Thursday, July 24, 2008

CNN: Black In America Pt 1's not even noon and I have had numerous conversations and ready many emails regarding the CNN series, Black In America. Although the views vary, I am glad to see that is has opened a flood gate for communication and more importantly SOLUTION! I have taken the liberty of posting a couple of emails below for your review.
So now what? Did you see it? What do you think?


Dear CNN:Tell me something that I don't know. Black women raising children, got that. Young black men not finishing school, got that. Successful black women with no men, got that. Oh, and of course I was not aware that many black families could trace their roots back to a white man in the 1800's. That must have taken Soledad months to uncover! And, what's up with the quasi-spoken word, stereotypical dude? You could have put hard-hitting results reporting and investigative finds in those slots! Anderson's post dialogue was more insightful and interesting than the 2-hour special! Perhaps your report tonight, on black men in America, will shut my mouth that has been hanging open in shock.
Signed,Disappointed in Harlem

I did not watch the show after the embarrassing drivel of the first 45 minutes. Not only because she is pretty but also because of her sensible and accessible manner, Harvard-educated Soledad has been one of my favorites for about five years.But in recent years I have thought less of her as she struggles through her awkward career. After she got fired as morning anchor, her assignments have been more for junior reporters. Last night's much-hyped broadcast was akin to an elephant experiencing nine months of pregnancy only to give birth to a mouse. Having spent decades focused on improving opportunities and readiness of Blacks, in recent years I have become concerned with truth and reconciliation. In this model I concern myself with discomforting the comfortable white beneficiaries of unearned privileges and exposing the evil deeds of their racist ancestors that bring Black America to its present state. CNN tonight: soft core video porn. Good grief, Soledad.
Signed Anonymous in Pittsburgh

I respect your point of view. I don't know all there is to know about Black history or our people's contributions to society. But this show wasn't about our history. It was a snippet of the Black experience. Was it everything that you could possibly get? Absolutely not. How could you show everything in 2 hours with commercials. I applaud Soledad for taking a first step. Perhaps other networks or people-for that matter-will do it better. That is the challenge to anyone who is casting a stone right now.
Anonymous in New York City

"OK, CNN. You got me. I must admit that I have been bamboozled. You're a sly fox, you news network. You are clever, and you have proven an old myth to carry some weight: Put something bright and shiny in front of the Black person, and they'll follow it. CNN, you're genius in an idiot box.
Here I was thinking that "Black in America" was going to shed some light on parts of the African American experience that are often omitted from the news, special reports, Hollywood, etc. Like the Negro Millennial fool I am with an abundance of youthful optimism fighting to still keep hope alive, I thought you might do right by me, Black people and America, but you fell short CNN. And in my moment of vulnerability, I was positioned to be wiser, and now I know that I didn't need to watch the first night of that special, and I definitely will not be watching the second. No one did, and nobody should. It's just going to get worse.
CNN's Black in America was a "NO" all around.
No mention at all of Black Muslims or Negroes of a faith outside Christianity or perhaps without a practicing faith at all.
No commentary on the experience of many immigrants to this country who are third, fourth and fifth generation and very much a part of Black America (although I expected as much).
No serious look at the lives and legacy of Black middle-class people. No good news. No hope. No chance. No pride.
If you are a Black woman who has somehow miraculously transcended the almost inevitable hot mess of a life most Black people are destined to endure, you had better do us all a favor and mate with someone outside your race to end the vicious cycle. To assist you in your decision to take our advice, allow us to point out how few choices you have within your own community for a suitable mate. Speaking of mate, have you considered the penitentiary pen pal program? We'll tell you more about that tomorrow when CNN tells you all about Black men. Oh, but let us not forget that if you'd prefer to have a Black man, they are available for the position of "baby daddy."
However, I cannot leave on a sour note. It is clearer now than ever before that we have to be the agents of our own storytelling. We can't leave this important task to CNN, mainstream media, textbooks, white people the government. It won't get done, and if it is done, it won't be done well.
New Millennium Negroes it is on us! We can make this happen because of all the resources we have. The revolution may not be televised, but it can be uploaded. Post your story on YouTube. Post your story to a blog.
And perhaps it's my characteristic millennial optimism that has me feeling so foolish because I really believed and I still believe that we can fix this. Even though I know the statistics and see the disparities, I just feel it in my heart that we are broken, but not unfixable...
If the reality was what was presented last night, then we'd be dead. There has to be something keeping us alive, and I just don't think we've tapped into that thing... that very Blackness in America... in a way that is constructive and restorative. Will I grow out of this feeling?"

As seen on (see full article there, great site!)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

SheNotes Spotlights Jamal "Reality" Meeks, A&R at SRC.

Hey ya'll. Here is another one of my homies that is near & dear to me (My CREOLE brotha) and making his mark in the entertainment business!

Jamal "Reality" Meeks, A&R at SRC, is one of the coolest cats that I know. Although I consider him a friend, I still appreciate him taking the time to do a Q&A with me.

And for all of you is a MUST that you see him regarding the Faces In The Crowd Showcase. He really does deliver the industry professionals and the possibilities are endless. See info at the end of the Q&A.



SN: On the SRC side, who are you currently working with?

Reality: I am currently working on Shire' (pronounced Sha-Ray) she is from Baltimore and she has a real soulful voice and a distinctive sound. She is definitely a name to look out for. Her album is coming out in 1st Quarter 2009.

SN: Where do you feel that you have made the biggest impact in the entertainment business?

