Archive for January, 2013

Tom Joyner: Tavis Is Fascinated with His Own Legacy

Posted in Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Gary A. Johnson, President Barack Obama with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Tom and Tavis

By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In America.com/January 27, 2013

Here we go again.  Can’t we all just get along?  I don’t know who’s in the news more these days.  Tavis or Rhianna?

PBS host Tavis Smiley and his colleague and partner  former Princeton professor Cornel West, criticized President Obama last week for using a bible belonging to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for the President’s inaugural swearing in ceremony.  I’m not sure about the criticism.  It’s not like the President stole the bible.  The King family gave the bible to the President.

Well, Tavis’ former employer, syndicated radio host Tom Joyner apparently heard enough.  Last week Joyner wrote a commentary called “Tavis vs. MLK,” published on Black America Web.com.  Here are two prominent highlights in Joyner’s commentary:

  • Tavis is fascinated with his own legacy, and that’s not good. He wants more than anything to be remembered the way Dr. King was, and to some how make that kind of mark on the world.
  • Tavis is afraid of what will be said about him and it’s driving him crazy.

Tavis has consistently claimed that he holds no ill will towards the President and that he is simply attempting to hold the President accountable.

Most people who follow Tavis are not neutral in their view. For another perspective read Harold Bell’s recent commentary “There’s A New Sheriff In Town.”

What do you think?

(Photos from Getty Images/AP)

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Higher Hopes: A Black Man’s Guide to College

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Book Reviews and More, Latino Interests with tags , , , on January 27, 2013 by Gary Johnson

BlackCollegeCover

Book Review by Black Men In America.com

We all should know the value of a good education.  College is not for everyone.  If you are suited for college, you need to read this guide.  Higher Hopes:  A Black Man’s Guide to College helps you find the right tools, tips and strategies to have a successful college career.

Author R. D. Smith wrote this book based on his own college experience coupled with the sobering statistics of poor black male performance in college settings.  Smith concluded that many black men were capable of succeeding in college but many did not know how to succeed.  In other cases, students received bad advice or did not understand or know the value of a college education could positively impact one’s life.

The book is straight talk with encouraging and painful stories that most people can relate to when it comes to navigating the mazes associated with institutions of higher learning.

Author R. D. Smith attending the University of Virginia and graduated with honors earning a double major in commerce and physics.  He later earned his MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Click here to read a sample chapter of the book.

Click here to purchase the book.

There’s A New Sheriff In Town

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics with tags , , , , , on January 23, 2013 by Gary Johnson

By Harold Bell

“THERE COMES A TIME WHEN SILENCE IS BETRAYAL” 

Rev. Martin Luther King

Chairwoman Marcia Fudge of the Black Congressional Caucus says, “My colleagues don’ think there is poverty in America.  They are crazy, nuts, evil and nasty people. They wanted to cut $16.5 billion from the food stamp program.  I have never seen anything like them!”

marcia-fudge

Ohio’s Finest / 21st District: Marcia Fudge

During Barack Obama’s run for President in 2008 Tavis Smiley and his commentaries were a fixture on the Tom Joyner Morning Show heard in over 100 markets.  Tavis abruptly quit the show which seem to come as a surprise to Tom and his morning show staff.

On April 11, 2008, Tavis Smiley announced that he would resign in June 2008 as a commentator. He cited fatigue and a busy schedule in a personal call to Joyner.

However, Joyner, referred to several commentaries in which Smiley was critical of then Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, indicated otherwise on his program, stating: “The real reason is that he can’t take the hate he’s been getting regarding the Barack issue—hate from the black people that he loves so much.” Prior to the public controversy and being elected President, Obama had been on Smiley’s PBS show several times.

In the 2008 Presidential campaign Tavis invited then Presidential candidate Barack Obama to participate in one of his forums but Barack send Michelle in his place.

Tavis took Barack’s absent as a slight and many claim he still has not gotten over it!  I have always thought if a man sends his wife to represent him it is a sign of respect for the person in charge.

During his first term as President, Barack Obama was giving anyone and almost everyone in black media an interview (except Tavis).  Blacks in media seem to have carte blanch to President Obama and the First Lady Michelle (genius PR move).  He became “The Darling” of black media.

This was unheard in the White House press corps before a black President occupied the White House.

The backlash from Tavis bashing the FIRST black President was sometimes real ugly during the first term.

Tavis said on more than one occasion that the President didn’t care about black people or the poor and down trodden. It didn’t play too well in the black community, but since that time some opinions have changed in favor of Tavis.

On October 1, 2010, Tavis Smiley turned the second hour of his PRI program into Smiley & West co-hosted by his longtime friend and adviser Dr. Cornel West.

Bell and Stokes

Congress Lou Stokes (D-Ohio), his 21st Ohio District extended to blacks everywhere.

Tavis was in Washington, DC on Thursday January17, 2013 hosting a forum titled, “Vision for a New America: A Future without Poverty” at George Washington University. Let me say for the “Record” good luck!

