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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bad Boys Bad Boys...Whatcha Gonna do?

Yet another young female was murdered due to her involvement with a boyfriend of ill repute. What's the deal ladies? This question has been gnawing at the craw of "nice guys" since time immemorial. I hate to belabor an issue but as time moves forward, the risks are much greater when a woman decides to date (or marry) a "bad boy." The story that prompted this entry occurred several weeks ago, when a 26 year old female, Wesleyan graduate(also a Conde Nast employee) was murdered execution style in a robbery attempt in Crown Heights, N.Y. The story gets more grotesque when it is reported that her boyfriend of a year, allegedly was a small time pot dealer who sold drugs out of their apartment while she went to her corporate job during the day. There were no indications that the boyfriend was involved as both were tied up, however the young lady was the one that ended up getting killed. But is this a case of the "company you keep?"

Both the Oprah and Larry King shows highlighted another case, whereby this young lady in question, broke up with her ex-convict boyfriend and of course, later reconciles with this person. At some point after this reconciliation, in an unexplainable fit of rage, this young man kills his girlfriend's mother (in front of her) and subsequently shoots his paramour in the face. The young lady miraculously survived. The catch is....for all intents and purposes she has no face! A once attractive young woman is forever maimed. As I stated earlier, the stakes are higher. There are so many dynamics as to why a woman makes these horrific decisions when choosing from a dating pool. I do know that the adage, "nice guys finish last," exists for a reason. What perplexes me is that many of these women will claim that that they are not attracted to nice guys. What also strikes me as a weird phenomenon is that when questioned, these selfsame females could not provide a sufficient definition of a nice guy. The quick answer would be one that is not going to get you killed or maimed. This has the potential to be a two-part entry....I will give my theories as to why this problem exists as well as what can be done to help the nice guy finish first for a change. More on the top story below:

  • http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/63938.htm
  • Monday, May 29, 2006

    Kinda Cool.....

    I came across these trailers for the upcoming Ghost Rider and Superman movies. Take a gander and enjoy.

    Saturday, May 27, 2006

    Rap Wars: The Delusional Menace

    I made reference to the above video a few weeks ago. I finally figured out away to upload it directly to the site. Once again, the video shows Mayor Michael Bloomberg's March press conference in which he, along with Def Jam Chairman, Russell Simmons and rapper/actor Ice-T, announce the 2006 VH-1 HipHop Honors' commitment to remaining in the Big Apple. Please, please pay close attention to Simmons' positive spin on the current state of hiphop. It will make your head spin. Something has to be done folks.

    Something Inspirational.......

    I just happened to catch an updated interview of this gentleman's story while viewing last night's episode of 20/20. The above video is actually the first interview of Chris Gardner. The interview was so compelling, Will Smith saw this episode and was quickly prompted to make a movie detailing Gardner's rags to riches journey. The book and movie are entitled, The Pursuit of Happyness and this story is nothing short of miraculous. Essentially, Gardner starts out as a homeless single father who is able to work his way up to becoming a millionaire, owning his own institutional investment firm. Any brother who wears tailored suits, drives a ferrari and listens to Miles Davis is already a person of interest in my book (or blog). I'm definitely psyched about both the book and film and I will let the video speak for itself. I have to give accolades to Gardner for his choice in license plates.....(not MJ or not Michael Jordan). Check out the video and you will understand the reference. Excelsior!

    Friday, May 26, 2006

    A Must Read...........

    I just wanted to say a couple of words regarding one of my favorite graphic novels to date, Squadron Supreme. Actually I made reference to it in one of my earlier entries, when I highlighted the Nighthawk character and the accompanying trade paperback. Squadron is essentially a revamp of a revamp, using Marvel characters dating back to the late 1960s. These characters were Marvel's nod to their main competitor's {DC, Detective Comics) superhero group, The Justice League of America. The revamped heroes were initially under Marvel's adult Max imprint, entitled Supreme Power and are now back to Squadron, in hopes of attaining a greater readership as a Marvel Knights book. I hate to say it, but we may have another case of cultural appropriation folks. I say this jokingly (sort of), but it appears that the writer, J. Michael Straczynski knows how to convincingly portray African-American heroes. There are several Black heroes, the Batman and Flash amalgams, Nighthawk and Blur, respectively. I believe a third brother, The Golden Archer is forthcoming. I don't want to give away too much, but I would suggest that you pick up issue #3 just to get a sense of the realistic dialogue. Brothers have never seemed so interesting and diverse in the comic world before this series. The X-men have nothing on these band of super-powered misfits. Can a movie be in the works? Do yourself a favor and pick up the trades and then start on the new issues at your local specialty shop.

