Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy

New documentary out on DVD today

Why We Laugh, directed by Robert Townsend and narrated by Academy Award-nominated actress Angela Bassett, “traces the evolution of black comedy from the days of Stepin Fetchit to the present,” and features interviews with comedians including Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Steve Harvey, Katt Williams, and many more.

April 19, 2010 – April 25, 2010

How education became a black-and-white issue for Mississippi teenagers
Stephanie McCrummen, Irish Times, April 25, 2010

Why are black youths more likely to die?
Beverly A. McPhail, Houston Chronicle, April 23, 2010

Rally unites students
Anthony Siino, The Orion, April 23, 2010

Program offers at-risk youth opportunities in nature
Superior Telegram , Staff Writer, April 22, 2010

Save Our Youth Tour Brings Musical Message to Brainerd High School
Nordia Epps, News 12 WDEF, April 20, 2010

Student presents findings on barriers to segregation
Ashia Johnson, State Press, April 19, 2010

Activist Angela Davis encourages Danville youth to make change happen
Eric Louie, Contra Costa Times, April 19, 2010

Fears for long-term Youth Joblessness
Shaun Bailey, The Sun, April 19, 2010

Fixing blighted is in interest of youth
Rose Albano-Risso, The Manteca Bulletin, April 19, 2010

People talk tech, funding at education meeting
Marge Neal, The Frederick News-Post, April 18, 2010

Teen’s life a stage
Kim Hone-McMahan, Beacon Journal staff writer, April 18, 2010

Improving the lives of black boys
Dawn Turner Trice, Chicago Tribune, April 18, 2010

Black Men Step Up As Mentors and Role Models for Fairbanks Youth
Mary Beth Smetzer, News Miner, April 18, 2010

Mentoring makes a difference – for youth and you
Spencer Wiggins, The Tenneseean, April 18, 2010

Churches partner to keep black youth off the streets, out of jail
Dona Mathieu, District Chronicles, April 18, 2010

Monday Morning (Mc)Nuggets

So much has happened since the late time I blogged, I figure I’d write a little blurb about everything.

Just Wrong. Common and Queen Latifah are starring in a new movie.  I want to shoot myself.  It looks terrible.  I officially hate them both. So much that I want to pull a C. Delores Tucker and declare war on them.  Does anyone have a spare bulldozer?  I have some CDs to destroy.  Just Wright beats the idea of a Why Did I Get Married trilogy, I guess.  And neither Common nor Queen Latifah have starred in a Tyler Perry flick.  Let me re-think my position.  Wait a minute.  I just remembered Bringing Down the House and Common’s GAP commercials.  Nevermind.

Drake, Eminem and The Dream: Will their next albums be CLASSICS?

Guessing a classic is an impossible science. Sifting through the tangled web of hype and BS record labels pump into the media these days can get even the most jaded music fan gassed-up for an album, only to feel thoroughly disappointed and even a bit cheated when the actual product can’t live up to the hype. But sometimes the stars align; Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III was easily the most hyped album of the past 5-6 years, and it delivered. The trick is to recognize when an artist is truly on a roll, and when an artist has been able to capture the imagination of the public in a way that gives them something akin to a musical Midas touch.

These three albums, I believe, will live up to the hype (and you are all welcome to publicly call me out if I’m wrong). I’ve got a sixth sense about these things, people.

It’s sort of what I do.

The Legacy of Mentoring Lionesses: From Mary McLeod Bethune to Dr. Dorothy Height to Dr. Marian Wright Edelman

“Whatever glory belongs to the race for a development unprecedented in history for the given length of time, a full share belongs to the womanhood of the race.”–Mary McLeod Bethune

“As more women enter public life, I see developing a more humane society. The growth and development of children no longer will depend solely upon the status of their parents . . . Though children cannot vote; their interests will be placed high on the political agenda for they are indeed the future.”–Dr. Dorothy Height

“Children don’t vote but adults who do must stand up and vote for them.”–Dr. Marian Wright Edelman

As the world mourns the passing of Dr. Dorothy Height, I am overwhelmed by the tributes that herald her life and whisper her legacy. She’s godmother . . . matriarch of justice . . . civil rights pioneer . . . unsung giant . . . and mentor. She’s president of the National Council of Negro Women . . . women’s rights activist . . . unmovable force . . . and mentor. She was unafraid to tell it like it is, “Yes, mam Dr. Height” and mentor. She was a mentor, a woman who like the mighty Mississippi poured herself into the lives of many including Dr. Marian Wright Edelman who’s work daily ensures that “No child is left behind.” Yes, there is something to be said about the power of mentoring and the making, hewing, shaping, and fashioning of lionesses. Yes, I said lioness women who with ferocity pursue justice and equality to make change evident in the lives of black women and children. As I think more about the work of Dr. Height and the countless number of women who were empowered by the National Council of Negro Women activities and programs, I realize a part of her legacy is the mentoring of lionesses.

Basketball Brothels

Typically, when one thinks of a whore house, they think of pimps and hookers, and more likely men buying and selling women. And while brothels sometimes turn out larger profits, offer more secure places to do business, and sometimes do drug testing, they aren’t much different from some of the lower class street operations. In the end, someone is getting fucked. As is the case with college athletes.

I don’t usually watch college basketball but when March Madness comes around, I break out my virtual bracket and vote for as many upsets as possible. So this year, when Murray State dropped Vanderbilt and Northern Iowa beat Kansas, I was in heaven. The NCAA was not. As the NCAA tournament began to unfold, and upset after upset happened, one thing became clear (aside from the fact that team mechanics beat out athleticism), few people were watching the games and where ratings dip, contracts weaken, and where contracts weaken, money is lost. Many of the players, who probably won’t even make it to the NBA will never see a dime. Instead, they will get a mediocre education from a less than mediocre institution and then be out on their asses with a highlight reel and a couple of college trophies. The NCAA will move on, and will pimp the next crop. And like most pimps, they will do everything to keep their best product on the market longer. And if that doesn’t work–bring in new buyers.