i am

My Photo
harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Kentucky Governor Restores Voting Rights to 100,000 People

kentucky governor steve beshear issued an executive action today. his progressive order will automatically restore voting rights to about 100,000 people with nonviolent felony convictions who completed their sentences. 

kentucky, florida, iowa and virginia are the only states which disenfranchise people with felony convictions after completing their sentences. voting rights in these states can only be restored through a governor's action or pardons board. about 243,000 felons in kentucky lost their voting rights, including 180,000 who completed their sentence.

almost six million americans can't vote because of the legal disenfranchisement with their felony convictions. policies vary from state to state. the most extreme states restrict voting rights even after people serve their sentences, and are no longer on parole or probation: individuals in these states make up about 45% of the entire disenfranchised population.

felony disenfranchisement has produced broad racial disparities in its impact. nationwide, one in every 13 black adults have been stripped of their right to vote. in florida and virginia, over 20% of black adults experience disenfranchisement.

marc mauer, executive director of the sentencing project said, "in issuing this executive action, governor beshear has demonstrated bold and necessary leadership. denying the right to vote to an entire class of citizens is deeply problematic for a democratic society and counterproductive to effective reentry."

nicole d. porter, director of advocacy at the sentencing project said, "we are encouraged by state officials who are reconsidering archaic disenfranchisement policies, with 23 states having enacted reforms since 1997. yet, there is much more work to do, both in kentucky and other states, to allow the full democratic participation of all citizens."

Thursday, November 19, 2015

2015 Major League Baseball Awards

here are the major league baseball post-season award winners for 2015:

most valuable player, american league - josh donaldson, toronto blue jays
most valuable player, national league - bryce harper, washington nationals

cy young award, american league - dallas keuchel, houston astros
cy young award, national league - jake arrieta, chicago cubs

manager of the year, american league - jeff banister, texas rangers
manager of the year, national league - joe maddon, chicago cubs

rookie of the year, american league - carlos correa, houston astros
rookie of the year, national league - kris bryant, chicago cubs

hank aaron award, american league - josh donaldson, toronto blue jays
hank aaron award, national league - bryce harper, washington nationals  

relief man award, american league - andrew miller, new york yankees
relief man award, national league - mark melancon, pittsburgh pirates

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015

the sentencing reform and corrections act is a bipartisan, bicameral reform bill introduced in early october in congress. the legislation would take a number of steps forward to reduce harsh penalties which are costly to families and taxpayers. 

among other initiatives, the bill intends to expand the existing safety valve, and give judges enhanced discretion to exempt a substantial number of individuals convicted of non-violent drug offenses from harsh mandatory sentences.

the bill also seeks to make the fair sentencing act of 2010 - which scaled back the unfair sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine - retroactive to allow nearly 6,000 current prisoners to petition for sentence reductions; and provide sentence reduction incentives for prisoners who take part in rehabilitative programming. 

marc mauer, executive director of the sentencing project, calls the bill, "the most substantial criminal  justice reform legislation introduced since the inception of the 'touch on crime' movement." the sentencing project works for a fair and effective u.s. justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.   

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

2015 AL & NL Gold Glove Winners

the 2015 rawlings american league and national  league gold glove award winners were announced on tuesday night. the players are listed below:

american league
pitcher: dallas keuchel, houston astros
catcher: salvador perez, kansas city royals
first baseman: eric hosmer, kansas city royals
second baseman: jose altuve, houston astros
third baseman: manny machado, baltimore orioles
shortstop: alcides escobar, kansas city royals
left field: yoenis cespedes, detroit tigers
center field: kevin kiermaier, tampa bay rays
right field: kole calhoun, los angeles angels

national league
pitcher: zack greinke, los angeles dodgers
catcher: yadier molina, st. louis cardinals
first baseman: paul goldschmidt, arizona diamondbacks
second baseman: dee gordon, florida marlins
third baseman: nolan arenado, colorado rockies
shortstop: brandon crawford, san francisco giants
left field: starling marte, pittsburgh pirates
center field: a.j. pollock, arizona diamondbacks
right field: jason heyward, st. louis cardinals

