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The Boondocks Goes In on Tyler Perry… Pause.

22 Jun

Ray: I already said what I had to say about Tyler Perry in a post last year. But I had to post what my favorite cartoon said about the media mogul. For the record, I still like Tyler Perry but this is funny:

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If You’ve Never Seen The Boondocks…

5 May

Ray: Definitely one of my favorite shows, because I understand it. I’m well aware that most people don’t. But, what can you do? Here is an episode from Season 3 titled, “It’s a Black President, Huey Freeman”.

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Redd Foxx Philosophy

22 Feb

Ray: I respect Redd Foxx for being who he was, when he was, and where he was. The man was fearless. His style of comedy emboldened other black comedians to venture off into other forms of comedy that weren’t always at the expense of Black culture. Think what you will of Redd Foxx, but there is no doubt that he changed the image of Blacks in Entertainment and gave confidence to an ever growing movement of equality and respect for everyone. Here’s a taste:


The Assassination of Malcom X

21 Feb

Audubon Ballroom, Washington Heights - 2/21/1965

Ray: Today marks the anniversary of the assassination of Malcom X. It has been 45 years since his brutal murder on the stage of the Audubon theater. I fully understand that Malcom X is a controversial figure in American history. However, I personally believe that history has thus far judged him inaccurately. Nonetheless, here are a few articles that were written the day after Malcom’s assassination.

A: from The New York Times

Malcolm X, the 39-year-old leader of a militant black nationalist movement, was shot to death yesterday afternoon at a rally of his followers in a ballroom in Washington Heights.
Shortly before midnight, a 22-year-old Negro, Thomas Hagan, was charged with the killing. The police rescued him from the ballroom crowd after he has been shot and beaten.

Malcolm, a bearded extremist, had said only a few words of greeting when a fusillade rang out. The bullets knocked him over backward.

Pandemonium broke out among the 400 Negroes in the Audubon Ballroom at 166th Street and Broadway. As men, women and children ducked under tables and flattened themselves on the floor, more shots were fired. Some witnesses said 30 shots had been fired.

The police said seven bullets had struck Malcolm. Three other Negroes were shot.

About two hours later the police said the shooting had apparently been a result of a feud between followers of Malcolm and members of the extremist group he broke with last year, the Black Muslims. However, the police declined to say whether Hagan is a Muslim.

The Medical Examiner’s office said early this morning that a preliminary autopsy showed Malcolm had died of “multiple gunshot wounds.” The office said that bullets of two different calibers as well as shotgun pellets had been removed from his body.

One police theory was that as many as five conspirators might have been involved, two creating a diversionary disturbance.

Hagan was shot in the left thigh and his left leg was broken, apparently by kicks. He was under treatment in the Bellevue Hospital prison ward last night; perhaps a dozen policemen were guarding him, according to the hospital’s night erintendent. The police said they had found a cartridge case with four unused .45-caliber shells in his pocket.

Two other Negroes, described as “apparent spectators” by Assistant Chief Inspector Harry Taylor, in command of Manhattan North uniformed police, also were shot. They were identified as William Harris, wounded seriously in the abdomen, and William Parker, shot in a foot. Both were taken to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, which is close to the ballroom.

Capt. Paul Glaser of the Police Department’s Community Relations Bureau said early today that Hagan, using a double-barrelled shotgun with shortened barrels and stock, had killed Malcolm X.

Malcolm, a slim, reddish-haired six-footer with a gift for bitter eloquence against what he considered white exploitation of Negroes, broke in March, 1964, with the Black Muslim movement called the Nation of Islam, headed by Elijah Muhammad . . . .1

B: from Newsweek

He was born Malcolm Little, an Omaha Negro preacher’s son. Before he was out of his teens, he was Big Red, a Harlem hipster trafficking in numbers, narcotics, sex, and petty crime. He was buried as Al Hajj Malik Shabazz, a spiritual desperado lost between the peace of Islam and the pain of blackness. His whole life was a series of provisional identities, and he was still looking for the last when, as Malcolm X, 39, apostate Black Muslim and mercurial black nationalist, he was gunned to death by black men last week in a dingy uptown New York ballroom.He had seen the end coming?predicted it, in fact, so long and so loudly that people had stopped listening. Malcolm X had always been an extravagant talker, a demagogue who titillated slum Negroes and frightened whites with his blazing racist attacks on the “white devils” and his calls for an armed American Mau Mau. His own flamboyant past made it easy to disregard his dire warnings that he had been marked for murder by the Muslims, the anti-white, anti- integrationist Negro sect he had served so devoutly for a dozen years and fought so bitterly since his defection a year ago.

