Single Parenting: The New Nuclear Family?

In the midst of scrolling through my Twitter timeline recently, I came across a tweet that sparked an hour-long debate . A guy tweeted about how he would “put his daughter on game” about what guys think so his daughter would never be “played”. A woman I followed retweeted it and added that every “black father” says that. She proceeded to say in another tweet black fathers rarely stay around to raise their children regardless. Keep in mind this is a young black woman in her early twenties who is single and does not have children.

Now let me stop you right there. Many people believe the notion of not taking anything on Twitter seriously because it’s on a social networking site, which holds some truth. However, I also believe we live in this parallel online universe where people are more likely to say things they wouldn’t ordinarily say because they’re hiding behind creative screen names. While places like Twitter are for venting and promotion, people do speak their minds, and at that point we need to pay close attention to what people aren’t saying vocally and what they’re typing instead.

Why is it that black men don’t stay around to raise their children? Why do we think it’s normal for children to be raised by a single parent? Why are we shocked when children are raised by both parents? Why aren’t we shocked when the children are left to be raised by their grandparents, who’ve presumably have already raised kids, while the parents roam around the city for the next fun thing to do? Why are our children getting pregnant at what seems to be a pandemic rate? I get that families go through the motions and many get divorced but at what point does that relieve the parent(s) of their parental duties? Why are we accepting this?

Many place the blame these issues that affect the black community on black people on rap music – which might hold some truth – but we also have a black president whom our children should be looking up to. I understand this change is not going to happen overnight but we need to take baby steps. Our children are growing up way too fast but that’s in large part because of the parents. Our children are listening to music and watching television programs and movies that are not age appropriate. A 10-year old should not know all the lyrics to Lil’ Wayne songs.  Perhaps these parents are leaving their children because someone left them and they weren’t taught better. It’s time for a change.

LA EVENTS: The Black Is Break Goes Live!

Happy New Year Family!

First of all, we want to thank you for your continued support! As we get things underway this year, we ask that you continue to support and encourage us and what we are doing. Even more, we are asking that you interact with us – we want to hear from you! Feel free to give us a call on the hotline at (323) 455-4219, leave comments on our posts, and be sure to follow us on both Facebook and Twitter!

We appreciate all the feedback we have received about our two-part Django Unchained podcast, and as such we are hosting our first live broadcast this Friday on Spreecast! Join us and jump in the chat room with your questions and commentary and be a part of the conversation! Log in to Spreecast and RSVP for our show today!

See you Friday!

Confessions of a Modern Woman’s Video Vixen Nightmare

Q: In what world is my competition a video girl?

A: In Los Angeles, that’s where.

I hold a degree in Journalism that I earned on TWO full-academic scholarships, I run a successful business, own my car, live within four ways with no co-habitants of any kind, volunteer in my community and YET, I am still reduced to being paired against over-inflated tits and a silicone-produced ass for the attention of a male suitor.

I’m not making this up people! This is really my life. A guy who I have loosely known for a few years recently hit me up. After a few witty exchanges over Twitter, he asked for my number. Inside I was secretly jumping up and down because I had a crush on this lad long ago. He is one of the few guys I have met that I actually wouldn’t change anything about him (except his teeth! That’s major for me. He’s creative, smart, creative, conscious, creative, God-fearing, creative and he loves his momma! Did I mention he’s creative? His art speaks to me. I see a different perspective when I look at what he created. There is nothing more sexy to me than a man that can see simplicity, seemingly nothingness and make it beautiful.  I digress.

After a little “research” I find that he is in a very public “relationship” with a video vixen. WHY IN THE HELL WAS HE ASKING FOR MY NUMBER????  Totally confused. Naturally, I had to look his chick up. Ok she’s bad. I mean like really bad. I tried to find something physically wrong with her for about 15 mins – FAIL. Her face is gorgeous and I don’t just throw that word around. Her body is obviously RIDICULOUS since that’s her chief asset. Now I’m pissed! I felt like I was on candid camera. Was this some kind of a joke? As if I don’t already have my list of insecurities now I am measuring myself against this fantasy of a woman. Problem is, if you live in Michigan that girl is just a fantasy but when you live in LA, that chick is as real as the air you are breathing.

