The Break – Bad Sex, Porn and Sheer Ecstasy

In this episode KC, Chris, Malcolm, Leisha, and Shelby respond to listener feedback and discuss bad sex on the first date, having expectations, putting work into your sex life, porn categories, and discussing sex with your kids.

Music: Prince & The New Power Generation – Gett Off

Please leave your comments and feedback below or you can contact us via Twitter: @BLACKISONLINE; Facebook: Black Is Magazine; Email:; Voicemail: (323) 455-4219.

The Break: “Playing the Game” for Success

Listen in as KC and the family discuss what rules Black people live by in order to “play the game” and achieve social acceptance in American society. Podcast guests include Chris Lehman, Toria Williams, Malcolm Darrell, Tash Moseley, and Mr. James CEO!

For comments or questions about this or any other other episode, call the hotline at (323) 455-4219!

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Reviving the Inner-City Economy

Urban America, a term almost synonymous with minority and black America, is in crisis. That comes as a surprise to no one, of course. Urban life, inner-city life more particularly, is fraught with perils and starved of opportunity. Many of the themes of these crises are well known to us: high rates of crime, low rates of employment, inadequate access to healthcare, contentious relationships with police officers and governing authorities. The list goes on and on. Solutions to these crises however are not often easy to come across, so let me present a few here.

That an absence of broad-based economic opportunity is fundamental to the struggles of the urban centers of America, whether we are talking Detroit, south-side Chicago, or my own inner city Los Angeles, is hard to argue. Lack of income and financial independence is central to the instability of families and the unraveling of communities. Travel my home streets of Inglewood, Los Angeles and Watts, and in the midst of those who are making it okay, we find depressed and itinerant people struggling with an overburdened public transportation system, unkempt roads, a polluted environment and worn commercial properties serving as the ailing backbone of an economy tenuously held together by EBT.

How to fix the employment crisis? Reforming welfare and unemployment spending to couple these dollars with educational programs and occupational training that can turn the long term unemployed from frustrated recipients of government assistance to skilled and qualified students and trainees is a good place to start. Our current welfare and unemployment programs do little to provide for successful transitioning from dependence to employment. Many people who receive unemployment remain on unemployment for a long time, and by the time their benefits are near discontinuation  they find themselves seeking employment with an unattractive gap on their resumes and a lack of confidence that comes from not having participated in the workplace for an extended period. All of these things plague the inner city unemployed, making them undesirable to employers. Welfare and unemployment reform along these lines would go a long way to solving these problems.

A long way, that is, but not far enough. For while it is vital to incentivize education and training these things can only help black and inner city communities take advantage of the broader opportunities available to them. But if jobs are not prevalent in the inner cities, and they are not, than the urban population has to seek opportunity where it lies, and often it lies very far from our homes in the cities. That requires travel, and because gas is expensive and many poor blacks and Latinos do not have cars, we are left to rely on public transportation systems that are often underfunded, overcrowded, unpleasant and even dangerous. Funding public transport systems whose routes are effectively coordinated to deliver people from the cities safely, comfortably and expeditiously to those areas where job and career opportunities are prevalent is important. This would make it more possible for the unemployed to find jobs, to actually be able to get to those jobs and to get to school and daycare as well. Ultimately, as these measures enhance urban economies these municipalities would have more tax dollars to invest in the communities as a result.

While there is not room here to give a detailed account of the inadequacies of inner city healthcare, both in terms of access and quality, as a fundamental principle it is clear to me that the more we can expand competition between providers, the more affordable care will become a reality for people everywhere, including the urban communities. One step in that direction would be to do as former President Bill Clinton and others have suggested, and allow insurance companies to compete across state lines. Certain features of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act will also help to expand access, such as mandating the coverage of people with pre-existing conditions and extending the time children are available to remain on their parent’s plans. Other elements of the ACA however, including coverage mandates, threaten to raise costs and thereby limit access. On the local level then it is important for community groups to do what they can. (The First Ladies Health Day in Los Angeles, sponsored by Walgreens in association with a wide range of inner city churches, is bringing a diverse array of healthcare services to the urban poor in Los Angeles. It’s a great example of what the community and the business sector can accomplish when working together.)

