Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins Talks about Paying College Athletes


Transcript for an interview with Dr. Boyce Watkins of Syracuse University about whether or not college athletes should be paid.


- What, in your opinion, are the benefits of paying collegiate 
athletes, especially those from low-income backgrounds?

I don't necessarily care if college athletes are paid.  I just think they should have labor rights.  That means that they can negotiate a fair market salary, as well as make their own endorsement deals, rather than allowing universities to make deals for them and keep all the money.  The benefit is that the athletes in poverty would be able to use their prodigious human capital to make a living for their families.

- Would you be in support of paying all college athletes, or simply the 
ones from the major revenue sports like basketball and football?

I believe that any athlete in any sport that generates revenue should have access to the free market.  We are not a socialist country, so the idea of paying everyone the same doesn't make much sense.  So, if a tennis player is going to draw a crowd and can negotiate compensation, fundamental American labor rights say that he should be given the right to do so.

Click to read.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Women in the Workplace: Changes Need to be Made

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

When a very important member of my management team told me that she was going to take time off to have a child, my brain stopped in its tracks. I wondered how we were going to remain fully productive, how long she would be gone, and how I should respond to such a sensitive situation. I then realized that, like so many American business owners, I was thinking like a man. Once I came to my senses, I let go of my personal concerns and focused solely on supporting her in this important step. I then realized that this interaction happens in workplaces across America, and the results are not always so amicable.

The United States is among the worst of industrialized nations when it comes to comes to making allowances for the professional challenges that women face relative to men. A woman who stops working in order to have children and/or raise a family may find that when she returns to the workforce, her opportunity set has diminished significantly. This doesn't even consider typical gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment and other daunting barriers to advancement.

You may already know that according to the US Department of Labor, women now outnumber men in the workplace (64.2 million to 63.4 million). This takes us a long way from the days when women weren't allowed to vote, or female attorneys couldn't be more than legal secretaries. Given that we have grown so much as a society, our nation has to step into the 21st century when it comes to equalizing the employment landscape.


Click to read.

Friday, November 26, 2010

President Obama Elbowed in the Face Playing Basketball

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

It's hard to imagine the deep national security implications of being the man who elbowed President Barack Obama in the face on the basketball court. But that's what Ray Decerega will be talking about for the rest of his life. Decerega is the Director of Programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and also the man who issued a public statement after it was determined that he was the one who busted the president's mouth wide open.
"I learned today the president is both a tough competitor and a good sport. I enjoyed playing basketball with him this morning. I'm sure he'll be back out on the court again soon," Decerega said.
The men had gathered to play five games of five-on-five when the incident took place. The games reportedly included Obama's nephew Avery Robinson, his assistant Reggie Love and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Obama's Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had this to say:


Click to read.

How Race and Basketball Interact

As the great David Halberstam often observed, the racial politics of professional basketball have always been rather delicate. The sport, after all, sells the talents, style and power of mostly young black men to a largely white audience — and these uncomfortable racial dynamics have a tendency to bubble to the surface in strange ways. This summer, after LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami in a showy power grab, the move unleashed a tsunami of bile. According LeBron, the backlash was at least in part caused by the “race factor,” and it spawned a heated debate about the role of racism in the NBA.  For people looking for some perspective on the issue, ”The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History,” from the people behind the FreeDarko basketball blog, is a great place to start. The book is a collectivist account of the NBA’s racial, labor and cultural reverberations — with occasional jaunts into graphic novel format. “TUGTPBH” co-author Bethlehem Shoals is a primary contributor to FreeDarko, a site with a reputation for thought-provoking takes on the basketball world. Salon spoke to Shoals over the phone, about the LeBron controversy and the changing nature of race in the NBA.

