Archive for August, 2012

“Hoodwinked,” “Black People Don’t Read” and The World According To Janks Morton

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men In America, Movie and DVD News, Racism with tags , , , on August 18, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In

My main man Janks Morton and I will be getting the band back together next week to promote his new movie “Hoodwinked,” the much anticipated and long awaited sequel to the movie “WHAT BLACK MEN THINK.”  Janks Morton is one of the best storytellers in the business.  He is to many, the voice of the unheard.  Janks is part of a growing underground that is beginning to surface and gain more attention.  He’s his own man and is deserving of wider recognition.

This is where guys like me come in.  People who own and control their own media who work together with other media owners to collectively educate our community and facilitate a constructive dialogue.  Black Men In has a wide reach in the Black community.  Janks and I living proof that black folks can come together and work toward a common goal.  We’ve done it for years.  Do we agree on everything?  No!  However, we agree on the IMPORTANT things.  Actually, we agree on most things.  Janks Morton is a “submarine deep” thinker who works tirelessly doing the work of others to help dispel myths and stereotypes about Black people.  He is not to be taken lightly.

For those of you who don’t know about Janks Morton read the information below from his official web site and watch the movie trailer for “Hoodwinked.”

Here’s some of the thoughts and logic that drive the behavior of my friend Janks, who I affectionately call, “The Man from Mars.”

For over four-hundred years, the majority white society has used many tools to reinforce a message that the peoples of African descent are less-than, not-equal-too or not-good enough. In this modern era of information, the media, government and special interests use statistics to further promote the message of Black inferiority. What troubles me most, is that we as a people have internalized the misinformation, embraced the myths, and perpetuated the stereotypes, sadly reinforcing a collective misperception of our own identities.

Here’s a quick test of how we perceive ourselves – Excluding athletics, entertainment or religion, name a positive stereotype about African Americans. I’ll wait…

Most African-Americans have a challenging, if not impossible time summarizing our collective experience into one positive statement of group-worth. Sadly if I were to ask you the same question about other racial groups, you would rattle off quickly “smart,” “hard-working,” “and “good with money.” This is a testament to how we have allowed Black identity to be twisted and maligned, while also adopting this societal defamation of character as our own belief set.


Hoodwinked will be an exploration of the most recent data being released by the US Census, DOJ, DOE, DOC and the CDC to highlight strides and achievements in the African American community. It will feature expert contributors, man on the street interviews, anchor desk headline reporting, and the return of Janks Morton and his “Board of Education” to examine further the symbiotic relationship between media, government and special interest, as they exploit imagery, statistics and data that too often presents a skewed perspective of the modern era African American experience.

BLACK PEOPLE DON’T READ is a comprehensive summary of Data and Statistics from the most recent US Census Bureau, Department of Justice, Department of Education and other agencies around the state Blacks in America. BLACK PEOPLE DON’T READ is a tool to not only refute the plethora of misinformation that exists about Black Identity, but also as a conversation starter around many positive data points, too often missed by the media and seldom discussed at the barbershop.

Click here to learn more.

Romney’s Lack of Blacks

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics with tags , , on August 18, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Raynard Jackson

By Raynard Jackson

NNPA Columnist

August 16, 2012

Just over a month ago Mitt Romney addressed the NAACP during their national convention.  I thought Romney’s speech was horrible and quite a waste of time because he said nothing that would be of any interest to the Black community.  You can read that column at:

This column set off a firestorm of reactions from across the country.  Most people, of all political stripes, thought my analysis was right on the mark.   The column was read at the highest levels of the Romney campaign and even led to one of his senior communications advisers attempting to discredit my analysis in a series of private emails.  This advisor is a Black female that I am acquainted with.

In her email to me, she claimed that, “some of his [Romney’s] most senior policy and communications people are Black.”  I asked her to name them and she refused.  I will let you make your own conclusion.  She even thought it would be good for us to sit down and talk about the campaign, so I accepted her offer, but no response.  Again, I will let you make your own conclusion.

The campaign made a feeble attempt to address some of the concerns laid out in my column by releasing a ridiculous video titled, “We Need Mitt Romney.”  It was sent out by Romney aide, Joshua Baca, National Coalitions Director for the campaign.  Baca name looks Hispanic, but suffice it to say, he is not Black.

