This sista deserves a round of applause for being innovative and doing whatever it takes to reach her child. Mrs. Candi Carter we salute you and your son and husband. Keep pressing on sista.
May 31, 2009
This sista deserves a round of applause for being innovative and doing whatever it takes to reach her child. Mrs. Candi Carter we salute you and your son and husband. Keep pressing on sista.
This Sunday May 31, 2009
Mahatma Gandhi said "be the change you wish to see." This Sunday we will be talking to people who are doing just that. Join us as we talk to the ladies of "Hip-Hop Grows Up" and Sheldon Joseph of the "Joseph Consortium." We will be talking to them about the reason they started their different organizations and how others can help and get involve in their own communities.
Savvy Talk Radio w/ The Savvy Sista is a talk radio show that discusses the hottest issues going on in the community. Whether it's topics covering relationships, politics, economics, etc, it will be covered on Savvy Talk Radio. The show takes place every Sunday from 6-8 pm EST. You may listen to the live show by calling 718-664-6383. If you wish to ask a question or make a comment during the show just press "1" on your phone's keypad. You can also listen to the show on the internet by going to www.blogtalkradio.com/thesavvysista and participate in the live chat room.
May 29, 2009
PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. - Rapper Tone Loc, who performed the 1980s hits "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina," was released from the hospital Friday after collapsing during an outdoor concert in Florida, officials said.
A spokesman for the Escambia County Sheriff's Department told The Associated Press it appeared Tone Loc collapsed and had a seizure because of overheating.
Tone Loc, who was born Anthony Terrell Smith, collapsed early Friday morning at the Capt'n Fun Beach Club. The Pensacola News Journal reported he was taken away in an ambulance.
Colleen Kirsch, spokeswoman for Gulf Breeze Hospital, said Friday afternoon that Tone Loc had been treated at the hospital and released.
The rapper's manager, Bobby Bessone with B.A.M. Management/Entertainment Artists Agency, said flight delays and heat contributed to the collapse. He said the rapper is recovering. (Source)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama's administration strongly denied a British report on Thursday that images of apparent rape and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners are among photographs that it is trying to prevent being made public.
In unusually forceful terms, the Pentagon attacked the report in the Daily Telegraph newspaper while the White House went so far as to cast doubt on the accuracy of the British press in general.
The Telegraph quoted retired U.S. Army Major General Antonio Taguba as saying the pictures showed "torture, abuse, rape and every indecency." Taguba conducted an investigation in 2004 into abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the Telegraph had shown "an inability to get the facts right."
"That news organization has completely mischaracterized the images," he told reporters. "None of the photos in question depict the images that are described in that article."
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs went further.
"I think if you do an even moderate Google search you're not going to find many of these newspapers and truth within, say, 25 words of each other," he said.
"Let's just say if I wanted to read a write-up today of how Manchester United fared last night in the Champions League Cup, I might open up a British newspaper. If I was looking for something that bordered on truthful news, I'm not entirely sure it'd be the first stack of clips I picked up," Gibbs said.
The Obama administration has been on the defensive over its refusal to release the pictures, which were gathered as part of U.S. military investigations into prisoner abuse.
The administration at first agreed to release the pictures, which the American Civil Liberties Union is seeking to obtain through legal action, but then reversed course, citing a likely backlash that would put U.S. troops abroad at greater risk. (Source)
A plainclothes policeman who drew his gun while chasing someone he had found rummaging through his car was shot and killed by a fellow officer who was driving by and saw the pursuit, the police commissioner said.
Commissioner Raymond Kelly said 25-year-old Omar J. Edwards died after being shot late Thursday within blocks of the Harlem police station where he worked.
Edwards had just finished his shift around 10:30 p.m. when he headed to his car and saw that the driver's-side window had been smashed and a man was going through the vehicle, Kelly said.
Edwards struggled with the man, who got away from him by slipping out of his sweater, Kelly said. Edwards chased the man up two streets with his gun drawn, he said.
A sergeant and two plainclothes officers in an unmarked police car saw the pursuit and made a U-turn to follow the men, Kelly said. One of the officers jumped out of the car and fired six times, hitting Edwards twice — once in the arm and once in the chest, he said.
Kelly said Edwards did not fire his weapon. He died at the Harlem Hospital Center about an hour after the shooting.
It was unclear whether the officers identified themselves. The name of the officer who fired the shots has not been released, but Kelly said he had worked at the NYPD for four years.
"While we don't know all the details of what happened tonight, this is a tragedy. Rest assured that we will find out exactly what happened here, and we will learn from it so it doesn't happen again," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference from the hospital.
Kelly said Edwards had been on the force for two years and worked in the housing bureau. He was recently married and had two young children.
The shooter was white and Edwards was black, a fact that could raise questions about police use of deadly force in a minority community.
In the past three years in the New York City area, there have been two other cases of off-duty policemen being shot and killed by other officers.
In 2008, a black, off-duty Mount Vernon police officer was killed by a Westchester County policeman while holding a gun on an assault suspect in suburban White Plains. A grand jury found the victim had failed to identify himself as an officer. County officers — one white, one black and two Hispanic — were cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury.
In 2006, a New York City police officer, Eric Hernandez, was shot and killed by an on-duty patrolman who was responding to an attack at a White Castle in the Bronx.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Multiracial Americans have become the fastest growing demographic group, wielding an impact on minority growth that challenges traditional notions of race.
The number of multiracial people rose 3.4 percent last year to about 5.2 million, according to the latest census estimates. First given the option in 2000, Americans who check more than one box for race on census surveys have jumped by 33 percent and now make up 5 percent of the minority population — with millions more believed to be uncounted.