*BACK STORY: I met him through my summer jumpoff (this young fellow that I was using for an ego boost and occasional *clears throat*). My young boo introduced me to this guy for networking purposes since we both work in the industry. We all hung out from time to time that summer but that was it. P.S. I DID NOT SLEEP with the young boy!

This is precisely the type of bs that makes me want to pack up my crap and move to Iowa where “good girls” get wifed by “good guys” THE END! Ok. That’s extreme but, hell, so is this!

A few days after he asked for my number we started chatting again. This time he was quick to get to the point. The invite to watch a movie at his house was not in the least bit tempting especially since it was already past the 11 o’clock hour! Is he crazy? Clearly. I felt a bit of fire rise in my chest. I knew I may be a tad hormonal so I had a ‘woosah’ moment before writing a scathing yet composed response to his follywagness. I told him that grown people don’t watch movies at 11:45 PM! And if he wanted to see me he would need to pick up the phone and ask me out properly but I would not be holding my breath. At that point I was like he must think because me and the young boy had a little fling of sorts that he could be next! Are you kidding me? Furthermore, you want me to be your jumpoff while you wife the video chick? I THINK NOT! Kick Rocks.

Not caring if I ever heard from him again, I wrote a serious of subliminal tweets. He eventually sent a response that was as charming as ever (not surprising since that’s one of the reasons I like him). To which I respond with SILENCE.

Boo I’m over you! What part of the game is this? I am 27 months from being 30 years old. There is no way in hell I would reduce myself to allow this man to use me and discard me all the while courting King magazine’s feature flavor of the month.

For arguments sake, I can’t say that I know with certainty that the young lady in first position is not educated or that she doesn’t have more than a beautiful face and bangin body. But I highly doubt it. If she is anything like her tweets… *crickets*. Even if she had a PH.D does the fact that all her goodies are on display for the world to see not mean anything to men these days? They don’t give a rat’s ass. In the age of Kim K., men are probably desensitized to the much less demure modern woman. Cold game.


15 Minute Break: Twitter/Facebook/Texting Revealed

Listen in to a round table discussion as KC and the family discuss how social networking reveals character in ways face-to-face communication can’t. Podcast guests include DJ A-ski, Toria Williams, Mike Eagle, Malcolm Darrell, Tash Moseley, Brother T, Jamila Farwell, and Darius Gray.

The Unholy Alliance: The Rise of an Internet Cartel

The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future.” – Eric Hoffer

There was an announcement that seemed to have gone largely unnoticed in the financial and technology world today. Mainly because today Mubarak was reportedly stepping down as Egypt’s president – he did not. It went across the screen like any other typical headline reported on Bloomberg. Google and Facebook looking to acquire Twitter for a valued $8-10 billion. I recently closed my own Facebook over continued privacy concerns. Let’s see how long I can stay away given Facebook has become almost as necessary today as a cell phone it seems. That being said I took to my real addiction Twitter and said, Facebook posts today are going to be for this generation the tramp stamp and tribal tattoo of my generation. There will be things a lot of us did, thinking they were cool at the time, but will ultimately regret later in life. Ironically comments made on the internet are becoming as permanent as tattoos. Everything we say becoming a fixture that can be recalled later to our dismay and held against us.

Twitter and Facebook are places where people have become accustomed to expressing themselves to no end. Every random thought and feeling finds its way to Twitter or Facebook statuses. The problem is we’ve forgot that essential tool that we were raised with: the ability to filter. In the age of reality television it certainly could be argued that Facebook has become that for the everyday person. We see meltdowns, breakups, bullying, and every other imaginable thing happen via Facebook. Life imitating the art. So then why should the purchase of this pesky little Twitter company bother me? One word: POWER.