The video was poorly produced and poorly scripted.  It contained a series of Blacks who stated, “We need Romney.”  They never told us who “we” is.  They never made the case for why Romney was relevant to and for the Black community.  There was absolutely no thought put into this video.  There were no names given to identify who these people were.  They just grabbed some no name people and put them in front of the camera.  It’s embarrassing (

There still are no pictures of Blacks anywhere to be found on Romney’s campaign website.  There is a full section targeting the Hispanic vote, even a section in Spanish; but nothing targeting the Black community.  Enough said!

This is what happens when you have no capable Blacks around to advice and work on a campaign.  If Baca is in charge of coalitions, then why has he not reached out to experienced operatives like Shannon Reeves, Allegra McCullough, David Byrd, Aaron Manaigo, Francis Johnson, Ada Fisher or James House?  Why has he not reached out to the National Association of Black Accountants, the National Association of Black MBAs, or the National Association of Black Engineers, to name a few?  I know the leaders of most these groups and know for a fact certain that they would be fertile ground for an intelligent message put forward from the Romney campaign.  The few Blacks Romney may have around him are all functional people—meaning they follow orders; they don’t give the orders!  That is what I mean when I talk about being in a position of power—can they authorize an expenditure of money, can they get an event on Romney’s schedule, or can they get a private meeting on Romney’s calendar?

I would much rather the Romney campaign simply tell the Black community straight-up that they have no interest in our vote because their actions speak so loud that I can’t hear a damn thing they are saying!

I find this senior advisor’s response to my column illustrative of everything that’s wrong with the Romney campaign.  They are totally incapable of giving direct answers to the most basic of questions.  Who are the Blacks that are supposedly on the campaign?  Why are there no Blacks on the campaign website?  Is Romney ever going to meet and speak with Black Republicans?

With Romney and his campaign, relative to Blacks, when all is said and done, there nothing said and nothing done!

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm. His website is:


Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Racism, Women's Interests on August 17, 2012 by Gary Johnson

In this technologically advanced year of 2012, it is indeed sad that we still have a very long way to go with regard to basic human justice FOR ALL (as our Pledge of Allegiance alludes too). Injustices continue to take place daily in our nation, and for people of color, they are, unfortunately, more frequent and often more blatant.

Brandon Jackson has been caught up in a web of legal incompetence, cover-ups and blithe indifference. A law-abiding young African-American man who had never been in any sort of trouble in his life, is proof positive that the Land of Oz is not the only place where unbelievable things happen. A New Jersey native, he has experienced the type of nightmare one would think had transpired in the deep south in the sixties.

To get to the point of my letter to you, Brandon Jackson has been incarcerated unjustly, for a 12-year term, after alarmingly lackadaisical legal representation by mainly “go-along to get-along” public defenders and private attorneys in Jackson, New Jersey. A series of other cover-ups regarding his case which, in a nutshell, involves his self-defense in a racial attack upon him in October 2006 (yes, this dragged on for five years), when he was 21 years old, by a group of white individuals who yelled “kill the nigger” and other racial comments, in which no other person was charged. He was convicted, without any evidence, of the aggravated assault of two of his attackers, who testified against him at trial. Although the responding officer classified the incident as a racially-motivated attack/bias crime at trial, which took place during the height of the Zimmerman incident, the judge said such comments were not important in Ocean County, New Jersey, a predominantly white county. So, what do we tell our African-American and Latino sons — that they are an endangered species? Where is the basic American justice for Brandon Jackson and those like him?

If you believe as I do, that justice should have no color, please get involved and join me in our quest to get Brandon’s sentence overturned. His new legal defense will be costly, but saving the life and future of a young Black man should not have a price tag. Therefore, we must be vocal and loud, in order to spread the word and make his defense campaign a reality. Please consider assisting our efforts, and get involved by way of making sure that the masses are informed about Brandon Jackson and this shameful situation, via coverage on your media outlet. I wish that this was an unusual circumstance; however, this type of situation occurs all too often, and unfortunately, can happen to anyone.

Thank you, in advance, for your kindness and consideration toward this media coverage request. I do hope that you will see fit to “Pledge an Allegiance” to the Coalition for Brandon C. Jackson, so that he will ultimately receive the “liberty and justice” which is his birthright.

Twitter @BrandonsJustice

Facebook JusticeForBrandonCJackson

The Bridge: Dirty Black Secrets, Part 2—Countering Lies & Deception

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists, The Bridge - Darryl James, Women's Interests with tags , , , , on August 14, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Last week, I discussed a powerful dirty Black secret: Many Black women are a huge problem for Black America.

