accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Rapper Diamond joins Mayor Kasim Reed at back-to-school rally

Rapper Diamond, from left, joined Mayor Kasim Reed and Councilman H. Lamar Willis for a back-to-school rally at Jean Childs Young Middle School. They're here with seventh grader Michel Turpeau, 11.

Rapper Diamond, from left, joined Mayor Kasim Reed and Councilman H. Lamar Willis for a back-to-school rally at Jean Childs Young Middle School. They're here with seventh grader Michel Turpeau, 11.

The mayor’s office put out the call summoning star power to a back-to-school pep rally earlier today. Rapper Diamond responded.

The artist, along with R&B singer Tiffani Tyree and Hot 107.9’s Jazzy McBee, joined Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta City Councilman H. Lamar Willis at Jean Childs Young Middle School in southwest Atlanta this afternoon.

Diamond gave a brief speech about the importance of staying in school (”Make sure you stay focused!”) and drew a raffle winner. Tyree also drew a raffle winner, and McBee presided over a dance-off where students demonstrated The Dougie.

Hot 107.9's Jazzy McBee learned to Dougie with sixth grader Larry Miller, 11, seventh graders Taje' Nelloms and Ashley Powell, both 12.

Hot 107.9's Jazzy McBee learned to Dougie with sixth grader Larry Miller, 11, seventh graders Taje' Nelloms and Ashley Powell, both 12.

Hizzoner was a pretty big hit with the kids.

“All your dreams are literally within your grasp,” Reed told the students. “Anything is possible. You don’t need to go to another school. You don’t need to go to another district. We’re going to get through these tough times we have been facing. We need you to be excellent.”

There was no explicit mention of the school system’s recent cheating scandal woes or school board infighting, although Reed did say, “It is time for us, the adults, to start lifting young people up.”

Cheerleaders got the crowd roaring. From left, seventh grader Courtney Gray, 12, eighth grader Ebony James, 13, seventh grader Kayla Willis, 12 and seventh grader Niajh Withrow, 12.

Cheerleaders got the crowd roaring. From left, seventh grader Courtney Gray, 12, eighth grader Ebony James, 13, seventh grader Kayla Willis, 12 and seventh grader Niajh Withrow, 12.

He also told the students they need to respect educators.

“I want you to embrace your teachers and your counselors,” he said. “Embrace their wisdom.”

The event, which began with a DJ playing songs by artists including Beyonce and Souljah Boy, was a loud and joyous occasion, but you know who really raised the roof?

Not the stars. Not the politicians. The kids themselves.

Cheerleading coach Breverly Littles had less than a week to teach her squad a new routine, but the girls jumped, stomped and shouted in perfect harmony. The happy response from the stands was deafening.

The real stars of the show!

The real stars of the show!

“They’ve really worked hard,” Littles said. Their classmates noticed.

In the end, it seemed that while the bold-name headliners were great, the kids cheered loudest for each other.

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

47 comments Add your comment

chewyandrw

August 12th, 2011
7:59 pm

Classy move local celebs…way to positively influence those who admire you.

chewyandrw

August 12th, 2011
7:59 pm

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Vote for Obama cause he's black

August 12th, 2011
8:37 pm

Where are all the white people ?

Ahmed

August 12th, 2011
8:41 pm

Diamond is a star? Says who? Come on people, she was a member of a group with small regional success 6 yrs ago. Nothing since

amy

August 12th, 2011
8:57 pm

Please don’t aim your negative comments about a positive childrens event.

Shakim

August 12th, 2011
9:07 pm

Diamond may not be an international star but she is a star never the less. I commend her for doing something positive for the children.

sam

August 12th, 2011
9:10 pm

This is horrible for Mayor to call Diamond. She is a former stripper, scares and designs all over her body, use heavy profanity and don’t have any talent. If my kids were at that school I would be mad for the mayor to think she should speak to my daughter about anything. But then again look at Reed, single, hand in the lobby of every hotel (W, Ritz etc) at every rapper birthday party, He has turned a public office into a celebrity gig for him. Reed protect your brand, more importantly, stay statesman. Stop going to every hip hop event posing with Steve Harvey or his wife married to every dope dealer in Memphis (Marjorie), or bring ex-strippers around our kids. Really really bad example. If that’s the case as mayor, you may as well hang out at Magic City.

whatdoiknow

August 12th, 2011
10:01 pm

Well . . . What do you expect from Jennifer Brett and the AJC? Black folk, does this make you happy? Does the AJC whitewash work for you? Is this the type of publicity you like for your children to read about? By the way, what do you think about APS now? Beverly Hall apologized. Forgive her? Falure in the Black community is a falure in America.

Good try Mayor

August 12th, 2011
10:05 pm

It seems like he should have been able to get much bigger names to support his cause. NIce try Mayor……..

lilmiss4

August 12th, 2011
10:10 pm

hey, i go to that school and diamond did every well today and the pep rally was really fun

alan

August 12th, 2011
10:27 pm

For all of those criticizing this event, I have a suggestion. Why don’t you call the school and volunteer as a tutor, a cafeteria worker, etc. It’s easy to sit back and find fault. But unless you’re going down to the school to offer your assistance, keep your negatives comments to yourself.

As far as Diamond being a star, at least she made the effort and encouraged the children to stay focused on school.,

From these comments, some of the posters must live real miserable lives who can only find purpose in putting down other people. Maybe it’s time for you to move out of your mother’s basement and try living on your own.

gonzalez

August 12th, 2011
10:37 pm

Sam maybe you need to go back to school to learn to write a coherent sentence! Buster!

TheBigCat

August 12th, 2011
10:55 pm

Yeah just what Black kids need. The Democrats have succeeded in destroying the Black community. What the KKK couldn’t do the Democrats did.

Rasputin

August 12th, 2011
11:04 pm

Diamond droppin’ deep knowledge…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ub8jekkGU4

When I need inspiration to get that paper (diploma), I think of Princess, er, I mean Diamond.

AtlantaFan

August 12th, 2011
11:40 pm

@Alan. Amen. I see this article as nothing but positive. In spite of the celebrity/VIPs, “the kids cheered loudest for each other…” Why in the world do you guys want to tear down a positive pep rally? Geez….

Steve

August 13th, 2011
12:30 am

“The mayor’s office put out the call summoning star power to a back-to-school pep rally earlier today.” These are the folks who responded to that call. The mayor did not pick any of them; they came out because they wanted to support our schools and send a positive message there and then. Sure, what they do in their professional lives might not be all that ‘positive’ sometimes, but this was not a professional endeavor. Every adult has skeletons in his/her closet and even our public lives are not always full of rainbows and butterflies; that’s not relevant, nor is any of this finger-pointing, celebrity-bashing and casting blame on Democrats, the black community, corrupt officials, etc. etc. for the situation the schools are in. I’m a white northsider who votes right-of-center in most elections and if I can see the goodness in events such as these then there is no reason the rest of you shouldn’t be able to. I think some of you people just always need someone or something to disparage in order to feel better about yourselves. How about looking in the mirror and realizing that positive change needs to start with YOU. What a novel concept!

@sam

August 13th, 2011
4:02 am

Sam, maybe you should consider returning to school……….whew!!!!!

Nunna!!

August 13th, 2011
6:38 am

Its funny how black folks who may have a dark past always has it brought up by the media when reporting a story about them or comments in blogs like this,but,when you get white folks like,err,say,Brett Favre comes up in a “is he coming back to play” story never has his pain killer addiction brought up..Nor does Rush with his illegal access with his pain killers nor G.W.Bush and his drinking binge..

Call me racist i don’t care..But as a black man i really watch and listen to the news,talk shows,etc…And the lead in is always something like,”michael vick who was in federal prison for dog fighting was 25 out of 31 with 2 TD’s in the eagles victory over the falcons today”..But the white ones,never get the same treatment..

This story didn’t report it that way,but the comments some of you bring up on here is like you think that it should..

Nunna!!

August 13th, 2011
6:41 am

P.S.,had the pleasure of meeting H.Lamar Willis mother at publix on cascade a few years back,really nice lady..And as for Willis himself? Dats a big dude!!

Tammy

August 13th, 2011
7:34 am

I think this was a very positive event. Diamond showed up and gave an uplifiting speech about staying in school and achieving your goals through education, exactly what else should she have said? The kids were overjoyed over the event that will help to bring a boost to their educational value. With all that has gone wrong at APS, this was something that was very poitive that ended on a good note. All the negative comments about why Diamond & Reed are neither here nor there, they got together to do something good for the community of kids!!! All the negative comments posted these people should be ashamed of themselves, these are the ones that always see the glass half empty and complain all the time but NEVER do anything about it. Good LAWD, get a life PLEASE!!!!!!!

MisterEarl

August 13th, 2011
7:36 am

Diamond contributed time and energy. Something very different from banging on a key board.

The “tea party” is basicaly a hate movement focused on president Obama. It has no serious interest in solving the country’s real problems, and no serious program.

Hate Diamond or get about the business of working together to solve problems.

You do the math.

Ted Sheckler

August 13th, 2011
7:54 am

This looked terrible, glad I didn’t go. The Atlanta Public Schools system is a disaster and Beverly Hall should be in prison.

