The "Power of Community" Essay Contest, sponsored by Hill Motor Corporation, is available to: 1. Graduating High School Seniors 2. Undergraduate College Students 3. Graduate College Students Scholarship Rules:You must write an essay that is at least 500 words addressing the following points(Remember, the more you can say with the fewest words, the better): 1. Why is it important for Black Americans to re-build a sense of community that transcends socio-economic boundaries? 2. What can be done to connect the fragmentations we have allowed to divide our race?3. What are some of the characteristics of a growing and thriving community?3. How can on-line social networking platforms such as HBCU Connect, Facebook and My Space best serve to aid in establishing the community that closely mimics the natural communities to which we were accustomed to growing up? Deadline For Essays:* June 1st, 2007 Scholarship Payout:* Winners will be contacted no later than September 15, 2007 * $1,000.00 * Must prove enrollment in a college or university in the United States prior to award Submitting Your Essay:First create a user account: http://forums.hbcuconnect.com/register.phpAll essays need to be submitted as NEW THREADS here in the HBCUCONNECT user forums under the "Essay Contest Forum". You can edit your submission as many times as necessary before the deadline... All essays will be made readable only by you until our deadline for submissions has been met. Once the deadline has been met, we will open up all threads for PUBLIC viewing while we select finalists. Once finalists are selected we will post a poll to allow for public voting for winners. Winning submissions to this contest will be posted on www.hillmotorcorp.comIn order to manage your submission you will need to create a user account and post your essay using the following link: http://forums.hbcuconnect.com/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=53(Report Obscene Photo)
Living in America as a black female American in 2007 is a true blessing. Thanks to so many before me, we as a people have gained and accomplished so many things in life and have had plenty more opportunities than those who came before us. I am so very grateful and totally indebted to my ancestors. As a result, I want to make them proud of their legacy and I would love to know that others (my generation and younger) feel the same way. Unfortunately, Black America has become and is becoming divided on a daily basis. We as a people are at odds with each other based on where we live, how much money we have, body shape and even the color of our skin. In perfect world everyone-(blacks, whites, Latinos, Asian etc…) would get along. Unfortunately, this world isn’t perfect so, the least that could be done is for the Black community to unite and stand together. Several people in our community love to say, “The White man keeps us down.” But honestly, we don’t help our situation at all. We kill each other, cheat on each other, disrespect ourselves and each other, and put ourselves in situations that land us in jail. In order to rebuild our community we need to love thy neighbor as thy self and we definitely need to start loving ourselves. Our young ladies don’t need to flaunt their bodies and our young men, can do more than sell drugs. We need to take pride in ourselves and realize that we as individuals are phenomenal and that we as a community are exceptional! Like the saying states, “united we stand, divided we fall.” As a community we need to take our education and personal achievements seriously. Likewise, if someone in our community has success or any major achievements we all need to celebrate. We don’t need to be jealous of others’ blessings, instead we can look to them for support, guidance and motivation. The “hating on each other days” need to be over and done with, we are a community-let’s act like it. Let’s take our families seriously, let’s discontinue the “single mother syndrome.” How can we be a strong community if we don’t even have the decency to have a strong individualized family unit? Children need to respect their elders and elders need to teach the children. We need to start communicating with each other and having family dinners. The teenagers don’t need to run the streets at all hours of the night they need to be at home with their loved ones-bonding. We need way more positive images for our community rather than negative ones-a 12 year old’s role model needs to be Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks instead of famous rappers and gang bangers. In order to improve our community and truly create a thriving community we need all the ingredients listed above and several more. But, the time absolutely starts-NOW! And this process will never end. We won’t be able to improve for one year and then go back to the ways things are now. No, this progression will be one that will help future generations continue to prosper as a community. We want to move forwards not backwards. We all need to live amicably and whole-heartedly with each other. All of us are responsible for this change-are we ready for the challenge?
I believe in our society is very important for Black Americans to re-build a sense of community that transcends socio-economic boundaries, because I think they are institutions that were established prior to their life with the mission to educate black Americans when going to school to learn the black history just like Martin Luther King Jr., Keith Washington, Rosa Parks, or Malcolm X. Perhaps one of the greatest struggles faced by blacks in the United States has been the struggle to be educated. This struggle has been guided by the philosophies of black scholars who believed that without struggle there was no progress; black revolutionists who believed that education was the passport to the future.
