Category Archives: BLACK Corner

Analysis: Combative Obama finds subdued Romney


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama came ready Monday for a fighting finish, deriding Mitt Romney as reckless and overmatched in world affairs. Instead he found a subdued challenger who was eager to agree and determined to show he was not a warmonger.

Romney starkly moderated his tone and his approach in the closing debate. Playing it safe, he tried not to unnerve undecided voters who are wary of another U.S.-led war, or to upend a race that remains remarkably tight with two weeks to go.

No moment was more telling than when Romney had a clear opening to respond to Obama’s lecture that he was wrong and irresponsible on foreign affairs. He responded by giving his five-point plan for fixing the economy, leading to a bizarre exchange that took the debate wildly off topic.

It showed how much the commander in chief was in his comfort zone, where the challenger regretted that he was not in his.

The last debate turned into a mirror of the first one, when Romney had been the aggressor and Obama was intent not to fiercely challenge him. Even in trying to outline differences with Obama, Romney often started by agreeing with him. Suddenly, it was Romney the Republican who was talking about supporting economies abroad, while Obama the Democrat warned against nation-building.

From drones to Afghanistan to Syria, Romney and Obama spoke in agreement on goals, if not strategy.

The president’s biggest vulnerability — last month’s deadly assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, and all the unanswered questions that surround it — barely surfaced. Romney seemed to pass on the opportunity to assail Obama’s leadership and shifting messages on the attack.

Obama accomplished portraying himself as a world leader, facing a former governor who he said had offered positions that sent a mixed, and unsettling, message to allies and the American people.

He did so at times mockingly, but faced little fire in return.

“I know you haven’t been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong,” Obama told Romney.

He needled Romney the businessman for complaining that today’s Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917, trying to hold Romney up as ignorant and unfit for the job.

“Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them.”

Romney’s clearest points were to try to turn Obama’s most aggressive moments against him, and to outline a more comprehensive strategy for combatting the extremism that has roiled the Middle East and North Africa. Even then, his tone stood out. Politely.

“Well, of course I don’t concur with what the president said about my own record and the things that I’ve said,” he said. “They don’t happen to be accurate. … Attacking me is not an agenda.”

With the race extremely tight and several states hanging in the balance, Romney sought to show he was reassuring, poised and in essence, presidential.

Yet he seemed to lose some of the edge that gave his campaign a bump in the first debate.

Trying to capitalize on the mood of voters, Obama has campaigned as the leader who ends the wars, not the guy who begins new ones. Romney tried to combat that by saying, for example, that he would not get the United States involved militarily in Syria even though he wants to find a way to arm the opposition.

Yet millions of viewers at home were often left to discern exactly how much Romney and Obama differ in a world of diplomacy that is enormously difficult and nuanced.

Before the debate, Romney aides said they believed viewers would, above all, be looking for Romney to demonstrate leadership and confidence. His answers often appeared driven to show he understand the regions, players and challenges at play instead of undermining the president’s positions on them.

The moderate Romney was dominant.

On Afghanistan, for example, Romney said he also would bring troops home by 2014. Often, though, Romney would agree in principle before saying he would have executed differently.

Romney congratulated the president on killing Osama bin Laden, for example, but then said, “We can’t kill our way out of this mess.” He agreed that sanctions were hurting Iran, but then said he would have initiated them sooner than Obama did. Romney also said he agreed with Obama’s decision to stop supporting Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak — “I supported (Obama’s) action there” — but said he would have been more “aggressive” in trying to encourage democracy.

After a whole year in which foreign affairs has been the undercard of the campaign fight, it got its moment with the stakes right where they should be — high.

The presidency is about the world even during inward-looking times. Currency standoffs with China, nuclear showdowns with Iran and military tensions around the globe affect the economy and security of the United States.

The debate season ended with Romney looking like he wanted to get off the stage and back on the economy. That, ultimately, is where this election will be settled.


An AP New Analysis

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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in BLACK Corner


Inspiration Sunday: Be Thankful For Every Struggle

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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in BLACK Corner


Inspiration Sunday: Strength For Today…




I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…

When you realize that God gave you the strength to do what you do, it makes you  Live & Love,

                    Give & Forgive,

                                Listen & Learn,

                                        Work & Sacrifice,

                                                Speak & Communicate

                                                       with more Passion & Purpose.


If God gave you the Responsibility, He has also given you the Ability.

