Saturday, November 22, 2008

Black Men Mentoring Disadvantaged Black Youth

By Veronica of "Euroweb

"Meet the men of Brother II Brother, an extraordinary group of African American men dedicated to changing the lives of disadvantaged, male youth.

Perhaps a better title for this piece would be “Black Men in Action” because their deeds transcended their words during their recent 2nd Annual Youth Empowerment Symposium held on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC).

The organization was founded by Stinson Brown, LAPD Officer and Drill Instructor; and Pernell Clark, a pharmaceutical sales representative. Their mission is to mentor male youth from the ages of 13-21 on a variety of subjects including education, financial literacy, self-respect, and the meaning of manhood, to mention a few. This year’s symposium attracted about 50 youth who were recruited from various middle and high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The alarming number of homicides involving African American youth on the streets of Los Angeles and the staggering increase in their incarceration rates are the two main factors that inspired Brown and Clark to start what they refer to as “BIIB.” Their goal is to intervene in the lives of young males particularly the behaviors that put them at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system, and in helping them make positive choices that could lead to a better life.

“I was tired of holding the heads of young African American males in my hands as they took their last breath,” said Brown, 22-year LAPD veteran, about witnessing first hand the lives of young men extinguished from gang related violence. “I wanted to do more than talk about what was happening, I wanted to do something to help to save our youth.”

“Having positive mentors in my life as a young man was a critical part of my development and later success,” said Clark, a Yale graduate who grew up in South Central. “Joining Officer Brown in creating Brother II Brother was not only a way to provide a positive image to male youth in our community, but it was a way to show them positive alternatives.”

Brown and Clark knew they were not alone in their desire to help male youth. They had many friends and colleges who were equally concerned about what was happening to our young men. When they put out a call for core members to help carry out their mission and objectives, many men and even few women answered the call.

But when they put out the call for men to help mentor young men at the 2nd Annual Youth Empowerment Symposium, the response was overwhelming – over 80 men from various professional occupations and entrepreneurial endeavors responded, including KNBC-4 morning news anchor Chris Schauble who served as the Master of Ceremonies for the day. Others included Lance Triggs, Executive Vice President of Operation Hope who weighed in and addressed the youth about financial literacy. Dr. Brian Nichols, licensed clinical psychologist signed on and dared symposium participants be great; and Dr. Leslie Klien enlisted and gave a presentation about reproductive health.

The mentor-to-student ratio for the day long event was 2-to-1. For many of these young men it was better than winning the lottery for the latest video game release. It was the first time in their lives that they had an opportunity to talk one-on-one with men who took an interest in their lives and their futures. And symposium participants didn’t hold back in asking their mentors a myriad of questions during their personal breakout sessions which mentors said were inquisitive, lively and poignant exchanges.

“I understand the importance of having goals after talking with my mentor,” said 17-year-old Washington High School Student Delante Robinson who attended the symposium. “I was inspired by my mentor and now I have goals I know I can achieve.”

“At the end of the day, that’s what it is all about, reaching the next generation, giving them hope, helping them see the vision for their lives and giving them the tools to make their dreams come true,” said Brown. “We are our brother’s keeper, and Brother II Brother is without a doubt our young brother’s keeper.” For more information about Brother II Brother, visit""

TACO BELL COUNTERSUES 50 CENT:Fast food chain calls rapper's lawsuit attempt to 'burnish gangsta persona.'

"*Taco Bell is speaking out against a federal trademark infringement lawsuit brought against them by rapper 50 Cent over a failed promo campaign.

In a countersuit against the rapper, lawyers for the fast-food chain are calling his federal lawsuit, filed in Manhattan, another attempt to "burnish his gangsta rapper persona by distorting beyond all recognition a bona fide, good faith offer."

The suit claims that 50 has used his "colorful" past to cultivate an image of "belligerence and arrogance," and says he has a "well-publicized track record for making threats, starting feuds and filing lawsuits," while also painting himself as a charitable person who gives back to his community.

The case is rooted in a fake letter sent out by Taco Bell Corp. asking 50 Cent to change his name for one day to 79 Cent, 89 Cent or 99 Cent to help publicize its value menu. In return, the company offered to donate $10,000 to the charity of his choice. Fifty immediately sued the restaurant chain for the improper use of his name.

Taco Bell's suit claims that the "humorous but sincere" open letter it sent to 50 had an obvious "jovial spirit," but with a serious underlying offer. "The challenge — asking Jackson to temporarily change his name ... for charity — was a soft ridicule and good-natured lampoon of the rapper's moniker, 50 Cent, and his public image as a gangsta rapper."

As a defense, the suit notes that the letter from Taco Bell's president was not used in ads, that 50's name was never used in an ad campaign and that "celebrity challenges are notable and newsworthy and reported in the media."

