Saturday, December 5, 2009

Handmade gifts fit for a first lady

Caleb Siemon peered into the gaping glow of the furnace and, with a few careful turns of his blowpipe, deftly gathered a fist-sized blob of molten glass, just as he has thousands of times. His hands, as leathered and cracked as a sunbaked saddle from 10 years of professional glass-blowing, work the pipe back and forth over a smooth steel surface, massaging the 2,000-degree glass into one of his coveted pieces.

"We make vessels every day, and I oftentimes wonder where they are all going," he said in a moment of reflection at his Santa Ana studio. "Hopefully, they have all found happy homes."

Happy homes all over the world, as one recent order confirmed. It started with an unusual phone call from the Office of the Chief of Protocol at the U.S. State Department. A representative had seen Siemon's work on display at the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., and was looking for distinctive gifts for foreign dignitaries.

Siemon sent some images and went back to his furnace. The State Department soon got back in touch to say "Michelle Obama" was quite pleased with the work.

"I thought, 'Wait a minute, you're not talking about Michelle Obama?' " he said. "I was almost speechless. The fact that the first lady was looking at images of my vessels -- it was really a neat moment for me."

The Obamas gave Siemon's glass to heads of state during the couple's first trip to Europe last spring.

"I don't know who they were given to," he said. "Those are the kind of specifics that I didn't push and they didn't reveal, and I was just honored."

A couple of months later, the State Department called again with another request. It wanted a batch of handblown honey pots.

"The first lady has been keeping bees, apparently, in the White House garden," Siemon said. "It was getting close to harvest time, and they were looking for some unique containers."

Glass pulled from the furnace looks and moves much like honey. Even the color, still glowing from the heat, is similar, Siemon said. He designed a simple, elegant vessel that showcased both the material and its contents. "We were inspired by the way the honey flows and the way the glass flows," he said.

Read rest of the story here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

University tabs Maya Angelou to deliver convocation speech

The Annual Fall Convocation, an assembly for the entire university, which launches and celebrates the academic year, is set for 10 a.m. Thursday, October 29 at the Richard B. Harrison Auditorium.

The theme of Fall Convocation 2009 is “Celebrating 118 years of Making a Difference,” with Dr. Maya Angelou, acclaimed poet and author, as the keynote speaker. Fall Convocation was previously known as Founder’s Day Celebration; however, the name changed five years ago to Fall Convocation. “It is an official homecoming kickoff for alumni, in which we recognize athletes and alumni,” said Leonora Bryant, the Director of Alumni Affairs.

Maya Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Laud as a renaissance woman, Angelou is a celebrated poet, novelist, producer, dramatist, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. Many may best know her for the intriguing and inspirational poem called “Phenomenal Woman,” and her 1970s coming-of-age book, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

This brought Angelou international recognition and a nomination for a National Book Award.
An innovator in films and television, Angelou wrote the screenplay and composed the score for the 1972 film “Georgia, Georgia.”

Her script, the first by an African American woman to be filmed, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Today, she continues to appear on television and films including the landmark television adaption of “Roots” (1977), John Singleton’s Poetic Justice (1993) and the hilarious comedy, “Madea’s Family Reunion (2006). “I feel that’s a good thing because it would be very positive for our students,” said Adrian Ezell, a sophomore broadcast production major.

Click here to read more.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Michelle Obama Fashion Book: Mrs O: The Face of Fashion Democracy

The eclectic élan of first lady Michelle Obama has been written and talked about ad nauseam hither and yon, but few have dedicated their days and nights to chronicling her every look such as Mary Tomer, founder and contributing editor of the wildly popular web site

And Tomer is dedicated, keeping up with the first lady's selection of kicks, earrings, brooches, dresses and pants. Most important, she lists the designers, many of whom were unknown before they were graced by Mrs. O-not to be confused with Jackie O.

Now, in her soon-to-be released book, 'Mrs. O: The Face of Fashion Democracy,' Tomer reveals some of Mrs. O's closely guarded fashion secrets through original photographs, sketches and illustrations. It also highlights glossy images of the first lady and President Barack Obama together on the campaign trail, at the White House and other events. It also shows photos of Sasha and Malia with starlit eyes in the foreground and the background.

"Michelle has great style and we carry great affection for her,'' Tomer, who graduated from Boston University in 2003 with a degree in mathematics, said in an interview with AOL Black Voices.

