Howard University Homecoming Celebrity Basketball Game 2009 Recap

I attended the 2nd Annual Howard University Basketball Game and was pleased to say that it was a wonderful addition to the HU Homecoming events. The event was originally introduced to the HU lineup of events by last years vice coordinator Brett Williams. This year his vision expanded and I was excited to be there to capture the moment.

The sponsors of this years event was New Era Cap, Cricket Wireless, and WKYS' Angie Ange was the Host, who is also a Howard Alum.

The coordinator of this years game was Charles Bell.

Some of the players included:

Pooch Hall from "The Game" who took a little time to tell us, "I've always wanted to get to HU, but I never had the financial blessing," and that he is working on his new show "Accidentally on Purpose" on CBC.

Midget Mac

Lance Gross "House of Payne"


The team celebrity coaches:

Essence Akins "Half and Half"
Melyssa Ford

The game was interesting, and the coordinator forced the crowd to be interactive as he included a performance by Omarian, dunk contest, and a free throw contest, where the winner received tickets to the Trey Songz concert from WKYS.

The best part of the game, was when $200 was rewarded to a student from Bruce Monroe Middle School for being the winner of an Essay contest, sponsored by the celebrity basketball game.

Not only was this game a "ball" of fun, but it touched my heart to see HU helping the youth Keep Up!

I encourage everyone to attend the game next year...

-Keep Up!


COSTCO Lil Monkey Doll Remains in Stores...

John Taylor and his wife Donna, who live in North Carolina , in August went in to a COSTCO in Greensboro and could not believe what they saw for sale. As the photos show, the baby doll is being hugged by a monkey and the doll has a cap on its head that says " lil'monkey"! The couple complained and COSTCO immediately pulled the dolls from it's shelves and discontinued the product.

However, the doll is still on sale in Winston and likely in other locations. If you see the doll and are offended, you may call the following number: 800-774-2678

Is this a case of Black's being too sensitive or should the product be removed?


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(Tyra Banks Top Model)

Six people have been charged in connection to the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl on a northern California high school campus. I see that the police are making progress in this case, and according to a recent report released by the White House, supposedly the stimulus plan has made some progress with jobs. The largest stimulus program in the nation's history has created or saved at least 650,000 state and local jobs. I am glad to see the stimulus plan is doing some good. "Golden Girls" star Bea Arthur's has passed away, but is still doing good. The actress, who died in April, included a $300,000 donation to New York's Ali Forney Center, an organization supporting homeless LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) youth.

The battle over health care reform reached another milestone Thursday as top House Democrats unveiled the health care bill. Speaking of bills, President Obama on Wednesday signed a law that makes it a federal crime to assault an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. I am glad that bill has been signed, and glad that this project in this next story can begin. Construction can finally begin on the long-delayed Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial slated for the National Mall after the National Park Service issued building permits Thursday for the project.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is electing a new president, and for the third time in the organization's history, a member of the King family could lead the civil rights group, as Rev. Bernice King becomes one of the top finalist for the job. This should create a lot of press for the organization, if nothing else. Who knew that "America's Next Top Model" would create such a stir? Tyra Banks turned her remaining 6 models bi-racial for a shoot, and has people asking why does she think blackface is okay? More on good news, Mary J. Blige opens up her new center, FFAWN (Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now), which will soon become a haven for women and young girls, offering them different programs for education, life skills, self-empowerment and much more if Blige has her way. Congrats Mary!

Keep Up!


Quote of the Day...

"You have to grab moments when they happen. I like to improvise and ad lib." -Denzel Washington


Howard University Homecoming Step Show 2009 Recap

Most of you got a live blog about the Howard University Step Show via my Tweets on Twitter, but for those of you who didn' goes a recap of all of the teams and their shows.

The name of this years step show was: Stepping Through Time...

The host of the show was Terrance from BET's 106 & Park, who for a second turned the show into a segment of just that. If it wasn't for the hundreds of Greeks surrounding the stage, judges up top, and steppers in the back, you would have thought it was the Terrence show.

1st up: Phi Beta Sigma

They had a 1980s theme. They were dressed in white sweaters and blue pants. Their gold chains, and a few guys with wigs, really added to their theme. The best part of the show was the music break, bringing back memories of my fav songs in the 80s and 90s. Congrats to the Sigma's for placing 2nd!

There was a break in the show, and Terrance took time to introduce the judges and Columbus Short, who was the guest judge.

2nd: Sigma Gamma Rho

They had a "West Side Story" theme. This was not a HU chapter, and it was really hard to hear their performance. They left me yearning for the HU team to appear out of nowhere and take the stage. (Who would have thought I would wish that?)

3rd: Iota Phi Theta

They had a Jazz and Blues theme. They went far with their theme, making sure to incorporate real instruments. Despite the musical breaks, I have seen better Iota shows.

4th: Zeta Phi Beta

They had a Black Panther Theme. Their leather jackets were a nice touch, and the hats made it complete. Their 60s/70s slide show opened up their show with a bang. Congrats to the Zeta's for placing 2nd for the girls.

There was another break in the show, where Terrance & Co-host played 90s sitcom themes.

Lance Gross, from House of Payne, took a moment to say hello to his Howard University family.

5th: Kappa Alpha Psi

They had a nerd theme. In their opening video they showed all of the other frats being threatened by the Kappa's, and so they put a spell on them to become nerds. The show started off interesting, but throughout the show they dropped their canes. When your entire stepping career is based on canes, dropping them is a no no.

6th: Delta Sigma Theta

They had a "Red Magic" theme. The show was a disappointment, especially since Alpha Chapter Delta's usually go so hard. The part the crowd did enjoy was when they did a tribute to the Kappa's...doing a few impressive stunts.

7th: Alpha Phi Alpha

The North Carolina A&T Chapter performed. They had a "Coming to America" theme. They had a video where they mocked the opening scene in the actual movie...the Royal Penis scene. They also had "dancer girls" come up and do a little routine before the Alpha's hit the stage.

