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MAFOOMBAY

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MAFOOMBAY last won the day on September 13 2017

MAFOOMBAY had the most liked content!

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About MAFOOMBAY

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    Bridgeport, CT
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    WRITING. READING. HOUSE MUSIC.

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  1. MAFOOMBAY

    The Essence of Black Panther - Part I

    I used to believe it was a choice but now I've come to realize that there are too many outside factors that influence us. The nature/nurture argument is real and as a result, are we really making a decision or is it our instinct and learning directing our path? Between 'triggers' alerting our sub-conscious and our innate survival instinct, a 'choice' sometimes is just a fulfillment to survive - hence escapism. We need to better learn how to control our control-ables i.e what we eat, read, experience, etc. and through those methods extend our breaking point threshold or destroy it all together. But what's ironic, the more you learn and experience, especially from a Black perspective, you may decrease or become numb to triggers that affect your psyche but that light at the end of the tunnel gets smaller and smaller...
  2. So now what? We spent our money in support of an African based film; shattering records and propelling Africanism into the global equation. Our consumer aspect has always been evident but the display of unity was something new. Your Black card is revoked; I’ve seen facebook friends de-friend friends who haven’t seen it. Kente cloths in 3D. Dashikis at matinees. Busuutis at the concession stand. The display of pride was unprecedented… But how can we change this into a movement? The beginning of something big. Is it possible? Or was the display ‘for entertainment purposes only.’ One of the hardest conditions Blacks have been battling to overcome is support for one another. Black businesses struggle because we don’t want to see each other get ahead. Mainly because we each know how difficult it is to achieve so when we witness success we delegitimize the hard work – drug money, inheritance, etc. anything not including diligence. Since most of us work “twice as hard” we feel it’s unfair that one succeeds and not the other. Jealousy plays a large role as well as a systemic psychosis. We HAVE to overcome this. Knowing your role is key. Not everyone can be a business owner, a doctor, a lawyer or a professional athlete. But we all can be a conscientious consumer and support one another. When one succeeds, we all succeed. And we love spending money. By far the most giving race in America, we save less and spend more than any other group of people across the planet. ‘Keeping up with the Joneses,’ is another problem imbedded in our communities. We’re inundated with consumerism and we succumb. Gucci, Prada, Benzs, Lexuses, etc. all while struggling to make ends meet. It’s the American way and we so desperately want to be included – …and integration has failed the Black Progress. When we couldn’t, we gathered in churches and neighbors homes to plan and plot a movement. We stayed angry but used that irascibility constructively, building pride and unity. i.e. Wakanda. Colonizers didn’t want anything to do with us but as soon as they witnessed our strengths, they used integration for their advantage. The Negro League flourished until Jackie Robinson integrated MLB. And once done, the top stars of the Negro League followed suit to prove to the world that they were just as good, resulting in the inevitable demise of the Negro League. In all fields, our best and brightest, through integration, became determined to show their worth and would ultimately leave behind a community that was in desperate need of their talents. Whether in housing, education, professional fields, entertainment, this tactic depleted our development, setting us back for many years to come. So why Black Panther and not Birth of a Nation? Why support a fantasy hero and not a real one? I, for one, love history and I receive strength and inspiration from my fore-bearers but I can understand Blacks being tired of seeing one another in chains, being beaten, submissive and “weak.” But we can’t build a nation without knowing our past, becoming intimate with our struggles and acceding to our desires to be accepted. That pain hurts but we mustn’t look away but instead face it as a triumphant step into us becoming more focused on our future. But maybe it was the positive light that we were cast in. Kings, queens, scientists, warriors, inventors and unified beyond belief. Maybe that’s what we needed to see in order to become more great. Maybe, just maybe, if we start promoting and distributing these types of successes, we will continue to be on board and start building towards something special. So now there’s an appeal to all artists – painters, rappers, authors, singers, athletes and actors to now showcase positivity and distribute that new light amongst our race. Change the stigma of “Black” so we’ll support not just Black Panther but Black Doctor, Black Lawyer, Black Business Owner and Black Citizen. Once something is proven that it can be done, then: it must be done.
  3. MAFOOMBAY

    A Time to Killmonger

    And don't forget Anakin Skywalker. His backstory made you appreciate who he became. Never a Star Wars fan but his character development was extra special...
  4. MAFOOMBAY

    The Essence of Black Panther - Part I

    For me, I've learned to never fault someone for their fate (decision) - for reaching their breaking point; I'm just thankful that I haven't reached mine...
  5. T’Challa v Killmonger Good v Evil But who’s who? T’Challa, as king, is fated with protecting Wakanda, the land he rules. It’s customs, its peoples and most important, its resources primarily vibranium. This resource is the most powerful metal on the planet and as a result has transformed the kingdom he inherited into the most advanced technological civilization known to man. He’s ruler of the most dominant nation on earth albeit secretively as part of his protective plan is to keep this resource entirely within his nation. Killmonger, through events, is a native to Wakanda and feels that its his birth nation’s duty to utilize this powerful resource to conquer the world that has betrayed and second class citizen’ed not just him but all people who are descendants of the African continent. And Killmonger has a point. Here you have a nation with the ability to change the landscape of the entire planet. Utilize their resource to maintain unilateralism of economic, social, military and ethical rights. Usurp authority and ensure that equalities on all fronts are achieved on a global level. Equalities rooted in happiness. IF, that was his motivation. But he wanted revenge. He was corrupted by the ills of the world and received the short end of the stick, all of which Wakanda has the power to correct. His source was negativity and a quest for domination. And that was his mistake. And it’s not that he should be faulted; he was a product of his environment. A man (any person) can only take so much and will ultimately display the qualities of their oppressor. But two wrongs don’t make a right and his quest was subjected in self satisfaction. And although T’Challa began to use his nation’s resources to better the world near the end, was it necessary? Why does Wakanda have to be the governor of all nations? It was already proven that with just a little taste of the power of Wakanda’s most prized resource, “colonizers” couldn’t handle it. Imagine on a larger scale! But… Similar to the ‘America First’ tactic of modern day America, selfishness is never a good trait to behold. It’s bad energy. Negative energy. And like all great civilizations, they come to pass and that stinginess won’t be forgotten. And no matter how intelligent, sophisticated or advanced a nation becomes, it’s still a creation of its citizens and if those persons do not follow the law of energy, compassion, empathy and service, then that nation will fall. And true power is good. Infinite positive energy in all its forms. But without adversity how can you succeed rightfully? How can you discern good from evil? There has to be a common ground, a point before breaking, that leaves you thirsty for change balanced with a strong sense of integrity. A trait Erik lost somewhere between Oakland and his Motherland. And how severe can the pain of oppression be that he chose to be ‘buried in the ocean with his ancestors who jumped from ships cause they knew death was better than bondage.’ His life sacrificed to invoke the seriousness of his devotion into T’Challa in hopes that the king will take action. Most Blacks, at least the ones I associate with, understand Killmonger’s motives and can sympathize with him, but we don’t seek domination or retribution. We still have our integrity in tact. We desire the oppression to end and social justice to become primary but not at the expense of becoming an Oppressor. We just want right. Freedom. Equality. And opportunity. We want a Wakanda to exist in reality so that it can prove to the world that Africans can produce great things when fortuity is awarded. For more thought provoking op-eds, please visit: www.mafoombay.com
  6. Unfortunately there aren't and maybe my optimism is 'a little' too (optimistic) but from my experience working in B&N, kids aged up to 12 (13 - 17 was YA) reacted to books by themes. If the cover was funny, they laughed, sports related they'd look for common ground, etc. and that stokes my belief of race not being a factor. I even look at the cover of the Dork Diary you have above and can see a Black boy and that wouldn't affect a child's decision to be attracted to it. As long as it's not racially motivated, the 'races' can be interchanged. And I combine that with the fact that at that age group, most if not all parents are happy and excited that their child is motivated to read recreationally. It's a win-win. I'd love to see an author do that, cross the borders and see if it's possible. I thought James Patterson was going to do it when he started his YA series, piggy backing off of his Alex Cross series, but he didn't. I do believe it's possible...
  7. I think Ezra Jack Keats did a terrific job with his books of African-American leads. The Snowy Day is an all-time classic across all races and "Peter's" race is never mentioned. Although it's for younger than YA, he did it and was extremely successful. I'd consider Dork Diaries pre-YA, ages 9-13, and there are other series like Captain Underpants, Roald Dahl's books and even the Ramona series that could've been just as successful with Black leads. I think the Hardy Boys could've been Black! I can't think of a series that has tried this but I do believe it's possible for the pre-teen reader.
  8. Wow! Every man should read this with shame; every woman with pride. I can count on one hand the number of books that changed my viewpoint and altered my thinking on a subject I felt I knew extensively - The Civil Rights Movement. In response to the #metoo awareness, I wanted to find a read that was geared towards the topic of abuse, rape, degradation and the defilement of women. I had previously read “Women who run with wolves,” so that's where I started my search. A great book, but I wanted something different. And different I found (thanks Goodreads). read more... purchase
  9. For kids in that age group, I don't think it matters. The key is marketing. Kids are attracted, more so than adults, to themed covers, exciting colors and the facial expressions of the characters so I believe the ethnicity of the person on the cover doesn't matter. THEN, together with their parents, they'll read what it's about and if it's interesting they'll go for it. This series is/was extremely popular and I do believe that if the characters were Black, it would have been just as successful IF, as Black subjects, the series would have been marketed just the same. Basically, you can have Black characters just don't have racially charged themes..
  10. MAFOOMBAY

    Bestseller Seal has a typo....argh!

    It at least brought back memories, you spelled it the same way my grandmother used to pronounce it!
  11. MAFOOMBAY

    The Black Russian: Vladimir Alexandrov

    I edited it and added the links. And yes, he had a few pics and I actually added a link to the author's website you can check out. Thanks for the tips!
  12. Every now and then you find a hidden gem. A piece of history you had no idea existed or even thought to think it would. A Black man becoming a millionaire in Russia? During Jim Crow? When the south became too much to bear, Frederick Bruce Thomas migrated to the Midwest in search of escape and a better life. Settling in Chicago and Brooklyn, he worked as a waiter and sometimes cook before heading to London seeking more freedom. And as fate would have it, he ventured to Russia and while many of his fellow dark-skinned Americans were being lynched and terrorized, he was able to amass a fortune and lifestyle no one could have imagined. Once settled in Russia, away from the racism of America, he renamed himself Fyodor Fyodorovich Tomas, became a Russian citizen and utilizing his penchant for hard work and talents he learned waiting in restaurants, became one of the nation’s richest and most famous owners of theaters and restaurants. Like many other citizens, The Bolshevik Revolution ruined his businesses and barely escaping with his life and a few dollars in his pockets, he escaped to nearby Turkey where he again re-utilizing his skills and had a second run at success in Constantinople becoming ‘the sultan of jazz,’ introducing this new musical art-form to the nation. But American racism and xenophobia crept in and unfortunately he was unable to escape these unfortunate times being embraced throughout the world. A remarkable hidden story of rags to riches to ruin that has escaped the mainstream but should definitely be told to display the ‘success against all odds’ especially during arguable the world’s most tumultuous timeline. More info: http://www.valexandrov.com/summary/ To purchase: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-black-russian-vladimir-alexandrov/1112319054?ean=9780802122292 My full review: http://www.mafoombay.com/the-black-russian-vladimir-alexandrov/ http://www.mafoombay.com Fascinating to say the least.
  13. MAFOOMBAY

    Assata Shakur - the Revolutionary!

    You may say...BUT, look at the pushback he's receiving from trying to put forth his agenda - travel ban, healthcare, or pretty much anything he's attempting. Only through executive order has he "succeeded" at anything. His Supreme Court pick only sailed through not because of him but as a result of the process. The GOP I liken to a cornered animal. They fight hardest when adversed with death. Now do we kill it or are we frightened away.... Racism will never be eradicated but the true method to defeat any societal ill is SUCCESS. Teach smarts, teach pride, teach respect. This may be 2017 but we must make sure it's not 2018, 2019, 2020, etc. I'm up for the challenge to defeating the right wing agenda, are you? Bringing forth the essence...
  14. Store Manager/training manager. Yes, it affected B&N tremendously, same effect, but they've adapted; incorporating toys & games, restaurants, community outreach, etc. but unfortunately it's a struggle for them to stay afloat. Big Box retailing is declining...
  15. Habit. I worked for B&N for 15 years.
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