Feb 28, 2010

In December, NEWSWEEK argued that new signs of life were showing in the AIDS activism movement. Let's hope so. Recent research published in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that within certain populations in America, the prevalence of HIV-infected people is higher than in certain parts of Africa:

More than 1 in 30 adults in Washington, D.C., are HIV-infected—a prevalence higher than that reported in Ethiopia, Nigeria, or Rwanda. Certain U.S. subpopulations are particularly hard hit. In New York City, 1 in 40 blacks, 1 in 10 men who have sex with men, and 1 in 8 injection-drug users are HIV-infected, as are 1 in 16 black men in Washington, D.C. In several U.S. urban areas, the HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men is as high as 30%—as compared with a general-population prevalence of 7.8% in Kenya and 16.9% in South Africa.

What’s interesting is that the research shows that a person’s sexual network, more than just his or her lifestyle choices, defines the risk of getting HIV in America. So, black and Hispanic women are at increased risk due to the instability of their sexual relationships —which is attributed to the high rate of incarceration of men in their networks—and their vulnerable or dependent economic situation, which may cause them to be fearful of suggesting safer-sex options to their companions. And black men who have sex with men are at high risk because of the likelihood of their choosing to engage in sexual activity with someone who is racially similar, and because of the prevalence of HIV within their sexual networks.

America’s epidemic most strongly affects the urban regions of the Northeast and West Coast, and small towns and cities in the South. Part of this is because these local populations have unprotected sex within “relatively insular social-sexual networks.” Lower-income black Americans with poor education and unstable housing are disproportionally affected, and black or Hispanic women make up more than 25 percent of new HIV infections in the U.S.

More than 20 percent of the estimated 1 million HIV-positive Americans are unaware of their status. Additional behavioral studies, better communication, and preventive education need to be directed toward the identified at-risk communities. It’s time to admit that HIV is still a major threat to Americans. source

This is the kind of story I hate to report on. I pray this isn't true but reliable sources have come forth with the information. Here is what is being reported:

One of Hip Hop's most influential emcees is presently in critical condition, several sources say. Guru, one half of pioneering '80s, '90s and '00s Brooklyn-based Hip Hop group Gang Starr suffered a heart attack this weekend, according to the emcee and producer's sister Tricia.

HipHopWired.com says that the emcee, born Keith Elam is presently in a coma from complications of going into cardiac arrest. Guru is best known for penning hits such as "Words I Manifest," "Discipline" and "Just To Get A Rep." Between 1986 and 2004, Guru founded Gang Starr, a duo with DJ Premier that also includes Gang Starr Foundation affiliates Big Shug, Group Home, Jeru Da Damaja and Smiley Da Ghetto Child.

Born and raised in the Boston area, Guru relocated to Brooklyn in the late '80s, where Gang Starr released its first singles with 45 King as producer. By 1988, the group evolved as a duo with Premier, and released their 1989 full-length debut No More Mr. Nice Guy on Wild Pitch Records. The duo would go on to release classic albums on Chrysalis/Virgin/EMI, such as 1994's Hard To Earn and 1998's Moment Of Truth. Gang Starr's last album, 2003's The Ownerz featured Jadakiss, Fat Joe and longtime affiliate Freddie Foxxx. The platinum group toured the world and released several greatest hits collections, most notably Full Clip: A Decade Of Gang Starr in 1999. The duo announced their split in 2004, reportedly due to creative and personal differences.

As a solo artist, Guru released four volumes of Jazzmatazz, Jazz-inspired recordings with legendary genre artists such as Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers. Guru has launched two labels in his career, Ill Kid Records and 7Grand, where he and production partner Solar worked alongside artists such as Talib Kweli, Damian Marley and Jean Grae. source

Feb 27, 2010


Tyler Perry has his critics (and some justifiable) but at the end of the day what he said in this speech is why I have the utmost respect for this brother. When Hollywood told him no he didn't accept that answer and he did his own thing. You can't help but to admire that. Tyler Perry is an example of what black folks can truly accomplish when we put our minds to it.

Tamela Mann


Feb 26, 2010

White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers will leave her job next month, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday.
Rogers hosted 330 events in 14 months on the job, according to the Sun-Times, and said that she had accomplished her goal of making the White House a more open place.
"As we turn the corner on the first year," Rogers told Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet, "this is a good time for me to explore opportunities in the corporate world."

But Rogers also came under fire last November after Virginia socialites Michaele and Tareq Salahi crashed the White House's first state dinner.

Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee demanded that Rogers testify as to how they gained entry into the event. 

But White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in December that Rogers would not testify at hearings due to separation of powers.

Rogers told Sweet it has been "an honor and a privilege to serve this president and first lady, in what has certainly been a historic presidency." source

Grammy Award winning superstars Maxwell and Jill Scott will kick off their 20-city U.S. arena tour on May 21st in Cleveland with additional dates to be announced through June. Singer and songwriter Maxwell is catapulting off his two recent Grammy Awards and his number one, platinum 'BLACKsummers'night' (Columbia), which dominated year-end critics lists. Grammy Award winning singer Jill Scott will be performing hits spanning her 10 year career starting from her double platinum Grammy nominated debut album 'Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol.1' through her upcoming album 'The Light Of The Sun' out Summer 2010.

Last fall, critics lauded Maxwell's energetic, crowd-pleasing performances: The Chicago Tribune commented "He worked his band like Cab Calloway or James Brown, the horns slicing and dicing with Ginsu-knife precision, a Hammond organ taking us to church, the drums peppering everything with syncopated beats. The show had style…Maxwell proved more than capable of taking the abundant personality and intimacy of his theater shows to a bigger stage," The NY Post wrote that "Maxwell became the quintessential soul brother. The singer stepped into a lone spotlight in the dark Garden, half singing, half preaching as if he were possessed by the spirit of Sam Cooke" while The Atlanta Journal Constitution said of his show "Within mere seconds, Maxwell was turning up the heat — running up and down stairs on the set, sliding across the floor."

Triple threat singer, actress & designer Jill Scott has been taking Hollywood by storm and has a busy 2010 ahead of her. Recently seen as lead role in HBO's critically acclaimed mini series The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, directed by the late Oscar winning director Anthony Minghella and Lifetime Movie Network's Sins Of the Mother, she is also prepping two movies, a cartoon series, a new bra for her Ashley Stewart intimate apparel line and new album 'The Light Of The Sun' out Summer 2010. Of her latest 2008 The Real Thing tour, People Magazine commented "Scott is one of those performers who makes everything she touches better. Which is why she has been a sought- after singer on other people's record" while L.A Times agreed "The live show exceeds the album and the energetic singer's playful asides exceed what can be published…her massive band—with its brass section, drums, guitar, bass, synthesizer and trio of backup singers—follow her every lead with a sound that is lush and well-oiled…"

This tour is being produced nationally by Live Nation. Tickets go on sale in select cities at LiveNation.com http://www.livenation.com/artist/maxwell-tickets or http://www.livenation.com/artist/jill-scott-tickets

Details on dates, venues and on-sale information will be announced shortly for tour stops in 20 U.S. cities including: Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York.

