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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Death of Cool or The Passing Of the Inimitable Percy Sutton

A few words and ruminations on one of my heroes, the great Harlem entrepreneur and politician, Percy Sutton coming up in a few....

OK, it's about a week and half later but you know what they say, "better late than...." I would be remiss if I didn't say a couple of words about one of my personal heroes, Mr. Percy Sutton. From the onset, someone ill informed or unenlightened might ask, why the bereavement for an individual closing in on 90 years of age? The simple response-an individual with the class, intelligence, sticktoitiveness and political acumen of a Percy Sutton is still sorely needed in the Black community. I have stated this many times in Afronerd.....we lose are cultural foundation with the passing of such giants-a loss that just appears to be irreplaceable. Sutton was one of those figures that I was introduced to at an early age. I am forever in my father's debt for informing me of key figures in African-American cultural and political history. Irrespective of this blog intermittent conservative bent, I was reared on erstwhile progressive icons such as Adam Clayton Powell, Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer, W.E.B. Dubois, Frederick Douglass and of course, Mr. Sutton.

It also appears that true renaissance men (and women) are becoming a dying breed. Not only was Sutton well educated (attending a variety of institutions...my alma mater of Hampton University, notwithstanding) but he was able to fit in being a Tuskegee airman, an esteemed attorney (the aforementioned Malcolm X being one of his clients), politician, entrepreneur and media mogul; accomplishments garnered by the time he reached his mid 50s. So I tip my hat to Mr. Sutton and his family, I just wish that some of our youth were more aware of his political significance as opposed to the intricacies of faux "heroes" like Curtis Jackson or Lil' Wayne......sigh. For more information pertaining to the passing of Percy Sutton, check out this excerpt, courtesy of the AP:

The son of a former slave, Percy Sutton became a fixture on 125th Street in Harlem after moving to New York City following his service with the famed Tuskegee Airmen in World War II. His Harlem law office, founded in 1953, represented Malcolm X and the slain activist's family for decades.

The consummate politician, Sutton served in the New York State Assembly before taking over as Manhattan borough president in 1966, becoming the highest-ranking black elected official in the state.

Sutton also mounted unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. Senate and mayor of New York, and served as political mentor for the Rev. Jesse Jackson's two presidential races.

Jackson recalled Sutton talking about electing a black president as early as 1972. Sutton was influential in getting his 1984 campaign going, he said.

"He never stopped building bridges and laying the groundwork," Jackson said Sunday. "We are very glad to be the beneficiaries of his work."

In a statement released Saturday night, Gov. David Paterson called Sutton a mentor and "one of New York's and this nation's most influential African-American leaders."

"Percy was fiercely loyal, compassionate and a truly kind soul," Paterson said. "He will be missed but his legacy lives on through the next generations of African-Americans he inspired to pursue and fulfill their own dreams and ambitions."

President Barack Obama called Sutton "a true hero" to African-Americans across the country.

"His life-long dedication to the fight for civil rights and his career as an entrepreneur and public servant made the rise of countless young African-Americans possible," Obama said in a statement.

In 1971, with his brother Oliver, Sutton purchased WLIB-AM, making it the first black-owned radio station in New York City. His Inner City Broadcasting Corp. eventually picked up WBLS-FM, which reigned for years as New York's top-rated radio station, before buying stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit and San Antonio between 1978-85.

The Texas purchase marked a homecoming for the suave and sophisticated Sutton, born in San Antonio on Nov. 24, 1920, the youngest of 15 children.

Among Sutton's other endeavors was his purchase and renovation of the famed Apollo Theater when the Harlem landmark's demise appeared imminent.

For the Sutton piece in its entirety, click on the link below:

Percy Sutton, Harlem political pioneer, dies at 89

Ok..We're Back.....Finally! Stop by For a Special Year End Wrap Up Edition (Wed-7pm ET) of The Comic Shoppe-Here's A Preview, Courtesy of Daryll B.!

