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.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Virginia Supreme Court overturns Executive Order to restore voting rights

the virginia supreme court last month overturned governor terry mcauliffe's executive order to restore voting rights to about 200,000 people in the state who completed their sentences.

in a four-to-three ruling, the court agreed with state republicans: the governor exceeded his authority under the commonwealth's constitution when he restored the rights to all, not individually.

governor mcauliffe released a statement after the ruling saying he'll expeditiously sign the 13,000 individual voting rights orders for those who had their rights restored and registered to vote. the governor also said he'll signing until he has completed restoration for all virginians.

"my faith remains strong in all of our citizens to choose their leaders, and i am prepared to back up that faith with my executive pen. the struggle for civil rights has always been a long and difficult one, but the fight goes on," said the governor. 

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Obama Commutes Sentences of more than 200 Federal Inmates

president barack obama commuted the sentences of 214 federal inmates on wednesday, the largest single-day grant of commutations in american history. obama has used his clemency power to shorten the sentences of more federal inmates than any president since calvin coolidge.

most of the 214 individuals were convicted of low-level drug offenses. but the longest was given to richard l. reser of sedgwick, kansas. reser has a 40-year sentence for dealing methamphetamine and firearm possession. he'll be released december 1.  

the commander-in-chief has publicly denounced the mandatory minimum sentences of previous administrations, and this latest initiative further demonstrates his efforts to humanize our criminal justice system.

"the more we understand the human stories behind this problem, the sooner we can start making real changes that keep our streets safe, break the cycle of incarceration in this country, and save taxpayers like you money," obama said in a facebook post.

the clemency process is, historically, a laborious undertaking. each applicant is reviewed by at least three levels of lawyers at the justice department - and the white house - before their case goes to the president.  
white counsel neil eggleston said, "the individual nature of the clemency process underscores both its incredible power to change a person's life, but also its inherent shortcoming as a tool for broader sentencing reform. while we continue to work on as many clemency applications as possible, only legislation can bring about lasting change to the federal system."