Lessons from Teen Mothers: "Sex is fun until..."

Black Star Project
Teenage mothers are more likely to drop out of school, be financial dependant on family members, be government dependent, and suffer low-wage jobs. Additionally, their children do less well in school and are more likely to live in poverty.

As young women prepare for their junior and senior proms, they should be aware of these lessons based on conversations with several young mothers between the ages of 14 and 18:


Popularity or Progress

Torin Ellis
I was recently asked this question: When taking over a brand new team, which is most important popularity or progress? I smiled. The term popularity during the 15th century started out as a word that meant least, low, vulgar, and/or of the common people. It took on a new meaning in the late eighteenth century by which time it began to gain a positive connotation. Another example of man manipulating change. The difference is that progress has always meant what it means today.

Show Me The Money!

Beverly Mahone
Beverly Mahone
I was doing a search online recently and came across a rather interesting site. A company called NextMark (http://www.nextmark.com) had released some statistical information on African-American baby boomers. It included the number of black women in each state; the number of black women with children per state; the number of magazine buyers; book readers, etc.

But what really caught my eye was the number of African-American baby boomers making $75,000 or more and what states they were concentrated in.

The Black Anglo Saxon

Darryl James
Darryl James
For all the talk of defining ourselves as African Americans, there are those of us who define ourselves based on the culture we have adopted, which is mostly European.

While most of us pretend to be African American, many of us are really Black Anglo Saxons.

James Earl Jones, an icon of the Black Anglo Saxons once mused that there is no Black culture, because culture is shaped by language and our language is English, therefore, our culture can not be anything else.

Watch Your Mouth

Torin Ellis
Torin Ellis
Vivid as if it were yesterday: I remember disappointing my mother in a hurtful way. In short, I was about to exit our green Buick LeSabre with spoke hubcaps and a damaged in dash radio when suddenly I yelled, "I hate my name and when I get older, I'm going to change it!" Angered, Mom reached back, with a Goody brush in hand, and tried to catch my smacker. Thank God she missed! She later explained her anger and the mandate of watching what I said. Trust me. Mandatory. No 1 - 2 - 3 stuff!

In business, the thought of someone smacking you in the mouth rarely enters the mind, but the need to monitor your words is nonetheless important. Perhaps more important in this time of "can't we all just get along," tort, heightened security, tense employee relations, and deranged personalities.

To Be Black In America: An Unflinching Necessity

Black Commentator
The Black Commentator
We are well into the 21st century and it continues to be absolutely essential to be Black in America. Beyond mere color, being Black is first and foremost a conscious political, social, and economic commitment to the struggle for the collective betterment of the descendants of the Black slavery holocaust, in what has now become the United States of America, in conjunction with other people of color and humanity as a whole.

Decide Who You Are Before Deciding What You Will Do!

Francina R. Harrison, MSW
Francina R. Harrison, MSW
Approximately 7 million Americans are unemployed in the United States. Since August 2003, our economy has witnessed severe layoffs, plant closings and overseas relocations for white and blue collar jobs. As a college student you may be wondering, “In this depressed labor market, is it possible to have the “American Dream” and be successful in the workforce and in life?” Absolutely! The proof is in the person. Look at Oprah, Bill Gates, Denzel, Beyonce, Kweisi Mfume, and Sam Walton. They’ve found the way. In a nutshell, they focused on their potential, not the economic indicators. Successful people discovered who they were “before” they decided what they would do. It’s deeper than a job with these folks. It’s about delivering their passion, purpose, personality, and potential.

Surviving Pass Over

Torin Ellis
Torin Ellis
If I were a poet, I would have crafted a slick and instructive metaphor placing you in the value chain of contribution and preparedness. Instead, just enter this reading from the angle of being at the top of your game seeking the next challenge.

Somehow the promotion went to someone you trained or the contract for the gift shop in the brand new hotel went to another firm. Ask [yourself] me the question. What happens if I am wrapped in unwavering volition yet paralyzed by outside influences? My response: One of the hardest periods in a person's professional career is to be denied access and elevation when clearly they are deserved. The rejection is painfully mental; sometimes catastrophic forcing some to curl up in corners, on floors, weeping with dismay.