i am

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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Angelique Kerber and Novak Djokovic win 2018 Wimbledon Singles Titles

world #10 angelique kerber of germany defeated 23-time major singles champion serena williams of the u.s. 6-3, 6-3 on saturday at the all-england club to win her first wimbledon crown. kerber avenged her wimbledon finals loss to williams in 2016, and won her third career major singles title.

"i think it's the experience. i think you have to go through all the things - the good things, the bad things - and then you need to learn. i know that against serena, i have to play my best tennis, especially in the important moments," said kerber. 

kerber is the first german to win the ladies wimbedon singles championship since steffi graf in 1996. kerber won the australian open and u.s. open in 2016. she broke williams in the opening game of the match and played superb tennis from start to finish; she had just three unforced errors in the first set.

world #21 novak djokovic of serbia defeated world #8 kevin anderson of south africa 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 on sunday at the all-england club to win the men's wimbledon crown. djokovic earned his fourth career wimbledon trophy, and now has 13 major singles titles - fourth most in men's history.

"there were several moments where i was frustrated and questioning whether i can get back to the desired level or not. but that makes this journey even more special for me. it's easy to talk now and look back at it and be kind of grateful, but i really am grateful to go through this kind of, so to say, mixed emotions, turbulence as well, mentally, moments of doubt and disappointment and frustration and anger," djokovic said. 

a year ago, djokovic, 31, quit during his wimbledon quarterfinal because of his painful right elbow. djokovic took the rest of the year off and struggled during the early part of 2018. in april, he reunited with marian vadja, the man who coached him for several years before he worked with boris becker and andre agassi, respectively. 

   

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

2018 NBA Awards

the second annual 2018 nba awards were presented last night in a live ceremony at the barker hanger in santa monica, california. the winners are listed below:

most valuable player - james harden, houston rockets
rookie of the year - ben simmons, philadelphia 76ers
defensive player of the year - rudy gobert, utah jazz
sixth man of the year - lou williams, los angeles clippers
most improved player of the year - victor oladipo, indiana pacers

coach of the year - dwane casey
basketball executive of the year - daryl morey, houston rockets
sportsman award - kemba walker, charlotte hornets

sager strong award - dikembe mutombo
lifetime achievement award - oscar robertson
twyman-stokes teammate of the year award - jamal crawford, minnesota timberwolves
nba cares community assist award - kevin durant, golden state warriors

play of the year - lebron james, cleveland cavaliers
clutch shot of the year - lebron james, cleveland cavaliers
dunk of the year - giannis antetokounmpo, milwaukee bucks
assist of the year - lebron james, cleveland cavaliers
block of the year - anthony davis, new orleans pelicans
handle of the year - kyrie irving, boston celtics 

best style - russell westbrook, oklahoma city thunder
hustle award - amir johnson, philadelphia 76ers

all-nba first team
anthony davis, new orleans pelicans
kevin durant, golden state warriors
james harden, houston rockets
lebron james, cleveland cavaliers
damian lillard, portland trail blazers

all-nba rookie team
kyle kuzma, los angeles lakers
lauri markkanen, chicago bulls
donovan mitchell, utah jazz
ben simmons, philadelphia 76ers
jayson tatum, boston celtics

all-nba defensive team
robert covington, philadelphia 76ers
anthony davis, new orleans pelicans
rudy gobert, utah jazz
jrue holiday, new orleans pelicans
victor oladipo, indiana pacers


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Simona Halep and Rafael Nadal win 2018 French Open Singles Titles

world #1 simona halep of romania defeated world #10 sloane stephens of the u.s. 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 at roland garros in paris, france on saturday to win the french open women's singles championship. halep's come-from-behind effort secured her first career victory at a grand slam tournament. 

halep, 26, lost three major singles finals - two at the french open in 2014 and 2017; and the 2018 australian open. "that's the most important thing. that i stayed there focused. i believed and i never gave up, halep said." she's the first romanian to win a major singles title since her manager virginia ruzici captured the 1978 french open.

darren cahill, former aussie tour player and halep's manager said, "been kicked in the stomach a couple of times when she's had chances. they say the destination is more beautiful if there's a bit of a bumpy road and you eventually get there. and that's what happened to her today." 

world #1 rafael nadal of spain defeated world #7 dominic thiem of austria 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 at roland garros in paris, france on sunday to win the french open men's singles championship. nadal became the first player in the open era to win a major 11 times. his career record at the french open is 86-2.

