MUHAMMAD ALI:HOW HE SHOOK UP THE WORLD & BECAME THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME

Muhammad_Ali_NYWTS

By Willie D

Willie D is a member of the legendary platinum-selling rap group the Geto Boys, (more…)

March is Women’s History Month

Plaza Noir would like to give a special shout out to all the women of the world for all that you bring to humanity. (more…)

Rosa Parks statue unveiled in US Capitol

More than half a century after she refused to give up her seat on an Alabama city bus, Rosa Parks has an immovable place in the U.S. Capitol (more…)

Ava DuVernay Wins Independent Spirit Award

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay has another reason to celebrate this year — winning the John Cassavetes Award last night at the Independent Spirit Awards (more…)

Plaza Noir Network (PNN) news and events team covers Black History Month

View recap of PNN coverage of Pan African Film and Arts Festival

Join PNN correspondents, Rasha Goel and NickiiJean On the Red Carpet

(more…)

PNN Reports on Pasadena Black History Parade

This Black History Parade is a 31 year old tradition that brings out all the residents in this community. PNN offers a glimpse of the happenings (more…)

The Pan African Film Festival Set to Kick Off 21st Anniversary

Voodoo Psycho Thriller “Vipaka”, Starring Oscar Winner Forest Whitaker and Anthony Mackie Selected as Opening Night Film (more…)

“Remembering Whitney”

Whitney’s mom Cissy addresses lesbian rumors in new bookRememberWhitney_hc_c__12255.1357948594.1280.1280, a year after Whitney Houston’s death, her 79-year-old mother, Cissy Houston is revealing intimate details of the pop icon’s life…

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“Even Me”

Nominated for Best Short Doc film at PAFF The film addresses the rise in HIV/AIDS among senior citizens of color

(more…)

The Jackie Robinson story coming to the big screen

Happy Birthday Jackie,  you would be 94 this January 31st. Where would we all be if it wasn’t for your courage and talent. (more…)

Inauguration: Barack Obama tells US to ‘seize the moment’

President Obama:

“My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it” (more…)

Dick Gregory Weighs In on ‘Django Unchained’

As the “Django Unchained” controversy continues this week, legendary Civil Right activist and comedian,

Spikeleedickgregory

Dick Gregory, (more…)

Happy New Year’s 2013

From teeming Times Square to a once-isolated Asian country celebrating its first public New Year’s Eve countdown (more…)

Ken Chaney, platinum jazz pianist and revered educator, dies in Chicago

The Chicago pianist, bandleader, composer, and educator, who played on a million-selling soul-jazz single in 1968 – died Wednesday in Chicago. (more…)

Ravi Shankar introduced Indian Music to the West, Dies at 92

Ravi Shankar, the sitar virtuoso and composer who died on Tuesday at 92, created a passion among Western audiences for the rhythmically vital, melodically flowing (more…)

Ken Burns doc The Central Park Five screens

The Central Park Jogger case involved an assault and rape that took place in New York City’s Central Park on April 19, 1989. (more…)

PBS to air Ken Burns doc “The Dust Bowl”

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there were isolated reports of people in neighboring states who saw the influx of displaced New Orleanians into their cities as a burden – (more…)

Barack Obama’s 2012 Victory Speech

 President Barack Obama won a second term as president on Tuesday, describing his victory over Republican nominee Mitt Romney a call to action that would help move the U.S. (more…)

Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change / Benefit Telethon to Aid Victims

In response to the widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the networks of NBCUniversal  will join forces to air a one-hour live benefit telethon, (more…)

Kendrec McDade Family protest Pasadena NAACP Awards Dinner

The friends,family of slain teenager Kendrec McDade protest in front of the Pasadena Hilton Hotel against the Pasadena branch of the NAACP. (more…)

Ava DuVernay wins best director at the Sundance Film Festival 2012.

Middle of Nowhere is just Ava DuVernay‘s second feature film, but her work scored her the best director prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival — making her the first (more…)

The Space Shuttle over JPL

BMV Productions lenses the  last flight of the Shuttle_Fly-by_2.pngSpace Shuttle Endeavor over the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California on September 21, 2012. (more…)

James Howard Meredith

Celebrating the 50th anniversary, ending segregation in Mississippi. Meredith is an American civil rights movement figure,

(more…)

Obama makes case for second term

President Barack Obama accepts the Democratic presidential nomination and addresses the DNC September 7, 2012 in Charlotte, NC.

(more…)

‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’

If you’ve never heard of Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wildodds are by the time Oscars are being handed out next February, (more…)

Director Spike Lee promotes latest film

Legendary director Spike Lee chats about ”Red Hook Summer,” his prolific career, (more…)

Anthony David “Tony” Scott

(21 June 1944 – 19 August 2012) was a British film director. His films include The Hunger, Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II, (more…)

Fifth straight gold for U.S. women’s basketball team

LONDON — Using its familiar formula of defense and depth, the U.S. women’s basketball team overwhelmed France (more…)

Gabby Douglas 1st African-American to win Gold in Gymnastics All-Around

Gabby Douglas, 16, who months ago was not considered the best United States gymnast, won the Olympic all-around  (more…)

Denzel Washington and BAMC

Denzel Washington and his family visited the troops at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, (BAMC) Dec 2004. (more…)

NAACP executive and Image Awards pioneer passes in Los Angeles

Association chief executive Willis Franklin Earl Edwards was born in Carthage, Texas, outside of Houston, on January 1, 1946. (more…)

Magic Johnson ‘Aspire’ network launching this summer

Capitol Hill Conference: Future Directions In The Fight Against HIV/AIDS

On June 30, former Los Angeles Lakers all-star Earvin “Magic” Johnson will be launching a 24-hour basic cable television network called “Aspire.” (more…)

Montford Point Marines receives Congressional Gold Medal

The first black Marines landed in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to receive the Congressional Gold Medal for their World War II service in the face of discrimination.

