How To Come Back From A Forced Change In Career

Two of the focuses of my blog are Career Discussions and General Education. As some point, there are inevitable changes in our careers. Many workers are not prepared for changes, though they must figure out how to move forward. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Come Back From A Forced Change In Career.

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There are times where we suddenly take a change of course in our career for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s a decision that we make, and sometimes it isn’t. When that change of career is forced upon us, due to a lack of demand for your current role, redundancy, a drop in sales, or something bigger, there are things you can do to help ease into the transition, from one career to another. Here are some ideas from people who have been there before, and ways in which you can prevent the changes impacting you significantly.

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Try something you enjoy
There may be a franchise out there for you, that you have always wanted to try, having a look at the Franchise Direct, might find the right one that you’ve always been looking for, or there may be a hobby that you currently have that you can turn into a career. There are many big business owners, who will tell you that doing what you enjoy will help you in your success. There is some psychology behind this because we always work harder when we want to, and if we are doing something that we enjoy doing, then we will, of course, want to. But finding out what this does take time, so if you aren’t lucky enough to have time to change your mind, then thinking back about all the roles that you have taken in the past, and which ones you enjoyed the most, may point you in the right direction.

Back to basics
Going back to basics, whether that is starting a course on a new subject, going back to school, or rebooting your existing business, there is a world of opportunity At your feet, and there is plenty that you are able to do in the opportunities you have been given. Going back to basics can actually mean many things, but if there is something that you’ve always wanted to learn, it may be a great opportunity to try now. Taking your time and really discovering what the intentions of your learning is, and making sure that you do your best along the way, will have you coming out the other end feeling great about it. And learning a new skill can boost your career in ways you may never have imagined before.

Stay calm
If you’re changing career isn’t necessarily your choice, then it may be a bit of a shock to your system, and might be a stressful time for you. But nobody is productive whilst they are panicking, so making sure that you have a plan, are keen to ensure that you fix the problems ahead, and do your very best, then there’s no point worrying about anything else. A calm mind is a productive mind, and you will find yourself in a much better position if you look after your mental health through this time.

So even though change isn’t always easy, it can be as good as a rest and may bring opportunities that you could not have imagined before. So taking care that you calmly look at your options, and make the right decisions for you is important.

6 Top Tips For Staying Focused Whilst Studying

A key focus of my blog is General Education. A key to academic success is the ability to study. Some people have problems studying and focusing, particularly in ascending levels of education. The following contributed post is entitled, 6 Top Tips For Staying Focused Whilst Studying.

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Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

One of the hardest things about university is knowing how to stay focused while you’re studying. Whether you’re studying for your undergraduate degree or your Master’s you need to be sure you’re staying as focused as you possibly can at all times. Whilst it may be overwhelming at first, there are lots of tips and tricks you can pick up to ensure you’re doing exactly that. From setting yourself mini-deadlines to working in a quiet area, you may be surprised at what you can do to improve your focus. With that in mind, here are 6 top tips for staying focused whilst studying:

– Set Yourself Mini-Deadlines

One of the best ways to ensure you’re staying focused is to set yourself mini-deadlines, as this will give you something to work towards. Whether that means writing a certain amount of words a day or having a certain section of your textbook memorised before a specific date, you need to ensure you’re setting yourself timeframes. If you don’t have these time frames in mind, chances are you’re going to end up doing everything last minute. For a guide to setting yourself personal deadlines, you can visit this site here.

– Work In A Quiet Area

If you struggle to work in crowded areas that are noisy, you may want to think about finding somewhere quiet to go instead. Whether that means sitting in your dorm room or going to the quiet area in the library, it’s important you’re finding an environment you’re comfortable working in.

– Avoid All Distractions

Another great way to ensure you’re staying focused is to avoid as many distractions as you can. Although it can be difficult to avoid everything, you need to try your hardest to say no. From saying no to going out on an evening where you have to study to switching the TV off when you can’t concentrate, distractions are something that should never be welcome For tips and tricks when it comes to avoiding distractions, you can visit this site here.

– Find Out How You Work Best

No matter what subject you’re studying, you need to be sure you’re finding the way in which you work best. Whether you’re studying for a Masters Degree in health administration or an Undergraduate Degree in marketing, finding the way in which you prefer to work will be incredibly beneficial.

– Try Not To Study Too Much

Although this may seem counterproductive, you need to ensure you’re not studying too much. Taking breaks is essential to your health.

– Use Common Productivity Methods

Finally, you may want to consider using productivity methods. From taking a break every 20 minutes to working for an hour at a time, you can try as many as you want until you find the one for you.

Are you looking for some tips and tricks to help you stay focussed whilst you’re studying? What can you do to ensure you’re staying on top of your studies? Did we miss anything? Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.

Picking Up New Skills for Better Personal and Professional Development

Two key focuses of my blog are General Education and Professional Development/Skills. No matter what your professional training is in, you can never have too many skills. Likewise, you never know where certain skill sets are going to translate for the betterment of your life. The following contributed post is entitled, Picking Up New Skills for Better Personal and Professional Development.

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https://unsplash.com/photos/cYUMaCqMvl

No one should ever stop learning if they want to reach their potential. Learning anything offers a variety of opportunities no matter who you are, and it gives you the chance to explore new ideas and experiences that others – especially those who gave up on learning – could never imagine.

