NEWBO: IS THERE TIME FOR A CULTURE SHIFT

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“We carved one out before, why not again?”


In the 1610’s, the African American population was forced to the United States as indentured servants. Later becoming slaves, losing names, religions, birth place of origin, and overall identification. Once freed in 1865, we went from slave labor to still no so full citizens. And with limited citizenship, and no real ethnic identity, we began to carve out a face for our community. And a lot of the culture that has made up the African American community is in the music and food. But what if we decided to take it a little further. Let’s say we made a full conversion from where we are now. I named the title NEWBO, which in today’s society stands for the New Black Overclass.

When you hear the words New Black Overclass, you think of wealth and abundant resources. And how did that manage to take hold? There are many different factors that have influenced that over the years. From young Black children growing up watching the Cosby Show to the electing of America’s first Black president. We have taken what was a bad situation in the past and made the most of it today. Yet there are still so many of us that are still below the poverty level. And not only the poverty level, we make up a disproportionately higher percentage of crime in our community relative to anyone else. So with that said, we are doing better than the past in the area of success, yet lagging behind in other major areas.

And as much as I love Black culture, there is an aspect of our culture that have taken hold in recent history that has cast a dark shadow over the community. And that has to do with the crime in the community. Because of the introduction of Heroine, Cocaine, and Crack Cocaine, from the 1970’s in the 1990’s, the face of the community has changed to much. And it has become so impactful, it is rapidly becoming our culture. Yet when you look at the overall history of Black people in America, this recent violent culture is new to us. So, how about we begin to design a cultural identifier that is us. And when I say identifier I mean clothes we wear, food we eat, music, and behavioral traits.

Having an identifier shows not only togetherness, but it creates a sense of identity outside another group. Our problem as Black people is that we are too concerned and defined by another group. And for the longest, it has been the predominantly White community. So our vision for what success looks like has always been someone in position who is White. Yet when met with resistance by anyone White it boils over quicker than anyone else. Which never happens to any other group because they create their own identity. So what another really has to say becomes irrelevant because they have defined themselves for so long feelings are trivial. But if you have no name, to language, no religion, and you adopt ones culture that’s not yours, yet someone else’s, it could become a problem if not accepted into the culture.

And in the end, that’s a real problem with why there need to be a cultural identifier. Number one, you eliminate the care for what any other group thinks about you; their views are not relevant to who you are in scoiety. Number two, you begin to take pride in something that not only you created, but you’re accepted within. Which brings me to number three, the need to fit into a group. And I think this is why we as Black people cling to Hip Hop music so much. When you create something versus forced to adopt something the sentiment is different. Christianity was never a choice, names given weren’t a choice, and language wasn’t a choice. But the music we create was a pure choice. Though not liked by many, it goes on deaf ears when pushed against because the one major thing we created that we are fully included within. And if we created something impactful and global as Hip Hop, we can create a new identity of acceptance and not tolerance.


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AGENDA CONNECTION: AIMING TO FIGURE OUT WHY WE TAKE CERTAIN STANCE

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“I wish I felt what they felt.”


In society today, we all have these stance we take in regards to feeling a certain sentiment. And they are stance that people are so passionate about. But are all stance taken justifiable in the our spread of it? Are there times where a stance is taken and we should disregard the stance? When I hear about a message being spread; the awareness for an issue in society, I have a series of questions. First is why are people taking the stance, who is truly benefiting, and what is the solution? But a question that no ne seems to ask is of themselves. What if I were that person fighting for a particular cause. Sounds simple, yet so many don’t even bother.

Now, what I gain from hearing this all is, some days I wish I were a member of a certain fight, or even go as far as morphing into the bodies of the people. Then I could see their real sentiment. Because we have these editing systems as it pertains to how we converse. Yet the sentiment is something totally different than how we talk. Being able to place myself in the life of the person, I could see why they follow a movement. See, I pride myself on being a more transparent person, but it’s hard to get people to be just as honest. It’s hard to get people to move past the violin playing in a conversation.

