5 Reasons Why

In view of many people who know me, understands that I am an extreme symbolic person. Promptly consequent to where I come from, my beliefs, relationships, etc., I express nature, character, emotions, and signs allusively. Specifically, the way that I signify someone and a form of awareness is simply by wearing a certain basketball jersey number. Thus, here are my 5 reasons why.

  1. To begin with, I grew up attentively watching high school basketball favoriting two players my brother (#4) and his teammate Corey Hill (#5). Corey participated on the varsity level from his freshman to senior year. Which encouraged myself to contest at the varsity level as a freshman too. Even so, his downfall occurred while I was a freshman contending on the varsity team, therefore number 5 generated as my life-long number since that shattering moment.
  2. Secondly, after hearing Corey’s fate I have always considered marking a tattoo to represent my love for basketball and for him. Usually before an organized basketball game I would stare at the tattoo located below my right shoulder if I am not wearing number 5. Then I would reminisce of him, which would be my drive to perform well and represent Corey’s basketball jersey number.
  3. Thirdly, wearing number 5 shaped my style of play according to how I perceived Corey, with respect to being a shooter. As an illustration, for people who wear number 30 as their basketball number are likely wearing it because he or she admires Stephen Curry. So to say, one would obviously attempt three point shots or deep range three pointers because that is what makes Curry notorious. By way of representing Corey’s jersey number 5, my role and performance of basketball shifted. I converted from a ball handler into a jump shooter but netted them. This alter strictly allowed me to advance my skills. In that, I was able to execute identical to Corey Hill.
  4. Fourthly, Corey was one of few people who progressed to college while facing many setbacks. Graduating high school and advancing to higher education was slim and uncommon for most people in our town. Considering many young African American males destined to be a statistic, Corey was able to persevere by using sports as a tool which resulted college arrangements. This was an approach which I desired until the announcement of his death. Corey’s account for suicide shut me speechless and nonetheless to analyze how the experience thereof college itself, residing in a different state from home, and furthermore being upraised by a difficult background would eventually lead someone into such actions. This agitation prevented my aspiration on pursuing college. Although, I managed to conquer a Bachelor’s degree on top of living far away from home, while Corey being one of my motivations during the journey.
  5. The final reason why I wear number 5 is due to suicide awareness. Most people have a story behind their jersey number selected. In addition to this, the awareness to Corey’s afterlife harvested my reason. That well known suicide report have lived with me up to this moment. Also, remembering the fact how heavy his decision had an impact on students at our school and the community. Even the coaches together with whom I saw as the toughest and hardest acting people wept. Seeing those emotional reactions from everyone established a memorable sense of pain alone. Today, another immovable thought which stricken myself individually and surely everyone else, is “why”? Many reasons came about while examining and judging Corey’s inspiration. However, we will never know his reason(s) to extent of an undertaking action. In view of that, I wear number 5 in support of suicide awareness and Corey Hill.
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Deeper Than The Ocean

Despite the Atlanta rapper Future’s club music, Future also established many deep songs that are not known in his sake of publicity. I have been listening to Future since January 2011 and my main empathies about him were his heartfelt lyrics. Though, some of Future’s songs can be soothing and curing rather than purely hyping a crowd.

However, people do not like Future because they are not able to understand or simply relate. Accordingly, he has been in the drought and had to grind in the streets to get where he is at, so that is what he raps about. If one cannot recount to it, Future also speaks of going through depression, struggle, and starvation. However, if that unfits a comparative sense to the listener, then Future will just be your typical “turn up” artist.

Granting Future’s catchy hooks and flows, Future has made a progression in his career by topping the billboard charts with several club bangers. In the past six years that I have been exposed to Future, he has remarkably gained a diverse and broader fan base. Although I am convinced with that being the reason for his slight changeover. Ultimately, the transition in Future’s music is absolutely noticeable from then to now [2017].

With that being said, do not get caught in the hype. Still, Future has a select number of deep meaningful songs in shed. Below are some lyrics that have always stood out to me, while these are only a few of Future’s obscured songs.

