August 27, 2009Raynard JacksonEarlier this month I wrote a column entitled, “The African and the Brother Man (you can read a copy of the piece on my website: www.raynardjackson.com).” I had no idea my piece would spark such a vibrant conversation among Blacks, Africans, Caribbeans, and others. Some agreed with what I wrote and others did not. Some agreed with me, but had issues with my verbiage. But, as legendary composer Quincy Jones told rapper Ice-T, “Ice, keep doin what you’re doin, man don’t give a damn if the squares don’t understand. You let em tell you what to say and what to write, your whole career’ll be over by tomorrow night.”Therefore, based on the volume of emails received and the level of interest in me establishing a platform for dialogue, I decided to devote my whole show this Saturday to this issue. I will have live guests from Africa, America, and the Caribbean to begin the conversation. Then we will open the phone lines to callers from around the world. We will also have a live chat room for people to submit questions and comments. To participate, go to www.ustalknetwork.com. The call in number is 954-530-2068. The show will be Saturday night from 7-9:00 p.m. (Washington, DC time).The show will focus on the “Ican” in African and American. We want this to be the beginning of a conversation that will lead to a reduction in the barriers existing between these communities. Issues and questions that I want to deal with are: why did my Ethiopian friend say to me that she would NEVER date a Black American? Why do African and Caribbean governments rarely give lobbying contracts to Black Americans? Why are African and Caribbean tourism TV commercials always focused on the white community (Bahamas, Jamaica, Trinidad, South Africa, Ghana)? Why do most Blacks think of jungles or Tarzan when asked about Africa? Why do African or Caribbean ambassadors and embassies have NO presence in the Black community, locally or nationally?By the end of the show, I hope we have addressed these concerns and have found ways that we can move forward with closing the gap that exists between these communities. Hopefully, we can get some of these ambassadors to host a series of after work networking receptions for people to mix and mingle with each other.I would love to create a speaker’s series where I can provide a platform for their visiting president to address various audiences in the U.S.I have offered to have several African and Caribbean presidents on my radio show, but none have taken advantage of my offer to speak directly to the American people. Typically, you only see or hear them in the American media when something negative has happened in their countries. Let us be proactive and talk about the good that is going on in their respective countries.These are some of my solutions to the above identified problems. I know I can deliver on my end, but are the various countries willing to take advantage of my offer? When it comes to offering solutions, I CAN!Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-based political consulting/government affairs firm. You can listen to his radio show every Saturday evening from 7-9:00 p.m. Go to www.ustalknetwork.com to register and then click on host, and then click on his photo to join his group.