And what do I mean by violin playing? I mean asking someone a question and then, you hear them playing a fine tune around the language. But why do we do it? We do it because we have formed these coalitions to take on anyone that says anything honest. So we teach other to be dishonest. And we remain silent as these groups take power. And by the time we have had enough, it’s too late, we have lost our voices. So I want to know, what is the end game of a lot of these causes? They say they are hoping to accomplish something, but are they really looking for a solution? Because a solution would mean dismantling the organization. And I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

See, in the end, I think that there are real causes. But with these causes is a certain segment of the population that go overboard. Why, well power corrupt that’s why. When a person takes your money in school, the bully won’t say thanks for Monday lunch. They take lunch the rest of the week. So even with an agenda that may be in the best interest of a group, we have to also make sure they are not dipping into their popularity in the process.


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SEEKING VALIDATION: THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-RESPECT

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“You don’t need, you just want to fit in so bad.”


Throughout my life, I never understood the need people have to fit in. And I don’t mean fitting into a society as a human. I mean fitting into these peer groups so that we don’t feel like we’re being left out. We would rather belong to a group that dictates how we live than to be free and be alone. Because who wants to live this life alone. But there is a far cry between being alone and lonely. Celebrities have people all around them and at times they are lonelier than those with no one around. So why do people feel like they need to fit it rather than treating it as a want.

It starts when we are young in school. The children ostracize you from the group if you are awkward. And what is defined as awkward is the kid that does not do what all the other kids are doing. So if you are a kid that walks to the beat of your own drum, you’re a loser. You’re a lame for not wanting to fit into the construct. The kids talk about you and laugh like you’re one of the weird kids. But this does not stop at childhood. It continues on into your teenage years and into adulthood. So we as adults say school bullying is wrong and then bullying takes on a new form once you become adults. People start to play with your head on a more business level. But we still have not gotten to the depths of why it matters to be validated so much.

And the reason being is that we as humans yearn for some form of companionship. And at times we are willing to subjugate ourselves to torment for that companionship. Because we all have these self-conscious feelings internally that we don’t want exposed to the world. This feeling that if we are exposed then no one will want to ever be around us. Yet if we all have it, no one can talk about anyone else. Then again, internal shame keeps us in check and adhering to each other. Maybe at a young age I was a different type of kid. Then again I am a different type of adult. And as an adult people respect you for who you are, not what you’re trying to be.

See, in the end, validation is proof that you are who you think you are; but only by way of how others see you. So you’re the greatest when people love you, and not so great when they reject you. Your identity should be your identity, not someone’s else’s vision. And what’s even more interesting, people, who are heads of these peer groups do as they wish. The more popular person sets the tone for everyone else. Which is a reality that we see throughout life. The head says something, and even if we disagree, we agree for the sake of fitting into the group.


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MAKING YOUR OWN LUCK: HOW YOU CAN TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE

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“You might have been dealt a bad hand; use in to your advantage.”


Some great advice for life, is that no matter what your economic, social, academic, ethnic, gender background, you can overcome a bad situation, At times we feel like all hope is lost for the future. But little do we know that we may be in a better position than we realize. Like me for example, I grew up below the poverty level in the United States. But does that mean I have to always be in that position in my life. You can tailor make life to move yourself out of your current situation. Problem is that most people have a hard time moving themselves out of their bad positions.

See, in earlier posts I talked about putting yourself in the know. And most people say, “What is the know?” “The know of what?” I say, “Whatever it is you’re attaining to have in this world.” So many people want something out of life, such as a paycheck. Yet they don’t quite understand what it is they have to do to get there. They’ll say,” I need a good paying job that makes good money.” That sentence has no clear meaning to it. You have to know what career interest, what title, what pay range, and what time it could potentially take to get there. And this requires having a certain level of self-awareness. Lacking an understanding of self will make it hard to navigate the know. Because you don’t know what you’re good at, if anything at all.

So what do you have to do, you have to test out different things in life. For me, I tried multiple things before I realized I wanted to be a writer. I said to myself, “Faheem, you’re going to be a doctor.” Then I realized I don’t have the patience to deal with patients. So next I said, “You’re going to be an attorney.” And envisioned myself in a court room standing before the judge and jury. Then I realized I could never get a guilty person off or send an innocent person to jail. My big break came when I said that I would go into the business field, which is broad. And it wasn’t until I went for my MBA I realized I wanted to be a writer. Initially it was not knowing what I was doing, if ever I would be successful, but I knew I loved it.

