Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Song in my head

Monday, August 27, 2012


Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Haves and the have nots

I have black skin. you dont.
I have nappy hair. you dont.
I have thick lips. you dont.
I have a high school degree. you dont.
I have a college degree. you dont.
I have significant work experience. you dont.
I have life experience. you dont
I have black skin; you dont,
I have points against me. you dont.
I have pent-up rage. you dont.
I have GOD on my side.

You dont.

--Alieux Casey-George

Logan West ,New Miss Teen USA was bullied

Beginning when she was 12 years old, Logan West endured being relentlessly bullied for being a biracial child.

Six years later, West has made history as the first contestant from Connecticut to be crowned Miss Teen USA, an honor that she received during a ceremony in the Bahamas on Saturday. With her increased visibility, West looks to use her platform to continue speaking out against bullying after having spent the past two years talking to elementary and middle school students in Connecticut about the issue.
“This is a huge issue to me,’’ West told TODAY.com. “Students have been very receptive to the message because it’s a difference between being talked at by a teacher than hearing it from me. I’m a teenager, and I’ve been through it. I was bullied starting at 12 years old and look what I am now.’’
As a middle-schooler and high school freshman, West said she was bullied for “not acting her skin color.” She was punched, kicked and stabbed with umbrellas by a group of bullies until it escalated into a fight where she was suspended from school. During her suspension, she came up with her own anti-bullying program that she began promoting around the state after winning the Connecticut Outstanding Teen Pageant in 2010.
“I lost who Logan was when I was being bullied, but I found that participating in pageants helped me find  ‘her’ again as well as gain the confidence to be a role model  and voice for others,’’ she said. “During my reign, I hope to share with teens the importance of being true to yourself.’’
West has delivered her anti-bullying message to nearly 20,000 students across Connecticut in the past two years. She also was part of a successful lobby that helped pass a law in Connecticut that requires school faculty members to be trained in managing and identifying bullying.

“I think my work is making a difference, and now I want to target this message to every state because it’s not like there’s only bullying in Connecticut,’’ she said. “I’m just so excited to take full advantage of all the opportunities I have for being Miss Teen USA.”

On Saturday, the Southington, Conn., native topped a field of 15 finalists to win Miss Teen USA, edging out Miss West Virginia Teen USA, Elizabeth Sabatino, to capture the crown. After graduating from the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts this year, she plans on living in New York City and attending the New York Film Academy on the scholarship provided by her Miss Teen USA victory. She also will continue to promote her anti-bullying program and will work with organizations like Best Buddies, Project Sunshine, Girl Talk and Same Sky Trade Initiative.

As part of her victory, West will also receive a year-long salary as Miss Teen USA and will represent the organization at numerous events like movie premieres, Broadway shows and launch parties. West competed in her first pageant when she was five years old and has steadily worked her way up the ranks before receiving the prestigious honor on Saturday.

“I never thought it would be me,’’ she said. “I’m on cloud nine right now.”

--courtesy, Time.com

Question of the day

What Would a Black Debate Moderator Ask?

