Sep 29, 2007


I thought I would give you a sample of Keyshia Cole's new album 'Just Like You'. If you don't have this album I suggest you go out and purchase it. It is definitely worth it.

Keyshia Cole - Heaven Sent



Keyshia Cole f. Anthony Hamiliton - Losing You



Keyshia Cole - Fallin' Out

Sep 28, 2007

It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe.
-Muhammad Ali

Sep 27, 2007


(CNN) -- Mychal Bell, a black teenager accused of beating a white classmate and who was the last of the "Jena 6" behind bars, was released from custody Thursday after a juvenile court judge set his bail at $45,000.

Mychal Bell, 17, is accused with five others of beating Justin Barker in a school fight.

Bell's release followed an announcement from LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters, who said he would not appeal a higher court's decision moving Bell's case to juvenile court.
Bell's attorney Lewis Scott said the teen was moved from jail to a juvenile facility earlier Thursday.

The paperwork for Bell's bail was being worked out, the Rev. Al Sharpton told CNN earlier Thursday.

Walters said his decision not to appeal was based on what he believed is best for the victim in the case.
Bell's legal troubles might not be over. He can still be charged in juvenile court.
The outcome for the search for Nailah Franklin has ended in the most tragic way. Nailah who disappeared last week was found dead near a forest preserve, not far from where her car was abandoned, her uncle said Thursday.

Calumet City Police Chief Russell Larson confirmed only that an unidentified woman's body had been found in the area Thursday morning.

But Nailah Franklin's uncle Jon Merrill and family friend Andrew Holms said authorities had told the family the body is that of Merrill's 28-year-old niece.

"We have to create a vision, make choices based on what moves us most swiftly toward our goals, and go after them with determination and single - mindedness. And whenever you encounter a problem, no matter how insurmountable it might seem, there is one simple response that should be ingrained in your behavior: Never give up."

-Stedman Graham

Sep 26, 2007

Thanks once again to Hollywoodtruth for these videos.


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Recently there were hearings on Capitol Hill titled "From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degrading Images."

Rappers Master P. and David Banner appeared on Capitol Hill today (September 25) to testify before members of Congress, who conducted hearings with the top entertainment executives about lyrics in Hip-Hop music.

Below are the videos from the hearings. I will post more in the future. Thanks to Hollywoodtruth for these videos.

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Check out what Sheryl Underwood had to say about Juanita Bynum and her being attacked by her husband. You might not agree with how she say it, but you have to admit she is making a lot of sense.

-Listen: Sheryl Underwood on Tom Joyner
*Police said four teenagers have been charged with a hate crime and one man has been charged with attempted murder after a black college student was beaten and nearly drowned at the beach last weekend, reports Florida's Local 10 News.

According to the arrest report, police officers responded to reports of a fight at Haulover Beach Park Marina in Bal Harbour, Fla. at about 2 a.m. Sunday. When officers arrived, a witness told police that he saw Barrett in the ocean, struggling with one of the accused and having his head held underwater in an attempt to drown him.

Barrett, a student at Florida International University, told police he was on a boat with his roommates when the teens told him to "get out of the boat, ni**er, according to the arrest report. Barrett got out of the boat, at which time the teens and the man beat him and his roommates with a baseball bat, the report said.

Barrett was hit in the back of the head numerous times. He was taken to Aventura Hospital with severe head trauma. A witness called police, and Osorio and the teens were taken into custody. The baseball bat used in the attack was taken as evidence.

Miguel Aranda, 18, Marino Biondini, Gilberto Maakaroun, both 17, and a 15-year-old whose name is being withheld are charged with a hate crime and battery in connection with the beating of Stephen Barrett, 22. Aranda and Maakaroun are also charged with attempted felony murder.

Jose Osorio, 21, is charged with aggravated battery and attempted felony murder, but not a hate crime.

Acceptance of prevailing standards often means we have no standards of our own.

-Jean Toomer

Sep 25, 2007


Here is the audio from the Bill O'Reilly Show that is circulating the web that has a lot of people upset.



I am not surprised by his blatant ignorance. I don't even know where to begin with this foolishness. I didn't realize that we as black people were just beginning to think on our own. How did we ever survive without people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson telling us what we are supposed to think? And who would have ever thought that Black people could actually run a normal restaurant...SMH? The fact that he doesn't think his comments are insulting is what is really bugging me out, but then again this is Bill O'Reilly we are talking about so I shouldn't be surprised. Oh and the dude that he is talking to sounds like Bill Bennett. Update: Turns out the person Bill is talking to is "Happy Negro" Juan Williams

See this is what upsets me about the hijacking of Hip-Hop. See why everybody is mad at the artist (and don't get me wrong the anger is justifiable) we also need to aim our anger at these white owned corporations that's keeping us on the plantation. These artists are so blinded by the silver and gold that they don't even see how they are being exploited to make a mockery of their race and their culture. The artists are the puppets, but the white executives behind the scenes are the puppet masters. Having diversity in Hip-Hop doesn't benefit the corporation in any shape, form, or fashion. They would rather continue with these formulaic artists that make them money while leaving the consumers ignorant and blinded to what is really going on. In the infamous words of Laurence Fisburne's character, Dap, in School Daze "WAKE UP!!!" The stuff that is going on in our culture isn't a game and we need to wake up to what's really going on.





Hip-hop culture and controversy have always made for familiar bedfellows. Yet, in the wake of the Imus controversy and in a year when the genre's sales have tumbled,hip-hop finds itself under an exceptional amount of scrutiny and pressure - and the stakes have never been higher.

BET NEWS takes a powerful and compelling look at the state of hip-hop today in a three-part series titled HIP HOP vs. AMERICA.