The Montford Point Marines, named after the segregated North Carolina camp where they trained, and their surviving family members received the nation’s highest civilian honor during an emotional ceremony in the Capitol visitor center’s Emancipation Hall.

“I don’t think we imagined that anything like this would ever happen in our lifetime,’’ William McDowell, representing the Montford Point Marines, told the crowd, his voice breaking with emotion.

Lawmakers from both parties saluted the pioneers before a crowd that included current and former Marines, including Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos.

In supporting the congressional legislation to award the medal, Amos earlier wrote Congress that the Montford Point Marines  “served with distinction in three of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific — Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa,” and that they “defended a society that enjoyed freedoms they did not share” and “contributed, in large measure, to President Truman‘s decision to order the desegregation of the Armed Forces in 1948.”

The Montford Point Marines who attended the ceremony are due to receive bronze replicas of the medal Thursday at a parade hosted by the Marine Corps commandant at Marine Barracks Washington, according to Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), a sponsor of the legislation to award the medal.

“This is a proud victory for the Montford Point Marines, as this gold medal will forever anchor their role in the history of our nation’s great military,” said Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.), the lead House sponsor of the legislation.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the Montford Point Marines “secured a permanent place of honor in our national memory. For doing so in the face of mistreatment and injustice, we owe them an even greater measure of respect and gratitude.’’

The roughly 400 Montford Point Marines who attended the ceremony — out of about 20,000 African Americans who trained at Camp Montford Point — are among groups of aging World War II veterans that lawmakers are seeking to honor.

The Senate recently voted to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the volunteer pilots in the Civil Air Patrol who patrolled the U.S. coastline in search of German U-boats, and legislation has been introduced to award gold medals to the First Special Service Force, a U.S.-Canadian commando unit depicted in the movie “The Devil’s Brigade,” and to troops who defended Bataan, Philippines, during World War II.

Congress has awarded gold medals to the Tuskegee Airmen; Navajo Code Talkers; Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs; and Japanese American members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service.

Commemorating Juneteenth

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. (more…)

Hazing Crisis: James Ammons Gets No-confidence Vote

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The president of Florida A&M University vowed to remain on the job Thursday despite a no-confidence vote from school trustees (more…)

Influential Blues + Jazz Guitarist Pete Cosey Dead at 68

Donna Summer Dead: Queen Of Disco Dies At 63

Lovingly named the “Queen of Disco,” the 63-year-old was in Florida at the time of her death. (more…)

Billboard Music Awards 2012 Best-Dressed

The stars were out and shining Sunday night

Alicia Keys

(more…)

Postal Service to Issue Miles Davis Stamp

More than 20 years after his death, jazz legend Miles Davis is being honored by the U.S. Postal Service with his very own stamp. (more…)

Newest Michigan museum showcases racist artifacts




The objects displayed in Michigan’s newest museum range from the ordinary, such as simple ashtrays and fishing lures, (more…)

1st Annual International Jazz Day – April 30th

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock are pleased to announce International Jazz Day to be held April 30 of every year. (more…)

Justice Rally for Kendrec McDade

PASADENA – At a rally on the steps of City Hall, community activists Tuesday demanded justice Tuesday for Kendrec_Rally.jpgslain black teenager Kendrec McDade. (more…)

Chaka Khan Releases Tribute in Honor of Trayvon Martin

Super diva powerhouse Chaka Khan grabbed some of her friends and put together this beautiful Heal The World-esque song and video tribute (more…)

PAFF Announces Winners 2012

LOS ANGELES — The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) is happy to announce the winners of its films in competition today.

(more…)

Los Angeles Womens Theatre Festival

The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival will honor four women for their exceptional career and life (more…)

Book on Black Memorabilia Movement

Among the estimated 50,000 collectors of Black memorabilia, the phenomena of gathering and sharing these items  (more…)

Savoring Harlem: Watching the New Harlem Renaissance Come Alive

As the famous Langston Hughes poem entitled “Harlem” starts, “What happens to a dream deferred?” many often think that the line refers to Harlem itself. (more…)

Dick Anthony Williams

With much sadness, regret appears the iconic actor and Chicago native Dick Anthony Williams passed away on Wednesday (Feb. 15th) at the age of 73. (more…)

Ms.Whitney passes to soon!