One of the reasons is that they are the strongest perpetrators of feminism in this nation. We saw in the 2008 election a powerful rejection of Hillary Clinton by older white men and younger white women who know she represents feminism. They know what the propaganda has done to American relationships and the roles of men and women. Yet, Black women act out the feminist propaganda on a regular basis, while many of them claim that they are not feminists.

According to Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister, “Propaganda works best when those being manipulated are confident that they are acting out of their own free will.”

And of course it’s propaganda. Otherwise, we would have to believe that Black women simply woke up and decided to become “independent,” and to proclaim loudly and prolifically that they “don’t need men.”

If it smells bad, it’s usually rotten.

But it’s not just Black women. Black people in general view every aspect of life from a deficit model, which begins with the assumption that something is wrong.

Both Black men and Black women have been inculcated with some of the most horrible propaganda about Black people, particularly about Black men. And they pass it around faster and more prolifically than any venomous racist ever could.

The dirty Black secret is that when it comes to propaganda, the enemy is Black.

Any given comedian would have the world believe that whites are perfect and, based on their punch lines, that Black people are everything that is wrong with the world.

This explains why we hear the “more Black men in prison than college” myth, and a host of other lies which paint the Black man in a horrible light.

According to the U.S. Census, there were around 17,945,068 Black males in the nation. Around 6.3 percent are in college and 4.7 percent are in prison.

My friend and colleague Janks Morton has updated the anti-Black Myth machine with a new book called “Black People Don’t Read: The Definitive Guide to Dismantling Stereotypes and Negative Statistical claims about Black Americans,” in which he illustrates that “The remaining 89 percent of Black men have already graduated from college, already served a prison sentence, have a life trajectory that does not involve college or prison, or are too young for either to apply.”

Morton agrees with me that Blacks have to stop talking about how poorly we are doing as a people for two reasons: First, because when we speak negatively, it affects our self-esteem and accordingly, our ability to succeed and Second, because many of the things we say simply are not the truth.

The dirty Black secret is that Black people—not white males or white women—perpetuate the myth that Black men are somehow a “dying breed.” Yet, in “Black People Don’t Read,” Morton illustrates that “according to the U.S. Census, since 1970 there are 3.9 million less White Males and 2.5 million more Black Males, age 15 to 25, in the U.S. population.”

And Black women do not escape the negative hype.

Any given moron will spout teen pregnancy as some epidemic causing Black women to drop out faster than flies. But if the moron did some real research, he would realize that, according to the Center for Disease Control, Black Teenage Pregnancy rates have been reduced by 56.42% from 1991-2009.

And while Black college enrollment could always be higher, Black men are not dropping out of high school and simply failing to garner a diploma. There is no 50% dropout rate. Again, according to the US Census, 83.43% of Black men over the age of 18 have a high school diploma, but when stats are negatively manipulated, we find that Black men who switch schools before graduating (from another school), or who miss a semester but finishes, or who test out before their class are not included because the focus of the negative statement is on Black men who graduate from 12th grade with their 9th grade class.

The dropout rate for Black males is 9.5%. Slap yourself.

Black men and Black women have been inculcated with some of the most horrible propaganda about Black people, particularly about Black men. And they pass it around faster and more prolifically than any venomous racist ever could.

Any give comedian would have the world believe that whites are perfect and, based on their punch lines, that Black people are everything that is wrong with the world.

Another dirty Black secret is that many of the institutions that were originally designed to help Blacks uplift themselves are in fact, the cause of Black misery in many cases.

Next Week: Dirty Black Secrets, Part 3—Alphabet Soup

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 in 2011 and will become a feature film in 2012. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at

Is Gay The New Black?

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Guest Columnists with tags , , , , on August 13, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By William Reed

Ordering lunch just got a lot more complicated than deciding, “Do you want fries with that?”  All of a sudden, biting into a fried chicken sandwich has become a political and economic statement.

The Chick-fil-A fast-food chain is standing firm in its opposition to gay marriage since company President Dan Cathy said the company “backs the traditional family unit.” Gay rights groups have called for a boycott of the chain and politicians in Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C. told the company that they intend to use zoning laws and local regulations to let Chick-fil-A executives know that it’s not welcome in their locales. The current campaign may well turn out to be a bridge too far and evolve into a horrible setback for homosexual activism.