Again, Again.....please accept our apologies for the lack of entries for the past couple of weeks but there's a lot coming down the pike with interviews and my questioning the pursuit of another advanced degree and add the holidays in the mix.....well you get my drift! But enough with the excuses...stop by the Comic Shoppe tomorrow at 7pm as Daryll, Max and yours truly discuss all things pulp as the decade comes to a close. Feel free to call us "live" at 646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo.com. See you guys at the shoppe and without further ado, here's a preview/synopsis of tomorrow's discussion thanks to the Comic Shoppe's own Daryll B:

You know, it pretty amazing going back and looking over the past year at what was the best of the best. I go back and see everything I hated on and what looks to be awesome is all that is left. It actually sounds bleak when I phrase it like that but as you will see, I had a method to my madness phrasing my theme like this:

TV Show of the Year: Usually this category would be easy for me but towards the end of the year a lot of good science fiction TV hit the airwaves. As you folks know, I loved the SciFi Channel's Eureka, Warehouse 13, Sanctuary and Battlestar Galactica. CBS's The Mentalist, USA's Psych, and FOX's Bones all had their moments of strong TV. CW had Supernatural eclipse Smallville as their top fantasy show and ABC had Lost regain its footing while adding V to its schedule and giving Pushing Daisies a proper sendoff. From across the ocean, Hex is the heir apparent to Buffy while Torchwood and Doctor Who continued the British trend of strong sci-fi. For NBC's Heroes, it was an effort to regain its lost momentum as FOX's Dollhouse is trying to finish up strong. Weeding out the candidates I could only choose two shows which stood out as my top pick and runner-up.

NBC's Chuck is flat out funny and week after week it was on I had to make it must watch TV. However, that did not make my top spot; that honor goes to FOX's Fringe. Part X-Files, part Twilight Zone with a dash of The Outer Limits and then a dessert of Firefly's dysfunctional yet strong, family team dynamics. All of that is thrown in each episode of Fringe and in my opinion, it doesn't get muddled. Those who watch for the greater conspiracy are treated faithfully each week to something more enlightening / confusing and those who just want to watch a single episode can watch without getting too confused by the weirdness. Great TV and I am going to enjoy it as long as I can.

Movie of the Year: Again a very varied category when it comes to science fiction. I loved Coraline and Monsters vs Aliens while the Unborn had its moments in the beginning of the year. Drag Me to Hell and Orphan had very genuine scares from territory that I thought was already well mined. Watchmen was nearly picture perfect from the book but as a result went about 15-20 mins too long or else it would be in my top 2. For their limited budgets, Thirst, Paranormal Activity and the Fourth Kind were very decent while for the expansive budgets 2012, Ninja Assassin and Avatar had very lush, semi realistic looking science fiction but again I could only choose 2. In animation, the TMNT franchise had a great crossover and homage to their complete history in the ultimate mash-up. DC had great efforts in Wonder Woman and Green Lantern while Marvel gave me a decent effort in Hulk Vs. Those who had heard the show over the last year already know where I am going with my top two.

My runner-up, Let The Right One In, seemed like any other indie international coming of age teen movie. Love, hate, jealousy, confusion, and angst abound throughout the film except for the fact one of the youngsters is a pretty vicious vampire. Yeah I call this the Anti-Twilight and it definitely had me looking at a few shadows after watching it. Let me tell you that this is so not good when taking the NYC Subways after Midnight to get home. However my top spot had to go to my surprise movie of the year: Star Trek. Before its release, I had such a feeling of dread about watching this as an admitted Trekkie. JJ Abrams and the leaks about major changes angrily scared me to no end. But you know what? It worked. It was fun. And kudos to the crew and actors involved for capturing the old fun of the franchise and putting a new spin on old mythos.

