The Glass Ceiling and Elevator

The reason why I love Sociology so much because it is all about seeing the strange in the familiar. People wouldn’t realize the different inequalities we are dealing with here in The South if it slapped them in the face a couple of times. One concept i realized that is still deeply embedded in the south is the concept of the “Glass Ceiling”. What is the glass ceiling? According to “Glass ceiling is the mindset of the traditional patriarchal society habituated to discriminate women from basic rights. The term is particularly used for women at workplace who are denied pay equal for the same work as the opposite gender.” The Glass ceiling is a form of discrimination, which is the simplest way I can put it. I see this concept applied to most women of any color and of course people of color as usual. If we go way back to history in The South, the structure of the south was built by mostly buy white men with money. Those who didn’t have money had little to no upward mobility, which leaves the rest of society to be set of for failure.  Back to the glass ceiling concept, women are mostly harassed by society and seen as inferior to men. Concepts such as the glass ceiling can cause psychological problems. This concept is always practiced in the stereotypical society today which can cause more stress in women lives. For example, if you take a woman and man in the work force side by side that are applying for the CEO position of that company, and they both meet the requirements but the woman have a little extra which make more well-rounded than that man. Who do you think will more than likely get the position?  Why? I say the man will more than likely get the position because women are not seen as leaders versus a man. I have also seen this concept applied to a black man or woman versus a white man or woman. Women are being brutally discriminated against and most don’t realize it. It is like you can see the top, but can’t quite reach it. I guess that is why it was named the ceiling.

Another concept will be the Glass elevator, because I explained the glass ceiling I am pretty sure you guess what this one means. The glass elevator is very similar to the glass ceiling in a way. Again, it is all about seeing the strange in the familiar. According to Jenna Goudreau on, “Men that enter female-dominated professions tend to be promoted at faster rates than women in those professions.” This is true in so many ways. A perfect example would be a male nurse, a man who becomes a nurse will be “pushed up” (glass elevator) to a higher position because men are seen as leaders and it would not be “right” if he had the same job as a woman. “Research shows that men in female-dominated jobs tend to fare better even than men in male-dominated jobs, and they typically earn higher salaries, receive more promotions, and achieve higher levels within organizations than their female counterparts.” ( This concept is very sad but true. Soon or later people will realize the strange in the familiar and start beating the odds.

Why Sec football makes the south special?

You could take any other conference in any part of the region and it would not compare to the football in the south. The SEC has some of the best game day atmosphere’s in college football and how everybody seems to come together as one. This is one of the biggest parts of living in the south is being a fan of the SEC and loving that play of football due to what it stands for. The teams all have a representation of the south in their history but one team that really stands out in the south is Ole Miss’s Colonel Reb, in which he has been a main figure of what the south is composed of. The south is prolly one of the biggest areas for football and how everybody gets into the games like it is a religion on Saturday to watch SEC football.

I can remember growing up just filled with excitement waking up on Saturdays knowing it was SEC football day and even better when I got to go to the games it is like a feeling like no other. To me it is so amazing how one thing can make so many people happy and give up their whole Saturday to watch the games that they love. Sec football is one of the power houses in college football in which has won the last 7 national championships and dominated the polls for even longer. It is something we should be proud of because it represents the South and gives us a good look in just a small way like football. It is had been told that the reason why the south is so good at football is because we talk so slow that the players seem to understand better and take it in to stay. We are not that big so much here about professional football here because it is a new phenomenon and has had only 40 or 50 years to catch on. Whereas SEC has been an antidote to an often dark history for as long as even our oldest people can recall. We are of long memory here and know how to represent what we are till the day we die. We take our conference that represents us and so the pride of it to anybody in the country because we are proud to be apart of it due to what we represent.

