Mar 31, 2011

 
 
 
The season finale of 'The Game' drew in some very respectable numbers for BET.  Much higher than the 1.8 million viewers the show averaged in it's final season on the CW, the finale closed with 4.4 million viewers.  It is fair to note however that the show did premiere with a whopping 7.7 million viewers.
 
First, let's start with a recap of the finale from the Wall Street Journal:
 

First, the messy part: The episode picked up with Tasha back in her role as Malik's agent. After setting up a viral video shoot where Malik declares he will bring the Sabers another championship, she runs into Beau, the man with whom she had a fling in the last episode. Tasha thinks it's destiny, but it's an unfortunate coincidence. Beau faked his illness and actually has a whole family, which is revealed to Tasha when his children run up to him and his wife calls him by his apparent real name, Ronnie.

The well-done part: Derwin and Melanie's pregnancy woes take a temporary backseat to a new dilemma. With Tasha working with Malik again, Derwin no longer feels comfortable with Tasha as his agent, but instead of telling her himself, he tells Melanie to deliver the news to Tasha. It's a weak move by Derwin, but one we've come to expect from someone. For whatever reason, he has always been averse to hurting people directly to their face.

Melanie invites Tasha over for the talk. When Tasha asks Melanie if she will give feedback on her plan to resurrect Malik's career, Melanie says, "Definitely." It's an important word. Every time Melanie says "definitely," Tasha explains, "that means something's going on." Melanie tries to shrug the allegation off, but she's visibly uncomfortable and forced to be forthright about Derwin's issue with representing both he and Malik. The results are disastrous. Melanie refers to Malik as Tasha's "druggy son" and Tasha throws licorice at Melanie.

As for Malik, his downward spiral is going even further downward. He foolishly sets up a fake photo shoot for Jenna, his aspiring model ex-girlfriend, just so he could see her. When he tells her he set the whole thing up, he says it with an air of confidence, as though it was actually nice of him to set up a fake photo shoot for a woman who is trying to piece together the model career she had before she went into rehab. Of course, Jenna walks off, and later shows up at Malik's front door back on the wagon. Meanwhile, behind his back, Derwin and Jason recruit Quan Kirkland to take Malik's place as the starting quarterback for the Sabers, setting up what is sure to be one of the biggest fictional first-string quarterback battles in television history should the show return next season.

In another twist, at the press conference announcing Kirkland's signing, Jason sees his former lover Camille (Stacey Dash) in attendance. Jason and Camille were one of the most compelling relationships at the conclusion of last season, and the two arguably had more chemistry than Jason did with his ex-wife Kelly. When Camille sees Jason, she invites him out to dinner later in the evening, leaving Jason under the impression she wants to rekindle their romance, until she walks away and right into Kirkland's arms to kiss him. Quan Kirkland, the man who idolized Jason Pitts is not only the Saber's new quarterback who can help Derwin break all of Jason's records, Kirkland is also helping Camille break Jason's heart.

With Malik potentially out of the picture, and Tasha out with him, the show's shining couple — Derwin and Melanie — close out the season finale with the kind of twist we have come to expect. Derwin and Melanie visit a fertility clinic to figure out why Melanie is having trouble getting pregnant. The doctor asks Melanie a list of questions, all of which would help him gauge her ability to get pregnant. One of the questions: Have you ever had an abortion? Melanie's answer "Definitely not." Tasha isn't the only one who knows what it means when Melanie says "Definitely." When the doctor leaves to place an order to draw some blood, Derwin asks her, "The abortion…was it mine?"

With that, season four of "The Game" is over.

 
So, did you watch the season finale of 'The Game'?  And if so, what did you think?
 
 
 

The group of seven lottery pool players that won last week's $319 million Mega Millions jackpot could have had an eighth member, but one unlucky man made a choice that cost him millions.

The New York co-worker who regularly played in the office pool opted out on the night they had the winning ticket, according to an Albany, N.Y., deli owner who knows the winners.

"They asked him a couple of times, and he didn't feel lucky," said Jill Cook, owner of Cook's Deli, where the group often comes for lunch.

She said she heard the news through buzz from the nearby office, adding that she felt "terrible" for the man.

The winners, apparently a group of New York state government IT professionals, have yet to come forward publicly to claim the prize. But lottery officials say they'll attend a news conference Thursday.

So far, the officials said, the winners have been huddling with lawyers and financial advisers as they prepare to split a jackpot worth $202.9 million after taxes, if they take the lump sum.

The group of seven includes a mix of older and younger employees who often bought lottery tickets together, Cook said.

The group didn't turn up for work Monday, Cook said, adding that she heard they have already quit their jobs. Many people who know them say the winning ticket couldn't have gone to better folks.

"It was a blessing to hear that they won. They're great, down-to-earth people," Cook said, adding that she didn't expect the group to squabble over the money.

Source - ABC

Mar 30, 2011



2011 Retool Your School Campus Improvement Program

The Home Depot is overjoyed to bring this essential and successful program back for a second year. They know how valuable our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities are, and how much they have contributed to our country's growth in so many ways. What could be more worthwhile than helping preserve and improve some of America’s most historic campuses and landmarks?

Last year, Home Depot awarded grants totaling $150,000 to HBCUs, including a $50,000 award to Elizabeth City State University to help them achieve their objective of building a new baseball field for the school and the neighboring community. Ten additional schools received $10,000 each for a variety of projects ranging from landscaping to lighting to sprinkler systems.

Our HBCUs have so much to gain from this opportunity. You are invited to participate in any way you choose. Only HBCUs can apply for the grants, but you can have a say in who wins the grant money by casting your vote for your favorite HBCU.

Retool Your School. And help revitalize education.


CLICK HERE TO VOTE (I'm sure you can guess who I want you to vote for; no pressure though...LOL!!!)
'Solemn regrets': Recy Taylor, 91, yesterday received an apology from the Alabama House almost 70 years after she was raped by a gang of white men
 
 
 

The Alabama House has reached back into history and apologized for the way authorities handled the 1944 rape of a young black woman by a gang of white men as she walked home from church in Abbeville in southwest Alabama.

The House approved by an apparent unanimous voice vote a resolution that expresses "deepest sympathies and solemn regrets" to the woman, who is now 91.

Two all-white, all-male grand juries refused to indict the suspects.

The resolution by Democratic Rep. Dexter Grimsley of Newville says the failure to prosecute the men was "morally abhorrent and repugnant."

The victim is in poor health and lives in Florida. Grimsley said he plans to personally present her with a copy of the resolution.

The resolution has gone to the Alabama Senate for debate.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



NEW YORK—March 30, 2011—On Sunday, April 10, MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz will host a two-hour panel discussion with the National Action Network’s Rev. Al Sharpton titled, “A Stronger America: The Black Agenda” beginning at noon ET. The panel comes at the end of the National Action Network’s annual summit, and will feature prominent African American leaders from across the U.S. who are committed to furthering critical issues impacting their community. Schultz and the panel will discuss pertinent topics affecting African Americans such as politics, modern civil rights, healthcare, education and how we can help build a stronger African American community. MSNBC will ask the tough questions: What is the Black Agenda? What can the African American community do to help itself? How does the Black agenda help to further the overall American agenda?

Leading up to the panel discussion on April 10, MSNBC will air daily segments across its dayside news coverage, bringing in diverse voices from across the political spectrum and focusing on issues that affect the African American community.
 
 
 
After being honored by The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, current Miss USA, Rima Fakih, shared her experience with the immediate criticism of her culture and nationality after winning the Miss USA pageant last year.
 
Here is what she wrote:
 

I Never Thought People Would Question My Citizenship

 

At 8:50 PM on May 16, 2010 I was crowned Miss USA 2010 and I believed that nothing could be better than that moment. I went to sleep that night in my VIP suite at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the left side of my king-size bed. I placed my crown on the pillow on the right so that when I woke up I could make sure I wasn't dreaming.

