Monday, February 28, 2011

George Desdunes: Cornell University Student Found Dead in a Frat House

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

George Desdunes, a 19-year old freshman at Cornell University, was found dead outside a fraternity house on Friday, according to the Cornell Daily Sun. Desdunes was from Brooklyn and a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
The cause of death has not yet been specified and is expected to be released after the autopsy.

Click to read.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Should Black People Be Offended by the Obama Motown Event?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I have the interesting privilege of being on an email list owned by the White House. Whenever the administration holds an event that they believe to be of interest to African Americans in media, they shoot out an email to all of us. This week, at least two times in my email inbox, there was a message from the White House bragging about the administration's Black History Month celebration of Motown music.

I saw news of the event everywhere. Most interesting was the image of President Obama dancing with Michelle and his kids with Stevie Wonder, Smokie Robinson, Jamie Foxx and John Legend crooning in the background. The president, who appeared to be doing his best, had the stiffness of a corpse, and the posture of a 92-year old woman, but the nation appreciated his effort.

Click to read.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dave Duerson: Said Something was Wrong with His Brain when he Killed Himself



This video interview with the wife of former Bears star Dave Duerson who killed himself says that Dave was having problems with his brain before he died.

Click to watch.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Good News: All Black Male School in Chicago Sends 100% of It’s Students to College

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Well, they've done it again. Urban Prep Academy of Chicago, an all-male charter school with kids from the "worst" parts of Chicago, is sending 100% of its graduating seniors off to college. The school, founded in 2006, has stated that its continuous objective is to see to it that all of its students go to college. They are succeeding with flying colors.
The school started with kids whose futures had been left for dead by their public schools: Only four percent of the school's incoming freshmen were reading at grade level when they arrived on campus. But by sending all of their graduating seniors to college, they've not only gotten these kids up to speed, they've allowed them to zip past every other public school in the entire United States.
"No other public [school] in the country has done this," said Tim King, the founder of Urban Prep.

Click to read.

Dr. Boyce: Michael Vick Cancels on The Oprah Winfrey Show

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Football superstar Michael Vick initially made plans to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show. But it's just been announced that Vick is not going to appear on the show, citing personal and professional conflicts that have made the appearance impossible.
"Mike postponed the taping because of the timing of the interview for personal and professional reasons," said Michael Vick's spokesman Chris Shigas. "He does not have a reschedule date at this time."

Some speculate that Vick may have canceled because other groups have been sending emails and letters to the Oprah Winfrey Show, asking that the voices of Vick's critics be heard. One of Vick's strongest critics has been Richard Hunter, a stand-up comedian who also adopted one of Vick's dogs. Hunter claims that he and others who agree with him have been harassing Oprah's producers since it was announced that Michael Vick might appear on the show.


Click to read.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Oprah Winfrey and Iyanla Vanzant: The Breakdown of their Economic Beef

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I watched with extreme curiosity as the great Iyanla Vanzant emerged again on the Oprah Winfrey show after being gone for a full 11 years. I wasn't entirely connected to the feud between Winfrey and Vanzant, primarily because we don't think much about people that we haven't seen in over a decade. Of course Oprah is on everyone's mind, and even those who don't follow her seem to know everything she has been up to.

As the guest came to the stage, even a man from Mars could tell that there was latent mega-beef between Oprah and Iyanla. Both women seemed to overcompensate when it came to doing all they could to prove that the past was the past and that everything was OK. But the tension was so thick that it seemed to suck the oxygen out of the room.

click to read.

Dr. Boyce: OJ Simpson Reportedly Beaten in Prison by Skinheads

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

OJ Simpson has, according to the National Enquirer, been having a hard time in prison. The magazine is claiming that some White Supremacists have been targeting Simpson for bragging about his sexual conquests with white women.
"Inmates cheered as a muscular young skinhead knocked him to the ground, punching and kicking him to a bloody pulp and inflicting injuries so severe he secretly spent nearly three weeks in the infirmary before he recovered."
While the Nevada Department of Corrections is denying that any such incident took place, I know enough about corrections departments to know that their words have as much credibility as Sarah Palin at a Mensa convention.

Click to read.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Rapper Sent to Jail for Child Support on a Baby that Wasn’t His: What’s Wrong with the System

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse universityScholarship in Action 

Hip Hop News 24-7 recently interviewed the rapper J-Kwon about his interesting child support situation. During an interview with Miss Georgia, J-Kwon informed listeners that he'd been paying $2,500 per month in child support for seven years for a child that was eventually determined to not be his.

The artist goes on to say that he was jailed for not making the child support payments, which derailed his entire career, killing his ability to earn income. He also said that when it was determined that he wasn't the child's father, the courts provided no remedies whatsoever for him to retrieve the tens of thousands of dollars he'd paid over a seven-year period.

J-Kwon is now saying that he plans to start a foundation for fathers who are having their rights violated by the child support system. I support his initiative, because many of us forget about the millions of fathers out there who are doing all they can to have access to their kids and trying to do the right thing, but are left alienated by deceptive mothers and a court system that would rather see a man in jail than with his own children.

