Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sis Charlene on KPFK this Saturday

On Saturday from 11 am - Noon, your Final Call National Correspondent will be producing/hosting the Black woman's radio show Some of Us Are Brave on 90.7 FM / KPFK ( My topics are: the 42nd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - his impact and influence on Black women in the struggle; an update on the health of Dr. Dorothy Height of the National Council of Negro Women; a new movement and challenge for women, girls, and better health and wellness; and health care for Southern California's most vulnerable children.

After the show, join us to continue the discussion from 2-4 pm at the Sisters' Marketplace in historic Leimert Park Village. We will also show you how to access quality, affordable health care for your uninsured children.

The address is 4339 Degnan Blvd. in Leimert Park (cross streets are 43rd and Degnan). For more details email

Monday, March 29, 2010

A House Divided

I never grow tired of interviewing and researching for the types of articles I am permitted to write for the Final Call Newspaper. This week, my joy in conversation came through preparing for A House Divided: 'Mean spirited, vicious racism' comes to surface during debates about president and U.S. politics.

This article features direct guidance and warning from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, given during his recent live interview with WVON's Cliff Kelly.

And I talked to some of our great scholars, from L.A. to Atlanta, Dr. David Horne (educator and Reparations activist), Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (Columbia University Associate Professor), Dr. William Boone (Clark Atlanta University Professor), Professorand Psychologist Omar Montgomery of Denver, Colorado, and Dr. Wilmer Leon, III., educator and XM Satellite Radio show host.

Of course with all stories, there's some editing. See what voices weighed

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The old reaching for his waistband trick

The LA Times reports that LAPD Gang Enforcement officers Allan Corrales and George Diego fatally shot a Black man, 27-year-old Steven Eugene Washington, shortly after midnight on Saturday, March 20.  According to his family, the report says, he had learning disabilities and was generally afraid of strangers.  Word on the street is he was autistic.  The report went on that officers feared for their lives because he didn't respond to their commands and -  wait for it - he  appeared to be reaching for his waistband.

When I read this story this morning, I couldn't help but think of something that my fitness coach, Erich Nall (aka Coach E) often says when any of us miss his sessions, for what we think are good reasons or whatever.  He is hilarious, but a serious and qualified coach and nutritionist whose point hits home everytime.

Here's me:  "Coach, sorry I didn't make workout.  I had the flu.'   Coach: "The old I had the flu trick.  Give me 2 loops (miles), a stop sign, another loop, and kiss the baby (meaning you can go home).”

It is 2010.  Can't law enforcement come up with anything else besides the old he was reaching for his waistband trick?  ANYTHING?  Somebody give them a hand.  What other excuse can they use?

Related story at News 

The high cost of police brutality

Millions paid out in judgments for abusive officers as cities cut services, furlough workers 

 LOS ANGELES ( - Abusive cops are costing already cash-strapped cities across the U.S. millions of dollars in settlements but civil rights activists and attorneys warn that the payouts will continue unless the criminal justice system begins to prosecute its out-of-control officers.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Police criminality and brutality rears its ugly head...again; this time in Phoenix, Arizona

I just received this statement from Dorrana Stewart, aide to Councilman Michael Johnson of Phoenix, Arizona.  Final Call sources and reports indicate that he was taken down and handcuffed by a police officer just for trying to check on a neighbor whose house was burning.   You might remember Councilman Johnson from a recent article the Final Call ran on his joint community forum with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on Haiti relief efforts.  I'll dig into this and get back with the full story in the Final Call, Inshallah.

Thanks Sis Dorrana!!

March 19, 2010        


Statement From Councilman Michael Johnson


Early this morning, I woke up to the sound of fire sirens.  I ran outside of my house and a paramedic truck was in my driveway and fire trucks lined my street.  My neighbor’s house, just two doors down, was engulfed in flames.


I was immediately concerned about the welfare of my neighbor whose house was on fire.  He’s disabled and I wanted to ensure he was out of the house safely.  I talked to the Fire battalion chief and asked permission to talk to my neighbor. Then I was stopped by a young police officer. 


The officer didn’t know that I was a Phoenix City Councilman or that I retired from the Police Department after twenty years of service.  Regardless, that shouldn’t have mattered. 


I was not confrontational or disrespectful.  I simply was concerned about my neighbor’s safety.  After repeated requests to talk to the officer’s supervisor, I was told they don’t have a supervisor on scene and “we don’t do it like that out here.” Instead I was thrown to the ground and handcuffed.  Face down.  In the middle of my street. 


The officer’s partner asked the officer to calm down, but the officer continued his aggressive behavior.  The officer instructed me to get up and I asked for assistance.  I informed the officer I recently had surgery and was unable to stand up without help.  I’m very thankful for the firefighters who helped me and prevented me from being dragged across the street to the curb, which the officer said he would do to me. 


I am humiliated and in complete disbelief of what just transpired. 


This is especially disappointing after I supported a two percent sales tax on food to help keep police on the streets ofPhoenix.  This is not the service our residents should be paying for – it’s just wrong.  NOT IN OUR CITY.


For years now, I have received calls from residents complaining about police harassment, abuse of power – and in some cases, brutality.  I retired from the Phoenix Police Department and couldn’t believe it.  How could our police officers harass the very people they promised to protect and serve?


If this was any other resident, they would be in jail right now.  And for what?  Trying to be a good Samaritan and doing absolutely nothing wrong.


