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Old 07-15-2009, 01:27 PM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
21,366 posts, read 19,293,025 times
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Maybe it is not overly clever to believe and trust in God so much, as was indicated. When I imagine myself doing that (which is really quite a difficult task), I guess I would feel rejected by God if I did not make it, which would drag me down further. And even if I made it, I would feel like my success depended on God rather than my own capabilities and strengths. Basically that applies to any ethnic group, but AA's seem overly religious to me, which might be problematic psychologically if that God is the white Semitic god...
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:12 PM
Status: "I hate living in Georgia!!" (set 7 days ago)
 
47,974 posts, read 45,435,742 times
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Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
Maybe it is not overly clever to believe and trust in God so much, as was indicated. When I imagine myself doing that (which is really quite a difficult task), I guess I would feel rejected by God if I did not make it, which would drag me down further. And even if I made it, I would feel like my success depended on God rather than my own capabilities and strengths. Basically that applies to any ethnic group, but AA's seem overly religious to me, which might be problematic psychologically if that God is the white Semitic god...
This may not have much do to with the discussion, but PEOPLE try to make God into their own image and in a way putting God into a box, which is not something that should be done. If a person believes in God, it is a testament of faith.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:14 PM
Status: "I hate living in Georgia!!" (set 7 days ago)
 
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Originally Posted by teejuris View Post
If my testimony helps anyone in any manner, my living is not in vain! I've had successes in corporate America, so I don't want to mislead anyone. It's the "culture" that's disturbing at times. Most people are not as candid in discussing such issues, since many of them have fallen victim to such behaviors. That's not something to be proud of, so they shy away from it. I mentor young people to achieve by merit, while still maintaining their pride, dignity and integrity. The reality is everyone is not going to start his/her own business, so he/she has to understand and know how to function and cope in these environments. It's a hard but necessary lesson.
In a way, your testimony has relavance in my life. I have been working on a book. This time I am determined to finish, even if I can only work on a little bit each day. In a way, I feel like writing a book is like starting my own business. I am doing my thing and trying to make money from it.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:58 PM
 
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I don't think that it's reasonable to attempt to relegate all professional African Americans into the same categories. I'm over 40, professional and Black, but don't feel like I've paid "the price of success" over the course of my career. Most of my friends are white, I'm not religious, I tend to associate more with diverse crowds as opposed to exclusively African American ones, and I don't feel some sort of odd obligation to an inner sense of "blackness."

It's 2009. Not sure why some people are still fascinated by these types of things...
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:07 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
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Makes me wonder what being AA is supposed to be all about. Somehow it seems society expects each minority to be a monolithic unit, where every member thinks the same way, likes the same music, etc. Is an AA not really AA when he prefers classical music instead of RnB, when he can't sing and is not good at sports, but instead at science?
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:39 AM
Status: "I hate living in Georgia!!" (set 7 days ago)
 
47,974 posts, read 45,435,742 times
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Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
Makes me wonder what being AA is supposed to be all about. Somehow it seems society expects each minority to be a monolithic unit, where every member thinks the same way, likes the same music, etc. Is an AA not really AA when he prefers classical music instead of RnB, when he can't sing and is not good at sports, but instead at science?
Personally, the standard for African-Americans is one that African-Americans have never been able to choose. In the history of this nation, that standard has been chosen for them, rather than African-Americans choosing the standard. As an African-American, this is very disturbing to me. I do like R & B, but I like classical too. One of my favorites if the Four Seasons by Vivaldi(especially the Winter part). I did okay in sports, but I liked Geography and Science better. Being African-American is about history. African-Americans have a different narrative of being in America. They are here, not because they immigrated, but because they were kidnapped/sold out from Africa and taken the USA as slaves. Slavery in the USA was never abolished until 1865. After that there were other problems such as Jim Crow segregation, which basically meant African-Americans in most of the USA(the Southeastern USA especially) couldn't vote, had to attend separate school by law, had to use separate water fountains and lavatories, couldn't own businesses that competed with the white businesses, and in some places, blacks couldn't live in certain neighborhoods by either the law or some informal contract. I could go on forever. The reasons African-Americans can vote, run for office, live anywhere they want, go to school anywhere they want and have rights is because they had to fight for those rights. The story of being African-American is a story of not just survival, but fighting to be treated like human beings, to make do with what they had. That is how R&B came about. It started out as spirituals. The slaves were in the cotton fields against their will. Imagine picking cotton in the miserable heat and humidity if you can. Singing was part of a way to keep up strength. Some spirituals were codes for runaway slaves to guide them to freedom in Canada, such as "Follow The Drinking Gourd", which meant, follow Ursa Major(The Big Dipper) because that is where the North Star was and if you followed the north star, you could go north for freedom. African-American cuisine(or soul food as it is often called) developed out of making do. In the South, the slaves often got the leftovers. You had to make do with that. Sometimes you got the worst cuts of meat and you had to slow-cook it. Sometimes you got the leftover greens and you had to make do with that. Some other things came over from Africa, such as deep-fat frying. This is how fried chicken got started. I could go on, but it would take a long time for me to explain everything.
As for the role in corporate America, for many African-Americans, getting to corporate America has represented "making it". Making it through the struggles and the pains to get to the top. That in a way is part of the African-American narrative, being placed in a situation that you did not choose, and then having to struggle to rise out of it to a better place. For many African-Americans, sports has represented a way out of poverty.

