Category Archives: black men

“Think Like a Man…”: Are you shocked at the success of this movie?

IF you are shocked at the success of “Think Like a Man“, I have one word for you.  “Boomerang“.

1992 was the year and Boomerang was THE movie.  I love that movie.  I wish they would get the band back together and make a sequel!  Someone please tell Reginald Hudlin that there is money in the air.  And tell Eddie Murphy too…his last few movies have been terrible to so-so.

Wikipedia: Released in the United States on July 1, 1992, Boomerang received mixed reviews from film critics. Nevertheless, the film was a commercial success, ranking as the 18th highest grossing film in North America that year. Boomerang earned over $131 million worldwide during its theatrical run.

There hasn’t been a black relationship movie with that kind of star power behind it in a minute.  Hallie Berry, Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens, Martin Lawrence, Eartha Kitt…wow.  If you can think of another movie with a majority black cast that can compare, please comment below.

In terms of talent, I’m comparing the 2 casts and overall star power moment in time to moment in time.  The cast of “Boomerang” went on to do a lot of great acting and many were young and full of potential at the time.  I don’t think this is a total apples to apples comparison talent and acting wise.  That being said, I can see many parallels.

The other star power involved is that of Steve Harvey.  Harvey is said to have an audience of about 6 million listeners in more than 60 markets.  With that following and Oprah’s blessing of the book this movie is based on…I’m not surprised that the movie reached #1 and made 33 million.

Sidenote: Yes, yes, I know who Tyler Perry is, but I don’t put his movies in the same category.  Not taking anything away from his success, I think of him as a phenomenal businessman who is very focused on black audiences.  I don’t think he’s trying to put out mainstream movies for mainstream success.   He’s doing what has worked for him for years, just on a huge scale due to his success.


Filed under african american, black men, black women, culture, relationships, women

No Question: This Nivea ad is racially insensitive (update: they apologized)

The black blogs are a buzz about this ad.

Um…so a black man’s uncivilized self = Questlove.  AKA. a guy with a big afro and facial hair?  Really, Nivea?  I read about this on Tumblr and was cracking up at people noting that the lotion company’s name sounds like the name of an Atlanta stripper.  LOL

Apparently, Questlove thought that was some bulls*** and took to Facebook and Twitter about it.

What do you guys think? 

(I’m going to go looking for a Caucasian version with a guy with long shaggy hair and a beard.  Wish me luck.)

UPDATE: Nivea agrees with me.

The company apologized on Facebook: “Thank you for caring enough to give us your feedback about the recent “Re-civilized” NIVEA FOR MEN ad. This ad was inappropriate and offensive. It was never our intention to offend anyone, and for this we are deeply sorry. This ad will never be used again. Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values of our company.” (source: Clutch/MTV)


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Django Unchained: I’m not interested in any movie where black women are repeatedly raped

I don’t know about you, but a movie featuring mildly thought out black female slave characters who are repeatedly raped at a club for white slave owners is not my idea of a great film.  I don’t want to see a female slave raped in front of her husband.  I don’t want to see her tortured and degraded…or locked in a cage naked.  OH and I’m not too keen about this content combined with a whole lot of other blaxploitation style slave torture (Whippings, beatings, etc).

What am I talking about?  Django Unchained.  The upcoming Quentin Tarantino film set to be released in Dec 2012 that black women need to start protesting now.  I mean really!!  We need to get on this, SIS. (I’m not going to even start on how I’m not for this movie coming out the month after Obama wins…again.  Let’s be real, no black person will want to see this if he loses either.)  Remember when Disney tried to give the first Black Princess the name “Maddy” (Too close to Mammy)?  Yep, WE got that changed and that wasn’t as bad as this.

Some sistas are ready to organize: “If all goes as the leaked script has planned for this “comedy”, audiences will get to see the character “Broomhilda”, an enslaved Black woman, naked for almost her entire time on screen, flashing her breasts on a slave auction block, and graphically raped – repeatedly – throughout the movie, at least 4 or 5 times, by individual and groups of white men. It’s also reported that this character is degraded in other ways throughout the movie, like being doused in mud, locked in a cage, and raped in front of her husband. Supposedly, all in good fun. And judging from Tarantino’s history of extremely graphic and offensive imagery in his past “comedic” works such as “Pulp Fiction”, the imagery used to degrade Black women in this so-called “comedy” will not be lighthearted fare. ” (Stop The Media Smear Campaign Against Black Women)

