What's Happening In Your World

Black Men

School Responds to Public Pressure After Banning Braids and Afro Puffs

Black women love their hair as much as they love their men, their money or anything else.  So, one of the worst things that anyone can do is to try to squash the freedom of expression that comes with allowing a woman to decide what hairstyle she’s going to end up “sportin” on any particular day. But a school in Ohio did just that.  Horizon Science Academy caused an uproar on the Internet by sending home a letter effectively banning natural hairstyles, specially small braids and afro puffs. The fury from the decision by the school led to a huge backlash online, and the school sought to scramble and clean up the mess.  After all, natural hair is black hair in it’s natural form.  So, telling black girls that they can’t come to school with their hair in its natural form is another way of simply saying that you’re not good enough. In the letter, the school showed that it respects the controversy and those who are concerned: “This information has offended many people and by no means did we have any intention towards any of our students,” the letter said. The author of the letter remains relatively anonymous, surely to keep the backlash from falling onto any one individual.  But the letter goes onto vaguely indicate that the school is taking the matter seriously and that they are going to do something about it.  But they don’t exactly mention what they are going to do. You can read the letter by clicking the image below. Read More »

Assailants R@pe Marine’s Wife in Front of Him, Shoot Both in the Head

Two ex-Marines have received the death penalty for doing something horrible to an Iraq veteran and his new wife.  The men r@ped and beat the man’s wife right in front of him, tied the couple up and then shot them both in the head. Sgt. Jan Pietrzak, a 24-year old man, had to watch while his wife, Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, was being assaulted by the two men.  The 26-year old woman died on the spot, right alongside her new husband. Emrys John and Tyrone Miller, 23 and 25 years old respectively, were given the death penalty for their roles in the horrible crime.  Another man, 25-year old Kevin c*x, was given life in prison with no chance for parole, so his sentence will be nearly as severe as his co-defendants. All of the men are former Marines who allegedly broke into the couple’s home as part of a robbery plot. Sgt Pietrzak was stationed at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego and his wife was a counsellor with an infant care program in Riverside County. They’d just been married for two months when the incident occurred.  Police say that they bound and gagged the couple, and then set the scene on fire to destroy the evidence. Read More »

Fredrick Douglass Statue Presented on Capitol Hill

There is no question that Frederick Douglass was a great man during his time and after.  Finally, on Capitol Hill, Douglass is being honored as one of the great Americans of all time, and getting the respect that he deserves. Douglass wasn't just a man who freed himself from slavery, he also advised President Abraham Lincoln as he sought to free the slaves.  Vice President Biden, along with Democratic Sen. Harry Reid and Democratic Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, came to the ceremony to dedicate the Douglass statue.   Members of his family came along as well, including Nettie Washington Douglass, Frederick Douglass’ great great granddaughter and her son Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. The statue is going to stand right next to the ones of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and Sojourner Truth in Emancipation Hall. Without brave men like Douglass, we would not have our freedom, so take a second to show your thanks and support. The post Fredrick Douglass Statue Presented on Capitol Hill appeared first on Black Like Moi . Read More »

73-Year-Old Grandfather And 20-Year-Old Grandson Arrested In $12K Heroin Bust

Like grandfather, like grandson.  It must run in the family here, but two relatives are going to prison for apparently flipping heroin on the streets in order to make a little extra cash.  Authorities in Pittsburgh say that Albert Martin and his grandson Troy are guilty of trying to sell $12,000 worth of the drug on the streets.  Albert is 73 and his grandson is 20. The police say that the grandfather and grandson are both going to face charges related to drug distribution.  Plainclothes officers made the bust after a three month investigation that came from complaints from neighbors.  They were finally able to secure their search warrants and go in for the arrest. The SWAT Team busted in on the alleged family business at 6 am in order to surprise the grandfather and grandson.  Police allegedly found 24 bricks of heroin and another $1,000 worth of cocaine.   They also found cash and guns in the home as well.   The post 73-Year-Old Grandfather And 20-Year-Old Grandson Arrested In $12K Heroin Bust appeared first on Black Like Moi . Read More »

