Jul 30, 2010



TMZ is reporting that rapper T.I. and his girlfriend of many years, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, got married today at a Miami Beach Courthouse. Congrats to the couple.



Click here to look at pictures from T.I. and Tiny's ceremony.

ANOTHER CELEBRITY WEDDING:

Also Congratualtions to Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz who also got married this weekend. Click here to look at pictures from their Italian ceremony.
Netta Spearman is embraced as the casket of her ...
 
Josephine Spearman alternately fought back tears and grew defiant with anger when discussing the murder of her son, one of 11 shootings in 15 days recently that have made the neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn, one of the most dangerous in the United States.

"You can get a gun like a box of Pampers around here," said Spearman, 57, whose 31-year-old son Maurice was shot dead on the main street in Brownsville, a volatile, predominantly black area that has failed to keep pace with New York City's famed reduction in crime.

Brownsville for decades has been one of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods, and gun violence is up nearly 50 percent this year from a historic low in 2009.

Passed over in the gentrification of Brooklyn, its people cram into low-cost public housing projects, trapped in a world of unemployment, teen pregnancy and extreme tension with the police -- decades-old problems that the world's wealthiest nation has not figured out how to solve.

The New York City Police Department, which is proud of falling citywide crime rates for eight straight years, targets "impact zones" like Brownsville with a heavy police presence made up largely of cops on their first assignment out of the academy who are supervised by veterans.

As a result, it is common to see young, mostly white officers concentrating around the entrances to the projects, often employing the tactic of "stop, question and frisk" that allows them to pat down just about anyone they deem suspicious.

In one eight-block area of Brownsville, police stopped 93 of every 100 residents versus a citywide rate of 7 per 100 residents, according to an analysis by The New York Times based on police data obtained by the New York Civil Liberties Union.

"The projects are like one big prison," said Brownsville resident Darryl Odom, 46, who knows what real prison is like, having served 13 years for armed robbery until his release in June.

Throughout New York City in 2009, violent crime and murders hit their lowest level since comparable record-keeping began in 1963 -- Brownsville included. But homicides are up 11 percent citywide so far in 2010 versus a 22 percent rise in Brownsville's 73rd Precinct. Through July 25, there were 56 shootings of 69 victims in Brownsville, up 44 percent and 47 percent respectively from a year ago, police data show.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the city is doing its best to keep illegal guns out but that he needs help from the U.S. government to counter the power of gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association, which oppose restrictions.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly considers the "stop, question and frisk" tactic vital. Police stopped 575,000 people last year based on the standard of reasonable suspicion, turning up 762 guns including 65 assault weapons and thousands of knives.
 
 
 
Political science major Paul Fabsik wears a price ...
 
 
Spending as much as $250,000 on a bachelors degree from world-renowned U.S. universities such as Harvard University and Yale is a waste of money, a new book asserts.

"Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money And Failing Our Kids - And What We Can Do About It," urges parents and students to consider colleges that spend on teaching instead of sports and which encourage faculty to interact with students instead of doing research, taking sabbaticals and sitting on campus committees.

"Undergraduates are being neglected," author Andrew Hacker, who co-wrote the book with Claudia Dreifus, told Reuters in an interview.

"Higher education has become the preserve of professors ... (who) really have lost contact with the main purpose of higher education, which is the education of students."

Hacker and Dreifus are critical of many U.S. universities, noting the cost of a 4-year degree has doubled in real dollars compared to a generation ago. But education, they say, has not become twice as good as many colleges lost their focus.

Many Ivy League professors don't teach undergraduates at all and at many colleges teaching is largely farmed out to low-cost adjunct teachers, Hacker said.

And, he said, many undergraduate degrees are vocational -- from resort management to fashion merchandising -- and vast sums of money have been spent on deluxe dining and dorm facilities and state-of-the-art sports centers. As the number of administrative staff has risen, he said, $1 million annual salaries for college presidents have become common place.

"Bachelor's level vocational education is, I don't want to say a fraud, but close to it," Hacker said.

"Undergraduate business classes ... are just a charade; 19-year-olds play as if they are chief executives of General Electric. It is a waste of time and money."

POULTRY AND CERAMICS

Among the examples of unnecessarily vocational degrees listed in the book -- due to be published on August 3 -- are ornamental horticulture, poultry science and ceramic engineering.

"All undergraduate education should be a liberal arts education where you think about the enduring ideas and issues of the human condition," Hacker said. "After that, go on to law school or study dentistry -- you have plenty of time."

Hacker said the high price of tuition often has little to do with teaching.

"Prices got to where they are because both universities and administrators spent like drunken sailors," Hacker said, noting Ivy League graduates often have average careers.

As well as drawing on their experience -- both teach in New York, Hacker at Queens College and Dreifus at Columbia University -- the pair, who are also domestic partners, traveled across America to find the best and worst colleges.

They list 10 colleges they like, where teaching is the priority and where students get value for money. No Ivy League college makes their list.

They recommend Arizona State University for its vibrancy and Kentucky's Berea College for its free tuition and 10-1 student-faculty ratio. They praise Notre Dame for promoting concern for the common good and Massachusetts Institute of Technology for treating part-time teaching staff well.

The book recommends colleges focus on education and strip away sports programs, trim bloated administrative budgets and spin off research and medical facilities. The authors say tenure should be abolished, that there should be fewer sabbaticals and that more attention should be paid to getting students intellectually engaged.

Hacker said the tragedy of U.S. universities is how many graduates now have six-figure loans, doled out with little regard to the students' ability to repay them.

"This is not only unique to the United States but it is new. Ten years ago students were not taking out loans this way," Hacker said, predicting a high rate of default among student loans in the coming years.

Hacker said that to keep costs down, many Americans should consider attending a college close to home to avoid paying as much as $30,000 annually for out-of-state living expenses.

source

2010-07-28-cathyhughesndigo.jpg
 
 
Zondra Hughes interviewed media mogul Cathy Hughes for N'Digo magazine.  Here is what she reported:
 
 
In our phone interview for N'Digo, the lovely Cathy Hughes, Founder and Chairperson of Radio One, says oh, hell-to-the-nawl. Radio shouldn't pay up. And Dionne Warwick is raising hell because she's on the record labels' payroll:
You wouldn't even know Dionne Warwick existed if we did not play her. Dionne hasn't had a record in thirty years. You wouldn't even know she was alive. She's raising so much hell, talking about me like a dog--I've paid her rent. I've helped her out, she's been in trouble several times.

