Thursday, September 18, 2014

Blog 201: Whip That Butt

By Rufus L. and Anthony E. McGhee
Guest writers

Whippings are not new.  Whippings have been a parenting tool since the beginning of mankind.  The occasional whipping is not child abuse!!!  I got whippings; my children got whippings; and my granddaughter gets whippings and we are all productive and positive members of our communities today.   Yes, they hurt but remember – no pain no gain.    
Whippings are a form of punishment that gets the child’s immediate attention.  Whippings are memorable in that when the wrong behavior/action is exhibited, the child remembers the whipping previously received and usually does not enter into that behavior/action again. 
Whippings are a tool to promote positive behavior.  Children remember whippings and not the ‘time-out’ vacations where they get to rest and relax sometimes with the iPhone or laptop.  Whippings, a parent’s tool, are the penalties paid for bad decisions/actions.  ‘Time-outs’, a friend’s tool, are toy penalties that last only for the moment.
Parents are for life.  Friends are for a season.  Parents have the responsibility to nurture and build character in their children.   Whippings are one of the tools used by parents to accomplish this Godly task.  “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)  
Doing a child’s formative years, friends will not be the child’s constant caregiver – a parent will; friends will not be the child’s constant provider – parents will; friends will not always teach the child right from wrong – a parent will and should; friends cannot and should not whip the child – a parent will and should.
It’s time to get back to basics and return to implementing the saying “spare the rod and spoil the child” theory.  A whipping every now and then will do the child good.  It will reinforce the concept that negative behavior/actions will not be tolerated while emphasizing positive behavior/action expectations.   
Tell those ‘authoritarian’ ‘know-it-alls’ of today that you are the parent and know what is best for your child.  Punish when appropriate, excuse behavior/actions when appropriate, overlook behavior/actions when appropriate, whip when appropriate, and above all be the parent always.  Whippings benefitted me; they benefitted my children; and they are benefitting my granddaughter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blog 200: My Fare-Ye-Well

By Vernon M. Herron

“Finally brethren, (readers, friends and helpers) farewell-
Be of good courage, be of one mind, live in peace,
and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”
II Corinthians 13:11

Three years ago in 2011, I wrote and published my first blog, “I Remember,” under the caption of “Herron Speaks.” It was not a single effort but a team approach. We started with an idea which was recorded, examined by the proof-reader, submitted to the technician, and then on to the poster. We had one common objective, produce a good blog worthy of reading and remembering.

Now, three years later, at age 86 (Oct. 7th ), we come to the publication of blog 200, our goal-mark! You helped us to reach this point. We made many reading friends, including you, who have written complimentary remarks and given significant input. Thank you!

Because of rapid failing health, and even though 200 was the blog producing goal, I became shockingly ill at blog 185, when I decided to stop writing. Friends encouraged me to continue the journey toward the original goal and assured me that they would help write to that end. We agreed. Now, here we are again at the goal. The next step is to put all 200 blogs into a book.  It is time to say, “fare-ye-well.”

Alexander Waters helped shaped an idea into a reader friendly conception; Joseph Burton and Eddie Boulwell gave inestimable technical support; Mrs. Barbara Hendricks proof-read and Steve Johnston posted. My,! What a team! Leon Gill will now communicate with you.

Blog writing was always a challenge to my intellect in various disciplines. Often, it would take me into the areas of Black history, church history, family history, childhood and youth experiences, death, genealogy, music, theology, humor and general blogging. This process often challenged the need for further research, which also was an experience of growth.

So, as I approach the “rack” upon which to place my hat, my fare-ye-well words come from II Corinthians 13:11, “Be of good courage, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”  Perhaps you should blog write. This is my fare-ye-well. Let me hear from you.

May the Triune God
Be over you-to bless you;
Before you-to lead you;
Behind you-to defend you;
And in you-to refresh you;
Until we meet again-
(in person or in print)
May God hold you in
The hollow of His hands.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Blog 199: Some Pictures of Family, Friends, Supporters and in Memoriam

By Vernon M. Herron

As we come to a close of blog publishing at number 200, many names come to mind who contributed to good reading in some measure. While we cannot mention everyone by name, we can say “thanks” to all and share some pictures of those in file.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Blog 198: What Dreams May Become

By C. Maria Macon
Guest Writer

There are few things that are life-changing. For me, a very small thing, such as reading a book, made a great impact on my life now and in the “Hereafter.” 

