Bishop Eddie Long You’re Wrong..Even w/ My Chanel Shades On I Can See the Light

Bishop Eddie Long

I’m not always one to come with the harsh language, but this sister here Cadillac Kim brought some serious heat to this Bishop Eddie Long situation where he is accused of coercing young men who at the time were minors in his church to have sex with him..A series of pictures he supposedly sent out of himself have surfaced and have been making themselves around the net.

Long denies the allegations and was set to speak about the issue on the Tom Joyner morning show the other day but at the last minute pulled out and had a lawyer read his statement. He intends to address his congregation this Sunday at New Birth. For folks who aren’t familiar, new Birth was the church that hosted Coretta Scott’s funeral where actor/activist Harry Belafonte a long time friend and financial backer of the King family was un-invited at the last minute. Many speculated because of Belafonte’s critcisms of Bush who was in attendenace and has been friendly with the church.

Cadillac Kim

Cadillac Kim talks about the importance of us to be able to discern and warns us not to fall for some Jim Jones type character. She says ‘even with my channel shades on I can see the light.’..Not sure if she’s a member of his new Birth church or not but she definitely goes in..*Warning do not play this at work unless you have headphones. and if you’re easily offended by language don’t watch.. .

For a more indepth breakdown of this situation.. peep the Colorlines article..

Bishop Eddie Long and the Lessons of Self Hate

** Update** we are getting word that Eddie Long will be stepping down at his Sunday mass.. You peep the News  One story HERE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBwlR0wrhkw

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Today 1 in 7 Americans Live in Poverty-Let’s Count the Ways this is Impacting You and Me.

Yesterday the Census Bureau presented its annual report that showed how the poverty rate in the US had significantly risen. Today 1 in 7 Americans is living in poverty. Now the report has all sorts of numbers that may be of use to news reporters, but for the average person going about their business day-to-day, whatever numbers the report put out doesn’t even began to tell half the story. To start, we have a number, (1 in 7) that talks about people ‘living in poverty’, that number doesn’t include the folks who are part of the ‘working poor’. That’s where you really likely to hear tales of woe.

Nor does this report reflect those who simply fell off the proverbial grid. In other words, there are folks who been out of work for over a year, who have run out of unemployment benefits, lost their homes and have fallen through the cracks. Many have been led to believe their downfall is their fault and thus they have been too embarrassed to speak out and emerge from the shadows. How they’re making it may be stories onto themselves. I see folks like this everyday.

Many are living in their cars or couch surfing. Many will park their cars in their old neighborhoods where they can no longer afford to live, but know its safe and familiar. They keep their 30 dollar a month gym membership so they can shower and keep themselves up. They take advantage of the free wi-fi at coffee shops where they spend lots of time looking for jobs on trying sell things via E-bay or Craig’s list. Today’s homeless person is not some drunk or crackhead type of ‘undesirable’. He or she may be your next door neighbor trying to put up good appearances so as not to lessen their chances to bounce back.

The sad part is for many there will be no bounce back and thats where we have this major disconnect between the Have and Have Nots. Many who Have  are completely out of touch and hold a fairytale view of what’s going on with folks who are in economic peril. They think this is temporary and with a little more elbow grease things will turn around. Sadly at times this notion seems to be one held by our president.

When this Census Bureau economic report came out, I immediately thought back to a scathing video put out earlier this year by longtime scholar, author and Civil Rights leader Cornel West. On the one year anniversary of President Obama‘s presidency the Princeton professor took him to task for not talking about the plight of poor people. West an early supporter was very pointed in his remarks as he expressed his profound disappointment. He said the President Obama and his cabinet had ‘technocratic’ approaches for dealing with the poor folks and that it was far removed from what is really needed. He noted that the approach much be such where they as political leaders are in the trenches alongside the people, building with them from where they stood and not so detached.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc6gunAJVRQ

Cornel’s remarks suggested that its one thing to look somberly into a camera and say ‘Many Americans are having a tough time’ as if this is a temporary thing like missing a car payment that could made up next period. It’s another thing to truly understand what its like when a family has run out of options and will be out on the streets with no skill sets on how to navigate and survive. West like many who work on the front lines for change understood that part of this disconnect complicating their challenge to Obama were seemingly high-profile, well to do media pundits and opportunistic politicians who would give lip service to the plight of poor people or use them as political footballs.

We saw this at the start of the summer when GOP Senators held up unemployment benefits for a few weeks as a way to send President Obama a strong message and ‘teach him a lesson’ about spending. It was also a way to get Democrats to cave into lobbying efforts from Wall Street hedge fund managers who wanted to see proposed tax increases included in the spending bill, disappear.

Senator Jim Bunning upheld payment benefits to the unemployed

We saw this play out in the spring when former Major League baseball player turned GOP Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky did some outlandish procedural maneuvering to hold up benefits. He too wanted to send a strong political message to Obama. Sadly it came at the expense of ordinary folks who were just barely getting by. While Bunning and others tossed these political footballs around, many lost homes. Many had their electricity turned off. Many had their cars repossessed. What we saw on TV was Bunning standing firm and shaking his fist at the camera calling for economic restraint. What we didn’t see or hear too much were from those who were seeing the last of their world crumble.

We didn’t hear from the person who lost their job, lost their home and simply didn’t have enough deposit money for an apartment. We didn’t hear from the person who lost their job, fell behind on their bills and suddenly couldn’t get a job because their credit rating was bad. We didn’t hear from the person who was out of work and had been looking for a year only to discover that because he or she had been out for so long was now deemed undesirable in the job market.

When such viewpoints were brought up in public space, you always had news anchor with a million dollar salary be dismissive or some sort of pundit with lucrative speaking dates lined up telling us times are tough but they’ll soon get better.

Here in California we saw how Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger implement ‘furlough Fridays where all state workers would be required to take a certain number of unpaid days off. This was essentially a 10-15% decrease in salaries in a state notorious for having a still increasing high cost of living. The practice was put on hold and declared wrong. Workers were told they could get back pay and it gave thousands a sense of relief. Sadly that wasn’t good enough for the governor who fought the ruling and eventually got it overturned. So as this census Bureau report comes out showing 1 in 7 Americans are in poverty, Furlough Fridays return to places like California.

We’ve also seen this play out locally in the city of Oakland when last year the entire city council voted to raise parking rates and increase strict enforcement. It was later discovered that this enforcement would only apply to the city’s poor neighborhoods. This was taking place in a city with a 20% unemployment rate where its been estimated to be even higher in those poorer districts.

Oakland City Council member Jean Quan

During a recent mayoral debate the issue of aggressive parking enforcement came up and generated more buzz on outlets like twitter than any other topic brought up that night. When this was brought to one of the city council people who favored this plan, mayoral candidate Jean Quan she seemed oblivious to the hardships this was causing.

She went explained to me, how the city shouldn’t have free parking and seemed impervious as to what happens when an unemployed or under employed person in the city gets their car towed for unpaid parking ticket which many argue shouldn’t have been issued in the first place.

Columnist Zennie Abraham broke this down in a column he penned last year about Oakland’s parking sting operation. For those who don’t know, the city of Oakland like many other municipalities invested in a machine  that reads license plates and so late at night or in the wee hours of the morning parking enforcement officers scour the poor neighborhoods looking for cars to boot or tow.

This is a huge set back for those snared, one that has far-reaching consequences not just for the individual , but also for the small neighborhood businesses that person is likely to patronize. In other words if I own a business and customers suddenly has to scramble to pay 500-1000 for a towed car that’s potential revenue lost from businesses that could’ve circulated that dollar a few more times both in hiring and spending. Quan just didn’t get it.. But her view is reflective of that big disconnect. In her world its a fine. In someone else its a huge set back with far-reaching consequences.

The poverty report just gave us numbers but didn’t tell us about all the increased fees and hidden taxes besieging the poor and being explained away and justified by the rich. In other words, pay your parking tickets or credit car on time and avoid getting hit with exorbitant penalties.. that is of course if you can now afford to pay the bill in the first place.

Lastly this Census Bureau report doesn’t reflect those who are not living in poverty because they prematurely have dipped into their 401ks and have depleted their funds out of desperation.

I had a good friend tell me the other day that she had done everything she could to keep her family above water. She had cut backed, downsized, rented rooms and was working two jobs but none of this was enough with rapidly rising costs. Finally in a last-ditch effort she dipped into her retirement money. She explained it was a hard decision to make, but it was either that or be on the streets.  She said “The person in front of you today at age  40 is relieved, but that same person at age 60 will be miserable“. So 20 years from now we may have another economic crises when folks are holding their hands out having spent their life savings 20 years earlier.

My friend was one of the lucky ones because she actually had a 401k to dip into. Many weren’t as fortunate. Many saw their money disappear overnight at the start of the economic downturn hence that 401k was no longer an option. Many never had a 401k to begin with. It was reported the other week a record number of people were raiding their retirement funds just to survive.

The reports showed that many middle aged people were the ones dipping into their retirements, noting that for those over 35 who lost work, it was going to be extremely difficult to get back in the job market. Some of it was due to changing fields and new technology which made old skill sets un-marketable.

The more pervasive but unspoken reality is that many employers don’t wanna pay someone who earned their keep after trolling for 10-15 years at a job. Their logic is ‘Why pay them their worth, when they can dip into a younger work poll of people who were being urged to ‘work for free’ as interns as a way to get their foot in the door or to take considerably less pay under the guise of ‘paying dues’?

The other story not being spoken about was the fact that today many middle-aged folks are in this precarious position of being both caretaker and caregiver. In other words they are taking care of aging parents, many of whom divorced years ago, so they have mom who needs help on one part of town and a father living in another. At the same time they  are taking care of kids. If they’re middle-aged, they may have kids who are 10-14 which can be incredibly expensive. Those who have kids ready to go to college are looking at increased fees, some as much as 38% which was the case in California.

It was scenarios like this we aren’t hearing being addressed by Obama and many other politicians.  Its not being spoken about by those in mainstream media where the reporters and pundits are doing quite well for themselves. It isreality that with each passing day is rearing its ugly head and will in due time impact us all one way or another

Something to ponder

written by Davey D

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What’s Up w/ all these Tornados Touching Down in New York City?

The weather is definitely changing as we’ve had what appears to be the 6 or 7th tornado warning and perhaps third tornado to touch down in New York City in the past few years. For many living in the Big Apple, tornadoes were a phenomenon limited to Hollywood movies, the Discovery Channel and’ far off’ in the Midwest. The thought of a twister striking a metropolis like NY was unimaginable..Apparantly thats all changing..

