Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Chicago Defender

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

DMur On "Black Men Missing":

As a 21 year old young black man I leave this response which is also a excerpt from my upcoming motivational book for young black men "My Brothers Keeper: Messages of Hope for Young Black Men"...I had to leave this b/c I am sick and tired of the exaggerations of the shortcomings of black youth without also shedding light to the advancements which have been made.

Today I googled the term young black men and the first item to come up had the headline “Grim Forecast For Young Black Men”, the third had the headline
“Why Young Black Men Are Endangered”, and the fifth headline touched on “life getting worse” for young black men. Towards the end of the page was a link that had the headline “empowering young black males”. The results in that google search engine are very similar to the approach many are taking today to the problems facing young black men.

I can’t tell you how many times growing up I was reminded how grim our forecast was or how we were endangered. But when looking back its not necessarily those speeches that motivated me to reach higher for success. Most of the time when I heard those speeches I felt like I was being told something I already knew. However, what did and still today does inspire me are the words, examples, and stories of other young black men who have managed to overcome the odds.

How many times have we heard someone make the statement it’s a shame to see more young black men in prision then in college. That’s actually a false statement. According to 2005 Census Bureau statistics 10 percent of the male African-American population of the United States aged between 18 and 24 numbered 1,896,000. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 106,000 African-Americans in this age group were in federal or state prisons at the end of 2005. If you add the numbers in local jail (measured in mid-2006), you arrive at a grand total of 193,000 incarcerated young Black males, or slightly over 10 percent.
According to the same census data, 530,000 of these African-American males, or twenty eight percent, were enrolled in colleges or universities (including two-year-colleges) in 2005. That is five times the number of young black men in federal and state prisons and two and a half times the total number incarcerated.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

When Black is Enough

Thanks Leatha..

When Black is Enough
Please, make me a believer! I must confess, I feel that in being a
Barack Obama supporter I have missed something or as the media portrays...I
have missed everything the Clinton's have done for me, a black woman in
America. Since I am truly a socialite at heart who hates to miss an event, let
alone a decade of the African-American migration to a better life; please can
someone?...Anyone? Tell me what exactly the Clinton's have done for
black people that has made our loyalty so steadfast and unwavering! Or are we still doing cartwheels for crumbs?

Some have said it was the end of the George Bush and Newt Gingrich era,
the appointment of Black Judges and high ranking officials, welfare reform,
a few jazz solos on late night television and of course his office inHarlem
sealed the deal. Are our hearts that cheap?

Both of the Bush presidents have appointed African-Americans as judges
or high ranking officials so what does that mean? Although the welfare lady
no longer does surprise home visits and counts the number of beers your
boyfriend may have bought you it still has left a trail of many unskilled
single mothers without viable employment options. I guess none of that
matters when videos are least that's what former owner of BET
must have been thinking. It actually disappoints me that someone like Bob Johnson isn't astute enough to just speak for his candidate and not against any black man who has worked for the greater good of all people and specific to this argument-black people-like Barack Obama has done throughout his career. Even more disturbing is that fact that Bob Johnson owned the only black entertainment television station and failed to develop any programming or entertainment with substance other than videos and has made no apologies for that embarrassing fact. Maybe he was the one doing "who knows what" in the streets. That just may be the only excuse for not coming up with any
alternatives when we finally realized Seinfeld created a New York without
black people.

What hurts me as a black woman is this idea that "white people aren't
ready for a black president" so we might as well vote for Hilary. Since when
did black people defer to white people once our mind was made up for change? In truth, white people weren't ready for the emancipation of the slaves, they weren't ready for the Civil Rights movement or for us to vote, they
weren't ready for us to graduate from Harvard, and they weren't ready for us to
date their daughters.