Demographers attributed the recent population growth to more social acceptance and slowing immigration. They cited in particular the high public profiles of Tiger Woods and President Barack Obama, a self-described "mutt," who are having an effect on those who might self-identify as multiracial.
Population figures as of July 2008 show that California, Texas, New York and Florida had the most multiracial people, due partly to higher numbers of second- and later-generation immigrants who are more likely to "marry out." Measured by percentages, Hawaii ranked first with nearly 1 in 5 residents who were multiracial, followed by Alaska and Oklahoma, both at roughly 4 percent.
Utah had the highest growth rate of multiracial people in 2008 compared to the previous year, a reflection of increasing social openness in a mostly white state.
"Multiracial unions have been happening for a very long time, but we are only now really coming to terms with saying it's OK," said Carolyn Liebler, a sociology professor at the University of Minnesota who specializes in family, race and ethnicity.
"I don't think we've nearly tapped the potential. Millions are yet to come out," she said.
In Middletown, N.J., Kayci Baldwin, 17, said she remembers how her black father and white mother often worried whether she would fit in with the other kids. While she at first struggled with her identity, Baldwin now actively embraces it, sponsoring support groups and a nationwide multiracial teen club of 1,000 that includes both Democrats and Republicans.
"I went to my high school prom last week with my date who is Ecuadoran-Nigerian, a friend who is Chinese-white and another friend who is part Dominican," she said. "While we are a group that was previously ignored in many ways, we now have an opportunity to fully identify and express ourselves."
The latest demographic change comes amid a debate on the role of race in America, complicating conventional notions of minority rights.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A writer for a small Georgia newspaper who wanted to give President Barack Obama a letter was forcibly removed from a press area near Air Force One on Thursday shortly before he arrived at the airport.
Airport security officers carried the woman away by the feet and arms as she protested her removal. She was then allowed to leave. She said the letter she had written was opposing gay marriage.
She later identified herself as Brenda Lee, a writer for the Georgia Informer in Macon, and said she is a "Roman Catholic priestess" who lives in Anaheim, Calif. She said she has White House press credentials.
The newspaper's Web site says it is a monthly publication; the site has writings by Lee posted. A call to the newspaper was not immediately returned.
The White House had no comment, said deputy press secretary Josh Earnest in Washington.
The incident occurred about 10 minutes before Obama arrived at Los Angeles International Airport by helicopter to board Air Force One. He had been in Los Angeles to attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Beverly Hills on Wednesday.
Lee said later in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that she wanted to hand Obama a letter urging him "to take a stand for traditional marriage."
She said she asked a Secret Service agent to give the president her letter, but he refused and referred her to a White House staffer. Lee said she refused to give the staffer the letter.
"I said, 'I'll take my chances if (the president) comes by here,'" said Lee. "He became annoyed that I wouldn't give him the letter."
Lee said she protested when she was asked to leave.
"I said, 'Why are you bothering me?' They escorted me outside the gate," she said. She said security officers allowed her to return when she promised she would not yell or wave, but then other officers arrived and told her to leave.
"I said, 'I'm not leaving,'" she said. "They tried to drag me out."
Two officers then picked her up and carried her out. An Associated Press photographer photographed the incident.
"I was afraid you could see under my clothes," she said, her voice choking up.
Lee, who said this was the second presidential event she has covered, was later released.
May 28, 2009
LONDON (AP) -- A former U.S. general said graphic images of rape and torture are among the photos of Iraqi prisoner abuse that President Obama's administration does not want released.
Retired Major Gen. Antonio Taguba, who oversaw the U.S. investigation into the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, told Britain's Daily Telegraph in an article published Wednesday that he agreed with Obama's decision not to release the pictures.
"I am not sure what purpose their release would serve other than a legal one and the consequence would be to imperil our troops, the only protectors of our foreign policy, when we most need them," Taguba was quoted by the Daily Telegraph. "The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it."
Two Obama administration officials didn't immediately respond to e-mail requests for comment Wednesday night.
The prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib exploded after photos taken by soldiers appeared in 2004.
According to the Telegraph, the new photos depicted much more serious abuses than previously documented.
One photo reportedly showed an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner and another was said to show a male translator raping a male detainee, the Telegraph reported.
It was not immediately clear from the report who had seen the photos or how they might have been obtained.
The Telegraph said the photos relate to 400 cases of alleged abuse between 2001 and 2005 at Abu Ghraib and six other prisons.
The newspaper said the images in the photos were backed up by statements from Taguba's report into prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib obtained under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
Archie Andrews -- who spent decades in high school, flirting with girl-next-door Betty Cooper and heiress-next-door Veronica Lodge -- is getting married.
"I am so excited, I am getting Married to Archie. There is so much to do, so many plans to make. I wonder if Betty wants to be my Maid of Honor? I bet she is so happy for me!" Veronica writes on her blog.
Yup, Archie is marrying Veronica, breaking Betty's heart.
"I am so sad, I don't even know what to say," Betty writes on her blog.
Betty has months to dry her tears. The marriage issue is due to arrive at comic stores in August and on newsstands in September, according to publisher Archie Comic Publications (archiecomics.com).
"It's the milestone 600th issue and we're serving up the Archie story of the century as Archie marries Veronica!!!" the publisher says on its Web site.
"The 32-page issue takes a look at Archie and his friends after they graduate college! What careers will they seek? Will the friends stay in Riverdale or disperse? What would lead Archie to have marriage on his mind? And who would he choose Veronica or Betty? How will Betty react? How will Veronica react? Can Archie shake off his klutzy past and hold down a steady job... for more than a month? One thing is certain: this will be the biggest Archie Comics story ever!"
Archie might be in over his head. According to Veronica's online profile, "She is very conceited, usually fickle, and extremely flirtatious."