“What Dreams May Come” by Richard Matheson is a great love story, but it is more than just a story. The story affirms that the end is just the beginning and after life there is more!

I read the book with no expectations, and I got more than I could imagine in just one lifetime.

The story, in the book, assisted in my pending transition. It helped to remove any fears I may have had about death and dying. More importantly, it gave me a different outlook on life, living and people.

The book helped me to become more aware of my thoughts and how positive thinking really brings about positive results. Deep sleeping is not frightening to me and more importantly whether I wake up or not, it is no longer an issue.

My wish is for everyone who reads this blog, to experience “what dreams may come.”

Much Peace and Blessings.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Blog 197: Flagging Down a Taxi Cab

By John Miller
Guest Writer

A Blind’s Man Journey
(Because you don’t need sight to see the world)

For some blind folks, as far as I know, it has never been all that practical to try and flag down a taxi. I suppose some can do it, depending on what level of sight they have. Maybe, catching the closest available ride is easier. Smart phone applications are beginning to make this possible. I think, however, that there is some kickback to the general implementation of this idea. I hope it happens. For now, I will still use the old-fashioned method: place a call and wait though this is often nerve-racking.

I now live in an apartment with a difficult-to-discern address. Everyone from dispatch to the drivers, to heck, the pizza delivery folks and other passersby argue about exactly what it is. Even if I check with my phone’s GPS programs, I’m likely to get different results at different times. This means finding me can be a challenge.

For instance, I once thought a guy had said that he was on the way to the right place and would pick me up shortly, because he said the correct street and number. However, it turned out that he sat waiting in front of some location a bit farther up for ten minutes, finally placing an irritated call asking “Aye man, are you still trying to get a cab?” for this reason, I often opt to just go somewhere else for pick-up.

OK, so I’ve successfully gotten into the taxi an am on my way. Where are you trying to go? How best to get there? Now, it’s certainly easier as I can just use my phone to tell me. But not all cabbies take the most cost-effective way, and I guess I can’t really blame them.

Because I’m interested, I just looked at an, apparently not wholly reliable, Wikipedia article that suggests that the first metered taxi service began in Germany in 1897. It says the meter even ticked, now that sort of feature would actually be convenient for the blind passenger.

Failing that though, I’ve heard there are supposed to be solutions on the horizon that will allow us to know exactly how much the driver should in fact be charging, as it accumulates. Maybe the meters will speak? Or perhaps the info could also be sent through our phones someday. If I feel somewhat shaky about how much it might cost for me to get there, I’ll just ask dispatch to give me a projected fare quote before leaving. Of course, if traveling a great distance many companies require that you pay in advance anyway.

So I’ve arrived at my destination and been told how much it will cost. “Uh,” I say “do you accept cards?”

Awkward silence.

If I’m lucky, they’ll grudgingly get out the card machine and swipe it. Or, maybe they’ll call it in and read m card number out loudly enough for anyone standing by to overhear. Worst of all? “No, I only take cash!”

Having finally begun to tire of this, I’m trying to make myself start carrying more cash around again. This of course has its own risks, but asking the cabbie to take me to an ATM so that I can withdraw the needed funds is definitely flipping a coin. In their defense, I must say that most try hard to be honest and make sure that I know they’re so being. Some have me call my bank and check the statement immediately. One individual, who could barely speak English, just summoned a nearby police officer to assist me in getting the dough.

The only person whom I think has taken me for a ride was a woman I met via Craiglist, who probably shorted me $20.00! and then, vehemently denied doing so. “I’ll just come and give you $20.00” she said when I attempted to call her out for that. She never did so though, and I never used her again. She’d actually seemed pretty nice. But it’s always difficult to tell.