WE were ready and we forced them to accept our decision for change and the way our lives were valued. It seems to me that black women of the Democratic Party who are unequivocally for Hilary Clinton have a bit of the "Dangerous Minds" or the "Freedom Writers" syndrome where we have to rely on a white woman to make things better for us. What happened to the argument that only a black person can truly understand our plight and what we really go through to thrive in America? This does not override the fact that white people have been instrumental in many facets of black life. However, being instrumental
versus being a musician are very different places when it comes to the
finished product.

The Barack Obama campaign believes the media's reports about the lack of
support he has from black women are untrue. In fact, they have said that
he has tremendous support from black women across America. The polls can be faulty as we have all witnessed. With all of the issues black people
have had with accurate media portrayal it is important to have all the bases
covered. That's why it amazes me that African-Americans are on television talking about how they would never vote for Obama just because he is black. I
wonder how many other people are voting against him based upon that same
premise. How many white women are voting for Hilary to see themselves sitting at the desk in the Oval office? Or how many Latinos voted for Richardson? No one blamed them for drawing support and capitalizing on their common threads.

Even more politically incorrect is this idea of black women being "torn"
between Hilary because she is a woman and Barack because he is black. I
hate to be the bearer of bad news, but when white women were talking about
women's liberation they were not talking about black women. At the time,
white women were burning bras while black women in the south were still
trying to make sure their husbands weren't being charred hanging from a
tree. Plus, who do you think was minding their children while they were
out protesting? Unfortunately, you only get to check one box and first thing is first: color. Not to mention the fact that feminism was different for white
women than any other race. It was their black female counterparts who were
able to break color barriers in terms of employment and historically have been
the breadwinners in their respective households. When white woman were
fighting not to stay home black women wished they had that luxury.

The race for Presidency is a long and drawn out job interview for the
highest ranking job in this country. We all know what it feels like when
being articulate over the phone meets shock in person. We also know what
happens when you are qualified for a job, but have one year less
experience in one category and therefore don't get an interview-then you realize if there were so many qualified diverse candidates there wouldn't be a need for that position to have a tag line. We finally have a chance to show our
children that they really can be anything and anyone in this world- no
limitations. That America is our America. Isn't that enough?

Let's face it, if there were no white people behind Obama he wouldn't
even be in the running. Nevertheless, this time, let's make this decision for
change on our own. Why do we need a Michelle Pfeifer or Hilary Swank to
show us the way?

I could understand if Obama was an uneducated, inarticulate knucklehead
without a plan. But that could be farther from the truth. It is time to
realize we can't survive on these crumbs. Honestly, when it comes to
finding out what roads the Clinton's have paved for us "I feel a lotta ways



Monday, February 11, 2008

Obama Gallery



Many black folks in America talk hesitantly about voting for Barack Obama in the primaries and caucuses. That is certainly understandable. But here are a few things to consider:

Sports among other things, is a microcosm of the mentality of society. Recently, the NFL has mandated teams to interview at least one qualified minority candidate for each opening. Every NFL owner signed off on it. "Qualified" head coaches are plucked from the ranks of offensive and defensive coordinators. Look around, no one is promoting black offensive or defensive pros or college. In effect it nullifies the opportunity altogether.

When Kareem dominated the game, the college basketball leaders outlawed dunking. Yes, it's true.

As Tiger Woods blazed the trail, the golf governors sought to "Tiger-proof" courses.

Obama's big break came during his Democratic National Convention speech. Rest assured, he will be the last black person to get that kind of national stage if it follows the same pattern as sports. Not my child, not my grandchild, not yours either.

Many of us, me included, say America isn't ready to vote him in yet. I wonder, is he the best guy for the job or am I interested in him only because he's black? His opponent being a woman is suddenly enough; so is being black any less dignifying? Maybe, maybe not.

However, 20-30 years from now, we'll have to tell our grandkids why we voted the way we did. How will we justify it then when sports have taught us that the field will be changed almost immediately as soon as black person rises to the pinnacle? So if not now, it's not a question of when. The answer may be NEVER.

