Jun 30, 2010

Janet-Jackson-essence-cover.jpg
 
 
 
 
I love me some JJ and I can't wait to see her in New Orleans on Friday.  I just wish she was on the cover rocking her new short do, but oh well chick still looks fabulous.
 
 


Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan has written the leaders of more than a dozen major U.S. Jewish groups and denominations seeking "repair of my people from the damage" he claims Jews have caused blacks for centuries.

Farrakhan sent the letter along with two books from the Nation of Islam Historical Research Team that the 77-year-old minister said prove "an undeniable record of Jewish Anti-Black behavior," starting with the slave trade and Jim Crow laws.

"We could charge you with being the most deceitful so-called friend, while your history with us shows you have been our worst enemy," he wrote.

Farrakhan has long accused Jews of wrongdoing in speeches, but he has rarely addressed Jewish groups so directly in writing.

The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group which distributed copies of the letter, said in a statement Tuesday that Farrakhan's "anti-Semitism is obsessive, diabolical and unrestrained. He has opened a new chapter in his ministry where scapegoating Jews is not just part of a message, but the message."

In the letter, dated last Thursday, the Chicago-based Nation of Islam leader said he sought a dialogue with Jews. He sent the letter to groups including the Orthodox and Reform movements, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and the American Jewish Committee, a New York-based advocacy and humanitarian nonprofit that spearheads inter-religious dialogue.

"This is an offer asking you and the gentiles whom you influence to help me in the repair of my people from the damage that has been done by your ancestors to mine," he writes. "Your present reality is sitting on top of the world in power, with riches and influences, while the masses of my people ... are in the worst condition of any member of the human family."

In the past, Farrakhan's most inflammatory comments have included referring to Judaism as a "gutter religion" and calling Adolf Hitler "wickedly great." Recently, he has railed against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which he claims is conspiring to trap the U.S. in a war with Iran.

Farrakhan echoed similar comments last Saturday in an Atlanta speech titled, "Who Are the Real Children of Israel?"

He did not respond to several messages seeking comment Tuesday. Farrakhan has over the years denied claims of anti-Semitism, arguing his remarks are often taken out of context and that criticism of Jews in any light automatically earns the "anti-Semite" label. source


The song Nightshift was an 80s hit for the Commodores after Lionel Richie left the group even winning a Grammy in 1985. The song was originally wrote in tribute to Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson both whom died prematurely in 1984.

Nightshift = Heaven

***Side Note***

I remember loving this song when I was kid. We had a radio station in GA and when the late night deejay would come on he always started his show with this song. It's one of my favorite childhood memories.

Jun 29, 2010



This has to be one of the most interesting and controversial reads I have read in a while. Dating expert Deborrah Cooper has written an article explaining why the black church is keeping black women single. Although, I can agree with a lot of the points that she is making, I don't know if I buy the argument fully but I'm willing to hear her out.

Via Survivingdating.com

Black women have an inordinate amount of faith in both Black men and Black churches. My position is that such blind and unwavering faith in either is misplaced.

It is my belief that the Black church, structured around traditional gender roles which makes women submissive to and inferior to men, greatly limits females.

Single Black women sitting in church every Sunday are being subtly brainwashed, soothed and placated into waiting without demand for what they want to magically come to them. Who is doing this to Black women? The male standing at the front of the Church in the role of spiritual leader, that’s who!

This is the true reason that there are so many single, never married Black women in the United States – Black churches. Black women should abandon Black churches and focus more on themselves, their needs and those of their children than those of Black men or a religion which Black men use to castigate and control an entire race of women.

Single Black Females in Church

Black females have long been considered the backbone of the Black community and the cornerstone of their families and churches. But what is the real price Black women have paid to wear this crown of fool’s gold?

An examination of any congregation of the average Black church shows that single Black females fill the pews. Results of a recent study “African Americans and Religion” by the PEW Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life found that “African Americans are markedly more religious on a variety of measures than the U.S. population as a whole.”

Almost 90% of Black Americans express “absolutely certain belief in God” compared to just over 70% of the total U.S. population. Two other important statistics gleaned from this survey: (1) 80% of Black Americans report that religion is “very important” in their lives as compared to 57% of the general U.S. population; and (2) 55% of Black Americans report that they “interpret scripture literally” as compared to 32% of the general U.S. population.

The PEW study also reported that “Men are significantly more likely than women to claim no religious affiliation. Nearly one-in-five men say they have no formal religious affiliation, compared with roughly 13% of women.”

The survey shows a distinct correlation between religion and social attitudes amongst African Americans. “African Americans who are more religiously observant (as defined by frequency of worship service attendance and the importance of religion in their lives), are more likely to oppose abortion and homosexuality, and more likely to report higher levels of conservative ideology.”

What Do The PEW Study Results Mean For Single Black Women?

They mean that:

Following the tenets of organized religion is not going to get you anywhere because men are generally not religious.
Going to church is not getting you the husband you seek.
Going to church is not making you more attractive and interesting to men.
Going to church is not where you are going to find eligible bachelors to date.
Going to church is not going to teach you to be fiscally responsible, investment savvy, or empower you to achieve greatness as a woman.
Going to church is not going to broaden your horizons, make you more tolerant and accepting of all God’s children, nor is it going to encourage you to be free of the chains of patriarchy and oppression of your feminine energy.
Going to church makes you a sheep, blindly following the mandates of a small group of men you have placed in your life in a position of power. Going to church makes you malleable and predictable, and narrows your thinking and thus limits your options.

Going to church for single Black women is a waste time.


CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.
Hat Tip to Essence

Many are comparing Chris Brown's tribute to Michael Jackson to MJ's 1988 Grammy performance. Obviously this is the performance that inspired the tribute. What do you think?

MJ Grammys 1988


Chris Brown BET Awards



Via AJC

Two men were arrested Monday in Union City for their alleged involvement in the sexual molestation of a 10-year-old girl.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshal’s Service arrested Danny Lee Arnold, 19. His charges include child molestation, cruelty to children and sexual battery. GBI officers also arrested Danny's brother Thomas Marcus Arnold, 21, who faces the same charges in addition to aggravated sodomy.

The aunt of the two brothers, Lisa Arnold, 28, was arrested for incest after the GBI found evidence that indicated she had had sex with her two nephews. All three suspects reside in Union City.

