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Pres. Obama and Trump let their guards down at White House

buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...


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Saturday, June 1, 2013

BLACK MUSIC MONTH SPOTLIGHT: KOOL & THE GANG

buzzz worthy. . .



The Slice Salutes Kool & The Gang for its enormous contribution to the world of music!


A group of East Coast brothers and their friends formed a band in the 60's that went through several name changes (including Kool and the Flames) before they settled on  the name now known the world over, Kool & The Gang. Selling over 70 million albums worldwide the band influenced the music of three generations. With the popularity of  songs like Celebration, Cherish, Summer Madness and Open Sesame, Kool & The Gang has earned two Grammy® Awards, seven American Music Awards and amassed 25 Top Ten R&B hits, nine Top Ten Pop hits and 31 gold and platinum albums.  Led by James "JT" Taylor singer, the song "Celebration" from the  1980 album release "Celebrate" became a party and special occasion staple. Taylor became a solo act. This summer check out the remaining members of Kool & The Gang as they  tour with Kid Rock.


ABOUT BLACK MUSIC MONTH
The month of June is designated as Black Music Month.  In 2012, President Barack Obama  began in 1979 when Kenny Gamble, Ed Wright, and Dyana Williams developed the idea to set aside a month dedicated to celebrating the impact of black music. Created by music business insiders, the group successfully lobbied President Jimmy Carter to host a reception on June 7th, 1979 to formally recognize the cultural and financial contributions of black music. Since 1979, Black Music Month has grown from a commemoration to national proportions with extravaganza across the country.
In 2000, US-Representative Chaka Fattah sponsored House Resolution 509, which formally recognized the importance of Black music on culture and the economy during President Bill Clinton’s administration.
In 2009, President Barack Obama further defined June as African American Music Appreciation Month who declared the start of summer as a celebration for all the black "musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters [who] have made enormous contributions to our culture." (Ref: African American Music Museum).

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Friday, May 31, 2013

OBAMA PROCLAIMS JUNE IS LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH WITH ROARING SUPPORT

FROM THE WHITE HOUSE. . .


OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS "PROUD TO PARTNER" IN THE LGBT JOURNEY 
TOWARD EQUALITY

- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

For more than two centuries, our Nation has struggled to transform the ideals of liberty and equality from founding promise into lasting reality. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans and their allies have been hard at work on the next great chapter of that history -- from the patrons of The Stonewall Inn who sparked a movement to service members who can finally be honest about who they love to brave young people who come out and speak out every day.

This year, we celebrate LGBT Pride Month at a moment of great hope and progress, recognizing that more needs to be done. Support for LGBT equality is growing, led by a generation which understands that, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." In the past year, for the first time, voters in multiple States affirmed marriage equality for same-sex couples. State and local governments have taken important steps to provide much-needed protections for transgender Americans.

My Administration is a proud partner in the journey toward LGBT equality. We extended hate crimes protections to include attacks based on sexual orientation or gender identity and repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." We lifted the HIV entry ban and ensured hospital visitation rights for LGBT patients. Together, we have investigated and addressed pervasive bullying faced by LGBT students, prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Federal housing, and extended benefits for same-sex domestic partners. Earlier this year, I signed a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the implementation of any VAWA-funded program. And because LGBT rights are human rights, my Administration is implementing the first-ever Federal strategy to advance equality for LGBT people around the world.

We have witnessed real and lasting change, but our work is not complete. I continue to support a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, as well as the Respect for Marriage Act. My Administration continues to implement the Affordable Care Act, which beginning in 2014, prohibits insurers from denying coverage to consumers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which addresses the disparate impact of the HIV epidemic among certain LGBT sub-communities. We have a long way to go, but if we continue on this path together, I am confident that one day soon, from coast to coast, all of our young people will look to the future with the same sense of promise and possibility. I am confident because I have seen the talent, passion, and commitment of LGBT advocates and their allies, and I know that when voices are joined in common purpose, they cannot be stopped.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2013 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA
# # #
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Gays against gospel artist Kirk Franklin

buzzz worthy. . .

In most of his comments on the subject, Franklin has called on the church to treat LGBT people with kindness, compassion and love but has insisted “we can never compromise what the Bible says about homosexuality,” as stated in his book.
When he was asked in an Associated Press interview what he sees in the future for the LGBT community in the black church, Franklin reiterated his theme of compassion along with change.
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Poison Letters target the White House again

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The Secret Service says a letter similar to ones sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been intercepted by a White House mail screening facility.
The agency says the letter has been turned over to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force for testing and investigation.
Officials have said that two threatening letters postmarked in Louisiana and containing traces of the deadly poison ricin were sent to Bloomberg in New York and to his gun-control group in Washington.
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National Spelling Bee has a winner from NYC

buzzz worthy. . .

