves’ desire for independence through the acquisition of land by legal means. To fully explain the point to all of this, it’s necessary and proper to name the unheralded black men involved and to describe what these courageous, newly emancipated men succeeded in accomplishing… On the evening of Thursday January 12, 1865 at 8 p.m. in the city of Savannah, Georgia, a delegation of 20 men of African descent met Major-General William T. Sherman and the Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, to confer on matters relating to the freedmen in the State of Georgia. All of the 20 were ministers. The two oldest men in the group were both 72 years of age and the youngest was 26 years old. Fifteen of the men were born in Georgia, 3 in South Carolina, 1 in North Carolina and one in Baltimore, Maryland. Their average age was 50.

Citing the names of these men is the only tribute that can be posthumously paid to them for their heroic efforts to establish a permanent place on the embattled American landscape for their people. The following black men confidently, diplomatically and wisely spoke for the entire population of freedmen in Savannah and by inference, the other nearly 4 million newly freed and socioeconomically disoriented slaves. Their names are in the order that they appeared in the official United States military record.

The men were: 1) William J. Campbell, 51, former slave 2) John Cox, 58, former slave 3) Ulysses L. Houston, 41, former slave 4) William Bentley, 72, former slave 5) Charles Bradwell, 40, former slave 6) William Gaines, 40, former slave 7) James Hill, 52, former slave 8) Glasgon Taylor, 72, former slave 9) Garrison Frazier, 67, former slave 10) James Mills, 56, free born 11) Abraham Burke, 48, former slave 12) Arthur Wardell, 44, former slave 13) Alexander Harris, 47, free born 14) Andrew Neal, 61, former slave 15) James Porter, 39, former slave 16) Adolphus Delmotte, 28, free born 17) Jacob Godfrey, 57, former slave 18) John Johnson, 51, former slave 19) Robert N. Taylor, 51, former slave 20) James Lynch, 26, free born. Garrison Frazier, being chosen by the persons present to express the group’s common sentiments upon the matters under consideration, responded to questions for the entire group.

Go to for a reading of the official U.S. military record transcript of the proceedings of the meeting. It’s an astonishing account of a little known epic in American history and even more so, an unusual glimpse into the leadership style of serious, capable, devoted 19th century American black men determined to advance the interests of their people. Secretary Seward, Major-General Sherman and the 20 black ministers chosen to honorably and faithfully represent the concerns of blacks throughout the South, deliberated on the circumstances of freedmen and came away from the table with an agreement that would literally assure an opportunity for the economic, social and political integration of freed blacks into the fabric of post-civil war life in the America south. This astonishing agreement granted 400,000 acres of land, with titles backed by the U.S. government, to black families of the region. The land itself was, “a strip of coastline stretching from Charleston, South Carolina to the Saint John’s River in Florida, including Georgia’s Sea Islands and the mainland thirty miles in from the coast.” These 20 ministers had succeeded in acquiring for ex-slaves some of the best farming land in the American south with access to the Gulf of Mexico for eventual commercial fishing!Negotiations between General Sherman and Secretary Stanton on the one side and the 20 ministers of the other side, took place on the second floor of the Charles Green’s mansion on Savannah’s Macon Street on January 12, 1865 at 8:00 in the evening.

None of these ministers actively sought to be a member of the negotiating team. Not a single one of them was seeking notoriety, nor were they positioning to be a power-broker between the black masses and elite whites. All were nominated and then selected at-large by the colored people of Savannah. The entire organizing effort was formulated at the 1st African Baptist Church of Savannah on January 2, 1865. An overflow crowd of several hundred pressed near the entrance to the church hoping to hear what was going on in the meeting. A transcript of the proceedings is available from the Savannah Education Association. Amazingly, one day after that meeting the people of the city had secured a building to be used as a school from the U.S. Army and had arranged for the black children of Savannah to march through the middle of town their new school. Never had a prouder moment been beheld by the freed black people of that city. Adult black citizens of Savannah were making a profound civic statement and taking a firm political stance. The public parading of the children to their new school established that it as a “new day” for the blacks of Georgia and one of the critical objectives of the newly liberated slave parents was the education of their sons and daughters.

Obviously, it is implausible and unfair to attempt to make comparisons between black men born nearly two centuries apart. It is however, fair to examine and compare apparent quality of character over that same expanse of time. This website, is for and about black men and can therefore legitimately explore black men past and present within the context of the United States. So, though the separation of black men then and now roughly consists of 3-4 generations, the ideological, behavioral, cultural divide is much wider. Imagine a situation analogous to the gravity of the situation of Dec-Jan 1864-65 in Savannah occurring in the present; could 20 honorable black men be found to represent the collective interest of black America? …What about just 10 prominent, trustworthy, wise, respected black men who could shoulder the burden of deciding the fate of the entirety of their brethren??Could we/you/I be called upon to reliably, confidently name 10-20 American black men upon which such an immense responsibility could be imposed?? If the request were to generate the slightest hesitation…the answer would have to be a categorical NO. There is justifiable reason to cautiously approach an analogous selection process in 21st century America; duplicity, arrogance, buffoonery, charlatanism, hubris, opportunism and obfuscation tend to characterize the black leadership foisted upon the black community of today by the power elite of the American Left. As a result, in many cases, the motives, intentions and strategies of black America’s appointed/anointed leaders… are suspect.

