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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Black people in the global future must protect their assets

 President Obama was only able to pay off his Columbia University and Harvard Law School
student loans after publishing two autobiographies.
(Pete Souza, official White House photographer photo)
"...the greatest contributor to family instability among blacks has been the death of the male spouse rather than divorce or desertion..."
---Charles Vert Willie
 
Black people need to face the future with pessimism AND optimism. Assets that must be protected are Black men, and cycle of social injustice must be broken.


Just because Barack and Michelle are living in the White House and Oprah is one of the richest women on the planet doesn't mean all African Americans are in a good place. The number one problem is being able to hold a job and remain alive. Next is inability to amass assets and ability to pay for food, shelter, transportation, and a competitive education without going into debt.

Thirty years a slave is tied to "owning your own home" which is usually mortgaged from banks at rising interest, insurance, and tax rates. If you truly own your own home, no matter how humble, it means not having major debt associated with a roof over our head.

According to some researchers and educators, there are several major issues impeding Black progress, and they all revolve around unemployment, incarceration, education, psychological health, housing, time spent on entertainment and sex, church affiliation, and respect.

Listening to a 1968 MLK, Blacks still need to fight for poor people's rights and declare a war on poverty. Census statistics state that 27 percent of African Americans are poor. In 2010, 12.4 percent of White children were poor compared to 38.2 percent of Black children. Poor people fall victim to payday loan and other personal financial scams that can charge as much as 300 percent interest rates.

Being financially ignorant and desperate can put you in a bad state for life.

According to Dorothy Brown, a professor of tax law at Emory University Law School, the racial wealth gap has hit an all-time high.  "The median net worth of white households is now 20 times that of black households," said Brown in 2012. That is a problem in a capitalist country.

How do we keep from getting further and further behind? How do we survive?

"Any fool can make a fortune; it takes a man of brains to hold onto it."
---Commodore Vanderbilt

Only buy what you really need. Stop trying to "live like the Vanderbilts" when you don't have a guaranteed income. If you can, help those who need it most, and stop giving to non-profits when you can't even save 10% of your own wealth for emergencies.
 
Know what you're up against and work to overcome all barriers that could lead to early morbidity in this world and an uncertain immortality in the next.

Read the following and make plans to combat statistics.
http://www.blackstarproject.org/home/images/facts/deepeningplightblackmeninamerica.pdf

Friday, February 27, 2015

Calvon Andreleus Reid dead at 39 near Margate, Fla.

Do not use without permission.
Reid was an articulate man from a religious family. (Photo of Reid speaking at his grandmother's 85th birthday celebration, Shady Grove Baptist Church, Pelzer, S. C.)
Another young Black man is dead, and it has hit too close to home - my own extended family.

Calvon Andreleus Reid was allegedly being pursued by police who claim they couldn't subdue him because of his size. Police first told the family that Reid was running away when he ran into a car, hit his head, and went into a coma. Reid was transported to Northwest Medical Center in Margate, Fla. where he died. He lived near Miami.

Reid was in the hospital for two days before his parents were notified. Mamie Reid, the man's mother, told family members, "When I saw my son lying there, I said I was glad that God had taken him out of this world. After I accepted the fact that he was gone, then I got angry." Reid is survived by two young sons, one who is 11 years old.

Additional information just released said Reid was tased three times by four policemen before his death. -  http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-creek-police-tasering-20150227-story.html
and
http://www.local10.com/news/coconut-creek-inmate-dies-in-police-custody/31526866
and
http://miami.cbslocal.com/2015/02/27/man-dies-while-in-custody-in-coconut-creek/

This may be another case of police brutality or excessive force being used in Florida, but questions surrounding the circumstances remain unanswered. The family is waiting for the police report to provide further details. A cursory search for arrest records for Reid were not found online.

After an autopsy, the body will be flown to Greenville, S.C. for services on Monday. This story is still developing.

Reid's obituary is now posted at http://www.obitsforlife.com/obituary/1059852/Reid-Calvon.php
Funeral Services will be held on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 12 p.m. at Shady Grove Baptist Church,
140 Shady Grove Road, Pelzer, S.C.

Watkins and Garrett Funeral Home is in charge of the service - 1011 Augusta Street, Greenville, S.C.  (864-242-1144)

If you are confronted with a similar situation, the family should not go to the police asking for answers because the situation could turn volatile. Always take representatives of the NAACP, the SCLC, the NAN, or a group of knowledgeable and calm church members to request a report as soon as possible.

