Monthly Archives: November 2007

Chocolate: The taste of Slavery

“There may be a hidden ingredient in the chocolate cake you baked, the candy bars you sold for your school fund-raiser, or that fudge-ripple ice cream cone you enjoyed on Saturday afternoon”, says Sudarsan Raghavan and Sumana Chatterjee Knight Ridder Newspapers Reporters. The truth behind the chocolate is anything but sweet. On the Ivory Coast of Africa, the origin of nearly half of the world’s cocoa, hundreds of thousands of children work or are enslaved on cocoa farms. With poverty running rampant and average cocoa revenues ranging from $30-$108 per household member per year, producers have no choice but to utilize child labor for dangerous farming tasks. Some children, seeking to help their poor families, even end up as slaves on cocoa farms far from home. Slavery drags on and we are paying the slaveholder’s wages.

Slave labor. Forty-three percent of the world’s cocoa beans, the raw material in chocolate, come from small, scattered farms in this poor West African country of Ivory Coast. In addition, on some farms, boys sold or tricked into slavery do the hot, hard work of harvesting the fruit.” (The Inquirer) Most are between 12 and 16; some are as young as nine. Many are lured from their hometowns with the promise of good-paying jobs, taken to Ivory Coast, and sold by traffickers to farmers for less than $50. The boy, pictured here, is an ex-slave; he escaped to freedom, and to share his story.What is it really like for a child caught up in the world of chocolate trafficking? Distinguished children’s author Bob Hartman has written a special story for STOP THE TRAFFIK telling the story of one little boy who discovers that his dream of earning a living and supporting his family can become a nightmare when he falls into the clutches of the traffickers.

Suitable for reading aloud, for children to read themselves, or for printing out and distributing to classes and youth groups, Chaga and the Chocolate factory is available free for you to download as a 14 page illustrated PDF e-book.

Simply click the link below to join Chaga’s adventure … and learn more about how we can all work together to ensure many more real life “Chaga” stories have happier endings.

download JPEG Chaga and the Chocolate Factory
File size: 768kb

To download right click the on the blue text and select ‘Save Target As …’. You will need Adobe Acrobat, which you can download for free from the Adobe web site.

Acrobat Reader

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Tay Zonday is selling Cherry Chocolate Rain

“This is the Web. And it’s going to murder your TV.”

To promote their new Cherry Chocolate flavor, Dr. Pepper has employed viral video wonder, 25 yr old Ph.D. candidate Adam Nyerere Bahner, aka Tay “Chocolate Rain” Zonday. His newest video is actually an advertisement for the beverage. Like most people I was forwarded a link for his “Chocolate Rain” video back in April, I was completely amazed. A few months later…the kid has been all over the place.

Some people are calling him a sell out…I say negro, please. Make that Money Tay Zonday. Get the most out of your 15 minutes of internet fueled fame. Shake dem haters off, Baritone!

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Divorce goes slow after Juanita Bynum’s Essence article

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that the divorce case of national evangelist Juanita Bynum and her estranged husband have broken down since the pastor dished about her troubled marriage in Essence magazine. Attorney for Bishop Thomas W. Weeks III said Monday that the magazine story has halted negotiations between the couple.  Bynum is featured in a story this month about her tumultuous relationship with Weeks. She discusses past incidents of abuse and the night of the alleged Aug. 21 attack that eventually led to the divorce.  Weeks’ attorney Randy Kessler, of Kessler, Schwarz & Solomiany, said the story in Essence “revealed a calculated, aggressive media attack on Bishop Weeks,” who has denied the alleged attack.

“The comments made by Rev. Bynum in that article has sabotaged discussions in the divorce case,” Kessler said.

The Bynum interview hit the stands this month just as the couple was negotiating their divorce settlement. Essence will feature Bynum in a January cover story where she will discuss plans for a domestic violence ministry.

Weeks is denying the abuse claims made in the article.  “Anyone who knows the truth about our marriage, knows what is in that magazine is a bunch of conjectures, misstatements, and dramatized events,” Weeks said in a statement released after a press conference at his church Wednesday.

Weeks said the interview made him look like a “villian” and that he is looking forward to being “vindicated” in the court system.


