Thursday Open Thread | Black Child Prodigies |Stephen R. Stafford II

Master Stephen R. Stafford II in the house!


While most of his peers slog through seventh grade, Stephen Stafford, 13, earns credits toward his pre-med, computer science and mathematics degrees at Morehouse College in Atlanta. The wide-smiling, fast-talking, classical piano-playing Lithonia, Ga., resident has been labeled a “prodigy” (a term he doesn’t really like). source


Left to right: Michelle, Stephen Jr., Martinique and Stephen Sr.

Steven on Tyra Banks Show.

Teen triple majors at Morehouse College, will graduate from med school at 22

We are often talking about the bad thing happening in our community, but today I want to take a moment to shine a light on something great. In fact, I want to encourage you to spread the word and do the same. These are the stories we need to take our social media influence and share with the world and definitely our children.

I’m sure you remember Stephen R. Stafford II. About 5 years ago, he burst on to the scene as one of the smartest, young minds in the country. At the age of 11 years old, he began at Morehouse college giving to and rise of the viability of homeschooling in the black community. A trend that has continued today. Source


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78 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | Black Child Prodigies |Stephen R. Stafford II

  1. RIP Andrae Crouch! Jesus Is Lord!

    Gospel music pioneer Andraé Crouch dies at 72

    Andraé Crouch, a gospel musician who bridged the worlds of church and mainstream music for more than 50 years, died Thursday afternoon. The 72-year-old singer, songwriter and choir director had been hospitalized since Saturday at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in the Los Angeles area after suffering a heart attack.

    Crouch, sometimes called “the father of modern gospel music,” led the choirs that sang on such hits as Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror and Madonna’s Like a Prayer. As a songwriter, he wrote several gospel favorites, most notably The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power, My Tribute (To God Be the Glory) and Soon and Very Soon, a song sung at Jackson’s public memorial service.

    A San Francisco native who grew up in the Church of God in Christ, Crouch wrote his first gospel tune at age 14. By 1960, he had formed the Church of God in Christ Singers, a group that featured Billy Preston on keyboards.

    He started another group, Andraé Crouch & the Disciples, in 1965, eventually signing to a contemporary Christian label, Light Records. Crouch brought a contemporary pop and R&B melodic sensibility to gospel, making him uniquely suited to appeal to both black and white audiences during the early days of the countercultural “Jesus movement” and also bringing him attention beyond the church.

  2. rikyrah says:

    DALAYYYY @TheToast2015
    Hmm, if #FreeCommunityCollege hurts the for-profit colleges, don’t be surprised if many black legislators come out against the plan.

  3. rikyrah says:

    CBS News ✔ @CBSNews
    Gospel music legend Andrae Crouch dies at 72
    9:25 PM – 8 Jan 2015

  4. rikyrah says:

    Joy Reid ✔ @JoyAnnReid
    The Tamir Rice surveillance video is haunting. The children in it are 14 and 12. 14 and 12.
    Retweeted by PragmaticObotsUnite

    • Ametia says:

      THE POLICE Just slaughtering our kids.

      WHAT IN THE FUCK is a 14 year old girl going to do to cops, after she witnesses her 12 year brother being gunned down by them? childen, they are children. But these disgusting fools see them as less than animals.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Now, it has the nerve to be snowing.
    rush hour sucked.

  6. Ametia says:


    Chris Matthews Cuts a Mean Promo on the Paris Terror Attacks and Religious Grievance-Mongering While The American Taliban’s Bill Donohue Explains That ‘Muslims are Right to be Angry’

    Continuing the good conversation about the limits of tolerance in light of the Paris terror attacks on the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, and the blind spots in the American media to terrorism by the Christian White Right, that we began here.

    • Ametia says:


      Matthews regurgitates the White-centric argument that minorities dissatisfied with their treatment under White-centric governments should leave the country. Such arguments position minorities as conditional, secondary citizens whose presence is tolerated so long as they don’t become uppity. The attackers were both born in Paris, with just as much stake to French identity as any White citizen.To highlight the hypocrisy of the “go home” style of argument, their parent’s are from Algeria, a nation that was exploited and colonized by France after a campaign of genocide.