The script leaked and the reviews are all over the internet from those who have seen it.  Sure, Sure, a script can change and this one should if what I’m reading is correct.  Jamie Fox, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kerry Washington have been named as potential actors interested (Here is a list of the roles in the movie).  I don’t think they would sign on to something as terrible as what I’ve read, but you never know.  The economy is bad.  Hell, Jamie did star in “Booty Call”.  He’s apparently up for the lead role.  Funny thing, people who’ve read the script are saying that the lead is not the “Mandigo”/Nat Turner role people think it’s going to be.  He’s playing second fiddle most of the film to a German bounty hunter who takes him under his wing.  Think of Tommy Lee Jones working with Will Smith’s character in Men in Black…but make Will a slave.  Yeah, something like that.  A slave revolt/retribution movie with a white male lead as the star.  That’s Hollywood.

Shadow and Act says: “I’ve Read Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” Script, And, Well, It’s Not Nat Turner’s Revolt…”

“Speaking of its blaxploitation influences… regarding the lead female character in this, named Broomhilda, Django’s slave wife, whom he’s separated from, and seeks. She’s the lead female in the film, but her part is limited to really just physicalities. She has the most screen time of any other woman in the film, which is why I call her the lead female character, but, really, there’s no Shosanna in this one, as there was in Inglorious Basterds. The black female “lead” here doesn’t get the same kind of dignified treatment that Tarantino gave Shosanna. Not even close. Yes, I know it’s a different time altogether, but, I’m sure he could have afforded Broomhilda some complexities, and maybe even made her a heroine in her own right.

There are some 4 or 5 scenes in which the she’s, shall we say, “exposed”… i.e. naked; and they felt gratuitous to me; 2 in which she’s raped by white men. When we first meet her, she’s on the auction block and asked to bare her breasts to potential buyers; later, she’s chased through a hotel, through hallways, and lobbies, etc, by a slave master, completely naked, after being woken up from sleep, with a whip across her naked body; and still later, she’s locked up naked in a steel box as punishment for trying to run away. Yes, I’m sure these are all scenarios that very well likely could have played out at the time; however, Tarantino could have opted to depict her in another light altogether, but instead chose this less flattering, exploitative one.”

I feel a campaign a-brewing to get the makers of this flick to scrap some of that exploitative sexual violence towards black women.   Oh and I’m sure that people (Spike Lee) will be mad about use of the N-word.  It will be Roots all over again for some of you, since it’s a period piece. If people thought there were a lot of N-words thrown around in “Jackie Brown” or “Pulp Fiction”, they haven’t seen anything yet.

I hope the script is a dry run because the concept his potential.  Hey, I’m up for a slaves vs. masters revenge movie.  Sure Quentin, show or all the brutality and violence.  Put it in people’s faces.  However, historical accuracy doesn’t call for this level of sexual violence against black women.  It’s not funny.  It’s in bad taste.


Filed under african american, black history, black men, black women, celebrity, drama, media, n-word, news, opinion, race, racism, rape, sex, slavery, stereotype, women

So, Folks Have Issues with Jill Scott and Common at White House

Wow.  Jill Scott and Common, two of the most mellow and artistic musical phenoms I know, are getting bashed by the right-wing (Palin and Drudge Report) for lyrics.  I’m sure these pundits had no clue who they were before this and have simply discovered them via the White House Poetry night.  Um…didn’t Bush Senior’s Presidency include a visit from Easy E (He gave big donations to the Republican Party.  Long story.  See VH1 RockDocs.).

Oh I get it!  You can visit the White House if you’re a real thug AND  you’ve given to the RNC.  Well, that explains a whole lot.

This is a mess.  So you can’t do protest songs any more? Joan Baez, anyone?  Bob Dylan, maybe.  You can’t talk about your opinions on race, politics, etc in songs anymore, Right Wing America?  All we can listen to is Travis Tritt crooning about the Red, White, and Blue?  I’m moving to Canada.

You can’t wish ill of the president?  Really, Really?  As much as the right-wing tolerates people calling Obama names and calling for bad things to happen to him…you are going to bring up some song lyrics?  Hypocracy!


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Possible Modern Day Lynching Ruled Suicide in Mississippi

This situation is just not adding up for me.  A 26 year-old black man with a history of mental illness was found hanging from a tree in the predominantly white housing area of Greenwood, MS after he wandered off on Dec 1, 2010.   Greenwood, in the Mississippi Delta, is in the same county as Money, Miss., where 14-year-old Emmett Till was infamously lynched in 1955.

