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Friday, February 28, 2014

Spike Lee Needs to Do The Right Thing & Shut the Fuck Up

Recently Director Spike Lee said he returned to his Brooklyn neighborhood and was upset that it was “gentrified”.

Here’s a question for Spike: Why didn’t you buy property in your own neighborhood and put businesses there 25 years ago with the money from all your movies?

I find it funny how Spike has no problem spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on Season tickets for the New York Knicks but won’t spend a dime to invest in building businesses in his own neighborhood.

Black people like Spike Lee love to complain about how White people spend money buying up their inner-city neighborhoods but never have a plan for building them themselves. Spike Lee can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars with White billionaires like the Dolans, buying tickets for New York Knicks basketball games but won’t put a dime in his own neighborhood.

Over twenty-five years ago when Spike was making money from all his movies like Do The Right Thing, Jungle Fever, and Crooklyn he had an opportunity to buy property in his Brooklyn neighborhood for CHEAP with his own money. It was the height of the crack epidemic and there was abandoned property everywhere. What did Spike spend his money on?

Front row Season tickets for the New York Knicks.

During the late 1970s, 1980s and 1990s money began flowing through the Black community. Money from City Jobs. Money Money from factory Jobs. Money from the Phone company. Money from the NBA. Money from Hollywood. Money from the Rap game. Money from Food Stamps. Money from Welfare. And money from the drug game.

But instead of spending those billions of dollars on building up the Black community, Black people spent their money partying and having a good time. Black folks had the money to buy their own buildings. To buy their own homes. And they had the money to open their own businesses.

But instead of doing the hard work Black folks from Spike’s generation whined and complained about Redlining and Reganomics. The truth is they just didn’t want to do the WORK of building a ghetto into a Black community. Building a community required patience, hard, work and most of all SACRIFICE. And too many baby boomers like Spike were just too DAMN SELFISH to make the SACRIFICES to turn places like Fort Greene and Harlem into Black communities for Black people to live and work in.

While Jews, Arabs and Italians were buying the buildings and the property in the neighborhoods Black folks lived in, Guys from Spike Lee’s generation were too busy buying big screen TVs, rack stereos, VCRs, leather jackets gold chains, cars, sneakers, 2-piece Chicken dinners and trying to impress light skinned and Puerto Rican big butt women at the club. Too busy showing off and living ghetto fabulous to think about participating in group economics and investing in building their own communities.

Ever since I was a 10-year-old kid in 1983 I wanted to buy the apartment building I lived in. Why? Because I understood OWNING THE PROPERTY meant I had a SAY over what went into it. That’s why I made a promise to myself that one day I would own 3430 Park Avenue in the Bronx. I still haven’t achieved that goal yet, but I’d love to do it one day.

Why? Because at that young age I knew that PROPERTY OWNERSHIP meant CONTROL over a community from watching various TV shows and reading articles in the newspaper.

I find it sad a 10-year-old kid can figure this out but Spike Lee can’t. You want to stop Gentrification OWN THE PROPERTY. Then Participate in Group Economics with the other property owners to keep money in the community.

Here’s how Jews on the Upper East Side stop Gentrification on the Upper East Side of Manhattan: THEY OWN THE PROPERTY. Here’s how WASPS stop Gentrification on the Upper West Side of Manhattan: THEY OWN THE PROPERTY. Here’s how Italians in Little Italy stopped Gentrification in the Bronx: THEY OWN THE PROPERTY. Here’s how Koreans in Flushing Queens stop Gentrification: THEY OWN THE PROPERTY. Here’s how Hasidic Jews in Crown Heights Brooklyn stop Gentrification in their neighborhoods: THEY OWN THE PROPERTY.

Most of the owners of the property in those communities have wealth from the property they own. That wealth gives them political power to buy seats at local community boards. It gives them the ear of City Councilmen who make zoning laws. They use the economic power of the wealth they amass from group economics to get political power.

People who own property have a say over what goes in their community. If they want to rent to high-end businesses to make REVENUE from the property they OWN they can. If they want to rent to local businesses they can. They own the property. They have a say over what is BUILT in those communities.

Spike Lee could have followed the model that every other community owner has to stop gentrification by OWNING THE PROPERTY in HIS BROOKLYN NEIGHBORHOOD.

But he’d rather spend his money on Knicks Tickets.

Seriously, Do any Black people own any property in Harlem? Fort Greene? Bed Stuy? Harlem? NO.  But Black people like Spike Lee want a say over what goes in those neighborhoods.

 I’m sorry it doesn’t work that way in the business world. And Black people need to understand this. You can’t tell a business owner what to do with their property. You can’t tell a business owner to NOT MAKE MONEY because YOU ARE TOO STUPID to MAKE YOUR OWN.

The Renter does not have a say over what happens to a property. No, the OWNER has a say over what happens to it. And because Black people don’t own property in the neighborhoods they RENT in, they can only watch as the neighborhoods they live in gets gentrified by property owners looking to maximize their revenue.

If Spike Lee wanted to keep the White Hipsters and artsy typed White folks out of Fort Greene, he should have been buying the buildings in his neighborhood in 1988 when it was a wasteland and renting them out to Black people. He should have been buying franchises like McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts and KFC and hiring and training Black people to work in his neighborhood and laying the foundation for a Group Economic mindset. Establishing a community that had the economic and political power to build a Black community, not just a neighborhood where Black people live.

But People like Spike Lee would rather spend money on Season tickets for the New York Knicks than BUILD a Black community. It’s more of a priority to him to give a White billionaire like James Dolan money he could have invested in his own community, then go on a public forum and complain about the state of his pathetic community.

I’m sorry but this shuck and jive Blame and Shame game is PLAYED OUT. There is no such thing as gentrification. BLACK FOLKS FUCKED UP ON THE JOB. And they keep FUCKING UP ON THE JOB.

