Monday, April 30

Urban Headlines


-Minorities Jailed More Often then Whites During Traffic Stops.
A federal study found that Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites are pulled over by police equally, but minorities are more likely to be searched and arrested.

-NAACP Wants to Bury the N-Word
The NAACP plans to hold a funeral for the controversial n-word at the civil rights organization's national conference in July.

-Protests for Darfur
Thousands of people protested in London demanding action against the crisis in Darfur.


Saturday, April 28

CNN to Explore Unsolved Crimes Against Blacks


CNN is examining 75 civil rights cases that the F.B.I. has decided to reopen. Each involves unsolved crimes against African Americans during the 50's and 60's.

The special airs Sunday on CNN at 7pm.

Friday, April 27

A Heart For Kids


Sandra Denenga knows first hand how devastating the AIDS epidemic in Africa is. Her brother, and sister-in-law died from the disease, leaving her niece orphaned. Denenga decided to do something, and started, a non-profit to help orphans in her native country, Zimbabwe.

Watch her interview below.

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Thursday, April 26

Atlanta Police Plead Guilty!


I smelled foul when I heard the story of Kathryn Johnston. Atlanta police shot and killed her during a drug raid gone bad. Looks like two of the officers are accepting responsibility for their actions. Two of them have pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges.

Here's what neighbors had to say about the incident after it happened.

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HBO Presents: The Trials of Darryl Hunt


HBO is airing the story of Darryl Hunt. He was sentenced to life in prison at age 19 for killing a Winston-Salem newspaper reporter, but he didn't do it.

The documentary airs tonight on HBO at 8pm.
Watch the trailer below.

If it doesn't play click here.

Wednesday, April 25

Rush Limbaugh Disrespects Obama


Rush Limbaugh is hatin. Check out Afro-Netizen.

Is Hip Hop Getting a Bad Rap?


Hip Hop business mogul Russell Simmons, says radio stations should ban rap songs that contain the n, b, and h-words. In the wake of the Imus controversy, the media has shifted it's attention now to rappers who have in many respects paved the way for all the current criticism, but is censorship the solution?

It's hard to dispute the complaints against some rap music. Ever since tha West Coast gangstafied the genre, it seems the lyric content, subject matter, and language has become more offensive, and negative. The hip-hop tree, however, has so many branches, it would be unwise to generalize or stereotype the art form.

There's holy hip-hop, conscious rap (i.e. Common, and Lupe Fiasco), and dance rap that has folks snappin their fingers and walkin' it out, and there's plenty of independent rap music that can be found all over the Internet. The voices are plentiful, the music is diverse, and it's ever changing.

I will admit, that as a 15-year old high school student I was literally shocked the first time I heard EZ E's EZ Does It, and Too Short. My parents certainly didn't approve of the music, but listening didn't turn me into a gangsta, or a dope dealer.

There is something to be said to the critics who want to hear a more positive side of hip-hop. The spoken word is powerful. More powerful than many probably realize, but in America people have the constitutional right to say what they feel, and it is entertainmet.

Personally, this issue extends far beyond rap music. There are also plenty of folks, like myself, who would like to see more positive stories of black folks on local news. Will it happen? Probably not. Unfortunately, for now, negative sells, both records, and news ads. Until consumers stop buying, and tuning in, the record labels, radio stations, and mainstream media will keep giving you what they think you want.

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Tuesday, April 24

Have You Shot The Rapper?


If you're a frequent MySpace user, then you've probably seen the advergames that invite you to play a silly video game to win a prize, which is often some kind of free ringtone. An advergame, if you haven't figured it out, is an advertisement disguised as a video game, and one in particular has stirred up a little controversy.

The game features a rapper that looks a lot like 50 Cent, and the ad asks you to "shoot the rapper." I saw it about a week or so ago. Though I thought it was a bit inappropriate, I went on with my MySpace business and didn't think about it until now.

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It seems others have noticed the ad. Now, is criticizing MySpace for running it, especially in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings.

I'm not sure if MySpace is still featuring the ad, but if you catch it lemme know and lemme know me what you think.


Monday, April 23

A Push to Save Morris Brown College


Last Friday, members of Georgia's Congressional Black Caucus, Morris Brown College officials, along with students and alumni, gathered on the steps of the state capitol to rally behind the troubled HBCU.

Watch Below.

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Friday, April 20

Tha' Urban Poet Presents: Cross 'M Out

Salim Channel aka Tha' Urban Poet
His latest music video: Watch below.

Thursday, April 19

Rico and Jordan Channel

by & Daphne Channel

On April 19, 2006 two beautiful boys were born into this world. Our sweet babies stayed in this world for a brief moment before they were called home and left as Angels.

Rico and Jordan are our truest love and deepest sorrow. We miss them dearly.

Please join us in supporting the March of Dimes' fight
against premature birth.

Thank You,
Daphne and Amani

Donation Link:

Wednesday, April 18

Urban Headlines


-Peace Plan for Darfur
The U.N. is planning to send 3,000 peacekeepers to Darfur to promote a "political settlement."

-NAACP Campaigns To End Negative Black Images
In light of the recent Don Imus controversy, the NAACP has started the "STOP" campaign designed to help end negative images of Black women in the media.

-Florida Considers Slavery Apology
Florida lawmakers are thinking about issuing a formal apology for slavery, some 142 years after the state's first slaves were freed.


Tuesday, April 17

The First Victims


Virgina Tech Senior Ryan Clark was among the first people killed in Monday's massacre. Clark was from Martinez Georgia. He was triple major, and a senior with a 4.0 GPA. Authorities have identified the shooter as Cho Seung-Hui an English major from S. Korea. From reports, it appears police thought the first shooting that occurred at about 7:15 a.m. in the West Ambler Johnston dorm was isolated. Then two hours later Seung-Hui apparently struck again at Norris Hall about a half mile away.

I've had several discussions with people who are asking why were police so slow to respond. Shouldn't a campus shooting result in a lock down situation? Did police think Clark, who was black, was a suspect? Is this a case where Police saw a black victim and didn't take the treat seriously? We all want answers.

Here's a list of the victims so far.

If you watched any of the news coverage, you of course saw the video captured by the student with the cell phone. Another example of a citizen getting the "money shot."

Say A Prayer for the Fallen Hokies


The Virginia Tech massacre is no doubt the story of the year so far in 2007. Over the next days and weeks there will be a media feast as journalists seek answers, speculate, and grieve with the community that has probably been changed forever during one horrific act.

So far we have learned little about the shooter, or victims. I'm not here to report the facts. There are plenty of great journalists in Blacksburg asking questions.

This however seems to be a homeland security issue. Aren't the police as well as university officials trained to deal with threats on campus? This is certainly an act of terrorism, and it looks like someone dropped the ball.

Looks like the bloggers are responding. Check Deez.

Collegiate Times
Planet Blacksburg
Thanks to Slate for the links.

Please take a moment of silence for the families, and the young lost lives.

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Monday, April 16

Obama Rallies in Georgia: The Videos


After attending Senator Barack Obama's first public rally in Georgia this past Saturday, I spent a good portion of the rest of my weekend editing the video. I've learned there's not much use trying compete with the local news outlets. They do what they do, and do it well, which is produce short, quick stories that give viewers a snapshot of news events.

The news is a machine and getting info out in a timely fashion means some information has to be left out, and that is the drawback. A general news story is less than two minutes which gives a reporter time for about four soundbite interviews, a little narration, and a standup.

That's one reason I've been enjoying this little independent media venture. I don't have to follow the traditional rules of news gathering, and what's great about the Internet is that everyone can now share their perspective, via the new media.

Here are some YouTube videos I found on the event.

Video 1
Video 2

Blogger O1LT shared some thoughts by writing:

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to become apart of history in the making and watch Senator, and Presidential candidate—Barack Obama—deliver a truly moving speech at GA Tech University.

The man's charisma is undeniable as he talked to a crowd of twenty thousand supporters about voter registration, the South Carolina primary, and his political agenda for the White House in 2008. Former mayor, Maynard H.Jackson's daughter, Alexander Jackson, kicked off the political rally with the National Anthem. And, Civil rights activist, Reverend Joseph Lowery, delivered an inspirational prayer before Obama took to the stage.

Watch my report below.

