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Topics - zeraze

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BET Life / Obama's Run: Where is The Black TV News?
« on: January 17, 2008, 06:32:08 pm »
Washington Post's Courtland Milloy wrote a great column exploring the irony of BET killing its news division just before Obama's run for the White House:


Vox Populi / Good News for Black People
« on: November 11, 2007, 08:29:57 pm »
In his latest column, Courtland Milloy (The Washington Post) revealed some statistics about Black people that hasn't gotten much coverage.  An excerpt:

Among blacks 25 and older, 80 percent had at least a high school diploma in 2005, and about 1.1 million had advanced degrees, up from 677,000 in 1995. There were 2.3 million black college students in the fall of 2004, more than double the number in 1989. In 2005, there were 44,000 black physicians and surgeons, 79,400 postsecondary teachers, 45,200 lawyers and 49,300 chief executives. There were 1.2 million black-owned businesses in 2002, up 45 percent since 1997. Annual revenue: $88.6 billion.

Turns out black people can read, write and count after all. Some actually get married, raise a family, keep a job and stay out of jail.

Does that mean life for black Americans is just one big jack-o'-lantern full of Hershey's Kisses? Of course not. Poverty, racism, crime and disease continue to have a devastating effect on black Americans.

But with the decline in teen pregnancy, black America is gearing up to overcome those obstacles.

Read the full column here:

Hence, there is hope for Black people.  So, those who say we must yield to various stereotypes (being a thug, out of wedlock births, etc.) are ignorant of this positive change.

Miracles do happen.


Feel The Funk / "Y'All Should All Get Lynched" Could Win Grammy
« on: August 28, 2007, 04:19:08 pm »
Afronerd has the story:

If this song is nominated, can you imagine the reaction to NYOIL's performance?


Other Comics / Walter Mosley on Good Comic Book Writing
« on: August 27, 2007, 05:24:53 pm »
Popular novelist Walter Mosley just released a book, THIS YEAR YOU WRITE YOUR NOVEL, explaining how to become a writer.  Columnist Steve Grant suggests that writers of comics can also learn much from Mosley as shown in this quote:

"Our social moorings aren't the only things that restrain our creative impulses. We are also limited by false aesthetics: those notions that we have developed in schools and libraries, and from listening to critics that adhere to some misplaced notion of a literary canon. Many writers come to the discipline after having read the old, and new, masters. They read Dickens and Melville, Shakespeare and Homer. From these great books of yore, they develop tics and reflexes that cause their words to become stiff and unnatural.

Many writers, and teachers of writing, spend so much time comparing work to past masters that they lose the contemporary voice of the novel being created on this day.

You will not become a writer by aping the tones and phrases, form and content, of great books of the past. Your novel lies in your heart; it is a book about today, no matter in which era it is set, written for a contemporary audience to express a story that could only have come from you.

Don't get me wrong - you can read anything and learn from it. But your learning will also come from modern songs, newscasts, magazine articles, and conversations heard on the street. A novel is a pedestrian work about the everyday lives of bricklayers and saints."

You can read Grant's full commentary here:

Grant is correct that Mosley is a great writer for comic writers to emulate.  Too many comic creators do make the mistake of rehashing the work of past masters instead of drawing upon new, contemporary ideas to make their stories cool not stale.


Vox Populi / NAACP Silent After Gang Rape of Mother & Son
« on: August 06, 2007, 07:43:49 pm »
After reading this sickening crime, I really must ask the NAACP:  "Is protecting a quarterback with no sense more important than a law-abiding mother and son who've been raped":

And the oldest civil rights organization wonders why Black people like myself don't support it.


General Discussion / Gang Related: Priest Strikes Again
« on: July 15, 2007, 06:55:04 pm »
Priest really goes medieval on gangsta culture and Black apathy in this one:

Charlotte, NC Mayor Pat McCrory, who is white, said he was accurate when he wrote that “too many of our youth, primarily African American, are imitating and/or participating in a gangster type of dress, attitude, behavior and action.” His remarks came in a July 5 letter to the city manager in which McCrory congratulated police for their presence the night before, when 169 people — mostly black — were arrested.

