Friday, March 28, 2008

11 year old girl tasered at school

What is the world coming to when an 11 year old girl is so out of control that she needs to be tasered?

An Orange County deputy used a Taser on an 11-year-old elementary student Thursday morning at Moss Park Elementary after she allegedly tried to push another student into oncoming traffic and punched a school resource officer in the face.

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the 11-year-old Thaliamar Jimenez was seen attempting to push a smaller student into oncoming traffic Thursday before class. The incident was reported and Jimenez was confronted by two teachers.

During an attempt by the teachers to speak with Jimenez about the incident, she became agitated and aggressive and began to scare other students in the classroom. Jimenez refused to leave the classroom, according to the sheriff’s office, and made several attempts to spit at the teachers trying to get her to leave the room.

A school resource officer, Deputy Donna Hudepohl, was called to the room to assist in removing Jimenez, but she refused and then punched Hudepohl in her face, causing her nose to bleed. Hudepohl tried to subdue Jimenez, but she continued to fight back and Hudepohl then used her Taser to secure the girl.

Hudepohl was transported to Florida East. She sustained severe bruising to the nasal cavity as a result of the injury. Jimenez was also transported to the same hospital to have the Taser prongs removed, but she had no other injuries.

Jimenez was arrested and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, disrupting a school function as well as resisting with violence.

What's really going on? Gun violence so bad that police escort students to school!

The morning trip to school for dozens of teenagers here had all the normal signs: bleary eyes, oversized jackets zipped up against the chill, the seemingly endless wait for the bus. But there was tension underlying the routine: The trip was under the watchful eyes of parents, an alderman, a principal and police.

The escort to and from Crane Tech High School this week, dubbed "Operation Safe Passage" is just one of the ways Chicago is dealing with a wave of violence that has stunned the city.Since September, 20 Chicago Public Schools students have been killed, 18 by gunfire. Last school year, 24 of the more than 30 students killed were shot to death, compared with between 10 and 15 fatal shootings in the years before.

"The loss of life that we've seen among our young people is ... devastating," said school district spokesman Michael Vaughn. "This gun nonsense has reached a crisis level."

Nationally, homicide was the second-leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24 in 2004, and of those killed, 81 percent were killed with a firearm, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Operation Safe Passage began this week. It provides escorts for students from the ABLA Homes public housing development to Crane Tech High School. Many of the 120 students from the housing project have not been to school since March 7 because they fear retaliation after a reputed gang member from ABLA shot and killed another student who lived on a rival gang's turf.

Daley recently announced a new resource for police - access to the 4,500 security cameras mounted inside and outside about 200 elementary and high schools.

Daley also has rolled back the curfew times for minors by half an hour, to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends.

Many observers insist the issue isn't a school problem but a symptom of overall violence in the city. In fact, students in some of the city's most violent neighborhoods say school -- with metal detectors, private security guards and uniformed police officers -- is the one place they feel safe.

Antigun activists and officials say the violence highlights a dangerous reality: Arguments among young people that used to be resolved with fistfights now end in gunfire.

New site celebrates founding of Historically Black Colleges

Thinking about attending an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)? Even if you aren't everyone must check out this new website,

A Digital Collection Celebrating the Founding of the Historically Black College and University" includes more than 1,000 scanned photographs, manuscripts, letters and publications from 10 institutions designated as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

The project, which was funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, represents the first collaborative effort by HBCU libraries to make a historical collection digitally available. The online collection, which is hosted by the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, is the product of a partnership between the HBCU Library Alliance, HBCU institutions, the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET) and Cornell University.

The contents of the collection date back to the early 1800s and include campus charters, student yearbooks, early campus architectural drawings, and a rich assortment of photographs featuring first presidents, graduating classes, famous alumni and churches, which often served as the first classrooms at several of these institutions.

Your neighborhood can influence the way you exercise

Your neighborhood may have a major influence on how much you exercise, according to a study that looked at data on 8,782 people in 373 Chicago neighborhoods.

The researchers found that people who live in neighborhoods with higher levels of poverty, lower levels of education, and more families headed by women are less likely than others to exercise. But this doesn't mean that poorer people are least likely to exercise, said the researchers, who found that individual income wasn't as important as neighborhood in determining exercise levels.

"We can't encourage people to exercise more without looking at the neighborhood environment in which they live," study co-author Christopher Browning, an associate professor of sociology at Ohio State University, said in a prepared statement. "Some people may have the personal resources and desire to exercise but don't live in a neighborhood in which they feel comfortable to go outside for activities."