Whitney Houston, the multimillion-selling singer who emerged in the 1980s as one of her generation’s greatest R & B voices, (more…)

A Tribute to Media Pioneer Don Cornelius

Don Cornelius became the baritone-voiced bellwether of Chicago cool when he took “Soul Train” from (more…)

“The Help”?

by Anthony Kaufman | August 11, 2011

“Why should I complain about making $7,000 a week playing a maid? If I didn’t, I’d be making $7 a week being one.” — Hattie McDaniel

Despite Hollywood’s best intentions and well-meaning saccharine storytelling, it gets race wrong, repeatedly. From “Driving Miss Daisy” to “Crash” to “The Blind Side” to “Avatar,” whiteness remains Hollywood’s dominant force, and its stories of racial redemption continually fail to grapple with the realities of America’s horrible racism, past and present.

For all those giving a pass to “The Help,” forgiving the film’s reactionary core for its strong performances or heartwarming uplift, I suggest you consider the deep-seated problem of perpetuating the white savior myth — once again. It reinforces stereotypes, powerful images of subjugation, that endure in the public consciousness.

I like what Boston Globe critic Wesley Morris wrote in his review of the film:

“The best film roles three black women will have all year require one of them to clean Ron Howard’s daughter’s house. It’s self-reinforcing movie imagery. White boys have always been Captain America. Black women, in one way or another, have always been someone’s maid. These are strong figures, as that restaurant owner might sincerely say, but couldn’t they be strong doing something else? That’s the hardest thing to reconcile about Skeeter’s book and ‘The Help’’ in general. On one hand, it’s juicy, heartwarming, well-meant entertainment. On the other, it’s an owner’s manual.”

In a post called “Why Can’t Critics Just Get Along,” David Poland criticizes critics for criticizing the fact that “The Help” was made, at all, and not reviewing the film on its relative faults and merits. But Poland doesn’t seem to read Morris’s point–and mine, as well–that the film’s faults are integrally mixed with its premise. To make a film that purports to be about the struggles of black servitude that is actually just another tale about a white person’s empowerment is grossly irresponsible, from a political perspective, and kind of lame, from a narrative perspective.

In his 1965 essay, “White Man’s Guilt,” James Baldwin writes about America’s racism: “One wishes that Americans, white Americans, would read, for their own sakes, this record, and stop defending themselves against it. Only then will they be enabled to change their lives. The fact that Americans, white Americans, have not yet been able to do this- to face their history, to change their lives-hideously menaces this country. Indeed, it menaces the entire world.”

Forty-six years later, it seems, the American white establishment still can’t seem to understand that they are responsible for racial discrimination and subjugation, and not, as “The Help” would have it, responsible for breaking down those walls.

I also can’t help wonder what does it say about “The Help” that Ablene Cooper, an African American nanny and housekeeper who works for “The Help” author Kathryn Stockett’s brother and sister-in-law, filed a lawsuit against Stockett, claiming that the central African American maid in the novel — a woman named Aibileen Clark and portrayed in the film by Viola Davis — was based largely on her likeness without her approval. A judge will decide on the case next week, as millions of Americans will fork over cash, enriching more white Americans. The exploitation continues.

Top Ten Black Inventors

Throughout history, African Americans have invented some important and fun devices. Read about ten examples of men and women and see what they invented.Think about what kind of obstacles they may have faced, personally and professionally.


Elijah McCoy

(1843–1929) invented an oil-dripping cup for trains

.

Fast Fact: Other inventors tried to copy McCoy’s oil-dripping cup. But none of the other

cups worked as well as his, so customers started asking for “the real McCoy.” That’s where the expression comes from.

_________________________________________________________________________

Lewis Latimer

1848-1926) invented an important part of the light bulb(— the carbon filament)

.

Fast Fact: Latimer worked in the laboratories of both Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.

 

 

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Jan Ernst Matzeliger

(1852–1889)invented a shoemaking machine that increased shoemaking speedby 900%!

.

Fast Fact: In 1992, the U.S. made a postage stamp in honor of Matzeliger

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Granville T. Woods

Granville T. Woods (1856–1910) invented a train-to-station communication system.


 

 

 

Fast Fact: Woods left school at age 10 to work and support his family

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George Washington Carver

(1860–1943) developed peanut butter and 400 plant products!

 

Fast Fact:Carver was born a slave. He didn’t go to college until he was

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Madam C. J. Walker

Madam C. J. Walker (1867–1919) invented a hair-growing lotion.

Fast Fact: Walker grew up poor. But she became the first female African- American millionaire.

____________________________________________________________________________

Garrett Morgan

Garrett Morgan (1877–1963) invented the gas mask.


Fast Fact: Morgan also invented the first traffic signal.

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Otis Boykin

Otis Boykin (1920–1982) invented the electronic control devices for guided missiles, IBM computers, and the pacemaker.


Fast Fact: Boykin invented 28 different electronic devices.

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Dr. Patricia E. Bath

Dr. Patricia. E. Bath (1949–) invented a method of eye surgery that has helped many blind people to see

Fast Fact: Dr. Bath has been nominated to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

._____________________________________________________________________________

Lonnie G. Johnson

Lonnie G. Johnson (1949–) invented the world-famous watergun, the Supersoaker.

Fast Fact: Johnson’s company just came out with a new Nerf ball toy gun.


Red Tails

George Lucas “Red Tails” Take Flight.

