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Mel Hopkins

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Mel Hopkins last won the day on December 9

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About Mel Hopkins

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  • Birthday September 8

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    https://melhopkins.com

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Atlanta Metro
  • Interests
    Jet setting, globetrotting, landlocked seafaring, book peddling recovering broadcast journalist wordsmith who dreams vividly and commits it to white space.

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  1. RIchard Murray Creative Table

    thank you for Thank you for asking! http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/melhopkins I took first novel out of circulation but you can still find me there
  2. Strategies

    First, this is a new topic so I didn't get notification. @Troy is possible to get a general notification from this forum? Also I do like the idea of proactive campaign -because it trains us in a new behavior rather than trying to break a habit...
  3. and @Troy looks like there might be proof too... I got around to reading the links in the article and Louisiana department of education has adopted the high quality content standard. It appears the literacy standard is paying off in the lower grades... When we get back to basics - as you mentioned "Knowledge is the basis for understanding" they children learn.. Aww sookie sookie they are creating readers in Lousiana!!!
  4. Yes, Jade is my oldest baby girl...
  5. @Troy Ok finally read the article. I rarely like the leaps op-ed writers take in articles but this one is right on the money. He nailed exactly why children in the inner-city or in impoverished areas are being left behind. Educational budget cuts have chopped away at any additional exposure these children can have in an effort to become literate. Someone once asked me did I ever graduate college and if I didn't how did I as single mother manage to raise 3 college-educated daughters including one that graduated from one the top universities in the world and the other from law school... At first, I was offended because he implied that since he didn't consider me one of the "better-blacks" I was an outlier. Then I took a step back from being butthurt and realized I was an outlier due to the experiences my parents afforded me. My daughters are brilliant not in spite of their environment but because of it. My oldest daughter was born when most of people our age didn't have children. She became our mascot. And like a rag doll, all of my college friends, my mom, their moms etc took her to places that I couldn't. When I could, I took her on trips, such as to museums, art shows, dance recitals , lectures that I wanted to see or visit. For what would be the first grade, she tested into the LEAD program that New York City Public Schools offered in the 80s for the gifted and talented. Her Stanford-Binet IQ measured between 130-140. We left New York City and landed in "Byrdland" where the former Senator Robert Byrd funneled so much pork barrel money into the public schools that my girls got to participate in activities such as the very first Live from Mars where the mobile and wireless telerobot Sojourner sent back pictures of Mars in 1997. My twins were 6 years old when they attended NASA's Classroom of the Future, which was one of the JPL's satellite sites for the transmission. By the time my oldest daughter graduated high school - she was awarded a full ride scholarship to West Virginia University to study in their newly created program Forensic Science... This article is dead-on... When my children were born we lived a modest life but I gave them a wealth of experiences... In fact, I pursued a career that would allow me to give them richer experiences than their wealthier counterparts. It paid off too my middle daughter was admitted into Project Arrow (another gifted and talented program) in the 7th grade. By the time, the twins were in high school, I pursued another career that would provide them more opportunities. Whereas girls their age may have been looking for the latest club to hang out over a long weekend my daughters spent their weekends and holidays in Rome, Dubai, Tokyo and famed spots here in the U.S. In their Grammy award-winning public high school music department - they sat first chair with respective instruments, the flute and trumpet, in the School's band. All this to say, this article highlights the reasons why there's educational disparity between the haves and have-nots. Since I wasn't part of the two-parent- Martha's Vineyard in the Summer - Aspen in the Winter "better blacks" Crew...I refused to let my children suffer. So, I did one better; I sacrificed myself, took every handout and hand-up and used my talents to give my girls the world and Mars. I succeeded but If you're a single-parent with no help , working from sun up to sun down; how can you expose your children to rich experiences to broaden their knowledge base? When I went to public school we went on trips to the Hayden planetariums, Bronx zoo, Botanical gardens, Museum of Natural History, etc. By the time my first daughter entered public school, she was fortunate because only the gifted and talented classes went on field trips. Some say, street knowledge and the school of hard-knocks will help our children succeed but that's only useful if we want them to survive the streets. If we want our children to thrive, we must find a way to supplement their education with experiences that will provide a foundation for learning and critical thinking. Further, If we hope for a better education for our children we must elect legislators who will stop cutting the education budget.
  6. Great response!!! I'll quote you, if i write a post for my blog.
  7. @Troy , It's also nearly impossible to evaluate (know the value) of an unknown. I'm asking how should we handle those born into the assimilation stage of learning of an unrecognized talent/discipline/field? For example, my ignorance and inability could have stifled my daughters from advancing in a field of the a talent they may possess. Years from now they may be seen as late bloomers -because they had to educate themselves on the value of their talent. How do we help those in our community to stop holding back our child prodigies from greatness?
  8. @Troy , I'm loving this discussion! Let's say a child today was born into the stage - BUT the discipline is unrecognizable to the rest of us.. We know what talent for singing looks like, math, even the natural sciences - but if there's a new discipline what happens to that gift? It's near impossible to nurture what we don't understand.
  9. @Troy I think we're saying the same thing. Artistry in this respect means the person has moved through the learning stages much faster than the rest of us. Whereas most of us are at the assimilation stage of our endeavors - maybe by the time we're 25 or older ; these "artists" were at the assimilation stage at the age of 4, 10, or 13 years old . For example, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson were playing instrument, singing and performing live before they hit puberty. Maybe it's time that allows them to proceed to artistry stage. BUT the question does remain how do some fly through those stages... How does a Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin or Michael Jackson gain awareness of a concept and then just fly through the stages? How did I start reading at 2 years old and continue on to having a high reading comprehension. Reading of all things is not intuitive. SMILE doesn't look like a but I never got stumped by it... so not sure how it happens. I think this is where we get into the field of consciousness and our ability to connect to it. By the way, the etymology of Art is skill as a result of learning or practice.
  10. When patriotism degenerates into racism.

