“Radical simply means grasping things at the root’”
“The civil rights movement demanded access, and access has been granted to some. The challenge of the twenty-first century is not to demand equal opportunity to participate in the machinery of oppression. Rather, it is to identify and dismantle those structures in which racism continues to be embedded. This is the only way the promise of freedom can be extended to masses of people.”
– Angela Davis
I got things to do in 2017, and you better believe I am going to do them savagely.
I’m savagely going to achieve my goals this year and you will too.
Here are six things you can do this year to self-improve.
I feel like sometimes nobody gets it and at this point I’m just done doing things the same way if you want different results you have to switch up your methods.
It’s time to find your passion and pursue it. Find what you like to do, find what you’re good at, and get paid for it in 2017.
You can only do your job 100 percent if you give a damn.
People who pursue their passion and work in the fields they choose just seem happier and perform better.
I understand that not many people can pursue their passion due to lack of opportunity, not enough resources, lack of money, etc. and that’s understandable, but effort and inquiry go a long way.
Networking is extremely beneficial and can sometimes get you further than a dollar bill.
Learn how to talk to people, and by this, I don’t mean act fake, or totally outside of your character.
You can be yourself and adapt a business savvy, mannerly, and respectful composition.
Learn what questions to ask and seek what is available to help you get started in whatever it is you want to do.
Most recently I read the story about Asia Newson, a 13-year-old entrepreneur from Detroit, Michigan.
According to an article in Forbes, she began her business, selling candles, when she was only five years old.
Last year in 2016, she made over $60,000. If she was determined at five years old to get started and can be a successful entrepreneur in her own business at 13 years old so can you.
It may be time for you to speak up and ask for a salary increase.
Know your worth and don’t allow your employer to use you without proper compensation.
Sometimes we are so desperate for a job or so thankful for the current position we’re in that we neglect to realize we are taken advantage of.
Your employer should compensate their employees for hard work, especially if you are consistently exceeding expectations, taking the initiative to do more in your position, and (or) adopted a leadership role.
Know your job, and it’s description; doing work outside of what is expected, that’s great work ethic.
Suggest a higher paying position to the appropriate personnel. Discuss compensation and challenges. If the opportunity is unavailable, look for an opportunity to grow elsewhere.
If the joke isn’t funny, don’t laugh.
If you don’t feel like going out don’t go.
Don’t do things only to please other people.
Do the things that you want to do.
Say no if you want.
No you can’t borrow anything, no you cant waste my time, no you can’t have me for free.
Knowledge is power and it’s something no one can take away from you.
Noir Reads provides various literature from Black Authors to provide an in-depth understanding of culture and the overall Black experience.
It is an online book subscription service delivering new books from Black Authors each month subscribe here.
“With Noir Reads, we aim to help people discover voices of African descent actively exploring the Black experience through fiction and non fiction,” said the creators. “It can be hard to find diverse Black literature and a community to engage around it – we hope Noir Reads can make it easier.”
*I’m currently reading: Angela Davis’ Women, Culture & Politics *
Self-improvement is essential and this is inclusive of your health.
Take some vitamins: Women’s Ultra Mega is really good for skin and hair improvements.
Be selfish and treat yo self to that manicure and pedicure. Men you guys too!
Research products before you but them. If you’re like me, you may need an introduction into some new products.
Look into different subscription services to try new products if you are unsure about what works well for your hair, skin, nails, body, etc. look stuff up!!
Try subscribing to the Onyx Box for new surprises each month.
The Onyx Box subscription offers women of color a chance to celebrate their beauty each month with useful new samples.
Also you can check out and subscribe to tyriqharris.com for skin care tips & advice and other special deals.
Shock and awe- do something out of your comfort zone.
Do something courageous or risky.
If you’re local to Philadelphia, you can always look up the Mt. Airy Learning Tree to see what new classes are available.
They have tons of classes in various areas and it can be found here: Mt. Airy Learning Tree
Listen to TI’s new single “Black Man” and get inspired. YouTube link below:
Watch his powerful performance at the 2016 BET hip hop awards. YouTube link below:
Much respect to TIP for this.
Much respect to any artist who chooses to use their platform and their voice to discuss real life issues effecting our community.
I love Weezy so I just thought I’d throw in the Cut It remix too (featuring TI)💕
Sometimes the protest is simple. Not being silent in conversation is a protest in itself. You’re protesting by not being silent on issues that matter. You matter.
Sometimes it’s as simple as saying “that’s not true about my people” or saying “nobody has the right to tell someone else how to grieve” or offering “if this was someone of your background or descent how would you feel?”
Have you ever looked into the eyes of someone belonging to a different race (ethnicity or culture) as you express your feelings, experiences, concerns, and injustices?