Lady Hughes also questions the legitimacy of Lady Warwick's role as an 'artist/activist' on the issue.

But let me say this, I ain't mad at her, and the reason why is because the record industry, SoundExchange and musicFIRST--according to a source at the White House--they have already spent about $28 million to get this legislation passed. Dionne and them are on the payroll. They are getting like, $200,000-300,000 paychecks, flying on corporate jets, being put up in suites at the hotel. They are getting paid, they are professional lobbyists on this issue.


They're saying, "Oh, I'm an artist," and that is true, but you're also getting a paycheck from the record companies to come out here and say this shit. I'm not mad because this girl doesn't have any other way to make this type of money, other than doing this. So I understand what's causing this and she ain't the problem.

Debate aside, the future of black radio is at stake, industry folks say.
There are more than 11,400 commercial radio stations in America; of those, 240 are black-owned; of the 240 black-owned stations, 54 of them are Radio One properties.

Passing H.R. 848, The Performance Rights Act, into law could very well signal the end of black-owned radio in several markets. David Honig, executive director of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, has warned that the bill would put "at least a third" of minority stations out of business.

 

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BET has greenlighted comedy pilot Reed Between the Lines, produced by and starring former Girlfiends star Tracee Ellis Ross. The project, written by Kellie Griffin, centers on Dr. Carla Reed (Ross), a busy psychiatrist, wife and mom struggling to balance her job and her happy but chaotic homelife. Griffin and Arthur Harris co-executive produce the pilot, slated to begin production on Aug. 11 in Atlanta. Ross, who recently starred in Nora and Delia Ephron's Love Loss and What I Wore at the Geffen Playhouse, is repped by ICM and Impression Entertainment.
 
BET recently reentered the original scripted series arena with upcoming comedy series Let's Stay Together, produced by Queen Latifah, and The Game, a new reincarnation of the Gilrfriends spinoff.
 
 
 
I guess Mariah Carey or anybody else with some actual singing ability was too busy.  I mean seriously, they couldn't have ask Gladys Knight to judge.  Hell, they should've asked Christina Aguilera.  She is definitely in need of a gig since her latest album is not performing up to par.  We all know that chick can sang.
 
Via Eurweb:
 
Former "Fly Girl" Jennifer Lopez is poised to return to television – this time as a judge on "American Idol."

The singer-dancer-actor was close to signing a deal to join Fox TV's hit singing contest, a person familiar with the negotiations said late Thursday. The person, who was not authorized to comment publicly, spoke on condition of anonymity.

Fox declined comment. Phone and e-mail messages for Lopez's representatives were not immediately returned.

The "American Idol" opening for Lopez comes with comedian-talk show host Ellen DeGeneres' departure from the show.

Degeneres announced Thursday she was leaving after one year as judge.

"A couple months ago, I let Fox and the 'American Idol' producers know that this didn't feel like the right fit for me," DeGeneres said in a statement. The comedian-talk show host said she realized that while she "loved discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings."

In May, Simon Cowell exited after nine seasons to start a new talent show for Fox.

Jul 29, 2010

 
 
In the words of one Ms. Sinclaire James, 'Whoo Woo Woo!!!!"  I just can't take it.  It just ain't right for one man to be that sexy.  He is the epitome of "Grown Man Fine."
 
 

Idris on conquering his fears:
"..what's the point in living if you're not going to try anything?"

On looking forward:
"I'm not here to live off The Wire for the rest of my life. I want my artistry to be known."

On dealing with increasing fame:
"You have to be accessible all the time...one can water down their worth if they're over-exposed."

On his kids:

He doesn't like to talk about his two kids, 8 year old daughter and baby son, saying "I love children and I love my kids. But they're not part of that (Hollywood) world."

_2shoot612.jpg
 
 
 

A 13-year-old boy died after he was repeatedly shot as he rode his bicycle near his West Pullman home Wednesday night, police and family say.

A neighbor in the 11500 block of South Perry Avenue said he saw a gunman stand over Robert Freeman and continue firing into the boy's body shortly after 8 p.m.

"They said they found 22 holes in my baby's body," said the boy's mother, Theresa Lumpkin as she was comforted by the boy's father in front of her house.

The boy's father said the gunman wore a mask and fired into a crowd.  "My son was the only one got hit," said Robert Freeman Sr. "I don't understand how no one seen anything."

This morning, Lumpkin walked down the block to the spot where her son was killed, marked with dark red blood.
w_Freeman125x150.jpg
"My baby was just lying there. He tried to get up. He tried to fight for his mama. He tried to fight for his life," Lumpkin said.

She said Robert was leaning against a car with friends when he was shot, and believes her son's death was case of mistaken identity. She said he had only lived on the block for three months.

She said her son was going to be an eighth grader at Oglesby Elementary School and was spending the summer playing basketball in his backyard and riding his bicycle with other kids.

Lumpkin said he was mowing lawns to make a little extra cash.

Freeman Sr. said his son "had the biggest smile you'd ever see on a child. (It) hurts right now, hurts."

Robert was pronounced dead at 10:09 p.m. at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

No one was in custody this morning. Calumet Area detectives were investigating.
 


 

 
Another senseless murder.  No need for men to wear sheets when at the end of the day we are our own worse enemies. --- The Savvy Sista

Two New Orleans police officers were indicted Thursday on federal charges in the beating death of a 48-year-old man, part of a sprawling Justice Department probe that has led to charges against 18 of the city's officers.

Melvin Williams, one of the two officers charged, is accused of kicking Raymond Robair and beating him with a police baton, causing his fatal injuries. Williams and a fellow officer, Matthew Dean Moore, encountered Robair while patrolling a New Orleans street on July 30, 2005.

Both officers dropped him off at a hospital, where he later died of a ruptured spleen. The officers didn't tell anyone at the hospital that Williams struck Robair, the indictment said. Both men are still on the force.

A police report submitted by Williams and Moore described the encounter as a "medical incident" and included a false description of how Robair was injured, according to the indictment.