In August of 2007 a tornado touched down in Brooklyn and did some damage. That was the first wake up call for many. Then we had a few well publicized tornado warnings. I recall one that interrupted the national news with CNN doing special coverage. A couple of months ago a tornado touched down in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Earlier today, September 16th 2010 a well publicized tornado warning was followed up with yet another Whirlwind touching down in Brooklyn. This time one person was killed.

I’m not sure what to make of all this. Is it global warming, the earth shifting or something that’s always existed but was under reported. In any case God help us if a category 4 or 5 ever touched down in mid-town Manhattan. All the shards of glass raining down from those massive high rises would do unspeakable damage. In addition, I’m not so sure many New Yorkers would know where to go and how to seek adequate shelter. Do you open your windows to relive pressure which was advice given back in the days? I’m not sure if it works now..  Do we rush down to the nearest subway station and use them as makeshift storm cellars? Would New Yorkers simply scoff at the idea of a tornado and not heed any warnings till it was too late and a funnel cloud is barreling down upon them?

Here’s some footage of the windstorm hitting the Redhook and the South Parkslope sections of Brooklyn..Now for folks living in places like Oklahoma or Kansas, this is just a windstorm. As far as they’re concerned NY has away to go befor it becomes the new tornado alley.For folks in NY its a big deal. Shout out to Adrian Mueller / fabrik studio for capturing this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfkryGkG6H8&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uRbJIEnqCw

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As we Commemorate the Anniversary of 2Pac’s Death-Who Speaks for the ‘Have Nots’ in 2010?

Every year around this time many of us within Hip Hop take some time out and reflect on the life and times of Tupac Amaru Shakur as commemorate the anniversary of his tragic death Sept 13 1996. With each passing year its interesting to note that as a younger generation grows older, icons like 2Pac don’t seem to mean as much. For example, I’m not sure I heard anyone shout him out during the MTV VMAs..  Not sure if people took time to acknowledge him during the red carpet interviews or if anyone bothered to ask their thoughts.  Did anyone ask ‘What do you think 2Pac would be doing if he was here?’  ‘What do you think 2Pac would say about our current economic situation?’  “What would Pac have said about that preacher wanting to burn Qu’rans or all the hoopla made at Ground Zero about that Mosque/ Community center?  What would he have said about the looming sentencing trial for the cop who killed Oscar Grant or the riots that have taken place in LA after cops shot an immigrant? What would Pac have said about all those homes being destroyed and people killed during the tragic fire in San Bruno which we are now finding was because of negligence by PG&E?  Considering that’s an area where a lot of people of color live, do you think Pac would’ve been screaming on that? Such speculative question gets asked because it’s all but absent from those who are privileged to have access to a mic.

Pac like so much of our history has been made disposable and I’m not quite sure what to make of it. Is it our fault as elders for not bringing him up enough and keeping his and the memory of other past icons alive? Have we grown so that we now see him through a different lens and maybe don’t hold him up as high anymore? Did we put too much on him?

In looking back I think what folks admired so much about 2Pac was that he gave voice to an underclass of people. He gave voice to the those who we call the ‘Have Nots‘. What’s ironic is that in 2010 we have more ‘Have Nots then ever before, but instead of kicking up dust and challenging those in power about the injustice of such conditions, we now have folks looking for answers in corporate lackeys masquerading as rap stars or corporate backed pundits who know of Pac but would never dare embrace his fearlessness and boldness in seeking change. Still others look for the Glenn Beck, the Tea Party Movement and maybe Congressman Ron Paul to give them voice.

When Pac died at age 25 he was just beginning to find his voice and there’s no telling where he would be in 2010. There’s no telling how he would’ve ultimately have used his platforms and popularity and how things would be different as a result..The young Black male who he claimed to have spoken for would be older now and we would hope that he would be speaking and doing things to change the wretched conditions so many find themselves in.. Alas we can only speculate, but we should not underestimate the differences one man or woman can make.

Moving forward we understand that every generation has their heroes and sheros.. I’m from the public Enemy era, the folks who were my interns back in the days came up under Pac.. Many of them have maintained that fiery spirit 13 years later..My question today is who inspires that in today’s generation? Who is speaking truth to power and kicking up dust? Or have we retired that as a viable method to get things done?

As I was watching what appeared to be a very lack luster VMAs last night I kept asking myself where are the fire-works? Who’s the person that’s gonna leave us with something to talk about for years to come? The closet we came was when Drake yelled out Free Lil Wayne. Many were hoping we’d have that moment with Kanye West who came out wearing a red suit that drew comparisons to late comedian Richard Pryor on Sunset Strip. He’s always one to be counted on to say something provocative. His performance was mesmerizing. But we didn’t get much from Kanye other than him rapping about what a jerk he was .. Instead it was singer Taylor Swift who was famously interrupted by Kanye during last years awards, kicking up dust by doing a song where she took aim at him.

As Kanye closed the show I kept wondering if this generation of Have Nots had someone speaking for them on these national stages.