By Mona Austin


BRISTOW, VA - "Knaidel." The word for Yiddish dumpling, is a word many people have never heard, but one that has earned Arvind Mahankali, a 13-year-old from Bayside Hills, New York, some time in the national spotlight.   He won the  the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night.

Mahankali competed against 280  contenders for nerd swag as the  top speller in the English language, $30,000 in cash and prizes and a huge golden urn shaped trophy.

You could say the Scripps Be is the "American Idol" (AI)  of words.  Like this year's AI winner Candace Glover, this was the eighth-graders third attempt and he took home the title. 


No stranger to the agony of defeat, Mahankali,  finished third over the last two years.  This year he came back with a vengeance  and was one of three spellers to advance to the semifinals with a perfect score.
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Arvind is the  fifth Indian American  in a row and 10 of 14 to win the competition, a run that started in 1999 when Nupur Lala captured the title and was later featured in the documentary "Spellbound."
Two spellers had a chance to make history as the first pair of siblings to win the bee. Eleven-year-old Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kan., is trying to emulate her sister, Kavya, who won in 2009, and 13-year-old Ashwin Veeramani of North Royalton, Ohio, is the brother of 2010 winner Anamika Veeramani according to the AP .Last year's winning word was "guetpans." Snigdha Nandipati spelt it correctly and became a spelling champ
This year a computerized vocabulary test was introduced to the competition.

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Nike severs last tie to Lance Armstrong

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Nike has ended its nine year relationship with Lance Armstrong's charity.
The athletic gear corporation pulled sponsorship form the biking legend last October after he admitted to doping allegations.  But Wednesday it was reported that  Nike cut ties with Armstrong's non-profit charity, livestrong.org.
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"Have's and Have Nots" is OWN Network's highest rated premiere

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FANS FLOCKED tO THEIR TV'S LIKE ThEY FLOCKED TO THE PLAYS. . .TYLER PERRY’S ‘THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS’ IS OWN’S HIGHEST RATED SERIES DEBUT IN NETWORK HISTORY WITH 1.77 MILLION TOTAL VIEWERS TUNING IN FOR TUESDAY NIGHT’S PREMIERE EPISODE


Second Episode at 10 p.m. Builds From Premiere with Over 1.8 Million Total Viewers Tuning in
Los Angeles – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network continues its strong ratings momentum as 1.77 million viewers watched the series premiere of Tyler Perry’s new original series “The Haves and the Have Nots” on Tuesday night, May 28 at 9 p.m. making it the highest rated series debut in network history.

From prolific writer, director, producer Tyler Perry, “The Haves and the Have Nots” follows the complicated dynamic between the rich and powerful Cryer family and the hired help who work in their opulent mansion set in Savannah, Georgia. OWN premiered two back-to-back episodes debuting a new night of original programming on Tuesday nights, attracting 1.77million total viewers for the premiere episode at 9 p.m. (1.57 W25-54 rating) building to over 1.8 million viewers tuning in for the second episode at 10 p.m. (1.67 W25-54 rating).  The premiere episode built every quarter hour, growing +20% over the course of the 9 p.m. hour.  Continuing the solid growth for the night, the second episode at 10 p.m. also built or held each quarter.



For Q2 2013 to-date, OWN continues to deliver double-digit growth, up +12% in total viewers.

Tonight (Wednesday, May 29) marks the premiere of Tyler Perry’s new comedy series “Love Thy Neighbor” with two back-to-back, half-hour episodes from 9-10 p.m.  The series is set at The Love Train Diner, a family run restaurant where every day the menu serves up good food, great laughs, valuable life lessons and a whole lot of love.  Diner owner and feisty family matriarch Hattie Mae Love (Patrice Lovely, “A Madea Christmas”) has her hands full not only managing her customers but her family drama, too.
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VIDEO: Michelle Bachman will call it quits in 2014

buzzz worthy. . .