Williams is charged with deprivation of rights under color of law in Robair's death. Both officers are charged with obstructing a federal investigation. Moore is charged with lying to the FBI when he said Williams never struck Robair.

The case is one of at least eight investigations of the New Orleans Police by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. So far, Robair's death is the only incident being investigated that happened before Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

Williams' attorney, Frank DeSalvo, said his client has been given several citations over the years for being a "really good cop."

"I am surprised by this indictment," he said. "I just don't think they have a case. I don't think they did anything wrong."

Moore's lawyer, Eric Hessler, said the officers didn't know how Robair was injured.

"It was a very quick encounter," Hessler said. "It certainly wasn't a homicide, and it wasn't caused by any use of force by these officers."

Mary Howell, a lawyer for Robair's family, said they are grateful for the Justice Department's intervention.

"The family is hopeful that there will be justice and that those responsible for Raymond's death and the cover-up of the circumstances of his death will ultimately be held accountable for their actions," Howell said.

Sixteen other current or former officers are charged in an unrelated pair of post-Katrina police shootings.

Five former officers already have pleaded guilty to helping cover up a deadly shooting of unarmed civilians on a bridge less than a week after the storm's landfall. Six others are charged in that case.

Five current and former officers are charged in the death of 31-year-old Henry Glover, whose charred remains turned up in a car that had been torched and abandoned on a river levee after Katrina.

If convicted, Williams faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison or the death penalty if prosecutors seek the latter. U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said the Justice Department has not decided whether to seek the death penalty.

The charges against Moore carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. A date for their initial court appearances wasn't immediately set.
 
 
 

SAN DIEGO — Ousted Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod said Thursday she will sue a conservative blogger who posted an edited video of her making racially tinged remarks last week.

The edited video posted by Andrew Breitbart led Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to ask Sherrod to resign, a decision he reconsidered after seeing the entire video of her March speech to a local NAACP group. In the full speech, Sherrod spoke of racial reconciliation and lessons she learned after initially hesitating to help a white farmer save his home.

She said she doesn't want an apology from Breitbart for posting the video that took her comments out of context, but told a crowd at the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention that she would "definitely sue."

Vilsack and President Barack Obama later called Sherrod to apologize for her hasty ouster. Vilsack has offered her a new job at the department, which she is still considering.

"I have many, many questions before I can make a decision," Sherrod told the group. "I don't know what will happen from this day forward in terms of whether I'll be back in the department or what I'll do."

E-mails to Breitbart's Web sites seeking comment were not immediately returned Thursday morning.

Obama said Thursday morning on ABC's daytime talk show "The View" that the incident shows racial tensions still exist in America.

"There are still inequalities out there. There's still discrimination out there," Obama said. "But we've made progress."

Obama pinned much of the blame for the incident on a media culture that he said seeks out conflict and doesn't always get the facts right. But he added, "A lot of people overreacted, including people in my administration."

source

Image: Landina Seignon with her mother Marie Miracle Seignon
 
 
 
A mother broke down in tears as she was reunited with her baby girl six months after the earthquake that devastated Haiti.

"I had thought Landina was dead and when I heard she was alive I was in shock," the eight-month-old infant's mother, Marie Miracle Seignon, told Britain's Channel 4 News. "This is very emotional for me."

Doctors said the January earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands in the Caribbean island nation actually saved Landina's life.

Last December, a house fire caused by candles left Landina seriously injured and suffering burns to her skull.

She was undergoing treatment at La Trinite hospital in the capital when the devastating temblor struck and was buried in the rubble for two days.

When Landina was pulled from the debris, she was moved to a field hospital run by Doctors Without Borders. Her right arm was badly injured in the quake and had to be amputated.

Complex surgery
It was during her stay there that British surgeon David Nott realized that Landina would likely die within days if she did not receive an operation, Channel 4 News reported. Her skull had been so damaged by the house fire that it left her brain exposed to the risk of a fatal infection.

Since the complex operation could not be carried out in quake-ravaged country, the doctor helped to set her up with a British charity that specializes in craniofacial reconstructive surgery.

The charity, Facing the World, did not know where Landina's family was or if any of her relatives were even alive. With her medical records destroyed in the quake, they didn't even have names to work with.

Facing the World brought the baby to London, paying for her travel and medical costs and acting as her temporary guardian.

In March, Channel 4 News' Inigo Gilmore returned to Haiti to help the charity hunt for Landina's family.

With the publicity surrounding the story, several people pretended to be family members, thinking they could benefit from the relationship.

Gilmore interviewed people at the first hospital Landina had been treated at and was told that her mother was possibly living in a slum area of Port-au-Prince called Bizoton. He put out a radio announcement and located Seignon, a 26-year-old mother of four.

These are some of my favorite Iris-isms (Ms. Iris is my mom):
 
1. If they lie, they'll steal.  If they steal, they'll kill.
 
2. To be single is a gift because it allows you to learn your likes and dislikes. It enables you to learn more about yourself and to begin to explore who you really are as a person outside of being in a relationship.  Besides, if you can't stand to be alone with yourself how in the world do you expect someone else to want to be with you.
 
3. Travel.  You need to get over your fear of flying and get your butt on a plane. [Meaning: Travel to places that you can only get to by plane.  If you can drive to it, it doesn't count.]
 
4. Move away from home.  Home is always going to be here.  [The best thing my mom ever did for me is tell me to move away to another state after college because it allowed me to grow as a person and it made me realize that I could depend on myself.  It made me grow up and stop depending on momma (so much).]
 
5. Never give up on L-O-V-E.
 
6. When you go out you are representing your entire family so please don't embarrass us.
 
7. Know how to balance a checkbook.  Never live above your means.  Do not use credit cards to buy wants.  If you can't pay for those shoes outright with cash then you don't need them.  Cash is your friend and you don't need all those credit cards.  Just say no when they ask you to open up an account at a department store.  Trust me, the discount isn't worth it.
 
8. Every now and then you're going to do some stupid stuff, just don't get stuck on stupid.
 
9. Give me my flowers while I live.
 
10. Buy a HOUSE!
 
11. Cleanliness really is next to godliness so be god-like and pick up your clothes and clean that bathroom.  How about that?

Jul 28, 2010



There's been a tragic ending to the disappearance of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright: police have reportedly found his dead body in Memphis, according to MyEyeWitnessNews.com.

