Media Watch: Black Actress Update – Has Hollywood Been Good to Them Lately?

Last post of the year. So, Happy New Year. Have a prosperous 2013, and many more.

Let’s get down to business. I’ve compiled all the shows that I noticed have black women (two black parents or not) as main characters or otherwise.

Always feel free to add shows / movies I may have missed … I’ll update this post over time.

Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington – image from celebritynetworth.com

Scandal – Kerry Washington, Columbus Short

Update: The NY Times has discovered the historical nature of this show: “Scandal on ABC – breaking barriers“.

Update: Faith (actsoffaithblog.com) has written a very compelling and incredibly insightful post about the show. This is in regards to Star Jones trying to dictate via twitter to Shonda Rhimes (executive producer / writer / et al)   who she wants Olivia Pope to be partnered with.

Did I happen to mention that the analysis is awesome? Please, check it out:

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Apparently, for the first time in eons a black woman (with two black parents) had a show of her own on network television. I love soaps. I love the drama. The crazier the better. This show moves much faster than I expected. And what beats the most powerful man in the world being “wide open” for a black woman? Very stimulating. 😀

I was initially worried that Shonda Rhimes was going to bury her main character, Olivia Pope, behind all those “special” white women on the show. She did not, and does not, do that. What I love most about this character is that she is: petite, elegant, beautiful, smart and vulnerable. Yeah, she’s not superwoman. She cries, but when she’s ready – her mind gets to work and she runs a superb game. I love any show that brings on a woman as a “fixer”, but not someone physically pushing her weight around, cursing and screaming at anyone, or doing anything stereotypical. Not an eye roll, neck twist, lip smack, or hand-on-the-hip in sight.

It’s a fine line, presenting a black woman with this amount of complexity, but this show rides it nicely. And I like that with this character, there’s much more to learn about her. Every couple of episodes peels back another layer to that mysterious onion. Wonderful.

So, I want to thank you, Shonda Rhimes for making this show, and letting the world revolve around Ms Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington).

I like Columbus Short‘s character, Harrison Wright, as well. I’ve seen him in a few movies. I like the way he speaks, his careful delivery of lines. He really looks like one of the few actors who enjoys himself and gets immersed in his role. I think what I’m trying to say is, I can’t recall if he’s ever played a thug. He seems able to avoid falling into stereotypical “black guy” roles most other black actors get by default.

Maybe, unlike the others, he’s found a way to move beyond those roles….

Aunjanue Ellis - image from blackfilm.com/read/2012/09/aunjanue-ellis-tapped-to-co-lead-new-amc-legal-drama-series/
Aunjanue Ellis – image from blackfilm.com

NCIS: Los Angeles – Aunjanue Ellis, LL Cool J

Low and behold on NCIS: Los Angeles they found out that LL Cool J‘s character Sam Hanna is married and a father! Not only that! She’s a real two black parent black woman! I am shocked. Shocked! I tell you. Usually, when a brown skinned actor like LL is cast with a woman, she’s skim milk black with a teaspoon of chocolate.

She’s darker than him!!! Sorry, but the credo with color casting in the media is always a black guy who’s charcoal and a woman who looks half white. It’s racism against dark-skinned black women and lighter complexioned black men. So, it was nice to see something different for a change.

And the plot of the show? I don’t know. I had stopped watching NCIS: Los Angeles, because I was getting tired of all the other characters having a life whilst LL Cool J did not. I will have to catch up to the season. All I know is that Sam Hanna’s wife, played by Aunjanue Ellis,  is an undercover agent going by the name of Quinn. From what I see, I like how she rolls.

Part of me is afraid to see the next episode, because of what Hollywood usually does with black families….

Overall, I really like the NCIS shows. My longtime favorite is the original. Mark Harmon has aged well. Still a handsome man. The formulas for these programs work.

Update: Almost forgot there was an NCIS episode (Season 10, Episodes 10) that featured Rose Rollins as a Navy Lt Commander married to a former military officer who happened to be white.

Danai Gurira - Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage
Danai Gurira – Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage

The Walking Dead – Danai Gurira

As I said to my girlfriend, “They killed off Shane (Jon Bernthal), why I need to watch it now?” The show follows the novel / comic book sorta closely. I heard they deviated from killing Shane off earlier, because he had a fan base. Why not keep him around indefinitely? Oh, well.

Apparently, a show with so many characters needed to make room for one of its centerpieces: Michonne (Danai Gurira). She’s a samurai-sword wielding warrior kind of woman. Keeping everybody safe from zombies. All right now!

I’m all into zombie, science fiction, action and mystery stories / movies, so I’m thrilled about this.

And I saw that trailer for World War Z with Brad Pitt. I cannot wait!!!

