Friday, July 31, 2009

The Think Tank for African American Progress



The Think Tank for African American Progress – to be held in Memphis from October 14 to October 16, 2009 – seeks solutions to challenges confronting Black boys and young men. We are inviting scholars, activists, and advocates to join us for the 2009 Think Tank with the theme “What is the Future of Black Boys?”. Practitioners, community activists, and researchers whose efforts are related to the following thematic areas are especially invited to submit a solutions’ proposal in relevant to one of the 4 areas: (1) Health; (2) Education/Youth Development; (3) Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics; and (4) Community/Economic Development.

The Think Tank will feature opportunities for practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and, Black youth themselves to dialogue about solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, think about strategies to resolve these challenges, and design methods in which to implement solutions to challenges.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Horse Molester Caught


COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A South Carolina man was charged with having sex with a horse after the animal's owner caught the act on videotape, then staked out the stable and caught him at shotgun point, authorities said Wednesday.

But this wasn't the first time Rodell Vereen has been charged with buggery. He pleaded guilty last year to having sex with the same horse after owner Barbara Kenley found him in the same stable and was sentenced to probation and placed on the state's sex offender list.

Kenley said she noticed several weeks ago her 21-year-old horse Sugar was acting strange and getting infections again. She noticed things in the barn had been moved around - dirt piled up and bales of hay stacked near the horse's stall at her Lazy B Stables in Longs, about 20 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach.

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Divorce Is Unhealthy Physically


(CNN) -- Divorce causes more than bitterness and broken hearts. The trauma of a split can leave long-lasting effects on mental and physical health that remarriage might not repair, according to research released this week.

Research shows health differences between people who are married and those who have gone through a divorce.

"People who lose a marriage take such damage to their health," said Linda Waite, a sociologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois.

Waite and co-author Mary Elizabeth Hughes, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that divorced or widowed people have 20 percent more chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer than married people. They also have 23 percent more mobility limitations, such as trouble climbing stairs or walking a block.

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The Cause and Importance of the Deficit


When George Bush took office at the beginning of 2001, the federal government was running a substantial budget surplus and projected rising surpluses "as far as the eye could see." Now, the United States is facing massive current deficits -- as a share of the economy, the largest since World War II -- and an increasingly dire and unsustainable outlook over the next 10 years and beyond.

How did we get into this fiscal mess? To quote a character in Ernest Hemingway's classic novel, "The Sun Also Rises," when asked by another how he lost his wealth, "Two ways. Gradually and then suddenly."

The gradual part was a series of policy actions adopted during the Bush administration. In 2001, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the 2008 budget would show a surplus equal to 4.5% of gross domestic product. The actual 2008 budget ran a deficit of 3.2% of GDP. Almost all of the reversal was the result of policy changes -- tax cuts and spending increases.

Then, in 2009, the bottom fell out.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

NBA Cheerleader Dances Way To Becoming a Doctor


After dancing her way through school, former Miami Heat cheerleader has Fabienne Achille traded in her pom-poms for a stethoscope.


The pretty 28-year-old paid her way through pre-med school at University of Miami by cheering on the likes of Alonzo Mourning, then turned her attention to the grueling medical curriculum at University of South Florida. The ballgame glamor made her undergrad days memorable, but it wasn't exactly easy, she says.

“It was a lot of hard work especially being pre-med," Achille, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, says of her dancing days. "But it was definitely a very very enjoyable memorable time in my life.”

The obstetrician is now finishing her residency, delivering babies at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami -- the facility where she was born.

“It’s a hospital that deals with many many minorities, and of course people from my own culture,” she said.

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White Duke Official Caught in Alleged Black Child Sex Scandal




A Duke University official has been charged in federal court with offering his 5-year-old adopted son up for sex. Frank Lombard, associate director of the Center for Health Policy, was arrested Wednesday in Raleigh, the FBI said.

