Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I am not a fan of the NCAA, a sports league that earns money on the par of the NFL and NBA, but has somehow decided that they don’t have to properly compensate their employees or give them standard rights to negotiation. What’s worse is that the NCAA does tremendous harm to the African American community, sucking up kids with hoop dreams and destroying their futures with inferior educations.
When I recently read that the NCAA may be hiring a black president (Dr. Bernard Franklin), the only thing I could say is “whoopty-damn-doo.” While some of us might be tempted to applaud such an achievement, we must fully understand that the disease of racism is sometimes delivered through the hands of a black overseer.
Dr. Franklin, while running around the country applauding his organization for giving one opportunity to one black person, should probably think of the thousands of African American families being used up by the very system he has been trained to manage. The NCAA is, without question, one of the most exploitative regimes in the history of America, right next to slavery and the prison system. Billions are earned each year off the backs of African American families, while the league has worked together with Congress to create a nexus of regulations that keep the athlete and his/her family from getting a piece of the economic pie.Click to read.
By the end of this week, the NCAA may start the process of joining the rest of the country in making history. Nearly a year after American voters elected the nation's first black president, the association that runs college sports may be poised to select the first black man to run one of the country's major sports organizations.
The NCAA's Executive Committee is slated to meet this Thursday at the organization's headquarters in Indianapolis, and is expected to choose a firm to help in its search to find a successor to Myles Brand, the former president, who died last month.
Among the contenders is Dr. Bernard Franklin, a former president of four schools, most notably Virginia Union. Franklin, who was hired for the NCAA by Brand, currently serves as the organization's executive vice president for membership and student-athlete affairs.
Franklin's ascendance would not only zoom the NCAA past the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NBA in terms of moving an African-American into a chief executive post, but would send a powerful message to university and college presidents, who could desperately use it. (It bears noting that African-American James Frank, of Lincoln University, previously served as the NCAA's president. However, that title was given to elected officials from individual schools, while the post of executive director went to the full-time chief executive officer.)
You have a much better chance of finding subtlety in a Tyler Perry movie than you do of spotting an African-American football coach or athletic director - often two of the most powerful positions on a college campus - at the nation's biggest colleges.click to read.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Dr. Niara Sudarkasa, the first woman President of Lincoln University, has a name that reflects her reality. Niara means woman of high purpose, and that she is, indeed. After leaving Lincoln University in 1998, she traveled and consulted, and has recently been scholar-in-residence at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Last week, she donated her papers and personal library, including more than 3800 books, 4100 issues of journals and periodicals, plaques and other collectibles, including the outfit she wore when she was enstooled as a chief in the Ife Kingdom of Nigeria. This is a sister and scholar whose name ought to be spoken frequently among African American people, especially those who have concerns about the African American family, and those who have interests in things African. We are more likely to know entertainers, however, than we are to know scholars. This is a scholar certainly worth knowing.
I had the honor of traveling to Fort Lauderdale to help salute Dr. Sudarkasa on the occasion of her very generous gift (valued at more than $270,000) to the library. In thinking about Niara's life and career, I was especially focused on the work she has done as an Africanist and anthropologist, long before it was fashionable for African American people to look at our African roots. Indeed, Niara learned Yoruba as part of her doctoral work and studies the work that women did in African society for her dissertation. Her early work lays the foundation for contemporary work on linkages between Africa and the United States.
Monday, October 26, 2009
To join the Your Black World Coalition, please visit www.YourBlackWorld.com.
