A blacksmythe first. I’m going to write my thoughts up as they come up so I can store them for future reference….


Ends with a discussion about relationship options. One thing that’s important to consider here is Kriss Turner would be in no danger of falling into poverty if she decides to have children without getting married. Related is the fact that the number of single parents are exploding in part because the Spence five children model is going the way of the dodo bird. Black married couples are postponing children and are having far fewer children than they once did.


I didn’t  catch this before, but see how Noguera was silenced by the Kennedy child? Who is now about to be homeless? And she asks the questions NOW…how long before he loses the light? Fryer agrees with Noguera as well…but this is where we are, right? Here’s my question. If fryer’s program doesn’t work, then what does he try next? what range of solutions is he willing to consider?

That’s two questions.

Here’s a third. How much you want to bet he gets a slice of that cell phone market?


Evil is real. Isn’t that the truth. Dyson has given shout outs to his brother Everett in his book. This is the first time I’ve seen him…didn’t know why he was in. Choices. Choices. Choices.

Tracy Burch got a hold of data from Georgia prisons. They actually categorized prisoners by skin shade. The results are more or less what you might expect, but the type of intra-racial politics that are implicated here aren’t really dealt with.

The juxtaposition between the stories and the headlines at the bottom are fairly jarring. (Why is Aaron Spelling’s widow getting press? And why is she spending 47 million on a condo?)


concludes going back to the rands, with a shoutout to mike dyson (with a brother in for life)…..


Crime in Baltimore. I was just talking with Submariner about the stress of working in trauma in Baltimore. The VIP program sounds like a program I heard about on SmartCity–a program designed to end open air drug dealing by taking the dealers, compiling a case against them that’s air tight, then threatening to take the case to trial unless the dealer gets their life together. The police department then has a liason helping them get jobs, training, etc. The VIP program is an excellent start. And Dr. Cooper is doing all he can here.

Choices. Choices. Choices.


5% of the entire population of DC is infected? You’ve got to be kidding me. And here is the down-low again…or at least its implicated in Marvelyn’s story. The solution? Again individual education. And with a brief examination of the black church then a move to a woman (Niya) who “has a boyfriend she doesn’t quite trust.”

“Has Niya’s test taught her anything?”

Rucker Johnson takes this back to the prison industrial complex. Or even bringing in the political economy of sex in communities where black men have a choice of several “sellers” and the sellers have to compete over a limited number of buyers. This stuff is social science, but it can be told in a way that makes sense and resonates. We need much more of us doing this work, speaking to this work.

If I had the swing vote? I’d hold out for loot abstain.

There is a lot of potential in this story. Given the existence of youtube and the like I wonder if a better version could be done virtually? Kind of a smartmob joint? Some real scholarship, some real stories about black families?

My man Fryer again. Identity is fluid and contextual…or at least will be for the babies of the couple identified in this section. I’m surprised that Soledad doesn’t identify herself here. there is a big difference between how ryan lived and how the rasmussen kids will live.

the next subject? sounds like aids.

this segment on powerful black single women hits hard. 1 million more black women working. twice as many black women in college in black men. I’d be interested in knowing what they’re leaving on the cutting floor. I’ve been telling women what Chris Rock told Kriss Turner for a lonnggg time. The numbers don’t work.

“When you’re married to someone you can’t just leave that easy…”
Nice juxtaposition with the married couple who–and note that we don’t know what their economic circumstances are–appears to be doing well, with ira johnson. If she just would’ve married her man, e’erythang would’ve been SKRAIGHT.

Ira Johnson has got a great outlook on life. But she’s literally walking on a tightrope right? Now if she gets the five kids taken care of and they can do the thing, then they’ll all look out for her. But the question of course is can she?

Whoopi says it. THANK GOD FOR THE WELFARE SYSTEM. So where would she be now without that? (Ok. She looked young as hell in that picture.) If you are born in poverty you are likely to….


Sorry. Avis and her husband are friends of mine. Always good to see folks I know working. Let’s me know I’ve got options if things don’t work out…..

Um. How do we get from a nice discussion of how government can help, to marrying baby daddys and baby mommas?

The big question. Was arguing (again) about the father responsibility thing.

AH. Now we see how the Smith family did the thing. The Smiths have their own construction business, began by their father.

The church. Can’t do a show about the black family without dealing with the church. You can’t tell me that Johnson isn’t doing a yeoman’s job. Two jobs, hustling, hustling, and hustling again to take care of five children. The phone vs. the lights? Taking care of the kids’ desires or their needs? Then the stats. Today 70% of black families are headed by black families.

Here’s Rolypoly Roland Martin, switching cause and effect again. With TD Jakes bringing up the rear. Soledad neatly takes their arguments and then applies them to Johnson, who of course agrees. “I was young and wanted to have fun.” When Soledad asks them why she didn’t marry the father of her children, she says she was depressed.

Which goes back to health disparities. But not in this show.

She ends the segment talking about the geography of health disparities. Spends way too much time talking about salt and hypertension, and not enough (again) talking about the types of structural issues that determine where good grocery stores are located. When I lived in Saint Louis I lived within walking distance of three good grocery stores. The entire Northside of the city had one or two.

Here we go. He says this is a theory that’s out there, but he created the theory. The doctors are right here…but note again that Fryer is the standard, and he is given the bulk of the time. Soledad asks him about political correctness, and he counters by noting that he doesn’t care about rubbing people the wrong way. But it isn’t about rubbing people the wrong way. It’s about what the data says….

The poet talks about salt and pork, implying that our diet doesn’t help. While he’s on point, our diet doesn’t have anything to do with cancer. Ah. Here’s Fryer again. Bet he uses the salt thesis.

The Kennedy family knows how to make lemonade out of lemons. Interesting they chose the single father family, throwing things for a bit of a loop. The young son uses some of his money to help dad pay bills? But going back to Fryer, with Soledad asking a question about the distinction between middle class and lower class educational outcomes, note again that the default is cultural. “The middle class family can see the results of education all around them, where the poor family can’t?” How about the differences between quality schools? When Pedro Noguera comes in he’s the critic. He says what we know to be true—that poverty is key here—but he’s almost in there as an objective “this is the other side” analysis.

Still waiting.

So the last thing I hear before the storm kicks in and the signal goes out is Fryer talking about how he acknowledges that there are other things going on–like teacher quality–but this is one thing that can help reduce the gap between black and white students. I’m not too sure about that. Again we need more time here to be able to know exactly what the achievement slope looks like over time. Are the increases stable? Do they decrease overtime, indicating diminished returns? If we look at these changes and then plot them against school quality do some schools perform better? Do some perform worse?

I thought the metric was grades, but the metric is those assessments. They know how much money they have. Would be dope for them to combine this with some sort of financial planning program. The principal talks about progress and accountability, and she’s absolutely right about how children are penalized but there are no rewards. Fryer is adding the carrot to the stick approach. (damn a thunderstorm just jacked the signal…..)

References the achievement gap…and here is Fryer, touting the money solution. I’ve got some problems with embedding the market into education. it seems from looking at the school, that there’s another problem. One of the ways in which our processes of using government have flipped is that we now take for granted that successes should be rewarded, while failures should be allowed to sink. No Child Left Behind operates on this premise, as do literally dozens of other programs. And lest we blame this on Bush, many of Clinton’s programs were based on the same philosophy. It looks at least from the outset that the school that Fryer is dealing with may be situated in the “inner city” but it doesn’t look like an “inner city school.” Meaning that the children here who succeed and get paid are likely kids who would succeed (and get paid) anyway. I wonder what the numbers look like?

from the glories of slavery to the problems of education. can’t find a better poster child than brandon. saggy pants. cornrows. no t-shirt. and then the glorious moment when he actually gets in school. i’m reminded of a scene in the wire–fourth season–where it’s clear that administrators need numbers and need folks counted only up to a certain point. then they stop counting. but the rands got into the magnet school. for them? the difference goes straight back to the parents.

kissing cousins. isn’t that special? and the word progress. multicultural families are the present…and as sister rand says “a kodak moment.” begins with slavery but ends with a nice omniamerican moment. now i don’t particularly buy the argument that black people suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder from slavery. there is no genetic pathway that can explain this. i also think we can explain the issues related to the black family by a set of modern structural issues….but we also know that slavery took a serious toll on black families. that’s just glossed over here.

next up? roland fryer. this should be interesting.

The family reunion is a black family tradition, and Atlanta is viewed as the capital of black America. Nice touch. The black male show is tomorrow…but given that you can’t have a family as large as the one studied without men, the family had to come from somewhere. Bring in the illicit slavery era black woman white male relationship.