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Black Entertainment, Money, Style and Beauty Blogs - Black Voices

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  • 05/02/11--05:50: A Separate Peace for My Son
  • My youngest son is almost 12 years old. We live outside New York City, in a town that has a picture-postcard view of the city skyline. He has no memory of what that skyline looked like before 9-11 - when the Twin Towers were still standing.

    His whole life he has known that Osama bin Laden was out there, responsible for killing thousands, including neighbors on our block. As he said to me this morning, bin Laden was a "very, very terrible person." I agree completely. And now he is gone. While I take no joy in death, I take great comfort in knowing that all three of my children, and all of us Americans can put that one man out of our minds, in a way.

    The 9-11 attacks, and bin Laden's death mark book ends to a remarkable decade. The attacks exposed our nation and made us feel vulnerable. Our inability to capture this elusive figure through caves, across mountain passes, and among various nations gave us a sense of futility. But we rallied and came together as a country. And today, as President Obama said, justice has been done. And as Secretary Clinton reminded us, our nation will remain resolute in its pursuit of al Qaeda.

    Al Qaeda won't go away, but this symbolizes a giant leap forward, as the ringleader is gone forever.

    This one man who orchestrated so many attacks on our great nation and others, aimed relentlessly to make us appear weak. But he failed to understand that through it all that when challenged, we would not collapse. We endured the attacks. We exchanged heated words over the proper policy. We stumbled, but did not fall. The greatness that is America will not fall to terroristic cowards. We went from one President to another, peacefully. And through it all, we persevered.

    When I was Policy Director on the Obama presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama constantly made clear the paramount importance of this mission, and despite doubters and critics, he made it his priority from Day One on the job as President, without fanfare. To his great credit, he has remained focused on that mission.

    Barack Obama and George W. Bush are as opposite as can be. But as President, each knew that we had to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. Our men and women in uniform have stayed vigilant, making countless sacrifices. And today we commemorate and honor their work and the result.

    I took special pride when I put the flag up outside my house this morning. Our President made sure that we maintained our priorities and brought bin Laden to justice. My son can know a measure of peace today that he hasn't known before.

     

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    Osama bin Laden didn't discriminate when it came to the bloody work of terrorism. He was an equal opportunity killer.

    And now that he is dead, killed sometime yesterday by a team of Navy SEALS in Pakistan, Americans of all races and religions have taken to the streets and to the blogosphere and airwaves to share in what seems to be a deep and collective exhale. From the gates of the White House in Washington, D.C. to ground zero in New York City, people have come together chanting and waving flags, exhibiting the kind of unity seen last on that terrible day in September almost 10 years earlier.

    "Everyone died on 9-11. Blacks, whites, Muslims, Latinos and working class people," said the Rev. Al Sharpton. "He didn't care who was in those buildings or on that plane. All Americans shared in that pain and all Americans can share in what we are seeing today."

    The Rev. Jesse Jackson called bin Laden's death a "huge psychological victory."

    "It is a cause for celebration. So many people lost their lives, their family members lost their lives. It was such a traumatic blow," Jackson said. "This might be the first real emotional venting for the pain that came from 9-11, the kind of relief that the plotter had destroyed."

    Jackson warned, though, that while bin Laden's death marks some closure, the American people must be vigilant.

    "The chapter on bin Laden ends now, but not the chapter on terrorism," he said.

    Keith L.T. Wright, a New York State Assemblyman who represents Harlem, said while there is understandable satisfaction in bin Laden's death, there should also be caution.

    "We, as New Yorkers and Americans, have to be more careful now than we have ever been," Wright said. "We have to come together as New Yorkers and we also have to start looking over our shoulders because you never know, it could be a bus stop, a school, a subway stop or an airport. We have to be more mindful than ever."

    The terror spurred by Al-Qaeda, bin Laden's terror organization, struck blindly, targeting people and places regardless of race, class or even religion.

    In 1988, Al-Qaeda killed some 225 people and injured hundreds of others in simultaneous bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In 2001, the victims of the World Trade Center included white and blue-collar workers alike, those working in the mailrooms as well as wealthy investment bankers.

    "The people who had worked before nine in the morning, those workers were not the rich," Sharpton said. "And the people on the planes that died, the people in coach went with those in first class."

    Both Jackson and Sharpton said that while the mission to capture or kill bin Laden has been a success, what President Obama does next is critical. Jackson said bin Laden's killing in a bustling suburb outside of Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, raises questions about how much the Pakistani government knew about bin Laden's whereabouts.

    "I would hope, as a supporter of the President, that we take a reasonable amount of time to make sure there is no retaliation, and then start to dial back on the build up in Afghanistan," Sharpton said. "Because if bin Laden was who he was supposed to be, we don't need to place our resources there."

    For black Americans, the killing of bin Laden signaled not only a great day for America, but for the black American President.

    "People are celebrating the fact that our president was able to get the job done, certainly there should be an awful lot of pride in the fact that he was able to get the job done," said Wright, the Harlem assemblyman.

    "The irony is that while everyone was running around trying to muddy him up with that birth certificate nonsense, he was busy dealing with capturing the world's most notorious terrorist mastermind," Sharpton said. "It says he can see the bigger picture and that he knows how to be cool under fire."

     

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    What struck me initially about the announcement that al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden had been killed by United States forces in Pakistan, was the odd framing by mainstream corporate news networks: "This will be one of those moments when people will remember where they were when they heard the news."

    Really? Nearly ten-years after bin Laden orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, thousands of American service women and men and tens of thousands of citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq have been killed in the name of what was essentially a pogrom of retribution in the name of American imperialism - and all the mainstream media can do is present this moment as the digital generation's ready-made D-Day?

    Let me be clear: I shed no tears for bin Laden, whose murderous beyond-the-State reign, left nothing but death, grief and trauma across multiple continents. But the pursuit of bin Laden was not justification for what has been an escalation of violence and de-stabilization in the Middle East and Northern Africa, by two American Presidents.

    As surely as George W. Bush marshaled U.S. military forces in the name of goals motivated as much by political desires as they were motivated by legitimate foreign policy concerns, his successor Barack Obama is complicit in the same desires. The killing of bin Laden is the apex of what the President might described as the "best week ever," particularly after his appearance of Oprah this afternoon (taped and widely speculated on in the blogosphere last week).

    As I watched the chants of "U-S-A" travel throughout Philadelphia Citizens Bank Park, where the New York Mets were ironically playing the Philadelphia Phillies (and for the record, I was watching the game when I first heard), and later glimpsed the cheering crowds gathering at ground zero in New York and across from the White House in DC, I kept wondering what folks were celebrating.

    Like the day after the capturing of Saddam Hussein, none of us are safer with the death of Osama bin Laden. And indeed, the military and civilian personnel who've had their feet in the ground in places like Iraq and Afghanistan are no safer today either. If folks were in fact celebrating America's capacity to "get it's man" - as if this one now dead man held the key to all that ails our country - they are sadly misguided.

    To be sure, the families of those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks and in U.S. military service since then - and have had the revisit those losses every time their loved ones were evoked in the name of yet another military operation - are not celebrating today. We all hope that the killing of bin Laden will bring closure to those families (though we are fully aware that it won't), but what will bring closure to us? That question, I suspect will not be so easy to answer.

     

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    After exploring Nazi Germany in 2009's 'Inglorious Basterds,' Quentin Tarantino is taking on another touchy historical subject in his forthcoming spaghetti western-esque film, 'Django Unchained.' This time, slavery and American racism get the director's special treatment.

    While the film hasn't begun production yet, Tarantino has submitted a draft of the script to the Weinstein Company. Early reports say that Christoph Waltz, who won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role in 'Inglourious Basterds,' has been cast as a German bounty hunter who helps former slave Django rescue his slave wife from an evil plantation owner.

