Sunday, July 31, 2011

For Uganda Little Leaguers, Exhilaration and Then Heartbreak

For Uganda Little Leaguers, Exhilaration and Then Heartbreak

Tadej Znidarcic for The New York Times

The Rev. John Foundation Little League team, Middle East-Africa champions, practiced last week in Kampala, Uganda.


KAMPALA, Uganda — Felix Barugahare has no idea what a sporting goods store is. He shares a glove and swings someone else’s bat, and there is a good chance that his baseball cleats are the first pair of shoes he has worn.

Felix is a second baseman for the Rev. John Foundation Little League team, the first team from Africa to qualify for the Little League World Series. But the players’ aspirations for international success were dashed Friday when they were denied visas to travel to the United States. The State Department said that some of the visa applications included birth records that “several parents admitted had been altered to make some players appear younger than they actually are.”

It is a sad coda to an inspirational story of a fledgling program for poor children who hoped to test their skills against the best teams in the world. More frustrating for Uganda is that for the second year in a row, a seemingly open path to South Williamsport, Pa., where the tournament is held, has been blocked by adults behind closed doors rather than by children on the playing field.

Many of the boys on the foundation team live in crowded homes with their extended families, subsisting on as little as $100 a month. Some have no parents. And when there are parents in the picture, they are often illiterate, making it difficult to verify the birth certificate information and complicating State Department interviews.

click here for full article

Black Swan Records


Answers to Questions About New York


Q. The liner notes for one of my albums mentions a Black Swan Records in New York. It sounds interesting. Could you tell me about the company?

A. Black Swan Records formally existed only from 1921 to its bankruptcy in 1923, but its cultural influence was profound. “By 1924, Black Swan was known not only as a pioneering black-owned business, but also as a radical experiment in black politics and culture,” David Suisman, a history professor at the University of Delaware, wrote in Humanities magazine last year.

The first major black-owned record company, it was founded by Harry H. Pace, a banking and insurance worker who had graduated valedictorian of his class at Atlanta University, where he became a disciple of one of his professors, W. E. B. Du Bois, the sociologist and founder of the N.A.A.C.P. Pace worked as the business manager of an early Du Bois journal of black ideas and culture. Later, in 1912, he met W. C. Handy, the “father of the blues,” in Memphis, and they formed the Pace & Handy Music Company, combining Pace’s business knowledge and Handy’s creative genius. In 1918, they moved Pace & Handy to the Gaiety Theater building on Broadway, which they promoted as the Home of the Blues and their company as the Leading Colored Music Publishers.

In early 1921, Pace struck out on his own, taking most of the office staff with him to found Pace Phonograph Company — its first office was in his home on West 138th Street — and starting Black Swan Records. It was aimed at recording black performers at a time when many big record companies would not. Pace’s goal was to challenge white stereotypes by recording not just comic and blues songs, but also sacred and operatic music and serious ballads. Du Bois was one of Black Swan’s directors.


Million March In Harlem August 13th: Stop the Bombing of Libya




African-American - News

African-American - News July 31, 2011

See African-American Weather

Air Force Chief of Staff speaks about diversity at NAACP dinner
Air Force Chief of Staff speaks about diversity at NAACP dinner (Robins Rev-up)
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz addresses the audience at the NAACP's Annual Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Awards Dinner held in Los Angeles on July 26, 2011.

Hispanics have to claw their way to the top: Political Insider (NJ)
Published: Saturday, July 30, 2011, 2:47 PM Updated: Saturday, July 30, 2011, 2:56 PM View full size Journal photo There's nothing wrong with a parade, but it would be nice if a community could muster as much enthusiasm for a local election.

Few, proud and black (CNN)
Edwin J. Fizer got off the train to report for training at Montford Point, North Carolina in the summer of 1942.

The Rev. Philip L. Pryor and other members of the First Baptist...
The Rev. Philip L. Pryor and other members of the First Baptist... (Port Clinton News Herald)
The former First Baptist Church building has a rich history. The building, which housed the first African-American congregation in Port Clinton, is slated for demolition.

