Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bebe Moore Campbell Dies

The following post is from Dr. Lamont Hill Blog:

R.I.P. Bebe
Moore Campbell

Marc Lamont Hill @ 11:44 am
2006 continues to be a
very tough year for Black geniuses. Yesterday, best-selling author Bebe Moore
Campbell died of complications from brain cancer.
In her groundbreaking
novels, Campbell, discussed critical yet sensitive issues in the Black
community, such as racism, poverty, and mental illness. Her detailed characters
and complicated narratives have earned her comparisons to literary legends Edith
Wharton and Anton Checkhov.
In addition to her books, Campbell’s journalism
appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Ebony magazine and
Born Elizabeth Bebe Moore in Philadelphia, she received a
bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Pittsburgh
before she began a career as a schoolteacher. She married Tiko Campbell. The
couple settled in Washington, D.C., and had a daughter, Maia Campbell, before
the marriage ended in divorce. Campbell later married Ellis Gordon Jr., and they
settled in Los Angeles. They had one son, Ellis Gordon III.She was 56-years
-old.Contributions in her name can be made to the National Alliance for the
Mentally Ill at NAMI Urban Los Angeles, 4305 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
90008; or to the United Negro College Fund, 8260 Willow Oaks Corporate Park
Drive, P.O. Box 10444, Fairfax, VA 22031.
May she forever rest in peace.

Thanks, Dr. Hill.

More on Ms. Campbell's death at:

Ms. Campbell is known for her books on race/gender relations.
Her first
novel, Your Blues Ain't Like Mine, deals with race relations in
South. It gotten recognition by the NAACP Image Award back
in 1992.
Her other book, Brothers and Sisters, deals with the
aftereffects of the L.A.

May she rest in peace- Stephanie B.

For literary lovers, please visit Bebe Moore

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Robert Altman, R.I.P.

Robert Altman dies at 81. He's known for directing the popular TV drama, M.A.S.H. My heart goes out to his family. May he rests in peace.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tuck Gets Life For Brutal Racist Hate Crime

All I can say, thank goodness that no-good racist is getting life in prison!

Tuck Convicted in the hate crime

Tuck Convicted in Brutal Pipe Attack"

Lee McGuire's 11 News at Noon report Wendell Edwards 11 News at 5 report
HOUSTON -- A Houston jury Thursday convicted the teen described as a neo-Nazi of savagely beating and sodomizing a teen at a party in Spring.

David Henry Tuck, 18, showed no emotion when the verdict was read.

He faces up to life in prison for aggravated sexual assault.

The jury of 10 women and two men took about five hours to reach a verdict.

The victim's family was relieved.

"It's a great uplifting situation today. I mean I think it's just step one," said Carlos Leon, the victim's family attorney. "I mean we're excited, we're happy, but we still have punishment phase. We still have another trial in a month so it's a good first day."

Tuck’s defense attorneys said in closing arguments that their client was innocent and blamed a 16-year-old boy and his 13-year-old sister for the attack. The prosecutor said racial hatred fueled the four- to five-hour attack in which the victim was beaten, kicked and sodomized with the plastic pole of a patio umbrella.

During the trial, 16-year-old Gus Sons and his 13-year-old sister Danielle offered graphic testimony about the attack a party at their home in the Houston suburb of Spring. The youths at the party were drinking, smoking marijuana, snorting cocaine and taking Xanax, according to testimony.

They said the attack was triggered by the victim’s drunken pass at Danielle Sons, then 12, and by an alleged attempt to steal drugs from Gus Sons.

“That day, who had the motive to want to hurt (the victim)? All he is doing is putting Mr. Tuck’s name on what he did,” defense attorney Ken Goode said.

The defense called Gus Sons a "lying scumbag" and said his testimony isn't nearly enough to convict Tuck.

An earlier defense witness testified Danielle Sons told her she participated in the attack.

Trent told the jury of six white people, five black people and one Hispanic that the Sons siblings were not likable but they were telling the truth. He also reiterated earlier comments about Tuck being a skinhead and a neo-Nazi.

“They wanted to kill him, violate him in any way they could,” Trent said of Tuck and 17-year-old Turner, who will be tried separately in the attack. “This man is guilty of about the most heinous crime you will ever see where the victim survived.”

Hinton told jurors the attack was not racially motivated, despite testimony referring to swastikas on Tuck’s possessions.

“You’ve heard about the swastikas and all that stuff; that’s not what this case is about,” he said. “It’s about a bunch of guys all messed up on drugs and someone wound up getting hurt.”

Defense attorneys said there was no physical evidence linking the pole to Tuck or Turner, who is being tried next month.

They said authorities didn’t find any of the victim’s blood on Tuck’s knife, and that they never tested a knife that Sons had.

Trent said Tuck and Turner probably cleaned the knife while pouring bleach all over the victim’s body. He also told jurors the victim’s blood was found all over Tuck’s clothing.

The victim, who was seated with his family near the front row during closing arguments, testified Wednesday he remembered nothing of the assault. He glared at Tuck while sitting on the witness stand.

