Aug 31, 2011

(Reuters) - Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday she resented what she viewed as an attack on her integrity by former Vice President Dick Cheney in his just-published memoir.

Speaking in an interview with Reuters, Rice rejected Cheney's contention that she misled President George W. Bush about nuclear diplomacy with North Korea.

"I kept the president fully and completely informed about every in and out of the negotiations with the North Koreans," Rice said in her first public comments on the matter. "You can talk about policy differences without suggesting that your colleague somehow misled the president. You know, I don't appreciate the attack on my integrity that that implies."

Rice, in a telephone interview, also disputed a passage in Cheney's memoir, "In My Time," in which he says the secretary of state "tearfully admitted" that the Bush administration should not have apologized for a claim in Bush's 2003 State of the Union address on Iraq's supposed search for uranium for nuclear arms.

Cheney, who opposed a public apology for the unfounded claim, wrote that Rice "came into my office, sat down in the chair next to my desk, and tearfully admitted I had been right."

"It certainly doesn't sound like me, now, does it?" Rice said in the interview. "I would never -- I don't remember coming to the vice president tearfully about anything in the entire eight years that I knew him."

"I did say to him that he had been right about the press reaction" to the administration's acknowledgment that the remarks about Iraq seeking uranium in Africa should not have been in Bush's speech, Rice said.

"And so I did say to the vice president, 'you know, you were right about the press reaction.' But I am quite certain that I didn't do it tearfully," she said.


So the rumors appear to be true after all. Stacey Dash has officially announced that she is leaving 'Single Ladies' to spend time with her children. I think that's the equivalent of a politician leaving their post to 'spend more time with their family'. Hey it is what it is. Either she really couldn't deal with LisaRaye or she wanted to spend more time with her kids. Either way, she's gone.

Here is what she is saying about her decision:

“I have to be back in L.A. with my children right now and the ‘Single Ladies’ shooting location [in Atlanta] makes this impossible. I wish VH1 the best of luck with the show in maintaining the strong fan base we developed in Season 1.”

VH1 responded with their own statement, “VH1 respects Stacey’s decision and her commitment to what she feels is best for her family. We thank her for all of her hard work in making ‘Single Ladies’ a success right out of the gate, and we wish her nothing but the best in her future plans.”

Let's be honest, the acting on the show sucked, but the fashions that Val (Stacey Dash's character) rocked made the show tolerable for me. I really want to see how Stacy Littlejohn is going to work this out. Is she going to recast Val or is she going to write the character out of the storyline all together? And exactly what is she going to do about the cliff hanger on the season finale?

I see season 2 might actually be worth checking out just to see how Ms. Littlejohn navigates this.


On Feb. 4, 1968, two months before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a haunting sermon at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church about a eulogy that might be given in the event of his death.

“If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice,” King told the congregation. “Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”

The sermon was so powerful that the designers of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington selected those lines to be inscribed on the memorial’s towering statue of the civil rights leader.

But because of a design change during the statue’s creation, the exact quotes had to be paraphrased, and now one of the memorial’s best-known consultants, poet and author Maya Angelou, says the shortened inscription is misleading and ought to be changed.

Carved on the north face of the 30-foot-tall granite statue, the inscription reads: I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.

“The quote makes Dr. Martin Luther King look like an arrogant twit,” Angelou, 83, said Tuesday. “He was anything but that. He was far too profound a man for that four-letter word to apply.

“He had no arrogance at all,” she said. “He had a humility that comes from deep inside. The ‘if’ clause that is left out is salient. Leaving it out changes the meaning completely.”

The paraphrase “minimizes the man,” she said. “It makes him seem less than the humanitarian he was. . . . It makes him seem an egotist.”

The drum major reference “wasn’t all that he was,” she said. “He would never have said that of himself. He said ‘you’ might say it.”

She said the quote should be changed to put it in context.

Told the quote had to be paraphrased to fit the available space, she replied: "Too bad."

Click here to read the entire article.

“My story to young people around this country and around the world is, Don’t look at me as the First Lady first; look at me as Michelle Obama, a girl who grew up on the South Side of Chicago. Because I was there, and this is attainable. There is no magic to this. It is hard work….”

She’s got the power! First Lady Michelle Obama graces the cover of ESSENCE’s October issue with a revealing interview highlighting ESSENCE and the First Lady’s shared commitment to women and girls around the world. In the article, The Leading Lady, she reflects on what she calls the “big, bright light” of her power as First Lady—and she shares her mission to impart her critical message to young women: that where she is now is attainable with hard work. She recounts her emotional trip to Africa, providing exclusive images for ESSENCE readers which document her various stops and what they meant to her personally. The First Lady is also fêted as one of the world’s most influential Black women on the magazine’s annual ‘2011 Power List,’ which features other top-ranking African-American women such as Oprah Winfrey, Valerie Jarrett, Iyanla Vanzant, Jada Pinkett Smith, Shonda Rhimes and more.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Quarterback Jacory Harris and 11 other Miami players who accepted extra benefits from former booster Nevin Shapiro will be allowed by the NCAA to play again, some as soon as the second game of the season.

The harshest penalties handed down Tuesday were reserved for those who took gifts from Shapiro while being recruited. Defensive lineman Olivier Vernon will sit out six games, while Ray Ray Armstrong — considered among the nation's top safeties — and tight end Dyron Dye will miss four games apiece. They are three of eight players, including Harris, who must sit out games and repay benefits before they can be reinstated.

Miami opens its season at Maryland on Monday night.

The Hurricanes still might face many more sanctions as the NCAA's investigation into Miami's compliance practices continues. And with Tuesday's ruling, the school has joined a growing list of schools with major football programs to be investigated by the NCAA for rule-breaking in the past 18 months. Others include Southern California, Ohio State, Auburn, Oregon, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and LSU.

"Our members have continually stressed that involvement of third parties during recruitment will not be tolerated," NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs Kevin Lennon said.

Harris, Sean Spence, Travis Benjamin, Marcus Forston and Adewale Ojomo all must sit out one game and make restitution for accepting benefits after enrolling at the school. Four other players must repay small amounts, all under $100, but will not miss any games.

"They understand that their actions demand consequences," Miami athletic director Shawn Eichorst said.

A 13th player, Marcus Robinson, was vindicated of wrongdoing.




ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta-based rapper T.I. has been released one month early from a federal prison, where he was serving a weapons violation sentence.

Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said the artist, whose real name is Clifford Harris, was released at 7:29 a.m. Central time from the Forrest City low-security prison in Arkansas.

The rapper was sentenced to 11 months in prison in October for breaking his federal probation after he was arrested in Los Angeles on drug charges. He was set to be released at the end of September, but prison authorities released him a month early.

His attorney, Jonathan Leonard, confirmed T.I. was released but did not immediately say where his client is going.

Aug 30, 2011

Eagles give Vick a $100 million, six-year deal

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Michael Vick is really back on top now.

Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles agreed on a six-year contract on Monday that again makes the Pro Bowl quarterback one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.

A source familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press the deal is worth $100 million, including about $40 million guaranteed. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because terms weren't released.

Vick has come a long way since spending 18 months in federal prison on dogfighting charges. He led the Eagles to the NFC East title last year, was the starting quarterback in the Pro Bowl and was the AP Comeback Player of the Year.