He went for the bad girl instead of Betty. Her online profile says, "Through every crazy, loving scheme to win Archie's love, Betty always remains completely unaffected, loyal and sweet."
Maybe Archie will come to his senses. His online profile says, "He does things on the spur of the moment, which almost always gives him a very keen cause for regret." (Source)
On stereotypical images of blacks in the media:
Each artist should be allowed to pursue their artistic endeavors but I still think there is a lot of stuff out today that is "coonery" and buffoonery. I know it's making a lot of money and breaking records, but we can do better. … I am a huge basketball fan, and when I watch the games on TNT, I see these two ads for these two shows (Tyler Perry's "Meet the Browns" and "House of Payne") and I am scratching my head. … We got a black president and we going back to Mantan Moreland and Sleep 'n' Eat?
On Tyler Perry and what the black consumer (really) wants to see:
We've had this discussion back and forth. When John Singleton [made Boyz in the Hood], people came out to see it. But when he did Rosewood, nobody showed up. So a lot of this is on us! You vote with your pocketbook, your wallet. You vote with your time sitting in front of the idiot box, and [Tyler Perry] has a huge audience. We shouldn't think that Tyler Perry is going to make the same film that I am going to make, or that John Singleton or my cousin Malcolm Lee [would make]. As African Americans, we're not one monolithic group so there is room for all of that. But at the same time, for me, the imaging is troubling and it harkens back to Amos n' Andy. (Source)
Happy, happy, joy, joy....Maxwell has decided to extend his tour and promotion of his new album BLACKsummers'night. If you are in the following cities I suggest you get your tickets soon because this brother's shows are known to sell-out.
Wed-Jun-17 Grand Rapids, MI DeVos Performance Hall
Fri-Jun-19 Hammond, IN The Venue/Horseshoe Hammond
Sat-Jun-20 Milwaukee, WI Riverside Theatre
Tue-Jun-23 Seattle, WA Paramount
Wed-Jun-24 Vancouver, BC The Centre
Fri-Jun-26 Las Vegas, NV Pearl
Sun-Jun-28 Los Angeles, CA BET AWARDS
Mon-Jun-29 Phoenix, AZ Dodge
Wed-Jul-1 Austin, TX Bass
Thu-Jul-2 San Antonio, TX Majestic Theater
Sat-Jul-4 New Orleans, LA Essence Festival (Superdome)
Sun-Jul-12 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
Mon-Jul-13 Louisville, KY Palace Theatre
Wed-Jul-15 Columbus, OH Palace Theatre
Thu-Jul-16 Cleveland, OH Allen Theatre
Sat-Jul-18 Pittsburgh, PA Heinz
Sun-Jul-19 Buffalo, NY Sheas PAC
Tue-Jul-21 Albany, NY The Palace
Wed-Jul-22 New Jersey NJPAC
Fri-Jul-24 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata
Sat-Jul-25 Foxwoods Foxwoods
Mon-Jul-27 Norfolk, VA Chrysler Hall
Tue-Jul-28 Savannah, GA Johnny Mercer
Thu-Jul-30 Tampa, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
Fri-Jul-31 Miami, FL The Knight Center
May 27, 2009
I just don't understand why the people of Montgomery County didn't get the memo that we are living in a "post-racial" society...SMDH!!!! We elected a black president, racism is no longer a factor in this country. We've gotten past all that. remember. This is the kind of talk that irks my nerves. We are not living in a "post-racial" society, people. The election of Barack Obama did not change the mindset of a lot of people. Stories like this are a prime example of this. Racism is alive and well in this country. At least the people of Montgomery County are not afraid to admit that.
About now, high-school seniors everywhere slip into a glorious sort of limbo. Waiting out the final weeks of the school year, they begin rightfully to revel in the shared thrill of moving on. It is no different in south-central Georgia's Montgomery County, made up of a few small towns set between fields of wire grass and sweet onion. The music is turned up. Homework languishes. The future looms large. But for the 54 students in the class of 2009 at Montgomery County High School, so, too, does the past. On May 1 — a balmy Friday evening — the white students held their senior prom. And the following night — a balmy Saturday — the black students had theirs.
Racially segregated proms have been held in Montgomery County — where about two-thirds of the population is white — almost every year since its schools were integrated in 1971. Such proms are, by many accounts, longstanding traditions in towns across the rural South, though in recent years a number of communities have successfully pushed for change. When the actor Morgan Freeman offered to pay for last year's first-of-its-kind integrated prom at Charleston High School in Mississippi, his home state, the idea was quickly embraced by students — and rejected by a group of white parents, who held a competing "private" prom. (The effort is the subject of a documentary, "Prom Night in Mississippi," which will be shown on HBO in July.) The senior proms held by Montgomery County High School students — referred to by many students as "the black-folks prom" and "the white-folks prom" — are organized outside school through student committees with the help of parents. All students are welcome at the black prom, though generally few if any white students show up. The white prom, students say, remains governed by a largely unspoken set of rules about who may come. Black members of the student council say they have asked school administrators about holding a single school-sponsored prom, but that, along with efforts to collaborate with white prom planners, has failed. According to Timothy Wiggs, the outgoing student council president and one of 21 black students graduating this year, "We just never get anywhere with it." Principal Luke Smith says the school has no plans to sponsor a prom, noting that when it did so in 1995, attendance was poor.
Students of both races say that interracial friendships are common at Montgomery County High School. Black and white students also date one another, though often out of sight of judgmental parents. "Most of the students do want to have a prom together," says Terra Fountain, a white 18-year-old who graduated from Montgomery County High School last year and is now living with her black boyfriend. "But it's the white parents who say no. … They're like, if you're going with the black people, I'm not going to pay for it."
