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.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Racial Disparities in Youth Incarceration 2015

according to data collected from the department of justice in october 2015, black youth were more than five times as likely to be committed or detained compared to white youth. racial disparities have long plagued juvenile justice systems nationwide, and the new data shows the problem is worse.

in october 2015 about 1,800 residential treatment centers, detention centers, training schools, and juvenile jails and prisons held 48,043 youth. 44% were black - yet blacks comprise 16% of all youth in america. black youth are likelier to be in custody than white youth in every state but hawaii.

nationally, the youth rate of incarceration was 152 per 100,000. black youth placement rate was 433 per 100,000 and white youth placement rate was 86 per 100,000. overall, the racial disparity between black and white youth in custody increased 22% since 2001. racial disparities grew in 37 states and decreased in 13 states.  

black youth are at least 10 times as likely to be held in placement as white youth in six states: connecticut, delaware, minnesota, montana, new jersey and wisconsin. racial disparities in five states doubled: connecticut, delaware, maryland, montana and wisconsin. three states decreased their racial disparities by at least half: new hampshire, vermont and west virginia.

2017 WNBA Season Awards

listed below are the winners of the 2017 season awards for the wbba:

peak performer, scoring - britney griner, phoenix mercury
peak performer, rebounding - jonquel jones, connecticut sun
peak performer, assists - courtney vandersloot, chicago sky

sixth woman of the year - sugar rodgers, new york liberty
most improved player - jonquel jones, connecticut sun

coach of the year - curt miller, connecticut sun
executive of the year - curt miller, connecticut sun  

dawn staley community leadership - ivory latta, washington mystics

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Charles Oakley Sues Knicks Owner James Dolan, Madison Square Garden and MSG Networks

former new york knicks all-star forward charles oakley filed a legal civil suit on tuesday in the u.s. district court southern district of new york. oakley is responding to his highly-publicized altercation with madison square garden security guards in february 2017. 

the suit names embattled knicks owner james dolan, madison square garden and msg networks as defendants. the suit also identifies dolan as "one person who could not abide by mr. oakley's refusal to meekly submit to people in positions of power."

additionally, oakley accuses dolan of "a history of mistreating former employees." but his lawsuit does acknowledge dolan "inherited" control of the team from his father after oakley's time playing with the knicks. 

oakley was physically removed from the garden during a knicks game with the los angeles clippers, arrested and subsequently banned from the world's most famous arena. dolan, himself a recovering alcoholic, publicly suggested oakley had an alcohol problem and anger management issues.

the suit also says, "as if their public mistreatment of mr. oakley was not embarrassing and shameful enough, over the ensuing days defendants dolan and msg launched a coordinated and defamatory public relations campaign." oakley seeks "all monetary and/or economic damages incurred as a result of defendants' unlawful actions in the lawsuit."

Monday, September 11, 2017

Sloane Stephens and Rafael Nadal Win 2017 US Open Singles Titles

american sloane stephens dominated american madison keys 6-3, 6-0 on saturday to win the 2017 u.s. open singles championship in new york. stephens collected $3.7 million for capturing her first major singles title in her first major singles final.  

stephens, 24, warmly embraced her compatriot and close friend keys at the net after match point. about the hefty paycheck, she later joked, "i should just retire now. i told maddie i'm never going to be able to top this. i mean, talk about a comeback." she missed 11 months due to foot surgery.

the 83rd ranked stephens is only the second unseeded women to win the tournament since the open era began in 1968. she beat five seeded players along the way. her 2017 record since losing first round matches at wimbledon and washington is 15-2, and her ranking, which plummeted to #943 last year, will be #17 on monday. 

this was only the second time in the open era two women made their grand slam final debuts against each other in new york. the first two women to achieve that feat were serena and venus williams in 2002. all four women are black - a powerful cultural dynamic in a historically lily-white sport.

rafael nadal of spain defeated kevin anderson of south africa 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 on sunday to win the 2017 u.s. open singles championship in new york. nadal collected $3.7 million in capturing his third career u.s. open title and 16th major singles crown.

the world #1 struggled in 2015 and 2016 with knee and wrist injuries, but played in three grand slam finals this year. nadal lost the australian open to roger federer, dominated stan wawrinka for a record 10th french open and beat anderson, 31, the lowest-ranked (#28) u.s. open finalist since 1973.

"i always accepted all the challenges that my career present to me. the good news and the negative news, i accepted in the same way, in a very natural way. i am a person that i don't have much ups and downs. when i am in a negative moment, i don't go very down. when i am in a positive moment, probably like now, i don't believe that i am that good," nadal said.

not since pete sampras at wimbledon in 2000 had a man won a grand slam title without facing any opponent ranked in the top 20. five top 10 players withdrew due to injuries; as such, nadal, 31, did not have to face past defending champions andy murray, novak djokovic and stan wawrinka. federer lost to juan martin del potro in the quarterfinals, and nadal beat him in the semifinals.       

