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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Was This A Dave Chappelle Skit or Worse.....Reality? Popeye's Runs Out Of Chicken and Insanity Ensues!

Why does this keep happening? Are some folks completely oblivious to their own actions and/or perceptions? This appears to be a real report concerning a number of Popeyes chicken establishments running out of chicken at the same time an economy special was being advertised. A rational person would simply move on to the next restaurant or the next important life issue-not the folks in this video. Pay close attention to the young mother lamenting that this chicken dilemma is impeding her (and others) from feeding her children. Who knew that Popeyes provided such nutritional value for the youth. We need another Manhattan Project, folks. I'm being facetious....I think.

Monday, April 27, 2009

This should be interesting. Jeopardy! champs versus a supercomputer.

By Christopher Null

It's bad enough that I can barely compete with the geniuses that parade through the Jeopardy! set every evening: Now us mortals have to face the possibility of competing against a computer loaded with trivia, as IBM preps a special supercomputer that could take on human contestants on a special edition of the popular game show.

This is the latest step from IBM in pushing computer intelligence into the world of human intelligence. The latest battleground: Quiz show Jeopardy!, where sometimes easy, sometimes obscure, sometimes tricky trivia is asked of three contestants who have to be the first to ring in in order to get a shot to answer -- and always in the form of a question.

Beating humans to the buzzer and phrasing the question properly will be the least of the worries of Watson -- as the Jeopardy!-playing supercomputer has been named -- nor will it be having a memory for facts. Rather, Watson's big challenge will be in understanding the questions posed on the show in order to determine exactly what is being asked.

For a simple piece of trivia this might not be so tricky: In a category of "World Capitals" a question of "Canada" leaves little confusion for Watson (or human contestants) on how to respond. But a question like "Meaning 'not working properly,' it may date back to a character in the comic strip 'The Katzenjammer Kids.'"* requires a deep level of abstract thought. Watson may have a list of Katzenjammer Kids character names, but will it be able -- on the fly -- to examine that list and compare it to common slang terms to determine the right response? Will it even understand to do that?

And how will it respond to the wordplay clues in categories like "Before & After" or categories which ask for a response that rhymes?

Watson's engineers say they aren't sure either, but they want to try, the goal is to get computers interacting in "human terms," a challenge which began in earnest when IBM pitted a computer against chess champion Garry Kasparov in the mid-'90s. Human and computer both won various matches in those series (though Kasparov claimed cheating when he lost). Ironically, the Jeopardy! challenge presents a much tougher challenge from an engineering standpoint -- but one in which it would be far more effective to cheat. (Any number of quick wits could do well feeding Watson answers; the number of players who could challenge Kasparov at chess is much smaller.)

Now IBM and Jeopardy!'s producers are looking at ways to actually stage this event, who would play, and what exactly would be on screen during the game. I, for one, vote for a CGI avatar with a deep, Scottish accent.

OK..This Time We Got It Right! Pop Culture Critic/Author, Nelson George Stops By For A Chat, Live on Thurs. at 8pm ET-Don't Miss It Folks!

Nelson George: City Kid from Nelson George on Vimeo.

If there is anyone befitting the notion of a modern day renaissance man, it would definitely be Mr. Nelson George. Ever the consummate polymath, George has literally done it all-authored 15 non-fiction books (The Michael Jackson Story, Blackface: Reflections on African-Americans and the Movies, Elevating the Game: Black Men and basketball and Hip Hop America), hosts Soul Cities for VH1, created such films as CB4, Strictly Business and directed Life Support starring Queen Latifah for HBO. This time, George will be gracing our program to discuss his latest literary effort, City Kid: A Writer's Memoir of Ghetto Life and Post-Soul Success. So join us this Thursday at 8pm eastern with your questions and comments. The call in number is 646-915-9620 or contact us via email/IM at afronerdradio@yahoo.com. See you guys (and gals) at 8pm sharp. Excelsior!

Afronerd Radio Welcomes Mr. Nelson George

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Afronerd to Sarah Connor: Sign this petition if You Want to Live! (at Least for another Season)

If anyone viewed the April 10th episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, it is undeniable that another season is necessary. But like many Hollywood suits, their modus operandi is-"if it ain't broke, let's fix it by moving it to Friday!" But we can fight back against Skynet (I mean Fox)....sign this petition and then tell a friend and so on and.....well you get my drift. You can always send an email to the President of Fox network as well via kevin.reilly@fox.com

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just A Reminder-Sunday's Afronerd Radio Featuring Mr. Starks & Dburt-Discussing Autotune, Youth Culture, Miss USA & Black Radio-Whew! 7pm, ET

I just wanted to give our readers and supporters a brief reminder that Afronerd Radio returns for another stellar broadcast...tomorrow at 7pm eastern. We didn't forget Nelson George or Ms. Jody Watley, we're just trying to iron out convenient scheduling times for all parties involved. As always, we have a lot of issues on our plate for our shows but we will try to touch on all of them in some fashion. As alluded to in a prior post, Mr. Starks and I will highlight on the following: the overindulgence of auto tune in Black popular music; our problems with current youth culture aka Generation Y vs X; the recent Miss USA controversy; transracial adoption in reverse and much, much more! Remember to call in with your thoughts and opinions at-646-915-9620 or via email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo.com. I'm sure you guys know the mantra by now-Be Square, Be There (and add Be aware for good measure). See you folks at 7pm!

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

And check out my recent call in moment with noted actor, author and conservative, Joseph C. Phillips at another Blog Talk program, Afterthoughts with S. Denice Newton:

The State Of Black America With Guest Joseph C. Phillips of The Cosby Show

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Just an FYI Blast! Tavis Interviews His Royal Badness on PBS- 4/27 & 4/28 and then there's Our Own gig, Afronerd Radio this Sun at 7pm ET!

I should also mention that Mr. Starks and I will return for another thought provoking (or is that evoking) Afronerd Radio broadcast this Sunday at 7pm ET. We will talk about the following: the current music industry trend to use auto-tune (Stevie Wonder, Prince, Pink Floyd and Roger Troutman used vocoders in the past, albeit with far more artistic precision) as the centerpiece for an entire song; the fallout from the Miss USA pageant due to Miss California’s (Carrie Prejean) alleged politically incorrect response to the gay marriage question; Newsweek's recent piece on a real life Steve Martin movie moment-a Black family's story about their experiences adopting a White child; Black males vs females of color on the employment front and the demise of Black radio. In the interim, check out the above snippet from an upcoming two-part Prince interview on the Tavis Smiley Show, slated for April 27th and 28th. See you guys (and gals) on Sunday.

