Archive for June, 2008

The Godfather In Sports Talk and the Community Tackling Childhood Obesity

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men with tags , on June 24, 2008 by Gary Johnson

By Maggie Linton

Harold and Hattie Bell founded Kids In Trouble during the 1968 riots in Washington, DC. It became an official non-profit volunteer organization in 1986. For over 40 years the program has worked closely with school principals, administrators, parents, teachers, counselors, youth advocates and community support staff. Kids In Trouble, Inc. (KIT) is one of the most successful independent self-help organizations in America. The program has benefited thousands of inner-children. It has survived with in-kind donations from friends and quite often using money from their own pockets. They have sent kids to camp and obtained college scholarships, helped kids attend national sporting events, plus coordinated clothing and toy drives for flood victims in North Carolina. KIT has also hosted youth gang and Black History Month conferences and provided mentors and motivational speakers. These services are all a part of the program’s long and storied history.

Harold was once a kid in trouble and was “going to hell in a hurry” according to his middle school Principal William B. Stinson. He boldly predicted to Harold’s mother Mattie Bell…“Your son will not live to get out of high school.” Harold was saved by an earth angel, Spingarn High School’s legendary Coach Dave Brown and the rest is community and sports talk radio history.

In 1997 Kids In Trouble, Inc. coordinated a youth gang conference at Bible Way Church in NW Washington, DC. The conference’s host was Pastor James Silverman and co-chaired by Jim Brown (NFL) and Congressman Tom Davis (R-VA). Gang members from New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey, DC, Virginia and as far away as Los Angeles were in attendance. It was during this conference Congressman Davis was first forewarned that MS-13 was moving into his Fairfax jurisdiction. Since that warning MS-13 has become one of the most feared gangs in America.

There are 2.1 million people in jail in America, the largest inmate population in the world. Blacks make up only 12% of the American population. However 42% of American Black men between the ages of 15-29 are either in custody of the courts or are incarcerated. Many new jails are underground and many of the white wardens are millionaires, sound familiar? Minority youth are dropping out of school at twice the rate of White children. Youth gun violence is also off the charts.

The KIT toy party for needy children is the crown-jewel of the program. This year Harold and Hattie will celebrate 40 years of marriage and toy parties in November and December respectively. The toy party is the longest on going community based program in America. Their community programs have also being copied around the country by the media and pro sports teams. In the NBA it is called “The NBA CARES.”

To read the rest of Maggie’s commentary on the legendary Harold Bell and Kids In Trouble click here.

Maggie Linton is a pioneer in sports talk radio and television. She was the first woman Sports Anchor on TV in Wichita, KS, St. Louis and Washington, DC. Maggie has also worked on Network TV and in feature films. She hosts a radio talk show on XM Satellite Radio, Saturday nights at 10:00 pm on XM 169.

Photo: Harold Bell (left) and NBA Hall of Famer K.C. Jones

Living Green

Posted in Black America with tags , , on June 23, 2008 by Gary Johnson

Black Men In has partnered with Valder Beebe to help us learn more about “living green.” Many of us grew up “living green” long before it was “the thing to do,” we just didn’t know what to call it. Do you remember the fictional character Fred G. Sanford from the 70’s television series “Sanford and Son” starring Redd Foxx? Fred Sanford was ahead of his time. Think about it. Fred was the ultimate “recycler,” and more than just a junk man. If anyone had asked Fred what the initial “G” stood for in his name, he would have replied, “The ‘G’ stands for for G-R-E-E-N!

Our Living Green section also features Celebrity Green where host Valder Beebe interviews celebrities who answer the question: What does going green mean to you and how do you contribute helping save Mother Earth?

To learn more visit our Living Green sections at the below listed links:

Where celebrities answer the question: What does going green mean to you and how do you contribute helping save Mother Earth?

To learn more about “living green” click on any of the above links.

Mugabe The Dog: Despots in Revolutionaries Clothing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on June 23, 2008 by Gary Johnson

Africa has a problem. The problem is the result of colonialism but cannot be placed completely at the feet of Western Europe. Robert Mugabe, the dictator of Zimbabwe, fought the colonialist and freed the country from the deprivations of the west. He then took their place by oppressing his people in their stead. Zimbabwe, once the second strongest economy in Africa, is now a place of starvation, inflation, and military oppression.

