The Importance in Representation of Black Women in Media


The need for more black women in media is a necessity. Some may not understand exactly why media needs more women of color, but I'm just going to come right out and say it. The need for black women is to address and correct the issues that are being highlighted, preyed upon and stigmatizing reflections of our community. We need more black women who are politically knowledgeable to speak up about the problems in this world. We need more black women who seek to bring our representation higher than reality television. We need more black women who are dynamic with a platform. We need more black women who can professionally apply pressure.

Representation is important and I can't stress that enough.

For example, Angela Rye's platform is uncomfortable for everyone who likes to shy away from the nitty-gritty truth. Her intelligence, strength and confidence anger and threatens many. It's quite interesting to see people so upset about the truth she's speaking. I mean, she's being just as vocal and straightforward as Tomi, but Angela states facts-- correctly.

Ava DuVernay, paving the way and emerging conversations to the surface that need to be talked about for all ages. Her storytelling will change your views and show you what won't be found in your history books. A woman of color like her was essential to bridge the gap where ignorance is bliss. She opened the candor and allowed that truthfulness to rise above matters that many were unsuspecting to. If it wasn't for Ava, many would still be blind and naive from the truth.

Yassmin Abdul-Magied. Grace.. class, distinct. Strong in her identity and informative in her religion. Able to correct the ill-informed with poise and respect. A woman speaking above those meant to intimidate and silence women of color.

See, these are the types of representations we need more of. As black women, our progress substantially collides with media stereotypes. They don't expect or even imagine us to be poised, well spoken AND intelligent. My goodness, they think we all have no sense. Right now, we only scratch the surface..imagine the impact of a rising incline? I'm talking massive #BlackGirlMagic. It's time to start taking the power we have stored away more serious. It's inspiring to see shades of brown on the tv and making a difference in this world and shifting the way things are "supposed" to be. It's so inspiring, that we all seem to think to ourselves, "wow, she is goals" and that's perfectly fine. However, we have to stop stating it and actually take action to become part of it. Claim to take on a role to better represent the culture as a whole. We are the one group whose portrayal is completely one-sided and viewers/audiences don't even get the full picture. We're so much more than what people believe us to be and that's where we need to step in.

Keep in mind that this post is not to degrade or make anyone else who doesn't identify as a woman of color feel any type of way. However, a lot of people can turn on the tv and identify with what they see. Black women? Yeah our numbers in representation are climbing, but a vast majority of what we see is exactly how everyone sees us. There's a lot of positives starting to come full-circle for us right now, but the negatives and misconceptions still seem to hover over. I understand that many of these shows out are for entertainment purposes, to say the least, but when you really think about it, it's purposely being fed to mainstream. I personally had stop watching the Love & Hip Hop's and any other show that makes black women look exactly how they perceive us to be, because I know we're better than that. Much better than that. You might not think anything of it and in no way am I attacking you for watching it; if that's what you enjoy. Above all, they want people to believe that that's how we truly are. Then we sit around and get mad when other races try to act out about this same exact issue. If a good number of us are accepting this potrayal, how the hell will anyone else know any better? That's why it's time to start flipping the scripts and ridding the misconceptions. We have a good amount of strong, successful black women in the forefront. What about the rest of us? We are one of the most intelligent, creative and hardworking group of people that I know. There aren't many things that can tear us down. However, I do believe in some way we got comfortable. Willing to accept things that were easier. We can do a lot more than just comfortable and easy. Our image is a lot more than oiled skin and scarce clothes. We are better and we can do a hell of a lot more than settle for the easiest door.

So, this is my call to all young black women. In what ways to do you seek to contribute? However and whatever way you can assemble your passion with simple change, I say do it. Make a difference. I don't know about you, but I refuse to keep having misconceptions hovering over me. If a lot more of us step up and show that we're all competent and capable and it's just not a few, we'll be moving in the right direction. Stop sitting around hoping and wishing to be the next Issa, Ava, Shonda or Elaine. Take full control of your passion and work harder than you ever have. It's not farfetched to believe in your dreams. I don't know about you, but I'm doing all that I can do to someday be able to say other little girls can positively identify with me. I hope this inspires someone to see the possibilities they hold in their hands.. and may we carry what we know is true and eliminate surprises, because shades of brown are exalting too.

Unbothered | How to Move Beyond Negativity


Doesn't it seem like no matter how much you stay in your lane, somebody always has to swerve over to throw negativity? Always worried about what you're doing in your life. It's confusing actually because you don't do anything but live your life and that seemingly infuriates people. I often times wonder why people are so adamant on being vile and I have never been able to grasp the concept of worrying about someone else's life, mainly because 1.) it doesn't pay me and 2.) it serves me no purpose. The younger me would have let all the negativity, hate and ill wishes get to me. The way I used to look at it was: "I'm so kindhearted and easy to get along with, why would anyone hate or dislike me?" Now I see it as: "It comes with the territory." and I'll elaborate later. See, I'm the type of person that roots for everyone. I love seeing people accomplish goals and dreams. Seeing others happy, genuinely makes me happy even if I'm currently not in as good of a position as them. I cheer for people. I was raised to believe that there is enough sun for everybody to shine, but see that's the sheer difference between an envious soul and mine. 

The Price of Fame in College Sports


When you think of the NCAA, you think of team rankings, top of the line athletes and facilities that are easy to the eye. Though, you rarely think of the inner workings of the organization alone. The hard labor of athlete exploitation and an unfit structure. From the outside looking in, it would seem student-athletes have it all, but the harsh reality is what's often times ignored. The Netflix documentary Schooled: The Cost of College Sports is an eye opening and notifiable, cut throat look into the realness of this organization.

The NCAA is a billion dollar industry that generates revenue all from college sports; which seems like an even trade deal for institutions. Recruit, build, renovate and expand, while athletes are offered a free education in return. It sounds logical right? However, I believe the crux of the problem is much bigger than what the NCAA initially thought.

March 31, 1906, the National Collegiate Athletics Association was founded by Theodore Roosevelt. What started out as an urgent way to fix and keep college football around while putting safety proclamations forth, turned into a multi-billion dollar non-profit organization; that asserts amateurism as the means of its echelon. According to the NCAA, amateurism preserves an academic environment in which acquiring a quality education is the first priority. Student first, athlete second. Thus, when we think of all the indications that make up professionalism in sports, it rings a fairly familiar bell. In all honesty, the only real reason why college athletes are seen as amateurs is because of the simple fact that they aren't getting paid, which is why this whole system is a little corrupt.

Don't get me wrong, it's a blessing and a great opportunity to receive a scholarship, be able to attend a university and get a free education, all while doing what you love. However, there comes a time when we should take recognition that being a student-athlete is more of a full-time job than anything else. Granted, scholarships help inner city kids and those who can't afford college on their own. It's a way out of the circumstance for most, but scholarships don't take care of expenses outside of the institution. There is more that comes into play here than tuition.

College athletics bring in so much revenue and the athletes who are generating it all don't earn or see a dime from the profit they are bringing in. You can't possibly sit here and think that using and exploiting the talents of these athletes with nothing to show for on their end, is okay. They're "students first" but are they truly benefiting from their amateurism in terms of being a better student? Any regular student has rightful access to receiving a profit off their talents and skills without risk to losing the scholarship that's putting them through school. Let's be cogent here, there is no other field whatsoever where people are told that they are unable to benefit beyond their own potential. Nobody cares if the president of the student body benefits from being able to lead. Nobody cares if a journalism or English student profits from writing a book, but the fact that there is a complete uproar when considering if a student athlete should be paid for what they even allow you to do for your program  is the exact issue.

This isn't a case of amateurism, it's simply taking advantage to feeding greed. How about we take a look at the rational economic exchange. The rational economic exchange is an act of transaction of goods or services, in which are transferred from the provider for a return in relative compensation value, from the receiver. This is done in a manner that then advances the interest of both parties in exchange of goods for goods. Economic exchanges naturally influence wants and needs. We're all born with basic needs. The need to eat, the need for protection and warmth. All of these factors then increase the demand for the necessities that will fix those needs like food, shelter, and heat or clothing. Needs are necessary, wants are secondary. To piggyback off the process of economic exchange, consumption follows. Consumption is a satisfying act, so to speak. To even be able to participate in economic exchange for consumption, a party has to exchange their skill or effort, enterprise, land and or capital-- for an income. Which opens up the playing field to then exchange that income for the consumption of necessities that they want or need. Next, the production. There are four main types of production:

1.) Land and Natural Resources.
2. ) Human Capital.
3.) Real Capital.
4.) Enterprise.

Can you guess which of the following is identically intertwined with the issue the NCAA is overlooking? Human capital. The value of human skill and physical effort, better known as labor. However, unlike the other economic productions, the NCAA is finding beneficial ways to increase exchange rates and capitalizing on factors that will guarantee influence. This all includes better advertisement, top-ranked players, uniforms, and facilities that all increase the chances of bringing the most sought after players in their school, which garners more money in return for them. What about the athletes?

Let's get to the meat of the matter.

Student athletes are there to play sports. Half of the time, athletes are in courses that have no significance to their major. They just need to be eligible in order to play. So, if they are "students first" how is this benefiting them at all? They have everything on their plate times ten. They have media duties, thousands in stadiums, jersey's in stock by the numbers in the student store ( that people are actually purchasing) and billboards all over town. They're in video games with no consent and used for promotional purposes. Not to mention, they miss an excess amount of classes for game travel. They are walking celebrities in their college town, signing autographs and they do it all for free education. Most say "they should be lucky they're in school at no cost". That's not the issue. The issue is that they don't benefit from anything that they produce. Yeah, a free college education is great, but what happens when they don't know if they should get gas or get dinner? What happens when the end of the school year rolls around and they don't get anything they do during the academic school year? They have an off-season, but can they afford their rent?

It's also important to consider that many of these athletes that you are bringing on to your teams aren't from the greatest upbringings. This is all they have to try and support themselves. They're working hard, showing up on time, doing everything that's asked of them, but yet are still struggling, and this is why we see a lot of athletes forgoing their NCAA eligibility to go after their dream to get to that next level and have the means to help and support their families. This very crack in the system causes them to not finish the education they first sought out to get. When most think of paying college athletes they think huge numbers. Of course, some athletes will be higher profile than the next and some sports take care of the cost of others. However, in terms of paying the athletes... they just need help. In my opinion, I believe that if a little more of that help and compensation were given, we'd see a decrease in the anxiousness to leave without securing a four-year degree. I believe the whole system would see a shift, in a good way. It would give the athletes a better sense of security. Now, it's always said to be "too complicated" in terms of paying athletes, because of x amount of teams with x amount of athletes. That's a given. However, provide them with the little help that they are continuously asking for. That's the issue that is being overlooked here.

At some point, the NCAA won't be able to ignore and push aside this matter for much longer. The industry has climbed and expanded far ahead of what it started out to be. These athletes are good, really good at what they do. They have to come to you first, to even get to the level they want to be. All in all, if they're going to be put on pedestals like professionals, advertised and desired like professionals, then they should reap the benefits from their own likeness and image just like professionals. 
© Ashley Avenu. john 15:5 .