The inner city suffers from many problems; but a healed economy is the first step in solving many of them. With the right policies in place, inner cities across America can be transformed into citadels of opportunity, empowering black America to take the reigns of its own economic future.

LA EVENTS: ZAMFEST Arts & Music Festival

LA Babies, if you are looking to engage your wee ones in something new, I highly suggest you attend the ZAMFEST Arts & Music Festival this Sunday, September 23rd in West Los Angeles. Slated for the Z generation – kids 10 and younger – this event will expose our kids to activities they normally would not find all in one place including:



-Graffiti Art

-Hip Hop Dance


and so much more!

Details for this events are as follows:

ZAMFEST Arts & Music Festival

Sunday, September 23, 2012

10am – 5pm

University High School

Pre-sale tickets: $5  General Admission: $8  Kids 3 and under: FREE


Sixth Annual Young African American Males’ Conference

As many of you know, young men in our communities bave many challenges in growing up and finding their way. So the Metropolitan Community Action Services Corporation (MCASC), over the last 9 years, has engaged in bringing positive and effective programs, support resources, and mentorship enabling these young men to gain a healthy perspective concerning their future.

Back by popular demand the Sixth Annual Young African American Males’ Conference is scheduled for, Saturday, September 5,2012, 9:00M to 2:00PM, at PASADENA CITY COLLEGE (PCC). This year’s conference, co-hosted by MCASC and PCC, theme Success by Choice – “Focus on the Future” is geared to prepare attendees to make positive choices that will then enable them to successfully impact everyone they encounter.

MCASC and PCC encourage you to join us and make a donation to help young men in our community prepare to be successful in life. The following conference topics:

  • Developing Good Study Habits
  • Developing a Pathway to Success
  • Making Successful Educational & Career Choices
  • Preparing for College Entrance Exams
  • Transferring Out of or Into a New College
  • What to Expect on the First Day of College
  • What to Do if You are Stopped by the Police

All workshops lead by a great slate of speakers and presenters, all prominent and successful males. Please consider making a donation today by credit or debit card online at

Movers & Shakers: Greg Smith and LASAE

Greg Smith is the president of the Believe Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing high-quality arts programming to underserved communities, primarily through after school programs. Now, Believe has a new project coming down the pipeline: the Los Angeles School of Arts and Entertainment (LASAE) which plans to opens its doors Fall of 2013. This Wednesday, the board of LASAE goes before Inglewood Unified School Board to make its case for LASAE and needs community support to ensure that this school gets a chance to exist. Listen in as KC and Greg discuss the importance of a school like LASAE in the community and its impact on our children.

Feel free to show your support by attending the school board meeting this Wednesday in Inglewood at 401 S. Inglewood Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90301 at 7pm!

African American History Month Has Become A Problem….

“Whoever controls the images, controls your self-esteem, self-respect, and self-development. Whoever controls the history, controls the vision.” – Dr. Leonard Jeffries

It seems that very few people remember how African American History Month even began. It has gotten so bad that many of us think we were “bamboozled” by being given the shortest month. Despite the fact it was we who chose the month and by “we” I mean Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who started it as Negro History Week in 1926. Woodson chose that week because at the time it encompassed the birthdays of two men whom he felt greatly impacted the African American population, Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

At the school I attended as a child, of which had a 100% African Diaspora student body with 99% African American faculty and headed (and owned) by an African American principal, we celebrated Black History Month every day. My kindergarten teacher was a 6’3, 225-pound African American male member of Omega Psi Phi. I’ll let you wrap your mind around the rarity of that for a moment. From the moment you walked into the school there were pictures up around the room of great African Diaspora citizens and their stories, as we awaited our teacher to come receive us for the day. Your curiosity as a child would beckon you to see who these great people were on the wall. The books in the room were for all I can remember always with us as African American students in mind. To see that which looked like us. Amazingly, this was just the recreation room before the day’s lessons even started. Once in class every subject we learned had a culturally relevant historical component attached to it. If we were learning about math, we would also learn about Benjamin Banneker. If we were learning about science, we learned about Ron McNair. I’ll never forget that on January 28, 1986 we stopped our day to watch the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger because Astronaut McNair was going to be on that flight. They wanted to us to see someone that looked like us reach into the heavens. Despite the tragedy of that day the richness of that moment and its history was built into the curriculum with every subject we learned. It made all the difference in the world to us as children.

