Monday, March 23, 2009

Reporting the News; Keeping It Real and Relevant

As Salaam Alaikum and peace and blessings everyone!

Wow!  This has been a good week and I'm feeling very productive and having a bit of fun, though we have serious work at hand.

Yesterday, I was very honored to be part of a power-packed media panel at the African American Cultural Center in Los Angeles.  It was hosted by Dr. Maulana Karenga and the Advocates of the Us Organization, and presented as part of the organization's celebration of Women's History Month.  

More on this way below, but check this out:

I've been invited by Dominique DiPrima (the host of "Front Page," Southern California's early morning communications drum [4:30 a.m. - 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time] to be her honorary co-host for the day.  Hot Topic Tuesday is the theme for the show tomorrow and it's exciting because the listeners get to discuss any topic - well not any - we've got to keep it clean, that is impacting them and the listeners of 102.3 FM-KJLH (owned by Bro. Stevie Wonder) are full of life and they keep 'em coming.  

If you're in the city, you already know to set your dials now to 102.3 FM and if you're not, you can tune in to the show online at and just click * listen live * to get in the mix and bring your deliberative dialogue.  

Back to yesterday...

First, THANKS A MILLION!  to all the MGT and FOI who showed up to support me and the Final Call:  my husband, Ali, Queen Aminah (your designs are too fabulous), her husband, Bro. Larry, Sis Cheryl and daughter, Deja, Sis Angelita, my great helper in the Final Call cause, Sis. Student Minister Dorothy, Sis. Beverly, Sis. Barbara, Sis. Valerie, Sis. Charisse, Sis. Joyce, Sis. Caryette and last but not least, Sis. Robyn and her lovely son.

The commemoration is called Black History Month II - Black Women Focus.  It was very enjoyable to be able to hear from the community as they interviewed us - Dominique, Shirley Hawkins of Our Weekly Newspaper and Yussef Simmonds, Assistant Managing Editor of the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper.

Dr. Karenga welcomed us by phone (he had just returned from business travel) with a history of the Black Press, why we were invited to speak to and be interviewed by the community, and then we had a ball keeping it real and relevant about critical issues impacting the Black community and solutions.

The standing-room-only audience candidly asked us about how the Black Press is surviving these turbulent economic times, how do we handle issues that are controversial even for the Black Press and community, and how we define our roles as journalists.  

Chimbuko Tembo, Us Co-Vice Chair, moderated the session.

I must give a special thank you to Ms. Emma Goode for her support and six month's subscription to the Final Call.  That's what helps keep us afloat, so thank you very much.  Thanks also to those who gave a kind word, constructive criticism of the Black Press and more importantly, to Dr. Karenga, Sis. Tiamoyo and the Us Advocates for having us all.

Black History Month II kicked off with:

- a March 1 discussion on "The Wisdom and Ways of Our Foremothers:  Lessons in Life & Living" by Dr. LaFrancis Rodgers-Rose;

- a March 15 discussion on "Haiti and Ujamaa:  Empowerment through Appropriate Giving" by Dr. Carolle Jean-Murat;

-our media panel - "Reporting and Interpreting the News:  Keeping It Real and Relevant;" 

- and it will close out on March 29th with Dr. Karenga's discussion, "Of Poems, Black Love, Longing and Struggle:  From Ancient Egypt to Now."

(photos by Caryette Muhammad :  Sis Charlene - left;  full panel:  Sis. Charlene, Dominique DiPrima, Chimbuko Tembo, Yussef Simmonds, Shirley Hawkins)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Final Call Writer Receives Community Award by Starla Muhammad

(Photos by Malcolm Ali -  Sis Charlene with award plaque from F.A.C.T.S. and commendation from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, and on right with husband Ali Muhammad.)

The Final Call Newspaper has evolved from humble beginnings from its start in the basement of the home of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and his wife, Mother Khadijah, to its status as a highly respected national and international publication that is a leading voice of truth and independent news pertaining to Black and Indigenous people worldwide.  

Recently, Charlene Muhammad, Final Call Western Region Correspondent of Los Angeles, California was recognized and honored by Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes and You’re Out (F.A.C.T.S.) law for her journalistic contributions and coverage of events and issues that impact the community. 


Mrs. Muhammad, a multi-media journalist with an extensive background in print and broadcast mediums, said she was deeply moved and humbled to receive the award that was presented at F.A.C.T.S.’ 10th Annual Fundraising Benefit, “Get Up, Stand Up, Don’t Give Up the Fight,” at the California African American Museum in Exhibition Park on February 21st.  The evening highlighted the critical work of social justice and featured art, theatre, dining and musical entertainment.

