The 4th of July Belongs To Us Too…

There are a lot of folks who would have you and I believe that the 4th of July does not truly belong to black folks. While we understand the perspective—it’s not a complete perspective—it just isn’t. We love how Ronda Racha Penrice attacks this issue from a straight up historical and fact based position. She recently wrote this piece on Why the 4th truly does belong to all of us and we respect and salute her for it. Read on….


“The Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine,” Frederick Douglass said in his famous 1852 address “What to the slave is the 4th of July?”

More accurately, the celebration of the Fourth of July, of American freedom in particular, may have then belonged to white Americans but Douglass was mistaken in his assertion that the Fourth of July did not belong to African-Americans. The critical role African-Americans played in establishing the nation is not brought up enough.

There was a time, even during slavery, when it was hard to ignore the fact that Crispus Attucks, a fugitive slave, served as a key catalyst to the American Revolution. When British soldiers fired upon the colonists in 1770, in what is now immortalized as the “Boston Massacre,” Attucks was the first to die.

How ironic that a black man, once enslaved but defying the law that deemed him a slave to take his freedom, would become the martyr for freedom and equality to those who denied him the same dignity?

An estimated 5,000 African-Americans fought in the American Revolution so Frederick Douglass was not correct when he declared that “The Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine.” In fact, it’s this continued oversight of history that plagues us to this day. When Tea Party supporters and others intimate that African-Americans are somehow less American than others, they are dead wrong. It has been argued time and time again that African-Americans are, in many ways, more patriotic than other Americans.

Despite being held in bondage and suffering Jim Crow and other miscarriages of justices, African-Americans have never given up on the great promise of freedom captured in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. In fact, the greatness of leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. is that they dared to remind this nation that it was not living up to its potential.

In his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, King, whose national monument will be unveiled on August 28, nearly 50 years after the historic 1963 March on Washington, spoke of the “bad check” America had given black Americans while also revealing the hope that African-Americans have generally held on to despite enduring the worst of times. “But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt,” he said. “We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.”

As with every war, including the ones currently being fought, African-Americans have served this nation nobly. So, when it comes to celebrating the Fourth of July, we have just as much right as any other American whose investment in this nation extends back to its very foundation.

Read the full article here.

President Obama Says “Same Sex Couples Should Be Able To Get Married”

By Team BLAM

Barack Obama is backing marriage for same sex couples. This is a controversial subject–no doubt. There are those who oppose gay and lesbian people uniting through marriage. However, many people are thrilled to hear Obama lift up and affirm what he says are his “personal views”. Check out the letter President Obama’s campaign sent out via email and listen in to what he said.

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“I’ve always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.


But over the course of several years I’ve talked to friends and family about this. I’ve thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, I’ve gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.


What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.


Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn’t dawn on them that their friends’ parents should be treated differently.


So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.


I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.

 Thank you,


Ok, BLAM Fam–weigh in! What are your thoughts?

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey Speaks Out About Trayvon Martin Case. Says It’s A “Tragedy And A Shame”

During an exclusive interview with “Extra TV,” Oprah Winfrey told host AJ Calloway: “It is a tragedy and it is a shame that we’re sitting here 33 days later and there hasn’t been an arrest, or questioning of what actually happened. It’s a tragedy and it is a shame and we all know it.”

Oprah also talked about her interview with the late Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristini and her decision to cancel Rosie O’Donnell’s show from her OWN Network. Listen in…

Mom Says Teacher Told Son To Read ‘Blacker’

By Team BLAM


A Virginia high school English teacher is under investigation for allegedly asking the only black student in the class to read a poem in a “blacker” manner.


Jordan Shumate, a ninth-grader at George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va., says he was reading aloud Langston Hughes’ “Ballad of the Landlord” when teacher Marilyn Bart interrupted him.


“She told me, ‘Blacker, Jordan — c’mon, blacker. I thought you were black,'” Shumate told The Washington Post.


When the 14-year-old student declined to continue reading the poem, Bart read it herself to demonstrate what she meant.


