Dr. Umar Johnson Gets Detailed on ‘The Breakfast Club’ About Issues Affecting the Black Community (Video)
Although I don’t speak with Dr. Umar Johnson on a regular basis I still consider him a friend. I went to school with Umar Johnson before he became “Dr. Umar” & it wasn’t uncommon for us to have many conversations years ago about what’s going on within the black community. Not only are we both from North Philly, but we have both served as the President of our school’s Black Student Union at different times. We’ve organized & traveled to the historic Million Man March in D.C. with a large group of brothers as well has having mentored young students through an organization called ‘Positive Images’ back in Pennsylvania for a few years. He was always an avid debater on a variety of issues & always held true to his convictions. Rarely have I’ve seen him back down from a heated debate even if it centered on something as simple as hip hop music or sports during lunch in the cafeteria. One thing that I can co-sign is that Umar has always been consistent in who he was & in his beliefs.
So of course it’s difficult for me to believe any of his recent detractors who try to say he’s anything less than authentic. Dr. Umar Johnson didn’t just pop up overnight because he’s been doing this for as long than I’ve known him. I’m excited yet not surprised to see him finally breaking through with his greater message to better the situation for African-Americans & others around the world through a Pan-Africanist viewpoint. Although he continues to travel around the globe delivering his message & through a variety of grassroots lectures that most people have posted on youtube, I feel proud & happy to finally see him start to reach the audiences who best need to hear his message. It was always his life work to do what he’s doing at this very moment. Check the interview with Dr. Umar Johnson with “The Breakfast Club” at Power 105 in New York above & get some food for thought.
The Source, Rolling Stone, People, AllHipHop, Vibe, and NY Daily News all confirm that Sean Price (aka Ruck, one-half of Heltah Skeltah) died Saturday morning (August 8, 2015) in his sleep. He was 43 years old.
Sure, the comforting thing to say is that we should ‘celebrate the life of Price‘ or ‘remember him fondly.’ And I will; but right now, I am going to allow myself to feel a bit sad. I am going to watch vids and listen to all kinds of P (as Price would call himself) as my “Therapy” (yep, going all the way back to Heltah Skeltah’s early hits, too) to help me push through. I expect I will circle right back around what I was thinking just a couple of days ago: Sean Price was a beast in the booth, a lyrical weight champion (Mic Tyson) and so much more to Hip-Hop.
Sean Price was a crazy uncle to the Hip-Hop fam, but he had his own family, too. He gave us peeks and pieces of life with his wife and kids his rhymes and in video. We got close to P, so it’ll hurt a bit more; but we should also remember the joy that came with that closeness. I never personally met the man; but beyond rap skills, his zaniness would crack me up. The clowning that Price got into – like that Mic Tyson ‘live from Hurricane Sandy’ piece or the recent Tyrese spoof – is proof of just how far dude would go to get a laugh. I hope you got to laugh with him, too; at his antics from afar or maybe up close and personal. Yeah, I plan on laughing at some quality Sean Price craziness later; but now I am going to be sad.
Just now thinking about how I’ll miss posting those off-the-wall, no-advance-notice quick-hit rhymes and dope features. Those were pleasant surprises to be enjoyed, like his solo work. But there will be no more. A great chapter in Hip-Hop ends because the author is now gone from us.
Rest In Peace, Sean Price. We will miss you.
(Hit the jump for sentiments from around the Twitterverse.)
Recently the country has had their eyes on Texas yet again for another encounter of cops and the treatment of Black Women. A couple months back there was the incident of cops in McKinney TX violently attacking young black children and a young sista was slammed to the ground and sat on by a Race Soldier I mean officer of the law. Now in Waller County, TX the sad story of Sandra Bland who was found dead in her jail cell after she was arrested for a turn signal violation. The local cops have claimed it is suicide but the Bland family disagrees and thinks their is foul play. A lot of people across the country thought the same especially since Sandra Bland was an outgoing 28 year old who just landed her dream job at her alma mater Prairie View A&M University. That doesn’t strike me as someone who wants to kill themselves over a traffic stop. Dr Boyce Watkins uses his platform to speak on this topic and invites Yvette Carnell founder of ( BreakingBrown.com ) & Benjamin Dixon ( TheBenjaminDixonShow.com ) to join him and go deeper into this incident and what it represents. The sad reality is this traffic stop led to this woman’s death and the officer who is paid to protect and serve did his part to ignite confrontation. This is great discussion by free thinkers not controlled by corporate media. Video of the officer pulling Sandra Bland over after the jump.
