Pretend Boyfriends

Bonjour Tout le Mode!!!

The other night I was out having drinks with a dear friend of mine, listening to his exciting dating adventures and nibbling on our gourmet appetizers he jokingly told me that he was my “boyfriend“. “Ha! You’re my What?!?!?!” I said trying not to regurgitate my liquid dinner of some dark chocolate stout looking lager. He calmly repeated himself and proclaimed to be my “boyfriend”.  All I could say at that moment was, “OK” with a quick laugh but I felt a slight disappointment. Damn, how did I get a boyfriend without being asked? Was I even there to agree to the proposed agreement? Just my luck, I’ve missed being asked to be someone’s girlfriend and just became it. Ha! Call me a hopeless romantic but I would like to be asked to be a guys’ girlfriend. =)

Jokes aside, what exactly is the role of this substitute lover? Are there obligations that’s expected to be met? Is it a cross-breed between friend with benefits and jump-off/rebounder? Or is it another description under the big ass umbrella of what we call, “a friend” who we “kick it” with? It’s a term that’s synonymous with so many titles that I get confused. Both men & women have this stand-in partner, but who is this person?

I remember hearing females talk about their “fake boyfriend” and how awesome he may be and blah, blah, blah… They would speak of the guy as if he was a life-sized Ken doll – anatomically challenged and all. Usually those females were referring to their homosexual friend or their platonic home-boy. {which doesn’t make my analogy too far off} They would do everything together except for having sex; even tough it was never the guy who they really desired to be with and build a family.
On the contrary to the ladies version, I don’t recollect hearing any guys talk about their “pretend girlfriends” or being a relationship that’s based on an illusion of what they ideally want. However, there is talk of “the girl” someone is seeing at that time or been seeing for some time. Generally in these cases, with men, they are more than likely having sexual relations with their home-girl. They might even go out from time to time doing some fun couple-like activities, like going shopping, clubbing or to the movies. She may even know a friend of his, maybe two, probably been to his job or over his hangout spot.

So what’s REALLY going on??? What are we doing? Where’s the line, a fine line, that defines our engagements with these people who are temporary aides to our need for closeness? They are providing a form of love and comfort, like a server at fine dining restaurant; They are there to create a pleasant atmosphere, tend to our needs and meet our expectations. I’ve come to realize that these companions of convenience may, or may not be the actual lover. In some cases the ideal mate is the bedroom buddy, the one who is only around until the sun comes up, maybe spend a weekend somewhere away from the common folk. {like my apartment, Ha!} Is it crazy to know that the homey tender roni is the modern fix to the primal lust and the natural instinct we, as humans, all act upon… SEX!!!

We’ve stepped back into the era of sexual-liberation, for a lack of a better choice of words. =) That’s where, I believe, this concept of a stand-in partner came to fruition in the 21st century. An addition to our list of conveniences, the world is moving so fast that a “friend with benefits” to full-fill our innate carnal pleasures is now a healthy release of frustration and can lead to a happy long-life. Yet on the flip-side, isn’t this misleading? With the English language, there are so many words with double meanings it leaves room for misinterpretations of one’s true intent. How happy will one be in old age with no one really there to share the golden days? I mean, how can you solely trust and build with stability with someone you pretend to deeply care for? Do we factor in that other person may, or may not, what to be around in the long run? Isn’t sort of unfair to invest time, energy and thought on something, and someone who’s just the understudy to the main character? Do you we even have an idea of who the co-star to our life movie is?
Let me know your thoughts!

Au revoir mon amie!!! *kiss, kiss*

Black Innovators, Inventors and Leaders: Carter G. Woodson

Bonjour Tout le Mode!!!