"It's awkward," acknowledges JonPaul Edge, a senior who is white. "I have as many black friends as I do white friends. We do everything else together. We hang out. We play sports together. We go to class together. I don't think anybody at our school is racist." Trying to explain the continued existence of segregated proms, Edge falls back on the same reasoning offered by a number of white students and their parents. "It's how it's always been," he says. "It's just a tradition."
Earlier this month, on the Friday night of the white prom, Kera Nobles, a senior who is black, and six of her black classmates drove over to the local community center where it was being held. Standing amid a crowd of about 80 parents, siblings and grandparents, they snapped pictures and whooped appreciatively as their white friends — blow-dried, boutonniered and glittering in a way that only high-school seniors can — did their "senior walk," parading in elegant pairs into the prom. "We got stared at a little, being there," said one black student, "but it wasn't too bad."
After the last couple were announced, after they watched the white people's father-daughter dance and then, along with the other bystanders, were ushered by chaperones out the door, Kera and her friends piled into a nearby KFC to eat. Whatever elation they felt for their dressed-up classmates was quickly wearing off.
"My best friend is white," said one senior girl, a little glumly. "She's in there. She's real cool, but I don't understand. If they can be in there, why can't everybody else?"
The seven teenagers — a mix of girls and boys — slowly worked their way through two buckets of fried chicken. They cracked jokes about the white people's prom ("I feel bad for them! Their prom is lame!"). They puzzled merrily over white girls' devotion both to tanning beds ("You don't like black people, but you're working your hardest to get as brown as I am!") and also to the very boys who were excluded from the dance ("Half of those girls, when they get home, they're gonna text a black boy"). They mused about whether white parents really believed that by keeping black people out of the prom, it would keep them out of their children's lives ("You think there aren't going to be black boys at college?"). And finally, more somberly, they questioned their white friends' professed helplessness in the face of their parents' prejudice ("You're 18 years old! You're old enough to smoke, drive, do whatever else you want to. Why aren't you able to step up and say, 'I want to have my senior prom with the people I'm graduating with?' ").
It was getting late now. KFC was closing. Another black teenager was mopping the floor nearby. A couple of the boys mentioned they had to wash their cars in the morning. Kera had an early hair appointment. The next night, they would dress up and dance raucously for four hours before tumbling back outside, one step closer to graduating. In the meantime, a girl named Angel checked her cellphone to see if any of the white kids had texted from inside their prom. They hadn't. Angel shrugged. "I really don't understand," she said. "Because I'm thinking that these people love me and I love them, but I don't know. Tonight's a different story."
Rapper T.I. entered an Arkansas federal prison Tuesday to begin a year-and-a-day sentence on a weapons charge.
T.I., whose real name is Clifford J. Harris Jr., still made a concert-like entrance to the Forrest City low-security prison — likely showing up 29 minutes late inside of a black conversion van with tinted windows. T.I was to report at 1 p.m., but the deadline passed as guards outside blocked reporters and onlookers from coming near the facility on a rural state highway.
It was not immediately clear if T.I.'s late arrival would affect his plea deal with prosecutors.
Federal prison spokeswoman Linda Thomas said T.I. had been processed through the prison's intake system but couldn't offer a specific time. Thomas said the Atlantan would be known inside as federal prison inmate No. 59458019.
Traci Billingsley, another prison spokesperson, said T.I.'s arrival would be handled no differently than any other and the prison had no special protection prepared for him. The low-security prison has double-bunked cells and a large fenced exercise yard, where inmates in white jumpsuits could be seen Tuesday morning.
"We treat all our offenders in the same manner," Billingsley said.
T.I., 28, was arrested after trying to buy unregistered machine guns and silencers from undercover federal agents in 2007. That came after the his best friend was killed following a post-performance party in Cincinnati in 2006. T.I. has said the bullets that killed his friend were meant for him.
The self-proclaimed "King of the South" had faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each charge in his three-count indictment. However, he reached a plea deal with prosecutors after spending time on house arrest before his sentencing and for speaking to community groups and high schools about the dangers of drugs, violence and guns.
Fans gathered down the road from the prison screamed, "We love you, T.I.!" when the black van pulled up at the prison. Afterward, they shouted at television cameras that "T.I. is the greatest!"
"We're still riding with the king!" yelled Porshe Tiswell, 22, of Forrest City.
Fan Eugene Smith, 24, of Forrest City defended T.I., saying he feared for his life when he purchased the machine guns and silencers from federal agents.
"Somebody set him up, they snitched on him, so it's a whole different thing," Smith said. "We got to live a life, you know what I'm saying. We're out in the street life."
Upon his release, T.I. will be on probation for three years. He also must pay a $100,000 fine.
The 4-year-old daughter of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was pronounced dead just before noon on Tuesday due to injuries from an accident at her family's central Phoenix home.
According to Phoenix police spokesman Andy Hill, Exodus Tyson was playing on a treadmill Monday when her head apparently slipped inside a cord hanging under the console.
Exodus' 7-year-old brother found his sister tangled up in the cable and called for his mother, who quickly removed the cord from her neck, called 911, then began administering CPR.
Police officers, who arrived at the home minutes later, found the little girl unconscious and continued performing CPR. She was rushed to St. Joseph Hospital and Medical Center.
Tyson, 42, was in Las Vegas at the time of the accident and flew to Phoenix on Monday. As she remained in critical condition Tuesday morning, he released a statement thanking folks for their prayers.
Cynthia Schwartz, a spokeswoman for Tyson, said the family would release a statement Tuesday evening. They had not yet made any funeral arrangements, she said.
