Elite Degrees Give Black Americans Little Advantage In Job Market


A new study from the University of Michigan shows that elite credentials give black Americans very little advantage in the job market.

From the University of Michigan:

Gaddis used a unique field experiment to test the value of different types of college degrees in the labor market for white and black candidates. He created more than 1,000 fake job applicants through email addresses, phone numbers and résumés, and applied to jobs online. Each candidate listed a degree from either an elite school (Harvard, Stanford, Duke) or a nationally ranked, but less-selective state university (University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of California-Riverside, University of North Carolina-Greensboro).

Additionally, the candidates had first names that likely identified their race: Jalen, Lamar and DaQuan (black/male); Nia, Ebony, and Shanice (black/female); Caleb, Charlie and Ronny (white/male); and Aubrey, Erica and Lesly (white/female).

White job applicants with a degree from an elite university had the highest response rate (nearly 18 percent), followed by black candidates with a degree from an elite university (13 percent) and white candidates with a degree from a less-selective university (more than 11 percent). Black job applicants with a degree from a less-selective university had the lowest response rate (less than 7 percent).

Read the entire study here.


Photo: Harvard

Mo’Ne Davis Launches Sneaker Line

mone davis

Wunderkind Mo’Ne Davis partnered with company M4D3 to design a sneaker line that will benefit impoverished girls.

From The Root:

Professional athletes with sneaker lines take note. Mo’Ne Davis, the first female pitcher to win a Little League World Series game, is doing it better than you and for a worthy cause. The baseball phenom has partnered with M4D3 (Make A Difference Everyday) and Because I Am a Girl to release a Mo’ne designed sneaker.

The sneakers are modestly priced at $75 and are designed to replicate the stitching on a baseball. Fifteen percent of the proceeds from the sneakers will support Plan International’s Because I Am A Girl initiative, which helps  girls living in poverty in developing countries.

“I never thought at the age of 13 I’d be a role model, but having young girls look up to me is pretty cool,” Mo’Ne said in a news release. “If I can inspire them to reach their goals, that would be even cooler. Designing shoes with M4D3 is exciting and I wanted them to support Because I am a Girl to help girls and give them a chance at a better future.”

Read more at The Root.


Photo: M4D3

Starbucks’ New Initiative Encourages Baristas to Talk About Race


Starbucks has released an new initiative that is bound to be one of the worst ideas this year. The coffee chain’s “RaceTogether” program is encouraging baristas to spark racial dialogue with customers.

In a country that has a terrible track record for having honest conversations about race, what could go wrong? This new initiative also begs the question: Are Starbucks baristas paid enough to essentially serve as anti-racism educators while making lattes?

From Fortune:

Starbucks published a full page ad in the New York Timeson Sunday — a stark, black, page with a tiny caption “Shall We Overcome?” in the middle, and the words “RaceTogether” with the company logo, on the bottom right. The ad, along with a similar one on Monday in USA Today, is part of an initiative launched this week by the coffee store chain to stimulate conversation and debate about the race in America by getting employees to engage with customers about the perennially hot button subject.

Beginning on Monday, Starbucks baristas will have the option as they serve customers to hand cups on which they’ve handwritten the words “Race Together” and start a discussion about race. This Friday, each copy of USA Today — which has a daily print circulation of almost 2 million and is a partner of Starbucks in this initiative — will have the first of a series of insert with information about race relations, including a variety of perspectives on race. Starbucks coffee shops will also stock the insert.

The jokes have already begun to write themselves on Twitter. The hashtag #RaceTogether has taken off.




Read more at  Fortune.


Photo: RaceTogether/Starbucks

9 HBCU Students Are Coming For Tennessee’s Voter-ID-Law

fisk tennessee state

Nine HBCU students have filed a lawsuit against Tennessee’s vote-ID-law.

From The Root:

The voter-ID war just opened up a huge new front. This time in Tennessee. A group of nine students from HBCUs Fisk and Tennessee State have filed a federal lawsuit against the Volunteer State’s heavily contested and controversial voter-ID law.

The suit was filed by the Nashville Student Organizing Committee, a coalition of student activists established in February 2014. The plaintiffs were all disallowed from voting in 2014 because they carried student IDs as identification. NSOC retained the Washington, D.C.-based Fair Elections Legal Network, which then partnered with the local Nashville-based firm Barrett Johnston Martin & Garrison as part of a legal project to restore student voting rights in the state.

The case marks a highly unprecedented turning point in the ongoing conflict over voter ID and other Republican-led voter-suppression laws accused of targeting Democratic-friendly young, minority and low-income voters. With Republicans expanding their electoral gains in state legislatures, voter-ID laws have become a common feature in many key states and, as initial data suggest, disproportionately impacted large populations of color.

