Black Friday

It’s another Black Friday in the U.S.A.  I’ve seen several memes and hash tags on social media encouraging Black Americans to boycott Black Friday this year.  Some of the memes are ridiculous and historically inaccurate in their implications.  But overall I share their point of view.  Black people should not break their necks to throw money at White controlled retailers.

I am a college educated, underemployed Black woman that has worked in retail for many years.  Retail is an extremely racist business.  A lot of retailers only want to hire Blacks for menial, low paying jobs and they only want to hire Whites for jobs that have good career and earning potential.  I have seen this happen at various organizations that I’ve worked for.  I’ve even held retail management positions but I was treated so poorly in those positions that they did not last long and I was not able to build a long term career based on those opportunities.

I’ve also noticed that retail seems to be very sexist as well.  I’ve observed at many retailers that are supported by women through patronage and labor have a gay male manager.  Why on Earth would they hire a man to run a Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe when surely there is a young woman that is capable of the job?  All of the male, gay managers that I have seen in these positions are White.

We all have to shop at some point.  I am interested in learning to sew but I don’t think I’ll ever be a person that will make all of my own clothes.  Unfortunately for Black Americans that means that at some point we will end up supporting a White owned company that creates poverty and hardship for Blacks.  But I will be damned if I sleep outdoors to have the opportunity to throw my money at these people.

Here is a list of retailers that I have worked for in the past that gave me the shaft and I believe that it is because I am a Black woman.

  1. DSW Shoes
  2. Kay Jewelers
  3. Zales
  4. Helzberg Jewelers
  5. Guess
  6. Express
  7. Eddie Bauer
  8. Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth

Happy holidays everyone.  Choose wisely where you spend your hard earned dollars.  If they wouldn’t hire you don’t hire them!

 

There are Some Good People in the World…Really

Last Wednesday afternoon my car tanked on me.  I was running an errand for my job and the car just died as I was turning into the parking lot.  It was very frustrating and embarrassing too.  The car sat in the middle of the street at an angle until two men helped me by pushing my car into a parking spot.  The men helped jump my car even though the engine did not stay on.  The car needed a new alternator.

The first gentleman to arrive on the scene knocked on my window to ask me if I was OK.  He said he was concerned because he saw that my head was down.  I was trying to look up a tow truck company in order to get my car out of the street.  But I’m glad to know that if I was passed out in my driver’s seat like that there are people around that would help me out.  The second gentlemen to help me worked at the sports apparel store in the strip mall.  He took the time out of his work day to investigate the scene and help a woman out.  I’m very grateful to the both of them.  They turned a very frustrating situation into an encouraging one.

We Call Them Street Gangs but They are Really Demonic Cults

Another child has been killed in America’s gang wars.  His name is Tyshawn Lee and he was nine years old.  Men lured him into an alley way and murdered him because the little boy was thought to be a snitch of sorts.  His father is said to have gang ties and he is not cooperating with the police.  Three men have been arrested for the crime.

Since my childhood there has been a lot of talk about what to do about street violence.  I’m not sure what can be done.  Tyshawn was not killed because someone needed money, or food, or shelter.  He was killed because he was a threat to a gang.  The men that murdered him placed their love and loyalty of their gang ties above all else.  The gang was more important than the innocence of a child or human decency.  The gang is their idol.  The gang bangers have sold their souls to the devil.

There is no community leadership, social program or jobs program that can help men like these.  Even if jobs were plentiful in their community these men probably wouldn’t take interest.  They are far too consumed with “Thug Life” to pursue anything decent.  I could understand, stealing, drug dealing or prostitution if you are desperate for money.  But I can not comprehend how anyone’s heart can grow so cold that they could kill a child.

Over the last year the evening news in Kansas City has been filled with stories of elementary aged children who have died in drive by shootings.  Most of there murders remain unsolved.  Allegiance to the streets keeps evil secrets and families continue to mourn with no justice.

We need to be honest with what we are dealing with.  Inner city street gangs are not merely troubled youth or jobless young men.  If that was the only problem they would just vandalize property or fight and kill other men.  But these men kill children and go on living for the next kill.  Their hearts and souls are possessed by Satan.  Their hearts need to be set free by Jesus Christ.  There is no other way.  There will be no peace without more men in America’s inner cities repenting of their sins and asking Christ to restore their hearts.  It takes prayer and reading the Word.  I hope more do that before they go to prison, kill or are killed themselves.