8th: Alpha Kappa Alpha

They had the 20s, and had a "crazy asylum" theme going on. They wore pink suits, signature for their team. They opened the show with a scary movie, a tower stunt, and did a costume change.

9th: Omega Psi Phi

They had the 90s, and had a "Million Man March" theme going on. They wore all black military gear, with bullets going across their chest. The Que's surprised the audience with an actual theme because they were use to the usual "yard" show the Que's put on. The best part about the Que show was their stunt where they tossed two of their team members.

The winners of this year Homecoming Step Show were:

Alpha Kappa Alpha and Alpha Phi Alpha.

Congrats to all of the teams for wonderful shows. As a past stepper, I understand the time and energy it takes to put on a show during an HU step show. Congrats to the winners...and may next year be bigger and better.

-Keep Up!


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(photo taken from )

President Barack Obama honored fallen soldiers at Dover Air Force Base this week, a week where 18 Americans were killed. My heart goes out to the fallen soldiers. This is a sad moment for the U.S., but will Pelosi bring a smile to the faces of some Americans across the country? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is prepared to unveil a retooled health care overhaul plan next week, intended to bridge differences among Democrats and open a history-making floor debate on extending health insurance to nearly all Americans. The next story has less debating and more shooting. Abdullah, a leader of a radical U.S. Sunni Islam group, was killed Wednesday at a warehouse in Dearborn, where agents were attempting to arrest him on charges that included conspiracy to sell stolen goods and illegal possession and sale of firearms; he also repeatedly told followers that the government was the enemy and they must be willing to take on the FBI.

The friend of the gang rape victim speaks out against her school, saying that they didn't do enough to protect her school or her friend. She said that people had seen about 15 guys hanging around the school, but no one bothered to check their ids. This was a crazy situation, and call the economy crazy, it is finally on a rise. The U.S. economy grew at a 3.5% annual rate in the third quarter. More good news; US President Barack Obama paid tribute on Wednesday to fellow political trailblazer Edward Brooke, who in 1966 became the first African-American elected to the Senate by popular vote.

A Maryland chapter of the NAACP is drawing criticism for selecting Rev. Wright to speak at the awards dinner, because of all of the controversy during President Barack Obama's campaign. Speaking of controversy, in light of a recent publication that strongly indicates that slaves helped to built the University of Maryland, College Park, without any type of acknowledgement, some Black students have called for President C. Dan Mote, to issue a formal apology for the institution's use of slave labor. I wonder if they will issue an official apology? Well, rapper Shyne has officially been deported to to Belize, after recently being released from Prison. I wish Shyne luck in whatever he does. Oprah gave Cookie Johnson, Magics wife, all the luck she needs. Oprah has discovered a new brand of premium denim that champions the curvacious -- Cj by Cookie Johnson jeans. I think I will go get me a pair.

-Keep Up!


Quote of the Day...

“I don't wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone." -Michael Jackson


Michael Jackson's "This Is It"...and That Was It!

Last night I went to see the opening of "Michael Jackson's This Is It", and left more impressed with MJ than I was before I saw the movie. Who would have thought that someones rehearsals could be better than most artist in a live concert. This man took perfection to a whole new level, and forced those around him to reach their highest potential. In the movie he showed us how much he was involved in his music and dance moves, never allowing anyone complete control over his show. This movie showed us that indeed Michael Jackson was preparing for a show that would leave his fans saying, "This is it".

The most exciting part about seeing this movie, was seeing MJ at the age of 50 and more on point than his 20-year-old counterparts. I was impressed on how in shape he was and how he never missed a beat. It was also interesting hearing how he got his shows to the level of perfection we expected as fans. My favorite line was when someone said it's almost there, and he responded "Get it there". He also said that he wanted the song played like he wrote it. MJ didn't take bullshit and let it be known when it was. I loved him more and more as the movie went on.

Anyone that sees this movie, and doesn't leave inspired, I am not sure if you can be inspired by anything. MJ showed us innovative set designs, stunts that haven't been used before, new dance moves, and still gave us the MJ that we use to love. MJ has inspired my new theme for 2010...Just be Great! Go see this movie now.


Racist Anti-Obama Picture

The Republican National Committee came under fire after a user posted a photo of President Barack Obama eating fried chicken with the slogan: "Miscegenation Is a CRIME against American values... Repeal Loving v. Virginia.

The photo was taken down....but when will this be not acceptable? I have a feeling people are just going to start calling us niggers again...then will we say something?

The Huffington Post points out a few more incidents:

E-mail has been a recurring Achilles heel. In February, the mayor of Los Alamitos, Calif., sent around an image of the White House surrounded by watermelons; he was forced to resign. The leader of a San Bernadino County, Calif., Republican women's club resigned last fall when the club circulated a similar photo, with then-candidate Obama surrounded by fried chicken, watermelon and ribs. The web also spread word of two South Carolina Republicans' reference to a stereotype about Jews.

Someone is going to make me smack them...and I'm serious.

Do these photos of Obama bother you?


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Quote of the Day...

"I have to go 150 percent or nothing at all" -Patti LaBelle


How to be happy like the Danes!

Here are a few ways that you can become a happier a person... taken from the people of Denmark who were rated the happiest people in the world.

1. Eat right! Limit the amount of fatty foods you eat, and make sure you maintain a healthy balanced diet.

2. Surround yourself with your friends and family on a regular basis.

3. Exercise on a regular

4. Focus more on family time than work.

5. Keep a clean home....(I mean they keep their homes spotless)

6. Have nice things, but shopping and consuming should not be a top priority.

7. Choose a career based on interest not pay

8. Belong to some type of social club

Here is how the governement helps them:

In Denmark they get:

1. Free Healthcare
2. Free Education- and get paid a stipend to go to school.
3. The Government pays up to 90% of your salary for four years if you become unemployed.
4. They trust their government...