According to KILLED BY POLICE -
At least 175 people have been killed by U.S. police since January 1, 2015.
At least 1,101 were killed in 2014.
At least 2,040 have been killed since May 1, 2013.
http://killedbypolice.net/
Another Black man was tasered to death in Atlanta in 2004. Read the story at: http://www.wingcomltd.com/Articles/taser.htm

Black theologians publish bible for Catholic youth

Many bibles, like the Original African Heritage Edition,
are written from a Black perspective.
The African American Catholic Youth Bible®, the first Catholic bible especially designed for African American youth ages 14 to 22, has been published by Saint Mary's Press in collaboration with The National Black Catholic Congress, Inc.

According to Amazon.com, the bible uses "inspirational black art and commentaries on biblical events and personalities from an African American perspective. It chronicles major events in African American Catholic history and includes moving stories of African American holy men and women."

The editors are James Chukwuma Okoye and Ansel J. Augustine. Okoye is a Catholic priest and director of the Center for Spiritan Studies at Duquesne University in Pittsburg, Pa. Okoye holds a Masters Degree and Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University.

Augustine earned a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University of New Orleans and is certified in Black Catholic Studies.

It is estimated that there are three million Black Catholics living in the U.S. On July 24, 1990, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus of the United States designated November as Black Catholic History Month to celebrate the history and heritage of Black Catholics. 

Do not use without permission.
Most Reverend Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory
leads Catholics in Atlanta.  (Photo by Tomi Johnson)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Who is the greatest Black person?

MLK is perhaps the world's most famous person of color.
He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn.
"I believe... that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their tired bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits." --- The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When determining who is the greatest Black person, you probably make a choice based on what you were taught in school.  Many Americans deem Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as making the most valuable contribution to the world.

"He was scorned, spat upon, and slain. If America could not accept Dr. King, then many felt that no black person in America was safe."---Charles Vert Willie, fellow Morehouse classmate

Many other Blacks have been named for being first, best, fearless, innovative, and courageous.

U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama (1961 - ) is the first commander-in-chief who happens to be Black.

First Lady Michelle Robinson Obama (1964 -) is the first Black woman married to a U.S. president to live in the White House.


Aliko Dangote (April 1957 - ) is a Nigerian commodities dealer who Forbes Magazine declares is the richest Black man in the world, with net worth of $25 billion.

South Africa, the Good News photo

Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013) was a South African lawyer who was jailed for decades and later became president of South Africa.


Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005) planned to sit in her seat on an Alabama bus as a means of protest and started a boycott that would change the segregated U.S. South.

George Washington Carver (1864 - 1943), a scientist noteworthy for taking the peanut and making several foods stuffs, was the only Black person I was taught about in middle school.  My ninth grade History teacher took me outside the classroom and said to me only, "Carver was a credit to his race."


Toussaint L'Ouverture (1743 – 1803), a Haitian military genius, was instrumental in leading a revolt that challenged slavery in the New World.

Alexander Puskin (1799 – 1837) , poet, is known for revolutionizing Russian literature and was the only Black Russian mentioned at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Catholic Online photo
Saint Moses the Black (330–405) was an Egyptian monk who was martyred after refusing to resist invaders.

Please add to this list.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Black Gold: did Blacks prosper in the Great Rush?

Yale Collection of Western Americana, circa 1850
Although Blacks were emancipated in 1863 and had little assets, a few did capitalize on seeking fortunes in the West in the Great Gold Rush. Those families who benefited and amassed land to pass down to their heirs may still be living off GOLD today.

Do you have any original information or photos that can document this? Please provide.

Here is some information:
http://www.nhusd.k12.ca.us/Pioneer/pages/classrooms/FourthGrade/4thGradeGold/pages/AfricanAmericans.html

Also, read about this topic at: http://www.amazon.com/Search-Racial-Frontier-Americans-1528-1990/dp/0393318893/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424804551&sr=1-1&keywords=in+search+of+the+racial+frontier#reader_0393318893

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Recommended reading

While the weather is bad, snuggle up with a good book, a hardback or online.

Economist Glenn R. Loury's book "Race,  Incarceration, and American Values" is a must read.
http://www.amazon.com/Incarceration-American-Values-Boston-Review/dp/0262123118g

Devon E. Hinton and Alexander L. Hinton are editors of  "Genocide and Mass Violence: Memory, Symptom, and Recovery" which has been recommended by psychiatrist organizations. 
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1107694698/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

Also, if it's good enough for Harvard, it's good enough for me!  Check out this reading list:
http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~sica/reading.htm

 

Monday, February 23, 2015

What would Jesus do?