The investigation began when the Department of Family and Children Services learned that the 10-year-old victim was pregnant. The victim has since had an abortion. There was a DNA test to determine which Arnold brother impregnated her.

After contacting the Newton County Sheriff's Office and the GBI on May 3, the officers determined that the incidents occurred in Union City, which is in Fulton County.

According to John Bankhead, spokesman for the GBI, the arresting officers received a tip that the Arnold brothers were at a church in Union City. They were arrested outside the church. Lisa Arnold was arrested in her Union City home. All three suspects were taken to Fulton County jail.

According to a GBI news release, the molestation had been ongoing for several years. The victim is in the care of relatives.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.



Six FAMU journalism and graphic communication students will join students from Shantou University in Guangdong Province, China in Johannesburg, Africa where they will produce daily multimedia stories about the 2010 FIFA World Cup of Soccer and its impact on life in South Africa.

“I’m pretty sure what we’re doing is unprecedented for a journalism program at a historically black university,” said Joe Ritchie, the Knight Chair in journalism at FAMU. “Few journalism students anywhere get to do a foreign reporting internship of any kind and to be at one of the biggest events on the planet is a huge deal.”

The students will be responsible for posting stories with video, audio and text as well as blogs, photo galleries and podcasts covering a range of topics related to the World Cup as well as to general social, economic and political issues about South Africa. Individuals can view their daily reports at http://www.famustu.net.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.


Oprah Winfrey has reclaimed her title as world’s most powerful celebrity in a poll conducted by Forbes magazine.

With 315 million dollars in earnings, Winfrey, 56, who next year is set to launch her own television channel, dethrones Angelina Jolie as the top power player with the actress slipping from No. 1 to 18.

This is Winfrey’s fourth time topping the annual list, which is based on income over the past 12 months, as well as web references, press clippings, broadcast mentions and major magazine covers devoted to the celebrity, Forbes said.

Right behind O at No. 2 on the list is Beyonce Knowles, who jumps two positions from last year with earnings of $87 million.

Director James Cameron, fresh from the success of his record-breaking movie “Avatar,” comes in third with earnings of 210 million dollars.

Lady Gaga and her $62 million dollars banked over the last year is the list’s highest-ranked newcomer at No. 4.

Golfer Tiger Woods keeps his high standing despite his cheating scandal, maintaining the No. 5 position and raking in $105 million even in the wake of his self-imposed six-month break from the game.

Others in the top 10 include pop singer Britney Spears at six, and Irish rockers U2 at seven.

Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock, whose cheating husband kept her in the tabloid limelight, soared from last year’s 92nd spot to be this year’s No. 8, with $56 million in earnings. Actor Johnny Depp is at No. 9, while singer Madonna fell seven positions over her 2009 spot to round out the top 10 with 58 million dollars in earnings.

source


UPDATE:

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW.

Via USMagazine:

Celebrated for her work with the Fugees and her classic solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, the Grammy-winning hip-hop/R&B artist has barely been seen or heard since 1999. (Despite universal accolades, she only released one album after 1998's Miseducation: 2002's MTV Unplugged.) Some wondered whether the erratic artist -- who demands to be addressed as "Ms. Hill" -- had a nervous breakdown.

But Hill, now 35, finally explained her mysterious absence to National Public Radio's Zoe Chace, who scored a interview with the artist following a rare performance in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Why did she stop recording? "There were a number of different reasons," she explains.

"But partly, the support system that I needed was not necessarily in place. There were things about myself, personal-growth things, that I had to go through in order to feel like it was worth it."

The platinum-selling star also takes aim at the music industry, suggesting it didn't nurture her with enough care or patience: "Oftentimes," Hill says, "the machine can overlook the need to take care of the people who produce the sounds that have a lot to do with the health and well-being of society...And it's important that people be given the time that they need to go through, to grow, so that the consciousness level of the general public is properly affected."

Not that Hill hasn't kept herself busy the past 11 years.

"I don't know if you know this, but I have five children," she tells NPR. Her children's dad is Hill's longtime love Rohan Marley, son of the late reggae legend Bob Marley.

"The youngest is 2 now, so she's old enough that I can leave her for a period of time and know she's going to be okay."

"I think it's just time," to start performing again, she adds.

"I'm starting to get excited again. Believe it or not, I think what people are attracted to about me, if anything, is my passion. People got exposed to my passion through music and song first...And I think that can be infectious."

Jun 28, 2010



It's funny how things only get marketed toward us once they start failing. We are either targeted at the beginning of a venture (i.e. CW, Fox, etc.) or they wait until things begin to fail before they want to reach out to the African American community. Interesting...

Via NY Times:

They thought it was about Elvis.

That’s what a focus group of a dozen African-American women concluded about the musical “Memphis” last summer when they were asked to assess the show’s tagline, “The Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll.”

But after seeing artwork featuring Felicia, the black R&B singer in the show, and after hearing about the turbulent romance between the character and a white D.J., the women in the focus group said the show was much more up their alley.

With that in mind, the producers changed the “Memphis” tagline before opening on Broadway to: “His Vision, Her Voice. The Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll.”

The use of focus groups is one of several diversity strategies, aggressive by theater standards, used not only by “Memphis” but also by another new Broadway musical, “Fela!”; the new play “Race”; and the revival of “Fences” — all shows centered on black characters, who are rarely in the forefront of major plays and musicals.

While the “Memphis” producers estimate that 25 to 30 percent of their audience is black, the producers of “Fela!” and “Race” say that their outreach has resulted in black theatergoers’ making up 40 percent of attendees. “Fences” and its star, Denzel Washington, are also drawing large numbers of black people, though the show began selling out early and has been a tough ticket to obtain, a spokesman said.

Broadway shows about black characters often draw black theatergoers, but the producers of “Memphis” and “Fela!” as well as producers of some coming shows are particularly going after African-Americans, given that Broadway’s overall attendance has been on the decline, down 3 percent for the 2009-10 season. Whether black theatergoers become a larger, reliable part of the Broadway audience remains to be seen, as do the range and quality of the shows that are offered to appeal to them.

Yet producers clearly sense a market that has not been tapped out: This fall’s Broadway lineup already includes two new musicals about black men, “Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Musical” and “The Scottsboro Boys,” and possibly the new two-character play “The Mountaintop,” about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., depending on whether the producers can land the stars Samuel L. Jackson and Halle Berry.

