Jun 30, 2011

Because it's a slow news day, I thought I would see what's everyone plans are for the holiday weekend. I'll be heading down to New Orleans tomorrow morning for the Essence Music Festival. It has become one of those things I've done since 2000. I must say every time I go I always have fun. There's something magical about New Orleans. It's definitely one of my favorite cities.

So what are your Fourth of July plans?

Jun 29, 2011

HOUSTON (AP) — Veteran R&B diva Patti LaBelle says in a countersuit filed against a West Point cadet who claims she ordered her bodyguards to beat him up outside a Houston airport terminal that the altercation began after the cadet hurled racial insults at her.

But an attorney for the cadet, Richard King, denied his client ever said any racial slurs to LaBelle.

King's attorneys say he was waiting to be picked up by family outside one of the terminals at Bush Intercontinental Airport on March 11 when three of LaBelle's bodyguards attacked him without provocation.

King, who was in his hometown of Houston while on spring break from West Point, filed his lawsuit earlier this month, naming LaBelle, the three bodyguards, one of whom is the singer's son, and two others as defendants.

King's lawyers say the alleged attacked resulted in a concussion and lingering dizziness and headaches for the cadet. A surveillance video from the airport that was previously released by King's attorneys shows the 23-year-old cadet being pushed and punched by two men and a woman, all alleged to be LaBelle's bodyguards.

LaBelle filed a countersuit last week, accusing the cadet of attacking her bodyguards after he directed profane and racial slurs toward the singer.

In the countersuit, LaBelle's lawyers accuse King of being intoxicated, staggering around outside the terminal, screaming obscenities and trying to enter the singer's limousine. King was politely asked to walk away from the vehicle, according to the countersuit. King's attorneys have said the cadet had a few drinks on the flight to Houston but denied he was intoxicated.

"King directed profane and racial slurs towards LaBelle. When LaBelle's son (Zuri Edwards) heard the profanity and racial epithets, he informed King that the woman in the limousine was his mother," the suit said. "Without warning or provocation, King violently and deliberately punched Edwards in the face."

The surveillance video, which has no audio, shows King talking on a cell phone when one of LaBelle's bodyguards appeared to push up against him. It appeared that King then pushed him back. King's attorneys have said King did not push back but was protecting himself from a punch.

The bodyguards told Houston police King attacked them.

King's attorney, John Raley, said LaBelle's claim that the cadet hurled racial slurs at her is part of her "attack" on "an innocent man by telling the same false story they told the police."

"Several eyewitnesses saw and clearly heard the incident. The counter-claim is completely without merit," Raley said in a statement.

The case, which was originally filed in Houston state civil court, has been moved to federal court by LaBelle's attorneys, Raley said.

The initial police investigation named King as the suspect in the case. But since the lawsuit was filed, the Houston police department reopened its investigation and it is also looking into the actions of two officers who were seen on the surveillance video taking photos with LaBelle after the alleged beating.

Raley said the incident was reported to West Point, which suspended the cadet for at least one year and ordered him to go on active duty.

King's lawsuit and LaBelle's countersuit are asking for unspecified damages.

LaBelle's singing career has spanned more than four decades and includes several hit records and two Grammy Awards.

Jun 28, 2011

Alexandria Pierce

DURHAM -- Brinton Marcell Millsap apparently shot three women and himself Friday night because of a rumor he had been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease.

"He did think that was the case, but it was a lie," said Anita D. Baker, the mother of one of the slain women, Alexandria J. Baker Pierce.

Pierce, 23, a rising senior at UNC Greensboro, made an impromptu trip to Durham on Friday to tell Millsap in person that the report that she had given him a disease was not true, Baker said. She left Greensboro in her green Honda Accord about 9 p.m. and picked up her friends, Amesha Alia Page-Smith, 24, and Adrianne Celeste Stevens, 22, both of Durham.

All three would later lie dead inside the car along a vacant stretch of N.C. 54 in Research Triangle Park. Durham County Sheriff Worth Hill said Millsap fatally shot the three women then shot himself once. The car and bodies were discovered just after midnight Saturday.

The four had known one another since middle school, but Millsap, 23, was not part of the women's regular circle, friends and family said.

Brinton Marcell Millsap

Millsap told his brother, Dustin Lyons, 27, of Durham, that he had had sex with Pierce the weekend before the killings.

Lyons said his brother was struggling with lupus, an immunodeficiency disease, and was "outraged" when he heard the rumor that Pierce had given him herpes, a sexually transmitted disease characterized by outbreaks of sores in the genital area, Lyons said. The infection can last in the body indefinitely.

"It was a bad situation that went down with those girls," Lyons said. "He was very upset with even the person that turned him onto the girl he had sex with. ... He made a wrong decision, but my brother didn't live a life of this type of stuff. "

Baker said she doesn't know why one of her daughter's friends, "who was like a daughter to me," started the rumor. Her daughter did not have a sexually transmitted disease, she said.

Baker said she spoke with her daughter Thursday night and thought things had been resolved. But the next day she said Pierce told her, "This is such nonsense, and I really need to go and sit down with him in person."

Baker said her daughter taught 2-year-olds at a Greensboro day care center, liked to cook big meals for her friends and since high school had a personalized license plate she adored that said "worldluv."

"From my perspective we loved all of those four young people and we share equally in the loss of all four," Baker said. "And I feel very strongly we will all come through this together, from the love and support of the entire community."

A Durham Sheriff's Office spokesman said investigators were aware that a rumor may have precipitated the murder-suicide, but declined to comment further.

Source - News Observer

Jun 27, 2011

If I hear one more Black woman tell me that she cannot workout because of her hair, I'm going to scream at the top of my lungs until all of the glass around me shatters.... And I have a pretty big mouth so I am sure that I can do it.

Having "done" hair absolutely no benefit to you when you cannot climb a flight of stairs without panting and sweating. Heart disease and Diabetes affect Black women at a much higher rate than other races of women and it is because so many of us fall into the obese range. We eat too many fried foods, some of us don't practice portion control but most importantly, as a race of women we do not exercise consistently.

I can already hear the tongue clicks, finger snaps and see the necks starting to roll. Inevitably someone reading this article is saying," We can't all be skinny. I don't want to look like a bone." Listen, I am certainly not advocating that all women need to be a size 4. I happily wear a size 8 and as Sir Mix-A-Lot said, my curves are kicking. But I also work out 3 days a week both cardio and weights.

In fact, I am not advocating that you should wear any particular size, only that you should be healthy and part of being healthy includes moving your body. I'd rather be a healthy size 12 than an unhealthy size 4 any day because we all know that thin does not automatically mean healthy. But we have to start taking small steps towards getting healthy or we won't be around to raise our children or see the first African-American woman elected President (yeah I had to throw that in there).

