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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Is Black America Any Better After Integration?

Let's flesh out the entitled question. The supposition was posed in a recent article in the Kansas City The Call newspaper. What do you guys think? People of color have unquestionably made some significant strides post intergration but are we any better? Here's an excerpt from The Call:

Inclusion Or Not

Integration, as good as it was intended, has not fully been realized and the reason is simple as many state: white America isn’t ready to include you in everything.
Tamar Jacoby, author of Someone Else’s House: America’s Unfinished Struggle for Integration, clearly stated as a white female herself why the idea of integration, although good and successful in many ways, has become a backward spiral of hopelessness for those who desire to be included in the process:
“Only a tiny minority, black or white, have repudiated integration outright, but increasingly on both sides there is a new contrary mood. Some whites, tired of the issue and the emotion that comes with it, have grown indifferent to blacks’ problems. Others, black and white, think of integration as a sentimental notion, more or less irrelevant to the real problems of race in America -- black poverty, black joblessness, black advancement.”
While integration has led black America to the very top of institutions along with the ever talked about world such as sports and its African American coaches and general managers, still America is stingy in its dealings of inclusion.
Some would argue that black America has had enough. The diversity in America’s neighborhoods, schools, company offices and newspaper staffs should be enough.
But as many realize, separation, not equality continues.
In his book, Integration or Separation: A Strategy for Racial Quality, published by Harvard University Press, Roy L. Brooks states that the problem lies not only with white America’s resistance to “melt completely” with others that look different from them, but also, black America’s seemingly ignorance in recognizing it’s role when it comes to that inclusion.
As Brooks states in Integration or Separation: “For all its moral and political appeal, however, racial integration has been an unsuccessful civil rights strategy. It has not helped most African Americans achieve racial equality, by which I mean individual dignity and empowerment in American society. Racial integration has failed to live up to its wonderful billing in numerous ways. . .”
Those ways of course, education, housing, employment and government, although improved for many African Americans, still has left large gaps for those blacks seeking to be included.
According to Brooks in his book, “The integrated schools, such as they are, have failed to fulfill Brown’s expectations of healthier self-esteem and racial esteem, of academic performance among African American students substantially equal to that of white students, and of better racial relations within public schools and in the larger society. . .”

Check out the remainder of the above article below:

Is Black America Any Better After Integration?

Let's Talk about Wealth, Finance & Business Acumen in the Black Community-This Thurs. at 9pm on Afronerd Radio

We were prompted to do a show regarding the African-American approach to business by a simple statement that was made by our last guest (Michael Fisher of the Assault on Black Sanity blog). I'm paraphrasing but Fisher essentially stated that Black folk should try to develop their own businesses and decline from glomming off of White folk to create a business model for them. So this Thursday at 9pm(eastern) we are going to explore the state of business and wealth in the Black community. It should be a provocative shows as always so stop by to lend your thoughts and/or suggestions for the live broadcast. Our call in number is 646-915-9620 or of course, you can reach us via the chat room function (at afronerdradio dot com) or IM/email-afronerdradio@yahoo. Don't forget-Be there and Be square.

Black Folks and Finance are they Mutually Exclusive?

Monday, July 30, 2007

We Have an Opinion on This as Well.....

I'll submit my musings on this in a few, but feel free to discuss amongst yourselves first.

Ok my musings:

There is a commonly held belief that conservatives of color attempt to assuage the existence of racism or discrimination to curry favor with the White community. This perception is a gross mischaracterization. What concerns the Black conservative are issues of accuracy and specificity. Take the Michael Vick controversy as an example. Vocal factions within the liberal end of the African-American community are already viewing this case under a racial microscope, when race has yet to be determined as being vaguely involved. As I have stated several times during our Afronerd Radio broadcasts, Vick is entitled to the innocent til' proven guilty standard but the case should be viewed through a singular prism-simply, was a crime committed? The racial implications are specious and appear to be extemporaneous at best. Now, what does Vick have to do with Nike's (besides the potential loss of his endorsement deal looming) loss of discrimination suit? Simply put, people of color can not fall on the racism sword when it does not apply. False claims of racism and/or discrimination hinder legitimate occurrences of dicriminatory practices. Let's wait and see how the Vick case plays out-without the racial implications. Last time I checked, we have enough real racism to worry about.

Nike pays $7.6 million to settle Chicago discrimination suit
Ameet Sachdev | Tribune staff reporter
3:06 PM CDT, July 30, 2007

Nike Inc. has agreed to pay $7.6 million to settle a race discrimination lawsuit brought by current and former African-American employees at its Niketown store on Michigan Ave, the athletic-shoe giant said Monday.

Nike also submitted to independent monitoring of the store and the appointment of a compliance officer at its corporate headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. Under the consent decree, the company admitted no wrongdoing.

In a statement, Nike said it reached a legal settlement to "avoid continued and protracted litigation."

The deal eliminates a potentially damaging public relations problem for Nike. Its shoes and clothing have a huge following among African-American youth. It also relies on high-profile black athletes, such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, in its marketing campaigns.

The suit, filed in 2003, gained momentum last year when a federal judge in Chicago granted the case class-action status, expanding the base of plaintiffs to include 400 current and former African-American employees. At issue is whether Niketown systematically discriminated against these workers in hiring, promotions, benefits and workplace discipline, thus subjecting them to a hostile environment.

Nike, like most companies, has corporate policies addressing discrimination and harassment. But, as Nike corporate representatives said in depositions in the case, the enforcement of such guidelines is left to managers at the store level.

In Chicago, that resulted in African-American employees being singled out for poor treatment, plaintiffs said.

The allegations include: -- Segregating African-Americans into lower-paying stockroom and cashier positions. -- Denying opportunities for promotions to sales positions by failing to post job openings. -- Hiring African-Americans into part-time rather than full-time positions that received benefits, such as health insurance and paid vacation. -- Subjecting African-American employees to searches when leaving the store, while Caucasian employees were free from such searches. Work rules regarding attendance, sick leave and employee discounts also were unequally applied, the suit said.

Attorneys for the class could not be reached immediately for comment.

Here We Go Again.....

I'll give my two cents on this tired subject in a bit....I just wanted to this post to see what our readers think.

ALso check out this HBO special relating to interracial liasons, here and now:

NewsFlash...Black Kids & Nerdom are Like Oil and Water....They Don't Mix...according to the NY Times

One of the key components to Afronerd as our readers are undoubtedly most aware entails a desire to debunk commonly held stereotypes. Fighting the black box should be our mantra if push comes to shove. We also try to question commonly held truths as absolutes. In simpler terms, irrespective of race, creed or lifestyle, one should not always assume something is valid just because it is culturally imposed. Case in point-as I have mentioned in entries past, the epithet "nigger" comes to mind as accepting something as a "fact" by way of cultural imposition. Riddle me this Blackman-Why exactly does a White person calling you nigga(er) burn more than a person of color using the term? I have often said that nigger is a White cultural invention and they have been known to get things wrong ever so often. Whites promulgated the notion that certain folks were witches during this country's inception. The introduction of a belief or a word into the nation's lexicon doesn't make it a fact-hence, the validity that being Black is antithetical to being a nerd. As this site proves, melanin and intelligence are not mutually exclusive.

Check out a snippet from a recent NY Times article that posits geekdom as alluding to a uber White aesthetic:

Though Bucholtz uses the term “hyperwhite” to describe nerd language in particular, she claims that the “symbolic resources of an extreme whiteness” can be used elsewhere. After all, “trends in music, dance, fashion, sports and language in a variety of youth subcultures are often traceable to an African-American source,” but “unlike the styles of cool European American students, in nerdiness, African-American culture and language [do] not play even a covert role.” Certainly, “hyperwhite” seems a good word for the sartorial choices of paradigmatic nerds. While a stereotypical black youth, from the zoot-suit era through the bling years, wears flashy clothes, chosen for their aesthetic value, nerdy clothing is purely practical: pocket protectors, belt sheaths for gadgets, short shorts for excessive heat, etc. Indeed, “hyperwhite” works as a description for nearly everything we intuitively associate with nerds, which is why Hollywood has long traded in jokes that try to capitalize on the emotional dissonance of nerds acting black (Eugene Levy saying, “You got me straight trippin’, boo”) and black people being nerds (the characters Urkel and Carlton in the sitcoms “Family Matters” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”).

