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MSNBC Premieres Hope and Fear in Obama’s America with Hosts Chris Mathews and Tom Joyner

Posted by: Audiegrl

A Two Hour Special Event on Race Relations in America On Martin Luther King Day

Tom Joyner and Chris MatthewsOne year after the inauguration of the first African-American President, MSNBC will present “Hope and Fear in Obama’s America,” January 18, 2010, 10 p.m. ET, an extended discussion surrounding race and post-racial identity in America. Moderated by “Hardball’s” Chris Matthews and featuring syndicated radio host Tom Joyner, live from Texas Southern University, a historically Black university in Houston, Texas. The two-hour special event on Martin Luther King Day will explore some of the most pressing and provocative issues connected to race and race relations in the U.S.

Hope and Fear in Obama’s America” will discuss the progress we’ve made in the United States and the challenges we continue to face around racial equality, addressing issues ranging from whether there is such a thing as generational colorblindness, to the “burdens of the first,” and whether there are a unique set of expectations and challenges attached to being the first to break a racial barrier. Panelists and guests will be announced at a later date.

MSNBC.com will soon feature additional information on the special and its guests and will also allow viewers to participate in live votes and continue the discussion online.

In a message to his audience of 8 million listeners, Joyner said, “This is an important story because it will give me and you a rare opportunity to participate in a much needed discussion about whether racism is still a relevant topic now that President Obama has been elected.” Joyner added, “It’s a crucial thing when mainstream America wants to know what’s on our minds. Together, we can give provide honest questions and answers about racism in this country. ”

Joyner reassured his listeners, that “of course, the traditional, easy way to tackle these topics is to get the same old people to say the same old things. Not knocking any of the people who have sat on panel after panel after panel to talk about race in America in past years. But it’s almost impossible to get any new perspectives on issues unless we solicit information from varied sources, and from what I can see, at this point, that’s what this MSNBC town hall Meeting will attempt to do. Chris Matthews and I will not talk to a panel of your “usual suspects” about hopes and fears in Obama’s America.”

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Wyclef Jean Joins George Clooney To Lead MTV’s ‘Hope For Haiti Now’ Telethon

Two-hour global telethon will air Friday, January 22

Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jean will join George Clooney and CNN’s Anderson Cooper in hosting MTV Networks’ “Hope for Haiti Now,” the global two hour telethon to air commercial-free across ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, and CMT plus CNN International, National Geographic and MTV on Friday, January 22, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Hope for Haiti Now” will feature performances and celebrity appearances to be announced in the coming days, as well as live news reports from CNN. Clooney will host from Los Angeles, Wyclef Jean will be in New York and Anderson Cooper will be live from the devastation, with the Hollywood actor lining up a who’s who of guests to drop by and perform on the night.

All proceeds will be split evenly among five relief organizations who are on the ground helping the people of Haiti: Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF and Yele Haiti Foundation. Both Facebook and MySpace have signed on as official social-media partners to help steer viewers to the telethon and drive donations.

Celebrities across the fame spectrum have harnessed social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to rally support for the Haitian people, announcing their personal donations or directing their fans to contribute to deserving aid groups.

Yele Haiti FoundationHaitian-born musician Wyclef Jean has become the unofficial face of this celebrity humanitarian movement. More than $1 million has flooded in to Jean’s Yéle Haiti since Tuesday, according the charity’s fund-raising organizers. The Hollywood Foreign Press announced it would donate $100,000 to Yéle, while figures such as Lindsay Lohan, MC Hammer, and Haitian-born soccer star Jozy Altidor have tweeted their support for Jean’s cause.

Producing the telethon will be Joel Gallen, who produced the 9/11 telethon “America: A Tribute to Heroes” that aired 10 days after that tragedy.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that several other celebrities are using their social clout and talent to direct attention to Haiti.

