Chance The Rapper Partners with Lyft to Raise Funds to Support Chicago Public Schools

REPOST from Good Black News. Please click the link below for the original post.

The ride-share service Lyft announced Tuesday that passengers can now round up their fare to the next dollar and donate the difference to Chance the Rapper’s fund to support Chicago Public Schools. The New Chance Arts and Literature Fund, devoted to creating and expanding Chicago arts education programs, is the first local organization Lyft is supporting through the “round up and donate” feature.”

http://wp.me/pTfwX-5ou

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5 Ways Commenting on Other Blogs Can Help Your Blog to Grow

  • It Introduces You

When you comment on a post that interests you (or disinterests you) on other blogs, it introduces you to that blogger and everyone else who sees your comment. If they’ve been blogging awhile, rest assured they will click on your name and check out your blog (Do be sure your name is linked to your blog. Jason Cushman explains how to do so HERE.)

Here’s a screenshot of an example. Even though the name of my blog is Pearls Before Swine when I comment what shows up is my actual name and photo so that it is understood immediately who I am and what I look like (in real life). Click on my name and it will take you to my blog.

  • It’s a Reminder

I follow over 400 blogs over the course of the three years I’ve been blogging. There’s no way I can keep track of them all and I won’t pretend as if I do. I don’t like or comment on everyone’s post. It’s just impossible. Likewise, bloggers that follow me don’t get to see and interact with my every post. I’m not crying about it.

There is a way to remind others that you exist and it is by supporting their blogs.

When you drop a comment on someone’s blog they are reminded of your support and will undoubtedly want to return the favor. I’m not saying be fake with your commentary. I am saying that support begets support. When people I don’t know comment on my blog, I click on their profiles and visit their blogs. I may even decide to follow said blog. In most cases, I do.

  • It Connects You / Builds Genuine Relationships

Commenting in the world of the Internet is the same as being involved in a conversation. Commenting on other blogs helps you to make a connection with others. It’s good because you don’t just connect with the home blogger, you also connect with their followers. It’s a form of genuine relationship building. You may discover you write in the same genre, both are allergic to something, both love the same foods, colors, both love History, etc. You may even want to join the same groups. I have connected to many of you better because of you commenting on my posts. We have in turn followed each other’s blogs, joined the other’s email list, bought the other’s books, and know more about one another. All because of commenting on the other’s blog.

  • Adds Value / Authority

When you leave comments on other blogs, it helps to add value and authority to your blog via search engines by way of back-links, which generates traffic. Here is Backlinks explained by the Shout Me Loud Blog:

“Backlinks are incoming links to a web page. When a web-page links to any other page, it’s called a back-link. In the past, back-links were the major metric for the ranking of a web page. A page with a lot of back-links tended to rank higher on all major search engines, including Google. This is still true to a large extent. Here is a glossary of common terms related to back-links that you should know:

Link Juice: When a web page links to any of your articles or your website’s homepage, it passes “link juice”. This link juice helps with the ranking of the article, and also improves the domain authority.

  • More Subscribers

Commenting on other blogs brings more traffic to your site because of link juice and can lead to more subscribers. This is especially true if you leave detailed, well-thought out comments because it is a glimpse into the kind of content that can be found on your blog. Again, if the blogger is like me he/she will be inclined to click on your name (which you would have connected to your blog site) and check out your blog to discover more about you.

Combined these elements can help your blog to grow by:

  • Increasing Traffic / Views
  • Increasing Blog Subscribers

Before we go, make sure:

  • You don’t go around randomly commenting on people’s post after reading this. There is no right way or wrong way to blog but I have learned that such things as this must be genuine to work so don’t be fake, people can tell.
  • Your blog name is actually a name. Either your business name, Sara, Ann, Brandon, or Bob. Not 123_T or Princess_456.
  • Link your name with your blog so that when people click it this will take them to your blog. Learn how HERE.
  • Add an image to your gravatar. Preferably, a company logo or head-shot. I find human images better because it’s already difficult to trust people over the internet. Being transparent from the beginning by showing an updated image of your real self (Company Logos are good too) goes a long way. This is especially true if you’re an Independent Author. A brand tip is to make sure your author image and author name is the same across all your social platforms. I had to recently update mine so I am only saying this because I’m not very good at branding myself. I am working on it however and my first step was to go back through my social’s and ensure they all have the same image so that I am easy to find. I changed them all to the same picture and will also not keep changing them.
  • Make sure there’s a FOLLOW BUTTON on your blog so that when people are exploring and they like what they find they can follow you in the easiest and quickest way possible.

