Tricia Rose on “Hip Hop, Mass Media and Racial Storytelling in the Age of Obama”

I witnessed this brilliant woman at the 2009 Black State of Union given by Tavis Smiley held at the LA Convention Center and fell in love with her intelligence.

Tricia Rose, professor of Africana Studies at Brown University, discusses hip hop’s retreat from politics and the potential for that music to help tell the stories of the dispossessed today. Rose is author of the ground-breaking 1994 book Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America, Longing To Tell: Black Women Talk About Sexuality and Intimacy, and The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop–and Why It Matters.
The event is sponsored by Senior Fellows, the honors program of the UT College of Communication.


Shooting Death of North Carolina Teen in Police Custody

Shooting Death of North Carolina Teen in Police Custody

Dozens of people marched in Durham, North Carolina, on Friday to protest the killing of a teenager in police custody. The family of 17-year-old Jesus Huerta had called police concerned he had run away to use illegal drugs. Police found Huerta and transported him in a van. The Durham Police Department says at some point during that trip Huerta suffered a gunshot wound to the head, but have not released details pending an investigation.



Don’t buy from Walmart – Make a Loud Statement

Don't buy from Walmart - Make a Loud Statement

Walmart CEO Mike Duke’s retirement package of more than $113 million is nearly 6,200 times bigger than the average 401(k) balance of a non-executive Walmart worker, which was $18,303, according to a new analysis by Dana Lime at NerdWallet, a personal finance site.

That dwarfs Walmart’s infamous CEO-to-worker pay ratio, a source of controversy for the company in the past. Duke, who pulled in $20.7 million last year, made 305 times more than the typical Walmart manager and 836 times more than the median Walmart worker’s salary, according to the NerdWallet study.

In addition to the outrage over the low wages paid for the giant discount retailer, the company has been battling negative press for their poor working conditions and inadequate health insurance for employees.

Past research has shown how Walmart spends an average of $3,500 per employee for health care, 27% less than the retail-industry average of $4,800.

The Institute for Policy Studies recently released a report stating that a generation ago, typical big-time corporate CEOs seldom made more than 30 or 40 times what their workers took home. In 2008, the IPS report shows, top executives averaged 319 times more than average U.S. worker pay.

The bulk of the debate over executive pay reform has revolved around questions of corporate governance, such as the independence of compensation committees and the role of shareholders.



Sterling Grocery

Sterling Grocery

Wendell Pierce is an actor and Tony Award-winning producer. He is also the founder of a new grocery store chain, Sterling Farms, which he hopes will provide fresh food and produce to underserved New Orleans-area residents.

Black owned and in areas where inner cities only see liquor stores and McDonald’s, governments way to keep my people unhealthy and unsuccessful. I am glad to see such a grocery store providing healthy food to those who don’t have enough money to shop at Whole Foods.

Need more of these stores built across the U.S.


Just before we went to air today, Somali youth climate activist Marian Osman addressed the main plenary at the U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland. “There’s a Somali proverb that goes: a mere finger can’t obscure the sun,” Osman said. “You cannot hide the truth by deception; as any one of the thousands whom are in need in Somalia and the Philippines this week could tell you, no amount of political stalling can hide the fact that a climate crisis is here.” Earlier this month, a deadly cyclone slammed the Puntland region of Somalia, wreaking havoc on an already vulnerable population.

One of the core solutions to reducing climate change proposed in the Kyoto Protocol has resurfaced at the latest U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland — the creation of a carbon market. However, climate activists here say it is a “false solution” pushed by bankers and bureaucrats. We speak with South African activist and professor Patrick Bond, who says negotiators should instead emphasize cutting emissions and paying climate debt.

Activists from around the world have been meeting in a convergence center in downtown Warsaw, holding their own meetings to strategize about how to address climate change. Many of them also attended the U.N. climate summit, but walked out in frustration for the first time in 19 years on Thursday. Democracy Now!’s Amy Littlefield and Hany Massoud visited the activist center to file this report. “This has been a beautiful, valuable space,” says Kenyan activist Ruth Nyambura. “If nothing comes out of this COP, what the youth constituency of the UNFCCC has done has really, really changed the game.”

See video here >