Today marks the 88th year that we are acknowledging the contributions, achievements and struggles of African-Americans. Let me re-introduced you all to the originator of this heritage awareness month, amazing as it is, I am not talking about Martin Luther King, Jr or Malcolm X or even Rosa Parks. The brother who speak of, was a fundamentalist of multicultural education as an avenue to lessen racial discrimination. May I have the honour to introduce you all to the man well known as the Father of Black History“, Dr. Carter G. Woodson.

carl_g_woodson Born Carter Godwin Woodson (1875-1950) in New Canton, Virginia son of former slaves, he and his siblings grew up poor. The importance of education, history, family and growth was fundamental. Even though Woodson started his schooling at 17, he graduated Douglass High in TWO years! In 1897, at 22 years old, he started teaching at a county school for about 3 years then in 1900 he returned to his high school and became principal. In 1903, Woodson moved to Kentucky to attend Berea College to study Literature after which it has been reported that he started to work for the government. He was relocated to the Philippines to be the school superintendent from 1903-07. A year later he returned to America and got his Bachelor & Master degrees from the University of Chicago. In 1912, he went to Harvard University to study African-American history, being one of the first in that field. Later on he became the 2nd African-American man to received a doctorate from there, the 1st was W.E.B DuBois. He wrote his dissertation, ‘The Disruption of Virginia’, from his research done at the Library of Congress during his time teaching high school in Washington D.C. Woodson continued teaching in public schools after earning his Ph. D from Harvard, his path of education went on to Howard University where he was the Dean of College Art and Sciences. Several years later Dr. Woodson was also Dean at, what is now, West Virginia State University.

A true scholar, in 1915, Dr. Carter G. Woodson noticed the lack of information on the culture of black people and of those who accomplished amazing fleets wasn’t being published. He recognized then the imperative importance of letting his know of the accomplishments of their ancestors. Dr. Woodson researched and partnered with, Alexander L. Jackson to put together a publication of contributions black people has done in America, “The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861” . Soon after that Dr. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, known today as the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH). In 1916, the Journal of Negro History was published and couple years after that he came out with ‘A Century of Negro Migration’ (1918). It is said that during 1921, Dr. Woodson founded a printing press called, Association Publishers Press, where he published ‘The History of the Negro Church’ (1921) along with several other publications through Negro University Press and his own, such as “The Mis-Education of the Negro” (1933) { I had this book! =)) } Dr. Woodson wrote more than just books, there was news articles as well, he had a few published pieces in Marcus Garvey’s newsletter!

The birth of Negro History Week, an educational program Woodson was granted in the public school in Washington D.C. back in 1926, came from his ideal concept that rising one’s awareness of other races culture and historical background. Negro History Week happened in the mid-week of the month of February, it’s said he chose this week to commemorate the birthdays of abolitionist, Fredrick Doulgass fredrick_doulgass (it’s believed that Douglass was born in February however it is known that he transcended on the 20th of February 1895) and the president who freed the slaves, Abraham Lincolnabraham_lincoln< >(12th of February – April 1865) In this same year, Dr. Woodson was honoured with the National Association of Advancement of Coloured People Spingran Medal. In 1976 it grew from week to into a month of honouring outstanding African-Americans who continue to build and improve this land many black people call home, the United States of America.

A renowned historian, educator, author, journalist & activist who dedicated his life to keeping the past alive. Through history and education one can evolve to greater planes of life. I strongly believe that Dr. Carter Woodson’s ambitions of sharing knowledge was more than just to show that knowing one’s historical past but also to encourage & strengthen their character and becomes an aide in the conquest of success in the future. The history of the black people in America was, in the words of Dr. C.G. Woodson, “…overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use them.” (Wikipedia, 2014) Education the schools, back then and up to present days, was half accurate with the information that’s feed to the children. Many scholars, black and white, in his time and during mine have consistently publish books noting the holes in the education system. {I’m a lover of education! Hence, blog… I’m just sayin… =) } Woodson realized that the preservation of black history, here in America and abroad, was necessary and essential. To quote Dr. Woodson again on the topic of race and education, “is merely the logical result of tradition, the inevitable outcome of thorough instruction to the effect that the Negro has never contributed anything to the progress of mankind.” (Wikipedia, 2014) This was a fabricated notion that many Americans settled with as facts, Dr. Woodson was determined to show and prove otherwise. For the story of the fore-parents of this land, in it’s truth and glory, it was NOT going to be in the textbooks. It was obvious that all cultures teach, share and implement traditions, proverbs and names of their ancestors to the younger generation to install their race legacy in the world; the black race in America should be no different.