Well, things are going to change.  I plan to sit down with our chief and discuss the treatment of residents by our police. I’m sure this doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens enough.  And it happens to people who can’t say something or who don’t know who they can turn to. 


I, Councilman Mike Johnson and Police Department veteran, am going to be the voice for the voiceless and I’m going to be heard.  

Interviewed by Sandip Roy of New America Media Now

Before I left Chicago, basking in the glow of Saviours' Day 2010, especially the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan's divine message, "The Time and What Must Be Done," I was interviewed by Sandip Roy of New America Media Now, the radio arm of New America Media.  We delved into just why the banking institutions have benefitted most from the stimulus dollars, and not equity rich, but cash poor Black and Latino households that were primarily targeted in the banking/housing scheme that rocked the U.S. economy.

Here's the interview.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

I think I'm finally back into my groove since returning from Saviours' Day 2010 - or almost.  It usually takes about a week to get back on track but this year it took longer.  I just unpacked my travel bags.

What's up with Sis Charlene Muhammad - in no particular order:

1  Today I'm participating on the New America Media ethnic media panel on children's healthcare.  Heads up to reporters and any child advocates or folk interested in numbers and trends on children - can help make your search a lot easier.  (I'm pictured here; right next to me is my good friend/colleague, Kathy Williamson (Contributing Editor/LA Sentinel) and standing is Andy Krackov, Assistant V.P. Programs/Partnerships for the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health, who sponsored today's panel).

2   Just before leaving for Chicago, I resigned as associate producer of the Front Page @ KJLH Radio, 102.3 FM to recapture some time to dig deeper into my work as National Correspondent for the Final Call. The show is from 4:30 to 6:00 am, however, daily, I clocked anywhere from 4-5 hours each morning, just in terms of preparing at 3 am (if I woke up on time), to about 7 or 8, if I didn't leave at 6 or 6:30, and then getting home, or to court, or wherever the next stop on my professional journey was that day.  I'd do a lot of writing at night.  I enjoyed the ride but I'm savoring more time with my husband and children, and getting back into the community in the afternoons, too.  I'd cut out evening assignments to be able to take care of my family and prep for the next morning.  

3    I just wrapped the Stimulus Watch fellowship for New America Media (check out the stories at or  That was very, very interesting and insightful.  A period of growth for me in many ways!  Look for more out of this project.

4  On April 3, at 11:00 a.m., tune in to 90.7 FM/KPFK for Some of Us Are Brave.  It's the Black women's radio program that some of us in So. Cal. created to help bring more Black women's voices to radio.  SOUAB's new date is Saturday (from Thursday).   In commemoration of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I'll be speaking with Attorney Judith Brown-Dianis of the Advancement Project, about her work around the school to prison pipeline, among other things, and what she believes has been his impact and influence on Black women.  She will also discuss some of her life's work.  The second segment will feature myself and L.A. journalists, Cheryl Brown, The Black Voice News, and Darlene Donloe, on the state of children's health care and our projects for the NAM children's healthcare fellowship.  Listen live on line also at

5  Want to increase your web presence - whether an entrepreneur, non-profit, new blogger, whatever your mission, look for more details on the Final Call (West's) digital training workshop, set for April 24th, featuring our own digital marketing wizard Bro Jesse Muhammad, and L.A.-based podcaster, Isidra Person-Lynn.  No worries, the workshop may be national - keep you posted!

6  There's more but can't get it all in here.  Last but certainly not least, my family is doing very well.  They appreciate me being home more.  They travel with me on Final Call assignments, but that's been the case since I started writing for the paper in early 1998.  My daughter, oldest, Ra'eesah, was in the womb when I was on the convention floor in the McCormick Center for SD  '98.  She was born that May.  I think one of the greatest things for me has been being able to be a better help-meet to my husband, Ali (Maurice to some).  He's working on a major project that shall remain nameless for now, but it will bless us ALL, Inshallah.

Just checking in.  Peace, SCM!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Obama, Blacks, & Agendas

On Saturday, March 20, Tavis Smiley, national social and political media commentator, will convene a stellar panel of Black leaders to discuss why he feels President Barack Obama needs to drive a Black agenda.  (Our own beloved Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan will be a part of the discussion too, Allah willing.)  

Leading up to the event, Mr. Smiley and Civil Rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton have had a very public, heated debate over what Black leaders are, or are not, demanding of the president.  But mainstream media and even some of our own people, would have you believe that they hate each other.  Not true!  

I talked to them both and they have great admiration and respect for each other...they just have a difference of opinion on strategy on this one.  

See what Rev. Sharpton, Mr. Smiley, author and syndicated columnist Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad, Dr. Maulana Karenga, and others, have to say for themselves about the President's Black Agenda at

Also please continue to support the Fruit of Islam (F.O.I.) in your community. (SHOUT OUT TO THE L.A. PUSH CREW and all of our brothers across the Nation who take this paper to highways and by-ways!!!)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Best Saviours' Day Ever!

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and Mother Khadijah Farrakhan, First Lady of the Nation of Islam

Happy Saviours' Day!  I'm still in Chicago with the family, enjoying the believers, working at the Final Call Bureau, and yes, even the snow!  We've been here long enough to get used to the weather.  Still not sure if I could live in it though. 

This weekend and days leading up to it have been some of the most rewarding I've ever experienced, mostly because of my anticipation of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan's address, and freeing up more of my time to focus better on our work and our mission of service to our people.  

I'm working on more stories for the print edition of the Final Call but here are some photos taken by Bro. Ansar El-Muhammad of Denver. 

Happy Saviours' Day!