    The original 'Django' was made by filmmaker Sergio Corbucci, and was a 1960s spaghetti Western series revolving around the title character.

    There is still no word on who will play the lead role in Tarantino's version, but according to 'Shadow and Act,' the film will explore racism and its relationship to slavery. In fact, Tarantino has never shied away from tackling films related to race. In 1997, he released the film 'Jackie Brown,' starring Pam Grier and Samuel L. Jackson, which was Tarantino's take on the controversial blaxploitation film era.

     

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  • 05/02/11--10:20: Mariah Carey Delivers Twins
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    mariah carey; nick cannon

    Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon are officially parents/ Carey delivered their baby girl and baby boy on April 30th - a birthday that also marks the couple's three year wedding anniversary.

    The babies' names have not yet been released, but Carey's rep Cindi Berger reports that the baby girl was born first weighing in at 5 pounds, 3 ounces, and her brother weighed in at 5 pounds, 6 ounces. Both babies will have a nice place to rest their heads since Carey worked with A-list interior decorators to create an extravagant nurseries for them.

    The couple had long struggled to conceive, and in November of 2010 Carey suffered a miscarriage. "We definitely cried" upon learning of her successful pregnancy, Cannon told Us. "We still cry all the time. It's an emotional journey."

    These are the first children for Cannon, 30, and Carey, 41, and the pop diva plans to stop with just these two, according to AP.

    But the couple is ecstatic about the twin's arrival and Cannon was so nervous when Carey was in labor that he apparently went to the wrong department of the undisclosed Los Angeles hospital, and had to be guided to the maternity ward.

    "It was like right out of an 'I Love Lucy' skit," said Berger.

     

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    Think all of today's youth are squandering their life away? Not 16-year-old Tanessa Patterson (pictured), a fashion designer who has been designing and making clothes since she was 12 years old.

    Patterson says she got the idea after thinking to herself that all girls are pretty:

    "It all started with a thought in [my] mind, that everybody is beautiful no matter what size or what shapes they are, and that also, I just couldn't find any clothes that fit my style."

    Patterson's brand, Nesa's Fab, celebrates a girl's unique style and can be found online. An out-the-box thinker, Patterson came up with a creative idea to simultaneously use her skills and give back: Classmates had to write an essay describing why they should be a prom princess.
    After reading through the pitches, Patterson selected 35 recipients. The winners will not only receive Patterson's custom-made designs for free, but they will also get a makeover.

    About her enterprising and big-hearted daughter, Patterson's mother, Kendra Dennis, said:

    "She inspires so many people. She's always out to see what she can give with her clothing line, never about what she can receive."

    Watch Patterson make others shine with her fashions here:


     

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    By Frank Fitzpatrick for the Philadelphia Inquirer: Just a few blocks from the 13-year-old Franklin Field, where the young black man with the long stride had become one of Philadelphia's best-known athletes, a great crowd gathered outside his parents' house at 3323 Woodland Ave.

    Later on that chilled December day in 1908, a long procession of horse-drawn carriages and a few motor cars headed west to Collingdale's Eden Cemetery, where John Baxter Taylor was mourned thoroughly, eulogized grandly, and buried at 26.

    As the 117th Penn Relays are set to begin in earnest on Thursday, the story of Taylor, one of that event's earliest heroes, has been obscured by time. Though the annual competition is dominated now by black athletes from the United States, Jamaica, and elsewhere, this proud pioneer from Philadelphia is recalled only by the most ardent of the relay carnival's devotees.

    Yet from a world where black citizens were pushed into the shadows, Taylor burst into bright focus. A graduate of Central High and the University of Pennsylvania and one of the nation's earliest black veterinarians, he would become the first African American to win an Olympic gold medal.

    Hundreds more have followed, including Jesse Owens, 28 years later. Yet few African American Olympians had careers as groundbreaking, as widely admired, or as tragically brief as the gentlemanly Taylor's.

    Read more here.

     

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    The color of your walls might just be the most dominant element of any room. That means finding the perfect paint color might be stressful. Here are a few tips and suggestions to help direct your search for the right hue. Interior design expert Libby Langdon gave sister site ShelterPop an overview on how to make neutrals pop.

    Sound impossible? Well, she wasn't talking about beige.

    Check out her list of fun neutrals that are never boring. Among her picks: a light blue, a khaki, a white, a muted yellow -- and even a navy blue.

    Meanwhile, you may want to watch out: trendy colors are alluring, but do you really want to wake up to a faux Italian pallet of red, gold and green every morning? Trends don't last for more than a moment, but your paint choice certainly does.

    ShelterPop can steer you in the right direction and tell you which of-the-moment combinations to avoid.

    Among the list of things to avoid, designer Kelly Berg said, are: greige, chocolate brown with blue, the all white kitchen, and of course, faux Italian.

    Here's a ShelterPop décor don't: picking a color on a whim.

    You've been on the hunt for that perfect shade for your bathroom walls, and you finally think you've found it -- in the paint aisle, at your local hardware store.

    Word to the wise: Don't do it.

    Why not? Because the lighting can fool you. "Lighting has a huge effect on the appearance of colors and many stores use 'cool white' fluorescent lighting that casts a bluish tint, even though you may not notice it," says interior designer and color expert Kelly Porter. The lighting in your home, on the other hand, is most likely incandescent, which gives paint colors a warmer appearance.

    "In addition to lighting, most paint chips are small, so it's sometimes hard to see the color's true undertones or level of intensity," Porter says.

    Once you think you've found a color, how can you make certain that it's the one for you?

    At ShelterPop, an interview with Dee Schlotter, PPG Pittsburgh Paint's National Color brand manager, can shed some light on the process.

    Schlotter spoke to ShelterPop after her company unveiled the world's record-breaking 17-foot paint swab -- because sometimes that tiny square just doesn't cut it. And we suggest you take her advice -- she's repainted six times over the last 10 years!

    For people who don't have gigantic swatches, she said: "You can paint right on your wall, behind a framed picture to get a sense of it, or paint a piece of poster board and put it up."

    For ceiling testing, she said, pick up meat packing paper from the deli. Paint the white side, then use double-stick tape on the other side to stick it to your ceiling.
    "Because it's so thin, it will stay up and because it's so large, you'll really get a sense of what it looks like," she said.

    Neat! And much easier to execute than the Sistine Chapel....

     

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    U.S. Holds Photos of Slain Bin Laden, Weighs Release

    U.S. officials weighed the pros and cons of releasing secret video and photos of Osama bin Laden, killed with a precision shot above his left eye, as fresh details emerged Tuesday of an audacious American raid that netted potentially crucial al-Qaida records as well as the body of the global terrorist leader.

    President Barack Obama is going to ground zero in New York to mark the milestone and remember the dead of 9/11.

    White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said the U.S. already was scouring items seized in the raid - said to include hard drives, DVD's, documents and more that might tip U.S. intelligence to al-Qaida's operational details and perhaps lead the manhunt to the presumed next-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri.

    Read more here.

     

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  • 05/03/11--03:14: Republicans Praise Obama
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    From the NY Times:

    President Obama drew praise from unlikely quarters on Monday for pursuing a risky and clandestine mission to kill Osama bin Laden, a successful operation that interrupted the withering Republican criticism about his foreign policy, world view and his grasp of the office.

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney declared, "The administration clearly deserves credit for the success of the operation." New York's former mayor, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said, "I admire the courage of the president." And Donald J. Trump declared, "I want to personally congratulate President Obama."

    As fleeting as it might prove to be, the positive tone stood in blunt contrast to the narrative Republicans have been working to build in the opening stages of the 2012 presidential campaign.

    The argument that most potential Republican candidates have been making - that Mr. Obama is an indecisive leader, incapable of handling rapidly evolving events around the world - suddenly became more complicated. And the boost in stature for Mr. Obama, even if temporary, comes when a number of Republicans are deciding whether to commit themselves to the presidential race, and offered fresh evidence that he might be less vulnerable than his opponents thought.

