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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Afronerd Meets the Invisible Woman, courtesy of Afronerd Radio, Sunday at 8pm eastern & then The Comic Shoppe on Monday at 6pm

We have two great shows lined up for you guys so don't be afraid to drop by with your thoughts and contributions. First up, we will be talking with the Invisible Woman of the Invisible Cinema blog to discuss the current and future prognosis for African-American cinema. Does the Cosby-effect ring true as a trend or will we continue to witness cinematic gems like Who's Your Caddy? Join us this Sunday at 8pm eastern as we will be broadcasting "live." The call in number is (646) 915-9620 or you can reach us via IM/email-afronerdradio@yahoo. It will be great fun and feel free to call up with your list of stinkers, recommendations and predictions for 08.

And don't forget our new show The Comic Shoppe, now located at a new lair also courtesy of Blog Talk. Join Max, Daryll and I as we run through the standouts in comics and fantasy film in 07' as well as make predictions for 2008. This show is a bit early but it will be loads of fun. Again, another live broadcast so you can reach us at-(646) 200-0104 or IM/email-thecomicshoppe@yahoo. As an added treat, in the spirit of The Shoppe show, check out the latest episode of Pulp Secret:

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Week in Review on Afronerd Radio-Tonight at 9pm eastern-Big Willy & Hitler?, Sharpton, Huckabee, The John White case, The Great Debaters

It's Week in Review time, courtesy of BlogTalk and Afronerd Radio. This time we're going to tackle the following: Will Smith's latest media faux pas, Mike Huckabee's Anti-IRS proposal, Is Rev. Al the King of Dems?, Denzel's tour de force in The Great Debaters, the John White guilty verdict and my NPR recap. I may also want touch upon the Enough is Enough campaign. Here's the drill-give us a call "live" with your thoughts and opinions at-646-915-9620 or via email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo. It's tonight at 9pm eastern-Be there...well you know the rest!

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

It Doles Out the Stereotypes but at least the Audience is in on the Joke-Harold & Kumar 2

Even I have to admit, as far as frat house humor goes, this trailer for Harold and Kumar 2 does look very funny. My thoughts on The Great Debaters next entry-what a segue.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Robots Want to be Humans or Humans Want to be Robots......Go Figure!

Although I have never really explored my interest for sci-fi on Afronerd, it appears that I must, as science-fiction is quickly becoming science-fact. This is becoming more evident based on some fascinating new developments occurring out of Japan (to the chagrin, I suspect, of Westerners) in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence. During my formative educational years, in between Marvel and DC I did manage to read my fair share of Huxley, Asimov and Bradbury and trust me, AI is coming. You think the current political landscape affirms treacherous exploration-wait until humans attempt to marry an object (can an android be considered an object, if sentience is the goal). I kid you guys not! I just happened to come across a book (courtesy of a Howard Stern recommendation) entitled, Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships , by David Levy. Levy posits that since humans have the ability to love on a variety of levels, including the ability to anthropomorphize their pets-human/robot relations are next. I give it less than 200 years-but hey I could be wrong. Unless of course, I'm alive for the Kenya Moore-bot, Leila Arcieri-bot and Lena Horne(retro bot)-I kid, I kid. Check out more examples (below) of a weird forthcoming future, including the vaunted robot dance. What do you guys think-will the robots rule? Pssst....Japan thinks so (they want to get rid of their immigrants-true story).

Meet Disney's Lucky-

A Bike riding android-

And a horny Japanese invention-

And then there's the boogaloo-

Today's Bloggers Roundtable, courtesy of NPR

Oh Damn-we wuz robbed....again! I jest but unfortunately we didn't get the chance to discuss the Enough is Enough campaign on NPR this afternoon. Tony Cox did an excellent job of hosting in lieu of Farai Chideya's absence. All in all, however, I thought that it was a festive segment. Check it out below:

Bloggers' Rountable: Sharpton's Relevance

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Three Things to Note: Afronerd Does NPR, Week in Review this Thursday and a new home for the Comic Shoppe!

Well it's that time again, yours truly is scheduled to appear on NPR's News and Notes/Bloggers Roundtable segment (along with fellow bloggers
Baratunde Thurston and Carmen Dixon of the All About Race blog) at approx. 1:15pm (Wednesday the 26th)-check your local listings as the program airs on both terrestrial and satellite (Sirius 134) formats. Tentatively, the subjects to be discussed are: The Enough is Enough campaign, Is Reverend Al the "go to" spokesman for the Black community in this election season and does Kwanzaa conflict with the African-American Christian tradition?-trust me, you don't want to miss this! Next up-we have Afronerd Radio's Week in Review broadcast this Thursday at 9pm eastern and lastly check out our new show The Comic Shoppe which also airs courtesy of BlogTalk every other Monday at 7pm. And in the spirit of comics, check out Michael Buble's jazzy rendition of the Spiderman cartoon theme. Excelsior!

