Archive for November, 2011

The Faces Of The Missing

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men with tags , on November 29, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Black Men In Staff

Black Men In supports the mission of Black and Missing Foundation, Inc (BAM FI).  The organization has been established as a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring awareness to missing persons of color; provide vital resources and tools to missing person’s families and friends and to educate the minority community on personal safety.

Founded in 2008 by a veteran law-enforcement official and public relations specialist, BAM FI will create public awareness campaigns for public safety and provide parents and loved ones of missing persons with a forum for spreading the word of their disappearance, with pictures and profiles of missing individuals. BAM FI will use a variety of media, including print, television, and the internet, to help locate missing persons of color for this severely underserved population.

BAM FI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Please watch the following video and learn more about the faces of the missing.

For additional information, please visit

Has The “Cain Train” Jumped The Tracks?

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Politics with tags , , on November 29, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Black Men In Staff

Two months ago the Herman “Cain Train” was like a political roller coaster gaining momentum for his race to the White House.  Cain was at the top of the polls and one of the top Republican presidential candidates.  Cain also had strong support from the Tea Party movement.  That was then.

Over the past 4 weeks, Herman Cain has had to defend himself against allegations of sexual harassment and having a 13-year extramarital affair.  Not to mention trying to manage a strained relationship with some members of the black community.

Many black voters took issue with Cain because he publicly rejects institutional racism as a major issue for black people and they believed he was being used by the GOP to garner black votes for the Republican party.

Yesterday Herman Cain appeared with Wolf Blitzer on CNN to preempt the accusations of a 13-year extramarital affair with Ginger White and dismiss them as false.  Cain admitted that he knew Ms. White, referred to her as an acquaintance and claimed he was trying to help her financially.  When asked directly  whether he had had sex or an affair with the woman, Cain responded unequivocally, “No.”

In a videotaped interview with an Atlanta TV FOX affiliate, White says of the affiair, “It was pretty simple.”  “It wasn’t complicated. I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship.”

One day after the affair allegations became public, Herman Cain’s chief of staff Mark Block confirmed to ABC News that the candidate told his senior staff this morning he’s reassessing whether to stay in the race.

Cain’s deputy campaign manager, Linda Hansen, told ABC News that on November 29, 2011, “Mr. Cain told staff simply that, just as every time significant events occur, a reassessment is prudent.”

“A good businessman looks at the entire landscape before making decisions,” Hansen said. “He is, and has been, committed to promoting the issues and solutions that will make this nation stronger.  Nothing about that has changed.”

Is the Herman Cain run for presidency over?

What do you think?

10 Wealthiest Black People in the World

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Money/Economics with tags , , , , , , on November 29, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Natalie Dawson

Billionaires and millionaires aren’t always white or oil barons.  African Americans can also throw down when it comes to wealth.  To prove it, we have listed ten of the wealthiest black people in the world below listed by current estimated worth.

  1. Aliko Dangote – Never heard of him?  Most Americans haven’t.  He is a businessman based in Nigeria and head man for The Dangote Group, which was founded in 1977 as a small firm.  Since then, it has substantially grown and earned Dangote himself an estimated worth of $13.8 billion.
  2. Mike Adenuga – He runs Conoil Producing, the first Nigerian company to strike oil in significant quantities during the early 1990s.  He is also the owner of the second largest mobile company in the country.  A true success story, he made his first million at age 26 by selling lace and soft drinks and is now worth $4.3 billion.
  3. Patrice Tlhopane Motsepe – He is another African and another billionaire.  His company is called African Rainbow Minerals and deals in gold, platinum, and other precious metals.  From South Africa, he was born royalty and became the first black partner in a local law firm in 1994.  His estimated worth is $3.28 billion.
  4. Oprah Winfrey – Her own show and now her own network took this small town reporter’s dreams to places girls of her generation never thought they could go.  By investing in herself and her own show, Oprah was able to create a wealth of $2.7 billion.
  5. Michael Jackson – His estimated worth is sketchy.  Although he made hundreds of millions of dollars from album sales alone, Jackson had a notorious spending habit that was also in the hundreds of millions.  However, he did purchase the rights to many Beatles songs, which are estimated to be worth between $500 million and one billion.  After his death, sales of his own music also spiked into the hundreds of millions.
  6. Jim Ovia – His nickname is “the godfather of Nigerian banking.”  He founded the Zenith Banking Group in 1990, and it became one of the largest financial services provider on the continent.  He also founded a mobile company and is estimated to be worth $775 million.
  7. Robert Johnson – If not for the recession, he would be higher on the list with over one billion dollars in net worth.  However, the founder of the BET network still enjoys a net worth of $550 million.
  8. Michael Jordan – The “air man” is most known for being one of the best players in NBA history.  It also didn’t hurt that his brand of clothing and especially shoes are still a top seller.  Between the endorsements, investments, and more, he is worth $525 million.
  9. Tiger Woods – As with Robert Johnson, if it wasn’t for his divorce and lost proceeds from a scandal, he would be farther up the list.  However, with an annual salary of $85 million, golfing legend Tiger Woods is still worth $500 million and is the youngest person on the list.
  10. Bill Cosby – Proving that you can make money by telling a simple, family oriented story is the legendary Bill Cosby.  Critics believed his show wouldn’t make it past year one when the comedian debuted it in 1984.  Over 25 years later, he is worth $450 million and rising.

