HBO’s Treme Actor Ameer Baraka Joins Oprah’s Blackboard Wars

HBO’s Treme Actor Ameer Baraka Joins Oprah’s Blackboard Wars Ameer Baraka is many things: a model for Master P‘s No Limit Apparel brand, an actor in the acclaimed HBO drama series Treme and FOX‘s “The Unit”, a producer, a director, a fitness enthusiast…and a man with a criminal history. Now, the 36-year old is taking on the role of a lifetime―himself. It sounds like the easiest part to play in front of a camera, but the reality is completely different. The story he’s telling isn’t just his own, but those stories of hundreds of children in New Orleans who are on the fast-track to a life in prison, without redemption, without hope. Having experienced first-hand the worst society has to offer, Baraka has risen above his past and more importantly, wants his rising tide to lift the spirits, hopes and dreams of every young man and woman who thinks they have no alternatives.

His web series “N.O.L.A. Life,” co-produced by Danny Garcia (What She Wants For Christmas, Who Did I Marry?) and Baraka himself, dares to show it all. The documentary series, described as “the truest, grittiest, most realistic depiction of New Orleans life ever filmed,” explains not only how life is for the young men and women on the streets, but more importantly how that life can be different. As a young man, Baraka experienced the hardship of growing up without a father. A mother and grandmother can provide love, but as he notes, “A woman cannot raise a man.” Without the strength, without the discipline afforded by a positive male role model, living in the Calliope housing development, he fell into a life of drugs, crime, and violence by age fourteen. It wasn’t until he landed in prison and met older, reformed convicts who saw something special in him that he learned the secret to breaking this vicious cycle. Preaching at children does not work―mentoring them does.

Two years’ experience running a mentoring program at Booker T. Washington School in New Orleans backs him up. Considered some of the highest-risk youth in the state, Baraka’s engagement brings real results to a setting long thought beyond repair. Reaching out to the intelligent young minds he sees before him, Baraka challenges them to channel their energies and impulses in positive directions and faith-based initiatives, and the results speak for themselves: drug use, fights, suspensions and expulsions at Booker T. Washington are down across the board. To further these ends, he created the Ameer Baraka Give A Hand Fund, which provides financial assistance to children so they can attend school in better areas of New Orleans. Visit his website at to learn more about his life and work.

On Saturday, March 16th at 9pm, you will see and hear Ameer Baraka’s powerful story on Oprah Winfrey‘s OWN Network show, “Blackboard Wars”. You will get to know Ameer and the young men and women he mentors and engages every day. And you will come to believe, just as he does, that one man really can change the world.

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A Few Thoughts on Lance Armstrong and His Dishonesty

Lance ArmstrongA few thoughts on all the hoopla being made about Lance Armstrong and him going on Oprah for 2 and half hours to apologize for being dishonest…Some folks are angry with Lance which is understandable.. They feel betrayed. He let them down.. Many enthusiastically cheered for Armstrong as he won Tour De France after Tour De France and felt like a death-blow was delivered when he finally came clean on his dishonesty.. It’s the ultimate disappointment for fans.. Armstrong is now the poster boy for dishonesty.

It’s interesting watching all these corporations demand that Lance give them their money back because he was so dishonest. They claim they don’t wanna support someone so dishonest .. One has to wonder how many of those same companies were this outspoken, demanding their money back for dishonest politicians whose campaigns they contributed to?

It’s interesting see there are so many who are beside themselves and livid at Lance Armstrong for being dishonest but still to this day are staunchly defending and even forgiving to George W Bush and Dick Cheney for their dishonesty around the Iraq War and Weapons of Mass Destruction.  I recall when folks said Bush & Cheney should be impeached for being dishonest and many folks all over the country hit the freaking roof..Many to this day while standing on mountain tops demanding Lance be punished aren’t so vocal about punishment for Bush or Cheney and for that matter even our current president and some of the lies he’s told.. Let’s reflect on that for a minute.. Why so contradictory?

How many people are dead because of the dishonesty of those we put into office? How many billions have been squandered because of their dishonesty? Look I get it and have no defense for Lance Armstrong.. He was dishonest. However, I’m clear about this, Lance didn’t cost me Billions.. The economy ain’t messed with 23 million people unemployed because Lance was dishonest.. The Middle class isn’t shrinking because Lance Armstrong was dishonest. We want accountability from Lance but none from the people who we’ve continuously rewarded with votes, and generous campaign support who lie to us more often and in way worse insidious ways than Lance could ever.. We want Lance to sit down and confess his misdeeds to Oprah.. But when can expect Bush, Cheney or the heads Goldman Sachs, AIG, Citigroup and other big time Wall Street banks to sit down and confess? When will we push for that?

George Bush looked like he was ready to knock Kanye out when describing his reaction to West's remarks about him hating Black people

I guess the strong lesson to be learned from our kids is, its easy to be mad at Lance and get all righteous but punk down when it comes to Bush, Cheney and others… Yes I said punk down..You see the problem here is,  Bush and Cheney were never prosecuted for being dishonest and many clapped when they were given a pass…Y’all remember that? Don’t front.

When President Obama said some BS about ‘Its time for us to move forward‘ many of y’all cheered and ‘great job‘, ‘right on Mr Prez‘  ‘Hooray, we luv our President‘.. So you moved forward with Bush and Cheney being prosecuted for a long list of war crimes but your stuck on Lance.. Y’all ain’t ready to move forward on that.. You want your money back,  his trophies taken and a more sincere apology. You want him stripped of his titles, but not to keen on having Bush stripped of his Presidency and having it be deemed illegitimate. Y’all ain’t ready to move forward on that..

This all goes back to the fake ass sports writers who ‘supposedly took a stance by not electing anyone to the Baseball Hall of Fame.. Many stood up and applauded. You said emphatically. “dishonesty should not be rewarded.. bravo sports writers’..  I get that?

With that being said, imagine if those media outlets those baseball writers worked for took similar stances during election season and said.. We can not reward dishonesty, hence we will not endorse a candidate for a particular offices.  The New York Times made headlines by leaving a huge chunk of the front page blank.. We said this was needed. Imagine if that same New York Times left the front page blank for lying candidates seeking endorsements?

See those news outlets can do some easy shyt and say no to Barry Bonds and we give them high fives like they actually did something great. But wont bat an eye when those same outlets take millions from lying politicians and write glowing endorsement editorials…And we wonder why our kids are cheating on tests & acting reckless-Look at the adults in their lives..Our collective stance on dishonesty is inconsistent. If your up in arms and all self-righteous about Lance Armstrong cheating, but you’re running around cheating on your spouse, tests or taxes your just as much a dishonest creep as he is!

Everyone is talking about how Lance sat down to speak to confess his misdeeds to Oprah.. When can we get Bush, Cheney to sit down and confess their misdeeds to Oprah? When can we get the heads of Goldman Sachs, AIG, Citigroup and other big time Wall Street banks to sit on Oprah’s couch and confess? When will we push for that?