The Real Huey Newton

I saw the controversy over the Wiz Khalifa and Currensy song called Huey Newton, including the video response by Paul Scott of the Militant Mind Militia, and being that I know both Wiz and Paul I thought I should weigh in.

I certainly understand why the conscious community would be upset with Wiz and Currensy considering the subject matter of the song, but I just wanted to offer some perspective. I grew up in a very conscious household, however in my early 20s, I dropped out of college and spent most of my days smoking weed, writing rhymes and hustling to support my habit. I figured I was gonna be an MC so I was gonna have as much fun as I could on the way to the top. Eventually, that lifestyle got old and by the grace of God I regained my conscious mind and began trying to use my talents and gifts to uplift humanity.

All I Want for Christmas — Celebrity Edition Part II

The postal service really needs to get its act together.  I got more letters intended for Santa.

Dear Santa,

I just need one of these basketball wives to be, well, a wife.  You know.  Married.  To an actual ballplayer.  I know it might be asking too much since black love is deader than disco.  Nonetheless, Vh1 is not going for my latest proposal of a name change to “Baller Baby Mamas.”  Apparently they have standards.  I know, right?  Who knew?  (Not Flavor Flav.)

Merry Christmas,

Shaunie O’Neal

Creator/producer Basketball Wives

In the news: Aretha Franklin battling cancer, Gaga named Artist of the Year, and a special announcement!

Last week, it was reported in the press that Aretha Franklin was to undergo a mysterious surgery. Her released statement on the matter was upbeat yet vague, leaving fans and admirers guessing as to the seriousness of the situation.

Well apparently the situation is indeed quite serious. Sources are telling the media that the Queen of Soul underwent surgery last week to combat pancreatic cancer.

Do Black Men Have a Problem with Short Hair on Women? Heck Yeah

Recently, I’ve decided to chop off 2/3 of my natural hair that I’ve been growing for the last 7 years. Many people are asking, “Why would I do such a thing to such beautiful and lush hair?” And, I say with a resolved grin because I need change and what’s easier than changing one’s hair. Also, I tell them I am tired of feeling in debt to my long nappy tresses. Honestly, with the length of hair I have it takes several hours to wash, detangle, and style. I am devoting too much time to my hair. It’s coming off. I need a manageable length.

For some of my friends and family, this is enough. They say, “Cool, do you sis.”

However, this corner of affirmation seems to be quite limited to the women in my life. For when I have broached this topic with the black men in my life they earnestly urge me to either wait or not to do it all.

The black quarterback

Where there are sports, there are rituals, superstitions, and curses. And where there is a black quarterback, there is a contentious relationship with the white head coach, a pending court case, a finished prison sentence, a lost Super Bowl, or an early benching during a game. Where’s the love?

Steve McNair. Dead.
Duante Culpepper. UFL.
Donovan McNabb- All but done.
Vince Young- Injured and banished.
JaMarcus Russell- Sipping on some sizzurp.
Michael Vick- Recently released from prison.

This year as we’ve watched the stellar comeback of Michael Vick, who just recently completed almost two years in prison for dog fighting. He might just actually win a ring or at least come back and win MVP and have it all for himself. No need to worry about Peyton Manning; he’s way off his game this year. But what still stands out is the inability for almost any black quarterback to have a consistently good game. Curse? Lack of support? Both?

Dropout rate for Calif. black students hits 37%

Dropout rate for Calif. black students hits 37%
Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle | December 8, 2010

More than a third of California’s African American public high school students dropped out before graduation day, a startling number and one that’s on the rise, according to 2009 data released Tuesday.

The 37 percent African American dropout rate, up three percentage points from the prior year, was far above that of any other ethnic subgroup. Hispanic students had the second highest rate at 27 percent.

Locally, San Francisco cautiously celebrated a 9 percent overall dropout rate, a stark contrast to Oakland’s 40 percent, numbers still under review for accuracy.

The statewide statistics highlight a pervasive achievement gap in test scores and graduation rates that persists despite focused efforts to boost the academic performance of black, Hispanic and low-income students, state education officials said. Overall, 22 percent of state students dropped out of high school, according to the new data, up from 19 percent the year before.  (Read more)

What We Want, What We Believe: The Black Panther Party Platform and Program

December 4th 1969. Officers raided Fred Hampton’s apartment, where he lay asleep (perhaps even drugged) in bed next to his pregnant girlfriend. All because of what he wanted and what he believed. Long before Fred Hampton’s meteoric rise, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was the target of a well executed smear campaign led by the federal government. Long before Fred Hampton, the public was led to believe that what the Black Panther Party wanted was chaos and that they believed violence was the means to their end.