Woodson_Standing_in_Library

I agree with Dr. C. G Woodson, if we all educated ourselves on the various differences between each race it could reduce the racial tension here in this land of opportunity for all mankind. As the saying goes, “there’s more to a book than its cover”. This has been said in many ways & languages, despite the rearrangement of the words the meaning is and will be the same. Take the time to know your history, know yourself and your surroundings – people, places and things. Knowledge is Key, unlock the truth and discover beyond what’s been handled to you.

Au Revoir!!!

REFERENCES:

http://www.asalh.org
http://www.biography.com
http://www.goodquotes.com
http://www.wagner.edu
http://www.wikipedia.org
http://www.wvculture.org
http://www.yenoba.com

Black Innovators, Inventors and Leaders: John Hanson, the Moor

Bonjour Tout le Mode!!!

Aujourd’hui in America it is a national holiday, President’s Day, My original idea was to unearth the facts and truth about the First black president over the United States; however with the advancement of technology and the internet the information I once found has many sides to what is to be historical truth. I remember in my teenage years in high school reading the words to an essay, The First Black President, below it was a picture of a serious faced black man. I was in awe. Now, whether this man was the first president of the United States??? I will let you all decide with the snippet of information provided. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to dig and discover more so that it can be shared. =)
Without farther ado, I would like to introduce you all: John Hanson aka John Hanson, the Moor.

john_hanson_moor

John Hanson, one name to one man with two extravagant stories to all which describes a Leader.
The 1st theory: John Hanson, the moor, was the First President of the United Stated under the Articles of Confederation. Not the merchant from Maryland john_hanson_white who many know as the first president of the United States. The Moor, Hanson, has been mentioned in a slim selection of literature dated in the 18th century. The few bits of information I found, thus far, says that… On the 1st of March 1781, the New Country was formed, a leader was needed to govern the united states as one especially after the Revolution War. It was during that time, John Hanson was unanimously appointed as president under the Articles of Confederation. Crazy thing was, the president didn’t have any designated tasks at that time, a leader was just needed to govern the newly joined states. Given the recent war, President Hanson’s priority concern came from the troops who had a list of demands. As President the matter was handled, as well as, sent the foreign troops back to their homelands. In addition to that the president also, established the Great Seal of the United States (which is still used as the official seal for all of the White House documents to this day), he also put into place the first Treasury Department, the first Foreign Affairs Department, the first Secretary of War and it’s said that President Hanson made the fourth Thursday of Novembre Thanksgiving Day. Undoubtingly these were amazing accomplishments the President did during his term. To the contrary of assumed thought of what is known as the standard presidential term, under the Articles of Confederation, the president was only allotted one year in office. What’s recorded is President John Hanson, the moor, served the year 1781-1782. Before the United States Constitution was formed in 1788-89 and George Washington was elected into the White House, there were six other men whom sat in the President’s chair.

The 2nd theory: Born decades after the white John Hanson (1721-1783), the Black John Hanson was indeed a black man who did amazing things for the black people in America at that time. Articles written on the black, John Hanson has mentioned numerously his allegiance with the American Colonization Society (ACS), an organization formed in 1816, that gave black people the option and accessible means to go back home to Africa. It was during this time the country Liberia was created, Land of the Free. John Hanson was a political figure there, he served as the Senator of Grand Bassa County, a province in Liberia.