Over the past year we’ve seen Facebook, Inc. become a company valued (at press time) at $60 billion in its most recent valuation. This places the company’s value roughly equal to Ford Motor Company, U.S. Steel, and Monsanto (world’s largest agriculture seed company) – COMBINED. Three companies, who transport us, help us build, and feed us. A social media company is worth the equivalent. Wrap your mind around that for a moment and ask yourself why? And the answer is in one word: INFORMATION. Facebook and all social media are and will be the most valued companies for years to come because they do one thing better than any company previously who were paid to do it, and that’s get our personal information, thoughts, desires, hopes, fears, dreams and we give it willingly for FREE. As deputy editor at Forbes Nicole Perloth stated today in her article as it related to the almost 3 to 1 bid to value Facebook and Google offered to Twitter “The real value is going to be in the data Twitter already has and continues to amass about topics, people and their connections.” And information is power. The ultimate power for companies and organizations who want to control trends, purchasing, and attitudes of the consumer or voter.

So let’s get back to this alliance and why it alarms me. These companies are arguably the most powerful companies in their field. Let’s connect the dots and start at the beginning with America’s wealthiest and largest philanthropist – Bill Gates. The Microsoft corporation which at one point tried to buy Google but missed the window owns a small but influential portion of Facebook. Google now owns YouTube, the largest broadcaster of uploaded user videos and growing corporate and organizational videos. Al-Jazeera actually reported live from YouTube on Mubarak’s speech if you could not get to a television. Signaling computers and smartphones will be even more so the medium from which we get our news via the web. Google as well tried to purchase Facebook. Now there is Facebook and its 500 million users (minus one); a founder who has consistently run into abuse of power issues since the company’s very founding; a company that continues to become wealthier by the day; and that has reached a value of $50 billion just weeks ago with the announcement of an investment by none other than Goldman Sachs. The Goldman Sachs whose reach into Washington politics is so deep that if it played with Washington’s proverbial ass it could make the mouth talk. It also manages close to $1 trillion in assets, an economic weapon not to be take lightly, and who many say was one of if not the most influential player in our subprime crisis. Now there is Twitter. The company who has 200 million users itself and by some estimates are a make-up of the who’s who and everyday man. Politicians like mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey who is so popular being a follower of his is almost cult-like. His public schools just also happen to receive $100 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Who else is on twitter? The better question is who is not? Every major company worth its salt is on twitter, non-profit organizations, politicians, celebrities, bloggers, and everyday joes and janes.

There is a massive amount of information being consolidated in the hands of a few and it is has the potential to be extremely dangerous. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter – all intertwined. Apple aside can you name companies more powerful roaming the internet and collecting your information? Now back to that conglomerate who has the financial and political backing of Goldman Sachs, who all but bullied the U.S. Government to use AIG as a backdoor bailout so it could avoid receiving pennies on the dollar for its bad debt and instead received dollar for dollar. Every search we search on Google, every video posted on YouTube, every bit of personal information from location to workplace to school we post on Facebook, and every thought we post to Twitter is all in the hands of a small group. Lest us not forget that Microsoft’s founder is head of the world’s largest non-profit organization. If you think non-profits can do no harm, ask Africa about the missionaries who came to “help”.  Or ask New Orleans about about non-profits that came to “help”. The proverb by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux says L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés et désirs” better known as – The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The very thing the internet was suppose to do is give everyone free uncensored access to information. The ultimate ability to level the playing field. That was because everyone was powerful on the internet. Nobody controlled the internet. Now we see that we might have hoped too  soon for this to be true. The way we have the diamond and oil cartels there is clearly a forming internet cartel and its commodity is information. Maybe the most valuable commodity on this Earth. El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz famously said “Power never takes a step back – only in the face of more power.” The U.S. can vie to this truth with the rise of China. A superpower needs another superpower to keep it in check. And we are witnessing the rise of a superpower in a place that knows no borders. After all it is the World Wide Web. Did I forget to mention that Google was collecting your health data? This information cartel very well could know you better than you know yourself.

It may be 2011 but its feeling more and more like 1984.

Mr. Foster is the Interim Executive Director of HBCU Endowment Foundation, sits on the board of directors at the Center for HBCU Media Advocacy, & CEO of Sechen Imara Solutions, LLC. A former banker & financial analyst who earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics & Finance from Virginia State University as well his master’s degree in Community Development & Urban Planning from Prairie View A&M University. Publishing research on the agriculture economics of food waste as well as writing articles for other African American media outlets.