The Red Cross Raised $500 Million Dollars For Haiti Earthquake Relief But Only Built 6 Homes (Video)
We are all aware of the tragedy of the 2010 Earthquake that hit Haiti and ravaged the country. The relief funds started to pop up everywhere and one of the main organizations waiving the flag was the Red Cross. The organization raised around $500 Million dollars to help rebuild Haiti. A recent NPR report though has shown that the Red Cross has only built 6 new permanent homes with all of that money. So this has people asking where did the money go? Yvette Carnell of BreakingBrown.com along with Ben Dixon speak about what happened and the controversy surrounding this. Here is a link to the full NPR Report that details more on this headline.
The term “Black Wall Street” has been thrown around by a lot of rappers from time to time. The reality is the term Black Wall Street speaks to the amazing times of Black Prosperity in Tulsa Oklahoma in the 1920’s. The Greenwood neighborhood located in Tulsa had a number of Black doctors, dentists, bankers, and business owners. They spent money amongst themselves had their own bus companies and were doing better than most of the whites in Tulsa. It all came to a crashing bloody ending when false accusations were made regarding a white woman saying she was attacked by black men from the neighborhood. This led to the first time the US government bombed it’s own people yes you read that correctly the Feds dropped a bomb and destroyed the neighborhood. If you didn’t know the GAP Band is from Tulsa, OK one of their famous songs is “You dropped the Bomb on me” and you thought that was just talking about the ladies.
Well Your Black World Films has a documentary coming out detailing Black Wall Street and how we can make our modern day Black Wall Street. Check out the trailer and CLICK HERE to Pre- order the movie!
Jon Stewart Calling Bullsh!t On Media’s Baltimore Protest Coverage: ‘Kids Blowing Off Steam’ Versus ‘Urban Kids Rioting’ (Video)
This episode of The Daily Show, hosted Jon Stewart, takes some funny-but-true shots at CNN and Wolf Blitzer’s coverage of ongoing protests and riots in Baltimore. Blitzer said the events there are “unbelievable” and never-before-seen…Really? What about the RECENT events in Ferguson? And unbelievable? C’mon… college kids do much damage after big games. Of course, the Baltimore situation is not a game; and indeed there is more to the outbursts in Baltimore (if only the news would cover it).
The heavier coverage of the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner compared to the riots in Baltimore (sparked by the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died days after suffering a spinal cord injury while in police custody) was more than fair. The governor calling in the National Guard, properties and cars were set on fire citywide…all less than an hour’s drive away??? Yeah, CNN [and Today Show and other news media], you’re slipping. And blowing on the flames on the fires now, to keep your ratings stoked, instead of fanning out and covering the fullness of the story (including root causes like poverty, lack of economic opportunity in the community, issues related to youth disenfranchisement) is not helping.
There has been a lot of talk about Black ownership and financial freedom sparked from the Damon Dash interview he did on The Breakfast Club. It set off a firestorm on social media some people being inspired and some comical moments with the hashtag #TweetLikeDameDash. With all of that said Dame brought up some good topics and Dr Boyce Watkins helped to bring some perspective to the conversation. He has a PhD in finance and owns his own business Financial Juneteenth. Dr Boyce discussed obstacles like Racism & White Supremacy that play a part in blacks becoming financially independent. He does not make excuses though and agrees with Dame Dash in regards to Black Men & Women having the be their own Boss mindset. Overall it is a great discussion between Angela Yee, Envy, Charlagmagne & Dr Boyce Watkins a breath of fresh air rather than mindless gossip talk.
Well when it comes to movies or documentaries about Black History a majority of them deal with the same Civil Rights struggle or blacks in slavery stories. Both are part of Black history but not the only story and the Hidden Colors documentary series has done a great job covering information/history. The first three have been critically acclaimed with subtitles like “The Triumph of Melanin” & “The Rules of Racism” with the latest installment titled “The Religion of White Supremacy” that should be released later this year. Tariq Nasheed the creator & director of the Hidden Colors series has already confirmed speakers like Dr. Umar Johnson, Dr. Francis Cress Welding & Phil Valentine who have all participated in the first three. He has promise some new speakers with this upcoming edition. If you watched Hidden Colors three you saw how he surprised us by having the rappers Nas & David Banner discussing Racism. Who know he might have them back and other surprise rappers. Here is a link to a kickstarter that he has for the funding of volume 4 Click Here.
Common recently appeared on the panel revolving around Black Fatherhood on ‘The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore’ that airs on Comedy Central. New York Times columnist Charles Blow, founder of the Center for URban Families Joe Jones and comedian Mike Yard also take part in this discussion that began with the simple statement that ’72 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers.’
Although they tackle serious issues in this discussion, things get hilariously uncomfortable fast as Larry poses questions about whether they’d play in the Super Bowl instead of witnessing the birth of their first child & their opinions on whether or not black women are too domineering in relationships. Check out more video from the discussion below……
Respect shout to CNN’s Brooke Baldwin for putting Hip-Hop Statesman Killer Mike on a national platform once again. Sound reasoning delivered in a heartfelt, strikingly sincere way. Check out the points made (not ‘scored’… it’s not about that) about Ferguson in the aftermath and Grand Jury announcement that no charges would be brought against [now retired] officer Darren Wilson, the man who shot and killed Mike Brown. Part 1 above.
Wow. This just a week after a heart-wrenching speech onstage at a Run The Jewels show. Brooke asked what Mike would say if Darren was there in front of him. See the answer and more in Part 2 after the jump.
VICE News is literally going into the hot zone (Monrovia, Liberia) to bring us news on the fight against Ebola at ground zero; right as U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the American military would have boots on the ground shortly
The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa began in Guinea in December 2013. From there, it quickly spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Cases also appeared in Senegal and Nigeria, and there was another outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Today, Liberia is at the center of the epidemic, with more than 3,000 cases of infection. About half of them have been fatal.
As you’ll see in the mini-documentary, the threat is not a ‘threat’… it’s REAL. And for those in the West; we have not been hit hard, but we’ve been hit. Maybe this will wake us up to the reality that problems over there ain’t just “their” problems. Watch, learn… about the outbreak, response & solutions, frustrations and more.
Thank you, VICE News… again… for news coverage and information (not just a quick scare before moving on to the next shiny story).
Okay, so Talib Kweli’s friend Pharrell Williams’ talk with Don Lemon went way better than Kweli’s. Check it. A self-admitted apolitical celeb, the singer/producer weighs in with comments on the situation in Ferguson (Missouri, USA), on Michael Brown’s death and more. Much more; even in this short clip.
This is gonna be the longest hangover in race relations…ever!
– Pharrell Williams
Talib Kweli x Rosa Clemente Talk About The Michael Brown Shooting And More In Ferguson, Missouri (Interview)
Democracy Now is on the job and on the ground at Ferguson, with coverage and perspectives that probably won’t be seen/heard in even left-leaning mainstream media. You’ve probably seen the brief heated encounter between CNN’s Don Lemon and emcee/activist Talib Kweli. Pushed out online (a lot) because of the shock value of the argument. No ground gained, no growth in understanding; and folks didn’t really communicate that even that argument ended respectfully for the most part. However, this in depth talk with Kweli and Rosa Clemente (a longtime activist, journalist, scholar, and former director of the Hip-Hop Caucus) gives us the food for thought we need. Calm, thoughtful, progressive talk about matters of substance. With a keen interest in maintaining focus on the protest movement, Kweli and Clemente joined other grassroots activists in Ferguson just before a massive march planned for Saturday in their hometown of New York City. The NYC march will be on Staten Island, seeking justice for Eric Garner, the brother who was choked to death by police last month.
Listen (and download for FREE) below as Democracy Now! producer Aaron Maté facilitates a chat with Kweli and Clemente at Ferguson’s Greater St. Mark Family Church.
Activism: Killer Mike Speaks On Mike Brown’s Killing, What It Means To All Americans And More (Video)
See? When your music speaks truth, you get called on to speak truth. See how CNN’s Brooke Baldwin even mentioned the “Reagan” video (got that one here)? She knows. Killer Mike should speak on matters like Mike Brown and Ferguson. Father, husband, SON OF A POLICEMAN, concerned member of the human race… Killer Kill From Adamsville has much to say, and man, he said it! The next eleven minutes of your life should be spent watching this video (above) right here, right NOW!