Who is your neighbor?

Looking at the parable of the Good Samaritan, "The one who showed mercy toward him," or the one  who helps someone in need, is the neighbor Jesus was describing.
 

"Glory" Best Song at Academy Awards; no Black actors/directors win

Hattie McDaniel was first Black to receive an Oscar in 1941.
She played Mammy in "Gone with the Wind" movie.
Although no Black directors or actors received an Oscar last night, John Legend's lyrics and Common's rap won accolades for "Best Song."

"One day, when the glory comes, it will be ours, it will be ours" is akin to "We shall overcome someday" which leads us to believe that true freedom is for the future, not now.

On the QUARTZ website, the 2015 Academy Awards were deemed "The Monochrome Awards" when "only white actors get to be ordinary."

"Of course Hollywood has a race problem," writes Morgan Jenkins. "This disadvantage is manifested in a number of ways, but the question of what black actors and directors are 'allowed' to create is directly related to Hollywood’s fraught relationship with minorities."

Photo credit: David Levy, 2008 (Focus Features)
A Mexican director known as El Negro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, won three awards last night for his film, "Birdman." Born in Mexico City, El Negro has traveled and worked extensively in Europe and Africa.

Before presenting him the Oscar for "Best Picture", Sean Penn exclaimed, “Who gave this son of a bitch his green card?” which was viewed by some as racist but by others as a slap at U.S. immigration policies.


Isaacs (Photo credit: Mingle Media TV)
Let's not forget, however, that Cheryl Boone Isaacs, an African American female, was elected the Academy’s first African-American president in 2013, and she remains in that position today.

Isaacs is a marketing and political science professional.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Do White, conservative, U.S. politicians love America more than Obama?

White House photo of Barack Obama working for America
As the rhetoric heats up over whether President Obama loves America, I would argue whether White citizens love people of color, the majority of Americans living in poverty, more than our President does.

Only Obama knows in his heart who he loves, and he probably would be lauded as a supreme being if he loved all 954 million people living in America; but one should ponder what he has done to help the most deserving, the folks that need love the most, as opposed to how his actions have helped the rich.

Perhaps that is the true worth of loving America - upholding the financial health of a hemispheric space where 1% complain about trifles given to those they deem undeserving.

Instead of Obama presenting the American people with a bouquet of red roses (promises) which die in about four days, here are some real bits of love he has given his people.

http://pleasecutthecrap.com/obama-accomplishments/

When you "love" someone, you have a strong affection, warm attachment, and compassion for them. Love is unconditional devotion to another.  Love is strong, kind, and sometimes sacrificial. Love is blind - color blind, sexual orientation blind, age blind, and disability blind.  Someone who loves another doesn't just say, "I love you," but constantly puts love into action, helping to better people's opportunities for higher wages, better health and housing, equal pay, and ability to live anywhere in America one pleases, especially American immigrants.

"Love means never having to say you're sorry" to children who are mis-educated, poorly fed, and hopeless.

America is a place and a people.
America encompasses 16 million miles of diverse landscapes encompassing 35 countries, with Mexico City, Mexico, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and New York City, New York being home to millions of Americans.

Instead of bashing Obama, his critics should focus on promoting guaranteed employment and living wages, economic mobility, and community solutions to end poverty.

What has Obama done for America lately?

Better yet, what are White conservatives doing? Who LOVES AMERICA most?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

1965 Alabama Literacy Test... can you pass it?

Editorial cartoon from the January 18, 1879, issue of Harper's Weekly
There were 68 questions on the 1965 Alabama Literacy Test. This was a test used to deny people the right to vote. Blacks had to take it in Alabama, but did Whites?

Take the entire test here:
http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/news/jimcrow/origins/images/al_literacy.pdf

Friday, February 20, 2015

MLK's 1965 UCLA speech: then and now


Dr. Murphy, KU Memorial Union photo
Dr. Frank Murphy, chancellor of UCLA in 1965, said hosting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his colleagues during the university's Speech Series was an extraordinary experience when for him, legend became reality. He described King as one who provided solutions to problems with absolute integrity of thought, action, position, and reason.

The question King addressed in his speech was, "Are we making any progress in race relations?" and the subject of the speech was "The Future of Integration."

