Black Men

Op-Ed Refers to Jay-Z as a “Poor Excuse for a Husband”

by Liku Zelleke The stars and guests at the 2014 Grammy Awards were entertained by none other than Beyoncé and her husband Jay Z as they sung “ Drunk in Love .” Everyone there seemed to like it: people were dancing to the steamy song and after it ended the couple were given a standing ovation. But, it seems there are some people out there that don’t think that their performance was all that, and NY Post’s Naomi Schaefer Riley is one of them. In a recent post entitled “ Jay Z a Poor Excuse for a Husband ” she blasted the couple on their stage antics. “What do you call a man who stands there smiling and singing as his scantily clad wife straddles a chair and shakes her rear end for other men’s titillation?” she started off. “I’m certain if I look through enough Jay Z song titles, I’ll come up with the right name for his role in Beyoncé’s performance…Rhymes with Goodyear…? Well, how about I just call him a poor excuse for a husband?” She went on to mention that the award ceremonies were getting more and more risqué every year and admitted that Beyoncé’s performance wasn’t any worse than what Miley Cyrus does, or Madonna used to do, on stage. “But there’s something particularly icky about doing it while your husband looks on approvingly,” she said. Riley then goes on to mention that the performance had come so soon after Beyoncé had contributed to the recent feminist manifesto, The Shriver Report. In an article, “ Gender Equality Is a Myth ” she gives a detailed and well researched insight into the US workforce and the working woman’s part in it. “One wonders to what extent her consent to sell sexuality has contributed to the problem,” Riley says. Charlotte Hays, author of “ When Did White Trash Become the New Normal? , contributed her thoughts on what she called Jay Z and Beyoncé’s “foreplay” by saying, “It wasn’t surprising to see Jay Z, looking pleased at his wife’s hyper-sexualized exhibition on stage. He’s made a living singing lyrics that call women ‘b*****s’ and ‘hos,’ so we shouldn’t be surprised that he objectified his own wife on stage.”

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“Aunt Viv” From The Fresh Prince Wants To Do A Reunion To Honor The Late James Avery

By Afiya J. Watkins Janet Hubert has plans to head back to TV more than two decades after ending her most memorable role as Aunt Vivian from  The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air . Most will recall her highly-publicized departure from the show which was acrimonious, to say the least. Hubert’s career seemed to suffer somewhat after leaving  The Fresh Prince . She made appearances on several TV series including  The Job ,  The Bernie Mac Show ,  One Life to Live  and  House of Payne but was never able to return to her former TV glory. Most recently Hubert produced and shot a web show entitled  Janet Hubert’s Life In Between. “I produced and shot it myself with the wonderful people at the Refinery, “Hubert said. “We are in discussion right now with one of the biggest agencies in the world about packaging it and putting it together [for TV]. I’ve got Leslie Uggams on board, Loretta Devine, and Brian Stokes Mitchell… it’s exciting.” Earlier this month Hubert gave an  exclusive statement to theGrio  about the death of her  Fresh Prince co-star James Avery. Today, Hubert is still coping with the loss of her TV husband. “The last time I was here I said, ‘let’s do a reunion.’ That never happened,” she said. “I can’t control that. I’m sorry that never happened, and now it never will, and that makes me sad.” “It’s hard because you realize that we wasted a lot of time with a lot of bulls**t. Will [Smith] is the only person that can make that happen, and I think he should. I think in memory of James it should happen.” Will Smith seems to have moved on to much bigger projects over the years. Returning to a TV show that he appeared on in the 1990s does not seem remotely high on his list of priorities. Aunt Viv, sometimes you just can’t go home again…Not even when that home is a mansion in Bel Air.