In other 50 Cent news, the artist began production on his new film "Dead Man Running" on Wednesday (Nov. 19) in London.

As previously reported, the film follows an ex-con trying to go straight who is given 24 hours to raise $150,000 to pay off a ruthless loan shark, played by 50, or become a "dead man running."

Also starring in the film are Brenda Blethyn ("Secrets And Lies") Tamer Hassan ("Layer Cake"), Danny Dyer ("The Business"), and Monet Mazur ("Stoned").

50 Cent's next album, "Before I Self Destruct," was recently pushed back from Dec. 16to an unspecified date early next year."

From Eurweb

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"God, Please Don't Make My Son Dark": A Mothers Pain

As a child, Tangela says she was teased and tormented by other African-Americans because of her dark complexion. Then, when she was 19 years old, Tangela found out she was pregnant with her first child.While most expectant mothers just hope for a healthy child,Tangela prayed for something more.

“I would just say to God, ‘Please don’t make my son dark. Please don’t make my child dark,’” she says. “I didn’t want him to experience what I experienced…being called names, being talked about.”

When Tangela’s son, Najee, was born with dark skin, she says her heart ached for his future. “I saw people looking at him as if something was wrong with him,” she says. “That’s the pain that I really felt, more so than my own darkness.”

When Najee was 5 years old, children started teasing him about his complexion. In kindergarten, he says a female classmate, who was also African-American, made a hurtful remark that he remembers to this day. “The negative comment was, ‘Oh, you’re so black,” he says.

As Najee grew older, the insults continued. “I’ve been called names like darkie, dark chocolate, blackie,” he says. “Most of my negative comments do come from other blacks, and it’s extremely painful.”

Najee says he tries to hide his deep-seated insecurities from his friends and family by pretending to be happy. But deep down, a lifetime of low self-esteem is starting to take a toll on him. “Sometimes I have felt that I didn’t even want to be on this earth,” he says. “Sometimes I wish that God didn’t make me this way.”

His mother says her biggest regret is not understanding how much pain Najee has been feeling over the years. Tangela says she tried asking Najee if anyone teased him, but he never wanted to discuss it.

“I tried to give him books and encouragement and let him know he was beautiful. He had beautiful teeth,” she says. “It almost didn’t matter how much I told him because I didn’t know what was going on.”


As you all know, I feel that this complex needs to be broken in the black community. It is a vicious cycle that is hurting our children both emotionally and mentally. To help stop self-black hatred, tell a black child of any hue that they are beautiful. This goes a long way.I remember the times that people have given me compliments on my skin.They stood out because of their rarity. I got used to hearing some of the things that Najee was told and unfortunately see dark skinned people and children teased a lot.

Tell a child that their skin is gorgeous. It could be as fair as snow, or as dark as dusk, help instill self-esteem, and stop self-black hate from the root.

Help undo what is being done by society.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

When the Person Doesn't Respond on Myspace....

Often times, people are encouraged to send messages to those that they are infatuated with. With Social Networking sites like Myspace, Meebo, and Facebook, it's hard to resist.

Once the initial phase of initiation (Friend request,friend accept) is over, and you can breath again, you tell yourself not to "rush things"...Don't send a message, see if they maybe give you a picture comment with your new and improved sleezy default picture. If that doesn't work, you might send him one, of course after posting an array of "Comment my new pics" bulletins, or something equally as tacky. Or a message. And this is when things go horribly awry.

This is the worst mistake you can make in a case like this. Do not do it.
I've just done it and I feel queezy because he hasn't responded in 5 minutes....Shall we go through the excuses:

  • He's just busy...Talking to his girlfriend...The man has a right to do that...
  • He's still logged on eh?Well. Myspace is funny like that sometimes.He could have been logged off minutes ago.Barely escaping my grasp.
  • You are stupid for sending his rageddy ass a message...Didn't you learn the first time?
That aside, you are stupid if you send him a message, because, trust me, men
know when you are on their friend's list. Especially when you post annoyingly sleezy bulletins all the time. You're too available.Get a damned life. Jesus...
What was I thinking ya'll? What was I thinking?!
It was that last article that messed me up. I refuse to look at my sent mail section. I'm not on any anti-depressants right now so I shouldn't...
It certainly didn't hurt that the message was entitled "How the hell..."
I figured that you can't go wrong with honesty, and I was honestly wondering how he knew that I was going to throw that orange at him....So maybe he's still a little angry about that. Yikes...Forgiveness...Even if, even if you never did even think about me...At all.

Monday, November 10, 2008

When a Guy, is Toying with You....