Comic of the Year: A-Ha! Finally a category I think I can feel comfortable with, especially with reading through 60% crap week in week out. The art of making a great comic series consistently seems to be a lost art but the quality crop of books beginning from almost the end of last year on my list ALMOST made up for the aggravation. Getting my own biases out of the way first, I am an admitted Terry Moore fan so I loved his Echo and his run on Runaways for Marvel. Chris Giarusso left Marvel to return to his G-Man roots and did not lose his trademark humor. I was sad to see Jay Faeber end Noble Causes but am loving his Dynamo 5. Boom Comics' Incredibles is incredibly fun and they brought back the Muppets to comics successfully. DC has found something special in Batgirl believe it or not while their Green Lantern franchise can be considered to be carrying the company more than Superman and Batman. Image's founders have reunited but books like Walking Dead, Chew and Phonogram continue to carry the company. Top Cow, Aspen and comics in general lost a great guy in Michael Turner but Fathom surprising has re-found his audience. Marvel is undergoing a Dark Reign and has super powered people running all over the place in its Avengers titles and the X-Men are expatriates now. (bad joke I know.) And unfortunately I would have have Captain Britain and the M13 here if it didn't get canceled. Dynamite has a superstar in the making with Leah Moore and their faithful adaptations of properties like BSG, Zorro, and The Good, Bad, & The Ugly. However I could only go with 2 books for my top spot and as nerve-wracking as it was, I cheated myself and went with 5.

Gail Simone's Secret Six is flat out, consistent fun. These deviants and anti-heroes are must reads every month. That is if I could call Bane an anti-hero. Yep, the guy who broke the bat is on the team and he has depth. But the star here is Rag Doll. He's like the psychotic Spidey from the Marvel Exiles series mixed with Plastic Man. You know it is improper, but you have to see more of his antics. Say what you will about the violence in Image's Invincible, but it may be the best superhero book in pure essence on the stands today. Sure it takes a lot of leeway with the lives of its characters but the storytelling is top notch. Marvel has a gold mine In the Incredible Hercules with its humor and the buddy dynamic of Amadeus Cho with the Lion of Olympus is so good that Marvel made sure to put them on the Mighty Avengers for more exposure.

Alas I could also mention Tiny Titans and Secret Warriors but my heart is now settled on two books. Marvel's Nova has become the spine of the cosmos for the company. He may be their answer to Green Lantern but make no mistake, the everyman spacecop has been amazing to read. To knock him out of the top spot for my book of the year took a book with a golden reputation...and sure enough the character has 'gold' in his name. My book of the year is Booster Gold from DC. Nostalgia combined with time tripping and good old fashioned storytelling made BG a must read every month for me. DC's most over (self) hyped superhero is the one with the most humanity and heart. Go Figure.

So there you have it, my picks for the best of 2009. I am pretty sure you folks will disagree with me on all of these but the important thing is that we have such a varied landscape to have selections from. So until 2010 Fantasy Fans, keep dreaming....and watching....and reading...and fantasizing!
- Daryll B.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Just A Few More Ruminations........What Tiger Could Learn From Mariah Carey & Is Ghetto Culture The Only Way To Wealth For People of Color?

I just happened to catch this clip of Mariah Carey's appearance on the new George Lopez late night show and it interesting as to how the subject of race is discussed in a public forum. As much as I always found Lopez humorous, I've never been compelled to ask someone about their racial designation. I've always been able to figure it out on some visceral level but the asking reeks of crudeness-in my opinion. But then there is my "nerdic" side that might also be instrumental in providing an answer (i.e. coloration around the elbows/knuckles; prognathism, national origin, etc)....Again, it can be "figured out." But does it really matter? Ideally, no. But in the real world, once one's race has been determined.....yes.