May 26, 2009
Sonia Sotomayor is a judge on the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. After graduating with a B.A. from Princeton University in 1976, Sotomayor obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979. Sotomayor then served as an Assistant District Attorney for the New York County District Attorney's Office until 1984, when she entered private practice in New York City; (born in 1954 in The Bronx, New York).Sotomayor was born in The Bronx, New York to Puerto Rican parents. She grew up in a housing project in the South Bronx, just a short walk from the old Yankee Stadium. She was diagnosed with diabetes at age 8. Her father, a tool-and-die worker with a third-grade education, died the following year. Her mother, a nurse, raised Sotomayor and her younger brother, who is now a doctor, on a modest salary. In 1976 Sotomayor married while still a student at Princeton University, and divorced in 1983.Sonia Sotomayor graduated from Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx. She earned her A.B. from Princeton University, summa cum laude, in 1976, where she won the Pyne Prize, the highest general award given to Princeton undergraduates. Sotomayor obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Sotomayor then served as an Assistant District Attorney under prominent New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, prosecuting robberies, assaults, murders, police brutality, and child pornography cases. In 1984, she entered private practice, making partner at the commercial litigation firm of Pavia & Harcourt, where she specialized in intellectual property litigation.
It's the season for graduations — for celebrating accomplishments, milestones and lessons learned. Whether kinsfolk have finished high school or seminary or kindergarten, families have gathered for food, drink and congratulations. But Atlanta rapper Clifford Harris Jr., whose stage name is T.I., is about to achieve a milestone less auspicious but equally important. On May 26, he will report to a federal prison in Arkansas to begin serving a sentence of a year and a day on weapons charges.The prison stint will give Harris (and his fans) yet another opportunity to master some very important lessons about observing the law, renouncing violence and serving as a respectable role model for your children. Unfortunately, those lessons are likely to go unlearned. I have little faith that a year in the federal pokey will change Harris' perspective or penchant for thuggery.
Hardcore rap music and its attendant culture celebrate violence and lawbreaking, conferring "street creds" to those performers who have actually served time. In that perverse
milieu, T.I. is a bigger star now than he was before.
Harris was arrested in October 2007 after he was caught trying to purchase machine guns, silencers and ammunition in a Midtown Atlanta parking lot. But he cut a sweet deal with prosecutors to perform 1,000 hours of community service, standing before high school and college students to urge them to ignore the violence-laden lyrics of his music and walk the straight and narrow instead. Those lectures cut short his prison sentence, which might easily have been years longer since he had previously been convicted on drug charges.
So what has T.I. learned so far?
In March, Vibe magazine published an interview with the rap star, in which he recounted the amazing good fortune that allowed him to purchase a dream team of defense attorneys. "I'm blessed to have money. … I got a team of lawyers, and one lawyer said half a million! Lucky enough, I was smart enough to make some sound investments that yielded me enough of a profit to have some on-hand capital," Harris said. And how, exactly, did he earn that "on-hand capital"? With lyrics like this:
"We know where yo' family live/Trust me you don't want me up in yo' crib/ Wit' a ski mask on duct taping your kids/ You can pray all you want/ But I don't forgive."
And what has happened to his earning potential now that he has been sentenced to prison?
While awaiting sentencing, he starred in an MTV reality show, "T.I.'s Road to Redemption." His latest CD, "Paper Trail," written after his arrest on weapons violations, is his most successful ever.
So, T.I. earned millions glorifying violence in his rap lyrics. And he has earned even more since he's been convicted of a crime that suggests he might actually try to live the thug life he hypes in his music. Furthermore, the criminal justice system showed him leniency because of his affluence and stature. The lesson T.I. will likely take away from his recent experiences is this: His lifestyle pays, so why change?
Unfortunately, many of his eager fans — youngsters who will never enjoy T.I.'s popular success or prosperity — will learn the same lesson. They will try to emulate him, but they won't have the bank rolls with which to buy excellent legal representation or the good sense to avoid the fratricidal warfare that claims so many young black men. They'll end up spending their lives behind bars. If they live that long.
HOBSON CITY, Ala. — The cafes, the school and the roller rink are long gone from Alabama's oldest black city. Empty homes and businesses line the narrow streets.
Hobson City no longer has a police or fire department, and weeds have overgrown the oldest part of the cemetery and a park in this small town that once thrived as a rarity: a place where black people were in charge in the midst of the Jim Crow South.
Now, with the town on the verge of dying, preservationists have put the east Alabama landmark on the critical list. The Alabama Historical Commission this month included the community of 878 people on its annual inventory of "Places in Peril."
The commission's list typically includes historic structures, such as old homes and abandoned theaters. This year it takes in an entire town that in recent decades has seen its foundation collapse.
Incorporated in 1899, Hobson City was formed 12 years after Eatonville, Fla., which calls itself the nation's oldest black city.
In the decades after the Civil War, blacks formed scores of colonies and communities as they migrated to Kansas and Oklahoma and sought independence in locales around the South. Some, like Eatonville and Hobson City, formally incorporated.
"There was a lot of dissatisfaction and alienation among blacks by the 1890s because of the refusal of whites in the South to allow them any real role in civic life," said University of Tennessee history professor Robert J. Norrell, who has written extensively on race relations.
Blacks also were subject to discrimination and abuse by law enforcement. "Together, these created a desire for separate municipalities," Norrell said.
Hobson City's residents created "a thriving municipality, which people at the time said couldn't be done because blacks couldn't govern," said Dorothy Walker, public outreach coordinator with the Alabama Historical Commission. "If it is someday absorbed into another city, it will lose that historic identity."
Roderick Boyd, a handyman and Hobson City resident, worries about his hometown's survival.
"I fear it's gone too far," said Boyd, 49.
A two-mile-long sliver about 60 miles east of Birmingham, Hobson City is as narrow as a few hundred yards in places. Wedged between two predominantly white cities, Oxford and Anniston, it has a few white residents.
