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Memories of LBJ, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton

presidents 600Covering the three-day celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act at the University of Texas last week brought back a string of memories – some fond, some bitter. As a son of the South –Tuscaloosa, Ala., to be specific – I saw first-hand how the region was transformed from America's version of apartheid to one that is perhaps more genuinely accepting of African Americans than any other geographical section of the country.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton – all white Southerners who grew up in the Jim Crow South – played a significant role in the region's transformation. But that didn't happen in a vacuum. Each was pushed and challenged by the modern civil rights movement, a multi-racial movement, with blacks serving as chief architects that prodded the U.S. to have its deeds mirror its professed ideals. (George W. Bush, a wealthy Texan, is omitted from this discussion because he did nothing significant to advance civil rights. In fact, his appointment of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court represented a setback to the cause of civil rights.)

While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); Whitney Young of the National Urban League; NAACP Executive Director Roy Wilkins; John Lewis, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Roy Innis of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) receive the lion's share of publicity about the movement, the true heroes were the everyday men and women of the South who risked their jobs and lives to be treated as equals.

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When cops hide behind badge to kill blacks

badgemurder 600WASHINGTON – In 1965, Tuskegee Institute in Alabama was a hotbed for social protest and bred students passionate about equality, justice and civil rights. Seventeen year-old, Ruby Sales, born in Jemison, Ala., was one of those students.

"Once you got the religion of civil rights and you were really in the movement, it was hard to turn around, because there was something about it that wouldn't let you loose," said Sales.

She joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and when youngsters from Lowndes County, Ala., called on the group to help organize demonstration for back payment for sharecroppers and a voting drive, Sales, a sophomore, knew that she had to go.

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Natural hair: Doing business with ‘a movement’

onwealthyhair 600Maintenance of natural hair is not just a science; it is an art. Additionally, it is now a unique profit center for black hair care companies, divisions, stylists and schools. In that mix is natural hair instructor Anya Parker, who clearly has a passion for natural hair care.

Carlee McCullough: Tell us about yourself.
Anya Parker: I've been a licensed hair stylist for almost ten years. I am also a natural hair instructor at Lisa Akbari Hair Institute, where we specialize in the training of future natural hair stylists.

C.M.: What makes natural hair a business opportunity?
A.P.: This is a great business opportunity because it is "today's" popular trend that I don't feel like it's going to run out like most trends do. I encourage anyone who is in fashion, makeup, hair or whatever it is that you do to make people feel good on the inside and the outside, to jump on board. Natural hair is a movement of women and men determined to live healthier lifestyles.

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Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

Marlon 600For movies opening April 18, 2014

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"Bears" (G) John C. Reilly narrates this nature documentary, set in the Alaska wilderness, chronicling a year in the life of a family of brown bears with a couple of young cubs just learning how to survive the elements, including avalanches, predators and the bitter cold.

"A Haunted House 2" (R for violence, graphic sexuality, frontal nudity, drug use, ethnic slurs and pervasive profanity) Irreverent spoof of recent horror flicks featuring Marlon Wayans as a newlywed who moves his bride (Jaime Pressly) and step-children (Ashley Rickards and Steele Stebbins) into a dream home only to be plagued by the ghost of his ex-girlfriend (Essence Atkins) as well as a series of paranormal phenomena. With Cedric the Entertainer, Gabriel Iglesias, Affion Crockett and Missi Pyle.

 

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Michael Eric Dyson slams Cornel West at NAN Convention

westdyson 600(NEWSONE) – Taking advantage of the friendly crowd at Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network Conference, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson publicly responded to Dr. Cornel West's jabs against him.

Speaking on the state of black intellectualism, Dyson not only accused West of having a huge ego, he also informed his dear brother that he "ain't that important":

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