Sunday, January 30, 2011

DJ Henry Shooting: Family Files $120 Lawsuit


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The shooting of Pace University football player DJ Henry has set off a great deal of controversy in the town of Pleasantville, New York, where Henry was shot outside a nightclub. According to police, Henry drove his car toward one of the officers, who claims that he had to fire on the athlete in order to save his own life. Accounts of what happened that night are varying, and DJ's family has filed a $120 million lawsuit against the Pleasantville Police Department over the incident. Attorney Charles Oglegree from Harvard University is representing the family of Brandon Cox, a friend of Henry's who was also shot that night.

The incident began on the night of October 17, when police were called to investigate a disturbance outside a bar in the suburb of Thornwood, which is located right near the Pace University campus.


Click to read.

Herschel Walker Makes MMA Debut and Kicks Some Butt

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

He came, he saw, and he conquered. Herschel Walker, the man who was once known for being a jack of all trades, dominated his first opponent in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competition. The fight was against Scott Carson, the poor guy that Walker obliterated with a left hook in the first minute of fighting. After knocking Carson to the ground, Walker continued to pound away on him until the referee stopped the fight.

Walker's return to public competition at the age of 48 is nothing short of inspirational. The man who once said "My body is like an army" has proven it to the public by doing what many thought would be impossible. In addition to MMA fighting, Herschel has excelled in quite a few other sports as well: Walker is the only college football player in NCAA history to be listed in the top three in Heisman voting for all three years he was in college. He finished 7th in the 1992 Winter Olympics in the two-man bobsled. He nearly made the Olympic team as a sprinter. He is a fifth-degree black belt. He even did ballet.


Click to read.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dr. Boyce and George Kilpatrick Discuss Kelley Williams-Bolar and Educational Inequality

Note from Dr. Boyce:  Before listening to my interview with George Kilpatrick about the Kelley Williams-Bolar case, I had two questions:

1) Would her kids have been allowed in that school if they’d been two 6’5”, 220-lb basketball players?  I’m sure they would have made an exception.

2) Its interesting that the judge wanted to send her to jail for her crime, but there are Wall Street execs who got less time for stealing millions.

The interview is here if you want to listen.

Dr. Boyce and Rev. Jesse Jackson Discuss the Fundamental Problems with the Economy



Click here to listen to Dr. Watkins and Rev. Jackson’s conversation about the state of the American economy.

TNT, Tracy Morgan and Embarrassing Black Men

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Turner Network Television took the interesting step of apologizing for lewd remarks on the network made by comedian/actor Tracy Morgan.  During an interesting back and forth with Charles Barkley in which they were debating the “hotness” of Sarah Palin, Morgan said the following:

"Now let me tell you something about Sarah Palin man, she's good masturbation material. The glasses and all that? Great masturbation material."

Of course my own jaw dropped when I heard what Morgan said, and you could see the white guy on the scene, Ernie Johnson, rushing to get Morgan off-camera.  Everyone was clearly nervous after Morgan’s remarks, for good reason.  A lot of jobs were on the line as the words leaked out of his mouth.

Click to read.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Michael Vick Gets His First Endorsement Deal: He’s Back in the Mix

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Embattled Philadelphia Eagles star Michael Vick has finally signed his first endorsement deal. The player signed a two-year contract with Unequal Technologies, a companies that provides the football pads Vick wore throughout the season. Terms of the deal are not disclosed, but both parties are excited.
"We're real excited about it," said Unequal's chief executive officer Rob Vito.


Click to read.

Former NFL Players More Likely to Abuse Pain Killers

by Dr. Boyce WatkinsThe Athlete Liberation Academic Reform Movement (ALARM)

According to a new study in a scientific journal, retired NFL players misuse opioid pain medication at a rate that is four times greater than the general public. The study goes on to connect the abuse to the number of pain killers athletes take during their playing days in the NFL. The results were published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a peer-reviewed academic journal.
The study was conducted by scholars at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. It is also the first study conducted on pain killer misuse by former players. Linda Cottler, a professor of Epidemiology in the school's Department of Psychiatry led the study and it was also commissioned by ESPN.


Click to read.

Bishop Eddie Long Does His First Interview Since the Allegations

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Bishop Eddie Long has returned to the public eye. In his first interview since thesexual misconduct allegations were levied against him, Long spoke with Channel 2 News in Atlanta. Of course the media was told that Long would not answer questions about the allegations, but hearing him speak in public was a media attraction nonetheless.
The event was the Trumpet Awards prayer breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta. When answering questions, Long only spoke about hope, the future and other relatively vague, light-hearted issues. The mood appeared to be positive, as Long was given an optimistic reception from those in the audience, as well as Corey "CoCo Brother" Condrey, the radio personality who
introduced Bishop Long to the crowd.


