Imperfect Ways to End a Perfect Season

In music, and films, and stories, and books, and in our lives endings are hard to get quite right. We sometimes overlap with beginnings and in the case of summers… they often finish far before we are done with them.

As September begins, we return to school and work, or continue because we never left. The vacations we took turn into more and more distant memories. The end of summer is one ending that is just about always imperfect. It fails to be either cinematic or dramatic. I seem to let it pass without acknowledging it as a transition or taking time to reflect on the summer season. I fall back into a routine. And although I’m bound to hear “How was your summer?” at least a hundred times, I’ll only sometimes give a brief update and hardly ever a proper answer. I don’t quite know if this is because people are too busy, not looking for a long answer or because I like to keep summer holiday as something very separate and distinguished from the rest of the year.

The Big Game Is Coming, but Where’s the Coach?

The Big Game Is Coming, but Where’s the Coach?
Anita Gates, New York Times | August 29, 2010

Thank goodness for Arlene A. McGruder. As Coach Hicks in Layon Gray’s otherwise unremarkable “All-American Girls,” she makes Louis Gossett Jr.’s drill-sergeant character from “An Officer and a Gentleman” look like a weakling.

“All-American Girls,” now at the Actors Temple Theater, is about a fictional World War II-era baseball team of young African-American women, the Red Diamonds, assembled for a Chicago exhibition game against a team of white women, the Rockford Peaches. (Maybe you remember the Peaches from the film “A League of Their Own,” best known for the line, “There’s no crying in baseball.”)

Although Mr. Gray (also the author of “Black Angels Over Tuskegee”) makes an important point about pioneering black women, what he has written is a whodunit. As Act I begins, Coach Hicks has gone missing. She has left a letter of resignation, but the Red Diamonds don’t believe that such a devoted coach would abandon ship. A young student reporter (Mari White) has gotten permission to interview the players. (Read the full article)

Rock The Bells In Review

A few months ago I wrote a post about my disillusionment with hip-hop. I was desperately hoping that my love, which was on life support at the time, could be revived. As hip-hop lay dying on the operating table I prayed that Dr. Q-Tip and A Tribe Called Quest could resuscitate my loved one. As I watched her lay in a feeble position I wondered if putting her in the 36th chamber with Wu-Tang Clan could liven her up. But I thought ODB might scare her and give her a heart attack. She needed something softer and more melodic, because the current state of music was killing her softly. Then I realized that L-Boogie aka Lauryn Hill could teach her about the Miseducation of the rap game, and why she is an not an ex-factor, but the x factor. Unfortunately, Ms. Lauryn Hill was missing that thing (flow, harmony, delivery, and coherence).

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKIZu0eUrM8

This past weekend I attended the Rock the Bells concert in Washington D.C. Since 2004 Rock The Bells concert series have been exciting audiences all over  the country with the prospects of seeing hip-hop’s classic artist all rip the same stage. Other than an old Rap City episode it is rare to find KRS One, Rakim, Slick Rick, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, Lauryn Hill, and Snoop Dogg all rocking the same venue. Although my ticket was paid in full I felt like I needed electric relaxation to kick it because the concert was everything but a g thing.

August 23, 2010 – August 29, 2010

Live out the stereotype at HBCU’s
Tenai Staley, The A & T Register, August 29, 2010

Closing the Racial Achievement Gap: It’s Time to Look Beyond the Classroom
Sian Beilock, Psychology Today, August 27, 2010

Stop youth violence cycle
David J. Harding, Free Press, August 26, 2010

Local ministry working to eradicate youth violence
Mario Boone, Volunteer TV News, August 26, 2010

Helping youth help themselves
Maria Tzavaras, Inside Toronto, August 26, 2010

Youth complete hip-hop boot camp
Fort Murry Today, Shirley Lin, August 25, 2010

Juvenile center to stay for a while
Mark Vanderhoff, Black Mountian News, August 25, 2010

Hazing death at college followed other incidents
Danny Robbins, The Dallas Morning News, August 25, 2010

Black Student Helps Make Car That Gets More Than 400 Miles Per Gallon
Casey Gane-McCalla, News One, August 25, 2010