But, there is so much to learn that it’s challenging to decide what to focus on. There are a variety of options to choose from. You can try something creative, you can learn to follow and expect current trends, or you can consider improving on what you are already proficient at. Regardless of what type of learning you indulge in, you can feel confident that it will open a world of opportunity for you.

Do Something Creative

Creativity is something that too many people believe you are just born with. However, anyone who works in the creative industry, or indeed likes to spend their free time flexing their imagination, will tell you that what it really takes is hard work.

Learning to do something creative, whether it’s learning how to draw or paint or mastering the Piano in 21 Days, among a wide range of other adventures, will be a welcome change from the daily monotony of work.

Giving your mind a break from the serious is excellent for your mental health. Furthermore, with enough practice, you may even find yourself with a useful side hustle to take advantage of in retirement.

Predict Trends

Being able to predict trends will allow you to stay ahead of the pack in the business. By anticipating the next big thing, just like the social media giants did with Facebook and the like, you could find yourself pioneering your industry and taking strides that competitors could never dream of.

There will be times where you get ideas and predictions wrong, but you were never supposed to be some Nostradamus-esque magician.

You can use your knowledge of the industry and its history to consider what might come next, and if you put enough work into it, there is plenty of success waiting for you.

Improve On What You Are Already Good At

While it’s useful to learn a new skill, there’s also plenty of benefits from perfecting what you already know. This can apply to anybody, whether you are a snowboarder or a salesperson. There is always more for you to do and learn.

Becoming the leader in your business will set you apart from those who became satisfied with their current skill level. However, if you become comfortable, you also risk becoming complacent.

Continuously striving to be better than one person: yourself is sure to give you a challenge every day, meaning you’ll never get bored and always have someone to compare yourself to.

Thinking of Your Future

It’s vital to think of your future no matter what you do. By opening up your skillset, you give yourself even more potential to succeed in whatever you do. All skills take a lot of hard work and dedication, but if you care about discovering better personal and professional development, you understand that it is worth it.

You’re Never Too Old To Learn

A key focus of my blog is General Education. There is no age on learning. For every stage of our lives there are opportunities to learn more skills or even to go back to school. If you’ve haven’t been in school for a while, there are ways to get back into the educational arena. The following contributed post is entitled, You’re Never Too Old To Learn.

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https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-blur-business-close-up-239548

Past papers are an ideal resource for children approaching their exams. However, those reaching the end of their compulsory education are not the only ones that can benefit from such a resource. Adult learners, of all ages and abilities, can also benefit from acquiring past papers to support their learning and exam revision.

Whether you are looking to update your skills to better support your children, getting qualifications to improve your career, or simply learning for fun, past papers can help. Using them aids in both building your confidence in your existing abilities and improving your exam techniques.

If you’re involved in education and you don’t provide past papers as part of your service or marketing efforts, you’re really missing out. The guys over at KW2 can shed further light on this and how to reach the right people.

Build Your Confidence With Past Papers

There are many reasons why individuals reach adulthood without school-based qualifications. For some, the school was just not the right environment for learning, for others their teenage years were too difficult to even consider the importance of their schoolwork. Whatever the reason, many individuals decide in adulthood that the time has come to gain control over their learning and get those qualifications at last.

One of the benefits of learning as an adult is that there are many different routes that can be taken. However, whichever route you choose, you still need to develop confidence in your own abilities; this can often be the biggest stumbling block faced by adult learners. Any confidence you do have in your ability to achieve the results you want is constantly fighting for space with doubt, lack of time, work and other commitments, and everything else that comes with being an adult. However, all is not lost, and by supplementing the route you have chosen with revision past papers, you can build your confidence in the peace and quiet of whatever time you have available.

Having access to past papers and other online resources means that you can study whenever is convenient for you. You don’t need to be surrounded by other people – you don’t even need to leave the house. You can use your past exam papers first thing in the morning, before work; or stay up that extra half an hour and study when the house is quiet at night. You can even take you past paper to the library, the coffee shop, or the local pub; wherever you feel confident and settled.

Improve Exam Technique

It is not just children that struggle when it comes to exam techniques. The struggle is even more real for adults who still have the memories of past exams. While teaching strategies, subject coverage, and technology may have changed, the basic exam rules have not. So, how do you lay the ghosts of the past to rest, and approach your new exams with the right techniques? The answer lies in access to past papers. You can perfect your technique and increase your confidence by doing so.

Did Social Integration kill Black American Businesses?

“Integration hurt black businesses. There used to be black businesses all up and down Jefferson Avenue and William Street!”

This essay is a follow up to my piece discussing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of the burning house, and Dr. Claud Anderson’s prophecies involving the issues plaguing Black Americans today. In this piece I will discuss whether a result of “Social Integration” contributed to the destruction of black businesses. While we celebrate the victories of the Civil Rights Movement, many have questioned the aftereffects of those historic victories.

Many of my writings discuss growing up in Buffalo, NY as a member of “Generation X”, specifically, some of the familial, social, cultural and racial aspects. My generation grew up in Buffalo following the exodus of the city’s steel industry, in addition to the ‘post-Civil Rights’ era. Our elders, the “Silent Generation” and the “Baby Boomers”, grew up in Buffalo when the steel industry boomed and experienced the Civil Rights era. You could argue that we came of age literally in two different worlds and are now existing as adults in two different worlds mentally.

