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Category Archives: Giant Negros

Trevor Noah – Born a Crime

Trevor Noah on growing up in Soweto…

Trevor Noah on being mixed-race in apartheid South Africa: “I was just living this life of being a physical crime”

Noah sat down with “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert to promote his new book, “Born a Crime”

“Late Show” host Stephen Colbert interviewed Trevor Noah to talk about the “Daily Show” host’s forthcoming book, “Born a Crime.”

Asked about the title of the book, Noah said “the title came from my life.”

“I was born a crime. I was born to a black South African mother and a white Swiss father during apartheid in South Africa and them [having sex] was illegal,” he explained. “Apartheid only ended in 1990, so for the first six years of my life I was just living this life of being a physical crime.”

“Writing the book was fantastic because I had to go back through my life. I learned things about my life I didn’t actually even know,” he continued. “For instance, I always thought I was an indoor child. Turns out I wasn’t allowed to leave the house because if I was seen in … the area I lived in, the police would see me and go like, ‘Oh, that kid, he’s a crime, you can see that.’ And then they’d take me away and send me off to an orphanage because my mom wasn’t allowed to have me and my dad wasn’t allowed to have made me.”

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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Carla Hayden – Librarian of Congress

My father was a Historian. In developing for a book he did research at the Library of Congress. Got to go with him several times, and it is an awesome, if somewhat overwhelming place. In those days, they really didn’t know what they had there. You could spend decades trying to wade though even a small portion of it.

Chief Justice John Roberts, left, shakes hands with the new Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, left, after administering the oath of office during a ceremony in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. Hayden, a former Chicago children’s librarian, is the first woman and African American to serve in the role. Holding the bible is Hayden’s mother, Colleen, and watching is House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis.

Carla Hayden breaks new ground as 14th librarian of Congress

Carla Hayden, a career librarian who grew up in Chicago and kept Baltimore’s libraries open during last year’s civic unrest, was sworn in Wednesday as the 14th Librarian of Congress, becoming the first woman and the first African-American to lead the national library.

Hayden, 64, was the longtime CEO of Baltimore’s library system. She was nominated last year by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to head the Library of Congress. She will serve a 10-year term, a change from her predecessors, for whom the position was considered a lifetime appointment.

Hayden was sworn in Wednesday by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, with her hand on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible. It’s part of the library’s collection and was used by Obama at his inauguration.

“As a descendant of people who were denied the right to read, to now have the opportunity to serve and lead the institution that is the national symbol of knowledge, is a historic moment,” Hayden said to applause from a crowd that included numerous members of Congress and actor and literacy advocate LeVar Burton, the longtime host of “Reading Rainbow.”

Among her goals is to move aggressively to digitize precious material in the library’s collection of 162 million items, the largest in the world, and she said she plans to seek corporate sponsorships and philanthropic contributions to aid those efforts. The library has an annual budget of $640 million.

“Digitizing … is rather expensive and labor-intensive,” she told The Associated Press in an interview after the swearing-in. “You can’t just take a photo and say, ‘Here, we’ll just put it up.’”

In addition to serving the American public’s research needs, the library has a professional staff that does research for Congress, and it oversees the U.S. Copyright Office. The library’s properties include a massive underground vault in Culpeper, Virginia, where audio and visual material is stored.

Hayden becomes just the third professional librarian to lead the Library of Congress. Her predecessor, James Billington, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and served for 28 years, was a Russia scholar.

“She’s a pro. She knows what she’s doing,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said at the ceremony.

Although he was well-liked on Capitol Hill, Billington was criticized for failing to keep up with advances in technology in a series of increasingly scathing reports from the Government Accountability Office...Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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What the Media Doesn’t Want You to See

If the MSM, including those on both sides of the spectrum, would spend a bit more time on people like this, instead of asstwits like Trump, and the daily carnage…

America would be a hell of a lot better place.

Image result for 14-year-old Kentucky boy gives homeless man the shoes off his feet

14-year-old Kentucky boy gives homeless man the shoes off his feet

This 14-year-old boy may not call himself a “hero,” but in the eyes of at least one homeless man in West Louisville, Kentucky, that’s exactly what he is.

Laron Tunstill, who is nicknamed “Ron Ron,” was with the non-profit group PURP – an organization that’s “dedicated to help kids find their purpose” – doing homeless outreach on Labor Day when he spotted a man wearing shoes covered in holes.

Without exchanging any words, the boy sat down next to the older man, untied his shoes and handed them over.

At first, the man said “No.” But Ron Ron insisted.

“He was poor. So, you know, I just did what I had to do,” Ron Ron told CBS News.

An image of the pair went viral on Facebook with nearly 8,000 shares.

“Today a 14 year old from West Louisville, KY gave his shoes off of his feet to a homeless man!” the nonprofit posted on Monday. “While other 14 year olds are shooting and joining gangs Ron Ron is living out his purpose in life.”

Jason Reynolds, the founder of PURP, said Ron Ron comes from a crime-ridden neighborhood. He’s been watching the teen grow into a fine young man over the past three years that he’s been with the organization.

“When I first met him, he was wild,” he joked. “Now, three years later, he’s finally coming around. He’s going around and spreading love and trying to help others spread love.”

Hundreds of people commented on the post, praising the boy for his selfless act.

“This is awesome, I was always taught it’s better to give then receive,” one Facebook user commented.

“What an awesome Ky teen – many people live their whole life without discovering the best part of living,” another replied.

Ron Ron says he was “just doing the right thing.”

REon Ron – You just earned “Giant Negro” status in my book,.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2016 in Giant Negros, The Post-Racial Life

 

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A New Documentary on Floyd Norman

Floyd Norman was the first black artist hired by Disney Studios in 1956. If you have watched an animated Disney Movie, there is a good chance you have seen some of Mr. Norman’s work.

Review: ‘Floyd Norman: An Animated Life’: He Broke Barriers at Disney

Floyd Norman doesn’t think he’s special. Many others know differently, and for those who need more proof, “Floyd Norman: An Animated Life” is delighted to supply it. With all this film’s jubilance, that delight becomes contagious.

“Every time there’s a great moment in animation, look around, there’s Floyd Norman,” one colleague says. Another remarks, “He’s like the Forrest Gump of animation.”

Mr. Norman was hired at Disney in 1956 and became the first African-American animator on its staff. There he helped hand-draw scenes in “Sleeping Beauty,” “Mary Poppins,” “The Jungle Book” and other films, then went on to work at Hanna-Barbera, Pixar and elsewhere. The list of films and cartoons (“Fat Albert” and “Scooby-Doo” among them) he was involved with is enormous.

 

Floyd Norman in 1956 at Disney

Titles aside, this documentary, directed by Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey, features its own clever and original animation that illustrates scenes from Mr. Norman’s life. While he’s a tireless and upbeat presence, his path hasn’t been without setbacks, including what may have been age discrimination.

At 65 Mr. Norman was let go from Disney. Yet, like a mad cross between Bartleby the Scrivener and a cheery tour guide, he continued to show up at the company’s offices for years and help others until eventually being rehired. Now in his early 80s, he’s still making art.

The humble Mr. Norman is always ready with a laugh, and it’s tough not to smile yourself when he reaches for a pencil and starts drawing. When that happens, it’s redundant to say he’s special. Anyone can see it.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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The Court’s Stopped Clock Moment

The US Court systems, especially at the state level and below have gotten pretty miserable. The system is so imbalanced and corrupted as to be contemptible. So much so, when something goes right justice wise…

It is hard to believe.

What was that old Red Foxx joke about the Karate guy and the local guy fighting in a bar…”Karate, Korea Tae Kwan Do 1957!” …”K-Tire Iron, 1958 Caddy!”

New York City cab driver Mamadou Diallo was acquitted of manslaughter charges in death of his wife's rapist (Screen capture)

NY court erupts in cheers as charges dropped against man who beat his wife’s rapist to death

Wednesday, a court in Bronx, New York dropped charges against a man who killed an intruder who was trying to sexually assault his wife.

