Monday, February 28, 2011

Anti-Gay Pastor Arrested for Masturbating in Public in front of Children

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

A Christian fundamentalist pastor who has taken especially strong positions against the gay community has been arrested for masturbating in a public park in front of young children. The Rev. Grant Storms of New Orleans is known for campaigning against the Gay Southern Decadence Festival in New Orleans. The pastor has been booked for obscenity by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.
Storms claims that he was just having lunch in Lafreniere Park in his van when he decided to relieve himself in a bottle instead of going to the bathroom. However, two women claim that they saw Storms through the open windows of his van and that he was masturbating while watching young children. The ladies got the attention of an officer, who then had Storms arrested. His bail was set at $5,000, but he was released due to jail overcrowding.

In an effort to stop Southern Decadence, Pastor Storms actually videotaped public sex acts and showed them to legislators. "There's no economic gain that justifies an orgy in the streets," Storms said. "That's all it is -- a three-day orgy in the streets."

Click to read.

Why Carol Moseley Braun Could Not Become the Mayor of Chicago

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

One of the most interesting political events in America was the race to become mayor of Chicago. After yet another seemingly endless regime under the Daley family, black Chicago had a chance to elect one of their own. Carol Moseley Braun, the seasoned politician and history-making former Senator, positioned herself to be the great black hope for the city of Chicago.

Unfortunately, the Moseley-Braun candidacy was simply not meant to be. After a series of missteps, Rahm Emanuel used the power of President Obama's backing to convince the vast majority of Chicago citizens, white and black, to give him their support. Apparently, unspoken endorsements from Barack Obama and Bill Clinton goes a long way, even if you can't readily prove that you've done very much for the African American community.

click to read.

Dr. Watkins Interview on Why College Athletes Should Get Paid

With March Madness approaching, Dr. Boyce Watkins did a recent interview regarding the details on how and why college athletes should be paid.  The interview is below:

1.  If college athletes are to be paid for their performance, how do you decide who is paid and who is not?

The market can decide who gets paid.  That's how coaches find out who earns $2 million per year vs. those who earn just $500k.  Better performers typically get paid more money on a job, so why should it be any different for athletes?

2. How do you decide how much to pay them? Is it enough to provide for their families and some for extra activities, or is it solely based on something like jersey sales, winning record, etc.?

I don't think any of us should decide how much to pay someone - no one "decides" that Rick Pitino is worth $2 million per year.  He negotiates and the highest bidder gets his services.  I am a believer that athletes should have access to the same fair market that their coaches receive.  To argue differently is to imply that coaches are more important than athletes or that they deserve better treatment.  This is a classist and racist thing to believe.

Click to read.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cornell Student Found Dead in a Frat House

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

Click to read.

Idris Elba Says “Oscars are not designed for us”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I saw an interesting article recently in which Idris Elba, one of my favorite actors, went out of his way to give his true feelings about the Oscars.  You know the Oscars, those awards that black people never get unless they yank out a breast or act like they want to kill other black people. 

In an appearance at a university, Elba made this statement: “Halle Berry and I were the only two black actors nominated for this year’s Golden Globes (Idris for Lutherand Halle for Frankie & Alice). The Oscars aren’t designed for us…let’s focus on making more films.”

Click to read.

Did Creflo Dollar Say That Not Tithing Should Get You Shot?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins 

I wasn’t sure what to think when I heard this audio, in which Creflo Dollar appears to be arguing that if you don’t tithe, you should be put in front of a firing squad.  I did some research and found media outlets reporting the video, and I can only hope that he doesn’t truly believe this.

Click to read.

