Michelle Obama Announces New Nutritional Guidelines for School Lunches

Today Michelle Obama announced major changes to nutritional standards for school lunches.

School lunches will now contain less sodium and more grains, and there will be a wider selection of vegetables and fruits. Other guidelines also require that milk be low in fat, and that there also be a limitation on the number of calories in a given meal.

The First Lady made the announcement at Parklawn Elementary School with Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack and celebrity chef Rachel Ray by her side.

Today’s announcement comes at the end of a surprisingly long battle in Congress over school lunch reform.

Survey Says…

Sparked by a study conducted in conjunction with the Kaiser Family Foundation, The Washington Post started a series of posts about Black women. This article is the first in the series. In the article, author Krissah Thompson reports that Black women are actually complex beings. That, contrary to popular belief, we are more than the labels and stereotypes commonly forced upon us. Imagine that.

Obama’s State of the Union Proposals: Buffet Rule, Stay In School Initiative, More Work-Study Jobs

During last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama laid out some relatively new proposals for boosting the economy.

A few of them deal directly with the experiences of young people, including work-study jobs, age requirements for dropping out of high school, and job training.

And of course, the most controversial of these new initiatives is the Buffet rule, which would require all millionaires to pay a minimum tax rate of 30%. The name is derived from the now-infamous revelation that Warren Buffet’s secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does. The Buffet Rule has many opponents, but the President seems determined to see this idea come to fruition.

From the Loop 21:

“Opponents of the proposed legislation — known widely as the Buffet Rule — have called it unfair and accused Obama of being a socialist, all criticisms he shrugged off in his speech with aplomb.

Our Souls When The Music Stops and the Paint Dries

The deaths of Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse were two traumatic events in my life. What’s interesting however, is that I’ve never met them, let alone have even a superficial conversation with them. Yet, there’s something about the artist-fan relationship that makes us feel so connected to practical strangers that we shed a tear when they go on. I suspect that it has something to do with the new personal experience of music (thanks to mp3 players and compact speaker systems) and the ability to correspond music with maturity.

Black and Latino Students Perform At Levels of 30 Years Ago

According to a recent report, the achievement gap between white teenagers and their minority counterparts continues to widen, with Black and Latino students performing at levels equal to or lower than those of 30 years ago.

Minority students are actually performing better at the elementary and middle school levels than ever before. It’s when they get to high school that their performance begins to drop.

Black and Latino teenagers’ math and reading levels are reportedly the same as those of the average 13 year-old white student.

Weekly News Round-Up: Jan. 17-23

High school principal apologises for black students are ‘less smart’ comments
Staff Writer, Daily Mail, 1/17/12


African-American Students in Culinary Arts Program at Simeon Career Academy Look Forward to Careers
Robin Robinson, FOX Chicago News, 1/19/12


Youth violence plagues California, but encouraging signs emerging
Tia Ghose , California Watch, 1/16/12


Fighting Youth Violence in Wake of Central High Shooting
Lynn Lampkin, My Fox, 1/18/12


Young Black Pilots Inspire Youth To Fly With New Program
Jonathan Neal, Black News, 1/19/12


What Does One Jobless Youth Cost Taxpayers? $14,000 a Year
Jordan Weissmann, The Atlantic, 1/18/12


Minister wants blacks back on plantations
Bond Peterson, RT News, 1/19/12


Obama campaign taps Stefanie Brown to lead black voter outreach
Staff Writer, The Grio News, 1/20/12


Dual Users of Both Cigarettes and Cigars Are More Likely to Be Young, African-American, and Male
PR Newswire, Market Watch ‘, 1/20/12


A Devastating Blow to Blacks
Ralph Hollman, Journal Sentinel, 1/21/12

What’s the State of the Hood?

Tomorrow, President Barack Obama speaks to the nation in the annual State of the Union address, which got me thinking about  the state of our communities and neighborhoods. I know many of us are already swooning just from the President’s crooning at the Apollo or still putting 100% of the blame on former President Bush, but do we really believe the Obama administration has been aggressively addressing our issues?

VIDEO: New Documentary ‘The Loving Story’ Trailer

Check out the trailer for HBO’s upcoming documentary “The Loving Story,” about the landmark Loving v. Virginia case that ended interracial marriage bans in the United States in 1967.

Richard Perry Loving, a white man, and Mildred Loving, a black woman, married in Washington DC in 1958 (where interracial marriage was legal at the time), but were arrested as soon as they returned to their native Virginia, where interracial marriage was still illegal.

They were given a one year suspended jail sentence, on the condition that the couple leave Virginia for 25 years.

The judge wrote:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

#BARACKTALK; State of the Union Watch Party + Panel TONIGHT!

Don’t miss #BARACKTALK 2012, an online State of the Union watch party and panel discussion, set to go down TONIGHT during President Obama’s State of the Union address.

The event, co-sponsored by The League of Young Voters, AllHipHop, Rock The Vote, the Sierra Student Coalition, and The Black Youth Project, will be livestreamed from Busboys and Poets in Washington D.C., and feature an all-star line-up of panelists, including our very own Jasiri X, Rhymefest, Shaheem Reid, Dee-1, Goldie Taylor and more!

Obama Comes to Harlem

Late last week I caught a little flack for hatin’ on Obama’s incredibly brief rendition of the Rev. Al Green’s classic, “Let’s Stay Together.” I’m sure you’ve seen the clip. If not, here:



I hear he gave a speech after hitting the falsetto. Of course, that’s not the impression one would get. Those 55 seconds have gone viral in a way that leaves one thinking that BHO was performing at amateur night and not asking folks for money. And those 55 seconds really help sum up what irritates me about BHO.