Archive for April, 2009

Ida Odinga Lucy Kibaki   Key women’s organizations in Kenya, including the Women’s Development Organization, Federation of Women Lawyers, Caucus for Women’s Leadership, and Maendeleo ya Wanawake (a network of rural women’s groups), have launched a campaign to ban sex in the country for one week — they’re even willing to pay commercial sex workers to […]

Born into slavery as Isabella Baumfree, Sojourner Truth was a passionate activist, fighting against slavery and for women’s rights in the 19th century. She died 126 years ago in Battle Creek, Mich. Yesterday, Sojourner Truth became the first African-American woman to be memorialized with a bust in the U.S. Capitol. The ceremony at Emancipation Hall was led by […]

African-American figurative painter Ernie Barnes died Monday from a rare blood disorder. The former professional football player was 70. As an artist, Barnes was famous for painting elongated figures of African Americans in various environments. His most famous work, “Sugar Shack,” which showed people dancing, appeared on the cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” album and […]

FICO, the company that determines credit-worthiness through a special scoring methodology, has developed a new web site, just this month, to help Americans understand new guidelines for mortgage refinancing and modification. Visit for more information. Keep your home.

Harvard-educated writer Colson Whitehead went to private school in Manhattan, spent summers in Sag Harbor — the black section — and “learned” about being black from friends. His story in his newest book, Sag Harbor, is airy, yet insightful…and fun to read. Check it out. Speak your peace.

The U.S. Supreme Court once again held hearings today on the Voting Rights Act of 1965. At issue: a provision that prevents discriminatory voting practices in several states, where these practices were once common, and requires these states to get approval from the Justice Department before changing any voting procedures, especially those that could suppress voting among people of […]

According to the New York Times: The off-again-on-again civil war in Burundi that killed more than 200,000 people officially came to an end on Wednesday as the last of its rebel groups formally became a political party. According to the African Union, which has led peace efforts, 3,500 members of the rebel group, the National […]

Staff Benda Bilili, a Congolese band of street musicians who live near or in the zoo in Kinshasa, are on the verge of success. Due to a polio outbreak, most of the band members are paraplegics — roughly translated, Benda Bilili means “look beyond appearances” — and, together, they create stirringly rhythmic music with lyrical insights about […]

Indian women who live in poverty in areas similar to the one featured in the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire are considered “cursed” if their hair and skin are “too dark.” If that isn’t sad enough, these women are also viewed disparagingly by the society in which they live if they give birth to only female children. Some […]

President Obama pledged yesterday to help consumers caught between a credit card and a hard place by creating a credit-card law that does away with sudden and huge rate increases, exorbitant late fees, and confusing fine print. “I trust that those in the industry who want to act responsibly will engage with us in a constructive […]

Now playing, Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx stars in The Soloist, the story of Nathaniel Ayers, a gifted, but troubled, violinist. The film is based on a series of columns in the Los Angeles Times by writer Steve Lopez, who discovered Ayers on the streets of L.A. Some critics say the storytelling is overwrought, but others ponder […]

William “Refrigerator” Perry, 46, former defensive lineman for the 1985 Super Bowl Chicago Bears, is in a South Carolina hospital for complications stemming for Guillain-Barre (gee-LAN’ bah-RAY’) Syndrome — chronic inflammation of the peripheral nerves. Mr. Perry has been in the hospital for about one week and is expected to recover. Get well soon.

Visit to learn about ways you can make our planet a better place. Speak your peace.

The African National Congress, South Africa’s leading political party, staged a rally on Sunday in Johannesburg’s largest rugby stadium to solidify support for 67-year-old presidential candidate Jacob Zuma, just three days before the election. There are 40 different national and provincial parties competing in the elections. Former President Nelson Mandela, 90, appeared with Zuma at the […]

Now that Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse’s age has been determined — he’s supposedly 18, not 15, as previously reported by his legal team — the young Somali “pirate” faces life in prison. He appeared in a federal court in Manhattan yesterday and according to official reports, Muse was the first to board the Maersk Alabama on April 8, armed […]

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson won the Pulitzer Prize Monday for his commentaries on the 2008 presidential campaign. He says he had to face the challenge “to believe what we were seeing and hearing and experiencing and not what we were expecting.” Apparently, even Robinson didn’t expect President Obama to win. The Pulitzer Prizes are determined and […]

In the 113th running of the Boston Marathon today, Ethiopian Deriba Merga (bottom), 28, won the men’s race in 2:08:43. Kenyan runner Salina Kosgei (top), 33, won the women’s race with the closest finish in that race’s history. Her final time of 2:32:16 was only one second ahead of defending champion Dire Tune of Ethiopia. […]

American Violet, starring Oscar-nominated actress Alfre’ Woodard, examines the life and struggles of an African-American family trying to win back the freedom of daughter Dee Roberts, a single mother of four wrongly accused of drug dealing. The character of Dee Roberts, played by Nicole Beharie, is based on the real story of Regina Kelly, who […]

Former NBA player Isiah Thomas, 48, signed a five-year agreement with Florida International University on Tuesday — Thomas even agreed to donate his salary to the school, signaling how desperately he wants the job. Drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1981 as a point guard, Thomas helped his team win two NBA championships. After his career ended as […]

Grammy-nominated patriarch David “Pop” Winans Sr., 74, of the gospel-singing Winans family died April 8 in Nashville, TN. His home-going service is being held today at his son’s Perfecting Church in Detroit, MI. Religious leader Rev. Jesse Jackson and famed gospel singer Clay Evans will attend the service. David Winans Sr. was born April 20, […]