Hosted by BET's own Touré and Jeff Johnson, this special showcases candid, heated forum that will allow audiences to hear the opinions of prominent leaders in the hip-hop industry, the political realm, academia and the Black church.

Part I of HIP HOP vs. AMERICA premieres Tuesday, September 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on BET, with the second hour airing on Wednesday,September 26 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. The third episode with additional exclusive footage will be available on BET ON BLAST, the network's broadband channel (www.bet.com/ontv), immediately following Part II's airing.

This three-part special features a passionate, lively and opinionated debate that tackles many sensitive issues, including: hip-hop's relationship with criminality and the streets, snitching, police profiling and brutality; the images of Black women in hip-hop; and the embarrassment, pride and confusion Blacks feel over hip-hop's public airing of the community's "dirty laundry."

"The battle over hip-hop lyrics, images and values is the flashpoint of conflict and debate between almost every division within our community between men and women, younger and older generations, between economic classes and educational backgrounds," said Reginald Hudlin, President of Entertainment, BET. "Our special relationships with the most important Black thinkers, icons and leaders allow BET to deliver the most complete exploration of this topic on television. This is the first of many Town Halls that BET will convene to address the most pressing issues facing our community."

"Generational gaps within the African American community have never been more prevalent when it comes to the hip-hop community," said Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, executive producer, BET News. "The issues may ring familiar - sexism, violent lyrics, degrading words and images - but this time the debate is different given hip-hop's complicated relationship with corporate America. This is why it was so important for BET to provide a forum for each voice to shed light on every angle of this issue."

Hip-hop recording artists Nelly, T.I., Mike Jones, MC Lyte, Master P and the legendary Chuck D; top journalists Keith Boykin, Diane Weathers, Jeff Chang, Farai Chideya, Kim Osorio and New York Daily News columnist Stanley Crouch; filmmaker and cultural critic Nelson George; Judge Mablean Ephraim; former video vixens Melyssa Ford and Karrine Steffans; music executive Valeisha Butterfield; music video director Benny Boom; ministers Conrad Tillard, Pastor A. R. Bernard; professor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson; and Reverend Al Sharpton lead the lists of outspoken panelists who take the stage and share their point of view on hip-hop. Other influential voices heard on the show include hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons, professor Cornel West and writer an activist Kevin Powell.

Selwyn Seyfu Hinds is executive producer of HIP HOP VS. AMERICA, and Nelson George serves as a consulting producer
Even when we decide to do nothing that is a decision. Each one of us must decide what we are going to do with our lives. Everyday we are presented with choices and decisions often with little time to weigh the options. Sometimes we think too much and other times not enough. Our lack of self-confidence often makes us turn to other people who give lots of advice, but very little wisdom. Don’t allow others to make decisions for you. Take time to think for yourself, evaluate situations and make your own decisions


The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerance. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors, and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance.

-Dr. Maya Angelou

Sep 24, 2007



Now this is very interesting!!! I always say there are two sides to a story, but there is nothing that justifies violence towards women. I am glad he came forward with his side of the story though.

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.

-Langston Hughes


On this day in 1957, President Eisenhower sent 1,000 US government paratroopers to Little Rock AK. to desegregate the schools. The Troopers would escort nine black school children into Central High School, the first federally supported effort to integrate the nations public schools. They later became known as “The Little Rock Nine”. Here is a brief synopsis of those nine courageous students and what they are doing now:

Ernest Green In 1958, he became the first black student to graduate from Central High School. He graduated from Michigan State University and served as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Affairs under President Jimmy Carter. He currently is a managing partner and vice president of Lehman Brothers in Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Eckford The only one of the nine still living in Little Rock, Elizabeth made a career of the U.S. Army that included work as a journalist. In 1974, she returned to the home in which she grew up and is now a part-time social worker and mother of two sons.

Jefferson Thomas He graduated from Central in 1960, following a year in which Little Rock's public high schools were ordered closed by the legislature to prevent desegregation. Today, he is an accountant with the U.S. Department of Defense and lives in Anaheim, Calif.

Dr. Terrence Roberts Following the historic year at Central, his family moved to Los Angeles where he completed high school. He earned a doctorate degree and teaches at the University of California at Los Angeles and Antioch College. He also is a clinical psychologist.

Carlotta Walls Lanier One of only three of the nine who eventually graduated from Central, she and Jefferson Thomas returned for their senior year in 1959. She graduated from Michigan State University and presently lives in Englewood, Colorado, where she is in real estate.

Minnijean Brown Trickey She was expelled from Central High in February, 1958, after several incidents, including her dumping a bowl of chili on one of her antagonists in the school cafeteria. She moved with her husband to Canada during the Vietnam War protests of the 1960s and today is a writer and social worker in Ontario. Winterstar Productions is presently filming a documentary on her life.

Gloria Ray Karlmark She graduated from Illinois Technical College and received a post-graduate degree in Stockholm, Sweden. She was a prolific computer science writer and at one time successfully published magazines in 39 countries. Now retired, she divides her time between homes in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Stockholm, where her husband's family lives.
Thelma Mothershed-Wair She graduated from college, then made a career of teaching. She lives in Belleville, Illinois, where she is a volunteer in a program for abused women.

Melba Pattillo Beals She is an author and former journalist for People magazine and NBC and lives in San Francisco.

Sep 22, 2007


Nailah Franklin has been missing since Tuesday September 18, 2007. Franklin’s family fears the 28-year-old pharmaceutical sales rep may have met with foul play. They may have reason to worry. Before she disappeared, Nailah Franklin allegedly received threats from a male acquaintance.

