Lynne d Johnson



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01.30.07 03:48 PM

What It Means to be 75

Of course I have no idea what it means to be 75, but my mother does. Because of this, I probably shouldn't even be telling this story, or at least put up photos to illustrate. But I'm just as much a part of this story as my mother is, so I have a right to share.

You see, my brother, sister, and I gave my mother what we called a "Diamond Jubilee," on her day of birth, which happened to be Jan. 19.

We'd been planning the event since about November, but all three of us caught up in busy lives. weren't exactly on top of every detail. Turns out that didn't matter at all, because somehow it all came together.

She looked regal sliding out of that Escalade limousine. The mink she hardly wears, shielding her from the oncoming winds and increasing cold. As she entered the lobby of the hall it was as if she were a movie star. Someone took her coat, as flashes of light shuttered and shone upon her radiant face. She stood steadfast, awaiting her children so that they could tell her what to do next.

Continue reading "What It Means to be 75" »

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01.29.07 04:35 PM

Get Your Money Right

Hip-Hop Summit Action Network Announces 2007 National Tour on Financial Empowerment: "Get Your Money Right"

· A Financial Literacy Life Raft for Generation of Youth Drowning in Debt
· Tour Convenes in Houston, Texas, Detroit, Mich., Greensboro, N.C., Washington, D.C., Miami, Fla. and Atlanta, Ga.

NEW YORK-- A national poll of youth taken recently by USA Today and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) found 60 percent feel they are facing tougher financial pressures than young people did in previous generations. The 2007 Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) "Get Your Money Right" Financial Empowerment National Tour is a timely and proactive opportunity for young people across America to learn more about the important fundamentals of personal finance.

"'Get Your Money Right' continues to be our national theme for the financial empowerment Hip-Hop Summits," emphasized Russell Simmons. "Hip-hop is about eliminating poverty and ignorance, and we have found a creative and effective method of raising awareness about the importance of financial literacy. We are helping youth and young adults to fulfill their aspirations and lay a solid financial foundation for their future."
Thirty percent of young adults polled stated they worry frequently about their debt. "This generation of twentysomethings is straining under the weight of college loans and other debt, a crushing load that separates it from every previous generation," wrote USA Today's Mindy Fetterman and Barbara Hansen in a six part series with NEFE called "Young & In Debt."

"Being successful in life requires successful and sound financial management skills," said William F. Jones, Jr., Vice President -- Chrysler Financial "Chrysler Financial is deeply committed to providing these skills to young people, so they can position themselves to take charge of their future. Our partnership with the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network is one of the best ways to reach young people, through effective outreach and messages that will support their future achievements."

Following the tremendous success and positive feedback of both the 2005 and 2006 "Get Your Money Right" financial empowerment national tours, The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, along with title sponsor and partner Chrysler Financial and presenting sponsor Anheuser-Busch, Inc., are gearing up to launch the 2007 "Get Your Money Right" tour. The financial empowerment tour will kick off on March 3, 2007 at The Granville Sawyer Auditorium at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas.

"The opportunity to live productively begins with a plan that mandates personal financial responsibility," said Johnny Furr, Vice President of Urban Marketing and Community Affairs for Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "We consider it a real benefit to support HSAN's mission to provide young people with the tools, knowledge and inspiration they need to begin creating the futures they want tomorrow, today."

The 2007 tour will feature a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Co-Chairman of HSAN which will include Russell Simmons, Co-Chairman of HSAN, hip-hop artists and financial specialists, as well as a review the "Get Your Money Right" workbook, being produced and distributed by HSAN in both English and Spanish and is also available at

The "Get Your Money Right" tour will include stops in five additional cities, including April 14 in Detroit, Mich.; September 8 in Greensboro, N.C.; September 29 in Washington D.C.; October 20 in Miami, Fla. and November 3 in Atlanta, Ga. The agenda includes a focus on financial literacy, basics of banking, repairing and understanding credit scores, asset and wealth management, vehicle financing and home ownership.
"The good news is millions of young people want to avoid drowning in debt," declared Dr. Chavis. "The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network is about taking back responsibility, and we're very grateful for the opportunity to continue to mobilize youth across America about financial empowerment."