For the Times article in its entirety, click on the link below:

Who’s a Nerd, Anyway?

What Kind of Black are You?

This is the question posed by yesterday's Washington Post. It is definitely worthy of discussion. It is more than likely the reason for this blog. The Post article attempts to analyze this supposition using ethnic indicators, however Afronerd attempts to expand this analysis from a political, socio-economic and cultural perspective. Whether it's the media, various racial groups, society (including people of color themselves), there appears to be a reluctance to explore the existence of diversity within the African in the Americas experience. Take a gander at an excerpt from the Post article in question:

Then the circle broke, and the class ended. As we drifted away, I wondered: "What kind of black are we now?"

That used to be an easy question for Americans to answer.

African American identity was built on two criteria: African ancestry and an ancestral connection to chattel slavery. We looked at skin color, hair texture, and the size of noses and lips to determine whether a person met the first criterion. The second was assumed: If you were black in this country, somebody in your family had been enslaved.

In the past 30 years, however, 1 million people have come from Africa to the United States -- more than were brought during the transatlantic slave trade. According to the most recent census figures, 1.5 million blacks claim Caribbean ancestry. In fact, scholars say, the United States is the only place in the world where all of Africa's children -- native-born Africans, Afro Caribbeans, Afro Hispanics, Afro Europeans and African Americans -- are represented.

This development hasn't received much attention in a national debate that has made "Hispanic" synonymous with "immigrant." But the change has profound implications for the country's 35 million blacks. It sometimes leads to interracial tensions, which were on display during last week's CNN-YouTube Democratic presidential debate. A black college student asked Sen. Barack Obama -- whose mother is a white Kansan and whose father is Kenyan -- whether he is "authentically black enough."

For more from the Post article, click below:

What Kind of Black Are We?

Also check out a young man's impassioned rant (excuse the expletives) regarding Black authenticity-Introducing Outlaw:

Outlaw on Youtube

We're Not The Only Ones Espousing Reading is Fundamental

We often site Dr. Bill Cosby for initiating this neo-critical analysis phase that we find ourselves in relating to the internal struggles within the Black community. Whether it’s Cosby, Juan Williams or Herman Badillo, it appears that they were prescient pertaining to people of color needing to seriously face the statistical dilemmas that are impeding Black/Brown progress. This next article encapsulates one of these issues-reading, or the lack thereof, amongst African-American boys.

Courtesy of New America Media:

Getting Black Boys to Read Books

Hip-Hop Enters the Fray (and that might not be a good thing)

Black Commentator, Commentary, Anthony Asadullah Samad, Posted: Jul 29, 2007

Editor's note: Long-time observers of African American reading habits are alarmed. On public transportation at least, African American romance novels and fiction seem have found a comfortable -- and profitable -- niche among adults. Rarely seen: history, science, cultural criticism. Even rarer, any book in the hands of a young African American male.

In a materialistic world, what is the most valuable thing you can give your young boys? Nope, it’s not money -- they’ll spend it on rims and shoes. Nope, it’s not “bling” -- they’ll only create a false illusion of wealth that, in the end, they’ll pawn. Nope, not video games -- it only makes them fat and lazy (but they’ll have strong thumbs). How about a book? Yes, a book.

It’s time to recognize our children are bring significantly disadvantaged in their desire to get immediate information. Reading magazines and Wikipedia is not the same as reading books. We are in a new literary renaissance period. When a new Harry Potter book can sell eight million books in 24 hours (or 15,000 books a minute), you have to ask yourself, what’s going on?

They used to say that if you want to hide something from black people, put it in a book. I can tell you, having moderated panels on both coasts (the Harlem Book Fair and the first Leimert Park Book Festival) in the past month, that, for the most part, a lot of black people are reading. It’s what they’re reading (fiction, romance, erotica) that might be of concern, but at least some are reading. The African-American market is the “growth market” for the book industry. There is an exception. Young black boys.

Several national surveys have stated that black boys (ages 13-24) are not reading books. An amazing 54% of young boys under 15 years of age (more than half of school aged boys) have never read a book. Most of them drop out of school because they’re made to read books. Literary is a crisis in the black community, even though some suggest we’re in the midst of a new “black literary renaissance.” 70% of black boys/men (high school and college) 21 and under, claim to have read at least one book in their lives, but most can’t recall the title. Most of them have read newspapers (mostly sport pages, and magazines), but don’t know the pleasure of reading a book. Their leisure (and study) time is spent watching “channel zero” (television) playing video games or on-line.

How do we rationalize, as a race and a culture, not exposing our children to literature? I believe that for every video game a child has, they should have two books.

Many authors, including myself, are now targeting their books at this largely disengaged (and illiterate) segment of the black population. Even hip-hop is entering the fray, and I don’t know if that is positive or negative (given the message). The positive thing is that we all, including hip-hop, recognize that there is a problem. The negative thing is that it’s couched in same negative imagery and language we’re battling against.

I was recently flipping past BET, only to see an animated video entitled, Read A Book. I said, Oh! And watched in horror, as “the beats” set to lyrics, “Read A Book, Ni**a, Read A Mutha F**kin’ Book!!” Then they had animated big-butt women shaking their rumps with the word, book, written on their behinds. Before it was over, the video also engaged “Ni**as” to brush their teeth, use deodorant and buy land (instead of rims). Okay… we said we wanted the hip hop generation to get involved in social advocacy. I don’t quite think this is what we had in mind, but they’re engaged now on the issue of literary. And personal hygiene and wealth building.

Clearly the video was targeting young black boys using every “hook” that attracts the attention of young boys from street language to “booties” to “beats.” I guess we should be appreciative of hip-hops contribution to this issue…[silence].

The point is now everybody is recognizing that there is a problem trying to get young boys to read. This is a social issue that we all can influence. Since I was in my mid-20s, I made a habit of buying a book a week, and trying to read a book a week (it’s more like a book a month now). The point is, however, reading became a habit for me. As much a habit as working, exercising, advocating, “getting busy” and sleeping, reading, and subsequently studying, has always been somewhere in the mix. It became part of my socialization.

We have to make reading part of young black male’s socialization. We have to ask them, not “Wassup?” but “What you read lately? Make ‘em respond too. Stop showering our young boys with toys, and clothes and electronic gadgets. Shower them with books. Hold them hostage on the other stuff until they read a book. Want some $150 sneakers? Read $150 worth of books. Want a $40 video game? Yeah, after you buy $40 worth of books. Want $2000 rims? Hell, you can buy a library for $2,000 -— that’s about a book a week.

Young people’s favorite saying is, “Don’t get it twisted.” They definitely got it twisted. What they think is important is not really important. What they think has value, doesn't have the value to take them where they now to go. Now, we have to twist them back. We have to show them what real value is. It needs to start with reading a book. It’s the first step to being an enlightened study. And if it’s a woman that they want? There is nothing more exciting to a young sista than seeing a young brotha with a book in his hand. Not bling on his wrist, not rims on his car. A book.

Read a book, Young black Man, Read a book.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

3 Trailers To Look Out For-The Dark Knight & JJ Abrams' Cloverfield with a little bit Of Will Smith to boot

Looks like Heath Ledger has the laugh down. The summer of 08' is the one to beat. And check out Big Will's send up of the Omega Man...also not a bad trailer for his I Am Legend.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Someone Call Walter Latham...This Should be the Next Best of Both Worlds Tour-Clifton East vs. Tay Zonday!

Kudos to resident commenter, Mario for bringing this gentleman to my attention. Hilarious. I defy anyone to tell me that Clifton's impersonation of Cornel West isn't spot on. Again, keeping within the humorous tone for the weekend. Enjoy.

And as a side dish, check out radio shock jocks, Opie and Anthony's interview with Mr. Zonday:

What you will not SEE or HEAR on Afronerd Radio.....

How apropos that the above clip should be a BET production. It appears that I have received some degree of criticism relating to Thursday's interview with Gina McCauley of the What About Our Daughters? blog. Just as the above clip demonstrates, my interest in interviewing the young lady was to highlight her campaign against BET and not to foment a Black on Black verbal altercation. Do we agree on everything? Certainly not. But I allowed her the courtesy to tell her story. And as the clip shows, the only thing that comes from such an altercation (whether verbal or physical) is blood and nothingness. However, we did give an opportunity to the blogger of Assault on Black Sanity to voice his opinion regarding McCauley's assertions that he doctored charges against her character. He may/may not participate for this Sunday's show-8pm (eastern). Nevertheless, we do have another broadcast scheduled to discuss this past week's events, including a part 2 of the Collector's Show-Comics, Sneakers and other Hobbies. Drop by to add your two cents to our live broadcast at 646-915-9620 or IM/email(afronerdradio@yahoo). Don't forget our chat room feature at afronerdradio dot com.

