Month: July 2008

Business Health

Black-Owned Condom Company Reaching Out to Dollar Stores

Kirk Manuel, CEO of Head Strong Condoms, is trying to make condoms available to lower income black communities through the omnipresent dollar store.

“Dollar stores are in low-income neighborhoods, but try finding a condom in one of those stores. They’re not there and it’s a tragedy,” he says in a statement. “You can find liquor, you can find tobacco, but you can’t always find condoms, we need to do a better job educating, and we need to do a better job making condoms available too,”

Manuel, who is African American, started his company after learning HIV-infected adults were knowingly infecting others with the virus and holds a “no excuses” philosophy at his company.

“There is no excuse for not using a condom,” Manuel says. “If you can’t afford condoms, there are places you can get them free.”

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Music ObamaNation Politics

UPDATE: Obama Camp Calls Ludacris Song ‘Outrageously Offensive’

Barack Obama’s presidential campaign calls Ludacris’ song, “Politics (Obama is Here),” “outrageously offensive,” according to the AP.

In the song, the Atlanta rapper, who is an Obama supporter, calls Hillary Clinton a “b—-,” says President George W. Bush is “mentally handicapped,” and that John McCain doesn’t belong in “any chair unless he’s paralyzed.”

In an email, Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said:

“As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he doesn’t want his daughters or any children exposed to. This song is not only outrageously offensive to Sen. Clinton, Rev. Jackson, Sen. McCain and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics.


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Feuds ObamaNation Politics Race Matters

ObamaNation: McCain Says Obama Playing ‘Race Card’

John McCain’s camp is accusing Barack Obama of playing “the race card,” according to the New York Times.

“Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck,’’ Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, said in a statement, citing remarks Obama made on Wednesday, where he said Republicans are scaring voters by pointing out he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

“It’s divisive, negative, shameful and wrong,” Davis adds.

A spokesman for the Obama campaign said: “This is a race about big challenges…Barack Obama in no way believes that the McCain campaign is using race as an issue, but he does believe they’re using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues in this campaign, and those are the issues he’ll continue to talk about.”

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Art Broadway

Blindie’s Tears: India.Arie’s Broadway Debut Postponed

Due to the loss of one of the production’s backers, India.Arie’s Broadway debut in the revival of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf” has been postponed, according to the AP.

The play, a revival of the Tony-nominated play about seven women of color from the African Diaspora, is being produced by Whoopi Goldberg and DreamTeam Entertainment Group, and was set to have opened Sept. 8 at Circle in the Square.

PHOTO: India.Arie

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Fashion Project Runway TV

Project Runway: All 3 Black Designers Survive Third Challenge

The third episode of Project Runway Season 5 had the remaining 14 contestants using elements of New York City as their inspiration, Tim Gunn learning the catchphrase “holla at ‘cha boy,” and all three black contestants advancing to the next round.

Jerrell didn’t earn much cred even though his dress was more polished than others; Korto landed in the safe zone with her well-made, but kinda boring jumpsuit; and Terri (pictured) received high marks from Heidi and celebrity guest judge Sandra Bernhard for her colorful and gauzy dress.

With Terri, Korto and Jerrell doing so well on Project Runway and the success of the July “All-black” issue of Italian Vogue, this summer is turning out to be a magical time for blacks in fashion.

PHOTO: Bravo

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Kerry Washington Movies Race Matters

Samuel Jackson Fights Kerry Washington’s Miscegenation in Lakeview Terrace

In the upcoming thriller Lakeview Terrace, Samuel L. Jackson plays a veteran LAPD police officer who doesn’t care for his new neighbors, played by the beautiful Kerry Washington and the equally stunning Patrick Wilson. Jackson’s character primarily doesn’t like the incoming yuppies because they are an interracial married couple.

“It was a different take, something that is not often portrayed,” James Lassiter, who with Will Smith produced the film, told the Los Angeles Times. Race, Lassiter added, “is not the singular driver of [Turner’s] hate. But he is a racist.”

“People will say they are not voting for [Barack Obama] because he’s black, but of course they are. They have no idea what his platform is,” Jackson said of the topical nature of the film. “Race is an issue that everybody thinks about but you avoid talking about.”

Speaking of race: Lakeview Terrace, which opens September 19, also refers to the neighborhood where Rodney King was beaten by police in 1991.

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Media Politics Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson Tapping into Hispanic Vote via Voto Latino

Actress Rosario Dawson is tapping into the Hispanic vote via Voto Latino, a site that is reaching out to Latino voters on the web using multi-platform technology.

“For me, as a second-generation American, Voto Latino is personal,” Dawson, who starred in a PSA for the site with Wilmer Valderrama, told Variety. “I’m proud to say that a lot of my work has helped shed light on this often misunderstood electorate.”

The site, which has been in development since 2004, was started by Dawson and political consultant Maria Teresa Petersen.

“We created the first voter registration engagement programs that involved iTunes, MySpace, YouTube, radio stations and youth-space networks,” Peterson said. “And we were the first organization on a national level to use kids text messaging and the first to use viral videos like telenovelas.”

Since the beginning of the year, Voto Latino has registered more than 22,000 people in the U.S. on their website.


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