This year CCIA donated over 100 new books to two local elementary schools. Thanks to all the support from our generous donors these school’s libraries are now equipped with culturally inclusive literature. Check out the footage below!
We are excited to announce the beginning of our 3rd Annual Black History Month Youth Book Drive. Over the last two years we have raised over $3,000.00 and put over 300 books written specifically for Black youth into four elementary schools. With the help of dedicated “Villagers” from across the country we have been able to promote literacy, positive self-esteem and cultural awareness in our youth. We raise funds throughout February and deliver the books in March. This year our goal is to purchase at least 200 books as well as raise money to help Clever Communities In Action expand its abilities to positively affect the lives of our youth.
There is nothing like seeing the excitement on the faces of our children when we deliver them to the schools. There is also a strong sense of community and pride in knowing that this project continues to be successful as a result of the generosity and concern of a lot of different people. It truly takes a village to create the outcomes we wish to see in our youth and to provide them with the supplemental tools they need for a well-rounded education.
DONATING IS EASY AS CLICKING THE LINK BELOW: A sincere THANK YOU to all of our continued supporters and to our new ones. Let’s make it happen even bigger in 2013!!!
It’s just like me to write a New Year blog on January 29th. The Aquarian desire for freedom to move at my own pace always reigns supreme. Besides, this year is nowhere near old and you probably didn’t feel like reading the thousands of “It’s 2013” blogs on January 1st so I’m actually right on time. I’m working on my wordiness so I’m going to try to get straight to the point here. Now that I have experienced over three decades of “new beginnings” I want to reflect on what that time has meant for me. Pardon me if I hit you with a few clichés. I hate clichés but man, some of them became undeniably real to me within the last few years.
Number one: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
My thoughts to that used to be, why on earth do I want to reach near death(literally or figuratively) in order to learn any lesson?? Well, I still don’t but I will admit this. All trials that I have gone through gave me a better perspective on life’s journey. They helped me understand myself even better. They allowed me to evaluate how I react to certain
Ok if you know me or if you’re familiar with my writing then you know I am pretty darn optimistic when it comes to Black male/female relationships. I’m not one of the bitter ones. I’m not angry. I see the cup as half full and all that good stuff. I love Black men and I’ve been a strong proponent of the idea that we have more in common than we have differences. However, after actually analyzing the recent turn of events that have occurred between me and the brothers I’m beginning to ponder over this whole Venus/Mars theory and whether or not it holds more truth than I suspected.
Here’s the deal. I don’t get it fellas. I don’t know what you’re thinking. I have no clue as to why you do the things you do and why you respond to me in such mind-boggling manners. I have to admit that my girlfriends and I have shared quite a few simultaneous, head scratches, head shakes, what in the worlds and uncontrollable laughter as we discuss our suitors and pseudo-suitors. For brevity’s sake I will narrow the Millennium Men(who I encounter) down to two types. There’s the “Zero to 60”
Join me and a distinguished panel of Black fathers including special guest DJ Bee of 103 Jamz as we discuss fatherhood in the Black community live on Ustream! The conversation goes down this Thursday, June 14, at 9pm. Yes, that is tonight. You will be able to type in questions to us as we discuss stereotypes, trials, triumphs and many other aspects of this important topic. You definitely don’t want to miss what the brothers have to say. It’s their turn to be heard.You can find further information in the video and my Ustream link is listed below. You can view it there or right here on cleverspeaks.com. Please be sure to share, tweet and forward this event to your family and friends!
Set your reminder for the event at the link below.
By now you know that I am serious about promoting literacy for our youth. However, sometimes it gets frustrating when it seems not enough people share my passion and zeal. Check out the video for a review on a heart-warming book that should be purchased or checked out for a special child and find out why this review almost didn’t happen.
This is a very special review because I was accompanied by a very special guest. Check out what Asya and I think of “I Love My Hair” by Anastasia Tarpley. Then be sure to share this with your family and friends on all your social networks so that you all can go out and purchase this book for the special little girls in your lives…
Check out this week’s book review featuring an author who is a Norfolk VA native! Please share these vids with your family and friends so the village can be aware of all the fantastic, culturally-inclusive literature that is written for our youth. Let’s fill up our children’s school and home libraries with these books while we support Black authors and Black owned bookstores at the same time!