    Yes @Troy....that's what I'm referring to and because this law exist - and he as a nfl player (free agent) can grieve possible collusion. Maybe these owners didn't speak with each other - but that's why their phone records and other items were subpoena - if there's hint of working together to keep him out - they lose and will have to remedy the grievance. It could be money i.e., the salary he would have received if they didn't work to keep him out. It's doesn't necessarily mean he will play again. Normally this grievance would have been handled by the players association but since he's unsigned he gets to represent himself against the owners. This doesn't bode well for the owners because now the proceedings become part of public record. If it were labor union to management some of the information could have been kept private. The owners were foolish for not putting him on the reserve list and suspending him for a bogus reason. @Pioneer1 yes the owners can hire and fire whom they want but as long as they are a league with rules and regulations they can not violate them... In America, you can fire whom you want but if your reasons even hints at ageism, race, or sex or any of the protected class items ...you as an employer are going to lose in court period. It's not what you'd like to happen . This is not based on anyone's opinion, it's the law.
  11. @Mel Hopkins, here is what I mean by a lack of journalism: Check out this article in Black Enterprise (that someone shared with me in a direct message via twitter). MARC LAMONT HILL JUST OPENED THE 55TH BLACK-OWNED BOOKSTORE IN THE COUNTRY.

     

    Now we know the source of the information is this website. I published the "54" number years ago.  The problem with the article is that they cite a stat,  do not reference a source, nor did they even verify the number--which would have been very easy to do if they checked this website.  I even made it easy by actually listing the Black owned stores--you don't even have to count them.

     

    Originally, I was reluctant to simply listing the stores, because people will simply copy and paste the information and take full credit for my effort.  But i think it is so important for the information to be shared I'm will to deal with it.

     

    It really just irks me so many Black owned respected publications, like Black Enterprise (#2 on my list of top 50 Black Owned Websites) will use my data without linking to it or even referencing the source.  

    1. Mel Hopkins

      Mel Hopkins

      When I saw that 55 - I immediately thought did they get that from Troy?  Did they check... You may not believe this but I actually have it flagged in my email because I wanted to see how they came up with the number.   You answered my question, thank you!   

      That is sloppy journalism. 

       

      After you took me to task over my slip up with labor participation and labor force / black women voting percentages - I began to break down the percentages into number of ... as a rule.

      That's how serious I am about presenting as a journalist even when I'm not being paid... This is an embarrassment.

       

      No attribution, no reference to the individual 55 books stores.  Who was the fact checker?  

      I don't even want to read the story, anymore but I will.  I want to see just how lackadaisical we've have become now that we 45* in office. 