And to dovetail off of Mr. Stark's "Chocolate Rain" post to maintain the light nature theme, check out Tay Zonday's spiritual cousin, Plankton (I think their voices sound similar):

Friday, July 27, 2007

"Chocolate Rain" for your weekend!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present Tay Zonday.

I think it's time to lighten things up a bit. Check this guy out, he has a funny look and a wacky song but folks seem to really dig him. Over a million views on youtube and he seems to be making the rounds.......I'm still laughing.......Peace

Mr. Starks

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Just a Reminder......9pm Tomorrow A Hot Ghetto Mess Discussion on Afronerd Radio

Just a reminder to our listeners/readers that tomorrow we have confirmed our interview with blogger, Gina McCauley (of What About Our Daughters?). We will discuss her valiant campaign to dismantle televised minstrelsy as well as her successful effort in getting BET to consent to a name change for HGM. I implore all of you to reach out and participate in this show as we flesh out the Hot Ghetto Mess or the more accurate, We Got to do Better broadcast. Give us a call with your opinions at 646-915-9620 or IM/email (afronerdradio@yahoo) or the chat room format via afronerdradio dot com.

Hot Ghetto Mess-The Day After...was it instructive or Minstrelsy continued?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

First There Was World War Hulk....Now World War Huckster-Enter Charles Barron

While visiting the Blackprof blog yesterday, I came across an anonymous commenter whose sentiments echoed my own regarding the New York City political landscape under the Guiliani administration-pre and post 911. The entry was analyzing a recent New York Times article detailing the former NYC mayor's record on race relations. The commenter further encapsulated what many African American New Yorkers were (and continue to be) subjected to regarding hucksterism in the guise of progressive leadership. Take a gander at the comments in question, courtesy of BlackProf.com:

(responding to) BT:

New York, Italian, Catholic, pro-abortion, pro gun control...that will not fly in the South, he can not get the nomination. The SE is the Republican bread and butter if they can get even one or 2 states in a close election the candidate is finished.

For those who don't remember, apparently Prof Smith does not. NYC was dangerous as hell before Rudy's watch. The subways were nearly unrideable at night on certain lines and downtown (remember the broken windows, the gangs, the urine smell???)

Remember the prostitutes downtown and the sleazy joints in Time Square. Maybe liberals see those things as proof of "diversity" but Rudy cleaned it up and I'm black. I lived in Jersey but worked in the City and never had any problems with any police in NYC during Guiliani, in fact it was the first time I saw the police actually "working" as opposed to standing around. Crime dropped significantly and the streets were clean, literally clean.

Did Giuliani not "go for" the racial machine set up by Al Sharpton and others like him? Yes. I blame them for hurting black poor New Yorker interest with their hyperbole and shakedown tactics. If I was Rudy, I likely would have done the same thing.

The simple fact is this. In the City most crime is committed by black Americans followed by PRs and Dominicans. Any crackdown on crime is not racial profiling if the majority of criminal suspects are from those groups (mostly black and Hispanic). I never heard of anyone in Chinatown or even any Mexicans being "profiled in NYC" but then again they aren't robbing and murdering people on a regular basis.

Black people in the city should be happy in that Rudy brought down crime in their neighborhoods and in some areas (I have seen first hand) kids could play in the streets without worrying about being shot by a stray bullet.

Rudy was in office from 1994-2001.

In that time look at the crime rates (just one of many tangible things he did for the city to make it livable for law abiding citizens).

"Since 1991, the city has seen a continuous fifteen-year trend of decreasing crime. Neighborhoods that were once considered dangerous are now much safer. Violent crime in the city has dropped by 75% in the last twelve years and the murder rate in 2005 was at its lowest level since 1963: there were 539 murders that year, for a murder rate of 6.58 per 100,000 people, compared to 2262 murders in 1990. Among the 182 U.S. cities with populations of more than 100,000, New York City ranked 136th in overall crime (with about the same crime rate as Boise, Idaho)."


Oh yeah not to mention how he broke the back of the 5 families (mafia).

I used to live in the city after college, because it was convenient, and I didn't leave after I got married due to cost, I left due to how sleazy it was.

Dinkins nearly ran NYC into the ground and I hate to say that as a black man, but he was not good for the city under his watch NYC literally went to hell.

Guy or girl at the top..Nana said that 3 people died under mysterious circumstances or as the result of mistakes. This is true. Innocent people got shot under Dinkins too, or don't you remember...when the cops were actually working. These things happen and they are tragic, but have you also forgot or failed to appreciate how many lives have been saved by making the City safer for everyone. I also know how this improves the economy as I have well paid friends who have moved back to the City despite taxes and what not just for that urban experience 24/7, before Rudy they wouldn't have dreamed, the goal was to get enough money to buy a place upstate or in Jersey...now more people are staying and putting money in the local economy. If you live in NYC this helps you.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 11:20

Click on this link for the Black Prof entry in its entirety:

Rudy and Race

Now check out a excerpt from the Gothamist, reporting on a real live Huckster specimen, Brooklyn councilman, Charles Barron:

For Barron, It's Totally About Race
As we mentioned, City Councilman Charles Barron held his press conference yesterday to announce his candidacy for the 2009 Brooklyn Borough Presidency. He told the crowds that his platform included affordable housing, health care accessibility, more jobs, standing up to developers who use eminent domain, ending mayor control of schools and more would help everyone. "Am I going to be a borough president for all the people? Absolutely. But I'm letting y'all know now, I'm taking care of black folk. Unapologetically."

The NY Sun noted Barron also "argued that his platform would benefit white residents as well, because 'when I take care of black folk, that's going to impact you,' he said." When the Politicker interviewed Barron after the conference, the City Councilman said, "Most media outlets are run by white, male editors, correct? There's no way in the world that, 99 percent of media outlets controlled by white males, that there's not going to be no hint of racism in it? I mean that's unrealistic... The Post, I think, is a racist newspaper, because anybody who is pro-black they consider controversial. The Post is racist. FOX 5 is racist. You know, I think there's racism in everything."

Again, for the readers that are unfamiliar with Barron and local NYC politics, check out my previous post entitled, The 60's are Over Mr. Barron.......Didn't you get the memo! But just to recap, that post detailed Barron's obsession with the renaming of a street to honor the pro-Black (and sometimes labeled racist) political activist Sonny Carson. It should also be noted that Barron's chief of staff, Viola Plummer was accused of threatening assassination against another political colleague (Queens councilman, Leroy Comrie) simply because he dissented from voting for the renaming of the street. Plummer and Barron have since denied that the usage of the term "assassination" and that it was a political assassination that was actually intended towards the councilman. Mind you, these are ex-Black Panthers we are talking about here. I guess the actual terminology-"assassinate his ass," was lost in translation. And now, we have Barron running for borough president under an overt racial agenda dismissing the real internal problems that are affecting Black folk placing symbolism over substance..again. Ladies and gentlemen.....this is the time of the Incredible Huckster in Black progressive politics. And you thought Hot Ghetto Mess only aired on BET. Share your thoughts.

Click below for more of the Gothamist article:

The Gothamist Does Charles Barron

"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology"-Enter the Real Bionic Man

Iraq Vet Shows Off Bionic Hand
The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 24, 2007; 9:58 AM

NEW YORK -- Iraq war veteran Sgt. Juan Arredondo can grasp tennis balls and door knobs with his left hand again, now that he's been outfitted with a bionic hand that has flexible fingers.

The 27-year-old former soldier, who lost his left hand in 2005 during a patrol, is one of the first recipients of the i-LIMB.

Iraq war veteran Sgt. Juan Arredondo, left, one of the first recipients of a bionic hand with independently moving fingers called the i-Limb, shakes a reporters hand during an interview Monday, July 23, 2007 in New York. Arredondo's bionic hand has finger "joints" that flex and bend like natural fingers. Each finger has an individual motor powering it, enhancing dexterity and allowing patients to do activities they were unable to do with previous prosthetics, such as shaking another person's hand and naturally grasping around round objects such as door knobs, fishing rods, and computer mouse. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (Mary Altaffer - AP)

"To have this movement, it's _ it's amazing," Arredondo said Monday as he showed off the limb made by Scotland-based Touch Bionics. "It just gets me more excited about now, about the future."

The prosthetic hand is made of semi-translucent plastics. Five individual motors power the fingers, allowing the person to grasp round objects. The hand's gestures are made possible through electrode plates that detect electrical signals generated in the remaining muscles in the amputated limb.

The i-LIMB can be covered with flexible material to mimic the look of human skin, called cosmesis.

Arredondo, of San Antonio, likened the limb to the bionics in "Star Wars" and "Terminator." "My son, he goes nuts about it," he said.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Be Very Afraid.......Afronerd Radio Takes on Hot Ghetto Mess..This Thurs. at 9pm...

Stay tuned for our next live broadcast when we take our analytical scalpels to BET's Hot Ghetto Mess. Our show just so happens to air 24 hours after the Mess broadcast, so the subject should be ripe for the picking. I have reached out to the young barrister that runs the What About Our Daughters' blog who has become synonymous with the campaign against Ghetto Mess and if her schedule permits we may be able to discuss her opinion of the show. BET's track record in disseminating lower tier stereotypes on one hand and then trying to contextualize those same precepts on the other rings of bad faith and bad television. You guys know the drill by now-join us live this Thursday at 9pm. We would love to hear your views, reach us at 646-915-9620 or IM/email (afronerdradio@yahoo). And don't forget our chat feature at afronerdradio.com.....and as always Be there and Be square.

And least I forget...again, check out what a blogger is capable of at What About Our Daughters?....here at Afronerd we appreciate her efforts and TRUST ME we will pursue a similar campaign against the music...the disrespect and DEFLECTION ends now. Take a look at the heading of this blog because we mean it-"putting the Black Bourgeosie on top" Uncle Rollo at the cookout must be silenced.

Also check out this young man's take on ghettocentric media representation and it's origins from a Caribbean perspective:

Freakonomics & Gang Warfare......Unlikely Bedfellows?

I was perusing the halls of journalist David Mills' excellent blog, Undercover Blackman when he posed a simple (at least one would think) question regarding the choice between two stereotypes-my answer is both are reprehensible and based on a one-dimensional reality. The first Youtube clip demonstrates what happens when a gangsta subculture is exported internationally and the second video denotes that same thuggish aesthetic being documented for profit within the states. Either way, it is exploitative cultural warfare with the Black image being the first and only casualty. Also check out the above snippet of Steven Levitt (economist and co-author of the excellent Freakonomics treatise) discussing his partner's research into the economics of inner city gang life. Pretty riveting stuff...although I'm not sure about the nervous laughter exhibited by his audience. I'll leave that up to our readers to sound off on this one.

Hey we still talk about comics here......World War Hulk!!

I haven’t really delved into the graphic novel side of Afronerd in awhile but I thought that I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Marvel Comics’ latest tour de force, World War Hulk. If anyone has been paying attention to what has been going on in comicdom as of late, it amounts to a complete upheaval of continuity and characterization-and I’m loving it. I might have mentioned this during last night’s Afronerd Radio broadcast but it appears that comic book writers have finally embraced the fact that their audience is primarily comprised of adults. Just within the last few years we have seen, Spiderman and Daredevil reveal their identities (willingly and unwillingly, respectively), a Civil War series involving just about all of the characters of the Marvel Universe as well as similar underpinnings within the DC Universe.

The latest major event, entitled World War Hulk has been a longtime Marvel collector’s fantasy positing what would happen if the Hulk were angered to the nth degree and what would this mean to the rest of the Marvel heroes. This is perhaps the best time to be a comic book fan because the characters have grown and now the constraints that the readers were accustomed to have not only been removed but have been turned upside down. The Hulk was always depicted as a creature of great pathos but with no real direction. Is he a hero, a villain or a force of nature? These are the questions that I suspect World War will attempt to an answer. If anyone is familiar with this series, tell us what your opinions of this series are thus far.

As Black Folk- "We need to promote and market the importance of education the same way Steve Jobs marketed the IPhone" says Leroy Robinson

I just happened to come across this article from IndyStar.com and I want our readers to weigh in on this. Here's an excerpt from educator, Leroy Robinson's portion of the piece:


African-American students need passports to future

As Malcolm X (1925-1965) so eloquently said many years ago, education is your "passport to the future." Are our young people preparing today for their future tomorrow?
With the great influx of daily technological advances -- from ipods to iphonesand FaceBook to MySpace -- far too many of our young people are spending time trying to produce the best YouTube video or download the latest ring tone. They are not spending enough time and attention developing their academic talents in this forever-evolving global society.
American students no longer compete only with students within their home state or surrounding region. Competition for a seat on college campuses not only comes from other parts of our nation, but from other nations around the world.
American students now compete with students from China, Japan, and Korea. With our society quickly becoming a global communication network, the competition for jobs, careers, and college acceptance letters is international.
While American students are working so diligently at playing video games and creating impressive FaceBook pages, foreign students from Asia and Europe are continuing to perform at the highest levels in math, science, history and geography.
As parents, educators, legislators, ministers and mentors, we must somehow shift the focus back to education.
African-American students are behind in state scores in every subject category, from math to English. Far too many young people fail to graduate from high school or to attend a college, university, trade school or apprentice program.
It is not realistic to think that every student will enroll, or needs to enroll, in an institution of higher learning. But all should put education first and make it a priority if they want to contribute to society and have a successful future.
This year's interaction with Senegal and South Africa offers an opportunity to learn more about our African-American history.
We should start by educating young people about the greatness and the history many African nations share with the world.
We should also tell young people of a time when it was against the law to teach African-Americans how to read and write.
And we should tell them of a time when black families would sacrifice all they had to educate just one of their children.
We need to promote and market the importance of education the same way Steve Jobs marketed the IPhone.
Education is a young person's passport to the future, and he or she must begin preparing for tomorrow{$326}today.

Leroy Robinson is a middle school teacher in Lawrence.

Now here is the article in in its entirety....all I have to add is Dr. Cosby and Afronerd approve of this message:

IndyStar.com-"Working Together works"

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Deflections by a Hip Hop critic......Enter the Church of Michael Eric Dyson.....

Check out Dr. Dyson's (now tenuring at Georgetown University) recent interview
with the Today Show's Matt Lauer. As many of you undoubtedly know, I am no fan of the good Reverend Doctor Dyson. No one can discount his scholarship or alliterative abilities-I just wish he would stop being an apologist for the minstrel element of hip hop. We are still hearing canned answers regarding why the current coonery based hip hop dominates all other facets of music within the rap genre. We continue to hear specious arguments comparing violent fantasy films with commercial hip hop. Again, I have yet to see Sylvester Stallone use an AK-47 against the Governator once their respective films have wrapped-talk about apples and oranges.....or is that apples and blunts. Maybe I'm missing something, but I think African-Americans at this juncture, need substantive truths and not deflective sermons. Take a look at the video-let's hear your thoughts.

For more recent deflections (sans reflections) by Dyson, click on the link below:

Democracy Now Interviews Dyson, Parts 1-4

Ok....This was pretty funny

Try to stick with this clip as there is a payoff towards the end. I have to admit that I didn't pick up on this right away. Still cool though. More serious fare coming up.

Just a Taste of Summer Fun(K)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ok...This just Sucks...

I was reluctant to post this but at this point it is a service to inform our readers about this. Again, I would say to lock your doors but it appears that it wouldn't do you any good. In all seriousness, we must always be vigilent.....time to change your locks-we implore you!

Sorry Folks...It's Cancellation Time...Afronerd Radio, The Collector's Show Returns Sunday at 8pm

Time constraints!.....we'll be back Sunday at 8pm.

