May 11, 2012

Top 5 Black History Musuems in America

The plight of blacks in America has been one of struggle and great victory. There are several museums across the country that displays the many challenges and successful achievements of black people. Here are some of the best black history museums in America.

1. Natural Great Blacks in Wax Museum

Founded in 1983, this Baltimore Museum shows images that details the life and legacy of African-American history and heroic figures. Some of the displays include a full-sized model ship depicting the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and civil rights hero Rosa Parks.

2. American Jazz Museum and Negro League Baseball Museum

Located in Kansas City, these museums feature exhibits of jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, and baseball players inducted into Major Leagues Baseball Hall of Fame. The museums show collections of rare audio-visual presentations of historical events in black baseball and jazz.

3. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

This Cincinnati Museum has five permanent exhibits that chronicles the black slaves in America journey to freedom. The museum also offers interactive and family-based programs to educate people on the many sufferings of this time in American history.

4. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

This museum is recognized as one of the best civil rights museums in the country. Exhibits include life in Birmingham from 1920 to 1954, during the era of segregation and violence, and events like the Montgomery Bus Boycott during 1955 to 1963.

5. Stax Museum of American Soul Music

This Memphis museum is the only one of its kind in the world. The museum is located at the famous Stax recording studio that produced musicians like Issac Hayes and Ottis Redding. The museum has over 2,000 interactive exhibits that includes films and memorabilia.

Educating the Next Generation-Crisis in America

Across America, pink slips are being passed out. No, it’s not Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s teachers losing their jobs due to budget cuts in the school system. Last year, the “education catastrophe”, as quoted by the U.S Secretary of Education, reached astronomical proportions.

In Los Angeles, over 6,000 city teachers were fired. This was part of a statewide mandate to layoff 22,000 teachers in California. Teachers and students alike flooded the streets in protest as the budget cuts spread to Arizona, New York and other cities around the U.S. The reason for these layoffs was the recession everyone dealt with. School districts get their funds from the revenue of local property taxes and state funds. Those revenues have been down because of the recession and the government stimilus funds meant for next year are almost used up.

The New York Times reports that, in addition to teacher layoffs, districts are planning to close schools, cut programs and shorten the school day, week or year. The real victims of this aren’t the teachers, but the students trying to get an education.

  • Students may get less class instructions time due to increase in class sizes and lack of teacher’s assistants.
  • Students who need extra help in subjects will get left behind as teachers have no time to tutor them.
  • With less money for books and technology needed to further education, students don’t learn as much as they could.

This loss of education in schools affects the families of students, as well. Parents now have to set aside extra time to help children with their studies. Help the children haven’t received in the classrooms. People are no longer eager to be a teacher when they see the lack of funds and jobs available.

Unfortunately, many believe there will be no end in sight for at least three more years.

College Books On The Cheap

If you are a college student, or the parent of a college student you know the cost of books can be hefty. Each time you start new courses you need new books and in today’s economy the struggle to afford college textbooks is a reality for many students. What’s more, is according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office the cost of books is actually going up at a rapid pace. Fortunately, the following tips will help you get your college textbooks with emptying your wallet at the same time.

1. Buy early. If you get to the college bookstore first you are more likely to find a used copy of the book you need. If you wait till the last minute new will be your only option and new books can add up in cost.

2. Comparison shop. Right down the ISBN numbers for the books on your list. Go online with the ISBN numbers and see if you can get them cheaper at and online retailer.

3. Don’t be afraid to go paperless. Oftentimes, books are available in a digital version to use on your computer. These ebooks are often far less expensive than the paper format.

4. Rent books. There are a number of sites that allow you to pay a subscription and rent the college textbooks you need. Just like a movie rental service, you return the book when you are done with it. However, like movie rentals late books have late feed. Stay on top of returns to avoid excessive charges.

5. Exchange books with your buddies. Ask around to see what books people have that you need and swap books. You can even start a book swap with multiple people in which everyone brings the books they don’t need. The more people the more likely it is everyone gets what they need.

Save On Youth Sports

It is important for kids to be involved in activities, but the fees and equipment to do so can cost an arm and a leg. Couple that with the fact that funding is being cut from many of these programs because of the struggling economy and parents can end up paying a fortune for one extracurricular activity. If you are pinching pennies right now because of the economy, but want your kids to maintain their activities use the following tips save money on their related expenses.

Buy used. Don’t always assume your kids need new sport equipment. Used stuff in good condition is often just as good. Plus, your kid will likely treat the equipment roughly anyway. Used sports equipment is discounted around 40 percent the cost of new equipment.

Sell your old equipment. When your kids grow out of there equipment or loose interest in one sport for another sell the equipment they are no longer using. The money you make selling the used equipment can be used to buy what they need now.

Price comparison shop. Don’t always assume that buying from the resource you are directed to by a coach is required. If you are allowed to buy elsewhere you can save big by shopping in catalogs or on the Internet. You may even be able to get other parents to in together for a bulk discount.

Don’t assume you are getting a deal on group travel for sports. Price shop online when your child’s team has to go overnight to an away game. Look for hotels that offer free breakfast to cut that expense from your travel budget.

Make your child responsible for some of their equipment cost. Have them do chores to earn money. Choose chores that actually save you time or money such as yard work or laundry. This will help them learn how to be responsible with their equipment.

Free Activities For Kids

When your cutting back money because of the bad economy you must leave no stone unturned. That means you kids must learn to do with less too. The fact is your kids can learn to enjoy life in a simpler manner. Kids the world over do without everyday and they are fine. That being said, none of us want to hear our kids whining and complaining about boredom. The following tips will help you keep your kids busy on a budget.

Go old school. Take your kids to the park or the library. The park is ideal because it is free and there are often other kids for them to play with. The library is ideal because you can get free books to occupy them at home and they even lend movies at some libraries. Some libraries even have free story or craft hours.

Family game night. Instead of taking your kids to an arcade have a family game night. You can play board games or even video games. Playing games at home cost nothing if you use games you already own. Plus, it is a great way to bond as a family and create memories together.

Make play dates. Rather than going out and trying to entertain your kids schedule play dates at home with their friends so they can entertain each other. You could even go back and fourth with another mom so you have the kids and she is free for a few hours and vice versa for you the next time. Then, you save baby sitting money too.

Look for free activities for kids. Check the local paper and online family websites. Many places have free kids events with activities on weekends. You can get your kids out, expose them to culture and create family memories without spending a dime.