The victim is a high school senior who spent more than three months in a hospital recovering from his injuries. He initially was not expected to survive. He told jurors he has undergone 20 to 30 surgeries.

The victim’s family has said it believes the attack was a hate crime and law.

Authorities have said they didn’t prosecute it as a hate crime because it wouldn’t affect the possible punishment.

The punishment phase of the trial begins Friday at 10 a.m.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hate Crime in Houston

This came to me from Ann via e-mail. Please take a look at this video of a racially-motivated hate crime by two skinheads in Houston several months ago. Please view the video and please don't tell me that these are exceptional. They're not. They're part of the climate of intolerance and bigotry that is curren

From 11 News Staff Reports

Click to watch video

It is up to a judge to decide whether jurors will be allowed to see a videotaped confession from a teen accused of a brutal sexual assault of a schoolmate.
Prosecutors showed David Tuck's videotape in court Friday.

Tuck, 18, and his friend Keith Turner, 17, are accused of attacking and sodomizing a teenager at a party last April.

Friday Tuck’s attorneys asked the judge to stop the video from being shown next week when his client's trial gets underway.

David Tuck's videotaped confession
Tuck’s trial on aggravated sexual assault charges.

Friday's reveal of the tape showed Tuck sitting down and saying he wanted to tell his side of the story.

Tuck tells detectives that he just started swinging and didn’t know what he was doing.
"All I know is I started swinging. I blacked out. I didn't know what I was doing and that's why I had blood on my pants," said Tuck in the video.

Tuck said all he did was use his fists and that's why he was sore.
He also told detectives he didn't use a weapon.

When one of the detectives asked about a pike and whether Tucker and Turner used it on the victim, Tuck asked to see a lawyer.

Authorities said that during a gathering last April, the two white suspects attacked the Hispanic teen, stomping him in the head with steel-toe boots. They then sodomized him with the plastic pole from a patio-table umbrella into which they had poured bleach, then doused the boy’s body in bleach.

Through the attack, Tuck and Turner shouted racial slurs, authorities said, prompting a push for tougher hate crime laws.

They nearly killed the teen who suffered severe internal injuries, cuts on his chest and head injuries.

Police said David Henry Tuck and Keith Robert Turner showed no remorse.

He was hospitalized for weeks, but is now recovering and has returned to school.
Some youths who were at the home where the boy was attacked later that night have said they smoked marijuana and took Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug, while there.

Tuck and Turner have told investigators they beat the boy because he kissed a 12-year-old girl at the home.

Neighbors and schoolmates of Tuck described him as a skinhead with Nazi tattoos who had terrorized the neighborhood.

In one instance, David Tuck angered families in his subdivision when he trained young children to bow down and praise Hitler, said Richard Rogers, Tuck’s next-door neighbor.

Alvaro Rivera, who lives near Tuck, said he once had to stop his car because Tuck was frozen in a Nazi salute, blocking Rivera, whose and wife and children were in the car. Rivera said Tuck and his friends laughed at the family as they drove by.

Two years ago, Tuck hung a swastika flag above the family’s garage but it was later taken down on subdivision officials’ orders, Rogers said.

David Henry Tuck's trial is scheduled to begin Monday

On Martin Luther King Day about two years ago, Tuck paraded in his neighborhood with a swastika flag, said high school classmates Jason Savage and Tommy Peterson.

Tuck’s mother, Sharon Tuck, 54, has denied her son has Nazi sympathies.

"Savage beating suspect wants taped confession out of trial"

Thanks Ann for the article and the accompanied links.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Gerald Levert, R.I.P.

Gerald Levert Dies at age 40.

Another great has passed from this good earth. This time the talented singer Gerald Levert, the son of Eddie Levert of the legendary O'Jays.

He left a legacy of hits, starting with Casanova and (Pop Pop Pop Pop) Blows My Mind back in 1987. Also the hit 1991 duet with his dad, Baby Hold On To Me. His latest songs include Thinking About It on his last CD.

More on Mr. Levert, please click here.

Also, leave your condolences at Gerald Levert .com

My heart goes out to the Levert family. May he rests in peace!

Gerald Levert (1966-2006)

Teena Marie

Soulful after all those years in the music business. She has a beautiful, talented daughter, Alia Rose, following her footsteps. She even have a part in both of her mother's latest CDs, La Dona and Sapphire, respectively.

Here's an article on Teena Marie back in 2004 at:

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ed Bradley, R.I.P.

Ed Bradley dies at 65.

