The Remake of Roots for a New Generation


The much talked about remake of the 1970's television miniseries ROOTS, starts this evening at 9 p.m. EST on the History Channel. Some are outraged at the remake of the classic, others are tired of viewing movies about the enslavement of Blacks. I can understand the first sentiment but the last one saddens me. Regardless of ethnicity, we can't fix what we don't face. Ignoring slavery won't make its history go away. 

Is there are need to expand the narrative so that it accurately portrays history? Absolutely. Without actually viewing the film, I can't offer an opinion so I encourage everyone to watch and give feedback. In 1977, there was not nearly the competition for our time and attention as there is now. There was no internet or hunderds of cable television channels as we know now so this remake might not have the audience draw of the original.

I'm looking forward this mini-series even if it's competing with Game 7 of the NBA Western Conference Finals. It's more important to know your history. Perhaps if we did, there would be more Black team owners and head coaches in professional sports.





Troy Anthony Davis was executed. What next, America? [VIDEO]

Howard University student arrested at protest at The White House

People around the world protested Georgia’s execution of Troy Anthony Davis for the August 1989 murder of police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah. Messages and photos flooded Twitter’s timeline. Cable television news channels covered the story. Democracy Now! livestreamed  coverage via the internet. As police presence in riot gear was beefed up at Georgia Diagnostic Prison, the site of the execution, it was apparent Davis would be put to death this time. In spite of the protests and legal appeals, Davis was executed by lethal injection at 11:08 PM EST on Wednesday, September 21, 2011.


The video footage of the arrest of Howard University students who were protesting at The White House were eerily reminiscent of the non-violent civil rights protests I remember as a child in the 1960’s. Has the execution, I prefer to refer to it as a crucifixion, of Troy Anthony Davis ignited a fire for a larger and louder chorus of voices demanding the end of the death penalty? It would seem so.

Troy Anthony Davis proclaimed his innocence to the end. The State of Georgia has blood on its hands. If you are a Georgia resident, even if you are not on The Supreme Court, the Georgia parole board, are one of the witnesses that recanted, or are the District Attorney of Chatham County, that would be you too.


 Video: RTAmerica


A Message for Chris Brown [VIDEO]

I sure hope Chris Brown sees this video from Jay Smooth.  I don’t want him to just hear about it from his management or a fan or a friend.  You see, I think Chris Brown is very talented, as a matter of fact, he’s multi-talented. I also think he’s headed down the wrong path or will not reach the pinnacle of his potential success without better career guidance. Now, if he is being better advice but just not following it, then that’s another story.

Chris Brown BETA2011 
Chris Brown shows off BET Awards

Brown was given the all-clear, we forgive you welcome at the 2011 BET Awards Show with his multiple award wins, especially that Fan Favorite award during one of the weirdest presentations I’ve ever witnessed.

What was most disappointing and telling about Chris Brown was his attire to the BET Awards. Now, don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t the only one to have committed a flagrant fashion foul but if he is to be truly forgiven for physically assaulting Rihanna, his career move should be less bad boy roughneck and more smooth operator.  Instead, rather than being perceived as fashion forward, trandsetting or classy, he just came across as disrespectful like many of the other performers.  I’m just  saying.

Well said, Jay Smooth!




Waka Flocka, Voting and Crimes Against Our Children [VIDEO]

First there was T-Pain, now Waka Flocka. This video is sad on so many levels. I don't know who Waka Flocka is or what Waka Flocka means but I do know that here is a young man, obviously a celebrity since he's being interviewed on 106 & Park, who cannot hold an intelligent conversation. He could have been nervous but that doesn't explain the vocabulary and grammar issues.

It's easy to make jokes about this interview and some of the comments about this incident on YouTube are brutal but it's so not funny. From family to community to the educational system to the record company he works for --- this is so wrong. It's child abuse...neglect...fraud and a number of other charges we should be ashamed of as adults.

Artists like Waka Flocka are emulated by other young people, pushed through or kicked out of our educational system and neglected by family and community. Like many young people, he has potential but for whatever reason, we didn't nurture him. It's not too late for Waka Flocka and many other young people in our communities, so what are we going to do?

In case you forgot...

Get out and vote on November 2, 2010!

Roland Martin Keeps it Real

Much has been said about the latest political gaffe involving Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He's a racist and should resign….he's not a racist…double standard…blah…blah…blah. Regardless of your take on this situation, let's not allow a crucial issue to go unacknowledged by mainstream media and thus far it has.

Political commentator Roland Martin was very clear, bold and courageous when pointing the plethora of black faces in the media addressing the Harry Reid situation and the dearth of black presence on any other issues as if race is all black folks can talk about. Now I can't write what Brother Martin said verbatim. I can tell you it was concise, clear and on point. Let's hope the folks making decisions about the perspectives allowed on the air didn't miss that message.

America's racial issues can be diminished if more perspectives are shared with a greater, more diverse audience. People are a lot more alike than they are different. It's my experience that talking with folks who are different from me breaks down barriers. It also diminishes the power of the few to control the many and maybe that's why we're so disconnected in the first place.

Roland Martin, thank you for speaking the truth.

Power to the People.

The More Things Change: Lessons from Iceberg Slim [VIDEO]

A friend sent this video to me. It’s interesting in the dialog and the fact that it’s from a movie in the 1970s called Trick Baby. I remember the hype about the movie although I’ve never seen it. It’s written by a pimp, Iceberg Slim.


Some things haven’t changed though. In general, black folks are still in the same position --- too many uneducated, too many incarcerated, etc., etc., etc.  Why? A number of reasons but unity, self-determination, supporting black-owned businesses, preserving culture, teaching black history, etc., etc., etc. Same issues. Different day.

We don’t need anyone to give us the answers to solving our issues. We just need to do what we need to do --- support ourselves and stop allowing our communities to be used and abused. Will you sacrifice for the greater good to make that happen?


Chris Brown and Rihanna: Exploitation Under the Guise of News and Anti-Domestic Violence

Is it just me or are you a bit disgusted by the barrage of media coverage and privacy violations in the domestic violence saga of Chris Brown and Rihanna? Now don't think this is any attempt to justify or diminish the horrific beating Rihanna endured but if there was concern about both of these young people overcoming this; there were be more consideration and respect for their privacy. Sure, they are celebrities and relinquish some privacy but this is a sensitive issue, pull up already, please. Domestic violence needs to be discussed and dealt with when it occurs however exploiting the Chris-Rihanna situation is not cool.

Whoever is responsible for releasing the photos of Rihanna's bruises should be prosecuted but the reality of the media is that these things happen as long as someone can get paid for information. Who cares about Rihanna's pain, humiliation or anger --- right? Let's just put the young sister out there like that and then make sure folks pass the photos around in e-mails to their friends. It's just wrong.

It's also wrong for mainstream media television shows and media outlets to continue blasting this situation as a lead story when there have been no additional developments. Instead of exploiting Brown and Rihanna, how about using the situation to reach out to women, and some men, who are victims of domestic violence? Hello, throw these folks a lifeline so they know they are not alone and there are organization that can help them.

For now, I am done with the Chris Brown-Rihanna drama. Am I praying that she doesn't go back to him? Yes, but I prayed that prayer days ago and in the end it's up to her. We don't have to like her decision; just respect it and keep it moving. Am I praying that Chris Brown gets help for his uncontrollable anger? Most definitely. Brown has serious personal issues that he needs to deal with and right now. The mantra that no publicity is bad publicity is not the case for him when it comes to beating down women.

The reality is that the Chris Brown-Rihanna situation is no more tragic than the domestic violence that may be occurring to your friend, neighbor, family member and even you. Just because this young couple generated a slew of publicity and other situations don't; make sure you do not allow yourself to be abused. If you are an abuser or feel that you have the potential to become one; get help now.

Help is available to callers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Assistance is available in English and Spanish with access to more than 170 languages through interpreter services. If you or someone you know is frightened about something in your relationship, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

© 2009, on the black hand side,

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Justice Watch: The Case of Troy Davis

Troy Davis sits on death row in Georgia for the murder of Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Davis was convicted, in 1991, based on eyewitness testimony and without any physical evidence.

All but two of the nine eyewitnesses have recanted, citing pressure by law enforcement to accuse Troy Davis. One of the two eyewitnesses who hasn’t recanted is suspected of actually committing the crime.

Troy Davis has received support from many in the United States and throughout the world. His case has been stayed three times with him coming within twenty-four hours of execution twice.

Officer MacPhail was murdered and that fact should never be forgotten. Troy Anthony Davis did not commit that murder but someone did. Law enforcement, not at the local level, must re-open the investigation of the murder of Officer Mark Allen McPhail. His family deserves the truth and his murderer should serve out the proper penalty.

Troy Davis’ family deserves justice also. He was unjustly arrested in 1989, incarcerated, tried and convicted in 1991. Witnesses have recanted. Let the man go free.

For more information and to take action in helping Troy Anthony Davis re-gain his freedom, go to Amnesty International USA.



Video by: Citizen
Music by: State Radio


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Happy Birthday, Dr. King: A Change Has Come

Obamanddrkingblack Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that the United States is undergoing a transformation, right now, as I write this. The spirit of unity, respect, inclusiveness and sacrifice will be needed to carry us through the difficult times still to come. The spirit that Barack Obama embodies and spread throughout the world is reminiscent of that of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is such an exciting time for this country and let me just say, black people, in particular. Barack Obama’s election brings about a sense of pride that is difficult to explain to others. For the first time in my life, black Americans appear to really be included in this country. I have never seen so many black people carrying an American flag who were not in the military or an athlete celebrating an Olympic victory. Now, I’m not trying to get into an argument with anyone because I think the Obama presidency will affect each of differently in some respects, depending upon our personal story, but it is what it is.

When Barack Hussein Obama raises his right hand to take the oath of office as president of the United States tomorrow, it will be because of the tremendous sacrifice and courage of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Of course, it goes without saying that Dr. King’s legendary status was earned because of the support, courage and sacrifice of many like-minded people of all races also.

On this spectacularly awesome celebration of the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 2009, this historic celebration could only be the result of destiny…divine intervention…call it whatever you like.

 I’d like to think Dr. King would also like for us to move beyond the issue of black pride in our first black president and work for the betterment of this nation world. I’d like to think Dr. King would like for us to get more involved in our community consistently, not just on this Day of Service. He’d like for us to become more involved politically and in building our community and raising our next generations.

I’d like to believe that if he could speak to us today, Dr. King would say that he would like for us to be judged by the content of our character and not by our gender, sexual preference, socio-economic status or color of our skin. We are not quite there yet but we have made another step in that direction. Let’s keep on keeping on. Power to the People.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King!


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America on the Verge of Change for the Better

Check out this awesome video I was pointed to by fellow blogger Jim Legington. Share it with friends to spread Barack Obama's message of Unity and Change. If you are eligible to vote and haven't done so, please vote right away!


© 2008, on the black hand side,

Vote for this blog for Best Pop Culture Blog and Best Blog About Stuff in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.