June 30, 2008

A Simple Request to the G8

2008 is a landmark year in the fight against poverty and disease. The world is halfway to 2015 when the Millennium Goals must be achieved, but Africa is perilously off track. 2008 is also the halfway point between 2005 and 2010 when many promises made by the 'Group of 8' (G8) to Africa must be met such as the commitment to provide an additional $25 billion in effective aid for Africa. The G8 are dangerously behind on these landmark commitments.

In 2008, G8 leaders have the opportunity -- and responsibility -- to put weight behind their words.

I hope that all 'villagers' will sign the online petition that calls upon the G8 to build on recent success in fighting extreme poverty. We want the G8 to deliver their commitments on healthcare, agriculture and education and by helping citizens in developing countries in their efforts to improve governance and fight corruption.

What say u about signing this online petition?

Third Party Challenge to Obama and McCain

Did you see this late-breaking news in your part of the country yet?

Villager for president! What say u?

June 29, 2008

Bill Clinton to Barack Obama: 'Kiss My Ass'

Bill Clinton is the only person that I ever voted for who actually got elected into the presidency. Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush and George W. Bush each held office without my vote or support. Bill Clinton won the office twice with my vote. As such, he has been a political hero for most of my adult life.

Therefore, I am truly sad to see how bitter he is about Barack Obama's victory over his wife. We're told that Bill Clinton wants Obama to beg for his wholehearted support in the upcoming presidential campaign.

Bill Clinton is having a difficult time understanding that his star within the Democratic Party is setting. The Telegraph says that Clinton's rage is still so great that even loyal allies are shocked by his patronizing attitude to Obama.

In fact, a senior Democrat who worked for Mr Clinton has revealed that he recently told friends Mr Obama could "kiss my ass" in return for his support. The source said, "He's saying he's not going to reach out, that Obama has to come to him. One person told me that Bill said Obama would have to quote kiss my ass close quote, if he wants his support."

A second source said that the former president has kept his distance because he still does not believe Mr Obama can win the election.

For his part, Bill Clinton last week issued a tepid statement, through a spokesman, in which he said he "is obviously committed to doing whatever he can and is asked to do to ensure Senator Obama is the next president of the United States."

It has long been known that Mr Clinton is angry at the way his own reputation was tarnished during the primary battle when several of his comments were interpreted as racist. But his lingering fury has shocked his friends. Another source told the Telegraph: "He has been angry for a while. But everyone thought he would get over it. He hasn't."

Hillary Clinton appears to have accepted the voice of the people. She recognizes that the best chance for her party to retake the White House is to unite with Barack Obama over the next four months of campaigning. Bill Clinton appears to be tone deaf on this matter. Clinton is showing himself to be a mean and petty person ... not a world-class leader. Hopefully his wife or his daughter will help him see the light.

Right now, Clinton appears to be wrong. However, I'm hopeful that we will see more photos in the future of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama standing together. What say u?

June 28, 2008

Blog Safari #4

Here are some interesting blog posts that we came across while hunting outside of our village recently. I hope you enjoy the knowledge dropped by these enlightened blogs:

Let us know if you come across any remarkable posts that should be shared in our next Blog Safari!

June 27, 2008

Old School Friday: Jackson 5

The theme for this week's Old School Friday is 'Kid Groups'. At the end of the day, there can only be one. Every other kid group in America is simply a poor shadow of the original kid group that swept into every American home back in the early 1970s ... The Jackson 5.

Take a moment and enjoy this medley of songs from the original Jackson 5 ... Jermaine, Tito, Marlon, Jackie and Michael:

I used to watch the Saturday morning cartoon. The movie 'Willard' was my favorite for many years because of the song, Ben. My afro was long. I was a fan of The Jackson 5 for much of my youth. How about you? What is your favorite memory of this remarkable kid group?

Am I Not Human? Switch Over to Darfur

NOTE: This post should have been posted on the 27th of the month in accordance
with the Am I Not Human? blogging campaign commitment. My apologies for the late submission.

We get tied up in our day-to-day existence and sometimes don't think about others on Mother Earth. That is one of the reasons that I support the 'Am I Not Human?' campaign initiated by the brothers and sisters of the Roots of Humanity blog.

