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Blind Boys of Alabama and Taj Majal

The Blind Boys of Alabama opened for Taj Majal on June 18th at the New concertreview 600Jersey State Theatre, where they easily managed to eclipse the headliner in terms of intensity and audience appeal. “Boys” is a bit of misnomer for the six-time Grammy-winning gospel group formed way back in the 1930s by 9-year-old students attending the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind, located in Talledega.
 
Sadly, only a couple of the founding members are still alive, Jimmy Carter and Clarence Fountain, and the latter’s participation in concerts is limited to the extent his failing health allows. But in the early decades, the talented ensemble crisscrossed the country, often going on tour with The Blind Boys of Mississippi, with whom they would share the stage in a friendly battle of the bands. 

Black men and white women leapfrog over black women

Beginning in 1945, as a black male child, I spent my early years in a small southern town where everything was “black” and “white.”  As a black child, I blkmen 600stood on the oppressed side of the fence as I experienced the injustices imposed upon black folk by a culture of white supremacy.  But, as a male child, I stood on the oppressor’s side of the fence as I witnessed the injustices imposed upon women by a culture of male privilege.
 
While I chaffed under the oppression to which I was subjected as a black person, I was indifferent to the oppression suffered by women – an oppression that was particularly harsh on black women.  I grew up in a world where I felt wronged by a culture that asserted that I had less value and “had a place” on the lower rungs of society as a black person.  But I saw no injustice in a culture that asserted that women were on a lower rung than that upon which the men were placed.  This was true, even though I knew that the place allocated to women had fewer benefits than those allocated to men.

Confirmed: First human case of West Nile Virus in Shelby County

westnile 600The Shelby County Health Department (SCHD), along with the Tennessee Department of Health, recently confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Shelby County.
 
The reported case is a forty-six year old male and the first human case confirmed in the state of Tennessee. To date, WNV has been detected in ZIP code 38107 within Shelby County. SCHD health officials urge residents to continue taking precautions to prevent mosquito bites and protecting themselves against WNV.

Q&A: Early childhood education, Common Core and America’s future

commoncore 600David Lawrence Jr. arrived in Miami in 1989 as an experienced newspaper journalist and continued his stellar career for another decade at the Miami Herald. He then retired to devote himself to improving the childhood years of America’s children. He chairs the Children’s Movement of Florida, a statewide, non-partisan, advocacy organization that focuses on issues critical to the early stages of life. In an interview, which has been edited, with NAM editor Khalil Abdullah, Lawrence makes the case for why Floridians should adopt the Common Core state standards.
 
What is your stance on Common Core?
 
I support Common Core totally. No question in my mind that if we are going to compete internationally as a country, we need national standards. States will continue to play the primary role in achieving this. Florida has had, as so many other states, a dust up over what’s happening here with Common Core. In Florida, we say Florida Standards. Our state has tinkered a bit  with the Common Core State Standards, but I think they’re very closely aligned.

‘Mr. Gotti the Restaurateur’

prive 600As a foodie, I enjoy experiencing new restaurants, concepts, dishes and atmospheres. Memphis has a winner in the Privé Restaurant, thanks to Mario Mims, aka Yo Gotti. Privé is French for private and the Privé Restaurant can only be described as incredible dining.
 
Hailing from North Memphis, Gotti, embraces his background and upbringing in his recordings and music.  Rapping since the age of 14, he has come a long way. One of his most popular mainstream songs is “5 Star Chick” and Privé has all the elements of a 5-star restaurant.