Racism, Self Solidarity, Subconscious

Why Don’t We Talk About When White People Code Switch?

Part I: When Cornbread becomes Code-Switching

If you’re a Person of Color reading this article, you might have a personal anecdote of either yourself or one of your parents engaging in code switching.

I can recall the time when I first witnessed my dad code switching. He was known for doing what he referred to as talking ‘cornbread’. It was his way of saying “Don’t talk down to people or make them feel bad for not knowing something you already know. Keep things simple and easy to understand.”

This was dad’s take on the street slang, ‘keeping it real.’ He took pride in always speaking in this straightforward, ‘cornbread’ manner. So, you can imagine my shock when, at the age of eight, I first saw him on the phone with a white man, code switching.

It was a stark contrast to the father I knew.  

Code switching – that’s what my dad was doing: attempting to imitate what he thought a white person sounded like. His manner of speaking was out of the ordinary, his words pronounced in a manner that was unfamiliar to me. His facial expressions were strained, as if he were performing in a Broadway show.

Afterwards, he would exhibit such anger and frustration that his reaction made it crystal clear to me that he deeply resented having to code-switch. Without witnessing his reaction, I might have grown up thinking this was perfectly normal. This episode taught me that although code switching is widespread, it’s not natural for us.

We often talk about Black people code switching, but now it’s important to understand why white people engage in it too. Of course, what I’m going to share may surprise you, and even evoke feelings of discomfort or self-betrayal, much like my dad experienced.

“How does such a mindset become a daily habit?”

Nowadays, we understand that my dad’s idea of imitating a white man was a construct in his mind. But the real question is, how did the construct get into his mind? How does a highly intelligent, unique individual like my dad come to believe that being his true self wasn’t the best choice? How does such a mindset become a daily habit? The answer is survival!

What’s even more astounding is understanding how this racialized programming designed to intentionally cultivate self-doubt in people of color, ironically enough, ends up doing the same thing to white people. 

Consider what messages white people have been receiving for the past one hundred years. Now, think about the messages they have been receiving about people of color. How have white people been depicted in the media compared to people of color?  

Depending on what stage you are in your growth process you may or may not be able see this for yourself. You may still be racially unconscious. For example, white women were portrayed in media as beautiful and elegant. However, Black women, were at the bottom of the racial caste system and depicted as ugly and loud. 

Just to be clear, the idea of talking like a ‘white person’ isn’t real. Understand that the so-called ‘white person’ that a person of color tries to imitate doesn’t exist. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all white person.

My dad wasn’t mimicking a real white guy; he was acting on what he’d been socialized to believe about white people. He was reacting to a program that painted white people as the pinnacle of success.

Most people below white people on the racial hierarchy often sought to emulate white people, as a survival strategy and to unconsciously prove they’re worthy of acceptance.

Why Do White People Code Switch?

So, the big question is, why do white people code switch? Are they also stuck in survival mode, trying to secretly prove they’re good enough too?

Consider what messages white people have been receiving for the past one hundred years and how it has contributed to the spread of imposter syndrome. Now, think about the messages they have received about people of color. Historically speaking, how have white people been depicted in the media compared to people of color?

For example, white women were portrayed in the media as the standard of beauty and elegance. However, Black women, at the bottom of the racial hierarchy have historically been depicted as unattractive and angry.

What sort of distortions has this created in white people’s own view of themselves and the way they relate to people of color? People of color aren’t the only ones trying to reclaim their authentic voice.

And so, the question we must answer is – how do were cover our true voice, regardless of our race?This question and so many others, we shall explore in part two and three of this article series.

For those of you who have questions about part one, or you would just like to share a healthy dialogue on the subject please email me at or share your thoughts and make comments on instagram, facebook or LinkedIn. I look forward to having a meaningful discussion for overcoming impostor syndrome and taking back our authentic selves.

About Mahdi

Mahdi Davenport
Soul Focused Group CEO, Mahdi Davenport

For those unfamiliar with me, I am Berwick Mahdi Davenport, CEO, and co-founder of the Soul Focused Group. Our company, a solution based educational consultancy, is dedicated to fostering personal growth through reverse engineering the purpose of racism, which is to divide and conquer.

Our approach brings people together by teaching organizations how to cultivate Human Solidarity through Self Solidarity first, which strengthens leadership, elevates emotional intelligence, improves retention rates, cultivates psychologically safe environments and capitalizes on the benefits of diversity without all the negative side effects.

Over the past three decades, this work has enriched me, thanks to the thousands of brilliant minds like yours that I’ve had the privilege of engaging with. My focus on code switching stems from its immense potential in empowering us all and disrupting the pervasive influence of racism.

