Wednesday, January 31, 2007
BY NOAH BIERMAN
Knight Ridder Newspapers
MIAMI - Do two black children from the same family - one called Dwayne and the other Da'Quan - face different treatment from their teachers because of their names?
A University of Florida economist says yes, and has five years of data from an unidentified school district in the state to support his theory.
According to David Figlio, teachers have lower expectations for students with names like Da'Quan because they assume the parents who choose names with unusual letter combinations and apostrophes are poorly educated. But teachers did not have the same low expectations for siblings with more mainstream names, his research shows. click here for more
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Obama message of hope has galvanized the nation, Political opinion aside is there a better role model we should be pointing out to our innercity youth?
Below is a message of hope & the promise of hard work ahead written by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak
"We will probably be outspent, and not have as many traditional endorsements, the single best thing we can all do is keep working on getting as many people signed up for our lists as possible, use MeetUp or other ways to have small groups together, plan event to coordinate with the announcement on Feb. 10. Grass roots wins every time and this time it's especially true. (And by the way, do all this without saying any negative things about the other Democrats who are running, who will all be on our side after Barack wins the endorsement.)
"This is going to feel like a very different kind of campaign, but that's to me exactly why this is going to be so much fun. And why it's going to end with a very different kind of President....the kind we have to have to make the dramatic change America needs right now."
Click for entire article
Monday, January 29, 2007
How he was originally portrayed on film
At its heart of darkness, The Last King of Scotland is about the lure of power. It's a condemnation of all the dictators' men over all time. Surely some of those who served a Nero or Hussein or Ceausescu had the moral sense to realize that they were aligned with a force of evil. Yet they stuck. Emboldened by Whitaker's unforgettable performance, "The Last King" daringly puts forth reasons for such complicity. SF Chronicle
Saturday, January 27, 2007
A joke long shared in the African American community is, if there was ever a Black president he would be shot before he took office. Its a joke founded in truth, other African American have tossed their names into the Democratic hat as presidential hopefuls but until now there has never been an politician like Barack Obama whose popularity and decision to run for president makes him a true threat to both Republicans and Democrats.
To which we say, Brotha Obama "Watch your back" because here comes the Haters
On the January 24 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Rush Limbaugh referred to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and actress Halle Berry as "Halfrican American[s]," stating that "Barack Obama has picked up another endorsement: Halfrican American actress Halle Berry." Limbaugh then said: " 'As a Halfrican American, I am honored to have Ms. Berry's support, as well as the support of other Halfrican Americans,' Obama said." Limbaugh then conceded that Obama "didn't say it."
Obama "is the son of a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya." As Media Matters for America has noted, conservative talk radio host Brian Sussman has also characterized Obama as a "Halfrican." Sussman later issued an apology on his website, describing his comments about Obama as "insensitive."
From the January 24 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: Hey, Barack Obama has picked up another endorsement: Halfrican American actress Halle Berry. "As a Halfrican American, I am honored to have Ms. Berry's support, as well as the support of other Halfrican Americans," Obama said.
He didn't say it, but -- anyway, there are those out there -- greetings.
Friday, January 26, 2007
January 4th, 2007 by Loren R. Javier
Blogging is such an interesting thing. There are so many of us out there on the blogosphere, all trying to get our thoughts out there and, if we’re lucky, build a readership. In July, after different attempts at blogging, I decided to refocus on diversity in comic books. I’ve had an invested interest in seeing diversity in media in general, having always searched for images of myself, an out gay Asian American man. It was a unique topic that I felt one could write volumes on and, thankfully, I’ve found that this is the case. Thus, ONE DIVERSE COMIC BOOK NATION was born. Over the last six months, I’ve looked at different topics such as Marvel’s Wedding of the Century between Black Panther and Storm, offered suggestions about diversifying the Birds of Prey, shared my experiences on being an openly gay man in a comic book store, and explored what it would be like to bring Milestone comics back. It’s been a great experience.
Click here for full artcle
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
BY Stanley Crouch
Damon Wayans has spent the past 14 months trying to copyright the N-word with "iggas" instead of "iggers." He wants to put it on apparel and whatnot. So far, he has not been successful but one can imagine young American kids wearing that word emblazoned on clothes and listening to rap "songs" in which the N-word frequently appears, in conjunction with "bitches" and "hos," among other denigrations.
Of course, there is a defense. One Hollywood Negro said that "Damon is no fool. He might be pulling a Brer Rabbit move that would mean that he would take control of the word and make everyone pay to use it."
I responded rappers and others would merely put the cost in the budget. The Hollywood guy agreed.
Click to Read More
Monday, January 22, 2007
For the second week in a row the movie Stomp the Yard has ruled the box office
Stomp the Yard like Drumline takes place at an all Black college and explores the themes brotherhood and how talent alone is not enough.
Although Stomp is a movie about a dance competition The story explores the Black college Fraternity a true source pride for the pledges "My main fear is that people who don't know anything about black fraternities and sororities will think that all that we're about is putting on step shows," said Fleming, of Des Moines. "For me, being an Alpha means being a role model."
The dance moves used in the movie although they appear to be hip hop have deeper roots that African welly boot dance is an African dance, which one may conjecture from the name is performed by dancers wearing Wellington boots. In South Africa, these are more commonly called gumboots. It is believed by some to have been a forerunner of the tap dance. The boots are embellished with bells, so that they ring as the dancers stamp on the ground.
