Feb 29, 2012

WASHINGTON (RNS) Evangelist Franklin Graham apologized Tuesday (Feb. 28) to President Obama for questioning his Christian faith and said religion has "nothing to do" with Graham's decision not to support Obama's re-election.

Graham's apology came after a group of prominent black religious leaders criticized the evangelist for saying he did not know whether Obama is a Christian and suggesting that Islamic law considers him to be a Muslim.

Graham, president of the relief organization Samaritan's Purse and the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, said he now accepts Obama's declarations that he is a Christian.

"I regret any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president, Mr. Obama," he said in a statement.

"I apologize to him and to any I have offended for not better articulating my reason for not supporting him in this election -- for his faith has nothing to do with my consideration of him as a candidate."

Graham said he objects to Obama's policy stances on abortion and same-sex marriage, which Graham considers to be in "direct conflict" with Scripture.

More than a dozen members of a religious subgroup of the NAACP had accused Graham of "bearing false witness" and fomenting racial discord.

"We can disagree about what it means to be a Christian engaged in politics, but Christians should not bear false witness," the NAACP statement said. "We are also concerned that Rev. Graham's comments can be used to encourage racism."

Click here to read the entire article.

NEW YORK — Powerful as the NFL is, it’s making way for President Barack Obama.

Opting to play a game on a Wednesday for the first time in more than 60 years, the NFL will open the regular season on Sept. 5, to avoid conflicting with Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention the next night.

The Super Bowl champion New York Giants will host the Wednesday night season-opener starting at 8:30 p.m. EDT; their opponent hasn’t been announced yet.

According to the league, it hasn’t played a game on a Wednesday since Sept. 22, 1948, when the Rams faced the Lions.

The NFL regular season has started on a Thursday since 2002.

This year’s change was announced by the league on Tuesday.

Feb 28, 2012

I literally am sitting at my desk with tears in my eyes as I type this article.  I don't think  I have felt this much shame about being an American since the execution of Troy Davis.  It is times like these I am reminded that no matter how noble our written intentions are in the Constitution, our system is really only as "good" as the people who run it.

If you don't know the story of Tanya  McDowell she made headlines last year when she was arrested for using a friend's address to send her son to a school in a better neighborhood.  At the time, McDowell was homeless but wanted her son to have access to a quality education.

Now before we look at her particular case, I have to tell you all that yesterday salon.com ran an article about Presidential candidate Rick Santorum.  During his stomp for the Republican nomination, Santorum has frequently referenced the fact that his wife home schools their seven children.  Well according to this article, the State of PA picked up part of the tab to home school his children even though his family resided in Virginia at the time.  The article went on to characterize Santorum's behavior as unethical but not quite illegal.  The school district in PA, which tried to recover its money from Santorum, spent two hundred thousand dollars buying computers, software etc for five of the Santorum children for three years.  Oh by the way, Santorum refused to repay the money and the State of PA eventually picked up the tab(what was that again about not making Black people rich by giving them other people's money?).

So this man can lie about his state of residency and use funds from another state to educate his children and NOTHING happens to him but a poor, homeless, mother wants to use someone else's address to send her child to the best school district in her area and it's considered theft of education??? Please tell me I am not the only person who sees something wrong with this scenario.

The basic premise used to charge Tanya McDowell for theft is that the school districts are allotted their budgets based on property taxes, etc and the money is then divided and allocated to different school districts.  They say that by sending her son to a more affluent school district she basically stole the money that was allotted for the education of children who really lived in that district.

Now I guess because they put it in legal terms they think that we have to accept it...Well I don't In fact, I think it's complete BS... First of all not everyone who lives in the district pays property taxes.  For instance, I am under the impression that the friend's address that she used lives in an apartment (it has been described as such in news articles).  If you rent an apartment or a house for that matter in the school district, you do not pay property taxes.  So if you rent a house in the area zoned for the school, are you stealing an education??

Secondly, the Supreme Court has already determined that a primary education is a fundamental right that even illegal aliens are entitled to have.  So illegal immigrants can be educated in the public schools of their choice, but this legal citizen can't choose to send her child to a school in a better area?? Lastly, this woman, by all accounts, was homeless.  If she has no residency, how can you prove that she did not live in the school district?? What if she slept in a homeless shelter in that school district for a week, can her son attend school there then??

I really fear the precedent that this case set.  I understand her lawyer's argument that he had to look out for the best interest of his client and that in this case, the plea deal was her best option... But I shudder to think what this means for the rest of us... Can we say slippery slope??

Girl, I'm feeling like Dionne Warwick or Miss Cleo because I swear I'm getting my 'Pyschic Friend' on. I've been predicting this was going to happen ever since Iyanla and Oprah reconciled. It just made perfect that Iyanla would get her own show on OWN.

You can say what you want about Iyanla, but she and Oprah have made television magic together and hopefully they can do it again with her new show entitled, 'Iyanla Fix My Life'.

Look I'm always going to be on Team Oprah. I want the woman to succeed and I think giving Iyanla a show is going in the right direction.

Here is what Iyanla said on Facebook about the new show:

"...After much prayer and conscious consideration I am choosing to move forward with this project as my next step in service to the world. I am so humbled and grateful to have this opportunity to do what I love; on a network that gives me the freedom to be myself; working with people who value what I bring to the table; offering to the people I love (that would be you) a consistent dose of something I believe will facilitate and support the personal growth and spiritual evolution of individuals, families and communities. Enjoy as I share this part of the journey with you. I invite you to join me on OWN when the show airs later this year. We'll let you know as soon as we have an idea of when that will be! Love, Iyanla "

I believe there is a time and place for everything. I don't think Iyanla would have had the type of show she's going to have when she first got with Oprah. Iyanla had started to believe her own hype and that's why she left Oprah for Barbara Walters. I think she's gotten to a place of humility and now she's better able to share her gifts with the world and truly be that teacher that she is meant to be. The sista is a powerful woman with a vast wisdom to share. I look forward to watching her on OWN.

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- A Philippine men's magazine has apologized and pulled its cover after critics described it as racist.

FHM Philippines said Monday it has decided to change the cover of its March issue which showed a fair-skinned actress, Bela Padilla, in a hot pink bikini flanked by dark-skinned women in black bikinis. The caption said, "Bela Padilla stepping out of the shadows."

Padilla, a soap opera star, has a Filipino mother and a British father.

The magazine said after uploading the issue on its Facebook page it received a slew of complaints that the cover was racist.

FHM apologized and said it will use a different cover when the magazine hits newsstands in March.

It said it will strive to be more sensitive in the future.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

If you do not understand white supremacy (racism)—what it is and how it works—everything else you know will only confuse you. ---Neely Fuller, Jr

I saw this post over at 'Clutch Magazine' and I knew I had to re-post it because it speaks to something I have been saying for years. I don't know whether or not it's the word 'minority' I despise or the connotation that goes along with it.

Via Clutch:

I always detested the word minority because of its not so hidden connotation of being minute, as in insignificant. The word is more often than not assigned to classify all individuals who are not of the Anglo persuasion. But is the term misleading? I think so.

Census data is collected every decade and people are urged to classify themselves under any number of arbitrary racial categories, but if we look more closely at the numbers, particularly of those who are of mixed heritage and Latino or Hispanic who come from an African background, the number of African descendant people in this country would be well above the 12.5% recorded in the latest 2010 census data. But what’s more, the terminology of being categorized as a minority is misleading on a global scale.

The truth is White/Anglo/European people make up less than 5% of the world’s population, making them the real ‘minorities’ on the planet. While there are nearly 1 billion people alone currently living in Africa, there are untold millions of Blacks living throughout the world and within the African Diaspora. Take Brazil for instance, which is the home to more Black people outside of the country of Nigeria. That means there are more Blacks living in this South American country than countries in Africa, thanks to the transatlantic slave trade. In fact Brazil is home to an estimated population of nearly 95 million Blacks and mixed race persons of African ancestry.

Click here to read the entire article.

Have you ever wondered whether or not Gladys Knight's dance moves are as phenomenal as her singing voice? Well, you are going to get a chance to find out. Knight is one of the newest cast members of ABC's hit show, 'Dancing with the Stars'.

Joining the Motown great on the show are Sherri Shepherd from 'The View', actor Jaleel White, NFL champ Donald Driver, Disney star Roshon Fegan, as well as other celebrities, some well known and some not so well known.

I'll definitely be rooting for Ms. Gladys.

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's looking like President Barack Obama may be back in the good graces of women.

His support dropped among this critical constituency just before the new year began and the presidential campaign got under way in earnest. But his standing with female voters is strengthening, polls show, as the economy improves and social issues, including birth control, become a bigger part of the nation's political discourse.

"Republicans are making a big mistake with this contraception talk, and I'm pretty sure that they are giving (the election) to Obama," says Patricia Speyerer, 87, of McComb, Miss., a GOP-leaning independent. "It's a stupid thing."

The recent furor over whether religious employers should be forced to pay for their workers' contraception is certainly a factor but hardly the only reason for women warming up to Obama again after turning away from him late last year.

An Associated Press-GfK poll suggests women also are giving the president more credit than men are for the country's economic turnaround.

Among women, his approval ratings on handling the economy and unemployment have jumped by 10 percentage points since December. Back then, a wide swath of Americans expressed anxiety over the nation's slow climb out of recession and anger at a government that couldn't agree on steps to speed things up.

Since then, the unemployment rate has kept declining, and Obama hasn't been shy about trumpeting it, and analysts say that drop may have resonated particularly with women.

For Obama, there is no more crucial constituency than women. They make up a majority of voters in presidential elections, and a bit more of them identify with his party. He would not be president today without topping Republican John McCain in that group in 2008. And Republicans would need to win a sizable share — more than about 40 percent — of female voters to beat him.

Though the economy remains the top concern among both women and men, an array of social issues — gay marriage, access to birth control and whether cancer research should be kept separate from the issue of abortion— have returned to the nation's political conversation since December. And both parties have snapped up those issues to awaken their staunchest supporters.

Republicans from Capitol Hill to the presidential campaign trail focused particularly on a requirement in Obama's health care law for some religious employers to pay for birth control. Obama then adjusted that policy by instead directing insurance companies to pay for birth control — and Democrats are running with a message that Republicans want to upend long-established rights for women.

"Women are used to making decisions and running their lives," said Linda Young, president of the National Women's Political Caucus, which favors abortion rights. "To hear their right to contraception questioned in 2012 is shocking, and it's gotten a lot of people's attention."

Republicans say the economy will again overtake that discussion and it will be clear the GOP offers families more once Republicans choose a nominee, turn their fire from each other to Obama and make their case on issues such as gas prices and the deficit.

"The economic indicators, we have to admit, are very slowly improving, and that is something that has always affected the female vote," said Rae Lynne Chornenky, president of the National Federation of Republican Women. "Until we get a candidate I don't think the full story can be told."

"People in both political parties are keeping this (cultural narrative) alive because they're trying to excite their bases," said Republican Brian Flaherty, who served as a Connecticut legislator for 15 years. "You can afford to have this attention in February on" reproductive issues.

An AP-GfK poll conducted Feb. 16-20 showed that on overall approval Obama has gained 10 percentage points among women since December, from 43 percent to 53 percent, even though his administration seemed to stumble over whether religious employers should be forced to pay for contraception.

Women also are the reason behind Obama's lead over Republican hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum: In one-on-one matchups, Obama beats Romney 54 percent to 41 percent and tops Santorum 56 percent to 40 percent among women, but virtually ties each Republican among men. Women are Obama's to lose: They are more apt to identify with Democrats and give that party higher favorability than are men.

Over time, there hasn't been much shift in women's views of the Democratic Party, but views of the GOP have become more polarized since the AP last asked about the issue in January 2011. Thirty-nine percent of Republican women hold a "very favorable" view of the party, compared with 27 percent a year ago. At the same time, 57 percent of Democratic women now give the GOP a deeply unfavorable rating, the first time that figure has topped 50 percent.

Republicans insist their objections to Obama's policy on birth control coverage are about government infringing on the freedom of religion, not about contraception, which is supported by a broad majority of Americans.

But Santorum also says, as he has for years, that contraception conflicts with his Roman Catholic beliefs.

"Well, I'm a Roman Catholic, too," said Speyerer. She recalls that in 1940s New Orleans, where she was born and married, it was illegal to publish anything about birth control, "and I don't want to see that happen again."

Democrats already have sought to capitalize on that sentiment, holding a faux hearing last week with a single woman denied the chance to testify about contraception to a Republican-controlled House committee.

There will be more of that this week. Senate Democrats have agreed to debate a measure by Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri that would allow health plans to deny coverage for any service that violates the sponsor's beliefs. And on Thursday, a coalition of women's groups called HERvotes is holding a news conference in Washington to protest the renewed questioning of long-established rights for women.

The AP-GfK poll was conducted Feb. 16-20 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cellphone interviews with 1,000 adults, including 485 women. Results from the full sample have a margin of sampling error of 4 percentage points. Among women, the margin of error is 6 points.

Mariah Carey posted a very moving tribute to her friend the late, great Whitney Houston. The video is a montag of the two divas performing their song from the 'Prince of Egypt' soundtrack called 'When You Believe'.

Feb 27, 2012

(HuffingtonPost) Oprah and Jimmy Kimmel teamed up for an incredible series of sketches on Kimmel's post-Oscar show Sunday night.

The overall premise showed Kimmel pitching Oprah with some new show ideas for her OWN network, and we seriously want to see every single one of these make it to the airwaves.

From "Oprah Repos Her Favorite Things," which has Oprah stealing back a car she gave away ("I get a car! I get a caaaar!") to "The Jimmy and Oprah Interview," where the two hosts interview an increasingly frazzled Jennifer Aniston, to "Oprah After Dark," the less said about which the better, all the shows were instant gold.

Of course, the absolute greatest show idea was for the "Book Club Fight Club." Let's just say you don't want to question Oprah's knowledge of "To Kill A Mockingbird" or she will go nuts on you.

Feb 26, 2012

JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) — Police in West Tennessee say one man was killed and 19 other people were injured early Sunday when gunmen opened fire in a nightclub.

Jackson Police Lt. Tyreece Miller said officers were called to the Karma Lounge in downtown Jackson at about 2 a.m. Sunday. They arrived to find one man dead, 17 people with gunshot wounds and two who were trampled.

Miller said a dispute between several people led to the shooting at the business, which had advertised a Lane College/Lemoyne-Owen College after-game party on Saturday night. Evidence so far indicates at least three people used handguns to fire into the crowd.

Police are asking anyone who took photos or video inside the club to share it.

Authorities released photos of two men taken by the club's video cameras. Miller said investigators want to question them because of their proximity to the events.

Killed in the shooting was Lecarlos Todd, 19, of Memphis.

Police say 30-year-old Travis Steed was airlifted to the Med in Memphis, where a nursing supervisor said Sunday evening he was in critical condition. Two other shooting victims were in stable condition at a Jackson hospital. The other gunshot victims were treated and released.

In addition, two women were treated and released after suffering injuries when they were trampled by the crowd after shots were fired.

The show hasn't even started but the moment of the night has already happened for me. Whether or not Viola Davis take home the Oscar (I totally think she will), she is already a winner in my book.

I was on Facebook praying to God that she wouldn't wear a wig and lo and behold she appears on the screen looking ever bit the queen that she is. When interviewed by Ryan Seacrest she said that her hair was by her 'Momma, Alice Davis.'

The whole moment was just so beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes. If you ask me why I was crying I honestly couldn't tell you. There is just something so majestic about seeing a black woman embracing the fullness of her beauty. It was just breathtaking. Here she is on one of the biggest fashion and beauty stages in the world and she chose to come as her full authentic self and I absolutely loved it. I can't say I absolutely loved the Vera Wang dress that she was wearing, but she worked the hell out of it. Her skin was magnificient and glowing. She has a body of a goddess and she looked divine.

Being in the business of Show Business it is hard for a person to step outside of the mold of what people think they should look like. We have a certain way expect our celebrities to look and when they don't look that way we immediately shun them.

I honestly don't think any other actress would have been brave enough to do what Viola did and the sad part is the fact that one would have to be brave to do it. I totally salute Viola because in one gesture she has completely joined my list of She-ros.


I have to admit I am really loving Melissa Harris-Perry's show on MSNBC. Most of the readers on this site know how adverse I am to mainstream media, but yet I find myself totally enjoying her show. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she discusses topics that are of interest to me. I'm sure that has something to do with it. Maybe it's because her presence stirs in me familiarity. I mean after all she is an educated black woman who is well verse on a plethora of topics, and that is something that represents most of the black women I know. Either way, I'm loving her show and I would sugguest you check it out as well. It comes on MSNBC on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 10am EST.

This past Saturday, Melissa and her panel took on the issue of 'Affirmative Action'. What resulted was a very thought provoking debate.

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

I haven't made it a secret that I hate reality shows. From 'Basketball Wives' to 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta', I hate all of these shows. I try to give them a chance in the beginning hoping they'll prove me wrong and actually display some redeeming qualities, but it never fails they always find their way to the gutter.

So you know I was a little skeptical when I found out there was going to be a reality show based around the family of superstar singer, Toni Braxton. But in an attempt to give the show a chance, I watched the debut last year and let's just say I've been hooked every since. Outside the show being very entertaining (which it is) and centered around a strong family unit, I love the fact that the show displays how the women utilize therapy.

Yes, therapy is the reason why I love the show. You know I am a very big proponent of therapy and believe black people especially need to utilize it more. The women of 'Braxton Family Values' (BFV) take advantage of all that therapy has to offer. They go to group counseling, marriage counseling, and psychoanalytic therapy. These ladies definitely run the gamut when it comes to seeking outside help for their problems.

Therapy is one of those things that has carried a serious stigma when it comes to the African American community. For the most part, if African Americans seek outside help it's normally from a clergy or someone in a religious position of authority. Rarely would we seek help from a professional whose been trained in psychoanalysis and therapy. But the times are changing and more African Americans are seeking out therapy.

Shows like BFV are taking away the stigma from therapy and I love that.

We are on the eve of the Academy Awards. It is a time in Hollywood when the stars of movies and films all collide...I mean come together to celebrate each other. Films you've never seen before such as 'The Artist', will be praised, and the dresses will be the best that haute couture has to offer. These are the things that one has come to expect when it comes to the Oscars, but this year is set to offer something different.

This year represents the strong possibility that black women may win both the Best Actress and Supporting Actress awards. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are both the front-runners in their respective categories and both deserve to win.

I may not have seen the movie,'The Help', but I am well aware of the magnificent ability of Viola Davis. She is a skilled thespian whose study of her craft is evident in every role she plays. The woman is nothing short of remarkable and definitely worthy of all the accolades and praises that are being showered upon her.

I'm not as familiar with the work of Octavia Spencer, but just the way she has carried herself during the Award season is enough to make me root for her. The acceptance speech she gave during the SAG Awards was arguably the speech of the night.

Now with that being said, I'm still not in support of the film, 'The Help'. I'm pretty sure people are going to say I don't like the film because it's protraying black women as maids. I can promise you that's not the reason.

Black women working as maids in this country is a historical fact that is nothing for anyone to be ashamed of. It is a truth that many women in our families had to face, and face it with dignity and grace is what many of them did. So trust me, this fact is not my problem with the film.

My problem with the film, as well as the book, is the fact that we as a people are rarely allowed to tell our stories and have them turned into a major motion picture. These kind of things just don't happen for black authors who are trying to share the authentic black experience outside of street lit.

Black authors rarely have the opportunity for their work to go mainstream. For many, the reason for this is simply marketing. Writers like Kathryn Stockett as well as Sue Monk Kidd never have to deal with their books only being in the African American section of a book store, but this is something that someone like Bernice L. McFadden has to contend with when it comes to selling her books.

Bernice is just as brilliant a storyteller as Sue or Kathryn, but yet you'll never know it because her books are not allowed to scratch the mainstream surface. This is the reality for most black authors outside of Terry McMillan or Toni Morrison.

There is a ceiling in place when it comes to the success of black authors. Given the success of the film, The Help, it is obvious that stories headed by a black cast are not the problem, but rather the problem is the people in Hollywood as well as the publishing industry.

I'm not one of those people who can sit by and pretend that this is not a problem. We can sit here and pretend that it's a enough that black stories are being brought to the silver screen, but it's not. If black people are not the ones telling our stories then what is the point. I'm not saying that one must be black in order to understand and relate to the black experience, but there is an authenticity that black authors are able to relate to black characters.

I want to see books like the 'Darkest Child' (you know how much I love that book), 'Your Blus Ain't Like Mine', 'Sugar', or 'Blood on the Leaves' brought to life. These are wonderful books, but yet for some reason they don't get the same treatment as other books. Why is that?

So even though I am rooting for both Viola and Octavia, don't expect to see 'The Help' in my DVD collection.

Watch Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry tear into 'The Help'

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

Feb 24, 2012

(Yahoo) - A surprise donation Thursday from comedian Bill Maher made a Super PAC supporting President Obama $1 million richer.

The promise of the big check came during a live performance of Maher's stand-up show, CrazyStupidPolitics. Maher tweeted later that the donation to Priorities USA Action had been a surprise to Yahoo!, which broadcast the show.

"I would like to announce tonight a donation to the Obama super PAC which has the very unfortunate tongue-twister name Priorities USA Action. I know, it was named by Borat," Maher joked.

"Tonight I would like to give that PAC $1 million dollars," he added more seriously, to cheers from the crowd.

The Obama campaign earlier this month announced its support of Priorities USA as a source of funding for the president's re-election campaign.

"Most important advice I ever got in show business, as true today as then: always bring ur wallet onstage," Maher tweeted before the performance.

Feb 23, 2012


Chicago, IL - Oprah Winfrey recalled her grandmother's greatest wish for her: "I hope you get some good white folks like I have."

Ms Winfrey, the media mogul, remembers, "My grandmother was a maid, her mother was a maid, her mother before her was a slave. My mother was a maid."

Experience had taught her grandmother that domestic work was one of few career options available to black women. The best that she could realistically hope for her granddaughter was that she would become a maid in the home of a benevolent (white) employer.

When Ms Winfrey accepted an honorary Academy Award, an "Oscar", in November as a recognition of her humanitarian work, she highlighted her against-the-odds personal narrative by telling the audience about her female relatives and the chequered dreams that they had for her. With tears streaming down her face, Oprah reflected on the profound effect that the film The Help, a fictional story about African American domestic workers in early 1960s Mississippi, had on her. It reminded her of the limited possibilities that were available to her mother, grandmother, and women like them.

This week, The Help and its cast compete for their own Oscars. The occasion of the imminent award ceremony alongside the occurrence of "Black History Month" in the United States merit a consideration of exactly why a woman's most heartfelt prayer for her children and grandchildren would be for "good white folk".

It is no secret that sexual assaults of black women occurred with great frequency within private residences throughout the long history of legalised captivity and the century that followed emancipation.

It was widely rumoured in the late 18th century that Thomas Jefferson fathered the children of Sally Hemings, a slave who worked in his household. In recent years, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society have independently released statements asserting the "high probability" that the former president or, perhaps, his younger brother Randolph, was the biological father of some or all of Hemings' six children.

In her 1861 autobiography, Harriet Jacobs, an escaped captive, reveals that a girl's 15th birthday - "a sad epoch in the life of a slave girl" - marks the beginning of heightened sexual attention by her "master". She remembers, "My master began to whisper foul words in my ear" and, "He told me that I was his property; that I must be subject to his will in all things."

Other autobiographies suggest that unwanted sexual attention and advances occurred at an even earlier age. Olaudah Equiano, in his autobiography, writes about the behaviour of slavers on transatlantic ships in the late 1700s: "I have even known them to gratify their brutal passions with females not ten years old.

Despite the end of legalised slavery and the arrival of the 20th century, the abuses continued. In 1925, future US senator and ardent segregationist Strom Thurmond, who would later publicly state that blacks and whites should be kept apart everywhere, including the household, fathered a daughter with his family's 16-year-old black maid. A The 700 Club profile on Essie Mae Washington-Williams, Thurmond's daughter, identifies the pregnancies of black maids by their white employers as "a common social occurrence in those days".

In recent years, there have been plenty of examples (or allegations) of men behaving badly with women of all complexions, which makes it easy to imagine how much worse the experience was for black women in the past: Arnold Schwarzenegger's "love child" with his maid. President Bill Clinton's "not appropriate" relationship with an intern. Dominique Strauss-Kahn allegedly chasing a hotel maid through the halls of his suite naked.

Although not every bedroom tryst was an assault or a rape, the differences in power relationships - "master" and "slave", or employer and employee - makes it difficult to determine if the women involved had agency. It is not a question of whether the women could say, "No", but whether their "No" had the power to curtail the sex act.

It has been estimated that the average African American, whose ancestors survived the hardships and abuses of slavery, is at least 12.5 per cent white (as if one can really quantify blood by percentage or "drops"). DNA tests reveal that this whiteness tends to emerge along paternal bloodlines. They evidence the fact that most African Americans have at least one ancestor who likely was "raped" by a white man and, of course, have an ancestor who was white and a sexual aggressor.

Click here to read the entire article.

Feb 22, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama heralded a new national black history museum as "not just a record of tragedy, but a celebration of life" as he marked Wednesday's groundbreaking of the long-sought-after museum on the National Mall.

During his brief remarks, Obama said the museum -- the 19th in the Smithsonian Institution -- would help future generations remember the sometimes difficult, often inspirational role, that African Americans have played in the nation's history. And he said it was fitting that a museum telling the history of black life, art and culture would be located on the National Mall in the capital city.

"It was on this ground long ago that lives were once traded, where hundreds of thousands once marched for jobs and for freedom," Obama said. "It was here that the pillars of democracy were built often by black hands."

The president was joined by wife Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush to celebrate the start of construction on the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

It will be built between the Washington Monument and the National Museum of American History as a seven-level structure with much of its exhibit space below ground. A bronze-coated "corona," a crown that rises as an inverse pyramid, will be its most distinctive feature. Organizers said the design is inspired by African-American metalwork from New Orleans and Charleston, S.C., and also evokes African roots.

Some exhibits will eventually include a Jim Crow-era segregated railroad car, galleries devoted to military and sports history and Louis Armstrong's trumpet, among thousands of items. There will also be a court for quiet reflection, Museum Director Lonnie Bunch said.

"We will have stories that will make you smile and stories that will make you cry," Bunch told The Associated Press. "In a positive sense, this will be an emotional roller coaster, so you want to give people chances to reflect and to think about what this means to them."

