Former foster care crusader spearheads non-profit organization to pay homage to late brother


Written By Samantha Pounds

Social media is a very powerful tool if used correctly. Recently, while on Facebook, I came across a Facebook friend who I noticed was doing very powerful things in the community—the foster care community. I noticed this friend was starting a non-profit organization paying homage to his late brother Joshua.

Giving Joshua A Chance was started by Brandon Higgins, who just like his brother was also a product of the foster care system.

“My brother Joshua and I were placed in foster care around 1999. We were both eventually adopted. {Joshua} spent a lot of time in juvenile. His adoptive parents eventually gave up their parental rights,” said Higgins.

Higgins started Giving Joshua A Chance with the intention of giving back to the community as an individual who has lived through the foster care community.

According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, Higgins and his brother Joshua were not alone. Over 437,000 children and youth are in foster care. 45% of foster children live in non-relative foster family homes while only 32% of foster children live in relative foster family homes.

In addition to the staggering statistics, more boys are in the foster care system compared to girls with a 52% whereas its only 48% for girls.

While growing up in foster care and eventually an adoptive family home, Higgins didn’t realize the significance and impact it had on him until later in life.

“I grew up in a non-healthy environment and I didn’t realize it until I was older. I spent 9 years with my mom and she was addicted to drugs. My first placement in foster care was with an African American family. There was no distinction that I was biracial,” said Higgins.

Higgins also shared some of his most traumatic experiences while in foster care including being sexually abused. But it was an educator that helped to shape his educational experience and change his overall outlook on life.

“I had an educator that really advocated for me,” shares Higgins who also shared, “It gave me a lot of faith in people and changed my perspective on life.”

It was in his Junior year of high school that Higgins decided to pursue a better life with education as the forefront.

“It wasn’t until my junior year of high school when I realized I wanted to do more with my life, with church camps and day camps. During my freshmen year of college, my adoptive parents took me to Denny’s and reminded me that at the end of the day no one is going to have my back but myself,” said Higgins.

Giving Joshua A Chance is Higgins’ way of paying homage to his late brother Joshua. The non-profit organization aims to help youth in the foster care system to become financially literate, providing life and social skills among other programs aimed at helping the betterment of the youth.

The focus for Giving Joshua A Chance is to bring in alumni and careered professionals of the foster care system.

“A lot of these kids have been subjected to trauma and loss. They can’t be afraid to step outside of their box,” said Higgins.

While Giving Joshua A Chance board is currently closed of accepting new board members, Higgins suggests interested individuals to stay on the lookout for the next phase of the board member selection process in two years.

Community members who are still interested in the organization’s mission are however encouraged to make monetary donations alongside with sharing the overall mission of the non-profit.

Later this Fall, Giving Joshua A Chance plans to have a community wide event, a back to school night and more fundraising events.

When giving his thoughts on children and youth in the foster care system, Higgins shares, “Don’t give up, lift your head high. Just realize you’re not the only one in this station. There are people in worst situations. Make sure you make it to the top so you can lift others up. I’m a living testimony that you can make it.”

For more information about Giving Joshua A Chance and to donate, visit

Colorism: Still an everyday stigma in the Black culture

Written by Samantha Pounds

By definition, the word colorism means discrimination based on the color of skin. In other words, it’s prejudice and discrimination in which people are treated differently. While colorism varies in definition compared to racism, its very much a prevalent issue dominating both the Black culture and other ethnic groups of color.

When it comes to such a complex subject, there is a young filmmaker and content creator whose looking to openly discuss the narratives of the subject manner. Melissa Guzman, a Dominican-American director, producer, actress, writer and the creator of Complexity.  The show follows the intertwined narratives of Latinx, African-Americans, Blasians and Indian cultures.

The series will explore how colorism played a major role in each characters upbringing and how it affects them in todays society.

“I was always told that I wasn’t black and it sent me into a world of confusion because deep down I knew I was black. It wasn’t until I went to college at Howard University where I started taking classes and learning more about the real issues of colorism,” said Guzman. 

It was also while in college Guzman learned she wasn’t the only one who was frustrated at the misrepresentation of Latinas. Guzman shares she made several contacts with her college peers who also felt the same way she did—their isn’t much representation of Afro Latinas in the media.

Like many who has experienced colorism, Guzman admits the adverse affects of colorism, which affected her self-esteem growing up.

The lack of misrepresentation in the media is ultimately what led to the creation of Complexity. Perplexed at her own experiences growing up, Guzman began pondering if others dealt with similar issues as she did while growing up.

“I began reaching out to my Asian, African-American and Indian friends. They all had very similar stories as I did growing up as it relates to their skin. This was around 2016 when these conversations really began,” Guzman shared.

It would be a very unfortunate circumstance that Guzman was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease which ultimately attached her body. Between hospital stays and trying to get her health back on track, the overall vision of Complexity stayed with Guzman as she did not want to give up on it just yet.

“As I felt myself giving up, I knew I needed a purpose and this was it,” said Guzman.

The mixture of characters in Complexity includes Ava, an Afro-Latina, Yesenia, a white Latina, Nicole Renee, a light skin African-American, Prisha, an outspoken Indian woman, Sean, a dark skin African-American male and Marvin an African-American and Asian man. While each character has their own personality, they share one common struggle—colorism in America.

While the show is currently in pre-production, Guzman shares her excitement and looks forward to viewers watching the final production and beginning the dialogue of thought provoking topic.

Fore more information about Complexity, visit

The Battle of the Bulge Lives in American Racism


Written by Gregory Meriweather @ RadioBlackOn

It seems quite strange to live in a world where the President of the United States is accused of asking why we would want people from Haiti and more Africans in the US, while suggesting that the US should get more people from countries like Norway. When the President references a place where the people are mostly blue eyed, Caucasians, it is difficult not to see his comments as racist, adding the fact that most people from Africa, El Salvador, and Haiti are people of color.

