Monthly Archives: December 2014

Taxi please !

I was travelling in the last couple of days in my home town after seeing family for the holiday period. I was getting a taxi from a black owned taxi company possible one of a few if the only ones owned in the UK and I was talking to the taxi driver about the owner. My point is though that he started from nothing basically a few cars and got a reputation for having a good and reliable service and has over 70 drivers, who drive for him.

 The black taxi driver I spoke to mentioned something which made sense and irritates me now. The fact that black people don’t support other businesses, will say something is not right like the aesthetics or a product is not perfect at the start. Granted it might not be but I would rather see my own people trying to be professional rather than support another race who is clearly prejudice.

 Also another thing is, in the north of the UK, Asian people have a monopoly, in certain areas, whereas black people don’t. They attempt to buy out black people, for example two Asian families live either side of a relatives house and they attempt to buy them out but she will not sell as they want to knock the house through so three houses are one.

 Black people do not think like this as its group economics and living with extended families, I find it annoying but also respect it as they thrive as a community. This relates to the taxi company as the Asians try to buy his business as its a lucrative earner but he won’t sell. I would like to see him and other black businesses get together on that part of the North to create a black business alliance (formal or informal). As these people (Asians) think we are not serious business people.

I hope the business grows but also the opportunity to invest or at least provide a resource for the development of a positive black movement in a sleepy town as such. Dare I say when I go up there I seem wide awake whilst others sleep.

Black Cycle Initiative

As a cyclist, I know as blacks we should cycle more. I’m not your ride through red lights cyclist rather, I cycle as I would drive if I had passed my test.

I often find there are some black people who cycle on the road in the UK but not enough. I was introduced into cycling by my uncle, who is close to 60 and is still cycling 20 miles a week.

I used to cycle 100 miles a week in a previous role, it was tiring but great. I still do around 50 miles and it’s good for getting me out and about. If black people cycled we would be fitter. Though I would have to stress that we need to adhere to health and safety, or cycling with lights on and with a helmet.

I never as a younger person wore a helmet, used lights or reflective clothing cycling through central London to and from work at the time but now I do. The turning point was when I was doing a course in Cardiff and a police officer stopped me for having no lights, he also told me a story of a guy who was run over with a helmet and only suffered concussion, but without a helmet he would have died. I have heard other stories but this one stuck out.

We should cycle if we can to maintain fitness as well as not being so reliable on public transport. We should learn also how to maintain the bike and possibly become bike retailers in the future. A starting out bike can be affordable, if you become more experienced then a higher priced may be applicable.

We can cycle even for leisure, it can be affordable and best of all there’s a health and lifestyle benefit.

 

Technological Hub

Recently, there has been much focus in the mainstream media on how technology has been used to infiltrate high profile companies databases and spread viruses. As a race our young people and experienced professionals work with technology and as I have stated before many of us do not know how to manipulate the workings.

We use it for different perspectives such as, working, marketing, social media, purchase smart phones and tablets but we don’t know how to fix or develop them yet we rely on someone else to undertake repairs or modifications, which we aspire to.

I am one of these people myself, though I have recently completed a level 3 engineering course with an ambition to undertake study on further mathematics and electronic device repair. More black people who are skilled at this should be promoting within the black communities or they should be seeking to obtain training so services and teaching can be passed on.

There are black professionals, who have data and programming skills, though many of them are working in the mainstream rather than providing services to black businesses and attempting to develop services within the black business community. There may be a feasible reason in countries like the UK, where black people are a true minority, though we should still be attempting to create a new perspective. In countries like America and where ever else there is a sizeable black community, we should be able to utilise these skills to provide a black service to our own people rather than going to another race, who may be looking at just developing their own race and ave no true identity with black people.

As a practical person, it’s easy for me to talk like this, though I’m looking from regeneration and socio-economic perspective as well as a technicians point of view on this topic. My long term aim would be to use all the experience and knowledge gained to work with other technically minded persons on a social conscious capacity, whilst teaching another generation of like minded individuals.

If black people followed the Indian example, of graduates and undergraduates going to San Francisco working in silicon valley and taking the experience back to their native countries, Africa could have like India had a Indian equivalent in Bangalore, sure there are arguments against this with power shortages etc. There is still a technological knowledge hub, which is allowing India to develop technologically.

The more information and experience we gain, the more likely it is we will be able to export this knowledge to Africa even if its through diaspora countries such as the Caribbean and central america, eventually, we may work together with africa as the countries and territories we derive from will not provide the same opportunity and scope as Africa.

Collective good from an aloof soul

After attending a talk by Dr Umar johnson, a legend but a great in all respects. I would like to hope that during the tour people from my hometown in the North (of the UK)  had attended the talk.

I noticed that from this talk it wasn’t an opportunity for me to get excited and motivated to help my own people rather it created new avenues, which I could access when using the skills and experiences gained to put down some foundations for future generations.

I have admitted that I’m socially awkward and very aloof,but I like to make a great impact socially, this is down to me being a capriquarius (a Capricorn on the Aquarius cusp), if your into astrology.

As a natural planner and a technically minded person, I think sometimes relating to what Dr Umar Johnson said, we don’t do this enough sit down and have meetings and critically evaluate and review the feasibility of plans. Rather we tend to sometimes not plan long enough, introduce an idea then onlookers critics.

The problem occurs when people criticise but do not add to the plans and stay on the outside looking in. I always used to volunteer but just for causes concerning all colours rather than my own people.

I like meetings and planning, though it has to be structured and with a end and objectives agreed which must be at least  attempted to be met by the next meeting, so progress can be made on the topics being discussed rather than stagnating and debating how things can improve.

Our people need to utilise their professional skills rather than being emotionally charged and just willing to comment but not in the least willing to use some of their skills and experience to assist in another cause, it’s the only way we can improve our position just look at how other cultures cooperate inspire of internal differences.

Heat Maps

Formerly in a role as a digital divide professional, I would often use heat maps when predicting, which areas of the local community had access to wifi or broadband internet. This would assist in considering where new wifi or internet initiatives would be implemented to get more people connected to the Internet and to utilise Internet services.

 

This relates to make my own people more aware of black, social, economic and physical (buildings and environmentally) cohesive. The current mode from what I have observed is to just create rhetoric and initiatives, without considering factors, which can include: the level of icons of the area, local amenities (black owned), the level of education and the level of income.

 

These factors can assist in designing initiatives and rhetoric to present an idea to our own people of why black cohesiveness is important on all scales (no matter how big or small). There are some initiatives as a result, which would be created for smaller community of black people, who may put together to create a market stall selling our foods and cosmetics. In larger communities, initiatives and meetings could be held asking if the people want a grocery shop and other shops such as book and educational and other services such as family support, where professionals (black) can assist socially.

 

The maps are important, sometimes we overlook the value of this I favour of getting the message out, whilst I agree it looks on the surface (at least) that one size is meant to fit all.

Meeting at the Market

As you may have read there are different ways in which we as black people can help ourselves and our communities. As a person, I attempt in the UK to buy at least my own cultural foods and cosmetic products from a black owned business.

In the part of the south east where I reside and in the UK in general, there are not many black businesses who own businesses selling general household items.

Black people who would like to buy black can in the USA, and around the world, there is not enough black people in the UK who own grocery shops, rather we tend to own shops which sell our own ethnic foods as in the UK we are from different parts of the Caribbean and Africa rather than African american and we are just under 1.5 million people strong, over here.

Community emphasis should be on those black people with finance, to be able to open, budget shops and market stalls in local areas as well as the natural food and product shops which are popular amongst our people and can cater towards our affordability.

You may ask why own a budget shop or a (shared) market stall, fact of the matter, we do not have much money currently in our communities and this is a way in which we could have affordable black shops. Market stalls are another way in which the local black community could trade in the local area. I grew up in a local area where I grew up seeing black people as market traders and owning stalls. Granted this was in the North, but this also occurs in other cultures and communities in the UK.

Black people would be able to find a bargain and everyday utilities if a few of our own people would open a business in this area, I also mean people who are in their 20’s, and 30’s too not just those over 40 and encouraging younger people to create such a business for ourselves.

I am a fan of group economics but also group sociology too. How is this relevant, if you can have a few market traders who are trading in a market, you may support each other and create a stronger unit, it will encourage local people to go to the market, and to similar stalls in groups or to meet their and it be a meeting place as a informal community space. As black people as a whole, don’t necessarily like to call each other if there is a regular meeting place we would rather see each other at that meeting point.

People will then talk more and different black communities may begin to liaise more as parents speak to each other the children may not want to fight each other as people whose parents know each other are less likely to fight, rather they may if not get along at least respect each other. As disputes between the younger people or children may lead to both sets of parents and families coming together to sort the problem out, potentially.

This is how things was for a little while in the UK, in smaller cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Leicester and Bristol until the 1980’s. Now its just a thought from childhood, I hope this can be kickstarted again, through markets we may have a presence at and a reason for black people to come out to unite.

 

 

An account of being capable through transparency

For the last few days, there has been much discussion of how as a people we as a people we can develop and create a cohesive black community. For a while I have been attempting to utilise the regeneration and socially concious skills which I have to contribute towards the movement of making our people self sustainable and efficient like how we should be rather than unsustainable and inefficient.

Naturally I am a planner so I have a paradox, I will admit I am not a people person but I enjoy volunteering and using the skills which I have to assist the social, economic and psychologically uplift others (now my own people, rather than all over races).

The viewpoint I look at development has economic, social and physical considerations, with three titles attached, which are transparency, accountability and capability. These are often overlooked in black businesses and organisations, when considering how they manage their finances and the running of the organisation. To be transparent more organisations and community groups would need to ensure the stakeholders (people affected by the organisations work) are aware of what the organisation is doing and how it is going about doing this. For accountability, there would be a need for organisations to ensure they are fully responsible for the actions they take and the outcome of these actions. The capability would be whether or not organisations are capable of providing the services and information required to uplift the respective communities.

Considering economic, social and psychological considerations, there are some, who believe the economic has to come first in order to develop the others. I agree and disagree, coming from a public sector point of view, my observations have meant there is a need for finances in some community development projects and work, whilst others have required social capital (access to resources and information which is not financial, through social networks I.e friends, family and acquaintances). Developing the business first can lead to the business using the community organisation as a marketing tool rather than just as a silent contribute and be used to achieve the end goal of more customers.

The psychological aims can be met through volunteering and a discussion which leads to how members of the black community can sit down with a counsellor, and talk about their history and how it has affected their lives today as we blacks (African American and Caribbean) have much dysfunction in our communities.

Social aims require some finance but this is not the be all and end all of this its more working with community members ensuring they are able to be socially included, through workshops, community groups, meeting with other peers and if parents other black parents and providing advice and information which can assist in developing them socially and making them socially cohesive. Finance would assist in ensuring rooms are booked or being able to ensure there are resources for use. These projects should be run through volunteers and costs should be related to operations like building and utilities.

From my knowledge and experience, I would like there to be a more considered approach to the development of a black community. Capitalism is not the only ingredient we need, add more cooperation amongst ourselves and dare I say it some big society to the pot and the stew may turn out well if cooked over a reasonable period of time.