Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Students Occupy The New School

Last night students began what they call “an occupation” of the New School in New York City, demanding the ouster of university president Bob Kerrey and other school officials and direct student involvement in the school’s governance and investment policies. (more…)

posted by @ 8:19 am | 1 Comment

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Farai Chideya’s News And Notes on NPR Has Been Cancelled

NPR is announcing it has cancelled Farai Chideya’s brilliant African American-themed talk show “News and Notes”. Argh.

Aside from being a good friend and a brilliant journalist, Farai has changed the game for people of color’s media, regularly broadcasting a smart, topical, and witty show on a national level. She was the first hip-hop gen host on NPR. Her show, on the air since 2005, was axed along with “Day To Day”. In all 64 journalists will lose their jobs.

NPR leadership blamed the layoffs on a decline in corporate sponsorships. Ain’t that ironic.

The truth is that NPR has been fickle with younger audiences and audiences of color. Its audience continues to age. The median age is 48.

While NPR has experimented with bringing in a more diverse listenership, it hasn’t shown much willingness to commit. The list of casualties includes Tavis Smiley (News and Notes’ predecessor) and Ed Gordon (Farai’s predecessor at News and Notes), not to mention a long list of young producers and staffers of color.

The only remaining show for African Americans on NPR–never mind Latinos and Asian Americans–will be Michel Martin’s relatively new “Tell Me More”.

Farai and her team will be on the air until March 20th. Whether they will be employed after that depends on you. Jasmyne Cannick has already set up email forms and petition forms to the NPR top brass. Let em know…

posted by @ 8:01 pm | 3 Comments

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

I Am Nixon

Large up T.A. Negro for rocking the hardcore David Frost to my Nixon in one of the best interviews I’ve ever had the opportunity to be a part of. Unfortunately my negotiating skills are suspect–I didn’t get paid anything close to $600,000 for this.

posted by @ 10:43 am | 0 Comments

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Shouldna Lef Ya…

…without a strong post to tempt you.

Sorry for this folks. Let me explain a little bit where I’ve been hiding and let you know what’s in store with this blog, website and me for the new year and beyond.

First off, thanks to all of you readers, longtime and new, for all the love you’ve showered on ya boy this year in the form of emails and comments and shouts. I’ve been one gratified dude, let me tell you. If you see me in the street, I might buy you a drink on GP.

Also I’ve been a little burnt out. Other than in a few moments of inspiration–thank you UCLA APC, Ferentz, Sin Yen, and the hip-hop generation!–I’ve been taking a bit of a break this past month from the daily hourly grind of reporting and blogging.

For now, I’ve stepped back too from the Vibe blog. That was an amazing experience, and a great outlet to push out the stories you don’t get on the front pages of your newspaper or news-aggregator or your favorite comedian’s fake news show. I’m very proud of what me and the Vibe fam accomplished this year.

But now it’s time to regroup for the next few years.

I’m in the midst of starting on a number of other projects, two of which I can talk about now.

Soon–very soon–we’ll be launching a revamp of this website. Yes, it’s finally time. Version 2.0. We want to give you much more access to many of the pieces I’ve been writing over the years–in music, culture, politics, hip-hop history, and much more. The CSWS supercr3w is hard at work. Look for our efforts early in 2009.

The other big thing I can say is that I’ve begun working on a new book entitled Who We Be: The Colorization of America. It’s about how we got from the end of civil rights to Obama’s election.

The Colorization of America is a story about how visionaries–many you may not have ever heard of–forged a new vision for the U.S. against the context of rapidly shifting demographic change. It’s a story about the last three decades in America–and the world–and about how diversity became so mainstream that people could begin to use a strange term, “post-racial”, in a thousand different ways and mean a thousand different things, usually contradictory things.

Working on this book means that I get to think and talk about the visual arts, comics and cartoons, literature, politics, and a million other things that will be fun to think and talk about for the next few years. I’m not going to give away much more than that for now, only that it’s possible the book may be more relevant now than when I began pitching it over year or two ago, and for that reason I want to get it exactly right.

Finally, I was beginning to tell friends in the waning days of the election season that I was done with blogging for good. Good thing I didn’t go Jay-Z or Jordan on myself and announce a retirement. Life will go back to different, slower rhythms and so will this blog. But it won’t go away. There’s too much to be said.

So here’s to the next time the words won’t wait. Hope to see you back here…

Thanks for reading!

posted by @ 5:15 pm | 5 Comments

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