— History makes today make sense! Many emerging Black leaders lack the historical record of leadership and it is showing up in a big way. The gains of today were purchase by the pains of those who lead yesterday. Our job as tenured leaders in Black America is to calibrate today’s young black leaders against the context of history. I’m currently writing a new book “STILL IN THE BACK OF LINE” It provides the context for the content of leadership today. Weekly, I’ll be posting an excerpt to engage leaders.

 I look forward to our conversations……

-Mark-

BEING UNDER THE BUS IS WORSE THAN BEING IN THE BACK OF THE BUS

Our lack of commitment to one another has thrown us under the bus which is far worse than riding in that back of the bus. At least in the back of the bus we would survive but when you are thrown under the buss death is immanent! Gone are the days when mother would send you next door to “borrow” a cup of sugar from your neighbor; today you are lucky if you even know your neighbor. It’s time to admit it we have fallen out of love with one another. You cannot change anything that you are unwilling to confront. You cannot confront something you’re not willing to be honest about, the truth is African Americans do not love each other like we used too. I know that doesn’t feel good but the truth is not designed to make you feel good its purpose is to cause you to be and do good.

THE TRUTH

Let me provide some context for the content of my statement. In 1962 only 13% of black children who were born where born to a single mother. So that means that 87% of our children had a mommy and a daddy actively engaged in building a family and present in the home. Today the numbers have almost reversed; 72% of the children born in the African America community don’t have a mommy and daddy! Conversely only 28% of black children born have both parents living at home. We don’t love our children enough to give them a mother and a father present in the home. We know that 80% of all prison inmates did not have a father actively involved in their life. In my mind this is a love issue. We can have the sex make the baby and hate being a parent! Where is our commitment and love to and for one another? Further evidence that we don’t love each other is our homicide rates;

  • 93% of black homicides are committed by another black person – WE DON’T LOVE EACH OTHER!
  • 50% of the murder victims are black and we only make up 12% of the population. WHERE IS THE OUT CRY?
  • Blacks kill more members of their own race every year than do all other races in America – combined. THIS ISN’T LOVE
  • Between seven and nine thousand African Americans are murdered every year mostly at the hands of other African Americans. Have we lost our concept of love? WE’VE GOT TO LOVE AGAIN.

 

OK, I didn’t tell you anything that you don’t already know but I revisited those issues to further clarify my point; people who love each other don’t do to each other what African Americans are doing to each other year in and year out! We once were our brother’s keeper now, we are our brother’s killer, this must STOP! Let’s be honest people, we have a love problem and we can’t solve our problems until we start admitting it and start learning how to fall in love with each other again. Here’s how we need to start;

 #1 RETURN

We must return to our religious roots why, because God has been our moral compass, it was God who we collaborated with to end the oppression of our government and white America. We prayed to God and he heard us and answered us! We attended the civil rights meeting that was held in most churches. We were the poster children of a people who believed in God and trusted Him as we were the standard bearers of morality in this country. Now it seems we have pimped God to some degree; after we got what we wanted we turned our back on Him and the facts about our existence today is all the truth we need to return to God. No government program or social program is going to solve our problems as a people. We must return to God and do what we did before ask him for help and this time when he helps us DON’T FORGET IT!

#2 FAMILY

We can’t be a great people without having our families intact. Black men and black women need to marry and quit having babies out of wedlock BE A FAMILY! Every time we don’t do this we’re intentionally hurting our children and continuing the cycle of destruction.

 #3 EDUCATION AND COMMERCE

 We can no longer afford to not get an education! We are flunking out of high school and black male college enrollment rates are dropping fast. We can do nothing without education but education starts early! Parents your number one priority is to see to it that your child gets an education. It’s not the teacher’s responsibility or the schools responsibility it’s yours because you are the parent. We must read to our kids early, give them structure and create a safe place for them to be kids.

These are just a few of the critical things we must start doing day one and if we do it, it will make all the difference in the world.

 WEEKLY EXCERPT — History makes today make sense! Many emerging Black leaders lack the historical record of leadership and it is showing up in a big way. The gains of today were purchase by the pains of those who lead yesterday. Our job as tenured leaders in Black America is to calibrate today’s young black leaders against the context of history. I’m currently writing a new book “STILL IN THE BACK OF LINE” It provides the context for the content of leadership today. Weekly, I’ll be posting an excerpt to engage leaders.

