Friday, October 25, 2013


S-Dot for The S-Dot Files

Booker Taliaferro Washington (1865-1915) instilled the highest aspirations in those on the lowest rungs of society, not despite their challenges, but rather in spite of them. He was motivator who espoused self-reliance as a paradigm for change during his “Sunday Evening Talks.” Mr. Washington has been one of my lifelong “mentors” who has taught me the importance of working smarter. I’d like to share this daily affirmation I say to myself in front of the mirror from his audio book/book “Character Building” which I listen to repeatedly. Oftentimes, I fall asleep with it playing in my headphones so that his powerful words can seep into my unconscious mind, and I awaken with a renewed level of commitment to going to the next-level of achievement.

“I am not going to be conquered by life, mean thoughts, words and acts any longer. Hereafter all my thoughts, all my words, all my acts, shall be large, generous, high, pure.” – Booker T. Washington, Character Building


Wednesday, October 16, 2013


By Shaam S-Dot Jones for The S-Dot Files

Let me be great…this is what those of us reared in the hard knock everyday struggle of Brooklyn want.

As I sat down to write my sister in-law Miriam Carey’s obituary last week, I thought long and hard about my life, and the lives of those around me. I make my living as a writer. I’ve written countless obituaries over the years. Each opportunity presents a new set of creative challenges.

How much to do I include? What should I exclude?

In a nutshell, an obituary is a snapshot summary of a lifetime of experiences. I don’t believe in boilerplate prose that doesn’t convey the uniqueness of the narrative of each person’s life; so I make considerable effort in having an open dialogue with the family and friends to gain a more meaningful perspective of who they were individually. This isn’t always the fastest process, but I have found it to be the most rewarding. It gives those grieving something to cherish as they look back and reflect on their lost loved ones.  

Miriam Carey was not a sound bite. Her 34 years of life cannot be simply reduced to a segment between commercials. She was a mother, daughter, sister, friend, coworker and a neighbor to many. Miriam made a difference in the lives of those who knew her. Many of you have spent the last few days talking about and seeking #AnswersForMiriamCarey, my question is: What will people say about you when you’re gone?

The reason some many people go without is because of the fear of going within to unearth the life-limiting beliefs and love-blocking behaviors that keep you from becoming and being the best Y-O-U. From time-to-time, we each need a ‘reality check’ to awaken us from our dreams so we can focus achieving them. Let me share two with you.

You Are Going to Die
No matter how successful you become. Whether or not you accomplish your goals or continue to procrastinate and pretend today isn’t the tomorrow you were waiting for to make a change. All of us are going to one day bid this world farewell, period.

People Will Talk About You
Some people are addicted to CNN (as in Constantly Negative News). Let the legacy you leave behind be more than just idle gossip on other people’s lips. You might as well give them something worth talking about it.

Miriam lived by the “Don’t be good…Be great” mantra inbred in Brooklynites. She lived with a next-level focus, never settling for less-than-best in all she did and aspired to do. The everyday challenges of life taught her that whining isn’t winning. This was a quality we both shared. and one which I see in her sister, my wife.

Your obituary hasn’t been written yet. Today is yet another opportunity to influence what people will someday say about you. Don’t waste another moment staring in the rearview mirror of regret worrying about things that could’ve, should’ve and would’ve been – focus on what is. Remember, the reason it’s called the ‘present’ is because it’s a ‘gift’ which you need to value by being responsible, accountable and productive.

The life you’ve been given should be worth living. If you find that you spend most of your time daydreaming about other people’s success and wishing you had what others have then you definitely need The Remix. Until next time - #DontBeGoodBeGreat  

Stay tuned for the debut of The Remix: Becoming YOU 2.0 (2014) by inspiring author, motivational speaker and empowerment coach Shaam S-Dot Jones filled with life-changing insights to help you navigate your personal growth journey.

