Call to Action: Seeking Writers, Web Content Producers, Artists, and Photojournalists
Are you looking for a venue for your creativity, funkiness, and conjuring?
Do you love to talk about culture, sex, and/or spirituality?
Do you want to share your ideas with folks of like mind and spirit?
Blackfunk.org is looking for writers, web content producers, artists, and photojournalists who are interested in culture, sex, and spirituality topics.
We are looking for people who can add to the perspectives on our site to provide compelling, provocative, creative, thoughtful, and engaging content that educates and empowers people on cultural, sexual, and spiritual issues. We are looking for people of all levels of experience with online content. We will provide mentorship to beginners. We want a number of forms of content including but not limited to:
reviews (books, film both pornographic and non-pornographic, visual art, etc.)
commentary and social/cultural criticism
animated and short videos
If you are interested, CLICK HERE or send us an email at info [at] blackfunk [dot] org.
Call to Action: The Effects of British Colonial Rule Erupt In Jamaica: Black on Black Hatred
From Colin Robinson:
"By now most of you have heard of the mob attack on a drag queen in Falmouth, Jamaica Friday morning. Or maybe you haven’t and are confusing it with any of the three similar attacks you may have heard of in the past 11 weeks, in greater Kingston (2/14), Montego Bay (4/2) and near Mandeville (4/8). This time there is a photo and video.
There have been no public announcements of arrests in any of the incidents. Please circulate widely to bring broad attention to the specific dangers gay/Trans folks in Jamaica face, on top of a climate of general violence and murder, and the general inattention of the police and government. In response to the attacks, Jamaica’s public defender (the chief constitutional ombudsman and anti-discrimination official) recently publicly suggested that gay men recognize that ” tolerance has its limits,” not be so “brazen”, and “confine their activities to their bed chambers .”
Thanks for your actions!! So many of you showed tremendous leadership in protesting recent dancehall performances in New York; this is so much more serious. Please let those at the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) know what you are planning and how they can work with you."
I am a loyal consumer of Hardball, Meet the Press, Tucker, and Countdown. I will be boycotting these shows and encouraging others to boycott the NBC/MSNBC shows they watch/listen to until the Imus show is cancelled/dropped from the NBC/MSNBC network. I do so with much regret because of my love of these programs but I do so with conviction because of my commitment to a broadcast environment that seeks to educate, inform, and, when appropriate, inspire rather than one that panders to the lowest common denominator, to hate and ignorance.
In this democracy, free speech is a right that we must protect with our responsible use of that freedom. The actions of Imus and company constitute an attack on the freedom of speech by de-legitimizing and trivializing commercial, broadcasted speech through the exercise hate and ignorance. Your network's contribution to the public discourse is tarnished by the existence of Imus.
An apology is in no way an adequate way to respond to what has taken place. The fact that Imus and company could not, in the moment, recognize that the comments that were about to spill out of their mouths were inappropriate is reason for their dismissal. As would be the case if they created a 30-minute segment of dead air or marketed an illegal product on air, they have demonstrated an inability, an incapacity to fulfill their job responsibilities in a satisfactory manner and on that point they should be terminated.
To the degree that your network is able to recognize these issues, I will be a loyal viewer/consumer. I look forward to the appropriate response on your part to this matter, i.e., the termination of the contract with Imus and company immediately. Thank you.
(October 12, 1977 - October 13, 2006)
DEVELOPING STORY - Michael Sandy, the 29-year-old black gay man who was attacked in a vicious gay bashing last Sunday, has died.
Mr. Sandy died around noon today after his family decided to remove him from a life support respirator that has kept him alive since his attack.
John Fox, 19; Ilya Shurov, 20, and Gary Timmins, 16 are charged with assault and robbery as a hate crime. According to news reports New York City Police said Friday afternoon that the charges will be upgraded to include murder.
The Hate Crime against Michael Sandy
According to police on Sunday night, Oct. 8, 2006, Fox and Shurov posed as gay on an internet chat room for gay men looking for a mark to rob. They lured Mr. Sandy to a parking lot near Sheepshead Bay, sandwiched between Plumb Beach and the Belt Parkway in New York. Chat messages between Sandy and the men were reportedly found on his home computer and a printout from his computer showing directions to Plum Beach, a popular cruising area, were found in his car.
Michael was robbed and beaten by four men. Somehow during the attack he was able to break free and was chased onto the Belt Parkway, where he was struck by a car and critically injured. He never regained consciousness from his massive injuries.
On yesterday, three Brooklyn men were charged with hate crimes in connection with the attack while a fourth suspect has yet been charged. All of Mr. Sandy's attackers were white and it is still unclear if he was also targeted because of his racial identity.
The alleged attackers say that they are heterosexual, and have made incriminating statements to police, even suggesting they had tried to lure and attack gay men online in the past, Newsday reports. Several witnesses have already been interviewed by investigators from both the New York Police Department's Hate Crimes Task Force and the local detective squad.
Mr. Sandy, was slightly over 5-foot, 7-inches tall and weighed 145 pounds. On Thursday, October 12, 2006 Michael turned 29 years old. He was an interior designer who worked for IKEA.