Black folks over the lat 40 years BLEW ALL their money on consumer bullshit like cars, shoes, and 2-piece chicken dinners instead of investing their money in building a Black community. Who’s fault is it that they don’t own anything but the Troop Jacket on their backs?

Every American ethnic group except modern day Black people has worked towards saving its money towards buying homes and property. Using the equity in those homes as the capital towards building businesses and participating in group economics to keep money flowing into their businesses. Understanding Economic power is the only way to get political power. And political power is how you keep a neighborhood a strong community.

I find it sad that a Mexican, African an Indian or an Arab who has only been in America for less than five years gets this, but dumbass Negroes like Spike Lee born and raised here STILL don’t. They still play the old co-dependent Liberal Blame & Shame game hoping to get some crumbs from the Master’s table instead of taking the resources in their communities and making their own cakes and selling them to the people in their own communities.

Black people are the only people in the world who spend 97% of their money with nonblack businesses and expect to have a say at the table when those businesses make decisions regarding the communities they live in.

Instead of Complaining Spike Lee needs to Do the Right Thing and Shut the fuck up. He had an opportunity to help build a strong Black community back in the 1980s and the 1990s but instead sat on his ass and waited for someone else to do it. If he wants to be mad at someone about the state of his “gentrified” Brooklyn neighborhood he needs to take a look in the mirror at the person who fucked up on the job.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The SILENCE of Michelle Obama

The position of the First Lady of the United States allows a woman to wield a lot of power. From that position many women have launched campaigns to influence the behavior of all Americans.

In the past First Ladies such as Nancy Regan used the position to get kids to Just Say No to illegal drugs and advocate for mammograms. And Hilary Clinton used the position of the First Lady to actively legislate for Healthcare reform, become a two-term U.S. Senator, the Secretary of State of the United States and to launch two campaigns for President.

Michelle Obama in contrast  has has done….NOTHING to wield her power as First Lady. Sure she’s had some superficial campaign to fight obesity, but over the last five years she has not actively used her office to influence the behavior of Black women in America.

Here is the first African-American First Lady with the power to use her position to speak out on serious issues of African-American women and she remains SILENT. What’s disturbing about her silence is that she says NOTHING about the current dysfunctional state of Black women.

In an age where 72 percent of Black women have children out of wedlock Michelle Obama is SILENT.

In an age where 70 percent of Black women are single, Michelle Obama is SILENT.

In an age where Black women lead the nation in HIV/AIDS cases Michelle Obama is SILENT

In an age where Black women lead the nation in venereal disease Michelle Obama is SILENT.

In an age  where Black women lead the nation in abortions Michelle Obama is SILENT.

In an age where Black women have a 60 percent dropout rate from High School, Michelle Obama is SILENT.

In an age where Black women post fight videos on You Tube and World Star Hip Hop Michelle Obama is SILENT.

In an age where the image of the Black woman has been hypersexualized by  entertainers such as Rihanna, Beyonce and Halle Berry, Michelle Obama is SILENT.

In an age where Black girls as young as 8 participate in Twerk videos and post them on YouTube, Michelle Obama is SILENT.

By her ACTIONS Michelle Obama has shown that she co-signs the irresponsible and dysfunctional behavior of the 21st Century Black woman.

Michelle Obama has the power and the position to speak out on a variety of serious issues pertinent to the American Black woman. But instead she remains SILENT.

And by that silence she shows that she co-signs the irresponsible and immoral behavior of Black women throughout the United States.

In an age where the image Black women is TARNISHED Michelle Obama says she wants to be like Beyonce.

Run that through your mind. Here is a College educated lawyer saying she wants to be like an entertainer? An entertainer who sells an oversexualized image of Black womanhood to the masses. What kind of message does that say to young Black girls? What does it say about Michelle Obama?

Michelle Obama has the power to make the issues of Black women  national prominence with the office of the First Lady. But instead of talking about those issues, she chooses to talk about entertainers like Beyonce and Justin Bieber.

Or she chooses to make statements such as saying “She’s a single mother”. Even though she’s married to the President of the United States.

Or she chooses to make statements that she’s hooked on the TV show “Scandal” A show promoting the image of a Black Jezebel.

Good Gravy.

Is our First Black First Lady that shallow? Is she that irresponsible? Does she care about the image of Black women? Does she understand that she represents the image of Black women to the world?

Or does she think that by remaining SILENT like all the other Black women she can get a free pass for her own bad behavior when she leaves the White House?

I never thought I’d see the day when a First Lady would cosign Hood Rat behavior. Nor did I think I’d see the day where a First lady would condone the behavior of Hood Rat Black women in Black communities. But here we are.

I have to wonder if Michelle Obama sips her malt liquor in a glass or does she drink it straight from a bottle with a straw.

It’s sad to see that our elite Black women such as Michelle Obama Halle Berry, Oprah Winfrey who have the power and position to change the TARNISHED image of the Black woman and elevate it doing NOTHING  in an age where the image of the Black women all over the world has been dragged back to the racist stereotypes of Antebellum South. These are the top women in our community and they say NOTHING about the irresponsible and debaucherous behavior Black women participated in over the past decade. 30 years ago many of our prominent sistas would have been doing things FIX the TARNISHED image of Black women if they saw it this way.

But today our most powerful Black women are SILENT as the image of the Black woman is dragged into the sewer.

It’s a sad day when the most powerful Black woman in the world is does not know how to wield the power of her position to influence the masses of sistas out there. To demand Black women do better. To insist Black women raise their standards. To force sistas to get out of the sewer they’ve been in for the past decade by establishing a STANDARD for behavior they can follow.

It’s even sadder when you understand that Michelle Obama’s husband was elected on a platform of Change for America. But the more we look at the Obama White House Change for America just means business as usual for the Black woman. No accountability, no responsibility and no dignity. From the outhouse to the White House the state of the American Black woman is sad and pathetic with no hope for change.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Fundraising To Pay For A New Cover

Looking to hire  pro to execute this concept!

The Isis series is one of the most popular series in the SJS DIRECT catalog. Featuring a positive Black female heroine, these contemporary fantasy stories based on Egyptian mythology have built a small following of readers of all ages in paperback and eBook over the past year and a half all over the world.

While most customers have enjoyed the stories in the Isis series, some have complained about the art on the covers. Due to financial reasons I’ve been drawing the covers myself over the past year.  Being out of work these past five years, I just don’t have the money to hire a professional artist.

I know many readers judge books by their covers. And to leave that powerful first impression on them so they will give the Isis series a try, I’d like to hire a professional artist to draw, ink and color the cover for the next book in the Isis series: Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess.

The concept cover I’ve drawn up features two figures and a minimal background. I estimate the cost to be around $500-$800 for a professional artist to draw up and color the cover for the paperback and eBook editions. If I can move past the $800 benchmark I can see about trying to put an insert or two in between the pages of the paperback and the digital editions.

If we meet the benchmark, supporters of this project would receive a free autographed copy of the paperback edition signed by me, Shawn James.

Help me take the Isis series to the next level. In a sci-fi/fantasy world of mostly White heroines such as Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Supergirl, She-Ra, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Xena: Warrior Princess, I created Isis so little Black girls would have their own heroine featured in fantasy adventures they could identify and relate to. With a quality cover drawn by a professional artist I know I could reach a lot more readers all over the world. With your support Isis could be the next Monster High.

If you’re interested in helping me take the Isis series to the next level, use the Paypal link at the top of the page to donate to this project. Thanks for your support and consideration.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Venereal Disease In The Bronx- Why Shawn Keeps it in His Pants

I’ve been celibate for the past 25 years. Why? I live in The Bronx.

Having sex with women here in the Bronx is like playing Russian Roulette with your dick. The Bronx leads the nation for herpes, Chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV.

If a woman says she lives in the Bronx, I’d advise you brothers to go get tested for VD and insist she take a VD test too. Chances are she’s got some sort of venereal disease from having sex with one of these dirty dick dusty dudes that live here.

In fact, last year the zip code next to the one I live in, 10457 had the highest percentage of reported venereal disease cases in the United States.

18 or so years ago Bronx resident NuShawn Williams infected over 25 plus women here with HIV. Looking at the statistics for venereal disease here in The Bronx, I’m starting to see he was the rule, not the exception here.

I don’t know who’s walking around with what around here. That’s why I’ve kept it in my pants over the past two decades. If the Bronx leads the nation in reported venereal disease cases, the unreported number of cases of Bronx residents having venereal diseases and not knowing it must be through the roof.

Even with all the free condoms available, it’s clear to me, most of the sewer crotch women here in The Bronx are letting all sorts of dirty dick dudes go up in them raw. And it’s more clear to me, most of these women residing here in The Bronx won’t tell a man up front they have an incurable disease like Herpes or Genital Warts.

Many of these females with thug boyfriends who went to prison for a bid or a jail term, won’t even acknowledge the possibility that their ex-man or their man has taken a dirty dick in the jawbone or in the ass while they were on that bid or waiting for trial.

Worse, many more men and women don’t even know they’ve been carrying a venereal disease for years. That’s how long they’ve gone without seeing a doctor. Again, if the reported numbers are bad, the unreported numbers for venereal disease have to be worse.

It’s sad day when Porn stars working in California’s San Fernando Valley do a better job taking care of their sexual health than most Bronx residents. It’s also more of a shame that a pornographic actress has cleaner genitals than most of the regular women who live in one of one of the biggest cities in the world. Even more embarrassing is the fact that same pornographic actress knows more about her own sexual health and sexual history considering both women have probably had the same amount of penises inside their vaginas.

If you’re sexually active, you’re supposed to get a blood test for Venereal Diseases and HIV every three to six months. Unfortunately, most Bronx residents have next to no education about sexual health. Many have never been tested for venereal diseases in their entire lives.

 Some say many don’t get tested for Venereal diseases due to a language barrier. Others say they’re ashamed to talk about sex because of their religious beliefs. And many more use these same excuses for not using birth control such as condoms or that would prevent people from being infected with a sexually transmitted disease.

The way I see it, everyone should be educated about sex regardless of language or religion. Everyone needs to be educated on the numerous ways venereal diseases are transmitted. The best way to prevent a venereal disease infection is to educate yourself about sex before you have sex. That way you make the right choices for yourself.

The way I see it, if a woman can’t produce a document from a doctor stating they’re disease free, before going to have sex then there’s no sex going on between a man and that woman. Period. That’s the standard Porn stars have. And it’s the standard more American people need to establish in their personal lives. All this casual sex without standards for health and safety really has to stop.

For the most part the Porn industry has been disease free for the past 20 years. Yes there have been outbreaks here or there, but when they happen, the Porn industry shuts down the entire industry, tests everyone and quarantines those performers. Some like the Milf Hunter Sean Rees used to use condoms when they performed with newcomers to ensure there is no transmission of disease on the sets of their productions.

20 years after NuShawn Williams infected 25+ women with HIV, the Bronx has become the capitol for venereal disease. Sewer crotch Women are giving up pussy to dirty dick dudes and not thinking of the long-term consequences of their actions.

That’s why I decided to stay celibate the last 25 or so years. It’s just safer for me to keep it in my pants these days. No sexual intercourse = No Venereal Diseases. Can’t get any safer than that.

Now I know there’s all this propaganda talking about you can live with a venereal disease. I call bullshit on that. Who wants to live with HIV? Who wants to live with incurable venereal diseases like Genital warts or Herpes? Who wants to go get a prescription like Famvir to deal with Herpes outbreaks every month? Who would want to deal with all those side effects?

For me risking my health isn’t worth ten minutes of pleasure with a jump-off. It’s a better quality of life knowing you have no diseases because you haven’t slept with anyone.

Most people in The Bronx aren’t honest about their sexual histories these days. Most don’t even know what the words sexual history or sexual health even means here in the Bronx.  And since I don’t know who has what it’s better to just keep it in my pants. Who Knows if any of NuShawn Williams jump-off’s are still out there?

The safest sex is no sex. I learned that when I was a teenager way back in Junior High school in 1986. The way I saw it back then, no pussy= No VD. It seems like that was the smartest decision I ever made.

 I saw this VD apocalypse coming way back then. In the time of the AIDS epidemic, Girls as young as 12 and 13 were letting dirty dick dudes go up in them raw just to get a tray of fried rice and chicken wings for dinner. Things have gotten worse over the last 30 years.

And instead of Bronx residents taking more responsibility over their sexual health by practicing safe sex, or even getting tested, they’re acting like it’s the Free Love 1960’s and 1970’s sticking dirty dicks in dirtier vaginas. The smart thing for any critical thinking brotha here in the Bronx is to either move or keep it in his pants. And since I’m broke and out of work, I’m just keeping it in my pants.

Again, brothers, if you live here in The Bronx, you need to go get a blood test for all the venereal diseases out there including HIV. There’s plenty of places to get tested for free. It’s better to know if you have something than not to. Because the faster know you have something, the faster you can put a plan of action in effect to deal with your infection.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Positive Brothers Are Making a Difference in Schools- Guest Blog by Lawrence Cherry

I know it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me, but I had to come back with some positivity in light of recent events. We know about the tragedies that evolve from the racism in our country. I do not want to spend more time railing on recent injustices. This does not mean that I don’t think we should lift up our voices and let our discontent be heard. We know what we have to do already: we have to continue to speak out, and protest. In the meantime, those of us who are on the ground working for our benefit have to keep working and pressing forward with the “little things” we do everyday that will make a big difference down the line. That way, when the season changes, we’ll be ready to walk into what God has for us.  So I want to talk about the good things that are going on that will give us hope for the future. I’m hoping that if and when people read about these developments they will be encouraged to emulate and spread the love. Right now, I want to give a shout out to some brothers that work in the education field. I can’t really be specific with names because you know how it is on the net – even if there’s something positive posted about you it can come back to haunt you. But I have to let people know that there are ‘good brothers’ out there despite what you see in the media.

I just want to let you know that there are brothers who are working in education and are having a positive influence on our children, especially our boys (who for the most part are being neglected). Where I work, there are several African-American males that are working with underprivileged children helping them to overcome academically and emotionally.  These guys are some of the most popular instructors in the school and every student has a genuine respect for them. They are not ‘soft’ guys. In fact, they are very strict and demanding educators, but students respond to them because they know that any demands these teachers make comes from a place of love. They care about the students and their future and are not afraid to show that. I’m not talking about hugs and kisses either. I’m talking about encouraging them to persevere on a task they think is impossible and helping them to see that they can do it. These teachers use student interest to get them interested in learning. They give our boys a chance to take a break and move around when they get frustrated (because boys need to be active) which helps them to continue to work on a challenging task.  They model positive ways to express and regulate their emotions. Finally, they are always positive and respectful to students. They don’t bully, belittle, or embarrass like I’ve seen some teachers do. They know how to take a young brother aside and talk privately about behavior issues. They connect with the students on a personal level. Believe me, their presence in our school is making a difference.

 I see boys whose self-esteem is flourishing because they have positive attention from an older male that they look up to. I see many of the behavior problems being resolved. I see boys who are beginning to think it’s cool to be smart like Mr. X. They are starting to like and respect school. They like school because they finally have a teacher who looks like them, who knows where they are coming from, believes in their potential, and best of all shows them how to achieve in an environment where the cards are stacked against them from day one. I just love it when one of the kids runs up to Mr. Z to show him a good grade they got on a quiz from another teacher. I smile because I know that there’s something even deeper going on that will help them for years to come.

Each boy that interacts with these positive African-American men is getting an alternative vision of what ‘manhood’ is that is different from what the ‘hood’ and the media have put out there for them. Their father is absent, their mother’s boyfriend may not be the most positive person around, but now, by just having seen these professional black men operate competently in the real world, the young men in our school are beginning to develop alternative plan for how to construct their manhood. They don’t have to surrender to the inevitability of being a thug, or a drug dealer, or a welfare recipient, or becoming incarcerated. In this school, there are some boys who can now see themselves as an architect of learning, and as a nurturer. For them, being a law-abiding citizen seems like a positive possibility. These positive African-American roles models are giving our boys something  they have never had before: the idea that they have a choice – that they can be what they want to be instead of what someone else (the media/the ‘hood’/circumstances) says they have to.

Now is this every male student? No. Unfortunately, there are some boys whose situations are so troubled that only God has the power to turn them around, and so far He is not using our male teachers for the benefit of these particular few at the moment. But there are still a good number of boys who are looking and following. Boys who now know they don’t have to wear the hip-hop “uniform” all the time or at all if they so choose. They can wear a tie, they can wear khakis, or an oxford cloth shirt. They can dress differently for different occasions or based on their mood.  They also influence our girls as well. They show them that an African-American male can be strong without being disrespectful, and he can be nurturing without being a push-over. Their interaction with the female staff of the school, shows our girls how they should be treated by men.

I had to write about this because I wanted to let you all know that not every African-American male is abusive, a criminal, incarcerated, or some aloof celebrity that cares nothing for their own. There are African-American males that are making a difference and having an impact, but we need more of you to step up. Our children, particularly our boys are in crisis in our schools. There is a more than 50% drop-out rate among African-American males. Do you know why? Because from their very first days of school, they are alienated from the very institution they need the most because of the antiquated nature of the learning environment.

Most schools, especially at the elementary level are predominately female run and a feminine ethos pervades the school. The majority of children don’t ever see a male teacher come into play until they are in at least junior high school. As such, the schools work and operate are around feminine values. Good students sit still in the seat, and do their work quietly. Good students contribute to conversations and are articulate. In fact, a premium is placed on verbal expression and whether or not children use “learning prompts” in their “accountable talk.” Most of the work is ‘seat work’ in which the majority of time is spent sitting down to read or write a story. There is nothing more than pencil and paper tasks most of the time. Such an environment benefits girls because they tend to mature faster and develop language skills faster. None of this is conducive to how boys learn.

Boys need to have physical activity in between sedentary paper and pencil tasks. Boys develop their language skills at a slower pace than girls and need more time to become articulate talkers. Boys need to use their hands and eyes to learn. They need to explore, to build, and to create things.  While many female teachers try to include such activities in their classrooms, they have a hard time differentiating instruction for male students because they just don’t have that particular perspective.  Now add to this the fact that not only are our boys excluded from participation in school because of gender issues, they are also excluded on a cultural level. Ever since Wall Street broke apart, there have been very few teachers of color in the schools. When I was younger it was about 50-50 African-American to “other” cultures in the schools. Now you are hard pressed to even find an African-American teacher let alone an African-American male teacher. If you don’t know the impact this is having on our schools, I will tell you – unless the school is located in a predominantly African-American area, Black history month is not celebrated and Martin Luther King, Jr. may be given slight notice only on the Friday before the holiday in his honor (In K-8 he’s just a nice man who had a dream that everyone should be treated fairly and spoke out against bullying – this is all the DOE will allow you to say because “children won’t understand racism”). As such, the school environment totally makes our boys feel unwelcome. School is a place where our boys have few male role models or cultural connections. This causes them to lose interest in school and reject ownership of their learning. Then they begin to act out and you know the rest of the story. In order to change things for our boys we have to change this negative view of education they have.  Part of this starts with getting more brothers into education.

So guys, listen. If three or so guys are having this kind of an impact in one school, what do you think ten or twenty brothers in one place can do? We need more brothers to get out there and be seen in a positive way. I’m telling you – you don’t have to be some ball player with a lot of money, or an R&B artist, or a rapper or other such entertainer. Most (not all) of these entertainers aren’t doing anything for anyone except their ego. These kids just want someone who is willing to care. That’s it. If you don’t have your degree, you don’t have to be a teacher- per se. You can sign up and become a paraprofessional. Don’t let other people con you with the idea that teaching is “women’s work,” because if it were, the women would have been doing a better job at keeping our boys in school, but statistics say otherwise. Our boys (and our girls, too) need you to be like the old griots, teaching them about where they come from, and where they should be going. Don’t let the establishment get in the way either. There are all kinds of ways to get your teaching credentials and certifications. Once you’re in you don’t have to stay in public education. You can branch out and become a tutor, start a charter school, after school program, or anything you want. Please, brothers, we need you. Our children need you

Lawrence Cherry is the author of Commencement and School of Hard Knocks. You can find his books  on Amazon and Smashwords.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Note All About All About Nikki Season 2-

Blog posts have been erratic. Why? I’ve been busy the last few weeks on projects. Developing a concept for a new Isis cover, Revising a new Isis story and Drafting up Why 70 Percent of Black women are single.

In between all those projects I finally managed to finish a project people should have gotten in 2012:All About Nikki: The Sensational Second Season. I finally wrote the last episode last night.

I didn’t plan to do a Season 2 for Nikki, but after the overwhelmingly positive response on Smashwords to it, I put it on the fast track in 2011. I thought I could finish the book by 2012 after finishing season 1 in less than a year, but I got caught up in other projects like The Thetas and the Isis Series.

I’ve released teaser Nikki books on Kindle and Smashwords over the last two years with the first six or so episodes to let Nikki’s readers know what they’ll be getting in the future. This season is all about Nikki’s growth as a character. She’s going to be a bit more socially active and getting to know more kids at Beverly Hills High School and the social hubs like The Spot and the Beverly Bowl. Staying true to the continuity in All About Marilyn, there will be an episode featuring that clear bowling ball Marilyn had on display in her home. There will be lots of new characters, and new settings.

Along with all the changes in Nikki’s life will be a change to the story model. Instead of one long overreaching story arc over 13 episodes, this season will be broken into smaller arcs of 1-3 episodes. I figure that model would provide an easier entry point for new readers/viewers.

I’ll be tackling some more serious subject matter this season such as teen sex and shoplifting.

I’m planning on giving Smashwords readers a bonus “lost” episode for being so loyal to the series. It’ll probably be something from Season 1, or I may drive myself crazy and write something new

All About Nikki- The Sensational Second Season should be available for e-readers soon! Until then tide yourself over with the three episode book on Smashwords or All About Nikki- The Fabulous FirstSeason.

Now on to the editing!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Keeping The Lights on at SJS DIRECT

I wanted to take a moment to say Thank you to the folks at out in Atlanta for sending me a donation of 25.00 in December. I really appreciate it.  

With the support of this donation, I’ll be able to keep the paperback editions of All About Marilyn and The Temptation of John Haynes in print at Lightning Source for 2014.

These are great books and I’m urging readers to please pick up a copy for themselves or their friends. All About Marilyn is a critically acclaimed screenplay detailing the struggle Black actresses encounter in Hollywood. It’s a book readers all over the world have enjoyed.

The Temptation of John Haynes is one of my best novels. Critically acclaimed by book clubs and readers, Temptation is an action packed African-American fantasy fiction story it features a compelling storyline and rich multidimensional characters. Some readers have reported finishing the story in two days!

I thank God for the opportunity to keep the lights on at the SJS DIRECT imprint for another year. I want to keep this company running but I can only do that with the support of readers. Every dollar I get from a book sale or a is reinvested into writing and publishing more books Donations to the Blog are reinvested into business operations such as maintaining my Lightning Source catalog or special projects like hiring artists for covers.

