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Like I promised, I am going to post some replies here to a few posters in the other thread.  I am starting this thread since other people's responses have moved in a different direction than the thread's intended purpose, and I do not want to have to hijack the other one.  That said, I really hope that this can be a place for discussion and dialogue.

One thing worth mentioning before I reply...

There are a few things we already know about one another at this point.  We know that there are a multitude of faiths, races, beliefs, interests, lifestyle choices, etc. represented on this board.  It is also quite clear that we are not all in agreement about any one particular issue at one particular time.  Aside from ignoring these differences altogether, it would seem that our other compelling choices are to fight about it or talk about it.  I hope that this thread will be used only as an opportunity to do the latter.  brb  ;)

Seeing as how most of our admissions cycles are winding to a close, I can sense how excited everyone is to start school in the fall.  That said, I have been trying to take some time to stop, reflect upon, and truly appreciate what's going on in my world right now.  Sure, I'll be glad to take an extended break from the real world and just be a student again.  Yet I know that sometimes I get so caught up in getting ready for law school in a few months that I forget about the little things that I will miss out on by going to law school.  So that got me thinking...

What part of your pre-law school life will you miss most?

I know I'll miss... with my roomies (who, after all these years, are more like sisters and friends)
...the homemade get well cards and "just because" pictures from 4' tall secret admirers
...spending $3+ on daily Starbucks runs when doing so no longer fits my budget
...people-watching on a summer day at the park near my house

I'm sure there are more little things, but I'll add to the list as they come to me...
What about you?  What's on your list?

Black Law Students / CLEO Attitude is Essential Summer Conference
« on: March 28, 2007, 06:33:33 PM »
Just got a flyer in the mail about the three-day conference being held in ATL/LA this summer.  Was wondering if any other 0Ls were planning to attend or if any law students/alums have ever been.  It sounds interesting, though I'm not sure how much you can really learn about law school in such a short amount of time.  Then again, I suppose it couldn't hurt.  Besides, the idea of a free hotel, meals, and a travel stipend makes it worth looking into.  If you know anything about the program, please let me know.  Thanks.

Bullwhip Days: The Slaves Remember
an oral history edited and with an introduction by James Mellon

From the back cover:
In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration commissioned an oral history of the remaining former slaves.  Bullwhip Days is a remarkable compendium of selections from these extraordinary interviews, providing an unflinching portrait of the world of government-sanctioned slavery of Africans in America.  Here are twenty-nine full narrations, as well as nine sections of excerpts related to particular aspects of slave life, from religion to plantation life to the Reconstruction era.  Skillfully edited, these chronicles bear eloquent witness to the trials of slaves in America, reveal the wide range of conditions of human bondage, and provide sobering insight into the roots of racisim in today's society.

From the introduction:
Human emotion, we are often reminded, is universal and timeless.  Yet few of us pause to consider that innumerable human feelings and experiences have vanished forever because the conditions that gave rise to them no longer exist.  This book is about an entire range of human feelings that can no longer be experienced; the feelings that arose from the condition of being a statuatory slave, of being owned, physically, by one's fellow man as a piece of property...

...The 29 life stories recorded here, in which racism either bristles overtly or smolders subliminally, should provoke the thoughtful reader to ask himself some difficult questions...First and foremost, what, in essence is racism? ... Furthermore, are racial reactions unpremeditated, like our sponteanous reaction to different foods, wines, or works of art?  If so, is race the only sphere of life in which we are not entitled to any personal preferences?  Are we, then to include, among racists any and all who profess to be attracted to another race, as for instance those who feel that "black is beautiful"?  And if racial feelings are not spontaneous -- if to feel racial antipathy "you have to be carefully taught" as the song goes -- then who "taught" those who feel racial attraction?

Finally, just when and where did the kind of racism pecular to America originate?  If even the earliest colonists -- those who themselves had immigrated to these shores -- already shared a pervasive conviction that black people are fundamentally inferior to white people, could American racism have originated in America? ... Thus, the slave narrativves invite us to grapple with these thorny questions and to ponder the enigma of racism in all its formidable depth, antiquity, and intransigence lends particular revelance and urgency to these life stories...."

From me:
Just meditating my way through the introduction (which is 12 pages long) was a satisfying read.  The narratives themselves, of which I have read two, leave me utterly speechless.  (The second one was from Georgia Baker, a slave to the vice-president of the Confederacy who knew Jefferson Davis personally.)  The impact of the work is further strengthened by the interspersing of real photographs of former slaves throughout the text.  I have not even fully begun to dive into the meat of the book, and yet I felt compelled to stop and invite others to do the same.  I am not really a history buff, but I have always read with interest slave narratives like those of Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, and Olaudah Equiano.  I never miss an opportunity to give posthumous respect and dignity to a people whose stories most of them took to their graves.

This book is printed by Grove Press, NY, and copyrighted in 1988 by James Mellon. It can be ordered from amazon here 
Just thought you might want to know...

