Damn, Damn, Damn (LeBron) James

I’ve had my fill of LeBron James this season.  Seriously.  I’m not interested in being a witness to anything James-related until on or immediately after July 1.  I’m no longer watching interviews wherein James tells the viewing audience things we already know.  No more James free agency countdowns.  No more terrible renditions of “We Are the World.”  (Even if you were joking, Cleveland, “We Are Lebron” was just pathetic.)  No more billboards.  I care not about the rumor that it was James’ apparent discovery that his mother, Gloria, was having an affair with his Cavaliers teammate, Delonte West (allegedly) that altered the Cavs’ playoff fate.  This summer, I need James to do something constructive, like use his headband as some sort of tourniquet for the oil spill or something.

Drake's "Thank Me Later": The Review

Drake’s official debut album Thank Me Later is arguably the most feverishly anticipated Hip Hop release since his mentor/boss Lil Wayne unleashed the instantly classic Tha Carter III back in 2008. And in all honesty, they are both fantastic albums…but they couldn’t be any more different from one another.

Do we still play Black Girlhood Games? Little Sallie Walker Vs. Nicki Minaj’s Vibe Magazine Cover

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIATvx03iYU&feature=related
Little Sally Walker
Sitting in her Saucer
Rise Sally Rise
Wipe your Blinking Eyes
Put your Hands on your hip and let your backbone slip
Oh, shake it to the very one you love the best

I remember playing Little Sally Walker with the neighborhood girls. Each one of us had an authentic way of rising and letting our backbone slip. Some put hands on hips. Some went handless and allowed their pre-puberty bodies to sway to the rhythm of the chanting.  Now, that I look back on it, in some very fundamental ways we learned about our bodies . . . how to shake them . . . how to shimmy them . . . how to whirl them . . . ultimately in pursuit of the  “one you love the best.” We did all of this within the safe space of a girl circle.

Yes, boys would come and tease us and some very brave, but yet foolish souls would attempt to break the circle up only to be met with fire pink nails scratched into their boyish faces. Our dance circle and girlhood chanting was for us and not for them. Mind you, the same boy we scratched in the face was usually the same boy we made out with behind the garage later in the day, but that was later in the day not while we were playing Ms. Mary Mac, Twee Lee Lee, and Mama Lama.

Banks in schools allow teens to cash in on financial literacy

The Grio | June 4, 2010

According to some studies, fewer than half of all high school seniors can pass a basic financial literacy course. That number drops to below 30 percent when those students have parents that make less than $80,000 a year. Numbers like that make many hope that programs like the bank at Thurgood Marshall Academy in Harlem, will help students with much more than just schoolwork. (Read more)

Former transit officer goes on trial for fatal shooting of unarmed man

Former transit officer goes on trial for fatal shooting of unarmed man
CNN Wire Staff, CNN, June 2, 2010

Los Angeles, California (CNN) — Jury selection begins Wednesday in the case of former Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle who is accused of fatally shooting an unarmed man on a California train platform on New Year’s Day last year.

Mehserle, who is white, has pleaded not guilty to killing Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old black man.

The shooting was captured on a bystander’s cell-phone video camera, widely circulated on the Internet and on news shows, and spurred several protests and riots in and around Oakland.

The trial has been moved from Alameda County to Los Angeles due to pre-trial publicity.

Bay Area Rapid Transit police were called to Oakland’s Fruitvale station January 1, 2009, after passengers complained about fights on a train. Officers pulled several men, including Grant, off the train when it arrived at Fruitvale. (Read the full article)

From Wiz Khalifa to Drake: Musik Groupie or Junkie?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWWP4xtxXXE

So, I’m like the biggest music junkie ever and I listen to all types of music with the exception of country. Yes, I do not do the Carrie Underwood’s or Taylor Swifts’ of the world. Honesty, I just never really got into that whole genre of music even though I live in the heart of music city–Nashville. Crazy huh?

Oh well, the latest music that I’ve put on my iPod is Wiz Khalifa. Thanks to my “friend boy” as my daddy would call him. I’m listening to Wiz Khalifa like there are no other artists in the industry including Lil’ Wayne. Just in one week, I’ve downloaded three of his mix tapes and have listened to all of them every day if not every other day. I love it. Wiz Khalifa’s music is nothing like Boosie, Travis Porter, or Soulja Boy. Don’t get me wrong, I listen to all of them, but Wiz Khalifa is definitely a head bopper with a calm aesthetic. I like him because he sounds so different from all the other artists out there. He’s a mix between hype and calm. To understand what I mean by this, you must first listen to Flight School, followed by Kush & OJ, and end with Star Power.

On to the next artist . . . pretty boy rapper, Drake.

Policing black [youth] bodies in an urban context

The kids are right in that freedom to offend is part of our democracy.  But no other ethnic group ever concluded that terrible behavior was a version of ethnic authenticity.  That is a black American innovation in cultural imbecility. –Stanley Crouch, Daily News 2010

When America Idol’s General Larry Platt “Pants on the Ground” gained popularity, Simon Cowell’s exasperated prediction that the old man’s song “could be a hit” proved true. “Pants on the Ground” became a national anthem–a joke to many, but a sort of Bill-Cosby-sings-the-blues to others. While many of us are smart enough to find it funny and simply a matter of dress, others use it to express the growing concern for the exposed rear ends of America’s youth, particularly black youth.

Politicians from Louisiana to New York have been leaning to introduce legislation barring the display of underwear. Many of the bills have been shot down in name of freedom of expression, but are gaining acceptance under indecency statutes. Of course, I think the bigger question is why does it matter enough to become a law. In a time where Arizona is banning ethnic studies one must wonder why politicians particularly politicians of color are focusing their energies on rounding up “improperly” dressed youth. Louisiana, really? For all of your failing schools, inflated poverty rate, and oil-infested water. What makes this priority?