Salli Richardson-Whitfield
Salli Richardson-Whitfield

Eureka – Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Tembi Locke

This was the last season for the show. I love how it ended. I never saw the first episode, but it gives it a nice loop, which make the show self-containing. If that makes any sense.

I usually dislike (hate, hate, hate!!!!) it when the main characters of a show are required to fall in love. I know that’s what the fans usually demand. And 9 times out of 10, that will kill off a good show. It’s like, once the writers throw them into bed, they’re depleted of new material, and go, “Now what?”

I have to say that the chemistry between Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Allison) and Colin Ferguson (Jack) worked. It felt genuine. I wanted them to be together. And when they did, it didn’t get lame like we see with most other TV show couples. They seemed like a perfect fit. I think because they were really really good friends that respected and loved one another. Being “in love” was another aspect to their relationship. And goodness, I wanted to be in a couple like theirs!

Even though their erotic tension was muted, it wasn’t primary, like we see with most other shows, where everything goes flat the minute they get together. The failure with other couples (Moonlighting) was because the sincerity wasn’t there from the beginning. Other couples worked (Cheers?), because the tension never goes away, sometimes it intensifies.

And breakups are fine even after they get together, that shows the writers know how to work their material.

Tembi Locke
Tembi Locke

Update: Crazy of me to forget Tembi Locke. She played Grace Monroe, the wife of Joe Morton‘s character Henry Deacon in the alternate universe. She was a major character on the show as well.

Person of Interest – Taraji P. Henson

This is the first program I can recall where a black woman had the top billing on a network program, I mean as a major character, not just part of an interchangeable ensemble. And this show preceded Scandal – timewise – by a country mile. I enjoyed POI immensely. I love shows with intricate plots. But I lost track when CBS pulled the online plug. So I have to wait for it via DVD or some other method to catch up with it.

I liked the chemistry between Taraji P. Henson and Jim Caviezel. I don’t need for them to get romantically involved or hot and heavy (hmmm, maybe though). I liked their dialogue. When I started watching, the show gave me the feeling of a modern day revamping of Batman as a former special forces soldier (Jim Caviezel) with Catwoman (Taraji P. Henson) as a cop. Don’t know if anyone else feels that way, but that’s just my take.

Meagan Good
Meagan Good

Deception – Meagan Good

Brand new show. And if I’m not mistaken, will be the second major network show with a black woman as a lead character. Wow. If it’s fun like Revenge with the quality of Scandal, it should last. Haven’t seen it yet, so I cannot judge.

What’s also interesting is how Hollywood can now locate beautiful two black parent black women to star in TV shows. Were they hiding somewhere before?

Anyway, hope the show does well. I’ll try to catch up and see it.

Warehouse 13 – CCH Pounder as Mrs Irene Frederic, Genelle Williams as Leena

The character of Mrs Irene Frederic is still going strong. Although she doesn’t appear in as many episodes. The character Leena, played by Genelle Williams, “died” in episode 10, Season 4. Not sure what happens after that. I heard a new character – a black woman – will be joining the show. We’ll see.

Suits – Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson 

I love this show. The dialogue is witty and silly. It doesn’t lean too heavy on the lawyerly (is that a word) stuff, but deals more with problem solving before they reach the courtroom. The show manages to make chasing clients down and dealing with sheets of paper for court filing seem exciting. That takes talent.

And I don’t care how bad a show is, if Gina Torres is on it I’m watching. Yeah, I’m a fan. Did you know she’s Laurence Fishburne‘s wife? I had no idea. I only ask that she cut back on cooking for him: he’s gonna explode any day now.

Franklin and Bash – Dana Davis as Carmen Phillips, Garcelle Beauvais as Hanna Linden 

Yes, Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Mr. Saved By The Bell) has a show with two – count ’em, two – beautiful black women (with two black parents). And the show is already into it’s third season.

I think that’s a TV network record.

Parenthood – Joy Bryant

I’ve never watched the show. Unfortunately, I never had the time, and I didn’t realize it was still on and running. Maybe I’ll catch it one of these days. I don’t think I ever saw an ad for the show. Interesting.

It’s been on for a good number of seasons. Good for them.

Parks and Recreation – Retta

Community – Yvette Nicole Brown

I get these two shows – P&R and Community – mixed up. Although I shouldn’t. I honestly thought they were the same program. And like Parenthood, I haven’t seen any advertising for P&R.

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Last, Last, Last! Update:

Grey’s AnatomyChandra Wilson

After Isaiah Washington left, tried to hang in there. Couldn’t. But glad to know Ms Thing is handling her business on the show. I read somewhere that they found her character a man. Hmmm.

GleeAmber Riley

Years ago, I watched the first episode. Never went back. Although, good for her that she’s still there. She can sing. I don’t know about the others.