Merry Xmas To All Our Supporters (and hell, our detractors as well) from Afronerd.....Another One Our Greats Passes-Oscar Peterson

Merry Christmas to all our readers and let's pray for a productive (and less dysfunctional) new year. I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge and pay homage to the great Jazz pianist, Oscar Peterson who died from kidney failure on the 23rd of this month. It seems to be a constant theme on our blog that as we point out some of the aberrant transgressions that are taking place in communities of color, we also try to ring the alarm that our culture is literally eroding before our very eyes with no end in sight. Peterson, whose beginnings reach back to Canada, was a preeminent jazz pianist who held court with some of greatest jazz musicians of our time-i.e. Ray Brown, Coleman Hawkins, Milt Jackson, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Clark Terry, Anita O'Day, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz were his associates just to name a few. Lets try to honor and revere our culture and African-American traditions while we can folks-time is promised to no one.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Interviewing Claude Johnson of BlackFives.com this Sunday at 6pm eastern-courtesy of Afronerd Radio

We are having an early and special broadcast of Afronerd Radio tomorrow (at 6pm eastern) when we interview the CEO of Black Fives Inc., Claude Johnson. For those unfamiliar with the Black Fives, just as there was Negro League baseball-the Fives represented the equivalent in basketball. More specifically, the Black Fives basketball leagues thrived in the U.S. during the period between 1900 and 1940, culminating in community and inner city rivalries in cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Pittsburgh when institutional segregation was the lay of the land. So let's take a walk through history as we welcome Mr. Johnson to our program. Call in with your thoughts and questions as we will be broadcasting "live" at-646-915-9620 or via email/IM at afronerdradio@yahoo. As always be there and be square!

Afronerd Radio presents Claude Johnson's Black Fives

Oh and we also plan to do a special James Brown tribute segment as we are approaching the one year anniversary of his passing. So be there, be square and on the good foot!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Check out these latest Trailers......HoneyDrippers & Hancock!

Honeydripper Trailer - John Sayles

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Special Hat Tip and a Soul Brother handshake to Undercover Black Man for highlighting this movie on his respective blog. Check out the film's synopsis according to the official site:

Iconoclastic filmmaker John Sayles, in his 16th feature film, continues his extraordinary examination of the complexities and shifting identities of American sub-cultures in the new film “Honeydripper.” With his usual understated intelligence, Sayles uses the rhythms of the citizens of Harmony, Alabama to immerse the audience into the world of the Jim Crow south. It’s a fable about the birth of rock n’ roll-a quintessentially American subject, but with a fidelity to time and temperament that is unusual in an American director.

It’s 1950 and it’s a make or break weekend for Tyrone Purvis (Danny Glover), the proprietor of the Honeydripper Lounge. Deep in debt, Tyrone is desperate to bring back the crowds that used to come to his place. He decides to lay off his long-time blues singer Bertha Mae, and announces that he’s hired a famous guitar player, Guitar Sam, for a one night only gig in order to save the club.

Into town drifts Sonny Blake, a young man with nothing to his name but big dreams and the guitar case in his hand. Rejected by Tyrone when he applies to play at the Honeydripper, he is intercepted by the corrupt local Sheriff, arrested for vagrancy and rented out as an unpaid cotton picker to the highest bidder. But when Tyrone’s ace-in-the-hole fails to materialize at the train station, his desperation leads him back to Sonny and the strange, wire-dangling object in his guitar case. The Honeydripper lounge is all set to play its part in rock n’ roll history.

I must admit that I am a bit more optimistic about this film than Undercover. He did make a valid point about the rash of juke joint films that were made in the last few years however, the amount of those celluloid efforts pale in comparison to the onslaught of ghetto-centric films that have been made and promoted in the past. I will reserve judgment as the stellar cast and period early 50’s backdrop may be just what the film doctor ordered. Let’s cross our fingers. And the next trailer is of course, the upcoming release from Will Smith, entitled Hancock. This film appeals to my inner geek as it falls into the superhero/fantasy category. After a 76 million dollar opening weekend for I am Legend, will Hancock continue the trend? What do you guys think? A quarter (hey, inflation) for your thoughts.

New Research Redefines What it Means to be Middle Class

This just in from Newswise.com:

Newswise — For generations, social scientists have defined the black middle class in family terms, as married couples with children. But a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows that a growing percentage of the black middle class are young single people living alone.

“We’ve dispelled the assumption among scholars that blacks have to be married to be middle class,” said Kris Marsh, Ph.D., a post-doctoral scholar at UNC’s Carolina Population Center and author of the study, which appears in the December issue of the journal Social Forces.

Pop culture already reflects this trend. In her study, Marsh names single middle-class blacks the Love Jones cohort, borrowing the title of a 1997 movie about a similar group.

And, in the acronymic spirit of social science, which gave us DINKs (dual-income, no kids) and DEWKs (dual-earners with kids), Marsh coined the phrase SALA for people in all income brackets who are single (never married) and living alone, which includes Oprah Winfrey, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and radio and TV personality Tavis Smiley.

Marsh and her colleagues studied United States census data from 1980, 1990 and 2000. The data show that among the black middle class, ages 25 to 44, the Love Jones cohort more than doubled its share between 1980 and 2000, from 5.8 percent to more than 14 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of married couples, living together, with children declined from 64.6 percent to 48 percent in that same time period.

By following the data through three decades, the study also confirmed that SALAs, and especially the Love Jones cohort, do not simply delay marriage but remain single and continue to accumulate wealth.

This contradicts previous research that said a reduction in marriage and childbearing has created a black middle class in stagnation or in decline. Instead, Marsh said, her work reveals a vibrant population, but the composition is changing.

“Numerous studies suggest that the black middle class has been losing economic ground – objectively and relative to whites,” said Karyn Lacy, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Michigan who was not part of the study.

“Marsh's innovative study makes clear that scholars reached this conclusion because they've been focusing on the wrong people. By looking exclusively at married couples, scholars miss the group, which is slowly becoming a fixture in the black middle class – single black professionals who do not marry or become parents. Their status as single and middle class challenges just about everything that we think we know about life in the middle and will demand new research on the consumption patterns, housing preferences and lifestyles of this influential group,” Lacy said.