Twenty or thirty years from now some of us will answer to Emmitt Till, Medgar Evers, Martin, Malcolm and GOD himself in heaven as to why we passed up this opportunity. GOD will remind us that HE gave us the story of Joshua and Caleb and the lack of self-determination and self-worth that lead to 40 years of wilderness when the promised land was a hill away.

GOD may ask us: Didn't your great grandfathers die for this chance? Didn't your grandparents pray for this chance? Didn't you hope and dream of this chance? I heard your prayers, sorrows, and cries. Didn't I give you the chance? Why after 400 years of bondage, would you reason with yourself to pass it up? Did you not understand it was less about you and more about ME?

He may say, "I gave you the chance but you wanted complete certainty, a guarantee that it was okay now. Check it out. I never work that way."

And my response...


I'm getting thoroughly P-O'd with Black folks who say America "isn't ready for a Black president"! Either that, or it's "If he wins, they'll kill him." I wonder if they've ever considered that maybe God has decided that it's "time", and if that is the case, nobody will be able to touch him. Assuredly he is aware that the radicals and 'crazies' are always out there, (Lincoln, Reagan, JFK, RFK, MLK,etc.etc.) but if he has the courage to run, I sure have the hope that he'll get the nomination - and, if he does - the faith to vote for him!

Custer Had it Comin' !

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs.
Ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

Friday, February 8, 2008

Erin of Tulle

Please join me for an evening of food, wine and
fabulous finds as I host a Tulle Trunk Show in honor
of Valentine's Day. Your special someone is counting
on you to "Shop in the Name of Love".

Sunday, February 10, 2008
Spa Soak
1733 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647

4:30p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Erin of Tulle

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

TLW-- on Sufferdin....

Even though I didn't support Sufferdin, he was doing his job as a Public Defender. You cant hold that against him. However, I do think Jackson, Jr is out the box.

Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League

A Sweet Art Affair 2008

A Dessert & Wine Tasting Event
Saturday, February 9, 2008 6 pm - 10pm
G.R. Namdi Gallery 110 N. Peoria Chicago, IL
This year's Sweet Art Affair will be a wonderful evening of wine, appetizers hors d'oeuvres, and delectable sweets from Chicago's finest bakeries. Entertainment will be provided and guests will participate in a silent auction, to include donations from various Chicago establishments. Purchase your ticket now!

Chicago Urban Leauge Annual Report Luncheon
The 2008 Annual Report Luncheon February 15, 1008 at the Hilton Chicago Grand Ballroom 730 S. Michigan Ave. 12 pm - 1:30 pm. Ticket information, $80 each and $1000 for a table of 10. Featuring keynote speaker, Ellis Cose, author, columnist and contributing editor for Newsweek magazine. For more information visit

Classical Tapestry

Come and expand your musical horizons at Classical Tapestry, the most unique reception and concert experience in Chicago. Tickets are $35.
Joshua Redman Trio Friday, March 28, 2008 8:00 p.m.
More Information

Living Room Cafe

Volunteers are needed Wednesday, February 6, 2008 @ 806 E 64th St – Living Room Cafe. The Living Room Cafe in Woodlawn, serves meals in a restaurant-style setting and provides supportive services in a therapeutic community designed to help individuals on their journey toward self-sufficiency. Contact Community Service

Save the Date
April 11, 2008 - April 13, 2008
Youth Celebration Day Awards
February 16, 2008 9 am - 2 pm @ IIT, 3300 South Federal Street. This event recognizes and honors local high school students who excel in academics, service and leadership. We need 10-12 volunteers for registration, setup, gift distribution and any other areas of assistance.Contact Community Service

MB Lab
February 16, 2008 10 am - 2 pm @ Shedd Aquarium, 1200 Lake Shore Drive. Calling all males! We need 8 - 10 males to volunteer. Contact Community Service

