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barack_obamaObama Tells Letterman: I Was Black Before the Election
Addressing suggestions that recent criticism of his health care reform efforts has been grounded in racism, President Obama this afternoon quipped, “I think it’s important to realize that I was actually black before the election.” The comment, which the president made in an afternoon taping of CBS’ “The Late Show,” prompted laughter from the audenice and this response from host David Letterman: “How long have you been a black man?” Obama said the notion that racism is playing a role in the criticism, which has been voiced by former President Jimmy Carter and others, is countered in part by the fact that he was elected in the first place – which, he said, “tells you a lot about where the country’s at.” (Continue Reading…)

HBO Develops New Series about The Black Panthers
HBO is in early development on two historical miniseries, including a take from Oprah Winfrey on a femme pioneer in investigative journalism. “Ida Tarbell,” from Winfrey’s Harpo Films shingle, will center on the muckraking journo who exposed the unfair practices of John D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil monopoly. Tarbell’s work was a contributing factor in the government’s eventual breakup of the company in 1911. Winfrey and Harpo’s Kate Forte are set to exec produce, while Mimosa Jones (“Wild Card”) is writing. The other project in the works at the pay cabler, “The Black Panthers,” looks at the history of the 1960s movement’s inner circle. (Continue Reading…)

NAACP: We Stand with NY Gov. Paterson
Beleaguered Gov. David Paterson is getting some support from a home town NAACP, while the Rev. Al Sharpton tweeted against allowing “reactionary forces” to return to power. A branch of the NAACP in Islip says it and other groups are planning a rally to support Paterson, who grew up partly on Long Island. They want to show respect for the state’s first black and disabled governor and urge Democrats to let him deal with the fiscal crisis, not politics. Democrats in Washington and New York say they want a stronger candidate at the top of the 2010 ticket. But the pressure isn’t relenting. The Rev. Al Sharpton on Twitter is urging Democrats on Monday to settle the issue so that what he calls “reactionary forces” can’t win back the seats of power held by Democrats. (Continue Reading…)

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