Tag Archives: black men

Dr. Gates donates his handcuffs to the Smithsonian

None of the black people I know have ever been given their handcuffs as a “You got arrested” souvenir.  Apparently Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. received more than a beer at the White House after his traumatic arrest…on his front porch.   He’s donated the handcuffs used on him to the Smithsonian Institution’s black history museum.  This makes me wonder…what other items will be on display with these handcuffs?

  • One of the night sticks used on Rodney King
  • Handcuffs used on famous African Americans (MLK, Tupac, Diana Ross, etc)
  • A replica of a Montgomery, Alabama jail cell from the Civil Rights era
  • That horrible neck brace will the bells on it that you sometimes see in illustrations found in books on slavery.

What would happen if black males all over the nation requested that they be given their former chains and handcuffs so that they could be donated to the Smithsonian as a testament  to the record incarceration rates of black men in America.  Surely, 50 years…100 years from our children would marvel at the shear size of the collection of metal bonds.  Would they be amazed and say, “There’s no way that so many people of one race could have been accused of/guilty of that much crime!”.  Or perhaps they will just shake their heads and say, “Nothing has changed.”.


Filed under african american, black, black history, black man, black men, civil rights, crime, d.c., history, injustice, news, race, washington dc

Single Black Men: Is marriage really for white people?

Watch this video and here what Brothers have to say about the matter (from CNN’s Special Reports area of the “Black in America” site.


FYI: They also posted this great article on one sista’s singleness http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/07/22/single.black.women/


Filed under african american, black man, black men, black women, community, dating, history, interracial, love, race, relationships, women

NAACP protests the light sentences of the Barbie Bandits

Do you remember the scene in “Malcolm X” where Denzel and Spike were in court with the 2 white women they were dating and got hella years compared the light sentencing of their co-criminals?  Denzel’s lines went something like this…

The average first offender gets two years for burglary.

We were all first offenders.
That’s what the girls drew.

Two years in the women’s reformatory.

Our crime wasn’t burglary.

It was sleeping with white girls.
They threw the book at us.

For some reason this the sentencing of the Barbie Bandits made me think of that scene.  You know the reason, and obviously the NAACP feels my pain.  The head of the Georgia NAACP called for the state to investigate the sentences given in the so-called “Barbie bandits” bank theft case, saying the two white defendants got less prison time than two black men.  Continue reading

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Filed under african american, black, black man, black men, civil rights, crime, drama, injustice, interracial, media, opinion, race, racism, white folks

“Typical White Person”

3 words that I wish Obama didn’t utter…”typical white person“.  I can just hear Clinton’s camp laughing with glee.  For those of you who don’t know, Obama called his white grandmother a “typical white person” who has fears about black men on a Philadelphia radio sports program.  Now, I really, really don’t see why people are surprised.  I see why people are running with this story…but I can’t understand why they are surprised.  There are black men that I would not want to run into in a dark alley.  I can admit that, however I don’t stereotype all black men and grab tightly onto my purse when they walk my way.  We all are indoctrinated by television news to fear the black man.  Since the days of D. W. Griffin and “Birth of a Nation”, when the fear of black men ravishing white women caused hundreds to be lynched, this kind of fear has been promoted in America.  Lots of white folks know that they have fears about black men.  This should come as no surprise.

The surprise is that Obama, knowing that he has to win the white vote to be the first black president, is not extra careful and extra sensitive.  All I can say is this…
Speak interview Obama!  You know how to speak interview don’t you!!!  Damn! 


Filed under african american, black, black man, culture, media, news, obama, opinion, politics, race, racism, stereotype, television

Friday Question: Are we back to Amos and Andy?

jim crowThe question for today is…

Are we excepting Step n’ Fetchit, Amos and Andy, big eyed, slack jawed, caricatures of black men from movies and television Willingly? Think about Mr. Brown from Meet the Browns and Flavor Flav before answering. Are we going to see more and more of these types of “characters” in the media?


Filed under african american, black, black man, culture, hollywood, media, race, racism, stereotype

Why are all the funny Black Men wearing dresses?

Today, Salon posted a must read article by James Hannaham titled “The funny thing about black men in dresses“.  He asks the question “What’s so funny about a black man in a dress?”,  and whether these roles are a celebration of black women.  I say NO.  You can decide for yourself…here’s a lil sample.