Oops.....Here's an excerpt from the official press release pertaining to the aforementioned interview:

Courtesy of Fenton Communications-

Legendary Musician, Prince, Talks Frankly in Exclusive Interview with PBS’ Tavis Smiley

Music Icon Discusses Harsh Father, Not Voting, Bria Valente, Music Industry

Los Angeles– April 23, 2009– Prince will appear in a rare and exclusive two-part interview with PBS’ “Tavis Smiley” Monday and Tuesday, April 27-28. Check your local listings for air times: www.pbs.org/tavis.

During the deeply personal and intimate interview with Tavis Smiley, Prince discusses the struggles of his youth in depth, his strained relationship with his father, his frustration with the music industry and his decision not to vote. Prince speaks particularly frankly on the music industry, insisting on an artist’s right to own their own music and accusing record labels of ripping him off on the internet. He talks openly about guitar playing as challenging and frustrating, and about how he met his protégée and collaborator, Bria Valente.

"The first thing I did is,” Prince says on being teased as a child, “I went into [my]self and I taught myself music. My father left his piano at the house when he left and I wasn’t allowed to play it when he was there because I wasn’t as good as him so when he left I was determined to get as good as him. I taught myself how to play music and I just stuck with it and I did it all the time and sooner or later people in the neighborhood heard about me and they started to talk about me and it wasn’t in the teasing fashion, it was more like ‘wow look what he can do’….once I got that support from people that I believed I could do anything."

On the state of the music industry, Prince does not mince words: “You can put out a record and [Nielsen] SoundScan refuses to count as many as they actually sell but you get paid on what SoundScan says that you sold. So if it's a low number you only get paid on that number. Meanwhile when you go overseas, you check some of the barcodes and titles over there, they have already ripped you off several different times and several different ways. With the influx of the internet and those sales, then you have really gotten your bank account emptied out. So we never really knew what Purple Rain sold. I don’t know to this day. I only know what they tell me. We are conducting an audit but you know, who knows?"

Prince is one of music's most popular and prolific acts with a career spanning more than three decades. His latest album, LotusFlow3r, a three-disc set, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart and is available only online and at a single retailer.

Who the hell autotuned Dr. King?

FYI: I really, really hate this autotune software...but

Posted by Mr. Starks

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why Am I Just Hearing About This Series? Examining ABC's What Would You Do Experiment!

Ok....it's late and this is a heavy topic. Talk amongst yourselves and then I'll add my 45 cents (adjusted for inflation). I will say briefly, this does happen when store owners utilize poor discernment skills. And then sometimes it doesn't.....back in a few hours.

Here's another episode, this time involving a realtor:

ABC's What Would You Do-The Realtor

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Talk About Being Read, Black and Green! Introducing Mr. Van Jones, Pres. Obama's Czar of Green Jobs

Our readers undoubtedly know that Mr. Starks and I have been extremely critical of Tavis Smiley's State of the Black Union over the last few years. But I readily confess, that Yale educated attorney/author Van Jones (along with GOP Chair Michael Steele) was one of the bright spots for this year's Union tete a tete. I have stated on many occasions, that presently America's industrial complex is in shambles. Simply put, we just do not make anything. But Mr. Jones plans to put an end to this stagnancy by propagating the need for a green industry. It doesn't hurt that President Obama tapped Jones to be our nation's Green Jobs czar. And then, of course, there's always his book-The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems

Check out this recent report on Jones' endeavors, as detailed by AOL's Black Voices:

Van Jones: Obama's Black Czar of Green Jobs

Van Jones was a little-known community organizer just a few years ago with an unusual mission. How could a rare black environmental activist help and yet bridge two vulnerable worlds that meant so much to him -- the struggling African American community and the fragile realm of nature? On a deeper level, Jones also sought to unite the people engaged in working on both issues, proving that environmental and social activism are mutually beneficial, not mutually exclusive.

Many years and one New York Times best-seller later, Van has proven that being green isn't a "white thing," and issues that affect African Americans include green ones. In his hit book, 'The Green Collar Economy,' Jones makes a case for why the environment, the creation of jobs, and pollution in poor neighborhoods are connected issues with a common solution -- the rapid creation of "green collar" jobs. Green collar jobs are working-class vocational jobs that America needs NOW to clean up the environment and retrofit existing systems to prevent the creation of future waste. In promoting his cause, Van has explained:

"It's time to stop borrowing and start building. America's No. 1 resource is not oil or mortgages. Our No. 1 resource is our people. Let's put people back to work - retrofitting and repowering America... You can't base a national economy on credit cards. But you can base it on solar panels, wind turbines, smart biofuels and a massive program to weatherize every building and home in America."

The power of his message in 'The Green Collar Economy,' combined with his years of experience in activism, has helped Jones become the "green jobs czar" of Obama's administration. Of course Van's Yale University law degree probably doesn't hurt either. An African American, Ivy League-educated community activist with a best-selling book... Sound like anyone else we know?

While Obama might be sold on Van's ideas, many black people I am certain will still need convincing. Jones stresses that African American activism in the area of environmentalism is part of a necessary, new strategy of community organizing:

"You can't do black politics in the 21st century in the same way as you did in the 20th... This can't be about grievance; it has to be about opportunity."

Do you agree with Van and believe that it's time the black community got green?

A Reminder That We Are Still Stuck in The 20th Century! Interracial (A truly Outdated term) Kiss Causes Problems

While walking through the cyber-neighborhood yesterday, I came across an article regarding a magazine cover's depiction of an interracial couple kissing. No big deal, right? Wrong. In a historic time, when we have the first African-American president at the helm of our American engine, who is also the product of an interracial union, the above cover (of a real life couple) appeared to incense some of the mag's readership. Interestingly enough, as a conservative, I am actually very progressive when it comes down to matters of basic humanity. I also detest the term "interracial." I used it several times in this piece for specificity but it does not really connote any sort of reality, since race is more of a socio-political construct than a biological one. But take a look at this snippet regarding the racial hoopla, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:

Interracial couple kissing makes readers hot

Cover_kiss My Monday column is about the challenges facing news organizations trying to maintain conversations with readers while keeping the discourse civil and thoughtful.
Consider what happened recently when the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s weekly magazine, Go!, ran an article about the best places to smooch and featured a picture of an interracial couple kissing on the magazine cover.
Kurt Greenbaum, who moderates the Post-Dispatch’s online blog “A Conversation About Race,” told me that readers’ comments about the black man kissing the white woman got so ugly---- for example: “Haven’t read the story but dont (sic) like to see blacks and whites kissing”---- that editors decided to close the article’s comment board and move the ‘discussion’ to the race blog. You can take a look at the blog entry here. The Poynter Institute also has an online story regarding the uproar.