There are of course no witnesses and not much mention of how he would have been able to hang himself.  As far as I know, hanging one’s self without assistance is difficult at best.  Police say there was no visible sign that the body had been tampered with and there was no initial physical evidence that would indicate it could be murder. I know police need evidence.  I understand that.  However, in terms of a suicide this is not a typical scenario.

USA Today – “The county sheriff says that a 26-year-old black man found hanged from an oak tree in Greenwood, Miss., apparently committed suicide, but the president of the local NAACP challenges that explanation and says the group will monitor developments in the case.

Frederick Jermaine Carter, whose body was found Friday in North Greenwood, had a history of mental illness, was on medication and had a pattern of wandering away, says Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks.

Carter, who lived in neighboring Sunflower County, was helping his stepfather paint a building Wednesday. The stepfather went to get tools and when he returned, Carter had wandered off, Banks says.

“That really didn’t bother the stepdaddy,” Banks says. “It had happened so many times before. He’s a mental patient and was taking medication. He had wandered to Florida, to Arkansas.”

After Carter was found Friday, Banks says he investigated the scene and found no evidence that anyone else was there. “I didn’t see any indication of anybody else being in that area, going from physical evidence and the general tracks,” Banks says. “He had on a sort of new pair of tennis shoes that had a most distinct track with an unusual design.”

“We tracked him where he walked in there,” he says. “No other tracks followed his tracks. He walked in there by himself. There were no signs around the tree where he was hanging.””

I’m skeptical given the young man’s metal state and the difficulty of doing something like this outside in the woods.  I’ve only read one article (out of 10 so far) that notes how he might have done this.

“”There was an old table, just a frame of an old table right up at the tree. It looked like he used that frame to stand up on and then kicked it out from under him,” Banks said.He said the man’s jacket pocket held a bundle of braided rope like the rope around his neck.” source

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The New American Caste System?

Poor is the new Black.

Now that I have your attention.  What do I mean by that?  America is a society where historically someone (or some group such as women) has to be “the lower caste”.  I have a feeling that the rising number of poor people in America just may become the new “Out” group.  By using the word “caste” I mean to put emphasis on the fact that in the near future people may not be able to raise themselves up out of poverty by their book straps, just as for generations many people in places like India have never escaped the stigma of the caste they were born into.  I wonder if we are seeing the foundations of a society where poor is the new untouchable.

Will race still be a factor in the way groups are divided up in the U.S.?  Sure, but let’s face it, my fellow Negroes.  Many of us are educated enough and make enough money were we don’t have to worry about the daily trials and tribulations faced by our fellow American who live below the poverty line.  Sure, there is still racism to content with.  But you cold, hard, green cash and plastic is accepted as widely as Visa most of the time.  Race is not the main qualifier in the American caste system these days.

However, I’m also not ignoring the fact that many blacks are in the ranks of the poor as well…every ethnic group is. White, Black, Brown, Red, Yellow…Technicolor…doesn’t matter.  If you don’t have money in America, you are in a really tight spot right now.

Ask someone who doesn’t have a job.  Ask a recent grad who’s been looking for work since January.  Ask a Baby Boomer who keeps being told they are over qualified, but they look in the interviewer’s eyes which seem to say, “You’re too old for us to take the chance that you’ll wreak havoc on our insurance policy and we already have too many folks on disability.”

I was just reading this morning that U.S. Income inequality is at its highest level since the Census started tracking it in 1967 (Gini Index).  The number of U.S. households getting food stamps increased by 2 million last year to 11.7 million.  This is the highest number on record.  That means 1 in 10 families are getting government aid to feed themselves.

If we keep going in this direction, how poor you are will determine your place in society more than how Black you are.  A caste system focused on economical attainment is not far-fetched.


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Typical Negro Shout Out to The Crouch Quadruplets

Shout out to the Crouch Quadruplets of Danbury, Connecticut.  Kenny, Martina, Ray and Carol Crouch collectively applied to more than 30 colleges, and not to all the same places.   All 4 were happy when they signed on the Yale admissions website, one by one, and found out that all 4 quadruplets had been admitted to the Class of 2014!  You know their mom and dad were ecstatic.

Their class rankings range from 13 out of a class of 632 (Kenny) to 46 (Martina) — and they have sky-high SAT scores (including Carol’s perfect 800 on the verbal part of that exam).