Many people are offended by the comments of the President, but I don’t share in those feelings. I am pleased to hear that the President speaks this way about people of color. It seems as if we (Blacks) have fought for hidden racism in the midst of a country that was built on it.

While statues representing the Confederacy are being removed, there are still so many hidden symbols of racism. Two of the greatest monuments in the United States were created by the same person. That person is John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum. He is the man responsible for Stone Mountain, and Mount Rushmore. He was a member of the Klu Klux Klan, and the creator of two of the greatest racist masterpieces known to man. How many people are aware of the Klan’s financial contributions to Stone Mountain? How many of the Presidents on Mount Rushmore were slave owners? What is the message sent daily as these monuments stand?

It seems that racists are able to move about better while hiding their true feelings. If we take the time to listen to the speeches of Dr. King, and Malcolm X, we should notice how relevant the things they were saying 50 years ago are today. Go and listen to “Harvest for the World” by the Isley Brothers, or “What’s Happening Brother” by Marvin Gaye. The message of what is happening in America towards Black people is still the same, and we are asking questions in the midst of a battle which we don’t understand. I feel it is time to bring some clarity in the midst of this hidden war.

Operation Greif was a special operation commanded by Waffen-SS commando Otto Skorzeny during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. The operation was the brainchild of Adolf Hitler, and its purpose was to capture bridges over the Meuse river before they were destroyed. English speaking, German soldiers, wearing captured British and US Army uniforms and using captured Allied vehicles, were to cause confusion in the rear of the Allied lines. This is what racism is today in the United States. Racism today looks confusing, because we don’t know if the intentions of people who once called us ni**a are now good and sincere. When analyzing the continued hardships of Black people in America, and all over the world, it looks like we are still being treated as the enemy. Blacks are still being discriminated against. We are still facing financial hardships, living in subpar communities, and struggling to get our footing in the land that so proudly says, “This land is your land, this land is my land.” If this land was made for you and me, why does it not look like it?

Eric Clapton is a prime example of an Operation Greif special ops soldier. Clapton has been noted as one of the greatest guitarist in history; A blues playing Brit, who made an album with blues legend, B.B. King, and wanted to “Change the World” with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. Eric Clapton had many of us believing that he never had a racist bone in his body.

Yet in 1976, Clapton made some comments at a concert in Birmingham, England that proved otherwise when he said, “Stop Britain from becoming a black colony. Get the foreigners out. Get the wogs out. Get the coons out. Keep Britain white. I used to be into dope, now I’m into racism. It’s much heavier, man. Fu**ing wogs, man. Fu**ing Saudis taking over London. Bastard wogs. Britain is becoming overcrowded and Enoch will stop it and send them all back. The black wogs and coons and Arabs and fu**ing Jamaicans and fu**ing… don’t belong here, we don’t want them here.”

The Enoch that Eric Clapton was referring to is Enoch Powell who, like Trump, was a racist politician. Most known for his “Rivers of Blood” speech, Enoch Powell was against mass immigration. Trump does not necessarily want to do away with immigration, he just wants immigrants coming to America to have blonde hair, and blue eyes.

When reflecting on the racial undertone of his speech, Powell said, “My prospect is that, politicians of all parties will say, ‘Well Enoch Powell is right, we don’t say that in public but we know it in private.’” Based on that statement, it looks like Clapton, and Trump have broken the cardinal rule of racism, and that rule is that you don’t speak about it publicly. You are to move in a way that makes the enemy believe you all are one. Allow them to think that they are your friends. Talk to them, eat with them, date them, and embrace them. But when you are away from them, and in your private areas amongst colleagues, you talk about them, you hate them, and you strategize against them.

This theory can be proven based on an interview where Clapton apologized for his words, and said, “I sabotaged everything I got involved with. I was so ashamed of who I was, a kind of semi-racist, which didn’t make sense. Half of my friends were black, I dated a black woman, and I championed black music.”

I don’t think Clapton’s apology is sincere. I believe he is just doing what is necessary to move from being a POW (prisoner of war), to being a soldier once again. He enjoyed sleeping with Black women, just like slave masters. He enjoyed speaking our language, and engaging in conversations with us, because he knew that he could use it against us. Ultimately he loved white-washing our music, and making a fortune while doing it. Great job soldier, you have completed your mission. You have taken everything from Black people in a classic slave master way. You have taken our language, our women, our talents, and used them to build your community, all while being a full blown, not a semi, racist. Operation Greif is still working today.

Now is the time for us to be honest about this things that are going on in this world. Black people all over the world are feeling the pain of racial warfare. Operation Greif had an objective of bringing about confusion, and we are more confused than ever because of how deeply they have infiltrated our culture. We must begin strategizing ways to overcome this system. It will not be an easy fight but it will be well worth it if we can get our people back on track.

Some may believe that I am going too far. Many may believe that I am thinking too deeply. Others will look at this and only think about the personal success they have attained, and some will just simply ignore me. Enoch Powell proves everything I’ve said to be true when he said, “What’s wrong with racism? Racism is the basis of a nationality. Nations are, upon the whole, united by identity with one another, the self-identification of our citizens, and that’s normally due to similarities which are regarded as racial differences.”

It is hard to fight what you can’t see, so it’s time for us to take off the blinders. An apology without visible change, just won’t do. War has been declared on our people, are you willing to fight?

Gregory Meriweather is the CEO of Black on Black LLC. He is also the Host of the Gregory Meriweather Show on WBMN Groovin’ 24/7.