The most common complaint I hear from Black women about exercise is that it messes up their hair. I can't pretend that there is some secret formula that is going to allow you to exercise and keep your hair fried, dyed, and laid to the side but there are certainly some steps you can take to find a happy medium.

I think naturals who wear their hair in its naturally curly state all of the time probably have it the easiest when it comes to working out and their hair. A lot of my fro wearing sistas was their hair 4 to 5 times a week anyway so they can just coordinate those wash days with their work out schedule. Naturals who get their hair heat straightened every week probably have the hardest. There is just no denying that when you start to sweat that hair is going to start coiling up. But there's still hope for you.

Here are a few tips to keep that hair popping after your workout:

1) Part the hair in sections (2 or 4) and braid it up. This keeps hair from tangling while working out and it also lets your scalp breathe some. Women often say oh my hair is sweating, but really it's your scalp that sweats. So letting the scalp breathe some keeps all of the sweat from traveling down your hair shaft. After your workout apply an astringent (like Sea Breeze) to your scalp with a cotton ball and then lightly blow dry (just your scalp) on the coolest setting possible on your blow dryer. This keeps your scalp from continuing to sweat.

2) Consider wearing your hair in curly styles more often. Before my workout, I often part my hair and then twist into bantu knots and then workout. The result is the next morning I have a head full of natural beachy waves that I can shake out and go.

3) Wash you hair more often. So many of us think we should only wash our hair every 2 weeks because shampooing dries out your hair. The truth is, shampooing only dries out your hair when you use a shampoo that contains sulfates (we carry a sulfate free shampoo at http://www.deeplyrootedbeauty.com/) . If you are washing with a moisturizing shampoo that does not contain sulfates, washing your hair actually moisturizes your hair and textured hair loves moisture. If you're used to going to the salon every 2 weeks then practice washing and roller setting your own hair on your off weeks.

4) Invest in a wig that is substantially similar to your own hair. Just make sure that you moisturize your own hair under the wig. The wig makes a great protective style but you sill should be taking care of your hair so you can keep it as healthy as you keep your body.

Okay, now that you have a plan for your hair, it's time to get your body in motion. Meet me at the track, I'll be the sista wearing the hot pink yoga pants. You know how I roll.... LOL!

Lovely Locks

WIMBLEDON, England — Serena William's comeback run at the All England Club ended Monday when she was beaten by France's Marion Bartoli, 6-3, 7-6 (6), in the fourth round.

Williams, the defending champion who missed much of the past year due to various health problems, went back and forth with Bartoli in a match filled with deep groundstrokes and pinpoint serves. The ninth-seeded Bartoli — a surprise finalist here in 2007 when she lost to Serena's sister Venus — won the first set in 47 minutes. In the second, she held five match points before defeating Williams and moving on to the Round of 16. 

It was the earliest exit here for Williams since losing in the third round in 2005.

It has been a trying year for Williams. Less than a week after winning last year's Wimbledon, she severed a tendon in her foot after she said she stepped on glass at a restaurant in Munich. She later developed blood clots in her lungs that required emergency hospitalization. She did not play competitively again until a Wimbledon warmup tournament in Eastbourne a few weeks ago. Still, she marched into the fourth round here and had created buzz that, perhaps, she could emerge with her 14th Grand Slam singles title.

It was not to be. Serving at 5-5 in the second set, Williams muffed a backhand on a point that could have put her up, 40-15. Instead, she faced a break point moments later, and hit an over-the-head running backhand volley wide to yield the game. While Bartoli served for the match, Williams's father, Richard Williams, watched from his box seat. His expression did not change but he could not have been pleased that his daughter, a four-time champion here, was in trouble.

   Bartoli hit shot wide, then outdueled Williams in a backhand-to-backhand exchange to pull even at 15-15. She moved two points from victory when Williams sent a forehand return into the net. An ace gave Bartoli match point.

   She hit a backhand wide, and Williams eventually brought the game to deuce with a backhand crosscourt service return. After the two traded points, Bartoli double-faulted, giving Williams a break opportunity. She took advantage with another backhand crosscourt service return winner.

  Williams took a 2-1 lead in the tiebreaker but then faltered on her serve, dumping a forehand drop shot into the net. She recovered with a powerful serve and jammed a short return down into Bartoli's backhand corner for a winner.

   It was a duel and both players fought ferociously for an advantage. Williams won one of them to pull to 4-4, then forced Bartoli to dump a forehand into the net to take a 5-4 lead.

  Bartoli responded with an ace. The game eventually moved to 6-6.

   Williams sent a backhand into the net to give Bartoli a fifth match point. Bartoli sent a serve deep to Williams's backhand that she could not return.

   Bartoli ran toward the net in joy, her face breaking into a wide smile. She was into the quarterfinals having defeated Williams, the defending champion.


Source - NY Times


I found this over at Clutch and I had to share it. This is hilarious. The part with Fantasia is just too much.

Okay so I did sit through the BET Awards (I know, I know...I'm a traitor). The show definitely live up to my very low expectations. They butchered the tribute to Patti LaBelle, they embarrassed the young lady who was presented the Fan Award, and I can go on and on about some other grievances. But despite all of that, there was a shining moment on the show and that was a skit. The skit starred Kevin Hart, Bobby Brown, Nelly, Jermaine Dupri, and Nick Cannon. It was hilarious!!!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Beyonce who is the first female headliner in the history of the Glastonbury festival, brought down the house Sunday night, wowing a screaming audience of 170,000+ fans. The bright lights of what is considered by some to be the biggest music festival in the world were no match for the singer, as she ran through some of her biggest hits, opening with "Crazy Like That" before moving on to songs like "Single Ladies," "Irreplaceable," and a medley of Destiny's Child favorites, including "Survivor" and "Say My Name."

She also sang her new single, "1+1," as well as "At Last," the song she sang during President Obama's inauguration in 2009. That performance came with a special civil rights-themed video montage -- which included video of that very inauguration.

Crazy In Love

Single Ladies

Naughty Girl

Best Thing I Never Had and End of Time

If I Were a Boy

Sweet Dreams and Why Don't You Love Me

The Beautiful Ones/Sex On Fire



Destiny's Child Medley

At Last

Run the World (Girls)


Jun 24, 2011

Let's Stop Blaming the Bible for Our Homophobia

I stopped even peeking at "comments" sections a long time ago, like many writers. However, in the wake of a piece I did on the controversy over homophobia among black comedians, rappers and others, I have been pointed to some comments sections by other people writing on the subject, and have made an exception and taken a look.

What I have been struck by is how often perfectly sensible commenters approach this rich and delicate subject by simply stating that the Bible forbids homosexuality. It's clear that a lot of people out there honestly suppose that this just settles it. But I can't help thinking that there are times when we need to be more creative in deciding how the Bible fits into our lives -- black, white or other. And I mean something more than hating the sin but loving the sinner.

If the Bible has been used to justify racism and slavery and we've learned to value the Bible while letting those things pass, then can't we get a little more creative when it comes to the new phase in the civil rights revolution, the liberation of gay people? The new Book of Mormon musical is telling us to take exactly this approach to religious teachings -- channeling the spirit rather than getting caught up in the more fantastical details -- and audiences are cheering the roof off every night. They couldn't all be wrong.

I'm not sure the people who think of citing the Bible as a sufficient response to this issue realize what they are calling for in real life as real people live it. We have all become quite familiar with the "down low" phenomenon, but this seems to attract interest more for the infidelity aspect, as well as the health aspects, than for the specific human tragedy of having to spend your life living a lie.



Jun 23, 2011

It looks like someone in the faith community is willing to stand up and hold Bishop Long accountable. Bishop Paul Morton, senior pastor of Changing A Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church and Co-Pastor of Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church, called on Bishop Long to show 'humility' and tell those who have stood by him something. He asked Bishop Long to 'repent'.

He goes on to say that he cannot forgive somebody who does not repent.


WASHINGTON — For the first time, minorities make up a majority of babies in the U.S., part of a sweeping race change and growing age divide between mostly white, older Americans and predominantly minority youths that could reshape government policies.

Preliminary census estimates also show the share of African-American households headed by women — made up of mostly single mothers — now exceeds African-American households with married couples, a sign of declining U.S. marriages overall but also continuing challenges for black youths without involved fathers.

The findings, based on the latest government data, offer a preview of final 2010 census results being released this summer that provide detailed breakdowns by age, race and householder relationships such as same-sex couples.

Demographers say the numbers provide the clearest confirmation yet of a changing social order, one in which racial and ethnic minorities will become the U.S. majority by midcentury.

"We're moving toward an acknowledgment that we're living in a different world than the 1950s, where married or two-parent heterosexual couples are now no longer the norm for a lot of kids, especially kids of color," said Laura Speer, coordinator of the Kids Count project for the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation.

"It's clear the younger generation is very demographically different from the elderly, something to keep in mind as politics plays out on how programs for the elderly get supported," she said. "It's critical that children are able to grow to compete internationally and keep state economies rolling."

Currently, non-Hispanic whites make up just under half of all children 3 years old, which is the youngest age group shown in the Census Bureau's October 2009 annual survey, its most recent. In 1990, more than 60 percent of children in that age group were white.



RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — There is nothing the state of North Carolina can do, Elaine Riddick says, to make up for forcing her to be sterilized when she was 14 years old.

"They cut me open like I was a hog," the woman who now lives in Atlanta said at a Wednesday hearing in Raleigh held by a panel working to determine compensation for thousands of victims of the state's defunct eugenics program. "My heart bleeds every single day. I'm crushed. What can they do for me?"

Riddick, 57, was one of 13 people who spoke at the meeting, and one of nearly 3,000 living victims of the program, which was shuttered in 1977, three years after the last sterilization was performed. The public hearing is part of a process unprecedented not just in North Carolina, but nationally. About a half dozen other states have joined North Carolina in apologizing for past eugenics programs, but none of the others have put together a plan to compensate victims of involuntary sterilization.

"It's hard for me to accept or understand or even try to figure out why these kinds of atrocious acts could be carried out in this country," said Gov. Beverly Perdue, who appointed the Eugenics Task Force that convened Wednesday's hearing.

Any plan that involves financial compensation will be a hard sell, though, in a year when the state budget includes deep cuts to numerous programs. The General Assembly passed the $19.7 billion spending plan over Perdue's veto. Bills in the legislature aimed at providing specific financial and medical compensation for victims have stalled.

"We've made some baby steps, but as we get closer to the big one, there's some pushback," said state Rep. Larry Womble, D-Forsyth, the lawmaker who's been most active on the issue.

Womble initially sought payments of $50,000 for each victim, but said the state Industrial Commission, which pays claims from lawsuits and other matters, suggested $20,000 as a more realistic figure. The task force hasn't yet settled on an amount or type of compensation to recommend. It's scheduled to send a draft report to Perdue by Aug. 1.

The possibility that the state would only offer symbolic or low-stakes compensation rankled some victims and their family members.

"It's still being said to my mother 47 years later," said Deborah Chesson, whose mother was sterilized in the 1960s after giving birth, and who was too ill to travel to the hearing. "You are still saying that she means nothing."

Some victims expressed a raw anger that hasn't lessened over the decades, while others voiced regret that a procedure done to them as adolescents shaped the rest of their lives.

"That's the only thing I hated about being operated on, 'cause I couldn't have kids," said Willis Lynch, 77, who was sterilized at 14. "It's always been in the back of my mind."

Lela Dunston was sterilized after giving birth to a son at 13. She wanted to have daughters one day, and mourns her inability to have children with her husband.

"They did away with me," she said. "I can't have no babies."

About 7,600 people were sterilized under North Carolina's eugenics program. Roughly 85 percent of the victims were women or girls. Unlike most states, North Carolina ramped up its sterilizations after World War II, despite associations between eugenics and Nazi Germany, which took eugenics to even more horrifying lengths. Around 70 percent of all North Carolina's sterilizations were performed after the war, peaking in the 1950s, according to state records.

In 2002, then-Gov. Mike Easley formally apologized for the program.

Nationwide, there were more than 60,000 known victims of sterilization programs, with perhaps another 40,000 sterilized through "unofficial" channels like hospitals or local health departments working on their own initiative. Eugenics was aimed at creating a better society by filtering out people considered undesirable, ranging from criminals to those imprecisely designated as "feeble-minded."

People as young as 10 in North Carolina were sterilized for not getting along with schoolmates, being promiscuous or running afoul of local social workers or doctors. The state's law, which allowed such professionals to refer people to the state Eugenics Board for sterilization, was more open-ended than similar statutes in other states, where people had to be jailed or institutionalized before they could be sterilized.

"Where did all this come from? This came from doctors, medical practitioners, professors, not guys in pickup trucks wearing white sheets," said Edwin Black, author of the eugenics history "War Against the Weak."

Black said financial compensation alone won't address the scope of the wrongdoing. He said states where sterilization took place should also make additions to school curricula and erect public monuments to acknowledge what happened.

"You can't just write a check, you have to right the wrong," he said.

Victims who spoke at the hearing said they were glad the process that began with Easley's apology has enabled them to learn they weren't alone.