Wright had been missing since July 17th after leaving his ex-wife's home. His family filed a missing person's report on July 23rd and said that they feared he'd been the victim of foul play -- suspicions the police initially downplayed. Earlier on Wednesday, police had announced that they had found a body in southeastern Memphis as they investigated Wright's location based on his last known phone call, a 911 hangup made early in the morning of July 18th. At first, police refused to identify the body as Wright's, although according to MyEyeWitnessNews.com that is indeed the case. The body reportedly suffered a gunshot wound. Early speculation was that the wound may have been self-inflicted.

Wright, who was beset by numerous financial woes, was reportedly carrying a fair amount of cash at the time of his disappearance. That and the reported 911 hangup certainly make a robbery-murder also seem very plausible.

source
Essence: White editor won't diminish our love of black women
 
"Paging Susan L. Taylor (we need you back STAT!!!!)" ---- The Savvy Sista
 
This summer much of the country and cable news has been consumed with a discussion about race in America. From the media trial-by-fire of Shirley Sherrod to Maureen Dowd's New York Times op-ed questioning whether President Obama had enough African-Americans in his administration, folks really are talking. And clearly, despite how far we like to think we've come as a nation, the hot-button topic of race always has the ability to set people off and illustrate just how far we haven't come. It's something I see quite a bit in my own work.

As Editor-in-Chief of Essence magazine I sometimes find myself in the unenviable position of ticking people off when it comes to matters of race. Whether it's a profile on P. Diddy and longtime girlfriend Kim Porter discussing their controversial relationship ("You're promoting having children out of wedlock and a negative image of black couples!" wrote one disgruntled reader) or assigning a guest column to singer Jill Scott to voice her opinion about black men who date outside their race, "The Wince" ("Reverse racism!" was a common critique). Or the February cover with a shirtless Reggie Bush ("He doesn't date black women--this is a betrayal of the highest order." Many readers shared that particular sentiment). And most recently my hiring of Ellianna Placas, who happens to be a white woman, to head our fashion department has stirred the passions of a small but vocal group in the blogosphere ("I feel like a girlfriend has died," stated one devastated African-American writer who not long ago wrote about coming to terms with her daughter pledging a white sorority for the magazine). Really?

Now don't get me wrong. I read and digested many of the heartfelt and poignant posts on this topic and I sincerely respect everyone's thoughts and sentiments. I also share their concerns and frustrations about the lack of visibility of African-American women throughout the ranks of the fashion industry, which is overwhelmingly white. I, too, want to see more of us on the mastheads of all the magazines, seated in the front rows of the shows, designing our own fashion lines, and contributing our special flavor and flyness to the world of style.

And when I set out to hire a new fashion director I certainly had no idea I would end up making this decision. I first got to know and came to respect Ellianna when she came to work with us nearly six months ago. We were conducting a search for a new director when she was hired to run the department on a freelance basis. I got to see firsthand her creativity, her vision, the positive reader response to her work, and her enthusiasm and respect for the audience and our brand. As such, I thought she'd make an excellent addition to our team. And I still do. This decision in no way diminishes my commitment to black women, our issues, our fights. I am listening and I do take the concerns to heart.

Today, the House passed legislation reducing the two-decades-old sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses. The Senate passed an identical bill in March and the legislation is now heading to President Obama, who supports the reform effort.

This is a historic day, with House Republicans and Democrats in agreement that U.S. drug laws are too harsh and must be reformed. The tide is clearly turning against the failed war on drugs.

Before the changes, a person with just five grams of crack received a mandatory sentence of five years in prison. That same person would have to possess 500 grams of powder cocaine to earn the same punishment. This discrepancy, known as the 100-to-1 ratio, was enacted in the late 1980s and was based on myths about crack cocaine being more dangerous than powder. Scientific evidence, including a major study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, has proven that crack and powder cocaine have identical physiological and psychoactive effects on the human body.
 
 
 

NEW YORK—July 28, 2010—MSNBC and Ebony Magazine are partnering up in August to put education issues in the forefront of the nation's spotlight. Beginning August 9, MSNBC will feature twice-daily segments focusing on a variety of pertinent education issues, including the central challenges facing our public school systems today, the benefits of charter schools versus traditional public schools and how to improve the quality of our school systems on a national level.

The partnership will culminate in a two-hour education special, "Making The Grade," which will air on MSNBC on Sunday, August 15, beginning at noon ET. The special will ask the tough questions about the state of our nation's education systems and will celebrate education methods that have a proven track record of making a positive difference for students and educators. MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall will host the special discussion, which will include participation from actor/activist Hill Harper and other widely known figures in the Black community.

On Wednesday, August 11, Tamron Hall will moderate the Ebony Education Roundtable, an education summit hosted by the University of Chicago and Johnson Publishing Company. MSNBC will air portions of the roundtable discussion during "Making The Grade" on Sunday, and the full roundtable will be available for live viewing on Ebony.com. MSNBC.com, Ebony.com and TheGrio.com will also feature education-related editorial content on their respective sites.

MSNBC and Ebony's education partnership comes as a precursor to MSNBC's participation in Education Nation, a weeklong event beginning September 26th across all NBC News platforms.  Education Nation will include a two-day education summit and special in-depth coverage of education issues on NBC News, MSNBC, msnbc.com and the NBC stations.

"Education is the foundation upon which to build a better you, better communities and a better world for all of us," said Yvette Miley, Executive Editor of MSNBC. "We hope that MSNBC's participation will help move the conversation forward. We owe it to our children and ourselves."


 
 
Essence editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray told Black Voices in a written statement that Ellianna Placas, a former fashion editor at O: Home and Us Weekly, is just part of Essence's growing fashion team.

"I understand that this issue has struck an emotional chord with our audience," said Burt-Murray, "however I selected Ellianna, who has been contributing to the magazine on a freelance basis for the last six months, because of her creativity, vision, the positive reader response to her work and her enthusiasm and respect for the audience and our brand. We remain committed to celebrating the unique beauty and style of African-American women in Essence magazine and online at Essence.com."

Essence's mission is to "inspire black women to lead bold, fulfilling lives, " and several readers and former employees, most specifically former fashion editor Michaela Angela Davis, are outwardly upset with with Essence's newest staff choice.