Natalie Dawson owns the site Masters Degree. She enjoys writing articles about everything in the education field.

Cain Says He Will Be The GOP Nominee Because He Can Deliver The Black Vote

Posted in Barack Obama, Black America, Black Men, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags , , , on November 25, 2011 by Gary Johnson

Cain is trying to make inroads in Iowa with a new campaign mailer. (Jim Cole – AP)

Herman Cain claimed he will be the last man standing at the end of the campaign because he can deliver the black vote. Yep, you read that correctly.  The former “Big Baller and Shot Caller” of Godfather’s Pizza made that case to Iowans earlier this week.

According to the Des Moines Register, the Cain campaign circulated a mailer that argues that he “will be the 2012 GOP nominee because he’s a descendant of slaves who can garner a large share of the black vote, he didn’t inherit a dime, he has traveled the globe for years, and he’s a believer in Jesus Christ.”

In the mailer Cain says, “I can lead the Republican party to victory by garnering a large share of the black vote, something that has not been done since Dwight Eisenhower garnered 41 percent of the black vote in 1956.”

Cain and his campaign have tried to make the comparison in a number of creative ways that he is the “real” black man in the race.  What is Herman Cain’s connection with the black community?  What does the public record show?

  • Cain said entitlements given to black don’t help the black community
  • Cain says that welfare is statistically like a disease that is passed from generation to generation, that it promotes single mothers, that it promotes a culture of helplessness and government dependency
  • Cain contends that racism no longer hinders the progress of black individuals who are willing to work and pay a price for success
  • Cain has been quoted as saying, “Many African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view. I have received some of that vitriol simply because I am running for the nomination as a conservative.”

Some say Herman Cain is delusional.  Others say he is being used by his own party.  And yet, there are some who believe he can win the race for The White House!

So what do you think?  Can Herman Cain deliver the black vote to the GOP and win the 2012 Presidential election?


Posted in Black Interests, Black Men, Ramey Commentaries with tags , , on November 25, 2011 by Gary Johnson



In the fall of 2011, it was reported that a one well-to-do school corporation were the target of a police investigation. The police had discovered that a school-based gang was busily recruiting members for a larger, local gang.

Both gangs were involved in burglaries, car break-ins and other thefts.

Of course, parents were the last to know about the police probe.

The existence of school-based gangs may be new to parents, but they continue to grow rapidly. The cops know that they are there. Schools officials know that they are there. The students know that they are there–and eagerly join AND participate.

The ONLY people who seem to be left out of the loop…are parents.

In far too many cases; what’s done IN the school house, STAYS in the school house. Once more, the taxpayer is being asked to ‘foot the bill’ for those school officials who maintain the mantra that ‘all is well’.


Back in the mid-2000s, federal authorities estimated that there were some 800,000 gang members in America. In 2009 the number swelled to slightly more than 1 million. Now, a scant two years later, federal authorities issued a new study, reporting that there are some 1.5 million gang members in the USA. Two things clearly seen; 1) The programs which have been touted to fight gang activity since 2002 have NOT been working, and; 2) Our public schools are turning out to be safe havens for gang activity.

