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Sharon McGhee

Sharon McGhee was a member of the WVON family from 1998-2010.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at Noon.

William C. Harris Funeral Home
9825 Halls Ferry Road
St. Louis MO  63136

Feel free to post your prayers, comments and condolences below.

Posted in Remembering Sharon K. McGhee | 30 Comments

Dr. Chandra Gill: Open Letter to Interscope Records about Chicago’s Violence – Chief Keef

The letter below is written by Chandra Gill, Ph.D., to Jimmie Lovine of Interscope Records. In the letter, Dr. Gill discusses the violence and murders of young men and rappers.

Dr. Gill is questioning why Interscope Records is not taking any responsibility for the men that they sign to work under their label.

Interscope Records
2220 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 865-1000

Re: Chicago’s Violence – Chief Keef

To: Jimmie Lovine:
(Founder of Interscope Records)

“The African-American is not a bestial race”
“Somebody must show that the Afro-American race is more sinned against than sinning, and it seems to have fallen upon me to do so.” – Ida B. Wells

What are we to say about the recent murder of yet another teenager here in Chicago? What can be said about this alleged rap “beef” amongst those young African-American men here in our communities; communities that inhale hopelessness and helplessness, as it smells of poverty, mis-education and unemployment?

This letter seeks no theoretical framework regarding the varying complexities and debatably learned behaviors of said populace. It’s not a letter of rage with potentially combative elements. This letter is “simple’ and begets this question:

- What foreseen responsibility will your record label have as you continually sign young troubled African-American men to record deals?

Let me be clear (full disclosure): I’m an educator born and raised on Chicago’s south side. I understand the constant dialogue involving parental responsibility, as my parents were present in my life; they raise me and were my first teachers. So I get it. Parents have to be more responsibly involved. However, as I teach, we must as a society soon abandon the either/or position and embrace the both/and philosophy. In that, I insist on individual responsibility and institutional accountability. By example, sure, parents are responsible for what their children wear (ie. 9 year-olds in low-cut shorts with “Sexy Booty” on the back). Yet, we must connect this conversation too to companies that manufacture and produce such items for 9 year-old girls to wear. (Heck, McDonalds is opening up a vegetarian restaurant in India because the market demands it. India’s not known for the consumption of cows and pigs). Corporations can change. Companies can adjust. As people, we must do the same.

Mr. Lovine, I understand business. I’ve debated the, “it’s the American way” mantra often in my quest to be successful, professionally. I know at some point soon we must create a compass of consciousness, as a society of adults. I don’t have all of the answers. But I do know it’s time for us to ask some critical questions. One of which I’ve posed here to you.

When I consider the surge in violence here in my hometown, I can no longer act as if there are no solutions for our children. Just this year, I’ve spoken to over 20,000 students and parents here in Chicago. I believe in our youth. Not naïve or blindly, I too believe in their future, notwithstanding their current realities and conditions.

In reaching beyond a culture of complaining, as if there’s nothing we can do, I suggest the following:

As a concerned Chicago resident and US citizen, I believe Interscope Records should investigate its current policies (and explore more innovative ways) in signing teenaged artists to its label. In step with the NFL and NBA professional leagues, record labels should consider a possible age requirement, entry-level contingencies, etc. for your artist of interest. To place millions of dollars in the hands of troubled teens, thereby creating optimal exposure for youth to glorify America’s biggest failures socially is unacceptable. If high school attendance and graduation is a bottom-line requirement for athletes, why not record labels? Educating our youth to excel beyond one platinum record album is critical to their life as a whole. To think otherwise is to benefit in the moment, monetarily at the expense of our full existence, culturally and globally.

In closing, I side with Ida B. Wells and her words. I write to you with hopes of a timely response. I’m on the side of producing solutions for the sake of our youth in peril. It is my hope that your company will consider the above mentioned and other innovative measures in helping rescue the hearts and minds of our children, our future. I can be reached at 866-496-5667.

Genuinely,

Chandra Gill, Ph.D.
CEO-Blackademically Speaking Enterprises
www.drchandragill.com

cc: Congressman Danny Davis, U.S. Representative – Illinois’s 7th Congressional District
Congressman Bobby Rush, U.S. Representative – Illinois 1st Congressional District
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin

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My favorites quotes from the Republican National Convention

Compiled by Evan F. Moore

Here are some of my favorite quotes from last week’s Republican National Convention:

“Barack Obama’s failed us. But look; it’s understandable. A lot of people fail at their first job.”

“We own this country.”

“I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division.  This isn’t something we have to accept.”

“‘Hope and Change’ has become ‘Divide and Conquer.’”

“I believe we have become paralyzed by our desire to be loved…Tonight, we choose respect over love. We are not afraid to take our country back.”

“The demographics race, we’re losing badly. We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”

“I’ve come to realize that Barack Obama is the tattoo president. Like a big tattoo, it seemed cool when you were young.”

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1911 United travels to swing states to get President Obama re-elected

1911 United  is a Super PAC founded by members of Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Phi Psi. 1911 United wants to make sure that President Obama is re-elected this coming November. This super PAC has visited the battleground states to make sure would-be voter have the proper identification before voting. Che Sayles,of Omega Phi Psi ,the co-founder of 1911 United spoke with WVON about the origins of the Super PAC, the purpose of speaking to voters in the swing states, voter ID fraud, and their plans for post-election day.

WVON: How did the partnership come about?

Che Sayles: Through the friendship between Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. and Omega Phi Psi, Inc., we both had our 100 years anniversaries, our conclave .We were in agreement to what our founders did was so significant and historic as it relates to an organization that would serve America especially black people over 100 years. In memory of that with the election of the first African-American President what better way to do something of that magnitude to help him with his re-election.

What are you doing exactly in the swing states?

We’re focusing in on seven battleground states: Florida, Ohio, etc.  We had a family bus tour. We traveled through these swing states and other places. We registered people to vote, we signed up volunteers and spreaded the good news about Barack Obama. We love our President and we are going to do whatever it takes to get him elected.

Are you doing anything different from other Political Action Committees?

I would like to say we introduced the whole idea of a black Super PAC .Voting is not a one day event. In terms of these voter ID laws and other things that have happened we’re trying to get black folks to realize that voting isn’t a one day event. You can’t just show up on a given day in November. We introduced the idea of a Super PAC on a grassroots level. We’re targeting African-Americans and letting people know that Black women out-voted every single demographic in 2008. We remained innovative we have a lot of work to do.

Do you believe that the people in the battleground states should already have an ID knowing the things that have gone on in the past in terms of voter fraud?

There is no documented,outrageous numbers of voter fraud. Photo ID’s costs money. It’s the idea that the America we love shouldn’t be doing something historic as electing its first African-American President and then the very moment after put a practice of systems and laws that would disenfranchise that same people that voted for this guy. There are no widespread cases of fraud. We have 34 states that have enacted or changed the laws regarding ID’s.

When you talk to people in the swing states, what are their reasons for not having identification?

We have public service announcements to raise awareness. You have states like Pennsylvania as early as last week handing out judicial decisions saying an ID is required to vote. We’re telling people to make they have their ID’s. We’re telling people to alert their board of elections in their state.

About the Bus tour you did, what were the concerns that would-be voters were having about Election Day?

We need to have a conversation on how minorities interact with our government. Sometimes government represents that cop giving you a ticket. Sometimes government represents the people who tow your car. Sometimes people don’t have ID’s because they don’t drive. It’s beyond just having an ID.

Will there be any plans post-election day?

We’re putting those things right now. How to interact with your government. We’re focused on November.

 

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Interview with Hoodwinked director Janks Morgan

By Evan F. Moore

Filmmaker Janks Morton latest film is called Hoodwinked, Hoodwinked will be an exploration of the most recent data being released by the U.S. Census Bureau,DOJ, DOE, DOC and the CDC to highlight strides and achievements in the African American community. Morton sat down with WVON recently to answer questions regarding the interviews he did for the documentary, the origin of the project and personal responsibility regarding African-Americans.

WVON: What made you come up with the concept of the documentary?

Janks Morton: Hoodwinked is the sequel to the film WHAT BLACK MEN THINK, Best black Documentary 2007 AALBC, and is based on an article of the same title published in Ebony Magazine in June of 2011.”

After speaking with the people you interviewed in the movie, were you shocked at how stereotypes negatively influenced the perception of black males?

In the original film WHAT BLACK MEN THINK, in the same man-on-the-street fashion, I addressed similar questions around the state of black males, so I have grown accustomed to the misperceptions around Black male Identity. What does surprise me at times is how far removed from reality some people’s estimates of the statistics can be. I was interviewing at an annual street and vendor fair in Baltimore, I asked the question “What percent of Black Males Drop out of High School?”, The median response to the question is 50% (and the title of the segment of the film), but I heard my fair share of 80 and 90 percent. The Black Male dropout rate is 9.5%

Do you believe the black community bears some responsibility for creating the stereotypes people have of black males?

Most stereotypes have to have a kernel of truth in order to work. The genesis of stereotypes may start with behaviors endemic to our group, but the hyper-portrayal of these as normative black behavior by media and special interest groups is what allows, what is typically a fragmented snapshot of Black behavior, to be projected as the negative narrative of us all.

Will the film made available in other cities beside Washington, D.C.?

I will be taking HOOWINKED to multiple cities across the country after its theatrical premiere in Washington DC, September 6th. It looks like we will be screening HOODWINKED at the ICE Theater on 87th Street on Sept 13th….I’ll keep you posted.

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Video:Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s Historic speech outside of Ecuador’s embassy

Julian Assange Historic speech @ Ecuador Embassy 19/08/2012

Compiled by Evan F.Moore:

Some of my favorite excerpts from the speech:

“As Wikileaks stands under threat, so does the freedom of expression and the health of all our societies. We must use this moment to articulate the choice that is before the government of the United States of America.”

“Will it return to and reaffirm the values, the revolutionary values it was founded on, or will it lurch off the precipice dragging us all into a dangerous and oppressive world, in which journalists fall silent under the fear of prosecution and citizens must whisper in the dark?”

“I say it must turn back. I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The United States must renounce its witch-hunts against Wikileaks. The United States must dissolve its FBI investigation.”

“The United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff or our supporters. The United States must pledge before the world that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful.”

“And to the Army Private who remains in a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, who was found by the United Nations to have endured months of torturous detention in Quantico, Virginia and who has yet – after two years in prison – to see a trial: he must be released.”

“On Wednesday, Bradley Manning spent his 815th day of detention without trial. The legal maximum is 120 days.”

My final thoughts on this: After what has happened to African-Americans in this county it’s sad that two black men(Obama and Holder) are leading the charge of jingoism. Julian Assange and Bradley Manning should not be the scapegoat while U.S. foreign policy is allowed to run amuck.

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Hoodwinked

Compiled by Evan F. Moore

For over four-hundred years, the majority society has used many tools to reinforce a message that the peoples of African descent are less-than, not-equal-too or not-good enough. In this modern era of information, the media, government and special interests use statistics to further promote the message of Black inferiority. The Director Janks Morgan believes that African-Americans have bought into the perceptions. “What troubles me most, is that we as a people have internalized the misinformation, embraced the myths, and perpetuated the stereotypes, sadly reinforcing a collective misconception of our own identities,” Morgan said.

Hoodwinked will be an exploration of the most recent data being released by the US Census,DOJ, DOE, DOC and the CDC to highlight strides and achievements in the African American community. It will feature expert contributors, man on the street interviews, anchor desk headline reporting, and the return of Janks Morton and his “Board of Education” to examine further the symbiotic relationship between media, government and special interest, as they exploit imagery, statistics and data that too often presents a skewed perspective of the modern era African American experience.

 

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Should black celebrities get involved in social justice issues?

 

Should black celebrities be involved in social justice issues? Just because these people are rich and famous should they speak out on certain societal issues that affect the communities they come from?  Or do we as a society ask too much of the black elite?

Musician and social activist Harry Belafonte believes so. He said as much to the Hollywood Reporter: “It is sad. And I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyoncé, for example.”

I get what Harry is saying. Back in the day, Harry was not afraid to ruffle feathers. These days very few celebrities have the intestinal fortitude to do what Belafonte did…and live to tell about it. Not everyone is going to put their careers on the line a la Chris Rock or Lupe Fiasco.

Celebrities these days are less likely to take a side one way or another on an issue because they do not want to make anyone mad.  Remember what Michael Jordan said about Republicans wearing sneakers? Yeah. That’s sums up why most of the black elite stay above the fray.

Should these people stay in their lane? Do we just want them entertain us not educate us? Personally, I think that asking the likes of Beyoncé to discuss something like the prison industrial complex is too much to ask. But then again, she is an award-winning journalist.

 

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

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Chicago Clean Energy Press Release

Compiled by Evan F. Moore

Chicago Clean Energy, a $3 billion state-of-the-art gasification project proposed for Chicago’s Southeast Side, will provide a huge economic boom for Illinois, creating jobs and making strides and advancements in energy technology. Senate Bill 3766, which will allow the project to advance, currently sits on Governor Quinn’s desk awaiting his approval. The Governor has until Friday,August 10 to take action.

Tom Villanova, president of the Chicago and Cook County Building Trades believes that the Chicago Clean Energy project will help the state’s struggling economy. “Workers across the state need this project, and we are urging Governor Quinn to bring it to Illinois,” Villanova said. “I can’t see any reason for passing on a $3 billion private investment that will create this much economic opportunity and so many great jobs for our struggling state.”

The project is targeting 15 percent of the prime construction contracts associated with the $3 billion project be awarded to minority-owned and female-owned businesses and businesses owned by persons with disabilities.

“This project represents Illinois’ future, and we hope to be a part of it,” said Larry Huggins, past vice president of Black Contractors United. “We see only upside to this innovative project that will allow us to put people back to work in a cutting-edge, clean energy industry.”

The Chicago Clean Energy project has been vetted by the State of Illinois over a five-year process, during which time the Governor already has signed four pieces of legislation, each of which passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly by wide margins, with strong statewide support from both political parties.

The Chicago Clean Energy technology uses a chemical process – without burning coal or other feedstock – to produce substitute natural gas and capture and remove impurities. Removing the component elements like sulfur, argon, and mercury is essential to producing the substitute natural gas. These additional products can be safely reused in construction, agriculture and manufacturing, or safely disposed of, rather than being released.

“The Chicago Clean Energy project is a win-win for our community,” said Sandra Patterson, president of the Cottage Grove Heights Community Coalition. “This major investment will clean up a contaminated area, create jobs and bring a cutting-edge, environmentally advanced energy technology right to our backyard. I fully support the Chicago Clean Energy project and hope Governor Quinn will too.”

The Chicago Clean Energy project is expected to create more than $10 billion in economic output for Illinois and an estimated $1.25 billion in added state and local tax revenue. This includes more than 1,100 construction jobs over three years, 200 permanent, high-paying jobs on-site, more than 150 coal-related jobs downstate, generating more than 700 jobs in related businesses.

“We agree it’s time to find new, cleaner ways to generate energy for our state’s economy,” said Hudson.  “Gasification not only limits emissions as part of the actual process, but it also turns potential pollutants into profits, which are shared with consumers. The Chicago Clean Energy project represents a new chapter in the Illinois history book.”

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ONLY IN AMERICA (by Bill Griggs)

ONLY IN AMERICA
Could a controversy arise over the hair of a sixteen year old who, not only became the first African American to achieve a feat, but in the process, became the very best IN THE ENTIRE WORLD at what she does.  Obviously I’m talking about the brilliant gymnast, Gabby Douglass.  The bad news is that the oldjealousy that comes from self hatred has, as always, reared its ugly head at a time that should have been reserved for joy and pride.  The good news is that the absurdity of the incident is so spectacularly profound, that we are forced to acknowledge the single greatest issue confronting Black America as the hallmark of the legacy of slavery: Black self hatred.
Racism/ White supremacy was developed to justify slavery- not just for the slave owners, but for the slaves themselves.  The slaves knew that their lives were a living hell for one reason and one reason only: their blackness.  Then as now, they prayed to a God who could have passed for Egyptian, yet was represented as blond and blue eyed.  Then as now, all things black were defined as evil (including the President of the United States) while whiteness was/ is equated with purity. We were told our dark skin was ugly, as tanning salons blossomed; our thick lips hideous, as Botox became the rage.    The racism even extended to food: chocolate devil food cake and white angel food cake.  The methods by which African Americans were/are taught self hatred could fill a thousand blogs.
Back in the sixties we talked about combating the self hatred by understanding our own glorious history, so that we might understand that our current condition is not the result of the natural order of things; to know that we have been great and can be so again.  Yet things have deteriorated so precipitously that I now recommend that we reconsider our very recent history: the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  Old folks like me need to tell our youngsters how we referred to our women as Queens, instead of the degrading names rappers and others use today.  We could talk about how afros and dashikis were political symbols of racial pride.  We could talk about a lot of stuff I can’t go into here.  But that’s why we start dialogues.
ONLY IN AMERICA
Could a gazillonaire who  advocates keeping an unpaid for tax cut for his economic class while cutting fundamental services to working class people and who could not visit America’s greatest ally  (England) without stirring up trouble, be almost in a dead heat for the presidency of the United States while receiving votes from the working class.
Could Sarah Palin have been a candidate for the vice presidency of the United States, and still maintain a considerable following.
Could drug addiction be regarded as a criminal, rather than medical issue.
Could George W. Bush have been elected president.  TWICE
Could large portions of the population believe Bush when he said that people like the Iranians, “hate us for our freedom.”  Did any of them know that the United States nullified Iranian elections in 1953 because the U.S. didn’t like the outcome and instead installed a petty dictator, the Shah?  Do any Americans know that there is a direct correlation between American actions and how other countries feel about America?
Could a government official (Mitch McConnell)  openly wish for the failure of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, without having his (McConnell’s) patriotism called into question.  (The president cannot fail unless the country fails)!!!!
Hopefully, I’ve stimulated you to think of your own “only in America” scenarios.  If so, please log them in the comment section.
Posted in WVON Special Guest Blog | 1 Comment
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