Observers are watching the new Tennessee case with heavy interest, since it appears to be the first student-led legal action of its kind. Some view it as Supreme Court-worthy and a savvy political maneuver on the part of black youth activists that could have far-reaching implications beyond Tennessee. The suit may very well advance because the Middle Tennessee federal district court is dominated by judges appointed by Democratic presidents. Chief Judge Kevin Sharp was recently appointed by President Barack Obama.   

Read more at The Root.


Photo: Courtesy of Nashville Student Organizing Committee 

Aniah Ferguson Is Not A “Brute” and Prison Isn’t the Answer

aniah ferguson

By Arielle Newton

A widely circulated video of a vicious assault of a teenage girl has resulted in the arrest of Aniah Ferguson, the 16 year old Black girl principally involved in the attack. She’s charged as an adult with criminal contempt and mischief. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams offered a $1000 reward for information leading to the arrests of the other girls involved.

I found the video morally repugnant, unacceptable, unjust, and unbefitting of conscious character. But I’m equally bothered by resulting media coverage — especially from NY Daily News — that’s relying on tropes to push this story to the mainstream masses.

Brutes. Savages. This language has an unpleasant connection to the propaganda machines of the 19th and 20th centuries that mongrelized Black folk with identical terminology.

The behavior of these women is inexcusable, but I see past the actions. I see histories and context, and I connect the dots through a reasoned racial, gender, and class analysis.

Aniah Ferguson is emotionally and mentally ill. With a decorated rap sheet, Ferguson’s been arrested ten times, six of which occurred since her 16th birthday last July. Arrested just a month ago, she was charged with assault. In the past, she’s stabbed her brother with a knife, injured a police officer during an arrest, and beat up her 64-year-old grandmother. Aniah Ferguson has severe behavioral issues, which is especially troubling considering she’s a single mother of a 1 year old child.

She needs help. Not prison.

I empathize — passionately — with the call for justice. But justice doesn’t look like caging a Black teen with documented behavioral issues in the suffocating confines of the prison industrial complex. Prison is about revenge, not rehabilitation; her incarceration will serve no other purpose than to embolden her criminal behavior, erode the ability to emotionally connect with others, cause further psychological and sociological damage, and boost the likelihood for repeat offenses.

The manner in which we approach justice is sickening. A Black teenager with clear dissociative and violent behavior, isn’t seen as a victim whose existence is complicated and worthy of comprehensive health needs. She’s only a savage brute who should be thrown away and forgotten.


Arielle Newton is the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Black Millennials. Follow her @arielle_newton. Follow Black Millennials @BlkMillennialsThis post originally appeared on Black Millennials


Photo: NY Daily News/Facebook

Meet the Girl Behind “On Fleek”


Seventeen year-old Chicago native Kayla Newman is the young woman behind what might be the most popular slang term of the past year.

Speaking to Newsweek, Newman said the phrase just came to her.

‘I never heard of the word, and nobody else had heard of the word. I just said it, and I guess that’s what came out. That’s about it.’

Her six second Vine soon went viral. It currently has nearly 30 million loops. The phrase has been used by everyone form Nicki Minaj to IHOP. Newman told Newsweek that she’s planning to come up with more popular phrases.

‘I’m trying to think of some, but it’s like, with me, it’s just gonna flow.’

Why is this important? Because it is rare for black culture creators to get their due once their contributions have gone mainstream. Here’s to hoping that this isn’t the last we’ve heard from Kayla.

Read more at Newsweek.

h/t For Harriet


Photo: Courtesy of Kayla Newman/Screenshot

New Film Revisits the 1983 US Invasion of Grenada

The 1983 United States invasion of the small Caribbean island of Grenada won’t be forgotten if filmmaker Damani Baker has anything to do with it. Baker was nine years-old when his mother moved him and his sister to Grenada during the nation’s revolution. His film, The House on Coco Road, is the story of family, history and revolution.

From KickStarter:

In 1979 the Grenadian people carry out the first successful revolution in the English speaking Caribbean. Maurice Bishop becomes Prime Minister. The Revolution attracts workers from around the world including my mother, Fannie Haughton. In 1982 Angela Davis, her family, and my mother visit Grenada to witness this miraculous Peoples’ Revolution. In 1983 my mother is offered a position in the Ministry of Education and we leave our home in Oakland and move to Grenada. I’d never seen her happier.

Grenada was briefly our home. In 1983 the United States led a military invasion following the assassination of the young popular Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop. We hid under the bed for three days as bombs shook our new paradise, and changed its course forever.

Sixteen years later, in 1999, I returned to Grenada with my mother, and began shooting a documentary film, searching for her story, one that felt not just untold, but unfinished. My mother, and a group of tireless women, had put their lives on the line, daring to build a better type of country, a stronger more resilient home. You may not know their names, but they have changed the world.

You can learn more about the film and support it here.


Photo: Courtesy of Damani Baker