Forget the fake social flags about school house bullying and poor self-esteem. Gangs–and their recruiters–are on the march, leaving teachers, students, and administrators either caught in the grip of deliberate ignorance…or willful silence. The ‘basic’ attitude of many school officials, in my view? “Gangs are not a school problem until ‘good students’ get hurt, or, the children of school employees (often enrolled in so-called ‘better schools’) become gang targets.”

Parents are not the only ones left on the outside. Many local churches–some of them great helpers of public schools–are being left behind. The subject of religion has become blurred in the school house to administrators, but not to gang members. While Christian students who bring their Bibles to school or have prayer over their lunches are held to be troublemakers by some schools, many Modern Street Gangs have adopted a religi-criminal mode of communications. Students ‘rep’ their favorite gangs with relative ease–and scant comment–by wearing gang symbols appearing to be harmless religious icons such as crosses, crucifixes and prayer beads in plain sight on school grounds.


Those who follow the teen scene are familiar with ‘the hoodie’; an article of street wear. Little more than a sweatshirt topped off with a hood, it has become useful in masking the identity of gang members–or others. They started to ‘catch on’ in the early 2000s as teens had adopted them as ‘the’ main choice of street wear. More than a few school corporations around the country banned hoodies as being “…disruptive to the education process…”. Many of these same school corporations later backtracked on their bans. Why? Simple economics and internal pressure.

Athletic departments and PE teachers saw hoodies as a means of; 1) keeping their student athletes warm with an article of low-priced clothing, and; 2) having something that student athletes could use to inspire ‘school pride’ via incorporation of the school athletic logo. The ‘use’ of the hoodie eventually slipped into the schools via student athletes–even though it was officially ‘banned’ by school administrators. Soon hoodies started to turn up in a variety of school colors courtesy of eager vendors. Thus, a clear item of street culture–which was officially banned–was quietly ushered into the school house because officials saw it as an economic fix. The hoodie could be ‘useful’ IF students bought them FROM vendors of the school districts’ choice!


Let me state this again. What was once ‘banned’ was ‘unbanned’ because it became a ready revenue source for the schools. Of course, gang members and recruiters were overjoyed. They could ‘rep’ their gang in trendy school colors and be LEGAL.

Public schools have not always been overtly ‘money hungry’. Tax revenue provided by the public ‘used’ to be enough to satisfy many school corporations. Many schools lived within their means. It seemed rare to hear that school budgets ran tight. It seemed even more rare for schools to go to the voters and request more tax revenue.

This has changed. Over the last ten years or so, school corporations have gotten greedy. Every new innovation; every new consultant’s dream just had to be ‘inserted’ into the classroom. In the mind of ‘professional educators’, the ends may not jive with the means…as long as we can count on using public money to pay for it. Furthermore, school corporations could ‘double dip’ by insisting that parents provide ‘extra’ items for schools, as in parents needed to ‘provide’ two reams of copy paper per each of their students for each semester.

When do parents see ‘cash back’ from schools? Hardly ever. Should schools ‘save’ money on an innovation, the public never seems to get a refund.

Remember the ‘Channel One’ innovation from back in the nineties? Local school corporations were to receive ‘free’ televisions and video equipment ‘in exchange for’ five to seven minutes a day access to students ‘before’ they began their studies. Before the Channel One experiment, students were limited to the outside television influences they could receive during the school day. After Channel One arrived, it seemed that schools–especially at the secondary level–couldn’t live without the use of the television in the classroom.

Let’s fast forward a few years. Now we have name brand vending & snack machines placed in many schools; name brand franchises being allowed to provide their foods in the lunch line (or have a mini-restaurant on the school campus), endless PTA/PTU fundraising drives, and students drilled to compete as young pitchmen in order to ‘win prizes’ for themselves and their schools.

These days, the 3 Rs may be interpreted: ‘Raise Revenue Regularly’.