Dr. Boyce Video: The Value of Education and Being a Black Achiever


Click here to listen to Dr. Boyce Watkins talk about what it means to be a black achiever and the value of education.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Obama’s Motown Event: The Ultimate Political Insult

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

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

Click to read.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ephren Taylor Gives His Version of the Financial Mix-Up with Eddie Long and His Church

Interview done by Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Quite a few people took notice when Bishop Eddie Long went to YouTube to issue a very direct challenge to young entrepreneur Ephren Taylor over money that Bishop Long felt Taylor to have shaken out of his congregation. According to Bishop Long, Taylor should give $1 million to the members of his congregation who made investments in response to a seminar being offered by Taylor. Long's video seems to imply that Ephren had been unethical and misleading in the way he delivered the information and that people had lost thousands of dollars as a result.

I've never personally met either Bishop Eddie Long or Ephren Taylor, but I watched the Eddie Long video with extreme curiosity. I felt it to be entirely possible that Taylor could have been less than ethical, since pure capitalism tends to put ethics at the bottom of the priority list (legality is not the same as morality, so someone could be unethical while remaining within the boundaries of the law) . At the same time, there was also the possibility that Long's parishioners may not have read the fine print or had a misconception about what it means to invest. Some investors believe that investing means that you are guaranteed to make money. This is far from the truth. You can easily lose everything, so you should make sure you're prepared to stomach the risk before putting up your money.


Click to read.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dead NFL Star Said Something Was Wrong With His Brain from Concussions



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

Click to watch.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

March Madness and the Black Male Athlete in America

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

As March Madness approaches, millions of people across America will be glued to their TV sets in order to witness the amazing athleticism of college athletes from a plethora of universities. Many, if not most of the leading athletes we see on the court will be African American, and it's not uncommon to see a game where all 10 of the guys on the court are black. Black athletes stand out in college basketball and football primarily because of all the little LeBron James wannabes in the hood, some of whom will never grow to be more than six feet tall.

Many black athletes take what some consider to be the ultimate gamble: trading in nearly all of their educational opportunities in exchange for a lottery ticket that only goes to one man out of a thousand. It's not a wise trade, to be sure. It is also part of the skewed reality of little black boys influenced by media that is obsessed with black male athletic prowess. Images of Carmelo Anthony tattooed from head-to-toe, standing next to Amare Stoudemire after being traded to the New York Knicks serve as fuel to the fire of hoop dreams that typically end up turning into nightmares. Hip-hop culture, mixed with mass marketing of African American athletes, has created a community where every black boy wants to dribble a basketball, throw a football, or bust rhymes for a living.


Click to read.

Dr. Boyce Spotlight: Church and the Single Black Woman

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

One of the most intriguing things about the black community is the power of the black church. The church is one of our most powerful and impactful institutions. With the power of the black church comes the scandal that we all know about. Books are written about the things that happen in church that we don't want to talk about, in large part because the black church can be as much of a social institution as a spiritual one.
Sha' Givens has written a book about single black women in the church and the ways that they can achieve their goals without selling their souls. She is also a young black entrepreneur working to make a mark on the world in which she lives. It is for that reason that Sha' Givens is today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices:


Click to read.

From Dr. Wilmer Leon: Free Rodney Stanberry


To read Dr. Boyce Watkins’ take on the case of Rodney K. Stanberry, please click here. 


A note from Dr. Wilmer Leon:

Greetings All,
Here is the clarion call!  As you know, I've been working with a very dear
friend of mine Dr. Artemesia Stanberry as she works to get her cousin Rodney
Stanberry out of prison. 
Go to for additional information as well.
Please go to my web site http://www.wilmerleon click on Listen Now and go to
two interviews on this issue. During the latest interview we were able to talk
with Rodney directly. Your calls and emails have actually had an impact.
There's a new DA Ashley Rich who has put a new investigator, Mike Morgan (251)
574-6681  on the case.  New eyes, fresh perspective; hopefully more progress. 


Click to read more.

Oscar Robinson Joins Massive Lawsuit Against the NCAA

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The great Oscar Robertson, former superstar in both college and professional basketball, said that he was approached recently by fans asking him to sign trading cards that showed him to be a player with The University of Cincinnati. Robertson, who played for the school 51 years ago, was shocked to see his image and a picture of his jersey attached.
Upon seeing that he'd been violated in this way, Robertson called the Upper Deck Trading Card company for an explanation, not getting a response that made sense. That's when Robertson found out that the NCAA had signed deals with companies to use his likeness, for the rest of his life, without obtaining his consent.

