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.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Supreme Court Justices Weigh In On Racially Charged Remarks of Federal Prosecutor

two u.s. supreme court justices weighed in on the racially charged remarks of a federal prosecutor during a criminal trial in texas. the comments of the justices emerged as the court declined to hear the appeal of a man who was convicted in a texas federal court of being in on a drug conspiracy.

the issue for the defendant, bongani charles calhoun, was whether he knew the people he accompanied on a road trip were about to buy illegal drugs, or whether he was merely along for the ride. during cross-examination, calhoun said he distanced himself from the others when one of them arrived at their hotel with a bag of money.

the prosecutor, an assistant u.s. attorney in the western district of texas, pressed calhoun to explain why he didn't want to be there. the prosecutor asked, "you've got african-americans, you've got hispanics & you've got a bag full of money. does that tell you, a light bulb doesn't go off in your head & say, this is a drug deal?"  

after he was convicted, calhoun - who is african-american - claimed the prosecutor's culturally oppressive statements violated his constitutional rights by appealing to the jury's prejudice. the court today declined to take up his appeal, because his lawyers failed to properly pursue the issue in the lower courts.  

but justices stephen breyer & sonia sotomayor said they couldn't let the case pass without writing to dispel doubts of whether the court's decision to not hear the case "should be understood to signal our tolerance of a federal prosecutor's racially charged remark. it should not." they wrote.

breyer & sotomayor wrote, "by suggesting that race should play a role in establishing a defendant's criminal intent, the prosecutor here tapped into a deep & sorry vein of racial prejudice that has run through the history of criminal justice in our nation. it is deeply disappointing to see a representative of the united states resort to this base tactic more than a decade into the 21st century. we expect the government to seek justice, not to fan the flames of fear & prejudice."

the justices also said it was troubling to see the justice department fail to immediately condemn what happened. instead, they said, during the appeals in the lower courts, the government called the prosecutor's remarks "impolitic" & said it did not affect the outcome of the trial "even assuming the question crossed the line."

nonetheless, it was only after the case reached the supreme court did the justice department concede the prosecutor's remarks were "unquestionably improper." sotomayor wrote for herself & breyer, "i hope never to see a case like this again."


Sunday, February 17, 2013

2013 NBA All-Star Weekend

the 2013 nba all-star weekend in houston, texas began friday night with the celebrity all-star game. russell westbrook, all-pro guard of the oklahoma city thunder & james harden, all-pro guard of the houston rockets served as respective coaches. actor/comedian kevin hart was named mvp for the second consecutive year, despite scoring just five points.

the ongoing activities culminate with the all-star game between the eastern & western conference sunday night. hall-of-famers charles barkley & shaquille o'neal coached the rookie/sophomore game on friday. dwayne wade, all-pro guard of the miami heat coached the eastern squad. chris paul, all-pro guard of the los angeles clippers coached the western squad on saturday. listed below are the winners:

rookie/sophomore game. team chuck 163, team shaq 135. 
mvp: kenneth faried, denver nuggets. 40 points, 10 rebounds.

shooting stars - team bosh: chris bosh, swin cash & dominique wilkins.

skills challenge - damien lillard, portland trailblazers.

three point competition - kyrie irving, cleveland cavaliers.

slam dunk contest - terrance ross, toronto raptors.

west 143, east 138. 
mvp: chris paul. 20 points, 15 assists.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Baltimore Ravens Win Super Bowl XLVII

the baltimore ravens defeated the san francisco 49ers 34-31 to win super bowl xlvii. ravens quarterback joe flacco was named most valuable player. flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards & three touchdown passes. flacco ties joe montana & kurt warner for the most td passes in post-season history, with 11.

ravens head coach john harbaugh & 49ers head coach jim harbaugh are the first brothers to face off in a super bowl. john, 15 months older than jim, was humble upon accepting the vince lombardi trophy on behalf of his team. he said, "how could it be any other way? its never pretty. its never perfect. but its us. it was us today."

super bowl 47 lasted an nfl record four hours & 14 minutes. it was a thrilling game, which featured a surprising 34 minute power outage, shortly after halftime. both teams were instructed to stay on the field & stretch. no one was injured during the delay, but the ravens seemed to lose the momentum they built after jacobi jones ran 108 yards on a kickoff return, tying an nfl record. his score gave them a 28-6 lead.