Although she earned the recognition for her individual work, Mrs. Muhammad thanked Min. Farrakhan and the entire staff of the Final Call both past and present upon acceptance of a personally inscribed plaque.  It was her first journalistic award. “What makes this so significant and dear is that it came from an organization that is on the front lines of the struggle,” she said.  She enthusiastically thanked her husband, Ali, for his unwavering support and assistance of her duties and responsibilities to the Final Call.


When discussing this year’s award nominees, Geri Silva, F.A.C.T.S. executive director, told the Final Call, Mrs. Muhammad was a unanimous choice as the awards committee recognized her as a representative of the media who “tells our story and gives us a voice.” 


F.A.C.T.S. was founded in 1994 as a statewide non-profit grassroots organization to advocate for men and women unjustly convicted by the Three Strikes Law.  The organization consists of community organizers, activists, and families working to amend the law, which automatically sentences people convicted of three “violent” or “serious” felonies to life in prison.  But since instituted in 1994, thousands of Californians have received life sentences for non-violent offenses, including stealing a pizza.

Ms. Silva noted her deep admiration and respect for Mrs. Muhammad’s journalistic integrity. “I’ve been places that I know are important.  There’s no other media there and I look up and there’s Sis. Charlene…..she’s just an advocate of the truth,” Ms. Silva said.


Other award recipients were State Senator Roderick Wright, Professor Gabrielle Foreman of Occidental College, the Office of Restorative Justice, the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese and Andy Furrillo, Sacramento Bee Newspaper columnist.

Final Call Writer Receives Community Award

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

UN shuns reparations?

When the United Nations convenes the Conference Against Racism next month, the right, just calls for rectifying the most racist, atrocious act against any people will not be on the agenda.

According to, references to reparations for slavery have been cut from a draft declaration for the conference, all to entice U.S. and European Union participation.

In addition to references to reparations for slavery, according to reporter Bill Varner, U.S. and European envoys objected to criticism of Israel and expressions of concern about defamation of religion.

The United Nations Conference Against Racism is scheduled for April 20-24.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chronicle of Truth Diaspora Community Calendar

Welcome to our first Diaspora Community Calendar, highlighting our activities and triumphs from America to Africa.

Thanks to the Internet, our worlds are not as far apart as they used to be.  

This calendar is designed to provide a space for us to share our information, endeavors, and accomplishments. 

Although we may not be able to get to some of the events physically, let's take advantage of the opportunity to transfer knowledge and information. 

To submit your events to the Diaspora Community Calendar, email me at  From America to Africa, let's connect!

Peace, Sis. Charlene

March Calendar:

March 12 - 7:00 p.m. 
Jewel Diamond Taylor's Circle of Encouragement
The Dwelling Place Church
3130 W. 111th Place
Los Angeles, CA  *FREE*

March 13 - Jesse Muhammad, Final Call staff writer - guest speaker at:
B.C. Elmore Middle School's Career Day
Houston, Texas

March 19 - 25 - TransAfrica Forum & AFI Present:  
New African Films Festival
Opening night:  "13 Months of Sunshine (Ethiopia)"
AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center
8633 Colesville Rd. 
Silver Springs, MD

March 21 - Helping Angelinos Live Optimistic (H.A.L.O.) presents:  
Seventh Annual Black Marriage Kick-Off Rally
11:00 A.M. to 1:30 P.M.
Rogers Park, Inglewood, CA
400 W Beach Avenue
(Black Marriage Day founder Nisa Islam Muhammad (and Final Call staff writer) - special guest)

March 22 - The Us Organization presents:  Black History Month II - 
Black Women Focus
"Reporting and Interpreting the News:  Keeping it Real and Relevant"
Panelists:  Dominique DiPrima (host, Front Page, KJLH Radio), Shirley Hawkins (Our Weekly staff writer), Yussuf Simmonds (L.A. Sentinel Asst. Managing Editor), and yours truly.  The African American Cultural Center, 3018 W 48th Street, Los Angeles, CA; 323-299-6124.

Thanks for reading our calendar and please, submit your events -

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's Heeeeeeerrrrr! The New Educational Paradigm Study Guide

Happy Saviours' Day, from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan!

First of all, how beautiful is the Minister?!  Brought back from death's door.  I mean, not the outer gate; not the porch, but the door - key in lock, you name it.  Still teaching, guiding, warning, Carrying.  Never taking a break. Worryin' (yes, I said 'worryin') about us.  Not just the Black nation, but everyone - the under-served, under-represented, the poor, the voiceless, the haves and have-nots.  Listen, I could go on, but it's not my job to preach. Sorry.

Second, our prayers are yet again answered.  As if Saviours' Day 2009, the reunion of Believers and friends, family, the wealth of wisdom flowing through the workshops, weren't enough, Min. Farrakhan gave us 
an international cultural explosion in Mother Tynnetta's Ta Ha:  Final Call Symphonic Suite on Friday, Feb. 17 at the Stephens Center in Rosemont, Illinois.  

