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Mel Hopkins

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Everything posted by Mel Hopkins

  1. I hope Beyonce wins next year. She's the only artist I can recall who has used their platform to communicate the complexities of life for black women in America . Kendrick Lamarr's experiences are not mine and I've lived the african-american experience far longer than he . I would have preferred the membership designate this prize for his ability to capture the complexity of modern life of a black man in America... Still, congratulations to KL for being recognized by a body that I hold in high esteem.
  2. It all begins with the character. The story has its genesis in the character. Without the character - there is no story. Whenever I'm having a problem writing fiction, ( or even in my own life) I know I have to return to the protagonist. If she's fully developed then I have to concede that maybe she's in the wrong story. -Originally Posted in The Thriving Writer
  3. Pulitzer Prize Winning Emcee

    @Troy , maybe not a video (although I think I did see large women in her formation video) but Beyonce' tours with plus-size dancers and singers. I saw them in the coachella performance. I was surprised too - because I don't know of any mainstream artists who uses nontraditional singers and dancers.
  4. Pulitzer Prize Winning Emcee

    @Pioneer1 You've raised another perspective that I didn't think of when talking about Beyonce' performances and music documenting the black woman's experience in America - but since her mother was a hair stylist and owned a beauty salon , you're correct she even displays the aesthetic experience of black woman in America - one that she undoubtedly saw when visited her mother's hair shop. I know I did when I visited my aunt's beauty salon. Black -women have been donning blonde wigs (now weaves) for as long as I've been alive and definitely before I was born - because I've seen them in my familyphotos.. Still I can see from your perspective as a black man thinking that black women such as Beyonce are emulating the white woman look - but as a black woman I can share with you this is par for the course of black womanhood. We've adorn ourselves with crowns of all colors since times immemorial ... our crowns are our glory - and you're correct many of us do suffer psychologically when our hair ain't did. I think any woman who is trying to look like Beyonce is simply a fan... I wore a baseball cap and ponytail pulled through when Janet did Rhythmnation - in fact, a lot of us did. It's just fun. Now as for her light complexion - you already know we come in all colors sometimes right in our immediate family. My maternal grandmother was fair-skin with hazel-green eyes. I have cousins who are whiter than paper - and they had two black parents. I think the fact that she goes hard to represent black womanhood through all our stages - means a lot to young women. There's one young Black woman on twitter who went viral because she learned Beyonce's recent choreography from coachella - and executed it flawlessly. This young woman looks pretty much how you described those who might be harmed by Beyonce's aesthetics and all I saw from her was high self-esteem. Still you may see different cross section of young women in the black community so I can't speak to that with any conviction, Links: Twitter imbriyounce
  5. @Delano Yes, it does and it doesn't discriminate either! A lot of people think it's too scary to invest or they don't have enough knowledge. I used a few hundred dollars to day trade and it was exciting. My method was purchase shares where I shop and pay attention - since the market is very emotional. Your suggestion is also an intuitive as well. With this new "tax reform" taxes are higher on earned income while it seems it will go easy on investment income. @Pioneer1 I absolutely agree and according to several reports inspired by #bankblack campaign there are at least 38 blackowned banks and credit unions in the united states as of 2016. There are even two black-owned banks in Detroit, Michigan Since the #bankblack campaign, black-owned banks such as the largest One United Bank boast $650 M in assets. It's not $2 TRILLION + chase bank type-assets but it's black-owned. I joined in on all the hype and this is my next bank for my savings account. Links: WatchtheYard.com 38 Black Owned Banks And Credit Unions: Putting Your Money Where It Counts Essence.com #BankBlack: A Listing Of Black-Owned Banks & Credit Unions In The United States Oneunited.com ONEUNITED PRESS RELEASES & MANAGMENT MX.com Money Summitt Biggest US Banks by Asset Size (2018)
  6. @Delano , exactly! and the use of ignorance here is not derogatory! At least I'm not offended because money, banking and finance are not easy topics. Yes, home economics is and was a powerful tool. I benefited from it growing up - and I actually can feed my family on a budget, make their clothes, repair furniture and balance a check book to name a few things that fall under the umbrella - BUT what I could have benefit from early on is learning how to feel comfortable asking for payment when I share my IP with others. Understanding value and worth and compensation didn't come naturally for me. Coupled that with a system set up where a person of color or a woman are usually under-compensated, chances are it's going to be difficult accumulating and keeping wealth. If you are black woman, employers feeling justified to pay you 66 cents on the dollar they would pay a white man in the same position. And that's if you're hired in the first place. We see the same disparity in funding technology businesses founded by black women compared to black or white males. Just today, I read the U.S. Senate is going to vote (or may have already voted) to roll back consumer protections that insure that auto dealers don't charge minorities higher interests rates on their auto loans. Here in Georgia they just past a law where taxes are higher on used cars, than new. So put those two together and you penalized for not buying a brand new car and if you have to borrow then you'll pay a black tax too! I probably could go on - but I'll end with this - we know that most of our wealth is in real estate and personal home ownership. Yet, here's the catch, most minorities are regulated to areas where properties are undervalued because their owners are minorities. My home that bordered Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy Brooklyn sold for about $350 K in 1992 - My family's brownstone was in peak condition and even had a drive-in garage. Most of our neighbors were Black. Today, after gentrification and white flight back to takeover of Brooklyn, the house is in worse condition and the garage is gone... but the property is selling for $2 million. Even if minorities move to areas where the properties have a high value - those values go down if the balance of white-to-black ratio shifts... BUT If the real goal is wealth-building then we're going to need to invest that money into keeping education PUBLIC! This way all the schools don't become private forcing minorities to take out even more high-interest loans even sooner than college just to educate their children. If we really want to get serious about wealth-building then return state colleges to low-cost and free again. Then most young people will start employment accumulating assets on the job instead being $100-200k in debt before they get their first paycheck.
  7. Hi Tanny, This proposal assumes educational attainment is tied directly to wealth. If it were then how could we explain white males who have less than or only a high school diploma have more wealth than blacks who have obtain doctorates in their field? Currently only about 33% of all americans over the age of 25 have a college degree or higher - 37 % of those who identify as white ; 23% of African-Americans; 55% of Asian-Americans; 16.4 % Hispanic - Americans - And Africans from Sub-Saharan countries are the highest educated of all imimgrants to the US with 41% of them holding bachelors degree and higher ...Yet it is estimated by 2053 black wealth will be at 0 if we keep on this path. So I don't think education is the answer to the wealth problem. I'm all for an educated populace but it's not the answer to wealth disparity. Links: Demos.org Why White High School Drop Outs Have More Wealth Than Black College Graduates Fortune.com More Education Doesn't Always Mean More Money Among Minorities, Study Finds TheHill.com Census: More Americans have college degrees than ever before Latimes.com African immigrants are more educated than most — including people born in U.S. The Guardian.com Median wealth of black Americans 'will fall to zero by 2053', warns new report @Pioneer1 that's not a black problem that's a human defective behavior problem - - one of the billionaire Mellon's just passed away allegedly due to his oxycontin abuse problem. He was only 54... Aside: @Troy I didn't even last a year on facebook. I had to delete my account again. Not only did I begin to feel like I was losing brain cells... I just can't go there with Mark Z and his scheming ways. I'm getting ready to delete instagram next. Soon AALBC will be the only social network I'll use. And of course, anyone who wants to visit me or track my movements on my websites can but I've had enough of this being a "product" for social network billionaires . Ok back to the education question
  8. Strategies

