Jesse Williams talks to CNN about the shooting of 18 year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri on Sunday. Here are a few excerpts from his on the situation:
“I think we have to talk about the narrative and make sure we’re starting at the beginning. You will find that people doing the oppressing often want to start the narrative at a convenient point,” Williams said. “This started with a kid getting shot and killed and left in the street for four hours. I’ve never seen a white body left in the heat for four hours in the sweltering heat.
“I know plenty of white kids that steal stuff from convenience stores,” Williams continued in response to allegations that Brown stole cigars moments before his murder by law enforcement. “There is this idea that every time a black person does something they automatically become a thug worthy of their own death.”
“The rest of us are not treated like human beings. Period,” the actor said. “That needs to be discussed. That is the story.”
Ok so, the thriller “Cabin in the Woods” hasn’t been released yet, and we weren’t even the lucky ones that saw it at South by Southwest, but we just know that we’re gonna love it. Here are our top 5 reasons:
1. Blue-eyed beauty Jesse Williams! We went ga ga for him in “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2″ and stalked him at the NYC launch of Lucky Strike. He can lure us into a cabin in the woods, anytime.
2. Sexy Brian White : We’ve followed him since his early days on the “Moesha” show to his most recent series “Men of a Certain Age.” Let’s just hope they don’t kill him off early in the film.
3. Aussie stud Chris Hemsworth : Who doesn’t love Thor…in the woods?
4. Screenwriter Joss Whedon : He also wrote “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.” Need we say more?
5. Wired magazine describes the film as an R-rated metanarrative comedy about the science of horror movies. A little geeky sounding, but intriguing.
It’s been over 20 years since Magic Johnson announced to the world that he was HIV positive and changed the face of AIDS. “Because of the HIV virus I have attained,” he said. “I will have to retire from the Lakers.” But he didn’t retire from life, as he became a successful businessman, a television host, an advocate and a grandfather.
Magic and his wife Cookie talk about how difficult that day was and the events that led up to it in the documentary “The Announcement”, directed by Nelson George.
“It’s not so much what people said about him, it’s how he felt and what people did to him,” George said. “Be it people dis-inviting him to their restaurant or dealing with how [the drug] AZT affected his body. It’s an inside-out view as opposed to the things you might have heard discussed on talk radio.”
Compton, a city on the south side of Los Angeles, is a notoriously difficult place to grow up. As birthplace to many of the gangs that put “gangsta” in “gangsta rap,” the city has for decades been plagued by violence, drugs, and other crimes that make life hard for everyone—particularly young people, who are recruited and pressured to join in on all the illicit activity. In response to the allure of gangs, a number of organizations both big and small have popped up to try and keep children off the streets and out of gangs. But there’s only one doing it on horseback.
Founded in the late 1980s on a small plot of land called Richland Farms, the Compton Junior Posse is a program that, in its own words, “keeps kids on horses and off the streets.” The posse teaches equestrian skills to children of all ages in an effort to help them avoid the pitfalls of youth. In the process, it’s kept a lot of kids out of trouble and caused a lot of Angelenos to do double-takes—it’s not every day you see a cowboy riding around the streets of L.A.
Meet the Compton Junior Posse in their mini-doc above!
A study found that Black and Asian teens have the lowest rate of drug use, so why are black teens arrested for drugs nearly three times more than whites? Could it be that black teens are portrayed as drug-addled hoodlums in the media?
A study published today in the Archives of General Psychiatrysays that black and Asian teens are less likely to use drugs and alcohol than white people their age. In a survey of more than 72,000 young people conducted by Dan Blazer, a psychiatry professor at Duke Medical Center, 39 percent of white teens and 37 percent of Latinos reported having abused substances in the past year, compared to 32 percent of blacks and 24 percent of Asians. When it came to drugs alone, 20 percent of whites, 19 percent of blacks, and 12 percent of Asians reported using.
Blazer called the relatively low rate of substance abuse among black juveniles “surprising”: “The public perception is that that’s not the case,” he said. Also surprised should be American police, who continue to arrest black kids for drug use at far greater rates than whites. Consider this chart from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice:
In the 1990s, the juvenile black drug arrest rate was nearly three times that of whites, and in 2008 it remained almost double. The fact is that cops bust blacks kids markedly more for a crime they commit slightly less often. This is especially unfair because petty drug offenses are how thousands of black kids per year end up in the U.S. justice system. Their criminal records then haunt many of them for the rest of their lives, ruining their employment and educational opportunities and all but forcing them to turn to more crime to stay afloat.
We’ve argued before that America’s nonsensical drug laws leave a lot to be desired when compared with those of other Western nations. But when police don’t enforce those laws evenhandedly, they go from being just nonsense to racist as well.
In this NY Time Sports blog, Grant Hill responds, in an articulate and educated manner, to Jalen Rose’s derogatory comments against him and other Duke basketball players made during the ESPN documentary The Fab Five.