WHO??

August 13th, 2011
8:08 am

OK, who on EARTH is Diamond? And where were all the local celebs an old fart like me would know?

WHO??

August 13th, 2011
8:10 am

These students SHOULD HAVE been given a speech on the benefits of school choice and vouchers; their poor souls are trapped in that God-awful “school” system.

WHO??

August 13th, 2011
8:15 am

And since you all got political, when are you going to stop blaming us black folks for Barack Obama? Had you white folks not been scared of being called a racist, or if you all didn’t feel guilty about the past, or if you weren’t more concerned with seeing history, just MAYBE he would’ve been in IL right now worrying about keeping his senate seat next year! There’s still hope: the election is next year. Now get Mitt Romney (or Rick Perry) to win the Republican nomination, choose Marco Rubio as a running mate, and let’s get this nightmare over with! I’ll still be proud to say that AT LEAST I lived to see a black president. But let’s get on with the job of running a country.

Harold

August 13th, 2011
8:22 am

Barrack won’t be know as the First. He will be known as the last. Miss Diamond you can knock her all you want, you you heard of her. She sure ain’t heard of YOU! The types I dont want near kids are they types knocking her for what she did when she was younger. MOST people did things when they were younger. And the ones who won’t admit what they do turn into Republicans!

rolethatclip

August 13th, 2011
8:25 am

well said alan!

Robert

August 13th, 2011
8:26 am

What is up with Atlanta wanting to portray a black, uneducated image? I thougth the money wasted on the “marketing” campaign for “Duh ATL” was stupid. Now we invite rappers to address students?
Pull your pants up, respect you mothers, find your (baby) daddies, and start taking care of yourselves.
I think people missed the underlying part of the cheating scandal – it would not have been necessary if parents participated in their children’s futures and made education a priority.
There is more to life than getting knocked up to get a check!
The “black eye” of Atlanta needs to go away if it wants to be an international city again.

Peter Griffin

August 13th, 2011
8:32 am

I don’t know who those people are.

Stewey and Brian

August 13th, 2011
9:24 am

Peter Griffin – go ask Lois. She used to work with Diamond.

In your FACE(haters)

August 13th, 2011
9:32 am

To me for all those that are speaking negative, that shows what you think of Children. Therefore I would hate for you to be the one to TALK TO MY CHILD, AS you are a Hypocrit. First so what if she use profanity, SO DO YOU, How else do your child perfect the words so well. Next, if you don’t like it, get off the dog gone page. It was to inspire kids, those that can read this silly stuff you say. Also, if the Mayor is doing this or that, I say that is his business. Until you see him SELLING DOPE, HITTING THE BLUNT, do not knock him. Next, if your child was attending a school that needed support, would you be there? For the assistence in the classrooms, for the help with ISS… You know the place where children are sent not because they are all bad, but because you as the parent let them leave the home with the wrong clothing on, or they cannot stop talking back to an ADULT of whom you should be teaching them to respect. So here is a thought, While Diamond may have been a stripper, or TI may have fell to the world of DRUGS, do you allow them to tell their story to a child to MAKE THEM WANT TO CHOOSE A DIFFERENT PATH, or do you teach your child that PEOPLE cannot be forgiven for mistakes they make??? cSUE IF THAT IS THE CASE, YOU SHOULD BE THINKING OF ALL THE MISTAKES YOU MADE AND A PERSON GAVE YOU A SECOND CHANCE. Sometimes rapping is acting out a story to sell and make money. It is legit, so why knock it. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for posting NEGATIVITY FOR A POSITIVE EFFORT.. Haven’t the kids read enough about their school system being BAD? Where those that were i charge have failed some, do not make it hard for those that operate withn their means to PROMOTE A BETTER EDUCATION AND FUTURE FOR YOUR CHILD… Bet all that are posting negative comments kids do not even go to this district, so why are you revelant at this point? Just sayin….

In your FACE(haters)

August 13th, 2011
9:44 am

Robert, why is that you think getting kocked up as you pt it is a welfare event. Last I checked, it is not a real welfare system anymore. If you think people are having babies to get a check now a days, maybe you do not know your history. The government is not giving out money like that anymore, and the money they are giving out is not enough to maintain on ones on, as there are no more projects. So quit being a jerk, living in the past and get on with life. Are you SCARRED??? As for parents being a role model, sure but it is not just a PARENTS job to educate these kids it takes a VILLAGE. See when you all started taking GOD and Prayer out of schools, the schools are forever struggling. First off, the old saying that it takes a village is oh so true, whereas you are saying pull up your pants. Why dont you mentor some of these WELFARE KIDS .. Ever thought about that?? REACH ONE TEACH ONE MY BROTHER OR SHUT IT UP…… Real talk, you may think all Blacks are looking for a handout, but BABY, IT IS JUST AS MANY TRAILER PARK WOMEN reaching out too, and if the economy stays as it is, you my friend may be on the reach out end of the line. Do not knock a hungry mouth until you walk in thier shoes and go hungry. For those that are receiving unneeded benefits, I look to the same GOD you took out of the schools ot handle that problem. This thang is bigger than man , so my friend you need to RECOGNIZE.