From Dr Boyce Watkins
To the Your Black World family:
When the children of my assistant Shauntay (Justin and Journi) brought the case of Heather Ellis to me, I was in disbelief. I was shocked that in 2009, a young college student, with no criminal record, could face 15 years in prison for cutting line at Walmart. I was even more appalled by the threats from the KKK and allegations by local leaders that the town went as far as blacking out the local news coverage during the minutes that the family held a press conference in support of their daughter. We sent information about the case to CNN and other media outlets, and they covered it (along with BET, Essence, ABC News and others), but I don't feel this is enough. We've decided that we aren't going to take this sitting down, and we hope you won't either
In honor of Justin and Journi, the two young visionaries who convinced me to take on this issue, we've created the "Journey for Justice," set to take place in Kennett, Missouri on Monday, November 16 at 11 am. On that day, we are going to meet at the Walmart where the incident took place (1500 1st St., Kennett, MO) and march to the steps of the courthouse(Square 200 Slicer St.). You can find out more information about the case and rally on the site www.TheHeatherEllisCase.com. Given that the prosecutor in the case (Stephen Sokoloff) has asked for a change of venue (to Bloomfield, MO - a town with less than 20 black people), some of the details of the rally might change (I have no doubt that they are scheming to make this as difficult as possible). But I can guarantee you this: On November 16, we are heading down there to fight against the madness occurring in this county, no matter what the cost.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
- Megan Williams, left, and her mother Carmen Williams stand outside of the Logan County Courthouse Thursday, March 13, 2008, in Logan, W.Va. (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)
Megan Williams, an African-American woman who was allegedly raped, tortured and kidnapped by a group of seven white men in West Virginia two years ago at the age of twenty is now claiming that she was playing with our minds. It is a shock to hear that Williams is now saying that the story is a lie, a complete fabrication. She is set to recant her story in a press conference today.
The stomach-turning story that involved drinking urine and eating human feces while being raped repeatedly and subjected to racial slurs was something she apparently made up for fun. If Williams were playing with our heads, I only wish she'd come up with a less disgusting way to do it. The problem is that the prosecutor, Brian Abraham, isn't buying Williams' new story, and neither am I.
The prosecutor's position is that he did not convict the defendants based solely on Williams' testimony. Abraham has stated in published reports that he learned early on that Williams tends to exaggerate and embellish details, perhaps due to the fact that Williams has been described as being "mentally slow."
Abraham also claims that he did what any good prosecutor should do: achieve a conviction based on physical evidence and the defendants' statements. If there is evidence that a sexual assault occurred and proof that Williams endured kidnapping and torture, such evidence should certainly outweigh the significance of any statements made by Williams. There are also other possibilities in this case, such as the chance that Williams may be receiving threats that have pressured her to change her testimony.Click to read.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
from Your Black World
Kennett, MO. – Heather Ellis, a young college student out of Kennett, MO is now facing 15 years in prison if she is sentenced after being accused of cutting line at a local Walmart. Her case has gotten the attention of the nation, and has been the subject of extensive online protests.
Heather was in a Walmart store 3 years ago with her cousin. The two split up to find the shortest line. Since her cousin was in the shorter line, Heather joined him. That’s when the clerk accused Heather of cutting in front of the other customers. An argument ensued, leading to the manager and security guard being called, and finally the police.
The incident left Ellis, an honor student on her way to medical school, charged with disturbing the peace, trespassing and two counts of assaulting a police officer. After Heather refused to sign a plea agreement, Stephen Sokoloff, the town’s prosecutor, filed felony charges against Heather.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I mentioned the story before about Heather Ellis, the young woman who was threatened by the KKK after protesting about her arrest that took place in a Walmart store. The story was quite interesting in that Ellis now faces 15 years in prison for effectively cutting line at a Walmart. The unfortunate events occurred when Ellis was shopping with a cousin in Kennett, Missouri.
Heather and her cousin went to separate lines and when her cousin found the shorter line, Heather joined him. Ellis was then accused of cutting line by the person checking out customers, which led to an altercation. When Ellis was asked to leave the store, she argued with the managers, which led to the police being called. Ellis was eventually charged with disturbing the peace, resisting arrest and two counts of assaulting a police officer.
If that link doesn’t work, please click here.
To sign up for the Your Black World Coalition, please visit www.YourBlackWorld.com.