  7. eliihass says:

    Interesting to watch the massive discomfort of so-called liberal media as they very reluctantly ramble through the bombing of the NAACP office in Colorado, and only after they were literally shamed into covering it. Andrea Mitchell treated it as a one second generic was it really an attack and maybe not, while the others like Alex Wagner turned it into a pseudo-intellectual exercise that still questioned not just whether it was an attack and specifically at the NAACP – there was also a beauty shop and a tax office at that site you know, and if it was as important as the carnage in Paris. Good old E.J Dionne insists that we focus on the all important terrorist attack on Paris, and we can always come back later to investigate if indeed Colorado was specifically an attack on the NAACP.

  8. rikyrah says:

    look at this foolishness


    Why We’re So Mad at de Blasio

    The N.Y.P.D. Protests: An Officer’s View

    JAN. 7, 2015

    ON Sunday, at the funeral of the slain New York City police officer Wenjian Liu, his grieving father described how his son would call him at the end of each day’s tour of duty, just to let him know he was O.K.

    This sort of habit is familiar to many cops. When I was assigned to the Fugitive Division of the New York City Police Department, in the ’90s, I would get out of bed at 3 o’clock each morning, trying not to wake my wife. I would gently kiss her goodbye and leave for work. By 5 a.m. my team and I would be executing the first of several warrants assigned to us for the day. (Mornings are the best time to catch bad guys.) We were arresting the most wanted and dangerous criminals in the city, and the work was, to put it mildly, stressful. By 9 a.m. we would be back in our office processing our arrests, and I would call my wife without fail, in case she had overslept, and to let her know that I was O.K. and still in one piece.

    Years later, during a tearful venting, my wife confided that those calls were seldom needed to wake her because she was usually lying in bed, tossing and turning and fearing that she would get another kind of call. She couldn’t rest until she had word that I was off the streets and safe for another day. I accepted the dangers of police work because I loved doing it and understood its value to society, but I sometimes regret having dragged her into the life with me.

    The murders of Officer Liu and his partner, Officer Rafael Ramos, have hit me and my fellow officers especially hard, in ways that may be difficult for civilians, and certain politicians, to fully comprehend. During my 20 years on the job (I retired in 2003), I attended far too many funerals for cops killed in the line of duty. They were all sad and wrenching affairs. But this is different. Getting killed while, say, investigating an armed robbery — as almost happened on Monday to two New York City police officers in the Bronx — is something all cops know can occur, and we accept it. But the killing of Officers Liu and Ramos was a coldblooded assassination.

    • eliihass says:

      Again, if they can this blatant and arrogant in their public attack and punishment of the seating Mayor, their boss, can you imagine what they do to helpless minorities with no voice or power when no one is watching, and even when there’s an audience, and the lengths they go concoct lies to cover for and absolve themselves of murdering innocent black people in cold blood.

    • Ametia says:

      Did Mayor Deblasio KILL Officers Liu and Ramos?



  9. Steve Kroft, y’all.

    Steve Kroft

    (Source) This time he had to answer the tough questions. Veteran “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft has come clean about a steamy affair with a New York City lawyer, a fiery three-year fling that included hot hotel hookups and torrid text messages. “I had an extramarital affair that was a serious lapse of personal judgment and extremely hurtful to my wife and family, and for that I have nothing but regret,” Kroft said in a statement to the Post. “My wife and I are committed to each other and are working hard to get past this, and consider it a private matter.”

    It’s a story you won’t see on “60 Minutes.”Kroft was getting his kink on with the aid of Viagra and racy text messages — including one in which he told his lover he “would rather be eating your pudding,” according to a new report from the National Enquirer, which hits newsstands Wednesday. The married CBS newsman — who once famously confronted Bill Clinton over the then-Arkansas governor’s rumored womanizing — convinced Harvard-educated Lisan Goines that he was trapped in a sexless marriage with his wife, author and fellow journalist Jennet Conant, the Enquirer reports.

