Saturday, October 30, 2010

Black Voters Suddenly Appear on the Radar Screen: For About One Week

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Politicians chase votes the way a frat boy chases women.  Also like the frat boy, politicians can have selective memory when it comes to creating a respectable and reciprocal relationship.  They beg for your votes, promise you the world and then promptly disappear until it’s time for re-election.

That’s a bit of what we’re seeing right now from the Obama Administration.  The Obama camp has rarely used the words “black man” or “black woman” in public for the last year, yet they are suddenly hanging in the hood more than the barber and the local drug dealer.  They are holding forums to rally black voters for the mid-term elections and telling black folks to vote as if Obama were on the ballot.

Click to read.

How Did Allen Iverson End Up Playing in Turkey?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I never thought I'd see the day that Allen Iverson, one of the most talented players in the history of the NBA, would be pushed out of the league like a loaf of moldy bread. "The Answer" left us all full of questions, as most of us really wondered what in the heck happened to his stellar career. This week, Iverson signed a deal to play for a Turkish team called Besiktas (I haven't heard of them either). The 35-year old veteran is likely going to be the star of the team and was given a two-year deal worth $4 million.
"There are a lot of things that I'm not proud of," Iverson said. "I came into this league 21 years old, never having nothing in my whole life and then given everything in the world. I met a lot of people that were bad people that I had around me. I met a lot of people that were good people. I had to at a young age distinguish who were good and who were bad. And I made a lot of mistakes along the way thinking I knew things that I didn't know. A lot of times I was a fish out of water, I thought I was in the biggest ocean in the world. I made mistakes, so me not being on an NBA roster, and me being bad-mouthed throughout the league, a lot of things I have to own up to. A lot of those things were true. I made a lot of mistakes. And obviously it cost me."


Click to read.

Dorian Chandler: Award-Winning Filmmaker Makes Movie About the N-word

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I had a chance to chat the other day with award-winning filmmaker Dorian Chandler. Chandler is the author of the film "Nigger Nation," which explores the use of the n-word, and why people might think it's O.K. I've always been impressed with Chandler's work and consider her to be the best young filmmaker in America today. Her film has won several awards, including The Emerging Filmmaker Award from the "Women Make Movies," organization and the 2005 Flicker Film Festival Jury Prize.

The n-word is an interesting and perpetually controversial topic within and outside of black America. It is also misunderstood by most of us. First of all, I've never thought of the n-word concept in a singular sense, as there are multiple variations of the word used in casual conversation. There is the word that ends with an "r" and the other version that ends with an "a." Yes, I do believe that the version of the word being used makes a difference. Also, there are a long list of voice inflexions that can change the definition on the spot: If I say "What's up my n*gga!" in a high pitched, enthusiastic voice, that's very different from me twisting my lip, cocking my head to the side and saying "What's up n*gger" in a low, grumbling voice. In the first case I want to hug you, but in the second, you're about to get knocked out.


Click to read.

Friday, October 29, 2010

NFL Star Lawrence Taylor Begins Quest to Fight Rape Charge

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Lawrence Taylor took his first steps into a courthouse yesterday to deal with allegations of sexual assault. Taylor is being accused of third-degree rape and soliciting a prostitute after he allegedly had sex with a girl under the age of 17. Taylor, who is now 51-years old, is accused of paying $300 to have sex with the girl, who was a 16-year old runaway.
Taylor's attorney, Arthur Aidala, says that his client didn't have sex with anyone and that he didn't rape anyone. He also said that he was not likely going to take a plea on the third degree rape charge. A plea on that charge would mean a mandatory 10-year probation, which Aidala says is "ridiculous."

Click to read.

Black Entrepreneurship: The Key to Our Survival

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Danielle Douglas

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

In case you didn't know this, one of the things that most people think about every single day is how they are going to make enough money to get by. Life is tough and finding enough money to live can be even tougher. What's worse is that the black community's struggle to build economic institutions and obtain financial security are things that keep us from being truly liberated in a fundamentally and historically racist society. The link between civil rights and economic prosperity was the seminal reason for my book, "Black American Money."
The commitment I made to the black leadership and the audience at the "Measuring the Movement" forum this year (hosted by Al Sharpton and the National Action Network) was to promote the idea of black entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is not just a matter of having your own business. It can also be as simple as finding some extra streams of income in order to obtain critical financial security. In this economy, you have no job security if you've only got one job. You have to find (what I would call) "a side hustle."


Click to read.

