Saturday, January 31, 2009

Your Black World: Barack Obama's Brother Arrested in Kenya

George Obama, the half-brother of U.S. President Barack Obama, has been arrested by Kenyan police on a charge of possession of marijuana, police said Saturday.

George Obama was arrested in Kenya on a charge for possession of marijuana, according to police.

George Obama was arrested in Kenya on a charge for possession of marijuana, according to police.

Inspector Augustine Mutembei, the officer in charge, said Obama was arrested on charges of possession of cannabis, known in Kenya as Bhang, and resisting arrest. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday, Mutembei said.

He is being held at Huruma police post in the capital of Nairobi.

Speaking from behind bars, Obama denied the allegations.

"They took me from my home," he said, "I don't know why they are charging me."

George Obama and the president barely know each other, though they have met. George Obama was one of the president's few close relatives who did not go to the inauguration in Washington last week.

In his memoir, "Dreams from My Father," Barack Obama describes meeting George as a "painful affair." Barack Obama's trip to Kenya meant meeting family he had never known.

Don't Miss

McKenzie tracked down George Obama in August and found him at a small house in Huruma, a Nairobi slum, where he lives with his mother's extended family. His birth certificate shows that he is Barack Obama's half-brother.

The two men share a Kenyan father. In the memoir, Barack Obama struggles to reconcile with his father after he left him and his mother when he was just a child.

Barack Obama Sr. died in a car accident when George was just 6 months old. Like his half-brother, George hardly knew his father.


Click to read.

Black Women Taking Over: Serena Williams Wins Another Major

Serena Williams routed Dinara Safina 6-0, 6-3 Saturday to win the Australian Open for her 10th Grand Slam title and a return to the No. 1 ranking.

It was total domination for the second-seeded Williams, who moved fluidly on the court and looked at ease in winning back-to-back majors, including the U.S. Open title in September.

"I absolutely, clearly, love playing here," the 27-year-old Williams said. "You guys root for me so much. I don't get that everywhere. So thank you so much."

Williams becomes only the seventh woman with double-digit Grand Slam singles titles. She leads all active players and broke a tie with two greats of the game -- 2009 Hall of Fame inductee Monica Seles and Maureen Connolly -- who each won nine majors.

Justine Henin was the last to win back-to-back major singles titles, at the 2003 U.S. Open and 2004 Australian Open.

Williams' near-perfect performance was in sharp contrast to No. 3 Safina, who was tight from the start. Later apologizing to the crowd for her performance, Safina said Williams was just too good, leaving her feeling like a ballboy.

Click to read.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dr. Boyce Watkins Speaks on “Obama-mania”

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By Dr. Boyce Watkins

During my recent trip to New York, I was stunned after watching US Airways passengers standing on the icy wings of an airplane floating on the Hudson River. It was only after looking at my cancelled ticket that I realized I was scheduled to fly out of the same city, in the same airport, with the same airline on the same day, at the same time as the people on that flight. They were going to Charlotte and I wasn’t, but that’s still too close for comfort.

In spite of invitations I have to speak and live in big cities, I stay isolated here in Syracuse so I can search for my personal perception of truth within the deepest components of my heart. I seek ideology that is disconnected from hype, politics, financial compensation or other tools used for the tainting of souls and manipulation of minds. I chose not to go to the inauguration and I’ve rarely watched television, all because I wanted to figure out how I feel about recent events without allowing CNN or anyone else to tell me how I should feel.

This morning I watched a Black man….a real brother, Barack Obama, stand and take the oath as President of the United States. When I endorsed Barack long before he appeared to ever have a chance of winning, it was honestly just wishful thinking. I supported the campaigns of Barack, Jesse and Al, mainly because I never believed Bill Clinton to be (as some called him) the First Black President. I also saw something in Barack’s eyes and mannerisms that made me trust him. My “brother radar” gave security clearance, and I knew that only a real Black man would marry an amazing woman like Michelle Obama (the woman I came closest to marrying is actually a beautiful attorney who reminds me of Michelle). I also saw something in Obama’s poise and intelligence that made me believe that he would be good for our nation. My only concern was that I was not sure if a nation willing to elect incompetent men like George Bush would have the vision necessary to choose the best man or woman for the job.