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Saturday, April 14

Obama Rallies In Atlanta


Barack Obama just held his first public rally in Atlanta. An estimated 20-thousand people gathered to hear him speak.

He said the war in Iraq was a mistake, this nation needs more fuel efficient vehicles, and Americans need affordable healthcare. His rally cry is "turn the page." Obama seemed to touch a chord with the diverse audience, especially young people.

I covered the event, and the video is coming.

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Friday, April 13

Urban Headlines


-Imus Fired
Dom Imus has been fired by CBS, and a Pennsylvania DJ has also been fired for encouraging listeners to call in and say the same words that got Imus canned.

-Georgia Slavery Apology Stalls
Georgia politicians are divided over a slavery apology resolution. The state's top Republican is in favor of an apology, however his Democratic counterpart isn't supporting it.

-King Collection Auction Cancelled
Protests from the King family led to the cancellation of an auction of some of Dr. King's writings, and speeches.

Thursday, April 12

This Is Personal: Cali Episode 3


For my few faithful readers, I offer many thanks for your time and attention. When I started this blog in August, I had no idea what I was doing, what I would write about, and who would find My Urban Report.

I know there are friends and family who are "tuning" in, as well as journalists, both print and broadcast. If you didn't know I'm not newbie to TV or news. It's what I do, or at least did. It's my passion. I've worked in the TV news business for more than a decade if you count my college years, and I understand not only the power, but the influence of media.

The Internet is now an important part of the landscape, and other journalists are well aware of it. Last week I met reporter with the Atlanta Journal Constitution. We had lunch, we talked about my career, where I'm going, and where I've been. This article was published today in the paper. I think he did a great job telling my story, but he left a few small details out.

Since I now have the power, I'll show you why I get up every morning and do this. It all started in East Palo Alto, California.

Watch below.

Wednesday, April 11

CAU Students Talk About Net Neutrality


I've been working with a couple of journalism classes at Clark Atlanta University this semester to lend my experience in video production and new media.

I've been stressing how the Internet can be used to get alternative voices out. That being said, one of the classes is learning about net neutrality. Me being the media junkie I am, helped the students share what they've learned this semester.

If this was a true piece of journalism, I would have gotten a statement from one of the cable operators about net neutrality. The point of this though, is to give the students a voice.

Check it out.

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Final Thoughts on Imus


As the media continues to feed off of the comments Don IgnorIMUS made about the Rutgers women's basketball team, I'll offer my last thoughts on the issue.

On Tuesday, Rutgers University spoke out for the first time about the hurtful words. I'm not going to repeat the phrase again, because I feel that even in reporting the words, the comments are given power. By now we all know what was said, and in many respects the "n" word can be even more offensive than the other "n" word.

Coach Stringer handled the controversy with style and professionalism, and so did the students. Can Don Imus be forgiven? That's an individual question, that I can't answer for you.

There's another issue, however that really hasn't been talked about extensively throughout this controversy. As hurtful and offensive as the comments were, hasn't the black community, in some respects created a culture that has made such comments mainstream, and in some respects acceptable.

Just listen to the music being created by some hip-hop artists today. I learned the "h" word as a young teenager from rap music. As a matter of fact, I remember asking my mom what the word meant, and, I've used it more times than I would like to admit.

I'm not saying there's not a double standard in what's culturally acceptable for black folks and white folks to say. I'm not saying I believe Imus had the right to say what he did, or that he shouldn't be punished.

All I'm saying is before you go screaming for Imus' head look in the mirror, or in this case listen to your own vocabulary, and think about the words you use to describe our sistas, brothas, or people in your community.

Words can be hurtful whether or not you're on the radio, TV, white, or black, and it doesn't matter if you're thinking to yourself, or if you say the wrong thing to millions of listeners.

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Tuesday, April 10

CAU Class Project


Please check MUR YouTube for CAU class project. Video is uploaded, it should be available soon.

Urban Headlines


-Imus Suspended
New York shock jock Don Imus has been suspended by MSNBC, and CBS radio for two weeks for his "nappy-headed ho's" comment.

-Obama Says "No" to Debate on Fox, and VP Ticket
Barack Obama has decided not to participate in a presidential debate on Fox News Channel. He appeared on David Letterman, also saying that he won't share the Democratic ticket with Sen. Clinton, and run for vice president.

-Global Warming Could Devastate Africa
A United Nations report suggests that climate change will impact Africa more than any other country in the world.

Monday, April 9

My Urban Report Goes Mainstream


I was recently contacted by an Atlanta Journal Constitution staff writer who discovered on of my videos on He seemed very interested in my blog, and the videos I've been producing. So last week we met for lunch, and it looks like I'll be featured in the newspaper later this week (I've been told Thursday).

The reporter's name is Charles Yoo, and after the initial meeting, he and photojournalist Renee Hannans Henry met with me, and took some pictures of my doing my thing.

Of course my camera was rolling as well when I met Charles for the first time. He has a sincere interest in new media, and understands the importance of blogs, and the challenges and changes occurring in the mainstream.

Props to the AJC for the interest.

Watch below.

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On Friday, I reported the changes coming to CNN's American Morning. I apparently didn't double check the date, because we have one more week of Soledad and Miles O'Brien. The change will take place next Monday, April 16. I sincerely apologize for the misinformation.

Sunday, April 8

T.J. Holmes Explores Self Segregation


CNN anchor T.J. Holmes visits an Atlanta suburb where black folks are livin' lavish, and white folks are the minority.

Watch video here.

Friday, April 6

Will We Accept the IgnorIMUS Apology?


The undeniably insensitive, if not blatantly racist remarks by WFAN's syndicated radio show host Don "IgnorIMUS," have sparked a controversy that will hopefully serve as a lesson to all media. Yes, he has apologized for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed ho's," but the issue isn't a done deal.

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Don Imus

MSNBC was quick to distance itself from the syndicated talk show host's comments, which were heard nationally on the radio, and simulcast on the cable network as well.

According to reports, the New York sports radio station where Imus works has acknowledged that the comments were "inappropriate," and has vowed to monitor his show from now on, but the National Association of Black Journalists says the apology is "too little, too late."

In a response to Imus' apology, NABJ president Bryan Monroe said:
"What he said has deeply hurt too many people -- black and white, male and female."

Vivian Stringer, the head coach of the Rutgers team that was the brunt of the comments was quoted by the AP as saying:
"I am deeply saddened and angered by Mr. Imus' statements... To serve as a joke of Mr. Imus in such an insensitive manner creates a wedge and makes light of these classy individuals, both as women and as women of color."

So what's going to happen to ignorIMUS? He's one of the nation's most recognized voices on radio. He's a member of the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and this is hardly the first time he's gotten publicity because controversial comments. He called award winning PBS journalist Gwen Ifill a "cleaning lady," and called New York Times columnist Willam Rhoden "a quota hire."

Those comments seem to pale in comparison to calling a top notch group of collegiate athletes "hos." Then again, Imus has the right to say whatever he feels. He is a shock jock, and making inflammatory statements keeps the people listening, and talking, which is exactly what's happened.

NABJ's president acknowledged that journalists must respect the First Amendment,
"But free speech comes with responsibility, and sometimes with consequences. His removal must be that consequence," Monroe said.

What to do? I suggest you write a letter, or call WFAN-AM and let station management know how you feel. I found this info. on the station's website:

Main Phone Number: 718-706-7690
On-Air hotline to talk with our hosts: 718-937-6666
Contest Line: 800-821-6611
Mailing Address:
34-12 36th Street
Astoria, NY 11106

If you're a blogger, share your thoughts, because the people have power.

How do I feel about all of this? I've seen the cat's show on MSNBC, and I've never been able to listen, or watch for more than five minutes. Maybe it's his cowboy hat that turns me off. Could his neck be a little sunburned?

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Then again check out the "personalities" on WFAN's site. I'm sure they're great broadcasters, and journalists, but they don't look anything like the players who make up most pro sports teams these days, except maybe hockey.

They are lacking in the diversity category big time, and that is the root of the problem. You have all these folks informing, and entertaining the public, and they don't reflect all communities in this diverse nation, and Don Imus, has little to no respect.

Just my thoughts, Peace!

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5.0 Stripped to the Bone - Cali Ep. 2

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Thursday, April 5

Tampa Meteorologist Commits Suicide


This kind of news hits close to home. Tampa meteorologist John Winter apparently took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. You can read about it here.

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Though I didn't know Winter personally, I watched him often on WFLA-TV when I worked at Fox 13 in Tampa. A good friend of mine who once worked with Winter said he was always pleasant and cheerful, and this is shocking. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and those he worked with at WFLA. Winter was 39. R.I.P.

Watch video here
WFLA-TV's John Winter Guestbook

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WWJRD (What Would Jesus Really Do?)


How would Jesus solve modern day problems? That's the question being posed by a CNN special set to air Friday night at 6pm. Issues such as the war in Iraq, global warming, and the challenges facing the poor will be explored.

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Roland Martin

CNN contributor Roland Martin is hosting the special, and the guests include Rev. Jerry Falwell, Bishop T.D. Jakes, and preacher Paula White.

What do you think Jesus would do about today's problems? Probably the same thing I do... pray.

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Changes to CNN's American Morning


CNN announced that the O'Brien duo, Soledad and Miles have been reassigned from their anchoring duties on American Morning effective next Monday. The pair is being replaced by Kiran Chetry, and John Roberts.

Lagging ratings appear to be the main reson for the change.

As far as the new talent, a press release quotes CNN President Joe Klien as saying:

“I’ve admired John’s journalistic chops since we worked together at CBS more than a decade ago, and it’s not surprising that he’s now recognized as one of the premier broadcasters in the business... As for Kiran, we’ve watched her light up the screen for years, and we are thrilled that she was able to join our team. She’s a breath of fresh air and a delight to work with, and it’s no wonder she’s already been embraced by CNN viewers.”

Both Soledad and Miles will work in different capacities for CNN. Soledad will now anchor and report for CNN's Special Investigations Unit, and Miles will be the chief technology and environment correspondent.


Obama Raises Big Bread


Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has raised a whopping $25-million dollars in the first quarter of 2007. CNN reported that the figure nearly matched the $26-million dollars raised by Hillary Clinton.

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In a news release, Penny Pritzker, Obama's finance chair said:

"This overwhelming response, in only a few short weeks, shows the hunger for a different kind of politics in this country and a belief at the grass-roots level that Barack Obama can bring out the best in America to solve our problems."

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Wednesday, April 4

Football Legend Eddie Robinson Passes


Former Grambling State University head coach Eddie Robinson has passed. Robinson was the winningest head coach in college football history. Robinson's coaching career spanned five decades, and he recorded an impressive record of 408 wins, 165 losses, and 15 ties.

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More than 200 of his players went on to the NFL, including Doug Williams, who became the first African American quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Robinson suffered from Alzheimer's disease, which forced him to retire in 1997. He was 88.


Tuesday, April 3

Orange & Blue


I scored two NCAA Championship basketball tickets from a couple of Georgetown fans

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It was a night for the Gator Nation

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The Ohio State Buckeyes were Gator bait... again

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We celebrated

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Go Gators

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We're number one

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Monday, April 2

C.B.C.I. Partnership Draws Criticizm


Rev. Jesse Jackson is working with Color of Change to denounce the Congressional Black Caucus Institute's decision to partner with Fox News Channel to air two presidential debates later this year. In a statement quoted by the New York Times, Jackson said:

"I am disappointed by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s partnership with FOX, and strongly encourage them to reverse that decision. Why would presidential candidates, or an organization that is supposed to advocate for Black Americans, ever give a stamp of legitimacy to a network that continually marginalizes Black leaders and the Black community? FOX moderating a presidential debate on issues of importance to Black Americans is literally letting the Fox guard the henhouse – FOX should be rejected."

In a statement released last week, Congressman Bennie Thompson, Chair of the CBC said: "Our goal with each debate is to provide a platform that will allow voters to hear the positions of candidates from both political parties. Collaborating with FOX News provides an opportunity to take this presidential election to millions of households.”

CNN is also going to air two debates. So what's the big deal with Fox? Afro-Netizen believes the network has an anti-Black agenda, and last month posted this video. Though the video is compelling, there is magic in editing, and we don't get the whole context of each soundbite.

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