Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Michelle Obama - Community Servant

Photos by:  

1) 2nd from left:  Charlene Muhammad
3 remaining: Ansar Muhammad

As Salaam Alaikum....Greetings of Peace!
Welcome back.

Today's major events that I covered, one this morning and one this evening, were both unplanned.  One was very "green," serene and peaceful and the other tense and electric. 
I happened upon the first thanks to one of our very special hosts, Bro. Ansar Muhammad, a staff photographer for the Denver Weekly News.  He invited me to a press conference down the street from his house and there I witnessed Mrs. Michelle Obama and her daughters prepare care packages for military troops and plant trees as part of the Democratic National Convention's Delegate Service Day in Denver's Curtis Park.  
Before loading the boxes though, Mrs. Obama addressed supporters and the media on the importance of community service and what it means to build communities.  Preparing care packages for troops reflects what she was taught as a child:  when you are a guest in someone's home, you leave it in a better condition than when you came.
Check out the Obama's here and scroll down to my other posts for coverage of a massive protest that Sis. Nisa Islam Muhammad and I just broke away from.

Peace..Sis Charlene

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gayle King

Gayle without Oprah?!  Yes she was...I found this beautiful sister exiting the Pepsi Center after Michelle Obama's address and if you think that her warm and approachable personality is a masquerade for T.V., think again.  
I just wanted to get a pic of her for my blog and she welcomed me to join the photo, which I rarely do.   She took photos with about 3-4 other women who  noticed her too. Oh and she let us all know that Oprah will definitely be in the house on Thursday.  
Thank you Gayle ... my mother and sister are big fans.

Brothers on the Front Line

I told you they're on deck and as always representing well.  From L.A. to Denver, Danny Bakewell, Jr. (President and Executive Editor of the L.A. Sentinel) and Rev. Eric Lee (Executive Director of the Los Angeles Southern Christian Leadership Council - SCLC) take time out for The Final Call following Michelle Obama's energetic address on Day 1 of the DNC.

More photos...

Final Call Senior Correspondent Askia Muhammad gets filmmaker Spike Lee's thoughts about pertinent issues during the DNC August 25-28.

Photo by: Ansar Muhammad

Scenes around Denver

L.A. and Orange County Representatives of the Junior Statesman Foundation with L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti at the Sheraton Hotel Downtown Denver.

Photo by:  Charlene Muhammad

Obama assassination threats just rants by a couple of meth-heads..

U.S. Attorney Troy Eid reiterated his statements that there is not enough legal evidence to treat the recent assassination threats on Senator Barack Obama as credible.


We've heard these words before when pliant judges, prosecutors and predominantly white juries found that there was insufficient evidence to convict rogue officers who shot and killed New Yorker Sean Bell on the eve of his wedding day; when Chief William Bratton and a policeman's board of rights released  the LAPD officer who shot and killed 13-year Devin Brown, and certainly when they refused to convict the officers caught on video tape beating the candy out of LA motorist Rodney King, but not like today.

According to Atty. Eid, the men arrested were a couple of meth-heads, sitting around and spewing racist rantings.  

Some in the media corp laughed when Atty. Eid said this, BUT THIS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER.  

The Final Call raised the question of when do the threats become credible, after Sen. Obama's been shot?  I reminded Atty. Eid that drugged out people and racists have committed murders before so what are they doing now to protect Sen. Obama and his family.

Atty. Eid responded, "Under no circumstances would we ever take this with anything other than the utmost seriousness....we will continue to check out anything related to this."

The arrests of the persons who made the threats stemmed from another criminal investigation, he said.

Gotta keep it moving...

Sis Charlene

A few photos

It's day two and things are escalating.  A lot of folk's discussion regards whether or not Sen. Biden will trash the Republicans and Sen. John McCain during his address tomorrow night and whether or not some phantom supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton will take over the convention floor with mass protests.

The  main thing right now is the U.S. Attorney's Office is having a press conference in a few hours to give an update on the assassination attempt on Sen. Obama.  They are are saying these threats are not credible, but those weren't toy rifles or a pretend bullet proof vest that they confiscated during the arrest.

As I sit here awaiting the press conference and observing all of the media trucks pull up and cameramen hustle for camera positions, my mind begs the question, what else do authorities need to classify the threats on Sen. Obama as credible? 

I mean, you have:

1 The first Black man who is close to becoming president of a country where black men have been lynched for less things, like slaving day and night as a sharecropper and having the nerve to request their rightful pay at the end of their labor;

2 His wife, who, along with her husband, has been under a constant barrage of attacks by right wing news media because she dares to display her intelligence and beauty, her courage and feminism, and present an image to little black girls and to women who may have never understood that what Mrs. Obama displays are attributes that can be acquired by them and through the same vehicles only if America would treat her black citizens justly;

3 Prophecies by white supremacists that if Barack wins there'll be a surge in membership among these groups;

4 and you have threats, arrests and weapons.

Just what else is needed to take this thing seriously? 

We'll find out. 

