• 30

    Jul

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Kudos To Mr. Harry Belafonte

Portrait of Harry Belafonte, singing, 1954 Feb...
Portrait of Harry Belafonte, singing, 1954 Feb. 18. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have written about the legendary, icon, singer, songwriter, television host, movie star, civil rights activist, husband, father and one of the most admired men in the United States of America (USA), Harry Belafonte, in a prior blog. This past week on Chris Hayes’ MSNBC Show, “All In With Chris Hayes,” Mr. Belafonte reinforced – at least to me – why he is one of the most gracious and admired men in the USA. Apparently, Mr. Belafonte – while at a press conference in Switzerland – was asked by a reporter what are his impressions of the social responsibilities artists today display as opposed to the artists of his era. He made the observation – rightly so – that the “highly powerful voices” in the African-American community “sadly” had not applied their “collective celebrity power” to bring consciousness to the inequalities African-Americans face in the USA. He mentioned Jay Z and Beyoncé as examples of his observations. This prompted Jay Z to mock Mr. Belafonte in one of his rap songs on his new album. Jay Z used the N-word and called Mr. Belafonte, Mr. Day O (where is the respect Jay Z?) in one of the rap song’s verses.  What a shame, Jay Z! He (Jay Z) also called Mr. Belafonte, “Belafonte,” during an interview with Rap Radar and he ridiculed Mr. Belafonte for praising Bruce Springsteen while calling him (Jay Z) out in the white press as he puts it.

Mr. Belafonte has said artists, Chuck D and Jaime Foxx, also heard the criticism and asked to meet with him to discuss how they can cure his observations. They did not attack Mr. Belafonte like Jay Z did. I wonder who in Jay Z’s camp is advising him on matters such as this public relations issue. Is anyone of the king’s subjects informing him he’s naked? Does Jay Z understands he’s out of bound? Mr. Belafonte has earned the right to say whatever he wants. He has been fighting on the frontlines for justice before Jay Z was born. PLEASE SOMEBODY EDUCATE JAY Z. Mr. Belafonte is certainly one of the most revered civil rights leaders living today. He should not be disrespected and taunted in “a rap song or in pop culture interviews.”

Mr. Belafonte showing the CLASS he has exuded throughout his life has extended an olive branch and requested to meet with Jay Z and Beyoncé – without the presence of television cameras and print reporters – to discuss their emerging conflict . Kudos to Mr. Belafonte for displaying why he is one of the most admired, intelligent and caring men in the United States of America. My hope is that Jay Z has learned a valuable lesson from this controversy. Moreover, hopefully he’ll live long enough to truly understand what Mr. Belafonte was saying. By the way did I mentioned Mr. Belafonte is 86 years old.

Keep On Rising Mr. Belafonte!

 

 

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  • 23

    Jul

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Mentoring African-American Young Men

Sigma Beta Club Members Conclave 2013I have the distinction of being an Honorable Member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Our organization was founded at Howard University in Washington D.C. on January 9, 1914. Throughout our history, we have been on the forefront of social, educational and economic issues taking place in the United States of America. President Barack Obama’s recent remarks regarding the “call to action” on behalf of African-American boys rallied my fraternity to issue the statement below. Join us as we strive to mentor and protect our young men.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Through Its Sigma Beta Clubs Joins President Barack Obama In His Call To Save Young African-American Boys.

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., (www.phibetasigma1914.org) through its Sigma Beta Clubs (www.sigmabetaclub.org), has been at the forefront of providing mentorship and leadership development to primarily, but not exclusively, African-American young men between the ages of 8-18 years old. President Barack Obama’s recent statement, “And for us to be able to gather together business leaders and local elected officials and clergy and celebrities and athletes, and figure out how are we doing a better job helping young African-American men feel that they’re a full part of this society and that they’ve got pathways and avenues to succeed,” made during his July 19, 2013 White House Briefing regarding the Trayvon Martin killing, sparked Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. to rally its stakeholders and join President Obama in his quest to help young African-American boys.

“Phi Beta Sigma men worldwide embrace President Obama’s call to provide mentorship to our next generation of leaders. Through our Sigma Beta Clubs we answer the challenge set forth,” intimated Jonathan A. Mason, 34th International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. “In cities across the country, our clubs are producing thousands of success stories. We are anxious to partner with the Obama administration in an effort to increase outreach and effectiveness,” he added.

Since 1950, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., one of the nine African-American Greek-lettered fraternal organizations, has been proactive in youth development activities. Throughout the United States and abroad, its Alumni chapters have organized Sigma Beta Clubs to implement their four national program initiatives: 1) Bigger and Better Business through “Investment, Savings and Job Shadowing Program;” 2) the Education Program involving “Academic and Scholastic Achievement;” 3) Social Action Program involving “Sigma Against Teenage Pregnancy Plus (SATAPP)” and “Health and Wellness” and 4) Childhood Obesity Initiative “Stepping Out Childhood Obesity.”

