Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Check out this article “Separation Anxiety” from the Nov. 30th edition of The Wall Street Journal for their take on black enrollment in black colleges. If you have an opinion on the matter PLEASE leave it in the comment section of the blog post here and do not send your reply to my E-mail, text box, or voicemail. I'd like to have a public discussion on the matter, not a private whisper.
~we're the warriors they write epics about~
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Below is a recent blog post from Dominga Martin editor of Crème magazine for The Honey Magazine website. Check it out.
Hi Friends, check out our editor's new blog on HONEY MAGAZINE! Here's an excerpt, inspired by a critic who just couldn't accept the fact that the Great Debaters is based on a true story and that the images of African Americans in this film were positive...PLEASE FORWARD and see this film!
"I’m a member of a film critics circle for women and recently, one member of the group wrote a review for a HUGELY popular movie site that sent the group in an empowering frenzy! She started off the review with the following quote:
“Noble, brilliant suit-wearing Negros fight for equality in racist Texas circa 1935. All the white people are toothless, evil pig farmers. Denzel insults his white audience with caricatures.”
She then went on to say “I wasn’t going to review “The Great Debaters” knowing full well the ugly emails I would get if I don’t like a movie made by or about black people, I’m a racist…(blah, blah, blah)…here’s her DISCLAIMER, which follwed the foot in her mouth:"
Want more? Click here!!!
The BIG DEBATE on THE GREAT DEBATERS
Haven't put my full thoughts on this one out just as yet, still waiting on some more info. Below is what I had posted so far.
"OK! OK! OK! <~~ That was me taking a breath before I went off. I really really REALLY want to go off on this "Critic". However, I don't want to speak on just excerpts, it doesn't make for the most informed of rebuttals and seeing as things can be misconstrued out of context. I don't really see the possibility of that here, but I’ll give her "know more about African culture from first-hand, feet on the ground experience then all of my black neighbors and friends put together" ass the benefit of the doubt. Please if you could e-mail me the full review and I would if possible like to know where it was originally published. That for me would be another very curious point.
As they say opinions are like assholes because every ones got one. I hope this foolishness of a reviews doesn’t stop anyone from going to see what I know will be one of this year’s best movies. We ask for our positive stories to be told on film and television and when they are we need to support them so more can be produced. The numbers are what translate in Hollywood, let’s give this one numbers to break the records."
READ THE FULL ORIGINAL REVIEW HERE
I just read the original review in it's entirety and this is what i had to say to the reviewer.
"When I was first forwarded excerpts of your review, I refused to fully respond before reading the review in its entirety and gave you the benefit of the doubt in hopes that your statements were taken out of context. I didn’t want to take you to task for what seemed like some of the most idiotic, ignorant, ill-informed statements made in a review concerning a historical adaptation in the past 10 years. So I patiently waited for my e-mail box to be filled with a link to the full review. After taking the time to read your “critiques”, I’ve realized the person who sent me the excerpts was actually a friend who was trying their best to protect you from the world knowing how much of an idiot you were.
As I said in my original comment to the person whom sent me the excerpts, opinions are like asshole because everyone has one and I hope this reviewer’s "know more about African culture from first-hand, feet on the ground experience then all of my black neighbors and friends put together" ass doesn’t deter anyone with any sense of AMERICAN HISTORY from seeing a true story that has taken way too long to be brought to light. I read the original article that inspired this film in the American Legacy magazine and it did a great job of translating the story to film in my humble NYU Film school graduate opinion. As for your assertion that someone who was a poetic wordsmith, instrumental in bringing fare working conditions for his fellow men and women through unionizing, in-turn couldn’t possibly have the time to mold the minds of the young men and women of Wiley College as their professor and debate coach which then lead to them beating what by most to this day is thought to be the brightest minds in our country, you my dear are a lost cause and there is no need for anyone to try and bring you to the light.
P.S. and I hope with all my heart that your ass is black when you start this review out using the word Negros."
Make sure to check out the comment left by Blank Frank in her comment section. He makes a very great point.
Just came across an article about the outrage from the Muslim community concerning celebrities wearing the keffiyeh as Scarves for their latest fashion statement. I guess i'm not the only one pissed about these celebreties lack of originality, read my previous post concerning the matter here. Please read the Muslim piece below.