Note: The headline to this post has been changed to 5 Ways. When I first drafted it, I only had 4 ways. I’ve just went back over it and see there are five bullet points. I have not changed the link (which still says 4 ways) because this post has already been reblogged. Please excuse the miscount. 


REMINDER: I still need your Thunderclap support! Help me reach 100 Supporters before July 15th. It’s free, easy, and only takes a second. We’re almost there!

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Black History Fun Fact Friday – Sundown Towns

“Is it true that ‘Anna’ stands for ‘Ain’t No Niggers Allowed’?” I asked at the convenience store in Anna, Illinois, where I had stopped to buy coffee. “Yes,” the clerk replied. “That’s sad, isn’t it,” she added, distancing herself from the policy. And she went on to assure me, “That all happened a long time ago.” “I understand [racial exclusion] is still going on?” I asked. “Yes,” she replied. “That’s sad.”—conversation with clerk, Anna, Illinois, October 2001. James W. Loewen, Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism (Touchstone, 2006),3

Anna, Illinois was named after the daughter of the founder of the town, but got its more derogatory name after the 1909 lynching of a black man in Cairo IL and the mob of angry white citizens who drove out Anna’s 40 or so black families following the lynching. It is at this point that Anna, IL became a sundown town.

A sundown town is a town with an exclusive population of non-whites on purpose. They are towns with overwhelming populations of non-whites and are so deliberately.

Historically, the name Sundown-town comes from Blacks not being allowed in certain towns beyond sunset and the signs that some towns posted within their city limits warning Blacks not to let the sun go down on them in that town (see pics).

Side Note: I wonder if that’s where the parental command to be in the house when the street lights came on, comes from? I’d have to explore that one.

Although signs were posted, forced exclusion was also implemented:

“There were also race riots in which white mobs attacked black neighborhoods, burning, looting, and killing. Across America, at least 50 towns, and probably many more than that, drove out their African American populations violently. At least 16 did so in Illinois alone. In the West, another 50 or more towns drove out their Chinese American populations. Many other sundown towns and suburbs used violence to keep out blacks or, sometimes, other minorities.” – America’s Black Holocaust Museum, James W. Loewen, PhD; Fran Kaplan, EdD; and Robert Smith, PhD

The Beginning

Sundown towns began after Slavery and the Civil War when blacks left the plantations and poured into every city and corner of the country. This was followed by the system we know as Jim Crow, in which black codes and laws were made for the intention of keeping blacks as enslaved as possible despite their free status.

Of course, we are familiar by now with the eyes that had to be kept to the ground, the stepping to the side when whites walked by, the separate restrooms and water fountains, movie theaters and many others. But in addition to all this were sundown towns, all-white neighborhoods where blacks were not allowed to live. Many of these towns existed in the North as the Great Migration brought floods of blacks into Northern Cities.

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These communities feared the blacks pouring into their neighborhoods and established Sundown towns by evicting black residents and not allowing them in.

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This statue of Orville Hubbard which sits outside of the City Hall in Dearborn Michigan, was the cause of much controversy when people started to learn more about his past.

Hubbard was the mayor of the then all-white suburban town outside of Detroit from 1942 to 1978 and in a 1969 speech acquired by the New York Times said that “If whites didn’t want to live with N–they sure didn’t have to.” He went on to say that this was a free country and that this was America.

“City police cars bore the slogan ‘Keep Dearborn Clean,’ which was a catch phrase meaning ‘Keep Dearborn White,’ ” according to David Good, a lifelong resident of the city who is the author of ‘‘Orvie: The Dictator of Dearborn,” a biography of Mayor Hubbard.

“Out here in Dearborn where some real Ku Klux Klans live. I know Dearborn, you know I’m from Detroit, used to live out there in Easten. And you had to go through Dearborn to get to Easten. Just like riding through Mississippi once you got to Dearborn.” -Malcolm X

Over time the name “Sundown-town” faded but Sundown Suburbs still exist. A sundown suburb is a discrete way in which Sundown-towns exist today. It is when large white populations migrate to the suburban part of the city with the express purpose of separating themselves from the minority population.

Black History Fun Fact Friday – Seneca Village

Got a short fun fact article for you today.

I love finding the hidden treasure of black communities that existed and thrived that we’ll never know about (until we look). I’ve mentioned several of such communities on this blog in the past and here’s another one.

Seneca Village was settled in the 1820s on the eve of Emancipation in New York. The only community of black property in the city at the time, it was located between 82nd and 87th Street east of what is Central Park today.

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The Village was a thriving community of blacks (two-thirds) and whites started to settle there as well. The community had its own school and a population of over 250 people. Houses were also built on the land, some of them elaborate two-story with barns and others a bit more modest. This was an achievement because New York, like the rest of the country, was a place of slave-ownership. Contrary to what you’ll learn in school, the South was not the only place to find blacks who were enslaved but many northern cities did as well. In 1703, more than 42 percent of New York City households held slaves and slavery was a key institution in the development of New York. According to The New York Historical Society:

“As many as 20 percent of colonial New Yorkers were enslaved Africans. First Dutch and then English merchants built the city’s local economy largely around supplying ships for the trade in slaves and in what slaves produced – sugar, tobacco, indigo, coffee, chocolate, and ultimately, cotton. New York ship captains and merchants bought and sold slaves along the coast of Africa and in the taverns of their own city. Almost every businessman in 18th-century New York had a stake, at one time or another, in the traffic in human beings. During the colonial period, 41 percent of the city’s households had slaves, compared to 6 percent in Philadelphia and 2 percent in Boston. Only Charleston, South Carolina, rivaled New York in the extent to which slavery penetrated everyday life. To be sure, each slaveholding New Yorker usually owned only one or two persons.”

The only difference between Southern and Northern slavery was that instead of plantations, slaves in the North slept in cellars and attics or above farmhouse kitchens in the country. Nonetheless, the enslaved population of the city was emancipated in 1827 and many of these freedmen comprised the residents of Seneca Village.

The Village’s demise came with the building of what is now Central Park. The government claimed the land under the right of eminent domain and evicted the residents. Since then, Seneca Village has been pretty much forgotten in history. Well, until now.

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Don’t forget, you can find all the Black History Fun Fact Articles

under the Black History Fun Fact page in the sidebar.

We are already 17 weeks in since the re-launch of this segment last October. Wow!

Guerrilla Marketing!

Its the final countdown! Don’t miss out. Meet me in person at The Tampa Indie Author Book Convention this summer. Spread the word! Why am I shouting? ! Because its exciting! Lol.

Tampa Indie Author Book Convention

by Kyle Perkins

A little back story about the convention, as well as Virginia Johnson and I. In January of 2016, I became an author, and shortly after, Virginia became my PA. So, we had to navigate the indie world together, like two baby deer learning to walk. At first, like all people getting into this business, we were super optimistic. Who wouldn’t be? I published a book. Not many people can say that they have the patience for that. Writing a book is a big deal, it’s sharing a piece of your soul with the world, and asking the world to judge it. We have always received great feedback on our work, and grew to love the community…

Then, we started learning of the inherent flaws in a predominantly online business. Setting aside catfishing models, shady PAs, and plagiarism, we noticed a huge problem within our community. It was…

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Calling All Indie Artists!

Another great opportunity to network from Lisa.

Rebirth of Lisa

Calling All Indie Artists!

I have decided to start a new feature on my blog called ‘Indie Shine’. This will begin in February 2017!

The purpose is to shine a spotlight on individual indie artists. It doesn’t matter what your chosen field is as long as you are indie and an artist.

I have received responses so get yours in today. Space is limited, as this is only a monthly feature.

Go to http://rebirthoflisa.wordpress.com & complete contact me form. I will respond with detailed information and a questionnaire. Once I receive the completed questionnaire, I will let you know when your feature will post.

#indieartist #bloggers

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How to Get Your Blog to Work for You (When You’re Not Blogging)

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Since I have a family camping trip coming up (Whoo hoo!) and I know that many of you are also looking forward to breaks and vacations as this year nears its end, I thought this was a perfect time to discuss how we can ensure our blogs are still putting in work (even when we’re not).