Black teen's unusual talent: Singing Chinese opera (Asbury Park Press Online)
Tyler Thompson rehearses with the Great Wall Youth Orchestra in Oakland, Calif. The 15-year-old Oakland native, who sings traditional Chinese opera in Mandarin, plans to perform in China this summer.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


The Hudson and Four Beaches Are Deemed Safe Again
New York Times (blog)
Until Thursday, the city had discouraged direct contact with water from the Hudson River, the Harlem River and parts of the East River and the Kill Van Kull. Warning signs at beaches and kayak launch locations were being removed, according to a ...
See all stories on this topic »

New York Times (blog)
From Harlem to Botswana with love: One student's journey to help teens in need
USA Today
By Christie Garton, USA TODAY By Iyana Whyte Comic book characters such as Captain America have long been revered as superheroes, but through a trip with the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), I recently learned that we all can be superheroes, ...
See all stories on this topic »

USA Today
Zim challenges UN on sanctions, million man march organised in Harlem
Meanwhile, US based cadre, Cde Coltrane Chimurenga told reporters in New York that progressive black citizens in the USA have organised a one million anti-sanctions march to be held in Harlem in New York as the call to lift the illegal embargo imposed ...
See all stories on this topic »

ASPCA to Hold Free Spay/Neuter Clinic and Dog Grooming Workshop
East Harlem residents can get their dogs and cats spayed or neutered and attend a free dog grooming workshop sponsored by the ASPCA at Thomas Jefferson Park Saturday. (DNAinfo/Jeff Mays) HARLEM — East Harlem residents can get their dogs and cats ...
See all stories on this topic »

Harlem Globetrotters' Free Clinic
Cape May County Herald (press release)
On Saturday, July 30 the Harlem Globetrotters are offering a free clinic from 4 – 5 PM at the J. Byrne Community Center, 401 W. Youngs Avenue in Wildwood, and on Sunday, July 31 from 5 – 6 PM at Scoop Taylor Park, 5800 Ocean Avenue in Wildwood Crest. ...
See all stories on this topic »
NJ DEP: Hudson Now Safe For Recreational Use
The NJDEP has been monitoring and taking water samples from the Hudson River since theJuly 15 fire and resulting two-day raw sewage dump into the river from the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant across the river from Edgewater in Harlem. ...
See all stories on this topic »

Enjoy Park Greenery, City Says, but Not as Salad


Enjoy Park Greenery, City Says, but Not as Salad

Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Leda Meredith, right, who wrote a book about eating locally on a budget, leads tours in Prospect Park about foraging.

Published: July 29, 2011


Maybe it is the spiraling cost of food in a tough economy or the logical next step in the movement to eat locally. Whatever the reason, New Yorkers are increasingly fanning out across the city’s parks to hunt and gather edible wild plants, like mushrooms, American ginger and elderberries.

Enlarge This Image

Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Ruby Harris, 9, of Brooklyn, inspecting an edible plant on a foraging tour of Prospect Park.

Now parks officials want them to stop. New York’s public lands are not a communal pantry, they say. In recent months, the city has stepped up training of park rangers and enforcement-patrol officers, directing them to keep an eye out for foragers and chase them off.

“If people decide that they want to make their salads out of our plants, then we’re not going to have any chipmunks,” said Maria Hernandez, director of horticulture for the Central Park Conservancy, the nonprofit group that manages Central Park.


Are Black Correctional Officers As Disposable As Prisoners Themselves?


When New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced in June that he will close seven state medium and minimum-security prison facilities, he not only put thousands of jobs in peril, he signified the political and racial divide in the state’s correctional facilities.

Cuomo spared the state’s maximum-security prisons, which are primarily located in white, rural, Republican, upstate communities, while the many Black and Hispanic employees that work in the New York City minimum and medium security prisons face the prospect of unemployment.

The three medium and four minimum-security facilities to be closed employ a total of 1,531 people, according to the State Department of Correctional Services.

Among the prisons on the chopping block — Oneida Correctional Facility, Mid-Orange Correctional Facility, Fulton Correctional Facility, Camp Georgetown, Summit Shock Incarceration Correctional, Buffalo Correctional Facility, and Arthur Kill Facility — all which are located in or close to New York City.

Nicholas Nunez, a corrections officer at Arthur Kill Correctional Facility speaks to about how minorities will be affected by the closure:

Outside of the city, 17 maximum-security prisons will remain intact, such as Sing Sing and Attica. Republican lawmakers opposed the closures out of fear of harming the economy. The New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association also reportedly opposed the closure.

Cuomo said he will shut down prisons that have “empty beds,” although the prison with the most empty beds in the state will not close.