What can be done to connect the fragmentations we have allowed to divide our race? I will say that it can be done to connect the fragmentations that allow them to divide our race by the role of these institutions within the larger framework of higher education. During the years of strict and legal racial segregation in the United States, HBCUs served as "islands of hope" where blacks could learn to read and write without the fear of being retaliated against. The primary purpose of HBCUs was to educate black Americans, which they did almost exclusively from the population, and I was not even born yet. The overwhelming majority of HBCUs opened after 1865 in response to the need to have institutions to educate newly freed slaves and to avoid admitting those newly freed slaves into the existing white institutions.
I think some of the characteristics of a growing are historically black colleges and universities cannot be examined without revisiting major legislations and court decisions that led to the birth of many and the death of a few and made postsecondary education accessible to a broader population of American citizens. The thriving community is was the segregation movement in the South that provided the impetus for black higher education in which ultimately established by law the right to set up separate but equal schools for blacks.
I truly believe that on-line social networking platforms such as HBCU can required predominantly white institutions to open their doors to black students, who prior to this time could not attend these institutions. Faccbook also can effects of a decision made in the mid-twentieth century still linger in higher education in the early twenty-first century, for nowhere are the repercussions from the Brown decision more visible than in HBCUs. My space can best serve to aid in establishing the community that closely mimics the natural communities to which we were accustomed to growing up by lending to a series of discussions, debates, and court rulings that underscore the fact that there not enough research has been done on this segment of higher education.
In being African-American my perception of Black Americans is that we are slowly deteriorating and our communities are dilapidated. Coming from the urban inner-city of Milwaukee I have witnessed this time and time again from person to person and family to family. It is a neverending story as this conflict proliferates through generations. Black Americans care, but there are no actions taken to rectify the the situation. One person cannot make things right, but working together collectively is a good start on the road to recovery.
It is important for Black Americans to rebuild a sense of community that transcends socioeconomic boundaries because we heavily rely on economics and need to embark on other avenues, opportunities would open up, and we need to consider implications for future generations with children. As blacks we like to spend massive amounts of money and focus on the latest trends. We need to realize that once a materialistic item is purchased it depreciates with value. We can look good, but should rate other assets higher. I see people driving flashy vehicles with huge rims and fancy paintjobs, but still live in the bad area driving to poor housing. We should make quality purchases that have merit such as property and not things for the moment. It is shameful how we will spend our money just to be cool or fit in. There are much more important things. If we rebuild a sense of community that transcends socioeconomic boundaries then opportunities would open up. Notice how Asians and Arabs permit their money to flow around the community. They do not give it right back to the economy in the mall and fast food, but share as everyone has something. In turn, people open up businesses and the cycle continues. Education would be obtained if families pride themselves on school for a better life to escape the rugged inner-city rather than falling for the temptations of instant gratification for the now, overlooking working hard to achieve later. We also need to rebuild a sense of community that transcends socioeconomic boundaries for children who will eventually grow up so they can have better advantages. My mom was in public school, but put me through private school which provided good education. I will do the same when I have kids. I was not just around blacks (in a lot of cases deprived) and learned how to interact with different types of people whom we will be dealing with in the real world and workforce.
What can be done to connect the fragmentations we have allowed to divide our race are education and knowledge. We need to be taught and shown thought provoking examples of right and wrong and this is the way to do things as opposed to this is not the way. There is a catch to this though. The consequence of knowing more carries the responsibility to act accordingly. To be ignorant is to not know what is right, but to have education and knowledge you know right from wrong.
Some of the characteristics of a growing and thriving community are cohesiveness, roles, mutual support, and sharing. Cohesiveness is needed for those in a community to stick together. Very little gets accomplished when there is constant disagreement or rivalry. Roles are needed in a community so tasks are completed as everyone does their job individually and collectively goals are met. Mutual support is evident in growing and thriving communities because there are no personal attacks and every member is influenced in a positive way. We should praise in public and criticize in private. Sharing is also key because a bond of trust is established. When someone is lacking, another gives assistance knowing the one helped will reciprocate or would do the same if the helper was in a needy position.
