NYC Public Library System Drops $300M on Midtown Branch, While Harlem Library is Outrageously Underfunded

The New York Public Library system intends to invest $300 million in renovations for its flagship 5th Avenue facility.

Meanwhile, Harlem’s Macomb’s Bridge library is housed in a converted studio apartment, and boasts 14 chairs, 10 laptops, and 61 shelves of books.

Only 25 people can occupy the space at one time.

The disparity is striking. Couldn’t some of that $300 million go to NYC’s underfunded libraries, like the one in Harlem?

Hundreds of NYC Fast Food Workers Are on Strike

Fast food workers across New York City are on strike, demanding better pay and the right to unionize.

The are railing against what they say are “abusive labor practices,” and demand a pay increase from $7.25 to $15.

From the Grio:

It’s noisy, it’s really hot, fast, they rush you. Sometimes you don’t even get breaks. All for $7.25? It’s crazy,” said Nathalia Sepulveda, who works at a McDonald’s opposite Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, where one protest took place.

The Nation: From the Deep South to the Midwest, a Generation Demands Justice

A recent article over at The Nation shines a light on how young people from across the country are uniting, organizing, and demanding justice.

Among those featured are our very own Black Youth Project 100 – 100 young black activists from across the country convened by the Black Youth Project to mobilize communities of color beyond electoral politics.

BYP100 member Rahiel Tesfamariam eloquently explained the collective’s formation and mission:

Detroit is Biggest City in U.S. History to File for Bankruptcy

Detroit, Michigan is officially the biggest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy.

Many fear massive layoffs, higher fees, and the scaling back of a variety of services.

From NewsOne:

Detroit lost a quarter-million residents between 2000 and 2010. A population that in the 1950s reached 1.8 million now struggles to stay above 700,000. Much of the middle-class and scores of businesses also have fled Detroit, taking their tax dollars with them.

Lauryn Hill Rails Against Racism, Oppression and IRS in Open Letter

Ahead of her three month jail sentence for tax evasion, Lauryn Hill posted a lengthy open letter on her Tumblr.

In it, Hill breaks down and dismisses the concept of “reverse racism,” addresses the continued oppression of African Americans, and discusses her tax troubles and trial.

The concept of reverse racism is flawed, if not absolutely ridiculous. Most, if not all of the negative responses from people of color toward white people, are reactions to the hatred, violence, cruelty and brutality that they were shown by white people for centuries.

Two Whole Foods Employees Suspended for Speaking Spanish

A Whole Foods Market in New Mexico is in the news for suspending two employees for allegedly speaking Spanish while they were on duty.

 

Bryan Baldizan says he and female employee were only speaking in Spanish regarding personal matters. They wrote a letter expressing their disagreement with the policy.

 

Whole Foods officials doubled down on the policy, and suspended them. 

Chicago Closes 50 Public Schools, While Spending $100 Million on Private Stadium Project?!

Last week, Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools were given the votes needed to close 50 public schools; arguing that a budget shortfall had left them with no other option.

But that hasn’t stopped them from dedicating $100 million (half of which from public funds) to the construction of a new event center, including a 500-room hotel and basketball arena for DePaul University.

The city say the construction of the arena will attract business and tourism.

But why not use that money to keep at least some of our schools open?

Dear Thurgood Marshall Jr, Why Are You On The Board Of Directors For CCA?

By Kim Moore

 

This serves as both an open letter to Thurgood Marshall Jr, a PSA for those who didn’t know about his appointment to CCA and a reminder about mass incarceration, and the overrepresentation of black men in prison.

It came as a complete and utter shock to discover yesterday that Thurgood Marshall Jr, son of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and lawyer best known for his victory in Brown v. Board of Education, sits on the Board of Directors for the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest private prison owning company in the United States.

“What’s the big deal?” you ask? Well, in order to understand the irony we must look at the incarceration rates of black men, private prisons and CCA.