Another News & Notes Roundtable

Quick heads up that I was on the blogger’s roundtable for News & Notes yesterday.  We didn’t get a chance to talk about the BlackBird browser, but we did talk about shoe throwing, weight gain, and smoking presidents (elect).

NPR Cancels News & Notes

The economic crisis is affecting NPR, naturally, and one of their responses has been to cancel two of their shows, News & Notes included.  I believe the story is that the show doesn’t bring in enough money in donations and has low ratings. I would be very interested in seeing the ratings breakdown of all NPR-supported shows to see if N&N is really at the bottom.  I mean, it just seems like a kick in the teeth — the only program that focuses on Black issues and now it will be off the air.

It’s especially interesting in light of what I had to say almost a year ago about why I don’t send donation dollars to NPR.  News & Notes is great, but I feel like NPR news in general feels really white-washed to me.  Others spoke up, saying they feel the same way.  And if black people’s impression of NPR mainly comes from the two flagship shows, they won’t necessarily stick around to find out that News & Notes exists.  And this doesn’t even mention the lack of coverage and perspectives for other POC.

My only hope right now is that NPR gets smart and brings Farai and the other talented N&N team into the fold for Morning Edition and All Things Considered.  I have always wanted a deeper, less white-washed approach for these two shows.  If the one show dedicated to the Black community is going away, that means it’s time to shove NPR into the 21st century and get them to cover issues of various POC communities more.

If that’s not going to happen, then I hope that someone decides to back a podcast, or maybe a public radio show on Pacifica.  There has to be a life after News & Notes.  It’s too good a resource to just let lapse.

News & Notes Monday

I’m going to be on NPR’s News & Notes again Monday as part of the blogger’s roundtable.  One of the things we’re going to discuss is the incident Nora mentioned in the previous post. I’ll try to keep the disgust from my voice.

Also: I’m super excited.  I always feel honored when they ask me to come back!

ETA: Here’s a link to the show if you want to listen.

On News & Notes Again Today

Hey everyone, sorry for the silence on my part.  I’ve been dealing with a lot of stuff in life (including settling in to my new fabulous job!) so I haven’t had the time to post what with the whirlwind.  Things are calming down now and I’ll be back to blogging as soon as I can.

However, i did want to tell you that I’ll be on the News & Notes Blogger Roundtable today!  The segment will air around 1:30 EST.  You can also download the podcast later.

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees…

Posted by: Shark-Fu

In remembrance of those who lost their life due to the violent hatred of others.

Strange Fruit was written by Lewis Allen and made famous by the fantabulous Billie Holliday.

Breathe in…exhale…begin.


Southern trees bear strange fruit.

That’s right, I said enough.

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root.

I am sick and tired people casually discussing lynching another person.

Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze.

First there was an anchor from The Golf Channel joking about lynching Tiger Woods and now there is The King of Rancidity, Bill O’Reilly, debating whether Michelle Obama has earned a lynching.

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.


Pastoral scene of the gallant south.

It is time for people to unite in a zero tolerance policy for this shit.

The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth.

Records show that 3,437 black people were lynched in America between 1880 and 1951. That number does not include all homicides because lynching is defined as any act of violence inflicted by a mob upon the body of another person which results in the death of the person.

Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh.

Lynching has never, is not now and never will be anything but the act of a mob murdering a human being.

Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

The noose has never, is not now and never will be anything but the hangman’s tool.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck.

Lynching is not a joke.

For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck.

Hanging a noose is not a prank.

For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop.

Threatening to lynch someone is threatening a violent death by hanging.

Here is a strange and bitter crop.

And so…enough.

Shark-Fu practices the fine art of bitchitude at

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Radio Daze

I’m very much enjoying the discussion about feminism in the previous post, so I’m reluctant to start a new topic (and I still haven’t finished my essays on the subject).  Instead, I will mention that I was on the News & Notes Blogger Roundtable again Monday.  I had the pleasure of meeting Farai Chideya in person!  (She was in town to attend the talk mentioned here.)  It was really awesome to finally put a 3-D face to the voice, and she was very nice.

We discussed tracing ancestry through DNA, forced immunization of kids in Maryland, and a missing black student in Mississippi.  On the last topic, I mentioned the Missing Minorities blog, but incorrectly stated that it lives at  Eek!  I came home to discover that some squatter owns that URL, and they most likely suck!

Anyway, it prompted me to change the Social Justice sidebar thing as I had intended to weeks ago and never did.

Follow the links above to listen to the audio.  You should subscribe to the podcast if you don’t hear News & Notes on your local NPR station.  It’s a great show.  And they now have a blog, which I read but always forget to mention.

Getting Attention is Nice

Just tooting my own horn a bit here.  And mostly because I’m kind of flabbergasted at some of the things I’m finding lately.

Firstly, back in September Electronic Village named me as one of the Top 10 Black Bloggers on the internet (ranked via Technorati authority).  I came in #5, which really surprised me as I didn’t think I scored that high against some of the other amazing bloggers out there, many of whom are on my blogroll.  Apparently there were 75 bloggers on the list then, and now they’ve identified over 400.  Needless to say I slipped down in the ranks to somewhere between 11 and 25, but I’m still honored to be mentioned.

Earlier this week my blog was mentioned in this piece on black bloggers.

These intellectual challenges to mainstream and other viewpoints are some of the opinions Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander-American, and black bloggers are exposing on a growing number of sites focused on social, political, and cultural issues. The sometimes facetiously named blogs range from Angry Asian Man to The Angry Black Woman. Readers can find Latino viewpoints at Guanabee, The Unapologetic Mexican, or Latino Pundit. Those interested in information from an Asian angle head to Ultrabrown, Zuky, or Sepia Mutiny. Sites created by blacks include The Field Negro, Too Sense, and Resist Racism. But often these bloggers discard the handcuffs of their ethnic origins to tackle subjects affecting a range of racial or ethnic groups.

These sites – many of which launched in the past year, although a few are older – have become places where people of color gather to refine ideas or form thoughts about race relations, racial inequities, and the role pop culture has in exacerbating stereotypes. The writers often bring attention to subjects not yet covered by mainstream media.

(There’s some discussion going on at Rachel’s Tavern about the handcuffs remark.)

And, of course, there’s my date with the radio, which resulted in some visits from the NPR website.  I’ve been invited back to News & Notes for the Monday after Thanksgiving.  My excitement is hardly contained!

Looking back to a few years ago when I started this blog, my goals were to rant and maybe educate a few folks.  I mostly wanted to have a space to write up my thoughts on race so that, in the event that I got into conversations/arguments/debates on the topic, I could point to various posts and say “That’s everything you need to know.”  The mission has evolved a little, but I never thought I’d have so many readers or that I’d become part of such an amazing community.  It’s pretty cool.  Even if I started out a wee facetiously…