Rally and Memorial
Black SGL and LGBT organizers and activists held a rally on to demand an end to hate violence in the city and to hold city leaders accountable. The rally took place at 5 p.m. Monday, October 18 at New York City Hall. The rally was sponsored by People of Color In Crisis, the New York State Black Gay Network, Gay Men of African Descent, the New York City Anti-Violence Project and the National Black Justice Coalition.
"How many more black gays and lesbians have to be beaten, killed or attack in New York before we rise up and do something about it?" noted author and NBJC founding Board President Keith Boykin asked in a written statement. "After Kevin Aviance, Rashawn Brazell, Dwan Prince and Sakia Gunn, we have a responsibility to speak out on their behalf."
NBJC has launched a crime watch and anti-defamation e-hotline. If you have information about a hate crime or anti-gay activity or just want to get involved email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Black Justice Coalition is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black same-gender-loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. The Coalition works with our communities and our allies for social justice, equality, and an end to racism and homophobia."
Call to Action: Another LGBT and AIDS Advocate Murdered In Jamaica
Contact the Jamaican Goverment to encourage them to protect their citizens, ALL their citizens and address the issues of poverty and poor education that make such crimes inevitable:
1520 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20036 Telephone: (202) 452-0660
Fax: (202) 452-0081
According to 365gay.com, "One of Jamaica's leading advocates for people with HIV/AIDS has been killed by two men shouting anti-gay epithets. Lenford "Steve" Harvey who ran Jamaica AIDS Support for Life was shot to death on the eve of World AIDS Day. Support for Life provides support to gay men and sex workers."
Monday, April 4 at 7pm at The Courtroom at Brooklyn Borough Hall
In February, Rashawn Brazell, a young black man, Brooklyn resident, was murdered, his body dismembered and discarded. As of March 31, no one has been brought to justice and little assurances made that anyone will be brought to justice. This incident is one of too many incidents of violence against members of communities of color, members of queer and trans communities of color, amd members of poor and working class communities of color.
This Town Hall Meeting is being organized by a coalition of organizations, groups, community members and activists to allow the community to discuss issues of violence and ask questions of the people, organizations and agencies (not) working to address these and other issues.
WHAT: Town Hall Meeting on Violence
WHEN: Monday, April 4 7pm-9pm
WHERE: The Courtroom at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, NY (A, C or F trains to Jay Street-Borough Hall or M, N, R, 2, 3, 4 or 5 trains to Borough Hall)
WHO: Community members, community-based organizations, community leaders, elected officials and law enforcement officials
The co-sponsors of the Town Hall include Gay Men of African-Descent, NYS Black Gay Men's Network, NYC Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, People of Color in Crisis, the Rashawn Brazell Collective, Black Funk, the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Independent Democrats, New York AIDS Coalition, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the LGBT Community Center,New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, City Council Member Letitia James and City Council Member Christine Quinn. The list of co-sponsors is in formation. To add your organization to this list, please contact AVP with "Brooklyn Town Hall" in the subject line.
On Sunday, March 13th, 2pm-7pm, Black Funk will be the site of a community gathering and ritual to (re)member Rashawn, offer healing and comfort to the spirit of Rashawn given the violence of his transition and the desecration of his body, offer healing to each other as we acknowledge the pain this murder has caused in the community, pray for justice, and discuss community action.
Please contact us at Black Funk for more information via email at Information or via phone at (718)636-0345.
Bring candles (white, blue, and yellow), sage, jasmine and myrrh incense, music to sing, drums, florida water, A STONE (about palm-sized), flowers, and any other ritual item you feel appropriate for the purpose of the ritual (see above). Of course you may bring food and drink as well.
Call to Action: Honor the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior by Giving the Boot to Shirley
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Junior Vasquez is hosting a MLK Jr. Day party in New York and has invited Shirley
Q. Liquor to emcee. Many in the community will remember this racist and
offensive act in which Chuck Knipp- a white man, puts on blackface and
plays a Black woman who is a welfare recipient with 19 children.
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Two Spirit and Trans People Of Color and allies in
NYC have said no to Shirley Q. twice before, and this time we are
taking it one step further! We will be awarding the "Jesse Helms Award
for Profiting from Racism and Misogyny on Martin Luther King Jr. Day”
to Chuck Knipp, Junior Vasquez and Club Spirit. Please join us by
coming out to chant and participate in a press conference to send a
message that we don't support businesses that profit from racism, woman
bashing, and classism. The press conference will start at 1pm, so we
are asking supporters to arrive by 12:30. We are hoping to be done by
2pm, so folks can move on to honor this important national holiday.
When: Monday, January 17, 12:30 pm
Where: Club Spirit 530 West 27th, between 10th and 11th Ave. in Manhattan, New York
C/E Train to 23rd and 8th Ave.
Thanks and see you there!
If you have any questions, please contact:
Trishala Deb - Program Coordinator, Training and Resource Center
Call to Action: We Need A Comprehensive Sexuality and Sexual Health Research Agenda
At least as far back as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study (see also: CDC version), major research agendas for people of color with respect to sexuality and sexual health have been primarily initiated and/or constructed by people who were not people of color or people with very little allegiance to or familiarity with people of color.
I ask you, "How well has that been working for us?"