Reality: I feel like I make the biggest impact when helping artist get to the next level in their careers. That goes for helping a new signed artist put together a great album and set up that artist to become a huge success as well as unsigned artist who want to develop their music so that they will be able to get to a deal with a major label.

SN: How did you get started?

Reality: I got my start in the music business from an initial internship with Universal Records working with Katina Bynum and Ayanna Williams in the Marketing Department. That was in 2001 and I was in my Junior year of college at Hampton University. Once I finished that internship and gained a lot of knowledge, I came back to school to finish up my Senior year. During my Senior year I was a college rep for Universal Records and helped promote their artist on my campus. Upon finishing my college career I moved up to New York and ended up landing a position with Steve Rifkind and SRC Records.

SN: Do you believe it is WHO you know or WHAT you know that will get you in the door as an artist? And why?

Reality: I do believe that it is partially WHO you know, because relationships count in this business. You have to have people open doors for you and vice versa. Nevertheless, a lot of it is WHAT you know as well. You can have the best connects in the world, but if you don't know a lot of about the business and your job requirements, you will soon be without a job. So make sure you have great relationships and strive to know more than the next man once you get a position in the business.

SN: What is your take on artist development? Does it still exist?

Reality: Artist Development exist to a certain extent. It is not really done by major labels these days. I believe the reason is because labels don't have the time and money that they used to have to have a artist development system. However, a lot of labels do production deals with artist and producers because they know that the artist can be developed to a certain extent with a great production team around them. This is a less costly way to have an artist develop a unique sound that could end up leading to revenue for the company.

SN: What is your favorite type of artist to work with?

Reality: My favorite type of artist to work with doesn't really necessarily have a particular genre. I just like to work with artist who are highly talented and most importantly highly motivated. They have to be open to criticism and have thick skin. If they are a hip hop artist they really have to be original and charismatic. If it is a R&B artist they have to be able to be a great performer in the studio and on stage.

SN: Is there is a formula for discovering talent?

Reality: I think the best formula for discovering talent is being able to see artist perform live. This to me is where you truly see an artist at his/her best. The definition of a star is someone who can get on the stage and do something that the people in the audience can't do. If an artist is a great performer on stage more than likely he/she will be great at recording in the studio. However, sometimes it doesn't work the other way around.

SN: What was your objective when you first came into the business?

Reality: My objective when I first came in the business was to find unique and talented artists who could bring quality music to the main stream. I was on the outside looking in for years and I felt like a lot of the music that I grew up on was not really what labels were looking for these days. I really wanted to find out the reason why that was happening. I wanted to know if that was based off what the labels wanted, or what the consumers wanted, or what the actual artist wanted to put out.

SN: Tell us about Faces In The Crowd?

Reality: Faces In The Crowd Showcase is an event that me and my partner Chalant produce once a month in NYC. It is for signed artist as well as unsigned artist. We have a competition with unsigned artist where they get a chance to win a prize package that will enhance their presence in the music industry. We have signed and unsigned artist perform on the same stage in front of a large crowd (400-500 people) of music executives, A&R's, producers, publishing companies, taste makers, and consumers. We have been the catalyst for 4 artist getting major record label deals. The most notable of those artist was Chrisette Michelle (Island/ Def Jam) who was scouted out at our showcase by Shalik Berry (A&R for Def Jam).
Faces In the Crowd is the premiere showcase to get your artist seen and heard by the right people.

** You can check them out at and the You Tube channel (

SN: What's next?

Reality: I am currently working on Shire' pronounced Sha-Ray debut album called Picking Up The Pieces. I am also working towards making Faces In The Crowd Showcase bigger to help more artist get record deals. I am also part of Rock NYC with my partner Matt Maroone. Rock NYC is a company that puts together Premiere Rock Showcases in NYC. We currently have a exclusive deal for our showcase with Universal Motown. I launched my company, Future History LLC, which is an umbrella company for a production company, clothing company, and management company. My goal is to bring quality music to the masses and leave a positive legacy in the entertainment business.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Believe

More great stuff to jump start my Monday ! :-)

Thanks Patrice.


I Believe

A birth certificate shows that we were born; a death certificate shows that we died; pictures show that we lived! Have a seat . . . Relax. And read this slowly.

I believe - That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe - That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe - That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I believe - That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I believe - That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I believe - That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I believe - That you can keep going long after you think you cant.

I believe - That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe - That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I believe - That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe - That it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I believe - That no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I believe - That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I believe - Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe - That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

Monday, July 7, 2008

40 Tips For A Better Life In 2008

40 Tips for a Better Life - 2008

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile . It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows and get more sleep .

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to ... today.'

5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy .

6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2007.

7. Make time to practice prayer. It provides us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.

14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn . Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16 . Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more . It will keep the energy vampires away. 18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

26. Forgive everyone for everything.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28. GOD heals almost everything.29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

33 . The best is yet to come.

34. No matter how you feel , get up, dress up and show up.

35. Do the right thing!

36 . Call your family often. (Or email them to death!!!) Hey I'm thinkun of ya! =)

37. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.

38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

40. Pass this on.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

CNN Presents: Black in America

When programs like this are shown on national television it always surprises me the number people that don't know about it. I am taking this opportunity to spread the word. You can view the trailer by clicking on the link at the bottom of the blog.


"CNN Presents: Black in America" a six-hour television event, examines the complex issues, successes and struggles of black men, women and families.

On July 23 at 9pm and July 24 at 9pm, CNN will premier a series, 'Black in America with Soledad O'Brien'. The series will focus on Women and Families and as well as dedicate an entire episode to the plight of the Black Man in America.

See link below for more information: