Oct 28, 2008

Review: "The Express "

Timeless tale back in the hearts of audiences

By Cassandra Juniel

“The Express” depicts the true story of two-time Syracuse University All-American running back Ernie Davis, who became the first African-American to be awarded the Heisman Trophy.

The movie stars Dennis Quaid, who plays the role of Davis’ coach, and Rob Brown, who plays Davis. It is directed by Gary Felder and produced by Derek Dauchy, Arne L. Schmidt and Ryan Kavanaugh and is rated PG for parental guidance, due to violent language involving racism and a light scene of sensuality.

Davis is described as humble, due to his mannerism with his superiors, as well as people he regularly encounters.

He is patient because he waited for the right time to make decisions regarding his team’s well being.

Davis was tenacious, as he remains steadfast, despite name calling from the crowd, bottles being thrown at him and the possible danger he placed his team in by playing.

Lastly, he is categorized as an overcomer because he fights against racism as it continued to beat against him. He broke racial barriers and did not allow them to overtake his life by giving up or giving in. [For complete story, click here]

This story originally appeared in The Advocate, student newspaper of Contra Costa College. Visit The Advocate online at http://www.accentadvocate.com

Hood CNN: This Week w/Jasiri X

Jasiri X is a Hip Hop artist from Pittsburg, PA. For more information about Jasiri, visit http://www.myspace.com/JasiriX

Oct 23, 2008

"America is ready for Barack Obama to be President"

America is ready to have a president that represents all Americans. America is ready to have a President who knows what it is like to grow up in a single parent home on welfare.

America is ready to have a President who knows what it is like to go to live with grandparents when it is necessary for a better home environment. America is ready for a president who will reward employers who create and revive industries here in the United States and penalize those employers who are shipping industries to foreign countries robbing our country of jobs, taxes and the dignity of honest work.

Americans are ready for a President who will put “his money where his mouth is” and fund education initiatives that work to prepare Americans for “high and low tech jobs”. Americans are ready for a president who represents the proverbial “melting pot” that this country was supposed to become before the horrors of slavery by race and Jim Crow laws became the reality.

America is ready for Barack Obama to be President and I am so proud that he has chosen to identify himself to be Black.

The King of England didn’t voluntarily give the colonies their independence.
The southern states didn’t voluntarily give up their slaves.
The segregated schools didn’t voluntarily allow African Americans to enroll.
The citizens of American can’t wait for the bigots of this country to decide that it is the right time for a Black American is be President.


James Menifee
Instructional Assistant, CIS Computer Lab
Laney College, Oakland, CA

Oct 20, 2008

2010 – American Wasteland

By Dedoceo Habi

Barack Obama has won the election. Peoples across the United States have rallied, using their voice, their actions and their money to demonstrate to the “powers that be” our choice to move America in a different direction – in the right direction. Young and old, poor, middle class and rich have all come to the conclusion that we are doomed if we continue the course that has nearly brought America to ruin.

Less than six months after winning an election that was fraught with deception, falsehoods, miscounts, and every other abomination one could imagine, President Obama mysteriously falls ill and can no longer serve in his capacity of President. Vice President Biden is ensnarled in a fabricated plot around bribery and unethical actions. Citizens around the country – even around the world – sit stunned by these developments, unwilling to internalize the images and information the “media” espouses around this tremendous change. Once again Americans are beat into silence by the fear mongering and disingenuous deeds of those who wish to maintain power over the masses – by those who wish to perpetuate the cycles of cheap (dare I say slave) labor, perpetual struggle, and “crimes” that are spawned from an individuals need to eat, to sleep… to live.

And then a new leadership is placed in charge… a Republican “leadership” that is firmly rooted in continuing the work of mr. bush and those who share his vision of world dominance. mcCain, or even palin will “helm the ship”, oblivious to the plight and lives of the many millions of suffering Americans.

And many Americans just sit there… ravaged and immobilized by fear and their need to enjoy some semblance of a false “normal” life…

The world as we know it is no more. Big brother watches and dictates our every move. We are OWNED by the very system that was originally created to FREE us, however now the “WE” that is owned represents Blacks, Latinos, Whites, and every other ethnic group that is not part of the established ruling elite.

We go about our daily toil mechanically, trying not to think about the hardship that has befallen us… trying not to dwell on the fact our very livelihood is controlled by some pre-engineered software program that has already mapped out our futures… trying not to acknowledge the fact that the once mighty and vibrant voice of the American people has be quieted to nothing more then a “disgruntled” whisper as we go about our lives of cheap domestic servitude.

For sure there will be those who find a way to survive – even better their lives – but they are now the minority.