"Truth is the relatedness of facts. It's a fact that we've come a long, long, way, but it isn't the whole truth," King said. We can't become dangerously optimistic but should move forward to right any wrong facing us, he suggested. King warned us not to become "victims of illusion wrapped in superficiality."

In 1965 as in today, the country was still facing brutal murders without consequences or convictions. Property was being destroyed by arson and bombing. Tragic lawlessness and a reign of terror were activities frequently reported. Voting irregularities, apathy, questions regarding the accuracy of counting systems, and ballot tallying are still suspect.

"All kinds of conniving methods are still being used," in the voting process, King said. He urged "...all men of goodwill should become involved participants rather than detached spectators."

Take a few minutes and listen to MLK's speech and contrast and compare the statistics from 1965, a half decade ago, to the plight of African Americans (Negroes) today.

A MUST listen for those interested in civil rights.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny6qP0rb_Ag

Making travel plans? Read this first!

Dr. and Mrs. Michael Wilson said they had no racial troubles while traveling in
Germany and Austria in 2012.
If you are Black and about to travel abroad, you should do your research and talk with your travel agent and other travelers before going on a trip to Germany, Russia, Greece, Spain, Italy, Thailand, China, or South Korea.

Check this out: http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/01/08/8-worst-countries-black-people-travel/

Global racism is still a system of injustice.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Malcolm X Messages: five decades later

Cover graphic from 1995 Emerge magazine
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, better known as Malcolm X, was assassinated February 21, 1965. Listen  to Malcolm's messages today and apply what he said NOW!

1. Demand that the Attorney General protect human rights of ALL citizens. If he/she does not, voice concerns before a United Nations tribunal.

2. Read slave accounts and delineate the "house" negro from the "field" negro and the master from the manager in your daily life.

3. Practice Brotherhood/Sisterhood.

4. Ask for God's blessings, grow spiritually, have a global world view.

5. Don't fear cowards, but arm yourself.

6. Don't put your faith in the federal government to identify terrorists. Make it a part of your agenda to identify those bent on harming you.

7. Start businesses by pooling wealth and intellect like European, Asian, and Hispanic immigrants.

8. Concentrate on reaching and cultivating the common man, the man in the street.

9. Bring about the freedom of Black people By Any Means Necessary.

10. Visit museums to learn about your true history.

FYI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXlWLyU--MA
 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Are HBCUs losing their historical mandates?


Graduation Day at Alabama A&M College, 1955 yearbook

What qualifies an institution of higher learning as an HBCU, its history or its mandate?
 
Historically, Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education established after the civil war by those who wished to keep the races separated. Before the 1960s, their main mission was to serve the Black community, and both students, teachers, and administrators were predominately Black. Although all races were admitted and could teach at HBCUs, in recent years many have lost their Black majorities.
 
It's a misnomer to represent state-operated Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as "Black" just because campus administration, faculty, and students are predominately African American. Taking a closer look, you'll admit that these institutions are managed by governments and predominately "White" lawmakers, namely "White" governors, legislators and board members.
 
HBCUs, however, have a rich history regarding education and employment for Blacks in the United States.
 
Research suggests HBCUs "should be seen as possible models (rather than flashpoints) for producing student success because they consistently produce higher student engagement and outcomes than their Predominately White Institution (PWI) counterparts, particularly for African American students." http://cpr.iub.edu/uploads/AERA13%20-%20Paper%20-%20HBCU%20PWI%20SeniorLeaders%20-%20FINAL.pdf

"HBCUs educate 300,000 students and employ over 14,000 faculty members.  Some black colleges are thriving, others are barely making ends meet, and many fall in between. Regardless, most of them are providing a much needed education to African American students (and many others)."
---American Association of University Professors
 
Two HBCUs I would like to highlight are Bluefield State College and Alabama A&M University. My mother matriculated at "Black" Bluefield State in West Virginia which is now considered a "White" university. She later worked at a "Black" college in Normal, Ala. where she met my father.


Commerce Dept., Bluefield State, 1949 yearbook
At Bluefield State, my mother majored in Business, and back then, pre-computer and printer age, exemplary typewriter skills meant typing correspondence and reports without errors. She went on to become secretary to a college president and later operated a floral business. She joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. at Bluefield and was hired by A&M without an interview at the recommendation of her college professor .
 
 
Bluefield State Pres. Dickason, 1949
Bluefield State College, formerly Bluefield Colored Institute, was "created to educate children of black coal miners in segregated West Virginia in 1895. Although it still receives the federal funding that comes with its designation as a historically black institution, today Bluefield State College is 90 percent white." The school is "The Whitest Historically Black College In America"---NPR
 
"Educational objectives create desires for excellence for ethical standards and a determination to find a way," said Bluefield State's president, Henry Dickason, who served from 1936-1952.
 