“I done been lied to, I been neglected, I done had all kind of people turn against me, You try to bring me down ima go harder”

Future – “Harder” Pluto, 2012

“Yeah you should’ve never doubted me, The pain and the struggle followed me, My daddy never been there, bothered me, And these cold streets made a man of me”

Future – “Last Breath” Creed: Movie Soundtrack, 2015

“All I ever wanted for you was to believe in me, I came, I struggled, I made it, I conquered”

Future – “Blood, Sweat, Tears” Honest, 2014

“I got some homies, they can only mean the world to me, And they ain’t comin’ back home, they in the cemetery (rest in peace), I wish I made this up, it was a fairytale”

Future – “Permanent Scar” Pluto, 2012

“I’m standing in the middle of the rain, Trying to hide the tears running down my face, And when the drops stopped, I come to my senses and I go hard for my block”

Future – “If You Knew What It Took” Streetz Calling, 2011

“You can’t take my pressure you probably be done blowed your brain”

Future – “Special” Honest, 2014

“I’m frustrated and I been up lately, (Just thinkin’ of things nawmean) Goin’ over my plans, Feel like I’m sinkin  in sand, Some things you wouldn’t understand”

Future – “Truth Gonna Hurt You” Pluto, 2012

“The struggle and the pain, I still remain the same, I’m grindin’ so hard I’m just strengthin’ up my brain”

Future – “Never Be The Same” Streetz Calling, 2011

“Roll up the kush, and let’s get high, and take you to a galaxy, See I just wanna be in my zone, where nothin’ bothers me”

Future – “Substitute Everything ” Drugs, 2013

“Have you ever been so broke you don’t even wanna live? So fucked up to the point that funerals can share the tears, Gotta grind so fucking hard the shit bring you to tears, Forgot to call my momma on her birthday God bless the kid”

Future – “Bigger Picture ” True Story, 2011

“We go through hell to get to paradise”

Future – “Paradise” Pluto, 2012

“My homie set my homie up, the game is full of madness, Sometimes I wanna get inside the Escalade and crash it, My pain running deeper than the ocean”

Future – “Deeper Than The Ocean” Astronaut Status, 2012

Black in the Bay Area

Warning! The Bay Area is not all cracked up, especially if you are black. Darkonesun09 gives black men who are not California natives a heads up about relocating to the Bay Area while ranting his personal experiences. In the media we see California as glamorous, full of palm trees, and a sunny weathering paradise. Yes, it comparably exist within certain places in the state. However, in the Bay Area it falls differently. The Bay Area is bitterly cold, gloomy, and so are most of the people. In a way, black men receive such shade from people in the Bay Area.

Black people are dissed in the Bay Area. To begin with, many nonblacks in the Bay Area act like black men but they do not like real black men. Secondly, there are a lot of nonblack women who play the role of acting as black women although they do not like black people. Thirdly, there is an extreme usage of the “N” word from residents who are not black in the Bay Area. Furthermore, nonblack people imitate blacks by wearing blow out afros and cornrows. Nevertheless, they have a negative perception on black people who embrace their natural afros and wear braids. Altogether, black people suffer from a contemptuousness irony in the Bay Area.

Be that as it may, the actuality of a black male in the Bay Area narrates a monster. People devote a petrified expression due to who you are personally. Namely, they are running from you for the simple reason that you are black. Women become frightened when you are in sight no matter the time of the day, location, or the number of pedestrians that are surrounding. In the event, they are hiding their cell phones, clutching their purses, jumping when you appear, and avoiding you by redirecting their route. Being black in this atmosphere makes you feel separate to everyone else and demand alienation. Consequently, it is difficult to feel human here. Hence, black males are labeled fierce.

Many black people who are born in the Bay Area are accustomed to the black experience stated above. However, for someone like myself, if you are coming from a different region such as the south or east coast, it will shock you to see the amount of racism that you receive. Mainly, it will throw you off, granting that the Bay Area is categorized as a place of diversity, and still has such bigotry towards black people. As for traveling from a different region where it is classified as a racist environment, to exploring a new place that is portrayed as the opposite falls mystifying. Accordingly, the black experience in the Bay Area does not differentiate among any other place in America.