Penny Johnson
Penny Johnson
Grabbed from superiorpics.com
© Retna

CastleTamala Jones and Penny Johnson

Any major network show that can have two beautiful black women as major characters gets props from me. It’s been a while since I’ve watched. Gotta get back on track.

Justified – Erica Tazel

They took this show off online, and I cannot find it anywhere else! Not even on Amazon (instant video). I don’t know if I can bother with Netflix or iTunes.

I just need my fix of watching Timothy Olyphant swagger once in a while. Guess I’ll have to hunt down the DVDs.

Why do these entertainment companies do this? Don’t they want viewers? Not everybody has cable TV.

White Collar – Diana Barrigan and Diahann Carroll

Ms Carroll is not a main character, but I get very happy whenever I see her. I want to look as elegant, and be on point, when I grow up.

Cast Members Dominic West and Sonja Sohn  of HBO's"The Wire" Celebrate Season Finale at TAO Nightclub in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 8, 2008
Sonja Sohn
Grabbed from superiorpics.com © Retna

Burn Notice – Sonja Sohn

Sonja Sohn is in the following six episodes: Over the Line, Down & Out, Best Laid Plans, Odd Man Out, You Can Run and Game Change. Really enjoyed her performance. She needs her own show. Having her as a one-of-a-kind black woman Federal Marshal or Military Official hunting down someone would be FANTASTIC.

Like I wrote before (re: Scandal), love to see it when they have a woman doing this kind of thing. As long as it has tension and good drama, it will work.

Although I see Burn Notice as having run it’s course 2-3 seasons ago, I still check it out. Don’t know how they do it, but every episode gives me anxiety attacks. They just know how to rack up the insanity.

Love Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Cop Drama Genres

But the following three shows have gone beyond jumping the shark:

  • Vampire Diaries – Kat Graham
  • Fringe – Jasika Nicole
  • Bones – Tamara Taylor

True Blood – Rutina Wesley

Been trying to get started. One day I’ll grab the DVD collection and see what’s up.

Aja Naomi King
Aja Naomi King

Emily Owens MD – Aja Naomi King

Smart, as well as beautiful; apparently, a Yale graduate too. Haven’t watched the show. I guess it’s a funny Grey’s Anatomy?

Revenge – Ashley Madekwe

I had no idea she was there from the beginning, but yeah, episode 1, she’s there when it all begins. I like her character. Although my true favorite is Nolan Ross played by Gabriel Mann. He’s the guy with the best lines.

Nice campy drama. Doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Carrie Diaries – Freema Agyeman

She’s from Dr Who.

Touch – Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I wanted to watch this show, but I think the Fox network has been moving it around. I hope it stays around so I can check it out. GMR is from a short-lived black (married!) spy couple show on NBC a few years back.

The Neighbors – Toks Olagundoye

Spartacus: Vengeance – Cynthia Addai-Robinson

And thanks to all of you who reminded me to add these shows in the comments section. I appreciate it very much! 😀

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Mr. Easy-on-the-Eyes
Jay Ryan a.k.a. Mr. Easy-on-the-Eyes

Special Mentions: No Black Women Starring, But Enough “Color” to Be Interesting

The CW TV Network – Kristin Kreuk and Nina Lisandrello

I’ll give the CW props and much credit for having shows with black women. I watch the new Beauty and the Beast, and although the two mentioned above are not black women – I like Kristin Kreuk, and Jay Ryan is extremely easy on the eyes – it may be the first show I’ve seen with two minority women as cops in the lead.

Interesting show. And fun to watch.

The CW TV Network – Nikita – Maggie Q

I watched this show when it first came on. I have to give them credit, there was a black girl (Tiffany Hines) in the first season and partially in the second. There were a few more on the program, but since I lost track of it around season three, I couldn’t tell you who is in the current lineup.

As Faith says in the comments, this is the first time an Asian (or half-Asian) woman had her own show on a network. Not bad.

Elementary – Lucy Lui

I love this show. I also like the growing relationship between Jonny Lee Miller (as Sherlock Holmes) and Lui (as Watson). I’m a fan of Lucy Lui. I’ve always liked her “coolness” in the roles she plays. The show doesn’t rush the plot(s), although some episodes are a bit predictable, but I like that they refrain from constantly chasing after and shooting at people. I find that to be a waste-of-time filler on a number of cop dramas.

I mentioned in the comments, that by episode 5 – called Lesser Evils, Anika Noni Rose plays Lui’s best friend. I very much liked that, because I cannot recall the last time I ever saw a black and Asian woman portray friends, of any sort, on a major network TV show. Usually that role is filled by a bubbly blond with big teeth, head and a perfect disposition.

It was really nice to see a difference for a change. Sometimes I get the impression from TV programs that black and Asian women can only have white women as best friends. And that’s not a normal or healthy reality for the media to promote. As far as I’m concerned, anyone and everyone can play someone’s best friend.