The opening quote of this piece comes from a gentleman named “Gus”. Gus is a retired black business owner, a Baby Boomer who owned a steak shop near the corner of Jefferson Avenue and William Street in Buffalo. In addition to the pizza and wings it’s classically known for, there are also numerous steak shops that make nice greasy Philadelphia-style cheese steaks which is what Gus’s restaurant, “Gusto’s”, specialized in. They were very tasty, let me tell you.

Gus was the stepfather of one of my best friends and at many holiday gatherings there were talks of the ‘old Buffalo’ when there was an abundance of black businesses. Readers familiar with our city might associate that time as being the pre-Humboldt Parkway expressway era. In addition to the steel industry and a vibrant city economy, not having the Humboldt Parkway expressway there is something else I can’t imagine, as it has been there my entire life, running from downtown Buffalo out to the suburbs and to the airport.

Gus’s revelation amazed me as I couldn’t imagine our city any other way than what I’d seen in my 20 plus years, at the time. If what he said was true, there was an abundance of black proprietors and entrepreneurs located on real estate which is now considered blighted and more than a little bit rough. I went into that neighborhood quite a bit to play basketball at the William-Emslie YMCA, but I didn’t hang around there much otherwise.

So, what happened to those black businesses? Where did they go? And why does it matter 40-50 years later? Gus and many others attributed it to “Social Integration” following the Civil Rights Movement.

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Civil Rights and Social Integration are most discussed in terms of education, access to jobs and the right to use the same facilities as other races. Key efforts of the Civil Rights Movement involved securing voting rights and desegregating society in general; most notably in education, the professional world and the desegregation of public institutions down to drinking fountains and bathrooms.

The end result was that black people could now go to the same schools as white people and could, in theory, have equal employment and access to all parts of society. I said in theory because there was still separation of races and ethnic groups. Growing up I heard stories of white flight in my hometown (and other urban areas) as black families spread out into white communities. Apparently, the neighborhoods which were mostly black in the era that I grew up in, were once mostly white, but gradually became all black as those white residents fled to the suburbs.

Growing up, the definition of Social Integration was usually discussed in societal contexts. One was dating. My father once told me the story of a classmate in college taking a verbal jab at him, saying that ‘integration’ was his favorite subject mathematically, because it was a thought that he liked white women. But what are the other contexts for integration? Yes, and perhaps the biggest is Business/Economics.

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The prelude to this piece is my essay regarding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of the burning house. In the second half of that document I introduced Dr. Claud Anderson, a staunch advocate of reparations and black economic empowerment. Check out that piece for an in-depth discussion of Dr. Anderson and his philosophies. I also referenced Dr. Anderson’s interview on the popular radio show, “The Breakfast Club”. I wanted to include excerpts from the interview in my Dr. King piece, but I realized that it warranted its own separate essay. The following dialogue between Dr. Anderson and one of the hosts, Charlemagne “Tha God” sheds light on what happened to black businesses across the United Sates following Social Integration:

Dr. Claud Anderson: I grew up in Winston-Salem, NC and we weren’t looking for any Social Integration. Do you know why? It’s because we had our own businesses there. My family had the only black bus line in the entire United States, the only black bus line! And when I say a bus line, I’m not talking about two or three buses. We had over 500 buses in Winston-Salem, NC! And guess what, we had that from 1927 up to about 1967.

In Winston-Salem we Blacks also had our own cab companies, our own restaurants, our own hotels, our own school systems. Do you know what killed our buses? Social Integration. When suddenly you all started talking about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. going down to Montgomery, AL wanting to integrate the bus lines – integrate whose bus lines? White bus lines! They didn’t want to own or control the resources. They just wanted to sit in the front of them (the buses).

Now you tell me. What does that indicate? That you want to get on the bus and just sit on the front of it? Now if the bus is moving, then the back of the bus will be where the front of the bus was in a fraction of a second, and everybody gets off at the same time. So, in Winston-Salem we had our own buses, so when that movement was successful and the blacks who were in Alabama came up to Winston-Salem, blacks in Winston-Salem said, ‘We want to ride in the front of white buses!’ We said, ‘We don’t have any white buses.’ They said, ‘Well get some, so we can ride on the front of them!’

Charlemagne “Tha God”: I feel like a complete asshole because I never thought about that. That whole time they should’ve been trying to establish their own bus companies as opposed to wanting to ride someone else’s. You all boycotted for a year just to want to ride in the front? I never thought about that (laughing).

Dr. Claud Anderson: You’re a smart man! In our “Safe Bus Company” – you can find out about that on your computers. See, we owned the buses. We owned the resources. All our mechanics were black. All our drivers were black. Our electricians were black. Everything was black!

We each had two cab companies in Winston-Salem. The whites had the Blue Bird and the Yellow Cab Companies. We had the Harris and the Camel City Cabs. But guess what. Once that integration movement started, do you know what they wanted? Blacks didn’t want to ride in black cabs anymore. They wanted to ride in the white cabs. In Winston-Salem, we had our own movie theaters, the Lincoln and the Lafayette. There was a Lincoln and Lafayette in every black section of every major city in the United States. The whites had three movie theaters. They had the Far Sight, the Carolina, and the State Theaters. We didn’t care, because we had our own movie theaters. So, guess what. Blacks didn’t want to go to the black theaters anymore, we wanted to go to the white theaters.

Charlemagne “Tha God”: We swear white ice is colder!

