Tag Archives: west indian

Psychological Sounding Board

As a people, we need psychological intervention. There is a need for us on an individual and family level sort out our dysfunction. I’m not too proud to say I am suffering as a result of dysfunction.

It was only later in my 30’s and late 20’s that I realised the need to go for counselling. At first, I thought I was mentally ill and might have deep-lying problems As I was displaying very dysfunctional behaviours with no explanations. Though I learnt to let go or manage these behaviours and relationships I have for the better.

I have been a few times and it’s a slow process but I’d say I have had around 40 sessions. I’m hoping to get more in life further down the road. This is where black people come in we need a level of therapeutic measures. Men do not talk about feelings or express how they may feel but this does not have to mean you cry or have anger. You could be verbalising the frustration or anger you have.

A belief exists that you can pray a problem away if you are religious or push through it. This can build character but the problem will express itself through other behaviours. I appreciate there is a level of mistrust of using these services, though there is a level of confidentiality (although if something which is harmful to you or another is disclosed then the counsellor must disclose it to the authorities).

I most likely come off like the ideal Aquarius I am. Many black people go to see the doctor if they are physically ill. If you are mentally sick there is a reluctance to see a therapist or counsellor at an early stage to resolve the issue before it gets serious. As a people we let things get out of hand then take the nuclear option of sectioning the person and prescription medicine with its numerous side effects. This in many (but not all) can be avoided, with more education and an open mind.

If we understand that a lack of vitamin D, unfamiliar western lifestyles, dysfunction, individual processes against our collective nature and no one accord in different households we would be better off for going to the counselling services.

It doesn’t matter the race of the counsellor so long as they are professional and are a sounding board for our problems, which we find difficult to resolve between ourselves. The legacy of this could be greater communication between ourselves and more ability to recognise dysfunction which could halt greater incidence of mental health issues.

Here are some sources from both the UK and America on how you can get access to counselling (please click on the title):

UK (National)

NHS

Mind

US

Mental Health America

Shape – Affordable Therapy

Pro Bono/ Free Therapy

Freeloading

There is a lot of killer content out there, some of it is useful some does just that to your concentration. I’m more of a blog reader, though I also listen to podcasts as I work, travel to work or just out and about. One of the things which has struck me and other is how these videos make money.

Looking at the business side of these services is important if you want to understand the reason why they can keep this stream of content and information flowing. They get advertising money from adverts on their videos from the streaming channel. This is now being stopped by google for less desirable videos as there is a concern that too many truthful videos are benefiting from businesses who are purely interested in keeping you distracted with superficial and none nonsensical videos.

Most of the people who do truth seeking or providing videos could benefit from continuing to get the advertising money from these video which you watch without paying but google (in reference to YouTube has stopped this). Before my tirade ends, I have heard and seen some videos where these Video bloggers and podcasters have asked for financial support but there has been a lack of support from blacks, which is typical of my own people, we would rather pay a European for the same request and why because we do not value our own products.

There have been some instances where some people have asked for donations and the audience of the blog have told that person to get a job, or why should they pay for it. These are the kind of people that queue up for the latest gadget or item of clothing or have subscriptions to something which they rarely watch or because there friends have it, when that money could be used for something which they may have watched for years.

A way around this which I have discussed in a previous blog is the video blogger could have adverts at the start, middle and end of the videos, this way you will not be able to complain about the video blogger asking you for money and you will be able to continue to access your free information.

The other alternative to this is where a video blogger had decided to not bother create or release any content until they got a minimum number of donations or supporters on a service named patreon. If you have watched a lot of this persons content putting something towards it shows you will have a level of ownership.

Further Information:

Patreon (www.patreon.com)

Audio And Visual Plugging

Remembering back to the late 80’s and the early 90’s when
I would listen to pirate radio stations which would play
reggae and black music. These were ways in which black
people could play their music on the UK as the costs to
get a radio mast would be huge and for a Licence to play
songs this would be large too.

The radio stations still exist (on Analogue radio and as
internet radio stations) today in towns and cities across
the UK with a Afrocaibbean population. This is because we
originally created them to play our songs and music,
which would not be played on mainstream radio. Despite
them being illegal, many reggae artists do shout outs to
these radio stations, as they are channels which can be used to
bring more awareness of their music and songs.

The thing which these radio stations did which many of
the black people who talk about enlighted matters dont do
is promote local black owned businesses. As a kid when
recording these stations annoyance would set in as the
adverts would play but as a more enlightened adult I like
and understand the need for these adverts.

This links into the point of view that the enlightened
persons who provide information for black people should
have adverts on their audio and video posts for
businesses which are local or regional to them and some
of their following.

This will be useful to those with a large following and
the advertising would be for businesses which are
relevant to the demographic of the audience. On pirate
radio local black businesses advertise and you begin to
find out which businesses exist in that town or city and
also what events are going on locally and regionally.

As well as being able to provide opinions and information
you may also provide information on local businesses on
your videos and radio shows. The finer details in terms
of economic details for both parties are to be discussed
between yourselves.

African Caribbean Society – President

As a black person who studied at university, I was interested in becoming involved in extra curricular activities. This was where I became president of the African Caribbean Society in the 2nd year of my studies. The position was suppose to be an opportunity to provide a cultural education of African and Caribbean history, to these students.

The plan was laid out that I would be seeking cultural events, such as film showings, getting speakers and organising trips to museums and cultural places. There was also an ambition for me to network with university African Caribbean societies within the region of the university (East and West Midlands).

This was the plan, but like with most elected positions, you are voted in with a committee, who must work towards this. Firstly, the committee had some people who were there for a CV and to have the status of being on a committee doing nothing, this included any ideas they had or I had, as a committee we would suggest ideas and vote on them and many ideas were agreed upon. This was the easy part, the difficult part was actually arranging the events, many of the people on the committee were either busy or lazy and needed chasing up to see if they had completed the tasks. This lead to some events being staged but not to the full capacity and some events having a relatively low turn out due to a lack of marketing.

This could have been due to faults of my own such as naievity as most of the committee and the members when asked which type of events they wanted, were looking for parties and going to different parties at the different universities and venues. The plan was to have a party as a small segment at different intervals within the year rather than on a regular basis. To offset this based on work and voluntary experience since this time period, there possibly should have been a partnership (formal or informal) with a black based music society created at the time. This would have ensured the cultural aspects of the society would have been fulfilled and the partying needs of the members would have been covered by the black based music society.

The second point about the networking, this was my original attempt at group economics or at least group sociology, where the aim was to host events and invite the other African Caribbean society to our events and then attend other societies events. As stated earlier this was successful in regards to the discussion and initial planning, though one of the biggest universities in the region at the time, was not interested as they felt they had their own network within their own city.

Had this have been undertaken at the time it would have allowed for the sharing of resources and the support of each others events and making events even more fulfilling with the potential of building and improving relations. The other universities lost contact and despite the society I was president of creating events, the interest in this fell and with a committee not fully cooperative the efforts were difficult, as my missus told me recently I may have been ahead of my time.

This experience made me not want to work in a voluntary capacity again with other black people, but I felt this was unfair, as I gained more life experience and volunteered more as I realised, there are people out there wiling to make more of an effort and to make a meaningful contribution to improve the community they are working in.

The reason I am writing this is, because I feel sometimes as a people we have some that want to work towards a cause and its the others around them that let the whole thing collapse. As adults or participants we should only participate in the best interests of the organisation and the people it is meant to serve.

The allotment (black perspective)

I was listening to and reading discussions relating to black people leaving cities in the USA and being pigeon holed into the suburbs and countryside, with not much idea of how they can work the land,  and it made me think of my own background in the UK and the Caribbean.

My parents both Jamaican, would farm small plots of land as children, with my family on my mums side beings live stock and vegetable farmers, selling crops and stock to the market in Savannah La Mar or Negril in Westmoreland, Jamaica. Though this is happening less and less in the village or neighbouring villages where she comes from due to the increasing US materialism influence plaguing the West Indies.

In the UK as a child I grew up seeing all my older relatives having allotments in the north and regularly spending Sunday afternoons in green houses attempting to grow some jamaican and caribbean vegetation with mixed results. My parents still grow vegetation in their garden as I’ve noted previously my parents garden having a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on a small plot of land.

The issue here is the older generation are not encouraging younger people to grow food. My aim when I leave the south east of the UK is to have an allotment and to grow most of my foods using the sciences and knowledge which I have gained from the older black people I have been around. This was a given that most older black caribbean people grew their own food as young people and in the UK as adults with skills they learnt as a child.

In a climate of food being less organic and more expensive this is important. Inner city folk are less likely to have space or the capacity to grow food but some vegetables can be grown using plant pots. The more we remain reliant on the system for food the more vulnerable we become even if growing our own food is to supplement our diets we can learn to eat seasonally and know how to use the soil for our nutritional benefit.

The one thing I learnt is horse manure and sawdust are great for compost. My dad carries runs of this in his boot in the summer pulling it outside the house preparing it to be used to fertilise the ground. If planting food has another benefit it keeps you fit digging up the garden.

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.

 

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.

 

 

Syndicates

In some discussions I have had this week the topic has revolved around the ability of black people to pool finances together to support community buildings and projects. This in my personal case hAs to involve a building which caribbean people in a town of the UK use for christenings, weddings and birthday celebrations.

I aim to put a proposal together to bid for the building rather than let another ethnicity purchase the building and rent it back to us West Indians and Africans. I am aware there are some business people who would be interested in buying the building if it could make business sense, though I am looking to raise finance for it so if the black people of the town could say put a pound or something in then the businesses get together in a consortium and cover a large proportion of the cost then this would be part of the way to purchasing the building, so it can continue to be used within the community.

The process I will take will be the following:

Enquiring with the local authority how much the building would cost to purchase.

Ask the West Indian community organisation if they have thought about using their funds or fund raising to purchase the building.

Officially enquire if there are any other black businesses interested in buying the businesses.

Put together a proposal for a syndicate and see if the black businesses would come together to purchase the building.

See how other black organisations in the town would be able to get involved in the project by raising funds so that the businesses can cover some of the price but the community covers the rest.

The plan would cover some of the following:

The history of the building
How the community has used it over the years
The activities which are currently undertaken at the centre
The proposal of a consortium leading the running and operation of the centre
The costs associated with the running of the building
How more activities could be undertaken at the building
The benefits to the community
The benefits to the stakeholders
A return on investment for stakeholders
The barriers to purchasing this building
Further use and development of the building
Finally, what would happen if this building is not purchased by black people.

The paper would then be distributed to potentially interested parties and used to create a fundraising platform.

This blog is used to demonstrate what happens in the Caribbean and black community in the UK. Division between islands means for the bigger picture we cannot put differences and create a cooperative. This approach should possibly be followed or one similar at least in the local community.

Like I’ve written in previous blogs I don’t think enterprise can solve all our social, economic and environmental problems but two of the three can be combined to make a huge difference in a community.

I just hope one of two things these plans are put to one side and someone has done exactly this or I can be of assistance where possible using this approach to gain more support to this initiative in the local area. I’m a planner by nature so, we’ll see how this works out.