In an informal survey of several longtime professional black men, the question was asked, “Can you name 20 living black men to whom the fate of black America could be summarily entrusted?” After considerable angst, friendly disagreement and the winnowing down of the list of candidates, only two men firmly emerged as indispensable to such a task. Before the two “must haves” are named, it is only fair to provide the full slate of original candidates. The black men included on the list and in no particular order are, Claude Anderson, Carl Nelson, Louis Farrakhan, Dick Gregory, C.T. Vivian, Wyatt Tee Walker, Andrew Young, Robert (Bob) Woodson, Colin Powell, Joe Madison and Neely Fuller…a powerful lineup of black men reflecting courage, intellect, accomplishment and respect across the board. While any of these men could be confidently selected for something comparable to a “Special Field Order #15” type committee, the two that had to be included were Minister Louis Farrakhan and former ambassador Andrew Young. It is an interesting feature of the informal survey that these two dissimilar, but prominent, black men seemed to hold the unreserved trust of the black men used in the inquiry. Certainly, there are other black men in America who could measure up to the standard of performance of the “Savannah 20” in January 1865. The problem here is that mature, middle class, college educated black men had to really soul-search to name 20 good brothers who they confidently felt could be relied upon to honorably represent black America’s total interests if called upon to do so. The hesitation and uncertainty was not reassuring.

If the average life-span of American black men can be conservatively estimated to be 50-60 years, and further, that the meeting with Sherman and Seward was approximately 150 years ago, then the human factor involved here is a little more than 3 generations. What has happened to black men in a century and a half to erode racial unity, diminish political maturity and enfeeble the designated black leadership in most black communities? What might account for the fundamental difference between the strength of character of the black men in the “Savannah 20” and the black men of today?

In 1865, the vision of a robust black community emerged from religious faith, family cohesion and nationalistic pride. Today, such is not the case. In fact, today a cottage industry has sprung up around the production of pathology-based theories that attempt to explain the lack of collective political sophistication in the black community. Despite attempts at convoluted, scholarly explanations for the lack of evidence of elective judgment and maturity, the answer being sought might be much simpler. It is commonly known that the black community, generally speaking, gets its political “marching orders” from celebrities, media types and an assortment of carefully selected “Hollywood” A-level performers; past and present, black and white. Though actors are paid to act; to publically make believe that they are someone other than their real selves, once on the silver screen their personal values/opinions acquire extraordinary legitimacy and are subsequently presupposed to be those values are the most suitable for the general public. Usually their devoted fans don’t even know the real identity of these actors because commercial success usually requires that they discard their real names early in their careers and invent alluring stage names to enhance their personal mystique. Nonetheless, the strange, but fixed, grip of Hollywood on the psyche of the American public continues.

The better these performers are at making audiences believe that they have channeled a fictional, cinematic character, the more they are paid and the closer to a movie industry award they get. Once a year they all meet in Hollywood to admire each other and to determine who was best at making the public believe that they are the believable at not beingthemselves; the Oscars. The black community is especially vulnerable to this schizoid, nonsensical, though extremely useful, approach to elective politics while American black leaders are effectively mute on the implications of this imbedded weakness. While all Americans are manipulated by the band wagon effect of celebrity on American elective politics, it appears that black Americans may be particularly susceptible to this phenomenon.

In the 150 years since the epic meeting of the “Savannah 20” with Major-General Sherman and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, an all-out assault upon the black intelligentsia has been waged. Education in black enclaves has alarmingly deteriorated while “experts” debate resource allocation and “best practices.” Black boys have been ruthlessly demoralized by a feminist campaign aimed at the elimination of masculine tendencies from their developing personalities. Social discourse is now dictated by a lower-class ethos generated out of a profane entertainment genre which values vulgarity above showmanship and true talent. Social graces are now considered passé, opening the door for crude behavior and the debasing of black women. Brothers and sisters can now be a child TWICE…once as an adolescent and then again as an adult while black sociological/psychological practitioners fail to acknowledge or attempt to address this peculiar developmental deficiency.