The Latest from The Invested Life – 10/29/10



(video) Tom Forde talks about whether a Roth IRA is right for him, and what he’s learned as he’s researched it:

(text) while Matt Sapaula says that financial security is important, but insuring yourself is every bit as vital:


(video) Kathleen Lansing explains why her road to retirement is scary, but it makes the small business owner proud to hear about the value of her life’s work:

(text) While Jenn Meacham looks back on the most important financial lesson she learned, at age fourteen:

Los Angeles:

(video) Lisa and Brandon Schindelheim explain how switching roles taught her about finance, and him about he difficulties in being Mr. Mom:

(text) While Candace says that’s it important to educate not only yourself about finances, but your kids as well:

New York:

(text) Jennifer Sherwood explains why shopping in fancy stores might be a rush, but so is saving money:

(text) While Dr. Boyce Watkins says that you don’t need to have big money to build a portfolio:


(text) Michael Jake is glad to hear that his business has grown enough to start hiring, but has his concerns:


(text) On our show, we’ve seen former NFL star Winfred Tubbs thinking about buying a house. In this new blog, he reveals that he’s had to scrap those plans and live in his condo instead until the real estate market improves:

(text) While Ed Butowsky talks up the value of utility stocks:


(text) Suzan McDowell reveals her list of the 10 must-by priorities she can’t live without, and what she learned about herself while compiling it:

(text) While Ben Tobias explains that if you don’t know what’s important to you, you’ll never effectively maximize your happiness:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Police Beating Caught on Tape

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The beating of Chris Linton was sad to watch. A 16-year old black male being handled by Boston Police until his face was bloody, Linton soon found his incident plastered all over YouTube. When I took a look at the video, it had been viewed nearly 30,000 times, reminding us of the perils of doing your dirt in a world with cell phone cameras.
The event in question took place at Roxbury Community College, where Linton was inside one of the buildings charging his cell phone. He is not a student at the university, but had stopped to get the cell charged so he could take pictures of his new daughter at the hospital.
While it is not clear why police were following him, the story is that Linton had just escaped from a local youth detention center and had been tracked to the university. That's when the beating began.


Click to read.

Two Pastors Come After Eddie Long: Request HIV Test

Two pastors, Reuben Armstrong and Prophet H. Walker, have teamed up to plan a rally against Bishop Eddie Long. Both pastors are asking that Long resign from his church, and Armstrong has even gone as far as asking that Pastor Long take an HIV test.
Armstrong is a radio show host and Walker is the pastor of the True Light Pentecostal Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The two plan to rally this weekend in Atlanta. The event is set to take place on October 31 at the state capitol.

Click to read.

Chris Linton: 16-year old gets beaten by police

The police in Boston are caught beating a 16-year old on tape. ;

Should Black People Keep Using the N-Word?


Dorian Chandler (pictured above with Pras from “The Fugees”)  is my favorite filmmaker.  Her film “Nigger Nation,” is an award-winning exploration of the N-word and what it means in black America.  I highly recommend taking a look at the film, which you can view by clicking here.

Why Would Juan Williams Defend Fox Against Racism?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Fox News commentator Juan Williams has been in the news quite a bit lately. It started when he was fired from NPR last week for going onto Fox and saying that Muslims on airplanes make him nervous. Apparently, in Juan's world, every Muslim he meets might want to blow him up. I've always wondered how Juan would feel if a white woman said that she believes that every black man she meets (including Juan) wants to mug her. I should probably stop speculating, since Juan might actually agree with that statement.
Fox News took the interesting step of rewarding Juan for his racist rant by giving him a three-year contract reportedly worth a cool two-million dollars. Apparently, racism pays in an allegedly post-racial society. Fox proves the value of racism every day with their record ratings and massive profitability. A small fraction of that dough trickles down to Juan, one of the few black men in America willing to stand up for the network that has rejuvenated racial terrorism in our country.


Click to read.

Clarence Thomas’ Sexual Side Exposed by Ex-Girlfriend

Justice Clarence Thomas’s ex girlfriend comes forward after almost 20 years

Justice Clarence Thomas’s ex girlfriend comes forward after almost 20 years

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Justice Clarence Thomas’s ex girlfriend comes forward after almost 20 years

Justice Clarence Thomass ex girlfriend comes forward after almost 20 years

Al Reynolds: The Racist Tea Party Candidate?