    The pair then launched into a three-year affair — the details of which would never get past the censors on Kroft’s own award-winning show. In one sexting session, Kroft allegedly cooed to Goines, “Miss you and all that goes with it. Especially my favorite tastes and colors … pink and brown.” Another time, the 69-year-old newsman asked Goines, 41, “What exactly would be your preference,” the Enquirer reported.

    “U all over and deep inside of me,” Goines responded. At one point, the hard-working TV journalist, who has a son with Conant, lamented his long hours on the job, the report said. “Working late. Just ordered out. Would rather be eating your pudding,” he allegedly wrote. “Don’t work too hard this week bc I wanna wear you out afterward,” Goines replied. “You got it,” Kroft responded, according to the Enquirer.

    The newsman — who boasted to Goines that he was the “go-to’’ interviewer for President Obama — had some particularly unusual tastes in bed, the mag said. One time, he was “pouring champagne in her behind and drinking the bubbly,” the report claims. Kroft first spotted Goines in 2011 at a bar in the swanky St. Regis hotel and sauntered over to chat, according to the Enquirer. “Steve quickly told Lisan, ‘I have to see you again,’ ” a source told the magazine. Apparently, the line worked.“A few weeks later, he arranged to meet her at another hotel for cocktails,” the source said. “After the drinks, he handed her a room key and told her it was the only way he ‘could be alone’ with her.

  10. rikyrah says:

    PolitiFact Busts Mitch McConnell For Trying to Steal President Obama’s Economic Record

    By: Sarah Jones more from Sarah Jones

    Thursday, January, 8th, 2015, 2:14 pm


    This is the harsh ruling PolitiFact had for Mitch McConnell’s claim that the economy improved because the GOP won. Further, “The data we found suggest McConnell is engaging in some wishful thinking.”

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) started the new session off with a bang Wednesday by claiming in a Senate floor speech that the recent economic uptick appeared to “coincide” with “the expectation of a new Republican Congress.”

    But then reality showed up and it was not impressed. Not only is there no causation, but McConnell is not even correct about the timing of the uptick. This is a Mitt Romney level fib — it doesn’t even have its feet near the ground and it’s layered with hypocrisies and etch-a-sketching.

  11. rikyrah says:

    January 08, 2015 12:53 PM
    The Democratic Filibuster Straddle

    By Ed Kilgore

    At TPM Daniel Straus has a murky account of Democratic intentions towards the use of the filibuster now that Republicans are in charge of the Senate. Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, a supporter of filibuster reform when Democrats were in the majority, clearly wants to signal his party will not simply flip-flop and emulate past Republican abuse of the filibuster. But it’s not entirely clear where they will draw the line.

    When Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) took to his chamber’s floor on Wednesday he warned that the now minority Senate Democrats “had no intention of just rolling over” but added that the “gratuitous obstruction and wanton filibustering” of Republicans in the last Congress wouldn’t be something Democrats would mimic now, pointing toward a big question about the 114th Congress….

    “My hunch is that Democrats will back away from some of the outer extremes of the GOP’s exploitation of the cloture rule. Keep in mind that the GOP exploited the rule quite often on nominations,” George Washington University political science professor Sarah Binder told TPM in an email interview. Binder suspected that’s what Durbin meant when he said “gratuitous obstruction” since Republicans mostly voted against cloture but also voted to confirm most nominees.

    Well, since (a) the rules change banning the filibuster of executive and non-SCOTUS judicial nominations remains in effect for the time being, and (b) Democrats obviously aren’t going to filibuster Barack Obama’s nominations in any event, Durbin’s disclaimer sounds pretty empty to me. Remaining cagey on the subject may give Senate Democrats some leverage with Mitch McConnell, not to mention preserve the option of becoming total obstructionists in the event Republicans win the White House in 2016 while holding on to Congress. But it’s not necessary for the moment; there’s absolutely nothing Senate Democrats can do with a filibuster that Barack Obama cannot do with his seldom-used veto pen. I’d sure like to see more of it, instead of another confirmation that the filibuster is here to stay.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Ain’t this about a muthaphucka.


