Monthly Archives: November 2008

Man, If only My last Name was Obama…

Barbara Walters Interviews the Obamas for a Thanksgiving special

I was just sitting here thinking how cool it would be if my last name was Obama–legally.  Not sure I could have survived it when it was being rhymed with ‘Osama’ but certainly now it would be cool as hell.  Just think, when calling in and making reservations at hotels and swanky restaurants how great the service would be these days. Plus, I would probably never have to buy another event ticket or wait in line at a club or disco.Barbara Walters Interviews the Obamas for a Thanksgiving specialI could be like Will Smith’s character in Six Degrees of Separation–one who pretends to be related for gain. I could be one of his sisters from Kenya, Dr. Vanessa F. Obama.  Whatdya think? Plus, he could never possibly know all of his cousins, right? The cool thing is that I could even be half Japanese and my last name could still be Obama because its both a Japanese and an African last name.  Oh well, I was just brainstorming on  ways to attend the inauguration… lol

Holla atcha girl!
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Black Friday: Is this the Best Possible Name for this Day?

Just prior to Thanksgiving I started hearing about ‘Black Friday’ thinking, “what the hell…?” I learned that they were referring to the day after Thanksgiving when shoppers start tripping and shopping like they heard a starter pistol sound. All these years Inever even knew the day had a name other than Friday after Thanksgiving.  After learning it had a name its was natural for me to ask why Black Friday?
I figured it was just another signal of something negative or catastrophic which is what is usually prefaced with the word ‘black’. Rather than assume the worse, I simply looked it up. What I found amazed me.
 Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, signaling the beginning of the Holiday shopping season. It is marked by retail bargains and sales.  According to Wikipedia, Black Friday is considered the highest sales day of the calendar year. When businesses earn less than they spend they are said to be in the red. When businesses earn a profit they are said to be in the black. This shopping day is traditionally so lucrative that it often places businesses in the black.

  1. Shop til you Drop...From Exhaustion!
    Shop til you Drop…From Exhaustion!

    According to the American Heritage Dictionary online version, Black Friday is:

    1.  A day of economic catastrophe, as in We feared there’d be another Black Friday. This usage dates from September 24, 1869, a Friday when stock manipulators Jay Gould and James Fisk tried to corner the gold market and caused its collapse. The adjective black has been appended to similar occasions ever since, including October 29, 1929, the Tuesday of the market collapse that marked the start of the Great Depression, and Black Monday of October 19, 1987, when the stock market experienced its greatest fall since the Great Depression.

  2. Any day marked by great confusion or activity, as in It was just my luck to be traveling on Black Tuesday. This usage, too, is based on the events of 1869, marked by economic chaos. It has since been extended to other kinds of confusion, such as an accident hampering traffic during the evening rush hour.

I am really okay with these explanation for the Black Friday moniker, but I’m just wondering if there could have been a better name. Obviously, an advertisement agency was not consulted before naming this day–especially since it really isn’t true that its the best sales day.  From years of retail experience I would bet that the days closer to Christmas make just as much money or even more so than this far out from the holiday. I guess I was also relieved that it was not a day that somehow shone negatively on African Americans.  Unofficially, I awoke on this Black Friday of 2008, and instead of shopping til I dropped from exhaustion–I decided to work on my tan. The blacker the berry –the sweeter the juice.

 

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Confidence in Obama–Associated Poll Results

 

president-elect barack obama
president-elect barack obama

According to the AP poll released Tuesday, November 11, 2008, people are taking Obama up on his promise of ‘hope’ and ‘change’. The majority expressed confidence in Obama’s plans to revive the economy.

72% believe Obama will make good on his promise to improve the economy.

84% said strengthening econmy is his number one priority.

80% said creating jobs is most important.

68% said when Obama takes, office he will enact the policies he campaigned for.

90% said Obama’s race will have no impact on his ability to get things done.

50% said they want national health care coverage to be his number one concern.

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“Queen of Africa” Silenced: Miriam Makeba Dies

"Mama Africa"Death of Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba, passed away suddenly in Italy at age 76 after performing in a concert on November 9th. She was a musical icon who inspired South Africans during and after the fight to end apartheid in her native country.

After being banned from apartheid-era South Africa for her outspoken political views for more than 30 years, Makeba was able to serve as a source of inspiration and hope for South Africa’s oppressed by reaching them through her music. After the fall of apartheid, she returned to play a positive role through her music in the newly democratic South Africa.

Makeba was the first African woman to win the prestigious Grammy Award and also earned the affectionate title of the “Queen of African Song.” A world renown singer, she shared the stage with musical legends and sang for world leaders, including U.S. President John F. Kennedy. She will be missed by many the world over.

 

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Happy Birthday, Whoopi Gee!

I am a huge Whoopi Goldberg fan.  From the first time I saw her perform her one-woman act which included a charcter named Fontaine–I was hooked.  She is a preacher’s kid–who knew? These days, thanks to Barbara Walters and her show “The View” I can see Whoopi G. everyday before I head off to work. I thought Whoopee was much older than me because I first saw her as a young girl. It never dawned on me that she could be my age and be performing on television and stage.  I always admired her locs and eventually I wore my hair locd for 10 years. When I finally visited Los Angeles, I was photographed by Whoopi’s Star on the famed sidewalk.  I love Whoopi Goldberg and I’ve included some history on her for your enjoyment.

Happy Birthday, Whoopee! May you be blessed with many more!

Whoopee Goldberg
Whoopee Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg ( Caryn Elaine Johnson; November 13, 1955) is an American actress, comedienne, and television host.  Goldberg was born in New York City and raised in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, the daughter of Emma (née Harris), a nurse and teacher, and Robert James Johnson, a clergyman. Goldberg’s mother was a “stern, strong and wise woman” who raised her as a single mother after Goldberg’s father had left the family. Her stage name was taken from whoopee cushion, which she initially used as her stage name; she stated that “If you get a little gassy, you’ve got to let it go. So people used to say to me, ‘You’re like a whoopee cushion.’ And that’s where the name came from.” She chose the surname “Goldberg” after Jewish ancestors of hers who bore the surname, having said that “Goldberg’s a part of my family somewhere.” In 1991, she referred to herself as a “Jewish-Catholic girl from New York”; she has also stated that her mother is Jewish and referred to herself as a “Jewish-American Princess”. A DNA test, broadcast in the 2006 PBS documentary African American Lives, traced most of her ancestry to the Papel and Bayote people of modern-day Guinea-Bissau. Her racial admixture test revealed her genetic makeup to be 92 percent sub-Saharan African and 8 percent European.

She is one of only thirteen people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award, including Daytime Emmy Awards. In 1990, she became the second African American female performer after Hattie McDaniel to win an Academy Award for acting. She has won two Golden Globe Awardsand two Saturn Awards for her performances in Star Trek Generations and Ghost.

On September 4, 2007, Goldberg became the new moderator and co-host of The View,  replacing Rosie O’Donnell. O’Donnell stated on her official blog that she wanted Goldberg to be moderator. Goldberg’s debut as moderator drew 3.4 million viewers, 1 million fewer than O’Donnell’s debut ratings. After two weeks, The View, under Goldberg, was averaging 3.5 million total viewers, a 7% increase from 3.3 million under O’Donnell the previous season.

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Barack and Michele Check Out new Diggs in DC

1st White House visits

The Bushes welcomed the Obamas to the White House on Monday, visiting for nearly two hours and offering the nation a glimpse of a new first family at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. President-elect Obama and President Bush met in the Oval Office, their first substantive one-on-one session, while first lady Laura Bush and Obama’s wife, Michelle, talked in the White House residence.

Changes from candidate to president-elect were evident earlier, when Obama stepped off his plane and was greeted by transition manager John Podesta, the former chief of staff to President Clinton.

Mrs. Bush was to give Mrs. Obama a tour of the first family’s living quarters, including the bedrooms used by children of past presidents. White House press secretary Dana Perino said the two women were expected to talk about living in one of the world’s most famous buildings, from family life to the help provided by executive staff.

The Obamas have two daughters: Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7. Obama started his day in Chicago, dropping the two girls at school, each with a kiss, and then going to a gym for a workout.  Bush, who had endorsed McCain, lauded Obama’s victory as a “triumph of the American story.” He warmly invited the Obama family to the White House.

Obama, in turn, thanked Bush for being gracious. The president-elect has made clear in public that there is only one president and for now that’s Bush. Obama takes the oath of office on Jan. 20.

 

 

 

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Obama inspires French to say, “Oui, nous pouvons!” Yes, We Can!

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, First Lady of France

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, First Lady of France

French say ‘Yes, we can!’ too, to ending racism
PARIS – Inspired by Barack Obama, the French first lady and other leading figures say it’s high time for France to stamp out racism and shake up a white political and social elite that smacks of colonial times.
A manifesto published Sunday — subtitled “Oui, nous pouvons!”, the French translation of Obama’s campaign slogan “Yes, we can!” — urges affirmative action-like policies and other steps to turn French ideals of equality into reality for millions of blacks, Arabs and other alienated minorities.

“Our prejudices are insidious,” Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, a singer and wife of President Nicolas Sarkozy, said in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, which published the manifesto. She said she hoped the “Obama effect” would reshape French society.

Nations across Europe rejoiced over Obama’s victory, seeing it as a triumph for American democracy and a world weary of President George W. Bush. But Obama’s election also illustrated an uncomfortable truth: how far European countries with big minority populations have to go getting nonwhites into positions of power.

“The election of Barack Obama highlights via a cruel contrast the shortcomings of the French Republic, and the distance that separates us from a country whose citizens knew how to go beyond the racial question and elect a man who happens to be black as president,” the appeal said.

Obama is extremely popular in France, yet blacks and other minorities are nearly invisible in national or local politics here. The lower house of parliament has 555 members from the French mainland; just one is black.

 The manifesto calls for affirmative action policies like those the United States used years ago to encourage greater minority representation in the workplace and in universities.

Sarkozy has suggested affirmative action for France, but later backed away from the idea since it goes against France’s ideals of egalitarianism, which dictate that the country not classify its citizens according to race. This idea that everyone is just “French” means there are no census or other national figures calculating how big the country’s minority groups are.

The manifesto urges term limits to make way for more minority candidates, and presses the government to improve schools in working-class neighborhoods.

That appears to be a reference to housing projects heavily populated by nonwhite immigrants and their families, areas that erupted in riots in 2005 by disenfranchised youth, many of them Arab and black children of immigrants.

Critics say the tough-talking Sarkozy fanned discrimination ahead of the riots. Manifesto author Sabeg slammed efforts under Sarkozy to help minority neighborhoods as “an empty shell.”

Bruni-Sarkozy said she couldn’t sign the appeal because of her status as first lady but that she fully supported it. She is quoted in the Journal du Dimanche as calling Obama’s election “an immense joy.”

 

 

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