This month I want to invite all villagers to take a moment to think about the atrocities committed in Darfur ... especially as you prepare to watch the 2008 Olympics in August. Truth to tell, I invite you to tell the Olympic sponsors to help end genocide in Darfur.

After all, in a little over a month, China and the Olympic sponsors will kick off the Beijing Olympics. With your help, we can make sure the world, the sponsors, and specifically China do not forget about the people of Darfur.

I encourage you to learn about a new campaign, 'Switch Over to Darfur,' sponsored by Dream for Darfur, which will help keep the pressure on China and Olympic sponsors leading up to the Games in Beijing.

Click here to check out the new campaign and take the 'Switch Over' pledge.

Earlier this month, advocates held nationwide protests outside the offices of Olympic sponsors that have remained silent about the genocide in Darfur. These events were covered by the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, and many other media outlets. We believe that the privileges of Olympic sponsorship come with responsibilities. Sponsors are eager for access to China's consumers and have been working to enhance China's image as Olympic host. Sponsors are also associating themselves with all the positive values represented by the Games -- but not working to uphold those values.

When asked to take action for Darfur, 16 out of 19 top Olympic sponsors chose to remain silent.

On the new 'Switch Over' website, you can let the Olympic corporate sponsors know that you intend to ignore companies that ignore Darfur.

Villagers, we have brothers and sisters all over Mother Earth who ask the question, 'Am I Not Human?' Isn't it time that we answer them? What say u?

June 26, 2008

Surrogates Gone Wild * Grover Norquist

Grover Norquist went to the Geraldine Ferraro school of politics. I must admit that I never heard of Grover Norquist before today. He doesn't hang out in many of the same places as people of African descent. It turns out that Grover Norquist is a conservative activist who specializes in promoting an anti-tax agenda.

Anyhow, Norquist dropped by The Times' Washington bureau to give his negative critique of Obama's liberal stances on economic issues and other matters, he termed the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee "John Kerry with a tan."

It appears that John McCain and his surrogates are still struggling with the concept that they are getting beat-down by a person of African descent in this election cycle. Apparently it would make them feel better to think of Barack Obama as a white guy with a tan ... or as Karl Rove recently claimed, as a country club elitist leaning against the wall talking about folks.

Is this all that John McCain and his surrogates can bring to the table? Can John McCain keep the November election from becoming a blowout in favor of Obama? What say u?

June 25, 2008

Blackonomics Million Dollar Club

I shared information with villagers earlier this year about the effort to rejuvenate the Blackonomics Million Dollar Club (BMDC). In fact, I recently created a BMDC Facebook group to support this effort.

Jim Clingman is the brother that created BMDC a few years ago. He recently shared an update on BMDC at recent Bring Black Back conference. His comments are shown in the video below:

There is no cost to join BMDC. Just place your email address on the BMDC mailing list. That list is how BDMC communicates with its members.

I hope that all villagers take a moment to participate in this process. In the meantime, I would love to hear your comments on this idea. What say u?

June 24, 2008

Blog Safari #3

Here are some interesting blog posts that we came across while hunting outside of our village recently. I hope you enjoy the knowledge dropped by these enlightened blogs:

Let us know if you come across any remarkable posts that should be shared in our next Blog Safari!

June 23, 2008

Tasered Pregnant Woman Found 'Not Guilty'

We have some great new information to share with villagers on the seven-months pregnant woman tasered by police in Trotwood OH last year. A jury in western Ohio found 33-year old Valreca Redden not guilty of resisting arrest and obstruction of official business.

Trotwood police officer Michael Wilmer showed remarkably poor judgement during confrontation that last November when Redden came to the police department to see about giving up her one-year-old son. An investigative police report said Redden refused to answer questions about herself and the boy and disobeyed Wilmer's order not to leave.

The jury spent less than three hours in deliberation before telling the Trotwood police department that they were wrong. Wilmer was a probationary police officer in the Dayton suburb. He was fired the following month for unrelated reasons.

Hopefully this verdict will allow Mr. Redden to continue on the road to a blessed and positive life for herself and her children.

Manic Monday: Night

Morgen established 'Night' as the theme for Manic Monday this week. I decided to go back to my Manic Monday roots and find an afrocentric twist to the weekly word. In this case, I simply looked to one of America's best poets ... Langston Hughes. He wrote a poem called, Night Funeral in Harlem. I hope you enjoy the flow...