    P.S. And it looks like Marvel fans wil get an additional treat in October when the "House of Ideas" plans to release a 9-part crossover series with the Supreme and Ultimate universes, entitled Ultimate Power. Check out the article below:

  • http://www.newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=6457f8942e63aa0b88b8d3a5a3c56712&threadid=63348
  • What happens when you start to profile in the Suburbs......

    I have just recently gotten hip to Dateline's shows dealing with the pursuit and apprehension of child molesters. I must commend the show's producers for coming up with this idea and hopefully they will be instrumental in putting away these monsters. What is equally disturbing is just how many men(and women also) are engaging in this criminal activity. I would hope that greater efforts are developed to start focusing on crimes in White suburban and exurban regions. Crime in this country possess such a Black and minority aesthetic, that modern policing appears to obfuscate what occurs in these middle-class communities. I remember a Criminal Justice course I took while attending Hampton. One thing that has stayed with me since taking that course, was the section dealing with America's Police history. The Police were not created to necessarily fight crime but to protect property in response to a burgeoning Industrial Revolution. In other words, to keep undesirables away from property and (wealthy) persons. Dateline is just showing us the tip of the iceberg...this is what happens when you concentrate on suburbia....you find countless predators (doctors, teachers, rabbis) circling around these kids like bees to honey. Let's just see how long this will last and maybe we will stop seeing just the Black or Brown everyman on the cover of your local newspaper.

    More on Idol.........

    I have to admit that I am a reluctant American Idol watcher. It is the type of program that I glance at while channel surfing. But after watching the above Taylor Hicks retrospective, I have to admit that this cat has chops. It also reminds me of how prevalent cultural appropriation is when it comes to longstanding Black idioms. This is not to "hate" on Hicks. I am not one to racialize everything, heck I welcome all nationalities to bask in African-American style and culture. I just wish more Black people honored and represented the same culture. You would be hard pressed to find a new African-American artist that would play the standards or display the soulful and emotional content that young Mr. Hicks has shown us. Don't expect Avant, Omarion or Usher to embark on to this soulful territory. I just don't think the foresight, intelligence and talent is there. I remember when R & B singer, Tyrese, was asked during a VH-1 music oriented game show, who was the artist that inspired him to sing, he said that Bobby Brown was his influence. I like Bobby Brown, but this cat couldn't mention Stevie Wonder or Sam Cooke or god forbid, Marvin Gaye? You are bearing witness to a lost generation folks....your music, your sense of style, your essence is being discarded. But hey..there's always Taylor Hicks. Kudos Mr. Hicks!

    Thursday, May 25, 2006

    OK Now I dig American Idol.......

    Well.....I'm biased. This time they had a master musician on stage.

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    Look Up in the Sky...It's a bird, no it's a plane.....it's Oprah!

    I just wanted to make a brief comment about Oprah's Legends Ball, which aired this past Monday. One word. Necessary. Let me add another word. Balance. Although I have great admiration for Ms. Winfrey and her accomplishments, I have not always seen "eye to eye" with everything she represents. But no one can question her iconic status. However, this show really showcased the dignity and class of the modern Black woman. It showed that Black folk, women in particular, are capable and deserving of respect. And the kicker is, that this was done for public consumption. Others outside of the African-American community bared witness to this celebration. It must be screamed from the rooftops that we are not all criminal, dysfunctional or without grace. In a time when Black imagery can almost be compared to the minstrelsy of days of old(case in point, 106 and Park after 6pm, blogs like Crunk & Disorderly, daytime court shows, you name it), her program was literally a breath of fresh air. Excelsior Ms. Winfrey! Let's hope this type of programming catches on like a virus to combat the nonsense.

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    What happened to sticks and stones?