The SEC gets dogged all around the country for being dominate in everything they do and mostly because they are associated with the South. The south has diverse that we are white trash that only cares about ourselves in which it is complete opposite that we care about more than a lot of other regions in the country. With the  fans still arguing that Southern colleges are dominant at football for reasons that are, amusingly, no different from what makes their own programs successful from time to time. They say we have better athletes because we have lower academic standards, but that notion has become a glass house in which other colleges in other regions no longer wish to throw stones. In fact we have some of the best graduating numbers in college football and they continually raise year after year.

Sickle Cell Disease hitting close to home

I have a brother who has the recessive trait of sickle cell. He has a son Derrin, who has the complete sickle cell disease. Derrin is the sweetest two years old I have ever known but, because his cells are shaped like a sickle, he can’t walk. His mother has the recessive trait as well which when she and my brother had him they knew their son had sickle cell from the beginning. Derrin isn’t sick everyday but when he does get sick, he is in the hospital for days. The doctors are mostly trying to get him to sleep while working on the pain to resolve within his body. He cries a lot so we as a family never know when he is in pain or not. The doctors say whenever he is screaming and crying, then he is in pain. He takes three different medications daily in the winter time because he has asthma as well so they do not want anything making him worse with the cold weather. Derrin has to be held all the time because he can’t tell us what’s wrong with him. My brother and his son’s mother are black, which is why this book hit home for me. Just for the whites thinking that this was a black person’s disease was absurd. Derrin’s mother and my brother did not want to get tested for sickle cell while she was pregnant because they feel as though they already knew the outcome of the results. This is exactly what the people did in the book and they lived longer through the pain and this disease because this disease is actually fighting off Malaria. On Thursday, my group has the number five issue with how race was invisible then they paid attention to sickle cell and then it declined. In doing this class exercise, it gave me more insight after I read the conclusion and had the discussion in class about how at first the doctors wanted the black people to be able to work but they also needed some blacks to be sick so that they could experiment on them to see how to cure this disease. Once the healthcare was becoming more and more funded by federal and private dollars the healthcare industrial complex began to grow. Once that began to grow, doctors began focusing on more prominent diseases such as cancer and so forth pushing sickle cell downward in the decline in attention to this disease. In this book, dying in the city of the Blues I realized plenty dealing with the south that I had not known about Memphis before. I thought Beale Street was for black people and now I barely see blacks on Beale except for a weekend night. I learned plenty about sickle cell trait and disease that I did not know before. Things like they claimed it to be a black people’s disease. I also learned that Vas Crump was helping blacks as we were helping him with his voting and his machine. This was an interesting book and topic. I am happy to share my story.

Religion in the Schools

Take a stroll through the streets of the city of Memphis. See any commonalities? One thing is for certain in Memphis you can always find a Family Dollar, a liquor store, and a church within miles of one another. If it is one thing about Memphis city residents, we love a bargain, booze, and to have church services on our specific Holy days. With different Christian churches on every corner ranging in every denomination known to man, along with holy places of other religions, you can assume that city residents are very much familiar with God and/or other higher beings that they may serve.

Religion plays a big part of the culture in the south, with an average of 63% of Memphians being able to identify with a religion according to Parents begin taking their children to church at early ages to expose them to religion. In one particular case in Memphis, a young lady attending a Shelby County school in Memphis was asked to do a homework assignment based on her hero. The young lady asked her teacher if her hero could be God, and the teacher told her no. The little girl of the innocent age of ten proceeded to write two papers on her hero, one being of Michael Jackson, the other being of God. Once the teacher refused to take the essay written on God, the child’s parents got involved, along with an attorney, and she was ultimately allowed to submit her paper with no amendments being broken.

With America being founded on Christian beliefs, one would think that a lot of things and practices we do would be centered around that belief system. Slowly but surely the America is becoming more “worldly” and is not necessarily abandoning their Christian beliefs, but altering the way that it does things to keep from offending nonbelievers. In one aspect, think about the school systems. While attending public school I was never involved in classroom prayer because it was long gone before my time, but I can ask my parents about a time when it was allowed in their schools. Then you can think back to when you were in school. At what grade did you stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with your class at the start of your morning? Many schools through the years have opted out of saying the pledge only because of the line “one nation, under God” can be seen as offensive to some. As America becomes more diverse day by day, the question linger, should schools be stripped of all religiosity or not.