They haven’t made the decision to choose Yale yet.  They have until May 1.  Financial aid will be key to their decision, since they do not want to burden their parents.

Source: NY Times

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Black Vegan: You have considered going Vegetarian or Vegan?

I’m currently exploring veganism as a way to lose weight and improve my health.  My path involves a lot of raw food and excludes a lot of processed food (white flour, white sugar, white rice, etc).  So I was wondering, how many of my fellow African-Americans have embraced or are considering embracing a veggie-centered lifestyle when it comes to what you put in your mouth?  What are your reasons for changing your diet?  How long have you embraced vegetarianism or veganism?  What is making you consider making a change if you haven’t already?

Let me know what you think.


Filed under african american, black, black man, black men, black women, change, culture, food, opinion

ABC News: Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man?

I’m wishing Steve Harvey, Sherri Shepard, Jacque Reid, Hill Harper, and Jimi Izrael Good Luck as they try to answer this age old question:  Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man?  I’m sure the panel will try their hardest, but the answer is as elusive as some have found the search for their man to be.  I’ll surely live blog this one, so look out for that.  All my Georgia ladies and gents, the event is happening in your neck of the woods so let me know if you get a ticket so I can hear the unedited scoop.



In the United States, black college educated women outnumber black college educated men 2 to 1. Considering all the other factors that could lend to this disproportion, it’s not surprising people wonder why many successful black women cannot find a man.  ABC News “Nightline” asks this question and relevant others–Are black women’s expectations too high? Who’s to blame, Black women or black men? – in the next “Nightline Face Off” in Decatur, Georgia on Friday, April 9.

In this “Face-Off,” the 7th in the program’s series, Sherri Shepherd, Emmy award-winning co-host of ABC’s “The View” and Jacque Reid, star of VH1’s “Let’s Talk About Pep” will debate Hill Harper, CSI star and author of The Conversation, and Jimi Izrael, author of The Denzel Principle. Steve Harvey, radio talk show host and bestselling author of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man and “Nightline’s” Vicki Mabrey will co-moderate the debate.  Shepherd and Reid will participate as single, successful African American females who have difficulty finding an equal match while Harper and Izrael argue that single women should look beyond stereotypes when choosing a black man. Continue reading


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When Negroes Need to Feel “Special”: Tavis’s Black Agenda Event

Tavis Smiley is hosting a national forum today in Chicago titled, “We Count! The Black Agenda is the American Agenda.”  I don’t like the title at all.  The Black Agenda is PART of the American Agenda but it’s not THE Agenda any more than the Hispanic, White, Native American, or Asian “Agendas”.  Do I think that the US Government should show concern when any of its citizens are racially profiled, denied mortgages, or otherwise discriminated against?  Yes.  Do I think African-American face some special challenges due to institutionalized racism in this country?  Yes.  However, I think that the Black community has to galvanize and organize to create solutions internally and not depend on the Federal Government or Barack Obama for all the answers.  Where are the Black leaders who are challenging Black America to stand up and take responsiblity?  Where are the brothers and sisters who understand that WE not ONE can save the nation?

If this all you have to do be a Black leader?  Get a soap box on TV and take that influence to create a leadership persona.  Is it really that simple?  I really have to question the context of this meeting.  Is there corporate sponsorship?  Is it being done in a spirit of black unity?  I didn’t hear about it until Tavis had a bone to pick with other black leaders.

The issue came to a head recently when Tavis Smiley, appearing on the morning show of syndicated radio host Tom Joyner, openly questioned black leaders such as NAACP President Ben Jealous, the Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Council of Negro Women’s Dorothy Height about their unwillingness to hold President Obama accountable for these disparities and demanded that Obama develop an agenda targeted to address black inequalities. Impassioned by the debate, Smiley is hosting a national forum today in Chicago titled, “We Count! The Black Agenda is the American Agenda.” – Washington Post

You know, we need to be real.  There are a lot of black people who are wearing the leadership hat who frankly may just be working their gig for everylittle bit of fame we will give them because that is their full-time job.  If you are selling books, throwing events, or appearing as a TV news pundit more than twice a year, I think you may just be trying to drum up business for yourself.  Let’s be real people, we all know of  black activists who are not in it for the money.  We see people working who don’t have to invent issues or attach themselves to the latest tragedy of the day.  They are working hard as advocates on the behalf of the people and their rewards are progress and change…not air time and notoriety. Continue reading

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