As they say, it’s usually best to find and stick to a particular driver when possible, so that a fuller trust can develop. I do have my favorite driver, but lately I’ve not been as able to get her when tying to call. I can’t say why this is. Amusingly, on my short trip from Durham’s bus station to the Amtrak, I did meet the woman my favorite driver had asked to pick me up at a prior time.  She said that in addition to my little $5, she’d only made $10 all day long. I can kind of see why, as she didn’t strike me as the friendliest person in the world.. That's the thing: The best or probably most aggressively tipped cabbies are also talkers/psychologists. Hey, whole shows have been made about this phenomenon.

So, to my other blind readers out there, what have your cab experiences been like? I know that, unfortunately, they’ve still not always been friendly to those with guide dogs. This definitely needs to change. I have heard horror stories of people being dragged down the street while clinging to the door handle, all while to secure a ride for which they’ve desperately been waiting. Let us know your thoughts on this and other aspects.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blog 196: Life With Dual Disabilities

By John Miller
Guest Writer

A Blind’s Man Journey
(Because you don’t need sight to see the world)

A series of recent events have me thinking about how I feel about life with dual disabilities. Specifically, to what degree would I want to mitigate or perhaps eliminate at least the medical component of said disabilities, should that become more possible in the future.

I suppose because I wasn’t born with significant hearing loss, but have had to adjust to it over the lifespan, I would definitely opt into something that promised to correct my hearing. I’m pretty sure now though that I’ve had some loss in that area even before I had become aware of it.

Certainly technology has enabled one to hear. Many see this in the existence of the Cochlear Implant. One thing that gives me pause in going for a CI is that I’ve heard it can throw off sound localization, making it difficult for someone who is blind to navigate safely around his or her environment. I think one could adjust to this, but I know not how long that might take.

I recently met an individual who is a mental health advocate, writer, and one who has assisted many people with disabilities in learning the social landscape. This person shared with me a video in which a woman hears sound for the first time via cochlear implant.

I’d heard of this video before, and its attendant controversy. I guess people’s biggest concern had to do with the notion, right or wrong, that it would serve to enhance the public’s idea that perceived disability must always be a bad thing and should thus be dealt with. Some were also not sure how to take having such a private, emotionally jarring moment aired online. My position on that is it was her personal decision to do this, and should be seen as such.

I could be wrong, but it seems to me that deafness doesn’t get quite the social taboo that blindness does. I suppose that most wouldn’t actively choose to be without hearing, but many individuals who are deaf only can get good jobs and do things where their competence is questioned a little less. Are they discriminated against in some ways? I’m sure of it, and especially when attempting to communicate with others who are not deaf and don’t know sign language, or take in programming that isn’t properly captioned.

But when many see an individual who is blind, they automatically assume that some sort of sin has stained their soul. Some of the braver folks figure that God has actually appointed them to lift that sin, as a person tried to do this morning.

I’m strolling along, enjoying the birdsong and wind that finish waking me up as I head toward the bus stop. I get to the street corner, and over the sound of a roaring machine of some sort, maybe a lawn mower? I don’t know, I hear someone calling, maybe my name?

“Are you talking to me?” I ask, turning to face the voice.

“Yes”, she replies, “God says he wants me to touch your eyes.” Before I can stop her, she had practically smacked me in the face! She pounds my eyes a couple of good times before I softly removed her hands and pushed them down.

”Um,” I said, “I’m just trying to cross the street, and now I’m distracted. Can you tell me when to go?” 

“Yes, but you have to believe! God’s going to open your eyes in a week!”

I just said OK, and thank you and shuffle on down towards the stop.

Because I’ve never seen before, I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to suddenly have working eyes in a week. I guess it would be like that woman’s reaction times 100, as I’d be bombarded with stimuli that I couldn’t make sense of without the proper context and training. I wonder if people who hope for such things to happen to a totally blind stranger have ever stopped to consider the ramifications of the situation?

Secondly, I think I’m made just the way I’m supposed to be. As with hearing, I don’t begrudge anyone who wishes to be able to see after having been totally blind whenever it becomes feasible to do so, but I definitely don’t. I guess, in many respects, I would feel like I’m giving up my “self” as I currently know it.