To find out more updates on Maxwell, music and upcoming projects please visit www.musze.com, www.myspace.com/maxwell, or www.twitter.com/_maxwell_.

Maxwell thanks you for your continued love and support!

Visit musze.com for more news


Delta Connection flight from Rochester, N.Y., to Atlanta  was canceled after an altercation between two flight attendants.

According the news Web site YNN Rochester, the flight was operated by Pinnacle Airlines.

YNN quoted a passenger, Steve Mazur, who said the two female attendants "got into a fistfight on the plane. The pilot decided to kick everyone off the plane."

"They told us we had to get off the plane because stewardesses were fighting," another passenger, Corey Minton, told the Web site.

A spokesman for Pinnacle Airlines said the flight attendants will be kept off the job until an investigation is completed.

"The acts described are not acceptable," said Joe Williams, a spokesman for Memphis-based Pinnacle.

Williams said Delta found alternate travel plans for passengers on the canceled flights. source

The "Little-Known Black History Fact" on Thursday's "Tom Joyner Morning Show" featured the recently-renamed Ballard Mountain, named after a black pioneer who settled the area above Santa Monica, California in the 19th century. The mountain was once officially listed on California maps first as Negrohead Mountain.

In 1955, at the request of the NAACP, an area near Temecula, Calif., called "Nigger Grade" – named for Nate Harrison, an ex-slave and settler – was renamed "Nate Harrison Grade."

As unsettling as that may be, a more intriguing "Little-Known Black History Fact" is that in 1967, the United States Board on Geographic Names changed the names of 143 places throughout the country from "nigger" to "Negro."

The changes were slow in coming, even after the board in 1962 banned the use of the words "nigger" and "nip," the latter a derogatory term for Japanese people, for official place names.

Hundreds of towns, streams and mountains had the N-word in their names before 1962, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. As of 2004, nearly 600 locations and geographical features had the word "Negro" as part of their names.

The federal government has said there no longer is any place in the U.S. with the word "nigger" in its name, but the Journal cited one East Texas town that managed to slip under the radar. Nigton, a small farming community, is an abbreviated version of "Nigger Town," an area settled in 1873 by the families of former slaves.

According to the Texas Handbook Online, the town's name was suggested by Jeff Carter, a former slave and civic leader during the early years of the settlement. By 2000, the town, which once had a population of 500 in its early years, was down to 87 residents.

The N-word is part of the name of numerous places worldwide, three of them as far away as Tasmania. Some have argued that changing the names is altering history, while others have said the places should honor the actual people for whom they were named, rather than a generic  - and, by today's standards, offensive - title.

And even with the official name changes in the U.S., the original names are still on many local and state maps, including Nigger Jim Hammock Bridge in Hendry County, Florida.
This "Little Known Black History Fact" hits home for me.  I was driving from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C. for the first time since moving and on I-64 I got the shock of my life when I went over a summit called "Negro Mountain."  Now, I've looked up the history on the range and even the history is confusing.

Feb 25, 2010

Five days after taking first place in the Sprite Step Off finals in Atlanta this past weekend, the women of Zeta Tau Alpha's Epsilon Chapter from the University of Arkansas learned they would be sharing the spotlight.
Early today, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company which sponsors the college step dancing competition announced that due to a scoring discrepancy in the sorority results, the second place winners, the Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. from Indiana University, would be recognized as co-winners and awarded the same $100,000 prize as Zeta Tau Alpha.

The change was revealed in a short Facebook statement linked from the Sprite Step-Off homepage but the statement did not offer insight into the exact problem with the scoring or how it was discovered. Coke representatives said this afternoon they were working to provide additional information.

The announcement comes after four days of blog posts and YouTube comments alternating between support for Zeta Tau Alpha's win and those doubting the competition results. At the heart of the debate is race.

Zeta Tau Alpha is a predominantly white organization which took first place in a tradition that has historically been dominated by African-American fraternities and sororities. Their winning routine, an eight minute Matrix themed production, got more than 200,000 views on YouTube, more than twice as many as the second or third place winners.

Anthony Antoine, 40, of Atlanta, who posted the popular YouTube video was shocked when he received more than 1,000 email comments on his post. The tone, he said, was overwhelming negative. "'The bottomline was they didn't care if the girls were better or not, the people that were upset were saying white girls should not have won period. I think this is bigger than a step competition, race relations in America still needs a lot of work," he said.

Ironically, it was an attempt to foster better race relations that first brought Zeta Tau Alpha into the fold of stepping. The chapter at the University of Arkansas began participating 16 years ago in a Unity step show sponsored by the campus chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., an African American sorority.

The Zeta Tau Alpha women won the Sprite Step Off qualifying competition in October, and the regional championship held in Houston in January which earned them a place in the finals.

In a statement, national representatives for Zeta Tau Alpha said, "We are proud of our nine-member team that earned a co-championship in the event finals held February 20, in Atlanta, Ga. They represented our Fraternity well and exhibited great sisterhood and dedication throughout their preparation over the past five months. Alpha Kappa Alpha and its Tau Chapter at Indiana University have a longstanding tradition of excellent stepping and we are pleased to share the title with their organization."  source

Decide for yourself: Watch the Zeta Tau Alpha and the Alpha Kappa Alpha routines.
I personally think the girls of Zeta Tau Alpha won the contest.  I don't care if they did the traditional steps of other sororities the fact remains that they put on the better show.  Now you can disagree with me on this but I've seen other sororities at HBCU's put on way better performances than any of these sororities.  I think people should just use this as a wake up call and stop being so complacent and get a little more creative with their stepping.  I've seen more creativity at dorm step shows.  Trust me, have you ever seen the Paddyfoote "Foot Soldiers" of FAMU get down or the girls at Wilson Hall of Tennessee State step?  They would have put everyone to shame. 
The magazine that brought you the 'All Black' issue of Vogue has now created a microsite that is dedicated to all things black.  Vogue Black features everything from 'Looks of the Day' to fashion icons that happen to be black such as Grace Jones.  The site also showcases up and coming people of the fashion industry.  The site is for us about us and it's in English.  So check it out and tell me what you think.

Feb 24, 2010

Let's see if mainstream media (MSM) run this story or just relegate it to the ticker tape at the bottom.
Via AJC:
A former police lieutenant knew two people shot to death by police as they crossed a bridge in the chaos after Hurricane Katrina had no weapons, but he and others filed false reports to make the shootings seem justified, according to federal documents unsealed Wednesday.

