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"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of."
Benjamin Franklin, 1746

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The Value of Time

The benchmarking of time is one of the most important elements of history. It helps us rationalize our lives where we are, while also cognitive of where we've been and what stories lie within our heritage. It helps us place into perspective the words authors, poets, playwrights, and historians have painstakingly lain out on the world's pages. If attention to it is paid, time inhibits waste, organizes priorities, and encourages appreciations for life. It is with this thought in mind that BlaqueAdemics was envisioned, as it shares the thinking idealized by the Blaque Awareness Network, originally launched in 1993 when police brutality in Los Angeles was rampant, drug addition in Atlanta was prevalent, and the discourse concernng HIV/AIDS was feared and avoided. BlaqueAdemics is the springboard for three projects: the Blaque Awareness Network, the Blaque Awareness Center, and Banned Books publishers.

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Our distance from positive uplift is less because of racism than from our own thinking and cultural awareness of our African-ness. It's not that racism in America is not running rampant; however, there are myriad ways to avoid the system or racism. Knowledge of self supersedes race, class, and gender. Our connection to our Afrocentric selves is pivotal in our success as individual people and certainly as a group of Africans living, loving, working, and dying outside of Africa. Our most powerful weapons against mental enslavement and socio-political colonization are ourselves, but those weapons are being used against us by us because as a group, we have lost our way, our distance from Africa grows wider daily, and the clock is ticking. We must disconnect ourselves from the stereotypes of the past that permeate our present and set our futures up for failure. As Henrik Clark suggests, notions of our color do not tell us who we are. We must use self-descriptions that connect us to the lands from which we come, we must reverse our perceptions of ourselves using a different calculus of value through which the perceptions of us held by others around the globe will also recognized, as how we are (dis)respect, (mis)treated, (un)welcomed, and (dis)regarded by the different ethnicities are dictated by they ways in which we choose to live, work, love, and die. These are the issues the Black Awareness Network is designed to address. As Africans, we must become fully aware of our long standing history that reaches beyond Europe and its legacy, as our the legacies of our ancestors are thousands of years older, come from true civilization and community, and value all. As one scholar put in Molefi Asante, Jr.'s film 500 Years Later, "we must move closer to slavery, rather than away from it" in order to understand who we are, where we come from, what our struggles have been, what our victories are and how we won them, and most importantly, to reconcile our past--together. BAN aims to meet these needs. By offering adult, teen, and Sista Circle workshops and retreats, that focus on Representation, Articulation, Financial Stability, and Education, BAN is prepared to fill a growing disconnect between the needs of the Black community and those entities that would further destroy it, such as mass media, faltering public education, inhibited access to higher education, and our own thinking.

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One of BlaqueAdemics’ key objectives is to publish the work of writers whose focus centers on African American, American, or Ethnic American life in fiction, short fiction, poetry, and academic scholarship. The company is particularly interested in first novel manuscripts, literary critique and reviews, and researched scholarly articles. The first two books scheduled for publication are Epic Connections: Inscriptions of the African American Experience, the newest textbook contributing to the study of African American literature; and Students Speak, a series of short volumes containing poetry, prose, fiction, plays, and narratives written soley by undergraduate students currently attending American universities. While this appears to be only a modest beginning, ultimately, Banned Books, LLC will publish it's own scholarly journal, online newsletter, as well as collegiate volumes of cultural, historical, and literary scholarship and commercial volumes of fiction.

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To round out the BlaqueAdemics venture, commercial locations within which to house all of its activities is currently being surveyed. The goal is to obtain a large enough space to house not only the computer operations of The Blaque Awareness Network and the publishing offices of Banned Books, LLC, but to also serve as a community center for local high school and college students to study, conduct research, and receive academic tutoring and counseling. The Center will secure the endeavors of BlaqueAdemics for years and decades to come with the goal of keeping African Americans informed, self-aware, and positively productive in their life's goals.

Favorite Links
The list of links below is a growing one and represents only a few of the many academic entities that since 1997 have been helpful to our founder along her educational and scholarly journey.

Kutztown University
Temple University
Wayne State University
The Free Library of Philadephia
The African American Museum in Philadelphia
The Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania
African American Studies at Temple University
Documenting the American South at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

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Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania 19608

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