How did these two heavy political figures get mixed up? There are so many unanswered questions that are like riddles… { at least to me they are } There are sources if information that say the proof in the black Hanson presidential role is in the picture on the back of the $2 dollar bill 2dollarbillback_blackman_official here’s a closer look 2_bill_blackman_large pic
Although Hanson’s signature wasn’t listed on the Articles of Confederation, so it’s been claimed. There are also sources that say the black John Hanson was the political official for the country of Liberia because of the photograph that was taken of him, the key to that fact is the era of photography as we know it was invented long before the days of the white John Hanson. However, a rebuttal to that is the predecessor to photography was the daguerreotype, a photographic device that made pictures from a intricate process involving images being put on a sliver plate, few drop of iodine and some exposure to mercury. Poof! A picture is made.

Whether John Hanson, the moor, was the actual first president of the Untied States or not; He had done awesome things that still inspires to this day. History definitely teaches; one can never stop learning. Seeking the truth can be a tireless journey. John Hanson’s efforts are appreciated it’s unfortunate that Liberia is constantly at unrest.

Au revoir!!!

REFERENCES:

http://www.famousamericans.net
http://www.wikipedia.org
http://www.marshallhall.org
http://www.chocolatecity.cc
http://www.finalcall.com

Black Innovators, Inventors and Leaders: Jan Matzeliger

Salut =D Tout le Mode!!!

Aujourd’hui, meaning “today”, is a day well-known as the day of Amour =D Love!!! Among other things… However we will focus on LOVE! In honour of Black History Month, there was a man who found a way to expedite a tedious step to create one of my few, yet many loves… SHOES!!! I want you all to meet: Jan Matzeliger

Jan_Matzeliger Jan Ernst Matzeliger was born in Paramaribo, Dutch Guinea (currently Suriname) in 1852. He invented the Shoe Lasting Machine, it’s a device that attaches the upper portion of the shoe the sole. His talents was in his blood, given his African bloodline on his mother’s side, his father was a wealthy Dutch engineer from the age of 10 he worked with his father. By the time Matzeliger turned 20, he already left his native land for Philadelphia, Pa. working in a shoe factory then relocated to Massachusetts.

Back in those days, shoe-making was truly a craft, not everyone could just some of leather together and make a shoe. No, there was a part of the process were a specialist, aka shoe laster, was need to complete the job. This difficult task was the attachment of the upper shoe to the soles, for a proper fit. In order for this to happen, the two parts must be sewn and tacked together. Sounds simple however it was job that took a very long time to complete, which also made the prices for shoes quite expensive.

At that time, there was not a machine that could do such a meticulous procedure, it was a solely done by hand. Jan was completing about 7 pairs of shoes at the end of a work day. He recognized the tedious effort needed for a simple task. In his late 20s, Matzeliger discovered a need to solve the problem. Many days and nights was spent working on a device that would speed up the shoe-making process. His health was compromised and later caught up with him in a fatal way. On the upside to his dedication, in the early 1880s, the Shoe Lasting Machine was born.
Matzeliger_shoe_machine
Not only did the shoe lasting machine put the two parts together, placing the signature job of the hand/shoe laster, but it did so in One Minute! This totally slashed the prices of shoes, incredibly. In a 10-hour day, a hand/shoe laster would’ve made 50 pairs; where Matzeliger’s shoe lasting machine produced up to 700! It was without question this changed the shoe industry.

Unfortunately, tuberculosis got a hold of Jan and took him before he could truly reap the blessings which he had sown investing so much time, thought and energy. He left before he reached his 38th birthday, 15th September 1852 – 26 August 1889, and poor. His machine has revolutionized the shoe industry and became a multi-million dollar mechanism that supplied a growing need that everyone could afford to have.

Jan Ernst Matzeliger has definitely started a foundation where many shoe-nthusiats and the shoe industry built amazing footwear from and financially obtainable. In 1991, a Black Heritage postage stamp was made in his honour. I ❤ SHOES!!!

