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Sixth Edition

November 6, 2013

Black Consciousness
Promoting Freedom of Thought

Quote of the Day: Steven Biko – “Being Black is not a matter of pigmentation – being Black is a reflection of a mental attitude”

Table of Contents Self-Made: The Color of Success…………...……….…Kendall Josey Detest…………………………….…………..................... Jahi Beal The Irony of Diversity……….……….Ret Brocke & Yoweri Kimeria

Copyright© Black Consciousness Writers 1

Self-Made: The Color of Success
The term "self-made" has grown in use and popularity in recent years. I believe that no one on this earth is genuinely self-made because we all were created by a higher power. That being said, the term we recognize today has taken on a meaning that suggests that one has achieved success on their own terms and put in all the work necessary to accomplish his or her goals, rather than relying on the ideas and resources of others. By that definition, many of those who use the term in regards to themselves are not, in fact, self-made. Some had the advantage of being coached into success, some were brought in via a metaphorical piggyback ride, and some simply received a financial helping hand on their way to the top. I'm sure that we can all name one or two celebrities that have achieved riches and fame by way of riding on another celebrity’s coat tails or getting caught up in some devious scandal. The question I always tend to ponder is this: does success still mean the same thing, whether or not it was gained with hard work, persistence and dedication to one's craft? A couple of weeks ago, I was told an inspirational story about a phenomenal young woman who made it to the top playing by her own rules. After watching her documentary series entitled "Building the Brand,” I became more interested in the concept of being self-made. The woman I am referring to is the bold, Ms. Keyshia Ka'oir. From modeling, to acting, to working as a stylist, Ka'oir was a "Jill-of-all-trades" from the jump. What really stood out to me though, besides the bright pop of color adorning her lips, was the immense success of her now multi-million dollar company, Ka'oir Cosmetics. According to the documentary, it only took about eight months for her company to take flight. This woman was a boss early on, and I mean a real, hard-working, dedicated and honest to God BAWSE. Merely having the right connections and the ability to finesse the truth to present the façade of a boss does not make you one (Rick Ross grunt). The most significant thing that I took away from my research on Ka'oir was her level of dedication. It isn’t easy to be taken seriously as a


woman making the transition from the entertainment industry to the business world. Despite this, Keyshia Ka’oir dove in head first, showcasing her product at trade shows and even sponsoring designer fashion shows. She created her own buzz and truly earned the respect of professionals in the make up and fashion industries. From investing big money to even changing her name in order to fully support her company, this young woman has put her heart, soul, mind and body into making her dream come true her way. Another thing that makes her stand out is her willingness to go back and give back. Originally from Miami, Keyshia has made it a point to return to her city, hold workshops for young girls, and visit sick children in local hospitals in order to raise their spirits with companionship, gifts and love. As young men and women, many times you question whether or not you can make the visions in your head come true. Ka’oir is not only proof that it is possible, but she also shows that you CAN make it on your own. Her story demonstrates that self-belief, commitment to goals, and faith can transform an idea into a reality. I personally look up to her, not only for her drive and "I ain't never scared" attitude towards doing things on her own, but for her spirit and desire to gain not only prosperity, but true happiness. She is beautiful, she is brave and she shines even brighter than her famous, dazzling line of lipsticks. She is Keyshia Ka'oir. -Kendall Josey For more information on Keyshia Ka'oir, Ka'oir Cosmetics, or to watch the "Building the Brand" series, visit


I hate you more than the smell of wet dog, yet I kind of like you because I have to. You were there enough to pretend that you cared, when big brother was watching, but you are rarely adequate in my life. Begging you to stay is something that happens oh so often, though differences are never made; you just brush your frozen shoulders and kick me out of the room. Then you tell me I can reapply for a piece of you. I thought we were a community, a mini family…but when’s the last time you took care of your own? You brought me here and constantly boast of my good grades, well manners and articulate speech. Saying that I am forever yours but ever since my first year you’ve steadily fallen off. True, I’m grown and got my thang going on, but is it too much to ask for more than a glimpse of you? I’m not asking to have my cake and eat it too; I just need a legit piece. While you’re at it, my brothers and sisters are looking emptier than my pockets the day before payday. So get on your job, I thought your name was Financial Aid but you ain’t truly supporting us. I sent for you in January, heard you might pass through in August, and still ain’t seen your ass yet. Where’s my check? Your disbursement has been on the way ever since last May and in reality I should charge you interest for holding out on me. Financial stress has my studies in disarray and all you have to say is go get a tutor? I beg your pardon, the tutor ain’t the problem, the problem is you; everything about you. I have no idea how you acquired a job at an “institute of higher education” and your degree in money management could use a background check, possibly two. Unless your professors were Uncle Sam and Willie Lynch, in which case, congratulations on transporting old philosophies into new age oppression. Grant us with enough to “survive,” but not to thrive. After tuition and rent you don’t amount to much more than 2 packs of ramen noodles and a fruit cup. Although it needs no mention I must say I no longer support this farce you call aid. While your office has golden windows you’re worth less than bronze medals which means 1st and 2nd