Al Reynolds, Tea Party Candidate, Says Black Men Prefer Selling Drugs to Education

1:40 PMOct 27

Source: BV Black Spin

Illinois State Senate candidate Al Reynolds (pictured) is in hot water, after making some comments about black men that even his fellow Republicans have found to be quite offensive. When asked about black men going to college, Reynolds had this to ... Read More

Baracka Flocka Flame: Not Funny, Just Terribly Ignorant

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action

When I was asked my thoughts about a YouTube video spoof of Barack Obama rapping the song "Hard in Da Paint," by Atlanta-based rapper Waka Flocka Flame, I didn't quite know what to say. Knowing what I know about Waka Flocka Flame, I figured that the spoof would be a reflection of the kind of ignorance that seems to breed itself in modern day hip hop. I also expected that the video might consist of insulting depictions of President Barack Obama in an environment that involved weed, liquor, half naked women and maybe a gun or two. For some reason, there are people who seem to think that this represents everything about being black in America.
After seeing the spoof, I can only say that I was right. The video throws together a bunch of twisted lyrics being recited by an Obama look-alike who keeps telling us that he's "the head of state n*gga." The lyrics aren't exactly creative and the video is short of inspirational to anyone. But it has gotten tens of thousands of views on YouTube, which means that somebody out there likes it.

Click to read.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

DJ Henry: Slain College Student’s Family Calls for Federal Investigation

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The shooting of Pace University football player DJ Henry has been the source of tremendous controversy. Henry was shot by police ten days ago outside a local bar in Thornwood, NY. The 20-year old college student was parked in a No Stopping zone when an officer allegedly tapped on his window, telling him to move. According to police, Henry hit two police officers when moving his car, prompting officers to respond with gunfire.
At the time, police were responding to a fight that occurred outside the bar, and Henry was not involved in any illegal activity.
Henry's parents, Angela and Danroy Henry, are asking that Attorney General Eric Holder investigate the shooting, as they do not trust that local law enforcement has been unbiased in their investigation. Someone from inside the police force leaked Henry's blood alcohol level to the media, which was reportedly above the legal limit. This contradicts accounts by others that Henry was the designated driver for the group with whom he was traveling.


Click to read.

Monday, October 25, 2010

NCAA Wants to Fine Its Players

NCAA Wants to Fine Players Who Get Extra Benefits

12:45 AMOct 26

Source: BV on Sports

The NCAA is working with various groups to find ways to keep college athletes from receiving benefits from sports agents. Most recently, there have been proposals put forth that would fine players for violating the rules. The penalties may even ... Read More

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Is Racism an Occupational Hazard for African Americans?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Most of us know Hanes Brands as the company that has Michael Jordan peddling underwear. The company is also responsible for other leading brands such as Champion sports apparel and Playtex, among others.

The company is now in the middle of controversy after an African American employee, Yunusa Kenchi, filed suit for discrimination. An embarrassing email has allegedly surfaced in which Kenchi was referenced using the n-word. The employee has taken the case public, and Hanes has yet to respond.


Click to read.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yes, I’m Glad Juan Williams Got Fired From NPR

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

It wasn't a terrorist attack, but there was an explosion. The explosion occurred in my email inbox when a slew of associates forwarded me emails about NPR firing Juan Williams for his disparaging remarks about the Islamic community. Many of my friends remembered two years ago, when Juan and Bill O'Reilly went through a lot of trouble to have me fired from Syracuse University. Their ridiculous stunt stretched over several shows, as they worked to paint me as the most racist black man in America. The attack was a personal retaliation by O'Reilly for the fact that I asked theYour Black World Coalition to boycott O'Reilly's corporate sponsors after we grew tired of their attacks on Michelle and Barack Obama. I stand by every single word I said about both Juan Williams and Bill O'Reilly, so to put it in layman's terms, "Ain't a damn thing changed."

Click to read.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

T.I. Deal Axed by Axe Body Spray

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

TMZ is reporting that the rapper T.I., who was recently sent back to prison, is going to be cut from his endorsement deal with Axe Body Spray. A representative for Axe stated that, "We will no longer feature T.I. in our promotional campaign."
It's no surprise that T.I. lost his deal with Axe. He is probably in the midst of having several film and recording projects derailed, and won't be a usable commodity for quite some time. While it might seem that a man of such tremendous talent would be able to easily recapture his spot at the top of the world, we can't make that assumption so quickly.
As I mentioned in the article about Kanye West yesterday, corporations are not into risk-taking. By proving himself to be an unreliable celebrity spokesperson, T.I. is going to be considered toxic on Madison Avenue. Millions of dollars are on the line when corporations sign celebrity brands, and managing those brands requires careful and responsible behavior at all times.

Click to read.

Black News: Magic Sells Lakers Stake for $35 Million

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Magic Johnson has officially put an end to an important era of professional sports. Johnson, a long-time staple in the stands at Los Angeles Lakers games, is no longer an owner of the team. TMZ is reporting that while riding his private jet, Johnson signed a deal to sell his five-percent stake in the team for a cool $35 million.
The Lakers are the most valuable team in the NBA with a 2010 market value of $607 million. Johnson is also a valuable commodity himself, with a net worth estimated at half a billion dollars. This is the latest move in a series of impressive business decisions made by the NBA Hall of Famer.
I still remember that day 18 years ago when Magic Johnson announced on national television that he was HIV positive. I was standing in my dorm room with my two roommates and my girlfriend, who was in tears. She didn't know a lot about sports, but she certainly knew about Magic Johnson. It was a sad day for all of us, since we were counting the days until Magic would move on to the afterlife.


Click to read.

YBW Protest Worked: Deputies Forced to Resign at County Jail



From Dr. Boyce:  I am hopeful that this is evidence that our protests last week at the county jail was successful:



Two Onondaga County sheriff’s deputies have been suspended or forced to resign in recent weeks following unrelated investigations into misconduct allegations.

Anthony Gorgoni, a deputy for 18 years, was suspended without pay three weeks ago for violating the sheriff’s use-of-force policy, Sheriff Kevin Walsh said. The allegations involve an inmate at the Justice Center jail, Walsh said.



Alexander Nicholson, a deputy for eight years, resigned Friday when he was confronted with allegations stemming from an investigation by the sheriff’s abused-persons unit, Walsh said. That investigation is continuing, he said.

“I can only say we received the allegations, we brought him in, we confronted him with the allegations and he chose to resign,” Walsh said.

He said he could not be more specific about the allegations because the investigation is open. If they’re substantiated, they would be criminal, he said.


Click to read

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dr. Boyce and Al Sharpton Discuss the Relationship between the Black Community and the Democratic Party


Click to listen to Al Sharpton and Dr. Boyce Watkins discuss whether or not African Americans should go out and support the Democrats in the mid-term elections.  You can listen by clicking here.

Dr, Boyce Watkins Discusses African Americans Voting in November 2010 Elections with Rev. Al Sharpton

Dr, Boyce Watkins Discusses African Americans Voting in November 2010 Elections with Rev. Al Sharpton

Ralph Jones, Jr: 16-Year Old Chooses HBCU Over Harvard


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

When I heard about 16-year old Ralph Jones Jr. choosing Florida A&M University over Harvard, I didn't even flinch. In fact, the words "woopty damn doo" came to mind. Those words were not chosen because I didn't appreciate the enormity of Jones' achievements, but rather, it was because most of us already know that many HBCUs are better than schools like Harvard and Yale. They are certainly better for African American students in almost every context.
The imaginary mystique of schools like Harvard and Yale effectively exists because these schools got a huge head start on HBCUs as it relates to access to resources and the establishment of legacy. In fact, many of these institutions were founded at a time when it was illegal for slaves to learn how to read. So today, Ivy League universities have endowments in the billions, while many HBCUs can barely pay the light bill.


Click to read.

Kanye West Album Cover Shocks the World, Gets Banned from Walmart?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Like many other people across America, I found myself googling like crazy to see a picture of the new album cover issued by the great Kanye West. Well, I use the word "great" to describe West for a few reasons. First, he's made it clear that he sees himself as the greatest artist of all time. Secondly, many of his fans think he's the greatest. Third, he's certainly had the kind of impact on music and culture that only a great artist can produce. Therefore, he certainly fulfills the definition of greatness, at least in my mind. But that doesn't mean I like him.
Great artists are rarely well-behaved, and Kanye is certainly no exception. His music changes at the drop of a hat, with Kanye taking creative risks that sometimes cause many of his fans jump ship. He's also said some of the most random things in live venues, including his challenge to Taylor Swift during the MTV Music Video Awards. We also can't forget when West disappeared from NBC for years after telling George W. Bush (and the rest of the country) that Bush doesn't care about black people. I applauded when Kanye went after Bush, I shook my head in shame when he attacked Taylor Swift. So, like the rest of you, my perception of Kanye is certainly mixed, which is probably the way he wants it.


Click to read.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Meet Dr. Boyce Watkins

Q: What do you stand for?

A: I stand for fairness and doing what is right.  I am not a Finance Professor who happens to be black, I am a black man who happens to be a Finance Professor.  There is a great deal of inequality in America that runs along racial lines.  This is due to the fact that our country has built a 400 year social, financial and educational infrastructure that promotes the advancement of one group over the other.  It is my job as a public scholar to challenge this imbalance and work to find solutions to these problems.  My primary tools of choice are education and economic empowerment.  I work hard to teach youth, especially African Americans, the value of being highly educated and the additional value that comes from becoming Financially independent and empowered. Those were the choices that changed my life and gave me the freedom and strength to express myself honestly, creatively and (some think) intelligently.