 I look forward to our conversations……

 -Mark-

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THE LINE WAS EFFECTIVE

The back of the line was highly effective for many years. Separate but equal was working for many; blacks were starting their own business and had their own economies. Blacks were finding economic parity even though they were not making ground socially. As blacks became more educated and affluent, they become formable economically and this did not set well with many whites and as the Jim Crow mindset influenced many, it began to reverse many of the gains made by blacks. However, as Jim Crow begins to come to an end black folks would shift their support of black business and begin supporting white business. This has proved to be economic genocide to black business however; it was not done to put black business out of business but it was done to acquire the social acceptance that blacks never had in this country. We did not realize what we were doing to ourselves; this behavior created a mindset that kept us always attempting to seek acceptance from people who had clearly made up their mind that we were unacceptable.

I totally understand why we did it but to some degree we must ask ourselves was it really worth it? What have we truly gained from it? Our quest to get out of the back of the line physically has kept us in the back of the line psychologically. We walked away from black businesses literally putting them out of business. That decision keeps our collective resources which today are approximately one trillion dollars from flowing through our communities. Our dollar today lacks the punch it once had because today it is divided. The dollar and much of the intellectual capital of African Americans have left our historic neighborhoods and relocated to suburbia. Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that you shouldn’t live where your resources can afford however, I am saying that we can’t afford for our resources to leave our community and never return. Those less fortunate need both our intellectual capital and our financial capital. To some degree we need to be righteously dissatisfied with African Americans who have no agenda for people who look like them. On many levels I believe this is irresponsible. To further my point on our resources; according to a study performed by the University of Georgia Selig Center the black dollar turns over in our community zero to one times.

So how does that compare to other cultures? The lack of these vital resources is keeping us in the back of the line. Our resources don’t support us, they support others and as we can see other cultures are beginning to out pace us economically because they keep their resources in their own communities. This must be a major goal for African Americans; we must keep our resources in our own communities or else we’ll stay in the back of the line.

OUR VALUES

My pastor always said; “let me look at your check book and I can tell you what your priorities are in life!” He is absolutely spot on as it relates to how we responded to being able to spend our money anywhere, live anywhere etc. etc. Don’t get me wrong, I think you should be able to spend your money anywhere you can afford to however; we need to be more conscious about the trajectory of our resources. We need to take a hard look at our spending and ask ourselves the question why? Why are we spending our money outside of our culture more than we spend it inside of our culture? OK we do realize this is self-destructive behavior right? It’s definitely self-destructive and we know it yet we continue to do it.

188785_4663719265526_2078477451_n[1]Thank you for visiting, you’re about to read my weekly excerpt post! As I write my new book “Still in the back of the line” It’s my way of taking you along on the journey with me. It’s also your opportunity to give me feedback as well, so make sure you leave a comment!

Enjoy the excerpt!

-Mark-

What was the purpose of the line?

Purpose is the meaning of a thing and the reason for a thing; it is the reason why someone or something exists. Purpose provides clarity and answers the question why and what. Discovering the purpose of the line requires reflection and understanding of the events and the psychology that produced the line. The line was produced in the Supreme Court’s decision of Plessey v. Ferguson in 1896. That decision led to racial separation and begins to establish the purpose of the line! That decision became the fertile ground for many states in our union who began passing “off-spring laws”, if you will. These laws were the children of the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896. Black folks challenged the law when Homer Plessy a black carpenter in Louisiana who was seven eighths Caucasian. Plessy was chosen to test the constitutionality of the law. On June 7 1892 Plessy boarded a train and sat in a car that was reserved for whites only. Plessy was asked to move but refused and was subsequently arrested. A local judged ruled against Plessy and in 1896 the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s ruling. That meant separate was equal and the court felt that separating people because of race was an appropriate step and in itself was not discriminatory. When you think about, how the Supreme Court which is made up of people come to a ruling like that? These are intelligent people how does this happen? Well, that my friend is a pretty good question!

It happened because at a very base level members of the community which included law enforcement and the Supreme Court did not believe blacks to be equal in humanity and thus with malice, labeled black folks with a badge of inferiority! At the end of the day the law served to give white America the ability to enforce their widely held beliefs that the place of black folks is at the back of the line of public life in America and why, because all we wanted was the freedom that the constitution had well documented and declared was our human right!

