Category Archives: black history

O.J. Simpson, Rodman, RuPaul: Black History Role Models?

LA Times – In a letter addressed to parents and community members, a South Los Angeles elementary school principal apologized Thursday for “questionable decisions” about which prominent African Americans to highlight in a parade marking the culmination of Black History Month.

Lorraine Abner’s letter did not name the individuals. But her apology came after three teachers at Wadsworth Avenue Elementary School were suspended while the Los Angeles Unified School District investigates allegations that they had their first-, second- and fourth-grade students carry pictures of O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul at last Friday’s event.

“Unfortunately, questionable decisions were made in the selection of noteworthy African American role models,” the letter said. “As the principal, I offer my apology for these errors in judgment.”

I don’t know about you, but for me Black History is Black History. If we remove one part of it, we are not telling the whole story. It is the whole story that makes history. We as African-Americans have had to fight to have our history included.   Now it would be a little hypocritical for us to start excluding people. To now start removing people or making apologies is unacceptable.

RuPaul represents a portion of our community.  We can’t celebrate our LGBTQ brothers and sisters?  There was a time in history before the trial and acquittal when O.J Simpson was a hero.  You remember those commercials.  Dennis Rodman was one hell of a basketball player. I think that Michael Jordan could give you a list of reasons why he should not be discarded.

I’d also like to note that the tale of O.J is not equal to the stories of Rodman and Rupaul.  Come on, people.  LA, I thought you guys were more progressive than this.  Oh no, I forgot…Prop 8.    Ok, but yall do like basketball so Rodman is ok, right.  Oh no, Yall only like the Lakers!  SMH

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Filed under african american, black history, black men, celebrity, community, hollywood, news, opinion, race, sports

UC San Diego Racial Unrest Continues: Hood Found on Statue

The LA Times is reporting that a “Ku Klux Klan-like hood was fashioned from a pillowcase and placed on a statue outside UC San Diego’s main library, in what may be another racially provocative incident at the beach-side campus, officials said Tuesday.”

Um…when is a klansman’s hood ever not a sign that it’s racially provocative?  Not “may be”.  The word would be “is”.

University police say they are investigating the matter as a possible hate crime and examining the hood for fingerprints and even DNA analysis.

The hood, with a hand-drawn cross inside a circle, was found about 11 p.m. Monday on the statue of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as the children’s book author Dr. Seuss, after whom the library is named. A rose was inserted into the statue’s fingers.

Why Dr. Seuss? I love Dr. Seuss. That’s just wrong!

I really feel for the black students at UC San Diego. Hell, I feel for us all. Especially those of you who have had your Post-Racial hopes shattered in the last year. Oh no, institutionalized racism is alive and well.

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Walmart Chooses “Gangsta” Rap and Strippers Over Patriots for Black History Month

I really, really wanted to be surprised by this story, but I know better. Walmart is about business, the business of selling stuff.  They want $$.  I think this is a case of capitalism…not racism.  Let’s be honest, if you wanted to promote a product that would appeal to the largest number of Black people would you choose “Chappelle’s Show — Season 2 Uncensored” or For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots,” a four-hour documentary?  I’m going with Chappelle.  I’m not saying that Black folk aren’t interested in this type of documentary.  I saw it on TV last week on PBS and it was great.  However, I’m not interested in buying it.  I’m a Netflix person anyway, so maybe I shouldn’t comment.

I have more of a problem the choice of subject matter they are associating with Black History Month in their advertising [The Players’s Club?].  Then again, WE let companies sell us everything from DVDs to cars to chicken nuggets when their theme is Black History.  Sigh.

SunTimes.com: Vietnam veteran Ronald Price considers himself snubbed by Wal-Mart.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. rejected for inclusion in its Black History Month displays “For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots,” a four-hour documentary in which a Who’s Who of Hollywood is enlisted to document the history of blacks in the military.

What did make it to the prominent displays at the world’s largest retailer? “Thug Angel — Tupac Shakur,” a documentary of the slain rapper; the strip club-set flick “The Players Club,” and Dave Chappelle’s sketch comedy series “Chappelle’s Show — Season 2 Uncensored” were among 50 titles approved for the special promotion in entertainment sections.

“I think it was a slap in our face, as far as being war veterans,” said Price, an African-American South Holland resident. “I would never buy anything out of Wal-Mart anymore.” [Full Article]

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Happy Birthday, Negro

I turned 33 years old yesterday and I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes!

The funniest thing I was told yesterday was “You know that’s how old Jesus was when he died. That means something great is going to happen to you!” LOL! Leave it to Black folk to connect the death of Christ to your birthday. Well, it’s appropriate because I feel really really blessed. It was a great B-Day!