His assassination turned out to be one of his few entirely accurate prophecies. Its fulfillment triggered an ominous vendetta between the Malcolmites and the Muslims?ominous in its intensity even though it was isolated on the outermost extremist fringe of American Negro life.

Death came moments after Malcolm stepped up to a flimsy plywood lectern in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom, just north of Harlem, to address 400 of the faithful and the curious at a Sunday afternoon rally of his fledgling Organization of Afro-American Unity. The extermination plot was clever in conception, swift and smooth in execution. Two men popped to their feet in the front rows of wooden folding chairs, one yelling at the other: “Get your hands off my pockets, don’t be messing with my pockets.” Four of Malcolm’s six bodyguards moved toward the pair; Malcolm himself chided, “Let’s cool it.”

Volley: Then came a second diversion: a man’s sock, soaked in lighter fluid and set ablaze, flared in the rear. Heads swiveled, and as they did, a dark, muscular man moved toward the lectern in a crouch, a sawed-off shotgun wrapped in his coat. Blam-blam! A double-barreled charge ripped up through the lectern and into Malcolm’s chest. From the left, near the spot where the two men had been squabbling, came a back-up volley of pistol fire.

Malcolm tumbled backward, his lean body rent by a dozen wounds, his heels hooked over a fallen chair. The hall was bedlam. Malcolm’s pregnant wife, Betty, rushed on stage screaming, “They’re killing my husband!” His retainers fired wildly through the crowd at the fleeing killers. Four assailants made it to side doors and disappeared.

The man with the shotgun, identified by police as 22-year-old Talmadge Hayer of Paterson, N.J., dashed down a side aisle to the stairway exit from the second floor ballroom. From the landing, one of Malcolm’s bodyguards winged him in the thigh with a .45-caliber slug. Howling in pursuit (“Kill the bastard!”), the ballroom crowd caught Hayer on the sidewalk, mauled him, and broke his ankle before police rescued him.

Hayer was charged with homicide. Five days later, police picked up a karate-trained Muslim “enforcer,” Norman 3X Butler, 26, as suspect No. 2.

The arrest of a Muslim surprised almost no one. For all his many enemies, Malcolm himself had insisted to the end that it was the Muslims who wanted him dead. They seemed to dog him everywhere he went; a bare week before his death, he was firebombed out of his Queens home, the ownership of which he had been disputing with the Muslims. Increasingly edgy, he moved with his wife and four children first to Harlem’s Hotel Theresa, finally?the night before his death?to the New York Hilton in the alien world downtown. When he died, Manhattan police assumed that Muslims were involved . . . .2

C: from New York Post

They came early to the Audubon Ballroom, perhaps drawn by the expectation that Malcolm X would name the men who firebombed his home last Sunday, streaming from the bright afternoon sunlight into the darkness of the hall.The crowd was larger than usual for Malcolm’s recent meetings, the 400 filling three-quarters of the wooden folding seats, feet scuffling the worn floor as they waited impatiently, docilely obeying the orders of Malcolm’s guards as they were directed to their seats.

I sat at the left in the 12th row and, as we waited, the man next to me spoke of Malcolm and his followers:

“Malcolm is our only hope,” he said. “You can depend on him to tell it like it is and to give Whitey hell.”

Then a man was on the stage, saying:

“. . . I now give you Brother Malcolm. I hope you will listen, hear, and understand.”

There was a prolonged ovation as Malcolm walked to the rostrum past a piano and a set of drums waiting for an evening dance and stood in front of a mural of a landscape as dingy as the rest of the ballroom.

When, after more than a minute the crowd quieted, Malcolm looked up and said, “A salaam aleikum (Peace be unto you)” and the audience replied “Wa aleikum salaam (And unto you, peace).”

Bespectacled and dapper in a dark suit, his sandy hair glinting in the light, Malcolm said: “Brothers and sisters . . .” He was interrupted by two men in the center of the ballroom, about four rows in front and to the right of me, who rose and, arguing with each other, moved forward. Then there was a scuffle in the back of the room and, as I turned my head to see what was happening, I heard Malcolm X say his last words: “Now, now brothers, break it up,” he said softly. “Be cool, be calm.”

Then all hell broke loose. There was a muffled sound of shots and Malcolm, blood on his face and chest, fell limply back over the chairs behind him. The two men who had approached him ran to the exit on my side of the room shooting wildly behind them as they ran.

I fell to the floor, got up, tried to find a way out of the bedlam.

Malcolm’s wife, Betty, was near the stage, screaming in a frenzy. “They’re killing my husband,” she cried. “They’re killing my husband.”

Groping my way through the first frightened, then enraged crowd, I heard people screaming, “Don’t let them kill him.” “Kill those bastards.” “Don’t let him get away.” “Get him.”

