As hard as it is to remember back to the B.O.C. days (Before Obama Coverage) there was a time when news about race and culture in the United States didn’t always revolve around the president. For example, if you look at 2007 it was a particularly nasty year for the racial conversation in this country and most of what was covered made you want to run from the television. A walk down memory lane reminds us that 2007 was the year of Don Imus’ “Nappy Headed Hoes” comment about the Rutgers’ female basketball team, the brutal Black-on-Black rape of a mother and her son by 10 teenagers in the Dunbar Florida housing complex, Michael Vick’s conviction on dog-fighting charges, the whole Jena 6 fiasco, and lost in much of this furor was the case of Megan Williams. While Williams received the least coverage overall, she’s come back with a vengeance this week, denying the very story that made her “not” famous and possibly taking us back to the nasty racial rhetoric of 2007.
Monthly Archive: October 2009
(NNPA)—Freedom of the press unequivocally stands at the core of fundamentals in the United States of America. It is a form of checks and balances towards the government, business and other entities in our society. But when producers, editors, journalists, executives and media conglomerates themselves begin fabricating news and openly spreading half-truths and lies, it’s time for someone else to start checking them. Last week, news outlets began reporting on the case of Megan Williams, the young woman in West Virginia who had claimed in 2007 that she was kidnapped, beaten, sexually assaulted, forced to eat human feces and doused with hot water all the while racial epithets were being slurred toward her.
I was an innocent—not pure as the driven snow, but certainly unwise as to the level of the stakes at which we were playing. I entered the debate believing it would be an intellectual exercise; we would joust with each other and after it was all over shake hands and exit with mutual respect. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Mutual respect? The Black panelists on my side of the question were called Uncle Toms, the White member was accused of seeking to repeal the civil rights act. Honesty? No lie was too large to tell; statistics were made up, facts were created to suit the argument. And there would be no shaking of hands at the conclusion of the debate, in fact barely a graceful word was spoken. It was in that moment I realized the left not only disagreed with me; they hated me. I was not only wrong; I was evil. That slap in the face knocked the rose-colored glasses from my eyes and I am now seeing clearly: we are in the midst of a cultural and ideological war and while conservatives concern themselves with civility and rules, progressives are playing for keeps.
In 2001, then-President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act, which was intended to, among other things, get the nation’s public school students to 100 percent proficiency in reading and math by the year 2014. Recently released math test scores show that we are not on target to reach that goal. Math is a critical component to so many industries that drive our new economy; if our students—future workers—don’t master the subject, the financial health of our nation is at risk. According to the test results, just 39 percent of the nation’s fourth-graders and 34 percent of its eighth- graders scored at or above the proficiency level on the nationwide math test given this past spring. There’s been very little improvement in student’s scores and the goal of reaching proficiency by 2014 is in jeopardy.
(NNPA)—The end of Daylight Savings time on Nov. 1, doesn’t just mean you’re getting an extra hour of sleep. Setting clocks back one hour also means an extra hour of night driving, which can be problematic for everyone, particularly older drivers. Even on familiar roads, motorists should use caution and watch for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists who will be less visible, especially during the first week of the time change. AARP urges all drivers to consider the link between night visibility and safe driving. If you have trouble seeing well at night, get your vision checked and consider taking a driver safety course to learn more about how to compensate in dark conditions.
Two deejays from WAMO 106.7 FM land top jobs right next door to each other. Anji Corley and LaKeisha “Kee-Kee” Brown have left the steel city to take their careers to the next level. Corley entered a contest called “America’s Next Top Jock” with the legendary Donnie Simpson in D.C. at WPGC 95.5FM Jams and won the top spot, and Brown was fortunate enough to have people in the know and landed a nice gig in Baltimore at 92Q Jams WERQ 92.3FM. KEE-KEE BROWN AND ANJI CORLEY “I found out about the contest from my cousin Denise who lives in Maryland. She sent me a link saying that Donnie Simpson, from WPGC 95.5FM Jams, has this contest for “America’s Next Top Jock” and you should enter. I filed it away and wasn’t thinking about it. Then I said to myself a little later, let me send off some stuff such as air checks and information on me. A couple of months later I got a call from the show’s producer who said I was in the top 20 and the next step was to see if I was still interested. He is the morning show producer and Donnie Simpson’s son. Then it went to the next step where when I went online and found out I was selected.”
When Tyler Perry has something to say, you listen. His latest message comes as an exhortation: “Laugh to Keep from Crying”—Perry’s 11th stage production will arrive in Pittsburgh, at 8 p.m, Nov. 7 at the Petersen Events Center on the University of Pittsburgh campus. THE CAST—Five members of the cast, not in order, are Palmer Williams Jr., Chandera Currelley, Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley, D’atra Hicks and Theo Williamson. In typical Perry style, the play features a creative mix of heart-wrenching drama interspersed with laugh-until-you-cry humor and phenomenal musical performances.
This week I visited Matrix Night Club in the Strip District, The Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum in Homewood, CJ’s in the Strip District and Ava Lounge in East Liberty. My first stop was at Matrix Night Club in the Station Square where B. Marshall Productions and Camille’s Fitness presented the official Pittsburgh Steelers After Party featuring DJ Drama and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Everyone came out to celebrate with the Steelers after winning against the Cleveland Browns. DARNELL STAPLETON, LAMARR WOODLEY and WILLIE COLON
It was a dark and rainy night, but that didn’t deter women from around the Pittsburgh area from showing up for a shoe sale. The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy Theater converted its ground floor studio into a makeshift shoe store for one night of shopping to raise money for DAT’s education director, Greer Reed Jones’ own dance company, the August Wilson Dance Ensemble (formerly Greer Reed Dance). SHOES— Greer Reed-Jones, artistic director of AW Dance and Amy Lewis owner of My Shoe Girl at the fund-raiser.
Thursday 29 Soul collective The August Wilson Center for African American Culture presents “A Hip-Hop Soul Collective” at 8 p.m. at 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. This is a multimedia excursion through hip-hop with poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph. He combines movement, spoken word and storytelling to deliver the history of the hip-hop generation. Tickets are $22.50-$28. For more information, call 412-456-6666 or visit http://www.pgharts.org.