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On Media Influence: Is That All There Is?

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Readers, Tell Us There Is More Than Oprah and a Gossip Site

Leon E. Wynter, "Business and Race" Columnist, Dies at 57

Huffington Post, Sheila Johnson to Launch Black Section

FCC, Justice Department OK NBCU-Comcast Deal

Son, Daughter Testify in Buffalo Beheading Trial

CNN Names Suzanne Malveaux a Dayside Anchor

Alternative Paper Calls Plain Dealer Editor "an Enigma"

Wyclef Jean to Perform at D.C. Benefit for Haitian Journalists

Tunisian Upheaval Highlights Voice of Al Jazeera

Short Takes

Fred Mwangaguhunga, who created MediaTakeOut.com, above, is one of only two people of color among the 50 "most influential people in media this year."

Readers, Tell Us There Is More Than Oprah and a Gossip Site

As the first guest on CNN's new Piers Morgan Show, Oprah Winfrey 'expertly schooled Morgan' on how to interview.When the new year began, the Daily Beast chose "The 20 Smartest People of 2010," and the only African American on the list was rapper Kanye West.

Now the Wire, a website from businessinsider.com, has compiled "the 50 most influential people in media this year."

The two people of color represented are media mogul Oprah Winfrey and Fred Mwangaguhunga, a thirtysomething former corporate lawyer whose website, MediaTakeOut.com, dishes lurid headlines about celebrities, punctuated by three exclamation points. That's it for blacks. The Wire's list includes no Hispanics, Asian Americans or Native Americans.

Mediatakeout.com's lead story for Wednesday was, "MTO WORLD EXCLUSIVE: WE GOT EXPLICIT PICS OF RAPPER DRAKE . . . AND LETS JUST SAY . . . HE SHAVES . . . DOWN THERE!!!"

The site calls itself "the most visited urban website in the world."

Is this the extent of the media influence exerted by people of color? Is this how people of color are perceived in the media world?

Glynnis MacNicol, who put together the list, told Journal-isms she paid attention to diversity concerns and considered her list "a reflection of the industry." She issued a challenge: Who would you add? MacNicol said she was "a huge Juan Williams fan" and considered placing the Fox News commentator on the list.

Journal-isms poses the question to readers: Which people of color should be on such a list?

You may respond in the "Comments" section at the end of this column.

The criteria: "They may not all be getting the biggest ratings, or possess the most recognizable faces, but in a quickly changing media world they are exerting an unmistakable influence on how, where, and when we consume information."

The top 10 were Julian Assange, Steve Jobs, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Jon Stewart, Oprah, Nick Denton, Arianna Huffington, Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg.

The bottom 10 were Mwangaguhunga, The Awl, Graydon Carter, Betsy Morgan, Dan Savage, Rachel Sklar, Greg Mitchell, David Folkenflik, Jim Romenesko and Lorin Stein. You can click on their names here to find out who all these folks are.

There is no denying Winfrey's influence.

She was the guest Monday on Piers Morgan's debut show in Larry King's old slot on CNN, and she "all too expertly schooled Morgan on how to handle an interviewer such as he (and how he would better interview a guest such as she)," Joel Meares wrote for the Columbia Journalism Review.

Likewise, MediaTakeOut receives more hits than other black-oriented websites: 2.8 million unique monthly visitors in November, according to the comScore rating service, compared with 2.3 million unique visitors each for BET.com and AOL Black Voices, and 1.4 million unique visitors for BlackPlanet.com, a social media site.

MacNicol called MediaTakeOut's hits "incredibly impressive."

In June, theRoot.com named "our favorite blogs."

MediaTakeOut was labeled "Guiltiest Pleasure."

TheRoot.com blurb read: "Why we like it: We have to admit mediatakeout is one of our guilty pleasures. It keeps us in the know about the personal lives of people in black entertainment.

"What we want to see on it next: Less stories about boob jobs and [derrière] implants, and more insightful commentary."

Mwangaguhunga e-mailed Journal-isms this reaction:

"I'm glad to have been included on Business Insiders Most Influential list. [Given] that MediaTakeOut.com has more viewers on the average day than any other Black oriented media company (including the large corporate TV networks and magazines), I think it was certainly warranted.

"That being said, I would have liked to see more African Americans on the list."