SBC Members Photo

Through the National Sigma Beta Club Foundation’s recently adopted curriculum, “Rise and Thunder,” a framework has been created for the members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. to implement a standardized curriculum which provides incentives to Sigma Beta Club members. The curriculum also contains a common language that describes the characters of a young man affiliated with the Sigma Beta Clubs. The “Rise and Thunder” curriculum addresses specific issues impacting young men in their communities and clubs. This is accomplished through five (5) benchmarks, “Member,” “Rise,” “Command,” “Lightening” and “Thunder” which are connected to nine (9) core competencies – Leadership, Teamwork, Vision, Service, Learning, Culture, Advocacy, Equity and Ethics.

SBC Members Photo # 2

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and its Sigma Beta Club Foundation are in partnership with Leadership At Its Best, LLC (www.LeadershipAIB.com) in the development and delivery of healthier life style programs, leadership development, life skills training and career preparation. These programs over the years addressed the many issues African-American boys and young men face from elementary school to college. Carter D Womack, 27th and 29th International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Founder and CEO of Leadership At Its Best states, “We must come together to address the issues our boys are facing, because these are human and civil rights issues.” He furthered remarked, “John H. Jackson, president and CEO of the Schott Foundation, reported in The Black Boys Report that ‘this battle is critical to ensuring the health of America’s communities, democracy, and economy’.”

Attorney Arthur R. Thomas, President of the National Sigma Beta Club Foundation and 31st International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., states, “If we are to make a real and positive difference in the lives of young African-American males, we must be leaders by example and be supportive of any and all initiatives espoused by President Obama.  We can do this through the Sigma Beta Clubs which ensures that our young men become ‘The Next Generation of Leaders Accepting the Responsibility and Loving the Challenge’.”

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity established in 1914 on Howard University is a global organization with over 450 chapters and 150,000 members. To learn more visit www.phibetasigma1914.org

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  • 17

    Jul

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Sigma Beta Club Members Are Our Future

Sigma Beta Club Members Conclave 2013My good friends, Arthur R. Thomas, Esq and Carter D. Womack, are determined to save young African-American males. They are both principled supporters of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (PBS) Sigma Beta Club (SBC) members. The SBC young men Arthur and Carter are mentoring hail from different states in the United States of America. Thomas currently serves as president of PBS National Sigma Beta Club Foundation and Womack is the founder of Leadership At Its Best, a Columbus, Ohio based leadership development and life skills training program for young men. Womack – both he and Thomas are former International Presidents of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. – crafted the SBC motto, “the next generation of leaders accepting the responsibilities and loving the challenge,” in the 1980s.
The SBC is an essential part of the structure of PBS and has been so since 1950. Founded by Dr. Parlett L. Moore, the 20th International President of PBS, the  organization (PBS) became the “first” Greek Letter organization to develop a youth auxiliary group (SBC). The group has been evolving as the fraternity has grown. It offers Sigma men a unique opportunity to exemplify wholesome values, leadership skills, educational enhancement, business training and development, social and cultural awareness to youths at a critical stage in their (youths) personal development. The SBC are organized at the Alumni chapter level and consists of young men between the ages of eight and 18 years old. The SBC members are provided mentoring through the implementation of Unified National Programs and Projects of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Programs such as “On The Job Training,”  (Bigger & Better Business), “Tutorial Programming,” (Education), and “Sigma Against Teenage Pregnancy,” (Social Action) are taught to the young men.

The current national discourse regarding the senseless death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American male, who was killed by George Zimmerman, a thirty something white male, was discussed at the SBC National Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was elated to witness that for six days, 60 Sigma Beta Club young men were chaperoned and mentored by PBS members, who demonstrated that the SBC members safety, health and learning were their number one priority. I was also happy to affirm there are African-American young men behaving appropriately. And, hopefully these young men will not be targeted or harmed by zealous individuals.

 