What's striking is that Ms. Carey has established her comfort level with a Black identity (although her phenotype might confuse some folks) and yet Tiger Woods (with a more phenotypical "Black" appearance) came up with another answer to the race question. Of course, that's his right but I'm wondering how he feels now with the unrelenting media scraping at his cleats. Earlier this evening, I happened to catch a glimpse of the re-airing of a Tiger Woods interview with Larry King (circa 1998) and it was billed as what Woods was like before the scandal. Did Tiger pass away or commit murder? I'm confused....again, I hope Mr. Woods received the same carbon copy email that Ms. Carey received at some point in her career.

And now a brief diatribe pertaining to how the promotion of thuggery and minstrelsy are still being presented as the sole avenue for obtaining minority wealth. I understand that we have a POTUS of color but it still appears that the minstrel industry is still steamrolling ahead as the preeminent aesthetic for young Blacks and Browns who seek material acquisitions. Why isn't it evident that while we are in the midst of a historic presidency, we can no longer allow this imagery to continue without a counterbalance? There seems to be no outcry to show alternative Black culture as a means to success. Perhaps I will address this on the next Afronerd Radio broadcast but I grow wearisome over this truncated depiction. Any thoughts?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sometimes Ignorance Has To Be Highlighted For An Alternate Perspective-2 Cases of Male Restraint

Unfortunately, holiday preparedness and festivities were the cause for tonight's Afronerd Radio preemption but I still would like to squeeze in this tidbit for our readers/radio listeners to chew on. I would be remiss if I didn't give the customary (and appropriate) disclaimer that a man should never put his hands on a woman but these clips certainly would make the casual observer scratch his/her head in befuddlement. And I know what you guys are thinking....does this tangentially relate to the Chris Brown-Rihanna incident that occurred earlier this year? I'm also reminded of the Chris Rock, Bring the Pain routine when he posits that the golden rule of there never being a reason to strike a woman might not be completely accurate. He further stated that there could be a reason to strike just about anyone, hence throwing an elderly man down a flight of stairs. I always added a caveat to Rock's joke by stating that the reason for attacking the elderly person makes sense if he's Adolph Hitler. Again....the paradox centers on a plausible reason. Again, I would never allow myself to get caught up in a Chris Brown style situation but what are your thoughts about these two videos? Will we ever get to a place in our culture where we can tell the complete truth about what can transpire between the sexes? Check out the second video:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I Think It's Time To Open Up Hollywood's Accounting Ledger As One Uruguayan Makes a Kick Ass Film Short for $300!! Oh & Afronerd Radio Next Week!

And you thought the last media sensation-Paranormal Activity (allegedly made for approx. 15K) was made on the cheap! Well, I guess neophyte filmmaker, Fede Alvarez didn't get the Paranormal email, as his film short, Ataque de Panico (Panic Attack) was reportedly made for $300. Now what makes this story even more interesting is the twofold process that Alvarez employed to gain notoriety. He first uploaded his film to Youtube which garnered a million plus views. Then he signed a 30 million dollar movie contract (courtesy of Spider-man's Sam Raimi) with Ghost House pictures to produce a full length effort in his native Uruguay and neighboring Argentina. It has been rumored for quite some time that the movie industry's finances have been speculative at best, but when you look at the quality of Mr. Alvarez' film (made for the price of a video game console), it makes one wonder just how much are the budgets really for Tinseltown's most popular CGI laden filmworks.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Apologies for the Cancellation of Sunday's Afronerd Radio But There's Always Next Week! Eric Holder Channels Dr. Cosby! I Can Dig It....

I can take the fair share of barbs from those who have a problem with the terms Black and conservative being used in the same sentence but it is frustrating when I have proclaimed on countless occasions that I am not a right wing ideologue. Perhaps the greatest indicator for my positioning would be my support for President Obama and his stance on the need for more fathers of color to address the fractured Black familial institution. Now it appears that the attorney general, Eric Holder has put his Cosby-esque spin on the same subject matter. While visiting his old stomping grounds in Queens (NY), Mr. Holder essentially told a predominantly Black church congregation that the greatest deterrent to poverty would be the active involvement of the father in communities of color. Mr. Holder, I couldn't agree more....here's more on Holder's visit to the big apple, courtesy of Mainjustice.com:

Holder Calls On Black Fathers To Take Responsibility

Attorney General Eric Holder called on absentee black fathers yesterday to take an active role in their children’s lives, Newsday reported today.

