Friday, August 28, 2009

“The Dream” Remains a Vision says Wilmer Leon



By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

On August 28, 1963 during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered one of the most famous speeches in world history, “I Have A Dream”. What has troubled me over the years is how Dr. King, the visionary, prophet, and revolutionary’s vision, action, and ultimate sacrifice have been hijacked, compromised, and relegated to being those of just a dreamer.

Dreamers are safe. People are comfortable with dreamers. Why? To be a dreamer you must be in a restful state, usually asleep. Dreamers are comfortable in that sleep state. Dreamers are docile, easy to manipulate, and non-threatening. To cast Dr. King in the light of a dreamer allows people to be convinced that action resulting from clear vision is not necessary. It allows the oppressed to be fooled into being patient and non-revolutionary; yours will come by-and by.

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We hear those powerful words "I Have a Dream…" What many fail to realize is that Dr. King was no dreamer. He was a visionary, not some abstract thinker or philosopher. He was a prophet and a true revolutionary.

As I understand it, the original title of the “I Have A Dream” speech was “Normalcy—Never Again.” If that is the case, that title, “Normalcy-Never Again” is a real indicator of what was to come. It’s a clear statement that what had been accepted-what had been normal, i.e. oppression in America would no longer be tolerated.

Dr. King the realist states, "…we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land…” That was no dream; that was the Negro’s reality in 1963 and a clear indictment of the social conditions in America at that time. It continues to be the reality for too many in America today. A reality for those children languishing in inner-city schools, their parents who are loosing their jobs and loosing their homes, and those unjustly incarcerated in American jails and prisons.

Dr. King the strict constructionist referred to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. He stated, "It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned...America has given the Negro people a bad check - a check which has come back marked insufficient funds." Again, no dream in that statement, that’s a clear indictment of the human condition!

Dr. King the prophet offered hope by saying, “But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.” He said this because he clearly understood the power of hope, as a minister he clearly understood the power of faith.

Before Dr. King talks about the dream, he says that we must march ahead. “We cannot turn back. … We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.” In light of the November 25, 2006 murder of Sean Bell, the March 16, 2000 murder of Patrick Dorismond, the February 4, 1999 murder of Amadou Diallo, and many others, African American’s still find themselves victims of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality, racial profiling, and Driving While, and some times Walking While Black.

The "dream" reference actually comes towards the end of the speech. As Dr. King was close to ending his nine-minute delivery he said, “…so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.” It’s important to understand that he spoke of the dream in the context of the horrific reality for “Negro’s” and the poor that he had just articulated. What makes the “dream” significant is its juxtaposition against America’s reality, failures, and oppression of its own citizens; their nightmare!

Today, many see President Obama’s historic accomplishment as evidence of the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream, a “post-racial” America. This is in fact evidence that America has made progress on the long and difficult road towards racial tolerance and acceptance. However, there are still many miles left to travel.

As long as African American men are incarcerated at a rate of more than six times the rate of White men and the incarceration of Black women continues to grow at record numbers, the “Dream” will remain a vision. As long as unemployment among African American’s is more than twice the rate of White Americans and as long as studies show that a Black family's income is a little more than half that of a similar White family's income, the “Dream” will remain a vision. As long as African Americans continue to deal with Driving While Black, excessive high school dropout rates, and imbalances in health care, the “Dream” will remain a vision.

Until every American’s reality reflects the very founding principals of this great nation:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The “dream” for too many in America will remain a vision.

Dr. Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast call-in talk radio program “On With Leon,” and a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Go to or email:

© 2009 InfoWave Communications, LLC.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chris Brown Gets a Helluva Sentence

A judge on Tuesday sentenced Chris Brown to five years' probation and six months' community labor for the beating of Rihanna and ordered the R&B singer to stay away from his former girlfriend for the next five years.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg told Brown that he could be sent to state prison if he violated any terms of his sentence, including an order to stay 100 yards away from Rihanna unless they're attending music industry events.

A probation report prepared for Tuesday's sentencing describes two previous violent incidents. It said the first happened about three months before the February beating while the couple was traveling in Europe; Rihanna slapped Brown during an argument, and he shoved her into a wall. In the second instance, Brown allegedly broke the front and passenger side windows on a Range Rover they were driving while visiting Barbados, Rihanna's home country. Neither attack was reported, the probation report states.


