Quote Of The Day

Written By: Elsie Law - Mar• 13•18

“Haiti was shoved into its two-hundred-year nightmare by the United States and Europe as punishment for its successful slave revolt against Napoleon Bonaparte.” -Randall Robinson

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Black Wealth: The 1% Of The 1%

Written By: Elsie Law - Mar• 09•18

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Quote Of The Day

Written By: Elsie Law - Mar• 09•18

“The indefatigable amongst us never sally forth to policy war needing as sustenance victory or recognition. Neither outcome is ever likely. Those of us who do this work do it often to small reaction and are met more frequently with defeat than success. But we do it still, for no clearer reason than that we somehow viscerally know we must. For bound up therein, more with the fight than its improbable fruit, is the lifelong defense we make of our very souls.” -Randall Robinson

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Book Bits: “The Last Black Unicorn” By: Tiffany Haddish

Written By: Elsie Law - Mar• 04•18

The Last Black UnicornHere are some interesting tidbits from, “The Last Black Unicorn” By: Tiffany Haddish:

• She talks about why she calls herself, “The Last Black Unicorn.”
• She was close to illiterate in high school, yet she was placed in AP classes in the wealthy school she was bused to. She got over academically because she has a genius-level memory. Her drama teacher eventually caught on, and surreptitiously taught her to read.
• As a teen she went to Laugh Factory Comedy Camp.
• Richard Pryor gave her comedic advice.
• Before her mother’s car accident, which caused her to have severe mental illness, her mother owned two houses, two small businesses, and was a manager at the post office. The car accident forever altered the path of her family’s lives.
• Her stepfather made a shocking confession to her on her 21st birthday about her mother’s car accident that will leave you stunned and flabbergasted.
• She discusses being in foster care, and all of the varieties of abuse she was subjected. [SIDEBAR: Parts of this book will bring you to tears.]
• She was a pimp for a period of time. She got some of her clients from the Bar Mitzvahs she used to perform at.
• She talks candidly and explicitly about some of her personal relationships.
• She got married to a man who was extremely abusive, so she divorced him. However, she also ended up marrying and divorcing him a second time.
• She talks about bombing at comedy shows. She also talks about the love she has for being on stage and doing comedy, and how it makes her feel safe and successful.
• She discusses earning the respect of her male comedic peers who initially looked at her as a romantic conquest.
• She calls Kevin Hart her “comedy guardian angel.”
• She discusses temporarily joining Scientology.
• She talks about going on a swamp tour in New Orleans with Will & Jada Smith. She also shares some of the advice that Jada Pinkett-Smith gave her.
• She talks about how Arsenio Hall helped to boost her career.
• She found out that she is an African princess.

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Book Bits: “The Wire: Truth Be Told” By: Rafael Alvarez

Written By: Elsie Law - Mar• 03•18

The Wire Truth Be Told
Here are some interesting tidbits from, “The Wire: Truth Be Told” By: Rafael Alvarez:

• Dominic West was cast as Jimmy McNulty via an audition tape where he was saying his character’s lines, and leaving silent spaces where the other characters’ lines would be. When the show’s creators saw his audition tape they “laughed uncontrollably.” After they finished laughing, they sought to hire him.
• The actor who played Detective Ray Cole was actually beloved executive producer and director, Robert E. Colesberry. He died from heart surgery after the second season of The Wire.
• During his presidential campaign, Obama cited The Wire as his favorite television show.
• A lot of the storylines from season one came from a case that was investigated by the show’s writer/producer Ed Burns when he was a homicide detective in Baltimore.
• The Deacon in Seasons 3 to 5 is played by Melvin Williams, a former drug dealer who was once investigated by Ed Burns. Melvin Williams was once sentenced to 34 years in prison.
• The pager/telephone code depicted in season 1, was an actual code used by drug dealers.
• By the time The Wire was filmed in Baltimore, the city’s high-rise housing projects had been torn down. An apartment-complex for senior citizens were used to look like projects on the show.
• Actor Wendell Pierce, who plays “The Bunk,” studied at Julliard.
• The nickname of the real “Bunk” came from him addressing everyone he met as “Bunk.”
• The “hat trick” depicted in Season 1 of The Wire was the creation of the real-life Bubbles.
• The real-life Bubbles started using drugs at 15 years old.
• The storyline where Bubbles switched drugs with battery acid to put an end to being constantly robbed by a neighborhood bully, is something that was done by the real-life Bubbles. However, in real-life the bully takes the switched drugs and dies, along with a friend who did the drugs with him.
• Melvin Williams who plays The Deacon is a math genius who had more than a little luck at games of chance. He states that he was never involved in selling drugs until after he was framed on narcotics charges by federal agents. Melvin Williams was said to be a highly disciplined, intelligent man who never indulged in ingesting drugs or alcohol. He spent 26 ½ years incarcerated.
• The character Ziggy Sobotka was inspired by Pinky Bannon, who wore formal wear to work on the docks. Pinky also had a pet duck that he adorned in diamonds, and plied with liquor at the local bar.
• Actor, Chris Bauer, had to don a fat suit and be cosmetically aged to play Frank Sabotka.
• McNulty’s partner when he is on the marine detail is a real-life marine officer in Baltimore.
• Kurt Schmoke, the mayor of Baltimore from 1987 to 1999, who also became the dean of Howard University Law School, was a politician whose political career was torpedoed when he suggested drug addiction be decriminalized and treated as a health issue. [SIDEBAR: This is telling considering how the “opioid epidemic” is currently being handled.] Kurt Schmoke played a health commissioner on two episodes of season 3 of The Wire.
• The Neville Brothers sang the theme song for season 3 of The Wire.
• There were Baltimore politicians who were not happy with what was depicted on The Wire. Because of this, there were times The Wire had difficulty getting permits to film in the city.
• The actor who plays FBI Special Agent Terrance Fitzhugh is a former Golden Gloves boxer.
• Susan “Tootsie” Duvall, who played Vice Principal Marcia Donnelly is an acting protege of Jean Stapleton, who is known for her role as Edith Bunker.
• Susan “Tootsie” Duvall also worked on doing background sounds on The Wire. As did Fran Boyd, the woman whose life was depicted on the HBO miniseries, “The Corner.”
• The real-life De’Andre McCullough (also depicted on, “The Corner”) played Lamar, Brother Mouzone’s sidekick.
• In 2007, Fran Boyd married Donnie Andrews, the man whose Omar’s character is partially based off of. Donnie Andrews also had a role on The Wire. He was one of Omar’s comrades inside of jail and outside if jail.
• Maestro Harrell, the actor who played Randy Wagstaff, played a young Muhammad Ali in his 2001 bio-pic.
• The actor who played Detective Jimmy McNulty directed episode 57 of The Wire.
• Bill Murphy, Clay Davis’s attorney on The Wire, is actually one of Baltimore’s most prominent attorneys. He once successfully represented Don King in court. He is also a drummer and a jazz music enthusiasm.

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Surveillance Nation: Statistics

Written By: Elsie Law - Feb• 23•18

Surveillance• More than 2.5 trillion images are shared or stored on the internet annually.
• By 2020, it is estimated that 6.1 billion people will have phones with cameras.
• In a single year, approximately 106 million new surveillance cameras are sold.
• Worldwide, more than 3 million ATMs have cameras that watch its users.
• There are billions of pictures of citizens unknowingly captured on face-recognition technology and stored on databases, both private and governmental.
• In 2016, 2.5 million drones were purchased by American citizens.
• More than 1,700 satellites monitor the Earth.
• Manhattan has approximately 20,000 officially run cameras connected to its CCTV network. Chicago has approximately 32,000.
• High numbers of surveillance cameras can also be found in U.S. cities that have low crime rates and no history of terrorist attacks.
• Approximately 150,000 British police officers are equipped with body cams. It is reported that some British teachers have also tested out the use of body cameras.

[SOURCE: National Geographic February 2018]

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Quote Of The Day

Written By: Elsie Law - Feb• 23•18

“Only from the study of America in its foreign relations can African-Americans hope to appreciate the full measure of America’s insult to them.” -Randall Robinson

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Book Bits: “Brave” By: Rose McGowan

Written By: Elsie Law - Feb• 18•18

Brave Rose McGowanHere are some interesting tidbits from, “Brave” By: Rose McGowan:

• She faced great opposition to the publication of this book. She said she had parts of her manuscript stolen, and was hacked, stalked, and spied on.
• The cover of the book is a picture of her getting her hair shaved off. After reading the preface of the book, you understand why she made this image the cover of her book.
• She was born in Italy. She was also born into a cult.
• As a child, she escaped the cult with her father and her siblings, but her mother was left behind. She eventually was reunited with her mother, in America, at the age of 10.
• As a child, she was sent to live in America. She immediately hated the food in America, and the aggressiveness of the people.
• For part of her teen years, she was a runaway.
• She suffered through a lot of abuse growing up, including parental abuse, and a beating by a police officer.
• She was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood executive as a very young teen. However, being a naïve child, she didn’t see it as an assault at the time that it happened.
• She was in an abusive “relationship” with a grown man as a child. This relationship was the catalyst to her eating disorder.
• She was randomly “discovered” to be in a Hollywood movie on the street, while waiting for a friend. She went through a humiliating audition to get the role.
• She describes what it was like working on movies such as: The Doom Generation, Scream, Jawbreaker, Phantoms, and on the television show Charmed.
• She went to an arranged meet-up with a high-powered Hollywood executive, who was unbeknownst to her, a predator. She calls the meeting, “the day [her] life got hijacked by evil.” The response she got from others after the rape included: An actor saying, “I told him to stop doing that.” Her manager telling her to think of it as something that would help her in the long run. Her management company’s power player saying, “I just had an expose about him killed in the LA Times; he owes it to me not to do this.” A criminal attorney she consulted telling her, “You’re an actress. You’ve done a sex scene. You’ll never win. You’re done.”
• She describes what it was like being in a relationship with Marilyn Manson.
• She talks about the effects of being trolled online.
• She astutely describes how Hollywood and the entertainment industry fosters bad behavior in society and an obsession with the frivolous and unnatural.
• Her Rolling Stone cover-shoot was her breaking point with Hollywood.

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Black History Fact Of The Day: Dr. Earl Shaw

Written By: Elsie Law - Feb• 16•18

Red, Black & Green Elsie Law LogoDr. Earl Shaw is the co-inventor of a laser device that helps provide radiation to cancer patients.

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Quote Of The Day

Written By: Elsie Law - Feb• 16•18

“As a group, African-Americans have virtually no power or influence. Those who appear to have mainstream power, enjoy the appearance of power only as long as their circumscribed influence is not directed toward fundamentally altering social and economic conditions for a black community whence they sprang, at home and abroad. To make the point more broadly, blacks at rarefied levels can maintain altitude only as long as they accept, without unseemly exception, a national policy agenda to which they have made no real shaping contribution.” -Randall Robinson

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