Aug 31, 2009

Race and the Mayor's Race in Atlanta

The recent suggestion that it is somehow racist to highlight an agenda that promotes the interests of African American voters is patently false. It is a red herring that polarizes debate about electing the most qualified candidate for Atlanta's next mayor.

The need for African American voter and taxpayer interests to be addressed by all candidates is just as legitimate as it is for candidates to respond to issues raised by the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Stand-Up, Central Atlanta Progress or any Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU).

News coverage to date of an analysis presented to the Black Leadership Forum has been incendiary and misleading. To correct the record, Aaron Turpeau is not the author of the memo, nor is anyone associated with the Black Leadership Forum.

We are the sole authors and we stand by our academic analysis, with the exception for the error regarding the political affiliation of Mr. Spikes and Mr. Thomas, for which we have apologized.

Furthermore, the reported assertion that our statement was written on behalf of any candidate or to instruct African Americans how to vote is flatly wrong. African Americans in Atlanta have been voting for decades and are quite capable of making up their own minds.

Make no mistake, we do not work for any of the candidates. We have held no formal discussions with any of the campaigns and have made no contributions to any of the campaigns.

In our statement we presented views that have been articulated in various parts of the community. As we argue in the statement, African Americans should "critically evaluate all candidates" because "we have arrived at a place in time where we can no longer afford to just look at race in the Mayor's race or individual council races."

However, these key quotes from our document have been excluded from media coverage and by individuals who apparently have not read the document.

We stand by our belief that "a black agenda would enable African American interests to be respected by any administration." The interests of African American voters are just as legitimate as other Atlanta voters, and the notion that we must apologize for highlighting those interests is absurd.

William Boone, PhD

Keith Jennings, PhD      Source

 
 
 
 
I want to know what my ATLiens have to say about MEMO-GATE.  Do you think this memo is going to have an affect on the mayoral race?

Lauren London---like so many celebrities these days---has turned to Twitter to air her grievances with tabloid falter. This is what she had to say:

MsLaurenLondon I wish they would just let us enjoy this moment and stop putting false and negative energy out there.
MsLaurenLondon Rumors are False! Why won't they just let us be. Wayne is indeed the Father and there's no question. We are celebrating a life. Peace



Now, normally I don't put stuff like this on my site, but for the life of me I cannot understand the appeal of Lil Wayne. It's already bad enough he appears to be spreading his seed all Willy Nilly, but what type of example is this setting. Do people not understand that HIV/AIDS is the number one killer of African American women between the ages of 25-34. People are dying and we have a celebrity running around playing Johnny Appleseed...SMDH!!!! I don't get it.
 
 
The media blitz has begun.  Make sure you check Ms. Houston out on GMA tomorrow.  She'll be the first guest on the new season of Oprah on Sept. 14.  I can't wait.
 
 
It's been six months since the Grammy weekend when Chris Brown and Rihanna got into a late-night fight that left Rihanna bruised and bloodied and her R&B star boyfriend surrendering to Los Angeles police.

Since then, Brown, 20, has pleaded guilty to felony assault and was sentenced last week to five years' probation.

And now, he is ready to speak: On Aug. 26, the musician sat down with PEOPLE for his first interview and – as his mother Joyce Hawkins, a victim of domestic abuse herself, sat nearby – opened up about his shame over that "terrible" night, his enduring love for Rihanna and why he swears he'll never hit a woman again.

Among Brown's revelations:

• He still loves Rihanna: "I never fell out of love with her. That just wouldn't go away."

• How he felt right after the assault: "I was distraught … I went to my mom on the same night and told [her] what happened and broke down."

• Why he's different from his stepfather, who he says regularly abused his mother: "I feel like he enjoyed it. He was an abuser. It was continuous."

For the full interview with Brown and his motherwho calls hearing her son's confession on the night of the assault 'the most painful moment of my life'pick up this week's PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday Source


Tyler Perry has rapidly become the most bankable African-American moviemaking brand in Hollywood and an entrepreneurial heavyweight. The seven feature films he has conceived and produced have earned more than $300 million at the box office, with an average opening-weekend gross of $25 million--no small feat for films with predominately black casts. He credits his creative inspiration for these films, in part, to African-American women. So far, so good--that is, until you see the films.
 
Perry's films typically follow the same timeworn narrative: a woman experiences abandonment and/or abuse at the hands of a "bad" man; she takes umbrage, lashing out at those closest to her, most notably a "good" man in her life; she experiences a revelatory moment of change; and she ends the film settled down with the good man who promises her a better life.

Though Perry repeatedly references his admiration for and allegiance to African-American women as a foundation of his work, his portrayal of women of color undermines the complexity of their experience through his reductionist approach to his characters and his dependence on disquieting gender politics. Perry may see himself as creating modern-day fairy tales for black women, but what he may not realize is that fairy tales, in general, have never been kind to women.

The crux of Perry's gender problem lies in his reliance on conservative gender politics that eschew a more progressive, inclusive agenda. Each of his films advances nearly the same message to his audience (which is overwhelmingly African-American, female, devoutly Christian and over 30). Be demure. Be strong but not too strong. Too much ambition is a detriment to your ability to find a partner and spiritual health. Female beauty can be dangerous. Let a man be a "man." True female fulfillment is found in the role of wife and/or mother. To this effect, the black church plays a central role in Perry's vision. While the church championed equality during the civil rights movement and was instrumental in fighting for the advancement of African-Americans along the lines of race, it has routinely adopted a more conservative agenda along the lines of gender. In using a traditional religious paradigm as the linchpin for his work and by investing in prevailing gender politics, Perry is proposing an agenda that reinforces rather than revolutionizes the marginalized way that black womanhood has been portrayed in popular culture.

Most of Perry's films are based on plays that he wrote, produced, directed and starred in early in his career. More or less morality tales, these plays introduced strong female protagonists and a fervent religious message, and oftentimes featured the gun-toting, sassy, buxom mother figure, called Madea, a character played by Perry himself in drag. Perry has joined the growing cohort of contemporary black male comedians who have played big, sassy black women who dole out sage advice--with an undercurrent of violence--at the flip of a coin. And while Madea is arguably Perry's most popular creation, she too has her critics. "Tyler keeps saying that Madea is based on black women he's known, and maybe so.... But Madea does have connections to the old mammy type. She's mammy-like. If a white director put out this product, the black audience would be appalled," says pre-eminent film scholar Donald Bogle. Black female relationships within Perry's films are often interrupted by the Madea character, who shows up in order to "teach" these women the proper way to femininity that will ultimately lead to Prince Charming and a happy ending.

To be sure, Perry's rise is impressive. He rose from homelessness to owning his own studio on the former headquarters of Delta Air Lines. His House of Payne and Meet the Browns enjoy regular programming on TBS. His book Don't Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings sold 400,000 copies in its first year of release. His DVDs have sold over 25 million copies. And he does cast a host of black actresses in leading roles, such as Lynn Whitfield, Cicely Tyson, Angela Bassett, Sanaa Lathan, Gabrielle Union, Taraji P. Henson and Alfre Woodard--women who have been largely overlooked by Hollywood. Yet the roles he provides these celebrated actresses with are hardly ideal.