Monday, July 15, 2013


By S-Dot for The S-Dot Files

If possible, take a “mental wellness” day off today. This will reduce the possibilities of conflict. If not possible, it’s best to prepare yourself in advance before you enter your workplace or other settings where potential conflict might arise. There is an increased likelihood that someone will attempt to rile you up with insensitive comments that will be used to taunt you into escalating a difference of opinion into an all-out conflict: don’t fall for this.

Instead of complaining about situations which you find objectionable seek out workable solutions to rectify them or contribute your time and energy towards a resolution. Remember, you are in that particular setting (work, school, etc.) for a reason – to retain resources which will benefit yourself and your family – so don’t get drawn into unfruitful exchanges.

YOUR ARE NOT SWEET BROWN. Therefore, don’t say things like “ain’t nobody got time for that” to your tormentors. This will only heighten their aggression towards you. If you truly don’t have “time for that” show it, rather than say it, by walking away and engaging in more constructive activity.

Here are few helpful tips to get you through the day:

DON’T OFFER UNSOLICITED OPINIONS or “dry snitch” on others who may be engaged in activities which serve the purpose of responding directly or indirectly to a current crisis.

MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCE by creating a “safe space” atmosphere, if the other person moves towards you tactfully avoid them without appearing obvious.

ASSUME A PRAYER POSITION with your hands in a non-threatening manner which keeps them safely in the line of sight to avoid any accusations of physical intimidation.

REMAIN LEVEL-HEADED with a clear, sober-minded approach utilizing strategic logic rather than emotionally-driven responses to taunts and insults.

***REMEMBER*** Racists are insecure. Their paradigm of privilege and power relies on domination and control in order to be maintained. They feed off of the energy of their intended victims. The most constructive method for dealing with a suspected or confirmed racist is to “starve” their hunger for hurt. Do not feed their need to abuse and confuse you.

S-Dot has been Black for more than four decades. He has been subjected to verbal abuse, mental anguish and physical intimidation in every setting imaginable – playground, school, work and home. S-Dot shares his lived-and-learned experiences to help others avoid the pitfalls of everyday life with constructive solutions to counter non-productive situations.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


S-Dot for The S-Dot Files

S-Dot is a man. S-Dot is a brand.

I recognize and acknowledge have value in the social marketplace that is rooted my cultural capital as someone who shares and speaks unapologetically about Black Love. I am an ambassador of Black people affirming and loving themselves.

My time is no longer misspent on focusing on others. Those distractions used to squander my time, but I now know better, so I show better. Showing better is my ongoing sharing of “Black Love Is…” images and content. It is the #UsLovingUs messaging strategy to help push Black Love to forefront of the minds of hurting people who are bombarded with non-constructive content and destructive messages every day, all day long.

Anti-blackness is rampant. It is a socially-transmitted virus, which has mutated and afflicts Black people the worst. In many instances, those exhibiting the most severe forms of anti-blackness are Black people against other Black people. Chris Rock was right in pointing out that there is a Uncivil War going on between Black people and N*gg*s.

If you look around it appears the n*gg*s are decisively winning according to external (“mainstream”) media.

This reality is hard to face. It produces shame and blame amongst us whenever we attempt to confront it. Most of us would prefer the comfort of staring out the window at others and pointing fingers elsewhere, rather than standing in front of the mirror and facing the images of our broad noses, full lips, melanin-dominant skin and coiled hair.

We hate ourselves. The oxymoron is that we love everyone else, or at least we think we do.

Corruption Disruption is the term I coined to reverse market the harmful messages that impact the individual self-esteem and collective values of Black people. I use social media as a weapon. My blog posts, status updates, tweets and comments offer a contrast to the chaos and confusion too often presented as a reflection of Black people.

My goal is to pushback against long-held false beliefs and accepted untruths about us usually by us.

Anti-blackness is challenged each time a Black person views an undeniably sexy image of Black couples celebrating their union with the redefining tagline: Black Love Is… This disrupts the corrupt misinformation embedded in the minds of Black people about themselves and other Black people. It is a form of cultural shock therapy. Painful, but highly-effective.