According to an article from the Shropshire news site Shropshire STAR.com, the dance is the highlight of the performance of Black Umfolosi, a group from Zimbabwe described as one of Africa's most famous folk groups. The article explains
Interview with Chuck Maldonado associate choreographer for Stomp the yard click here
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Disfigured blood cell enzymes may explain away the vampire myth and inspire revolutionary new treatments
by Susan Bustos Originally posted 18 December 2006 Image: Paul Tanner
The night before Hallowe’en seems like the perfect time to talk vampires, blood, and burning flesh. But the discussion at the October 30th Royal Canadian Institute lecture was much less macabre than it was medical. David Dolphin, an organic chemist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, believes that a class of rare genetic diseases called porphyrias may explain the legends that inspired Dracula and his kin. What’s more, harnessing the power of these deadly diseases might be the key to immortality - or a cure for cancer.
Dolphin has spent years studying porphyrins, ring-shaped organic molecules that bind with metals. The most famous porphyrin rings are those found in the heme group - the red blood cell pigment responsible for catching and releasing oxygen. People with porphyria diseases have deformed hemes. There are seven main types of the disease, which range in rarity from one in 25,000 people to less than one in a million.
In sufferers, lone porphyrins build up in various tissues, especially the skin. They lie in wait like deadly little time-bombs that detonate when exposed to light by generating vicious free radicals which destroy the cells that house them. This violent reaction has led to porphryins’ nickname, “the pigments of death.” It might also explain vampires’ tendency to stray outdoors only at night, lest they burst into flames in the midday sun.
So were vampires really the blood-sucking undead of legend, or were they medically misunderstood in their time? Dr. Dolphin admits it’s only a theory but drinking blood would have allowed them to absorb more heme, which feeds back to ease up on excess porphyrin production. In fact, porphyria patients today get heme injections. Porphyrin build-up in teeth can make them appear reddish, possibly like bloody fangs. The disease is even associated with excess hair growth, especially on the forehead, possibly leading to the vampire’s trademark widow’s peak. The aversion to garlic may be explained by the fact that some chemicals in the plant, such as diallyl sulfone, increase the production of porphyrins in the body. Of course, he points out, that a wooden stake through the heart would kill anyone. As for the lack of a mirror image, Dolphin joked, “I’m a chemist, so I’ll leave that to the physicists.”
While the medical truth behind the vampire myth may always be a mystery, Dolphin is using the very earthly science of porphyrins and photodynamic therapy to help fight disease. As luck would have it porphryins like to accumulate in tumors. Like a nanoscopic Trojan Horse, Dolphin and his colleagues have experimented with injecting porphyrin-derived drugs into a patient with skin cancer. The drugs gather in the tumors and then Dolphin exposes the cancers to light. Judging by the photos in his presentation, the melanomas looked as if they had been burned right off on the very day of the treatment, much like the skin of a sunbathing vampire. And because of the drug’s preference for accumulating within fast-growing cancer cells, the healthy tissue around the tumors was unaffected. This drug is now being used to treat lung, bladder, cervical and esophageal cancers.
It’s kind of ironic that the disease thought to explain the mythology of vampires, themselves considered immortal, is helping people live longer today. I’m not sure those living in medieval times, however, would appreciate the scientific contribution to the future. “Can you imagine anything worse in the Middle Ages than having someone jump you at night and drink half your body’s blood?,” remarked Dolphin. But whether or not vampires really were porphyria sufferers, it does makes you wonder if the medical mysteries of today will inspire ghoulish myths centuries from now.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Immortal Technique is a Peruvian rapper, based out of Harlem, New York. In a few short years, Immortal Technique has given new life, to the arguably dying art of politically concsious rap. Album releases like Revolutoin Vol. 1, and Revolution Vol. 2, are not just mere albums titles to him. He seeks real political change inside the Hip Hop community and arcross the world..
On a song entitled "The 4th Branch" he aggressively states:
"Got my back to the wall, cause I'm facin' assassination
Guantanamo Bay, federal incarceration
How could this be, the land of the free, home of the brave?
Indigenous holocaust, and the home of the slaves
Corporate America, dancin' offbeat to the rhythm
You really think this country, never sponsored terrorism?
Human rights violations, we continue the saga
El Savador and the contras in Nicaragua
And on top of that, you still wanna take me to prison
Just cause I won't trade humanity for patriotism"
On another track called "Bin Laden" featuring Mos Def he goes for the jugular vein of neoconservatives and terrorists in the same verse:
"This s*** is run by fake Christians, fake politicians Look at they mansions, then look at the conditions you live in All they talk about is terrorism on television They tell you to listen, but they don't really tell you they mission They funded Al-Qaeda, and now they blame the Muslim religion Even though Bin Laden, was a CIA tactician They gave him billions of dollars, and they funded his purpose Fahrenheit 9/11, that's just scratchin' the surface"
The lyrics of Immortal Technique can go from politically motivating, to spiritually empowering, to offensive and shocking- depending on your mood. One thing you cannot deny though, is his honestly.
I caught up to him between recording sessions to talk about his upcoming release "The Middle Passage". In this interivew we talk about everything from the weakness in the Democratic Party, the recent comments by The Pope on Islam, Immigration and Barack Obama. If you finish this interivew and you ain't angry- read it again.
AB: With just a few albums, you have pretty much become Public Enemy, Tupac and Fat Joe rolled into one man. How did that happen?
IT: I never ran around with the assumption that I was the best rapper in the world, people can respect me as a lyricist but those that know my business mind and my street tactics here in NYC respect me for that just as much as they do for rhyming. Nowadays everyone rhymes, but not everyone can present themselves the way they want to be seen, a label always skews that because at the end of the day it's not your vision, it belongs to someone else.
I take great pains to run a very tight ship, as Captain I see myself responsible for the things that go right and wrong although everyone is personally responsible for their actions, if the tour or the political mission is to be successful it is a
question of my organizational skills and the will of the troops. I am always considered to be a very outspoken person but I think people fail to realize that if I was broke and my crew didn't run the way we do this would be impossible.
It's a sad reality here in America, but it also details that anything you get in this life you have to fight for. I definitely had to fight and be ruthless about my uncompromising approach to music to get my position now and I don't think that this fighting will end, in fact I think it has just begun.
AB: You are a powerful, very visual lyricist. Tell me about how you cultivate that aspect of your rhymes.
IT: Some people started getting serious about rapping when they were in college or just on the street with their friends on the corner. I could always rhyme since I was a child but I didn't take it serious until I was in prison or trying to get a job upon my release. Sometimes in the hole in the bowels of the facility I couldn't see the outside world so I was forced to draw a picture of it from a cell that was shut off to me. The being released to what I thought was freedom but economic incarceration made me question what we physically see as reality even more.
But more than just that I some times travel back to my homeland to Peru and I see a whole other dimension of poverty.
It elevated the stakes for me. I always wanted to go to Africa and see where my grandfather and his side of the family came from, to see the land for myself rather than just observe it through Hollywood's eyes.
I think that after I have a chance to see the Middle East and Africa for myself I will become stronger as a lyricist than I have ever been before. Because I write about life I experience and as well as things I read and learn about.
But lyrics are just one aspect of doing this, there is the heart and soul that you have to pour into your work and also something I've been refining lately, the cadence and the deliver. Some people have one of these things I have mentioned and a few have two. Very few have all of them and can still take care of themselves and stand as a man in this world.
Being a lyricist doesn't make you a good all around rapper in this day and age, it is one of the main things you needed to be respected in the 80's and 90's but now it is simply a detail. I view it as essential but it is just one weapon in the war we fight now.
AB: What are your thoughts on the Democratic Party and their inability to effectively mobilize themselves, young people and minorities in general?
IT: Both parties are actually weak, the news media presents a scandal on Republicans and their corruption and quickly will point to a similar occurrence among Democrats. The reality is as disorganized, weak and fragmented and tired as the Democratic party is the Republican party is too.
That is why they are presently involved in cultivating the next generation of people that are out there in the world. They are trying their hardest to instill values of theirs in a younger generation.
The Conservative agenda does a very good job of effeminizing the view of liberals, as the champions of abortion, of gay rights and the "Anti-War" stance, they are forced to fight on a battlefield where the language has been designed by someone who already has their verbal artillery in place. Unfortunately we cannot go about redefining words and the ideas they represent and simultaneously win elections.
It would be like stating that Africans, and Indigenous people are the real Blacks and Latinos, while this may be scientific truth to some degree, if you wrote it on the posters it would not carry in their own neighborhoods.
If you tried to heal Latino peoples racism and Black people's self identity while running a mud slinging campaign you would get bogged down in a war with several fronts. Even a two front war is difficult to contend with. Not even the military genius of Napoleon or the German War machine could conquer it and America and Russia had enough trouble with Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.
However illogical we think it is, it is man's nature to war. You cannot argue with 130,000 years of homosapien existence, the stronger more powerful, better man wins. That is the lesson history teaches us and when we are unwilling to face that we look like cowards. But the truth is that conservatives manipulate these views better than Democrats do in order to win elections, and to manufacture of a general consensus to their agenda.
After all who would a young child- especially a young Black or Latino child emulate? A rich and successful business man with connections to large businesses? Or an apologetic ambiguously heterosexual person that is defined by their desire to exterminate human life, before birth, and their inability to commit to a war when we are under attack as a Nation.
This is done so well that when you bring up healthcare and race relations it's such an overblown topic. No one attacks it at the source of terrorism, of health, no one attacks the birth of the idea of race. In talking to the American public like they are children they will never understand the true nature of the festering wound. You're trying to to put a hello kitty band aid over in a speech. So the preconceived notions about these different political positions sticks, even though there are just as many gay Republicans as there are democrats or any other political allegiance.
Even though neither party official would like to send their child to war, or see another September 11th. We constantly see the church used as a political tool but neither party wishes to address the deep rooted hypocrisy in it not just the simple surface of child molestation for fear of losing votes.
People don't get into politics to change things, they just want to survive make money and stay in power, and that negates all other abilities. For that reason they are not gaining ground.
Truth is there is a war for freedom. The war for our children's freedom, everyday in the schools, in big cities and it starts with the psychological development of children. Their cognitive skills as babies, to their impulse control as toddlers and their ability to read and process information instead of memorizing and reiterating as elementary students.
I don't know any Democratic candidate who wants to kill babies, they also don't want our soldiers to kill people unnecessarily and be killed themselves either but the life of 1 white American is more important to the American media than 1000 dead Arabs. Democrats have not consolidated the problems with this country past a few talking points during a debate. It doesn't require them to turn radically to the left in order to do so.
Remember something. Democracy was created with a prophetic vision to control capitalism and all other systems that require totalitarian rule, in order to reap the most benefits for those who sit in power. A true Democracy can balance that, we don't live in that model though and Democrats cannot make that argument.
So if Democrats win the house or the senate in 2006 it is not because they won, it is because the Republicans lost.
AB: You have been doing a lot of work in LA and in Watsonville recently with the Brown Berets. Tell me about what do you've been doing in those areas and why it's important.
IT: The history of the Brown Berets is a long one. One that dates back to when Latino people especially the
Indigenous majority (and not the 15% of our population that looks white that we see on television) were slaves here. We had even less rights in the 60's than we do now. We were not just mocked, and not targeted on TV by people complaining about illegal aliens. We were brutalized evermore in real life.
Some people chose to be activists, to hold rallies and s*** like that, but they chose to go to the streets and change the ghetto rather than relying on the government to do so. Some people criticize the idea that appealing to government can change anything, while others think that only a Martin Luther King Jr. approach can be successful.
But truthfully we need to work inside and outside of the system, so they are both necessary. If we were colonized on so many different levels and so many different dimensions how can we win if we just choose to fight with only one form of resistance.
Our enslavement was built on the pillars or religion, self identification in terms of race and history, economic principles, relationships with our women, our scientific advancement and the politics which defined our people.
How can we think that just one belief like Christianity or one political system like socialism, or one thing like Hip Hop could set us free. Our fight must be on several fronts. The Brown Berets and others like that once exemplified that for us. People like them and the Young Lords and the Black Panthers.
They started in the hood, in the street, and they were not Marxist scholars or Cuban Economists, they were not Colombian Guerillas or even the most refined members of society. They were regular street niggaz, who Revolutionized their existence and changed the courses of their lives and in doing so became the most sought after by the government.
This was for one reason only, they provided an alternative to simply addressing grievances in a traditional way, unfortunately we are reaching that level
now where we must stop being care free and to care for our own survival. The future will demand serious Rebels and not happy go lucky activists. That's why I resent that title whenever short sighted people call me that.
We have set up a Migra Watch Network in the greater Bay Area so that we can monitor the economic action behind their raids and who is supporting them besides the government funds. What politicians, are supporting this, without this information and the legwork that goes behind a simple actions such as this we are just a social club. This is real Revolution. It's not a movie, and it's not always drama, it's tedious hard work, that's reality.
AB: You have also been doing a lot to push for more Black and Brown unity. Recently, especially in LA, there have been some serious clashes between Black and Latinos and throughout California in the prison populations. What will it take to get a handle on these types of incidents to create a more positive future?
IT: I grew up in Harlem and I always had friends who were both Black and Latino but even on the East Coast the idea of Latinos used to be very different than it is on the West. On the West Coast since the majority of people are Mexican you can't get away with talking reckless about them without consequence.
Here when I grew up it was Puerto Ricans who were in the majority who were followed by Dominicans and it was only recently that Mexicans have come to endanger that majority. But numbers do not equal strength for many have been enslaved by few before, just look at South Africa. We share a history of common enslavement yet we as a people were conquered. Made to be divided by racial ideas so that the white population could control us. Please don't be naïve to think it just worked itself out this way, it is by design.
It is hard to imagine Black and Brown Unity when there is no such thing as Black and Black Unity, or Brown and Brown Unity. Some argue against this idea saying whites commit crimes against each other even certain white ethnicities target each other, which is true. But we are not in the same position as them.
We live in an economic prison. You can walk away from a fight on the street, but it is much harder to walk away from one in prison. All the gangs that were formed, either by Italians, Irish, Puerto Ricans, Blacks, or any other immigrants or forced immigrants are the only reason they began to have any respect in the streets.
But only certain ethnicities had the racial benefit of being able to advance themselves beyond that into the acceptable sectors of society and the industries of America where power could be consolidated. We have forgotten that there is a world beyond the streets, that there is a dimension of existence where race matters less and money matters more.
We are blind to that because we have no knowledge of self, we have no historical context to what we have accomplished so rather than seeing each other as a people who have done great things through the course of history we still look each other through the eyes of the people that enslaved us, through that ancient hatred.
And not only that, but the sad truth is that we look at our brothers through the same lens. We fight over scraps, and while some criticize that, you would fight over scraps to if you were starving and you didn't realize who had been eating your food this whole time.
It almost doesn't make sense how a people who once controlled their own destiny and ruled half North America, Central America, South America and Africa could fall so far. Look at us now.
AB: Recently, the Pope made some remarks about Islam that set of a series of violent events across the planet. Then he reframed his remarks and began a more direct dialogue with some of the Muslim community. What do you make of that entire fiasco?
IT: The Pope is not a fool. But I have a concerted belief that he takes the rest of the world to be compromised of such people. Why else would he quote such a ridiculous statement? And it is not the idea in his implication that Islam was rooted in violence that we have to speak on.
That would have been easy to address seeing as how Christianity is a very violent religion itself. It was his choice of example that makes him all the more disingenuous to me. And all of you who never read about the 4th Crusade were played like a fool by his eminence the ruler of a religion.
See, Pope Benedict chose to quote a man called Manuel Paleologus II who was born in 1350 and became emperor of the Byzantine Empire a few decades later. His quote was to say that the Prophet Mohammed only brought evil things, and I laughed at his hypocrisy, not because of the violence and evil that Christianity brought to the Americas or too Africa but just at the fact that less than a century before Manuel II was born the Byzantine Empire as he knew it didn't even exist.
While it once flourished and extended across present day Greece and Turkey when he ruled it was just comprised of 3 city states. Constantinople and half the empire was once snatched from the Byzantines and ruled by a succession of Crusaders. It was called the Latin Empire, look it up. What's even more ridiculous is that this all occurred during and after the 4th Crusade in 1204 when the Knights and Nobility of the Holy Roman Empire acting in the name of the Pope set out on their quest to "liberate" Damascus" and "Jerusalem".
The reality of what ended up happening was something that sounds fictitious until you read history. The Crusaders during that 4th Holy excursion did not achieve any "liberation" of the sort, in fact the only thing they accomplished was the sacking of two cities and the destruction of an Empire. And what's worse both of those cities were Christian and the empire was a Christian one as well.
The cities they sacked were Zara and Constantinople, where it is documented that besides the murder of innocent civilians who had not attacked them, the Crusaders were committing mass rapes that included children and nuns, they ran the streets red with blood and burned half the city to the ground. They also were said to have stole various religious artifacts including the Spear of Destiny, the Crown of Thorns, and pieces of the actual Cross upon where Christ was crucified. All in the name of collecting a debt of 200,000 Silver Marks from a prince who promised it to them as well as the subjugation of the Greek Orthodox Church under the Catholic Pope.
The Pope at the time didn't want to seem powerless and although it is unclear whether it was done at his specific order with a few written complaints to hide his true goal he did crown the empire and give it legitimacy. So when you look at this in context how can a Byzantine Emperor's quote be used when his empire as a whole was destroyed and then loosely constructed again a skeleton of it's former self because of the Siege created by Christian Troops themselves.
Only 2 rulers before him separated his reign from that of the Popes own Crusaders that overthrew his nation. Perhaps in that time there were more problems with Muslims but it certainly doesn't annul the history attributed to the situation.
It would be equivalent of quoting Jefferson Davis a slightly known figure in our history 500 years from now and use his quote to speak about equality.
The 4th Crusade ladies and gentlemen, you can only laugh at things like this because it is said history repeats itself twice, the first time as a tragedy and the second time as a comedy because it's funny that muthafuckaz don't see it happening again.
The Pope proves this to be true, and all the subjects of the kingdom of ignorance missed what lesson it proved, we know nothing of our own history and are doomed to repeat it.
AB: What do you think are the top three things America should be concerned with and what do you feel the most immediate steps taken to cure them?
IT: The Environment, Education and the War of Terrorism is what we need to address. We need to understand that this world as we know it is dying and life will have to either genetically altered or there will have to be population control in order for us to survive as a species. Without a complete reverse in our policies that concern the planet we will become extinct.
Education is important and not just buying books but updating the information that is inside them, and making not just intelligent design available if people really request that but Ahteism which is it's true counterpart (Not Evolution) a part of curriculum in study. Also make the history of Africa available, the history of racism Available, the history of South America, the history of Communism, and the history of the Crusades Available make this reality that we live in now available and then maybe people wouldn't get away with being able to put these outlandish statements out.
Some say they are available, true they are if you are capable of paying an average of $23,000 a year to go to college. Many Americans are not, especially the Black and Brown ones.
And when it comes to the war on terrorism we need to understand the cause of terrorism and follow the paper trail on who is making all the money off this war. After all if it such a patriotic achievement then why aren't these American companies working for less?
It is not just patriotism that motivates them as much as it is greed and the ability to manipulate the media. Without changing the nature of this war it will never be winnable beyond some ceremonial token victory in order to cover up for the largest money laundering scheme in human existence.
Terrorism is real and it does need to be addressed, but without understanding where it comes from and attributing such college bumper sticker philosophies like, "they hate our freedom" or "they want to kill us all" the answer will be lost to us in the simplicity of distracting rhetoric.
AB: On the song, "You Never Know" you talk about how you met a girl you dated who died from AIDS after a blood transfusion. It was a powerful song that almost brings me to tears every time I hear it. Is that a true story?
IT: While Dance with the Devil is a true story in that it happened, except for my actual participation in the rape itself.
You Never Know was much more of a story that was based on several things in my life that I wrote over the course of 4 years. I lost people, lost love, I lost my freedom, I lost my direction and in losing all that I found what I already had and what I needed to continue to fight for.
I took all these things that happened to me and I put them in a song out of chronological order to make it into a comprehensive story that centered around physical love because very often that is the only kind that we can see and recognize. It speaks on many topics, our Black and Brown women dying of AIDS, our prison system, the difficulties in adjusting to a world we left behind, and the idea that love is worth so much more than the moment.
AB: Right now, you have a lot of people waiting on the new release "The Middle Passage". When can people expect that LP to drop and what should they expect from it when it arrives?
IT: It is a brutal continuation of the previous work I have done in the past but it was designed to address the problems that we face now in America and around the world. It is much more street too, the flow is stronger and I'm 4 years older so my voice in a little deeper.
Overall I think it shows the progress that I have achieved. It is coming in 2007. Aside from the album I also have a Mixtape coming out before hand and that one will be just as raw. Get ready.
AB: When the song "Bin Laden" dropped, I thought I'd see you getting snatched up for a bid at Guantanamo Bay. How do you feel that song was received overall? Also, is there a limit to how hard you'll push the political envelope?
IT: No limit, I will not pull punches with this administration the one that comes after it or any other political perspective that I face. I don't fear having my politics attacked because I know that nothing I say is out of hatred. It is built on the need for change and not just on the surface. I say things critically so that people will take them to better things not just to tear people apart if America which has a great deal of ideological freedom and systems to protect the poor and the working class can be salvaged then why not die trying. If not then we have accepted the future the way people who just seek to profit from her death have envisioned.
AB: What do you think of Barack Obama?
IT: Honestly? Smart man, means well, token loser if he runs in 2008.
AB: Any last words?
IT: I thank you for the opportunity to speak my mind and I will continue to do so until the that I die. Check out
http://www.viperrecords.com/. Support the albums and the T-shirts. Also look me up at http://www.myspace.com/immortaltechnique join us if your already on here.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
NIU literacy professor works
to close reading achievement gap
for African-American adolescent males
DeKalb — As a young teen in the Chicago Public Schools, growing up in a poverty-stricken neighborhood a few yards from a federal housing project, Alfred Tatum became one of the fortunate ones.
He was blessed with empowering teachers who understood his surroundings. They cared about his life and not only his test scores. They encouraged him to read Dick Gregory's “Nigger” and “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.”
Such passion for teaching – “Harvard dreams for kids living in hellish conditions,” Tatum says – made a difference: Tatum is now an NIU professor of literacy education with a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.
Yet his good fortune “is part of the problem,” Tatum says. “Children should not be fortunate to have quality teachers. We're not playing the lottery with lives.”
Tatum's book, “Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males: Closing the Achievement Gap,” released in May by Portland, Maine-based Stenhouse Publishers, is earning great attention among U.S. educators and netting several speaking engagements for the busy author.
