Sunday, January 15, 2012

Best of Both Worlds!

Dedon Kamathi (host of KPFK's Freedom Now!), Felicia 'The Poetess' Morris (Poetess Media), Sis Charlene Muhammad (Final Call National Correspondent and host of KPFK's Liberated Sisters), Janette Robinson Flint (Black Women for Wellness), and Attorney Nana Gyamfi (Conversations on the Way Internet radio show) at the AFIBA Center in Los Angeles.
(Thanks to Bro Jabara Jumaani of the AFIBA Center and to Zuberi Fields/KPFK Operations Manager, the Production Team: Federico and Gee, and Sis. Jessie Wood, KPFK Volunteer Coordinator)

Freedom Now Banner

While waiting for my guests and the 90.7 FM KPFK remote broadcast to begin at the AFIBA Center in Los Angeles on January 14, I paused to thank Allah for the gifts that He has given me. Those gifts are the best of both worlds in print and broadcast journalism: The Final Call Newspaper and KPFK Radio!

I spent a lot of my childhood pretending to do live TV interviews and anchoring newscasts. My pet dogs, Billy (a white Labrador) and Whitey (a white Chow) were my sources. I flashed back to those moments during the show because I realized that I was living my childhood dream. (Well some of it - I'm still waiting on the millions. LOL!)

(Links to hear the 2-hour show posted below.)

But really. I say they're the best of both worlds because they are counterparts for me in the way as a journalist, I get to write articles and produce stories that are censored only by truth. We don't have to worry about telling 'a' truth to fit the readers or listeners. The stories and broadcasts focus on the people and what is impacting their lives every day and at both entities, I'm able to be a part of teams that bring those stories out. I thank Allah!

I thank the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for permitting me to write for The Final Call and KPFK for the platform to develop and present Liberated Sisters.

My dear brother, Dedon Kamathi, and my dear sisters, Felicia 'The Poetess' Morris, Janette Robinson Flint, Attorney Nana Gyamfi, and Thandisizwe Chimurenga, are all a long way off from the days when I fielded the barks of my pet interviewees Billy and Whitey. But the internal joy I felt while listening to them during the show drummed up the same broad smile I'd have back in the day.

That is why I love truly independent media, which needs our support.

If you enjoy or ever enjoyed an article in The Final Call Newspaper or any broadcast on KPFK, you can help to keep them going by subscribing and becoming a listener sponsor.

You, too, can enjoy the best of both worlds! Here's how:

Thandisizwe Chimurenga (Cyberground Railroad) Dedon Kamathi (host of KPFK's Freedom Now!), Felicia 'The Poetess' Morris (Poetess Media), Attorney Nana Gyamfi (Conversations on the Way Internet radio show), Sis Charlene Muhammad (Final Call National Correspondent and host of KPFK's Liberated Sisters), Janette Robinson Flint (Black Women for Wellness).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blog Update and Liberated Sisters on Fact, Fiction and Myths about Black Women's Images


Minister Ava Muhammad's full one-on-one interview is posted...the clips are below.

Plus, I am still getting feedback about The Final Call's cover story regarding the Facts, Fiction and Myths about Black Women's images so I decided to take the conversation to the airwaves. Bro. Dedon Kamathi and I will carry the topic on our shows, Liberated Sisters and Freedom Now! at 90.7 FM KPFK, this Saturday, January 14 from 1-3 PM PST.

KPFK will broadcast live from the AFIBA Center and our guests will be local activists and artists. Part 2 of the topic is slated to run on Liberated Sisters on January 28 and the show will feature several of the sisters featured in the article. Their photos, links and one-on-ones are in progress.

Hope to see you Saturday and that you weigh in on the topic at the AFIBA Center because we'll be taking audience questions and comments. Out of the area or just can't make it? Please tun in and get your questions ready for the phone lines during Part 2.

Spread the word!!


Sis Charlene

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

**Extended Blog Coverage ** FACT, FICTION AND BLACK WOMEN: The Nikki Minaj, Rihanna, and Beyonce Factors

The Final Call Current Edition
"Fact, Fiction & Black Women"

I remember the moment clearly. I had just gotten checked and was sitting in the mosque, talking to sisters about how we were blessed and excited to be out for our national webcast. We were more excited because we were early and got a chance to fellowship. I get a very energetic, we can do anything spirit when I’m among my fellow sisters and I marvel at our diversity, yet similar character traits that make Black women so beautiful and strong.

Hold up! I can hear you already. “Women of all races are beautiful and strong, Sis. Charlene.” Indeed they are, but I’m talking about Black women right now and the very disturbing, historic pattern of Western media: how it manipulates our images, and how people outside of Black ethnicity tend to believe because of its negative portrayals, we are all alike.

