A recent study found that HBCU grads earn less money than their counterparts at Predominantly White Institutions. Why is that?
Black men talking about black men. That is what Your Black Brothers is all about. Whatever affects you as an African-American male is fair game for this blog. Black men discuss everything from black sports, to black health, politics, religion and everything else. Brothers unite and talk it out...that's what we do here.
A recent study found that HBCU grads earn less money than their counterparts at Predominantly White Institutions. Why is that?
Every now and then, some families get to experience “that intervention moment.” This is when the uncle who’s been getting high, drunk and abusive every single day finally admits that he might have a problem. Of course he still minimizes the significance of his issues, but he has at least opened the door to getting the help that he needs.
For the American justice and economic systems, the NCAA is the addicted uncle. But rather than being hooked on drugs, the NCAA is addicted to the highs of capitalism and corporate greed. By being able to skirt the legal and moral parameters of our society, this professional sports league has been able to extract wealth from student athletes and the African American community to the tune of several billion dollars.
The NCAA’s new president, Mark Emmert, shocked the world when he admitted that it might be time for student athletes and their families to share in the massive revenue streams being generated by their kids. Emmert has admitted that he would like to “explore” the issue of modestly increasing the scholarship limits of student athletes in revenue-generating sports, primarily football and basketball. While remaining far from admitting that there should be significant changes, Emmert has confessed to the fact that the financial asymmetries might be a bit uncomfortable.
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action
As a fan of hip-hop, I couldn’t help but appreciate the talent of the rapper Wiz Khalifa out of Pittsburgh. Fresh off the release of his new album, “Rolling Papers,” Wiz appears to be on the top of the hip-hop world. The first thing I thought about when I heard Wiz Khalifa’s style is that he sounded remarkably similar to artists of my generation, namely Snoop Dogg and Too Short.
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action
According to a recent survey conducted by YourBlackWorld.com, 27.3% of African American respondents claim that President Obama’s most recent actions in Libya have reduced their faith in his leadership ability. Roughly 20.8% of respondents claim that the Libyan intervention has increased their faith in Obama’s leadership. Equally interesting is that over half (51.8%) of all black respondents to the survey said that the Libyan intervention has no impact at all on their perception of President Obama’s ability to lead.
“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” according to Michelle Alexander, a law professor at The Ohio State University. Alexander is the author of an interesting new book called “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindedness.”
According to Professor Alexander, increases in crime rates do not explain the massive growth in black male incarceration that has taken place over the last 30 years.
Deion Sanders, who stopped mentoring Dez Bryant months ago, strongly criticized theDallas Cowboys receiver in reaction to the criminal trespass warning given to Bryant over the weekend at a Dallas mall.
"I'm upset but not surprised whatsoever," Sanders said on The Ben & Skin Show on ESPN 103.3 FM in Dallas.
Sanders described Bryant's behavior at NorthPark Center on Saturday as "ignorant."
The 2010 first-round pick was issued the warning after an off-duty police officer requested that Bryant and his friends pull up their pants because their underwear was showing and Bryant responded with repeated profanity, according to the police report.
Quick Note from Dr. Boyce Watkins
I noticed a couple of things this weekend: First, Louis Farrakhan’s attack on President Obama’s decision to bomb Libya became one of the most amazingly viral videos I’ve seen in quite a while. In just a couple of days, the video had over half a million views, which is rare and powerful for a video of that nature. Farrakhan is not like, say, Lady Gaga or Kanye West (who might get a lot of views from non-black folks). He fits into a niche of black leadership, receiving views from only a particular segment of the population.
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World
It turns out that pictures were found on the University of Kentucky campus with derogatory language aimed at President Barack Obama. Police are investigating the incident, and a professor said he found one of the pictures hanging in the College of Law of all places. If the police find out who put out the signs, they could be charged with third-degree criminal mischief.
As an alum of The University of Kentucky, the incident doesn’t surprise me. When I was a student there in the 1990s, there were a multitude of racially-charged incidents. In fact, I feared for my life with all the death threats I would receive after writing articles in the campus newspaper (someone even warned me that they spoke heavily of me at a local klan rally). The school’s racial hostility was a great training ground for years later, when I would get death threats from Fox News viewers after sparring with Sean Hannity on television.