Click to read.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

White Coach Uses the N-word toward His Players

Coach may be fired for using inappropriate language toward players. ;

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Grandma with 20 inch nails - Is this normal?

Who told this woman that 20 inch nails is a good fashion statement? ;

Dr. Jennifer Caudle Talks about the Dangers of Bullying

Dr. Jennifer Caudle on the dangers of bullying. ;

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jamail Johnson, the Omega who was shot, Died a Hero

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Jamail Johnson, the Youngstown State University student who died at an off-campus party Saturday morning, has been reported to have died trying to save his friends from gunfire. Jamail was a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.
The Trumbull County Conservative Examiner says that when the gunmen began to shoot, Johnson ran toward them and pushed them out of the house. This, according to observers, saved the lives of dozens of other students. He even fought with the gunmen after being shot.

The two alleged shooters, Columbus Jones Jr. and Braylon Rogers, 22 and 19 years old respectively, are facing charges for aggravated murder.

click to read.

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Ed Gordon Discuss Kelley Williams-Bolar


Click to watch Dr. Boyce Watkins and Ed Gordon talk about the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, the Ohio mother who was sent to jail for sending her kids to the wrong school district. 

What’s the Deal with Being “Ghetto Fab”?

Why 'ghetto fab' style will keep you out of work

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I watched a video the other day about a woman named Jazz Ison Sinkfield and couldn't help but laugh. For some reason, Jazz thought it would be a good idea to start growing her fingernails for almost a quarter of a century without ever cutting them. Now, the woman is stuck with a set of peculiar monstrosities hanging from both of her hands that keep her from typing on a computer, tying her own shoes and perhaps even wiping her own behind. I'm not necessarily one to judge another human being so harshly, but I found it most interesting that Jazz truly believes that other women are jealous of her fingernails.

Jazz is not the only person in our community who has gathered a set of habits that some might consider to be a "ghetto fab." I am not sure where all of these habits come from, and when I see them, I try to process things without becoming a hater. But when I put it all together, I can't help but quote someone whom I disagree with regularly by the name of Bill Cosby, who once made this simple comment: "Come on people."

When one rolls through "the hood," they will usually see a few interesting things. First, we see the pants sagging down below the butt, with a brother who has to use one hand to constantly keep his pants from falling to the ground. You might then see someone else with tattoos up and down both arms, and maybe some additional tattoos on the neck. Actually face tattoos have become all the rage among rappers who don't seem to remember that these things are difficult to remove.


Click to read.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cortae Diaz Kelly: 17-Year Old Stabs Girl After Hearing that She was Pregnant

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

A 17-year old boy is in custody after allegedly stabbing a girl repeatedly after she told him that she was pregnant. Cortae Diaz Kelly, a student at Ypsilanti High School in Michigan, is accused of stabbing the girl in a nearby wooded area. The girl is now in intensive care after getting surgery at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.
County assistant prosecutor Arianne Slay is saying that Kelly stabbed the girl 12 times in her head, back and hands. She played dead to get him to stop the attack. She also says that Kelly confessed to trying to kill her. He is being charged with assault with intent to murder and being held on a $1 million bond.


Click to read.

Please Respond to Survey: Are the NAACP and Urban League Still Relevant and Effective?

The survey below asks if the NAACP and Urban League are still relevant and effective for African Americans in the 21st Century.  It will only take 30 seconds.

Please click here to take the survey.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Jamail Johnson: Student Murdered, 11 Injured at Omega Psi Phi House Party


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Two men opened fire after an argument occurred at an Omega Psi Phi fraternity house in Youngstown, Ohio this weekend. The two men shot multiple rounds into a crowd of people, killing a student and critically injuring a 17-year old with a head wound. The student who was killed was shot while trying to break the two disputing groups apart. The university said six of the injured were students.
The murder victim was 25-year old Jamail E. Johnson of Youngstown. Most of the 11 injured were shot in the foot. The men were arrested and charged with aggravated murder, shooting into a home, and felonious assault, according to Chief Jimmy Hughes of the Youngstown Police Department.
"These guys were in the location for a little while before the shooting occurred," he said. "Something happened that they became unhappy. They had some type of altercation."


Click to read.

Dr. Boyce: Pepsi Max Super Bowl Ad and the “Angry Black Woman”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

There is no bigger corporate money-maker than the Super Bowl. That's when potential sponsors are lining up to pay amazing amounts of money to advertise, primarily because they know this is the only televised special of the entire year when consumers actually enjoy watching the ads.
In addition to being able to promote their wares to the world, advertisers often find themselves caught in the middle of controversy. Sometimes, the controversy is hilarious, like the little black boy who slapped the man dating his mother for taking one of his Doritos. This year's most interesting ad may have come out early in the game, and it has been brought to you by Pepsi Max. You may want to call this ad "The Angry Black Woman."
In the commercial, a black woman is keeping her husband on a diet. When he eats the wrong food, she gives him an evil look and kicks his leg hard under the table. When she sees him standing over a pie about to eat it, she angrily slams his face into the pie. When she catches him sneaking a bite of fattening food in the bath tub, she violently grabs the food from his hand and stuffs a bar of soap into his mouth.

