Tag Archives: leadership

What If Justice Wasn’t Blind?

Michael David Dunn

257 Ocean Residence Ct

Satellite Beach, FL 32937

 

Dear Michael,

What if instead of justice being blind, it was an eye for an eye? What if the system that you hide behind said that because you took a life, you had to give one equal to it other than your own? What if because you killed Jordan and shot at his friends, any of us other mothers and fathers across this country could come to your house and kill your child and shoot at your family? How would that make you feel?

I ask because it doesn’t matter that Jordan and his friends were young Black men. It doesn’t matter that you are white and apparently become violent after you drink. All that matters is that you thought you had the right to kill someone else for no reason. Music isn’t a weapon aimed at you. There was no gun in the car. None of the teenagers had a gun on their person. In fact, the only person wielding a weapon that day was YOU. YOU who thinks you have the right to police everyone else’s taste in music, actions and whereabouts. Yet you don’t have any self-discipline to police yourself. YOU, the coward, who thinks he can kill young Black men because you think they are beneath you. You, who thinks lying about feeling threatened will get you acquitted. You are an ignorant, prejudiced, homicidal maniac, who has absolutely no respect for human life.

You had just witnessed your son get married. Were you not happy about that occasion? Was it really necessary for you to leave a day of celebration and make someone else’s life a day of tragedy? You are a piece of trash. Not because I say so; but because your actions and excuses for them make you so. If someone had walked into your son’s wedding, just hours prior, and decided to shoot him because they didn’t like the wedding music he had elected to play, how would that have made you feel?

These are the things you need to consider while you spend the rest of your life in prison. I also want you to know that as a mother of a young Black man, had that been my son you killed, you’d already be dead.  I believe in an eye for an eye. Be thankful you get to remain breathing for a moment, Michael. I hope the state of Florida ends that soon and sentences you to execution along with the other 401 prisoners on the list. That probably won’t happen though, because it seems that the only people who are executed quickly and without remorse in Florida are young Black men, and you don’t fit the criteria.

I pray that if you and your buddy, George Zimmerman (with whom you apparently share the same hobby of killing innocent people), don’t get the execution you greatly deserve, that in exchange the two of you spend the rest of your lives getting raped in prison. The two of you aren’t what we would call “real” killers, so you won’t be able to handle what they do to you in there. No punishment handed down is powerful enough to bring Jordan and Trayvon back to their parents, but maybe it will make you appreciate human life a lot more before you die.  

 

Sincerely,

A mother of a young Black man and a citizen of the United States of America demanding justice

~ The “Stand Your Ground” law is a racist and prejudiced device used in Florida to kill us, not protect us. It is unequally applied at the whim of the judges and prosecutors. A Black woman, Marissa Alexander, was sentenced to prison for 20 years in 2012, for shooting a warning shot into a wall because her physically abusive husband attacked her. Yet, Michael Dunn and George Zimmerman both killed young Black men, who were minding their own business in public, not abusing anyone or committing any felonies in the process during the same year (2012) using the same exact defense. This is Michael Dunn’s real home address.

Definition of a Boss

Everybody wants to be in charge, but everyone doesn’t possess the qualities of a good leader.

Throughout corporate America there are people in decision-making capacities with degrees in everything from anthropology to zoology. Unfortunately, some of them couldn’t define their own jobs, let alone those of the people who report to them. In this economy having a degree no longer guarantees you a job or a high rate of pay. It doesn’t necessary even guarantee you an opportunity to use your degree in an entry-level position. There are a lot of highly educated unemployed people and it has been this way longer than many people realize.

Workforce development no longer consists of training from the ground up. Often employers want people who already “know” how to do the work, but the truth is this: having that degree doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing if you haven’t had experience in that field. So much of what I’ve learned is a blessing to me that I don’t take for granted. I don’t have a degree. Not even an Associates and I’ve never been ashamed to tell anyone that. My professional experience over the last twenty years however, is more valuable than that of anyone’s MBA. And it was less expensive also. I recently returned to school to broaden my education in Cinematography so that I can have the basic knowledge that I feel is necessary for my film and television projects to be of superior quality. However, my business experience trumps that of many of my counterparts  who have a degree.

One thing I’ve noticed is not only the changing landscape of the market but also the motivation behind many people’s desire to be the Boss. There are a lot of people who want to be the Boss, but they don’t want to put forth the work that is required. There are also a lot of people whose only motivation in being the Boss is to make the most money, but they don’t want to make any sacrifices or experience any bumps in the road to make that money. They want it to come easy. They want it given to them. No bootstrapping. No climbing the corporate ladder. Just F-You, Pay Me. Yet they aren’t qualified or deserving of being the Boss because they don’t know how to work and they aren’t capable of teaching someone else how to either.

The best thing anyone ever thought of was an internship. I remember my early years in corporate America and in a way, it was an internship. I didn’t have the experience, but someone in management saw the potential in me and helped me to learn more so that I could be a productive employee. Now, I’ll admit, my first job paid well above minimum wage, but I earned it. I worked hard, followed directions, asked the more experienced employees and management for help when I needed it. I was always on time for work, often skipped lunch (and I still do), rarely took sick days (even when I should have) and I was always one for showing initiative. I went on from that job to the next and the next and I’ve never had to earn less than $12 an hour in twenty years of employment. Not even when I was laid off briefly. And that’s without a degree… and I never worked in manufacturing or did manual labor either. Now, everyone wants to earn $20 an hour or be in management right out of college. Without any experience.  In the process, the market has shifted from wanting more educated employees to wanting more experienced employees.

Why do people think they deserve higher wages with less experience?  

Somewhere along the way, we taught this generation that education was all they needed, and many of them never developed a work ethic to go along with their degrees. They don’t know how to be punctual for an interview. They don’t think they need to have a resume or references. They don’t know how to communicate effectively; verbally or in writing. They don’t possess time management skills. They quit the second things get a little challenging. They don’t know how to commit to anything long-term. They don’t know how to problem solve. They honestly believe that having a degree is enough. Yet some of them even lack the basic elements of common sense. Hell, some of them won’t accept unpaid internships so they can gain experience or work towards a permanent job in their field of study. Instead they’d rather work a minimum wage job so that they can simply get a check.

How unmotivated have we become?

Always be smarter than the people who hire you. – Lena Horne 

That’s what I was taught. And that doesn’t just mean book smart either. Bosses, with real leadership ability will hire those who possess knowledge in areas where the Boss is lacking. That’s what I attempt to do. I’m always looking for talented people who have skills that I don’t have, but know that I need. I figure it will free me to up to do other things that need to be done if I can train and pay someone else to do some of the things that I’m not able to get around to. Plus, it’s a lot less expensive than building a cloning device and has less potential side effects. However, finding the people with the drive, self motivation, talent and desire to learn in a fast-paced, real-time environment is proving to be somewhat challenging. And I’m not the only person who is seeking employees that is noticing this. People literally apply for a job or internship, then turn the opportunity down or quit the position using the most ridiculous excuses. Here’s what’s really funny: they think that quitting hurts the employer more than it hurts them. It doesn’t. The employer will keep moving forward because they are the ones with the opportunity to extend or take away whenever they choose to.  Many Bosses know how to do a lot of things themselves; they just opt to hire others to lighten the load or as a gesture of humanity (to help their fellow-man). Business owners and entrepreneurs aren’t obligated to hire anyone. There isn’t a single law that says if a person starts a business that they are required to hire people. A person can easily start the company, do all the work themselves and keep any profits for themselves also. After all, they are assuming all of the business risks. As long as the business owner pays their taxes, no one in law enforcement or the government will confront them about not hiring people. In fact, it costs employers more time, energy, effort and money to hire people than it does not to.

Here’s the reality: The workforce needs people, but people need experience to get into the workforce.

Here’s the next reality: If you don’t work, you don’t eat.

We have to stop waiting, hoping and complaining about what other people won’t give us when we constantly turn down opportunities because we want instant gratification and money that we can’t prove we’re worthy of earning. That is a bad example that has now flowed into the generation to come behind us.

A real Boss is someone who is being optimistic and self sufficient, not someone who wants to be in charge or to just make a lot of money. A real Boss often worked their way up through their industry. That experience helped to groom them into the leader they are.