These are certainly interesting and complicated issues. I know many who are working to find their own answers as they deal with one, both, or some varying combination of them. I guess what it comes down to, in the end, is to respect the person’s humanity. Ask them questions about what they might want you to pray for or if they’d just prefer to be left alone. Because what you think you see in someone else is not always what is.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Blog 195: Aware of Those Around Us

By John Miller
Guest Writer

A Blind’s Man Journey
(Because you don’t need sight to see the world)

I have always found it interesting the ways in which we become aware of those around us. I think especially among those who are blind, we are often not fully aware of the degree to which others watch, perhaps learn from, and become familiar with us from afar.

I especially noticed that this past week. I had to miss a day of work, because my left ear, the good one, decided to ring really loudly and make it difficult for me to function. This usually happens when we experience drastic swings in temperature, but for some odd reason it occurred on the day before said temperature changes took effect. It ended up being a plus, as it created an opportunity for me to go grocery shopping during the day.

When I returned to work the next day, I was somewhat amused by the number of people who came up to say they'd noticed my absence and missed me. They knew my name, but I couldn't really tell you who they were. In addition to my blindness, I am also atypically quiet in there. I'll speak when spoken to, but generally I remain lost somewhere in my thoughts.

The phenomenon of knowing, starts long before we even begin to speak. I've had the pleasure of participating in many of my twelve nieces and nephews' upbringing, and was always amazed by how attached to me they became. They seemed to have their own ways of preferred connection: one I could lure into a calm state by using a strap; another liked to listen to me whistle a tuneless melody as I walked him up and down the hall; and a third just needed to know I was in the same room as he was. This last one left me feeling like perhaps I could actually hypnotize him, as I could say "you're getting sleeeepppy," in that funny, dragged-out voice and he would indeed quiet.

They would also, I believe, demonstrate that they knew I was unable to see them. Whether they thought this by choice or fully understood that my eyes didn't work, who knows?

My niece, for example, would make a humming sound as her little legs propelled her along the floor and to me, until she was able to tap my leg.

And once, the strap-loving nephew decided I needed assistance into the laundry room to put my clothes into the hamper, and then back into my mom's room where he knew I liked to watch sports with my dad. He may not have even been a year old then, and hadn't really developed speech yet except for the ability to make a sound that approached "here",when he grabbed one of my fingers and led me around the house. I guess he'd seen enough of me nearly tripping over his and others' toys. It was cute.

My sighted cousin moved into our Charlotte apartment in 2008 with her pet. I have never become as close to any living creature as I did her. The pet especially enjoyed interacting with me when I sat in the big, comfortable swivel chair I had at my heavy oak computer desk. She'd tap her little head on the side, stand back a few inches, and watch me turn to face her so she could then leap into my lap. Then she'd lay there, picking her head up as I began to talk to her or demanding attention occasionally with her paws.

She showed her understanding of my limitations once when I'd taken her out for relief. I guess, I'd gotten lost in my thoughts, and she decided we'd go for a longer walk. She probably had tried to get my attention somehow, but I didn't notice. Next thing I knew, we were on the other side of the street and behind that set of apartments.

"Look what you've done!" I yelled as I tugged on the leash. "Now how on earth am I going to get back home?"

She then slipped through a narrow fence, causing her collar to pull hard and come off of her neck. Now, if she'd done this with my sighted cousin in tow, she'd think "freedom!" and "game time!" and take off.
However, she probably knew that I couldn't catch her, so she sat down a couple of feet in front of me and waited for me to reattach the collar. Then, she got ready to cross the lot and, probably, correctly head for home. I didn't fully trust that we could do this safely though, so I pulled back on the chain. I believed she then deferred to plan B, which was to find an apartment with a human inside that I could ask for help. I did this, and an old man who walked with a rather pronounced limp assisted us back to the right place.