  • Lance ArmstrongCyclist Lance Armstrong announced to his 2.3 million Twitter followers that his Livestrong foundation had pledged $250,000 to two humanitarian aid groups.
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  • Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Actors-turned-philanthropists Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have donated $1 million to the Doctors Without Borders organization; Oprah began her talk show Wednesday by asking viewers to contribute to the Red Cross; Coldplay front man Chris Martin is urging his fans to donate to Haiti via Oxfam; and even Paris Hilton promoted the efforts of the Red Cross via Twitter.
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  • David BlaineMeanwhile, magician David Blaine is taking a slightly more hands-on approach. At 9 a.m. Friday, Blaine started what will be a 72-hour, nonstop “Magic Marathon” in Times Square. Benefits of the event and all proceeds from his online store will be given to the Red Cross.
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  • RihannaBut George Clooney isn’t the only celeb tapping his golden connections. East Coast nightlife guru Unik Ernest, whose Edeyo Foundation supports community-building projects in Haiti, has begun organizing a telethon and benefit concert. While the date of the event is yet to be released, celebrities said to be featured include: Rihanna, Usher, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Mark Wahlberg, Jay-Z, Susan Sarandon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and others, according to Tonic.com.

Celebrity support of the Haitian people has contributed to the success of this week’s aid efforts. The American Red Cross reported Wednesday evening that in the 48 hours following the quake some $35 million in donations had poured in – more than it had received in the two days following Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunamis.

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Help for Haiti~Learn What You Can Do

Complete Haiti Relief Coverage Main PageHaiti Relief Coverage Main Page

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Scholar Ladies

This is a priceless video from the 2009 HOPE Idol Winners. HOPE is a network of Christian college-preparatory schools in Milwaukee’s central city. The schools provide K-12 students with a values-based education that develops their knowledge and cultivates their character – the fundamental traits they need to become inspirations to their families, leaders in their communities and successes in the workplace.

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44-D Book Diaries with Audiegrl: Evie Rhodes’ The Forgotten Spirit

The Forgotten Spirit by Evie RhodesToday’s interview features award-winning gospel songwriter, script writer and nationally best-selling author Evie Rhodes, discussing her timeless classic holiday novel The Forgotten Spirit – A Christmas Tale. A remarkable story filled with the traditions and the spirit of Christmas, just in time for the holiday season.

In The Forgotten Spirit, Rhodes introduces a special girl who is wise beyond her years and blessed with a unique and magical gift. Jamie is no ordinary nine-year-old, but a girl who has been chosen to bring back the love and remembrances that have long been forgotten amid the harsh realities of the world in which she lives…

This heart warming novel is about love, new beginnings, and the amazing power of hope. After all, Christmas is a time for miracles…


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AG: I’ve read that you had a career as a Gospel Hip-Hop artist as Prophecy 1. You were also a songwriter and video scriptwriter. How did you move from music into the publishing field?

EV: It was a very natural path for me, because I considered making music and doing music videos a form of storytelling as well. So for me to move from there to being a novelist, just meant that I had a larger ground to tell stories.

AG: Were you always interested in writing fiction?

EV: I wasn’t, it’s not something I was conscious of for a very long time. Then when I did begin to do a lot of writing, many of the things I wrote just naturally seemed to gravitate to that arena.

AG: How would you describe The Forgotten Spirit? The story has been recently compared to a Christmas classic along the lines of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. How do you see the story?

EV: I see The Forgotten Spirit as a family story that can be embraced by everyone. A story that has warmth, that will have a very long life-span, because it has all the elements of humanity. It has all of the things that we all strive for and want in our lives everyday. The hope, the joy and the peace…those are elements that all people can relate to. Those are things we all, in one way or another, aspire to have in our lives.

AG: Who is the audience for The Forgotten Spirit? Is it more for young adults, or did you intend for it to be the same audience as your other novels?

EV: I didn’t write for a particular audience, it really is a family story than encompasses four generations. The young people, adults and elders are all together in this novel.

AG: What do you hope your readers get from The Forgotten Spirit?

EV: I really hope that my readers come away with something…whatever that something is…that they need to obtain. At the end of the day, only that reader knows what that something is. Something that is meant for them specifically. Overall I want them to enjoy the story and feel that they’ve been someplace different than their own lives.

AG: So far, what has been the reception from the public for the novel?

EV: Phenomenal. It’s truly a blessing. I’ve been getting letters from people in various parts of the country. People from all different backgrounds, tell me how inspired they are by the story. They tell me how the story brings back memories of Christmases past that they had forgotten.

AG: Now that the holiday season is upon us, what would you like people to take away from your novel?

