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.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Dr. Maya Angelou Makes Transition at 86

dr. maya angelou made transition at her home in winston-salem, north carolina on wednesday. she was 86. "she lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. she was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace," said her son, guy b. johnson.

grammy-award winner.
honorary national book award.
national medal of arts.
presidential medal of freedom.
tony-award nominee.

actress. brilliant. compassionate. dancer.

energetic. filmmaker. generous.

humble. inspirational. joyful. kind.

loving. mother. nurturing.

orator. poet. singer. teacher.

unique. vibrant. wise.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Hampshire Police Commissioner Resigns After Calling Obama 'N' Word

robert copeland resigned on sunday after he admitted using the 'n' word to describe president obama. the 82 year-old police commissioner of wolfeboro, new hampshire was re-elected in march. but his controversial remarks drew national attention: sparking impassioned debates in this resort town of 6,300 on the shore of lake winnipesaukee.

board of selectmen chair linda murray said, "the town is pleased. this gives us the opportunity to move on. we are a very accepting community that really takes care of each other." town manager david owen told wbz-tv, "it's about time. he needed to do it sooner to avoid the fallout we've had."

at a meeting last week, copeland defiantly sat with his arms folded. over 100 residents there pushed for his ouster and rejected his comments, saying he didn't speak for the town - or its people. copeland used the slur and an obscenity at a restaurant last march. a resident, jane o'toole, overheard him and complained to town officials after learning he was a police commissioner.

o'toole said copeland's views are within his first amendment rights. but she felt he couldn't "serve the community without prejudice." in april, copeland sent an e-mail to two other commissioners which was forwarded to o'toole. copeland said, "i believe i did the use 'n' word in reference to the current occupant of the white house. for this i do not apologize. he meets and exceeds my criteria for such."

ernie bauer, a 64 year-old carpenter (who was) at the meeting said, "i thought it was disgusting, and the way he justified it, it was even more disgusting. it was disgusting 50 years ago." o'toole said, "i feel it was the right thing for him to do to stop this incredible train that had been blowing through our town. i'm thrilled. the people of wolfeboro have stood up and said that this is not acceptable."

mitt romney, the 2012 gop presidential nominee and former governor of massachusetts owns a home in wolfeboro. he called for copeland's withdrawal, saying, "the vile epithet used and confirmed by the commissioner has no place in our community." police chief stuart chase said copeland's slur was "not indicative of the posture of this department. we treat everyone with dignity and respect."

about 20 black people live in wolfeboro, in the scenic lakes region of new hampshire. the uber conservative state is 94% white and one percent black. their police department employs 12 full-time officers - all white. town officials also said they were appalled by copeland's remarks, but were powerless to remove an elected official.

jamie murray wasn't surprised to hear racist comments: her biracial son faced similar taunts. she said, "it also gave me an understanding as to why the children think it's ok. when you're held in office, and you decide to become an elected official, you represent something higher than your own standards and your own things, and you need to stand up for the community in which you serve."


Sunday, May 11, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama weighs in on kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls

first lady michelle obama criticized the horrific kidnapping about four weeks ago of over 300 nigerian schoolgirls, which has since captured global attention. obama called their captivity "an unconscionable act by grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls."

obama took over the president's weekly radio and internet address on the eve of mother's day. she said on saturday both she and the commander-in-chief are "outraged and heartbroken" over the april 15 abduction of the girls from their dormitory.

"in these girls, barack and i see our own daughters," obama said, referring to malia, 15, and sasha, 12. "we see their hopes, their dreams and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now," she said. what happened in nigeria is not an isolated incident, obama said, but is "a story we see every day as girls around the world risk their lives to pursue their ambitions."

the first lady mentioned the case of malala yousafzai, the pakistani teenager whom survived being shot in the head as she traveled to school in 2012. malala has become an outspoken advocate for the rights of all girls to get an education - the same message obama delivered in her first solo address to the nation.

obama noted more than 65 million girls around the world do not attend school, despite the fact women who are educated earn more money and engender healthier families. obama said, "when more girls attend secondary school, that boots their country's entire economy...so education is truly a girl's best chance for a bright future, not just for herself, but for her family and her nation."

the first lady asked the u.s. to pray for the girls' safe return. obama said, "this unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education. let us hold their families in our hearts during this very difficult time, and let us show just a fraction of their courage in fighting to give every girl on this planet the education that is her birthright."

the nigerian's government inability to rescue the girls nearly a month after they were kidnapped by the boko haram organization has sparked international outrage, including community protests and social media campaigns. the first lady posted a photo on her twitter account holding a sign reading #bringbackourgirls. 

a number of countries, including the u..s, sent teams of technical experts to assist the nigerian government's search efforts. president obama said this week the u.s. will do everything to help nigeria find the missing girls. authorities said over 300 girls were abducted from their school in the country's remote northeast. 53 girls escaped and 276 remain captive.    


Saturday, May 10, 2014

2014 NBA Year-End Performance Awards

listed below are the kia performace awards for the 2014 nba season:

most valuable player: kevin durant, oklahoma city thunder
rookie of the year: michael carter-williams, philadelphia 76ers
defensive player of the year: joakim noah, chicago bulls
sixth man of the year: jamal crawford, los angeles clippers
most improved player: goran dragic, phoenix suns
coach of the year: gregg popovich, san antonio spurs
executive of the year: r.c. buford, san antonio spurs

Friday, May 09, 2014

Iowa Supreme Court questions whether all felonies should lead to disenfranchisement

last month, iowa officials disclosed at least 12 iowa voters were incorrectly disenfranchised during the 2012 presidential election. this situation happened as the result of errors in the state's list of individuals ineligible to vote due to a felony conviction.

the 12 iowans were flagged when they registered at polling stations and cast provisional ballots to be counted if they proved eligibility, but those ballots were later rejected. the ap stated the state's announcement "shows that elections and court officials have struggled to track voter eligibility due to record-keeping errors."

the des moines register reports an iowa state supreme court ruling has thrown into question the state's policy of disenfranchising all individuals with felony convictions. last month, the court ruled a second operating-while-intoxicated conviction did not bar former state senator tony bisignano from running for public office because he had not committed an "infamous crime." the chief justice's ruling also stated the court needs to determine whether all felonies necessarily constitute infamous crimes.

despite the high court's ruling, the state will continue to treat all felonies as infamous crimes. a spokesperson for the secretary of state's office said, "at this time, the secretary of state's office will continue to treat all felonies as barring an individual from voting or holding office unless a restoration of rights has been received by the governor." 

in addition, a black hawk county prosecutor has announced she will pursue pending cases against individuals accused of voting illegally, even though the ruling "makes it unclear whether they lost their voting rights in the first place."         

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Nigerians in America share concerns about the kindnapped Nigerian hgh school girls

nigerians in the united states are educating, organizing and praying for the safe return of the nearly 300 nigerian school girls still missing after Islamic extremists yanked them from school in broad daylight three weeks ago.

many nigerians are grateful for the attention this tragedy has brought. they hope it will finally lead to the downfall of boko haram, the merciless terrorist group who proudly claimed responsibility for the odious kidnappings. 

onaedo achebe, 21, told abcnews.com she fears for her family's lives in nigeria if unrest in the country spirals into civil war. said achebe, "this didn't start with the abduction of the girls." the tampa, florida woman has urged followers on social media to sign online petitions demanding world leaders to act swiftly and decisively.

achebe said, "if something happens in america, obama comes up the next minute to address the nation. you know something is going to be done - people feel safe. you don't feel safe in nigeria. you don't know who's going to come to your house, where there are suicide bombers. there's no security, no guarantee of life."

achebe moved to the u.s. from nigeria in 2010. she said, "in nigeria, you're either really, really rich or really, really poor. there's no middle class. the government doesn't help. if there is a war, they can afford to take private jets and leave the country. they don't care about the poor people. unless other organizations and countries get involved, they're not going to do anything to help these girls."

laolu akande, executive director of the christian association of nigerian-americans shared identical views with abcnews.com. akande said, "this is not a new issue. in a sense we are glad the whole world is focusing on this now. we hope the u.s. government helps us. the nigerian government by itself is helpless. we need this help."

akande, whose parents and in-laws are still in nigeria, said nigerians in the u.s. are terrified for their families back home. he said, "the whole world can relate to a girl being abducted. nigerians here are worried." akande led a rally in new york city on tuesday to raise awareness of the missing girls and boko haram. a similar rally was held in washington, d.c.

olawunmi awobajo, a 55 year-old nigerian immigrant and single mother of two in brooklyn, echoed akande. "someone told me a couple days ago. i was stunned. i don't even know what to say. this is sickening," she said. awobajo urged the u.s. and british governments to help. she said, "nigeria was colonized 54 years ago. let them take nigeria back again. we're not up to the task. kids are suffering in nigeria. no one can carry a job."

supporters worldwide are rallying on social media, using the hashtag #bringbackourgirls. akande said some nigerian-americans have blacked out their profile photo on facebook until the girls are returned safely. he also said the christian association of Nigerian-americans is raising funds for the families whose children are still missing - and whose homes were bombed by boko haram.

achebe criticized the mild response from nigeria's first lady. achebe said, "i was so embarrassed. she wasn't even speaking proper english. she wasn't addressing the people with respect. she was so rude. she doesn't care about the feelings of people whose children have been kidnapped. all she cares about is her husband's government is in jeopardy."    

Monday, May 05, 2014

2014 NBA Playoffs: First Round Results

the 2014 nba playoffs showcased the most competitive first round series in nba history. five matchups went to a game seven - a record for any round: three of the winners prevailed at home, the other two won on the road. there were 14 four-point plays (most since 2003), and 15 games decided by three points or less.

jason kidd of the brooklyn nets became the first rookie coach in nba history to win game seven on the road. the oklahoma city thunder-memphis grizzlies showdown had four consecutive overtime games, which is another playoff record.

forward vince carter of the dallas mavericks and point guard damian lillard of the portland trail blazers hit game-winning three-pointers, both in front of their prospective home crowds. each thrilling shot came with less than one second left in the game.

listed below are the teams and their prospective results:

eastern conference

#1 indiana pacers defeat #8 atlanta hawks 4-3.
#2 miami heat defeat #7 charlotte bobcats 4-0.
#6 brooklyn nets defeat #3 toronto raptors 4-3.
#5 washington wizards defeat #4 chicago bulls 4-1.

western conference

#1 san antonio spurs defeat #8 dallas mavericks 4-3.
#2 oklahoma city thunder defeat #7 memphis grizzlies 4-3.
#3 los angeles clippers defeat #6 golden state warriors 4-3.
#5 portland trail blazers defeat #4 houston rockets 4-2.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Obama raises concerns about the recent botched executuon in Oklahoma

president barack obama on friday weighed in on the botched execution which took place earlier this week in oklahoma. "what happened in oklahoma is deeply troubling," obama said during a news conference at the white house.  

clayton lockett was convicted of murder and numerous other charges after he and his accomplices attacked and sexually assaulted two teenage girls about 15 years ago. he was scheduled to be killed by lethal injection tuesday night. but the execution was halted after the vein used to insert the drugs collapsed. witnesses said lockett appeared to be in pain, and died of a heart attack shortly after.

obama said he believes there are certain crimes warranting the death penalty, including mass killings or the killing of children. yet, the way lockett died underscored his concerns about the death penalty. obama said, "this situation in oklahoma i think just highlights some of the significant problems there." he' also spoke about individuals sent to death row who later are found innocent.

the president said he would talk with attorney general eric holder and other officials to see what steps have been taken to deal with these problems. obama's comments, his first  public remarks on the botched execution, came in response to a question during a news conference with german chancellor angela merkel in the rose garden.

earlier in the week, jay carney, the white house press secretary, said the execution had not been carried out humanely. the botched execution of lockett has also drawn significant criticism from death penalty opponents - as well as from the human rights office of the united nations, which opposes capital punishment.