I'd guess that getting to know one another, and discern likely motives, has significant survival advantages. And, of course it helps us get whatever it is that we want from another, as well as to give to others what they might enjoy. I'm not sure blind folk will ever be really good at fully understanding tendencies, since there's so much we miss by lacking observational abilities at least from a visual standpoint. But, I certainly do pick up on and have an uncanny memory for voice, smell, and other odd quirks. Just something I've been pondering all week. How much do you pick up from others as you go about your day? Are you always watching as a new individual comes into a room? What about other kinds of sensory information.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Blog 194: Some Random Thoughts

By John Miller
Guest Writer

A Blind Man’s Journey
(Because you don’t need sight to see the world)

I can think of at least one song that defined my life for a stretch, “In the Still of the Night,” by Boys II Men. This is because it’s random singing led by my two cousins and me to create a singing group. Remember that concept? I don’t think many of those exist these days, as most are solo artists. But I suspect that history will bring them back eventually, which they did until deciding to emphasize gospel more.

My cousins and I had just completed a rousing game of basketball with an adult, one of my cousin’s fathers. How appropriate for Father’s Day? We then piled into his car to go and find some delicious, refreshing ice cream, probably at Dairy Queen.

The said song came onto the radio and for some reason, we began to sing it. My youngest cousin took the lead vocal, I sang bass and my other cousin did the “shoo-wops.” “Hey, that was fun!” we said, once the song concluded.

It really surprised me that I was even able to do this. All of my life, I’d been told by many that I couldn’t really sing or play instruments (have tried to learn the piano from time to time and had gotten decent at the trumpet when in elementary band) so I’d largely became discouraged from even trying. My cousins told me more than once to stick with it though, and working with some fantastic choral instructors and singing in a couple of church choirs, I began to expand my range.  

Due to our group’s origins, my dad suggested that we should have called ourselves the Backseat Boys. Law suit, anyone? We instead went with the name “Off Da Top,” because of course we wrote songs off da top of our heads! My aunt chided us for the less-than-professional spelling, but hey, why can’t we have a little fun? Like Music or Exscape.

Over the years, we continued to develop. Naturally, many of our initial favorites were Boys II Men tunes. I especially remember singing, “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” as we cruised Lake Norman while at a summer camp sponsored by the Metrolina Association for the Blind (MAB). The restaurant area was staffed by college-age women, and one each came to rub our backs as we sang. I nearly lost the ability to stay on the notes. Ha-ha. They also shut down the PA music, so that everyone onboard could hear.

There was another time at a Raleigh ice skating rink. My cousins and I weren’t particularly big fans of this recreational activity, so we sat at the table with drinks in front of us and worked on “Chi’s Baby, I’m Yours.” We made an error and we stopped to retry that spot, then we suddenly heard a loud burst of clapping. There had appeared a rather large contingent of young women, traveling with some kind of youth center. They opted to join us in singing “Kirk Franklin’s Stomp, The Preacher and Leader of God’s Property.” I think many members of the group came from Charlotte’s Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, our family original home church.

Our dream, like anyone who would have been doing such a thing, was to achieve stardom. I think in retrospect that it is quite fortunate we did not, as we had no idea what would have actually entailed. The great memories we do have though, like winning a talent show at UNC Charlotte, performing to an incredibly excited congregation at First Church, may in fact never be surpassed.

Even as my disorder continues to take away my hearing and makes singing more of chore than a joy, I will always continue to enjoy music. So, if I’m a bit flat, sharp, or slightly off rhythm, try not to be too harsh! Off Da Top hasn’t performed in many years, but we have floated the idea of giving it a shot again someday. Who knows?

About the Author
I am 34 years of age. I currently reside in Durham, NC, and work in a factory-type setting building product for the military. On one side, I work to maintain and enhance my online journal. At blind travel net, I read many other blogs and took courses on website construction and Word Press. I also enjoy reading and listening to books and music of every type for further inspiration. Clearly though, the bulk of my material comes from my own life experience.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Blog 193: An Appeal for Suze and Frandy

By Kenneth Simmons
Guest Writer

Several months after the horrific earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince in Haiti, I was commissioned along with a colleague, Ms. Judith Cowan, to travel to Haiti to teach English as a second language to a small group of college students who had attended the University of Port-au-Prince before it was destroyed. Our mission was sponsored by the “I Have a Dream” Foundation which is based in Richmond, Virginia.. 
The students with whom we worked lived in a small mountain town, Hinche, which is located about fifty miles northeast of Port-au- Prince. It takes two and a half hours to drive there from the capital city because of the rugged roads that traverse the ravines  and rocky mountain sides.  The majority of the citizens of Hinche have never had electricity, and roughly five percent are employed. The average earnings for a day’s work is  approximately five dollars.  Though poverty is rampant, the people were rich in love, and spirit, and decency, far more than most of those I have encountered in my homeland.  The Catholic Church where we lived was filled with the town’s people at six o’clock every morning and at regular mass on Sundays.
Our assignment was to help the students reach an acceptable level of English proficiency so that they could succeed in our American Colleges. The foundation had promised to bring our eight students to the United States and enroll them in colleges where they were to be supported until they graduated. Afterwards, they were to return to their home country as strong leaders. The students were extremely motivated and worked diligently with us from eight in the morning until three thirty in the afternoon as  we tried our very best to immerse them in the English language. Never in my thirty plus years of working with young people in our public schools had I experienced the pleasure of such good manners, motivation and a willingness to learn as when  I  worked with the students in Hinche, Haiti .
We returned to the U.S. in November of 2010; four of the students arrived in August of 2011 and were enrolled in J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Virginia. The other four students were to arrive at a later date because of a lack of funding, but to this day, they still remain in Haiti. After one year of studying at Reynolds, the students were informed that the foundation had depleted its funds. Two white families quickly picked up two of the students for sponsorship. One family enrolled one of the female students, Lude, at Averett University in Danville, Virginia. Lude is doing very well and has almost completed her studies there. Berry, one of the male students, was picked up by another family and is about to complete a four year degree at Elizabeth City State University on the coast of North Carolina. He is doing well also. All four have maintained 3.0 averages and above.
Our concern at this time is the well-being of brother and sister Frandy and Suze Prince. They have been on their own for the last year and now are at risk of losing their student visas if they are not able to receive assistance right away. All four of the students were issued student visas in order to come to the US.,  which means  that they must be enrolled in school on a full-time basis. If the students lose their visas, they will have to return to Haiti with dreams and hopes deferred. Frandy and Suze have not been able to acquire sponsorships but did receive some assistance for the last year from a community organization and an attorney and her family. The attorney and the organization made it clear that their resources were temporary. As of August 1st, the two students have been abandoned.  The “I Have a Dream” Foundation does not feel any obligation to continue to support Frandy and Suze. The brother and sister have completed their studies at the community college and were informed that as of August 1, 2014, they had no place to live in Richmond.
Thank God, Frandy and Suze were admitted to Johnson C. Smith University for the fall semester. Fortunately, we have been able to assist the two students in acquiring an apartment near the university.  JCSU was able to give each of them five thousand dollar for the year which means that we must raise thirteen thousand dollars for each of them for the entire year tuition making it a total of twenty-six thousand dollars in all. We are seeking an additional six thousand dollars for rent which gives us a total need of thirty-two thousand dollars.  We know that after this first year, the students will be able to earn full academic scholarships for next year based on their academic performance.
We have not been able to find a family or even a church in our community to sponsor our two students; therefore, we desperately are asking you to assist us in making a tax deductible donation so that these two young people can complete their education and return to their home country prepared to lead Haiti into a future filled with promise, hope and prosperity.

Please mail your donation to:

The Suze and Frandy Scholarship Fund
c/o Mechanics and Farmers Bank
P. O. Box 33594
Charlotte, N.C. 28216

Thank you for your support.                                                           

About the Author

Kenneth Allen Simmons is a graduate of West Charlotte High School and the University of North Carolina. He has served in fifteen administrative positions with the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System and is active in many professional and community organizations.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Blog 192 A. Rudolph Hendricks: A Retired Presbyterian Minister Conducts a Multifaceted Ministry in a Baptist Church

By Vernon M. Herron, family members and others
Guest Writers

Have you met the Reverend Doctor Amos Rudolph Hendricks? If not, this is a “must.” This distinguished personality and versatile soul is a scholar; a teacher; a husband; a father; a grandfather; a musician (organist and pianist); a choir member; a farmer; an animal-raiser and lover; a dress-code trend setter; a loyal fraternal brother; a retired Presbyterian minister; and an active member of a Baptist church ministerial staff, conducting a multifaceted ministry.