       

      I hope you write Alfred Edmond, Jr. and mention it to him.  We don't have very many black publications in print.  So the newspapers/ magazines we do have should be beyond reproach. 

  12. @Troy , Excellent summation! Spoken like a true educator! I read in "The Art of Profitability" by Adrian Slytwotzky there are five levels to learning. They actually match this pyramid too. There is (1) awareness, (2) awkwardness, (3)application, (4) assimilation, and (5) artistry. @Del analyzing the results of a decision will provide an understanding of how it was derived... In fact, that is how we get understanding each other. (well that is if we care) I tend to understand you, Cynique and Pioneer and I've never met you in real... I know you all better than someone I've just met in person - because I analyzed your comments (result of your thinking) and it helps me to understand the perspective you are sharing. It's also how I achieved fairly decent grades in math and science - I've worked through the results to understand the process. Knowledge is facts, information and awareness. One can give that to another - that is exactly the foundation of education. You can't give someone the ability to use that knowledge - that's on the recipient. We test on subjects in school to see how well they've used the knowledge... In other words have they been able to assimilate the information/facts into their understanding.
  13. Another one of my hobbies is learning how to learn... I guess I should read the article before I make a statement but what the hell. I think the author is using knowledge and comprehension interchangeably... But according to educators., knowledge (awareness) comes before comprehension...
  14. Media Rules Society