Hello all.  This is my first post on the "Non-Traditional" students board.  Although I'll be in my mid-twenties when I start law school next fall, I will be transitioning from a four-year "career" in another field.  I was thinking about what it'll be like to leave the working world and enter the academia again, and all these great memories from the past four years started to flood my mind.  People I've met, places I've gone, skills I've built, rough edges I've smoothed, and the list could go on.  So I'm interested to hear from all the other non-traditionals on the board -- how would you finish the following sentence?

If I had gone straight from undergrad to law school, I never would have...

I'm not sure if this has already been posted here, but I'm interested to know what others think...

Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby Face Growing Challenge by Black Professors - Marc Lamont Hill and Boyce Watkins Appear on CNN to Discuss Concerns

Black Professors concerned that Cosby and Winfrey comments on black youth are ultimately detrimental.

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) January 8, 2007 -- Prominent African-American professors Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and Dr. Boyce Watkins have appeared on CNN recently to challenge Oprah Winfrey regarding her perceptions of black males and inner city students. Dr. Hill, a Professor at Temple University, appeared on Showbiz Tonight and Dr. Watkins (Syracuse University) made similar statements on CNN's Paula Zahn Now. Both men are respectfully concerned that Winfrey's statements and actions may have a detrimental effect on poor African-Americans, especially men.

"Her deployment of a Cosby-esque 'blame the victim' approach to the American educational crisis is both facile and counterproductive.  When asked why she built a school in Africa instead of America's inner cities, Ms. Winfrey replied, "I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools [in the U.S.. If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa, they don't ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school."

Dr. Hill questioned Winfrey's statements, saying that she is misdirecting her frustration with the poor condition of America's inner city schools. "Her deployment of a Cosby-esque 'blame the victim' approach to the American educational crisis is both facile and counterproductive," says Hill, who makes regular appearances on CNN and Fox News. Hill says that it is unfortunate that "Oprah 'Everybody Gets A Car!' Winfrey sees no irony in the fact that her own show pushes many of the products that she says contribute to our youth's wanton consumerism."

Dr. Watkins agrees that Oprah's perceptions are misguided. "How in the world can you look at the deplorable statistics in our inner city schools and say that the kids are to blame for this?" says Watkins, the author of "Everything you ever wanted to know about College". "She can spend her money as she pleases, but don't attack and throw away our kids in the process."

Watkins also feels that Oprah's statements about inner city students may relate to her general perception of black males. On CNN's "Paula Zahn Now", Dr. Watkins questioned Winfrey's representation of black men on her show. "It seems that Oprah has no problem with the Grammy and Oscar winners, but when it comes to rank and file black males, she tends to ignore or misrepresent them. Her frustration with rappers even led her to edit out the comments by (hip hop star) Ludicris on her show. I was offended by that."

Hill and Watkins are also outspoken critics of Bill Cosby for his attacks on the inner city. Hill's comments in The Baltimore Sun Times and Watkins' comments on The Wendy Williams Experience have led to a powerful backlash from Cosby himself.

"Our greatest enemy in the black community is the elitism that leads some of us to think that we are better than others," says Dr. Watkins, the author of 'What if George Bush were a Black Man?' "It's easy for Bill and Oprah to says 'What's wrong with those Negroes?' It's much harder for them to engage in critical and constructive dialogue."

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill is Assistant Professor of Urban Education & American Studies at Temple University and the editor of He makes regular appearances in the national media, including CNN, FOX News, and various other media. Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of "What if George Bush were a Black Man?" He makes regular appearances on ESPN, CNN, FOX and other networks. For interviews, call Lawrence at (502) 640-8155 or visit and

Whenever I stumble across something uplifting or inspiring, I record it in a "quote journal" that I've been keeping since seventh grade.  I'm looking to add a few more quotes to the mix, so I was wondering if any of you well-read, well-versed legal eagles had any wisdom to share.  If so, post it here so that your fellow LSDers can bask in the warmth of your sunshine! ;D Be sure to cite the original speaker if known.   Here goes...

In life we cannot do great things.  We can only small things with great love. (Mother Theresa)

Not taking risks is risky.

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dirt and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, great devotions; who spends himself in worthy causes; who at the best, knows in the end the triumphs of achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. (Teddy Roosevelt)

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today. (Chinese proverb)

It is not your business to succeed, but to do right; when you have done so, the rest lies with God. (C.S. Lewis)

Ok, your turn...

Black Law Students / New kid on the block...
« on: December 21, 2006, 09:09:29 PM »
Since I've been lurking here for almost a month, I thought I should finally introduce myself.  I'm Naturally.  HEY Y'ALL! ;D  Also, I just wanted to let you all know (a) how instrumental this site has been in helping me prepare for the fall '07 cycle and (b) how stimulating, informative, amusing, and entertaining I find the BLSD board in particular.  I'm looking forward to not only becoming an active part of this online community, but also to handling my business in law school next year at this time! 

Just letting you know I'm in the neighborhood...

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