Nowadays, the type of fast-food bag you carry can put you on one side, or the other of this hot-button social issue. Since President Barack Obama threw Black values and emphasis under the same bus as he did the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, “Gay” has been allowed to become the civil rights issue of our time. The vile attacks on Chick-fil-A and its owners should make clear that the “gay rights” movement is not about refining and advancing American freedom, but about rewriting American values and advancing, not freedom, but the homosexual political agenda.

This type of social activism is a straight menace to Black values and American free enterprise.Some proponents of same-sex marriage want to boycott Chick-fil-A and disrupt the chain’s 1,615 locations and $4.1 billion annual revenue stream. Chick-fil-A is in 39 states and Washington, D.C. In July, the company’s 59-year-old president was asked by a Southern Baptist Convention news service, whether he opposed gay marriage, to which he responded:  “Guilty as charged.  We are supportive of the biblical definition of the family unit,” he said. Cathy emphasized that “the biblical definition of a family unit doesn’t include Adam and Steve.”

“Eat mor chikin” is the chain’s prominent advertising slogan. Chick-fil-A [referring to “filet”] specializes in chicken entrées and has long been associated with the Southern United States, where it is a cultural icon. It all started in 1946, when Samuel Truett Cathy opened his first restaurant, The Dwarf Grill, in Hapeville, Ga. Credited with inventing Chick-fil-A’s boneless breast of chicken sandwich, Mr. Cathy founded Chick-fil-A, Inc. in the early 1960s and pioneered establishment of restaurants in shopping malls with the opening of the first Chick-fil-A Restaurant at a mall in suburban Atlanta in 1967. Since then, Chick-fil-A has steadily grown to become the second largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the U.S.  The business is family-owned and has become a multi-billion dollar operation. With 44 consecutive years of positive sales growth, the company is known for being methodical about opening new restaurants, but opening them with fanfare, including giving the first 100 customers free chicken sandwiches for a year.

Dan Cathy has been the Chick-fil-A chief executive since 2001.  On August 1, at Chick-fil-A locations across the country, people voted with their wallets by coming out on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day to express support for the chain and to Cathy for his stance on “traditional marriage.”

Blacks should be aware that the gay movement has eclipsed them in political potency. Politicians are swooning to take up gay causes. Sources inside the Democratic National Committee have confirmed that the party will include gay marriage as part of its platform. It will be the first time in history that either the Democratic or Republican Party has supported anything other than the traditional definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.

We find no reason to be mad at Cathy and his traditional values. But, beware gay is not the new Black, and we are foolish to allow conflation of the two issues. Sexual disposition does not parallel race. And it’s difficult to watch a coordinated, well-funded, well-connected propaganda strategy undermine thousands of years of history. It’s especially disconcerting to watch the use of the civil rights struggle as the vehicle for the strategy.

(William Reed is available for speaking/seminar projects via the Bailey


Is Gaining Wealth an “Impossible Dream?

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Money/Economics, Women's Interests with tags , , , on August 8, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By William Reed

The wealthiest Americans live in gated communities that protect them from the masses. A new poll reveals that many Americans are questioning their prospects for “upward mobility.”  The high level of pessimism is reflected among respondents in a recent poll conducted by The Hill newspaper that found half [47 percent] of likely voters believe it’s impossible for them to become wealthy during the course of their lifetime. The survey, conducted as the heated political presidential campaign becomes more acrimonious over the interests of the haves and the have-nots, found that fewer than 2 in 5 likely voters [37 percent] think they can ever become rich.

This presidential election will have more to do with the economy and voters personal well-being than ever before. The Hill newspaper’s survey findings suggest pessimism about the possibility of upward mobility as economic growth remains weak and jobs scarce. The national debate over wealth is intensifying as it creates economic divisions across the country’s population segments. Although the economy will improve a bit in the second half of 2012, it will be another disappointing year of slow growth capping the worst three years of economic growth, outside of a recession. Between 2005 and 2010 the median net worth of Americans under 35 fell 37 percent, and the wealth gap between the young and the old in America is wider than it’s ever been. The percentage of the workforce under age 25 has dropped 13.2 percent since 2008, and the U.S. unemployment rate is 12 percent for those age 18 to 29 because this age group’s parents aren’t retiring.