Professor Carlos Thomas is one of the sharpest, most powerful black men on earth. Sitting on two PhDs (not one), Thomas has built a career that embraces the essence of the black academic warrior. Not only is he typically the sharpest man in the room, he is a living personification of the essence of what it means to be a black man in America: To love your family, teach the children around you (not just your own), and to stand a stand for what is right. It is because he has chosen to live a life full of power and purpose that Dr. Thomas is today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices:
Comedian and TV show host Bill Maher made some interesting remarks the other day on his show about GOP fear and racial tension. During a segment in which he posted a picture of members of the New Black Panther Party, Maher noted that Republicans generally "soil their adult diapers" when confronted by people of color. He did, however, note one exception:
"Every black person scares you (GOP) unless they look like Urkel, talk like Colin Powell and wear Bill Cosby sweaters."
I wish I could say that the remark was funny, but the truth is that it's funnier in print than it was during the delivery. All the while, I have to give Maher credit for speaking the truth. When it comes to the integration of African Americans into mainstream America, there is a notion of "acceptability" that many of us, especially black males, are forced to constantly deal with.
Hollywood superstar Forest Whitaker was recently hit with a large tax bill after failing to pay $185,000 he owed to the IRS. The tax collectors in California have cited Whitaker and filed a lien for the balance. Both he and his wife Keisha are named in the complaint, which was filed in the Los Angeles County Recorder of Deeds.
It was reported in 2009 that Whitaker owed $1.29 million in state and federal taxes. Whitaker is not the only Hollywood megastar to have tax problems. Actor Wesley Snipes is in prison until 2013 after being charged with failing to file tax returns for three years.
Chris Tucker was hit with some very serious tax problems himself, as the LA County Records Office showed that Tucker owed over $11 million in taxes up through 2006. Actor Nicolas Cage was also found to owe millions to the IRS.
A year ago, we thought this date was never going to arrive. It's the one year anniversary of last year's"Measuring the Movement" forum, where Rev. Al Sharpton brought together a list of black public figures to produce constructive solutions for problems being faced by the African American community. The list of invitees was a virtual "who's who" of black leadership that only Sharpton could put together: NAACP President Ben Jealous, Urban League President Marc Morial, radio show host Tom Joyner, CNN's Roland Martin, Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson, Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree and even men like Judge Greg Mathis got together to talk about the direction of black America.
A couple of years ago, I went onto CNN to give measured support for Chris Brown as he was facing tremendous public scrutiny (much of it deserved) for his physical attacks on the singer Rihanna. I wasn’t trying to say that Chris was a good person; instead, I was arguing that he was a young kid who is not beyond redemption.
The bottom line was that Chris Brown is not a monster.
After hearing about his outburst today on Good Morning America, I am starting to think that Chris might be determined to become a monster. If he’s not a monster, he’s at least a damn idiot.
Juan Williams, the most peculiar black journalist in America, made yet another statement that had heads turning. Williams effectively made the argument that there's nothing wrong with people saying that young black men make them nervous. In a conversation with Dr. Caroline Helmand, a professor at Occidental College, Williams stood the Fox News line by basically refuting Helman's assertion that it would be bigoted for a person to say that they clutch their purse every time a black man walks by. The dialogue went like this:
Helmand: "I happen to agree with Schiller that your comments were bigoted. I think that if I were to say that I clutch my purse every time I walk by a black man that might resonate with a lot of Americans. It might be the truth but it's a bigoted statement. I certainly wouldn't have fired you but I do think there was some truth in that video that we don't get to talk about because we are afraid to have actual discourse in this country."
Wyclef Jean is now in a hospital recovering after being shot in his hand. Jean's publicist, Cindy Tanenbaum, said that the artist was shot Saturday in Port-au-Prince, the day before the runoff vote for the presidential election. According to Tanenbaum, Jean is doing well.
Gerry Andre, Jean's spokesperson in Haiti, said that the artist was shot in the hand when getting out of a car to speak with him.
"He heard a gunshot, then he saw his right-hand palm was bleeding," Andre told CNN.
