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The Black; the Beautiful; the Stressed

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7am: The student wakes to their alarm clock blaring in their ear. They trudge to the bathroom to brush their teeth and to take a shower, but only if time permits. They throw together an outfit that doesn’t seem too try hard, but also embodies the “I don’t care how I look right now, it’s the morning look” that some college students just seem to adopt. The student endures four back to back, 50 minute (or maybe even an hour and fifteen minute) classes, trying to keep their sandbag like eyelids from heading south.

5pm: They work a four hour shift at their campus job, go back to their room and are greeted warmly by their six page essay and unfinished finite homework scattered across their desk.

8pm: Their phone is buzzing non-stop. It’s a Monday night, and friends want them to go out.  You politely decline. After all it’s a Monday night. Don’t they have something to do?

1am: Page four of six on that essay, and they’re stuck on question five for finite. Oh, and did I mention they have an Anatomy exam on Thursday? Their bed is calling their name, but so is their homework. “One more hour” they tell themselves. One more.

3am: Essay? Done. Finite…Finite?….Zzzzzzzzz..

7am: Repeat.

This scene setter in the general since is an accurate depiction of a typical college student’s day. Or even week.

When the term “college student” is mentioned, it is associated with white students more so than black ones. Along with that, so is the idea of being overwhelmed or stressed. While it’s illogical to say that black students are immune to stress, it is sometimes forgotten that we can feel the weight of the world on our shoulders.

It is as if black college students are incapably of leading high-strung stressful lives. It is an issue that is ongoing; an issue that needs to be addressed.

But before we can hone in on black students and stress, it must be viewed in relation to the black community as a whole.

Typically speaking when stressed or drowning in a pool of their problems, individuals within the black community do not like seeking help. Whether its family, friends or professional help, their mindset essentially is “It’s my problem, my business; therefore I’ll deal with it on my own.”

While this might just be character trait of stubbornness, underlying social effects enable the black community from seeking counseling or guidance.

In particular seeking help is considered a sign of weakness. There is this misconstrued idea that black people are these strong figures that can tackle anything that thrown at them; the idea of the “Strong black man” or “Strong black woman”. This do all, conquer all attitude is an unfair assumption to project onto other black individuals. Yes, it can be empowering; some might even wear the title like a fitted glove. But for others it’s mentally crippling to know as black people, who seek help, are seen as ill-equipped to handle their own issues. When in actuality seeking help is one of the bravest steps to take.

Another issue at hand is being too prideful to accept the help. In the black community there is no shortage of “I climbed this mountain, and crawled through these trenches to get to where I am today” Insinuating they willingly took the journey by themselves, just to prove that they could do it alone. But when resources are available to make your journey less of a hardship and more of a life lesson, do not let your struggles define who you are. Use them to help find who you are.

Nonetheless, for those who do seek out help formally of informally on their heels, without fail, is the negative stigma derived from within the black community. There are the hushed whispers and the disapproving glances toward “so and so” because they sought out help.

The black community as a whole has associated seeking help with negative connotations. While it might not be traditional to put, as your grandma might say, “your business” out there, trends in the black community today point towards a new tradition.

This is not all to say that all black people don’t know how to ask for help. There are a rare few that do. And that’s the kicker. A rare few. Why must the black community suffer in silence when the resources are so readily available?

Stress, depression, or mental illness knows no boundaries; knows no race. Seek the support and help when you need it. Seek a peace of mind.

 

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The Republican’s New Strategy

http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2012/10/31/text_message_wide-5f08dd05831da31f60248e872586c4ec0ba82ed6.jpg?s=6

Now, I know I am not the only one who received a Republican Party, endorsement text message….am I? One of the first things I’m thinking “How did they get my number?” and secondly “Why go through the trouble?” You would think that after all cyclical campaigning commercials they would finally get their point across, but political parties methods of campaigning never cease to amaze me, and when I say amazed what I really mean to say I am apathetic. Let’s be realistic here, and talk in a general sense. Will a text message, a technology that has acquired the usage of texting my “bff” about how “totes” amazing I thought her outfit was today, but totally “lol-ing” at the fact that she spilled something on it, really be used to endorse a political stance? Oh “btw”: it’s not the smartest campaigning strategy.

I understand that they’re just trying to appeal to the younger generations, by reaching out through their preferred medium. But come on, instead of looking like the hip, in style, older brother—that every girl at school has a crush on, they are coming off as the old creepy uncle that you try to avoid, and cringe every time he thinks words like “Chillax” and “Fo-sho’” are still what’s in.

Stop, just stop, that’s all I ask of you.  Stick to what you know, and what have served you well since George Washington came out the gate strong. You might think you’re thinking cunning for widening the communications tactics—you might be for some, but not for me. All I do with it is snicker and show my friends and co-workers saying, “Look at what these fools sent me!”

Check out some of them:

http://msnbctv.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/gop-text.jpg?w=400&h=299

http://towleroad.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c730253ef017d3d2d00ed970c-500wi

Have you gotten any? If so, what are your thoughts about it?

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Does Nicki Minaj want Romney to be the next President?

This past weekend, Lil Wayne released a new mix tape in his series, “Dedication 4″. One of the tracks, featuring Nicki Minaj gives listeners her unsolicited opinion on whose name she’s checking off on the ballot this year. She raps, “I’m a Republican voting for Mitt Romney, You lazy b*tches is f**king up the economy.” It is this sole line in her verse that has had twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere buzzing wild. Social media says that this is Minaj’s public, endorsement for the “Keep America American!” Campaign, but I beg to differ. If you are familiar with Nicki Minaj, she has openly expressed that she has various alter egos in her music. One of her most famous ones would be Roman Zolanski, a verbally viscous and violent boy who “emerges” from Nicki and oozes into her lyrics, when she herself has been verbally attacked. He might be the culprit for her last outburst, but who’s to honestly know. All I can think is what Nicki has done is market smart. If you don’t know what I mean by that let me lay it out for you. She has taken something that is not only politically relevant, but also socially relevant and integrated it into her music. Whether she agrees with what she’s spitting, it is irrelevant to her, because it seems to be done in the name of shock value. She wanted the attention, and she got it just with the use of a few expletives in the process.

This occurrence, although not the first time a music artist has publicly endorsed a candidate, has raised a valid question: Has the Music industry, or Music artists in general begun to affect politics, and how young adults vote? Some critics might suggest yes. I believe this assumptions stems from the fact that adolescents can be a very impressionable age group. If Adolescents and young adults take fashion advice, or vocabulary usage, and “life lessons” from the artist they’re blasting through their headphone, manipulation is easy. Who’s to say they also won’t take political advice too? But on the other end, some might argue that music, is meant to be listened to and not critically analyzed for political stances or anything else for that matter. It would be naïve to say that all burgeoning adults are truly that impressionable. With voting season creeping slowly in the distance the older public must wonder whether young adults are voting for the candidate because they agree with their policies about health care and the economy, or that their favorite artist just released a new single, with a contagious hook and are in the voting booths nodding along to it, singing “I vote Democratic, or Republican”.

What do you think?

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Welcome Back!

Target and Walmart are out of control, there are no carts available in Kroger’s and traffic is a nightmare! Could it be that the semester is just about to begin? Welcome to the Neal Marshall Black Culture Center Blog! Our new website is ready to launch, we are all shiny, new and ready for you! There are many exciting things happening at “The House” this semester and we are looking forward to seeing you.  Check out our Facebook Page and our Twitter, join and follow so that you don’t miss a thing. Stay tuned to this blog for the latest info and be careful out there!

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