No one has seen Nailah since Sunday. Her boyfriend in Milwaukee received a text message from Nailah around 8:15 on Tuesday, Sept. 18. She said at the time that she was having dinner and would call him when she was done.

Nailah had a meeting scheduled for Wednesday the 19th. She didn’t show, so her employer began calling Nailah’s family. A relative then called police.

UPDATE:
The car of missing 28 year old Nailah Franklin has been found across state lines in Hammond, Indiana.

Divers searched a pond at River Oaks Golf Course near the Bishop Ford Freeway and 159th Street in Calumet City Saturday morning as part of their efforts to find Nailah Franklin, a drug company pharmaceutical sales representative, after police located her car a short distance away in Hammond, Indiana, on Friday night.

Monique Bond, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department, said some of Franklin’s personal items have been recovered from the vehicle.

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CASE PLEASE CALL: (312) 746-9259.






Sep 21, 2007

ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana (CNN) -- Authorities in Alexandria, Louisiana, arrested two people after nooses were seen hanging from the back of a red pickup Thursday night, the city's mayor told CNN.

A photograph taken by I-Reporter Casanova Love shows a noose hanging from a red pickup.

Alexandria is less than an hour away from Jena, Louisiana, and was a staging area Thursday for protesters who went to the smaller town to demonstrate against the treatment of six black teens known as the "Jena 6" in racially charged incidents.

Police say the 18-year-old driver of the truck was charged with driving while intoxicated and inciting to riot and also may be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor -- the 16-year-old passenger. (Continue Reading)
DOVER, Del. - Two students were shot at Delaware State University early Friday and police were searching for a gunman, officials said. Classes were canceled for the day.

A male student was hospitalized in stable condition, and a female student was hospitalized with injuries that are considered serious, according to a news release on the university's Web site.

University personnel and students can check for updates on this situation through the DSU Website (www.desu.edu) and through the DSU Snow Phone # at (302) 857-SNOW (7669).

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the DSU Police at 857-6290 or the DSU TIPS Line at 857-7918. (Continue Reading)


If you were like me and so many others who could not attend the rally in Jena on yesterday then fret not because there is a march on Washington that is being planned for November. When I get more details I will share them with you.

I want us to keep in mind that these rallies and protest marches are not about whether these young men should have been punished for their alleged crimes, but moreso about equal justice and protection under the law for every citizen of these United States. You can't treat groups of people differently under the law. Justice is supposed to be blind, but obviously she always manages to take a peek from under her blindfold when it comes to a person of color. We have to stand and say that enough is enough. Today it is the Jena Six, but tomorrow it can be the Atlanta Five, the New York Nine, or the Houston Seven. This unequal protection under the law has gone on long enough and we are not taking it anymore.

I find, in being black, a thing of beauty: a joy; a strength; a secret cup of gladness.

-Ossie Davis

Sep 20, 2007

I wanted to summarized the events of today for Black Thursday, but once again my words fail me. So as always I turn to another who has a better way with words than I do myself. So here is the Godfather of Soul, the Maestro, the Legend, the musical genius, the one and only James Brown putting into words my true feelings on today's historic rally.

Although everyone couldn't make it to Jena today to march in the rally we all showed our support in our own little ways. Most of us showed our support by wearing black. Here's a few pictures of the people that got the memo about the National Blackout Day and decided to show their support:





Dare to Be Different Beauty Salon in Albany, Ga shows its support



Educated Black Brother in Los Angeles, CA show their support



Ms. V. Wright in Atlanta, Ga shows her support by donning her black



Ms. G. Hamblin of Pittsburgh, Pa not only rocks her black, but she adds Brother Malcolm to the mix.




Teachers and students in New Jersey show their support



Now this just warms my heart. This just goes to show that people who put down the education garnered at an HBCU don't have a clue as to what they are talking about. I would not exchange the education I received at FAMU for anything in the world. I want to congratulate the students Dominique Drake, Davida Jones, and Mitch Brooks. Job well done and you all have made this FAMUan a very proud person today.



Tallahassee, FL. – Students in Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) School of Business Industry (SBI) won first place at the 13th Annual National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Case Competition defeating teams from Columbia, University of Chicago, New York University, Penn State and Purdue.

This is the first time FAMU has entered the NBMBAA case competition.

FAMU is the only university in the state of Florida that competed in the national competition. The competition featured 30 teams from across the country, including Case Western Reserve, Brandeis, Emory, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Penn State, Univ. of Southern California and Ohio State University.

Sponsored by Chrysler, the case study was built around a real business issue dealing with labor relations, hourly wages and health care. Each competing teams were given four weeks to prepare an analysis and presentation. Students presented their solutions and defended their analyses before a panel of senior executives, who evaluate the teams on presentation skills, thoroughness, and creativity evident in the analyses.

"A lot of the schools participate every year, and so there's rivalry between each school, and so each one wants to outdo the other," said Kim Harris Jones, vice president and chief controller at Chrysler. "Schools go away with bragging rights. It's clearly a competition, and everyone puts their best foot forward." (Continue reading here)



Today is the day people. Are you donning your black? Have you called your sister, brother, nieces, nephews, and friends and tell them about Black Thursday? It is this day that we come together to show solidarity against injustice in this country. We as a people have to say that enough is enough and we are going to fight for our youth. So if you couldn't make it to Jena to march, the least you can do is don black and show that you are in support of these young men.

Don't forget tonight at 8pm CNN will be airing a Special Investigations Unit that focuses on Jena.

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.

-Martin Luther King Jr.