Written by Davey D

Brenda’s Got a Baby

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wl54ABY8VgY

Trapped

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCEmTaWSPTk

Interview w/ Arsenio Hall

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gtFtYNDzY0&feature=related

Interview w/ Vibe magazine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQexa5GFlw4

Interview w/ Davey D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pylx2HLzrwY

1992 Speech Atlanta..Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ4FvfM9Ftk

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Breakdown FM Interview w/ Hip Hop Legends Kid-N-Play: From Their Rapping Days and Beyond

Click HERE to Listen to Breakdown FM interview w/ Hip Hop Legends Kid-n-Play

http://www.alldayplay.fm/episodes/episode-29-kid-n-play

We caught up with Hip Hop legends and long time friends Chris Reed and Chris Martin aka Kid-N-Play who were the surprised guest for a special taping of Jamie Foxx’s Foxhole Comedy Tour in Sacramento and the debut of a new film company No Brainer. Foxx had an all-star line up of comedians and athletes ranging from Kevin Hart to Ron Artest to Danny Glover to Lloyd and with each appearance the crowd went nuts. However, the biggest applause went to Kid-N-Play who took the stage with a vengeance and reminded folks just how fun Hip Hop.

They dropped a bevy of classic songs and ended it by doing their trademark kick step dance routine which wasn’t a bad feat considering Play has titanium rods in his leg and ankle from an accident he suffered a few years ago while walking his dog named ‘Girlfriend‘. In fact lets clear up this crazy rumor that folks have heard. Play broke his leg when his dog chased another dog and got the leash entangled in his leg causing him to take a nasty spill. People heard the word Girlfriend and erroneously concluded that his mishap was the result of some sort of domestic abuse thing. It was nothing of a kind-not even close.

We sat down with the duo and covered a wide range of topics. We talked about their movie careers and the significance of the House Party film series. Many of us note that it those films opened the doors for rappers who made their way into acting and later producing and directing. In short Queen Latifah, Will Smith, Ice Cube and many others owe a bit of gratitude to Kid-N-Play. It’s interesting to note the roles Kid-N-Play did was written for Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXEsSrmabA0

Comedian Martin lawrence is one of the many stars who was part of the House Party series

The pair talked about the many legendary entertainers who they worked with and came through House Party including the late comedian Robin Harris, Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell. There’s been talk of reviving the series with a whole new cast. We’ll keep you posted as to how that unfolds.

They also talked about the enormous talent that is coming up from today’s generation of artists especially along the dance tip. Kid noted that he was impressed with the ways folks have flipped things.

We talked about Kid’s comedy career and how he made the transition from rapper to stand up.

Play who had the dubious distinction of being kicked out of 5 different high schools while coming up in New York, today is teaching college courses on two different campuses in North Carolina.  One of his classes he teamed with producer 9th Wonder who now teaches his own Hip Hop culture class. Play also noted that he’s been filming and doing documentaries. He noted that there’s a big void in relevent and intelligent news stories for folks in the hood and he’s been trying to fill that void with his own project Brand Newz.

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Move Over Montana Fishbourne, Actress Eva Mendes Releases Hardcore Sex Tape

Click to See Eva Mendes Sex Tape

First it was Pamela Anderson then Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and then Lawrence Fishbourne‘s daughter Montana. All of them have released scandalous sex tapes which arguably have made or significantly enhanced their careers. We won’t even talk about stars like Hallie Berry and Sharon Stone who have gone nude in order to blow up and be more marketable.

The latest in Hollywood to add to this long list of actresses willing to push the envelope is Eva Mendes. She claimed she was tired of people trying to sneak pictures of her topless or in a compromised position and then making thousands of dollars by selling them. She decided to do her own sex tape and like Montana Fishbourne go above-board and sell it and market it herself.  It’s all about being in control and enjoy  sex tapes on your own terms.

Eva unlike her predecessors has managed to keep her sex tape classy and at times even humourous while showing us why she is one of the most searched actresses on the internet.

Click HERE to see Eva Mendes Sex Tape

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Netroots Panel: Tweeting the Revolution.. How Hip Hop Changed Twitter

This session explored the various manner in which hip hop generation journalists, writers, poets, performing artists, community organizers, filmmakers and television personalities have utilized Twitter’s 140 characters and educated, informed, infuriated and organized thousands of persons in an online medium, with real-world application, thereby bringing 360 degrees of knowledge full circle, son!

Panelist include:

Dr. Goddess,” (Kimberly C. Ellis, Ph.D) She’s a scholar of American & Africana Studies and Executive Director of the Historic Hill Institute. A Creative Community Organizer, a poet, playwright and performing artist….

Elon James White, Editor in Chief of ThisWeekinBlackness.com , is a Brooklyn-based comedian, writer and is the host of the award-winning web series This Week in Blackness, a satirical look at race, politics and pop-culture in a so-called “post-racial” America.

Davey D is a nationally recognized journalist, adjunct professor, Hip Hop historian, syndicated talk show host, radio programmer, producer, deejay, media and community activist.

for more info peep…. http://www.netrootsnation.org/node/1447

Click HERE to watch Netroots Panel on Hip Hop and Tweeting...

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/8438963

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Stormy Weather-We Remember the Great Lena Horne-Will You?

This has been a rough start to this year.. We’ve lost some legends… Guru, Dorothy Height, Benjamin Hooks..

The passing of Lena Horne is without a doubt is the end of a legend. Yes she lived a long a fruitful life…But sadly there are so many of us who step on stages all around the world and will not know her. Not only is she not known, she won’t even get a shout out..Don’t believe me?.. Check to see what your favorite radio station does this morning. Will they simply read the AP headlines and then jump into their tired old banter and contests or will they pull out a few songs and take some phone calls from elders in the community who clearly understood why Lena Horn was such a source of pride? Will they at least play her signature song ‘Stormy Weather’?