Gwen Ifill
 When it was recently announced that there would be female moderators at a presidential debate for the first time in two decades, many women cheered. But that cheering was short-lived among many women of color. The reason? Because while this year's presidential debates represent a giant step forward for women in terms of diversity, they represent a step back for people of color.
Four years ago, PBS host Gwen Ifill moderated the vice-presidential debate. This year, not a single journalist of color has been tapped to moderate any of the general election's scheduled debates. Some may ask why the race or gender of debate moderators matters, but we already saw, earlier this year, an example of why it does.
Though there were many forgettable moments during the Republican primary debates, one of the most memorable and controversial came courtesy of Fox News contributor Juan Williams. Williams, who is black, challenged former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on his comments labeling President Obama "the food stamp president." More specifically, Williams asked Gingrich about criticisms that his comments were racially insensitive. Juan Williams was booed,  making the exchange one of the most newsworthy of the night.
Yes, it's possible that someone who is not black could have asked the question, but it's also possible that the subject of racial insensitivity might not have crossed his or her mind, or at least not in a substantive way. With that in mind, below is a list of some of the most important issues facing black Americans, issues that we are unlikely to ever hear mentioned in a presidential debate, as long as those doing the asking do not reflect the diversity of our country.
1. Racial Profiling
Though Americans remain divided on just how the Trayvon Martin tragedy unfolded, most have come to terms with the fact that profiling played some role in the events that transpired that night. Hoodies became a national symbol for the thousands of black men who are unjustly followed, stopped, frisked, searched and demeaned on a daily basis because of the color of their skin.
A national conversation about profiling and the policies that encourage it (such as New York's aggressive stop-and-frisk program) was long overdue, but the Trayvon Martin tragedy finally forced it to happen. Sadly, it's a conversation that we are unlikely to hear continued at a presidential debate, particularly with no people of color to steer the conversation there.
2. Gun Violence
This is an issue that is certainly not limited to the black community, but it does disproportionately affect our community. It can be hard to tell this, however, because of the disproportionate media coverage that gun tragedies affecting nonurban, nonblack communities receive. Though it is likely that the presidential debates will include a question on gun control, the question will likely invoke the recent tragedy in Colorado and focus on an issue such as an assault-weapon ban, not on the fact that gun violence remains a leading cause of death  for young black men or on ways we can change that.
AIDS remains a leading cause of death of young black women, and rates are rapidly increasing among young black men who sleep with men.  Yet while a great deal of time will likely be spent during the presidential debate discussing health care reform, it is unlikely that much time, if any, will be spent on the health crises facing the black community, with AIDS being at the top of the list.

Sister and the sisters

Look at these gorgeous black women.

Tika Sumpter, Jordin Sparks and Carmen Ejogo at the Los Angeles premiere of "Sparkle" on August 16, 2012.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Here I am, far from home

Africa is my descent
And here I am far from home
I dwell within a land that is meant
For many men not my tone

The blood of god is my defense
Let it drop down to my seed
Showers to your innocence
To protect you for all eternity
And with this wood I beat this drum
And we won't see defeat

From kings to queens becomes a prince
Knowledge wisdom is
Understanding what we need

Ever since the day you came
My whole world began to change
I knew then to dedicate my life
For your own
Everyday I see you grow

And remember what you already know
I receive the love
That radiates from your glow

From which you came was love
And that's how it all should be
You and my soul are I
Though all the time and history

So, Be Careful

Sunday, August 12, 2012

#Real Talk

Jill Marie Jones

Is there something wrong with preferring  to kiss the lips of someone who understands the  history of the profoundly hurtful racial slur meant to stigmatize African Americans and will never use it much less even think of the word?

Those are the kind of lips I want to kiss.
But then again, I have always wanted to kiss her lips.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Congrats, The World’s Greatest Athlete

And he's from Oregon!

Ashton Eaton took gold in the Olympic decathlon – the event bestowed the title of "world’s greatest athlete" – holding off his U.S. teammate Hardee on the final day of competition. The world-record holder in the event, Eaton accumulated 8,869 points for the win. Hardee finished second with 8,671 points. The 1-2 finish is the first time in 56 years that the United States has won gold and silver in the event, matching the feat of Milt Campbell and Rafer Johnson in the 1956 Melbourne Games.

And on a day when Usain Bolt was calling himself the “greatest athlete to ever live," Eaton’s traditional title was echoed by his top competitor.
"So Ashton doesn’t have to sound selfish or self-centered, Ashton is the best athlete to ever walk the planet – hands down," Hardee said. "The title bestowed upon the Olympic champion in the decathlon is 'world’s greatest athlete.' Ashton is the world-record holder in that event. The same [reason] Usain Bolt can be the fastest man on the planet – because that's the title that’s bestowed upon those event winners."
Scored by the cumulative point totals in 10 events, Eaton won three – the 100 meters, long jump and the 400 meters. He also finished second in the high jump and third in the pole vault. That was more than enough to put Eaton in position to coast in his final event, the 1,500, which saw him ease his way around the track en route to a seventh-place finish and more than enough points to claim the United States' 13th gold medal in Olympic decathlon.
Only 24 years old and just hitting his prime in the event, the gold was Eaton's first Olympic medal. And while his dominance in decathlon is just beginning, he’s in no hurry to duke it out with Bolt over who is the world's best athlete.
"There's no fight,” Ashton said of his title versus Bolt's. "Usain is clearly awesome in his own right. He's an icon of the sport and whatever. Titles are for, I don't know, books and stuff. I just like what I'm doing."