MOVIES

Here’s the top 20 grosses of 2012 (grabbed from boxofficemojo.com):

  1. Marvel’s The Avengers
  2. The Dark Knight Rises
  3. The Hunger Games
  4. Skyfall 
  5. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
  6. The Amazing Spider-Man
  7. Brave
  8. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  9. Ted
  10. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  11. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
  12. MIB 3
  13. Wreck-It Ralph
  14. Ice Age: Continental Drift
  15. Snow White and the Huntsman
  16. Hotel Transylvania
  17. Taken 2
  18. 21 Jump Street
  19. Lincoln
  20. Prometheus

And special mention to the following:

  • Battleship (2012) – Rihanna as Petty Officer Cora ‘Weps’ Raikes
  • Immortals (2011) – Ayisha Issa as High Priestess #4
  • Joyful Noise (2012) – Queen Latifah.  I wrote a post about this film.

Yeah, there are the Madea / Tyler Perry and other type of flicks that came out, but I have no intention of listing them.

Skyfall – Naomie Harris – Eve

Based on box office projections, this may be the most successful James Bond flick so far. Interesting.

And yes, it’s awesome to see another black woman in a big box office hit. See Hollywood? Including black women doesn’t hurt your bottom line at all. So, stop lying about how our lovely, dark-skinned faces cost you people money with the overseas market (and even domestic). I mean, if I can even see black women in Korean dramas speak a few lines, what’s the excuse for Hollywood besides racist sexism?

I confess that I haven’t seen Skyfall, yet. I will when it hits Amazon, Netflix or on a DVD at some point. I’ve cut back on going to the theaters.

You know the main reason I don’t see movies? Unless it’s an action film where I don’t care for the dialogue, I find that 90% of the time, I have no idea what characters are saying. When I watch something via Amazon or on DVD, I put the close caption on. And it turns out people are saying things completely different from what I expected.

I think that’s why I prefer classic old films, I understood what everyone said. Today, most of what comes out of an actor’s mouth is unintelligible. Not paying $10 plus to hear somebody mumble.

The Hunger Games – Amandla Stenberg as Rue

I don’t have much to say about this film. I didn’t see it. I have no plans to see it. I think there was an online ruckus, because white liberals admitted that they are indifferent towards the death of “innocent” black girls, don’t believe they exist or something to that affect. Please DO NOT explain the deal to me in the comments: I don’t care. I guess people were surprised by the blatant racist sexism hatred or something.

Hey, I grew up in NYC, capital of white liberals. Folks finding out that they don’t regard black girls and women as human beings is no shocker to me…. But, oh well … gotta find out the truth at some point, I guess.

21 Jump Street – Holly Robinson Peete as Officer Judy Hoffs

I had loved this show. This is where I became an early fan of Johnny Depp. I always hoped there would be something to that something between his character and Holly’s.

Didn’t see the movie, so I don’t know how much screen time she got. But it’s nice to know they remembered she was on the show. It was rare to see a black woman in a role like this one.

I’d give you more, but I’m exhausted. I’m happy there was a lot to include.

And if people remember other programs I may have missed, please list them, minus the Tyler Perry stuff.

So, Was Hollywood Good to Black Actresses in 2012?

I’ll give them a B. Was I too generous? Well, I’ve definitely seen an uptick in two black parent black women, even in commercials, so I’ll give them credit for remembering we exist. There are some movies or TV shows I wont watch if it seems like a waste of time, whether it has a black actress or not.

I always want to support the good, quality works that have black women in it. Like it or not, the media is an incredibly powerful image tool. If we look good / great, people do treat us accordingly, it’s conscious and subconscious.

So, I don’t mind if we’re invisible sometimes, I’m not looking for blind inclusion each and every time. It’s when we are included and look a hot dysfunctional mess that gets me upset.

Happy New Year. Let’s see what 2013 brings.

Prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones. May we all find more love, forgiveness and peace in the coming year.

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Epic Rap Battles: Famous Figures Battle

Like to find something amusing to get through the slog of the coming week. Since it’s three days, that’s a good start.

Don’t know how I found the first YouTube clip, but they all cracked me up.

Anyone remember MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch? Used to love watching that. This stuff is much milder.

I always consider the use of the word “ass” or something just as profane to be a weakness in rapping, an easy go to word, because they cannot think of anything else. Otherwise, not bad.

 

 

 

 

Don’t eat too much for the Holiday(s), it’s nearly impossible to get that weight off once it climbs on. 😀

Happy Thanksgiving….

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Open Forum: Music, Getting Off the Planet, This Election and What’s Up?