    Outgoing Postal Chief’s Advice: End Pensions, Overhaul Feds’ Health Care
    By Eric Katz
    January 6, 2015

    Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe is ending his 39-year career at the U.S. Postal Service next month, and he has some advice for those he is leaving behind in the federal government: do away with pensions.

    In a farewell speech reflecting on his career long service with USPS, the embattled Donahoe, who announced his retirement in November, said he hoped the cash-strapped Postal Service would serve as a breeding ground for initiatives that can later be expanded to all federal agencies.

    “I would encourage Congress to view the Postal Service as a test bed or laboratory of change that might be applied to the rest of the federal government,” Donahoe said at his speech in Washington Tuesday. “When we look at the workforce we’ll need in 20 or 30 years, what we are doing today will have to evolve.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    GOP lawmakers hit the ground running to the far-right
    01/08/15 10:09 AM—UPDATED 01/08/15 10:27 AM
    By Steve Benen
    In the weeks immediately following the 2014 midterm elections, there was an enormous amount of talk about the need to avoid “poisoning the well.” The point seemed to be, policymakers should be cautious about picking political fights in order to avoid partisan rancor in the new Congress.

    Clearly, those concerns have been thrown out a Capitol Hill window.
    House Democrats on Wednesday knocked down a GOP bill that would have delayed a key Wall Street reform known as the Volcker Rule, stunning Republican leaders who had expected it to pass with ease. […]

    The bill would have allowed banks to hang onto billions of dollars in risky collateralized loan obligations for two additional years by amending the Volcker Rule, which is part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The rule bans banks from speculating in securities markets with taxpayer funds, requiring them to dump their CLO holdings. A Volcker Rule delay would be a major boon to the nation’s largest banks.
    Note, a majority of the House voted for the measure, but because Republican leaders brought the bill up under the suspension calendar, it needed a two-thirds majority to pass. It fell far short.

    There are a few ways to look at yesterday’s failure. The first, of course, is that House Republican leaders still haven’t mastered the art of vote-counting. The second is that GOP lawmakers clearly remain committed to using their power to do Wall Street’s bidding.

  14. rikyrah says:

    January 05, 2015 1:29 PM
    Birthing Jeb’s Candidacy at a Fundraiser

    By Ed Kilgore

    One of the problems with Jeb Bush making his initial move towards a 2016 presidential candidacy via a Facebook post is that our atavistic MSM long for a physical location for such moments, with a podium if not bands and balloons. And so the first actual event in his name, a fundraiser in Connecticut, is getting an unwholesome amount of attention for a proto-candidate who is already compared unfavorably to Mitt Romney:

    Jeb Bush’s flirtation with running for president in 2016 will take the former Florida governor to the familiar and lush stomping grounds of the Bush political clan: Greenwich.

    The Republican will raise money for his newly-created leadership PAC at a reception Wednesday in the hometown of his father, former President George H.W. Bush.

    So this event will remind everyone of the dynastic issues Jeb faces, and of his positioning as the candidate of the GOP Donor Class. You’d think some of the high-life political advisors in Team Bush would have figured out he needed to do a $20-a-plate sandwich fundraiser at some Baptist Church in the pineywoods before decamping to Greenwich to rub shoulders with his familial peers. But that’s apparently not how he rolls.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Manchin: Keystone veto threat ‘not the way a democracy works’
    January 08, 2015, 12:21 pm

    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Thursday he was disappointed that the White House threatened to veto his legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline, arguing the president’s move was “not the way a democracy works.”

    The West Virginia lawmaker said he was upset Obama did not reserve judgment on the bill until it went through the committee and amendment process in an interview with Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    The NYPD Probably Wants You to Think That de Blasio Smokes Weed
    January 8, 20151:45 p.m.

