Tag Archives: youth

Where Are The Aaliyah Anderson’s Of The World?

“The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make a criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. This is the press, an irresponsible press. If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

– Malcolm X

Every weekday morning before school I wake up at four-fifteen to write and prepare for the day ahead of me. It’s a ritual that I’ve started to do every day since I made the decision to chase success. However, one particular morning a few weeks ago broke my pattern. I decided to log on to my Facebook, something I try my best not to do in the morning. And what I saw frustrated me to no end.

question-marks-pictureOne of my Facebook friends shared a video from WorldStarHipHop of young black high school students declaring how much they hated being black. Several participants in the video even went as far as to denounce they were black. It was sickening to me! I immediately turned off in a frustrated haste. Why did it seem like I was fighting an uphill battle? Since slavery, the myth of black inferiority has been programmed in the minds of Africans worldwide. After viewing a few minutes of that video, I asked myself, “How am I possibly going to fight against that negative mindset?”

Then I went to my Wattpad.com profile.

At the time, I just hit 18,000 reads for my first novel “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson” and my publisher had just sent me an updated version of my book contract. I quickly came to the realization that my mission isn’t to become a one man army against the black inferiority complex that plagues the majority of our youth today. No, my mission is to educateinspire and enlighten. If I successfully do that, the people under my realm of influence would readily want to liberate their minds from the chains of colorism and inferiority!

My first novel, The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson, is a perfect example of my efforts. It chronicles the life of Aaliyah Anderson, a beautiful, intelligent, ambitious thirteen-year old young woman trying to chase her dreams of success in the negative environment of Willowsfield, GA. Throughout the story she faces and overcomes problems that plague many young people such as good-for-nothing teachers, haters, gang violence and continuous acts of infidelity. The book even touches on Black history and problems that plague the black community, among other topics. I like to regard The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson as a fiction, non-fiction book hybrid. It has the informative, eye-opening content of a classic non-fiction book and the fast paced, page turning drama of a mainstream novel.

“My name is Aaliyah Anderson. I’m thirteen and the only girl out of the four children my mother and father had together before they got divorced. I’m ambitious and have big dreams for myself. On the low, I really wanna be the head of a company, T.V network or something like that one day. Maybe a college professor like my Aunt Vanessa or even an actress! Maybe all those combined together!

“I’m not being arrogant or boastful, but I’m beautiful. My skin is flawless shade of mocha brown. There are no blemishes in site. My teeth are perfectly straight and white. My hair is kinky and I love it! I don’t do perms, weaves or wigs. I experiment with all the different natural hair styles all the time. Today, I have it styled in a cascading French roll. People say I favor Janelle Monae and Lauryn Hill because of my skin tone, sense of style and height.”

-Aaliyah Anderson, “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson”

I created the prolific character of Aaliyah Anderson based on the select few outstanding young black women that I see on a regular basis. It’s truly a shame that there were only a select few that I had to draw inspiration from. It’s no lie that there is a large population of young black women that need to step their games up when it comes to how they carry themselves. Many have conformed to the image that they see on reality T.V. shows every night and its driven BMB (Business Minded Brothers) like me crazy!

The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson is a celebration of young women handling their business. Keep doing your thing! Don’t let anyone stand in your way! J It’s also a call-to-action for young women that are conforming to the constrictions put on them by this sexist, racist, European centered society that we live in.

It’s 2014! We need our young women to start carrying themselves with honor and self-respect. Law thirty-four of The 48 Laws of Power states:

“BE ROYAL IN YOUR OWN FASHION: ACT LIKE A KING (or Queen) TO BE TREATED LIKE ONE

The way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated: In the long run, appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you. For a king (queen) respects himself and inspires the same sentiment in others. By acting regally and confident of your powers, you make yourself seem destined to wear a crown.”

I hope this is taken into consideration moving forward. Young women, now is the time to carry yourself like a queen! We need the Aaliyah Anderson’s of the black community to make themselves known. You’re needed now more than ever!

Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Was I right or wrong on this issue? Do you want to join the focus group for my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson? I would love to hear from you! Contact me directly at:

Email: thediaryofaaliyahanderson@gmail.com

Kik: @AuthorRandallB

Ask.Fm: @YoungandGiftedBooks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.barnes.501

Check out a preview of my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson on Wattpad! It’s dropping soon!

http://www.wattpad.com/story/6314747-the-diary-of-aaliyah-anderson

 

 

 

You Gotta Have Fun Sometimes! (A Manifesto)

“I know y’all gonna feel me on this one

You gotta feel me on this one”

-Rick Ross, “Sixteen” ft. Andre 3000

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had the gift of analytical thinking. Well, it’s a gift and a curse. Because of my habit of over analyzing things, I always felt that I stood out among the people of my age group. I covered this in my debut article Setting Relationship Standards. It’s always been hard for me to find others in my age range that were even close to my maturity level. Basically, using the principles I discussed in my debut article, I set too high of standards for people around me.

Like I said, I’ve always been different. While my peers chronicled their many sexual adventures, I was determined to write my first full-length novel and get it published before I turned eighteen. While my peers were mesmerized by the street life, I was infatuated by modern-day societal infrastructures such as Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black Wall Street and organizations that fought for change like Marcus Garvey’s U.N.I.A and the original Black Panther Party.   The people around me are apt in learning the new hit dance craze and following the ever-changing fashion trends. Meanwhile, I’m avid in learning about the makeup of cultural trends and how to use them to spread  the message of self-respect, class and intelligence to my generation. Do you see my problem now?

Or is it a problem?

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Thinking about this issue takes me back to the days of my adolescence. I’ve always been a huge fan of the iconic cartoon SpongeBob Square pants. One episode that’s burned in my memory is called “Patrick Smartpants”. In this episode Patrick, after losing the top of his head, gains an infinite amount of intelligence. Because of this, he starts to become somewhat arrogant, destroying his friendship with SpongeBob and offending the many people that he was trying to help. He ended up depressed and lonely by the end of the episode.

Using my critical thinking skills, I liken “Patrick Smartpants” to me. Is this why it was always hard for me to build lasting friendships? Who am I to impose these insurmountable standards on the people I come in contact with on a daily basis? Relationships are fifty-fifty. You have to meet people where they are to have them return the favor.

This is a message I also saw echoed in Drumline, one of my favorite movies. In it, Dr. Lee is an old-school brother and a traditionalist when it comes to music. However, his set ways start to become a major problem. The alumni are starting to lose interest in Atlanta A & T’s band program, which means that it could possibly be shut down if something isn’t done to right the ship. But how is Dr. Lee to do that when Morris Brown continues to decimate them every year at the BET Southern Classic?

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I tend to relate to Nick Cannon’s character Devin Miles. He was an exceptionally talented snare drum player that stood out amongst the other members of the drumline. His cocky swagger and immense skill draws a rival in the form of jealous drum section leader Sean Taylor, who is a traditionalist just like Dr. Lee.

Devon eventually ostracized himself from the rest of his teammates and gets kicked off the band after initiating a riot at A &T’s homecoming. Sean helped in jump starting his dismissal by revealing that he couldn’t read sheet music. However, after a snare drum showdown, Devon and Sean put their issues aside and team up to create a BET Southern Classic winning performance piece that also meets Dr. Lee’s high expectations.

Sometimes you have to put your ego to the side and undergo a change. How are you going to lead people to the promise land when you haven’t found yourself? I’m a sure witness of this! I’m officially starting my quest to become a more well-rounded person.  And I’m going to chronicle my physical, spiritual and mental journey in my writings. So watch out world! You’re looking at the rise of a legend!

P.S.: I’m not debunking what I discussed in my Setting Relationship Standards article. I’m just offering another viewpoint. Sometimes you just have to accept people for who they are. They’ll come around eventually. If not, they aren’t even worth wasting time on.

While you discern between the people that you need in your life, I ask you to support me in my endeavors. Introduce any teenagers you know to my various articles. Check out a preview of my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson on Wattpad.com. Follow DC Bookdiva Publications and Young and Gifted Books on the various social media sites. Support Urban Intellectuals!

 Contribute to the conversation. Like my role model Michael Baisden said, “No one man is an island”. We can make a change in our communities together!

 

 

Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Was I right or wrong on this issue? Do you want to join the focus group for my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson? I would love to hear from you! Contact me directly at:

Email: thediaryofaaliyahanderson@gmail.com

Kik: @AuthorRandallB

Ask.Fm: @YoungandGiftedBooks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.barnes.501

Check out a preview of my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson on Wattpad! It’s dropping soon!

http://www.wattpad.com/story/6314747-the-diary-of-aaliyah-anderson