African countries are failing to condemn Mugabe. They are doing so for numerous reasons. Some of this is because nations that surround Zimbabwe are themselves run by strong men who refuse to give up power. The main reason however is that leaders are hesitant to condemn someone who was once seen as a hero. All nations in Africa have had movements that worked to shake off colonial oppression and Mugabe was at the forefront of his, but all revolutionaries do not have the best interest of their nations at heart. Some fight because they want freedom for all and some fight for power. When a wolf hides in the clothing of a shepherd he must be driven away. Mugabe is a wolf who is destroying his country.

The world has failed Zimbabwe by refusing to take real action against him. Africans have failed Zimbabwe and this is perhaps the worst part of the situation. Africans are the only people who can change Africa. The west cannot fix the spiritual malady that has caused men like Mugabe to hold onto power until they become octogenarians. Until recently, Mugabe was still treated as a man of respect by African leaders who knew better. If Africa is to become a continent of significance, it will require African people to require hire standards of their leaders and of themselves.

Brandon Whitney is the creator of a blog that focuses on issues that affect the African American community. He is also a frequent guest on News and Notes’ Blogger Roundtable. Brandon has political experience as an Outreach Director for the Democratic party and is passionate about being a positive force in his community regarding African American issues. He is also a frequent guest on News and Notes’ Blogger Roundtable. You can read more of Brandon’s work at Homeland Colors.

“Clean Mic: Laughing Until It Hurts” by Will Gorham

Posted in Black Interests, Comedy with tags , , , on June 20, 2008 by Gary Johnson


Have you ever thought a ethnic joke went a bit too far in a comedy club and found yourself looking around to see if you were the only one embarrassed? The explosion of comedy as a form of entertainment in today’s quick paced, Internet savvy world has opened doors for many comedians. It has also perpetuated stereotypes beyond back room parlors and locker rooms.

Cean Mic is an entertaining, thought provoking journey into the realities facing ethnic comedians performing in American comedy clubs. This funny, behind the scenes portrait reveals the complexities of performing for a 24 hour, entertainment hungry society which often encourages stereotypes in stand up comedy.

The film follows Washington, DC and New York City comedians as they attempt to perform clean comedy in an unclean world. Saturday Night Live veteran Dean Edwards and Don Imus Co-host Karith Foster keep the jokes coming with their non-traditional take on Urban Comedy.

Social comedy icons Dick Gregory and Paul Mooney reflect on their own personal observations and experiences in stand up comedy. They also discuss the influence of negative Hollywood stereotypes and its effect on legendary ethnic comedians from Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor to the more recent recent Dave Chappelle phenomenon.

This is the movie trailer for the highly anticipated “no hold-barred” stand up comedy documentary starring Dick Gregory, Paul Mooney, Saturday Night Live alum Dean Edwards and Don Imus co-host Karith Foster. Mooney and Gregory discuss stereotypes in comedy, Hollywood and much more.

Send an e-mail to to register for the “Clean Mic” Festival and College ScreeningPaul Mooney, Dick Gregory and Franklin Ajaye Comedy Concert scheduled for September 19, 2008 in Washington, D.C. updates and information on the

The Bridge: Hillary’s Racism and Misandry Won’t Be Missed

Posted in Barack Obama, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , , , on June 19, 2008 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Now that Barack Obama is the Democratic Presidential Nominee and all the dust is starting to settle in the Democratic Party, people will be taking some deep breaths and refocusing the race.

Some people will miss the daily blow-by-blow between Hillary Clinton and Obama. Some will miss the hopefulness of Hillary’s charge to be the first female president. And, still others will miss the shock value of the extent to which Hillary was willing to go to win.

However, there are a few things that I won’t miss about the primary campaign.

I won’t miss the accusations of “hatred of all women” lodged against people who simply do not like Hillary. The accusers charged the nation with hating women vicariously through Hillary Clinton’s failure to reach the White House. It is sad and silly to take the dislike of Clinton and give it universal application.

But that has been a staple of Clinton’s campaign, which is why young, hopeful women of all colors and men who think independently rejected her.

