Thursday, December 25, 2014

BYE #2014 PAIN

The year of 2014 was one of the worst years of my 46 years of living on this earth.  

I had to process the passing of family members and  a friend while dealing with health and financial challenges, grieving the death of my paternal grandmother and betrayal of family and friends at a time when I really needed them the most.

My Beautiful Mom
I had to close the coffin of the WOMAN, who carried me for nine months and loved my brother and me more than life itself until the very day she took her last breath on August 29th at the age of 65 as a result of complications from breast cancer.  She was not just my Mom but also my sister (since I have no biological sisters) and best friend.  She was the last person that I trusted and knew had my back no matter what.

Monique Drew-Woodley on far right

Almost three weeks after my Mom's passing, I learned that one of my best friends from college, Monique Drew-Woodley had transitioned after a long battle with breast cancer too.  She leaves behind a husband and four children.

During this same time, I also had to bury several relationships with extended family members and childhood friends that were no longer healthy to maintain.

Yes, I had my Biblical Job moment.

Consequently, the pain and stress that I feel right now in my soul is so devastating that, if I did not KNOW that G-d has a purpose for me to fulfill, would take my mind and eventually my life.

Therefore, I welcome #2015 with open arms.  The brakes and dams of life have been both released and broken, and the flow of good health, peace, and prosperity has begun to flow.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? 
~ Proverbs 18:14 ~
National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255

This year was the year l learned of the accomplishments of two talented, inspiring and beautiful ladies.  Unfortunately, it was after their deaths by suicide.  

Karyn Washington, 22, who founded the blog For Brown Girls, committed suicide on April 8th. The young polular blogger suffered from depression and mental illness brought on by the death of her mother in 2013. 

According to  "In the midst of Karyn’s mother’s failing health, she reached out to our Style & Beauty Editor, Ty Alexander, who had actually just gone through the same tragic ordeal–losing her mother through cancer. Ty and Karyn shared several email exchanges, often Ty offered Karyn advice on how to deal with losing her mother and things she could do that will keep her sane. The exchange between the two was haunting, as Ty admitted, '[Karyn] said she had found a meet up in Baltimore that dealt with coping during the holidays and she was also going to church. Looking back, I should have asked if she found someone to talk to…Evidently, Karyn did not find someone to talk to; which is often what happens to a lot of people who decide their only option is death. The importance of having a support system is something that should never be underestimated. We are not islands. We need one another."
Karyn founded her blog For Brown Girls when she was just 19 to inspire darker tones women to love their complexions and gave them a social platform to share their experiences with what she called "colorism" - discrimination based on the degree of darkness of one's skin.

According to, the blog quickly grew into a social movement for similarly complexioned women to come together and talk about and address the things that made them feel marginalized. "Her Dark Skin, Red Lip project, which encouraged black women to rock whatever shade of red lipstick [that] made them feel gorgeous, became a social phenomenon of empowerment through beauty."

Despite helping millions of darker skinned women to embrace their beauty, Karyn could not find the help she needed to deal with the ultimate pain of watching your beloved Mom battle cancer for five years and then ultimately succumbing to the disease.   

On December 4th, Titi Cree Branch, 45, who co-founded along with her sister Miko Miss Jessie’s natural hair care products, also decided to end her life.

There have been unconfirmed reports on social media that Miss Titi was depressed over her weight.  However, the Branch family has yet to reveal the factors that may have contributed to Titi's death by suicide.

"[Titi Branch, a] Queens-native[,] was a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in economics. She worked as a field producer for WABC-TV in New York City prior to Miss Jessie's. Her entrepreneurial career started prior to delving into the hair care industry. Titi and her sister were taught by their father to be independent and their first business together was a Kool-Aid stand as kids. They also ran a a cleaning business after graduating college. Later Titi launched a booking agency for hair and celebrity photographers called Icon Creative Artists. This led to her reconnecting with her sister, a hairstylist, in business. After adding her to the firm's client roster and the success that followed the next step was the creation of the salon, which opened originally in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn and the launch of Miss Jessie's -- the products are now on the shelves of Target, CVS, Ricky's, Duane Reade, Walgreens, Walmart and various other national retailers. 

She is survived by her parents, sister, nephew and many loving relatives. She also leaves behind Anthony Spadafora, her boyfriend and business partner in her last venture Maestro's Classic, a line of beard care products."

Despite all the accolades, contributions and successes, Karyn and Titi decided to sadly end their own lives. 



