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.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Novak Djokovic & Victoria Azarenka Win 2012 Australian Open Singles Titles

world #1 novak djokovic of serbia defeated world #2 rafael nadal of spain 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 to win the 2012 australian open men's singles title. the thrilling match was the longest men's final of the open era, lasting five hours & 53 minutes. djokovic becomes the fourth player in history to win four titles in five majors. he now has five career major singles titles. dubiously, nadal became the first player to lose three straight major finals.

djokovic's historic victory was his third consecutive major, all against nadal, continuing his dominance over the passionate lefty. djokovic has beaten nadal seven times in a row, all in finals. ironically, this was the first five-set encounter in their growing rivalry. either player has won the last eight majors. nadal currently holds a 16-14 lifetime edge, but the gap is closing quicker than djokovic's foot speed.

victoria azarenka of belarus destroyed maria sharapova of russia 6-3, 6-0 to capture the 2012 australian open women's singles crown. azarenka's stunning victory, her first career major singles title, also catapulted the fiery 22 year-old to the #1 ranking on the wta tour. despite her one-sided loss, sharapova moves to the #3 spot on the wta tour.

azarenka was one of six women with an equal opportunity to dethrone caroline wozniacki of denmark as the #1 player when the tournament began. the others were petra kvitova, sharapova, li na, samantha stosur & agnieszka radwanska. wozniacki lost in the quarterfinals to defending champion kim clisters of belgium, who azarenka beat in three tough sets in the semi-finals. sharapova beat kvitova in the semis, a rematch of their 2011 wimbledon final, won by kvitova, who remains #2.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Justice Department Expanded Definition of Rape Includes Men & Transgendered Women

the u.s. justice department announced they are expanding its 85-year definition of rape to include attacks against both men & transgendered women. as such, any non consensual penetration, no matter the gender of the attacker or victim, will now constitute rape.

according to a release from the white house & the department of justice, "rape will now be defined as penetration, no matter how slight, of the anus or vagina with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ or another person, without the consent of the victim."

attorney general eric holder announced the changes to the uniform crime report's definition of rape. the justice department says this will better reflect state criminal codes & updated definitions of sexual penetration. the new definition will lead to a more comprehensive nationwide statistical reporting.

said holder, "these long overdue updates to the definition of rape will help ensure justice for those whose lives have been devastated by sexual violence & reflect the department of justice's commitment to standing with rape victims." the attorney general continued, "this new, more inclusive definition will provide us with a more accurate understanding of the scope & volume of these crimes."

an fbi advisory panel recently recommended revisions to the historic definition, which was established in 1927. that law defined rape as the "carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly & against her will." expressed in solely heterosexual constructs, the law meant rape only happened when a man forcibly penetrated a woman through her vagina.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Deportation of U.S. Teenager to Colombia Latest Failure of Immigration System

the family of a dallas, texas teenager, jakadrien turner, is demanding answers after she was deported to colombia, despite the fact that she's a u.s. citizen who doesn't speak spanish.

turner, a 15 year-old african-american runaway, was living in houston when she was arrested for shoplifting in the spring of last year. she gave police a fake name belonging to a 22 year-old undocumented immigrant from colombia with warrants for her arrest.

the immigration & customs enforcement agency (ice) reportedly discovered turner's fingerprints did not match those of the colombia nattional's, yet deported her anyway. "the country has no idea that we have a rogue police force. that police force is called ice," says ralph isenberg, a dallas businessman who advocates for immigrants.

dallas reverend peter johnson, a longtime civil rights advocate who has worked with the turner family, echoes isenberg's sentiments. said johnson, "i'm hoping that black america - who have a history of understanding the destruction of our families, because of what slavery has done to our families - will at some point wake up & understand that the problem of immigrants is something we can not ignore."

jacqueline stevens, a political science professor at northwestern university, recently published an exhaustive report on u.s. citizens who have been detained & deported. she says deportation is only the latest example of a failed immigration system.

turner has been in bogota, colombia since april 2011. it is only now, after tireless efforts of her grandmother, are we hearing about this horrific story. as such, president obama's immigration & deportation polices have come under intense media scrutiny, particularly so in, this, an election year.

according to pew research center, almost 60% of latinos oppose the obama administration's deportation policies. while republicans claim democrats are "soft" on immigration, the obama administration has deported 30% more undocumented immigrants annually than during the second term of george w. bush.

despite such cultural dissatisfaction with obama's deportation policies, polling doesn't show the latino vote is in jeopardy with the personable commander-in-chief. obama still beats his performance among latino voters when compared to his share of that electorate in 2008. also, there are one million more registered latino voters than there were four years ago.

with republicans focused on securing the border & democrats focused on a path to citizenship, the immigration debate for policy priority remains ongoing. while deportations may not be a deciding factor on who occupies the white house, the issue will get a lot of attention in the coming weeks. the naacp & the cbc have called upon the obama administration to help assist in the immediate release & return of jakadrien turner from colombia.

Romney Narrowly Wins Iowa GOP Caucus

winning by just eight votes, mitt romney narrowly defeated former pennsylvania senator & tea party-backed rick santorum for the gop presidential nomination. the former massachusetts governor's shockingly slim victory was the closest iowa republican caucus in history.

both romney & santorum received 25 percent of the votes, while representative ron paul of texas placed third with 21 percent of the votes. former house speaker newt gingrich placed fourth, followed by texas governor rick perry, who then announced he is going back to texas to reassess his faltering campaign. perry received 10 percent of the vote, despite spending more money than any of the candidates.

representaive michelle bachmann of minnesota, who won the iowa straw poll in august, placed a distant sixth. bachmann summarily ended her presidential aspirations at a press conference, admitting, "the people of iowa have spoken." former utah governor john huntsman finished seventh.

said democracy now journalist & host amy goodman, "the 2012 presidential election promises to be long, contentious, extremely expensive & perhaps more negative than any in history."