Night funeral
In Harlem:

Where did they get
Them two fine cars?

Insurance man, he did not pay--
His insurance lapsed the other day--
Yet they got a satin box
for his head to lay.

Night funeral
In Harlem:

Who was it sent
That wreath of flowers?

Them flowers came
from that poor boy's friends--
They'll want flowers, too,
When they meet their ends.

Night funeral
in Harlem:

Who preached that
Black boy to his grave?

Old preacher man
Preached that boy away--
Charged Five Dollars
His girl friend had to pay.

Night funeral
In Harlem:

When it was all over
And the lid shut on his head
and the organ had done played
and the last prayers been said
and six pallbearers
Carried him out for dead
And off down Lenox Avenue
That long black hearse done sped,
The street light
At his corner
Shined just like a tear--
That boy that they was mournin'
Was so dear, so dear
To them folks that brought the flowers,
To that girl who paid the preacher man--
It was all their tears that made
That poor boy's
Funeral grand.

Night funeral
In Harlem.

June 22, 2008

Electronic Village Milestone: 700 Posts!

Recently, a reporter asked me if I would be willing to go to jail as a result of my work as a blogger. My answer was 'No'. I consider my blog to be a hobby at this point. I don't consider a hobby worthy of prison time.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I realized this weekend that our Electronic Village just passed the 700-post milestone. We began on this blogging journey about 550 days ago on January 13, 2007. Can a hobby survive the 700-post milestone?

We have talked about our blogging milestones in the past:
Sometimes it is difficult to keep up this blog. Part of my problem may be that I'm now operating two other blogs, BDPA in the News and BDPA Foundation. Also, I support a number of other blogging efforts to grow the influence of Black bloggers in the afrosphere via groups like The AfroSpear and a new Facebook group.

Villagers, you honor me by taking time from your day to read our blog, either in person or via RSS feed. I suspect that our blog is reaching a point where I need to make a decision about continuing the hobby or trying to take this to the next level.

I am very interested in hearing from villagers on what they would like to see from this blog.

What would you like to see more? What would you like to see less? What were your original reasons for becoming a villager?

This is an open thread for your comments, critique and suggestions. We want to improve this blog and we need your feedback to do so. What say u?

Sunday Inspirations: Prayer for Flood-Filled Days

Prayer for Flood-filled Days
by Rabbi Paul J. Kipnes

Our God and God of our fathers and mothers,
The flood waters came, wreaking havoc upon our cities, our homes,
our rescue workers, our sense of security, And we turn to You for comfort and support.

Help us to differentiate between floods of destruction and down-pouring of Your love and comfort.

We know that waters can destroy.
In a world decimated many times before, having been submerged in waters from the Florida hurricanes, the Asian tsunami, and ... each of Biblical proportions, we remember the destructive abilities of these flood waters.

Recalling now that the world, though filled with Your Glory,
is not equal to Your flawlessness,
we strive desperately, sometimes without success,
to move beyond the impulse to blame You.
Keep us far from apocalyptic thoughts,
for we know that You ask us to care for each other,
an awesome responsibility.

We also know that we can seek You in the waters. We recall Your Loving Hand, guiding us in our infancy:

From a barren rock, You brought forth water to quench our thirst,

In the midst of a journey through the wilderness, You showed Miriam a myriad of wells which healed our parched throats, You guided us through Yam Suf, the Red Sea, moving us past destruction toward new life and new beginnings.

Through Your love, we found our way.

Be with us now, during these deluged days.

Draw us close to those harmed by these waters, hearing their
cries, responding to their needs.

Lead us to support those who will fix the cities,
care for the displaced, who bring healing to those suffering.

Though our attention spans seem so short, may we
be slow to forget those who were in danger.

Please bring a warm wind and hot sun from the heavenly realms to help dry up the flood waters.

And may we all embrace at least one lesson spoken aloud by so many who -- facing the floods -- rushed to pack up their valuables:

That memories of love and of time spent with family and friends are priceless, holy and sacred.
This can never be taken away.

As we rush to meet the challenge of living in this
imperfect world of ours, May we slow down enough to cherish those who are truly valuable -- holy -- to us.