Friday, December 19, 2014


There has been a national outcry from members and non-members of Black Greek Sororities and Fraternities against a new VH1 reality show called Sorority Sisters that premiered earlier this week.

Sidebar: Being the conscious and active social media butterfly that I am, I am surprised this show slipped past my radar. I digressed. 

While satisfying my daily Twitter addiction, I unwittingly came across the hashtag #BoycottSororitySisters.  I immediately started rt'ing the hashtag when I saw that Mona Scott-Young and VH1 were somehow connected to the boycotted subject matter. 

I then proceeded to to see what the uproar was over.

According to
Sorority Sisters follows the lives of "sorors" from four different Atlanta sororities. Unlike most white sororities, African-American sorors pledge for life and are expected to continue with community work long after graduation.  With this fierce loyalty comes intense rivalry among the sisters of the different organizations. From long-awaited reunions and high teas, to managing the men in their lives, it's homecoming all across the ATL!  Our ladies have a lot at stake, from maintaining their image in the community to holding down the bonds and legacies of their sororities.

I pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Pi Xi Omega Chapter (Paterson, NJ) in December 1991 during my second year of law school.   In my 23 years as a member of this distinguished Sorority, I have NEVER experienced such pettiness and disrespect from any Soror or member of any of the other Divine Nine Sororities that each Sorority Sisters cast member exhibited on that show. 

It was difficult to watch a group of "educated" women, who claim to be members of one of the Divine 9 Sororities, misrepresent a sacred legacy founded and built by women of high moral character and distinction and whose main goal was the uplifting of a race of people who had been abused, traumatized and oppressed by racism (white supremacy) through education, networking and community service.

To see such rich and profound legacies of sisterhood relegated to level of Love and Hip Hop is a cultural and social abomination. Accordingly, I join and support the boycott of VH1, Mona Scott-Young, Monami Entertainment, Eastern TV, Eastern Art, Viacom and any corporate sponsor who advertises during this dreadful show.

So far the following companies have responded to the #BoycottSisterhood and have withdrawn their advertisement: 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Oprah's Once in a Lifetime Surprise for Iyanla Vanzant | Oprah Prime | O...


DISCLAIMER:  Oprah, please do not sue me for copyright infringement or take down my YouTube page. It is imperative that the world see the conversation of healing that took place between you and Rev. Dr. Iyanla Vanzant.  There were so many lessons in communication, humility, and forgiveness contained in your conversation with Rev. Iyanla that need to be shared with the world.

Friday, November 28, 2014


Character Corner Radio in partnership with Pink Cotton Entertainment presents:  "MIKE BROWN AND THE SEARCH FOR JUSTICE:Political Pundits Attorneymom and Blkseagoat are back to discuss the murder of Mike Brown by Officer Darren Wilson.

Date: Friday, November 28th, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM (EST)
Place:  Blogtalkradio
Call-in Number: (646) 716-5827, then press 1#
***** Click here to listen to the show and participate in the chat room *****

Related Stories:


Friday, October 31, 2014


PATERSON - Authorities on Tuesday arrested the seventh suspect in last month's fatal shooting of 14-year-old Nazerah Bugg, a budding basketball star killed by a bullet that police say was meant for someone else.

Police had been looking for 22-year-old Baseem Williams for three weeks after arresting three other men and three juvenile boys in connection with the killing.

On Tuesday, they caught a break in the search when the phone rang at police headquarters and the person at the other end said Williams was hiding out at a home on 23rd Avenue.

More than a dozen officers descended on the address at about 6:30 p.m. and Williams surrendered without incident in the face of that show of force, said Detective Capt. Heriberto Rodriguez. No weapon was found at the house, the captain said.

"This was 100 percent because a concerned citizen provided us with the location," said Rodriguez. "He would have never been arrested yesterday if it hadn't been for the cooperation of a concerned citizen."

When asked why the person tipped authorities off to Williams' whereabouts, Rodriguez said, "The person who called did so because they're a good human being. They were not looking for any reward, monetarily or otherwise."

Williams, who lives on Governor Street in the city's troubled 4th Ward, was charged with murder, as well as employing a juvenile for an act of murder and attempted murder. He is being held on $2 million bail, police said. (SOURCE)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Anyone with information is asked to call the Major Crimes Division at 973-321-1120.


 [According to Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes,] the fatal shooting of Nazerah Bugg last month was retaliation for another shooting that took place in the city earlier that day, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes said during a press conference to announce charges against seven people, including three juveniles. The shooting was part of an increasingly violent territorial battle between two rival groups, one from Paterson’s 1st Ward and the other from the 4th Ward, she said. 