Monday, August 28, 2017

Private Prisons in the United States

twenty eight states and the federal government use private prisons to incarcerate 126,272 people in america. in 2000, private prisons incarcerated 45% less people. today's figure represents eight percent of the total u.s. prison population. 

states vary significantly in their use of private prisons. montana and new mexico have over 40% of their prisoners in private facilities. illinois and new york are two of 19 states in the united states with no private prisons.

the federal prison system leads the nation with the largest number of people, 34,934, incarcerated in private prisons. this number is expected to increase. despite former president obama's plan to phase out prison contracts, attorney general jeff sessions decided to renew the (current) department of justice's commitment to private facilities.

"the prison population decline in recent years provides an opportunity for new thinking about advancing justice and ensuring safety. streamlining this country's prison infrastructure, including terminating wasteful private prison contracts, should be an important part of this new strategy," said nicole porter, director of advocacy for the sentencing project in washington, dc. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Trump Pardons Former Arizona Sheriff and Convicted Criminal Joe Arpaio

president donald trump on friday pardoned joe arpaio, the notorious former arizona sheriff. arpaio wilfully violated a federal judge's order by unlawfully detaining individuals his officers claimed might be in the country illegally.

arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt last month for violating 2011 order barring him and his office from detaining people solely based on his suspicions about their legal status. he proclaimed himself, "america's toughest sheriff." arpaio, 85, was scheduled to be sentenced october 5.

"throughout his time as sheriff, arpaio continued his life's work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration. sheriff joe arpaio is now 85 years old, and after more than 50 years of admirable service to our nation, is worthy of a presidential pardon," said the white house in a statement.

arpaio's officers called latinos, "fucking mexicans," "mexican bitches," "stupid mexicans," and "wetbacks." a report by the u.s. department of justice's civil rights division in 2011 concluded arpaio and his officers engaged in racial profiling and unlawful policing. they also found latino drivers were four to nine times as likely to be stopped by his officers than non-latino drivers.

"with his pardon of arpaio, trump has chosen lawlessness over justice, division over unity, hurt over healing. once again, the president has acted in support of illegal, failed immigration enforcement practices that target people of color and have been struck down by the courts. his pardon of arpaio is a presidential endorsement of racism," said cecilia wang, deputy legal director of the american civil liberties union.

normally, it can take a few years before a pardon is granted. the process is controlled by the justice department's office of the pardon attorney. background checks are conducted, character affidavits get notarized, federal prosecutors are consulted, letters are solicited and petitions are prepared as part of the arduous process.

but trump defiantly ignored the protocol. vanita gupta, the former chief of the justice department's civil rights division said, "if president trump uses his power to pardon a discredited law enforcement official who persistently engaged in illegal racial profiling of the latino community, it will not be a dog whistle to the so-called 'alt-right' and white supremacists, but a bull horn."   


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Public comments are welcome on proposed Medical Marijuana regulatory changes in NY

starting wednesday august 23, and for the next 30 days, the public can make comments on the draft rules to make significant improvements to new york's medical marijuana program. the department of health wants to hear the voices of the community before they implement their initiatives.

some of the proposed changes would include:

allow more cannabis preparations, including chewable preparations, ground, whole plant (flower) cannabis and topical treatments.

reduce the burden on doctors by halving the length of the medical marijuana course from four hours to two.

revising unnecessarily onerous security requirements that drive up prices.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Michael Bennett and other NFL players are protesting the national anthem this season

seattle seahawks all-pro defensive end michael bennett has decided to sit during the national anthem for the upcoming football season. bennett, on sunday, during the team's preseason opener against the san diego chargers, sat alone to protest racial and social injustice.

bennett said he'd been considering protesting the national anthem for awhile. but the recent events in charlottesville, virginia - where a man drove his car, killed a woman and injured counterprotesters at a "unite the right" rally - fueled his decision to act with courage, faith and passion.

bennett said, "first of all, i want people to understand i love the military. my father was in the military. i love hot dogs like any other american. i love football, like any other american, but i don't love segregation. i don't love riots. i don't love oppression. i don't love gender slander."

"i just want to see people have the equality they deserve, and i want to be able to use this platform to continuously push the message of that, you know, and keep journeying out and keep finding out how unselfish we can be as a society," bennett said.

former san francisco 49ers quarterback colin kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem last season to raise awareness for mass incarceration, police oppression and racial inequality towards people of african descent. bennett's former teammate marshawn lynch sat during the national anthem of the los angeles raiders' preseason game sunday, but didn't say why.

rams defensive end robert quinn and eagles safety malcom jenkins raised a fist during anthems this week in protest of police brutality and police oppression. seahawks head coach pete carroll said he "plans to support bennett in anyway possible, " but also said, "we should all be standing for the national anthem." 

seahawks wide receiver doug baldwin said he "absolutely considered" joining bennett and supporting his cause. baldwin also said he plans to sit during the national anthem throughout the entire regular football season.