Does being in to science or classical music rather than sports and R&B make a person less African-American? I don't think so. I have made a conscious decision to decide what being African-American means to me. I had to call my own standards rather than live up to the stereotypes that have been set out for me. According to the stereotype, being African-American means dressing like a rapper, acting like a rapper, listening almost exclusively to hip-hop, not being into science and education. I am none of that. I am into learning, and into books and classical music. There are African-Americans who are into that stuff as well. The fact is, the stereotypes put out there say otherwise.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:02 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
21,366 posts, read 19,293,025 times
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Yes, I remember some of the history of African-Americans, I did my grammar school thesis paper on that topic decades ago But I don't know how much the situation of AA's has changed since the early 1980s.
I guess their economic situation depends a whole lot on the labor market, more so than with white people. I read that when the economy is booming, HR departments tend to hire more African-Americans, if they want to or not, they may simply have no other choice when desperately looking for employees. Not really a positive motivation to hire someone, but still an opportunity for the employees to prove some people wrong.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:28 AM
Status: "I hate living in Georgia!!" (set 7 days ago)
 
47,974 posts, read 45,435,742 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
Yes, I remember some of the history of African-Americans, I did my grammar school thesis paper on that topic decades ago But I don't know how much the situation of AA's has changed since the early 1980s.
I guess their economic situation depends a whole lot on the labor market, more so than with white people. I read that when the economy is booming, HR departments tend to hire more African-Americans, if they want to or not, they may simply have no other choice when desperately looking for employees. Not really a positive motivation to hire someone, but still an opportunity for the employees to prove some people wrong.
The labor market did have something to do with things, but the discrimination issue cannot be discounted. When the factory jobs started leaving the USA, many people were left without work. African-Americans were affected in disproportionally higher numbers than anyone else. While many African-Americans were getting more education, more college degrees, and more were entering the corporate world working at white-collar jobs(such as my father), many African-Americans who did not have the education were left out. Many African-Americans moved from the Southern USA to the Northern industrial areas such as Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Philadelphia,etc., mainly because that is where the factory jobs were. Many of the migrants who moved north didn't have the advantage of an education, mainly because of socioeconomical issues in the south. Blacks and whites had to go to separate school by law in the south under the phrase "separate but equal". White schools were funded better than African-American schools, which pretty much meant separate was not equal. Poor education opportunities, combined with the need to make a living in many cases. Most African-Americans didn't not get a good education(as well as many poor whites living in the south). Many of those migrants went north for the factory jobs. Blacks worked in much of the unskilled labor jobs, which did not require much education. Those who could not afford to go to college had to go to work. When the factory jobs left, African-Americans were the most affected by this. It has gotten to where the only way one can make it is to get a college education.
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:43 PM
 
56,511 posts, read 80,803,243 times
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Originally Posted by loillon892 View Post
I don't think that it's reasonable to attempt to relegate all professional African Americans into the same categories. I'm over 40, professional and Black, but don't feel like I've paid "the price of success" over the course of my career. Most of my friends are white, I'm not religious, I tend to associate more with diverse crowds as opposed to exclusively African American ones, and I don't feel some sort of odd obligation to an inner sense of "blackness."

It's 2009. Not sure why some people are still fascinated by these types of things...
What do you mean by "fascinated"? Just wondering......
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:46 PM
 
56,511 posts, read 80,803,243 times
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Originally Posted by redfella View Post
Since I was invited to share my opinions about this subject, as requested by the OP, I will do so accordingly.

I believe, that the first thing the African American person should do is lose the victim mentality. Get over the idea that the world and the Man is out to get you. Assume personal responsibility, absolve from issuing blame and take life like a man! We all have problems out here no matter what we look like. Taking life like a man and striving for greatness is an option we are all capable of, but only a few CHOOSE to do.

You already sound like a solid dude, but if you take it to the next level, nothing will stop you. You are the captian of your own destiny. Make the universe bend under your will. Change the world dude. Other black people did, surely you can too.
No offense, but I think this thought that Black people stay under a victim mentality is a bit exaggerated and cuts across all racial groups, to be honest. Like you said, others have made in spite of and while success doesn't equal immunity, people still keep it moving.
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