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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

2016 All-NBA Teams

the following players were selected to the all-nba teams for 2015-16:

first team
forward: lebron james, cleveland cavaliers
forward: kawhi leonard, san antonio spurs
center: deandre jordan. los angeles clippers
guard: stephen curry, golden state warriors
guard: russell westbrook, oklahoma city thunder

second team
forward: kevin durant, oklahoma city thunder
forward: draymond green, golden state warriors
center: demarcus cousins, sacramento kings
guard: chris paul, los angeles clippers
guard: damian lillard, portland trailblazers

third team
forward: paul george, indiana pacers
forward: lamarcus aldridge, san antonio spurs
center: andre drummond, detroit pistons
guard: klay thompson, golden state warriors
guard: kyle lowry, toronto raptors 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Baltimore Police Officer Acquitted in Freddie Gray Case

baltimore police officer edward nero on monday was found not guilty of all four misdemeanor charges he faced in connection with the arrest of freddie gray. on april 19, 2015, gray died shockingly and tragically after suffering injuries while in police custody.

after the ruling, baltimore mayor stephanie rawlings-blake said, "this is our american system of justice and police officers must be afforded the same justice system as every other citizen in the city, state and country."

reverend westley west, a prominent activist in baltimore, said, "baltimore should be upset. they should also let their voice be heard. take to the streets. how much longer are we gonna lay down and let the same thing to keep happening?"

nero, 30, was not charged directly with the gray's death. nero faced charges of misconduct in office, reckless endangerment and second-degree assault. the high-profile case drew national attention and polarized folks around the country along racial lines: nero is white. gray is black.

multiple police officers face charges in connection with gray's death, including charges of manslaughter and murder. nero is the second of the officers to be brought to court; the first trial, of officer william porter, ended in a hung jury. 

nero was accused of negligence - he failed to buckle gray into a seat in the police van. gray's neck was broken during transport while handcuffed and shackled, yet not safely buckled in. nero was also accused of assaulting gray, 25, by arresting him without probable cause.

as nero entered a parking garage with other police officers surrounding him, one of the protesters outside the courthouse was overcome with emotion. tina thompson, 29, doubled over near the sidewalk and cried. later, thompson screamed, "he's just walking around, looking like he's ok. you killed somebody! you killed somebody's child!    


Monday, May 23, 2016

Former NBA Player handles racial incident on public transportation with dignity

former nba player etan thomas endured a typically racialized encounter while looking for a seat on a crowded train. thomas, a 6'10, 260 pound black male, asked a white female if he could sit next to her, and later posted her response (and the unfolding incident) on facebook:

"i ask this lady if i could sit next to her (very politely and i soften my voice as to not frighten her) and she says someone is sitting here. so i go to the next seat. now, less than 2 mins later a man (who happens to be white) asks if he can sit there and she says why sure let me move my stuff." 

"i ask ummmmm did you just not want me to sit next to you? were you scared? not comfortable with a black man sitting next to you? and she says lol smh don't pull the race card stuff with me i dated a black guy in college."

at that point, the white man she obliged the empty seat to offered to get up, but thomas was unwilling to accept his gesture. in fact, thomas decided to take a picture of her, despite the obvious discomfort on the faces of both of the white folks.

thomas said, "i said no need i'mma just take this pic and make a facebook post about it. so then she says did you just take a pic of me? well i'm going to tell the conductor that you're over here illegally taking pics of ppl without their consent."

"so the conductor came up and said hey etan thomas love what you're doing in the community loved you with the wizards big 'cuse fan man the knicks sure could use you...and i said was there something you wanted to tell my man? and she rolled her eyes smh some people i tell ya."

thomas retired after the 2011 nba season. he spent most of his career with the washington wizards, and played at syracuse university. thomas is married with three children. he's an activist, author and poet whose outspoken about issues of manhood, race and the environment.

Monday, May 16, 2016

NBA 2016 KIA Awards

listed below are the nba 2016 kia award winners:

mvp - stephen curry, golden state warriors
coach of the year - steve kerr, golden state warriors
defensive player of the year - kawhi leonard, san antonio spurs
sixth man of the year - jamal crawford, los angeles clippers
rookie of the year - karl-anthony towns, minnesota timberwolves
most improved player - c.j. mccollum, portland trailblazers
executive of the year - r.c. buford, san antonio spurs

Monday, May 09, 2016

Pennsylvania becomes 24th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana

today, pennsylvania governor tom wolf signed the medical marijuana act (sb3) into law. pennsylvania is now the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana. this victory was made possible by the tireless devotion of advocates, families and lawmakers.

sb3 allows patients with qualifying conditions to use and safely access medical marijuana. once applications are available from the department of health, eligible patients whose doctors recommend cannabis can obtain identification cards. the law allows for up to 150 dispensaries in the state.

when dispensaries open, medical marijuana will be available as creams, gels, liquids, oils, ointments, pills and tinctures. vaporization is allowed but smoking is initially prohibited. dispensaries cannot sell edibles, but medical cannabis products can be mixed into drinks or food. 

dry leaf/flower will not be allowed immediately, however the department of health can change those conditions following an advisory board report two years after its enactment. 

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Challenging Racially Homogenous Juries in Kentucky and Tennessee

louisville, kentucky circuit judge olu stevens was suspended last month for misconduct charges after dismissing a nearly all-white panel of prospective jurors. days later, the west louisville urban coalition held a rally to support the judge and highlight the lack of cultural diversity on state juries.

the courier-journal reported information on race is collected voluntarily, and at only some steps of the jury selection process. judge stevens, a black male, agreed to dismiss the panel of 41 - of which 38 are white - after a black defendant's lawyers argued they don't represent the cultural demographics of the community.

prosecutors objected and brought the case to the state court of appeals. the court ruled kentucky's lack of racial data from which jury pools are drawn "while unfortunate, does not amount to a deliberate attempt to exclude any particular group," and ordered judge stevens to stop dismissing juries. a related case is pending in the kentucky supreme court.

in nashville, tennessee, a trial in early april was delayed after a black juror stood up and told the judge he "did not think it was right to for two black men to face a jury with no black members on it." the jury panel included non-whites, but no blacks.

judge cheryl blackburn dismissed the jury because their lunchtime dialogue about the absence of blacks violated her instructions. the assistant district attorney said the judge told the jury not to discuss the case before hearing all the proof and arguments. judge blackburn earlier rejected the defense's claim of the prosecutors illegally striking jurors based on their race.

in 1986, the u.s. supreme court case of batson v. kentucky deemed excusing jurors based on race is unconstitutional.  the court ruled: 1) lawyers cannot strike - or remove - a person from a jury based on race; 2) defendants aren't entitled to a jury completely or partially composed of people of their own race; 3) if any lawyer seems prejudiced during jury selection, they must provide reasons why a person was removed.