Click to read.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr., Dr. Boyce Watkins, Support a Constitutional Amendment on Equal Access to Education

Quick note from Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

I just spoke with Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.  He's proposing a constitutional amendment that guarantees all children access to an equal and high quality education.  Congressman Jackson and I will discuss this on the Rev. Jesse Jackson radio show Sunday morning.  As any FYI - it was the broader issue that got me involved with Kelley Williams-Bolar's case.  It was not a crusade for just one person.

We’ll be discussing the issue later today on WVON today at 5 pm EST.  You can listen by going to their website.

Boyce Watkins Discusses Kelly Williams-Bolar Case on AC360: Plans to Rally with Al Sharpton

Click to watch Dr. Watkins on AC360 discussing the case of Kelly Williams-Bolar, the black mother sent to jail for sending her kids to the wrong school district

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dr. Wilmer Leon Analyzes the State of the Union

by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon

President Barack Obama was under pressure to satisfy many different constituencies in his second State of the Union address last night. Some liberals wanted the president to support government-matching 401(k) contributions in order to promote saving; others wanted him to address gay-rights legislation; still others urged a ban on large gun clips, or deep cuts in the defense budget.

Instead the president chose to set a tone rather than an agenda. Other presidents have been able to unveil sweeping policy initiatives in the annual address. But President Obama is faced with an ideologically driven opposition that has made clear its intention to oppose him at every turn. At the same time, the president is also facing a historic shift in technological and global economic realities that is remaking the world as we have come to know it.

Click to read.

Dr. Boyce: Fried Chicken, Liquor and Of Course, Flava Flav

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Last year, at the "Measuring the Movement" forum, hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network, I had a chance to sit next to Chuck D from Public Enemy. I found Chuck to be as impressive, interesting and intelligent as he is on television. He also didn't give off the mind-numbing, stomach-turning, arrogant celebrity vibe that I see all too much. I was thoroughly impressed.
While I feel that I have some understanding of Chuck D, I simply cannot say the same for Flava Flav. Flava almost seems to come out of a different time, place, and perhaps even another planet, from the rest of us. He would have been great in the 1920s, when black performers could make a fortune by embracing ignorant stereotypes and engaging in ridiculous behavior. Flava seems to relish his role as the cultural clown, reminding all of us of exactly what Dr. Martin Luther King did NOT want our children to become.

Click to read.

Why 50 Cent Might Be in Trouble for the Way He Used Twitter

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The rapper 50 Cent is known as much for his creative PR and business tactics as he is for the rhymes he once busted on the airwaves. Well, I guess he is still technically a rapper, but the music side of 50 Cent’s career doesn’t seem to be taking off like it did at the start of the decade.

Since his last hit record, 50 Cent has been involved in a series of business ventures that seem to pay him better than he was ever paid as an artist. The problem for Fifty is that he might be in trouble with theSecurities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for using his power tohaul in $8.7 million by pushing a stock on his Twitter page.

50 Cent has 3.8 million Twitter followers who apparently respect him for his investment advice. The rapper tapped into his massive market power by telling all of his followers about a stock that he owns called H&H Imports. In fact, 50 Cent owns quite a bit of the stock after acquiring 30 million shares in a private placement last October.

click to read.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Former High School Standout Does 25 Years for a Crime He Didn’t Commit

Click to watch the video about the case of Terry Harrington, a former highschool football standout who served 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.



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Spoof: A White Girl to Be Tried as a Black Man

Funny: Court Rules White Girl to be Tried as 300 LB Black Man

Funny: Court Rules White Girl to be Tried as 300 LB Black Man

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ted Williams: “The Man with the Golden Voice” Keeps on Messing Up

Click here to watch Ted Williams, “The Man with the Golden Voice” as he continues to struggle with addiction.

Dr Boyce Spotlight: Black Scholars in Computer Science

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

While many of us know who the leading black basketball and football players happen to be, we are rarely exposed to the leading Computer Scientists, Mathematicians and Physicists. Most importantly, most of us don't know that there is an entire organization of African American male PhDs called "Brothers of the Academy" who do scholarly work in a multitude of important fields. The media would be quick to feature these men if they were committing crimes, busting rhymes or dunking basketballs, but black males should be more readily celebrated when we are hitting the books, working our butts off and establishing sustainable institutions within the black community.
Ladies and gentleman, meet Professor Juan Gilbert. I've observed Juan as President of Brothers of the Academy for the past several years, and I can say with complete certainty that he is one of the most focused, dedicated, reliable and capable leaders in black America today. Juan not only runs BOTA, but he has also raised millions to fund his own computer science lab at Clemson University and at even before the age of 40, has served as the "academic father" for a large number of black Computer Science PhDs. It is for that reason that Professor Juan Gilbert is today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices:

Click to read.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Steve Harvey’s Ex-Wife Goes Public with His Affairs, Abandonment


Steve Harvey’s ex-wife Mary has decided to break her silence about her estranged husband.  In a series of three shocking videos, Mary goes into detail about Steve’s affairs and seems to imply that Harvey has no business writing a book about relationships.  There is even a letter below from one of Steve’s mistresses that puts the “relationship guru” on blast:

Click to read more.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight: Fighting for the Rights of Fathers

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

One of the most difficult, stunning and defining experiences of my entire life was when I went through the child support system. My daughter was born when I was an 18-year old freshman in college, and although I didn't want her mother to leave me for another man, I still knew that I had a responsibility when it came to taking care of my kids. So, I did what I was supposed to do, signed the papers where necessary and paid tens of thousands of dollars in child support over the next 18 years, even when it emptied out my bank account.

What surprised the heck out of me was that while the courts were always quick to threaten me with jail time if I'd chosen not to pay my child support, they showed almost no concern regarding whether or not I had the right to see my daughter. There was also no accountability regarding where my money was going and if those funds were being used to manage the needs of my child. I found myself increasingly frustrated by both my experience and also the broader perception of all black male non-custodial parents as dead beat dads. The truth is that while there are far too many dead beats, there are also fathers who've been victimized by parental alienation or an overzealous mother who feels that she can dictate every dimension of the father/child relationship. The mere implication that black males love their children any less than other people is a clear and stereotypical insult to our humanity.

Click to read.

Friday, January 21, 2011

What Obama Needs to Say to Black America in the State of the Union Address

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Next week's State of the Union Address to be offered by President Barack Obama comes at a time when our nation is especially divided, and our future as a country is foggier than it has been in recent memory. The event that will be on everyone's mind is the attempted assasination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is recovering from an assassin's bullet in the hospital right now. The Giffords shooting has slowed down the most extreme Republican rhetoric for the moment, but it certainly has not ended the animosity shown toward President Obama.

While President Obama must contend with the Republicans, he must also deal with a wide variety of special interest groups, all expecting something in return for their loyalty. With well over 90 percent approval ratings, no group has been more steadfast and committed to President Obama than the African American community. Therefore, as we seek to determine what our community should expect from the State of the Union address being given this week, we have every right to demand what is best for us.

Click to read.

Frederick Jermaine Carter and the Questionable Suicide


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 


The black community in Greenwood, Mississippi is on edge and angry after the death of Frederick Jermaine Carter. Carter, who was 26 years old, was found hanging from a tree in what authorities have labeled to be a suicide. But the community isn't buying the police's story and claim that he was actually murdered.
The Final Call is reporting on the death of Carter, and even Michael Pimbleton Jr., the mayor of Sunflower, Mississippi has said that there was more going on than meets the eye.
"This is 2010 and we still have Black people hanging from trees? They're saying he hung himself but I have doubt in my mind that he actually did that. That wasn't his character. This wasn't a suicide, this was a homicide," Mayor Pembleton said to The Final Call.
Carter was found on December 3, with his body hanging from an oak tree in North Greenwood, which is a predominantly white section of Leflore County. He actually lived in nearby Sunflower County, and North Greenwood is known as an area that black people are sometimes afraid to visit. Carter was with his stepfather, who said that he wandered off from an area in which they were both working.


Click to read.


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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Republican Michael Steele Says His Party “Needs a Few More Brothers in the House”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has continued to be outspoken in the name of the Republican Party. On a recent appearance on MSNBC, Steele went out of his way to note that he feels that he's helped to increase diversity within the ranks of the Republicans.
"What I tried to do [as chairman] was to broaden the landscape over which we could play, go into neighborhoods where we needed to be in, but hadn't been in generations, and I think it made a difference," he said. "I'm very happy with what we got done."
Matthews noted that he rarely sees African Americans gathering together at Republican conventions, and Steele responded by saying, "We could have used a few more brothers in the house, there's no doubt about that."
Steele was not reelected as the chairman of the RNC this week, being replaced by Reince Priebus after seven rounds of balloting. Steele believes that his fellow Republicans will work with President Obama if he leaves the door open to do so. "I really believe they will run with him on certain issues," Steele said.