Indeed, the producers of “Memphis” credit word of mouth among black people for helping keep the show alive through slow-selling weeks to reach the Tony Award voting season that began in May and ended when “Memphis” won the top award for best new musical this month.

While some theater critics and rival producers have derided “Memphis” as a conventional show and have spurned its story of racial reconciliation as simplistic, the musical’s success at building a black audience is anything but business as usual for Broadway. Yes, some of the marketing strategies were tried before with the 2005 musical adaptation of “The Color Purple,” but that show had a well-known title and Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement going for it.

By contrast, “Memphis” has no stars and an unknown score and story. But its producers believed that their show would become known as memorable entertainment if buzz spread among enough so-called Broadway taste-makers — who, in the case of “Memphis,” were not the usual critics, bloggers and veteran theatergoers, but instead African-American ministers, choir directors and black women.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.
I HAVE been amazed by the Anglo-Saxon's lack of curiosity about the internal lives and emotions of the Negroes, and for that matter, any non-Anglo-Saxon peoples within our borders, above the class of unskilled labor.

This lack of interest is much more important than it seems at first glance. It is even more important at this time than it was in the past. The internal affairs of the nation have bearings on the international stress and strain, and this gap in the national literature now has tremendous weight in world affairs. National coherence and solidarity is implicit in a thorough understanding of the various groups within a nation, and this lack of knowledge about the internal emotions and behavior of the minorities cannot fail to bar out understanding. Man, like all the other animals fears and is repelled by that which he does not understand, and mere difference is apt to connote something malign.

The fact that there is no demand for incisive and full-dress stories around Negroes above the servant class is indicative of something of vast importance to this nation. This blank is NOT filled by the fiction built around upper- class Negroes exploiting the race problem. Rather, it tends to point it up. A college-bred Negro still is not a person like other folks, but an interesting problem, more or less. It calls to mind a story of slavery time. In this story, a master with more intellectual curiosity than usual, set out to see how much he could teach a particularly bright slave of his. When he had gotten him up to higher mathematics and to be a fluent reader of Latin, he called in a neighbor to show off his brilliant slave, and to argue that Negroes had brains just like the slave-owners had, and given the same opportunities, would turn out the same.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ESSAY.


Literature about the oppressed written by the oppressor has a long tradition. The trend can be traced all the way to colonialism -- a movement that was not only physical but textual, the evidence of which can be found in the diaries, letters and journals of colonists, settlers and plantation slave owners.

Representation of African Americans by white people in texts records a history of "inferiority." Based on these perceptions, African Americans have endured slavery, genocide, medical apartheid and segregation.

This "inferiority" is a tool fundamental to ethnic distancing in society. Today, this tool is used with great precision in the mainstream publishing industry. While, yes, the distancing may not be total -- meaning a few select African American authors have "crossed over" into the mainstream -- the work of many African Americans authors, myself included, has been lumped into one heap known as "African American literature." This suggests that our literature is singular and anomalous, not universal. It is as if we American authors who happen to be of African descent are not a people but a genre much like mystery, romance or thriller.

Walk through your local chain bookstore and you will not see sections tagged British Literature, White American Literature, Korean Literature, Pakistani Literature and so on. None of these ethnicities are singled out or objectified the way African American writers are.

And while, yes, a vast majority of all writers, regardless of skin color, are struggling to stay afloat, and there are more African American writers being published today than at any other time in history, one must still take note of exactly what is being published.

Mainstream publishing houses contort themselves to acquire books that glorify wanton sex, drugs and crime. This fiction, known as street-lit or hip-hop fiction, most often reinforces the stereotypical trademarks African Americans have fought hard to overcome. And while we are all the descendants of those great literary pioneers who first gave a voice to the African American experience, and one certainly could not exist without the other, somewhere down the line the balance was thrown off and the scales tipped in favor of a genre that glorifies street life and denigrates a cultural institution that took hundreds of years to construct.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.





Years before the nation's capital legalized same-sex marriage in March, one church in Washington, D.C., opened its doors to gay couples as part of its mission to establish an "inclusive body of Biblical believers."

Pastors Christine and Dennis Wiley performed a 2007 commitment ceremony at their altar. That action split the historically black church, prompting half of the congregation to leave.

Yvonne Moore not only left Covenant Baptist, where she had worshipped for nearly 40 years: she filed a lawsuit for her weekly tithes because, as she said, "They didn't respect the members enough to listen to us."


Moore said she attended the 2007 commitment ceremony and found it "totally disgusting."

"I don't believe in that, I'm southern Baptist," Moore told CNN's Soledad O'Brien. "The bible speaks against that. You cannot take that in the church."

So she sued the church for a portion of the estimated $250,000 that she estimates she had paid in weekly donations over the past 37 years Moore's now former pastors believe that gay rights are a natural extension of the black Civil Rights movement.

"I don't think we as a people have a lock on civil rights," Pastor Dennis Wiley said.

The struggle for civil rights is something that Moore can relate to: Growing up in Florida, she said she was one of the first blacks to eat at a lunch counter in her hometown.

But she is still on the fence about comparing her situation, as an African-American, to that of the gay community. She said Dennis Wiley asked her to consider the situation of her friend, who is gay.

"Dennis asked me ... 'How do you feel the way you were treated and just think about the way he was treated.' And I was like, 'Oh, OK,'" Moore said.

She later dropped her lawsuit, but has not returned to the church.

source


THOUGHTS!!!!



This had to be one of the highlights of the show last night for me. It was completely unexpected. El DeBarge performed all his 'Brown Liquor' hits last night and even though I'm a young'un, I was singing right alone. That man has hits and it was a joy to watch him sang again.

***Side Note(s)***

Am I the only person pissed off that Prince didn't perform? I mean outside of the MJ tribute that was the only reason I was watching the show. Man even James Brown performed when he recieved his Lifetime Achievement Award...sheesh!

And what was up with Trey Songz's performance? IDGI

And can someone please get Auntie Debra Lee a stylist? Seriously, is that asking too much?

Jun 27, 2010



This had to be the performance of the night. I really believe MJ just saved Chris Brown's career. When he cried during the 'Man in the Mirror' part it was really touching.