Perry has been incredibly prolific, producing films at an average of two per year. His next film, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, will be released in early September. As in many of his previous films, women will deal with abuse, abandonment and collapsing family structures, in addition to both physical and sexual violence. But the process by which these women move from tragedy into hope is problematic. Perry is uniquely poised to become the second most influential African-American in media (following Oprah Winfrey, of course) and is quickly on his way to reaching the exclusive billionaires' club. But shouldn't he consider creating characters that speak to complexity and not caricature? How can black women achieve equity in media ownership, images and leadership if they're always portrayed as stereotypes? Mr. Perry, you owe your audience something better. Source

 
Now, I have my opinion of this article, but I want to know how you all feel about it.

 
 
The word DIVA is thrown around so loosely today.  People are now being given the title without having to do the work to first secure the rights to the claim.  Ms. Whitney Houston is not such a person.  If you looked up the word DIVA in a dictionary I'm pretty sure her face would come up.  Welcome back Ms. Houston.  You sure have been missed.
 
Whitney Houston's new album, "I Look To You," is in stores today.  Make sure you go and get your copy.  If you purchase the album please come back and tell us what you think of it.
 
 

OAK BLUFFS, Mass.---- President Barack Obama promised Saturday that his administration would not forget what he called a tragic response to Hurricane Katrina. He said he would visit the still-recovering New Orleans before the end of the year.

Obama has already dispatched 11 members of the Cabinet to the region to inspect progress and to hear directly local ideas on how to speed up repairs to a region destroyed by flooding four years ago this weekend.

"None of us can forget how we felt when those winds battered the shore, the floodwaters began to rise and Americans were stranded on rooftops and in stadiums," Obama said during his weekly radio and Internet address, released while he is vacationing on Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts.

"Whole neighborhoods of a great American city were left in ruins. Communities across the Gulf Coast were forever changed. And many Americans questioned whether government could fulfill its responsibility to respond in a crisis."

 

 
Damn, Damn, Damn!!!!!!!   I grew up on this show.  It was the show that started my love affair with reading---that continues to this day.  I swear we just don't value education in this country.  Whatever happened to R.I.F.?  Reading Is Fundamental.  We don't believe in fundamentals anymore.  I'm devastated.
 
 
 
It's the end of an era.

"Reading Rainbow," the reading show hosted by actor LeVar Burton, ended its 26-year run on PBS on Friday.

It was the third-longest running children's show on public television, following "Sesame Street" and the late, lamented "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," which lives on in reruns.

Like lots of things in a tight economy, "Reading Rainbow" was a victim of insufficient funding.

John Grant, director of content at WNED in Buffalo, New York, the show's home station, told NPR the show's producers could not raise the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to keep the show on the air.

He also told the network that the decision to fold the show was linked to a change in the underlying philosophy of education programming, signaled by the Bush administration, which, Grant said, wanted programming that focused more on the how of reading (i.e. phonics, spelling), rather than the why. That shift, NPR reported, was confirmed by a PBS official.

"'Reading Rainbow' taught kids why to read," Grant says. "You know, the love of reading. [The show] encouraged kids to pick up a book and to read."

"My daughter loved that show. ... We always watched it together, and many times we'd look for the books presented on the show," said Dorothy Isenberg Edelstein, a teacher in New York. "This is outrageous. My students love it too. I've shown it in the art room. And, so, the pendulum swings once again.

"Why is it that we just can't seem to find a way to teach kids how to love reading AND how to read at the same time?" Edelstein asked. "We continually throw the baby out with the bathwater in this country. Shame on us!  I'm starting my 26th year in the classroom, and it never ends."

Karen Pugh, of Odenton, Maryland, near Baltimore, was stunned to hear the show was ending.

"YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!!" she wrote in an e-mail. "My daughter grew up on Reading Rainbow. Need to do a poison pen email!!"

Like a lot of commercial television shows that develop large fan bases, people have emotional and nostalgic memories of growing up watching certain shows, then seeing their children captivated by them as well.

For example, there are several Facebook pages dedicated to "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," one of which has more than 1,700 members. In August 2008, a group quickly formed a page dedicated to persuading PBS to keep the show on the air when a bad rumor started that it would be pulled from PBS' lineup.

The network wasn't pulling the program; it was simply a change in the way the program would be distributed to member stations.

More than 12,000 people are fans or members of "Reading Rainbow" pages on Facebook, and DVDs of the series are available in stores and online.

"I loved 'Reading Raibow,'" said Jaleh Fassihi, who had hoped her a 10-month-old daughter, Leilah, would grow up watching the show. "I hope they reconsider canceling the show.  I really think the show encouraged me to read." Source

Aug 30, 2009



Work it out Mary!

Aug 28, 2009

 
 
Serena Williams got very candid in an interview with People Magazine.  She spoke about her memoirs 'On The Line' as well as getting candid about her issues with her body.  One of the most telling parts of the interview was what she had to say about the death of her sister Yetunde.  Here is what she said:
 
Williams was devastated at the 2003 shooting death of Yetunde Price. The shooter, Robert Edward Maxfield, pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The heart of the book is about the loss of your sister, Yetunde.
It was a real dark period in my life. I went through depression. I never even talked about it to my mom. No one knew I was in therapy, but I was. I was so close to her.
 
Here is what she said about her relationship.  I think this is the first time she's ever acknowledged the relationship publicly.  Everybody and their momma know she's talking about Common
 
Are you an easy girlfriend to have?
No. I'm probably the worst girlfriend to have. I'm insecure; I think most girls are. I travel so much that it makes having a relationship hard. I can't compromise my career for someone else, and that's always difficult for guys to understand.

You're dating someone in the public eye right now. What's that like?
You can go on a Web site and there will be all sorts of gossip about them. They're spotted hanging out with someone, and he's suddenly 'romantically linked' with someone else. And you have all your friends calling you and asking what's going on. That can be annoying. Really, it's kind of stupid. You can't let the media decide how your relationship is going to be. You have to communicate. Trust is very important to me, and I'm not going to get my information about my boyfriend from the media. Sometimes I read that I broke up with him, and I have to call and confirm. (Laughs) Which actually is my favorite part, because I love to make that phone call and be like, 'Are we still together?'
 


The Atlanta mayoral race went into overdrive Thursday when two of the leading candidates held dueling press conferences to talk about race.

Sen. Kasim Reed (D-Atlanta) and City Council President Lisa Borders were responding to a letter that has been circulating through the city calling for a black agenda. Specifically, the letter strongly implies that the city would be better off electing a black mayor. More specifically, the letter endorses Borders.

Reed urged the Borders campaign to denounce the email, which he called "divisive," and "racist."

Long-time Atlanta political insider and consultant Aaron Turpeau has been distributing the letter, but has denied actually writing it. He said the paper was produced by an ad hoc group of black Atlantans who have been meeting on and off since 1994 to promote a "black agenda."

"This campaign should be based on the merits of each candidate, not the color of someone's skin," Reed said at his news conference.

About an hour later, Borders did just that.