    This op-ed is from South Africa but it could easily apply to us here in the United States... It's a long read but well worth it... WAKE UP!!! https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2017-12-05-media-rules-society.-it-is-a-business-not-some-crusader-for-equality-and-justice/ Media rules society. It is a business, not some crusader for equality and justice 05 Dec 2017 01:12 (South Africa) Opinionista Sandile Memela Writers and journalists are employed and handled by supremacist capitalists to attack and denigrate Zuma’s government, to perpetuate racism and protect supremacist interests. The economic status quo must be preserved, at all costs. We writers and journalists rule the society. We are powerful beyond measure. Everything that the ordinary white folk and educated blacks know comes from us. We shape and influence the perception and control their thinking. Over the last 23 years we have refined the art of black bashing. It has become an art. Of course we are not objective, accurate or fair in what we write, how we portray black people, especially the Zuma government, ministers and the State-owned Entities. They make it easier for us with their tendency to score own goals. They commit sins and mistakes like all leaders everywhere in the world, including Britain, America and Europe. But you see, the thing with Zuma and his ministers is that they are black. There is an image about blacks that has been been created. We the media must preserve it. Blacks are incapable, corrupt and destructive. They are not to be trusted. It is our responsibility as writers and journalists employed and handled by supremacist capitalists to attack and denigrate Zuma’s government. That is what we get paid to do. Period. So when some smart-ass black intellectual alleges that we lack objectivity and are unfair, we pretend that we don't know what they are talking about. Worse, if they write and submit an article to that effect, with all the evidence, we cannot run it. We spike it, throw it into the bin. Remember what John Swinton, former Chief of Staff of the most powerful and prestigious newspaper on earth, The New York Times, when asked to give a toast to the “free press” at the New York Press Club, said: “There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. “There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. “Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. “If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before 24 hours my occupation would be gone. “The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. “You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. “We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. “We are intellectual prostitutes." That is the power of being a journalist, editor or owning the media. You use your whims to make decisions. You do as you are told. Look, they would be making a good point like the fact that “objectivity is a myth”. Few people must know that journalism is not a science but a trade. It is not even a profession. But we must present it as such. It is important to keep the mind – especially of white folks and the black elite – blind. Much as they have eyes, they must remain blind to the economic inequality, land dispossession, rampant prejudice and racism and the lack of compassion in society. When they look at South Africa they must not understand what is going on. It must be through the eyes of the media. We know that prejudice and stereotypes about Zuma, the government and black people in general are buried deep in the stories we write and the images we beam. We must be complex and sophisticated about how we do that. This is what we do as the media: perpetuate racism and protect supremacist interests. The economic status quo must be preserved, at all costs. How could it be any other way. We have some of the most talented writers to determine the national discourse in this country. They come with great titles for books. For example, What If There Were No Whites! This is hardly a neutral or objective title. But you have to understand that we have to promote black dependency. We must make whites seem indispensable saviours with the power to save black from themselves. The blacks must be treated as children. They must believe that they cannot do anything for themselves without whites. 1 Every educated black must be haunted by one question: are blacks cursed? This must become a rhetorical question. They must intuitively know the answer. After all, everything they read or write is subjected to our approval. We own publishing. Look, apartheid has done a great job to make blacks become irresponsible, ill-disciplined and uncaring, especially to their own. The good thing is that they have developed the habit of not doing things for themselves, now. Yes, blacks are incapable of self-rule. They must always be reporting to someone, especially from outside their group. Even during the days of the Bantustans – barren independent mini states – they could not make things happen for themselves. That was the idea: empty them of self-responsibility to depend entirely on whites. The magic bullet effect of the media was, intentionally, to turn black leadership and its elites into consumers. We fed them news and features that would make them aspire to be like whites. As you can see, now, their tastes, preferences, political beliefs, values, outlook, class and money are exactly like those of whites. The only criterion for black success and achievement is to live like whites. No matter what they achieve, their success and status must make them ngamlas, that is, whites in black skins. Most important, they have internalised prejudice against blacks and do not have faith, hope and belief in Zuma and his government. Despite their much vaunted Steve Bantu Biko and his Black Consciousness, we must empty them of self-pride. Blacks must neither trust blacks nor support each other. Well, it has been 23 years of so-called democracy now. The position of the white minority has not changed and must not change. The status quo must be preserved. In fact, the minority has become a majority simply because we have won blacks to our way of thinking and living. We have taken over their mind. This Biko was right when he said: the greatest weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. Frankly, that is why we killed him. He was no Nelson Mandela. The only black editors and journalists must be those who are on the side of supremacist capitalists. Yes, we must recreate and reinvent John Tango Jabavu, the founder of Imvo zaba Nsundu. Black media professionals, if we must call them that, must work for and side with the exploiters and oppressors. They must devote their time and energy to attacking Zuma and his government at every given opportunity. Even when he tries to speak in Zulu, we must immediately translate to hear his thinking. Zuma is not a president. We the media have reduced him to a commodity. He is what sells our products, that is, newspapers and books and radio talk shows. Look at how the most recent books are trailblazers. In fact, we want every white journalist and academic to produce a book on Zuma or any of his ministers and or government. The motive is to mould and shape how whites and the black elite view the ANC government. The latter must be crippled and forced into a coalition. By 2019, we want the ANC out of power. We have The President’s Keepers and Enemy of the People. They are the very latest sensations. Both are destined to do very well among readers as they confirm white prejudice: blacks are corrupt and destroying the country. If you are smart you will see the incestuous relationship between journalism, media and business. The one feeds into the