Former Lt. Michael Lohman knew officers planned to lie and tamper with evidence, federal officials said in a bill of information charging Lohman with conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Lohman also knew another investigator planned to plant a gun to justify the shooting and asked if it was "clean," meaning it could not be traced back to another crime, according to the documents. The investigator assured him it was and he went along with the plan to plant it.

Lohman was expected to plead guilty Wednesday and cooperate with federal investigators, two people familiar with the case told The Associated Press on Tuesday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the charge had not been announced.

Seven officers were charged with murder or attempted murder in the Sept. 4, 2005, shootings on the Danziger Bridge, just days after Katrina smashed levees and flooded 80 percent of the city.

Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old mentally disabled man, and 19-year-old James Brissette were killed. Four others were wounded.

Survivors have said the officers fired at unarmed people who were crossing to get food at a grocery store. The officers acknowledged shooting at people on the bridge, but said they did so only after being shot at.

Lohman supervised the initial probe of the officers' actions. That investigation drew U.S. Justice Department attention after a state judge dismissed the charges against the seven officers in 2008.

Lohman went to the scene of the shootings, saw that the victims had no weapons, and concluded the shooting was unjustified, according to the bill of information. Then he and other unnamed officers conspired to cover that up by filing false statements on a police report about the incident, according to the documents, which does not name the other officers.

The plan was "to ensure that the shootings would appear to be legally justified and that the involved officers would therefore be shielded from prosecution and liability," the documents said.

A lawyer for one of the officers originally charged in the shootings said federal investigators have been looking into what they described as a "corrupt investigation."

So far, lawyers for two other officers have identified their clients as targets of the probe.

The documents unsealed Wednesday allege that Lohman and two unidentified sergeants drafted different versions of a false incident report on the bridge shootings in October 2005.

Among claims in the false report was a statement by one of the victims that she had seen her nephew and others firing guns on the bridge.

Federal officials say Lohman drafted his own 17-page false report after becoming dissatisfied that another investigator's false account was not logical.

"On several occasions in or about October 2005, defendant Lohman reviewed drafts of the false report written by the investigator and counseled the investigator on ways to make the story in the report sound more plausible," according to court documents.

The documents said Lohman also told the investigator to speak with each of the shooters to ensure they were "OK with" the false report, and were willing to give statements consistent with it.

Awwww....man!!!  I actually like these two as a couple.  Such a beautiful couple.  I remember seeing their wedding pics on Essence.com.  It just goes to show marriage ain't no joke and it takes a lot of hard work.  I wish both of them well.
In case you needed further proof that the NFL (and NCAA) is a modern day plantation and NFL players are no more than high price slaves please check out this article on Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle:
ESPN's Outside the Lines ran a story Sunday morning about Myron Rolle, the Florida State defensive back who became a Rhodes Scholar and is now a prospect in the 2010 NFL draft.

The whole segment is worth watching, and the companion piece by Wright Thompson at ESPN.com is worth reading, but the Outside the Lines segment ended on an odd note, citing ESPN's draft experts as saying Rolle's off-field pursuits would actually hurt his stock among NFL teams.

The thinking, according to ESPN, is that NFL teams want to draft guys who need to play football and want to study nothing more than a playbook -- not guys like Rolle, who wants to become a doctor and enjoys studying the latest developments in stem cell research. The report said Rolle has dealt with this mentality before when his defensive coordinator at Florida State, Mickey Andrews, told Rolle that he was spending too much time on school and not enough time on football.

It's kind of a sad commentary: After a great piece about what a fine young man Rolle is, ESPN felt the need to point out that being a fine young man could, in Rolle's case, actually count against him on NFL teams' draft boards.

But it's surely true that Rolle could decide at any time to walk away from football and find greater success in another field. As far as NFL teams are concerned, that's not a good quality in a draft prospect. source

So instead of a brother being celebrated for his academic accomplishments, he is being punish.  Wow!!!  I can't say I'm surprised.  We always put down our student athletes for being atletes first, but when one finally decides to put the 'student' before the 'athlete' he is punished and possibly denied his dream of becoming a professional athlete.  Now, you tell me that ain't a form of modern day slavery.  Instead of the chains on your feet they put the chains on your mind and keep you dumb and ignorant.  You, the slave, are oblivious to the fact that you're a slave because massa has been good to you, as in keeping you well paid, so why challenge the status quo.  SMDH!!!!
Of course someone like Myron Rolle would be a problem for the NFL.  The simple fact that the brother can think for himself make him a problem.  someone like Myron won't just go with the flow but actually try to challenge things because guess what?  He can actually think for himself.
On this side of the ring we have Al Sharpton, Marc Morial, and Ben Jealous, and on the other side of the ring we have Tavis Smiley and his 'Band of Brothers.'  You know this one is going to get good because the subject of the controversy is President Obama.
An impassioned debate ignited Tuesday morning over America's black agenda, with two of the nation's most visible black political commentators on opposite sides of the table.

In a commentary on "The Tom Joyner Morning Show," Tavis Smiley, host of "Tavis Smiley" on PBS, announced plans for a discussion in Chicago on March 20 entitled "We Count: The Black Agenda is the American Agenda." As part of his comments, he opined that "a chorus of black leaders have started singing a new song," saying that the president doesn't need a black agenda.
"I must have missed that choir rehearsal, because I don't know the words to this new hymn," Smiley said. "We have asked some of these lyricists to show up who apparently wrote this new song to explain why they penned these words. It's time for a choir rehearsal so that we all are singing from the same page."

The media host listed some of the most noted political and academic leaders as invited guests, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree, author and scholar Michael Eric Dyson, professor Cornel West, California Rep. Barbara Lee and Dorothy Height of the National Council Negro Women.

"Do we think we can give President Obama a pass on black issues and somehow, when he is no longer in office, resurrect the moral authority to hold future presidents accountable to our concerns?" Smiley asked.

Smiley's concerns were based on comments published recently in national media and a recent meeting between President Barack Obama, Sharpton, NAACP President Ben Jealous and National Urban League President Marc Morial to discuss the jobs bill currently being considered in Congress.

Sharpton later called in to the TJMS and took issue with several of Smiley's comments, claiming that Smiley had not talked with him about the event. Then in the afternoon, Smiley called in to Sharpton's radio talk show as he discussed the matter with Ogletree. Their exchange on Sharpton's show lasted several minutes and was highlighted by abrupt cutoffs and a more intense debate.

According to Sharpton, while he, Morial and Jealous talked with the president earlier this month about getting the jobs bill passed, the focus was on getting aid to the communities with the greatest need, and many of those communities have a majority black population with double-digit unemployment.