I'm Not the only one that believes we are at War with Ourselves.....Let's See What Mr. Louis Thinks

I have been espousing since this blog's inception that we are literally in a war within a war. Or more specifically, due to limited opportunities, young people of color are finding themselves fighting in Iraq or warring with each other in urban areas throughout the nation. Perhaps because this next story was local in scope, I refrained from editorializing about it-but NY Daily News columnist, Errol Louis provided an excellent synopsis regarding a recent police shooting that resulted in the death of a young officer. Louis, as always, gives an erudite analysis of the atmosphere that many Black people in the Big Apple are finding themselves in after this specific incident (the officer's partner did survive) inolving three thugs who were responsible for a litany of prior offenses. Here's Louis' take on the Officer Timoshenko shooting, courtesy of the NY Daily News:

Rise up against thugs

Besieged nabes must wage war on street violence

Thursday, July 19th 2007, 4:00 AM
As a grieving, grateful city celebrates the sacrifice of Police Officer Russel Timoshenko, who was suddenly, brutally murdered in the streets of Brooklyn last week, the cry goes out for the millionth time: Where are the leaders - the men and institutions - taking action to bring order to New York's violent neighborhoods?

By all indications, Timoshenko was the victim of three losers who capped their criminal careers with a savage, unforgivable act.

But the 23-year-old hero was also a casualty in a cultural war within the black community - increasingly, a shooting war - that pits stable, law-abiding families in inner-city neighborhoods against a criminal class and its enablers.

The war is not going well. In too many neighborhoods, the institutions charged with rearing the young - from the family and the church to the schools, courts and civic associations - are failing to get a critical mass of our kids educated, motivated and ready to lead productive lives.

Far too often, we are losing the fight to dope dealers, pimps, thieves and thugs.

New York remains in denial about the fact that an overall decline in crime citywide has been accompanied by a rising tide of lawless violence in a handful of neighborhoods - including Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where I live, and where Timoshenko spent his short, heroic career.

The NYPD's homicide statistics go up and down - in fact, murders are down in Crown Heights compared to this time last year - but in some areas, the long-term murder trend is up.

In 1998, there were nine homicides in the 77th Precinct, which covers North Crown Heights. Last year, there were 23 - an increase of 155%. The adjacent 71st Precinct, which includes southern Crown Heights and where Timoshenko served, had 18 murders last year, a 20% increase from 1998.

While the rest of the city is getting safer, we're falling back to where we were almost a decade ago.

So-called leaders in central Brooklyn and elsewhere must summon the energy, creativity and nerve to reverse this slide. We have the power, or can build the power to do it.

But too many parents, preachers, politicians and professionals are standing on the sidelines, literally hiding in their homes and praying for change while whole neighborhoods spiral downward.

That's a good way to lose the battle.

If every inner-city family would commit to investing time and/or money in one institution outside their home - be it the local church, an after-school program, a block or tenant association or the community precinct - the streets would begin changing for the better in no time flat.

Civic engagement leads to the informal daily interactions that civilize a neighborhood: a cold stare and an anonymous call to the precinct for the drug dealers on the corner, a reprimand to young kids when they start acting out, a nosy "Can I help you?" to strangers loitering on residential blocks.

It works. Not long ago, Assemblyman Karim Camara (D-Crown Heights), who is also a Baptist minister, began convening neighborhood meetings to address crime along Nostrand Ave. in Crown Heights. Within months, under pressure from an outraged, organized community, the Brooklyn district attorney and NYPD's Brooklyn North command organized an undercover operation that shut down five crack houses.

We need to do that again and again.

To those living under siege by criminals, my plea today would be: Say a prayer for the soul of Russel Timoshenko - and then choose sides in the war that killed him.

I Guess Things Really Are THAT Bad.....Read a Book N#@ga!

I received this video from one of our readers a few days ago and really didn't know what to think about it. Perhaps this has something to do with what Barack Obama alluded to as the "coarsening" of our culture. I had also fully intended to reserve judgment until Mr. Curtis Jackson made some recent statements. And don't be shocked-it definitely wasn't as profound as Obama's words. The value of his words really are worth about 50 cents (or am I being a bit generous?). According to RollingStone.com:

Tough day for literature. In the new issue of XXL, 50 Cent was asked if he thinks a majority of rappers are intelligent and responded, “You have people that are extremely book smart that lack common sense so they don’t know what’s going to affect their audience. They have more information than me based on reading. For instance, Nas is a really smart guy. He reads books constantly. We were around him on the Nastradamus tour. He was almost weirder than me ’cause we would go to breakfast and he’d be there reading a book. Conceptually, I think that’s what made him drift away from what his initial audience enjoys from him and why he’s not hot right now.”

Interesting analysis … especially from a guy who wrote a book and has launched his own publishing company, G-Unit Books, which releases titles like Death Before Dishonor and The Ski Mask Way.

I think I'm done overstating the obvious. Let us know what you think. But don't worry about a backlash from the Afronerd set-we expect you to read a book here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Check Out the Cora Daniels Interview at Nat Turner's Revenge

I am a big supporter of author/attorney Christopher Chamber's blog, Nat Turner's Revenge, especially for his irreverent take on the world of literature and pop culture. Check out his latest interview with scribe and diversity specialist, Cora Daniels who is perhaps best known for her most recent literary piece, Ghetto Nation: A Journey into the Land of Bling and the Home of the Shameless.

Nat Turner's Revenge-The Cora Daniels Interview

Keeping It Light this time Around......Discussing Recent Events, Hobbies and the Sheffield Interview Next on Afronerd Radio!

We have done quite a few heavy topic shows on Afronerd Radio, so this time around it will be lighter fare. Well at least "light" by our standards. Mr. Starks and I are collectors at heart.....whether it's comic books, magazines or sneakers-it's fun, interesting, insane and sometimes lucrative. So join us this Thursday at 9pm to discuss current stories, your hobbies and ours. You know what to do-call us with your experiences "live" at 646-915-9620, IM/email (afronerdradio@yahoo.com) or via our chatroom feature at afronerdradio.com. And as always we'll try to introduce you to some music that more than likely will not get any attention anywhere else except.....well...Afronerd Radio. Nuff said!

Oh...just a tad bit more on the sneakerhead issue, check out a snippet from Bobbito Garcia's It's the Shoes show:

Time To talk Hobbies-What do YOU Collect? Comics, Antiques, Sneakers? On Afronerd Radio

OK..Conservatives & Liberals Can Agree......This Dude is CREEPY....A Man & His Real Doll

I was determined to find the live footage of this somewhere. As many of you are probably aware, I am a big supporter of Sirius satellite radio (and internet broadcasting, which goes without saying) and listen to the plethora of programming that the outlet has to offer. This morning I was listening to Howard Stern's take on an upcoming documentary pertaining to one of his in-studio props, the real doll. The real doll....is well, exactly how it sounds...a better than average life-like mannequin undoubtedly used by men (and some women) for sexual fantasy. Whatever floats one's boat. But what really caught me off guard was that the documentary is less an infomercial but more a cinematic piece that provides a window into the lives of some truly disturbed real-life characters. The above video highlights one real doll collector that I did not initially identify as a man of color while listening to today's program. I had fully intended to discuss this weird bit of Americana, irrespective of race but it just goes to prove that African Americans can be just as brilliant and crazy as the next man. Check out a man and his real doll...and don't forget to lock your doors at night.

And hey for those hidden creeps, click on the link for the Real Doll site:

The Real Doll

Oh and for an addendum piece, here's serving you even more crazy on a

A Sermon Like No Other by Alexyss K. Tylor

The N-word "slips out" and who gets blamed? You guessed it, HipHop!

And he claims THAT'S where he heard it the first time. yeah, right.

University benefactor and board chairman uses N-word

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (AP) -- The longtime chairman of the Roger Williams University board admitted Monday to using the N-word during a board meeting, saying it "kind of slipped out."

"I apologized for that," Ralph Papitto said in an interview on WPRO-AM. "What else can I do? Kill myself?"

Papitto, 80, who stepped down earlier this month after nearly 40 years on the board, admitted he had used the racial slur at a May meeting of the school's board of trustees.

He had been discussing the difficulty of finding blacks and other minorities to serve on the 16-member board, which at the time included 14 white men and two women.

Barbara Roberts, then a board member, said Papitto became irate when he discussed pressures to make the board more diverse, at one point using the slur to refer to black candidates to the board.

She said he then told the board he knew he couldn't say that because of Don Imus, the radio host who was fired after referring to Rutgers University women's basketball team members as "nappy-headed hos."

"There was, like, this complete and utter silence, and I was shocked beyond belief and very angry," Roberts said.

Papitto, who has given the school at least $7 million and whose name is on the only law school in Rhode Island, said he had never used the term before.

"The first time I heard it was on television or rap music or something," he told WPRO.

Papitto said Monday that his decision to step down from the board was based on his age and his desire to spend more time with his family. He denied a newspaper report that he was forced out over the racial epithet.

