The beat comes in—a rapid high-hat, laced with a dope-smoking, hypnotic keyboard punch—and then the hook, an ode to how Twain Gotti, a 22-year-old rapper from Newport News, Va., will ride out on his enemies.
Gotti proceeds to spit the lyrics that got him arrested for an unsolved murder in 2007:
Listen, walk to your boy and I approached him/12 midnight on his traphouse porch and everybody saw when I motherf--kin' choked him/but nobody saw when I motherfu--kin' smoked him, roped him, sharpened up the shank, then I poked him.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. hasn't been this alive since 1968.
He's no longer that visually distant, two-dimensional figure, limited to speaking a single sentence taken out of context and shorn of its true meaning. Instead, the honest scholarship and media commentary considering what King faced and what he did have broken through the obscuring fog of conservative, and yes, centrist, propaganda.
In part, that's because, today the confrontation between the forces of progress and the racist reaction to that progress is sharper than any time since the 1960s.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Justice Department and the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund have reached an agreement with the four major tobacco companies that requires them to spend more than $30 million advertising with the three major television networks and run full-page ads in 35 white and Hispanic newspapers as well as purchasing space on their respective websites but not make a single purchase from a black print or broadcast media company.
The 24-page proposed consent agreement, reached Friday, will go before U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday, Jan. 15, for final approval.
"We are shocked and deeply disappointed that the Justice Department, the Tobacco-Free Action Fund and the tobacco industry would all agree to sign off an advertising plan that totally disrespects the Black community," said Cloves C. Campbell, chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of nearly 200 Black newspapers.
Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, the new president of Alabama State University, may not have a problem with her contract, but a clause forbidding her from allowing any lovers to stay at her home has caused an uproar.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the single Boyd's contract included $300,000, a car and the presidential residence — and a no romantic visitors clause, which may be illegal.
Read more from InsideHigherEd.com:
When Grambling State University's football team forfeited a game against Jackson State University last year, players thought they were locked in a singular battle with the administration. They presented administrators with a list of things they were fed up with, including a two-and-a-half-hour bus ride to play against their competitors. Further, they complained about dilapidated and moldy athletic facilities and equipment, among other issues.
Turns out their complaints were emblematic of concerns at dozens of the nation's HBCUs, said Johnny C. Taylor, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which provides scholarships for students at the schools. The financial woes come as the federal government and states across the nation have trimmed their HBCU budgets in recent years, he said.
"Grambling is emblematic of a bigger problem," Taylor told The Root. "It's not limited to athletics. Dorms have fallen into serious disrepair. Classrooms are in need of updating, and academic programs have suffered. Some schools have had to reduce faculty and staff. To be blunt, it's the result of years and years of financial neglect. Some of these schools are in need of a major infusion of cash."
More and more I am beginning to feel an unraveling, a lost of connectedness to my literary and histrionic past. The deaths of Tom Dent, Ossie Davis, Ron Milner, Barbara Ann Teer, Judi Ann Mason and now Amiri Baraka have served as a wake-up call that at some point this novel called life will come to an end and for certain this theatrical production by the same name must lower its curtain to kiss the floor for the very last time.
More than anything else, the deaths of these great ones help me to truly understand that just as "Trouble Don't Last Always" neither do artists, although their works may.
Upon learning of Baraka's demise on Thursday (Jan. 9th), I had to pause for a moment and contemplate my next breath...savor it as if I were pouring out libations to a dear friend, elder, and mentor. Although I only met Baraka, the man formerly known as LeRoi Jones, once at an African-American Literary Conference at Ole Miss almost 30 years ago, I felt like he was an older brother, a running buddy.
2014 is barely a week old, and yet the year has already given us its first political scandal – one that potentially has ramifications for years to come.
A string of emails published Wednesday by the Bergen Country Record suggest that staffers in the office of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie coaxed a Port Authority staffer to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge – crippling traffic and sparking outrage.
The alleged motive was to punish a political foe of Christie, Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, whose residents were those most likely to be affected by the closures. In an emotional news conference on Thursday, Christie announced he had fired longtime aide Bridget Kelly, whose email triggered the chain of events. He also cut ties with his former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, who was forced to forgo his relationship with the Republican Governor's Association, of which Christie is now head.