African American, Humor, Satire

A Look Back at 2008

2008 will surely be remembered as one of the most historic years ever. But who could have known back on March 2 that the launch of
The Peoples News would cause such a stir?

TPN started as an experiment—to see how many people would end up reading a story if we sent it to the four friends who mass email just about everything that reaches their inboxes. Nine months later, nearly 200,000 people have read that story—Federal Judge: Enough With the Stupid Names–and our website has won two awards.

We plan to keep our momentum going in 2009 with a new look and new features.

For now, though, we’re going to take a look back at the historic year—and how we made fun of it.


The Peoples News staff: Bill Matthews, Shawna Collier, Xavier Muhammad and Craig Bates

Topics we could write about–and you, apparently, can read about–again and again

Two things we might never write about again

  • The NAACP (released in May, this story hasn’t received a single comment; be the first!)
  • HBCUs (this article got the least love of our original 10 stories)

Proof we had no trouble finding humor about Barack Obama (and we promise to keep it up in ’09!)

Sad ‘fact’

Organizations we made up

  • National Belt Association of America
  • National Association of Elementary School Teachers
  • Niggaz For Niggaz
  • Ghetto Passes R Us
  • The Carlton Banks Society

Most popular story about a Musical Artist

Five things we learned

  1. Blacks are fat because there’s a government plot to eat them
  2. Black teens wear sagging pants because there’s a white conspiracy to keep belts out of urban neighborhoods
  3. “R” is not pronounced “R-Uh”
  4. White Christmas is a song of black protest
  5. Ghetto Passes are real–and expensive

Four most common responses to the ‘Stupid Names’ story

  1. Finally, someone has taken a stand against these names
  2. The judge can’t tell a mother what she can name her children
  3. The writer of the piece (Bill) should be fired
  4. Didn’t people read the last line that said it was satire?*

* Note: The story was released March 2; the tagline explaining it was satire wasn’t added until around March 19, so cut those early posters some slack!

Three reasons we never imagined anyone would think the ‘Stupid Names’ story was real

  1. The pictured girl’s name is Clitoria
  2. The name of the girl who is suing is spelled with hieroglyphics
  3. The judge ruled that three white people had to approve the names given by black mothers

Four movies and TV shows we pretended were real

Funny headlines we couldn’t find funny stories for (feel free to write your own; maybe we’ll run it!)

  • Bible Actually Tells Story of Adam and Steve
  • Crips, Bloods, Agree Snitching Is OK

Headlines Shawna wanted no part of

Readers we hear from the most

  • Lz4Broc, who informed us that an organization claims Asians taste better than blacks
  • Keep It Trill, who fell in love with the Evil Eye Baby
  • nolanimrod, who compared our writing to Carl Sandburg
  • couch_potato, who took issue with John McCain wooing black voters with 40 acres and mule
  • roy_renee, who noted that H.Clinton and S.Palin share three letters in their last names

Reader we heard from the most, for one day

  • Kyndal, who submitted eight comments on Nov. 7

Excerpts from our favorite posts

  • “Help!!! I can’t get offline. I’ve been fixinta go to bed since 9p.m. last night.. it’s now 9:38 a.m. I can’t stop reading this stuff. I’m sure my grandkids are wondering why is granny in her room laughing so hard.”—from DeniseDW (TPN says: Keep reading, DDW!)
  • “i have a 5 year old daughter named dejanae it is french for lunch only i spelt it differently. it has no bearing on her background i just liked it and went with it how dare he tell anyone what they can and cant name their child.”—from Helen Oakley (TPN says: Yep, she named the child ‘lunch’)
  • “Charles ‘C Dog’ Turner has no reason to think God for his foul mouth ramblings! It is appalling to watch this unhealthy specimen of a young man walk up to the microphone”–from Janice (TPN says: Did she actually see him up there?)
  • “This is an insult. Why do people have to take a great, holsum, educational program and make it something sordid and tasteless.”–from Jay-face #1 (TPN says: Yes, J-F did use ‘holsum’ and ‘educational’ in the same sentence)
  • “I have an unusual name and in that I am 77 years of age it is very offensive to me when I am asked by cacausians if I have one of those “new names.” I am very proud of my name for it came from one of my West Indian relatives.”–from Etheldra (TPN says: Our very first comment!)

Two reasons religion is funny


Select your favorite TPN story from among the headlines in the poll below. If your favorite isn’t among those listed, select ‘Other’ and enter the headline of the story you liked best in the grey box.

Have a Happy New Year–and keep reading!

© 2008 The Peoples News
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3 thoughts on “A Look Back at 2008

  1. “Intervention Held For Detroit Mayor” was my favorite TPN story probably because, living in Detroit, I was your only reader who could relate to it. I look forward to reading more of TPN next year and hope your reader-base expands. Keep up the excellent work!

    Posted by Leroy | December 29, 2008, 1:27 pm
  2. This attorney is very much looking forward to the future rulings of Judge Cabrera. And even more so the two sisters’ potential run-ins with His Honor (their names elude me, but their adventures really had me laughing). Good stuff.

    Posted by Winston | January 4, 2009, 3:28 am
  3. Just wondering if you might be considering a few articles on the Blago/Chicago/ Burris controversy? There is a big audience out here wondering if the People’s News can give a key insight on Harry Reid….

    Posted by Kelli | January 5, 2009, 11:40 pm

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