Admittedly, the Bay Area is not what you think. On the subject of being a black male in the Bay Area, it endures the common African American experience just as being anywhere else. Stereotypes are exceedingly embedded and people are afraid of you. However, people enjoy your cultural lifestyle but refuse to respect you and even perceive you as a human being. Darkonesun09 does not recommend black men to come to the Bay Area unless you are here as a music artist, extremely financed, or yet like myself, here for the weather. As for responding to his video blog, I agree with him. The people occupying a space makes a place. As a result, the people in the Bay Area makes it unwelcoming for black men.

Potential Book Cover

The autobiography cover was designed in order to portray visions reflecting personal relevance, life experience, activities, and growth.

Alongside the basketball court, the image presented at the upper left hand corner projects Stonehenge community center. Although there were many chill spots in the neighborhood whereas people would associate, this area would best fit the script of anyone’s’ concern of my whereabouts. So to say, this place was a second home, meanwhile, it played a significant role in my personal-development.

Underneath the community center states “A Story for Believers”, in the event that I was lectured several stories and motivational conversations from peers who had hope in my aspiration. In terms, it was a healing factor that assisted my self-assurance while in doubt. Let alone, I can recall numerous amount of dreams from childhood friends who are deceased. It makes a huge difference to have people who care about your success to give feedback, coaching, encouragement and accountability. Such people planted an ambition in my motive, however, it is very conventional to share my journey for next generations who identify with an equivalent path or witness similar experiences.

In the top middle, Stonehenge is an art of several stones whose name is inscribed into one of its horizontal beams portraying the beauty outside of the neighborhood. All of the initial homeowners were white and now Stonehenge is predominantly black. Built in the late 1990s, as a gateway for a housing subdivision. Spectating the viewpoint is amazing while appearing forefront of the neighborhood. In view of the foreground positioning, Stonehenge is an appreciative sight to observe upon the overall city Athens, GA.

With sight-seeing in mind, the upper right hand corner resembles a direct photograph of Oceanside’s ocean view. The image was taken while traveling from Los Angeles, CA to San Diego, CA. After deep reflection and conscious decision-making, the significance of this photo represents a journey of striving. In the case of forfeiting life, education, and basketball while in a new environment and being exposed to a total new lifestyle that I was never intended to be settled in. Nevertheless, growth begins the moment you step out of your comfort zone.

Underneath the ocean lies the symbol of Ankh. The ankh is the Egyptian symbol of life, also referred to as the Key of Life. Notably, the water and sun above represents the nutrients for life. With the arrangement of the ankh symbol, the authors’ name being the autobiographical sets a venue. To resume, Osiris is worshipped as God of the afterlife as Egyptians believe there is life after death. Aten was a being who represented the god or spirit of the sun. The god Hapi controlled the water itself. Thus being spiritual once before, discovering ancestry data through higher education conducted a strong relevant connection to my impression even before studying.

At the bottom of the book cover, a transparent basketball hovers on the weighing scale. Basketball was an activity of mental balance and has been the pivotal reasons for my drive, venture, and triumph in life. In view of a translucent basketball, the more I aged the game faded away forethought. Yet, basketball gave me an education, opportunity in life, and a future that I would not have otherwise. The more I learned in the classroom the less I was concerned of the sport. Although I played through injuries, basketball taught me the discipline and work ethic I entailed while encountering adversity on and off the court.

Lastly, the weighing scale at the base of the book holds the powerful word and unique name Justice. The meaning of justice has been the most emphasized category that I have clinched through higher education. Due to the extreme active social political aggression for human rights, living in the Bay Area has been truly eye-opening. Owing to the diversity, the environment makes it effortless to glance injustice unlike other places that I have occupied. Being that San Francisco State University was the first Africana Studies program in the United States, it has been an effective program to shift my paradigm. Hence, higher education and witnessing a prolonged journey led to critical consciousness and altered my perception of the world.

 

 

Coping With Community Violence

Antisocial Behavior contains a section on Community and Youth Violence.  In that category there are several studies on the ways in which Black youth “cope” with community violence.  There are various methods of coping used by Terrence Fischer and his friends in the film “Bullets in the Hood

A method that I noticed used by Terrance Fisher in relationship to “Community and Youth Violence” would be civic engagement. In the beginning of the film, he was seeking to make a difference in the life of his community explaining why guns are bad. In creating the film, Terrance Fisher could consider as an activist, because he was making the documentary film to portray life in the hood while looking for change. Moreover, he campaigned for social change, participated in a March protest, and sought a lawyer to help seek justice for Timothy Stansbury. And of course, the cop was not even indicted.