My Plans For Super World Domination Start Here

I’m working diligently with my best friend to coordinate the events for the I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference. I’m proud to say that the plans are going very well. There are always minor hiccups in any plan when you’re dealing with people, such as schedules and finances, but overall I’m very pleased with what is developing thus far. As with anything I do, I think it can be better. I admit that I have some personal issues to contend with where this conference is concerned. Contrary to what anyone may think, this conference is not just about me.  I don’t want people to think that I’m out for myself in this attempt. It wasn’t even my idea. Yes, it’s my Brand, my image, my reputation and my name associated with it, and I’m going to be held accountable if it’s an epic failure and praised if it is a success. However, this is more about the young women in the community who need to see that women can do more than pose nearly nude in mens magazines, strip at strip clubs and have sex with famous men to become famous and rich. It’s about the young women who unfortunately don’t know better and need to see examples of adult women who are successful, fashionable, educated and talented who didn’t get there because of who their father is, who their stepfather is, who their baby daddy is, or who their husband is – but instead, they climbed ladders and over walls because of who they are as women and what they contribute to this world.  It’s about helping young women to define their own beauty beyond how big their behinds are or aren’t, whether their hair is natural or not and showing them examples of beautiful women who look just like them and come in all shapes, sizes and complexions. It’s about showing them that beautiful women are in every industry and that we possess a multitude of talents and knowledge. It’s about redefining our worth, our image and empowering ourselves, so that even if a young woman decides to pose in a mens magazine she does so knowing the ramifications and she (hopefully) owns the copyright to her photos [everyone won’t do what we think they should all the time, but let’s take baby steps towards something a little more positive].

I want to encourage more woman-ownership, more women in television, more women on reality shows that got to where they are on their own.  There are too many women on television who are only famous because of semen. Yes, that’s what I said. This is not a kiddie website, so let’s be honest. Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose, all of the Basketball Wives, all of the Baseball Wives and all but three cast members of Love and Hip Hop are famous only because of who the men are in their lives. We wouldn’t know who any of them were otherwise.

{Flashback} Remember when women were famous for being talented? Remember when models actually wore clothes in magazines?

I miss those days.

I also want to use this conference to bring more awareness to some of the dangers that young women face and obstacles that they have to endure. We know, but sometimes I feel like we’re too tolerant of what happens to young women as if it’s normal. Young women being raped, abused, kidnapped, killed and going missing is becoming too prevalent. Not just where young Black women or poor young women are concerned. Please don’t think there are color lines drawn here, because there aren’t. This is about woman-kind in general. Our socio-economic and racial differences no longer protect us from harm.

So when I say that I have personal issues where this conference is concerned I truly mean it. This is my Super World. What I do, what I”m working towards in media and what I see possible in this world is personal for me. However, I don’t want my Super World to only have a handful of women in it. I want to help cultivate a generation of Super Women and Super Girls. I want a legacy of a League of Super Women who make a difference in their communities and in the lives of other young women through media and outreach. I want the I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference to grow larger and more popular every year, and last long after I’m no longer here. I take this very personal.

This is MY Super World, but it’s not here just for me. I’m striving for world media domination and I want to build this empire, then pass the torch one day and retire. I’m extremely thankful to everyone stepping up to facilitate workshops and volunteer. We are still in need of more volunteers, we also need financial sponsors, media partners, and vendors who have products and services related to the focus and purpose of the conference. If you’d like information please email us using the Contact Us form on this website or send an email to events@superwomanproductions.com with CONFERENCE  in the subject and provide us with your information and tell us what your interest is (vendor, sponsors, volunteer). A separate website is being developed specifically for the conference in a few weeks. I also need your prayers to keep me focused and energized towards fulfillment of this purpose that is completely in the Master’s Plans. This isn’t easy, not even for Super Woman.

My plans for Super world domination start here, but they don’t end here.      

Counting The Blessings In My Fab Single Life

I was born and I’ve almost died (more than once). I was in more than my fair share of car accidents and I’m told I am lucky to be able to walk. I’ve been married and I’ve gotten divorced. I’ve had a child and I’ve lost children. I’ve been engaged and proposed to. I’ve had long term and short term relationships. I’ve been the other woman and I’ve been one of many women. I’ve owned businesses that have done well and have failed. I’ve made a lot of money and I’ve lost a lot of money. I’ve struggled and I’ve persevered. I’ve fallen down and I’ve started over. I’ve learned a lot and I’ve forgotten some things. I’ve loved deeply and I’ve been loved. I’ve had my heart broken and I’ve broken a few hearts. I’ve traveled and I’ve seen black sand and white sand beaches.