Neighborhood-related factors that influenced exercise levels included: amount of trust among neighbors, perceived violence in the community, and beliefs that neighbors help each other. The study also found that neighborhood was more important for women than men in determining exercise levels.

The fact that the neighborhood/exercise connection is stronger in women than in men is another important finding.

"This could help understand why African-American women have much higher obesity rates than other groups," Browning said.

Confederate Flag Is a Symbol of Pride for Some, Terror for Others

CUMBERLAND, Md. -- This city nestled in the gray hills of Western Maryland was once a key railroad hub for the Union Army, beset by Confederate raiders. Today, the rebel flag is again stirring trouble.

A high school principal's recent decision to ban wearing or displaying the Confederate flag, adopted by some white residents as a symbol of their history, has inflamed an already tense debate over racial sensitivity and freedom of speech.

Deana Bryant allowed her 16-year-old son to wear a shirt emblazoned with the flag to school one day last week in open defiance of the ban. Speaking from behind the grocery counter where she works, Bryant said the flag is not about racism.

"It's his heritage," she said, her blue eyes flashing.

The same day, Lakeal Ellis, a nurse, kept her three daughters home from Fort Hill High School. Shaken by the escalating tension, they packed their clothes. The African American family came here a little more than a year ago from the District hoping to find better schools and a quieter life.

The girls were getting good grades at the high school. But after enduring racial slurs and harassment, sometimes at the hands of youths with Confederate flags, the Ellis family decided to give up and return to the District.

At Fort Hill, the racial taunts had been going on throughout the school year, but the problems boiled over after a boy made racist remarks to one of Ellis's daughters in the cafeteria line this month, she said. Her daughter and the boy were suspended after an argument. In response, some students started displaying the flag on their clothes and trucks in solidarity with the boy.

The principal banned the display of the flag, but tensions continued to rise. Police stepped up their presence.

"The flag turned into a weapon," said Allegany County Superintendent Bill AuMiller, who met last week with parents and students who supported wearing the flag.

"They have a First Amendment right to wear it," AuMiller said, but using it to harass and intimidate students "crossed the line." He has asked students who display the flag "to voluntarily refrain until things cool down."

At a time when Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. Barack Obama, an Illinois Democratic candidate for president, has challenged the nation to transcend racial divides, the dispute at Fort Hill High School, named for a small fortification occupied by the Union Army, harks back to the past.

Flag fans often speak of their banner as a reminder of local history, a symbol of rebellion against authority and political correctness, and pride in their rural lifestyle. But one man's symbol of pride is another man's symbol of terror, said Charles Woods, a African American leader in Cumberland.

"You talk about that flag, the ugly side of people will rear its head up," he said. "That flag must be removed from school property."

Misty Copeland makes dance history

Compared to most would-be ballerinas, Misty Copeland came late to the art form. She didn't begin dancing until she was 13. However, only two years after her first lessons at the San Pedro Dance Center, Copeland took first place in the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards.

What Copeland did not anticipate was the emotional stress of being singled out as a role model, combined with the cultural isolation of being the only black dancer in the company.

"It's felt like a long, hard struggle to get here," she says. "It definitely wasn't as easy as it was when I started dancing and things were just happening. Getting into the company kind of opened my eyes. I think I wasn't as aware that I was pretty much always the only African-American girl in my class. It never really caught my eye until I got into the company. It was like, 'Wow, I'm the only African-American woman.' And ever since I joined, I've been the only one. There's not even an African-American guy in the company."

"They've never had a black woman make it past the corps de ballet. So it was kind of scary. I wondered if it could ever happen. It made me think about leaving several times. I've been in the company for seven years now, and I've watched black women come and go, auditioning, that are gorgeous, that don't get in. And you wonder why. And you see dancers in the company that you know are not nearly as good."

Before joining ABT, Copeland says, the question of her race never was that significant to her. But those around her, she said, knew it could be a problem.

"I think a lot of it was maybe kept away from me because I was so young," she says. "I would go away to do these guest scenes with one of my teachers (Charles Maplecq, a former ABT dancer). I remember we went away to South Dakota. He didn't specifically tell me, but I remember overhearing him talking to my mother, saying, 'I'm actually really nervous to bring her here, being a black girl and taking her to this small town to do a lead role.' Looking back on it now, oh my gosh, I never thought of that."

Speaking from the company's New York offices, ABT's artistic director, Kevin McKenzie, admits, "Ballet is a white man's art. It started in the French court. So it's going to take a long time for it to filter into other cultures. But I think the visual cliche of the all-white corps de ballet is crumbling. It's slowly breaking down.

"African-Americans don't have the kind of training that gets them far enough ahead to be dancing at this level by the time they're 17 or 18," he says. "That's something we're trying to address in our education system, to reach way out there and give everybody access to quality training. It's not a question of this being an exclusive club. (ABT has multiple Asian and Hispanic dancers). This is going to take a generation to fix."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Random: Maury gets these girls in check!

I don't know why but I like watching episodes of Maury when he features out of control teens. I know that these girls are not that crazy! Check out this episode where Maury invites an organization called Teen Revolution and youth counselor, Kheperah, to get these girls on the right track. I saw the entire episode and it was really inspirational. All I know is that you guys better not be doing crazy things just for a double cheeseburger like girlfriend on this video!

Random: Cute Shoe Alert!!!

I just wanted to post the cutest shoes I have seen in a long time...This wonderful masterpiece was created by Alexander McQueen and featured in Essence Magazine. They are not even in production but I wish they were. I would wear them fo sho!

Raven's throwing a Pajama Jam!

Multi-talented star Raven-Symoné is inviting her fans all over America to join her as the singer brings her cross-country “Pajama Party” tour to arenas nationwide beginning April 26 in Orlando, FL and continuing for 55 dates through July 13 in Sacramento, CA. Concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early to shows wearing their favorite pajamas for a fun-filled pre-concert slumber party leading up to Raven-Symoné’s performance -- on a stage being designed to replicate her own house. Opening the show will be Raven-Symoné’s fellow Disney star Mitchel Musso, known to fans for his role as Oliver Oken on the smash hit show Hannah Montana. Musso will be performing original hip-hop/R&B songs from his own forthcoming album. In addition, recording artists B5 will perform their hit single Get'cha Head in the Game off the High School Musical soundtrack.

Also, Raven-Symoné has teamed with I Love All Access to provide her fans with an unforgettable VIP ticket package experience at every show including a photo opportunity, backstage tour, party, and the best seats in the house. This special VIP ticket package is available exclusively at Tickets for the tour will go on-sale beginning March 14th.

The tour launches in support of the April 29 release of Raven-Symoné’s self-titled Hollywood Records release, which features some of R&B and hip-hop’s hottest producers including Eric Hudson, Sean Garrett, The J.A.M. and acclaimed songwriting/production team The Clutch. The forthcoming album is led by the Clutch-produced first single, Double Dutch Bus, a cover of the classic early 80’s hip-hop party jam of the same name.

“My message is in this music and everyone associated with the album captured what I'm trying to say,” says Raven-Symoné.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tiffany Evans explains why she's "Grown"

The 15-year old songstress Tiffany Evans speaks out about her new single, “I’m Grown,” featuring Bow Wow, for which she just released a video for....

“So, I see there is a lot of great things being said about the song… and the video and I’ve been getting great feedback, so I’m very happy about that. So, I’m just going to address the negative things that are being said. Some people say : “How can you be 15 and grown?” or I’m sending out the wrong message to young people or people around the world. Well, I’m going to address any and everyone who has a problem with what I feel…

First of all, ‘I’m Grown’ is not about being Fresh or going out and doing things that older people do. It’s not about being able to go to the club, it’s not about disobeying your mother and father, it’s not about being able to pop-lock and drop it all over the place… clearly a lot of you don’t understand what I’m saying so I’m going to explain it in the best way possible for those who don’t get it as fast as others.

When I say I’m grown… I truly am. It’s not an opinion. It’s a fact. I have been through so much in the past 6 years of my life. Nobody knows what I have been through in my life, only those who have been in the struggle with me really know. I have learned a lot about things that I didn’t know when I first started. I have grown spiritually, mentally and physically. God has brought me through so much,through hell and high water and I am blessed enough to have a foundation in my life to help me learn from my mistakes and just to be their through everything good and bad.”

Danity Kane welcomes us to the Dollhouse

Danity Kane's sophomore album is finally out and I must say, I kinda like it! Welcome to the Dollhouse hit stores this past Tuesday.The songs are fun, the lyrics are catchy and these girls can sing! The new album has guest appearances from both Rick Ross and Missy Elliot. Their first video, "Damaged" has also hit MTV and BET. Make sure you catch these girls on Making the Band 4 along with boy band, Day 26.

Lauren London Covers Jewel Magazine

Lauren London brings her glamorous game to the cover of Jewel Magazine.

Looking fantabulous as usual, the up and coming actress and all around "it girl" just finished filming Next Day Air, a dark comedy about a mis-delivered package of drugs, directed by popular video director Benny Boom. The film also stars Donald Faison, Mos Def, and Mike Epps and is scheduled for release this year.

Keke Makes a "Comeback"

Akeelah and The Bee star, Keke Palmer, is currently filming Comeback, a true story about a teen female quarterback (Jasmine Plummer) who leads her team to the National Pop Warner Football Tournament. Ice Cube's Cube Vision is producing and Cube will co-star as Palmer's uncle and coach, a former high school football star. Also onboard as Keke's mother is Tasha Smith, the tell-it-like-it-is best friend in Tyler Perry's hit, Why Did I Get Married?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Jurnee Creates Scholarship Fund

Jurnee Smollett, co-star of “The Great Debaters,” announced her intentions of working with Wiley College officials to establish a $2 million scholarship fund in honor of Henrietta Bell Wells, the woman behind her “Great Debaters” character, and her mother Janet Smollett, a civil rights activist and humanitarian, Saturday evening. Ms. Smollett vowed that the scholarship fund would “put young girls through college” and help diminish the negative stereotypes and images of black women as depicted by the media, which she feels are sensationalized. She also said the scholarship fund could possibly enable more African-American women to envision greater opportunities outside of what’s usually cast to them.

"I'm told I'm a statistic," said Ms. Smollett, in a passionate address to the packed audience in the center. "I'm told that my young black sisters are disease-ridden...but we are greater than what society tells us we are."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Teyana Taylor owns over 100 pairs of Nikes!

She's a new artist and protege of Pharrell. You may remember her from my Super Sweet 16 on MTV. Now she has her first single and video out "Google Me." I must say this is definitely a Shenique girl. And she is definitely a performer. The self taught dancer picked up most of her moves from watching music videos and street performers. But those breathtaking moves don’t come so easy. “I go to the gym from 11 to 2 (at night)” she told Nike reporter Tereza Ohley. “I do the treadmill, weights, and crunches.” Recently, Teyana added ballet training. “I learned new ways to strengthen my body, and picked up on different ways to move.” As for her distinctive style, Teyana’s not a follower. “If I see something that’s hot, I get it,” she explains. She also confesses to having over 100 pairs of Nike shoes.

Meet the Browns in theater's this month!

I am so anxious to see Meet the Browns, the new Tyler Perry movie set to come out on March 21st. We all know that it is another movie based off of one of his many stage plays. The story follows a single mother from Chicago played by Angela Bassett, that struggles to make ends meet. After learning about her father’s passing, she travels to Georgia to meet and bond with a family she never knew she had.

India Arie to star in Broadway revival

Grammy-winning R&B singer-songwriter India.Arie will star in the first Broadway revival of "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf." Often described as a choreopoem, the play presents the stories of seven women of color from the African Diaspora.

1 in 4 teen girls has an STD; Higher among black girls!!

CHICAGO - At least one in four teenage girls nationwide has a sexually transmitted disease, or more than 3 million teens, according to the first study of its kind in this age group.

A virus that causes cervical cancer is by far the most common sexually transmitted infection in teen girls aged 14 to 19, while the highest overall prevalence is among black girls — nearly half the blacks studied had at least one STD. That rate compared with 20 percent among both whites and Mexican-American teens, the study from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

About half of the girls acknowledged ever having sex; among them, the rate was 40 percent. While some teens define sex as only intercourse, other types of intimate behavior including oral sex can spread some infections.

For the rest of the story, go to:

Monday, March 3, 2008

Kid Sister has them Pro Nails!

Kid Sister is a new girl on the block but I think her new song, Pro Nails is hot. I don't know if it is the beat or the genius Kanye West that makes this a hit with me but see it for yourself. Kid Sister is from Chicago and she's biracial. She says that played in a part in her music because she mixes rock, reggae and hip hop in her music. If you don't like her music, you can't be mad at her style. I love the clothes and hair in the video. She does, however, give me a little Kelis vibe though.

Is it that serious?

Twenty-nine New Jersey students punished with two-day detentions after they used pennies to pay for their $2 lunches are getting a pardon.

Readington, N.J., school Superintendent Jorden Schiff informed parents in an e-mail Sunday that he has rescinded the after-school detentions. They will only be restored if parents ask that their children serve them.

Officials say a group of middle school students upset by their shortened lunch period paid for their meals with pennies Thursday. Schiff gave them detentions for slowing down the lunch line and disrespecting cafeteria workers.

In his e-mail, Schiff said the students described their actions as a prank and that news reports inaccurately called it a protest.

Several parents had complained the punishment was too harsh, but though some thought it too lenient.