In many ways, the museum already exists. It has staff collecting artifacts and working to raise $250 million to fund the construction. Congress pledged to provide half the $500 million construction cost. The museum is scheduled to open in 2015. It already has a gallery at the Smithsonian's American history museum with rotating exhibits to showcase its new collection and test different themes and approaches with visitors.

The newest exhibit explores Thomas Jefferson's lifelong ownership of slaves and his conflict and advocacy against slavery, while also looking at the lives of six slave families who lived on his Monticello plantation in Virginia, to humanize the issue of slavery.

Telling such stories has been taboo at many museums in the past and missing from the National Mall. Bunch said that by presenting a fuller view of history and dealing directly with difficult issues like race, the Smithsonian can present a fuller view of history and what it means to be an American.

"What this museum can do is if we tell the unvarnished truth in a way that's engaging and not preachy, what I think will happen is that by illuminating all the dark corners of the American experience, we will help people find reconciliation and healing," he said.

Curators estimate that 15,000 to 20,000 artifacts already are in hand. Bunch estimates they will need about 35,000 artifacts to choose from to create the museum's permanent galleries. The staff is working to collect more material on popular culture and music, earlier materials from military history from World War I and earlier and artifacts to tell stories from the 19th century, including slavery and Reconstruction.

In Washington, the black history museum will follow major museums devoted to the Holocaust and to Native American history. Legislation has also been introduced in Congress to create a Smithsonian American Latino Museum.

Actress Phylicia Rashad, famous from TV's "The Cosby Show," hosted the groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday. In an interview, she said African-American history is interconnected with many other groups.

"This is what makes America really great and unique is that there are different peoples living here who come together as one people, she said, adding that she hopes to be surprised by what the new museum can offer. "I would like to see some stories I've never imagined. I'd like to see some stories that aren't so well talked about but that have documentation to back them up."

The groundbreaking also marks the start of a public fundraising campaign to build the museum. Officials revealed about $100 million has been raised to date in private funds. This includes $5 million gifts from Wal-Mart, American Express, Boeing, Target and UnitedHealth Group. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lilly Endowment each gave $10 million in recent years.

Some celebrities also are supporting the project, including Quincy Jones and Oprah Winfrey, whose foundation gave $1 million.

Delphia Duckens, the museum's associate director for fundraising, said the museum will begin a regional campaign targeting key markets of New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington.

They are modeling the strategy to seek individual donors on the recent effort to build a Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and on Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, she said. Those campaigns maximized the value of drawing many small gifts online, in addition to major donors, she said.

"This is a museum for everybody," she said. "We want to model it such that everybody can say they had a part in making this a reality."

When Wendy Williams cried tears on her show over the death of Whitney Houston, it looks like the readers of this site wasn't the only ones who wasn't buying her emotions. Janet Hubert, the original 'Aunt Viv', definitely wasn't buying it. Janet penned an open letter to Wendy expressing her displeasure.

Here is a snippet of what she had to say:

You said that morning with tears in your eyes, that you would not discuss Whitney any further, but you crucified her the whole time she was alive, as you do so many people on your show. I want to ask you why? What do you get out of this besides money?

How do you sleep at night knowing that you are one of the biggest bullies in the world disguised as HOT TOPICS? Celebrities are not topics we are people, just like everyone else, we hurt and we hear and we bleed real blood, not fake blood, just as you do.

How do we as parents teach our children to honor each other, treat each other with kindness when all they see are images of people like you who condone and promote meanness, rude reality TV stars, and your opinion as you berate world renowned people like Janet Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and others you slam on a daily basis.

I keep asking myself why no one is saying anything about this. What the hell are they afraid of? Where are my sisters out there who feel as I do?

Well Wendy, I try to teach my son to stand up, shout, and scream when there is injustice. Yeah yeah, I know, I have been screaming for years and will continue to do so as long as there are images that depict black women as neck shaking, over bearing women who can’t get along.

A sister, a mother, a daughter, a star, left this world way too early; she was loved by the world. The world mourned, I don’t think that we needed you to try and take down another brilliant sister on that following Monday morning. (Your rude comments about Janet Jackson)

You started right back up without hesitation or pause… you need to stop Wendy. We need to stop, and the world needs to stop. I need to stop as well. There will be no more quotes from me to be misquoted. We need to join together, wrap our arms around our children, everybody’s children. Remember you have a child who will suffer every slingshot and arrow that gets thrown back at you Wendy; our public lives greatly affect our children.

I know I am going to suffer some arrows for writing this letter to you, I know you are loved by many, but remember this Wendy; they love you when you are up and they love to take you down. You will not always be up, you will not always be on the A list and attend all the parties. Ride the wave sister girl, but make sure you know how to swim when the ride is over. Artists are survivors, we work hard to build our crafts and careers and I ask that you simply remember that in the future.


Feb 21, 2012

In honor of Black History Month, the White House celebrated the wonderful music of 'The Blues' featuring such acts as the legendary B.B. King as well as Mick Jagger.

As the President jumped on the stage to thank everyone for coming out he was prompted by the performers to join in on the singing of blues classic, 'Sweet Home Chicago.'

Now you know the President being the talented brother that he is couldn't turned the chance to sing with B.B. King. He grabbed the mic and did his thing once again reminding us why we love him. The man is smooth what can I say.

You know stuff is bad when the lawyers get involved. I can roll with what the family is saying, but I just don't understand why Bobby wasn't allowed to reach out to his daughter. Now I understand he might not be 'Father of the Year', but damn not being allowed to reach out to his seed is a little harsh. That's all I'm saying. I don't agree with the way he conducted himself, but at the end of the day Bobbi Kristina is still his daughter.

Here's how the AJC is reporting the story:

The attorney for Whitney Houston’s family suggested Tuesday that a clash between ex-husband Bobby Brown and security at the weekend funeral for the Grammy Award-winning pop singer could have been avoided if Brown had adhered to two agreements made to accommodate him and his family.

One agreement, Atlanta attorney Mark Trigg told V-103’s Frank & Wanda Morning Show, was that Brown, who had been married to Houston for 15 years before their 2007 divorce, would sit with the family at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., without others in his entourage.

The other was that Brown would not reach out to his daughter Bobbi Kristina during the four-hour service unless she reached out to him first.

Brown, however, broke both of those conditions and ended up clashing with security staff tasked with seeing that he followed the agreements, Trigg told Frank Ski and co-host Wanda Smith.

“We had a number of discussions prior to the service, and a very clear understanding as to exactly what was suppose to take place at the service,” Trigg told V103.

The face-off, which followed days of speculation over whether Brown was even invited to or would attend the funeral, was covered by the media as much as the memorial itself and at times overshadowed the star-studded service carried live on CNN and other media outlets.

In a statement shortly after leaving the church at the beginning of the service Saturday, Brown said was “seated by security and then subsequently asked to move on three separate occasions.” He said he could not understand “why security treated my family this way.” To avoid creating a scene, he said he “gave a kiss to the casket of my ex-wife and departed.”

Trigg, however, told the Frank & Wanda Show that Brown and his children were not supposed to sit together.

“This was not about anything other than practical space considerations,” he told the show hosts.

“The understanding was, and the agreement was, that the three children would sit with [Brown’s brother] Tommy a few rows behind the family while Bobby was permitted to sit in those three rows with the family.”

Trigg said that when Brown tried to seat himself and his children in the front rows, security “discreetly, politely, respectfully” asked Brown’s children to sit with their uncle. Trigg said that “for whatever reason” Brown took offense.

Trigg said the New Edition singer then broke another condition: He reached out to his daughter to get her to intervene.

“The other part of our agreement prior to the service was that if [Bobbi Kristina] reached out to Bobby, tried to initiate any contact with him, security was certainly going to make sure that happen -- would not stand in the way of her reaching Bobby if she initiated the contact,” Trigg said. “What was asked of him, however, was that if [she] didn’t initiate that contact … then he was not to reach out for her, just to respect her and her wishes during the service. That was the agreement.”

After the clash with security over approaching his daughter, Brown gave the kiss to Houston’s casket and left with his entourage.

The attorney also sought to dispel rumors in the days leading up to the service that Brown wasn’t invited.

“At no time did the [Houston] family tell Bobby that he wasn’t invited,” Trigg told V-103. “Bobby was always invited to the service from the outset. Bobby was always invited to sit with the family from the outset.”

To counter an anti-abortion bill, democrats in Georgia have proposed a counter bill which would outlaw vasectomies for men. The bill which was authored by Yasmin Neal of Riverdale seeks to show her mostly male counterparts how it feels to have their reproductive rights attacked the way women's are attacked.

Here is what they wrote in a press release:

Atlanta, Ga. – February 21, 2012 – House and Senate legislators will hold a public hearing on Wednesday to call attention to the double standard on reproductive rights by introducing the Anti-Vasectomy Act.

“Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies,” said Rep. Yasmin Neal, author of the bill. “It is patently unfair that men can avoid unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment over such matters is more valid than the judgment of the General Assembly, while women’s ability to decide is constantly up for debate throughout the United States.”

House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams added, “The Republican attack on women’s reproductive rights is unconscionable. What is more deplorable is the hypocrisy of HB 954’s author. If we follow his logic, we believe it is the obligation of this General Assembly to assert an equally invasive state interest in the reproductive habits of men and substitute the will of the government over the will of adult men.”

The bill’s author, Rep. Yasmin Neal, along with other members of the Georgia House Democratic Caucus, will be available to speak with press afterwards.

What: Public Hearing on The Anti-Vasectomy Act

When: Wednesday, February 22

Where: The CLOB, Room 515

WASHINGTON — In a 2003 decision that the majority said it expected would last for 25 years, the Supreme Court allowed public colleges and universities to take account of race in admission decisions. On Tuesday, the court signaled that it might end such affirmative action much sooner than that.

By agreeing to hear a major case involving race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas, the court thrust affirmative action back into the public and political discourse after years in which it had mostly faded from view. Both supporters and opponents of affirmative action said they saw the announcement — and the change in the court’s makeup since 2003 — as a signal that the court’s five more-conservative members might be prepared to do away with racial preferences in higher education.

The consequences of such a decision would be striking. It would, all sides agree, reduce the number of African-American and Latino students at nearly every selective college and graduate school, with more Asian-American and white students gaining entrance instead.

A decision barring the use of race in admission decisions would undo an accommodation reached in the Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 decision in 2003 in Grutter v. Bollinger: that public colleges and universities could not use a point system to boost minority enrollment but could take race into account in vaguer ways to ensure academic diversity.

Supporters of affirmative action reacted with alarm to the court’s decision to hear the case. “I think it’s ominous,” said Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia University, who, as president of the University of Michigan, was a defendant in the Grutter case . “It threatens to undo several decades of effort within higher education to build a more integrated and just and educationally enriched environment.”

Opponents saw an opportunity to strike a decisive blow on an issue that had partly faded from view. “Any form of discrimination, whether it’s for or against, is wrong,” said Hans von Spakovsky, a legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, who added that his daughter was applying to college. “The idea that she might be discriminated against and not be admitted because of her race is incredible to me,” he said.

Arguments in the new case are likely to be heard just before the presidential election in November, and they may force the candidates to weigh in on a long dormant and combustible issue that has closely divided the electorate. There was little immediate reaction from the campaign trail and in official Washington on Tuesday, which may be attributable to the political risks the issue presents to both Democrats and Republicans.

Some polls show that a narrow majority of Americans support some forms of affirmative action, though much depends on how the question is framed, and many people have at least some reservations.

The new case, Fisher v. Texas, No. 11-345, was brought by Abigail Fisher, a white student who said that the University of Texas denied her admission because of her race. The case has idiosyncrasies that may limit its reach, but it also has the potential to eliminate diversity as a rationale sufficient to justify any use of race in admission decisions — the rationale the court endorsed in the Grutter decision. Diversity, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote, encourages lively classroom discussions, fosters cross-racial harmony and cultivates leaders seen as legitimate. But critics say there is only a weak link between racial and academic diversity.

Grutter allowed but did not require states to take account of race in admissions. Several states, including California and Michigan, forbid the practice, and public universities in those states have seen a drop in minority admissions. In other states and at private institutions, officials generally look to race and ethnicity as one factor among many, leading to the admission of significantly more black and Hispanic students than basing the decisions strictly on test scores and grades would.

A Supreme Court decision forbidding the use of race in admission at public universities would almost certainly mean that it would be barred at most private ones as well under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids racial discrimination in programs that receive federal money. In her majority opinion in Grutter, Justice O’Connor said the day would come when “the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary” in admission decisions to foster educational diversity. She said she expected that day to arrive in 25 years, or in 2028. Tuesday’s decision to revisit the issue suggests the deadline may arrive just a decade after Grutter.

The court’s membership has changed since 2003, most notably with the appointment of Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who replaced Justice O’Connor in 2006. Justice Alito has voted with the court’s more conservative justices in decisions hostile to government use of racial classification.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has been particularly skeptical of government programs that take account of race. “Racial balancing is not transformed from ‘patently unconstitutional’ to a compelling state interest simply by relabeling it ‘racial diversity,’ ” he wrote in a 2007 decision limiting the use of race to achieve integration in public school districts.