Several board members said they were forced out after calling for Papitto's resignation after the incident. At least one has called for his name to be removed from the Ralph R. Papitto School of Law.

A man who answered the phone at a home listing for Papitto hung up on an Associated Press reporter Monday morning. Law School Dean David Logan and a university spokeswoman did not immediately return phone messages.

Roger Williams University in Bristol has roughly 3,880 undergraduate students. The law school was founded in 1993 and later named for Papitto, the founder of the Fortune 500 company Nortek Inc.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.

Mr. Starks

Spike Lee's latest Film Project....

From FrostIllustrated.com:

Black WWII soldiers subject of upcoming Spike Lee film

Behind the Scenes

By Antracia Merrill-Moorings

Saluting Black Soldiers: Spike Lee says he will pay tribute to black soldiers who served in America's second World War in a new film to be shot in Italy. "America started to remember the sacrifice of black soldiers in films on the Vietnam War, but before then, in those on World War II, they were almost invisible," Lee was quoted as saying in Italian newspaper "La Republica." "I recently met a black veteran who fought at Iwo Jima and he told me how hurt he was that he could not find a single African American in Clint Eastwood's two films," Lee said. "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters from Iwo Jima" are Eastwood's 2006 films about the 1945 battle of Iwo Jima told from the perspective of American and Japanese soldiers respectively. Lee is planning a film based on James McBride's novel "Miracle at St. Anna," which follows the true story of soldiers from the 92nd, allblack Buffalo Division fighting against Nazi occupation in Tuscany, and the friendship between one of them and a six-year-old Italian orphan. Lee said African American contribution to the country's war effort at the time was all the more paradoxical given that they were still suffering under racial segregation on the home front. "Despite the fact that they had been slaves for more than 300 years and that they were still at the time subject to terrible forms of discrimination, black men fought like heroes," Lee said in the article published Wednesday. "They behaved like patriots while their brothers were lynched or at best considered second-class citizens."

What's the deal with Patron Tequila?

Just a question for the class-what's up with the constant mentioning of patron tequila in many of the current rap songs? I remember hearing a blurb about rap artists potentially receiving payments from corporations for name dropping a particular product and patron appears to be the courvoisier for 2007.

Check out InsideBrandedEntertainment.com's take on the name drop phenomenon:

In 2003, executives at Courvoisier were toasting their good fortune. Thanks to a ditty called "Pass the Courvoisier," sales of the cognac were racing up the charts. The hit Busta Rhymes/P. Diddy song, released the previous year with no engineering from the brand, was credited with boosting Courvoisier sales 18.9%, per Impact, New York. Marketers took notice, and began to step up rap tie-ins with everything from cars to sneakers to cell phones.

Now, they are going further. In a deal with Maven Strategies, Lanham, Md., McDonald's earlier this year began dangling payments to rap artists who include the name of the brand in their songs—turning the music, in effect, into a product placement vehicle.

By the time McD's floated the offer, it's worth noting, rap fans were passing on the Courvoisier. In 2004, the brand that got the most overall mentions in rap songs was Hennessy, Courvoisier's industry-leading rival, according to Agenda, a San Francisco firm that tracks such instances in its American Brandstand poll. "Henn-dog" was referenced in songs from Eminem and 50 Cent, among others.

Meanwhile, Courvoisier's growth slowed to 3% in 2004, while Hennessy's shipments

jumped 5%, per Impact.

"People like a Henny and Coke more than they like Courvoisier. It sounds better," said Morris Reid, managing director of Blue Fusion, a Washington-based youth marketing agency. "I think Courvoisier dropped the ball. They should have had a Courvoisier pajama party . . . they could have done a lot of things."

For more on the hip hop branding issue, click on the link below:

Playing the Hip Hop Name Drop

Monday, July 16, 2007

In The Immortal Words of Chuck D...Can't Truss It!

I just so happened to mention this story briefly during last night's Afronerd Radio broadcast. And I just can't truss it. This story has been brewing for quite some time stemming from an interview that Sheffield gave in the June issue of GQ magazine. He essentially stated that the dearth of African Americans entering into major league baseball is tied to matters of control. More specifically, it is Sheffield's contention that the current dominance of Latinos playing baseball is due to them allegedly being more amenable or easier to control in the eyes of baseball management. This is a highly debatable assertion. It is more likely due to matters of marketing. Hip Hop and basketball appear to be the hot tickets of interest and financial gain for African-Americans more so than baseball. And after hearing Sheffield attempt to be specific regarding his charges of racism against Joe Torre and baseball's hierarchy, it is evident that he is just not that articulate. His vocal abilities notwithstanding, I am also suspect of his problems with Derek Jeter, Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey, Jr. as he also threw them under the proverbial bus. But, I will leave it up to our readers to discern this issue after Sheffield's HBO Real Sports interview airs tomorrow. Meanwhile, check out EurWeb.com's take on the Sheffield controversy:

GARY SHEFFIELD RANTS ABOUT YANKEE RACISM: Detroit slugger stands by comments made on tomorrow’s ‘Real Sports.’
(July 16, 2007)Email to a friend | Print Friendly *On an episode of HBO’s “Real Sports” scheduled to air tomorrow (July 17), Detroit Tigers star Gary Sheffield levels claims of racism against his former New York Yankees manager, Joe Torre.

Sheffield said black players would be “called out” in the clubhouse by Torre, while white players would be called into his office to discuss matters. Sheffield also claims that Torre said the Yankees should have acquired Vladimir Guerrero instead of him.

In the “Real Sports” interview, Sheffield also denied taking steroids, but admitted that he took "clear" and the "cream" — two designer steroids created by BALCO. Sheffield said he had no idea they were steroids.

The athlete also said that he trusted and felt himself being controlled by Bonds. But, Sheffield claimed: "If I took what Barry Bonds took, why don't I look like him?"

Sheffield told reporters Friday that he and Bonds don’t speak.

"We don't have no communication," Sheffield said. "I love and respect Barry to this day. I had a problem with him at that time, but I moved on and forgave."

And least we forget, let's take a look at Public Enemy performing Can't Truss It live on SNL, circa 1991:

Hey..I Know It's Innocuous....But it IS a Sci-Fi matter involving Isaiah Washington

If I haven't mentioned this before, I am not a big Isaiah Washington fan. This is purely based on the behavior he allegedly exhibited during his time on Grey's Anatomy. I always thought that he was a more than competent thespian and perhaps a successor to Denzel, especially if you have seen his performance in Spike Lee's Get On the Bus. But how do you screw up a gig that pays high six figures per episode and is destined for the real cash cow-syndication. Black men that fall for the okey-doke, emote, implode and then fall on the racial excuse sword are not to be exalted. Nevertheless, his potential coup in obtaining a spot on the highly anticipated remake of the Bionic Woman franchise may be a vindication of sorts-if he doesn't screw that up. Here's an excerpt from USA Today:

Washington, 43, was fired last month from the hit medical drama after on-set conflicts including use of an anti-gay slur, which later was connected to co-star T.R. Knight. Washington initially denied missteps, then apologized and underwent counseling at ABC's insistence.

But in subsequent interviews after his firing, he said racism might have been a factor and accused Knight of manipulating the controversy.

Katherine Pope, president of NBC's Universal Media Studios, says that despite the public baggage, Washington is "a brilliant actor," and she believes viewers will re-embrace him. "I think people watch characters on TV, not personalities" in the news, she says.

Washington won critical praise for his role as Dr. Preston Burke, who was written out of Grey's at the end of its third season in May, when he walked out on Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) moments before their planned wedding.

On Bionic, he'll play an outsider with a mysterious agenda who is introduced early in the series and may either help the superpowered Jamie (Michelle Ryan, in the role first played by Lindsay Wagner) or take her down.

Washington has signed on for at least five episodes of the new drama, considered NBC's strongest shot this fall, in a crop developed by former entertainment president Kevin Reilly, who has since moved to the same post at Fox.