This one was recorded weeks ago but I’m just now posting it. I took a break because of all the things that have being going on that required attention but LITERACY is and always will be important to me so I’m back. I hope you enjoy this review. There are plenty more to come. Please share with your friends and purchase these books for the children in your life.
CCIA believes whole-heartedly that it takes a village to raise a child and we are proud to present what the village helped us to accomplish. Last year we raised over $1,300.00 in February and this year we raised over $2,000.00. We took the money that our most gracious donors sent us and purchased books written specifically for Black youth and distributed them to two local elementary schools. This year each school received almost 100 books! CCIA works hard to help promote literacy and positive self-esteem in our youth. We believe that providing them with books with characters who look like themselves and storylines that are relatable is an excellent way to do so.
We would like to give a tremendous THANK YOU to all of our donors. Check out our video below to see how it went.
This is an article I wrote that was published four years ago. It is very painful to see that each year its words continue to be validated. Sometimes when we write time makes our words lose their relevance. However, each time I revisit this article the message still resonates. There are just always new names that could be added to the list of Black men lost to racially motivated violence and violence at the hand of another Black man. The death of young Trayvon Martin has caused much of the sleeping nation to wake up and take a hard look at how this country views the presence of Black males in this society. Since I wrote this article in 2008 the question still remains the same:
STATE OF EMERGENCY: Does America Value Black Life?
I recall being overcome with emotions as I would pass cotton fields in Alabama as I drove to school. I recall thinking of how many of my ancestors toiled that same blood stained land hundreds of years ago and how many of them hung from those very same trees I passed. It almost brought me to tears as I thought of the strange fruit Billie Holiday sang of. I’d get angry sometimes when I thought about how I may be the only one thinking this. Then I would shake it off and prepare myself for the tasks ahead of me.
I recall being completely overwhelmed with emotion in August 2005 when the levees broke in New Orleans and I saw images of helpless, forgotten Black people in pure survival mode. I saw Black people who were thrust into a position to fend for themselves as if they were animals stranded in the wild. I saw the elderly, children, men and pregnant women. I saw people. I saw them crying. I saw them trying to make it. I saw families separated. I saw them grieving for the loss of loved ones. I saw them hurting. I saw them persevering. I saw it and I wept. I saw it and I was mad as hell. I heard the media call them refugees. I wanted to fight someone. I wanted to curse people out. I went and volunteered at a shelter in Atlanta. That wasn’t enough. My brothers and sisters were hurting. The media and the government had to be reprimanded before they even recognized them as people. Damnit Black people are people. Poor people are people. In 2008 why the hell do we still have to affirm that we are people too? We are human beings!
This past weekend on March 24th, Virginia stood up for justice as we held our rally to show solidarity with the family of Trayvon Martin and all families seeking justice for the unjust loss of a loved one. The rally was organized by Clever Communities In Action, Universal Zulu Nation Chapter 30 and Occupy the Hood Hampton Roads. Not even the rain kept people from showing up to support the cause.
There was a plethera of community organizations that came out in the rain to protest injustice and stand in solidarity. Several of them spoke and the recurring theme was that we must be sure to let the emotions we feel as a result of Trayvon’s murder be the fuel to keep us engaged in strenthening and empowering our own communties. I know that rallies are being held throughout the country but on a personal level, I know we organized this rally in one week. We want people to know that movements are usually born as a result of one person or a group of people being fed up and then deciding to take action. Many people came up to me and said the information and energy from the rally has inspired them to get involved. That is indeed a beautiful thing and a testament that a gathering of people for the same cause can have an impact on peoples’ lives. We can all take ACTION as individuals and collectively. There are numerous organizations that could use help with creating the changes we wish to see around us. VA stood up and I hope we will continue to take a stand and I hope you will too!
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