Some people say that you know when a guy is playing with your heart. They are born with that innate ability to just tell when someone is faking Cupid's touch. Quite frankly, some of us are not, and one of those "some of us'" is among you.That's right, your fellow Blog Queen (hardly, I know), has been tricked too. Not just once, but quite a few times.

By my Senior year in high school, you would think that I had it all figured out. And by that I mean, just leave all of the boys at my high school alone. Ya see, I have this reputation, that I'm never going to be able get rid of in high school. It's for being...Stupid. Not stupid per se' like dumby. But stupid when it comes to being able to tell if someone is making fun of you.

And who can blame me?! I mean, seriously, how am I supposed to know that when a guy says, "Shake it Mama", in front of a large crowd, he's not being serious, he's MAKING FUN OF ME *gasps*...It's not flirting, it's screwing you over!

What can I say, common sense just ain't that common anymore.

So about a year ago, when a guy started making "comments", I ignored them. Armed with the knowledge that he was just effing around with me, doing so was effortless, and even felt good. It did not hurt that I thought he was the most unattractive human being I had ever seen. The first few days of class, I didn't even acknowledge him,only the females around him who spoke of parties, and *scoffs* getting "crunked'. He was the designated drunk at all of these massive get-togethers which featured scantily clad teenage girls who would all but remain celibate. I chipped in once and asked to join, in deep sarcasm of course, and they looked at me like I was demented. In a way, they had every right to.I was not and, I am still not, the gal' who attends such unsavory events. I of course have never attended such an affair and did not go to that one...nor was I ever actually invited.

Back to the wolf(coughs)though. When I first, really and truly laid eyes on him, I was taken aback by what I considered,then,to be his grotesque ugliness. Pale skin, a nose that seemed too big for his face, a chin that looked like he could defecate out of, and eyes that were just there' so to speak...

To other girls though, he was all that and a bag of chips. Tall, blond, green eyed ladykiller. He's the one yo mama' warned you bout.

It started with a "Girl you lookin' good today". I was flattered, but I did not let the words echo, as I knew that he was probably making fun of me. I did not find myself to be anything special looking, and still really don't. But more importantly, I knew that the kids at school considered me daft,homely looking, and certainly unfathomable as a love interest. To add to my disbelief of his remarks, was my then friend Shane. Another popular boy,who's thought of as the most handsome, and very "in the loop".When I asked him, in real anger, about this boy's intentions, he said that he was "just high" and "messing with me". This was very believable, but there was a pinch of doubt within me that made me wonder. That "pinch" is called stupidity and it lies within the innocent and unworldy. Those who's heart breaks so many times, left only to believe that once upon a time can make it's mark in their own world and the heart is ragged again,perpetually,and continually from a disease that eats at all of us, just at different paces and at different times.

Loneliness.Inevitable, and Authentic.

It's the hope and the dream that never pauses; it's the hope and the dream that can get you in trouble.

I figured that the absence of my response would make him stop. No eye contact, nothin'. Then finally, I said "Go away(insert name)?"...I called him by the wrong name, and it stunned him. Why should I not know his name? Mr. Basketball, Football,and Baseball team. Mr. Popular. The truth is that I called him by my then-crushes name...I really, really did. He turned around "What?" and gave me kind-of this weird grin. A look of surprise and uncertainty. I don't remember if I responded, but he upped his "game" immediately after this occurrence. He would now have to tease me more often...And he did. I continued to not give his cat calls any attention because I knew of the emptiness behind them...

But then he got to me. He started looking at me in class more. I could feel him watch me walk. I was scared to staple papers because it meant being near him. Then, on April Fool's Day, the asshole decided to make a joke, "Girl, you looking sexy in that trench coat". I knew all-too-well what kind of joke he was making, as it was the second one of it's kind that day. I didn't pout, just took it for what it was: a false compliment. He still did the staring though, and the comments, they never did stop. He would stare for a long time, say "Hi" or "What's up, Girl?" and I'd sometimes smile out of pity, most of the time though, I would keep walking.

An example of a lengthy exchange is this: During a rally against drunken driving, his posse and him decided to watch from were I was...He saw me and walked over, he said "Hey Girl" or something along those lines. I looked at him and strolled away behind a little blond girl that I knew. His friends said "She's over you man" and then they or him said "But I'm/he's/you not over her"...

Such toying around is not appreciated.

Over the summer, I got...Bored and made the mistake of my lifetime: Gave him a picture comment...Then, *cringes*...I sent him a message.

The picture comment read: "Haha. We all know that's apple juice" and it was in reference to a photograph he had posted of him drinking beer.

Then I sent a message that said "I have a question for you." then he responded...My question was how is your summer going and he quoted me "dandy like candy"...I responded, but there wasn't much I really could say so that was it.

Forgot about him completely.