    A few days ago I was a caller on Rev. Al Sharpton's Sharptalk radio program (98.7, Kiss FM-NY) in which the topic of discussion was the use of the infamous "n-word" in today's lexicon. Of course Rev. Sharpton has a specific agenda, so any real discourse with him is foolhardy. His contention was that the word, nigger, should be banned or evaluated as it is the precursor to racially motivated crimes. My call centered on promoting diversity in Black imagery and class in order to counteract the pervasive hiphop or street culture that currently defines the way African-Americans are viewed. I also felt that the use of nigger pales in comparison to Black on Black crime or the general disrespect that some in the Black community have for each other. Sharpton rarely discusses Black internal mayhem in favor of racial dynamic issues.

    The next caller essentially gained his allegiance and support when she plugged her site,
  • http://www.abolishthenword.com
  • , whose purpose is self-explanatory. The site appears to be gaining popularity, as I have heard other stations mention it. The marketing hook(and you know that was coming) has the site visitor download a form making the person promise to stop using the n-word as well as purchase a t-shirt with the "abolish" slogan emblazoned on it. In some respects I have a problem with this campaign. On the surface the Abolish project appears to be admirable. But how can you truly stop free speech? I stopped being affected by the usage of nigger many many moons ago. I am more concerned by those people (of various racial strata) that seem to live up to the meaning of the word. What the site is saying is...."oh please (Mr. White Man) stop calling me nigger because it still hurts." Please....I wish somebody had that kind of power over me. Not today son. Also, how do you counteract hiphop's orgy with nigger, excuse me nigga.

    But back to my point, nigger is a white cultural invention. White folk also believed the world was flat at one time as well. So by using this logic, if a White person (allegedly it stings worse when they say it for some reason) calls a person of color a nigger does it make it true? I don't think so. Randall Kennedy's book, Nigger, gives an excellent legal and social history of this racial epithet. It is just amazing that someone can actually write a book on one word! My wish would be that we stop caring about silly words and start caring about not so silly actions. Sticks and stones folks. Stick and stones....

    Monday, May 22, 2006

    Talk about cold cash...Damn bruh!

    You know....I'm keeping this story brief. Another brother. Another William Jefferson. A Democrat. Not another Conservative(this time). And $90,000 found in said brother's frig. Bribery charges forthcoming. That's it. Click the link. When will it stop.

  • http://www.klfy.com/Global/story.asp?S=4935379
  • The Real Gangsta HipHop....and what happened to it

    I think that I reflect on the current state of hiphop almost daily. It really affects me the hardest when a so-called "old-school" anthology music program is broadcast. I was a pre-teen when hiphop music first came on the scene and believe it or not it was always straddled with controversy. When groups like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five or The Funky Four(plus one more) were at the height of their popularity, most of the criticism dealt with music being "party" oriented or faddish. That was basically it...just too much about the party. The funny thing is that if you were to listen to these records today, you would swear that you're listening to a sermon. Sure these records did have live party tracks as background filler, but many times the listener would hear positive affirmations within these songs. "I don't do drugs because it's wack" or something along those lines was proclaimed and very rarely would it come off as corny. This period, however, was not considered the golden-age of hiphop music. The actual time period is actually open to debate amongst music critics and rap aficionados alike. Some say that this period was from 1987 through 1994 and others (including yours truly) believe that it was from 1989 through 1992.

    One of the highlights during this period, was the advent of political or socially-conscious rap. Acts such as Public Enemy and the X-Clan(pictured above) literally set the hiphop scene on fire, with their incendiary, multi-layered lyrics and innovative sampling abilities. The funny thing is that I have often likened this particular genre as being true gangsta music. Now what do I mean by this. Currently, the gangsta music that we all know(and hate) has been stuck on stupid for approximately 15 years. As violent and as ignorant as the lyrical content may be, it is not threatening to this country's power structure. Public Enemy maintained a sizeable White fanbase while spouting pro-black lyrics....that my friend is gangsta. I remember during this period that African bookstores, clothing, medallions and political conversation were actually in abundance. This was shut down as a fad in about 2 years. Having the consumer to actually think is an extremely dangerous concept. The only explanation I can come up with regarding the demise of political hiphop is that Black folk treated the music as a fad and not the soundtrack to a legitimate movement. I also think that having a predominantly White consumer fanbase actually empathizing with a Black militant and/or political struggle was definitely not going to be promoted ad infinitum. So when you happen to download the latest Dipset effort, remember that there was a time when people actually cared what the hiphop artist was spouting out of his mouth as opposed to the bling that today's artist is putting in his mouth.