    At a Wednesday press conference, a reporter randomly asked Mayor de Blasio whether he and/or wife Chirlane McCray had ever smoked marijuana at Gracie Mansion. (De Blasio’s answer was “no.”) The incident now seems less random. As it turns out, the reporter was from the conservative Daily Caller and, Gawker reports, the question was likely the result of rumors being spread by members of New York’s police force, which, as you are likely aware, is not currently on the best terms with the mayor.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Mississippi town repeals anti-discrimination resolution in secret
    01/08/15 01:30 PM—UPDATED 01/08/15 01:33 PM
    By Laura Conaway
    Just a few weeks ago, the town of Starkville, Mississippi, was being praised nationally as a surprising example of progress in the South. Starkville is home to Mississippi State University, where the football team’s amazing run this season capped off a period of cultural and civic transformation for the town itself. As the New York Times noted in November, Starkville had even passed an anti-discrimination resolution that included sexual orientation and identity.

    Starkville was the first place in Mississippi to take that step, in January 2014. Their aldermen led the way for other cities in the state to debate and pass resolutions of their own. In September, Starkville added a policy that extended health benefits to domestic partners of city employees. After that second move, the pressure from local religious leaders to overturn those decisions – “to move the policies and positions for this city back to a Judeo-Christian position,” as one pastor told the board – began immediately.

    On Tuesday, in a closed-door executive session, the Starkville alderman voted to repeal both the new anti-discrimination statement and the policy providing health benefits for same-sex couples. Mayor Parker Wiseman says the aldermen behind the repeal provided no notice that they intended to hold those votes or any explanation for doing so. A local paper, the Columbus Dispatch, can’t even be sure which alderman voted which way:

  18. rikyrah says:

    Republicans plow forward with misguided ACA ‘fix’
    01/08/15 10:54 AM
    By Steve Benen
    It’s actually difficult to put together a health care bill that adds to the deficit and reduces coverage at the same time. Usually policies do one or the other.

    Congressional Republicans, however, are unusually bad at crafting sensible proposals in this area. It’s comparable to someone going on a diet and going out of their way to find foods that have too many calories and taste terrible.

    In this case, the issue is an Affordable Care Act provision that requires many employers to provide health care coverage to full-time employees – and the law defines “full time” as those working 30 hours a week or more. Republicans desperately want to move that threshold to 40 hours a week, and yesterday, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office sketched out what would happen if GOP lawmakers got their way.
    A bipartisan measure changing ObamaCare’s definition of full-time work would raise the deficit by $53.2 billion over 10 years and move up to 1 million people into government sponsored health insurance, congressional budget analysts said Wednesday.

    The projection from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) poses a messaging challenge to Republican supporters of the measure who are using it as their first attack on the healthcare law this Congress…. The number of uninsured would also increase by less than 500,000, the CBO said.

  19. rikyrah says:

    ‘My 600-lb Life’ star shed 316 pounds and unsupportive hubby

    Jan 8th 2015 5:33AM

    On a special episode of TLC’s “My 600-lb Life,” we caught up with Zsalynn Whitworth, a 43-year-old Texas woman who weighed 597 pounds before undergoing weight loss surgery last year.

    Zsalynn was eager to make some drastic changes to her lifestyle once she saw how much her obesity was affecting her daughter, Hannah.

    But her husband Gareth, who says he fell in love with Zsalynn because of her weight, wasn’t too happy when she decided to go under the knife.

    “I’d rather have a salad,” said Zsalynn on “My 600-lb Life.”

    “I’m not buying you a salad,” said Gareth. “If you want to eat grass, you can go in the garden and graze.”

    Now, Zsalynn weighs a whopping 316 pounds less than she did back when her episode was filmed.

    And she also shed another big burden weighing heavily on her life – Gareth.

    “Gareth hasn’t found much good in my changes. It’s time for us to admit it’s over,” said Zsalynn.