The 235-hardcover book also features commentary from fashion experts and close-ups of her popular and most talked about outfits, including the red and black Narciso Rodriguez dress she wore on election night, and the teal, v-neck, three-quarter sleeve, sheath dress by Chicago designer Maria Pinto that she wore at the Democratic National Convention. It also features images of brooches, dress patterns, and detailed descriptions of outfits such as the stunning violet cocktail dress with French knot embroidery by designer Jason Wu.

Click here to read the rest.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dr Boyce Watkins: Financial Advice for Michael Jackson’s Kids

by Dr Boyce Watkins

"Stuntin like my daddy" was the first song on the album, "Like Father, Like Son," issued by Lil Wayne and Birdman in 2006. "Stuntin" is a hip hop term synonymous with "flossing," blinging," and "balling." It means that you've engaged in excessive spending to ensure that you have the finest of everything and are even willing to live at the edge of your means in order to present appropriate status symbols to the world. Anyone who follows hip hop knows that you should never take financial advice from a rapper. In light of the recent passing of their father, I sincerely hope that the children of Michael Jackson didn't hear the Lil Wayne song, since their daddy's financial "stuntin" before his death has left the children with a conflicted economic legacy.

On one hand, we shouldn't feel sorry for Michael Jackson's kids, at least not financially. Their father's amazing talent gives them a brand that is literally worth well over a billion dollars in future royalties and licensing fees. Michael Jackson may have died physically. But financially, he is still a viable and overwhelmingly powerful corporate entity.

Click to read.

Genma Holmes Calls the BET Awards a “Circus”

by Genma Holmes

Watching movies and barbecuing is how my family spends most Sunday afternoons. This past Sunday, I broke a cardinal rule and watched the BET Awards for the first time. My kids convinced me that it would be great since it was billed as a tribute to Michael Jackson and his humanitarian endeavors. However, the show that was promoted was not the show I watched. The BET Awards was a chaotic three hour black-a-thon fiasco.

Click to read.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Black News: Pastor Prays for Obama to Die?

<br />

From the Baltimore Afro-American:

A well-known minister of a denomination that once supported slavery and is firmly against a woman’s right to an abortion said recently that he is praying for President Obama to die.

The Rev. Wiley Drake, a former second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, told Fox News Radio earlier this month that he was practicing “imprecatory prayer” or seeking a divine curse that would cause the president to die.

“If he does not turn to God and does not turn his life around, I am asking God to enforce imprecatory prayers that are throughout the Scripture that would cause him death,” Drake said in an interview with Fox’s Alan Colmes, according to the Associated Press.

Click here to read more.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Black Love: Would Most Black Women Have Passed Over Barack Obama?

America has fallen for the Obamas. The history, the high glamour, the PDAs on the White House lawn. It’s a universal picture of love. But for many successful black women, with college degrees, ambitious careers and five-year plans, that enchantment has become something of an obsession.

Those of us hoping to find suitable mates in a dating landscape that is, statistically speaking, pretty grave, are absolutely giddy about the very existence of the first family and especially about the possibility that we could find our own Barack.

We’d give up three hair appointments in a row, our designer puppies and that annual tropical vacation with our best grad-school friends to meet a man like him. Brilliant. Confident. Best smile ever. So into his wife. On the cover of April’s issue of Washingtonian magazine, he appears shirtless to illustrate the publication’s No. 2 reason to love D.C. (“Our new neighbor is hot!”) But if we’d first encountered him the way Michelle did, as a regular guy, under the glow of office lights instead of the spotlight, would he have made our lists at all?

In footage that plays when the networks mention how our cool, young, black president shot hoops with his staff and friends on Election Day, Obama is close to gawky in a simple gray T-shirt tucked in just a bit too tightly. Between plays, you notice tapered pants pulled up a little too high. A slightly skinny build. In those few frames, he’s not the hottest guy on the court, let alone in the country. When he appeared as a presidential candidate on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, my initial swoon as he stepped on stage was short-lived. He playfully hip-bumped the host in an overly bouncy dance routine that embarrassed me into looking away. Suddenly, I was watching my boss get down at the company Christmas party or a friend’s dad grooving to Earth, Wind and Fire at her wedding. Not bad. Endearing, even. But “swagga” did not spring to mind. Sure, Obama is a dad and a boss to many . . . but I get the impression he’s been dancing like that his whole life.