“While we commend the Governor for his commitment to eliminating excess prison beds, we are concerned that approximately 50% of these beds are located in or near New York City, even though New York City prisons only house 25% of the total state prison population. Therefore, the closures affect downstate prisons at a rate three times greater than prisons upstate. More than 60% of the state’s prison population is from New York City and its suburbs,” said Soffiyah Elijah, the Executive Director of The Correctional Association of New York.

The closure of the facilities is apparently not a issue with unused beds, but it will save the state money — but at who’s expense?

The Cuomo administration spoke about saving taxpayers money, but it seems that the concern is on upstate residents and their wallets. The majority of New York prisons are in upstate New York, so the economy in these already wealthy communities won’t see much of the affects. Upstate officers will have plenty of job options when their prisons close, but their counterparts in NYC don’t have that luxury.

The New York City corrections officers in the affected prisons will have to sell their homes, commute for over 4 hours a day, or resign in less than 60 days of notice. Families, friends and colleague bonds will be broken, and many more African Americans will join the unemployment line.

While this issue may be a state versus city problem, one thing will hold true — it’s much easier for a Black person to get in prison in stripes, than on the payroll.



 Are Black Correctional Officers As Disposable As Prisoners Themselves?
Samuel Aleshinloye, Assoc Editor
Fri, 29 Jul 2011 21:35:54 GMT

African-American - News

African-American - News July 30, 2011

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Three generations of Omega Psi Phis (The Washington Post)
Andrew Corley Jr. Was both proud and awed by the sight of legions of men, wearing the purple and gold colors of his fraternity, coursing through the halls of the Washington Convention Center on Friday.

NAACP Urges Minorities To Up Vote In 2012
NAACP Urges Minorities To Up Vote In 2012 (Booker Rising)
And vote for what? 16%+ black unemployment? The country's first black president bombing Africa? President Obama catering to every voter bloc except black voters? What exactly? Oh, I'll be voting, but not how the NAACP would like for me to vote.

African-American Women - Go Natural' Online (WBUR-AM Boston)
Maeling Tapp models her two years of natural hair. Hair is a loaded topic for many.

S.C. Governor Fights to Fly Confederate Flag at Capitol (Fox News)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley isn't retreating from her decision to keep the Confederate flag atop the north end of the Statehouse in Columbia despite complaints from the NAACP, whose president this week said the ethnic minority governor is a "contradiction" for allowing the flag to fly.

Basu: Hot civil rights issue divides local NAACP
Basu: Hot civil rights issue divides local NAACP (DesMoinesRegister)
Former Iowa legislator Danny Carroll speaks during a rally against gay marriage as Chuck Hurley of the Iowa Family Policy Center, right, and the Rev.

The strange death of domestic policy (Daily Herald)
This week the fiscal crisis was momentarily interrupted for a public service announcement.

Friday, July 29, 2011

George Lucas Tuskegee Airmen Movie Will Come Out In 2012


LOS ANGELES-George Lucas, the director of “Star Wars” has produced a movie on the Tuskegee Airmen, the African American flying brigade that fought in World War II. After delays, the movie called “Red Tails” has finally been given a release date of January 2012 and will star Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard. Here’s the trailer.

Tuskegee Air Man And Judge Dies At 88

Tuskegee Airmen Watch Air Force Give Black Woman Historic Promotion

George Lucas Tuskegee Airmen Movie Will Come Out In 2012
Casey Gane-McCalla, Lead Blogger
Fri, 29 Jul 2011 17:27:33 GMT

2 Black Women Make History By Running NYPD Precinct


NEW YORK-Female African American police officers, Deputy Inspector Juanita Holmes and Capt. Vanessa Kight have made history by becoming the first top cops to command a city precinct. The New York Daily News reports:

“When I got the call, I was really quite surprised to learn I was making history. I was just looking for someone to do the job,” Holmes said of Kight’s appointment. “I’m very grateful to have her.”

Holmes, one of just three African-American female deputy inspectors on the force, was made commander of the 81st Precinct stationhouse in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, a year ago. She celebrated her 24th anniversary with the NYPD yesterday.

Read The Whole Story

2 Black Women Make History By Running NYPD Precinct
Casey Gane-McCalla, Lead Blogger
Fri, 29 Jul 2011 12:15:12 GMT

Fw: Longwood Art Gallery Call for Artists' Proposals


Longwood 30th Logo-web 2

Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos
Call for Artists' Proposals:
Games and Toys With A Twist
Wed, Aug 10, 2011 / 5:00pm
Exhibition Dates: 
Dec 7, 2011 through Feb 1, 2012

Click here for printable flyer

Exhibition Concept:
Games and Toys With A Twist will focus on how visual artists investigate the conceptual, physical, emotional, political and social aspects, aesthetics and functions of video games and toys. 