From experience, the feeling is almost as if I am committing some crime. The looks and body language I’ve received suggests that even speaking on any issues surrounding MY people is beyond my intellect or above my head.
It’s not hard to tell that what you talk about often isn’t always relatable. It seems like people just don’t get it…
“Don’t say that the people in jail are slaves, use the word ‘oppressed.'”
Speaking of slavery or making any comparisons are completely unacceptable by any other group. You can explain history, converse on the events unfolding right in front of everyone’s eyes and still get called a liar or told to change the words, phrases you use to sugarcoat it.
People may become a bit uptight during these conversations with people of color but so what!!!!!
Why is it that as African-Americans we get told the experiences of our ancestors weren’t that bad, or we are made to feel like we are delusional?
If you want to voice the injustices, blatant racism, or prejudices you have experienced go for it but also seek a way to make a change.
Some people will turn a blind eye to the injustices that people of color experience every day. Some people will offer comparisons to belittle your feelings to show that “it’s no big deal compared to…” or “at least you’re not (here or there) experiencing (this or that)…”
I am often blown away by the lack of knowledge (ignorance), lack of compassion and empathy that some people have for others.
Words have power, and you will be surprised at the lasting effect that your conversation can have on someone.
I will continue to protest in my way. The more knowledge I receive, the more I will spread it and continue to stand up for my people.
Somethings got to give. Until it does, I am going to talk about it.
Young Professionals in the workplace (some of my experiences)
Being a young, black woman in the workplace is hard. In my opinion, some people in higher positions just don’t want to see success outside of their norm or comfort.
That is why it is time for the emergence of more African-American owned and operated businesses. It is time for us to have more of our own. No more complaining about work, shifts or hours, make your own! We all have to start somewhere. Grab a notebook and write all of your ideas down so you can see them. Write down everything you dislike about your current/past job(s), positions, the way you are/were treated as an employee, and make a note of it. This way you know exactly how NOT to run your own business.
We need to change our mindset. We were not created to live and work for another person or their success.
I struggled to find my strengths and pinpoint my interest at first. I knew that I just wanted to be successful. Now I discovered that I like to write, and it is one of my strengths. I like to communicate with people and provide inspiration and encouragement when I can. As I self-evaluate and work with my strengths, I am finding how I can make myself work for me.
Your goal should not include punching the clock or pleasing a manager for the rest of your life. I always say “I’ll now when I’ve made it when I decide when I start work.”
My first position was an eye opener as much as an introduction into the work force. I got my first full-time job when I was 18 years old, and it was mind blowing to witness the lack of professionalism in some adults. I ran into so many issues and here it is seven years later, things haven’t gotten any easier.
I was catapulted into a leadership role with determination, motivation, and the desire to grow. As this came naturally to me, I began to learn everything possible and surrounded myself with people in leadership positions that helped me learn. I was called an ass kisser by men that were twice my age. I was talked about by women who were old enough to be my parents. People talked down to me, but this was only motivation and inspiration.
My skin was extremely thin, and to be honest, it still is a bit, but the bigger picture is a fulfilling life.
When I started to wearing my hair natural, my manager (older black woman) pulled me aside and attempted to comb my hair and told me I looked a mess and needed to put my hair up.
It hurt me to know that SOME black woman doesn’t want to support others. I thought to myself that she just didn’t love herself as I was a reflection of her, we are all family, that was my sister, auntie, whatever. I would have expected that treatment from another race. It just threw me off. We need to be stronger and united. We need to eliminate the word “I” and replace it with “we” when something happens to one it is all of us. When some insults one of us to glorify another it affects ALL of us just as much as withholding a resource, or propaganda in the media.
Moving on to my next position, I was flat out asked by my misogynist manager “How did you get this job?”
Because I’m the shit and highly favored.
My thoughts, but not my reply.
He tried the same types of shenanigans and occasionally tried to blow up. He had esteem and anger issues. The biggest lesson I learned is that the only way to go is up, and no one can stop you; people have opinions, but you shouldn’t mind what people think because people do not think.
The only thing that separates us from each other is an opportunity. I’ve taken the good, and the bad and I are trying to apply those lesson as I am growing and developing my character. I realize everything that I don’t want to be and the ways that I don’t want to treat people. Out of these experiences I just gathered that I don’t want to be someone’s reason for not wanting to come to work.
(Feature Photos: Cleveland Cavaliers win first NBA titleFeature Photos: Cleveland Cavaliers win first NBA title)
Yayyyyyyyyyyyy I’m so happy the CAVS really deserved this championship!!!
P.S. Kyrie Irving is bae.
(Feature Photo: Ezra Shaw, Getty Images)