The Rev. A. Rudolph Hendricks has been married to the former Barbara Parks for 52 years. She is the critic and proof-reader for the Herron Speaks blog. She is a retired school teacher and administrator. She also teaches Latin at the Youth Opportunity University at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church of Charlotte, NC.

Dr. Hendricks is also the father of three children. His two sons are successful in their respective fields, and his daughter is an accomplished school teacher. She directs the children’s musical program at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. The entire family is musical.

Dr. Henderick has seven grandchildren, two of whom were introduced in blog 138.  He sings in three church’s choirs, farms, is a lover of and raises farm animals, including dogs and horses; is an immaculate dresser; and is an active member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Greek fraternity. But the two dynamic forces of this unusual personality, are a retired Presbyterian ministry and a multifaceted Baptist ministry.

Rev. Hendricks served as pastor of four Presbyterian churches located in the Charlotte, Shelby, Huntersville and Shreveport, LA. areas. After retiring from a dynamic Presbyterian ministry, he and his family joined the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church of Charlotte, NC seven years ago. He sings in three church choirs, is a member of the ministerial staff, consisting of serving as a worship leader, preaches, is a church greeter, assists in funeral and mid-week worship services, participates in the drama ministry and seasonal presentations.

In his own words, Dr. Hendricks says, “the transition has been easy. Serving on a ministerial staff in a Baptist church has allowed me to continue in the familiar role of leading the worship experience. Singing in three choirs provides many opportunities for me to use my musical skills. I remain cognizant that the denominational designation in a church’s name is secondary to its mission.  ‘Only what do for Christ will last.’”

This preacher is also the grandson of a Baptist minister. Friendship Missionary Baptist Church of Charlotte, NC loves and welcomes this brother to its membership and staff where he is conducting a fantastic multifaceted ministry. The Friendship Baptist Church family is the richer because of the Hendricks family.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blog 191: YEN – Young Entrepreneur’s Network

By C. Maria Macon
Guest Writer

Have you ever wondered what would happen if a group of young business people got together and began to create a microcosm of the infamous “Black Wall Street”?  Just such a group has emerged, and they have begun the process with 20 small businesses. Their mission is to create a clearinghouse of young business-minded entrepreneurs-in-training as they develop a system for future resources sharing. Their goal is to set into motion a structure to facilitate wealth retention among today’s young Black entrepreneurs.  
Stay Tuned…..

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blog 190: NAACP

By Ahmad Daniels
Guest Writer

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s decision to come out in support of same sex marriage is being proudly lauded by some and vociferously castigated by still others in the Black community.  This bold decision to equate gay rights with Civil Rights will be debated for years to come in many Black households and faith institutions. The NAACP has long fought a battle against those who claim that the oldest Civil Rights organization in the nation has outlived its usefulness. This audacious and prudent decision shows there continues to be much work for it to do.
To your journey!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Blog 189: The Civil Rights Act

By Ahmad Daniels
 Guest Writer

The U.S. Supreme Court has asked Congress to reconfigure the formula that will determine which states and municipalities are mandated to submit proposed voter related changes to the Justice Department. There are many who believe the election of a Black president is proof positive the times of changed and the Civil Rights Act of 1965 is anachronistic. Yet, many of the states who are listed in the “penalty box” of Section 5 are states that did not vote for President Barack Obama. Can a Congress, wrangling with immigration, expediently and impartially address issues related to so-called minority voting?  Stay tuned.

To your journey!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blog 188: The Fourth of July

By Ahmad Daniels
 Guest Writer

It has been said a word takes on its meaning at the moment of its conception. And while time and pop-culture may attempt to give new meaning to words, the essence of words is immutable.

Such is the case with the “N” word and what inevitably will become the “R” word presently used by a Washington NFL team.  Perhaps the same rule applies to historical events.