Eligibility Requirements:
Open to emerging artists working with audio, artists' books, crafts, drawings, design, illustration, installation, mixed media, painting, performance, photography, printmaking, sculpture, video, web-based or interactive computer/mobile device applications are encouraged to submit work utilizing video games and toys of any kind (stuffed animals, sex toys, wooden blocks, board games, etc.) to comment on the construction of gender roles and its stereotypes and hierarchies of power, consumerism, globalization, migration, memory and loss, fantasy, representation, the environment, love, war, violence and urban and popular culture. Please only submit work related to our theme.

To apply:

Please submit:

  • One-page description of artwork or project idea;
  • One-page artist resume or CV (curriculum vitae). Please include contact information (phone number, e-mail address, and postal address);
  • One-page artist statement;
  • Documentation of the work—CD with minimum of 5 maximum of 8: JPEG's (max. 800 x 600 pixels 300dpi) on a CD (PC format);


  • One DVD, 3-5 minutes (cue sample please). One page checklist of artworks or description of work sample;
  • Postcard with correct postage for us to notify you when we have received your application materials.

DO NOT SUBMIT: Original objects, prints or articles—submission materials will not be returned. DO NOT E-MAIL YOUR SUBMISSION.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 by 5:00pm.

Please mail your submission materials to: 
Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos
450 Grand Concourse, C-190
Bronx, NY 10451
Attn: Games and Toys With A Twist 

For more information or questions, please contact: or call 718-518-6728. Applications will be reviewed in August 2011. Applicants will be notified by e-mail by September 2011. Incomplete applications will not be processed.


About Longwood Art Gallery and its mission:
Longwood Arts Project, celebrating its 30th anniversary, is the contemporary art center of the Bronx Council on the Arts with a mission to support artists and their work, especially emerging artists from under-represented groups such as people of color and women, through Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos, Digital Matrix Commissions Program, and public programs that provide opportunities for free and open dialogue. Longwood Arts Project presents solo and group exhibitions of works of art produced in various media or through interdisciplinary practices that connect artists, communities, and ideas within and beyond the Bronx.

Phil Cardone, Information Manager
Bronx Council on the Arts / 718-931-9500 x33
1738 Hone Avenue, Bronx NY 10461

Bronx Council on the Arts
1738 Hone Ave
Bronx, New York 10461

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Local Artist Leaves Two Paintings Behind In Cab


Local artist Renelio Marin is asking for help in tracking down two of his most important paintings which he says he forgot in a cab on his way to an art show in Harlem.

Local Artist Leaves Two Paintings Behind In Cab
Fri, 29 Jul 2011 01:20:53 GMT

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Police Search for Two Girls Missing Since Monday

Police Search for Two Girls Missing Since Monday

July 27, 2011 9:41am | By Tuan Nguyen, DNAinfo

Queen Sutherland, 14, (L) and Janell Johnson, 13, were last seen in Harlem July 25, 2011. (NYPD)

UPPER EAST SIDE — Police are seeking the public’s help to locate two girls who have been missing since Monday night.

Queen Sutherland, 14, of E 102nd Street and Janell Johnson, 13, of Brooklyn, were last seen around 9:00 p.m. in Sutherland’s house in Harlem. The girls are cousins, police said.

Sutherland is described as 4-foot-11-inches tall and weighing 100 pounds. She has black and blond braids and was last seen wearing an orange t-shirt, blue jeans and neon green and gray sneakers.

Johnson, who stands five-foot-six-inches tall and weighs 115 lbs., has long black hair that she often wears in a ponytail. She was last seen wearing a white t-shirt with the words “Don't Hate Me Because I'm Pretty” and purple pants, and white and purple Airmax sneakers.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or send their tips or text 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Read more:

Unearthing Traces of African-American Village Displaced by Central Park

Unearthing Traces of African-American Village Displaced by Central Park


For more than a decade, anthropologists and historians pieced together the history of a short-lived African-American community that was snuffed out in the 1850s by the creation of Central Park. They combed vital records and tax documents, scanned parkland using radar and studied soil borings.