Valdes said her office would consider prosecuting the juveniles as adults “if there’s an opportunity for that.”
“It is believed that there are two groups that have engaged and are engaged in ongoing neighborhood disputes that date back to 2010,” she said.

Nazerah’s mother, Kamilah Bugg, cried on Tuesday as she and her family made their first appearance at an official event since the shooting. They had asked community leaders not to hold the same kind of rallies that took place in the aftermath of the death in July of 12-year-old Genesis Rincon, who was fatally shot as she rode a scooter along Rosa Parks Boulevard. On Tuesday, they told prosecutors they were too distraught to make a statement.

Valdes, who praised the Paterson police for their hard work in the investigation, said at least two shooters fired 15 times into a crowd of people standing on the corner of Clinton and North Main streets in the 1st Ward on Sept. 20, when one bullet struck Nazerah in the chest. A 15-year-old girl who was with the same group was wounded. Valdes, for the first time, said that Nazerah was not the intended target.

“There is no reason to believe that the girls were intended or specific targets in the shooting,” Valdes said. Authorities said they don’t know who was being targeted.

Valdes said one of the four adults charged in the shooting remains at large, and that three juveniles — two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old — also have been charged. One of the 17-year-olds, she said, had been the target of another shooting earlier the same day when a bullet struck the driver’s-side door of his car.

Shakeem Ricks, 20; Tyheem Mayfield, 22; and Nyje Johnson, 19, were charged with murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder on Friday in Nazerah’s shooting and were taken to the Passaic County Jail on Monday, according to court and jail records. They were being held on $2 million bail apiece and are scheduled for their first court appearance this morning.

Authorities said they are seeking 22-year-old Baseem Williams, who was charged with the same offenses on Saturday, according to records. Passaic County First Assistant Prosecutor Michael DeMarco said the complaint against Williams was filed after the others “based on the events as they were unfolding late Friday evening.” (Source)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Officer Sean Groubert Shoots Unarmed Levar Edward Jones

Police dashcam video shows a now-former South Carolina state trooper named Sean Groubert [pictured above] repeatedly shooting a black man named Levar Edward Jones as Jones reaches into his car to produce his license after being pulled over for a seatbelt violation. The video of the Sept. 4 incident was released Wednesday night by law enforcement officials. Groubert has been fired and charged with felony assault and battery. Jones survived the shooting.
In the video, Groubert can be heard asking to see the Jones's license. When Jones then reaches into the car, Groubert yells, "Get out of the car! Get out of the car!" and begins shooting.

Sidebar:  This fool better not walk.  All officers and police vehicles should be equipped with video and/or dashcam cameras.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Nazerah Bugg Shot and Killed in Paterson, NJ

"Back in the sixties our brothers and sisters were hanged.  
How can you gang-bang?
I never ever ran from the Ku Klux Klan. 
And I shouldn't have to run from a Black [or Latino] man."
Kool Moe Dee (Self Destruction)

Authorities are asking people to call 973-321-1120, 973-321-1342 or 973-523-TIPS; callers can remain anonymous. 

Funeral Funding for Nazerah Bugg:  Click here to donate.

She was walking with friends along Clinton Street, less than a block from the basketball court she dreamed would be a way out of Paterson, when an all too familiar sound shattered the night. 
Soon after gun shots pierced one of the last nights of summer, 14-year-old Nazerah Bugg lay dying in the arms of a friend, as police arrived at the scene of yet another shooting that took the life of a North Jersey
Nazerah’s death comes a little more than two months after 12-year-old Genesis Rincon was fatally shot as she rode a scooter on Rosa Parks Boulevard, sparking an emotional outcry for anti-crime measures in a city where shootings have become commonplace.
Nigel Smith, who held Nazerah after the shooting, said they were with a group of young people heading to Mom’s Fried Chicken when they heard six shots. Smith said he called 911 and flagged down a police officer.
Police said they found two teenage girls hit by bullets when they arrived at Clinton  and North Main streets after getting a call at 11:26 p.m.  
Nazerah, a freshman at International High School who was set to play varsity basketball at Kennedy High School, later was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, according to police. They said the other girl, who is 15 years old, was in stable condition at the hospital Sunday. 
Authorities said the shooting happened just hours after an 18-year-old man was wounded in the shoulder by gunfire on Holsman Street. (Source

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Dianne (Miller) Ruth, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, passed away from this world to the arms of her Lord and Savior on Friday, August 29, 2014, in her home surrounded by family.

