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BYP WakeUpCall

President Obama Sings Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’ at the Apollo

Something to make you smile on this glorious Friday morning!

Check out a clip of President Obama breaking out into a surprisingly on point rendition of Al Green’s classic “Let’s Stay Together” at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

In town for a fundrasier, Obama paid tribute to the soul legend (who’d just performed) by busting out a few notes himself!

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Educational Systems, Parental Guidance and the Stress Levels of Black Children

At my job there are specific rules that may seem contradictory to norms that exist in society. A particular rule that I was once confused about relates to parent-child contact during youth development activities. We basically don’t allow parents in the room while we’re conducting their post-school day activities. In a world where everyone is scrambling to get the parents involved in their children’s education, why would any program decide to exclude parents from this process?

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What is the Effect of a “Black” Name in America?

I recently watched the documentary “Freakonomics” in which one of the topics they covered was the importance of names. The economists researched if there are certain names that can guarantee a child’s success or failure in life as well as the effect one’s name has on their personality. Not surprisingly, they found that a name cannot guarantee a child’s success or failure, however, they did find that certain names cause certain prejudices. Economist and race expert Roland Fryer explained what he calls “Cultural Segregation” or the difference between white culture and black culture. Fryer, a black male, examines that one of the obvious differences between these two groups is their choice of children’s names.

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Clip of the Day

‘Shit White Girls Say…To Black Girls” Creator Speaks Out, Releases Part 2

“Shit White Girls Say—To Black Girls” creator Franchesca Ramsey has returned with a sequel to her highly controversial contribution to the relentless “Shit People Say” meme.

And it is absolutely hilarious. Check it out below!

And Ramsey hasn’t taken the crticism from naysayers lying down.

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Clip of the Day

VIDEO: Obama Campaign Calls Out Koch Brothers In New TV Ad

The Obama Reelection Capmaign has unleashed their first television ad of the 2012 election season.

Check it out below.

Dealing largely with Obama’s record on clean energy and ethics, the 30-second spot is also notable for calling out the Koch Brothers, “the wealthy conservative industrialists who have funded the Tea Party and anti-gay, anti-labor politicians such as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.” The ad does not mention them by name, instead referring to “secretive oil billionaires” who attack the President with nonfactual ads.

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Where is Daddy!

An interesting story was circulated through the news media this week. It was about a mother who forced her son to wear a sign “I lie, I steal and sell drugs.” As this story was being analyzed and chopped up by different media reports, I started to realize the big story wasn’t about the mother being a bad person. It was more about where is the father throughout all of this.

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BYP WakeUpCall

Why I Hesitate to Use the “P-word”… “Progress” & Black American Life

“Nobody is free until everybody is free.” -Fannie Lou Hamer

Why am I so hesitant to speak of progress? I think it’s because my heart is heavy and my conscience is unclear given what I know about our present. I can’t state enough that the middle and upper class, college educated, and successfully professional Black people are the exceptions, statistically insignificant sub-populations of a larger community embroiled in a struggle much like the past. The word “past” has proven dangerous in these conversations because it overplays the difference of the life of our poor from previous conditions associated with pre-civil rights and slavery.

I can’t tell a formerly incarcerated black woman from watts with a daughter in prison that the conditions and policies that currently shut her out from employment, welfare services, tax benefits, voting, and shelter, aren’t  considerably similar to that of post-slavery reconstruction. I can’t.  I can’t tell a sizable population of afrikan, south asian, and latino undocumented people to give back the social security, the passports, the lattes, the laptops, the privilege, and the respect  that they don’t have. I can’t tell the families of those murdered by police, Oscar Grant, Deandre Brunston, Amadou Diallo, 73 year old cancer survivor Bernard Monroe and 7 year old Aiyana Jones that we have somehow progressed beyond the lynch mob mentality and violence of our past.

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Clip of the Day

New TV One Series Aims To Help Find Black Missing Persons

Early last month, we told you about Kalisha Madden, a 26 year-old Black women from Detroit who’d been missing since November 28th. To our knowledge, Kalisha has yet to be found.

The conversation regarding Kalisha expanded into a larger discussion on the lack of mainstream media attention for missing persons of color. We wondered why there continues to be such finite media attention paid to missing Black people? Are our lives somehow less valuable?

Well, TV One hopes to counteract this with their brand new show, “Find Our Missing,” set to premiere tonight at 10pm ET. Check out a preview above.

The Daily Beast’s Allison Samuels has written a wonderful piece on the concept, significance, and unique strategies to be employed by this groundbreaking new show.

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Love and Hip Hop and Black Women in the Entertainment Industry

Watching Love & Hip Hop the past couple weeks has brought several questions to mind. As a Black woman in the entertainment industry, I have looked up to Yandy Smith and Mona Scott-Young as positive examples of what it means to be a driven career woman. The lack of women of color in power positions in the entertainment industry is no secret. And while success stories are few and far between, both Smith and Scott-Young have found tremendous success as the driving forces behind the careers of some of your favorite musicians.

And then Yandy threw it all to the wayside with her petty, and somewhat concerning bickering with Jim Jones’s fiancée Chrissy Lampkin. Yandy, who worked as Jones’s manager crossed a serious professional line, allowing her personal feelings about her client’s relationship shade her interactions with Jim Jones and his fiancée. This inability to separate the personal and professional (according to a friend who is also a Black woman in the entertainment industry) is why Black women all have to work so hard to be taken seriously, especially on the business side of the entertainment industry.

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Why We Oppose SOPA

You’ve probably been hearing the word “SOPA” a lot today, but perhaps no one has explained to you what all the fuss is about. To be sure, SOPA is a huge deal, with major sites like Wikipedia and Reddit even going black today in protest of this terrible bill.

SOPA stands for “Stop Online Piracy Act.” It is a bill that would essentially give the government the power to shut down a website that is believed to be directly or indirectly supporting copyrighted content.

Anyone who creates or consumes content on the internet should be outraged by the possibility of SOPA being passed, as it would completely undermine the freedom with which we share information online. What will stop the powers that be from using SOPA as a means of censoring voices they don’t like?

SOPA must be stopped.

For more information, below is a great write-up on SOPA, courtesy of

Click here to sign a petition in opposition to this outrageous bill.

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