Earlier that day, he set if off with Min. Ava Muhammad (through the assistance of many, including Final Call Publishing Editor Nubian Muhammad).  Min. Ava introduced the latest Study Guide in Min. Farrakhan's life-changing course, "Self-Improvement:  The Basis For Community Development."

Study Guide 21, "The Education Challenge:  A New Educational Paradigm For 
The 21st Century" comes at a time when the U.S. public education, and let's be honest, to a degree, the private education system, is failing our children.  The high school dropout rate is shameless, criminal, really.  And masses of college-educated men and women are finding themselves back in their childhood bedrooms at their parents' homes, fresh out of college because there are no jobs awaiting the young graduates or their student loans.

What's the problem?  Why is America's education system failing?  I think it's because the system teaches us to get a job rather than creating something for ourselves and others, but that's just my opinion.  

Don't worry.  There's hope.  Real hope.  The concrete answers are here; they're clear; and they are FREE.  Just download them at

Thank you Min. Farrakhan and everyone who sacrificed to make this happen.
Peace, Sis Charlene

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hate Still Exists

(Bloggers note: Starting next week, you can check in to my blog, Chronicle of Truth every Tuesday for routine updates.  The name change from Mind, Matter, Movement to Chronicle of Truth stems from an award I recently received from the Families to Amend California's Three Strikes Law (F.A.C.T.S.). Their consideration really touched me, especially since it came from an organization on the front lines in the struggle for justice but more on the name change later.

Thank God!  My family and I returned home safely from Saviours’ Day last night and fell into our regular routine, which included picking up my children’s dog from their cousins in Corona (about an hour or so away).  So I sit down to post about Saviours’ Day, a fabulous, wonderful, exciting, spiritual, rejuvenating, exhilarating family reunion, and my 18-year-old nephew, Jeremy Vernon walks up and hands me a picture he drew of President Barack Obama.

  It really drew me in, but the paper he wrote explaining his artwork really did it.  He reminded me so pointedly about the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s 2008 Saviours’ Day message, “The Gods At War: The Future Is All About”  I just have to share it. 

My Saviours’ Day experience is on its way.  Meanwhile, visit 

to order the Minister’s powerful message on Accepting Responsibility to Build Our Community; of course get the current edition at your local spot; and treat yourself to Southwest Region Staff Writer Jesse Muhammad’s blog (  He has day-by-day activities posted and he conducted a live blog on Sunday.  Until later, here’s Jeremy’s paper, completed for a visual arts assignment on his political interest.  

Enjoy!  Sis. Charlene

Hate Still Exists

By Jeremy Vernon

I drew a picture of President Obama as a symbol of change taking place in America.

In other countries, our flag is burned as a symbol of the negative feeling towards us. The picture of President Obama shows our strong need for change and his election was meant to usher in that change.

What my picture represents is the fact that there are still hate groups in America.  There are still people in the world who not only dislike the idea of a Black President; they haven’t accepted the fact that we actually have one.  Times have changed yes, not all people are willing to grow with the changes.  In their minds, their personal memories and image of America is also burning.

My picture basically symbolizes the division in America that is increasingly starting to show again.  Since the civil rights period, people have always known that racism and segregation could not remain.   We have death threats made against our new President by “God–fearing Americans”, racial jokes and hints posted on emails and in media. It only shows that much change is still needed. 

Obama’s election by Americans of all races is the change that America desperately wants and needs. Our generation has made that clear.   He is not "the" change, our coming together to elect him as President is the change. 

The other issue my picture addresses our government’s policy regarding the return of military dead to the U.S.

America does not like to see the bad sides of war.  There really is no good that comes from war, but refusing to show images of our dead heroes of war only softens the idea of death for everyone but the families who’ve lost loved ones.  It hides the truth about war under the disguise of protecting the privacy of families.

Although that’s important, what’s more important is to show people what is really happening to our troops.  Instead, the lack of these sad photos of our dead heroes returning home by plane in a coffin leaves the image of war as a sort of video game.  It’s an honor to choose to go to war to protect our nation, but more than half of young Americans do not even know the reason why we are in the war to begin with.  The old saying "The old men send the younger men to fight their wars” describes the time that we live in.  The old men of the previous administration sent the nations younger men to do their bidding and fight their battles.  The least America deserves is to know what is happening to our men.  The coffin in my picture is symbolic of all this.  It symbolizes the demand for media to stop hiding the truth of the war from the American people and stop sugar coating the sad results of war. 

My medium of work was pencil and shading then scanned to a computer for color insert.