This is also why I use the declarative statement: Black Love is NOT for everyone. Those who don’t desire or aspire to have Black Love are placed on notice that the content being presented may not be suitable for them and advised to apply the Rule of K.I.M. (Keep It Moving).

Anyone who has worked with me over the years will tell you that I am a branding genius. That’s right, I am a branding genius! False modesty is not one of my stronger suits (lol). I know how to get seen and be heard in the marketplace.

This is why I do what I do. Any questions?

Friday, May 10, 2013


S-Dot for The S-Dot Files


In the summer of 1992 at the conclusion of Spike Lee’s brilliant autobiographical masterpiece “X” when it was released in theaters many of us stood on our feet with tears streaming down our cheeks and boldly shouted, “I Am Malcolm X!”

This generational declaration soon had us dubbed as “Generation X” by Madison Ave.

As Generation X, we adorned ourselves with fitted “X” caps, t-shirts, plastered our walls with posters and submerged ourselves in books and tapes on our beloved shining hero of Black Liberation Minister Malcolm X (Malik El Hajj Shabazz). Yet, none of us actually had to pick up the mantle and shoulder the burden of actually “Being Malcolm.” As time progressed, many of that merchandised got shoved to the back of closets, a lot of that fiery angst got toned down in order to get “good jobs” and those angry protests just became hushed conversations.

Generation X became Generation ‘I got next’.

However, 8 years earlier, Malcolm Lateef Shabazz was born “Malcolm” in 1984. As the first male heir of his grandparents the Honorable Malik El Hajj and Dr. Betty Shabazz, he lived his life “Being Malcolm.”

For him, his “X” was an almost inescapable shadow cast over every one of his actions. Inheriting a legacy is a difficult mantle to carry. It is oftentimes a thankless burden with overwhelming expectations and harsh criticisms from opinionated outsiders. Those who speculate usually perpetuate an atmosphere of angst and turmoil. He could do no wrong, and everything he thought he did right still fell short of “Being Malcolm.” His name became his prison.

He was watched.

Not like most of us Black males who find ourselves occasionally under suspicion when we exit a store, pulled over driving, stopped after going through the turnstile on the subway or fitting the “description” of someone who looks nothing like us. He was watched for real. There will people assigned to track and monitor his coming and goings. His associations were cataloged and his involvements were placed in a file. Most of us won’t see that file until it is ‘declassified’ decades from now.

On Thursday, May 9, 2013, just 10 days before what would’ve been the 88th birthday of his grandfather Malcolm Lateef Shabazz was murdered in Tijuana, Mexico in what has been reported as a botched robbery which led to him being thrown from a roof to his death.


Thursday, April 25, 2013


By S-Dot for The S-Dot Files

Being called "angry" when you're Black is oftentimes meant as a condescending stereotype which is intended to lull the militant, misbehaving individual back into submissive control. This is communication a tactic which is used frequently whenever a Black man, woman or children simply refuses to accept an unacceptable condition or their mistreatment passively.

Sound familiar?

While listening to the new unreleased gem by Lauryn Hill "Black Rage" and transcribing its lyrics, I thought long and hard about those who try to silence our voices with threats of physical and socio-economic violence. The barrage of taunts and leering looks of disdain that come when Black people simply want to love Black people...

Being introspective...makes you a sad n*gg*. Expressing indignation...makes you a mad n*gg*. Fighting against injustice...makes you a bad n*gg*. It seems the world wants and expects you to be a glad n*gg*. It's enough to inspire...Black Rage!!!