It is not yet clear if Jean was an intended target of the shooting. The police investigation is being thwarted because Jean has refused to speak to them thus far. Garry Desrosiers, the spokesman for the Haitian National Police, is claiming that Jean has not cooperated with their investigation.
Written by Anslem Samuel at AOL: 7 Types of Women to Avoid
Whether a man's looking for Ms. Right or just Ms. Right Now, chances are he's going to run into a few Ms. Wrongs along the way. Problem is, a lot of men overlook the obvious red flags in a woman's personality because they're blinded by T&A or the prospect of a new sexual conquest.
However, once the honeymoon phase is over and he finally sees the light, it's time to figure out the best exit strategy. In an effort to avoid all that extra work, here are a few types of women that men should just avoid right out the gate.
A survey taken this week at YourBlackWorld.com has revealed that 88.5% of all African American respondents believe they have been victims of workplace racial discrimination at some point in their careers. The results were nearly uniform across men and women. A small percentage (5.5%) said they do not believe they've ever experienced racial discrimination in the workplace, and a similar percentage (6.1%) claim they are not sure.
The results are interesting in light of the well-documented economic struggles among African Americans, including unemployment rates that are nearly double those of white Americans. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, black unemployment stands at 15.3%, compared to just eight-percent for white Americans. Black public figures and political leaders have been calling on the Obama Administration to use targeted economic policy in order to alleviate racial disparities in wealth and employment, but to no avail thus far.
Kensley Hawkins was sent to prison in 1980 for the murder of one man and the attempted murder of two police officers in Chicago. He had an 8-year old daughter and was going to be in prison for a very long time.
During his time in prison, Kensley earned $75-per-month building furniture in Joliet, Illinois. Somehow, he was able to save $11,000 during his stay in the penitentiary, a small tribute to his daughter, who is now nearly 40-years old. But the state of Illinois is not satisfied, and has asked that Kensley be required to pay for the costs of his incarceration.
The state is arguing that Mr. Hawkins owes them $455,203.14 for the cost of keeping him in prison. The case has now reached the Illinois Supreme Court.
"The reason you want Mr. Hawkins to keep his money is because he's gonna get out of prison some day, and when he gets out of prison, we want him to have saved his money so that he can take care of himself you don't want the public to have to pay for him," Hawkins' attorney, Ben Weinberg, told Fox Chicago.
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action
So, Bill Cosby tells Russell Simmons to “Get the fuck out of my face”? I would like to say that the comment surprises me, but the truth is that someone else told me they had a similar interaction with Cosby in private. It appears that their divergence of opinions stems from Cosby’s remarks about black youth a few years ago. In case you don’t know, Cosby seems to think that all young people are headed to hell in a hand basket, and that they all miraculously decided to get together and destroy their own futures. The problem, obviously, is that there are a host of extraneous factors which led to the urban decay we’ve witnessed over the last 30 years: A failed educational system, unbelievable amounts of black unemployment and mass incarceration have worked together to destroy the integrity of the black family. Cosby’s courage in attacking single mothers and black teens is not matched with an equal amount of courage as it pertains to standing up to the powers-that-be who profit from our destruction. Therefore, his analysis was incomplete at best.
1) Tell your kids you love them every single day
Love not only makes the world go round, but every person needs to feel loved in order to have the balance necessary to be truly successful. If you love your kids, don’t just show it with your actions, say it with words. It will keep them from seeking love in all the wrong places.
2) Set an example for other fathers
The black male gets a bad rap for allegedly being an irresponsible father. We know that this stereotype is a misguided reflection of America’s historical hatred of the black male, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t encourage each other to do a better job. Demand that other brothers in your circle stand up as good fathers to their children, in spite of their circumstances. It can be tough to be a good parent with sky high unemployment and incarceration rates, but that doesn’t give you an excuse not to try. Those of us who ignore our children should be shamed into realizing how harmful such irresponsibility is to our community.
3) Always find a way to show respect to their mother
Even if you can’t stand the woman you had a child with, you should always give her as much respect as you possibly can. Kids don’t enjoy watching their parents fight, no matter whose fault it is. Also, in spite of your differences, you must always find a way to show appreciation toward the woman who gave life to your offspring.
4) Prepare them for the bullsh*t
We know that being black isn’t easy. You have to be twice as good to get half as much and life sometimes kicks you in the butt when you don’t deserve it. Prepare your kids for life as an African American, letting them know that they are going to have to be tough, smart and courageous to succeed in a world where the odds can be stacked against them. We all know that life isn’t fair, and it’s important to make sure your kids are prepared for the coming disparities.
This morning, I got a text from my respected colleague, Roland Martin. I can't remember what Roland and I were talking about, but I do remember what he told me at the end of our conversation. Roland mentioned that he couldn't do anything next week because "the cruise is leaving in a couple of days." I immediately became jealous, because I knew he was talking about the Fantastic Voyage, hosted by Tom Joyner.
I'm not always big on black folks looking for another party, but there is something I love about the Tom Joyner Cruise. Anyone who's ever been on a cruise knows that seeing another black person on a cruise ship is like searching for Louis Farrakhan at a Klan rally. While cruises can be fun, comfortable and even exciting, there is a dryness that people of color experience from a lack of cultural diversity.
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida told us, once again, what most of us already knew: Black Division I men's basketball players are lagging behind white student athletes when it comes to graduation rates. Although the study cites a long-term increase in the graduation rates of both groups, African-American males are still pulling up the rear.
So, what do we make of these disparities? Well, most casual observers of sport know that the graduation gap is a persistent part of collegiate athletics, and not a problem that is taken very seriously. We've come to expect that the white guys are the ones who walk away with access and opportunity while many of the black athletes, unfortunately, get about 10 seconds of fame and a lifetime of regrets. Even when these black male former athletes show up to their alma maters seeking jobs as coaches, they are typically rejected.
Disproportionate sampling may also play a role in the gap. In a recent ESPN documentary about the Fab Five at The University of Michigan, Jalen Rose mentions the widely-known practice of allowing white guys with goodGPAs and perhaps family connections to become bench warmers in order to help maintain the team grade point average. Nobody cares about who rides the end of the bench. They only pay their millions to see the men (typically black) who are dunking the basketballs and scoring all the points.
This morning I woke up to find out that Nathaniel D. Hale, better known as Nate Dogg, died last night (March 15). The cause of death has not been announced. But its easy to connect Nate Dogg’s death to the health problems that came from the massive strokes he suffered in 2007 and 2008.
Nobody sang hooks like Nate Dogg. Most of us can go back to Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” album in the early 1990s as well as “Regulate” by Warren G to see where this brilliant artist set the game on fire. I loved Nate Dogg, and I am going to miss him. Nobody could run the chorus the way he could, for he had a voice that hip-hop will remember for the next 50 years.
On another note, I wonder how Nate Dogg’s early death was related to some of the self-destructive habits
One reason that we do the spotlights here on AOL Black Voices is to profile businesses, organizations and individuals who are doing outstanding (but perhaps unsung) work within the African American community. While most media enjoys highlighting the dysfunction of the black community, we believe that there is plenty to celebrate. What I love about Ayize and Aiyana Ma'at is that they've found a way to use their love to create the financial fuel that helps to sustain their family. As certified relationship counselors, they also work together to help other couples find the love they've been seeking as well. It is because of their empowered commitment to strengthening the black family in America that Ayize and Aiyana Ma'at are today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices:
Given that March Madness is about to begin, many around the country are wondering if it’s time to start paying college athletes. Dr. Boyce Watkins appears below arguing that college athletes should be paid, and explains the reasons in Madison Square Garden in 2006 with Stephen A. Smith in attendance.
This is also a racial issue, since most of the individuals doing the work are black and those earning millions off of the labor are white. The NCAA earns more money during March Madness than the Super Bowl and the World Series, so Dr. Watkins is a long-time advocate of college athletes having the same labor rights as everyone else.
Part 1 is above
Part 2 is above
Holding its first ever anti-bullying conference last week, we found theWhite House quite concerned with bullying as a public health issue. Without doubt, the initiative is impressive - far too many children are left with nowhere to turn when cats with bad intentions follow them home, either to incessantly poke fun or to swipe their lunch money … or worse. Most of us will agree that it’s about time adults got involved.
I recall being chased by an older kid on my way home from kindergarten every day. The boy was eight years old which made him appear massive in the eyes of frightened five-year old. Back then, thePresident of the United States wasn’t going to protect you, you had to protect yourself. So, I did what any reasonable five-year old might consider doing in that situation: I put a brick upside his head. Needless to say, the bullying problem ended right then, for I had personally reclaimed domination over that relationship.
This week, a judge in Chicago gave NBA star Dwayne Wade sole custody of his two sons. The decision was made after a prolonged legal battle between Wade and his ex-wife, Siohvaughn. The boys are currently 8 and 3 years old. Wade has argued that his ex-wife has become violent toward him and falsely accused him of abusing his sons. A court-appointed representative for the boys made the recommendation that Wade be given full custody and that his ex-wife receive a mental evaluation.
I happened to be in Chicago when I heard about Wade's custody decision (which took place in a Chicago courtroom). What's even more ironic is that I heard about the decision shortly after having an opportunity to watch an episode of the television show, "Basketball Wives." During the show, I thought about the "interesting" custody battle between another baller, Dwight Howard and his ex-girlfriend Royce Reed, who is a member of the show's cast.
I lived through the Fab Five era within college basketball, literally breathing the same air and vicariously identifying with the brothers who brought power and style to the sport. I was approximately the same age as the five freshmen who took their team to the NCAA championship, and I even wore black socks on the court (yes, I am ashamed to admit that). An ESPN special recently took my mind back down memory lane by replaying the experience of the Fab Five and how they changed college basketball forever. To this day, there has been nothing like them, and I wouldn't be surprised if their feat is never replicated again.
The most intriguing aspect of the Fab Five special on ESPN was not their exploits on the basketball court (which were amazing), it was the conversation about money. When these five young men stepped onto the court for the University of Michigan, they instantly became cash cows for their universities. Sales of University of Michigan merchandise went from $1.5 million per year to over $10 million per year shortly after their first season. Jalen Rose, one of the members of the Fab Five, mentioned seeing that Nike had released a sneaker named after the group, and they regularly found their academic schedules being interrupted with trips around the world to promote a brand that was making everyone rich except for their own families.
I went to see “The Adjustment Bureau,” the new film starring Matt Damon and Anthony Mackie. Mackie has become one of my favorite actors as of late after taking some very bold and promising stands on how black Hollywood can address the racism they are constantly facing from the white Hollywood establishment. Rather than standing around moaning about the inequities of their profession, Mackie has simply said that we need to stand up and start creating our own films. I love what Mackie had to say, because you can never gain anyone’s respect by begging.
In a recent survey taken at YourBlackWorld.com, over 83 percent of the black respondents said that the NAACP is off-base by nominating hip-hop artists such as Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj, both of whom have used the N-word and lyrics that are derogatory toward women. In the survey, participants were asked the following question:
"The NAACP Image Awards recently nominated artists like Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj, both of whom have used the N-word and lyrics which degrade women. Does this make the NAACP hypocritical?"
In response to this question, 83 percent of the 335 respondents said "Yes, these nominations are a contradiction to the message and image of the NAACP." Another 5.8% of the African American respondents said that the NAACP might be a bit hypocritical in their approach, but that giving awards to these artists helps to keep them relevant. Another 10 percent of the respondents said that the NAACP was not being hypocritical by nominating these artists.
There are few jobs more important than mentoring and guiding young black boys. Over the last 30 years, we've witnessed an amazing slide in the outcomes of young men, as many of them have fallen victim to guns, drugs, mass incarceration, unemployment and a failed educational system. No matter who is responsible for the creation of this mess, it is going to take courage and commitment to cleaning it up. Men like Antoine McNutt have made it his career and life's mission to helping young males between the critical ages of 16 and 21, teaching them the value of being educated, remaining focused and making good decisions. It is due to his diligence in saving our endangered sons and brothers that Antoine McNutt is today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices:
What is your name, and what do you do?
I wrote about a new book regarding the NCAA’s alleged exploitation of black athletes, written by University of Georgia Professor Billy Hawkins. In his recently-released book, “The New Plantation,” Hawkins goes out of his way to help us understand that the method by which the NCAA does business is not much different from the mindset of plantation owners of the old south.
The analogies used by Professor Hawkins are thought-provoking and appear to be alarmist at first glance. After all, citizens are commonly comparing nearly every modern-day injustice to slavery in order to make a dramatic point. But in this case, the analogies are appropriate, in large part because slavery is not a dichotomy. Instead, it is actually a continuum, with complete freedom on one end and total servitude on the other. One could even argue that slaves themselves were not completely devoid of freedom, since they could have always chosen to run away, buy their freedom, maim themselves or even commit suicide as a way to escape their condition. The point of this very grim example is not to say that slavery was not entirely horrific; rather, it is to say that something does not have to be entirely horrific to be compared to slavery.
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action
Today I took my afternoon nap thinking about the days when I was captain of my high school track team in the 12th grade. I wasn’t the star of the team and I also wasn’t an academic star (my grades were terrible). Like many other black boys across America, I’d come to identify myself as an athletic commodity rather than an intellectual one.
I remember that one of the fastest boys on our team was also like a lot of other black males: He was in special education and had horrible grades. On his report card, he’d gotten two Fs, three Ds and a C. My coach was concerned about his grades, but not because he cared about the young man. He was only worried about his grades because he thought that the kid might not be eligible for the big track meet we had coming up.
I recently heard Rodney K. Washington speak at the Critical Conversations Summit at Jackson State University. I was instantly impressed with Dr. Washington's keen understanding of the experience of the black male in America and his willingness to attack the issue head-on. Skills like those of Dr. Washington are critical in a nation where black males have been placed into a cage that leads them to kill one another and commit homicide to their own futures every single day. We also need more black male educators put in front of the classrooms of public schools and universities who have yet to embrace the difference between true diversity and cosmetic window-dressing. It is for his decision to dedicate his scholarship to helping his community that Dr. Rodney K. Washington is today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices:
Two Nigerian men, Mike Adenuga and Aliko Dangote, represented their home country of Nigeria by placing themselves among the wealthiest men in the world. Both men made the Forbes billionaires list, with Adenuga ranking as number 595, while Dangote skyrocketed up to number 51. Dangote's fortune grew five fold last year, as he consolidated his holdings and went public on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. His company now has a market cap of $13 Billion, representing over one-fourth of the total market cap of the entire Nigerian stock market.
Dangote is able to make money hand-over-fist primarily because there are so few Nigerian cement suppliers to meet the country's increasing demand for construction. He is now wealthier than South African billionaires Nicky Oppenheimer from Debeers and John Rupert, both of whom are white. During my trip to Nigeria in 2009, I noticed that there was a tremendous amount of construction being done in the country, as well as a hunger to understand the principles of entrepreneurship and building a business. I expect the country to continue to grow, assuming that it can deal with itswell-documented corruption problems (for example, I was asked to give an agent money in order to get my bags through airport security).
Juan Williams, the Fox News commentator who was disgraced in a highly public firing by NPR last year, has decided to go at his old bosses after NPR went through a public humiliation of it's own. In a recent interview, Williams referred to NPR as an "all-white organization" that showed "the worst of white condescension" in the way they fired him last year. This was after NPR executive Ron Schiller was caught on a hidden camera referring to the Tea Party movement as racist.
"I think when it comes to NPR's decision to, without any reason, throw me out the door, I think that for them, especially for some of the people who created NPR, it's an all-white operation," Williams said. He also said that he felt that they favored white female journalists over black and Hispanic ones.
Sorry Juan, but what NPR did to you was not condescending. Condescending is when Fox News uses you as it's personal "Negro Stamp of Approval" for some of the most racist, vile and insulting commentary in news media today. I personally stopped appearing on Fox News in 2007 after the network decided that race-baiting was a great way to get ratings. The Obama presidency was just around the corner, and Fox News would take the lead in giving a platform to the racial ignorance that still exists in our country.
March 9, 1997 will forever go down in history as the day when the world lost one of it's most talented artists, the Notorious B.I.G. Biggie was "the man," dropping lyrics like no other, gaining respect all around the world. He was loved by the community, and his spirit continues to live in the world on the 14-year anniversary of the day that he died.
I loved both Biggie and Tupac when they were alive. Both of them were about my age, and I mourned with the rest of the world after hearing about their deaths. I can also say that, like nearly everyone else, I knew that both Biggie and Pac were going to die young. Both artists seemed to believe that the end was coming soon, which is a problem that is all too common among young African American males.
In the midst of the cultural cancer that impacts the lives of millions of young black men across America, we find that all too often young black men don't expect to become old men. Hip-hop has long existed as a venue through which the state of the black male is communicated, and in this arena, you find that there is consistent conversation about violence, homicide and the soldier-like suicidal mindset that these men must embrace in order to have a chance to keep breathing.
WEEKLY SEMINARS FOR FATHERS
HOW TO SUCCEED
IN FAMILY COURT
According to Eric Legette, President/Founder of Fathers With Voices (FWV), there are several major reasons that separated/divorced fathers would benefit from this seminar:
75% of fathers that contact FWV complain about the legal system and also state that they will not be successful within the legal system
40% of FWV cases involve visitation rights that have been violated
50% of FWV cases involve men who want to obtain their visitation rights
80-85% of FWV cases complain about their attorneys: they have spent thousands of dollars in legal fees and yet see no progress made in their cases
Since 1996, Fathers With Voices has accomplished its mission by assisting separated/divorced fathers throughout the United States to stay involved in their children’s lives. The success of Fathers With Voices has not diminished the fact that fifteen years later even more men are facing similar challenges related to their children. The most alarming concern is hearing men state over and over their belief that fathers cannot succeed within the legal system.
Wise Intelligent from Poor Righteous Teachers lays out his theory on why hip-hop is so negative and self-destructive. He argues that negative messages that black males share with one another are partly driven by the desire to put their social conscience to sleep. Watch the video below, or you can see it by clicking here.
One of my very good friends, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, speaks to a panel about the mass incarceration crisis that is affecting black males. Take a look.
It appears that life just got more complicated for former NBA star Allen Iverson. It is being reported that Iverson's 6,848 square-foot home in Cherry Hills, Colorado is now in foreclosure. Iverson is an 11-time NBA All-Star and former MVP. He purchased the home in 2008 for $3.88 million and now owes $2.5 million to Wells Fargo.
I am not sure if this foreclosure is part of a broader financial trend in Iverson's life, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised. For some odd reason, the last five years have produced one of the fastest slides of any player in recent memory. Just a few years ago, Iverson was an NBA beast; slashing, leaping and sprinting his way to magical performances. As the years went by, we saw more and more reports that Iverson's personal life was starting to unravel. Stories about alcoholism and gambling problems were accompanied by an embarrassing drop in his on-court statistics, leading America to conclude that Iverson was becoming an aging also-ran.
Researchers at Michigan State University have just found that those who identify with their race more strongly than others tend to be happier. The study, which is set to appear in the journal Cultural Diversity and Ethic Minority Psychology, is the first empirical study to document such a relationship.
"This is the first empirical study we know of that shows a relationship between racial identity and happiness," said Stevie C.Y. Yap, who is the lead researcher on the project.
While there have been studies linking racial identity to higher self-esteem, none have actually connected it to happiness. The study surveyed black adults in the state of Michigan. They found that the more the subject identified with being black, or the more important their blackness was to them, the happier they were with life in general.
Click here to hear an interview between Roland Martin and Pastor Kenneth Whalum about the pending merger of Memphis City Schools with those of Shelby County.
Click here to see the other point of view.
This is Dr. Boyce wrote on the issue on AOL Black Voices:
Memphis, Tennessee is a city that is rich with culture, history and opportunity. I've visited the city on several occasions and found the city and its people to be quite enjoyable on all levels. What's also interesting about Memphis, however, is that it's city schools are failing and it continues to be a town that is plagued with racism: The city itself is mostly black, while wealthier whites live on the outskirts, hoping that the black folks don't come and rain on their parade. The city is not nearly as disconnected from it's legacy of blatant racism as it might want to believe.