Au Revoir mon amies!!!

REFERENCES:

http://www.about.com
http://www.wikipedia.org
http://www.web.mit.edu

Black Innovators, Inventors and Leaders: Mark Dean

Bonjour Tout le Mode!!!

Today we will learn about the man behind the team who created the one-gigahertz chip, amongst other computer related inventions that we all use everyday and practically every way of our lives. I have the honour of introducing to you: Mark Dean

mark_deanMark Dean, born 2nd of March 1957 in Jefferson City, Tennessee. As a youth he exceled in math however his passion was building things, him his father would build computer, radio and even an amplifier. He followed that drive to University of Tennessee where he studied electrical engineering and got his Bachelors degree. Dean didn’t stop there, he continued on and went to Florida Atlantic University where he got his Masters and received his Ph. D from Stanford all in the same field of study.

Dr. Mark Dean started to work for IBM in 1980, right after he got his Bachelors, he has proven that he was, still is, an asset to the IBM corporation. He modified the basic personal computer (PC) that was on market back then, what he did was create a colour PC monitor. Little did he know whole technology industry was shifted, this invention made IBM’s PCs ahead of the game. Dr. Dean continued on and teamed with Dennis Moeller to make the Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) system for the bus, this is a device that made transport and holding data quicker and simpler with other IBM compatible computers. That was just another step towards one of his inventions that revolutionized the computer industry. In 1999, Dr. Dean spearheaded his team into creating the world’s 1st one-gigahertz chip! Simply amazing!
 
Through his accomplishments he his been making footprints in concrete with IBM and the World! In 1996, Dr. Mark Dean was been awarded the title IBM Fellow, twice, being the first black man to receive such an honour. The very next year, in 1997, Dr. Dean received the Black Engineer of the year President’s award and he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Then in 2001, he became a member of the National Academy of Engineers. 
 
To this day, Dr. Dean is still apart of the IBM team. On his blog, A Smarter Planet, he is the Chief Technology Officer of the IBM division in the Middle East & Africa. {too cool!} With technology advancing at rapid pace that it is and has been, even Dr. Dean stated his amazement, “…I helped design the PC, I didn’t think I’d live long enough to witness its decline.” (Dean, 2011) This is encouragement to us all that there’s still time, space and opportunity to improve and add to what’s been place before us. I’m stoked and feel privileged to have learn of a man with great ambition. We, too, can set footprints in concrete!
 
Bonne Journee mon amies!!! 
 
 
REFERENCES:
 

Black Innovators, Inventors and Leaders: Madam CJ Walker

Bonjour Tout le Mode!!!

Aujourd’hui =D I will share with you an activist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and mother who built an empire of making haircare products while educating & encouraging black women to run their own business. With great honour, I introduce to you: Madam C.J. Walker

ImageBorn Sarah Breedlove, in 1867, to parents who were slaves along with her five older siblings living in Delta, Louisiana. Sarah was the youngest and the only child born free. After her parents died she travelled to various cities to live with relatives; however it wasn’t until 20 year old Sarah’s husband died, that she and her daughter, Leila McWilliams aka A’Leila Walker, moved to live with her brothers in St. Louis, Missouri. All four of them were barbers in a local barbershop. Sarah had a job a laundrywoman, she saved her money to educate her daughter and she was active with the local chapter of the National Association of Coloured Women (NACW).  

The start of her legacy came from her personal need for a hair product that would aid her scalp ailment that was causing some her hair to fall out. Embarrassed by the situation she sought out home-made hair products to remedy the issue made by another black woman entrepreneur, Annie Malone. Impressed with the results Sarah and Leila packed up and relocated to Denver, CO were she became a sales agent for Annie Malone. There is where Sarah Breedlove McWilliams remarried to an advertising salesman named, Charles Joseph Walker, along with her new marriage came her new name, Madam C.J. Walker.