"We did not ask for a race bill because we did not think it would pass," Sharpton said on the TJMS. "We asked for a grace bill, where the jobs would go to where people are impacted."
The veteran activist said that despite Smiley's stance, he would not hold Obama to a standard different from that of other presidents.
the conference with Smiley. Sharpton said that if invited - he denied having been invited to take part - and his schedule is clear, he may attend. Sharpton was a regular participant in Smiley's 10-year run with the "State of the Black Union" gatherings. Sniley canceled that gathering this year.

When Smiley called in on Sharpton's show and greeted him by asking how he was doing, Sharpton had a quick response: "I was doing fine until you started messing with me this morning. What's wrong with you?"

James Taylor, a political science professor at the University of San Francisco, calls the current debate an example of black political elite fighting for better positions for themselves.

"This really isn't about representing the concerns of everyday black people," Taylor told BlackAmericaweb.com. "You have black millionaires coordinating a program that is economically driven and not protest driven."

While blacks, like others in America, want to see more people back to work, most don't look to activists for the real solutions, Taylor said.

"They look past Smiley and Sharpton. They look to President Obama for policy that will eradicate the poverty of blacks," Taylor said.

Syracuse University professor Boyce Watkins said the debate between Sharpton and Smiley is one that can probably be heard at dinner tables across America.

"If you ask black people if you approve of President Obama, 95 percent or so will probably say yes. But if you ask is he doing a good job of bringing jobs for blacks in this country, they will say, maybe or kind of," Watkins said.

While he agrees a conversation on the black agenda in America is needed, Watkins questions whether a forum through Smiley would be the best setting for such a discussion.

"There's nothing wrong with criticizing the actions or inaction of the president. I don't agree with how he has handled some things - but this could be the anti-Obama Tea Party for black people," Watkins said, adding that Smiley does not have "access" to the Obama White House.

"When they were running around buck-dancing for Bill Clinton, they did not ask for a black agenda - I did," Sharpton said. "And I continue to do that. As far as I know others are doing that."

Ogletree, a close personal friend of Obama, who taught both the president and his wife, Michelle, at Harvard Law School, also called in the the TJMS and said he often talks to the president about the needs of the black community.

"He has definitely been accountable, and he needs to be accountable," Ogletree said referring to the president.

"No, I'm not giving the president a pass," he said. "The reality is that the president has to do certain things, but there are certain things he can't do. He can't create a black jobs program, but he can create a program that benefits African-Americans by helping others as well."

Ogletree said he will be out of the country for the month of March and would be unable to attend .....
the conference with Smiley. Sharpton said that if invited - he denied having been invited to take part - and his schedule is clear, he may attend. Sharpton was a regular participant in Smiley's 10-year run with the "State of the Black Union" gatherings. Sniley canceled that gathering this year.

When Smiley called in on Sharpton's show and greeted him by asking how he was doing, Sharpton had a quick response: "I was doing fine until you started messing with me this morning. What's wrong with you?"

James Taylor, a political science professor at the University of San Francisco, calls the current debate an example of black political elite fighting for better positions for themselves.

"This really isn't about representing the concerns of everyday black people," Taylor told BlackAmericaweb.com. "You have black millionaires coordinating a program that is economically driven and not protest driven."

While blacks, like others in America, want to see more people back to work, most don't look to activists for the real solutions, Taylor said.

"They look past Smiley and Sharpton. They look to President Obama for policy that will eradicate the poverty of blacks," Taylor said.

Syracuse University professor Boyce Watkins said the debate between Sharpton and Smiley is one that can probably be heard at dinner tables across America.

"If you ask black people if you approve of President Obama, 95 percent or so will probably say yes. But if you ask is he doing a good job of bringing jobs for blacks in this country, they will say, maybe or kind of," Watkins said.

While he agrees a conversation on the black agenda in America is needed, Watkins questions whether a forum through Smiley would be the best setting for such a discussion.

"There's nothing wrong with criticizing the actions or inaction of the president. I don't agree with how he has handled some things - but this could be the anti-Obama Tea Party for black people," Watkins said, adding that Smiley does not have "access" to the Obama White House.
Rickey Smiley
Via Eurweb:
A federal judge has refused to dismiss a defamation lawsuit against comedian and radio host Rickey Smiley from a security claiming the entertainer called him gay on "The Rickey Smiley Show."

According to courthousenews.com , the security guard, Henry Robinson, had apparently irked Smiley by trying to take a picture with him twice. Robinson claimed that on his second request, Smiley began calling him "the gay security guard" and "faggot."

Soon after the incident, Smiley made fun of Robinson on his show at Dallas station 97.9 "The Beat." He spoke of "the gay security guard" at Dallas Love Field Airport and, according to the lawsuit, recited a poem about "Henry, Henry" who "sure act[s] gay," told off-color jokes about Henry's' duties in conducting personal searches and gave an admonition to Henry to stop taking pictures. Robinson complained that people started calling him gay after the show aired.

Rickey Smiley and Radio One, owner of 97.9 "The Beat," moved to dismiss the defamation claim, saying the show was not defamatory because it was satire and could not be taken as fact. But U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor disagreed with the satire argument, ruling that a reasonable person could take Smiley's comments at face value and assume Robinson was gay. And because Robinson "denies that he is homosexual," Smiley's statements were a false statement of fact, O'Connor ruled.

He added that the broadcast could be considered defamatory because, in Texas, calling someone homosexual "imputes the crime of sodomy."

Though the Supreme Court decriminalized sodomy in 2003, in Lawrence v. Texas, O'Connor found "that the imputation of homosexuality might as a matter of fact expose a person to public hatred, contempt or ridicule."

Feb 23, 2010


Monica recently debutted her video for her new single 'Everything To Me'. The video stars NFL star wide receiver of the Cincinnati Bengals, Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson, and is dedicated to the late great fashion designer, Alexander McQueen (whose clothing is featured throughout the video).

Good to see my fellow Georgia Peach back on the music scene. Her voice was definitely missed.

Side Note:

If you watch Fantasia Barrino's reality show then you heard her working on a new song called 'Ex You' with writer Claude Kelly. Well, I liked the song so much that I had to share the clip from the show. We all know Fantasia can blow, but I actually think she might have something on her hands with this one. Check it out and tell me what you think.





















Grammy Award-winner and multi-platinum superstar Alicia Keys is the latest headliner announced for the 2010 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL set for this July 2, 3 and 4 in New Orleans.  The three-time ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL performer joins a line-up featuring some of today's greatest African-American artists including previously announced headliner and official spokesperson Mary J. Blige, along with Earth, Wind and Fire, Gladys Knight, Keri Hilson, Jill Scott, Raphael Saadiq, Charlie Wilson, De La Soul, Chrisette Michele, Joe, Laura Izibor and Melanie Fiona. 