Click below for the Newswise article in its entirety:

Study Redefines Black Middle Class as More Adults Stay Single and Live Alone

More Pulp Secret Comic Commentary...

And then there's more:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

“Ain’t too many of us grew up in Hawaii and went to Harvard,” Sharpton says.

In the last entry I was taken to task regarding my ongoing critique of progressive Black leadership and more specifically, Rev. Sharpton. The above quote made by Sharpton says it all. Can someone explain to me how many ounces does the imaginary Africoid jug hold in order for authentic Blackness to be determined? I'm going to lay off the Sharpton criticisms for a bit because so many Black folk are emotionally invested in our leadership that legitimate questions and analysis are just not welcome. Here is a brief excerpt from a recent New York Magazine article relating to Sharpton's influence during this presidential race:

And on the surface, that’s partly what this primary season comes down to for Sharpton: a race to see which candidate can kiss his ring the most, the fastest, and with the most sincere pucker. With a black candidate and the spouse of “the first black president” in the race, the jockeying to secure the black vote in the primaries has never been more intense. All of which puts Sharpton in demand. “In the end,” he says, “they may all hate my guts. But it’s the reality of the landscape … how much they need me and how bad. I’m sure right now they know they need me.” Though many have said that Sharpton’s brand of identity politics is obsolete, citing Obama (not to mention the ongoing investigation of the reverend’s finances) as evidence, Sharpton isn’t worried. “Ten years ago, they said Colin Powell was going to make Jesse obsolete. And ten years before. They’ve always had a Barack Obama. There will always be a more inside, acceptable black they will say makes us obsolete. I worry about that as much as James Brown worried about Sammy Davis making him obsolete.”

Around this time last year, it was a good bet that Sharpton would endorse Hillary Clinton. Within Hillary’s vast campaign, insiders thought Sharpton would be recruited as a priceless tabloid mercenary who could launch broadsides against Obama on that one taboo issue where he is vulnerable: his blackness. (“Ain’t too many of us grew up in Hawaii and went to Harvard,” Sharpton says.) Last January, Sharpton had a closed-door meeting with Bill Clinton at the former president’s Harlem offices. Afterward, Clinton’s staff came away with the impression that they had already secured Sharpton’s endorsement. When Sharpton’s people found out about this, they rushed to back away. No, they told Clinton’s staff, Sharpton had not promised Bill his endorsement of Hillary. Sharpton’s explanation? “Politicians hear what they want to hear. They think a cordial meeting is the same as ‘I want to support you.'”

For those who have a problem with my jibes at Sharpton and some of the disingenuous leaders that have come out recently to play the Blacker than thou game-keep drinking the Kool-Aid. I rest my case. For more of the New York article, click on the link below:

Three-Candidate Monte

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Rev Press & Curl (aka Minister Wash & Set) Investigations-Sharpton vs the Feds

I'll make this brief as our readers know that I have no great love for Reverend Al Sharpton or his preternatural hold over the media as the de facto President of Black America. But the unfortunate reality is in the wake of Major League baseball's steroid scandal (channeling Maxwell Smart's-"missed it by that much" quote) Sharpton will probably dodge a bullet because the larger scandal gets the play. It's reckoning time folks. If you're not sure of this premise, think the 911 attacks versus Chondra Levy/Gary Condit as one story taking precedence over another-an extreme scenario but true. It's time for Black leadership to be put under the microscope (along with the ongoing investigation against the mega Churches) if they fail to uphold certain loyalties and commitments pertaining to people of color. I have also stated that in some regards, a deracialization process must be enacted when it comes to our problems because they are not Black problems or hindrances-just problems. Are these obstacles disproportionately affecting Black folk? Yes, but are they endemic to Black and Brown people? No. Here's more on the Sharpton fallout, courtesy of the AP:

Al Sharpton Under Investigation
NEW YORK (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton on Thursday angrily denounced reports of an investigation into his 2004 presidential bid and suggested that federal authorities were retaliating against him for his civil rights advocacy.

"I have probably been under every investigation known to man and I can't remember a time that I've not been under investigation," Sharpton said at the Harlem headquarters of his civil rights organization.

He continued: "The issues raised are issues that we've learned over and over again, particularly when we are approaching an election season."

Newspapers reported Thursday that federal authorities subpoenaed financial records and employees in an apparent probe of his presidential bid, nonprofit civil rights group and for-profit businesses.

Sharpton said he thought the timing of the investigation was suspicious, coming just weeks after he led a march on the Justice Department to demand federal intervention in the Jena Six case in Louisiana and better enforcement of hate crimes.

As many as 10 Sharpton associates were subpoenaed Wednesday to testify before a federal grand jury in Brooklyn on Dec. 26, his lawyer told the Daily News.

They were told to provide investigators with financial records from the campaign and roughly six Sharpton-related businesses, as well as personal financial documents of Sharpton and his wife, the newspaper said.

The FBI and Internal Revenue Service are seeking the records, which go back to 2001, according to the Daily News.

An FBI agent who answered the phone at the agency's New York headquarters declined to comment, and an agency spokesman did not immediately return a telephone message. An IRS spokesman did not immediately return phone calls.

The charges against the six black students accused of attacking a white student in Jena, La., led to the September demonstration by Sharpton and other activists who alleged local authorities were prosecuting blacks more harshly than whites.

Let's hear from the choir? What do you think about these investigations? Is it time to re-evaluate the slick-haired (and don't forget the gators and accompanying Caddilac) preacher archetype? What say you?