Read More…

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dr. Julianne Malveaux’s New Book on Surviving and Thriving


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Dr. Julianne Malveaux is second-to-none. One of the most respected and prolific scholars in the history of black America, she is truly an intellectual soldier. With a PhD in Economics from MIT, Dr. Malveaux has produced scholarly work that serves as nothing less than a guide book for overcoming the prodigious number of problems being faced by black America today. She is also a champion for women's rights and issues that uniquely impact African American women.
AOL Black Voices had the chance to catch up with Dr. Malveaux to discuss the release of her new book, "Surviving and Thriving: 365 Facts in Black Economic History," and she had this to say:

1) What is your name and what do you do?
I am Dr. Julianne Malveaux, an economist, author and President of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina.
2) What motivated you to write your book, and what can people learn from it?
When people think of the economy, they rarely think of African American people as important contributors, as thivers instead of simply survivors. There is such inspiration in our economic history and I was passionate about lifting it up.

Click to read.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It’s Time to Confront Deadbeat Parents….All of Us

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

My entire life, I've seen the costs and consequences of parents who don't want to pay to take care of their own kids. My father abandoned me when I was child, and to my knowledge, paid zero or close to no child support. Over the years, I had two relationships with women who had children with men who'd had forgotten that their kids existed. That led to me paying child support for my own child, in addition to the children of other people who were ignoring their responsibility. In fact, to this day, most of my "adopted children" need money from me every other week to pay for things that their parents should be paying for. I admit that sometimes, it's draining.
I'm not the only one who goes through the challenge of paying for deadbeat parents. All across America, quite a few people have either been abandoned by deadbeat parents, paid the price for deadbeat parents or become a deadbeat parent themselves (you know who you are). It occurs in every community, so we cannot pretend that black people are the only ones who do this. But for some reason, there is a code of silence when this kind of behavior occurs in the black community, especially when the father is the perpetrator of this heinous crime. I say it's time for this to stop.


Click to read.

Schomburg Center Director Choice Controversial Among Black Scholars

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Khalil Gibran Muhammad appears to be a great choice to head the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. A 38-year old assistant professor of African American History at Indiana University, Dr. Muhammad has already achieved a great deal in the world of black scholarship. His book, "The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America," has done quite well, and he is respected by quite a few black scholars across the nation.
Muhammad also has pedigree: He is the great grandson of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, legendary leader of the Nation of Islam. Therefore, his scholarly work with a predominantly white institution (Indiana University, which is no stranger to racial problems, I went to graduate school there) is supplemented by his connection and deep commitment to issues that affect real people in his community.


Click to read.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Haterology 101: How to Deal with Jealous People

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Haterology 101: What You should Know about Haters

For the big dreamers out there, I thought I would create a how-to guide on understanding the haters in your life.  We all have haters, no matter what we do.  I’ve had a few haters in academia who are upset that my work gets more attention than theirs, or even some friends who liked me better when I didn’t have very much self-esteem.  As your success grows, jealous people don’t die, they multiply and the hustler’s dream can become the hater’s nightmare.  So, here are a few things I’ve figured out about haters, and hopefully they can be helpful to you:

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Report: College Basketball Players Not Graduating at the Same Rate as Other Students

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

A new study by The College Sport Research Institute at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has revealed disturbing information about the academic hurdles of college basketball players. According to the study, the graduation rates for NCAA Division I men's basketball players is 20 percentage points less than the average for full-time male students.
The study goes on to show that the gap grows even further in top-ranking conferences. The authors present evidence that there is a 30.8 percent graduation gap when leading conferences are considered separately.
Women are better off than men in the study. Female basketball players find that their graduation rates are still worse than their peers, but the gap is not as great as it is for the men. For women, there is a 6.2 percent differential overall and a 14.6 percentage point differential in top conferences.

Click to read.

What Black America Can Learn from the Arrest of DC County Executive Jack Johnson

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I was saddened to hear about the recent arrest of Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife Leslie. Both Jack and his wife are well-respected in the DC area. Both have served their communities for decades, and both of them represent the essence of Prince George's County, the most affluent county in the United States with an African-American majority population.
Johnson was once an important ethical and legal protector of the county, serving as its lead Prosecutor. His wife has served the community for over 30 years in numerous capacities. He was also the first African American to become County Executive in the DC area. So, why are Johnson and his wife facing up to 20 years in prison for evidence tampering and destruction of evidence, among other charges? In fact, the story is quite bizarre, with reports of the FBI allegedly recording Johnson telling his wife to put nearly $80,000 in her underwear.


Click to read.