 

At 8:50 AM my mother burst into my suite and screamed "RIMA, YOU'RE EVERYWHERE." My mother threw a robe at me and told me to rush into the living room. Confused, half asleep and with no time to actually soak in the fact I was Miss USA, I followed my mother. There I was on CNN under the headline "Miss USA is an Arab." My father on the couch looked at me and said nothing but continued to flip through channels, and there I was everywhere.

 

I will never forget the look on my father's face. His face showed anger, fear and pain. Anger because he felt discrimination towards Arabs, fear for his daughters safety and pain at the thought of seeing his daughter losing her crown, and her dream. I placed my hand on my dad's shoulders and whispered, "Baba, I always told you that one day I will change the world's opinion on us, and here is my chance." I never thought that my crown would give me that opportunity, but then again I never thought people would question my ethnicity, my religion or my citizenship.

 

Last night I was honored by The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding at the home of Russell Simmons. The individuals who represent The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding serve as an example to the world. I mean, where else can you find a Sheikh, Rabbi, Arabs and Israelis all under one roof getting along?

 

We can together change the suffering in the Middle East if we learn from The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.

 

Salam,

Rima Fakih

 

source - Global Grind

 
 
 
 
Monday marked three months since high school honor student Phylicia Simone Barnes disappeared without a trace from a Northwest Baltimore neighborhood just days after Christmas. And despite an investigation of "unprecedented scope," Baltimore Police concede they still have few solid clues that may point to what happened to the 17-year-old.

Police held a press conference Monday and announced that the huge volume of tips that initially poured into the agency has dwindled significantly.

"Unfortunately, the tips that we were getting in a record number have diminished," said lead investigator Sgt. William P. Simmons. "Over the past several weeks, we've only had five tips come in. Circumstantially, we feel like we are progressing forward and going in the right direction. We still lack substantial physical evidence to find out what happened to Phylicia Barnes."

Barnes vanished after leaving the apartment of her 28-year-old half-sister, Deena Barnes, at 6520 Eberle Drive in the Reisterstown Square Apartments around 1 p.m. on Dec. 28. She allegedly went out to get something to eat.
However, the senior at Union Academy in Monroe, North Carolina is totally unfamiliar with the area, which contributed to the police theory she may have been abducted and taken out of Maryland.

Investigators say she took her cell phone with her, but it has not been used since her disappearance, and there has been no activity on her Facebook page.

"We continue to hold out hope that we can find out what happened to Phylicia and bring her home safely to her family," Simmons said.

But, when Simmons was asked if there was any evidence that led him to believe Barnes was still alive he said, "I can't say substantially that there's anything to say she's still alive, but we still hold out hope."

It was revealed early on in the investigation that at least 20 males had visited Deena Barnes' apartment over the holidays while Barnes was visiting. That caused her mother, Janice Salis – who allowed her daughter to travel to Baltimore for Christmas to get better acquainted with the other side of her family – great consternation. But at this week's press conference, authorities reiterated they have interviewed everybody who may have had contact with Barnes in December.

"We were provided a list of approximately 25 people that had access to the apartment," Simmons said. "We've either spoken to or ruled everyone out on that list ... There's no one person that stands out much more than any of the others."

However, over the weekend, during a segment about Barnes' disappearance on the weekend version of "Today," noted criminal profiler Clint Van Zandt suggested Deena Barnes' ex-boyfriend – allegedly the last person to see Barnes alive – could become a person of interest in the investigation.

"He's got an attorney ... but, in this case, a missing person case, what does he have to hide, to hold back?" Van Zandt asked.

"It's likely he is the key ... At one o'clock, the ex-boyfriend says, 'She (Phylicia) was asleep on the couch, she's going out later.' He's the last person to see her. He's the key to this story," explained Van Zandt. "But, of course, we know there was at least a dozen men in an out of this apartment that were friends of the half-sister over the time she was there. So, a lot of people would have had contact with her, would've known she was there and perhaps by herself."

Phylicia Barnes is 5'8" tall and weighs 120 pounds. The reward for information that leads to her whereabouts is up to $42,000, and anybody with information about her disappearance is urged to call (855) 223-0033.
 
 

Mar 29, 2011

 
 
Via Eurweb:
 
Sparkle" the remake has been green lighted by Sony productions and is set to begin filming soon.

It's not "Dreamgirls" and it certainly isn't anything like it, let's just put that out there right now, at least that's what producer Debra Martin-Chase told Sister 2 Sister and now you know.

Although the story is also inspired by the story of The Supremes, the plot is a bit thicker and a bit darker than most are used to.

To be written and directed by film couple Mara and Salim Akil (known for "Girlfriends" and "The Game"), the film takes place in the late 50s in Harlem. It takes a journey with the Williams sisters who encounter some obstacles along the way on their path to success.

"The plots are very different. I mean, Sparkle's much darker," Debra said. "It has some real things about 'what price are you willing to pay for success.

The original "Sparkle" was released by Warner Bros. in 1976 and starred Philip Michael Thomas, Irene Cara and Lonette McKee.

 

Lord, I think I'm going to be sick.  I normally try to reserve judgment for these types of things, but on this subject i cannot.  'Sparkle' is my all time favorite movie.  Why can't we just let a classic be that...a classic.  Must we always mess with those things that are not broken.  As much as I love Debra Martin Chase and the Akils, I just can't see them elevating this story any higher.  These people are creative enough to come up with something fresh and original.  Just please leave 'Sparkle' alone.  I mean seriously, who out there do you honestly think can play Sistah better than Lonette McKee?  I mean really.  In the words of a very wise woman by the name of Florida Evans, "Damn, Damn, Damn!!!!!" 

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It's going to be so long "O" and hello "Ro" in Chicago's West Loop.

Rosie O'Donnell, a multiple Emmy winner for "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" and former co-host of "The View," is going to help fill the void at Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Studios when Winfrey retires her nationally syndicated TV program after 25 seasons in May.Chicago Harpo employees were told Monday that O'Donnell's new one-hour daytime talk show, set to launch this fall on cable's OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, will tape on Winfrey's soon-to-be-vacated stage in the studio space at West Washington Boulevard and North Carpenter Street.

"Hello people of Harpo, it's me, Rosie O'Donnell, star of 'The Flintstones,' " O'Donnell said, referring to her 1994 film in a homemade video message shown to studio staff (see video above). "I just wanted to say: Hi, I'm coming to Chicago. Yes, I am, and I'm thrilled about it. And I get to work with all of you, who have created magnificent television for two decades-plus."

A child could be heard in the background and O'Donnell paused to say, "Quiet, Mommy's working." Then she continued: "It's a huge thrill for me, and I'm beyond the beyond. And thank you, Oprah. And thank all you people there, some of you who are going to be sticking around and helping us make a kick-ass show for the Oprah Winfrey Network. And that's it: Thrilled, thanks, and I hope I didn't blow the surprise. Figure you already knew. Right?"

Winfrey, through a spokesman, said she was "delighted to welcome Rosie to the studio I've called home" since January 1990. (Winfrey earlier taped at WLS-Ch. 7 on State Street, which will be the site of the local "Windy City Live" after "Oprah" moves out of its 9 a.m. weekday slot.)

"Speaking from experience, she will be working with the best team in television in one of the greatest cities in the world," said Winfrey, a co-owner of Los Angeles-based OWN with Discovery Communications.

The cable channel launched in January. It has struggled to gain traction with viewers, although "Season 25: 'Oprah' Behind the Scenes" has developed a following in showing the hard work Harpo personnel have put into this final season of Winfrey's syndicated program.

