In November 2005 the Cartoon Network debuted "The Boondocks" during its late-night Adult Swim programming and gave us a glimpse into the fictitious Freeman family, who had just moved from the South Side of Chicago to the mostly white, made-up suburb of Woodcrest. In the premiere, viewers heard 10-year-old Huey Freeman proclaim that "Jesus was black, Ronald Reagan was the devil and the government is lying about 9/11."
They got to see the penis of Robert Jebediah Freeman – aka Granddad – during an in-home, butt-naked infomercial workout, and they were treated to a stirring rendition of Uncle Ruckus' "Don't Trust Those New Niggers Over There!"
The show was edgy and racy and all the adjectives that can describe supremely well-done black satire. And then, after only three seasons and 45 episodes, it was gone. Fans took to the Internet wondering if the controversial cartoon had been canceled. There was speculation about the creator Aaron McGruder's schedule and how long it took to craft each episode. There was speculation about the liberal use of the word "nigger," and Tyler Perry's alleged anger over his depiction in the "Pause" episode in season 3, as reasons for its sudden disappearance.
Sometimes, a sister has to kiss a lot of frogs before finding her soul mate. In Dr. Nazaree Hines-Starr's case, she had to date a lot of "scumbags," as she puts it.
As a black woman, she had trouble meeting single guys who were at her level "emotionally, academically or professionally. Unfortunately, most of the available African-American men she met "had managed to waste years that should have been spent in college or developing a career, chasing skirts, getting arrested, or playing video games."
Moreover, many had "accumulated baggage" such as "rap sheets" and "baby-mama drama." And even the rare brother who had his act together was never serious about settling down and starting a family.
Reflections on the historic U.S. civil rights era often conjure up images of the grandeur-scale marches during the 60's era, restaurant sit-ins and civic uprising that played its role in advancing black America and cultivating support. Today, experts say the temperament of black activism is comparable, but takes place in digital spaces where young African-Americans share stories and invoke conversation about their struggles with friends and strangers.
Social media has become the tool of choice for African Americans who are rallying support and a newfound understanding to their causes by spreading messages through their networks and watching them go viral. Twitter, YouTube, and most recently Tumblr, have become a popular springboard for young "activists," even though some reject the label.
Several black students at Harvard University became the most recent topic in the national spotlight with their "I, Too, Am Harvard" campaign. On Tumblr, the students can be seen in photos individually holding boards with various quotes and statements to draw awareness.
Last week, the Obama Administration declared war on one million underserved students pursuing higher education throughout the United States. While the President and First Lady launch their campaign to make it easier for low-income minority students to access college, the Department of Education has launched an unprecedented assault on this same community through a new proposal that will cut thousands of college programs that disproportionately serve poor communities, single working mothers, veterans and other at-risk populations.
At a time when American employers desperately need an educated, skilled workforce to sustain economic recovery, a confused and conflicted White House is hurting the underserved communities it claims to support.
On March 14, the Department of Education published its new proposed "Gainful Employment" rule. The rule is a rehashed patchwork of regulations concocted several years ago in an attempt to prevent abuse of the federal financial aid system. Rejected through legislative process and shot down in federal court only a few years ago, the Administration has nonetheless resurrected the policy and repackaged it in an 841-page proposal that will decimate college programs and career-focused vocational training currently serving one million students.
For movies opening March 21, 2014
BIG BUDGET FILMS
"Divergent" (PG-13 for intense violence, mature themes and some sensuality) Futuristic sci-fi, set in a supposedly-utopian society where people are segregated by personality, although anyone who fails to fit into one of five groups ends-up condemned to death. Starring Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet, Mekhi Phifer, Ashley Judd, Zoe Kravitz, Theo James and Maggie Q.
"Muppets Most Wanted" (PG for mild action) Animated adventure set in Europe where the Muppets unwittingly become embroiled in a jewel heist hatched by a Kermit the Frog look-a-like (Steve Whitmore). Voice cast includes Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell, with cameos by Lady Gaga, Sean Diddy Combs, Celine Dion, Zach Galifianakis, Josh Groban, Tony Bennett, Usher and Salma Hayek.
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