Leon E. Wynter, "Business and Race" Columnist, Dies at 57

Leon E. Wynter, a journalist, author and Leon E. Wynterbanker who wrote a column called "Business and Race" for the Wall Street Journal from 1989 to 1999, died Tuesday after battling brain cancer, his former wife, Yvonne Wynter, told Journal-isms. He was 57 and living in a hospice in the Maryland suburbs of Washington.

Wynter was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008 and had been undergoing treatment at the National Institutes of Health on the outskirts of Washington, Yvonne Wynter said.

Wynter, a looming figure at 6-foot-7, had formed provocative views about race, which he outlined in a 2002 book, "American Skin: Pop Culture, Big Business and the End of White America."

Introducing a February 2003 commentary from Wynter on NPR's "All Things Considered," host Robert Siegel said, "In the book, he argues that integration in the US has been achieved in the cultural marketplace, if nowhere else in society. But he was not prepared for all the white people who would read his book and assume that buying black culture means buying racial equality."

"Many def whites . . . insist their overt embrace of a miscegenated pop culture has finally numbered the days of America's old race problem," Wynter said in his commentary. "I think so, too, but in the meantime, I'm on alert for signs of a new one. Teen-age white boys sporting urban designer gear? Cool. Same white teens accessorizing with dysfunctional ghetto attitude in my face, less than cool. Greet each other as 'my nigga,' as in 'Whassup, my nigga?' very disturbing."

Wynter's friend Michel Marriott, a former New York Times writer, wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday night, "I cannot accept that I won't be on the receiving end of one of Leon's masterful arguments about just about anything in the universe. He was so one of a kind and the world is so much less without him materially in it, the way he was always in everything, both feet, fully engaged, committed like an intellectual pit bull."

Wynter's blog set forth his mission statement: "To inspire with literary journalism the awareness of one American race, sharing multiple overlapping cultures that sum to more than their parts as one society of sovereign individuals."

More recently, Wynter co-write the memoir of Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., "And I Haven’t Had A Bad Day Since," and taught journalism at Baruch College of the City University of New York and Emerson College in Boston.

"I've followed the racial and ethnic transformation of American identity for over 20 years as a journalist, essayist, commentator, speaker and an author," he wrote on his website.

"Once upon a time I created the Wall Street Journal’s monthly 'Business & Race' column and wrote it from 1989 to 1999.

"My commentaries on race, popular culture and life observed have been heard on National Public Radio’s 'All Things Considered' since 1993. I've also published two dozen essays in newspapers and magazines including the Wall Street Journal, Savoy, the Washington Post and New York Newsday, among others.

"As a public speaker, I've had the [opportunity] to share my big ideas with marketers at Time-Warner, Pepsico, Glaxo SmithKline, Cox Cable and the Strategic Research Institute.

"A former commercial banker, I entered journalism as a Washington Post staff reporter in 1980, where I covered education and racial change in suburban Prince George's County, Md. I joined the Wall Street Journal’s Washington bureau in 1984, and covered the federal banking beat on Capitol Hill, as well as federal telecommunication and technology policy.

"A native New Yorker, I received my undergraduate degree from Yale (1974, Psychology) and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business (1979, Economics). . . .  I have one child, Grace, by a previous marriage."

Services are scheduled Jan. 26 at Eastchester Presbyterian Church, 3154 Fish Ave., Bronx, N.Y. 10469.

Huffington Post, Sheila Johnson to Launch Black Section

Sheila Johnson"The Huffington Post and BET co-founder Sheila Johnson are launching a HuffPost section devoted to African-Americans," Jake Coyle reported Wednesday for the Associated Press.

"The section, 'HuffPost GlobalBlack,' is expected to debut in early March. The Huffington Post is set to make an official announcement about the new platform Thursday.

“ 'Our goal is to cover more stories of importance to the black community,' says Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the New York-based Huffington Post.

" 'We have the supreme irony of having the first African-American president, which is such a historic event and a milestone, while at the same time, conditions for African-Americans are deteriorating, in terms of unemployment, in terms of high school graduation, in terms of the number of African-American males in prisons,' Huffington says.

"GlobalBlack is the 27th section for the Huffington Post, but its first racially based one. It plans to soon launch a Latino section."

The Huffington Post was used as an example this month to illustrate a piece by this columnist about online organizations that refuse to disclose how many people of color work there, raising suspicions that few do.

