Sing, Sing Celebrate

Today is MLK Day, and if you’re lucky, you’re chilling in bed reading this on your smartphone.  Or perhaps you’re not reading this at all.  And that’s cool.  Rosa Parks didn’t refuse to give up her seat on a bus for you to be reading blogs on your vacation day.

For those who are reading this, I won’t keep you.  Last week’s Huck Finn entry may qualify as the longest entry ever.  Moreover, the only thing I really had to say about MLK, I said last year in an entry you can read here.  Since I know you’re going to spend your MLK Day taking in an enlightening lecture and/or reflecting on all that Dr. King has done for your life, I’ve decided to take a more ignorant road.  Here’s how not to honor the life of Martin Luther (the) King:

High School Dealing with 90 Teen Pregnancies

Associated Press | January 14, 2011


Among the student body at Frayser High School in Memphis, some 90 girls are pregnant or have already had a baby this school year. That statistic has school officials scrambling to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Gucci Mane's Bizarre New Tattoo

Earlier this week, Gucci Mane unveiled what has to be the ugliest, most absurd tattoo of all time.

Amid his multiple arrests (and an extended stay in the psych ward), Gucci found the time to have a massive ice cream cone tattooed across the side of his face. Look closely and you’ll notice a small “Burrr” printed inside of the cone.

The obvious question arises: What the fuck is wrong with Gucci Mane?

Dear Yemaja: A Year Later and Haiti Women Cry Out at Kanye West's Monster

Dear Yemaja (Lucumi/Santeria Mother Goddess),

Last year, I wrote a blog entitled, Some Natural Disasters are not so Natural but Vodou (Spirit) will Prevail. Yes, I wrote that Spirit and Spirits would rise and rattle those who seek to indebt and control Haiti. I wrote that Haiti would rise. I wrote that Vodou—a spiritual and communal practice—would rise just as the sun rises in the sky to light the dark places. Oh, I wrote that on the eve of remembering Dr. Martin Luther King that the spiritual fire of a people could not be quailed by manmade devastations (i.e. The World Bank).

Yes, I wrote. I wrote. I wrote. With a small measure of hope, I wrote.

But, now, I write.

I write a year later, Yemaja, with less optimism about the fate of Haiti in particular the fate of your daughters in Haiti

Republican school board in N.C. backed by tea party abolishes integration policy

Republican school board in N.C. backed by tea party abolishes integration policy
Stephanie McCrummen, Washington Post, January 12, 2011

RALEIGH, N.C. – The sprawling Wake County School District has long been a rarity. Some of its best, most diverse schools are in the poorest sections of this capital city. And its suburban schools, rather than being exclusive enclaves, include children whose parents cannot afford a house in the neighborhood.

But over the past year, a new majority-Republican school board backed by national tea party conservatives has set the district on a strikingly different course. Pledging to “say no to the social engineers!” it has abolished the policy behind one of the nation’s most celebrated integration efforts.

And as the board moves toward a system in which students attend neighborhood schools, some members are embracing the provocative idea that concentrating poor children, who are usually minorities, in a few schools could have merits – logic that critics are blasting as a 21st-century case for segregation.

The situation unfolding here in some ways represents a first foray of tea party conservatives into the business of shaping a public school system, and it has made Wake County the center of a fierce debate over the principle first enshrined in the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education: that diversity and quality education go hand in hand.  (Read more)

Last Night KTD Saved My Life

Somewhere in Chicago the most promising band has its members contorting their bodies a few more times before it pries open the mouths of audiences across the world. Whether the gesture be frantic fingertips of an emcee, a rattling head of a saxophone player, or a subtle hand-to-thigh clap of a singer, the soul of their music contains a contagious rapture that even the creators cannot even subdue. They call themselves Kids These Days, a befitting name since most of their members are still high school. Everything’s included: Greg Landfair Jr. (Drums), Lane Beckstrom (Bass) JP Floyd (Trombone), Nico Segal (Trumpet), Rajiv Halim (Saxophones), Liam Cunningham (Guitar/Vocals), Vic Mensa (Emcee), Macie Stewart (Vocals). Whipping all their ingredients for delivery, KTD stuffs HipHopSoulJazz down the throats of a progressively irrelevant youth culture.

Freedom of speech is a white privilege

This is the map Sarah Palin published on her site in 2010. Less than a week ago, someone reached one of those targets. Is Sarah to blame? She certainly doesn’t think so and she isn’t alone. What’s interesting about this situation though, is while a number of media outlets are speculating that Palin’s poor use of crosshairs should own some of the responsbility from last week’s rampage in Arizona, a number of politicians are cautioning the citizens of America to remember her first amendment rights. That speaking outwardly about a topic doesn’t guarantee that someone will act on anything and that we should be careful not to call for the censoring of voices. Hmmm….really?

Didn’t the government of Arizona just pass a law squelching the use of ethnic studies in schools because it somehow taught Hispanic students they had been wronged? The consumption of particular words and rhetoric can lead to galvanized minorities thus we should end all classes that could incite revolution. Of course, when the audience isn’t necessarily minority, when say, they are majority white Republicans then there is no need to be cautious about the lessons being taught. It seems, the very basis for the hatred in Arizona is that unemployed whites were being taught lessons about how they were wronged by illegal immigrants. Unfortunately, those who offend and incite violence are sometimes kicked from their mainstream radio channels and are quickly picked up by other supporting stations. Laws aren’t enacted to quell their speech or to stem the mis-education of thousands of eager listeners.

Chicken Trucks and Black and Milds: "The Game" Returns

Alright, so I’m a huge fan of the game. More than the storyline or subpar writing, I am a fan of the chemistry. The actors just seemed to work on that show. So like many others, I was crushed with the series was cancelled by the CW. For well over a year, I clung to reruns and rumors of a resurrection. Finally the rumors were confirmed when BET got behind the show and brought it back. I was apprehensive but my feelings toward BET were not enough to quell my excitement about the return of the game. The new season premiered last night. Same cast, most of the same writers but none of the magic.

The Dark Continent: The Complicated Politics of Race

One of the most crucial political acts is to define what is political. The capacity to construct political reality is the ability to define the difference between democracy and dictatorship, slavery and abolitionism, legitimacy and dishonesty. Politics or the social affairs in the context of race have been contrary to what I thought as popular belief, or to what I once understood as normality. The explanations of my own paradigm shifts can be attributed to the historical accounts that inevitably haunt the present in which we live. This is turn is more of an articulation of my new understanding of race in this country, rather than the politics alone. However, in many aspects it becomes obvious that these two concepts (politics/race) are inseparable in the daily experience of the people who live here.