Dr. Boyce on – 11/19/10

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cam Newton’s Father Accused Of Having a Payment Plan

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action


CNNSI is now reporting that the father of Auburn superstar Cam Newton was set to receive a payment plan in exchange for his son playing football for Mississippi State University. A booster for Mississippi State by the name of Bill Bell told that the payment plan was sent to him via text message from a man claiming to represent Cecil Newton, Cam's father.
Kenny Rogers, a former player for Mississippi State allegedly sent the text message, giving Bell the details of how Cam and his father wanted to be paid. They were to make a payment of $80,000 on the day of signing, $50,000 30 days after that, and another $50,000 30 days later.
Bell claims that Cecil was on a three way call with he and Rogers to discuss how the money would be transferred. He says that Cecil never asked for money directly. While the reports don't make any claims regarding the nature of Cecil's interaction with the others, they don't mention him objecting to conversations about giving him money.


Click to read.

Friday, November 12, 2010

African American Scholar Pushes for the Haitian Relief Effort

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Dr. Ron Daniels is a giant in his field. Among African American scholars, he is a leader, visionary and highly progressive voice for issues that matter to people of color. One his great loves is Haiti, the country that is left suffering and forgotten in the midst of an earthquake, disease and persistent poverty. Dr. Daniels would like to do something about these problems, and he has an avenue which allows concerned Americans like yourself to become directly involved. He is the founder of the Haiti Support Project, and the Pilgrimage of Hope Cruise to Haiti, providing an opportunity for all of us to visit the country's most challenged areas. AOL Black Voices was able to catch up with Dr. Daniels for a conversation:


Click to read.

No, Kanye Should Not Have Apologized to Bush


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

One of the proudest moments in my life as a political observer was when Kanye West did something that almost no other artist or entertainer would be astute or courageous enough to do.  In 2005, as people were dying in the streets of New Orleans, West used the powerful platform provided to him during a Hurricane Katrina telethon to make the statement heard around the world:  ”George Bush does not care about black people.”

Click to read.

Black Coaches Make a Few Small Gains

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

A new report released by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at The University of Central Florida presents a mixed bag of evidence when it comes to the progress of people of color within college football. The report found that 15 college football head coaches of FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) schools are African American (out of 120), but that there is still a great deal of room for improvement in other important positions within athletic departments. To date, 100 percent of conference commissioners, 93 percent of college presidents and 88 percent of athletic directors are white. Also, quite a few universities that earn millions from black athletes are reluctant to hire or tenure African American professors, especially in business and the sciences.
From 1979 - 2002, a total of 19 full-time head coaches were hired in college football. But in the last two years, 10 have been hired. This shows that there are some campuses making some effort to hire more black coaches. The numbers represent progress in the NCAA, a league that is less interested in hiring African Americans than it is in exploiting them. As it stands, most of the thousands of black athletes in college football are never going be head coaches. Also, the vast majority of those athletes will never reach the NFL. Therefore, the greatest crime of collegiate athletics is that most of these universities are not educating the players properly.

Click to read.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Joe Jackson Wasn’t The Terrible Father You Think He Was


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I watched previews of the recent interview that Oprah Winfrey did with Joe and Katherine Jackson, parents of the late Michael Jackson.  In the interview, Oprah asked the Jacksons a probing question that sits on the minds of millions of people:  Did you beat your children?  Mr. Jackson had to answer the question truthfully, since everyone knows that he did engage in the act of physically disciplining his kids.   Before his confession, Joe did a  little Bill Clinton-like wordplay with Oprah over exactly what she meant by the word "beat." I understood what Joe was talking about, since there is a big difference between "beating" your kids and "whoopin" them.

Click to read.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Raising Mentally Healthy Black Girls

Dr. Boyce Video - Women's Health

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

What does it take for a woman to be healthy? This issue consistently presses upon my mind as I think about my own daughters and how to teach them what they need to know about the world. While I am critical of films like 'For Colored Girls,' which seems to root every black female problem into the hands of black men, I am also sympathetic to the struggles experienced by black women like my mother, grandmother, sister and others.