This year's multi-generational list of performers not only celebrates ESSENCE's 40-year commitment to music, but also honors the local music of New Orleans.  Other acts just added to the annual weekend-long celebration of music, culture and community include Arrested Development, Big Sam's Funky Nation, DJ Soul Sister, Estelle, Hot 8 Brass Band, Irma Thomas, Irvin Mayfield and NOJO, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers, Lalah Hathaway, Leo Jackson and the Melody Clouds, Little Freddie King, LL Cool J, Mary Mary, Mint Condition, Monica, Rebirth Brass Band, Sam & Ruby, Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Trey Songz and WAR.

For additional information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, visit www.essence.com/festival.

Last year, the ultimate destination for entertainment, empowerment, culture and community celebrated its 15th anniversary with a record-breaking 428,000 attendees.  What began in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of ESSENCE magazine has now grown into one of the country's "Top 10 Leading Brand Events" by Advertising Age. 


The ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is the nation's largest annual gathering of African-American music and culture; in its 16-year history, it has featured an array of performers including Alicia Keys, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, Chaka Khan, Destiny's Child, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, Kanye West, The Isley Brothers, Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross, Maxwell, The O'Jays, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Toni Braxton, Patti LaBelle and Yolanda Adams.


The presenting sponsor for the 2010 Essence Music Festival is Coca-Cola.   Other 2010 sponsors include Coors Light, CoverGirl Queen, Ford, McDonald's, Olay, Pantene, U.S. Army and My Black is Beautiful.


PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson has left the team and is out indefinitely to spend time with his ill daughter.

Iverson will miss at least the remaining three games of Philadelphia's road trip. Iverson missed five games and the All-Star Game to be with his family when the health issue surfaced earlier this month.

Iverson has not disclosed what is ailing his 4-year-old daughter, Messiah.

Sixers president Ed Stefanski says it was in the best interest of the team and Iverson to allow him time with his family to deal with a "very serious issue." source

I will continue to pray for Allen and his family.  I'm not a parent, but I can't imagine the heartache that comes about when you have to watch your child suffer from any type of ailment.
Via BBC:

Toyota has admitted it took "too long" to deal with safety issues which led to the recall of 8.5 million vehicles worldwide.

James Lentz, head of Toyota in the US, said that on one issue, "we failed to promptly analyse and respond" to information provided.

Mr Lentz will face questions from a US congressional committee later over the recall and Toyota's handling of it.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda will appear in Congress on Wednesday.

'Poor communications'

In recent months, Toyota has been hit by three main safety problems - faulty accelerator pedals, accelerator pedals getting stuck in floor mats, and a problem with braking systems on its hybrid models.

The majority of the recalls have taken place in the US. Mr Lentz is the first Toyota executive to be grilled in a series of congressional hearings.

He will appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in Washington at 1100 local time (1600 GMT).

In a prepared statement, he said: "It has taken us too long to come to grips with a rare but serious set of safety issues, despite all of our good faith efforts.

"The problem has also been compounded by poor communications both within our company and with regulators and consumers."

He went on: "In the case of sticking accelerator pedals, we failed to promptly analyse and respond to information emerging from Europe and in the United States.

"We acknowledge these mistakes, we apologise for them and we have learned from them."

'Serious flaws'

Commitee chairman Henry Waxman wrote to Mr Lentz on Monday and raised three concerns following a preliminary review of the documents provided by Toyota:

• Toyota "consistently dismissed" the possibility that electronic failures could be responsible for acceleration problems

• The report that Toyota commissioned to look at potential electronic problems appears to have "serious flaws" and the company was too slow in initiating it

• Toyota's public statements about the adequacy of its recent recalls appear to be "misleading".

Mr Waxman also wrote to Ray LaHood, Secretary of the Department of Transportation, who will also be questioned.

In the letter, he criticises the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for "lacking expertise" and said its response to complaints about sudden unintended acceleration appears to have been "seriously deficient".

In Mr LaHood's prepared testimony, he said regulators would continue to investigate "all possible causes" of unintended acceleration.

Sudan's president is due to sign a ceasefire with Darfur rebel group the Justice and Equality Movement (Jem).

Omar al-Bashir will sign a framework agreement which includes an outline deal on power sharing "at all levels".

It is being seen as an important step towards peace, though the other main rebel group has refused to enter talks.

But Jem was reported to have warned that it was unlikely to sign a final peace accord by mid-March, ahead of national elections in April.

"After the agreement is signed, the rest will come through more negotiations," Adrees Mahmoud, a Europe-based representative of the group, was quoted as telling Reuters news agency.

He added that it was too early to say if the target of a final binding agreement by March - one of the clauses of the ceasefire deal - would be met.

Mr Bashir is due to sign the accord in Qatar, where it was brokered in negotiations by neighbouring Chad. Sudan says Chad has backed and armed Jem.

According to the text of the accord, obtained by the BBC, the rebel group will constitute a political party after the signing of a final agreement.

As well as an immediate ceasefire, the agreement includes an outline deal on the sharing of power "at all levels", which means the rebels will be offered seats in the Khartoum government.

The text also specifies that changes in the administration of the Darfur region will form part of the final accord and that death sentences imposed on 100 Jem fighters will be cancelled.


A Fulton County jury found Devonni Manuel "Devo" Benton guilty of murder and two counts of aggravated assault Saturday in the September shooting that killed Spelman College sophomore Jasmine Lynn.

Benton, 21, was sentenced to a life sentence plus 25 years for the random killing along with a weapons possession charge. In Georgia, a person must serve at least 25 years for a first life conviction before being eligible for parole.

The jury deliberated five hours Saturday, stopping for an hour lunch before returning the verdict at 3:35 p.m. This followed about nine hours of deliberation Friday.

Witnesses said Benton fired a gun into a crowd on Clark Atlanta University's campus in the early hours of Sept. 3.

Lynn, witnesses said, was shot in the chest as she attempted to break up a fight outside one of the university's dorms.

The 19-year-old from Kansas City, Mo., was the first in her family to attend college. She died with a 3.8 grade-point average.

The three-day trial came to a close Friday when jurors heard final arguments calling for them to either convict Benton, or "give him justice," as defense attorney Jackie Patterson urged, declaring his client innocent.

"There is no way Mr. Benton committed this crime," Patterson told the jury as he gestured to Scales of Justice on the defense table during closing arguments Friday.

But on Saturday, Patterson said he felt devastated after hearing the verdict.

"In 18 years, this was the hardest case I have ever had," the veteran attorney and former Clark Atlanta police chief said.

"Obviously he is innocent but the jury felt otherwise. When I heard the jury say 'not guilty' on that first count [of malice murder], I just knew they would read 'not guilty' all the way down."

Benton has 30 days to appeal the decision, Patterson told the AJC. "I believe he will," the defense attorney said.

As the verdicts were read, gasps and sighs could be heard throughout the courtroom. Lynn's mother, Constance Franklin, dabbed tears from her face and members of Benton's family sobbed uncontrollably in the back of the courtroom.

Sheila Kitchens, Benton's aunt, was led from the courtroom as Fulton Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford Jr. addressed the defendant.

"This is absolutely irreprehensible to fire a firearm in the direction of a crowd," Bedford said. "This is totally a senseless loss of life."

Bedford said the impact goes far beyond just Benton and Lynn, but to the families of both individuals as well.

"This will not bring her back," he said to court room. "This is a wound that will never be healed."

Via Eurweb:
It looks like the likelihood of Earvin Magic Johnson buying Johnson Publishing is no longer in the offing.

In a statement, Johnson admitted an affiliate of his company held "advanced discussions" to buy Johnson Publishing Co., the owner of Ebony and Jet, but was unable to reach an agreement.

Johnson says he remains interested in African-American media, but currently isn't disclosing whether he is looking at other properties:

"I would like to salute Linda Johnson Rice and the Johnson family for pioneering the iconic brand of the Johnson Publishing Company, which we have all come to love and respect. Ebony and Jet have been permanent fixtures on coffee tables in African-American homes for many years. Recently, an affiliate of Magic Johnson Enterprises and Johnson Publishing Company were in advanced discussions to do business together, but unfortunately we were unable to reach a definitive agreement. We will continue to look for opportunities to invest in African-American media."
Meanwhile, Wendy E. Parks, Johnson Publishing Co. spokeswoman, issued this statement to Journal-isms:

"Our team of advisers have continued to explore a wide range of options to leverage our iconic Ebony and Jet brands and sustain our leadership position in the marketplace as the No. 1 African-American-owned publishing company in the world. As a privately held company, we are unable to discuss specifics of our discussions with potential partners."

Ad revenue at Johnson Publishing's Ebony magazine declined 38 percent to $35.5 million last year on a 39 percent drop in ad pages, according to Publishers Information Bureau.

Los Angeles-based Magic Johnson Enterprises, has partnerships with several companies including Starbucks Corp., 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide Inc. and T.G.I. Friday's Inc.

Feb 22, 2010

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation has gone on the offensive against recent stories in The New York Times and on BlackAmericaWeb.com about the foundation's fundraising and who is actually being helped by their efforts.

In a Feb. 14 story, The Times reported that of the $55 million the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) raised from 2004 to 2008, only $1 million went to its non-profit network.

Further, The Times said, "In 2008, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation spent more on the caterer for its signature legislative dinner and conference — nearly $700,000 for an event one organizer called 'Hollywood on the Potomac' — than it gave out in scholarships, federal tax records show."

According to an analysis last week by BlackAmericaWeb.com's Michael H. Cottman, the foundation's leadership had been silent on the issue of fundraising, including the foundation's ties to companies whose businesses have been deemed by some as harmful to the black community, as well as eight investigations involving its members in the House of Representatives.

Caucus and foundation members have denied the allegations in The Times story, saying it is riddled with inaccuracies and misrepresents the financial management of the foundation. Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.), the foundation's new board chairman was scheduled to appear Monday on "The Tom Joyner Morning Show" to offer a rebuttal.

Elsie L. Scott, Ph.D., president and CEO of the foundation, also attacked the BlackAmericaWeb.com analysis as inaccurate and mischaracterized the foundation's operation.

The foundation has posted a statement on its Web site, telling visitors "While you are aware of the good work of the CBCF, many New York Times readers are not aware of our work and the impact of the CBCF programs," and goes on to list the programs and the services they provide.

Among the programs cited were the Center for Policy Analysis and Research, which analyzes and disseminates information about policy issues, and the Black Health Empowerment Project, created to educate African-Americans about the link between obesity and other chronic diseases.

The foundation wrote The Times demanding an apology and released a talking points memo to caucus members that pinpoints foundation spending and defends its activities.

Malcolm X is killed while giving a speech at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City.
Malcolm X had split from the Nation of Islam almost a year before and had escaped several other attempts on his life in the subsequent months. Reportedly, he was going to publicly reveal the names of the assassins who had been sent to kill him, but was killed at the Audubon Ballroom before he had the opportunity. Three Black Muslim men were later convicted of the crime, though their guilt has long been in doubt; others believe that they were indeed guilty but were not the only perpetrators.

The break between Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam had its roots in a wide range of matters. Ironically, Malcolm X had been suspended from the group for stating that the murder of President Kennedy was a case of "chickens coming home to roost." However, the rift was probably due more to the fact that the dynamic and charismatic Malcolm X was challenging the leadership of Elijah Muhammad and that his fame threatened the Nation of Islam leaders. When he officially broke from the group, they worried that he would draw away most of their supporters.

Malcolm X, constantly aware that his life was in danger, may have had particular worries on February 21. He called his wife, Betty Shabazz, and had her bring their children to the Audubon Ballroom where he was giving a speech later in the day. This was not his usual practice, so some have since speculated that he may have wanted to see his family a final time.
After he was introduced, but before he could address his supporters, the three gunmen in the audience fired several shots at Malcolm X. One of the men, Talmadge Hayer (aka Thomas Hagan), was shot in the leg by one of Malcolm X's bodyguards and caught by the crowd. The other two, Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson, were caught later, though both aides and bodyguards swear that the two men were not in the ballroom that day. Malcolm X died instantly.

Malcolm X's body was put on display at a funeral home in Harlem the following day and it is estimated that 30,000 people came to view it. Actor Ossie Davis delivered the eulogy at the funeral. In the meantime, his supporters vowed revenge against Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam.  Meanwhile, Elijah Muhammad's rhetoric against Malcolm X continued, blaming the civil rights leader for his own death.

The feud between the factions continues to this day. In 1995, one of Malcolm X's daughters, Qubilah Shabazz, was prosecuted for attempting to hire a killer to murder Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam for his alleged involvement in the assassination. While Farrakhan was certainly part of the climate that caused Malcolm X's death--he wrote many articles violently denouncing him after the split--it is highly unlikely that he ever had any contact with the assassins.
As New York police department records have since disappeared, it may never be known who was responsible for Malcolm X's death, or why he was murdered.