I just want to encourage you by reminding you that YOU CAN DO IT! You will have challenges and setbacks, but YOU CAN DO IT! People may doubt it, discourage you but YOU CAN DO IT!


Where He guides, He also provides and Today He’s provided you with an inspirational message and reminder. GET UP and do what He’s strengthened you to do.



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Black Hair Styles

Natural Hair

While some stylists use the term natural hair to refer only to Afros, others use the term for any hair style without chemical treatment, including Afros, updos and all types of braids. Since the chemicals used to straighten and relax black hair can be damaging to the locks as well as to the scalp, many people prefer a natural approach. It allows the hair to grow longer since it is undamaged and can also be combined with hair extensions.

Straw Set

If you are transitioning to a natural hair style from a chemical treated look, consider a straw set. In a straw set, you use drinking straws or small perm rollers to wrap your hair in ringlets.

1.Once you have shampooed and conditioned your hair, wrap small sections around the straws and secure it with hair pins.

2.Dry your hair under low heat with a bonnet hair dryer, or with very low, diffused heat with a hand dryer.

Roller Wrap Set

Roller wrap sets are a great way to get large, loose curls without damaging the hair with heat styling. This is a very popular styling method for many African American women as black hair tends to be very fragile. For large curls or waves, use large rollers to roll your clean, damp, conditioned hair. Dry your hair under low heat with a hooded dryer. When it is completely dry, you can remove the rollers and brush the hair into smooth waves.

You may find these smooth natural black hair styles easier if you use one of the “natural” relaxers available on the market such as Naturalaxer.


Double Strand Twist

Double strand twists are one of the most popular types of natural black hairstyles. This style can also give hair a break from everyday styling damage, as the twists are typically left in for a few days or weeks. Double twisting the hair is simple.

1.Part the hair into small sections all over the head, approximately one inch in size.

2.Place a small amount of oil on the hair and separate in half.

3.Cross the two pieces of hair over each other and pull tightly. Continue this process until the entire length of hair has been twisted.

4.Secure the end of the twist with a hair tie. Repeat this process until the entire head has been twisted.


Dreadlocks are popular hairstyles for many African American men and women. Dreadlocks are created when wet hair and a small amount of natural products are twisted together multiple times until the hair naturally stays in a locked form. When dreadlocks are put in the hair it will become matted and the locks will stay in place for a long time. The only drawback with this hairstyle is that they are nearly impossible to remove and usually need to be cut out.

Relaxed or Straightened Black Hair Styles

The chemical processes used to relax hair can make for beautiful sleek tresses, but they can also cause dryness, thinning and breakage. If you have your hair chemically relaxed, make sure you discuss the best shampoos and conditioners for your situation with your stylist; some leading black hair stylists recommend Nexxus hair products as well as the Dudley product line.

If you desire long and lustrous straight black hair styles, remember that there is no miracle pill for hair growth and that every process to which you subject your hair has an impact on it. Relaxers, hot curlers, hot combs, and color can all damage your hair and using more than one of these can make the problems exponentially worse. If you are planning to color and perm, you should always do your perm first or the color is likely to change dramatically.

Since straightening your hair removes elasticity from the hair shafts, the straighter your hair is, the more fragile it will become. If you want it bone straight, you will have the best success with very short styles. On the other hand, if you are relaxing but leaving a fair amount of curl in place, you can successfully have a longer hair style.


The different types of braided black hair styles available are nearly limitless. However, there are a few more popular braid options for African American hair.

•Cornrows: Cornrows are small, tight plaits, close to the scalp that are popular on both men and women. Cornrows are typically left in the hair for weeks or months at a time.

•Micro Braids: Micro braids are very tiny braids that are done to either just the root of the hair, or all of the hair. In many cases micro braids are so small, they are not noticed by the naked eye. These braids can be left in the hair for months.

•Tree Braids: Tree Braids are slightly larger than micro braids. They are small, noticeable, three strand braids that are done to the hair in small sections. These braids should only be left in the hair for a few weeks at most.

A lubricant, such as Aveda Humectant Pomade, is usually used for the twist. Of course, braiding is an art and it takes a substantial amount of time. Make sure you find someone you trust and that they understand the style you are going for. If often helps to look at pictures to indicate the style you are seeking before your stylist starts. When you wash your braids, make a diluted shampoo and water solution and work it gently into your braids. Then, use your shower to work it first through, then out of your hair. Repeat the same technique with your conditioner.

Keep in mind that braids can stress your hair; if they are put in too tightly, the hair is constantly pulled at the roots and this can result in breakage.


Extensions are popular hair choices for many African American women, mainly because growing out black hair can be very difficult due to its naturally dry and brittle nature. Extensions can be added to black hair in a number of ways.

Micro Braiding Extensions

Micro braiding is a very popular method of adding extensions to black hair. In this process, natural hair is partially micro braided and then extensions are added to the braid. Extensions can be left unbraided, or be completely braided, depending on the preference of the individual.


Fusion hair extensions are less popular with African American hair, but this method can be used on black hair if necessary. With this method, hair extensions are fused to natural hair with protein bonds. This is generally not recommended for women with extra brittle hair.


Hair weaving is possibly the most popular for African American women. In this process, a corn row or track is created around the head, right on the scalp. The extensions are then sewn onto the tracks. Then the real hair covers the track where the extensions are sewn in. Essence magazine has a gallery on African American hair weaves for pictures on how natural hair weaves can look.


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R&B singer/songwriter – ESNAVI celebrated the release of her newest beauty campaign with Alison Raffaele Cosmetics (ARC) on September 25, 2012 at the contemporary MarX Restaurant located in Midtown Manhattan, located at 208 East 58th Street. As the 1st African-American face endorsing the brand, ESNAVI introduced music, fashion, and beauty fanatics to “Skintone 7” – ARC’s reality based True Concealer. As part of the presentation, guests were delighted by a 20 minute performance from the vivacious singer, makeup tips and samples by ARC, nail polish by Dazzle Dry, pastries from Delightful Cake Kreation and cocktails courtesy of 1800 Coconut Tequila.

Esnavi has quickly become an independent powerhouse in a short amount of time. Although new to the mainstream, Esnavi has been on her mission for years. As a very young child, her performing and writing skills were cultivated and now the industry has taken notice of this rising star. With the release of her highly acclaimed album, Exit E, Esnavi is taking her career to the next level.

She has performed at ESSENCE Music Festival during a live broadcast on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, headlined in front of a sold out crowd at Apollo Music Café, performed on Good Day New York morning show on FOX 5 NEWS, sang The National Anthem at the IZOD Center for the Harlem Globetrotters World Tour, performed at BAMcafé Live (Brooklyn Academy of Music) and has secured a music licensing deal with H&M, Old Navy, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nine West, Ann Taylor and Arden B stores worldwide.

As her most recent accomplishment, Esnavi is making history as the first African-American face for Alison Raffaele Cosmetics beauty campaign, a cosmetics line that will be carried in all Duane Reade stores nationwide, which launched in Puerto Rico in May, and will launch in New York City this Fall.

“Launched in 2008, Alison Raffaele Cosmetics is the first brand to blend high performance, easy-to-use cosmetics with eco-friendly, treatment-oriented formulations.” The foundation upon which the brand was built is that a woman’s true beauty comes from within and it’s through the pursuit of those dreams that encourages beauty to shine through. ESNAVI truly exemplifies what is means to “Live Beautiful”.

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Mychal Sledge- Community Activist, Writer & Motivational Speaker

Mychal Sledge

Mychal Sledge is the co-founder and the CEO of The Sledge Group Inc., a unique non-profit community based, family-oriented program, which provides male and female adolescent mentoring groups, tutorial services and a support network for the parents of the youth who participate. The Sledge Group, Inc. strives to empower, uplift and provide positive influence in the lives of urban youth.

Mychal is a servant of God, a husband and father. He is a community activist, changed agent, a published writer. He is also an inspirational and motivational speaker, available for speaking engagements and workshops covering a myriad of topics. Mychal has been on the forefront of the Black Male initiative.

An accomplished martial artist, Mychal is a national and international martial arts champion. He has traveled the world as an elite member of the United States Karate Team, winner of several National and International Championships including two gold medals in the Pan-American Games. He attained unprecedented status by being listed in the World Almanac five consecutive years.

The journey that has led Mychal Sledge to become the man he has grown to be today is not only intriguing, but extremely remarkable. He is at a place in life where he is comfortable enough to share his story in an effort to help others avoid similar pitfalls and to empower them to search within themselves for the strengths needed to succeed.

His essay, “My Brother’s Keeper” was featured in the male version of collected essays from the authors of the best-seller, “Souls of My Sisters”. “Journey into My Brothers”, released in May 2007. Mychal is currently working on his autobiography entitled, “The Life I Live Today Is Not My Own”, which will also be published in the near future.