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Beyonce Fires Her Manager so She Can Handle Her Own Business

The singer Beyonce is at the top of her game, but she’s still making strong and bold moves.  It is being reported that she recently fired her manager and is going to manage herself.  According to The Cleveland Leader, Beyonce has parted ways with Faisal Durrani, an executive with Live Nation, and plans to allow she and her husband to handle the lion’s share of her business. She is now 32-years old, and the wife/mother appears to have quite a few great years in front of her.  Her 44-year old husband has been advising her for years and the money keeps flowing in. Durrrani isn’t the first manager Beyonce has dropped over the years.  She fired her father two years ago as well, and some have noticed that her image has changed quite a bit since her father left her life.   She is now the president of Parkwood Entertainment, a company that she created in 2008 and is constantly seeking to gain greater control over her image and choices. According to insiders, Beyonce and Jay-Z are making these adjustments for their daughter, Blue Ivy: “Now the couple have Blue, she wants to make sure her family come first at all times, especially as there’s talk of them adding to the brood. The best way to do that is to make sure all managerial decisions are made by her and her husband – together.”

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Ohio State University Gets It’s First African American President

by Liku Zelleke Ohio State University has just gotten its first African-American president and its 15 th chief overall. Dr. Michael V. Drake , 63, was one of the five finalists that had been selected to be the next president of the university. The leaders that chose to appoint him to the position couldn’t help but note that he was the right person for the job: he had turned around a medical center that was facing hard times and that he had ascended far and fast as an academic leader. Jeffery Wadsworth, the OSU trustee who was at the head of the search for a new president, said that Drake was chosen for his grasp on the current situation the university found itself in and that he knew exactly what he was going to do about it. “In describing the future, he had really thought about what it means to have a land-grant university with a medical center. He had all of this packaged in his brain. He understood the scope of the job in a way that was extremely articulately described,” Wadsworth said. Drake, an ophthalmologist by training, went from being an assistant professor at UC San Francisco in 1979 to becoming the director of all the medical schools in the university system by 2009. In 2005 he was appointed to lead UC Irvine after it found itself in financial struggles across the school and amidst lawsuits and turmoil in its medical center. Drake is currently the head of the University of California in Irvine. On campus, the faculty members have nothing but praise for him. They tell about how he helped found California’s first public law school in 40 years, how he turned around the medical center and also how he boosted the university’s finances. “I am deeply humbled by this opportunity,” he said in a speech after his appointment. He also said that he and his wife, Brenda, were looking forward to making Columbus their home. He ended with a “Go Bucks!” which earned him a standing ovation. Drake will start his new job on June 30 th .

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Woman Admits She Lied to Get Her Father Arrested, but He Remains in Prison

by Dr. Boyce Watkins A woman has been crusading for decades to get her father out of prison for a crime that she knows he didn’t commit.  One would expect that an admission by the victim that the allegations were bogus would be enough to sway authorities, but apparently, it’s not. Chaneya Kelly out of Baltimore Maryland, says that she told a terrible lie about her father Darryl back in 1998.  She says that her drug-addicted mother forced her to lie on her father, accusing him of s****l abuse against his own daughter.  She says that it was all part of a lie that she was forced to tell because her mother wanted to use her child to get revenge against her father. According to her petition, Kelly says that even her mother admitted that it was all a lie: “When I was just 8 years old, my drug addicted mother forced me to make an accusation of s****l abuse against him. But the truth is that my father had never laid a finger on me. Even my mother has admitted she forced me to lie about this during one of her drug binges. But my father is still in prison, 15 years after being wrongfully convicted.” After admitting to the horrible mistake she made at the impressionable age of 8, Chaneya says that she has spent much of her adult life trying to make things right.   She has written to the governor and even spoken to lawmakers, but to no avail.  For some reason, they would rather believe that she has been lying to herself all along and that her father really did touch her against her will. She says that back in 1997, her mother was feeding her drug addiction by working as a prostitute.  She was threatened with a beating if she didn’t say that her father touched her.  Chaneya, like a lot of young children, agreed to say whatever her mother told her to say in order to avoid a beating. ”It all happened in October of 1997, when my family was living in Newburgh, N.Y. My dad, a Navy veteran, owned a local electronics repair shop. But my mother was so seriously addicted to drugs that she had got involved in prostitution to feed her addiction. One day, out of the blue, she repeatedly asked me if my father had ever touched me. Over and over I told her no, until she became so furious she threatened to beat me with a belt unless I told her what she wanted to hear. To avoid being beaten, I answered “yes”, even though it wasn’t true. “ Chaneya says that her father was charged and convicted with no physical evidence.  He refused the plea deal offered to him, which would have given him parole in six years.  As is typical in our justice system, asking for a fair trial and simply telling authorities that you are innocent often leads to longer sentences (which is technically a form of torture).   This led to a sentence of 20 to 40 years for a crime his daughter says her father never committed against her. This case says a few things about our criminal justice system, racism and life itself: 1)      The fact that the prosecutors in this case are more concerned with protecting their conviction record than seeking truth is one of the things that makes our justice system among the sickest on earth.  There should be legitimate outside authorities capable of reviewing a case, particularly when there is a) no physical evidence and b) an admission by both the alleged victim and her mother that this man never committed a crime against his daughter. 2)      I would imagine that the courts might listen to Chaneya if she were a wealthy white woman.  The court’s decision to ignore both she and her father are indicative of the disrespect for black life that exists within our judicial system.  For courts and prisons, black people are commodities and nothing more.  Her request for simple justice is an inconvenience to their revenue generating model.  The courts and police are not here to protect black people:  They are here to protect white people from black people and to make money from black people whenever possible. 3)      This case should terrorize any black man reading this article.  The idea that you can be sent to prison for decades for a mere accusation of this kind of wrong-doing is highly problematic.  There are likely thousands of other men who’ve gone through the same experience, but don’t have the fortune of their accusers coming forward to admit their wrong-doing. 4)      This case shows that parental alienation is real.  While many of us believe in the myth that all black fathers desire to be deadbeats, the truth is that there are quite a few men who’ve children have been taught to despise them.  The mother is the first teacher of the child and therefore, the most powerful being in that child’s universe. If she uses this power in irresponsible or vengeful ways, it can cause inter-generational chaos. Chaneya’s campaign thus far has roughly 90,000 signatures.  You can sign the petition here.    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.

