Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No Sex in the Dorm With Your Roommate Present

A new policy at Tufts University prohibits students in dorms from having sex while their roommate is in the room, according to the university's 2009-2010 student handbook.

A school spokeswoman says students have expressed concerns over roommate having sex in the dorms.

A school spokeswoman says students have expressed concerns over roommate having sex in the dorms.

The Massachusetts university's formal rule also bars so-called "sexiling" -- exiling a roommate from the room so the other roommate can engage in sexual activity.

The new policy "is really about consideration and respect for others and the need for students to be mindful of their roommates' need for privacy, study and sleep," university spokeswoman Kim Thurler told CNN.

She said while she did not have an exact number of complaints from students about their roommates' behavior, "over the last few years, the Office of Residential Life and Learning received approximately a dozen expressions of concern about this issue."

Callie Morton, a freshman at Tufts, told CNN affiliate WHDH-TV, "If someone is going to go and have sex while their roommate is in the room, I mean I think that's kind of gross. I think it's kind of funny that they would have to make a rule about it." Video Watch Tufts students talk about policy »

Click to read

CNN Footage: The Beating Death of Derrion Albert

This video shows CNN footage of the beating of Chicago Teenager Derrion Albert.

YouTube's Greatest Hits

Watch this video of YouTube's Greatest Hits!

Dr Boyce Watkins and Al Sharpton Discuss Ebony Magazine and Black Politics

Dr Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Sharpton wonder if Ebony Magazine can survive with new ownership.

Warren Ballentine and Dr. Boyce Watkins on Obama's Facebook Threat 092809

Dr Boyce watkins and Warren Ballentine discuss the Facebook death threats to President Barack Obama

Dr. Elaina George Speaks on Swine Flu Vaccine

Dr. Elaina George, a prominent physician in Atlanta, asks whether or not it makes sense for every American to take the Swine Flu Vaccine.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dr Boyce: Company Sells “Sippin Syrup” in stores – What?

by Dr Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

You've probably heard the phrase "sippin syrup," used in reference to the act of mixing cough syrup, codeine, and soda together to create a relaxed feeling within the person who consumes the beverage. The "drank" has become quite popular, particularly in the south, as rappers have done their jobs of giving free promotion to an illegal product that has managed to make teenagers even less productive than many of them already are.
It was only a matter of time before corporate America stepped in to make money off the trend. Meet the new drink on store shelves: Sippin Syrup. The drink doesn't use any illegal products, but produces the same "lean" effect that many young people seek from the cough syrup product on the street. Harmless enough, right? Not so fast.
Officers in the Houston area are concerned that the product sold on store shelves is nothing more than a gateway to an incredibly dangerous and addictive drug. The snazzy ad campaign fully leverages the power of the brand of "purple stuff" being sold on the streets already. Teenagers who can't get the real stuff would likely be enticed by the substitute until the door is open for the actual product.

Click to read more.


If the above link does not work, please click here to see Dr Boyce articles on AOL Black Voices

Monday, September 28, 2009

What Do We Do with Ebony and Jet Now?

Can Ebony Magazine survive in the digital age?


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, MSNBC’s, Your Black World 


The black journalism students here at Syracuse often come to me to find out how the industry works. They sometimes instinctively wonder if their professors' stories about being in a CBS newsroom in 1982 are going to help them survive in a world run by Twitter, Myspace and Facebook. The answer is a resounding "probably not."

While respecting the journalism professors teaching their classes, I simply use examples like Ebony Magazine to help them realize that black media is changing, and sites like,, and, are examples of how black media has evolved. In fact, a journalist who doesn't understand technology and business models is in danger of starting his/her career as a dinosaur.

When it comes to recent reports about Ebony Magazine being offered for sale, I admit that I was saddened, but not surprised. The Ebony Fashion Fair has become one of the most celebrated events in black America, and the magazine has been nothing less than a tremendous source of national pride since its creation in 1945. But in the age of the web, oversized bureaucracies can be crushed under the weight of their own arrogance. Bloated payrolls, pompous corporate functions and a sense of entitlement make them easy prey for quick, hungry and rapidly evolving competition.

In spite of the tremendous love we have for Ebony/Jet, the truth must be confronted when realizing that it is what radio was to TV or what the train was to the airplane. Like radios and trains, there is still a place for print media, but that role is no longer dominant. The current economic climate only accelerated the inevitable, since advertisers were eventually going to stop spending $50,000 for magazine ads when they can buy the same number of eyeballs for $5,000 or less.

I present the following 5 questions I'd like to ask out loud about both Ebony Magazine and the state of African American media:

Click to read.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Book: Thinking outside the Cell

In the first book published by her New York-based Resilience Multimedia, Sheila Rule delivers much-needed information to a segment of society that has long been ignored: the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated. In 'Think Outside The Cell: An Entrepreneur's Guide for the Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated' by Joseph Robinson, readers learn vital information, including how to overcome obstacles that convicted felons face while trying to reenter society and find work.
Rule, who worked at The New York Times for 30 years before her recent retirement, was spurred to start her publishing company after writing to the incarcerated as a volunteer for the Riverside Church Prison Ministry. With funding from the Ford Foundation, she plans to publish next year the 'Think Outside the Cell' book series featuring real-life stories by the incarcerated, formerly incarcerated and their families. Rule takes time to talk about the book with AOL Black Voices.
AOL Black Voices: How did you come up with the idea for the book?
Sheila Rule: Joe's book has been published amid renewed efforts to help the formerly incarcerated-who are disproportionately black and Latino-successfully reenter society. But Joe believes that the reentry programs being developed, while commendable, too often focus on finding jobs in a nation where, according to a Princeton University study, it is easier for a white person with a felony conviction to get a job than for a black person who has never been arrested. Joe believes that "Think Outside the Cell" presents a largely unexplored option-entrepreneurship-that can help give men and women leaving prison a realistic second chance


Click to read.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dr Boyce Watkins: Did BET Step Over the Line with “Skank Robbers”?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World

During the BET Awards, Martin Lawrence and Jamie Foxx did a skit called "Skank Robbers," which you can watch below. Some have argued that the video goes over the top, producing stereotypical images of black women to the point of being offensive. Referring to them as "skanks" was enough to draw the ire of many African Americans, but there was also a point in the video in which the narrator says, "From the producers of 'Planet of the Apes'."

This video leads to the following questions as it pertains to BET:1) Who's making the decisions? I'd love to see what thought process goes into deciding to make R. Kelly your keynote performer right after he is accused of creating child pornography, or having Lil Wayne sing about wanting to have sex with every girl in the world while underage girls are dancing on stage. I don't hate BET, and I've done a great deal of work with them in the past, but I would like very much for them to explain to the public exactly how they operate.


Click to read more.

If this link doesn’t work, then please click here.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Black News – 9/20/09

From AOL Black Voices, Your Black World 

Post Image

Yale Student Murder Symptomatic of Growing Workplace Violence

Post Image

Wendy Williams and Dr. Boyce Talk Hip Hop and Money

Post Image

Going Natural Sucks?

Post Image

The Week That Was: Mo'Nique Moves on, Roxanne Shante Rings Alarm

Post Image

King Memorial Foundation Discovers Red Tape

  • There is nothing more annoying than reading the word "urgent" in the subject line of an e-mail ... Read More
  • Posted by Carmen Dixon in BV Black Spin | Comments (3)

Post Image

45,000 U.S. Deaths Caused By Lack of Insurance? We Need to Do Something Now

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dr Wilmer Leon and Dr. Pearl Ford Discuss the Politics Behind Obama’s Healthcare Plan

Listen up as Dr. Wilmer Leon speaks with Dr. Pearl Ford about President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Plan.  Click here to listen to the latest exciting episode!

Both are graduates of Howard University’s Political Science Program

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dr. Wilmer Leon: What a Congressman Can Learn from a Tennis Star




Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

On Saturday September 12th, at the U.S. Open semifinals, Serena Williams was caught in a “human moment” that she wishes she could change. After being called for a foot fault by a line judge Ms. Williams launched into an “f-bomb” laden tirade saying in part, “If I could, I would take this @#$#ing ball and shove it down your @#$#ing throat…" The resulting unsportsmanlike conduct penalty cost Ms. Williams the match.

On Monday September 14th Ms. Williams offered a written apology. In it she said, "I want to sincerely apologize first to the lineswoman, Kim Clijsters, the US Tennis Association and mostly tennis fans everywhere for my inappropriate outburst … I really wanted to apologize sincerely...I think the lady was doing the best she could. She was just trying to do her job.”

Some have questioned Serena’s sincerity and others have questioned the timing of her apology. These questions may be valid but at the end of the day Ms. Williams did the right thing. She took responsibility for her behavior and apologized directly to all of those whom she attacked and offended.

On Wednesday September 9th, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) had his own “human moment.” During President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress on health care, Wilson shouted at the President “you lie”. Shortly after his outburst Congressman Wilson called the White House to offer his apology to the President. President Obama did not take his call. It was accepted on his behalf by Chief of Staff Rhom Emanuel.