Click to read.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Suicide of Former NFL Star Causes Talk of Long-Term Brain Injuries

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

This weekend, I was driving through the middle of "Nowhere's Ville," Indiana, on my way to Chicago. Right as I was approaching South Bend, the home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, I ironically received an email from former Notre Dame Coach Lou Holtz. Holtz and I had recently debated whether college athletes should be paid (we disagreed on the topic), but the coach was gracious enough to email me twice since the interview to say that he now considers us friends. I have a tremendous amount of respect for both Holtz and his noble gesture.

Adding to the irony of the trip was the fact that I also received a text message from a friend informing me that former Notre Dame/Chicago Bears football Star Dave Duerson had just been found dead in his condo. So, on a trip past Notre Dame on my way to Chicago, I receive both an email from Lou Holtz and a text message about a former Notre Dame/Chicago Bears star dying that day. Perhaps this was a signal from a higher power that I needed to dig further into the issue.

Click to read.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rodney Stanberry’s Cousin Fights to Have His Case Brought to Light

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Dr. Artemesia Stanberry has been relentless in fighting to free her cousin, Rodney K. Stanberry, who appears to be in prison for crimes he did not commit. I first heard about the case from Dr. Wilmer Leon, as we were headed to Missouri last year to rally on behalf of Heather Ellis, a college student threatened with 15 years in prison for cutting in line at a Wal-Mart.

When I first heard about Rodney's case, I couldn't believe my ears. From what Dr. Leon was telling me, it sounded like a case of lazy police work, where officers didn't want to go through the efforts of going all the way to New York to find the true killers. Additionally, like so many others affected by our racially-skewed criminal justice system, Rodney K. Stanberry ended up in prison because he was the most convenient person to incarcerate. This is particularly true in Alabama, a state where the modern prison system has powerful links to slavery.

Click to read.

Dr. Boyce, Rev. Sharpton Speak at Ohio Education Rally

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Most of you by now know about the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar. You also know that I've taken a personal interest in Kelley's case since we first hit the issue on Black Voices. Kelley, in case you don't know, was convicted of a felony after sending her children to a school district that was not her own. This case against a single mother seeking a better educational situation for her kids set off a firestorm of international support.

I arrived in Akron yesterday to prepare for the rally on Kelley's behalf, and Rev. Sharpton got here tonight. When we arrived at the church, the parking lot was full, the news trucks were everywhere and police were on hand to control us "rabble-rousing black folks."

The National Action Network was necessary in creating the infrastructure for the rally, for which I was extremely appreciative. The community was particularly gracious in coming out to take a stand for educational equality, which I found to be equally impressive. A glaring absence from the room was Ms. Williams-Bolar, but the issue is bigger than just one person, so I personally wasn't concerned. I honestly can't say why Kelley wasn't at the rally or why her attorneys advised her not to show up, but I hope it was for a good reason. I also hope that they will one day allow her to thank the citizens who came out in bad weather to support her case.


Click to read.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Urban Prep in Chicago Sends 100% of It’s Black Males to College….Again

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

Click to read.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Oprah Winfrey vs. Iyanla Vanzant: The Women Square Off in their Family Feud

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

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

click to read.

New Evidence on the Murder of the Notorious B.I.G.: LAPD Under Suspicion for Involvement, Cover-Up

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

CBS Los Angeles is now reporting new evidence that officers within the Los Angeles Police Department may have played a role in the death of the rapper Christopher Wallace, also known as The Notorious B.I.G (aka Biggie Smalls).
Wallace was murdered March 9th, 1997. According to witnesses, a lone gunman in the driver's seat of a black Chevy Impala pulled up to the truck where Wallace was sitting in the passenger seat and opened fire. Wallace died shortly thereafter.
The Wallace family filed suit against the LAPD in 2005, bringing forth additional evidence that was not considered, implicating LAPD officers that they believe were involved in the death of Christopher Wallace. The two officers under suspicion are David Mack and Rafael Perez. Both Perez and Mack are in prison now for unrelated crimes, Mack for bank robbery and Perez for stealing cocaine.