Enter Senior year, he's there...Same BS as last year. Except for worse. The man seems so sincere. Just have to keep things in perspective.Yeah the perspective that he's a big fat liar trying to eff with me. I think he actually thinks that he is getting somewhere now because I flip him off. If he says something like "Girl you looking good today" and tell him to "shut up" or "go away"...

It's bad now...I...I've....Got a crush.By now I find him attractive and wonder why he hates me so. What's so wrong with me that he has to be so damned mean. It hurts, I won't lie. What I once believe to be grotesque ugliness is now strikingly, and I must admit, stunning attractiveness. The same thing I believed to be childish immaturity is now youth, vitality, and a particular kind of absolute calm, that enjoy.

The boy had game y'all. Or I'm just stupid.

I'm glad I never really let him in. Or let him officially know that he was in danger of getting close to me....

I was texting outside of class walking towards the computer lab at school. He is walking with me but I do not realize this for a very long time. In fact,I am texting a friend telling him that I'm "through" with something that never began. Suddenly, I see that he's walking with me, and, as a reflex grabbed his arm. I was scared. He looked down at my hand, then me and smiled. I said "OhMyGosh...You should not do that"..."You scared me". Then he asked me "So who are you texting?". I said "My friend M#$%^*" and he said "Well tell him I said hi" and I said "I will"...Then we were just walking. Then I said "I'm taller than you".He laughed at this, and said "well, you're wearing heels, and not even with them on." Then I said "Yes I am" and he didn't say anything. Then I said "How tall are you?"...He's 6 foot 2. I tell him that he's "just a little bit taller"...It's an ongoing joke for a few weeks that I call him "short stuff"...This is after a lot of stuff...After I threw a carrot at him when he told me that he "liked my $h!t" and it hit him the crotch. After he didn't help me with my books as some sort of punishment for hurting his pride that day. But not before our last little verbal exchange.

"Hey, what's up Ariel, girl, what's happening?"...Ignored. Then after 2 minutes, I threw my orange at him....He was turned with his back to the orange, but, caught it...

This is when I got my boyfriend. A gay guy I met in the office approximately 2 days before him...He's come to say hi. Tells me that I make him want to go "bi" and before I know it, the gay guy is helping me make this dude jealous.Holding hands, talking to the cheerleaders...Stroking. The works. We'd apparently been going out for 2 weeks. It was not the second time we met.haha. Life is good now.

Meanwhile,the guy who captured me...he's doing this to other girls, except for he actually means it and likes them. He's a flirt, a wolf, a womanizer, the male your mother warned you about. That skirt-chasing rake has himself a wonderful blond girlfriend now...

Can't help but wonder if the interest was ever genuine, if he ever had good intentions for me, if he ever will...If this was all a game for him. If it weren't for my reputation...Would he?

Most of all though, I wonder why in the world it even matters to me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Public Masterbation Strikes Again...In CHILDREN'S LIBRARY!

This is an atrocity. People no longer have the decency to take things home when they become aroused.In fact, they are using the library's computers to provoke those feelings and then acting on them in a very public way.Tax dollars are being spent on maintenance for this government facilities and the fact that the library is allowing if not welcoming and supporting this kind of behavior and abuse is absolutely appalling.

The over 18 seems to be only superficial, as it is clearly a news story and investigation...

You can skip to the ending scene were reporter Carl Monday is ATTACKED by the father of a library card-holder who decided to "shake hands with the sheriff downstairs". After that, Carl is literally bum-rushed into his vehicle were he makes smug remarks in the safety of his news van:

Jacking Off In Public Library - For more funny videos, click here
Tax dollars at work here folks

Not only that but the 1st time caught, you are given a warning.Just come back in, maybe next time we will catch you before the children do.

A shining example of lassitude and someone being way to comfortable with their job.The conduct exhibited (more like UNinhibited and obviously UNbothered) is inexcusable and I personally feel that he should not be allowed back in, nor should any other "patron" (I doubt that man pays taxes, as he lives at home) who shows that they can not control themselves in a manner suitable for the public eye.

At least Carl Monday is filling his position as not only a reporter, but a true investigator.

Thank you Carl.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Daughter of Obama Bucks Creator responds with ignorance...

How suprising. I'd like to applaud the reporter who did her job very well.Totally deserving of respect and a giant THANK YOU this end of the black community and other minorities alike. White people should also be thankful because she debunked stereotypes that all whites are racist and or agreed with the Obama bucks...Not that any well-bred person would believe that crock of nonsense either.

Now being married to a Mexican means that you can't be racist?! There is racism in every race.The ignorance is BLINDING me. Unbelievable.

I love how they zoomed in on the McCain Palin sign on the lawn.

Once again cheers to this reporter, she did a brilliant and fantastic job of bringing insight to the idiocy of the Obama bucks.