"A new Hip Hop trend is threatening to drive a wedge between the Muslim and urban communities. The Muslims are taking offense to a style of dress adopted by rappers who wear a Keffiyeh - a Muslim symbol of freedom - around their necks as a scarf. The Keffiyeh is a traditional head dress worn by Muslim freedom fighters.
The new style first made popular by Island Records president of Urban Music, Jermaine Dupri, is now being worn by everyone from Jay Z to Omarion and Chris Brown. But while celebrities think the head garment is stylish to wear around their necks, it is causing a furor within the Muslim community. The Muslims want celebs to stop desecrating their symbol - or face the consequences.
One man who asked to remain anonymous told me, “Men died fighting in a war for that. Arafat wore it. People took bullets in the back fighting for that! [Rappers] don’t know what the meaning of that is.. they’re ignorant! They go overseas and they go to Dubai then they come back and say, ‘look at the new trend I started’. It’s disrespectful!”
The Muslim man I spoke with thinks rappers need a little sensitivity training, “If I see them wearing the jalabia, I’ll make them take it off!,” he said."
LET'S SEE HOW GANGSTA YOU RAPPERS REALLY ARE WHEN YOU HAVE AN AK TO YOUR HEAD AND THE GUY HOLDING IT DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT A RAP CONTRACT. DON'T START NOTHIN, WON'T BE NOTHIN. YOU GUYS AREN'T BUILT FOR THAT KIND OF BEEF.
~taken back our swag~
There was an error in the original article excerpt I posted where the writer incorrectly referred to the traditional headdress of Arab men as a Jalabia instead of its proper name which is Keffiyeh. I would also like to extend an apology to my readers for not doing my own research on the matter.
Ohh yea and BTW, Jermaine Dupri has never in his life started any trend or even co-opted one in its infancy. If one person mentions Kris Kros and that damn backwords clothing sh&t I'm beating your ass. LOL
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Wyclef, Akon Put A Spotlight On Haiti's Suffering And Beauty At Yele
"Our music can change and influence the world," 'Clef says of two-day event in his native country.
By Shaheem Reid, with reporting by Rahman Dukes for MTV NEWS
Haiti's most famous diplomat was very busy over the weekend in his native country. Wyclef Jean co-headlined the first Yele Festival with Akon; the event was the brainchild of the two recording artists and manager Jimmy "Henchman" Rosemond.
The two-day event included a tour of Haiti for journalists on Friday and a concert fundraiser Saturday.
"We cater to the press, answering questions, visiting the children's prisons [in Port-au-Prince], the schools," Rosemond said Friday. " ... There's not too much stuff to do in Haiti. For it to be a two-day event is even big in itself. We're trying to do something with Yele like how [Reggae] Sunsplash was for Jamaica. This will be a yearly event. In between, we'll have smaller shows and cap off every year around this time with some of the biggest artists in the world."
The Haitian-born Wyclef made a deal that he would perform in Senegal (Akon was born in St. Louis but raised in Senegal) sometime next year in return for 'Kon performing in his homeland.
On Saturday, 'Clef and 'Kon rocked Haiti's capital square, which Rosemond said is "as large as two football stadiums." The trio are still awaiting final numbers as far as the size of the crowd and donations, which will go toward retaining counsel for inmates at Haiti's children's prisons and helping rebuild and provide supplies to schools damaged during the hurricane season.
"This has been an eye-opening experience for me," Akon told MTV News via e-mail. "To meet the Haitian people in suffering and in celebration has made my mission clearer. I will use my blessings to help all impoverished people, and I know my people in Senegal will embrace Wyclef as his people did me."
"The Haitian people came out in multitude, putting aside their suffering, politics and beliefs, to come see two of their favorite artists," Wyclef said. "Akon is a true musician and artist, and I look forward to my journey to his native land of Senegal. ... Not one person was hurt [at the concert]. This is proof to my fellow artists that our music can change and influence the world. Mission accomplished. The Haitian people have passed the test, and now we welcome you."
"I am speechless from the overwhelming turnout for change in Haiti," Rosemond said over the weekend. "We went back to the basics to prove a point: Music is a universal language. We know one free concert won't change everything, but at least we've started something that may make a change. But I think what we all walked away with is a sense that it's Haiti today, but it can easily be the world tomorrow.