Click to read.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Your Black News: Dr. Boyce Watkins Joins the Al Sharpton Show

Dr Boyce Watkins, Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition is now slated for a weekly segment on "Keeping it Real with Al Sharpton."  The show is currently syndicated in 18 cities across the nation and adding new affiliates each week.  Every Monday from 1:15 - 2:15 pm EST, Dr. Watkins and Rev. Sharpton will discuss political issues of the day and matters affecting our nation.  To find out more about the show, please visit or

To see Dr. Watkins' latest articles with MSNBC's "", please visit this link:

To see Dr. Watkins' latest work with AOL Black Voices, please visit:

To listen to Dr. Watkins' last conversation with Rev. Sharpton, please click here.

In light of President Obama's recent announcement that African American education should be a top priority for Black leadership, Dr. Watkins will be speaking with Rev. Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and other African Americans on ways to directly challenge the astronomical dropout rates for African American students.  Many of these issues are addressed in Dr. Watkins' book, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About College."   To start the academic year, Dr. Watkins will be distributing free e-copies of this book to members of the Your Black World Coalition during the month of September, 2009.  We will also be reaching out to President Obama to offer support in solving this problem, for we firmly believe that managing the dropout rate is one of the keys to saving our great nation.

For more information, please visit

Friday, August 21, 2009



BALTIMORE, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Two teenagers and an adult were charged in the beating of a 76-year-old black man in Baltimore, an incident police said has racial overtones.

Charged as adults were Emmanuel Miller, 16, and Zachary Watson, 17, who, along with Calvin Lockner, 28, face charges of attempted murder, assault and harassing a person because of race or religion, CNN reported Friday.

The victim, James Privott, was in critical condition Thursday, but making progress, a Baltimore police spokeswoman said. Doctors told police he sustained a possible fractured eye orbital bone and had serious head trauma, court documents said.

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You might remember Mississippi State forward Jarvis Varnado from such films as "Mississippi State made a major leap in 2008, staring Jarvis Varnado," and "I will block that shot against the backboard and scream in your face," presented by Jarvis Varnado." The last time you saw the talented Mr. Varnado, he was leading the Mississippi State Bulldogs to the SEC tournament title and an NCAA appearance. Varnado has led the nation in blocked shots two years in a row. He's an awfully good player.

And now, he's a walk-on.

The Clarion-Ledger's Kyle Veazey has the scoop (thanks to Truth About It for the Twitter tip, by the way). When Bulldogs coach Rick Stansbury signed John Riek and the still-under-investigation Renardo Sidney, he signed his 13th and 14th players scholarship players. Unfortunately, there are only 13 scholarships available. Most coaches would probably just run a player off, but after mulling it over, Stansbury and the Varnado family came up with a mutual -- and pretty selfless -- solution. Varnado's father explains:

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Thursday, August 20, 2009




NEW YORK(AP)—Former New York Giant Plaxico Burress(notes) pleaded guilty Thursday to a weapons charge and agreed to a two-year prison term for accidentally shooting himself at a Manhattan nightclub.

The ex-wide receiver pleaded guilty to one count of attempted criminal possession of a weapon, a lesser charge than he initially faced. Under a plea agreement, he agreed to a two-year prison sentence and two years of supervised release.

Burress was indicted earlier this month on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment. He faced a minimum sentence of 3 1/2 years if convicted at a trial.

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Steve Harvey is coming to morning television.
The acclaimed funnyman, who just hosted his "7th Annual Hoodie Awards" in Las Vegas over the weekend, will serve as a correspondent for reports on family and relationship topics. It was announced today by Senior Executive Producer Jim Murphy.
According to a network rep, Harvey's first segment is scheduled for the Aug. 19 broadcast.
"He will bring his own unique perspective, style and humor to morning television while interacting with viewers around the country via, Skype and live guests in-studio," the rep said.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Your Black News: Shot 59 Times: What are the Facts?

Dad: Suicidal son shot 59 times by cops was

  • BILL POOVEY, Associated Press Writer

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (AP) -- Alonzo Heyward carried a rifle around his low-rent Chattanooga, Tennessee, neighborhood one day last month, ranting about suicide and ignoring the pleas of friends for hours before six city police officers surrounded him on his front porch and decided it had to end.

His father says Heyward told the officers, "I'm not out here to hurt anybody."