The more I wrote, the more I became comfortable with talking about myself. And I don’t mean being into myself. I mean debriefing information, and being more transparent than before in life. So what did I do, I realized I had something, and could make it into a career. So since the year 2013, I have been writing screenplays, blogging, and my books. So what does all this have to do with making my own luck? I am putting myself in the know by researching, and continuing to learn to write. Making those moves to understand the career for you and knowing what you’re good at it. And also knowing when to make appropriate adjustments to the things you write. Because you’re not going to know everything, especially in the initial stage, yet you have to develop a feel for when things are going right or wrong.

See, in the end, you can make your own luck. You just have to be willing to put yourself in a certain mind frame. And with that mind frame, you start to understand and develop a sense of self. Once you know yourself, you can pursue your career endeavor. This way, you’re being not vague about what it is you want. Sadly enough, a lot of people will never find what they’re good at in life.


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AGE OF DEPRESSION: HOW THE MORE WE UNDERSTAND SELF THE MORE UNHAPPY WE BECOME

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“In an era of technology, we are more connected, yet very much detached.”


In a world where we are more connected than anytime before, you would think it would make us happier. Yet it has not only made us happier, but the more we learn and understand ourselves the more depressed we become. And I don’t mean know ourselves like knowing me as an adult. I mean knowing us is it pertains to our existence on Earth. You would think with the advent of technological innovation and scientific breakthroughs, we would have a much higher level of enlightenment that would make us happy. But what that heightened awareness has done is give us the complete opposite effect. But should we digress because of this unintended effect?

View of Tourist Resort Well, let’s first look at what makes us depressed in today’s society. There are many different reasons why people tend to be unhappy. For starters, you are able to see up close your reality. And what I mean by your reality, you can see where you stand financially, socially, academically in the world. For example, you can Google image luxury, and see a world that is beyond your world just by typing it into a search engine. When my mother was young, an opulent life existed, yet you didn’t quite know about it. Clear Wine Glasses in a RowPeople were either born into wealth, or it was something you stumbled upon. Not today, today, you can actually see how little you have relative to someone else. And what’s crazy, you might have a socioeconomic position that is supporting you and your family. Yet you can’t enjoy because you are comparing yourself to someone way above you.

Why do we do it? Why do we look to someone that is far beyond us? Well, at times, that person is our age. No matter your age today, there is someone that age doing something on a more monumental scale than yourself. When I was in college, I was broke coming out, yet guys my age were signing multi-million dollar contracts to play sports. Comparing yourself to them and not appreciating what you have, even when what you have is adequate to live, robs you of gratification Image result for comparison peopleand the ability to live a fulfilling life. Meaning, you might want to make $50,000 in a year, but someone tells you, you should want better. Now you can’t enjoy what life you could have had with what you wanted because you’re chasing something you may not even want just to satisfy other people’s perspective. And with our lives being inundated with so much imagery, we still have another aspect of our lives that make us unhappy: our own existence.

Coping with our existence is tough for so many. And I don’t mean existence in the context of waking and going to work everyday, coming home, and sleeping. I mean the fact that we are here, on Earth, living and breathing. The fact that I was not born a lion, tiger, bird, or a house cat, but a human is hard for many to cope with in life. The simple existence that is me, a carbon based life form that has Related imagetaken forever to evolve into what I am, is hard to accept. And a lot of it comes from increased scientific understanding of ourselves. Here is where religion may have aided us in living on this planet. With the idea that there is something greater once we die, it gives us hope. As time progress in society, more and more people are becoming awoken to our existence. So awake, we are unmotivated to do anything. So now we become depressed with the idea that this is all that is here for us.

You would think that feeling this way would give people a sense of urgency, yet it’s having the inverse effects. The closer we come to figuring out why we are on Earth, the more we become detached from living. Maybe not knowing, is what’s best at times. Because in the end, unlike any other species where nature dictates how they behave, we are given conscious. We are given the ability to say yes or say no. We are endowed with the ability to make sound decisions. And that very conscious that gives us that ability also makes us aware of our situations in life. Some people make the best out of it, and others can never cope. And for those that can’t cope, it leads to further depression; leading to substance abuse or even suicide.

“He who increases knowledge, increases sorrow on the land.”

                          -Ecclesiastes 1:18


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GONE TOO SOON: HOW LOSING SOMEONE WHO IS YOUNG MAKES YOU LOOK AT LIFE CLOSER

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“Here one minute and gone the next.”