These are the benefits and things we gave up when we decided to desegregate without demanding that more than just our ability to go to school with European Americans but that our teachers, principals, administrators, and the right to dictate the curriculum be included as well. Instead we have seen the watering down of our history decade after decade with those who of us intensely guarded about it viewed as “militant” now instead of just proud and knowledgeable of whom we are.

In our own community African American history month has allowed almost a laziness thought to our history. Kids now assuming they know about being African American simply because they are African American. They are a glass with no water. I even asked one of my daughter’s friends one time why Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed and his reply “because he tried to run for president”. At the time they were in middle school and the young man’s reply broke my heart. His parents had failed him, his community had failed him, and his school had failed him. The sad thing for me once I left my initial elementary school was that I would then be attending majority (and by majority I mean 95% and up European American student bodies) European American schools where the most exposure to African American history I was going to get was Martin Luther King, Jr. and only during Black History Month and never would it be the militant Martin that talked about African American self-sufficiency. Over the years Martin was watered down and filtered to present the image they wanted me to have of who Martin Luther King, Jr. was. I have a dream speech became the beginning and end of who Martin was in a sad way. Last year my daughter and niece, both in high school, said their schools did absolutely nothing for African American history month. Thankfully, I had a mother growing up who worked at an HBCU campus, where my initial elementary was located, and came from a very active family who tirelessly exposed us our history and made us attend events on the HBCU campus because all of the events had us in them. Any event at a museum that was about our history they made sure we attended if they could. My father made me watch, much to my dismay, Mississippi Burning while I was still in elementary. However, most children today do not have parents who care this much about teaching their child their history. Most in fact would rather not even acknowledge that history. In some subconscious hope of that child knowing a color blind world to that child’s detriment. Either that or they are so benighted themselves to their own history that they can’t teach what they do not know nor know its value.

Our naivety at times also to believe that one day European Americans will be willing to share the spoils of America prosperity is both unfounded and dangerous. I have always said and continue to say that no group in power in the history of mankind has ever willingly conceded some of its power so that another group could rise – not even thirty centuries of African dynasties or Asian dynasties willingly ceded their power. This flies in the face against self-interest and group interest, the foundation of all animal behavior. Nor do I expect as brother Huey Newton once said “I do not expect white media to create positive black (male) images.” We have seen the history of European Americans and Europeans in Africa, the Caribbean, and Africa and their changing of that history as its presented to the people they conquer. There is some illogic and irrational thought in our mind that seeks to believe they would present our history in a “fair and balanced” manner instead of us being the one to do it.

Almost all African American, Africana, and African Diaspora studies are housed at Historically White Colleges & Universities (HWCUs) which means they are the vessels through which our stories are told, written, and passed along to generation after generation. No, just having African American professors at an HWCU does not change institutional ownership. That is simply labor to ownership in the way an African American athlete is to their European American owner who profits most from their skill and is only around so long as that labor is staying within the ownership protocol. Let me also be clear that this is not an African Diaspora vs. European Diaspora issue. The rise of the Asian Diaspora if they were in charge of our history would fair no different. It is the lion who must tell the lion’s story. Not the hunter, not the tiger, but the lion. Others can tell your story from their point of view but only the lion knows what the lion feels and went through as the hunter and hunted. Without a move to ownership of our history institutionally we will continue to see a watered down and irrelevance given to who we are as a people.Glasses empty of their water.