Meanwhile, let's remember the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan's request of us during his keynote address at this year's Saviours' Day Convention.  He asked the Nation and everyone to please pray for Sen. Obama and his lovely family.  Have we?

Peace and Blessings,

Sis Charlene 

Michelle...My Bell

As Salaam Alaikum Brothers and Sisters!

Final Call Staff Photographer Kenneth Muhammad captured this shot of Sen. Obama sending well wishes to his family and DNC participants.

Next,  Michelle, Michelle, Michelle.

Listen, if true historians, continuous discoveries and the teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad haven't convinced you by now that the Black woman is indeed the mother of civilization, then Mrs. Michelle Obama's address at the Democratic National Convention last night had to do it.

Certainly we all saw - me from the Pepsi Center and you from your TVs - her mesmerizing commentaries on all things social, economic, political, but what I witnessed first hand and also hope that you saw in some way from home was the way convention participants melted like putty as she spoke.  

Many people here are commenting endlessly about how physically beautiful she was, but what struck them most was the sincerity they felt as she spoke about her father's love, her mother's nurturing and her brother's protection.  

I think my husband, Maurice, expressed one of the greatest points of her address for him was no black male was slain as she was speaking, meaning, despite that Sen. Barack Obama's father did not rear him, he observed that she chose to comment on the positive side in terms of his connection and heritage and instead of use his absence as a crutch.

This was no ordinary convention day and no ordinary address.  People flowed out of the arena believing they could effect change all because of Michelle's speech.  That's what it's about, some of them said.  Not meeting just organize about how to remove the Republican Party from office, but to really engage people at their levels, despite their income ranges, number of children and above all, races.  

In a nutshell, because I have to roll out for Day 2, Mrs. Obama crushed any notion that she is angry, arrogant, uppity, elite, and stretched out her arms to embrace a world in need of healing.  

And she didn't have to deny her "blackness" or her black man to do it.

Peace and Blessings,

Sis Charlene

Monday, August 25, 2008

Interviews on the way...

Sis Melanie, thanks for corresponding!  I know...ohhhh I really can't wait until you see the interviews with some of the youth.  One young man was 13-years-old - very articulate and astute.  He attended with his dad and the worker's union he belongs to.  

When we arrived we hit the ground running on Final Call assignments, but the blog is a very important part of that and I will make sure to do more frequent posting throughout the day.

One thing's for sure, there is a heavy police presence around the city.  Although I wasn't here yet, I've seen photos of various protests that took place on the steps of the State Capitol, provided by Bro. Ansar Muhammad, who is helping to host us here.  Some of the demonstrators were protesting abortions and in one shot, which also belongs to Bro. Ansar, a news television reporter actually got into an argument with a local resident/activist who believes the station routinely puts out negative coverage of his community.  These are just some of the activities that are taking place on the ground around the Convention.

Also, community activists met with local police to discuss their concerns about racial profiling and to develop strategies to minimize and hopefully eradicate any incidents of racial profiling during the remainder of the Convention, and hopefully beyond.

The photos are taking a while to upload.  Stand by for them.

More soon,

Peace and Blessings, Sis Charlene

It's All About Youth!

As Salaam Alaikum...Peace everyone.

We made it to Denver, and not a day too soon.  Thanks Bro. Jesse, huggy bear and tnmhhmd for your positive energy.  There is so much going on right now I wish i could be in five places at once, but let me start with where I began today - the Sheraton Hotel.
I don't believe that it's a coincidence that as soon as we walked into hotel I landed at the plaza for the California Delegates.  Of course I'm expecting to meet and interview a host of popular politicians and organizational leaders, and I even anticipated connecting with youth, but the timing, their intelligence, persona and spirit floored me.  Am I shocked by them?  NO.  I am just shocked that even understanding that the mainstream media feeds us brief glimpses of young, gifted and Black people like the ones I was honored to interview today, that I had not seen any coverage of them yet. 

I know it's still early in the Convention and I'm actually touching base with you a little late myself since my first post, but these young leaders must be sought out.  The group I spoke to represented Los Angeles and Orange Counties.  

I'll get with you later tonight after Michelle Obama's address (I'm in the Pepsi Center now - IT'S ELECTRIC!).  Sen. Ted Kennedy just took the stage - and I can't hear myself think anymore because of the cheering.  

I'll be posting footage of some of the youth later's getting closer to Mrs. Obama's address.

Peace and Blessings,

Sis Charlene

Friday, August 22, 2008

In our lifetime...

As Salaam Alaikum Brothers and Sisters!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog, which is designed to help expand coverage of the historic event we are all about to witness.  I am grateful to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Final Call Publisher, and our Editor-In-Chief, Abdul Arif Muhammad, for the privilege and awesome task of recording this piece of history for our people and all people who crave news and information from an uncut, unfiltered perspective.

What do you want to hear...see...experience.  Share your thoughts.

Stay with me but don't cheat as well with my Brother and Sister colleagues, Ashahed Muhammad (Assistant Editor), Askia Muhammad (Senior Correspondent) and Nisa Islam Muhammad (Senior Staff Writer).

May Allah be pleased with our efforts.

Peace and Blessings,
Sis Charlene