When I started this blog in 2014, I didn’t know about the specifics of what went into building a blog that could last. I also didn’t care. At least not consciously. I mean obviously I wanted to grow, but I wasn’t devoting any time and effort into figuring that out. My learning process has been pretty much learn as you go. The more I interacted with veteran bloggers, participated in challenges, and commented on other blogs the more I became aware of the little nuggets and tidbits I needed to help my blog, not to grow, but to keep growing. Which is, of course, a goal that I consistently strive for.

Though I wasn’t new to the concept of blogging, I was afraid to miss a day of blogging, let alone a couple days! But, this turned out to work in my favor. Once I decided I wanted to stick around for awhile, I developed a routine that I kept up for my first year of blogging. This routine, as I discussed in How I Reached 300 Blog Followers in 3 Months, consisted of me publishing three new posts every day for six days. I know, crazy, right? Maybe so, but to get your blog to work for you even when you aren’t blogging is going to take you getting a little bit crazy (especially in the beginning).

I’m not an expert and you probably have more followers than I do (lol hee hee), but I do believe in hard work. I also believe that hard work pays off. These are pretty much the basic principles that help me to keep this blog going.

One way that I’ve found for bloggers like me to be consistently active is to….be active! As active in the blogging community as possible. In the beginning, you should be publishing a new post every other day or once a week at minimum. No, not once a month, that’s pushing it. Pushing what? Pushing your chances of not being seen. In addition to posting its also important to follow other blogs, comment on other blogs and interact on social media. It’s also important to respond to comments on your own blog as well. Communication is key. Not only do I believe new bloggers could benefit from doing these simple, basic things, but I believe they should do it obsessively! (What?)

OK, let me explain obsessively. Perhaps dedication is a better word? I’m not saying that quantity beats quality. I am saying that with dedication and persistence it won’t matter, you can have both; pushing quality content at faster rates. I know, don’t look at me like that. This post is about getting your blog to work for you when you are away, but that doesn’t happen unless you first work on your blog.

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Here’s the thing: When you are active in the blogging community (really active), your blog will get views and follows even on the days when you are not blogging. I’m not saying you should blog just for those follows (as your content must still have enough value for people to stick around), but what I am saying is that hard work pays off. If you work at setting a foundation that’s strong, then you can build on it. You won’t have to worry about posting as much once you’ve been doing it consistently for a period of time and you won’t have to worry about losing followers as much because there’s enough content for people who have not yet discovered your blog, to read. I’m not saying work like a Hebrew slave. I’m saying start working like a Hebrew slave and then quit. Start off strong and your blog will be there for you in the end. Yes, some people aren’t fond of receiving lots of blog post from their subscriptions but who cares? Not me. Sure, you’ll lose followers. It happens, part of the territory. Don’t take it personally. It’s inevitable. Everyone does not like you. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

On creating enough content for others to read:

Last week a blog post I published two years ago suddenly got lots of attention. My stats were going crazy! Shooting up to over six hundred views within a 48 hour period (over 3,000 by the end of the day) with over four thousand shares on Facebook. This was an old post that was just being discovered by new visitors. OK, so it only lasted two days, but here’s a clear example of your blog working for you! If I wanted, I could have sat back and took an entire week off and made it up in views, likes, and follows coming in from that post alone. This same thing can work on posts that surround certain historical events, like 9/11. Maybe you posted something on 9/11 and two years from now it gets all of the attention you thought it deserved when you first published it. It’s all about timing.

Time spent blogging and time spent writing can often clash into each other, frustrating author bloggers who understand the value of using blogging as a legitimate platform, while at the same time understanding that producing more material is essential. We struggle between having a presence in the blogosphere and dedicating more time to our books. Contrary to popular belief, there’s a way to stay active in the blogosphere while consistently producing material without neglecting the blog. Yes, I’m saying its possible. I know because I’ve done it. Since starting this blog, I’ve published three books and I am in the process of publishing two more next year.

The key is a little bit of discipline and networking with others, incorporating blogging into your platform building strategy as a necessary part of the work, and producing quality posts as early and as often as possible in your blogging journey.

An Easier Way

Sorry, unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. There’s no way to build a blog than to work at it. The best way for us to grow our blogs is to be present.

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“How ya’ll liking the new look of the blog? Not really a fan of the tags at the top but I got tired of the gray. I’m wearing it instead, hee hee.”