the 49ers quickly redeemed themselves when the power returned, as rookie quarterback colin kaepernick threw a 31-yard td pass to wide receiver michael crabtree. after shutting down the ravens on three straight plays, ted ginn, jr's 20-yard punt return led to a frank gore six-yard td run to make the score 28-20. 

ravens all-pro running back ray lewis fumbled on his own 24-yard line. 49ers david akers' 34-yard field goal lowered the ravens lead to five. but after a long drive, their rookie justin tucker's 19-yard field goal increased the lead to eight. kaepernick's 15-yard td run - the longest by a qb in super bowl history - made it 31-29. the 49ers failed on a two-point conversion due to the ravens' all out blitz, led by all-pro safety ed reed.

tucker kicked another field goal with four minutes & 19 seconds left in the game. the 49ers drove to the red zone shortly before the two-minute warning. yet they were unable to score on three consecutive plays, due to the ravens' tough goal-line stand. there was contact on crabtree on the final pass. 49ers coach jim harbaugh felt pass interference should have been called, but there was no flag thrown.

ravens punter sam koch, in another of a series of bold moves by ravens head coach john harbaugh in this game, took a safety for the final 34-31 score with four seconds left on the clock. his free kick was returned by ginn, jr. to midfield as the time ran out & the confetti began to shower the field. the victory is the second in the ravens' storied history. they routed the new york giants in 2001.

after a successful start, baltimore stumbled into the playoffs with four defeats in their last five regular-season games. all-pro linebacker ray lewis, who recently announced his retirement after this season, missed a few games after injuring his torn triceps. flacco struggled to find rhythm throwing the ball. harbaugh fired their offensive coordinator in december, a stunning move with the post-season in sight. 

the winning head coach harbaugh said, "the final series of ray lewis' career was a goal-line stand." lewis said, "it's no greater way, as a champ, to go out on your last ride with the men that i went out with, my teammates. and you looked around this stadium and baltimore! baltimore! we coming home, baby! we did it!" 

the loss was difficult for jim harbaugh. after the 49ers fired head coach mike singletary, the hall-of-fame linebacker from the chicago bears, in two years he led them to their first super bowl in 18 years. they are 5-0 in super bowls. they made a similar comeback in the nfc championship game against atlanta & believed they'd do it again. but afterwards, the brothers embraced at midfield, knowing a harbaugh was a winner.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Appoints Mo Cowan To Senate Seat

massachusetts governor deval patrick will appoint his former chief of staff, william "mo" cowan, to be the interim pick to fill the state's vacated senate seat. cowan is the second african-american to represent the state of massachusetts in the senate. republican ed brooke was the first. brooke served from 1967-1979.

according to the boston globe, "cowan is a north carolina native & duke university graduate who came to boston to attend northeastern university law school in the early 1990's & never left the region. one of the city's leading african-american lawyers, cowan is a former partner in the politically connected law firm of mintz levin."

the globe also reports, "patrick & cowan built up a strong friendship over the years, in part, because both men have risen from difficult childhoods to prominence in boston & in the state. patrick also served as a mentor to cowan when both were practicing lawyers."

in a statement, patrick said, "mo's service on the front lines in our efforts to manage through the worst economy in 80 years & build a better, stronger commonwealth for the next generation has earned him the respect & admiration of people throughout government. the people of the commonwealth have benefited from his wisdom & good judgment during his time in our office, & will again in the senate."

once senator john kerry was nominated by president barack obama to replace hilary rodham clinton for secretary of state, there was widespread speculation about who governor patrick would appoint to replace him. some thought patrick might even select himself.

retired congressman barney frank shared his interest as a placeholder - until a special election is held this june - to fill that seat for the remainder of kerry's term. earlier last month, frank said, "i'm very well suited to do it. you're not going to have a long period to get acquainted with things."

kerry was nearly unanimously confirmed by the u.s. senate tuesday to lead the state department under president obama. republican scott brown, who lost his bid for re-election to the senate this past november, indicated he may run again this summer. recent polls have shown him leading several potential democratic candidates, including patrick.