(more…)

“Slavery By Another Name” Sundance 2012

Census: Widening income gap as blacks leave cities

Affluent black Americans who are leaving industrial cities for the suburbs and the South are shifting traditional lines between rich and poor, according to new census data. (more…)

My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir

“His father, Syl Whitaker, was the charismatic grandson of slaves… His mother, Jeanne Theis, was a shy, World War II refugee from France… (more…)

Digital movie projectors end Hollywood’s film era

The 122-year reign of the celluloid 35-millimeter film projector A Digital Media Showcase Introducing New Media to Expanded Marketsis about to come to an end.
In just two months, digital will overtake film as the predominant movie projector technology in the world’s cinemas, (more…)

Academy Awards $455,000 to U.S. Film Festivals in 2012

Beverly Hills, CA (November 18, 2011) – The Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has awarded $455,000 to 25 U.S. film festivals for the 2012 calendar year.

The Cleveland International Film Festival will be the recipient of a multiyear grant for its Focus on Filmmakers program. It will receive a total of $150,000 over a three-year period. The Chicago International Film Festival is in its second year of a multiyear grant, receiving $150,000 in total for its World Cinema Spotlight program.

While the grants are awarded for a variety of festival programs, organizers are encouraged to submit proposals intended to make festival events more accessible to the general public, provide greater access to minority and less visible filmmakers, and help strengthen the connection between filmmakers and the general public.

The 2012 film festival grants allocations are as follows:

$50,000

  • Chicago International Film Festival – World Cinema Spotlight program
  • Cleveland International Film Festival – Focus on Filmmakers

$30,000

  • Los Angeles Film Festival – Free Screenings program
  • San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival – World Cinema Spotlight program

$20,000

  • Ann Arbor Film Festival (MI) – 50th Anniversary Archival program
  • Chicago International Children’s Film Festival – Directors in the Schools, Educational
    Curriculum Development and free tickets
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival (Durham, NC) – Thematic program
  • Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival – “30 Years of Outfest” retrospective program
  • Palm Springs International ShortFest – Filmmaker Forums
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival – Field Trip to the Movies program
  • True/False Film Fest (Columbia, MO) – Visiting Filmmaker program; SWAMI Mentoring program; Film Academy Student Track; Outreach to Students and Minorities
  • Virginia Film Festival (Charlottesville) – Community Outreach and Education program

$15,000

  • RiverRun International Film Festival (Winston-Salem, NC) – 2010 Spotlight program: Landmark Science Fiction Films
  • St. Louis International Film Festival – Women in Film Sidebar

$10,000

  • Athens International Film and Video Festival (Ohio) – “Let’s Talk About Water” screening and seminar program
  • Berkshire International Film Festival (Great Barrington, MA) – Talent Campus
  • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (Missoula, MT) – Retrospective Programming and the
    Reel Sounds Sidebar
  • Cucalorus Film Festival (Wilmington, NC) – Voices program
  • Indie Memphis Film Festival – Visiting Filmmakers and Community Outreach
  • Maryland Film Festival (Baltimore) – New Waves in World Cinema program
  • Pan African Film Festival (Los Angeles) – StudentFest

$5,000

  • New York Arab and South Asian Film Festival (New York City) – Retrospective Program
  • South East European Film Festival (Los Angeles) – Audience Development
  • Tallgrass Film Festival (Witchita, KS) – Filmmaker Hospitality

Since its establishment in 1999, the Academy’s Festival Grants Program has distributed 277 grants totaling $4.85 million in funding. For more information on the grants program, visit http://www.oscars.org/education-outreach/grants/.

The Academy Foundation – the Academy’s cultural and educational wing – annually distributes more than $1 million to film scholars, cultural organizations and film festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad. The Foundation also presents the Academy’s rich assortment of screenings and other public programs each year.

Morgan Freeman to receive DeMille Award

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced Wednesday (more…)

Fox To Reboot ‘In Living Color’ With Keenen Ivory Wayans

2 Specials Set For Midseason

EXCLUSIVE: Fox is bringing back its groundbreaking 1990s sketch comedy series In Living Color (more…)

INTERVIEW: Jamie Foxx On Producing His New Documentary “Thunder Soul”

Born Eric Marlon Bishop in Terrell,Texas on December 13, 1967,

(more…)

Tributes for Apple ‘visionary’ Steve Jobs

World and business leaders have been paying tribute to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who has died at the age of 56 from pancreatic cancer. (more…)

Sonny Rollins To Receive 34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors

Sonny Rollins is one of five individuals who have been selected to receive the Kennedy Center Honors of 2011, (more…)

NEA awards Watts arts grant amid Towers skate park controversy

As controversy mounts the federal government announced Tuesday that it will pump $350,000 into Watts

in hopes of sparking an arts-drivenrevitalization (more…)

‘Honey Boy’ Dies at 96

*Grammy-winning Blues musician David “Honey Boy” Edwards, believed to be the oldest surviving Delta bluesman and whose roots stretched back to blues legend Robert Johnson, died early Monday in his Chicago home. (more…)

MLK Memorial Dedication

The Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. today announced plans for the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial (more…)

Songwriter Nick Ashford dies

Nick Ashford, one-half of the legendary Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson that penned elegant, soulful classics for the likes of Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye and funk hits for Chaka Khan and others, died Monday at age 70, (more…)

Association of Black Women Historians Warn Against ‘The Help’

The ABWH statement takes the film to task for seeming to suggest that after the assassination of Civil Rights pioneer Medgar Evers, (more…)

Frank Foster, Dies at 82

Frank Foster, a saxophonist, composer and arranger who helped shape the sound of the Count Basie Orchestra during its popular heyday in the 1950s and ’60s

(more…)

Amy Winehouse’s Singer Heshima Pays Tribute With ‘Tears Won’t Dry’

Altadena Post Office to be named after Tuskegee Airman

Legislation introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff to designate  the U.S. Postal Service office located in Altadena, California as the “First Lieutenant Oliver Goodall Post Office” (more…)

On the Shoulders of Giants

The legendary basketball player is the author of a new book, On the Shoulder
of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance, (more…)

ZO & Magic’s 8-Ball Challenge

ZO & Magic’s 8-Ball Challenge is an annual fundraiser to support the mission of Alonzo Mourning Charities and the Magic Johnson Foundation. (more…)

Erasing a Line Drawn in the Sand

Manhattan Beach renames a park to honor a black couple forced to give up their resort in the 1920s.

(more…)

Gil Scott-Heron Dies to Soon

by Daoud Tyler-Ameen

Gil Scott-Heron in Harlem in 2010.
Gil Scott-Heron died Friday afternoon in New York,his book publisher reported. He was 62. The influential poet and musician (more…)

Happy Birthday, Miles Davis

By Jozen Cummings May 26th 2011

Miles Dewey Davis III would have turned 85 today (May 26). Despite his death in 1991, he’s considered one of jazz music’s greatest players.

Camping ‘Bewildered, Mystified’ at Lack of Rapture

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff Posted May 23, 2011 6:16 AM
Camping came out of hiding briefly yesterday, after his predicted rapture did not
come to pass, (more…)

What is the Internet hiding?

Short answer: Way more than you think.  Eli Pariser laid it all out in this eye-opening TED talk, and got a standing ovation for his trouble. His book on the topic, (more…)

Glenn Towery presents B.R.I.T.E. B.R.A.T.S.

BRITE_BRATS_Group_Photo_4.jpg

If you or your friends have children with inquisitive minds they may love our new series of children books. (more…)

Trump Card: White Denial, Racial Resentment and the Art of the Heel

By Tim Wise

Posted on May 2, 2011

There is no one in the world more creative than a white person trying to deny their racism, after having said or done something incredibly racist.

Whether it’s the Orange County California Republican activist who recently sent around the e-mail with the picture of the Obamas portrayed as chimpanzees, or the folks who show up to Tea Party rallies with signs picturing the president as an African witch doctor with a bone through his nose, no one ever wants to admit the obvious: that they are knuckle-dragging, pathetic bigots. In the case of the above-mentioned Republican activist, she relied on the old stand-by defense; namely, that she has black friends. Of course, she can’t name any of them, because she’s lying; and more to the point, this isn’t a defense to a charge of racism. It would be like a heterosexual man using sexist slurs in the workplace, or pinching female co-workers on the ass, and then insisting that he wasn’t sexist because after all, he has a wife.

It all reminds me of my senior year of college, when two crosses were burned on our campus. After the first, which was burned when a previously all-white fraternity had offered a bid to a black student, many whites denied that the act had been racist because it had only been a “two-foot cross.” After the second, the perpetrators insisted they had just been throwing wood randomly into a bonfire, when a few pieces “accidentally landed in a cross-like position.” Although the horizontal bar of the cross had an MLK Jr. Boulevard sign attached to it, that was just a coincidence, they insisted.

But the most recent award for a “White Man Doing Racist Shit and then Lying About it” has to go to Donald Trump. Although Trump insists that he is possibly the “least racist” person on the planet, and that he actually gets along good with “the blacks,” whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean, his actions suggest otherwise. Putting aside the testimony of a former colleague of Trump’s, who has noted that the Donald once said that laziness was a “trait in blacks” (an accusation Trump never denied at the time it was made), his recent rants indicate a definite willingness to push buttons of white racial anxiety and resentment for political gain.

First, Trump jumped on the birther bandwagon, suggesting that President Obama may not have been born in the U.S. This, despite the fact that state officials in Hawaii had long verified that he was born there, and the fact that the Honolulu newspaper had printed a birth announcement a few days after Obama was born. To believe the president wasn’t born there would require a belief that his mother had purposely concocted a conspiracy to place a phony birth announcement: an act that would have made no sense unless we believe that she somehow knew, even in 1961, that her son — her black son — was going to run for president one day and would need the cover of “natural born” citizenship. What makes birtherism racist is simple: it has been part of a larger narrative that has attempted to “other” Barack Obama, as a secret Muslim, a foreigner, an “anti-colonial” African (in Dinesh D’Souza’s terms), and as someone who doesn’t view America the way the rest of us (read: white people) do. No white president has ever had their citizenship questioned in this way, nor would they. To believe that he would have faced this kind of attack had his name been O’Malley instead of Obama, just because some whack-a-doodle fabricated a phony birth certificate suggesting that O’Malley had been born in Ireland, rather than, say, South Boston, is to believe in unicorns and pixie dust.

Now, with the birth certificate thing settled among remotely sane people, Trump has switched gears, casting doubt on Barack Obama’s academic performance and suggesting he didn’t deserve to get into the Ivy League schools he attended; namely, Columbia and Harvard Law. Although this plays directly into the long-running narrative so common on the white right for the past forty years, to the effect that black folks are getting things they don’t deserve because of racial favoritism, Trump insists it has nothing to do with race. Of course not. Neither could it possibly be about race that Trump would question Obama in this way, despite never having raised the issue of academic merit with any white president or politician, like, for instance, George W. Bush, who was a mediocre student (at best) in prep school and Yale, and actually bragged about his piss-poor performance to Yale students when he gave the commencement address there after becoming president.

Oh, and let’s not forget that Little Lord Fountleroy gave money to the McCain/Palin campaign, despite the fact that John McCain graduated sixth from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy and was only admitted to Annapolis in the first place because his daddy was an admiral; and that Sarah Palin barely graduated at all, bouncing around at five schools before finally getting her degree. So for Trump to now pose as the protector of academic standards seems a bit disingenuous, to say the least, and by disingenuous I mean really, really racist.

By suggesting Obama might not have deserved to be in the Ivy League (despite that whole Magna Cum Laude thing at Harvard Law, which is not awarded, after all, by pulling names out of a hat), Trump has descended into the pit most commonly occupied by Pat Buchanan, who has never met a successful person of color who he thought earned their position. It isn’t that Trump is a racist in the classic sense. He might be, but that isn’t the point: it’s that he, like far too many white Americans seems to buy into a narrative that people of color are getting things for which they aren’t qualified: slots in good colleges, positions on the Supreme Court, or even the presidency itself. Rush Limbaugh, for instance, insists that Obama only won because he was black and that a combination of racially-motivated African Americans and guilt-ridden white liberals voted for him on that basis. It’s the political extension of what Rush said back in 2003, when he argued that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Donovan McNabb, wasn’t very talented, but got a free pass from the media because sportswriters were so desirous of seeing a black quarterback succeed. That a guy whose only physical exercise in 20 years had been washing down oxycontin with water would deign to weigh in on who was and was not a talented football player was precious to say the least.

This white resentment is the modern manifestation of racism: it isn’t necessarily the old-school bigotry to which the nation was accustomed back in the day; rather, it’s the kind that views black and brown folks as taking things that are rightfully ours, as whites. So the brown-skinned immigrants are taking “our” jobs; the black and brown welfare cheats are taking “our” tax dollars; the affirmative action beneficiaries are taking “our” kids’ slots at Princeton, or for that matter, the state university down the road. We are entitled to these things, says the narrative; we earned them. But they didn’t.

Never mind that according to a Century Foundation study from a few years back, for every student of color who benefitted at all from affirmative action at a selective college there are two whites with lower scores and grades than the average, but who were admitted anyway because of family connections or parental alumni status.

Never mind that even when job applicants are equally qualified in terms of experience and education, applicants with white-sounding names are 50 percent more likely than those with black-sounding names to get a callback for an interview.

Never mind that white male job applicants with criminal records are more likely to get called back for an interview than black men without one, even when all other qualifications are indistinguishable.

Never mind that African Americans with college degrees are twice as likely as their white counterparts to be out of work, Latinos with degrees about fifty percent more likely than comparable whites to be out of work, and Asian Americans with degrees about 35 percent more likely than similar whites to be unemployed.

Never mind that corporations run by white folks receive far more taxpayer largesse (in the form of subsidies and specialized tax breaks) than all poor folks combined, let alone the poor of color.

Never mind that General Electric paid less in taxes last year than undocumented immigrants, despite record profits.

And never mind that Richie Rich, who was set up in business by his father and inherited tens of millions of dollars from his daddy to help him build his own fortune, thinks he is somehow qualified to pontificate on the extent to which others may or may not have earned what they have — which really is the textbook definition of irony, and by irony, I mean balls.

Social Media Marketing – 10 Useful Tips

socialmediamktgToday there are several ways to advertise online and one of the most popular is through social media marketing. You can leverage these ten powerful tips if you want to succeed in defeating competition and generate higher profits or site traffic.

Tip #1 – Start by Developing your Own Plan

You have to identify the target audience and determine how you will be able to deploy the tactics. Before you launch the marketing efforts, one should create objective so that he knows where to focus. Increasing brand awareness is vital and you have to get customers involved.

Tip #2 – Make use of LinkedIn

You have to connect with relevant people and focus on timeliness. It is necessary to complete your profile to get started and encourage people to send comments or feedback.

Tip #3 – Bookmarking Sites

You can use this site to share the ones that you’re interested to use. Users can easily build a community and gain referrals by tapping this social media.

Tip #4 – Leverage Widgets

This refers to standalone applications or tools that contain dynamic content. Make sure that the widgets you’re using are useful and relevant.

Tip #5 – Learn How to Blog

If you want to get the word out, blogging is one of the best options. This type of social media marketing is a great way to provide vital info to your target market.

There is a need to update the content regularly once you start posting blogs. You will benefit more if you include the human touch instead of just using auto-responders.

Tip #6 – Utilize Facebook Marketing

Like Twitter, Facebook is also another popular social media website that can help you in generating potential traffic and increase sales. You will have to create a suitable profile so that you can connect with your friends and target market.

Tip #7 – Utilize Twitter Marketing

If you have a Twitter account, then this is no longer new to you. You can use the social media site to promote the products or services that you’re offering. Perhaps you’re already familiar with tweets. You can send out tweets that has something to do with your business.

Tip #8 – Use YouTube

Viral videos are very popular these days and YouTube is on top. This will allow you to generate large traffic.

Tip #9 – Host Giveaways

Regardless of the social network site that you’re using, you can host giveaways. People like to get ‘free’ things and if offered something of value, you can easily build credibility.

Tip #10 – Combine all these Social Media Resources

You don’t have to use these strategies one by one. You can easily use them simultaneously as long as you’re equipped with adequate knowledge.

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HAWAI‘I RECORDING ARTISTS COLLABORATE ON JAPAN BENEFIT SONG

Watch the video and support the effort

Amy Hānaiali‘i and Henry Kapono compose “Together Hawai‘i” and records with Hawai‘i’s top vocalists.

HONOLULU, HI – April 08, 2011 – Hawai‘i’s top vocalists have come together to lend their voice of support to the victim’s of one of the world’s most tragic natural disasters in modern times. Hawai‘i’s highest selling female vocalist and five time GRAMMY® nominee Amy Hānaiali‘i Gilliom had an overwhelming feeling to help with Japan relief efforts the best way she knew how, through song. “Japan and her people have been so supportive of my career and music, when this tragedy took place I knew I had to give back in some way. I know a song will not build a home, or bring back a loved one, but I hope it calms their souls and to remind them that their brothers and sisters in Hawai‘i are always here to help,” Hānaiali‘i said of her inspiration to do something on behalf of Hawai‘i.

After penning some lyrics Hānaiali‘i contacted long time friend Henry Kapono Ka‘aihue and collectively they wrote “Together Hawai‘i: A Song For Japan”. Within a week’s time and between Hānaiali‘i’s and Kapono’s contacts they had Palikū Theater donating the space to record, award winning producers Milan Bertosa and Shawn Pimental donating their expertise, OC16-TV came to document the collaboration of all involved and they were able to put together a slew of Hawai‘i’s top vocalists. Joining Hānaiali‘i and Kapono to vocalize Hawai‘i’s support for Japan is  Raiatea Helm, Steve Jones on bass, Kapono’s niece Hilo Ka‘aihue, Robi Kahakalau, Lloyd Kawakami and his sons Alex and Nick of ManoaDNA, Danny Kennedy, Mailani, Chino Montero and Sean Na‘auao. The song is rounded out by a spoken dedication to Japan’s people by slam poet extraordinaire Kealoha.

“Japan continues to be in our thoughts and we hope we can send them positive vibes, prayers and our mana (Hawaiian for spiritual strength) – we have placed all of this into our song and we hope they feel our aloha,” Kapono said.

100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Hawai‘i Red Cross, Japanese Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund. The purchase and download of the song is available for $.99 and the accompanying music video will be available for $1.99. To preview, purchase and download the song or music video visit http://www.mountainapplecompany.com/togetherhawaii.

ABOUT THE COMPOSERS

Amy Hānaiali‘i Gilliom | www.amyhanaialiigilliom.com

Amy Hānaiali‘i has undoubtedly established herself as Hawai‘i’s most respected and loved female vocalist, songwriter, composer and performer. Hānaiali‘i is a classically trained vocalist which allows her to embrace many genres of music. Amy’s success as a recording artist speaks for itself and is evidenced by the multitude of awards and acknowledgements including five GRAMMY® nominations for Best Hawaiian Music Album. Amy’s albums have also garnered 16 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards (Hawai‘i’s equivalent to the GRAMMY®), including the prestigious Female Vocalist of the Year (4 times), Album of the Year (2 times), Hawaiian Album of the Year (3 times), Song of the Year, Group of the Year, most recently Contemporary Album of the Year and even Christmas Album of the Year. The artists for whom Amy has opened are legendary and include Carlos Santana in Germany, Willie Nelson, Diana Krall, Joe Cocker, Wayne Newton, Arlo Guthrie, The Beach Boys, Ernie Watts, Boz Scaggs, Earth, Wind and Fire, Sergio Mendes and many more. Hānaiali‘i has toured extensively on the East and West Coasts of America, Germany, China, Tahiti and she often frequents Japan.

Henry Kapono Ka‘aihue | www.henrykapono.com

Henry Kapono Ka’aihue is an award winning and GRAMMY® nominated singer/songwriter. He has taken home numerous Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards (Hawai‘i’s equivalent to the GRAMMY®) including Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, Single of the Year, and Album of the Year. He is also the author of the award winning children’s book, A Beautiful Hawaiian Day, has appeared in the films Damien and Waterworld and has made many television appearances.

Media Contact:

Adrian Kamali‘i

PAC-PR

(P) 808.529.9580

(E) adrian@paeainapr.com

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Killer Web Video Marketing II

Audience Engagement

By Jerry Bader

We are inundated with advertising messages from the time we wake to the time we go to bed. Some of these messages are welcomed and some are a source of irritation. The difference between noise and communication boils down to relevance, and relevance is a function of how advertisers deliver three basic ingredients: substance, style, and technique.

significant. In a room full of people all talking and laughing at once like at a party, your brain Our brains have a built-in spam filter that can filter out much of the irrelevant and absorb the is able to recognize your name being spoken while everything else is a cacophonous blur. The goal of advertising is to make your message significant like the sound of your name, significant enough to demand your attention. So, is your marketing communication significant, or is it merely noise?

Most Advertising Is Just Noise

The advertising industry has for the most part failed in making their clients’ messages significant. Instead they turn up the volume and increase the visual pollution in an effort to standout and be heard, but it doesn’t work. It all becomes background noise and confusing clutter easily filtered out by a brain designed to know the difference between significance and irrelevance. Any subliminal effect achieved is offset by the irritation that accompanies junk information.

If you want your audience to listen to you, you first must have something relevant to say, and second you have to know how to say it so that it makes an impression. Substance, style, and technique make a Web video communication significant and therefore worth remembering.

The Substance Every Business Can Deliver

There is a clothing store chain called Syms whose motto is, “An educated consumer is our best customer. ” It’s a brilliant tagline and an even better marketing strategy. Educating your audience creates trust and that is one thing lower prices and more features can’t compete with.

It’s one thing to provide information, it’s quite another to provide understanding. How-to-do-stuff is a major industry because people suffer from what Richard Saul Wurman calls, “information anxiety.” So much to know, so little time to learn it. Your audience craves information, but what they really need is understanding.

If trust, and build a relationship. You should start by educating them about how to get the most out of what you sell – the real reason why they will continue to do business with you. In a world of copycat products and services, the difference maker is trust and trust begins with clients who understand exactly what you do and how it will improve their lives or businesses.

Everyone in our organization is constantly learning new things. Each of us receive dozens of newsletters on all kinds of subjects, some of which are directly related to what we do, and some help us better understand the world we live in and the needs of our clients. And some of it is just intended to make us think.and some help us better understand the world we live in and the needs of our clients. And some of it is just intended to make us think.

Substance Without The Pitch

I recently received an email with a video from the Editor of AE Tuts Plus, Adam Everett Miller. AE Tuts Plus produces a website that specializes in After Effects motion graphics. After Effects is a high-end software program used to create all those fancy motions graphics everyone loves. Most of the information is pretty sophisticated and aimed at a specialized design community but in this case they sent out a video that wasn’t about how to do something but rather why something was the way it was.

Would the video make anyone a better designer – no. Would the video provide its viewers with a technique they could sell their clients – no. The video merely explains to people why Hex Color Values are what they are. There is no sales pitch other than a subliminal message that AE Tuts knows what it’s talking about, is in business to help its audience, and can be trusted to deliver on its promise without always feeling the need to sell something.

Watch the Aetuts Plus Hex Value Quick Tip video

Style Enhances Identity

From a branding and marketing point-of-view this video establishes an approachable, friendly style that helps define the AE Tuts brand, and indirectly makes their audience wiser and more informed. It’s interesting, memorable, and entertaining; and it makes viewers a more knowledgeable audience. The style portrayed is not a random accident. The video uses a number of techniques intended to deliver a carefully thought-out image designed to gain audience acceptance as the industry knowledge leader.

A Casual Non-Pedantic Approach

The Web has changed many things not the least of which is how people expect to be taught. Your standard old fashion no nonsense schoolteacher approach is just so pre-Web and quite frankly turns people off. If you really want to educate an audience you better be approachable and entertaining in your delivery, and that is exactly what Adam has managed to do.

Everything from the casual monochromatic attire to the geek-chic glasses and beard are designed to deliver the impression that Adam is just like his audience: just one of the guys with some cool stuff to tell you. The presentation focuses attention on Adam and the accompanying mnemonics by placing everything within a plain white environment, slightly enhanced by a gradient spot to frame Adam, who is placed slightly off center nicely qualifying as a good example of the Rule of Thirds that provides space for the onscreen text and graphics.

The language Adam uses is down-to-earth, delivered in a cadence and rhythm that is just fast enough so the audience doesn’t get bored but slow enough so the information can be absorbed.

Each point is highlighted and emphasized with some onscreen graphic, text, or sound effect. Some of the points are accompanied by a humorous visual and verbal aside that maintains the presentations rhythm while at the same time allowing a small mental respite so the brain can absorb one idea and get ready for the next. And it’s all packaged with a Sesame Street style music score that goes unnoticed but is critical to the overall impression of learning can be enjoyable and doesn’t have to be tedious work.

The Last Word

It takes a lot of knowledge and know-how to make something look easy and this video does a damn good job doing it. Every detail from concept to content was carefully thought-out and the execution was spot-on.

Educational and how-to videos are very popular – there is no great revelation in that, but much of what is on the Web is quite frankly terrible, and that applies to both amateur and professional efforts. In order to benefit from your audience’s desire to learn, enhance your brand, and build confidence and trust in the marketplace with educational Web videos, you first must understand how people process information, and how to present material so that it is both enjoyed and retained.

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