Click to read.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King Facebook Page Vandalized by Racists

mlk page

These images were taken off the Facebook page.  Most

of them were put up on King day.   It appears that America has a long way to go when it comes to race.  Also, someone should be moderating the page to ensure that images like these can’t be posted.





On MLK Day, Let’s Not Get Into the Dangers of “Hero Worship”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

When I was a little boy, my mother used to make me put on a suit and recite the "I have a dream" speech in her bedroom. She even had me wear a burnt cross necklace around my neck to emulate Dr. King. It was an uncomfortable process for me, but I'm sure my parents got a kick out
of it. Either way, the first stamp on my brain had been made and it stayed with me for life.
As I got older and studied the life of Dr. King, I quickly realized that his life was very different from my own. He accomplished far more at an early age than I did. He had far more respect than I did. He was a better student than I was. How could I ever match up to that?
But it was OK that I couldn't match Dr. King, primarily because it had been confirmed to me in one celebration after another that I couldn't be anything like that man even if I'd wanted to be. He was superhuman, and I was not. So, rather than having the confidence to continue his legacy, I figured that I would just sit back and enjoy the celebration like everyone else. Why try to match up with perfection?


Click to read.

Dr. Boyce’s Facebook Friends Outraged by the Mention of Dr. King’s Adultery



Here are some comments on the facebook page of Dr. Boyce Watkins in response to the article on Dr. Martin Luther King that was written for

  • Ariel Louise his personal life absolutely does NOT damage his legacy .... the sins of his flesh were just that .... not sins of his heart or conviction re social change local and global

    10 hours ago · Like · 6 people

  • Donna Turner I am not ready to read this quite yet. However, I am looking forward to doing so tomorrow.

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Tina Tee I don't understand why this is a topic for discussion! How could RUMORS of infidelity in a personal relationship tarnish the legacy and life of Dr. King?!?! This is silly...smh. I would expect this on FAUX news..

    10 hours ago · Like · 2 people

  • Xamytykr Belle-Scott He paid the Ultimate Price for his People, DEATH. An Alleged adultery can not touch Rev. Dr. King and the Mrs. Corretta Scott King Leagacy.
    -Job Well Done -MLK & MSK my good and faithful servants.

    10 hours ago · Like · 2 people

  • Gloria Wesson Menyweather-Woods ‎1. The slant of the article was not necessary...2. Research his life before you say he should have never married....he was married and Pastoring when he was thrust into the leadership position for the boycott. He did not go to the meeting looking to become the leader and almost lost his Pastorate because of it.....3. WE CAN NEVER BE AS GREAT AS DR. KING.....SOME THINK THEY CAN BUT I PERSONALLY DO NOT BELIEVE IT WILL EVER HAPPEN!!!

    10 hours ago · Like · 2 people

  • Goldie Taylor III He dies years ago. Why does anyone care who he slept with?

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Donna Turner Tina, he probably did have extra-marital affairs. Does that really discount the incredible impact this man's life had on humanity? I say no.

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Christyles Nikki

    ‎#*%^ --I'm so tired of this! Granted, like Dr. King-We are all humans, we all have flaws.. shall Dr. Kings adultry be an openbook? Do I want to read "said" book? NO! I wish they leave Dr. King alone! Bring Peace to this matter, i don't w.....See More

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Goldie Taylor III Why dont people ever do a story on the hoes that go after married men or hoes that sleep with preachers? Take away the product, eliminate the problem!!

    10 hours ago · Like · 1 person

  • Donna Turner ‎"Cause the "hoes" had nothing to lose and everything to gain by sleeping with a man of power? Maybe??? You tell me, LOL.

    10 hours ago · Like · 1 person

  • Christyles Nikki ‎"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. "

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Tina Tee ‎@Donna- that is my point..even if the rumors are true, it does not trivialize the impact that made has made. However, the discussion is based on makes it even more ridiculous!!!!

    10 hours ago · Like · 1 person

  • Theodore Foster good piece for the grio...I was a little worried at first...although we never have discussed the courage of Coretta in this equation. This holiday is dedicated to a man who by all accounts was a great man through her as an intelligent, savvy, Black woman who supported him through his adultery(Elizabeth Roberts did not, who may be an apples and oranges example) but it's a topic that deserves some discussion of Black women in these situations

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Donna Turner ‎@ Tina: what if the claims could be substantiated? What would that change?