The wealth – more specifically, the median net worth – of households in the United States is varied in  relation to race, education, geographic location and gender.  Wealth in the U.S. is unevenly distributed, with the wealthiest 25 percent of U.S. households owning 87 percent of the total wealth.

The median wealth of White households is 20 times that of Black households. And, Blacks vote more on emotion than economic well-being. For Black Americans the annual median household income in 2010 was $29,328. It was $35,856 among all races. While Blacks make 62 cents of every dollar of income that Whites make, they only have 10 cents for every dollar of wealth that Whites have.

In The Hill poll almost 40 percent of people said that the threshold to being wealthy was a $500,000 annual income.  Twenty percent put the bar above $1 million. Thirty-one percent of people said a family earning $250,000 a year is wealthy.  And, 9 percent said $100,000 was the threshold.

Each day, America is comprised more and more of economic haves and have-nots. Since the 2007 recession the share of total wealth owned by the nation’s wealthiest one percent grew to 37.1 percent and that owned by the top 20 percent grew to 87.7 percent. The 2007 recession, and aftermath, also increased the wealth gap between the 1 percent and the 99 percent.

According to a CBS News/New York Times poll, a majority of registered voters believe that Mitt Romney’s policies favor the rich. Fifty-three percent say Romney’s policies favor the wealthy. Eleven percent says his policies favor the middle class, while two percent say they favor the poor. Thirty percent say Romney’s policies treat all groups equally. Of the social segments that favor President Barack Obama’s policies, 21 percent say his policies favor the rich, while 22 percent say they favor the middle class and 24 percent say they favor the poor. Twenty-five percent say Obama’s policies treat all groups equally.

What are your views?  Are Black voters in a totally different place than the mainstream of Americans?   The Hill poll’s respondents’ views differed based on income levels, with voters earning between $40,000 and $75,000 strongly preferring Romney over Obama. Among people earning between $40,000 and $60,000, 48 percent trust Romney more compared to 39 percent for Obama. People earning between $60,000 and $75,000 trust Romney more than Obama by a 34-point margin, 61 percent to 27 percent.

(William Reed is available for speaking/seminar projects via the Bailey

The Bridge: Dirty Black Secrets, Part 1

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, The Bridge - Darryl James, Women's Interests with tags , , , on August 7, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Black people have some dirty little secrets.

We all see them, but we’re not supposed to talk about them.

But you already know that I just don’t care.

Here’s one:  Some Black women can be a huge problem for Black people.

Old crazy Darryl James has been saying it for years. I first talked about it in 2005 and people claimed I hated Black women.

But imagine the work that could have been done if we had simply acknowledged it.  We could have also rooted out the core issue and then began to work on some solutions.

Instead, we kept pretending that only Black men were problematic.

Black Americans trotted out every single problem plaguing Black people and laid them at the foot of Black men so that Black men could take the blame.

We pretended that only Black fathers were deadbeat, even though many single Black mothers were having babies by men who were ALREADY deadbeats, knowingly creating a larger pool of fatherless children, when instead we should have been chastising the single mothers who were choosing poorly—if the man has children that he doesn’t support or visit, why would he do anything differently with the children you give him? And if you know that you will be a single mother, why become a single mother? Multiple times?

We should have stopped pretending that there aren’t women who know full well that they will be bringing a child into the world with no male influence or involvement, but do so eagerly, because they simply want to be mothers.

But we continued to blame the men, with the likes of Bill Cosby telling Black women that Black men are simply “sperm shooting machines” who want only sex and then “walk away from a thing called fatherhood.”

We allowed anyone to claim that Black boys were “choosing” to drop out of high school while Black girls were perfect and progressing. We allowed anyone who desired to claim that there were more Black men going to prison than to college and more Black men dating white women than Black women and more Black men in poverty than Black women and that for these reasons, Black women were being left alone in the dating process or “forced” to date outside of the race.

We allowed broken women to lie about there being no good Black men, instead of focusing on the simple fact that many of the Black women who aren’t married simply aren’t marriage material.

And, too many Black women are acting like whores and thinking like men instead of acting like ladies and thinking like wives.

Yes, I said it—oversexed and under-loved (no self love and no love without sexual attachment), while blaming it all on Black men.

And it’s not like anyone in our race benefited, because far too many Black women are still turning 40 with zero marriage prospects, and far too many of them are raising Black boys and girls without male influence or involvement, while lying about how they don’t want or need a man for love or child rearing and blaming Black men for the results.

