During the Black Women’s Expo- In Chicago April 6th-8th 2018
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The nation’s longest-running exposition of its kind for African American consumers!
BWe MBIIBThe Black Women’s Expo (BWe), originating in Chicago, offers unparalleled opportunities for brands seeking to engage with the African American consumer in multiple markets. BWe is where Black Women can be found, in record numbers, annually for the BWe Experience, where she finds the latest trends, amazing new products and services, where she gets informed, empowered and enlightened!
Black women will not only have the BWe Experience in Chicago, but in Atlanta and Dallas in 2018 with our 3-City Tour! Now in our 24th year, The Black Women’s Expo presents an array of dynamic speakers and celebrities in seminar sessions, top musical artists on our main stage…and a lively marketplace for corporations and small business exhibitors to engage with the powerful and growing African American consumer!
With our 3-City Tour, The Black Women’s Expo engages millions of consumers through our unprecedented media campaigns, (radio, television, print, digital, social media) with media partnerships in each market.
Question Who You Are and Discover Your Purpose by Rose G. Shelton
From a kid, I was a wondering energy. Confused about the contradictions in life I saw in the experiences of the beings around me. The adults, politicians, community leaders, elders and religious heads that graced pulpits, stages and the television waves spoke one thing and lived lives opposing. Friends and neighbors holding onto religious ideologies and at the bottom of the food chain hoping for the truth to one day prove itself to be real and lift them up from the struggles of life. Never seeing it happen, wishing for it in the bye and bye. And yet, these flawed philosophies were expected to inform me of my own belief system about me. I would find myself questioning humanity, religion, life itself. The answers to my many questions, I could not find in the divergence of life playing out before my young eyes. The antagonistic existence and inhumane norms I did not see change much throughout my life.
So I allowed my mind to give me answers that made more sense than those given to me from the outside. When I say my mind, I mean my spirit. Also known as God or the Universe. He nor I care what it is called. Names are limiting and worthless in context. I will leave the fight of naming to those seeking to be right in the fight of inconsistency.
I studied this humanity I was a part. Despite its established hierarchy, I was able to see greatness in the weak and weakness in the great. I found love in those identified as unlovable and judgment in those considered full of love. This confusion of this upside-down world led me to study further. However, the hate and anger toward those that dared be different made me study in silence and not speak of what I assessed. I did not believe my research findings as a child, would be pleasing to peers or adults alike. The search outside of my mind for answers and lucidity ceased the older I got and the internal conversation intensified. This is where I found freedom and my purpose. Inside of me. No one was able to give it to me. No one was able to discover it for me. No one was able to touch it, no one but me.
I had a hard time accepting my eccentricity in a world that honored compliance and traditionalism. I held that celebrating originality was not standard. When discovered, there is always one looking for a way to destroy it in public view and quash all others fire. So, like many of you, I hid it and tried to live a conformed and normal life. Whatever normal is. The problem was when you are an idiosyncratic aware of your peculiar individuality; you become as contradictory and complex as everyone else around you. You become what you are fearful of becoming. Both you and the world; hiding, conforming, confused. Therefore, not living in authenticity. Trapped in relationships with illustrious invalidity.
I realized that I, as others, became defined by experiences, culture, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, tradition and society. I decided to forsake the game life handed to me and walk in my own identity. I no longer desired humanities conscious effort to ignore itself and redefine me. I did not want religion, culture, society, ideology and the like to define, conform or inform me. I let go. I instead questioned every part of me and dug through the rubble of my identity to find myself.
There is an intrinsic truth we all hold waiting to be uncovered. If we allow it to rise to the top, our purpose will become obvious. Sometimes, your purpose is as simple as I am the one that wipes the eyes of the blind. Maybe you help the lame to walk. Possibly you are the one that questions man’s intention and action with discerning inquiring. Despite this likelihood, that unique insatiable vibration that we hold within is killed to be accepted by the blind, the lame and the unquestioned. While the world remains in constant wanting, waiting for us to arise and shine in the full knowing of who we are. We fail them because we neglect to ask the question that I ask you to answer today – Man, who are you?
To help you answer this question, I will tell you one of the ways I allowed the answer to come to me. I close my eyes and stand in the darkness of my mind. In this secret place of my mind, I have no religion, no family, no country, no ideology. There is nothing. I am nothing definable. I am vibration, energy, a movement in the universe that holds an intention that is diminished by words. Yet, I can detect my place in this vastness. I examine my intrinsic nature that has remained constant and true despite experiences and life itself. I apprehend that I am a questioner that questions all things, and yet, I am the holder of answers. I question because questioning brings me answers that faith cannot clarify or quantify.
Since I have recognized and accepted this concept of myself, my life has felt freer and has more value. I am solid in who I am and my purpose. We all have our place and part to play. Without you playing your part, I and others, cannot fully achieve on our path. We benefit from your greatness.
With that said, what are the 8 questions to ask yourself right now to help discover who you are and gain clarity of your purpose.
1. What informs your definition of who you are?
2. Are you defined by life’s stories, traumas, tragedy, money, career, family, religion, race, ethnicity or something intangible?
3. Who do you say you are, what is your 15 second elevator pitch of you?
4. Is your speech about what you do, what you look like or something deeper?
5. What fear keeps you from being uniquely you?
6. What comfort is there in conformity that you believe is not present in arising and shinning as the diamond that you are?
