Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Barack Goes to College

I love these photos of Barack Obama in college on the Time magazine site. Clearly charismatic even then.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Lisa P. Jackson and the Greening of Black America

Given the long history of environmental injustice suffered by people of color it is interesting that it has taken so long for Black people to emerge as political leaders on the environmental issue. I could be wrong about this, but there seems to be a new public awareness of environmental and greening issues as they relate to people of color. Indication of this to me was the announcement this week that President-elect Obama will select Lisa P. Jackson as the new head of the EPA. So, I thought I'd post a couple of videos of leading African American activists in health, food, and environmental justice. Earlier this month I threw up a post on urban environmental activist Majorca Carter. But, there are others of note, Van Jones of course; brotha Will Allen, and Lisa Jackson. The African American Environmentalist Association's blog is an excellent source for news on the greening of Black America. There are many more working in this area. I would appreciate comments that reveal others people of color working on green issues.

Dr. Robert Bullard

Dr. Robert D. Bullard, the Ware Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. Known as the "Father of Environmental Justice." In this presentation from UC Santa Barbara, Bullard takes a look at the connection between human rights and the politics of pollution. Go to about 9:35 into the video to hear him get into the meat of the discussion of Environmental Justice.

Will Allen

Will Allen is an urban farmer who is transforming the cultivation, production, and delivery of healthy foods to underserved, urban populations. In 1995, while assisting neighborhood children with a gardening project, Allen began developing the farming methods and educational programs that are now the hallmark of the non-profit organization Growing Power, which he directs and co-founded.

Van Jones

In 1996, Van co-founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which advocates for juvenile justice reform, police reform, youth violence prevention and green-collar jobs. The Center's "Books Not Bars" campaign has successfully blocked construction of a super-jail for youth, closed two abusive youth prisons and helped to reduce California's youth prison population by 30 percent.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Van co-founded Color Of Change. Boasting 400,000 members, Color of Change has become the nation's biggest online advocacy organization that focuses on African-American issues.

Van is also a co-founder of a new national coalition that promotes the idea of a national "Clean Energy Jobs Corps." This multi-billion-dollar federal initiative would put hundreds of thousands of people to work rewiring and retrofitting the energy infrastructure of the United States.

Additionally, Van is a founding board member of the National Apollo Alliance and 1Sky, two national organizations promoting clean energy jobs and climate solutions.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Badu: Honey

Friday, December 05, 2008


What I would do in NY next Tuesday, December 9th pt 2.

I would check out Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's new film Sexe, Gombo et Beurre Sale (Sex, Okra and Salted Butter) at Symphony Place.

The comedy, tells the story of Hortense, a 40-year old nurse from the Ivory Coast, who leaves her family for her lover, Jean-Paul, an oyster farmer.

The jilted husband Malik, a macho and a very traditional man, then sees his whole world turn upside down as he discovers that his oldest son is gay.

The arrival of beautiful Amina, the lonely neighbor, and of Malik’s sisters in law from Adidjan, provokes quite a few surprising turns.

Sex, Okra and Salted Butter
Sexe, Gombo et Beurre Sale
Tuesday, December 9 @ 1:30 pm
Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street
New York, NY 10025-6990

A trailer for Haroun's award-winning film Daratt


What I would do in NY next Tuesday, December 9th

Books & Authors: Sound Unbound
With Author paul b. miller aka DJ Spooky
Tuesday, December 9 @ 7 pm

Studio Museum in Harlem
144 West 125th Street
New York, NY 10027

Spooky Paul Miller will present his new book Sound Unbound just out on MIT Press. BOOM!

Spook is apparently going to expound on the notion of the remix "how music, art and literature have blurred the lines between what an artist can do and what a composer can create." Hmmm


Our Living Laureate Imagines America: Toni Morrison Discusses her new novel

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Sci-Fi Siren: Janelle Monáe Escapes To The Future

Ms. Monáe has an extraordinary imagination and stage presence. I caught her on tour in Minneapolis with that soulful brit singer Jamie Lidell.


The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


The Sea is So Wide and My Boat is So Small: Marian Wright Edelman on the plight of today's children

A seemingly tireless advocate for the rights of children carries on...thank Goddess. Her new book is an epistolary meditation on the current plight of the little ones that should be heeded and studied.

check her out on the ultra-geeky BOoktV!...YO! in coversation w/ Geoffrey Canada, the President and CEO of the Harlem's Children Zone.

Hear her in conversation with Geoffrey Canada: Click Here


Tina Turner, Kicking and Screaming Her Way Around the World, at 69

While the NY Times reported today that we'd lost the legendary Odetta, it also reviewed the Madison Square Garden appearance of Tina Turner. Tina, now on her upmteenth world tour, apparently screamed and kicked her way through a razzle dazzle show while coming off as an extraordinary human being....Wow! That the near septuagenarian still rocks at all is hope for me - who, at forty, and flu-ish, feels a bit closer today to the kind of rock that doesn't roll at all.

Gotta lover her.
From the NY Times:
"On solid ground in high heels, she was a ferocious, shaky blur.

When Ms. Turner did her farmerlike dance — palpitating with slightly bent knees, kicking out one lower leg and then the other as she grimaced and smiled at once — that was a kind of music too, and it was her gift to you."

Tina Turner Proud Mary Live 2008


Odetta, Legendary Singer, Dies at 77

from the NY Times:
"Odetta, the singer whose deep voice wove together the strongest songs of American folk music and the civil rights movement, died on Tuesday at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. She was 77. She sang at coffeehouses and at Carnegie Hall, made highly influential recordings of blues and ballads, and became one of the most widely known folk-music artists of the 1950s and ’60s. She was a formative influence on dozens of artists, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Janis Joplin."

She sings with the great ancestors now. Bless her soul.

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