When we stop being “fake” we can unleash the power that comes from being REAL. To discover more about the Human Solidarity Project (HSP) approach visit our website and check out our blog and podcasts.

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Being Accountable
Power, Subconscious

The Power of Being Accountable: How to Take Responsibility and Transform Your Life

Accountability is a word that is often thrown around, but what does it actually mean?

At its core, being accountable means taking responsibility for one's actions and being answerable to oneself and others. Accountability is an essential component of personal and professional growth as it enables individuals to develop a sense of ownership, learn from their mistakes, and make positive changes.

In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the concept of accountability, its importance, and how it can impact personal and professional growth. We will explore the benefits of being accountable, the challenges that come with it, and practical tips for developing accountability in our daily lives. By the end of this post, you will have a better understanding of what accountability means and how it can lead to positive changes in your life.

The Benefits of Being Accountable

Being accountable has numerous benefits that can positively impact various areas of your life. Here are some of the key advantages of being accountable:

Improved self-awareness and self-reflection

Being accountable requires taking a closer look at yourself and your actions. When you hold yourself accountable, you become more aware of your strengths, weaknesses, and patterns of behavior. This increased self-awareness can help you identify areas for personal growth and development.

Additionally, self-reflection is an important part of being accountable. It allows you to reflect on your actions and decisions, identify what worked well and what didn't, and learn from your experiences.

Increased motivation and productivity

Accountability can be a powerful motivator. When you hold yourself accountable, you set goals and deadlines for yourself, and you're more likely to follow through on them. This can lead to increased productivity and a sense of accomplishment.

Furthermore, when you hold yourself accountable, you're more likely to take ownership of your work and take pride in it. This can lead to greater job satisfaction and higher levels of motivation.

Stronger relationships and trust

Being accountable is not just about being accountable to yourself; it's also about being accountable to others. When you hold yourself accountable to others, you build trust and credibility. This can lead to stronger relationships both personally and professionally.

When you're accountable to others, you're more likely to follow through on your commitments and be reliable. This can lead to increased respect and trust from those around you.

Better decision making and problem solving

When you hold yourself accountable, you take ownership of your actions and decisions. This can lead to better decision making and problem solving because you're more invested in the outcome.

Additionally, being accountable requires you to take responsibility for your mistakes and learn from them. This can lead to better problem solving skills because you're more likely to identify and address the root cause of a problem.

Increased sense of purpose and fulfillment

Being accountable can give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment. When you hold yourself accountable, you set goals and work towards them, which can give you a sense of direction and purpose.

Furthermore, when you hold yourself accountable and achieve your goals, you experience a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. This can lead to greater satisfaction and happiness in your personal and professional life.

The Challenges of Being Accountable

Challenges of Being Accountable

Being accountable is not always easy, and there are several challenges that can make it difficult to take ownership of our actions and decisions. Here are some of the common challenges of being accountable:

Fear of failure and vulnerability

Taking accountability for our mistakes and shortcomings requires vulnerability and admitting to ourselves and others that we are not perfect. This can be scary and uncomfortable, and many people avoid being accountable because of this fear. However, it's important to remember that everyone makes mistakes and that admitting to them is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Lack of self-discipline and follow-through

Being accountable requires discipline and follow-through. It's not enough to simply acknowledge our mistakes; we also need to take action to correct them and make amends if necessary. This can be challenging for those who struggle with self-discipline or have a tendency to procrastinate.

Resistance to change and discomfort

Being accountable often involves making changes and stepping out of our comfort zones. This can be difficult for some people, as they may prefer to stay within their comfort zones and avoid change. However, change is necessary for growth and progress, and being accountable requires us to embrace discomfort and take risks.

External factors and obstacles

There may be external factors or obstacles that make it challenging to be accountable. For example, if we work in a toxic or unsupportive environment, it can be difficult to take ownership of our actions and decisions. Similarly, if we have a history of trauma or abuse, it can be hard to trust others and take responsibility for our own lives.

Despite these challenges, being accountable is essential for personal and professional growth. By acknowledging our mistakes and taking ownership of our actions, we can learn from our experiences, grow as individuals, and become better leaders and team members.

How To Practice Being Accountable

Strategies for Being Accountable

Being accountable requires intentional effort and consistent practice. Here are some strategies that can help you become more accountable:

1. Setting Specific Goals and Action Steps

One of the most effective ways to become accountable is to set specific goals and action steps. This means breaking down your larger goals into smaller, measurable steps. For example, if your goal is to exercise more regularly, you could set a specific goal of working out for 30 minutes, three times a week. This helps you create a clear roadmap for what you need to do to achieve your goal.