I don't know if you all follow Melissa Harris-Lacewell on Twitter, but she told a very interesting story about Rev. Jesse Jackson and his thoughts about Malcolm X's assassination.  Here is a little snippet of what she said:
harrislacewell: I was a JR faculty member at UChicago and was invited along with then hubby to dinner at university president's house (cont.)
harrislacewell: Rev Jesse Jackson was one of the dinner guest.  At that point I'd never met him.  I was seated next to Rev Jackson at dinner. (cont)
harrislacewell: Figured I was sitting next to Rev. Jackson I didn't want to make small talk, I really wanted to talk race and politics. (cont)
harrislacewell: I got Rev JJ talking about Civil Rights movement & conversation turned to Malcolm X. (cont)
harrislacewell: Rev Jackson said to me "King was an assassinated leader. Malcolm was a common thug who died in a street fight." (cont)
harrislacewell: He was seated at other end of table but ex-hubby heard Jackson say this and he flew into a rage. Let Rev Jackson HAVE IT. (cont)
harrislacewell: The story became a family legend: him taking on Jackson to defend Malcolm while seated at dinner table of my university President.
harrislacewell: Never told the story publicly before, but after his "Obama castration" comment I figure the word is out on Rev JJ.
I can't say I'm surprised by this story.
GO ME!!!!!  Today marks my entrance into the Dirty Thirties!!!!  I'm so happy!

Feb 21, 2010


I love my people, God knows I do, but this right here is exactly why are in the state of disarray that we are in. The self-hatred and ignorance that was spewing from the mouths of these so called Hip-Hop stars was beyond atrocious. My personal favorite was your boy Cassidy talking about a dark skin sista's beauty could not be detected from far away or homeboy from the Clipse saying there was nothing better than a chocolate sista with a good perm. I assume he thought he was giving a compliment. I think the comments in this documentary were very telling and shows the reasons why there still have to be shows like the one Tyra did recently.

Am I the only person who always get a little thrown off when I hear Sade speak? I just never expect her voice to be that smoky and raspy. It throws me everytime...LOL!!! Somehow the voice doesn't fit the package or is it just me? I don't know but I still love her anyway.

Feb 19, 2010





Winner to be Featured in the September 2010 Fall Fashion Issue of

ESSENCE magazine

And Receive a One-Year Contract with Elite Model Management


Making of an It Girl Web Series to Debut Exclusively on Essence.com



February 19, 2010 (New York, NY) – Today, ESSENCE kicks off the ESSENCE It Girl model search in partnership with Elite Model Management.   In an effort to address the lack of diversity on the runways, ESSENCE and Elite will conduct a nationwide search for the new African-American "It" model.  The winner --to be announced in May --will be featured in the September 2010 Fall Fashion issue of ESSENCE magazine and receive a one-year contract with Elite Model Management.


"If you have the beauty, talent and ambition to take over the fashion world, ESSENCE is asking you to show us that you are the new It Girl," says Essence.com Managing Editor, Emil Wilbekin. "We are excited to partner with Elite Model Management to find the next African-American model and to welcome her to the fashion industry.  Even better…our audience can weigh in with their votes online and watch the competition unfold in the Making of an It Girl web series on Essence.com. What better way to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of ESSENCE than by celebrating the unique beauty of African-American women?"


Live castings will be conducted in Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York and photos will be accepted online at www.essence.com/itgirl.  An expert panel of judges comprised of ESSENCE editors, Elite managers and fashion industry VIPs will attend each of the open castings to evaluate the entrants and 5 finalists will be flown to New York City for a special modeling boot camp, which will be documented for the Making of an It Girl web series on Essence.com.   The Essence.com audience will cast their votes online to help select the grand prize winner from the 5 finalists.


"We are very excited about the possibility of finding a model who best represents the African-American community as a whole and who will further broaden what is considered beautiful in the world of fashion," says Calvin Wilson, Model Manager, Elite Model Management.  "As leaders in the modeling industry, we feel the collaboration with the ESSENCE brand is a match made in heaven."


ESSENCE It Girl promotional partners include The Gershwin Hotel and Professional Services Firm Travel, LLC (in association with Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc.).


About Essence Communications Inc.:


Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the leading media and communications company dedicated to African-American women.  With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online, the Essence brand is "Where Black Women Come First".  The company's flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, Window on Our Women (WOW I & II) and Smart Beauty I, II & III consumer insights, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 40 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of over 8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information relating to every area of African-American women's lives. Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at essence.com.

Tiger Woods practices golf outside his home Thursday, Feb. 18, ...
Tiger Woods will return to therapy after he ends a three-month silence and speaks about his infidelity and his future plans.

Golf's biggest star on Friday will address the shocking and sordid sex scandal that has consumed his life since late November then will return to the clinic where he has been undergoing therapy, according to a letter from PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem obtained by The Associated Press.

Finchem's letter to the PGA Tour policy board and other officials explained why Woods chose Friday to make his first public comments, which are to be televised live by the major networks.

"As we understand it, Tiger's therapy called for a week's break at this time during which he has spent a few days with his children and then will make his statement before returning," Finchem said in the letter Thursday. "Accordingly, there was very little flexibility in the date for the announcement."

The letter shed no light on whether Woods plans to return to the tour anytime soon.

Golf's biggest star is to make his first public appearance since he ran his SUV over a fire hydrant and into a tree outside his Florida home on Nov. 27 and sent him into hiding.

The setting for his return is decidedly friendly. It may be hard to remember the planet is watching.

Woods will speak to a small group of "friends, colleagues and close associates" in the Sunset Room on the second floor of the TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour. Just one video camera will broadcast the event and there will be no questions.

Woods' statement comes during the Match Play Championship, sponsored by Accenture, the first company to drop Woods as a pitchman.

Ernie Els was among players who were upset to learn that Woods had chosen the week of a World Golf Championship for a public appearance that was sure to take attention away from the tournament. "It's selfish," Els told Golfweek magazine.

Finchem told reporters in Marana, Ariz., earlier this week that he didn't think Woods' appearance would undermine Accenture, and that Woods' handlers "have their own reasons for their schedule."

In the letter, he said the tour discussed the timing with Accenture and "they understand that the PGA Tour was not involved in determining the timing of the statement." Finchem also noted that Woods' comments would be over well before television coverage of the third round from Dove Mountain. source

I am so sick of this whole Tiger Woods saga.  They are treating the man like he murdered somebody or cheated on his wife while she was dying from cancer (oh my bad only politicians sink that low).  But anyway, the other golfers on the PGA tour need to just shut up.  If it wasn't for Tiger Woods no one would be interested in their "sport" anyway.  The man made a mistake (okay he made the same mistake many, many times) but that has absolutely nothing to do with me.  His mistakes are between him, his family, and his god.  I'm not going to sit here and condemn this man for not being this perfect person that we tried to make him out to be.  Hell, the only thing of note he's ever done is convinve people to play him over a billion dollars for hitting a ball into a hole in the ground.  Now that's genius.  He is not the messiah.  He's just a man.  A flawed man.
He just need to get back on the greens and get back to winning and this whole thing will be forgotten.  We have short term memories when it comes to scandals (Kobe Bryant, Eliot Spitzer).  We only like winners.  So as soon as Tiger wins another green jacket this whole thing with the Malibu trash barbies and his inherent need to stick his penis inside of them will be forgotten.  Mark my word....... 