But the police, who tried unsuccessfully to disarm Heyward, fired 59 rounds to kill him on July 18. The medical examiner found 43 bullet wounds in his chest, face, arms, hands, legs, buttocks and groin. Police contend Heyward was a danger to others and threatened the six officers.

Chattanooga police spokeswoman Jerri Weary described the case as "suicide by cop."

As questions continue to surround the shooting, Heyward's family and civil rights leaders take issue with the police response. Heyward, a 32-year-old moving company employee, was black. The six officers are white. They were temporarily placed on administrative leave but have since returned to work.

"We have a large concern about the amount of shots fired," said Valoria Armstrong, president of the Chattanooga branch of the NAACP civil rights group.

A Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial cartoon asked "IS THIS EXCESSIVE FORCE?" -- spelling out the question with letters labeling the wounds in a drawing based on Heyward's autopsy report.

His father, James Marine, 61, does not believe Heyward really wanted to kill himself or that he was trying to commit "suicide by cop."

"He just needed somebody to talk to," Marine said. ... "I believe he was just depressed at that time."

Click to read.


lil wayne lara london

Jayson Rodriquez of reports that Lil Wayne is expecting another child. Wayne confirmed in a Tuesday radio interview that actress Lauren London is expecting his baby.

Wayne has a daughter with former wife Toya Carter and and a son with an unidentified college student. The due date and sex of Wayne and London's baby weren't annouced on the radio program.

According to the MTV report, representatives for both entertainers did not respond to inquiries made by MTV News.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dr Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Talk about Healthcare Reform

Dr Boyce Watkins of Syracuse university will be appearing with Rev. Al Sharpton on “Keeping it Real with Al Sharpton” from 2 – 3 pm EST on Tuesday 8/18/09.  They will discuss Obama’s educational plans, Michael Vick and Healthcare reform.   Dr. watkins and Rev. Sharpton have appeared together on several other shows, including “Keep Hope Alive with Rev. Jesse Jackson”, “The Wendy Williams Experience”, “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” and more.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hip Hop Wired: Dr Boyce, Killer Mike Speak on Troy Davis’ Stay of Execution

The United States Supreme Court has granted Troy Davis' request to postpone his execution in yet another attempt to clear his name and prove his innocence.

Davis is an inmate that was sentenced to death after the 1989 murder of a Savannah, GA police officer. Since his incarceration, Davis has gained international support behind his claims of innocence.

Justice John Paul Stevens ordered a federal judge to "receive testimony and make findings of fact as to whether evidence that could not have been obtained at trial clearly establishes petitioner's innocence."

Among the supporters of the motion were Justices Ruth Bader and Stephen Breyer. The newest member of the high court Sonia Sotomayor, however, did not participate in the petition. "Brother" Clarence Thomas did however and was one of two judges that dissented their reasons for not taking another look at the case and going ahead and killing Davis.

In the last year or so, Davis' case has been quite turbulent, even being granted a stay of execution just two hours before he was to be put to death.

Despite the execution delay, Davis will continue to sit on death row, reports CNN.

Davis insists that he is innocent of the charges brought upon him in the murder of Officer Mark MacPhail. Witnesses claimed they saw Davis, then 19, and two other men harassing a homeless man in a Burger King parking lot when officer MacPhail arrived to the help the man. Witnesses identified Davis as the shooter claiming he shot MacPhail twice and fled on foot.

Since the 1991 conviction, however, seven of the nine witnesses have recanted their testimonies. In addition to the witnesses reneging, no physical evidence was ever presented to the trial jury or court.

Click to read.



NEW YORK (AP)—Michael Vick(notes) says he cried in prison because of the guilt he felt about being involved in dogfighting, and was disgusted with himself for allowing it to happen.

In an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday night, Vick said the day he walked into prison he realized “the magnitude of the decisions that I made.

“And, you know, it’s no way of, you know, explaining, you know, the hurt and the guilt that I felt. And that was the reason I cried so many nights. And that put it all into perspective,” he said.

A three-time Pro Bowl pick during six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Vick served 18 months in federal prison for running a dogfighting ring and was reinstated last month by the NFL after being out of action since 2006.

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On Friday Corey Miller, who's known to the world as rapper C-Murder, was sentenced to life in prison following a conviction of second-degree murder earlier in the week.