Meanwhile, the mounting weight of the federal No Child Left Behind law and its focus on test scores is fueling Tatum's insistence that a successful school experience involves more than good grades.
“My phones have been lighting up since this book came out,” says Tatum, who also is an NIU alum. “Teachers want to know how to address these issues, but they feel handicapped by limited experience … or they feel powerless because they attribute it to factors they cannot control, such as parental involvement or poverty. They shift the responsibility.”
Tatum already has spoken to school teachers and administrators in Michigan , New York , New Jersey and Ohio .
In his home state, he has visited his alma mater Chicago Public Schools, where he began his career teaching eighth-grade for five years on the city's South Side. He also accepted an invitation to speak from the suburban Oswego school district, where “the other students” are succeeding.
He also has written a two-part article for Middle Level News, published by the California League of Middle Schools.
“It's a point of urgency. We cannot continue to stay the course we have been on for African-American adolescent males,” he said. “We need to rally people around the complexity of addressing the literacy needs, not only of African-American adolescent males, but of all students in the face of national legislation.”
Tatum's concerns are many.
No clear strategy has emerged for addressing the needs of African-American adolescent males, including the lack of a clear definition for the role of reading in their education.
Policy makers and educators focus more on instructional strategies and ignore other issues that affect learning, such as poverty or the cultural disconnect of the classroom.
Such a lapse makes for an “anatomically incomplete” body of teaching, he says, missing the head (the theoretical) and the legs (the professional development).
Many African-American adolescent males also experience an “out-of-school literacy overload and an in-school literacy under-load,” he says. They live amidst race- and class-based “turmoil” before and after school while their teachers fail to provide the texts that could “serve as road maps” to better life outcomes.
As a result, Tatum posits, the disengagement of these young minds and their disproportionate (and often inappropriate) referrals to special education services lead to their 50-percent high school dropout rate in some of the nation's largest urban school districts.
Their resistance to reading anything – whether to satisfy academic, culture, social or emotional needs – rises as they are assigned texts “that inadvertently contribute to their diminished status in schools and society.”
Rather, Tatum says, teachers should encourage interest in school through reading assignments that reflect their own situation and provide them hope to rise above their circumstances. “Young African-American men need to be reading more text,” he says, “not less.”
Teachers of African-American adolescent males need “the 4 Cs,” he says: compassion, competence, commitment and cultural responsiveness.
He urges these considerations in the selection and discussion of texts with African-American adolescent males:
- Establish a broader definition of literacy instruction that guides the selection of text. It must focus on skill and strategy knowledge, content knowledge and identity development. “It is imperative that these young men have the requisite skills to read text independently. It is also imperative that they become ‘smarter' as a result of their reading,” he says. “It is essential that literacy instruction helps these young men form an identity that allows them to resist some of the negative community forces that are part of their day-to-day realities.”
- Identify a core of “must-read” texts for African-American adolescent males. These include James Baldwin's “The Fire Next Time” and Ralph Ellison's “Invisible Man.”
- Discuss texts in culturally responsive ways. “Students benefit when they can extend the ideas contained in texts into their own lives,” he says.
- Identify texts that balance the out-of-school literacy overload. “Most of the texts they should be exposed to are co-opted by schools' focus to improve reading scores,” he says. “Black males are not exposed to text that leads to academic, cultural, economic and social uplift.”
- Examine your disposition toward using texts with African-American adolescent males. Many teachers back down when they encounter resistance from their students to read beyond the required material, Tatum says. “However, no research currently shows that having students read less advances their academic and other literacy needs.”
In Tatum's case, reading the works of Dick Gregory, Richard Wright, Booker T. Washington and others “released me from a stigmatic trapping of poverty. My teachers connected text to my life,” he says. “It's really something I didn't forget.”
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Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Seth Godin is the world's best-selling author of books about marketing
1. Understand the urgency of the situation. Half-measures simply won't do. The only way to grow is to abandon your strategy of doing what you did yesterday, but better. Commit.
2. Remarkable doesn't mean remarkable to you. It means remarkable to me. Am I going to make a remark about it? If not, then you're average, and average is for losers.
3. Being noticed is not the same as being remarkable. Running down the street naked will get you noticed, but it won't accomplish much. It's easy to pull off a stunt, but not useful.
4. Extremism in the pursuit of remarkability is no sin. In fact, it's practically a requirement. People in first place, those considered the best in the world, these are the folks that get what they want. Rock stars have groupies because they're stars, not because they're good looking.
5. Remarkability lies in the edges. The biggest, fastest, slowest, richest, easiest, most difficult. It doesn't always matter which edge, more that you're at (or beyond) the edge.
6. Not everyone appreciates your efforts to be remarkable. In fact, most people don't. So what? Most people are ostriches, heads in the sand, unable to help you anyway. Your goal isn't to please everyone. Your goal is to please those that actually speak up, spread the word, buy new things or hire the talented.
7. If it's in a manual, if it's the accepted wisdom, if you can find it in a Dummies book, then guess what? It's boring, not remarkable. Part of what it takes to do something remarkable is to do something first and best. Roger Bannister was remarkable. The next guy, the guy who broke Bannister's record wasn't. He was just faster ... but it doesn't matter.
8. It's not really as frightening as it seems. They keep the masses in line by threatening them (us) with all manner of horrible outcomes if we dare to step out of line. But who loses their jobs at the mass layoffs? Who has trouble finding a new gig? Not the remarkable minority, that's for sure.
9. If you put it on a T-shirt, would people wear it? No use being remarkable at something that people don't care about. Not ALL people, mind you, just a few. A few people insanely focused on what you do is far far better than thousands of people who might be mildly interested, right?