An anti-gay clergyman in Uganda has screened gay pornography in his church, in an attempt to gain support for proposed anti-homosexuality laws.

"We are in the process of legislation and we have to educate ourselves about what homosexuals do," Pastor Martin Ssempa told the BBC.

Gay rights activists suggested the pastor "needed medical help".

The anti-gay bill, which proposes the death penalty for some gay people, has caused outrage around the world.

US President Barack Obama described the proposals as "odious".

Moral defender?

Homosexuality is already against the law in Uganda and punishable by lengthy jail terms.

But supporters of the bill, including the pastor, want the punishments ramped up.

"In Africa, what you do in your bedroom affects our clan, it affects our tribe, it affects our nation," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

He showed the pornography to about 300 people in his church.

The pastor had planned to lead a march in the capital, Kampala, but was forced to abandon the plans because of "security concerns".

Monica Mbaru, from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, roundly condemned the pastor's behaviour.

"You cannot screen pornographic material to your followers and then want to argue that you are upholding society's morals," she told the BBC.

"I think we are dealing with someone who needs medical help."

The anti-gay proposals garnered wide support among Ugandan MPs, but President Yoweri Museveni recently hinted that he was coming under international pressure to scrap the private member's bill.

Opponents of the anti-gay bill have come out strongly against the pastor:
Noma Pakade, from the African gay rights group Behind the Mask, accused the pastor of perpetuating violence by his anti-gay campaign.

"Showing pornography in church in the presence of minors is twisted homophobic propaganda, where homosexuality is equated to paedophilia and pornography," she told the BBC.

"It is not surprising, but rather disappointing, that in Africa in the 21st Century yet again discrimination and prejudice is legitimised through religion."  source

Model Rose Cordero, 18, from the Dominican Republic made the cover of French Vogue for the March 2010 edition of the magazine.  The last time a black model went solo on a cover for French Vogue was back in May 2002.  The model was Liya Kebede.

Feb 18, 2010

 Constance Franklin, the mother of Jasmine Lynn, listens to opening statements in the  trial of Devonni Manuel Benton, accused of killing her daughter.
Via AJC:

On the first day of his murder trial, Devonni Manuel Benton was directly pointed out as the man who shot and killed Spelman College sophomore Jasmine Lynn on Sept. 3.

On Sept. 31, less than a month after Lynn's shooting death, Atlanta Metropolitan College student Brandon Hall picked Benton's face out of a lineup of photos, a Fulton County prosecutor told the jury Wednesday afternoon.

"Mr. Hall, do you see the person in this room you identified on that day?" assistant district attorney Eleanor Ross asked Hall.

Standing, Hall pointed across the courtroom at Benton, who was seated in a pinstriped suit at the defendant's table.

"Yes, ma'am. He's sitting in the navy blue suit," Hall said.

Lynn's father seemed somewhat relieved by what Hall told the jury, noting the varied stories from the parade of witnesses presented by the prosecution.

"You sure can't beat someone saying, 'I looked the shooter right in the face, and that's him, right there,'" Clint Ronald Lynn told the AJC when court adjourned Wednesday evening.

Hall's statement accompanied the introduction of a witness Benton's defense attorney Jackie Patterson had previously pegged as the "real shooter" and an abrupt admission by Patterson at the end of the day.

"The prints were all over the bag," he said of the tan and red book bag police entered as evidence, interrupting testimony from a crime scene investigator with a bench meeting, then his proclamation. "It was Devonni's bag."

And there became somewhat of a sparring match when Ross called to the stand Clarence Carter, Benton's friend who Patterson has said admitted to the shooting.

To Ross, Carter denied ever having a gun, let alone firing one on Clark Atlanta's campus.

But Patterson launched into a debate over evident false statements Carter told police following the shooting.

"All you told them was that you knew [Devonni], and that you didn't go to Clark Atlanta" on that night, Patterson said. "And that was an outright lie, wasn't it?"

Carter admitted to the lie, saying in the initial police interview that he didn't want his girlfriend to know he was at the campus to try to talk to other women.

Patterson continued to attack inconsistencies in Carter's story, however, such as pointing to cellphone records showing the two-hour call Carter made to his girlfriend just after 1:30 the morning of the shooting, after telling the jury he left campus and went directly to her house.

"You couldn't have talked to her for two hours if you went straight to her house," Patterson said.

Other witnesses provided varied accounts of what happened that night, and in some cases, differing descriptions of the gunman.

Sensual ... Sade will again be dining out on dinner parties with this album.
*It's official – Sade's new album "Soldier of Love" has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart and has reached gold status in only its first week of sales.

The album — Sade's first in ten years and first No. 1 disc in 20 years – sold 501,665 units in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The CD is the follow-up to their Grammy-winning album "Lovers Rock," released in 2000. source

Sade going gold in a week proves that the music industry may not be dead but is on life support instead.  The band's album sales just proves that people crave and are hungry for good music.  I've always believed that.  People in the industry are constantly blaming the internet and bootleggers for the decline of the industry, but did they ever think that perhaps it is the trash they are putting out and calling music that's the problem.  I mean think about it honestly, have you ever bootlegged a Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, or Michael Jackson album?  Can you imagine someone trying to sell you a bootleg copy of 'Songs in the Key of Life'?  Stuff like that just doesn't happen and if it doesn I've never seen it.
The point I'm trying to make is the fact that people are willing to support stuff when its good.  When artists (I use that term loosely) get back to making great albums is when people will start back to purchasing albums.  I really believe it's as simple as that.  If the musicians of the day starting saying something in their records maybe people will start to listen again.  I'm just saying...........

Tyra Banks talks to a young girl who wishes to have light skin and hazel eyes because other children tell her that black people are ugly. Sounda familiar.

This is what we are doing to our children. We continue to allow the media to perpetuate a certain standard of beauty and this is what we are left with. I suggest everyone reads 'The Bluest Eye' by Toni Morrison. This little girl represents all the Pecola Breedlove's in the world. She represents me for I can understand her struggle oh so well because it is something I still struggle with today. Although I consider myself beautiful, I still find myself doubting myself because of the images that are forced upon me when it comes to the European standard of beauty.

We have become accessories to the murder of the souls of little black girls. Just look at the cover of your favorite magazine or watch the video of your favorite rapper. We are killing our babies.