Jul 31, 2007



What do you get when integrity meets soul, and humility meets greatness......? A Man who has periled the highways of the ever evolving hip hop juggernaut, in which a culture once created from the underbelly of the "beats and breaks" of the inner city, has now peaked at the forefront of mainstream American society. But at what cost?.... Now don't mistake, this is not another whining, complaining activist ready to hand over the baton of blame to the aforementioned hip hop generation for the ills of society; more so, I want to acknowledge and praise the works of a legendary Voice. A Voice many times passed over from being considered in the same verbiage as the hip hop elite...i.e your Biggie and Jay-Z, or 50 Cent or T.I., but if we look at the Voice a little deeper we will find it to more relevant than any amount of hits or plaques lined on the wall, or a million dollar mansion featured on "Cribs" with bling lined up on the dresser. Why? Because this Voice, more than anything, has spoken for "The People". A Voice more inspired by saving the lost, more so than bragging to them. A Voice not too loud or too brash, nor too preachy, yet more poignant and respected than many of those with the bullhorn right in their mouths. This Voice who deserves the accolades more than many of his predecessors, yet never allowed the lack thereof to shut him up or down. In the times in which a hit is determined by beat rather than the message, this Voice has still stood the test of time. And today that Voice is yelling loud and clear....."Finding Forever". Too simplistic for a man with enormous character ,I say, but considering all that I have revealed to you about this man it could only best be described as an affirmation of what the artist known as "Common" has blessed us with to continue in the lineage of his greatness.


Originally I wanted to do a review of the album, however, the more I listened the more I realized that there was more to the story, and the fact that a man who has consistently never given up his soul for the music, but rather has given us the soul of man in the music, shows that the album is just a bonus, the true gift has already been given to us.........

Let's Make Real Hip Hop Number 1 !!!!!!!!......Finding Forever in Stores Today! http://www.common-music.com/, www.myspace.com/common

Jul 30, 2007


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I know a lot of people may wonder why I felt that need to start a blog. I myself don't know the answer, but I know stories like this is one and that of Genarlow Wilson are one of many the reasons why I felt I needed a forum to express myself. If you are nor familiar with the story of the Jena Six I beseech you to become enlighten about their plight, and once you have been enlightened I asked that you please sign this petition and spread the word about our young brothers.

For those not familiar with this story here is a brief synopsis:

"Jena is a small town nestled deep in the heart of Central Louisiana. Until recently, you may well have never heard of it. But this rural town of less than 4,000 people has become a focal point in the debate around issues of race and justice in this country.

Last December, six black students at Jena High School were arrested after a school fight in which a white student was beaten and suffered a concussion and multiple bruises. The six black students were charged with attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy. They face up to 100 years in prison without parole. The Jena Six, as they have come to be known, range in age from 15 to 17 years old.

Just over a week ago, an all-white jury took less than two days to convict 17 year-old Mychal Bell, the first of the Jena Six to go on trial. He was convicted of aggravated battery and conspiracy charges and now faces up to 22 years in prison.
Black residents say that race has always been an issue in Jena, which is 85 percent white, and that the charges against the Jena Six are no exception.
The origins of the story can be traced back to early September when a black high school student requested permission to sit under a tree in the schoolyard where usually only white students sat. The next day three nooses were found hanging from the tree."
-Article Courtesy of Democracy Now


Please Check Out Video Below:






Jul 29, 2007


As promised, The Educator thought you should know a little bit about Ms.Cathy Hughes.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, she began her career in radio in 1969; at a small black radio station. She is now one of the most powerful and successful Black women in radio and TV.

Working her way through the ranks, becoming President and General Manager of different radio stations. Ms. Hughes later decided she wanted to buy her own radio station. After being rejected by 32 banks, one finally decided to lend her the money. She eventually bought that one and is the founder of Radio One a national chain of 71 radio stations in 22 markets, valued at 2 billion dollars. These markets include: Atlanta, Augusta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, St. Louis and Washington, DC. (Sorry Icon there’s none in the Pittsburgh area) Ms. Hughes created the evening radio format known as “The Quiet Storm” that is still imitated in markets nationwide.

Sisters, if you live in any of these towns, please find your Radio One station. They cover stories and give information that is vital to our communities. (I listen, everyday, in the ATL.)
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In addition to owning Radio One, Ms. Hughes also owns TV One a national cable and satellite television network which bills itself as the "lifestyle and entertainment network for African-American adults." Ms. Hughes interviews prominent African-Americans for the network's talk program TV One on One. Ms. Hughes says she is committed to accurately telling stories of Black people on radio and TV. She stated: “ the greatest gift her mother and father gave her was their nationalistic philosophy; that the ills of the African-American community needs to be addressed and solved by the African-American community”. And let the church say: Hallelujah and Amen Ms. Hughes…..

Jul 26, 2007

That there were 29,000 sexual predators registered on myspace.com. Now if that is how many they caught and removed. How many do you think are still on there?? Sisters please watch what your children are doing on the internet. The internet is a good tool. However, it can be a dangerous vehicle which lets unknown suspects into your home everyday, who will try to engage your child into becoming a victim or even you….

Jul 25, 2007



Born: 29 August 1936
Birthplace: Panama Canal Zone
Best Known As: U.S. senator from Arizona, 1987-

John McCain has been a U.S. senator from Arizona since 1987. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, McCain had a 22-year military career. Five of those years were spent in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp after he was shot down over Hanoi during the Vietnam War. McCain was elected to Congress in 1982, then elected as U.S. senator from Arizona in 1986. In 2000 he ran for the Republican presidential nomination, but was defeated by George W. Bush. McCain's 1999 book Faith of My Fathers told the story of his family's military history and his own experiences as a POW.

McCain's father and grandfather were both four-star admirals in the U.S. Navy... He had surgery to remove melanomas (skin lesions) in 1993 and 2000 and minor prostate surgery in August of 2001.
For more on John McCain please click on the following links:

Hillary Clinton was raised in a middle-class family in the middle of America. From that classic suburban childhood in Park Ridge, Illinois, Hillary went on to become one of America's foremost advocates for children and families; an attorney twice voted one of the most influential in America; a First Lady of Arkansas who helped transform the schools; a bestselling author; a First Lady for America who helped transform that role, becoming a champion for health care and families at home and a champion of women's rights and human rights around the world.

Since her path-breaking election to the United States Senate, Hillary has been a steadfast advocate for middle-class families, working to help create jobs, expand children's health care and protect Social Security from privatization. As the Senator representing New York after 9/11, Hillary has fought to strengthen our approach to homeland security and to improve our communications and intelligence operations. As the first New Yorker ever named to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hillary has been a tough critic of the administration's bungling of Iraq and a fierce advocate for proper equipment, health benefits, and treatment for military families.

Click the following sites for more information on Hillary Clinton:

http://www.hillaryclinton.com/

http://clinton.senate.gov/

Jul 22, 2007

Not a risk taker? Then you’ll probably be most comfortable with a fixed rate mortgage. The interest rate is set throughout the duration of the loan. If you plan to stay in your home for a long time, a fixed-rate mortgage should be desired because it provides home security. Also, if you have a high fixed rate and the fixed-rate loans drop, you may refinance and lock in a lower rate. There are some charges for refinancing, but you will save money in the long run. Fixed rates come in various terms. The term is the length of time you make payments, for example 30 years or 15 years. Choose which is best for you. Keep in mind that with a 15- year mortgage, your monthly payment is more (about 20 to 30 percent), but you pay off the interest and principal faster and you end up paying less. However, with a 30-year mortgage, you can always pay more than your house payment and have that extra money goes toward your principal. By paying down the principal, you can save money as well, but will not be locked into always having to pay extra. Be sure to ask your lender if this can be done without penalty. (that works on any term loan)

Coming up:


-Adjustable-rate Mortgages

-Interest-only Mortgages

-Reversible Mortgages


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Jul 21, 2007

If you educate a man you educate a person, but if you educate a woman, you educate a family.(Rudy Manikan)




So I am one of those people who love to check out different websites and find out what is going on in the world (I’ve pretty much given up on the media because it is nothing more than big business that cherry picks the news). So I tuned into one of my favorite sites
http://www.blackamericaweb.com/ and I can came across this article about this sister name Gina who started this blog called What About Our Daughters. I must admit that the name alone intrigued me. So I went and checked this sister’s blog out and you can imagine my astonishment or should I say marvel at the things this sister was doing. She had placed it upon herself to go after the might media giant named Viacom. You may be asking yourself what is her gripe with Viacom so let me give you a little background information.

Viacom is the owner of BET which is coming out with a new television series on July 25, 2007 called Hot Ghetto Mess named after the very popular website by the same name. The only reason I am familiar with this site is because I like many people I know have received the emails depicting our people in ways that we are supposed to be embarrassed about. I’m not embarrassed by how a person dresses as much as I am embarrassed at the fact that our children cannot read and more young boys are choosing the path that leads to prison instead of one that leads to college, but I digress because this commentary is not about me.

So Gina has decided to take on mighty Viacom which would appear to be another case of “David vs. Goliath”. But just like David in the Bible, Gina should not be underestimated. This sister is definitely a force to be reckoned with. You may ask yourself why she chose to take up this cause. And honestly, I don’t know the answer to that question. I just know that I am glad that someone is willing to take a stand and fight for the images of black people. It’s bad enough when white people do it to us, but it’s even worse when we do it to ourselves. Ridiculing people about the way they dressed or speak is not the answer to getting a person to comply to what you think is acceptable. The only thing we can do is educate our people and show them a different alternative to their current reality. We have to stop fighting each other and learn to work together because at the end of the day we all are brothers and sister.

So it is my wish that we support Sister Gina, who I think is a very Savvy Sista indeed, by supporting her Watch Parties across the country of ‘Hot Ghetto Mess’ on BET airing July 25. If you have any questions please check out her website at
http://whataboutourdaughters.blogspot.com/. Maybe you can join a Watch Party that has already been formed in your city.

Just remember “…To love in deed is to love indeed.”

Do your deeds speak of love?

Jul 20, 2007


Dear Oprah:

First let me begin by saying that I love and respect you for the all the many things that you have done and continue to do for this world that we live in. You are a true testament of what one can accomplish through faith, tenacity, and the will to succeed. But with that being said I have like the proverbial old folks use to say “A bone to pick with you my sister.” This 'bone' stems from the town hall meetings you had dealing with Hip-Hop.

I have to admit that when I found out that you were doing a show on Hip-Hop I was truly excited. As a true “Hip-Hop Head”, I live and breathe Hip-Hop. I am a college educated woman who has never been to jail or lived in the ghetto, but everything about Hip-Hop culture resonates in my soul. So I, like many African American women, am deeply disturbed by the images that are being depicted of black women in videos and in the lyrics of some rap songs. I felt by having someone of your caliber joining in on this debate, we could get a real dialogue on the issues at hand. So imagine my disappointment when I tuned in and watched both shows and instead of hearing dialogue I basically watched a Hip-Hop bashing. It was one thing for your guests to offer up constructive criticism that was rooted in love, but that was not what came across. There was a lot of name calling which I felt was completely uncalled for (i.e. Stanley Crouch and Jason Whitlock), and thus it left us nowhere. Your guests offered up the problems, but no one suggested any solutions. Until we realize that in order to find solutions we have to work together, we will never get any where in our struggle to have more realistic images of black women being depicted. It doesn’t take two shows for us to acknowledge that there is a problem. Everyone is very much aware that there is a problem with the images that are being depicted in rap videos. C. Delores Tucker, and many like her were at the forefront of this problem in the 90’s and they receive very little mainstream media press.

I, like a lot of people, have respect for people like Russell Simmons, Kevin Liles, and Dr. Chavis, but I was expecting to see some real Hip-Hop scholars on the show like Chuck D., KRS-One, Salt-n-Pepa, Kevin Powell, Grand Master Flash, or Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. I appreciate you showcasing Common (because I am such a huge fan of his), but I must ask where were the female representatives of Hip-Hop? Why must we always go to men to tell us how women feel? There are plenty of women in Hip-Hop who love Hip-Hop. I offer you the following women as examples: Lauryn Hill, Danyel Smith (editor-in-chief Vibe Magazine), Sister Souljah, Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, Mona Scott (President Violator Management) and countless other women. Surely you could have contacted one of these sisters and asked them their opinions on this very important subject.

I would also like to add that not all Hip-Hop is bad as was insinuated by your panelists. There are some very inspirational and uplifting artists that don’t get the play that they so richly deserve. Right in your own backyard is an artist by the name of Lupe Fiasco, who is not talking about women being bitches or hoes, but yet he gets little if any fanfare. You have one of the greatest shows on television and you have one of the largest platforms, but even you have been guilty of neglecting some of the positives that have derived from this great Hip-Hop nation.

We must be careful not to “throw the baby out with the bath water.” There must be change in the images and lyrics depicted by Hip-Hop, but the only way we can achieve this is by working together in harmony. We, as consumers, have to demand that there be more balance to the music. We need to demand that artists like Common, Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, Mos Def, the Roots, and so forth get just as much airplay as artists like Jay-Z, Young Jeezy, 50 Cent, and Ludacris. It starts with us as a community coming together to solve the issues. Do you think that Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been able to achieve all the things that he did if he had to constantly fight and defend himself to Ralph Abernathy, Bayard Rustin and others that were apart of the struggle with him? The Montgomery Bus Boycott worked because people were willing to work together to achieve one goal. So until we learn to work together, we will always be a nation divided.

Jul 19, 2007


Brief Overview of Congressman Ron Paul’s Record:

He has never voted to raise taxes.
He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
He has never taken a government-paid junket.
He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.
He voted against the Patriot Act.
He voted against regulating the Internet.
He voted against the Iraq war.
He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.
Congressman Paul introduces numerous pieces of substantive legislation each year, probably more than any single member of Congress.

To learn more about Dr. Ron Paul please click the links below:

http://www.ronpaul2008.com/

http://www.house.gov/paul/

Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4th, 1961. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was born and raised in a small village in Kenya, where he grew up herding goats with his own father, who was a domestic servant to the British.
Barack's mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in small-town Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs during the Depression, and then signed up for World War II after Pearl Harbor, where he marched across Europe in Patton's army. Her mother went to work on a bomber assembly line, and after the war, they studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program, and moved west to Hawaii.
It was there, at the University of Hawaii, where Barack's parents met. His mother was a student there, and his father had won a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dreams in America.
Barack's father eventually returned to Kenya, and Barack grew up with his mother in Hawaii, and for a few years in Indonesia. Later, he moved to New York, where he graduated from Columbia University in 1983.
Remembering the values of empathy and service that his mother taught him, Barack put law school and corporate life on hold after college and moved to Chicago in 1985, where he became a community organizer with a church-based group seeking to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods plagued with crime and high unemployment.
The group had some success, but Barack had come to realize that in order to truly improve the lives of people in that community and other communities, it would take not just a change at the local level, but a change in our laws and in our politics.

To learn more about Barack Obama please visit the following sites:

http://www.barackobama.com/

http://obama.senate.gov/







FICO is a name for your credit score, developed by Fair Issac & Company. This is a method of determining the likelihood that credit users will pay their bills. They consider factors such as late payments, the amount of time credit has been established, the amount of credit used versus the amount available, length of time at present residence, and negative credit information such as bankruptcies, charge-offs, collections, etc. There are ways to increase your score (to follow), but first you need to get your hands on your credit report and check for errors. Georgia residents are entitled two free annual credit reports from each of the following credit reporting agencies:

Equifax, P.O Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374, (800) 685-1111

Experian, PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013, (888) 397-3742

TransUnion, PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022, (800) 888-4213

You may request your free report online at http://www.annualcreditreport.com/,
by phone, at 1-877-322-8228, or send a written request to each of the above agencies.
That “TALK TO ME” is the sleeper summer movie. I say it’s a sleeper because sisters and brothers are sleeping on this movie. Talk to Me is a true story, starring Don Cheadle as Ralph Waldo better know as “Petey Green”. Most people do not know who Petey Green is. That’s why you have The Educator to school you on this brother. Petey Green was an African American television and radio talk show host. A two-time Emmy Award winner. He overcame drug addiction and a prison sentence for armed robbery to become one of Washington, D.C.’s most prominent media personalities. After leaving prison he railed against poverty and racism on his shows and on the streets, participating in demonstrations during the height of his popularity. Petey died of cancer in 1984. The film begins late in Petey’s term in prison and is centered around his friendship with Dewey Hughes. Hughes happens to be a program director at WOL in D.C. and puts Petey on the air. Why did he do that? Petey is flashy, says what’s on his mind and seems to be coming apart all the time. However, Petey is not afraid to speak out and doesn’t conform to the FCC or anybody else’s rules. This movie is informative, entertaining and funny. Don Cheadle in my book should win an Oscar for his role. The brother really steps out of the box on this one, and he brought Petey Green to life. If you get a chance, please go check out this movie, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!!

A Little Known Black History Fact: WOL is a Radio One Station which happens to be own by our sister Cathy Hughes, who also owns TV One and was married to Dewey Hughes. I just love educating the masses. Note I said “OWN” that’s one sister that got it going on. One day I will tell you her story.

Please check out the trailer for 'Talk To Me' below:



TheEducator

Jul 18, 2007


"All of the music that I make, is from the soul and so the best thing to call it is soul music...all I need is my beat, that mic, the stage, a crowd and I'm good...... Choklate

With an industry saturated with image savvy artist and clever gimmicky marketing schemes, it's finding a rare diamond amongst non-progressive mainstream giants, that give many of us hope for the future of the music we so desperately love and long to get back. Choklate is that gem, and with that beauty comes an even more defining soulful project of the same prowess she is reclaiming back for an almost forgotten genre. With her self-titled debut album, Choklate is advancing hip hop soul to a new plateau more like a proven giant as oppose to an amateur rookie. "Choklate is equal parts soul, gritty hip hop and a sound and songwriting standard that we all wish commercial R&B would have grown up to be. This album is deep, progressive, smart and jam packed with a songwriting like we’ve simply not seen in a very long time.....CD Baby" I guess it's time to wake up and smell the coffee or rather Hot Cocoa because a Sista With a Voice has risen. To get more info on Choklate and get her music make you check her out, http://www.choklatemusic.com/, www.myspace.com/choklatemusic


The search to find the assailants that committed the crime against a 35 year old Haitian mother and her 12 year old son continues. (For those not familiar with this story please click on the link below)



"Assistance has poured in, but tips leading to additional arrests in a vicious attack on a West Palm Beach, Florida woman and her son last month have trickled in.
The 35-year-old woman and her 12-year-old son were subjected to terror and torture, as the mother was raped and sodomized by as many as 10 masked teenagers while her son was beaten in another room in their apartment in Dunbar Village, a public housing development. The woman was then forced, at gunpoint, to perform oral sex on her son. The pair was then doused with household cleaners, in an apparent attempt to destroy DNA evidence.
The assailants fled with a couple of hundred dollars in cash, jewelry and cell phones.
Three teenagers, 14,15 and 16, have been arrested and charged in the case so far."


I would go into more detail about what happen to this lady and her son, but the thought of the entire ordeal makes my head hurt and I just feel like screaming. So instead I chose to post a link so that you can read it for yourself and see just how disturbing this entire situation is. This notion of 'Stop Snitching' is getting completely out of control. We must take into consideration that fact that this woman could have been one of us or one of our family members. If it was someone who was close and dear to you wouldn't you want to find the assailants in the hopes that this will not happen to anyone else. Please tell me how you feel about this story and the "Stop Snitching" campaign we have going on in our community.

Jul 17, 2007

That there are more black men in prison, than in college.

CNN.com is reporting that longtime chairman of Roger Williams University, Ralph Papitto, admitted Monday to using the N-word during a board meeting...



What makes this story so sad is not the fact that he used the N-word, but the fact that at the tender age of 80 he claimed he never heard the word until he heard it in rap music...SMH. I am totally and completely speechless on this one. I guess if Don Imus can do it what is there to stop any other bigot from blaming their bigotry on Hip-Hop.

The debate on the N-word is one of those things that I am definitely torn on. On the one hand I understand where the people who say that the word is a term of endearment are coming from, but then on the other hand I also understand where the older generation is coming from when they say that the word is evil and can never be meant for good. I mean really this is one of the only words that I know that is drenched in blood. Can we ever really wash away the blood that has been spilled due to this word? I for one am trying to decimate this word out of my lexicon, but it has proven to be harder than I thought. I know it will take a conscious effort on my part to achieve my goal, but it sure isn't easy. Let me know where you standing and whether or not you are struggling with this dilemma as much as I am.
Msnbc.com is reporting that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and three others were indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges related to illegal dogfighting: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19814494/


I really don't know what to say about this. Being the sports fan that I am, I really hope and pray that this brother is innocent. I guess I can cancel any hope I had for the Falcons to make it to the Super Bowl. Besides the fact that the receiving corps sucks, this new announcement surely does nothing to help the Falcons chances of even making the playoffs.


"Brother my brother oh how I love thee let me count the ways..."


Common is definitely one of the brothers that all the sistas love. With his conscious lyrics and infectious flow, he gives sista a reason to fight for Hip-Hop. With Finding Forever his follow-up to the critically and commerically successful album, BE, coming out on July 31. I definitely think this brother is worth supporting. He encompasses all the things you think Hip-Hop should be. He uplifts you, caress you, and make you proud to be the woman of color that you are. Though his name might be Common, he is no ordinary man. He is a brother worth talking and writing about. So here's to you Mr. Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. our very first Brother My Brother!


Check out "The Light" one of my favorite songs by Common below:


"...Imagine me...loving what I see when the mirror looks at me..."


These are lyrics from a Kirk Franklin song that I've been playing a lot lately. I think these lyrics speak to what I am trying to accomplish with this blog. I want Black women and all women of color to see themselves as God see them. I want us to celebrate our beauty and accomplishments, and not be ashame of who we are. I want us to relish in the fact that we are the descendants of kings and queens. I want us to be able to look at our kinky hair, full lips, big butt, wide nose, and whatever afrocentric feature we may possess as a thing of beauty and what makes us unique and special. I pray you all will enjoy this site as much as I have enjoyed putting it together.