The magazine’s production designer chose Chris Spencer and Emilee Murphree---who have been together for 2 1/2 years----because he knew them and believed they would make a great model for illustrating the story. Greenbaum said nobody gave it another thought. Click here to read a story about how the couple felt about being the subject of such disdain.
Greenbaum said that comments were pretty bigoted until the website Gawker.com picked up the story and readers from that website signed on to his blog to rebut the bigots.
Greenbaum shut down the thread at 362 comments. He said he didn’t pubish about 150 because some of the responses were either too incendiary, way off point or from trolls repeating themselves. Still, Greenbaum was criticized for allowing so many of the negative comments.
“My feeling was that on balance most [of the comments] were supportive,” Greenbaum said. "But which comments are and aren’t allowed “should be something we continue to debate. It becomes a slippery slope if you start to feel that you can’t publish a point of view because it’s repugnant. In the end, who gets to decide? I think you have to be careful to let people know these points of view exist.”

I agree.

And then there are the comments....click on the link and then scroll downward:

Check Out the comments

Heck, this has already been treated matteroffactly by animators-hence the Justice League:

Oh and least we forget.....40 plus years ago in Star Trek-The Original Series:

A computer in your wallet? Credit card sized PCs are coming up soon

As I have stated before, I am a huge techie and I want to keep our readers informed of the latest advancements on the technology front. I'm sure many of you are aware of the popularity of netbooks, I have several at home including one that's been hackintoshed (I will get into that another time)and the following story details what's on the horizon for ultra compact PCs.

By Kit Eaton, Fast Company

I've suggested several times that in the near future computers will penetrate nearly every aspect of your daily life: After all, netbooks are relatively new tech and they're small enough to slip into a purse or (large) pocket, in the case of the Vaio P. But with an invention from Toradex, the computers-everywhere idea gets a huge boost: The company managed to squeeze most of the guts of a netbook down to a truly tiny credit-card size.

Two tiny Toradex motherboards have just been unveiled: the Robin Z510 and Z530. As their name suggests, each sports a different version of the Intel processor that's largely driven the netbook revolution: the Atom. In this case, a 1.1GHz Atom Z510 or 1.6GHz Z530 is married to a circuit board just 84mm by 55mm. The board supports up to seven USB 2.0 ports; has embedded gigabit Ethernet, PCIe and SATA connections, 512MB of built-in RAM and a microSD slot; and outputs VGA video, TV-out and HD-audio.

Obviously you don't need to connect all of these to form a full computer, and with the addition of a small battery pack (possible thanks to the Robin Z510's tiny power consumption of just 3.5 to 5 watts), a complete PC package could easily be fashioned into a smaller-than-palm-sized unit. Imagine a next-gen electronic book that's much more capable than just a text-display system thanks to a tiny embedded Atom motherboard, or a digital photo frame with one inside that also lets you play games and download and watch movies.

Combined with equally small systems such as the plug computer and other tech like intelligent clothing, truly ubiquitous computer power -- far removed from the idea of a "PC in a box" -- is now a whole step nearer. Just one important question remains: Would you run Linux or Windows on your smart-system, Wi-Fi-embedded, digital color display ski jacket?

Posted by Mr. Starks

Monday, April 20, 2009

As Promised The Comic Shop Opens Promptly Tues at 7pm ET-Marvel Capcom 2 a reality?, Pushing Daisies The Comic, Dissecting Caprica & More!

The boys are back and we want you to stop by for a 7pm eastern graphic novel sit down! Join Daryll, Max and I to discuss the following: Rumors are swirling that there may be another Marvel Capcom video game iteration in the works ; ABC's Pushing Daisies appears to be returning in comic book form and what does that say about other cancelled shows? Is the graphic novel a natural reprieve for fallen shows?; Our thoughts on the Caprica dvd release; why one blogger ponders the notion that video games do not make great films and our favorite comic reads from the preceding week. Feel free to jump in to the conversational fray by calling-646-200-0104 or via email/IM at-thecomicshoppe@yahoo.com. Make yours..The Comic Shoppe!

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

Oh I'll Use Any Excuse to Quote the Godfather........Black Athletes & Intelligence Are Not Mutually Exclusive Precepts.......

Check out this snippet written by Casey Gane-McCalla for the Huffingtopn Post:

Before playing the Stanford team in the Final Four, UConn women's coach, Geno Auriemma, said people underestimated Stanford because they think white players are soft. More pointedly, he pointed out that his players, who are predominantly African-American, should be given the same respect for their discipline for which Stanford's team was praised. The coach was simply exposing stereotypes that have been around for a long time.

Black athletes are usually given credit for their "natural athleticism," while whites are credited for their "hard work," "discipline" and "knowledge of the game"; as if Black athletes are naturally given the gift of great athleticism, and white people become great athletes through hard work, discipline and intelligence.

Every Black athlete who is successful has worked very hard and is knowledgeable of their sport. Every white athlete who is successful has natural athletic ability.

The problem with stereotypes in sports is that they often lead to general stereotypes. If you say "white men can't jump," why not "Black men can't read defenses"? And if Black men can't read defenses, maybe they can't read books either?

Sports stereotypes have a real effect in the real world. Most employers are not concerned with employees' natural athletic abilities, so stereotypes of African-Americans being athletically superior for the most part do not help Blacks in the real world. However, the stereotypes of whites being hard working, disciplined and smart are helpful to them in finding employment.

One of the most prevalent stereotypes in sports is that of the Black quarterback. Both Rush Limbaugh and former sports commentator, Jimmy the Greek, have caught flack for their philosophies on African-American quarterbacks. Jimmy's explanation of how blacks were bred for physical skill but whites were bred for intelligence was blatant racism, but there have been many more subtle ways at insinuating the same point.

The entire article can be found here.

But then there's the antics from the peanut gallery (as detailed by Stephen A. Smith's diatribe...below) that torpedoes the very initiative the article promulgates:

I'll provide my take on this issue in a few hours.....those darned time constraints!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

An Erie PA Policeman's View of Black Death As Seen Through Beer Goggles.......Or Did He See Something Else?