Reminder....New Bi-Weekly segment, Afronerd Radio's Presents The Comic Shoppe-Monday at 7pm eastern

If you haven't guessed, yesterday's regular Afronerd Radio's broadcast was cancelled as we prepare for a new segment for this evening entitled, The Comic Shoppe. This will be a slightly different show as I will be appearing with two additional contributors-Max and Daryll. Join us tonight at 7pm eastern as we discuss our introduction to comic book collecting, our top five favorite books and what we are most excited about relating to upcoming superhero/fantasy film projects. You know the drill-call us live at: 646-915-9620 or via email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo.

Just not sure about this film......Wachowski trailer for Speed Racer

Hat tip to our resident commenter Sergio for reminding about this upcoming movie. Actually this film will probably be the topic of conversation (and others like it) in future episodes of The Comic Shoppe. I'm still indifferent about what the movie will be like as I will always have fondness for the cartoon (already in syndication by the time I was a kid) and it being my first introduction into the world of manga and anime. I'm just not sure......I'll reserve comment on this one-for now.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

And Speaking of Bessie......Rev. AL & the MLB up next....I promise

I thought that it would be apropos to at least provide a quick entry on the amazing Blues trailblazer, Bessie Smith before delving into Reverend Sharpton's latest (and probably not last) investigation. You really can't mention other phenomenal Blues/Soul/Jazz songstresses without paying homage to Ms. Smith, who many would consider the template for the modern female soul singer. The above snippet is from 1929's St. Louis Blues, a film short that is perhaps the only known film starring Smith. As the story goes, Ms. Smith died tragically in 1937 from injuries sustained in a car accident. Legend has it that Smith was refused entry into a White hospital during the period of racial segregation but that story has since been discredited-Bessie never regained consciousness while convalescing in a Black Hospital.

Pretty Cool Beans........The Internet, Online Commerce (with a pinch of Sexism) predicted in 1967

I became aware of this clip courtesy of my Yahoo home page but it is interesting and noteworthy nonetheless. This video appears to be making the rounds due to its unerring predictions of what the future would look like in 1999. The predictions were so uncanny that many assumed that the video was a hoax but famed game show host, Wink Martindale (who appeared in the 1967 snippet) was able to confirm its validity. The sexism that I alluded to in this entry's title refers to how the "wife" in the clip upon making an "online" purchase had to send the bill to her husband for approval-now you know that wouldn't fly in 1999. That perhaps was the incorrect prediction.

And for more predictions for the future, check out The Boondocks' latest effort today instead of tomorrow (Monday night, actually)-

The Boondocks-Home Alone

Next, up some weekend jammy jams. I want you guys to check out this clip from Roy Hargrove who represents the young vanguard in the current Jazz scene. Watch how Mr. Hargrove channels George Clinton and Miles Davis in this extended performance.

And here is a oldie but goodie from one of my favorite female vocalists, the inimitable Chaka Khan. Check out her "merry go round" scat towards the end of the song, Ain't Nobody. The interesting thing about Ain't Nobody is that Quincy Jones initially lobbied to get this song for Michael Jackson's Thriller and I must confess that I would have liked to hear his version of the tune. More serious fare coming up next entry-Rev. Press and Curl shenanigans.

And lastly, check out this soul stirring performance of No More Drama by Mary J. Blige during the 2002 Grammys. I was always indifferent towards Blige because she initially appeared to be weighed down by a lower-tier/project mentality. Mired by drugs and ghetto-centric aesthetics, I just assumed the worst for Ms. Blige. But in the last few years (perhaps finding religion and marriage) she has readily admitted to shaking off a great deal of her past dysfunctionalism. I know music and I always thought there was something there with Blige-call it the it factor. That "something" was seen in the greats-Etta, Bessie, Lady Day, Aretha-the ability to transmogrify soul and feeling into a sound that rivets an audience. This performance proves it:

Friday, December 14, 2007

More from the Guys at Pulp Secret......

More weekend treats are forthcoming and as I mentioned during last night's broadcast, stay tuned for Afronerd Radio's The Comic Shoppe-a new biweekly roundtable broadcast totally devoted to discussing comic books, collecting, conventions and upcoming fantasy/superhero films. The Comic Shoppe is tentatively scheduled for this Monday at 7pm eastern.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Reminder-Afronerd Radio Tonight at 9pm eastern

I just noticed that BlogTalkRadio is having technical problems but the show must still go on! Try this link as the normal Afronerd Radio Page link appears to be malfunctioning. Go to BlogTalk's Main page to access tonight's show:

Blog Talk Radio's Main Page

Here We Go-New Poll Concludes that Minorities Don't Trust Each Other

I just happened to hear a news report this morning that a new poll affirms that the three predominant minorities (African-Americans, Asians and Latinos) do not trust each other. This is disturbing on a myriad of levels. People of color in a nutshell need each other. Of course, it would be more politically correct to state that we ALL need to trust each other but the dynamics of this country dictate that racial lines are demarcated between Whites and then others. The issues that separate these groups are pretty predictable-immigration, crime and business/patron relationships. Check out this excerpt from The New York Times as it relates to this issue:

The poll was published by New America Media, a national association of about 700 ethnic media organizations that promotes better relations among racial and ethnic groups. It was conducted by Bendixen & Associates, a polling organization in Miami.
Sergio Bendixen, who conducted the poll, said it was the first national survey to look into relations among the leading minority groups in the United States. The Asian languages used were Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese and Tagalog, which is spoken in the Philippines.