Black Males Aren’t Graduating? Time to ‘Blame the Gays’
Alvin McEwen, Huffington Post, August 24, 2010

A Pleasant Research Tour of Multiple HBCUs
Dr. Ibram Rogers, Diverse Education, August 24, 2010

New student groups created to focus on diversity
Nick Ashley, The Daily Athenaeum, August 24, 2010

Study looks at black-white graduation gap
Staff Writer, The PoliJam Times, August 23, 2010

Black-white graduation gap at WSU worst in U.S.
Kim Kozlowski, The Detroit News, August 23, 2010

Beyond skin color
The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 23, 2010

Chicago Youth Advisory Council promotes youth voice in Chicago
Chicago Flame, A.R. Gunn, August 23, 2010

Dwyane Wade’s Chicago Has Talent
DL Hopkins, Time Out Chicago, August 23, 2010

Support for segregation as a youthful indiscretion
Michael McGough, LA Times, August 23, 2010

Study Looks At Black-white Graduation Gap
Staff Writer, Official Wire, August 23, 2010

Michael Forever

Earlier this summer, I’d gone to my local Walgreens to satisfy a craving for peanut M&Ms.  As I stood in the candy aisle deciding just how big of a bag I should purchase, a woman and her two small children joined me in the aisle.  The mother stood there looking over the sale items as her two kids, a girl and a boy, argued over candy.  Then, the young one, the boy, suddenly walked towards the magazine rack, and pointed to a picture of Michael Jackson.  He screamed, “Michael Jackson!  Michael Jackson,”  then pursed his lips, started loudly breathing through his mouth, and began what must have been his version of dancing like Mike.

Now, this little boy couldn’t have been more than three.  There’s no way that he could remember Michael the way that you and I remember Michael. Yet he shared such a pure enthusiasm for the MJJ, such a love that I couldn’t do anything but smile at him and think about the ways that Michael continues to live and touch lives.  Little boys rocking out at the sight of Michael Jackson on a magazine cover is exactly what legends are made of. 

August 23, 2010 – August 29, 2010

Live out the stereotype at HBCU’s
Tenai Staley, The A & T Register, August 29, 2010

Closing the Racial Achievement Gap: It’s Time to Look Beyond the Classroom
Sian Beilock, Psychology Today, August 27, 2010

Stop youth violence cycle
David J. Harding, Free Press, August 26, 2010

Local ministry working to eradicate youth violence
Mario Boone, Volunteer TV News, August 26, 2010

Helping youth help themselves
Maria Tzavaras, Inside Toronto, August 26, 2010

Youth complete hip-hop boot camp
Fort Murry Today, Shirley Lin, August 25, 2010

Juvenile center to stay for a while
Mark Vanderhoff, Black Mountian News, August 25, 2010

Hazing death at college followed other incidents
Danny Robbins, The Dallas Morning News, August 25, 2010

Black Student Helps Make Car That Gets More Than 400 Miles Per Gallon
Casey Gane-McCalla, News One, August 25, 2010

Black Males Aren’t Graduating? Time to ‘Blame the Gays’
Alvin McEwen, Huffington Post, August 24, 2010

A Pleasant Research Tour of Multiple HBCUs
Dr. Ibram Rogers, Diverse Education, August 24, 2010

New student groups created to focus on diversity
Nick Ashley, The Daily Athenaeum, August 24, 2010

Study looks at black-white graduation gap
Staff Writer, The PoliJam Times, August 23, 2010

Black-white graduation gap at WSU worst in U.S.
Kim Kozlowski, The Detroit News, August 23, 2010

Beyond skin color
The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 23, 2010

Chicago Youth Advisory Council promotes youth voice in Chicago
Chicago Flame, A.R. Gunn, August 23, 2010

Dwyane Wade’s Chicago Has Talent
DL Hopkins, Time Out Chicago, August 23, 2010

Support for segregation as a youthful indiscretion
Michael McGough, LA Times, August 23, 2010

Study Looks At Black-white Graduation Gap
Staff Writer, Official Wire, August 23, 2010