Typically, many people dislike Hillary because she is note very likeable, not because they hate women. The “hate women” rhetoric is wrong, ignorant and silly.

I won’t miss the irrational support for a woman because she is a woman, even though she is unable to beat John McCain. And I won’t miss the backward logic of Clintonites, who are fine with such irrational support for a woman, but opposed to the same irrational support for a Black candidate.

I won’t miss the whining of women who believe that Clinton was denied the White House because women are hated. They are blind not to recognize the throngs of women who support Obama, unless they believe those women also hate women.

I won’t miss Hillary playing the gender card, even shedding crocodile tears over her alleged mistreatment. I wonder where those tears were when her husband’s cheating was played out on the world stage.

I won’t miss Clinton playing the “white woman in distress card,” with those same tears and hints of being attacked by a Black man.

Personally, I resent Clinton because her camp played the race card in addition to the gender card. I won’t miss the racist remarks from her camp, including the ones from their resident slave Bob Johnson, who dances quite well to prove to Ol’ Massah that he “ain’t lak dem udder darkies.”

They should have realized that Barack Obama is not Jesse Jackson, the clown pimp of poverty who fancied himself the eternal “Go-to” man for all things Black. Obama couldn’t be dismissed as a token candidate because he is just as qualified as Clinton. And, contrary to political rhetoric, Obama, as the Black son of a single white mother, represents more Americans than does the rich, white, privileged Hillary Clinton.

Clinging to a campaign that had been dying for months, I wonder if Hillary would have gone to such great, futile lengths to hold on if she were being trounced by a white man.

I won’t miss the duplicity of Hillary and her feminist supporters who wanted to simultaneously claim that women are hated, yet, also claim her time as the First Lady as “experience” in order to trump Obama.

I won’t miss the throngs of over the hill, angry women who were vesting hope in Hillary for all the failed hopes and dreams of their lives. The nation can not pay for dreams that were deferred and consequently, died, because some of those dreams could only come true to the detriment of men.

I’m not talking about dreams of equality for women in society, I’m talking about dreams of marriage and happiness for women who chose careers over relationships and personal goals over motherhood. Personal choices that found many of them over 40 and alone, blaming men for “an inability to commit,” or “being intimidated by strong women,” when, really these women failed to commit when they were young and began to confuse intimidation with disinterest.

The decrease in marriage is not representative of any hatred of women, but of a far more complicated cocktail of societal shifts as well as the growing fear of negative results in divorce for men.

If America hated women so much, the court system would not be so heavily tilted towards mothers in child support and custody cases, or towards wives in divorce/alimony and palimony cases.

Certainly now that Clinton has finished tarnishing the Democratic party as well as the Democratic process, many of her blind supporters may come to realize the destruction done in the name of electing the first woman president.

The only thing that would have been different in a Hillary Clinton White House is the raising of a feminist flag, which wouldn’t be a bad thing if she were really about the empowerment of all women.

Frankly, I don’t think Hillary cares about women of color, or even white women, just women of Hillary, which may or may not include Chelsea. I don’t think she cares about some woman who works at Wal-Mart in Iowa being called a bitch.

Which brings me to this point: Calling someone a bitch is not the same as calling someone a Nigger, as has been asserted by some women who attempted to paint Hillary as “oppressed.”

Personally, I am repulsed by the inane comparisons of alleged sexism to real life racism.

Sorry, feminists, but there is an historical attachment of savage violence, inhumane treatment and enslavement to racism that makes sexism in this nation pale by comparison. America has mistreated no other group as horribly, and no group should make comparisons, unless they are Black women who were mistreated mostly because of being Black.

I won’t miss the misandry demonstrated by women who supported Hillary simply because she is a woman, based on what her election portended for women, not for all Americans.

In many of their words and actions, they are actually demonstrating hatred of men.

Using their own logic, we must assume that they hate men if they assert their potential achievements as women over any potential achievements of their husbands, their sons, their brothers or their fathers.

And, when it comes to my own people, I have long since called it a grave mistake for Black women to begin asserting their status as women above their status as Black people as though sexism could somehow be separated from racism and classism.