During the 1800s, Walker said, it was an all-black section of Oxford called Mooree Quarter, a possible reference to old slave quarters in the area. Residents were allowed to vote, but whites maintained control.
The racial relationship shifted in the 1890s when the people of Mooree Quarter swayed an election, Walker said. The state had not yet disenfranchised blacks — that wouldn't happen until 1901. So, Walker said, whites petitioned state leaders to de-annex Mooree Quarter.
Kicked out of Oxford, blacks incorporated a new city and named it for Richmond P. Hobson, a white Spanish-American War hero from Alabama who was later elected to Congress. The 1900 Census put the new town's population at 292.
Hobson City grew to about 1,500 people by the mid-1900s, with restaurants, laundries, stores, a skating rink and other businesses. The town was poor, but had a vibrant culture centered on the all-black vocational school.
"It was never a rich town, but it was a good place to raise children," said Mayor Alberta McCrory.
Federal anti-poverty money flowed to Hobson City in the 1960s, and federal aid helped build a modern municipal complex in the 1970s. But in an ironic twist, McCrory said, the end of racial segregation sent the city into a tailspin around the same time.
"Sometimes I think I wouldn't have gone out and done all that marching if I realized how much we were going to lose," said McCrory, 61, who participated in civil rights protests as a young woman.
The all-black Calhoun County Training School became an integrated elementary school in 1972, and fair housing laws meant blacks could live elsewhere. Many who could afford to move away did so, costing Hobson City hundreds of residents.
With nearly one-third of its residents living below the poverty level, the town has only three businesses other than in-home operations: A small print shop, a barber shop and a convenience store.
Industries in nearby towns shut down in the 1980s, costing more jobs. The elementary school was moved from the center of town to the outskirts a few years ago, leaving a shell of a building where kids used to run and play.
City offices are now housed in the old school. The 1970s-era municipal complex stands abandoned. Unable to pay for maintenance, the city left it to the weeds and weather in 2006.
The city still has a police car and a fire truck, but it can't afford officers or firefighters. County deputies handle police calls, and neighboring cities help with fires.
Being tabbed a "Place in Peril" doesn't include any special funding, but McCrory hopes it will increase public awareness of the town's plight.
She dreams of a campaign to raise $1 million in donations, which could lead to federal and state matching grants.
Two civic groups, the Concerned Citizens of Hobson City and the Hobson City Community and Economic Development Corp., will participate in a two-day forum starting May 29 to discuss the town's future. The meeting was spurred in part by the state designation, but leaders have been talking for years about revitalizing the town with little success.
Boyd, a lifelong resident, has a hard time seeing past Hobson City's problems — the poverty, the crime, abandoned buildings, dead businesses. He's just trying to keep his grass cut and stay positive.
"Maybe all the turmoil we're going through now will lead to something," he said
May 25, 2009
PHOENIX - Boxer Mike Tyson's 4-year-old daughter is on life support after she was found with her neck on a treadmill cable Monday, police said.
The girl's 7-year-old brother found her on a treadmill with her neck on a cable attached to the exercise machine at their Phoenix home, police Sgt. Andy Hill said, calling it a "tragic accident."
The boy told the girl's mother, who was in another room. She took the girl off the cable, called 911 and tried to revive her.
Responding officers and firefighters performed CPR on the girl as they rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she was in "extremely critical condition" and on life support, Hill said.
"Somehow she was playing on this treadmill, and there's a cord that hangs under the console — it's kind of a loop," Hill said. "Either she slipped or put her head in the loop, but it acted like a noose, and she was obviously unable to get herself off of it."
Hill said former heavyweight champion Tyson had been in Las Vegas but flew to Phoenix immediately after learning of the accident. Police didn't release the girl's name.
Tyson could not immediately be reached for comment. Calls to three of his representatives were either not returned or not answered.
Brief footage from local TV station KTVK showed Tyson arriving at the hospital in a white button-up and black pants, and looking around with a frown before going inside.
Hill said everything in the investigation pointed to an accident. "There's nothing in the investigation that revealed anything suspicious," he said.
He added that responding to calls involving children is an officer's most difficult duty.
"Those are the things that stay with you in your career," he said. "We always hope for a miracle — not to have the worst happen to a child."
May 24, 2009
Today, on Savvy Talk Radio we will be discussing the role of historical black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in a "post-racial" society. Are HBCUs still relevant in the "Age of Obama"? We will be joined by expert Dr. Marybeth Gasman and a round table panel of experts to explore this very complex topic. If you would like to join in on this conversation please call 718-664-6383 to ask a question or make a comment. You can also listen to the live conversation by going to www.blogtalkradio.com/thesavvysista.
May 22, 2009
As of May 20, 2009, Entertainment Weekly has announced that The Game has been officially cancelled. It wasn't picked up by the CW for the fourth season. Multiple sources have confirmed that Oprah Winfrey was the main influence behind the decision of CW to not pick up another season of the show.
NEW YORK, May 21 (Reuters) - Xerox named Ursula Burns to succeed Chief Executive Anne Mulcahy, in a move that makes Burns one of the most prominent African-Americans to head a Fortune 500 company.
Mulcahy, 56, an economic advisor to Barack Obama during the U.S. presidential transition, will retire as CEO on July 1. She is a 33-year veteran of Xerox, where she became CEO in 2001.
An avid biker, Burns, 50, will join a list about 15 women CEOs of a Fortune 500 company and become one of only a handful of African American CEOs. She joined Xerox in 1980 as an engineering intern, was named president in 2007, and had been groomed as the next CEO by Mulcahy. [ID:nN19438536]
Mulcahy, who has been credited with revitalizing the world's top supplier of digital printers and document management services, and also serves on Citibank's (C.N) board of directors, will remain as the company's chairman.
"She has been at my side helping to turn Xerox around," Mulcahy told investors on Thursday at the company's annual shareholder meeting, which was broadcast over the Internet.
No significant strategic changes are expected as a result of the transition, which analyst Shannon Cross of Cross Research characterized as "well-telegraphed."
"As the two executives have been working as a leadership team since April 2007, we expect this transition to be seamless," she said. "Burns has already been running corporate strategy, global accounts, IT and human resources."
Brazilian model: Thais Dos Santos Fernandes
Brazilian prosecutors and organisers of Sao Paulo Fashion Week have reached a deal over claims that too few black and mixed-race models are taking part.
Under its terms, fashion brands must ensure that 10% of the models are of African or Indigenous descent.
Last year, an investigation concluded eight of 344 the models taking part in the event were black - just 2.3%.
Companies failing to meet the new target could face the prospect of being fined more than $120,000.
Sao Paulo Fashion Week, being held in June, attracts worldwide attention.
But when the Brazilian newspaper, Folha de Sao Paulo, drew attention to the fact that few black models were used, the legal authority responsible for looking after the public interest opened an investigation.
Easier to work abroad
Brazil has more people of African descent than anywhere outside Africa itself.
Almost half of the population is said to be black or of mixed race.
But black Brazilian models say it has often been easier to get work abroad than in their own country.
It is a sensitive time for the issue of racial quotas in Brazil.
While there has been little visible sign of tension over race, people of African heritage make up the poorest section of society.
An attempt to create a national law to establish quotas to address this inequality has once again been delayed in the Brazilian Congress, because of a failure to reach a consensus.
Some legislators are arguing that the best way to tackle inequality would be to use social rather than racial criteria in setting targets.
I don't know why anyone is even surprised by this type of stuff anymore.
Via Daily News:
It's no secret that Citigroup board Chairman Richard Parsons has been working for months to repair the financial giant.
But, until now, even his closest associates didn't know he also was wrestling with a personal crisis - how to tell his wife and three children he has fathered a child with another woman.
Parsons and model-philanthropist MacDella Cooper are the parents of a baby girl named Ella.
The 61-year-old former Time Warner chairman said only: "This is a private matter, and I prefer not to talk about it at this time."
Cooper, 32, also declined to discuss the circumstances of her daughter's birth.
"My private life is private," the striking beauty said. "I'm sure you can draw your own conclusions."
Cooper gave birth last August, according to a source, who said Parsons will support the child and has set up a trust fund for her education.
The widely admired executive is said to have become close to the former model - who says she has worked for Ralph Lauren and appeared in Glamour magazine - through his support of her MacDella Cooper Foundation, which she founded in 2004 to help orphans and abandoned children in her homeland of Liberia.
HAWAIIAN GARDENS, Calif. — A Latino street gang waged a racist campaign to eliminate the city's black residents through attempted murders and other crimes, according to federal racketeering indictments unsealed Thursday.
Five indictments charged a total of 147 members and associates of the Varrio Hawaiian Gardens gang, and federal and local agencies arrested 63 of them by early Thursday, U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien said at a news conference.
Another 35 defendants were already in custody on unrelated charges. Weapons and drugs worth more than $1 million also were seized in what O'Brien called "the largest gang takedown in United States history."
The indictments detail attempted murder, kidnapping, firearms, narcotics and other charges related to attacks by the gang, which is predominantly Latino and mainly operates in Hawaiian Gardens, a city of about 15,000 in southeastern Los Angeles County.
"(Varrio Hawaiian Gardens) gang members take pride in their racism and often refer to the VHG Gang as the `Hate Gang,'" the main indictment said. "VHG gang members have expressed a desire to rid the city of Hawaiian Gardens of all African-Americans and have engaged in a systematic effort to achieve that result by perpetrating crimes against African-Americans."
The indictment alleges a string of attacks on black residents, including a shooting into a home with eight people inside. The indictment does not say if anyone was hit.
In another instance, two gang members allegedly chased a black man, yelled a racist epithet at him and then beat him with a garden rake. The same man was later repeatedly stabbed by two gang members, according to the indictment, which charged them with his attempted murder.
According to 2000 census data, the latest available, Hawaiian Gardens was roughly 73 percent Hispanic and 4 percent black.
Hawaiian Gardens Mayor Michael Gomez welcomed the crackdown, saying: "Honest residents should not have to live in fear of lawless thugs who act like it's high noon at the OK Corral."
The indictments mark at least the second time in less than two years that federal authorities have accused Latino gang members of attacking black residents because of their race. Local officials have tried to downplay racial tensions.
The investigation of the Varrio Hawaiian Gardens gang began in June 2005 after the murder of Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Luis Gerardo "Jerry" Ortiz. Jose Luis Orozco, a member of the gang, was sentenced to death in 2007 for the killing.
Ortiz, 35, died as he searched for Orozco, who had shot and wounded a man while he did yard work. Orozco was later found guilty of attempted murder in that case.
"It was this hatred of African-Americans that may have spurred the attack on Deputy Jerry Ortiz, who was killed trying to arrest a gang member suspected of trying to shoot an African-American man in the back," O'Brien said.
HAMPTON, Va. (AP) — Suspended NFL star Michael Vick arrived at his Virginia home in a car with blackout curtains Thursday after being released from federal prison to begin home confinement and try to resume his pro football career.
Four cars pulled up to Vick's five-bedroom brick home at the end of a cul-de-sac at about 8:25 a.m Thursday. The caravan was led by a black Kia Sedona with curtains shielding the back seat from view and sunshields on the front side windows. Vick was in the Sedona along with his fiancee, Kijafa Frink, said Chris Garrett, a member of Vick's support and legal team.
"He's happy to be reunited with his family," Garrett said 10 minutes after the cars arrived.