Mr. Starks called me early this morning to tell me about this next story that appears to be gaining more ground in cyberspace, even as we speak. Essentially, an Erie PA patrolman (as seen in the above Youtube clip), spewed a rather callous account of the death of a young man of color while imbibing drinks amongst friends in a local bar. I will leave it up to our readers to come to their own conclusions about this issue but you know after reading this blog for quite sometime, Mr. Starks and I are ever the contrarians. But first, let's get into the facts of this case, courtesy of Goerie.com:

In the case of the notorious videotape of an Erie police officer, we don't know what is more appalling -- the words and actions of the police officer or the stupefying response of the Erie police leadership and Mayor Joe Sinnott.

By now, you know about the video and its exposure on YouTube. Based on what was recorded by a video camera at a bar in Girard, now-suspended Erie Patrolman James Cousins II entertained a small group of fellow drinkers by describing the humor he found at a murder scene and in another police investigation.

The murder victim, Rondale Jennings Sr., 31, died of a gunshot to the head outside the Bullpen tavern, 923 Hess Ave., on March 28. Cousins, a patrolman since 2004, apparently found it hysterically funny that the victim's body was twitching when Cousins arrived at the scene.

He found it endlessly amusing to mock the reaction of Jennings' grieving mother, Yvette Jennings. He displayed a cavalier attitude toward the victim with this comment: "We're looking at it like, 'One less drug dealer to deal with. Cool.'" There have been no published reports linking the victim to drugs.

Erie Police Chief Steve Franklin and Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott should have taken a cue from Erie County District Attorney Brad Foulk and immediately condemned Cousins' comments, apologized to the victim's family and reassured the Erie community that an investigation into the officer's conduct would be the bureau's top priority.

They didn't.

For the remainder of this Goerie.com piece, click here.

I want our readers/radio supporters to be absolutely clear that I would never make light of a young person's death (irrespective of race) or try to excuse the Erie constable's actions. But.....there is a perception that Black folks possess an equally cavalier attitude about the same urban pathologies that this cop is undoubtedly exposed to on a daily basis. We are literally talking about a legion of Black males killing each other in record numbers without so much as peep from established Black leadership or their respective constituencies. I remember noted columnist Stanley Crouch, pointing out that one might hear Black officers making similar remarks based on the preponderance of their negative encounters with criminal minded folks of color. Here's a quote from the Crouch piece in question, courtesy of the March 2000 issue of Salon online:

In fact, one black cop said to me a few years back that if he weren't black himself, he might be tempted to become a racist, given the terrible things that he witnessed on his job. One of the reasons that didn't happen was that he knew dozens upon dozens of Negroes who were not like those who made life in high crime areas so abominable.

So what do you guys think? Are we crossing the line? Can we employ critical self-analysis without being overly sensitive? Again, the police officer's remarks were crass but what is the Black community's responsibility in ameliorating the aberrant behavior that continues to mark our young people for death?

No Afronerd Radio broadcast today.......The Comic Shoppe is still on for Tues ...But Check Out This Treat For Our Sci-Fi Fans..Before BSG!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hulk Hogan has aquired an "understanding" for O.J. and his situation.

(CNN) -- Pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, embroiled in a bitter divorce with his wife, Linda, told Rolling Stone magazine he can "totally understand" O.J. Simpson, the former football great found liable for the deaths of his wife and another man.

"I could have turned everything into a crime scene like O.J., cutting everybody's throat," Hogan said in the interview for a feature that will run in Friday's edition of the magazine.

"You live half a mile from the 20,000-square-foot home you can't go to anymore, you're driving through downtown Clearwater [Florida] and see a 19-year-old boy driving your Escalade, and you know that a 19-year-old boy is sleeping in your bed, with your wife ...

"I totally understand O.J. I get it," Hogan said.

A spokeswoman for Rolling Stone magazine confirmed the quote to CNN.

It has been widely reported that Linda Hogan, 49, is dating a younger man. She filed for divorce in 2007 after nearly 25 years of marriage.

Simpson was found not guilty of murder in the 1994 stabbing deaths of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, but was found liable for their deaths by a civil court jury.

Simpson later was found guilty in a Las Vegas, Nevada, armed robbery case and sentenced in December to up to 33 years in prison.

A spokesman for Linda Hogan said Wednesday that the statement amounts to a death threat and that her attorney is "weighing all options necessary to protect his client."

"Sadly, his recent comments remind us that his definition of fair is much different than what the law dictates," Linda Hogan said in a written statement.

Her spokesman, Gary Smith, linked the comments to the 55-year-old Hogan's three-decade career, during which he held multiple championship titles and, during his heyday in the 1980s, was easily the most popular wrestler in the world.

"We have always maintained that the fear that Linda has had to live with comes from the rage and instability much too often associated with pro wrestlers," Smith said in the statement.

CNN was unable to reach Hulk Hogan's publicist for comment on Wednesday. In comments to Access Hollywood, a spokesman said the comments were not intended as a threat and that Hogan "in no way condones" Simpson's actions.

Posted by Mr. Starks

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chuck Norris......President of Texas? More Secession Talk From The Lone Star State

I was aware of this story about a month ago but the frivolity of the topic just didn't spark any gumption on my part to put pen (or is that keyboard) to (word) pad. There was sparse talk of Actor/martial artist and conservative, Chuck Norris having the desire to become POTSOT (President of The State of Texas). Why is this talk gaining ground in the wake of the first POTUS of color? And Texas, of all places, with it's racial history, makes matters even more circumspect. I have stated previously, as a conservative of color, that now is not the time for foolhardy and potentially racially derisive ideas. With our nation's demography changing, it becomes even more imperative to garner more minorities into the fold if the republican party is to survive. I also support President Obama as I properly deduced that he will (and appears to be) governing from the center, despite the protestations of Socialism coming from right wing radio. But what about this crazy Texas secession talk? Now the Texas Governor, Rick Perry is adding fuel to the fire...Check out this Huffington Post piece and then let's discuss:

Gov. Rick Perry: Texas Could Secede, Leave Union

Is this about race, taxes, tea bagging (talk about a double entendre) or something else?

A Few Positive Links To Click Pertaining to the State of Black America!