Herein lies the crucial difference between the “Savannah 20” and today’s crop ofblack leaders; those black men of 1865 were grounded in reality, mature in thought and behavior, courageous by virtue of the honor of service to their people and possessed of an ideal vision of the future of the black community. There was not a childish, self-serving, duplicitous slacker among them. Regrettably, the same cannot be said of the vast majority of the black men recognized today as leaders of African American communities. Black America may never witness the assemblage of such a noble, earnest group of men again. But… on the evening of January 12, 1865 twenty of our best and finest examples of black manhood stood tall and when called upon by their brethren, requited themselves admirably in the negotiating of an agreement that they thought would be binding for all time. Regrettably, in a little less than 6 months after the assassination of Republican President Abraham Lincoln and approximately 9 months after the 16th President of the United States had signed it into law, Special Field Order No. 15 was merely a contentious Civil War memory for those living in the region. Andrew Johnson, a nearly impeached democratic President and Lincoln’s successor, aligned himself with the South’s secessionist Democratic plantation class and felt obligated to rescind Special Field Order No. 15 in the fall of 1865. The reversal of that Republican initiated order by President Andrew Johnson returned 400,000 acres of prime farmland to the rebel plantation owners…the very people who had declared war on the United States of America.

Question Bridge Explores Experience of Black Males in America

Posted in African Americans, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Fatherhood with tags , , , on December 30, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Question Bridge Black Males

Question Bridge: Black Males is a collaborative, transmedia project that complicates traditional views of identity by exploring the full spectrum of what it means to be “black” and “male” in America.  In video-mediated exchanges, 150 black men of different social, economic, political, and generational backgrounds from across America respond to questions posed by one another about issues that unite, divide, and puzzle them.  Framed as an internal conversation within a group too often defined externally, Question Bridge uses candid discussion to expose the diversity of thought and identity among black males, challenging monochromatic views of “blackness.”  The wide-ranging conversation touches on family, love, masculinity, discrimination, community, education, violence, and the past and future of black men in society.

The public is invited to engage with the Question Bridge: Black Males project in a variety of ways.  In addition to the five-channel video installation in the main gallery, the project includes an installation at the Corcoran’s Community Gallery at THEARC in Southeast D.C., a website, custom tablet application, educational curriculum, and roundtable conversations with members of the local community.

The exhibition ends on February 16, 2014.

Click here for additional information on workshops and roundtable discussions.

Click here to watch a short video feature.

Established in 1869, the Corcoran Gallery of Art was one of America’s first museums of art—dedicated, in the words of
founder William Wilson Corcoran, to “encouraging American genius.” Today it is Washington, D.C.’s largest non federal art museum, known internationally for its distinguished collection of historical and modern American art as well as contemporary art, photography, European painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts. A dynamic schedule of special exhibitions complements arrange of educational programming, which together enrich the perspectives of the visiting public, support the local arts community, and encourage thoughtful interpretation of today’s most compelling social issues. The Corcoran College of Art + Design was founded as a school of art in 1890 and stands as Washington’s only four-year accredited college of art and design. The college is one of the few in the nation whose educational model includes an integral relationship with a museum, fostering the talent of the next generation of artists. For more information about the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design, visit

Business Exchange Column: Who Creates Jobs?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 29, 2013 by Gary Johnson

William Reed By William Reed

Black Americans are often misled when politicians and pundits refer to the ability of the President of the United States (POTUS) to “create jobs” during their terms in office. But, in the reality of America’s economy, the private sector is where jobs originate. America’s private sector is run by citizens or groups, usually as a means of enterprise for profit. This differs from countries where the government exerts considerable power over the economy such as, The People’s Republic of China.

Black Americans have to become more educated in private enterprise and capitalistic processes. “Job creation” is a central theme across America these days. Take Santa, for example, there are some Blacks who fervently believe that the ability to create jobs is inherent in the powers of the POTUS – think again.

Job Fair

The government’s limited role in creating jobs is a reality Blacks need to grasp. More of us have to accept that the government’s only role is to help create conditions for the growth of businesses, both large and small. A “job” is what we all want. Whether, it’s in the private or public sector, most of us just want to hear: “Can you start tomorrow?”

Since 2000, the labor force has steadily declined, but, Department of Labor figures show hiring is up: August through October 2013 employers added an average of 202,000 jobs. Let’s go back to basics: You get a job because someone needs some work done and is willing and able to pay you for it. Someone who is willing and able to compensate you with wages, sound working conditions, benefits, opportunities for advancement and intrinsic rewards enough to persuade you to turn down all competing offers and accept the job; and willing to put up with your human deficiencies in getting the work done. He or she does this because you present the education, skills, expertise, judgment, grooming, intelligence and social skills necessary to get the job done and most importantly, to return to the employer value that exceeds what it costs him/her to compensate you.

Black Americans are often misled by broadcast reports that promote the “producers-vs.-takers” theory that: America is divided between “producers” who work hard and pay taxes and “takers” who see themselves as victims, demand entitlements from the government, and don’t care about their own lives. Many Blacks see the Republican Party as the “party of the producers,” but not in a desirable way.

Make no mistake, it’s entrepreneurs who put up the capital for the enterprise, take responsibility for loans and other financing, pay expenses and own the assets including revenue. If there’s more revenue than expenses, they enjoy profits that enable them to live well and invest in another round of entrepreneurship. If there’s less revenue, and if the losing trend isn’t reversed, the enterprise eventually fails, and the entrepreneur goes bankrupt and has to implore banks or other financiers for capital to try again, or becomes the employee of some other more successful entrepreneur.


Jobs come from successful entrepreneurs and investors willing and able to risk a buck on you in order to have the potential to eventually make a couple of bucks for themselves and for the next round of investment, which in turn has the potential to create a new job or enable you to receive a raise. In order for that to happen, there has to be freedom of contract, respect and protection of private property rights.

“Politics” only exacerbates the process. It wasn’t the POTUS, or Congress, but small businesses that created some 65 percent of the net new jobs of recent years. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that over the 15 years from 1993 to mid-2008, 31 percent of net job gains resulted from the opening of new establishments. The remaining 69 percent are also due to successful businesses of all sizes that expanded. Most of the workers employed by Black-owned businesses are minorities. Of the 1.9 million Black-owned businesses existing in 2007, 106,824 had paid employees.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the

R. Kelly and Devaluing Young Black Girls

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Music, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , , on December 29, 2013 by Gary Johnson

R. Kelly Black Panties

By Darryl James

So, here are my thoughts on R. Kelly:

Do I think he’s guilty? More than likely. When there are numerous people telling a similar story, it has to have some truth to it.

Am I outraged? Yes, but I won’t be taking any action, because those weren’t my family members. I have other fights to fight. Rest assured that if my family members were involved, we would be talking about this in past tense. That would include Sparkle, who delivered her own niece for R. Kelly to have sex with and pee upon. If that young girl were my family, Sparkle would meet the same ugly, painful fate as the child molester. But, men already know that young girls who are harmed with no retribution typically have no men in their families.

And, that brings me to my next position: I would like for people to stop the bullshit about R Kelly being able to do his thing because of some “devaluation of Black girls.” That is not the issue here. The issue is that R Kelly is a celebrity and in America, the people value celebrities more than ANYONE.

Let’s start with Roman Polanski, who stood in front of a judge and ADMITTED that he raped an underage girl. He was allowed to leave the country somehow and still make films to the point where, decades later, the film industry gave him the fugitive an award.

Was that about the devaluation of young white girls? No.

Now, let’s move on to Elvis Presley, who LOVED sticking his drunken pecker into young white girls. He was still celebrated until the day he died.

Was that about the devaluation of young white girls? No.

And, finally, let’s mention one Michael Jackson, who could not shake the pedophile label off no matter what he did. And THOSE were young white BOYS!

Was that about the devaluation of young white boys? No.

All of these cases, including R. Kelly, are essentially about the exalted citizenship Americans assign to entertainers.

I’m not defending R. Kelly, I’m just sick of people attaching unrelated issues to serious issues. If you believe that young Black girls are being devalued, deal with that issue and don’t pretend that everything is about that issue.

Frankly, most of us know that young Black boys are devalued, which is why the schools throw them away on a regular basis and society turns a blind eye while they are targeted and mainstreamed into prison, drugs, gangs and otherwise failure. When a young Black girl is in trouble, we want to know why, but when a young Black boy is in trouble, we CLAIM to already know why.

Who is devalued?

But I won’t use any and everything to make the case that young Black boys are devalued. For example, these bastards playing the knockout game SHOULD be devalued and dealt with strongly.

And, many of you who claim that young Black girls are being devalued, did so your DAMNED selves when you were mourning the white pedophile from “Fast and Furious,” somehow claiming that it was “different” in his case. It was the same thing to me–a grown ass man was having sex with an underage girl.

If you sincerely believe that R. Kelly has been harming young girls, you should take action. Raise funds for the families to go after him. Or chastise the families that took hush money. Chastise everyone, including the women who enabled him to molest their young daughters and nieces. Start boycotts of his music and his concerts and do it seriously and incessantly.

But don’t sidetrack a very serious issue with another issue.

Darryl James Author*Syndicated Columnist*Lecturer*Film Maker


AVAILABLE NOW–“NOTES FROM THE EDGE,” the new book from Darryl James.

ALSO: “WHIRLWIND OR THE STORM,” a riots anthology and historical perspective. AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON.COM!!

Year In Review: How Do Black People Spend Their Money?