10. What's fashionable soon becomes unfashionable. While you might be remarkable for a time, if you don't reinvest and reinvent, you won't be for long. Instead of resting on your laurels, you must commit to being remarkable again quite soon.
And when? When should you start being remarkable? How's this: if you don't start tomorrow, you're not really serious. Tomorrow night by midnight or don't bother. You're too talented to sit around waiting for the perfect moment.
Monday, January 15, 2007
You know it doesn't make much sense
There ought to be a law against
Anyone who takes offense
At a day in your celebration
Cause we all know in our minds
That there ought to be a time
That we can set aside
To show just how much we love you
And I'm sure you would agree
It couldn't fit more perfectly
Than to have a world party on the day you came to be
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
I just never understood
How a man who died for good
Could not have a day that would
Be set aside for his recognition
Because it should never be
Just because some cannot see
The dream as clear as he
that they should make it become an illusion
And we all know everything
That he stood for time will bring
For in peace our hearts will sing
Thanks to Martin Luther King
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Why has there never been a holiday
Where peace is celebrated
all throughout the world
The time is overdue
For people like me and you
Who know the way to truth
Is love and unity to all God's children
It should never be a great event
And the whole day should be spent
In full remembrance
Of those who lived and died for the oneness of all people
So let us all begin
We know that love can win
Let it out don't hold it in
Sing it loud as you can
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
We know the key to unify all people
Is in the dream that you had so long ago
That lives in all of the hearts of people
That believe in unity
We'll make the dream become a reality
I know we will
Because our hearts tell us so
MLK Day: How It Became A Holiday
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Timeline
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
"I would start there. Of course Hip-Hop cannot be dead. We're looking at poetry, we're looking at symbolism, we're looking at vision even. I think Nas is warning us. I think one of the best ways to warn a culture is to shock it. I think Nas shocked Hip-Hop culture by declaring its death. By declaring its death, it means that it will live now. A lot of people don't like the term "Hip-Hop is dead." The people that I know, grassroots organizations, universities, and cats that's livin' the culture for real, they're like, "Nah, this is crazy! This is actually the epitome of the apathy, complacency, and money-grabbin', and bling bling, and pimpin' – this is the height of it. Nas is pointing it out.
The actual song "Hip Hop is Dead" says "Go to the stations and murder the DJ," That kind of sums it up. Really, Hip-Hop is dead 'cause nobody is takin' responsibility for it. DJs have lost their sense of responsibility to the culture. They're just employees now. They're not culture-bearers. Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore, Kid Capri, Brucie Bee – these are the priests of the culture – Red Alert, Chuck Chillout – they made us who we are, they broke my records. Chuck Chillout did not wanna sound like Marley Marl [and vice versa]. Both of 'em didn't wanna sound like Red Alert, and the three of 'em didn't wanna sound like Jazzy Jay. click here to read the entire article
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
50 Cent - whose real name is Curtis Jackson - has co-written a series of fictional books featuring characters based on former members of his group G-Unit. The titles include "Death Before Dishonor" and "Baby Brother." The 31-year-old star also appeared at the Borders Bookstore in New York for the book signing ceremony.
The launch comes nearly a year after the artist released a memoir about his life up to his success entitled "From Pieces to Weight: Once Upon a Time in Southside Queens."
"These tales will tell the truth about 'the life'; the sex, guns and cash; the brutal highs and short lives of the players on the streets," BBC quoted the publishers MTV and Pocket Books as saying.
I want to be critical, and I'm sure I will, but Curtis could be on to something
I honestly thought it was illegal to exploit the mentally ill, but after just briefly watching Tiffany Patterson,(AKA) New York and her mother on the disturbing Flavor of Love, its clear that VH1 has decided to reintroduce the arcane theme of watched the seriously ill for entertainment. My prediction for Tiffany, I love New York will be a hit in one year a sequel, then, drug charges, a porn movie, rehab then suicide
Sounds shocking, not as shocking as this show
Two Black Americas?
The Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson, a guest OpEd columnist in the N.Y. Times, has an interesting piece today (subscription required) about W.E.B. DuBois’s famous prediction that the problem of the 20th century would be the color line. The prediction, Patterson writes, had two components to it: “One side was the near complete exclusion of African-Americans and other minorities from the upper echelons and leadership of American society, public life and national identity. The other was the segregation of blacks from the social, communal and intimate cultural life of white Americans.”
Patterson’s argument, in short, is that the first part of the color-line problem has been spectacularly resolved while the second part has barely budged. He points to Colin Powell, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Condoleezza Rice, and Deval Patrick as current examples of blacks who have achieved leadership positions of the highest order. “But when we turn to the other side of DuBois’s color line,” he writes, “we find a stunning paradox: accompanying this public integration has been the near complete isolation of blacks from the private life of the white majority. Recent modest improvements notwithstanding, blacks, including the middle class, are nearly as segregated today as they were in DuBois’s day.”
This distinction seems obvious after it has been so cogently put forth by Patterson, but like many good insights, I don’t think many of us would have voiced it on our own.
The most controversial element of the column is Patterson’s final prescription to the segregation issue: “It would be naive to discount persisting white racism, but other minorities, like Jews, have faced a similar dilemma and opted, with good reasons, for integration … If America is ever to solve the second part of DuBois’s color problem, it will be on the shoulders of the black middle class.”
It will be interesting to see the public responses, if any, to Patterson’s call to action. A narrow reaction would likely include the parry that, “Well, Jews are white”; but that would seem to be missing the meat of Patterson’s point.
Monday, January 08, 2007
It used to be family and friends who gave you guidance on how to live in the world. But these days, that help is harder to come by. WHAT BLACK MEN SHOULD DO NOW fills the vacuum by offering practical, plain-talking advice for living a fulfilling, successful life.
-Don’t be an angry black man.