"I recognize the constitutional right of every citizen to express their concern," Borders said. "I reject the analysis offered by Aaron Turpeau. He is absolutely wrong. I oppose anyone, or any race, who would distract us from what is important today."  Source

 


chriscourt2.jpg image by Image-Gallery
 
 
Chris Brown sat down Wednesday with Larry King at the network's Hollywood studio for his first interview since his Feb. 8 arrest for brutally beating ex-girlfriend Rihanna.

The taping is scheduled to air on Wednesday, Sept. 2 at 9 p.m. ET.

E! News quoted an unnamed source who claimed the interview was a "no-holds-barred chat during which Brown answered every question put to him." 

Discussion likely included the 20-year-old's probation report, which was released this week and offered an account of the beating in disturbing detail. The report also indicated that he had been violent with Rihanna on at least two occasions before the Feb. 8 attack that resulted in his assault charges.

Brown was said to have appeared on "Larry King Live" with his attorney Mark Geragos and mother Joyce Hawkins, who reportedly "got very emotional and started to cry during the interview." Source
   

Aug 27, 2009

 
 
Now, this is the type of cover I expect from a fashion magazine.  It may only be the supplement cover for Vogue Italia, but I love it nonetheless. The people at Vogue Italia knows what it mean to be Avant Garde. 
 
 
 

DeKalb County school officials on Wednesday released a final report on the suicide of 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera, saying his death could not be attributed solely to "a simplistic case of bullying."

"The investigation reveals a multitude of complex and significant factors impacting" his life, the report said, including "serious domestic abuse" between Jaheem's mother and her boyfriend.

This marks the first time family violence has been mentioned as a possible factor in the boy's emotional state.

Jaheem hanged himself at home April 16.

His mother, Masika Bermudez, has insisted Jaheem killed himself after being constantly bullied at Dunaire Elementary School in Stone Mountain.

Attorney Gerald Griggs, the family's spokesman, said past domestic violence incidents against Bermudez have no bearing on the case. System officials, he said, are purposely trying to divert attention away from problems at the school.

"I would hope they'd do the responsible thing and take responsibility" for what caused Jaheem to take his own life, Griggs said. "The evidence is out there. We have witnesses, including school teachers."

But so does retired Fulton Superior Court Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore, who DeKalb officials hired to lead an investigation into Bermudez's allegations.

Moore has previously talked about her preliminary findings, which were made public in May. But the report released Wednesday is the first written account of Moore's complete investigation.

Much of it documents her previous finding that Jaheem was not repeatedly bullied at school and that school officials acted appropriately when fights involving Jaheem were brought to their attention.

 
 
 This case keeps getting more bizarre.  The school system can point fingers at the mother and the mother can point fingers at the school system but at the end of the day Jaheem is still gone and there is nothing that is going to change that.  I personally believe there is enough blame to be shared by everybody.  I just find it hard to believe that an 11 year old child all of a sudden decides to have suicidal thoughts and kills himself right at that moment.  He had to show some signs that he was depressed.  I just think a lot of people don't realize that children get depressed and they need help.  When I was growing up two of my classmates commited suicide.  One killed himself when we were in the seventh grade and the other (who was a year older than me) killed himself when he was in the tenth grade.  If you want more insight to this issue I suggest you check out Dana Perry's documentary "Boy Interrupted" chronicling the depression and eventual suicide of her 15 year old son Evan.  It's one of the most powerful documentaries I've ever seen covering the issue of children and depression.

 
 
Godspeed to the Great Liberal Lion.  Thank you for your tireless advocacy on behalf of the Poor and downtrodden, women, African Americans, and the countless other people who felt that they didn't have a voice.  You really mattered to us all.  You inspired a little Black girl from Georgia to realize that even she can make a difference in this world if she is willing to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves and be a voice for those who are voiceless.  Sen. Kennedy you were all those things and then some.  Thank you for being unapologetically you.  May your soul truly rest in peace.
 
The Savvy Sista

 
 
OAK BLUFFS, Mass. — A White House official says President Barack Obama will deliver a eulogy at Sen. Edward Kennedy's funeral Mass.
 
The funeral will take place Saturday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica — commonly known as the Mission Church — in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston. Kennedy will be buried the same day at Arlington National Cemetery near his slain brothers.

The White House official spoke with The Associated Press on Martha's Vineyard, the island resort south of Boston where the first family is vacationing. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the Kennedy family had not yet made an announcement. Source

 
 
 


 
 
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A man from the West African nation Togo has admitted his role in the smuggling of dozens of girls and women who were forced to work at hair braiding salons in New Jersey.

Lassissi Afolabi pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to conspiring with his ex-wife and others to commit forced labor and related crimes in Newark and East Orange, where he lived.

Afolabi has been held without bail since his arrest in September 2007. He could face up to life in prison when he's sentenced Dec. 8.

Prosecutors say between October 2002 and September 2007 at least 20 girls and women were taken from Togo using fraudulent visas. The girls were forced to work six or seven days a week and to turn over all of their earnings to the defendants. Source

 
 
Imagine if this had happened to your daughter, sister, cousin, friend, or mother.  How would you feel about the situation then?
 
 
The officer's report from the night Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna was revealed by the court on Wednesday and provides a horrific account of the beating in graphic detail.

According to the report, police responded to 911 calls of a "screaming woman" -- and eventually arrived on scene to find a "very upset and crying" Rihanna sitting in the driver's seat of a parked vehicle.

Rihanna told the officer she got into an argument with Brown over something that had occurred at an event they were at earlier in the evening.

"The victim said she became enraged and slammed both of her fists against the dashboard on the passenger side of the car they were in," the document stated. "She reported that the defendant then pulled the vehicle over and reached over her with his right hand. He opened the car door and tried to force the victim out."

According to the report, Brown was unable to shove Rihanna out of the car because she was wearing a seatbelt. The report continues, "When he could not force her to exit, he took his right hand and shoved her head against the passenger window of the car.

"The victim then faced the defendant and he punched her in the left eye with his right hand. He then continued driving. As he drove, he continued to punch the victim in the face with his right hand while steering the vehicle with his left hand."

Rihanna told police the "assault caused her mouth to fill with blood and blood to splatter over her clothing and the inside of the car." After Brown "stopped his first assault .. she looked in the mirror and saw her eye beginning to swell," according to the report.

[Brown] looked at [Rihanna] and said 'I'm going to beat the sh** out of you when we get home! You wait and see!'"

Rihanna told police she tried to call her personal assistant, but she didn't answer. Rihanna said she then "pretended to talk, saying, 'I'm on my way home. Make sure the cops are there when I get there.'" Rihanna says she pulled the act "because she did not want to get beat anymore."

But after Rihanna's fake phone conversation, she claims Brown "looked at [Rihanna] and said, "You just did the stupidest thing ever! Now I'm really going to kill you!"

Rihanna told cops that Brown began a second round of punches, "during which time [Rihanna] interlocked her fingers behind her head and brought her elbows forward to protect her face." He continued to punch her on her left arm, which caused a contusion on her left tricep.

At that point Rihanna tried texting her assistant, but Brown threw the phone out of the car and stopped the vehicle. Rihanna then tried opening her door to get out, but Brown sped off and the door shut with Rihanna still inside.

