TO BEARD OR NOT TO BEARD. IS THAT THE QUESTION?

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As a young man growing up in rural Southwest Georgia, yes I am a proud Albanian, there were certain things that I marked on my calendar as things that I could not wait to do. They included things like: getting my first kiss, making it pass third base, getting my learner’s license, getting my driver’s license, and oddly enough growing my mustache. Yes, I said it, growing my mustache. I remember thinking to myself that if I could grow a mustache, not the peach fuzz that the older guys would tease us about, then I would ascend into manhood. Hell, the need was so great to grow a beard that I would take any advice given in order to obtain my passage into manhood. Even if it meant taking a little of my own urine and rubbing it across the top of my lips to accomplish this. Hey, what can I say, I was very impressionable. Did it work, well I will leave that for another blog. However, I will say that later on in life I would receive tips on how to get hair on my face from the opposite sex which were much more of my liking than using urine. But I digress. As trivial as the idea of growing a mustache is now, at the time it was a must.

Now fast forward a few years later to a driver’s license carrying, multiple home room hitting, and newly minted and manicure mustache having 17 year old Scott Johnson Hall and one could not tell me that I wasn’t a man. Oh the naivety! Then like just like that, the mustache was gone. Not because of some barber who had forget to change the guard on his clipper or some high school prank from my friends gone wrong, but by Uncle Sam. Yes that old guy pointing back from a poster telling me that he needed my services. However, I would later learn, the mustache was not part of the service that was requested. Then just like that, the mustache was gone. Wait did I already say that? Yes, I did already say that. Perhaps I have not gotten over the trauma of the day sitting in the barber chair at Paris Island, South Carolina waiting to go through another ritual. If you are a Marine then you know exactly what I mean. And for the next four years of my life, the mustache was gone. However, I vowed that if I ever decided to return to civilian life, I would grow as much hair as my face could handle. Or at least as much as other humans could stand.

Eventually I did return to civilian life and make true on the vow I made while sitting in that barber chair. Since then I have grown not only a mustache but also a beard. Oddly enough I have also been clean shaven as well since then. Yes, my face was smooth as a baby’s bottom. Wait, is it alright to say that? Anyway, enough of me and my beard. This blog is about whether to be bearded or not. As one who has gone down both paths, by choice and by force, I can truly say that it is left up to the woman. Excuse me. Yes, I said it. However, I did not think I would have to.

Lately there have been a renewed interest on social media for men who have the ability to grow their mane. These individuals call themselves the “beard gang.” I have not earned membership into its club, nor do I wish too, due to the fact it is for those who have a fascination with guys with beards. See I prefer to look only at the hair on my face. However, again that is not the basis of this blog. Then what is the basis? Well you did read the title. Is this really a question worth tackling? Well perhaps if you are in the “beard gang.” So for those who are members, I poise a question to you; Does it matter that a man has hair on his face or not? If so please tell me? I do accept all comments, complaints, and rants. Peace and Love.

Scott Johnson Hall

#scotthall #spokenwords #allmanstuffincluded #fashion #positivepoetry

 

 

 

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PERSPECTIVES OF THE MISCONCEPTION OF THE TALENTED TENTH

 

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There are things in life that have always baffled me and caused me to question mankind’s morale compass but never humanity as a whole. As a former educator (well I still educate) and Marine Corp veteran I have witnessed individual commit actions that I would never do, however their action or inactions have never caused me to look at humanity as evil.  As a rule of thumb I always look at the core of each human being as good, yet born into a world of evil. This does not just go for the actions of human being but also the passing of judgement and creating prejudices based on perception of their fellow man as well as how they treat those who do not look like them or share the same economic, religious, or political viewpoints. These are all viewpoints that have played major factors in the separation of humanity as a whole. However, there is a viewpoint that seems to be ignored and thrown on the back burner. Prejudices and judgments from a social viewpoint is what I am referring to. The prejudices and judgement from the social viewpoint is perhaps more impactful because it alienates and creates a class system which throughout history has played key factors in the destruction of powerful civilizations from within. Yet this is not the basis of my blog today. What is the basis?