Slowly, ever so slowly our conscience is raised. From deep within there comes a KNOWING that something has gone terribly wrong… and our whispered frustrations begin to shift. No more will we allow the very foundation of our humanity to be bought and sold as chattel to the one who callously wields control over our destinies. Soon, so very soon, the whispers are echoes from hither and yon… soon and very soon our voices are heard as a chorus of empowerment to realize the collective desires of our masses.

And soon, very soon, we finally understand the true meaning of the words the founders of this great country wrote in OUR Declaration Of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security

And during this time of awareness, during this time of fear and wanting, we begin to understand that the thing that unites us, the thing that sparks our will and gives us the courage to overcome the dis-information that continually floods our senses, the commonality that we all share – regardless of ethnicity or status – is our heavy hearts.

Hearts made heavy by the fact our spirits will not tolerate any more societal dysfunction and human suffering. Hearts made heavy to move us to action to safeguard our society, and to make certain a better way is delivered. Hearts that have been made heavy by all the fear, shook, machinations, hypocrisy and corruption we KNOW exist – hearts made heavy enough to move us to act.

Yes, you might come to realize that MY heart is heavy. My fears are real and are shared by many different peoples across this great country that is America. And you might begin to see the truth of how this could become a reality for us…

But I have to ask you something… Isn’t this all the truth of this very day?

While Senator Obama has not fallen ill, and with Senator Biden is not caught up in some political set-up… EVERYTHING else I’ve said IS true.

Everything, that is, except the part that we are willing to stand up to this tragic system to maintain our collective freedoms. On that… I am sad to say, we have fallen short, for so many are caught in the cycles of control that give power to those who benefit from our efforts.

We talk, and talk, and talk. We think about it and then we come back to talk some more.

What has been gained?

If we are to think in terms of what is right and good and beneficial to ALL Americans – regardless of ethnicity – then we ought to also be reminded of the power we all have as individuals and as community to affect the changes we all so dearly need.

One final word… The opening sentence of this dispatch is absolutely true and it is absolutely true in this very moment…

Barack Obama has won the election.

Oct 15, 2008

Harambee Editor honored

Student wins journalism awards at JACC conference


Harambee Managing Editor Reginald James was honored at the NorCal Conference of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) October 11 at San Jose State University.
James, former Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of the Laney Tower newspaper at Laney College in Oakland, won first place in the News Photo competition. He also won second place in the Student Designed Advertisement contest and fourth place in the Informational Graphic contest. He also received an honorable mention for front-page layout for tabloid-sized newspapers.
"It is an honor to receive these awards and to be recognized," said James. "I hope that my achievement can be a source of inspiration for others, particularly African American students, who are too often missing in the newsrooms on campuses across the state."
"I will use the skills I learned at the Tower here at Harambee. I will share what I've learned with Harambee's staff," James added.
James served as Tower EIC 2007-08, as well as JACC NorCal Student President 2006-07.

Oct 11, 2008

Hood CNN: This week with Jasiri X

This week with Jasiri X, rapper breaks down the Wall Street financial crisis, the $700 billion bailout, Gov. Sarah Palin in the media, and the lame duck President George W. Bush.

Oct 10, 2008

Is America ready for a Black President?

Harambee Readers sound off:

Is America ready to have a Black President? Will America elect Barack Obama?

"Though it seems heaven sent, we ain't ready to have a Black President"
-Tupac '2PAC' Shakur, 1996

"Yes, America is ready for an African America President. It is now time for real CHANGE."
-Marlene Christine Hurd. President, Black Caucus of CalSACC

"If America's ready for gay marriage it's ready for a black president."
Jemuel Johnson, Black Student Union, American River College

"It's an idea whose time has come."
-Dr. Mujahidun Sumchai, former Black Student Union Advisor, Laney College

America is ready for Barack Obama to be President and I am so proud that he has chosen to identify himself to be Black. [Click here to read full submission]
--James Menifee, CIS Instructional Assistant, Laney College

ABSOLUTELY -- else they'd better GET READY! YES, Obama will most definitely be elected. Any other result, trust me, is fraud or stolen!!!
I waited in line 4 hours yesterday to vote!!!
--Cheryl Jamison, Student Trustee, Mt. San Antonio College

Oct 9, 2008

African Americans, Latinos less concerned about global warming

Communities lack education, worry over cost of implementation, according to survey

By Reginald James

Although people of color are most adversely affected by global warming, it’s a lower priority among African Americans and Latinos, according to a survey released by The Research and Policy Institute of California (RPIC). The survey also found that communities of color were under-educated on legislation and policies intended to combat global warming.
Education and awareness on environmental issues and legislation appears to be low – and frequently absent – within the communities of color, based on RPIC’s findings.
“Education is a key factor in the lack of awareness about environmental legislation and the many components within the legislation that goes beyond just providing a cleaner environment or improving air quality,” said Casanya Ursery, Executive Director of RPIC.
RPIC surveyed nearly 200 community leaders throughout the state to serve as a broad indicator of how educated their communities are and the perceptions they have regarding proposed state legislation such as Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act passed in 2006.
The community leaders surveyed consisted of public policy leaders, civic leaders and key influential business leaders in the state’s African American and Latino communities. Participating organizations included the California Black Chamber of Commerce (CBCC), the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (CHCC), and the state’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Though environmental education and awareness was not high, overwhelmingly respondents of the survey placed the development of renewable energy sources as the most pressing environmental priority.
“African-American and Hispanic small businesses and families will be hardest hit by the higher electricity, fuel and food costs resulting from AB 32, and yet this survey shows that there is very little known about the state’s proposed climate change plan in our communities,” said Aubry Stone, President and CEO of the CBCC

Oct 5, 2008

Green Technology Summit in Pasadena

Harambee editor to present on transportation, educational partnerships


On October 8-9, Green Technology Magazine is hosting the Green California Community College Summit, “Building Gateways to the Green Economy” at the Pasadena Convention Center.

The conference focuses on best practices for green facilities as well as the role of the California Community Colleges’, the largest system of higher education in the world, role in creating a diverse “green collar” workforce. “Green collar jobs” refer to occupations and careers which provide families with living wages, as well as contribute to reducing industry’s often harmful affects on the planet.

Harambee Managing Editor Reginald James will be presenting on partnerships between regional transportation agencies and community colleges, as well as receiving the “Full Circle Award” for his work establishing such a partnership between the Peralta Colleges and Alameda Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) while he served as Student Trustee.

“Reginald James successfully advocated for the creation of a bus pass program for the community college students at the four Peralta Colleges,” said Acting Director, Physical and Environmental Planning Charlotte Strem with the University of California, Office of the President. Strem previously attended James’ session, “Get on the Bus!” at the 7th Annual UC/CSU/CCC Sustainability Conference CalPoly San Luis Obispo in August.

After advocating for the passage of the program, which saves students approximately $1000 per year, James was offered an internship in External Affairs for AC Transit.
“He how is learning about bus pass programs from the transit operators perspective, said Strem. “This combination of information and perspectives about advocacy for a program and operational implementation will provide the audience with a deeper understanding of what it takes to put a bus pass program into place.”

James’ session is titled, “Increasing access to education through public transportation.”

The Full Circle Award is being presenting to James and another former Los Angeles Trade Tech student for their efforts of giving back to their community colleges.

“In this economy, considering the high price of gas and other ridiculous expenses directly related to education, community colleges have to do what they can to keep our colleges accessible and affordable,” said James. And referring to his presentation, he said “I have a responsibility to use my experience to empower others.”

Oct 2, 2008

3rd Annual Angel City Classic

By Ricky Ricardo

Los Angeles-The Angel City Classic has already become one of the hottest events to attend at the beginning of the autumn season in Southern California. The Angel City Classic has already established itself as one of the premier football games between two powerhouse football teams from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The Angel City Classic offered the best value for ones entertainment dollar compared to the game across town between UCLA and Fresno State. The Angel City Classic is one of twenty five football games played between Labor Day Weekend and goes on until the middle of November.

The pleasant aroma of BBQ ribs, chickens, hotlinks and other mouthwatering delights greeted me during the inaugural tailgate party in the southeast parking lot of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. A recent article in a local paper has an interesting take on tailgating. “It’s all about food, friends, fans, the game and having a good time. Everyone is out there is living life to the fullest, sharing food, life. It is a uniquely American phenomenon.” Stated Jay DiEugenio-aka “The Tailgate Guy”

My next stop for the day was to check in at Gate 4 to pick up my credentials to cover the 3rd Annual Angel City Classic.

The 3rd Annual Angel City Classic offered attendees a day long fun filled festivities for the entire family. The Career/Cultural Expo were spread out on the inside perimeter of the Coliseum. This was a very popular gathering area. The High School Band Clinic was in full swing when I arrived east of the Sports Arena near Figueroa Street. The clinic featured band members from Morehouse, Prairie View and USC Marching Bands giving pointers to potential high school seniors contemplating attending one of the above mentioned schools.

The Youth Football Game featured two of the top Pop Warner Football Teams. The kids have a lot of potential if they continue playing football as they get older.

The Greek Step Show has become very popular in mainstream media with a couple of movies made about or featuring a Greek Step Show. About seven different groups performed representing several fraternities and sororities to a captivated audience.

Immediately after the Step Show, I had to rush unto the fields to witness the High School Band Showcase. Participating schools consisted of Inglewood High School, Crenshaw High School, LB Jordon High School and Dominquez High School. This portion of Angel City Classic was one of the highlights for me.

Ruben Cannon and Jimmy Fisher and Contagious Praise sang “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, followed by an outstanding version of the National Anthem performed by Kelly Price. Nick Cannon and Debbie Allen addressed the crowd during commercial breaks. The 3rd Annual Angel City Classic was broadcast live on Fox Sports Network.

Christian Simmons (King) and Brianna Holmes (Queen) presided over the 3rd Annual Angel City Classic. The coin toss featured Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Dr. George C. Wright, President, Prairie View A&M University, Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, President, Morehouse College and Mr. John Fleming III and players from both schools. Veteran radio personality Cliff Winston called the play by play gridiron action.

Prairie View Panthers is the defending champions of the Angel City Classic. They successfully defended their title in a hard hitting, hard fought game against Morehouse Tiger. The game was evenly played with Morehouse Tigers leading the game 17-14 at half-time. The Prairie View Panthers re-grouped after half-time and went on to defeat the Morehouse Tigers 28-17 before a crowd of 53,000. Prairie View Panthers improved their record to 4-0. The Battle of the Bands during half-time of the game was another one of my highlights. I was captivated by the sight and sounds of the Prairie View A&M “Marching Storm” with “The Black Foxes Dance Troupe” and Morehouse House of Funk Marching Band with The Mahogany in Motion Dance Troupe.

Congratulations are in order and extended to the 2008 Farmers Insurance Group UNCF National Scholarship Award Recipients: Daniel A. Nwachokor, a Junior at Grambling State University, Amanda Omogun, a Sophomore at Clark Atlanta University and Kristina Anne Doughty, a Sophomore at Spelman College. One lucky person won a 2009 BMW Coupe 1 courtesy of Farmers and Long Beach BMW.

The 3rd Annual Angel City Classic concluded on a rousing and soulful note. The 5th Quarter-Post Game Concert featured a musical tribute to the late great soul singer Isaac Hayes. The 90 minute concert featured the soulful sounds of N’Dambi, Anthony and Tarsha Hamilton, Lalah Hathaway and Angie Stone. The ultimate grand finale featured all of the singers on stage performing “ I Wished I Didn’t Miss You” by Angie Stone.

Ricky Richardson is a free-lance photojournalist who is employed at El Camino Community College in Torrance,CA.

Oct 1, 2008

Presidential speeches and the economy

Items off the table

By Mumia Abu Jamal

As the national political conventions fade into the fog of our short-term memory, few items seem to have penetrated the made-for-TV presentations.

We remember a few snippets (if we're lucky), a few disparate images, an emotional impression, perhaps.

I'm willing to bet that few of us remember any meaningful discussion of the real economic problems faced by the U.S. That's because none of the major presidential candidates have even the remotest solutions to the economic problems plaguing the country, for both are ardent advocates of globalization -- and globalization ain't the solution -- it's the problem.

For globalization emerged as a tool of U.S. economic power to dominate the world in the post-Cold War era. It was designed to open up foreign markets to U.S. and Western businesses, using the illusion of "free trade" to crowbar into local and national economies.

Chalmers Johnson, in his 2000 book, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of Empire (N.Y.: Owl Books) puts forth precisely this thesis with clarity and conviction. He illustrates how much of this could be traced to former president Richard Nixon's abolition of the post-World War Bretton Woods agreements, which pegged world currencies to the dollar, and the dollar to U.S. gold reserves. From that day on, economies became free floating, and whole new industry was born -- finance capital, or the business of speculating in, and profiting from, the moneys of others. Such a system, especially when wedded with the protectionism that prevailed in East Asia for some 50 years, created havoc around the world, where foreign wealth destabilizes local markets, for the quick buck.

A byproduct of this new globalized economy was the hollowing out of American industries, the loss of manufacturing jobs, and the failure of America's domestic economy.

Johnson cites the work of City College of New York historian, Judith Stein, for examples of how U.S. industrial policy became a wrecking ball to Black communities both in the South and North, industries abroad was a keystone of U.S. strategic policy, and encouraging steel imports became a tool for maintaining vital alliances. The nation's leaders by and large ignored the resulting conflict between Cold War and domestic goals" { p.195}.

While presidential candidates argue over taxes on capital gains, millions of Americans struggle to make ends meet. Tens of thousands of people have lost their homes, due to lost jobs or foreclosures.

It is a globalized economy for capital, high finance, and speculation, but it can hardly be considered one for working people. For them, a hundred barriers bloom, making it harder than ever to chase jobs.

Both major candidates are deaf to their plight, and thus are ill-disposed to address it, much less solve it.

(Column written September 4, 2008, Mumia Abu Jamal)