Q&A with Mychal Sledge:

BS: What challenges have you encountered as a community activist? How did you handle them?

Mychal Sledge: I am a praying man and the challenges are pretty much the same in all our communities. Wake our people up to see that our problems are really spiritual in nature. Getting the families to do a better job of raising our children.

BS: What is your greatest strength? How will your greatest strength help you perform?

Mychal Sledge: My greatest source of strength comes from Almighty God, I’ve been given a gift to lead and teach by example.

The ability to reach the young and the unborn has allowed me to move mountains. My supportive wife pushes me to great lengths and my children drive me to ” No Limits”

BS: Which was your most rewarding experience?

Mychal Sledge: Watching the effect of The Sledge Group, on my family. Children do what they see, not always what they hear. They have watched my wife and I live ” Community” and giving back Daily.

BS: What inspired you to create The Sledge Group Inc? What type of programs do you offer?

Mychal Sledge: The Sledge Group, Inc is a God Given Program that was placed in my Wife (Debra Sledge) and my spirit to start.

We were both taught to do something about a problem. We were taught you are part of the problem if you do nothing!

Free Mentoring, one-on-one and group

Free tutorial Programs, Free parent support Groups, Food and clothe drives annual for the past 14 years.

BS: Where did your interest in writing initiate? What can we look forward to when reading your published work?

Mychal Sledge: I always wrote as child and love words. Working on Affirmation and Empowerment Books.

Also “The Life I Live Today is Not My Own”

BS: As a motivational speaker, what key issues do you touch on?

Mychal Sledge: Life and doing something about it besides complaining. A myriad of topics: social services including youth development, mentorship programs, HIV prevention, substance abuse awareness, court advocacy, crisis intervention, anger management and many other programs which address the issues affecting our community.

BS: How important is Mentoring to you? Has it played a vital role in your life?

Mychal Sledge: I had Mentors as a child and still have a mentor today. Various men guided me thru the Martial Arts from the age of 10 years. I come from a two family household. Simple put Mentors saved and changed my Life. I am strong advocate for Mentoring both in community and corporate .

BS:  What are you passionate about? How you continue to develop yourself and your skills?

Mychal Sledge: Very passionate about Life and making a difference while I am still alive.

Very Passionate about educations and self- educating.

Very Passionate about our youth, manhood, fatherhood, families- injustice and corruption.

Touching one person and watching it spread.

Love is one of the greatest Gifts from God. Staying teachable and reading and praying are my secrets to self-development. Self education as well.

BS: How do you determine or evaluate success?

Mychal Sledge: Success is looking back on where I came from and who I am today and I get really excited about what Almighty God is going to do next in my Life and others around me. Its not money but spiritual growth as a human being.


Mara – The Hip-Hop Socialite


Former Intellectual Property attorney, sometime model, current celebrity journalist/blogger and urban media personality. You can find Mara’s work in Parle Magazine, and on websites such as,,, and (Live). The Wilmington, NC native has interviewed and written stories on what reads like a “who’s who” of R&B, hip-hop and urban entertainment, including Jadakiss, Maino, Grandmaster Caz, style icon June Ambrose, Kalenna Harper (Diddy Dirty Money), Tami Roman, Olivia, and Kandi Burruss.

In early 2009, Mara joined Street Disciplez Radio as co-host, joining the show’s creator and host, former hip-hop emcee turned media personality, Ei8ht. Street Disciplez Radio has generated headlines on many media outlets, including,,,,,,,,,,, and many, many more. Past guests of Street Disciplez Radio include Meagan Good, Natalie Nunn, Bobby Brown, Scarface, Def Jam executive Sha Money XL, actor Ving Rhames, Tashera Simmons, Felicia “Snoop” Pearson (“The Wire”), French Montana, Capone and Noreaga, Consequence, west coast hip-hop legend Too $hort, and many more. Currently syndicated on the web, Street Disciplez Radio airs on multiple sites every Monday and Wednesday night from 8:30pm to 10:30pm.

In the summer of 2011, Mara was selected to serve as Managing Editor of popular lifestyle/entertainment webzine, (the brainchild of NYC radio personality, Cherry Martinez of Power 105.1 FM). With Mara at the helm, has generated headlines on,,,,, and on many other popular media outlets.