Lolo Jones Accused of Disrespecting Her Fellow Bobsledders

Lolo Jones is a world famous Olympic Hurdler, but her recent remarks didn’t earn her any friends.  After realizing the difficulty of finding use for her speed during a non-Olympic year, Jones has decided to try out for the Olympic Bobsledding team. That’s all fine and good were it not for the fact that she was called an elitist for complaining about a check for $781.84 she received from the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.  Jones made a video on Vine.com joking about the size of the check, which didn’t sit well with her colleagues. Olympic gold medalist Steven Holcomb, the most accomplished bobsledder in history, called Jones’ remark a “slap in the face” to the hardworking athletes who appreciate the funds. “It wasn’t taken very well,” Holcomb said. “People were really kind of insulted. You just made $741, more than most athletes in the sport. So what are you complaining about?” “The way it came across to a lot of the athletes here was kind of snobby because she’s one of the most well-known athletes in the world and she’s making pretty good money in endorsements (as a two-time Olympic hurdler). And to basically turn around and slap us in the face because you didn’t make any money this year in bobsledding while taking money from other’s athletes? She slapped pretty much every athlete in the U.S. federation in the face. That was the general consensus.” In the video, Jones says, “Seven months with bobsled season. The whole season. That’s it.” On the phone, presumably talking to a mock landlord, she says, “I’m going to be a little late on my rent this month.” Then the camera focuses on her paycheck. Jones tried to fix the damage, but probably could not.   Through Red Bull, one of her sponsors, Jones said, “I didn’t want to offend anyone, and I’ve always wanted to help out my bobsled teammates,” the statement read. “Some of them have debt because they’ve given their life to the sport. My partner Jazmine and I had to raise money for the bobsled to be funded just to finish the season, because only 2 of the 3 sleds are funded by the team. I can’t imagine halfway through my track season having to stop and raise money to finish. Jones says that she meant no harm with the video, and was actually working to support her fellow bob sledders.  Rather than seeing the video as an insult, Jones sees it as a call to action or the government to do more to support its athletes. “The vine of the paycheck is just showing the difference between track and bobsled, and to be honest bobsledders work more hours than track! The bottom line is that all Olympic athletes dedicate their lives to their sports and do not receive lucrative paychecks like athletes in mainstream professional sports. So hopefully this will make people appreciate just how hard Olympians work, often just for the love of the sport.” Read More »

An Alpha Man Asks “Why Can’t Society See the Fathers I See?”

by Michael McCoy Why doesn’t society at large see the Black fathers I see?  Is it because society at large considers Black fathers absent and invisible?  Why doesn’t society at large see the Black fathers I see nurturing and raising their children?  Is it because that same society believes the hype about Black fathers being nothing more than sperm donors?  Why doesn’t society at large see the Black fathers I see being engaged in all aspects of childrearing whether or not they are married to that child’s mother?  Is it because society at large has bought into the “baby daddy” syndrome? These are the questions I often ask myself 364 days throughout the year.  The only time I don’t ask these and other questions is during that one day that has been designated “Father’s Day.”  Why does this appear to be a sticking point with me?  Because, I believe in the relevancy of Black fatherhood.  Contrary to Popular media reports, scholarly research studies containing their empirical and anecdotal evidence, and public policy positions from public figures suggesting the majority of Black fathers are interested in donating sperm, expanding the gene pool, and creating state dependent children, I believe in Black fatherhood.  The Black fathers I see are fully engaged and vested in contributing richly to lives of their children individually as well as to their larger communities. In addition to be a fully engaged father of two sons, I am a member of the oldest continuous collegiate fraternity founded by men of African descent – Alpha Phi Alpha.  For over 100 years, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated’s mission develops leaders, promotes brotherhood and academic excellence while providing service and advocacy for our communities.  As an advocate for not only the community where I reside but the overall African-American male community, I not only want to advocate for successful Black fathers, but I want to highlight our seldom-told positive stories. My local fraternal chapter – Pi Upsilon Lambda (PUL) – located in Prince George’s County, Maryland, serves as a microcosm of successful Black fathers and men serving their community.  On any given day, you’ll see a young man balancing his responsibilities as a father of two toddlers, his place of employment, and his service contributions to his church and the community through his fraternal involvement.  On any given day, you’ll see the father, who works for a government agency overseeing the distribution of millions of dollars financing the higher education dreams of students throughout the country, serve as the example to his son, a graduating high school senior.  On any given day, you’ll see the father, who protects and serves his community as a law enforcement officer, being a role model to his young daughters. These examples serve as illustrations that we Black fathers are more than just caricatures serving as comedic fodder or  punching bags for the moralizers and public policy promoters.  While it’s commendable President Barack Obama publicly encourages Black men to make meaningful contributions to the lives of their children and community at large, many Black men have been doing that long before the president made this a visible issue.  Society, at large, whether it’s the media, scholarly studies, and talking heads seem content with displaying all the stereotypes associated with Black fatherhood while seldom showing us embracing, wiping away the tears, disciplining, encouraging, and celebrating our children like fathers of other backgrounds. I’ve always been a firm believer in the telling of our own stories especially concerning successful Black fatherhood.  As a whole, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. celebrates not only fatherhood but positive manhood.  The Pi Upsilon Lambda Chapter showcases successful Black fatherhood with its annual Christopher Riley Father’s Day Breakfast.  Each year, PUL and the community, as a whole, celebrates the contributions fathers have made in the lives of our children by not treating this as a gathering where the community hears adult men pontificate about the virtues of the fathers we honor; rather the community listens to the firsthand accounts from those who know the honored fathers best—their children. The children write essays extolling what their fathers mean to them.  The community witnesses this outpouring of love and affection to a select group of men who are often misunderstood and relegated to the periphery of society.  As a chapter, we take the pains to ensure these positive and uplifting stories are told and presented.  The year 2013, will be no different, as once again, the children will take center stage to read their essays about what their fathers mean to them.  PUL’s 6 th Annual Christopher Riley Father’s Day Breakfast will take place on Saturday, June 15, at the Metro Points Hotel in New Carrollton, Maryland.  Tickets to the Father’s Day Breakfast can be secured at http://puleventbrite.com I highly encourage those reading this piece to come out and hear what the children have to say about their fathers and to see the community embrace these men who carry out their responsibilities contrary to what society at large thinks or claims they know about Black fathers.  For these are the fathers I see. 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Dr. Boyce: Black Men are Not Storks, and Parenting Should Be a Team Sport When Possible