I don’t do media appearances on Fox News anymore mainly because I was disappointed by their attacks on Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright. I was even more upset with Bill O’Reilly’s statements about having a “lynching party” against Michelle Obama, and the light-hearted death threats made by Fox News Analyst Liz Trotter, who stated that she would “take (Obama) out if she could”. I love Barack Obama, and I was inspired by his ability to make the impossible possible. Like all of us, I was happy to sacrifice to help get him into the White House.

But while I support Barack Obama, I never let myself get into Obama-mania.

While I felt the need to show up and vote, I never chose to “Barack the Vote”.

My position has always been simple: Falling in love with a politician can be a very dangerous thing, and I simply wasn’t going to do it.

Like Barack Obama, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was another President who took over our country during a tough economic time. When Black leaders met with Roosevelt to discuss their justifiable indignation over Civil Rights abuses throughout the nation, Roosevelt simply told them, “I agree with you and I want to do it. Now go out and make me do it.”

The interpretation of Roosevelt’s words is that after the celebrations are over and we’ve come back to reality, we must be sure to do what is necessary to effectively utilize this opportunity. Barack Obama is a good man, I know this from speaking to my contacts on the South Side of Chicago. But we must work hard to ensure that Barack THE MAN aligns squarely and firmly with Barack THE POLITICIAN. We must always be aware of the difference between BARACK OBAMA and the OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

BARACK OBAMA believes that public schools should get all the funding they need and that education is critically important.

The OBAMA ADMINISTRATION knows that children don’t vote or pay taxes.

BARACK OBAMA knows that 30 – 40% Black male unemployment is an economic tragedy.

The OBAMA ADMINISTRATION knows that being too closely aligned with issues effecting Black men is neither politically productive nor popular in a country that still doesn’t like Black people all that much, especially if they are poor.

BARACK OBAMA knows that, in spite of having a Black President, institutionalized racism in wealth and income levels, health care disparities and other areas will take at least another 100 years to eradicate. He is also intelligent enough to know that reparations are long overdue.

The OBAMA ADMINISTRATION knows that talking about racism using the same language as the United Nations (who states clearly that America continues to maintain a two-tiered society) is something that many Americans simply do not want to hear.

So, as we live in the bliss of “Obama-mania”, please consider this:

The dictionary defines “mania” as “A severe medical condition characterized by elevated moods, energy, unusual thought patterns and sometimes psychosis. Some symptoms are fixation, madness, compulsion, craving, craze, delirium, dementia, derangement, disorder, fad, fancy, fascination, fetish, insanity, lunacy and obsession.”

Like bottles of strong liquor, mania feels good. However, it should only be temporary. You also need designated drivers to keep the political house party under control and get everyone back home safely. Those who remain “high” and detached from reality are easy targets for emotionally void and disturbingly rational political administrations. Any good politician with constituents living in the midst of mania logically understands that there is very little work to do. No one campaigns in the regions they already control.

So, as Roosevelt explained in the example above, we can best show our love for President Obama by being politically intelligent, diligently resourceful, well-organized and focused on the issues. Political engines like the Obama Administration only understand those with the power to churn those engines. The easiest trick in the world is to make us think that racism is over because we have a Black President. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University. He does regular commentary in national media, including CNN, BET, ESPN and CBS. For more information, please visit

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tips for a Great New Year from Lawrence Watkins of Great Black Speakers Bureau

By: Lawrence Watkins

Pareto and Parkinson: Old Laws for a New Year

The 2009 year is underway it it’s shaping up to be a great one. I’ve talked to many of my friends and I’ve heard THOUSANDS (Ok. I’m exaggerating) of New Year’s resolutions. Everything from losing 20 pounds, to being in bed by a certain time, to making straight A’s on their transcripts, to finding satisfying careers, to not eating meat, to etc… What is more surprising than this, is that a couple of people that I talked to have more than 10 resolutions.  You may be wondering, “Lawrence, what are your  New Year’s resolutions?” Is it to lose weight? (I have gained more than a  couple of pounds since undergrad) Nope. Is it to make all A’s in school? Not this time.

My resolution is something much simpler, yet it is one of the most powerful forces known to human productivity. It is to implement Pareto’s Law and Parkinson’s Law into all facets of my life. Surely I need more goals than this to have a successful year, right? No, because of this ONE goal, I will have a MORE successful 2009 compared to any other year in my life!

