updated 1:38 PM UTC, Jan 24, 2013
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James W. Lewis

James W. Lewis

Blind Eyes

253599_sunglasses_2Ignorance. A “disease” that taints the mind. If you know its power, then it’s probably infected you, too. No one is immune. Not even me. As a 38-year-old man, I can now pinpoint moments of ignorance in my past, but one moment sticks out...
I was in study hall, my freshman year in high school. Bill, a 16-year-old young man I’d known since childhood, sat across from me. He reached under his desk for a Trigonometry textbook.

My eyebrows flew up, jaw dropping. Bill? In an advanced Math Class? Impossible.

Why my shocked reaction?

Simple. I had learned blacks couldn’t excel in higher learning. Like I said, ignorance.

Media warped a negative view of my own (still does). It spread cancerous propaganda about black people almost daily, its virus poisoning young minds--even those in the same skin.

A Call To Action

James_wAs a black man, I sometimes feel handcuffed to a reality low on hope and rampant in stereotype. According to media, black men are destined to live at the bottom-of-the-barrel. I don’t want to hear that mess. I grew tired of shaking my head and I wanted to do something.

I decided to invest in one person, not a group. Big Brothers Big Sisters Association gave me that opportunity. With BBBSA, they only required me to spend time with a young man twice a month for a year. Even with my military schedule, I knew I could commit.

I asked for a young African American male, my personal call to action, sort of speak. Black boys stayed in waiting

Death of the N-Word

hearseNigger. Nigga. Nigguh. Nucca. Neyeah. Now that we got the shock value out of the way, let’s discuss.

N-words have been chopped, sautéed, seasoned and marinated so much no wonder they’ve lasted so long. They even have several definitions--depending on the pronunciation, of course. How you say them could mean the difference between a punch and embrace.

“You nigger!” Expect a punch. “My nigga!” Expect a hug.

Racists with a major dislike for black folks commonly use “nigger.” Some black folks, skilled in flipping so-called

 bad words into good ones, prefer “nigga” or “nigguh.” For a safer, G-rated version with a dash of humor, go with “nucca.” Rappers and radio DJs sometimes employ a self-censored version that barely sounds like the original with “neyeah.” Lately, though, it seems each N-word translation has blurred a line to create one meaning: a racial epithet to degrade and offend African-Americans. The “a” and “uh” version supposedly symbolize love and friendship, as in “that’s my nigga!”

Polish Your Writing In Less Than Ten Minutes

pencilHow many times have you read a novel and felt in the action? Great novels spike the reader's fear, anxiety, anger, laughter--even hormones.

 

They may even keep the reader glued to the pages until the wee hours of night. Stephen King and Nora Roberts make the big bucks for good reason.

Painting a picture with words demonstrates a unique talent. However, writers must study the craft--as with any skill. The story may be clean off the rack, but may still need a nice coat of wax. No worries. These five tips will help “spit-shine” that masterpiece:

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