Justices Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas agreed. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the court’s swing justice, also voted to invalidate the programs. But he was less categorical, sharply limiting the role race could play in children’s school assignments but stopping short of forbidding school districts from ever taking account of race. Still, Justice Kennedy has never voted to uphold an affirmative action program.

In Texas, students in the top 10 percent of high schools are automatically admitted to the public university system, a policy that does not consider race but increases racial diversity in part because so many high schools are racially homogenous. Ms. Fisher just missed that cutoff at her high school in Sugar Land, Tex., and then entered a separate pool of applicants who can be admitted through a complicated system in which race plays an unquantified but significant role. She sued in 2008.

Ms. Fisher is soon to graduate from Louisiana State University. Lawyers for the University of Texas said that meant she had not suffered an injury that a court decision could address, meaning she does not have standing to sue.

Ms. Fisher’s argument is that Texas cannot have it both ways. Having implemented a race-neutral program to bolster minority admissions, she says, Texas may not supplement it with a race-conscious one. Texas officials said the additional effort was needed to make sure that individual classrooms contained a “critical mass” of minority students.

The lower federal courts ruled for the state. Chief Judge Edith Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, dissenting from the full appeals court’s decision not to rehear Ms. Fisher’s case, was skeptical of state officials’ rationale. “Will classroom diversity ‘suffer’ in areas like applied math, kinesiology, chemistry, Farsi or hundreds of other subjects if, by chance, few or no students of a certain race are enrolled?” she asked.

Justice Elena Kagan disqualified herself from hearing the case, presumably because she had worked on it as solicitor general.

It is people like this that give Chrisitians a bad name. People like Franklin Graham and Rick Santorum are the personification of what Marvin Winans was talking about when he relied the message his muslim friend said to him about how he 'wished he'd met Christ before he met a Christian.' This innate need to paint President Obama as other is out of control.

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

(MSNBC) Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham and a prominent evangelical leader in his own right, waded into contentious waters Tuesday when asked for his views on the religious beliefs of President Obama and the GOP hopefuls.

Graham, the CEO and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, told a Morning Joe panel he couldn't say for certain that Obama is a Christian.

“You have to ask him. I cannot answer that question for anybody. All I know is I’m a sinner, and that God has forgiven me of my sins," Graham said. "You have to ask every person. He has said he’s a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is.”

But Graham also said he couldn't "categorically" say Obama wasn't a Muslim, in part, because Islam has gotten a "free pass" under Obama. Graham also said the Muslim world sees Obama as a "son of Islam," because the president's father and grandfather were Muslim.

According to Edina Lekovic, director of policy at the Muslim Public Affairs Council, being born in a Muslim family doesn't make one a Muslim. A person has to make an active choice to become a Muslim, Lekovic said.

Obama has said again and again that he is a Christian, both as a presidential candidate and as president.

“I’m a Christian by choice,” Obama told a group of New Mexico voters last September, answering a question from a member of the audience. He said he has embraced his faith even though growing up, “my family didn’t, frankly. They weren’t folks who went to church every week.”

In Chicago, Obama was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ for years, but he quit in May 2008 after videos of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s racially-divisive sermons surfaced on the Web.

“Our relations with Trinity have been strained by the divisive statements of Reverend Wright, which sharply conflict with our own views,” Obama and his wife Michelle wrote at the time.

The debate over the president's faith was brought up again on the campaign trail this Saturday, when Rick Santorum told a Tea Party crowd in Columbus, Ohio, that Obama's agenda is "not about you. It's not about you. It's not about your quality of life. It's not about your job. It's about some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology, but no less a theology."

When pressed by reporters after Saturday's comments, the former Pennsylvania senator said he did not imply the president is not a Christian, but said the president was trumping religious freedoms.

Graham told the Morning Joe panel that he and Santorum share the same moral beliefs, and that he's confident Santorum is a fellow Christian.

"His values are so clear on moral issues, no question about it," he told the Morning Joe panel.

Graham spoke with a little less confidence about Gingrich's faith, and cast doubt on whether Romney's Mormonism is compatible with Christianity.

"I think Newt is a Christian, at least he told me he is," Graham said. He added that Romney's Mormon faith is not recognized as part of the Christian faith by most Christians, but he wouldn't give his own view.

Romney has stood by his faith, saying Mormonism's values are "as American as motherhood and apple pie."

"I believe in my Mormon faith," Romney said in a 2007 speech, "and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers. I'll be true to them and to my beliefs."

I guess I'm in the minority on this one, but I will not be watching any television specials on Whitney Houston. I'm not going to watch the 20/20 special or anything thing else about the legendary singer unless it's something positive like the BET Special that aired after her funeral.

I, like a millions of other people around the world, sat and watched the funeral of my all-time favorite singer. I honestly cried as though one of my family members had passed away. And that's exactly how I felt about Whitney 'Nippy' Houston, she was a family member.

Although I never had the pleasure of meeting her, I can honestly say she felt like family because her spirit was so familiar. Unlike my favorite entertainer Michael Jackson, who felt otherworldly, Nippy was completely relatable. She felt like one of my aunties and because of this I am very protective of her.

I don't need to sit and watch a special about how Whitney struggled to regain her once 'Golden Voice'. I don't see how any of that benefits me. I hear people who say we can use her life as a lesson of what not to do, but you are kidding yourself if you think that's what these people who are airing these specials are hoping to accomplish. They are seeking ratings by exploiting the life and death of Whitney Houston plain and simple.

Listen, I don't need a television show to tell me the lady wasn't perfect. If anything, she proved to be perfectly human. She had flaws and demons just like all of us. She had her struggles and unlike the rest of us she had to deal with her struggles under a microscope.

It is so easy for us to pass judgment on her and the way she led her life. You know us, the ones in glass houses, love throwing rocks at other people because it's so much easier to sweep around someone else's front door because it would take a whole lot more than a broom to clean up the mess in front ours.

She shared her God-given talent with us, and we did nothing but tear her down when she was in her darkest moments. She's dead and gone, but yet we are still trying to used her as some specimen on a petri dish that we desire to study and dissect.

Whitney Houston was someone's daughter and someone's mother. That might not mean a heck of a lot to a lot of you, but that means something to me. I will offer her the same respect I would want offered to my mother or my daughter. I will allow her to rest in the peace she obviously couldn't find in this world.

Feb 18, 2012

A lot is been made about the fact that Bobby Brown left the funeral of Whitney Houston. A representative of Brown's released a statement to explain what had happened.

Here is what was said:

“My children and I were invited to the funeral of my ex-wife Whitney Houston. We were seated by security and then subsequently asked to move on three separate occasions.

“I fail to understand why security treated my family this way and continue to ask us and no one else to move,” he said. “Security then prevented me from attempting to see my daughter Bobbi-Kristina. In light of the events, I gave a kiss to the casket of my ex-wife and departed as I refused to create a scene. My children are completely distraught over the events. This was a day to honor Whitney. I doubt Whitney would have wanted this to occur. I will continue to pay my respects to my ex-wife the best way I know how.”

Today we say goodbye to our legendary singer and diva, Whitney Elizabeth Houston.

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

Yolanda Adams took the people to church with that performance.

Feb 16, 2012

Remember when I first reported the story about the shocking 'Fatherly Advice' rapper Too Short gave to young boys about young girls? Remember I said it would be really nice if some of the men would jump on this cause and take the rapper to task? Well, it looks like we've found a man willing to grab the proverbially baton and run with it. That man is activist Kevin Powell; who, after a past history of violence towards women, has made it his life's mission to bring attention to and stop this sick pathology that has taken root in our society.

Kevin sat down for an interview with HLN's Richelle Carey to discuss the offensive remarks made by Too Short. He invokes the name of the late, great C. Delores Tucker and how all the things she spoke about in the 90's are proving to be true. He also called for the firing of XXL's editor-in-chirf, Vanessa Satten.

By: Ama Yawson

Dear Triumphant Scientifically Attractive Marriageable Single Black Woman,

Sweet kisses? Tender caresses? Inspiring words? Early morning love-making sessions with the person who has promised to love and support you through poverty and wealth, sickness and health as long as you both shall live?

Yes, yes, and more yes. That is exactly what you deserve if your heart so desires.

So to the extent that the negative media surrounding black women's beauty and relationship prospects, or what Ariana Proehl refers to as the "Tragic Scientifically Unattractive Unmarriageable Single Black Woman Narrative," has led you to consider giving up on love for one millisecond, I pray that you will reconsider.

Yes, I understand that during the past two years the media has been throwing spears in your direction. Pop singer John Mayer proclaimed that his white supremacist penis won't allow him to date or mate with a black woman. Our own black brother NFL player, Albert Haynesworth exclaimed that he can't remember the last time he dated a black woman. Quack scientist Satoshi Kanazawa published an article with "scientific evidence" that black women were less attractive than other women. Countless academics continue to pontificate on the African-American marriage decline while citing black male incarceration rates and high-school drop-out rates to explain the dearth of eligible black men to marry you. It is enough to make you vomit, lose hope and decide to solely focus on other things such as community or political activism.

But I have a question for you.

When have you ever allowed the stereotypes, negative statistics or euro-centric notions of beauty heralded by the mass media to define you or circumscribe your aspirations?

Regardless of how many times the self-denying and sexless Aunt Jemima greets you in the supermarket with her Kool-Aid smile, you continue to take time to attend to your own needs while enjoying your vibrant sexuality on your own terms. No matter how many scantily-clad sexually-insatiable jezebels are gyrating on your television screen you understand the sanctity of your womb and share your body accordingly. Another sitcom featuring an angry black woman-sapphire with her hand on her hips and eyes rolling has never prevented you from seeing yourself as the complex, loving, vulnerable, sensitive and fully-human woman that you are. Finally, regardless of how many pale, blonde-haired and blue-eyed women appear on the cover of Vogue and Glamour you still believe that Lauryn Hill and Naomi Campbell are among the most stunning women on the planet and you continue to turn heads each day with your flawless brown skin and radiant smile.

Perhaps Maya Angelou said it best when she told us, "You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies, you may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I rise." Sister, just as you have risen to achieve every other academic, career or social goal that you have set for yourself, you may also achieve your dream of a attaining a life partner with whom you can share the joys, sorrows, victories and trials of life. The secret is that your ability to find a suitable mate actually has less to do with black male incarceration rates and high-school drop-out rates and more to do your individual approach to love. When you decide to envision the kind and quality of love that you want and make an effort to be open to a partner who can give you that love -- regardless of that person's race, color, occupation or other demographic statistics -- you are getting to love's essence and the universe responds by revealing abundant possibilities.

So go ahead and be your intelligent, beautiful, phenomenal self as you continue to do the important work of nurturing and affirming yourself and others, achieving your career goals, and fully participating in community and political activism. But please continue to believe in love. Despite the media hype, the vast majority of black men are interested in black women and there are more non-black men in America open to relationships with black women than there are black women. Love is out there for you if you are ready to get to love's essence.

NEW YORK — They won’t be there in person, but singer Whitney Houston’s millions of fans worldwide will be able to share in her homecoming service Saturday as they watch her private funeral on the Internet.

It will provide a much-needed connection for fans who have lacked a formal place to eulogize Houston, one of the world’s best-selling artists who died in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Saturday at the age of 48.

Some have gathered and placed flowers outside the Newark, N.J., church where the funeral will be held by invitation-only at the request of Houston’s family, who wish to maintain some privacy. Others have stopped by the funeral home. But many have longed to share more fully in commemorating the superstar’s life, and have shown their grief in one of the few ways available to them – by buying her music.

Houston’s funeral will be at New Hope Baptist Church, where she sang as a child. Her eulogy will be given by gospel singer Marvin Winans, a Grammy Award winner and longtime family friend. Afterward, Houston will be buried in Fair View Cemetery in Westfield, N.J., according to her death certificate. Her father, John Russell Houston Jr., was buried there in 2003.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, investigators for the coroner’s office have subpoenaed records from the singer’s doctors and pharmacies who dispensed medication found in the hotel room where she died.

Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said such inquiries are routine in virtually all death investigations.

Investigators have not said what medications they have recovered from Houston’s room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The singer was found underwater in a bathtub by a member of her staff hours before she planned to attend a chic pre-Grammy gala. Police have said there were no signs of foul play and Winter said there were no signs of trauma on her body when an autopsy was conducted on Sunday.

It will be weeks before toxicology results reveal the medications and quantities, if any, that were in Houston’s system when she died. The Grammy winner’s history of substance abuse has added to the speculation that her death may have been caused by prescription drugs.

In a 2009 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Houston talked about how she was deeply shaken by the death of singer Michael Jackson. Jackson died at age 51 that year from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol.

Houston recalled taping a show celebrating Jackson’s 30th anniversary celebration in 2001. Both stars were strikingly thin.

“I was getting scared,” she told Winfrey. “I was looking at myself going, `No, I don’t want this to be like this. This can’t happen. Not both of us.’”

Like Jackson, Houston was on the verge of a career comeback before her death on Feb. 11. And, like Jackson, sales of her recordings have soared since her passing as fans try to recapture her glory days in the 1980s and 1990s. Old recordings have been propelled to the top of sales charts on iTunes and Amazon.com.

Houston’s publicist, Kristen Foster, announced Wednesday that The Associated Press will be allowed a camera at Saturday’s funeral in Newark. The AP will stream the service on http://livestream.com/aplive . The event also will be available to broadcasters via satellite.