The Pendulum is a weekly survey of America’s top trending topics. This week we’ve got the GOP presidential candidates, Don Lemon’s revelation, Mary J. Blige on the big screen, Whitney Houston’s relapse, and much more.
On Wednesday May 11, 2011, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich announced his candidacy for the 2012 presidential race, via twitter. Maybe he took a lesson from President Obama’s use of Facebook during the last presidential election. At 67 years old, Gingrich plans to position himself as a decisive conservative leader with a proven track record. This week Gingrich will be making his rounds and delivering speeches as he continues to garner support around his presidential campaign. However, one must wonder if his role in the “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act” and “Contract with America” will be enough to keep eyes off his more questionable behavior and explanations for it (i.e. blaming his love of country for his infidelity). Meanwhile, one of the presumed frontrunners, Mike Huckabee, announced that he would not seek the GOP nomination, leaving a wide-open field for conservatives Republicans. Well, at least Donald Trump won’t be bothering us with his nonsense any longer.
Tanzania is known for its “dark side” that comes alive in the night, when thousands of homeless children wander in the streets and in some cases are dangerous to residents. The Watoto Foundation, a vocational training center, developed a program to educate and employee these children and boost tourism. They built the Kiboko Lodge, a luxury resort, which is entirely staffed by children in their vocational program, allowing them to build a future and earn a living. To learn more about this exceptional program or to donate, CLICK HERE!
Last Wednesday night, Peter Kovats and two of his friends were sailing on Lake Michigan when fierce winds flipped their boat several times. When Mary Kovats did not hear from her husband, she took a boat out on the lake with two volunteers to assist. Little did she know, her mission would become a life-saving one that night.
4 MUSIC WHY WE LOVE JILL … The latest Ebony
Jill Scott, who talks about her weight loss, as well as her evolving music and relationships. Her new album, Light of the Sun, releases on June 28th (check out the first single, “Shame,” below). The record is highly anticipated, and loyal fans like myself cannot wait to get it! Why do I love Jill Scott? She perfectly captures the beauty of black women: elegant, regal, and unapologetic!
The unemployment rate for recent college grads is an astounding 54 percent. Since, most of these graduates are unable to find work, they are continuing their education to become more competitive in the interim. This most likely means, for those skipping college all together, they will have it the hardest in years to come. The country is simply becoming, over-qualified. TIME magazine suggests what to do if your adult kids are terrible with money!
On April 19, 2011, McDonald’s launched a national hiring day. A staggering 938,000 people applied nationwide and a measly 6.2% were hired. For a selection process more stringent than an Ivy League school, Mickey D’s only offers an average pay rate of $8.89 per hour. Although 1.3 million private-sector jobs were added between February 2010 and January 2011, “the biggest growth (49%) in private-sector job creation in the past year occurred in positions in low-wage retail, administrative, and food service sector of the economy.” Thank God for McDonald’s and similar low-wage gigs (they have a role), but what are we doing to create more substantive jobs in our communities?
7 TECHNOLOGY MICROSOFT TO BUY SKYPE FOR $8.5 BILLION
Not only will this deal be the biggest in Microsoft’s history, but it will open new forms of communication. One of the first new technologies to make way will be the merge of Xbox with Skype capabilities (VOIP), Outlook email, and Windows smartphones. Looks like the Xbox may be replacing your computer soon.
In an interview with The New York Times, Lemon talks about coming out in his new book, Transparent. “I’m scared,” he told the Times. “I’m talking about something that people might shun me for, ostracize me for.” And he’s especially sensitive to the potential response from the African American community. He adds, “It’s quite different for an African American male…. It’s about the worst thing you can be in black culture. You’re taught you have to be a man; you have to be masculine. In the black community they think you can pray the gay away.” He becomes one of a tiny number of openly gay anchors on television; the list also includes Rachel Maddow and Thomas Roberts, both of MSNBC. Lemon is no stranger to speaking out about his personal life. During the alleged sex scandal involving Bishop Eddie Long last year, Lemon revealed on live television that he was molested by a pedophile as a child.
The film, which explore the life and relationships of jazz icon Nina Simone, will begin production this fall. Blige has stated she hopes to “bring Nina Simone back to life like Jamie Foxx did with Ray.” Simone, dubbed “The High Priestess of Soul,” was a songwriter, pianist, and civil rights activist known for her explosive temperament. Mary J. Blige certainly has the depth in her music to portray a complex character, but will she be able to nail the role? We hope so! Go Mary J!
Last week, pop icon Whitney Houston returned to a place that was all too familiar. Two years after her comeback in 2009 with the album I Look to You, she has returned to rehab for drug and alcohol abuse. The tour that followed the album release received negative reviews; critics claimed her once-glorious voice was shot. She was last seen on stage two weeks ago with Chaka Khan at a Prince concert, and soon after Prince made it known that Whitney would be banned from any of his future shows. Whitney is still expected to star in a Waiting to Exhale sequel with the entire original cast, but first she has some serious demons to conquer. We’re praying for you, Whitney.