Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The President Declares the End of the Iraq War

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

He came, he saw, he conquered. Well, sort of. President Obama took the nation's attention for about 20 minutes tonight to deliver a speech about the end of America's military involvement in Iraq. Sitting in the Oval Office with pictures of his family in the background, President Obama effectively told America that the last eight years are over. He thanked the troops, thanked the American people, and reminded the Iraqis that we still support them. He was being presidential, as he normally is.
The president worked to build bridges with Americans who disapprove of his performance. He mentioned how the high cost of the war reduced the nation's ability to sustain its middle class. He talked about how patriotic Americans both approved and disapproved of the war, and even mentioned an earlier conversation he'd recently had with President Bush. He also reminded the American people that by ending military operations in Iraq, he was keeping one of his most significant campaign promises.


Click to read.

Monday, August 30, 2010

What Fantasia Teaches Black America about Poor Educational Choices

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University, Scholarship in Action 

One of the most magnificent voices in all of music is owned by Fantasia Barrino, the singer out of North Carolina. Most of us know that Fantasia attempted suicide recently. Of course the suicide attempt led to instant national media attention, and she was all over the news telling her story. Her management team, understanding the value the incident could have for her brand, pushed out the Vh-1 special before you could say the words "publicity stunt."
Now, I'm not here to say that I know what happened to Fantasia or whether the suicide attempt was genuine. But one thing that remains fundamentally true is that she'd been highly upset over the decline of her career. Also, we know that the television specials and additional PR from the incident have put Fantasia in the limelight in a way that far exceeds what she had access to last month. The final thing we know is that Fantasia is working furiously in the studio to get an album out in order to profit from the re-establishment of her celebrity status. Unfortunately, her team may be looking to replicate the experience of Jennifer Hudson after her difficult experience last year.

Click to read.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

African American Valedictorian Shocks the World with His Speech

by Lawrence WatkinsGreat Black Speakers

When Justin Hudson gave his valedictorian speech at his Hunter College High School graduation, he made it one that people will remember for decades. In the speech, Hudson went beyond providing vague advice or encouragement for his classmates. Hudson instead chose to use his opportunity to push his high school school to end a flawed admissions policy that keeps Hunter College High School from developing adequate racial diversity.
"I feel guilt because I don't deserve any of this and neither do any of you," Hudson said in his speech, as reported by Diverseeducation.com. "We received an outstanding education at no charge based solely on our performance on a test we took when we were 11-year-olds or 4-year-olds."

Click to read.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Spelman Ranked as the #1 HBCU in America

Short note from Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Spelman College was chosen as the #1 HBCU in the country in a recent ranking by U.S. News and World Report.  The title is well-deserved, since I don’t know of a single Spelman grad who isn’t doing quite well.  But some complain that the self-confidence of Spelman grads can sometimes breed arrogance - you know, the woman who wants to be CEO of the company on the first day.  In fact, I know employers who refuse to hire Spelman grads at all.

Click to read.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Laurence Fishburne on Montana: “No one uses their Real Last Name in Porn”




Apparently, Laurence Fishburne and his daughter Montana are not speaking.  He told his daughter that he embarrassed her and ridiculed her by saying that no one uses their real last name in porn.  According to TMZ, Laurence has said that he will not speak to Montana until she “turns her life around.”  This is sad.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dr. Boyce: Was Fantasia’s Suicide Attempt a Business Move?


When I heard that the singer Fantasia attempted suicide this week, I was saddened and alarmed.  Suicide is the last thing I’d expect from a woman who seemed to empower others with her seemingly endless supply of positive energy.  Fantasia is a star in more ways than one.

As I researched the details of her suicide, I couldn’t help but notice that one of the causes of her depression may have been the slowdown in her career.

Artists who stop selling records suddenly realize that they were addicted to the fame and money.  The declining artist is faced with massive economic problems, serious rejection issues and an intense sense of personal failure.  When this is compounded with some of the relationship problems that Fantasia has reportedly had with a married man, you have a recipe for disaster.

