Ebony/Jet Entertainment Group has teamed with Codeblack Entertainment for the Jan. 20 DVD release of a “Barack Obama: The Man and His Journey,” a documentary on the President-elect narrated by actor Blair Underwood. The release is timed to coincide with Obama’s inauguration. Following the Obama disc will be another documentary, “Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy,” featuring interviews with Bill Cosby, Chris Rock and Keenen Ivory Wayans, among others.
*Michelle Obama graces the Dec. 1 cover of Newsweek (on newsstands today) under the heading “The Meaning of Michelle.” Newsweek National Correspondent Allison Samuels writes in the cover story: “When her husband raises his hand to take the oath of office, Michelle will become the world’s most visible African- American woman. The new First Lady will have the chance to knock down ugly stereotypes about black women and educate the world about American black culture more generally. But perhaps more important — even apart from what her husband can do — Michelle has the power to change the way African-Americans see ourselves, our lives and our possibilities.”
*An evening celebrating the rededication of New York’s Triborough Bridge as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge turned into a love-fest for the incoming U.S. president, reports the New York Daily News. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, who emceed, said that in the last few months, she’d felt like she was covering “a foreign country having its first-ever democratic election. … When was the last time we saw the whole world come into the streets dancing in celebration of America instead of demonstrating and burning the flag?” Archbishop Desmond Tutu hailed Obama for “bringing us the America that [RFK] dreamed of.” Sarah Jessica Parker said “It’s great to have a president who has the same gift for oratory as Robert Kennedy.” Alec Baldwin cautioned: “My hope is that people don’t see Obama’s victory as an end. We need to maintain a vigilance that he does the things he promised.”
*First Lady Laura Bush and her twin daughters spill the beans about their recent role as White House tour guide to Michelle Obama, her two daughters and mother, Marian Robinson. Barbara and Jenna Bush showed off their bedrooms to Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7. “We helped them jump on the beds,” Barbara, 26, told People. “We used to jump on the beds when we were little, too.” Mrs. Bush added, “They’re really tall beds; you need to get a running start.” Michelle, meanwhile, wondered aloud about where they might install a toy closet to keep things tidy. Mrs. Robinson marveled at the “magnificence” of the place, said another person familiar with the details of the tour. “They all just said, ‘Oh my God, it’s just so beautiful!'”
*Ludlum Elementary School in Long Island, NY’s Hempstead Union Free School District has been re-named in honor of President-elect Obama at a board meeting Thursday, at the request of numerous school students. “Just to watch these kids after the board voted on what they asked them to do, they were so elated,” school district superintendent Dr. Joseph Laria told ABC News. “You want to talk about ‘Yes we can?’ That was a lesson in democracy.” Effective immediately, Ludlum will now be known as Barack Obama Elementary School, following a decision by the board to adopt the resolution drafted by students and staff.
*Verizon Wireless has fired employees it says snooped through billing records from an old cell phone used by President-elect Obama earlier this year, a source told CNN Friday. The fired employees were hired “to take care of customers,” the Verizon source said, but were not authorized to access customer records unless asked to do so by the customer. The source also said the employees in question could not have read text messages, if Obama sent or received them, and would not have been able to access the content of any voice mail messages, although they would have been able to see whether any had been left. The source would not say how many people were terminated but said “we now consider this matter closed.”
President-elect Barack Obama promoted an economic plan Saturday he said would create 2.5 million jobs by rebuilding roads and bridges and modernizing schools while developing alternative energy sources and more efficient cars. “These aren’t just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis. These are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long,” Obama said in the weekly Democratic radio address. Scroll down to watch.
Your Weekly Address from the President-elect (Nov. 21, 2008)