WABC reported Wednesday morning that the courtroom erupted in cheers when Judge Marc Whiten announced that he will accept a motion to dismiss manslaughter charges against 61-year-old cab driver Mamadou Diallo.

In May, police records say, just after Diallo left his apartment in the Bronx for work, a career criminal named Earl Nash went knocking from door-to-door in the building asking for water. Nash — whose police record showed more than 20 arrests for acts of theft and violence — reportedly tried to entice a little girl into the stairwell, but she ran away.

When he knocked on the Diallos’ apartment door, however, the cab driver’s 51-year-old wife — who has there at home with her sister — opened it a crack, which was all Nash needed to kick in the door and attack the women.

Nash smashed a chair down on Diallo’s wife’s head. When she crumpled to the floor, Nash began to rip her clothes off and tried to rape her.

With her sister’s help, the woman fought free and was able to call Diallo, who raced home in his cab and strode into the building brandishing a tire iron. He stepped off the sixth floor elevator, caught sight of Nash and attacked him, beating him in the head and body.

First responders arrived at the scene and transported an unconscious Nash to Lincoln Hospital, where he died.

A coroner’s report determined that Nash’s death was a homicide and prosecutors lodged manslaughter charges against Diallo.

He was released from custody in June and Diallo’s defense team submitted a motion to dismiss the charges, which Judge Whiten accepted.

Diallo told the New York Daily News after his release, “I don’t want to be a hero” for what he’d done. He said he only resorted to violence because his wife was in danger.

“Nobody’s happy when you fight with somebody and die,” said Diallo. “Nobody likes that. (But) you don’t mess with a man’s family, a man’s wife. Your family is your family.”

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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Getting Ready to Open a Can of Whooop-A***

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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Dartanyon Crockett …Really, Really Bad! Paralympic Judo Champ

Really inspiring story here of a guy with what would seem to be a skyscraper size deck of cards stacked against him… Reaching his goal. This article by Lisa Fenn is an Edward R. Murrow- and six-time Emmy Award-winning feature producer.Image result

From Blind and Homeless to Judo Champ: How Dartanyon Crockett Fought His Way to Rio

Legally blind and born into poverty, Paralympic athlete Dartanyon Crockett overcame many obstacles to compete this week in Rio, but his is no simple feel-good story.

The Olympics sow a common dream, that children can one day become champions. The triumphant music, the billowing flags, and the rags-to-riches vignettes lure us into believing that gold medals and Wheaties boxes are available to any child who dreams big enough. One athlete whose backstory will be front and center this week in Rio is Paralympian Dartanyon Crockett. Dartanyon won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Games in the sport of blind judo, and he arrives in Brazil ranked second in the world in his weight class. When I met him in 2009, he was transient, hungry, and had never heard of judo. At first glance, Dartanyon fits the underdog narrative that we crave in our sports stories. But when you scratch beneath the glossy surface, you’ll find it takes more than a dream to make it out of where he came from.

Dartanyon is legally blind. Born with optic neuropathy, a condition that causes vision loss, he can barely make out the facial features of a person sitting a few feet away. His mother died when he was 8 years old; he then went to live with his father, in a crack house. Dartanyon attended a high school in Cleveland, Ohio, with a graduation rate of less than 40 percent. I met him there when I was a feature producer at ESPN, and he was a senior on the wrestling team. My story was focused in part on his accomplishments as a visually impaired wrestler, where at 5-foot-7 with muscles bunched like walnuts, he was a winner in multiple weight classes. He achieved this success despite subsisting on the soggy mozzarella sticks and bruised apples served in cafeteria lunches.

Dartanyon told me that he wanted to wrestle in college the following year and one day attend law school. In the next breath, he admitted that he had never been on a college visit and hadn’t taken his SATs because he didn’t have the $26. As I filmed in his classes, I noticed something curious. He would doodle the phrase “Destined For Greatness” on the tops of his papers.

He knew how to hope for his dreams. He didn’t know how to hope towardthem. He had the will, but he didn’t know the way. Worse, he didn’t know he lacked a way. He seemed oblivious to the damning limitations on his life. And as I would soon discover, Dartanyon’s poverty was even more disabling than his visual impairment.