I’m doing my best to do what God told me to do and keep going in spite of my financial issues. I’m planning on doing a fundraising campaign to get funds to hire an artist to do the next Isis series cover. I want to hire a really great artist to draw this concept in my head and I think I’ll need $500 to hire an artist to do a color cover, pencil and inks with two figures for the eBook and the paperback and maybe a few inserts for both. So if you want to drop a donation in the paypal box, it’d be a great help. 

My mission is to continue providing readers with positive stories about the African-American experience. I want to keep sharing my stories with readers, but I can only do it with their support. Tell your friends and family about my books and eBooks. Give them to your family and friends.

 To all my readers I say thank you for helping me by supporting my work. It’s  kept me going these last five years and your support has helped me make progress in spite of my struggles. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Shawn's thoughts on the Nicki Minaj Controversy Stop Lookin at these Coons

I was gonna do a blog about the whole Nicki Minaj situation and her using a picture of Malcolm X for her album Lookin Ass Nigga.

But instead I’m gonna do a blog about the entertainment industry and the stunts they pull, and how Black people should respond to them.

As a person who understands the entertainment industry, I know if I write a rant about Nicki Minaj and how she’s disrespecting the legacy of Malcolm X I’ll be reacting in the way the White Supremacist media wants. The rich corporate puppet masters pulling Nicki Minaj’s strings want controversy. They want attention. They want outrage. This will help them sell more records.

Black people have to learn how to respond to these marketing stunts. The best way to stop stunts like this is to make a statement with your wallet. When record companies see their sales in a slump, they’ll stop using this kind of shock marketing to get sales.

The real reason why Madison Avenue and Hollywood use shock marketing like the desecration of the Malcolm X photo is because they know that their artists such as Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber have no talent. And because they have no skill at singing, rapping or entertaining, the A&R and marketing departments have to create an “image” to sell them to the public. And the fastest way to get sales on these no-talents is to use sex, politics or religion to get people to pay attention to their artists. That’s what gets an emotional response out of customers curious to find out what.

Should Black people be outraged about Nicki Minaj? Yes. But our response should be to not buy the album. Then, our response should be to write the CEO of the big six company (Comcast, Disney, Warner Brothers, Sony Newscorp, Viacom) that distributes her album and let them know you won’t be buying any more of their DVDs, TV shows, Video games, MP3s, books, magazines or watching their TV shows. Then follow that up with more action.

With Black dollars having $1.1 trillion dollars in spending power and Black people spending a significant amount of money and time on entertainment, the corporate oligarchy controlling the entertainment industry will soon get the message that the Black dollar has a value and that Black people have spending power that needs to be respected. When we control our dollars we can make a statement to the world that we are people who need to be respected.

In 1986  Hollywood sought to disrespect Black women and bring back the Black Jezebel with the movie Angel Heart. Black people not only protested this movie, but they voted with their wallet. When Angel Heart flopped at the box office, Hollywood soon got the message not to present degrading images of Black women onscreen. Black people need to make that kind of statement with Nicki Minaj today.

Since 1990, I’ve been voting with my wallet. I’ve refused to give my money to the 2 Live Crews, the Tupacs, The Lee Daniels and the Tyler Perrys who present negative images of Black people in media. I understood at an early age that if I spend money on negative images it sends a message to producers of that media that these images are not only okay, but to produce more of them. If I want to see positive images of Black people in the media I have to support the artists who produce that kind of media with my dollars. I also have to make an effort to get the word out about those artists and let others know what makes them great.

While we protest about Nicki Minaj we also need to support and promote talent in the Black community who present us in a positive light. Action speaks louder than words. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shawn and the Charge of Homosexuality

When someone doesn’t understand someone, they try to kill them. Or if they can’t lay hands on them they just call them gay.

 Over the last 28 years I’ve had to deal with both of these scenarios. But in this blog I’ll deal with the Charge of Homosexuality that some people like to post in the comments section.

People have been calling me gay since I was 12 years old. And the reason why they call me gay is not because I expressed an interest in men, it’s because they didn’t understand me.

When someone like myself presents an image of Black manhood different than the stereotypes of what is considered the status quo people try to devalue that person in an attempt to deal with their feelings of inadequacy. In my case, I believe people just can’t deal with the idea that there is a Black man who presents an intelligent viewpoint on topics in these written blogs based on fact.

The Charge of Homosexuality is what insecure people use when they can’t refute the points in an argument. Unable to challenge the points presented in the blog they come out with the charge of homosexuality, an ad-hominem attack meant to keep people from focusing on the fact that all the points I presented were correct.

The point of the charge of Homosexuality is to bring the debate into the sewer where the commenter lives. Unable to deal with the fact that the debate is on another level beyond their limited comprehension, they want the discussion to devolve into name-calling and insults so they can go into victim mode and set me up for their shaming language. Once they get the conversation to devolve, they can come in with the charges of misogyny, racism, sexism, and take the debate off topic. Or get me to stop talking about the issue presented in the blog.

As I stated before I’ve been dealing with individuals like this since I was 12 years old. So I have a lot of experience with them.

Now for the record I am a very openly Heterosexual Black man. But because I present the image of Black man who is intelligent, has self-discipline and self-control, people can’t understand this.

So out come the charges of homosexuality. Just like Junior high school and High school kids. Some of these commenters reminded me of many of the bullies I had to deal with in the IS 148 schoolyard and the Park West cafeteria.

As a grown man I’ve outgrown the phase of my life where I believe I need to prove my sexual orientation to people. Because at this point in my life I know that’s the Classic Mangina paradox trap, a place where any answer I give will be wrong. If I say I like such and such woman, these same people will be calling me a sex fiend and a pervert for expressing a sexual interest in a woman. As I stated before, the goal of these attacks is not to discuss a person’s sexual interests, but to set a target up for their shaming language and bring the person into the sewer where they operate.

Again, I’ve run into this before. At school and on jobs. It’s a sign of people’s insecurity, not mine. Some of these people I’ve run into were so offended about being in my presence they turned the charge of Homosexuality into the Charge of Bestiality and two people even turned that into the charge of being a rapist.