I also want to challenge the NCAA to rethink the way it treats college athletes.  As a Finance Professor, I am not sure how we can justify earning millions for our coaches and administrators,  while allowing the sources of labor (the athletes) and their families to live in poverty.  This is wrong and unAmerican, for capitalism should give us the rights to freely negotiate our wages.  When we engaged in our campaign on CNN, ESPN and CBS to challenge the actions of the NCAA, people thought I was trying to attack them.  The truth is that I don't enjoy attacking anyone, I only want to fight for fairness.  One thing that my students have always said about me (whether they love me or hate me) is that I am fair.  I call it for what it is.

Q: Your work can be controversial, why do you do it?

A: I ask myself that question every single day!  Personally, I believe that the role of the black scholar in America is to work hard to uplift our communities.   Our intellect is needed, and in addition to engaging in scholarly research that lies in dusty academic journals, we should become active in our communities and throughout the world.  I believe strongly in the concept of Scholarship in Action.  The thing about Scholarship in Action is that it requires the combination of intellect, creativity, curiosity, commitment, passion and courage that stands at the root of all true genius.  I do not consider myself a genius, but I wake up every day thinking "I am one day closer to my last day on this earth.  How can I get the best return on my investment?"  That is what keeps me going.

Click to read more.

Dems Trying to Get Black Folks to Vote: Should They Listen?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I was on the radio this morning with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (Columbia University Professor and host of "Our World with Black Enterprise"), Regina Thomas (former Secretary of the Commonwealth for the State of Virginia) and Charles M. Blow from the New York Times. One of the issues that came up is the fact that the Democratic Party is spending as much as three million dollars to shore up the black vote before the mid-term elections. Apparently, they suddenly realize that black voters exist, and I wouldn't be surprised if black voters disappear from their memories again after the elections are over. By ignoring key issues in our community and suddenly appealing to black voters when it's time to protect their power, the Democrats are coming off as frat boys who show up to a girl's house when it's time to get naked.
One of the profound points being made by Dr. Hill (which I backed up immediately) was the fact that the Democrats, in their appeal to black voters, have not taken the time to establish any kind of trade-off with our community. There's been no consistent effort to directly address massive black unemployment, excessive numbers of foreclosures, disparities in the educational system, mass incarceration or any of the other issues that matter to us. Now, for some reason, the Democrats think that African Americans will forget that they've been forgotten.


Click to read.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Boyce Watkins: Don’t Let the Justice System Kill Your Sons

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

This week, I got together with a coalition of other concerned citizens and met at the steps of the county courthouse.  We then marched around the jail to fight for the rights of two people of color, Chuniece Patterson and Raul Pinet, both of whom recently died while in police custody.  The march and the reasons behind it led me down a path of self-discovery when it comes to understanding the impact that the criminal justice system has on our community and our children.

Click to read.

Have Race Relations Gotten Worse Under Obama?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

A recent Rasmussen Poll has revealed some interesting information about the state of black-white relations in America. According to the poll, only 36 percent of Americans think that race relations between blacks and whites are getting better. This number is down dramatically from 62 percent last year at the time of the Henry Louis Gates debacle.
The study also says that 27 percent of respondents say that race relations are getting worse, which is a 10 percent increase since July 2009. Another 33 percent of Americans think that relations are about the same.
As usual, whites and blacks don't view race relations in the same way, with African Americans being much less optimistic than whites. A full 39 percent of whites think relations are getting better, while only 13 percent of African Americans agree with that assessment.


Click to read.

1 in 22 African Americans Will be Infected by HIV

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

More “good” news from the Center for Disease Control:  African Americans have a 1-in-22 chance of catching HIV in their lifetimes.  This is eight times the rate for white Americans.  Of course the numbers are no surprise, given that HIV is already spreading quite rapidly through our community.   This confirmation from the CDC is simply another depressing reminder of the risks of irresponsible sex.

Obviously, sex is as natural as breathing, given that it’s the reason we even exist in the first place.  But the power of sex must also be respected, and some of us grow up in a culture where casual sex is considered the norm and the pursuit of good sex is worthy of being a lifelong endeavor.  While I am certainly not here to judge, perhaps we should consider a few thoughts:

Click to read.

Friday, October 15, 2010

TI Headed Back to Prison: Artist Gets 11 Months

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The rapper T.I. appeared in court today, pleading with the judge not to send him back to prison. The artist faced five to 11 months in prison for violating the terms of his probation after being caught in possession of illegal narcotics. He and his wife Tameka "Tiny" Cottle were arrested last month, with the arrest taking over national headlines for several days.
T.I. (a.k.a. Clifford Harris Jr.) told the judge that he needs help for drug addiction instead of incarceration. The U.S. Attorney's Office, however, is asking that the artist spend two years in prison. The media was not allowed into the courtroom during the hearing, at the request of the judge.

