Category Archives: Society

Oprah’s Not Worried About Flack From Church Folk

oprah-winfrey

*For decades, my girl Oprah has spoken passionately about “intention.” She’s famously asked many guests what their “intention” was before sitting down to talk with them, and she seems grounded in a belief that if your intention is pure and significant, your work will bear fruit.

So it was not really a surprise to learn that the Queen of All Media wasn’t concerned with the possible backlash against her upcoming drama ‘Greenleaf,’ a one-hour scripted drama which promises to pull the curtain back from the inner workings of the black church and the family that runs one.

“Our intention is to use this as a platform for telling great stories,” the 62-year-old media tycoon said, during a press screening of Greenleaf. “Our intention is to be mindful and respectful of the church as an institution. Only good can come from that.”

The family drama focuses on a fictional megachurch in Memphis, Calvary Fellowship World Ministries, headed by Bishop James Greenleaf and Lady Mae Greenleaf, played by Lynn Whitfield. Viewers soon learn that the good Bishop’s life is more sinister than godly. Winfrey herself returns to the screen, playing Mavis McCready, Lady Mae’s sister, in the new series. Continue reading

‘There Was No Love in This Kids Life’ Prosecutor Said of Boy Whose Parents Starved Him

Lori Lloyd and Christopher Sefton
Lori Lloyd and Christopher Sefton

*I hate to say it, and at the risk of sounding ‘ignorant’ when I hear about children whose bellies are swollen due to malnutrition, my mind immediately goes to places like Africa and India; and all of those god-awful pictures we have seen on TV of starving children with flies circling their eyes.

I know there are hungry people here in the states, hell, “keepin’ it real,” not even I have been spared, but after hearing about this boy, who lives right here in Seattle, my mind did a U-turn and came right back home.

Last week, Christopher Sefton and his fiancee, Lori Lloyd, both 31, got 20 years in prison for abusing and starving their son (since 2013); only feeding him “smoothies” that consisted of mash up hot dogs, bread, carrots and vegetable oil. Continue reading

Nashville Judge Orders New Trial After Juror Objects to Jury With ‘No Blacks’

Scene from 1962 film, "To Kill A Mockingbird"
Scene from 1962 film, “To Kill A Mockingbird”

*After an eight hour jury selection process to try a case involving two Black male defendants, a new trial was ordered by Judge Cheryl Blackburn of Davidson County Criminal Court after one of the jurors objected to the selected jury.

It is unclear who the juror was, or what his or her race was.

In an action that has been confirmed by lawyers and others present in the courtroom, the judge delayed the trial thereby bringing attention to a longtime discussion about the lack of diversity in todays jury’s.

Defense lawyers are said to have accused prosecutors of eliminating potential jurors because of their race, and the claim was denied by the state. According to a precedent under the U.S. Supreme Court, lawyers cannot excuse potential jurors only because of their race.

As if…

But I digress.

“We may need to see if we can raise this issue to make sure that you don’t just remove somebody from the jury selection process based on their race, creed or religion,” said Ludye Wallace, president of the Nashville branch of the NAACP, who only learned of the case after he was contacted by The Tennessean. “You can’t do that,” he added. Continue reading

Want to Reserve a Spot at London’s First Nude Restaurant?

A rendering of the entrance to the Bunyadi’s bar area, where fully clothed patrons can choose to change into a robe before dining inside the clothing-optional restaurant. (Courtesy of the Bunyadi)
A rendering of the entrance to the Bunyadi’s bar area, where fully clothed patrons can choose to change into a robe before dining inside the clothing-optional restaurant. (Courtesy of the Bunyadi)

*If you want to reserve a spot at London’s first nude restaurant, there’s a waiting list. A long one. Like 16,000 names long. That’s a whole lot of nekked (sic) people waiting to eat. Hmm…Wonder what it smells like in the kitchen. Maybe we can ask Seb Lyall, the restauranteur who has gained notoreity for his past innovative concepts in eateries. But be warned, his views may be a bit skewed seeing as he eats his meals bottomless.

As in without wearing anything from the waist down.

Now he has opened Bunyadi, a “clothing optional” restaurant in London with a June targeted opening date.

“It’s liberating,” he told The Washington Post about the freedom one feels without the henderance of material on the body. “It’s fun and sometimes the neighbors watch — fine, whatever.

Spoken like a true fan of voyeurism, Mr. Lyall.

“It’s my home and my space, and that’s kind of the space we’re trying to create in the restaurant — our own little space. It will be fascinating what the response is.”

Aside from the 16,000 on the waiting list? I’d say that speaks loud and clear, sir.

But Lyall expects those numbers to soar even higher. Continue reading

Marques Gaines: His Death Proves How ‘Inhumane’ Us Humans Can Be (Graphic Video)

Marques Gaines

*There are several names alotted to the behavior of people…groups of people…who see something bad happening to someone else; someone who is helpless, and they just turn their heads away and decide to do nothing. This was the fate of a Chicago man named Marques Gaines, 32, who was three times a victim: the first time when some thug happened upon him as he left a 7-Eleven store shortly after 4 a.m., and knocked him out cold and left him lying in the street. Secondly, when people came to and fro to look, then kept walking without the slightest decency to do anything; and finally, when a taxi swirled around the corner and ran over him.

Those in the field of psychology and social science attempt to classify this inhumane tendancy that people can choose to exhibit using terms like “Civil Inattention,” “The Bystander Effect” or “Bystander Apathy.”

But I just call it eff’d up.

Folks, we’ve got to do better. Much better.

Reports are laying blame on the people of Chicago, because this particular incident occurred there. And yes, anyone in that vicinity at the time this crime occurred; anyone who witnessed this helpless man in the street and decided this was the time to mind their own business should feel like sh*t now and for the rest of their days.

You saw this unfortunate circumstance and did absolutely NOTHING about it. And you could have.

But the fault doesn’t lie solely with the people of Chicago. We all have blood on our hands. We have become a society insensitive to the horrific. We now see it as entertainment; something to gawk at, gossip about and move on to the next ghastly thing. Continue reading

BeBe Winans Thrilling Autobiographical Play Is A Family Affair

bebe winans (1)

*Gospel music legend BeBe Winans’ autobiographical play, Born For This, is enjoying it’s red carpet premiere this weekend in Atlanta at the Alliance Theatre.

“When you’re a teenager you don’t think your life is being recorded for others to learn from, or be healed by, or better yet to find strength through your fears and failures,” shared BeBe Winans. “Now I know that these were God’s plans for my life. We’re all born for a purpose. This musical celebrates the journey of finding it.”

For the uninitiated, BeBe is one of the Winans family, a gospel music dynasty from my home town of Detroit. Four of his older brothers formed the groundbreaking group The Winans, after which he and his sister Priscilla took the world by storm as a duo. You may know them as BeBe & CeCe.

In Born for This, BeBe and CeCe Winans experience the ultimate in culture shocks when invited to join Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise The Lord Network. The Winans teenagers become not only television celebrities as they were welcomed into the Bakkers’ family, helping to integrate TV evangelism. As BeBe and CeCe encounter fame, fortune, and even a young Whitney Houston, BeBe must learn to balance his desire for success with his true calling. Continue reading

Kirk Franklin Cut Up & Shut It Down Last Weekend

Photo by Kyle Gustafson / The Washington Post
Photo by Kyle Gustafson / The Washington Post

*Kirk Franklin closed his 20 Years In One Night Tour in the Bay Area, and the 3,000+ who packed Oakland’s Paramount Theatre were treated to a show the likes of which I haven’t seen since…

well, now that I think about it, I may have never seen anything like Franklin’s show. I’ve been blessed to see many of the great live performers of my lifetime. Franklin’s Saturday night performance may well have been the best concert — of ANY genre — I’ve ever seen.

I’ve been a fan of Franklin’s since the beginning of his career, but I’d never seen the artist live, and wasn’t sure about what to expect from a live Franklin show, as he’s as much preacher as singer.

I needn’t have worried. Kirk sang Saturday night. Let me be clear: Kirk SAAAAANG.   Kirk also danced, giving David a run for his money during several parts of the show and appearing at times as a sanctified Michael Jackson. The show was less concert and more experience, with Franklin serving as a praise and worship leader who worked the stage and our hearts like the love child of James Brown and Mahalia Jackson. He covered all of his classics, like “Why We Sing”, “Silver & Gold”, and “Stomp”, while leaving plenty of time for “Wanna Be Happy” and other favorites from his current, Grammy-winning Losing My Religion album. Continue reading

Seriously Utah, Porn is a ‘Public Health Crisis’? (Watch)

Utah, porn

*Let’s hope some of the personal statements I make in this article won’t send me straight to hell. But to hold such thoughts in would cause me to spontaineously combust. And I don’t want to do that. Utah…for cliche’s sake, let’s pretend you’re “Houston” because we’ve (obviously) got a problem. If porn has become so rampant in your state that you have to declare it as a ‘public health crisis’ — perhaps you need to examine exactly why your people are apparently er…utilizing it in abundance.

I mean, you ARE the first state to make such a claim. And porn has been around for a long, long time.

Personally, I feel if it is such an issue in your state, it may be because of the rules and regulations you place on people in the name of religion. I’m no expert in this, but as a state where being a Mormon is the most recognized religion; is there some rule that says you can’t have sex unless you’re married? And even if you’re married, you can’t even say, fantasize?

That’s a question. I really don’t know the answer. And yes, I can look it up, but you know how the media can lie. Continue reading