nadal, 32, has 17 career singles wins in grand slam tournaments, including three at the u.s. open, two at wimbledon and one at the australian open. nadal and world #2 roger federer of switzerland - who leads all men with 20 major singles titles - have won the last six major championships. 

in 2005, nadal won his first french open title at 19. nadal won four straight there from 2005-2008. he won five straight from 2010-2014, and won again last year. "if you tell me seven, eight years ago that i will be here...having this trophy with me again, i will tell you that is something almost impossible. but here we are," nadal said.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Warriors sweep Cavaliers to win Third NBA Title in Four Years

the golden state warriors dominated the cleveland cavaliers 108-85 in cleveland's quicken loans arena on friday to win their second straight nba championship and third in four years. dubs' all-star forward kevin durant was named finals mvp for the second year in a row.  

the warriors joined the boston celtics (1957-66) as the only teams to reach four consecutive nba finals - and win more than two. they also became the ninth team in history to win the finals in a sweep, and the first since 2007 when the san antonio spurs beat cleveland.

durant said, "we just wanted to win, and however it came, we were excited about it. but to win in a sweep feels pretty good." durant finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. golden state all-star guard and two-time mvp stephen curry scored 37 points, including seven three-pointers. 

golden state all-star forward draymond green said, "it was extremely difficult. not just the playoff run but the entire season." warriors coach steve kerr said, "absolutely. there were doubts." kerr became the first in nba history to win five titles as a player and three titles as a coach. 


Friday, June 01, 2018

Marijuana arrests in NYC over last three years disproportionately impact black and brown people

blacks have been arrested on low-level marijuana charges at eight times the rate of whites in new york city during the last three years. latinos have been arrested five times the rates of whites for the same charges.

a senior police official attributes racial disparities to more frequent police complaints about marijuana from residents of predominantly black and brown neighborhoods. people in poor neighborhoods sometimes make marijuana-related police calls because they're less likely to have a building superintendent, co-op board or responsive landlord to field their grievances.

still, among neighborhoods where residents made similar rates of marijuana police calls, the police made arrests at higher rates in areas with black and brown people. new york city's marijuana possession arrests have declined to half of their level under the previous mayor, yet there are still 17,000 such arrests each year.

mayor bill de blasio announced the police would overhaul their marijuana enforcement policy within 30 days to "end unnecessary arrests." the district attorneys of brooklyn and manhattan are considering plans to stop prosecuting the vast majority of people arrested on low-level marijuana charges. police commissioner james o'neill says he will convene a working group to review marijuana enforcement tactics.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Class-action lawsuit seeks damages for Indiana inmates denied voting rights in jail during 2016 November elctions

a class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of 150 people unjustly denied of the right to vote in the 2016 november election while incarcerated in allen county jail in indiana. unspecified monetary damages are being sought.

the state prohibits anyone serving time for a felony to vote. but a majority of the jail's detainees on election day were eligible - either because they were pre-trial and and couldn't afford bond, or because they were serving misdemeanor sentences.

indiana law requires all eligible voters be allowed to vote by absentee ballot, and the sheriff has to make arrangements with election officials to provide those ballots. the suit claims sheriff david gladieux neglected his principle duties to ensure all eligible voters get equal opportunity to do so.

attorney david frank, who is representing the plaintiffs, said they believe this is the first class-action suit to seek monetary damages for detainess barred from voting. the lawsuit targets allen county, indiana's third-largest county, but its likely detainees across the state were denied as well. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is restoring voting rights to felons on parole

new york governor andrew cuomo on wednesday signed an executive order to restore the voting rights of felons in the state. there are nearly 35,000 people barred from voting while on parole from a felony conviction.

48 states strip people of their voting rights after their felony convictions. cuomo's order allows felons to vote after completing their sentences. historically, the state legislature refused to change its policies. "i'm unwilling to take no for an answer, i'm gonna make it law by executive order and i announce that here today," cuomo said.

the executive order applies to those on parole now, and those eligible for it in the future. the state's department of corrections and community supervision will submit a list of current paroless to the governor's office. the department will also provide a monthly list of new parolees, and determine their eligibility for conditional pardons to restore their voting rights.

according to the sentencing project, there were over 6.1 million disenfranchised americans in 2016 due to felony convictions. the idea of stripping voters' rights of criminals dates back to ancient greece and rome. some american states adopted these laws around the civil war to oppress blacks. in 2016, one in 13 blacks were disenfranchised - four times the rate of other americans.

