Home > 2016 January/February > A Path to Something New

 Breaking Tradition

Life is short. That’s why I decided to break with the typical holiday tradition. No more Thanksgiving, and away with Christmas. At first, my family didn’t get it. Now, they believe. I put my plan into action by spending four days In Houston during Thanksgiving last year. I had never been there….didn’t know a soul. Then, I abolished all gift-giving for Christmas, except for fruit. Didn’t give Victoria and Chase (my grands) one thing. I’m serious. When the initial shock wore off, we were all fine and the love was still there. Happy days are here again!

This year, I took a quick and cheap four day cruise to Cozumel, Mexico, during Thanksgiving. It was great. I took along some work, got some needed rest, exercised, ate some (mostly) healthy food and did a lot of people-watching on the ship. People seemed to watch me, too, because the idea of a woman traveling without a male companion seemed beyond comprehension to most. I explained I was not alone, as I had me, myself and Jesus — thank you very much. Anyway, Cozumel is a nice little island where I learned more about the ancient Mayan culture and cacao — their super food (known as chocolate to most of us). I “kind of” knew where chocolate came from, but now I really know. It comes from a fruit tree and has lots of health benefits in its natural state. I’ve added the real cacao (ka-kow) to my diet and actually invited family over for hot cacao during Christmas and that’s all (chuckle, chuckle).

WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?

In our September 2015 issue, we addressed the 10 leading causes of death in the Black community. To our dismay, homicide continues to be one of them, and we promised to take a closer look in our January issue — see page 24.   The rate at which Black men are killing each other throughout the nation AND right here in Charlotte is beyond comprehension! It’s sad. Needless. Scary. Godless. Barbaric. Stupid. It’s a big, big problem, so I ask my people, “Where is the outrage in our own community?” Sure, it’s a societal issue. No, we did not get the “40 acres and a mule,” and yes, we can point to slavery, racial discrimination, hate and a bevy of other evils that have entrapped and hindered us; however, all of these things don’t and won’t justify the hate we harbor for our own race and everyone else, as well. The total disregard and disrespect for human life is astounding. We can talk this up and down and back and forth all day long, to no avail, because, ladies and gentlemen, I believe it’s a spiritual problem and must be dealt with thusly. Please see what The Rev. Dwayne Bond says about it on page 13.

The Racial Wealth Gap

Did you know (according to a report from the Institute for Policy Studies) the richest 100 U.S. citizens have as much wealth as ALL of the nation’s 42 million African Americans??? Breathe and let it sink in. There’s tons of research out there showing how financially bankrupt we are. We should be outraged….not because we have been discriminated against, and not because we didn’t get our “40 acres and a mule.” Let’s face it, reparations just “ain’t gonna” happen. We should be outraged because we haven’t helped ourselves and each other. This is why we held our first annual ABCs of Wealth Summit on December 5. We had a packed house at Johnson C. Smith University on a Saturday morning! Terry Colen and Bruce Richardson of Blackbridge Financial, along with Shawn Williams of M&F Bank Wealth Management, broke things down for us mightily. It was “financial church,” if you will. You really should have been there! It’s well known and documented that we (African Americans ) are big-time spenders. This has to stop, if we are to move forward. Again I say, it’s a spiritual problem. More to come….

Pride Awards 2016

Please don’t forget about the Pride Awards on January 16 at the Westin. Come see how our theme, “Paths out of Poverty,” will shake down. Much appreciation to our presenting sponsors, Bank of America, Carolinas Healthcare and Wells Fargo, and to our supporting sponsors: Belk, Food Lion, Compass Group, The Charlotte Observer, WCNC, Radio One and the Westin.

In conclusion, I pray that 2016 will be a year of redemption for our people. I pray we will seek the one and only true and living God, so that He might direct our paths and that we might receive His wisdom and guidance in all we say and do. I pray we will begin to put God first in our finances, then save and give more while spending less on things we don’t need. I pray we find the courage, the time and the fortitude to help keep our young men and women from falling into paths leading to destruction.

Dee