Holder, a Queens native and the first black Attorney General, urged the 400 worshippers at the Memorial Presbyterian Church on Baldwin Turnpike in Queens, N.Y., to orchestrate a “spiritual awakening,” according to the New York newspaper. The Attorney General said a father’s involvement in a family can help combat poverty and crime in black neighborhoods, according to Newsday.

“Too many men in the black community have created children and left them to be raised by caring mothers. These women do a wonderful job, but we ask too much of them and too little of our men,” Holder told the congregation, which included members of his family, according to Newsday. “It should simply be unacceptable for a man to have a child and then not play an integral part in the raising and nurturing of the child.”

Holder’s comments hearken back to comedian Bill Cosby’s speech before the NAACP in 2004, in which he sparked a national debate by urging African-American fathers to take responsibility for their children. And on Father’s Day 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama gave a speech in whcih he said “too many fathers” are “missing from too many lives and too many homes.”

The nation’s top federal law enforcement official steered clear of domestic policy matters during his speech in the church, Newsday said. But, outside the church, more than 50 people protested his decision to try 9/11 “mastermind” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other suspected terrorists in a New York City federal court, according to the newspaper.

Holder met with federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York and other officials earlier last week to discuss the upcoming trials.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Rush Limbaugh is A Big (Despite the Weight Loss) Fat Idiot., But You Knew That Already! But Did You Know He's Aware of The "Black Frame of Mind?"

I have stated this many times here on Afronerd, I am not a conservative ideologue or apologist. Unfortunately, that does not matter to those few Black folk that insist on ascribing to a wholesale form of cultural and political tribalism. In the case of media pundit and gas bag, Rush Limbaugh, his mixing of racial (and racist) non sequiturs and a belief in the aforesaid Black tribal paradigm, somehow gets called "entertainment" in today's American culture. I support his right to free speech but we must develop an appropriate counterbalance that will cut down his stupidity in order to assuage the power Limbaugh currently engenders. And where is the conservative response, irrespective of race? If you haven't left Osama bin Ladin's cave in the last 24 hours, Limbaugh put his foot in his mouth.......again...by exclaiming that Blacks are disappointed in President Obama by not fulfilling their promises and that Tiger Woods' current indiscretions with an all White female cast just compounds the problem. It's amazing that one can make so much money for spewing ignorance but then that would also explain the popularity of commercial hip hop music. There really needs to be a response to such foolishness but if we're not going to target sponsors or refrain from purchasing products that are affiliated with Limbaugh (and you can include Black minstrels as well), perhaps he should be allowed to propagate such ignorance. What is our saturation point for such unabashed disrespect? When will have enough of the racism and minstrelsy? Perhaps that is the immortal question....

And while you're devising a way to dismantle the Limbaugh media machine, use the latest Sade single as your mood music (I suspect it works as better background music than Drake!)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Italian Groups Are Upset About MTV's Jersey Shore's Stereotyping.......Now Where Are The Black Folks For The Rest Of Viacom's Minstrel Programming?

I have yet to see MTV's Jersey Shore reality show but there appears to be a storm brewing from Italian groups that are critical of the stereotypical depictions being promoted throughout the series. Trust me, I can appreciate the frustration that certain ethnicities might have if one can not see balance in these portrayals. But the protests and anger appear to be having an affect on some level. Here's more on this backlash, courtesy of the NationalPost.com:

A new MTV reality show set to debut on Dec. 3 titled "Jersey Shore" portrays Italian-Americans in a negative light and should be canceled, according to Italian-American organizations. National president of UNICO (a group that aims to promote and enhance the image of Italian Americans) Andre Dimino says he is most upset by the constant usage of the term "guido" to refer to the cast.