For more information on the 2007 "Get Your Money Right" national tour, go to

About Chrysler Financial
Chrysler Financial offers a complete line of world-class automotive financial products and services for both dealers and consumers of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles. In addition to offering vehicle wholesale and retail financing to more than 2,400 Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealers, Chrysler Financial also provides fleet management and lines of credit to dealers. As an industry leader in automotive financing, Chrysler Financial provides its customers with the most innovative and efficient methods of doing business. For more information on Chrysler Financial visit

About Anheuser-Busch
Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch Cos., Inc. is the leading American brewer holding 50 percent of the U.S. beer market. The company is American-owned and brews the world's largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch is ranked first in the U.S. beverage industry in Fortune magazine's 2005 "America's Most Admired Companies" and in the top 30 on Fortune's 2005 "Global Most Admired Companies" list. The company is one of the largest theme park operators in the United States, is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and is the world's largest recycler of aluminum beverage containers. For more information, visit or

About Hip-Hop Summit Action Network
Founded in 2001, the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) is dedicated to harnessing the cultural relevance of hip-hop music to serve as a catalyst for education advocacy and other societal concerns fundamental to the well being of at-risk youth throughout the United States. HSAN is the largest non-profit, national coalition of hip-hop artists, entertainment industry leaders, education advocates, civil rights proponents, and youth leaders united in the belief that Hip-Hop is an enormously influential agent for positive social change which must be responsibly and proactively utilized to fight the war on poverty and injustice.

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01.25.07 04:18 PM

Ms.Dewey is hot!!!


I've been testing out a lot of search engines lately, call it Google detachment or whatever. Perhaps it was even meeting the folks from hakia, when I was out at Web 2.0 and speaking with them made me realize that I really use 4 search engines and not only 1. I've even added their "meaning-based" search engine into the mix.

Why you ask? Because I'm not always interested in only what's popular. I need to do hardcore research sometimes, I need a lexis nexis type of search engine.

And though I haven't done much investigation of Windows Live yet, I see that they have a flash-driven search engine based on live. The name of Dewey is probably a nod to the Dewey decimal system. The sexy chica playing Ms. Dewey, as the librarian who wants to help you, is none other than Janina Gavankar, who plays "Papi," on The L Word.

Entertaining as she is, pouting, impatient, jovial. Truth is, Ms.Dewey isn't a fast, reliable search engine. But it's definitely fun to look at and show your friends.

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01.25.07 02:05 PM

Google Reader vs Bloglines

Whew. At first, it was no contest. I mean, Bloglines had the headstart, and Google Reader was really simple at best. But now I'm utterly confused, because they're sorta running neck-to-neck. Though, Bloglines does have easier editing capabilities. I have no idea which RSS Reader I should be loyal to.

What do you use--Google Reader, Bloglines, Live Bookmarks, NewsGator, something else? Why do you like it over the others?

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01.23.07 01:30 PM

Mobile Community for African-Americans Launches

mobloco_logo.jpg, a mobile social connections service that provides up-to-the-minute alerts about social happenings, cool events and other entertainment activities based on user location, lifestyle, interests and preferences set up for their mobile phone has luanched.

From the press release: The first localized, mobile community that allows consumers to RSVP, tag and post events, send and received text messages, create mobile profiles and connect people to the social scene in their local area, recently launched on the heels of NBA All-Star Weekend.

The consumer-generated content-based site provides a platform for finding or publicizing a variety of events, both local and remote which are viewable online and on internet-enabled mobile devices. With online expanded search capabilities and interactive mapping, consumers are able to add their own listings that are attached to their official Mobloco profile, along with any supporting information, such as event descriptions, dates of events, photos/flyers and venues where they take place. Additionally, consumers of the free community are able to create alerts to receive notifications on their mobile devices of when events are happening based on the preferences that they specify.

The service was co-founded by Leo Larkpor, Co-Founder and Director of Technology and Sonja Williams, Co-Founder and Developer.