The panel was made of Author Jeffery Sachs (Columbia University), former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Author Jonathan Cole, Mary Ann Chilton (Drexel University), Rose Ann Democo (National Nurses United), Author John Kozol,U. S. Rep Marcia Fudge, John Gramm (Indiana University) and the brilliant Professor Cornell West (Union Theological Seminary).

One member of the panel described the perils of poverty best when they said “There is a highway into poverty but there is no sidewalk out!”

The most compelling personality on the panel and the most courageous was Congressional Black Caucus   Chairwoman Marcia Fudge.  She brought to mind, the late Congresswomen Shirley Chisholm (D-NY) and the eloquent and powerful speaker Barbara Jordan (D-Texas).  Their courage had no boundaries when it came to leading by example and speaking out against the injustices of a system that was supposed to be serving its people.

During the discussion Ms. Fudge said, “There are people working the House of Representatives who don’t believe there is poverty in America.  I just left a retreat with my colleagues of the Congressional Black Caucus.  These are the craziest people I have ever seen, we are dealing with a bunch of nuts who are evil and nasty and don’t care about anyone but themselves!”

These same colleagues voted to cut 16.5 million dollars in food stamps.  We are sending people to Congress who do not understand what their job is and do not understand that they are there to represent the people.

Donna Edwards

Donna Edwards does not understand her role.

Ms Fudge made it perfectly clear from the very beginning “I am not owned by anybody. No corporations or anyone.”

For example; When Tavis reminded her there was tension between the Black Caucus and the White House during the President’s first term. He said, “There was a time when the President would not even meet with you.” She admitted there was some tension but reminded him that her job was different from the President of the United States.

Ms. Fudge did not allow Tavis during the forum to make her a part of the bashing of the President.

She pointed out that The FISCAL CLIFF is nothing but “Smoke & Mirrows.” It is just a cover-up for the debt that we owe for two wars, Bush tax cuts and Medicaid part D, it is all a game.

Ms. Fudge also said, “Democrats have given up on poverty and that is no  no different from giving up on the gun issue.  When you don’t have the answers you give up!”

She then pointed to the legislation that the President had passed to help the poor and downtrodden.

There were two major pieces of legislation, Obamacare significantly helps poor people.  In the Stimulus, there was more money put into the Head Start program than ever before, Pell Grants were increased, unemployment was extended, more money was put into poor schools and two billion dollars was put into food stamps. I am not saying it was enough but let us put all the facts on the table.”

We are in a state of emergency our children are not only dying in our streets (Chicago) but they are dying in our classrooms (New Town)!  Senior citizens are dying in our nursing home across this country but no one seems to care.

“The rule of money makes everybody and everything up for sale.  There is a culture of fear where folks are scare of the TRUTH.

They are scare of losing their jobs, losing their status, scare of not being invited to the White House or the next Tea Party.  There is a shameless silence in this country.  It is the rule of money that has this country so corrupted (former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagel, the latest crook).  There can be no integrity or trust when there is the rule of money.

Government can be corrupt and repressive against the people they are supposed to be helping. We must stop the silence, call your congressman and voice your displeasure.  Until they see hungry babies or homeless—they are not going to believe it” said Ms. Fudge.

It looks and sounds like the New Sheriff is looking and asking for our help.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich without a doubt came up with a proposal and suggestion that just might help turn this country around.

He suggested to Caucus Chair Fudge that he would recruit Republican politicians to volunteer to spend 3 days each with a Democratic politician in their voting districts and vice-verse.

Her response, “You make it happen and I am in.”

I am thinking that would be a feat that you could compare with getting the Jewish Community to double date with the Palestinian Community!  The Nobel Peace Prize would definitely be a possibility for both Newt and Ms. Fudge.

 Harold Bell is the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television in Washington, DC.  Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–sports talk radio with classic interviews with athletes and sports celebrities.  The show and format became wildly popular. Harold has been an active force fighting for the rights of children for over 40 years with the help of his wife through their charity Kids In Trouble, Inc.   To learn more aboutHarold Bell visit his official web site The Original Inside Sports.com.

The Film “Luv”

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Music and Video Releases with tags , , , , , , , on January 17, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Luv

As a community, we’re always asking for quality films.  Well here’s a film that is worth our time and money.  Go out and support this film.  Read the synopsis below.

Synopsis:

A special day of bonding takes a dark and dangerous detour for an 11-year-old boy when his uncle’s violent past dramatically changes both their futures in LUV, a poignant and gritty coming-of-age story featuring standout performances by Common, Danny Glover, Dennis Haysbert, Charles S. Dutton and newcomer Michael Rainey, Jr. With his mother in rehab and his father out of the picture, young Woody Watson (Michael Rainey, Jr.) lives with his grandmother (Lonette McKee) in suburban Baltimore and longs for his family to be reunited.  His charismatic Uncle Vincent (Common) has just returned home after eight years in prison, determined to straighten out his life by opening a high-end crab shack.