I can remember as a recruit in Marine Corp boot camp and as a Marine in the fleet, individuals who could not seem to get it together on a constant basis were referred to as “that 10 percent.” Meaning that it was an expectation that there would be those who would not be able to maneuver through the treacherous landmine of being becoming a Marine. Perhaps more appalling is that these individuals would not be able to maintain the title of a Marine if they slipped through the cracks. To put this in context, becoming and being a Marine is no small task. Of all the branches of the all forces throughout the world, the initiation into our ranks is very difficult. However once a Marine, the prestige and honor is priceless. Which for the rest of the 90 percent, the sacrifice, dedication, and esprit de corps is well worth all of the hardships which are certain to arise. The 90 percent understand even though the journey was hard, it was also fair, just, and equally demanding. Religious, economic, political, or social position did not come into play throughout the journey. Even though young men and women came from all different parts of the United States, what you put in is what you got out. However this is not the basis of my blog, yet it stands as guiding rod to show how another philosophy, which still manifests itself today, is causing destruction and division from within in the United States.

Shortly after the Civil War African Americans made gains in areas of politics, some economics, and social statuses during period known as the Reconstruction Era. As a matter of fact many of the African Americans were literate by 1900. However, when these gains began to take away employment opportunities and political offices which had always been set aside for White Americans, the blatant and vicious brutality increased with intensity at a level which was higher than during slavery. Whatever gains had been made were quickly stripped away and a period of social, economic, political, and racist injustice against the newly freed African Americans began. This period became known as the Black Nadir. As a result many African Americans were forced to take menial jobs despite being more educated or more knowledgeable than their white counter parts. This did and has continued to be an issue in society. However, this mini history lesson is not the basis of my blog.

Ok, I will get to the point. Earlier I noted that by the 1900’s the majority of the African Americans were literate. Also during the Reconstruction Period there were gains which were made in politics both on the local and state level, however this did little to sway the perception of many White Americans in both the north and south. Thus the basis of my blog and an area of concern which I do feel has a negative effect on the nation.

In the late 1890 northern philanthropists saw the need to help out in the south by establishing black colleges to train black teachers and elites. These black teachers and elites were referred to as the “talented tenth.” Later W.E.B Dubious would even go as far, and I would like to think in hopes of eliminating the hopelessness which was embedded in the African American communities, to say that at least 1out of 10 African Americans would be leaders in their communities. Here in lies the basis of my blog. With most of the African American in the south being literate, why would northern philanthropists establish college and universities only for the black elites and teachers? There were between 6-7 million African Americans in the south during the 1900’s, majority of them literate African Americans, one would naturally assume that this opportunity would be extended to all who wished to learn. My last issue is the idea that only 1 out of 10 African Americans were considered worthy or qualified enough to lead our communities. So what were the other 9 to do? Were they to wait on a savior? Wait on the next Messiah to come and lead our people out of bondage? Perhaps what perplexes me the most is that this rhetoric was embraced by one of the great men of our time during a time when this rhetoric should have been detested. I refuse to think that those numbers were accurate then and I am quite certain that they are not accurate now. Yet, during the time leading up to Harlem Renaissance until the Civil Rights Movements, African Americans found themselves operating under this sub consciously accepted rhetoric. Fast forward to today and you can see the rejection from this type of rhetoric is as at an all-time high.

As an African American male it is refreshing to see the number of college ready individuals who are knocking the college doors down to further their education. The number of technical ready individuals who are knocking the technical school doors down to become proficient in their trade. In both cases many of these individuals coming from difficult social and economic backgrounds to become first generation college students. And last it does my heart joy to see those who participates in sporting activities, which were once reserved for those who were thought to be just athletes, become the leading instrument for the cause of freedom of speech. It reminds me of the activism of many of the black athletes during my father’s day. When it was dangerous both physical and financially to do so. So I continue to salute you and give thanks and words of encouragement to all of those who are striving to flip the idea of “the talented tenth.” Because we are all capable of leading in some capacity and when there is more than one leader, the chance of accomplishing a cause becomes much easier.