     Miller, the brother of Percy Miller, once known as rapper Master P, was convicted on a 10-2 vote by a a jury in the shooting death shooting a 16-year-old fan in Louisiana in 2001.

This was the second time that a jury convicted Miller in the case -- but a 2003 conviction was overturned.

Earlier in the week after the conviction was made known the victim's family left in tears and had this reaction:

"I'm not rejoicing. I feel bad for (Miller's) family. But at least they can see him. What have we got but a gravesite and a photograph," said George Thomas, whose 16-year-old son, Steve Thomas, was shot to death during the Jan. 12, 2001, brawl in a now-closed Harvey, La., nightclub.

Miller's family and friends also cried outside the courtroom. His sister, Germaine Miller, lost control of her emotions and accused the prosecutors of corruption. Not only that, but indirectly asked for the involvement of President Obama.

"I have feelings and I'm sorry for Steve Thomas' family," she said. "I lost a brother also! Where are all the witnesses at the club? Come out, be here, be a witness, come up here! If you [are] not Corey, don't worry about [the name] C-Murder, you come up here and show these people we need to deal with this! We need to deal with it. I'm tired of everybody holding their breath. Where is justice? Where is Barack?"

     read more click here

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bobby Brown in Trouble Again


An arrest warrant has been issued for Bobby Brown after he failed to appear in a Massachusetts court on a contempt complaint.

Norfolk Judge Christina Harms ordered Brown arrested the next time the singer is in Massachusetts. He failed to appear at a June 29 hearing.

Register of Probate Patrick McDermott said Friday that by June, Brown had fallen $45,000 behind in child support payments for the two teenage children he had with former girlfriend Kim Ward.


Click to read.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dr. Wilmer Leon: At What Point is Michael Vick Rehabilitated?

by Dr. Wilmer Leon

On December 10, 2007 suspended Atlanta Falcon’s quarterback Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison for his role in a dog fighting ring. He was also found to have been involved in killing pit bulls that did not demonstrate sufficient fighting prowess.

Michael Vick, once one of the highest paid players in the NFL with a 10 year $130 million contract that provided him with an $11.4 million salary in 2006 and $6 million salary in 2007 made 12 cents an hour in his job at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan. He filed for bankruptcy; claiming assets of $16 million and liabilities of $20.4 million. Vick is on the hook for judgments of $2.4 million to the Royal Bank of Canada and $1.1 million to Wachovia Bank, both because of loan defaults, and $4.5 million for a sports agent who sued him and won.

On July 20, 2009, after serving 18 months of his 23 month sentence, Michael Vick was released from Leavenworth Federal Prison. After having served his time, on August 13, 2009 signed a two year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Click to read.

News: Marion Barry Documentary Coming Out Soon

Try as he might, Marion Barry, 73, cannot erase the fact that most people know him as the mayor videotaped smoking crack in a 1990 sting operation – the same year DC had the dubious distinction of being the murder capital of the world.

Yet, today, and despite this humiliating and seemingly career-ending circumstance, Marion Barry is as beloved in chocolate city as ever, most recently elected as a city council member for DC's poorest area, Ward 8. He also provokes a vehement vitriol in the city as well.

Barry's phoenix like political career, and his fascinating and flawed personal life is chronicled in the documentary 'The Nine Lives of Marion Barry' which premieres tonight on HBO. It highlights not only a politician rocked by scandal but a brilliant young man who overcame bitter early circumstances to work in the civil rights movement and to serve in public office.

After several starts and stops filmmaker Dana Flor and her partner Toby Oppenheimer spent at least eight years on this project, and Flor belives that the film is not only about the history of DC but a spring to open up a very necessary dialogue about race and perception of reality based on race.

Click to read.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Michael Vick’s Return: Why it’s a Good Thing

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

He's back. After a 2 year saga that kept my head spinning, the young man who made a terrible mistake is finally being allowed to make a living. I have supported Michael Vick all along, but not because I felt that he was innocent. I've supported him because I do not believe that dog fighting is the kind of crime that deserves a lifetime punishment. So, to the extremists at PETA who want to see Michael Vick burn in the hell of unemployment and incarceration for the rest of his life, I only have one thing to say: grow up.

Michael Vick's reinstatement to the NFL and recent signing by the Philadelphia Eagles unleashed a plethora of thoughts within me. On some level, his return is a bit of an "Athletic Juneteenth" for those who tire of seeing our country make African American athletes into public enemy number one whenever they screw up. To this day, we act as if Marion Jones is the devil, Barry Bonds is a monster, and Terrell Owens is some kind of criminal. This treatment is nothing new, as black athletes have been getting villified for decades, and their molehills are consistently turned into mountains, ripe for high-tech lynchings. This is the tradition of America.

It only seems appropriate that Michael Vick sign his contract in a city like Philadelphia, the place that I love and fear at the same time. I love the city because they've supported me in my work with the great Wendy Williams, Dom Giordano andCharlamagne Tha God. But there is a dark side of "Killadelphia" that shows itself in the way they support their sports teams. They are the fans that cheered when it appeared that Michael Irvin may have broken his neck, so they sure as heck aren't going to pay much attention to animal rights protestors blocking their path to a Super Bowl. In a city like Philly, the slogan is simple: "If you win, we forgive all sin." Vick will be right at home.

Click to read more.

Al Sharpton Critiques the Prison Industrial Complex

Prisons bursting at the seams, destroying our future

  • (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

by Rev. Al Sharpton

As the battle lines for health care reform are being drawn - and redrawn - a silent segment of the population is strategically left out of the conversation. It's a group of individuals who have been deemed enemies of society, and cast away behind iron bars to fend for themselves. In California's 33 prisons, healthcare is so inadequate that one unnecessary death takes place per week, as inmates are often stacked in triple bunk beds in hallways and gymnasiums. With nearly twice the number of prisoners than they were designed to hold, California prisons will have to reduce at least 40,000 prisoners in the next two years - and it's about time.

Federal judges just released a 184-page order demanding that California's inmate population be reduced by 27%, and gave the state 45 days to come up with a plan. In what they termed an "unconstitutional prison healthcare system", the three-judge panel concluded that disease was spreading rampantly and prisoner-on-prisoner violence was all but unavoidable. Forced to close a $26 billion dollar budget gap, California will now have to look at mechanisms to reducing its extensive prison spending, which in 2007 topped out at nearly $10 billion (approximately $49,000 for each inmate).

Whether it's for pure economic reasons or for an actual concern over the well being of prisoners, California will hopefully serve as an example for a reversal of the ever-growing prison industrial complex. A system that unfairly profiles and detains minorities, American jails produce a vicious cycle of recidivism and community breakdown. Last year, the Pew Center on the States released a scathing report stating that one in every 100 American adults was in jail, and that an astonishing one in 15 black adults was behind bars. According to government reports in 2007, there were three times as many blacks in jail than in college dorms, with Latinos not far behind at 2.7 times more behind bars than in secondary schooling.

Click to read.

Your Black News: Michael Vick Signed by the Eagles

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

Enlarge photo

Michael Vick discusses his situation with James Brown.

Courtesy of CBSMichael Vick discusses his situation with James Brown.

Related Falcons stories »

Vick will return to the NFL after two seasons away, including 23 months in federal prison, and a league suspension that will end after Week 6 this year.

The Falcons host the Eagles in a Sunday game on Dec. 6, at the end of the regular season.

The controversial signal caller has gone through a whirlwind of highs and lows since the Atlanta Falcons drafted as the No. 1 pick in 2001.

He inked a $62 million deal that included a $15 million signing bonus. After a year waiting in the wings, took over the starting position in the 2002 season, and led the team to its first playoff berth since the 1998 NFC Championship season.

Click to read.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Black Scholars: Alphas Speak on Stress

Two educated Alpha Men break it down for the world to see.  Dr Wilmer Leon and Dr. Robert Brown discuss how to cope with the stress of a changing environment.  Click here to listen!

Falsely Accused Texans Wait for Reparations


By theGrio

About 40 former Texas inmates cleared by DNA evidence are looking forward to a big payday on September 1st.

Texas leads the nation in DNA exonerations. According to The Innocence Project - a legal organization that handles these cases - 241 prisoners have been cleared nationwide in the past 20 years. Thirty-eight were convicted in Texas. Now, the state is trying to make up for their lost time.

The last time Jerry Evans was in a courtroom was 23 years ago when a jury sentenced him to life in prison for sexual assault. But this summer DNA evidence cleared him.

"Had these test results been available at the time of the trial, you would not have been convicted in this case," the judge said at his exoneration hearing.

Evans walked out of prison a free man - cleared of any wrongdoing.

"Now that I look back at it," said Evans, "I wonder now how in the hell I did 23 years in prison."

Click here to read the rest

Openly Gay Black Man Goes into Politics

A two-tour veteran of the Iraq War and graduate of West Point and Harvard University,Anthony Woods, 29, enjoys a solid resume that would make him a good candidate for public office.
But if you have heard of Woods, who is seeking election to Congress from California's 10th House District, it likely has little to do with his impressive credentials.
Woods has gained notoriety because he is the first openly gay black man to run for Congress.

His run for office has drawn parallels to the story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to a public office in California. In 1978, Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another city supervisor who had recently resigned but wanted his job back.

Click to read more.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dr Boyce Watkins Supports Suit Against the NCAA

By Dr. Boyce Watkins

8:50 AM on 08/11/2009

NCAA treating black athletes like second-class citizens

  • In this April 3, 1995 photo, UCLA's Ed O'Bannon celebrates after his team won the NCAA championship game against Arkansas in Seattle. O'Bannon is suing the NCAA over its use of former student athletes' images in DVDs, video games, photographs, apparel and other material. (AP Photo/Eric Draper, File)

The revolution has been televised.

I always knew it would be, since African American athletes have always been center stage in the NCAA's multi-billion dollar money machine. Millions of Americans go mad during the month of March to see "Tyrone G. Anyhood", the latest corporate product being lined up on the Great American assembly line of mass exploitation and academic fraud.

The NCAA has profited handsomely from the black community's commitment to producing and delivering hoop dreams that put young black men on the court during the hours they should be spending in a book. We perform death-defying athletic circus acts for the amusement of America, while universities profit under the guise of providing education. The NCAA's professional sports league has created hundreds of multimillionaires and has facilitated the purchase of summer homes, yachts and private planes for many of the fat old men who refuse to even hire African American coaches.

Some of the players have finally said, "enough."

Ed O'Bannon, a former star for the UCLA Bruins, has put his name at the top of an historic class-action lawsuit being filed against the NCAA for the illegal use of player images in videogames. This lawsuit is significant and opens a Pandora's Box of disturbing issues, like a maid charged with cleaning out a house with dead bodies and asbestos. To make things simple, here are just a few reasons the suit may actually end up having massive implications for the African American community:

Click to read.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Black News: Wu Tang Trying to come back? Fa Real?

Looks like the Wu Tang Clan has another album in the works.  Is that their only way to make money?

Michael Vick Gives Speeches for the Humane Society

Michael Vick returned to the area that once celebrated his brilliant play on the football field, this time for the first of what he vows will be dozens of appearances around the country to urge low-income youths to avoid the tragic trail left by dogfighting.

Few got to hear Saturday's message, however.

Vick's visit to a suburban Atlanta community center was largely off limits to the very neighborhood it was supposed to be helping. In an agreement between Vick's handlers and the Humane Society of the United States, only 55 people and one media crew were allowed inside. AnAssociated Pressreporter, videographer and photographer were among the media banished from the property by police.

Most people who live in the largely black neighborhood southeast of Atlanta were unaware of Vick's appearance. Several showed up after the former Falcons quarterback had already left in a black limousine.

Read more.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Changing Our Drug Policy: Why it must be done

by Dr. Byron Price, Texas Southern University

On his website, President Obama offers us a “seat at the table,” which is the equivalent of citizens offering policy prescriptions to his administration. This unprecedented effort to increase citizen participation in the policy making process has the added benefit of simultaneously empowering citizens in a way that our government has not done and has to be what the campaign meant by “change we can believe in.” The criticism of whom he has appointed misses the mark concerning what I believe his change mantra signifies. Since the president appears to be open to unsolicited advice, I offer the following criminal justice recommendations and justification for these suggestions.
President Obama and the 111th Congress should consider ending drug prohibition.
“Consider the consequences of drug prohibition today: 500,000 people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails for nonviolent drug-law violations; 1.8 million drug arrests last year; tens of billions of taxpayer dollars expended annually to fund a drug war that 76% of Americans say has failed; millions now marked for life as former drug felons; many thousands dying each year from drug overdoses that have more to do with prohibitionist policies than the drugs themselves, and tens of thousands more needlessly infected with AIDS and Hepatitis C because those same policies undermine and block responsible public-health policies.”