"I'm very happy we were able to reach an agreement with Michael on this long-term contract," Eagles coach Andy Reid said in a statement. "It's a product of all the hard work Michael has done to better himself over the last couple of years, both on and off the field. I'm very proud that he has been able to achieve success again in this league, but he'll be the first one to tell you that there is a lot of work yet to be done by him and this team as a whole.

"And there's no doubt in my mind that he will continue on that path."

Vick was due to earn slightly more than $16 million this season after the Eagles designated him the franchise player in February. He'll make a little less, possibly giving the Eagles salary cap flexibility to give Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson an extension.

The 31-year-old Vick joined the Eagles in 2009, and played sparingly as the third-string QB behind Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb. He started last year as the backup, but forced his way into the starting role with his exceptional performances after Kolb got hurt in the season opener.

Vick guided the Eagles to an 8-3 record in 11 games as a starter in his first season playing full-time since 2006. He set career highs in yards passing (3,018), touchdowns passing (21), touchdowns rushing (9), completion percentage (62.6) and passer rating (100.2). Vick also rushed for 676 yards.

Vick, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft, once was a megastar with the Atlanta Falcons. He signed a $130 million, 10-year deal in 2005 that made him the top-paid player in the league then. But Vick lost it all when he went to jail and he eventually filed for bankruptcy.

He was reviled by fans when he came back, but has won them over with good behavior off the field, a humble attitude and spectacular play.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Former NBA player Javaris Crittenton, who was suspended from the league for having guns in a locker room with teammate Gilbert Arenas, was arrested Monday in Southern California to face a murder charge in a deadly Atlanta shooting.

Crittenton was taken into custody at about 8 p.m. at John Wayne Airport in Orange County after checking in for a Delta Air Lines flight to Atlanta, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

Eimiller said he was arrested without incident by FBI agents with assistance from the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities were trying to determine whether Crittenton will make an initial appearance in federal court, or be taken directly to Atlanta to face state charges there.

"He offered to turn himself in," lawyer Brian Steel told The Associated Press earlier Monday. "He's not guilty. We look forward to getting it to the courts."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported that Crittenton planned to surrender in Atlanta.

Police earlier obtained a murder warrant for Crittenton in the Aug. 19 shooting of 22-year-old Jullian Jones, a mother of four young children. Police say Jones was walking with two men when she was shot and they believe one of the men with her was the target.

Police spokesman Carlos Campos on Friday said the motive appears to be retaliation for a robbery in April, in which Crittenton was a victim.

When asked about Steel's statement that Crittenton planned to surrender, Atlanta police didn't confirm it.

"Mr. Crittenton is wanted for murder," Sgt. Curtis Davenport said late Monday. "We will be pleased when he is taken into our custody in a peaceful manner."

When he was with the Washington Wizards in December 2009, Crittenton and Arenas had a dispute over a card game on a team flight. Two days later, Arenas brought four guns to the locker room and set them in front of Crittenton's locker with a sign telling him to "PICK 1." Crittenton then took out his own gun.

Crittenton pleaded guilty in January 2010 to a misdemeanor gun charge and received a year of unsupervised probation. Arenas entered his guilty plea on Jan. 15. He served a short time in a halfway house.

Steel said he was retained by Crittenton's family on Monday morning, and was in contact with Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and the FBI Fugitive Task Force to make arrangements for the former player's arrest.

"They asked that he come to Atlanta, and we said 'no problem,'" Steel said.

Crittenton is on the roster of the NBA developmental league's Dakota Wizards.

Aug 29, 2011

Okay, so please try to follow me on this one.  Remember when it was announced that Will Smith's son, Trey, was one of the first people to dismissed the rumors that his father and stepmother had separated on Twitter?  Well, it turns out that the Twitter account that was supposed to have been his was a fake.  I know right?  Go figure.  So even though Will and Jada eventually made a statement to address the rumor, it's kinda of curious that a fake account was basically what got the ball rolling.
The FBI has joined the search in returning Javaris Crittenton, former NBA player and Georgia Tech standout, to Atlanta for the murder of 22 year old Julian Jones.  Jones, who was a mother of four, was killed a week ago in a drive-by shooting in Atlanta.  Crittenton is believed to be in Los Angeles.
Jones' family spoke about the naming of a suspect in her death:
"We didn't only lose a mother, a friend, or a daughter, or a fiancé, we lost a loved one who was really special to us in our hearts," June Woods, Jones' mother, said.
Investigators believe that Crittenton was aiming for someone else that was with Jones, but ended up killing her instead.  This entire incident is said to have stem from a robbery that had taken place earlier in the year.  Crittenton was the one that was robbed.
"If you're a star player like that, you have enough money to, even if he was robbed, even if that was the case, he had enough money to replace it. You can never put a price on her life," Harel Butler, Jones' fiancé, said.
Crittenton is a former Georgia Tech standout who went on to the NBA and played for the Washington Wizards.  He made headlines when he got into an altercation with Gilbert Arenas and Arenas pulled a gun out on him.  Because he had a gun in his lock, which is strictly prohibited, he along with Arenas were both suspended.
Colin Powell
Washington (AP) - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday dismissed as "cheap shots" the criticism leveled at him and others in Vice President Dick Cheney's memoir.

It was the latest volley in a clash that stretches back to their first years in the George W. Bush administration.

Powell went so far as to say that if Cheney's staff and others in Bush's White House had been as forthcoming as the State Department in the case involving CIA operative Valerie Plame, the indictment and conviction of Cheney's friend and former chief of staff never would have happened.

Powell made the remarks Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation" ahead of the Tuesday release of Cheney's book, "In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir." Cheney said in an earlier NBC interview that the book would cause "heads to explode" in Washington, a description Powell said he expected from a supermarket tabloid and not a former vice president.

"My head isn't exploding. I haven't noticed any other heads exploding in Washington," Powell said. "From what I've read in the newspapers and seen on television it's essentially a rehash of events of seven or eight years ago."

Cheney and Powell had numerous disagreements in the administration, particularly over policy toward Iraq and the run-up to the 2003 invasion by U.S.-led forces. Still, Powell termed "nonsense" Cheney's description of how Powell went outside with his criticism of administration policies.

Powell also suggested that Cheney wrongly took credit for Powell's resignation from the State Department in 2004; Powell said he had always planned to serve only four years. He labeled as "almost condescending" the tone of Cheney's criticism of Condoleezza Rice, who succeeded him as secretary of state.

"Mr. Cheney has had a long and distinguished career and I hope in his book that's what he will focus on, not these cheap shots that he's taking at me and other members of the administration who served to the best of our ability for President Bush," Powell said.

On the Plame matter, Powell said Cheney tries to "lay it all off" on Powell and Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state under Powell.

Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was convicted of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI during its investigation into who leaked to the news media that Plame, the wife of a former ambassador critical of the Bush administration, worked for the CIA.

Powell said that when Armitage realized he was the anonymous source cited by syndicated columnist Robert Novak in an article that revealed Plame's CIA connection, Armitage contacted Powell and they spoke to the Justice Department and the FBI for the probe ordered by Bush.

"If the White House and the operatives in the White House — on Mr. Cheney's staff and elsewhere in the White House — had been as forthcoming with the FBI as Mr. Armitage was, this problem would not have reached the dimensions that it reached," Powell said.

Instead, Powell said, the FBI continued for two more months trying to find out what had happened in the White House and that a special counsel ended up conducting a two-year probe of what he called a "mess."

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

On this day in 1958, Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana.  The late King of Pop would have celebrated his 53rd birthday on today.  We salute him.  Gone but never forgotten!

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- South African police are investigating an image posted on Facebook of a white man with a hunting rifle and a big grin kneeling in a classic hunter's pose over his "prey" -- what appears to be the lifeless body of a black boy.

The picture was published on the front page of South Africa's Sunday Times along with a police plea for the man in the picture or anyone who recognizes him to help their investigation.

It is not clear if the picture is authentic, or whether it has been digitally manipulated. Also unknown is the fate of the child.

The Sunday Times quotes officials saying anyone party to the production and posting of the photograph could be charged under several laws including the Children's Act, the Films and Publications Act and the Criminal Procedure Act.

The Facebook page in which the photo appeared can be viewed here.

Aug 28, 2011

Superstar Beyonce Knowles took to the black carpet of the MTV VMA's to announce that she is with child.  The pop diva absolutely glowed in a long flowing red dress.  Congrats goes out to her and Jay-Z.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — In New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward, the grasses grow taller than people and street after street is scarred by empty decaying houses, the lives that once played out inside their walls hardly imaginable now.

St. Claude Avenue, the once moderately busy commercial thoroughfare, looks like the main street of a railroad town bypassed long ago by the interstate. Most buildings are shuttered, "For Sale" signs stuck on their sides. There aren't many buyers. And the businesses that are open are mostly corner stores where folks buy pricey cigarettes, liquor and packaged food.

Six years after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, the New Orleans neighborhood that was hardest hit still looks like a ghost town. Redevelopment has been slow in coming, and the neighborhood has just 5,500 residents — one-third its pre-Katrina population.

But politicians, investors and celebrities continue to promise a better future. City leaders recently announced plans to rebuild a high school and pave the neighborhood's roads. And actor Wendell Pierce, who stars in an HBO series about New Orleans, is backing a new supermarket for an area that hasn't had one in 20 years.

While residents welcome the news, they remain skeptical. Promises have been dashed too many times.

Look around you at the Katrina houses!" said Robert Stark, a 54-year-old disabled veteran, sweating in stifling August heat on a porch looking onto Flood Street. He waved at two vacant crumbling houses, like so many that dot the Lower 9th Ward.

He shook his head and added: "Look at the grass." In many lots, fields of high grass grow in place of houses. "There ain't nothing new down here. Nothing new ... nothing new."

That's not completely true.

Since Katrina, the predominantly black neighborhood has been the site of rebuilding by environmental groups and thousands of volunteers. There's now an eco-friendly community center and a cluster of more than 50 modernistic houses, built with the help of actor Brad Pitt. It sits near where the floodwall toppled on Aug. 29, 2005, killing dozens of people and swamping thousands of homes with floodwaters that reached rooftops.

Also, a charter school has been rebuilt and many of the shotgun-style homes and Creole cottages in the older part of the neighborhood, Holy Cross, are a display of bright New Orleans colors and cheery yards.

But residents of the Lower 9th Ward, downriver from the French Quarter, nevertheless feel left behind.

Other parts of New Orleans have flourished thanks to federal recovery dollars that have brought new businesses, schools and streets.

Entrepreneurship and civic engagement is up, city schools have shown test-score gains and the middle class is growing, according to a new report by the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, a group tracking the city's recovery. Even crime — still nearly twice the national average — is being held in check and falling, the report said. Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers is getting closer to finishing $14 billion in work to better shield the city from future hurricanes.

"Some of the data shows that New Orleans is rebuilding better than before," said Allison Plyer, deputy director of the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center.

Still, Plyer said the Lower 9th Ward is among a number of low-income communities that have had difficulty rebuilding since Katrina's flooding.

In the Lower 9th Ward, the fire station for Engine 39 hasn't been rebuilt. Instead, the firefighters use a trailer. Schools and churches are boarded up. Scores of houses still bear the markings of search-and-rescue crews — the now familiar "X" spray painted on doors and the front of houses to designate whether a building had been searched, by whom and whether any bodies had been found inside. The only difference is they are faded now.

The lack of people makes those who've come back feel that their neighborhood has been forgotten, even though a steady stream of politicians came to promise to help after Katrina and millions of dollars flowed in.

Now there's a new push to revive the neighborhood.

In recent days, city leaders have put forward plans to rebuild the Alfred Lawless High School and spend $45 million repaving most of the streets where the heaviest damage took place.

A group of investors that includes Pierce, a New Orleans native starring on the HBO show "Treme," has announced plans to build a full-scale grocery store on the grounds of a former baseball field by 2013. Developers hope to get federal hurricane recovery low-interest and forgivable loans. If built, the 25,000-square-foot store would represent one of the first pioneering commercial investments for the Lower 9th Ward since Katrina.

Pierce said big-chain supermarkets are unable to see the potential for profit in a place like the Lower 9th Ward, where his parents lived before he was born.

"Corporate America only sees the risk side of the ledger," he said. "I'm tired of industry standing on the sidelines. There is value here, there is wealth here... It's pent-up demand and I feel as though it is something that can be mined."

Not everyone is convinced.

David J. Livingston, a Wisconsin-based grocery consultant who's studied the New Orleans market, said the Lower 9th Ward is too depopulated to support a supermarket. He questioned whether the Lower 9th Ward, cut off by an industrial canal from the rest of New Orleans, can ever be a lively spot for commerce despite the best efforts of actors Pitt and Pierce.

"All the work that Brad Pitt has done, has it really made a significant difference? Glad he did it, better than it was. But it's still not the garden spot of New Orleans," Livingston said, referring to the cluster of eco-friendly homes built by the Pitt-backed foundation Make It Right.

But local residents and merchants hold out hope the supermarket can help turn things around.

"Maybe some of the folks going to the supermarket would come here," said April Lawrence, the owner of a beauty salon who took a chance and opened in 2009 on Dauphine Street. "Today, I have just one client," she said glumly. Unless business picks up, she said, she will have to close.

Down the street, regulars sat outside on the sidewalk in front of Mercedes' Place, a bar and video poker spot, chatting, drinking and smoking. For them, anything would be better than the options they have now: Drive miles to get something decent to cook up at home.

"It's needed!" Lynette Gibson said emphatically and loudly. She helps her 72-year-old mother, Mercedes, run the bar.

She shook her head at the thought of the handful of gas stations and convenience stores on the main streets. "It's limited," she said. "They only satisfy neighborhood people who drink."

Roosevelt Johnson Sr., a 51-year-old disabled veteran, stood outside his house and looked at the empty grass field where the grocery store would be built.

"With them bringing a supermarket, it might increase property values," he reasoned. "It might bring some normalcy back here. Make it like any other neighborhood where you go 10 minutes to the supermarket."

I can't believe these words are coming out my mouth, but I'm going to say them anyway. The best and most meaningful video to come out in a long time is by Lil Wayne. I know right. I can't believe I said it either. I feel like such a traitor. This is the same dude that said he wish he could f$%k every girl in the world. I know, I know, but I'm telling you his video for 'How To Love' is the truth. I guess the saying is true, "Even a blind squirrel can find a nut." Lil Wayne knocked it out of the park with this one. Of course, it doesn't make up for all his transgressions against women, but even I can admit it is a step in the right direction. I also think the fact that a video like this is coming from Lil Wayne and not Common or Talib Kweli means that more younger people will be more prone to listening to it.

Just in case you haven't seen the video here it is:

I have always learned that life is about choices and how the choices you make will affect those around you.

I would like to dedicate this video to my god-sister, Kimberly! I pray one day you learn 'How To Love' and realize that you are so much more than what people would have you believe.

Atlanta (AJC) - In a letter to his congregation, Bishop Eddie Long said he will continue to "honor and abide by my commitment of confidentiality" after two former church members came forward with new details about their relationship with the charismatic pastor.

It's unclear whether Long is legally bound to maintain that confidentiality if Jamal Parris, 24, and Spencer LeGrande, 23, in fact breached the settlement agreement with the bishop and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Both men said their decision to speak out likely would invalidate the deal, costing them undisclosed monetary rewards.

Since the settlement was sealed, there's no way of knowing what was expected of Long and his accusers.

The two former "armor bearers" sued the Lithonia preacher last September alleging he “uses monetary funds from the accounts of New Birth and other corporate and non-profit corporate accounts to entice the young men with cars, clothes, jewelry, and electronics.”

Each claim that, once they reached the age of consent, Long coerced them into sexual relationships.

Regardless of his legal rights, the bishop does not appear eager to counter the revelations disclosed by his former charges, who talked exclusively last week to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and our reporting partner, Channel 2 Action News.

"All I have to say is what we stated earlier. All parties involved decided to resolve the civil cases out of court," Long said in the letter posted on New Birth's website. "The decision was made to bring closure to this matter and allow us to move forward with the plans God has for this ministry."

The 58-year-old pastor, who on Sunday will celebrate his 24th year at New Birth with a special appearance by Bishop T.D. Jakes, said he "will not be diverted from the important work of the ministry."

Aug 27, 2011

ATLANTA (AJC) — Police said late Friday that former NBA player Javaris Crittenton, who was once suspended by the league over guns in the locker room, has been charged with murder after a woman was shot on an Atlanta street.

Police spokesman Carlos Campos said police have secured a murder warrant for the arrest of Crittenton, who played at Georgia Tech, in connection with the shooting death of 22-year-old Jullian Jones on Aug. 19. Campos said Crittenton is not in custody and is wanted.

Atlanta police Maj. Keith Meadows told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday night that Crittenton is believed to be in the Los Angeles area. He said the FBI is involved in the investigation.

Jones, a mother of four, was walking with a group of people on the city’s southwest side when a dark-colored SUV drove by and she was shot by someone inside the vehicle, police said.

Investigators say they don’t believe the woman was the intended target. Campos said the motive appears to be retaliation for a robbery in April, in which Crittenton was a victim, Campos said in a statement.

Messages left for an agent who has represented Crittenton were not immediately returned Friday night.

Crittenton most recently played in the NBA with the Washington Wizards and was involved in a gun altercation with Gilbert Arenas. He is on the roster of the NBDL’s Dakota Wizards.

Crittenton didn’t play last season because of an ankle injury. He was given a 38-game suspension by the NBA after he and Arenas acknowledged bringing guns into the locker room following a dispute stemming from a card game on a team flight.

Crittenton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge on Jan. 25, 2010 and received probation. He wasn’t re-signed by the Wizards.

The Charlotte Bobcats signed Crittenton to a non-guaranteed contract before last season but he was waived Oct. 15.

Crittenton was the 19th overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007. He played little with Los Angeles and was sent to Memphis in the Pau Gasol deal his rookie year. He was traded to Washington in December 2008.

Crittenton averaged 5.3 points and 1.8 assists in 113 NBA games.

Aug 26, 2011

Thousands filled the pews at the funeral service for megachurch pastor, Zachary Tims, Jr.  It was another megachurch pastor, T.D. Jakes, that delivered the eulogy for Tims who was the founding pastor of New Destiny Christian Center near Orlando.  During his eulogy, Jakes compared Tims to the biblical Jacob, "a man with many problems and defects who was renamed Israel."
"The names represented two different sides of the same person, Jakes said, just as 'Dr. Tims' was different from 'Zach.'"

"I don't know what happened in that room in New York, but I can only hope that as Zach was dying, Dr. Tims stood up," Jakes said.

According to the church Web site, in 1996, Tims "was sent out by his pastor in Baltimore, Md., to begin a work in Orlando. This move was one of great faith as Dr. Tims and his family left behind a lucrative job, a luxurious home, and a high-ranking position in the ministry that they attended." The church started with a handful to grow into a 8,000-member church in central Florida and reached millions via television and radio shows.

Since his death, congregants, friends and fellow clergy have expressed their sentiments through videos and social media, sharing their thoughts about a man many described as compassionate and charismatic. Many mourners expressed their condolences on the church's Facebook page .


Last night BET aired a one hour special to commemorate the untimely passing of R&B songbird, Aaliyah. Participating in the show were Aaliyah's cousin, Jomo Hankerson, Fatima, Missy and Timbaland, Laurieann Gibson, Damon Dash, Ginuine, Tank, and others.

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libyan rebels who took control of Moammar Gadhafi's sprawling compound made a surprising discovery in one of the buildings: a photo album with pictures of Condoleezza Rice.

Though maybe the discovery isn't that surprising. Over the years, the Libyan leader's comments and actions related to the former secretary of state have raised a few eyebrows.

Consider how he talked about her in an interview with Al-Jazeera television in 2007, where he hinted that then-President George W. Bush's top diplomat wielded considerable influence in the Arab world.

"I support my darling black African woman," he said. "I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders. ... Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. ... I love her very much. I admire her, and I'm proud of her, because she's a black woman of African origin."

The following year, Gadhafi and Rice had an opportunity to meet when the secretary of state paid a historic visit to Libya — one that made steps toward normalizing relations after the United States went decades without an ambassador in Tripoli. (The U.S. "doesn't have any permanent enemies," she said during the trip.)

Gahdafi welcomed Rice in his home — one that President Ronald Reagan once ordered bombed in retaliation for Libya's attack on a German disco — for the traditional meal that ends the daylight fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Once again, he repeatedly addressed Rice — "Condi" to her friends — as "Leezza," her aides said.

During the visit, he presented Rice with a diamond ring, a lute, a locket with an engraved likeness of himself inside and an inscribed edition of "The Green Book," a personal political manifesto that explains his "Third Universal Theory for a new democratic society."

Together, the haul was worth $212,000. (Rules prevent her, or any other U.S. official, from keeping gifts from foreign leaders — they generally end up in a warehouse, and some may turn up years later in a presidential library.)

Flash forward three years, when Libyan rebels moved into Gadhafi's Tripoli stronghold and took control. There, left behind in the compound, was Gadhafi's dear Leezza, her image affixed to the pages of a photo book.