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Money/Economics, Women's Interests with tags , , , , , on December 27, 2013 by Gary Johnson

bling jewelry 2

Originally posted on November 5, 2010.  Updated December 27, 2013.

As we look at the year in review, the most popular article posted on this website/blog was an article detailing how black people spend their money.  The article was “How Do Black People in America Spend $507 Billion Dollars Annually?”

This article has been the most read and commented article for 3 years running.  Once I learned that this was the most popular and discussed article on the website, two questions immediately came to my mind:

  1. What does that say about the topic in terms of being relevant to our site visitors?
  2. Has anything changed?

This has been a hotly debated topic not only on this site, but in our office, at social events and in beauty and barber shops across America.

We’ve updated our original article with some information from an article written in September 2013, by Stacy M. Brown posted on the Washington website titled, “Big Spenders, Small Investors:  Blacks Have Little to Show for Hard-Earned Dollars.”  In that article, Ms. Brown writes, “If black America counted as an independent country, its wealth would rank 11th in the world.  However, African Americans continue to squander their vast spending power, relegating blacks to economic slavery instead of financial freedom, according to several consumer reports detailing the use of cash in the black community.”

If history is any indication of future behavior, this updated article will be hotly debated in 2014.  Let’s hope that we can make some progress in this area and close the wealth gap.

Happy New Year!

Gary Johnson, Founder & Publisher – Black Men In

Other highlights from Big Spenders, Small Investors:  Blacks Have Little to Show for Hard-Earned Dollars” include the following:

  • African Americans consistently outpace the total market population in overall growth, smart phone ownership, television viewing and annual shopping trips according to the new study, “Resilient, Receptive and Relevant: The African-American Consumer 2013 Report,” a collaborative effort by the Nielsen Company in New York and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), located in Northwest Washington, D.C.
  • Black buying power continues to increase, rising from its current $1 trillion level to a forecasted $1.3 trillion by 2017.
  • Despite the strong economic outlook, blacks continue to spend most of their money outside of the African-American community and, according to Nielsen and NNPA, advertisers have repeatedly slighted the black media, spending only three percent, or $2.24 billion, of the $75 billion spent with all media last year.
  • Each year, African Americans spend more than $47 billion on Lincoln automobiles, $3.7 billion on alcohol, $2.5 billion on Toyotas, $2 billion on athletic shoes, and $600 million each year on McDonald’s and other fast foods, according to Target Market News Inc., a Chicago-based marketing research group.
  • Blacks also spend wildly to keep up their appearances.  The black hair care and cosmetics industry counts as a $9 billion a year business, but while African Americans are spending the most, they are profiting the least, said officials from the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association (BOBSA) in Palo Alto, Calif.  Beauty product lines designed for African Americans were once 100 percent owned and operated by blacks, today other ethnic groups control more than 70 percent of the market.
  • The current home-ownership rate reveals that 73.5 percent of whites own homes while approximately 43.9 percent of African Americans are homeowners, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies State of the Nation report for 2013.
  • Sixty percent of African Americans have less than $50,000 saved in company retirement plans and only 23 percent have more than $100,000.


The loyalty blacks have to their church also has proven costly, said officials at Faith Communities Today, a nonprofit based in Hartford, Conn.  A 2013 study revealed that black churches have collected more than $420 billion in tithes and donations nationwide since 1980, an average of $252 million a week.

Black Churches2

“What people fail to see and understand is that, the church pastors aren’t waiting for miracles to fund their lifestyles, they don’t have to pray, day in and day out, to make their ends meet,” said Northwest resident and author, Byron Woulard.  They are getting rich off God, not from God,” he said. Woulard, whose books include, the 2011, “Pawn Queen,” noted that the money spent tithing could buy as many as 93,333 homes valued at $150,000; pay for tuition up to $15,000 a year for 933,333 college students, and feed every homeless American for a year.  “It’s the best hustle on the planet. If you don’t get it here on earth, you’ll get it when you die and go to heaven,” Woulard said. “And, it just so happens that not one person in the history of this planet has died, went to heaven, and come back to tell everyone that it’s true.”

Stacy M. Brown Stacy M. Brown’s article posted on the Washington website concludes with what is described as an inescapable fact:    When black folks make money, they are quick to spend it!

According to Dr. Boyce Watkins, a Scholar in Residence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Syracuse University in New York, also known as “the people’s scholar,” “We don’t use money to invest or produce,” said Watkins, 42.” When we get our tax refund, we go straight to the store.”


The 17th annual report on “The Buying Power of Black America” also includes a dollar-by-dollar breakdown of the Black economy.

Copies of “The Buying Power of Black America” can be purchased from Target Market News for $99.00  for the hard copy version and $65.00 for the digital version.  For more information call 312-408-1881, or click here to purchase online.

Below is our original article posted in November 2010.  Have their been any improvements?  You be the judge.


