MIAMI FORCES GAME 7 - Lebron James lost his signature headband, teammate Mike Miller lost his shoe, and San Antonio lost their lead in the game and the series as the Miami Heat took Game 6 in overtime thanks to a Ray Allen 3-pointer that tied the game with seconds left.
DEFYING STEREOTYPES ON RACE AND SEXUALITY - Saw this on the front page of the Baltimore Sun the other day and meant to post it. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake officiated at wedding ceremony for same-sex couples over the weekend, including several black couples. While some in the media continues to suggest that blacks are more homophobic than whites, it’s nice to see yet another black mayor publicly embracing black same-sex couples.
Last night on CNBC’s Kudlow Report we talked about the state of Michigan’s takeover of the city of Detroit. Recently the city’s state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr announced he would insist that labor unions roll back pension benefits for employees and retirees.
THE STORY OF BLACK GAY BOXER EMILE GRIFFITH - The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis tonight premieres a new production called “Champion,” based on the life of black gay boxer Emile Griffith. Griffith is famous for a fight in 1962, where his opponent Benny “The Kid” Paret allegedly called him a “maricon” (faggot in Spanish). Perhaps in retaliation, Griffith beat Paret so badly that night that Paret died. Griffith’s tragic story is told in the ESPN documentary Ring of Fire, which is shown above.
KNICKERS WITH ATTITUDE - At the risk of encouraging the producers to create more of these questionable parody videos, I’m reposting this for others to see and decide for themselves. I suppose it’s clever to use the word “knicker” as a substitute for “nigger,” and I imagine the creators intend to do something presumably constructive with this. Still, it feels awkwardly uncomfortable, not unlike the feeling that some critics (other than me) expressed about the attempt at humor in the film Django Unchained. Just to be clear, this is not a Kmart commercial. This is a parody made by others.
COACH KIDD - That was fast. The Brooklyn Nets have hired Jason Kidd to be their new head coach. Kidd just finished his final season as a point guard for the New York Knicks last month. Now he’s going to drive across the bridge to lead the struggling crosstown rival.
NEW ’ SHRED OF HOPE’ CAMPAIGN TO HELP HOMELESS LGBTQ YOUTH - A few weeks ago, I was asked to design a “shredder” to be auctioned off in a fundraiser for homeless LGBTQ youth. I had never heard of a “shredder” and didn’t know how I was supposed to design one, but I was intrigued.
Turns out a “shredder” is just a type of sleeveless t-shirt, something I’ve worn many times to the gym. But still, I’d never designed a t-shirt before, and I wasn’t sure I was the right person.
It didn’t matter. The purpose of the “Shred of Hope” campaign was to help raise money for the Ali Forney Center, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive organization helping homeless LGBTQ youth. That’s a worthy cause in a city where four out of ten homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. I also learned that most of the young people at Ali Forney are people of color, and the center operates a key facility right in the heart of Harlem.
I met with Carl Siciliano, the founder and executive director of the Ali Forney Center, and he told me there are 4,000 homeless youth in New York City but only 400 beds available for them. Having just published a book For Colored Boys last year, I wanted to do whatever I could to help.
I took a trip to the Nasty Pig studio in midtown Manhattan and met a young black queer activist named Chris Bilal, who immediately inspired and reminded me why this work is so important. Along with David Lauterstein, the CEO of Nasty Pig, we assembled the materials to make my first “shredder.”
I picked out the colors, the shapes and the text and decided where to place it all on the front and back of the shirt, and when it was all done and sewn together I ended up with a new shredder that will be auctioned off this month.
Please support this campaign and bid on my shredder. It’s a great cause and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the Ali Forney Center.
BILLY PORTER WINS A TONY - Broadway veteran Billy Porter struck gold Sunday night, bringing home a Tony Award for best actor in a musical for his performance in Kinky Boots. Congratulations Billy! You deserve it!