Daily Archive: September 10, 2009


No excuse for gun violence

(NNPA)—Jasmine Lynn, a Spelman sophomore, was killed by a stray bullet as she walked on the campus of Clark Atlanta University on Sept. 2 just after midnight. She was chatting with friends not far from the place where six shots were fired during a fight at Clark Atlanta. One of her friends heard the gunshot, saw the weapon, and yelled for Jasmine to get on the ground. But as she moved to the ground she was shot in the chest, and died shortly thereafter.



MySpace and Facebook start to look like America

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—Technology supposedly says a lot about your station in life. I-Phones are for folks who like a lot of bells and whistles while Blackberrys are for the serious businessman. Macs are for cool urbane techies while PCs are for stodgy old office drones. New research shows that being a MySpace or a Facebook person says a lot about you, too. I’m a Facebook guy, and according to recent studies that makes me a snobby middle class White kid. Dr. Danah Boyd, a Microsoft researcher and social networks scholar, has put out a recent study showing that MySpace and Facebook are beginning to diverge by class and race. Myspace and Facebook are beginning to look a lot more like America and maybe that’s not such a good thing.


End childhood obesity

To put it simply, Black kids are, on average, more obese than their White or Latino peers. As they age, these kids usually don’t outgrow their obesity: they usually become overweight adults. A recent study found that nearly 80 percent of children who were obese between the ages of 10 and 15 were also obese once they reached 25. Overweight children and teens are at risk for developing high blood pressure and diabetes and are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke in adulthood than their thinner counterparts. Childhood obesity is a growing problem, one that must be put in check. This isn’t about aesthetics. It’s about health.



The Way I See It…Revolution anyone?

Barack Obama hired Anthony “Van” Jones as a special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Jones is an admitted “rowdy Black nationalist” and “communist” who was also a co-founder of the communist revolutionary organization STORM: Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement. Quick question: how many Marxists, communists, domestic terrorists and raving racialists does the president get to associate with before reasonable people can assume that the president on some level shares their particular vision of America?


Commentary…That four-letter word

(NNPA)—There exists a word in the American English language that on its own incites such a reaction that it may as well be taboo. It isn’t a curse word or a derogatory term, but rather a simple four-letter concept that by and large encapsulates the crux of many of our problems as a nation. It often times divides us and hinders us from engaging in actual dialogue to address social and cultural issues. This word is none other than race—and it’s about time we start having a real, honest and thorough discussion surrounding it.



Commentary…Back to school—Black to basics

(NNPA)—This month, many students are returning to school for another academic year. They did so after two and a half months of summer vacation. Vacation? People who are employed take vacations from work (but that is another column for another week). Students study. Let’s stay right there. According to most educational indices, African-American students—especially Black males—under perform their classroom counterparts. Thus, as Black students return to technology-filled schools, educational stakeholders, including parents and school administrators, should go Black to basics. Prior to directing the Black Leadership Forum, Inc., I served as a vice president of the RainbowPUSH Coalition in Chicago.


Motown turns 50, but party’s far from over

DETROIT (AP)—On Jan. 12, 1959, Elvis Presley was in the Army. The Beatles were a little-known group called The Quarrymen casting about for gigs in Liverpool. The nascent rock ‘n’ roll world was a few weeks away from “the day the music died”—when a single-engine plane crash claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Ritchie Valens. Smokey Robinson is joined by Berry Gordy It’s also the day a 29-year-old boxer, assembly line worker and songwriter named Berry Gordy Jr. used an $800 family loan to start a record company in Detroit.


Thousands line up for Oprah

CHICAGO (AP)—Thousands of Oprah Winfrey’s fans gathered on Michigan Avenue to help the talk show celebrate the 24th season of her show with a public taping on Tuesday that was to include the Black Eyed Peas and Rascal Flatts. Diane Stimson lined up at 5:30 a.m., nearly 12 hours before the taping was set to begin, and by the afternoon the 43-year-old Chicagoan was dancing behind a metal barrier as she waited. She called Winfrey an inspiration. WHITNEY HOUSTON AND OPRAH WINFREY ON THE SET


Cover to Cover…‘On the Line’

It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. Yeah, you never bought into that, either, did you? If it’s all about playing and not about winning, then why have umpires, referees and judges? Why keep score? And what’s the use of fans frothing at the mouth over victory? More precisely, perhaps, it’s not about winning or losing but about being gracious either way—an attitude personified in the new book “On the Line” by Serena Williams (with Daniel Paisner).


Arts & Culture Calendar

Thursday 10 Lalah Hathaway The August Wilson Center for African American Culture presents Lalah Hathaway at 8 p.m. at the center, 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. Slip into the rich, silky sounds of songstress Lalah Hathaway as she kicks off the inaugural season of the brand new August Wilson Center. Hathaway hypnotizes with a soulful, jazzy repertoire rooted in the music of her native Chicago and filled with endless possibilities. There will also be a performance Sept. 11 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $35-$45.50. For more information, visit http://www.augustwilsoncenter.org.