No one wants to think of the day in which they will no longer be here on Earth. We dread that moment, but it won’t even be something we realize. We will just be gone, and that’s it. But our family and friends will hopefully make sure our name stays around forever. And another aspect of living and dying we hope is the belief that we will make it to a great age. I recently saw a post on my Facebook where someone I knew through passing, died this week. Only in his late twenties, it can shake you up when you hear this type of tragedy. Because I am abut to be thirty years old next month. And you never know when that day will be your last.

No one wants to think about that day especially when you’re young. We have all these visions of our lives once we reach an old age. We all hope that someone will be with us when we do pass along. But no one is ready to experience being told they only have a small time on this planet in their twenties. There are even people who die at younger ages. When you hear about a teenager dying it’s even more tragic. But what tends to be more shocking is once you find out how someone has died. Anytime I hear of a young person dying of natural causes, it always blows my mind. Especially if the person was around my age. You think to yourself, we are the same age and just passed unexpected. What is that about? How did that transpire?

It’s for those reasons we have a sense of urgency in life. So that whenever we do pass along, whatever we have done up to this point meant something. And that is something that terrifies people as much as dying. Which is dying and not even achieving close to what it is you set out to accomplish. There is this massive void you feel exist in your life. But if you have accomplished so much, and/or living the life you want, then can we honestly say this is a tragedy. You have people who live their life to the fullest, so their life was full of meaning. My great-grandmother passed away back in 2010. She was born in the year 1914. Now you’re talking a long life. I can’t imagine if I live that long what I would witness. Hence is another reason we aim for longevity. The longer we live, the more we are able to cope with our mortality.

In the end, no one wants to think about the day when they die. It’s final, and the only thing in life that is guaranteed. The eternal aspect creeps people out, yet there is something also so soothing and calming to the mind knowing that hardships and struggles are over. I guess this is why people cling so tight to religion because it gives us that feeling there is more after we leave here; thus making it easier to cope with our own mortality.


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DOUBTERS: WHY YOU ACTUALLY NEED THE HATERS IN YOUR LIFE

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“You will never make it, so why try?”


We’re always taught in our lives to surround ourselves with good people.  Place yourself around those going in the same direction as you. But what happens when all of that is attempted to be derailed by someone who wants to kill your dreams. That means you have to work that much harder to make it happen yourself. Those dream killers are the doubters who either out loud or silently told you it would never happen. They are the ones who it didn’t work for them, and don’t want it to work for you. Where does it come from; why do they need to feel the need to bring you down? And why do you actually in a way need these type of people in your life.

Doubters are people who for a number of reasons may not want to see you succeed in your career of interests. You have the first group of doubters that are the ones that will tell you try something else. They are flat out not interested in anything you do. They see you in the present state and can’t see past that point. You’re perceived by them as a slacker or loser. So they can’t get around the loser that is you. So to them you’re going to always be what your are. Another group of doubters are the people whose careers didn’t pan out so they have to tell you how much it won’t work for you. To them, they couldn’t make it and there is no way you’re better than them. So they just know you’ll fail in life. And if you do succeed, they’ll find the most negative stuff to say about you.

The third group of doubters are the people who have their success and don’t want you to surpass them. To them, you are a threat and must be stopped. But they are not going to just stop you, they’ll be overly negative. The goal is to get you to quit because a lot of times you work for them. They are comfortable with you under them and can’t stand you above where they think you should be. Kind of how comedians have come out recently after Kevin Hart. They were fine when he was below them, now he’s way above them, and now there is every reason to say he doesn’t deserve it. But the last group of doubters are the flat out hate group. They usually have no real discernible talent, and need to bring you down. Because your success further shows how much of their life was a waste. Especially if they remember when both of you were at the bottom. It shows how much time they’ve wasted in their lives.

Now, with all that I have stated, why do we need these doubters? Well, first and foremost they push us to be better. There is no motivation like people telling you you’re not good enough. You work overtime to prove them wrong. But I think the biggest reason we need doubters is to gain an insight into the human psyche. People who doubt you expose aspects of their personality. And not because of criticism; but hate. Criticizing someone is fine when you have a solution to make a situation better. But hate for the sake of hate let’s you in on who the criticizers are internally. And in the end that’s the just of doubters. They have their own internal workings going on. But how they see you and who you really are is totally different. As long as you have self-awareness, what they say has no hold.


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