In the age of ‘branding’ and ‘market penetration’ where our most visible and popular entertainers will remain ‘safely silent’ in the wake of even the most pressing issues confronting us, Lena was one to give up the money and not perform at spots where our people were left out..

“I was always battling the system to try to get to be with my people. Finally, I wouldn’t work for places that kept us out … it was a damn fight everywhere I was, every place I worked, in New York, in Hollywood, all over the world,” she is quoted as saying.

How many of us would stop selling our souls to do right by the people who have less?  This was Lena Horne, hopefully all of us whether we are on stage or not allow a part of her to be manifested through us in the work we do..

-Davey D-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCG3kJtQBKo&a=CfVxg-oWYZA&playnext_from=ML

Lena Horne Dead: Singer Dies At 92

by VERENA DOBNIK
NEW YORK — Lena Horne, the enchanting jazz singer and actress who reviled the bigotry that allowed her to entertain white audiences but not socialize with them, slowing her rise to Broadway superstardom, died Sunday. She was 92.
Horne died at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, according to hospital spokeswoman Gloria Chin. Chin would not release any other details.
Horne, whose striking beauty and magnetic sex appeal often overshadowed her sultry voice, was remarkably candid about the underlying reason for her success.
“I was unique in that I was a kind of black that white people could accept,” she once said. “I was their daydream. I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked.”
In the 1940s, she was one of the first black performers hired to sing with a major white band, the first to play the Copacabana nightclub and among a handful with a Hollywood contract.
In 1943, MGM Studios loaned her to 20th Century-Fox to play the role of Selina Rogers in the all-black movie musical “Stormy Weather.” Her rendition of the title song became a major hit and her signature piece.
On screen, on records and in nightclubs and concert halls, Horne was at home vocally with a wide musical range, from blues and jazz to the sophistication of Rodgers and Hart in songs like “The Lady Is a Tramp” and “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.”
In her first big Broadway success, as the star of “Jamaica” in 1957, reviewer Richard Watts Jr. called her “one of the incomparable performers of our time.” Songwriter Buddy de Sylva dubbed her “the best female singer of songs.”
But Horne was perpetually frustrated with the public humiliation of racism.

“I was always battling the system to try to get to be with my people. Finally, I wouldn’t work for places that kept us out … it was a damn fight everywhere I was, every place I worked, in New York, in Hollywood, all over the world,” she said in Brian Lanker’s book “I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America.”

While at MGM, she starred in the all-black “Cabin in the Sky,” in 1943, but in most of her other movies, she appeared only in musical numbers that could be cut in the racially insensitive South without affecting the story. These included “I Dood It,” a Red Skelton comedy, “Thousands Cheer” and “Swing Fever,” all in 1943; “Broadway Rhythm” in 1944; and “Ziegfeld Follies” in 1946.

“Metro’s cowardice deprived the musical of one of the great singing actresses,” film historian John Kobal wrote.

Early in her career Horne cultivated an aloof style out of self-preservation, becoming “a woman the audience can’t reach and therefore can’t hurt” she once said.

Later she embraced activism, breaking loose as a voice for civil rights and as an artist. In the last decades of her life, she rode a new wave of popularity as a revered icon of American popular music.

Her 1981 one-woman Broadway show, “Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music,” won a special Tony Award. In it, the 64-year-old singer used two renditions – one straight and the other gut-wrenching – of “Stormy Weather” to give audiences a glimpse of the spiritual odyssey of her five-decade career.

A sometimes savage critic, John Simon, wrote that she was “ageless. … tempered like steel, baked like clay, annealed like glass; life has chiseled, burnished, refined her.”

When Halle Berry became the first black woman to win the best actress Oscar in 2002, she sobbed: “This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. … It’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color who now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne, the great-granddaughter of a freed slave, was born in Brooklyn June 30, 1917, to a leading family in the black bourgeoisie. Her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley, wrote in her 1986 book “The Hornes: An American Family” that among their relatives was a college girlfriend of W.E.B. Du Bois and a black adviser to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Dropping out of school at 16 to support her ailing mother, Horne joined the chorus line at the Cotton Club, the fabled Harlem night spot where the entertainers were black and the clientele white.

She left the club in 1935 to tour with Noble Sissle’s orchestra, billed as Helena Horne, the name she continued using when she joined Charlie Barnet’s white orchestra in 1940.

A movie offer from MGM came when she headlined a show at the Little Troc nightclub with the Katherine Dunham dancers in 1942.

Her success led some blacks to accuse Horne of trying to “pass” in a white world with her light complexion. Max Factor even developed an “Egyptian” makeup shade especially for the budding actress while she was at MGM.

But in his book “Gotta Sing Gotta Dance: A Pictorial History of Film Musicals,” Kobal wrote that she refused to go along with the studio’s efforts to portray her as an exotic Latin American.

“I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become,” Horne once said. “I’m me, and I’m like nobody else.”

Horne was only 2 when her grandmother, a prominent member of the Urban League and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, enrolled her in the NAACP. But she avoided activism until 1945 when she was entertaining at an Army base and saw German prisoners of war sitting up front while black American soldiers were consigned to the rear.

That pivotal moment channeled her anger into something useful.

She got involved in various social and political organizations and – along with her friendship with Paul Robeson – got her name onto blacklists during the red-hunting McCarthy era.