Dr. Boyce Watkins
Hello to the Your Black World Family,
Think for one second and ask yourself: How many Black professors did you have in college outside of those who taught African American studies? Have you ever wondered why other students get to have professors who look like them, but Black people don't expect to have that same right? Imagine how much more comfortable your college experience would have been if you'd had a few more professors who looked like you. That is what I am here to discuss.
I am working in conjunction with the National Action Network on "The Campus Accountability Project." The goal of this initiative (which is going to last for no less than 10 years) is to directly confront the fact that most American campuses (HBCUs included) have a horrifically low representation of African American faculty, especially at the tenure level. As we know, America has a very twisted history when it comes to diversity and treatment of people of color, and this history shows itself in the present every single day. I remember being personally frustrated during my collegiate experience, given that I attended 4 years of college and another 7 years of graduate school without having ONE SINGLE AFRICAN AMERICAN PROFESSOR in any department, in any class, at any time.
This is WRONG and our students should not be forced to attend college within the confines of such an uncomfortable reality. Personally, the experience can be traumatizing for our children and obviously leads to high drop out rates of Black college students. The acceptance of this way of life relegates Black people to second class citizenship status in many of America's colleges and universities. Our children deserve better than this.
So, rather than just complaining about it, we are going to do something about it. We are engaging in a national campaign for campus accountability, to encourage campuses to become more diverse. We plan to conduct a series of meetings with university leadership, state legislators, legal counsel and community activists to ensure that our voices are heard.
The ideology is very simple: Diversity matters and campuses are ignoring it. Additionally, diversity should not be laced with cosmetic tokenism, athletic scholarships and polite little King Day Celebrations. It should be about respecting diverse ideas and ending the academic imperialism which disrespects Black scholarship and Black students, putting the needs of the African American community solely on the back burner. Black athletes give nearly a billion dollars a year to the NCAA on the football fields and basketball courts; well, it's about time we start to get a return on our investment.
If you believe in this cause, I hope you will forward this email to as many people as you can. This affects any American wishing to go to college (even if you didn't graduate), those who went to college and those who have children that they expect to send to college (which should be all of us, since education is crucial for success in this economy). I personally plan to push this initiative at least until the year 2020, and I believe that by engaging in firm, direct and aggressive action, we can make a tremendous difference on this issue.
There is a role for everyone here, since we are all hurt and affected by this problem. So, I encourage you to call your own campuses and alma maters and hold them accountable. IT IS NOT NORMAL for you to never be allowed to learn from a Black Professor. We deserve the same privileges received by the White students, and universities must be pressed to explain why there are tens of thousands of qualified Black professors that they reject for hire or promotion every year. Some will try to tell you that they can't find qualified minorities to hire, but that's simply a lie. The problem is that the powers that be tend to believe that those who are different are inferior, which is reflective of the White Supremacist foundation of the decision-making infrastructure of most American campuses (notice there were no Black people on most of these campuses for the first 80 - 100 years of operation. When Black people arrived, they certainly had no decision-making rights). There's no point in tap dancing around the issues and change will only be made if we are willing to fight for it.
Below, there is a very short survey to help us collect data on your college experience. It will only take 1 minute to fill out (it's very short) and it sorts you into HBCU and non-HBCU categories for the 4 questions provided. We also ask that you join the Campus Accountability Project to help us make America's campuses into trust worthy incubators of Black intellectual development. We know that a mind is a terrible thing to waste, but brilliant Black minds will always be wasted without the presence of high quality Black mentorship. Had I not met Dr. Tommy Whittler (the only Black professor in the entire Business School at The University of Kentucky), I never would have become a professor.
Be blessed, be strong and be intelligent. DO NOT spend one second being afraid. Life is too short for that.