Online social networking platforms such as HBCU Connect, Facebook, and MySpace best serve to aid in establishing the community that closely mimics the natural communities to which we were accustomed to growing up by raising awareness. If utilized correctly, it can be like the movie Pay It Forward where someone does a favor for a stranger with no expectation besides the person helped to pay it forward to another person by doing them a favor. These sites work well for networking as it fuses people together. Two minds are better than one. As Black Americans our sense of community has been ravaged from senseless killings, the inability to set priorities, lack of resources, and etc. With a strong community comes foundation, but we first have to be educated to be cognozant of what it is that needs to be done to improve the lack of community. Without knowledge and education we do not know and are ignorant to the solution. With that said we will continue down a path of destruction.
I just wanted to say I'm glad for the students to have this opportunity for scholarship. Kudos to You
_______________________________ We all have a purpose here on earth. We all are unique beings created to complete a puzzle that we cannot see. If people all over the world, no matter race,religion, political party, gender can learn to love, understand, and accept one another; the world will be a better place. Unity is the key to prosperity.---Candice Johnson
(C) Copyrighted 2007
It is important for Black Americans to re-build a sense of community that transcends socio-economic boundaries much like the sense of community of the civil rights movement. During the movement of the 50s and 60s Black Americans were unified and strengthened fighting for our inalienable rights. If this generation re-builds this “sense of community” and togetherness we as a race can succeed and fight social and economic injustice. But how can we as a whole people reconnect? In order to connect the sectors of society that we have allowed to separate us we must first realize whose shoulders we are standing on. We must understand that it is not by magic we have the opportunities that we do, whether it comes with obstacles or not. We as a race can see success in the future because we stand on the shoulders of those who saw a way through the failures of their present. When we see and understand the struggle we begin to obtain a brotherhood and a sense of community. A community whose members thrive and blossom amongst the weeds of society is one in which there is advantageous communication and fellowship. A thriving community is a family where no one is alienated; everyone is connected in a manner that heightens character and promotes success. A strong community is one in which the one helps the other and a problem to one becomes a problem to all. In this generation, with technologies and online chat forums such as Myspace, Facebook, and HBCU Connect, we have the tools capable of forming a thriving community. In the days of Martin Luther King Jr., churches were used as the most efficient form of spreading the message because almost everyone could be found at church. In this new age television and internet are the most popular forms of heralding. The internet being the more standard because it requires no money yet has access to so many. Almost everyone is able to connect on the internet and if we can use that knowledge and technology wisely we can connect and re-build a strong sense of community that transcends socio-economic boundaries that divide our race.
I believe there is more than one color and I believe that no matter what anyone says, we will always be pegged as different and perhaps better people, or worse, only because we have come to the point where it is thought that there are better colors and worse colors. I believe people have spent nights crying…children have spent nights crying themselves to sleep because someone’s parents taught those kids who called them a “stupid Mexican” earlier that day that it’s acceptable to be raised as ignorant and it’s more than okay to believe it because while they know nothing about a young girl who’s just trying to learn something in class, it’s okay to assume that she’s stupid because she’s a Mexican. My father is from Guanajuato, Mexico and my mother was born of 100% Mexican blood. I am a Mexican—a “stupid Mexican” if that is how you choose to believe, but I believe that I am beautiful.
I spent days in my small town high school being brought down under their breath. For some reason they didn’t want me to hear what they had to say, but they whispered to themselves anyway as if it was okay as long as I didn’t acknowledge it. Well, I heard everything. “She should go back to where she came from.” Even though I was born and raised in Indiana. And, “…they’re all dirty.” Or when we watched the news in class about a poverty stricken town in Mexico, while I was wondering just how close my family lived from this place, behind me I heard, “Living in boxes? They deserve it because they’re Mexicans” and “…nobody cares about them anyway.” I believe it was this day, in front of this television set, in front of two sorry bullies, that I learned what it was to be me. Never in my entire life have I ever felt sorry for myself because of who I was. Never in my entire life did I wish to be someone else, another color, another race…I believe, through the worst, I became the strongest and I learned to say Say it to my face. “Look at me right now and tell me without knowing a single thing about me that I am stupid, that I am ugly, that I am dirty, that I don’t deserve to be here. Say it to my face.”