Pareto’s Law states that a minority of causes, inputs, or efforts usually lead to a majority of the results, outputs, or rewards. Parkinson’s Law states that a task will swell up in perceived importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion. The Law’s are inverses of each other and when taken together, can drastically make you happier and more productive. This is a good time to give thanks to my friend Tim Ferris, author of “The 4-Hour Workweek.” I don’t actually know Tim, but I feel a Bromance going on between us since I’ve read his book 7 times. No other business book has influenced me as much as 4HWW and this is where I first learned of Pareto and Parkinson.

Pareto’s Law and my Life

Vilfredo Pareto was a controversial economist who lived from 1848 to 1943. He was an engineer by training and started his career managing coal mines. He later took a position at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and explored the income distribution of 19th century England. He found that 80 percent of the wealth in England was controlled by 20% of the population. When Pareto started to explore this phenomenon more, he noticed that this pattern of imbalance was repeated consistently whenever he looked at data referring to different time periods and different countries.

The critical thing is not to look at the specific 80/20 relationship, but to focus on the main concept. There is an inherent level of imbalance between inputs and outputs. I experienced this phenomena many times throughout my time as head honcho of Great Black Speakers Bureau, a company dedicated to spreading African American thought to the masses. I remember the early days in January of 2007 when I was working to elevate the company off of the ground. I would put in 10-12 hour days/6 days per week personally building the website, making sales calls, emailing potential clients, getting contracts signed, mailing thank you cards, and pretty much anything else you could think of for a starting entrepreneur. Even though the company was growing at an extremely fast rate, I was always exhausted at the end of the day.

Then a life changing event happened in my life. The Lord blessed me with a scholarship to earn my MBA at Cornell University. After a couple of weeks of pure elation, reality started to sink in that I REALLY won’t be able to run my company and go to school at the same time. By this time, we had grown by about 900% since we started the company the year before. The problem is that much of this growth was directly related to my personal inputs. How on earth was Great Black Speakers going to grow, or even maintain, if I wasn’t there to run it? True, I wrote a good B.S. answer to this question in my business school applications, but now I HAD to come up with real solutions.

I now had to do some soul searching and heavy prioritizing. There was NO WAY that I would leave my baby GBS to dwindle and die. Over the course of two days, I turned off all communication with the world and I spent hours of laying out and analyzing every facet of GBS with a single question in mind that I learned from Mr. Ferris. What inputs in GBS generated the majority of the outputs?  After the analysis, I wasn’t very happy with myself and I noticed major ineffectiveness in my process. I then made an vital decision to revive my company; I would go through a business liposuction process and cut off the fat that would cause GBS to die in the transition.

The first thing that I did was to start searching for a new director of GBS. I was looking for a highly organized person who was excellent at selling. I found both of these traits and more in my friend Diana, who I’ve known for many years since my childhood in Louisville, KY. In fact, Diana is an improvement over me in both of these areas. The next thing that I did was to look at the mundane, but essential tasks that consumed most of my time. Some of these tasks included makings cold calls, working on the website, writing thank you letters, filling out contracts. One by one, I started outsourcing these tasks to other companies that specialize in one or more of these areas. It was actually much less expensive than I thought it was going to be. In my next article, I will talk more about outsourcing your life.

The results have been outstanding in the 8 months since I started this process. I have increased my personal income by 250%, while decreasing my GBS workload from 55 – 70 hours per week down to 8 - 10 hours/week. Furthermore, most of the gains have happened AFTER I started business school. From this situation, I learned a couple of lessons:

1. You don’t have to work like crazy to generate sufficient income for yourself.

2. If you surround yourself with the right people and implement the right process, you can accomplish a lot with very little.

Parkinson’s Law

As stated earlier, Parkinson’s Law states that a task will swell in importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.  There are two major truisms that I’ve learned that accompany this law:

1. Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.

2. Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.

The definition of true productivity is simple: Productivity is doing activities that get you closer to your goals. Unproductivity is doing activities that keep you stagnant or take you further away from your goals.

Many people suffer from a common form of laziness: it is called busyness, which is also a disease. This disease is so prevalent that it has brainwashed people to believe that business = busyness. A paradigm shift occurred in my life for me to know that this isn’t true. Working 9 – 5 is an archaic way of doing business. It’s funny how ALL jobs in America take the exact same amount of time to complete. It’s funny because it isn’t true.

Time Compression

Time compression is an important fundamental to manipulate Parkinson’s Law. The law isn’t inherently a good or bad thing, it is just what it is. Parkinson’s Law is similar to fire. Fire can be good when you are cooking, but it would be a terrible thing if your house burns up in flames.  Time compression to complete tasks is harnessing the Parkinson’s Law power to help productivity. What I do is think about an aggressive timeline for a task and then I cut that time by a ½ or 1/3. THAT is my deadline. By doing this, I am forced to focus on the bare essentials ( 20% inputs) of a task and avoid the minutiae  that often clutters projects. Time compression has been one of the hardest concepts to implement into my life and one in which I fail to implement often. But when I do, the results of my improvements are amazing.


Taking these two concepts together gives you one simple rule: Focus on the essentials of a task and work like crazy to get those tasks done as quick as possible. However, just because this rule is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. People often interchange the words difficult and complex. These two words are NOT synonyms of each other. I struggle every day to avoid the laziness of business, and I often fail. I fail less when I ask one simple question: Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important? If I am, I immediately take self corrective measures to put me back on track.


I would like return to my opening statement on why this is my ONLY New Year’s resolution. The reason is that it would be contradictory for me to have 13 New Year’s resolutions and try to implement Pareto and Parkinson at the same time in my life. If I set my resolution as implementing The Law’s, other goals will follow as all encompassing improvements. I’m not against setting many goals for oneself; the exact opposite is true as I have many different personal and business goals. However, the point of The Law’s is to simplify and streamline life as much as possible, which is what I want to do for 2009. As Bruce Le once wrote, “One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not the daily increase, but the daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.” So with that, Happy and Fulfilled New Year’s!!!!


Lawrence Watkins is the founder of The Great Black Speakers Bureau and an MBA student at Cornell University.  For more information, please visit

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Black People: Smart is the New Gangsta

by Charlamagne Tha God

Intelligence is the new gangsta. In fact, intelligence is the old
gangsta but it's the new gangsta to this generation because we have
been dumbed down for so long that we either forgot, never knew or just didn't
acknowledge being intelligent was the most gangsta way to be to begin
with. 2009 is going to be the year of the righteous and the year of the
thinker. 2009 begins an era where knowledge truly does reign supreme
over almost everyone. (Word to KRS) in fact 09 is a divine year. If you are
familiar with Supreme Mathematics then you know that nine is born. You are
born once physically then you are born again mentally when you learn
the true and proper knowledge of yourself. For example Malcolm Little
was born physically May 19, 1925 but was reborn mentally some where
between 1945 and 1952. This is when he was incarcerated and introduced
to the Nation of Islam when he learned the true and proper knowledge
of himself. He was mentally reborn El Hajj Malik Shabazz commonly known
as Malcolm X.

I'm not saying that in 2009 everyone is going to convert to
Islam and change their name but what I am saying is that nine symbolizes
the highest level of change. Change is the basis of growth.Growth is
the basis of life and if you are not constantly growing then you are dying. I
say that all the time because I want people to really grasp that concept
of thinking. The energy of change is all around us right now. Do
you think it's a coincidence that Barack Obama's whole campaign was
based on change? Is it just random he is called the "Agent of Change"?
Hell no that's divine. God designed it that way. His administration
starts this year and if you voted for him you are part of his government.
I voted for the first time ever last year. That alone is the direct
reflection of the growth that change delivers but it doesn't stop

We have to continue the growth process. The way we do that is by educating ourselves.
We have to be the bright, articulate, scholars gangstas and gentlemen that we where born to be. Education is sexy! Being smart is the shit! I know that last line wasn't the most eloquent way of putting it but I made my point to the people I was trying to reach.
That is the beauty of hip hop and it's the exact reason that hip hop has been the most influential voice among the youth for the past three decades. It speaks right to us, in our lanquage in our voice.

The problem with hip hop today is most artists are not in tune with what is really going on out here in these streets. Some of them are too busy playing stupid to realize things are changing. People are growing and not trying to hear that murder, murder, gangbanging, drug selling, drug using, I will shoot everybody on your block twice, money is all I glorify bullshit they been kicking anymore. People are trying to be educated and informed not misguided and misled. Salute to all the rappers that encouraged the youth to vote last year. That sounded real cute at all the award shows, on 106 & Park and in in your interviews in XXL and Ozone but how many of you artist have really taken the time to educate yourselves on government? Obama is the president elect but the problems in our society didn't magically disappear when he won. We have to continue to encourage the youth to educate themselves on what's going on in these streets as well as government before they get discouraged.

They're going to start to wonder why Obama is in the white house but people still keep getting killed in our communites. Obama is in the White House but mama still complaining about money because of this thing called the recession. Educate the babies people add gas to the spark that has been lit in these young peoples minds. My TV stays on news and sports channels. These television executives wonder why shows like Real Chance of Love are suffering in ratings? You know why, because that demographic you thought was in to this mindless nonsense is in to Obama now. They are trying to figure out ways to work for their community not work for Diddy. 50 Cent's show Money and the Power got cancelled by MTV. Why? Declining viewership among 12-34 year olds. MTV wants to revamp their image. Brian Graden, President of Entertainment at MTV Network's music channels and President of logo says, "Our shows are going to focus less on loud and silly hooks and more on young people proving themselves." These are themes that are consistent with the Obama generation. Wow even MTV realizes change has come, even MTV realizes intelligence is the new gangsta.

Rappers, Radio Personalities, bloggers and anyone with a voice, we don't have to dumb down for our audiences. People want to be educated! Intelligence is the new gangsta. Dave Chappelle and the Boondocks are perfect examples of how you can educate and entertain. Killer Mike and Ice Cube are perfect examples of real gangsta rap. Why? Cause Saying fuck another rapper is easy but saying fuck George Bush takes balls. There is nothing wrong with worldstarhiphop and but your mental diet can not just consist of the bullshit content that's on those sites. Sure its entertaining to watch Max B clown Jim Jones for the 1000th time, and I love to see Tony Yayo talk shit about everybody but I love being enlightned more. Go to and read Minister Farrakhan's True Role of Government. In it he says Education is not a privelage, education is a human right. It is knowledge that seperates the human from the beast, therefore, the best possible education should be given by government and guaranteed by government. Otherwise the government is not guaranteeing the unalienable right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I say not only demand it from our government but demand it from ourselves. If you are not in school or college go to the library! Self education is like masterbation! I don't need to pay anybody to fuck me! The library got all the knowledge I need for free. Better yet I can google what it is I'm trying to learn about. Intelligence is the new gangsta.

Remember that old cartoon that showed the brother with the gun and his pants hanging off his ass and the bandana around his mouth and everybody was laughing at him? Doesn't that remind you of your favorite rapper? Well in the same cartoon it showed a brother in a graduation cap and gown with a degree in his hand and everybody was running and screaming scared to death. You know why because intelligence has always been gangsta! My little cousin is in 9th grade he's all caught up in SWAG. He says, "I got SWAG." "Check out my SWAG." I tried to explain to him that SWAG is corny and it is just away for a man to call another man sexy, but then I realized I have to speak to him in his language. That is when I let him know that SWAG means to Study, Work, and Graduate. Study hard and get that education that is your human right because you are a citizen of the US. Work hard, get a job, or a internship while your'e in school; get your hands dirty now so you can keep them clean later by being the boss. And for Christ sake please graduate!!! Take that jewel with you all through high school and college little homie. For those not in school SWAG means to Study, Work, and Grow! Study learn everything you can about God, government, life and business. Work hard at making your community a better place to live, work hard at raising your seeds the right way and getting your family straight, and don't be afraid to grow and become the kings and queens that we are destined to be. That is S.W.A.G!! Not skinny jeans, colorful sneakers, lip peircings and all that other bullshit Lil Wayne got going on.

Intelligence is the old Gangsta, Smart is the Old Sexy and 2009 is the rebirth of the thinker, don't be afraid to express your unique brilliance, and God given genius.This is the era that Knowledge will reign supreme over nearly everyone. Happy New Year America.

Charlamagne Tha God
Shadyville Dj's
I Bust Stupid Dope Moves!