I really wish that young man the best. He is a super talent and hoping he can get past his demons and continue to share his gifts with the world.
Prince Tribute


Kanye West - Power


Monica f/ Deniece Williams


Alicia Keys - Medley

Jun 26, 2010



My mom always says that "sometimes the brightest stars burn out the fastest." God bless Khalifah, his older brother Idris, and his family.

Via AJC:

It would've been easy for Khalifah Muhammad, a freshman who measured just a shade over five feet, to get lost in the crowd at Morehouse College.

But the 18-year-old, killed in a car accident Wednesday along with an older brother not far from their Silver Spring, Md. home, stood tall during his brief time on campus, rubbing shoulders with Spike Lee and starting a club for ambitious peers, the 5th Floor.

His professors took note, naming the English major Morehouse's Freshman of the Year. “In reflecting on [Khalifah's] brief life, I can only think about his potential,” said Paul Wiebe, chair of the school's English Department.

After graduating from Morehouse, Khalifah hoped to attend New York University Film School, fulfilling a lifelong dream to make movies. He was already a prolific filmmaker, shooting digital shorts that can be viewed on his YouTube account.

"I really wanted him to explore his passion," his mother said. "It was something he was very good at."

Khalifah was also passionate about making a difference, especially after visiting quake-ravaged Haiti on a relief mission earlier this year.

"It was his first time out of the country, and he's by himself, going to Haiti," said his brother Nasser Muhammad, 24. "It changed him. He got to see people less fortunate than him. He wanted to go back and document what's happening there."

Khalifah had been home in Maryland since May, spending most of his time with brother Idris, 18 months his senior. They were driving home from dinner with two friends when Idris swerved to avoid something in the road, his mother said. He apparently overcompensated while trying to swerve back into his lane, sending the car into a telephone pole, one of the two female passengers in the backseat told Nisa Muhammad. Both girls sustained minor injuries; Montgomery County police are investigating.

"They did everything together," Nasser Muhammad said of his two younger brothers. They avoided trouble, he said, though as teammates on a youth basketball team they ran afoul of their coach "because they'd only pass the ball to each other."

A Morehouse spokeswoman said a memorial service will likely be held in August, when students return to campus. The two brothers will be buried Monday in Maryland.



A co-defendant in Michael Vick's dogfighting case whom the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was barred from associating with was shot late Thursday night outside a club that had been hosting a birthday party for Vick.

Vick, who turns 30 on Saturday, was neither involved nor present at a Virginia Beach, Va., nightclub when Quanis Phillips was shot, Larry Woodward, an attorney for Vick, said Friday, according to The Associated Press.

Vick was prohibited from associating with Phillips as a condition of his release on probation, which stemmed from a dogfighting conviction and resulting 18-month federal prison sentence.

"We are aware of the incident that occurred in Virginia early this morning and are in the process of gathering all of the facts," the Eagles said in a statement. "Until then, we will not have any comment on this matter."

The Virginia Beach police said Vick is "of no interest to us" as police investigate, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

According to spokesman Adam Bernstein, the Virginia Beach police received a 911 call from a cell phone at 2:11 a.m. ET. An unnamed person reported hearing a verbal dispute and a subsequent gunshot in Virginia Beach's Town Center section.

Officers responded to the scene at the 4600 block of Columbus Street, according to the Daily News, and were told a shooting victim was being driven to the hospital in a car the police later stopped.

The officers reported the victim and other witnesses as "very uncooperative," though they described the shooter as a black man in a white Cadillac Escalade.

Bernstein said a man sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the shooting at around 2 a.m. outside the club Guadalajara.

Phillips, who was sentenced to 21 months in prison for his role in the dogfighting operation, was admitted to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital overnight, health system spokesman Dale Gauding said. He was discharged early Friday afternoon. Gauding said he was not able to discuss the nature of Phillips' injuries because of privacy laws.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is looking into the shooting.

It is unclear whether Phillips was invited to the party, which was hyped on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter as "Michael Vick's ALL WHITE 30th Birthday Bash."

Tickets cost $50, and the party was advertised as beginning at 9 p.m and ending at 2 a.m while promising a guest list that included NBA star Allen Iverson and Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall, both natives of the area, and a host of B-list celebrities.

Hall said via his Twitter feed on Friday that he was not at the party.

Vick, who is holding a football camp at Hampton University this week, was on the field working with campers Friday afternoon, along with former Atlanta teammate Roddy White.

White said he and Vick had already left the party when the shooting took place.

At the football camp, Vick was asked by a reporter Friday afternoon whether he had any comment on the incident.

"Watch what you do. Pick and choose your friends carefully. You just can't put yourself in vulnerable situations," Vick said.

source


Fantasia's video for her new single 'Bittersweet' is finally here. Between Monica and her hope may still be alive for real R&B to continue.

Fantasia's leading man in the video is the delicious adonis #11 wide receiver for the Washington Redskins, Devin Thomas. He alone is enough to watch the video...LOL!!!

“Bittersweet” is the official first single from Fantasia’s third studio album Back to Me set for an August 10 release on J Records.
 
 
 
Via MSNBC:

Oprah wants to give someone a chance to host their own show on her network, but her "Search for the Next TV Star" is causing controversy after allegations of vote rigging.

For the show, "Your OWN Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star" contestants gathered through online audition tapes and open casting calls at four Kohl's stores.

Over 10,000 hopefuls signed on, each proposing the kind of show they would like to host. From that pool, five finalists will be chosen from online vote, and others by judges from the live castings. Ten finalists will appear in an eight-episode boot camp to determine who will get to host; shows will air when OWN launches in January 2011 and will be executive produced by Mark Burnett.

As of this writing, the top two online vote-getters are Phyllis Wick-Turner, a Florida college professor, and Zach Anner, a 25-year-old from Austin.

And that's where the controversy begins.

Anner uses a wheelchair because he has cerebral palsy — which he describes in his audition tape as "the sexiest of the palsies." His online submission was a pitch for "a travel show for people who never thought they could travel," inspired by his own experiences.

Tucker-Wicks said she always "wanted be a Hollywood actress." Her audition proposes a "teacher reality show" showing "the days and the lives of a teacher" and "the drama in the classroom."

Anner's humorous, self-deprecating clip received a groundswell of support on the internet thanks to mentions on several blogs, including the personal site of singer John Mayer and popular online messageboard 4chan.