Blessed are You, O God, who differentiates between the truly Valuable and everything else.

June 21, 2008

Road Kill T-Shirt Sells Racist Anti-Obama T-Shirts

Drumbeats from Black Political Thought showed us that racist feelings in our nation continue to run strong. Check out these racist t-shirts being sold on 'Road Kill T-Shirts' website.

Difficult to argue that racism isn't alive and well when you see folks selling t-shirts that show KKK members chasing presidential candidate Barack Obama or feature swinging nooses.

Road Kill T-Shirts tried to distance themselves from the racist t-shirts on their website. “We recently hired a freelancer to create designs and post them on our site,” wrote Mike from Road Kill T-Shirts. “We have teams of them and, unfortunately, these were put up in the last couple of days without approval. While the site can be edgy…I can guarantee you this is not the type of stuff we approve of.”

Villagers, we need to keep our eyes on the look-out for this type of racist nonsense over the next five months. When we see it ... we must call it ... and it must be stopped. That is my thought. What say u?

Mapping the Life of El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X)

I admire El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X) and the impact that he had on people of African descent. As such, I was pleased to see a Malcolm X exhibit on Second Life.

Drumbeats from Black Threads told us about the efforts of Moraine Valley Community College to analyze this autobiography in detail. The students of this community college map the life of Malcolm X, in geographic terms, based on the information provided in his autobiography.

Alex Haley’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X is at once inspirational, controversial, and historic. It is a novel that has had far-reaching success selling millions of copies and influencing Americans of all races and creeds.

This “autobiography” relates the life story of Civil Rights leader Malcolm X, who came of age in the segregated America of the 1940s and 1950s. He embraced religion while in prison and sought to free his people “by any means necessary.” By the end of his life, Malcolm X was one of the most prominent African American leaders. While on a journey to Mecca, he began to preach a more inclusive ideology that emphasized cooperation and understanding. The Autobiography of Malcolm X provides a valuable glimpse of America. More importantly, it is the story of one man rising up against oppression and learning, through his own experiences, how America might redeem itself.

Villagers have shared thoughts on the birth and death of Malcolm X in the past. I would love to hear from you again today. What is your lasting memory of El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X)?

June 20, 2008

Why Won't Robert Mugabe Get Out of the Race?

Many of us think that John McCain is simply too old to be President. Yet there is a guy much older than McCain who won't get out of the race for president in Zimbabwe. At 84, he's destroyed his country and his legacy. Why won't Mugabe get out of the race?

Charlayne Hunter-Gault wrote an excellent article on this topic over on The Root:

Zimbabwe will hold a run-off election on June 27. Presidential contender Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, insists that he and his party have already won. But Robert Mugabe, the wily leader of the ruling ZANU-PF party refused to accept the results and in time—an unprecedented long time—the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission agreed that neither presidential candidate had gotten the necessary majority to declare himself the winner. But throughout the contested campaign and prolonged announcement of the results, one question keeps coming up:

What makes Mugabe run?

Robert Gabriel Mugabe is older than John McCain. Eighty four, to be exact. His country, as well as his struggle legacy is in tatters and the era of the Big Man all across Africa is drawing to a close as new rules of the African road call for an end to the era of president for life, and a growing number of African leaders are answering the call.

Click here for the rest of the story

We don't discuss very much about Africa here in America. I am reminded of my need to rejuvenate my Alkebulan Journey blog-post series. In the meantime, I would be interested in your thoughts about what is taking place in Zimbabwe. What say u?

June 19, 2008

President Bush: Please LEAD On Darfur

We now have less than two months until the Beijing Olympic Games begin on August 8.

I urge all villagers to write a letter to President Bush asking him to lead on Darfur. The UN Security Council has just returned from its trip to Africa, where it visited the Darfur region.

During June, as President of the Security Council, the United States is in a unique position to exert its influence to ensure that the peacekeepers and civilian police authorized almost a year ago by the UN are deployed immediately.

Write to President Bush now and tell him how crucial his leadership is in urging China and other Security Council members to deploy the peacekeeping force to Darfur.

June 18, 2008

Return of Dog the Bounty Hunter is Unacceptable

The Electronic Village supports the call of the Afrosphere Action Coalition (AAC) for a 'Day of Blogging For Media Respect'.