By the 1960s, Horne was one of the most visible celebrities in the civil rights movement, once throwing a lamp at a customer who made a racial slur in a Beverly Hills restaurant and in 1963 joining 250,000 others in the March on Washington when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. Horne also spoke at a rally that same year with another civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, just days before his assassination.

It was also in the mid-’60s that she put out an autobiography, “Lena,” with author Richard Schickel.

The next decade brought her first to a low point, then to a fresh burst of artistry.

She had married MGM music director Lennie Hayton, a white man, in Paris in 1947 after her first overseas engagements in France and England. An earlier marriage to Louis J. Jones had ended in divorce in 1944 after producing daughter Gail and a son, Teddy.

In the 2009 biography “Stormy Weather,” author James Gavin recounts that when Horne was asked by a lover why she’d married a white man, she replied: “To get even with him.”

Her father, her son and her husband, Hayton, all died in 1970-71, and the grief-stricken singer secluded herself, refusing to perform or even see anyone but her closest friends. One of them, comedian Alan King, took months persuading her to return to the stage, with results that surprised her.

“I looked out and saw a family of brothers and sisters,” she said. “It was a long time, but when it came I truly began to live.”

And she discovered that time had mellowed her bitterness.

“I wouldn’t trade my life for anything,” she said, “because being black made me understand.”

original story: http://huff.to/9X1IFs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCvqTRHGIrg&feature=related

War on Youth: 10 Years Later We Remember the Historic Fight Against Prop 21

Ten years ago, various Bay Area youth organizations and movements found themselves coming together to fight a hideous juvenile crime bill called Prop 21. This bill among other things would charge youth as young as 14 as adults and gave the police sweeping powers including the right to detain and arrest three or more people ‘dressed in similar attire’ as a gang. It was a special time in the Bay Area and even though the bill passed in California it was defeated here in the Bay Area where most of the organizing took place..

The fight against Prop 21 was more than just walk outs and chants… It was strategy building. It was coalition building. It was connecting to other movements and struggles with obtaining Social Justice as a guiding principle. It was elders from past movements sitting down and working with young people. It was building upon and working with movements that had been sparked by freedom fighter Angela Davis and the historic Critical Resistance Conference at UC Berkeley. It was working with the movements sparked in earlier years by the Chicano Moratorium, Olin and Student Empowerment Project which were key in organizing students to fight propositions targeting immigrants like the English language only Prop 227 and the so called ‘Save Our States‘ anti-immigrant Prop 187.

The fight against Prop 21 was one that saw folks take momentum that had been sparked with organizations like the October 22 Coalition,  Ella Baker Center and the then emerging Third Eye Movement around the police killings of Aaron Williams and later Sheila Detoy in which a police officer said  Detoy got killed because she was ‘living a hip Hop lifestyle’ .

The Fight Against Prop 21 was one in which Hip Hop artists of various disciplines came together and the  It was young people going around from corner to corner politicizing their peers. It was artists like a then unknown Goapele showing up at rallies and blessing us with inspiring songs like ‘Aint No Sunshinewhere she flipped a Noreaga beat  and told us why we needed to Fight this insidious Crime Bill. It was popular artists like Boots Riley of the Coup going around with organizers like Marcel Diallo and giving impromptu concerts on the back of flat-bed trucks in West oakland. It was artists like The Deliquents, Money B, Mystic Journeymen, Blackalicious and so many others  using their clout to speak out against t the bill  It was artists like Michael Franti connecting his s 9-11 Power to the Peaceful concerts which was  focused on freeing Mumia and political prisoners to the Fight against Prop 21.

The Fight Against Prop 21 eventually led to the formation of our current syndicated Hard Knock Radio Show on KPFA which is also celebrating its 10 year anniversary. It was a huge boost to my Sunday night show Street Knowledge on commercial giant KMEL with various organizers coming on each week to lace people about the protests and events being planned  around the fight.. Later that fight helped spark the Local Flava Hour that myself and DJ Sake 1 did -special shout out to Gold Toes and the Deliquents who helped flipped that for us..

There are so many stories to tell and so many people cut their teeth and became well-known around the country for their organizing. One of the more nationally known figures was former White House Green Jobs appointee Van Jones..but there were scores of people who came out and put in work.. Yesterday some of those key organizers like George Galvis, Krea Gomez, Laatefah Simon, Malachi GarzaNancy Pili and Tony Coleman came together to share reflections and insights, mistakes made  and victories won. We’ll be airing some of that conversation later today (april 22 2010) on Hard Knock Radio 94.1 FM 4Pm PST www.kpfa.org

Below are some articles and videos to gives folks a flava of what took place during a time that many out here found special…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dadsaBzOjYE

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Third Eye Fights Back Against Prop 21
by Davey D-2/4/00

http://www.daveyd.com/thirdeyefightsback.html


Big Props are in order to The Bay Area’s premier Hip Hop organization Third Eye Movement. This past Thursday they were featured on NPR [National Public Radio] where they brought to light the types of methods currently being employed to engage the Hip Hop community and politics. Most notable was was when the group recently showed up with over 300 folks and shut down San Francisco’s Hilton Hotel. Folks are still talking about that incident when Third Eye came down and brought the heat when it was discovered that the hotel chain was supporting Prop 21, California’s Anti-Gang Youth Crime Prevention initiative. It was a sight to behold when all these Hip Hop headz showed up and completely surrounded the hotel. They raised their fists and began chanting in unison a customized version to the popular rhyme featured in the Sugar Hill Gang classic ‘Rapper’s Delight‘.