The report states that Brown placed Rihanna in a headlock as he drove, then bit her left ear. The car eventually stopped and Rihanna took the keys out of the ignition. Brown responded by punching her again in the face and arms. He again placed her in a headlock and started applying pressure to her carotid artery, according to the report. She couldn't breathe and began to lose consciousness. She tried freeing herself as Brown bit her left ring and middle fingers, then released her.

Rihanna took off her shoe and tried breaking the passenger window as he continued to punch her. Eventually, Brown got out of the car. Rihanna opened the door and continued screaming. Brown began punching her again. He got back in the car and screamed "Where are my f***ing keys?" He got out, looked for the keys in vain, and when he could not find them removed several CDs and walked away.

Officers were called and observed numerous contusions and abrasions to Rihanna's face and forehead, as well as bruising on her left arm. There were other injuries as well. Investigators determined Brown was wearing a large ring on his right hand which caused several of Rihanna's injuries. Source

Aug 26, 2009

Pastor Killed
 
 
 

The scene inside a small Pentecostal churchwhere a pastor was slain was "horrific," an Oklahoma district attorneysaid Tuesday, calling it the most brutal he has seen in nearly 20 years as a prosecutor.

Police have released scant information about the killing of 61-year-old Carol Daniels, whose body was found Sunday inside the Christ Holy Sanctified Church, a weather-beaten building on a rundown block near downtown Anadarko. A preliminary autopsy deemed Daniels' death a homicide caused by "multiple sharp force injuries," said Cherokee Ballard, spokeswoman for the state Medical Examiner's office. She declined to discuss further details.

"I've prosecuted over 50 murders," District Attorney Bret Burns said. "This is the most horrific crime scene I've ever witnessed." He declined to elaborate, saying he did not want to jeopardize the investigation.

With little official word on the grisly killing, rumors in the town were swirling as people wondered what motivated the crime and who was responsible. Burns has called for a meeting of local pastors on Wednesday.

Click here to read entire article.

 
 


 
 
Click here to preview entire album.  Come back and tell me your thoughts.
 
 

 
You can now call her Dr. Roxanne Shante.       

The '80s rapper who recorded "Roxanne's Revenge" in response to UTFO's classic hit "Roxanne Roxanne" has earned a Ph.D from Cornell University, thanks to a forgotten clause in her first record deal.

"This is a story that needs to be told," Shante said in an interview with the New York Daily News. "I'm an example that you can be a teenage mom, come from the projects, and be raised by a single parent, and you can still come out of it a doctor."       

When she signed with Warner Music 25 years ago, Shante – born Lolita Gooden – made sure that her contract included a promise to pay for any education she may seek.       

"Roxanne's Revenge" went on to sell 250,000 in New York City alone in 1984, but she saw very little of the royalties. After two albums, Shante said she was disillusioned by the music industry and swindled by her record company.

"Everybody was cheating with the contracts, stealing and telling lies," said Shante, then a teen mother living in the Queensbridge Houses projects. "And to find out that I was just a commodity was heartbreaking."
      
But Shante, then 19, remembered a clause in her Warner Music recording contract: The company would fund her education for life. She eventually cashed in, earning a Ph.D. in psychology from the Ivy League school to the tune of $217,000 - all covered by the label. Getting Warner Music to cough up the dough, however, was a battle.       

"They kept stumbling over their words, and they didn't have an exact reason why they were telling me no," Shante said.       

Shante found an arm-twisting ally in Marguerita Grecco, the dean at Marymount Manhattan College. Shante showed her the contract, and the dean let her attend classes for free while pursuing the money.       

"I told Dean Grecco that either I'm going to go here or go to the streets, so I need your help," Shante recalls. "She said, 'We're going to make them pay for this.'"       

Grecco submitted and resubmitted the bills to the label, which finally agreed to honor the contract when Shante threatened to go public with the story.       

Shante earned her doctorate in 2001, and launched an unconventional therapy practice focusing on urban African-Americans - a group traditionally reluctant to seek mental health help.       

"People put such a taboo on therapy, they feel it means they're going crazy," she explained. "No, it doesn't. It just means you need someone else to talk to."       

The 38-year-old is also active in the community. She offers $5,000 college scholarships each semester to female rappers through the nonprofit Hip Hop Association.

She also dispenses advice to young women in the music business via a MySpace page.

"I call it a warning service, so their dreams don't turn into nightmares," she said. Source
 
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge on Tuesday sentenced Chris Brown to five years' probation and six months' community labor for the beating of Rihanna and ordered the R&B singer to stay away from his former girlfriend for the next five years.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg told Brown that he could be sent to state prison if he violated any terms of his sentence, including an order to stay 100 yards away from Rihanna unless they're attending music industry events.

A probation report prepared for Tuesday's sentencing describes two previous violent incidents. It said the first happened about three months before the February beating while the couple was traveling in Europe; Rihanna slapped Brown during an argument, and he shoved her into a wall. In the second instance, Brown allegedly broke the front and passenger side windows on a Range Rover they were driving while visiting Barbados, Rihanna's home country. Neither attack was reported, the probation report states.

Brown will serve his sentence in his home state — Virginia — and his community labor will be overseen by the police chief in Richmond.

The judge said she wanted to ensure that Brown, 20, performs physical labor instead of community service, such as mentoring young people. He will also undergo a year of domestic violence counseling.

Rihanna did not attend Tuesday's sentencing.

At one point, Brown, who was accompanied by his mother, agreed to the terms of the sentence before Schnegg had finished going through them all.

The hearing had been planned for Thursday afternoon, but Brown's lawyer, Mark Geragos, asked to move up the singer's sentencing to Tuesday. A previous attempt to sentence Brown was postponed when Schnegg said she hadn't received adequate assurances that Brown would perform physical labor if allowed to serve probation in Virginia.

The judge said she was satisfied with a letter presented by Geragos that Richmond Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood will directly oversee Brown's labor program.

After Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault in June, Schnegg ordered the pair to stay away from each other and to not contact one another. Her order Tuesday essentially extended that until Brown completes his sentence.

Donald Etra, Rihanna's attorney, has said he didn't think the strict rules were necessary, but that he and Rihanna favored a less-stringent ruling that simply ordered Brown not to annoy, harass or molest the 21-year-old pop singer. He said after Tuesday's hearing that Rihanna did not object to the stay-away order, which allows the former couple to be within 10 yards of each other if they are attending music industry events.

Schnegg said she was aware of reports that Brown had been spotted on several occasions in the same places as Rihanna.

"I am not amused with the chatter that has been on the airwaves and any violation of your probation in this case comes with the potential for state prison," Schnegg told Brown.
 
 
Paul Quinn College, the oldest historically black college in Texas, has been stripped of its accreditation effective immediately, placing its future in jeopardy.
 
Monday, college officials prepared to fight the decision of an appeals panel with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and find other means of gaining accreditation.
 
In Texas, colleges can not award diplomas if they are not accredited, and students can not qualify for some government-sponsored financial aid.
 
Paul Quinn President Michael Sorrell remained confident of the college's ability to continue with its mission.
 
"Under no set of circumstances are we closing, nor do we expect to be an institution that does not have the ability to grant degrees," said Sorrell, who has headed the 137-year-old institution since 2007.
 
Sorrell was hired about the same time the commission on colleges put Paul Quinn on probation for failing to comply with 23 standards. The list has since dwindled to three: financial stability, financial resources and institutional effectiveness, the latter related to student outcomes.
 
The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools voted in June to drop Paul Quinn's membership from the accrediting agency, citing shaky finances and sub-par student outcomes.
 
An appeals committee ruled that the accrediting agency followed procedure and was "neither arbitrary nor unreasonable" in reaching its decision. The committee met in Atlanta last week to consider the appeal.
 
In a statement from SACS obtained from BlackAmericaweb.com, SACS said, "The Commission's policies allow for no further appeal of this decision. Removal of accredited status is effective the date of the notification of the Appeals Committee decision: August 24, 2009."
 
The SACS statement said that an institution can reapply for membership at anytime; however, an application should be submitted only if and when an institution has corrected the deficiencies that caused its loss of membership.
 
Ted Kennedy dead at 77
 
 

Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died late Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77.

"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," a family statement said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice."

President Obama learned about Kennedy's death at 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to a senior administration official. Obama later called Kennedy's widow to offer condolences.

In a statement, Obama says: "An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time."

Kennedy, nicknamed "Ted," was the younger brother of slain President John F. Kennedy and New York Sen. Robert Kennedy, who was gunned down while seeking the White House in 1968. However, his own presidential aspirations were hobbled by the controversy around a 1969 auto accident that left a young woman dead, and a 1980 primary challenge to then-President Jimmy Carter that ended in defeat.

But while the White House eluded his grasp, the longtime Massachusetts senator was considered one of the most effective legislators of the past few decades. Kennedy, who became known as the "Lion of the Senate," played major roles in passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, and was an outspoken liberal standard-bearer during a conservative-dominated era from the 1980s to the early 2000s.

Click here to read the entire article.

 

The lost of Ted Kennedy has to be a major blow to the Democratics.  He was the face of Healthcare Reform and without his guidance I'm not sure what the Democratics are going to do.  His absence is indicative of how things are going for the Dems as far as the debate on Healthcare Reform is going.  The lost of Ted Kennedy is a great lost for the country especially the "Little Guy."  Sen. Kennedy was the ultimate champion for the "Little Guy."   

Aug 25, 2009

 
 
NEW YORK — The year's not even over, but Billboard already knows who its woman of the year is — Beyonce.

The superstar will be honored by the industry publication at its annual Women in Music event.

Past "Woman of the Year" honorees were Ciara and Reba McEntire.

Beyonce will be on hand to accept her award at the Oct. 2 event in New York City. It's been yet another big year for the entertainer. She had the smash hit "Single Ladies," sang at President Obama's inauguration, had a No. 1 movie with "Obsessed" and embarked on an arena tour. Source

Congratulations to Beyonce.  I have to admit I admire the girl's hustle.
This story was so unbelievable that I had to post it.  Some people just shouldn't have children. 
 

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Authorities said a man was arrested after being accused of leaving two small children in his vehicle while he was in a Clearwater strip club. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office reports that the 33-year-old man left a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old in a car late Sunday night. The report said the man was in the club, drinking at the bar, for 30 to 60 minutes.

The nature of the relationship between the man and the children was not released.

He was arrested on two felony counts of child neglect and is being held at the Pinellas County Jail on $10,000 bail. (Source)


 
 
Can you believe today marks the 8th anniversary of Aaliyah's death?  I can remember exactly where I was when my two way pager (remember those) went off announcing that she had been killed.  This was one those celebrity deaths I took really hard because Baby Girl was only a year older than me.  Her death reminded me that you can't take anything in this life for granted.  R.I.P. Aaliyah Dana Haughton.  Gone but not forgotten.

 
 
 
HAVANA (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is trying to make positive changes in the United States, but is being fought at every turn by right-wingers who hate him because he is black, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said on Tuesday.

In an unusually conciliatory column in the state-run media, Castro said Obama had inherited many problems from his predecessor, George W. Bush, and was trying to resolve them. But the "powerful extreme right won't be happy with anything that diminishes their prerogatives in the slightest way."

Obama does not want to change the U.S. political and economic system, but "in spite of that, the extreme right hates him for being African-American and fights what the president does to improve the deteriorated image of that country," Castro wrote.

"I don't have the slightest doubt that the racist right will do everything possible to wear him down, blocking his program to get him out of the game one way or another, at the least political cost," he said.

Castro, who writes regular commentaries for Cuba's state-run media, has criticized Obama, complimented him occasionally and said that he is watching him closely to see if he means what he says about changing U.S. policy toward Cuba.

His latest column comes during a visit to Cuba by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson that has stirred speculation that he may try to push U.S.-Cuba relations forward.

 
 

 
 

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County coroner's finding that the death of Michael Jackson was a homicide could mean criminal charges for his doctor, who told investigators that he administered a mix of powerful drugs to treat the pop star's insomnia hours before his death.

The homicide ruling was based on forensic tests that found the anesthetic propofol combined with at least two sedatives to kill Jackson, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the findings have not been publicly released.

While the finding does not necessarily mean a crime was committed, it means more likely that criminal charges will be filed against Dr. Conrad Murray, the Las Vegas cardiologist who was caring for Jackson when he died June 25 in a rented Los Angeles mansion.

Through his lawyer, Murray has said he administered nothing that "should have" killed Jackson.

Murray told investigators that at the time of the King of Pop's death, he had been trying to wean Jackson off propofol. The doctor said he'd been treating Jackson for insomnia for about six weeks with 50 milligrams of the drug every night via an intravenous drip, a search warrant affidavit said.

Murray said he feared Jackson was becoming addicted to the anesthetic, which is supposed to be used only in hospitals and other advanced medical settings.

The affidavit unsealed in Houston, where Los Angeles police took materials from one of Murray's clinics last month as part of their manslaughter investigation, includes a detailed account of what detectives say Murray told them. Manslaughter is homicide without malice or premeditation.

Murray told detectives that he had lowered the propofol dose to 25 milligrams and added the sedatives lorazepam and midazolam two days prior to Jackson's death, a combination that succeeded in helping the pop star sleep. The next day, Murray said, he cut off the propofol — and Jackson fell asleep with just the two sedatives.

But on June 25, Murray said he tried unsuccessfully to make Jackson sleep with a series of drugs that included a 10-milligram tablet of Valium and repeated injections of two milligrams of lorazepam and two milligrams of midazolam.

When they didn't work, he gave in to Jackson's "repeated demands/requests" for propofol, which the singer called his "milk," according to the affidavit. Murray administered 25 milligrams of the white-colored liquid — a relatively small dose — and finally, Jackson fell asleep.

Murray remained with the sedated Jackson for about 10 minutes, then left for the bathroom, the affidavit said. Less than two minutes later, Murray returned — and found Jackson had stopped breathing.

Click here to read entire article.




 
 
 
There still a smidgeon of life left in "The Game" -- the series, not the rapper. BET is still in talks to order a new season of the cancelled CW comedy, thanks to continued lobbying from series creator Mara Brock Akil.

A month before the "Girlfriends" spinoff was axed in May following three seasons, Akil began pitching the CW an hour-long version of the show as a way of to keep it on the network, which had decided to drop all of its half-hour comedies.      