Click to read

New Birth, Eddie Long’s Church, Gets Sued Yet Again

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

A woman who was once employed by the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is suing, alleging that other employees retaliated against her when she complained about being sexually harassed. Tama Colson filed suit in the U.S. District Court of North Georgia, with the suit asking for unspecified damages.
Colson says that another employee showed her a picture of a penis on a cell phone. She says that when she complained about the incident, other employees retaliated against her. She is claiming that the church is responsible for the harassment she experienced, as well as the retaliation and emotional distress.
"New Birth has a strict policy against sexual harassment that requires employees to report the complaint within 48 hours of the abuse," Long and church spokesman Art Franklin told CNN.
"Tama Colson's complaint allegedly happened in October of 2009," the statement said. "Although, Tama Colson was aware of the New Birth sexual harassment policy she did not make her complaint known to New Birth authorities until August of this year. New Birth moved swiftly to launch an investigation that is ongoing.”


Click to read

Dr Boyce and Al Sharpton ask if Obama Has Hurt Race Relations in America


Dr. Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Sharpton ask whether or not President Obama should be accused of helping or hurting race relations – listen by clicking here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dr. Boyce: Illinois Candidate’s Name Spelled “Rich Whitey” on Ballot

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The Green Party candidate for governor of the state of Illinois is a man by the name of Rich Whitney. Unfortunately, if you take one letter out of his name, you turn him from a serious candidate into a serious joke.
That's what happened to Whitney this week, when his name was misspelled as "Rich Whitey" on voting machines in almost two dozen wards in the city of Chicago. Even worse is the fact that the wards are in predominantly African American neighborhoods.

Click to read.

Dr. Boyce: I’m Happy Agents Pay College Athletes


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Sports agent Josh Luchs admitted recently during an interview that he’s been paying college athletes for years.  He said that in order to get athletes to sign with him, he’d give them amounts as high as $10,000 in hopes that he might have their name on a contract for millions.

Please don’t act as if you’re surprised.  Also, don’t act as if you’re somehow offended by the reality that in an allegedly free and capitalist society that someone would (gasp) pay a few thousand bucks to land a multi-million dollar commodity.  The only thing disturbing about Luch’s revelation is that he didn’t pay the athletes even more.

I personally consider Luchs to be part hero, part villain.  He’s a hero because everyone knows that athletes and their families deserve a piece of the billions that they earn for the fat cats with the NCAA.  College athletics produces revenue on par with all of the other professional sports leagues.  For some reason, we are caught up in the antiquated notion that we are somehow preserving the innocence of revenue-generating athletes by forcing their families to remain in poverty while others get rich from their labor.

Click to read.

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Black America Must Outgrow the Jay-Z Business Model

"Boyce Watkins"

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Jay-Z is an amazing rapper.  Some think that he’s been in the game for a bit too long, but I don’t agree.  Personally, I think “Jigga” simply reflects the fact that hip-hop itself is aging.  Jazz was once solely the domain of rebellious teenagers, but now you’re sure to hear it playing in every old folk’s home across America.  The same is going to be true for hip-hop.

Jay-Z has said repeatedly that he will stop making music, and I’m sure that one day he will.  However, there is one area in which we need to retire Jay-Z: In his role as the pre-eminent black businessman in America.  It’s not that Jay-Z is a bad role model, it’s just that he’s been exhausted.

Don’t get me wrong, Jigga has made significant amounts of money by busting rhymes on his left and selling clothes on his right.  Good for him.  But is he really the best business role model for young black males, who are already consumed with a culture that teaches them that all they can be are rappers or athletes?  No, he is not.  Young black women also find that their leading role models in business are women like Oprah and Beyonce, both of whom keep us hyper-fixated on the entertainment industry.   It’s time to make a change.

Click to read.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dr. Boyce: Black Bloggers Invited to the White House – Why I Am Happy Not to Go


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

President Obama recently invited a slew of African American bloggers to the White House for a “black online summit” of sorts.  Many commentators from Black America Web, News One and even my very own AOL Black Voices were brought in to talk turkey with the president before the election. 

I do a lot of writing on the web, and I actually do work with several of the sites that were invited to the White House summit.  But I wasn’t asked to be part of this particular gathering.  I am not ashamed to admit that I wasn’t invited, because I never expected to be brought in anyway.  In fact, I despise the idea of spending all my time around politicians, many of whom only seem to care about their own agenda. 