EV: Giving. I consider The Forgotten Spirit the gift that keeps on giving. I hope that my readers will take a moment this season to just give one thing that they may not have given, or haven’t given in a long time. Just give one thing to someone else, or do something for someone else. Just because it’s a good thing to do. They will realize that sometimes, when we give to other people, it may enhance that person’s life, no matter how small it is.

Evie Rhodes began performing her combination of Gospel and Hip-Hop in churches in New York City. She wrote and performed as Prophecy 1 on the album Standing In Da Spirit, which received two awards from Real Blues Magazine for Best Gospel Album and Best Gospel Video for the song Changed. It was also awarded the Canadian Music Award for Best Gospel Album. Her other novels include ‘Street Vengeance‘, ‘Out “A” Order‘, ‘Expired‘ and ‘Criss Cross

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Republician Olympic-Hater’s: Don’t Count Chicago Out Yet…

Posted by Audiegrl

Chicago had a big disappointment last week by losing the 2016 Olympics, but don’t count us out yet. Chicagoans still have great spirit. This is how we flashmob in Chi-town! This crowd is the largest flashmob performance held in an American city, with only 20 professional dancers, teaching it to a core 800 person group, who in turn taught it to 20,000 more everyday people. It makes you really wonder what type of excitement we would have seen from Chicago residents and people around the country, if the Olympics had come here in 2016.

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GOP Congresswoman: Party Looking For “Great White Hope”

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)


Posted by Audiegrl

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins offered encouragement to conservatives at a town hall forum that the Republican Party would embrace a “great white hope” capable of thwarting the political agenda endorsed by Democrats who control Congress and President Barack Obama.

Rep. Jenkins: “Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope,” Jenkins said to the crowd. “I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic weighs in: Sarcasm aside, again, the problem is that Jenkins hails from a party that has, historically, scorned talk of “diversity,” believes political correctness has run amok, and thinks that the worst discrimination happens to white people. When you don’t practice talking to people who aren’t like you, you tend to not be very good at it. This didn’t mean much twenty or thirty years ago–Who cares about a few Negroes in Harlem or Atlanta?–but the country is changing. The GOP, as we all know, isn’t changing with it.

I can imagine some defense of the phrase “great white hope,” as a kind of generic tag. But any politicians whose spent a portion of their career talking to black people, who knows the racist history of the phrase, or has some inkling of what it means to have a first black president, would know that invoking the phrase is a bad idea.

All of that said, it’s worth noting that Rep. Jenkins apologized for her words–as opposed to apologizing “if anyone was offended by her words.” It’s a shame that we have to give people points for that.

James Jeffries during his fight with Jack Johnson

James Jeffries during his fight with Jack Johnson

When I first heard of this, the first thing that came to my mind was the 1970 movie “The Great White Hope” staring James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander. The movie was based on the 1967 award winning play of the same name written by Howard Sackler.

According to Wikipedia : The Great White Hope tells a fictional idealised life story of boxing champion Jack Johnson. Acting as a lens focused on a racist society, The Great White Hope explores how segregation and prejudice created the demand for a “great white hope” who would defeat Johnson and how this, in turn, affected the boxer’s life and career.

The first “great white hope” to accept the challenge was Jim Jeffries, who came out of retirement to fight Johnson unsuccessfully in 1910. Johnson’s title was eventually lost to Jess Willard, a white boxer, in 1915. There was, apparently, some controversy surrounding Willard’s win, with Johnson claiming he threw the fight. In part because of white animosity toward Johnson, it was twenty years before another African American boxer was allowed to contend for the world professional heavyweight title. In 1937, Joe Louis, greatly respected by both blacks and whites, defeated James J. Braddock, “The Cinderella Man,” to become the second African American to hold the world heavyweight championship title.

So in the end, I agree with Ta-Nehisi on this one. Rep. Jenkins is not guilty of racism, she is guilty of being tone deaf to the ever increasing diversity of America. The Republican party would understand the negative meaning of certain words and phrases, if when they looked out at their constituents they saw a sea of different colored faces. Their diverse constituents would educate them on what is acceptable and what is not. Until that happens, look for more embarrassing moments and apologies from the Republicans. It’s also interesting that Wikipedia has already added Rep. Jenkins comments to the page for The Great White Hope. So now she will always be linked to the phrase. Probably not what she wanted to be known for.

Trailer for The Great White Hope.
Author Jack London vs. Jack Johnson.

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