Rebels leafed through the album Wednesday after finding it as they rummaged through Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound.

Rice did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the discovery of the photos. In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was also asked about the album.

"I don't need to see the photos," she said. "But bizarre and creepy are good adjectives to describe much of Gadhafi's behavior. So (it) doesn't surprise me. It's deeply bizarre and deeply creepy, though, if it is as you described."

(BlackAmericaWeb) - Harry E. Johnson, Sr. president and CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, announced Thursday evening that Sunday's formal dedication of the memorial on the National Mall had been postponed following forecasts that Hurricane Irene was bearing down on the East Coast and was expected to be a major storm.
"In consultation with the National Park Service, the mayor's office and FEMA, it is with a heavy heart and enormous disappointment that we announce that, in the interest of public safety, we are forced to change our plans," Johnson said at a 7:30 p.m. news conference.
Several hours earlier, Johnson had declared, "We're going forth with our program. We will bring you back tomorrow to talk about if, in fact, we'll have any change, but today we're still confident that we're moving forward with the dedication of the Martin Luther King Memorial."
At the time, forecasts called for heavy rains on Saturday, but no rain on Sunday morning, when the ceremony was set to begin. Sometime after Johnson met with reporters, however, the National Weather Service predicted major thunderstorms for the area and predicted the area could be hard hit by the coming hurricane.
By 6:30 p.m., reporters got word of a 7:30 p.m. news conference.
While Friday's schedule remains unchanged, there were other adjustments for the activities leading up to Sunday's dedication.
On Saturday, the National Prayer Service – the final official event of dedication week – will  be held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception instead of the National Cathedral, which sustained damage earlier in the week when a 5.9 earthquake hit Washington and much of the East coast.
"We have worked with the Park Service to ensure that the memorial will be open to the public, weather permitting, on Saturday. The Memorial will be open Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 12 noon," Johnson said. "Finally, the official dedication ceremony will be moved to a date yet determined in September or October. We will announce those details when we have them."
Johnson thanked the Foundation staff, sponsors and the public for making the memorial "a reality."
"In the words of Dr. King, 'We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.' With that in mind, let's remember the spirit of the Memorial – justice, democracy, hope and love," he said.

Friday, Aug. 26

Partners In the Dream (Exhibit Hall) MLK Store
Washington Convention Center
Hall D
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Women Who Dare to Dream Luncheon
Washington Convention Center
12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 27

National Prayer Service
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

And so many people are wondering why people don't go to church anymore.  I can look at this from two different angles:

1) If there was an agreement made then it should be carried out to the terms that both parties agreed upon.  The man did the work and he should be compensated for it.

But on other hand 

2) Now you have to compensate ministers for doing the right thing.  Can you image if Dr. King was only willing to get involved in fighting injustice if he was somehow going to be compensated?  What happened to Ms. Kathryn Johnston was unjust and the minister should have felt compelled to see that the right thing happened in this case.  But maybe that's just me. 


Atlanta (AJC) - An Atlanta minister who was a spokesman for the family of Kathryn Johnston, the 92-year-old woman killed by police in a botched drug raid, is suing the estate for nearly $500,000.

The Rev. Markel Hutchins said there was a verbal agreement that he would get 10 percent of the $4.9 million awarded by the city to the estate, represented by Johnston's niece, Sarah Dozier.

Under the structure of the 2010 settlement,  the estate got $3 million immediately and will get another $1.9 million in fiscal year 2012.

"I served as the family and Estate's spokesperson, strategist, advisor and consultant with a clear understanding of how I would be compensated," Hutchins said in a statement Thursday night. "My staff and I holistically managed the public and private efforts that made the significant settlement possible and yielded Mrs. Johnston's heirs millions of dollars. I literally risked my own safety and security to advance the cause of the Estate of Kathryn Johnston and expended considerable resources of my own with no reimbursement or remuneration to date."

Neither Dozier nor her attorney commented to the Associated Press Thursday.

Johnston was killed in November 2006 when a police drug unit tried to execute a "no-knock" warrant on her home using information from an informant. Johnston got a gun and fired a shot when officers kicked in her door. Police shot back and killed her. When no drugs were found in her home, officers planted evidence that had been recovered from another raid, investigations revealed.

Four officers were sentenced to federal prison for conspiring to violate Johnston's civil rights.

(Eurweb) - New Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson, actor Jamie Foxx and an assortment of other celebs are reportedly associated with a man recently arrested in a five-state Drug Enforcement Agency sting of an international drug cartel, Star magazine reports.

Warren Braithwaite was allegedly part of the cartel that distributed thousands of pounds of marijuana internationally. He's also an usher in the True Love Worship Center International in Van Nuys, Calif., the ministry of Jackson and his wife, according to the report.

The Warriors declined to comment, but Jackson told Star he has "not seen one piece of evidence that Brother Warren is the person police say he is. Our prayers, thoughts and love are for Warren and his family."

Braithwaite, meanwhile, is reportedly a friend and business associate of Foxx, Star reports. Just 12 days before he was arrested, attended a charity event to honor actor Foxx and NBA legend Magic Johnson, the report says.

Kevin Mucthison, Braithwaite's alleged partner who goes by the name Sincere, collaborated with Lady Gaga on the performer's Heartbeats by Lady Gaga headphones. Mucthison is also working on a headphone project with Foxx, according to Star.

The Warriors hired Jackson in June; it is his first NBA coaching gig. He spent 17 seasons in the league as a point guard, finishing third in career assists. He was rookie of the year in 1988. Jackson played for the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets.


Aug 25, 2011


Supermodel turned business mogul, Iman, took time out her busy schedule to talk to about the recent 'Slave Earrings' controversy surrounding Vogue Italia.

Here is what she had to say:

I’m a huge fan of Franca Sozzani and Vogue Italia’s website because they have a whole section on black models. Is it controversial? Yes. The naming of it, I don’t get it. I sometimes wonder in this age of reality shows has it become part of the language–the more controversy the more [buzz] it creates. But yeah, I didn’t like it. Slave does not make it ethnic. Mind you, it’s not lost in translation–the word slave, we know what it is. They might as well have called them “nigger earrings.” For somebody like Franca Sozzani, who did that whole black issue for Vogue, somebody should have said something.


I'm not sure about that pic. It's actually kind of scary if you ask me, but it was taken from ESPN Magazine's article that was written by famed writer Toure'. In the article entitled, Imagining Michael Vick as a white quarterback, Toure' explains what a lot of us already know.

(ESPN) - WHEN MICHAEL VICK PLAYS, I see streetball. I don't just mean that sort of football where you have to count to four-Mississippi before you can rush the quarterback, nearly everything breaks down and it's all great fun. I also mean street basketball. Vick's style reminds me of Allen Iverson -- the speed, the court sense, the sharp cuts, the dekes, the swag. In those breathtaking moments when the Eagles QB abandons the pocket and takes off, it feels as if he's thumbing his nose at the whole regimented, militaristic ethos of the game.

