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.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cook County Jail in Chicago allows in-person voting

in march, for the first time in almost 10 years, eligible voters incarcerated in cook county jail were allowed to vote in-person, rather than by mail. iillinois amended a state law banning people in jail from voting in 2005.

the ability to vote depends on having supportive jail administrators and election officials to help facilitate voter education drives. some election officials work closely with their county jails; others expect incarcerated men and women to alert election officials and staff they want to register or vote.

cook county clerk david orr said, "i believe everybody entitled to vote should be able to vote. it's a matter of human dignity and how society chooses to treat those in jail." orr is responsible for overseeing county elections.

the chicago reporter stated the cook county jail is one of just a few in the country to allow in-person voter registration and voting. the sargent shriver national center on poverty law during this past year sent volunteers to the jail every weekend to provide voter education and registration for people awaiting trial.

1,200 ballots came from cook county jail, which has a population of about 7,000 people and is 74% black. mbekeani-wiley of the shriver center said, "people that are currently detained are impacted by those same very policies that are elected officials are making critical decisions on. they should be part of that process."

in 2015, about 700,000 people were held in jails across the country. 63% of those individuals were being held pretrial - and were therefore eligible to vote. there isn't a current system to accurately track whether are not eligible voters in jail are being denied voting rights. but advocacy groups like the sentencing project suggest more attention should be focused on expanding voter access in jails.     

  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2017 NBA Awards

the first ever nba awards ceremony were aired live in new york city on tnt june 25. the traditional season-ending awards - plus six new categories - were determined by fan voting. listed below are the distinguished honorees:

most valuable player - russell westbrook, oklahoma city thunder
rookie of the year - malcolm brogdon, milwaukee bucks
defensive player of the year - draymond green, golden state warriors
sixth man award - eric gordon, houston rockets
most improved player - giannis antetokounmpo, milwaukee bucks

coach of the year - mike d'antoni, houston rockets
executive of the year - bob myers, golden state warriors

nba sportsmanship award - kemba walker, charlotte hornets
nba cares community assist award - isaiah thomas, boston celtics
sager strong award - monty williams, san antonio spurs

best playoff moment - kevin durant (golden state warriors) hits pull-up three-pointer late in game three of the nba finals

performance of the year - klay thompson (golden state warriors) scores 60 points in three quarters against the indiana pacers

game-winner of the year - russell westbrook vs. the denver nuggets

hustle award - patrick beverley, houston rockets

dunk of the year - victor oladipo (thunder) vs. the atlanta hawks

block of the year - kawhi leonard (spurs) vs. the houston rockets

assist of the year - golden state's green to stephen curry to durant 

twyman-stokes teammate of the year award - dirk nowitzki, dallas mavericks

best style - russell westrbrook


  

Monday, June 26, 2017

2017 NBA All-Defensive and NBA All-Rookie Team

listed below are the many talented players awarded on monday with all-defensive team and all-rookie team honors for the 2016-2017 nba season:

all-defensive first team
forward - draymond green, golden state warriors
forward - kawhi leonard, san antonio spurs
center - rudy gobert, utah jazz
guard - chris paul, los angeles clippers
guard - patrick beverley, houston rockets

all-defensive second team
forward - giannis antetokounmpo, milwaukee bucks
forward - andre robertson, oklahoma city thunder
center - anthony davis, new orleans pelicans
guard - tony allen, memphis grizzlies
guard - danny green, san antonio spurs

all-rookie first team
joel embiid, philadelphia 76ers
malcolm brogdon, milwaukee bucks
dario saric, philadelphia 76ers
buddy hield. new orleans pelicans
willu hernangomez, new york knicks

all-rookie second team
jamal murray, denver nuggets
brandon ingram, los angeles lakers
jaylen brown, boston celtics
marquese chriss, phoenix suns
yogi ferell, dallas mavericks 

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.