The sample of respondents reflected the demographic makeup of the three groups in the United States population, Mr. Bendixen said. About half of Hispanics and about four-fifths of Asians in this country are immigrants, while 90 percent of blacks were born here. The survey did not ask about the legal status of the immigrants.
It reported that 93 percent of Hispanics, 92 percent of African-Americans and 73 percent of Asians said racial tension was a very important problem in the United States.

But the groups’ perceptions of one another are not all negative. While 51 percent of African-Americans in the poll said Hispanic immigrants were taking jobs and political power from blacks, another large group of African-Americans — 45 percent — disagreed that they were losing ground to Hispanics. And while 44 percent of Hispanics said they feared African-Americans, identifying them with high crime rates, half of Hispanics had no such fear.
Views of the criminal justice system differ widely among the three groups. Among blacks, 71 percent said the system “favors the rich and powerful,” while 45 percent of Hispanics and only 27 percent of Asians agreed.
The three groups tend to socialize among themselves, mixing infrequently with the others. Nearly three-quarters of Hispanics and Asians and 61 percent of blacks said they had never dated someone who was from either of the two other groups or who was white.

There were signs of optimism, however. More than 60 percent of each of the three groups said they expected race relations to improve in the next decade. Large majorities of Hispanics and Asians credited American blacks and the civil rights movement with making life easier for them here.

Check out the remainder of the Times article

What do our readers think about this revelation? Are you surprised? And if not, what can be done to rectify these attitudes between groups that ultimately have more in common than one would suspect.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What's Life Got Do With It? Ike Turner Passes on at 76

Well, I never take kindly to anyone passing, even someone of dubious character but Ike Turner's death reminds me of what could have been. He, along with Anna Mae Bullock (Tina Turner to the ill informed) possessed uncanny musical abilities coupled with supreme showmanship that has been copied but never duplicated. His drug abuse, womanizing, skirmishes with the law (resulting in a penitentiary stay) and reportedly abusive relationship with Tina marred his musical legacy to a certain degree. One could even say that his life served as a template for today's gangsta rap artists who appear to have followed in his footsteps. The gangsta connection is real based on a recent Grammy acceptance speech in which Mr. Turner stated that a rap/blues album was imminent as he named dropped a few prominent rap stars that were scheduled to work with him. As a musician and talent scout, Ike was definitely one of the greats and perhaps that's the best way to pay one's respects-remember the music and what could have been. Here's more on Turner's death, courtesy of the New York Times:

Ike Turner, the R&B musician, songwriter, bandleader, producer, talent scout and ex-husband of Tina Turner, died on Wednesday at his home in San Marcos, Calif., a San Diego suburb. He was 76.

His death was announced by Jeanette Bazzell Turner, who married Mr. Turner in 1995. She gave no cause of death, but said he had had emphysema.

Mr. Turner was best known for discovering Anna Mae Bullock, a teenage singer from Nutbush, Tenn., whom he renamed Tina Turner. The Ike and Tina Turner Revue made a string of hits in the 1960s before the Turners broke up in 1975.

Tina Turner described the relationship as abusive in her autobiography, “I, Tina,” which was adapted for the 1993 film “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” and made Mr. Turner’s name synonymous with domestic abuse.

“I got a temper,” he admitted in 1999 in his autobiography, “Takin’ Back My Name: The Confessions of Ike Turner.” But he maintained that the film had “overstated” it.

Mr. Turner’s career extended back to the 1950s, when he played with pioneering Mississippi Delta bluesmen and helped shape early rock ’n’ roll as well as soul and rhythm-and-blues. “Rocket 88,” a song his band released in 1951 under the name Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, is regularly cited as a contender for the first rock-’n’-roll record for its beat, its distorted guitar and its honking saxophone.

Ike and Tina Turner were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

Ike Turner, whose full name is variously given as Izear Luster Turner Jr. and Ike Wister Turner, was born in Clarksdale, Miss., and was brought up there by his mother after his father, a minister, was beaten to death by a white mob.

As a child Ike spent time at the local radio station, WROX, a hub for Delta blues performances. According to Mr. Turner’s autobiography, the D.J.s taught him how to cue up and segue records, sometimes leaving him alone on the air when he was 8 years old.

He grew up around Delta musicians like the bluesman Robert Nighthawk Jr. and the pianist Pinetop Perkins, who gave him boogie-woogie lessons, and he learned to play guitar.

For the Times article in its entirety, click on the link below:

Ike Turner, Musician and Songwriter in Duo With Tina Turner, Dies at 76

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review-Oprah, Obama & That Old Black "Magic" DNA-Thursday at 9pm eastern

Let's Do it Again! Not the movie or the Staple Singers' cut but it's time for our Week in Review Show. You know the drill, call us up "live" this Thursday at 9pm(eastern) at-646-915-9620 or via email/IM(afronerdradio@yahoo). And as usual we have a lot on our political plate to talk about: Oprah's support for Obama-racial solidarity or celebrity ego gone amok?, The revelation that geneticist, Dr. James Watson has African DNA, the filming of criminal acts for profit and Black folks adopting White folks?. So join us...and as always, Be There and Be Square!