place can be grabbed without your assistance. “You wasn’t with me shooting in the gym,” but your absence brought me to a Kobe-level in this college game. It’s a shame, I feel like I'm Final Four quality playing in a pick-up game. Your attempt to discourage has failed and your moves don’t quite work, so take your rightful place at the far end of the bench because your spot is looking rather cold. Thank you for not being there, while you’re watching from the sidelines I’ll become the Most Valuable Student and a 1st round pick in this draft we call a job market. Sincerely yours, Jahi Beal, Editor-in-Chief, And every college student that feels this way


The Irony of Diversity
When we think of diversity we think of a multitude of different races, cultures and nationalities all mixed in together in the same pot. However, our view of diversity has been oversimplified and the integral components are either overlooked or ignored. There are two major components of diversity, Visibility and Invisibility. Visible diversity is the type that is most familiar, where most of us direct our focus when the topic of diversity is brought up. Visible diversity pertains to attributes and characteristics that blatantly set us apart such as age, race, gender, and other physical traits that we have no control over. Invisible diversity includes characteristics that cannot readily be seen upon walking into a room such as life experiences, talents, income, cultural & educational backgrounds, religious beliefs, upbringing and much more. The combination of visible and invisible diversity creates personal diversity. What we as people fail to understand about diversity is the fact that every single individual is unique, meaning that even in a small group of our peers with similar physical appearances, ages and geographic backgrounds, there is a wealth of unseen past experiences, beliefs and household upbringings that makes each of those individuals unique, therefore making that small group diverse in itself. The irony with our understanding of diversity seems to be something deeply rooted in our human nature. It is human nature to divide ourselves based on anything we deem even slightly different, for example: we are all humans but we divide ourselves by geographic locations we call continents and countries. If we share a geographic location then we divide ourselves further by states and cities, then further by race and traditions. If we happen to share the same race and traditions, we then divide ourselves further by tribes, neighborhoods or “corner blocks,” it never ends. The irony kicks in since it is also human nature to strive for conformity, assimilation, and the desire to fit in with others as an instinctive response to being viewed as different. People generally fear that which is foreign to them, even if it is only a slight difference because being different brings challenges, and often


unwanted attention. The United States is racially, and ethnically diverse, unfortunately diversity isn’t necessarily something that is encouraged in the real world. It is an idea that flourishes only on paper, and in the Human Resources department. In order to function in a society, we are told that we must assimilate. Successful assimilation is explained by four processes: Identity management, the importance of class, the importance of education, and the importance of color. Assimilation, which is a necessary component of life, is an adversary of diversity. It is impossible for one to fully express their individual cultures when there is a certain culture that is being pushed and promoted so heavily by the media and the other various methods used to control the minds of society. It is especially hard for Black men and women to express themselves due to the stereotypical barriers built by highly successful propaganda campaigns with the purpose of making the Black race, and the rest of the world, look at their “savage” ancestral African culture with disdain and contempt. It is impossible to assimilate completely when you cannot match the appearance of the leading culture. Not saying that white, Christian, heterosexual male members of the elite are not accounted for in diversity because all people are diverse, what I am saying is that there is a certain “type” of person that is able to make a legitimate change in the world we live in, and in order to be that person it seems like we need to mold and shape ourselves into that “type.” This is a vicious cycle that has been reinforced throughout time, I don’t mean to sound like a bitter Black individual screaming “the man is trying to keep us down” but diversity cannot thrive in reality until we shun political correctness and start to get real with ourselves. We need to embrace who we are as true individuals, start accepting diversity in its true form and understand that whenever an institution claims diversity they’re only talking about physicality and they don’t give a damn about you as an i ndividual except for what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. -Ret Brocke & Yoweri Kimeria


Whether it is passing out papers or printing, writing or illustrating, find out how you too can join the movement and promote Freedom of Thought at UCF.

Wednesday Nov. 6: JTW Honor Society – Professional Panel in the Pegasus Ballroom at 7pm. Attire is Business Casual Monday Nov. 11: Dream Defenders UCF – Meeting at the Gazebo near John T. Washington Center at 5:30pm Saturday Nov. 16: National Society of Black Engineers Presents: Do You Taboo?! at 6-10pm. Must sign up. Friday Nov. 22:  Project S.P.I.T One Night Slam in the Visual Arts Building Auditorium. Doors open at 6:30pm   

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