by Dr. Boyce Watkins I don’t remember much about my father, a man by the name of Boyce Sanders.  I met him three times, and didn’t mix with him very well.   I have no animosity toward him, no admiration.  Just emptiness, with the exception of the fact that I’d never seen another man who looked so much like myself. Even though my dad was never a part of my life, I felt no bitterness because another man stepped into his place when I was three years old.  Larry Watkins always was and always will be, my father.  My spirit is descended from his spirit, and his relatives are my own.  I admire this man in the way a lot of sons see their dads:  Like a super hero, the man who taught me to keep my chin up and go after what I wanted in life.  Those messages guide me every single day, especially when times get tough. When I consider these lessons of manhood that I’ve been able to take for granted, I feel horribly for many of the young boys and girls in our communities.  Too many of our boys don’t get the chance to learn the principles of manhood at an early age, and end up feeling lost in a world where manhood requires courage, focus, dedication, commitment, intelligence and vision.   It’s a warzone out there, especially for black men, who are fighting for resources in a society that wants to see us dead or in prison. I feel bad for the girls without fathers to love them.  A psychologist once explained to me that a woman often sees her self-worth through her father’s eyes.  So, if your father never takes the time to even observe or tell you that you’re worthy of love, it can cripple your relationships until you’re old, gray and dead.  We owe more to our children. We must, of course, commend those parents who are doing their jobs effectively, for they are the cornerstones of our community.  They exist everywhere, and there are millions of men who are taking responsibility for children who are not their own.  I say that we need even more of these men to step up in an ethical way, since there are children who are part of the lost society in black America, unable to make good decisions without their primary role models. We must also remind all men that none of us are storks or animals in the woods.  Your job is not to show up to sleep with the woman and then disappear when the baby is born.  Dropping off a pack of diapers every month doesn’t make you an adequate father either.  Being consistent, putting your kids first and working to raise them into responsible adults is the goal of a father, and when fathers fail to do their jobs, our entire community suffers. Finally, I encourage mothers to always appreciate and respect the value of a dad.  The “I can do it all by myself” mindset is empowering in some ways, but debilitating in others.  The presence of consistent and involved role models of both genders is critical to raising a balanced and intelligent human being.  Your kids may seem to be OK without having their father around, but the truth is that you won’t see much of the psychological damage for another 15 years.  Parenting is not an individualized sport. With that being said, I call for a “Fatherhood bailout.”  That means that every able-bodied father should step up and be there for a child, even if that child is not his own.  It doesn’t mean that you adopt the child and bring him/her into your house.  It just means that, when the opportunity presents itself, you should love, care for and nurture that child as if it were your own seed.  You never know how a few positive words, some good advice and a little love might change a child’s life forever. Never underestimate your impact. Dr. Boyce Watkins is the author of the lecture series, “ The 8 Principles of Black Male Empowerment .”  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email,  please click here. Read More »

Ex-Boyfriend Allegedly Kills Prom Queen for Not Getting Invited to the Dance

A prom queen in New Jersey is dead and her ex-boyfriend is now in police custody for killing her.   The 18-year old former boyfriend of 17-year old Aquilla Flood may go to prison for a very long time for the homicide, in which he allegedly shot the girl to death. According to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray, Flood was supposed to get her crown on Thursday night.  But instead, she was buried by her family, who is stunned by the tragedy. Nicole Flood, the girl’s mother, says that her ex-boyfriend was upset with her because she turned down his invitation to go to the prom together.   He was arrested without incident after surrendering to an FBI task force that surrounded him in an apartment building.   He is also a senior at Campus High School. The family is happy for the arrest, but still hurt by what happened. “We are extremely excited and happy for that, but it still doesn’t bring our beloved niece and daughter back,” said Naimah Hicks, the aunt of the deceased young woman. The girl’s mother found her with a gunshot wound to the head.   There were no signs of forced entry at her family’s home, where the homicide took place.   The girl’s mother says that the boy broke into the house through the fire escape and shot her while she was sleeping. The couple had broken up months earlier, according to the girl’s mother.   The suspect’s sister had warned Aquilla that her brother was violent.   She was so frightened about her decision to enter into a relationship with the young man that she had begged her mother to move.   But her mother didn’t know how dangerous the boy could be, until it was too late.     Read More »