Congressman Wilson has been asked by members of his own party as well as Democrats to formally apologize on the House floor. He has refused to apologize on the floor of the House saying, "I've apologized one time. The apology was accepted by the president, the vice president. ... I am not apologizing again … I believe that is sufficient."

As a result of Congressman Wilson’s failure to apologize on the floor, the House passed a “resolution of disapproval” by a 240-179 vote. Congressman Wilson has now been duly punished for his outrageous and childish behavior.

Even though polls show a strong majority of American’s oppose Congressman Wilson’s actions, Republican Party leadership stands behind him. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said the House Democrats are guilty of “stunning…. Hypocrisy.” GOP leader John Boehner (R-OH) said that the action initiated by Wilson's fellow South Carolina colleague, Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) — is "patently partisan." Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) circulated a letter of support for Wilson.

Click to read.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Michael Baisden and Dr. Elaina George Hit Healthcare Reform

Although many Americans have seen and heard the insane debate over healthcare, almost no one understands what's going on. This is doubly true for the African American community, who is affected greatly by this debate and its outcomes. Most black bloggers aren't talking about it and black doctors are too busy to inform the community.
Michael Baisden got with Dr. Elaina George, a prominent black physician in the Atlanta area, to break down the public option, healthcare and all related issues in the interview below.During the interview, Dr. George and Baisden answer some important questions:

Click to read.

Monday, September 14, 2009

News: Oprah Backs Barack on Education

In the midst of all the drama surroundingPresident Barack Obama's speech to schoolchildren on Tuesday, there's one Chicago resident who will support the commander-in-chief through thick and thin.
The one and only Oprah Winfrey admitted that she was stunned by the amount of backlash the president was receiving after encouraging students to rise above their challenges to succeed in school.
In an exclusive interview with 'Access Hollywood' on Wednesday, the multitalented media mogul professed her frustration over the recent events.
"I'm just really stunned by people who feel that the president, the leader of our country and of the free world, saying to your children it's important for your success, the success of your families and our country, for you stay in school, that education is vital to your well-being. ... I don't understand it. I do not understand it," Winfrey said.

Click to read.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dr Boyce Watkins on the Lowest Paying Majors in College

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

According to the "College Majors Handbook," the 5 lowest paying college majors are Social Work, Special Education, Elementary Education, Home Economics and Music/Dance. As a college professor for the past 16 years, I was only surprised that other "interesting" majors were not on the list, such as Philosophy or Anthropology. In a recent NPR interview, I spoke on the value of going to college and whether or not it's worth the expense. The answer to this question is very simple: It depends.

Here are some things to remember when choosing a major for yourself or your children in college:

1) Know what you are getting. Don't major in a low paying major expecting to make the same money as business school students. It's simply not going to happen. Pick a major with the salary expectations that make you comfortable. Money doesn't have to be important to you, just make sure you're honest with yourself about how important money actually is.

2) Make sure that your major can help you repay your student loans. Most young people who went to college are going to die in debt. Don't let yourself become one of those people.

Click to read.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dr Boyce Watkins: Is it Worth it to go to College?


from The New York Times

What kind of returns do you expect on your educational investment?

A National Public Radio segment on Tuesday, titled “Is a College Education Worth the Debt?” questioned the necessity of a college degree in an economic downturn.

Korva Coleman asked her guests, two college professors and one graduate student, “If college education doesn’t always get you a job, but it almost always gets you in debt, is it worth going to college?”

Update | 2:06 p.m. (My colleague, David Leonhardt, offers his own answer to this question in his blog, Economix. In fact, he points out, “the gap between the pay of college graduates and everyone else has reached an all-time high, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows.”)

Richard Vedder, a professor of economics at Ohio University, took the view that college isn’t necessarily worth the cost. “I think some kids are going to college that probably shouldn’t go to college,” he said. He spoke with a scientific concern for the oversupply of college graduates, which, he said, currently outstrips demand.

“We are starting to graduate, I don’t want to say too many students, but it’s becoming more and more difficult for new college graduates to get jobs, independent of the recession.”

Click to read.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Black Student News: Diddy Weighs in on the Howard Student Protests

Diddy has tweeted his way into the fold of the protests going on with students at Howard University.  Here is a sample of what he has released:

 "NO JUSTICE! NO PEACE!!! Let me know if yall need me to come down there yall! I got yall BACK! Let's go!!!"
And just to be clear he's not encouraging violence, Diddy then wrote, "Do what we did and take IT OVER!!!! Let's go! And do it in a peaceful way but DO IT!! ... If your at HU go to the A building now and make sure they feel you!!! And send me updates!!! Let's go!"

