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Posts by A.K. Shackleford

Who Is Banksy?

You probably heard the name Banksy in passing, maybe even passed by some of his art. But you probably still don't know who he is, really. Well, you're not alone. The identity of the artist is a closely guarded secret, but now UK papers are revealing that Banksy is Robin Gunningham, a 34 year-old Bristol, England native. Banksy is the pseudonym given to the anonymous artist who leaves political, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment artwork in public spaces around the world. His work seems to crop up overnight and some consider him a vandal or even a trickster as his stunts have included: creating fake British £10 notes, substituting the picture of the Queen's head with Princess Diana's head and changing the text from "Bank of England" to "Banksy of England"; leaving the message 'I want out. This place is too cold. Keeper smells. Boring, boring, boring.' in the elephant area at a zoo in England; and hanging a painting of the likeness of Mona Lisa with a yellow smiley face in the Louvre. Photographer Steve Lazarides acts as Banksy's agent, selling the artist's work out of his gallery Laz inc. in London's Soho district.
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ObamaNation: Bernie Mac Jokes of ‘Hos’ at Obama Fundraiser

Bernie Mac entertained a crowd at a $2,300-a-head fundraiser for Obama by joking about "hos." Mac also advised the presidential hopeful to watch 2003's Head of State, which he co-starred in with Chris Rock, for tips on avoiding rumors like, "You was at the club with Lil' Kim, and you and Kanye West got into a fist fight." Obama initially expressed disapproval of the comedian's routine, chiding, "We can’t afford to be divided by region or by class and we can’t afford to be divided by gender, which by the way, that means, Bernie, you’ve got to clean up your act next time. This is a family affair", but then says, "By the way I'm just messing with you man." Obama's spokesperson Jen Psaki formally denounced the comedy routine: "Senator Obama told Bernie Mac that he does not condone these statements and that what he said was inappropriate." PHOTO: 20th Century Fox Television
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EMS Workers Fired Over KKK Photos

Three paramedic trainees (identified as Timothy Prahm, Henry Solares and Thomas Hart), who were training at Newark's University Hospital in New Jersey, were fired by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, after cell phone images of two of them dressed in white robes holding a large wooden cross surfaced. The university's president, William F. Owen Jr., said in a written statement, "[The university] has never and will never tolerate attitudes and behaviors that discriminate against any individual or group." He also added that the incident appeared to be a hazing by EMS: "You can't make this stuff up. It's like being in Tennessee in the 1950s."
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Benihana Founder Hiroaki Aoki Dies

Tokyo-born restauranteur Hiroaki 'Rocky' Aoki died on Thursday in New York City at the age of 69. The father of model Devon Aoki and DJ Steve Aoki succumbed to pneumonia due to complication from cancer, but had also suffered from diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis C--which he contracted from a blood transfusion. A former wrestler on the Japanese Olympic team, Aoki moved to New York after failing to qualify for the 1960 games in Rome. He went on to open his first teppanyaki-styled restaurant in 1964, with $10,000 he earned selling ice cream from a truck. Aoki had resigned from the company in 1998 after pleading guilty to an inside trade and had been acting as a consultant to the chain, which included over 85 restaurants worldwide. A self-proclaimed "risk-taker" Aoki drove in the 1970s Cannonball Run, an underground cross-country race, competed in offshore powerboat racing, and became the first person to cross the Pacific Ocean in a hot-air balloon in the early 1980s, setting a world record.
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Singing In The Rain

Admit it, you saw the YouTube video of Tay Zonday singing Chocolate Rain, and now you're wondering whatever happened to him? Okay, so maybe we're the only ones wondering. We found the Minneapolis native's official website, his YouTube page, and MySpace Page where there are plenty of photos (priceless!) plenty of songs (genre, as yet undefined) and even an e-store selling Chocolate Rain T-shirts (we're seriously considering buying one). But the greatest find of all was Tay's Cherry Chocolate Rain video. Tay, real name Adam Nyerere Bahner, also makes a cameo in Weezer's video Pork And Beans and just celebrated his 26th birthday on July 6th.
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Where Is The Love?

Yearning for more black date flicks? Well, the 12th annual American Black Film Festival is all over the case. The festival will be "Exploring Black Romance and Sexuality in American Cinema" on August 7th - 10th in Los Angeles and hosting the panel discussion, "Can We Get Some Love?" Founder and producer, Jeff Friday, says they will be exploring the question, "Is Black romance taboo or too hot to handle?" Reggie Scott, executive director of the festival adds, "There was a more than 20 year gap where there were no major films exploring black love and romance. We left off with Claudine and Mahogany in the 70's and picked up with Waiting to Exhale and Love Jones in the 90s." Information and registration for the festival can be found at www.abff.com.
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Medicine’s Racial Divide

The American Medical Association apologized to black doctors, admitting to a history of racial discrimination in its policies and practices. Dr. Ronald Davis, the AMA’s previous president, says the group has "a feeling of profound regret and embarrassment for what has been uncovered." Dr. Nelson Adams, who was most recently the president of the National Medical Association, which was founded in 1895 to represent black doctors, says, "[The] AMA looked the other way when local medical associations worked to exclude most black physicians from becoming members." The AMA apology is prompted by a study commissioned in 2005 titled, “The Racial Divide in Organized Medicine,” which will be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It was only on Saturday that a state study showed that in New York City, black nurses were being paid less than their white counterparts.
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Posts by A.K. Shackleford

Who Is Banksy?

