Sunday, October 11, 2009

News: Michelle Obama Gets Criticized for Her Staff Size

FILE- This Sept. 17, 2009 file photo shows first lady Michelle ...

In the past it's been almost a tradition for America's first ladies to catch flack from their husbands' political opponents over the size of their staffs, and Michelle Obama certainly hasn't been exempt from that. Criticism of her "massive" staff has popped up on email chains, blogs, and chat rooms. But what are the facts regarding how many people are under her employ, and how does the size of her staff compare to that of past first ladies?

On July 1st of this year, the Obama White House posted the Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff on its official blog. A minor uproar over the first lady's staff size ensued. One critic accused the president's wife of employing an "unprecedented number of staffers" for someone who "doesn’t perform any official duties," while a widely circulated chain email reported that "there has never been anyone in the White House at any time that has created such an army of staffers whose sole duties are the facilitation of the First Lady’s social life." Many other critics of the Obama administration expressed similar sentiments.


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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Nia Long Speaks about "Good Hair"

Coming out this week is 'Good Hair,' a wonderfully insightful and entertaining, yet remarkably serious, documentary about African American hair culture.

Directed by funnyman Chris Rock, the film explores hair salons and styling battles, scientific laboratories and Indian temples to explore the way black hairstyles impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships and self-esteem of black people.

Known for her roles in 'Soul Food,' 'The Best Man' and 'Love Jones,'Nia Long was among the celebrities who candidly offered her stories and observations to Rock.

In speaking with Black Voices, Long talks about her involvement, being open about the taboo subject and her short sting on 'The Cleveland Show.'

How did you end up being in the documentary? 

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Professor Leads Boycott of Beauty Supply Stores

Atlanta, GA October 5, 2009 - Professor Devin Robinson, an economics professor at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA and best-selling author of Taking it Back: How to Become a Successful Black Beauty Supply Store Owner, will lead a one week long boycott against Non- Black Owned Beauty Supply stores.

Robinson stated, "Blacks make up 96% of the consumers of these stores, yet represent less than 5% of the retail ownership." As a previous owner of 3 locations, Robinson understands the industry inside out and offers comprehensive solutions for Blacks to recapture this industry. "The problem is with the distributors. Distributors are mainly Non-Blacks and they handpick who they will distribute products to. This oftentimes leaves aspiring black owners disenfranchised", said Robinson.

The national boycott will take place from November 16th - 22nd and will be highly supported by some of the country's top Black Media. Robinson, who founded Taking it Back University (, has been featured in Ebony Magazine for his work surrounding this issue and over the years has been working closely with his friend, syndicated radio host, Michael Baisden to keep the awareness high.

Robinson expects this one-week boycott to be an automatic people-designed stimulus package for the Black community. He said, "If Blacks only shop with Black-owned beauty supply stores for this one week, we can expect to send $66.5 Million to the black communities. This will send a clear message to distributors on how valuable the black retailer can be."

Robinson will tour the country assisting with rallies and building awareness during the boycott. His tour begins with a Boycott Launch Banquet organized by The Black Hair Project in St. Louis, MO, where he will be the keynote speaker along with other prominent beauty industry professionals.

To schedule an interview or appearance with Professor Devin Robinson please contact: The Going Against the Grain Group at 202-684-6699.


Going Against the Grain Group
Taking it Back University

Ph: 202-684-6699

Taking it Back University

P.O. Box 44503

Atlanta, GA 30336

Ph: 202-684-6699