NBA Free Agency Frenzy 2010

Who says the offseason is boring? Tomorrow marks the biggest day in the NBA season thus far (screw the Lakers). Tomorrow, July 1st is the start of the free agency period. You know what that means, all LeBron, all the time. Some of those other guys, some of the time. This free agent class is talent packed but this is also an important for some players and their future money bags.

Lupus, Healthcare, and Little Village

I would like to “think” my world different. A life free of disease, hurt, and pain. While watching the BET awards I noticed people are still stunned by the death of Michael Jackson, (especially Chris Brown and his fake tears). But I must admit no one close to me has yet to die. I want to imagine a place where science can fix every sickness and tears were no longer based on health—or the lack thereof. Unfortunately “thinking” alone does not make disease or death disappear. My thoughts can only be a reflection of what I have learned in academe and what I have experienced in my life, and I still struggle between these two parallels.

My U.S. Social Forum Impression

The second United States Social Forum (USSF) this past week brought around 20,000 activists into Detroit, each with his, her, or hir own unfiltered voice. Each one was amplified in the nature of convergence. The forum’s advocates are priding the event on finding the peoples’ solution to the peoples’ problems in a unique, grassroots, movement-building way. Ideas and radical visions flowed generously throughout the hundreds of workshops. The USSF was quite inclusive of all social issues with workshops on sustainable living and the environment to economic issues to LGBTQ issues and just about everything in between.

People of all ages, from all socio-economic classes, racial backgrounds, of every kind of gender choice and orientation brought an array of lenses through which issues needed to be seen. As a 16 year-old (who can pass for even younger), as a minor, as a girl, I know firsthand that having a voice and being heard are two very different things.

June 21, 2010 – June 27, 2010

Church focuses on black colleges
Yonat Shimron, News Observer, June 26, 2010

“Mentoring the 100 Way” Training and Fundraiser
Vivian L. Sharp, City News Ohio, June 25, 2010

An end to the one-box racial rule
Staff Writer, The Seattle Times, June 25, 2010

Teaching youth performance in the summer
Walter J. Lyng, The Surburban, June 24, 2010

Youth’s slaying shows limits of struggling school’s progress
Ofelia Casillas, Chicago Tribine, June 23, 2010

Chicago mayor defends handgun ban after shootings
Serena Dai, Associated Press, June 23, 2010

Proposed Youth Jail Opposed by Protesters
Melanie R. Holmes, Baltimore News, June 23, 2010

NAACP to honor talented black youth
Sam Wyzan, Tallahassee News, June 22, 2010

Boston to have less work for teens
June Q. Wu, Boston Globe, June 22, 2010

Takin’ it to the streets of Brooklyn Park
Hannah Gruber, Star Tribune, June 22, 2010

Chicago Schools Pushing Big Bucks for Mentorship, Safe Passage, Culture of Calm
Hunter Clauss, WBEZ, June 22, 2010

Effectiveness of Iowa City’s juvenile curfew still unknown
Lee Hermiston, Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 21, 2010

SA’s silent youth should speak up to say what is really on their minds
Bryan Hirsch, Business Day News, June 21, 2010

Chris Brown And The Politics Of Memory

Last week, we here on the Black Youth Project blog celebrated the life and legacy of musical genius and pioneer, Michael Joseph Jackson. Even when the public questioned his sexuality, sanity, and Blackness they never questioned his talent. A pet monkey, child abuse allegations, and an indescribable skin disorder didn’t stop the Billie Jeans and Dirty Dianas from chasing this Badentertainer. Whether he was “Black or White” he was always a “Thriller”. The soft-spoken Jackson was vociferous any time he touched the stage and screamed his poignant messages of healing and self-reflection. Last Sunday at the BET Awards Chris Brown gave an “Off The Wall” tribute to the gloved one. As I watched Brown emulate Jackson’s dance moves to a tee I sat in awe. Brown, who usually puts on a good show, really outdid himself in this one. But did Brown moon walk, sing, and cry his way back into our good graces? Being the cynic that I am, I am inclined to agree with Summer and say that the tears were a little contrived. Although many “teeny boppers” were still unwaveringly loyal to the “Run It” man he has still had an uphill PR battle over the past year.


Budget cuts more painful at inner-city LA schools

Budget cuts more painful at inner-city LA schools
Christina Hoag, Associated Press, June 28, 2010

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When state budget cuts imperiled city schools, a group of parents fought back by enlisting Hollywood stars to spread a message targeting one of their own, Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggar.

The satirical video featuring actors Megan Fox and fiancee Brian Austin Green highlights how funding shortfalls have killed jobs for librarians, nurses, translators, janitors and teachers.

While the video was filmed in the affluent hills above Hollywood where Green’s son attends Wonderland Avenue Elementary School, the cuts are more deeply felt at an inner-city school like Markham Middle School.

Both schools have been highlighted as the Los Angeles Unified School District has grappled with $1.5 billion in budget cuts and nearly 3,000 teacher layoffs during the past two years. But comparing the two schools shows a remarkably uneven impact, and just how much depends on factors ranging from income and parent involvement to teacher tenure.

The state’s education funding crisis, now entering its third school year, only promises to widen the breech between the haves and have-nots in the nation’s second-largest school district. (Read the full article)

The BET Awards '10 Blog

I save up all my BET watching minutes for one night: the BET Awards.  During the telecast, I’m generally underwhelmed and embarrassed for black people.  That last part is a lie.  Still, the BET Awards is how I up my hater stamina.  If I can sit through the entire show and say at least 50 snarky things, then I still deserve the appellation hater.  I call the whole process brandishing my hate game.

I live blogged the Awards show.  I share it with you this morning.  May it momentarily assuage your case of the Mondays.

Michael Jackson's "Off The Wall": A Review

A year ago today, the world lost Michael Jackson, undoubtedly the greatest entertainer of the 20th Century (sorry Elvis!). The ascendance of the King of Pop during the early 1980’s represents quite possibly the most mindboggling, immense shift the American (or World) pop cultural landscape has ever seen. At one point in time Thriller was literally selling a million copies a week; music videos for “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” and of course “Thriller” were first-of-their-kind media events, ushering in an MTV-led, visual era in the music industry that we are just now starting to see come to a close. Arguably most importantly though were the racial barriers Michael quite literally shattered. No black artist had ever achieved anything that even approached the kind of crossover success Michael enjoyed with Thriller. The world would never be the same.

Of course, the most successful artist of all time also faced the harshest, most-widespread backlash in the history of popular music as well. And so we could spend all day ruminating over the brutal treatment of Michael Jackson during his life, his strange behavior, or the morbid fascination with his death and sheer opportunism we’ve witnessed since his passing. But I’d rather talk about the music. That is the man’s truly lasting legacy; everything else is really just scenery.

So on the one year anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson, my aim is to move beyond the myths and the scandals by focusing on an album unfettered by the weight of MJ’s incredible celebrity or incredulous detractors; Michael Jackson’s seminal 1979 album, Off The Wall.