Too many make the mistake of directing energy toward formality or “making official” their relationships. As if listing dating-experience on a resume has gotten anyone a job, the misinformed forget that everything exists, that, in particular, love is more than words floating around facebook and gossip. Some folks walk away from a reality with bitterness in their stride because they never reach the point of wearing the title, “girlfriend”. They have not gotten the point.
Do black men get better health care behind bars?
Monique W. Morris, The Grio | June 30, 2011
More than 850,000 black men and women are currently incarcerated in federal or state prisons, or in local jails throughout the U.S. The conditions of confinement have caused deep wounds for African-Americans, compromising the healthy development of communities and causing collateral damages such as severed family relationships, decreased parental responsibility over children, loss of employability and wages, housing and employment discrimination, and disenfranchisement, among others.
Still, despite the numerous negative effects that have been associated with incarceration, could prison also be associated with a positive life outcome for black men?
A research study published by Vanderbilt University sociologist Evelyn Patterson in 2010 shows state prisons are having a positive effect on the mortality rates of black men. Her study estimates the rates of working-age prisoners and non-prisoners by gender and race, and finds that while prison has a “detrimental health impact on most groups,” incarcerated black males at every age experience death rates that are lower than for black males outside of prison.
Between 1996 and 1998, black men not in prison lost almost twice as many years of life between the ages of 18 and 65 as incarcerated black men. In contrast, there was only a slight difference in the mortality rates of incarcerated white men when compared to their non-incarcerated white counterparts. (Read more)
Census: Fewer black children in biggest US cities
Associated Press | June 30, 2011
NEW YORK –A catastrophic flood emptied New Orleans of much of its black youth. Powerful social forces may be doing a similar thing to places like Harlem and Chicago’s South Side.Over the past decade, the inner-city neighborhoods that have served for generations as citadels of African-American life and culture have been steadily draining of black children.
Last year’s census found that the number of black, non-Hispanic children living in New York City had fallen by 22.4 percent in 10 years. In raw numbers, that meant 127,058 fewer black kids living in the city of Jay Z and Spike Lee, even as the number of black adults grew slightly.
The same pattern has repeated from coast to coast. Los Angeles saw a 31.8 percent decline in its population of black children, far surpassing the 6.9 percent drop in black adults. The number of black children in Atlanta fell by 27 percent. It was down 31 percent in Chicago and 37.6 percent in Detroit. Oakland, Calif. saw a drop of 42.3 percent, an exodus that fell only 6 percentage points below the decline in flood-ravaged New Orleans.
Overall, the census found nearly a half-million fewer black children living in the 25 largest U.S. cities than there were a decade earlier. By comparison, the number of black adults living in big cities has hardly budged.
Demographics experts said a combination of factors appeared to be at work. Americans in general are having fewer children than they once did, due mostly to increased use of birth control. That has been true, too, among black mothers. Teen pregnancy rates among blacks have also plummeted.
But the more significant trend, experts said, may be a migration by young black parents to the suburbs. (Read more)
Bay Area transit agency agrees to pay $1.3 million to mother of man fatally shot by officer
Associated Press | June 28, 2011
OAKLAND, Calif. — A San Francisco Bay area transit agency Tuesday agreed to pay $1.3 million to the mother of a 22-year-old unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white transit officer in 2009.
The settlement between Bay Area Rapid Transit and Wanda Johnson resolves a $50 million wrongful death and civil rights suit filed in federal court by Oscar Grant’s family.
“No amount of money could replace Oscar. Not one dollar or $100 million,” said Johnson during a news conference in Oakland. “My heart feels broken for the loss of my son…
“It didn’t have to be this way.”
Former BART officer Johannes Mehserle, 29, was convicted last year of involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting Grant on an Oakland train station platform on New Year’s Day in 2009.
Mehserle was released this month after serving one year in Los Angeles jail after his high-profile trial was moved to Southern California.
The shooting was recorded by bystanders and within hours videos of the incident were posted online showing Mehserle firing a bullet into the back of Grant as he lay face down after being pulled off a train, supposedly for fighting. (Read more)
Film to launch new project on Boston busing riots
Russell Conteras, Associated Press (via The Grio) | June 27, 2011
BOSTON (AP) — A documentary that’s to be unveiled this week is the start of a project that aims to show that the busing riots that roiled Boston in the 1970s and stained the city’s reputation were more than just a conflict between blacks and whites.