Dr. Claud Anderson: I saw that happen once. I was in Tallahassee, FL giving a speech. I was standing on the corner talking to a black real estate developer. A black guy owned a grocery store across the street. A guy pulled up and we watched him, like me and you are talking now. He pulled up to the grocery store and went over to the ice machine. He opened an ice container and pulled out a bag of ice. He looked at the ice container, rolled it around and then put it back into the machine.

He then turned around, backed his car up to where we were standing to a place called Jack’s Liquor. He went into the ice machine and it was made by the same company. He looked at it, rolled it around and then went inside and bought it. I told the person I was with that, ‘I’d never seen that before! I’m going to ask him about it when he comes out of the store. I said, “Sir, let me ask you a question. Why is it that you would not buy the ice from the ice machine over there at the black grocery store, but you came over here to Jack’s Liquor?”

He said, ‘Oh I don’t want to buy Mr. Williams’ ice. I don’t like it. It’s too lumpy! White ice is smoother.’ I said, ‘I know white ice is colder, but now I also know it’s smoother.’

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“Black folks never learned the importance of owning and controlling!” I think this quote from Dr. Anderson sums up this whole discussion. I must admit though that it’s much more nuanced than that. Why would a race of people completely forsake their own businesses to patronize someone else’s? I think that after enduring chattel slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and segregation, I believe that there was a mass psychological need to feel whole, to feel equal and for acceptance by the larger white society, which is understandable. But is there a point where it went too far?

Something black people in the United States still struggle with as a race today is a sense of belonging. This happens both within our own race, and then regarding what’s referred as the Dominant Society. It’s crazy to wrap your mind around all of it, but it’s real. If you’re black and are perceived as having too many white qualities, you’re not black enough. And there are black people who feel more comfortable assimilating into the Dominant Society. Some are accepted, but it can also be a never-ending quest for some, with consequences on both sides.

Though we had what we needed in our communities, there was still a need to be accepted and to have access to things that were denied to us, socially and in terms of white-collar careers. But did that require forsaking our own businesses and economic power? Not only were there once black businesses, but also black institutions of all kinds. Black Wall Street in Tulsa, OK comes to mind and there are numerous stories about it being destroyed and why.

But there were also the Negro Leagues. It’s amazing to think that all the great black baseball players were once all concentrated in one league and that league eventually died out so they could integrate the Major Leagues. The same thing is true for our Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). There was a point at which they got the best and brightest black students and even athletes. Now they’re competing with larger and more well-funded Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). Many have permanently closed for this reason.

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Not only have we put most of our emphasis on attaining white collar careers to work in institutions created by others, but there are also issues about creating and sustaining our own black businesses today. In many circles you hear stories of black people not supporting each other’s businesses, but supporting those of other groups. You hear stories of poor service. You hear stories of the services or goods being too expensive and of lesser quality. Then there are also many, many stories of black patrons wanting ‘hookups’ or discounts simply because the proprietors are black. There are also discussions that black entrepreneurs must be careful about solely targeting black people as their customer base, based upon the issues described.

Nevertheless, I do think that we must figure out how to retake ownership of our economic power. In my essay about Dr. King’s vision of the burning house, I listed Dr. Claud Anderson’s points for rebuilding black communities. He first described building communities and families and then figuring out how to keep the dollars within the community. Growing up on Buffalo’s eastside, I only have memories of corner stores being owned by Asians and Arabs. Go into any inner-city now and you’ll see the same thing for the most part. Most of the convenience stores, beauty, hair and nail shops are, in fact, owned by Arabs and Asians, some of whom have responded to customers with violence in retaliation to toxic behaviors towards them which in some neighborhoods are the norm.

There have been numerous stories in recent times of violence being perpetrated against black women at beauty supply shops, for example. Men, such as Tyrone Muhammad in Chicago, took steps to protect the women and tried to send a message to the foreign proprietors by throwing a brick through their window. After getting out of jail, he returned to the shop to see the same women getting their nails done, like nothing had ever happened, as opposed to her finding black nail shops.

I’m going to close this piece by saying that I’ve been blessed based upon the family I grew up in, and that I was able to ascend academically and professionally. One of my professors at Johnson C. Smith University told me numerous stories about the racism he endured when working on his Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati. Aside from the challenging work itself, my doctoral studies as the University of Michigan were mostly smooth. I do acknowledge though that the Civil Rights Movement was critical in providing me the opportunities to go to school.

Furthermore, after being locked out of parts of society and suffering through the hardships endured by the descendants of African Slaves in the United States, it’s understandable that the focus would be on inclusion and assimilation into society. That said, much of it seems to have been done at the expense our own black economy, and going forward, if possible, we must figure out how to rebuild it as most everything seems to stem from it. Other groups have maintained and built their economic power. We should too.

The featured image of this piece is that of the street signs of Grider Street and Kensington Avenue on Buffalo’s eastside. The McDonald’s I worked at in my late teens, which was black owned, sits further down the street from that sign on Delevan Avenue and Grider Street. During that time, I think there were two other McDonald’s restaurants on the eastside that were black owned. The image in the middle of the piece was once again generated by “Creative Designs” by the very talented Tamara Coleman. If you want to learn more about Tamara and her work, contact her via email at: Tammy-cole@hotmail.com.