Terrance Fisher and his friends acted the form of coping with music, by creating a vivid song inspired by Timothy’s death. The friend (rapper) who was interviewed in the documentary, explained how his frustration was a substitution of the wrong things that they normally see done for retaliation. For this reason, he considered in feeding the audience with words of truth through his art of talent. To add, Terrence Fisher states that they were aware that authorities were determining for the community to act violently to the justifications of the officer. In that, finding other ways to cope through the situation involving music was a way to peacefully maintain the situation through the artist and the community. In comparison, we are socially glorified with Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole music as being “real”. Notably, they rap truthfulness that goes on within the community. Which usually benefits them and their fans as a solution to whom are exposed to community violence.

 

Rest In Peace Alton SterlinPhilando Castile

The Realtionship Between Race and Sports in America

Sports in America is a multi-million dollar creation that has contributed to American culture today.  Before one can say sports helped unify the country, we must examine the origins of racism and how it contributed to the worldwide leisure activities we classify as sports.  Early sporting events were set during a time where African-Americans were still experiencing racism and injustice because of the color of their skin.  To really understand how important equality is during a sporting game and in everyday life, we should first understand the injustice they experienced. Racism is defined by the blunt formula:  prejudice plus power equals racism.

Racism is prejudice is turned into action that harms others.  America strives on being the “best” country and is very patriotic on an international level, but at home America has a hate for its own natural citizens whose complexion were not white.  America is unified during athletic competition with other nations (for example, the Olympics), but at home racism existed for minority athletes.  Negative racial feelings affect sports on a domestic and global basis; however there were several activists who not only integrated sports, but they helped the nation understand the social cons of racism.  “The walls of segregation were built thick and high during the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth, and racism manifested itself not only in exclusionary practices, which pervaded the sporting world as well” (Miller and Wiggins 1-2). Additionally, this is the birthing of Jim Crow.

Jim Crow came from a song performed by a white entertainer who was popular in the 1830s. He painted his face black and mocked blacks, “In the late 1800s, as southern legislatures and communities systematically deprived African-Americans of equal rights, ‘Jim Crow’ became for southern whites a euphemism for segregation in the South” (Carson 54).  Namely, this social and legal custom would follow African-Americans until the late 1960s.

Racism post-civil war had a major impact on sports.  A major Supreme Court case, Plessey v. Ferguson, in 1896 that stated separate but equal is fair, thus supporting the Jim Crow laws which basically funded racism in the country.  “On June 7, 1892, Homer Plessy entered a New Orleans railroad station and boarded a whites-only coach…Plessy was an octoroon (one-eighth black) and, therefore, in violation of state law” (Carson 38-39).  The Supreme Court rules against Plessy “finished the job by upholding as constitutional the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine’” (Carson 55). After all, there was racism in America.

Racism is when prejudice is turned into action that harms others, and the belief that one race of people is superior to another because of their ethnicity (Davis).  Racism is based on the color of a person’s skin, it is destructive and it disembowels people by shattering their identity. It destroys community cohesion and creates divisions in society (Carson). Plessey v. Ferguson supported racism in America and limited minority participation in “white-only” sports.  Altogether, this case began the question of what makes a person black or white and how Americans classify people and athletes based on the amount of black ancestry.

Blacks were not allowed to participate in white-only sports and facilities.   “Tennis had been introduced to the United States as a country club sport in the 1880s.  Because most clubs were segregated, it had remained a predominantly white sport” (Rennert 528).  American tennis athlete, Althea Gibson was the first black to win a Grand Slam title, also known as the French Open. Gibson dominated the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) indoor matches, but she was not invited to any outdoor events because they were plated at a private, segregated country club.  Due to her achievements on the courts, she gained a lot of attention from the public and the USLTA’s practice was put into question.  Alice Marble, a white woman who dominated tennis during the 1930s, spoke out against racial discrimination; her article was published in the American Lawn Tennis magazine.  Through the public’s participation and awareness of discrimination on the basis of race, Gibson was invited to play in the tournament (Rennert 530-531). Anyhow, blacks were not allowed to participate in white-only sports and facilities.