The AP story continued, ". . . 'In all of this digital space, the African-American voice is really falling off the radar screen,' says Johnson, who sold the Washington D.C.-based Black Entertainment Television to Viacom in 2000. 'We're on other radar screens, with other digital sites, which is wonderful. But I really wanted to bring the real news, the storytelling — to really bring back the voice of the black community on some relevant news and views.' "

FCC, Justice Department OK NBCU-Comcast Deal

"Comcast Corp.'s proposed $30 billion deal for NBC Universal Inc. received the thumbs-up from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday, but it came with a long list of provisions that are expected to protect consumers and online competitors from the Comcast juggernaut," Bob Fernandez wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"For Comcast, it provides the nation's largest cable network with a dizzying array of entertainment and content providers.

"For opponents, it gives Comcast incredible — and dangerous — competitive leverage."

As noted in this column's diversity summary for 2010, the merger divided organizations of color. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists opposed it in April, saying that "this massive media consolidation will lead to fewer journalism jobs, less coverage of the Latino community, less diversity of voices, and excessive control for one company over the country's media."

Other organizations of color endorsed the deal after hearing some of the promises.

Among them:

  • Comcast Corp. will add four cable networks owned, or partly owned, by African Americans over the next eight years, as well as a new English-language channel aimed at Asian Americans.

  • An NBCU commitment to increase news and information choices for Hispanic viewers, including a plan to work with an independent producer on a weekly business news program.

  • "Comcast will add a Hispanic to its corporate board within two years."

  • Comcast promised to add at least three independent cable networks with 'substantial [minority] ownership interest' over the next three years; to establish four external advisory councils, one each for representatives of the African American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander communities, and another for 'other diverse communities,' and to spend at least $7 million more on advertising in minority-owned media next year.

  • NBC promised in February that " 'Meet the Press' is committed to having a more diverse group of voices on the show whose opinions and expertise reflect, not just the news of the day, but the cultural, economical and political landscape of our country."

Paula Madison, the NBC Universal executive vice president for diversity who is responsible for implementing NBC Universal's diversity commitments, said the deal close will actually occur in about 10 days.

Son, Daughter Testify in Buffalo Beheading Trial

Michael and Sonia Hassan referred to their father only as 'the defendant.' (Credit: WIVB)"A lineup of prosecution witnesses testified during the second day of the murder trial of Muzzammil 'Mo' Hassan," the Buffalo News reported Wednesday.

"Hassan, 46, a former television executive of Bridges TV, is accused of the stabbing and beheading death of his 37-year-old wife, Aasiya Zubair Hassan."

WIVB reported, "Muzzammil Hassan came face-to-face with his son and daughter, who took the stand for the prosecution on Wednesday.

". . . Michael testified that he was freaked out upon learning that Aasiya was killed. He and his two younger siblings were outside Bridges TV studios in a minivan waiting for her as she met her death. He told jurors, 'I was nervous. It was my understanding my dad would not be at the office" when he and Aasiya stopped by to drop off clean clothes for Hassan. Aasiya had filed for divorce just six days earlier.

"Sonia became emotional a number of times while testifying. She claims Hassan tried to contact her through letters since the slaying, telling her he would give up all of his possessions to her if she wouldn't speak ill of him. She never responded."

Early coverage of the crime was fraught with sensitivities.

In the Toronto Star, public editor Kathy English wrote in 2009 that reporter John Goddard was wrong to relate the beheading to Islamic sharia law and divorce. But conservative Los Angeles Times columnist Jonah Goldberg and Marcia Pappas, New York state president of the National Organization for Women, accused the media of playing down links between the crime and Islamic teaching.

CNN Names Suzanne Malveaux a Dayside Anchor

Suzanne Malveaux"CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux has been named a dayside anchor for the network, effective January 31," Mark Joyella reported Wednesday for Mediaite. "Ken Jautz, executive vice president of CNN/U.S., made the announcement this morning. Malveaux replaces Tony Harris, who quit the network.

"CNN says Malveaux will CNN Newsroom from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays, joining a dayside lineup that includes Kyra Phillips, Ali Velshi and Brooke Baldwin."

". . . Malveaux, who will relocate from Washington – where she’s been on the White House beat for nearly a decade – to CNN headquarters in Atlanta. . . . CNN has not named a replacement for Malveaux at the White House.