But today, that has to stop.

Because today, we have finally been given concrete evidence that there are some horrible Black women who have been tearing our race apart.

And we saw it with Gabby Douglas.

Hearing Black women—not white women or white men—tear this beautiful Black Olympian down made it clear that something was stinking and the smell was not coming from Black men.

That same stench facilitated the media’s virtual erasure of Gabby’s daddy as though he didn’t exist. The media was comfortable with it because for more than a decade Black women have been telling the media and the world that Black men were absent and essentially, that they weren’t necessary anyway.

I already know that some of you are getting your “he hates Black women” responses ready, but you should stop and use your brain, or slap yourself.

If we cannot finally embrace the fact that feminism, self-hatred and insidious racist propaganda have turned too many of us too far against Black men and that it seeped into the Black community through Black women and turned into something ugly, then we are doomed, because we will never face the hard cold facts, and so will never have any resolution.

Next week, I will present some hard cold facts that will turn many of the myths about Black men on their heads.

The hardest fact of them all is that many of the myths have been perpetuated by Black women.

We must admit to ourselves that just as there are horrible white men and women and horrible Black men, there are some horrible Black women who are wreaking havoc on our people and they are not all uneducated hoodrats.

The truth is that many of these are college educated Black women who claim to be perfect victims are also in the ranks of those who tear down our community by passing lies, but also by refusing to stand up against the destructive elements

Black women, you are not the victim of Black men.

You have not been simply abandoned and forced into single motherhood, you have not been abandoned at the educational success line and you have not been forced to grow old and alone.

Many of you have made some poor choices that have lead you into some bad situations, along with our children.

And I love you enough, love Black children enough, love Black people enough to tell you and to encourage everyone to stop lying to you.

I’m here to tell all of our dirty little Black secrets.

Next Week: Countering Lies & Deception

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 in 2011 and will become a feature film in 2012. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at


Gabby Douglas Wins 2 Gold Medals and People Are Talking About Her Hair?

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Men In America, Gary A. Johnson, Music, Sports News with tags , , , , , on August 5, 2012 by Gary Johnson


By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In

Let me get this straight.  Gabby Douglas puts on a spectacular athletic display in front of the entire world, wins 2 gold medals and some people are publicly criticizing her hair.  WTF?

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes will feature 2012 Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas on its cereal boxes.  The 16-year-old gymnast, outside of Michael Phelps, is arguably the Olympic’s breakout star for companies who want to use her image to sell their products and services.

In an era where marketing studies reflect that female athletes don’t sell products as well as their male counterparts, I see Gabby’s Olympic success as a “golden” opportunity to cash in on fame and fortune and reward herself and her family for the sacrifices made to get her to this point.

Gabby Douglas, from my point of view has everything that advertisers need and want in a product endorser.  She is an American who represented her country with poise and pride.  Her athletic accomplishments dazzled the world.  Gabby appears to be a likeable and clean cut teenager, who comes from a family that connects to the “American dream” of hard work and sacrifice.

This is from my point of view.

With the help of social media, mostly Twitter and Facebook, other people saw “a black girl with bad hair.”

One woman tweeted:  “Gabby Douglas gotta do something with this hair!  These clips and this brown gel aint it!”  Another tweet simply stated:  “Why?”

My first reaction when hearing of these tweets was to reply to the “haters” to “Shut The F#@k Up.” Then I took a deep breath and thought that I was wrong to label all of the tweeters as” haters.”

There is a phenomenon in the black community where many black folks feel that when one black person does something, they are representing the entire village or community.  For example, if you are watching the news on television and a horrific crime is being reported, many black folks cross their fingers and pray (often out loud) and say:  “Lord, I hope it wasn’t a black person.”

This thinking reflects that if a black person commits a crime or does something horrific, people of other races are likely to attribute the negative behavior by that one black person to everyone in the black race.  This logic is not rational, but it is real to many people in our community.

The focus on Gabby Douglas should be on her incredible accomplishments and not on her damn hair.  She’s a world class athlete.  She sweats.  I want Gabby’s focus to be on winning events.  Gabby should not be distracted worrying about what other black women will think about her hair.  This is an ignorant argument.  Some of these same “hair tweeters” would be sending negative tweets if Gabby was shown on television with a home perm kit and a hot comb in her hair.