"If you replace Italian-Americans with any other ethnic group, would they use such a pejorative term to promote the show?"

UNICO is justifiably upset, as the show intentionally portrays the cast as violent, beach-loving morons who can barely form coherent sentences let alone contribute anything remotely culturally positive to counteract the rampant stereotypes already plaguing New Jersey. Not only does "Jersey Shore" feed into this, it relies on these over-the-top stereotypes to promote a show that has nothing else to offer to its audience.

Yet, isn't that essentially the definition of reality TV these days? It seems this dying TV breed will resort to anything remotely controversial in a desperate attempt to get ratings from brain-dead viewers who happily digest this visual junk food rather than risk inducing a headache from intellectual stimulation. Great, now I'm stereotyping.

Could someone explain why else MTV would offer up three seasons of "Flavor of Love?"

MTV's description of the show says it all:

"MTV has focused its lens on various subcultures and rites of passage, uncovering a host of memorable characters in the process. With its newest series, Jersey Shore, MTV peels back yet a different curtain to follow eight young adults as they move into a summer share to indulge in everything Seaside Heights, New Jersey, one of the most popular summer hot spots, has to offer. Jersey Shore uncovers sometimes surprising, often hilarious and usually over-the-top personalities as they juggle work, love, nightlife, friendship and the drama that ensues. In the end, viewers see that there is more to these tan and buff individuals than hair gel."

Ironically, the above piece alluded to the Flavor of Love, but the question remains....where is the outrage from folks of color regarding MTV/Viacom's promotion of the other neo-minstrel shows? On some level, I believe we have become complacent and lulled into a belief that the Black versions of the Jersey Shore show are appropriate, authentic and inconsequential to the Black image. Again folks, is this much to do about nothing or are we having the mirror being placed in front of us again regarding the need for a more balanced cultural landscape?

Monday, December 07, 2009

Ok This is The Last Entry On Tiger's Woes....

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the media really has it in for Mr. Woods. I was jokingly exclaiming during the last Afronerd Radio broadcast that now perhaps is the time for Woods to shore up his Black identity. For the record, I am not as invested in Woods disavowing his multiracial persona because I think there are legions of Black folk that are falling short of affirming a strong cultural connection to what it means to be Black. If one were to pay close attention to how Blackness is oftentimes portrayed in the media, it appears that authenticated Blackness has become synonymous with criminality, failure and disinterest in education. Of course, we know that this is a falsehood as Blackness at its root has more to do with perseverance, excellence, unparalleled spirit and beauty...too bad our current commercial landscape refuses to promulgate these values.

Despite my initial respect and support for Tiger Woods based on his accomplishments and demeanor, his attempt to diminish the realities of being a man of color in a historically White sport should serve as a reminder that no one can ever really escape this racial and socio-political dynamic. I think our President has a clearer understanding that when you break into areas that represent old boy networks, you can never forget your minority positioning and that resentment supersedes any notion of fair play or decorum. It is understood that Woods was dishonorable toward his wife and family but is the daily media assault about legitimate newsworthiness or finally removing a man of color from being the literal face of golf? I'll leave that question up to our readers to decide. Any more thoughts or isn't the beginning and end of this story was Tiger was unfaithful? Nuff said? What say you?

Oh and then there are those who are already questioning whether Tiger should retire....you have to be kidding:

Advice To Tiger Woods: "Retire"

Didn't former President Clinton complete his term despite having the same failings as Woods?

X-mas Comes Early With a 2 for 1 Special! First There's Tuesday's Comic Shoppe Show & Then There's The Latest In Pulp News From Daryll B!

For the entire Venture Bros episode of "The Better Man" click here.

