In my book Success Secrets of Black Executives, I pointed out that the most frequent strategy that blacks in high-profile positions would face are the consistent efforts to incite their anger.
Once upset, they then became the problem.
After a week devoted to discussion of the arrest of Dr. Henry Louis Gates in his own home, we saw that his state of mind became the issue, as well as that of both President Barack Obama and Gov. Deval Patrick.
So, for the average person, how does one keep one’s cool, in the face of repeated provocations.
There is a group of practitioners devoted to that very thing — the International Association of Black Yoga Teachers, .
What seemed to be a luxury now emerges as a survival strategy. At the root of a number of health disparities for blacks is the level of environmental stress.
They represent one of the factors fueling the growth of African-American entrepreneurship, meeting the changing needs of our community. At a time when demonstrations and civil disobedience were essential tools, anger could be channelled to make change.
Now that African-Americans are often in decision-making positions, but still facing some of the same racist beliefs, the pressing need is to overcome the distractions.
Their conference is one of a number of black professional gatherings around the country during August, National Black Business Month. These organizations, like IABYT’s web site, often have directories of members or local chapters. This makes it easier for those who want to participate in the 31 ways, 31 days strategy to find practitioners to seek out. The National Medical and Dental Associations also spotlight their members.
We can spend a lot of energy dwelling on the continuing racism in our society, but at the end of the day, our communities have the resources to determine their own fate. The black yoga teachers are doing a service to our community by encouraging us to focus on what’s important, the gifts we have within.
If the lotus position is a bit much for you, you can pick up a phone, get in your car or go online during August to show your position on supporting black business.
While at USC for professional development this weekend, I ran across several black USC graduates who attend Holman Memorial United Methodist Church, who operate a site called Blackcollegetours.org. They were spending their Saturday with junior high school kids, explaining what they would have to do to successfully apply to college, including historically black colleges. They used themselves as role models by explaining that they were able to obtain scholarships by doing well as secondary students.
Those are the kind of additional benefits which derive from supporting such civic-minded entrepreneurs.
Let’s stay focused on the priorities in front of us right now. Meditate on that.