But because the vestiges of the community were buried beneath the park, the leaders of the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History — a consortium of three professors from City College, Barnard College and New York University — were kept from doing the one thing that would open a window onto the daily existence of the some 260 residents: digging.

That all changed eight weeks ago, after they won permission from the city to excavate in an area of the park near 85th Street and Central Park West.

While the borings of the past produced just a few artifacts, the dig, which will end on Friday, generated 250 bags of material that should keep the scholars busy for months, if not years. The work on Wednesday alone yielded a toothbrush handle fashioned of bone and the lid of a stoneware jar.

About two-thirds of the residents of Seneca Village were African-American, while the rest were of European descent, mostly Irish. The community was settled in the 1820s, a few years before slavery was abolished in New York. Despite old news reports that the village was a squatter camp, it was, in fact, made up of working- and middle-class property owners.

Detailed historical maps indicate that the village stretched from 82nd to 89th Streets, between what were then Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Nan A. Rothschild, an anthropologist who is a professor at Columbia University and Barnard College, said that there were other settlements in the area, but that “this is the most formal, coherent community that we know of, because it was laid out in a grid pattern and had three churches and a school.”

With the help of 10 college interns, the institute focused on two primary sites: the yard of a resident named Nancy Moore, and the home of William G. Wilson, a sexton at All Angels’ Episcopal Church, both of whom were black. Records show that Mr. Wilson and his wife, Charlotte, had eight children and lived in a three-story wood-frame house.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Student interns in Central Park at the site of Seneca Village, which was settled in the 1820s.

Enlarge This Image

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

A shard of pottery found at the site.

Enlarge This Image

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Buttons were among the settlement artifacts.

Enlarge This Image

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

The bowl of a clay pipe from the village, which was demolished in the 1850s.

Introduction to QiGong


Date: July 29, 2011

Qigong is the philisophy and practice of aligning breath, physical activity and awareness.... Join us for the full hour or a few minutes on your way to work!

Start time: 7:30 am

End time: 8:30 am

Contact phone: (212) 795-1388 ext.306

Location: Linden Terrace (in Fort Tryon Park)

Introduction to QiGong
Thu, 28 Jul 2011 04:00:08 GMT

African-American - News

African-American - News July 28, 2011

See African-American Weather

New Census Data Show Disparities (WVNS-TV)
According to data from the 2010 census, West Virginia males outnumbered females in every year of age from birth to 46.

Belafonte: Hollywood won't yield to those of color
Belafonte: Hollywood won't yield to those of color (Dayton Daily News)
Harry Belafonte says Hollywood has yet to explore the breadth of black experience and that the industry will "never ever yield to the needs of people of color." The 84-year-old entertainer made the remarks at a presentation on artists and activism held Wednesday during the 102nd annual National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's ...

High school student alleges racial bias in valedictorian choice (WTTV Indianapolis)
A black high school valedictorian says in a federal lawsuit that her school discriminated against her when they made her share the stage with a white "co-valedictorian" who had a lower grade point average.

NAACP urges minorities to up vote in 2012 (Salon)
The NAACP plans a big push to increase minority turnout in the 2012 elections, hoping to gain political influence and turn back what the civil rights group says are efforts in various states to deny minorities the right to vote.

What It Means To Be 'Black In Latin America'
What It Means To Be 'Black In Latin America' (National Public Radio)
Between 1502 and 1866, 11.2 million Africans disembarked from slave ships in the New World during the Middle Passage.

Fight for gay marriage subject of new doc (EDGE)
Out filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris was stunned to learn of State Representative Byron Rushing's leadership role in the fight for and the passage of the Massachusetts same sex marriage equality legislation.

Republicans turn back redistricting challenges (Windsock)
The state Senate on Monday approved a new congressional political map and both the Senate and the House adopted their own legislative plans.