As always, let's keep this simple! Tune in tomorrow at 7pm (ET) for our next Comic Shoppe broadcast, when the "pulp fiction" team of Max, Daryll and yours truly bring light to the following topics: Brad Pitt (as a producer) appears to be re-entering into the ever popular vampire world (hey...we can't forget Interview with the Vampire from '94, can we?) with a flick tentatively titled Vlad; our thoughts on the latest Venture Bros episode; DC is currently developing an alternate continuity graphic novel line, entitled Earth One with stories starting out with Superman and Batman-both stories are being helmed by scribes J. Michael Straczynski and Geoff johns, respectively; how I overlooked Syfy's Sanctuary and is it the small screen version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?; what happened to the Wachowskis' Ninja Assassin at the box office? and lastly, our favorite graphic novel picks from last week. So don't forget to join us live and feel free to call in with your comments and questions at-646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomcishoppe@yahoo.com. And remember folks....Imperius Rex!

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

And now.....the latest from the world of pulp thanks to the Comic Shoppe's Daryll B:

Tis the season for people to lose their minds shopping and with other things. Here in my little science fiction world I am no different but I will make every effort to be positive.

(Yes I did say I would TRY to be positive...we'll see how this goes.)

-The good thing about Ninja Assassin is that the fight scenes are tightly done. I can't think of another movie in the last 5 years where the fight scenes were this well done. The rest is "eh" to me....I'll leave up to each person's opinion about it.

-Disney dug their own hole with the hype for the Princess and the Frog. I admire what the "vision" for this film was but I can not phrase it any better than I did on any initial reviews I had for it at a networking site:

"well i saw it over the weekend in a theater in Harlem....and let's just say while the kiddies loved it...the parents and adults were mostly like WTF??? The story is like Beauty and the Beast meets Voodoo and Gumbo....draw whatever conclusion you want from that....after all Disney promoted it as "the first interracial animated feature ever from Disney" and for 3/4ths of the film, they are frogs....nice message.."

Yeah I think you all know where I was going with this one.....

-As much ragging as I have done on DC's Blackest Night, it has gotten the job done. Check out the top book sales for October, 6 of the 10 were BN related and in November wit the ring giveaways I would expect that number to raise.

-*claps* Way to go Marvel...GREAT way to spoil the ending to Captain America Reborn. %^*%^&%^

-Is SyFy kidding with this Outer Space Astronauts thing? However they did score big with the mid-season finale to Stargate Universe and remember Caprica begins in 6 weeks.

-Last two weeks of Heroes have re-found the old magic. However, now that I said that watch the new episodes to follow to be real clunkers.


Just for those people who continue to thumb their noses at the fact of comics being an acceptable form of literature. Don't look at me (although I have been saying it for years), this was done by the University of Illinois. HA!

Book of Week: Last weekend, I went diving into my Graphic Novel chest and discovered my Amalgam trades. These Dc / Marvel mash-ups of fan favorite characters, themes, and histories are just pure fun to read even all these years later. C'mon DC and Marvel, I would love to see a Lobo The Duck, Dark Claw, or Spider-Boy limited series. Would be fun....

Enjoy The Week Fantasy Fans...Next Week I'll hit you all with a Best of 2009 blog....

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Well, We're Probably Going To Discuss The Obvious on Afronerd Radio-Tiger Woods, Your Name vs Your Job, Too Ghetto For College? & Much More!

Afronerd Radio returns after a brief hiatus! Feel free to stop by tonight at 7pm (ET) to listen to the usual suspects discuss the following subjects: the Tiger Woods scandal but from am alternate and conservative perspective (in other words, straight talk); more analysis on a previous entry (below) relating to the Black name vs gainful employment debate. Here's yet another article on the naming issue dating back to '03; I came across and interesting piece from the Black College Wire in which the writer waxes on ghetto proclamations of authenticity on college campuses and lastly, is the Congressional Black Caucus rallying against President Obama for alleged benign neglect toward the African-American community? We implore our readers/radio listeners to call in with your questions and/or comments at 646-915-9620 or via email (or IM)-afronerdradio@yahoo.com.