The Union of Minority Neighborhoods, a Boston advocacy group, is to unveil the documentary Tuesday at the Boston Public Library. It’s called “Can We Talk?” The film is part of the organization’s years-long Boston Busing/Desegregation Project.
The project’s coordinator, Donna Bivens, says the crisis was largely about equal access to education and not simply another episode of racial strife. She says organizers of the 10-year project plan to hold community meetings around Boston with victims of the riots and seek to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
a two-hour Chris Brown commercial the BET Awards happened. Despite a comical performance from Kevin Hart, the most memorable moment of the show was the slip-up of the fan chosen to present the Viewers Choice Award. Rocsi and Terrance (there to provide moral support in what can be a nerve wracking moment), were worthless. Terrance, Captain Obvious, announced, in the middle of the awkward moment, “This is awkward.” No shit, Sherlock. That poor girl had her moment shitted on by BET’s continued incompetence.
And that wasn’t even the saddest moment of the show. The darkest moment of the show was the Best Female Hip-Hop Artist category. And the nominees were: Nicki Minaj (the eventual winner), Diamond, Cymphonique (Lil Romeo might’ve made more sense), and Lola Monroe (yeah).
Silje Sande an American Professor, discusses something called “The Necessary Tension.” She writes “In a democracy the tension between civil obedience and disobedience is a necessary tension.” She argues that Civil Disobedience confronts and holds accountable the norms that exist in society today. I think that black single mothers and families around the country should take some advice from Sande, and participate in this tension. This week the Gay Rights movement took a huge step forward by winning the right to marry in one of the largest states in the country. I am happy that there has been progress in the overall struggle for equality in the United States. However, I think it is necessary to think about the single mother’s of color that will be further marginalized because they will not receive the legal benefits that come with marriage.
Youth Say Race Still Matters—So What Are They Doing About It?
Juell Stewart, Colorlines | June 28, 2011
Earlier this month, our publisher released a report, “Don’t Call Them Post-Racial,” which surveyed attitudes about race in key systems in U.S. society among young adults 18-25. Dom Apollon’s research team conducted focus groups with dozens of young people in the Los Angeles area, and learned that their thoughts on race are far more nuanced than most polling and commentary has suggested. Theirs is the most diverse generation in U.S. history, but that doesn’t make them post-race. Rather, the young people in the focus groups made clear that they believed race still matters today.
The young people struggled for language to define racism and they differed across racial groups in how they saw race impacting society. But they identified race as a “significant problem” in a few key areas, with all racial groups agreeing that race remained a problem for both criminal justice and employment. Young people of color identified education as a particular trouble spot as well.
They also differed in what they thought should be done about these problems—while white Millennials, as this generation has been dubbed, largely identified racism as driven by individuals and demanding individual solutions, young people of color were more likely to identify racism as a collective problem that demands political action to resolve. As Apollon wrote, “All of these ideas are crucial to understand because they also shape how this generation will choose to act upon racism and racial injustice.” (Read more)
The social and economic implications of the quality education that children in the United States of America receive ,while not absolute, are critical in determining their future trajectories. The institution that children come into contact with the most in their prepubescent, formative years outside of their communities are schools. From both an operational and architectural standpoint, public schools function as an important organization in socializing and routinizing the behaviors of the youngest segments of the population. Pioneering educators such as Stanley Hall called for the creation of pedocentric schools where the institution’s paramount mission was to serve the social and psychological needs of children. In fact, Hall notably characterized pre-adolescent children as “savages” and therefore rationalized that reasoning with them was a futile effort. Rather, he proposed that the panacea for society’s degenerates- poor and urban communities -was a good dose of authoritarian discipline. Social and education reformers of his ilk in the early 20th century believed that public schools were in many cases, the last and only life line to save children from their predestined fate of failure.
Stanford: Menthol cigarette marketing is ‘predatory,’ aimed at black kids
Steven E.F. Brown, San Francisco Business Times | June 24, 2011
A Stanford School of Medicine study says tobacco companies cut prices of menthol cigarettes and boosted advertisements for them near California high schools with lots of black students.
The report calls the marketing “predatory.” It is “geared to luring young African Americans into becoming smokers.”
“The tobacco companies went out of their way to argue to the Food & Drug Administration that they don’t use racial targeting. The evidence is not consistent with those claims,” said Lisa Henriksen, the lead author of the study.