Monday, November 02, 2015

Kansas City Royals Win 2015 World Series

the kansas city royals captured their first world series championship in 30 years with an impressive five-game victory over the new york mets. they won 7-2 in a dramatic 12th inning flurry on a chilly sunday night at citi field in new york.

royals catcher salvador perez, who hit .364 during the series, was named most valuable player. the humble all-star led the majors in games and innings caught in each of the last two seasons. perez is the first catcher to win world series mvp since pat borders of toronto in 1992.

kc scored five runs in the decisive 12th inning. the go-ahead rbi came from reserve infielder christian colon - who singled in his only at bat during the series. it was their eighth comeback win of the postseason, and the sixth time they overcame a deficit of least two runs: both world series records. kc scored 41 runs in the eighth inning or later, another world series record.

before the game, royals manager ned yost said, "i felt from the beginning this group, after what they accomplished last year and saw the heartbreak in their eyes after game seven, that we had unfinished business to do. and yeah, i sit there sometimes and think this is just the way it's supposed to be." 

kc third baseman mike moustakas also said before the game, "we knew the only way to get rid of last year's feeling is to go out there and finish the deal." royals first baseman eric hosmer said, "we all realize that these opportunities don't come often. and i think that's one thing that we all really focused in on in spring training was the fact that we came so close to winning a world series."

royals pitcher edinson volquez started game five and threw six innings of two-hit baseball - just three days after burying his 63 year-old father, who died in his native dominican republic. volquez later said, "my mom told me before i got here, go over there and enjoy the game like you always do and be proud. we are proud of you. and be proud, and make people proud, more proud than they are."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

FCC Caps Predatory Prison Phone Rates

today the federal communications commission (fcc) is voting to cap the costs of predatory prison phone calls. their decision will make all calls from prisons and detention centers around the country more affordable for families and their loved ones.

the vote is a major victory for black families and communities of african descent, who already cope with disproportionate incarceration rates, racially oppressive policing, and overly priced phone companies. 

for over a decade advocates have fought to end the phone industry monopolization. families are often forced to choose between food and communication. prison phone companies like global tel link have made billions of dollars charging outrageous prices for inadequate services.

in 2013, over 25,000 color of change members called on the fcc to end predatory prison phone prices for people calling across state boundaries. earlier this month, they hand delivered 65,000 signatures from their members to the fcc to lower those prices.

commissioner mignon clyburn, chairman tom wheeler and commissioner jessica rosenworcel have shown tremendous leadership in holding the fcc accountable. as such, the fcc is now poised to fix what clyburn says is, "the clearest, most egregious case of market failure ever."

nearly three million children in the u.s. have a parent in prison. one of every nine of these kids are black. consistent communication plays a critical role in maintaining family unity, reducing inmate recidivism and working to cultivate successful productive members of society.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Minnesota Lynx Win 2015 WNBA Title

the minnesota lynx defeated the indiana fever 69-52 in game five to win the 2015 wnba championship. the lynx captured their third crown in five years. center sylvia fowles, acquired from the chicago sky on july 27, was named the finals mvp. she had 20 points and 10 rebounds.

the last five game series was in 2009. in 2011, the lynx captured their first franchise crown. they lost the following year to the indiana pacers, and beat the atlanta dream in 2013. minnesota now join the houston comets, detroit shock and phoenix mercury as the only teams to win three wnba finals. the comets won the league's first four titles.  

this was the first championship minnesota clinched at home. the raucous crowd at the target center inspired a defensive masterpiece: indiana scored just four points in the second quarter. the lynx forced 21 turnovers and held the fever to 36% field goal shooting. 

lynx coach cheryl reeve later praised veteran all-stars seimone augustus, rebekkah brunson and lindsey whalen for their leadership, resiliency and toughness in overcoming injuries all year. augustus finished with 16 points, and brunson had 10 points and 14 rebounds. 

augustus said, "the way we grinded together, a lot of things happen throughout the season that people don't even know. we kept grinding and working despite everything that we've been through." coach reeve was asked how they persevered. before shedding tears, reeve sarcastically remarked, "it was a piece of cake. i'm just proud."