Friday, February 27, 2009

DMX Still Having Prison Problems

DMX released a statement Wednesday due to reports that he was throwing food at a Maricopa County detention officer. DMX states: "Many of you know me as DMX but right now I am speaking to you as Earl Simmons ... For the record, I want to state 'I Did Not' physically touch or hit an officer. This is just another attempt to destroy my credibility."

Posted By AutumnJones to yourblackhiphop at 2/27/2009 12:00:00 AM

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kevin Powell Speaks on Domestic Violence

Writer’s note:

Given all the hype and controversy around Chris Brown’s alleged beating of Rihanna, I feel compelled to post this essay I originally wrote in late 2007, so that some of us can have an honest jump off point to discuss male violence against females, to discuss the need for ownership of past pains and traumas, to discuss the critical importance of therapy and healing. Let us pray for Rihanna, first and foremost, because no one deserves to be beaten, or beaten up. No one. And let us also pray that Chris Brown gets the help he needs by way of long-term counseling and alternative definitions of manhood rooted in nonviolence, real love, and, alas, real peace. And let us not forget that Rihanna and Chris Brown happen to be major pop stars, hence all the media coverage, blogs, etc. Violence against women and girls happen every single day on this planet without any notice from most of us. Until we begin to address that hard fact, until we all, males and females alike, make a commitment to ending the conditions that create that destructive behavior in the first place, it will not end any time soon. There will be more Rihannas and more Chris Browns.

In my recent travels and political and community work and speeches around the country, it became so very obvious that many American males are unaware of the monumental problems of domestic violence and sexual assault, against women and girls, in our nation. This seems as good a time as any to address this urgent and overlooked issue. Why is it that so few of us actually think about violence against women and girls, or think that it’s our problem? Why do we go on believing it’s all good, even as our sisters, our mothers, and our daughters suffer and a growing number of us participate in the brutality of berating, beating, or killing our female counterparts?

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Your Black News: Barry Bonds and A-Rod Now Have Something in Common

Outside of Curt Schilling and Cory Lidle, very few Major League Baseball players ever dared criticize Barry Bonds, at least on the record. Either they were afraid of Bonds, afraid of the Players Association, or afraid of the possibility that their own lives would become subject to the same scrutiny as his. It was a kind of tradition when teams swung through San Francisco to play the Giants that opposing players would form a small receiving line before batting practice to greet Bonds and lavish him with praise.

But no player was more vociferous in his support thanAlex Rodriguez. Because Rodriguez has spent his entire career in the American League, and Bonds his entire career in the National League, they did not share the field often. But on June 2007, with Bonds less than two months from the all-time home-run record, the Yankees rolled into San Francisco for a three-game interleague series that Rodriguez turned into a love fest.

Before the first game, Rodriguez called Bonds "arguably the best player to put on a uniform," a standard line. But Rodriguez went farther: "I'm a big fan of his work. He's one of a kind. Studying him is like studyingPicasso." When it was suggested that alleged steroid use had changed the perception of Bonds, Rodriguez looked startled. "That's too bad," he said, "because Barry's such a great and unique talent. He should be celebrated."


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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Black Doctors: Dr. Ben Carson Gets Featured in a Film

Dr. Carson

TNT's "Gifted Hands" is one of those longform projects that has Emmy written all over it.

It boasts near-flawless direction from Thomas Carter, a vivid teleplay adaptation by John Pielmeier and uniformly magnificent performances, particularly from star Cuba Gooding Jr., who puts himself back onto the Hollywood map here in a way he hasn't since his Oscar-winning turn in 1996's "Jerry Maguire."

Gooding portrays the real-life world-renowned brain surgeon Benjamin Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center and author of a best-selling 1990 autobiography.

It's taken nearly two decades to get Carson's inspiring story to the screen, but Gooding does him more than proud with a portrayal at once sensitively wrought and quietly moving.

In lesser hands (if you'll pardon the pun), this biopic could easily have drifted off into maudlin sap, but Gooding keeps the character of Carson centered and human and the film honoring him wise and surprisingly graphic. (The surgical procedures are showcased in all of their bloody glory, but not so much as to cross the line to gratuitousness.)

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obama and Faith-Based Initiatives: He Pushes Them Through

President Obama established his own faith-based initiatives office Thursday, reversing a Bush administration policy that allowed churches to discriminate in their hiring practices.

"Whatever our differences, there is one law that binds all great religions together . . . It is, of course, the golden rule, the call to love one another, to understand one another, to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth," Obama said at the National Prayer Breakfast.

"It is an ancient rule, a simple rule, but also perhaps the most challenging, for it asks each of us to take some measure of responsibility for the well-being of people we may not know or worship with, or agree with on every issue or any issue," he added as he unveiled his faith-based agenda.

Obama signed an executive order creating the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Unlike ex-President Bush, churches with hiring policies that discriminate won't be eligible for federal grants under the executive order.


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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

President Obama says He Screwed up on Daschle Appointment

"I don't think Washington wins," President Obama tells NBC's Brian Williams in the interview that the TV network will broadcast this evening -- one of five sit-downs the president did with national news anchors this afternoon.

"The fact of the matter is Tom Daschle pulled out today," Obama continues. "And I'm here on television saying I screwed up and that's part of the era of responsibility; is not never making mistakes; it's owning up to them and trying to make sure you never repeat them and that's what we intend to do."

The networks are sending out excerpts. Highlights from the others we've gotten so far:

• Obama tells ABC's Charles Gibson this was an embarrassing day for his administration, with the collapse of Daschle's nomination as Health and Human Services secretary and Nancy Killefer as chief performance officer.

"We're going to have some glitches," Obama adds, "and I understand that that's what people are going to focus on. And I'm focused on it because I don't want glitches. We can't afford glitches because, right now, what I should be spending time talking to you about is how we're going to put three to four million people back to work. And so this is a self-induced injury that I'm angry about, and we're going to make sure we get it fixed."


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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Jesse Jackson Says "Try 1 percent solution for student loans" In Chicago Sun Times Article

Try 1 percent solution for student loans

The debate on the recovery has begun in earnest. The $825 billion plan introduced in the House is a good beginning. It makes a down payment on investments vital to our future -- in new energy, health-care efficiency, education. It provides assistance for those hit hardest by the crisis. It provides a tax break for the vast majority of Americans.

Republican leaders have reacted in partisan rather than patriotic form. Their objections are simply wrongheaded. House Minority Leader John Boehner says the plan is too large, spends too much and has too few tax breaks for business. In fact, the reverse is true. If anything, given the accelerating downturn, the plan is too small and contains too many business tax breaks that are notoriously ineffective at producing jobs.

To help get the economy moving, Congress would be well advised to pass -- either as part of the recovery plan or separately -- a bold initiative to help make college and advanced training affordable. I'd suggest a simple proposition: Let's make college loans available to students on the same terms that the banks receive.

Banks now borrow money at about 1 percent, even as the Treasury and Federal Reserve pour in literally trillions in equity, loan guarantees, credit swaps and the like to keep them from going belly up. Over the last few decades, students have gone from paying for college with two-thirds grants and one-third loans to the reverse, with most racking up tens of thousands of dollars in debt to stay in school. They are forced to borrow -- even on the subsidized loans -- at rates of 4 percent to 5 percent. When those limited funds are exhausted, they are forced into a private market, where interest rates are even higher, and sometimes end up relying on credit card debt, with rates more than 20 percent.

With the recession spreading, students are struggling to cobble together the funds to stay in school. Parents' contributions get slashed when they lose their jobs. Grant aid doesn't make up the difference. The Economic Recovery Plan would increase the maximum Pell grant by $500, but that doesn't make a dent.

There is real perversity here. General Motors is offering car loans at zero percent while students seeking to get an education must pay 5 percent to 6 percent. Students are essentially subsidizing the banks that drove us into this ditch, even as those banks continue to pay multimillion-dollar bonuses to the very leaders who are responsible.

Thus far, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury keep spraying the leaves and ignoring the roots. They keep bailing out the captain's quarters while ignoring the hole at the bottom of the boat.

We should go another way. Michelle Obama has noted the harsh burdens that students are faced with. "Salaries don't keep up with the cost of paying off the debt, so you're in your 40s, still paying off your debt at a time when you have to save for your kids." She and Barack were still paying off their loans in their 40s, until his best-selling books got them out of the hole. And they were successful graduates of Harvard Law School.

Now the situation is much worse. Talented students are forced to drop out. Schools without large endowments are making draconian cuts and raising tuitions.

Young people are the nation's most valuable asset; their education is essential to our future. Their potential should not be snuffed out, their dreams shattered because of an economic crisis they didn't cause and cannot avoid. We shouldn't ask them to subsidize the very banks that caused the mess. It's time for a 1 percent student loan program.

Your Black Gospel: Black People are More Religious than Most

An analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life suggests that blacks are considerably more religious than the overall U.S. population. You can see the whole report here.

While the U.S. is generally considered a highly religious nation, African-Americans are markedly more religious on a variety of measures than the U.S. population as a whole, including level of affiliation with a religion, attendance at religious services, frequency of prayer and religion’s importance in life,” the report says.

Its highlights include:

- Nearly eight in 10 blacks (79 percent) say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 56 percent among all U.S. adults.

- Blacks attend religious services and pray more frequently than the general population. While 39 percent of all Americans report attending religious services at least once a week, 53 percent of blacks report the same.

- Similarly, while 58 percent of all Americans report praying at least once a day, 76 percent of blacks report praying daily.

- The vast majority of blacks are Protestant (78 percent), compared with 51 percent of the U.S. adult population as a whole.

The findings, drawn mostly from data within  Pew’s Religious Landscape Survey conducted in 2007, have political as well as cultural implications.


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