– Eb aka Sista

PS: I watched myself on Black Enterprise’s “Our World” [Black History Month edition] this morning. Thanks to Ed Gordon, my fellow panelists, and everyone who made that happen. Blessings!

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Noose Found on UC San Diego Campus as Racial Tentions Continue

You know it’s a racial incident when a noose is found.  A noose.  That lasting symbol of white supremacy.   When someone puts a noose up…”them’s fighting words”.

According to Huffington Post, last night, a noose was found hanging on a light in the campus library, according to the UC Regents (Live)blog. A female student admitted to placing the noose there today. This incident comes after the “Compton Cookout” Black History Month drama that we’ve been following here on Hello, Negro.  Photo of the noose comes from http://ucregentlive.wordpress.com

“This is truly a dark day in the history of this university,” Chancellor Marye Anne Fox told students gathered along Library Walk. “It’s abhorrent and untenable.”

I say, America, hate is on your doorstep.  You need to let it in and have a conversation about what is and is  not to be tolerated in YOUR house.  To the students at UC San Diego, I suggest that you band together.  Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern…an injustice to one is an injustice to all and the eyes of the nation are upon you.  Sometimes the young have to be the example of and change and evolution of thought for the old, for the establishment.

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The Simpsons Celebrate Black History Month and Their Racially Mixed Heritage

I’m sitting here watching the Black History Month Episode of “The Simpsons”.  The title “The Color Yellow”.  Um…really?  Must they co-op the title of one of the most beloved pieces of fiction in the black community?

When Miss Hoover asks her students to research their family history, Lisa is horrified to discover that most of her ancestors were bad people – a motley crew of horse thieves and deadbeats. But while rummaging through the attic, Lisa happens upon a diary kept by her ancestor, Eliza Simpson. As Eliza’s story unfolds, Lisa learns that her family was part of the Underground Railroad, a group that helped slaves escape to freedom. Eliza recounts liberating a slave named Virgil (guest voice Brown), but when Lisa presents her findings at school, some of her classmates refute it, leaving Lisa determined to exonerate her family’s name.

Wow, one of Mr. Burns ancestors just checked over one of Homer Simpson’s ancestors like a slave on the auction block.  He noted that if anyone knows how to estimate the value of a man, he does. I don’t know what to say, but I think I like this episode. Wouldn’t you just know it, Antebellum Marge was an abolitionist who fell in love with a brother and ran off to Canada! Oh as a descendant of their union, Lisa is 1/64th black.  She says, “That’s why my Jazz is so smooth!”. Homer says “That’s why I make less than my white co-workers!”.  Wow. Good episode, but I like “Nate, Peter’s black ancestor” on Family Guy better.

I guess I get the title now.  Are they saying that the Simpsons are yellow in the way black folks commonly use the word…yella gal or high yellow?  Interesting.

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Filed under african american, black, black history, black man, culture, history, race, slavery, television

UC San Diego Tries to Find Out Who Threw a “Compton Cookout” for Black History Month

The LA Times is reporting that UC San Diego administration and local civil rights activists have condemned a student party themed “Compton Cookout” in honor of Black History Month.

Campus administrators said Wednesday that they were investigating whether the off-campus party, held Monday, and its Facebook invitation violated the university’s code of conduct and whether its sponsors should be disciplined. Members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity were identified as among the organizers, but the fraternity president has criticized the event and said his club did not sponsor it.

Promising a taste of “life in the ghetto,” the Facebook invitation contained many racist stereotypes. For example, it urged women to dress as “ghetto chicks” who “usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes.” It said the menu would include chicken and watermelon.

History professor Danny Widener, who directs the university’s African American studies program, said he was outraged but not surprised by the party. He said African American students comprise less than 2% of undergraduates at UC San Diego, which he described as inhospitable to them. “The campus climate is one in which you are constantly regarded as a statistical anomaly at best,” he said. [Source: LA Times | Full Article]

My Opinion: If we in the Black Community continue to allow so-called “ghetto fabulous” culture to be the predominant export from our urban sector, we will continue to see incidents like this. When one travels around the globe, you see people of all races and creeds mimicking urban culture, especially hip hop culture. If we don’t want to see young, white college students mocking this same culture, we have to be aware and accountable. If we don’t want to see black culture boiled down to clothing, bling and speech patterns, we have to stop promoting images, music, etc. that are not affirming. If “ghetto” is not balanced by a more complete pictures of African-Americans, what do we really expect to happen. There is work to do, and with a void of leadership and strong national movements, each individual has to do their part. Consider whether the movies, television show, and music you consume contribute to a positive world view of the Black community.

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