On this day in 1830, The National Negro Convention, a group of 38 free African Americans from eight states met in Philadelphia, PA with the express purpose of abolishing slavery and improving the social status of African Americans. I thought how ironic that 177 years later we are still fighting for justice and improving the social status of African Americans. I am not in Jena, LA today but my prayers and spirit is with every person that is present and trying to improve our lives. I will have on my Black because, this is truly a Black Thursday in America Today. It makes me proud and sad at the same time to be an African American on this day.
FREE THE JENA SIX!!!!

Sep 19, 2007


That Rissi Palmer is the first African American female to appear on the Billboard Country Singles Chart in 20 years. Her debut single “Country Girl” is making its way to the top. I’m not one for country music, but I like this song, and others that she sings. Her CD is due out in October. You just might want to check this sister out.

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.

-Oprah Winfrey


Please remember that the rally on September 20th is still taking place. This date is being describe as Black Thursday. It is asked that everyone please don the color black to show solidarity and support of the Jena Six. If you cannot make it to the rally in Jena the least you can do is wear black or make a couple of phone calls. I really don't think that is asking too much. It's the Jena Six today, but it could easily be you or one of your children tomorrow. If you do attend the rally please email some pictures. I would like to post them on the site. If you have any questions or concerns about the rally please visit Colorofchange.org and they will answer all of your questions.

Airport Information
For those flying in, the closest airports to Jena are Alexandria (45 minute drive) and Monroe (1.5 hour drive). You can also fly to Lafayette (2.25 hour drive), Shreveport (2.75 hour drive), Baton Rouge (3 hour drive), New Orleans (4.25 hour drive), or Houston (about a 5 hour drive). The closest hotels are in Pineville and Alexandria.

Bus and Driving Information
Radio host Michael Baisden will be doing his show live from Jena on Thursday. His web site (http://www.minglecity.com/forum/index.php) has extensive information on buses to Jena from Atlanta, Smyrna, GA; Birmingham, Montgomery, AL; Jacksonville, FL; Tallahassee, FL; Orlando, FL; Tuscaloosa, AL; Chattanooga, Nashville, Memphis, TN; Morehouse and Spelman Colleges; Fort Worth/Dallas; Charlotte, Durham, NC; Detroit, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; Philadelphia; Indiana/Chicago (Hammond, IN / Halsted St., Chicago); Maryland/Virginia/Washington, DC Area (Glenn Dale, MD); Baton Rouge, LA… and more.

Other Jena Updates
• The Southern Christian Leadership Conference plans to establish a temporary conflict resolution center in Jena. Spokeswoman Keisha Ray said the Atlanta SCLC presence in Jena will focus on nonviolent protest training.

• The NAACP is pleased to report that rock legend and entertainment icon David Bowie has come forward to lend his support by making a $10,000 donation to the Jena 6 Legal Defense Fund.

• Alpha Kappa Alpha's international president Barbara A. McKinzie urges the sorority’s 200,000 members--and all fair-minded citizens--to fire off letters to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco and Attorney General Charles Foti and demand that they wield their constitutional power to call for a new trial. McKinzie said that on behalf of the membership, she is sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice asking that federal officials intervene and investigate this issue to make sure the Constitutional rights of these young men are protected. She also asked all members to wear black on Thursday, September 20 -the day of unity set aside to show support for the Jena 6.

Sep 18, 2007


I guess the adage is true 'A picture speaks a thousand words' because this one was definitely speaking to me. When my friend emailed this to me I have to admit I laughed at first, but this picture is definitely not a laughing matter. See if you don't believe children need mentors and need to be given another option as far as what they can become when they get older just look at this picture. A child will only dream as big as we allow them. When we limit a child's dream we limit them. Become a mentor and a beacon of hope to a child.

A man without ambition is dead. A man with ambition but no love is dead. A man with ambition and love for his blessings here on earth is ever so alive.

-Pearl Bailey

Sep 17, 2007

Sometimes words fail me and I don't know what to say, but when I listen to Jessica Care Moore it is as though she speaks for me. I have been following this sista since she first appeared on the Apollo in the early 90's. She says things I long to say in a way I could only imagine saying them.

So with the pending battle looming between Hip-Hop and Black women, I wanted to say something poetic or prophetic on the subject, but once again my words failed me. So again I find myself turning to Ms. Moore for some inspiration and as always she never lets me down. You see I love Hip-Hop, but it's hard for me to listen to Hip-Hop right now because it seems as though Hip-Hop doesn't love me. It's an abusive relationship this I know, but yet somehow I continue to love it despite all it has done to me. I love it for what it was and what it still could be. I love it for all the great artists it has put in front of me. I'm still rooting for Hip-Hop even though it is in a very dark place right now. Corporate greed has tainted its soul and dimmed its light, but still I know it can shine and be the beacon of hope it once use to be. I am in love with the Hip-Hop that was the voice of the voiceless and the oppressed. This same Hip-Hop I know still exist yet she's just bogged down in the hopelessness and greed that is corporate America. So I'll keep rooting for Hip-Hop as one of it's Cheerleaders. I won't turn my back on it just yet. Hopefully one day it shall remember me and honor me as one of its Black Statute of Liberty.



I'm a Hip-Hop Cheerleader


Black Statute of Liberty

It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.

-James Baldwin


The September 20 rally scheduled in Jena, La. will go on as planned. The rally is going on despite the fact that Mychal Bell's conviction was overturned by the court of appeals.

The NAACP expects as many as 60,000 people from more than 30 cities to descend this week on Jena, La., a poor, rural community of 3,000 at the center of a racially charged case involving six black high school students charged with beating a white classmate.

Jena is just a microcosm of what is really wrong with this country as far as race relations and the justice system are concerned. Young black men and women are constantly railroaded by the system and there is no one to take up their fight. We as a people can't keep sitting idly by and watching this happen. This shouldn't have to happen to someone in our family or to us before we want to get involve.

Apparently O.J. has been arrested for allegedly "trying to get back his stuff" as he so eloquently put it. Simpson is accused of having directed several other men in an alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia in a room at a Las Vegas hotel room. He is currently being held without bail for his part in the robbery.

Las Vegas authorities said they have no information leading them to believe Simpson was carrying a firearm during the alleged incident at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino. (Read the rest of the story)

Can someone please tell me what in the world is OJ thinking? First of all don't he know Johnnie Cochran is dead. There ain't another lawyer on earth like Johnnie Cochran so who is going to save his behind now. White folks have been gunning for him every since he got off, but yet he wants to keep rubbing it in their face instead of sitting his behind down some where and enjoying life like any sensible person would do. Now if there was a such thing as going to jail for stupidity then they need to throw the book at the "Juice". There just any excuse for being this dumb. Even if he was setup, he should know better. They are gunning for you and all you did was give them some ammunition...SMH.

Sep 15, 2007

I saw this video on Scandalous Beauty and I knew I had to share it because people always ask me questions about makeup (as though I am an expert) and how to match foundation to their skin. So I think this tutorial by Eve Pearl is perfect for all the make-up newbies and a refresher for the makeup old-heads.


Sep 14, 2007

“I will die before I sell out my people for the white man’s money” (Muhammad Ali). Integrity is one of the highest virtues of humankind. When we know who we are in the world it is impossible to give in to temptation. Having a true sense of self gives us courage to move forward without selling our souls. Integrity is the foundation of character. If we relinquish it we lose an important part of ourselves. We are permanently scarred. Integrity gives us control over our lives. Integrity is power.



(CNN) -- A Louisiana appeals court Friday vacated the remaining conviction of a teenager accused in a violent, racially charged incident in Jena, Louisiana, his attorney said.

Mychal Bell's defense team will be filing a motion to get him out of prison.

Bob Noel said the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Lake Charles threw out the conviction for second degree battery against Mychal Bell, saying the charges should have been brought in juvenile court.



The future of the case against Bell is up to the district attorney, who must decide whether to refile the charges in juvenile court, Noel said.



Bell, who is now 17, was 16 at the time of the fight in December 2006.
Earlier this month, a district court judge vacated a conviction for conspiracy to commit second degree battery, saying that charge should have been brought in juvenile court.
He left standing the second degree battery conviction, however.



Bell's defense team would be filing a motion to get him out of prison, where he has been since his arrest in December, Noel said.



A sentencing hearing that had been scheduled for September 20 is now off, he said.

(Continue reading at CNN.com)


Finally the justice system got something right (even though it should have never gotten this far). Hopefully the district attorney will not be stupid enough to try and pursue this matter in juvenile court. This young man (Mychal Bell) has already lost nine months of his life that he will never be able to get that back because of the systemic racism that is inherent in this country. Just because they (the justice system, white America, or whoever you want to call them) finally got this right doesn't mean it won't happen again. We can't be foolish enough to believe that something like this won't happen again. Look how long it took for this case to get national attention. That young man had been in jail since December of last year. This entire thing is unacceptable. How do you explain this to young black kids? It seems as though the Civil Rights' Movement was for nothing because instead of moving forward we are constantly moving backwards. In the famous words of Fannie Lou Hamer "I am sick and tired of being sick and tired." This foolishness has to end.

TheIcon: How long have you been working on this book?
Reuben: A little over a year.

TheIcon: What ignited your need to write this book?
Reuben: I felt it was an obligation for me. I talk about real life issues, and one of the issues was that people were abused by pastors and these pastors were having sex with their kids…their daughters. Like Ted Haggard he was a homosexual and no one did anything about it. They just float it out and let it go, but it’s time that we expose these false prophets. So I felt that I was obligated to do this.

TheIcon: What was your true purpose in writing this book, from a spiritual stand point?
Reuben: The true purpose of writing this book is to let people know that false prophets are out there. People are out there deceiving people. They need to realize what’s going on, and just don’t serve man put the focus on God. With my survey and my research, I found out that people are really developing man. They have security guards. That’s serving man. They go to these pastors’ home, clean their houses, and keep their kids…um keep the dog. They do all this stuff and they’re serving man, but who is protecting God? No one is protecting Him. Who’s serving God? No one. They’re all serving man.

TheIcon: Is this book just to expose these 4 pastors, or is this a way of exposing all pastors of mega-churches as ‘Snakes’?
Reuben: It is the beginning to exposing all ministers that are not living and providing the mandate and not doing God’s work. It’s not just those pastors, but those pastors are targeted because those ministers that are coming into the ministry, the younger people, are focusing and developing their life by these four ministers. They see these mega-pastors; they’re successful so they are following in their footsteps. So if you attack the head [the 4 pastors] therefore the body is going to go ahead and come along with it. I mean if the head continues misleading people, the small people are continue on doing the same thing and everybody goes straight to the pits of hell.

TheIcon: Did you at any point go to any of these pastors aside from writing this book, just out of love and offer your thoughts on what is taking place within their ministries, in order to prevent division within the church as oppose to unity?
Reuben: Yes, I did. I had a chance to call every last one of them, send them emails, and also sent them certified letters and did not get any response as usual. I was trying, as God says to do, ‘go to your brethren in private and talk to them’…neither one of those worked so therefore I had to call them out publicly to talk them because they don’t want to talk to me. They are too perfect I feel.

TheIcon: So you’re saying that by them not responding to you that they were holding themselves above you?
Reuben: That’s correct.

TheIcon: Is it fair to say you have no experience with any of these pastors and have not met any of them?
Reuben: Yes, the whole thing is you don’t have to really go by meeting people. These guys are on national broadcast. You can look at their teachings and tell what kind of teaching they have. You don’t have to meet none of them. Think about it, say for example, if I never go to TD Jakes’ church because I can’t get there, but I see him on TV. Well, that is what I am going to go by. I am going to go by the word you teach on TV.

TheIcon: Have you met a pastor of a mega-church that you would not consider a snake?
Reuben: I can’t judge them. Well, I can judge like that, but all I know is I actually did what God told me to do.

TheIcon: Where are you getting your information? Because not only are there snakes in the pulpit, but there are also snakes in the pews. So how do you verify the information that you receive from people about these pastors?
Reuben: I’m not getting any information. Everything I wrote in the book is my experience and what I have proof of. I don’t go by what people tell me. I can’t write my book on that. If I have hardcore proof that’s what I have. Like that video of Creflo Dollar, that’s proof. Anybody can come out the wood works and say ‘Hey, I had sex with Bishop Long’. Okay, that’s your problem. I don’t have proof of that. If you want to come and tell a newspaper that’s on you, but I’m not going to support that because I don’t have proof of that.

TheIcon: So the stuff that’s in Snakes in the Pulpit is your first hand experience?
Reuben: That’s right.

TheIcon: That’s what I want to make sure of.
Reuben: It’s not what someone told me. It’s not what I heard. It’s what I know with my own eyes.

TheIcon: In a perfect world, what reaction/action would you want from the pastors that you are exposing? Would you want them to step down?
Reuben: All I want these pastors to do is to repent, first of all. Then start teaching what to do to get a person closer to Christ. Stop teaching prosperity because so many people are just in there because it is a feel good message. They teach prosperity, everybody goes home, and that’s it. It’s about soul saving at the end of the day.

TheIcon: I understand. I guess it is like my pastor told me “A lot of people want the presents of God, but not the presence of God.” Is that how you feel? Do you think that is the reason these mega-churches have such a large following?
Reuben: That is correct. That is definitely correct.

TheIcon: How do you explain your association with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who often are viewed for having the same agendas and short comings that you call out?
Reuben: I am not on that level with Rev. Jackson and Al Sharpton.

TheIcon: No, I’m talking about your association with these people. Are you friends with these people?
Reuben: No, I am not friends with these people. I have approached and interviewed a lot of people. These are just people I’ve come across as it relates to media relations. I don’t call these people on a daily basis and they don’t call me.

TheIcon: Explain the fact that you define yourself as an ex-minister. I mean exactly what is an ‘ex-minister’?
Reuben: As an ex-minister, again I am speaking from experience because the fact is I know millions of people can go to church and be brainwashed to be in a spell like voodoo. You listen to what these pastors tell you. I received a calling from man because the pastor called me to preach, but God never did call me to preach. God never told me to preach. The pastor told me that I needed to start preaching.

TheIcon: OK?
Reuben: You have to be careful and make sure you are hearing God’s voice because when you get so tied up in man, man just take over your life.

TheIcon: With this book, how do you intend to handle those who criticize you from within the Faith, who may presume you may have the same type of agenda that you are exposing these pastors for?
Reuben: I’m going to handle them with prayer. That is my focus. I am not going to sit there and debate the word of God with anyone. The word of God is not to be debated. This is just and eye opener to people to realize that God is coming back again and we cannot continue to serve man and not serve God.

TheIcon: How do you feel about Psalm 105:15?
Reuben: Touch not mine anointed…do my prophet no harm…But the whole point in touch means to strike to hit…they take it out of context. I’m not striking these people. But what it does not say is that you cannot criticize or ask a question about someone’s doctrine…In fact if you are teaching the true gospel and the true doctrine it shouldn’t be a problem if someone is questioning you anyway. If someone tells you can’t question them about their doctrine that is not the place for you.

TheIcon: Why do you think this burden was placed on you?
Reuben: Let me just say this, I don’t question God’s work. When God tells you to do something you don’t question you just act.

TheIcon: So at the end of the day, what is it that you want people to take away from Snakes in the Pulpit?
Reuben: I want people to realize there’re false prophets out there and beware of them. Stop. If you’re serving man, stop serving man and put your eyes and focus on Jesus and read your Bible. Have a personal relationship with God. Don’t go by what that pastor tells you; go by what God tells you. He’ll lead you.

TheIcon: So you are saying that people need to seek out their own understanding?
Reuben: No, read your Bible and hear God’s word. When you have a personal relationship with God you can hear God’s word. God will talk to you.

TheIcon: So are you happy to have this book done?
Reuben: Yes, I am happy because I believe people are going to get their lives straight. A lot of people are coming out the wood works and are beginning to realize what is going on around them.

TheIcon: How do you feel about being removed from Streaming Faith Live?
Reuben: I am in the process of exploring my legal options.

TheIcon: So what’s next for Reuben Armstrong?
Reuben: I will be making a true movie about how people are hurt. These are going to be real people talking about what these pastors have done to them.

TheIcon: So is this a movie or a documentary?
Reuben: I am going to make a movie and a documentary. I already have my video guy together and I have my team together.

For more information on Reuben Armstrong and "Snakes in the Pulpit" please visit http://www.snakesinthepulpit.com/ and http://www.thereubenshow.com/.

No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sep 13, 2007

Louisiana's Black Legislators Appeal to Gov. Blanco for Intervention on Behalf of Jena Six




The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus asked Gov. Kathleen Blanco to intervene in the case of the Jena Six, but the governor maintains that state law prevents her from acting at this time.

Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Juan LaFonta wrote Blanco a letter on Monday and said he spoke with the governor personally to ask for clemency for Mychal Bell, a 17-year-old jailed following his conviction in connection with a Dec. 4 fight that followed a series of racially charged incidents in the small town of Jena, Louisiana.


In a statement from Blanco made available to BlackAmericaWeb.com, the governor said, "I must clear up a widespread misunderstanding of my authority in this case. Our State Constitution provides for three branches of state government -- Legislative, Executive and Judicial -- and the Constitution prohibits anyone in one branch from exercising the powers of anyone in another branch. This issue is currently a matter in the Judicial System, and should those involved in this case suffer any defects, it is their right to address them in that system through the appeals court.” (Continue Reading)


No Hate Crime Charges in Black Woman's Torture Case


BIG CREEK, W.Va. - (AP) Authorities decided Wednesday not to pursue hate crime charges in the kidnapping and weeklong torture of a black woman, instead going after the suspects, who are white, on state charges that carry stiffer penalties.

While federal civil rights or state hate crime charges remain an option, a state kidnapping count that carries a sentence of up to life in prison will provide the best chance for successful prosecution, officials said.


The victim was a 23-year-old woman who was forced to eat rat and dog feces and drink from the toliet. She had stab wounds on her left leg and bruises around her eyes.


"Deputies found her with two black eyes, part of her hair had been pulled out, she had lacerations on her neck, and she had been physically, mentally and sexually abused," Logan County Sheriff W.E. Hunter said. (Continue Reading)

In Other News:

The true worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood.

-Mary McLeod Bethune

Sep 12, 2007

There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.

-Malcolm X

Sep 11, 2007

I just don't get it. I mean is Mr. West going to throw a temper tantrum every time he loses an award. When will he learn that these award shows are not about the best artists, but rather the artist with the best backing behind the scenes. He needs someone like Clive Davis on his team then he'll be guaranteed to win all the awards he so covets. Show business is just like every other business. It's politics baby...pure and simple. Don't get it twisted.



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



To try, in one post, to explain who Mr. Geoffrey Canada is is a very daunting task to say the least. For I could go on and on about this man's many accomplishments, but the one that stands out more to me is the work that he is doing at the Harlem Children's Zone. What he has accomplished with the young people he has "adopted" is nothing short of miraculous, and it also is indicative of what can be accomplish when one stops being re-active and becomes pro-active in the lives of young people.

Geoffrey Canada is the acclaimed author of Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America and was the recipient of the first Heinz Award in 1994 for his work as President/CEO of Harlem Children's Zone in New York City. He was chosen as an award recipient for his passionate concern for children and his selfless determination to make their lives safer and more successful.

Since 1990, Mr. Canada has been the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Harlem Children’s Zone. In a June 2004 cover story in The New York Times Magazine, the agency's Zone Project was called “one of the most ambitious social experiments of our time.” The Project offers an interlocking network of social service, education and community-building programs to thousands of children and families in a 60-block area of Central Harlem.

Mr. Canada, who grew up in the South Bronx, has dedicated his life to helping children who grew up in conditions similar to those faced by his family secure both educational and economic opportunities. Prominent among his many efforts are the Harlem Children's Zone's Beacon School, Harlem Peacemakers Program, and Community Pride Initiative. The Beacon School program provides support 12 hours a day, 365 days a year to children and families in Central Harlem.

For more information on Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children's Zone please click here.
Police: Black Woman Sexually Abused, held Captive by Group of Whites for at Least a Week

LOGAN, W.Va. - (AP) A woman was sexually abused, beaten and humiliated while being held captive in a home for at least a week, sheriff's officials said Monday after making six arrests.

Those arrested, including a mother and son and a mother and daughter, are white. The victim, a Charleston woman who was being treated at a hospital Monday, is black. The FBI plans to investigate it as a possible hate crime.

"The things that were done to this woman are just indescribable," Logan County sheriff's Sgt. Sonya Porter said.

Deputies found the 23-year-old victim Saturday after going to the home in Big Creek, about 35 miles southwest of Charleston, to investigate an anonymous tip. One of the suspects, Frankie Brewster, was sitting on the front porch and told deputies she was alone, but moments later the victim limped toward the door, her arms outstretched, saying, "Help me," the sheriff's department said in a news release. (Continue Reading)


-September 11 victims remembered. (click on link to read story)



-General Petraeus testifies about progress in Iraq (click on link to read story)



In Other News:

-Juanita Bynum goes forward with divorce and decides to start Domestic Violence Ministry

-Tyler Perry launches internet TV channel

-Buffalo Bills player Kevin Everett Sustains Life Threatening Spinal Cord Injury on the Field

-University of Maryland Probes Noose Hanging on Tree









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There is some chocolate flavor being added to the cast of Sex and the City: The Movie and it is coming the form of Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson. The role will be her first major role since her Oscar-winning performance in Dreamgirls.
The singer and actress, 25, will portray the assistant to Sarah Jessica Parker's shoe-obsessed character Carrie Bradshaw, and is in final negotiations with the movie's producers about details of her role, Variety is reporting.
The movie is scheduled to begin shooting in New York Sept. 19.
Hudson is also in the studio working on her debut album, and is in the upcoming drama Winged Creatures opposite Forest Whitaker.

It is the book that is causing a lot of controversy in the faith-community. Stay tune for my exclusive interview with 'Snakes in the Pulpit' author Reuben Armstrong. I will be posting it on Friday September 14, 2007. If there are any questions in which you would like me to ask the author please submit them in the comment section and I will try to include them in my interview.