 

The Plain Dealer ran this illustration last week with the story, "Ohio Gov. John Kasich's 20 Cabinet appointments so far lack diversity."

Alternative Paper Calls Plain Dealer Editor "an Enigma"

Debra Adams Simmons"When cleveland.com revealed in October that Debra Adams Simmons would be the new editor of The Plain Dealer, the news was greeted by readers with a round of compliments, advice, and conspiracy theories," Afi-Odelia E. Scruggs wrote for the alternative Cleveland Scene.

"One commenter handed out congratulations and best wishes to the new editor's predecessor, Susan Goldberg. Another welcomed the resident of Copley Township, near Akron, while wondering whether 'anyone at The PD lives in Cleveland.' Still another wanted to know the 'real reason' that Goldberg was heading to Bloomberg News.

"In the newsroom, there were no sighs of relief or moans of disappointment. The sound was the hmm of the curious. Despite having spent three years at the paper as managing editor, Adams Simmons was still an enigma to the folks she would supervise."

Asked to comment, Adams Simmons told Journal-isms:

"I don't have much reaction to the Scene piece. I think Afi worked hard to reflect the perspectives that were shared with her. I've never thought of myself as an enigma. I suppose there are worse labels.

"I don't get the headline ["Hell to the Chief: The PD's new editor faces mixed reviews and an uphill battle"] nor do I buy the premise of an uphill battle. One of the humbling things about being a newspaper editor is that there's always someone seeking to put you in your place. I'm clear about my place and my role. The piece looks backward (which is sometimes important to do). I am looking forward. I expect great things from the Plain Dealer newsroom in 2011.

"There are highs and lows in this business. Departures notwithstanding, I'm still responsible for the largest news-gathering operation in the state of Ohio. With all due respect to some of the voices in the story, we have more than enough people to make an impact. In fact, much smaller newsrooms have had an impact in the communities they serve. Yesterday I named a fantastic managing editor. We are poised for greatness!"

Jean to Perform at D.C. Benefit for Haitian Journalists

Wyclef Jean will be among several Haitian musicians who will perform at the National Press Club in Washington on Jan. 26, at an event to raise funds for journalists in Haiti, the Trice Edney News Wire announced on Wednesday. The wire was created by Hazel Trice Edney, former editor of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service.

"At least 30 journalists were among around 300,000 people who were killed in the earthquake that struck on January 12, 2010. Proceeds from a Night of Solidarity will be used to provide social and professional assistance to Haitian journalists and financial assistance to families of journalists killed in the disaster," the announcement said.

"Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive will be among the speakers at the Night of Solidarity for Haitian Journalists, which is also meant to raise awareness of the need for a strong, vibrant and free press as Haiti rebuilds from last year's earthquake.

"Michel Martelly, also known as 'Sweet Micky' is a pioneer of Haiti's unique Konpa (or kompas) style of dance music. He was also a candidate in last year's presidential elections.

"AZOR is a leading drummer and Voodoo singer, while King Kino is a leading Konpa and R&B singer.

"The night will end with a performance from Wyclef Jean, the grammy-award winning Hip-Hop artist and former member of the Fugees.

"Other speakers include Guy Lamothe, Director General of Haiti's Investments Facilitation Center and Mirlande Manigat, another candidate in the presidential elections."

Tunisian Upheaval Highlights Voice of Al Jazeera

"In cafes and living rooms across the Middle East, the whirling montages and breathless journalists of Al Jazeera are defining the narrative of Tunisia's upheaval for millions of Arabs riveted by the toppling of a dictator," Jeffrey Fleishman wrote from Cairo Wednesday for the Los Angeles Times.

"The Qatar-based television network, as it does with the Iraq war and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, is airing visceral, round-the-clock coverage in a region of authoritarian states that rarely allow government-controlled media to show scenes of unrest. Al Jazeera is a messenger, pricking the status quo, enraging kings and presidents.

"It is the big voice in a multimedia landscape of Arab dissent that encompasses bloggers and online social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Whereas strategies of revolt on the Internet are largely the domain of the young and educated, Al Jazeera has for years been the touchstone for the masses seeking insight into the wider, mystifying world."

Short Takes

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Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site BugMeNot.com provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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Comments

People of color who should have made the media list


We are in deep kah-kah if Fred Mwangaguhunga is on the list. IMHO, he is the Wendy Williams of online trash.  Is success measured by the number of clicks on a site?  I guess. Yet I don’t care how many hits Mediatakeout gets. It’s distasteful gossip masquerading as journalism. 