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01.23.07 01:27 PM

Kevin Powell: 20 Years of Writing

African Voices Magazine's Brownstone Reading Series
and the Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts



Monday, February 5, 2007

at the Kumble Theater, the downtown Brooklyn campus of Long Island University
right at the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues

Take the D, N, R, or Q to DeKalb Avenue station
Take the 2, 3, 4, or 5 to Nevins Street station

Admission is FREE and seating is on a first come basis

The conversation will be moderated by ASHA BANDELE, best-selling author of THE PRISONER's WIFE and contributor to various publications, including The New York Times, Vibe, and Essence

Musical soundtrack by DJ REBORN, hiphop theater musical director; and featured deejay on the national tour of Russell Simmons' Tony Award-winning Broadway show Def Poetry Jam

Special video montage produced by MICHAEL SCOTT JONES

Poetry performances by

MICHAEL PARTIS, 20-year-old Bronx raised and born poet and activist; Philosophy and African American Studies major and Dean's List student at Fordham University; former Vice President of Fordham's Black Student Union, and cofounder of Asili Starts All Progressiveness (ASAP), a student leadership group; and he has been one of the most active student voices in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

VERALYN WILLIAMS, 21-year-old poet, playwright, radio journalist, and aspiring actress and a Media Studies major at Hunter College; a Peabody Award-winning producer with WNYC’s “Radio Rookies” youth journalism program; Williams was born in Sierra Leone and grew up in the Bronx; she strives, in everything she does, to give the world an inside look at what she sees and experiences as a Black African Woman in America.

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01.22.07 05:05 PM

Kick, Push - Call for Black Skaters

A friend of mine working on a music video for Clipse is looking for Black skaters. The video is being filmed tomorrow and it pays for a few hours. Just send an email to: se7ennations[at], and let him know you heard about the call for skateboarders at Lynne d Johnson's blog.

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01.16.07 07:42 PM

Resurgence of Black Films


Perhaps not since the days of John Singleton and Spike Lee's early successes have we seen African-American themed films take over the box office--and the awards in such a manner. For Dreamgirls, it was easy. The motion picture did not stray too far from the original Broadway production. Also, signing the likes of Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy, as well as Beyonce for that matter, was a sure bet at pulling in mainstream audiences as well.

But when it comes to the success that Stomp The Yard realized at the box office this weekend, I'm a little more baffled. Some might say there was little competition at the box office this weekend, but I beg to differ .The Pursuit of Happiness and Night at the Musuem were still there, and Freedom Writer had its opening.

I believe that the advertising/promotion for this film drew as much interest from the general marketplace as it had from the African-American consumer base. Visually arresting images of young black men charged with passion and stomping around--who wouldn't want to see it?

Though there's a brief you'll get a very brief lesson on what being Greek on an Af-Am campus means (very brief indeed), the film instead dumbs down what pledging or being in a fraternity or sorority really means, but dresses it up with dynamic choreography (a la You Got Served). Stomp The Yard isn't a great movie, but it is an enjoyable one, and perhaps it was a bit of luck that it was released on a weekend in which no cinematic masterpieces were released. Yet that doesn't mean it wouldn't still have met the fate of one of Tyler Perry's films and ended up doing well just because. Just because-- even after all of this time, African-Americans still don't see enough of themselves in mainstream movies, which leads to a choice of African-American themed content over the mainstream fare.

And finally, the movie was released on MLK Jr. weekend. So a movie like Freedom Writer, where some white do-gooder comes in to save the day at a minorty attended school, just doesn't have a chance when people are reflecting on or thinking about the advancements of their race.

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01.12.07 07:16 PM

No My Name is Not Lloyd

Back in 2004 when I first referenced the artist named Lloyd on my Website, I would have had to pay someone to comment or even take notice of this R&B singer.

But now, ever since the success of, "You," his song with Lil' Wayne, I'm starting to think about taking the post down. When the song started getting air play, little girls started leaving comments and many I approved and let post. Then after a while -- I suppose it was right after his topless video started rotating on BET -- I started getting fan mail. Yep, fan mail.

