i am

My photo
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, June 21, 2017

New York State Senate passes medical marijuana bill S.5629

the new york state senate on tuesday passed s.5629, a bill to add post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) as a qualifying condition for new york's medical marijuana program.

patients and advocates have been calling on the state to add ptsd as a qualifying condition since july 2014, when governor andrew cuomo signed the compassionate care act into law with the help of the state legislature.

adding ptsd as a qualifying condition will benefit thousands of new yorkers who suffer from this condition, most notably veterans. the new york state assembly passed their companion legislation in may. but some believe this is not enough.

kassandra frederique, new york state director of the drug policy alliance (dpa), urges new yorkers to call the governor and demand he sign the bill. among other initiatives, the dpa appreciates the efforts of the state legislature and department of health to improve new york's medical marijuana program. 

the drug policy alliance is well aware of the affordability challenges and geographic barriers and wants to end marijuana arrests in the state. the dpa is the nation's leading organization promoting drug polices which are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

2017 Songwriters Hall of Fame

the 2017 songwriters hall of fame 48th annual induction and awards dinner took place june 16 in new york city. the following artists were honored: 

shawn carter (jay-z)
kenneth "babyface" edmonds
berry gordy
jimmy jam & terry lewis
robert lamm
max martin 
james pankow

special awards were given to:

caroline bienstock
alan menken
pitbull
ed sheeran

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Warriors beat Cavaliers to win 2017 NBA Championship

the golden state warriors defeated the cleveland cavaliers 129-120 at oracle arena in oakland monday night to win the 2017 nba championship. the dubs won the highly anticipated series four games to one. it was the first time in nba history two teams played each other three consecutive years.

the warriors became the fourth team in history to win five titles for their franchise, joining boston, chicago and los angeles. all-star forward kevin durant was named finals mvp. durant scored a team-high 39 points on 14 of 20 shooting, with seven rebounds and five assists. he averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists in the series.

durant joined wilt chamberlain and michael jordan as the only players in nba history to win an nba title, and scoring title: four or more times. durant played eight seasons for the oklahoma city thunder, before signing with golden state during the 2016 off-season. okc lost the 2012 nba finals to the miami heat - the only year durant played for a championship.

"i work hard, i believe in myself, i believe in the game, i respect the game, i love the game, and i knew at some point in my life that it will come around for me," said durant. "i had a letdown last year. if kd was the consolation prize to lose, thanks for the loss, and we're champs this year," said draymond green. "i'm happy for him. you've got to call kevin durant a champ now," said stephen curry.

golden state coach steve kerr is the fourth coach in nba history to win two titles in his first three seasons with a team. all-star point guard and two-time mvp curry finished game five with 34 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals. all-star forward green had 10 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. 2015 nba finals mvp andre iguodala had 20 points off the bench. 

the warriors' talented roster had seven players in their first ever nba finals. matt barnes, charles davis, james looney, patrick mccaw, javale mcgee, zaza pachulia and david west all helped the dubs beat the defending champion cavaliers, led by all-star forward lebron james, who became the first player in history to average a triple double in the nba finals.

golden state ended the 2017 post-season with a 16-1 record and .947 winning percentage: best all-time in the nba finals. their margin of victory coming into the nba finals was (also) an nba record 18.5 points. they won 67 games during the regular season, and over the last three years, the warriors' 202 regular season wins is the most in nba history.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Rafael Nadal and Jelena Ostapenko win 2017 French Open Singles Titles

rafael nadal of spain defeated stan wawrinka of switzerland 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 on sunday to win the 2017 french open singles championship at roland garros. the match lasted just over two hours.

nadal claimed 'la decima' after becoming the first player in history to win a major 10 times. nadal, 31, now has 15 major singles crowns - three away from roger federer. the king of clay will move into the #2 spot in the world rankings on monday.  