She was the eleventh of thirteen children born to Robert and Geneva Miller in Winchester, Tennessee, where she began her education at Townsend Grammar School.

At the age of 12, Dianne was relocated to Paterson, New Jersey alongside her mother, younger sister and brothers. She continued her education within the Paterson Public School System attending Public School #10.  

She received her High School diploma from Central High School, now known as John F. Kennedy High School, in June of 1968. Determined to be self-sufficient, Dianne acquired keypunch training after graduation and worked as a keypunch operator for several years.

In June 1968, she married her high school sweetheart , Ronald "Ace" Ruth, shortly before he was drafted to serve in the Vietnam War.  The two remained married until her husband's sudden death in 2003.  

In September 1982, she graduated from Bergen Pines County Hospital in Paramus, NJ and became a Licensed Practical Nurse, a career that she loved and passionately enjoyed until she reluctantly retired from St. Joseph's Hospital in 2011, due to her illness.

Dianne was outspoken and stubborn.  Yet, she was an extremely supportive, caring and virtuous woman who loved her family dearly.  She never failed to share her opinion with others. On many occasions, she said her only fault in life was being too nice.

For 10 years, she continued to enjoy life while battling breast cancer on her terms with dignity, strength and determination. She never complained.

She attended Voices of Faith Ministries located in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Dianne will be greatly missed by her daughter, son, grandchildren, great grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Monday, August 25, 2014


Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, stands by her son’s coffin during his funeral at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St Louis. (Richard Perry/Pool photo via European Pressphoto Association) (Source)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Why Most White People Don't Speak Out Against Racism by Elijah Hamilton



A St Louis County police officer working in Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of Michael Brown's shooting death has been suspended from duty after disturbing video emerged of him referring to black people as 'little perverts' and President Obama as an illegal immigrant.
Officer Dan Page, who was caught live on CNN News earlier this week pushing the network's anchor Don Lemon and threatening to arrest him, made the hate-filled speech in April of this year during an Oath Keepers of St Louis/St Charles meeting.
His offensive remarks weren't limited to black people - he also had vitriol to spew about Muslims, women who have abortions, gay people and people who suffer domestic violence. (Source)
Hat tip to for this story.

Thursday, August 21, 2014



On Tuesday, two officers from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police shot and killed 25-year-old Kajieme Powell, less than four miles from where police shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown not quite two weeks ago. Powell was suspected of shoplifting. On Wednesday, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released video—cell phone footage recorded by an eyewitness—of the fatal encounter. Be warned, the footage is graphic. (SOURCE)

Monday, August 18, 2014


As Prosecuting Attorney, [Robert P.] McCulloch not only prosecutes criminals but he fights to protect the citizens of St. Louis County and Missouri. Recognizing that criminals released from prison too early by the Parole Board commit many violent crimes, Mr. McCulloch led the effort to keep criminals in jail and stop them from becoming "repeat offenders." Mr. McCulloch initiated and successfully fought for Missouri's Truth in Sentencing Statute that prohibits parole for violent criminals until they have served at least 85% of their sentence.
 Mr. McCulloch has been the Prosecuting Attorney of St. Louis County since January 1991. After serving for one year as a law clerk for the Honorable Joseph G. Stewart of The Missouri Court of Appeals, he served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney from 1978 to 1985. He was in private practice from 1985 until his election in 1990.
Mr. McCulloch is past president of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. He serves on the Board of Directors of the National District Attorneys Association, a member of the Metropolitan Committee and Chairman of the National District Attorneys Association NAC oversight committee. Mr. McCulloch is also on the Advisory Board of LAAW, the Childrens Advocacy Center and several other victims' rights organizations.
I learned some additional interesting facts about the St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch while listening to The Tom Joyner Morning show three days ago.  McCulloch's father, who was a police officer, was allegedly killed by a Black suspect while in the line of duty.  McCulloch is an extremely "pro-cop" prosecutor who has repeatedly failed to bring charges or indictments against any cop who has used excessive force in his jurisdiction.  

The prosecutor heading the Michael Brown investigation has a perception problem: When it comes to his impartiality, the jury is still out.
 Overseeing possible charges in the shooting death of the unarmed teen falls on St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch, a Missouri native whose police officer father was killed in the line of duty when McCulloch was 12.
 McCulloch's mother, brother, uncle and cousin also worked for the St. Louis police department. Those close family ties to the police — and a bellwether decision 14 years ago not to prosecute two cops who shot and killed two suspects in a drug bust — have raised doubts about his objectivity in deciding whether Ferguson, Missouri, officer Darren Wilson should be prosecuted for the Aug. 9 killing of Brown, 18.
Robert P. McCulloch should recuse himself immediately from the prosecution and investigation into the murder of unarmed Mike Brown by Darren Wilson.  And if he doesn't, then the MO State Attorney General should take over the prosecution.