“How Do Black People in America Spend $507 Billion Dollars Annually?”

With $836 Billion in Total Earning Power, only $321 Million Spent on Books while $7.4 Billion Spent on Hair and Personal Care Products and Services

New ‘Buying Power’ report shows black consumers spend as economy improves

New 16th edition shows expenditures rise to $507 billion

(November 1, 2010) African-American consumers are cautiously increasing their spending in some key product categories, even as they continue to make adjustments in a slowly growing economy. The finding comes from the soon to be issued 16th annual edition of “The Buying Power of Black America” report.

In 2009, black households spent an estimated $507 billion in 27 product and services categories. That’s an increase of 16.6% over the $435 billion spent in 2008. African-Americans’ total earned income for 2009 is estimated at $836 billion.

The report, which is published annually by Target Market News, also contains data that reflect the economic hardships all consumers are facing. There were significant declines in categories — like food and apparel — that have routinely shown growth in black consumers’ spending from year-to-year.

“These latest shifts in spending habits are vital for marketers to understand,” said Ken Smikle, president of Target Market News and editor of the report, “because they represent both opportunities and challenges in the competition for the billions of dollars spent by African-American households. Expenditures between 2007 and 2008 were statistically flat, so black consumers are now making purchases they have long delayed.  At the same time, they re-prioritizing their budgets, and spending more on things that add value to their homes and add to the quality of life.”

The median household income for African-Americans dropped by 1.4% in 2009, but because of students going out on their own, and couples that started their lives together, the number of black households grew 4.2%. This increase meant that many household items showed big gains. For example, purchases of appliances rose by 33%, consumer electronics increased 33%, household furnishings climbed 28%, and housewares went up by 37%.

Estimated Expenditures by Black Households – 2009

Apparel Products and Services $29.3 billion
Appliances 2.0 billion
Beverages (Alcoholic) 3.0 billion
Beverages (Non-Alcoholic) 2.8 billion
Books 321 million
Cars and Trucks – New & Used 29.1 billion
Computers 3.6 billion
Consumer Electronics 6.1 billion
Contributions 17.3 billion
Education 7.5 billion
Entertainment and Leisure 3.1 billion
Food 65.2 billion
Gifts 9.6 billion
Health Care 23.6 billion
Households Furnishings & Equipment 16.5 billion
Housewares 1.1 billion
Housing and Related Charges 203.8 billion
Insurance 21.3 billion
Media 8.8 billion
Miscellaneous 8.3 billion
Personal and Professional Services 4.1 billion
Personal Care Products and Services 7.4 billion
Sports and Recreational Equipment 995 million
Telephone Services 18.6 billion
Tobacco Products 3.3 billion
Toys, Games and Pets 3.5 billion
Travel, Transportation and Lodging 6.0 billion

Source: Target Market News,

“The Buying Power of Black American – 2010”

“The Buying Power of Black America” is one of the nation’s most quoted sources of information on African-American consumer spending. It is used by hundreds of Fortune 1000 corporations, leading advertising agencies, major media companies and research firms.

The report is an analysis of consumer expenditure (CE) data compiled annually by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The CE data is compiled from more than 3,000 black households nationally through dairies and interviews. This information is also used for, among things, computing the Consumer Price Index.

The report provides updated information in five sections:

– Black Income Data
– Purchases in the Top 30 Black Cities
– Expenditure Trends in 26 Product & Services Categories
– The 100-Plus Index of Black vs. White Expenditures
– Demographic Data on the Black Population

Click here to read comments in response to the original article.

The Incredible Charlie Wilson

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Music with tags , , , on December 24, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Charlie_Wilson_Love_Charlie_single_photo_112612 (1)

Check out this emotional video looking back on Charlie’s life and musical career in honor of his 2014 GRAMMY Award nomination for Best Gospel Song for his original record “If I Believe.”

Young Republicans Who Deny Their Blackness

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics with tags , , , on December 17, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Raynard Jackson 2013

By Raynard Jackson, NNPA Columnist

Last week, Joyce Jones, a columnist for wrote an article titled, “The Loneliness of the Black Republican: What attracts young African-Americans to the GOP?”  Although the article was off-base on so many points – No I won’t waste my time listing them here – it got me reflecting on this younger generation of Black Republicans.

Undoubtedly, young Blacks are attracted to the GOP brand more than older Blacks. If Jones could have tapped into that phenomenon, it could have been an enlightening article. But, not surprisingly, her column ended up being your typical Black Republican-bashing.

How would she know “it’s not easy to be a young, Black Republican?”  She talks about conservatism, but fails to define the term.  She refers to “rising stars,” but fails to identify those stars or what makes them rising stars.