As a result, his vote totals took off — but when Tucker-Wicks had a vote surge of her own, the Annerfans cried foul.

Message-board postings began carrying accusations that OWN was rigging the online voting in favor of Tucker-Wicks.

Tucker-Wicks is African-American and Anner is white, and the allegations eventually took on a racial tone. Hackers eventually manipulated search results to make "Oprah rigs contest in favor of African American" the number one most-searched term on Google.

A spokesperson for OWN told TheWrap: "No contestant has been favored in this competition. The rules were designed to ensure that it is run fairly and in an unbiased manner." He added that all votes would be put through two different levels of verification to ensure everything is on the up-and-up.

In fact, tech blog Geekosystem uncovered evidence that the angry Annerfans did some cheating of their own. The site published screen grabs showing 4chan users discussing automated "bots" to generate extra votes for Anner. 4chan members also launched a campaign against Tucker-Wicks that has included posting nasty reviews to her pages on various teaching websites.

 
 
THOUGHTS!!!!!

Jun 25, 2010

Christine Acham looks over images with Ivan Dixon's widow, Berlie, for a documentary on "The Spook Who Sat by the Door."
 
When director Ivan Dixon and writer Sam Greenlee were trying to get the politically charged African-American film "The Spook Who Sat by the Door" made in the early 1970s, they faced major challenges in securing funding.

Not much has changed since then, says Christine Acham, a University of California-Davis professor who is working on a documentary about the making of the film.

Acham said that though conditions have improved in the last 40 years, black filmmakers still struggle to get their films made.

"It is always challenging for African-American filmmakers to get funding," Acham said. "It's clearly helped by the Oprahs and Tyler Perrys of the world, who have their own studios and the ability to greenlight projects, but outside of that, if you are an independent or a black filmmaker, it is difficult to get black stories told."

Times are tough for Hollywood in general. With the country firmly entrenched in a recession, gone are the days when studio executives were eager to take a multimillion-dollar chance on projects that may or may not find an audience.

Even filmmakers such as Melvin Van Peebles, John Singleton and Spike Lee who have found success via independent vehicles don't have free financial reign.

Acham, who teaches courses on black film, television and pop culture, said that in such a tough marketplace, the road is even tougher for minority filmmakers.

The professor said that with studios scaling back on the number of films they make and focusing on less risky ventures such as sequels, those going the independent route have to be creative.

That includes working the film festival circuit, Acham said.

"Film festivals allow the filmmaker to get their work out there," she said. "Obviously, with the rise of Sundance, people are taking a closer look at festivals, and for the independents, many are looking beyond Sundance perhaps because it has gotten so large."

One such event is the American Black Film Festival, which launches its 14th annual edition Wednesday in Miami, Florida.
 
 

 
 
 Nearly 1 in 5 American women beyond childbearing years never gave birth as fewer couples, particularly higher-educated whites, view having children as necessary to a good marriage.

An analysis of census data by the Pew Research Center, being released Friday, documents the changes in fertility rates that are driving government projections that U.S. minorities will become the majority by midcentury.

The figures show that among all women ages 40-44, about 18 percent, or 1.9 million, were childless in 2008. That's up from 10 percent, or nearly 580,000 in 1976.

Broken down by race, roughly 20 percent of white women are childless, compared with 17 percent of blacks and of Hispanics and 16 percent of Asians. Still that gap has been narrowing: Since 1994, childlessness for blacks and Hispanics has grown by 30 percent, about three times the rate for whites.

The numbers coincide with broader U.S. trends of delayed marriage and increased opportunities for women, who now outnumber men in the work force and have drawn even with them in advanced degrees. After reaching a high of 3.7 children per woman during the baby boom, the U.S. fertility rate dropped to a historic low of 1.7 during the mid-1970s and stands at about 2.

The findings also come amid a historic demographic shift in which blacks, Hispanics, Asians and multiracial people are growing rapidly in the U.S. population and wielding more influence in politics and society. Minority babies now make up nearly half of all U.S. births.

"Social pressure to bear children appears to have diminished for women and that today, the decision to have a child is seen as an individual choice," according to the report by Pew researchers Gretchen Livingston and D'Vera Cohn. "Improved opportunities and contraceptive methods help create alternatives for women."

While higher-educated women overall are more likely to be childless, that may be slowly changing. In 2008, about 24 percent of women ages 40-44 with a master's, doctoral or professional degree did not have children, a decline from 31 percent in 1994.

In the meantime, childlessness has risen sharply for women with less than a high school diploma — from 9 percent in 1994 to 15 percent in 2008.

Other findings:

—Less than half, or 41 percent, of surveyed Americans said that children were very important for a successful marriage. Still, a rising share of people — about 38 percent in 2009 — say the trend of increased childlessness is bad for society.

—More births are from women who never married. Among never-married women ages 40-44, about 56 percent were childless in 2008 compared with 71 percent in 1994.

—U.S. childless rates were somewhat similar, if not higher, compared with other industrialized nations. About 17 percent of U.S. women were childless at age 40, compared to 22 percent in England, and 17 percent in Italy and Ireland. The rates were between 12 percent and 14 percent for Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden.

Pew, an independent research group, based its findings on 2008 data from the Census Bureau. The report analyzes the population of women who do not have biological children, as opposed to adoptive or stepchildren. Figures for "white" refer to those whites who are not of Hispanic ethnicity.

___

Online:

http://pewresearch.org/

source

Cover for Juanita Bynum's new CD trilogy project.
 
 

Her new album, "The Diary of Juanita Bynum" is scheduled for release in 2011. She said the trilogy project is not going to be just "another CD, but it's going to be a message and the story of my heart and my diary."

Not so long ago, Bynum went through a very stormy and very public breakup with her then-husband, Bishop Thomas W. Weeks III. In  2007, Weeks attacked Bynum in the parking lot of a metro hotel after the couple, then separated, met to discuss their problems. Weeks was convicted of aggravated assault.

In addition to the CD project, Bynum is working on launching her candle and bath products and makeup lines. Bynum is also working on a play based on her song, "Soul Cry (Oh, Oh, Oh) and tour. One of the covers in the trilogy project was shot by Derek Blanks, who shot the Atlanta Housewives in the alter ego poses. Bynum, however, declines to discuss what her alter ego photo will be, but says people will be surprised.