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Pam Oliver Is On Her Way Out Of A Job If She Doesn’t Get A New Contract

By Greg B. This year has been a turbulent one for Pam Oliver. Oliver, who has been a Fox analyst for 19 years, could see her contract ended at the completion of this season. We all know Pam Oliver from over the years as a well articulated, insightful and professional woman on the sideline. However, it appears there has been a shift in new talents at Fox. Erin Andrews has quickly become the go to commentator for Fox News. Just recently, Andrews interviewed Richard Sherman after the Seattle Seahawks had won the NFC Championship Game, which drew national coverage. Oliver who has had a great career with Fox has had a rough season thus far. Starting out in August, Oliver was hit in the face with a football and suffered a concussion. Next, after visiting New York for a SuperBowl event she asked Al Kelly, the president and CEO of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, what fans can do to keep warm at the game besides wearing a jacket, Kelly mentioned how games that are played the end of December can be colder that it will be at the Super Bowl. “If fans get frostbite, that’s their own fault,” Kelly said. “I’m not going to worry about a couple of idiots who can’t dress properly.” Oliver then responded that those individuals were probably Jets fans. She then asked Giants treasurer Jon Tisch, the co-chairman of the host committee, “How are we going to instruct the people of this area, particularly New Yorkers, to be nice, to say please and thank you.” Tisch, who is from the city, was not happy, and said, “I take exception with that. New Yorkers are unbelievably hospitable and travel and tourism is one of the most important generators of jobs, tax revenue and just gross dollars into our economy. I think the average New Yorker today understands that and when they see a visitor on the street, whether they speak English or not, they try to help them and the work of the host committee is just going to embrace what is so great about this region and people will leave here feeling really good about us.” Greg B., is a financial professional and native Ohioan who is the writer here. I am an avid reader, coffee connoisseur and dog lover. Follow me on Twitter  @love2edify .

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Joy-Ann Reid To Host A New Show On MSNBC

By Greg B. Joy-Ann Reid who is currently a MSNBC contributor and regular guest commentator is being rewarded with her own show, starting February 24th on MSNBC. Reid who previously was the managing editor of The Grio , was announced as the new 2pm anchor on Monday. MSNBC president Phil Griffin made the announcement as well as some other slight programming changes to the channel’s lineup. Tameron Hall who has her show on MSNBC; News Nation will have an 11am time slot, and Andrea Mitchell will move up to 12 noon, and lastly Griffin announced the addition of Ronan Farrow’ s new show. This new line up will accommodate Reid at 2pm and still maintain its core set of journalists. “Tamron has established herself as one of the best news anchors in the business. It strengthens us to have her hosting during our morning news block,” Griffin elaborated. “Andrea Mitchell is so critical to MSNBC and I’ve always thought her show should be at noon. Andrea brings on the biggest newsmakers of the day and the new time slot will help showcase her work.” Reid who is a political analyst has been rumored for quite a while to be receiving a show. Perhaps this reloaded lineup is the result of CNN’s recent shakeup to its daytime schedule. The push for Reid was enormous as there was even a petition circulated to prompt MSNBC to give her a show. Reid is a veteran journalist and has been a regular on Al Sharpton’s radio and TV show also on MSNBC. Reid has worked in television and radio news since 1998, including for NBC News affiliate WTVJ and Fox station WSVN. She has written columns for the Miami Herald , South Florida Sun Sentinel , Salon.com and the South Florida Times . Source The Grio Greg B., is a financial professional and native Ohioan who is the writer here. I am an avid reader, coffee connoisseur and dog lover. Follow me on Twitter   @love2edify .

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He Was Buried in a Solid Gold Casket: 8 Things You May Not Know about James Brown

By: Britt L A major figure of 20th-century music and a pioneer in every genre of music, James Brown has a resume that puts  modern day musicians to shame. Nearly six decades deep, Brown has created great dynamics in sound and influenced the entertainment that we today call R&B, soul and most importantly, funk. Over 100 chart-topping songs later, James’ legacy will forever live in the hearts of music lovers and musicians all over the world. Here’s some things you may not have known about the god father of soul. 1.  He was mixed? In his autobiography, “The Godfather of Soul,” James stated that he was of African, Chinese, and Native American ancestry. Guess it was all in the eyes! 2.  Born with the wrong name James’ name was suppose to be “Joseph Brown”, but his first name Joseph and middle name James got switched on his birth certificate in 1933. From then on, his name was just James Brown. 3.  Was in jail by the age of sixteen At sixteen, Brown was convicted of armed robbery and sent to a juvenile detention center in Toccoa, South Carolina.  As you can see, he did a good job of making a healthy comeback.  With the incarceration trends of today, he may have never seen the light of day again. 4.  James’ voice inspired the era of hip hop By 1969, Brown’s vocals were described as “rhythmic declamations”. In his songs, it was noted that Brown wasn’t singing but he wasn’t talking either. The sudden “stopping and starting” of lyrics featured traces of pitch and melody. This later became a major influence on the techniques of rapping, which influenced the creation of hip hop music in the next twenty years after. 5.  Was forced to drop out of seventh grade for wearing “insufficient clothes” Because James and his siblings were forced to live poorly in the slums of Elko, South Carolina, his mother couldn’t afford proper clothing. So he was always sent home for not having on appropriate attire. He was then forced out of school in the seventh grade. 6.  The cause for The Famous Flames break up In 1955, James and singer Bobby Byrd put together a singing group by the name of “The Famous Flames.” With Brown and Byrd, the group consisted of Sylvester Keels, Doyle Oglesby, Fred Pulliam, Nash Knox and Nafloyd Scott. By 1957, Brown hired manager Ben Bart. The group broke up after Bart decided to change their name to “James Brown and The Famous Flames.” 7.  Endorsed Nixon Brown endorsed the late president Richard Nixon during his 1972 presidential election. His support for the Republican negatively impacted his career during that period, with fans protesting his records and protesting his shows. 8.  Buried in a 24 Karat Gold Casket After his death on December 25, 2006, Brown was buried in a 24 Karat gold casket.  There was a great deal of dispute over his estate at the time of his death, leading to a suit filed by his children alleging that his estate had been mismanaged.   Part of the confusion resulted from the fact that Brown’s will had been signed a year before his marriage to his last wife, Tomi Rae Hynie.  