Another HBCU for which I have an affinity is A&M located right outside Huntsville, Ala. I  grew up on that college campus and attended the college nursery school at age two. Founded in 1875 as a land grant college, Alabama A&M University's student population is 92% Black. According to the school's website, A&M is the only 1890 land grant university offering four Ph.D. degree programs, and it is home to one of the largest graduate schools among HBCUs (1000 + students).

The Alma Mater song was written by the school's late president, J. F. Drake:

"Long may you live to bless the world
For right and justice take a stand
As from your rocky heights you view
Your children's work throughout the land." 

Morris Hall dormitory, named after my father who graduated and taught at A&M
According to the Detroit News, "Enrollment at HBCUs rose 4.5 percent between 2002 and 2012. http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/02/12/historically-black-colleges-enrollment/23335687/

NOTE:
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Blacks represented only 6 percent of full-time instructional faculty on university campuses in 2011. Among full-time professors, 4 percent were Black.
 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Michelle Obama, presidential wife, says race affects participation in society

Do not use without permission.
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is a statuesque lawyer who went to Princeton before going to Harvard and before marrying President Barack Obama. Thirty years ago, she felt race mattered in social relationships with Whites, and perhaps now she feels she is Black first and a First Lady second.

In her copyrighted 1985 thesis for her B.A. degree in Sociology, "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community," Obama wrote about her social relationship to Whites on campus.

"Regardless of the circumstances underwhich I interact with Whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be Black first and a student second.

"These experiences have made it apparent to me that the path I have chosen to follow by attending Princeton will likely lead to my further integration and/or assimilation into a White cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant."
http://www.politico.com/pdf/080222_MOPrincetonThesis_1-251.pdf

People's perceptions can change over time due to their circumstances. I would like to ask her how she feels now.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Studying Black Religion group to meet soon

Scene from Men's Day Celebration at New Hope AME Church in Atlanta, Ga.
The Society for the Study of Black Religion held its 44th Annual Meeting at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center in Michigan, April 3-5, 2014, and we are trying to get information on this year's meeting.
 
CoolHappySteve 2009
Dr. James Cone is an ordained AME minister.
The organization's mission is to engage in scholarly research and discussion about the religious experiences of Blacks. Interest in this topic began in earnest in the 1960s after the publication of James Hal Cone's "Black Theology and Black Power." Cone is the founder of Black Liberation Theology. Cone also inspired the controversial Reverend Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of President Barack Obama. 

According to Wikipedia, Black theologians emphasize the liberation of the marginalized, especially injustices committed against blacks on a global scale. Black theology mixes Christianity, civil rights, and Black Power movements.
 
The study of Black religion also accelerated with the writings of J. Deotis Roberts, Cecil Cone, Major J. Jones, and William R. Jones.
 
For more information, go to: http://www.ssbr.net/history.html
 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

What I love about my people

All rights reserved. Do not use without permission.

While we face many challenges, there are several things I love about my people.

Our resilience amidst adversity

Our swagger

All rights reserved. Do not use without permission.

Our love for the Creator, our elders, our families, and ourselves


Our ability to learn, excel, and empathize with those less fortunate

Our striving to be the best

Our beauty

All rights reserved. Do not use without permission.

Our athleticism, business acumen, and dreams for the future

 All rights reserved. Do not use without permission.

Our youth being our Number One priority

Our history... How we have made it despite all obstacles


Our ability to laugh through tough times, to have a sense of humor

All these things and more make me optimistic about the future.

We will survive.

Black agenda: Operation Survival

All rights reserved. Do not use without permission
There are lots of issues facing Blacks on a global level but especially in the United States which was built on a slave economy.
What African Americans face today:

Denial that a State of Emergency exists in regards to survival

Poor problem solving skills

No 10 year, 20 year, 50 year, 100 year plan

Economic exploitation

Access to affordable dental care

Insufficient grassroots leadership

Excessive race-consciousness/Victimolgy

Radical relativism

Poor business development skills

Lack of African Americans in key decision-making roles

Too much time spent watching TV and playing video games - escape from reality

No power in their own communities

Jealous of others, fear of helping each other

Little knowledge of Law or Medicine

Racism/white supremacy

Income inequality/poverty

Lack of opportunity and safety

Black anti-intellectualism

Unemployment/underemployment

Fragile state of young men

Transportation needs

Negative media stereotypes

Quality education and job training

Family breakdown

Rising suicide/murder rates, crime/incarceration rates

Reduced respect for human life

Stress, poor mental health

View of problems as THEIR problem, separate from rest of nation

Need reparations

Prepare yourself for marriage!

All rights reserved. Do not use without permission.
 
Factoid:  88% of African American teens view marriage as important, however, only 72% feel well prepared for marriage.
---National Healthy Marriage Resource Center

Friday, February 13, 2015

Freedom of speech and unemployment: lesson in social media challenges

President F. Roosevelt was a free speech proponent who would not have let what a man said keep him from a job.
"A comment on a Facebook post is what led to a six-month suspension -- and a decidedly uncertain future -- for the single most recognizable (and one of the best-paid) journalists (Brian Williams) in the country." Clint Cillizza, Washington Post

What does it take to get a job these days? What do you have to do in order to feed yourself and your family? You've got to be competitive and have skills, experience, education/training, connections, say the right things, be at the right place at the right time, and look good, true?

But is it right to deny people the opportunity to get a job because of note passing, i.e. using social media in a technological age to communicate feelings and personal information? A disturbing report last week of an Irish girl not being hired because of a TWEET proves that you have to limit what you say which mocks freedom of speech, one ideal on which this country was founded. Even though I'm a journalist/photojournalist/blogger, some people have told me to stop blogging because it may hurt my employment chances. Should I not speak truth as I see it?

Franklin Roosevelt, who served 12 years in the White House, wrote his "Four Freedoms Speech" to promote freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear that the American people should be able to depend. Freedom of speech was recently defended in France under the guise of the Je Suis Charlie movement. I defend freedom of speech and think everyone should be able to voice their opinions.

And what about speaking your mind if you're black? Could it have a bearing on employment? Is what you say affecting the black unemployment numbers? How can discrimination cases be waged as violations of freedom of speech and employment defenses harbored on freedom from want?

In September 2014, the Washington Post reported that, "The unemployment rate for blacks (11.4 percent) was more than twice that for whites (5.3 percent). We call this stubborn for one simple reason: In the 42-year period during which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has separated out unemployment data into different races, black unemployment has always been higher than white unemployment. In fact, it has always been at least two-thirds higher.

"Since January 1972, the black unemployment rate has been 115 percent more than the white unemployment rate -- as it was in August -- in 279 of 512 months. That's more than half the time," the Post reported.

If you can't communicate, you are not free. If you can't work, you can't eat. If you can't eat, you starve. Allowing a major portion of your citizens to starve is genocide!

Wake up.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

NAACP celebrates 106th birthday

 
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded on this date in 1909.

Its purpose: to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.

"Exactly 106 years ago, a courageous group of multiracial activists came together for a very special purpose: to eliminate social, educational, political, and economic inequality in America," wrote Cornell William Brooks, NAACP president and CEO.

"Then and now, progress comes when we join together to fight. Whether we're marching hand in hand, debating face to face, or calling millions to action online, the power of this movement lies within you, and every fellow American who fights for justice and equality, however they can."

The organization's headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland, it has approximately 300,000 members and a budget $27.6 million.

Neely Fuller, Jr. and Francis Welsing say blacks can survive

 
All rights reserved. Do not copy without permission.
The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept is a textbook for ending racism and saving black people.
Do you think racism can be eliminated? A former military man turned writer, Neely Fuller, Jr., and a clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Francis Cress Welsing, say YES if the following steps are taken.
 
1. Understand the true meaning of racism as a global system of white supremacy which must be replaced with justice.
 
2. People of color should do the following:
  • Don't hate white people.
  • Stop loving white image of God.
  • Stop wishing whites will love and accept you.
  • Love yourself.
  • Stop gossiping, back-biting, throwing trash, ruining neighborhoods, stealing, killing, selling drugs, and cursing.
  • Stop disrespecting self and others, especially women.
  • Educate self and children.
  • Stop having unwanted children.
  • Discourage teen pregnancy and single parenting.
  • Pray to the Creator of the Universe for guidance.
  • Listen and revere elders.
  • Stay away from arguments, and meet socially only to discuss ending racism.
Both Fuller and Welsing's books are available, and videos are posted on YouTube.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mohammed Ali's aversion to Cassius Clay and interracial relationships

Ali in poster, photo taken in New York
During Black History Month, we are examining issues from the past that blur our thinking today.  One item that is a sore spot is sexual relationships between the races.