    • Ametia says:

      This pretty much sums up one of the reasons for WEIGHT GAIN. Folks take on another person’s stuff by over-eating.

    • Liza says:

      My husband and I saw this show. I told my husband that if that woman didn’t get rid of her husband she would wind up in an insane asylum. It’s good to hear that she did it, that she finally understood how much he hates her.

    • majiir says:

      I watched this episode of “My 600 lbs. life and noticed immediately that Gareth was a first class douche-bag. He married Zsalynn, not because he loved her, but because of his fantasies about having sex with an obese woman. She and her daughter are better off without him, imo.

  20. rikyrah says:

    You know, they still haven’t answered how this man got a job on the police force. And, I don’t think that this is an unimportant question. How many qualified Black people were passed up for this murderer?
    They can research into Tamir Rice’s PARENT but not this question?
    The Cleveland Police Department needs to cut a big CHECK to the family to make this go away.


    New Tamir Rice video shows cop tackle his 14-year-old sister as she rushed to dying brother’s aid

    by theGrio | January 8, 2015 at 8:55 AM

    Wednesday, Cleveland officials released extended video footage of the incident which lead to the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland officer. The video also shows police tackling Tamir’s 14-year-old sister to the ground as she tried to rush to her dying brother’s aid.

    When his sister heard the shots, she ran toward the gazebo. Officer Garmback wrestled her to the ground. He then handcuffed her and put her to the back of the police car, the Plain Dealer reported.

    “This has to be the cruelest thing I’ve ever seen,” the family’s attorney, Walter Madison, told the newspaper.

  21. rikyrah says:

    ‘Empire’ is Fox’s highest-rated new show in years
    By James Hibberd on Jan 8, 2015 at 11:14AM

    After struggling in the ratings this fall, Fox just received some very welcome news: Wednesday night’s hip-hop drama Empire has opened strong.

    Blessed with an American Idol lead-in — yet also improving upon it — Empire premiered to 9.8 million viewers and a 3.7 rating among adults 18-49. That’s Fox’s highest-rated series debut in three years (since 2012’s Touch). Empire ranks as the top-rated show in the demo, beating ABC’s Modern Family head-to-head, and grew from its Idol lead-in by 19 percent. Empire outperformed Fox’s heavily hyped Gotham premiere this fall, and managed to retain its rating throughout its hour — another good sign.

  22. Y’all better enjoy these last 2 yrs cuz you won’t see this kind of swagger in the WH anymore. *weeps*

  23. rikyrah says:

    Viola Davis Wins People’s Choice Award For “HTGAWM,” Thanks Shonda Rhimes For “Thinking Of A Leading Lady Who Looks Like MY Classic Beauty”

    The People’s Choice Awards took place last night, and one of our favorites, Viola Davis, won Favorite Actress in a New TV Series for her work as Annalise Keating in “How To Get Away With Murder.” Fans of the show, and fans of Davis in general, voted for her to win (as that is how the People’s Choice Awards works…).

    When Davis went up to pick up her award, in her acceptance speech, she made mention briefly of that New York Times article that basically said that Davis’ look was far from the “classically beautiful” actresses we usually see on primetime television:

    As Annalise, Ms. Davis, 49, is sexual and even sexy, in a slightly menacing way, but the actress doesn’t look at all like the typical star of a network drama. Ignoring the narrow beauty standards some African-American women are held to, Ms. Rhimes chose a performer who is older, darker-skinned and less classically beautiful than Ms. Washington, or for that matter Halle Berry, who played an astronaut on the summer mini-series “Extant.”

    When she accepted her award, she thanked Shonda Rhimes, producer Betsy Beers and writer Peter Norwalk for giving her the chance to show off her different kind of beauty, the ‘older, darker-skinned’ kind, to everyday women:

  24. Would folks be equally supportive of the #CharlieHebdo satirical newspaper’s right to free speech if the editor & artists were black owned?