Q: Are you in a relationship now? I'm sure you've read the Internet rumors that you and Mr. [Mathew] Knowles are actually an item.

A: Yes, that is absolutely ridiculous. I have never had a private conversation with Mr. Knowles. I have never been in a private room with him, [or] a private setting with him. I have never had a private telephone conversation with him. I don't have his e-mail address and he doesn't have mine. None of that is true... But no, I'm [not] dating anybody. That is not my focus right now. 

Q: A lot of people want to know about your relationship with your former husband – Bishop Weeks. Do you have a relationship with him?

A: No, when I left the divorce court, I never looked back. A lot of times people will say this was said about you and that was said about you and he said this and that, but I never heard it. I just set my focus and that was one thing my father was instrumental in helping me to do.... I don't speak to him. I don't have any communication. I don't know what he's doing. If people are looking for me to say something bad about him or  put my mouth on him, or say this or say that, they won't get it out of me because that's just not my spirit.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.

 
 
Share your favorite memories of the late 'King of Pop'.  What was your favorite song or favorite performance?  Do you have a favorite video you wish to discuss?  Please share it here.  Today we celebrate the life of Michael Jackson.  We love you, Michael!!!!!!!
 
 
****Side Note****
 
Was I the only person who was damn near grown before they watched the 'Thriller' video all the way through...LOL???
 
 

Jun 24, 2010

 
 
Hat Tip to Ananda
 

A group of over 60 Blogging While Brown Conference attendees made 21st century history on June 18 when they visited the White House's Executive Office Building to meet with Corey A. Ealons, Director of African American Media.  Ealons met with the group to acknowledge the value of their blogging efforts and discuss how they might play a role in sharing information about the Obama Administration's public policies with their blogging audiences.  Melody Barnes, Director of Domestic Policy Council, and Jessie Lee, Online Programs Director, also met with the group.

On the second day of the conference, Ealons welcomed conference attendees and reiterated his intention to create an ongoing dialogue between the African American blogosphere and the White House. See video below.

The conference was held on June 18 and 19 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Over 200 people participated in conference events including a bootcamp for beginner bloggers held on June 18 at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library. Click here to read Carlos in DC's blog and watch videos about the bootcamp.

Blogging While Brown is an annual conference for bloggers of color who use social media to discuss an array of topics including art, beauty, books, business, civil rights, comedy, creativity, culture, family, fashion, hair, health, HIV/AIDS awareness, law, marriage, motherhood, music, parenting, politics, popular culture, relationships, science, social media, spirituality, technology, travel, women's issues, and yoga.  The conference was established in 2008 by Gina McCauley, an attorney, activist, and founder of What About Our Daughters and Michelle Obama Watch blogs.

 

CLICK HERE READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AND VIEW PICTURES.

 
 
Kasim Reed walked into City Hall's familiar Conference Room 2 Wednesday afternoon to jump a new hurdle.

The Atlanta mayor usually comes into the room to meet with a sometimes-testy city council. But this time he was met by a man trained in administering rapid HIV tests.

"This is a disease that impacts all of the city," Reed had said at a press conference earlier to urge widespread testing. "That is why I am going to participate and be tested as well."

After a battery of medical questions, the technician handed the mayor an oral swab and instructed him on how to conduct the test – basically gathering saliva.

"Oh," Reed said. "It is like brushing my teeth."

And with that, it was over.

Twenty minutes later, the mayor would learn his status. So would dozens of others.

As part of events leading up to National HIV Testing Day on Sunday, Reed opened City Hall on Wednesday for anyone interested in getting tested. Atlanta has one of the highest HIV rates in the country and Reed's test served as a huge symbolic gesture to help reduce the stigma of testing.

"It is the first step in creating awareness," said Councilman Alex Wan, the development director for Jerusalem House, which provides housing and support services for people affected by HIV. "We need to do something to jump- start awareness. It is a selfish decision not to get tested."

Although National HIV Testing Day is Sunday, various HIV and AIDS support groups will be conducting tests at various locations across the state throughout the week.

To find out other locations were HIV tests are conducted, call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

Or text knowit to 566948

Or log in to www.hivtest.org or www.actagainstaids.org

source
Two Chicago Teens Found Naked And Shot To Death On Train Tracks
 
 
 
 

The kidnapping and shooting of the two young men found naked and dead near railroad tracks in the Princeton Park neighborhood on the South Side on Monday morning was likely gang-related, police said.

Dante Coleman, 17, of East 55th (Garfield Boulevard) and South State streets, and Ibitoye Olayinka, also 17, who lived near West 69th and South Western Avenue were kidnapped about 11:15 p.m. Sunday from East 51st and South Prairie Avenue, police said.

Both were members of the same gang and the incident is believed to be gang-related, although potential witnesses are not cooperating with police, Calumet Area detectives said.

Both were found shot to death, naked and lying face down, about 8:50 a.m. Monday near the tracks in the 9000 block of South Holland Road.

They were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. Autopsies conducted Tuesday found both died from multiple gunshot wounds and their deaths were ruled homicides, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

The night before the bodies were found, police began investigating about 11 p.m. after multiple reports of shots fired, and a person shot near the intersection of East 51st and South Prairie. Witnesses reported that they saw someone put a person into the trunk of a car.

Jun 23, 2010

In March 2010, the documentary "You Saved Me", Tyler New
Media's emotional, in-depth look into the marriages of eight African
American couples, debuted on Black Marriage Day to sell-out theaters and
thousands of viewers in 25 cities nationwide. This summer, film producers
and Essence bloggers Lamar and Ronnie Tyler continue to spread their
message of hope for Black marriage by taking the show on the road for a
national tour.  The tour kicks off on June 23rd in Hampton, VA, continuing
through July and August with dates in Chicago, Houston, and Orlando.

 A follow up to the Tylers' best-selling documentary, "Happily Ever After:
A Positive Image of Black Marriage", the film explores marriage's trials,
changes, successes, and ultimately the individual healing that comes out of
true love and commitment. Troubled by low marriage rates, high incidences
of divorce, and a lack of positive images of Black marriage in the media,
Lamar and Ronnie Tyler, who also author the award winning blog Black and
Married with Kids, designed the film to counter pervasive negative views of
Black marriage by promoting positive real-life images of Black couples.
The film has received attention beyond United States borders, being chosen
as one of the movies to be shown at the Canadian Black film Festival this
fall.