Gabby Douglas’ performance at this years summer Olympics game will inspire young girls and young black girls for the next decade.  Gabby appears to be a great role model.  Why not celebrate the positive aspects of this young girl’s life?

I’ve learned my lessons when it comes to black women and their hair.  I keep my mouth shut.  In past years, I said some stupid and hurtful things to the black women in my life about their hair.  I said it because I didn’t know any better.  I was ignorant about the maintenance of black hair.  I just didn’t know.  Now that I have insights and new knowledge about the challenges associated with black women and the maintenance of their hair, I’m a better man by keeping my mouth shut.  A hairstyle doesn’t make the woman.  If you think it does, you’re an idiot!

As far as I’m concerned, black women can do whatever they want with their hair.  I think we should celebrate our women and not put a lot of energy on how they choose to style their hair.

 Go Gabby and the rest of the U.S. Olympic Team!

Gary A. 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.” 

To learn more about Gary click here.

Celebrity Interviews with Valder Beebe

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men In America, Feature Interviews, Movie and DVD News, Music, Women's Interests with tags , on August 5, 2012 by Gary Johnson



Got 5 Minutes?  She’s Got The Interview.

Interviews with actors, directors, entertainers, and celebrities conducted at press junkets, movie premieres, and one-on-one interview session’s in-studio, via satellite, Skype and phone. Interviews conducted with the world’s most fascinating people in exotic locations: Istanbul, Israel, Canada, London, South Africa……with more to come

Check out a few of Valder’s interviews featuring Donald Faison, Mary, Mary, and Tyler Perry and Tasha Smith:

The Valder Beebe Show



You can keep up with Valder Beebe on our main web site located at


Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists with tags on August 5, 2012 by Gary Johnson


It seems that there has been a lot of ‘loose headed’ thinking when it comes to parents disciplining their OWN kids. I’ve even heard of one state recently attempting to pass a law BANNING corporal punishment from the schools and the home. Of course, if corporal punishment is outlawed, the DOC facilities of that state are going to be doing an SRO business, from Juvenile Hall on up. Hellooooooo tax increases!

Let us begin our electronic adventures in Hollywood. There are certain members of the entertainment kabal who also happen to be parents. Let me provide a short list of a few of the celebrity parents who have forbidden their children to see their ‘art’ on the big screen, watch their videos on the small screen or listen to their music: Madonna. Steven Spielberg. Even Snoop Dogg (before he changed his name). It seems that these–and others–delight in performing without taste, class, or sexual restraint in front of YOUR children…just don’t let THEIR kids get a peek as to what they are doing–or undoing.

The latest parent ‘protestor’ is Salma Hayek. The actress, in a published, July 2012 interview, admitted that some of the studio scenes from her movie “Savages” were ‘too racy’ for her 4-year-old daughter to see (this time), and she had her daughter banned from the set while the movie was in production. Hayek made her revelation, according to the article, while she was on NBC’s “The Tonight Show.”

There is no ‘real’ mystery in how to be a parent. It boils down to whether or not you have the will to be a parent! Not a friend. Not a ‘mentor’…but a p-a-r-e-n-t! REAL parenting involves rules. REAL parenting involves making sacrifices after a child is born. REAL parenting involves saying NO more times than saying YES. REAL parenting does involves discipline–including a good spanking if needed. Oh how quickly we adults in the Black community have forgotten: There WAS a time when WE were young, and attempted to rebel against our parents.

Rebellion–back in the day and in the hood–didn’t just merit a ‘time out’ or a ‘talking to’. You were quickly spanked–like a four year old in a Quickie Mart! In the case of Grandma or Grandpa, they TOLD you to ‘…go cut me a switch…’.

They made you DANCE…like you were up for a trophy!

The FIRST lesson? You USUALLY didn’t immediately repeat the bad behavior.

The SECOND lesson? IF you cut up in school, or in public, you got a whipping there, and another one when you got home.

Let’s take a breath at this point! More than a few of you may be smiling, or grimacing–or suffering a bout of PTSD, but I’ll dare mention the THIRD lesson from a ‘parental tune up’: It kept you from entering the juvenile or criminal justice system!


Tony Brown said it best: “Success is NOT being with white people; success is having what white people HAVE!” In our ‘quest’ to be integrated, desegregated or just plain old included in the melting pot of America, we forgot THESE three lessons from our past AND four very important lessons in the present:

First, that we were ‘somebody’ because of our connection to God and His church.

Second, we were ‘successful’ because we looked out for one another.

Third, we had a high respect for marriage before paternity.

Four, we had a high standard of morality!

What happened?!? We, like many modern people, turned our backs on God, the Bible and church.

We got a little money, power, and visibility. The end result? We paid a very high price in OUR quest to be ‘accepted and liked’ by the majority culture. We ‘imitated’ the majority culture’s flawed system of discipline with OUR young people. The DLS? Time outs, verbal reprimands, no spanking has FAILED in man white homes as well. The only difference (besides the occasional reporting of a mass-murderer in the MSM); when their children got before the bar of justice, because they can afford private lawyers and private insurance plans, their children got therapy.

We go with public defenders and excuses. OUR children got TIME!

I don’t care how Black or African you are. It’s too late to complain about what ‘the system’ is doing to your child at twelve, when YOU–dear parent–didn’t do your job in disciplining your OWN child, when they were two!


I think a lot of people misinterpret biblical truth when it comes to this matter of the right of parents to discipline their children. One can not use biblical truth IF they have not made a connection with the author–God himself!

God does not sign off on mess, nor wink at Sin!

Let’s take this a bit further. Why are we even talking about the need to discipline children? Why do we continue to see a daily parade of out-of-control children?

Many are ‘birthed’ by adults who did NOT marry before having children.

The whole issue of corporal punishment is only a diversionary tactic by politicians and social engineers to keep the revenue coming in to fund useless programs and worthless discussions! Bullying? Really? How much is THIS gonna make for somebody’s after school program? In truth? One can not address the beating problem until they have addressed the bastard problem in our society!

What has THIS to do with out-of-control kids? Plenty! An out-of-wedlock child is regarded as a bastard in the sight of God. Let’s make this CLEAR! That child is under a ten-generation curse (Deuteronomy 28) and IS going to have a hard way to go UNTIL the birth parents apologize to that out-of-wedlock child for their lack of physical discretion and follow God’s plan in the rebuilding of that home, instead of passing the buck. Matrimony before paternity. It still works–and it still matters.

Some may say that this plan is too hard and can not work. We’ve tried the alternatives and they have ALL failed. (As of 2011–estimated 1.5 million gang members, up from 800,000 in 2005–according to federal reports)! No amount of social engineering will cool the wrath and anger of a child born out-of-wedlock. No amount of child support; no amount of ‘teen baby showers’ at the local high school, no amount of government freebies will ‘make up’ for the fact that a child’s parents didn’t have the courage–or discipline–to marry before reproducing. Once a child discovers that they are a bastard? They get angry. VERY angry! And, like ‘The Hulk’, they don’t care whom they take their rage out upon–or who gets hurt in the process. Our society is presently under attack by groups of angry children because groups of rebellious adults thought more of their immediate pleasure than their future marital responsibilities. They birthed these babies and have been allowed to go on as if nothing has happened. Some of these undisciplined ‘adults’ attend our churches, sing in our choirs–and even preach from God’s pulpits. You may be sitting next to one of these wayward breeders in your OWN church next Sunday and NOT know it! They have never been held accountable, nor felt shame for their actions.


I realize that this will go against the teaching of some churches and denominations. It doesn’t go against the teaching of the Bible. Disciplined children BEGIN with disciplined parents who START the discipline process by getting married BEFORE the children arrive! IF this formula isn’t followed, chaos is inevitable.

I realize that there are some households where corporal punishment ‘hasn’t’ been used (much) in the rearing of children. Might this be because the parents united in matrimony BEFORE they united in the bedroom? The MAJORITY of us Old Schoolers have stayed out of ‘major’ trouble because our married parents or married grandparents got a hold of our backsides when it was needed. Marriage represents unity and discipline of men and women in front of God but ALSO in front of their children. Even IF a marriage ends in divorce–and some have–that child KNOWS that they have the name of a REAL father who was man enough to marry his/her mother, and his/her mother was woman enough–and respected herself enough–not to have sex with a man who wasn’t going to marry her.

Let me close with this: Will those adults who didn’t have the guts to marry before they had children please meet the Village Elders behind the woodshed? On your way there, cut us a switch for YOU and your wayward children. After that, THEN we can start the rebuilding process…for the good of ALL of our communities.

RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites/blogs around the world. Email © 2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.

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