Book Review: Africans in the Americas: A History of the Black Diaspora

This book seeks to explore, in a single, short convenient text, the complex relationship between Africa and the Americas from the early sixteenth century through the end of the twentieth century. Beginning with a preview of the relations between Africa and Europe prior to 1500

Source: Africans in the Americas: A History of the Black Diaspora: Michael L. Conniff, Thomas J. Davis: 9781930665682: Amazon.com: Books

I didn’t like this book. Avoid. It had lots of facts, but was short on giving a perspective on what day-to-day life was. You can not intellectualize such a horrific experience. It completely misses the point.

Fortunately this was only a few dollars at Goodwill. I am continually disappointed about books about the black experience. They miss the difficulty and heart ache that millions of blacks feel. When I worked with Blacks they knew that their race set them apart and that they were not treated the same way. Let me give you an example.

One time I was working on Saturday with two black coworkers and two police cars pulled up the building. At the same time an alarm went off in the building, so naturally they had to be related. As we all looked out the window at the police cars pulling up I said to my two coworkers, “Who wants to greet the police?” They both said to me “You better since your white it will probably go better.” The police offers were white and this was immediately after some tragic situation where a black person lost their life that the media shared. So I went down and spoke with the officers. It turns out that I had accidentally tripped a building alarm since I left the door to the outside open too long. I explained that I worked in the building and offered to show an ID and that I had opened a door and the alarm went off. A white guy showed up shortly after I was telling the officers this and I repeated it to him. He worked in another office in the building. He said that they had a robbery in the past so upgraded the security and was afraid it happened again. He told the police they could go and proceeded to check his office security.

I went back to my coworkers and explained the situation. They were on the way down to make sure I didn’t have any problems since it was taking me awhile. Time after time, I have listened to stories from black coworkers in which they were targeted for their color.

Another example. I had a boss who was well dressed and mannered person. He took the train to work and told me that the police officer at the train station had been eying him. He said that he was sure that the officer was going to approach him and it turns out he was right. A few days later he shared that the police officer approached him and asked him why he was so dressed up and where he was going and asked to search his bag. He said the officer suspected he was a drug dealer, and that it wasn’t normal for him to be in the nice neighborhood he was in and wearing nice clothes and that raised suspicion. As a white man I have never had the experience of the police bothering me like this or any other way. Isn’t this sad and frustrating that this is a common experience just because of something you can’t control like your skin color?

Is Cloud software right for my daily use?

File-syncing and storage service Box gives you plenty of tools to do more with your files than simply make them available. It’s also wonderfully customizable, letting you integrate your Box account with a wide range of apps and services.

Source: Box (Personal) Review & Rating | PCMag.com

I have been helping use box with companies for years and it is really a great option if you want to sync files easily for people. I have used the competition (Google drive, iCloud, Dropbox, ect) and I like Box the best. What I like is that they have a variety of ways to use it, which means that you can really customize it and find the best work style that works for you.

I guess the only real disadvantage is that you have to download programs to get additional functionality, but one day perhaps they will auto install when you log into Box. I don’t mind having to install those programs because they allow people to share Office documents like Word or PowerPoint and not have those applications. No longer do you have to help people installer viewers for those file types if they do not use the software.

There seems to be a trend of companies moving away from buying Office software. I like that companies are thinking more open source and less proprietary. It gives people who don’t have money to buy expensive software a chance to be taken seriously in the world of work. I have had recruiters tell me that if someone doesn’t have a resume in Word, they don’t read it. That seems a little harsh to me. Not everyone can afford an expensive program like Word. To me the quality of their experience should mean more than what format it is in.