The U.K television station, OhTV, featured the Tylers and "You Saved Me"
as part of their documentary, "Brides and Prejudice", which focused on
Black marriage in the U.K. The international attention has made it clear
that the issues related to marriage in the Black community are relevant
both in the United States and abroad.

"It's been exciting to get calls from places like Canada and the UK that
have interest in what we're doing. We feel very blessed for the opportunity
to have a voice on a global scale." says Lamar. "It's an amazing feeling to
have your work touch people who are so far away."

Scheduled screening dates continue into the fall and are constantly being
added. In addition to the film screenings, the couple will be on hand for
discussion following the film. Visit www.blackandmarriedwithkids.com for
updates. The documentary is also available for purchase at www.amazon.com.

Dates

Hampton, VA 6/23 AAHMI Conference
Orlando, FL  7/7 Smart Marriages Conference
Chicago, IL 7/22 ICE Theaters
Houston, TX 7/30 Fountain of Praise
Harrisburg, VA 9/18 Capital Book Fest
Baltimore, MD 9/25 Empowerment Temple
Toronto, Canada 10/21-10/25 Canadian Black Film Festival
Charleston, SC 11/6 Capital Book Fest

 

General Stanley McChrystal, the chief commander in the war in Afghanistan, has been relieved of his command by President Obama following derogatory comments of the administration to Rolling Stone.

McChrystal will reportedly be replaced by Gen. David Petraeus, the commander who oversaw a troop surge during the war in Iraq that came under some fire from Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. Rose Garden announcement was planned Wednesday afternoon.

Obama has accepted McChrystal's resignation as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan over his blistering remarks about administration officials.

After an Oval Office meeting with McChrystal in the morning, Obama huddled with his war advisers and planned to announce his decision on the general's fate.

Obama says McChrystal's resignation is 'right decision for our national security,' saying his actions undermined civilian control of the armed forces. Obama says the move will allow the U.S. to maintain leadership and momentum in the war.

McChrystal said after the Obama announcement in a statement that he resigned because of his "desire to see the mission succeed." He said he strongly supports Obama's strategy and remains deeply committed to the coalition forces, partner nations and the Afghan people. source

 
 
Rapper Tupac Shakur's song "Dear Mama," Bill Cosby's second comedy album and rare battle sounds from World War II are among 25 recordings the Library of Congress is preserving for their cultural significance.

Selections for the 2009 National Recording Registry are being announced Wednesday. They must be at least 10 years old and be culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.

The combination of Cosby — an outspoken critic of profanity and violence in hip-hop culture — with work from a rapper who was shot and killed in 1996 is notable, but organizers said Tupac's "Dear Mama" was a heartfelt homage to mothers struggling with addiction and poverty.

It's also a "relatively tame" recording, and the cultural impact of hip-hop is undeniable, program coordinator Steve Leggett said. Tupac is the third rapper inducted, following Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy.

In announcing the registry, Librarian of Congress James Billington said the list "showcases the diverse beauty, humanity and artistry found in the American soundscape."

source

 
 
 
 

The anonymous tip line for anyone who wants to report possible violations is: 1-877-606-9183.

 

source


Jun 22, 2010



Be a part of history by becoming a dot in the largest Michael Jackson tribute in the world. David Ilan is the artist who is drawing the portrait. He is an internationally recognized pointillism artist, which means he draws using only dots. Every single hand-drawn dot David places on his canvas represents a real person. Every Michael Jackson fan is able to get a free hand-drawn dot added to the portrait in their name.At least one million fans will be needed to complete the drawing, so it’s important to spread the word!

Click here to learn more about the project and spread the word.



****Side Note****

I'm dot number 254636. What dot are you????



Jun 21, 2010



In the latest episode of 'The Boondocks', creator Aaron McGruder take some direct shots at Tyler Perry. He didn't pull any punches and he definitely let the world know exactly what his feelings are towards Mr. Perry and his plays, movies, etc.

Why is there such a love/hate relationship with Tyler Perry?

THOUGHTS!!!



****Side Note****

Blog superstar B. Scott did a PSA about the 'No Homo' phenomenon and here it is:
 
 
I called it.  Just in case you have been living under a rock, let me explain who LeAndria Johnson is.  She is by far one of the most talented singers to ever grace the stage of BET's talent show, Sunday's Best.  This SISTA IS BAD are the only words I can use to describe the Orlando native.  She wowed me at her first audition when she walked in with flip flops and socks after losing her home to foreclosure and I haven't turned away since.
 
LeAndria is a 27 year old single mother of three children ages, 6, 4 and 10 months.  She is praise and worship leader at HQ Ministries in Altamonte Springs, Fl, where she sings every Sunday morning and Wednesday.
 
Elder Goldwire Mclendon was stiff competition, but in the end I believe LeAndria's take on the songs 'Endow Me' and 'Running Back To You' took her over the edge.
 
Asked about what was the key to her winning, this is what she had to say:
 
Always be positive," she says. "Don't focus on the negative things in your life. Focus on the positive. The yes in you will be the yes for somebody else."  source
 
 
AMEN!!! Now those are definitely words to live by.
 
 
*****Side Note*****
 
Did you know that Sunday's Best finale was pre-recorded and two endings were shot?  LeAndria find out she won exactly when everyone else found out.  She learned of her victory while at a family gathering in Orlando.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Michael Jackson's estate has generated at least $1 billion in revenues since the singer died a year ago, thanks in part to a lucrative new record deal with Sony Music and the most successful concert film of all time, according to Billboard estimates.

Through interviews with industry experts and some number-crunching, Billboard examines the various music-based revenue streams flowing into the estate.

MUSIC SALES -- VALUE: $429 MILLION

Since his death, Jackson has sold about 9 million albums in the United States, while the Jackson 5 and the Jacksons have sold about 800,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Outside the States, Jackson's album sales for the past year stand at around 24 million units. Based on a blended worldwide retail sales price of $11.62 ($12.30 per unit less mechanical royalties), Billboard estimates that Jackson's album catalog generated about $383 million in sales.

On the digital side, Jackson's songs have generated 12.9 million track downloads in the United States in the past 12 months, according to SoundScan. Based on those figures, Billboard estimates that the total number of worldwide downloads is about 26.5 million units, with a value of $34 million (net of mechanical royalties).