"In order for us to heal the ills of Haiti, press have to know first that it's safe to come there [to] document and expose the ills and the good stuff going on in Haiti," he added. "The only thing you hear about Haiti is there's a dictatorship. The only way we're gonna get economic strength, we need the tourist dollars and for us to sell our art, sell our music. We need for people to see the wonderful country of Haiti. It's been closed so long because of the bad press. We wanna expose some of the good stuff."
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
"Guys are stepping up their accessories game and rocking scarves hard this season. This trend is pretty evident if you look at all males in entertainment - Kanye of course (who started the trend on the black carpet), Omarion, Lupe Fiasco, and Jay-Z are some of the guys who like to add a scarf to their look. I noticed some time ago when David Beckham showed his scarf swag, letting folks know that this trend isn’t all for the ladies. I think the look is a go and shows that guys can be a little versatile with their wardrobe."
"Kanye of course (who started the trend on the black carpet)" FORREAL??!!!! PEOPLE! PEOPLE! PEOPLE! Do I really have to come up on here and put these stylist, fashion reporters, trend analyst, bloggers, and randoms onto game? I'm the originator of this here scarf thing. Don't make me have to start putting people on blast, I've had a few stylist compliment my scarf swag then all of a sudden their client mysteriously becomes the newest member of the protect your neck crew. Imma show you how I do this son!!!
... and just for good measure. YES, THAT'S THE ASCOT BELOW! I DOES THAT TOO!!!
I got to put these people in their place. This is like the 10th time this shit has happened and then mothasuckas act like I'm jacking style from some wack ass celebrity that wouldn't even know which socks to put on in the morning without a stylist picking it out for them. Just popped my own collar. what my man Jay said "Imma show you how to do this son!!!" Yep, sounds about right.
~I AIN'T NEW TO THIS SHIT~
Friday, December 14, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Below is a link to an article concerning a recent Supreme Court ruling that could finally lead to the end or at least the complete overhaul of the obviously racist Rockefeller drug laws that have put so many young black and Latino men and women in prison over the course of the past 35+ years for the position of small amounts of crack while their white counterparts have faced nowhere near as heavy sentences for the possession of 100x the amount of cocaine.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
I realized the four of you who actually read this blog haven’t gotten a Sunday audio foreplay offering from me in a very very long time, but I haven’t been inspired as I was on Sundays past to post music to go out to live to. You have to actually be doing it to put a set of theme songs together for it, at least in my world. However, today stands as a special yet sad occasion that is very deserving of a well put together Audio Foreplay that I hope you take the time to both read and listen to. I promise you will be the better for it.
As most or all of you may know by now Pimp C real name Chad Butler, one half of the legendary rap duo UGK, was found dead earlier this week in his hotel room in LA at the young age of 33 (No signs of drug use or physical harm were present at the time he was found. Medical examiners currently believe it may have been natural causes). This post is a bit hard for me due to the fact that I hate that we keep losing the greatest producers of musical genius of our generation at such young ages with unknown amounts more to give to us, but I’m sure it’s in no way as hard as it must be for the millions of fans who have been loyally riding tough with UGK since their 1992 debut “Too Hard to swallow”. I’m sure Texas is currently in a national state of mourning for one of their greatest exports.
I have a confession I feel must be shared on the matter of UGK, I’m one of the late ones who didn’t get into them until their latest album “Underground Kingz” put me on my ass with the hard slap boom bap wakeup call it gave me of their musical genius. Yes, even after their verses on Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin”, and just to start a fight on a Sunday, I actually didn't love that song and always thought it was one of the weakest songs in Jay’s catalogue (BRING IT ON!!!). It was the Underground Kingz album and an e-mail from a friend posted below that drove me back to their earlier works to hear if this was a onetime whim of genius or have they always been this lyrically prolific and I was just ignorant to it and the answer was – YES, they always have. I bought that album for the love of one song – International Players anthem, which I only truly loved because of the Andre “Feature Killer” 3000 verse. To then be blown away by the realization that International Players anthem was one of the weakest songs on the album. Trust that the use of the word weak is not the best word selection, as there was nothing AT ALL WEAK about anything put onto that album. It stands as perfection in my eyes.