At an exit I saw some of Malcolm’s men beating with all their strength on two men. Police were trying to fight their way toward the two. The press of the crowd forced me back inside.

I saw a half-dozen of Malcolm’s followers bending over his inert body on the stage, their clothes stained with their leader’s blood. Then they put him on a litter while guards kept everyone off the platform. A woman bending over him said: “He’s still alive. His heart’s beating.”

Four policemen took the stretcher and carried Malcolm through the crowd and some of the women came out of their shock long enough to moan and one said: “I don’t think he’s going to make it. I hope he doesn’t die, but I don’t think he’s going to make it.”

I spotted a phone booth in the rear of the hall, fumbled for a dime, and called a photographer. Then I sat there, the surprise wearing off a bit, and tried desperately to remember what had happened. One of my first thoughts was that this was the first day of National Brotherhood Week.3

1Peter Kihss, The New York Times, Febnruary 22, 1965, p. 1. Copyright @1965 by The New York Times Company.
2Newsweek, March 8, 1965, Copyright @ 1965, Newsweek.Inc. All rights reserved.
3Thomas Skinner, “I saw Malcolm Die,” The New York Post, February 22, 1965, p. 1

Shot on stage

Black America: Do We Hate Ourselves?

16 Feb

Ray: I know it’s Black History Month but I would have posted this at any time of the year. It’s an interesting speech given by Malcom X concerning Blacks in America hating and not understanding their roots.

What do you think?

Thoughts on CNN presents “Black in America” by Nadine Mompremier

28 Jul

Nadine: CNN presents “Black in America.” A three-part series that premiered in April with a discussion on Martin Luther King’s legacy and continues this month with a special on the Black Man, the Black Woman, and the Black Family. CNN has done a great job promoting the shows through their website and through various television previews. On YouTube, there are clips of some of the interviews that Soledad O’Brian did for the show. The series is a great concept because it requires people to actually question and address the issues that black people face every day. It discusses those issues that people are afraid to talk about; the actual reality of the “black crisis” or whatever you want to call it. I am not going to comment on what was discussed on the shows, but I think EVERYONE should take the time out to watch it (check the schedules here

As an educated individual, most of the statistics and facts stated concerning high school drop out rates, single parent homes, and economic conditions are familiar to me. As concerned citizens, they should be familiar to you too. For me, the thing that bothers me the most is that this had to be shown on CNN for people to start paying attention. I understand it’s about awareness and something needed to be said but some would argue that the special was unnecessary. In way, it gives the illusion that black people are whining and that they bring these social ills on themselves.

Others would say that the system is not perfect and it is made to make sure that black people cannot rise and be successful. Honestly, it’s a discussion that will go on for years and years because the problems that black people face are not going away any time soon. The black men that are in prison, the children that have been raised with no fathers, the education gap between blacks and whites, the higher education gap between black women and black men, etc. They are not going to disappear and it is a sad reality that we must face and do something about.

But what happens now? Are non-blacks supposed to feel sorry for black people everywhere because of this show? Are people going to start paying attention? Clearly the people that the series focuses on the most won’t see it because they’re in jails, they’re on welfare, and they’re probably not watching CNN. So it becomes a question as of what are you going to do for your community-if anything at all?

This series was a year-long research for O’Brian who does special investigations for CNN. But now what? You’ve investigated, you’ve bought awareness, and your program has aired, so what do you do now? You continue to do your special investigations that are a part of your job. Why didn’t she bring this special to BET or TVOne to attract black people to watch this? Who was the intended audience other than us-educated black individuals?

And just a final thought- don’t you think that this is ironic also? A black man will receive the democratic nomination for president a month after this program airs. Now are people going to watch these programs, look at the plight of the black man and the black family and say “Hey, he made it. He beat the statistics. He has a family, and he’s taking care of his children, etc. etc. etc. so I’m going to vote for him?” Bull****! Sorry but that’s bull****.

But you know what, it’s going to happen. And after it does happen, people will finally think its okay and everything is fine and Blacks and non-Blacks will be equal in America. Obviously, as educated individuals we know better. For those who don’t, they will stop trying to achieve. They won’t aim for anything more. And they won’t see the problems and race issues that will continue to persist despite who is elected into office. Tavis Smiley said it best, “If you were uneducated, jobless, and poor on November 3rd, you will still be uneducated, jobless, and poor on November 5th after Barack Obama has been elected.” Let’s just hope that people do not use these programs and this election to ignore the reality that many face each and every day of their lives.

Nas Strikes Again – Fox News Protest

24 Jul

Ray: If you listened to the new Nas album which is untitled, then you would know that Nas is very disappointed with the way Blacks are portrayed in the media. But unlike many popular rappers, Nas actually took to the streets of New York City to deliver his message in person! Watch here…