Top 40 Radio

There are three singers that I find hard to listen to: Taylor Swift (she whines, really cannot sing), Kelly Clarkson (she sings about the same thing over and over again – being unable to get along with any man) and Katy Perry (I wanna take a hammer to her – Madonna did the kinky schtick years ago –  it’s tired coming from this chick).

Outside of that, I like the station(s) I listen to.

I prefer music without singing mostly and a techno / pop / hip hop / rock / reggae beat. Something creative and fresh. Anybody ever heard of Gotango? or the Electric Samurai? I’m always listening to that kind of music.

Anyone with suggestions, please do tell. I feel music starved these days.

Gangnam Style

You’ve heard the song? You’ve seen the video? Of course you have. I cannot master the dance. Then again, I have two left feet.

The parodies kill me.

Thought of You, Oshun: Getting Off the Planet

Apparently, you and I are not alone in wishing for a voyage to another planet. Our very own, super awesome, black woman scientist, former NASA astronaut, Mae Jamison is in charge of finding a way of sending a probe to our nearest universe.

The following is from the NY Times (Oct 22, 2012):

The news last week that there is a planet circling Alpha Centauri B, only a little more than four light-years away … a triple-star system that is the Sun’s nearest known neighbor.

This year Mae Jamison, in conjunction with the nonprofit foundation Icarus Interstellar, won a $500,000 government grant to set up 100 Year Starship, an organization that is to come up with a business plan for interstellar travel.

Darpa, the government agency that helped invent the Internet and now wants to help invent interstellar travel, estimated that just planning for such a trip could take 100 years. Dr. Jemison, 56, hopes it can happen sooner.

I asked Dr. Jemison if she would go, knowing it was forever.

“Yeah”, she answered. “I would go.”

What could be cooler than that? Who says WE don’t like science!!!??!! Just don’t show me any Alien flicks, let me have a pick of a couple of men to bring along, and I’m all aboard.

The Undecided Voter

Believe it or not, I was undecided until the beginning of October. I voted via absentee ballot. NJ is very flexible in voting in this manner. You can have the ballot appear for every election, or only vote in the general.

Due to Hurricane Sandy, the big guy, our Governor Chris Christie says folks can vote via email and fax. That’s great. Why isn’t that a regular practice? I mean we do almost everything online in this state: I file and pay state and local taxes, car registration and other things that way too.

Who Do I Think Will Win The Presidential Election?

You all know I’m not about telling anyone who to vote for or what to think. You do what works for you. I love that all of us have many different perspectives on what we believe. I’m constantly impressed by the viewpoints, facts and information you ladies (and gentlemen) bring to this blog.

The following image is just speculation on my part. And I voted for the losing candidate once, back when I was a kid and doing it for the first time.

I’m totally guessing when it comes to Nevada (NV), Michigan (MI) and Minnesota (MN). Those are the only states I really don’t have any guesstimates as to how they will turn out.

As for the others? Who knows. {{Shrug}}

I wont be following the election tally on November 6th either. If I wanted to I’d probably get alerts to see how New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Florida voted. Those 3 states will tell you who is President for the next 4 years. Going to bed early anyway.

Facebook and the Online / Email Campaigners

I have a friend who’s suddenly sending me election propaganda. It feels like they’ve tapped into the Facebook madness. Look, I’ve been avoiding Facebook lately. It’s been too much. If you worship like your candidate. Good for you.

How about leaving the rest of us alone already?

And the world isn’t going to be any different on Wednesday, November 7th.

What’s Next?

The year is closing out soon. And I’m thinking, next year, 2013 has to be different. The problem with being a LEO is that we are rather FIXED people. We can do the whole 180 degree turnaround thing, but there’s always a core part of us that never changes.

So, it’s all about changing small habits that can make a big difference. I’ve got stuff in my closets I haven’t touched in years, and I must do something about it.  You can take that to be literal or rhetorical. In both cases, it would be true.

Hope everyone is feeling well. Doing well. Staying safe and healthy.

And if you have something to celebrate: don’t hesitate to come here and brag. I’ll be thrilled for you. 😀

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Open Forum: What’s On Your Mind? My Experience With Hurricane Sandy

Survived Hurricane Sandy

And all I have to show for it is this blog post – no T-shirt yet.

That was one nasty trick without the treat. I guess the treat is still being here to write about it.

Was I scared? No, actually. Besides the difference in how it sounded, like a train rolling very close by the house, I’ve experienced more intense thunderstorms. Lots of wind, I could hear stuff flying about, but thankfully it didn’t shake the house or rattle the windows. It went by and over the properties – not directly at it.

And blissfully, I fell asleep because that constant droning noise sorta knocks you out.

