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.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

NBA Players and Owners Reach Tentative Agreement for 2011-2012 Season

nba players & owners reached a tentative agreement early saturday to end the 149-day lockout with the intention of opening the delayed 2011-2012 season on christmas day. neither side provided many specifics but said the only words players & fans wanted to hear. "we want to play basketball," said nba comissioner david stern.

after a secret meeting earlier this week, both sides negotiated more than 15 hours friday to try & save the season. this handshake deal, however, still must be ratified by the players & the owners. stern said it was "subject to a variety of approvals & very complex machinations, but we're optimistic that all will come to pass & that the nba season will begin december 25."

barring a change in scheduling, the season will open with a triple header. the new york knicks will host the boston celtics, followed by the miami heat at the dallas mavericks & finally, the chicago bulls versus the los angeles lakers. president obama, after finishing a basketball game at fort mcnair in washington, gave a thumbs-up when told of the settlement. "all i feel right now is finally," said dwayne wade.

the league plans a 66-game season & aims to open training camps december 9. ironically, just 12 days after talks broke down, stern declared the nba could be headed to a "nuclear winter." the all-star game is scheduled to be held in orlando, yet no date was finalized. union executive director billy hunter said, "we thought it was in both of our interest to try to reach a resolution & save the game & to be able to provide the kind of superb entertainment the nba historically has provided."

a majority on each side is needed to approve the agreement. the nba needs votes from 15 of 29 owners. the nba owns the new orleans hornets. stern said the labor relations committee plans to discuss the agreement later saturday & expects them to endorse it & recommend to the full board. the union needs a simple majority from its 430-plus members. but their process is a bit more complicated.

the players dissolved the union november 14. they must drop their anti-trust lawsuit in minnesota & re-form the the union before voting on the deal. also, because the union disbanded, a new collective bargaining agreement can be completed only once the union re-forms. drug testing & other issues still must be negotiated between the league & the players. said stern, "we're very pleased we've come this far...there's still a lot of work to do."

participating in the talks for the league were stern, deputy commissioner adam silver, san antonio spurs owner & chairman of the labor relations committee peter holt, along with attorneys rick buchanan & dan rube. the players were represented by hunter, president derek fisher, vice president maurice evans, attorney ron klempner & economist kevin murphy.

the owners locked out the players july 1. both sides spent arduous months battling over division revenues & other changes owners wanted in a new collective bargaining agreement. they said they lost hundreds of millions of dollars in each year of the former deal, ratified in 2005. they wanted a system where big-market teams wouldn't have the ability to outspend their smaller counterparts. the players fought those changes, not wanting to see any teams taken out of the market when they become free agents.

said silver, "this was not an easy agreement for anyone. the owners came in having suffered substantial losses & feeling the system wasn't working fairly across all teams. i certainly know the players had strong views about expectations in terms of what they should be getting from the system. it required a lot of compromise from both parties' part & i think that's what we saw today."

stern opined despite some "bumps" friday evening, "the greater good required us to knock ourselves out & come to this tentative understanding." he denied litigation was a factor in accelerating a deal, but things happened quickly after the players filed a suit which could have won them $6 billion in damages if the court ruled the lockout was illegal.

"for us the litigation is something that has to be dealt with," stern said. "it was not the reason for the settlement. the reason for the settlement was we've got fans, we've got players who would like to play & we've got people who are dependent on us. and its always been our goal to reach a deal that was fair to both sides & get us playing as soon as possible, but that took a little time." this was the second shortened season in nba history. the 1998-99 lockout reduced the season to 50 games.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Herman Cain Denies Mounting Sexual Harassment Allegations

republican presidential candidate herman cain has unequivocally denied the mounting sexual harassment allegations against him, saying, "they simply didn't happen." cain has vowed not to withdraw his candidacy from the race. some polls have shown his numbers have slipped considerably since five women have accused him of sexual harassment. cain & mitt romney were front-runners a few weeks ago.

last week cain denied the claims of his latest accuser, sharon bialek, who said the two were out to dinner because she'd hoped cain could help her find employment. she said cain put his hands underneath her dress, reached for her genitals & put her head toward his crotch. bialek said she wanted to give a face & a voice to the women who are fearful of speaking out, although two admittedly cannot speak publicly due to confidentiality papers they reportedly signed.

bialek was accompanied at a press conference by controversial defense attorney gloria allred. cain appeared on abc's 'jimmy kimmel live' the same evening. when asked by kimmel if he'd consider hiring allred as his attorney cain quipped, "you almost made me say something that my handlers say you should not say. let me put it to you this way: i can't think of anything that i would hire her to do, ok? i can't think of a thing."

also last week, another woman, karen kraushaar, confirmed publicly for the first time she had accused cain of sexual harassment. kraushaar's initial allegations came when they both worked for the national restaurant association in the 1990s. cain has denied these & all other allegations from the women as "simply false."

dahlia lithwick, senior editor at slate, told amy goodwin on democracy now, "i think this goes to these archetypes, that if you fail everything else, just accuse women of being insane, accuse them of being trampy, accuse them of being hysterics. i think that that's a little bit of what you're hearing here...i find it fascinating that you never hear these accusations turned against male accusers of misconduct. these are really, really shakespearean ideas of women as emotional & unhinged."