Click to read.

OJ Simpson Allegedly Beaten in Prison by Skinheads

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

Click to read.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Speakers for Kelley Williams-Bolar Rally in Akron, Ohio



The rally for educational equality and the Kelley Williams-Bolar case is set to take place at the Mountain of the Lord Church in Akron, OH on Thursday, February 17 at 6 pm.


Presiding Rev. Eugene Norris

Invocation Pastor Dennis Butts, Executive Director of Bethel Association of Churches

Welcome Bobbie Simpson, Akron Chapter President

Selection High School Chorus

Remarks Representative Vernon Sykes

Remarks Senator Tom Sawyer & Senator Nina Turner

Remarks Dr. Willis Lonzer, President Alpha Phi Alpha


Remarks Rev. Curtis Walker, President Akron School Board

Remarks Linda Lanrer, President Sigma Gamma Ro

Remarks & Intro of Keynote Speaker Dr. Boyce Watkins, Professor Syracuse University

Keynote address Rev. Al Shaprton

Remarks Kelly William-Bolar


Chapter Appeal Rev. De-Ves Toon

Benediction Rev. Drome, President of the International Ministers Alliance

alexis Stodghill: Why Has Clarence Thomas Been silent for Five Years on the Court?

Clarence Thomas Five Year Silence

by Alexis Stodghill

The New York Times recently noted that Tuesday of this week will mark the five year anniversary since Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has spoken during a case. Not only has Justice Thomas not spoken at all while hearing court arguments for the past five years; Thomas has also spent this lengthy period of silence "leaning back in his chair, staring at the ceiling, rubbing his eyes, whispering to Justice Stephen G. Breyer, consulting papers and looking a little irritated and a little bored."(The New York Times)


Click to read more from Alexis Stodghill at AOL Black Voices

Sports Commentator Dick Vitale Refers to NBA Athletes as “Inmates”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

It's nearly impossible for something I hear on television to wake me up in my sleep. Some exceptions might be the start of a nuclear war or the voice of Beyonce Knowles. But this morning, I heard a voice that yanked me out of La-La land faster than you could say, "Whatchu talkin about Willis?"
Sports commentator Dick Vitale was on the ESPN Show, "Mike & Mike in the Morning" talking about the possibilities regarding the trade of NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony. The hosts were discussing the rumor that Anthony may copy LeBron James and join forces with two other superstars headed to the same team.
In reference to his frustration about the idea of men like Anthony choosing their own fate in spite of the fact that NBA Commissioner David Stern objects to their behavior, Vitale said that such moves were like "Inmates controlling the asylum."

Click to read.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cornel West Goes to Work for Carol Moseley Braun in Chicago

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

This weekend, Professor Cornel West gave a strong endorsement to Carol Moseley Braun in a heated and controversial race to become the next mayor of Chicago. West didn't have very many good things to say about Moseley Braun's leading opponent, Rahm Emanuel. He referred to Emanuel as an outsider and a candidate who is beholden to big business interests in the city and across America.
"I believe a Rahm Emanuel victory would be a slap in the face," West said. "I'm here to support poor and working people - specifically black Chicago."


Click to read.

Watkins/Sharpton rally in Ohio for Kelley Williams-Bolar and Educational Equality in America


On Thursday, February 17 at 6 pm, Dr. Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Sharpton will rally in Akron Ohio on behalf of the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, the single black mother who was jailed for sending her kids to the wrong school district.  The information for the rally is below:


Mountain of the Lord Church
Rev. Eugene Norris
1477 Copley Road
Akron, OH 44320
(330) 873-9793

Murray State Professor Suspended for racist comments about Slavery

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Mark Wattier, a professor of Political Science at Murray State University in Kentucky, is in hot water after comparing his black students to slaves. Arlene Johnson, a freshman from Sikestown, Mo says that she arrived to Wattier's class three to five minutes early and found that there was a film already playing. After class was over, Johnson went to the professor, along with another black student, DeVaunte Martin, to ask him why the film had been started before they arrived.
According the students, Professor Wattier explained to them that class starts 10 minutes early when films are being shown. But the students were confused, since the information is not in the syllabus. Wattier then said "I expect it out of you guys anyway."
The students asked Wattier to clarify his statement, which is when he made the comments that served to truly seal his fate:


Click to read.

Why Black People May Want to Reject Valentine’s Day Spending

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Most men know how expensive Valentine's Day can get. Someone decided that spending money is somehow a translation to showing love, which is an interesting misguided relationship philosophy. Valentine's Day is one of the most over-hyped holidays known to man, with advertising starting right after Christmas. Any man in a serious relationship is well-aware of the pending doom of his social life if he doesn't flex his wallet at least a little bit on that special day.
According to the National Federation's 2010 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, over $14 billion is spent on Valentine's Day related purchases. This is roughly $103 for every single man, woman and child in America. Yes, the hype has real economic consequences.

click to read.

The Obama Administration and Disappearing Black Family Wealth

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

The first decade of the new millennium brought a lot of things that the world didn't expect: the ability to order a pizza on your home computer, cell phones that allow you to talk to your friends face-to-face, and our nation's first black president.
One other unexpected event of the last decade is the disappearance of a century's worth of progress in reducing the wealth gap between black and white Americans. As Rex Nutting at Market Watch so accurately notes, wealth levels of the black family in America have declined dramatically during the past decade, and they show no evidence of getting better any time soon.
According to Nutting, "In a country where access to capital is everything, most blacks have nothing."

Click to read.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Cavs End their Streak, but Now Understand the Value of LeBron James

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Approximately one year ago, it was great to be a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team finished the season with a very strong 61 - 21 record and they were the champions of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference. In fact, they had the best record of all teams in the entire Eastern Conference, making them formidable foes for nearly anyone.
Obviously, things have changed dramatically in just one year's time. Since LeBron James bolted for the Miami Heat, you could feel the shift of Eastern Conference power like a massive snow storm flowing slowly to the east coast and shutting down every city in its path. Right now, the Miami Heat are on top of an eight game winning streak, while the Cleveland Cavaliers just set an all-time NBA record with 25 straight losses. Fortunately for the Cavs, loss number 26 was barely averted, but you can feel the collective snarl from fans who know that the next losing streak will probably start in about two days.

Click to read.

Rapper Jailed for Child Support, but the Baby Isn’t Even His

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse universityScholarship in Action 

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

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

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

Click to read.

Antoine Fuqua Bringing Tupac Shakur Back to Life

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The movie we all expected to see years ago is finally being brought to the big screen. Antoine Fuqua has committed himself to bringing the late Tupac Shakur back from the dead with a soon-to-be-released biopic about the life of the legendary rapper.
Tupac Shakur is nothing less than the most respected hip-hop artist in history, primarily because he lived an incredibly memorable life. His greatest claim to fame during life was his album "All Eyez on Me," which was one of the first to produce a double CD with a long list of hits. Only "Thriller" by Michael Jackson and "Straight Outta Compton" could compare in terms of an album's impact on an entire generation.

Some seem to feel that Tupac's career was just taking off when he died at the age of 25. He was just starting to come into his own as an actor, and he ended up releasing more songs as a dead man than most artists ever release during life. With everything that's come out of the studio since Tupac's untimely death, it appears that he was planning for several years of virtually unprecedented artistic productivity.