Duke University official has been arrested and charged with offering his adopted 5-year-old son for sex. Authorities said that Lombard tried to persuade a person,who he did not know was a police officer,to travel to North Carolina to have sex with Lombard's child.

An unidentified informant who already faces child porn charges in a different child sex case pointed investigators to Lombard, according to court documents. The informant told investigators he had met Lombard on the Internet four years ago. The informant described in graphic detail how he allegedly observed Lombard molesting an African-American child on four occasions over an Internet video chat service called ICUii.

The informant said, according to court papers, that Lombard, who is white, said that he lived in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina and that the child was one of two adopted African-Americans in his custody.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

YourBlackWorld: Clash Between Black and White Protesters Over Dragging Death



PARIS, Texas (AP) — State police in riot gear rushed a downtown street to break up a standoff Tuesday between hundreds of black and white extremists who exchanged screams of "Black power!" and "White power!" during a protest over the state's handling of the case of a black man who was run over and dragged by a vehicle.

A skinhead carrying a Nazi flag and a shirtless white man were arrested on a misdemeanor charge of suspicion of disorderly conduct before the protesters separated peacefully, police spokesman Lt. Danny Huff said.

The conflict began with a march by about 100 mostly black activists who avoided a designated "protest zone" near Paris' courthouse and walked to the town square to chants of "Black Power!" and "No Justice, no peace!" 

"We're going to be boxed in?" said protest leader Jimmy Blackwell of the Tarrant County Local Organ

"No, we're not your slaves!"

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Black News: African American Group Attempts to promote marriage

Group holds a conference to promote Black Marriage.  Click here to watch the video trailer!  You can learn more by visiting their website at

Friday, July 24, 2009

White House Tries to Justify Obama's Statement about Gates Case

White House: Obama did not call the officer stupid

The White House tried Thursday to calm a hubbub over President Barack Obama's comments about a white police officer's arrest of a black scholar near Boston, saying Obama was not calling the officer "stupid."

Spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters that Obama felt that when it was clear that Harvard University scholar Louis Gates Jr. was not a burglary suspect last week, "at that point, cooler heads on all sides should have prevailed."

At a Wednesday news conference, Obama had said that the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police "acted stupidly" by citing Gates on a resisting arrest charge, which was quickly dropped. He had not faulted the actions of Gates, who he said is a friend.

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Obama Comments Speaks on Gates arrest


Obama says police acted 'stupidly' in Gates arrest

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that police acted "stupidly" in the arrest of prominent black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. and that despite racial progress blacks and Hispanics are still singled out unfairly for arrest.

"This still haunts us," Obama said.

Obama called Gates a friend, and said he doesn't know all the facts of the case. Nonetheless, Obama said, anyone would have been angry if treated the way Gates claims police in Cambridge, Mass., treated him. Gates claims he was arrested in his own home after showing ID to police who responded to a report of a possible burglary.

"Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof he was in own home," Obama said during a prime-time news conference that otherwise focused on the health care debate.

"What I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there's a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately," Obama said. "That's just a fact."

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

You think Beyonce is the Queen of Pop?



There are no formal anointments with these kinds of things, but it's hard not to crown Beyoncé as the current queen of pop music.

She's the female artist who has spent the most weeks at No. 1 this century with five No. 1 singles, she is the woman with the most Top 5 hits since 2000, and she has the most hits in the Top 10 with a dozen.

Her latest, and third, solo album "I Am … Sasha Fierce" — named after her onstage alter ego (who sounds like a Tyra Banks character) — is one of the best-selling albums of the year. With more than 2 million in sales, the album is still in the Top 30 after 34 weeks; its latest million-selling single, "Halo," is still in the Top 15 after 25 weeks. Its newest release "Ego" is No. 2 on the R&B charts.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Aids Vaccine Funding Cut in South Africa

South Africa


South Africa's government joined Monday in launching a high-profile trial of an AIDS vaccine created by its own researchers -- the first designed by a developing country -- but the moment was marred by the lead researcher's announcement it has actually halted funding its own project.