  25. Did y’all see the #CharlieHebdo cartoon of the missing #chibok girls? It’s racist as hell. And ppl are saying “I am Charlie” for this? GTFO

    The sexual slaves of Boko Haram are angry: where are our benefits checks?”
    The sexual slaves of Boko Haram are angry- where are our benefits checks

  26. rikyrah says:

    THIS will not end well for me…LOL


  27. rikyrah says:

    Seith Mann Will Write & Direct VH1’s Next Original Movie, Based on the Book ‘The Big Payback’

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    January 7, 2015 at 2:32PM

    VH1 has announced its next original movie project, titled “The Breaks” (working title), which is inspired by journalist Dan Charnas’ book “The Big Payback,” a narrative history of business in the hip-hop industry.

    The film will be written, directed and executive produced by Seith Mann – a filmmaker whose name has been mentioned many times on this blog over the years – his award-winning short film, “Five Deep Breaths” as our introduction to the talented filmmaker, several years ago. Since then, he’s been cutting his teeth directing episodes of TV shows like “The Wire,” “The Walking Dead,” “Homeland” and more.

    With the potential to become a series after its movie premiere, “The Breaks” will, as the press release states, chronicle the journey of Nikki, David and Deevee, three friends united by their love of hip-hop, as they work to make their big mark in the music industry. The film will take viewers back to the summer of 1990 in New York City, where the music industry’s artists and hustlers intersect in the dance clubs and the street corners of the still crime-ridden city. Nikki Jones is a brilliant recent grad who abandoned a scholarship to law school, to pursue her dream of becoming a record exec. Her boyfriend, David Aaron, is the scrappy son of a legendary music producer who is unwilling to rest on his father’s laurels and notorious reputation. DeeVee is an aspiring producer on the hunt to find the next big rapper on the come-up. Nikki fast talks her way into an internship at the premier hip-hop company, Fouray Entertainment and catches the eye of the label’s infamous founder, while David struggles at the city’s top R&B radio station whose celebrity DJ refuses to program real hip-hop. Meanwhile, DeeVee returns to his roots in the Fort Greene projects to scout for talent and runs into Ahm, a drug dealer with a lyrical gift whose talent could bring them all to the next level. But they will soon discover lives can be broken as fast as legends can be born.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Ava DuVernay ✔ @AVAETC

    27 black business leaders have done the unprecedented. Created a fund for 27,000 NYC students to see SELMA for free!

  29. rikyrah says:

    Joy Reid ✔ @JoyAnnReid

    @ThisIsSoCO I started following @csgazette tonight and recommend anyone interested in #NAACPBombing updates do the same.

  30. rikyrah says:

    David Harten Watson @Eldorean

    If it was a synagogue that was bombed Tuesday, TV news would’ve covered it. #NAACPbombing goes viral via @USATODAY

  31. rikyrah says:

    What to Make of Buzzfeed’s “Rise Of The Black British Actor In America” Piece…

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    January 7, 2015 at 1:31PM

    I found this Buzzfeed piece quite reckless, to be frank! As someone who’s been running a black cinema blog for almost 6 years, with a stated mission to unify artists (specifically filmmakers) of the African diaspora, an article like this that ultimately divides – whether that’s the author’s intention or not – is maddening!

    I initially planned to ignore it, seeing it as ultimately a marketing gambit for “Selma,” manufactured for a specific purpose – to stimulate further discussion about the film, as it expands nationwide this weekend. But enough of you have sent it to me, urging some kind of response, that I felt that I should at least mention it here. And, as I told one of my colleagues, I’m frankly spent! These conversations, which we’ve had ad naseam on this blog, just don’t interest me anymore. Unless there’s a genuine collective will to get underneath the surface of it all, instead of just bulletin board-style engagement. There’s so much to unpack here, and if a conversation about the so-called “rise in black British actors in America” is to be had, a rather one-sided, short-sighted Buzzfeed piece doesn’t do much to inspire. It only further progresses previous theories that ultimately cause division within the diaspora.