I’ve met influential people. I’ve walked red carpets and had my picture taken. I’ve had sex with famous men and I’ve had dinner with ‘average joes’. I’ve been flown across the country for romantic weekends and I’ve stayed in for romantic weekends. I’ve been kissed like I’ve never been kissed before, and I’ve been held close and tight with nothing more. I have friends and I have family. I have friends who are like family. If I were to die tomorrow, I know someone would plan my cremation and someone would come to my funeral.

I’ll be thirty seven years young soon. I have LIVED more than some people twice my age have. Although I still have more to accomplish towards my career goals, I am proud of me. If I happen to never get married again, or have another relationship, I’m actually fine with that.

Don’t cry for me because I’m single. When I’m an old woman, I’m going to have a lot of events and experiences to remember that many women will never get the chance to have. I will be able to sit on my porch with my grandchildren, smile and rock, knowing that I have lived a full, fabulous, single life; one that many would envy. If I can proclaim that today, imagine what I will have done by the time I’m forty seven years young. By that time, I will be able to add that I have also changed the world of media and entertainment, leaving something for the next generation to aspire to.

There’s nothing particularly “special” about me. I’m not the most beautiful woman in the world. I’m not the sexiest, the smartest, or the wealthiest woman either [I’m not wealthy at all, in fact. I’m struggling just to become financially “comfortable“]. I don’t own anything spectacular or trendy; there aren’t any custom Louboutin shoes or Hermes scarves in my wardrobe. I’ve never been on TMZ and I haven’t married anyone famous. I don’t always do what’s popular and I despise being like everyone else. I’m just one person that God bestowed greatness upon. I was literally born to do great things (December 25th is my birthday). So if an ordinary woman, such as myself, can become known as Super Woman by using my talents in a humble attempt to live within my purpose, just imagine what you can also do if you strive to live with purpose.  

That is why on Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 8 pm, I’m CELEBRATING ANOTHER YEAR OF BEING FABULOUS at L!V Resto Lounge in Detroit, MI.  I’ve sent my Subscribers, Tweeties and Facebook Fans/Friends an exclusive invitation to attend this event. I have good news in abundance for the new year that I’d like to share as well. So check your email, your Facebook and follow me on Twitter @BestSuperWoman to get the information. RSVP is required and admittance is not guaranteed without it. 

Hi, I’m An Over Achiever

People are so proud of me for the local media coverage I received in the Michigan Front Page on September 21, 2011. I’m not as excited. I guess I’m still in the “building” phase of SWPP after 3 years of being in business, so that’s not a HUGE accomplishment to me. As far as I’m concerned, I can do better. In my (warped) mind, when I reach my 5th year business anniversary and I’ve been in Ebony, Essence, Uptown, Jones, Black Enterprise, Savoy and O Magazines, then I can get excited. Believing in self assessment, I’m aware that admitting I have a problem, is the first step to recovery.  
 
Hi, I’m Angela. And I’m an Over Achiever.
 
I’d like to be excited about media coverage I’d received over the last few months. Particularly since I waited and prayed for almost a year for that to happen. I’d also like to be excited about some of the opportunities that are now coming my way (tv scripts, more media coverage, media projects, book publishing deals), but I can’t because I’ve learned not to count my chickens before they hatch. I need contracts to be signed and deals to be solidified before I can exhale and feel that this is “real” and tangible. Until then I just can’t get excited.
 
As an Over Achiever, I’m often unable to enjoy my minor achievements…
 
I realize that part of my problem is that I live in the real world, where I know that people sometimes disappoint me. People don’t always exhibit a great amount of integrity in their dealings (personal or professional) and taking someone’s word isn’t always the best idea. I prefer to watch a person’s actions and see what they will actually do before I get excited by their offers. I once had a young lady ask me why I don’t talk more about what I’m doing on my blogs, Facebook, etc. I told her it is because some things are dependant upon other people doing their jobs. In the event someone else doesn’t do their job, I don’t want to be the one standing around looking stupid because it fell apart. I told her that I don’t talk too much about my projects publicly because I don’t want people with more power and money than I have to steal my intellectual property. I also don’t want people to think I’m full of crap if something doesn’t happen on the day, at the time and at the place I said it would, so I prefer to wait until it is complete before I share it with the public. It’s my way of protecting the integrity of The Brand. I don’t want a reputation for being unreliable, even when other people are.
 