You probably heard the name Banksy in passing, maybe even passed by some of his art. But you probably still don't know who he is, really. Well, you're not alone. The identity of the artist is a closely guarded secret, but now UK papers are revealing that Banksy is Robin Gunningham, a 34 year-old Bristol, England native. Banksy is the pseudonym given to the anonymous artist who leaves political, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment artwork in public spaces around the world. His work seems to crop up overnight and some consider him a vandal or even a trickster as his stunts have included: creating fake British £10 notes, substituting the picture of the Queen's head with Princess Diana's head and changing the text from "Bank of England" to "Banksy of England"; leaving the message 'I want out. This place is too cold. Keeper smells. Boring, boring, boring.' in the elephant area at a zoo in England; and hanging a painting of the likeness of Mona Lisa with a yellow smiley face in the Louvre. Photographer Steve Lazarides acts as Banksy's agent, selling the artist's work out of his gallery Laz inc. in London's Soho district.
Read More

ObamaNation: Bernie Mac Jokes of ‘Hos’ at Obama Fundraiser

Bernie Mac entertained a crowd at a $2,300-a-head fundraiser for Obama by joking about "hos." Mac also advised the presidential hopeful to watch 2003's Head of State, which he co-starred in with Chris Rock, for tips on avoiding rumors like, "You was at the club with Lil' Kim, and you and Kanye West got into a fist fight." Obama initially expressed disapproval of the comedian's routine, chiding, "We can’t afford to be divided by region or by class and we can’t afford to be divided by gender, which by the way, that means, Bernie, you’ve got to clean up your act next time. This is a family affair", but then says, "By the way I'm just messing with you man." Obama's spokesperson Jen Psaki formally denounced the comedy routine: "Senator Obama told Bernie Mac that he does not condone these statements and that what he said was inappropriate." PHOTO: 20th Century Fox Television
Read More

EMS Workers Fired Over KKK Photos

Three paramedic trainees (identified as Timothy Prahm, Henry Solares and Thomas Hart), who were training at Newark's University Hospital in New Jersey, were fired by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, after cell phone images of two of them dressed in white robes holding a large wooden cross surfaced. The university's president, William F. Owen Jr., said in a written statement, "[The university] has never and will never tolerate attitudes and behaviors that discriminate against any individual or group." He also added that the incident appeared to be a hazing by EMS: "You can't make this stuff up. It's like being in Tennessee in the 1950s."
Read More

Benihana Founder Hiroaki Aoki Dies

Tokyo-born restauranteur Hiroaki 'Rocky' Aoki died on Thursday in New York City at the age of 69. The father of model Devon Aoki and DJ Steve Aoki succumbed to pneumonia due to complication from cancer, but had also suffered from diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis C--which he contracted from a blood transfusion. A former wrestler on the Japanese Olympic team, Aoki moved to New York after failing to qualify for the 1960 games in Rome. He went on to open his first teppanyaki-styled restaurant in 1964, with $10,000 he earned selling ice cream from a truck. Aoki had resigned from the company in 1998 after pleading guilty to an inside trade and had been acting as a consultant to the chain, which included over 85 restaurants worldwide. A self-proclaimed "risk-taker" Aoki drove in the 1970s Cannonball Run, an underground cross-country race, competed in offshore powerboat racing, and became the first person to cross the Pacific Ocean in a hot-air balloon in the early 1980s, setting a world record.
Read More

Singing In The Rain

Admit it, you saw the YouTube video of Tay Zonday singing Chocolate Rain, and now you're wondering whatever happened to him? Okay, so maybe we're the only ones wondering. We found the Minneapolis native's official website, his YouTube page, and MySpace Page where there are plenty of photos (priceless!) plenty of songs (genre, as yet undefined) and even an e-store selling Chocolate Rain T-shirts (we're seriously considering buying one). But the greatest find of all was Tay's Cherry Chocolate Rain video. Tay, real name Adam Nyerere Bahner, also makes a cameo in Weezer's video Pork And Beans and just celebrated his 26th birthday on July 6th.
Read More

Where Is The Love?

Yearning for more black date flicks? Well, the 12th annual American Black Film Festival is all over the case. The festival will be "Exploring Black Romance and Sexuality in American Cinema" on August 7th - 10th in Los Angeles and hosting the panel discussion, "Can We Get Some Love?" Founder and producer, Jeff Friday, says they will be exploring the question, "Is Black romance taboo or too hot to handle?" Reggie Scott, executive director of the festival adds, "There was a more than 20 year gap where there were no major films exploring black love and romance. We left off with Claudine and Mahogany in the 70's and picked up with Waiting to Exhale and Love Jones in the 90s." Information and registration for the festival can be found at www.abff.com.
Read More

Medicine’s Racial Divide

The American Medical Association apologized to black doctors, admitting to a history of racial discrimination in its policies and practices. Dr. Ronald Davis, the AMA’s previous president, says the group has "a feeling of profound regret and embarrassment for what has been uncovered." Dr. Nelson Adams, who was most recently the president of the National Medical Association, which was founded in 1895 to represent black doctors, says, "[The] AMA looked the other way when local medical associations worked to exclude most black physicians from becoming members." The AMA apology is prompted by a study commissioned in 2005 titled, “The Racial Divide in Organized Medicine,” which will be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It was only on Saturday that a state study showed that in New York City, black nurses were being paid less than their white counterparts.
Read More