  The Wire, a website from businessinsider.com, picked Oprah and Fred as media heavies. Why do black folks accept or allow others to anoint our leaders without our input?  The Wire was co-founded by a former Merrill Lynch analyst, Henry Blodget, who was an Internet whiz kid until he and the firm got busted in an investment scandal. The SEC fraud violation cost Merrill Lynch $100 million. Blodget paid $4 million to the SEC and agreed never to work in securities again. 

My rant is over. Here is my list of those who write intelligent, insightful  and amusing pieces most often:

Leonard Pitts, Jr., Cynthia Tucker, Betty Baye, Eric Deggans, DeWayne Wickham, Derrick Jackson, Mary Mitchell, Rochelle Riley, Richard Prince, Eugene Robinson, Bob Herbert, Les Payne, Ta-Nehisi Coates

"On Media Influence: Is That All There Is?"

It seems to me that The Wire 50 list should at least have included media critic Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times, and Roland Martin of TV One, CNN and RolandSMartin.com.

Kelvin Childs, Transport Topics, Arlington, Va.

Greg Thrasher must be added on The Wire 50 list ASAP

The most published Black social essayist  political commentator  and public intellectual in State of Michigan . Published in Detroit News, Free Press, Eccentric ,Michigan Chronicle,Time ,Newsweek, Detroit Metro Times, Ann Arbor Press, Wayne State South End,M Live, Oakland Press countless blog sites, newsletters, guest on Public TV Profiles in Black , Host of #1 Public Acess TV Show ,Contributing Editor of Voice of Detroit Newspaper, Mentor, Public Speaker, Activist.

Http://planeideas.blogspot.com

 

WSJ Columnist Leon Wynter

I remember reading Leon E. Wynter's "Business and Race" column in the Wall Street Journal back in the 90's, and then thought he was an impacted writer who had mastered the artful skill of storytelling. I waited to read his weekly column that enlightened me. I also had an opportunity to tell him that I enjoyed  reading his weekly Column. Thank You, Leon. You and your Column will be missed.

Leon E. Wynter

To The Wynter Family:

Please accept my condolences on Leon's passing. I, for one, will miss him greatly.

Leon and I first met while working on the 1989 NABJ Convention in New York. He jokingly complained about having to wear his "monkey suit" during the Saturday-night festivities -- and, over the years, he introduced me to Macs, passed on great job tips and always was ready for a good conversation on just about anything.

I last saw him at the 2008 Unity Convention in Chicago, and we held up the registration line a bit catching up on old times.

No more pain, Leon. No more suffering. Only perfect peace. And, for that, we all can be thankful.

Best wishes, Ol' Friend.

"... Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."

-- Psalm 30:5, NKJV

Todd Beamon

Freelance Editor and Writer

Washington, D.C.

 

Media Influence: What Lessons Are We Learning?

It's inevitable. Whenever any media publish a list of influential folk or top this or that, there will be a dearth of Blacks and Browns. 

It's predictable. Whenever any media publish a list of presumed importance that fails to include a comfortable representation of Blacks and Browns, there will be criticism of the list and after-the-fact suggestions by those who don't publish comparable lists of their own.

It's mind-boggling. I was under false impressions about the influence of Black America and economic impact of Black America most of my life. But the data offer a completely different perspective, supporting the various perceptions that White media portray routinely: 

True: Whites own 97% of the media market share pie. http://www.civilrights.org/media/ownership/consolidation-could-shut-minorities-and-women-out-of-tv-ownership-report-finds.html When presumed important lists are published in White media, by White managers for White audiences, there seem to be two primary factors at work: 1. They aren't thinking of Blacks and Browns with whom they know very little about and have very little engagement. 2. They understand the economic numbers that critics frequently ignore when thinking of influence.

Black America's economic impact shows a similar disparity across industry sectors. According to 2007 Census data, the entire productivity of all Black-owned businesses in the U.S. is LESS than 1 percent of total GDP, which measures the productivity of all U.S. businesses.