A&E Network is the object of our collective ire as a result of their decision to bring Duane Chapman (aka 'Dog the Bounty Hunter') back on the air. Chapman had been taken off the air after his racist rantings became public knowledge.

The AAC wrote the network and its advertisers to express anger over this immoral decision to bring Chapman back on the public airwaves. We are taking a stand against Chapman's expressed racism. It is our view that Chapman has not adequately atoned for the racially derogatory intent of his words. Instead, he made claims about his motivation being benign and disparaged his son’s Black girlfriend, Monique Shinnery.

'They should pull the show completely and never air reruns or anything with Chapman ever again,' SiCap president Wayne Perry says in a press release. "A&E should wash their hands of this guy. Dog’s rant has personally disrupted my faith in people, and we will never associate any of our brands with any forum that supports racism in any way. This goes far beyond what Don Imus said on MSNBC, and they fired him immediately.”

We seek respect for people of African descent.

Daz Wilson, AAC co-coordinator, says, "The Black community won't tolerate the lack of consideration and respect we have seen from television networks, which have become increasingly insulting in their commentary; using stereotypical depictions, and allowing their spokespersons and actors to use racial slurs or refer to 'lynching' in a self-described joking manner. This unacceptable behavior seems to be shared by A&E Network, despite the fact that they and their advertisers benefit from diverse audiences and consumers."

I encourage all villagers to take a moment to call or write A&E Network and its sponsors to let them know you seek respect for people of African descent. Let them know you want A&E Network to remove Duane 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' Chapman from their airwaves.

  1. A&E Vice President of Programming - Nancy Dubuc and Rob Sharenow
  2. Travelocity - Vollmer Public Relations, Amanda Borichevsky
  3. Tylenol - Call (877) TYLENOL
  4. AT&T
  5. Red Bull Energy Drinks - Call (310) 393-4647
  6. Yellowpages.com - Call (877) 647-6278
  7. Allstate Insurance - Call (866) 908-2500
  8. LG High Definition Televisions - Call (800) 243-0000
  9. Dell - Call (800) 915-3355
  10. Nintendo - Call (425) 882-2040
  11. Subway

Kudos to the Afrosphere Action Coalition coordinators -- Daz Wilson, Yobachi Boswell and Francis Holland -- for providing leadership on this Day of Blogging for Media Justice.

I'm interested in hearing your village voice on this Chapman/A&E Network situation and this effort at online activism. What say u?

June 17, 2008

I'm Voting Republican

Share the Love Award

I am honored to accept the Share the Love Award from one of the 'Original Villagers' -- Danielle of Modern Musings.

The 'Sharing The Love' Award, was created by Blogger Crystal at “Memoirs Of A Mommy” blog, in honor of donor who saved her one month old’s life a year ago. Cyrstal’s son Noah celebrated his first birthday thanks to someone who gave the gift of life.

In Crystal’s own words, here are the rules of the Share the Love Award:

“Share this award with all those blogs out there that you love. All the people who make you smile. All those that make you laugh. All those that make your day. All those that leave uplifting comments on your blog.

**All I ask, is that you include a link to this post with the award and ask your recipients to do the same**

I created this award in
Honor Of The Donor That Saved Noah’s Life. I share this award with those of you whose love and friendship have enriched my life and made my world a better place.I hope by passing this award around the blogging world we can all help raise awareness of the need for Organ Donation.”
It is in that spirit that I share the love with…

  1. Aaron Laramore, creator of A Political Season - This young brother has a powerful and analytical mind that it lets run loose on politics as it impacts on people of African descent. His blog is not for the weak-minded.

  2. Invisible Woman, creator of Black Cinema At Large - A very creative sister with experiences, perspectives and commentary on all things related to Black folks in television and movies. I haven't quite figured out if she loves or hates Terrance Howard!

  3. Janet Shan, creator of Black Political Thought - Her political commentary and analysis is second-to-none. She uses her blog to battle the wanton violence in her native Chicago. Finally, I appreciate her recent decision to use images, photos and such in her hard-hitting blog posts!

  4. Plez Joyner, creator of plezWorld - I appreciate this brother for two main reasons. First, he made commitment to post a blog on each and every day of this year! Second, he is a committed AfroSpear volunteer that maintains the group's automated blogroll.