“She read the poem like a slave, basically,” Shumate told the Post. When he asked whether she thought all black people speak that way, he was reportedly told to take his seat and reprimanded for speaking out of turn.


The poem was written in 1940 about a black tenant thrown in jail for challenging a landlord.


“It’s very, very unprofessional,” Shumate told WJLA-TV. “It should not happen. She didn’t do it to any other kids. Why did she have to do it to me?”


The student brought the issue to his mother’s attention after the teacher reportedly singled him out again during a lesson about stereotypes. Shumate said Bart asked him to explain why blacks like grape soda and rap music.


Shumate’s mother, Nicole Page, told WAMU that she is “very sad” for her “child’s loss of innocence” through the experience. The teacher had also previously asked the student to rap out a poem by black rapper and actor Tupac Shakur, Page said.


“We’re in 2012 with the first African American president,” Page told WJLA-TV. “In this era how could such a statement be made, particularly by an English teacher?”

Read the full story here.

Did You See Oprah’s Interview Of Bobbi Kristina? Check It Out Here.

By Team BLAM

Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, along with Whitney’s brother and sister-in-law sat down with the legendary talk show host Oprah Winfrey for an interview that people are still talking about.

It was heartfelt and done with integrity. Hats off to Oprah for a job well done. Check out the full interview of Bobbi Kristina above.

VIDEO: Stephen A. Smith Speaks Out On Blacks Sensitivity To Racial Issues. What Do You Think?

By Team BLAM

On a recent episode of ESPN’s “First Take,” host Stephen A. Smith talked about how blacks’ sensitivity to racial issues has had a “contagious” effect on what different ethnic groups find offensive. Smith said that because of this sensitivity, America has become an unforgiving society.

Interesting issue… Are black folks too sensitive? What do you think?

VIDEO: Nelson Mandela Hospitalized. Why He Means So Much To The Entire World…

Nelson Mandela was recently hospitalized. South Africans and people from all over the world have been concerned. Nelson Mandela is certainly a beloved political and spiritual figure who changed the course of history. CNN’s Nadia Bilchik talks about the global icon and why he means so much to the entire world.

VIDEO: This is gooood. Actresses Viola Davis And Octavia Spencer Debate With Tavis Smiley Over The Black Maid Stereotype And “The Help” Movie

Watch Actresses Viola Davis & Octavia Spencer on PBS. See more from Tavis Smiley.

By Team BLAM

Oscar-nominated actresses Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer passionately debate about their roles in the movie “The Help”. Tavis Smiley gave them much respect for their performances but said he and many others are ambivalent about their roles in the film.

 Viola Davis just kept it 100 and said Smiley’s attitude is destroying black art. I was like Wowww. But, seriously they have a very thought provoking deep debate on this issue. Viola Davis is quite the intellectual. I had no idea. So, let me know what your thoughts are… listen in.


What Do You Think About Nancy Grace’s Defense Of Her Controversial Comments About Whitney Houston’s Death?

By Aiyana Ma’at

Did you hear what Nancy Grace said about Whitney Houston’s death? More specifically,  she made comments about the way that she died. She said  “I want to know who pushed her or let her slip under the water” It angered a lot of people because they feel that Nancy Grace was wildly speculating and that it was an inappropriate comment.


Nancy Grace defends her word in this clip but I, like many, feel that she really should have apologized. She may not have even meant to be insensitive but, if to her surprise, she finds out she was then just apologize! Making loose comments like she did is exactly how rumors get started in the first place.


I swear….the Ego is a huge monster to battle and Nancy Grace is letting her Ego get the the best of her right here in my opinion.


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Pastor Shirley Caesar’s audio is cut when she responds to Nancy Grace…

What do you think BLAM Fam?

VIDEO RECAP: Whitney Houston’s Funeral Service

If you missed Whitney Houston’s funeral service on Saturday, here is video recap of most of the speeches and singing from her family and friends. May she rest in peace…