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

Monday, December 10, 2007

"Obama & Oprah Sittin' in a Tree"............The Big O Shills for Obama

I'm pretty sure the known universe (you can throw in a few Vulcans and Romulans while you're at it) is keenly aware by now that Oprah Winfrey has formally submitted her endorsement for Senator Obama and I have to admit that it makes for quite a classy, if not historic sight. I have said many times that Oprah is a figure to be proud of, if one were to hold on to notions of tribalism. And I readily confess that I fade in and out of tribalism at the drop of a hat. But I do subscribe to at least character content being more important than color/culture politics. I want our readers to check out the above clip by my conservative colleague, Debbie Schlussel as she waxes poetic about Team Double O (Oprah and Obama, for the uninitiated). Are her points valid? Again, this is where I fade in out of racial tribalism like a soap opera's heart monitor. Whites can support any Caucasian political figure without consideration or criticisms alluding to racial solidarity. People of color being afforded that same privilege? Not so much. But in all fairness, shouldn't Oprah be critiqued for employing a dialect change before a Black South Carolinian crowd when Senator Clinton did the same thing earlier in her campaign? Here's an excerpt from Ms. Schlussel's take on the I holla phenomenon:

With all of the hoopla about Oprah's forays--this weekend--into Iowa, South Carolina, New Hamsphire, etc., on behalf of Barack Hussein Obama, I remind you of my views on Oprah's "in-kind" campaign contribution to his campaign, from late October. Also, I now ask (as forecasted in this video), why Oprah gets away with switching to a strong and very fake "urban" accent when she's speaking to Blacks in South Carolina (and "suburban" accent when she's rallying Whites in Iowa). (Remember, I did this without a teleprompter and thinking the strong lights would drown me out, thus the way-too-excessive makeup).

In addition, click on the link to check out video of the event in question:

Oprah/Obama webcast

So ultimately, what do you guys think? Oprah lent her name and cache to her South African academy and there were problems-can we blindly follow celebrity without questions in this case as well? Let's hear it.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Innovative New Film Shorts about Race to hit the web...

This just in, courtesy of the Boston Globe:

WGBH gives films shortcut to the Web
Email|Print| Text size – + By Leslie Brokaw
Globe Correspondent / December 9, 2007

You've got to hand it to WGBH: Even though it's moved to swank new digs in Brighton alongside the Mass. Pike, and it's projecting massive images from a screen on the side of its building toward the highway, it still hasn't forgotten the small things.
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By small things, we're talking super-small. Like spurring filmmakers to create mini-movies for mobile devices and websites.

The station's innovative WGBH Lab, online at lab.wgbh.org, continues to experiment with how best to "[open] the door to new voices," as the website puts it. Its newest venture is a partnership with the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), a New York group that commissions, funds, and distributes film and video projects for public television that reflect African-Americans and the African diaspora.

WGBH and NBPC are collaborating on an open call for filmmakers "and other aspiring media-makers" to pitch ideas for 3-minute video shorts "looking at the issue of how we resolve past wrongs, especially around matters of race," according to press materials.

The application deadline is Wednesday. A selection of pitches will be posted online for public comment before final selection. Winners will get funding and editorial support, and their works may be presented on both television and the Web during WGBH's "Telling Our Stories: African Americans" programming in February. Filmmakers who have already completed a short film on the theme are invited to submit the finished work, as well. Application procedures and other information is online at the WGBH Lab site, and at NBPC, at nbpc.tv.

The WGBH Lab also has three new filmmakers in residence who set up shop in October. Gita Pullapilly and Aron Gaudet have been working for more than four years on a film called "The Way We Get By," about the war veterans and other men and women in Bangor, Maine, who act as "troop greeters" - folks who greet soldiers and Marines who are heading to war or returning home. At their website, dungbyproductions.com, Pullapilly and Gaudet say that the movie is meant to show "the sacrifice and commitment each individual, troops and greeters alike, have made during this time of war. The film also explores the most basic of human emotions like the fear of dying and more importantly the fear of dying alone."

Anna Wexler, the other filmmaker in residence, graduated from MIT last spring with degrees in brain and cognitive science, and humanities and science. Her project looks at the experience of American teenagers brought up as modern Orthodox Jews who spend a year in Israel.

The filmmakers get working space at the WGBH office, a stipend, access to editing equipment, and editorial guidance for nine months, from October through next June.

Hardy Har Har Har.......James Watson has some Black Ancestry.....Talk about the pot calling the kettle Black!

I really didn't focus on this too much but the irony is hilarious. If you remember a few months ago, noted geneticist Dr. James Watson (of the infamous Cold Spring Harbor, NY Eugenics Lab-think Hitler in the 30s) made some disparaging remarks about African intelligence and prospective Black employees. Now we come to find out that he possess a greater than average amount (in comparison to other Europeans) of Black DNA markers, himself. We have to start pulling the cards of everyone, whether you are Black, White or in Watson's case-newly Black. I can't stop laughing. Here's more from The Independent:

Revealed: scientist who sparked racism row has black genes
By Robert Verkaik
Published: 10 December 2007

A Nobel Prize-winning scientist who provoked a public outcry by claiming black Africans were less intelligent than whites has a DNA profile with up to 16 times more genes of black origin than the average white European.

An analysis of the genome of James Watson showed that 16 per cent of his genes were likely to have come from a black ancestor of African descent. By contrast, most people of European descent would have no more than 1 per cent.

"This level is what you would expect in someone who had a great-grandparent who was African," said Kari Stefansson of deCODE Genetics, whose company carried out the analysis. "It was very surprising to get this result for Jim."

The findings were made available after Dr Watson became only the second person to publish his fully sequenced genome online earlier this year. Dr Watson was forced to resign his post as head of a research laboratory in New York shortly after triggering an international furore by questioning the comparative intelligence of Africans. In an interview during his recent British book tour, the American scientist said he was "inherently gloomy about the prospects for Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really".