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World Aids Day: Black People are letting HIV/Aids happen to them

As we prepare to remember the legacy of HIV/Aids tomorrow on World Aids Day 2007, DEC 1, I just can’t believe that we’ve let Aids ravish the Black Community like this. Who in the Hell left the gate open?? Here are some statistics.

• Although African-Americans represent only 12.7 percent of the U.S. population, they were half of all AIDS cases detected in 2005;

• The rate of Blacks contracting AIDS is 10 times that of Whites and Black women have contracted AIDS at a rate 23 times higher than that of White women;

• Although African-Americans constitute only 16 percent of U.S. teenagers, they represent 69 percent of all new AIDS cases reported among teens;

• Black women account for 66 percent of all new AIDS cases among women and

• HIV- and AIDS-related death rates are highest among African-Americans, with Blacks accounting for 55 percent of such deaths.
There are some interesting facts among the numbers.

Both Black and White women were most likely to be infected through heterosexual activities. White women were more likely than Black women to have been infected as a result of drug use. And among men having sex with men, one study conducted in five cities found that 46 percent of such Black men were HIV infected compared to 21 percent of White men in that category.

There were some geographical variances as well. AIDS cases were highest in the eastern section of the country, with the District of Columbia leading the way with the highest rate.

However, 51 percent of Blacks living with AIDS and 56 percent of all newly-reported cases among Blacks were in the South, where African-Americans make up only 19 percent of the region’s population. Continue reading

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Where am I at? With Mickey Avalon, of course

If you are like me, you said “Who the hell is that??” when you saw the new Boost Mobile Television ads featuring Young Jeezy and Jermaine Dupri. The “David Bowie Pretty” white “guy” is Mickey Avalon. Did this match up strike anyone else as WEIRD? I mean…

jezzy dupri avalon

I just hear Sesame Street”of these boys is doing his own thing”…you know the rest of the song.

Who is this pretty guy? He’s a Rock Star and in his lyrics he talks about robbing gay tricks, but I could be reading it wrong. Are Dupri and Jeezy embracing the rainbow? Hey, it’s a hell of a market…lots of dollars in that demographic, so I’m not mad. I assume it has nothing to do with that and some marketing people and Mickey’s label, Interscope, thought that putting these guys together would be Cool. Oh I don’t agree, wholeheartedly I don’t.

Avalon is talented though. His “My Dick” song is a beast! “My dick cost a late night fee,/ Your dick got the HIV./ My dick plays on the double feature screen,/ Your dick went straight to DVD.” LOL


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Rodney King gets shot. Can’t we all just stay out of the news?

Can’t we all just get along?  Can’t you just stay the hell out of the news, my brother?  Why is Rodney King back in the news?  He was shot on Wednesday.  CNN is reporting that Rialto, California, Police Department Sgt. Don Lewis said King was grazed on his face, arms, back and torso. The wounds were superficial. A shotgun was believed to have been the weapon used.

Now I’m no expert on wounds or shootings but, that sounds like a heck of a lot of places to be grazed.   I guess he wasn’t too hurt because he rode his bike…not not Yamaha…bicycle…home before contacting police about the shooting later on.  Rodney is like a damn superhero…he always bounce back.  Police ass whoopin, get shot at, high speed chase…it doesn’t matter, he bounces back.  Between him and OJ showing up in the news again…I don’t know what to say.

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South African Lesbians and Rape as a Hate Crime

Rape for Who I Am is a documentary about the plight of South African lesbians.  As well as facing institutional discrimination and a lack of support from their families, lesbians in South Africa run the risk of being raped because of their sexuality. Not only does this leave them emotionally and physically traumatized…but they face a huge possibility of contracting HIV/Aids during these assaults.  The authorities seem reluctant to tackle the growing problem.

“He told me he was going to teach me a lesson and show me that I’m a girl”, states Bathini. Like many victims, she was too scared to go to the police after being gang raped. But Mary refused to suffer in silence. Through sheer determination, she tracked down her rapist and passed on his details to the police. When they still hadn’t arrested days later, she threatened to go to the press. Other victims have been unable to press charges because doctors wouldn’t corroborate their stories. “The doctor’s report basically said I just had sex with this man — that I wasn’t raped”, states Keba.

Activists are now pressing for new legislation to protect all women. Click here to view the movie.

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