New Year, New You fitting title for the first installment episode of the Houston African American Bloggers Association’s digital talk show “You Think It We Say It”. Gratuitously sponsored by Paul Wilson’s Insurance Agency. 2018 was designated by HAAB leadership as the year to show bloggers in all communities that collectives, specifically African American collectives possess the ability to leverage their voices to generate revenue, influence consumers and the power to bring about communal change.
What does a new year, new you mean for you? What will you do differently in 2018? As a collective we took a look at the expression of outrage in fashion (Glam Up), setting financial goals (Secure the Bag), traveling abroad for love (Global Palate), and being proud of Proud Mary (Drop a Pin).
The Coolest Monkey in the Jungle vs. the Survival Expert…Really??
We know some of you are thinking…Is it even possible for this to still be a thing? Yes, in 2018, it is still necessary to point out stupidity, racism and exploitation. The absence of fashion patrol and common decency is responsible for this epic failure reaching the general public. Apparently, levels of opportunity to self-correct, reconsider, and exhibit a modicum of cultural sensitivity is not enough for the marketing team at H&M. This egregious campaign against children of color spawned a boisterous boycott/protest in South Africa resulting in the close of all H&M stores in the region.
The question remaining is the elephant in the room. What in the heck were the parents of the child model in this ad thinking? According to Linning (2018), Terry Mango the mother of Liam argues this entire incident is being blown out of proportion and the backlash from celebrities and the black community is “unnecessary” and unwarranted. Perhaps, her Swedish roots are at the center of the misunderstanding as it relates to the offensive nature of this ad. African Americans and Africans of color understand all to well the negative connotation associated with the word “monkey” when attaching it to descriptions of people of color. There is no love or humor associated with the message “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” it represents a direct affront. H&M gets the “Donkey of the Year” award!
Secure the Bag
Year after year people make New Year declarations (resolutions). We all know a friend or two that says “I’m going to lose weight this year” or “I’m going to save money this year” and then before you know it those resolutions have turned into a distant memory before March. Ever had a friend tell you they were going to leverage their income tax return to facilitate their New Year resolutions? Yearly, the last week of January through March has a sudden influx of Income Tax Refund Ballers or Income Tax-A-Naires, as they are deemed by the YTIWSI crew. If you are one of these people or you’re asking for more information to help a “friend”, the YTIWSI crew proposes…instead of declaring resolutions, perhaps began your year with setting financial goals. Start by considering these four simple steps:
1.) Set goals for the year (Ex: take a vacation, pay off debt, go back to school, or start a small business)
2.) Make a responsible plan for your tax return before you get it (open a saving account or vacation fund account, pay off debt by paying off your largest bill or paying down balances with the largest interest rate)
3.) Create a budget – create a monthly household budget (Ex: use Dave Ramsey’s – Zero Based budget and only spend what you have. The zero-based budget requires you account for every dollar in your household budget. The goal is to get your budget down to zero by paying off all bills and eradicating debt.
Note: disposable income is not an option until all your debt is paid off.
The FPU Financial Peace University is a great resource https://www.daveramsey.com/?snid=home
4.) Invest – if you have a more advanced approach to your finances and you’ve successful paid off debt, the next step is to invest your disposable income and let it grow. (Ex: savings, mutual funds, CDs, stocks, bonds, IRA’s and Bitcoin, to name a few) Also, the best opportunities for investment growth is researching and investing in opportunities that return compounded interest. See link for definition https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/compoundinterest.asp
In 2018, the real question for African American’s is…Do you have a passport? Yasss, we are traveling more as a culture from Bora Bora to Dubai and from Indonesia to Nairobi…travel is the new “It” for black folks. The YTIWSI crew explored the new trend of traveling abroad in search of love. Introducing “To Rome with Love”, a new show on Bravo, as the backdrop for discussion, the crew uncovered a movement of black women stepping out of their comfort zones by pushing past cultural and language barriers in search of soul mates. The discussion yielded the following questions to consider before traveling the globe on a love quest:
- Are you open to interracial dating?
- How will you address language barriers?
- Can you handle a long distance relationship?
- How do you maintain excitement and engagement from long distance?
- Would you relocate to another country for love?
Thinking about being adventuresome and searching for love in far and away lands? The YTIWSI team suggests trying the Meet Up app, researching singles cruises, and a good old-fashion Google search for travel groups and/or singles travel clubs.
Drop a Pin
Speaking about women being brave and fearless in the last segment of the show Drop a Pin the YTIWSI crew discussed the newly released movie Proud Mary starring fierce, Sistah Taraji P. Henson. Who knew Cookie Lyon would turn out to be a compassionate assassin? Wait, do those two things go together? Our team pointed out Taraji is an executive producer on this project and the movie provides a believable strong female lead. Now, we would be amiss, if we didn’t mention that Sony Movie Studios did a piss poor job of marketing this movie and the dry advertisement in no way matched the level of marketing promotion that was given to let’s say….well…Angelia Jolie’s, 2010 action thriller, Salt. Black Twitter was ablaze weeks before the film debut expressing outrage over lack of promotion for the movie. Nonetheless, this production deserves our support as an African American community, we MUST support our own. Therefore, no spoiler alerts here, we will share with you that this is a MUST SEE. It’s action-packed, lots of gun play and then there is Billy Brown for the chocolate eye candy win!
Make sure you tune in every week on Friday at 8pm for more topics you want to hear about on the “You Think It We Say It” digital show.
Mailonline, S. L. (2018, January 12). ‘Get over it’: Mother of Swedish child model at centre of H&M race row calls for global celebrities to ‘stop crying wolf’ following the ‘unnecessary controversy’ over her son’s jumper advert. Retrieved January 28, 2018, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5257715/Mother-H-M-race-row-child-model-speaks-out.html
‘Proud Mary‘ and the Pressure on Black Audiences to Support Black … Pacific Standard–Jan 29, 2018
“I Just Want To Have Fun”: To Rome For Love’s Gina Neely Talks .. MadameNoire–Feb 16, 2018
‘To Rome for Love‘ raises concerns for black women The Student Printz–Jan 30, 2018
Financial Peace University | DaveRamsey.com https://www.daveramsey.com/fpu Everything You Need to Become Debt‑Free. Financial Peace University is a nine-
This article was written Tiffany Taylor-Hicks of Velvet Rope Experience. If you want to know more about Tiffany you can find her on the web:
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