The most shocking thing about the Danes:

1. They pay up to 50% to 60% of their income to taxes, but they don't mind because they say they see many benefits.

2. In Denmark, you can see trust in action all around you. Vegetable stands run on the honor system, mothers leave babies unattended in strollers outside cafés, and most bicycles are left unlocked.

3. Perhaps the bicycle is the best symbol of Danish happiness. Danes can all afford cars, but they choose bikes.

The Danes look at life in a different way than we do in the states. They believe that it is their responsibility to take care of their people. They pride themselves off of taking special care of the elderly and the sick. They believe everyone should be healthy and educated. They focus on less material things, and more on their family. It seems to me that they spend more time enjoying life, than chasing money. The U.S. appears so selfish compared to this place. We need to Keep Up! I hope you can take some of their tips and apply it to your life. I hope the government finally wakes up.

How do you feel about how the people of Denmark live?

How would you feel about paying 50% of your income to taxes?

-Keep Up!


Six-Year-Old Seeks Help From the Obama Girls...

(photo taken from here )

It is amazing when Malia and Sasha can become role models for the youth. I remember looking at childhood stars and using them as an example in so many ways. It is great that our youth now can look up to girls that are not just playing a television character. Although, no child is focused on being a role model at their age, I think it is a wonderful opportunity for the country to be able to watch these girls grow up and become successful. Who knows, there could be a child who is inspired to succeed just because of Malia and Sasha.

It is stories like this that bring me to tears as I imagine myself in her place. Recently, a six year old girl wrote a letter to Malia and Sasha, with the help of her dad, asking them if they could ask their daddy to help her and her dad.

"Hi Malia and Sasha," Bianca Perez wrote in her letter to President Obama's 11- and eight-year-old girls. "Two years ago, I lost my mommy. She was killed by a bad man in front of me. ...

"I'm writing this letter to see if you can ask your daddy to help me and my daddy," Bianca wrote in pencil above a drawing of Obama and his girls.

Bianca watched her mother get shot in the back by her then boyfriend. She now lives with her father who is struggling to keep a roof on their head. He also doesn't have insurance to pay for Bianca to go to her therapist or dentist. Bianca needs both badly...she says she still has nightmares about her mom being shot.

This hurts my soul, as I wonder if Bianca could end up on the streets. I can't imagine being six, seeing my mom shot, and then ending up in a homeless shelter. It is a lot for Malia and Sasha to handle, but I hope this wakes up our government when it comes to simple things as health care and government support. I wish it was something that I could do to help this little girl.

Do you think Malia and Sasha serve as role models to the youth?

Do you think stories like this will push the health care bill to be passed?


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Police believe as many as a dozen people watched a 15-year-old girl get beaten and gang-raped outside Richmond High School homecoming dance without reporting it. Speaking of dance, there is a new trend hitting the party scene. Nightclubs like Club Bounce are creating clubs that cater to "Big" people, where the majority of the girls are reaching 250 to 300 pounds. Seems to me that the club is going to bring in a lot of money. Tavis Smiley didn't seem to be bringing in enough money for Texas Southern University. As a result, they dropped his name from the School of Communication. He was suppose to donate $1 million and raise $1 million. While they were taking Tavis Smiley's honor, Bill Cosby was being honored. At the 12th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Bill Cosby was awarded the nations top comedy prize. Congrats Bill; you deserve it!

-Keep Up!


Quote of the Day...

"Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway." -- Steven Coallier


Keeping Up with Black Sitcoms...

Today, we are going to have a little bit of fun. We are going to take it back to the days when we use to have quality black television shows and see if you were a true fan of these shows. During a time where there are little or no black shows on television that have useful messages and depictions for our people, it is important to remember those television shows of the past. We also should start putting more pressure on the networks to bring shows like this back; show them how necessary they really are. When a large percentage of our youth watch television...why let "Reality" become their entertainment?

Name of the game: Name that theme song...Go down the list and identify which black shows theme song each of the lyrics come from.

1. "If we focus on our goals. If you dish it we can take it, Just remember you've been told"

2. "Wit' mah home gurl standin' to mah left and mah right True blue, we tight like glue"

3. "Fish don't fry in the kitchen;Beans don't burn on the grill."

4. "You can do what you wanna do"

5. "Well, I whistled for a cab, and when it came near,The license plate said fresh and it had dice in the mirror."

6. "Temporary lay offs"

7. "Love and tradition of the grand design, Some people say it’s even harder to find."

Put your answers under the comment section. Also, feel free to put some lyrics up for me to guess.

-Keeping Up also means having fun! :)


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(First black woman author front runner in France's Top Literary Prize)

Hwang Woo-suk, cloning expert, who falsely claimed major breakthroughs in stem cell research was convicted Monday for embezzling research funds and illegally buying human eggs for his research, but he will not serve time in prison. It looks like this next guy won't serve time or be able to pay all the people back that he stole money from. Jeffry Picower, accused of profiting more than $7 billion from the investment schemes of his longtime friend Bernard Madoff, was found dead at the bottom of his pool. This next story had a scheme in it that caused some major reactions. A fictitious article that claimed President Barack Obama slammed the Constitution in his college thesis had conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh fooled into thinking it was the real thing, and reported it on his show. But after he found out it was fake, he did not apologize to the president.

President Obama has declared a national emergency to deal with the "rapid increase in illness" from the H1N1 influenza virus. Speaking of emergency, it sure was one in the next story. Six people, scientists and students at Harvard, fell ill on Aug. 26 after consuming a potentially lethal chemical that was present in their coffee, and investigators are trying to determine if they were intentionally poisoned. I guess investigators will need to determine if race is an issue in this next case. Students from Washington University say a Chicago, Illinois, nightclub barred six African-American members from their senior class trip celebration while admitting nearly 200 white classmates.

French-Senegalese writer Marie NDiaye, is the first black woman writer to be a front runner France's top literary prize; it will be announced next week. What a great accomplishment, and I am sure there are a lot of accomplished people in this next story. The National Black MBA Association holds a regional conference in Cleveland.

-Keep Up!


Quotes of the Day...

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." -Bill Cosby

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." -Bill Cosby


written by Thameka Nicole

Imagine this scene: You arrive at a foreign place; a place where hardly anyone—your peers, your elders, your teachers or administrators—looks like, thinks like or dresses like you. Yet, somehow, you are not only supposed to survive in this place; no, you are expected to thrive in this place, because most likely your parents, your brothers, and sisters, and quite possibly your extended family have all sacrificed in order to make sure that you—the quintessential "chosen one"—could be here. You are at Yale University, "Ivy Heaven," in the early to mid 1960’s and you are, simply put, black, negro, African American…

This past weekend, October 16th through the 18th, 2009, hundreds of former and current Black "Yalies" gathered in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the African American Cultural House at Yale. Fondly called the "House" by the over two generations of Yale students and scholars, who have been privileged to call this place their cliché "home away from home," the cultural center, was established forty years ago by a group of students who recognized the urgent need for a safe space for black students; a place that would allow students of color to not only survive, but to thrive in the foreign place in which they found themselves; a place that would ensure the continued renewal of black faces and black life at a formerly all white, all male institution—the demographics of a not-so-distant past.

The founders, all of whom are deceased, were Glen DeChabert, ’70, Armstead Robinson ’68, and my beloved godfather, Donald Ogilvie, ’68. For me, personally, Yale and the "House" hold such great significance, not only because my godfather loved the place dearly, and cared about it enough to dedicate his time and energy in order to make sure that it was a home away from home for future generations of black students such as myself, but also because my mother and father, Yale College classes of ’77 and ’72, respectively, met there and were also nurtured by the AFAM House and BSAY (the Black Student Alliance at Yale). For that reason, this weekend was especially meaningful for me and for my family, but this weekend was much larger than me, much larger than my folks, or even Ogilvie, Armstead, or DeChabert; for, as I stated at the beginning, hundreds of black Yale alumni and current students all gathered together in celebration of the House’s 40th birthday.

Aptly titled "A Movement and an Institution: Charting A Course For the Next Generation of Black Yalies," this weekend was not simply about reflection, remembrance, catching up with old friends, wine and cocktails, and fun times. While all of those things colored various parts of the weekend’s activities, as the title suggests, the weekend was largely about looking forward—looking forward to the next 40 years of African American cultural life at Yale, the next 100 years, 200, looking infinitely into the future and presence of beautiful black faces and black bodies, and most importantly, brilliant black minds at the Ivy League school.

The only full day of the celebratory weekend, Saturday, was largely occupied by workshops and roundtables in which students and alumni partook in discussions and conversations on a variety of issues, ranging from "The Black Church, Sexual Identity and Gay Marriage," to "The Practice of Medicine and Healthcare in Black Communities." In addition to these participatory roundtable discussions, alumni and students were also encouraged to attend a host of lectures that were graciously given by current Yale professors, particularly professors in the African American Studies Department, another institution at Yale that my godfather and the fellow founders fought hard to obtain and secure.

By all accounts, the roundtable discussions and conversations, as well as the Professor led lectures were not only interesting, but informative, collaborative and highly successful. Dean Pamela George, the current Director of the AFAM House, arranged for current Yale students to act as scribes and take notes at each of the sessions, fulfilling the promise of "charting a course." The notes from the sessions can be accessed by both alumni and students, and who knows what their future use may be…perhaps someone will take it upon themselves to use the notes to begin new research, or perhaps start a new course at the University…the possibilities are really quite endless.

Although there were activities on Sunday morning, including a traditional Black Church at Yale session, the weekend largely concluded Saturday evening with a Gala Dinner at the Omni Hotel at Yale. Lani Guinier ’74 JD provided the Keynote speech in which she discussed society’s collective responsibility for the overwhelming number of young black men who are imprisoned, and she stressed our responsibility to stem this alarming trend for fear that our complacency with the notion that "some black men are dangers," is a slippery slope to the one that "all black people are dangerous," and she used the recently controversial arrest of her colleague and fellow Yalie, Henry Louis (Skip) Gates, Jr. as a striking example.

Stemming from Guinier’s speech ,and what was arguably the main takeaway from the whole weekend is the idea that although some of us, especially those in attendance at this weekend’s celebration, and those of us who have been fortunate enough to attain higher education, may be successful black people who are "keeping up," that there are many more of us who, for one reason or another, are not. Yale, the "House" and the Black Student Alliance at Yale," as well as many other resources and institutions have definitely and definitively helped and shaped the lives of all Black Yalies, past and present, and all black people who are "keeping up"; now it is our responsibility, especially as young black people, to be metaphorical "the House," and to be the literal "Alliance," that will nurture and cultivate future generations of successful, black people. To do anything less, would essentially be "criminal" making us no better off than our shackled brethren…let us all rejoice in our collective successes and victories, but let us all not forget how hard it was to get there and the many who’ve been left behind…


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The Obama administration plans to order the seven companies that received the most assistance during the government bailouts last year to cut their annual salaries of their 25 highest paid executives by an average of 90 percent from last year. The number of people being effected with the Swine Flu virus has rose dramatically in the past week; vaccine is in short supply, but experts say it is still wise to get a shot when one is available. It looks like the amount of crimes Madoff did is slowly rising also. A new lawsuit alleges that convicted swindler Bernie Madoff financed a cocaine-fueled work environment and a "culture of sexual deviance." I am glad he is behind bars, and these next criminals need to be behind bars. In a small town, a Mexican immigrant died after being beaten up by a group of white teens. A central issue in the case is race, and the case put focus on the rise in the number of crimes against Latinos.

Semion Mogilevich is believed to be more powerful than John Gotti. The FBI says Mogilevich, a Russian mobster, has been involved in arms trafficking, prostitution, extortion and murder for hire, and recently was accused of taking U.S., Canadian investors for $150 million. I bet FBI has been on this guy for years, and I wonder how long it will take to find this next guy. Arizona police are looking for an Iraqi man who they allege ran down his daughter and her friend because he believed his daughter had become "too Westernized." That is a sad story, but this next one might have computer users smiling. Microsoft will launch Windows 7 on October 22. Microsoft is clearly prepared to launch, but many are wondering if the government is preparing to extend unemployment benefits pass the allotted time. As the Senate debates whether to extend unemployment benefits, more than 200,000 jobless Americans are set to see their checks stop in October.

A recent report reveals the Secret Service is strained by a drastic increase in threats to President Obama, coupled with deep budget cuts. Well, they better make something happen, just like Ford is making it happen for HBCU's. Ford Launches 'Drive One For Your HBCU' Initiative. Ford, in partnership with the Tom Joyner Foundation, will challenge students, alumni, faculty and friends to conduct test drives at local dealerships to support their alma mater. Each validated test drive will result in a $25 donation to the Tom Joyner Foundation up to $250,000. While Ford will be pushing these test drives, Huntington Beach activists will be pushing something else. Huntington Beach activists are pushing to remove one of Maya Angelou's most famous books from school libraries. They say "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" includes material that's not appropriate for children, like a scene from a book that depicts the rape of an 8-year-old girl. Will this famous book be removed from school libraries? Well, legendary rap group Run-DMC are planning to bring their story to Broadway!

-Keep Up!


Quotes of the Day...

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." -Oprah Winfrey

"I don't think you ever stop giving. I really don't. I think it's an on-going process. And it's not just about being able to write a check. It's being able to touch somebody's life." -Oprah Winfrey


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(Apple has made a wireless mouse and keyboard. Photo taken from

Two Republican county officials in South Carolina have apologized after they disparaged Jews in a newspapers in support of a fiscally conservative U.S. senator, stating, "There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves." I guess watching dollars won't ever be said again, but last night people got to watch something spectacular. The Orionid meteor shower put on an amazing show for sky watchers overnight and into this morning; something that happens when Earth passes though the trails of debris left years ago by Halley's Comet. This may have been amazing to see, but this next story was something no one cared to see. A passenger train crashed into another trains rear carriage reserved for women and disabled passengers, killing 21 people and injuring 17 who remained trapped for hours Wednesday near the Taj Mahal in northern India. This is shocking, and to some what the Catholic church has decided could be as shocking. The Vatican's epochal decision to welcome thousands of disaffected Anglicans and Episcopalians into the Catholic church, would increase the number of married priest.

Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for Treasury's financial sector rescue, wrote there are a lot of hidden cost in the $700 billion bailout that will ultimately cost taxpayers billions of dollars, and the government stands to lose much more than the money it's pouring into companies. Apple had to have put out a lot of money for this new computer line. Apple revamped its desktop and laptop lines, redesigning the iMac all-in-one and MacBook laptop, and also adding a few updates to its Mac Mini line of small-scale desktops. It also introduced a multitouch mouse bringing the most thorough changes. I am wondering when this next law was introduced. Heather Ellis, a black college honors student in Missouri, is facing 15 years in prison for cutting the line at Walmart. Ellis and her cousin were searching for the shortest line, so they split up. When her cousin found the shorter line, she joined him. That's when things went awry. A manager and security guard got involved and ultimately, the police were called. Could this be a racial matter? This next case clearly is. Lufkin Industries Inc has a lawsuit against them, with claims that the 107-year-old company for years discriminated against its black employees, assigning them to the worst jobs and repeatedly denying them promotions.

-Keep Up!


Quotes of the Day...

Today's Quotes are from filmmaker Spike Lee...

"It comes down to this: black people were stripped of our identities when we were brought here, and it's been a quest since then to define who we are."

"There's an unwritten law that you cannot have a Jewish character in a film who isn't 100 percent perfect, or you're labeled anti-Semitic."

"I think people who have faults are a lot more interesting than people who are perfect."

"A lot of times, we censor ourselves before the censor even gets there."


Recently, Mildred Muhammad, ex-wife of the D.C. Sniper, finally spoke out to Essence Magazine on her feelings of her ex-husbands 2002 killing spree. The part of the interview that stood out to me was the following:

ESSENCE.COM: You knew John could kill, but never thought he was the D.C. sniper. When did you realize the man you once loved was a murderer?

MILDRED MUHAMMAD: John was totally different and was no longer affectionate when he got back from the Gulf War. After he kidnapped our children and I got them back, I knew he was going to eventually find and kill me. But I never thought he would kill innocent people. I moved from Washington state to the D.C. area to get away from him and didn't tell anyone. So when the D.C. community was told to look for a box car and two Caucasians, I was on the lookout for both them and John. Even one of his friends called the sniper task force to let them know it could be John trying to kill me. It wasn't until the authorities said they were going to name my ex-husband as the sniper did I realize he was killing innocent people to cover up my upcoming murder.

It was shocking that a man would go as far as killing innocent people just to kill his ex-wife. It reminded me of all of the abusive relationships going on in this world, and how most people let it get as far as murder because of fear. I am sure it would be much easier for people if they were able to recognize signs earlier on in their relationships before there becomes physical damage or any long term attachment that could prevent someone from leaving. Below are a few signs that you could be in an abusive relationship:

1. Partner becomes jealous over your family, friends, and co-workers
2. Partner tries to isolate you from others
3. Partner is controlling-controls finances, the car, and activities
4. Verbal abuse- calls you names "stupid" "bitch"
5. Partner's mood switches from aggressive and abusive to apologetic and loving after the abuse
6. Disrespects women in general. Shows no respect for females close to him or in the street
7. Has a history of abusing women
8. Partner constantly checks up on you by calling, driving by, or getting someone else to
9. Partner hits walls, drives dangerously, or does other things to scare you
10. Partner drinks and uses drugs often
11. Partner goes through your personal items
12. Partner threatens to kill you or himself if you leave
13. Partner acts one way in front of other people and another way when you are alone

These signs go for male and female partners. Women might not be able to hurt you with a punch, but that doesn't mean there are not other options to hurt you. Everyone please pay attention to signs, protect yourself and those around you.

Click here to read more of what Mildred had to say...

-Keep Up!


Keeping Up Daily...Top Stories to Help Us Keep Up

Bringing you the morning news...the fastest way to Keep Up!

(Snipers Ex-Wife speaks out. Photo taken from

Looks like there is going to be a runoff election in Afghanistan. The election commission has ordered the runoff for Nov. 7 after fraud investigations had been done. Looks like the U.S. has been doing an investigation of their own. Prosecutors say that a scientist who has been credited with helping to discover evidence of water on the moon, has been caught trying to sell classified secrets to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence agent. Well, the secrets of the final hours before the death of former football player Steve McNair have been revealed. It looks like Sahel Kazemi, who was also found dead, sent a series of text messages to McNair talking about how she was stressed about her finances. She went further to say that she really needed to see McNair and to leave his condo door open for her. The last text message from him said, "it's open." The bodies were found hours later.

When the recession is hitting hard, some expenses just have to go, but what will these states do in this case? A recent study shows that death penalty costs can average $10M more per year per state than life terms. Eleven state legislatures have considered repealing the death penalty this year. I don't agree with the death penalty anyway, and I hope that every state gets rid of it. I guess this next guy was hoping that he would never get caught for the crime he committed. In what Australian officials are calling a first in their country, and possibly in the world, police used DNA extracted from a leech that bit Peter Alec Cannon eight years ago to convict him of robbing an elderly woman. Speaking of years ago, director Roman Polanski, who fled the U.S. years ago after accepting plea deal after having sex with a 13 year old girl, was refused bail by a Swiss court, saying he poses a high flight risk. Polanski is trying to get out of serving time, but this one man seeks posthumous pardon for the time he served. The White house has refused to indicate whether President Obama would issue the Pardon for Jack Johnson, the African-American boxing champion convicted in 1913 for dating a white woman. The House of Representatives on July 29 unanimously passed a resolution urging Obama to grant a pardon.

-Keep Up!


Socialite on the Scene...Harlem's Fashion Row

(The Socialite and Project Runway's Epperson)

The Socialite hit the scene last Thursday when I hit the rainy streets of Harlem to attend Harlem's Fasion Row "collections S/S 2010." As I entered the Gatehouse, I was surrounded by Harlem's fashion community who did not disappoint with their own styles and fashions that could have have been put on the runway if given the opportunity. It was amazing to see such high fashioned individuals join together to see top designers in the Harlem community.

I arrived to my seat where I was greeted by a Sephora gift bag stuffed with hair and skin products to sample. For most girls, that is one of the most exciting parts of a fashion show, if the gift bag is proven worthy. Like always, we set waiting for the show to begin longer than the actual show would last, and hoped it would be worth the wait.

The show would feature three talented designers- Dinna Soliman, Lialia and Jose Duran. The show would close with a special presentation from Epperson, a Harlem native and accomplished designer. Lialia opened up the show, a line that combines the work of two designers Julia and Natalia Alarcon. As the models came down the runway, they showed off a spring 2010 line of designs that put a modern spin to classic looks. The line included a lot of jumpers and pleated dresses.

Dinna Soliman was next, where most of her pieces resembled your everyday evening wear, like the little black dress. Dinna is known for utilizing a blend of tecnical elements, fused with feminine silhouettes. Jose Duran hit the runway next, where he stood out, as he presented men's wear for the upscale male. He caught the eyes of the audience when his models hit the runway with white powder and huge braids on their heads. The designer is known for being influenced by his cultural roots. Epperson, who is currently featured on Lifetime's Project Runway season 6, closed the show with a bang. His collection was fit for the runway, but could easily be worn right out of the venue after the show. His collection was filled with all white dresses, and even men's skirts.

The best thing about all of their shows, was the natural looks of their models. All of them used tradtional African American hairstyles, and really captured the unique features of people of color. The show ended with a presentation dedicated to Mr. Stephen Burrows, a fashion icon. He was the first African American fashion designer to achieve international acclaim. "When you think of black fashion, you think of him." "He stole the show. Best music and models." He was a great way to close such a wonderful tradition of displaying Harlem fashion.

To find out more about each designer:

Until next time....Keep Up!


Quote of the Day...

“Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like.” -Will Smith


Young and Keeping Up: Kyle O'Connor "Graphic Designer"

Interviewed and written by Catherine C. Powell

Name: Kyle O'Connor

Age: 24

Industry: Media - Graphic Design and Photography

Location: Columbia, MD

College: Marymount University

I am "Keeping Up" because: I love doing what I'm doing. I love creating new types of media, and marketing other people and businesses. It allows me to stay up on trends and what's going on in society.

What I actually do: I am co-owner of KO Classic Productions. KO Classic Productions is a full service graphic design and photography firm. We have our own studio and staff. I also do some graphic design. We do business cards, posters, flyer's, calendars, and marketing kits. As for photography, we do fashion shows, family portraits and reunions, weddings, corporate events, and commercial photo session. If there's anything you can put text or pictures to, or take a picture of, we do it. I own the business along with my father who mostly handles the photography side.

On working with his father: Being in business with my father has been a great experience. My dad is my role model and he motivates me constantly! Whether we agree or disagree on a certain project, we always come together and give it our all! He also has taught me many different ins and outs of the industry from his 20+ years of experience in advertising. I also want to credit my mother for motivating us both to push through our tough times. She owned one of the first black owned coffee shops in DC.

I look up to: I look up to my friend Anwaa Kong, a young entrepreneur in Washington, D.C. He is very down-to-earth, not at all arrogant or cocky, but he is also assertive. He knows what he wants and is not scared to go get it. He's always doing something; he's very determined. He's never negative.

My first job was: When I was 16, I worked at a sports camp as counselor for the summer. It was cool playing with the kids, and showing them different ways to do positive and constructive things.

My first job out of college was: I worked at Nordstrom as a sales associate in women's shoes.

My best quality is (work): I am very energetic and I love interacting with people. Also, at KOCP one thing we always make sure to do is to keep the client involved.

My best quality is (personal life): I am a loyal person/friend. I am a good listener. I try to pick people up when they're down, and I try to stay optimistic.

My worst quality is: My impatience. Sometimes I want to get where I'm going in a hurry, but you have to be patient no matter what the situation is. If I could, I'd work on my company 24 hours a day so that I can get to where I want to be.

People might be surprised to know: It would surprise people that I am outgoing. People think that I am very quiet. I am quiet, but if you get to know me, I am a very joking and a lighthearted person. I love to have fun!

When did you know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur: When I was 18 or 19 I was working for KB Toys and I hated my manger. I knew then that I did not want to work for anybody. I hate taking orders.

The best thing about what I do: I create my own hours, work when I want to work, and travel when I want to travel. I get the satisfaction of knowing that people enjoy my work.

Quote: "There is no elevator to success, you must take the stairs." There is no quick way to success, you have to take your time and be patient. Do things the right way and things will come to you.

What advice do you have for people trying to "Keep Up" in your industry: To people in my industry I say "go for it!' Do your research. Find ways to get where you have to go. You do not need a lot of money to start a business; you need a solid plan. There are small business loans and other resources that people do not tap into because they do not know about them. Have courage, especially if you are young; you only live once. You can always fall back on something else. Find someone who has done what you want to do, see how they became successful and follow their path, but remember to put your own spin on things. Always keep your end goal in mind; if you want a nice house, keep that in mind and then figure out the path to get there. There is always someone who is struggling worse; look outside of this country to see that you can do so many things because we're a democracy.

On working with a partner: Anytime you are in business you will experience pitfalls. Having a partner can be reassuring at times because we both brainstorm ways of getting through tough times. It can be a struggle sometimes, but overall its great to have someone with you on the journey to success!

When partnering in business consider: For those planning to go into business with another person(s), you MUST be on the same page in terms of your end goal and where you see the company going. A partnership is like a marriage; you have to endure through great times and poor times! Another critical factor is communication. You must communicate constantly in order for operations to run smoothly. Overall, having a partner can be a great asset, but it also can be a hindering factor if everyone does not carry their own weight and communicate!

Contact Kyle and check out his work at Kyle also designs graphic t-shirts, check them out here:


Keeping Up Daily...Top Stories to Help Us Keep Up

Bringing you the morning news...the fastest way to Keep Up!

(UConn Cornerback Jasper Howard taken from

Robert Thomas, an associate of the father accused of carrying out the now-infamous balloon boy ordeal to promote a reality TV show, is being brought in for questioning after emails surfaced showing the two had discussed a similar stunt months later. Everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame, but this one could cost them to pay a large fine or possibly jail time. With a new policy being unveiled by Feds, a lot of people may be off the hook and exempt from jail time. In the new policy Federal drug agents won't pursue pot-smoking patients or their suppliers in states that allow medical marijuana, but will go after people whose marijuana distribution goes beyond what is permitted under state law. Marijuana laws isn't the only thing that the Obama administration is addressing. Obama advisers say FOX News isn't really news, and is more of the communications arms of the Republican party. FOX News executive responds with excusing the White House of continuing to "declare war on a news organization" rather than focusing on issues such as jobs and health care.

Three runners die in the 32nd Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon, all collapsing at different times. Autopsies are planned for Monday. This next death is tragic also. UConn Cornerback Jasper Howard was stabbed to death after a sponsored dance on campus, with investigators saying a fight broke out shortly after the dance ended. I hate waking up to so many deaths, but 7 people were killed in a Puerto Rican shooting outside of a bar that could be drug related. Amongst the 7 killed, people were also wounded, such as a 9 year old girl, and woman who lost 8-month-old fetus. In this next story a third person has died in a sauna like "sweatbox" retreat, after spending hours in this hot structure, while participating in program led by guru James Arthur Ray. Police are conducting a homicide investigation. That is shocking, but so will health care cost be in 2010. Starting in 2010, your employer is making sure that you share the burden of cost when it comes to paying for your health care; that could mean higher employee contributions and/or higher deductibles.

The Rev. Al Sharpton is planning to sue Rush Limbaugh for writing that the civil rights leader played a role in two New York race riots. Limbaugh wrote that Sharpton played "a leading role in the 1991 Crown Heights riot" and the "1995 Freddie's Fashion Mart riot." While Sharpton is mixed up in a legal case, Bill Cosby is apparently mixing up a CD. "Bill Cosby Presents the Cosnarati: State of Emergency" is a socially conscious hip-hop CD that focuses on the critical issues affecting young people. The independent project will launch Monday October 19th. Basketball player Carmelo Anthony appears to have a project of his own. Carmelo Anthony recently launched a new Web site,, which will apparently provide an inside look into his life off the court.

-Keep Up!


Friday's Top Ways to Keep Up


1. Look forward to the release of Michael Jackson's new album that will be released on October 28, 2009. For now check out his pre-released track on

2. Drake ft. Birdman- More Milli


Stockings with shorts has caught my eye this fall and I think I'm loving it! Try jean shorts with colorful stockings or all black.


"The Life & Loves of Mr. Jiveass Nigger" by Cecil Brown

Check out the book review


Released Week of Oct 12:

The Killing Room
Death Bell
Where the Wild Things Are
The Stepfather
New York, I love You
Law Abiding Citizen
Janky Promoters
Black Dynamite
The Ministers
The Maid
The Little Traitor
All the Best: Fun Begins


A new vaccine for swine flu has been released. People in their 20s are said to be the one's that can be most affected by the swine flu. I encourage you to do research on the new vaccine and please schedule an appointment to talk to your doctor to see if they recommend you take the shot.


Recent reports have shown that social networks have provided an open door for spammers, criminals, and companies to see into your life and obtain your personal information. Here are a few tips to prevent you from becoming a victim of privacy invasion.

1. Be careful of the pictures that you are posting.
2. When writing, make sure you go in with the mindset that everything you write is permanent. (Even if you delete it)
3. Do not put phone numbers or your address up on these websites.
4. No social network should ask for your social security number
5. Watch closely who is following and requesting to become your friend.
6. Use the networks for fun and networking, watch how much personal information you share with the public.


If you are ever in New York, hands down you need to visit Fatty Crab, Malaysian inspired cuisine. Visit to find out more information about this restaurant.


Honesty is most important in a relationship. The scary thing is, that everything that goes on in the dark, comes to light. I rather get it out in the beginning, than later on. You can clear yourself by telling the truth. If they get mad then, it is better than them getting mad at you for not only what you did, but the fact that you lied. Who wants to get in double the trouble? I know this is easier said than done...but try it! Also, it is so stressful on a relationship once someone starts lying, because then trust issues begin.


Looking for freelance writing or blog jobs? Here is a good place to look. Online Writing Jobs. Com

Staying Happy!:

This weekend try calling up a few family members that you haven't talked to in awhile. This will not only make them smile, but it will make you feel good about keeping in touch with your family members.

Have a great weekend and make sure you stay Keeping Up!

Don't forget about the current COVERGIRL contest going on.

Don't forget to vote to help me land an amazing blogging gig!


Quotes of the Day...

"I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear." -Rosa Parks

"Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again." -Rosa Parks


'Why do people hate you?' kid asks Obama.

On Thursday, in New Orleans, President Obama was asked a question by a little boy. The boy asked, "I have to say, why people hate you and, and why, they supposed to love you and - God is love." I have to admit, when I first saw the clip I thought people would react in a way that would cause them to really look at themselves, and see if they had been promoting hatred that our youth might be picking up in a negative way. I thought that maybe people would realize that criticizing the president is one thing, but "racist" actions are a little too far.

Ha! I guess I thought I had woke up in fantasy land for a second. I was on and of course the negative comments continued...

Before I get into the comments made by the readers of, let me say that the President's response to the question was well stated . Here is what Obama had to say:

"When you're President of the United States … you've got to deal with all of that," said Obama. "That's exactly right. And, you know, you get some of the credit when things go good, and when things are going tough then, you know, you're going to get some of the blame. And that's part of the job."

I would have to agree with Obama! I also think that is was important that Obama responded like that so that the kid could understand that no one will go through life without being criticized, especially when you get into the work force. People are looking for certain results, and when they are not getting them, they get angry. A lot of the attacks on Obama come from a lack of results, which he may or may not have control over.

The problem is, that those are not the only attacks that Obama is receiving. No matter how much this country wants to stand up and deny that racism is behind a lot of the attacks, even our youth can see it. There has been hate signs, Hitler signs, witch doctor signs...all extremes for someone not being satisfied with the job market. Come on....we went so long with only a white male president, you want me to believe that everyone in the United States is cool with the fact that we finally have a black one? Doubt it!

The issue I see with the boys question, is that it shows that our youth are unfamiliar with racism and that it is a taught behavior. I shake my head in disappointment as I am convinced that all of this negativity that we are presenting in the media is going to be taught to our youth. Kids see things as they are, and never look for a deeper meaning. What we are showing them is something beyond simple disappointment with the job market and health care. That kids comment should cause people to wake up. Criticism is one thing, hate posters is another. This goes beyond President Obama, and should apply to every President to come.

Take a look at some of the comments on

"The kid couldn't even ask the question with proper grammar? Where was the kid asking....Hey Mr. President, when will my house be rebuilt from Katrina, and when will my daddy get 1 of those 3 million new jobs you promised last year? Tell Gibbs & Emmannuel to work on better 'publicity plants.'"

"It wasn't bad enough when the kids had to memorize songs in praise of our leader. Now they're asked to memorize questions meant to portray the President as a victim. This is the worst kind of theater. This whole "hate" thing is beyond ridiculous. Every President is open to criticism. To characterize everyone who questions the President's agenda as a hater is juvenile. It's similar to the singling out of Fox news earlier this week. When you take on the most controversial agendas of any President in the last 60 years, you are going to be criticized. Comes with the territory. Stop playing victim and get over it already."

"All of the hate that gets spewed will continue to affect our children, they can read, listen to the radio and watch tv.If people thought that they would'nt be affected here is proof that they need to turn down the bs."

"Do you think he'd admit to the kid that some people "hate him" because he is a socialist and race-baiter who is destroying the fabric of what makes the United States great? Some people "hate him" because he is the leader of the country he hates and has to apologize for wherever he goes. Some people "hate him" because he is going to outspend Bush's entire 8 years of deficit spending in only 2 1/2 years. Obama has a reason to be hated. He's a terrible president. The only person who should love him is Jimmy Carter as Obama will take over his "worst president in history" title."

It's unfortunate that so many whites are blind to their racism. Criticizing Obama's policies is fair game. Equating him with Hitler, the ceaseless lies regarding his birthplace and his positions, and the horrifying and unequaled threats to his life are testament to the racism of too many whites. They are every bit as terrorist as Al Queda and the Taliban.

What do you think about the comment the little boy made? What do you think about some of the comments of the readers of


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