I was raised with Olympic-sized ideals and the belief that with determination and perseverance, one could overcome any circumstance. And yet as I met Dartanyon’s extended family, I was struck by how hardship engulfed multiple generations of families. Nearly everyone I met struggled with unemployment, poverty, or addiction. Why wasn’t the “determination + perseverance = success” formula working?

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As I sat and listened and pieced together the personal stories, one fact grew clear: My blueprint for betterment was critically flawed. Families like the Crocketts had inherited their history. They were born into a set of disadvantaged conditions that cascaded into subsequent negative outcomes. As children, they attended underfunded schools and returned home to overstressed, oftentimes single parents who were not equipped to nurture their emotional development. As teens, while their parents worked, many turned to the streets looking for a sense of belonging and a cure to boredom. They moved frequently and experienced more episodes of hunger, homelessness, and unemployment than children living above the poverty line.

Your money, your family, your security, your will, your future. Poverty takes a percentage of everything, indefinitely, until the cycle is broken.

Yet Dartanyon wasn’t told this as a child. He was only told to dream. And so he believed he was destined for greatness instead of a statistical sentence. After sitting beside him in abject poverty for several months, I agreed. And then I decided to do something about it.

After harnessing donations from ESPN viewers who were inspired by his story, I helped Dartanyon apply for college and lined up the resources he’d need to succeed. The publicity drew the attention of the U.S. Paralympic Committee, which offered him residency at the Olympic Training Center to study and train in the sport of blind judo. Housing, a competitive outlet, and three meals a day—we had found his winning lottery ticket, I thought.  My work was finished.

I was wrong. Dartanyon began failing at every turn. He failed his classes, failed to get up for morning weight lifting, failed to adjust socially to his now stable environment. What might seem like minor setbacks feel like major threats to an individual who has lived in the toxic stress of poverty, and Dartanyon often shut down in the face of daily challenges. His childhood taught him to endure his circumstances, but nothing and no one in his life showed him that he could overcome them.

Dartanyon’s pathway out required more than handing him opportunities. The journey required constant support over many years. It required a love free of strings and full of patience. Dartanyon and I worked tirelessly to reprogram the debilitating mindsets he carried out of poverty and take strides toward self-sufficiency: He learned how to pay a bill, plan ahead, have conversations with those in authority, utilize community resources, and develop healthy interpersonal relationships. Of equal importance, he learned to verbalize his traumas, to talk about them rather than shroud them in shame. Talking became like oxygen. It gave him life. And as he came to understand the history he had inherited, he grew less likely to repeat it.

And this is where it can get uncomfortable for those preferring to punt to a government program, because poverty has less to do with running out of money and everything to do with running out of useful personal relationships. The effective choice is to share in another’s vulnerability, to enter into their weaknesses and uncertainty. The courageous act is to speak healing truths that make souls stronger. The necessary investment from those of us in positions of strength is to put the needs of another before our own, even when inconvenient.

Our country is crying out for people who will cross the divide—who will venture into poverty, take a seat, learn the stories, and respond with love. People who make a difference in the world don’t wait to see if someone else will do something. They are willing to feed one family, educate one child, and mend one broken heart.

Today, Dartanyon is thriving. He is the 2014 blind judo world champion, a UNICEF ambassador, and a motivational speaker. He is pursuing a degree in social work so that he can one day help kids who grew up as he did. He said he’s learned that the difference between success and failure is having just one person who believes in you. He now wants to be that person for others.

If you see Dartanyon on the medal stand in Rio, resist getting too swept up in the music and fanfare. Remember the scores of children like him who believe they too are destined for greatness, yet are unknowingly thwarted by socioeconomic barriers. Politicians talk about reviving the American Dream, but it’s up to us as individuals to strengthen this ideal by developing relationships with those in need. And when we do, we will find that connection breeds compassion, and out of compassion, the will to act. Ultimately we will find that we can only change this world when we enter into another’s world.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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