The Myth of Bootstraps goes something like this: I never got any help from anyone. I achieved my American Dream all on my own, through hard work. I got an education, I saved my money, I worked hard, I took risks, and I never complained or blamed anyone else when I failed, and every time I fell, I picked myself up by my bootstraps and just worked even harder. No one helped me.

This is almost always a lie.

There are vanishingly few people who have never had help from anyone—who never had family members who helped them, or friends, or colleagues, or teachers.

Who never benefited from government programs that made sure they had electricity, or mail, or passable roads, or clean drinking water, or food, or shelter, or healthcare, or a loan.

Who never had any kind of privilege from which they benefited, even if they didn’t actively try to trade on it.

Who never had an opportunity they saw as luck which was really someone, somewhere, making a decision that benefited them.

Who never had friends to help them move, so they didn’t have to pay for movers. Who never inherited a couch, so they didn’t have to pay for a couch. Who never got hand-me-down clothes from a cousin, so their parents could afford piano lessons. Who never had shoes that fit and weren’t leaky, when the kid down the street didn’t.

Most, maybe all, of the people who say they never got any help from anyone are taking a lot of help for granted.
So long as I confine my activities to social service and the blind, they compliment me extravagantly, calling me ‘arch priestess of the sightless,’ ‘wonder woman,’ and a ‘modern miracle.’ But when it comes to a discussion of poverty, and I maintain that it is the result of wrong economics—that the industrial system under which we live is at the root of much of the physical deafness and blindness in the world—that is a different matter! It is laudable to give aid to the handicapped. Superficial charities make smooth the way of the prosperous; but to advocate that all human beings should have leisure and comfort, the decencies and refinements of life, is a Utopian dream, and one who seriously contemplates its realization indeed must be deaf, dumb, and blind.

Helen Keller (letter to Senator Robert La Follette, 1924)

funny how the most popular narrative about helen keller is a harmless little girl who learns to communicate and then the story ends for some reason gee i wonder why that is

(via callmeoutis)

(Source: jinnigan, via ribqueen)

micdotcom:

Days after Michael Brown’s death, Ferguson looks like a war zone

A vigil held for Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager gunned down by Ferguson, Mo., police on Saturday in disputed circumstances, turned into what the media described as a riot on Monday evening.

But while national coverage has focused on the indisputably counterproductive violence and destruction committed by Ferguson residents during a moment of anguish, videos and photos taken from the scene show local police aggravating the situation as well.

Years of tension have reached a boiling point

(via ethiopienne)

westafricanwomen:

sancophaleague:

"Ola Orekunrin was studying to become a doctor in the UK a few years ago when her younger sister fell seriously ill while traveling in Nigeria. The 12-year-old girl, who’d gone to the West African country on holiday with relatives, needed urgent care but the nearest hospital couldn’t deal with her condition.

Orekunrin and her family immediately began looking for an air ambulance service to rapidly transport the girl, a sickle cell anemia sufferer, to a more suitable healthcare facility. They searched all across West Africa but were stunned to find out there was none in the whole region.

"The nearest one at the time was in South Africa," remembers Orekunrin. "They had a 12-hour activation time so by the time they were ready to activate, my sister was dead." (Cnn.com)

Orekunrin did the latter. Motivated by the tragic death of her sister, the young doctor decided to leave behind a high-flying job in the UK to take to the Nigerian skies and address the vital issue of urgent healthcare in Africa’s most populous country.

Flying helicopters, speaking Japanese

At 27, there isn’t much Orekunrin hasn’t achieved.

She is England’s Youngest Doctor.

Born in London, she grew up in a foster home in the charming seaside town of Lowestoft in the south-east of England.

Aged 21, Orekunrin had already graduated from the University of York as a qualified doctor. She was then awarded the MEXT Japanese Government Scholarship and moved to Japan to conduct research in the field of regenerative medicine.

After moving back to Europe the young doctor looked set for a promising career in medicine in the UK. But her desire to improve healthcare services in West Africa brought her back to her roots.

Orekunrin quit her job, sold her assets and went on to study evacuation models and air ambulance services in other developing countries before launching her ambitious venture, which enables her to combine her “deep love for medicine and Africa” with her growing passion for flying — Orekunrin is also a also a trainee helicopter pilot.” (CNN.COM)

Stand FOR SOMETHING!!!

Post Put together by @solar_innerg

#sancophaleague #BlackWomen #Nigeria #Orekunrin #Doctor #Success #blackexcellence

More West African women here

(via medievalpoc)