Researchers randomly chose convenience stores and other small shops within walking distance of 91 schools. They used data from 2006 and studied how cigarettes were marketed in those stores. (Read more)
Good brother and Grammy award winning MC, Rhymefest put me down with this video, which I’ve watched at least 100 times since yesterday. There are soooo many lessons in this example of bravery and skill by the Massi warriors who fearlessly back down 15 hungry lions in the middle of getting their grub on. So often we underestimate the true power we have, and because we think the odds are against us we don’t even attempt great things.
National HIV Testing Day: What you need to know
Ryan Jaslow, CBS News | June 27, 2011
(CBS) Today is National HIV Testing Day. The annual event is co-sponsored by the National Association of People with AIDS and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to spread awareness and let people know how and when to get an HIV test.
And government officials in high places are also rallying people for today’s events.
“National HIV Testing Day reminds each of us to do our part in fighting HIV/AIDS and get tested,” President Obama said in a White House statement. His administration released a National HIV/AIDS Strategy last July, with the goals of reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to care, and reducing HIV-related health disparities.
“One in five Americans living with HIV is not aware of their infection and this research highlights the imperative of making sure people know their HIV status and getting those who do have HIV into care,” the President said.
Their lack of awareness contributes to the fact that 40 percent of people with HIV aren’t diagnosed until they have developed AIDS, which can be up to 10 years after they were infected. (Read more)
NFL Player Turns To Teaching During Lockout
Amy Ta, NPR | June 23, 2011
As the NFL tries working through its lockout, one professional football player decided to teach youth from grades one through 12. In April, Denver Broncos safety David Bruton became a substitute social studies and math teacher at Jane Chance Elementary School and Miamisburg High School (his alma mater) in Ohio.
Bruton says he got the idea from his high school coach and teachers. Why did they think he was teacher material? Bruton says maybe it was because he performed well during his own high school and college years, and he had what it took to be a role model. His patience and persistence also helps, he says.
The NFL player naturally taught social studies because he majored in sociology at Notre Dame. But math came as a total surprise, he says. The last time Bruton took math courses was his first year in college. “I was definitely in the books, on my iPad looking up how to figure out quadratic equations and finding out angles,” he says. (Read more)
- Last week, I was listening to NPR on my drive home and heard Michelle (say it with me, now Meeee-shell) Norris’ description of FLOTUS, Michelle Obama’s trip to South Africa. During her introduction, Norris was sure to mention that the FLOTUS danced with some South African kids.
Did Michelle O’s Dougie spark a minor obsession with her dance moves? There’s a partial list of news sources discussing FLOTUS dancing here. I think this is something worth keeping an eye on. Viral videos of the FLOTUS cutting a rug inevitably raise questions about black spectacle, white consumption, and also about the relatability/likeability of our head(s) of state and his family. It’s complicated, a very thin line, but worthy of unpacking.
Now, if FLOTUS does The Percolator and/or engages in a footworking contest with Chicago Bulls star, Derrick Rose, let me know, because I will want to see that.
Newark Black Film Festival Starts Wednesday
Carol Selam, Westward Patch, June 26, 2011
Merlene Davis: Teens need to show leadership
Merlene Davis, Herald Columist, June 26, 2011
Teens help in Pleasant Grove recovery effort
Staff Writer, ALA 2, June 26, 2011
Does Barack Obama Deserve the Black Vote in 2012?
Robert Oliver, EurWeb, June 25, 2011
Youth group looks to help blacks succeed in Cedar Rapids
James Malewitz, Eastern Iowa, June 25, 2011
San Francisco Pride celebrations focus on youth
Alexis Terrazas, SF Examiner, June 24, 2011
San Francisco Pride celebrations focus on youth
Alexis Terrazas, SF Examiner, June 24, 2011
Anglo to creates 25,000 jobs
Business Report, June 23, 2011
Where are the immigrant youth in rural Minnesota?
Jeff Severns Guntzel, Minn Post, June 23, 2011
Smyrna resident elected first black male president of the National PTA
Sydney Busby, The Patch, June 23, 2011
IF YOU ARE TALL AND PLAY BALL; YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL.”
Eric D. Graham, Athlete News, June 22, 2011
Michele Bachmann Says Obama Ain’t Doing Sh*t For Black People
Global Grind, June 21, 2011
Don Lemon: ‘In Charge of My Own Story’
Julie Bookman, Midtown Patch, June 21, 2011
Face of Gospel Music No Longer Just Black or American
Katherine Phan, The Christian Post, June 20, 2011