Michaela revealed on her Facebook wall, "It's with a heavy heart I've learned Essence Magazine has engaged a white Fashion Director. I love Essence and I love fashion. I hate this news and this feeling. It hurts, literally. The fashion industry has historically been so hostile to black people–especially women. The 1 seat reserved for black women once held by Susan Taylor, Ionia Dunn-Lee, Harriette Cole(+ me) is now-I can't. It's a dark day for me. "
 
 
Thoughts!!!!!!
 
 
Any opportunity to see Common on a regualr basis is really good news to me.  So you know this is a show I am definitely anticipating.  Love me some Common.
 
Rapper-turned-actor Common is set for his first regular TV gig, landing a lead role in the AMC period drama pilot Hell on Wheels. Common has become the first actor cast in the Western, which centers on the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. He will play Elam, a freed slave who comes west seeking work on the railroad and his place in the world. As a half black, half white man he does not completely belong to either world.

"Common brings a layered intensity to a very complex role," AMC's SVP programming Joel Stillerman said. "This part required someone who can transcend the stereotypes of the period and bring the character to life in a truly unique way, and he brings that."

Grammy winner Common most recently starred in the movies Just Wright and Date Night. His feature credits also include American Gangster, Wanted and Terminator Salvation. Hell on Wheels was created and written by Joe and Tony Gayton and developed by Endemol USA. The Gaytons and Endemol USA's Jeremy Gold executive produce; Entertainment One's John Morayniss and Michael Rosenberg oversee production. David Von Ancken is directing the pilot, which is scheduled to begin production in August in Alberta, Canada.

Source

Lorenzen Wright played for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2004. He has not been seen or heard from since July 18.
 
 
Police in Collierville, Tennessee, are investigating the disappearance of a former professional basketball player and say "there is a high level of concern" in the search to find him.

Lorenzen Wright, 34, who played 13 seasons in the NBA, has not been seen or heard from since July 18 when he visited his ex-wife and their children in Collierville, near Memphis, investigators said.

Collierville police spokesman Mark Heuberger told CNN that Wright's mother reported him missing on July 22. "We're taking it very, very seriously," Heuberger said, "and there is a high level of concern."

"His mom made the report because she felt it was unusual that he did not contact his children for an extended period of time, that's what made her prompt to contact the police," he added.

"This is not like him," Wright's sister, Savia Archie, told CNN Tuesday. "I haven't talked to my brother in nine days. He doesn't go without talking to family.

"I'm trying to keep my faith in the world and that he's not in trouble and hopefully he will come home. He's my big brother. Without him, there's no me."

Heuberger cautioned that there is no indication that Wright was the victim of a crime. "A red flag has not come up yet, at least (as) of today, that suggests any harm has come to him," Heuberger said Tuesday

"Our detectives have talked to a lot of people -- former coaches, players, sports agents -- and continue to follow leads given by the public," Heuberger said, "and we're working very close to the family."

Archie, Wright's sister, described her brother as a loving son, father and uncle. "My sister had a baby shower last Sunday and he was supposed to come," she said. "Something had to have happened."

The 6-foot-11-inch Wright, who lives in Atlanta, was a forward/center for several teams during his professional basketball career. He played with the Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings. He was with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008-2009, his last year in the NBA.

Wright, who has six children, completed his degree at the University of Memphis in 2003, according to the official NBA website.

Police are asking anyone with information on his whereabouts to call 901-853-3207.

source

 
By: Ta-Nehisi Coates
 
I keep hearing people bantering about this notion of a national conversation on race, and I have finally figured out why it rankles so. This is a country where any variant of the phrase "slavery caused the Civil War" is still considered controversial, and where respectable intellectuals believe the NAACP and the Tea Party movement are two sides of the same coin. The NAACP has repeatedly cited "elements of the Tea Party" for racism, and yet the argument is just as repeatedly rendered as "the NAACP says the Tea Party is racist."

Expecting an American conversation on race in this country, is like expecting financial advice from someone who prefers to not check their bank balance. It's not that the answers, themselves, are pre-ordained, its that we are more interested in  answers than questions, in verdicts than evidence. Even now, there are people who insist--in spite of the actual video--that the NAACP audience is actually cheering for Sherrod to not help the white farmer.

Put bluntly, this is a country too ignorant of itself to grapple with race in any serious way. The very nomenclature--"conversation on race"--betrays the unseriousness of the thing by communicating the sense that race can be boxed from the broader American narrative, that you can somehow talk about Thomas Jefferson without Sally Hemmings; that you can discuss Andrew Jackson without discussing his betrayal of the black artillerymen who fought at the Battle of New Orleans; that you can discuss the suffrage without Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells or Frederick Douglass; that you can discuss temperance without understanding the support of the Klan; that you can discuss the path to statehood in Florida without discussing Fort Gadsen; that you can talk Texas without understanding cotton, and so on.

It's not so much that we don't know--it's that we aspire to not know. The ignorance of the African-American thread in the broader American quilt--the essential nature of that thread--is willful, and the greatest evidence that the spirit of white supremacy walks with us. There was a lot of self-congratulation around the justice done on Shirley Sherrod. It's premature. The thing will happen again. Race isn't a "distraction" from Obama's agenda--it's the compromised, unsure ground upon which this country walks everyday. It is the monster, and it will not be evaded writing Shirley Sherrod off to the machinations of the 24-hour news cycle.

Talk is overrated. There can be no talk with people who've conditioned themselves out of listening. This is the country we've made. This is the country we deserve.
 
 
 
 
 
THOUGHTS!!!!!
 

Jul 27, 2010

The latest revolution in black hair styles is a return to natural, non chemically processed, hair styles. TAG Concept Salon in Atlanta, co-owned by Tracy Robertson, only offers natural hair styles and has it's own line of products. Lashima Tate, from Jonesboro, is having her hair styled by TAG Concept Salon co-owner Tracey Robertson in Atlanta. Here she is before her styling.
 
 

The image quickly made rounds in magazines and the blogosphere – Supermodel Naomi Campbell captured on film just as a gust of wind swept back her hair revealing a massive bald patch at her left temple.

Everyone wanted to know: what happened to Naomi Campbell's hair?

The consensus was traction alopecia, a condition that develops when fragile hair strands are stressed due to tension, which in Campbell's case appeared to be from hair extensions.