One morning, instead of dropping Woody off at school, Vincent decides to give the boy a tutorial on how a man gets things done. After a trip to a tailor to get Woody a custom-fitted suit, the pair heads to the bank to sign off on the loan Vincent needs to fulfill his dreams. But when a problem with the collateral puts the brakes on Vincent’s plans, his lack of legitimate business experience and his criminal record leave him with no good options. Desperate not to lose his only chance at success, Vincent throws back in with his former associates, convinced that one last score will set him free. With Woody in tow, he plunges into the violent world he thought he had escaped, running a drug deal for his ex-employer, Baltimore crime boss Mr. Fish (Dennis Haysbert) and Fish’s brother Arthur (Danny Glover).

In the course of one harrowing day, Woody comes face to face with double-crossing thugs and brutal turf wars, and sees his beloved uncle in a tragic and frightening new light. Ultimately, the boy will have to decide whether to follow his flawed hero…or become his own man.

Click here to view a list of theaters showing this film.

Tavis Smiley Booted From Martin Luther King Event

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags , , , on January 15, 2013 by Gary Johnson

TavisSmiley

Tavis Smiley, the PBS talk show host who has criticized President Barack Obama for not doing enough for the African-American community, says he was ousted as the speaker at a Martin Luther King luncheon because he was trying to hold the president accountable.

“I don’t see my role as one of criticizing the president. I see my role as one of holding the president – this and every other president-accountable,” Smiley said on Fox News on Monday.

“Something is wrong with this country … that so often the political right, and I am no defender of the political right … gets accused of playing the game of political correctness. What this underscores is that those on the left, the Democrats can play that game of political correctness as well,” he added.

Smiley was booted from the 20th annual MLK luncheon on Jan. 16 that is hosted by the Peoria Civic Center. The group announced last week that Smiley had been replaced by Michael Eric Dyson as the guest speaker of the event, citing people who were “upset about comments that Tavis Smiley has made.”

Note:  This website and blog has talked about Tavis Smiley for years.  You can debate whether he has had a fall from grace.  Or whether or not he is an unbiased and objective news person.  We’ve dubbed him a “whiner” and “crybaby,” but that’s just us.  Here’s a recent news article about Tavis from the Politico.

Source:  The Politico.  Click here to read the rest of this story.

Related article https://bmia.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/tavis-smiley-shrewd-misguided-and-one-of-the-biggest-whiners-in-the-business/

Oxygen Cancels “All My Babies Mamas”

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Women's Interests with tags , , , , on January 15, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Shawty Lo

By Black Men In America.com

Many of you know that our Founder and Publisher Gary Johnson is one of the original members assembled by author and social activist Sabrina Lamb to make sure that “All My Babies Mamas” never made it to the airwaves.  Today, it was announced that the Oxygen television network decided to cancel the show that they said was in development as a television special.

“As part of our development process, we have reviewed casting and decided not to move forward with the special,” an Oxygen spokesperson said in a statement to theGrio. “We will continue to develop compelling content that resonates with our young female viewers and drives the cultural conversation.”

The program was initially slated for release this spring as a one hour reality special on Oxygen TV. The show would follow Shawty Lo and his 11 children by ten different mothers.  According to Oxygen, “Shawty Lo and his family were considered for the show, but other families were being considered as well.”

Related Posts:

https://bmia.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/oxygen-unsure-about-future-of-shawty-lo-reality-show/

https://bmia.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/stop-the-madness-we-dont-need-this-reality-show/

Oxygen Unsure About Future of Shawty Lo Reality Show

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Fatherhood, Music with tags , , , , on January 9, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Is the network bowing to outrage surrounding All My Babies’ Mamas?

By Natelege Whaley, BET

Shawty Lo 3

Will the Oxygen network bow to pressure and cancel Shawty Lo’s All My Babies’ Mamas or will the show about the rapper’s 11 children with 10 different women make it to air?

Oxygen Media says the show that’s described as a one-hour special “revealing the complicated lives of one man, his children’s mamas and their army of children” isn’t guaranteed to air and that the video circulating was stripped from the website’s “pitch reel.

There has been opposition from conservative group Parents Television Council, which calls the show “grotesquely irresponsible and exploitive.” Writer Sabrina Lamb started a petition on Change.org that has over 20,000 signatures.

Jason Klarman, president of Oxygen Media, declined to comment on the show Monday when the programming chief of the network previewed new shows to television writers.

Oxygen has denied any problem with the show’s premise. It “is not meant to be a stereotypical representation of everyday life for any one demographic or cross section of society. It is a look at one unique family and their complicated, intertwined life. Oxygen Media’s diverse team of creative executives will continue developing the show with this point of view,” the company said in a press release last week.

IF the show airs in the spring as planned, the PTC plans to stage a boycott.

http://www.bet.com/news/national/2013/01/08/oxygen-unsure-about-future-of-shawty-lo-reality-show.html

(Photo: Chris McKay/Getty Images)

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