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Tina Tee ‎@ Donna- not a thing(as mentioned above)

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Darryl A Chamberlain

    I don't put Dr King on a pedestal. I see him as a man who saw the need to sacrifice himself to bring about change in this land that would otherwise not have come for a very long time. That sacrifice meant not only his life, but also meant ...See More

    10 hours ago · Like · 4 people

  • Theodore Foster ‎@ Tina, they are not rumors, the facts have been documented in Taylor Branch's trilogy of books on Dr. King, esp the last book At Canaan's Edge, there's a lot of reasons why he may or may not have been adulterous but like Dr. Watkin's article reads, it doesn't diminish him and if anything puts his tremendous work in greater historical perspective

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Tina Tee ALL- the point is...IT DOES NOT MATTER! Rumors or substantiated fodder...neither diminishes the impact of Dr. King!!
    * Good Night!

    9 hours ago · Like · 2 people

  • Scotty Reid Why is Jerry Springer one of the most watched shows, why is divorce court a popular program. People like reading about or hearing about others peoples problems and dirt. Does the Bible say something about idle conversations and gossip? I think it does and so that is another flaw among humans, we love to pick through others people garbage. Perhaps talking about his good deeds isn't enough to generate views on a website or make people pick up a paper so for the sake of profit, lets print rumors or cast stones.

    9 hours ago · Like · 1 person

  • Tony Rivers Why wait until the one day that you celebrate a man to ask this question? Dr. Boyce personally I think your timing is off and there is much more to focus on.

    8 hours ago · Like · 3 people

  • Gloria Wesson Menyweather-Woods

    ‎@Darryl....I agree with you on why as a people do we always tear down each other. We will search for things to use. It does not look well for us assisting our causaion counterparts with disparging remarks about Dr. King and President Oba...See More

    7 hours ago · Like · 2 people

  • Edgar James no, no connection and ditto t tivers a gwmwoods. never thought he was other than a man!

    5 hours ago · Like

  • Dwayne Jenkins Great job Dr. Watkins. I don't believe most of the people who posted comments read your article. I will admit , at first I thought this would be disasterous...but upon reading the article you were professional, informative and serious in your tone. I'm happy that you treated your audience like adults and woke them out of the " dream state " they have been lulled.

    4 hours ago · Like

  • Jocelyn Mills Lyons

    I thin Dr. King was human like every other man I know, which if statistics are any indication most have, are, or will cheat. Now with that said, his courage and conviction set him apart--and part of his legacy is that he knew he would die f...See More

    3 hours ago via Facebook Mobile · Like · 1 person

  • Denise Vaughan Ezennaka

    We make mistakes because we are human and we live in an imperfect world run by imperfect humans; it's that simple. No man, not even Dr. King was or is perfect and no man, no country, no group nor any organization has all of the answers. We ...See More

    about an hour ago · Like

  • Michael White Why haven't they asked you to research who really killed Dr. King and the conspiracy sourronding it all.

    19 minutes ago · Like · 1 person

  • Boyce Watkins

    These are really interesting comments. Here are some quick thoughts:
    1) Dr. King is not a God - we can all be as great as him if we believe in ourselves. That's what he would want us to believe - he'd be repulsed at us sitting back and worshipping him the way that some people do.
    2) His adultery has been researched and confirmed, I believe it. But that doesn't take away from his contributions to society.
    3) I wasn't writing the article to research nor highlight the details of his relations with women. I wrote it to give a perspective on how our community might deal with the fact that he was less perfect than we've been taught to believe. We can't let people do a "Tiger Woods" on him and must remain focused on his contributions. But the best way to make people start thinking about something is to tell them not to think about it. So, by telling people to sit quietly and ignore the truth about King's life only makes them more intrigued and fixated on it. I say if we put it out there, there won't be a scandal.
    The article was written with due respect to Dr. King. When I am dead and gone, if someone cares enough to remember my legacy, I want them to remember everything about Boyce Watkins, not just the good stuff. I need them to know that I am flawed in certain ways and overcame some of those flaws to try to make a contribution. I also want all of the kids who know anything about me to realize that not only can they match my accomplishments, they should expect to exceed them. That's what passing a torch is all about.
    Stop putting King on a pedestal. He wouldn't want that. Also, the notion of having a "don't ask, don't tell" policy on our religious leaders' private behavior makes all of us look silly. If we can't talk about King in his entirety, then let's not talk about him at all. King Day Celebrations have not become honest reflections on a great man's life. They've become "we shall overcome" fests with all of us lying about America's past and present and about the life of Dr. King. We must be more intelligent than that - and we can all be as great as Dr. least that's what I'm telling my kids: Emulate and learn from him, don't worship.