    Sunday, May 21, 2006

    Wondertwin powers activate! Form of... A Black Church...Form of a Drug Dealer!

    If any generation x-er is familiar with the Wondertwins, they were twin brother and sister superheroes that appeared regularly on the 70s Superfriends cartoon show. You might be wondering what do these goofy characters have to do with the above title. The Wondertwins's powers acted in collusion-by touching hands they were able to access their respective powers. In my estimation, some Black Churches and neighborhood drug dealers possess similar abilities and hence inact similar damage. If you toured many urban African American cities and towns, more than likely you will notice a plethora of store-front local churches. I have seen as many as five or six on one city block, none of which having any affiliation with the other. I do not want to cast a broad brush against all churches, I'm sure there are many that are truly doing God's work. But what about those that are not. It pains me to see new construction(usually a church)in a neighborhood and it not being a business that would uplift the community and perhaps give its residents a chance at employment. I think the drug dealer being an anathema to the Black community speaks for itself. But just as some of these churches are what I refer to as "hope merchants," I would also use that same moniker with those who peddle illegal drugs. Perhaps I'm looking at this wrong, as many would consider religion to be synonymous with the monetary pursuits. Would you really trust someone named Creflo A. Dollar? The funny thing is that his real name. I think I may have to change my name to....Mr. Desmond Not Goingforit!

    Just a Little bit more Funk....I can't help it!

    I'm in the midst of getting dressed to go to the gym....I also have 2 more entries that I promise will bring the FIRE!! In the meantime, here is a taste of Funk from the past....Fitty who? I guess today's music is worth about as much as Curtis Jackson's stage name. Again after looking at this incredible clip...what happened to the music folks? Check out his Royal Badness.

    Saturday, May 20, 2006

    Some Gems courtesy of You Tube.....

    Perhaps the greatest invention next to ebay is the video clip site, You Tube. I was just goofing around a bit on the computer this weekend and found some important video tidbits that I thought would be worth sharing with the class. Suffice it to say, it reminds you what the music used to be like and also causes the viewer to scratch his head and ponder what the hell happened. Check out a few clips below:

    Stevie Wonder on MTV...you'll never see that again now that MTV has a Logan's Run policy in effect(no one over 30 and talented can formally appear on the station...outside of an award show cameo appearance)

    The final episode of Yo MTV Raps....again real lyricism, no gangsta aesthetic....before the bling, weekly shootings and clothing lines.

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Rare jam session featuring Lenny Kravitz with George Clinton....again no DAT machine or the obligatory rap solo.

    Looks like this fish wasn't caught.......

    As many of my closest friends know about me by now, I will get my comic book fix wherever I can I get it. I'm a big Smallville fan and I must confess that I actually was looking forward to the proposed Aquaman series, Mercy Reef. I was even more surprised that Ving Rhames(I still haven't forgiven him for the 20 minute chicken eating incident on BET, but I digress)was cast as Arthur Curry's (Aquaman's adopted name)mentor. Marvel's Sub-Mariner (who pre-dates Aquaman) was always a cooler character but I did say that I had to have my comic fix, so Aquaman would suffice. Unfortunately, during the May 18th announcement of the CW's(Warner and Paramount merger) fall line up, Reef was noticeably absent. Well...one can always hope that the series gets picked up at a later date. Anyway, have fun with the trailer above and for more Aquaman info, click on the link below:

  • http://www.aquamantv.com
  • Thursday, May 18, 2006

    Why there is a BET and no WET(White Entertainment Television)..... Allegedly

    I'm pretty sure many of you (people of color that is....but all nationalities read this blog..you'd be surprised) have had the experience of explaining the existence of BET(Black Entertainment Television for those residing under a rock for 25 plus years)to White acquaintances. Actually the question can be applied to just about anything that has Black in it's title. When this happens, it is jarring as to how little Whites know about Blacks and how powerful the media is as a propaganda tool. The quick answer is....there already is a WET. Pick your station...whether it's CBS, NBC, FOX or the WB, all are White Entertainment Television. But give me time I can dig deeper. If you are a Black American(not Caribbean, Latin or African..shout out to those brothers, just being specific)your options for self-description are limited. The term African-American is a somewhat new term and it is equally recent that Black folk have felt comfortable in embracing African as a nationality. So what am I saying? The whole premise of slavery is non identity. Our existence in this country has centered around color as our ONLY identifier. Very rarely is a White person conscious of their color...except in the company of a Black majority. So a Black American can't opt out and state that they are Italian,Irish, Jewish, etc. Unless you're Lenny Kravitz, Sammy Davis, Jr. or Giancarlo Esposito...but they are still Black guys. Hence, our quantifier has been terms such as Black music, Black art, Black entertainment, etc. Black has to encompass everything...the culture, the color and one's consciousness. But I like to talk a lot. If you're running for time and just don't have the patience...stick to the short answer-isn't CBS running a Without a Trace marathon?

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    My thoughts on Immigration.....

    Funny how the issue of illegal immigration just suddenly popped up. God forbid that this is an election year(oops did I say that out loud?) and the U.S. continues to lose soldiers and Iraqi citizens to weekly bombings. But at the same token, I do have a problem with the recently held demonstrations and protests galvanizing illegals
    demanding rights as if they were full-fledged American citizens. I think that if I took a transatlantic flight to France today, and then seconds later upon my arrival demanded full privileges akin to a French citizen, I might have a problem on my hands. This is not to dismiss the immigrants (those of the past, present or future) that contributed greatly to America's success, but what about parity and respect for American citizens, native or naturalized? I recently heard a radio interview with former conservative Presidential candidate and now Reformist, Pat Buchanan in which he stated that if more corporate CEOs were forced to do the "perp walk" for hiring illegal immigrants much of this issue would dissipate. Although I am not a Buchanan fan, I wholeheartedly agree with his assertion. America's slave past is a testament to this nation's thirst for cheap (if not free) labor. Let's not forget the outsourcing phenomenon either. Don't get mad at the Indian gentleman that is helping you with your IT problems when your PC is on the fritz. Get mad at his employer...oops you might just be calling your boss.

    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    The difference between Britney and Shaniqua?.......Oh Not Much

    I hate to admit it but the recent Britney Spears faux pas has been nagging at my brain the entire day. Who would have thought that I would be discussing Spears here at Afronerd....but the beauty of this site is that anything can (and will) be analyzed. If you were not aware of this story, the above picture speaks for itself. This is the third time of record that Spears has put her child in needless danger. Driving an open air vehicle and using a grotesquely inappropriate carseat appear to be just a day in the life for young Ms. Spears. But what must be really scrutinized, is how despite the pop star's financial portfolio, her social status still remains intact. In other words, her conduct could easily be juxtaposed with the Shaniquas of the world. What am I saying you ask. Very rarely is social class analyzed in the White world to the same degree as the Black and Brown underclass. Britney will get a pass but oftentimes the same behavior exhibited by a lower class minority is perceived differently despite the only difference being melanin. I am currently reading Black Rednecks and White Liberals, written by noted Black conservative, Thomas Sowell. It is Mr. Sowell's supposition that what is currently attributed as Black ghetto behavior actually has its origins dating back to the antebellum South (and beyond...can anyone speak cockney?). Much of the lawlessness, out of wedlock births and general criminal behavior was very much a lower class White aesthetic, way before any endemic notions were hoisted upon Black folk. This is a very important book to add to your library and I suspect will give the reader at least an explanation as to one of the reasons for behavior justly (or unjustly) seen as a Black thing. So next time you see Britney, remember that ignorance is only skin deep. For more information regarding the Spears story, just click the link below:

  • http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=entertainment&id=4179298
  • Talk about Delusional......

    Due to time constraints I can't dwell on this little tidbit today, but I wanted you guys to be more aware of just how delusional some of these corporate music moguls are when it comes to what this music scene is doing to the consumer. In March, Mayor Bloomberg (of NYC for the uninitiated), Ice-T and Russell Simmons held a press conference announcing New York's commitment to having VH-1's Hiphop Honors award show remain in the big apple. The event is scheduled to be broadcast some time in the fall of this year. Click on the link below for the press conference....please pay close attention to what Russell says about how great hiphop is and how it respects women. This fool has been taking too many yoga classes.