If this police officer is not arrested… rioting… tears… pain… But what really happens… is all of our rights are thrown out the window. I am afraid for all Americans. I’m not just afraid for Black Americans… We as a people have to be more vigilant about policing the people we pay to protect and serve us…
That about it, people. It ain’t just the cops. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? It’s US! WE have to step up! We have to vote in LOCAL officials (sheriffs, councilpersons and alderman, and other officials) and participate in (and/or institute) watch-dogging so cops know that ‘policing’ goes both ways. More than that though, we need to develop solid, respect-driven relationships with police authorities; just as Killer Mike (with his barber shop) has. That does NOT excuse cops abusing their authority, but our steps toward revolution should bear in mind that we seek resolution. And building relationships that deescalate abuse of authority, and build respect and care for the community into the citizen-officer relationship is a necessary part of the resolution.
PART 2: KILLER MIKE ON CNN
Read the rest of this entry »
Cornel West & Michael Eric Dyson Express Opposition To President Obama’s Handling Of The Mike Brown Shooting & Protests in Ferguson, Missouri (Video)
Interesting. Let’s synthesize the views of two known call-it-as-they-see-it Black socio-political commentators: Michael Eric Dyson and Dr. Cornel West. We’ll start with Dr. West’s clip (above) because it seems to have more of a yearning for balance and justice in its honest criticism of The President than fire. To be certain, Dyson makes valid points; but in a way that engenders more of a cannot-believe-he-said-that factor. Even though the continuing tragedy whose latest face is Mike Brown’s definitely calls for words that shock.
In the above clip (Dyson’s is after the jump), Dr. West is talking on BBC. Despite the time delay due to overseas videoconferencing, we quickly get to some really good meat for discussion. In response to a posit from the BBC Newsnight correspondent made of the Black leader West:
I’m not a “Black leader.” I’m a lover of Black people… I tell the truth of suffering of poor people, in general; Black people, in particular. What we need now is quality leadership on every level. We don’t need the same kind of every day folk coming through with the market branding, with the names and photo opportunities. We need local, grassroots leaders who have integrity. And the sad thing is we have such low-quality Black leadership in America; so that you get a certain distance from what is actually happening on the ground… in terms of following through. We need a leadership… that brings us into the great legacies of Martin King and others.
Ooh, ooh… now click over to the posts on Talib Kweli’s and J. Cole’s recent responses on what is needed. An affirmative, love-driven response, that has actually doing something rather provide another occasion for empty rhetoric and photo opps from the same ‘leaders.’ Wow. And it also shows a risk inherent in Black people taking control of the narrative, as Kweli declared was necessary: that we do not all will not agree on approaches. There will likely be a contingent that opposes folks we ‘need to be on our side’ (like President Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder; Black people in high places). There will likely be folks who would prefer Dr. West and Dyson ‘hush now’ and not speak their minds.
What we need is the struggle. W.E.B. DuBois vs. Booker T. Washington…opposing stances vocalized, and Black people move forward. Malcolm X vs. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr...opposing stances vocalized, and Black people move forward. Today, perhaps, we have yet again opportunity for the friction of those sorts to generate that heat energy we need (e.g. so called ‘Obama apologists’ that Dr. West calls out above versus stern steady opposition in the calling out, above and after the jump, by Dr. West and Dyson).
Man. And wait until you see what Dyson says below. Just what was posted earlier. Taking back the narrative, maintaining focus on the core issue – not an assessment of Mike Brown, but of the events leading to and brought up by the tragedy of his being unjustifiably killed. Sure, an assessment of guilt would be called for …in a court of law …if Brown was still alive to stand trial; even posthumously, if anyone (like the police who stand accused of slaying Brown) were ever arrested and indicted.
Get it now? Discuss amongst yourselves. We’ll be here.
He failed to deal with the particular instances not only of Michael Brown — he doesn’t have to deal with Michael Brown. The President said, I don’t want to put my thumb on it too much to weigh the scales of justice. Don’t even talk about Michael Brown. Talk about what led to Michael Brown. Tell us as a nation what happens when festering rage in a community then begins to ignite and then begins to consume not only that community but the people around the nation who are empathetic. So I think The President has a lot more latitude. Does he have opposition? Yes… He’s opposed every step. Don’t use this as an excuse to not speak about race.