As Atlanta gears up for the mid-summer Bronner Brothers hair show, which takes place August 7-10, black hair is once again in the spotlight, highlighting a growing cadre of women, who in an effort to avoid a Naomi Campbell-type disaster, have increasingly turned to less stressful hair styles.

Such trends are altering the $165 million mass market black haircare industry, and not always for the better. The two largest black haircare companies, L'Oreal USA and Alberto Culver Company, which account for more than one-third of the market, have both experienced sales declines in recent years, according to a 2009 study from Mintel, an international market research firm.

And while relaxers have been at the heart of the black haircare industry, 2007 saw the beginning of a decline in sales of relaxer kits at mass market stores, which is projected to continue during the next four years.

But Jerry Dingle, vice president of professional sales and marketing at Atlanta-based Bronner Brothers, said relaxers -- at least on the salon level -- are still very much mainstay of the black haircare industry.

"I don't agree with the trend away from relaxers," he said.

Natural hair is more about a look than a rebellion against chemical products, he said, adding that the trend has attracted converts because it is more economical and requires less maintenance than chemically altered hair.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.

 

Are you a natural girl or a relaxed girl?  If you are a natural girl, have you ever had a relaxer?  If so, how was the experience going from relaxed to natural?  Do anyone go from natural to relaxed or is this something that is just taboo?  Just curious...

 
 
 
 
 

By Brandee Sanders

Sunday morning rolls around again, and I get the early wakeup call from my father. "Get up, Brandee. Get ready for church." My first thought is to go right back to sleep, because I don't want to go. It's not a case of Sunday-morning laziness; I'd just rather not be there, and according to a study conducted earlier this year by the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 agree with me.

Church isn't appealing to me, and it never has been. I have vivid memories of sitting in the last pew as a child with crayons and a coloring book for some sort of entertainment. Since I've retired the Crayolas and coloring books and started paying closer attention to the sermons, I discovered that some of the messages in church are irrelevant to people of my generation.

Some of my closest friends are gay, but the pastor is telling me that "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." AIDS is the leading cause of death for African-American women between the ages of 25 and 34, but the pastor tells me that using condoms is a sin because it's a form of birth control. I live in a world where women are the CEOs of successful businesses and hold high positions in the government, but within the walls of the church, female leadership is often absent. Only 10 percent of churches in the United States employ women as senior pastors. These sexist, homophobic and conservative attitudes of the church are what is causing young people to question their faith, causing Gen-Yers to abandon the church in increasing numbers.

Many church principles simply don't reflect the views of young Americans. A recent study discovered that young people are more accepting of homosexuality: 63 percent of young adults believe that homosexuality should be accepted within society, versus 50 percent of adults in general. In most churches, discussing homosexuality is a taboo. "There's denial about homosexuality in the church," said Boyce Watkins, Ph.D., founder of the Your Black World Coalition. It's "even to the extreme where you have people who believe that if you pray enough, you will not be gay anymore," he adds.

We live in a society where open homosexuality is becoming common, but most in the church have yet to accept it. If God accepts us as we are, then why do some homosexuals feel unwelcome in church? Skepticism concerning church teachings about the Bible may be the reason 67 percent of young Christian adults say they don't read it.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.

 
 
 
Bill Oreilly Sean Hannity
 
 

Fox News may be the undisputed ratings champion in cable news, but not among black viewers.

The New York Times' Brian Stelter tweeted that, according to Nielsen Media Research, Fox News has averaged just 29,000 black viewers in primetime so far this television season (9/09-7/10). That represents just 1.38% of its 2.102 million total viewer audience.

CNN and MSNBC, meanwhile, both have far more black viewers, both in absolute terms and as a proportion of their overall audiences.

MSNBC has averaged 145,000 black viewers, representing 19.3% of its 751,000 total viewer audience.

CNN has averaged 134,000 black viewers, representing 20.7% of its 648,000 total viewer audience.

Stelter noted that he pulled the Nielsen numbers after working on his story in Monday's New York Times on race and cable news.

His piece, "When Race Is the Issue, Misleading Coverage Sets Off an Uproar," examines the recent media firestorm over comments made by USDA official Shirley Sherrod as an example of "warfare" waged by conservative media.

source

 

Now, here is your chance.  What would it take to get you to watch Fox News (and no, 'a Miracle' does not count as an answer)?

Do Not Vote For My Dad John Mantooth
 
 
 
Now this has all the makings of a reality show or a good made for TV movie.  I would pay good money to go to their family reunion.
 
 
An Oklahoma judicial candidate is fending off a political attack from his daughter, who has taken out a local newspaper ad urging voters: "Do not vote for my dad!"

McClain County judicial hopeful John Mantooth's daughter and son-in-law paid for the quarter-page advertisement, which features a picture of the daughter's family, highlights cases in which Mantooth has been sued and lists a website the couple started, . http://www.donotvoteformydad.com

Mantooth said the bad blood stems from his 1981 divorce from his daughter's mother.

"This is a family issue which should have been kept private," he said Monday. "I'm very sad about this. I'm very disappointed. I'm hurt, but I love my daughter, and I want things to get better, and I hope they will."

Jan Schill, 31, said she never has had a good relationship with her father and doesn't think he'd make a good judge.

"We just felt like it would be bad if he were to become a judge," Schill said in a telephone interview from her home in Durango, Colo. "I assumed that he would not appreciate it, but he's made so many people mad, I'm just another mark on his board of people's he's had a beef with."

Keith Gaddie, a professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma, said such campaigning illustrates that "none of us wants our lives too closely examined."

"It's reality show politics," Gaddie said. "It's unsavory. It's undignified, and it's real."

But Mantooth also suspects political maneuvering. He said his son-in-law, Andrew Schill, was once law partners with one of his opponents in Tuesday's primary, Greg Dixon.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.

 

 

NEW ORLEANS — Three current or former New Orleans police officers will be arraigned on charges they conspired to cover up deadly shootings of unarmed residents after Hurricane Katrina.

Sgt. Arthur Kaufman and retired Sgt. Gerard Dugue, who investigated the shootings, face federal charges including obstruction of justice. The indictment claims former officer Robert Faulcon shot Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old mentally disabled man, in the back as he ran away on the Danziger Bridge.