The Washington deal marks the first stamp of new NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman, who also is an executive producer of The Office and Ugly Betty.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

And Here are True Words of Wisdom from another comic book writer

Former Black Panther scribe, Christopher Priest has dropped some more jewels for the class, here's an excerpt:

From Digital-Priest.com-

If you were sitting on your porch, and some white guys drove up in a bus, grabbed your kid and dragged him off to Nazi training camp, you’d be hopping mad about it. But, each and every day black America—the black church most insidiously—sits idly by while the exact same scenario happens every minute of every hour of every day. Only, it’s our own—black gangs, black thugs—stealing our children. And, by paying your cable bill, inviting the so-called “gangsta rap” culture into your home, you’re helping them do it. By not taking a stand against gang lifestyles, by not promoting and, yes, financing alternatives to that lifestyle, by not taking a stand against violent video games, gang colors, and gangstas mentality—by allowing any and all of that to flourish in our own communities, in our own homes, we are all guilty of a heinous sin.

I mean, the NAACP is filing lawsuits against this white mayor, but how much money, per capita, did the African American community spend last year on gang alternatives? How much did the back church spend? How much did YOUR church spend on gang alternatives and anti-gang messages? How much money did you, personally, spend, last year, on efforts to keep your own kids, your own family, your neighbor’s kids, out of gangs? How much time did you spend with your kids, with your neighbor’s kids, providing alternatives to the glamorized gangsta culture? You’d actually be surprised how much good will a pizza and a movie can buy. How much influence a bowling trip can purchase.

For the Priest piece in its entirety, click on the link below:

Christopher Priest-Gang Related

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Yea..Yea....I know It's Beating a Dead Horse....but Here's More words of wisdom from a Media Executive...

The above video I believe shows one side of Hudlin's character that I actually respect-his involvement in the comic industry. You will notice that in this snippet, he is on target regarding the need for positive and cogent Black images in the comic world. So I ask....why isn't a similar mantra being applied to his network? I'm not going to dwell on this beyond this entry but I leave it up to the reader to determine what is going on here. Here's more words of wisdom from Hudlin aimed at yours truly:

Reginald Hudlin
Hero Member

Re: Live radio show-Dissecting BET, Good or Bad-Call in with your thoughts
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 09:56:22 AM »

I already told this guy to get off my jock and here he is again. Obviously his site and radio show can't get any traffic on his own so he has to go to my board to build up some kind of audience for a show attacking my workplace.

Since he's never done anything of note other than talk about what other people are doing, he can't talk about his own work.

We get it man, you hate modern black culture. Then leave it alone. Stop obsessing over it.

Again, folks...is this the same guy in the above video? I am not the only person of note (or according to him, lack thereof) that has leveled legitimate criticisms against BET's adherence to promoting stereotypes and providing a segmented ghettocentric entertainment landscape.

Check this out from Warrington Hudlin's site, DV Republic:

But it is Viacom, BET and even Lee that have been savaged in debates raging on blogs, podcasts and even the Web site's own forums. Leading the charge is What About Our Daughters?, a little-known blog and audio podcast addressing depictions of black women in popular culture. In recent weeks, the site targeted advertisers that appeared on a BET.com Web page advertising "Mess," including AT&T Corp., DaimlerChrysler and Target. Two advertisers, State Farm and Home Depot, released statements acknowledging that they withdrew both TV and online spots as a result of the boycott threat.

I must commend What About Our Daughters for leading the campaign against minstrelsy. Funny, Daughters was another blog that never did anything of note either. And get this, I would surmise that both Afronerd and Daughters actually love modern Black culture...we just want to see all of it. Nuff said!

**Also as an aside, I would implore those who have an interest in seeing multi-faceted depictions of Black life, check out Hudlin's elder sibling's work (albeit from a leftist perspective but what the hey) at:

DV Republic

And for more of DV Republic's reporting of the current BET/Hot Ghetto Mess controversy, click on the link below:

DV Republic: Hot Ghetto Mess Generates BET Controversy

I'm Pretty Sure She Gets Regular Rotation on 106.......Remy Ma wanted by Police......Damn

I'm not for gossip but according to the President of BET Entertainment I don't like modern black culture. I wonder why? And check out the above video as Remy gives advice to young Black women....Houston we have a problem :


July 14, 2007. MediaTakeOut has learned that rapper Remy Ma is

wanted by the NYC police for shooting a 23 year old woman with whom
she had an altercation. According to sources in the New York Police
Department, Remy and the woman got into a verbal argument at a NYC
night club.

The argument, police claim, spilled out into the street - where Remy
Ma is reported to have pulled out a gun and shot the woman once in
the abdomen.

And that's not all. The police allege that after Remy fired the shot,
she and her entourage attempted to flee the scene. The group first
tried to escape in a Black SUV, but after they got into an accident,
Remy and her crew escaped on foot.

Right now, Remy's whereabouts are unknown. But police warn that you
should not approach her if you see her - she should be considered

The woman who was shot is currently in the hospital in stable

Friday, July 13, 2007

Ok Afronerd....What Would YOU do if you programmed a Music Channel.....Next on Afronerd Radio!

Well in answer to the entitled question, I would give acts like Dilated Peoples (above, performing Work The Angles) my fair share of radio spins and exposure. We are aiming to put up or shut up this Sunday at 8pm. It's one thing to talk about the lack of underground and quality music but it's another to give an example-so let's do it! I want our readers and radio listeners to leave feedback if this is what radio should sound like. This is another Gumbo show folks-undergound/above ground cuts and irreverent talk in between. You know the drill-call in during our live broadcast at 646-915-9620 or via IM/email at afronerdradio@yahoo. And of course, check out our cool chatroom feature. As always-Be there and Be Square.

And Oh...check out another, anti-106 & Park featurette- a Gym Class Heroes video:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

What Do Reginald Hudlin and Curtis Jackson have in common? A lot apparently....

I will readily profess that perhaps it took a little bit of chutzpah on my part to advertise our radio show on Reginald Hudlin's message board but is this the appropriate response for a Harvard educated executive:

Reginald Hudlin
Hero Member

How about quit riding my jock, my board and my network whilst you try to build up your sh*t.

For the last couple of days, I (and a few others) have rightfully questioned Hudlin on the content that BET disseminates to the world via his cable network. It appears that you just can not question or critique these people. One could see this during Oprah's Townhall show from a few months ago or when Byron Hurt (of Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes documentary) asked BET's Stephen Hill (VP of Programming) legitimate questions concerning imagery....these folks literally run away because it is real hard to defend the indefensible. My posting the radio show topic on Hudlin's board was positioned as a discussion not an inquisition. Now the gloves are off. We still want to hear from our readers regarding your opinions of BET (yay or nay) but we will not hold our tongue on what we think is wrong with a show that intends to televise a show entitled, Hot Ghetto Mess. Tonight at 9pm-phone lines are open(646-915-9620)-Let's talk!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A tragedy for Krs-One

HipHop legend Krs-One suffers a tragic loss.
Our prayers go out to the whole Parker family.

Randy Hubbard Parker, KRS-One's Son, Dead At 23 In Apparent Suicide

Contributed By: Shaheem Reid

Randy Hubbard Parker, son of rapper KRS-One, was found dead in his Atlanta apartment over the weekend in an apparent suicide. He was 23.

Simone Parker, KRS-One's wife and Randy's mother, said Tuesday (July 10) in a statement that her son's death was related to "severe depression." The family is planning a private memorial service in Florida on July 18, which would have been Randy's 24th birthday. Plans for an August memorial service in New York are under way.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's office said Parker died on Friday from a gunshot wound to the head, and listed the cause of death as suicide.

KRS-One was on tour overseas with producer Marley Marl and was not available for comment at press time, but the statement conveyed his and Simone Parker's appreciation to everyone who has offered condolences.

Mr. Starks

Even an Iraqi Soldier Knows about the Ghetto (and their) Appalachian cousins!

Half way around the world and our culture can be summed up in four words-"what's up my nigga?" You have to laugh to stop from crying. I expect to hear more from the Excuse Crew (shout out to our visiting liberals).

The above video should have gone more like this:

You Know if the Dems decide to impeach Bush....Perhaps Black folk should impeach our Black President-Rev. Press & Curl

There really is no need for me to pontificate and/or editorialize. It would just be a complete waste. Ok, well I will say this-"the chickens have come home to roost." The culture has wrought the word ho (among other nomenclatures, see the last post)-now deal with it (and you have to tolerate Rev. Al also). Heaven help us.