Some of the most memorable women in black entertainment have been played by men. This drag tradition with roots in minstrelsy harks back to ’70s TV star Flip Wilson’s sassy Geraldine character, and most recently has hoisted chitlin auteur Tyler Perry’s Mabel Simmons, aka Madea, to superstardom. The sharp-tongued matriarch that Perry has portrayed in six hugely popular movies and a long-running TV show makes a cameo appearance in his new film, “Meet the Browns.”

Madea, the seemingly inimitable Aretha Franklin of faux femmes, has yet to inspire knockoffs, but similar drag acts continue to pop up — the corpulent Rasputia of Eddie Murphy’s “Norbit,” Keenan Thompson’s Virginiaca on “Saturday Night Live,” and Martin Lawrence’s repeat performance as Big Momma in “Big Momma’s House 2,” among others. By now, Hollywood drugstores may be running low on plus-size pantyhose…Last year director John Singleton griped to Black Star News, “I’m tired of all these black men in dresses … How come nobody’s protesting that?” And comedian Dave Chappelle told Oprah Winfrey that during a shoot with Lawrence, the writers and producers had twisted his arm to do drag. “‘Every minute you waste costs this much money,'” he recalls them telling him. “The pressure comes in … I don’t need no dress to be funny,” he said. Chappelle also suggested that their insistence amounted to a “conspiracy,” and he got applause for implying a connection between cross-dressing and “Brokeback Mountain,” a film in which neither main character — both of whom are arguably bisexual — wears anything but hyper-masculine attire.

Chappelle’s comment both presumes that impersonating a woman will emasculate him, and that emasculation is equivalent to homosexuality (or at least gay sex, judging by his poorly chosen example). Despite Chappelle’s insinuation, it’s debatable whether this phenomenon has much to do with a gay sensibility. Perry has denied the abundant rumors about his sexuality, telling Essence magazine that having to fend off the speculation has “given [him] a firm seating in [his] manhood.” The newest breed of bruthas in drag has only the most tenuous connection to the decidedly queer cross-dressing entertainment craze of the ’90s, exemplified by Wigstock, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” and “To Wong Foo” — the main difference being the emphasis on frumpiness.

When straight black comedians do drag, they aren’t trying to make women look fabulous. They reach for the floral housecoats and the chartreuse polyester pantsuits. It’s anyone’s guess why the no-nonsense old ladies hold more appeal for them — perhaps grandmotherly aggression and take-no-prisoners masculine attitude have more in common than meets the eye. The clumsy fashion sense is certainly a match.

Like Chappelle, blogger Darryl James sees the phenomenon as part of an effort to neutralize black masculinity. For him and a lot of other straight black men, gender-bending comedians are “castrated clowns,” whose emasculation makes them palatable to white people and man-hating black women alike. “The black man in drag is one of the new coons,” he writes. Never mind that he’s also one of the old coons — according to Marjorie Garber’s 1999 book, “Vested Interests,” the men who played women in minstrel shows were “the best-paid performers in the minstrel company.

Read the whole article.


Filed under african american, black, black history, black man, celebrity, culture, funny, hollywood, opinion, race, stereotype, women

Black Women Doing the White Thang in the UK

As black women dating white men becomes a topic I see more and more of in the black press and on blogs, I wonder…Will the stigma that haunts these relationships in the US be as large as the one that haunts Black Male/White Female relations.

From Why black women are doing the white thing

Now, rather than sitting around dreaming about the perfect black man, black women are considering the possibility that ‘Mr. Right’ could be white.  Casting aside reservations about interracial relationships – for some, due to the atrocities committed during slavery – they are beginning to look past race when choosing a potential mate.

Race doesn’t matter to Paul Kennedy and Michelle Clarke. Best friends since primary school, they are now in a relationship together. Kennedy is white and Clarke is black.  “People are finding people with common interests and common perspectives and are putting race aside,” says Clarke, 26, a Middlesex University graduate who works at Barclay’s Bank.

Clarke and her friends are among the new generation of black females that are opting to date outside of their race due to their social environment. Like Clarke, the majority of young people have friends or acquaintances of different races and nationalities, and are seen as more tolerant and open-minded than previous generations. Unlike their parents and grandparents, today’s teens and twenty-somethings have grown up hearing the buzzwords ‘diversity,’ ‘multicultural’ and ‘inclusion’, and are used to seeing interracial friendship and romance portrayed in films and on TV – especially in soap operas and adverts.

“I don’t see colour as an issue,” states Clarke. “We have been very happy together and apart from a few isolated incidents, we have not experienced any open hostility towards our relationship.” Continue reading


Filed under black, black man, black women, change, culture, dating, news, opinion, relationships, society, stereotype, women