Friday, June 19, 2009
Father in Chief Barack Reflects on the Meaning of Fatherhood
Barack Obama: 'We Need Fathers To Step Up' | Parade.com
While I am not a father (yet) I can appreciate the significance of a Black man being "father in chief." Black fathers have taken a beating in the public imagination for quite a while, so it is refreshing to have a black father acting as a positive role model. I too had an absent father. So, I understand the void one feels because one grows up without a father. Thankfully, I've had wonderful, generous and generative men who have modeled for me what it means to be a caring, gentle, loving and responsible man. I hope that my life choices reflect their generosity and love and that wherever my father is in the universe, he is proud of me. I miss you dad.
From "We Need Fathers to Step Up" by Barack Obama
"In many ways, I came to understand the importance of fatherhood through its absence—both in my life and in the lives of others. I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill. We can do everything possible to provide good jobs and good schools and safe streets for our kids, but it will never be enough to fully make up the difference.
That is why we need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009
Blast from the past: Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Hope No More?
The horrifying image of six burly men surrounding a woman with their hands raised to strike as a young man lay on the ground, clarified for me the intent of the Supreme Ayatollah and his protege Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not to let any force deter them from maintaining an iron grip on the Islamic "Republic" - a moniker made all the more ironic given the results of the "election."
What we now face is the terrifying and sobering thought that no negotiations, elections, protests, or sanctions will slow this regime's advance toward acquiring nuclear weapons. A New York Times editorial stated in unequivocal terms the facts of the matter, "The elections are another potent reminder that there can be no illusions about Iran’s government and its malign intent." And that, "Iran’s centrifuges are still spinning and its nuclear program is advancing at an alarming rate." What is surprising is that given these acknowledged scientific and political facts, the editorial board concludes that "The only choice is negotiations backed by credible incentives and tough sanctions."
I so wish this were the only choice, and that it seemed to me a workable option. But, this morning I rose with historical nightmares in my mind - a grainy film of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain landing at Heston aerodrome on September 30, 1938 after his meeting with Hitler at Munich. Declaring "Peace in our time" while holding aloft the Peace Agreement between Germany and Britain. I was also struck with dread at the thought that Barack Obama might someday be associated with a failed policy of attempting to "appease" dictators determined to acquire nuclear weapons. And that, like Chamberlain, a man of reason and peace, attempting to avoid war in his time, Obama would fail to recognize the uselessness of negotiating with determined and belligerent tyrants.
It might be tenuous at best, but there is a link (beyond the obvious "appeasement" discussion) between Chamberlain's historical moment and the situation we find ourselves in today. The failure of the League of Nations to stop aggressive dictators through negotiations and sanctions led, in part, to World War II and to the creation of nuclear weapons. These same weapons, now amplified by decades of scientific research and development, are being pursued by today's dictators. If they achieve their aims and we fail to deter them with negotiations and sanctions - I shudder to imagine the conflagration that will ensue. Are we not duty bound to consider what more aggressive responses now could avoid such an all-encompassing disaster?
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Urban Food Empowerment: Bryant Terry on Diet, Nutrition and Vegan Soul
Y'all gonna love this: Citrus Collards with Raisins (Yum!)
Picking Cotton: A Memoir of Injustice and Redemption
From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com
Reviewed by Kate Tuttle
"Nearly everyone in prison protests their innocence, but Ronald Cotton was telling the truth. Cotton was just 22 when he walked into a Burlington, N.C., police station to answer rape allegations; he spent the next 11 years seeking freedom. "Put a man in a cage with beasts and throw away the key, and it's usually not long before the man is a beast himself," he writes in this unusual joint memoir, written with his accuser and now friend, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino."
Watch co-author Jennifer Thompson-Cannino on BookTV
Poor Eddie can't seem to make a hit
Eddie Murphy is a financial exec whose daughter (Yara Shahidi) gets lucrative stock tips from imaginary friends.