All three have initial court appearances scheduled for Tuesday.

Five former officers have pleaded guilty to participating in a cover-up of the shootings that killed two people and wounded four others less than a week after the 2005 storm. Three other officers have pleaded not guilty.


Aretha Franklin
 
 
Condoleezza Rice is no stranger to the whims of royalty. So when the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, decided the two should get together to play a song or two for charity, it was decreed.

The former U.S. secretary of state and Franklin take the stage Tuesday evening at Philadelphia's Mann Music Center in a rare duet for Rice, the classically trained pianist, and Franklin, the divalicious voice of a generation. Their aim is to raise money for urban children and awareness for music and the arts.

"It is a joint effort for the inner-city youth of Philadelphia and Detroit," Franklin told The Associated Press the night before their concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Their appearance will brim not only with Franklin's catalog of hits, but arias from the world of opera and classical music.

"We decided to give it a try," Franklin said. "So here we are, in the city of Brotherly — and Sisterly — Love."

Rice, better known as a diplomat and national security adviser, will accompany Franklin singing her hits "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "I Say a Little Prayer." Rice said she's been practicing furiously for her performance of Mozart's piano concerto in D Minor with the orchestra.

Franklin's repertoire will include songs from her new album "A Woman Falling Out of Love," to be released later this year.

Rice's given name is derived from the Italian opera stage instruction con dolcezza, meaning "with sweetness." Long a musician of note, she played from elementary school through college and beyond, in quartets and performing chamber music.

She has even played with cellist Yo-Yo Ma but "this will be the first time I've played with an orchestra since I was 18," she said.

When she learned that Rice played classical music, Franklin sent for one of her recordings "to hear what she sounded like."

Previously, she said, "All I had seen of Dr. Rice was in a political atmosphere. It just seemed foreign that she would be a classical pianist."

Franklin was surprised.

"She really does play," Franklin said. "She's formidable."
 
Dem senator calls 'white privilege' a myth and gets away with it
 
 
By Sophia A. Nelson
 

I have to tell you when I first read my own U.S. Senator Jim Webb's (D-VA) opinion column last week in the Wall Street Journal titled, "Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege" my jaw dropped.

This must be a misprint I thought--no sitting Democratic U.S. Senator (from the south no less) with a black population of almost 20 percent would be so openly divisive. Then I read it again, and again, and I finally grasped the point: Jim Webb is up for re-election in 2012 in a state that has turned "red" once again and he needs to bring home conservative white voters and independents that apparently feel discriminated against since Barack Obama became president of the United States. His op-ed is simply a preview I fear of what we can expect in the 2010 midterms and the 2012 presidential election.

Let's face it folks--race and race baiting are here to stay. Pitting black against white and white against black still works in America and we had all better buckle up as I like to say because when a sitting U.S. Senator makes declarations such as this: "Forty years ago, as the United States experienced the civil rights movement, the supposed monolith of white Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America. After a full generation of such debate, WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers. The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future."

What alternate reality is Jim Webb living in? Does he really believe that affirmative action and diversity programs have truly harmed white Americans? I simply don't live in that America when we can all plainly see that black unemployment is double the national average, and that black men in some cities are experiencing Great Depression level unemployment in excess of 35 percent. Black infant mortality rates, incarceration rates, wealth gap, home ownership, marriage rates, education rates are all disproportionately at the bottom of the barrel (facts Webb reluctantly admits as he is talking out of both sides of his mouth).

But here is the point: I guess what incenses and alarms me most is that had a conservative written this column, or God forbid a Republican politician all hell would have broken loose and this story would have been carried by many news outlets. But since Webb is a Democrat, like the late Senator Robert Byrd (who once as a member of the KKK), he gets a pass. That is most unfortunate, because once again African-Americans are the losers in the "race-baiting" gamut. And I'd bet my house that despite this op-ed Webb will feel entitled to garner a large share of the black vote come the fall 2012 election. And worse, he will likely get it.

If any of us ever doubted the specter of race-baiting works well, we just have to reflect on the past week's events with the NAACP, Tea Party, Shirley Sherrod, USDA, and Andrew Breitbart. For a United States Senator to author this kind of divisive op-ed, in the nation's premiere conservative economic newspaper in such racially charged times as these is simply shocking.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.

 

Ask yourself if Sophia's assessments in this article are correct.  Why aren't African Americans up in arms about the assertions that were made by Sen. Webb?  Had a Republican said the same thing would the response had been the same?  If  Mitch McConnell or Jim Boehner wrote those same words would we be slamming them all over our websites, radio shows,  kitchen tables, and barbershops and demand an apology?  Does Webb get a pass because he is a Democrat?  What Say Thee....

Jul 26, 2010



Before you go splurging on that discounted designer shoe that you find on the internet, you may want to watch the above video. If you are a shoenista like myself then you have to be careful when you are on the hunt for designer shoes. If you have money to splurge on and you are looking for designer shoes I would suggest going to bergdorfgoodman.com when they're having their sales. You can find Balmain or Jimmy Choo at very discounted rates. There are shoes that are 75% off. I realize that everyone can't afford this, but there's nothing wrong with dreaming.
DSC_5940.JPG
 

The mother did it.

The horrific murder-suicide that ended in an arson on Staten Island was committed by the deranged mom, who slit three of her kids' throats before she killed herself and her baby in the blaze, law-enforcement sources said yesterday.

Cops had at first suspected Leisa Jones' oldest child, 14-year-old son C.J. Romoy, of the heinous act.

But autopsy results now show that neither he nor his two sisters, ages 7 and 10, suffered any smoke inhalation, meaning they were dead before the fire was set in their Nicholas Avenue home, the sources said.

All three children were found with their throats slashed by an old-fashioned barber's straight razor, sources said.

Meanwhile, Jones and her youngest son, Jermaine, 2, both died from smoke inhalation, sources said -- leaving investigators with conclusive proof that the unbalanced mother murdered her three older children first, then set the blaze, trapping herself and her baby.

Both Jones and C.J. still had undigested pills in their stomachs, a source said. Some investigators speculated that this was because she may have needed to drug the teen before she could kill him, and then took pills herself. Sources could not identify the drugs.

Cops yesterday confirmed that a singed note found amid the debris with the words "am sorry" was written by the mother, as The Post reported yesterday.

The deeply disturbed Jones had allegedly told a pal several months ago that she thought about killing the kids and torching the house.

C.J.'s dad, Earlston Raymond, said the friend told him Jones told her: "At times, I feel like killing the kids and burning the house down and killing myself."

"[Jones] made that statement to more than one person," said the distraught dad, who lives in Jamaica and added that he learned of his ex's threats only after the tragedy.



CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE STORY. 

 

FAMILY TRAGEDY: C.J. Romoy (left) was wrongly thought to have killed toddler Jermaine, Melanie (inset, top), Brittany and himself.

Then-Deomocratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama poses with Barbara Walters and the cast of 'The View' in March 2008.
 
 
ABC's "The View" has welcomed many notable guests, but none more prominent than President Barack Obama, who is scheduled to visit for Thursday's edition.

In making the announcement on Monday, executive producers Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie said this marks the first time a sitting U.S. president has visited a daytime talk show.

They said the majority of the hour will be devoted to Obama's appearance, which will touch on topics including jobs, the economy, the Gulf oil spill and family life inside the White House. It is scheduled to tape on Wednesday.

"We are so pleased and honored," Walters said.

Walters will make a special return to the studio for the occasion, joining co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd. Other than a brief segment broadcast from her home this month, Walters has been off the air since undergoing open-heart surgery in May and had not planned to be back until September.

Obama's appearance is part of the show's continuing "Red, White & View" campaign, which is committed to political guests and discussions. The show welcomed Vice President Joe Biden in April.

Obama was last a guest on "The View" in March 2008 when he was a U.S. senator.

The program airs weekdays on ABC at 11 a.m. Eastern time. source

 
 

By Maureen Dowd:

 

The Obama White House is too white.

It has Barack Obama, raised in the Hawaiian hood and Indonesia, and Valerie Jarrett, who spent her early years in Iran.

But unlike Bill Clinton, who never needed help fathoming Southern black culture, Obama lacks advisers who are descended from the central African-American experience, ones who understand "the slave thing," as a top black Democrat dryly puts it.

The first black president should expand beyond his campaign security blanket, the smug cordon of overprotective white guys surrounding him — a long political tradition underscored by Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 when she complained about the "smart-ass white boys" from Walter Mondale's campaign who tried to boss her around.

Otherwise, this administration will keep tripping over race rather than inspiring on race.

The West Wing white guys who pushed to ditch Shirley Sherrod before Glenn Beck could pounce not only didn't bother to Google, they weren't familiar enough with civil rights history to recognize the name Sherrod. And they didn't return the calls and e-mail of prominent blacks who tried to alert them that something was wrong.

Charles Sherrod, Shirley's husband, was a Freedom Rider who, along with the civil rights hero John Lewis, was a key member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee of the '60s.

As Lewis, the longtime Georgia congressman, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he knew immediately that something was amiss with the distorted video clip of Sherrod talking to the N.A.A.C.P.

"I've known these two individuals — the husband for more than 50 years and the wife for at least 35, 40 — and there's not a racist hair on their heads or anyplace else on their bodies," Lewis said.

We may not have a "nation of cowards" on race, as Attorney General Eric Holder contended, but we may have a West Wing of cowards on race.

The president appears completely comfortable in his own skin, but it seems he feels that he and Michelle are such a huge change for the nation to absorb that he can be overly cautious about pushing for other societal changes for blacks and gays. At some level, he acts like the election was enough; he shouldn't have to deal with race further. But he does.

His closest advisers — some of the same ones who urged him not to make the race speech after the Rev. Jeremiah Wright issue exploded — are so terrified that Fox and the Tea Party will paint Obama as doing more for blacks that they tiptoe around and do less. "Who knew that the first black president would make it even harder on black people?" asked a top black Democratic official.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.

The Rev. David O. Miller leads "Lift Every Voice and Sing" during a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial service in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 2007. The song is popular in churches, and also known as the black national anthem.
 
 
Via CNN:
 
"Lift Every Voice and Sing" is an uplifting spiritual, one that's often heard in churches and popularly recognized as the black national anthem. Timothy Askew grew up with its rhythms, but now the song holds a contentious place in his mind.

"I love the song," said Askew, an associate professor of English at Clark Atlanta University, a historically black college. "But it's not the song that is the problem. It's the label of the song as a 'black national anthem' that creates a lot of confusion and tension."

The song and its message of struggle and hope have long been attached to the African-American community. It lives on as a religious hymn for several protestant and African-American denominations and was quoted by the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery at Barack Obama's presidential inauguration.

After studying the music and lyrics of the song and its history for more than two decades, Askew decided the song was intentionally written with no specific reference to any race or ethnicity.

Askew explains his position in the new book, "Cultural Hegemony and African American Patriotism: An Analysis of the Song, 'Lift Every Voice and Sing,'" which was released by Linus Publications in June. The book explores the literary and musical traditions of the song, but also says that a national anthem for African-Americans can be construed as racially separatist and divisive.

"To sing the 'black national anthem' suggests that black people are separatist and want to have their own nation," Askew said. "This means that everything Martin Luther King Jr. believed about being one nation gets thrown out the window."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.

 

TheSavvySista Commentary:

Why is it always those of the African Diaspora who have to sacrifice our heritage in order to make others feel 'comfortable?'  Instead of speaking on the Black National Anthem's so called separatism, the professor would have been better served trying to enlighten the masses about the history of the song and the pain and struggle through which it was birthed and what made such a song necessary.  So often we choose to disavow our heritage without taking into consideration the history of our struggle.  We, as a people, are more ashamed of our history in America, then any other race.  We constantly produced black apologists who instead of speaking to the suffering of our ancestors would rather re-write things in order to lessen the sting for the oppressor than enlighten the oppressed.

We do our children a disservice when we choose to re-write our history instead or just teaching them our history which is in fact American History.  Lift Every Voice and Sing speaks to the resilience of our people, who in spite of all the obstacles of bigotry and racism, still managed to sang songs of praise.  To endure all they had to endure and still be able to sang is a testament that we should be proud of.  Just read the lyrics and tell me if you don't feel a sense of pride.

 

Lyrics:

Lift ev'ry voice and sing,
'Til earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list'ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on 'til victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
'Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.