During my tenure as a probation officer, one certain word was kept in the forefront of every case heard by the juvenile court. That word was ‘confidentiality’. There were internal rules and external rules of confidentiality existed to protect the rights of those on probation. In short, while a juvenile had committed a very real crime, they were still held to be a juvenile. They–and their parents–were entitled to having their cases kept confidential; information was not to be released to the general public. Because of the uplifting of the hip-hop/criminal ‘gangsta’ lifestyle in society, many teens have opted to ‘brag’ about their being on probation to their friends, teachers and schools. The reason for the bragging is two fold: 1) To impress their friends, and; 2) To attempt to intimidate their teachers and school staff.

Some school corporations–in co-operation with their local juvenile courts–have tried to bring back some confidentiality standards by allowing for the placement of probation officers in the school setting. Unfortunately, this innovation didn’t last. School-based probation officers soon became bogged down in the school house machinery they were sent to be above. Many of them have been used by schools as extra baby sitters or social workers for all students of their respective school, leaving them of little use to their own clients or courts.


The bottom line for parents? In keeping your OWN teens and children safe, it is up to YOU to educate yourself as to gang activity in your school. Remember the saying: “What’s done in Vegas, stays in Vegas?” Your local school house has the same, basic attitude towards the safety of your children. While there is a never ending shortage of programs for the prevention of bullying to teaching the joys of homosexuality and lesbianism, basic training programs for administrators and teachers to learn how to spot and stop gang activity are often ignored–even though they are plentiful.

The safety of your children rests with Y-O-U!

Schools operate on a stair step approach to discipline. Modern gangbangers are very familiar with not only school rules in the rule book, they are also familiar with them in actual practice. Just as a ex-con knows the prison system, juveniles who are involved with gang activity know how their own schools and teachers functions. Gang recruiters know that as long as they operate ‘just under the radar’, they won’t encounter much resistance from parents or the schools.

Parents have to get ‘wise’ as to the school world their children exist within.

It begins with asking questions and doing your homework.

Let me give you just a few things to look for in your teens backpack, room, notebooks or school locker. These items–and others–are identifiers of possible gang activity of your child, or some of his/her friends:




Tattoos [Including New UV Tats] Eyebrows Shaved In Patterns

Hairstyles Hair/Head Symbols/Shavings Hand Signals/Signs

Nose Rings Earrings Rosary Beads/Cloths ‘Mean Mugging’

Markings In Webs Of Hand/On Knuckles Religious Art Facial Markings Nail Polish

Speaking Unusual Languages/Slang/Symbols Sores On Hands



Hoodies NFL NBA College MLB Sportswear & Hats

Scarves Doo Rags Hankies Jewelry Ringtones ’Special’ Songs

Notebooks With Gang Signs & Symbols Excessive Use Of School/Uniform Wear Colors IF Gang Colors Weapons Books On Advanced Subjects

C.D.s MP3s Ipods Alcohol Cell Cams Drugs Mouthwash Inhalants

Excessive Cash Burglary/Break-in/Lockpicks Advanced Computer Websites

Custom Gang Clothing with Street Names Notes/Codes/Gang Symbols On Journals/Non-school related paperwork



Articles on Specific Gangs Disciplinary Problems At School Gang Websites

Active On Probation/Parole Gang You Tube/Twitter Lists

Late Night Calls Visits/Hanging Out With Older Teens/Troublemakers/J.D.s

Strange Odors/Smells ‘Bragging’ About Friends With Juvenile Records

Spending More Time Out Of Home/Away From Home

A wise parent will do a quick ‘head to toe’ check of their child before they leave in the morning, and when they come home in the evening. If enough of these items are found, it is likely that your teen has been recruited by a gang–or is already involved. Don’t get hung up on which gang your teen may representing. They are ALL dangerous, as Modern Street Gangs are quick to change their ‘look’ inside of six to nine months.


Their hope is keeping the upright off balance and ignorant to their existence.


Parents, when you see these items turn up; WISE UP and turn up the heat as to where your teen may have gotten them.

Don’t wait until you see on the TV news, or read in the paper that the school of your child is the target of a police investigation.

By then, it may be too late.

MIKE RAMEY is the Lead Instructor of THE GANG LINE, Indianapolis, Indiana. RAMEY is a Certified Street Gang Specialist and does workshops for law enforcement or non-law enforcement agencies. He can be contacted at his Email ©2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.