One of the greatest things I heard once I had written a review of the Underground Kingz albums was from a very good southern friend whose musical taste I both respected and trusted e-mailed me the following.
“This album to me and my fellow dirrty souf peers is a classic...being that you're from New York, you probably wouldn't understand when I say THIS IS THE OL SKOOL UGK...The pocket full of stones UGK, the, "I'm 'bout to do a kick door, lay down on the floor UGK, THE UGK I GREW UP ON! This album will most definitely get mad play in my ride!”
Those simple, yet passionate, couple of sentences put me on a serious hunt to find the classic UGK albums that had produced such memorable lines. This is what great music and the people that create it do to people – it leaves you with something to live the rest of your life to. All this rambling was to say even though I haven’t known them for as long as I should, the short time that I had UGK in my world they left me with a lot and for that I shall forever be blessed and in an eternal state of mourning for the loss.
R.I.P PIMP C/Chad Butler.
P.S. Below is a great qoute from Bun B when asked when was the last time you saw him?(Pimp C)
"We performed together in Dallas the day after Thanksgiving. And we attended the Young Jeezy concert together Thanksgiving. And that was the last time I physically saw him. We met, we hugged, said we loved each other. When we separate we always make sure we hug and say we love each other. And keep in mind, Pimp C and I, we didn't agree on everything… I've been knowing Pimp C since he was 16 years old. By nature, our personalities and our character tended to be at odds, but because of who we were and where we were from, and where we were trying to go and what we were trying to prove, we were always together in that respect. And I loved him, and he loved me, and we're never ashamed to say it. And I know we're in the era of "pause" and "no homo" and all that, and that's all fine and dandy, but if you really love your homie, don't feel like you can't tell him you love him. Who gives a fuck how somebody take it. Because when things happen, you're going to wish you had said it. You're going to wish you said it louder."
AUDIO FOREPLAY SUNDAYS
Below is a video playlist I put together for today’s audio foreplay in honor of the group that through these streets reppin the south with lyrics as well as swagger. I have to start it with the song that got me to take the red pill:
UGK ft. Outkast – “International Players”
UGK – “Use Me Up”
UGK – “It's Supposed To Bubble”
Jay-Z ft. UGK – “Big Pimpin”
UGK - “The Game Belongs To Me”
Pimp C ft. Mike Jones & Bun B – “Pourin' Up”
Pimp-C - "Knockin doors Down" uncut
~kickin in doors~
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
America Has Lost a Generation of Black Boys By Phillip Jackson
"There is no longer a need for dire predictions, hand-wringing, or apprehension about losing a generation of Black boys. It is too late. In education, employment, economics, incarceration, health, housing, and parenting, we have lost a generation of young Black men. The question that remains is will we lose the next two or three generations, or possibly every generation of Black boys hereafter to the streets, negative media, gangs, drugs, poor education, unemployment, father absence, crime, violence and death. Most young Black men in the United States don't graduate from high school. Only 35% of Black male students graduated from high school in Chicago and only 26% in New York City, according to a 2006 report by The Sch ott Foundation for Public Education. Only a few Black boys who finish high school actually attend college, and of those few Black boys who enter college, nationally, only 22% of them finish college. Young Black male students have the worst grades, the lowest test scores, and the highest dropout rates of all students in the country. When these young Black men don't succeed in school, they are much more likely to succeed in the nation's criminal justice and penitentiary system. And it was discovered recently that even when a young Black man graduates from a U.S. College, there is a good chance that he is from Africa, the Caribbean or Europe, and not the United States. Black men in prison in America have become as American as apple pie. There are more Black men in prisons and jails in the United States (about 1.1 million) than there are Black men incarcerated in the rest of the world combined. This criminalization process now starts in elementary schools with Black male children as young as six and seven years old being arrested in staggering numbers according to a 2005 report, Education on Lockdown by the Advancement Project.