2. Tracking Progress and Measuring Results

Once you have set specific goals and action steps, it's important to track your progress and measure your results. This helps you stay accountable and motivated, as you can see how far you've come and what you still need to do. There are many ways to track your progress, such as using a journal, a habit-tracking app, or a spreadsheet.

3. Seeking Support and Feedback

Another effective strategy for being accountable is to seek support and feedback from others. This can be in the form of a mentor, a coach, or an accountability partner. Having someone else to check in with and hold you accountable can be a powerful motivator, and can help you stay on track even when things get tough.

4. Practicing Self-Compassion and Forgiveness

Being accountable doesn't mean being perfect. There will be times when you fall short of your goals or make mistakes. It's important to practice self-compassion and forgiveness in these moments. This means acknowledging your mistakes, learning from them, and moving forward with a positive attitude.

5. Embracing Discomfort and Taking Risks

Finally, being accountable often means stepping outside of your comfort zone and taking risks. This can be scary, but it's also where growth and progress happen. It's important to embrace discomfort and be willing to take calculated risks in order to achieve your goals and become the best version of yourself.

By practicing these strategies, you can become more accountable in your personal and professional life, and experience the many benefits that come with it.


Being Accountable Growth

In conclusion, accountability is a crucial element for personal and professional growth. It helps individuals to be aware of their actions and take responsibility for them. Being accountable can lead to various benefits such as improved self-awareness, increased motivation, and stronger relationships.

However, being accountable also comes with challenges such as fear of failure and resistance to change. It requires individuals to practice self-discipline, seek support, and embrace discomfort.

To be accountable, individuals can set specific goals and action steps, track their progress, seek feedback and support, practice self-compassion, and take risks. These strategies can help individuals overcome the challenges and reap the benefits of being accountable.

In summary, being accountable is a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. It helps individuals to take ownership of their actions and achieve their goals. By being accountable, individuals can increase their sense of purpose, fulfillment, and success in life.

I encourage you to take action and be accountable for your actions. Start by setting specific goals and action steps, tracking your progress, seeking support, and practicing self-compassion. Embrace discomfort and take risks to achieve your desired results. Remember, being accountable is not easy, but it is worth it.

I hope this article has provided valuable insights and strategies for being accountable. Take ownership of your actions and be accountable for your life. Remember, accountability gives you the power to achieve your goals and create a fulfilling life.

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Spiritual Consciousness, Subconscious, Toxic Masculinity

What does it mean to be a man?

What is it like to be a man in America?

While the question is pretty simple and straightforward, the answer isn’t. Masculinity in America has several different meanings. It is different for different people. And unfortunately, it is often misunderstood - men are often misunderstood.

Most people have created an ideal image of a man in their mind, and anything or anyone that doesn’t fit into the mold of that image has to go through rough phases. He is judged and sometimes even looked down on by society.

Thus, many people are afraid to even ask the question: What does it mean to be a man? And this is what we are going to discuss here. It is going to be a difficult conversation, but it will be enlightening and so worth it.

Men have been defining reality for years

For centuries, men have been at the helm of every significant organization in the world - they ran the world. They made the rules and defined reality. And today, reality is finally catching up with them.

Times are changing today, and the universe is demanding us to evolve. However, that isn’t possible unless we face the reality - a reality that men have created, nurtured, and promoted themselves.

Modern-day men find themselves in the midst of several difficult questions related to their profession, relationships, spirituality, and life itself. And they cannot find the answer unless they start being really honest and transparent with themselves and with others.

However, being honest isn’t always easy, especially in modern times. Today, people are afraid of being real. They are afraid of saying certain things and speaking their heart out. The reason for this is that today we live in a world where people hold each other responsible for the the things they say.

Even when you don’t mean ill, someone may still find a way to hold you responsible for things you say. This is the biggest reason most men are afraid to say things; they try to embellish the reality, and that is the root cause of most issues.

A lot of men are afraid to let their emotions out and be vulnerable

what does it mean to be a man

Another unfortunate part of masculinity in America that prevents honesty is men holding back their emotions. Unfortunately, boys are told from a very young age that “men don’t cry” or that “men don’t get upset.”

Words like these leave a mark on the tender mind of young boys, and they grew up with men who are afraid to show their emotions. They start internalizing that, as a male, any show of emotion was frowned upon and not manly.

And unfortunately, this is something that is reinforced by every male in society throughout boys childhoods, both by adults and by their peers. Boys who try to show emotion are called names and even have their sexuality questioned by their peers. And thus, they started hiding their emotions to protect themselves.

But is that real masculinity? Is bottling up your emotions and not allowing yourself to be upset the definition of masculinity?

Suppressing your feelings can cause some seriously adverse effects

toxic masculinity what does it mean to be a man-1

Suppressing your feelings isn’t healthy. And when men hide their feelings for a long while, it eventually comes out as anger, rage and hostility.

