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The last black mayor of Chocolate City?

chocolatecity 600In awkwardly timed remarks 24 hours after dramatic campaign-corruption allegations were leveled against him, Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray defied rumors of his political death spiral.

"I did not break the law," pronounced the mayor to a very pro-Gray crowd of several hundred this past Tuesday night, who complimented the moment with stand-up chants of "four more years."

That night in a Northeast D.C. auditorium, Gray may have temporarily reenergized "Chocolate City." But the campaign now headed to a hotly contested April 1 Democratic primary for his hoped-for reelection finds a black urban apotheosis a shell of what it was more than two decades ago.

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Will Black Twitter help swing the 2016 presidential election?

blacktwitter 600It's been well reported that Black Twitter has become a force to be reckoned with.

This incredibly witty and educated group is responsible for ending the careers of Food Network star and Antebellum South enthusiast, Paula Deen, as well as PR executive Justine Sacco, who famously tweeted before a trip to South Africa:

Going to Africa. Hope I don't get
AIDS. Just Kidding. I'm White
12/20/13, 10:19 AM from Hillingdon, England

When it comes to checking "casual racists" and white privilege, Black Twitter is present and ready to put folks back in their place.

 

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Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

nialong 600For movies opening March 14, 2014

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"Need for Speed" (PG-13 for nudity, crude humor, reckless driving and disturbing crashes) High-octane revenge thriller, inspired by the video game of the same name, revolving around a recently-paroled street racer's (Aaron Paul) attempt to even the score with the wealthy business partner (Dominic Cooper) who'd framed him for manslaughter. With Imogen Poots, Michael Keaton and Scott Mescudi.

"The Single Moms Club" (PG-13 for sexuality and mature themes) Tyler Perry wrote, directed and co-stars in this tale of female empowerment about a support group created by five, frazzled single moms (Nia Long, Zulay Henao, Amy Smart, Cocoa Brown and Wendi McLendon-Covey) whose kids attend the same private school. Supporting cast includes Terry Crews, Eddie Cibrian and William Levy.

"Veronica Mars" (PG-13 for sexuality, violence, profanity and drug use) Kristen Bell reprises the title role in this screen version of the TV mystery series which finds the super sleuth returning home from New York to attend her high school reunion and to assist an ex-boyfriend (Jason Dohring) suspected of murder. With Krysten Ritter, Ryan Hansen and Francis Capra.

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Civilian oversight of law enforcement needed more than ever in Memphis

civilian 600In 1994, the controversial shooting of Jesse Bogand – a 68 year old resident of Orange Mound – outraged the citizens of Memphis. This and other similar incidents pushed the Memphis City Council to create a Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB), which according to the City Of Memphis website would be "an independent, non-police Mayoral Agency with...the power to receive, investigate, hear cases, make findings and recommend action on complaints."

Though seemingly a positive step forward for our city, many have lamented that CLERB has insufficient power to accomplish its assigned tasks. For instance, CLERB can only hear a case after the Memphis Police Department's Internal Affairs has completed their investigation. Moreover, CLERB has no subpoena powers, and as such MPD officers' presence at a hearing is purely voluntary.

More troubling is the fact that the extent of CLERB's disciplinary power is a non-binding recommendation to MPD.

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Memphis parent backs HB190 and the value of school choice

porter-ed-600There are few things more important to me than the quality of my children's schools. After all, I know that a great education is crucial to their success as adults.

I also believe that parents know their kids better than anyone else, and should be able to decide what is best for them.

Fortunately for me, I happen to live in a neighborhood with schools that meet the needs of my kids. But many families across Tennessee are not as lucky. Thousands of students across the state are forced to attend schools that are failing or otherwise inadequate.

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