All of that is why, to me, Vick seems to have a deeply African-American approach to the game. I'm not saying that a black QB who stands in the pocket ain't playing black. I'm saying Vick's style is so badass, so artistic, so fluid, so flamboyant, so relentless -- so representative of black athletic style -- that if there were a stat for swagger points, Vick would be the No. 1 quarterback in the league by far.

Race is an undeniable and complex element of Vick's story, both because of his style as well as the rarity of black QBs in the NFL. A decade after he became the first black QB to be drafted No. 1 overall, about one in five of the league's passers is African-American, compared with two-thirds of all players. But after his arrest for dogfighting, so many people asked: Would a white football player have gotten nearly two years in prison for what Vick did to dogs?

This question makes me cringe. It is so facile, naive, shortsighted and flawed that it is meaningless. Whiteness comes with great advantages, but it's not a get-out-of-every-crime-free card. Killing dogs is a heinous crime that disgusts and frightens many Americans. I'm certain white privilege would not be enough to rescue a white NFL star caught killing dogs.

The problem with the "switch the subject's race to determine if it's racism" test runs much deeper than that. It fails to take into account that switching someone's race changes his entire existence. In making Vick white, you have him born to different parents. That alone sets his life trajectory in an entirely different direction. Thus when this hypothetical white Michael Vick ... wait, I can't even continue that sentence in good faith. I mean, who would this white Vick be? That person is unknowable. When you alter his race, it's like those Back to the Future movies where someone goes back in time, inadvertently changes one small thing about his parents' dating history and then the person starts to disappear. If Vick had been born to white parents, you wouldn't even be reading this right now. That Vick would have had radically different options in life compared with the Vick who grew up in the projects of Newport News, Va., where many young black men see sports as the only way out.

This is not to say there aren't insights to be gained from hypotheticals. One pertinent question: Would a white kid have been introduced to dogfighting at a young age and have it become normalized to the extent that he builds it into his life after he joins the NFL? It's possible, but it's far less likely because what made Vick stand out among dogfighters is less race than class. The deep pockets of an NFL star led to a kennel that was too big not to fail eventually. But if it did, though, would this white kid have been busted? Remember, it wasn't suspicion of dogfighting that started the investigation that put Vick in jail. It was that element that we've all seen hold back or bring down so many athletes from the hood -- the entourage. Vick's cousin Davon Boddie was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell in Hampton, Va. When police asked him for his address, he led them to the home where Bad Newz Kennels was located. After that, Vick never had a chance.

Here's another question: If Vick grew up with the paternal support that white kids are more likely to have (72 percent percent of black children are born to unwed mothers compared with 29 percent of white children), would he have been involved in dogfighting? I ask this not to look for an excuse but to explore the roots of his behavior. Vick's stunningly stupid moral breakdown with respect to dogs is certainly related to the culture of the world he grew up in, which he says fully embraced dogfighting. But it's also related to the household he grew up in.

Vick's father, Michael Boddie, was not a positive influence on him growing up. Boddie admitted to The Washington Post that he was a cocaine user and had been high and drunk around young Vick. He says he often prepared the family garage so Vick could have pit bull fights there. Boddie's account is disputed by a family friend, who says Vick's mother would not have allowed that. Either way, at some point in Vick's youth, his father became estranged from the family. This breakdown of Vick's paternal relationship is a pattern that's all too common among black men of his generation. Too many are left to define manhood on their own, so they gravitate toward the most charismatic and inspiring men in their world. Sometimes those men are gritty local sports coaches who teach them the value of hard work, but sometimes they're ghetto celebrities who are unsavory role models with bad habits.

Ultimately, there is no separating Vick from his circumstances: his race, parents, economics and opportunities. Alter any of those elements and everything about him and how the world sees him would be unrecognizable.

So let's look at him a different way. Let's see him as someone in the third act of the epic movie that is his life, leading a team that many expect to see in the Super Bowl. Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" is playing underneath because the humbled protagonist has finally overcome his personal demons and has begun living up to his athletic promise. And to those who believe we should judge a man by how he responds when dealing with the worst life has to offer -- with how he climbs after he hits rock bottom -- Michael Vick has become heroic.

And that has nothing to do with race.

Aug 24, 2011

Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande speak to Channel 2 Action News

MIAMI (WSBTV) -- For the first time since they settled their case against Bishop Eddie Long, two of the young men who accused him of sexual abuse are speaking out.

Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande agreed to their first sit-down interview with Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer inside a Miami hotel late last week.

Parris and LeGrande and three other young men entered into a confidential settlement with Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist church three months ago.

By sitting down to talk with Fleischer, they risk losing that money, but said it's worth it because it's more important for everyone to know the truth.

Eddie Long accusers break their silence Pt. 1

Eddie Long accusers break their silence Pt. 2

"It's just not enough anymore. I thought I could cover the pain up. I thought I could move, start over and everything will go away. I was terribly wrong," Parris said.

Parris, 24, still bears the scars of abuse he says he suffered at the hands of Long. He is angry and emotional and wants Long to know what he's done to him.

"Before I used to look at you like you were the man. You ran everything, but now I got a voice. Like you got a voice," Parris said.

LeGrande wanted to follow his spiritual father's path and become a preacher. His strong faith in God has given him a sense of calm now.

"I was fatherless, and to have a man love me just for who I was, I didn't have to change myself, I just had to be me, I just had to love him back," he said.

"The hardest part for me is watching somebody who you love destroy himself," LeGrande said.

But the two men do share the most traumatic experience of their young lives. Both said Long manipulated their desperate need for a father into unwanted sexual contact that destroyed the boys they used to be.

"It's the hopeful kid in you like, maybe daddy's gonna be daddy today and maybe this thing done weighed enough on him that I can't let my kids go out there like that. I'm not gonna let my kids take this," Parris said.

Once the four lawsuits were filed last September, Parris says he watched on TV as Long addressed his congregation for the first time.

"I feel like David against Goliath, but I got five rocks and I haven't thrown one yet," Long said in his sermon that day.

"I couldn't even stop crying cause I was angry. And the way he walked off and the way I saw the people stand up and applaud this man, how dare you?" Parris said.

They said all four of the young men who sued Long eventually sat across the table from him together during settlement talks.

Even behind closed doors, they said Long never admitted to any of the abuse, nor did he apologize. But he did settle the case, paying cash to the four young men who sued, plus another who joined in later. For a while they said they felt vindicated.

"Tell me you didn't do it. The case has now been closed. For real? For what? I thought you got five stones?" Parris said.

"If you read the Bible again, mister, we are David. And we definitely did the right thing," LeGrande said. Parris said he loves that he hates Long and hates that he loves him. That torment has led the two young men to start writing their story, every detail, chapter by chapter. They said the book will be as much for themselves as it is for others.

"Is there a lot out there that people still don't know?" Fleischer asked.

"Absolutely," said LeGrande. Parris added, "You ain't ready for the secrets. I don't care if this book sells one copy. But if it's just for me, this is what my life looked like, this is my voice for the first time.”

They want to help others still going through it. And they said writing a book will help them express what they've been through, and help others recognize the warning signs.

"Ten years of details, each person, it's gonna be a book full of 'wow's' and 'ahh's' and 'Oh my God's.'" LeGrande said.

