Tag Archives: support

Today’s Word is… SUPPORT

Like Issa, I root for everybody black. Whether it’s award shows, interviews at my workplace, watching Family Feud…I want to see us win. Even you, Soundcloud rapper. That applies in my day to day life as well, especially living in Boston with it’s well documented racial history, I buy black when I can and when it’s plausible. Of course there’s the common tropes, “black businesses are unprofessional”, “black people always want a hookup” which turns into a chicken or egg argument…perhaps you are a little too comfortable with black consumers, maybe black consumers are a little too comfortable with you. I think about my barber, who on hand asks I make appointments and adhere to them but when I do he has someone in the chair and he’s on the phone. I have no idea how much my haircut actually costs because whether I give him $25 or $30 he just gonna ask how much I want back. Like, it’s been years and I still don’t know if I’m tipping too much too little or at all. I think about so many podcasts I subscribe to that take months off at a time, Christmas gifts I ordered and just got the other day, restaurants with 50 minute wait times and one of my favorite blogs pretty much being reduced to lists and this is what I watched on TV last night. And as a black person I want to support but as a consumer I’m left unfulfilled. It feels my support isn’t earned, it’s assumed.

Of course, it’s impossible to buy all black all the time. I can’t live off soaps, butters, witty t shirts and crafts. I also can’t afford to not see what Amazon and Wal-Mart are hitting on. Woke Phi Woke Twitter like to sell this narrative that Black people are simply brainwashed into supporting larger companies as if there’s a black owned smartphone on the market. I love us, but I’m not rocking Starbury or Big Baller Brand kicks. Tidal isn’t as easy to navigate as Spotify. These are choices I choose to make as a consumer. That money saved can then be used towards black businesses, it could all be so simple.

I think trust also goes into it; the black businesses that win tend to be in skincare, food and clothing. We trust the black twitter skincare guru more than they do Jergens (or a white dermatologist who might’ve studied black hair and skin for a week). A black owned restaurant, we expect the food to be hitting. But then theres the black owned credit union or consulting firm that doesn’t get that same level of trust. Is it because we are just used to us in certain fields? (or, white people stop reading…. Niggas be scamming, B. Like whichever one of your cousins had you on Facebook embarrassing yourselves with that CashApp scheme, or your Twitter fave hosting dinner parties serving meatballs and texas toast, and of course your WCW selling that detox tea). If I left my employer and went out on my own, I’m still capable of the same work I was doing. Except without the backing of a name brand company with customer service and auditing which engenders trust.

So where do we meet halfway? While studies show millennials support black business much more than previous generations (because we’re better than you) we all should be willing to make little sacrifices to support our own. Capitalism is a whole hoe and it’s hard to avoid the giants but in this digital age, apps and websites like Official Black Wallstreet come in handy helping connect businesses with us. Holla at a black florist this #valentimesday, try to find a black dentist in 2018, bring back Fubu…we all we got.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… CREATIVE

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So I blog, I draw, I podcast, I’ve written articles, short stories, plays and songs, I cook, I’ve dabbled in graphic design, I’ve “acted”, I’ve owned a web store, I’ve owned an actual art gallery, I’ve built shit from Ikea, I’ve built shit from scratch, I can’t sing or dance because God had to keep me humble.  So all that to say I’m dope a creative person.  I have a busy mind.  The drive to turn some of these talents into business… Well… That’s another story.  I’m more of a hobbyist, as well as my harshest critic, I don’t want #meatyocrity out there with my name on it.  No shade by any means, but I kinda admire people who are able to put themselves out there no matter what….we all have that friend who raps, or the cousin with an Instagram boutique, and personally I can’t not seem to meet a woman who doesn’t write or do hair and makeup (is that just the female equivalent of the aspiring rapper these days?)

I do admire other creatives; as peculiar as they may be. For instance Dessi is an amazing artist and Special was a singer, (there was a dancer in there as well I don’t remember if she got a nickname) .  Creation is an easy icebreaker; I like creatives for their passion, their quirkiness, their drive.  I don’t know if I have the same connection with my own work.  I’m nonchalant; modest.  If a woman didn’t see it for my blog (most don’t) or my art I don’t think I’d get in my feelings about it. Maybe a little, but we’ll get to that later.  Anyway, for others creatives their craft is an extension of them you can’t love one without the other.   And with that we begin our tale of deceit and struggle…

I met a girl yada yada yada, she tells me she writes poetry.  She’s fine so I cast aside my abhorrence for spoken word and go to see her perform at an open mic.  It was dreadful.  Like, it was something about being locked up and licking the steel bars and tasting tears.  Then I had to stay for a couple more of her fake deep friends to perform.   Not the way I envision a perfect evening.  So, of course she asks how was she… She was nervous, but she felt really good and who am I to strike this dream down.  So of course, I lie and she lights up.  I won’t tell you how many more open mics I ended up going to, she would read poems over the phone, wrote a few about me…I was stuck.  I tried to ride it out maybe as I liked her more, I would love her struggle stanzas but can you really build a foundation on a lie? No.

Aint say I didn’t try tho.   We were a few months in, she would send me stuff to read I would pretend to like it. What’s a little white lie if they take it as support; why you think Jhene Aiko out here thinking she the next Sade, some dude couldn’t tell her the truth…. I feel you bruh, I feel you. So, remember how I said I wouldn’t get in my feelings if someone didn’t like something EYE did. Well that was a lie.  So one day I send Sigh,Ugh Angelou a drawing I was working on and she… wasn’t a fan.  She gave a critique and so since we were letting each other in on our true feelings, I may or may not have implied that more work was spent on my drawing than her fake deep poems thay sound like every other chick with Microsoft Word that thinks they’re deep.  It escalated quickly and we stopped speaking.  Who knows what Phyllis Weakley is up to these days.  Maybe she got her bars up.  Shrug life. 

Creatives are an odd bunch.   The passion that makes them great can make them just as insufferable. (West, Kanye).   Creatives crave support, especially from the ones they care about.  When their rap video only had 17 views it mattered that you was probably 11 of them, perhaps they aren’t ready to share their gifts with the world but they share with you and that’s good enough for them.   When a creative has someone who truly appreciates and values them as well as their art, it’s a beautiful thing.  When that support is really just superficial gassing…. Well, just ask Toni Snoreisson over there. 

-Stan-

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