    Read more here.

     

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    Nigger Hill Cemetery, Negro Hill Cemetery


    What does it mean when a local Boy Scout has more of a sense of justice and decency than the federal government?

    Unfortunately, this is the case in Folsom, Calif., where 36 African Americans are buried under headstones that read:

    "Moved from N*gger Hill Cemetery by U.S. Government - 1954."

    In 1849, free and enslaved African-American men were the first to discover gold in the region. After these men died, they were buried in Negro Hill Cemetery, but a flooding from the local Folsom Dam made the government relocate the men's remains to Mormon Island Relocation Cemetery in 1954.



    This wouldn't seem like anything noteworthy except that with each pouring of the headstone, government officials had "Negro" changed to "N*gger." And so it was for more than half a century until an unnamed Boy Scout from Troop 645 decided to challenge the racial epithets on his own.

    The courageous scout reportedly went to the trouble of getting funding to change the headstones, but since the cemetery is a historic landmark, officials are now trying to ascertain who has the legal authority to alter them.

    This Boy Scout needs to be named and congratulated for having the audacity to question an insult that many were far too comfortable with.

    The fact that someone under the government of Dwight D. Eisenhower specifically ordered the slur suggests a calculated, lasting attempt to not only dishonor and discredit the positive contributions of these black men to society but also disgrace and insult an entire race of people, who after hundreds of years of building this country under brutal and dehumanizing conditions, actually deserve to be heralded and honored throughout this land and world.

    In addition, those 36 men need to have their stories told.

    I don't know if all of the markers say, "Unknown," but someone needs to make an effort to know them: Who were they? Where did they come from? What was African-American life like at the time? This information should be prominently displayed for all to see and the city of Sacramento should go to great pains to make it a must-see site for school children everywhere to visit.

    Until these changes are made, the state of California should be shamed by media that such a stain of history is allowed to endure.


    Watch the story about the blasphemous headstones here:







     

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    rihanna with side braid

    At the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Costume Institute Gala At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art last night, Rihanna was stunning from head to toe, but her flaming red braid easily upstaged her sheer black Stella McCartney gown.




    To achieve Rihanna's look, create a deep side part in your hair and begin braiding one cornrow with more hair on one side, and another with less hair on the other side. You can add hairpins throughout to keep the braid in place. Cross the cornrow with more hair around the back of your head at the neck to join it with the smaller cornrow, and then create one long braid to hang at the side. You'll be right on trend, and look pretty and pulled together.

    Back View
    rihanna; rihanna side braid; braids

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    rihanna; rihanna braid

     

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    By Nick Berry for The Sydney Morning Herald: T-Berry is sweating above his bright red bow tie as he launches into the story of the Pool Shootin' Monkey.

    Using broad gestures, exaggerated facial expressions, high-pitched character voices, beats and rhymes, the Harlem-born 62-year-old spins an obscene yarn of animals arguing, fighting and screwing in a pool hall, his eyes fixed on the crowd,offending some, delighting others.

    It's like Brer Rabbit meets Lenny Bruce, drawing on an African-American tradition that goes back through freestyle rap to jazz and all the way back to the plantations and slave ships of his ancestors.

    Street performer Leonard ''T-Berry'' White has been doing these routines for decades, mostly in downtown Manhattan, through snow, wind and rain, carrying his collections in a tin Spiderman lunchbox, toting a battered cardboard sign that proclaims him ''The World's Greatest Storyteller''.

    ''Nobody grows up wanting to be a street performer, wanting to tell stories to strangers for change in their baseball cap,'' he says. ''It's just something that your life takes a turn to.''

    His upbringing was ''chaotic''. His mother had psychological problems, his father shell shock from World War II. Young T-Berry was raised partly by his grandmother, partly in shelters and foster homes. He found school tough, as he was partially deaf and has a ''tied-down tongue''.

    He spent his youth ''seeking acceptance'', he says. There were ''survival crimes'': ''I was dealing with a system that doesn't give you a lot of options. It was the law of self-preservation.'' It was on the streets and in the pool halls of Harlem that he heard his first stories. ''Most of the stories I heard from hanging out with adults older than me,'' he says.

    Read more here.

     

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    So how can a nation, proudly steeped in religion and religious freedom with a sometimes overbearing degree of piety, conservatism and moralism boldly justify publicly cheering and waving American flags and popping bottles of champagne over the death of another human being?

    Yes, Osama Bin Laden was indeed the mastermind behind the horrible deaths of nearly 3,000 people via the 9/11 attacks and was founder of the militant terrorist network, Al-Qaeda. And who really knows just how many other attacks and thousands of other deaths were additionally executed through Bin Laden's evil machinations. But does eliminating Bin Laden from our planet, and celebrating this lethal act of aggression as if America had just won the World Cup really the best form and fashion of our political and spiritual sensibilities?

    Well if your answer is yes, based upon the heinous crimes against nature Bin Laden has committed, then you and this great nation have some serious soul searching to do. Being emotionally relieved that Bin Laden can no longer commit his reign of terror against America and the world is one thing, but gloating that someone else's son, father and simply another human being is no longer able to take a breath and enjoy the fruits of life is a bit much.

    America, built upon the broad shoulders of patriotism should exercise better judgment and restraint in the coming days, weeks and even years concerning the death of Osama Bin Laden. There's always the risk of retaliation as well as individuals seeking to become the next Bin Laden. But revenge attacks should be the least of our worries.

    Instead how you as a parent can justify celebratory behavior to your children and how you as a person-of-faith can reconcile happiness in the death of another human being are far bigger problems you must deal with.

    Spiritually and ethically speaking, America is being tested. And you as its citizen should be very concerned about how well you will pass this test. It is an extreme unfortunate situation that in the process of defending our great nation we must sometimes resort to violence in the harm or death of others both innocent and guilty. In the case of Bin Laden, his death brings us a much needed closure to a very ugly chapter in American and world history.

    But does his death really bring us closer to God, to our children, and to each others? Or does our mutual hatred of one man, give us a shared reason to be less afraid, more justified and even downright smug that we finally were able to extract our pound of flesh nearly a decade later? This is a question we must individually ask and answer as we grapple to makes sense of this rapidly evolving world.

     

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    From the The Capital-Journal: U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder and his wife, physician Sharon Malone, will be the keynote speakers for the commemoration of the 57th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that dismantled the legal framework for racial segregation in public schools.

    Holder and Malone will speak at a banquet, sponsored by the Brown Foundation, at 7 p.m. May 17 in the Regency Ballroom at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center, 402 S.E. 6th.

    The banquet also will feature music by R&B singer-songwriter Kelley Hunt and the Max Roach Tribute Band, led by David Basse. Gregg Carroll, director of the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Mo., will be the guest host for the evening.

    Reservations are $40 per person and are being accepted until May 12.

    Cheryl Brown Henderson, president of the Brown Foundation, said the foundation began hosting annual commemorative events in 1989 as a means of reminding citizens of the significant role Kansas played in laying the groundwork for the modern civil rights movement.

    "In 1951, the NAACP assembled families in Kansas, Delaware, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C., to join in a legal challenge to racial segregation, which resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education," said Brown Henderson, the daughter of Oliver Brown, the namesake of the landmark case.

    "The appointment of Eric Holder as the first African American to serve as the U.S. attorney general and the civil rights activism of Dr. Malone's family leading to the integration of the University of Alabama are part of a contemporary historic continuum that began with the case."

    Read more here.

     

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    Mother's Day is a day to honor and celebrate moms. But not all adult children feel compelled to do this! I have had more than one client rant about feeling obligated to honor their mothers simply because of cultural peer pressure.

    I remember Viktor, a successful businessman in his late 40s, who was working through old resentments from childhood, particularly toward his mother, who often made him feel guilty then and even now. During one therapy session he told me, "My mother still expects a phone call and a card on Mother's Day -- after all these years! I go through the motions, but frankly, the ritual feels forced."

    Whether your mother was more like June Cleaver or Mommy Dearest, chances are she played a critical role in who you became. And this is what I told to Viktor. Your mother is the reason you are here -- talking, laughing, crying, feeling, loving, excelling and learning. You don't have to be her best friend, but as you grow older and so does she, there are some simple ways to strengthen your bond with her that have benefits for both of you.

    For those of us whose mothers are still alive, there are times when the relationship can be filled with conflict, anger or disappointment. So, whether you want to maintain your connection with your mother or need to repair it, here are some tips on how to improve that relationship with your mom.

    Embrace what's positive.

    In any relationship there are going to be ups and downs. Instead of focusing on what your mother does wrong (from your perspective) or the struggles you have with her, shift your attention to all that she does right and what's good about your relationship. This year, make a list of what you love about your mother and read those qualities to her, or write them in a card. Your true feelings are as good, if not better, than any card from Hallmark.

    Respect your differences.

    Each of you was born and raised in a different time with distinct values and ways of living. You probably don't agree on everything, even the important things in life. That's OK. But you can learn to acknowledge and respect her thoughts and feelings. There are many people who have been angry with their mother for years. Those are wasted years, and life is too short. This year, resolve to let the differences slide off your back. She never picks up the phone because she doesn't want you to spend the money? Fine. Tell her you like it when she calls you. She chastises you for divorcing? It's OK. Tell her you value her opinion. You're not going to change her, so accept her. Once you do, some of her annoying quirks will seem funny to you, and you'll feel as though you relieved a pressure valve.

    Read more at The Huffington Post.

     

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    From NewsOne: NewsOne's Bakari Kitwana interviews Vijay Prashad about the implications of the recent killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Ladan. Kitwana and Prashad discuss the American public's euphoria surrounding this news and what this death means for the war in Afghanistan, and the future of America's enemies-from Al Qaeda to the Taliban.


    They also talk about the meaning of Bin Laden's demise to the 2012 presidential race. Says Prashad, "Forget Obama. Forget 2012. What are the long-term implications for American power and authority in a world where others are trying to build up international law as a counter to cowboy-ism?"

    Listen to the podcast here.

     

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    celebrities at MET gala

    At this year's"Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" Costume Institute Gala At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, most of the stars were dressed to the nines while others just looked dreadful. Take a peek at the best and worst dressed of the night.




     

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    On a day that assistant principle Kiley Russell should have been attending the first day of school, she was sitting in the audience of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show,' when the craziest thing happened: A moment that has gone down in pop culture and television talk show history.

    "You get a car! You get a car! You get a car!"

    Then pandemonium.

    "My mother started doing the Hallelujah dance and everyone was jumping up and down and crying," said Russell, 34.


    Minutes later, she and her mother, along with the rest of the 276-member audience, were running through the Harpo Studios parking lot to a fleet of gleaming new Pontiac G6s wrapped in red bows.

    As tears of joy flowed, Russell said Oprah gave her not just the gift of a new car, but words that would change her life.

    "Oprah said, we're not just giving away cars, we're changing lives."

    At the time, Russell was battling lupus. The stress of long hours on the job, her health condition and not taking proper care of herself was taking a toll on her body. She and her husband Terrence were trying to start a family, but her body rejected a number of pregnancies. Stress, her doctors warned, could be the death of her.

    It was time for a life change, and the encounter at 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' that September day back in 2004 was just the impetus she needed to take the first step.

    "I felt like that was a sign for me to start living my life differently," Russell said. "I had to step out on faith."


    So she sold the car for $20,000 and used the proceeds to launch her dream: Big Girl Cosmetics, a line of cosmetics specifically geared toward women of color.