  

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Jack Johnson pardoned by President Trump for violating the Mann Act in 1913

jack johnson, the first black man to become world heavyweight champion, was pardoned on thursday by president donald trump. johnson was convicted in 1913 of violating the mann act.

trump said last month he was considering the pardon after receiving a call from actor sylvester stallone. "i am taking this very righteous step, i believe, to correct a wrong that occurred in our history and to honor a truly legendary boxing champion. it's my honor to do it. it's about time," trump said at an oval office ceremony.

the u.s. department of justice began investigating johnson after the mann act became law in 1910. the law made it a felony to transport across state lines, "any woman or girls for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose." johnson was convicted by an all-white jury and served 10 months in prison.

the mann act's purpose was to stop human sex trafficking, but the broad language allowed for it to be used to prosecute men for extramarital, interracial and premarital relationships - even if they were consensual.   

johnson finished with a career 73-13-10 record and was inducted into the international boxing hall of fame in 1990. johnson won the unofficial black heavyweight championship in 1903, and defeated canadian boxer tommy burns in december 1908 with a tko in the 14th round to become the first black man to hold the world heavyweight championship.

johnson dominated jim jeffries - the latest to be dubbed "the great white hope" - in taking a 15th round tko in july 1910. the bout took place in reno, nevada, was called "the fight of the century" but also led to deadly race riots across the country. 

jeffries, the former champ who came out of retirement for this fight despite being well past his prime, said, "i could never have whipped johnson at my best. i couldn't have hit him. no, i couldn't have reached him in 1,000 years."

johnson was born in galveston, texas in 1878. his parents were enslaved africans who instilled confidence in their son. johnson was an imposing, strong and powerful man with a bald head and dark skin. he infuriated whites for taunting his opponents in the ring, driving fancy cars, wearing furs and openly dating white women.  

johnson died in a 1946 car crash in north carolina at age 68.


2018 All-NBA Teams

listed below is the 2018 all-nba team:

First Team____________________________
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
James Harden, Houston Rockets
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

Second Team__________________________
LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Russell Westrbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

Third Team___________________________
Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder
Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves

Milwaukee Guard Sterling Brown unjustly tasered by Milwaukee Police Officer in January 2018 and the body camera footage was just released

milwaukee police department on wednesday released body camera footage showing one of their officers unjustly tasing milwaukee bucks guard sterling brown. the incident took place in january 2018 when brown, an unarmed black male, was stopped by a white officer for a parking violation.

officers tasered and arrested brown after the arresting officer noticed his car parked across two handicapped parked spaces at a local walgreens. the arresting officer (in his police report) said brown refused repeated requests to step back and became "very aggressive." the officer called for backup and said brown, "physically resisted officers attempts to handcuff him and was taken to the ground in a controlled manner."

milwaukee police chief alonso morales said officers acted "inappropriately," and "were recently disciplined," without providing details. brown, now 23, was booked and received a $200 parking ticket. but after looking at the reports and body camera footage, authorities decided against the arresting officer's request to charge brown with obstructing an officer.

the city's then-police chief, ed flynn, told wisn-tv the department had questions about the officer's tactics - prompting an internal affairs investigation. flynn said, "we wouldn't be conducting an investigation into this if we were 100 percent satisfied with our application of our tactics in this matter. what we want to do is ascertain how a parking ticket turned into a tasing, and so that's what we are going to do." 

flynn retired in february and was suceeded by morales. earlier this week, milwaukee mayor tom barrett expressed concern over the video, which he viewed before the public. barrett said, "it was a disturbing video when i saw it and i know (morales) feels the same way, and i don't know what actions his department is going to take, but it is disconcerting to see some of the actions in that video."

mark thomsen, brown's attorney, says brown plans to file a civil lawsuit against the milwaukee police department as a result of this incident.      

2018 NBA All-Defensive Team

listed below is the 2018 nba all-defensive team:

First Team___________________________
C Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
F Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
F Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers
G Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans
G Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers

Second Team_________________________
C Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
F Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
F Al Horford, Boston Celtics
G Jimmy Butler, Milwaukee Bucks
G Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs