Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Asshole Nomination

Since the settings at my office don’t allow me to make comments, only submissions, I will nominate all the assholes who are bashing New Orleans and hurricane victims.

I heard and read so many blowhards this week either moaning about the Katrina victims and their stories or bashing people who are rebuilding.  While many people may disagree that rebuilding may not be the best choice in a dangerous zone, I think they are missing the point.  When you have lost your home, your job and everything you own (basically your life), it is so emotionally and mentally difficult.  Of course people want to rebuild.  They are trying to recover all they have lost and known.  Imagine yourself in that situation.  There is naturally a pyschic need to restore order in one’s life.  So those unfeeling and uncaring people get my nomination.

Posted by Nuttshell on 08/30 at 10:05 AM in Blogging
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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Black women catch start-up fever

In the African-American community, women-owned businesses now outnumber men’s.
by Tracy Clark-Flory in Salon Magazine

Aug. 24, 2006 | A report published last week by the Small Business Administration suggests that women are driving the growth in black entrepreneurship, according to USA Today. The number of businesses owned by black women has grown exponentially in the last decade and studies suggest that black women now own more businesses than black men.

As Angela Burt-Murray, editor in chief of Essence, tells USA Today, it just may be “a huge opportunity,” if only as a way to avoid the unpleasantries that women often face in big business. Camille Young, who started her own chain of juice bars in New Jersey, spent years in big business but always felt added pressure as a black woman to perform: “You must work harder just to be viewed as average,” she said.

But while black women may now own more companies than black men, the USA Today piece rashly calls it “a trend that’s tipping the balance of economic power in the black community.” What about the less-cheery finding that black women’s business ventures actually pull in much less revenue on average than do black men’s ($39,000 compared to $114,000)?

Ultimately it boils down to this no-brainer: black women are attracted to self-employment for the same reasons women in general are. That often-present corporate glass ceiling is only tolerable for so long, and self-employment allows flexibility for women who need to care for ailing elder parents and for mothers who are juggling work and childcare. So, sure, let’s celebrate! Successes are always relative, aren’t they? 

Posted by Nuttshell on 08/29 at 04:19 PM in Blogging
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Symbol of a Storm

I watched a program hosted by Brian Williams last night on NBC and I found myself angry and sad all over again.
Taphina Jefferson never thought she would end up on the cover of a magazine, but Hurricane Katrina put her there. This is her story.
By Arian Campo-Flores
Special to Newsweek

Aug. 26, 2006 - It was one snapshot of despair amid the detritus of Hurricane Katrina. The week after the storm struck New Orleans, NEWSWEEK ran a photo on its cover of a woman clutching two kids outside the Superdome. Her expression was ravaged and distressed. Her brow was furrowed and her nostrils flared. In the background, fetid floodwaters sloshed around. Though her image quickly circulated the globe, she remained anonymous—just one more portrait of misery among countless others.

But in June, NEWSWEEK tracked her down in New Orleans. Her name is Taphina Jefferson, 28, single mother of seven children, including the two in the picture: Mariah, 2, and Terrence, 1. Jefferson had returned only days earlier from Houston, where she’d spent nine months as an evacuee. In several interviews over the next two months, she shared the story of her year since Katrina. It’s a tale of heartache and hardship, but also of unbowed determination. Like many poor New Orleanians, she was battling misfortune long before the hurricane. But when the storm roared ashore, it plunged her already unstable life into turmoil. Like the city as a whole, she has struggled mightily to build herself back up—yet at a pace far slower than what she’d hoped for.

Posted by Nuttshell on 08/29 at 02:54 PM in Blogging
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Monday, August 28, 2006

A Girl Like Me

Very interesting and impressive piece by a 16 yr. old.

Kiri Davis, 16, Urban Academy I wanted to make a film that explored the standards of beauty imposed on today’s black girls. How do these standards affect her self-esteem or self-image. Through making this film I learned a lot about where some of these standards might stem from. Running time: 7:00. Mentor: Shola Lynch.

Posted by Nuttshell on 08/28 at 01:02 PM in Blogging
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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Front of ‘my’ house in Rufisque,Senegal 1997

See how short my hair was?  In the picture with my is Mohamet and Mamadou. We are sitting fromof Massuer’s old Mercedes diesel.  He has since bought a different car. I’m not sure who took this picture.  I’m tempted to say it is a self portrait, but that doesn’t seem likely.  This picture would have been taken in the afternoon because the sun is behind our backs.

Rufisque Senegal

Posted by SPN on 08/26 at 08:49 AM in PhotographySenegal
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Friday, August 25, 2006

Experts: New Orleans Race Relations Crumble Under Post-Katrina Stresses

By Richard A. Webster
New Orleans City
Business (New Orleans, LA)
August 14, 2006

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, a new breed of graffiti replaced the storm-related markings of search-and-rescue Xs and pleas for help that became a part of life after the hurricane. Crude drawings of African-Americans drowning in the Ninth Ward blanketed the bathroom walls of the Avenue Pub on St. Charles Avenue. Management painted over the racist hieroglyphics only to see them return weeks later. 

Posted by Nuttshell on 08/25 at 02:27 PM in Blogging
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Houston Grumbles as Evacuees Stay Put

By Miguel Bustillo
Los Angeles Times
August 21, 2006


Almost a year after Hurricane Katrina caused the country’s largest mass migration since the Dust Bowl, as many as 150,000 evacuees still live in this city, and increasingly many are indicating that they no longer plan to go home.

To many Houstonians, that’s overstaying the welcome.

Houston’s homicide rate has shot up 18% since the storm, and police statistics show that one in every five homicides in the city involves a Katrina evacuee as suspect, victim or both.

More than 30,000 evacuee families in Houston still live in government-subsidized housing, and a Zogby International survey sponsored by the city found that three-fourths of the adults receiving housing help were not working, raising questions about how they will survive when federal aid runs out.

Posted by Nuttshell on 08/25 at 02:14 PM in Blogging
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Poor Still Stunned by Katrina; As Affluent Areas Rapidly Rebuild, the Lower Ninth Ward Stagnates

by Anna Badkhen
The San Francisco Chronicle
August 20, 2006

New Orleans

In a couple of months, no trace will remain of the floodwater that filled their living room a year ago, and Tom and Darlene Schnatz will move back into their stucco two-story house on oak-lined Canal Boulevard, in New Orleans’ upscale Lakeview district.

Troy Wilson will return to his house in New Orleans East even sooner, as will most of the families on his street, where construction workers are putting the finishing touches on houses restored after Hurricane Katrina flooded them with 6 feet of water. Ingrid Toruno and most of her neighbors in St. Bernard Parish, which was under 12 feet of water, also have almost rebuilt their homes.

Posted by Nuttshell on 08/25 at 12:35 PM in Blogging
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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Businessman and Entrepreneur

Here are two of the brothers in front of the Building supplies store that one brother owns.  They have a good little racket going on.  One brother builds houses and the other brother sells materials for home construction.  This negative had lots of scratches on it so I caution you not to peer too deeply at the quality else you may find lots of post processing.

Cement Store

Posted by SPN on 08/24 at 01:43 PM in Photography
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Mother Nuttall

My cousin’s mother sitting easy.

Mother Nuttall

Posted by SPN on 08/22 at 01:15 PM in Photography
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