National Action Network Executive Director Joins 2012 Blogging While Brown Speaker Lineup

The Wire

Blogging While Brown is proud to announce that Tamika D. Mallory, Executive Director of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) will be a panelist at the 2012 Blogging While Conference that will take place June 1-2 in Philadelphia at the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

“We are thrilled that Ms. Mallory will be participating in our political activism panel in a very important discussion amongst those who use social platforms and their influence to be catalysts of change within their communities. The panel will be a dialogue between traditional civil organizations and younger activists during a presidential election year. Mallory has continuously demonstrated that our individual voices can be powerful when joined together and social media makes such a collective effort an effective means to peacefully organize political and social action,” states Blogging While Brown founder Gina McCauley.

Mallory has been a member of the NAN since age 20 and was recently named as one ofEbony Magazine’s 30 most influential national leaders under 30 and she was publicly applauded as “a leader of tomorrow” by Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Valerie B. Jarrett. She is currently being heralded as one of the youngest champions of the civil rights movement. Since a child, Mallory has participated in rallies, marches, vigils and protest with her parents who were founding members of NAN.

As Executive Director Mallory has spearheaded NAN’s anti-violence initiative and lead the organization to many significant achievements. Those achievements include shaping the organizations commitment to equal standards for women and African Americans in the music industry and the elimination of misogynistic and racist language in music. Mallory was single-handedly responsible for mobilizing thousands of protestors across the country for the National Day of Outrage.

By participating in Blogging While Brown Mallory seeks to engage new leaders in the African American community. By marrying the traditional civil rights organization with today’s powerful social networking tools Mallory seeks to address the emerging issues facing today’s African American community such as healthcare, education and employment, to make a difference in the lives of young African Americans.

For more information about Tamika Mallory and NAN please visitNationalActionNetwork.net.

Ft. Worth’s Eddie Griffin on Blogging While Black

By Eddie Griffin

Shawn at The Dock Bookshop in Ft. Worth

The AfroSpear’s Shawn P Williams, author of Blogging While Black, came to Fort Worth’s Dock Bookshop on a book-signing tour. He was warmly greeted by fellow AfroSpear bloggers, Eddie Griffin and Kyev Tatum (candidate for U.S. District 33).

The theme of Mr. Williams’ new book, as reflected also in his speech to the audience, was about Empowerment- from an African-American community perspective. The author, who rose to national acclaim as a black blogger, extolled the AfroSpear blog group as the launch pad where his online journalism career took off. His Dallas South News blog has been featured on NBC Nightly News and CNN, as well as NPR, BBC, Ebony magazine, The Toronto Star and many other national outlets.

The story of Blogging While Black emerges as a victory for the small, black activist blogger to gain recognition in a corporate communications media world, where African-American interests and issues are routinely ignored. Williams gives us a blow-by-blow, behind-the-scenes, detail account of how a relatively unknown black blogging syndicate broke through the mass media blockade, to become one of the most powerful voices on the Internet circuit, long before the advent of Twitter and Facebook.

I am proud to have been a part of this group that brought the world’s attention to racial disparities and injustices, in cases like the Jena 6 case, Shaquanda Cotton in Paris, Texas and the hundreds of juveniles who were incarcerated in harsh conditions of the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) prisons.  Through our collaborative work on juvenile justice, TYC no longer exists, several facilities have been closed, and juvenile prison population has been cut in half. Investigations into other juvenile agencies are ongoing, even as I write:

http://www.statesman.com/news/statesman-investigates/scandals-at-texas-agency-facilities-brought-reforms-but-2010985.html?printArticle=y 

More recently, Mr. Williams has taken a deep interest in U.S. District 33 politics and the candidacy of Pastor Kyev Tatum. Speaking of the court-redrawn redistricting lines that created the new North Texas minority-controlled U.S. District 33, Shawn calls the creation “huge” because of its 66% African-American/ Latino population.

Williams was propelled into national politics when the political parties began to recognize bloggers as legitimate journalist of a different medium. As the AfroSpear blog group fought to gain media credentials to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, which is described in the book, Shawn Williams tells the intriguing story of how he and other black bloggers finally got into the convention, and the important roll Twitter played in the reporting.

Mr. Williams ends each chapter with a U Can 2 advisement note, designed to empower the reader and acclimating them to the blogosphere. In other words, he encourages others to do the same.