The mayor painted “African American youth with a broad swath that cuts deep in many of our communities,” said Ken White, president of the Charlotte branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “Mr. McCrory’s comments reinforce that stereotype, especially to those inclined to hold onto racist thinking and behavior,” White said.

McCrory told The Charlotte Observer that he understands his remarks offended some people, but he cited statistics that more than 60 percent of Charlotte’s gang members are black. “My role as mayor is to communicate what I consider to be concerns and in doing so you have to step on some toes,” he said. The mayor said he stands by his comments that black youth are imitating gangsters, despite a call from the local NAACP to apologize. (AP)

Seems to me the only thing Mayor McCrory needs to apologize for is for being white, white people are simply not allowed to say things like this because the black community will cry “racism.” But the mayor’s observations seem on-point to me. Black and Latino youth have indeed embraced a culture of negative, violent stereotypes, while the black community at large does virtually nothing about it. There is no hew and cry from the black community about these so-called gangstas and criminal elements—both real and simulated—that thrive openly within our urban youth culture. We say nothing, we do nothing, while the souls of our youth are being freely stolen, day after day.

If you were sitting on your porch, and some white guys drove up in a bus, grabbed your kid and dragged him off to Nazi training camp, you’d be hopping mad about it. But, each and every day black America—the black church most insidiously—sits idly by while the exact same scenario happens every minute of every hour of every day. Only, it’s our own—black gangs, black thugs—stealing our children. And, by paying your cable bill, inviting the so-called “gangsta rap” culture into your home, you’re helping them do it. By not taking a stand against gang lifestyles, by not promoting and, yes, financing alternatives to that lifestyle, by not taking a stand against violent video games, gang colors, and gangstas mentality—by allowing any and all of that to flourish in our own communities, in our own homes, we are all guilty of a heinous sin.

 mean, the NAACP is filing lawsuits against this white mayor, but how much money, per capita, did the African American community spend last year on gang alternatives? How much did the back church spend? How much did YOUR church spend on gang alternatives and anti-gang messages? How much money did you, personally, spend, last year, on efforts to keep your own kids, your own family, your neighbor’s kids, out of gangs? How much time did you spend with your kids, with your neighbor’s kids, providing alternatives to the glamorized gangsta culture? You’d actually be surprised how much good will a pizza and a movie can buy. How much influence a bowling trip can purchase.

I can’t help but wonder what might happen if we, in the black community, started identifying Gang-Free Zones. Putting up signs around schools, around arcades, malls, libraries, around churches, around laundromats, around places where drug dealers and gang members flourish, that simply said GANG-FREE ZONE. And what if we empowered the police to make gang sweeps through those areas. What is we black men, in particular, got off our fat behinds and put ourselves, bodily, in harm’s way patrolling these gang-free zones? What if we, as black mothers, as black fathers, created a culture of resistance and an aggressive campaign of ideas and values that presented a viable and attractive alternative to the Thug Life that is so glamorized by the media? What if we, as consumers, punished that media by banning it outright in our homes?

When I was a kid, my mother determined what was and was not allowed to influence her children and to come into her home. More and more, I see black mothers throwing up their hands, seemingly helpless to stem the overwhelming tide of negativism, of violent and sexist content, that streams openly and freely into our homes.

Well, you’re not helpless. You’re simply lazy. You simply lack the conviction of my mother and, likely yours. And you, yes you, are the ones responsible for selling out our youth, not some white mayor in North Carolina. He’s only saying what many if not most white people are thinking, anyway, and I for one applaud his bravery in having said it.

If you’re too scared to put up a simple sign, a simple GANG-FREE ZONE sign; if you’re too frightened to do gang sweeps or patrol your own community, if you’re too scared to confront your own children about their choices and values, if you’re too scared to speak up for what you believe—rendering mute the Truth of the Cross—

—then, the least you could do is cancel your cable TV service. Ban magazines like XXL and Vibe from your home. Destroy every gangsta rap CD and violent video game you can find in your kid’s rooms. Tear down every poster glamorizing some tatted-up foul-mouthed thug. Cut off your Internet or at least have the courage to disallow your kid to have free access in his or her room.

If you’re too scared to do that, you can write your councilman, your mayor, your representative and senators and demand help.