Courtesy of TMZ.com (about TMZ.com):

Al Sharpton to TMZ: "Roboho" a Big No-No
Posted Jul 10th 2007 12:25PM by TMZ Staff
Filed under: Let's Get This Party Started

National Action Network President Al Sharpton has set his sights on TMZ.com over the word "Roboho" in a fashion piece that was published two weeks ago:

"Calling any woman a "ho" is demeaning and abusive and it should not be tolerated on any level. It is intolerable to think that TMZ.com would find humor in calling Beyonce -- someone who symbolizes the strength, dignity and uplifting of Black women -- a "Roboho," and they should be denounced by the entire community for glorifying the continued oppression of women with this derogatory term. Racism in America is perpetuated by ignorance and hate and using one's airwaves or media entity to promote it is a blatant setback to civil rights and the advancement of equality.

National Action Network has been in the forefront of protesting the word "ho" and will hold a 20-city tour featuring 100 women in each market on August 7th to protest the use of the word "ho" as well as the "N" and "B" words. We encourage TMZ.com to retract their misogynistic labeling of Beyonce and apologize immediately."

TMZ's Response:

In response to your statement questioning TMZ's use of the term "roboho" in our BET Awards fashion story, please note that we called Beyonce's performance outfit a "roboho" not Ms. Knowles herself. There is a difference. As to accusations that our comment was racially motivated, TMZ has humorously called into question many celebs for wearing racy outfits -- regardless of their race. We've called Lindsay Lohan's trashy ensemble a "HO-rror" and even gave Kid Rock a humorous "ho" reference in a December 2006 story. Isn't the context in which a word is used almost as important, if not more so, than the actual word? While others may have used the term with maliciousness -- we clearly did not. It was a humor piece -- as all of our fashion roundup stories are.

TMZ appreciates your feedback, Rev. Sharpton, and the dialogue it has opened, but it is clear that the only thing more subjective than what is fashionable, is what one finds funny.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Someone Should take the word "advancement" out of the NAACP acronym

Please accept my apologies for not addressing this story earlier, but many thanks to a new Afronerd reader for bringing it to my attention with a special request for my take on this matter. If you haven't been convalescing in Osama's cave as of late, the NAACP recently proclaimed the demise of the infamous "n-word" by holding a mock funeral. Does anyone remember when African-American civil rights leadership actually professed progressive precepts? At this point in our history, it has become evident that our civil rights organizations (and feckless leaders) are more concerned with contrite displays of symbolism than dealing with substantive internal issues that would actually aid the communities of color that they allegedly represent. Is it appropriate for the world to get the impression that Black progress is still impeded by a word? A word that many proclaim to have coopted back from it's European inventors? Again, why the NAACP can't (or won't) effectively deal with the following roadblocks defies imagination:

a) Individuals (yes, from the infamous lower tier faction-westsiiiide!) who have self-realized a nigger (ahem, nigga) belief system.

b) The cottage industry that profits from its usage.

c) Even more individuals that self-identify, embody and refuse to consider nigger derogatory.

It may be time for a second funeral-one for the now ineffective NAACP. And as far as the above video, I'll leave that up to interpretation. Let us know what you think. I will say this....no other racial/ethnic group appears to have this same confusion or lengthy discourse on their respective epithet-why are African-Americans still the "odd man out?"

For more on the wake in question, click on the link below:

NAACP aims to bury the 'N-word'

Monday, July 09, 2007

We are taking Our Scalpels To BET because it definitely has CANCER-This Thursday, Next On Afronerd Radio

There must be a kind of synergy (for justified criticism) in the atmosphere regarding BET and its cultural relevance. I readily admit that as of late, I have been haunting the halls of Reginald Hudlin's (BET's president of entertainment) official site discussing the many failings of cable's preeminent African-American broadcasting channel. Initially, I visited Hudlin's boards to respond to a post pertaining Christopher Priest's commentary (addressed in my entry a few days ago) but it eventually segued into a tete a tete between President Hudlin and I. Suffice it to say, Hudlin falls into the same category as Russell Simmons or Kevin Liles-a master of deflection. Direct questions are never answered, with society being the culprit for substandard Black imagery-not an inkling of responsibility is placed toward a media outlet in the business of said imagery. Check out the verbal tennis match in question, courtesy of hudlinentertainement.com:

A comment from yours truly:

Again, I never said that BET should be blamed for all Black societal ills.....but when you factor in that BET is still part of the "media umbrella"....what exactly IS their responsibility?......EVERYONE bears some responsibility when it comes to our collective image. Millions of dollars are funnelled into the media (BET notwithstanding) by advertisers due to perceived influence.....again, MILLIONS for betting on influence but when it comes to behavior, attitude and world perception....it just so happens to stop there....c'mon folks it just doesn't make any sense. When you are seeing a one note message it amounts to propaganda....and what about the payola scandals that are involved in radio?...where certain artists were played because of payoffs to the exclusion of OTHER artists.....you cats can't be this naive. I repeat....I hear emotion and deflection from you guys but nothing substantive.

Questions that haven't been answered from the board members:

Why is it OK for Stephen Hill to decline certain artists on a whim (De La Soul, Little Brother) from video/airplay?

Is it "OK" to talk disparagingly about the audience not being intelligent enough for the aforementioned artists?

Why did Stephen Hill literally run away from Byron Hurt when asked similar questions (again asked respectfully) during Hurt's documentary, Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes? When asked these questions, everyone runs away....it has to stop.

Do you think it's a great message that the Black community's preeminent cable channel discarded it's News division? Latin television (which is far more expansive) did not.
It says Black folks don't care about news........and guess what...we're proving that.

MTV's TRL actually has hosts that speak English.....why do we have to speak in stereotypical slang? AJ spoke quite well balancing out Free and the ratings were quite respectable at that time. Now both hosts do the youknowwhati'msayin' hustle.....And in answer to Mr. Hudlin's coonery question....think back to Tom Cruise's appearance on 106 to promote the last Mission Impossible movie.....Ving Rhames eating chicken, "bling" baby presents given to Cruise(because that's what the "natives" do)....one would forget that Harlem is supposed to be the apex of Black culture.....I could bring up countless instances of minstrel-like behavior that would have Lincoln Perry spinning in his grave.

Last years BET awards was another awkward affair....dignitaries like Harry Belafonte in attendance with the same type of shenanigans like the 50 cent faux pas.....it looked awkward....the NAACP(as an affair) and especially The Essence Awards are class acts through and through...

One more question....Is it wrong to see a more diversified musical landscape on a Black music channel that does fit the demographics that Mr. Hudlin alluded to?

Can someone answer these questions, without the assumption that I'm blaming all the ills of Blackness at the feet of the BET family?

And now Hudlin's Response:

So you're just ignoring what I said earlier about the news division? Because it doesn't make your point?

There is a more diversified musical landscape. It's just targeted. Sounds like you would enjoy the music on BET J...jazz, neo-soul, and none of 50 Cent and his like.

Of course, that's not your point, is it? There are options, but you are offended by the fact that black artists you don't like exist at all. Well, sounds like America isn't the place for you.

You whine about diversification, but when we do a show that brings pop, soul, gospel under one roof...a show that celebrates black achievement in film, television, music and humanitarian efforts...you call it "awkward". Harry Belafonte didn't find it awkward. He was glad to be there. And the audience was VERY GLAD to have him there. All those artists you have contempt for were BLOWN AWAY by his speech and were inspired by him. Which is why I asked for him to be there in the first place.

But you're too busy writing people off to think they are capable of change and growth.

You find black slang "cooning?". I feel sorry for you. You have internalized the values of white supremacy that even white people ignore.

I must be delusional and out of touch (check the video above for confirmation). I also believe that Hudlin forsook his Harvard training for ghettospeak when it came time to converse with Hollywood execs for funding his past movie projects. Riiight. But it's good enough for the kids at 106 & Park? We're going to dissect BET and it's cultural significance this Thursday at 9pm (eastern). We would like to hear from folks who suppport BET's product as well as those who feel that the station serves fine minstrel cuisine. Give us a call, live with your thoughts at 646-915-9620, IM/email (via afronerdradio@yahoo.com) or the chatroom feature at afronerdradio dot com. We're pulling no punches, so be there and be square. In addition, Shay of Booker Rising has just provide the latest info on BET's upcoming content changes-don't hold your breath in excitement.

For the entire exchange between myself (under the moniker, "professor zoom"), Hudlin and his board members, click on the link below:

Hudlin Entertainment Forum-Why Professor Zoom Thinks BET needs to diversify it's funds

And of course, Our Show for this Thursday:

BET-Black Entertainment or Something Else?