Jackson's ringtone sales totaled 1.5 million last year in the States, with the bulk coming after his death. Digital ringtones sales worldwide are about twice that stateside, which brings Jackson's global ringtone tally to 3 million. At $2 per unit, ringtone revenue was about $5 million last year (net of mechanical royalties).

Monies generated from subscription services and digital performance royalties typically amount to about one-third that of mobile revenue, so Jackson's catalog probably generated about $2 million from those streams.

U.S. digital performance royalties represent about 13% of the revenue generated by single track downloads. Applying that rate to global track sales, Jackson's recording catalog generated another $4.5 million from global digital performances.

FILM/TV -- VALUE: $392 MILLION

Sony Pictures bought Jackson's rehearsal footage from AEG for $60 million. In retrospect, the price was something of a bargain. "Michael Jackson: This Is It" was released October 28, 2009, and earned $72 million at the U.S. box office, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com, making it the highest-grossing concert film in history.

Overseas, the film earned $188 million at the box office; of that, $56 million was tallied in Japan alone. After AEG recouped the company's investment of more than $35 million in the canceled shows at London's O2 and the film, the bulk of the theatrical take -- court documents indicate it could be as high as 90% -- went to Jackson's estate.

On the home video front, the "This Is It" DVD has earned $43 million in U.S. sales, with 2.7 million units sold since its January 26 release, according to The-Numbers.com, a division of Nash Information Services. Nash estimates the film made another $25 million in rental revenue.

In Japan -- where the film was also sold as part of a special "This Is It" bundle for the PlayStation 3 -- DVD sales topped $18 million on its first day of release; 351,000 Blu-ray copies have been sold, according to rankings service Oricon, adding about $7 million to the total.

In terms of TV, the industry standard is that exclusive rights for ad-supported TV costs 12% of the domestic box office for a four-year window; this rule of thumb is in flux, however, as the length of exclusive windows extend and the number of outlets involved in the deals increase. In November 2009, Viacom purchased the exclusive U.S. TV rights to air "This Is It" on its MTV and BET family of networks -- including VH1 and Palladia, as well as MTV and BET -- for six years. Given the additional years in the contract and the film's box-office tally, the deal could be worth upwards of $15 million. (By contrast, FX is reported to have paid between $25 million and $30 million for just the U.S. commercial TV rights to "Avatar.")

With its family-friendly rating, "This Is It" can be shown in all distribution media outside of traditional theaters, including airplanes, cruise ships and hotel chains. Licensing fees for nontheatrical performances vary based on the movie and its potential reach and how long it will air after it debuts in theaters, but it's generally forecast to be about 7% of total revenue for a film. For "This Is It," that puts the number at $24 million.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE BILLBOARD ARTICLE ABOUT MICHAEL JACKSON.

 
 
 
Kesha Rogers (please remember the name) is definitely making waves in Texas.  As the surprising winner of the Democratic primary for the Texas 22nd congressional district, she is being called the female Alvin Greene.  But don't let this comparision fool you, unlike Greene, Kesha actually has a platform and although many may not agree with her that hasn't stopped her from standing her ground.
 
Some of her most controversial political stances have pretty much placed her into political purgatory within her own party.  One of the strongest being her call to impeach the President whom Rogers calls a "London and Wall Street backed puppet"
 
Rogers is also a member of the LaRouche movement, a movement that was deemed racist and discriminatory byt the state party.  Rogers denies these allegations, but the state party still adopted a resolution that denied her any party support.
 
This is how Rogers describes herself:
 

I come from a lower middle class family. My father is a minister and works in construction. My mother worked for Houston ISD for over 20 years. After graduating college in 2001 with a BA in Political Science and Speech Communications from Texas State University, I realized that my generation and those younger had been given no future, and had been maliciously robbed of the knowledge of principles and methods necessary for building one. The standard institutions of higher learning had ironically become the biggest barrier towards students wanting a real classical education. In this context, I joined and became an active leader of the LaRouche Youth Movement over 6 eventful years ago.

My passion is recruiting young people to the profound and inspiring art of political statecraft, through a classical educational curriculum based on reliving the original discoveries of the greatest minds in classical art, music, and science, everything from J.S. Bach's principles of classical musical composition, to the unique discovery of universal gravitation by Johannes Kepler.

 
To learn more about Kesha Roger please visit her campaign page by clicking here

Jun 20, 2010



To all the wonderful, engaging, motivating, and positive fathers out there, God Bless You!!!


I swear Lauryn Hill is like the Alice Walker of the music industry. She came out with one masterpiece that she can live off of for the rest of her life. Seriously, what is it going to take to get this woman back into the studio?


Ex-Factor (my favorite song)


Turn Your Light Down Low


Ooh La La


***Side Note***
Am I the only person that thinks she looks like Leela James with her hair blown out like that?

Jun 19, 2010



Chicago rapper Rhymefest takes on the teaching of Prosperity with his new single of the same title.

THOUGHTS!


Via WashingtonPost:

Manute Bol, who became a basketball sensation in the 1980s as a skeletally thin shot-blocking giant with the Washington Bullets and other professional teams, and who devoted his post-basketball life to improving the lot of his fellow natives of Sudan, died June 19 at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. He was 47.

His cousin George Bol said Mr. Bol had internal bleeding and other complications from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a rare skin disease that he contracted from a medication he received in Africa.

Mr. Bol, one of the two tallest players in NBA history, was also one of its most exotic and endearing — and surely the only one to have killed a lion with a spear. His unusual journey to basketball stardom began in southern Sudan, where he was a cattle-herding member of the Dinka tribe and never touched a basketball until his late teens. After catching the eye of an American coach working in Sudan, Mr. Bol made his way to the United States without knowing a word of English.


Via The Grio:

SEATTLE (AP) -- A Seattle teen shown on video shoving a police officer who then punched her in the face has apologized to the officer in a private meeting.

Seattle police say Officer Ian Walsh accepted the apology Friday.

Separately, the King County prosecutor charged the 17-year-old girl as a juvenile with third-degree assault, which is punishable by a maximum 30 days in detention.

The incident happened Monday as the teen was intervening in a friend's arrest for jaywalking. James Kelley of the Urban League of Seattle says he requested Friday's meeting between the teen and the officer at a community center to help calm the situation.


Click here to watch the disturbing video of the incident.