Parris said he’s considered suicide. "I would love to pull a trigger. I would love to take pills and go to sleep, and not have to worry about anything. But I can't, I have a kid on the way. So I have to fight every day to make sure I leave a better name for my son than I do for me."

LeGrande also has a little boy and both men said they want to be better fathers than they had.

"We're trying to help, not just spread the word about a person, we're trying to break people loose about their fear of coming out and speaking," LeGrande said. He said it’s not just teens who are around Long now, but adults who've kept his secrets for years.

"Once you have that much money to pay people and your money's involved in their lifestyle, you have people that's gonna support you no matter if you had a videotape showing it," LeGrande said.

They said the four young men who sued Long are all heterosexual and never had intercourse with him. But the scars of what did happen linger. Both Parris and LeGrande said they understand they are risking their confidential settlement money by speaking about the case. Both said they did not care about that.

Fleischer was able to reach a representative for Long. He declined to comment about the proposed book, or what the young men had to say now.

Thursday on Channel 2 Action News at 5, tune in to hear the young men describe how they said Long manipulated them, and turned the relationships sexual. They also share why they feel more afraid now than while it was happening.
August 25, 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the dimming of a bright and shining star.  At the age of 22, Aaliyah Dana Haughton was tragically taken from this world when she and eight others parished in a plane crash in the Bahamas. 
Aaliyah was definitely a shining star who was well on her way to achieving superstardom.  I, like so many, was definitely a fan.  I can still remember having a skirt tailored made like the one she had in the 'Are You That Somebody' video (you know the one with the splits on both sides) because I couldn't find anything like it in my hometown of Albany, Ga.  I can remember my freshman dorm at Tennessee State University (yes, I did my freshman year at TSU before transferring to FAMU) doing the entire choreography for that same video for the Dorm Step Show during homecoming.  To put it mildly, I was and still am an Aaliyah fan.
Aaliyah was one of those celebrities that even though you didn't know her personally you still cried like a baby at the news of her death.  I can still remember receiving the news on my two-way pager (do you remember those).  I think I went into shock because I was in such disbelief.  How could such a beautiful young lady who was no more than a year older than me be taken from this world?  She was just beginning to come into her own and now she was gone.  Her death made me question my own mortality because as a young person we always like to think we're invincible, but Aaliyah's death was proof that we're not.  Her death served as proof that life was fleeting and not to be taken for granted.
So here on The Savvy Sista website we salute the life and legacy of one Miss Aaliyah Dana Haughton.  She maybe gone from the physical world, but her essence and life shall never be forgotten.  I just can't believe it's been 10 years already.  R.I.P. Baby Girl!
Please feel free to share your memories about Aaliyah.
I read this quote from Sophia A. Nelson in her article entitled, The 'two Micheles': Obama, Bachmann held to different standards, and it basically gave me a 'Hallelujah Moment'.
Here is what Sophia wrote: 

It's similar to the furor from some in the black community over The Help movie and its depiction of Jim Crow era "maids". It is not that the story was wrong, or that it was not true that caused alarm. It was the fact that a young white woman could tell the story and receive such critical acclaim, while a black woman telling the same story would not.

This describes my sentiments about 'The Help' perfectly.  I don't dispute the fact that the movie may show an accurate portrayal of black maids during that time, I just have a problem with the fact that it seems every time a white person tells our story they get critical acclaim and celebrated, while black authors who tell the same stories go virtually unknown.  This is my issue with books like The Help and The Secret Life of Bees.  I don't dispute the fact that these may be good books, I'm just sick and tired of other people being able to tell our stories and get applauded for it, but wonderful books like Sugar or The Darkest Child twirl in obscurity.
Famed dancer/choreographer/director/actress/every woman, Debbie Allen, is slated to guest star in a few episodes on the upcoming 8th season of 'Grey's Anatomy'.  Debbie will be filling the role of Jackson Avery's (Jesse Williams) mother, Catherine Avery.  The chance of seeing Debbie on the screen almost makes it worth watching the show again for me.
Debbie will also be directing an episode of the show.  Currently, she has already helmed three episodes in the past.

JACKSON, Miss. — Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree on Tuesday became the first black candidate in modern times to win major-party nod for Mississippi governor in a state that hasn't had a black statewide official since Reconstruction.

DuPree, 57, won a Democratic primary runoff and advances to the Nov. 8 general election to face Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, 56, of Brandon.

"I'm just so proud of the fact that we had people who believed in us, believed in the message, believed in what we're trying to accomplish. I'm so proud that people took a hold of that," DuPree said in a phone interview from a Hattiesburg community center, where he celebrated with family and supporters.

DuPree is the first black mayor of Hattiesburg, and is running a race-neutral campaign. In a 15-second commercial recently posted to his campaign website, DuPree looks directly into the camera and says: "I'm here to talk to you about color – green."

DuPree holds up a $1 bill and continues: "Better jobs mean more money for Mississippians. And we do that with better schools and safer streets. More green means a better tomorrow."

With a population that's 37 percent black, Mississippi has more black elected officials than any state in the nation. However, that doesn't extend statewide.

Funding could be a challenge for DuPree in the 11 weeks leading to the general election. Bryant already has spent $3.1 million on his campaign – more than twice as much combined as DuPree and his primary opponent, developer Bill Luckett, who is white.

"We're going to campaign regardless of whether we have a million dollars or half a million dollars," DuPree said.

Luckett was joined at his election-night party by actor Morgan Freeman, his partner in two Clarksdale businesses, and whom he had mentioned frequently during this campaign.

Two other high-profile black politicians ran for Mississippi governor as independents in the 1970s. Charles Evers, brother of slain civil-rights leaders Medgar Evers, ran in 1971. State Sen. Henry Kirksey ran in 1975. Neither had to go through a primary.

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour could not seek a third term this year.


People visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, on Monday, Aug. 22, 2011. The memorial will be officially dedicated on Sunday.
Sculptor Lei Yixin, of China, (center)
The memorial includes a 450-foot-long granite wall inscribed with 14 quotations from the civil rights leader from speeches he made in Atlanta, New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Montgomery, Ala., as well as from King's books and his letter from a Birmingham, Ala., jail.

Aug 23, 2011

Wow!  If you're a sports fan like I'm a sports fan then you are very familiar with the legend that is Pat Summitt of the Tennessee Volunteers.  At the age of 59, Pat was recently diagnosed with early onset dementia.  As someone who has a family member to be diagnosed around the exact same age, I know how devastating this can be to a family.  My prayers definitely go out to her and her family.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee's Pat Summitt plans to coach "as long as the good Lord is willing" despite recently being diagnosed with early onset dementia.

In a statement from Summitt released by the university on Tuesday, the Hall of Fame coach said she visited with doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., after the end of the 2010-11 basketball season ended and was diagnosed with the condition over the summer.

"I plan to continue to be your coach," Summitt said. "Obviously, I realize I may have some limitations with this condition since there will be some good days and some bad days."

The Knoxville News Sentinel first reported Summitt's condition. The 59-year-old Summitt told the newspaper she plans to rely on medication and mental exercises to manage the progressive condition that could lead to Alzheimer's and planned to inform the current Lady Volunteers of her diagnosis on Tuesday afternoon in a team meeting.