Intriguing: In music, surely Blacks must be included, if not dominate any list that measures the influence of music on America ... unless you measure solely the money spent by fans on music tours. Then you see the same pattern: very few Blacks make the list of Top 50 music tours each year based on revenue.

http://www.pollstarpro.com/files/Charts2010/2010YearEndTop50NorthAmericanTours.pdf

I wonder when we will learn the lessons the data is trying to teach us? Perhaps we should consider the idea the data is telling us ... that whoever told us we were 40% of the population, contributed 40% to the economic productivity of this nation and had a broad influence across media, music and entertainment sectors ... may have exaggerated a bit? 

We have a lot of work to do. But it won't get done if we continue to adhere to false notions and clamor for Whites to recognize us each time they forget we exist. 

Yes we do have a lot of work

Yes we do have a lot of work to do but chastisement of white media outlets is not clamor nor a waste of time but it is appropriate to engage in racial inventories, inclusion and seeking acknowledgement in a nation with our racial landscape and legacy..Black folks are a major part of America in every sector of life in our nation. It is never a problem to be a part of America sometimes one must even invite themsleves to the party.

On another note your interview with Dyson was brutal on his part and out of order..Just sayin

Leon's passing, but staying future perfect

I still simply refuse to believe this. Yet a part of me knows it must be true: Leon E. Wynter passed away Tuesday, 18 January 2011. 

I cannot accept that I won't be on the receiving end of one of Leon's masterful arguments about just about anything in the universe. He was so one of a kind and the world is so much less without him materially in it, the way he was always in everything, both feet, fully engaged, committed like an intellectual pit bull.

I had known for some time that he was ill, but not that sick. A lot of us who were close to Leon had grown accustomed to giving him some space to heal and manage his illness, than he would reemerge, strong, clear-eyed and full of vigor to challenge any comers. 

I knew he moved out of the New Year area to recover in Maryland. I never thought that when he relocated that I'd never see him again.

He was the best of us. He and I go so way back, back to the Washington Post of the early 1980s, still fresh from his days at Yale, long before his good, long tenure at the Wall Street Journal, and then NPR, before he wrote American Skin and assisted Congressman Charlie Rangel in writing his recent memoir. Leon never changed much, some gray hair here and there on his shining dome of a head or in his mop of twisty tendrils of dreads. He always stood tall – real tall, from those heady early days when we, a certain generation of college-educated black folk, knew we would change the world, to his last. He was standing tall and brave the last time I saw him not that long ago at a Harlem cafe where we shared drinks, a few bites and a few stories with good friends.

Leon never lost his fire. I thought he would live forever.

I guess forever was Tuesday, but the whole of me just can't accept that.

I miss him already.

Tall and full of light

I remember Leon as being full of spirit, energy and light that brightened conversations and challenged the mind. A warm and kind human soul whose loss and oh so too early death leaves me with deep sadness.

Leon Wynter

    I have been thinking about how since Leon and I met and became good friends, while in college at one of our AKA functions, our lives have intersected at various times. While I was still in med school I ran into Leon at a "Q" boatride and he taught me to do the NY hustle.(I taught my late sister Elena and Scott, her future husband, and they became champion semipro dancers.) We were both in DC at the same time, I doing my residency and he working for the Washington Post. I attended his marriage there and he said he wished I could be a groomsman. Leon was the only man at my baby shower except my brother Kenny. While I was working at Interfaith M.C. he escorted me to a ball there. I had already been led to the Lord and I told him about my faith; seed planted/watered. Many years later he called to tell me ( "I thought you'd like to know") he had found Jesus, remarried and had a child named Grace. Later I invited him to my church, New Life Fellowship, where he stayed, served on the worship team as an organist and found his last wife.  A very bright light has gone out Such a vibrant energetic intellect. As Leon, a Kurt Vonnegut fan, frequently said, "So it goes". I will miss you my friend, so very much. I was blessed to know you. See you later.

Huffington Post, Sheila Johnson to Launch Black Section



 

Tick! Tock! Listen to the clock winding backward. Sheila Johnson at the Huffington Post. The Grio.com with the paternalistic NBC News. The Root partnered with the Washington Post/Newsweek. Tick! Tock! Will Greyhound  now set aside seats in the back of the bus for blacks? Will Harvard, Yale or some kind stranger (Bill Gates) underwrite separate and unequal education for “coloreds?” Are textbook publishers poised to offer special tomes geared to minorities? Will housing revert to gated communities for “blacks only?”  And, will they be marketed as plantation living? 

Tick! Tock!  Is this 2011 or 1954?

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