"I thank God I'm still alive so I could get up here and tell this story," Dunston said. "They did this to me."

Jun 22, 2011

Famous footwear designer Christian Louboutin decided to go 'old-school' with the inspiration for his new look book. Using inspiration from classical art pieces, his new look book is both interesting and provocative. One of the pieces that serves as inspiration is that of Portrait d’une nĂ©gresse by Marie-Guillemine Benoist.

Here is information on the inspiration:

“Marie-Guilleme Benoit’s masterpiece, Portrait d’une negresse, has long been held as a symbol of emancipation and a fine balance between steely determination and femininity. The contrast between the model and her garments is echoed in the Balda Booty, where supple ivory nappa meets ebony patent leather. The stark contrast created through the fusion of fabrics and colour is softened by the delicate ballerina style ‘pointe’ toe and fine ankle strap detailing.”


TULSA, Okla. — With their guns firing, a mob of white men charged across the train tracks that cut a racial border through this city. A 4-year-old boy named Wess Young fled into the darkness with his mother and sister in search of safety, returning the next day to discover that their once-thriving black community had burned to the ground.

Ninety years later, Mr. Young lives not far from where he lost his home that day. He is part of the dwindling ranks of the living who can recollect what may be the deadliest occurrence of racial violence in United States history — an episode so brutal that this city, in a bout of collective amnesia that extended more than a half-century, simply chose to forget it ever happened.

The Tulsa race riot of 1921 was rarely mentioned in history books, classrooms or even in private. Blacks and whites alike grew into middle age unaware of what had taken place.

Ever since the story was unearthed by historians and revealed in uncompromising detail in a state government report a decade ago — it estimated that up to 300 people were killed and more than 8,000 left homeless — the black men and women who lived through the events have watched with renewed hope as others worked for some type of justice on their behalf.

But even as the city observed the 90th anniversary this month, the efforts to secure recognition and compensation have produced a mixed record of success.

The riot will be taught for the first time in Tulsa public schools next year but remains absent in many history textbooks across the United States. Civic leaders built monuments to acknowledge the riot, including a new Reconciliation Park, but in the wake of failed legislative and legal attempts, no payments were ever delivered for what was lost.

Before becoming president, Barack Obama once met with some who lived through the riot "to thank the survivors for surviving." But fewer are surviving each year; today the number is about 40. And before they die, some of their most dedicated advocates continue to fight for greater awareness and compensation, even as they lament that they no longer believe the effort has sufficient momentum.


INDIANAPOLIS — The consequences of efforts to prevent taxpayer dollars from going to Planned Parenthood are now being felt.

In Indiana, Planned Parenthood will stop treating Medicaid patients and lay off two of three specialists after $100,000 in donations it had been using to replace state money ran out this week.

A state law cutting off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood of Indiana took effect May 10.

"Our 9,300 Medicaid patients … are going to see their care disrupted," says Betty Cockrum, president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana.

Legislatures in Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina and Wisconsin have voted to defund Planned Parenthood. The moves are law in the first three. Republican Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin is expected to sign a state budget with a similar provision by June 30.

Although an effort in Congress to end the flow of federal dollars to the organization failed, funding of a federal program that provides family planning services to low-income women was reduced. Federal funding of abortions is illegal.

Cuts in federal funds mean six Planned Parenthood clinics in Minnesota will close Aug. 1. "I'm outraged," says Sarah Stoesz, president of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Well, well, well... Looks whose addressing the unemployment rate affecting African Americans and Hispanics. It isn't the person you think would be addressing the issue, but rather it is a 2012 GOP presidential candidate by the name of Michele Bachmann. Yes, that Michele Bachmann. The one with the graphs when it came to giving a response to the President's State of the Union. Yes, that very same one. She brought up the fact that President Obama has failed the African American and Hispanic community when it came to the unemployment rates in both communities. She made her remarks at the “Republican Leadership Conference” held in New Orleans over the weekend.

I'm not sure how well talk like that is going to play with her base, but it got my attention I must say. A lot of people consider Bachmann a long shot at being the nominee, but I'm one of those people who actually think she has a chance. And with talk like this, she obviously thinks she has a chance as well.

At the end of the day it's going to come down to the Economy BABY!

Jun 21, 2011

Ray Nagin was the mayor of New Orleans when the worst national disaster on record hit. In his new self-published memoir, Katrina's Secrets; Storms After the Storm, Vol. 1, Nagin aims to explain the chaos following the aftermath of Katrina. Of course he places a lot of the blame for the chaos at the feet of the federal and state government, but he also admits to his own mistakes:

"We all had issues, because it was such a catastrophic, historic event," he says. "We all did some good things. We all had shortcomings."

Nagin faults himself for not calling a mandatory evacuation before the storm eight to 10 hours earlier than he did. He says he should have pushed the federal government for someone to be put in charge of the recovery sooner, a job that went to Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré after several days. And he says a 50% jump in the suicide rate shows he should have devoted more resources to mental health services.

Nagin also goes on to say that in some ways he feels New Orleans is better after Katrina:

More educated young entrepreneurs are moving in, and homeownership is up in a city once dominated by rentals.

•The public school system has been rebuilt in an innovative way that could not have happened "if it wasn't for Katrina."

•The city's infrastructure is being rebuilt, including streets, parks, playgrounds, a new medical center downtown and a levee system that Nagin says will withstand a Katrina-like event.

"In a lot of respects, the city has a lot of good things going," he says. "And in some respects better because of Katrina."

The memoir is due out on Wednesday.

Source - USAToday

It’s going down. At the upcoming Black Newspaper Publishers Annual Conference in Chicago one of the highlights will surely be Rev. Al Sharpton and Dr. Cornel West will engage in a debate on the subject of President Barack Obama and the Black Agenda on Friday, June 24 at 12:30 p.m.

Also featured will be a national leaders forum moderated by Charles Ogletree, the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and featuring Chuck Morrison of Ford Motor Co., Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Co-Founder, President and CEO of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, Dr Michael Eric Dyson, academic and professor of sociology at Georgetown University, Rainbow PUSH founder Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr., NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous, Dr. Maulana Karenga, founder of the US Organization, and Reverend Al Sharpton taking place Friday, June 24 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday, June 23 from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, Senior Pastor, Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas will be speak on the topic of the “Press & the Pulpit.”

Fortune 500 companies including AT&T, Ford, GM, Nielsen, and Wells Fargo will join NNPA Chairman Danny Bakewell for a discussion on the importance of advertising in the Black press on Friday, June 24 at 10:30 a.m.

This year’s event will also feature forward-looking dialogue with a focus on growing revenue and audience in today’s marketplace. Topics include: mobile innovation, social media, advertising customer insights, increasing digital loyalty, growing circulation, and much more.