Click to read.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

S. Tia Brown: Dating a Black Entrepreneur

by S. Tia Brown,

First let me say this: I am single. However, just like you don't have to smoke crack to tell "rockheads" don't do it... well, you get the rest.
Second, I'm an avid, calendar-clearing, repeat-watching fan of the "Real Housewives of Atlanta." You know the type. I text my girls during the commercials. I feel like I know the "ins and outs" of the cast intimately. And, occasionally I pass judgment on their decisions.
With those two details out the way, it's time for my third assertion: When it comes to marriage, particularly to an entrepreneur, it can't always be tit for tat. Over the last few weeks I've watched Cynthia Bailey's now husband, Peter Thomas, try to pull out the dagger ripping his heart apart as his business -- their family's bread and butter-- revenue dropped lower than NeNe Leakes' cleavage line. Thomas shared his woes about picking up the pieces. Bailey worried about financing their wedding. Thomas grew angrier about not getting investors. Bailey balled about being owed her investment in his business. Thomas was forced to close his restaurant and rebuild. Bailey cried about not going on a honeymoon. All I kept thinking is, "where dey do dat at?"


Click to read.

How to Handle a Media Crisis

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

One of the things we regularly see in the media are celebrities in the middle of crisis. The brand that others have worked so hard to build comes under fire because of some scandal, with sex usually being the sneaky culprit. Fantasia's decision to mess around with a married man, Tiger's seemingly infinite infidelity, and the scandal between Steve Harvey and his ex-wife Mary are just three examples of multimillion dollar baby mama drama.
I brought in three black PR experts to break down the celebrity scandal issue and how to deal with it from an enlightened media perspective. The conversation is lively and educational. I certainly learned a great deal myself, so if I am ever caught up in some drama, I'll know whose number to dial. The interview is below, enjoy!


Click to read.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dr. Boyce Spotlight: Prof. Njoki McElroy Lives and Speaks Black History

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

During Black History Month, it only makes sense that we connect with those who can help us to get in touch with our history. Professor Njoki McElroy is a story-teller and truth-teller when it comes to the struggles of our people and how we've created the reality that surrounds us. Her work is well-respected, and she has written a book describing one of the most significant periods in the history of black people in America. It is for that reason that Professor Njoki McElroy is today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices.

What is your name and what do you do?
Njoki McElroy, PhD. I am a storyteller, professor, playwright, performer and author. My new book is entitled 1012 Natchez: A Memoir of Grace, Hardship and Love (Brown Books)


Click to read.

Russell Simmons On Being “Super Rich”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons has released an interesting new book entitled, "Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All." Simmons appears to have decided to share his keys to wealth with the world, addressing a community where wealth accumulation continues to be one of our greatest and most lasting mysteries.
I thought that Simmons' approach to the book was interesting. Reflecting his Buddhist background, Simmons said, "Its about making people focused and free and not fearful. So they can get up and give in the morning. Instead of waking up and thinking what you're gonna get, wake up and thing what your're gonna give. That's a different mindset. That's the mindset the we have to be in to not only be successful but to be happy."

Click to read.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Update on the Jamail Johnson Shooting: He died Saving his Classmates from Gun Fire

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

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

A Young Black Student is Annoyed with Being Accused of “Talking White”

Lou Holtz Writes to say Hello

Dear Dr. Watkins,

The primary purpose of this letter is to tell you how impressed I am with your resume and I congratulate you on your accomplishments in the field of academics.  Your resume is certainly far more impressive than mine, and it’s easy to see why you’re held in such high regard by so many people.

I certainly enjoyed visiting with you on the John Stossel show when you articulated your views exceptionally well.  The fact that I’m on the opposite side of you does not hinder the respect I have for you.  My best wishes for continued success and I hope we’ll have a chance to visit personally sometime in the future.



Lou Holtz


Dr. Boyce and Al Sharpton Discuss Black America – 2/8/11


Dr. Boyce and Al Sharpton discuss issues in black America.  Click here to listen.

