Individual and Collective Purpose

By: Howard Williams

One day a black 27 year old well educated young man said to me ” I do not want to be the smartest person in the room. I want to be around people smarter than me, who challenge me intellectually.  I want to learn how to have purpose in my life”.

I was lost for words. I did not know what to tell him. So I said to him, find those people and surround yourself with them. The young man replied. That is easier said than done. He then said there is a difference between one teaching you to survive in life and one teaching you how to have purpose in life.

It took me a few months to grasp what the young man was saying. I had to look up the word purpose to find out what it really meant. I’m a little slow! We teach our children how to survive in life and yet not teach them to have a purpose in life. 

So we all must begin to find our individual purpose in life. And at the same time the African American community as a whole must find it’s purpose in life.

For real prosperity in the African American community there must be a collective purpose and a collective goal.

For those of you that don’t know me. I am passionate about the future of our young black males and it does not look good. Their mothers are begging all of us to come together and figure out something, anything to make it better for them. Things cannot continue going the way they have been going for years. We cannot just write more than half of our young black males off. Or blame them entirely for their situation. That would be immoral.

As most of you have heard. An idle mind and idle time is the devils work shop.

The path we make for all of our young black males, not just the path we make for our own sons will determine all of our futures.

Be Careful

 

Booker T. Washington vs. W.E.B. DuBois.

Booker T Washington vs W.E.B. Du Bois. Intellectualism vs Entrepreneurship And How It Has Affected The Way Black America Thinks About The Skilled Trades and Self Sufficiency Today.

Let us go back and review the debate between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois.  It doesn’t matter on which side of the debate you come down on, they both had valid arguments for the time. One focusing on intellectualism and the other focusing on entrepreneurship. 

However, over the past 50 years African Americans have drifted completely to the side of W.E.B. Dubois.  Intellectualism. Not understanding that there must always be a balance in the way a community moves forward together.

Believing that only changing the laws would be the answer to African American salvation did not take into account the dynamic of money and power. The African American community has no money, therefor it has no power. And whoever has the power makes the laws.

By not incorporating  the argument of Booker T. Washington. Entrepreneurship as part of the long term strategy has left the African American community vulnerable. As we are finding out today. Laws are being changed by the stroke of a pen ( Executive Orders ).

The African American community cannot educate, feed or house itself. The African American community owns nothing!!! Until that is clear to everyone in the African American Community nothing will ever change.

 

A Childs Success Will Be Determined By Their Ability At Solving Problems

Most of us believe our child will get a good education. The problem with that is, very few of us can define what a good education is in todays society. The old rule back in the past was a good education was learning the 3 r’s. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. In todays society the majority of our children are weak in at least one of these subjects if not all 3. However math is our childrens greatest weakness. And that is why our children have difficulty solving problems.

However, before we can explain the importance of math to all our children we must learn the importance of math in todays society ourselves.

Why must our children learn math by Mark Karadimos

What is math?

Those who do not appreciate math are those who do not understand what math is all about. That is why the nature of math desperately needs to be explained. Simply put, math is about solving problems.

How can math help me solve problems?

Ever since there were humans in existence, there have been problems to solve. Whether the problems were over basic requirements like sustaining sufficient amounts of food or major accomplishments like constructing multifunctional homes, problems such as these remain with us to this day. The peculiar thing about problems is that they all have similar properties.

What do all problems have in common?

Successful problem solvers are able to understand what is expected of the problems they face. In other words, they know all of the details surrounding the problem at hand, which is the most important step to solving problems. It requires an attention to detail and therefore patience. After examining the details, intelligent choices need to be made as well as the beginning steps of developing a strategy. The plan must be carried out in an order that makes sense. So careful planning, possibly by justifiable experimentation, must take place. Once an actual solution is obtained, it must be tested to determine whether or not it is reasonable.

What does problem solving have to do with math in school?

Every math problem that gets discussed, handled, and assigned forces us to use many, if not all, of the detailed methods of problem solving. Each individual problem becomes a small but important lesson for solving problems in general. Math is traditionally learned by first doing many smaller problems. Then the small problems are put together to solve bigger problems. For instance, in order to solve algebraic equations, being knowledgeable about addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division is a must. Ordering the steps to be carried out, evaluating expressions, and learning how and when equations are used must be learned, too.

Who commonly uses math?

Everybody uses math whether they realize it or not. Shoppers use math to calculate change, tax, and sales prices. Cooks use math to modify the amount a recipe will make. Vacationers use math to find time of arrivals and departures to plan their trips. Even homeowners use math to determine the cost of materials when doing projects.

Which professions use math?  Just about every profession that will allow your child to earn a prosperous living will require math skills, as labor intensive jobs are a thing of the past.

Here is a small list of math orientated careers:Accountants assist businesses by working on their taxes and planning for upcoming years. They work with tax codes and forms, use formulas for calculating interest, and spend a considerable amount of energy organizing paperwork. 
Agriculturists determine the proper amounts of fertilizers, pesticides, and water to produce bountiful amounts of foods. They must be familiar with chemistry and mixture problems. 
Architects design buildings for structural integrity and beauty. They must know how to calculate loads for finding acceptable materials in design, which involved calculus. 
Biologists study nature to act in concert with it since we are so closely tied to nature. They use proportions to count animals as well as use statistics/probability. 
Chemists find ways to use chemicals to assist us which entails purifying water, dealing with waste management, researching superconductors, analyzing crime scenes, making food products, working with biologists to study the human body, … 
Computer Programmers create complicated sets of instructions called programs/software to help us use computers to solve problems. They must have a strong sense of logic and have critical thinking and problem solving skills. 
Engineers (Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Industrial, Material) build products/structures/systems like automobiles, buildings, computers, machines, and planes, to name just a few examples. They cannot escape the frequent use of a variety of calculus. 
Geologists use mathematical models to find oil and study earthquakes. 
Lawyers argue cases using complicated lines of reason. That skill is nurtured by high level math courses. The also spend a lot of time researching cases, which means learning relevant codes, laws and ordinances. Building cases demands a strong sense of language with specific emphasis on hypotheses and conclusions.
Managers maintain schedules, regulate worker performance, and analyze productivity. 
Medical Doctors must understand the dynamic systems of the human body. They research illnesses, carefully administer the proper amounts of medicine, read charts/tables, and organize their workload and manage the duties nurses and technicians. 
Meteorologists forecast the weather for agriculturists, pilots, vacationers, and those who are marine dependent. They read maps, work with computer models, and understand the mathematical laws of physics. 
Military Personnel carry out a variety of tasks ranging from aircraft maintenance to following detailed procedures. Tacticians utilize a branch of mathematics called linear programming. 
Nurses carry out the detailed instructions doctors give them. They adjust intravenous drip rates, take vitals, dispense medicine, and even assist in operations. 
Politicians help solve the social problems of our time by making complicated decisions within the confines of the law, public opinion, and (hopefully) budgetary restraints. 
Salespeople typically work on commission and operate under a ‘buy low, sell high’ profit model. Their job requires good interpersonal skills and the ability to estimate basic math problems without the need of paper/pencil. 
Technicians repair and maintain the technical gadgets we depend on like computers, televisions, DVDs, cars, refrigerators, … They are always reading measuring devices, referring to manuals, and diagnosing system problems. 
Tradesmen (carpenters, electricians, mechanics, and plumbers) estimate job costs and use technical math skills specific to their field. They deal with slopes, areas, volumes, distances and must have an excellent foundation in math. 

Can I get a good job without learning a lot of math?

In all honesty, anything is possible. However, less and less labor intensive jobs are available. Workers in those fields are being replaced by machinery and robotics. Even when those jobs are available, the pay is usually substandard. In order to gain successful employment, technical skills must be learned. Someone has to fix all of those machines and robots.

What are employers looking for?

Employers are looking for three basic traits. They want their employees to be able to reason, work with technical equipment, and communicate their thoughts with other employees. It is clear that math deals with developing reason and working with technical equipment. It is not so clear how math affects communication. Successfully using math can improve the ability to speak and write more clearly. Language, at least the type needed for work, tends to be extremely structured and mathematical ability helps deal with that structure.

After high school, what do I do to learn more math?

Basically, there are four avenues of education to pursue: universities, community colleges, trade schools, or the military.Universities prepare students for highly professional careers. Math is typically a strong component of their curricula due to the extreme technical nature of these professions.

Community Colleges assist students to either go on to universities or learn technical skills needed for data processors, electronic technicians, law enforcers, mechanics, nurses, and realtors. Math is not as intense compared to the universities but is integrated throughout each program.

Trade schools teach students the science of automotive maintenance, carpentry, computer repair, heating and air-conditioning, plumbing, … Math related skills are integrated throughout each program.

Even the military puts their people through school after basic training. These military schools are akin to trade schools. On the other hand, military officers, even though they must already have bachelor degrees, are put through further schooling after basic training.

Can I learn mathematics by playing games?

Yes! Research shows there is a strong correlation between math/science education with knowledge of the game called chess. As a player’s chess skills increase, so will the player’s math and science abilities increase. Likewise, as a student’s math/science skills increase, so will that student’s chess ability increase. Of course, this is not limited to the game of chess. It is true for all games that require a high amount of problem solving and critical thinking.

Doublespeak The New Language of America

By: Howard Williams

The new English language that has become common in America today, Doublespeak.  Doublespeak is language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms (e.g., “downsizing” for layoffs, “servicing the target” for bombing[1]), in which case it is primarily meant to make the truth sound more palatable. It may also refer to intentional ambiguity in language or to actual inversions of meaning. In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth. Doublespeak is most closely associated with political language. However, it has become so common in our culture that we use it without being aware of it. Being politically correct has caused Americans to be unable to deal the truth. You should always want to know the truth. No matter how painful it may be. Asking someone to change their language in order not to offend you will only fool you into thinking they like you. 