-Have the courage to cry when you are sad.
-Don’t have sex, make love.
-Eat a healthy diet.
-Have the patience of Job.
-If you are over age forty, have regular prostate exams.
-Make peace with the size of your penis.
-Uphold the African-American woman.
-Practice safer sex—always!
-Take the time to meditate
WHAT BLACK MEN SHOULD DO NOW will serve as a wake-up call for some, while providing others with a compass to reclaim their lives through healing old wounds, restoring self-esteem or building character. Men going through a midlife crisis may find solace and gain comfort from it. Mature teen brothers may experience "light-bulb moments" from it. Still, for others, the book may provide them with the reinforcement needed to continue living life to its maximum potential.
Timely, definitive and candid, this groundbreaking book is enlightening yet entertaining for black men—and the women who love and care about them. While the book is targeted to men, women will find it a wonderful guide to give to the men in their lives—husbands, boyfriends, sons, fathers, uncles, grandfathers and friends. Women will read it with great interest and learn ways to help their men live healthful and more rewarding lives.
Friday, January 05, 2007
I just came across my book on Amazon Japan
is this Cool or What?
Night Biters (ハードカバー)
Adrian Harper (著)
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2007カレンダーが 【最大40%OFF】の セール実施中！ 女性タレントから アニメまで、 カレンダーストア を今すぐチェック。
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Mr Autrey said all New Yorkers "should do the right thing"
Wesley Autrey jumped onto the tracks and rolled with 19-year-old Cameron Hollopeter into the trough between the rails at 137th Street station.
Mr Hollopeter, who had suffered a medical problem, was rescued just as a train was coming into the station.
Two cars passed over the men before stopping just inches above them.
The train operator had seen someone on the tracks and put the emergency brakes on.
The New York Times newspaper reported that Mr Hollopeter had suffered a seizure, which sent him convulsing off the platform and onto the tracks.
Moments after the train came to a halt, Mr Hollopeter asked if he was dead, Mr Autrey said.
"I said: 'You are very much alive, but if you move you'll kill the both of us.'"
Mr Autrey, a 50-year-old father of three and a navy veteran, said of his actions during the incident on Tuesday that he was doing what anyone should do in the same situation.
"I'm still saying I'm not a hero... 'cause I believe all New Yorkers should get into that type of mode," he told US TV on Thursday.
"You should do the right thing."
On Wednesday, he visited Mr Hollopeter and his family in hospital. Mr Hollopeter's father, Larry, addressed reporters outside.
"Mr Autrey's instinctive and unselfish act saved our son's life," he said.
"There are no words to properly express our gratitude and feelings for his actions."
Since his act of heroism, Mr Autrey has been interviewed by numerous media outlets and has been offered rewards by a number of people, including business tycoon Donald Trump.
Mr Autrey said he had been offered cash, trips and scholarships for his two daughters, who were with him at the time of the rescue."Donald Trump's got a check waiting on me," he said. "They offered to mail it; I said no, I'd like to meet the Donald, so I can say: 'Yo, you're fired.'
The areas of a teen’s brain that regulate self-control are not fully developed. That’s why they often seem so impetuous. Again, teens need your help to understand the limits of acceptable behavior and the consequences of going too far.
· The areas of their brains that influence organization are also still developing. Therefore, they may need your help to develop organizational strategies. For ideas, talk to the school’s guidance staff or link to www.teachervision.com/lesson-plans/lesson-3676.html
· Emotions have a strong impact on brain development. Teens need to feel safe in order to grow mentally strong. In fact, brain research shows there is a chemical released that blocks learning when students feel threatened. Parents can help by maintaining a positive home environment, as free as possible from strife. Keep the lines of communication open. Talk with your teens about what bothers them. Realize that your efforts to work through disagreements and find common ground can make a difference in how well they learn.Sharpening the brain is an ongoing process. One of the best ways to help your teen develop the lifestyle of a learner is to be a good role model: Make sure your son or daughter sees you doing what you love and what keeps you sharp
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
If you could make one wish for the world, what would it be? In fact, we want to know so much, we're willing to donate $1 to charity for each wish comment posted here.
Post a comment. Tell us your wish for the world. Do it as a way of coming together with others, to show you care about everyone else around you. Do it to demonstrate your generosity and hopefulness.
Leave your one wish for the world below. For every wish $1 will be donated to charity. Once you have left your wish, please help us promote this project!
Tell your friends and family. Post on your blog, website, etc.
Help us reach our goal: 1,000,000 wishes for $1,000,000
*excerpted from the MySpace profile
In this TED presentation, Steven supports the argument that lack of options, rather than financial gain is the reason most young people enter into the world of drug
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Happy New Year
Episode 50 of the Wire painfully delivered the message that for many innercity kids, the despite their efforts, and he innovative efforts of others, drugs and crime are often the only choice they have, At best, They are victims of hubris, personal agendas, pathetic parents and an uncaring and incompetent system we called city government.
ED BURNS one of the producers of the show said in an interview
"I think the idea we're trying to bring across is that kids are going to get educated. And that we're going to see where. It's not about kids making bad mistakes and becoming caught in the Criminal Justice system. They don't have an option of choice. We in society have the choices. So you might see a kid who clearly doesn't have a prayer and it will be very apparent why he doesn't have a prayer. It's not about blaming kids. They will survive. They will learn. It's just a question of where."
Season four of 'The Wire' centered on the lives of four young boys as they traverse adolescence in the drug-saturated streets of West Baltimore. The new episodes of the series examine their world through the theme of education, asking viewers to consider the world that awaits these boys, and to consider further the American commitment to equal opportunity.
The Wire is a television series without peer, and season 4 was both riveting and gripping
Its final grade, A in showcasing how we have Failed so many young minds