Voters in the city of Memphis are being sent to the polls Tuesday to decide whether or not to transfer control of the Memphis City Schools to Shelby County, which surrounds Memphis. The Memphis City School Board voted on December 20 to surrender its charter and relinquish control of Memphis City Schools to Shelby County, leading to tomorrow's showdown. The referendum effectively allows voters to validate the decision by the school board, overriding Shelby County's legal challenge to the Memphis City School Board decision.
I was introduced to the work of Roszalyn Akins at a conference being held by the Mississippi Learning Institute. Roz (that's her nickname) was giving a presentation about her program called "Black Males Working." I was immediately impressed with the vigor and passion with which Roz approached the important task of mentoring and educating young black boys. Without having the funding nor the fanfare that her program truly deserves, Roz has taken the "worst" kids in her district and turned them into academic champions. She reminds us that there is nothing that our kids can't do when they are given an opportunity and a little bit of encouragement. Saving the black male is not just something just that helps black men. It is important to any woman who cares about her son, husband, brother or father and the abysmal outcomes that occur in a society that is designed to destroy you. So, saving the black male is critical to protecting the black family in America. It is for her never-ending commitment to empowering black boys that Roszalyn Akins is today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) is standing by her reference to the Obama Administration as a "gangster government." Bachmann, who is the founder of the Tea Party Caucus, said "I don't take back my statement on gangster government. I think that there have been actions that have been taken by this government that I think are corrupt."
Bachmann's "gangster" assertion relates to $105 billion that was included in the health care law provided for its implementation. She said that the White House should apologize for providing the funding, and accuses the Obama Administration of widespread corruption.
From Dr. Boyce Watkins
In the video below, I talk about my upcoming appearance at the National Black Law Students Association conference, as well as ways that African Americans can learn the difference between going to school and being educated. There is also a difference between being free and being INDEPENDENT, which many educated African Americans may want to consider.
Many of us end up missing our true calling because we’ve allowed someone else to tell us how to live. I would like to share some ideas on how to have a life worth living.
You can watch the video by clicking here.
From Dr. Boyce Watkins – Scholarship in Action
“For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found.
This drug network opened the first pipeline between Colombia's cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the "crack" capital of the world. The cocaine that flooded in helped spark a crack explosion in urban America . . . and provided the cash and connections needed for L.A.'s gangs to buy automatic weapons.” – San Jose Mercury News, 1996
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action
It appears that the “great” Rush Limbaugh doesn’t believe that Barack Obama is black. On his show, Limbaugh responded to Obama’s suggestion during a meeting that some of the animus being shown toward him was driven by race (which we all know plays a huge role in the unprecedented attacks he’s been facing from his political opponents). On his radio show, Limbaugh had this to say:
"Let me ask you a question. How many people really think of Obama as black? ...One of Obama's parents is black. Undeniable. But he was raised by a white mother, by white grandparents. He went to a highly exclusive private school in Hawaii with rich, white students and white teachers. He went to exclusive colleges that were practically lily-white. Barry Obama is from a very white, albeit radically left, cultural background. He's not from the hood. He's not from the movement...I'm telling you, there is a chip on this guy's shoulder, and it is a factor in every policy decision that he makes."
What’s interesting is that Rush Limbaugh’s statement is a powerful reminder of the kind of racism he embodies with his typical rhetoric. Somehow, Limbaugh was made to believe that being black means that you are “from the hood” or “from the movement.” The truth is that being black can also mean that you were born middle/upper class, attended elite universities, or are a sociopolitical conservative. By confining blackness to mean that a person must have had a specific background or be confined to a particular economic or social class, Limbaugh comes off as the standard sort of racist who remains hell-bent on disrespecting our humanity.
Black Celebrity GossipBlack Scholarship
Dr. Boyce Watkins
Money and Love Blog
Black Global News
Dr. Boyce Watkins Blog
Hip Hop vs. America
Hip Hop Intellectuals
Black Advice and Counseling
African American Speakers
Black Men in America< br>African American News
Black Politics in America Patti Labelle