THE LINE

The purpose of this line prove to be the pain of a people whose only crime was their skin color that had no desire of over throwing the government, they had no plan of paying the white man back for what they had done to them, they simply wanted nothing more than what God had given all men and that was the right to be free, the right to have a family, the right to earn your way in life, the right of an education, the right to pursue happiness just like anyone else. Were they asking for too much? Was freedom to much to ask for? Was the God given right to coexist as equals in humanity too much to ask? Blacks had no intention of over throwing the government or starting a war against white people; all they wanted was freedom! Freedom however, would prove not to be free at all; there would be a tremendous price to be paid.
White folks would fight vigorously to keep the line because it was supporting their widely held belief that they were superior. It kept black folks in a subservient roll in every area of life from, education, social interaction to economics and where black folks would live. We as a people need to remember the heavy price that was paid by people in many regards who did not have or enjoy the many rights we have today; they only dreamed of it.

W H O   C R E A T E D   T H E   L I N E ?

                                                 

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                       STILL IN THE BACK OF THE LINE

Who created the back of the line? The answer to that question has been forgotten by most of America and the people who need to remember or know the answer the most are African Americans. The answer is not as simple as a date time but it is part of the transactional relationship America has had with black folks. The back of the line for black folks was created immediately following slavery. During slavery there was no need for a line because black folks were not considered as people, we were merely property without the ability to have a status or a place of influence in American society. Now to provide some content for the context of the conversation we’re having, let’s take a look at the chronology of the creation of the line because there is a timeline here that serves as breadcrumbs that lead us to today.

After the 13th Amendment was passed to free black folks and bring an end to slavery, these freed slaves needed a lot of basic necessities.  In 1865 congress created the “FREEDMANS BUREAU” to assist former slaves by helping former slave owners to set up sharecropping terms and educational systems for blacks who wanted an education. Now, in 1869 congress feared that blacks were losing their rights and they passed the 15th amendment which stated that the rights of a person to vote could not be denied on account of race or previous servitude.

THE LINE BEGINS TO FORM

Although the 15th amendment was absolutely the right thing to do however, it came with stipulations that hindered the black voter but its most important role was it served as an user to what I call “THE GREAT COMPROMISE” Northerners who once advocated for black folks now themselves have grown weary as the nation struggles with its economy and many were worried about having jobs and earning money to live.

Aside  —  Posted: January 19, 2013 in African American, Black, change, leadership, social

BRAINWORKS

KNOWING THE BRAIN IS GROWING YOUR LEADERSHIP

Image  —  Posted: January 16, 2013 in Uncategorized
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MARK S. HAMPTON


As I write my new book I want to keep you in inspired! Look for my weekly updates. Every week I’ll post a new excerpt!  I want to;

  • Challenge you
  • Inspire  you 
  • Motivate you to lead!                                                                                          

Excerpt Opportunities are abounding and yet as quickly as they come they leave even faster. Steven Covey said; “we must seize the opportunity within its lifetime”   sighting that opportunities will present themselves but only those who respect opportunities and are grateful for them will have the wisdom to take full advantage of them. I guess that’s why I’m writing this book, I see an opportunity to communicate a message to my people African Americans and America as a whole. That message is; we as African Americans must get out of the back of the line and on to life!

However, before we start working on getting out of the line, we need to acknowledge some basics about life in America for African Americans and how we got in the line in the first place. Black folks were taught that their place in public life was at the back of the line. We were not permitted to face the public frontally. Our place was always in the back of the line of public life. Our relationship with America was only transactional not relational. We lived in a country that viewed us over the counter if you will. Our transaction was purely revenue generating and we were only as good as the revenue we generated for the country and when it became a matter of saving the union America did change its mind about what it was doing to African Americans. However, though America changed its mind at that time it had not changed its heart and in some circles that is very much true today.

THE LEADESHIP CHANGE

Posted: December 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

Time for A change in L E A D E R S H I P

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 Leadership is changing right before our very eyes and those who are able to connect the dots to a more demographically diverse core group of people will emerge as the top leaders in all areas of American life. It is really an issue of our ability not to except change but embrace change. Certainly, things have changed and we know that does not guarantee that change is good. If we believe that there is some good in everything then our efforts should be centered on excavating the good from changing and using it as a catalytic moment to lead. Some would say that the good old days are gone however; I see it as the good old days are going through a re-birth if you will. The social, politically and even employment appetite of our cultural landscape has changed and to deny that would be mutiny on the deck of our own leader-SHIP.

I’m currently in the beginning phases of writing a new book called; “what it’s like to be black in America” The book is not about race it’s about an actual experience and how that experience is shaping present day attitudes and behaviors of black leaders. As I move forward with the research end of the book I’m having conversations with young African Americans who are surprisingly disconnected from the ideology of those of us who are sen-agers (over fifty) yes, that’s me “smiling”.

 

LEADERSHIP IS NOT A DESTINATION IT’S A RESPONSIBILITY

They don’t understand that leadership is not a destination – it is a responsibility! Many of them feel a since of entitlement to things that us sen-agers worked for. For example; things like influence. We understand that influence is earned through the conduit of consistency in communication, behavior, integrity, character and relationship. However; many of them expect to be influential as something that should be given because they’ve shown up. They don’t quite get the notion that experience is a GPS system not a roadblock or detour. Additionally, they somewhat disregard those who are in authority currently because they want a pathway to success without the bridge of relationship.

Part of my experiment has been experienced through resent lectures that I’ve given at a number of colleges and universities. As I have engaged with students and educators I see the same dynamic at play; a lack of relationship, a desire to lead but no bridge to get there and a misdiagnosis of what leadership is, many see it as a destination and this is a bridge that leads to a frustrated leader and frustrated followers. What I’ve experienced is that some see the gift of speaking as leadership when in fact it is only one of the many components of leadership. I’ll list a few others just for the sake of our conversation.

 

 

             LEADERSHIP COMPONENTS

  •  Vision – and the ability to communicate it.
  • Likability – needed but not critical
  • Communication – clear, concise, consistent
  • Negotiation skills
  • Team building
  • Confidence
  • Collaboration ability
  • Motivation – for themselves and others
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Creativity
  • Humility
  • Integrity
  • Character
  • Influence

 

In sitting down with these future leaders it has given me a great perspective on the landscape and terrain of my responsibility as a leader to them and a understanding of what role I need to play in their development and in leadership as a whole. As I step back from the table of analyzing these young African American future leaders I don’t think they are much different than other Americans in fact, I believe they have a lot more in common than we may think on the surface. One thing is for certain it is critical that we reconnect with them and build stronger leadership relationships now that will help them lead later.

That scenario is the challenge in the new leadership Landscape. We must reconnect with young leaders who are next in line for leadership! We cannot afford to be so self absorbed in our on leadership that we do not create ways of finding and developing new leaders who have a desire to lead, who have a calling to lead but who need coaches and developers to help them lead. As our culture becomes more diverse and inclusive we must build bridges of development for our new reality. The absolute worst thing we can do is ignore them! We don’t have to abandon the leader-SHIP of our morals and principles we need to simply yet powerfully help them build their leader-SHIP with proven tools that have worked for centuries. So it is not our option to ignore them because if we do we’ll create leaders that we don’t understand through our own permissive behavior. Our resent presidential election has taught a lesson in change and in leadership.

 THE DISCOVERY 

One of the things we discovered is that America has changed and we find ourselves a little out of step with that change and now we are all in the CRASH COURSE OF CHANGE from a leadership perspective. We are all a little behind the times; the demographics change right before our eyes and at this point we don’t have all of the insight we need to connect

 

10- IDEAS TO CONNECT WITH FUTURE LEADERS?

  1. Be proactive and open to finding new leaders through communicating it to your teams.
  2. Make it a mandate to find emerging leaders.
  3. Develop a leadership program in your office or work with a consultant to develop a program for you.
  4. Establish a leadership library in your office – I’m amazed at how many companies and organizations don’t do this.
  5. Establish a once a week leadership training in your office.
  6. Begin a steady communication of how important leadership is to the organization.
  7. Meet with those you feel have a great potential emerging leaders.
  8. Spend more of your time with younger leaders than you do with older leaders.
  9. Establish a leadership coaching conference call
    1. Add as much diversity as possible to your teams as possible.

We have a definite window of opportunity to capture the attention of these new leaders let’s make sure we provide the necessary leadership that they’ll need to lead later!