Click to read.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Government Map Shows HIV Rates Growing in Black Communities in the South

AP Medical Writer

ATLANTA (AP) - A new Internet data map offers a first-of-its-kind, county-level look at HIV cases in the U.S. and finds the infection rates tend to be highest in the South.

The highest numbers of HIV cases are in population centers like New York and California. However, many of the areas with the highest rates of HIV _ that is, the highest proportion of people with the AIDS-causing virus _ are in the South, according to the data map, which has information for more than 90 percent of the nation's counties and Washington, D.C.

HIV infection rates are higher in African-American communities, and high minority populations in the South help explain the finding. While that's not surprising, the high rates seen throughout states like Georgia and South Carolina were, said Gary Puckrein, president of the National Minority Quality Forum, the nonprofit research organization that put the map together.

Of 48 counties with the highest prevalence rates for HIV that had not yet progressed to AIDS, 25 were in Georgia, according to the map. Those were counties in which more than 0.7 percent of the population was infected with HIV.


Click to read.

Tameka Foster Needs to Learn to Use Twitter

Usher Raymond & Tameka Foster

If there's a 'Twitter for Dummies' book available, someone may want to get a copy toUsher Raymond's soon-to-be ex-wife, Tameka Foster.

On Wednesday, Foster performed a notorious Twitter snafu when she inadvertently posted a message to Star Jones on her public page instead of sending it as a private direct message.

"@starjonesesq my lawyer= horrible. Need the name/number of a good one in Atlanta," Foster submitted to the former co-host of 'The View.'

Recognizing her mistake -- and the fact that she just told the world what she really thinks of her divorce attorney, Randall M. Kessler -- the 40-year-old mother of five then posted another Tweet asking, "Please delete was a DM mistake. Not for ppl to see. I'm sorry."

Click to read more.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Nas Gets a Surprise on Father’s Day! Haha

"Milkshake" singer Kelis has filed new documents in a Los Angeles court, asking her estranged husband, Nas, to pay spousal support and child support for their baby on the way.

Kelis, who is expecting a baby boy on July 21, claims in her court filing obtained by Access Hollywood, that she has "run out of money" and that her rap star husband "is refusing to pay for most of my expenses."

In her declaration to the court, the singer revealed she spent the money she made as a singer-songwriter in part while she attended culinary school in 2008 and on her bills.

Kelis is asking Nas to foot the bill for a host of supplies related to the child she is carrying including $20,000 "towards the cost of purchasing strollers, cribs and other baby supplies" for the couple's two residences – an apartment in Manhattan and a home in Los Angeles.

Click to read.

Black News - Study: 1 in 4 South African Men Admit to Rape

South Africans received a horrifying measure of just how bad their country's rape crisis is with the release this week of a study in which more than a quarter of men admitted to having raped, and 46% of those said that they had raped more than once.

The study, conducted by South Africa's Medical Research Council, reveals a deeply rooted culture of violence against women, in which men rape in order to feel powerful, and do so with impunity, believing that their superiority entitles them to vent their frustrations on women and children. The men most likely to rape, the researchers found, were not the poorest, but those who had attained some level of education and income.

Click to read.

Black Fathers Are Not the Demons We Think

by Santita Jackson

To paraphrase Caesar, as he stood over the gallant Marc Antony, I come not to bury our Fathers, but to praise them, on this "Father's Day." Now, more than ever before, it is time to tell the truth about African American fathers.

I think of my own my father, who in my worst moments always made me feel as if I were the best thing that ever happened to him. He said it. I felt it.

I arrived in my parents' lives when they were college coeds and, although little more than children themselves, they made the very adult sacrifice and decision to marry and have me as well as my two brothers who arrived less than two years later. Still a student our father waited tables, stood in the food line at our church---in short, he did all that he could to provide for his growing family. And he and Mother took us everywhere.
I can recall one morning, before my father stepped into the pulpit to preach, being beckoned from my seat to sit with him and, as he scribbled the final touches on his sermon, he leaned over and said, "I love you, Sandy Boogie." I smiled as he kissed me and waited for...well, something else. I could not wait to get back to my seat as I was mortified to be before the entire congregation. I looked at him and said, rather quizzically, "Daddy, is that all you wanted to tell me?" His reply, as he smiled was, "Baby, saying 'I love you' says an awful lot." I nearly cried, having felt ashamed of my own insensitivity, and he simply smiled, kissed me again and had the usher lead me back to my seat.