  5. Regina, creator of Regina's Family Seasons - Regina made an organizational decision recently that saddened me very much. However, I came to realize that her support of my blog through her comments and her consistently positive and uplifting messages on her own blog are both aspects of her that I cherish. I'm proud to be able to share this award with her.

Anyhow, I encourage all villagers to check out these five blogs. Join me in sharing some love with these talented brothers and sisters! What say u?

If You Can't Beat Him, Join Him!

June 16, 2008

Jena 6 Youth Wants to Play Football

Mychal Bell, the teen at the center of the controversial Jena Six trial, is now a Carroll High School student. He awaits a decision from the hardship committee of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, which meets in July. Bell spent 10 months in jail following the trial, and has already been in high school for eight semesters, but wants to play football in 2008. [SOURCE]

Darfur: Nationwide Day of Action on June 20

I encourage all villagers to join the Nationwide Day of Action on June 20. Please join Dream for Darfur and Save Darfur Coalition for a nationwide protest against the silence of Olympic corporate sponsors on the Darfur crisis.

To mark United Nations World Refugee Day on June 20, students, activists, and community leaders in cities across the country are gathering at the stores and headquarters of sponsors that have failed to address the Darfur genocide - despite their responsibility as stakeholders of the Olympics. Click here to attend an event in your community.

June 15, 2008

Call on A&E to Keep Dog the Bounty Hunter Off-the-Air

UPDATE: Yobachi Boswell (Afrosphere Action Coalition) gave comprehensive interview on this issue with Your Black World blog earlier this week.

Many 'villagers' recall a few months back when top-rated A&E reality show star Dog, the Bounty Hunter was caught on tape mouthing off a racial rant. Dog's real name is Duane Chapman. Anyhow, his show was pulled from A&E network.

Life was good.

Well, A&E announced recently that they are re-instating the show ... and a number of bloggers of color are upset at the lack of respect being shown to the Black community. Purple Zoe and Yobachi announced campaign to express disappointment in decision to renew television appearances by an admitted racist.

I encourage all 'villagers' to support this effort in any manner possible. What say u?

Blog Safari #2

Here are some interesting blog posts that we came across while hunting outside of our village recently. I hope you enjoy the knowledge dropped by these enlightened blogs:

If you have time or inclination, please come back and share your village voice with us about any of these safari posts...

Sunday Inspirations: Funeral Blues

Today is Father's Day. It is the first time in the past 49 years that my Dad has not been around to celebrate this day. He passed away last October.

I heard this poem today. It brought tears to my eyes as I thought of my father. I share it with you now...

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Reach out to your father whereever he might be today...

June 14, 2008

Obama Pulls Away From McCain in Early Polls

Drumbeats from LatinoPundit pointed me to NBC/WSJ polling information that clearly shows that issues Obama had with Hispanic voters in the Democratic primary do not appear to exist in the general election against John McCain.

Overall, Obama leads McCain among registered voters, 47 to 41 percent, which is outside the poll’s margin of error. Obama also leads McCain in head-to-head polling results from the following groups:
  • African Americans - 83-7 percent
  • Hispanics - 62-28
  • Clinton Democrative Primary voters - 61-19
  • Women - 52-33
  • Catholics - 47-40
  • Blue-Collar Workers - 47-42
  • Independents - 41-36
These numbers look good from where I sit. What say u?

June 13, 2008

Old School Friday: Anita Baker

The theme for this week's Ol' School Friday meme is 'Favorite Female Singer'.

The choice for me wasn't that difficult. There are a number of powerful female singers that had great songs here or there back in the day. However, there was only one that seemed to drop an album every year that got inside your body and soul ... Anita Baker!

'I Apologize'

'Body & Soul'

Anita Baker is my favorite ol' school female singer. She had lyrics. She had voice. She had those quirky, orgasmic moves when she performed live. Anita Baker was all that and a bag of chips! When I think SOUL MUSIC it is Anita's voice that enters my mind.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed the two selections above. What was your favorite Anita Baker cut from back in the day? Does anyone know if she still owns that Denny's Restaurant over by the island in Detroit?

June 12, 2008

New AfroSpear Member: Maybe It's Just Me...