These are little moves even cowards can make, but we’re not even making those. These are the very least things we could be doing to turn things around. Instead, we expend energy rallying and filing lawsuits against white people for simply stating the obvious: black America is, by all reasonable observation, lazy and gutless, having surrendered our youth to criminals who snatch them off the street before our very eyes, while we cower and shake our heads and do absolutely nothing about it.

Man, do I long for the old days when being black, when being a Christian, used to actually mean something.

Vox Populi / Shoppers Step Over Dying Woman
« on: July 03, 2007, 09:20:43 pm »
First, there was Stop Snitchin.  Now, there is "Don't Help Your Fellow Man."

Nothing in that store was worth those shoppers ignoring a woman dying on the floor.  It's as bad as the woman who died in the hospital ER in LA.

Are people in America that morally sick and self-absorbed?


Vox Populi / MTV Europe Ad = Racial Stereotype?
« on: June 27, 2007, 02:18:57 pm »
Has anyone heard the discussion over this detergent ad on MTV Europe:



Vox Populi / Black Isn't Beautiful
« on: June 01, 2007, 04:14:21 pm »
Did you see Monday's episode of Oprah exploring why so many children have an extremely poor self-image?  Here is a clip from the show:

And here is a lengthy recap of the show:
That's disturbing.  What really hurt was the segment in which an intelligent Black teenager felt inferior because his mother would have preferred a light-skinned son.
What a warped world we live in.

Other Comics / Misty Knight = Porn Star?
« on: May 25, 2007, 08:43:48 am »
The cover for Heroes for Hire #13 and...just look for yourself:

And this one too:

Is Marvel this desperate to scare off a wider audience, especially female readers with lots of money?

Add this to the controversy over the MJ Statue, and the House of Ideas looks stupid at best and misogynistic at worst.



For those who haven't heard about the MJ Statue, click these links to catch up:

Black Panther / Storm Wins Glyphs Fan Award
« on: May 20, 2007, 07:16:14 pm »
This is a surprise.

Storm by Eric Jerome Dickey won the Fan Award for Best Comic.  Read the full list here:

Clearly, Glyphs has stepped up their game with a diversity of great picks.


Other Comics / Luke Cage vs. Dr. Doom: A Flashback
« on: May 12, 2007, 03:11:42 pm »
I was browsing Newsarama's blog until I came on this story about Hispanic superheroes:

When I read the article that was linked, this comment about the classic Luke Cage/Dr. Doom battle stood out:

"As people do with any fictional entertainment, [kids] look for points of identification," says Seattle-based Greg Hatcher, who teaches comic book writing and drawing to middle school kids. He recalls two students becoming "absolutely mesmerized" a few years ago by an old comic he brought to class featuring Marvel's Luke Cage, an African-American hero for hire.

"They read it together," Hatcher says. "One boy was black and one boy was Latino. But what grabbed them about Luke wasn't his ethnicity; it was his poverty."

When Dr. Doom stiffs Luke out of his fee, the hero borrows the Fantastic Four's jet "and flies to Doom's home country to beat [the money] out of him. To this day I remember [the student] saying, 'Five hundred bucks is a lot of money! He better go after that guy!' "

Stories such as this make the fictional worlds more real to kids. "By reconfiguring superheroes with an ethnic component into them, the hero becomes more palpable," says professor Carmelo Esterrich, director of cultural studies at Columbia College Chicago. "They don't come from space like Superman; they're closer to us. ... Having comic books reflect that is going to make these [younger] readers better citizens 10 and 20 and 30 years from now."

"The job of a writer or artist is to reflect the world around you. That's not an agenda," says Rogers, who gets frustrated by claims that the comic exists only to fill some imagined quota. "Racism is believing that other people of different backgrounds can't speak to you."

In short, kids can look at a classic Luke Cage fight very differently from a long-time comic fan.  The kids' comments also hint that the Hero for Hire could appeal to today's youth is given the right exposure.


Vox Populi / Obituary of The Late Mr. Common Sense
« on: May 10, 2007, 08:14:20 am »
I got this e-mail from a friend.  This is spot on.


Obituary of the late Mr. Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:  Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and Maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6 -year- old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Tylenol, sun lotion or a band-aid to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 3 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on.

BET Life / Anti-Gangsta Rap Petition Begun, directed at BET
« on: May 07, 2007, 06:08:11 pm »

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