Hotel Motel –And The Hilton
If you start a war on youth
You ain’t gonna win!

The youth then entered the hotel lobby while still holding up raised fists and began chanting a customized version of the chorus to DMX‘s ‘Ruff Ryder’s Anthem’.

Stop! Drop! People Gonna Rise To the Top!
ooh! ooh! Prop 21’s Gotta To Go!
Stop! Drop! People Gonna Rise To the Top!
ooh ooh Prop 21’s Gotta To Go!

The end result was the Hilton coming out and clarifying their position on the Prop 21. They made it known that it was the president or chairman of the Hilton who was backing Prop 21 and not the chain itself. It was great to get that sort of response and un-blurring of the lines. That wasn’t bad for a bunch a Hip Hop headz who are just getting into politics. The other noteworthy event involved several other Bay Area Hip Hop and youth organization who co-ordinated efforts and held three simultaneous protests against PG &E [Pacific Gas and Electric]. This included San Jose’s UKAH, Concord’s C-Beyond and Third Eye. Again more then 300 folks showed up at each PG &E office demanding that they back down on their support of Prop 21. The result was a sit down meeting with PG &E management in which they came and stated that they would be neutral on the position. Because PG & E had given money to the initiative, there was a push to have them donate equal money to fight the initiative. That hasn’t happened yet.

The other victory Third Eye had was with Chevron where they got this big corporation to come out and publicly state they were neutral on Prop 21. All this is encouraging at a time when so many insist on holding a negative image of Hip Hop.The other thing that should be emphasized is that while Third Eye and these others Hip Hop organizations were out there bringing the heat noticeable absent were some of the more traditional organizations who haven’t been aggressively breaking bread with Hip Hop.

In addition to organizing these large scale protests, Third Eye has been hard at work passing out literature and literally going door to door explaining to people the provisions in Prop 21. At first the education was taking place within the High schools and various college campuses but with a month left before the March 7th election, you will no doubt see their activities and visibility increased. There is some sort of big hip Hop rally/concert activity scheduled for February 21st.

Other Hip Hoppers stirring up noise on this on the political front include Keith Knight of the social conscious Hip Hop band Marginal Prophetshttp://www.iuma.com/IUMA/Bands/Marginal_Prophets. In addition to throwing down on the mic..Knight has made a name for himself as a cartoonist whose work can be seen in all sorts of publications ranging from The SF Examiner Newspaper to Salt Lake City Weekly tohttp://www.salon1999.com. Recently he penned a powerful cartoon bringing attention to Prop 21. All sorts of organizations have made copies and have been passing them out. By the way folks may want to peep the group’s album ‘Twist the Knob’.

The Bay Area’s hottest act The Delinquents from East Oakland are also getting into the act. They’re in the process of making post cards that shows their picture on the front with a big Vote No on Prop 21 on the back. They have also included some facts about the proposition as well as their position on other electoral issues. In addition to their popularity, the group has a huge truck that is shrink wrapped with their picture and album cover. They’ll be using this truck promotional tool to get the word out to their folks in the hood to get out and vote as bring them up to speed on some of the politics getting ready to effect ‘The town’.

Respond to Davey D at: Mrdaveyd@gmail.com

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPkFvABs9HU

Hip Hop ActivismTo The Fullest!
by – Davey D

http://www.daveyd.com/FullArticles%5CarticleN224.asp

2/1/00 9:57:26 AM


It was a weekend of intense activism here in the Bay Area as there were several successful ‘No On Prop 21‘ [Juvenile Crime Initiative] rallies that brought together clergy, elected officials and scores of Hip Hoppers. Rarely has anyone witnessed this type of activism and coming together.Things kicked off on Saturday morning with the opening of the ‘No on Prop 21′ campaign office here in Oakland [1019 Clay St in downtown Oakland]. Alameda County supervisor Keith Carson along with Congresswoman Barbara Lee secured a spacious location in downtown. Rap artists and Hip Hop organizations including, Boots of The CoupSon of Nat Turner The 2Pac One Nation Committee, The Black Dot Collective, Underground Railroad and Third Eye Movement to name a few came out in full force.

Here they broke bread with more established community activists and elected officials like the The Mayor of Berkeley [Shirley Dean] , the former Vice Mayor of Oakland [Ignacio De La Fuente] , County supervisors [Mary King, Keith Carson], local City Council members [Larry Reid, Nancy Nadel] and a number of Ministers representing every religion from Baptists to Muslims to Jews. It was really a beautiful thing and the energy that resonated throughout was contagious.

The Ministers led people in prayer while Boots and several emcees ripped some wicked freestyles that directly dealt with the Prop 21 initiative. Everyone took time out to directly address the large audience by offering insight, possible solutions and words of encouragement. Several members who are down with the 2Pac One Nation Committee, The Black Dot Collective and Black Folks Against Prop 21, have put together a weekly political education newsletter called the ‘Daily Struggle [Makin Sure The Hood Knows What’s Crackin]‘ which they have been delivering door to door throughout the hood.