    Not sure how this author, Minerva Stewart found me but I'm glad she did or I wouldn't have heard of her book, "My Awfully Wedded Husband". I'm going to go out on a ledge here and suggest that she might have found my blog post through a search engine because in the post, I have the phrase "dark comedy". I didn't review a dark comedy - but still she found my post useful enough to leave a message. I'll most likely pick up her book because I happen to like dark comedies... Anyway, search engines can be another tactic to finding your book's audience. I'm not sure if there's software that will help you sort out your exact target but at least you'll find websites that may lead you to your market. Ms. Stewart found me - a black divorced woman who writes, is a media junkie who also enjoys dark comedies. If she hadn't left a message on my blog I wouldn't have known she or her book existed - but now I'm a "fan". Who knows, I could be easy mark - but it's worth a try to get directly to your audience.
  9. DAMN by Kendrick Lamarr won a Pulitzer Prize for music...
  10. Please let us know who you are. What you'd like to accomplishment. How we can help you get the most out of this club? Provide your goals, expertise and even your expectations. Share as much or as little - and add when you feel comfortable. Thank you for being part of #readingblack.com movement and we want to make sure the movement serves us all. As for me, I read as much if not more than I write. So far, I've written, published two fiction titles and I’m working on a memoir. The former got me a full-page feature in a major business magazine; the latter is proving to be difficult to format. On the digital front, I've acquired several domain names currently valued at $10K. From those highly-coveted names, I’ve launched a personal website, a news magazine website that is growing in popularity due to the strategic alliances I’ve built with AALBC.com and PRNewswire. com I was half of a two-person start-up team who created and developed a popular lifestyle website and a weekly live 2-hour radio talk-show. With sweat-equity, and free social networks such as Myspace, Facebook, and BlogTalkRadio we built an engaged community for the website. By 2008, the Facebook page had 100K fans. We invited the most loyal fans to write for the site. In 2010, the website had a global ranking with an estimated value of about $35K. If sold, it would have been nearly 100% profit. The co-founder changed the format and pushed me out. The website lost 90% of its value after the community dwindled. Since 2002, I've consulted in Media Relations with a focus on building communities and creating strategic alliances. I've accumulated millions of dollars in earned media for myself and clients in publications with a monthly multimillion readership. Before building a media consulting business, I was responsible for corporate communications of several multimillion-dollar funded high-profile nonprofit organizations. I took those skills to work for a large customer-facing financial institution where I worked closely with marketing to handled internal communications and special projects for the Community Reinvestment Act department. As News Anchor and Managing Editor, at a CBS network affiliate, led a team of editors, photographers, reporters to produce #1 rated weekend newscast that gained 27% of market share. As AM drivetime news anchor/reporter for iHeart (formerly Clear channel) Radio Station 1170 AM WWVA acquired Associated Press credits for contributing breaking news resulting in an AP Radio Partner Award. Several national magazines and newspapers have published my features and opinions. Prior, I worked for trade book publishers, G.P. Putnam's Sons and Penguin USA (before the merger) in Special Sales, and Academic Marketing & Sales from 1987-1992. Oh, did I mention I spent 8-years flying the friendly skies for a major U.S. commercial airline?
  11. Listening

    Listening is the easy part of the conversation. The intake/input is stimulating. Once someone belabors a point then the conversation is a wrap. I know then the person isn't convinced of her/his own ramblings.
  12. Prison Economics

    LOL! I'm going to look for the oldest record I have relating to this topic and see if I can find it through google today.
  13. Prison Economics

    @Delano It means that I'm a purist when it comes to source material or at least when I was reporting for public record. At that time I couldn't even use the newspaper as a source. I could only use primary sources to write the story for publication. So, don't get it twisted when I stick up for Wikipedia but I recognize it's a good reference starting point. @zajiI agree and that's what makes me feel bad for not participating in the editing. But I do have adobe's convert this webpage into a pdf and before that I used to copy & paste and I have files that no longer exist on the web - which is a bit scary to me too!
  14. Prison Economics

    Yes! And I even have an account to edit entries ( @Troy does too ) but I just don't have time to fight with those others nerds...
  15. Prison Economics

    @Troy Wikipedia is a resource that contains primary and secondary source information. There is no need to dismiss Wikipedia when you can actually challenge and update information. Besides, if it doesn't come directly from personal experience everything is to be attributed as "reported by /referenced" ... And who writes a dissertation and cites Wikipedia, anyway? That's not what it's for...it's a collaborative work that is neither conclusive nor definitive. Anyway, Shirley Chisholm's page contains 71 reference sources - so unless you dispute all those references then Chisholm's Wikipedia page is a good source. Oh, and signed a veteran journalist who wasn't even allowed to use the newspaper as a source when researching and reporting
  16. The Essence of Black Panther - Part II

    I added this press release to support what @Cynique wrote . Black Panther was just an in to get us to spend $1.5 trillion that we beg borrow and steal to spend - because we surely haven't amassed that fortune in our community.. Economist say by 2053 if we continue to trend - black wealth will be 0.. right now it's >1 percent.
  17. The Essence of Black Panther - Part I

    @MAFOOMBAY it seems as if you still do - much of what you've written here is what I would use in an syllogism to support choice.
  18. Cultural Wars and the Black Panther

    before 1400?, Makeda Queen of Sheba, Imhotep, Cleopatra, the alchemist, Memnon, - I got 4 but I know the gods/goddess a little better..
  19. @TroyThank you! I was hoping you used Yawatta's review. Not because of the stars but she really read the book and dissected it! Also, even though Amazon snatched up goodreads the authors and readers seem extremely passionate about books.
  20. Thank you @Wendy Jones - I guess I'm not amazon dependent as I thought... but I am also on goodreads.
  21. The Cost of it ALL

    @D.E. Eliot Thank you for sharing your journey.
  22. The Essence of Black Panther - Part I

    Re: this sentiment It's a choice. And it absolutely explains why some in the black community choose escapism.
  23. The Essence of Black Panther - Part II

    Lexus' Genius Product Placement in Marvel's Black Panther Movie Highlights Growing Influence of African Americans' Buying Power ROCKVILLE, Md., March 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- African Americans continue to have a supersized influence on the U.S. economy. By 2020 African Americans are projected to have a buying power of $1.5 trillion with a cumulative growth of 16% and a compound annual growth rate of 3% from 2015-2020, according to market research firm Packaged Facts in the report African-Americans: Demographic and Consumer Spending Trends, 10th Edition. Skeptics about the cohort's financial clout have to look no further than the recent success of the 2018 blockbuster Marvel superhero movie Black Panther, which has enjoyed record shattering returns and which to date has grossed more than $900 million globally. The film was a surefire success almost from its creative inception and official announcement four years ago as the news sent a simmering excitement through a black community starved for more minority representation in comic book movies. While Disney's Marvel Studios cheered the film's success, so too did car maker Lexus. Movie goers got a look at Lexus' new luxury LC coupe which is featured prominently in a major chase scene through the streets of South Korea. The scene marked two years of collaboration between Lexus and Marvel Studios. Packaged Facts' research revealed that product placement in movies and television shows resonates with African-American consumers. For example, black consumers are more likely to remember the brand name product characters use in a movie and try products they have never tried before that they have seen in a movie. Seeing a product used in a movie is also more likely to reassure black consumers that the product is a good one. Furthermore, when African-American consumers are online or in a store and see a brand name product they recognize from a movie, they are more likely to buy it than its competitor. Car manufacturers featuring their vehicles in comic book movies isn't anything new. However, as AutoNews.com states in an article, Lexus' multicultural marketing agency, Walton Isaacson, openly admits that the idea to for collaboration and product placement in Black Panther represented an opportunity to link the car maker with a cultural event. In addition to the product placement in film, Lexus leading up to the Black Panther release commissioned an original graphic novel, Black Panther: Soul of a Machine, featuring the LC 500 and a Lexus takumimaster craftsman as heroes. And don't forget the Black Panther-themed Super Bowl ad for Lexus. In the end it proved to be a shrewd strategy for Lexus. AutoNews.com reveals that there was "an explosion" of ad impressions across TV, social media, and in theater due to the film and the product tie-in. Further, in the week following Black Panther's domestic premiere on February 16, online searches for Lexus at shopping site Autotrader were up 15% from the previous week. Likewise, Autotrader revealed that online traffic for the LC 500 specifically was up 10%. It's impossible to say how many of these searches were performed by African Americans, However, based on Packaged Facts' previously referenced research on the impact of product placement on African Americans combined with the fact that Lexus is already popular with minority consumers, it's fair to deduce at least a portion of the searches were by black shoppers. Packaged Facts' data also revealed that African Americans are among the biggest car buyers in America. Between 2012 and 2015 spending by African-American consumers on new cars and trucks increased from $13 billion to $20 billion. Further, the 51% increase in spending by black households on new automotive vehicles significantly outpaced the 27% increase registered by other households. But it's not just new cars that get lots of love. Spending by African-Americans on used cars and trucks grew more than twice as fast as comparable expenditures by other consumers. About the Report African-Americans: Demographic and Consumer Spending Trends, 10th Edition analyzes recent consumer spending and demographic trends for the African-American population in the United States. View additional information about the report, including purchase options, the abstract, table of contents, and related reports at Packaged Facts' website: https://www.packagedfacts.com/African-Americans-Demographic-10293172/. About Packaged Facts Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, consumer packaged goods, and pet products and services. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. For more essential insights from Packaged Facts be sure to follow us on Twitter and Google+. For infographics, tables, charts and other visuals, follow Packaged Facts on Pinterest. Please link any media references to our reports or data to https://www.packagedfacts.com/. Press Contact: Daniel Granderson 240.747.3000 dgranderson@marketresearch.com View original content with multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lexus-genius-product-placement-in-marvels-black-panther-movie-highlights-growing-influence-of-african-americans-buying-power-300611592.html SOURCE Packaged Facts
  24. RIchard Murray Creative Table

    @richardmurray thank you for thinking of me and thank you for bringing this project to my attention. I barely make enough time for my current writing projects so for now I have to pass. By the way, I don't write or speak Portuguese, lol.
  25. Cultural Wars and the Black Panther

    I'm not sure about Australia but I've read a lot of news articles about the chinese owned corporations setting up factories in Kenya and other parts the continent that are not environmentally friendly and - the Kenyan government has finally gotten around to shutting them down. So would business owners and workers count as non-government entities? Also, I don't look at chinese nationals doing landgrabs in African nations as a positive. In fact, Chinese nationals own a lot of the hotels and other properties here in the U.S. and also noted for being in bed with jared kushner for that 666 park avenue deal ... nah they need to keep wakanda anything out of their mouths - they don't do us right either...