I just had to share this video, which pretty much speaks for itself. Young black male students from Illinois’ Central High School are trying to change the negative stereotypes of young black men with this video Suit & Tie in the 217. These babies are dressed in their finest to project a counter image of black teen sagging to their knees, wearing oversize jerseys and hoodies.
The students used in this video are successful student scholars, athletes, and representatives for our schools. They are National Honor Society members, Honor Roll members, future collegiate athletes, and future college students at several Big Ten Universities. They are also Eagle Scouts, military personnel, and poets. They are class of 2014 and 2015.
Check out the video below:
When President Obama finally committed to promoting his signature legislation, it paid off. Many supporters, including myself, were very upset with the roll out of the Affordable Care Act and the HealthCare.gov exchange. The President’s poll number took a huge hit. After the administration finally tackled the problems from the roll out and decided to find creative ways to promote the website among Millennials, the tides began to change.
Today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, confirmed during a White House briefing that enrollment exceeded expectations of six million, to close as of midnight with 7.04 million.
Today we can say definitively that at midnight last night, I think it’s fair to say we passed everyone’s expectations
Congrats on the numbers, however there are still a lot of questions. Like how many people have actually paid or will pay their premiums, and how well will the process work, or how will pending lawsuits like the one from Hobby Lobby affect the outcome of women’s health coverage. But let’s just celebrate this milestone today, and debate those other details tomorrow.
Funny or Die teamed up with President Obama and The Hangover’s Zach Galifianakis for a new comedy skit to promote the Affordable Care Act and boost enrollment on the exchange among Millennials. Turns out it worked! The video has garnered over 6 million views in a day, and generated over 20,000 referrals to the Healthcare.gov exchange.
So the POTUS sits down for the worst interview of his life in this satirical skit, and I do not understand for the life of me how he kept a straight face, especially when Galifianakis said, “I want to know what is it like to be the last black President?” Then he asked if President Obama would run for a third consecutive term, and Obama responds:
Ariana Grande, known as “The Voice” of her generation was invited to Washington D.C., to sing for the In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul concert series. The beautiful songstress, also known as Cat on Nickelodeon’s Sam & Cat, tackled Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing in front of President Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama. Right by her side to console the nervous singer before her performance was Patti LaBelle with a warm embrace. Can you imagine being the youngest singer in a room full of great talent, having Patti LaBelle give you her blessing? What a moment! Ariana Grande definitely showed her age when she “what’s up” the first family, but she ended her set with a strong vocal performance:
Mr. President, Mrs. Obama…What’s up? How are you? Good to see ya. It’s good…is it all good? Alright, good.
Performers of the night included, Melissa Etheridge, Janelle Monae, Jill Scott, Tessanne Chin of The Voice, Ariana Grande, Patti LaBelle, as the R-E-S-P-E-C-T honoree of the night Aretha Franklin. Being President has its privileges! Man I can’t wait to see Jill Scott’s performance!
161 years ago, the New York Times published a story on the “seizure and recovery” of Solomon “Northrup”, a free black man who was kidnapped in 1841 from Washington, D.C. and sold into slavery in Louisiana until he was rescued in 1853. However, his real name was Solomon “Northup”, and social media caught the mistake forcing the New York Times to publish a corrected version of the original article. A twitter user to be exact by the name of Rebecca Skloot, discovered the mistake in the New York Times archive. How cool is that?!?
Solomon Northup story was eventually retold in a memoir written by David Wilson titled, 12 Years A Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup…. The book was very popular when first published, but over the years the book got lost in the shuffle, until it resurfaced in the 1960′s researched and republished by Joseph Logsdon and Sue Eakin.
Today, most of us know the story of Solomon Northup because of the Academy Award Winning Film 12 Years a Slave, starring Best Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong’o and Best Actor Nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor. However, it is believed that the New York Times first introduced us to this story 161 years ago. Check out the photo (above) and read an excerpt, plus the letter Solomon Northup wrote to obtain his freedom:
Teen pregnancies in general are at an all time low, and teen pregnancies specifically among black teens are down by 51%. Yes! Today, we’ve also learned that abortions have hit their lowest rate since 1973, when it was first legalized. This according to pro-rights group, Guttmacher Institute in New York. The abortion rate is down by 13% with 16.9 pregnancies out of 1,000 ending in termination. At its peak under the Reagan administration, which also saw hard economic times, 29.3 pregnancies ended in termination.
Education and more widely available birth control are the keys here, and shows like Teen Mom on MTV, I believe, play a huge part culturally. Access to abortions have declined as well, with 4% of providers closing during 2008-2011, most of which are in states with already low abortions rates. But even still, approximately 1.1.million pregnancies end in abortion today. I know through better education and health resources, we can reduce that number even further. We don’t have to force women to stop having abortions through politics and religion, but we can educate all women into making better choices as far as family planning to end the need for abortions, except when medically necessary.
[Chart via Mother Jones]