Check out the link to the WMCTV article —

Only in the South

Have you ever seen the yard statue of the little black lawn jockey? You know the one with the red hat and red vest? Oh, I mustn’t forget to point out the red lips which guarantees to assure you of his “blackness”. The lawn jockey would probably have on his face and hand, the blackest paint in history to help stand out against his “Lilly white” shirt and pants. Well as a child I would only see these type lawn statues while visiting family in the south. I had never seen those little guys in the Chicago where we lived at the time. Though I never asked my parents what the black lawn jockeys stood for, I had made up in my young mind that they represented some form of racism, slavery perhaps. To be honest, this is the first time I have questioned the little men in my adulthood. The black lawn jockeys are a rarity  in this day. You may find him in an antique shop or all white and not painted at all. When I began my search for information, I started by typing “black lawn jockey” on the Google website. Low and behold all the information that popped up. Legend has it that a little black boy by the name of Jocko Graves, was General George Washington stable boy who wanted to help out in the war. Being too young though, Washington and his men needed to go across the Delaware River so he agreed to let lil Jocko hold the horses and lantern. Well, Washington and his men took a tad bit longer than expected. When they returned, loyal Jocko was frozen stiff still holding the lantern and the horses. General Washington was so hurt that when he made it home, he immediately had a statue built in the remembrance of Jocko and he even had some sculpted for his friends. I even read a story where Jocko the lawn jockey was used during the underground railroad to let the slaves know if it were safe for them to stop by or not according to the direction he was turned or if a ribbon was wrapped around his arm. If these stories are true then Jocko Graves needs his place in history instead of a place in the yard where unsuspecting people could assume the worst. With that being said, if the statue was so noble, why paint Jocko in such a derogatory light? Maybe we can hold a candle light vigil at Nathan Bedford Forrest Park and place little Jockos around the park? Only in the South would we celebrate a young boys misfortune and death with an awkward looking lawn statue but build an even better story of how he came about. Well, maybe its not only in the South, but this is what I have witnessed. Legend or b.s,the world may never know. Good try though.

The South Still a Filthy Place

As we can see on that picture that I attached, the southern states have the highest rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). It caught my eye when I first moved to the South from the North Europe  in 2009. I saw the signs in clinics showing very high percentage of STDs compared to the northern states. At first, I was not very sure why the South is dealing with such problems. Since we got in more deeper discussions about the South in our Sociology of the South class, I learned many aspects that made me realize why the South has such bad reputations. First, I never knew about the yellow fever epidemics and the sickle cell anemia until now. Memphis, and also many other southern states dealt with horrible spares of yellow fever. It killed tremendous amount of people. Furthermore, Memphis was actually very attractive place for the immigrants, for example, from Germany, or Ireland, who after the yellow fever hit the city, fled away to other cities. I believe Memphis could have been a great city if all of  those immigrants would have stayed here. It would have made the city more multicultural; moreover, foreigners would have brought in more money and the high percentages of STDs that the city faces today could have been prevented. The city could have been similar to Atlanta. Unfortunately, it went different way and Memphis had to deal with many negative problems that affect the city until today.

The sickle cell anemia and yellow fever are not the big issues no more, now Memphis and the South deals with the STDs. The numbers are very high among minority groups. The African-Americans have almost 50% higher chlamydia rate than whites do. I believe the main reasons are poor access to the healthcare, and poor educational lessons provided to young people at school or at home. Since the South is more religious, I believe many schools and parents do not talk about sexual life very often. I remember back in Estonia, we had a class where we learned about diseases, prevention of pregnancy, and how to avoid certain issues. The South is more religious; nevertheless, people have to be more educated about the sexual diseases in order to  prevent long-term effects. Also, the people in the South has lower incomes. People do not have the access to health care and will not be able to get cured properly. Another issue is still the high percentage of rural people, and also illegal immigrants who do not believe or are not able to go to regular check-ups.