Sick and Tired of Hostility Towards Christians

I use social media frequently and one of the most vocal groups that I regularly encounter are African Americans that are very critical of Christianity.  Believing in Jesus Christ is a choice and it is a valid decision to not follow Christ.  I understand that everyone has different opinions and different experiences that makes them come to certain conclusions.  I respect everyone’s right to choose their own spiritual path and I expect to be respected the same way.  I don’t think that my belief in Jesus Christ is doing anything to harm anyone else and I should not have to defend or explain myself.  But that’s what I’m going to do now.

When I was a freshman in college at Eastern Michigan University I was given a small copy of the New Testament.  I read it in my dorm room that year.  It made a big impression on my heart and I haven’t been the same since.  I’m so glad that the Word of God was presented to me at that point in my life.

I grew up going to church but it wasn’t a great experience for me.  It was not traumatic or harmful, it was just long and boring and I went every Sunday.  When I was growing up there were not the type of Children’s Church that are common now.  My mother was met with resistance every Sunday morning when it was time for church.  I was much more interested in staying home and watching “The Jetsons” and “Fame”.  As an adult I am very grateful to my mom for getting me in church and letting me know that there is a God named Jesus and He is the savior of my soul.  In retrospect the Sunday morning ritual was a great challenge to my intellect.  Being confronted with the concepts of God, the Devil, life, death, heaven, hell and salvation gave me a lot to contemplate as a young girl.

The church that I attended as a child was a very large, old stone building with tall ceilings and stained glass windows that went up to the ceiling.  It was beautiful.  The pastor was a serious looking dude that wore a preacher’s robe every Sunday.  He is a pretty well known.  The church was filled every Sunday and there was even an over flow parlor with folding chairs when the pews were all seated with men in suits and ladies with large hats.

The Bible that I had access to as a child was a King James version.  I tried to read it when I was in elementary school without much success.  There were too many other things around me that were much more appealing and interesting than the Bible.  After a few false starts at trying to read the Bible during childhood I didn’t try it again until I was given the copy of the New Testament that day on campus.

My childhood experiences with Christianity were confusing but I wasn’t convinced.  That’s why reading the Bible while I was in college and since then has been valuable. to me.  The Bible has revealed many answers to questions that I had and still have.  Conviction and revelation is there for the taking if you want it.  You just have to tune out the rest of the world, open your heart and mind and read the Bible.

The Bible teaches that Jesus came into the world to cleanse all of our sins and save all of our souls regardless of race.  The African American, anti Jesus crowd would like to convince all Black Americans that salvation is for everyone else but us.  God loves everyone but us.  They don’t know anything about the word of God and they speak nothing but foolishness based on the actions of men.

Its true that the U.S. has always claimed to be a Christian nation but at the same time they treated Black people like animals and declared them a fraction of a human being.  Today America claims to be a Christian nation but the demonize the poor instead of trying to feed and employ the poor.  The U.S. has never really been the Christian nation that they have claimed to be.  But the African American, anti-Jesus, social media crowd is use to following the actions of men instead of the actions of God.

The critics of Christianity need to learn about the Word of God and stop judging God based on the actions of flawed men and women with short comings and insecurities.  That’s what people mean when they speak of a personal relationship with God.  Every man and woman that can read can learn about God’s word for him or herself.  It is important for Christians to be a part of a good church but it is not imperative for Christians to hang off of every word a preacher says.  It is more important to learn about God’s word for yourself and let it work on your heart and mind.

Furthermore all this foolishness about Jesus being a White man’s god is just plain stupid.  You don’t even need to know the Bible that well to know that.  Anyone that is familiar with Christmas carols knows that Jesus is from Bethlehem and that’s a long way from Europe.  I guess the Black American, anti-Jesus crowd is fixated on the art work that the Catholic church produced.  But truthfully speaking, any culture would make their God look like them.  I have a picture of a Black Jesus hanging up in my bed room.

All of these anti Christian people on social media are frightening.  They don’t seem to be in favor of much accept not worshipping Christ.  They are particularly focused on tithing.  Tithing is cut and dried so there is not much controversy there if you believe that the Bible has merit.

The anti Jesus Blacks love to claim how much money gets collected in Black churches every Sunday and then they ask what gets done with the money.  They love to imply that the pastors misuse the funds for personal gain.  I don’t claim to know anything about the pastor’s personal finances but the churches I’ve been involved with have all fed people, did community outreach projects and helped church members with personal matters.  I’ve only been to two churches in my life that made me uncomfortable.  I simply chose not to go back.  It’s that simple.