Again, trying to take me into the sewer because they couldn’t relate to me, my presence or what I was bringing to table.  So they sought to turn me into a Black boogeyman they could discredit and destroy.

Am I heterosexual? Yes. Am I attracted to women? Yes. Am I attracted to Black women? Yes. Does it have any merits to the topics I write about and the arguments I present? No. My mission with these blogs is to promote books, showcase my writing style and present an intelligent viewpoint on a subject. Let’s keep the discussion on the high ground.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Some people take the Internets WAY too Seriously.

Some people take the Internets WAY too seriously.

I was reading the comments section and hearing some of the emotional responses I get from some people makes me wonder what’s wrong with some people.

Just recently I got this response in the Why Real men Avoid single mothers blog:

Shawn, You are just a woman hating moron! You say mangina and pussy as if a vaginas and pussies are bad things. You obviously hate women. I'LL BET YOUR MOTHER WAS A SINGLE MOM AND IT IS CLEAR FROM ALL OF YOUR RANTS THAT YOU HATE(D) HER. Just chill you idiot and let people be. ----- by a 52 year old white male who is tired of you trying to overcompensate for your obvious inadequacies, insecurities and hatred

This was supposedly from a 52-year-old man. 52. Now I could understand this kind of emotion from a twentysomething woman. But a grown man older than I am? Getting emotional over something someone wrote on a webpage?

Damn. Just Damn.

Tamera Mowry-Housely gets extra extra salty tears from the internets trolls. For me it’s just another day at the office. That’s why I’m here to give everyone some advice.

People, it’s the internets. It ain’t that serious. If you don’t like what you’ve read just click out of the page. Or if you’re on YouTube stop watching the video. Don’t subscribe. Don’t follow. If you see this person has views that you don’t agree with, chances are they’re going to produce more content you don’t like.

Now I know what many of my facebook friends and owners of YouTube channels like Tommy Sotomayor, The Iceman and JiaIreland go through on a daily basis. People hear something they don’t like and get bent out of shape. Words on a webpage get them that upset.

Like this commenter on the Why 70 Percent of Black women are single Blog:

Shawn you are disgusting. This sorry excuse of an article or analysis of yours should be banned from the virtual world in it's entirety! The current status of black women being single is far more complex than this bias and negative trivia that you are projecting. You are propelling appalling stereotypes of black women that are unfounded. I am a black woman and I know many black women who to the contrary of your nonsense are physically active, keen to try new things, supportive, intelligent, ,inspirational and non materialistic. Quite obviously you have some emotional drama and or issues that you haven't dealt with that inform your delirious opinions. Find peace and find God! You should be ashamed and embarrassed. Anyone who agrees with you is as ignorant as you obviously are. 

Wow. Just wow. I should be banned from the Internet? For having an opinion. I thought we had Freedom of speech here in AmeriKKKa. I so wish I could show Tamera Mowry that one.

Again, it’s a helluva lot easier to click out of the page. But what do people do when offended? They share the webpage with others.

Or they write little digs about the blog on their own page. The ultimate online BITCH move. Too afraid to have it out in the comments section these cowards go to a message board o their own website so they can have strength in numbers for their personal attacks.

Then there are those who get so upset with what they read in an article they go into ad-hominem attacks. Like this commenter on the article Beware the Washed up Black Woman:

I like Shawn. He has outed himself as a closeted homosexual over and over. Notice the drawings of white women DL men love to floss ww? Notice he hasn't been in an relationship for 25 years Notice he doesnt big up BW but doesn't come out and say, exactly, what sort of women he desires. Closeted gay men are very creative but Shawn really. Come on out, mane. You'd most certainly sell more "books".

Damn. Just Damn.Again, I wish I could show Tamera Mowry a day at my office.

I thought I was back in the schoolyard of IS 148 Junior High or in the Gym class at Park west back in 1988 when I read this one. The Charge of Homosexuality. When you can’t refute the argument presented in the article just call someone gay. And follow it up with shaming language talking about how I don’t talk about the woman I desire. Classic deflection.

None of this has anything to do with the points I presented in the piece. Just plain old emotional reaction because they didn’t like what they read. Also note the swipe at my quote-unquote “books” at the end
After 28 years of actually getting my feelings hurt about attacks like this, I had a good laugh at this one. I love how people have to bring my sexual orientation into an argument where it has no bearing on the topic.

Again, easier to click out of the article, but people come back for more. Unless I post up a sample chapter of a book. Then it's a ghost town around here.

Over the last five years I’ve grown a thick skin dealing with trolls in the comments section. Only one time did I delete a piece (Why Real Men avoid Single mothers Part 2) because trolls had hijacked the page and took it off topic.

Seriously people words on a page can’t hurt you. That’s all they are. Words. Someone’s opinion. And the web is filled with the opinions of billions of people. It was designed to be a place for people’s opinions. If you don’t like what someone is saying, click out of it and move on. Life is too short to be coming back to a webpage you just don’t like. Again, this is America, and in America we have the right to free speech. If you don’t like what someone is saying on their page, all you have to do is go to one of the other three trillion pages here on this information superhighway.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

E'steem: Demons Anonymous Chapter 2 and a note

Note: Working hard on two New books including Why 70 Percent of Black women are single, so I had no time to write a blog. Try to have one up for Thursday  Sorry about all the filler, trying to play catch up!

I take a deep breath to calm my nerves as E’steem reads through the flyer detailing the mission of my organization. I’m hoping she says yes and helps us out. With a legend like her in our group we can inspire countless other members to walk away from the Legion down the straight and narrow path to Christ.

It was a big risk approaching her; high-ranking Old Guard demons don’t even bother talking with low-level New Breeders like myself. But if someone who was as deeply entrenched in the Legion could change her wicked ways, then maybe just maybe she’d be willing to hear me out.

E’steem finishes reading the flyer and her friendly brown eyes smile at me. “Demons Anonymous?” she inquires.

“Yeah, it’s a support group for demons who want to leave the Legion.”