As for Black Republicans being lonely, a deeper explanation is in order.  Many Black Republicans who are of the millennial demographic have made a conscious decision to self-isolate. Translation: They can’t possible go behind the Democratic stranglehold on Blacks and not expect to be isolated.  Millennials are generally defined as those born between 1980-2000.

Tina Wells, a 30-year old and CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, a youth marketing company, was interviewed by Black Enterprise and had this to say, “The sense of entitlement that Millennials exhibit can be performance prohibitive.  Their idea of paying dues is different from their parents…they have grown up in a very instant world, so how do you tell them that a job they want in six or seven months is a job they have to wait usually six or seven years to get?”

This sense of entitlement has caused many millennials to think that simply showing up is all they need to do in life. All too often, these millennials have no political curiosity about those who paved the way for them.  There are about 30-40 Black Republican staffers who work for members of the House and Senate; but they have not formed an organization of like-minded people. They have shown no interest in building relations with Black operatives such as Michael Steele, Shannon Reeves, or Greg Simpkins.

How can you call yourself a Black Republican and have no knowledge of Bob Brown, Arthur Fletcher, Bill Coleman, or Kay James, to name a few?  These three are living legends within the Republican Party and important trailblazers. Also, in every instance, those pioneers did not run from their community. They were staunch Republicans, but they never forgot their Black roots or to fight for the Black middle class. In other words, they knew who they were.

This year alone, I have been called by no fewer than 10 members of Congress or other political operatives about these phenomena with Black Republicans.  I am asked why Black staffers are emphatic that they don’t want to be the point person for the Black community – they just want to be a staffer; as though they are mutually exclusive.  It can be both and!

I would go so far as to say these Blacks thrive off of being anonymous to other Blacks.  They seemingly get more satisfaction out of being known within White circles.  I don’t expect a lot of my White readers to understand this dynamic; this is a dirty little secret that Blacks refuse to discuss publicly.

Many of these Black Republicans will deny what I am saying, but I know them by name and from direct experience.  Maybe I will write a book about my experiences with these Blacks in our party.

These are the type of Blacks that many Republicans are most comfortable with.  They never raise any objections to anything thrown at them in private meetings relative to the Black community.  They never raise a voice when some of our more extreme elements make incendiary statements towards members of our community.  They never stretch out their hands to help others move up within the party.  Many are devoid of any real connection to our community.

On a personal level, I have reached out to many of these millennials and find their sense of entitlement and arrogance repugnant.  They have accomplished very little, but yet think they have arrived.  Being a low level staffer is not an accomplishment, it is a foot in the door.

Whether Joyce Jones knows it or not, by definition, you can’t be lonely if it is by choice; you can be alone, but not lonely.

So, to all my millennial Black Republicans, stop making it an either or proposition.  Embrace your party, embrace your community, and embrace your obligation to those coming behind you; but also, pay homage to those who paved the way for you.

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site,  You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.

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Young Black Republicans who deny their Blackness

Young Black Republicans who deny their Blackness

Staying Happy Through The New Year: 2014 Happiness Calendar

Posted in Black Interests, Book Reviews and More, Motivational Moments with tags , on December 12, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Henry Miller

By Henry S. Miller, Author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness

Amp up the amount of happiness in your life each and every month of the year by intentionally focusing on 12 strategies that the science of happiness and well being has proven can increase your feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Even better: know that, if you add these actions to your life, your feelings of increased positive emotion can last for days, weeks, and even months!

If this is the year you decide to get serious about adding happiness that lasts to your life, here are 12 happiness strategies for 2014 and suggestions to make them work for you:

January:  A Month of Hope and Plans

The beginning of the year is traditionally about new years’ resolutions. This year, write one positive goal you have for the coming year down on your calendar each morning of each day of January. Also write your plan to make it a reality. Then, resolve that you will intentionally invest your time and energy to work on your resolutions during the year and to live a happier life by implementing these 12 happiness strategies – one each month.

February:  A Month of Gratitude

Gratitude is the antidote to greed, envy, and jealously. We feel much happier when we are being grateful for what we have, rather than envious of what we don’t. Remember, no one has everything! This month, each night before going to bed, take a daily gratitude inventory. Write down three things you are grateful for about your life – your relationships, your work, your character, your family, your country, the world around you, your life.

March:  A Month of Kindness

Plato said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” And, if you look around, it’s still true today. This month, find one opportunity each and every day to perform some kind act for someone else – even the simplest act of holding a door open for another will do. And, each day, after your act of kindness, enjoy the feeling that, for at least one shining moment, you are the personification of all that is good about the human race.

April:  A Month of Optimism

Each day this month, be more conscious of your negative thoughts – if you have any. And every time you do, immediately “dispute” it by intentionally replacing the negative thought with a positive one. Do this each time you think a negative thought for a month, and notice how your thinking might change.