It's not yet known how many of the 355 Chicago employees who were working at Harpo as of the end of last year will be needed to work on O'Donnell's program. OWN has bought 130 episodes for next season, the same number of new hours as Harpo's "The Oprah Winfrey Show" is producing this season for CBS Television Distribution.

"We're going to sit down and have some really detailed, creative conversations (about the new show) with Rosie," said Erik Logan, who shares the presidency of Harpo Productions with Sheri Salata. "Once we get a sense of that, we'll know the appropriate way to staff it. The great news is we've got a tremendous talent pool right here at 110 N. Carpenter to draw from.

"We've got the people here who've been producing the No. 1 show in daytime for 25 years," he said. "Rosie is stepping into a terrific situation. We're going to have the best team on television, as Oprah has said time and time again, taking on one of the most important shows for OWN."

The O'Donnell announcement makes good a public promise Salata and Logan made in December 2009.

"For more than two decades, you have this relationship with Chicago — Chicago being our hometown city — so that is our charge here, to keep this Chicago studio strong," Salata told the Tribune at that time. "Without the 'Oprah' show, there definitely are some challenges to that."

The new program will be produced by O'Donnell and Harpo Studios, which will name an executive producer later.

"Rosie, God love her, she is a TV baby and she jumped at the chance to bring her new show to the famous stage at 110 N. Carpenter and to have this team, Oprah's team, produce her new show," said Salata, who is also executive producer of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Lisa Erspamer, OWN's chief creative officer, said in a statement that the channel is "pleased to have our partners at Harpo producing Rosie's talk show," calling O'Donnell "an incredible talent."


source - Chicago Tribune



On April 16th rapper Common and his Common Ground Foundation Gala will honor poet and humanitarian Dr. Maya Angelou, actress and singer Keke Palmer, business Leader Dee Robinson Reid and actress/co-host of "The View"  Sherri Shepherd during a dinner in Chicago.

The evening will include a silent auction, fine dining, entertainment, and more.  Proceeds will provide the financial support needed for furthering the Common Ground Foundation's goals and expanding its reach in local communities.

"Our foundation has grown over the years, and is very dear to my heart just as much as my career," says Common.  "One of the things I always say to people is to 'strive for greatness in any and everything you do', and the women we are honoring have represented that and so much more.

"My connection with Dr. Angelou was a huge inspiration for this evening. From the first time we met our shared love for the spoken word and human spirit enabled us to create a strong bond. I am truly honored to have the opportunity to celebrate her greatness, and her contribution to the world, along with the other honorees."

A reception will take place at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Gala at 7:30 at The InterContinental Hotel – Grand Ballroom, 505 North Michigan Ave. Tickets are $250, tables are $2250 and both may be purchased online at www.commongroundfoundation.org/galafundraiser2011.
 
Source - Eurweb

 
 
 

NEW YORK — Beyonce will no longer be managed by her father, Mathew Knowles, her publicist said Monday.

The Grammy-winning singer and her father have parted ways "on a business level," publicist Yvette Noel-Schure told The Associated Press in a statement.

"I am grateful for everything he has taught me," Beyonce said in the statement. "I grew up watching both he and my mother manage and own their own businesses. They were hardworking entrepreneurs and I will continue to follow in their footsteps."

She didn't say what led to the split, but her father said in a separate statement to the AP late Monday that the decision was mutual.

Knowles has managed his daughter since she debuted as a teen in the multiplatinum-selling group Destiny's Child in the late 1990s and throughout her superstar career as a solo artist.

Knowles oversaw all aspects of Beyonce, from music to movies to fashion and more. Her career includes 16 Grammy awards, top-grossing movies "Dreamgirls" and "Obsessed," fashion ventures and lucrative endorsements.

The 29-year-old has released three multiplatinum albums — "Dangerously In Love," ''B'Day" and "I Am ... Sasha Fierce" — and has 12 Top 10 hits on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, including five No. 1s. Destiny's Child had 11 Top 10 hits on the Hot 100 chart and six No. 1s.

During Beyonce's teen years in Houston, Knowles prepped her, her friend Kelly Rowland and two others for a rising career as an R&B girl group, and Destiny's Child released its self-titled debut in 1998. Their sophomore album, "The Writing's On the Wall," came a year later and garnered multiple hits and two Grammys, but the success also shook up the band and Destiny's Child became a trio with Beyonce, Rowland and Michelle Williams.

The three also released solo albums, all managed by Knowles. He launched his own label, World Music Entertainment, via Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music.

Rowland parted with Knowles as her manager in 2009 and Williams followed a year later.

In the statement, Beyonce stressed her devotion to her father on a personal level.

"He is my father for life and I love my dad dearly. I am grateful for everything he has taught me," Beyonce said.

Knowles also got personal in his statement.

"Business is business and family is family. I love my daughter and am very proud of who she is and all that she has achieved. I look forward to her continued great success," he said.

Knowles and Beyonce's mother, Tina, divorced in 2009 after 29 years of marriage. Tina Knowles worked as a stylist for Destiny's Child and continues to style her daughter. Together they launched a clothing line, House of Dereon.

Noel-Schure didn't comment on who Beyonce's new manager would be.

Knowles said his plans include focusing on his label's work in gospel and inspirational music, where he said the company has made a "tremendous investment."

 
 
Yeah, you read the title correctly.  Foxy Brown's nails has gotten her in trouble once again.  If you don't recall, yesterday we told you that there was a little she said/he said going on between Foxy Brown and Tom Joyner.  Well, it turned out that Joyner was telling the truth (which I'm pretty sure most of us figured).  Well, here is how the people over at TMZ is reporting what happened:
 
 
Foxy Brown's fingernails have once again landed the singer in hot water -- this time, she was booted off a Royal Caribbean cruise because she flipped out after missing her at-sea manicure appointment ... TMZ has learned. 

Passengers on the cruise tell TMZ, Foxy set up a nail appointment on the cruise ship last Monday -- a day after the cruise took off -- and showed up three hours late.

We're told the people at the salon couldn't accommodate her when she rolled around -- and Foxy went completely ballistic.

According to sources, security removed her from the salon and sent her back to her room -- where she remained under supervision until Wednesday ... when the ship dropped anchor somewhere in the Cayman Islands ... and authorities kicked her off.

We're told Foxy -- who performed on board the day before the incident -- was then escorted to an airport and flown home. Royal Caribbean had no comment. Attempts to reach Foxy were unsuccessful.

Brown has a storied history when it comes to cosmetics -- in 2004, she faced assault charges for allegedly beating up two nail salon employees ... and again in 2007 after allegedly beating up a beauty store employee.
 
 
I can't say anything about this story surprises me.

Mar 28, 2011

Tracie Spencer - Tender Kisses


Shanice - Saving Forever For You


Terry Ellis - Where Ever You Are


Chante Moore - Your Love's Supreme (audio)

11-year-old girl gang raped at California park
 
 
 

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. (AP) -- Members of a Southern California gang raped an 11-year-old girl in the bathroom of a neighborhood park, leading to six arrests and a manhunt for a seventh suspect in a crime that has stunned seasoned law enforcement officials.

"It shocks you to your core. It never ceases to amaze me how vicious these things can be," Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

The girl was gang raped in the bathroom at Moreno Valley's Victoriano Park between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. March 10. Sheriff's Investigator Matt Diaz says no other details were being released.

The attack, which was on the south side of the city near Moreno Valley College, wasn't made public until Sunday.

"As a father -- even as a police officer -- there are crimes that shock us. This is one of them," said Capt. John Anderson, chief of the Moreno Valley station.

The attack was in an area where gangs and crime aren't a problem, Anderson said.

Six juvenile gang members arrested shortly after the rape were booked at Riverside County juvenile hall for investigation of sexual assault on a child.

A seventh suspect, Michael Sykes, 19, of Moreno Valley, has eluded capture. Investigators believe he's hiding in Los Angeles, some 70 miles west of Moreno Valley.