The rest of the world is watching and following the lead of America. Other countries including England, Canada, Jamaica, Brazil and South Africa are adopting American social policies that encourage the> incarceration and destruction of young Black men. This is leading to a world-wide catastrophe. But still, there is no adequate response from the American or global Black community. Worst of all is the passivity, neglect and disengagement of the Black community concerning the future of our Black boys. We do little while the future lives of Black boys are being destroyed in record numbers. The schools that Black boys a ttend prepare them with skills that will make them obsolete before, and if, they graduate. In a strange and perverse way, the Black community, itself, has started to wage a kind of war against young Black men and has become part of this destructive process. Who are young Black women going to marry? Who is going to build and maintain the economies of Black communities? Who is going to anchor strong families in the Black community? Who will young Black boys emulate as they grow into men? Where is the outrage of the Black> community at the destruction of its Black boys? Where are the plans and the supportive actions to change this? Is this the beginning of the end of the Black people in America? The list of those who have failed young Black men includes our government, our foundations, our schools, our media, our Black churches, our Black leaders, and even o ur parents. Ironically, experts say that the solutions to the problems of young Black men are simple and relatively inexpensive, but they may not be easy, practical or popular. It is not that we lack solutions as much as it is that we lack the will to implement these solutions to save Black boys. It seems that government is willing to pay billions of dollars to lock up young Black men, rather than the millions it would take to prepare them to become viable contributors and alued members of our society.
Please consider these simple goals that can lead to solutions for fixing the problems of young Black men: Short term 1) Teach all Black boys to read at grade level by the third grade and to embrace education. 2) Provide positive role models for Black boys. 3) Create a stable home environment for Black boys that includes contact with their fathers. 4) Ensure that Black boys have a strong spiritual base. 5) Control the negative media influences on Black boys. 6) Teach Black boys to respect all girls and women. Long term 1) Invest as much money in educating Black boys as in locking up Black men. 2) Help connect Black boys to a positive vision of themselves in the future. 3) Create high expectations and help Black boys live into those high expectations. 4) Build a positive peer culture for Black boys. 5) Teach Black boys self-discipline, culture and history. 6) Teach Black boys and the communities in which they live to embrace education and life-long learning. More Facts: 37.7% of Black men in the United States are not working (2006 Joint Economic Committee Study chaired by Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)). 58% of Black boys in the United States do not grad uate from high school (2006 Report from the Schott Foundation for Public Education). Almost 70% of Black children are born into female, single parent households (2000 Census Report). About 1 million Black men in the United States are in prison (U.S. Justice Department). I would add to these: 1. Teach Black boys that about 1 in 1,000,000 (my statistics, not official) are successful in professional sports (i.e. baseball, basketball, football, etc.). 2. Teach Black boys that about 1 in 1,000,000,000 (my stats, not official) are successful in the entertainment industry (i.e. actor, recording Artist, RAPPER, etc.). 3. Teach Black boys that about 1 in 1,000,000,000, 000 (my stats, not official) are successful as a drug dealer.....IF ANY 'If you don't stand for something, you will fall for everything.' Life is not always perfect, but when you have it, thank God for it."
Problems followed by some solutions. Now I am encouraged.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
I just finished watching an MTV Think first hand POV documentary on people living with HIV/AIDS with about 10 participants between the ages of 19-28. Numerous people in the piece who are positive are currently in relationships with people who are HIV-. There was a 20 yr old Caucasian woman who said after she had been with her HIV- boyfriend for about a month she finally told him she was HIV+ and "all the hugs and kisses STOPPED and he just wanted to be friends”. So you allowed the kissing to happen prior to you informing him that you were positive and all that occurred was the kissing stopped and him wanting to be just friends? Another participant was a 26 yr old HIV+ African American man that proposed to his 24 yr old HIV - negative girlfriend, who had earlier in the piece said there was no other man than him for her. These people must be better than me, because I don’t think I’d have the strength or desire to stay.
Please understand that this is a disease that I have experienced firsthand on more than one occasion. I have had people close to me and not so close to me suffer and die slowly from it up close and first hand. This is not an indictment on those living with the disease, however the reality of the situation is the disease has no cure and is transmittable. We don’t all have Magic Johnson money to get the secret magical beans. This shit scares the fucking hell out of me and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
I have a few questions:
1. Am I wrong to think there is no way in hell I’d knowingly put myself in the position to be in a sexual relationship with a positive person as someone who has taken all the possible precautions to protect myself from such a monstrous disease?
2. Would you be in a relationship with someone whom informed you of the fact they were positive?
3. When is the appropriate time to tell someone you are interested in of your positive status?
~Hoping for a cure~