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SLAVERY IN AMERICA: RECENT APOLOGIES AND THE DEBATE ON REPARATIONS

I am  a child of slaves.  I am a child of first generation black Americans to have their own New York City Home.  I am a child of a African American family to be the first  to go to college.  I am a mother of a black child who is first generation to play tennis as his major sport of skill. 

 I am African American wife of  a skizophrenic, (who has been missing for ten years).  I am an African American wife of a African American male skizphonprenic- who has not provided child support for ten years due to his missing status and the RULES that govern the Social Security Administration.

  I am an African American who can not get HEAP HELP (GOVERNMENTAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR UTILITY BILLS i.e. Gas and Electric) because the government states that SINGLE PARENT STATUS…EARNING $43,000.00 PER YEAR, PAYING $1600.00 for 3 bedroom apartment in New York City,  paying full utilties of building,  $158.00 per month car insurance,  extremely high milk, juice, fruit, meat,  vegetables,  personal care products,  clothing,  medical needs insurances,  life insurances on my self valued at over $100,00.00 disability insurances on myself (especially since my missing sick husband left me responsible for my child),  catastrophic disease insurances on my self.

Having detailed my financial condition as a 48 yearold African American Daughter of slave ancestors….It would appear that I have the same if not similar problems as my white counter part Americans in some cases. 

 However,  what makes me believe that I do deserve a form if not actual SLAVE REPARATION–is that I would have completed COLLEGE many years ago—if it had not been for BEOG/ PELL AND TAP GRANTS BEING DENIED!  

Those grants were denied me when I was 21 years old!  I had just been accepted into CBS Television Internship Program through Queens College in the Journalism department.  I was registering for my course that was applied to the internship and was told by the college that PELL GRANTS,  BEOG AND TAP Aide had been denied to me because I had used up all of my POINTS! 

 I did not financial aide available!!!  I had ignorantly retaken courses that I had failed  and then passed.  However,  my re-registering for those courses had caused me to use up my points. 

 My Academic Counselor named  Barbara Blank  did not guide me properly,  —I am truly not clear on how this terrible mistake occured.

  Whatever caused this terrible error…caused me to have to leave college after I had already completed 61 credits!!!! 

 The financial aide counselor had discussed the problem with my mother….my African American mother….another daughter of ancestral slaves….My mother whose parents had not been educated higher than elementary school in Virgina (Drakes Branch,  and Farmville Virgina to be exact). 

 My mother had an option explained to her by the financial aide counselor….”Refinance your house so that your daughter could finish college.”

  My mother, descendant of slaves flatly stated,” NO! I am not wasting my mortgage on that!”

  My sister, who did not complete college and who was 6 years older than me– had been whispering into my mother’s ears heavily.

  She did not want me to complete college…because she was jealous and she told my mother  that I becoming a CAREER COLLEGE STUDENT….LEARNING BUT NEVER GRADUATING.

  I was only 21 years  old at that time.  Also CBS television internship supervisor in charge of my internship had promised me a great future!  I had to compete against other people—HUNDREDS! .. inorder to get accepted into that internship!

  I had made an impression on the CBS Internship program…but now!  My financial aide points had run out from Pell Grant,  BEOG,  and TAP were no longer funding my education.

  I could not work to make enough money to pay for those classes,–tuition was a mere $900.00 back then….but it was still to high for a full time college student. 

The final outcome is this….I left college, unable to pay for it. 

 My mother,  daughter of Slave ancestry could not see the benefit of helping me to complete my education because her thinking back then was limited  and poisoned by my sister’s jealousy. 

 Thus  I left college, severly let down….my mother,  daughter of slaves told me to just get a job….My mother could not understand the circumstances that would notw shape my life and her’s forever!

I went to a business school,  I went to Taylor Business Institute!  I learned secretarial skills. ((question–why was I able to get a loan for a trade school and not a college???))

 I was hired by a temp agency and began the long road back to college.  I began paying for my classes one at a time….I was eventually hired full time by J. Michael Bloom Talent Agency. 