Do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said in this piece? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. If you enjoyed this one, you might also enjoy:

Should HBCUs teach their students financial literacy and about the business of higher education?
Are you Cooning? Thoughts on Black America’s new favorite racial slur, critical thought, and groupthink
A Black History Month reflection on Percy Julian
A Black History Month interview with Dr. Vernon Morris
A Black History Month look at West Indian Archie
A review of Marvel’s Black Panther
A review of Hidden Figures
A review of All Eyez On Me

If you’ve found value here and think it would benefit others, please share it and/or leave a comment. I’ve recently started a YouTube channel, so please visit me at Big Discussions76. To receive all the most up to date content from the Big Words Blog Site, subscribe using the subscription box in the right-hand column in this post and throughout the site, or add my RSS feed to your feedreader. You can follow me on the Big Words Blog Site Facebook page, and Twitter at @BWArePowerful. Lastly, you can follow me on Instagram at @anwaryusef76. While my main areas of focus are Education, STEM and Financial Literacy, there are other blogs/sites I endorse which can be found on that particular page of my site.

How the Internet Has Changed The Way We Learn

Two of the focuses of my blog are General Education and Technology. The internet has been a game changer on several fronts. Having information and the ability to conduct business with the click of a mouse has created a whole new world. One of the most significant ways it’s changed the world is in the realm of education. The following contributed post is entitled, How the Internet Has Changed The Way We Learn.

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Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

For better, or for worse (mostly better), the internet has changed the way the world learns. Today, if we don’t know the answer to something, the majority of us will reach for our smartphones and ask Google. We are used to having information at our fingertips. Technology has changed the way we view and consume knowledge, allowing those outside the formal education structure the opportunity to learn.

Not only has the internet given the power of knowledge to everyone, but it has also changed our traditional schooling systems too. With an array of tools and technologies, students can enjoy a richer, more engaging experience.

#1 It Allows For An Immersive Experience

Knowledge is no longer simply words on the page of a textbook. Students can learn through webinars, videos, podcasts, virtual reality, and other interactive learning materials. In their blog ‘How To Enhance The Learning Experience With QR Codes’ Flowcode state that this is “a way to approximate an augmented reality experience for students”.

This interactive experience is great for encouraging learning in those that might not respond to a more traditional, book-based approach.

#2 Knowledge Is Not Just For The Privileged Few

Access to learning is now open to everyone with an internet connection. Institutions have recognized this and the rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) like EdX and Coursera has been huge over the last 10 years. Now, you can take courses from the likes of Harvard, MIT and the London School of Economics with no qualifications, and no tuition fees.

Online learning of this nature is gaining traction as a valuable addition to a resume when it comes to employers.

#3 Research Is A Lot Easier

Researching and revising is now a lot easier, instead of spending hours in the library, combing through books, you can now turn to the internet. Over 90% of students questioned said that they use Google to help them with their assignments. As long as the information we’re getting is from a reputable source (and not just Wikipedia), then it is a great tool to find accurate information quickly.

#4 Improved Communication & Engagement

The flexibility of blended learning means that students can communicate with their teachers and peers much more easily. If you’re absent from the classroom, you can catch up with the resources online or talk with your classmates about assignments.

By not being so focused in a classroom environment, it gives the opportunity for those people who have a different learning style, a chance to still be involved and not fall behind others. Similarly, if someone is suffering from health problems or cannot keep to a structured timetable, then they are still able to engage with the materials and other students and not be isolated.

The internet’s role in education is not without its pitfalls. For example, when it comes to book based research skills, or learning a topic in-depth rather than in bite-sized pieces on a web page. It has, however, overwhelmingly change the opportunities to learn and the ways in which we can access knowledge forever, and that can only be a good thing.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final vision and Dr. Claud Anderson’s prophecies

“I fear, I am integrating my people into a burning house!”

Before I start this piece, I want to acknowledge the creator of its primary image. It was generated by “Creative Designs” by the very talented Tamara Coleman. If you want to learn more about Tamara and her work, contact her via email at: Tammy-cole@hotmail.com.

This Black History blog post falls under my principles of “Critical Thought” and “Financial Literacy/Money”. Here on my blog and on my YouTube channel, Big Discussions76, I challenge readers and viewers to question things and not just accept the images and messages fed to them. This is particularly important for this election year where we voters and sure to be slammed with all kinds of propaganda biased reporting by the mainstream news sources.

One of the interesting things about history is that he or she who controls the narrative controls the minds and the perceptions of the masses regarding what happened for a given person or event. Some argue that all the technology we have today has made the world worse, and there are cases where that’s true. I usually counter that sentiment by arguing that in some ways it has made it better. One way it has made the world better is through the ability to share information, so that more accurate and complete stories can be told.

When we think about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we often think back to his historic ‘I Had A Dream’ Speech, his philosophy of non-violence, the marches, his time spent in jail and then his tragic assassination. But there was so much more to the legendary face of the Civil Rights Movement. In my 2019 blog post entitled, Whose Job Is It To Teach Black History?, I discussed Dr. Michael Eric Dyson’s revelation that Dr. King had extramarital affairs and why I thought it was important to know about them – something also covered in the movie “Selma”.

Another important revelation for me regarding Dr. King was my mentor sharing that just as many black people wanted to take his life as white people, if not more. It’s odd (and unsettling) to think something like that could happen, but information and perspectives that are being shared now may give insight as to why. Something that classically hasn’t gotten as much exposure, but which is now gaining traction in certain circles today, is Dr. King’s final thoughts on his life’s work.