Click to read.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Morehouse College President, Vibe Magazine and the “Mean Girls of Morehouse”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Morehouse College President Robert Franklin apparently doesn't like to see himself or his institution embarrassed. Vibe Magazine seemed determined to do just that by recently publishing an article entitled, "The Mean Girls of Morehouse," which seemed to be an interesting analysis of the gay student population at the institution.
Franklin's letter to the public in response to the article, showed that the president found little humor in the approach used by Vibe:

"It seems clear from the headline alone that the Vibe editorial team's intent is to sensationalize and distort reality for the purpose of driving readership. The title of the article speaks volumes about a perspective that is very narrow and one that is, in all likelihood, offensive to our students whether gay or straight."


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The Latest on Bishop Eddie Long: Another Lawsuit Filed, For Another Reason

Bishop Eddie Long: 5th Lawsuit Filed

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

When it rains it pours. Bishop Eddie Long, the subject of a sex scandal that has riveted the nation, suddenly finds himself the target of yet another lawsuit. This one doesn't involve sex, though. Instead, Bishop Eddie Long is being accused of defaulting on a property loan to the tune of $1.9 million. This is the fifth lawsuit filed against Bishop Eddie Long in the past month.
The other four suits filed against Long include accusations that he used his power and influence to coerce sex from young men in his care. The latest lawsuit only names Long and doesn't name his church, New Birth Missionary Baptist.
"I am unaware of the lawsuit that you referenced and have no comment about it at this time," Bishop Eddie Long spokesman Art Franklin told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Wilmer Leon: How a Foreclosure Freeze Might Affect Our Economy

How a foreclosure freeze could heat up our economy

by Dr. Wilmer Leon

Recently some of the largest mortgage servicers such as Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and GMACMortgage have suspended their property foreclosure proceedings in many U.S. states amidst allegations of their failing to follow legal foreclosure procedures. These are some of the same institutions that received a massive federal bailout in the midst of the economic crisis.

America is on pace to top 1.2 million bank foreclosures by the end of this year. According to RealtyTrac "Lenders foreclosed on 95,364 U.S. properties in August, the highest monthly total in the history of the report and about 2 percent higher than the previous peak of 93,777 bank repossessions (REOs) in May 2010."

Reports indicate that due to this surge in bank foreclosures, mortgage company officials have not been properly reviewing all of the paperwork and in some instances have not been in possession of complete loan packages. One of the major causes of this problem goes back to the genesis of the economic crisis. When a mortgage is resold the seller and new buyer are required to execute a document called an "assignment". This document provides proof that the transaction actually took place. As these "toxic loans" were being sliced, diced, and resold as valuable parts of other financial instruments, paperwork got lost or was never processed. Now that these toxic loans are in default the mortgage servicers are trying to resell the properties without the "assignment". In real estate that's a huge problem.


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Monday, October 11, 2010

Dr. Boyce Gives More Coaching on MSN’s “The Invested Life”


A new episode of our MSNBC special is out.  You can watch it by clicking here.

Should People Spend their Time Protesting Against Sagging?

North Carolina Couple Staging a Rally to Protest

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Ken and Gwen Rasheed of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, apparently find saggy pants to be a serious problem in their personal lives. The two are working diligently to fight for an ordinance banning teens from "saggin" and have a zero tolerance policy for this style of dress. In fact, this past Saturday, the couple had a rally against saggy pants.
"I was working in the recreation department in one of the recreation centers and about 95 percent of the kids that came in there had their pants saggy," said Ken toldFox 8 News in Winston-Salem. "To me, the sagging and showing your underwear is not showing any pride in who you are."

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CBC Joins Dr. Boyce Watkins in Call on Black Unemployment Issue

Congressional Black Caucus

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

From Black America Web via Clutch Magazine

On the heels of September's mixed unemployment report, the Congressional Black Caucus renewed its call for President Barack Obama and Congress to do something to specifically address the nation's high black joblessness rate.
The country's unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.6 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. The economic monthly report was a mix of good news and bad. The good: The private sector added 64,000 jobs last month. The bad: Government agencies cut 159,000 jobs, many of them federal Census workers and state and local employees.


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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Marc Lamont Hill Hosts New Show for Black Enterprise


Oct 07, 2010 14:10 ET

Marc Lamont Hill Premieres as New Host of "Our World with Black Enterprise"

New Season, New Host, New Perspective... Syndicated Series Spotlighting Contemporary African American Experiences Returns Beginning This Weekend, October 9th & 10th

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 7, 2010) -  Dr. Marc Lamont Hill makes his debut as host of the nationally syndicated television series Our World with Black Enterprise this weekend, October 9th and 10th. He brings a fresh and engaging perspective to a show uniquely focused on the contemporary African American experience. Airing in more than 145 markets, the weekly, 30-minute program is a mix of one-on-one All Access interviews with today's top newsmakers and celebrities, On the Record discussions about the hottest topics affecting African Americans, and Slice of Life profiles of some of the world's most intriguing people.