And Bolt?
"I'm a great athlete, but to do 10 events, especially the 1,500, I’ve got to give it to him," the 100 and 200-meter gold medalist said.

Hardee was never far behind Eaton, finishing second to his teammate in the 100 meters and holding the second-points position throughout the 10-event decathlon. Hardee finished third or higher in four events – the 100m, 400m (third place), discus (third place) and javelin (third place).

His silver is a redeeming moment following a tumultuous ride through decathlon, including the 2008 Beijing Games, which saw Hardee foul out of the pole vault and lose his chance at a medal. Three years later, Hardee's London Games were thrown into doubt when he blew out his elbow in the world championships and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery in September of 2011.
"As the days and weeks and months and years pass, Ashton and I will look back on this and realize how special it really is and what this really meant," Hardee said. "…That [gold and silver] hasn't happened in a long time for the United States. It's something that Ashton and I, when we're 80 and 90 years old, our grandkids are going to puff out their chests a little bit. I'm honored to be a part of it."
Eaton became the new world-record holder in the decathlon at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June, scoring 9,039 points and breaking the 11-year-old total of 9,026 set by the Czech Republic's Roman Sebrle. And he wasted no time getting off to a fast start in London, winning the 100-meter portion of his event with a 10.35 seconds – good enough to break the record of 10.41 run by Bill Toomey of the U.S. in the 1968 Mexico City Games.

--courtesy  yahoosports.com

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

-A dedication

To Black fathers who have tried to provide and protect.
Stay strong.
To Black fathers who continue to encourage and empower their children.
To Black fathers who love Black mothers.
Thank you.
To Black fathers who practice what they preach.
Set the example.
To Black fathers who reach out and reach back.
Continue to uplift.
To Black fathers who are honest and honorable.
Remember Martin King.
To Black fathers who are determined and disciplined.
Remember Malcolm.
To Black fathers who have not given up.
Remember Mandela.
To Black fathers who are courageous and demanding.
Remember Douglass.
To Black fathers who are systematic and work hard.
Remember DuBois.
For Black fathers who are self-determining.
Remember Booker T.
For Black fathers who have decided to win,
who have decided to fight back,
who don't make excuses and
who promote and practice the essence of
black fatherhood/manhood/brotherhood...

Let's continue to celebrate the power of our endurance.
Let's continue to choose the right path.
Let's remain strong and let's keep the faith.

 --Richard Rowe

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Langston Hughes

When I was a little nappy headed boy...

Stevie Wonder
Looking back on when I
Was a little nappy headed boy
Then my only worry
Was for Christmas what would be my toy
Even though we sometimes
Would not get a thing
We were happy with the
Joy the day would bring

Sneaking out the back door
To hang out with those hoodlum friends of mine
Greeted at the back door
With boy thought I told you not to go outside
Tryin' your best to bring the
Water to your eyes
Thinkin' it might stop her
From woopin' your behind

I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ev-er have to go
I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ev-er have to go
Cause I love them so

Brother says he's tellin'
'Bout you playin' doctor with that girl
Just don't tell I'll give you
Anything you want in this whole wide world
Mama gives you money for Sunday school
You trade yours for candy after church is through

Smokin' cigarettes and writing something nasty on the wall (you nasty boy)
Teacher sends you to the principal's office down the hall
You grow up and learn that kinda thing ain't right
But while you were doing it-it sure felt outta sight

I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ev-er have to go
I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ev-er have to go

I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ev-er have to go

The Truth

Usain Bolt

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Remembering the First Black Olympians to Win Gold Medals

John Baxter Taylor
With nearly 100 African-American athletes representing the U.S. at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, a gold medal winner won’t be a surprise.

Claiming Olympic gold isn’t new in the Black community; African Americans have been winning gold medals since 1908.

The AFRO chronicles the first Black Olympian gold medal winners here as a way remembering African-American athletic prowess on the world stage.

John Baxter Taylor – born in Washington, D.C., Taylor became the first African American ever to win a gold medal. During the 1908 Olympics, he was a member of the record-breaking U.S. national 1,600-meter relay team. The 1908 Olympics games were held in London, the same site of the 2012 games.

Taylor graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, and was a member of the Sigma Pi Phi, the first Black fraternity, also known as Boule. He died just five months after capturing gold in 1908, suffering from typhoid fever; he was only 26 years old. At the moment, the New York Times called him, “the world’s greatest negro runner.”