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

And while you wait for our special broadcast, check out the latest in world music by way of Ghana....Cadbury Dairy Milk by Zingolo featuring Tinny:

And for more Zingolo, click here.

Ok...just one more indulgence! Check out this "dance contest" between the greats...His Royal Badness, The King of Pop and The Godfather (and Cab Calloway makes an appearance as well)...who wins?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Another Recurring Issue Discussed in Afronerd......Can Your Name Determine Your Job Prospects? Yes! But What Do You Do About It?

This next issue has been a recurring topic of discussion here at Afronerd, since the blog's inception and especially stemming from remarks I made concerning "ghettocentric" names dating back to one of my appearances on NPR's Blogger's Roundtable. Here's a snippet from the NPR broadcast in question:

What's in (an Afrocentric) Name?

And then there's the blog war of words related to that NPR show that took place on the PostBourgie site:

Freakonomics, Tarika Wilson and Afronerd: A Fact-Check, of Sorts

But now, the ethnic sounding name debate goes slightly off tangent as it pertains to qualified job candidates and the 2 to 1 jobless rates between Blacks and Whites. I was reading a recent New York Times piece that told the plight of several well heeled/educated Black (and male) job candidates that felt that their Black sounding names may be a reason why they have received a certain degree of "coolness" from prospective employers. Some went as far as omitting a "questionable" name or just utilizing an initial to give a more Anglicized impression. But I want to make my opinion clear....there's a difference between a post 70s ghetto centered name, an authentic ethnic African name with historical heft/lineage (after all, there was a Barack Sr, born circa 1936 before the junior) and an African-American name.

Is there a difference between Leroy, Masomakali and Ray-quan? I think there are gradations of inference, social status and impressions relating to the aforementioned names. Additionally, I would never state that discriminating solely against an ethnic name is fair but when do we develop a sustainable African-American economic infrastructure that can hire its own people? And I suspect that you still would (and do) have Black employers that will utilize measured scrutiny when it comes down to one's name (i.e. Reggie Jenkins might get a call back before Laquisha Smalls). But let's table this for Sunday's upcoming Afronerd Radio broadcast. In the interim, I want you to chew on the New York Times article as well as this rather eloquent statement left by a commenter responding to the piece:

As someone who has worked now for over four years in predominantly black urban communities where economic disparity, addiction, and violence remain an overwhelming part of the daily reality of children and adults alike, I am left shaking my head at this article.

America, how on earth can we expect Caucasian employers and executives who have not had the interpersonal experience of working with competent colleagues of color to see beyond the culturally-imposed biases of our media? I reference "culture" rather than "race" because the issue is precisely this: if one's impression of "black" is shaped primarily by national advertising, news, and recreational media, one is destined to see BEING black as being party to a culture defined by the glorification of crime, a constant claim to entitlement, moral and monetary frivolity, and an ever-widening achievement gap. With some in our nation continuing to pour billions of dollars into advertising that exults multimillionaire sports stars and expletive-slinging rappers as the champions of black culture, it's no wonder that those whites whose racial sensitivities are based on this kind of woefully lacking portrait of "being black" decide not to call "Jamal" or "Imani" back.

Don't believe me? Ask my first grade students. They are all African-American, and many of their families face serious economic problems. If you ask them what they want to be when they grow up, many boys will say, "Rich, like King [LeBron] James," and several girls would like to be, "A hot star, like Beyonce." Honestly, America, who are we kidding? If this is what a small group of impoverished African-American children see as the parameters of their own cultural reality, what kind of impression can you expect from whites atop major companies who are already many degrees separated from a real encounter with African-Americans and their individual experiences?

Until we decide to challenge the way African-American culture is packaged and presented as a fundamental misrepresentation of what BEING black means for so many, the captains of industry will continue to be shaped by the forces of dollar-hungry marketing and sensationalist media.