The AfroSpear added a new member this week. 'Maybe It's Just Me...', created by Viktor, began in October 2007.

Viktor tells us that he will use his blog "to inform SGL, LGBT and queers of color about life and other important matters within our community; to educate and uplift our community; to present positive images of our community to the readers; and to challenge the views and stereotypes that beset our community."

'Maybe It's Just Me...' (BBR #812) is a very unique blog in the afrosphere. I encourage all villagers to take a moment to check it out!

New Website: Michelle Obama Watch

One of our favorite bloggers is Gina McCauley. She is the owner of What About Our Daughters blog. She uses her blog to combat negative portrayals of African American women.

One of the most visible African American women in today's popular culture is Michelle Obama. Gina created a new website to monitor the media as it relates to Michelle. She seeks referrals on any story that you see in the media ... positive, negative or indifferent ... about Michelle Obama.

I encourage 'villagers' to check out this new website -- Michelle Obama Watch -- and come back to let us know what you think. What say u?

June 10, 2008

Growing Influence of Black Bloggers

Did you see my AfroSpear colleagues Eddie Griffin and Field Negro interview in Chicago Tribune article on 'Black Bloggers'?

Also, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote article, 'Black Bloggers Fight to Make Voices Heard' that included insights from Gina McCauley and yours truly.

The reality is that the AfroSpear is being tapped more and more by the mainstream media as documented on the AfroSpear in the News blog.

What are your thoughts on the evolution of Black folks in the blogosphere? What say u?

June 9, 2008

Will Obama Select Gen. James Jones for Vice President?

There are a number of folks on the short list of potential running mates for Barack Obama.

Obvious choices are: Evan Bayh, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Tim Kaine, Kathleen Sebelius, Ted Strickland, Mark Waner and Jim Webb.

MSNBC reports that a new name appears to be working its way up the list ... retired Gen. James Jones, the former Marine-turned-NATO Supreme Allied Commander. Jones, a Vietnam vet born in Kansas City, MO, was a career military officer rising to one of the highest posts possible. Now retired, Jones has been appointed to independent posts by both the Democratic Congress and the Republican-run State Department.

Jones currently is the president and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy, which is an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the boards of Boeing, Chevron and Invacare, a manufacturer and distributor of medical equipment.

Selecting Jones would definitely be a break from tradition and would further cement Obama as the candidate of change moving into the general election. It may also blunt the force of McCain's strength in all matters related to the military.

Who do you see as top candidates for Obama's running mate?

June 8, 2008

Villager on Facebook

I resisted the constant pressure to join Facebook for many years. However, last month I joined Facebook as part of effort to promote the BDPA Foundation. I have been pleasantly surprised by the usefulness of this social network.

I have made connections with AfroSpear members, bloggers, high school friends, college friends, BDPA colleagues and others. However, I haven't found many relatives online yet.
Here are some Facebook groups that villagers might be interested in checking out:

  1. Afrosphere Bloggers Association - (visit ABA website)
  2. Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA)
  3. Blackonomics Million Dollar Club - (see BMDC overview)
  4. Blacks Gone Geek - (visit BGG blog)
  5. Black Women's Political Exchange - (see backstory)
  6. Call on Fox News to Fire Liz Trotta - (see weak apology from Liz Trotta)
I invite you to connect with me on Facebook. Mostly, I would be very interested to learn about your experience with Facebook? Positive? Negative? Or are you simply refusing to check out Facebook at all?

June 7, 2008

Definition of The AfroSpear

The afrosphere contains thousands of Black-owned and operated blogs. Currently, we have identified over 1,200 of them on our Black Blog Rankings. The afrosphere is growing and becoming noticed more by the media. The many different blog voices in the afrosphere share insights on business, civil rights, education, entertainment, fashion, gossip, politics, science, social commentary and so much more.
Over the past few months we have watched the growth of a small section within the afrosphere. This evolving section of the afrosphere is known as The AfroSpear.

The AfroSpear strives to be an effective advocacy voice for Black people that is heard loudly, clearly and influentially throughout the Diaspora. As the think tank for the afrosphere, the AfroSpear is a collective of Black bloggers from around the world who convene online to discuss, strategize, and develop solutions to national and international problems affecting people of the African Diaspora.
The fuel for success of The AfroSpear is the constituency of readers that stretches around the globe, many of whom are activists in their own local communities. AfroSpear bloggers provide information necessary to organize and mobilize their constituents to take action in bringing our issues to national and international attention.

The AfroSpear seeks to influence and improve the lives of Blacks politically, socially, economically, culturally, and even spiritually. As such, The AfroSpear does not discriminate on the basis of national origin, religion, gender, sexual preference, native language, ethnicity or disability. Share some love with the following roster of AfroSpear blogs:

Well, brothers and sisters ... do you have a better feel for the difference between the afrosphere and The AfroSpear now? Please take a moment to provide your thoughts on either or both group. What say u?

June 6, 2008

Old School Friday: Sade

The theme for this week's Old School Friday meme is 'Not Another Sad Love Song'. There were many ways to roll with this theme ... however, I am trying hard to discipline myself to no more than two songs per OSF! Anyhow, I thought I would try to bring you some soul that you might not find elsewhere.

Do you remember Sade? Sade is a talented sister with a unique voice. She had many remarkable songs ... here are two songs that evoke sad thoughts of both eros-love and agape-love. Relax for a moment and let her vibe flow over you...

Sade * King of Sorrow

Sade * Somebody Already Broke My Heart

June 5, 2008

Hillary Clinton Concedes Nomination (Honestly!)

My dream scenario had Hillary Clinton conceding the nomination back in February.

I was wrong.

She stuck it out through the end of the primary contests. However ... finally ... Hillary Clinton will open her eyes to the obvious ... she lost ... and she can now close down her effort to earn the keys to the White House.

She will shut things down on Saturday. Her aides indicate that she will express support (...that is Clintonese for endorse...) Barack Obama at a party unity event in Washington DC on that day.

Personally, I look for her to concede defeat, congratulate Obama and hold his hand up in the traditional victory salute. It took a ton of bricks, such as Charlie Rangel and others to get Clinton to see through her delusions of grandeur. But, in the end, it appears that commonsense will prevail.

I also like the way that Barack Obama responded in his cool, calm and collected manner about all of the speculation surrounding his vice presidential selection. He announced a 3-person search committee for a vice-presidential nominee. Carolyn Kennedy (JFK's daughter), Jim Johnson and Eric Holder (President Clinton's deputy attorney general) are both on the search committee. Obama made it clear how he plans to run his operation with data, facts and good vetting ... not with emotion, pressure and bully tactics.

Hillary Clinton moves closer to being a footnote in history. It's about time!

June 3, 2008

Can Barack Obama Become 44th President of the United States?

The Democratic primary is over. Barack Obama claimed victory tonight.

Hillary Clinton is tone-deaf. It is almost sad to watch her strategize about how to become a vice president. She thanked Obama for running ... but, did not acknowledge that he has won. However, it really doesn't matter. Hillary Clinton became a footnote to history tonight. She did better than any other woman in history. She won a lot of votes while losing the primary election. But, in the end ... she lost.

Tomorrow we can begin talking about the general election and John McCain and vice presidential candidates.

Today ... I join with other villagers as we bask in the glow of a Barack Obama victory. The past five months have been remarkable as we watched this skinny Black guy with the funny name overcome the Clinton machine.

Do you remember how you felt back in January when Obama gave his victory speech in Iowa? I sat with my mom watching this speech. We were both brought to tears as it dawned on us that he could win ... that white people could actually support a Blackman for the highest office in the land.

Do you remember how you felt when you were first introduced to his family?

Do you remember when you first heard Will-I-Am and his 'Yes We Can!' YouTube video?

Do you remember how you felt when he gave the 'More Perfect Union' speech in Philadelphia. It was remarkable to hear a public leader talk with us about race relations in a candid manner.

Do you remember how you felt when he received endorsements from Oprah Winfrey, Ted Kennedy, Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, John Edwards and others?

Now fast-forward your vision to November 2008. Can you imagine how you and your children will feel when Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States?

Care to share your thoughts and vision for Barack Obama at this very critical moment in our nation's history? What say u?

Blog Safari #1

Here are some interesting blog posts that we came across while hunting outside of our village recently. I hope you enjoy the knowledge dropped by these enlightened blogs:

After you visit these other villages I hope you'll come back and share your thoughts!