On July 5, 1852, Abolitionist Frederick Douglass delivered a speech at Rochester, New York entitled, “What to the American Slave is Your 4th of July?”  Mr. Douglass knew the irony in speaking of an independence that Afrikan people had never known.

Which begs the question; Can the “Fourth of July” be divorced from a day of remembrance that embraced the enslavement of Blacks in 1776?  Or, can one apathetically dismiss the history of the day and blindly “jump on board” as has long been the case with the “N” word?  Each person must decide this for him/herself.

To your journey!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blog 187: Starting a Non-Profit Organization or Business

By C. Maria Macon
Guest Writer

If your passion is helping others, you can start a nonprofit organization and avoid expensive legal fees. Getting a nonprofit agency up and running is not as difficult as you may think. Here is a brief checklist to assist you in taking the most appropriate steps:

[  ] Mission Statement - Craft a mission statement in a few sentences that communicates exactly what your nonprofit organization intends to do. Or, what societal “ill” you want to be a part of helping to solve.

[  ] Articles of Incorporation - To legally establish your nonprofit and register a name and purpose, you want to become an entity by filing Articles of Incorporation with the secretary of state, in the state that your nonprofit will have its primary office.

[  ] Tax Identification Number - which is an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number will provide your nonprofit organization with an identification number. This is similar to your personal Social Security number.

[  ] Board of Directors - This is a group of individuals that you bring together around the mission of the organization.  This group comes with skills to benefit the organization and carry your mission forward. This group also has the legal and fiduciary responsibilities of helping to set policy and procedures for the organization and raise funds. Boards are temporary peopled with volunteers who from time to time move on.

[  ] Bylaws - This is a document written specifically for your organization and serves as the governing document (rules & regulations) for your board of directors. This document defines how your nonprofit will be managed, which duties directors, officers and committees will have. In addition, how those responsibilities will be carried out.

[  ] Budgeting - Think realistically about the potential earning power of your organization and the annual expenses. Create a list of the anticipated start-up expenses that your organization will have. Then create a start-up expense sheet, project the first and second full year of expenses. Give some consideration as to where the revenues could reasonably be generated. Once you have this, set your projections before the newly created board of directors for feedback and approval.

[  ] Tax Exempt Status - Only nonprofit entities can apply for tax-exempt status. Once you have completed the above six steps, your legally established nonprofit can then apply for tax exemption through a process that can take as few as ninety (90) days, depending on the scope of activities in your nonprofit. This status is sometimes called a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status.

[  ] Fund Raising Committee - One of the first committees that you should establish is a fundraising committee. This is a group of individuals that should include some board members and outside folk with a vested interest in the mission of the organization. This group seeks continuous funding to run the nonprofit organization you have just established. Your bylaws should allow for committees.

[  ] Grants - It is most advisable that your nonprofit organization has received 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status before applying for grants. Grants are the process of securing money for the day-to-day operations, to promote the mission, programs and activities of your nonprofit organization.

Have you always wanted to run your own business? Then think about starting a small or large business. Either way, you will need to map out your road to success; which is referred to as a “Business Plan” to assist you in this endeavor, we have listed an outline and its order of what should go into your business plan in the form of a table of content.

Business Plan
Table of Content

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (this is the last thing you write, but should comes first in the business plan layout)



A.   The Industry
B.   The Company
C.   The Product or Service


D.  Customers
E.   Market Size and Trends
F.    Competition
G.  Market Share and Sales


H.  Overall Market Strategy
I.     Pricing
J.     Sales Tactics
K.   Advertising and Promotion


L.    Location
M. Facilities and Improvements
N.  Strategy and Plans
O.  Labor Force


P.   Organization
Q.  Key Personnel
R.   Management Compensation and Ownership
S.    Board of Directors


T.   Sources and Users of Funds
U.  Pro Forma Cash Flow Analysis
V.   Profit and Loss Forecasts
W.Pro Forma Balance Sheets


Polish I.N.C. an international Business and Nonprofit Consulting company can initiate and prepare all of the above mentioned documents and work-related preparation for you. Just give us a call at 980/202-9149

1101 Sunset Road Unit # 681805
Charlotte, NC 28216
Ph: (980) 202-9149