The Perpetual Worship of Biggie and Pac: Why Other Artists Are Not Allowed to Compete

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

As the son of a preacher, I know how to avoid sacrilegious statements when I see them. I don't use God's name in vain, and I don't make nasty jokes about Jesus. But if hip-hop had a bible, it would start with the commandment that "Thou shalt not compare any living rapper to the great Biggie and Pac."

If you even briefly mention that any artist in America comes close to "the great ones," you are quickly slapped with a "shut yo mouth" by hip-hop heads who tell you that you're out of your damn mind. There is no living artist, at least not under the age of 30, who dares compare himself to Biggie and Pac, who've effectively become the God and Jesus of the hip-hop world.

Let's be clear: these artists were legendary in their talent level and deserve massive amounts of respect. But the idea that they are better than every hip-hop artist since is likely due to our stunning capacity to practically worship dead artists rather than a truly fair comparison of musical impact. Since Tupac Shakur died, he has been transformed into a visionary and a saint, when the truth is that he could be just as trifling as Lil Wayne, TI and the other artists who are living today. I was a huge fan of both Biggie and Pac when they were alive. I listened to Pac every morning before heading to campus, and I bumped Biggie when I rolled in my hooptie. They were like Burger King and McDonalds or Coke and Pepsi: two dominant versions of virtually the same product (gangsta rap). I never chose one over the other, because both of them were great.

Click to read.

Dr. Boyce Speaks with Ed Gordon at the BET Studios


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

The Value of Being “Ghetto Fab”

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

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

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

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


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Monday, February 7, 2011

Over 2/3 of Black Women are Offended by the Pepsi Max Ad

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The Latest in the Life of Dr. Boyce

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Your Black World survey questions of the day:

Do you think the NAACP and Urban League are still relevant for black America?  Click here to respond.

Should black women be offended by the Pepsi Max ad featuring "the angry black woman"? Click here to respond

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Student Murdered, 11 Shot at Omega Psi Phi House Party at Youngstown State University

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Should Sisters Be Concerned About the Super Bowl Pepsi Max Commercial with the Angry Black Woman?

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Nearly Half of All Black College Students Have Never Had a Black Professor

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We Need LeBron: Cleveland Cavaliers Lose Record 24th Game in a Row

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White Father Threatens Black Boys for Talking to His Daughter: Should that Be a Crime?

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A Few Things to Consider in the Police Beating of 16-Year-Old Chad Holley

Video of Teen Getting Badly Beaten by Houston Police

Video of Chad Holley:  Teen Getting Badly Beaten by Houston Police

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Financier Ephren Taylor Issues Statement in Response to Eddie Long's Allegations of Financial Fraud

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Rapper Scarface Jailed for Back Child Support: All That is Wrong With Our System

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Diddy Speaks Up for Kelley Williams-Bolar, Governor Plans to Investigate

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Economist Magazine Study: Chastity Before Marriage Leads to Successful Relationships

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Dr. Boyce Video: What the Hayell is Going on with Black Boys Only Wanting to be Athletes?

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Three Financial Steps to Take During Black History Month

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Black Men in N.Y. Angry After Nun Falsely Acccuses Black Man of Raping Her

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DJ Kool Herc Speaks Out About the State of the U.S. Health Care System

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Dr. Boyce Video -- Dr. Khalil Muhammad of the Schomburg Center

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Dr. Boyce Video -- Dr. Byron Price Speaks on Black Male Mass Incarceration

by Madam Prezident:
They say home is where the heart it
He must be homeless
Or heartless
I’ve made this home for us
But this ain’t where his heart is
I’ve done all I can
For this man
I’ve changed the welcome mat
I mean
He brings her spirit
Into the house
How the hell
I suppose to welcome that
But I don’t put him out
So, I must welcome that
I’ve made this home for him
But maybe he has another house in mind
That’s much different from mine
Imma help him pack his bags
Cuz, I’m tired of wasting my time
They say home is where the heart it
He must be homeless
Or heartless
I’ve made this home for us
But this ain’t where his heart is
Madam Prezident