other. But I will not amplify on this point. It gives too much away. However, we will defend any journalist who is threatened for whatever reason. We will wave court interdicts and demand freedom of the media and expression. We will reject and defy their right of reply. We will use that obfuscation to promote, protect and preserve ourselves and the legacy of our European ancestors. Yes, it was whites that introduced journalism into this society. Remember Thomas Pringle? As editors, journalists and the media, we do not answer to any man, including the president. We are a law into ourselves. For that, we must thank our white academics and intellectuals who have been mistaken for revolutionaries. They own and write ANC policy. But one thing that must be clear: this is our country. We love the flag. We love the country. Yes, we love Mandela beyond the grave. We designed and drew the flag. The rainbow (nation) does not feature the colour black. But yes, we must espouse nonracialism. Of course, you may want to know where black media ownership, editors, journalists and writers feature in all this. Do we have to discuss this? Those who know will ask: who do black journalists report to? Where do so called-black media owners get their money? We have to create the myth of independence and freedom for so-called black-owned media. The so-called independent black media gets its story ideas from us. We set the agenda. For a black journalist to be a hero, they must be seen to be fighting for their people. To be seen to be doing this they must, at every given opportunity, attack anything associated with Zuma and his government. This is what must occupy the minds of the black elite: Zuma must go! The good thing is not just that Zuma sells. It is that blacks spend time discussing and dissing him. They must repeat our lies to themselves. Thus they have no time to focus on anything else to take them forward. We said black leaders are their worst enemies. Through their mistakes and sins, they make things easy for us, feeding media stories. Take the book Khwezi, for instance. It is a piece of cake. The author is a great hero now. The perspective is not to tell the story of this black woman and how her family contributed to liberation struggle. Instead, Khwezi must be reduced to a rape victim. Her family must be forgotten as symbols of black resistance. This rape-victim perspective perpetuates the best image of the black man: a rapacious beast. This is not just about the black man who can't keep his pants zipped up. Anyone that writes such a story – black or white – will surely be rewarded with prestige, honour and status. Also, don’t forget who the judges are when it comes to media competition and awards. We the media owners pay for that. It is an investment. We the media simply do not believe in objectivity or truth. In fact, as owners we always want editors, journalists and writers around who will make us feel comfortable. All the better if they like playing tennis, golf or schmoozing at lunch. They must drink a lot – single malt whisky. We own this country and must protect our interests. We don’t want any militant black radicals with silly Black Consciousness or Pan Africanist ideas with whom we will have to watch our language. We want sycophants who will laugh or play deaf when we blurt out the dreaded K-word. Nobody should be offended by white racism. Well, most of the pioneers of Black Consciousness have been eradicated from the newsrooms. There is not and must not be a single publication or institution that espouses Black Consciousness. What we have now are bloody sycophants who do as they are told. The handful of black media owners are only interested in money. These are fine young men and women who know which side their bread is buttered. Most of the time, they are willing to sell... the soul of black folks. They are only interested in the false status bestowed by a picture byline and appearing on TV. Neither do they question authority. In fact, they have become part of a history and system they fought against. Above all, they too want to live well like whites with homes in the suburbs, children in white schools, double garages and English as home language. Biko is dead, especially his spirit. His peers have been sucked into the corrupt government. Nobody remembers that Biko used to write for a community newsletter. He was a people’s journalist if you like. But as for his BC comrades, they too love money more than their people. Money and what it can buy makes people forget history. The good thing is we have identified and employed proper blacks to run the media. We must continue to make sure they make the correct editorial decisions about how to cover Zuma, his government and black people, in general. There must be a negative story a day. Yes, rape, pap geld, violence, corruption. If not, feed them stories on celebrities in entertainment or sport. Even those who work for the SABC must share the white way of thinking. Their values and orientation must be to see the black government as an enemy of the people. Yes, the Zuma government and blacks in general must be seen as crime- prone and derelict. Every whiff of scandal must be blown up. There will be no stories of black achievement telling the Good News about the miracle of Nelson Mandela country. The man is dead. But maybe we are wrong or even self-delusional as white media. Well, people will have to tell us WHY they think we may be wrong. This was intended to explain why certain things happen the way they do. It is not a coincidence. However, this is not a defence for the white media agenda. It is a simple explanation for our new recruits. Well, as for the black media agenda... we wish some black upstart can tell us what is the agenda of black editors, journalists and the media owners. I think they too wish to milk the state. It is what it is. Media is a business, not some crusader for economic justice, equality, justice and to support calls for the return of the land. The business of business is business and business must be protected. DM Sandile Memela is Executive: Media & PR, SA Revenue Service (SARS). He writes in his personal capacity. He writes in his personal capacity. Get overnight news and latest Daily Maverick articles
  15. When patriotism degenerates into racism.

    Amen @Cynique !!! And twitter, the pulse of the country, mainstream media, as well as every day citizens have articulated the #TakeaKnee movement is about police brutality and state-sanctioned murders. They are now drowning out the rhetoric the protest was to dishonor the military. AND Walter Scott's murderer (south carolina police officer) got 20 years in prison and the Chicago police officer who shot 16 rounds into a car filled with teens, wounding two got 5 years in prison... Prior to these guilty verdicts , it seemed only black law enforcement officers were being convicted of killing citizens. Plus neither of these men will ever serve on the police force ever again. This Take a Knee protest has caused a shift in consciousness And @Troy. while Kaepernick probably wants to play (it is his vocation by the way) but filing a grievance against the owners is a strategic move to expose their backdoor dealings...While the complaint is collusion there's no way to know what else will come as a result. As I've said before I read the captions of LAW 360 media and entertainment lawsuits being filed daily - and these celebrities don't even play at our level... It's an understatement to say they are out of our league when it comes to strategy and tactics. If nothing else, the imbroglio managed to put a dent into football ratings that are down compared to last year.
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