Your feelings are the language of your soul. They help you express yourself, not only to others but to your own self as well. When you own your feelings and express them openly, you become an emotionally healthy individual. And emotional health is the cornerstone of every successful relationship, whether it is personal or professional.

However, when someone suppresses their emotions and doesn’t let them out in a healthy way, those feelings find another outlet. And sometimes, that outlet can take the form of violence, addiction to alcohol or any other substance, or any other dangerous behavior.

When you ignore or suppress your feelings, you become numb. And the only way to let go of all the numbness and feel deeply is by letting all those bottled-up feelings out. And this is the reason why many men tend to release their emotions all at once through violence, anger and hostility.

Understanding this fact is essential to understanding the meaning of masculinity in America and why it is the way it is.

Examination of gender construction in America

gender construction - what does it mean to be a man-1

The social construction of gender in America has kept men from being their authentic selves. It encouraged them to shut down and hide their authenticity because everyone else was doing the same too. Everyone is projecting what they were conditioned and taught since childhood.

Unfortunately, many people don't get to the point of moving past the messages, psychological and emotional barriers that were established in their minds from a young age. They grow up into adults who are uncomfortable about being sensitive. They are afraid to demonstrate deep concern and compassion for others because they aren't accustomed to seeing this from other guys.

This is one of the reasons men feel difficulty in expressing their emotions to other men. Even in today’s twenty-first-century world, many fathers feel awkward telling their sons that they love them.

While some men manage to express themselves in front of women, they usually have a whole different dynamic when it comes to expressing themselves to other men. This is the extent to which the gender constructions of society have affected us!

Hiding your emotions prevents you from trusting other men

Another aspect of masculinity in America is that it causes males to have trust issues with other men. While most men would not say it out loud, they have a hard time trusting other males. After all, how do you trust a man if he withholds his emotions and does not share how he's feeling? To build trust, you need to be honest about your feelings and show emotions. And since that is difficult for so many males, they find it hard to trust other men.

Continuously following society’s norms about how a man "should be" can result in loneliness. When you try to hide your emotions and build a wall all around your soul, it gets lonely in there. You can be with a lot of people and they would never know who you actually are.

Toxic masculinity keeps men from being authentic

authenticity - what does it mean to be a man-1-1

Another aspect of masculinity in America is that there are so many men out there who are great at socializing and being with people, and yet they are afraid to show their authentic selves, be honest about their feelings, and embrace the imperfect yet beautiful reality. It is like being a chameleon or playing a role.

When you don't trust people, you don't really give people an opportunity to know you - to know the real you. This not only affects your relationships with other men but with everyone in general. You will have a hard time managing your romantic relationships, your friendships, and even your professional relationships. This, in turn, can become a reason for depression, anxiety, and other mental issues.

The root cause of most problems is bottling up your emotions. Until you find a healthy way to let out your feelings and show your authentic selves, things are not going to improve.

It’s time for a change! 

redifine masculinity - what does it mean to be a man-1

A vast majority of men have walked through the better part of their lives being completely numb. They didn’t only hide their authenticity from others but from their own selves too. And this has affected every part of their lives.

It is one of the reasons why so many men are struggling with deep depression, extreme self-destructive behaviors, and poor relationships in America. They don’t allow themselves to be fully present in relationships and really sink into it in a way that is loving and gentle.

And unfortunately, when young men need a safe avenue for honesty and healing, all they get is cancellation and punishment.

But not anymore!

Cancellation and punishment are actually counterintuitive and counterproductive to the whole idea of healing and growing. This is the reason why more and more people are opting for counseling today. They just want a safe space and non-judgemental people to listen to them and give them room to grow.

Remember that you can't grow without making mistakes and applying what you've learned from the past to this present moment. This is the nature of growth.

So, we need to ask ourselves, do we want people to grow or do they want people to continue to hide?

Let's redefine masculinity in America

what does it mean to be a man

The world is evolving at a rapid pace today. People of all genders have the right to discover who they are as they go through life.

You no longer need to keep up with society’s definition of masculinity in America. You can choose to break down those barriers and define yourself the way you want to.

You can choose to wear your emotions on your sleeves and be your authentic self. Men have been hard on themselves for a long while, and now is the time to let it all go. To free yourself and your soul from all the prejudices and start the healing process. It’s time to set a new and healthy definition of masculinity in America for the coming generation.

No matter what people have believed, masculinity in America is not a rigid concept.  As a man, you can choose to be strong or vulnerable, you can choose to cry your heart out or laugh with your buddies, and you can choose to be sensitive about things.

It is your life, and you get to define what masculinity means to you. And while you are at it, make sure to allow the young generation to choose their own definition of masculinity!

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