Summitt said longtime assistants Holly Warlick, Dean Lockwood and Mickie DeMoss will take on more responsibilities with the team going forward.

As college basketball's winningest coach, Summitt has spent 37 seasons at Tennessee and has 1,071 career victories and eight national championships. The Lady Vols have failed to reach the Final Four since they last won the national championship in 2008.

Both UT-Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek and athletics director Joan Cronan pledged their support of Summitt's decision to continue coaching.

"Pat Summitt is our head coach and she will continue to be," Cronan said. "She is an icon not only for women's basketball but for all of women's athletics. For Pat to stand-up and share her health new is just a continuing example of her courage. Life is an unknown and none of us have a crystal ball. But I do have a record of knowing what Pat Summitt stands for; excellence, strength, honesty and courage."

Summitt said she met with local doctors after becoming concerned about her health, and those physicians recommended she undergo a more extensive evaluation. Summitt told the News Sentinel that her maternal grandmother had suffered from severe dementia.

"Pat came to us with concerns about her health and our preliminary evaluation was suggestive of dementia. Because of her young age, Pat was referred to neurology for formal evaluation," Dr. Amy Bentley, with Knoxville's Internal Medicine Associates, said in a statement. "After extensive testing, a diagnosis of early Alzheimer's was made and appropriate treatment was initiated."

Damn is nothing not sacred to these gossip blogs and magazines?  After split rumors dominated the internet, the Smiths finally made a statement to deny they were breaking up after 13 years of marriage.
Here is what they said:

"Although we are reluctant to respond to these types of press reports, the rumors circulating about our relationship are completely false. We are still together, and our marriage is intact."

I bet the only reason why they responded is because of their children because other than that I would not have paid that foolishness any attention.
Al Sharpton
NEW YORK – August 23, 2011 – Reverend Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist and minister, has been named host of "PoliticsNation," a nightly program airing weeknights live at 6 p.m. ET on MSNBC. The announcement was made by Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC. "PoliticsNation" will debut on August 29. In his new role, Sharpton will lead a lively and informed discussion of the top headlines, bringing viewers his take on events in his signature style.

"I've known Rev. Sharpton for over a decade and have tremendous respect for him. He has always been one of our most thoughtful and entertaining guests," said Griffin. "I'm thrilled that he's now reached a point in his career where he's able to devote himself to hosting a nightly show. 'PoliticsNation' is going to be an incredibly strong kick-off to our evening schedule."

In addition to being a frequent guest on MSNBC throughout the network's history, Rev. Sharpton has also served as an occasional guest host on several programs, most recently on "MSNBC Live at 6PM" and "The Ed Show." He joins the network at a time where MSNBC has experienced tremendous ratings growth, consistently topping CNN in primetime programming.

"I am very happy and honored to join the MSNBC team as we collectively try to get America to 'Lean Forward,'" Sharpton said. "It is a natural extension of my life work and growth. We all learn from our pain and stand up from our stumbling and one must either learn to lean forward or fall backwards. I'm glad they have given me the opportunity to continue my forward lean."

With over 40 years of experience as a community leader, politician, minister and advocate, the Rev. Al Sharpton is one of America's most-renowned civil rights leaders. Sharpton's highly visible career began at the tender age of four when he preached his first sermon. A successful civil rights career soon followed, helping Sharpton hold such notable positions as the Youth Director of New York's Operation Breadbasket, Director of Ministers for National Rainbow Push coalition, and founder of his own broad-based progressive civil rights organization, the National Action Network (NAN), one of the leading civil rights organizations in the world. Since its inception in 1991, NAN has expanded to encompass chapters throughout the United States and maintain important regional offices in Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, GA; Detroit, MI; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Las Vegas, NV; and Los Angeles, CA. Sharpton was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in 2004. Rev. Sharpton also hosts a nationally syndicated radio show that broadcasts in 40 markets, five days a week. He resides in New York and has two daughters, Dominique and Ashley.

"PoliticsNation" will air weeknights from 6:00-7:00PM ET on MSNBC. Matthew Saal is Executive Producer.

My family has been blowing me up about the earthquake here in Colorado and now I'm calling them about the earthquake on the east coast.  What is really going on?
(CNN) An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 struck near Washington, D.C., the U.S.Geological Survey said.

The epicenter was in Mineral, Virginia.

"It's one of the largest that we've had there," said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones.

Aftershocks were a concern, she said. "People should be expecting (them), especially over the next hour or two," she added.

The quake was felt in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New York City and on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where President Barack Obama is vacationing. Cell phone service has been disrupted in New York City part of which has been evacuated.

Traders in the New York Stock Exchange felt the shaking and shouted to each other, "Keep trading!" CNN's business correspondent Alison Kosik reported from the floor at 2:20 p.m. E.T.

"Everybody was told to take the stairs," Wolf Blitzer said, speaking live at 2 p.m. E.T. from CNN's D.C. bureau.

The Pentagon has been evacuated, CNN's Barbara Starr reports. "When the building began shaking rather violently, hundreds of people began streaming out," she said, because many people thought that the building was under attack. Starr was standing in the Pentagon's press office when the roof started to shake.

Twitter traffic suggests the quake was felt all over the East Coast.

In Philadelphia, HunterPence3 tweeted, "Wow Earthquake just shook the entire locker room!"

In Cleveland, "tribeinsider" wrote "I'm no expert but i think we just had an earthquake here."

And even in Toronto, Canada, tweets said that the shaking could be felt for minutes.

First of all, people should have figured this was a rumor when it was being reported that Jada was leaving Will for Marc Anthony.  Are you serious right?  Who in their right mind would leave Will Smith for Marc Anthony.  I'm not trying to be funny, but 'C'mon Son!!!!'
Via People:
Are Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith calling it quits?

A tabloid reported Tuesday that the A-List Hollywood couple, who've been married for 13 years, are separating. But Trey Smith, Will's son from a previous marriage, says not so fast.

"Did #WillandJada split? No they did NOT split! False information ... its not true RETWEET!!!" Trey posted to Twitter Tuesday. "Everyone can think what they want ... even if its not true."

Other rumors circulating involve a hookup between Pinkett and her recently separated HawthoRNe costar Marc Anthony.

"All the rumors regarding Marc Anthony and Jada are false. Completely untrue. As for [the reports of a split between] Will and Jada, I'm not commenting on their personal life," Jada's rep, Karynne Tencer, tells PEOPLE.

Adds Anthony's rep: "We unequivocally deny this. Enough is enough. There are families involved, children involved, friendships involved. This is NOT true."

Will and Jada, who married New Year's Eve in 1997 near Pinkett's hometown of Baltimore, met in 1990 when she auditioned and was rejected for the role of Smith's girlfriend on his breakout sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

The couple have two children together, son Jaden, 13, and daughter Willow, 10.

The entire family recently showed off their sprawling Calabasas, Calif., home in Architectural Digest magazine.

After Smith spent time early this summer filming Men in Black 3 in New York City, he and Pinkett looked happy vacationing together in Hawaii.

"I never thought that I'd be married to anybody, and I surely never thought that I'd be married to anybody as long as I've been married to him," Jada told Good Housekeeping of her husband in 2009. "And I plan on being married to him for the rest of my life."