“Other demons have left the Legion?”

“You thought you were the only one?”

“Usually once you join up with Lucifer you’re in for all eternity.”

“That was the way it was for the Old Guard. You chose to be a part of the Legion. But as the children of those old Guard demons began roaming the earth, they were never given that option.”

“Wasn’t the Bible available to you?”

“In our homes that book was considered Blasphemy.”

“So the culture of the Legion has become a religion?”

“To the members of the New Breed it is.”

“I’ve been hearing that phrase a lot lately. What exactly are the New Breed?”

I thought someone as smart as she was would know something about our history. “The New Breed are demons born during the Industrial Revolution, I reply. “Around that time Lucifer dissolved the Order of Lords and established a new class system for demons to work within the Legion’s new industrial complex.”

“Demons with human faces?”

“Yeah. He felt these new demons would blend in better with mortals. Demons he believes will help him efficiently steal the souls of mankind through everyday sins.”

“Drones in a corporate industrial complex.”

“Mindless workers programmed to believe that they’re doing the right thing by going by the book and living by the golden rule. People who were born not knowing who God truly is.”

“Even though the Bible is in plain sight.”

“We were never told we had a choice.” I continue. A lot of us grew up in homes, schools and churches believing that Lucifer’s false religion was the truth.”

“How did you find out?”

“I went to college and met up with some Christians on campus. At first I didn’t believe them, but as I began reading the Bible for myself, I began to see the truth in God’s Word.”

“With that way of thinking, I’m taking it you’re not very popular in the Legion-”

“I’m not. But I didn’t give my life to Christ to win anyone’s favor. God doesn’t want any soul to perish. Not even a demon’s.”

E’steem’s eyes light up after I say that. “Wow. You’re really passionate about your cause-”

“I just want the members of the Legion to know they have a choice. And that no matter how much they’ve sinned in their lives God will forgive them and allow them to receive His gift of Salvation.”

“What can I do to help out?”

“I was hoping you could come and speak at one of our meetings. Someone with your reputation would have a tremendous impact on our cause.”

“You must not have read The Deadly Dish. My reputation in the realm of Hell is pretty much finished-”

“Not exactly. Many demons still hold you in high regard. And they’d still be eager to listen to you-”

“You must not have seen the pantsed picture of me in that article-”

“I have to say you do have nice legs.”

A playful chuckle surprises me. “I’d have to say the best part of me is up here.” She jokes pointing at her face.

From the curious look on her face she seems interested. I’ll try to close the deal. “So would you be willing to come to our meeting this evening?”

E’steem looks down at the flyer for the address then smiles as she looks up at me. “I think I can make it tonight. Just let me check with my boss.”

Pick up E'steem: Demons Anonymous for your Kindle today! Prime users borrow for FREE! 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Why 70 Percent of Black Women are Single- The Book

Sorry there haven’t been any blogs over the past few days. Had some internet issues and since I wasn’t able to get online I was busy working on a new project. (Drop a donation in the paypal link and maybe I can see about buying that Verizon Smart router.)

I’ve got a flow going on this new nonfiction book I started a few weeks ago Why 70 percent of Black Women are single. Yes, there will be a book coming out based on the popular blog. I hope to have the book out by this summer if things keep flowing.

Shawn James’ Why 70 Percent of Black women are Single won’t be some fluffy feel good cardboard book like Steve Harvey’s Act like a Lady Think Like a Man. Like the three books in The Simp Trilogy this book will be no-nonsense and hard-hitting going in depth detailing all the numerous reasons why Black women today are single, and why these approaches to life they’ve learned from their mothers are keeping them single.

Why 70 Percent of Black women are Single will present the issues of Black-on-Black relations over the last 45 years and how we got to this state today where a majority of Black women are single and how it’s gotten to the point where most Black men want nothing to do with Black women.

Over the last four years I’ve done extensive research on the subject reading dozens of articles. More importantly I’ve listened to dozens of Black men in the comments section of on my blog, YouTube and Facebook, not to mention men on the street.

I believe one of the problems keeping Black women single is that everyone keeps talking to Black women instead of listening to Black men. We get all the extra extra salty tears of Black women crying about the lack of eligible available Black men, but not once in the last 25 years has anyone like Oprah Winfrey or ABC News ever once asked regular brothers how they feel about today’s Single Black women.

Black men are supposed to be the ones making the marriage proposal, but the Oprah Winfreys, Lee Daniels, Tyler Perrys and Steve Harveys are so busy painting Black men as the bad guys, we never hear what brothers have to say and find out WHY they don’t want to commit to Black women today.

From what I’ve seen in all my research Black men aren’t the bad guys. And one of the problems is Black women have been told what they want to hear for too long by snake-oil salesmen too busy trying to make a buck on them and get into their panties.

For almost five decades we’ve heard from Simps like Steve Harvey and Tyler Perry who poo-pooed, and held Black women’s hands while telling them they weren’t accountable for any of their bad behaviors and it was all Black men’s faults. This enabling has allowed male/female relations in the Black community to deteriorate to the dysfunctional state they’re in today.

I believe it’s time Black women got to hear from the men in their communities like myself who are going too be the ones who want to have relationships with them. I think it’s time someone told Black women what they need to know to be better women.

Yes, this book will be tough and no-nonsense. I want this book to like a day in the STRIVE workshop. Raw, honest, and filled with tough love. A lot of what’s going to be in between these pages is going to be hard for some Black women to hear, and it may even offend some sistas. But I believe once Black women confront the painful truths about why they are single they’ll finally start taking steps on the road to healing and having healthy relationships with Black men.

Some will call this book misogynistic. But it comes from love. I love Black women enough to tell them the truth about what they’re doing and why it’s destroying not only themselves but the Black community and the Black family. I believe once Black women are shown the truth about the approaches they’re following sistas may start making the steps towards taking themselves out of the dysfunctional paradigm that has left them single for two going on three generations.