About 90 minutes later, two probation officers and Vick's Virginia-based attorney, Larry Woodward, arrived. The officers outfitted Vick with an electronic monitoring device he will wear for the two months he spends under home confinement. They walked with him onto his back deck to make sure it was working properly.
They did not answer reporters' questions.In a brief statement, Woodward said Vick is technically a furloughed federal inmate and not permitted to speak with the media without permission from the Bureau of Prisons. The process to obtain that permission is underway, Woodward said, but he did not say how long it will take or entertain any questions before driving away.
The statement capped a whirlwind 2½ hours.
When the caravan arrived, a man got out of the lead vehicle and moved aside orange cones blocking the driveway, then the Sedona drove into a garage on the side of the house and out of sight of the street. The other three cars followed. Two men, presumably security guards who were part of the traveling party, stood in the driveway and three others took up posts near the front door as though to prevent anyone from approaching. The guards also walked around to the back yard, checking the in-ground pool area surrounded by a wrought-iron fence for intruders.
Vick spent 19 months in federal prison after his conviction for financing a dogfighting operation. Once released at about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, Vick traveled the 1,200 miles in about 28 hours to get to the home, which he will share with Frink and their two children — the youngest of whom, London, was born just before he went to prison.
He will spend the next two months being monitored at home and working a $10-an-hour job as a laborer for a construction company. He's scheduled to be released from federal custody on July 20, and then faces three more years of supervised probation.
Vick's construction job is part of his probation, and he was to find out more about the restrictions he faces in home confinement from the probation officers, though it was not clear if those guideline were laid out Thursday.
His ultimate goal is a return to the NFL. Chief among his challenges is rehabilitating his image and convincing the public and Commissioner Roger Goodell that he is truly sorry for his crime, and prepared to live a different life.
May 21, 2009
It was just two days after the Inauguration when an e-mail went around to Michelle Obama's staff, instructing everyone to be in the East Room of the White House at 3 that afternoon. The First Lady's advisers arrived to find the room filled with ushers and plumbers, electricians and maids and kitchen crew gathered in a huge circle, and Michelle in a T shirt and ponytail, very casual and very much in charge.
"This is my team that came with me from Chicago," Michelle said, pointing to her communications staff and policy people. "This is my team who works here already," she went on, indicating the ring of veterans around the room. Many of the household staff had served for decades; some had postponed retirement because they wanted to serve an African-American President. And so the two groups formed concentric rings and spent the next hour or so making sure that everyone had a chance to meet everyone else. I want you to know that you won't be judged based on whether they know your name, Michelle had warned her advisers. You'll be judged based on whether you know theirs.
The White House became as much Michelle Obama's stage as her husband's even before she colored the fountains green for St. Patrick's Day, or mixed the Truman china with the World's Fair glasses at a state dinner, or installed beehives on the South Lawn, or turned the East Room into a jazz lounge for a night or sacrificed her first sock to the First Puppy. Of all the revelations of her first 100 days, the most striking was that she made it seem natural. She did not spend decades dreaming of this destination, and maybe that's the secret. "I'm not supposed to be here," she says again and again. And ever since she arrived, she has been asking, "What are the things that we can do differently here, the things that have never been done, the people who've never seen or experienced this White House?"
Three generations, two adorable girls and a dog — no First Family has lived with the weight of hope and hype that has landed on the Obamas. Clothes they wear fly off the shelves. Dog breeders from Germany to Australia couldn't keep up with the demand for Portuguese water dogs after Bo debuted. Michelle is the first First Lady to make Maxim's hottest-women-in-the-world list. (She's No. 93; it probably wouldn't be proper for a First Lady to come in any higher.) Cameras with lenses that can count her pores from three states away are trained on her around the clock. Former East Wing veterans marvel at the lovesick coverage she gets: when Oscar de la Renta questions her fashion sense — "You don't ... go to Buckingham Palace in a sweater" — the response is, essentially, Well, what does he know? This is what a paradigm shift looks like.
The question now is what she plans to do with all this attention. We ask the usual questions of any new First Lady: What is she really like? How does she see her role? But it is only of Michelle Obama that we ask, What does she mean? Few First Ladies have embedded themselves so quickly in the world's imagination. And none have traveled so far, not just from Chicago's South Side to the East Wing, but from the caricatured Angry Black Woman of last spring to her exalted status as a New American Icon, as if her arrival will magically reverse eight years of anti-American spitballing, elevate the black middle class, promote family values, give voice to the voiceless and inspire us all to live healthier, more generous lives.
She admits that the sheer symbolic power of the role is perhaps greater than she anticipated. "I tried not to come into this with too many expectations one way or the other," she says on a sunny May afternoon in her East Wing office. "I felt like part of my job — and I still feel like that — is to be open to where this needs to go." She's always shown a shrewd eye for the strategic detour, suspending her career in favor of helping her husband get elected, then getting her daughters settled and her garden planted and, in the process, disarming the critics who cast her as a black radical in a designer dress. She will say she's just doing what comes naturally. But whether by accident or design, or a little of both, she has arrived at a place where her very power is magnified by her apparent lack of interest in it. "Over the years, the role of First Lady has been perceived as largely symbolic," Hillary Clinton observed in her memoirs. "She is expected to represent an ideal — and largely mythical — concept of American womanhood." That was not Clinton's favorite part of the job. Maybe this is Michelle's true advantage: she appears at peace, even relieved, that her power is symbolic rather than institutional. It makes her less threatening, and more potent at the same time — especially since her presence at the White House has unique significance.
The great-great-granddaughter of slaves now occupies a house built by them, one of the most professionally accomplished First Ladies ever cheerfully chooses to call herself Mom in Chief, and the South Side girl whose motivation often came from defying people who tried to stop her now gets to write her own set of rules.