 When "Game's" cancellation became official, BET began preliminary talks with producer CBS Studios about possibly taking in the series with new originals. The cable network already runs repeats of both "Game" and "Girlfriends."

The options on the "Game" actors have lapsed, according to the Hollywood Reporter, so if a deal is reached with BET, CBS Studios would have to make new pacts with them.
 
I really hope this rumor is true because I thoroughly enjoyed the show.  Now, the fact that it would be on BET would be a hard pill to swallow, but I'll just be happy if it's still on television.  I think the show has a little more life in it.  I mean seriously, Kelly can't just knock Tasha Mack out (even if she deserved it) and the story just ends like that.  I need more.  Hopefully they'll be able to get all the actors to return.  If not, then there really isn't a point of bringing the show back.
tameka-foster-newswire-335a062007.jpg image by SASHAUNANTM
 
 
I had a feeling Tameka Foster Raymond was not going to take the accusations that she plagarized her Huffington Post article lying down.  Tameka took to Russell Simmons' Global Grind website to dispel the rumors.  She even referred to Jawn Murray (the entertainment reporter for Black Voices) as a "disreputable gossip writer."
 
Here is a snippet of her response to Aisha Curry:
 
Soo a ridiculous rumor has emerged that the recent blog entry I wrote for the Huffington Post was plagiarized. Wow!! This is an unfounded insinuation that has no basis, merit or truth. I've never heard of this author or her book until Thursday afternoon. African-American women struggling with complexion issues is not a novel or an original topic. It's an issue that has been written about for ages. Numerous African-American publications and online sites have addressed this topic. Even the Tyra Banks Show devoted an entire segment to it. shared my personal story as a dark skinned woman in America, an experience that parallels millions of other Black women. Regrettably, this other author has no copyright (or patent) on the Black female experience. While I'm delighted to discover there is a new book with a similar theme available I only wish the author would have embraced our commonality as sisters in this struggle rather than opt for such a defamatory public recourse via a disreputable gossip writer. Approach is everything. Plagiarism is a serious implication that I'm extremely disheartened and insulted by. If this author can produce the same references in her book that I made to Alek Wek, poet Khalil Gibran, an experience in Brazil, disparaging public comments surrounding living as a "dark skinned" woman as well as scrutiny regarding her marriage to an R&B singer then perhaps she should seek legal counsel to handle this matter with the proper protocol. Source
 
 
So who do you believe: Tameka Foster Raymond or Aisha Curry?

Aug 24, 2009


Omari Hardwick
 
 

"All my life I've only brought sisters home to meet my family, but my ex-girlfriend who I dated for three years happened to be Native American and German. When I brought her home, my mother and family embraced her. Last November, we lost our baby and she sacrificed a lot because her family pretty much disowned her because she was dating me, and in the end it didn't work out. But, just because I happened to date outside of my race, it doesn't mean I'm running away from sisters. I have a younger sister who I think is perfect—beautiful and educated. What I think sisters need to understand is that a real brother like myself knows that no one can compare to a sister. We're not sitting around with the boys and when a sister walks by, thinking, "I love that sister across the street, but I'm going to go and holler at this White girl." I consider myself a real brother, and there's nothing more that I appreciate than the swag and sway in a Black woman's security—that is just a little untouchable.

And just to clarify: there's a difference between a Black woman and a sister. President Barack Obama has a sister as his First Lady, and I love him for that. The difference is that a sister understands that she has insecurities, but has the courage and strength to say let's be proactive and continue our African-American sisterhood by not moonwalking backwards, but moving forward by staying empowered. So if there's a brother on the block who ain't checking for her she realizes what side of the block he's walking on and whether or not he's the good brother that God would send to allow her to be a good woman. A Black woman won't be able to make that distinction because she's searching for all the wrong things.

 
 
So, what do you ladies think about what Mr. Hardwick had to say?  I know you all have an opinion on the subject matter.  And, can someone please break down the 'Sister vs. Black Woman' comparison.  I didn't get it.  I need someone to elaborate for me because I don't know where the brother was trying to go with that one.
 
The mother of a South African track star whose gender was questioned after she became the women's 800m world champion last week has shown her birth certificate to the BBC as proof that she is indeed a she.

Caster Semenya, 18, was told to take a gender test after several remarkable improvements in recent performances on the track. Visited by the BBC, Semenya's mother said that her child is certainly female.       

"I have no doubt about what I see. It's a girl," Dorcus Semenya said.

The case has sparked anger in South Africa, where many have said she has been unfairly treated.  A South African official said Semenya almost snubbed her gold medal ceremony because of the test.  The president of Athletics South Africa, Leonard Chuene, told a local newspaper that he had to "persuade" the athlete to go to the podium to accept her award.       

"She is not rejoicing. She [didn't] want the medal," Chuene told South Africa's Times newspaper. "She told me: 'No-one ever said I was not a girl but here [at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin] I am not. I am not a boy.'"      

"Why did you bring me here? You should have left me in my village at home," Semenya reportedly asked Chuene.       

The International Association of Athletics Federation ordered Semenya to take the gender test after she improved her personal best by more than eight seconds over the past year. The IAAF stresses that it does not suspect her of deliberately cheating but questions whether she may have a rare medical condition which gives her an unfair advantage.
       

 

ALBANY — Gov. David A. Paterson lashed out on Friday at critics who say he should not run for election, and he suggested that he was being undermined by an orchestrated, racially biased effort by the media to force him to step aside.

The governor, on a morning radio talk show, said that Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, the only other African-American governor, was suffering similar treatment, and he predicted that President Obama would, too.

"We're not in the postracial period," he told Errol Louis, a columnist for The Daily News and the host of the radio program, on WWRL-AM. "My feeling is it's being orchestrated, it's a game, and people who pay attention know that," he added.

The governor sounded hurt and frustrated, but his comments failed to rally much immediate support, even among allies. Some African-American supporters distanced themselves from his assertion, saying that Mr. Paterson's problems were complex.

Mr. Paterson himself issued a statement on the matter later in the day, saying that not all the media criticism of him could be attributed to race. But he said he would not hesitate to point out even subtle stereotypes in news coverage, and repeated his assertion that America was not yet a postracial society.

Neither the White House nor Governor Patrick's office had any comment.

It was not the first time that Governor Paterson had made broad accusations of racism. In a speech last year to the N.A.A.C.P., he accused the media of unfairly branding him an "accidental governor." In September, he said Senator John McCain's presidential campaign used "racial coding" in its characterizations of Mr. Obama.

But the remarks on Friday were far more emotional, reflecting a growing dismay and isolation as his poll numbers remain perilously low. Even as he has publicly vowed to fight for the governor's office, he has expressed private doubts to some associates about whether he should stand for election next year.

His anger appeared to be triggered when Mr. Louis referred to a television interview of the Rev. Al Sharpton conducted by Dominic Carter on NY1 on Thursday. In the interview, Mr. Sharpton was asked about Mr. Paterson's late-night socializing at a Manhattan nightclub, Taj, in July.

Mr. Paterson suggested that Mr. Carter, who is black, was playing to white critics of African-American politicians by bringing up the subject. He also said that media outlets had mischaracterized what happened there. He said that he had not been out past midnight, as had been reported.

The governor suggested that it was part of a pattern of negative media coverage about him.

"We don't have the kind of forces in the community that we had before," he said. "In other words, our black media outlets, save your program and a few others, are the only ways we have access, and even our own reporters from our own community buy the public line, which is, 'We're going to get rid of David Paterson.' "

"The reality is that the next victim on the list is President Barack Obama, who did nothing more than try to reform a health care system" that, he said, constitutes 10 percent of the gross domestic product. It is "only because he's trying to make change," Mr. Paterson said.

 

Tony Fein
 

 

Baltimore Ravens undrafted rookie linebacker Tony Fein was arrested and charged Sunday with assaulting a police officer at a restaurant, authorities said.

Fein, 27, was eating dinner at Johnny Rockets in the Inner Harbor when a security officer thought he saw him pass a handgun to one of his friends, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. It turned out to be a cell phone.

When police questioned Fein, 27, he became belligerent and shoved the officer, Guglielmi said. Sgt. Joseph Donato was knocked to the ground and had an injured elbow, a police report said.

Fein's agent, Milton Dee Hobbs, says it was the officer who was aggressive and that Fein didn't shove him. Hobbs says police approached Fein because he was a black man wearing a sweat suit and hoodie.

Hobbs also says Fein has never owned a weapon.

Police told the Baltimore Sun that the three identified men with Fein fled the scene. Fein did not have a handgun in his possession, according to the newspaper.

Fein attended Mississippi and was signed as a free agent in June following a minicamp tryout. He is an Iraq veteran who served in the Army for more than three years before playing college ball. In two seasons at Ole Miss, he had 136 tackles (77 solo) in 24 games and was given the Pat Tillman Patriot Award by the Military Order of the Purple Heart his senior year of college, according to the Ravens' Web site.

"Like all citizens, Tony will get his due process and have his opportunity to explain," Ravens senior vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne said in a statement. "There are two sides to every story."

Fein was being booked for the misdemeanor charge late Sunday.

According to the report, Donato loudly told Fein: "Stand up, turn around and keep your hands where I can see them." Fein reacted by pushing Donato with one hand while turning around from the restaurant counter, police said.

Donato grabbed Fein by the sweat shirt, forced him to the ground and he and other officers handcuffed him, the report stated.

Fein was not injured, police said.

After a recent increase in gang activity, police have been ordered to be more aggressive in stopping young people that are misbehaving near the Inner Harbor, according to the Baltimore Sun. (Source)

 

 

Aug 23, 2009

I receive so much music that I feel it's time I finally to share some of it. So this is what I decided to do. Every Sunday I will start featuring some of these songs I get. To be honest with you I'm not sure if the songs are are on an upcoming album for the artists or rather it's just a song that didn't make it on the album, but anyway I'm going to share it anyway. I hope you guys will tell me what you think of the songs and the new post idea. What type of music do you all listen to?

Nappy Roots f/ Anthony Hamiliton - Down N Out download


Joe - Can't Get Over You download


Omar Wilson f/ Angie Stone - Get To Know You Better download

Older Music

Beyonce - Poison download


Usher - Cruisin' download

Aug 22, 2009

I knew the day was going to come when I could officially be declared old or rather out of touch. I knew the day was coming, but I never thought it would come so soon. I mean dang I'm only 29, but after watching this video by this young girl named Cymphonique I knew it was time for me to hang it up.



This child can't be no more than 12 and she's making a song called "Lil Miss Swagger." I just don't get it. My a$$ is officially old because I'm looking at this video and this child is dressed like a 25 year old. I just don't understand what happened to the days of kids being allowed to be kids. I mean we had child stars when I was growing up, but damn they still looked like kids. I just don't get it. Please help me out with this people. Am I being a little too sensitive or what?


This song was made for the Lebron James movie/documentary.

Aug 21, 2009


According to news reports, the Obama administration — which seemed, over the weekend, to be backing away from the "public option" for health insurance — is shocked and surprised at the furious reaction from progressives.

Well, I'm shocked and surprised at their shock and surprise.

A backlash in the progressive base — which pushed President Obama over the top in the Democratic primary and played a major role in his general election victory — has been building for months. The fight over the public option involves real policy substance, but it's also a proxy for broader questions about the president's priorities and overall approach.

The idea of letting individuals buy insurance from a government-run plan was introduced in 2007 by Jacob Hacker of Yale, was picked up by John Edwards during the Democratic primary, and became part of the original Obama health care plan.

One purpose of the public option is to save money. Experience with Medicare suggests that a government-run plan would have lower costs than private insurers; in addition, it would introduce more competition and keep premiums down.

And let's be clear: the supposed alternative, nonprofit co-ops, is a sham. That's not just my opinion; it's what the market says: stocks of health insurance companies soared on news that the Gang of Six senators trying to negotiate a bipartisan approach to health reform were dropping the public plan. Clearly, investors believe that co-ops would offer little real competition to private insurers.

Also, and importantly, the public option offered a way to reconcile differing views among Democrats. Until the idea of the public option came along, a significant faction within the party rejected anything short of true single-payer, Medicare-for-all reform, viewing anything less as perpetuating the flaws of our current system. The public option, which would force insurance companies to prove their usefulness or fade away, settled some of those qualms.

That said, it's possible to have universal coverage without a public option — several European nations do it — and some who want a public option might be willing to forgo it if they had confidence in the overall health care strategy. Unfortunately, the president's behavior in office has undermined that confidence.

On the issue of health care itself, the inspiring figure progressives thought they had elected comes across, far too often, as a dry technocrat who talks of "bending the curve" but has only recently begun to make the moral case for reform. Mr. Obama's explanations of his plan have gotten clearer, but he still seems unable to settle on a simple, pithy formula; his speeches and op-eds still read as if they were written by a committee.

Meanwhile, on such fraught questions as torture and indefinite detention, the president has dismayed progressives with his reluctance to challenge or change Bush administration policy.

And then there's the matter of the banks.

 
 
Amen, Paul.  I couldn't said it better myself. 

 
While in the airport for my flight to Denver, I decided to stop at one of the newstands to grab a magazine to read.  I was perusing the different magazines when the glorious face of Idris Elba caught my eye.  Now, you know I'm a sucker for Idris so I had to pick the magazine up.  The magazine I picked up turned out to be the August issue of Essence magazine.  Now, it's been months since I let my subscription to Essence lapse so I wasn't sure if I wanted to support the publication by giving them my money, but the allure of Idris in that white lines shirt was too much for a sista to bare.  I had to have it if only to bask in his divine masculinity.  Lord have mercy...LOL!!!
 
So, once I got pass the cover (you know it took me a few minutes), I decided to check out the contents of the magazine.  Of course I was expecting much since it was the lack of content as to why I allowed my fourteen year subscription to my once favorite magazine expired.  It was during my scan when I came across a very fascinating article entitled Black Women Behaving Badly.  That article resonanted with me so much that I decided to dedicate an entire show this upcoming Sunday on to it.
 
The dynamics between black women is something that is very confusing.  I could never understand how women that can hold up an entire community can have such disdain and contempt for each other.  Where does this distrust stem from?  Why are we so weary of one another?  I mean come on, we've all heard the whispers, "Who do she think she is...", "B!tch thinks she's all that....", "I'll take your man..." and the list goes on.  Trust me, if you haven't heard someone saying this stuff then you are probably the one saying it.  Where does this insecurity stem from?  I realize that this is not a problem only facing the black community, but since I am a resident of said community it is the aspect in which I would like to focus.
 
So, I'm asking everyone to please tune in to Savvy Talk Radio this upcoming Sunday August 23, 2009 at 6 pm EST as we begin to tackle this very tough topic.  I wish to have the input of all my readers so if you would like to share your experience (good or bad) please feel free to leave a comment in the 'Comment Section.'  I'm also looking for people to take part in the live panel discussion.  So if you are interested please feel free to send me an email telling me a little about yourself and why you think you would be perfect to have on the panel for this topic.   
 
 
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.

 
I'm pretty sure so fo you recall recently me posting an entry here about a blog that was written by Tameka Foster Raymond called "She's Pretty for a Dark-Skinned Girl..."  Well, it turns out that there are allegations out there that Ms. Raymond is not the original author of the blog post.  Here is what Jawn Murray is reporting over at Black Voices:
 
When Tameka Foster posted the blog entry "She's Pretty for a Dark-Skinned Girl..." on The Huffington Post, both celebrities and regular women alike celebrated her blog message on Twitter and Facebook.

Unbeknownst to them, while they were saluting Usher Raymond's soon-to-be ex-wife's essay on skin complexion, author Aisha Curry, who wrote the book 'Pretty For a Black Girl' (AuthorHouse/$10.49) read the piece and felt outraged that her tome had been apparently been lifted and used by Foster, who allegedly passed the work off as her own.

"My heart sank into my stomach. All the hard work, all the sleepless nights I had endured was playing back in my head as I read this article written by a woman I didn't even know," Curry told BV Buzz. "Why did I feel so connected to this article? Suddenly, it came to me. It was my work! It was my work, my voice, but in her words. I was frozen. Tears began rolling down my face as I read line after line after line. I couldn't believe it. The idea that someone could gain notoriety from an issue that I first brought to the forefront is mindboggling. People were praising her for tackling an issue that had never been exposed. Hello?!? I wrote the book on it and started it years ago. The only difference between her article and my book is she used 'dark-skinned' and I used 'Black.'"

Curry said she began writing 'Pretty For a Black Girl' in 2007 after receiving compliments about her beauty, only to have them followed up with a reference to her ethnicity.

"One day about five years ago, I was absolutely tired of being told that I was pretty for a black girl," she explained. "I started asking my friends if they had heard this statement before, and as time went on, I realized how prevalent the issue was."

The 96-page pocket-size book, which was self-published in March 2008, was written as a labor of love by Curry, a Bible college student who is dismayed at the idea that Foster plagiarized her hard work on Aug. 11, 2009 for The Huffington Post.

"I received the link and it changed my life. A friend told me that they had read an article in The Huffington Post called 'She's Pretty for a Dark-Skinned Girl' written by Tameka Foster. I knew the title was similar to my book but I didn't jump to any conclusions," Curry recalled. "So, I went to the site and began reading this article. If she would have changed the words 'dark-skinned' to 'black' it would be exactly the same title as my book. My frustration quickly turned to anger and I sought God for answers. 'What do I do? What can I do?' At that moment, the appropriate reaction was tears. All I could do was cry! Thankfully, I had the support of my family and close friends who surrounded me with love. They quoted scriptures from the Bible, which gave me strength. I began to receive phone calls from people who had read the book and they said: 'Wow, I felt like I have heard all that before!' That's when I decided to do something. I picked up the phone and called as many supporters as I could."

 
 
Now, I'm not exactly sure how I feel about the entire thing.  I understand Aisha Curry's point, but I also see how Tameka could have written the article herself because the saying "Pretty for a dark-skinned girl..." is not a new concept.  I can distinctly remember people saying it to my cousin when we were growing up.  It use to disgust me when I was a child just as it disgusts me now.  Telling a woman she is pretty for a dark skinned girl is like telling an overweight woman she has a pretty face...SMDH.  It amazes me the amount of self-hatred that still penetrates our community.  Terms like "Good-hair" and "pretty for a dark skinned girl" are things that continue to be tools of divisiveness in our community.  They serve only one purpose and that is to make us think there is something wrong with our natural African features.  We need to get away from these ideas of white supremacy and realize that the European aesthetic of beauty is not the only aesthetic of beauty.  We need to learn to embrace our own beauty while recognizing the beauty of others.  Black is Beautiful and we need to recognize and truly understand that.
 
Now, getting back to the topic of hand.  It was my understanding that Tameka's tome for Huffington Post was to discuss her recent near death experience with plastic surgery and why a woman with all her access would chose to undergo surgery in order to fit society's standard of beauty.  I hope she didn't plagarize Aisha's work, but if she did Aisha should see this as a blessing in disguise because now I want to read her book as I'm sure a lot of other people are going to.  I've learned early that blessings don't come in the package that you think they should, but they're still blessings nonetheless.

 
 
FAIRLIE, South Africa (AP) — She wore pants instead of a skirt to school, played soccer with the boys and was teased about her masculine looks.

Caster Semenya learned to ignore the taunts. She ran alone across a landscape of high grasses dotted with rocky hills.

She came almost out of nowhere to win the world championship in the 800 meters Wednesday in Berlin, far and away the fastest woman on the track.

Or was she?

Her time of 1 minute, 55.45 seconds was more than 2 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, but now Semenya's gender is the subject of an international investigation.

Even before Berlin, track officials were taking a closer look at the 18-year-old runner, following her performance last month at an international meet where she improved her personal bests in the 800 and 1,500 meters by huge margins.

Her family is outraged at suggestions that Semenya, who has a muscular build and a deep voice, isn't a woman.

"That's how God made her," Semenya's cousin, Evelyn Sekgala, told The Associated Press. "We brought her up in a way that when people start making fun of her, she shouldn't get upset."

Her father, Jacob, has no doubts.

"She is my little girl. ... I raised her and I have never doubted her gender," he told the Sowetan newspaper. "She is a woman and I can repeat that a million times."

Added her paternal grandmother, Maputhi Sekgala: "What can I do when they call her a man, when she's really not a man?

"It is God who made her look that way," she told the South African daily The Times.

Muriel Mkele, 16, remembers how her sister would run for miles on dirt roads in this dry corner of Africa, usually alone because no one could keep up with her as she breezed past low, thorny trees.

Semenya's former headmaster said he thought for years that she was a boy.

"She was always rough and played with the boys," Eric Modiba, head of the Nthema Secondary School, told South Africa's Beeld newspaper. "She liked soccer and she wore pants to school. She never wore a dress. It was only in grade 11 that I realized she's a girl."

The International Amateur Athletic Federation asked the South African athletic federation to conduct the gender test after Semenya burst onto the scene by posting a world-leading time of 1:56.72 in the 800 at the African junior championships in Bambous, Mauritius, on July 31. Her previous best was 2:00.58.

The test, which takes weeks to complete, requires a physical medical evaluation, and includes reports from a gynecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist, an internal medicine specialist and an expert on gender.