Since we are all humans with free will, views about interracial dating and marriage are personal choices. One can't choose or legislate who someone else loves.

Heavyweight Champion Mohammed Ali described one reason he changed his name in a 1975 Playboy interview:

"If I was Cassius Clay today...I'd probably have a white wife and I wouldn't represent black people in no way...It's not only him, but...others who just don't get involved in struggle or race issues - it might jeopardize their position. I'd be that kind of man...

"Black men with white women just don't feel right...you see 'em walking on the street and they're ashamed- they be duckin' and they be cold. They're not proud. Once you get a knowledge of yourself, you see how stupid that is."

Is this racism or just a choice?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Many African slaves Muslims before coming to America

Omar ibn Said was captured in Senegal and brought to North Carolina when he was 37 years old.
It has been suggested that at least 10% of slaves captured in West Africa and brought to America by Christians and Jews were fluent in Arabic and read the Koran.

Here is one account from The Autobiography of Omar ibn Said, and enslaved Muslim living in the U.S. in 1831.

"Wicked men took me by violence and sold me to the Christians. We sailed a month and a half on the great sea to the place called Charleston in the Christian land. I fell into the hands of a small, weak and wicked man, who feared not God at all, nor did he read (the gospel) at all nor pray. I was afraid to remain with a man so depraved and who committed so many crimes and I ran away."
 

Art Smith necklace $15k on Antiques Roadshow


Woman wears sterling silver necklace made by black jeweler, Art Smith.
(Image from GPTV show)
Art Smith was a jeweler living and working in Greenwich Village, New York in the 1950s. He showed his artistic talent early in life, winning Honorable Mention in an 8th grade poster contest sponsored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He went to school to become an architect, but when his math skills appeared deficient, he became a commercial artist, later taking jewelry making classes. Smith was mentored by Winifred Mason.

To learn more about Smith's accomplishments, go to: http://artsmithjewelry.com/as20.html

Art Smith in Brooklyn Museum's FROM THE VILLAGE TO VOGUE: THE MODERNIST JEWELRY OF ART SMITH show catalogue
 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Is Black on Black love old-fashioned?

Aunt Betty and Uncle Russell marriage in West Virginia
Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in Alabama, a state known for segregation AND miscegenation, it never crossed my mind that blacks and whites could "love" each other, much less marry each other.

But going to a blues dive last Saturday night, I saw more interracial couples than ever and wondered if my being married to a black man for 34 years is old-fashioned.

"People hook up for all kinds of reasons, but sometimes love is not the main one," a white marriage counselor I interviewed once told me. "The only problem interracial couples face is the societal impact on the children from such relationships and their confusion with identity," so this divorced woman said...

My grandparents were married over 60 years.
Marriage in my community, a modest subdivision of black professionals, seldom saw divorce (only one couple) and no interracial marriages that I knew. The former condition was outlawed by the church, and the latter was outlawed by the government.  Sociologically and politically, love relationships involving interracial partners seemed to mean one didn't love himself/herself or the other partner was just trying to buck the system. At any rate, interracial relationships were frowned upon.

History and Literature are replete with negative tales of black/white relationships. Hagar caught all kinds of hell and was exiled after having a son with Abraham. Shakespeare wrote about the tragedy of interracial love in Othello, which proved that it was taboo, right? Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist, married his white secretary after his black wife died. Jack Johnson's corralling with white women landed him in jail. Kofi Annan and Clarence Thomas both married white women which raised eyebrows.


All rights reserved. Do not use without permission.
Black on Black love outweighs Black on Black crime, but they are not reported equally.
Black love is seen through a positive lens. MLK and Coretta were happy even though he allegedly slept with other women. Mandela always had black wives. Obama lives with Michele in a White House. One wonders whether these couples would have been as successful if their relationships were cross racial.

What do you think?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Religion's color line apparent on Sunday morning

All rights reserved. Do not use without permission.
Most "black" churches celebrate Black History Month.
(New Hope A.M.E. Church in Buckhead, Ga.)
Religion is an institution and one area of human activity that has a color line. Sunday at high noon is still the most segregated time in America. Why are Christian places of worship still examples of racial separatism in the United States, and is this a bad thing?

According to a CNN report, "Only about 5 percent of the nation's churches are racially integrated."