It was the second time in a month that a little girl was sexually attacked in a park in Riverside County.

In February, three 13-year-old boys were arrested after a middle school student told officers a boy sexually assaulted her while the two others held her down at Banning's Roosevelt Williams Park.

The boys and the victim attended Nicolette Middle School, and investigators said it wasn't a gang-related attack.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Last Poets, modern hip-hop inspiration, may lose home
 
 

Abiodun Oyewole and The Last Poets once produced black nationalist raps credited with inspiring the modern hip hop movement. Now, Oyewole might lose the Morningside Drive apartment where he has hosted "Open House Sundays" for poets and musicians for more than 30 years.

Oyewole told NBC New York he began struggling to pay his rent when cutbacks in arts education programs left him without a steady source of income. He had been doing arts workshops with kids.

When Oyewole began to receive eviction warnings after paying his rent late, his son urged him to ask for help from the many people who visit Oyewole's home every Sunday for food, community, and creativity.

Flutist Bobby Humphrey, rapper Doug E. Fresh, entertainer Paul Mooney, and The Last Poets themselves have banded together to perform a fundraising concert this Sunday to honor and support Oyewole's "Open House Sundays."

The Last Poets were originally formed on May 19, 1968, at a celebration of Malcolm X's birthday in Mount Morris Park, which is now Marcus Garvey Park.

According to Oyewole, the group was formed as a thoughtful response to the death of Martin Luther King weeks earlier.

"When King died, I knew I was going to be radical," said Oyewole. "I could pick up a gun or pick up a pen and drop some bombs. I decided to pick up a pen."

The group, which now consists of Oyewole, Felipe Luciano, Umar Bin Hassan, and drummer Don Baba Tunde, got its name from a poem called "Towards a Walk in the Sun" by South African author William Kgositsile.

"The poem said that it was the last era in music, dance and the arts," said Umar Bin Hassan. "So we decided to call ourselves The Last Poets."

"People thought, who are you, young, black guys, calling yourselves the Last Poets?" said Hassan. "The name was a blessing and a curse."

The Last Poets soon developed a national reputation. Their second album, "This Is Madness," was named one of the best albums of the century by Vibe Magazine. The album was released while Oyewole was in prison for the armed robbery of a Ku Klux Klan recruiting meeting.

More than 30 years later, The Last Poets still tour across the world and maintain a large international following.

The concert will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the National Black Theatre on Fifth Avenue in Harlem. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

The concert could possibly save "Open House Sundays" as well as Oyewole's apartment, where he has lived for 33 years.

"I'm scared to death, I don't like to ask people to do anything for me," said Oyewole. "But if it's a hit, my rent will be paid for the next year, maybe the next two years."

"On Open House Sundays I have people from all parts of the country and the world come to share their creativity," he said. "I buy food, and we have poets, and singers, and tap-dancers, and every kind of artist."

Tickets to the benefit concert are available at http://110fundraiser.eventbrite.com or by calling (646) 688-5366.

source - TheGrio

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WASHINGTON DC (AP) - The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis, clearing the way for the state to resume planning for Davis' execution.

The justices on Monday refused to order the federal appeals court in Atlanta to examine Davis' case and they declined to do so themselves. In 2009, the high court ordered a federal judge to examine evidence Davis said would show he was innocent of the 1989 killing for which he has been sentenced to death.

But the judge decided last year that Davis had failed to clear his name.

At the moment, executions are on hold in Georgia after federal agents seized the state's supply of a key lethal injection drug.

source - MyFoxAtlanta

rihanna-chris-order-475-new.jpg
 
 
Two years after their horrific split, Chris Brown and Rihanna may finally reunite in the media spotlight. Producers from ABC Networks are reportedly rounding up the two stars for an epic reunion special on "Good Morning America", E! Online reports.

Though spokespeople for the two singers have not commented on the rumored reunion, sources at ABC network reportedly told tell E! Online that producers want to "milk this event for everything its worth." And when asked if Chris and Rihanna's reunion would become a reality show, a top-level ABC insider says, "No, that would never happen here. What's far more likely is orchestrating Chris Brown talking to Rihanna for the first time."

The alleged reunion has already sparked wildfire responses from Chris Brown and Rihanna fans. When news of the reunion hit MTV.com, the site was flooded with more than 200 comments ranging from outrage to possible hope for the couple to be reunited.  One angry fan wrote: "Abuse is abuse - What are you telling the young kids of the world??? It don't matter what their names are. He's a beater. ... Pictures don't lie."


source - Essence
DJ Megatron is pictured in New York in a July 2008 file photo.
 
 
 
Urban radio and TV personality DJ Megatron has been shot to death in New York City.

His manager says the BET cable television segment host was killed while heading to a store near his home in the borough of Staten Island around 2 a.m. Sunday.

Police say the 32-year-old, born Corey McGriff, was found dead with a gunshot wound to his chest.

No arrests have been made.

DJ Megatron worked for hip-hop and R&B stations in New York, Boston and Philadelphia before becoming a figure on BET's "106 & Park" music series.

He has hosted the show's "What's Good" segment and has appeared in movies including 2005's "State

Property 2," starring rappers Beanie Sigel and N.O.R.E., formerly Noreaga.

A representative for Viacom Inc.-owned BET, or Black Entertainment Television, didn't immediately respond to email and phone messages.

The New York Daily News reports he had just moved to a new home, and his girlfriend recently gave birth to his third child.

"Everybody is shocked," an unidentified friend to the Daily News. "He just had a new baby. He wasn't feuding with anybody. Everybody liked him."

source - CBS

 
 
Ok so there seems to be a little bit of he said/ she said going on from the 'Fantastice Voyage'.  Recently, morning show deejay Tom Joyner announced that rapper Foxy Brown gat kicked off his annual cruise due to some mysterious incident.  This is how EURweb reports what happened:
 

Tom Joyner announced on his show this morning that Foxy Brown was kicked off of his "Fantastic Voyage" cruise and escorted right to a plane.

"We put Foxy off the cruise. Let's just say she got put off," Joyner said on his morning show. "You had to really act a fool to get put off."

The radio vet and his crew offered no details about what went down. But her removal comes just days after her phone interview on the show ended abruptly, leaving the hosts and audience to wonder if she hung up on them, or was disconnected.

From what Tom said this morning, it appears that Foxy disconnected the call. He said: "You know Foxy, after the interview, she called back and she was crying. And I said, 'See, she's gonna be alright.' Well, I was proven wrong."

Joyner and company said the Ill Na Na was "sent to her cabin" on the cruise and "locked in" because there was no jail (or brig) on the ship. "But that wasn't enough," they said.

She was then removed from the ship and, according to co-host Sybil, "escorted to the plane."

 
Well, you know Foxy wasn't taking this news lightly so she did what any other faux 'celebrity' in her place would do, she turned to Twitter to air her grievances and basically called Joyner a liar:
 

"SO I'm up packing my Luby's and Kirkwoods to meet my pumpkin Shyne in Belize for a lil' vacay…..and I get a call that Tom joyner is on the radio disrespecting me….again! OKAY NOW MR. JOYNER, your old enough to be my grandfather which is why I let your distasteful comments in our interview go without putting you in your place. Obviously, you equated my silence with weakness. My maturation with passivity. Grandpa you need to learn some respect, I'm the wrong one to romp wit you will get checked!!

Lying ass! It was absolutely nothing but LUV from my arrival to the day I left. Hugs from Monie Love and kisses from Dougie Fresh….I tore the stage down! That's the thanks I get?? U wait til' I leave the ship and then 2 days later your on the air saying negative sh*t!"