((( sDOTtv ))) now playing Lauryn Hill “Black Rage (Live)”


I simply remember all these kinds of things

And then I don’t fear so bad…

Black rage is founded on two-thirds a person

Rapings and beatings and suffering that worsens

Black human packages tied up in strings

Black rage is founded on these kinds of things

Black rage is founded on blatant denial

Squeezed economics, subsistent survival

Deafening silence and social control

Black rage is found on wounds in the soul

So when the dogs bite

And when the beatings

And when I’m feeling sad

I simply remember all these kinds of things and then I don’t “fear” so bad

Black rage is founded who fed us self-hatred

Lies and abuse while we waited and waited

Spiritual treason

This grid and it's cages

Black rage was founded on these kinds of things

Black rage is founded on dreaming and draining

Threatening your freedom

To stop your complaining

Poisoning your water

While they say it's raining

Then call you mad

For complaining, complaining

Black rage is founded on blocking the truth

Old time bureaucracy

Drugging the youth

Murder and crime

Compromise and distortion

Sacrifice, sacrifice

Who makes the fortune?

Greed, falsely called progress

Such human contortion

Black rage is founded on these kinds of things

So when the dog bites

And when the ceilings

And I’m feeling mad

I simply remember all these kinds of things

And then I don’t fear so bad

Free enterprise

Is it myth or illusion

Forcing you back into purposed confusion

Black human trafficking

Or blood transfusion

Black rage is founded on these kinds of things

Victims of violence

Both psyche and body

Life out of context IS living ungodly

Politics, politics

Greed falsely called wealth

Black rage is founded on denying of self

Black human packages

Tied and subsistence

Having to justify your very existence

Try if you must

But you can’t have my soul

Black rage is founded (made by) on ungodly control

So when the dog bites

And the beatings

And I’m feeling so sad

I simply remember all these kinds of things

And then I don’t feel so bad

So when the dog bites

And when the ceilings

And I’m feeling mad

I simply remember all these kinds of things

And then I don’t fear so bad

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


By S-Dot for The S-Dot Files

((( sDOTv ))) now playing Uncle Ruckus

The Confederate flag, for many is still a revered symbol of pride. Many laid down their life to protect what it represented. They rejoice in their sentimental fondness for the “good ole days” when it was expected and respected to put darkies in their place. For them, it isn’t an emblem of treason against their country. The proud rebel son is unapologetic about his lynch mob heritage and affinity for strange fruit. He doesn’t deny his terroristic history of rape and murder, he embraces it. To him, it is what it is.

The song “Accidental Racist” is the equivalent of saying “I have a Black friend” which is what suspected racists claim whenever they’re called on their BS by more observant individuals. This the old, “I can’t be a racist because I live next door to…work with…listen to music by…” rationalization used to disarm discerning critics who smell the stench of racism still rearing its ever-present ugly head in everyday life.

The “accident” supposedly is that flag wearers are “unaware” of the racist sentiments attached to their Confederate flag. They are somehow clueless that it symbolically represents an allegiance to plantation culture which relied solely on chattel slave labor. It’s not their fault that despite access to Google they don’t know about the hateful heritage attributed to many who brandished their beloved Dixie memorabilia in an effort to keep things the same.

On the one hand, many ‘conservative’ whites celebrate their heritage of exploration and conquest. They see themselves as heirs apparent to a powerful numerical minority (white people make up 8-to-9 percent of the global population) who have shrewdly seized majority privileges (resources) from the global masses of non-white people. On the other hand, some ‘liberal’ whites cringe with red-faced embarrassment at ever-present contemporary reminders of the atrocities committed to enable them to pretend they don’t see their unearned privileges or notice allure of their stolen power.

To the disenfranchised, white is white. People denied power and privilege make no distinction between ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal. They are symbolically one in the same. One is overt and the other is covert in their practice of racism; not just as an ideology, but as a religion.

Racism (white supremacy) is not an accident. It is an intentional system of suppression and oppression. The ‘accidental racist’ is a mythological character. This non-existent individual is a figment of the misguided imagination of victims who would rather believe certain individuals are ignorant rather indifferent to the truth of what racism is and how it works. Contrary to their wishful thinking racism is alive and thriving. It is rampant and ever-present as a subtext to our everyday conversations and interactions. Despite all the proclamations of being in a ‘post racial’ world racism continues to divide us because of our unwillingness to acknowledge its presence and confront its ugliness.