Alice Coachman – a native of Albany, Ga., Coachman became the first African-American woman to win an individual gold medal during the 1948 Summer Olympics. Coincidentally, Coachman’s gold medal was also won in London as she captured the high jump event by leaping 1.68 meters, or 5.5 feet.

Coachman was also a four-time National track champion for the Tuskegee Institute, excelling in the 50-meter and 100-meter dash. She is an honorary member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, inducted during the AKA’s international conference in 1998.

DeHart Hubbard – born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Hubbard became the first African-American male to win an individual gold medal during the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris by winning the long jump event. Hubbard was the “king of the long jump” during his era, setting a world record 7.89 meters (25.8 feet) at Chicago in June 1925; he also matched the world record in the 100-yard dash with a time of 9.6 seconds in a Cincinnati-located event in 1926.

Hubbard studied at the University of Michigan and was a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. He died in 1976 and was inducted into the University of Michigan Hall of Fame in 1979.

Don Barksdale – born in Oakland, Calif., Barksdale was the first African-American male to play for the U.S. national men’s basketball team that went on to win gold during the 1948 Olympics in London. Considered a pioneer for Blacks in basketball, Barksdale was also the first of his race to be named a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) All-American and the first Black to play in the National Basketball Association All-Star game.

Barksdale studied at UCLA and joined the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He was signed into the American Basketball Association (ABA) by the Baltimore Bullets in 1951 as a 28-year-old rookie, and was later traded to the Boston Celtics; he was the fifth Black man ever to play for a National Basketball Association (NBA) team. He died in 1993 at the age of 69.

Jesse Owens – born in Oakville, Ala., became the first man of any race to win four gold medals in track and field events during the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Owens captured gold in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the long jump and the 4x100-meter relay. The only other athlete to pull off such a feat is Carl Lewis, who won gold in the same events during the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Owens studied at Ohio State University, which later named its track and field stadium after him.

Dominique Dawes – born in Silver Spring, Md., Dawes is the first Black person of any nationality or gender to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics, and the first African-American woman to win any medal in an individual gymnastics event. She won gold as a member of the U.S. gymnastics team in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and won a bronze medal in the individual floor event. She later graduated with a bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland, College Park, in 2002.

Anthony Ervin – a native of Hollywood, Calif., Ervin became the first African-American male to win a gold medal in a swimming event during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Ervin captured his one and only gold medal in the 50-meter race. He also won a silver medal as a member of the 4x100 meter relay team.

According to reports, Ervin is of Jewish descent on his mother’s side and of African-American and Native American descent on his father’s side. He attended the University of California-Berkeley.

Shani Davis – born in Chicago, Ill., Davis is the first Black man of any nation to win a gold medal during a Winter Olympics Games. He won gold in the 1000 meter speed skating event during the 2006 Winter games in Turin; he successfully defended his title during the 2012 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the first man of any race to win back-to-back gold in the 1,000 meter event.

Davis has 51 career individual victories on the ISU Speed Skating World Cup circuit, second most all-time for males. He also set several world records, including three that still stand today.

Vonetta Flowers – a native of Birmingham, Ala., Flowers became the first African-American to win a gold medal in a Winter Olympics Games; she won the two-woman bobsled race during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Flowers was a track star at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and made several attempts at qualifying for the Summer Olympics before shifting her focus to bobsled racing at the age of 26. Flowers is also the only person of any race to come from Alabama and win a Winter Olympics medal; she was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

Michael Johnson – born in Dallas, Texas, Johnson is the only male sprinter in Olympics history to win both the 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash events at the same Olympics; he accomplished this feat during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

A graduate of Baylor University, Johnson is the only man to win back-to-back gold medals in the 400 meter dash; he also currently holds the world record for the fastest time in the 300-meter dash.

Robert “Bullet Bob” Hayes – born in Jacksonville, Fla., Hayes won a gold medal in the 100-meter dash during the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. He became the first person to cover 100 meters in less than 10 seconds.

After the ’64 Olympics, Hayes was drafted by the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys. In November, 1966, he set a league record against the Washington Redskins that would stand for nearly 50 years, catching nine passes for 246 yards. Hayes is also the only person to win both an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. Hayes attended Florida A&M University.

---courtesy  afro.com