  • Bloomberg meets Hiphop Honchos

  • Also stay tuned for my take on the immigration issue....next entry.

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    And now we preempt this message.....

    Unfortunately, the President's address the nation speech preempted Oprah's Legends Ball program, but we can expect this stellar and important event to be broadcast next Monday. I thought that Stanley Crouch's piece in today's New York Daily News encapsulated the need for programs such as Oprah to counteract the buffoonery. For Mr. Crouch's article click below:

  • http://www.nydailynews.com/news/col/scrouch/story/417745p-352876c.html
  • Sunday, May 14, 2006

    Time for some FIRE!!! Just a rant by yours truly.

    Every once in awhile I have to vent..... so pardon this brief indulgence. Because I made my presence known on the gossip blog, Crunk and Disorderly, I'm beginning to notice some Crunk supporters coming to this site and leaving pornographic pictures in the comment section which I cannot delete. Others are just leaving disparaging remarks regarding my beliefs, which I have no problem with, as I do not intend to censor anyone. However, if you plan to leave a comment be prepared to defend yourself because I will bring the fire. You may have noticed the photos of Paul Robeson and Biggie Smalls above. One represents the apex of Black achievement, the other represents.... I leave that up to the reader. But one thing that disturbs me about the direction that some in our community are taking us in, is this requirement that we must love hiphop and cast allegience to the alleged hiphop community....and with my experience with Crunk, I have had enough of it. I grew up on hiphop, jazz, funk and many musical genres. But the hiphop of old is NOT the hiphop that is being pumped into our consciousness in 2006. Crunk really hit it home for me that there is this Black group thought process that we are compelled to belong to....almost akin to Black folks having to vote democratic and it truly disturbs me. For some reason you can't think differently and you can't challenge anyone in this ghettofabulous realm. If someone wants to rep the ghetto lifestyle then so be it. But I am also aware of the excellence in scholarship and entertainment that Mr. Robeson stood for and I support that realm. Somebody has to. So, I welcome those with opposing viewpoints but be prepared to defend yourself. Everybody doesn't rep ghetto substandard beliefs nor should they be compelled to do so. We have choices and I hope you make the right one. Don't worry, you won't lose your Black authenticity card. If you think you lost it, try catching a cab in New York, that will be your reminder, just reconsider wearing your platinum grill and playing Yung Joc on your ipod if your lucky enough to catch that cab.

    Talk About Putting a Foot in Your Mouth.....WOW!

    First I have to give a shout out to the crew at New York's Kiss-FM(98.7 on the FM dial) for giving me an opportunity to speak and plug my blog this morning. One of the topics on this Mother's Day dealt with the ousting of Troi Torain aka "Star" of the infamous Star and Bucwild morning show(of Power 105.1) last week, for making derogatory remarks and threats against a rival dj's child. I'm not going to insult your intelligence by repeating what Torain stated, let's just state that he was willing to go down the road of R. Kelly on a 4 year old child. I will be honest by stating that I was an avid listener of his program mainly because I thought that he was one of the few radio personalities that was highly critical of the current state of hiphop music. However, it appears that he was caught up in the same cesspool that he was critiquing. If anyone is familiar with the NY radio scene, it is one of the largest and most competitive broadcasting markets in the country. Personal threats and "hot talk" were passed between both Star and Hot 97's (97.1 fm) "DJ Envy" culminating in Star exclaiming "on air" that he would do harm to Envy's child and even offered $500 for the listener that could provide information as to the whereabouts of the child. To some this may be a question of freedom of speech, but this is an obvious line which no radio personality (or anyone) should cross. As of this date, Star was fired and later arrested on child endangerment charges. On today's show, Open Line I was not only able to mention the site but give my opinion on Star's quagmire, the general state of hiphop and how it is presently effecting the African-American community. In a nutshell, I repeated what I have attempted to do with this blog...provide an alternate view of Black life. Again, I implore the readers of this blog to start writing these media outlets to demand respect and balance when it comes to Black imagery. The disrespect stops now. Don't forget to scroll down to the previous posts to access contact information pertaining to the aformentioned media centers. And for more information regarding the Star and Bucwild controversy click on the link below:

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/12/nyregion/12radio.html?_r=3&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
  • Monday, May 08, 2006

    To Braid or Not to Braid that is the Question

    I may be a bit late with this next story but it is no less noteworthy. I found out about this story through a guilty (and regretful) pleasure that I have....reading the ghettocentric blog, Crunk and Disorderly. I find myself at odds with this blog for a variety of reasons, one of which deals with it's mantra of showcasing celebrity gossip from an alleged Black perspective. But hey, ghetto folk need blogs too I suppose. Anyway, Crunk reported that Susan Taylor (pictured above), founder and editorial director of Essence, cancelled an appearance at Hampton University (my Alma Mater)for which she was the scheduled guest speaker, after learning of its policy on acceptable hairstyles for students in the Master's of Business Aministration program. This policy only effected students pursuing a MBA degree. I, for one, agree with this policy. The kicker is that I was eventually banned from Crunk (which leads me to develop a counter blog, more on this at a later date) because in their comments section, my opinion was tantamount to blasphemy. I'm not a big supporter for braids. I support natural or conservative hairstyles, regardless of one's nationality but braids are not the only natural hair option. Ms. Taylor can afford to take such a stance as she has been running her own business for close to three decades. I get what Hampton is trying to accomplish and it has little to do with cultural denial. Black folk are not a monolithic community as so many (Black, White and others) would lead one to believe. Even in Africa, Nigeria specifically, there is an ongoing debate regarding men wearing braids as it is perceived as having a gay or effeminate subtext. The MBA program entails endoctrinating these students to the corporate culture and like it or not, that relies on conformity for everyone...not just people of color. But hey, maybe I just think that a clean ceasar cut looks great with a tailored suit. Of course we could do what Ms. Taylor has done and create your own business making braids mandatory. Let's try to get the business developed first. For more details relating to this story, check out the link below:

  • http://www.eurweb.com/story/eur25880.cfm
  • Sunday, May 07, 2006

    Cooning is for Everyone.....Didn't you get the Memo?

    More on BET....If the above video doesn't get you guys to take this rap imagery seriously, I don't know what will. A few days go Tom Cruise made an illustrious appearance on BET's 106 & Park promoting Mission Impossible 3. Why did he have to dance for the natives?....as if this is all that Harlemites are about. But it gets worse. Ving Rhames proceeded to devour a plate of chicken for most the broadcast. Be thankful I couldn't find that online. One forgets that Harlem was once known for sophisticated entertainment and scholarship. Didn't W.E.B. Dubois publish the Crisis in Harlem? Mr. Dubois would be rolling in his grave if he witnessed this behavior. Let's start writing letters folks!

    "It's Been A Long Time......I Shouldn't Have Left You"

    It has been a long time since I left an entry but sickness will do that to you sometimes. I just haven't been feeling in the greatest of spirits in the last month...perhaps a change in the season and allergies make for a nasty elixir. Anyway, my health appears to be returning and so are my entries. I wanted to continue with my last entry by posting more companies that I believe are contributors (enablers) to the negative imagery that hiphop currently embodies:

    1515 Broadway
    New York, NY 10036

    Viacom purchased BET from Robert Johnson for a gazillion dollars a few years ago and the programming has gone from bad to worse. Send letters addressed to Sumner Redstone, Viacom's Chairman and founder. Don't forget to carbon copy Tom Freston the President and CEO of the company.

    MTV Networks

    Same address as Viacom. Their phone number is (212)258-8000. Coincidentally, Viacom owns MTV and BET. Both are equally adept at insulting our intelligence and corrupting our youth.

    I had an idea recently. One would believe since African Americans are not rioting in the streets about poor media representation and the buffoonery that is gangsta hiphop is thriving, no one can come to our aid. Think again. It is my belief that the Christian Coalition can and should help. This buffoonery is corrupting everyone, not just people of color. Below are a few groups that should be contacted. Heaven knows that these folks have an excellent success rate when it comes to shutting down undesireable entertainment.

  • http://www.americandecency.org

  • American Family Association

  • Concerned Women of America

  • http://www.parentstv.org