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Dr. Conrad Murray Found Guilty Of Involuntary Manslaughter In Michael Jackson Trial

a two-year legal battle over who was responsible for the sudden death of michael jackson came to a dramatic close monday. after about nine hours of deliberation, which began friday morning, a california jury found doctor conrad murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

dr. murray appeared to show no emotion as the verdict was read by court clerk sammi bentson. but latoya jackson, one of the infamous sisters of the late king of pop, let out a loud, but short scream. a loud celebration erupted among jackson's fans outside the downtown los angeles county courthouse, where emotions ran so high one woman fainted.

the clearly startled dr. murray was immediately handcuffed & taken away by deputees after los angeles county superior court judge michael pastor denied bail. explaining his decision to remand murray to police custody pastor said, "this is not a crime involving a mistake of judgment...this is a crime where the end result was the death of a human being. that factor demonsrates rather dramatically that the public should be protected."

sentencing was set for november 29, with dr. murray facing up to four years in prison. defense attorney ed chernoff told cnn the defense team's main job right now is to prepare for sentencing & limit the amount of time dr. murray spends in jail. said chernoff, "what matters most right now is trying to keep dr. murray from taking up a prison cell in this community. that's what we're focusing on right now & we'll deal with an appeal after that."

another of dr. murray's lawyers, nareg gourjan, told cnn monday night the outcome may have been different had the defense been able to introduce jackson's past drug use & "financial condition," as additional evidence. he described his client as "devastated" by the verdict, adding he's trying to stay positive with more legal options ahead of him. said gourjan, "we're hoping that the appeals court will have something to say about this."

dr. murray served as jackson's personal physician as he prepared for his comeback concerts. jackson said the 50-city tour - this is it - would be the final concerts of his illustrious career. according to testimony, dr. murray gave him the surgical anesthetic propofol to help him sleep nearly every night for the last two months of his life. jackson's tragic death on june 25, 2009 was caused by "acute propofol intoxication" in combination with two sedatives, the los angeles county coroner ruled.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Angela Davis Speaks At Occupy Wall Street

angela davis spoke to the people of occupy wall street at washington square park in new york city october 30. davis thanked the occupy wall street movement for transforming politics in the universe. she spoke to the brutal police crack-down on the occupy encampment in her hometown of oakland & supported the call for a national strike on november 2.

the activist, author, professor & scholar captivated her audience, speaking to the perils of language, while calling on the movement to transform the meaning of democracy, occupation & unity. davis utilized the "people's mic" to draw attention to rising concerns of inclusion, urging the movement to embrace a "complex unity," within the concept of "99 percent."

davis referenced the black feminist lesbian mother warrior poet audre lorde upon addressing the festive crowd. said lorde, "how can we come together in a unity that is complex & emancipatory? differences must not be merely tolerated but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which poles creativity can spark like the dialectic."

when asked about the upcoming u.s. election davis responded by saying, "the two-party system has never worked; it does not work now & we clearly need alternatives. personally, i believe we need a powerful, radical, third party."

davis continued, "in the meantime, this movement, which is not a party, can accomplish much that political parties are unable to accomplish & so it would seem to me, that the best way to exert pressure on that corrupt two-party system is to continue to build this movement & to demonstrate that it reaches not only across the country but across the ocean."

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

What The Media Won't Tell You About Libya

some americans & others around the world seemed to rejoice in the october 20 death of libyan president muammar gaddafi. for decades gaddafi was identified by the media as a dictator, pariah &/or ruler. as such, the same people who read the new york times & wall street journal believed what they heard on cnn & fox about his regime.

listed below are some of the unknown facts which demonstrate how the people of libya have benefited from gaddafi's leadership. these facts were not printed in our so-called trusted news sources. these facts were not spoken about on our nightly news shows. yet people who consider themselves to be well-educated & well-informed will still believe what they are being told about libya under gaddafi.

1) every libyan citizen received free education from kindergarten to the graduate school of their choice anywhere in the world. 2) as a result, the literacy rate in libya has reached 92% - higher than the u.s. 3) every libyan citizen received lifelong free medical care. 4) every libyan citizen was provided with debt-free home ownership. 5) every libyan citizen received free electrical service.

6) every libyan citizen received free pure water service. 7) every libyan citizen received a 50% discount on the purchase of an automobile. 8) for libyan citizens, the price of gasoline was 17 cents per gallon. 9) every libyan citizen is eligible to receive loans free of interest. 10) interest is illegal in libya.

11) there are no income taxes in libya. 12) every libyan couple who decides to marry receives a $50,000 gift from the libyan government. 13) every libyan citizen is qualified to receive a gift of a free land package that includes free farming equipment, free seed & free water for irrigation.

since 1992, muammar gaddafi has been organizing african oil nations into a consortium to benefit the peoples of the african continent. two conferences were held & african leaders enthusiastically endorsed the unified movement. resolutions were passed & timetables were agreed upon. final agreement was near.

the key to this african unity movement & the key to understanding why nato was sent in to organize the strategy to destroy the gaddafi regime is this: the new african union proposed by gaddafi would no longer accept american dollars - or the european euro - in payment for oil. the financial basis being established by gaddafi meant the new african union would require any purchase of african oil be paid for in gold. no gold, no oil.

said professor michel chossudovsky, "with the killing of libya's leader muammar gaddafi, nato is celebrating what, in their view, is a great victory. however, this so-called victory has nothing to do with freedom or justice; it is part of a broad, insidious, geo-political strategy that has been on nato's drawing board for years. and what is even more frightening than the blood lust being shamelessly splashed across the mainstream media is the fact that this latest maneuver is merely a small part of a much wider military agenda with potentially catastrophic consequences."