Role Models

By Sonsie Zamora

mlkdreamEveryone can benefit by having someone to look up to and goals to strive toward. Do you have a role model?

When I say ‘role model’, I don’t mean Beyonce because she’s amazing or Jennifer Lawrence because she’s famous. I mean on a deeper level; really study what they stand/stood for and how they got to where they are/were. Choose someone whose life and goals are something that you hope to be in sync with. As young people, we feel like we have all the time in the world to achieve everything we want to but the reality is that there is a small window of opportunity where we can really shape and decide who we are and who we want to become. Choices we make now will follow us forever and influence other choices we make later in life. Nobody wants to look back on their life 50 years from now and wish they would have done more. Now is the time!

Maybe you have a lot of people motivating you in life, or maybe you have no one. But I want to make sure to tell you that you truly can be anything and anybody you want to be in life. Don’t let your surroundings or people decide for you. Find someone that motivates you in life, if you don’t have someone already, and make a clear path to the goals you want to achieve and stay focused. A role model can be a source of constant motivation when you need that boost. They can keep you on track when friends, or life, try to steer you in another direction.

There are many people and qualities that inspire me but one example of someone I strive to be like is JK Rowling. She believed in the stories she had to tell so much so that she continued to persevere despite many set backs. It took her 7 years to write the first Harry Potter book and during the same time period she got a divorce, became a single mother and lost her own mother. She stayed motivated however despite all of this and kept writing. In the span of 5 years following that period, she went from living on state benefits to multi-millionaire status. That is amazing and her current success is astronomical and something out of a fairy tale, to me.

If you don’t have a role model off the top of your head, start by thinking about what qualities you would appreciate in a role model; someone that is hard working? Someone that is brave and stays positive no matter what? Someone that is accomplished and successful? Someone that makes a difference in the world? Someone that overcame a huge obstacle or tragedy in life? Someone athletic? Someone that dedicated their lives to others? Think of any and all qualities that you wish to be or that motivate you and list them. If this doesn’t make you think of any one person that inspires you, that’s ok. There can be many, many people that inspire you or sometimes it’s certain qualities about people that keep us in awe. The point is to never stop being motivated and inspired by others and to never stop dreaming as big as you possibly can.

Black America: A Documentary Film

Documentary Filmmaker Randall Rydell Russell
Documentary Filmmaker Randall Rydell Russell

BLACK AMERICA: A DOCUMENTARY FILM BY RANDALL RYDELL RUSSELL

Sacramento Filmmaker Randall Rydell Russell brings us a documentary about the struggles and search for hope in America when people still judge by the color of our skin. Black America will be released later this year.

Plight Of A Single Mother

In today’s society the family structure has shifted, almost twenty years ago the rate of single parents wasn’t as significant as it is now. There are plenty of factors that tie into the reasons of why several women are becoming single mothers at alarming rates. Sometimes, things happen, such as death, divorce, etc. Plenty of women are single mothers by choice. But there are those that exploit the view of the positive single mothers.

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post
Photo courtesy of Huffington Post

Society truly has a skewed view on the existence of single mothers. Most believe that single mothers are the result of whoring around and trapping men with babies to continue with a façade of a relationship. Or that these women want to just live off of the government welfare system forever. This has given a black eye to the truly undeserving individuals who need to rely on the help of the corporate government to feed their children as oppose to those who abuse the system or look at gaining child support funds from a guy.

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The media doesn’t make these women look any better especially with TV Shows such as with “Maury Povich,” where we usually 9x out of ten see young black women portrayed as loud, ghetto, ignorant and often clueless as to who fathered their babies while America gets to sit back and laugh at their shame. What satire this is? While on the other hand their are shows on MTV such as, “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom,” that actually glorifies in my opinion the acceptance of white teen girls getting pregnant at young ages.  The racial double standard is kind of sad and disgusting.

How single mothers are viewed on this show
How single mothers are viewed on this show

Sometimes, single mothers must work two jobs to support the household. It is rough but it has to be done. Although, single black mothers are at risk for falling into poverty their are plenty of successful single mothers in the world that are holding it together without the father in the home. While all the blame is often put on the women for breeding with men they may not have known wouldn’t stick around what about the men who abandon their children? Child support doesn’t get issued to all single mothers. Their are plenty of fathers who just back out of the parenting role altogether. Some claim that it is too much responsibility for them to handle or just plain haven’t grown up yet. I believe, however, the biggest reason why single parenting may exist outside of death or divorce, etc. The black family structure has been broken down. Black men are leaving the home, or being incarcerated thus leaving the women to take care of things.  This leaves some boys to grow up without fathers and lack the knowledge of what it takes to be a real man in today’s society.

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The good gets mixed in with the bad often times. Most of the time when society thinks of black mothers they believe that we are ignorant, uneducated, extremely poor, inadequate parents, living off welfare with two or three kids by several different men. Nobody thinks that perhaps some mothers want more for their live and kids. Some mothers who not only work two jobs, are putting themselves in college, running their own businesses, or sending their successful kids off to college for the first time. The same could be said about single dads. But the media is so focused on devaluing the African American culture it’s ridiculous.

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Positive news in the black community goes unreported all of the time because no one cares to see positive images of the black family structure in media. But until people can decipher the difference between entertainment and reality things will probably never change within our society.