Top Black News Stories of 2006
Each year I put together this list of stories which I believe had an impact in Black America. Some may agree some may disagree. Well have it.
1. Obama Factor – The release of Audacity of Hope by Senator Barrack Obama of Illinois has clearly put him on the short list of Presidential hopefuls. Some view his candidacy as the alternative for Senator Hilary Clinton. The good news is he holds the spotlight; bad news is he’ll be a target. The comparison to Kennedy comes from an unlikely place, white voters.
2. The Mid-term elections. – The Republican revolution is over. Democrats were able to exploit the War in Iraq to their advantage and point out the problems. Having been out of power for almost a decade can they govern?
3. Black Folks doing what they do and having deadly implication – This year being Black had tragic implications. In New York there was a deadly shooting of a young man after celebrating a bachelor party. A Black woman who performed as an exotic dancer in North Carolina claimed she was raped by white lacrosse players from Duke (her case was recently dropped for lack of evidence).
4. Dafur – this is Rwanda revisited. The world’s superpowers have called it genocide but no one can move to stop it. The conflict looks to spill over into neighboring Chad. The broader implication is that there are some who are wondering if the Horn of Africa is about implode. The recent fighting in Somali should be a concerned. Now Ethiopian forces are fighting Somali. Watch this story in 2007.
5. The War in Iraq – We’re pushing three thousand dead American soldiers and I’m not certain if we’re closer to a resolution than we were a year ago. It’s obvious the President doesn’t want to be seen as a loser so he’s planning to send in more troops. Wait a minute isn’t that what LBJ did in Viet Nam?
6. Pimp-in –I’m not a fan of this word and find it hard to explain but it became a part of the lexicon this year. Most of us know it as the exploitation of prostitutes but its meaning has changed. Using the word these days have both good and bad connotation. First the good, I’ve heard it used in connection with things like, Pimp My Ride (dressing up a car with over the top accessories), Yo Pimp (a reference to someone who has taken advantage of the system to make money), Pimpin (dressing up in the latest fashion). On the negative side I’ve heard it in connection with the exploitation of people and their situation i.e. with Wall Street, President Bush and the situation in Dafur
7. The Death of Icons – This was a year when various icons died. Their legacy and contribution to humanity should cause all of us to wonder, “What is our purpose on Earth.” Here’s a list of a few who changed they way we live, think, and do what we do. Gordon Parks, Corretta Scott King, Lou Rawls, Gerald Boyd, Ed Bradley, August Wilson, and James Brown.
8. Africa Finds Democracy – This year two elections boded well for the continent. In Liberia and Congo there were democrat elections (despite calls of voter fraud and fabrication). After years of constant warring these two countries want to emerge from their dark past.
9. White Folks Saying Stupid Things – The evolution of the net and its portals such as youtube.com and TMZ.com Has proven that age old adage “turn on a camera and people will say stupid things. Case in point Actor Michael Richards using the N-word, Senator George Allen referring to a man of Indian descent as a “macaca.”
10. Hip Hop Grows Up – Nas in his most recent release suggested, Hip Hop is Dead. While I would beg to differ it’s going through some major growing pains. The early stars of the genre are in their thirties (Jay-zee, P Diddy, 50 Cent and Nas) and the pioneers are in their forties and pushing 50 (Chuck D, Doug E. Fresh, and Rappers Delight). Hip Hop still is the center of the universe for the under 25 crowd (Jibbs, Chris Brown, Neo, and Akon). Its center has moved to the Dirty South with ATL as its capital.
Person of the Year – Mayor Cory Booker, Newark, New Jersey
I picked Mayor Booker because he gets it. Having power is not about you but, about the people. He may have his critics but he rises above the fray. What Mayor do you know would live in public housing to get a sense of what he needs to be done to help his city. Yes he’s articulate, charismatic, intelligent, and a problem solver. He will define the generation that use to be know as Generation X. For more on his honor check out this web-site