May:  A Month of Friendship

Close relationships are one of the longest-lasting of happiness-increasing strategies. But, sometimes, we take our friends for granted – or are “too busy” to see them. This month, at least one time per week, reach out to a friend and arrange to spend time with them. This can be as simple as a walk, a meal, coffee, drinks – whatever you choose. But find the time to visit with your friends face-to-face this month.

June:  A Month of Love

Traditionally, June is a month of weddings – and love is all around us. Each day this month, call, write, or email someone you love or care deeply about – one per day – and tell them how much they mean to you – and how happy you are that they are a part of your life – even if you haven’t been the best communicator up to now. Notice reactions – yours and theirs.

July:  A Month of Spirituality

Studies have proven that people who have spirituality in their lives – whether it’s their own secular belief system, their own faith, or some organized religion – are happier. We don’t know if it’s because of the fellowship of a caring group of like-thinking folks, or the spiritual beliefs themselves. This month, make a conscious effort to spend some moments each day – perhaps during lunch – repeating to yourself at least one “prayer” or belief you hold.

August:  A Month of Health, Fitness, Skill

Summer is a great time to focus on increasing your health and fitness – and on using your skills and abilities to their max. This month, begin some daily fitness regimen (check with your doctor first if needed) – even if it’s only walking. In addition, make a list of your top skills, talents, and abilities and assess if you are using them to their fullest. If not, take one step per day to begin doing so.

September:  A Month of Contribution

Making a meaningful contribution to make the planet a better place is one of the longest-lasting, happiness-increasing strategies known. What are you contributing? This month is your chance to decide what difference you’d like to make in the world. Spend a few minutes each day at lunchtime and write down ideas about how you can make a positive difference in the world. At the end of the month, decide on a plan of action – and begin! The world needs you and your contribution!

October:  A Month of Savoring

Fall is a season to enjoy the changing foliage in many parts of the world. Consciously spend at least five minutes each day focusing your attention exclusively on something of beauty outside – changing leaves, trees, clouds, sky – something. Five minutes of complete attention to savor the beauty of life around you – each day, every day.

November:  A Month of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a powerful, although a slightly more complicated, happiness strategy. We forgive others to make us feel better. This month, examine your life and see if there are any lingering resentments you are holding on to that are holding you back from joy. If so, do two things: First, write the apology letter you would have liked to have received from the person who has wronged you. Second, rise above your desire for revenge, and write your letter of forgiveness to them. No need to mail it, just recall the hurt or violation, write about your feelings. End the letter with your statement of forgiveness. Just this simple act of writing a forgiveness letter can often grant you freedom from your negative thoughts and give you increased happiness.

December:  A Month of Generosity

The end of the year is a time for giving – a time to donate your time, your money if you can, your skills, your positive energy, your attention – to others to help make their life a little better. Each day, find one opportunity to give something of yourself to help another – and notice your feelings.

In Conclusion

For the best results, remind yourself of each month’s happiness strategy by adding these topics to your calendar – every day of each month. Then, each day of the year, find creative ways to act on these strategies – and enjoy your reactions and your increased feelings of happiness. You’ll notice that these feelings will last far longer than the happiness you feel from just partaking of the pleasures of life – and will be more meaningful to you.

No matter what your situation, remain hopeful about increasing your happiness. The truth is that no one is ever out of the game when it comes to living a happier and more fulfilling life! As the months of this year unfold, continue all of the 12 strategies that work best for you. If you do, a year of happiness can be yours.

Henry Miller Henry S. Miller is the author of The Serious Pursuit of Happiness:  Everything You Need to Know to Flourish and Thrive, and Inspiration for the Pursuit of Happiness:  Wisdom to Guide your Journey to a Better Life. He is also the creator of the online membership program Get SERIOUS About Your Happiness:  20 Transformational Tools for Turbulent Times. As President of The Henry Miller Group (, he is a speaker, trainer, and consultant helping organizations improve engagement, performance, and productivity specifically by increasing employee well being. In prior careers, Henry was a Senior Consultant for the Tom Peters Company training and coaching senior management teams worldwide in leadership and his initial career in corporate America was with IBM.

Mandela (1918 – 2013)

Posted in African Americans, Black Men with tags on December 5, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Nelson Mandela

You know of the man.  Things that are obvious do not need to be explained.

Here are some of Nelson Mandela’s most famous quotes:

  • “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
  • “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
  • “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
  • “If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.”
  • “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
  • “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”
  • “Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”
  • “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
  • “I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days.”
  • “Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”

J. R. Perry Click here to check out a video tribute to Nelson Mandela by J. R. PerryClick here if you would like to purchase this song at J. R.’s site.  Proceeds will go will help those suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia.

J.R. Perry Tribute to Nelson Mandela

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