This Jersey Thing and the Howling Outside Your Door

Let me tell you a bit about middle and southern NJ. I am located a couple of miles from Trenton and Princeton, that’s the neck / bend of this kidney-shaped state. I am 45 plus minutes west of the NJ shore. However, regardless of all these miles away from the shore, practically this entire area of the state is ZERO feet above sea level. We are right at the level of where the ocean meets the land. There’s barely a decent rise. And the soil out here IS sand.

So picture this on a dark night: a lull in the wind, a spittle of rain and you start to believe that the media has over-hyped another storm. Listening to the radio, waiting for the storm, reading the endless stories about this stuff online, you start to think: what was the hysteria all about?

She’s Coming For You

Then, Hurricane Sandy arrives. On the night of a FULL MOON. The tide is already high. From what I heard, 2 ft above normal. She comes. Her voice rising. Throwing things around. She’s getting stronger and stronger. Howling in a pitch so high it strains your nerves. Tides are rising in some places as high as 15 feet.

You remember that you live at sea level. No big swells. No massive hills. No mountains to break that rising tide.

You realize that 90 plus mile winds are bringing everything with the ocean (boats, pieces of boardwalk, cars, and other debris) up into and ripping off part of your home, or perhaps dragging it off its foundation onto a highway nearby.

Thinking About the Katrina Aftermath

A few years ago, I went down south to visit a friend who showed me the area after Hurricane Katrina hit Alabama, Louisiana and other states. She showed me a beach front, which was clean as a whistle. I started swearing involuntarily, after she told me it used to have amusement parks, hotels, food stands and everything you’d expect at the beach.

It was gone. All gone. Like looking at virgin territory. Like no one had build anything there before.

Hindsight

In the past, I wanted a house at the shore. I loved the beaches, the boardwalks, and driving aimlessly down the entire stretch. I probably could have gotten a cute little bungalow or maybe a multi-story property to rent during the Spring and Summer.

But I looked at the flatness of the area. I thought of stories my Mom told about what it’s like when the tide comes in to flood a small country and doesn’t stop. I chickened out. So, I picked an area that is NOT a flood zone. That’s information you see might when you sign the albatross (mortgage) papers (I think it depends on the state).

It’s hard to resist living near the water. I feel drawn to it. The sweet smell and salty taste of the ocean air. The soothing sound of the tide. The endless view, staring out at the entire world, and if you look hard enough to see the curve of the horizon.

The Governor and Interstate Assistance

Tuesday night, I listened to the car radio, ’cause I had no power. I heard my governor, big Chris Christie, mention the work being done to get the power back on. Almost right afterwards, the lights came on. Talk about a delightful and nice coincidence! Relief filled me: I wouldn’t be freezing my butt off that night. Although I had candles, flashlights and extra blankets ready.

Driving around today, I saw many out of state utility power trucks. So, thank you to the people from out of state who came to NJ to help.

I’m also thankful for coming out unscathed from the storm.

And my prayers are for those who were not as fortunate.

What’s On Your Mind?

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Daily Mail Coverage of Sandy – Long Article – 1

Daily Mail Coverage of Sandy – Long Article – 2

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Are Black Children Too Stupid To Learn?

Florida School System Gives Up on Black Children

Are black children really that hard to educate? Or are people who are supposed to be professionals, you know – experts at teaching, declaring that there’s an actual limit to black intelligence?

Are black children really too stupid to learn?

A nephew of mine believed he wasn’t as bright as Asians, and he was only in 2nd grade at the time. Who’s at fault for demotivating him from learning? If all black children hear is how stupid they are – why would they feel inclined to pay attention in school?

My mother pulled my brother out of a school system that declared him not-too-bright. She recognized B.S. and sent him somewhere else.

In high school, I was questioned as to who was writing my essays. Meanwhile, I was writing essays for my brother while he attended college. And he was studying to complete a degree in Mechanical Engineering, which is almost entirely nothing but complex mathematics.

Here’s the article source link: Florida Passes Plan For Racially-Based Academic Goals

A few excerpts from the news article:

The Florida state Board of Education passed a controversial plan to set reading and math goals based upon race.

On Tuesday, the board passed a revised strategic plan that says that by 2018, it wants 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of black students to be reading at or above grade level. For math, the goals are 92 percent of Asian kids to be proficient, whites at 86 percent, Hispanics at 80 percent and blacks at 74 percent. It also measures by other groupings, such as poverty and disabilities, reported the Palm Beach Post.

JFK Middle has a black student population of about 88 percent.

… Florida Department of Education said the goals recognize that not every group is starting from the same point and are meant to be ambitious but realistic.

Robinson called the state board’s actions essentially “proclaiming racism” and said she wants Palm Beach County to continue to educate every child with the same expectations, regardless of race.

We all – especially mothers and fathers – should have the right to any and all learning alternatives. And these children should not be hostages to any group. The only pertinent issue is that they get an education which allows them to be self-sufficient and productive citizens.