 
Why must these people turn to Twitter?  Twitter should not be used in the place of a public relations person (i.e. Chris Brown).  You only serve to make yourself look worse in the situation.  Foxy's need to call names only makes her look childish and immature in the situation.  If she believe she was truly wronged in the situation there was a much better way for her to handle it than getting on Twitter and ranting and raving.  These people really can use some Suzanne de Passe type media training.
 
First lady Michelle Obama was in Alpharetta at North Point Community Church on Feb. 9  to celebrate the first anniversary of her  "Let's Move!" campaign to fight childhood obesity.
 
 
 

First lady Michelle Obama will serve as the commencement speaker at Spelman College, the White House announced Friday.

The ceremony for more than 500 graduates will be held at 3 p.m. May 15 in the Georgia International Convention Center. Obama will also receive an honorary degree.

"Having Mrs. Obama as our 2011 commencement speaker is a true honor because she embodies the Spelman College mission, which is to prepare women to change the world in a meaningful way," Spelman President Beverly Tatum said in a statement. "I know our students will be inspired by her powerful presence."

Spelman is considered one of the nation's top liberal arts college and is the oldest historically black college for women.

The ceremony will feature other strong women. Sisters Debbie Allen, an actress and choreographer, and Phylicia Rashad, an actress and director, will receive honorary degrees. Wendy Kopp, who started Teach For America, will receive an award for community service.

Source - AJC

Mar 27, 2011




Today on Savvy Talk Radio at 6PM EST we will be discussing Chris Brown and the Man-Child Syndrome that is plaguing the black community. Please call 718-664-6383 to listen to join the conversation or listen to the show in the archives at www.blogtalkradio.com/thesavvysista. Please feel free to leave a comment about the show.

After Chris' now infamous GMA meltdown and subsequently reading Kevin Powell's prolific open letter to Chris, I had an 'A-ha' moment. The black community has become inundated with men suffering from the Man-Child or Puer aeternus syndrome. Psychology describes the syndrome as an older man whose emotional life has remained at an adolescent level, usually coupled with too great a dependence on the mother. Hmm...sounds familiar doesn't it?

When we look around our community (I'm only referring to the black community in this article because this is primarily what I deal with on this site. I know other communities are affected by this syndrome so you don't have to tell me in the comment section. I already know.) we can see the examples of the man-child syndrome all around us from the number of unwed pregnancies, the Hip-Hop videos, the decline in black marriage, the treatment of our women, and the campaign to blame everything on the Black Woman. I'm not saying that black women don't share in the decline of the village, but all the blame cannot be laid at the feet of the sista's. We have found ourselves at a tipping point in our community and until we face it head on there may be no turning this problem around for the better.

Chris Brown has become the poster boy of the 'Man-child' syndrome. Physically, he is a man (and if you saw the nude pics you would totally agree with me), but emotionally he is an adolescent. Somewhere along the line his emotional self became stunted and stuck between the ages of 13 to 17 years old. This is a problem that is occurring with a lot of our men. I don't know if it's because mostly women are raising the boys in our communities, and unless you are an exceptional woman, it is very hard for a woman to raise a man. Iron sharpens iron. I know it may be hard for some of us to hear, but it truly does take a man to raise a man. A woman can teach a boy how to be a good person but not how to be a man. There is a difference. Thus we are seeing this warped sense of manhood being perpetrated throughout our community.

Our society allows women to be complex beings, but the same grace is not given to men. Men are not allowed to tap into their emotional selves on the grounds that they may be deemed weak. This in itself has contributed to this warped sense of manhood. If you ask a person 'what is a man?' they probably give you the Steve Harvey answer, 'A man is what he does, who he is, and how much he makes.' This is a superficial answer that again contributes to a warped sense of manhood that places the value of one's manhood upon that which is simplistic. Men are not allowed to go deeper and explore the things that make them complex human beings. As humans we are emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical beings, but society only teaches men to focus on the mental and the physical aspect of their being thus neglecting the others. Hence, this is why we have a lot of men-children running around proclaiming themselves to be men.

So when Chris Brown, man-child, was confronted by Kevin Powell, man, about having a conversation, Chris didn't respond because the presence of a man was something that was foreign to Chris. Chris is use to hanging around other men-children. He doesn't know what it means to be around a man. Kevin Powell, in his open letter, admitted that it was the same for him but it wasn't until he went to therapy that he realized what was going on. Ooh...there's that word again, therapy. Now, we already know that Kevin lost a lot of us when he mentioned that word. Therapy is just not one of those things they we as a people are not willing to participate in, but yet, it is a stigma that we have to overcome. How else are the men-children going to figure out why the child within them have a bigger voice and more say in their life than they do as men? They must reflect upon themselves and go inside and have an honest conversation with that child. It is only then that these men-children will be able to cross over into manhood.

I know you are wondering, well Savvy Sista then what is your definition of a man. I wished I could give you a simplistic answer but thus I cannot. You see, for me, a man is not some simplistic being that can be summarized in a one sentence definition. Men, like women, are complicated and flawed. This is what makes us so great in my opinion, our complexities. Listen, only a man-child will say that a woman can take his manhood. I have never met a woman that said a man took her womanhood because a woman knows that her being a woman is not predicated on what a man does or does not do. At the end of the day, she is still a woman. This has to be the same way for men. No one can take your manhood from you. You can give it away but it cannot be taken.

Mar 25, 2011

The NASA Minority Innovation Challenges Institute (MICI) is offering a free interactive video session on applying for 2011 NASA opportunities!  Friday, March 25, 2011 at 3:00pm Eastern, Cathalina Juarez, NASA Recruitment Coordinator for the NASA One Stop Shopping Initiative (OSSI), will discuss the NASA internship opportunities and how to apply.  The opportunities have a deadline of May 1, 2011 so don't miss this session!

This session will also feature Erika Viramontes, Scholarship Program Manager for the Hispanic College Fund.  She will be presenting on the different types of scholarships available, general tips for scholarships, and NASA scholarship opportunities.

The session will also allow for a question and answer period where you can ask questions, and obtain guidance for your individual situation.   The short video below shows how you can enter MICI's virtual conference lobby, and gain access to all the content on this subject, as well as many NASA University Challenge profiles and other NASA opportunities.
 
 

The mission of the Minority Innovation Challenges Institute (MICI) is to create a virtual training ground where minority undergraduate students learn how to compete in NASA technical challenges for both prestige and significant cash prizes. This NASA funded program, which is managed by Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU), provides a year-round virtual conference platform where students from across the country can participate in free interactive educational sessions of their choosing. Many of the sessions will focus on competitions found within NASA's Centennial Challenges program, which provides cash prizes ranging from $50,000 to $2 million to individuals/teams that can achieve specific technical accomplishments. In addition to Centennial Challenges, students will also learn how to complete in other NASA sponsored competitions created specifically for Universities.

 
 

Dear Chris,

I really did not want to write this open letter, and would have preferred to speak to you in person, in private. Indeed, ever since the domestic violence incident with Rihanna two years ago, there have been attempts, by some of the women currently or formerly in your circle -- women who love and care deeply about you -- to bring you and I together, as they felt my own life story, my own life experiences, might be of some help in your journey. For whatever reason, that never happened. By pure coincidence, I wound up in a Harlem recording studio with you about three months ago, as I was meeting up with R&B singer Olivia and her manager. You were hosting a listening session for your album in progress, and the room was filled with gushing supporters, with a very large security guard outside the studio door. I was allowed in, as I assume you knew my name and my long relationship to the music industry. I greeted you and said I would love to have a talk with you, but I am not even sure you heard a single word I said above the loud music. I gave your security person my card when I left and asked him to ask you to phone me, but you never did, for whatever reason. And that is fine.

But I have thought of you long and hard as I've watched you, from a distance, as you dealt with the charges of physical violence against your then-girlfriend Rihanna, as you were being pummeled by the media and abandoned by many fans, admirers and endorsers, and ridiculed on the social networks. You were 19 when the altercation with Rihanna occurred, and you are only 21 now. Yes, you've achieved both international fame and success in a way most people your age, or any age, could never imagine. But you also are at a very serious crossroads because of the dishonor of your persona derived from your beating Rihanna. There is no way to get around this, Chris. You must deal with it, as a man, now and forever. For our past can be a prison we are locked in permanently, or it can be the key to our freedom if we glean the lessons from it and deal with it directly. All the external pressures and forces will be there, Chris, but no one can free us but ourselves. And it must start in our minds and in our souls.

That is why I was very saddened to hear about your recent appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America" to promote your new album, "F.A.M.E." The interview was embarrassing, to say the least. You slouched through the entire episode, and you were so clearly defensive as Robin Roberts, the interviewer, threw you what I thought were very easy questions about the Rihanna saga. I get that you want to move past it, but that is not going to happen, Chris, until people see real humility, real redemption and real changes in how you conduct yourself both publicly and privately. Whether the interview and what happened at ABC studios were a publicity stunt to push your album sales (as has been suggested by some blogs) is not the point. It has been spread across the internet, and throughout the world, that you ripped off your shirt following that interview, got in the face of one of the show's producers in a threatening manner, and that somehow the window in your dressing room was smashed with a chair. And then there are the photos of you immediately after, shirtless, walking outside the ABC studios looking, well, pissed off. Finally, somewhere in the midst of that morning, you tweeted, "I'm so over people bring this past s**t up!! Yet we praise Charlie Sheen and other celebs for [their] bullsh**t."

Yes, that tweet was taken down very quickly, but not before it was spread near and far, Chris. And it was a tweet written with raw honesty and, for sure, raw emotion. It is very clear to me, as it is to so many of us watching your life unfold in public, that you are deeply wounded, that you are hurt by what you have experienced the past two years. It's clear that you've never actually healed from what you witnessed as a child, either -- your mother being beaten savagely by your stepfather, and how that must've made you feel, in your bones. You've said in interviews, long before the Rihanna incident happened, that it made you scared, timid and that you wet the bed because of the wild, untamed emotions that swirled in your being. I am certain you felt powerless, just as powerless as I felt as a boy when my mother, who I love dearly and have forgiven these many years later, viciously beat me, physically and emotionally, in an effort to discipline me, to prepare me, a Black man-child, for what she, a rural South Carolina born and bred, working-class woman, perceived to be a crude and racist world.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE LETTER.

 
 
 
AFTER 41 years on the air, All My Children, is reportedly set to be canceled.

The soap opera — which is set in the apochryphal Philadelphia suburb of Pine Valley (usually interpreted as Bryn Mawr) — will be axed later this week, according to reports.

It's believed the program will be replaced with a talk show, which is much cheaper to producer.

All My Children has been running continuously since 1970; recently, it earned longtime daytime actress Susan Lucci a Daytime Emmy.

Ratings for daytime soaps have slipped across the board, with CBS canceling Guiding Light and As The World Turns and NBC canceling Passions.

Recently, ABC moved production of All My Children from New York to Los Angeles in order to save on production costs. The show's ratings have dropped about one-and-a-half points since 2000.

- Source

 
 

A Texas jury ruled Thursday that a 17-year-old beauty queen allegedly told to "get off the tacos" after gaining weight was wrongly stripped of her crown and has had it returned by a judge.

Domonique Ramirez won her lawsuit against the Miss San Antonio pageant, Luis Vera Jr., her attorney, told The Associated Press.

"She won 100 percent," Vera said.

Judge Barbara Nellermoe then restored Ramirez's crown, clearing the way for her to compete for Miss Texas and Miss America, according Court Clerk Grace Montalvo. After deliberating 11.5 hours over two days in the weeklong trial, the Bexar County jury of five men and seven women found that pageant officials, not Ramirez, breached the contract.

"It's a sad day for us. We think the judge and jury made a huge mistake," pageant director Linda Woods said. "It's an injustice for the city of San Antonio, it allows young kids to breach contracts and violate authority without any consequences ... It sends the wrong message."

Consequently, Woods said she would not personally promote or support Ramirez in her bid for Miss Texas.

"I'm sorry, there's no way I would represent her as talent. She's trouble," Woods said.

The size-2 teenager was fired in January over allegations of weight gain and bad behavior. Pageant officials testified that Ramirez showed up to a bikini photo shoot overweight and made pictures "unusable."

But pageant officials claimed weight wasn't the issue. Instead, they said the 5-foot-8, 129-pound teenager was unreliable, chronically showing up late for events such as grocery store openings, and violated her contract in ways ranging from not writing thank-you notes to blowing off a physical fitness program and vocal lessons. It all added up to insubordination and breach of contract, they said.

Ramirez denied gaining weight or being late.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.

 
 
 
 
COMEDIAN Whoopi Goldberg admitted to smoking weed before the 1991 Academy Awards ceremony and said she was completely stoned as she delivered her acceptance speech for winning Best Supporting Actress for her role in Ghost.

"Smoking cigarettes and pot every now and then are my habits. And I thought, 'I've got to relax.' So I smoked a joint, my home grown, to get calm before the glamorous Hollywood gathering," she explained in footage obtained by TMZ.

She then described her shock when she was announced the winner of the prestigious prize and remembers trying hard to focus to just get to the stage.

"When he (presenter actor Denzel Washington) said my name and I popped up, I thought, 'Oh f*ck'...okay, up the stairs ... around to the podium … there's millions of people, get the statue, pick up the statue."

Goldberg's admission came out during a voice-over recording session for the 1992 film The Pagemaster. The celebrity website just obtained the footage and released it today.

Though Goldberg appears calm and composed in footage of her Oscars speech, her mom was on to her and called her out on being stoned.

"My mother called me and she said, 'You smoked didn't you?'" the current co-host of The View said.

"I know you're not supposed to admit that you smoked pot … but just because I do it doesn't mean you should," she added.

source

Mar 24, 2011

 
 
Remember when Sade admitted to turning down collaboration offers from rappers, including Jay-Z? Well, she's gone back on her word.

Sade will be receiving some help from Jay on the remix of "The Moon and the Sky," a song that appeared on last year's Soldier of Love. The revised track, along with two other brand new recordings, will appear on Sade's 28-track double-disc set The Ultimate Collection.

Source - Hello Beautiful

 
 

NEW YORK (AP)— After battling back from health problems, the Queen of Soul plans to celebrate her 69th birthday in a big way in New York City.

Aretha Franklin has scheduled a birthday bash Friday at a luxury hotel with performances and special guests. Her publicist, Tracey Jordan, said Franklin planned to go to the theater earlier in the evening to catch "Driving Miss Daisy" on Broadway.

The music legend underwent surgery late last year in her native Detroit for an undisclosed ailment. Since then, she's lost more than 80 pounds. Franklin has said the weight loss was because of a change in diet and exercise.

She's due to return to the stage in May, and also has a new album on the way.

Why black college students struggle with science
 
 
As a chemical engineer, I found the article below  to be very interesting.  As a high school student, I graduated with a very high GPA.  I was great at science and math although those were not the subjects that held the most interest for me.  I went to college and majored in Chemistry/Pre-Med because I wanted to be an OB/Gyn.  Eventually I decided that I no longer wanted to go to medical school after I did an internship and practicing surgeons relayed to me how much in debt they were in.  I quickly went back to campus and had a talk with my advisor (my mother didn't know anything about this) and decided I wanted to change my major.  It was my advisor that suggested that I become a chemical engineer.  Honey trust me, I was not at all prepared when I had to take my first major couse which happened to be Material Balances.  Nothing could prepare you for the coursework when it comes to chemical engineering.  When you have to take classes called Transport Phenomena, Unit Operations, Kinetics, Thermodynamics, and so forth, you know you are no longer in Kansas.  I might not have graduated Summa Cum Laude (more like Thank you Lordy) like I was planning on doing, but I have to say that I would not have changed anything about my experience.  In order to change a coal into a diamond, pressure must be applied.  Majoring in the science and engineering fields are not for the faint of heart but trust me if you can make it through you are so much better for it.  It really shows you what you are made out of as a person.  It also doesn't hurt the fact that you have a better chance of getting a job than some of your fellow classmates provided you do an internship. 
 
 
 
Via TheGrio:
 
Black undergrad students are struggling in science. It's a myth that black students just don't like science, or aren't interested in it.

In fact, freshman year of college, black and Hispanic students have the same degrees of interest in science careers according to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

But black and Hispanic students are less likely than white and Asian students to major in or obtain a doctoral degree in science career fields.

In 2000, black students in science and engineering fields received about 35,000 bachelor's degrees. In 2009, the number had gradually increased to about 45,000, compared to about 540,000 recipients from all races and ethnicities (U.S. Dept. of Ed).

The real wealth generators in today's global economy are people with technical skills. A recent report by the U.S. Labor Department suggests that over the next 10 years, the need for technical people in this country is going to grow by 50 percent (UCCR)," Robin Willner, Vice-President of Global Community Initiatives for IBM stated.

Black students struggle for different reasons; some include feeling isolated in the classroom, getting left behind with the coursework or not having a strong connection with their professors.

Jayson Stone, 22, entered University of Maryland, College Park as a computer engineering major in the fall of 2006.

"I did engineering for two years, but I kind of didn't like it," explained Stone. "I decided I was better suited for business aspirations I also had, so I switched to economics."

Stone was valedictorian of his Baltimore high school; he was involved on Maryland's college campus and describes himself as an extrovert. Math was his favorite subject since he was young, but his engineering courses freshman year shocked him.

"There was a realization for me," said Stone. "As I looked around at my classmates, I realized I'm not like anybody else. I literally felt like the only thing we had in common was our coursework...after class, we weren't going to do the same things."

Stone says the subject matter was interesting, but learning it wasn't. The classes were lecture-only and there was a lack of connection with the professors who were teaching.

"I had a 3.0 GPA when I started in computer engineering," said Stone. "And that went down as I took more engineering courses. I anticipated the coursework was going to get increasingly more difficult... so I thought to myself, I'm already struggling now, maybe I'll make it out of college with a 2.7, 2.8 and an engineering degree. But I won't be completely interested in the subject...so maybe I can follow my business aspirations now."

Following his business aspirations is exactly what Stone did. Since numbers were still his passion and he was outgoing, Stone decided the economics major would allow for the best combination of his personality and skills.

"I definitely had access to on-campus tools to improve my grades while I was an engineering major. But the business field is just more upbeat, the economy major is still lecture style but it's slightly more interactive," said Stone.

Also passionate about giving, Stone started an education business--offering full range tutoring services to elementary, middle and high school students and he hopes to include SAT prep soon too.

Struggling in classes, falling behind and possibly risking their future success may be the result of what scholars in the UCCR report call academic mismatch.
 
 
 
 

Metro Atlanta is attracting the most minority-run firms on a per capita basis, according to a survey of 52 metro areas released late Wednesday by Forbes magazine.

"The 'capital of black America' has become a buzzing hive of Hispanic and Asian immigrants and entrepreneurs," Forbes writes.

Baltimore, Nashville, Houston and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale round out the top five spots. The next five are the metro areas of Oklahoma City, Riverside-San Bernadino, Washington, D.C., Orlando and Phoenix.

Forbes looked at metro areas with populations of more than 1 million. It said metro Atlanta was No. 2 in self-employed minorities and No. 2 as an entrepreneurial region. Combined with a growing population, increasing household incomes and affordable housing, Atlanta took first place, Forbes said.

 

source - AJC

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Charlie Batch in Pittsburgh
 
 

PITTSBURGH, March 23 (UPI) -- A court says a creditor can seize personal property of Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Charlie Batch to recover money he owes them.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Jeffery A. Deller gave Primerock Real Estate Fund LP the choice to collect on its $820,000 claim against Batch by seizing property Batch put up as collateral to secure the debt, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Wednesday.

Batch filed for bankruptcy in December, listing $8.29 million in liabilities and $2.3 million in assets, the newspaper said.

His real estate company, Batch Development Co. Inc., had 25 properties turned over to a court-appointed receiver after defaulting on a $1.15 million mortgage.

Bankruptcy attorney Michael Shiner said the Primerock order is common in bankruptcy proceedings and doesn't necessarily mean the company will try to seize Batch's property.

If the debtor is willing to make payments to keep it, Shiner said, there's no reason for the creditor to try to get the property if it's worth less than the debt placed against it.

Batch has said in court documents he intends to retain the property and make payments.

"Charlie has some pretty good earning capacity," Shiner said of Batch, who made $855,000 last year as part of a two-year contract he signed in 2010.


Source - UPI
Chris Brown Good Morning America
 
 

Chris Brown apologized for destroying his dressing room following an interview on "Good Morning America" Tuesday.

Wednesday on BET, Chris Brown said that he apologizes to anyone startled in studio.

He went on to say that he didn't hurt anyone and that he had to blow off steam and let out the anger. Brown also asked his fans to not send threats to "GMA" anchor Robin Roberts.

Roberts interviewed Brown before he performed live from the Times Square studio.

When she began asking about the February 2009 incident with Rihanna and a recent decision by a judge to relax the restraining order against him, Brown tried to steer the interview back to his new album, 'F.A.M.E.'

"It's not really a big deal to me now, as far as that situation," he said. "I think I'm past that in my life. Today's the album day, so that's what I'm focused on."

After a couple more questions, Roberts then asked the 22-year-old singer again about the legal issues stemming from the Rihanna incident, which apparently enraged him.

"This album is what I want people to hear and people to really get into, so definitely this album is what I want them to talk about and not stuff that happened two years ago," he said.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH HIS APOLOGY.

 

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — With its theme, "HBCUs Under Attack: What Must We Do?", reminding Black college professionals and supporters their institutions face public criticism, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund's 12th Annual Member Universities Professional Institute Conference explored organizational practices and business strategies intended to advance HBCUs. More than 200 presidents, chancellors, administrators, faculty and staff of the 47-member TMCF gathered this week in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., to address HBCU critics and to learn institutional success strategies.  

"We have two choices, we can either ignore the attacks or have a crucial conversation with our member universities," said TMCF President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor Jr. "Let's take the focus off the institution and go to the students and ask them how we remain relevant."

Taylor invited Wall Street Journal opinion writer Jason Riley, who last fall penned the commentary "Black Colleges Need a New Mission" in the conservative business newspaper, to be the conference luncheon speaker on Monday.  In his article, Riley cast HBCUs as inferior and outdated institutions.

"He did us a favor," Taylor said Tuesday during the luncheon keynote speech. "He raised the dialogue out of the back rooms of American government and brought it to the forefront giving us an opportunity to respond to it and talk about it. We had the choice to either retaliate or educate."

"Our competition are major (higher education) institutions," Taylor noted.  "They are competing for your talent. We are going to continue to be true to what we started, providing scholarships to both need and merit-based students. We want the best of the best because they represent us."

Dr. N. Joyce Payne, TMCF's founder, agreed with Taylor that criticism of HBCUs is not a new challenge. It should be addressed now, especially in a time when Black communities are hurting, she told Diverse.

"The HBCUs were originally created to educate emancipated slaves because that was the only option for African-Americans at that time," said Payne.  "Today, we've overcome the vestiges of segregation and entered the mainstream.  We could say our universities no longer have a role. The truth is if these institutions didn't exist, we wouldn't have the Jesse Jacksons, Thurgood Marshalls, Barbara Jordans and Oprah Winfreys of today."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.

Mar 23, 2011

Robin_Roberts_March23newsnea
 
 
Even after Chris Brown stormed of their set and allegedly smashed a window after his interview with Robin Roberts, Good Morning America is extending an invitation to Chris to come back on the show!

Chris reportedly was so angry after his interview with Robin on Tuesday that included questions about Rihanna that he caused quite a scene leaving the studio.

But it looks like GMA is willing to give Chris a second chance and doesn't seem to be holding anything against him.

"I wish him the absolute best," Robin said on GMA on Wednesday morning (via The Hollywood Reporter). "We extended the invitation to him [to come back], and sure hope he takes us up on it because I'd sure love to have another chat with him."

"Any time we have a guest, we let them know ahead of time the subject matter and the topics. And even right before the interview I let him know," she explained on air. "I was shocked like everyone else, because we've had a wonderful relationship. I've been to his home, he's very gracious, and we've had easy conversation."

And Robin even said that she "thought he was joking about some things" during the interview.

"We've extended an invitation," Robin said. "We'd love to have him back. He's seriously considering that."

Source: OK Magazine

 
 
 

DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant was ejected from an upscale Dallas shopping mall after a dispute over the sagging pants worn by him and some companions. Tuesday police statement says officers working off-duty Saturday as security at NorthPark Center encountered Bryant and three companions wearing the drooping pants.

According to the statement, when the officers asked the four to pull up their trousers, Bryant launched into a profanity-laced tirade that prompted the officers to escort the four from the mall.

Police say Bryant refused to leave, however, until his "representative" could arrive and he parked in a fire lane until a friend arrived and persuaded him to leave.

No charge was filed. Bryant's agent, Eugene Parker, declined to comment. The Dallas Cowboys did not respond to requests for comment.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
 
 

Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed film goddess whose sultry screen persona, stormy personal life and enduring fame and glamour made her one of the last of the old-fashioned movie stars and a template for the modern celebrity, died Wednesday at age 79.

She died of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized for about six weeks, said publicist Sally Morrison.

Taylor was the most blessed and cursed of actresses, the toughest and the most vulnerable. She had extraordinary grace, wealth and voluptuous beauty, and won three Academy Awards, including a special one for her humanitarian work. She was the most loyal of friends and a defender of gays in Hollywood when AIDS was still a stigma in the industry and beyond. But she was afflicted by ill health, failed romances (eight marriages, seven husbands) and personal tragedy.

"I think I'm becoming fatalistic," she said in 1989. "Too much has happened in my life for me not to be fatalistic."

Her more than 50 movies included unforgettable portraits of innocence and of decadence, from the children's classic "National Velvet" and the sentimental family comedy "Father of the Bride" to Oscar-winning transgressions in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Butterfield 8." The historical epic "Cleopatra" is among Hollywood's greatest on-screen fiascos and a landmark of off-screen monkey business, the meeting ground of Taylor and Richard Burton, the "Brangelina" of their day.

She played enough bawdy women on film for critic Pauline Kael to deem her "Chaucerian Beverly Hills."

But her defining role, one that lasted long past her moviemaking days, was "Elizabeth Taylor," ever marrying and divorcing, in and out of hospitals, gaining and losing weight, standing by Michael Jackson, Rock Hudson and other troubled friends, acquiring a jewelry collection that seemed to rival Tiffany's.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.

Ravi Perry
 
 

WORCESTER, Mass. — The NAACP's newly revived Worcester chapter elected a 28-year-old openly gay black man as its president this month. In New Jersey, a branch of the organization outside Atlantic City chose a Honduran immigrant to lead it last year. And in Mississippi, the Jackson State University chapter recently turned to a 30-something white man.

Founded more than a century ago to promote black equality, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is seeing remarkable diversity in its leadership ranks — the result of an aggressive effort over the past four or five years to boost NAACP membership and broaden the civil rights organization's agenda to confront prejudice in its many forms.

"This is the new NAACP," said Clark University political science professor Ravi Perry, the new chapter president in Worcester. "This is a human rights organization, and we have an obligation to fight discrimination at all levels."

NAACP branches have been recruiting gays, immigrants and young people who grew up in a world far removed from the landmark 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education ruling that outlawed school segregation. Now, leadership positions that were once held only by blacks are being filled by members of other racial or ethnic groups.

The group does not keep track of numbers, but in recent years NAACP chapters in New Jersey, Connecticut and Georgia have elected Hispanics as president. A white man was picked to lead the chapter in Aiken, S.C. And two years ago, NAACP members in Hamtramck, Mich., a Detroit suburb, selected a Bangladeshi American to revive their long-dormant chapter.

"Some people mentioned that it wouldn't be possible for me to be president," said Victor Diaz, 32, a Dominican American who ran against an incumbent and was elected president of the Waterbury, Conn., branch in November. "But when I ran, I won 3 to 1."

The push for diversity troubles some members of the NAACP's old guard, who worry that problems in the black community may get short shrift. But some social scientists say the new diversity is merely a return to the group's roots as a biracial organization.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.

Mar 22, 2011



Robin Roberts asked Chris Brown if she could ask him about the Rihanna incident BEFORE the live interview began on "GMA" this morning ... this according to sources connected to the production.

Sources tell TMZ ... Roberts insists both she and other "GMA" staff members spoke with Chris before the interview and asked if it would be OK to ask "a few questions" about the Rihanna incident ... and Chris approved.

As TMZ first reported, Brown flipped out after the interview -- and apparently smashed a window in his dressing room.

Robin is telling people at the show she did NOT try to set him up ... and insists, "I'm pulling for the guy."

As for the broken window, no one in the studio saw Chris throw the chair into the window ... but he was definitely in the dressing room when the window was smashed.


WATCH THE INTERVIEW AND TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS



Performance Yeah 3X


Via TMZ:

Chris Brown exploded in rage behind the scenes at "Good Morning America" this morning ... smashing a window and storming out without a shirt ... sources tell TMZ ... and it was triggered by on-air questions about the Rihanna incident.




ABC sources tell TMZ ... Brown performed and was interviewed by Robin Roberts live from the Times Square studio when she began asking about the infamous incident.Brown tried to redirect the questions to focus on his album -- but Roberts continued to ask about Brown's legal issues stemming from the Rihanna incident.

We're told after the interview, Brown freaked out, storming into his dressing room and screaming so loud, the people in hair and makeup became alarmed and called security.

We're told Brown was out of control, and one source present tells us he smashed a window in his dressing room, and the glass shattered and some shards fell onto 43rd and Broadway. ABC security tells TMZ ... the window was shattered with a chair.

We're told by the time security rushed the area, Brown had ripped off his shirt and left the building, blowing off another performance he was supposed to do for the ABC website.

And sources say ... on his way out of the building, Brown confronted a segment producer, got in his face and stared him down. People from the show got in between Chris and the producer to diffuse the situation.

Remember -- Brown is on probation for the felony beating and he's required to obey all laws.

UPDATE: Brown just tweeted, "I'm so over people bringing this past s**t up!!! Yet we praise Charlie sheen and other celebs for there bulls**t."


Savvy Sista Two Cents:


I've been rooting for Chris to get himself together, but he needs to understand that the events of that night are going to follow him for the rest of his career. He's just going to have to take it like a man and keep it moving. Outbursts like this only serve to prove right everything people have been saying about him. He really needs to take some conflict management classes and get himself together. He and Charlie Sheen are not in the same playing field. Charlie Sheen is physically hurting himself; whereas, Chris physically hurt someone else. Stop shifting blame from yourself and just handle these consequences like a man. The world will move on from that situation once you have proven you've learned your lesson and have a mature response by not throwing a 'bitch' fit when Robin Roberts ask you a legit question. Oh and one more word of advice, 'Stay the HELL OFF TWITTER!!!!'