MB Reading Room
February 21 & 23, 2008 - Two volunteers are needed to read to young children at Borders located in Hyde Park, . 1539 E. 53rd Street. Contact Community Service

MB @ Good Shepherd Manor
February 23, 2008 - We need 5 - 6 people to volunteer with seniors at Good Shepherd Manor located at 6730 S. Cornell Ave. Contact Community Service

Upcoming Meetings

February 5, 2008
Public Relations Committee Meeting 6:30 pm at CUL

February 9, 2008
New Member Orientation
6:30 pm at CUL

February 14, 2007
General Body Meeting 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. @ CUL

February 20, 2008
Membership Committee Meeting
6:30 pm at CUL

February 24, 2008
MB25 Committee Meeting
6:30 pm at CUL
email for details

February 26, 2008
Community Service Committee Meeting
6:30 pm at CUL

February 26, 2008
Personal & Professional Development Committee Meeting
6:30 pm at CUL

The Metropolitan Board
4510 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60653
(773) 451-3527

Anonymous..Responds to Suffredin....

I wonder if "King Maker" Congressman Jessie Jackson Jr. was aware of this information when he endorsed Larry Suffredin for State's Attorney? During election time, he is forever tirelessly endorsing someone for some office. If he would just calm down his ego and gather his thoughts enough just to do his job in congress, perhaps he wouldn't make these kinds of slip-ups. When George Bush gave his last State of the Union address, guess who was standing in the more opportune spot to shake his hand? Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.

Anonymous: Truth be told ,the Jacksons sold out long time ago...... Thanks so much for your comments..


Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I thought this EXTREMELY important to share before you go vote on Tuesday. Do not vote for Sufferdin:

The Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge #7 is outraged after learning that a candidate for the office of Cook County States Attorney has been a proponent for the release of an individual that was convicted in 1975 for the murder of Chicago Police Officer Ed Barron. Larry Suffredin Jr. at the time was the Public Defender for Joseph Bigsby, who, as the evidence proved, robbed at gunpoint and pistol whipped one of two elderly victims which caused the Police to be called to the scene. Upon their arrival, three Police Officers located the offender and ordered him to drop his weapon, Bigsby responded by drawing the Luger pistol, which was used in the robberies and fired at the officers, striking Officer Edward Barron in the head killing him instantly. Additional responding officers were also fired upon by the offender until he ran out of ammunition. Bigsby was apprehended, charged and convicted of Murder, three counts of Attempt Murder and two counts of Armed Robbery.
Larry Suffredin has been pleading with the Illinois Prisoner Review Board for several years for the release of this killer. The Fraternal Order of Police and Officer Barron¹s partner have fought for years to keep Prisoner #C02290 incarcerated. The thought that a potential States Attorney, charged with prosecuting those who prey on our society, would turn his back on the Law Enforcement Community in this manner is appalling. The Cook County States Attorney needs to be consistently in support of convicts serving their full sentences for the safety of the rest of society, and a tireless advocate for the families of the victims. If Mr. Suffredin is elected, this will create a horrendous conflict of interest.
The 18,000 members of Lodge #7 are outraged at Larry Suffredin¹s actions and his attempt to ride this and other issues into the office of Cook County States Attorney. Mr. Suffredin needs to know that the Cook County States Attorney should be an advocate for justice, not an opponent of it.
Mark Donahue

Monday, February 4, 2008

Myra,Shelia Carmen.. Shelia, best wishes on your return home.

SIR on "Black Men Missing":

Being that I live in the area where I see all these young and old men first hand, it is mostly drugs that influence's everyone. All the teens and children see are peope, on drugs and not doing anything with themselves, so who are they supposed to look up to. If someone where to try and change what is going, even take baby steps, where would they begin?


Often, its as simple as our own back yard. I'm sure we can all attest to a family member that has been or is currently under the influence. We can't give up. My suggestion is that we start at home first.

Thanks for your comments.


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