Black teen's unusual talent: Singing Chinese opera
Black teen's unusual talent: Singing Chinese opera (St. Augustine Record)
Tyler Thompson is an unlikely star in the world of Chinese opera. The black teenager from Oakland has captivated audiences in the U.S. And China with his ability to sing pitch-perfect Mandarin and perform the ancient Chinese art form.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


PO BOX 22505
July 22, 2011
On Thursday, July 28th, Cynthia McKinney, the 'People's Crusader,'
will be a special guest of the Peoples Organization for Progress as a
part of her national tour exposing the obscene attack on Libya by the
United States and NATO!
This special event will take place at the Abyssinian Baptist Church,
224 West Kinney St., Newark.
Doors will open at 6:30pm.
The event 'is' a fundraiser. Please come prepared to give generously!
Sis. McKinney has survived coming under live military fire in her
Commitment to peace, truth and justice!
"At this critical hour, when there is a lot of misinformation and
distortions about what's really happening in Libya, we are both
honored and fortunate to have Cynthia McKinney with us to give a
first- hand appreciation of what's really going on," said POP chairman
Lawrence Hamm.
McKinney is available for interviews. Media interested should call,
Zayid Muhammad at 973 202 0745.
For more information about the event or the Peoples Organization for
Progress, please call 973 801 0001...

The Harlem Book Fair Revisited


Got a real treat for those of you who were unable to make it to the 2011 Harlem Book Fair this past week — C-Span’s Book TV covered the event and has hours of incredible footage available online at their site’s video library.

The video segments from this iconic book fair include a bunch of compelling discussions on literature, politics, society, and media; and includes a fascinating panel featuring Sonia Sanchez discussing Manning Marable’s posthumous and controversial book, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.

Great stuff!

There are also many more festivals coming up in the next few months.

Make sure you check out the weekly book review below, courtesy of AALBC.

I’ll leave you this week with Five Black Books Adapted into Popular Movies. And remember, The Book Look is coming soon here to

The Book Look

Keep those pages turning,


Book Review of the Week

This week’s review from (the African American Literature Book Club) is Scratching for Daylight by Wilbert Gibson, a book offering 13 engaging stories of human nature and self-examination.

Click here for review

Five Black Books Adapted into Popular Movies

1) The Autobiography of Malcolm X Alex Haley, Malcolm X

2) The Color Purple Alice Walker

3) Beloved Toni Morrison

4) Roots (Miniseries Movie) Alex Haley

5)   The Spook Who Sat by the Door Sam Greenlee

Charisse Carney-Nunes is the award-winning author of the children’s books, I Am Barack Obama, I Dream For You A World, and Nappy. She is the founder of new media publishing company, Brand Nu Words and a senior vice president of the Jamestown Project, a think tank focusing on democracy.


Best Black sellers in fiction

The Book Look

The Harlem Book Fair Revisited
Charisse Carney-Nunes
Wed, 27 Jul 2011 17:01:27 GMT

Why Does Black-On-Black Violence Equal Entertainment?


Police brutality videos inspire our outrage. So why do videos of Black-On-Black violence get laughs? Johan Thomas explains why, and what we can do about it.

When footage of the Rodney King beating hit the airwaves some twenty years ago, Americans watched only a few seconds of the entire nine minute video in which Los Angeles police officers repeatedly struck and stomped King while he struggled on the ground.  Still, it was enough mobilize the Black community. We rallied, protested, and — when provoked by the acquittals — rioted against the brutal injustice.

Since then, camera phones and the Internet have become readily available and widespread among African-Americans who now routinely record encounters and incidents with the police.  Confrontations in Philadelphia, New Orleans and New York have become viral sensations and sources of protest.

Black citizens in Oakland, Calif. have rallied and rioted on various occasions since footage of Oscar Grant’s murder surfaced on YouTube days after the young man was fatally shot by transit police. Responding to reports of a fight, Bay Area Rapid Transit officers detained Grant and several other passengers on the platform at the Fruitvale station. Footage of the arrest shows officer Johannes Mehserle pull out his gun and shoot Grant in the back.

The viral video was the most important piece of evidence in the case against Mehserle, while the protests kept the heat on the media, prosecutors and the court.

But while this combination of viral video and community activism is demonstrating the effectiveness that vigilant public monitoring can have against police brutality, another vast video archive of school yard fights, after-the-club rumbles, and you-sleeping-with my man brawls are having a very different effect on public life and culture. While police brutality videos inspire outrage and action, videos of Black-on-Black violence have become an accepted form of entertainment.

The shift started around 2003, when scrappy street fighter Kimbo Slice’s unsanctioned backyard brawls spread rapidly around the Internet through sites like SublimeDirectory. The videos quickly racked up millions of views and in turn introduced African-Americans to a genre called “shock video.”

Continue reading after video…

Shock video is not new. It is a genre that white kids have cultivated for years. What’s new is shock video’s Black face in the Internet age. Nowadays, Black Americans are the viewers and producers of an entire cloud catalog of cruelty; an unadulterated glimpse into violence against ourselves; making these shock video websites some of the most popular destinations for African-Americans on the Web.