FOOTNOTE: I am proud that Mr. Williams took time to mention me, and other particular AfroSpear members, in this book. I cherish my signed copy, which reads:

To Bro. Griffin- You have been a mentor and an inspiration. I thank you for your leadership. God bless you- Shawn Williams

Tiffani Douglas, Harolyn Hodges and Holly Howe pose with their copy of Blogging While Black

“Blogging While Black” Virtual Tour Starts With SMU’s The Daily Campus

For the next two weeks I’ll pop up on various sites across the web participating in interviews for Blogging While Black.  It’s part of a two week virtual tour to go along with the December/January tour dates I mentioned a few weeks ago.  Here are some highlights of today’s interview with SMU’s student newspaper The Daily Campus conducted by Brooks Igo.

Q: You talk extensively about the advantages of being in the blogosphere from 2007-08. Were there any disadvantages bloggers had compared to other news sources?

A: It was a great time to get into the blogosphere. There were 30 credentialed bloggers for the 2004 Presidential Election; they were cutting edge early adapters. But we were still early. We had an advantage because we were still early adapters. If there was a disadvantage, because it was so early, people didn’t look at blogging as a credible source still. People were saying, “These are just bloggers.”

Q: Why do you think there was such a fall off in the black blogosphere after President Obama’s election?

A: The technology. One of the only places you could go online to hear about these stories were these blogs. Facebook was just starting to come off of college campuses and people my age were just beginning to get on Facebook. Conversations we were having on blogs began to happen on Facebook and Twitter. You didn’t have to go to blogs, you could see these stories on your friend’s Facebook wall.

Q: Can we expect a return?

A: There has to be an evolution. Some of the folks I met back then were recently featured on CNN’s “Black in America” special. People are trying to reinvent advocacy. This might come in the form of app development, making more inroads in mainstream media, or creating alternative forms of media. Everything is going to look different and I think it is important that African-Americans find a place in this social media/technology mash-up.

Q: What was it about the Paris, Texas and Jena 6 story that set the black blogosphere on fire?

A: It was timing. One of the headlines was “14 year-old gets 7 years in jail for pushing down a hall monitor.” When you see that or hear that it just sounds wrong. Even when people dug deeper, there was still something very wrong. This was not a new feeling for African-Americans, but the blogosphere was a new outlet for African-Americans to share their voice. Those cases were like cases that happened before, but there just wasn’t a place where people from around the world could get together and seek justice.

Check out the rest of Brooks’ interview at The Daily Campus.

Renee Hartley at Chocolate Secrets with her copy of Blogging While Black. Renee is featured in Chapter 2 as well as in Chapter 9 as a "Breakthrough Blogger."

Blogging While Black January/February Book Signing Events

Here’s a list of book signing events I’ll have for Blogging While Black through December and into January.  Please come out to my book release party on Saturday at Chocolate Secrets.  We’re on the verge of making history….again.

Strawberries and Champagne Book Release Party
Saturday, December 3, 2011, 6:00 pm-7:30 pm
Chocolate Secrets
3926 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas, TX

The Dock Bookshop
December 10, 2011, 4-6:00pm
6637 Meadowbrook Drive, Fort Worth, TX

Hastings Entertainment
December 17, 2011, 2-4:00pm
3520 Lamar Avenue, Paris, TX

Southwest Center Mall
Saturday, December 24, 2011, 2-4:00pm
3662 W Camp Wisdom Rd, Dallas, TX

Jokae’s African American Book Store & Framing
January 7, 2012, 3-5:00pm
3223 West Camp Wisdom Road, Dallas, TX

The Dallas Institute
January 9, 2012, 6:30 pm
2719 Routh Street, Dallas, TX

New Year Book Jubilee
Southwest Center Mall
Saturday, January 28, 2012, 11am-4:00pm
3662 W Camp Wisdom Rd, Dallas, TX

Robert B. Abtahi sporting his copy of Blogging While Black

Rep. Charles Rangel Holds First Bloggers Conference Call

From Rep. Rangel’s office

“This is an exciting new experience for me,” said Congressman Charles B. Rangel, as he welcomed a core group of bloggers who joined the 21st-term lawmaker in his first-ever bloggers’ conference call, on March 8, 2011, Tuesday evening at 8PM ET.

“Things are changing every day, and the Congress can’t do all that it wants to, especially being in the minority. It’s going to take more than Congress — people like you who has an interest in the country, who can talk with the community,” said Rangel. “This is also very helpful to me to see what you’re thinking, what my constituents are thinking, and that makes me a better representative.”

Moderated by Beth Becker, a leader of the progressive movement in the blogging community, the Bloggers’ Conference Call was Congressman Rangel’s newest attempt to address and champion progressive solutions to our country’s problems during these challenging times by working with online activists and bloggers.

Participants asked a series of questions, ranging from those concerning the “Republican war on State employees” and collective bargaining, to torture and U.S. foreign policy on Haiti.

When asked about his primary goal in Congress, Rangel replied: “Right now, if I had to name one thing that I would have as a priority it would be supporting President Obama. I’ve been here for more than 40 years, and been here through many presidents, but I’ve never seen anyone speak with the courage on the priorities I believe in.”

Rangel reiterated his commitments to education, increasing the number of people in the middle class, reforming the tax system so that the top 1% will not be controlling our resources, ensuring immigrants’ rights, and creating a type of economy where dreams can become a reality.

Overall, the conference call turned out to be a successful opportunity for the veteran Congressman to engage with a new, influential community and reach an audience that he has not previously interacted with.

“Thank you so much Congressman Rangel. I really, really appreciate you for taking the time to come in and dialogue with us via conference call and getting involved with the blogging community,” said a participant.

“This is my first time, but I have to admit, I found this an exciting new adventure and I do hope to do it again soon. I really enjoyed it,” echoed Rangel, as he closed the conference call by thanking the participants and inviting them to continue the dialogue on his Facebook page.

Coupled with the launch of the new website at Rangel.House.gov, Rangel hopes his Bloggers’ Conference Calls and future online townhalls will facilitate greater interaction between the Congressman and the online community to give middle-class America a stronger voice.

Congressman Rangel is currently one of the most active members on social media platforms, with more than 4100 Facebook friends and fans (www.facebook.com/cbrangel) and nearly 4500 followers on Twitter (@cbrangel).

To sign up for Rep. Rangel’s next Bloggers’ Conference Call, please visit his Facebook page (Discussions); or download the Visible Vote app via Facebook or smartphones to join him in his upcoming online townhall.

Blogger and Radio Host Kevin Ross to debut “America’s Court With Judge Ross” this fall

(From 3 Baas Media)

Fellow Blogger and Blog Talk Radio Host Kevin Ross is moving up, getting ready to hit televisions this fall in a new courtroom show.  Congrats to my friend and brother Kevin.  I look to support Kevin and his show any way that I can and can’t wait to see what he has in store for us.

Entertainment Studios will premiere America’s Court With Judge Ross on broadcast and cable this fall, having cleared the legal strip in 75% of the country.

Kevin Ross

Kevin Ross

“We are pleased to have greatly expanded our company’s nationwide clearance of America’s Court with Judge Ross,” said Andrew Temple, President of Domestic Television Distribution for Entertainment Studios.

Created by multihyphenate Byron Allen, Entertainment Studios is set to produce and deliver a minimum of 26 weeks of original episodes of America’s Court in high definition as well as 26 weeks of repeats. The show joins weekly E/I program The Young Icons, which also has been cleared for a 2010 launch under the Entertainment Studios banner, and Career Day, recently picked up by the Sinclair Broadcast Group for 2011.

In entering the daytime syndication arena, Allen assumes his place among a select group of African Americans (think Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry) who are successfully producing content they own, control and distribute to increasingly diverse audiences looking for quality programming.

As America’s Court continues to generate strong buzz, television stations are still being offered the one-hour block as two half-hour episodes.

Groups who have already signed on include Weigel, Scripps, Media General, Acme, Cox, Raycom, Barrington, Ellis, Journal, Belo, Bonton, LIN, New Age and Sinclair.

Scheduled to film in Los Angeles, ‘Court’ joins The Nate Berkus Show (Harpo/Sony) and Swift Justice with Nancy Grace (CTD) as one of three freshman daytime skeins confirmed to debut in 2010.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_X_d6JjJ00I4/S5ZqaAo5AuI/AAAAAAAAX2w/7Ch0X60xDkU/s400/Daytime+2010+Freshman+Shows+Nate+Berkus+and+Nancy+Grace+and+Kevin+Ross.jpg

image003

Byron Allen

And according to tvnewscheck.com, America’s Court will also run on one of Entertainment Studios six high-definition cable networks that were launched on Verizon’s FiOS broadband systems last September.

America’s Court with Judge Ross shows litigants unique ways in which they can responsibly deal with their unlawful or wrongful acts, and also forces wrongdoers to reflect on the consequences of their transgressions.

Judge Kevin A. Ross, 46, has been a judge, prosecutor and media personality in Southern California. He is also president and CEO of 3BAAS Media Group, which will serve as a producer on the show.

Dallas South News Post of the Day – January 4, 2009

By Shawn Williams – DSN Editor

Here are some of the happenings about town that we’ll be watching in 2010.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

Driving west on Woodall Rodgers you can see the future Trinity River crossing taking shape.  By this time next year we should start to have an idea of just how the first “signature bridge” will alter the Dallas skyline.  The bridge to West Dallas is starting to come into focus.

Dallas Black Dance Theater at Wyly Theater

The Dallas Black Dance Theater has already broken in their new home with their Winter Series and looking forward to “Boundless”.  The intimate configuration of Wyly Theater suited the DBDT troupe just fine in their inaugural performance last month.  Dallas’ oldest continuously running dance ensemble has waited a long time, but their change has come.

Texas House 100 Race

Terri Hodge

Terri Hodge

Political newcomer Eric Johnson has gotten off to a strong start in his bid to represent Texas House District 100.  He has raised lots of money and garnered favorable press.  But his opponent, incumbent State Representative Terri Hodge, looks to shake off legal troubles that have dogged her for months.  She’s launched a campaign website and the Democratic and Black political establishments are starting to line up behind her.  It’s worth watching whether or not Johnson can break through where a group of young city council hopefuls (who didn’t raise near the money he has) could not.

Search for Dallas Police Chief

There is a quite campaign going on to promote First Assistant police Chief David Brown to serve as the next Dallas Police Chief.  African-American leaders -both elected and not- would love to see Brown have a chance to succeed where Terrell Bolton could not.  Brown is well respected at City Hall where he served as interim assistant city manager.  If anyone currently in the Dallas Police Department gets the job, it should be David Brown.

Continued Main Street resurrgence

Have you been down to Main Street on a warm Saturday night?  I have to say it’s a happening place.  Folks lined up into the streets waiting to get into night spots.  Ladies and gents sitting on a corner eating pizza by the slice.  There’s lots to do and plenty to see in a place most consider to be dead after 5 p.m on Friday.  With a new park on the east end of the block count on more daytime foot traffic as well.  It’s far from a real downtown, but not the dead zone we knew at the beginning of the last decade either.

citywalklogo511 Akard

At the end of the year, Central Dallas Ministries saw their dream of turning a once vacant downtown high rise into low-income housing become a reality.  CityWalk@Akard, a mixed use development with office, residential, and retail space opened for business.  A number of units are reserved specifically for those who were formerly homeless.  CDM will also move some of their office functions into the building.

Victory Park

Is the the year that Victory Park finally delivers or will it continue to be a hit or miss kind of development?  New tenants continue to move in, but the foot traffic that was imagined for the area just isn’t there yet.  A course correction by new ownership should help turn Victory from high end flop to recession friendly destination.

Empty Southern Dallas Promises

Speaking of Victory, weren’t voters told that the AAC and surrounding development would provide jobs to Southern Dallas residents?  What up with that?  Every voter supported initiative promises Southern Dallas jobs.  We hear the same with talk of the DART extension, inland port, Trinity River project, et. al.  It would be nice of at some point those job promises were quantified in some meaningful way.  I’m just saying.

TrolleyOak Cliff Streetcars

A number of Oak Cliff residents (and of course the Oak Cliff Transit Authority) have visions of grandeur as it relates to going back to the future with streetcar service.  It’s a novel idea and one that is gaining steam.  Now known as the Trinity Lakes Streetcar Loop, Oak Cliff’s route includes West Dallas and looks to be part of the Dallas Streetcar Transit Plan.  The 4.75 mile loop would tie into downtown and may be eligible for federal transportation funds recently designated for local trolley and streetcar systems.  This is more of a long term watch, but a watch nonetheless.

Local Media Moves

Darla Miles is gone to New York. Sometimes it’s just like that.  I still promise to turn on WFAA 8 other than Sunday Mornings at 9.  There should be plenty to keep our attention on local radio, TV, print, and (of course) online offerings.

Pegasus News has a new look, as does the Dallas Weekly online.  The Dallas Morning News is trying a “business/news integration” approach.    And then there’s that new Southern Dallas Nonprofit Start Up.  Anyone who made it through 2009 still standing should at least be even money to do the same for 2010.  It can’t get much worse (at least I hope not).

Video: Shawn P on CNN’s Bloggers Bunch

Didn’t have a lot of time today as I got the call from CNN this morning to discuss Town Hall behavior.  I was already working on a Rant for Inside Texas Politics so it was an easy transition.  For once I’m happy with the light and the setup and feel decent about how I was able to get my point across.

I think this was my 3rd of 4th time to be on with Lenny, and I like his points, but I couldn’t believe he said that the Obama administration was considering raising taxes on the middle class.  Anyway, let me know what you think.