The Renaissance woman also pens a column, “The Adventures of the Hip-Hop Socialite…”, for One-Ten Magazine, which is scheduled for relaunch in the summer of 2012.. Earlier this year marked another milestone in Mara’s career, as she began hosting the “60-Second Scoop” on North Carolina’s Coast 97.3 FM (Cumulus Media), Michigan’s WHPR FM 88.1, and NYC’s

Mara has also hosted her own internet series, “Scene & Heard TV”, which generated the kind of headlines that many have come to expect of the proud southern belle.  As an urban media personality, Mara has been featured in,,,, and other outlets.

Q & A with Mara The Hip-Hop Socialite:

BS: What made you leave your profession as an attorney to pursue a career in media?

Shamara McKoy: To be perfectly honest with you, I never pictured myself practicing law for the rest of my life. I’ve always been passionate about writing, but I knew I probably would not make much money from it. Nevertheless, when I relocated to NYC after graduating from the law school at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, I decided to make a go of it after working as a lawyer for almost 2 years. I’ve always been obsessed with pop culture, so working in the media world made perfect sense. It merges two of the things I love: writing and pop culture.

BS: How would you describe your work style?    

Shamara McKoy: Organized chaos. I can be all over the place, but I manage to always get things done.

BS: Tell me about your proudest achievement.  What inspires you?

Shamara McKoy: Although I’m no longer in the law field, earning my law degree is my proudest achievement.

I’m inspired by my nieces. With all the foolishness that’s going on on TV and just everywhere, it’s important to me that I model the behavior, morals, work ethic, and beliefs that I want them to possess. It inspires me to go hard and always carry myself in a way that influences them in a positive way.

BS: What do you ultimately want to become? 

Shamara McKoy: Eventually, I want to be a radio personality that’s recognized on a national level. I want to get the book I’m working on published at some point, and I although I’m already a pop culture commentator, I would like to take it to the next level by landing television appearances to provide commentary on everything pop culture!

BS: Who has impacted you most in your career and how? 

Shamara McKoy: Wow, there are quite a few people who have impacted my career. I can’t name one without naming them all, so I’ll leave it at that.

BS: What’s the most important thing you learned about yourself so far?  What is your personal mission statement?   

Shamara McKoy: Relocating to NYC and managing to make a life for myself here has taught me just how strong I am. It wasn’t easy by far.

I don’t have a personal mission statement per se, I just believe that hard work and faith (in God) will get you everywhere.

BS: Who are your role models and why?

Shamara McKoy: My mom and my dad (of course). Their work ethic is something like I’ve never seen! My dad worked 30+ years for a particular company, and he rarely missed a day. He actually retired in 2001, but he grew tired of sitting at home, and got another job working for a school. My mom is the same way. They’re just hard workers, and succeeded in giving my siblings and I the kind of childhood any kid would hope for. They’ve worked very hard on their marriage as well – in July, they celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary! They’re both very happy!

When it comes to this industry, I adore Cathy Hughes. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her, but her career in media (particularly radio) is a major motivator for me.

BS: What techniques and tools do you use to develop yourself?   

Shamara McKoy: I’m an avid reader, and one of the things I do while I’m reading is write down words that I stumble across that I don’t often use. I then write down their definitions (if I don’t know it already) and incorporate those words into my own writing.

I’m hoping to participate in more writing workshops. I’m always trying to improve my skills as a writer, and participating in whatever workshops I come across is a big part of that.

BS: What projects are you a part of now?  What can we expect from you in the near future?

Shamara McKoy: Right now, I’m focused on my radio bit, “The 60 Second Scoop with the Hip-Hop Socialite”. It’s 60 seconds of the latest celebrity interviews, gossip, and/or details on the hottest events. The “Scoop” was launched earlier this year, and it’s featured interviews with everyone from rapper Ca$h Out, to Tami Roman (“Basketball Wives”), to Momma Dee (“Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta”). It’s done quite well in the radio markets that air it down south, and I recently landed a sponsor (t-shirt company Optic Verbiage, The “Scoop” has already made headlines everywhere from The Urban Daily to Bossip. It’s something I created, with my name on it, produced by my production team, Da Matrix Studios in NYC. I’m quite proud of it. I’m looking forward to additional radio stations picking it up and adding it to their programming. I’m extremely grateful to my family at Coast 97.3 FM in North Carolina because they were the first station to give the “Scoop” a chance.

I also pen a column called “The Adventures of the Hip-Hop Socialite” for One Ten Magazine. It will be re-launched in December in the winter issue of One Ten.  And of course, I’m still Managing Editor of, a lifestyle/entertainment webzine that’s the brainchild of Power 105.1 FM radio personality, Cherry Martinez.


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