His expression, even in that most public of venues was no surprise---it was a given in my life. My experience, though, is not unique. It has been replicated countless times in the African American community. Yet, every day we are fed a laundry list of the shortcomings of African American men; rarely, however, do we tell the society, or each other, of their triumphs.

We are told from the loftiest perches and the lowliest assignations that they must "Step up!" and "take up their responsibilities as men." All the while these critics ignore the myriad ways in which they must and do swim upstream against the strongest of currents. Currents which threaten and, too often, do sweep them into the undertow of our society. By ignoring their reality we turn our backs on a history, which has treated them with contempt. They are incarcerated more frequently, fight longer odds and live shorter lives; and yet and still, they remain strong, willing to love, survive and thrive. And so, on this "Father's Day", I'd like to expound upon their triumphs and contextualize their struggles. Any discussion which does neither, fails us all.


Click to read.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

How do we protect those who testify?


Photo: Elliot Milner, Attorney at Law

Many of us have read about the traumatic beating of a woman in broad daylight in an Oakland beauty salon.  The woman chose not to testify, in part because she feared retaliation from her attackers.  The protection of witnesses is a serious issue and solutions are necessary.  Elliot Milner, an attorney, had this to say:

“This is a complicated issue, and there is no easy solution. Most police departments only provide protection in the most extreme cases, and this is usually a very rare occurrence. I am a proponent of self-help. I'm not speaking about vigilante justice, simply saying that if people in urban(and any other) communities want to make sure that their neighbors who speak out against those who commit crimes are not harmed, then it is necessary for people in the community to take the initiative to let it be known that they will not tolerate harm being done to innocent citizens who simply seek to have those doing wrong held accountable.

I completely understand that is easier said than done. However, community intervention is a must. The police(in Oakland or any other city/town) are not going to protect you. Even if they have the desire to, most police departments do not have the funding or personnel to accomplish that. In several cities, groups of men in urban communities have taken to policing the streets of their neighborhoods. It is imperative that people in the community show that they are not afraid and will not be imprisoned in their own homes, as is the case in some neighborhoods. Also, participating in dialogue with individuals who may be "in the street" or committing crimes is a must. The more you isolate a person or group of people, the more likely they are to react negatively to you.”

Black News: Salon Beating Victim Refuses to Testify


Cavenia Bryant has been arrested for her involvement in the Oakland beauty shop beating posted on You Tube. “We’re close on bringing them in. We don’t want to scare them by releasing the names publicly,” said Jeff Thomason, Public Information Officer for the Oakland Police Department.

The May 5 assault took place around 5:50 p.m., but the victim, Melissa Seals, didn’t call the Oakland Police Department until around 7 p.m., Thomason reported. Officers responded and took Seals’ statement: six women entered her Oakland hair salon as Seals cut a customer’s hair, they locked the door from the inside, then two of the women proceeded to beat Seals for several minutes. Three other women watched the attack and a fourth videotaped the beating.
After giving her statement to the responding officers Seals declined to press charges or identify any of the women involved in the attack, according to OPD records. Seals’ refused to press charges for the misdemeanor assault; the officers were obligated by department policy to take a report and close the case without further investigation.


Click to read.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Black Health Thought: Porn Star’s HIV Status was a Wake Up Call

Darren James

Stefano Paltera / For The Times

Darren James vividly remembers the 2004 phone call that changed his life. He hopes that by getting his story out, the porn industry will be moved to require condom use to protect the health of its stars.

Porn production shut down for a month after Darren James tested positive in 2004, changing his life. Now he hopes he can protect others by telling his story.

By Rong-Gong Lin II
June 15, 2009

Darren James saw the news flash on his TV screen last week: A porn actress had tested positive for HIV. James, 45, felt a moment of shock, then sadness.
"I feel really bad for this girl," he said. "One thing I can say, I just wish her well. It's the worst thing to get that call."

It's the call James got in 2004 when the well-liked porn star known for his courteous nature on set found himself at the center of an HIV outbreak in the San Fernando Valley's multibillion-dollar porn industry. His diagnosis, and the spread of the virus to three actresses he had worked with, shut down porn production for a month.
He had tested HIV negative just days before performing on screen.
"I predicted it would happen again," he said late last week in an interview at his attorney's Woodland Hills office, his second since his name became public five years ago.

James, dressed in trim black slacks and a fitted black T-shirt that showed off his muscular frame, said he decided to speak out now because he hoped his story would spur the porn industry to require condoms, rarely used in straight porn films.

Click to read.

Read more black health news at

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lady Drama: Once a cheater….

Yes, that’s his REAL wife in the picture above


The Black Celebrity scoop on Kobe Bryant

Listen to the lyrics from the rapper Trina:


This n*gga thinkin’ I’m sweatin’ his Rolex watch
You need more than that, to get in my thighs
A car that’s fly, maybe a house in the sky

I know you wanna beat it up right quick
And I was the first b*tch Kobe cheated on his wife with…



There are also reports that Kobe has a new jump off, Carla DiBello.  Read what a Laker insider has to say:

“She sits court-side at the Laker games and travels to all the road games… the weird thing is Kobe Bryant flips the bill and buys her presents. Okay, maybe not so weird… I know she is banging him out. **Update…from within Laker camp… …Friends and family are not allowed to go to Orlando for the series, but Kobe got special approval from both Phil Jackson and Dr. Buss to let Carla DiBello come. They have been seeing each other ever since Kobe got back from China. There is no way that Carla can explain why she is court side taking cell phone pics of Kobe. This girl will never be able to hide all of her scandalous activity. She was in Orlando at the game last night (no friends and family allowed). That is probably why Kobe played like sh*t. He single handedly lost the game.”

Damn Kobe, ain’t you learned from the incident 6 years ago?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Black News: Chicago Inmates were Handcuffed While Giving Birth

Former Chicago inmates Simone Jackson and Danielle Bryant are seeking to file a class action lawsuit against the Cook County Sheriff's Department. Both claim they were forced to give birth while shackled and handcuffed to the hospital bed.

Jackson said, "It's dehumanizing. It's degrading. It's immoral." Jackson and three other former Cook County inmates described how they felt when they gave birth while imprisoned.

"I couldn't have family there," Bryant said. "Nobody to support me, help me. The nurses were in and out. All I had was the police officer."

Jackson and Bryant were being held on theft charges when they went into labor and were transferred to Chicago's Stroger Hospital to give birth.

Bryant's restraints were removed right before the actual birth. But Jackson says her restraints never came off.

"It is not even feasible to run when you are actually going to have a baby," Jackson said. "There is no way to do that."

Click to read.

Black News: Real Housewife Sheree Loses Her Home


Dusky Real Housewives of Atlanta star Sheree Whitfield just got herself included in the long list of casualties to the economic downturn.  The former wife of NFL player Bob Whitfield reportedly foreclosed her Sandy Springs, Georgia home and was sold for a huge bargain.  The near-9,000 square feet property was initially listed for $2.8 million but was sold for $1.1 mil.

Click to read.

Morgan Freeman’s Women Are Kicking His Butt


Morgan Freeman is looking for a little lawsuit redemption.

The Oscar winner adamantly denies nearly all of the allegations put forth by an acquaintance who has sued him for negligence after they were in a rollover crash together last August.

In fact, the only thing he admits to is that a crash occurred while he was behind the wheel of plaintiff Demaris Meyer’s 1997 Nissan Maxima, according to court documents filed Friday on Freeman’s behalf in Mississippi.

But while Meyer’s suit states that Freeman lost control of the car after knocking back several drinks during the night, his lawyer argues that they’ll show Meyer was “comparatively negligent.”

View the documents.
The filing doesn’t explain why that is, nor does it address Meyer’s public claims that Freeman hung her out to dry when it came to the postcrash rumors that she broke up his 24-year marriage.

Meyer maintains that she had just met the Million Dollar Baby star earlier that night and that, though she had been invited to spend the night at the sonorous actor’s estate, she was just going to sleep on one of the smaller houses on the property to avoid a long drive home in the middle of the night.

“I had hoped and prayed that Mr. Freeman or his representatives would have set the record straight and cleared my name, but they have not done so and that is why I have chosen to come forward to tell the truth about our relationship,” she said upon filing her complaint in February.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Black News: Denzel Washington Was Addicted to Heroin?

Denzel Washington


When Denzel Washington was 20 years old, he was having a tough time. A college dropout who'd come back from a heroin addiction that started when he was just 14, Denzel had lost his way. But one afternoon, while at his mother's beauty shop in Mount Vernon, New York, Denzel was shocked back onto the right track. There, one of his mother's customers wrote this prophecy on a piece of paper: "That boy is going to speak to millions of people."
Clearly, the woman known in the community as "the Prophetess" knew what she was talking about. Denzel has gone on to make more than 35 films, including his latest, "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3." See what other surprising facts we've uncovered about the Oscar-winning actor.

Click to read.

Michelle Obama Compared to a Gorilla

GOP activist Rusty DePass is in hot water over comments about First Lady Michelle Obama.

Would you accept the apology from Rusty DePass after he likened First Lady Michelle Obama to an escaped gorilla?

Yes. He seemed sincere and contrite.

No. His comments were racist and unforgivable, and his explanation didn't make any sense.

A prominent South Carolina Republican killed his Facebook page Sunday after being caught likening the First Lady to an escaped gorilla.

Commenting on a report posted to Facebook about a gorilla escape at a zoo in Columbia, S.C., Friday, longtime GOP activist Rusty DePass wrote, "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors - probably harmless."

Busted by South Carolina political blogger Will Folks on his FITNEWS blog, DePass told WIS-TV in Columbia, "I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest."

Then he added, "The comment was hers, not mine," claiming Michelle Obama made a recent remark about humans descending from apes. The Daily News could find no such comment.

"'Humor' like this is nothing new for South Carolina Republicans - even as the party claims to be focusing on 'outreach' efforts to minorities," said Folks, a former gubernatorial spokesman and widely read blogger. "The fact that Palmetto [State] Republicans don't get that this is a serious problem for them baffles us."

Click to read more.

Visit for Black Political News.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Your Black relationships: Should He ditch the gold digger?

I am a widower. My wife of 46 years passed away a year and a half ago. I recently met and felt very attracted to a woman. My problem is that she is reluctant to open up to me even though we have a great time together. We live about 1,700 miles apart. She has this mind set that poor plus poor equals poor and yet she claims not to be a gold digger. She has been married twice to rich men and has traveled everywhere. Her longest marriage was with a man who she says wasn't affectionate with her. She has actually come right out and told me that I do not make enough for her style of living. Now I may be wrong but if both her marriages ended in divorce and she now has to scrape by while this "poor" guy with more money than she has at her disposal wants to be with her, would that not tip the scales in my direction? Or could it be she just does not want to be a three-time loser. This woman, whether she wants to admit it or not, has stolen my heart, and I have told her so. When I tell her I love her, she says thank you. We seldom talk on the phone though we were talking daily at first. I am at wits end, and I truly do not know what to do.

Click to read.

Madonna Gets a New Child: A Black One


BLANTYRE, Malawi – Madonna can get "Mercy," Malawi's highest court ruled Friday. The court overruled a lower court, saying the pop star can adopt 3-year-old Chifundo "Mercy" James.
"I am ecstatic," Madonna said in a statement in which she also thanked the court. "My family and I look forward to sharing our lives with her."

Madonna's lawyer Alan Chinula said he would now arrange a passport for Chifundo, which could take several days, and was awaiting word from Madonna on travel plans for the girl.

James Kambewa, a man who claims to be the little girl's father, told CBS news "I'm crying. I need my baby. I don't know where I can find any help," the network said.

But Peter Baneti, an uncle, said the family welcomed Friday's ruling.
"We hope Mercy will be joining Madonna soon," he said by phone from his village just outside Blantyre.

Read More celebrity gossip here.

Read more.


Mississippi Justice Falls Short for Jamie and Gladys Scott

The families of Jamie and Gladys Scott feel that they were victims of a wrongful incarceration in Mississippi.  They’ve written this letter asking Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the case.  Please feel free to copy this letter and send it in yourself.

For more information on this case, please visit:


Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

The Honorable Attorney General Holder:

I am writing to request that you investigate the case of Jamie and Gladys Scott. The Scott Sisters were given double life terms each in October of 1994 for armed robbery in the state of Mississippi. No one was injured or murdered. One witness states that about 11 dollars was netted in the armed robbery. All witnesses and victims of this crime have testified that the Scott Sisters were not involved in the robbery. Witnesses testified that they were coerced and threatened to lie on the Scott Sisters. Three post trial affidavits also state that the sisters are innocent.

A 14 year old witness testified that he signed a statement which was prepared for him before he entered Deputy Sheriff Marvin Williams' Office. This statement was signed by the 14 year old without an attorney present. He was told that he would be released from the local jail the next morning if he signed it. He was not released.

This is an egregious wrongful conviction and the Scott Sisters have suffered now 14 years 8 months of double life terms each.
Jamie and Gladys Scott are housed in Pearl, Mississippi. Their ID numbers are Jamie Scott #19197 and Gladys Scott # 19142.


(Your Name)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Shocking: Woman Gets Beaten in a Beauty Salon!


From Lady Drama at

Click here to watch a woman get beat down something terrible in a beauty salon!  This video is all over the net and after seeing it, all you’ll be able to say is “hayell nawwwwww!”

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Beyonce coming into the airport – looking great!

Beyonce on her way from London to JFK

Tyra Banks: What a difference a nose makes

Did you ever know that Tyra Banks got a nose job?


Rapper Queen Latifah Says she was sexually abused

Queen Latifah, who now appears to be ok with being openly gay, has admitted that she was sexually abused as a child.  Here is the AP report:


Queen Latifah has revealed a traumatic chapter of her personal life: The singer-actress was sexually abused as a child.

In the latest issue of Essence magazine, Latifah says the abuse occurred over a period of time, and at the hands of a teenager charged with watching her.

"He violated me," says Latifah. "I never told anybody; I just buried it as deeply as I could and kept people at an arm's distance."

Click to read

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Man Allegedly Rapes and Murders 8 Month Old

A 17-year-old Terrytown man was arrested on charges of aggravated rape and first-degree murder of an 8-month-old child Saturday afternoon, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said.

Arnold T. Ross, of 136 Friedrichs Road in Terrytown, was booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Facility. No bond is available on the first-degree murder charge.

Click to read.

Study: Black Women in DC Have Very Poor Health

Black women in the District suffer from obesity, diabetes, heart disease and generally poor health in alarmingly high numbers, and white women do not.

That is the finding of a study released early today by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The study said there is a large disparity in the incidence of certain chronic diseases between black and white women.

Kaiser's study was based on data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the federal Current Population Survey from 2004 to 2006. The study reflected health statistics in the states and the District.

Click to read.


Singer Lauryn Hill Cancels the Rest of Her Euro Tour

Question: When is Lauryn Actually going to get it together?

Click to read.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Your Black Health: Make sure your kids get sleep to avoid depression


Teens whose parents let them stay up after midnight on weeknights have a much higher chance of being depressed or suicidal than teens whose parents enforce an earlier bedtime, says research being presented today at a national sleep conference.

The findings are the first to examine bedtimes' effects on kids' mental health — and the results are noteworthy. Middle- and high-schoolers whose parents don't require them to be in bed before midnight on school nights are 42% more likely to be depressed than teens whose parents require a 10 p.m. or earlier bedtime. And teens who are allowed to stay up late are 30% more likely to have had suicidal thoughts in the past year.

Click to read.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Real Version of the Obama Marriage Revealed in a Book

Barack and Michelle Obama's marriage was on the brink of collapse say's book

President Barack Obama whispers into First Lady Michelle Obama's ear during the White House Cinco de Mayo celebration this year Photo: PETE SOUZA/THE WHITE HOUSE

Their regular Friday "date nights" make the television news, and there was a stir recently when they caught Air Force One for a night at the theatre in Manhattan.

This weekend, in the aftermath of the D-Day celebrations, they are in Paris with their young daughters - having turned down an invitation for dinner with President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla in favour of a more intimate family event.


Click to read.

Financial Lovemaking with Dr. Boyce: Man has 21 kids with different mothers – what gives?

Desmond Hatchett is 29 years old and has 21 children with 11 different women. The Knoxville, TN native also works for minimum wage and can't support all of his kids. The state is only allowed to take 50% of his paycheck, which doesn't amount to very much for each child.

What do we make of Hatchett's decision? This is clearly a question for Financial Lovemaking.

Click to read.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Black News: The Obamas in Paris

Oprah Catches Hell for Allegedly “Crackpot” Medical Advice

Oprah Winfrey has command of more than 40 million viewers each week, some so devoted they follow her every word without question.  A recent investigative report in Newsweek magazine questions her message, though, asking if the “Oprah Effect” produces more harm than good.

At issue is the medical advice dispensed by the show.  Critics, like Cynthia Pearson, executive director of the National Women’s Health Network, says the experts and specialists on the Oprah show don’t always bring forth the risks associated with the cures and therapies they tout, especially when it’s a celebrity, not a physician, presenting the information.  Given Oprah’s phenomenal influence, many viewers, mostly women, follow her advice blindly, even in the absence of enough objective data to make a choice that’s both safe and effective.  Syracuse University professor of television and pop culture, Robert Thompson, says the show gives validity to a number of health claims that many people would otherwise consider really “crackpot ideas.”


Click to read.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Kimora Lee Has Her Baby

Djimon Hounsou & Kimora Lee Simmons

Fashion maven Kimora Lee Simmons and two-time Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou are the new parents of a baby boy.

The ex-wife of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons announced the pregnancy herself on Twitter early Saturday morning.

"It's a boy! Thanks to everyone out there for all your well wishes! More to come.Thank God. And God Bless! Kimora + Djimon Love & Light, KLS," her tweets read.

To verify the authenticity of the twitter alert; her rep released a statement confirming the birth as well.

"Kimora and Djimon's son was born Saturday morning, May 30th," said her publicist.

Permalink | Email this | Comments [2]

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Nicole Spence: Men Selling Dreams….Needs to stop

by Nicole Spence

There is this girl I know, and we're friends.

She has been sorta dating this guy, well they've flirted with the idea of being more, but never took it there fully. Why? Cuz he is always on some stop and go shit! You know one minute wanna kick things up a couple of notches and the next he's on his period!

I don't like inconsistency so I encourage her to dip out! Don't delete him from your phone, but he sure as hell shouldn't be in her top 5!She took my advice and remained out of the picture for a couple of months, and you know never really gave the idea of him another thought, other than the occasional " what the hell was his problem"?
Fast forward time passes and he reaches out stating how much he misses her ( oh yea? ) and get this, that he realized that he needs her in his life. ( Pretty heavy shit I thought). So they exchange niceties back and forth, but she's still wading in the water because she doesn't know what this brother wants.

Click to read more.

Comedian Slams Hard on Michelle Obama


A comedian made fun of Michelle Obama, calling her a “big dude” and comparing her to Count Dracula.  Did the comedian go over the line?  Click the image to hear the incident analyzed on 100.3 The Beat with Dr Boyce and Charlamagne.

Black Celebrities: Kimora Lee is in Labor!

"It's time !! No turning back! At hospital in labor right now!! Love & Light, KLS"

This is child #3 for Lee and child #1 for her boyfriend, Djimon Hounsou. Congrats to them both.

Friday, May 29, 2009

What if Your Child Dies? Financial Implications

The death of Exodus Tyson
, daughter of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, brings immediate tears to the eyes. As a single father of three daughters, my heart becomes heavy at the thought of losing any of my precious little girls. I also fear what might happen if I were to suddenly pass on myself. While the pain of death is severe and complicated, there is always a lesson to be learned from the experiences of others.

In this case, there is the serious and gut-wrenching task of planning for the possibility that you may have to bury your child. In the black community, such issues are compounded by the alarming death rates of black teens in the inner city, higher infant mortality rates and reduced access to health care for African Americans. In light of our unique experiences and circumstances, we must be careful and intelligent in our financial planning.

How do you plan for your child's death? Is life insurance even necessary? Let's break it down and figure it out together.

Full Coverage >>

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Black News: Was Michelle Obama Insulted?

100.3 “The Beat” in Philly asks whether or not a comedian was insulting Michelle Obama by making jokes about her height and the way she looks.  Click the image to listen!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Black Health: Many Black Women Refuse Cancer Treatment

Nearly 1 in 4 African-American women in the United States with late stage breast cancer refused chemotherapy and radiation therapy, researchers said.

Study leader Dr. Monica Rizzo of the Emory University School of Medicine and Emory University's Avon Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center at Grady and colleagues reviewed stage III breast cancer data from 2000- 2006 from an inner city hospital in Atlanta that serves a large African-American population.

The investigators identified 107 cases of stage III breast cancers diagnosed and/or treated at this hospital over the six years of study. Approximately 87 percent of these cases were in African-American women.

Chemotherapy and radiation are recommendedtherapies for patients with stage III breast cancer; however, many women in this study decided to forgo these treatments.


Click to read.