I hoped and prayed it wasn’t so, but when a younger hip-hopper sent me a tweet yesterday of the new “Accidental Racist” video starring Brad Paisley and LL Cool J my mouth was left wide open in a WTF grimace.

James Todd Smith aka LL Cool J was once considered the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) in hip-hop. His discography is chock full of memorable classics – I Need A Beat, I’m Bad, Doin’ It, Mama Said Knock You Out – too numerous to name. He has dominated the music charts, captivated the small and big screen, dabbled in literature and served as brand ambassador to global trendsetters. His accolades speak volumes of his “LL” standing for “living legacy”, but that legacy has been tarnished.

The irony that LL is peddling a new album entitled “Authentic” slated to be released April 30th and is featured on such a “inauthentic” song has countless people dismissing him as irrelevant and out-of-touch with today’s reality.

Having to explain to a 45-year old man that racism still exists is sad. For someone who was born January 14th, just one day before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929) in 1968, the same year Dr. King was assassinated to be clueless about racism is truly reflective of how detached we’ve become from the reality of the ‘dream’ which remains a ‘nightmare’ for many. LL appears simply clueless. Perhaps he’s spent so much time “acting” that he’s lost sight of the ‘keep it real’ credibility factor demanded by the streets.

With more than two-decades of putting in work he is fast-becoming irrelevant. Check the blogosphere. It’s over for LL. Many are saying “it’s a wrap” for the now disgraced rapper/actor.

Check the rhyme yourself:

((( sDOTv ))) now playing Brad Paisley featuring LL Cool J "Accidental Racist"

Dear Mr. White Man, I wish you understood

What the world is really like when you're livin' in the hood

Just because my pants are saggin' doesn't mean I'm up to no good

You should try to get to know me, I really wish you would

Now my chains are gold but I'm still misunderstood

I wasn't there when Sherman's March turned the south into firewood

I want you to get paid but be a slave I never could

Feel like a new fangled Django, dodgin' invisible white hoods

So when I see that white cowboy hat, I'm thinkin' it's not all good

I guess we're both guilty of judgin' the cover not the book

I'd love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air

But I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn't here

I'm just a white man

(If you don't judge my do-rag)

Comin' to you from the Southland

(I won't judge your red flag)

Tryin' to understand what it's like not to be

I'm proud of where I'm from (If you don't judge my gold chains)

But not everything we've done

(I'll forget the iron chains)

It ain't like you and me can re-write history

(Can't re-write history baby)

First of all, there’s nothing culturally empowering about a man wearing a head scarf (doo rag). The absurdity of comparing and contrasting a fashion accessory with an emblem of nationalist pride is embarrassing. As a Black man, I am not just offended by LL’s ignorance, I am ashamed of his pathetic attempt to pretend he is socially-conscious after nearly two-decades of silence.


“Dear Mr. White Man…” As usual, the confused victim of racism shuffles his feet and shows reverence for those he views as being socially superior. Not surprisingly, “Mrs. White Woman” gets off again without so much of a mention. Interestingly enough, it was because of Mrs. White Woman that Mr. White Man committed some many horrific atrocities and willingly raised that rebel flag to ensure she could remain a creature of comfort.

The only people confused about racism are victims of racism (Black people). The beneficiaries and practitioners are quite intentional about their everyday activities. They are told they have privilege and power based upon their racial classification as soon as they're born. There is no such thing as an "accidental racist", and it's not necessary to focus on the victim (LL) and his lack of knowledge because that's a diversionary tactic used by the skillful racist. Just as we don't berate rape victims for wearing the "wrong" clothes or not "knowing better"; pummeling of the victim (LL) seems counterproductive in this instance.

But I could be wrong; I too suffer from racial retardation.