This reminds me of the voter registration issue, where we are singled out as the only people too stupid to follow directions.

Frustrating, to say the least.

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Update: NY Times Article – Florida Defends Learning Goals

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November 4, 2012

Update: NY Times Article – How Do You Raise a Prodigy?

Money quotes:

There is no federal mandate for gifted education. But if we recognize the importance of special programs for students whose atypical brains encode less-accepted differences, we should extrapolate to create programs for those whose atypical brains encode remarkable abilities.

Once again, it falls to parents to advocate for their children’s needs, often in the face of a hostile or indifferent educational system.

Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, himself a conductor and a former wunderkind, remarked dryly, “If Beethoven were sent to nursery school today, they would medicate him, and he would be a postal clerk.

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Comic Con: The Nerd Economy Thrives

Went today. Never attended this particular one before. Although I’ve been to a few sci-fi or writer’s conventions. I thought Comic Con was only a west coast affair.

Rather nice and interesting event, I expected TV shows or something of that nature. But it was pure comics, video games, and the like.

I only regret not getting my hands on a T-shirt. It ended too soon, before I could see everything. And it was packed!

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Some Nights by Fun and Too Close by Alex Clare

I’ve been hearing “Some Nights” on the radio, not knowing who made it. You know how DJs cannot be bothered to announce who created something. So, I thought it was a classic song by Ladysmith Black Mambazo  (a group from way back when).

Well, this video changed my perception of the song, because it initially made me think of the Lion King.

Beautifully done…

 

 

Too Close

Is it me, or does Alex Clare have an Adele vibe to his singing? She sits in a chair in one video too. I first heard this song for an online ad for Internet Explorer, but it was more of a techno remix version.

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Open Forum: The Floor is Yours – Olympics, National News, etc.

I’ll come back later and write more…

I sense folks want to talk about many different subjects.

Links as usual are welcome.

Feel free.

Happy Sunday. 😀

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Added: Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympics

Apparently, U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney didn’t win a gold medal. Hence the scowl. Check the tumblr site satirizing her. Wee bit funny.

So, who is Lolo Jones and what was the hype all about?

The media has 2 memes: their chosen “winners” – the Maria Sharapova types, and then there are others who have to prove themselves and win a la Gabby Douglas. One gets the money upfront for having a certain “look”, the other has to break world records to get some cheddar.

Douglas was part of a US Olympic squad that hadn’t won a gold since 1996. She won gold in the all-around, becoming the first gymnast in American history to win the gold medal in both the team and all-around.

She had to earn it first to get the fame and money, but you know how it is. It’s alright though.

She has the best attitude.

Grabbed this image from – blackyouthproject.com – hope they don’t mind.

… And is the Olympics over with yet? Seems endless at this point. Should be a couple of sports, not judged by people, but scored by time and points only. Would be over within 3 days or less.

Serena and Venus Williams Continue to Break Records

No surprise there. They play tennis so fierce, they make it look easy. Soon they’ll have enough medals, trophies and awards to fill a museum.

They have four gold medals each, more than any other tennis player in Olympic history. If they can come back and get more, no one else will ever touch their record(s).

You go girls.

Message For Black Girls and Women

Get out of Blackistan. You cannot succeed or achieve your dreams surrounded by toxic people. The only folks you need are familial or reliable Gladiators. Serena and Venus had a Gladiator in their dad. I hope the people around Gabby Douglas step up and fill in that role. Young black women need more protection from the vampires out there. She, and others like herself, still need more time to mature before they get exposed to the “real world.” She’s just a teen, not a young adult. There’s a time and place for the interviews, social media and  face-time with the blood and soul suckers.

To become successful, join the mainstream, and find a safe haven. That means integrating with the rest of society. Social, environment and emotional segregation is a dead-end.

Focus. Don’t let the haters distract you, or you wont be able to get the gold. In this case, literally. I think a number of US failed just because of the distractions. Part of the battle will always be mental.

Your mind must go there first, before your body follows.

Don’t be afraid to dream big. And don’t tell certain people your plans – unless you are looking to be talked out of it.

Sometimes it’s best to do your thing and not talk about it first (or at all). It’s like waiting for permission. You shouldn’t give that kind of control of your life to anyone. They don’t deserve it.

Spike the ball. It’s okay to gloat once you’ve done your thing. Bragging is the best revenge. Yes?

Humility has it’s time and place. Sometimes you need to rub it in people’s faces just how awesome you are.

 

Serena Celebrates – got this image from – ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com. Hope they don’t mind.
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Wayne Brady vs Bill Maher: How a Good Brotha Fights A Bad White Man

He does it by talking about the black women (of questionable repute) that the “bad white man” dates.

Say What?