After the introductions were made and strategies imparted the large gathering grabbed pens and pads and went canvassing local neighborhoods. Everyone realizes there is a lot of work to be done getting the word out to the masses. In spite all the activism, there are still lots of people who simply do not know and need to be brought up to speed.Later that afternoon, former Black Panther chief of staff and current Oakland City Council candidateDavid Hilliard put together a large rally in West Oakland. In a move that was reminiscent of the old Panther days of the ’60s, he along with his crew gave out free lunches and brought out emcees from numerous local crews came out to perform and help get people registered.

.Lockdown 2000 Event A Success!

The highlight of the weekend was an event called Lockdown 2000. Here more than 1500 people showed up for a night of ‘cultural revelation’ which included spoken word, Hip Hop performances and dance. All the artist which include Michael Franti, Jason ‘The Kreative Dwella’, Local 1200 DJs and Amandla Poets to name just a slight few, donated their time as each one passionately brought attention to the issues at hand. Those issues were the case surrounding Mumia Abu Jamal and other political prisoners, the building of prisons as opposed to schools and Prop 21. To see all these folks from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, both young and old come together in such large numbers was incredible. Here’s a brief description from former Black Panther and activist Kiilu Nyasha. For folks who are unfamiliar with this sista she is one of the key elders in the Bay Area who early on had sat down and directly worked with a lot of the Bay Areas ‘conscious’ artists like Paris and Boots to name a few and laced them with some serious political game.

Every group and individual who performed or spoke packed a powerful political punch — and the messages were delivered with terrific artistry and pizazz. Our keynote speakers were Ida McCray Robinson of Families With A Future and Pam Africa of MOVE and The International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who brought with her from Philly her husband, Buck, and daughter, Pixie (11). There was sooo much love in that venue, such positive spiritual energy that folks walked away saying things like “amazing,” “awesome,” “the bomb!” I’m hoping Wanda Sabir will write a fuller description of the performances in her own unique style, so you can get the full flavor of the event.. All the organizers and performers/speakers volunteered their time, so we cleared well over $6000! We not only packed the place; every group imaginable was represented — from babies to teenagers, young adults and elders, Africans, Asians, Latinos, and Natives. What made it all happen, of course, was the wonderful spirit of cooperation displayed by all who helped pull it together. As one of the organizers, I can say honestly that I never got a “no” from anyone I approached for help; and lots of folks called and volunteered their assistance.

Noticeably absent from all these positive events were reporters from all of the Bay Area’s major TV and newspapers. As early as Saturday morning, I was still getting phone calls from reporters who still wanted to drudge up the drama behind the Cash Money concert violence from two weeks ago. Unfortunately, while they were diligent in covering the violence, not one of them bothered to be diligent in covering the building and coming together of Hip Hoppers who are successfully getting people politicized. There was no mentions on the radio. There were no articles in the local papers and no film clips on the 6 o’clock evening news.

What was most troubling, was the fact that calls were made directly to the weekend assignment editors of these outlets both the day of the event as well a couple of days before alerting them of these activities. The people who placed these calls were some of these high ranking elected officials who normally don’t have a problem obtaining press coverage. In fact while reporters were conspicuously absent from these rallies and events they managed to cover some of these same elected officials at other gatherings. For example, Congresswoman Barbara Lee who helped secure the ‘No On Prop 21′ campaign office spoke at the ‘No on Prop 21′ rally.

So to the average person who still religiously depends upon traditional mediums for his news and community information, there is no such thing as Prop 21. The thought of Hip Hoppers engaging in politics is still unfathomable. All he knows is that his local congresswoman was hard at work fighting for rent control and that’s it. Now, I’m not naive enough to expect anything different from the mainstream news media, but I had no idea it would be so blatant in its dismissal. Maybe its me, but I figured at a time when we have all sorts of drama surrounding Hip Hop in the form of Puffy, Jay-Z and other rap stars, seeing Hip Hop headz working alongside elected officials and the religious community would be a welcome change that one would proudly want to report.

The reason behind doing this would be to first, give props to people who are hard at work doing the ‘right’ thing and secondly, encourage and inspire a supposedly apathetic public to do the same. The big story here was that these Hip Hop artists and organizations working with elected officials is not a gimmick. It isn’t a cute stunt put together to create a photo op. It’s the real deal. It was months and even years of hard work finally manifesting itself in a new type of activism. When was the last time you went to a political rally and Hip Hoppers were equal participants? When was the last time you came across artists who were more interested in addressing the audience and expressing their views as opposed to getting wreck on the mic and using tan occasion as a disingenuous way to promote their album? I guess a multi-ethnic, intergenerational, multi-faceted gathering of people is threatening to the assignment editors of an industry that thrives on divisiveness and continuous mayhem.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WT_dNVzsOGA

Here’s a few other articles to peep

http://www.daveyd.com/FullArticles/articleN549.asp

http://www.daveyd.com/FullArticles%5CarticleP60.asp

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Children/NewYouthMovement_Calif.html

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

How Does the New Google Phone Measure Against the Iphone and Blackberry?

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How Does the New Google Phone Measure Against the Iphone and Blackberry?

Everyone is talking about the new Google Phone and whether or not its a game changer. The jury is still out but we decided to weigh in with our esteemed tech guru Andreas Jackson of Media Eclectic.  He gave us a serious run down on everything from operating systems to look and feel. More importantly he gave us a global perspective on how we should see these cell phones. For those who don’t know the US lags far behind…   

Here’s the audio feed to our conversation..enjoy   

http://www.swift.fm/mrdaveyd/song/12115/   

Tech Expert Andreas Jackson weighs in on the new Google Phone