 …and I have trust issues.
 
I’m glad that others are proud of me. I want to continue to make people proud by fulfilling my purpose, growing my business and becoming successful. I do recognize that I am my own worst critic. I’m my biggest competition. I’m my own kryptonite to some degree. One day, it will be more than enough. But that day isn’t today. It wasn’t on September 21, 2011 when the Michigan Front Page hit news stands, and it won’t be the day I complete and register my first television script either. The day when it will be more than enough will be the day I can exhale. When that day arrives I will be in the position to pay all my bills on time again, I will have a number of projects completed, a number of contracts signed, books will be selling nationally, I’ll be getting paid to do what I love to do and The Brand will be profitable enough that I can hire people, expand and take a much needed, all inclusive vacation to Barbados and not worry about Super Woman Productions and Publishing falling apart as a result.   
 
And did I mention that I’m always setting higher goals for myself?
 
Yes, I like the media coverage. I honestly do. But I’m just not that excited about it. Not yet. Not today. There’s still too much more I need to do before I can rest and say to myself “well done“. There are too many ideas that have yet to be developed. There are too many words that have yet to be written. There are too many dreams that I’ve yet to dream for me to be excited. There’s just too much yet to come. I hope you’ll join me, continue to encourage me and share me with others that you know. That’s what helps to make my current struggles worth it for me.  
 
 

My Not So Ideal Life Makes Better Fiction

Everyone has things they want in life. They also have their idea of what their ideal life would be like. About fifteen years ago my ideal life would have been to have had five children, a loving husband, a huge house on a lot of land and the money to afford it all. My reality was vastly different. Instead I had one child, several miscarriages, and an abusive codependent husband who gambled away the household money. Today my ideal life is also different from the reality. In my ideal life, I would be married to a man whom I could share experiences and goals with and we’d have a media empire. The reality is that I can’t meet a man worthy of dating me more than one time and I have to build the empire I want solo. But the reality doesn’t stop me from wanting more. It does, unfortunately, sometimes dampen some of the excitement. As I’m reflecting on my regrets, my dreams, my failed relationships, rejection and my ever looming single status, I do know this: although I don’t know the reasons, seasons change and my lifetime may not have the love and marriage I hoped for, my experiences make for really good stories, which will one day make me very wealthy. There’s always a silver lining to my clouds.

There’s so much of my life that I could never have made up in a million years, such as the date from hell I had earlier in April 2011. There are authors who can only talk about other people’s experiences and hope we as an audience find it realistic enough to read about. But a lot of what I have written thus far, and will write and publish forthcoming, is based on an actual situation or person I have had a personal experience with. Yes, I use my imagination to make some of it more interesting, I don’t reveal anything that I could be sued for (names for instance) and I take certain literary liberties such as changing locations and details. However, I can honestly say that some of the men I wrote about in “The Goodie Bag; The Erotic Fiction Collection” are real men. None of them were my husband; some of them weren’t even my boyfriends. They didn’t necessarily have feelings for me or me for them, but the chemistry was good while it lasted and it made for good intimacy and sex. That’s the absolute truth. Not too many women get to say that they actually fulfilled some of their fantasies. And very few men get to say they were inspiration for erotic fiction. What is most interesting to me is that the men who inspired some of my work haven’t even bothered to read it. That’s too bad for them because according to male customers who have bought and read “The Goodie Bag”, it’s a very good read.

If nothing else, although my experiences haven’t always been pleasant, and I don’t have my ideal life (and I don’t always feel positive that I ever will), but my experiences combined with my talent will take me places. Maybe some of those places will be Paris, Dubai, Morocco and Rio. It would be nice to share it all with a man who loves me, and whom I love in return. And if not, my not-so-ideal life will still make for better fiction, that I hope will lead to everything else I’d like my media empire to be made of.