After the Domino's food tampering story, perhaps we all need a few stories that can at least provide some evidence that human life and dignity might have a chance. Case in point-the continued revitalization of Black Wall Street. Unfortunately, today's youth probably have greater familiarity with rap artist, The Game's Black Wall Street record label than the Tulsa, Oklahoma historical business district (and 1921 riots that led to its demise) that inspired it. I have stated repeatedly that the American version of apartheid was a primitive and socially repressive system that will forever remain a scar in the annals of US racial history. But as reprehensible as segregation was, this era forced people of color into a type of self-sufficiency that many of our conservative brethren believe can be replicated for a post racial American populace. For more than a decade, Tulsa has spearheaded initiatives to attempt a revival of the famed district. Here's more on the city's efforts, as reported by Examiner.com:

Since the turbulence in the Greenwood back in 1921 (click here for part one and part two of this series), the neighborhood has continued to rebuild and thrive. One of the driving forces behind the resurrection of the Greenwood Historic District is the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce.

Reuben Gant, President and CEO of the Chamber was born and raised in Tulsa in the early ‘50’s. He said that back in the day, before the 1921 riot, Greenwood was the “crown jewel” of the African American quality of life in the U.S., coming into being due to segregation that denied Blacks the right to shop, eat, etc. south of the railroad tracks.

“History has it, whether true or not,” he said, “that more African American millionaires came out of Greenwood than anywhere else in the country at one point. That’s when it was given the moniker of the “Black Wall Street of America” by Booker T. Washington.”

Nevertheless, according to Gant, although Greenwood has that legacy and history, the community really does not exist in the same sense that it did, even after resurrecting itself from the ashes of the rubble of life and property lost during the riot. Desegregation, he said, brought about a different kind of devastation, because African Americans could exercise their right to spend their dollars wherever they desired.

“What was left was just one block and an expressway that really separated us,” Gant recalled, “so Greenwood went through a renovation, resurrection and renaissance.”

On this one business block today you will find almost two dozen tenants, many of which are Black-owned businesses. The rest of Greenwood is primarily residences, churches and the Oklahoma State University-Langston campus, the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the state.

The Chamber, which Gant has been involved with in several capacities since the mid-1980’s, is working tirelessly with all factions of the Tulsa community to further develop and expand the Greenwood District, while also striving to promote African American entrepreneurship and commerce here.

For the complete Examiner piece, click on the link below:

Tulsa: revisiting the past to understand the future

And for more Youtube clips of the above Tulsa Riots documentary, click on the links below:

Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma - Pt. 2

Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma - Pt. 3

And for unrelated (but positive news), it appears that recent stats are showing a decrease in the Black prison population regarding drug connected offenses. Conversely, there has been a rise in similar offenses amongst Whites. Here's a snippet regarding this phenomenon from The Washington Post:

For the first time since crack cocaine sparked a war on drugs 20 years ago, the number of black Americans in state prisons for drug offenses has fallen sharply, while the number of white prisoners convicted for drug crimes has increased, according to a report released yesterday.

The D.C.-based Sentencing Project reported that the number of black inmates in state prisons for drug offenses had fallen from 145,000 in 1999 to 113,500 in 2005, a 22 percent decline. In that period, the number of white drug offenders rose steadily, from about 50,000 to more than 72,000, a 43 percent increase. The number of Latino drug offenders was virtually unchanged at about 51,000.

The findings represent a significant shift in the racial makeup of those incarcerated for drug crimes and could signal a gradual change in the demographics of the nation's prison population of 2 million, which has been disproportionately black for decades. Drug offenders make up about a quarter of the prison population.

The Sentencing Project report and other experts said the numbers could reflect several factors, including an increased reliance by prosecutors and judges on prison alternatives such as drug courts and a shift in police focus to methamphetamines, which are used and distributed mostly by white Americans. In addition, the report said, crack use and arrests have declined steadily since the 1990s.

Click here for more from the Post article.

And lastly, as far as stats go, a rise in Blacks is occurring on the MLB front. All this good will can't be a trend....can it? Click on the link below for more info:

MLB Scores An "A" For Racial Diversity

Ok This Is Just Disgusting........Time To Rethink Ordering Takeout!

Beyond words.....I really can't speak on this as it so vile and worthy of a jail sentence. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

Courtesy of WPIX.com-

Domino's Pizza Employees Fired After Posting Disturbing YouTube Video

BY ANDREW RAMOS | wpix.com

April 14, 2009

CONOVER, N.C. (WPIX) -- It lasts about 2 minutes and 27 seconds long, but it's impact will most likely linger for the next couple of years.

Two Domino's Pizza employees inadvertently joined the ranks of the unemployed when they posted a video on YouTube that gave anyone watching a slew of reasons why they should think twice before ordering from basically, anywhere.

A woman donning a Domino's uniform, who identifies herself as "Kristy" starts off the video by speaking directly to the camera and declares that "... at Domino's, I like to be lazy," she says. "Yes, lazy."

The camera then pans to the right where we find co-worker "Michael" who is preparing what appear to be ready-made sandwiches for would-be customers. "Michael" is seen picking his nose and wipes it on one of the sandwiches, prompting "Kristy" to laugh out loud.

"Did ya'll just see that? He just put a booger on those sandwiches," she's heard saying.

The vile act leads "Kristy" to reminisce about another time - most likely videotaped - when "Michael" apparently went to town on another batch of sandwiches.

"Do you remember the time you sneezed?" she asks him. Yes, I'm sure Michael remembers all about it, but the tragedy is that we could only imagine.

The video carries on for another gruesome minute and a half that could be best described as disgusting.

Just hours after the video was brought to the attention of the franchise's owner, both Kristy and Michael were immediately - and rightfully - terminated.

"Our chief of security has spoken to the franchise owner [Tuesday] morning, who was dumbfounded, to say the least," wrote Vice President of Communications for Domino's Pizza Tim McIntyre in an email to consumerist.com, who first reported the story.

"He has told us that he will be terminating their employment today," McIntyres writes. "The 'challenge' that comes with the freedom of the internet is that any idiot with a camera and an internet link can do stuff like this - and ruin the reputation of a brand that's nearly 50 years old, and the reputations of 125,000 hard-working men and women across the nation and in 60 countries around the world."

According to reports, the two former employees have insisted that the video was a mere prank and the food was never served.

Nonetheless, a word to the wise: the next time you're dining at an eating establishment, make sure "Kristy" and "Michael" are not hiding in the kitchen somewhere.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Stop By Our Comic Shoppe Tomorrow at 7pm ET-Discussing Sarah Connor's fate, Comic Book Prices, Comics Return to the Sunday Paper on Wed? & More!

Time to get to the point! Stop by the Comic Shoppe broadcast on Tuesday at 7pm ET to hear Max, Daryll and yours truly discuss the following: more thoughts about the above Sarah Connor Chronicles season (or is it series) finale; a blast from the past by DC bring the comic section back to newspapers-on Wednesday; an analysis of comic collecting and the economy; Dragonball: Evolution's dismal box office returns; A Venom spinoff?; Zac Efron as Jonny Quest? and our favorite graphic novel reads from last week. Don't forget to call in with your questions/comments at-646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo.com. Imperius Rex folks!

Oh and check out this Ifanboy interview with Geoff Johns regarding Flash: Rebirth #1:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

An Interesting Story of Passing......in Reverse? Professor Sandweiss' Latest Book-Passing Strange!

When I first took a gander at the Chron.com piece discussing Passing Strange, I immediately thought about the critically acclaimed Broadway play about the journey of a Black rock musician. Actually the Chron article denotes another Black person's journey....sort of. The Black part that is. Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line tells the fascinating tale of Clarence King, a White male of some prominence during the 19th century who passed for Black in order to marry a woman of color. Here are the specifics, according to the Houston Chronicle:

A few years ago, historian Martha A. Sandweiss read in passing that Clarence King — a Caucasian male famous in the 19th century as a surveyor of the vast frontier and a best-selling author about the land west of the Mississippi River — lived a double life as a self-proclaimed African-American male.

During an era when many light-skinned blacks hoped to pass as white, King, who lived from 1842 to 1901, moved the other direction, passing as black for some of each year without the knowledge of his white friends.

The cause of the reverse passing? Love.

In 1888, King had met and married an African-American woman named Ada Copeland, 18 years his junior. Copeland, who had made her way to New York City from rural Georgia and found a job as a domestic, knew nothing about King’s fame in white high society. Instead, she knew him as James Todd, a name he had concocted. King/Todd, who was known for his brilliant conversation in high society, told Copeland he worked as a Pullman porter, with the long train trips accounting for his long absences. Although King did not look like somebody with even the remotest amount of African-American heritage, Copeland and her friends believed he must be black. Furthermore, why would any successful white male want to pass as black?

So for 13 years, until his death at 59, King carried on the deception as Copeland’s common-law husband and father of their children. He revealed the truth to Copeland near the end of his life. The revelation apparently did not shake Copeland’s love for her husband but, naturally, complicated matters during a struggle over his estate. The complications never dissipated completely for Copeland, who lived another 63 years, finally dying in 1964 at 103.

Sandweiss’ sleuthing has produced a fascinating dual biography of a man who left behind lots of evidence about his life, and a woman born into slavery who left behind little. Those same sleuthing skills led Sandweiss, a historian who specializes in researching the American West, to produce essentially a second book between the same covers, a contextual treatise about race and class in the United States during the second half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century.

Click on the link below for the Chron article, in its entirety:

Passing Strange's love story is a black and white issue

And for Professor Sandweiss' recent BookTV appearance, click here.

And speaking of a Black Rock musician's journey, check out perhaps Prince's funkiest version of Erotic City known to man. This is from a rehearsal/jam session, circa 1984:

The Kid in rare form-

And then there's Ceelo and The Foo Fighters channeling Prince...next entry-The Comic Shoppe-

And Just When You Were Feeling Prideful About Marian Anderson, The Minstrels Continue To Ground You Back To Reality-Snoop Gives Pres. Obama a Toke

Do I really have to say anything about this? But I can't help myself....as Mr. Starks often exclaims, certain lower tier folk really should not have a forum. microphone or an audience. Appalachian Whites are appropriately compartmentalized-why can't we do this with their darker hued counterparts?

Happy Easter Folks! No Afronerd Radio today......well because, It's Easter! But Let's See What The Great Marian Anderson Did on Her Easter, 1939!

First up, the great Nelson George will not stop by our show today because we forgot that it's Easter-his interview will be rescheduled. It's not uncommon but sometimes I get caught "sleeping behind the wheel" (figuratively) but thanks to commenters like Sergio Mims, I'm quickly shrugged back to consciousness-hence his email concerning legendary opera singer, Marian Anderson. In some misguided ghetto-centric circles, Biggie Smalls has been referred to as the "first" Obama. I think that disinction should be more aptly connected to Ms. Anderson. Today is the 70th anniversary of Anderson's groundbreaking and critically acclaimed open-air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before an audience of 70,000 and a radio listenership estimated to be in the millions. Here's more info, courtesy of the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON – Marian Anderson couldn't sing at Constitution Hall or even a local high school because of the color of her skin. So the opera singer performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in April 1939 and sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."

Unlike other events then, the 75,000-person crowd that had gathered to hear the African-American woman sing wasn't segregated. Blacks and whites stood together. Senators and Supreme Court justices also came on that Easter Sunday. The event came to symbolize the ideal of America's racial equality.

On Sunday afternoon, 70 years later, there will be another free concert at the Lincoln Memorial, this one designed to commemorate the 1939 landmark event. The Sunday concert will incorporate songs from Anderson's event and remember its significance during America's era of segregation.

A modern African-American opera star, Denyce Graves, will sing classical songs at Anderson's anniversary concert. Chicago Children's Choir, the women's a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock and the U.S. Marine Band are also scheduled to perform.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell will recite excerpts from Lincoln's second inaugural address during the concert. Following the hour-long performance about 200 people will be sworn as U.S. citizens, symbolizing the rights all Americans are guaranteed.

"To me, it's just very dramatic," said Josephine Pesaresi, 75, the daughter of Justice Hugo Black, who attended the 1939 event. "People are younger, they don't realize what huge things have happened and how far we have come. It makes me weep, I'm so happy."

Pesaresi, who will be present at Sunday's concert, says it makes her recall how her father had grown in his racial outlook. Black, once a member of the Ku Klux Klan, later joined a unanimous Supreme Court in outlawing segregation in public schools in 1954 and often voted with the court's liberal wing on civil rights cases.

For the remainder of the marion anderson piece, click on the link below:

Concert to pay tribute to late opera singer

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ruminating on HBO's Thrilla in Manila Documentary.....

What could an Afronerd possibly have to say about a sports film, you may ask? Well, you'd be surprised. I was fortunate enough to see a screener of HBO's boxing documentary, Thrilla in Manila and believe it or not, it dovetails on the very issues that this blog encapsulates-history, politics and race. From the onset, Thrilla definitely makes an excellent case for the usage of another network's famous slogan-Must See TV. Thrilla attempts to provide the viewer (and boxing historians) with a more centered, if not contrasting view of the last match in the famous boxing trilogy between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier for the Heavyweight title of the world. For the sake of full disclosure, while watching the film, I had to confer with my father about this historic sporting event because I distinctly remember him not having the greatest admiration for Muhammad Ali during this period.

Although I was a child during the contest, I can still remember the spectacle of it all and perhaps to date, how no other sporting event has rivaled it since. The Thrilla doc is also reminiscent of the Akira Kurisawa film, Rashomon in its depiction of a life-altering event (horrific in the Rashomon case) and how it is interpreted by four different witnesses. In this case, Joe Frazier gets the opportunity to provide his version of this cataclysmic battle between modern day gladiators. Over the years, there have been a number of Ali cinematic efforts, all of which portray The Greatest as well......The Greatest. In this film, Joe Frazier is seen as a one time friend and benefactor to Ali when he (Ali) fell out of public favor due to his refusal to fight in the Vietnam War as a conscientious objector. The film also highlights the fact that Frazier was instrumental in Ali obtaining his boxing license when it was initially revoked over the war controversy.

Any student of sports history (and history in general) knows how this story ends...Muhammad Ali ultimately received the accolades, wealth and iconic status. But what did Frazier receive? Some might say he was publicly embarrassed by Ali with attacks on Frazier's appearance and intelligence. But the truth is that the sport has taken away the health and vigor of both fighters. Frazier presently lives in a small backroom apartment in his Philadelphia boxing gym and Ali is a shadow of his former self due to his battle with Parkinson's Syndrome. Do yourself a favor, if you want to see Afros, Imelda Marcos, President Nixon and Filipino communist vs despots-pull out the flux capacitor and take a trip back to 1975 to witness a contest of two champions. Thrilla in Manila airs tomorrow on HBO at 8pm (ET).

HBO presents Thrilla in Manila

Monday, April 06, 2009

Just a Few More Things to talk About.....Is gary Coleman Channeling John Travolta in Pulp Fiction?

Well I'm sure you've seen what Pulp Fiction did for John Travolta in the resurrection of his career. Perhaps the independent effort entitled Midgets vs Mascots will do the same for former child star, Gary Coleman's career. I'm not sure what to think concerning this film, but I can't look away......maybe that says something.

Next Up-Eminem helps to induct Run-DMC into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:

And lastly, can someone remind Nike and Kanye West that we're in a recession. I'm talking about all the hype pertaining to West's latest venture-$500 plus (courtesy of ebay) sneakers entitled, Air Yeezy (groan....)-

Heck, Mr. Starks and I are hardcore collectors, being sneakerheads notwithstanding but Yeezy kicks? I'd rather pay through the nose for original Air Jordans!

Check Out Our Comic Shoppe Broadcast, Tues at 7pm ET-The Return of Barry Allen, Bones/Family Guy Crossover ?, Wolverine: Online (Prematurely) & More!

Keeping it simple....again! Join Max, Daryll and yours truly tomorrow at 7pm ET to discuss the following: Flash's return via Flash: Rebirth#1; thoughts about the Wolverine: Origins flick that was leaked online last week; the plausibility of a Bones-Family Guy crossover (what will the suits at Fox think of next?); Terminator's Brian Austin Green wants to be GL; Heroes, Sarah Connor and Smallville speculations and our favorite comic reads from last week. Don't forget to call in with your questions and/or comments at-646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo.com. Excelsior, brethren....

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

What the F!! First Obama chicken, now we have a Chia Obama!

On yesterdays broadcast we told you about the Obama Fried Chicken restaurant and the Obama Beauty Supply store. Foolishness at its finest, but if you thought it could not get any more ridiculous, amazon.com is selling Chia Obama planters. And guess what, it comes in two versions, the happy version and the determined version. Go figure.
Get your credit cards out folks, I know you can't wait to place your orders...

Posted by Mr. Starks

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Weren't We Just Talking About This? Can the Obamas, The President in Particular Be Fairly Critiqued?

I would be the first to say that President Obama is not above criticism-legitimate criticism. As progressive as the Young Turks may be, perhaps they are on to something as it relates to analyzing Barack Obama. It gets deeper when one adds a scoche of melanin to a political dish that is being served to Blacks and Whites. More specifically, what about people of color being able to critique the president? Well there appears to be a schism brewing amongst some in the African-American community concerning how President Obama should be judged. Let's take a look at this excerpt from the Washington Post, as it pertains to this very issue:

Jeff Johnson knows how to make his audiences squirm. The young, black radio and TV political commentator waits for the discussion to turn to the topic being talked about ceaselessly, incessantly, ad nauseam: the meaning of the barrier-breaking election of Barack Obama.

Then, in his laid-back style, he says, "The real issue for me is that history is not enough." That's when the mood becomes tense.

"Black folks, in particular, get irritated," says Johnson, who travels the lecture circuit, hosts a half-hour show on Black Entertainment Television and has a weekly spot for social criticism on a radio program popular with black listeners. Get past "Obama the personality" and see "Obama the president," he says. "Otherwise all you're being is a political-celebrity groupie instead of a citizen. . . . It starts with acknowledging he's my president, and not my homie."

As the nation's first black president settles into the office, a division is deepening between two groups of African Americans: those who want to continue to praise Obama and his historic ascendancy, and those who want to examine him more critically now that the election is over.

First, click on the link below for more of the aforementioned Post piece and then a 25 cents (adjusted for inflation) for your thoughts:

Blacks at Odds Over Scrutiny of President

Oh and taking a page (and a suggestion) from Afronerd supporter, Sergio Mims' allusion to economist, Dr. Bill Rogers' Meet the Press appearance during our earlier radio broadcast (at approx. the 20:00 min mark) ....here's the episode in question:

Just a Few More Topics We May Cover on Tonight's Show As Well As Some links of Interest!