7. If you could do anything in life for free and money was not an issue, what would it be?
8. What do you find yourself doing in every area of your life naturally?
Trump Tweets About an ‘Insecure’ and ‘Biased’ Oprah Winfrey Over Her ’60 Minutes’ Segment
Oprah Winfrey in a 60 minutes segment with a voter focus group on America’s political divide. (Photo Courtesy of CBS News).
Donald Trump venting over the FBI and the Russia investigation took to Twitter on Sunday night in a tweetstorm attack on Oprah Winfrey following her “60 Minutes” segment on America’s political divide. Despite his denial of spending time watching television, his response to Winfrey stated otherwise.
“Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes,” tweeted Trump, “The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!”
Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2018
Winfrey’s report followed up her September segment featuring the same panel of Trump voters and non-Trump voters in the battleground state of Michigan. The goal of the segment was to understand their thoughts on his presidency and direction of the country one year after he took office.
In the wake of Winfrey’s historic #MeToo speech during the Golden Globes in January, an #Oprah2020 movement took root, with many stars – including Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg – calling on Winfrey to consider running. Days later, Trump addressed the speculation, telling the press, “Yeah, I’ll beat Oprah.”
In 1999, Trump thought Winfrey would be a good running mate. At the time Trump said: “I know her very well. You know, I did one of her last shows. She had Donald Trump – this was before politics – her last week, and she had Donald Trump and my family. It was very nice.”
Oprah Winfrey, despite earlier rumors of a presidential bid, has been clear that she has no intention of running for president. Making it clear on her intentions she said in a 60 Minutes overtime clip separate from Sunday’s report. “If God actually wanted me to run, wouldn’t God kind of tell me?”
Recent Survey Reveals Most Students Don’t Understand the History of Slavery in America
A pair of slave shackles on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The history of slavery in America continues to be inadequately taught in schools nationwide — a reality that’s causing damaging ramifications on student learning and present-day racial tensions, according to a recently released report.
” Teaching Hard History: American Slavery,” released by the Southern Poverty Law Center on Thursday, revealed that only 8 percent of 1,000 surveyed high school seniors identified slavery as a central cause of the Civil War. Further, only 22 percent knew protections for slavery were included in the Constitution and just 39 percent correctly acknowledged that slavery shaped the fundamental American beliefs about race.
There were no cases where more than two-thirds of students answered the same question correctly, according to the report.
The root of these statistics is the misguided, incomplete way slavery is taught in classrooms and written about in textbooks, Maureen Costello, director of SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance project, said during a Thursday press briefing.
The main lesson failures described in the brief included highlighting the Civil War as solely a states’ rights battle, rather than an effort to preserve slavery; downplaying the role slavery played in building and bolstering of the national economy; teaching children about “heroes” such as Frederick Douglass, who escaped slavery, before teaching them about slavery itself; labeling slavery a “Southern” problem and failing to address white supremacy’s roots in that era.
“It’s hard to discuss violence, it’s hard to discuss and teach white supremacy … it’s hard to learn about the shortcomings of our American icons,” said Hasan Kwame Jeffries, an associate history professor at Ohio State University who spoke during the briefing. “So rather than charging head-on and trying to make sense of something that was so central to the American experience, we have tended to shy away.”
And while 97 percent of nearly 1,800 teachers nationwide who SPLC surveyed said they believe teaching slavery is essential, 58 percent felt inadequately equipped to teach those lessons with provided textbooks. In the report, teachers cited voiced concerns with how to present slavery in an accurate way that avoids traumatizing black students or putting white peers on the defensive. The report noted that in the U.S. workforce, 82 percent of teachers are white.
“I dislike making this history come alive for my black students,” one Texas teacher told SPLC. “I feel helpless to explain why its repercussions are still with us today.”
These hesitations, paired with heavy reliance on textbooks, have led to misinformed history lessons that “sanitize” and simplify slavery, the report stated.
In some cases, the discrepancy is in the wording. A textbook might say that African-Americans were brought from Africa during the Atlantic slave trade to “work” on plantations, insinuating slavery was a choice. Seventy-three percent of teachers said they’ve used the word “slaves” rather than “enslaved persons,” thus undermining the “humanity of enslaved people,” according to the report. Using the word slave “owners” rather than “enslavers” can also give the assumption of property.
In other cases, lesson plans have turned into tone-deaf demonstrations. In a New Jersey classroom, a student was “sold” at a mock slave auction. A California teacher staged a simulation of a slave ship. A fourth-grade class in Wisconsin had a homework assignment that asked for “three ‘good’ reasons for slavery.”
Under the current political climate, understanding the scope of slavery—and how it thrived under racism and white supremacist ideology —is key to addressing and correcting existing racial tensions, Costello said.
Such tensions were evident during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last August, where organizers protested the removal of the city’s statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There are more than 700 Confederate statues in 31 states and the District of Columbia, according to a 2016 SPLC report.
White supremacist ideology has also been amplified in wake of President Donald Trump’s election, as people feel increasingly emboldened to assert far-right sentiments. SPLC is currently tracking 917 hate groups in the country—many of which are targeting high school and college students.
“We know that white nationalists particularly are targeting teenage, white youth,” Costello said, noting how she’s regularly seen this population “making racial slurs, references to cotton and racist videos” because of a lack of proper education.
SPLC has outlined a framework with recommendations and key concepts teachers should employ when teaching high school students about slavery. The center’s next goal is to develop similar guidance for younger grades, Costello said.
As teachers navigate how to broach the topic of slavery, Massachusetts history teacher Jackie Katz emphasized avoiding any distribution of blame.
“It is 100 percent not [students’] fault that there is racism in this country,” she said. “It will be their fault if they don’t do anything about it in the next 20 years.”
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