 My big mistake was that I got married.  The marriage did not prevent me from being educated…but I began to rearrange my goals around the marriage.  My husband and I did accomplish some goals like buying a house,  and having  a child. 

 My African American husband wanted me to complete college…but coming full circle my husband suffered catastrophic severe skizphrenia and left me with bankruptcy,loss of a home to foreclosure,  and a child to raise.

  I am currently working on a job for the past 19 years that has abosultely NOTHING to do with my original college related goals.  The job  helps pay for food, and rent–barely–. 

 I struggle due to the previous explained debts that I worry about daily. 

 HIND sight is not twenty-twenty for me. 

 I knew that my level of success would not be fulfilled if I could not complete that INTERNSHIP AT CBS AND REGISTER FOR MY CLASSES WHEN I WAS 21 YEARS OLD. 

 However,  not having an educated family,  that would understand the value of an education,  and the financial scarifices required to accomplish that goal…thus here I sit today….BLOGGING…out my frustration. 

My actual, blogging is healthy for me…but it cannot replace the years of economic success I have not ever experienced,  education,  and opportunities that I have missed out on.

  Blogging cannot give me financial power to help cover the debts that HEAP will not help me to pay …because I am just $50 or more dollars over their limit of assistance for a single parent with only 1 (one) child.

  I have been told that I have to have more children to be eligible to receive government assistance. 

The  goal in this article is to explain why SLAVE REPARATIONS would have helped a person like myself. 

 I have been working ever since I had to leave college. 

 Understand that I only left college because I had no money to pay for tuition.  They would not allow me to take a loan….my mother would not refinance her home (which she actually did refinance some years later…so she could make a basment apartment for rental purposes)—I have always pushed to further my education,  I recently partly completed a program NYACK Adult Continuing education–called ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGMENT…I have to pay off about $600.00 and complete three essays to receive my Bachaelor of Science in Organizational Managament. 

 I should have done this two years ago.  So what is the hold up you ask?  I have my child who has been suffering with seizure disorder increasingly over the past two years,  and I also am caring for my mother who has become an invalid and stroke victim over the past 4 years. 

So here I sit.   I am gearing up to complete my 3 essays in the next few weeks and receive my full credit and I can graduate in November of this year. 

I have traveled a long road.  I know there are many others who have traveled a long road as well.

  Do I believe that educational reparations would have helped me….OF COURSE IT WOULD HAVE HELPED ME! 

 My educational goals would not have been tied to my mother’s personal finances..and I would have been able to complete the internship at CBS in Journalism. 

What type of EDUCATIONAL REPARATIONS would I have used you might ask?  Here is my concept of the best form of education reparations for children of ancestral African American Slaves:

  • SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE AND RECEIVE GED/HIGHSCHOOL DIPLOMA
  • MAINTAIN PASSING GRADES IN COLLEGE
  • TAKE REMEDIAL COURSES TO IMPROVE ACADEMICS AND SUCCESSFULLY PASS ALL REMEDIAL COURSES
  • NO—-TERM LIMITS ON EDUCATION
  • STUDENTS MUST ENROLL IN COLLEGE CONSEQUTIVELY—UNLESS EMERGENCY IN FAMILY,  MEDICAL PROBLEMS, FINANCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES TO BE EVALUATED BY REPARATIONS COMMITTEE ON ACADEMIC REPARATIONS
  • SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE BACHELOR OF any ACCREDITED COLLEGE,  IVY LEAGUE,  CITY,  STATE COLLEGE PROGRAM
  • SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE ANY INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
  • SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE ANY TRADE PROGRAM:  ELECTRICAL, PLUMBING, TRUCKING, NURSING, CAR REPAIR AND DESIGN, ETC.,
  • SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE PROGRAMS AND HAVE ACADEMIC GOALS,  AND JOB BOOKLET ON PERSONAL/INDIVIDUAL ASSESEMENT, and RESUME– COMPLETED AT THE END OF EACH SEMESTER.
  • MAINTAIN ATLEAST A — C– AVERAGE…WITH  EXPLANATION OF GRADES AND RESTRAINTS  AND DETAILING PROBLEMS RELATED TO COMPLETION OF ACADEMIC GOALS TO BE EVALUATED DIRECTLY BY ACADEMIC REPARATIONS COMMITTEE.
  • FULL TUITION PAYMENT FOR ALL AFRCIAN AMERICAN SLAVE DECENDANTS
  • FULL TUTITION FOR BACHELOR,  MASTERS PROGRAMS.
  • FULL TUTITION PAID FOR DOCTORATE AFTER PROVIDING 4OOO HOURS OF MENTORING,  PROJECT GIVE BACK, AND EACH ONE TEACH ONE PROGRAMS FOR SUMMER YOUTH AND YOUNG MOTHER PROGRAMS.
  • FULL TUTITION PAYMENTS FOR 2ND BACHELOR DEGREE FOR 7000 HOURS OF MENTORING, PROJECT GIVE BACK, AND EACH ONE TEACH ONE PROGRAMS TO BE DEVELOPED BY THE AFRICAN AMERICAN REPARATIONS PROGRAM.  
  • ALL CANDIDATES MUST SUBMITT DOCUMENTED PROOF OF 3000 HOUR AND 7000 HOUR GIVE BACK AND MENTORING PROGRAMS INORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE  FOR DOCTORATE PROGRAMS AND 2ND DEGREE PROGRAMS.
  • ALL GRADUATES ARE REQUIRED TO GIVE 100 HOURS YEARLY TO TALKS AT ELEMENTARY EDUCATION,  JUNIOR HIGHSCHOOL EDUCATION, HIGHSCHOOL EDUCATION,  AND  COLLEGE PROGRAMS FOR MENTORING AND PASSING ON THE LEGACY OF THE BENEFITS OF EDCUATION AND TAKING THE RESPONSIBILITY OF REPARATIONS AND BECOMING SUCCESSFUL IN ATTAINING ACADEMIC GOALS THAT ARE A STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE IN THE AFRiCAN AMERICAN SLAVE DESCENDANTS.

This is my concept of proper reparations.  I would abide by these rules so that I could have the opportunities to pass on the goals and future that keep America growing and great. 

We as a American Citizens do not need a hand out!  We need a hand UP! Help me to educate myself so that I can help continue the legacy of Pride in the United States as a Super Power in the World.  Help me to educate myself  so that I can give back to the generations to come.

As it stands right now…I can only give this blogg!!!!

  I could do so much more if my education was free…but with RESPONSIBILTY AND DEFINITELY STRINGS ATTACHED.  The type of strings attached will cause success in the future decendants of slaves…but those decendants would eventually be called desendants of SUCCESSFULL AFRICAN AMERICANS WHO HAVE MENTORED, AND GAVE BACK, THEREBY ASSISTING THE UNITED STATES TO MAINTAIN ITS ECONOMIC STRENGTH,  EDUCATIONAL POWER,  LITERACY,  AND GROWTH IN THE WORLD. 

WITH EDUCATION….COMES AN EMPOWERED WORKFORCE THAT CAN STRENGTHEN THE ECONOMY…..CRIME BASED ON ECNOMICS WILL GO DOWN IN MINORITY COMMUNITIES,  BLACK MALES WILL BE INSPIRED TO GATHER RESOURCES AND BECOME MORE SUCCESSFUL AND STRONG.  YOUNG WOMEN WILL GATHER RESOURCES AND BECOME MORE SUCCESSFUL AND STRONG.

The program of reparations needs to be looked at. 

 It may take many years for it to come about. 

 MOst likely not in my life time,  or even my child’s  life time. 

 But the concept does need to be addressed. 

 Maybe my concepts are not all acceptable… there may be better methods of ACADEMIC REPARATIONS.

IN CONCLUSION:

DO NOT GIVE ME THE FORTY ACRES AND AN MULE….

I WANT A FREE….RESPONSIBILITY ACADEMIC BASED REPARATION FOR DESCENDANTS OF AFRICAN SLAVES. 

(((JOBS WILL COME WITH AN EDUCATED WORK FORCE!!!))) 

 NOTE…MANY EUROPEAN COUNTRIES MAKE EDCUATION FREE  FOR ALL!!!!

REPARATIONS ON AN ACADEMIC LEVEL WILL IMPROVE  THE QUALITY OF LIFE AND ECONOMIC STANDING OF THE UNITED STATES AS A SUPER POWER  AND ALSOIN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY AS WELL.

“`RIVEROFLIFELISAJOY

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THE NUMBERS GAME~~~THE DESPARITY OF THE TRUTH AND THE PRINTED GROSS INCOME ACCORDING TO “HEAP”–AND GOVERNMENTAL ASSISTANCE “GUIDELINES.”

As always I am having some type of economic disfunction.  I live in that.  I hate it.  But I digress. 

 Let us proceed toward this humilating desparity that needs to be  addressed by the economic organizers of  financial assistance programs in our society. 

Here we go,  follow along and analize this problem and see if you have encountered this before….I believe most of us with financial disfunciton have….let me know if you can relate. 

 I will bullet this to make it easier to follow.

  • Due to financial problems as single parent last year  June 2007 my child graduating from school caused major problems for me and of course my family.
  • My family =  myself, my son and my 78 year old invalid mother.
  • Also in June 2007  my car had a severe oil leak that ended up costing me over $800.00 for  the repair in July.
  • I renewed my car insurance in June 2007.
  • My son went to his prom in June 2007.
  • I also had my car finally inspected after the repair.
  • My mother who lives with me gets a social security check, and a small penison check.
  • My monthly rent i $1600.00.
  • I pay the heating and hot water, and electricity on my rental….It is a duplex.
  • I have a monthly car insurance…($230.00) —but no car note( thank the good L-rd)
  • My son needed school supplies,  and school uniform in September of 2007.
  • My son attends a College Board Highschool that required uniforms.=$$$$
  • All of these  expenitures caused severe financial crush.
  • The gas bill, and the electric bill fell severly behind. 
  • Year 2008 what is the problem to date?   The gas has been cut off–for nonpayment.
  • Keep in mind the amount of debt I had since the summer and fall of 2007. 
  • My son has a medical condition that is irritated by his teenage hunger patterns.
  • I spend most of my money when I get paid on FOOD first.
  • My son was recently hospitalized and confirmed with seziures.
  • If  my  food is low in the house then that irritates his condition.
  • 15 yearolds are constantly hungry…especially 150lb. 6 foot tall teenagers who play advanced beginner tennis!
  • Bottom line….today I sit in this rather COOL house,  without hot water! 
  • Oh, I am using my electric tea pot to make our washing water hot/warm.  (it takes a long time though)—we are troopers…we have suffered like this before… unfortuneately!
  • I am cooking with my rice cooker…It steams my chicken, and vegetables, and then cooks my rice.
  • I went to the KeySpan National Grid (New Name)–which used to be called Brooklyn Union Gas Company yesterday.
  • I was told that my gas bill was shut off for non-payment. 
  • I had paid back in November and then did not send anymore payments. 
  • I admit that it may appear strange…but it is based on the food struggle I have to feed this child of mine who has a medical condition. 
  • Why do I not get FOOD STAMPS YOU ASK?

Now let us walk into my world for a moment….more the world of  NUMBERS, NUMBERS, NUMBERS!!!!!!!

The Pay period between August  2007 and September 2007 bi-weekly check was a gross of $1241.28 however the deductions were as follows…..

  • Federal tax:   $103.20
  • Social Security  $76.96
  • Medicare  $18.00
  • City Tax   $30.50
  • Pension   $36.74
  • Life Insurance   $ 16.96
  • Insurance   Additional $12.05
  • Pension Loan repayment   $91.22
  • Additional Insurance coverages for Disabitility and Castrosphic illness  adding up to $216.14
  • Savings Bonds for my son’s future,  mandated donations to the poor total, and another insurance   $116.19

The total amount deducted from my paycheck with all insurances and pensions, and other donations is $767.20!!!!!

My net take home was   $474.08!!!!

You may ask….why all of the insurance?

Well you may not have read my other blogs…so here is a quick up date….My husband whom I am STILL legally married to…..is missing!  

 He was Corrections Officer who suffered from Paranoid Skizophrenia after reaching his eigth year in the Corrections Department.  He became removed from reality and has been missing for 10 years to date. 

 Thus I do not get child support of any type.  You cannot access the social security money of a sick person.  

The sick person who is completely disabled must report directly to Social Security his or herself to collect that money and apply and follow the guidelines to confirm whatever the illness is.

So my husband being very, very, very severely ill did not apply…or actually he did…but never followed through because of his mental illness. 

He thought everybody in the world was part of some type of plot to kill him etc.  

 Let us continue in this “numbers” game shall we?

So back to this excessive  insurance policy hang up I have.  I am black,  obese and have high blood pressure etc., etc.,—thus I am a high risk and need as much insurance coverage as possible. 

 I am trying to loose weight…but in the mean time my son needs protection in case I get sick,  or die…..I have to keep it real…or my child will suffer more from the loss of not just one parent but two.

Recently I did alot of over time on my job….not enough to make it rich…but just enough to lose at the numbers game according to the Keyspan National Grid…Governmental HEAP HELP AND ASSISTANCE representative who told me that my gross was too high. 

According to her my gross and my mothers social security are over the allowed amount….so we cannot get any help to cover the gas bill. 

 That is why the bill was cut off.  Back in November when I did make a payment….I knew that same numbers game was there.  The representative that had gone over my account had told me to apply to HEAP…

I told him that it would not work.   He said try it anyway…that will keep them from cutting off the gas while they check into assisting you.  I did  not waste  the time to approach  the HEAP—BECAUSE OF THE NUMBERS  GAME!

So yesterday the HEAP REPRESENTATIVE  stated  that my gross combined with my mother was over $3000.00.  

 Cut the $3000.00 in half and what is left?  How much can I  spend on food;    how much to spend on car insurance;     how much to spend on the telephone bill;      how much to spend on electric bill;    how much to spend on the gas bill;      and gas for my car to get to work; how   much  to spend  on the    $4.00 parking lot….that I have to swipe daily. 

 So basically I spend $80.00 per month on parking. 

Why do I drive you ask?  Right now my son and my mother are medically fragile people. 

 They may need to get to  doctor or hospital at a moments notice.  How much would it be for an ambulette service?  $100.00.   My mothers medicare/GHI does not cover transportation.—-She is also not covered for 4 hours of home attendant.  Go figure…she is 78 years old…cannot walk, and she is not allowed a home attendant.  I have attempted 3 to 4 times.  Only when you are ready to got to HOSPICE..are you allowed a home attendant…before you die!

So instead of wasting my time and hers the nice lady at the HEAP OFFICE IN THE KEYSPAN NATIONAL GRID governmental financial assistance program told me, (after looking over my paystubs that had a gross amount  of  $1616.00  on the 1st week of April and  $1511.00 the second  pay week of April told me…..”YOU ARE OVER THE LIMIT OF THE $3000.00 LIMIT

 You only have 1 child in the house and your mother’s income. 

 I explained that my income is limited to my NET…..MY NET IS WHAT I LIVE OFF!

SHE KEPT SHAKING HER  HEAD AND TELLING ME THAT THE GOVERNMENT ONLY GOES BY THE  GROSS….THE  GROSSS,   THE  GROSSSSS,   THE   GROSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!! 

So what if  I only brought home $683.oo and the rent for that week was  $1600.00.  So my mother and I share the rent.

  So After I add my $683.00 there is nothing left to buy food, gasoline,  or anything else….. So that is why I have to”ROB PETER TO PAY PAUL”..PAY CHECK TO PAY CHECK.   I have to hold back some money toward food,  some money toward gasoline. 

Oh….and I have a  another numbers game….my son’s  school just sent me a BILL!!! 

  FOR $120.OO!   FOR  HIS LUNCH MONEY!!! 

 They stated back in September that I was over the financial limit….so my son has to pay for his lunch.  Look….again,  I am a SINGLE PARENT…BUT OVER THE GROSS AMOUNT OF MONEY. 

 THE GROSS IS PAYING MY TAXES, AND MY HEALTH INSURANCE AND MY SOCIAL SECURITY AND ETC., ETC., ETC.,…..YET I AM MADE TO FEEL ASHAMED THAT I AM ASKING FOR HELP!!!!  

 They do not care that I am trying to be a good provider….I should not have a decent job….and try to get a little assistance.   I make a general $38, 000.00 per year.

  Last time I checked that was not the rate that they would use if I was buying a house by myself to get me a mortgage….but it is the amount that they would  use to keep from giving me any type of assistance. 

WHAT????!!!!! 

 FOOD STAMPS YOU SAY?!!!!! 

 AGAIN….I AM MAKING $38,000.00 AND  I AM OVER THE LIMIT FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE WITH BUYING FOOD…SO AGAIN,  I ROB PETER TO PAY PAUL

I   was    AM/  A LEGALLY MARRIED WOMAN WHO HAS A CASTROPHICALLY MISSING SICK HUSBAND…I DO NOT GET CHILD SUPPORT AND  I PAY MY TAXES…AND SUBMIT MY TAX RETURNS EVER YEAR…..BUT NOT….I AM NOT ALLOWED TO RECEIVE FOOD STAMPS!   WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

IF I MADE ATLEAST  $50, 000.00  I would not be so quick to complain. 

Oh, really you say….that is what you think…but the MORE MONEY YOU MAKE THE MORE MONEY YOU SPEND.  

 ~~~~~~ Hello,  let me re-explain….I was married to a Corrections Officer for New York City…..

  When   purchased our home in Queens Village he made $80,000.00  and I had my paycheck of less than $30, 000.00 at that time. 

 Since he became sick,  I made $8000.00 more…that is all.  I cannot switch jobs…

because I now have 19 years on my current job and I do not know what the future will bring for my son’s health….so I have to keep the regular paycheck…however tight my budget…or lack of a budget!  

FOOD IS HIGH,  RENT IS HIGH,  GASOLINE IS HIGH AND THE  UNITED STATES IS IN A RECESSION!!!!  But guess what…..according to the HEAP GOVERNMENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS  I MAKE OVER THE $3000.OO  LIMIT PER MONTH!

So I would like to ask…are the people who are able to meet the limit and have a house, with a mortgage or a rental fee????? 

 How could you afford the rental fee and still pay the heating costs too?  Does that make any sense?

Please tell me I am wrong…and that there is hope!   I would like to know.

Thank you for your time…..

riveroflifelisajoy

Oh….and by the way….Monday  I will write back and tell you the next part of my saga and tale.  The Keyspan National Grid Representative told me to get DOCTOR’S NOTES THAT EXPLAIN THAT MY MOTHER AND MY SON WILL HAVE MEDICAL ISSUES WITHOUT THE HEAT/ AND HOT WATER

So Monday I have my work cut out for me.  I have to run to doctors for notes for the above listed folks.

But guess what…..I must end on a up note….Things could always be worse,  and I have job….and public school is still free

….America is still greatest  place on  earth  and that  I am happy to live here! Hallelujah!!!!!  EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING…AND DON’T YOU FOR GET IT!

…..BLOG AGAIN SOON….riveroflifelisajoy