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The Shooting of Daniel Covington: Black Athlete Shot But Shooter Doesn’t Go to Prison

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Daniel Covington is a former football player for The University of Louisville. His recent shooting death has been the subject of controversy in the southern urban center of Louisville, Kentucky. Covington was shot at 2:30 a.m. in downtown Louisville, Kentucky on September 16. The shooter was Isaiah Howes, who happens to be a former baseball star for the same school as his victim. The shooting allegedly took place after Covington attacked Howe by reaching into his car and punching him. The incident occurred after a prior altercation at a local bar. Howe shot through his brother's hand and hit Covington in the torso. He died at the scene of the shooting.
The shooting of Daniel Covington has led to an uproar in the black communities of Louisville and nearby Lexington. Many residents are angry that the shooter has not been charged for the incident, in spite of the fact that many claim he left the scene. They also wonder why Howes chose to pull out a gun to shoot someone in a fist fight.
The attorney for Isaiah Howes says that his client was a victim as well. He argues that the shooting was in self-defense and that Howes had no choice but to use the gun. He also denies that his client used any racial slurs toward Covington, as some have indicated.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Karen Owen: Duke Student Writes Thesis About Sex Romps with Athletes

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Duke University student Karen Owen might have seemed pretty normal to most of us. She was a typical student for the most part, perhaps even extraordinary, given that she'd been admitted to Duke. But Owen did something that is probably making her mama blush. Owen put together what she called a "F**k list," consisting of a detailed account of the long list of athletes with whom she'd had sex. The "thesis," which was a 42-page powerpoint document, was called "An Education Beyond the Classroom: Excelling in the Realm of Horizontal Academics." She refers to the men in the document as her "subjects" and even thanks them in the acknowledgements section of the paper. In the document, Owen discusses the size of the men's "assets," and rates them on a variety of sexual attributes. There are 13 athletes featured that Owen says she "got busy" with.


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Friday, October 8, 2010

Dr. Watkins in the Huffington Post: What Would Dr. King Say about Obama?

by Mike Green, Huffington Post

When unemployment in Black America topped 16 percent and Black teen unemployment skyrocketed to an outrageous 45 percent this summer, the voices of outrage were muffled in the pockets of a few media that cared to cover the crisis. The majority of media wrung their collective hands over 9 and 10 percent unemployment challenges in White America, with overall teen unemployment hovering at 23 percent.

Dirty Secret

"A dirty little secret is that many jobs are not going to come back," says Johnathan Holifield, founder of Trim Tab System, LLC, a personal development and organizational leadership methodology, which applies innovation concepts and tools to generate exponential impact.

"Under the old model, recovery meant increased productivity, which meant increased hiring, Holifield said. "That is no longer the case. Because of the ingenious uses and applications and adoptions of new technology throughout our economy, we will continue to experience productivity growth but we will not have the level of job replacement and hiring that our recoveries in the past have been accustomed to."

Dear President Obama ...

Dr. Boyce Watkins, founder of Your Black World, underscores Holifield's point. He wrote a public letter to President Barack Obama that stated in part:

"In addition to massive unemployment, wealth inequality in America remains a persistent problem, causing African Americans to bear the brunt of this economic crisis in ways that are unimaginable to other Americans. Our homes are facing foreclosure more often and we are less able to rely on a source of background wealth to help us get through the toughest times.

"Yet, while we are the least prepared for the recession, we are being hit with a downturn that is twice as forceful as that being experienced by the rest of America. In fact, even after the recession is over, our unemployment rate will probably be as high or higher than the rate that white Americans are agonizing over right now. The United Nations has investigated this issueas a human rights violation, because it appears that we live in a nation that accepts a black underclass as a default way of life.

"To this point, your administration has remained disturbingly silent on the issue of black unemployment. The silence is deafening, but the economic hardship is loud and clear. I am concerned that many of your key economic advisers are unable or unwilling to process and empathize with the depths of black economic misery in America."

Never-Ending Recession

Dr. Watkins called on President Obama to institute political efforts and policy measures that would help create urban jobs through congressional legislation and generate more government contracts with African American companies.

At, Dr. Watkins made a compelling case that suggests even when the economy recovers, the burden of unemployment for Black America will still be in double digits while the nation celebrates a long-awaited return to prosperity. He states:

"Our country spent 400 years firmly placing black folks at the bottom of the social totem poll, only allowing us to recently participate as laborers in the American economic system.

"The conclusion is that even during good economic times, it is acceptable in the eyes of the Obama Administration for black unemployment to be worse than it is for whites during a recession. The recession will never end for us."


Click to read.