It was a jarring development in a nation whose politicians have a history of unscientific responses to the epidemic. Attempts to get an explanation from the government were not immediately successful.

Monday's announcement was meant to be a proud occasion for a nation where politicians have a history of unscientific responses to the epidemic. But after a government minister lauded the project, Professor Anna-Lise Williamson, the scientist heading the research, said the state had pulled the plug on its funding.


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Friday, July 17, 2009

Wilmer Leon: So Much Progress and Yet So Far to Go

Wilmer Leon

On February 12, 2009, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) marked its 100th anniversary. The NAACP is America’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots–based civil rights organization.

The NAACP is an organization with a unique vision and mission. As stated on their website, its vision is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination. Its mission is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Latoya Jackson: “Michael was murdered”

LaToya Jackson: 'Michael Was Murdered' | Michael Jackson

Speaking out for the first time since Michael Jackson's sudden death on June 25, the singer's sister LaToya Jackson, 53, is raising alarming allegations.
"Michael was murdered," LaToya claims in an exclusive interview with London newspaper the News of the World.
“We don't think just one person was involved in the murder," she added, refusing to name the people she believes are responsible for the death during her four-hour interview in L.A. “It was a conspiracy to get Michael's money."
According to LaToya, Jackson himself always feared for his life. "A couple of years ago Michael told me he was worried that people were out to get him,” she told the paper. "He said, 'They're gonna kill me for my publishing. They want my catalogues and they're gonna kill me for these.' "

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Black Celebrities: Did Bill Cosby Leave a Woman Hanging Out to Dry?

by Delores Jones

Recently, I listened to yet another radio debate about the manner in which Bill Cosby talked about the plight of some black people at least 5 years ago.  Economically speaking, I too would be considered one of the working poor in the African American community mentioned, however, some of the words used to describe the behavior associated with this class of people did not fit me or others that I personally know.  In fact, I am a highly, educated single mother with a master’s degree in social work.  I also hold a bachelor’s of  broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, arguably one of the finest J-Schools in the nation.  I’ve been employed, unemployed, underemployed, upset, bewildered, disappointed, depressed and even disgusted.

Interestingly, none of the books I’ve read about “lower economic people” who are believed to be “failing the civil rights movement by not holding up their end of this deal,” invited me or others to the table to discuss individual situations or the people I encounter as a social worker who are simply trying to make this thing called life work the best way he or she knows how.  Just because a school is open does not mean what is being taught is adequate.  Just because there is a hosptial near by doesn’t mean I am welcome there or can afford to be seen there.  In fact, recently I learned that I need a major operation but I don’t have insurance to cover the projected $20,000 cost.  Did I mention, I work full-time?


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Friday, July 10, 2009

Lay off of Sharpton...What are YOU doing?

Elliot Millner, J.D.

Because of his prominent position as the de facto spokesperson for the Jackson family since Micheal Jackson’s death, a new round of Sharpton-bashing has ensued.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many, MANY valid criticisms that can be made regarding Rev. Al, and I will acknowledge that I have made many myself. Sharpton has done many things that I strongly disagree with. However, things have gotten completely out of hand regarding the manner in which some people attack this man. As someone who considers himself somewhat active, I tend to be quick to defend those Black people who are actually out working in some manner to do things(as they see it) that will benefit the community and society as a whole. Even if I don’t agree with their methods, or even significant parts of their message, they get a certain amount of respect for simply putting themselves out there.

As I’ve stated in previous post, I’m all for constructive criticism, as it is a necessary tool for growth individually and collectively. However, many of the derogatory things being said about Sharpton are far from constructive, and most irritating to me, are being said by people sitting on their couches eating Cheetos and watching TMZ, who are not making the slightest attempt to do anything that is of any value to anyone or anything other than themselves.

