Lynne d Johnson



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07.13.04 09:16 PM

do we need more black media pundits?

choire seems to think we need more black media pundits, because he's a little tired of seeing toure as the sole black face discussing all things pop culture. personally, i like seeing toure, especially on MTV2's spoke n' heard. besides, if not for him, i never would have researched, written, and published my piece on strippers in oneworld back-in-the day.

choire has come up with a list that he's posted over at (you remember that site, it's one of the sites that john lee mentioned in his artilce, "Blogging While (Anti) Black," on that sparked a debate about race and blogging all over the blogosphere and with a brief mention in the press). choire's list is pretty cool. i mean i'm on it, and i'm in good company too. besides I already mentioned that i had my 2 minutes of talking head time back in march on UPN news.

some of the folks who appear on the list, have had their turn at 15 minutes of fame on tleveision, or at least cable, and others have not experienced what it's like to be a talking head at all (outside of their blogs or when pontificating with friends and associates).

i don't know all these cats on the list, but of the ones i do know or have heard of, i say what the hey. what do you think?

- Jimi Izrael
I'd vote for Jimi b/c this cat just doesn't hold his tongue. He says what he thinks, and he means it.

- Jay Smooth
What can I say about duke that you folks don't already know. He's got a hot radio show. He's one of the most prolific bloggers at covering all things hip-hip. He gets almost anyone he interviews to spit a freestyle, even when they don't want to.

- Ron Mwangaguhunga
Wasn't this the cat that used to edit the Mac Directory? If so, then he gets a thumbs up. Any Mac lover, who is black, who gets the opportunity to write about Macs, is alright in my book.

- Knox Robinson
I don't know, but every time I think about The Fader the name Knox Robinson comes to mind. Besides he wrote, "The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost," in Fela: From West Africa to West Broadway. The title reminds me so much of "Hip-Hop's Holy Trinity," and from what I know, Knox was instrumental with assisting the folks who got that Fela Project to become an exhibit at the New Museum last year.

- Amy Dubois Barnett
I met her once on the street through my boy Nick. She seemed cool enough and at the time was top dog at Honey magazine. Now she's doing her thing at Teen People. Besides, Toure digs her.

- Kelefa Sanneh
I've met dude twice and he was mad cool. He actually approached me at a conference to introduce himself. He gets to write hip-hop stories in some of those places we'd never expect to see hip-hop, and for that he's got my vote.

- Lola Ogunnaike
I never met her, but she's a good writer. Good writers aren't always good speakers though, but from what I hear, she could probably hold it down. Like dude above, she's got the New York Times hip-hop thing on lock and she's also penned loads of cover stories for Vibe.

- George Kelly
For many of us black bloggers, this is the godfather. With allaboutgeorge and his news site negrophile he's one of the hardest working men in the blogosphere. I've heard his voice and I'd say with all certainty that it's one made for media punditry.

- Greg Tate
This cat and his contemporary, Nelson George, were writing about hip-hop while most of the present-day hip-hop scribes were still in high school or college. He came up with the blueprint. Not that Tate hasn't had speaking opportunities, he tends to keep it low key, especially when he's focusing on his music.

- Emil Wilbekin
You've seen him on MTV and VH1 many times I'm certain. He is a Vibe lifer, having been at the organization since day one when it was just a test. After moving through the publication he rose to the leadership role, and most recently put together an awesome awards show. He's also got a cool apartment that's been profiled in New York Magazine and Style and Grace: African Americans at Home.

- Danyel Smith
Vibe was really smoking when Danyel was at the helm. She dashed to Time, and now she's writing novels. I still gotta' check out her More Like Wrestling. She's also appeared as a commentator on MTV and VH1 in the past.

I'd be curious to know what Choire's criteria was when he came up with this list. And I haven't even named all the folks on there. What would your criteria be? Who would you want to see more of on TV when it's time to talk black issues and black culture, or simply culture in general?


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