"it's really incredible. to win la decima is very, very special. i am very emotional. the feeling i have is impossible to describe," nadal said during his victory presentation. nadal dominated from start-to-finish, losing just 35 games in total and never dropping a set.

jelena ostapenko of latvia defeated simona halep of romania 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to win the 2017 french open singles championship at roland garros on saturday. ostapenko emerged victorious after two hours to win the first major singles title of her young career.

ostapenko, 20, was ranked #47 two weeks ago. she became the first unseeded french open women's champion since 1933. she is also the first woman in nearly four decades to make a major singles title her first career tour-level victory. ostapenko is the first latvian to win a major.

"i felt a little bit nervous. but then i felt i have nothing to lose, so i'm just going to enjoy the match and do my best," ostapenko said later. she was the aggressor the whole time, finishing with 54 winners and 56 unforced errors. last year, she lost in the first round, this year she is a champion.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights holds hearing on collateral consequences

the u.s. commission on civil rights held a hearing recently to address the significant hurdles people with felony convictions face when they re-enter society. the hearing explored a wide range of issues.

some of the issues are barriers to voting and jury participation; barriers to employment, public benefits and public housing; basic needs after incarceration; long-lasting effects of incarceration; racial disparities and recidivism.

in his testimony, marc mauer of the sentencing project described the troubling impact felony disenfranchisement policies have on individuals with felony convictions and our democracy as a whole.

mauer said, "felony disenfranchisement policies run counter to public safety objectives by creating a group of second-class citizens. in order for people to successfully transition home from prison they need to establish or renew connections with the world of work, family, peer groups, and the broader community."

"participation in the electoral process is one means by which citizens can affirm their connection to the broader community and play a constructive role in public policy debates," mauer said.      

Monday, June 05, 2017

Bubba Wallace first Black driver in NASCAR Cup Series in over a decade

darrell "bubba" wallace, this weekend at pocono raceway, becomes the first black driver to compete in a nascar cup series in over a decade. in 2006, bill lester was the last black driver to participate in a nascar cup series.

wallace, 23, is subbing for aric almirola, who broke his back in a fiery crash at kansas speedway on may 13. wallace is a fellow ford driver with roush fenway racing, which will suspend its team operations for the number 6 xfinity team after this weekend.

richard petty motorsports had put regan smith in the number 43 car for the all-star race, coca cola 600 and last sunday's race at dover. the squad hopes for better results from wallace, slated to remain almirola's replacement until he return from his injuries.

roush fenway racing president steve newmark said, "we are very proud of bubba and his development at roush fenway racing. we believe that bubba has tremendous potential and will continue to excel in nascar's top series. he has been a great representative of our organization both on and off the track and we've enjoyed being part of his growth as a driver."

breaking nascar barriers is not new for wallace. in 2013, he became the first black driver since hall of famer wendell scott to win a race in one of nascar's three national series: he won at martinsville in the truck series. wallace has six top-five finishes in 83 starts in the xfinity series. he has five wins in the truck series.

newmark also said, "our entire team is excited to see him take the next step in his career and make his monster energy nascar cup series debut in the number 43."     

Friday, April 28, 2017

Nebraska lawmakers pass bill to restore felony voting rights

felons would no longer have to wait two years after serving their sentences to exercise their right to vote under a bill passed in the nebraska legislature on monday. nebraska governor pete ricketts has not said if he will allow legislative bill 75 to become law or not.

the priority bill of state senator justin wayne of omaha would need 30 votes to override a veto. the bill received 27 'yes' votes on monday. wayne said, "i hope the governor signs it and we stop disenfranchising who need to integrate back into the community."

the current law requiring a two-year waiting period was adopted in 2005 after the legislature overrode the veto of (then) governor dave heineman. previously, a felon had to receive a state pardon before his right to vote was restored.

38 other states allow felons to vote after they complete their sentences. iowa is one of three states who permanently ban voting rights of felons. enslaved africans were legally denied voting rights, and well into the 19th century these racist laws were used to maintain white power and privilege.