Republicans Have Always Addressed School kids Too

On April 15, 1907, Republican president Theodore Roosevelt issued a strong "Message to School Children" addressing the need for conservation and the importance of our environment. At the end of his message, President Roosevelt asked the youngest citizens to go out and help the president - by planting trees. Here's an excerpt:
We of an older generation can get along with what we have, though with growing hardship; but in your full manhood and womanhood you will want what nature once so bountifully supplied and man so thoughtlessly destroyed; and because of that want you will reproach us, not for what we have used, but for what we have wasted... Source: New York Times Archives - Roosevelt to Children
Can you imagine what the right's reaction would be if President Obama said something even remotely similar? "He's turning our kids against our Constitutional right to consume at will!!!" "He's trying to make our kids green Commies!!!" Yeah, right.

Click to read.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Black College News: The President Declares National HBCU Week

by DANIELLE CANADA September 3, 2009, 10:36am

HBCU Alumni will be thrilled to learn that the week of August 30 through September 5, 2009 is officially National HBCU Week. The White House released a proclamation from the President officiating the week and praising HBCUS for spawning some of America's most notorious Black leaders.

“For more than 140 years, HBCUs have released the power of knowledge to countless Americans. Graduates of HBCUs have gone on to shape the course of American history-from W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington, to Langston Hughes and Thurgood Marshall. Today, in twenty States, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin_Islands, these colleges and universities are serving hundreds of thousands of students from every background and have contributed to the expansion of the African American middle class, to the growth of local communities, and to our Nation's overall economy…”

Click to read.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Obama to Address Students – Conservatives Outraged

President Barack Obama stands with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, left, and

On September 8, in what the Department of Education is touting as a "historic" speech, President Obama will be talking directly to students across the U.S., live on the White House website. But some parents and conservatives are blasting the president, calling the speech an excuse to brainwash American children.

Last month, in an interview with 11-year-old student reporter Damon Weaver, the president announced his big back-to-school plan:

"I'm going to be making a big speech to young people all across the country about the importance of education; about the importance of staying in school; how we want to improve our education system and why it’s so important for the country. So I hope everybody tunes in."

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent a letter to the nation's principals, inviting schools to watch the speech and included suggested classroom activities. But Jim Greer, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, came out swinging against the planned speech. An excerpt from his statement:


Click to read.

Your News: Spelman Student Shot and Killed

Jasmine Lynn, a Spelman student in her 20s from Kansas City, Mo., was shot after gunfire broke out during a fight in the 200 block of James P. Brawley Drive, according to police.

Lynn was walking with a group of friends back to the Spelman campus when they passed by the fight.

"One of the friends actually heard the gunshots, actually saw the weapon and told her to get on the ground," said Lt. Keith Meadows of the Atlanta Police Department. "Before she was able to get on the ground she was struck in the chest by a stray round."

Bystanders rushed to help Lynn.

"I walked up to the girl 'cause she was laying on the ground," said witness Danays Marquez. "She was drenched in blood and it looked like she was taking her last breath."

A bullet also hit an 18-year-old Clark-Atlanta student in the wrist. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.

Two people were arrested at the scene, but police did not reveal the charges against them.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Third Strike in Kentucky Basketball Shame


The video is out there, and we'll see it someday. It'll show Billy Gillispie, months removed from leading the famous Kentucky basketball program, in an orange jumpsuit -- the kind worn by the prisoners picking up garbage on the highway. The video will show Gillispie in that jumpsuit, being arraigned last week on charges of driving while intoxicated.

Already the mug shot is out there, and it's startling enough. It shows Gillispie with puffy, heavy eyes. He looks 10 years older. He looks 20 pounds heavier. He looks drunk.

Billy Gillispie's mug shot from his most recent drunken driving arrest. (AP)

Billy Gillispie's mug shot from his most recent drunken driving arrest. (AP)

Still, I submit the following: I submit that Gillispie is one of the luckiest SOB's around.

If he was going to get arrested for DUI -- and this being Gillispie, he was going to get arrested for DUI eventually -- last week was the best week possible. It came shortly after two enormous basketball stories had already broken in that state. Just one week earlier, the NCAA had taken away the 2008 Final Four banner from Memphis and the former Memphis coach who replaced Gillispie at Kentucky, John Calipari. And that came after the revelation that current Louisville (and former Kentucky) coach Rick Pitino had a one-dinner stand with a woman who accused him of raping her, impregnating her, marrying her off to his personal assistant and then paying for the abortion.

Click to read.