Ed Bradley of CBS Dies by Louis Hau,

Ed Bradley, the veteran CBS News correspondent, died Thursday of leukemia at the age of 65, CBS reported.
Bradley, who was with the television network for 35 years, was best known for his long tenure as a correspondent for the CBS (nyse: CBS - news - people ) news magazine show 60 Minutes, which he joined in 1981.
In contrast to the confrontational style of his 60 Minutes colleague Mike Wallace, Bradley approached his interviews with sensitivity and empathy, which served him well whether he was speaking with Muhammad Ali, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak or Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, who granted Bradley his only TV interview.
A particularly memorable example of Bradley's deft touch was his 1981 interview with Lena Horne, during which the singer opened up about the pain she endured early in her career trying to succeed in a white-dominated entertainment industry.
The interview snared Bradley an Emmy Award, one of 19 he would eventually win. Bradley also garnered the George Foster Peabody Award, the George Polk Award and the Overseas Press Club Award during his career.
Bradley was a native of Philadelphia, where started his broadcasting career in 1963 as a reporter for WDAS Radio, a focal point for the local African-American community.
Last year, the National Association of Black Journalists honored Bradley with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In his acceptance speech, Bradley recalled how much things had changed for minority journalists during his career.
"It doesn’t seem like it was a lifetime ago when we held the first [NABJ] meetings in New York – just a small band of brothers and sisters new to this business of journalism,'' he said. "There weren’t many of us then but we knew we needed to be together…I look around this room tonight and I can see how much our profession has changed and our numbers have grown…All I have to do is turn on the TV and I can see the progress that has been made.”

More on Ed's untimely passing at:

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Love on Trial: The Alice Rhinelander Story

In the 1920s, interracial marriages were at the center of controversy. None of them compare to the controversy involving the Jones and Rhinelander families of NY.

Here's an article written by Seattle Weekly on the 1925 case:

Skin-crossed lovers
A failed interracial romance can't escape scrutiny.
By Judy

Lewis and Heidi Ardizzone (W.W. Norton & Company, $26.95)
of the Roaring Twenties, Kip Rhinelander, the wealthy son of white New York
plutocrats, fell in love with Alice Jones, an attractive young woman of
mixed-race ancestry who occasionally worked as a domestic. In 1924, after a
three-year romance that included the exchange of nearly a thousand love letters,
they married. Almost immediately, a court battle began that gave newspapers
throughout the nation front-page stories for more than a year: Rhinelander
sought an annulment, alleging that Jones had deceived him into thinking she was
Could a member of the elite class in a racist society have failed to
notice, after spending countless hours with the Jones family, the dark skin of
his lover's father and brother? Prior to the marriage, hadn't Rhinelander told a
friend that he didn't care what race Jones belonged to? Was Rhinelander's
father, a bigoted real-estate magnate worth millions, secretly forcing his son
to seek an annulment so the family name would stay "pure"? What did Jones'
racial identity mean, anyway? Did the fact that her father was born in England
give his skin color a different significance?
Historians Earl Lewis and Heidi
Ardizzone address such questions in Love on Trial: An American Scandal in Black
and White, a well-researched social history aimed at a general audience. It's a
fascinating, suspenseful (if sometimes redundantly told) tale of interracial
love in an era of radical change. The book alternates dramatic episodes in the
lives of the main characters with lively commentary on race, immigration, class,
female sexuality, and popular media during the Jazz Age.
interesting is the theme that American ideas about race have always been
shifting social constructions. Sometimes a drop of blood in the veins made a
person black; sometimes people were categorized as octoroons, quadroons,
coloreds, Negroes, and mulattoes; sometimes those with a black ancestor came to
be considered white if they had pale skin, European parents, and no connection
to the black community. But, as this book vividly shows, all such definitions
had a common purpose: to maintain clear boundaries between the races, even after
blacks and whites were made equal under law throughout the U.S., and mixed-race
marriages were legalized in many states, including New York.
NEWSPAPERS and judicial system supported this policing of racial lines. During
the Rhinelander trial, reporters described Jones as "dusky," a "tropical
beauty," or "of a Spanish complexion," and photos of her face were captioned
with the question that readers were expected to agonize over: "Does she look
like a Negro?" The judge actually approved a motion by attorneys to have Jones
disrobe before the jury and reveal her true color.
The trial was an ordeal
for both parties. Sometimes the press and the court made Rhinelander appear to
be "an example of what wealth and privilege produced: inarticulate,
self-centered, powerful, frivolous, and carnal." Sometimes they painted him as
stupid and gullible, seduced by a lascivious, dark-hearted vamp whose sole
desire was to enter the upper class.
Yet Jones told reporters she felt
indifferent about questions of social status and didn't see "a single wholesome
thing in the life of the so-called 400 [best families]." She quietly insisted
that she married Rhinelander because she loved him. Rhinelander's physician
testified at the trial that Jones' tender affection for her lover had begun to
heal his chronic stammer and other nervous afflictions. We'll never know the
true quality of this relationship or the true motives of either partner. These
stories were destroyed, along with the marriage itself, by the one told in court
and by the national media.
Love on Trial unforgettably dramatizes the
American use of race to define the self, decide what others are like, and draw
lines that separate or connect the self and others. Even now, 75 years after the
Rhinelander scandal, the habit is hard for many of us to shake.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Hard-Hitting Essay On the State of Hip Hop

James Lamb Jr. delivers a hard-hitting essay on the state of Hip Hop today. He contends that today's Hip Hop culture resembles the slave past when Black bodies are up on the auction block for sale and profit. Here's the link to the article at:

Read the article. Then discuss it with a friend or a fellow blogger.


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