The Science Museum in London cancelled a lecture by him, while the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, branded his comments "racist propaganda".

Other scientists working in the field of molecular biology quickly distanced themselves from the comments, saying that it was not possible to draw such conclusions from the work that had been done on DNA.

The study of the DNA of Dr Watson – who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for medicine – adds another twist to the controversy surrounding the American scientist's comments.

In addition to the 16 per cent of his genes which were identified as likely to have come from a black ancestor of African descent, a further 9 per cent were likely to have come from an ancestor of Asian descent, the test indicated.

Now Andrew Young is Throwing Cow Chips at Obama? When willl the madness end?

Time for a full disclosure moment-I have had great admiration for Andrew Young during my formative political and educational development. When it was expected for a Black person to be liberal (which it still is, unfortunately) Mr. Young made for a stellar example of achievement and grace. How could he not? He was a primary figure in Dr. King's camp during the seminal years of the civil rights movement and who could discount his pedigree? Civil rights activist, UN ambassador, mayor of Atlanta and scholar-he has done it all. So why the manure tossing at Senator Obama? Check out the latest, courtesy of today's NY Daily News:

Barack Obama is too young to be President, says Andrew Young

News Wire Services

Sunday, December 9th 2007, 4:00 AM

Civil rights icon Andrew Young says Barack Obama is too "young" to ascend to the White House.

Young also quipped that Hillary Clinton has her husband behind her, and that "Bill is every bit as black as Barack," adding, "He's probably gone with more black women than Barack." But he quickly added, "I'm clowning."

"It's not a matter of being inexperienced. It's a matter of being young," the former UN ambassador said. "I want Barack Obama to be President - he said, pausing for effect, "in 2016."

He spoke online at "Newsmakers Live!"

We see once again, issues of Black authenticity brought to light. We also see youth being brought up when JFK and Clinton have also been relatively young presidents. I'm coming from the conservative side and even I can see the liberal facade. Mr. Young can we stick to Obama's policies and opinion of issues? My only problem with Obama is that he is stereotypically progressive, if he moved closer to the center, I really would not have an issue. Let's hear from our readers. Is this another case of progressive player hating? Or is this just the nature of politics and Black folk are the casualties of the war of ideologies? What say you?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Some More Displays of Musical Genius.....Again Enjoy it While You Can...Many Have Left Us....

I love hip hop (when it was honest-circa 1978-1992) but sometimes it just can't compare to real musicianship. But now even hip hop has been decimated by neo-coonery. I pray that it returns. Meanwhile, check out how things used to be:

How Did I miss this? Stevie Wonder & Prince at Madison Square Garden!

How did I miss this? Stevie Wonder appeared at MSG before the Thanksgiving holiday and the show was billed that he was going to be featuring special guests but who would've thunk Stevie and Prince have collaborated over the years before (on Chaka Khan's Prince cover of I Feel For You-Stevie on harmonica, and more recently on Stevie's So What the Fuss) but I still wish I could have seen this show, especially since it occurred in my own backyard of sorts. Interestingly enough, during Prince's early years with Warner Bros, he was dubbed as a Stevie Wonder with sight. Again two geniuses at work folks...enjoy it while you can-I suspect Lil' Wayne is next on the bill. Jeez...

And of course, check out another Stevie & Prince collabo, courtesy of BET(lightning can strike once I guess at the minstrel station)-

Friday, December 07, 2007

A Few Pre X-mas/Weekend Treats

Hat Tip to commenter, Sergio for finding this tidbit. Let's just say that it's a great example of real Seoul music.....OK, that was an obvious pun but this young lady can blow!

Next up, the latest from my favorite comic news site (and stay tuned for a third bi-weekly Afronerd Radio show dedicated to comicdom) Pulp Secret:

And lastly, take a gander at the latest episode of The Boondocks, entitled
Invasion of the Katrinians

Talking to Rajen Persaud of Why Black Men Love White Women-on Sunday's Afronerd Radio broadcast-8pm eastern

Well folks I think we're up for yet another provocative broadcast when we speak with author/comedian, Rajen Persaud whose latest effort, Why Black Men Love White Women, has caused quite a stir-just ask syndicated radio shock jock, Wendy Williams! I wanted to speak with Mr. Persaud not so much for the topic (which we will do, of course) as we have discussed interracial dating previously on Afronerd Radio, but mostly due to his treatment during Williams' show. Let's just say that the gentleman was treated in an unconscionable manner, however he will be treated with the upmost respect on our show. So let's hear him out folks and I'm sure he wants to hear from our audience-call in live this Sunday 8pm eastern at-646-915-9620 or via email/IM (afronerdradio@yahoo). Be there, be square and be respectful.

Rajen Persaud interview

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Stay Tuned for Thursday's Week in Review-Afronerd Radio-9pm eastern

It's that time again and actually we haven't done a Week in Review show in awhile so why not now? This time around we will be discussing a story I picked up from the What About Our Daughters blog? involving a brave little girl that took six bullets while defending her mother, the resurgence of racism on college campuses and are Black blogs too consumed in their Blackness and more topics for your entertainment. Drop by and give us a call "live" (9pm eastern-tonight) with your thoughts and opinions at: 646-915-9620 or via IM/email-(afronerdradio@yahoo). You know what to do....Be there and Be square.