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Kim Wants To Put Her Baby On A Reality Show, Kanye Does Not

By Afiya Watkins According to observers, it appears that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are involved in a dispute over whether to allow the couple’s adorable 7-month-old daughter, North to appear on the Kardashian family’s popular E! show, Keeping up with the Kardashians . The flamboyant beauty, and her more private fiancé, Kanye haven’t seen eye to eye on this matter as Kim feels that her life should be an open book for her fans, a source told reporter Jen Heger of TMZ . ‘But once Kanye came on the scene, that all changed. Kanye shuts Kim down whenever she brings it up.’ The temperamental rapper doesn’t want his only child to ever make an appearance on the E! show, the source added, because he believes reality TV is ‘tacky’. ‘He doesn’t want North on display. He will be very happy when Kim is done with the show,’ said the insider. Kanye seems to be more compromising when it comes to the couple’s upcoming nuptials. Sources say that he will allow his extravagant wedding to Kim – which will take place this summer in France, the reality star confirmed to Jimmy Kimmel – to be filmed, according to Radar . Kim persuaded Kanye to let the cameras roll because E! will pay for most of the wedding costs, clarified the source. The network likely knows that the pair’s wedding will be a highly anticipated event watched by millions. InTouch estimated the cost of the wedding, which they reported could take place at Chateau d’Usse, to be in the $30m range. As for the reality show, viewers are not tuning in like they used to. The season nine premiere in January saw only 2.56 million viewers. That’s almost 500,000 less eyes than the premiere of season eight in June 2013. Ryan Seacrest, who is also the host of American Idol and has a radio show, had personally asked Kim to include little North in the show as a way to draw new fans and revive the slumping viewership the show has seen. Seacrest is reportedly quite anxious to help turn the things around. The executive producer is very close to the family, even being a part of Khloe’s 2009 wedding to Lamar Odom. Kim’s sister Kourtney has allowed her son Mason – who earns his own paycheck for his appearances – to be seen not just on Keeping Up With The Kardashians but also Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami as well as other spinoffs.

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Marvin Gaye’s Ex-Wife, Berry Gordy’s Sister, Dies: She Kept Him From Getting Dropped by Motown

If you’re old enough to remember the sweet sounds of Marvin Gaye, then you’ll know that he was married while young.  Anna Gordy Gaye was the sister of the boss and an older woman who found Gaye to be irresistible.  But the marriage ended after 14 years, since Gaye eventually did the reverse and married a younger woman himself before he died.  This is the end of an era of beautiful and powerful music.  Marvin Gaye set himself apart at Motown by producing songs that made him the most iconic of all performers on an array of amazingly talented people.   Gaye also gives his wife credit for protecting him from being dropped from the label, since his music was an eccentric twist to the kinds of stuff they were putting out at that time.  So, maybe one of her biggest contributions to the world is that she kept Gaye’s voice alive to the world by protecting him.  We might not have known about him otherwise.  May Anna Gordy Gaye rest in peace. Huffington Post says more:  Anna Gordy Gaye, the sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy and ex-wife of the late singer Marvin Gaye, has died. She was 92. According to TMZ, sources close to the family revealed that Gordy Gaye died at her Los Angeles home from natural causes and was discovered by family members at around 3 a.m. Friday. Following a 14-year union with the iconic crooner, Anna divorced Marvin Gaye in 1977. The public split inspired the recording of Gaye’s double album “Here, My Dear” — an album whose existence was mandated by the terms of the divorce settlement, which also required Marvin to pay royalties from the project toward Anna’s alimony. During a 1979 interview with People magazine, the Grammy Award winner credited his marriage to Anna for saving his Motown career. “I do believe the fact that I was married to Berry Gordy’s sister saved me from getting my contract ripped up several times,” Gaye said. “Let’s face it, I’m a little strange by most standards. I truly feel I’m an artist and I don’t give any quarter nor do I ask any … I gotta take the responsibility to show up every night. I may as well make the people who promote me happy and assured that I am not the unstable flake they think I am.” via Anna Gordy Gaye Dead: Marvin Gaye’s Ex-Wife Dies At 92 .

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