Throughout the conference AT&T will host a CyberCafe and host a Multi-Media Platform workshop on Thursday, June 23.


On Monday night, O’Reilly hosted Lupe Fiasco, a 29-year old rapper and singer who recently dubbed President Obama a terrorist. The remark created an opening for O’Reilly to attack hip hop while getting Obama’s back. That’s a twist for Fox News, which usually attacks rappers by lumping them with Democrats, or rehashes the conservative complaints about “gangsta rap.” But the new angle couldn't really save the segment.

O’Reilly dutifully presented his soundbites (“Obama is not a terrorst”), then turned to condescension, lecturing “Mr. Fiasco” that the word fallacious means wrong, and observing that few rap fans have political science Ph.Ds. Mr. Fiasco countered that his beef is not just with Obama, but with militaristic foreign policy, the root causes of terrorism and all American presidents.

source - HuffingtonPost

In a small, remote mountain top primary school in the Kenyan bush, hundreds of children are jostling for a chance for the free education newly promised by the Kenyan government. One new applicant causes astonishment when he knocks on the door of the school. He is Maruge (Oliver Litondo), an old Mau Mau veteran in his eighties, who is desperate to learn to read at this late stage of his life. He fought for the liberation of his country and now feels he must have the chance of an education so long denied - even if it means sitting in a classroom alongside six-year-olds.

Moved by his passionate plea, head teacher Jane Obinchu (Naomie Harris), supports his struggle to gain admission and together they face fierce opposition from parents and officials who don’t want to waste a precious school place on such an old man.

Full of vitality and humour, the film explores the remarkable relationships Maruge builds with his classmates some eighty years his junior. Through Maruge’s journey, we are taken back to the shocking untold story of British colonial rule 50 years earlier where Maruge fought for the freedom of his country, eventually ending up in the extreme and harsh conditions of the British detention camps.

Directed by Justin Chadwick (THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL/BLEAK HOUSE) from a script by Emmy-winner Ann Peacock (THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, NIGHTS IN RODANTHE, KIT KITTRIDGE), THE FIRST GRADER is a heart warming and inspiring true story of one man’s fight for what he believes is his right in order to overcome the burdens of his past. It is a triumphant testimony to the transforming force of education.

The filming process itself was quite extraordinary, as the children in the film – who are in many ways the stars – had never even seen a film or television set before let alone been involved in the filming process. Their involvement in the shoot was a totally novel experience for them and their enthusiasm and energy is captured beautifully on screen.

Jun 20, 2011

A conservative suing a state over it's harsh immigration law is definitely one of those things you would never expect to see appearing in a sentence, but here it is.  Paul W. Bridges, the mayor of Uvalda, Ga has decided to sue the state over it's 'papers please' law.  He wrote a commentary special to CNN to explain his actions:
Via CNN:
Many are surprised to learn that a conservative Republican mayor like me is involved in a class-action civil-rights lawsuit against my state. And yet, I'm proud to participate in this challenge to Georgia's harsh "papers please" law, which runs counter to America's greatest values and threatens to run my town's economy to the ground.

HB87, which was signed last month by Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, would authorize Georgia police to demand proof of citizenship from criminal suspects not carrying an approved form of identification and would also impose criminal penalties for anyone who knowingly harbors or transports an undocumented immigrant.

This law strikes fear in all skilled laborers and anyone associated with them. It will allow officers untrained in immigration issues to detain and investigate anyone they choose. It threatens to tear families apart -- citizen spouses and children will risk permanent separation from undocumented loved ones; grandparents will lose their grandchildren if a family feels forced to leave Georgia.

The people who are challenging this law come from all walks of life, but we all believe that we must fight this broad attack on our basic freedoms and local economies.




Margaret Helen Cheek (far left in photo) was sterilized during North Carolina's eugenics program at Cherry Hospital. (AP)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Nearly 35 years after ending the country's most active post-war sterilization program, North Carolina is the only state trying to make amends to thousands of people who cannot have children because of eugenics-inspired theories about social improvement.

Next week, victims and their relatives will tell their stories to a state task force considering compensation to victims of sterilizations that continued into 1974. Roughly 85 percent of victims were women or girls, some as young as 10. North Carolina has more victims living than any other state because a majority was sterilized after World War II, said Charmaine Fuller Cooper, director of the state Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation.

Eugenics programs gained popularity in the U.S. and other countries in the early 1900s, but most abandoned those efforts after World War II because of the association with Nazi Germany's program aimed at racial purity. However, North Carolina's expanded, with sterilizations peaking in the 1950s and early 1960s. About 70 percent of the state's 7,600 sterilizations occurred after the war, state figures show.

Overt rationalization for the programs ranged from protecting the potential offspring of mentally disabled parents to improving the overall health and intellectual competence of the human race. Before the atrocities of World War II, it was seen by many — both blacks and whites — as a legitimate effort to improve society.

"Sterilization was always a cost-cutting measure," said Paul Lombardo, a professor at Georgia State University's College of Law. "The argument was, anybody who generates social costs shouldn't be allowed to have children."

In 1968, Elaine Riddick was like many others who were sterilized: poor, black and female.

Now living in Atlanta, Riddick plans to drive to Raleigh next week to tell the task force about her sterilization at age 14 following a rape. She said her grandmother gave the state permission for the procedure.

"My grandmother was worried about me. I didn't blame her," Riddick said.

Yet she said it was a traumatic experience that led to years of depression and physical problems. Riddick wants financial compensation from the state to pay for doctor bills and medicine.

Researchers estimate more than 60,000 people nationwide were sterilized during the 20th century as part of government programs. Even in states without sterilization laws, the procedures still occurred on local or informal levels. That means the real number could be 100,000 or higher, Lombardo said.

Among the 33 states with eugenics programs, North Carolina's was unique. The state had the most open-ended law in the country, allowing doctors and social workers to refer people living at home to the state Eugenics Board for possible sterilization. In every other state, Lombardo said, people had to be either institutionalized or jailed before they could be sterilized.
New Orleans police face trial over Katrina killings

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – Five New Orleans police officers accused of indiscriminately shooting people in the chaos unleashed by Hurricane Katrina face a high-profile trial in the coming week.

The deadly 2005 shooting on the Danziger Bridge and resulting cover-up came to epitomize the city's failure to protect its citizens and exposed deep-rooted corruption in the police department which many say remains unaddressed.

"This trial is going to show the country and the world that we have a serious problem with our police department," said Eddie Jordan, the city's former District Attorney.

"This department is engaged in horrendous acts against its citizens."

Fear soon followed the deadly floodwaters which swallowed 80 percent of New Orleans and left thousands stranded on their rooftops after Katrina smashed through the city's poorly maintained levees on August 29, 2005.

