A Rejuvenated Maxwell Returns After 7yrs
It’s hardly unusual for a singer to drop off the musical map. Declining album sales, drug habits, legal woes and other dramas have landed a multitude of chart-toppers on the “Whatever Happened To …” list. Yet it is unusual to find someone who voluntarily takes a break from the business — and happily so, with no tabloid fodder behind it. So Maxwell — one of the key voices from R&B’s neosoul era, with a sensual voice that made hearts melt and knees buckle — understands why people were so puzzled when he disappeared from the spotlight after releasing his last album, “Now,” in 2001. “The world is so caught up in the `American Idol’ idealistic sort of tendency in regards to just thinking that this whole thing is what everybody wants, but it doesn’t help you make a better record,” the platinum-selling singer says. “I just wanted to kind of be a regular person for a minute, and not have to live up to anything from before.” (Continue Reading…)

Why 8 Million African Americans Are Not Registered to Vote
Editor’s Note: The recent report that 8 million African Americans are not registered to vote should come as no surprise, writes Earl Ofari Hutchinson, who says the dismal voter registration record has as much to do with the political parties as with the voters themselves. Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His new book is The Ethnic Presidency: How Race Decides the Race to the White House (Middle Passage Press, February 2008). The recent report that 8 million African Americans are not registered to vote brought gasps of disbelief, cries of shame and head-shaking reproach. It also stirred a mild soul search among blacks about how and why the numbers of unregistered voters are so appallingly high. (Continue Reading…)

Black Congressmen Declare Racism in Palin’s Rhetoric
As the McCain campaign ratchets up the intensity of its attacks on Barack Obama, some black elected officials are calling the tactics desperate, unseemly and racist. “They are trying to throw out these codes,” said Representative Gregory Meeks, a Democrat from New York. “He’s ‘not one of us?’” Mr. Meeks said, referring to a comment Sarah Palin made at a campaign rally on Oct. 6 in Florida. “That’s racial. That’s fear. They know they can’t win on the issues, so the last resort they have is race and fear.” “Racism is alive and well in this country, and McCain and Palin are trying to appeal to that and it’s unfortunate,” said Representative Ed Towns, also from New York. (Continue Reading…)

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