Dr Boyce Watkins
Syracuse University, Your Black World
The Latest from Dr Boyce Watkins on AOL Black Voices
- A few weeks ago, we reported on the story of two sisters, one of them a pregnant 12-year-old, who ... Read More
- Posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD in BV Black Spin | Comments (21)
- I had a lot of fun watching the new Vh-1 show, "Going for Broke," starring comedian Eddie Griffin. ... Read More
- Posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD in BV on Money | Comments (21)
- In this interview below with the great radio legend Keith Murphy, we discuss the power of high ... Read More
- Posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD in BV on Money | Comments (0)
- What do you make of the chaotic environment surrounding President Barack Obama? In the CNN ... Read More
- Posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD in BV Black Spin | Comments (8)
- The Senate has been mingling with the idea of extending jobless benefits for those who've lost ... Read More
- Posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD in BV on Money | Comments (1)
- Swine flu season is coming and the world is ducking for cover. Media coverage of this phenomenon ... Read More
- Posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD in Black Voices Insurance | Comments (0)
- Sometimes your finances can get so out of whack that you can only laugh in order to keep from ... Read More
- Posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD in BV on Money | Comments (0)
- My mother gave birth to me when she was 17-years old. As a teen mother who didn't have a lot of ... Read More
- Posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD in BV on Money | Comments (1)
- Alabama Judge Herman Thomas has a problem. The Mobile County Circuit Judge was accused of checking ... Read More
- Posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD in BV Black Spin | Comments (30)
- I live in New York, so I get the chance to meet a lot of interesting cab drivers. I love listening ... Read More
- Posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD in BV on Money | Comments (14)
- I was excited to hear that Nike signed Michael Vick again after his dogfighting ordeal. You can ... Read More
- Posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD in BV Black Spin | Comments (7)
- Most of us think that drugs which come out of a legal manufacturer are going to be safer than those ... Read More
- Posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD in Black Voices Insurance | Comments (6)
- Most of us know about "baby mama drama," since some of that drama may occur within your own home. ... Read More
- Posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD in BV on Money | Comments (2)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The bureau of labor statistics issues a report, The employment situation, on the first Friday of every month (www.bls.gov). For the past several months, the report has contained no surprises. We know the jobless situation is getting worse, and we only wait for their statistical confirmation of our pain.
This month the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent. More than 200,00 jobs were shed, but more than that, more and more people are shrugging the labor market off, feeling that they can't find work. The 9.8 percent for everyone translates into 9 percent for whites, 12.7 percent for Latinos, and 15.4 percent for African Americans. But the reported data are only part of the fact. According to BLS, the real overall unemployment rate is more like 17 percent. Using the same algorithm, the rate for African Americans is more like 27 percent.
Translation. One in six Americans is jobless. More than one in four African Americans cannot find work. Everyone else in the universe has been bailed out, especially the bankers and mercenaries of our world. What about the people, the ones who need their job to buy food, to pay for school supplies, to sustain families? These are the folk who have been ignored by the so-called economic recovery, the folks who have been shrugged off by the notion that the economy is in recovery.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Marvin Lynn, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction
Faculty Affiliate, African American Studies
University of Illinois at Chicago
I think he deserves the award because, as they said, he has established a different tone in the world. Two years ago, America was despised around the world. This is not the case today. Of course people still have criticisms of our policies etc but our global neighbors hated Bush so much that it was making global travel a frightening experience for Americans. There has been a shift in how people see us. That is directly tied to President Obama's diplomatic stance on a variety of issues.
Dr. Wilmer J. Leon
Political Science Professor at Howard University
Host of “On with Leon” – Sirius/XM Satellite
This is an incredible personal accomplishment for the Obama's, a wonderful international recognition of the shift in American foreign policy, and a compliment to the intelligence of the American electorate The Nobel committee is acknowledging the positive shift away from the unilateral exclusionary foreign policy of the Bush 43' administration to the multilateral inclusionary foreign policy direction of the Obama administration. The illegal invasions of sovereign nations, torture, and the ignoring of ecological issues of the Bush 43' administration only brought instability and insecurity for America and the rest of the world. President Obama offers hope through honest diplomacy and open dialog. This is the true path towards peace and security for all.