UPDATE:
The exclusive interview with Reuben Armstrong has been posted please click here to view it.

To my beautiful, outstanding, and phenomenal mother, Ms. Iris. I would like to wish you a happy and joyous birthday because without you I am nothing. I love you.

-Your Daughter

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.

-Booker T. Washington

Sep 10, 2007

Do you love yourself? That is a question that I hear a lot and I ask that question of others a lot. Self-Love is hard to do especially for Black people, because we look at being black as a tragedy or something to be ashamed of; mainly because that’s how mainstream media portray us. We cannot allow ourselves and our children to be beaten down by this kind of poison, let us teach our children their heritage and turn off those negative images that we see on T.V and hear on the radio. We can help our children to love themselves, but we must first love ourselves. Research, Read, Study, Pray. It will make a difference in how you view yourself in this world and how your children view you and themselves.

Overexposed or not you have to admit that Beyonce is one savvy chick. She has the endorsement game on lock and there seems to be no let up in site. I have to admit that this pic is pretty fierce also (not so sure sure how the PETA people are going to feel about the animal skins though).

This past Sunday, Rev, Jesse jackson of the Rainbow/PUSH coalition paid a visit to the town of Jena, La. During his visit he met with the LaSalle Parish sheriff and he had hopes of meeting with LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters and the judge on the case, but these two meetings never came to fruition. Jackson also went to the jail and met with 17 year old Mychal Bell, who has been convicted and jailed in connection with the incident.

“American justice is on trial in Jena. The world is watching,” Jackson told BlackAmericaWeb.com. “The more outside pressure is applied, the greater the impact.”


It was also on Sunday that Al Sharpton called for an investigation of Reed Walters. He also said that he would be joining thousands of people in Jena on Thursday, Sept. 20 -- the day Bell is scheduled to be sentenced on an aggravated second-degree battery conviction.

We cannot sit back and watch this travesty of justice continue to play itself out in Jena and not do anything. It's the children of Jena today, but one day it may be your children. We as black people need to stop being reactive and become pro-active. In the words of the talented artist Mos Def "I should not have to live in Two Americas."

If you need or desire more information about the rally in Jena on the 20th of this month please check out my previous post on this subject.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference"

-Reinhold Niebuhr

Britney Spears. All I can say is "Who in da hell left the gate open..." Lord bless her heart! I'm not one for kicking a person when they are down, but "Lawd hava mercy". What happen to this girl? She's never been a singer, but once upon a time she at least use to be a performer. She didn't even try. The entire performance was pathetic. I would post a video clip, but it hurts my feelings everytime I look at it.

Okay so here is what I think of the entire show. First of all I can't believe I actually was able to sit through the entire thing (okay I'm lying I didn't watch the entire thing because the game was on and much prefer to watch football than the VMA's).

-The entire show sucked.

-Chris Brown was the only saving grace. Now that boy is a performer.

-Alicia Keys was okay (I guess that new song has to grow on me).

-The rooms with the different parties and stuff completely confused me. I just didn't get it. They had just too much going on in my opinion.

-It seems like the most excitement of the night took place when Kid Rock knocked out Tommy Lee. Maybe if they would have shown that on television it would have made up for the two hours of nonsense we had to sit through.

Sep 9, 2007

"Be the change you want to see in the rest of the world."

-Mahatma Gandhi

Sep 8, 2007


Marchesa has quite frankly become one of my favorite design houses. And not only is it one of my favorites, but it has also become one of the go to places when celebrities want to look fabulous, elegant, and regal. From Jennifer Lopez to Naomi Watts, celebrities have clamored for these ultra-feminine masterpieces.




British born Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig are the designers behind Marchesa which received its namesake from European style icon Marchesa Luisa Casati. Georgina and Keren met while students at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. Together they established Marchesa in 2004.
Elegant eveningwear, inspired by vintage and Asian influences, defines the Marchesa collection. The beautifully crafted designs infuse high fashion with an eclectic aesthetic.



Here is their collection from New York Fashion Week. Hope you enjoy as much as I did.



Keyshia Cole is the new cover model for the October Issue of Essence Magazine. I was just so happy to see someone besides Beyonce, Mary J. Blige or Queen Latifah (I don't have a problem with any of these sistas) on the cover that I couldn't wait to post it.


In the magazine Keyshia will be talking about how she got her start and the so-called beef she is supposed to have with Mary J. Blige.


ESSENCE: Your sister, Neffeteria, who plays a big part in your BET reality show, The Way It Is (premiering October 30), seems to have had a pretty difficult life. What advice do you give her?




COLE: I’ve told her, “You need to work on you.” After going through so much, you really gotta worry about yourself first. Everything else is secondary. Everything else. Husband, kids…well, not the kids, ’cause she takes care of those babies very well. But really, you gotta work on yourself first. If you don’t, you ain’t gonna be able to deal with people.




ESSENCE: How do you feel about constantly being compared to Mary J.
Blige?




COLE: I feel like we are very similar based on everything we’ve been through in our personal lives. It’s helped make us sing the way we sing. Because she didn’t have a vocal coach, and neither did I. And when I met her I told her, “You winning all those Grammy’s—congratulations—it gives me inspiration to this day that maybe I can do the same thing.” You know, it’s just a real big life circle. I think there are a lot of things that she could tell me that’d help me. I’m not trying to take nobody’s place or nothing like that. But I’m just saying, as a woman—as a young Black woman—if she knows some of the answers, Give ’em to me!” (Laughing.) But she said that I could call her anytime. I just haven’t done it yet. Continue Reading