Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bowie State student accused of fatally stabbing roommate

Two young and promising lives tragically derailed over ipod music in a college dorm:

About 8 p.m. Thursday, the students in Suite 208 of the Christa McAuliffe residence hall were getting ready for what should have been a fun night out at Bowie State University’s homecoming week comedy show.

Alexis Simpson, a 19-year-old newcomer to the college, abruptly turned off the iPod playing in the suite. Everyone asked her to turn the music back on. “No,” she said, according to an account in court papers.

Simpson and Dominique Frazier, 18, started to yell, and the fight turned physical. Someone in the suite split them up, pushing Simpson into her bedroom. But Simpson came back with what looked like a knife and stabbed Frazier in the neck, the court papers say.

“I didn’t mean to do it. You all don’t know what I’ve been through. You all jumped me,” Simpson said before she ran out of the dorm.

Frazier clutched at her throat, staggered into the hallway and collapsed
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I don't know the extenuating details of this sad affair; but I do know there is a serious lack of impulse control and a deficiency in conflict resolution - combined with drama addiction in our society, it becomes a lethal.

We have a generation raised on Jerry Springer, Reality TV melodrama and court TV. The common denominator of these programs is to reduce the participants and audience to the lowest common denominator.

Viewers watch people with conflict settle their differences via aggressive confrontation - it makes for exciting TV drama.

They rant, name call, scream and sometimes have physical altercations with no one listening or addressing the core issues.

Black women on these programs are encouraged to go into sister-girl mode - in full effect - with eyes rolling, hands-on-hips and that I wish you would attitude.

To reiterate, we don't have the details of this specific tragedy, nevertheless in far too many cases life imitates art - well, what passes for art these days.

I leave the last words to one Bowie State University administrator:

Artie Lee Travis, vice president for student affairs, became emotional as he told students that it was a time to “think about a life that was taken away from us.”

“Remember to resolve situations, to agree to not be disagreeable, to be civil and not uncivil, to leave a legacy and not leave a record,” Travis said through tears. “Don’t let another young person leave this Earth because they can’t understand how to work together to resolve conflicts.”

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tyler Perry tops Forbes Hollywood list

Tyler Perry is laughing all the way to the bank.

The comedian-actor-producer extraordinaire has topped the Forbes list of the highest-paid men in entertainment with $130 million in earnings from May 2010 to May of this year, thanks in part to his "Madea" movie franchise
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Many artistic and intellectual snobs loathe Perry's movies and sitcoms. They say, Perry's entertainment is low brow humor that depicts African-Americans in a buffoonish and caricatured image.

I disagree, Perry's characters can be over-the-top and his movies do follow a predictable formula, but Perry's characters - in their outrageous presentation - are endearing and they dispense a down home and much needed wisdom.

His entertainment appeals to a community weary of Boyz In The Hood, New Jack City, Menace To Society, Booty Call, Dead Presidents, Juice, Mo Money, Tales From The Hood and on and on...

His themes are about family, community, spirituality and overcoming adversity no matter how downtrodden one may be.

Additionally, Perry builds studios, employs black actors, directors, writers, camera crews, make up artists, set designers, and other behind the scene specialists.

Perry has demonstrated the power of the black dollar when organized and developed - it can make us richer and create job opportunities for our community.

To the haters:

We need many more Tyler Perrys in many other genres as well. Use his template and do you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Miss Angola crowned Miss Universe 2011

Congratulations to the stunningly beautiful newly crowned Miss Universe who hails from Angola.

Newly crowned Miss Universe Leila Lopes hopes her victory will allow her to assist her native Angola further escape its history of war and impoverishment and said she plans to focus on combatting HIV around the globe.

And even more refreshing and inspiring about the young lady - crowned in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Monday - is her take on beauty.

Responding to questions, the business student said that she has never had cosmetic surgery of any kind and that her three tips for beauty were to get a lot of sleep, use sun block even when it's not sunny and to drink lots of water. She said her smile was her best weapon in the competition.

"I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty," she told the judges.

"Thank God I'm very satisfied with the way God created me and I wouldn't change a thing," Lopes said. "I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family and I intend to follow these for the rest of my life."
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Once again mega congratulations to Miss Angola, who impressed the judges with her brains and well as looks.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Time Magazine: White Washes History - No Blacks Pictured in 9/11 Commemorative

No Blacks Pictured in 9/11 Commemorative?

When I received this e-mail (thanks Russell) my immediate response was, this has got to be another one of these Urban myths.

Certainly, a national magazine of the statue of Time would never do a 10 year commemorative pictorial edition dedicated to 911 and omit people of color.

Well apparently - and sadly - this is not another Urban myth.

When publishing a 911 time capsule (pun intended), Time - with an editorial board that is color challenged - decided to overlook the stories of pain, triumph and heroics of people of color.

Time magazine this week published "Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience," a photo-rich commemorative edition dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. No identifiable African Americans are pictured in its 64 pages.

Asked about the omission, Time spokesman Kerri Chyka said by email: "TIME is declining to comment at this time."

The issue is published at a time in its history when the magazine apparently has no African American editors.

"There certainly are African Americans on Time's masthead," spokeswoman Ali Zelenko told Journal-isms by email. However, she did not respond when asked to name them. The masthead lists other staffers in addition to editors.

"I will reiterate that diversity has been, and remains, an important priority at Time," Zelenko said.

A Time announcement said, "To create this special edition, award-winning photographer Marco Grob worked with the editors of TIME to produce an astonishing set of forty portraits coupled with dramatic oral histories from survivors and leaders including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, General David Petraeus], George Pataki, Rudolph Giuliani, Valerie Plame Wilson, Tom Brokaw, Daisy Khan, Howard Lutnick, James Yee, and many more. Additionally, for the very first time, the only four survivors of the attack on Tower Two of the World Trade Center who were above the point of impact tell their stories."
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Kind of curious, to say the least, how can you chronicle Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and not Secretary of State Colin Powell?

How can you include Paul Wolfowitz - who was not even a senior cabinet member - and exclude National Security Advisor Condolizza Rice?

While on the subject of 911 and 10th anniversary, Toure on MSNBC best raps up my sentiment regarding the commercialized and sensationalized reporting:

Need I say more...