Each day roughly 2 million viewers log on to to view its collection of underground hip-hop videos, celebrity clips, “hood stripper” demos, and caught-on-tape footage.

In each instance, it’s the same Black bodies pummeled and punished by other Black bodies.

But instead of crying with outrage, we laugh.

We replay the big hits and crazy K.O.s. We share these videos on our Facebook pages — not to evoke anger, but to indulge in the ignorance that is killing so many of our young people.

The same year Grant was killed, Derrion Albert was beat to death in a brutal caught-on-camera incident in Chicago. Albert, a 16-year-old honor student, was defending another student when he was hit with a 2×4 and then brutally stomped to death. But unlike Grant, Albert was killed by other young Black boys and not the police.

The Black community mourned, but few protested. So the outrage that created change in Los Angeles faded with grief in Chicago. It proves once again that African-Americans are missing the real issue: Police brutality is serious. But Black-on-Black crime is the greater epidemic, one that deserves an extreme response. One that deserves at least an equal measure of revulsion and action.

Black-on-Black violence, at its core, is a bi-product of white supremacy. Throughout America’s history, society has taught us that Black lives are expendable. It is a doctrine taught to us through systematic discrimination. It’s a lesson we learn when police fail to expend adequate resources to solve crimes where the victim is Black, and in the way America hands out higher sentences to criminals when their victims are white. Limited economic opportunity, too, spawns a crabs-in-a-barrel mentality among Black people. That we live in communities still largely segregated should make it all the more obvious why 94 percent of Black Americans are killed by other Black Americans.

Over time, these conditions have not only soaked our psyches, they have also informed our place in the media.

In the 1970s, a deep recession and backlash against civil rights gains created Black plight and resistance storylines that Hollywood could not resist. Entertainment companies, in conjunction with a pioneering generation of Black filmmakers, employed negative Black stereotypes in a way that glamorized and sold caricatures of Black America back to us in the form of Blaxplotation films.

Continue reading after video…

Video: Teen Derrion Albert Attacked, Beaten to Death in Melee:

In the 1980s, a violent drug trade fueled by the emergence of crack cocaine was the backstory for shows like “Cops,” which delivered devalued Black lives to our television screens in prime time.

And in the 90s, rap music’s “kill-a-nigga” rhetoric trivialized Black life in a way that continues to be popular. At the same time, a new reality television genre emerged with the advent of MTV’s “The Real World.” Today, an audience raised on reality TV would much rather watch boys who are actually in the hood, than watch Ice Cube and Morris Chestnutt act the part.

It’s against this history that Worldstar’s videos have become popular — the circumstances of each decade have created a cultural convergence, coming to a head in these three-minute video clips.

To believe that we can cure the ills of Black-on-Black entertainment with isolated protests is far-fetched. Black-on-Black violence as entertainment has become social capital, where having seen the latest “beatdown” is a measure of whether one is in-the-know.

In this case, what’s needed is a commitment to shame, protest and boycott these forms of media for the long term, thwarting the demand that exists for this entertainment and purging it of its social currency.

There’s a long list of people ready to capitalize on the demand we create every time we log on to Worldstar, watch a shock video on YouTube, share a clip on our Facebook page, and joke about them.

As producers, we need not be afraid to challenge the basest impulses of our audience and instead provide what the community needs, alternatives that are as creative and entertaining.

On an individual level, it’s important to make sure we voice our outrage against these videos. When a friend posts one to Facebook or Twitter, ask them to remove it for your sake and ours. If they don’t, drive home your point by unfriending, unfollowing or blocking them. When you see it on YouTube or on a commercial website, flag it as inappropriate. Our mantra as consumers should be “Unfriend, unfollow, block and flag.”

Black people need to not be afraid to criticize our fellows. We spend so much time defending each other from “The Man” that we forsake appropriate criticism of ourselves and fail to take responsibility for our own complicity.

A campaign to kill Black-on-Black “entertainment” is a campaign to kill Black-on-Black violence.

Let our crusade start now.