The once unassailable box-office king, Eddie Murphy just can't seem to make a hit these days. The title of his new flop "Imagine That" rings ironic in light of his former success. I, for one, couldn't have imagined that the same Murphy, capable of fierce and funny stand-up and now nearly classic comedies such as Boomerang, The Distinguished Gentleman, Coming to America and Trading Places could be responsible for the last couple of embarrassments. While clearly capable of powerful supporting roles such as his performance in Dreamgirls, Mr. Murphy seems incapable of determining a good script/project from a disastrous one - with unfortunate consequences for his box office success.
Jason Heck provides a brutal summation in his review for the Kansas Star, "“Imagine That” continues Eddie Murphy’s slow slide from comic superstar to a kid-friendly garbage factory who never met a script he didn’t like." Ouch.
Frank Rich rings the alarm bell over radicalization of the right - abetted by the right wing media, of course
The Obama Haters’ Silent Enablers
"The writer Camille Paglia, a political independent and confessed talk-radio fan, detected a shift toward paranoia in the air waves by mid-May. When “the tone darkens toward a rhetoric of purgation and annihilation,” she observed in Salon, “there is reason for alarm.” She cited a “joke” repeated by a Rush Limbaugh fill-in host, a talk-radio jock from Dallas of all places, about how “any U.S. soldier” who found himself with only two bullets in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Osama bin Laden would use both shots to assassinate Pelosi and then strangle Reid and bin Laden.
This homicide-saturated vituperation is endemic among mini-Limbaughs. Glenn Beck has dipped into O’Reilly’s Holocaust analogies to liken Obama’s policy on stem-cell research to the eugenics that led to “the final solution” and the quest for “a master race.” After James von Brunn’s rampage at the Holocaust museum, Beck rushed onto Fox News to describe the Obama-hating killer as a “lone gunman nutjob.” Yet in the same show Beck also said von Brunn was a symptom that “the pot in America is boiling,” as if Beck himself were not the boiling pot cheering the kettle on."
Media Matters Explores the Links between Right Wing Media and Wingnut Fringe
"While right-wing media are certainly not legally culpable for any recent attacks, they are responsible for promoting a culture of fear, paranoia, and violence that is anti-government in the extreme -- a culture in which extremists, including von Brunn and Richard Poplawski, who fatally shot three Pittsburgh police officers, were apparently immersed. Poplawski was convinced that the Obama administration was going to take away his guns. Even though no evidence of such a policy exists, right-wing commentators and news organizations made the claim repeatedly before the shooting and have continued to do so since."
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Mango - Black Icons
Africa Fashion Collective Show at Fashion Week
Arise Magazine - Fashion Issue - Gorgeous!
I covet this magazine: Check it out at http://www.arisemagazine.net/
Big Ups for featuring designers and style makers. Anyone out there want to send me a birthday subscription?
Friday, June 12, 2009
Big Fat Surprise? Hate fed by Right Wing Media
"Today, as in the early years of the Clinton administration but to an even greater extent, right-wing extremism is being systematically fed by the conservative media and political establishment."
Not surprising. The question for me is what can we do individually and collectively to push back?
Thursday, June 11, 2009
DJ Blaqstarr & Rye Rye- Shake It To The Ground
Anjulie Goes Boom
Supreme Beings of Leisure - Mirror
Robert Colescott - African American Painter - RIP
From the New York Times:
"Robert Colescott, an American figurative painter whose garishly powerful canvases lampooned racial and sexual stereotypes with rakish imagery, lurid colors and almost tangible glee, died Thursday at his home in Tucson. He was 83."
Mr. Colescott’s work anticipated the appropriation art and Neo-Expressionist painting of the 1980s. His imagery shared aspects with Pop Art, although he disdained its coolness. His improvisational approach had precedents in jazz and Abstract Expressionism. He said he wanted his surface to “squirm.”