Monday, July 30, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Obviously, America doesn't know what it takes to be a professional dancer. I assure you it is not dancing on your head and faking the rest, or being able to waltz and fox trot and nothing more. As a dancer, I respect and appreciate the talent and "technique" needed to execute the above mentioned styles, yet the purpose of SYTYCD is to find the best all around dancer. To have a long lasting career in dance, one needs versatility and proper technique.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Last fall in Jena, Louisiana, the day after two Black high school students sat beneath the "white tree" on their campus, nooses were hung from the tree. When the superintendent dismissed the nooses as a "prank," more Black students sat under the tree in protest. The District Attorney then came to the school accompanied by the town's police and demanded that the students end their protest, telling them, "I can be your best friend or your worst enemy... I can take away your lives with a stroke of my pen."
The noose-hanging incident and the DA's visit to the school set the stage for everything that followed. Racial tension escalated over the next couple of months, and on November 30, the main academic building of Jena High School was burned down in an unsolved fire. Later the same weekend, a black student was beaten up by white students at a party. The next day, black students at a convenience store were threatened by a young white man with a shotgun. They
wrestled the gun from him and ran away. While no charges were filed against the white man, the students were arrested for the theft of the gun.
That Monday at school, a white student, who had been a vocal supporter of the students who hung the nooses, taunted the
black student who was beaten up at the off-campus party and allegedly called several black students "nigger." After lunch, he was knocked down, punched and kicked by black students. He was taken to the hospital but was released
and was well enough to go to a social event that evening.
Six Black Jena High students, Robert Bailey (17), Theo Shaw (17), Carwin Jones (18), Bryant Purvis (17), Mychal Bell (16)
and an unidentified minor, were expelled from school, arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder. Bail was set so high -- between $70,000 and $138,000 -- that the boys were left in prison for months as families went deep into debt to release them. The first trial ended last month, and Mychal Bell, who has been in prison since December, was convicted of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery (both felonies) by an all-white jury in a trial where his public defender called no witnesses. During his trial, Mychal's parents were ordered not to speak to the media and the court prohibited protests from taking place near the courtroom or where the judge could see them. Mychal is scheduled to be sentenced on July 31st, and could go to jail for 22 years. Theo Shaw's trial is next. He will finally make bail this week.
In the midst of the Genarlo Wilson case (http://wilsonappeal.com/), and in the wake of the Don Imus and Michael Richard's orations, I ask myself how much progress has been made? In no way am I suggesting that the work of countless civil rights activists and supporters was in vain, but I feel the struggle is no where near over. Legally, we are in the same position as our forefathers subsequent to the abolition of Jim Crow. We are all created equal, right? We're supposed to be entitled to the same rights as anyone else, yet we all know how the justice system can be manipulated to meet a specific goal. The intentions of sanctions, the appellate process, and checks and balances are to ensure that said manipulation doesn't happen, but somehow, it always does. Why, money and power? Since there are more wealthy blacks now than ever, shouldn't we be able to sway things back to center? One OJ acquittal does not an even playing field make. Do we as a people have power? In the entertainment field maybe, marginally in the political arena. Some blacks with power don't see the need to right wrongs, or more importantly, that certain issues are wrong to begin with.
So I'll get to the point. Why is it that some blacks feel that we as a people "dwell" on the past and blame whites for our problems? Why are there other blacks that feel whites are to blame for our problems and that we are still getting the short end of the stick? Does the truth lie somewhere in the middle? (I tend to lean towards the latter.) Sure, we all know that dude that won't go get a job, who dropped out of school, who complains because he is poor. And we also know those stories of those who have pulled themselves up from poverty into the upper echelons of society. Why can't we all do that? Why is affirmative action needed? Why do our people need more help than ever today? Its so much deeper than any one answer.
I will say this, we are the only people to have had everything stolen from us. From our names, to our culture, to our identity, to our families. We didn't have a chance to flee our lands and go somewhere else to start a better life. Our life was transplanted, laid out and regimented for us just like animals. What affect could that have on a black man's psyche, to be beaten, sold and to watch his wife and children raped? How would his children or their children or their children handle the situation? Yeah things are better, but how can you forget (even if it did happen to your great, great great...)? Furthermore, how can you ignore what is still happening today? If whites can casually call us nigger (not is the you're my dog kinda way), nappy headed hoes and Compton crack whores (Paris' rant was by far the most comedic), what do they think of us and what are they planning beyond closed doors?
What do they think of our democratic nominee?
I don't think all or even most whites are flat out racists. I believe many are and most may have some "tendencies" due to their upbringing and conditioning (a master's grandkids have to have some type of entitlement attitude right?)
I will stop typing now. Am I uber sensitive or on point in any way?
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I'm currently at work, not working, and thinking about So You Think You Can Dance and why Neil (who is by far the most awesome) wont win. Its the same reason why Blake (who was by far the most awesome) didn't win last year. Why does America get it wrong every time? Why did the judges vote off Ricky and Jimmy as if to say PLEASE lets have a girl win this time? Why did Nigel think it was OK to say anything about Slauson and Chrenshaw? Who am I to judge? Nobody--but I still will add my two cents and then some.
So this weekend, some friends and I went to a Reggae Wine Festival. It was very fun and we partook in the festivities wholeheartedly. We sampled all there was to sample and danced our hearts out (for like 7 minutes/its hot out here). We also had a hilarious game of Scrabble (JIVER is a word) where I won, not that I am one to brag. What surprised me about the event was how few black people were there. Do we not like wine? Do we not like Reggae? Where were my people? We admittedly had a great time with our Caucasian and foreign brethren, but where my Ninjas at?
Did anyone see the preview of LoriAnn's, the Making the Band 2, 3, and 4 choreographer, new show on MTV? Making the Record? Are they serious? It is produced by Bad Boy Films. How is this possible if LoriAnn is attempting to sue Diddy and M Bivons for assault, battery, etc? Why did the episode last night not show us anything? Why was LoriAnn still talking ish as she walked out the door, if she was just held against her will and threatened with a chair moments earlier? IS THIS ALL JUST PUBLICITY TO PROMOTE HER UPCOMING SERIES?
So here is some ABOUT ME stuff that isn't in the about me section:
I am in a wonderful relationship with my best friend and number one supporter, Mike Black.
I have a beautiful, caring,and sickeningly perfect family (excluding myself of course). My mother and father will soon celebrate their 30th year of marriage and couldn't be more in love. My brother and his wife have two of the cutest children ever created. I have a wonderful grandmother and a team of aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family members and neighbors to round out the bunch.
I have some very close girls, most of whom I have known at least half of my life and live in the Los Angeles area: Ebony, Timiesha, Aja, Viannda, and Brittany.
Be familiar with the aforementioned names because I am sure they will reoccur througout this blog in the future.