As the preceding paragraph illustrates, “The War on Drugs” has been a dismal failure and has gifted nonviolent African Americans offenders, especially males a permanent handicap—a lifetime of limited opportunities. The collateral consequences of a drug conviction which limit African Americans opportunities are:
The denial of financial aid and work study .
Felony Disenfranchisement.
Lifetime ban on cash benefits and food stamps.
Lifetime ban on public housing.
Termination of parental rights and ban from becoming adoptive or foster parents.
Remove the felony conviction question on applications of employment.

Click to read.

News: Obama’s Daddy Initiative

President Barack Obama and Joshua DuBois

(Shown: Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, left and Joshua DuBois, right, at a presidential debate in April 2008 at Messiah College in Grantham, PA. DuBois is now spearheading President Obama's responsible fatherhood agenda ).
Despite a trenchant fight over health care reform, and grappling with an intractable recession, President Barack Obama on June 5 dispatched top White House staffers to Chicago to discuss another important matter on his agenda: Fatherhood.
The officials, including Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith Based Neighborhood Partnerships (FBNP) and Michael Strautmanis, chief of staff to Obama's senior advisor Valerie Jarrett), hosted a town hall meeting at the University of Illinois in Chicago. It drew an estimated 500 people to the South Loop, with Black Voices in attendance. Speakers included Rep. Danny K. Davis (D, Illinois), who reflected on growing up with his father, saying it was instrumental in his development.
"When you talk about responsible fatherhood, it gives us the opportunity to explore so many of the issues facing our society and our world," Davis said. "I'm just delighted. So again, I can't commend the president enough."

Click to read.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Your Black Scholar News - On with Leon: What to Make of this “Teachable Moment”?

On this episode of “On with Leon,” Dr Wilmer Leon talks with listeners who have strong opinions on Henry Louis Gates, Barack Obama and the “Teachable Moment.”  Click here to listen

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Officer Barrett Refers to Gates as a “Jungle Monkey”

My posted the entire text of the letter written by Officer Justin Barrett, who referred to Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates as a “Banana Eating Jungle Monkey".”

Anti-Gay Violence Rises in Black Communities


By Kenyon Farrow


The recent shootings in a Tel-Aviv LGBT center that left 2 dead and 15 injured understandably shocked the world. Though incidents in the black community usually receive little or no attention, we have our own problems with homophobic violence here in the U.S.

On July 26th in New Orleans, a 21 year-old born with the name Eric Lee, who dressed in women's clothing and went by the name "Beyonce" was found dead of multiple stab wounds in his apartment. According to The, Lee had been arguing with the three young women who were later arrested and charged with his murder.

With the exception of the accused being women, this story is all too familiar. According to the most recent report for the Anti-Violence Project, while bias violence against LGBT people increased only 2% from 2007-2008, the number of murders jumped 28% over the same period and were at their highest level since 1999.

Of all reported bias violence, 20% were people of African descent. According to the Gay & Lesbian Straight Education Network report one-third of all African-American LGBT students surveyed experienced some form of physical violence in school due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, and were the among the least likely of all students of color to report incidents to parents or other school authorities.

Black LGBT children also learn at an early age that to be queer can be mean violence, even if you have a supportive family, which I was lucky to have. But a protective family may not help you in the outside world.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Harvard Gates Is Part-Irish And Related To Cop Who Arrested Him


Henry Louis Gates Jr., the black professor at the center of the racial story involving his arrest outside his Harvard University-owned house, has spoken proudly of his Irish roots.

Strangely enough, he and the Cambridge, Mass., police officer who arrested him, Sgt. James Crowley, both trace their ancestry back to the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages.

In a PBS series on African-American ancestry that he hosted in 2008, Gates discovered his Irish roots when he found he was descended from an Irish immigrant and a slave girl.

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Man Details Alleged Police Brutality


CHICAGO (CBS) ― New allegations of brutality by Chicago police have surfaced. In his

lawsuit, one man claims he was beaten during a traffic stop.

As CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot reports, the suit names two officers and implicates several others.
"I thought I was gonna die because I couldn't breathe," said alleged police beating victim Curtis Mason Jr.
Blood vessels were broken in an eye and his wrists were allegedly cut by tight handcuffs.

Mason says the injuries he captured with photographs were caused by Chicago police.
"In the beginning, that's what I asked them, 'why am I being arrested' and from that point, it turned into, 'why are you continually hitting me?'" he said.