Congresswoman Michelle Bachman has announced she will not run for a fifth term in her Michigan District in 2014.  Republican support has waned for the outspoken Tea Party supporter over the years. She won her current seat by a small margin. However, in her 8-minute video announcement the former U.S. Presidency hopeful explained she is not leaving for fear of not getting re-elected.
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Book by award winning crime author explores figitve Black Kingpin

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Crime Expert and Author Ron Chepesiuk
Uncovers Criminal Legend Frank Matthews
in New Book
"Black Caesar: The Rise and Disappearance of  
Frank Matthews, Kingpin"
  
New York City - On July 2, 1973, Frank Matthews, history's first African American drug kingpin, jumped bail in New York City with $15 to $20 million - the equivalent of $80 million to $90 million in today's money.  It is believed he took his beautiful mistress,Cheryl Brown with him.  Though Matthews is undisputedly the longest missing fugitive in DEA history, another figure from the '70's, Assata Shakur, was just recently placed on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list.  A 66-year old Black woman, Shakur's reward is set for two million dollars. The reward for 69-year old Frank Matthews, the target of one of the largest manhunts in U.S. law enforcement history, is a mere $20,000.  He remains at large and his disappearance is a complete mystery.  He has never made any "Most Wanted" list.

Many believe Shakur was erroneously convicted for the murder of a state trooper. But there is no mistaking the fact that the narcotics Matthews helped funnel into Black communities across America continues to leave a trail of devastation, betrayal, death and despair. In each case it has been forty years.  And so goes the continued urban legend of Frank Matthews, perhaps the most authentic American Gangster of them all. 

Award-winning crime author Ron Chepesiuk goes into depth to investigate the unsolved disappearance of Matthews with his new book, "Black Caesar: The Rise and Disappearance of Frank Matthews, Kingpin" from Strategic Media Books.  With an undercover reporting style that leaves no stone unturned, Chepesiuk's determined crack at unraveling one of the crime world's biggest unsolved mysteries makes for a fascinating and intriguing read. 

Matthews' literally dominated the heroin market in the '70's.  A country boy from North Carolina, Matthew operated out of New York with a drug empire that spanned 21 states with overseas contacts for heroin and cocaine. A boss of bosses, the DEA ranks him as one of the Top Ten drug traffickers in United States history.  A young man in his twenties at the time, Matthews was one of the first major independents who challenged the La Cosa Nostra for supremacy in the criminal underworld.  The streets deemed him, "Black Caesar" as he was the first black man bold, astute and confident enough to control an interstate organization of its size, independent of the Mob that ruled all.  

Chepesiuk follows the trail left cold, retracing Matthew's criminal path with the nose of a bloodhound.  His interviews with DEA agents, Federal Marshals, aging ex-drug kingpins, friends, families and associates are perhaps the most in-depth gathering of details about this nefariously historic figure ever compiled.  The book explores a host of nagging questions.  How was Matthews able to operate for several years without being detected? What was his relationship with La Cosa Nostra? Why did the CIA get involved in the Matthews investigation? What happened to Cheryl Brown? Why has the mystery of his disappearance been so difficult to solve? And while the questions are explored and answered, "Black Caesar: The Rise and Disappearance of Frank Matthews, Kingpin" colorfully captures the vivid imagery, drama and intrigue of the era, entangling the reader in a real life thriller.

"Ron Chepesiuk is to true crime books what Nas is to the hip-hop world," offers Seth  
Ferranti author of "Gorilla Convict: The Prison Writings of Seth Ferranti," who provides the gripping foreword for the book. "He writes like a lyrical poet examining issues in popular culture in both a historical and scholastic context."

A two-time Fulbright Scholar, film producer and author of several true crime books, including "Drug Lords," "Sergeant Smack" and "Queenpins," Ron Chepesiuk (www.ronchepesiuk.com) is also a consultant to the History Channel's "Gangland" documentary series and the executive producer and co-host of popular radio show "Crime  Beat" (http://www.artistfirst.com/crimebeat.htm).  An authoritative crime historian, Chepesiuk is  a native of Thunder Bay, Canada currently based in South Carolina.   He brings a wealth of insight and observation to the account of the missing Frank Matthews. He has also written a screenplay based on the Frank Matthews story. 

Dead or alive, we may never know the ultimate truth about Matthews, but thanks to Chepesiuk, every speculation in between is resolved in "Black Caesar: The Rise and Disappearance of Frank Matthews, Kingpin."  The FBI may be targeting Assata Shakur, but Frank Matthews is the true gangster Most Wanted!
(Via Press Release)
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Obama's Memorial Day Speech

buzzz worthy. . .

Today President Obama laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown solider.

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