“In the pre-World War II years, the Black athlete was restricted from competition in all the professional sports. Only in the Olympics, because of its international nature, were Black athletes allowed to compete unrestricted” (Walter). America allowed talented blacks to represent America on a global range but when the competition was over and they had to return home, the country did not treat the athletes as equal citizens. For example Jesse Owens was a black man that did track and field.  He is a natural born American citizen who participated in the Olympics, the leader of Germany did not like the fact there was a black man winning all of the races and he refused to congratulate the athlete (Rennert 541-547). Even when Jesse Owens returned back to America, he was not seen as an American hero, he was not treated like an American citizen with rights. With this in mind, several years after Plessey v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, (1954) overruled the idea that separate but equal is fair, arguably ending discrimination on the basis of race.

Just a few years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, Ernie Davis, he was a football running back and the first African-American athlete to win the Heisman Trophy.  Although Davis was a great athlete, the color of his skin prevented him from caused major problems during the Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas, Texas.  Because he was considered colored, he could only accept his award at the banquet following the game and then he had to immediately leave the building.  Davis and his white teammates refused and decided to boycott the banquet because a teammate was not allowed to participate in a banquet due to the color of his skin (Gates and Appiah).  It was a challenge Davis had to overcome; for example, being physically abused after each play and advised not to score. After this, Davis became an icon for an integrated America and for African Americans achieving the American Dream (Wright).

There seems to be an additional challenge that blacks have to approach and overcome relative to white Americans.  “The signing of Jackie Robinson by baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946 is well chronicled, as is his debut in the major leagues in 1947. For most people, Robinson has the honor of integrating professional sports.  However, two years before he made his debut, the National Football League had integrated when the Los Angeles Rams signed two African-American professional players, Kenny Washington and Woody Strode, the latter of whom became movie star” (Walter).  Robinson is credited by white Americans as integrating a “white,” American pastime sport—baseball, at the time, football was not the same type of American traditional sport. On the other hand, why do critics arrange sports by race in today’s society, prohibiting certain races from participating in “mainstream” sports?

Black athletes dominates certain sports, like basketball, football, track, and baseball. To add to that, they also play some leading role position such as quarterback, which is normally the position you would see a white athlete playing. “In track and field, particularly in the coming Olympics, the overwhelming number of Black American athletes in proportion to white Olympians is radically disproportionate to the Black population in overall U.S. society.” (Walter)  Black athletes are casting to take over American sports and receiving financial income equally as whites. African American athletes receive less income in America’s major sport, which is baseball. This declined the number of black baseball players, and the black attending audience as well. Blacks are quick to sign a major league baseball contract before a white person, but are financially treated unfair of salary. At the same time, salaries alone do not tell the entire story.

Today African Americans generate an enormous amount of publicity from the mass media. The public views elite black superstars as celebrities, valued citizens, and heroes. Their sports performance and other outside activities reflect the ways in which American people view them as individuals and perceive African Americans as a whole. A gradual increase  of African Americans athletes are gaining successful income pay from endorsement products. This idea started from cereal boxes to now  automobiles, Nike, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, State Farm and others. Walter Payton, African American football player at Chicago Bears, did not appear on a Wheaties box until 1986.  “In 1996, Michael Jordan of basketball’s Chicago Bulls and sports’ highest paid athlete is expected to earn 90% of his $40 million through endorsements.” (Walter) Giving these points, this has started the take-over of African Americans athletes, dramatically increasing their popularity and  success.

Not so long ago, black athletes were segregated from  participating with white athletes due to the Jim Crow Laws established after the Plessy V. Ferguson (1896) Supreme Court case. Black athletes, as were their non-athletic brothers and sisters, were seen as racially inferior and not worthy of socially mixing with whites. However, these purely promoted brave athletes slowly but positive social change against the racism and later racial prejudice in this country by their heroic example both in and out of the athletic arena. Black athletes hold a special place in American sporting tradition.