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Hip Hop Commercialized? Buffoonery or something more complicated?

December 7, 2008 Leave a comment

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By Dr. Boyce Watkins

www.BoyceWatkins.com

I am not a huge fan of Lil Wayne.  I don’t hate him, I just don’t love him.  His music doesn’t make me move, but it doesn’t make me sick.  The thing that challenges my ability to love Lil Wayne is the environment within which he is operating.

Lil Wayne can be considered, by some, to be a modern day minstrel show:  gold chains, diamond grills, 10,000 tattoos on parts of his body that have no business being tattooed, you name it.  He engages in the stereotypical rock’n roll/hip hop lifestyle: guns, drugs, alcohol and random women.  I fear for Lil Wayne, because at this pace, he might be dead before he turns 35.  Lil Wayne makes Tupac Shakur  and Eazy E look like conservative school kids.

Lil Wayne impacts the world in which he lives, sells records by the boat load and impacts far more young men than he probably should.  It’s not that he chooses to be a role model, he just is one. But when we see Lil Wayne and express justifiable disdain for his behavior and persona, there is certainly more to be said.

You see, Lil Wayne is a product.   The corporate executives pulling the strings and making the decision to sign deals with Lil Wayne also see him as a product […]

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Your Black Life: Bill Cosby and the Art of Fear – Dr. Boyce Watkins

December 5, 2008 Leave a comment

‘White America needs to understand that it is poisoned to its soul by racism’, and that ‘all too many White Americans are horrified not with the conditions of (Black) life but with the product of these conditions-the (Black person) himself’. In a word, they are not horrified by injustice done to us in New York or New Orleans, in the schools, courts, streets, slums or prisons, but are horrified at the righteous anger we express, and the audacity not just to hope but also to resist injustice and oppression in its various forms.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I recently appeared on an episode of Good Morning America about a judge in Atlanta named Marvin Arrington. The show renewed my skepticism of mainstream media, and helped me remember why I love Bill Cosby so much.

Apparently, Judge Arrington was fed up with seeing one black defendant after another in his courtroom, and surely to the liking of Bill Cosby, Arrington took matters into his own hands. Judge Arrington took the unprecedented step of dismissing all of the white attorneys from his courtroom and holding a private session with the black defendants. […]

When Good Morning America called to ask me what I thought about Arrington’s actions, they spent more time asking me about Bill Cosby than Arrington. […] Apparently, we have not yet created enough episodes of Fat Albert to earn the license of unconditional, single-minded self-righteousness […]

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Dr. Boyce Watkins Smacks Soulja Boy For Slavery Comments

November 6, 2008 Leave a comment

Your Black News: DL Hughley’s CNN Show Gets Angry Black Response

November 6, 2008 1 comment

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Readers from Your Black World expressed their disappointment with the new CNN Show, “DL Hughley Breaks the News”.  Here are some sample letters readers have written to us and you can write a letter of your own by commenting here.

Sample responses from Your Black World readers:

Thank you, thank you, thank you, MY BROTHER! I’m glad somebody let DL HUGHLEY know how dam foolish and disgraceful he looked and made us look. CNN would have never even considered him had they not seen his ability to sell us out! Black people should boycott his dumb a** until he snaps back into his right dam mind. Can’t believe he would even fall for these dirty tactics that the enemy of Black people would attempt in this day and time. Good job reporting on this Bro. Dr. Boyce Watkins. It’s good to know we have freedom fighters like yourself!

Ron McGill

Dr. Watkins, sadly, this is the only way DL Hughley knows to earn a living. It is enough to make one cry. I did not and will not support him by watching his show.

Yvonne A. Newsome

Administrative Assistant

I agree with you assessment of the D L show was tasteless and stereo type of a black America at this very positive time in out lives. For him to depict Obama run for the Office of President to pimp and spinning rims and gold plated grill is as races as any K K K member in these United States. I very disappointed in D L for demean Black America. I also text Tom Joiner about this and his support of D L.

Ken

Hi, I felt exactly the same way about Hughley. It was a demeaning slap in the face for every Black American. I was totally ashamed!! I will not be watching his show anymore either. Once was far more than my stomach would tolerate. How Sad!

Dell Robinson

South Carolina

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Your Black Sports: Dr Boyce Watkins Speaks On NCAA Racism

September 21, 2008 Leave a comment

FYI: We have a coalition of activists, scholars, athletes, students, coaches, attorneys and parents who are working to address the NCAA and what some perceive to be an exploitation of the Black community due to the fact that the families of college athletes are not being compensated. Revenues for college sports are in the billions, many coaches sign contracts worth $2 – $4M dollars per year, and the NCAA is in direct competition with the NFL, NBA and other professional sports leagues. All the while, half of all Black basketball and football players come from families in dire poverty, and the NCAA has been allowed to implement Draconian legislation to control the options of these players to keep their families from having access to the revenue pool. I’ve seen players earn $20 million for their school by carrying the team to the Final Four, while simultaneously watching their mother get evicted, or a sibling get murdered in a housing project.

As educators, many of you are aware of the fact that these students do not always receive the education they deserve. Many academic institutions make the educational mission secondary to the primary objective of getting players on the court/field so they can make money for the campus. Myles Brand, the NCAA President, understands this hypocrisy, which is why he has never responded when CNN and other media have asked him to publicly debate myself or anyone else on this issue…

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Your Black Life: FOX News Host Sean Hannity Abuses Guest — Has History

September 13, 2008 Leave a comment

Strangely, FOX News’ postal boy, Sean Hannity, has a detailed history of abusing his guests — especially those who don’t see the world through the narrow keyhole with which he analyzes reality. The radio/television host, who has rarely used his bully-pulpit for the good of society, shows why a college degree goes a long way in preventing mental decrepitude. Watch as he screams-down his guest, Robert Kuttner, on the pitiful FOX “News” show, Hannity & Colmes:

Also, check out a 2007 interview with Dr. Boyce Watkins, in which the same arrogant disposition of Hannity is displayed:

Your Black Sports: The Express Path to Racial Equality

September 12, 2008 Leave a comment

The Express Path to Racial Equality

By Dr. Boyce Watkins

www.BoyceWatkins.com

“The Express” is a new film featuring the great Ernie Davis, one of the most amazing college athletes in American History and the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy. He was also a football player for Syracuse University, the campus on which I teach.

I watched the trailer for the film with pride, feeling good about this man and what he accomplished. I saw all the ads, the banners around campus, the website pictures and other excitement as the city prepared for the film’s premiere. I then had a couple of thoughts.

First, I thought about the residual impact of historical racism. Most of the time, when liberal universities talk about racism, the context is one in which racism is something that happened “back then”, and “we are all better now”. The conversation is one of (relatively justifiable) celebration for just how far our nation has come in the fight for social justice.

What is most ironic about this analysis is that it forgets one important fact: the past is not something that existed once and then disappeared. The past is all around us. The present and past CANNOT be disconnected because the present is created by the past, and the past consistently manifests itself in the social infrastructure of our institutions. For example, in the days of Ernie Davis (not that long ago), African Americans were rarely allowed onto my campus (along with many others) and were certainly not allowed to be part of the decision-making bodies of these campuses. This led to a skewed inter-generational transfer of power that reflects itself in the vast degree of (in Georgetown University scholar Christopher Metzler’s words) “academic imperialism” that we see today. If you take a tour of most campuses, you see that there are few Black faces on the faculty, almost none of them tenured…

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