(If you’re with us, we’d love to hear from you. Send your thoughts, ideas, and plans to me at


San Francisco Police kill teen after he skips bus fare

Stop the Violence! 32 people shot in 1 weekend in Philadelphia

Why Does Black-On-Black Violence Equal Entertainment?
Johan Thomas
Wed, 27 Jul 2011 18:53:54 GMT

Sharpton Urges African-Americans To Take More Action


In light of the surging wealth disparity and unemployment rate, among other socio-economic issues plaguing the country, Rev. Al Sharpton wrote a column in the Huffington Post, urging Americans —African-Americans in particular — to take more action in challenging the government.

In the column, Sharpton encourages African-Americans to address their issues at the National Action Network’s annual march in Washington on August 27, where Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be commemorated, and the unveiling of his national monument will take place.

An Excerpt Reads:

Consistently on the forefront of social justice and civil rights issues, we at National Action Network can think of no greater time than the present to convene and address many of these challenges at our annual march in Washington, D.C. on August 27th. Paying homage to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we will gather, rally and march for jobs, education, non-violence, equality across the board and our collective future. From the emancipator (Abraham Lincoln) to the liberator (Dr. King), we recognize our advancement, but as this Pew study so distinctly highlights, we have much work that remains before us.

Despite what many economists may have us believe, the poor and working-class are still struggling to gain employment, provide food and clothing for their children, maintain a roof over their heads and afford health care. And now there is no question that Blacks and Latinos are lagging generations behind Whites when it comes to wealth. When Whites are more likely to invest in stocks, they are more likely to sustain themselves as the market improves. But when people of color had invested in homes, they were the first ones to lose that equity — hence unable to pass on wealth to their children as well.



Wealth Gap Widens Whites, Minorities

Sharpton Urges African-Americans To Take More Action
Gerren Keith Gaynor
Wed, 27 Jul 2011 20:06:10 GMT

USPS Mulls Closing Six Branches in Manhattan

USPS Mulls Closing Six Branches in Manhattan

July 26, 2011 7:25pm | By Ben Fractenberg, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

Postal Service officials say they plan to close upwards of 3,700 branches throughout the country. (DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro)

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — Through rain, sleet or snow — though maybe not email.

The United States Postal Service announced Tuesday they are considering 3,700 branches across the country for possible closure due a decreased demand created primarily by the Internet.

There are six locations on the possible chopping block: the Port Authority, 26 Federal Plaza Downtown, the Fort Washington branch in Washington Heights, College Station in Manhattanville, a Roosevelt Island branch and the Appraisers Stores branch in Clinton. There are three dozen locations in New York City being considered for closure.

Read more:


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Join Camp Xtreme on a Harlem History Tour in NYC
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Building blocks: Creating a video map of the city with MyBlockNYC at MoMA
New York Daily News
A search of 137th Street between 7th and 8th Aves. In Harlem pulls up his clip of a 1995 Harlem riot after a resident was shot. "My work can be too 'real' for YouTube, but \[MyBlockNYC\] has the same vision that I have," he says. ...
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New York Daily News
Recovering US job market is leaving black men behind
Christian Science Monitor
Reginald Barnville asks a question during a computer class at STRIVE, a job-training center in East Harlem, New York. By Ron Scherer, Staff writer / July 26, 2011 The jobs landscape is bleak for any unemployed American, but for black men it's virtually ...
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Christian Science Monitor
Man arrested after arranged fight between the mother of his child, girlfriend
By Ashley Rueff TribLocal reporter Today at 6:19 am A 24-year-old Richton Park man was arrested at Route 30 and Harlem Avenue at 10:40 PM July 19 for domestic battery after allegedly pushing the 21-year-old mother of his child during an arranged fight ...
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Manhattan BP Scott Stringer's Hy-pork-racy
New York Daily News (blog)
Officials at Harlem United - an AIDS treatment organization that applied for a $45000 grant from Stringer's office this year - have collectively given the borough president $1250 since 2008. That includes four officials - the CEO, two vice presidents ...
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Manchester United Goes To Harlem To Train FC Harlem ...
By dunny
FC Harlem got a taste of what it is like to train like Rooney, Chicharito and Giggs as Manchester United Soccer School spent the day with them.
Butcher Shop Definitely Coming to Harlem, Probably to Murray Hill ...
By Hugh Merwin
The new wave of butchers are opening their own shops.
Grub Street New York
Harlem Children's Zone Revealed With Perplexing Red Windowbox ...
By Kelsey Keith
New Harlem Children's Zone rendering by John Ciardullo Architects [Via Harlem + Bespoke.] The Harlem Children's Zone broke ground in April, but the first renderings for the future charter...
Curbed NY