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the indictment of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the murder of unarmed teen, Mike Brown on, please contact  Chief Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch at telephone # (314)615-2600 or email

Monday, August 11, 2014


Amid growing calls for justice, Internet and social media users are seeking answers as to why a black teenager was shot and killed by police near St. Louis on Saturday afternoon. The victim, who was reportedly unarmed, is being identified on social media as Michael Brown, 18, a recent high school graduate.
Authorities confirmed Brown was shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, a predominately African-American suburb of St. Louis. Few details of the shooting are currently known, but Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson told the AP a second person involved in the altercation is being questioned. As of yet, the person has not been arrested or charged.
Following news of the shooting, calls for justice spread quickly throughout the Internet on Saturday and continued into Sunday when Brown’s name trended on Twitter for several hours, along with hashtags such as #JusticeForMike. Several “Justice for Mike” pages popped up on Facebook as well, with one page amassing several hundred “likes” per hour as of Sunday afternoon. Another Facebook page had attracted nearly 4,000 likes before it was removed without explanation Sunday....
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Brown was a 2014 graduate of Normandy High School and was scheduled to begin classes on Monday at Vatterott College  career training institute. Shortly after the shooting, hundreds of outraged Ferguson residents spilled out of their apartments and confronted local authorities, shouting obscenities and threating comments like “kill the police.” About 100 protesters also gathered outside Ferguson police headquarters chanting, “No Justice! No Peace!” the Post-Dispatch reported. 
UPDATE: Ferguson, Missouri, police said Sunday a black youth shot to death Saturday struggled with an officer inside a car, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. He was then shot multiple times as he ran away. The Justice Department said attorneys in its civil rights division would monitor the case. (Source)

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I can not begin to tell you how devastated I am by the murder of Mr. Eric Garner at the hands of New York Police Department Officers.  Beginning next week, I will be doing a series of shows address this case and several other high profile cases.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


UPDATE 7/23/2014:  Ramona Gill has been charged with the murder of Lawrence Montrel Bress.  This is very good news for Montrel's children and family.  This woman will be held accountable for devastating and permanently altering the lives of Montrel's two children.  Please keep them and their Mom in your prayers.  Thank you.

UPDATE:  According to investigators, the Ramona Gill  (featured in the photo below) has allegedly confessed to fatally stabbing Lawrence Montrel Bress. However, authorities said they do not have enough evidence to charge her at this time and the investigation is ongoing. Blank stare. If you have any information about this woman or the case, please contact the Sheriff's Sgt. Jennings Autrey Greenville of SC Sheriff Dept at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. —Greenville County deputies responded to the scene of a reported stabbing at an apartment complex and found a man dead.
 It happened in a building along Pinecroft Drive in The Granite at Taylors around 8:50 p.m. Saturday.
 "I heard a little bit of something coming from upstairs. There were a lot of booms coming across the floor," said Mike Henry, who lives below the victim's apartment. 
Henry told WYFF News4's Mike McCormick that he's heard the couple upstairs arguing in the past, so he didn't think anything of the noises he heard Saturday night until he heard a bang at his door.
"I came out and asked him if he was all right and he said, 'No,'" Henry said. 
Henry told McCormick that the man from upstairs was now outside his door, holding his chest near his heart and claiming that he'd been stabbed. 
Henry went to call 911. He said the man then walked down stairs. 
"I heard screaming and we turned the TV off just to make sure it wasn't the TV. There was some loud screaming in the hallway," said Kristin Hunter, who lives in the apartment across from the victim's.
Hunter said she and other neighbors tried to help the victim. 
"My roommate was holding his head up the whole time. We got towels from a neighbor. She was pressing them on his chest," said Hunter. "Every now and then he would gasp for breath, but my roommate said he had died before EMS even got there." 
The coroner identified the victim as Lawrence Montrel Bress. He was 35. 
"He was the nicest guy, real personable, really nice. He would talk to you about anything. I mean, he was a really nice guy," Hunter said. 
Deputies have not made any arrests or filed any charges in the case. Deputies said they believe that the incident was not a random attack, but wouldn't comment further. (Source)