Well, I would like to think that we may have enough time to discuss the following:

The Big Apple's own progressive and/or underground hip-hop artist, NY-Oil managed to get a sit down interview with Rev. Al Sharpton. This is a tricky one as we respect Oil's fight against the negativity in the hip hop industry but we're not really supporters of Rev. Al. Again, this may have to be tabled for discussion during the second half of Sunday's Afronerd Radio broadcast. Check out the Oil/Sharpton exchange by clicking on the link below:

NYOIL Interviews Rev. Al

Next up, the sad and violent death of an interracial married couple (I hate to use the term but it relates to their tragic and untimely death) allegedly at the hands of three Black "friends." What makes this case even more perverse is the perpetrators use of the term nigger lover toward the White husband. Again, the perps were Black. Wow...here's more info for the sake of specificity:

Grim twist in torture-slay of Marine Sgt. Jan Pietrzak and wife: racial epithets on walls of home

And lastly, another tragic story centered around mass murder and gun violence. If the multiple deaths in Binghamton, NY wasn't enough....another incident occurred in Pittsburgh allegedly by a madman exclaiming that he was fearful an Obama administration would take his right to bear arms away, therefore he decides to kill people. Check below for more on this horror show:

Gunman Kills 3 Police Officers in Pittsburgh

And here are 2 links of interest, for obvious reasons. The blog is called Afronerd...check out some of our colleagues in the world of Black pulp and nerdom:

Black Superheroes' blog

Black Superheroines' blog

Of course there's the occasional android update as well, courtesy of the land of the rising sun. A new robot makes its way to the catwalk:

Saturday, April 04, 2009

More For Sunday's Afronerd Radio broadcast-After the Interview: The Obamas Trip Abroad, A Jack Johnson Pardon?, Oakland Police Shooting & More!

I just want to give our readers/supporters/radio listeners a reminder posting that we will be interviewing playwright, Shelly Garrett, tomorrow at 7pm eastern. But the interview is just the appetizer, the main course will be an analysis of the following: our feelings pertaining to the Obamas' European adventure; the fallout concerning the Oakland police shooting; A double murder at the home of a former NY Jet; Sen. John McCain's proposal to pardon (posthumously, of course) famed boxer, Jack Johnson over the Mann Act and we'll try to get into pop singer, Madonna's failed adoption of another Malawian child. Annnnd....I'm sure you know our drill-call in with your thoughts, opinions, protestations and questions at-646-915-9620, email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo.com or now twitter (twitter.com/afronerd). Don't forget next week.....enter, Mr. Nelson George.
Here's a preview:

5 1/2 Things About Ft. Greene By Nelson George from Nelson George on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Barbershop Talk Courtesy Of Mos Def

Uhm....a few words on this in a few hours. But can't Bill Maher get an informed guest next time? I like Mos Def as a actor/musician but not so much for deep political discourse. Again, I'll pontificate in a few....

Alrighty then....I'm back for a brief rant. I would never say that Mos Def isn't talented. Actually his immense talent is a tour de force of sorts. He appears to be able to walk the tightrope of possessing respectable acting ability and the adroit lyric prowess of a good hip hop musician. But a cogent political spokesman? I don't think so. But he does possess the necessary melanin content to be on a talk show as the popular Black dude that the Real Time producers required. Mos Def is certainly entitled to his opinion but I grow weary of television outlets like Maher's show providing exposure to the conscious rapper/entertainer/minstrel with the most definite politically progressive cred archetype and not the person of color cut from an alternate cloth. Hey, why bother.....we all think alike.....NOT! But I must confess that I like Mos Def when he waxes on the artist formerly known as Zev Love X or helps Dr. Cosby solve a mystery but I would suggest that he abstain from political diatribes-I'm just sayin'.

The Great "Black Hope," Jack Johnson May Get His Due (100 years later)...........Thanks To Another Maverick, Sen. John McCain

Courtesy of The Kansas City Star:

GOP's McCain, King seek pardon for late boxing champ Jack Johnson
Sen. John McCain and Rep. Peter King are hoping that they have a fighting chance of persuading the nation's first African-American president to pardon posthumously the world's first African-American heavyweight boxing champion.

McCain, R-Ariz., and King, R-N.Y., unveiled a congressional resolution Wednesday calling on President Barack Obama to pardon Jack Johnson, who won the heavyweight title a century before Obama took the oath of office.

Johnson's 1908-1915 reign atop the boxing world was flamboyant and controversial. Many whites reviled him at the time for his boxing prowess, his wealth and for openly courting and marrying white women.

Displeasure with Johnson spawned a search for a "great white hope," a white challenger who could knock him to the canvas and take his title. However, the law delivered the biggest blow to Johnson in 1913, when he was convicted under the Mann Act for having a consensual relationship with a white woman across state lines.

McCain, King and historians think that Johnson's conviction was racially motivated. Johnson fled the United States to France before he was sentenced. He finally lost his heavyweight title to a white fighter - Jess Willard - in Havana, Cuba, in 1915.

"We need to erase this act of racism," McCain said.

King, a recreational boxer and conservative lawmaker from Long Island, said Johnson "was hounded out of the championship and out of boxing.

"He didn't get his due and the African-American community didn't get their due, This would help clear that cloud."

Johnson died in a car crash in North Carolina in 1946. His story has been chronicled in stage and film productions of "The Great White Hope" and in "Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson," a PBS documentary by Ken Burns.

"A pardon is much needed. It's fairly clear that Jack Johnson was framed, railroaded," said Christopher Rivers, a French professor at Mount Holyoke College and a boxing enthusiast who translated into English a memoir Johnson wrote in French during his exile years. "He was unapologetic, sassy, always with a smile on his face. White Americans were not ready to see a black man beat up white men and get paid lots of money for it."

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

GOP's McCain, King seek pardon for late boxing champ Jack Johnson

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Just An Afronerd Radio Preview Moment........Playwright Shelly Garrett Pays A Visit For An Interview, Sunday April 5th, 7pm ET

I just wanted to give our readers/radio listeners a heads up-noted playwright, director and producer, Shelly Garrett will be stopping by for a scheduled sitdown this Sunday at 7pm eastern. For those in the (theatrical) know, Mr. Garrett is known for creating such plays as: Beauty Shop, You're Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else and Barber Shop. Suffice it to say, before there was a Tyler Perry, there was a Shelly Garrett. Joining me for this special broadcast, will be two esteemed blogging colleagues, Invisible Woman and Sergio from Bloodsport. We will discuss Mr. Garrett's genesis in the world of Black theatre, his thoughts on the growing division between high and low brow African-American productions, his influence on Tyler Perry's career and neo-minstrel criticisms. Again folks, this is not the show to miss, so mark your calendars!

Check out Mr. Garrett's handiwork below-a snippet from You're Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else:

Shhhh! Snikt!

Be Very Quiet.....