Weekly News Round-Up: July 25th – July 31st, 2011

July 25th – July 31st, 2011




Black Chicago Divided


Salim Muwakkil


Truth Out News







Why African Americans Struggle to Find Jobs and Remain Employed Compared to Whites


Jaryn Fields


American Progress News






“No disrespect to the gay and transgender community”? Brother, please!


Jerome Hunt


Washington Blade






Top young poets showcase skills in Oakland

Staff Writer

SF Gate







Where Black People & Nature Meet


Staff Writer


Chattanooga News






Art adventure summer camps embolden creative spirit of youth


Jennifer Smith


Kelowna Cap News






Black youth gunned down by San Francisco police


Judy Greenspan


Workers World






4 Questions With the NAACP’s Youth Expert


Desiree Hunter


The Root







The ‘seeds’ of African American leadership at Matthews Arena


Staff Writer


Northeastern News



Why Are So Few Young Men of Color Graduating High School?

Why Are So Few Young Men of Color Graduating High School?

Jorge Rivas, Colorlines | July 27, 2011

There’s a new way to look at data released earlier this summer on the challenges young men of color face in school. Earlier this summer, the College Board released a new report that offers more detailed insight into what holds many of these young men back in school. The association, which is made up of more than 5,900 educational organizations that sell standardized tests like the SAT, studied four different groups: African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos and Native Americans. The research spans the course of their journeys and detours from kindergarden to college.

Sadly, the results weren’t surprising. It found that nearly half of young men of color age 15 to 24 who graduate from high school in the U.S. will end up unemployed, incarcerated or dead. Of the five groups studied, Native American males with high school diplomas were the least likely to be enrolled in secondary education programs.  (Read more)



The Era-Defining Legacy of Amy Winehouse

At this stage in the game, it’s really impossible to know the true nature of Amy Winehouse’s legacy. This kind of thing becomes clear with time and distance.
It might be easy to compare her with other beloved singers that left us too soon, like Billie Holiday or Sam Cooke. And perhaps we’ll position her alongside her cohorts in the 27 Club, like Janis Joplin or Kurt Cobain. To be clear, I’m almost certain Amy will be looked upon with similar admiration and awe; her voice, style and songwriting were unmatched by anyone else of her generation.
But its important to recognize that we experienced Amy in a very different way. There are no youtube videos of Kurt Cobain shooting up heroin. There is very little footage of Jim Morrison’s many disastrous concert meltdowns. Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix had more than a few nights out on the town drunk and high. But the paparazzi didn’t follow their every move, and random onlookers weren’t armed with camera phones in the late 60’s. 
Yes, Amy Winehouse’s legacy will be very different from theirs because her many highs and lows were witnessed en masse, in real time, via. youtube, tabloids and blogs. We saw practically every moment of it. For better or for worse. And though it may be difficult to admit, there is just no way this won’t influence the way we perceive her life and work.

People of Color are Leading YouTube’s Growth

People of Color are Leading YouTube’s Growth

Jorge Rivas, Colorlines | July 28, 2011

Black and Latino users are the most active video consumers online, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The report found more people are using video-sharing sites. Overall, 69 percent of white Internet users said they had visited video-sharing sites. While 79 percent of non-whites with Web access — African-Americans, Latinos and others — reported using video-sharing sites.  (Read more)


About the Dorks on Facebook

[Like] posts have taken over facebook. You see them religiously on young Black teens’ walls, and (less acceptable) they appear on 18 and 19 year-old pages. I see no other reason for such creations except various situations of low self-esteem. No one can blame young folks; as teenage years mark the beginning of partner relationships, meaning the desires to be with others raises our consciousness of ourselves on the outside. Innocent beginnings like these deserve caution though.

NAACP urges minorities to get to polls in 2012

NAACP urges minorities to get to polls in 2012

Associated Press (via USA Today) | July 27, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The NAACP plans a big push to increase minority turnout in the 2012 elections, hoping to gain political influence and turn back what the civil rights group says are efforts in various states to deny minorities the right to vote.

To do it, the group is going to reach out to black churches, fraternities and sororities as well as use sophisticated databases, social media and boost training of volunteers to include things like getting a contact for each voter they register.

“The days of the 45-minute workshop are over,” said Roger Vann, chief operating officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at the group’s annual convention on Wednesday.

Preserving voting rights is a key theme at the convention, which is being held in downtown Los Angeles through Thursday.

“We must fight against any attempt to segregate, isolate and steal the black vote,” said the Rev. William Barber, president of the NAACP’s North Carolina conference.

Barber noted that after a record 92 percent black turnout in the 2008 presidential election, in 2010 15 million blacks did not vote, including 3 million who were registered.

Panelists at a session on building black political power painted a grim picture of how low income minority voters are being disenfranchised by new laws in many states.

Such laws require a state-issued photo ID in order to vote, a current address on IDs, restrictions on restoring voter rights to ex-felons, limiting early and Sunday voting and voter registration by third-party groups like the NAACP and League of Women Voters

“These laws were all passed with the intent of reducing the minority vote,” said David Bositis, senior research associate of the Joint Center of Political and Economic Studies in Washington D.C.

A voter ID law in Wisconsin will disenfranchise 71 percent of African-American men in Milwaukee, Barber noted.  (Read more)



The Choices We Make

The question I have for people in our community is “what will it take to save our youth from making those mistakes that can deny them of a brighter future?” When I was 14 years old I had a chance to get my first taste of the neighborhood or “hood” as it is so often referred to. I made the choice to join a gang and as I became more involved in the gang, my thoughts were that if you was not a part of my gang then I caused a problem with you. I felt in my heart you shouldn’t be in my “hood” or on my set. I protected those blocks that we so called ours.  I never really thought to myself who does the “hood really belong to?” The truth is that it doesn’t belong to me or the people who are acting like me in the “hood”. 

New training is only a band-aid for police brutality

New training is only a band-aid for police brutality

Monique W. Morris, The Grio | July 27, 2011

The tensions between law enforcement and community are high in cities across the country where there have been a number of police involved shootings this year. The relationship has been strained for decades, where incidents of police brutality, excessive use of force, and other police misconduct have led to a severe breakdown in public confidence in the legitimacy of decisions made by police.

Yesterday, 13-year old Jimmell Cannon, a middle school student athlete, was shot eight times for pointing a BB gun at officers in Chicago. Earlier this month, five police officers stood trial for the fatal shootings of New Orleans residents seeking to cross the Danzinger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city in 2005.

In Miami, outrage over the police involved shootings of seven African-Americans this year has resulted in an investigation by the Department of Justice. Unfortunately, while violent crime rates declined by 5.3 percent last year, the third consecutive annual fall, more stories regarding police involved shootings are making the news.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, communities have continued to grow impatient with law enforcement since the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant. Recently, 19-year-old Kenneth Harding became the third police-involved shooting in two months in the Bayview/Hunters Point area of San Francisco after he allegedly fired at officers before they opened fire on him, sparking outrage among community members.  (Read more)