That made me want to ask the question that others may not want to ask: Is Fantasia’s management team looking to milk sympathy from her fans to boost record sales?  While I certainly empathize with what Fantasia is experiencing, I couldn’t help but notice the dramatic details of her personal problems being blasted throughout the media.  It’s not as if her team has asked that we allow her a private moment to be with her family.  They are bringing the entire world into her hospital room and sharing every detail of the experience.


Click to read.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Outrage Over Use of President Obama in a Game

Some people are outraged about the fact that President Obama's image is being used in an amusement park game where the object of the game is to knock him over, but some say that it is all fun and "games" and people should not be offended. So what do you think?

Fantasia's 911 Call

The recording of the 911 call for "American Idol" winner Fantasia Barrino the night she overdosed.

Jamie Foxx Talks Fame

Jamie Foxx talks about how he deals with fame and how he does not let his super star status go to his head.

Suspected Serial Killer Captured

The man that is suspected to have been attacking black men in multiple states has been captured, but the identity of the man has not been released to the public.

Race May Play a Role in Healthcare...Tell Us Something We Don't Know

Discussion about how race may play a role in healthcare coverage.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Naomi Campbell Reminds Me of Why I will Never Buy Another Diamond Again

by dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

Naomi Campbell, the supermodel known for attacking her personal assistants, is involved in a different kind of controversy this week. She has been asked to testify at the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. Perhaps being beautiful comes with benefits, since Campbell is being asked about some "dirty looking stones" she received at a party in 1997, brought to her room in the middle of the night.
The stones were allegedly "blood diamonds," and the court is attempting to determine if these diamonds were given to her by Charles Taylor. Blood diamonds are those that are mined in the middle of war zones, often used to finance insurgencies, leading to loss of life and enslavement. In other words, we shouldn't be buying them.


Click to read.

Whoopi Goldberg Beefs with White House Crasher

Yesterday on "The View" the cast of the newest edition of "Real Housewives of D.C." visited the show, which consists of Michaele Salahi a.k.a. the woman who crashed the White House dinner. Suprisingly the show did not end on a good note.

Some Still Doubt that President Obama was Born in the U.S.

Just a day after the President's 49th birthday some people still do not believe that the 44th President of the United States was born here.

Eva Mendes Releases Sex Tape

Cuban actress Eva Mendes, has now jumped on the bandwagon of celebrities that have sextapes...somewhat.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Black Women’s News from Madame Noire – 8/3/10

More Details about the Lorenzen Wright Murder

It seems that the Lorenzen Wright murder story gets more mysterious each day.

Singer Steph Jones Weighs in on Dark vs. Light

Now I must be honest before this video I had no clue who Steph Jones was, but I liked what he had to say so much I decided to post it.

Bill Cosby is Still Very Much Alive

Yesterday the #1 Twitter topic was that comedian Bill Cosby was dead, but once again these rumors were false and Bill took to the media to prove that he was alive.

Woman Dies from Illegal Butt Surgery

Currently police are looking for two sisters that were performing illegal cosmetic surgery and caused the death of a woman.

Is Jennifer Lopez A New American Idol Judge?

For the past few days rumors have been circulating that all of the American Idol judges from last season may be replaced, and Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith are reportedly two of the replacements.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Black Women Angry Over Essence Magazine Hiring a White Fashion Editor?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, TheLoop21.com

It seems that the world has grown irritated with Essence Magazine for hiring a new white fashion editor. Michaela Angela Davis, a former employee, has blasted the organization for effectively betraying its constituents with the non-traditional hire. She cites mass discrimination that has historically occurred within the fashion industry and seems disappointed that “our space” no longer belongs to us.

I certainly empathize with Davis’ point. Davis is a strong and direct black woman (I had her on my show), one who has very little tolerance for those who deviate from what she perceives as righteous ideology regarding women and minorities. Her passion for the issues that affect us seems to come from a genuine place, like a black woman who has seen enough and refuses to allow herself or anyone like her to be victimized by a clearly racist and sexist society. 


Click to read.