Mr. Foster is the Interim Executive Director of HBCU Endowment Foundation, sits on the board of directors at the Center for HBCU Media Advocacy, & President of AK Companies, Inc. A former banker & financial analyst who earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics & Finance from Virginia State University as well his master’s degree in Community Development & Urban Planning from Prairie View A&M University. Publishing research on the agriculture economics of food waste, full-time contributor at HBCU Money, and guest contributor for a number of African American media outlets.


Defending Black Republicanism (Part 2 of 3)

The thing that most drives African-Americans away from the Republican Party today, if one excepts the perceived Republican opposition to civil rights, are deep and fundamental differences in economic and domestic policy.  Given the long disadvantaged socioeconomic station which blacks have historically occupied it is easy to see why the public spending policies of the Democratic Party would have an enduring appeal to the many of us who are poor, struggling, and who need help where we can find it. But just because a certain set of policies may have an appeal to the poor and the working class does not mean  these policies are as beneficial as we would think. For an emerging black community coming into it’s own as business owners, college graduates, innovators and professionals, a different philosophy must begin to take root, one that allows us the means and the opportunities to control our own destiny as independent individuals, as secure families and as an increasingly prosperous community.

In recent days, former Republican Speaker of the House and current presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has made headlines, and met with fierce allegations of racism from some, for saying at a campaign stop in South Carolina, “The African American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” His words made the blood boil of many progressives generally and many blacks particularly, but it is worth curtailing the emotion to at least acknowledge the legitimacy of the point. As President Obama himself has acknowledged, there are a segment of people, and surely we observe them in our own community, who are content to live off of the public dollar as long as they can without making a serious effort at sustaining themselves. Naturally this doesn’t characterize our community as a whole, but what is more broadly true is that even for the large majority of black Americans who work hard for a living or who are trying their best in this difficult time to be able to provide for themselves and their families, there is a sense that true social mobility for us in this society is mostly a bitter mirage. Therefore we think education won’t help us. We believe that corporate America will not accept us. We expect the legal system to hinder us. In our history there have been many reasons to feel this way. But in the 21rst century too many of us cling to these limiting attitudes even as the walls of institutional oppression have crumbled around us before the advance of the black condition and the opening up of American society. For all of our problems and even given the current economic climate, black Americans are more wealthy, more educated, and more influential in recent years than we have ever been before. Yet instead of tending towards policies that would open wider the gates of our opportunities, we support initiatives designed to make sure we will fall only so far.

There is a reason that perhaps the steepest historical decline in the black unemployment rate occurred as a result of the tax cuts of Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s. There is a reason that even with cuts in investment taxes and welfare spending black unemployment reached a historic low at the end of the Clinton presidency, to only be neared again under George W. Bush’s presidency as a result of, in my opinion, the Bush tax cuts for the upper and middle class. (We’re it not for the real-estate crash and the financial collapse the national unemployment rate would probably have remained under 5% for sometime.) These periods of high employment and increase of black wealth and American wealth and employment generally came not as the result of aggressive government spending and public assistance. They came as the result of people being able to save, spend and invest more of what they had earned. There is a psychological difference of course in being able to keep more of what you yourself own or produce as opposed to simply receiving for free of what has been taken from the pockets of others. People have more appreciation for what they earn than for that which is given them without effort. Like the song says, “God bless the child who has his own.”

That is not to say that food stamps and welfare are innately bad. For the many people who are trying hard in tough times to get by and who have nothing else to rely on (believe me I know what it’s like) it’s important to have this safety net. But growing the social safety net does not grow long lasting prosperity, which is what needs to happen if things are to genuinely get better. It has been the approach of the current administration to funnel money directly into state governments, pet projects and rebates in order to stimulate economic growth. And while it should be noted that a good deal of this massive spending came in the form of tax credits, these were temporary and insufficient to generate real economic growth. Meanwhile as we spend money with little restraint, the very funds needed to fund our social welfare programs are missing because the economy is languishing. Raising taxes on the wealthy and cutting defense spending can barely begin to cover these bills. It is only economic growth that can accomplish this.