Dr. King’s signature victory was the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but it turns out that before his death, he wondered if he’d spent his life fighting for the wrong things. He pondered if he’d led his people in the wrong direction as discussed in the opening quote of this blog post. This is a good place to ask an important question. What exactly happened in 1968 that warranted Dr. King’s assassination as opposed to one of the previous years? A prevalent theory is that Dr. King’s focus had shifted from social integration and desegregation to economic and financial equality/power and empowerment. His final effort was in fact the “Poor People’s Campaign”.

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“In a race-based society, it’s what you own and control that determines your opportunities, rights and privileges! This doesn’t have a darn thing to do with Civil Rights! That’s a waste of time! It doesn’t have anything to do with voting!”

At this point I want to introduce Dr. Claud Anderson and then I’m going to bring the two men together at the conclusion of this piece. For those unfamiliar with him, Dr. Claud Anderson is an author/economist/historian and a former cabinet member of President Jimmy Carter. For 40 plus years of my life, I was unaware of Dr. Anderson and I only became aware of him due to the vigilance of Dr. Boyce Watkins, who I watch regularly on YouTube and who I also follow on Twitter. This, in part, underscores the good our new technologies have done.

Dr. Watkins is unapologetically black, a staunch advocate of black love, is considered controversial by some and while he regularly weighs in on some of the social issues of the day (recently Lizzo for example), his background is in economics, money and investing. His core messages are thus about black people learning how to invest and build businesses. He’s very, very passionate about black kids learning to buy stock and build businesses as early as possible and has programs for teaching such skills to both children and adults. He argues that this is more important than our kids learning to do the latest dances or excelling at football or basketball.

I don’t recall when Dr. Watkins started bringing Dr. Claud Anderson onto his show, but once he did it was easy to see why, and why he looks upon Dr. Anderson with such reverence. I’d encourage any readers to look up any of Dr. Anderson’s discussions with Dr. Watkins, and then any of Dr. Anderson’s abundance of interviews available on YouTube. He had a powerful discussion with the popular ‘Breakfast Club‘, and over the holiday season I stumbled upon an interview of Dr. Anderson from 1995 in Detroit. He had another powerful interview with Rock Newman here in DC. I’d embed these interviews right here into my blog post, but I don’t want any kind of copyright infringement claims against me. I’ll thus share the links to the interviews:

Dr. Claud Anderson Discusses America’s Race Based Society, Powernomics + More (The Breakfast Club)
Dr. Claud Anderson on the Rock Newman Show
Powernomics – 1995 Detroit Black Journal Full Episode

What’s remarkable about the 1995 interview was that Dr. Anderson spoke on everything that’s unfolding today. One point was the efforts to bring in immigrants into the United States to undermine the black vote and I’ll leave that there. It’s a very polarizing topic as ironically many black people support the same politicians who are looking to enforce these policies. The year of 1995 was just prior to the internet becoming mainstream. Interestingly, even when transferring to my Historically Black College/University (HBCU), I don’t remember any mention of Dr. Anderson, which is very strange. As noted before, the same is true for intellectuals like Dr. Thomas Sowell and Dr. Walter E. Williams, black conservatives, but ‘intellectual heavyweights’ nonetheless.

Then again, it’s not strange as Dr. Anderson discussed how the individuals who decide which books will be used at HBCUs don’t want his books there during his interview with the Breakfast Club. While I recommended three of Dr. Anderson’s interviews above, and while I’m going to recommend his books below, in watching and reading Dr. Anderson’s content, I must warn you. If you’re a Barrack Obama enthusiast who was in love with the symbolism of his presidency, or even a staunch Democrat, his words aren’t kind to either. He’s not a pro-Trumper by any means, but he’s very open about the political class’ role in the state of Black America now. By the way, many, many criticisms of Barrack Obama’s legacy are emerging within the black community these days and can at least in part be attributed to what happened to Senator Kamala Harris in the Democratic primary.

With the videos I’ve listed, you can go watch and learn more for yourself. For the sake of this post, I’m just going to focus on three things. The first is Dr. Anderson’s plan for empowering black communities across the United States, much of which can be done by the communities themselves without outside help. He described the following points with hosts “DJ Envy” and “Charlemagne THA God” on the Breakfast Club. He described black economic empowerment (by the black community itself) as building a proverbial building with multiple floors:

First Floor– Build a community and practice ‘group economics’; particularly making the money ‘bounce’ in the community 8-12 times before it leaves (discussed below).
Second Floor– Politics; without economics there’s no ability to influence politicians or elections as a group; Voting is immaterial and a game of entertainment; You buy or rent the politicians.
Third Floor– Use the politicians to influence the court systems and law enforcement to decrease things like police brutality.
Fourth Floor– Media; If you don’t own media, you can’t organize, communicate or motivate.
Fifth Floor– Education; Interestingly the final level, but according to his logic it makes sense as there would theoretically be the existence of black businesses for our young professionals to start working in.

The second point I want to focus on is that of black people relearning how to ‘bounce’ their money in the black community as described above. In this context, bouncing simply refers to spending money within the community to give those there the opportunity to benefit from it long-term. Dr. Anderson argues eloquently that of all the other races and ethnic groups, the black dollar bounces the least within its own community before quickly leaving. In the Black History-related piece following this one, I’m going to discuss whether racial desegregation irreversibly started the process of destroying black businesses. An example of supporting a black business is patronizing the above-mentioned Tamara Coleman who created the primary image of this piece.

