The Campaign to Suppress Black Voters Continues….

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again:

The powers that be do NOT want you to vote!

A recent Slate article brings to light the continued campaign to suppress minority votes in the coming elections. The variety of new requirements for voting – which range from requring birth certificates and government-issued I.D to cutting early voting windows – disproportionately impact Black voters.

For example, while 12% of Americans do not have a government-issued I.D., that number soars to a whopping 25% amongst Black people.

Gumbel's Stern Words

Last week, Bryant Gumbel’s closing remarks at the end of his Emmy Award-winning HBO series, Real Sports sparked controversy:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTXI-ivWEdo

“Finally, tonight, if the NBA lockout is going to be resolved any time soon, it seems likely to be done in spite of David Stern, not because of him. I say that because the NBA’s infamously egocentric commissioner seemed more hellbent recently on demeaning the players rather than his game’s labor impasse.

President Obama Announces End of Iraq War!

After 9 years, we are finally nearing the end of the War in Iraq.

President Obama made the announcement in a press conference today, effectively fulfilling the biggest of his campaign promises back in 2007.

According to the Huffington Post:

“‘As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end,’ Obama said. ‘So today I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year.’

‘After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,’ he said.

In confirming his plans for troop withdrawal by the end of 2011, the president fulfilled the most memorable pledge he made in securing the nomination of president from his party.”

WHY EVERYBODY HATES DRAKE, and Why They're Wrong…

Drake is clearly the most divisive figure in Hip Hop today.

And I’m trying to figure out why.

Now the easy answer is folks just ain’t feeling his music. But I’m not convinced. I know so many Hip Hop fans that really just don’t like Drake. By that I mean the very idea of Drake. Half white. Canadian. Middle class. Kinda clean-cut. Child actor. Always crooning. And pouting. And emo and shit. He’s almost the exact opposite of what our concept of an emcee has always been.

And that’s what’s so interesting about him. Like it or not, he’s breaking the mold. And he’s winning.

So don’t fight the feeling. And get comfortable.

Because Drake is coming into his own; and he’s about to go to the next level.

And here’s why…

Sesame Street Does it Again: New Black Girl Video-Change the World

httpv://youtu.be/f9X0lI_Ol9Y

I tell you, many television and movie companies including Tyler Perry can take a chapter from Sesame Street when it comes to creating positive images of black women and girls. So, last year, Sesame Street’s video, I Love My Hair, went viral with parents excited to see positive messaging about black girls’ hair. However, this year, Sesame Street has gone further with not only positive imaging of black girls, but that black girls can be and do all things and, ultimately, change the world. Please share the video with others.

 

"WOKE UP BLACK" Special Screening Nov 2nd at UChicago!

A fascinating new documentary called Woke Up Black will be screened at the University of Chicago on November 2nd, and the Black Youth Project wants you to be there!

Directed by Mary Morten, Woke Up Black follows five Black college students from the Chicago-area. Over the course of the film, we learn about the many challenges they face, ranging from poverty and gangs to self-doubt and stereotypes.

“For two years, Morten and associate producers Keisha Farmer-Smith, Aparna Sharma, and Marisol Ybarra followed five youth from the Chicago area to explore their experiences when it comes to navigating the world they live in. As they move through their personal challenges this documentary also mirrors the complexities of this often ignored group that are at the center of many socio-political issues including discrimination, political participation, sex and relationships, music, and the media portrayal of black youth.”

Halloween, The Foundation of Minority Paranoia

Hands smacking the table, “Paranormal Activity” is the scariest movie since “The Exorcist “(1973); it’s the classic of the millennium, a renaissance of horror at the movie theater. My roommates and I believe PA to be the avatar (of fear) so much so, that we have made a tradition around Halloween and PA. We spend the week of the new release watching the previous chapters, along with other scary classics. Tonight the third installment of the series opens in showplaces across the nation and I’m concerned about whether I can enjoy the movie as a person of color. After watching PA2 on Tuesday, I noticed some problematic dynamics between the predominantly white cast and their Latin@ nanny, Martine. In America, you can’t even experience a good thriller without being reminded that you are still over determined by whiteness.

NYPD Falsely Charges Black Man: "I Fried Another Nigger"

The NYPD is at it again.

Audio has surfaced of an NYPD officer bragging about falsely accusing a young, Black male of resisting arrest, and then adding for good measure:


“I fried another nigger.”

According to the Root, the officer stopped the young man as part of the department’s racist “stop and frisk” program. The man had done nothing wrong; when he protested the unnecessary stop and asked for the officer’s badge number, Officer Michael Deragjati promptly arrested him for “resisting arrest.”

The rest of this story is like the best episode of Punk’d I’ve never seen.

Rhythm, Community, and the Power of Drum Circles

There is something both fascinating and spectacular about rhythm. We see the manifestations of this in the most simplistic everyday activities. If we observe the movement of ocean water crashing up against a sandy shore, the steady lullaby of car engines putting children to sleep in backseats, or even just a heartbeat– embodied in all of these things is literally the rhythm of life. This rhythm reaches its full potential inside the atmosphere of a drum circle. And today I learned how life changing a drum circle could be.

There’s something symbolic about a these drum circle that brings one to understand how young people can come together and form a unified community and why this act is so necessary. There is both a cultural and historical trajectory of what some call “community percussion.” In various ways community drumming or drum circles are organically appearing in neighborhoods that experience multiple levels of systemic barriers and oppression.