Something is burning but it's not a fire.....Baltimore Fireman fabricates noose allegations

When will they ever learn? And why is yours truly lambasted (not necessarily critiqued) for thoughts, beliefs or assertions that ultimately ring true as time goes on? "What is he talking about now?”-you may ask. Well I just found out about a noose hoax story that occurred in Baltimore recently that begs for analysis. I have stated in print as well as our live podcast that the rash of noose discovery stories possessed a college prank nature to them. This is not to obfuscate the heinous inference that nooses engender but we must not fall prey to those (regardless of their color or ethnicity) who just want to raise the ire of people of color for the sake of manipulation. After the Jena 6 case, the media appeared to focus their attention on any case that vaguely possessed a racial and/or noose angle. Now we have a case of a Baltimore fireman who sought to bring forward racial charges against his city’s bureaucracy when upon further investigation, it was he who concocted this scheme in the first place. Check out an excerpt from the Baltimore Sun regarding this issue:

Fireman in noose case to be fired
Discipline unrelated to fabricated story
By Stephen Kiehl | Sun reporter
December 4, 2007

The firefighter who reported finding a knotted rope and a drawing of a noose in an East Baltimore station house is in the process of being fired for unrelated issues, Fire Department officials said yesterday.

Donald Maynard, a six-year veteran who reported the discoveries, acknowledged last week that he was the one who brought the items into the station house.

Even before that admission, Maynard, who is black, had been suspended without pay for failing to complete emergency medical technician-intermediate training or making any plans to do so, said Roman Clark, a department spokesman.

The note Maynard said he found Nov. 21 read: "We cant hang the cheaters but we can hang the failures. NO EMT-I, NO JOB."

Officials said Maynard had until Nov. 30 to complete EMT training.

The purported finding of the rope and note set off a new round of racial tension within the department, already under criticism for race-related hiring and promotion issues. After news of the incident was reported, cars stopped at Maynard's station house and drivers made threatening remarks to members, a firefighters union leader said.

"They were afraid for their own safety," said Richard G. Schluderberg, president of Baltimore Fire Fighters Local 734. "Any time you make false racial allegations, I think it does more to harm racial relations."

Maynard's official status is now "suspended pending termination." The Fire Department will make its case for termination at an administrative hearing. No date has been set.

The incident comes at the end of a difficult year for the city Fire Department. A cadet died during a fire training exercise that was found to have violated dozens of national safety standards. The department was investigated internally for an off-the-books account that was used to purchase equipment, circumventing the city's purchasing requirements.

The chief announced his resignation last month, effective at the end of the year, saying the questions surrounding the death of the recruit were proving to be too much of a distraction to the department.

Unfortunately, the above article did not cover the NAACP's initial involvement and their refusal to apologize for fomenting the "rush to judgment" atmosphere in this matter. And this is the crux of my argument relating to some of the more recent racial dynamic cases; it appears that the story is more important than getting to the truth. It's time to allow for an investigation of these issues to take place first and then if they are valid, then heads should roll. But I suspect that we will see more claims that substantiate the old adage that the first casualty of war is truth.

For the article in its entirety, click on the link below:

Fireman in noose case to be fired

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Check out the latest from the Guys of Pulp Secret and Something else....

Actually I missed two episodes of The Stack from Pulp Secret, your premiere comic book/fantasy news source. So take a gander at the 2 episodes in question as the crew discuss Heroes, the latest issues of Spiderman and the Green lantern Corp and comic news from the previous week. Enjoy!

Last week's episode:

And here is a completely unrelated nugget revolving around a radio DJ prank that goes in a totally different direction. Let's just say that it is a Karrine Steffans moment:

What Do You Think-Self Defense or an Execution? Texan Kills Burglars during call to 911

Well this could only happen in Bush country and I must confess that I am indifferent about the outcome. It appears that yet again we have a never-ending scenario of premature Black death due to gunfire. The progressives will undoubtedly look at this as a racially motivated execution over property-the two suspects were Black men of Latin extraction. I'm not going to discount the assertion that the incident didn't have racial overtones. But before I go any further into this-here is an excerpt from an article on the story, courtesy of cbsnews.com:

The 911 call came from a Pasadena, Tex., resident, who alerted police to two burglary suspects on a neighbor's property. Before he hung up, two men were dead by his hand.

Joe Horn, 61, told the dispatcher what he intended to do: Walk out his front door with a shotgun.

"I've got a shotgun," Horn said, according to a tape of the 911 call. "Do you want me to stop them?"

"Nope, don't do that - ain't no property worth shooting somebody over, OK?" the dispatcher responded.

"Hurry up man, catch these guys, will you? 'Cause I'm ain't gonna let 'em go, I'm gonna be honest with you, I'm not gonna let 'em go. I'm not gonna let 'em get away with this ----."

Shortly after, Horn said he sees one suspect was standing in front of his house, looking at it from the street.

"I don’t know if they’re armed or not. I know they got a crowbar 'cause that's what they broke the windows with. ... Man, this is scary, I can't believe this is happening in this neighborhood."

He gets more agitated. The dispatcher asks if he can see the suspects but they had retreated into the target's house, out of view: "I can go out the front [to look], but if I go out the front I'm bringing my shotgun with me, I swear to God. I am not gonna let 'em get away with this, I can't take a chance on getting killed over this, OK? I'm gonna shoot, I'm gonna shoot."

And better yet, here is a clip of the 911 call unfettered:

What's going on here folks? Again, I'm not one that gets some kind of joy when I hear that young men of color are getting killed (although I have been accused of it) but there are some people that are tired of crime. There must be a strong message sent to our youth informing them that there are certain expectations if they seek to commit criminal acts-death or incarceration. What do our readers think? Let's hear your thoughts.