Apparently, Wayne Brady (WB) got plenty tired of Bill Maher (BM) using his name to lament President Obama not being hardcore or thuggish enough to suit him. Perhaps both should search YouTube for that video remake of a Waka Flocka rap where President Obama is as thug-like as they want him to be. It is so funny. Not.

In an interview with the tall, black and beautiful Aisha Taylor (whose husband is white), Wayne Brady utters some of the following (excerpted from Mediaite):

“I’ve had Bill Maher twice now when referencing Obama, [sic] he’s like ‘yeah, with your Wayne Brady’ — it’s a diss to Obama to be called me,” Brady explained to Tyler on her podcast this week, noting that Maher wanted a “brother brother.” Accusing Maher of only having the “particular black experience” of “fuck[ing] black hookers,” he explained that he did not confront Maher usually because “if I would have gone on his show or even doing it online, I’m not going to win, he still has his platform.”

But Brady explained that Maher was wrong to think of Brady as somehow not “black enough.” “I’m not saying I’m really badass but, if Bill Maher has his perception of what’s black wrapped up, I would gladly slap the shit out of Bill Maher in the middle of the street, and then I want to see what Bill Maher would do.” He explained that he wouldn’t actually do this “because I’d get sued and lose my house and its not worth it for me, but the black man part of me would be so satisfied to slap the shit out of him in front of Coco and Ebony and Fox, the three ladies of the night that he has hired.”

It Is Such An Epic Smackdown

Lemme tell you something, Wayne Brady is essentially a “good brotha”. See how bad-ass this man is? He uses a lot of profanity. He talks about Bill Maher’s sex life. He’s showing us he can be street. Keepin’ it real. What a profile in courage. Courage! I tell you.

  • WB does not ask BM to invite him onto his show for a man-to-man showdown. Nope. Instead, he makes these comments on a podcast with a relatively well-known black woman (who’s married to a white man) to talk smack about BM’s sex life with “black hookers”.
    • This tactic looks familiar, a “good black man” (married to a non-black woman) runs to a black woman to talk about a white man’s sex life. There’s just too much mess here to unpack.
  • WB does not ask BM to invite him onto his show for a man-to-man showdown. WB admits he would not win, since BM would get the last word. Apparently, BM is so very all-powerful. Does WB think we’re supposed to believe it is simply by virtue of getting the last word? In this age of social media?
    • One of the most “powerful / popular” people on Facebook is George Takei (a.k.a Mr. Sulu). Nearly everybody can get a last word in.
  • WB falls into role playing a wanna-be-thug anyway, just to convince others that he is not an emasculated, weak, well-behaved, white accommodating negro. Then he proceeds to talk about himself – nearly in 3rd person for additional distancing – just to express his desire to smack BM. Is he afraid of going to jail if he made the threat directly?
    • I get that he’s joking. But it was funny when he did it on Chappelle’s Show.
  • Why does WB make black women (they are still human beings – I know a lot of people forget this) part of the focal point in his courageous blasting of BM? Since when is smacking a white man in front of black women (for whom WB obviously has no respect for) something to be in awe of? They are already denigrated for being black women.
    • Why bring them into his diss of BM? Because at the end of the day, he is the emasculated, weak, well-behaved, white accommodating negro he’s referenced as.

They Can Never Put Their Egos Aside

I know some of us love misdirection, and will think this topic is about Bill Maher or the “type” of women he likes to be seen in public with. I’m looking at the composition of what one man said about another. I expected a direct man-to-man retort, but that – in my eyes – never occurred.

Somehow a “good brotha” decided that the best way to insult a “bad white man” inevitably involved black women and sex. (And this topic is an old one.)

Don’t be fooled by the “black hooker”, “black prostitute” or “black women are easy” talk. You and I know some negroes never make a distinction when it comes to black women (as prostitutes), white men (as exploiters) and sex (always purchased, never about love).  Their goal is to continually promote this negative, tainted image.

“Good black men” or “good brothas” like to pretend that their sex / relationships with non-black women is about uplifting liberation, real love and reclaiming “black male pride” as reigning penis-champions, whereas black women are eternally debased sex slaves to all non-black men. And any man who tangles with us, no matter how low he is, will sink even further down.

You cannot ever win – the freedom to date whomever you like – if you ever give an inch to this type of argument and logic. Especially when used to serve the extremely fragile ego of a black male defending himself from a white man.

A Simple Rule of Thumb: Keep Black Women Out of It

If a “good brotha” is having a fight with a “bad white man” – let us all step far back and way way out of reach. ‘Cause when the fists start swinging – the “good black man”  is gonna end up punching black women in the face whilst pretending he couldn’t touch the “bad white man”. Somehow it’ll be because he keeps missing his target.

Yet, the truth is: he was always aiming for the black woman….

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Yahoo artice: WB vs BM

Mediaite article: WB vs BM

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