10 Minute Break: Social Networking & Relationships

Listen in as KC and the family discuss social networking and it’s effect on person-to-person relationships. Podcast guests include Chris Lehman, Tash Moseley, Je Lewis, Malcolm Darrell, Toria Williams, Stacee Brewer and John Byrd III, editor-in-chief of Sickly Cat Magazine.

Who is Jimmy McMillan?

If you can win a debate on buzz alone, Jimmy McMillan of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party was the undisputed victor in Monday night’s New York gubernatorial debate at Hofstra University

Sporting a throwback mustache and beard – and wearing black gloves – his repeated refrain of “rent is too damn high” won over the audience, and sent curious New Yorkers flocking to the Internet Tuesday morning.

His named popped all over Twitter, and his own website,, crashed at points during the morning.

McMillan said he “appreciated the love” – and was gratified he stole the show.

“The mustache and the Rent Is Too Damn High is what got me here,” he quipped.

One thing most New Yorkers wanted to know: Who is Jimmy McMillan?

He’s a 64-year old retired postal worker from Flatbush, Brooklyn.

He served in Vietnam, and he cited his service as the reason he wore gloves on stage for the debate.

“The chemicals of agent orange – dioxin and a lot of other chemicals mixed up – I would get sick,” he explained after the debate with Andrew Cuomo, Carl Paladino and four other minor-party candidates.

“I know I’m not going to be able to breathe if I take them off. It could be psychological, I don’t know, but I just put ’em on and wear them anyway,” he added.

This isn’t McMillan’s first foray into politics. He ran for mayor in the city in 2005, but pulled in less than 1% of the vote.

He was criticized for blaming soaring rents on Jewish landlords.

In Monday night’s debate, McMillan touted lower rents as the cure for the state’s economic ills.

“It all boils down to one thing, rent, it’s too damn high,” he said.

Not everyone was wowed by McMillan’s large personality on the debate stage, with some critics contending he added to the circus-like atmosphere.

“Pity the poor people of New York,” wrote the Daily Beast’s Tunku Varadarajan. “Can there ever have been a state so rich, so abundantly endowed with talent and enterprise, to have had a political choice so abject, so meager, so embarrassing?”

McMillan appeared alongside six of his competitors, displaying notable facial hair as well as black gloves. Throughout the forum, the candidate rattled off soundbites that are still reverberating Tuesday.

“Listen! Someone’s … child’s stomach just growled! Did you hear it?” he shouted in his opening statement, before being cut off by the moderators and eliciting laughter from the audience.

You can watch a clip of his appearance here, courtesy of ABC News:

McMillan has long been a fringe fixture in New York politics, running for mayor of New York City in 2005 and 2009. During the 2005 campaign he ran under the moniker “Prince Jimmy McMillan (a.k.a. Papa Smurf),” theVillage Voice reported at the time. In 2000 he tried to qualify to run against Hillary Clinton for Senate but was bounced from the ballot, the newspaper said; in 1994, he walked across the state in a bid for the

Democratic-gubernatorial nomination, but was kicked out of the state convention for heckling former Gov. Mario Cuomo. And in a 1993 run at the New York City mayorship, McMillan scaled a cable on the Brooklyn Bridge, the paper said (police coaxed him down, and he was hospitalized).

So Monday night’s debate marked McMillan’s debut before a mainstream political audience. There’s no doubt he made the most of it, with his fiery opening remarks and his striking appearance. He was hard to miss on the crowded seven-candidate stage, sporting a grandiloquent array of gray facial hair and a pair of horn-rimmed glasses.

You can watch a clip of his appearance here, at ABC News:

Twitter Power!

The black web 2.0, came up with two list, 100 most Powerful Black Women & 100 most Powerful Black Men, on Twitter. I got all excited, thinking how this will connect me with more influential African American men and women that I may not have known, had a twitter account. The lists, somewhat suprised me, to say the least. And made me ask the question: How do we define “Power” in this day and age.

Here are both list for your viewing pleasure: Women & Men.

You be the judge!

And follow us on twitter: @BlackisOnline