It was this campaign that allowed the death of Fred Hampton, Mark Clark and dozens of other members of the Black Panther Party. It is this campaign, that was birthed in the 60s that still allows the unlawful incarceration of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Sundiata Acoli and other political prisoners. It is this campaign that allows the continued persecution of the San Francisco 8, Assata Shakur and many others.

But what did the Panthers really want? What did they really believe?


The Knowledge of Resources & a Series of Too Many Questions

Last week a black male college student told me that he wasn’t going to study abroad due to monetary issues. I flipped. Sometimes I feel that individuals create barriers for themselves, ones that in reality don’t even exist. Barriers that are only solidified because of a lack of information flow aka not knowing.

So my next question would be, whose responsibility is it for individuals to find this information out?

Does the responsibility fall entirely on the individual who would benefit from the information? Does this responsibility fall on our teachers? Our parents? Our government? What if our teachers are inadequate or too busy trying to get their students to pass a test that will get them to graduate? What if our parents are single mothers or fathers who are working and supporting a family with barely enough time to get a home cooked meal on the table? What if our government is so split that no one is sure if their responsibility is social welfare or simply laissez-faire.  Who does the responsibility fall on? Who even cares?

Challenging a Segregated and Unequal School System

Challenging a Segregated and Unequal School System
Donna Nevel, Huffington Post, December 6, 2010

That our nation’s schools are segregated and unequal has been well-documented. In fact, according to a recent report of the Civil Rights Project, UCLA, “Schools in the United States are more segregated today than they have been in more than four decades.” Certainly, all the students and families who live that reality daily know it well.

However, too often, that reality is not acknowledged. As education writer Jonathan Kozol makes clear: “Perhaps most damaging to any serious effort to address racial segregation openly is the refusal of most of the major arbiters of culture in our northern cities to confront or even clearly name an obvious reality they would have castigated with a passionate determination in another section of the nation 50 years before — and which, moreover, they still castigate today in retrospective writings that assign it to a comfortably distant and allegedly concluded era of the past.”

The denial of this obvious reality and the refusal to acknowledge it for what it is would seem surreal if it weren’t so real — and so destructive. In its report “Segregated and Unequal: The Public Elementary Schools of District 3 in New York City,” the Center for Immigrant Families (CIF), a community organization of low income women of color and community members (of which I am part), speaks about the importance of breaking “the normalization of segregation, that is, the way that it has become accepted as ‘just the way things are’.” (Read more)

Why Sarah Palin Is The Political Version Of Soulja Boy

To say the meteoric rise of Sarah Palin in the political world has been unexpected would be an understatement. Less than 10 years ago Palin was the Mayor of a small town in Alaska with a population of barely over 10,000 people. Before she was making a living off of political gaffes, she was winning awards for her “congeniality” in beauty pageants. Her congenial nature has made her a darling of the extreme right and a laughing stock of everyone else. Sure, every public figure has slipped up a few times. Joe Biden mistook Chief Justice John Roberts for Justice Potter Stewart who passed away in 1985. President Barack Obama inadvertently referred to Sunshine, Florida as Sunrise, Florida. However, it seems like Palin has been challenging every major politico to show that she has a monopoly on dumb statements. Heck, if I knew I could’ve gotten a mini series on TLC for seeing Russia from my backyard, a book tour for “going rogue”, a multi year contract with Fox News as a political analyst for mistaking South Korea for North Korea, my daughter on dancing with the stars for writing on my hand, I would’ve dropped out in 5th grade. Then again, I knew that South Korea was one of our allies in 4th grade.  Who knew that quitting your job as a Governor could set you up nicely to be the spokesperson for moose hunting, hockey moms, and a potential Presidential candidate in 2012? In the age of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”, “Jersey Shore”, and “Bad Girls Club”, Palin fits in nicely as a leader in the movement of frivolity.


But in the words of Jay-Z I can’t “knock her hustle”. That’s precisely what it is, a hustle. The American people have been bamboozled if they actually believe that Palin is a public servant who cares about policy. Even Wacka Flocka Flame knows that “voting [is] good”. Mrs. Palin has shown the American people that she is merely a political celebrity who is benefiting off of the dumbing down of America.  When she makes up a word like “refudiate” and people call her out on it, she says that the ivy league liberal elite is attacking her. When she is clearly stumped by the term Bush Doctrine, she blames the liberal media for setting her up. In the words of  New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, “she makes ignorance look chic.”