My final point regarding Dr. Anderson is that of ’Reparations’ which is basically the reconciling of the debt and economic disparities by the United States believed to be owed to the descendants of slaves created by the ‘Chattel Slavery’ and Jim Crow. I’m not going argue whether black people should get them here, though it is interesting that groups like Japanese Americans got something following World War 2. Other groups apparently got similar severances. I’ll just say that Dr. Anderson is a staunch advocate of reparations and don’t be surprised to see a further fractured black vote in the 2020 general election due to this one issue which was in large part brought to the forefront by the Obama Presidency.

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I’d encourage readers to purchase copies of Dr. Anderson’s books which it seems are not available at HBCUs as described above. I asked for and received Dr. Anderson’s three books last year for Christmas: Powernomics, The Black History Reader and Black Labor-White Wealth. Again, he has in large part been kept out of mainstream media and, based upon his messages, it’s not surprising why. I would also encourage readers to visit Dr. Anderson’s “Harvest Institute” to learn more about his efforts and to make a donation if you’re motivated to do so.

So, what does all this have to do with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr? Well, it relates directly to his vision of the burning house. Were his efforts in large part directed in the wrong direction? Was it always economics? Did desegregation ultimately have harmful effects on Black America, causing all our black businesses to wither away and die? Also, have we become a permanent underclass as described by Dr. Claud Anderson?

In terms of reparations, based upon responses by then Democratic candidate, Kamala Harris, and remaining candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, I’m not going to hold my breath for them. Part of Dr. Claud Anderson’s ‘Gospel’ regarding economic empowerment though is hopeful and suggests that black people as a group can still coalesce and build something. The question is ‘will we?’.

It would require a mass shift in mindset which is the hardest part. If you watch Dr. Boyce Watkins’ content, he’s shared frustrations numerous times about black people as a group not being interested in learning about economics and financial literacy. Some are, but personally I thought it was odd that it took something like Jay-Z’s ‘444’ album to get black people talking about these topics at least for a little while. Again, some of us are interested in this stuff and actively talk about it and study it, but the majority isn’t. A small group will thus likely thrive while the majority may not as much.

If money, financial literacy and business topics fascinate you, I have a wealth of content on that now right here on the Big Words Blog Site. As a matter fact, my blogging platform was rated one of the “10 Best Financial Education Blogs” by the company “Expertido” for 2019. I’ve written several ‘literary’ pieces about some basics of budgeting and topics regarding things like “Matching Contributions”. My pieces are usually personal stories discussing my journey learning these concepts.

Working with a collaborator, I’ve published profuse amounts of content in the areas of Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. These are smaller informational pieces you can read through in five minutes or less. Just go to the categories tab on my platform and choose one of those categories. I also discuss money topics on my YouTube channel entitled, Big Discussions76. Please stop by, subscribe and find the playlist entitled, “Big Discussions Financial Literacy”.

As Black History Month approaches, I’ll be publishing another piece specifically focusing on whether Civil Rights and desegregation hurt Black America. Thank you for reading this piece. I want to thank Dr. Boyce Watkins for his hard work in trying to get his money messages out to our people, and for getting Dr. Claud Anderson out into the spotlight where he has always belonged. Again, for 40 years of my life I had no idea who he was and I’m not alone. That’s a major problem, but if you understand economics and media as I do now, it’s not unexpected.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. If you enjoyed this one, you might also enjoy:

Should HBCUs teach their students financial literacy and about the business of higher education?
Are you Cooning? Thoughts on Black America’s new favorite racial slur, critical thought, and groupthink
A Black History Month reflection on Percy Julian
A Black History Month interview with Dr. Vernon Morris
A Black History Month look at West Indian Archie
A review of Marvel’s Black Panther
A review of Hidden Figures
A review of All Eyez On Me

If you’ve found value here and think it would benefit others, please share it and/or leave a comment. I’ve recently started a YouTube channel, so please visit me at Big Discussions76. To receive all the most up to date content from the Big Words Blog Site, subscribe using the subscription box in the right-hand column in this post and throughout the site, or add my RSS feed to your feedreader. You can follow me on the Big Words Blog Site Facebook page, and Twitter at @BWArePowerful. Lastly, you can follow me on Instagram at @anwaryusef76. While my main areas of focus are Education, STEM and Financial Literacy, there are other blogs/sites I endorse which can be found on that particular page of my site.

How To Make Sure You Land The Job You Want

Three of the focuses of my blog are Career Discussions, General Education and Professional Skills/Development. The job hunt can be very competitive depending on your employment history, the current state of your field and location. If you can, you want to set yourself up to beat out the competition and have the best chance of getting the position you want. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Make Sure You Land The Job You Want.

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https://unsplash.com/photos/LQ1t-8Ms5PY

When it comes to our professional lives, it’s safe to say that we all want to work in a job that we’ll love. Not all of us get to have that luxury all of the time, unfortunately, but it’s certainly something that everyone looks for. Working takes up an awful lot of our time, after all.

It’s not just a case of picking a field and walking straight into it, as you probably know by now. There are all kinds of people with all kinds of skills looking to take your opportunity away from you. You have to, therefore, put the work in and show you’re better than those alongside you. It’s by no means a walk in the park, but it’s also not an impossible task.