March 16, 2011, 1:47 pm
Grant Hill’s Response to Jalen Rose
By Grant HIll
“The Fab Five,” an ESPN film about the Michigan basketball careers of Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Chris Webber, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson from 1991 to 1993, was broadcast for the first time Sunday night. In the show, Rose, the show’s executive producer, stated that Duke recruited only black players he considered to be “Uncle Toms.” Grant Hill, a player on the Duke team that beat Michigan in the 1992 Final Four, reflected on Rose’s comments.
I am a fan, friend and longtime competitor of the Fab Five. I have competed against Jalen Rose and Chris Webber since the age of 13. At Michigan, the Fab Five represented a cultural phenomenon that impacted the country in a permanent and positive way. The very idea of the Fab Five elicited pride and promise in much the same way the Georgetown teams did in the mid-1980s when I was in high school and idolized them. Their journey from youthful icons to successful men today is a road map for so many young, black men (and women) who saw their journey through the powerful documentary, “The Fab Five.”
It was a sad and somewhat pathetic turn of events, therefore, to see friends narrating this interesting documentary about their moment in time and calling me a bitch and worse, calling all black players at Duke “Uncle Toms” and, to some degree, disparaging my parents for their education, work ethic and commitment to each other and to me. I should have guessed there was something regrettable in the documentary when I received a Twitter apology from Jalen before its premiere. I am aware Jalen has gone to some length to explain his remarks about my family in numerous interviews, so I believe he has some admiration for them.
In his garbled but sweeping comment that Duke recruits only “black players that were ‘Uncle Toms,’ ” Jalen seems to change the usual meaning of those very vitriolic words into his own meaning, i.e., blacks from two-parent, middle-class families. He leaves us all guessing exactly what he believes today.
I am beyond fortunate to have two parents who are still working well into their 60s. They received great educations and use them every day. My parents taught me a personal ethic I try to live by and pass on to my children.
I come from a strong legacy of black Americans. My namesake, Henry Hill, my father’s father, was a day laborer in Baltimore. He could not read or write until he was taught to do so by my grandmother. His first present to my dad was a set of encyclopedias, which I now have. He wanted his only child, my father, to have a good education, so he made numerous sacrifices to see that he got an education, including attending Yale.
This is part of our great tradition as black Americans. We aspire for the best or better for our children and work hard to make that happen for them. Jalen’s mother is part of our great black tradition and made the same sacrifices for him.
My teammates at Duke — all of them, black and white — were a band of brothers who came together to play at the highest level for the best coach in basketball. I know most of the black players who preceded and followed me at Duke. They all contribute to our tradition of excellence on the court.
It is insulting and ignorant to suggest that men like Johnny Dawkins (coach at Stanford), Tommy Amaker (coach at Harvard), Billy King (general manager of the Nets), Tony Lang (coach of the Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins in Japan), Thomas Hill (small-business owner in Texas), Jeff Capel (former coach at Oklahoma and Virginia Commonwealth), Kenny Blakeney (assistant coach at Harvard), Jay Williams (ESPN analyst), Shane Battier (Memphis Grizzlies) and Chris Duhon (Orlando Magic) ever sold out their race.
To hint that those who grew up in a household with a mother and father are somehow less black than those who did not is beyond ridiculous. All of us are extremely proud of the current Duke team, especially Nolan Smith. He was raised by his mother, plays in memory of his late father and carries himself with the pride and confidence that they instilled in him.
The sacrifice, the effort, the education and the friendships I experienced in my four years are cherished. The many Duke graduates I have met around the world are also my “family,” and they are a special group of people. A good education is a privilege.
Just as Jalen has founded a charter school in Michigan, we are expected to use our education to help others, to improve life for those who need our assistance and to use the excellent education we have received to better the world.
A highlight of my time at Duke was getting to know the great John Hope Franklin, James B. Duke Professor of History and the leading scholar of the last century on the total history of African-Americans in this country. His insights and perspectives contributed significantly to my overall development and helped me understand myself, my forefathers and my place in the world.
Ad ingenium faciendum, toward the building of character, is a phrase I recently heard. To me, it is the essence of an educational experience. Struggling, succeeding, trying again and having fun within a nurturing but competitive environment built character in all of us, including every black graduate of Duke.
My mother always says, “You can live without Chaucer and you can live without calculus, but you cannot make it in the wide, wide world without common sense.” As we get older, we understand the importance of these words. Adulthood is nothing but a series of choices: you can say yes or no, but you cannot avoid saying one or the other. In the end, those who are successful are those who adjust and adapt to the decisions they have made and make the best of them.
I caution my fabulous five friends to avoid stereotyping me and others they do not know in much the same way so many people stereotyped them back then for their appearance and swagger. I wish for you the restoration of the bond that made you friends, brothers and icons.
I am proud of my family. I am proud of my Duke championships and all my Duke teammates. And, I am proud I never lost a game against the Fab Five.