cleveland_l.jpgDiversity in Entertainment: Why Is TV So White?
Cleveland Brown favors gentle words, and few words at that. He likes yellow T-shirts and baths. He is also fiercely proud of his African-American heritage, as evidenced by his ”Two Decades of Dignity” board game and that nice talk he had with a racist cop about how a black bowling ball might feel when surrounded by white pins. It’s a good thing, too, because Cleveland Brown is shaping up as network television’s great black hope for the 2008-09 season — he’s the only minority character anchoring a new series on the Big Five networks. Granted, his Family Guy spin-off, The Cleveland Show, didn’t even make it onto the fall schedule (it’s slated for midseason). Yes, Cleveland himself is merely a figment of animation. And true, the person who provides his voice, Mike Henry, is actually white. But hey, it’s a start, right? (Continue Reading…)

Obama calls absent black fathers to task
Barack Obama celebrated Father’s Day by calling on black fathers, who he said are “missing from too many lives and too many homes,” to become active in raising their children. “They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it,” the Democratic presidential candidate said Sunday at a largely black church in his hometown. Reminding the congregation of his firsthand experience growing up without a father, Obama said he was lucky to have loving grandparents who helped his mother. He got support, second chances and scholarships that helped him get an education. Obama’s father left when he was 2. “A lot of children don’t get those chances. There is no margin for error in their lives,” said Obama, an Illinois senator. “I resolved many years ago that it was my obligation to break the cycle — that if I could be anything in life, I would be a good father to my girls,” added Obama, whose daughters, Sasha and Malia, and his wife, Michelle, watched from the audience. (Continue Reading…)

FEMA director defends giving away hurricane supplies
The director of Federal Emergency Management Agency on Sunday defended giving away an estimated $85 million in hurricane relief supplies, blaming Louisiana officials for turning down the stockpiles. “We still have quite a few left if Louisiana needs those,” David Paulison said. “But we did find out, we did ask Louisiana, ‘Do you want these?’ They said, ‘No, we don’t need them.’ So we offered them to the other states.” (Continue Reading…)

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