Perhaps no preacher or deacon would tell someone of a different race not to attend services, but when you look into the pulpit and pews on Sunday morning, everyone looks the same in most churches. That's just not the Christian way or the way Jesus would want it, some might say, but there continues to be a glaring revelation that God's people separate themselves by race.

I attend two churches: one Greek Orthodox where my husband is the only "black" member, and my sister's A.M.E. church which is all black. The music is different, the prayers are different, the order of service is different, but the message appears the same: "We should love our neighbors as ourselves."

But we're still divided by race. Is it culture or racism?

I tend to believe that some members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church feel that if Whites are allowed to become members, they will try to take over. It also appears that the only "true" members of the Greek Orthodox church are those whose ancestors were originally from Greece. They do revere Saint Moses the Black, though...

Should we care about this separation or just leave Christians alone?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

African proverbs


All rights reserved. Do not use without permission.
 
"Try this bracelet: if it fits, you wear it; but if it hurts, throw it away, no matter how shiny." ---Kenya

"Knowledge is better than riches."  --- Cameroon

"The rat cannot call the cat to account." ---Niger

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Why are U.S. Census stats on black population important?

Statistics on Blacks in America important data for planning for future.
(Robert McCoy's family attending football game in Atlanta, Ga.)

A person's perspectives on the world, his friends, her group of childhood peers, his networks and job opportunities, her wealth or lack of wealth, his quality of education -- all of these are determined to a great extent by where he or she lives. 
 ---THOMAS J. SUGRUE
 
 
How do data from the question on race benefit me, my family, and my community?
 
According to the government, data on the U.S. Black population contributes to our understanding of the nation’s changing racial and ethnic diversity. Data on race have been collected since the first U.S. decennial census in 1790.
 
All levels of government need information on race to implement and evaluate programs, or enforce laws, such as the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Fair Housing Act, Equal Employment Opportunity Act, and the 2010 Census Redistricting Data Program.

Both public and private organizations use race information to find areas where groups may need special services and to plan and implement education, housing, health, and other programs that address these needs. For example, a school system might use this information to design cultural activities that reflect the diversity in their community, or a business could use it to select the mix of merchandise it will sell in a new store.
 
Census information also helps identify areas where residents might need services of particular importance to certain racial groups, such as screening for hypertension or diabetes.
 
2010 Census findings... 
"Black or African American" refers to a person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. 
 
The 2010 Census showed that the United States population on April 1, 2010, was 308.7 million. Out of the total population, 38.9 million people, or 13 percent, identified as Black alone. In addition, 3.1 million people, or 1 percent, reported Black in combination with one or more other races. Together, these two groups totaled 42.0 million people.
 
While both the Black alone population and the Black alone-or-in-combination population grew from 2000 to 2010, the Black in combination population experienced the most growth, increasing by 76 percent. Within this population, the Black and White population more than doubled.
 
The Black population continued to be concentrated in the South and the proportion increased from 2000 to 2010.
 
 
  • Nearly 60 percent of all people who reported Black lived in ten states.
  • The Black population increased at a faster rate than the total population.
  • Blacks who reported more than one race grew at a much faster rate than the Black alone population.
  • The largest multiple-race combination was Black and White.
  • The South was the region where Blacks comprised the greatest proportion of the total population.
  • The Black population grew in every state between 2000 and 2010, but declined in D.C.
  • The Black population represented over 50 percent of the total population in the District of Columbia and over 25 percent of the total population in six states, all located in the South. 
 
Ten states with the largest Black alone-or-in-combination populations in 2010 were:
New York (3.3 million),
Florida (3.2 million),
Texas (3.2 million),
Georgia (3.1 million),
California (2.7 million),
North Carolina (2.2 million),
Illinois (2.0 million),
Maryland (1.8 million),
Virginia (1.7 million), and
Ohio (1.5 million).
 
Among these states, four experienced substantial growth between 2000 and 2010. The Black alone-or-in-combination population grew by 29 percent in Florida, 28 percent in Georgia, 27 percent in Texas, and 21 percent in North Carolina.

Out of the ten states above, nine of them also had the largest Black alone populations. The state with the tenth largest Black alone population was Louisiana (1.5 million).
 
Of the population who identified as Black, people who reported multiple races were more likely to live in California.
 
The places with the largest Black in combination populations were New York and Los Angeles.
 
The place with the greatest proportion of Blacks was Detroit.
 
The places with the largest Black population were New York and Chicago.

The place with the highest proportion of people who identified as multiple-race Black was Lansing, MI.
 
For more information on this subject, go to: http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-06.pdf