To sum up, I believe it is sad that Memphis and the South are still looked at as filthy and dirty. The South should fight very hard against those issues to prevent negative images that other states and countries give them. If the outsiders do not see that the South at least gives an good effort to fight against it, a lot of people from other states and countries will not come here and things will never get better then. There are many positive aspects about the South that should be more known to the whole world other than STDs and other diseases that make the South look bad.

Beale street is still relevant!

When you think of Memphis what do you think? The Fedex forum, the Memphis Tigers, the Memphis Grizzlies, and Beale st. Beale st. is home of the Memphis blues. Beale st. is the most famous street in the city of Memphis.  Beale st. was a good place for Blues musicians to come and perform. Many African American musicians looked at the street as a great place to prosper and showcase their musical talents.  Beale st. was the Harlem of the South in the early 20th century. Beale st. was great for mainstream Black America and helped establish Memphis as a great musical city throughout the world.

As a twenty-one year old citizen of Memphis, I never knew that Beale st. is such an important landmark. I always looked at the street as a place to go have drinks, listen to Blues music, club and eat good Southern food. I had a lack of  knowledge about the importance of the street because it does not have a great significance to the city as it once did.During the week days Beale st. is like an abandoned town, but many citizens use the street for a place to go to get out the house on the weekends. It is still a tradition for drinking and social intoxication. The street still consist of many bars and clubs.The clubs on the street may have few live bands or musicians to visit. Many host local, voluntary bands to perform. The street’s most popular club is Club 152. Club 152 is the street’s main attraction now. The club is consisted of three floors and have different activities going on for each floor. The street is basically an outdoor club for me and my peers during the late hours of the night, on the weekends. Many people walk around and socialize. Jello shots and huge glasses of beer are almost in everyone’s hand.

During specific times of the year, Beale st. draws large attraction for Memphis citizens and outside visitors. Beale st. is popular for the Beale st. musical festival. The event is part of Memphis in May which is a showcase of musical talent locally and nationally. The musical festival was once popular for African Americans throughout the South. I love going to hear the different musicians perform. Tom Lee Park is filled with  many sounds and electrifying music. The music festival keeps the music element of the street intact with what made the street famous. Beale st. holds another cultural event which is the annual Africa in April. Africa in April is held for a week during the middle of the month. Africa in April helps attract many visitors to the street. During that entire week, Beale st. generates more money  because of the large amount of visitors. During the basketball season, Beale st. also attracts many visitors because of the success of both the University of Memphis Tigers men basketball team and the Memphis Grizzlies. The street sits next to the Fedex Forum and is a good place to go after a win  or to sit to watch the games.