Ted Sheckler

August 13th, 2011
10:48 am

@ In Your Face (Haters), you are a prime example of the stupidity of Atlanta Public Schools. You are an embarrassment.

Don Abernethy

August 13th, 2011
12:14 pm

Rap is crap. Filthy messages that promote bad things. It is not suitable for school children. Just as the Bible says we have the blind leading the blind.

In your FACE(haters)

August 13th, 2011
1:49 pm

and that is JOY

Tye73

August 13th, 2011
2:03 pm

Some of you posters are sad and miserable. PRESIDENT OBAMA has nothing to do with this article but some of you idiots will use every chance you get to bash and talk trash about him. George Bush put us in this position but because he is a white man its fine. SMH at the nerve of some of you. Get over it we have a BLACK PRESIDENT NOW AND FOR THE NEXT 4 YEARS SO DEAL WITH IT OR MOVE OUT OF THE COUNTRY. Now as for the event that took place Way To Go Mayor Reed, Diamond And Everyone Else that attended. If you didn’t volunteer, attend, or help out then you have no say so or right to bash or complain about who did attend. Get up off your sorry butts and do something to help instead of complaining!!!!!!

BG

August 13th, 2011
2:30 pm

Where are all the white folks??

Boduk

August 13th, 2011
3:28 pm

Why do all the racist haters come out when something like this is reported? As a white man, I am glad to see Diamond and Tiffani are making the effort to make a positive impact on the youngsters. The kids relate to them.I commend Mayor Reed and Councilman Willis for the effort. Now, the racisim and the hate just needs to stop. Also, remember that Barack Obama is our President!

really, ATL? really?

August 13th, 2011
3:57 pm

It never ceases to amaze me how the most positive news story can be brought down with comments completely irrelevant to the story. I shudder remembering that I actually work with people of a similar mindset. You guys- black and white- knocking a positive event are probably the same people who put food wrappers in the salvation army buckets. Kudos to Allen, Steve and Tammy; some of the few voices of reason on the thread.

Bill

August 13th, 2011
4:15 pm

I leave atlanta next month .thank you jesus. now i know the meaning of dirty south!

bigeasy830

August 13th, 2011
5:17 pm

@Tye73, Rick Perry of Texas announced that he is running for president. Now the Republicans finally have a real candidate because they see that Obama is weak. Obama would have beat Mitch Romney but he won’t beat Perry. I am a black man that believes that the middle class have carried this country too long. I bought into the “Change” that Obama ran on like most others, but now most of us see that there was a change and it was for the worst. Obama is gone after the next election and thank God. I am voting for Rick Perry.

bigeasy830

August 13th, 2011
5:19 pm

Rappers and their music is not good a good example for our kids, leave race and color out of it and see it for what it is.

Tom

August 13th, 2011
7:19 pm

I think it’s rather sad how many people talk about Obama like he’s the anti-Christ. His approval rating is still at 43%, whereas Dubya scarcely cracked the 35% mark his entire last year in office and it got down as low as 20% at one point. Really? Have we forgotten that whole disaster of an administration already? P.S. I am a white moderate.

bigeasy830

August 14th, 2011
12:40 pm

@Tom, as you stated earlier, Bush rating was less than 35% his last year. No one have forgotten the failures of the Bush administration, but you cannot keep blaming Bush for Obama’s failures 3 yrs later. Obama have bailed out everyone but the middle class. He ran on a platform of change but it is business as usual in DC. Rick Perry for president in 2012, and I am black man. But back to the rappers for an APS event. Shame on everyone involved, asked most of the teachers and they will tell you that the HIP HOP mentality of the young people is the real problem with these kids. Kepp negative images and influences away from city and APS events. You can’t control what happens at home but , come on man. A rapper and rap music has no place at a school event.

Jennifer Brett

August 14th, 2011
8:06 pm

Alan and AtlantaFan,

Thanks for your nice comments. The kids did a super job and it was such a happy, positive event. They were so supportive of their classmates. Middle school years can be tough ones and it was nice to see the students so encouraging of each other.

Jennifer

M

August 17th, 2011
2:38 pm

Would you rather have Diamond speak to the kids or NeNe?

‘Nuff said.