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  • 08

    Jul

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Image Does Matter

Raphael Saadiq, American singer-songwriter.
Raphael Saadiq, American singer-songwriter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the early 1990s, I worked at PolyGram Holding Company and Mercury Records as the publicist for an amazing R&B group named Tony!Toni!Tone! Over the years, I have kept up with Raphael Saadiq – leader singer of “3T,” the name we fondly called Tony!Toni!Tone! – ever blossoming career. A few months ago, my business partners and I met with Dwayne Wiggins, leader of 3T, in Hollywood Hills to discuss a few projects we have in development. At the end of our meeting, Dwayne invited us to Blakeslee Studio, his brother’s, Raphael Saadiq, studio in North Hollywood. It was great to see the guys together again, since we all worked together diligently under the leadership of Ed Eckstein, President of Mercury Records at the time, to represent 3T, who were innovative, talented and professional. We had lots of fun working 3T’s CDs over 20 years ago. Their success on the label was memorable. Before we left Blakeslee Studio, Raphael played several tracks for us from the upcoming soundtrack he is producing for the movie, “Black Nativity,” which stars Academy Award winners, Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson. Also starring in the musical film are Angela Bassett, Mary J Blige, Tyrese Gibson and Grace Gibson, actress Lynn Whitfield’s daughter, who will make her screen debut in the poet and playwright Langston Hughes‘ 1961 play. The Kasi Lemons directed movie is shaping up to be one of the must see films for the Christmas Holidays. The film’s buzz is building. I was elated to see “Black Nativity” received major promotion during the recent 2013 BET Awards. I was also pleasantly surprised to note that Forest Whitaker was a good singer. As usual, Jennifer Hudson’s singing is outstanding. Mary J. Blige and the rest of the cast are featured singers on the melodic inspiring soundtrack. I plan on buying the “Black Nativity” soundtrack.

Fast forwarding to July 5, 2013, I received an invitation to attend Hot 92.3 Presents “New Jack Swing” concert at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles featuring Al B Sure, Dru Hill, SWV, Tony!Toni!Tone! and Aaron and Damion Hall. We, my wife Veronica, Felicia Jefferson and Mona Lassiter, had a wonderful time dancing and singing the hit records 3T performed. Raphael’s rendition of one of 3T’s biggest hits, “Anniversary,” was fantastic! The headline act, Aaron and Damion Hall, closed the show. The Hall Brothers sang and danced through their songs from Guy, their group which included super producer Teddy Riley, days. Mr. Riley did not performed at the Greek Theatre show. I was disappointed with Aaron’s excessive use of “profanity” throughout the group’s performance. At one point he cursed the music industry for not signing groups like his. He sounded angry. His profanity was a public relations nightmare. If Aaron Hall is attempting to be a player in the music industry again, cursing the business is not a method he should use to achieve his goal. He will not be successful. The adage “biting the hand that feeds you” applies loud and clear in this scenario. I was not surprised  several of the concert’s attendees shared my sentiment and spoke negatively of Aaron after the show ended.

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  • 02

    Jul

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Rodney and Holly Robinson Peete Autism Story

Major brain structures implicated in autism.
Major brain structures implicated in autism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently had the pleasure of performing public relations duties on behalf of the HollyRod Foundation (HRF). Founded in 1997 by actress and philanthropist Holly Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL quarterback, Rodney Peete, the HollyRod Foundation is dedicated to providing compassionate care to those living with autism and Parkinson’s disease. The HollyRod Foundation efforts include providing a better quality of life for individuals and their families. For more information visit their website at www.hollyrod.org. The Media Roundtable, I was commissioned to coordinate, was hosted by Holly and Rodney in Beverly Hills, California. It was very well attended. Topics discussed at the Media Roundtable included the Foundation’s work for autism and Parkinson’s disease, the Foundation’s extensive capital campaign to expand their valuable family services programs and Ms. Robinson Peete’s appointment as Brand Ambassador for Fuhu’s, a leading designer, seller and creator of thoughtful consumer products and services for children, nabi tablet. Holly also announced plans for the foundation’s DesignCare 2013 event. The video below presented by Ms. Tami Devine of CCN captures the essence of the Media Roundtable event.

“HollyRod Foundation was inspired by the journeys of a father and a son. Parkinson’s disease and autism have touched our family in a profound way. We understand what families impacted by one or both experience every day. Rodney and I are honored to shine a light or serve in any way we can. HollyRod has provided us with a way to achieve this,” intimated Ms. Robinson Peete.

In recognition of her commitment, Fuhu recently named Ms. Robinson Peete as Brand Ambassador for the nabi family of products made just for kids. Ms. Robinson Peete will educate parents on the benefits of integrating a tablet into their children’s lives as a key tool for both learning and entertainment. She will also spearhead the company’s autism program, Inspire, as lead strategist. Inspire generates awareness for autism and Fuhu generously donates $1 from the sale of each nabi tablet to fund autism research.

Since 1997, Holly Rod Foundation’s DesignCare has been a staple fundraiser for the foundation and this year’s event is going to be the most exciting in its 15-year history. DesignCare 2013 is set for July 27, 2013 in Malibu, CA.

The Gorman Group (TGG), headed by Mia Gorman, is directing HRF’s growth plan and overseeing the capital campaign. I had an enlightening evening learning and sharing in Holly and Rodney’s passion. I was also elated by the opportunity to speak with one of my favorite actresses, Ms. Regina King.

Though the number of individuals who are afflicted with autism has increased, Holly and Rodney are doing a herculean job changing society’s behavior in the manner in which the disease is viewed. The video story below provides a glimpse of the work Holly, Rodney and their team are doing.

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