For that position, I have been repeatedly rewarded with accusations of hating Black women, which is never accompanied by any sound reasoning or proof from the ignorant and vile feminists who make the accusations.

And how could I hate Black women when my mother raised me with love? When I have two sisters who also loved me? When I have never done anything to hold a woman back or harm a woman?

My defense is starkly divergent from the racist who claims to have Black friends. I can repel charges of sexism because I came from a Black woman, and was raised in an environment without gender issues.

I can repel those charges because I was also raised with a working brain, functioning emotions and critical thinking.

With my critical thinking and world view, I realize that Hillary Clinton and her supporters are the real haters. They hate men and many men hate them right back.

There is no doubt that some of the men who hate Hillary may also hate women. But the two groups are not mutually inclusive.

I don’t hate Hillary because she’s a woman.

I dislike her because she has revealed herself to be disingenuous, less than a good person and less than scrupulous. I dislike her because she is a radical feminist, a covert racist and frankly, not a solid presidential candidate.

I won’t miss her when she’s gone.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the forthcoming powerful anthology “Notes From The Edge.” Discounted Autographed and Numbered Pre-Release copies can be ordered at He released his first mini-movie, “Crack,” and this year, will release his first full-length documentary. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at

Does Obama Have A Muslim Dilemma?

Posted in Barack Obama, Black Interests, Politics with tags , , on June 19, 2008 by Gary Johnson

By Gary A. Johnson

The posted an interesting article by Ben Smith on June 18th about two Muslim women who were barred by two Obama campaign volunteers from sitting behind the podium to prevent the women’s headscarves also known as hijabs from being seen on television. Is this a big deal? If so, how big a deal is this?

The Obama campaign reportedly apologized to the women, who said they felt betrayed by their treatment at the rally. Every campaign has advanced staffers who select the people who will be seen behind the candidate for the best photo opportunity to be beamed around the world. Staffers look for the correct balance of diversity to convey what the want to convey when they want to convey it. As a side note, the Obama rally was in Detroit, Michigan, which probably has the largest concentration of Arab and Muslim Americans in the country.

In this politically correct climate and given all of the myths surrounding Barack Obama and his patriotism, barring the women from the podium was not the right thing to do, but as comedian Chris Rock said in one of his comedy routines, (and I’m paraphrasing) “It ain’t right, but I understand.”

Can you imagine what the Internet and evening news headlines would have been if two women dressed in Islamic-looking headscarves were behind Barack Obama? Oh my goodness! Conservative talks show hosts, bloggers and racists would have said, “See, he is a radical Muslim terrorist!”

“This is of course not the policy of the campaign. It is offensive and counter to Obama’s commitment to bring Americans together and simply not the kind of campaign we run,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “We sincerely apologize for the behavior of these volunteers.”

Some Muslims are irritated with Obama, the self-proclaimed candidate of change. They believe that he is sending a message that being associated with Muslims in any way is a negative. This is not fair and I wish this wasn’t the case, but from a political standpoint, for him being associated with Arabs or Muslims is not in his best interest in getting elected President of the United States of America.

An Obama aide also noted that the campaign has no policy against the candidate’s appearing with women in headscarves. What do you think? Should the Obama campaign have barred the two women from sitting behind the podium? Why or why not?

Gary Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In Blog. Gary is also the author of the new book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.”

30 Black Fathers Who Paved The Way

Posted in Black America, Black Men with tags , on June 13, 2008 by Gary Johnson

The Daily Voice has a great feature called 30 Black Fathers Who Paved The Way.” Click here to check out this great feature.

Hard Times for Evander Holyfield

Posted in Black Interests, Black Men with tags , on June 7, 2008 by Gary Johnson

Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield says he’s not broke. According to media reports he has grossed over $248 million in his career as a boxer. During one six-fight stretch (1996-99), he earned $107 million.

What happens to that kind of money? We’ll let’s take a quick look.

His 54,000 sq. ft. home that sits on 235 acres of land is in foreclosure. One of the biggest homes in the Southeast, it boasts 109 rooms, including 11 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, a bowling alley, Olympic-size pool and a stable stocked with a half-dozen horses. The house is reportedly worth $10 million and is scheduled to be auctioned next month.