Does Sharpton love the spotlight? I don’t know him personally, but he definitely doesn’t seem camera-shy. Is he a self-promoter? Seems like it, and what public-figure isn’t? Does he consider how an event will benefit him before he decides to take up its cause? Maybe. But you know what? He still does it, and that’s kind of the point. Regardless of what benefit he may get from taking up a particular cause, he still does it. Even after being stabbed, he still does it. Even after spending time in jail, he still does it. Even after being criticized by many Black folks, a lot of whom know absolutely nothing about the things he has done or is doing outside of what they see on FoxNews or CNN, he still does it.

You think Sharpton couldn’t just be a “pulpit-pimp” and make lots of money and still get a lot of attention(Sharpton could out “Jakes” Jakes anyday) from the media? Of course he could. Sharpton has been working in the Black community since he was a teenager, and it is just plain ignorant how many Black people disregard all of his work because they don’t like some of the things he’s said or done, or don’t like his hair, or his “attention-whoring”,etc.

Sharpton has been the main voice, OUR main voice, on many issues that the mainstream media would’ve otherwise swept under the rug. Go back and look at the events that Sharpton has helped draw attention to, and ask yourself “If not him, then who”? The treatment of Sharpton by many Black people reminds me of how a lot of people view attorneys. They are blood-suckers, professional liars, opportunists, ambulance-chasers, swindlers, etc…until you need one. Sharpton doesn’t go anywhere uninvited. Sadly, many of us are repeating the foolish mistake of allowing others to tell us who our friends should be and what we should think of our own people. The same think happened with Paul Robeson, MLK(yes, even him), Malcolm X, Farrakhan, and the list could go on. The most vocal critics of Sharpton are those who want to ignore the continued existence of racism and other forms of discrimination and inequality in America.

Sharpton has never proclaimed himself “the spokesperson of Black people” as many unenlightened folks have suggested. If anything keeps Sharpton “in business”, it’s the apathy of those who have benefited the most from the works of people like him, and Jesse Jackson, and Minister Farrakhan, among others. Regardless of what those who have swallowed the “racism is dead” pill may think, there is and will continue to be a need for people like Al Sharpton, regardless of his imperfections. Some of us may not realize that until he is no longer here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nicole Spence: My 4th of July was Whack!

by Nicole Spence

So my 4th was pretty much wack! Lol. I didn't do anything other than start the day off getting faded with my Homie Wid crying and watching the Michael Jackson tribute on TV!
A cool day. That's when I get a phone call, from a blast from the past, who apparently thought since it was the holiday weekend it would be a good day to start digging in the crates! We'll call him Bob, Bob the builder, because he's in construction.
Bob gets on my last damn nerves, and Saturday was the day that I had to tell him about his ass!

Bob and I were intimate, but there wasn't any sparks! I thought and still think that he lacks intimacy skills and we most definitely didn't speak the same sex language. Lol. I laugh now, but that shit used to irritate the f%@k outta me! Like first off he's cool after 1 ight Session!! Yup he's a One Nutter! WTH?? Come on brother, you're like how old?? Let's get it going again. And to make matters worse, he would take forever to return to the bedroom from the bathroom after the session. I mean I'm talking about a good 8mins! WTF was he doing in there??!! So of course I was annoyed and turned off like nobody's business each time that this would happen.
Bob felt the cold shoulder that I intended him to feel and he inquired one day, that's when I told him “We don't speak the same sex language”! What! He screams Nicole you're crazy!! Crazy?? I'm not, crazy! You're the one who takes like 10mins to come out of the bathroom, and then walks around the apartment like there can be anything else to do round this b%@ch, besides the obvious! And do you know why he said he takes so long in the bathroom??!! This grown man who is highly educated and quite successful no kids having ass was doing??? He pees in the condom, to make sure there isn't a HOLE!!! OMG! This is just wrong on sooo many levels, I felt instantly like I was back in high school sneaking a phuck with my high school boo who was also sexually challenged!

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