Reports of widespread looting and armed gangs roaming the city shifted the government's already botched response from humanitarian aid to a military operation.

Then-Governor Kathleen Blanco sent in National Guard troops, announcing "These troops know how to shoot and kill and I expect they will."

Warren Riley, then-second in charge of the New Orleans police department (NOPD) reportedly instructed officers to "take the city back and shoot looters."

In the following days, six people -- almost all of them African American -- were killed under suspicious circumstances in incidents involving police. Scores more were injured.

"We had more incidents of police misconduct than civilian misconduct," Jordan, the former district attorney, told AFP. "All these stories of looting, it pales next to what the police did."

The Danziger Bridge case is the most notorious of at least nine incidents being investigated by federal agents.

A group of officers, who had apparently heard a misleading radio report about shootings in the area, began firing on two families who were simply trying to escape the floodwaters.

Ronald Madison, a mentally challenged man, was shot in the back at least six times, then stomped and kicked by an officer until he was dead, officers who pleaded guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence have testified.

James Brissette, a high school student, died after he was shot seven times.

Four others were badly wounded, including Susan Bartholomew, 38, whose arm was shot off her body.

For years, family members and advocates called for official investigations and were rebuffed.

That changed when President Barack Obama's newly appointed attorney general took over in 2009 and the US Justice Department decided to look into the accusations.



Harriet Tubman

WASHINGTON (AP) – In the Confederate circles he navigated, John Scobell was considered just another Mississippi slave: singing, shuffling, illiterate and completely ignorant of the Civil War going on around him.

Confederate officers thought nothing of leaving important documents where Scobell could see them, or discussing troop movements in front of him. Whom would he tell? Scobell was only the butler, or the deckhand on a rebel sympathizer's steamboat, or the field hand belting out Negro spirituals in a powerful baritone.

In reality, Scobell was not a slave at all.

He was a spy sent by the Union army, one of a few black operatives who quietly gathered information in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse with Confederate spy-catchers and slave masters who could kill them on the spot. These unsung Civil War heroes were often successful, to the chagrin of Confederate leaders who never thought their disregard for blacks living among them would become a major tactical weakness.

"The chief source of information to the enemy," Gen. Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army, said in May 1863, "is through our negroes."

Little is known about the black men and women who served as Union intelligence officers, other than the fact that some were former slaves or servants who escaped from their masters and others were Northerners who volunteered to pose as slaves to spy on the Confederacy. There are scant references to their contributions in historical records, mainly because Union spymasters destroyed documents to shield them from Confederate soldiers and sympathizers during the war and vengeful whites afterward.

"These kinds of spies and operatives come up over and over again, many of them unnamed and rarely do they receive glory," said Hari Jones, curator of the African American Civil War Museum in Washington, who lectures on the Civil War's African American spies.

Jones and other experts are hoping the 150th anniversary of the Civil War will include some measure of remembrance for these officers.



Jun 17, 2011

Anthony Boyd (left), shown here with Pastor Eddie Long, is accused of using his job as a security guard to allow a burglary at Long's church office.

Via AJC:

The shy 18-year-old ambled to the New Birth Missionary Baptist stage, called forward by a man he considered a mentor and father figure. It was, Anthony Boyd said as he watched a DVD of the September 2009 church service, the happiest moment of his life.

"He's had a heckuva past," Bishop Eddie Long told congregants as he hugged a beaming Boyd. "When he heard the voice of God, he changed."

Long then informed Boyd he was giving him a job at New Birth -- the same job that Boyd stands accused of using to help facilitate a burglary of roughly $100,000 in jewelry and electronics from Long's office inside the church.

Two other young men were implicated in last June's theft -- both of whom later filed a civil lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct against Long. Only Maurice Robinson was charged with burglary; suspect Anthony Flagg was not charged due to a lack of evidence, said DeKalb County District Attorney's Office spokesman Erik Burton.

Robinson and Boyd were offered entry into a pre-trial diversion program in exchange for having the charges dismissed. Robinson accepted "and is compliant with program requirements," Burton said. Boyd, meanwhile, is due to be arraigned on June 28.

"Now since I'm the last man standing they're trying to make me the victim," said Boyd, 20, in his first interview since the burglary. He said he didn't complete the diversion program because "I'm innocent. I had nothing to do with it."

Boyd is accused of using his position as a security guard to help Robinson gain entry into Long's office. No evidence has been presented, however, that Boyd participated in the actual theft of the missing items, which included a $35,000 Jorg Hysek diamond watch.

This was an article that I originally wrote for BlackGirlSingular.com over a year ago. I decided it was time for me to revisit the post and maybe expound upon it a little further.

With Father's Day around the corner, I feel this is the best time to discuss an issue that a lot of us think about but few of us are willing to verbally address. The issue is that of forgiveness and not just forgiveness in general, but forgiveness of your father. As the issue of absentee fathers continue to plague our community, I feel it's time we deal with the psychological effects that this phenomenon has dealt to the offspring of these men.

The absence of a father in a child's life, whether it be a male or female child, is a hole many find impossible to fill. It is that hole that cause many women to seek love in the arms of many different men because they themselves never felt that love from the first man who was supposed to love them. And so, they follow a destructive path in hopes of finding the love they should have received at home. It is this same hole that darkens the spirit of boys who eventually become men. This hole in their spirit causes them to act out in violent and destructive ways because they are not equipped with the tools to be able to express the frustrations they are feeling about not having their father in their life.

Sure, there are other factors to contribute to why these things happen, but we cannot lessen the importance of a father in a child's life. A father serves as his daughter's 'first boyfriend' and as his son's standard of 'manhood'. So when he is missing, these lessons and teachings become obscured. Trust me, I realized there are men who try to step up and take the place of the missing father, but for many people the hole in their heart is in the shape of their father and he is the only person who can fill it. This is not to minimize the great work these men do, but we have to realize that a father's love is not an interchangeable piece that can be filled by any man's love. It is a special and sacred love that many who've never felt long to feel.

It is this longing that leads to frustration and resentment towards an absentee father. This crippling disdain that some of us carry for our fathers manages to immerse itself in all facets of our lives. Some of us will develop trust and abandonment issues, have problems with commitment, and our idea of worthiness will be all but non-existent. We lock ourselves in a purgatory of self-pity and hatred because we can't get over the loss of not having our father in our lives. And yes, I mean we. We are the ones that built that wall around our heart and refused to let anyone else in. We are the ones that barricade ourselves in the dark room of solitude in hopes that no one's love will ever reach us. Although the actions of the absentee father led us to the room, it was us who decided to make that room our home.