    For years Russell, had been whipping up batches of homemade soaps and body butters for friends and as gifts at baby and bridal showers. The recipes came from her grandmother Louise, who brought them with her during the black migration from the South to Chicago during the 1920s. Her grandmother's oatmeal and lavender soaps were the only soaps that wouldn't bother Russell's extremely sensitive skin, she said.

    When Russell told her grandmother that she wanted to launch a skincare line using the family recipes, Louise was happy if not slightly amused.

    "She just laughed," Russell recalled. " She said 'Baby, I've been doing this for years.'"

    About a year after the show, Russell quit her assistant principle job and dedicated herself full-time to the cosmetics line.

    She used the initial $20,000 investment for product development, marketing and a website. Another $60,000 in savings went into the business over a period of time. Big Girl Cosmetics turned a profit of $30,000 the first year, $40,000 the next and it has continued to grow each year, said Russell.

    Thanks in part to a "grassroots guerrilla marketing" campaign and swift word of mouth, online orders have skyrocketed.

    "I started getting orders from Montana, Washington, from little old ladies in Kentucky," she said.

    Today, the Chicago-based company has grown to include Big Girl Makeup Bar & Spa in Hyde Park. Russell and her husband, Terrence, an IT professional, hope to soon expand with a second location. Big Girl Cosmetics product line includes makeup, lip glosses and soaps.

    The good fortunes from Oprah's gift continue to flow, she said. Her health is in check. She is happier than ever with her work life. And though doctors said she would probably never be able to conceive, she and Terrence have two sons, Chase, 5, and Ellis, 2.

    "Anything you do could be a risk, especially leaving your job," said Russell. "But it was worth it for me. It was about being a mom and about being healthy. I needed to make serious lifestyle changes."

    Back in the audience on that September day in 2004, moments after Oprah's staff handed out 276 little silver boxes wrapped in red ribbon, Russell had no idea how big a gift she was really receiving.

    "For me there were small things along the way leading me down this path, little whispers here and there," she said. "And then I won the car and it was like, do you hear me now?"

     

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    According to a new study, domestic violence has been linked to postpartum depression.

    Why is this important?

    Because African-American women suffer abuse from their "intimate partners" more than any other group
    , and this violence may explain the recent case of Lashanda Armstrong, who killed both herself and her children (ages 11 months, 2 and 5) while reportedly being depressed. Postpartum depression usually occurs during the first year of the baby's life. Dr. Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital and "Today Show" contributor adds:

    "Postpartum depression can occur up to a year postpartum, so whenever you hear a story of erratic behavior, withdrawal, violence toward one's own children, it fits with [it]. Guilt is also a big feature of postpartum depression."

    For women who are being abused, which includes "sexual abuse, physical abuse, or stalking to pregnancy coercion -- when a woman is forced to conceive a child against her will," the abuse often increases once they become pregnant:

    "Intimate partner violence often increases during pregnancy when women are most vulnerable, according to Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, director of the perinatal psychiatry program at University of North Carolina.

    According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 80 percent of women experience post-partum depression, but when you add domestic violence to that equation, the situation for a Mother and her child can go really wrong:

    "Individually, both intimate partner violence and postpartum depression can prevent a woman from forming a strong mother-infant bond. This bond is important to the child's continued health, educational development and behavioral control. Postpartum depression, in particular, can lead to substantial neglect, or even violent acts against the infant, if depression becomes severe or the new mother displays psychotic symptoms."

    For many black women, having little-to-no support from their partners in addition to few financial and community resources only exacerbates the depression they're experiencing after having a child, and with depression likely going undetected, this creates a largely precarious existence for the women involved.

    "Depression and domestic violence are two conditions that are greatly under-recognized and under-treated," Cheng said. "This is unfortunate, because there is effective treatment for depression and there are many resources for women to get help with intimate partner violence."

    If you or someone you know is dealing with post-partum depression and domestic abuse, please contact the Domestic Violence Hotline.


     

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