Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Happy Black History Month!

This issue, there are several stories relevant to why we celebrate this month, how far we’ve come and just how much further we have to go. I’d like to give a shout out to James Andrews and Monica Hooks of Brand Influence. If you get a minute check out their industry inside info e-letter Key Influencer. Please let 'em know I sent you.

As always, the titles are links to the actual website for the story. Stories that have no links will be featured in full length at the very end in the body of the newsletter. Feedback is desired and welcome. Feel free to email me at Hope you're enjoyceinglife!!! JD

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In The JJ This Issue...

Catch 'Em Young
The Wall Street Journal
High economic return for investing in disadvantaged kids

AOL Black Voices Launches Books Feature
Target Market News

Drugs and Racial Discrimination
New York Times / The November Coalition
Mandatory sentencing laws have discriminated against members of minority groups, who are disproportionately singled out for harsher mandatory sentences, often because of where they live.

New Programs Spur Working Poor To Begin Saving
The Wall Street Journal
Incentives, Counseling Inspire People to Clean Up Debts;
Setting Aside $50 a Month;Just Paying Bills Is a Struggle

Sony Launches Gay Music Label
Los Angeles Times /
The music giant launches "Music with a Twist," the first major label to be dedicated to nurturing LGBT artists.

Brazil’s Black Network Raises Tough Questions
Los Angeles Times
TV da Gente, billed as Brazil's first television station aimed at black audiences, has been called "racist."

Mixed Like Me
The Village Voice
Interracial roadtrip documentary takes Civil Rights out of monochrome.

The New King
The Village Voice
A floating world of soul with honey, vinegar, and machine poetics.
Greg Tate on Jamie Foxx's Unpredictable

Women's Place, Revisited
New York Times
The women who are now leading nations are the most independent and accomplished group of female leaders ever collected.

Voice of Hip Hop Generation Given MTV Executive Post
The Hilltop – Howard University

Starbucks debuts sales of DVD's in its stores with independent black film
Target Market News

The 'Whites Only' Retirement Fund
The New York Times
Georgia should do whatever it takes to give justice to all of the black police officers denied membership to a supplementary retirement fund.

Memo to Big Oil Companies: Africa’s Oil Belongs to Africans

Md. Lt. Governor Michael Steele Discusses Race and Changing the Culture in Washington
The Hilltop – Howard University
When Maryland's lieutenant governor, Michael Steele, announced late last year that he would run for the United States Senate, the significance of his announcement fell on some deaf ears within the African American community.

Mixed U.S. Signals Helped Tilt Haiti Toward Chaos
The New York Times / Gobal Policy
As Haiti prepares to pick an elected president, questions linger about the effect of U.S. foreign policy on the chaos there.

Athlete Profile: Scott Turner
OverTime Magazine
On December 27th, 2005, the community leader, motivational speaker, and NFL defensive back for nine seasons announced his candidacy to represent the 50th District of California in Congress

Black and White and Read All Over
The Village Voice
If you're mixed-race, they never stop asking 'What are you?'

Outspoken and Feared but Largely Forgotten
The New York Times/ Newszine
Robert F. Williams, an architect of the modern black power movement who has faded from the public consciousness, is profiled in a new PBS documentary.

Radio One and REACH Media launch syndicated black news/talk network
Target Market News

Extra!: History of Black History Month
February marks the beginning of Black History Month, a federally recognized, nation-wide celebration that provides the opportunity for all Americans to reflect on the significant roles that African Americans have played in the shaping of U.S. history. But how did this celebration come to be -- and why does it take place in February?

The Knicks Dropped the Ball
“What genius in the New York Knicks organization thought it a good idea to fire one of the highest-ranking black women in professional basketball immediately after she leveled charges of sexual harassment?”

Vanilla Ceiling: Magazines Still Shades Of White
The New York Observer

The 6th Annual Toni Cade Bambara Scholar-Activism Conference
Spelman College

Greenwich, Conn. - Rich and Racist
The Hartford Courant


PowerFlow Media - Where the Power of Public Relations Meets the Flow of Marketing

Recent and Upcoming Media Impressions for PowerFlow Media Clients: CNN, OverTime Magazine, 790TheZone, Good Day Atlanta, Focus Atlanta, Oz Magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Southern Screen Report and CinemaATL.

First Quarter 2006: Events Featuring PowerFlow Media Clients Why Not Sports, music executive Jacqueline Rhinehart, Descending Dove Productions (The Last Adam), Heart & Soul Editorial Director Yanick Rice Lamb (Rise and Fly: Tall Tales and Mostly True Rules of Bid Whist), Lori Robinson (I Will Survive: The African-American Guide to Healing from Sexual Assault and Abuse), and Evelyn Coleman (Born In Sin).


Gospel Music Channel Opportunities:

JOB OPENING: ADMIN ASSISTANT/ Gospel Music Channel/Atlanta: 3-5 yrs exp supporting senior managers; fast pace, internet prof. req.

JOB OPENING: MARKETING & PROMOTIONS MGR/Gospel Music Channel/Atlanta: 5+ yrs exp (media or agency, programmer). Keen executer.

JOB OPENING: SENIOR MGR, PUBLIC RELATIONS/Gospel Music Channel/Atlanta: 7-10 years experience in cable related company. Report to SVP Marketing. Strategies for mrktng, programming, affil and ad sales

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH MGR/Gospel Music Channel/Atlanta Reports to SVP Marketing. Recommend, develop and field research for programming, marketing, affiliate and ad sales. Hands on position.

Food Critic and Editor for Creative Loafing

Creative Loafing, Atlanta's alternative newsweekly, is seeking a food critic and editor to helm the paper's award-winning coverage of restaurants and dining trends. For more information login and go here:

Nickelodeon Legal Opportunities

Job Title: Senior Counsel - TV Land/Nick at Nite
Location: New York

Experienced business and legal affairs attorney for TV Land and Nick at Nite programming services.


This attorney will handle business and legal affairs matters across all departments of TV Land and Nick at Nite, including development and production, programming/acquisitions, marketing, online and brand creative. Primary duties will include negotiating and documenting agreements with producers, talent, writers and rights holders in connection with original programming; handling production legal matters for series; negotiating and drafting license agreements for acquired programming; counseling the client group on a wide variety of legal matters, including intellectual property rights, off-channel marketing and promotions, sweepstakes, online and music; working closely with the online group regarding the distribution of online content; coordinating with various company departments (e.g., Production Management, Music & Media Licensing, Pre-Broadcast Review, Risk Management, Labor & Employment, Litigation, etc.) to implement production legal policies and procedures; reviewing and handling rights issues; and analyzing guild and union issues.


Qualifications: J.D. and 4+ years experience of law practice (including significant experience at a recognized entertainment law firm or in-house position with a media company) with at least two years experience handling programming/production agreements. Excellent negotiating, analytical,drafting and interpersonal skills a must. Qualified candidates must be members of the New York Bar.

Job Title: Senior Counsel - Nickelodeon Preschool/The N
Location: New York

Experienced business affairs attorney will provide comprehensive business affairs and legal support in a wide range of areas for Nickelodeon’s pre-school bloc, Nick Jr., and Nickelodeon’s pre-school/teen digital channel, Noggin/The N.


Primary responsibilities will include, but are not limited to: negotiating and drafting talent agreements; counseling clients on union and guild issues; overseeing all on-camera and off-camera performer-related issues for the channels (including, but not limited to liaising with third party production companies); negotiating and drafting all production-related agreements for above- and below-the-talent (e.g. producers, writers, creators, production services, directors) in connection with original program development and production; negotiating rights acquisition agreements, co-production and co-financing agreements and other development agreements; and coordinating with various company departments (e.g., Consumer Products, Production Management, Music & Media Licensing) to effect the company’s multi-platform agenda and implement production policies and procedures. Candidate should have experience negotiating and dealing with AFTRA and SAG issues.

Minimum of four years hands-on, transactional experience in recognized entertainment law firm or relevant in-house position with media company.
Must have direct deal making responsibility for a variety of TV development production deals. Familiarity with entertainment unions/ guilds a plus.

All candidates should apply online at
MTV Careers

BET Public Relations Interns

BET's Corporate Communication's department seeks high performing students (undergrad and graduate level) for internship opportunities. BET, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc., is dedicated to providing a solid learning foundation for student interns. Internship applications are accepted throughout the year, however; participants must commit to a minimum 12-week non-paid internship. We are currently looking to fill several spots for the spring and summer semesters (spring dates: March 15 - June 2, 2006 / summer dates: June 12 - August 25, 2006).
As a PR intern, your responsibilities will include supporting the press department with various tasks such as answering phones, filing, creating media clippings, researching information, compiling and distributing screener press kits, maintaining database, as well as other administrative and PR duties. Assistance with special events, such as the BET's Spring Bling, BET Awards, as well as our music programming (106 & PARK, RAP CITY, BET STYLE, THE STUDENT CENTER, etc.), are also a part of internship duties. The internship program allows students to receive first-hand knowledge of the rewards and challenges of working for a multi-facet entertainment company such as BET.

All interested students, please submit your resume and a recent writing sample to:
NEW YORK, NY 10019

Any questions, please call Tricia N. Newell or Tara Smith, 212-975-4048.

Edelman Opportunities

A message from Michelle Deese of Edelman:
I’m certainly available to speak with anyone who wants more information about Edelman diversity and culture, however, the recruiters can speak best about specific openings in their regions. I encourage you to apply online ( to positions you qualify for, and then follow-up with the appropriate recruiter below, referencing the job req # of the position.
NYC – Lindsay Harris,
Chicago and TX – Jessica Trantowski,
ATL – Lindsay Neuweiler,
CA and OR – Elizabeth LeMoine,
DC – Melissa Judis,
Thanks for your understanding and interest in Edelman.
Michelle Deese
U.S. Community Relations & Diversity Manager

Attorney Position - Interscope, Geffen, A&M (IGA) Santa Monica, CA

Job Title: Attorney City: Santa Monica State: CA Job Description: Interscope, Geffen, A&M (IGA) is currently seeking a Business & Legal Affairs Executive for the Santa Monica, CA location.

This position is responsible for a heavy transaction flow in connection with all aspects of the music business, including signing recording artists and other acquisition of content, as well as the exploitation of content.

Provide ongoing legal counseling resulting from the above-mentioned transactions. This will include shaping, drafting, reviewing and negotiating a variety of legal agreements such as recording agreements, label agreements and license agreements.

Job Requirements: - BA/BS degree & JD required
- 5 - 7 years recorded music-related experience preferred
- Strong law firm experience/training preferred
- Proven, in-depth knowledge of agreements relating to recording artists and exploitation of music must
- Must be adept at drafting and negotiating
- Familiar with record label issues
- Strong customer/client service skills a must
- Must be able to work under time constraints
- Ability to multi-task and juggle competing priorities
- Computer experience: Internet, Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook
- Must have excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills
- Highly motivated and with a desire to work in a team environment
- Ability to keep information confidential
- Must be self-directed and well organized

Business Title: Business & Legal Affairs Executive Business Unit: IGA Function: Legal/Business Affairs

Method Acting Coach needed to go to Nigerian Film Festival/Marketplace

We are in need of a method acting coach to present a workshop, during the upcoming "Best of the Best" in African TV Market, to take place in Abuja Nigeria, March 12-16, 2006. All expenses will be paid to Africa, including travel, meals and hotel for the chosen candidate. For those not familiar with what is happening in Nigeria, regarding film and film production, I have embedded a recent "Feature Story" produced by A-List Magazine, for your perusal.
If you are interested in this great networking opportunity, please do not call me, but do send your resume or CV to,, please indicate in subject line, "Method Acting Coach. Looking forward...
C.Sade Turnipseed, Managing Director
KHAFRE Productions


Nollywood & Beyond: Film Production In Africa Heats Up

Look out Hollywood. Forget Bollywood. Nollywood in Nigeria is the new frontier on the global front when it comes to film; and the rest of Africa, especially South Africa isn't far behind.

In Nigeria, things have gotten so intense that it has been dubbed Nollywood. Experts have noted that because of political changes, the Nigerian film industry is experiencing a renaissance. In fact, according to the UK's Guardian newspaper, Nigeria has surpassed India's Bollywood, making it now the world's fastest growing film industry.

Notable Nigerian film companies include NEK, Gabosky and Cheskay, Moving Movies, Zeb Ejiro and JBM. Most of the films are produced by independent by companies and businessmen. However, the big money for films in Nigeria is made in the direct-to-video market. The average film costs between $17,000US and $23,000US, is shot on video in just a week--selling up to 150,000-200,000 units nationwide in one day. With this type of return, more and more are getting into the film business there. By most reports, Nollywood is a $115-million industry. And it keeps growing.

In fact, according to Frank Ikegwuonu, author of Who's Who in Nollywood (, about "1,200 films are produced in Nigeria annually." And more and more filmmakers are heading to Nigeria because of "competitive distribution system and a cheap workforce." Further, Nigerian films seem to be better received by the market when compared to foreign films because "those films are more family oriented than American films," says Ikegwuonu. However, he has not seen a rise in Americans venturing to use the production there. "They are not aware of the phenomenon yet as Nigerian filmmakers lack the marketing tools [to get the word out]."

South Africa, on the other hand, is not only creating a wealth of new films itself, but has become a popular shooting location for international filmmakers.

According to Brin Kushner, an associate producer, his Cape Town, South Africa-based company, African Film Services (, does "10-12 major international commercials a year and between 2 and 4 documentaries." The reasons people are choosing South Africa, says Kushner, "is that we have fantastic weather, amazing locations and very experienced crew. We are also cost competitive. There are lots of savings on equipment, crew rates, talent rates and buyouts as well as increased shooting time due to great weather conditions."

And with African countries actively targeting the U.S. film business, it is getting easier for foreign production companies. "[African governments] are becoming more film friendly as they realize the revenue that the film industry is bringing into the country," notes Kushner, adding that American companies have increased their presence in South Africa. "South Africa is now becoming a major filming destination for American Companies. In fact, Black Diamond with Leonard DiCaprio is currently being filmed over here."

Even black Americans in the entertainment industry are coming to the Continent in search of great locations and better production values. "There is a definite trend for black Americans to want to work in Africa as they feel a strong affinity and tie to our country. We have seen numerous famous black actors on our shores," says Kushner. Plus, they can deal better with black South Africans in the business, unlike in the States where the majority of crews would be Caucasian. "Black South Africans are very involved in the industry...We have amazingly talented black south African filmmakers and crew," explains Kushner.

Will the trend continue to grow? Kushner hopes so. "There is always pressure from other countries such as those in South America which become flavors of the month, but on the whole the future is looking positive."

And it is not just American film productions that reaping the benefits. Many African films have been considered quite well done in the past, but now they are getting the attention some think they deserved long ago. In fact, the South African independent film Son of Man, about Jesus as an African man, was recently chosen for the World Cinema competition category at the Sundance Film Festival. It was the first South African film ever to be selected for competition at Sundance; last year another South African film, Drum, premiered at the festival.

Also on the rise for film production, say experts, is Kenya and Namibia. Namibia even passed a the Namibia Film Commission Act in 2000 "to support the film industry and film marketing in Namibia by promoting the country as a location for film production on the international market."

So on either front, Africa may be the next filming Mecca or the place to pitch films--especially black movies--to an eager audience.


The 6th Annual Toni Cade Bambara Scholar-Activism Conference
Spelman College

The 6th Annual Toni Cade Bambara Scholar-Activism Conference continues the legacy of African and African Women's activism at Spelman College on March 24-25, The conference will engage Spelman students and faculty, and members of the Atlanta community in panel presentations, discussion forums and interactive workshops that explore multiple forms and sites of activism including: writing, filmmaking, cultural/artistic expressions, popular education, and grassroots community organizing. There are no registration fees. Don't miss out on this wonderful event!! More info:

Greenwich, Conn. - Rich and Racist
The Hartford Courant
Although Greenwich officials say they have zero tolerance for discrimination, their hearts and minds apparently have yet to catch up.

For proof, consider that Greenwich's affirmative action officer, of all people, was asked in December by the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities to undergo anti-bias training to settle a discrimination complaint by two prominent nonwhite residents.

The complaint lodged by Millie Bonilla and Sheila Foster, the wives of former New York Mets baseball players Bobby Bonilla and George Foster, said they were denied access to the beach at Greenwich Point Park on June 7 because of their skin color. Mrs. Bonilla is Puerto Rican and Mrs. Foster is African American. They were part of an exercise group meeting at the beach.

Kelly Houston, the town's affirmative action officer, dismissed the complaint on grounds that the women were not carrying the $25 resident beach cards that are required to enter the park.

Ms. Houston might have been able to sustain her ruling had she not sent an e-mail three weeks earlier to the exercise group leader the women had hired for their class. Her e-mail advised him to be discreet about bringing "black people" to the beach and to cut the number of black participants in the class.

Mrs. Bonilla and Mrs. Foster hired Hartford attorney Joseph A. Moniz and appealed Ms. Houston's decision before the human rights commission.

The human rights commission's settlement offer requires that Ms. Houston and other employees in the town's human resources and parks departments attend anti-discrimination training classes.

Greenwich officials would also have to incorporate language guaranteeing equal access to parks in town policy and display anti-discrimination posters in town facilities.

Greenwich officials should accept the offer and be happy that more serious penalties weren't recommended. They may also want to consider hiring a more astute affirmative action officer.

Perhaps the agreement will move Greenwich from merely saying it opposes discrimination to actively practicing fairness and racial harmony.

Copyright 2006, Hartford Courant

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