I fear that a lot of Black Americans will be led away from the Bible based on all the false teaching that get circulated on social media.  Someone will tell them don’t listen to the Bible.  Listen to me.  Don’t give your money to your church.  Give your money to me.  And so many Black American people will be led astray by simple minded, emotional blackmail false teaching.  Black Americans are a small but influential part of the American population.  Despite what people are led to believe about Black people we are mostly a conservative and spiritual (mostly Christian) demographic.  If we all become completely Godless or begin worshipping false Gods.  It will not be good.

African Americans need to understand that anti Blackness doesn’t just come from one direction.  It pretty much comes at us from all directions and from many cultures.  If Blacks think that they will find acceptance from middle eastern and north African cultures I think that they are going to be sorely disappointed.  I grew up in the Detroit area which has a large Arabic population.  The Arabs in metro Detroit are known for looking down on Blacks.

For me this comes down to respect.  I respect your choice to worship Allah, (who isn’t African either) or your Egyptian sun god, your Druid God or whatever.  I really wish people would respect my belief in my Savior.  There will come a day when we will all know who is right and who is wrong.  We could all at least be civil while we are waiting.

You Never Know What’s Around the Corner

I watched the Kansas City Royals defeat the Houston Astros in a thrilling game this afternoon.  The Royals came back to earn a Game Five which keeps their World Series hopes alive.  The 2015 Postseason is pretty exciting because there are so many underdogs playing this year.  Over the years the Cubs, the Royals, the Astros have all been sympathetic if not laughable names in baseball.  The Royals had a Cinderella post season but I’m sure a lot of people dismissed last year’s World Series appearance as a fluke.  Now everyone knows that they mean business.

I am absolutely thrilled that we could potentially have a Kansas City Royals vs Chicago Cubs World Series.  I would have never guessed that was even possible two years ago.  That’s what I love about sports.  Sports stories are often metaphors for life.  We never know what blessings are around the corner and we never know where we will be two years from now.  We could be living out lifelong dreams and accomplishing things we never thought were really possible.

I’ve enjoyed the Kansas City Royals since I moved here in 1998.  I didn’t become a fan because they were a very competitive team.  For most of the time I’ve lived here they have been at the bottom of the barrel.  I became a fan because I enjoy going to the games and I developed a soft spot in my heart for them.  The success they had last year really took me by surprise and delighted me at the same time.  And here they are again and they are in it to win it.  I wish them the very best.

If the Royals don’t win the Series I would be consoled if they lost to the Cubs.  I have never followed the Cubs but I know that they are more famous for being perennial losers than anything else.  It does my heart to see them performing well.  I love an under dog.  And if I was a betting woman I would always put my money on the long shot.

Keep chipping away at your hopes and dreams with passion.  You never know when your dedication and hard work may pay off.  Most of us see ourselves as underdogs in some way.  Bet on yourself.  They pay out will be greater.

Answered Prayers

I feel guilty about feeling so surprised.  I’m a Christian and Bible teaches that if we ask God for something he will give it to us as a blessing.  We are supposed to believe in and trust the word of God but sometimes I wonder if we truly believe all of what we claim to believe.

No one reads this blog so I could probably confess to a murder and get away with it.  But on the off chance that anyone ever reads this I will not share the details of a struggle that I have been having.  I actually had a few different struggles that I have taken to God in prayer.  You know what.  My prayers were answered.  It’s a pretty amazing thing to have your prayers answered by God almighty.  Why does He listen to me?  Why does He even care?  I have many qualities that I’m pretty proud of but I still don’t think I’m anyone all that special.  This really blows my mind.

My struggles have come from feeling really stuck in a rut lately and I didn’t see a way out.  I saw and still don’t really see a way out of my situation.  I was really despondent about a few things going on in my life.  I talked to God about it in prayer and things changed.  They are small things but they are very meaningful to me and give me a great deal of hope for the future and for my relationship with God.

I’m so glad that I know the Lord.  And I’m so glad that I stepped out on faith and prayed about my situation.  I’m so grateful that I knew to turn to the Lord.  And I’m ashamed that I didn’t have enough faith to believe that I would be blessed and delivered the way I have been.  God is really good.

Hebrews  11:1

Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.

Viola Davis’ Acceptance Speech

https://www.yahoo.com/tv/emmys-viola-davis-lead-actress-in-a-drama-129544120705.html

I really like Viola Davis’ acceptance speech at the Emmy’s on Sunday.  It has been on my mind since I heard it.  She is absolutely right.  There is no difference between Black women and anyone else other than the opportunities that we are offered.  I’m not a Black woman in Hollywood but I am a Black woman in the American work force.

My experience and observations in and of  the American work force have shown me how little American culture values Black women.  A Black working woman in America will be over looked and cheated out of an opportunity before any other group.  It has happened to me many times.  Sometimes I look back at my career experience and I feel that if I had never tried to do better, earn more, or stand up for myself everything would have been ok.  I would not have had to cope with as much friction or drama.

But I am a woman that wants to do my best and live up to my full potential.  I don’t want to just accept what I am being offered.  Black women are usually offered the very least of every thing.  We are offered positions that offer the least amount of money, perks or influence.  It’s very hard to get over that hump.  It’s the same hump that Viola Davis described in her speech which was a quote from Harriet Tubman.  Black women will be relegated to low wage, dead end positions regardless, of talent, contributions or education.

When you speak to a supervisor about advancing with the organization is when the problems start.  In my case they are unable to come up with a real reason why I can not be promoted to a better position.  The next step is for management o start problems for you which forces you to either submit to mistreatment, fight or quit.  All three of those are poor options because you can never really win.

I’m very proud of Viola Davis for her accomplishment.  I’m sure it will mean a lot for Black women in Hollywood.  It means a lot to me as a Black woman in the American work force.  I hope that in time people will begin to see Black women as leaders and not just lowly subordinates  that should be grateful for whatever crumbs they are given.  I also hope that more Black women will begin to see their value and fight for their stake in the American dream.

I’m getting my hair did tomorrow!

Tomorrow is pageant day.  That’s what I call beauty shop appointment day.  I am getting a relaxer on my hair and a style; nothing very different.  I would love to grow my hair out natural.  It would be great to try it out for a while.  I’m not afraid in the least bit to shave my head bald and watch it all grow back natural.  I just want time to do it.

The problem with changing your hair drastically are the shocked reactions to people that see you regularly.  I don’t want to have to explain myself over and over to people about why I made the decision.  I also need time and space to decide if I like my hair au natural myself.  I have not worn my hair in it’s natural state since I was a toddler so I don’t really know what it’s like.  The same can be said for many Black women.

I love how my nappy roots feel.  My hair is very spongey and super curly.  Curly probably isn’t the right word.  I really prefer nappy even though I don’t think that word is widely understood either.  But I must admit it is very difficult to get a comb through my hair in it’s natural state.  That’s another reason I wish I had time to grow my hair out naturally.  I don’t really have the time to rake through a nappy afro ever morning.  I would have to figure out a new maintenance routine which would take some experimenting with different finishing products and styling tools.  I want a good month to myself to watch my hair do what it naturally does.

One of these days I’m going to do it.  My hair has been should length, short, shorter and super short but always chemically process to give it a straight texture.  It’s been it natural super dark brown (now with gray tinsel) , lighter brown, copper, reddish, fire engine red and streaked with blonde.  I think it’s kind of a shame that it’s been everything but it’s natural nappy self.

Natural hair is the trend right now.  But what’s funny the fashion bloggers that right about natural hair are often promoting a White standard of beauty.  The models they use often have curly hair and not nappy hair.  The hair falls to their shoulders instead of standing up on their head.  The models are often people that don’t even have two Black parents.  I call bullshit on the current natural hair trends.  When I grow my hair natural it won’t be because I’m following a fashion trend.  It will be because I reached a point in my life when I’m able to better control my own time instead of punching someone else’s time clock 45 hours a week.  Until that time off to the beauty shop I go.

Hello Friends/Introduction

Hello everyone,

I am Shannon in Kansas City, MO.  I’m an amateur writer that has continuously kept diaries and journals since I was in middle school.  It’s time to join the 21st century and start a blog I suppose.  I want to thank my audience, whomever you are out there.  I am forty years old, never married, no children and under employed with three college degrees.  I am a few 21st century tragic statistics at the same time.

I am a believer in God (Jesus Christ to be specific) and true love.  I believe in striving towards ideals; moral, physical and spiritual.  I believe in struggling to keep your dreams alive and maintain your values.  There’s not much more to life than that.

My interests and hobbies include but are not limited to: fashion, literature, sports, yoga, writing, reality TV, cinema, socializing with friends and socializing in and around the Kansas City metropolitan area.