Month: February 2013

How African American Women Can Fight Obesity

WASHINGTON – The scourge of overweight and obesity plagues 80 percent of African American women, but few know why.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with “The Compassionate Trainer,” Terri West, proprietor of Terri West Fitness in Los Angeles, to discuss this phenomenon and how to address the issue.


Black Humanists, Atheists and Freethinkers Come Together for ‘Day of Solidarity’

The Day of Solidarity for Black Non-Believers (DoS) is held annually on the final weekend in February. Nonbelievers use this day as an opportunity to build genuine communal relationships and launch a wave of activism among non-theists of color.

The DoS event is also an effort to bring together African American humanists, atheists, freethinkers and advocates as well as bring out closeted nonbelievers and let them know that they are not alone.

This is mostly a social get together and opportunity to build community with black secularists and their allies. Folks from all over the area can connect to find common ground and build on common interests.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with Alix Jules, Ayanna Watson and Ernest Parker to talk about this week’s Day of Solidarity.


House Passes Violence Against Women Act With Protections to Native Women

WASHINGTON – In a surprising turn, the U.S. House of Representatives passed on Thursday a version of the Violence Against Women Act that did not strip provisions concerning Native American Women.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with Bob Anderson, law professor and director of the Native American Law Center at the University of Washington School of Law, to discuss the vote and what it means for the women in the U.S. who have the highest rate of sexual assault perpetrated against them.


Trayvon Martin Shooting Reaches One Year Anniversary

Today is the one-year anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin, but the incident is still fresh in many people’s minds.

Voice of Russia’s Carmen Russell-Sluchansky and Jamila Bey talk about the future trial:


A year after George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, shot Trayvon Martin, a black 17-year-old that was later found to be unarmed, the case has not yet gone to trial. The incident sparked a national debate about “stand your ground” laws and the racism that is still inherent in American culture.

A date has been set for later this year, however, and Bey believes that there is no jury that wouldn’t convict Zimmerman. “This case is too much of a lightning rod,” she says, and many people who will be on a jury will probably remember the rioting in LA after the Rodney King verdict to let him go without jail time.


Oscars Night Tainted With Misogyny and Social Media Attack on Child Actress

Talk of the Oscars on Sunday night quickly went from the glam and glitter to the misogynistic and malicious as critics jumped on Oscars host Seth MacFarlane before hurling their anger at the satirical news website The Onion for calling Oscar-nominated 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis the “C” word on Twitter.

For The New Yorker, “Watching the Oscars last night meant sitting through a series of crudely sexist antics led by a scrubby, self-satisfied Seth MacFarlane,” calling the night’s show “unattractive and sour.”

MacFarlane is the creator of television show “Family Guy” and the recent movie “Ted,” which is about a young boy’s teddy bear who comes to life and talks with a foul mouth.

As for The Onion, a tweet appeared on its stream that said, “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c***, right? #Oscars2013″.

Wallis was nominated in the best actress category for her performance in “Beast of the Southern Wild.”

Steve Hannah, CEO of The Onion, wrote a personal apology to Wallis on Monday, calling the tweet “crude and offensive—not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting.” He called Wallis “young and talented,” adding that she deserved better.

To discuss the Oscars and the subsequent drama surrounding The Onion and Wallis, host Jamila Bey spoke with Jamilah Lamieux, director of digital news and lifestyle at who also wrote a story on Monday called “Quvenzhane Wallis is No Joke.”


Additionally, Bey spoke with comedians Ralph Cooper and Keith Lowell Jensen to discuss the tweet. Both gentlemen are the fathers of young daughters, but even so, they don’t think the Onion should be pilloried for using a term some people believe is always un-utterable. If or not you agree, there are a number of ways to look at this particular story.


New Book Tells Woman’s Story of Jehovah’s Witness Excommunication

When Bridget Gaudette was 22 years old, she was orphaned. Her family and her friends shunned her, ostracizing her from their lives and excommunicating her for violating one of the tents of her Jehovah’s Witness faith.

Now, she’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her book, “Grieving for the Living: Effects of Disownment in Adulthood.”

Host Jamila Bey spoke with Gaudette to talk about her own experiences and the need for support for those who find themselves without family for being authentic to themselves.


Progressive Activist Returns to DC Airwaves

Longtime progressive activist, broadcaster and boxing manager Rock Newman is returning to the D.C. airwaves this weekend with a new show called the Rock Newman Show.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with Newman to discuss his return and what issues he plans to tackle.

GOP Analyst: Republicans Suffering From Likeability Issues, Ignorance

The nation’s capital is as polarized as ever and politicians have done nothing but blame one another for the problems, refusing to compromise. Still, some predict there is a promising future, but it’s going to require all of both parties and some hard truths to be acknowledged by the GOP.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with Tim Young, a GOP analyst and managing editor of, to discuss the GOP’s refusal to participate in the give-and-take required to see political progress in D.C.

Film, Lyrics Bring Back Mississippi Racial Crime Into Public Spotlight

In 1955, a 14-year-old Chicago youth named Emmett Till was visiting family in Mississippi where two men abducted Till and later murdered him, throwing his mutilated body into a river. A jury had found the two men not guilty, but they later admitted to the murder to a journalist.

Fifty-seven years later, Till is back in the news—one for the play-turned-film “Dar He: The Lynching of Emmett Till” and the other for Lil Wayne’s controversial rap lyrics referencing Till’s beating that have now been removed by Epic Records.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with actor Mike Wiley and director Rob Underhill to discuss the play-turned-film “Dar He: The Lynching of Emmett Till” and the Epic Records decision.


Atheist: Catholics Deserve More Than Age as Excuse for Pope’s Resignation

It’s been a week since Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement and with the shock gone, he has returned to several routine traditions, including a week-long spiritual retreat this week in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Despite this normal routine for the Pope, his early retirement is anything but normal and many questions, including on the Catholic child sex abuse scandals, remain for Benedict, who will be stepping down on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. GMT.

To discuss his resignation and more, host Jamila Bey spoke with American Atheist President David Silverman, who says Catholics of the world should demand that the truth come out as to why the pope resigned.


Traditional Storytelling Alive and Well in Pittsburgh

Storytelling has been at the heart of society for thousands of years and especially during Black History Month.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with Temujin Ekunfeo to discuss the “world’s oldest profession.”

New Studies Reveal Increasing Presence, Costs of STIs in US

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released two new studies this week detailing the rates of sexually transmitted infections among men and women in the United States.

According to researchers, there are nearly 20 million new infections annually in the country, showing a dangerously increasing presence in men and women.

One study released detailed the cost of treatment for the various infections and “HIV was the most costly, exceeding more than $12 billion in 2008,” CBS News reported.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with Dr. Caleph Wilson of the Translation Research Unit and the Department of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, to discuss his research in finding a cure for HIV.