Therefore we must begin to question what we hear and begin to read more to get to the truth. The questions we ask ourselves and the questions we ask others have to be exact, accurate, correct, specific, detailed, explicit, unambiguous, definite. In other words precise

After asking someone a question and after hearing their answer you walk away with the same question, they answered the question using doublespeak. 

So the question for me is.  Why are Black Americans afraid to invest in and create their own economy and educational system that will allow their economy and children to flourish rather than be a part of system that systematically excludes them from achieving great success????

Proof Our Children Can Learn Anything

By: Howard Williams

I want every adult in our community to take the time to view every video in this blog. Even if you have to visit this blog over a number of days. Also share this with anyone you know that has children.

Through a series of videos Michael Watkins and I put together while volunteering at A+ Arts Academy during one summer. We are going to show you what our middle school children are capable of. And that they can learn anything if given the opportunity at an early age.

What we are trying to convey is that our children are not being exposed to a lot of things during the school year. If we allow our children to explore different things during the summer they will begin to understand that they can do anything. In the following videos, introduction to some of the applications of science were introduced without children being aware of it.

As these videos  Introduction To Solar Energy 1  —  Introduction To Solar Energy 2  —  Introduction To Solar Energy 3 will prove our children can learn anything if given the opportunity. Michael Watkins of Watt 1 Electrical Systems was the volunteer instructor.

These videos will show our children can read and follow instruction manuals.  Carpentry Assembling Project 1  —  Carpentry Assembling Project 2  —   Carpentry Assembling Project 3 

These videos will show our children at a young age can operate large power tools if given the proper instructions.  Introduction To Working With Power Tools 1   — Introduction To Working With Power Tools 2   —  Introduction To Working With Power Tools 3   Howard Williams of Willco Services LLC was the volunteer instructor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opportunities Abandoned By Minorities

Times have changed and our community has not kept up. When you lead from behind your just a follower.

The minority community has all but abandoned the skilled trades as a field of employment for their children. Most of the community believes it does not take much skill to repair, remodel or rehab property and anybody with limited knowledge and a view tools can do it.

Because of the knowledge required in the skilled trades today. It takes some initial classroom training and then actual on the job training in the field of interest. There are very few places for young people to acquire this training. And that is where the community has failed its young people.

I am going to try and explain why it is important for our young people to enter this lucrative field. Let me start with this brief slide show Property Fire Damaged Rehab. All the companies that worked on this rehab project except one was a minority company. Just this one project created work for 5 minority companies plus their employees. And yet their is a shortage of skilled workers. Also minority Baby Boomers who have years of knowledge that are beginning to retire are only able to pass their knowledge on to just a small number of minority young people.

Although this Property Fire Damaged Rehab project may not seem large enough to need that many trades. Local building codes require a building permit and therefor every company that worked on this project had to have a license because all work is inspected by local building code inspectors. And building codes change constantly. Remember there is no such thing as a jack of all trades.

Here are the skilled trades that were involved on this project. And all had to be knowledgeable of the new building codes.

  1. Demolition and Debris Hauler 
  2. Structural Engineer
  3. Framing Carpenter
  4. Electrician
  5. Insulation Installer
  6. Drywall Installer and Finisher
  7. Interior and Exterior Painter
  8. Roofing, Siding and Gutter Installer
  9. Masonry and Concrete Installer

Those that become qualified can earn up to $25.00 an hour. Those that become licensed contractors earns a minimum of 10% of each project cost. And yet some in the community would rather their child do nothing than pursue a skilled trade.

 

Our Alternate Reality

By: Howard Williams

We all live in an Alternate Reality, believing something that isn’t true. Lets take the Ford Motor Company logo for example. 

Image result for ford logo Something you have seen thousands of times. However, do you ever remember the letter F ever having that pigtail? It has always been there. Yet some people believe it was never there and would attempt to defend the fact that it was never there. Even though the truth says otherwise. So the question for all of us becomes. What do we believe and why do we believe it? No matter the truth! 

So therefore with Alternate Reality comes alternative facts.

Here are some alternative facts that are believed by some in our community.  

  1. Our politicians will make sure we benefit as much as other communities from the system we pay into.
  2. There is no such thing as institutional racism.
  3. The community takes care of all of its children. 
  4. Entrepreneurship and self governance is beyond the communities capabilities.   

    If the majority of the community believes any of the above, then just like Trump the majority in the community is living in an Alternate Reality. And will attempt to marginalize those in the community that know the truth.

Historical Lessons Not Learned

By: Howard Williams

After watching the PBS series  Africa’s Great Civilizations by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. I had mixed feelings, as I am quite sure most of you who had watched it.

Sometimes enlightenment brings more questions. However the knowledge gained from the series was outstanding.

So here is my take. Regardless of the great knowledge, art and all the resources that came out of Africa. Greed has been prevalent throughout mans history and greed is still prevalent as part of mans history today.

When a human being will sell another human being for money and power all morality is gone. So the question for me is what role did religion play then and what role does religion play today in society?

African Americans will still sell there brothers, sisters and children down the river for power and money. 

The players have changed but the game remains the same.