In the early 1900s, after her marriage, Madam C.J. Walker took her earnings and started her business selling hair growth products, Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower, going door to door selling and doing demonstrations, relentlessly, they had beauty ads and the key sales pitch. Success was destined, Madam CJ knew it. In 1908, Walker and her husband moved  to Pittsburg, PA where she opened up a college to train her aspiring “hair culturists”. Walker named the school after her daughter, Lelia College, who was still in Denver. As the product was growing in demand some was Walker’s business, at one point she had employed  about 3,000 people! { imagine a black woman during these times with that much business power } Walker had designed a system, the Walker System, that not just supplied hair & beauty products but also provided licensed agents by educating them and offering employment & personal growth opportunities. By 1910, Walker took her company to Indianapolis where she built headquarters and a factory, Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, to produce her own products, having absolute control over the manufacturing developments and cost.

This is how she accomplished two amazing feats; she became the United States first woman who was a self-made millionaire and top of that, she was the first black woman at that!!!

Madam Walker was selfless, she encouraged and supported woman to pave their way to their destined success. One employee did just that, Marjorie Joyner

, Image invented the Permanent Hair Weaving Machine, this device allowed curly or straight hairstyles to last a longtime. It was popular with both black and white woman. Although Joyner invented this revolutionary hairstyling machine, it was intellectual property of the Walker empire. Joyner was a prized asset to the company and continued to grow with the Walker company.

Madam CJ Walker was a firm believer in perseverance. Hard work, dedication and faith brought about the success Walker had. She received many awards for her accomplishments after her passing in 1919.   

“I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations. I have built my own factory on my own ground” – Madame Walker  

Inspiration simply put! Checkout the official website: http://www.madamewalker.net

Au Revoir!!!

REFERENCES:

http://www.about.com

http://www.wikipedia.org,

www.madamewalker.net

Black Innovators, Inventors and Leaders: Valerie Thomas

Bonjour Tout le Mode!!!

Welcome to another post of some of the world’s greatest Innovators, Inventors and Leaders. Today we will learn of a miraculous inventor who shaped the way we watch t.v… I introduce to you: Valerie Thomas

valerie_thomas Born in 1943, Valerie Thomas was always fascinated with science, she was eager to learn and experiment during a time where girls weren’t allowed to learn such subjects like math & science. Even her own father refused to assist her with projects involving these subjects. Despite no immediate support, Thomas educated herself and later on enrolled at Morgan State University where she was one of two women majoring in physics.
Thomas’ love and wonder of science lead her to work for National Aeronautics and Space Adminstration (NASA), she was their data analyst then later she move on to their project management department. However it was her love for electronics that lead her to invent the Illusion Transmitter, it is a device that transport an image from one place to another without it actually leaving its place. Doing so via cable or electromagnetically; basically creating a mirror reflection of itself, in real time, that can be seen elsewhere. Pretty amazing, is it not =)) One day we can watch our favourite artists perform, from where they are, right in our home as if they are actually there! Freaky yet cool!

Valerie Thomas became a scientist AND inventor when she got the patent for her revolutionary illusion transmitter in the 1980s {which no doubtingly inspired all those cool action/sci-fi movies} and to this day, NASA uses her invention. She has received the NASA Equal Opportunity Medal also the Goddard Space Flight Center Award of Merit. She has been active on such projects as: Halley’s Comet, Landsat program, ozone layer research and even the participated with the Voyager Spacecraft.

The beautiful inquisitive mind of Valerie Thomas, has shown and proved that anything is obtainable. In her field where an illusion can lead to reality, we can apply it to many aspects of our lives to strength and inspire. Valerie Thomas was more than just a scientist and inventor but she also fought outspokenly for minority’s rights. Merci beaucoup, Valerie Thomas, for staying true & dedicated to your passion.
I encourage all of you to read up on more of her accomplishments!

Au Revoir =D

REFERENCES:

http://www.about.com
http://www.islandmix.com
http://www.wikipedia.com