    I’m not sold on this idea that there’s a black British takeover in Hollywood, if you will. A few high-profile projects (“12 years a Slave” and “Selma” to start) staring black British actors, an “invasion” does not make. The vast majority of roles for black actors in Hollywood are still going to African American actors. Just take a look at the top 10 grossing American-produced films in the USA starring black actors, over the past several years.

    One problem here (amongst many), which the Buzzfeed piece doesn’t at all address, is the fact that, as I see it, regardless of skin color, there does seem to indeed be a reverence for British actors in general, not just specifically black British actors. There appears to be a sense of, dare I say, inferiority, when it comes to the perceptions of American artists compared to Europeans, for example, whose origins I can only speculate on. However, unlike white actors, the amount of work available for black actors, is severely limited, as a plethora of more than capable actors from of all ethnic groups of the diaspora, compete for a minuscule number of jobs. And thus the disparity is even more blatant – hence articles like this one.

    But a black British invasion, there is not. I will take a look at this further, using actual data, after I complete my research of all roles given to black actors in American productions, over the last 5 years.

    • Ametia says:

      British invasion is ok in America, but only if you’re WHITE!!!!!!!

      Plus this piece is trying to divide American black actors and British black actors, plus, stir white actors. look at those negroes coming over here taking our acting roles!

      Remember all those British rock groups of the sixties, especially the “Beatles” who invaded America?

  32. rikyrah says:

    S&A 2014 Highlights: ‘Dear White People’ Is a Cinematic Answer to the Year of the “Race-Themed” Film

    By Zeba Blay | Shadow and Act
    January 7, 2015 at 11:56AM

    In a sense, Dear White People is a sort of cinematic answer to everything that was 2013. Yes, 2013, the year of so-called “race-themed” films. The year which brought us a veritable smorgasbord of out-and-out racism: from the Trayvon Martin verdict, to the Italian 12 Years A Slave poster, to Miley Cyrus, to stop-and-frisk, to the white girl in Australia who threw an “African-themed” birthday party, complete with blackface and grass skirts.

    And in the midst of all that was a three-minute concept trailer with a provocative title: Dear White People. The trailer was a brief, but brilliant glimpse into the vision of writer-director Justin Simien that seemed to speak to facets of the black experience so rarely (if ever) seen on screen. With its predominantly black, blipstery-looking cast juxtaposed against the setting of a white Ivy League university, the trailer presented images and dialogue (“Dear White People, the amount of black friends to not seem racist has been raised to two”) that was refreshingly, excitingly different and new. Promising to follow in the tradition of beloved college movies like School Daze and Animal House, the trailer got people interested enough to repost and reshare it all over the blogosphere, to contribute to a successful Indiegogo campaign and, eventually, get the finished film all the way to Sundance.

  33. Ametia says:

    From WARN

    The Paris Terror Attackers and America’s White Right-wing Christian Domestic Terrorists are Brothers in Arms

    Muslim terrorists killed at least 12 people in a brazen daylight attack on the offices of the French satirical newspaper the Charlie Hebdo weekly.

    While the American media and public will inevitably default to a childish and simpleminded frame that deems the Paris terror attackers to be “crazy”, the reality is that this group appears to be tactically proficient, well-equipped, and effective.

    Moreover–and this too is anathema to the American media and the approved public discourse–“terrorism” can be a very effective tactic: for example, suicide bombing can advance strategic goals; a small group of terrorists can be highly disruptive, cause the enemy to expend a large amount of resources to neutralize them, and undermine the targeted community’s sense of security and safety.

    Terrorism is a strategy that uses violence and intimidation to achieve a political goal. Terrorism may, but is not limited to, targeting civilian “non-combatants”. Terrorism is not exclusive to the Middle East or other parts of the world. It is part of an American tradition of violence from the white racial pogroms and terrorism of the 19th and 20th centuries against African-Americans and other people of color through to the police violence and thuggery of the post civil rights era against black and brown communities as exemplified by the events in Ferguson and choking on video murder of Eric Garner by the NYPD.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    Colder than a mutha out here

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