I receive email every day that say things like "You so fine," "I'm Gonna' Marry You," "I Love You." After I received about 5 of these types of contacts, I emailed one little girl and asked her whom she thought she was talking to. She said she thought she was on Lloyd's site. So, I learned to delete these messages when they came in. Today though, I received one that said:

"Hey Lloyd this is Dee-dee! Raquels BestFriend. I just wanted to check in wit cha! Oh yea and tell Chuckie d,Big reese,Jasper,and the rest of your brothers&fam Dee-dee says hi!!"

For this message to get to me in the manner that it did, the above Dee-dee would have clicked on the navigation element at the top of my website's pages that says "contact." So if Dee-dee knowns enough about the Web to realize that clicking contact would aid her in contacting someone, why wasn't Dee-dee wise enough to realize she was not on Lloyd's site? My tracking software even reveals that she clicked on every link on the site.

C'mon, look at this link again. Either the illustration of me off to the side looks a lot like Lloyd, or these kids just aren't really even looking at the page. I mean seriously, just read the post. Let's just forget all the telltale signs surrounding Lloyd's photo that reveal it's not his website for a second and read the post. Seriously, is that what we'd expect Lloyd to write about himself.

"he called me ms. lynne in that good old country boy way when introduced to me and gave me a hug and kiss on the cheek when the interview was over."


I think I need to start teaching young folks how to use the Web again.

But in the meantime, I'll just add a clear description at the top of the contact form and see if these little girls keep sending Lloyd email to me.

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01.11.07 04:03 PM

Upcoming Engagements

Because I know most of you don't pay any attention to the other areas of my site to see what's going on, I've decided to bring the information to you.

A lot of my speaking on panels has kind of slowed down a bit, but I've got two interesting things coming up in March. Be on the lookout for updates from these conferences.

March 9, 2007
"How to Rawk SXSW." Panelist
SXSW Interactive | Austin, TX

March 23, 2007
"How to Embrace the Social Media Culture." Panelist
BlogHer Business '07 | New York, NY

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01.11.07 02:26 PM

I Love Vox

I'm loving Vox dearly, in fact I've been posting there almost every day lately. But I'm torn between the idea of having this sort of community centered around a blog in which I just have fun, but where I can also be serious, and have some level of control over who comments and who views a post, alongside blogging here for the public at large and writing pithy posts about popular culture, cyber culture, and all else I write about.

I'm truly torn, but on some levels I think that I can do both. Somehow, they serve two different purposes. On one level, this blog is as much about the brand Lynne d Johnson, as it is anything else, while over there on Vox I'm sort of letting my hair down and rolling in the mud with no clothes on.

It's funny, when I first interviewed Mena Trott about Vox I was skeptical. I wanted to know what was going to be so different about vox than other blogging coummities like livejournal or blogger. I've never tried livejournal, and I was only a blogger user for a short while, so I really don't even have much to compare. But given who's using Vox, I'd say there's something there, but at the end of the day it really all depends on what your blogging needs are.

So perhaps I'm not retiring after all. There's still a lot of stories left in me, ones that make sense to keep this thing going. Besides, according to Feedburner and Bloglines #s, not too many people are going away. So I'm thinking, you must be around for something, and I guess that means you want me to write here at least once in a while. Then again it could be totally something as simple as you come here out of habit, and as far as subscribing to feeds go, you never delete any of them.

Whichever it is, thanks. It's still enough to convince me that I can keep this going for a little longer.

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01.09.07 01:26 PM

Engadget Announces iPhone

iphone.jpg (More from Engadget and

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01.03.07 03:14 PM


Like some other OBB's (original black bloggers) -- Cecily, George, Monique, Donald, and Jason -- it appears I've caught the Vox bug. Lately, I'm posting much more over there than here, b/c Vox makes it so easy to simply have fun. To post w/out worry. I remember those days, you know when the blogosphere was really about having relationships with your readers.

Does this mean the end of the blog @ I doubt it. But for now, between having fun at Vox and working hard at FC, and trying to revive BlackThoughtware, I realize that whatever I do here, at least for the moment, is going to be pretty slim. Because of course you know, I'm not mentioning everything that's going on in my life, and well, sheeeit, we only got 24 hours in a day.


When I have a thought, that makes sense to post here, of course I will. But for now, those posts will be few and far inbetween.

And uh, btw, Happy New Year.

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