So in your mind I'm sure you are asking, "How do I leave the room of abandonment?" Trust me when I say that the answer is simple, but the actions required are going to be some of the most difficult things you ever had to do in your life. You see, the answer is forgiveness. 'True' forgiveness can heal and change you if you give it a chance. I was raise to believe that forgiveness was something that you did for yourself. Forgiving a person who has done wrong to you has nothing to do with that person, but rather it is the only instrument that can free you from the bondage of pain that person's transgression has placed in your life.

Trust me, if anyone understands that forgiveness is hard it would be me. It took me twenty one years to forgive my father for not being apart of my life. It was a conscious decision on my part that allowed me to take that step forward. I was sitting in my apartment having a conversation with myself and the words, "Don't you think it's time to forgive your father already," came spilling out of my mouth. I don't know where the words came from. Maybe it was something divine. Who knows? All I know is it was one of the most freeing things I've every said to myself.

I mean let's be real. How was my resentment towards my father benefiting me? The only thing it had done was fundamentally change who I was as a person. I use to be a loving and caring person, but the older I became the more harden I'd become. I was getting to a place where I couldn't even trust a man let alone love one. I expected every man to let me down because my father had done it so what was stopping the next man from doing the same. I was dying a slow and painful death and I didn't even realize it.

While I was holding on to all this resentment and anger, my father was going on with his life. It was I who was crippled by his actions not him. He had placed me in a box by abandoning me as a child, but it was I who chose to remain in that box by not forgiving him. Although the lid on the box had always been open for me to climb out, I chose to remain inside because I refuse to let my anger and resentment go.

But that day in my apartment change everything for me. Calling my dad to tell him I forgave him was one of the most liberating things I've ever done for myself. It freed me to be myself again. Trust me, I know that forgiving someone is not the easiest thing and I'm not asking you to forget what that person has done to you. But I'm asking you to forgive that person because it's not his/her life at stake, it's your own. You have given this person power over your life that they don't deserve. It's time for you to take that power back and reclaim your life.

You have to forgive your father if you every hope to move on with your life. That hole in your soul may never be completely filled, but at least you'll be able to leave that room and become that person you were meant to become. Holding your father accountable for his actions is not a burden you should have to bear. Allow yourself the ability to enjoy life's freedom by letting go of that thing you never had any control over in the first place. Now, go get yourself some therapy and keep it moving.
Erykah Badu  is seen at the Tupac Shakur 40th ...

ATLANTA (AP) – Even though rapper Rick Ross lacked a father figure growing up, he found guidance through many of Tupac Shakur's songs that taught him how to approach life as a young man.

So when Ross was asked to perform at Shakur's 40th birthday concert celebration Thursday night, he didn't hesitate to take the stage to pay homage to the slain rapper he calls his role model.

"Tupac played father for a lot of dudes like me," Ross told a crowd of about 500 at the Atlanta Symphony Hall after he and Meek Mills performed their single "Tupac Back."

Ross along with singer Erykah Badu, jazz musician Roy Ayers, rapper Bun B, and the rap group 8Ball & MJG joined to raise money for the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation to help students develop their skill in the creative arts.

Comedian Mike Epps hosted the concert and presented a $10,000 check to Shakur's mother, Afeni Shakur, for the foundation. Attendees stood and applauded Epps for the donation.

"We celebrated his life more so his death," said actress Jasmine Guy, a close friend of the rapper who showed a video to honor his life and highlight his music career. "His voice still resonates. It's amazing. That's why is important that we keep the Shakur foundation going."

Badu took the stage to sing several of her songs including "Bag Lady." The Grammy-winning singer also sang "Soldier," which was dedicated to Afeni Shakur, who sat a few rows away with a smile on her face.

"He came at a time when people weren't looking for a savior, they were looking for someone who looked like them," Badu said. "But saviors, sometimes are just doing the work, they are just doing their job."

Shakur was one of rap's best-selling artists, becoming an even bigger star after his release from prison in 1995 with his multi-platinum selling album "All Eyez on Me." He was shot to death while riding in a car in Las Vegas a year later.

The birthday celebration occurred while New York City police are still investigating an online posting from a convicted felon who claims to have shot and robbed Shakur in 1994 — two years before the rapper was slain. According to website AllHipHop.com, Dexter Issac says he was paid $2,500 by James Rosemond to shoot and rob the rapper.

Rosemond's lawyer said his client did not orchestrate a plot to ambush Shakur.

"You have a lot of family, friends and fans that still love for Tupac," rapper Warren G said of Issac's confession. "A lot of people aren't going to let something like this go. For a dude who is just now coming out with this, it's bold."



Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, http://www.tasf.org/

Jun 16, 2011

Former Giants wide receiver is not a fan of gay marriage.
This is definitely on of those things that is not going to go over well with the 'kids'. 
New York Giants Super Bowl hero, David Tyree, made a video for the National organization for Marriage and in the video he said that if gay marriage became legal then the country would slide into 'Anarchy'. 
The 31-year-old former Pro Bowler insisted same-sex couples couldn't properly raise a child, and added he's "disappointed" more people haven't spoken up against it.

"If they pass this gay marriage bill, what I know will happen is this will be the beginning of our country sliding toward … it's a strong word, but, anarchy," Tyree said. "That will be the moment itself where our country loses its grip with what's right. Marriage is one of those things that is the backbone of society. So if you redefine it, it changes the way we educate our children, it changes the perception of what is good, what is right, what is just."
He is also blaming what's going on with same sex marriage on the President:
"How can marriage be marriage for thousands of years and now all of a sudden because a minority -- an influential minority -- has a push or an agenda and totally reshapes something that was not founded in our country?" Tyree said. "It's something that's holy and sacred and I think there's nothing more honorable than fighting for it."


Tyree's comments should not come as a shocker to the black community because a vast amount of people express these same sentiments all the time.

The wife of former NBA star Allen Iverson has re-filed for divorce, an attorney told the AJC.

Tawanna Iverson initially filed for divorce March 2, 2010, in Fulton County Superior Court, citing that her marriage was "irretrievably broken." The announcement came a week after Allen Iverson announced he was leaving the Philadelphia 76ers for the rest of the season to be with a sick daughter. The couple has five children.

That divorce petition was later dropped, Allen Iverson's attorney, Jonathan Levine, told the AJC Wednesday afternoon. But on Monday, Tawanna Iverson re-filed for divorce, said Levine, who declined to discuss the specifics regarding the initial filing.

Tawanna Iverson's attorney, John Mayoue, was unavailable for comment.

Allen Iverson, a former NBA scoring champ and all-star, is currently playing professional basketball in Turkey. He has said publicly he would like to return to the NBA to finish his career.