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Rapper Soulja Boy Causes a Ruckus

Soulja Boy recently made a YouTube video about his newLamborghini chain which matches his actual Lamborghini.  Apparently a lot of people had some things to say about it one of whom was Eminem who told him to do the Superman and die, but don’t worry Soulja Boy also had a response for the haters.  Click the image below to watch the video of him showing off his chain followed by his response.

Soulja Boy

1ST OF ALL. I didn’t pay ANYTHING for my black Lamborghini chain I got it FREE as a birthday present from my jeweler when I turned 19 on July 28!

2ND OF ALL. Even if I did pay for it who are you to judge me on what I purchase with MY money?

3RD OF ALL. Why do the media blow up the things that they think will make me look stupid or ignorant. Why not publicize or put me in the spotlight when I do positive things? What about when I was in the hood this past Christmas passing out toys to everybody on the westside of Atlanta where I grew up why not show that on TV? Why not publicize my Little league football team that I sponsor in Batesville, MS or the money I donated to help build the rec center and boyz and girls club!? What about when I donated $25,000 for all those kids to have a good Christmas with the Toyz n da hood foundation? Why not step in when Ice-T was dissing me why not call up and have a sit down to squash that beef. THINK ABOUT IT A 40 YEAR OLD SOMETHING GANGSTA NIGGA VS. A 16 YEAR OLD KID (AT THE TIME). What if he really did have O.G. crip niggaz that had a price on my head to murder me? WHY DIDN’T YOU TRY TO STEP IN AND STOP THAT? HUH?. you worried about a black diamond chain that I received as birthday present??? WTF What about when me and Tigger was in D.C. buying all those can foods for the homeless??? Why not publicize when them niggaz ran in my house and tried to kill me and I had to defend myself and blast they ass.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

50 Cent's New "The Streets Of Blood" Interview




Curtis James Jackson, III, aka 50 Cent was born on July 6, 1975 in South Jamaica, Queens, where he was raised by his single-mom until she was murdered when he was only 8. He was taken in by his grandparents, but began hanging out with the wrong kids and began selling crack by the age of 12. While still a teenager, he was arrested and convicted for drug dealing, and turned his life around while serving out a six-month sentence.

After being paroled, he parlayed his street cred into an enviable career in gangsta’ rap with the help of the late Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC, and the rest, as they say, is musical history. Here, he talks about his latest film, Streets of Blood, a crime thriller set in New Orleans and co-starring Val Kilmer.

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Black News: Dr Boyce Watkins and Pastor Eugene Rivers on MSNBC


Click here to watch Dr Boyce Watkins of Syracuse University with Pastor Eugene Rivers on MSNBC.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

News: Dr Boyce Watkins, Rev Jesse Jackson Talk Sunday Morning


Dr Boyce Watkins  of Syracuse University will be on Keep Hope Alive with Jesse Jackson Sunday morning at 8:30 am.  For a list of affiliates, please visit

He will also be on Kiss FM in New York City at 10 am on Sunday.  For more information, please visit

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Search Warrant Looking for evidence of Drug Addiction in Michael Jackson Case

Dr. Conrad Murray was with Michael Jackson on the day that he died.

Search warrants filed Thursday in court in Clark County, Nevada, and carried out at properties of Michael Jackson's doctor imply that investigators looking into his death believe the singer was a drug addict.

The warrants, signed by District Judge Timothy Williams and given to CNN by Las Vegas affiliate KTNV, say "there is probable cause to believe" that searches would uncover evidence at the Las Vegas home and office of Dr. Conrad Murray of excessive prescribing, prescribing to an addict, excess treatment or prescribing, unprofessional conduct, prescribing to or treating an addict and manslaughter.

They cite "probable cause to believe" that the premises contained "records, shipping orders, distribution lists, use records relating to the purchase, transfer ordering, delivery and storage of propofol (Diprivan)."

A source told CNN on Monday that the Texas-based cardiologist allegedly gave Jackson the anesthetic propofol -- commonly known by the brand name Diprivan -- in the 24 hours before he died.

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Newport News Plans To Hold Celebration For Michael Vick


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Community organizers in Michael Vick's (FSY) Virginia hometown are preparing a "celebration" for the former NFL quarterback.

Andrew Shannon, who is president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference chapter in Vick's hometown of Newport News, says the event is scheduled for Aug. 8.


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