His child support payments for his 11 children are reportedly $500,000 a year. One ex-wife is complaining publicly that the former champ has missed two payments. At 45 years of age and having had three marriages, Holyfield told the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper, “I’m not broke — I’m just not liquid.”

The former champ has had success inside the boxing ring. The same cannot be said for his experience outside of the ring, especially with his business deals. Holyfield business interests, include his management company (Holyfield Management, Inc.), his clothing company (Warrior Properties), his record company (Real Deal Records), and the failed cable TV network (MBC) with co-owner, famed attorney Willie Gary.

Michelle Obama: The “Fist Bump” That Rocked The World

Posted in Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Gary A. Johnson with tags , , , on June 6, 2008 by Gary Johnson

The date was June 3, 2008. The place was St. Paul, MN. The mainstream media are still all a buzz about the now famous Michelle Obama “fist bump” also known as a “fist pound.” Hey America, this is nothing new in the black community.  C’mon in.  This Is How We Do It!

When I saw Michelle give Barack some “dap” (dignity and pride) I had to take a double take.  I loved it! This certainly appears to be a true loving and supporting relationship.

Barack Obama told NBC News correspondent Brian Williams that the fist pound “captured what I love about my wife — there’s an irreverence about her and sense that for all the hoopla, that I’m her husband and sometimes we’ll do silly things.”

Make no mistake, Michelle and Barack are changing some aspects of today’s popular culture. Watch and see how many other folks start “dapping” and “pounding” after watching that magic moment.  You don’t believe me?  TIME Magazine has a feature called “A Brief History of the Fist Bump.”

What do you think of Michelle Obama’s fist bump?

Gary Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In, a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In Blog. Gary is also the author of the new book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.”

History Is Made: Barack Obama Becomes First Black Presidential Nominee

Posted in Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Gary A. Johnson, Politics with tags , on June 3, 2008 by Gary Johnson

By Gary A. Johnson

In a world dominated by European power, Sen. Barack Obama, the first black candidate ever nominated by a major political party for the nation’s highest office claimed the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday night after he won a majority of delegates to the party’s convention.

Barack Obama spoke to a thunderous crowd of approximately 18,000 supporters. It was truly a historical moment. Watching Obama speak was mesmerizing. He spoke with passion and toward the end of his speech he had the cadence of a baptist preacher that further added to his oratory skills. This country has not had a national political speaker like this man in at least two decades and that includes Bill Clinton.

His opponent, Sen. Hillary Clinton says she’s “open” to being Vice President. The democratic party needs her support and Sen. Obama needs her enthusiastic support to win the presidency. I don’t think it is in Sen. Obama’s best interest to have Sen. Clinton as a Vice President.

Despite her public pronouncement of being “open” to the Vice Presidency, I don’t think she wants the job. The job has no constitutional power and authority. Sen. Clinton and her husband Bill are about power. Trust me, she doesn’t want a job where any real authority will have to come from President Obama.

Sen. Clinton was very gracious Tuesday night after her primary victory in South Dakota. She is a tough competitor and seeing Barack Obama clinch the Democratic nomination must be a bitter pill to swallow. Her victories are too little too late. She started as the front-runner and ran a campaign with a sense of entitlement and strategic blunders along the way that cost her the Democratic nomination. Although she conceded the nomination to Obama, as I watched her speak, it was clear to me that this was a difficult speech to make.

In her speech, Sen. Clinton left the door open. She invited her supporters to visit her web site and share their opinions for what she should do. Does this lack of action bring the Democratic party closer? Which brings me to my next issue–TRUST!

Hillary Clinton as Vice President will include Bill Clinton and that’s too much for one President to manage. Can Hillary Clinton be trusted? Look at her track record and determine for yourself.

Barack Obama has a huge challenge of healing the Democratic party as well as bring Hillary Clinton supporters to be “players” in an Obama presidential campaign and introducing more aspects of himself to segments of the American people to close the gap. Obama represents new hopes and dreams that we can have a different kind of society for America and set an example for the rest of the world.

Barack Obama is a shining example of what we’ve come to know as the American dream. Now he must raise his game and prepare for a tough campaign as he seeks to change his home address to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC.

Gary Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In Blog. Gary is also the author of the new book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.”

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