I believe that it’s okay to be who we are, no matter what color, no matter what kind of accent, or what clothes we wear. I believe that if we let ourselves, we can become stronger and all those tears can be used as mere stepping stones to the realization that there should never be a moment for us to be ashamed because everyone is different. No matter if we’re one of the “better” colors or not, everyone is a different color, everyone comes from a different place, and everyone is judged just as heavily from all the other colors. That, the judgment, will never cease, but I believe if people were to stop talking for one minute, and put every different color right next to each other, it would be more beautiful and much more enlightening than anything anyone could ever say.
The Hill Motor Corporation Power of Community Scholarship
I feel it is important for African-Americans to re-build a sense of community that transcends socio-economic boundaries, because community plays a big role in the development in who we are today. Rebuilding a sense of community gives our children discipline, a feeling of pride, and shows them the meaning of true unity. I believe having an active community can break any fragmentations we have let divide our race. Some of the greatest characteristics of a community are how families pull together to help one another in a time of crisis.
There are many socio-economic boundaries that have changed over the years such as people tending to keep to themselves, and people also loosing pride in the place where they live. Rebuilding a sense of community can help to transcend these boundaries because our children will learn the true meaning of working as one for a better cause. Having our children which will be our future leaders of tommorrow experience all that goes on in a community gives them tools and traits such as leardership, and teamwork that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. The best way to break some of the fragmentations that have divided our race is to have an active community. Having an active community that is involved in the well being of the children helps asure that no child falls astray to the disruptions that corrupts our children everyday. These corruptions range from gang violence, drugs, pear pressure etc. Having a closenit neighborhood like those in the past really keeps our children who are our future from walking down that misgudied pathway.
On-line social networking platforms such as HBCU Connect, Facebook and MySpace best serve as an upgraded community, which reflects the way society is today. These social networking sites serve as a non-physical way of communication. These sites help closely mimic the natural communities to which we are used to only in one way, and that is you get to conversate with people who live in your area. These conversations can be used as a stepping stone in drawing together a community. By drawing everyone together through these social networking sites they become the biggest tool in establishing a community. You have a variey of optinions using these sites. You are able to alert members of the community when, and where events will be held. You also can leave instructions as of what to do in case of emergencies. You can also alert members of the community about important town meetings. Social networking sites can be a great tool in offering many people who are very private individuals a way to rebuild a sense of community in their neighborhoods. These sites offer people every chance in meeting others similar to them that may live in their surroundings, thus increaseing the chance that a strong and active communitie will be re-built transcending all the socio-economic boundaries that plague our world today.
Black Unity is a phrase long forgotten since the times of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. During the 60’s and 70’s, black leaders understood and pushed for unity outside of an economic and social structure. Since these times the overall construction of Black America has changed. From the once unified and determined black nation, the present day status includes lackluster involvement and sprawling separation. Past phrases of ‘black power’ and ‘black community’ have been replaced with the present phrases ‘C.R.E.A.M. (cash rules everything around me)’ and ‘Money, Power, Respect’. Most blacks of today focus on personal goals and cliquish gains, which have resulted in hindering the growth of the black community. With social and economic factors already pushing society, blacks have no choice but to create a new community if they are to succeed. The rebuilding of a black community would lead to utopian forms of opportunities for black success in America. The partnering of separate blacks would do for Black Americans what the Harlem Renaissance and Civil Rights movement did for there times. It would create black unity that would transcend generations and guarantee a foothold in American wealth. Unfortunately, blacks must battle their own divides in order to succeed in American society. The fragmentations that have aided in massacring the black community must be addressed if they are to be fixed. As in medieval times, a pattern of family revenge for respect has taken place since the Crack Epidemic of the 1980’s. The creation of gangs has only furthered this ongoing killing spree, resulting in new reasons for blacks to kill one another. The formation of Hip Hop was first used as a way to express these concerns along with relaying some of the good parts of the depleting black nation, but somehow got confused. As a result, the education of black students is at an all time importance. Unfortunately, the needs of blacks are not being met. Gone are the ‘father knows best’ days, as statistics argue that 70% of black children grow up in single parent households. With an unequal balance at home, education must compensate for this. Education is deeper than just texts and tests. Education is the betterment of the mind, and leads to effect contributions in society by an individual. If the black divide is to be mended, action must be taken within the under funded educational community first. This will lead to creating a greater community in general. But what are the characteristics of a growing community?Some of the characteristics of a growing and thriving community are clear leadership, set values, and communal unity. A defined and productive leader can always account for a stable community, nation, or group in most circumstances. Leadership from those within the society only reinforces the values of a growing community. Set values play a role in creating and maintaining a productive population as well. The presence of values honoring high morals and a sense of responsibility forces all individuals to expect the same from the society surrounding it. These set values help to create communal unity. The ability for neighbors to respect one another and care for each others well being are symbols of a successful unity. This type of tight knit unity can transcend the physical world and can be enforced online as well.Online social networks like HBCU Connect help to reinforce the important standards needed to succeed in life. Creating a productive and unified social network for blacks can be another way to educate a person in finding opportunities for themselves and those around them. With the internet as popular as it is today, different perspectives and logical ways of solving problems can be addressed. It is easier to find and communicate with like minded individuals as well. The world is only a click away, giving more people the ability to change it for the better. When the black community realizes these truths and act upon them, black America will flourish.
I know that most of us have either heard or used the famous quote, "United we stand, divided we fall" but I'd like to know just how many of us have taken the time to truly examine these six simple words. As a student living in Atlanta,Ga I see the effects of African American division on a daily basis. There are thousands of successful, "business-savvy" blacks in the city who are making infinite strides in various fields, living in the luxurious and most prosperous neighborhoods, and have even began the motions for an early retirement. And yet I'm always astounded at the number of impoverished black neighborhoods there are. In this same city that oozes with the success of thousands of African American's , there are also thousands of blacks that still remain anchored to the the bottom of poverty, a place where it's inhabitants will most likely never find an escape. Blacks whom have little if any education and no knowledge of how to make a better life for themselves. We are divided. Whether it be by class, wealth, educational status, or skin tone we are a divided people. Why? What has this self-imposed division done for us? The answer is nothing, only one side of the line is advancing ,while the other is falling farther and farther behind. But we can only go so far, it will take our entire community to bring about more change and better opportunities. We cannot expect other cultures to take us seriously when so many of us are still living in poor conditions or uneducated. We cannot make any further advancements, demand equal treatment, or even expect respect when others see us as gangsters or hood-rats; when that's how we see ourselves. This is why it is so important for us to rebuild our community; we are living in a time where everyone only thinks of themselves. We will never be whole or genuinely happy or even at peace living like this, and that includes all races, not just African Americans. Being a Christian I believe that Jesus holds the answers to every situation and I know that in order to be a righteous woman I must not only follow God's word, but I must act on it as well. I must reach out to other people, giving them my time, patience, and understanding. These are the keys to building a better society. If those of us that are considered successful took the time to speak with those that aren't in our same position we would really be able to bring changes. We have to show our community that there are alternatives other than what we see on television or hear on the radio, and that they are available to all of us. There was once a time when African Americans saw each other as equals, when we were honestly happy for our neighbors when fortune came upon them, and when we helped one another. When we cared about the well being of all children, not just the members of our individual families. The Big Brothers, Big Sisters Atlanta Chapter has a waiting list for Big Brothers that is so long that they offer to pair young boys under the age of 8 with a willing Big Sister. I am so saddened by that, especially when there are seven colleges/universities in the immediate area, three of which are HBCUs. I do not believe that enough of us are taking advantage of the society in which we are living. We have a responsibility to one another, to aid in times of need, to encourage dreams and ideas, and to celebrate life with each other. We have to step out of our comfort zones and openly speak with other members of our community. We must offer true understanding to everyone's situation and exercise patience as we offer guidance. We have to go into the neighborhoods, or speak to people publicly when we see wrong. But it must come from a place of understanding, compassion, and comfort. Email, television, all of our social gathering engines. We are constantly coming up with excuses to get together, why not take advantage of it. We should use these opportunities and engines to learn about each other, to share information both positive and the negative, and come up with ways to better our community. And we are the only people who can save us from ourselves.