Welcome to CulturalConscious.com

In a world that is rapidly changing, where the advancements of technology create larger and larger gaps between generations, some things still remain the same. Technology is bridging the gaps between cultures throughout the world, bringing them closer and closer. Yet, our cultural subconscious fights to keep them apart.

Culture is defined as the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group. Conscious is defined as aware of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.

I define cultural conscious as being aware of your culture, while still being able to understand other cultures and the differences that exist between them. Unfortunately, most people do not reach the state where they are using their cultural conscious. People respond to and formulate opinions of cultural differences via their sub-conscious, meaning they form a response or an opinion without new thought. The problem here is the sub-conscious is developed based on one’s own culture, so any opinions are going to be based on a cultural bias until an experience occurs that changes the subconscious. Unfortunately, the subconscious is not easily changed.

On a daily basis, we all struggle with our subconscious. Situations arise where we formulate thoughts about other people based on stereotypes, media portrayal, "what we heard", appearance, ignorance, etc. Because decisions are made in the subconscious, we are unaware of any wrong doing unless someone else points it out to us. The goal of this blog is to point out areas where our conscience should override our subconscious.

These are my thoughts…This is my Cultural Conscious.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Dungy and Smith are Great Coaches…So why can't Media Just Say It!!

For the 1st time ever, there will be an African American head coach participating in the Superbowl.  And get this; he will be playing against another African American head coach!  Congratulations to Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith!  By the way, I'm rooting for Da Bears!

One would think that having two head coaches in the Superbowl is a good thing.  It definitely is a good thing, but we cannot fail to look at the bigger picture here.  Let's throw out some numbers.  There are 1,696 players in the NFL.  1,200 of them or 70.7% are African American.  There are 32 teams in the NFL.  Seven teams or 21.8% had Black head coaches.  The first "unofficial" Black head coach in the NFL is Fritz Pollard (1921), but most know of Art Shell becoming the first Black head coach in 1989.  Although two of the seven Black head coaches were fired at the end of the season, Pittsburgh hired a Black head coach and the New York Giants filled their GM position with an African American.  Blacks have come a long way in the NFL!

So what's the issue?  The issue is that in a league with 1,200 Black players, why is it a big deal that there are two Black head coaches playing in the Superbowl?  Dungy and Smith are two great coaches…why can't the media just say that.  It is my belief that Blacks are expected to fill a certain role in Sports.  When we do anything outside of that role, its extraordinary and needs to be mentioned.  I've been watching football since the 1980's.  No one ever said anything about a Black football player until Doug Williams started, won and received MVP honors for the Superbowl in 1988.  It was ok for Blacks to run, catch, and tackle, but throwing a football required extra intelligence??

At the time, the makeup of the NFL was similar to what it is now…about 1,200 players were African American, but only 3 were playing the QB position – Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham, and Doug Williams.  Warren Moon, my personal all-time favorite quarterback, was denied an NFL contract after winning the Rose Bowl and had to play in the CFL for six seasons.  Randall Cunningham was primarily used as a running QB, and Doug Williams was the first player to take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the playoffs in three out of four seasons but was denied a contract extension and left the NFL in 1982 before returning to the Redskins as a backup in 1987.

Nowadays, there are several Black QB's in the league.  The last time race came up was when Warren Moon was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as headlines read the first African American QB to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  The progression of African Americans at the QB position may be a good sign.  Maybe, the next time another coach takes his team to the Superbowl or a QB is inducted into the Hall of Fame, no one will mention the color of his skin.  They will just acknowledge them as they are…great at what they do.  I look forward to that day.

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