One area where President Obama deserves more credit than he has gotten is in the area of education. For as willing as many of us are to roll in the mud over the issue of Affirmative Action, the affirmative action we should all be calling for is stronger performance on behalf of our children from an education establishment that rewards seniority over ability. Consequently our children suffer while the teacher’s unions protect themselves. We keep pouring money on the education problem, but study after study have shown that government funding does not impact student achievement and neither, in fact, does class size. What matters most is not funding, or surroundings, but teacher quality. We have only been subsidizing the mediocrity of a failing union culture. President Obama has at least shown the political will to say to the left wing teacher’s unions that performance should be the deciding factor when it comes to retaining and rewarding educators. This is a conservative sentiment that Republicans have fought for for some time, and it’s unfortunate that more Democrats have not voiced support for at least this element of the President’s educational agenda.

I do not believe that black Americans will long be content to accept government programs as more than a nominal factor in ensuring the welfare of our people. I do not believe that black Americans will long tolerate an educational system that has no expectations for our children. We as a people do have a higher sense of who we are and what we can accomplish. But the interests of the Democratic Party are largely served by our dependency on federal dollars and our belief in the illusion that the poverty of our surroundings prevents us from being able to learn. These are a couple reasons why some of us are Republicans. But it doesn’t matter whether one is a Republican or Democrat. What matters is that we look at the example of an exceptional black Democrat like Barack Obama to realize the wisdom of a great black Republican like Booker T. Washington, who said that “character, not circumstances, make the man,” and furthermore, that “we should not permit our grievances to overshadow our opportunities.” We have the ability. It is only the embrace of freedom and opportunity that we need to able to succeed.

A Chat With Hill Harper

It took some effort to get Hill Harper on the phone. After all, the man has an impacted schedule: series regular on CSI:NY, host of Verses & Flow, and author of The Wealth Cure: Putting Money In Its Place, his latest book that is inspiring reflective, thought-provoking conversation amongst its readers. And in the midst of all this, he has to have a personal life right?

Once we connected, I quickly learned that Mr. Harper has a passion for helping others that goes beyond the books he has written and the foundation, Manifest Your Destiny, that he has established to empower at-risk youth. Listen in, as he shares with me his thoughts on education, President Obama, the good and bad of social media, and what plans he has for 2012.

Raising a Black Man

My son has been getting a first-class education at his nursery school. At three years old he can read three to five letter words and count in both English and Spanish, and he is starting to add and subtract. They are on the ball at his school. But the cost of tuition is like paying rent on a small Mid-Wilshire apartment. Between that and our mortgage, we are stretched and so my hubby and I are on the hunt for a public kindergarten program.

This is a scary process, let me tell you. We live in LAUSD-zone and our local school options just don’t cut it. I am adamant that my child continue his foreign language studies but most public schools don’t even offer that anymore. The other options are schools that offer dual language learning which means they teach the child primarily in a second language. I’m all for that, but the waiting lists for these schools could wallpaper the Staples Center. When did education become so complicated?

When I was a child my mom filled out something called a Choices brochure. You picked the top three schools you would like your kid to attend and then were sent your selection in the mail. It was real simple. Now there is a point system to get into schools and the way points are given is complicated to understand, much less explain.

At this point LAUSD is completely transparent. Between the LA Times started schools report cards, putting both schools and individual teachers on blast, and having API scores be so easily accessible, it’s not hard to figure out where you don’t want your child to be. Education can’t be left to chance. Let’s face it: LAUSD is no longer setting a standard of excellence, other institutions have publicly been put on blast for miseducating kids, and then you have charter school options full of new teachers who don’t always know what their doing. The whole situation is convuluted and confusing, and the victims of this mess are our children.

If we decide to stay in LAUSD and put our son in a school outside of our neighborhood, we have to fill out an intra-district permit, woo the principal of another school to take our son and wish for the best. If we want to leave the district altogether, we have to fill out an inter-district permit and woo another school district to take our son, and again, wish for the best. Did I mention LAUSD has to be willing to sign off on these permits to let our son go?

There’s a part of me that wants to get a second job and just keep the boy in private school.

Parents, what have you experienced when choosing a school for your child?