Click to read.

Where are the Black Professors at White Universities?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

During a four-year college career, most students take roughly 40 courses. Personally, I went to graduate school for another 7 years after college, taking an additional 40 - 50 more classes. During my entire undergraduate, masters and doctoral experience, I never had one single African American professor.
This experience made the educational process incredibly uncomfortable for me. I never experienced the privilege of my white classmates, who had teachers they could relate to, work with and connect with on a meaningful level. I did meet one African American professor (I never took his class) named Dr. Tommy Whittler. He is the sole reason I became a professor today because he was the first faculty member who'd ever taken time to mentor me as a human being.

Click to read.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

White Man Threatens Black Boys for Talking To His Daughter: Should He Go to Jail?

White Father Threatens Black Boys for Talking to His Daughter

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Millry, Ala., is a town where racial tensions have allegedly been running high for a very long time. The boiling point was hit recently, when a white father came to the town's high school and threatened one of the black players on the basketball team.
The infuriated parent told one of the boys that if any of them made contact with his daughter, he would "kill him and his black friends," at least that's what was reportedly told to Latisha Mitchell, the step-Mother of one of the players.


Mitchell claims that her son was only friends with the man's daughter and that they would text message each other. TheNAACP took notice of the man's racial threats, and the town is in an uproar. There is even conversation about the Ku Klux Klan planning a retaliation against local residents who held a meeting to discuss what had occurred.
Since the incident, the father has been banned from school property, but some parents are saying that the father should be arrested for his public threats.

Click to read.

Friday, February 4, 2011

What We Must Consider in the Police Beating of Chad Holley

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The video-taped beating of 16-year old Chad Holley had me fuming. It's one thing when police use excessive force, but this video was startling for at least a couple of reasons. First, the kid is only 16-years old, and kids that age don't deserve this kind of treatment. While he appears to be a viable suspect for burglary (he was convicted of his crime), the truth is that we must move beyond a society that believes that any child who makes a mistake is beyond redemption. Black children tend to be the ones most likely to be sentenced as adults, and those kids who are lost at an early age can be thrown to the wolves as if they are worthless commodities with abolutely no long-term potential value. Secondly, it appears on the video that Holley does nothing to warrant any form of physical retaliation by officers. He has his hands behind his back and surrenders to the police immediately when they surround him. Yes, Holley might have broken the law, but police officers should not be the judge and jury of this young man, as well as the ones to administer his (cruel and unusual) punishment.
Here are a couple of other things to consider as the nation thinks about the Chad Holley beating by police:

Click to read.

Chad Holley Videotaped Beating Getting National Attention


Chad Holley is brutally beaten by police, although he’d clearly surrendered before the beating.  Click here to see the video.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Diddy Speaks on Behalf of the Kelley Williams-Bolar Case, Governor Vows to Investigate

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

It appears that the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar is getting the kind of traction that can make a difference. Since we first wrote about Kelley on AOL Black Voices, the entire nation has taken notice. and have launched petitions that have garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures. Also, the story has gained national attention as a clear example of all that's wrong with the educational system in America.
In case you haven't seen the story, Kelley Williams-Bolar is the single mother of two who was sent to jail for sending her children to a school outside their district. In addition to being sent to jail, Williams-Bolar would have a felony record and not be able to ever teach again in the state of Ohio.

Click to read.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Terrie Williams, Dr. Boyce Watkins Talk about Black Depression

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Many of us are familiar with author Terrie Williams and her popular book "Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting." I decided to bring Terrie back into the studio last month to discuss the black community's denial when it comes to dealing with mental illness, specifically when it comes to managing the spike in depression during the holiday season.
The video was shot before the holidays, but was delayed due to production problems. But the holiday season will always be here, and so will depression. The video is below, enjoy!

Click to read.

Bishop Eddie Long Goes to Youtube to Talk about Financial Fraud within New Birth

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in action 

Bishop Eddie Long has made yet another public appearance, this time on Youtube. Rather than discussing his own legal issues, Long spoke about an investment company that allegedly left many of his members on the brink of financial ruin. In the video, Long discussed a dispute that his church is having with City Capital Corp, a company that came to the church to convince members to invest money with their firm back in 2009.
In the video, Long said that since City Capital Corp. came to visit his church, some members have faced bankruptcy, foreclosure, or significant losses in their retirement accounts. Bishop Long made a public appeal to the company's former CEO, Ephren Taylor, and the rest of the company to do the right thing and return the money to those who've been hurt.
In a press release issued on Monday, Bishop Long informed the media that several members of his church alerted him to concerns they had about City Capital. Roughly 20 members of the church invested with the company, according to published reports.


Click to read.