I’m not eluding to an “us” versus “them” kind of we are better than illusion, because when our sister is down, so are we, if we understand. I’m saying obviously, we are not all alike but because of society’s negative portrayal of Black women, others outside of ourselves tend to believe what they see and are told, and that’s more of the negative, manufactured images of the sisters, rather than the positive. And those positive images are just as prevalent, yet ignored.

Oh, oh! Back to the moment...Well, I received a text from The Final Call’s Editor-in-Chief, Richard Muhammad. I’d been assigned to write about the images of Black women. I love writing about Black women and any chance I get to help tell the truth about who and what we really are.

Most of my excitement came from brainstorming right then and there a list of intelligent, loving, committed, feminine, fierce, warrior women. They work every day to improve the conditions of their people and I had an excuse to call them up and hear their voices up close! I was honored that they answered The Final Call’s request to weigh in on this topic.

Over the next 10 days, I’ll share Inshallah (God-willing) more of the interviews with 10 sources for the article.

Dr. Ava Muhammad

"There is a class issue in the Black community that’s very powerful and it’s almost as debilitating as the color problem in terms of what it has done to damage our relations with one another." Dr. Ava Muhammad

Dr. Ava Muhammad, Nation of Islam Student Minister and attorney begins my series of interviews by answering the question, what is fact and fiction surrounding Black women and their images.

(Oh, all of the interviews were conducted by phone and any audio clips I may post with or in lieu of text will be raw and unedited, and you may hear keys tapping in the background --LOL).

Her full interview in four parts:

Connect with Minister Ava here:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The “New” New Year’s Resolution - Pt. 1

New: (adj) not existing before; made, introduced, or discovered recently or now for the first time.

Year: (n) 1) the time taken by a planet to make one revolution around the sun. The length of the earth's year depends on the manner of calculation; 2) The period of 365 days (or 366 days in leap years) starting from the first of January, used for reckoning time in ordinary affairs.

Resolution: (n) a firm decision to do or not to do something.

I thought heavily on those words after hearing someone say they were going to stick to their New Year’s Resolution
this time. I also thought heavily on what foundation people make their resolutions and how strong are we in our firm decisions to do or not do something.

The fact is people have help in not keeping their resolutions. I’m not giving us an excuse. I’m just pointing out that the 24/7 commercials, billboards, and those dang free samplers at Costco lure people to spend, eat and indulge every minute.

We’ve made it through the Black Friday shopping season and people are cashing in their Christmas gift cards while merchants who could care less about Jesus - the claimed reason for the season - are laughing all the way to the bank.

Like clockwork, now it’s time for advertisers to manipulate people who promise themselves to set New Year's resolutions. Whether it’s improving their lives through weight loss, by joining a gym, or dieting, enrollment fees are about to climb and the sharks are banking on it.

My reflection on self and our people as a collective over the past year has shown that the key to change is within. There are people and places nearby with expertise in certain areas but at the end of the day, New Year's resolutions turn out to be empty promises because the norm in society is to look outward. But the level of personal accountability cannot be replaced because in the end, whatever we seek to help us stop eating, stop spending, stop drinking, or, to start doing, will be for naught unless we’ve accepted the challenge to go to war with ourselves.

“We are at war against forces within ourselves and forces outside of ourselves that keep us relegated to the condition of poverty and want,” the Honorable Minister Farrakhan said on October 16, 2011. He spoke from Mosque Maryam for part two of his address commemorating the 16th anniversary of the historic, life-saving Million Man March.

Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

Hmmm. Speaking of resolutions, that’s a resolution for ya!

But listen, he said he would take a million Black men to Washington, D.C. He worked the divine declaration that none other than God Himself could annoint. He inspired others to work the vision and not only did one million show up, but two million Black men presented themselves as living sacrifices before Allah (God)!

I’m saying - especially to myself - what Min. Farrakhan has said and proven so many times before. If we want something envision it. Look at it. Get on our prayer rugs, on our knees, and pray to God. Then get up and go to work to make it happen. Yes. It may or may not require money or resources outside of us to accomplish, but not to the point that we are taken advantage of or engaging in wasteful spending.

We should have a collective New Year’s resolution. Buy land, as Min. Farrakhan’s been admonishing us to do. Open a business. Grow a community garden.

As outlined by Sis. Starla Muhammad in The Final Call Newspaper’s year in review issue, and our one-on-one interview that'll be part two of this post, we’re facing a lot as a people and no one’s coming to save us. Let's unite and work like thunder in this year and the years to come.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” as the African proverb states.

Happy New Year!