The Bridge: The Giving of Thanks

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , on November 22, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

“We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us.’ –Malcolm X

The above quote from Malcolm X is in reference to the celebration of the Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock in what they would call New England, ultimately creating the Mayflower Compact and laying the foundation for the United States.

Malcolm used this particular reference, because he understood clearly that the hopes and dreams represented by the metaphor the Plymouth Rock landing represented had an opposing representation for Africans in the New World.

For the Pilgrims, the Plymouth Rock landing represented hopes and dreams of freedom and life filled with prosperity.

For the Africans, the Plymouth Rock landing represented the crushing of hopes and dreams, with nightmares of bondage and death and a legacy of struggle.

When America created the Thanksgiving holiday, it should have specifically called for giving thanks to the Native Americans who were killed and robbed and the African descendants who were enslaved and killed.

In the celebration of the Thanksgiving Holiday, Africans across the world should be paid a debt of thanks at the very least by every race of people in existence.

Specifically, Europeans and their descendants owe us for being the currency and unpaid workforce for the creation of the new nation.

Let’s identify some of those who owe us a debt of gratitude:

First up would be the Italians and the Spaniards, as represented early on by one Christopher Columbus. Columbus, an Italian, was commissioned by the Queen of Spain to find a sailing route to India. The idiot got lost, landed in the Americas and called the people there Indians.

The idiot’s story was romanticized and over the years, we learned in school that he “discovered” America. But what the schools didn’t focus on was that his bumbling in the new land created a storm of brutality against the Native Americans who were robbed of their land and the Africans who were forced into servitude while Europeans poured in to steal the land and the service of the slaves.

Thanks Chris!

To add even more to the gratitude the Italians owe Africans, they were the illegal merchants of pain who dumped Horse in the Black neighborhoods and ran the numbers operations before and after states made their own version of numbers, called The Lottery.

But they were hardly the only ones to prey off of the misery of the African descendant.

Middle Easterners came into our communities in the Sixties after the riots and took over everything the Negroes left behind on their way to integration, wherever that was. They often displaced Jewish businesses as well.

When the Middle Easterners either moved on or moved over, the Koreans came behind them.

But of course the biggest debtors of all are the descendants of Great Britain and other Western European nations, who owned us and treated us like cattle. They made the most money off of us and used us to finance and build a nation that they still don’t want us to share fully in.

Whites in America have taken everything from our inventions to our music, from our style of dress to our manner of speaking and even our hairstyles and skin tone.

Even the two political parties in America used us for political gain. The Republican Party used us to win a war that was ripping the nation apart and after less than one century, abandoned concern for us.

Currently, the Democratic Party tells us just enough sweet convincing lies to lull us into thinking that they are better for us than the party of our original loyalty, but until we become more politically savvy, neither party has to do more than make empty overtures to a few of us.

The first African American President may be a Democrat, but only time will tell if this is a true sign of lasting appreciation, or a temporary relationship based on use and abuse.

My point is that American has made promises unfulfilled and has made attempts to take back promises delivered. Yet, the African descendant is expected to give thanks for the founding of a nation with which we have had a very strange relationship.

Now, of course, much like many other holidays, Thanksgiving has taken on its own meaning for scores of Americans, including African descendants.

Many of us focus on giving thanks for the things in our lives we are grateful for, as opposed to celebrating the brutal founding of a nation that has mistreated us from its very founding.

I won’t be sending up any thanks for the dirty pirates who ransacked this land from the Native Americans; nor for them stealing my people from Africa and using us to build a nation for free and then disrespecting us during and after nation-building, treating us far less than human.

But I will give thanks for being alive and for being filled with hopes and dreams.

Those thanks will go to my God and not to America.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles this Spring and will be running throughout 2011. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at


I’m Not Disappointed By President Barack Obama

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Interests, Black Men, President Barack Obama with tags , , , on November 20, 2011 by Gary Johnson

On October 8, 2011, Democrats Abroad France held an event titled “Voices for Obama” at the Nikki Diana Marquandt Gallery in Paris. One of the speakers was the American author Jake Lamar. This clip is a shortened version of his talk.

What do you think?

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