If you’ve found something that you’d like to pursue and feel as though you need to up your game, then here are a few things you should probably do if you want to increase your chances of landing such a gig:

Do Your Research

If you know what you’re talking about, then you’re obviously going to have a better chance of getting the job. If you were to stumble into the interview with limited knowledge, then you’ll be laughed out of the room. You obviously know that you’ll need to know a thing or two about the job at hand, but you should probably go one further and research all kinds of finer details. Whether it’s regarding home building projects, or whether it’s to do with types of machine tools, learning more and more will only benefit you. Not only will it help during the interview, but it’s always nice to have those extra pieces of knowledge going forward.

Present Yourself Perfectly

We all know that there’s no such thing as perfection, but you can do your best to get darn near. If you want to impress potential employers, you’ll need to make sure you look the business! This means getting your resume spot-on and dressing to impress. If you get these initial steps right, then that stands you in good stead going forward.

In terms of the resume, you’ll obviously need to get all of the vital information written down. But you’ll also need to make sure that it’s attractive to the eyes, too. Many employers have been known to toss resumes in the trash if they look a little untidy! Be warned!

Practice Confidence

Yes, that’s right. In order to become a confident person, you need to drill it into your own head. Practice speaking in the mirror – this is a simple one, but it’s great if you want to get into the habit of confidently getting your words out. Constantly work, too. If you’re lounging around and doing very little, your overall confidence levels will drop. Your confidence in the field you’re looking towards will also dither.

Don’t Put One Place On A Pedestal

If you don’t get the job in the company that you were expecting, then that’s okay. There will have been lots of people vying for that role, too. Never put all your eggs into one basket – that’s a sure-fire way of being disappointed. If you have lots of different options with an equal amount of importance, then you’ll constantly be focused, and your chances of success will increase.

‘My Kid Lives Music, What Should I Do?’

A key focus of my blog is General Education. Music is a very important subject that has been largely neglected. Some kids have both the desire and the aptitude for music early, but many parents don’t know how to nurture that desire. The following contributed post is entitled, ‘My Kid Lives Music, What Should I Do?’

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Parents who learn to let their children grow while being autonomous as possible will see them grow into an individual. That’s one of the best things about being a parent, watching your children develop their own personality. Eventually, when they get a little older and close to their early teens, they’ll start showing you signs of this happening. One day, you might come home and be told by your child, that he or she would like to learn how to play music. This is a moment to be proud of, children who are drawn to music at such an early age will usually develop a keen liking for the art form in their adult life. But what kind of support can a parent give to their son or daughter when this occurs?

Learn more about them

It’s important to task your young child, what kind of music they listen that caused them to be interested in playing music themselves? Where did they hear it? Was it something that you might have showed them? It could have been something they heard on the radio. You won’t know until you sit them down and talk to them about it. When your child explains what kind of music they like, delve deeper into the different types of music in that genre and discover different artists with them. This means, going online and searching for their music. YouTube is a magnificent source of all kinds of music these days. You can also show your child videos of other people playing the type of instruments they’re interested in. This will let you know exactly what they want to try their hand at.

Where it all began

Many young boys want to learn how to play rock n’ roll music. There are so many legendary bands and artists from this genre, that have and continue to influence culture. But blues music is where it all began. It’s where rock n’ roll and many other forms of music started. In rock n’ roll you have multiple different instruments, but in the blues, it’s mostly only the guitar. On this page, https://www.musicianauthority.com/gifts-for-guitar-players/ are the top 50 gifts you can give to someone who loves playing the guitar. The Bose noise-cancelling headphones would make for a great gift to a child just learning because they can hear each little thing they’re doing without disturbance or noise distortion. Personalized guitar picks will make your child feel special and more connected to their instrument; increasing motivation to keep practising.

At-home teacher

Okay, so you know your kid is serious about learning to play an instrument, what should you do now? Signing your son or daughter up for lessons at school is the first option. Many schools will have music programs that can be joined voluntarily. If this is not an option, a private music teacher that gives one-on-one lessons is an option too. Make sure that the teacher is willing to travel to your house so your child feels more comfortable being alone with them.

You’ve been granted a child with a spark for music. As their loving parent, it’s your job to allow that spark to become a flame. Support your child’s yearning to learn how to play music the best you can.

What Kind Of Masters Is For You?

Three of the focuses of my blog are Career Discussions, General Education and Professional/Skills. Many careers require education beyond the bachelor’s level. As such, many individuals pursue Masters degrees. Choosing the right degree is important as it will affect your career long-term. The following contributed post is entitled, What Kind Of Masters Is For You?

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When you’re looking at finishing college, or you’re thinking of further your education, you may find that you’re considering getting your master’s. However, the most important question of all, is often what should you study? Sometimes, it’s easy to work out – you may find that you want to follow your major. But it isn’t all that easy. Sometimes, you need some inspiration. Here are some great options to contend with.

Business

To start with, you may find that you could consider getting your Master’s in Business Administration. An MBA can be really handy for a lot of people that want to either move into the business field or get a professional career in the future. Whether this is right after a bachelors or not.

Education

Another really great idea is education. Sometimes, you just want to think about the way that you can further your intellectual career or shape a future generation. If you’re passionate about one topic in particular, then this could be the route for you.

Political Management

Then, we also have political management. This could be a really great master’s field for a number of candidates. There can be a huge benefit to a number of different industries and professionals, not just politics itself. These can include social media manager, attorney, intelligence analyst, public affairs specialist, marketing specialist, and communications director.

For more information on the master’s in political management, just take a look at the infographic below.


Infographic Design By George Washington University