Reports are coming out that say that embattled congressman, Anthony Weiner of New York, called Nancy Pelosi last night to say that he will be tenuring his resignation.  A possible press conference in which Weiner will speak is thought to happen some time this morning.
Famed author L.A. Banks is gravely ill.  She is fighting late stage adrenal cancer.  The New York Times and USA Today best-selling author whose real name is Leslie Esdaile Banks, is in a Philadelphia hospital.
Banks, who has written fiction, romance, thrillers and much more, is 51 years old.
In an email distributed over the weekend, Wise wrote, "Please know that as Leslie needs all of her energy in this fight, she is absolutely not able to receive visitors, answer emails, texts or phone calls or receive flowers. What she is able to receive is your continued prayers."
Wise has established a Web page at http://www.LeslieEsdaileFund.info/about.html to provide regular information on Banks and efforts to support and encourage her.
An account has been established to help Banks and her family with medical expenses.

Donation Information:
If you wish to send donations (please note that donations are not tax-deductible) to help Leslie, please see the information listed below:

Leslie Esdaile Fund
Account #81538801
Police and Fire Federal Credit Union
Operations Center
901 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-2404

If you live in Philadelphia, PA, you may take donations directly to any Police and Fire Federal Credit Union branch. Please be sure to note the account number. You may also send them to the P.O. Box listed below*.

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union Branch Locations:

Main Branch:
901 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Additional Branches:

Leo Mall, 11705 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116-2515

Davisville Shopping Center, Street Road, Philadelphia, PA

Andorra Shopping Center, Ridge and Henry Avenues, Philadelphia, PA

City Avenue Shopping Center, 7604 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19151-2007

Mayfair Branch on Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

Northeast Branch, 7500 Castor Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

Grant and Academy Shopping Center Branch, Philadelphia, PA

You may send good wishes and cards to*:
Leslie Esdaile
c/o Tina Ryan Wise
P.O. Box 37189
Philadelphia, PA 19148-9998

Jun 15, 2011

I can't say that I'm naive enough not to have seen this argument coming. Recently, a writer for TheRoot.com broached this subject material in an article entitled, 'Hawthorne': TV Love in Black and White. The article talks about how some black women are hypocrites when it comes to their celebration of the interracial love story for the television show, 'HawthoRNe', but yet when a show has a black male in an interracial relationship they tend to be critical and upset at the pairing.

Here the author offers his main critique:

At the heart of my critique is the hypocrisy of some black women, who are fine with Hawthorne's interracial love stories but would protest if the situation were reversed. I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that many -- more like most -- of my black female friends and colleagues are over the whole interracial hysteria.

Now, I know immediately for a lot of us, our first reaction is to get upset at an express sentiment coming from a brother no less, but before you tear the author apart with your words, I'm asking that you give his argument some sincere consideration. I've been to enough comment boards and websites to know how 'some' of us feel when we constantly see 'our' men being paired with a non-black love interest in films and on the small screen. There is some real frustration there.

So, is it safe to say that there maybe some hyprocrisy there when we are quick to celebrate black women who are in interracial relationships but demonize brothers who are in the same types of relationships? Can you name one black female who got treated the same way Taye Diggs was when it was revealed he was married to a white woman? It's not like we don't know of plenty of black women who primarily date outside their race, but yet they don't have the same stigma attached to them. Why is that?

In my opinion, I don't think black women celebrating the love on 'HawthoRNe' makes us hypocrites. I don't think it's the interracial aspect that black women are celebrating; moreover, then the fact that a black women is deemed desirable and an object of affection for men. That is cause for celebration for me. It has nothing to do with race. Trust me, nobody loves 'Black Love' more than me, but I can appreciate seeing a black women being deemed desirable and just for her body parts.


The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has called upon the GOP to condemn a political ad that was released earlier this week be by a group called Turn Right USA. Some are questioning why the DCCC would even bring attention to the ad since it went pretty much unnoticed, but I'm glad they are challenging it. Pretty much unnoticed is not the same as not noticed at all. The fact that it could influence anyone is offensive enough for me, and trust me, offensive is putting it mildly.

The web ad is targetting Janice Hahn -- the Democratic candidate in a special election to take over Rep. Jane Harman's L.A.-based House seat.

Here is the DCCC statement on the matter:

“Craig Huey must condemn this offensive and sexist ad, and demand that the ad makers immediately take it down. This ad does not reflect the values of California’s hardworking women and men. Craig Huey’s silence should send a chilling message to our mothers, sisters, and daughters that this kind of outrageous and sexist material is tolerated.”


Jun 14, 2011

(TMZ) Shaquille O'Neal is embroiled in a criminal case in which 7 gang members allegedly kidnapped, beat up and robbed a man who claimed to have a tape showing Shaq having sex with other women while he was married to Shaunie.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Ladell Rowles -- a member of the Main Street Mafia Crip Gang in L.A. who is friends with Shaq -- along with 6 other members went on a search and destroy mission in L.A. on February 11, 2008. They believed a man named Robert Ross had the sex tape and they tried getting it back with the help of a gun or two.

According to the police report, the 7 gang members met up with Ross at a convenience store -- Pink Dot -- on the Sunset Strip. The men allegedly surrounded Ross' Rolls Royce Phantom with guns drawn, jumped into Ross' car and ordered him to drive to Rowles' house in South Central L.A.

Once there, Rowles allegedly pistol whipped Ross and demanded that he turn over the sex tape. Ross said he would get the tape and bring it back to them. The 7 men then allegedly took Ross' Rolex, diamond chain and earrings, along with $15,000 in cash -- then let Ross go.

The 7 men have been arrested and charged with robbery, kidnapping and other crimes. They are currently in the middle of a preliminary hearing and being held in jail.

We've learned LAPD detectives interviewed Shaq to determine what, if any, involvement he had in the alleged crimes. When the case file went to the D.A. Shaq was not listed as a suspect.

Now here's the interesting backstory.

Ross has a history with Shaq. Shaq and his business manager, Mark Stevens, have a record label and allegedly told Ross they would give him a 50% cut in any artists he brought to them. Ross claims he delivered Ray J to Shaq but got cut out of the deal.

Ross told cops after his falling out, he threatened Shaq by telling him about the sex tape, threatening to release it unless Shaq paid up.

As for the tape, Ross claims Shaq brought women to Ross' home and had sex with them while he was married to Shaunie. Ross told Shaq a "security camera" captured the action and it was all on tape. But Ross told cops the security camera recycles periodically and the video no longer exists.

And there's another twist. Around the time Shaq and Ross had their falling out, Shaunie separated from Shaq and Ross claims he began having an affair with her. Ross claims Shaq hired a private investigator to tail Shaunie and the P.I. caught the two together.

We put a call in to Shaq's rep ... so far, no response.