 

Scott Johnson Hall

#scotthall #positivepoetry #spokenwords

You are spurred by the words out of your mouth…… But what do you expect?

I have never been one to further the cause of promoting negativity. This simple sentence (it’s only 12 words long) forced me to write, rewrite, and edit it several times. The editing was not due to grammatical errors, I proudly obtained my B.A. in English from The Unsinkable Albany State University, but more so for the content. Within the 12 words of this simple sentence, three of the words stand out to me the most. The words further, cause, and negativity are fairly common in our day to day conversation, however when this words are joined in the same sentence, it can cause chaos. Some may doubt the validity of this statement, well allow me to retort.

According to Webster Dictionary, further is defined as: to a greater extent or degree. The very definition is interesting. So let’s look at this for a few words. If one were to report, tell, or explain something which they themselves deemed to be of importance, this is for all intensive purpose harmless. Also, when one chooses to further report, tell, or explain something then this too is harmless. This one word does not add complication to life, unless what one further reports, tells, or explains are untruths or gossip. But I digress, and we will come back to that in a few moments, the reason; cause.

The word cause in this case does not refer to unflinching desires or propagatives. In this case it refers to a person or thing that is the occasion of an action or invent. We can quite logically replace the word cause for motive. In most cases if a person does something due to a cause, the person is invested in making sure that the cause progresses with as little complication as possible. The attitude of the person performing the actions in support of the cause takes on a by any means necessary approach. This attitude or approach takes on the name of persistent, dedication, and sometimes courage. Again, this word alone is not dangerous. However, when the cause one supports is one that infringes on the rights, safety, or privileges of another human, the cause becomes detrimental. This is when adverse and negative results are sure to follow.

Perhaps one my least favorite words in any language is negative or for the sake of this blog posts negativity. One does not have to search the dictionary for the definition. A more simple and visual aid to give meaning can be found by reading the newspaper or watching television. Now before I’m attacked let me make it plan and clarify the previous statement. I too am a working writer who uses the news and I am attempting to use television for entertainment and informational purposes. So therefore I know that all newspaper articles and television are not negative. However, the amount of negativity that sprues from these two forms of media is both alarming and scary. I am well aware that there are plenty of negative things that happen across our country each day. However, in a country of more than 300 million citizens you mean to tell me that the bad which happens each day outweigh the good each day. Why do I feel this way? Because until we accept things like The Las Vegas Shooting, Sandy Hooks Shooting, or Columbine Shooting as normal occurrences then I have to believe that there are positive things to report through the use of the media. However, on the other hand police brutality, homeless, equal pay, etc.… must be normal because it only gets reported when it is recorded or unfortunately when someone dies.

As a person who believes in humanity and was created by something divine, I refuse to believe that this is the case. Nor will I further the cause of promoting negativity. Yet I will report, tell, and explain something negative, not for the cause of promoting negativity, but to look for possible solutions to things which we seem to accept as normalcy. Why? Because until we can accept police brutality, homelessness, equal pay, etc.… as something of a surprise, then we will forever accept in our day to day lives those entities who chose to use the media as a vehicle to promote negativity. As a result of this when these heinous crimes against humanity occur which take the lives of mass citizens, everything else takes a back seat and we accept those things as normal. How do you prevent it?

Simple. It starts with the person staring back at you in the mirror. On a day to day basis we are sure to be informed of or inform someone of something negative; it is bound to happen. However, it is what comes from your mouth after the negative information is materialized which will determine the approach to information. In other words are you going to be the part of the negative or will you be part of the solution? These words will be most precious and should be chosen wisely.

Scott Hall

#spokenwords #allmanstuffincluded #scotthall #postivepoetry