It’s a shame


Let me be clear, I am not insensitive to the government shutdown. I am saddened that the country I live in will barter with people’s livelihood and I’m also upset by the public display of ignorance shown by both sides. This is a blatant case of elitism, classism, entitlement all mixed in one. Then, here comes the social media with their ignorant rants about the shutdown. When you can name all three branches of government and tell me how many senators represents each state then I may take half of what you are saying seriously. The president is just a figurehead that represents America. The law does not stop or end with him.  There are levels to this, literally, and there are three to be exact. Another thing, these corporations that are whining, moaning, and groaning about having to fund the Affordable Care Act can afford it! Did you all not realize that you were paying more in taxes starting January 1, 2013 to pay your piece of the pie for the Affordable Care Act? I will not disrespect my president by calling itObamaCare, although I was told he now sometimes refersto it as that himself. Personally I care more about who it will help than who passed the law. I mean, the one who gets it passed will be remembered and their good deed does not go unnoted, however, is that really the important factor. These are the exact same companies that are increasing the prices they charge the consumer to offset the so called unreasonable expense of Affordable Care Act. Understand, wlive in a heavily capitalistic society. Folks care more about lining their deep pockets than the welfare of mankind. It is capitalism running amuck; I promise you not a single one of these major corporations will miss any money as a result. My opinion,  is that it is the principle that  they do not want a black man, well not only that,  lets bring it up to the present time hate; which  is not about race but about the  class one can afford to be in and no  democratic will tell them what to do with their money.  President Obama is not the first to attempt to pass healthcare reform; he is merely the only one that seems close to being successful. The question of the day is how long the shutdown will last? Now let’s recap on history; the last time a shutdown happened, was eighteen years ago during the Clinton administration, the Stalemate shutdown lasted twenty- one days. That was almost a month; so this means they are willing to let their employee go without pay instead of making an investment in other people because at the end of the day they will still benefit from the change. If they give a little money out of theirpockets to make sure others are healthy enough to come in and serve them every day.  If everyone did his or her part the world would be a better place.

Does Memphis Value Healthcare?

In class, we have been talking about the people of  little substance. With these discussions, we have learned that when sickle cell anemia was a problem in our city, the people of substance decided to care for these sick people because of the grant money they would receive for constructing hospitals. Of  course that seems harsh, but Professor Robinson has helped me realize two things. The world does not care about “people of little substance” and its all about money all the time! With that being said, I started to wonder. Does Memphis still care about the healthcare treatment for those people of little substance and if so, do they have any ulterior motives?

After thinking about this question long and hard, I came to the conclusion that the answer to this question is no. Unlike countries that pride themselves on keeping their citizens healthy so that their economy can prosper, the United States treats health care as a business. The south especially does not make sure that the “people of little substance” are accurately cared for. My aunt lives in Iowa and the way the north handles healthcare is vastly different than they way the south does. In Iowa, anyone who can not afford their medical bills will be taken care of despite their inability to pay. It kind of reminds you of the way Lebhonor works in Memphis. In Memphis however this is not the case. The south is too busy making money from the sickly that they fail to realize the economic benefits of a healthy working class.

When it all boils down to it, the “people of substance” only cater to the people of “little substance” when it benefits them financially. Its sad to say, but things have not changed much since the sickle cell anemia boom in Memphis. So, after coming to this realization, another question came to my mind. How different would Memphis be if the “people of  little substance” had their healthcare needs attended to? I believe that Memphis would prosper greatly. The first benefit of making healthcare available  for everyone is lower hospital costs.  As of now, when a person receives a hospital bill, they often notice that simple things like a box of tissue cost hundreds of dollars. The reason for such high hospital bills is because they are paying the bills for the people that cannot afford to pay it themselves. If Memphis devised a healthcare system that assured everyone who could not afford medical treatment were taken care of, then everyone else would have lower healthcare cost. Some may wonder how this will benefit Memphis. Well, if the cost of medical care was lowered, then people would have more money in their pockets. This money could in turn be redistributed back into the Memphis economy and this would assist Memphis in their effort to prosper financially.

Memphis is still a place where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This is a fact that will likely not change; therefore, I have come to the conclusion that Obama Care needs to become every “person of little substance”  because Memphis does not care how you get your medical bills paid for!


I’ve always wondered why Memphis was considered to be the “dirty south”! However, to my surprise I realized that the “the dirty south” also includes South and North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas, and Tennessee overall; not just Memphis.  The term “dirty south” is a term of endearment for the area of the United States that includes much of the former Confederacy.  Some people feel that “dirty south” is rap music that originated from the south.  It was said that music from the “dirty south” usually has a faster beat something you can dance to.  In 1990’s there was the “dirty south” rap that popped up and consisted of violent, sex-obsessed and naturally cuss oriented brand of modern hip-hop. The name dirty south is so popular that it inspired Dragan Roganovic to take it as his stage name. What does the “dirty south” mean to you?