+Dr. Boyce Video: Why is the Black Man Always a Suspect?
+Dr. Boyce Video: Black Men Need to Mentor One Another
+Dr. Boyce Video: Terrie Williams, Depression and the Black Community
+Dr. Boyce Video -- What Makes a Celeb Trashy vs. Trendy?
+Dr. Boyce Video --The Importance of Owning Your Own Business

Click to read.

Poem by Madam Prezident: For Colored Girls – Leave, but Don’t Take Me With You

Shanelle Walker


I met someone whom I dearly adored

Enough to even DIE for

One day I was in class and I was packed in his bags

I thought, Leave, but don’t take me with you

His bags and I was at the door

They were reconnecting

And his heart was departing


He had left once before

But his voyage was short

And of course, because of his actions I straightened up my act

As if I was out of order

I strived to be perfect for him

But my perfection could not be accounted for because I was worthless to him

But, I didn’t care

I was an empty glass

In the hands

Of an alcoholic


Anything he poured inside me my spirit obliged

His bags and I was at the door

I reminded him of his promises

“You said you loved me”

“Don’t deceive me, don’t leave me”.

I laid in his lies

Gave him my heart for free

I was worst than a prostitute

“At least she got paid for it”

She created revenue with her assets

Although it wasn’t much

She was bringing in much more than me

My moral less nights of feel good

Didn’t feel good the morning after

I’d given him everything I had inside me

Around me, under me, above me, beside me, and behind me 

I’d given him much more than I had received

How could he move on?

How was I supposed to stand, without this man?

What about OUR plans?

His bags and I was at the door

My lungs in one bag

My brain in one bag

My kidneys in one bag

My ovaries in one bag

My eyes in one bag

My legs in one bag

And my heart in the garbage

I was ripped apart

And broken into pieces inside his bags

Ripped into pieces

He was leaving and taking me with him

But I was at the door whole heartedly, in his bags

He had been gone

Way long

Before he decided to pack

How can I live with that?

He was stronger than any STD

Damaging my insides so ghastly

That it cost me

Never will I conceive a child

With a smile

Because of the burdens he positioned inside me

He was leaving and I was going along with him

Until GOD came along

And let his Presence be known

I was confused about where I came from

Until “my father” showed me ‘WHOM’ I came from

My life was shattered

My mind was battered

But GOD recued me

And from BONDAGE I became free

The company of misery

No longer accompanied me

The MAN that Created Adam

Also created me

I was once at the door packed in bags

Until GOD illustrated to me “All that I had”

And him who once had my heart

Wasn’t even the best part

I was once at the door packed in bags

Screaming “leave, but please don’t take me with you”

I was glad at the day

That I could say

“Leave but you CAN’T take me with you”

I too, have found someone else

And his name is


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Aimee Michael: 36 Years in Prison for Hit and Run Accident

Aimee Michael

Aimee Michael (pictured left), for the most part, seems to be a lot like the rest of us. She's a 24-year-old black female college graduate with two parents who love her. Her parents have been married for 28 years, and her mother is a 52-year-old former school teacher. On Easter Sunday in 2009, though, Aimee found herself facing up to 50 years in prison. While she didn't get the entire 50 years, she did get 36 of them.

Click to read.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dr. Boyce on CNBC’s Kudlow Report: Cutting Taxes for the Wealthy is Wrong



Watch Dr. Boyce Watkins explain on CNBC that extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy is bad for America.   Click here to watch

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cam Newton: Heisman Candidate Under Scandal in Pay for Play Controversy

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Cam Newton is a mega-star quarterback at Auburn University. His game is like no other, and there are quite a few experts who think he could win the Heisman Trophy. But his chances at the trophy have been undermined by recent allegations that a sports agent asked for money from universities in order to speak with Newton during high school.
ESPN is reporting that Kenneth Rogers, a player turned sports agent, asked Mississippi State University for $180,000 for the chance to recruit Newton. When Rogers asked for the money, Mississippi State turned his name in to the Southeastern Conference, and the investigation began. Auburn University hasn't taken Newton off the field, although they've known about the investigation for quite some time.

Click to read.

Dr. Boyce on CNBC: Why are Republicans Fighting for the Rich so Quickly?


Dr. Boyce appears on CNBC to ask why the Republicans are already fighting to extend Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.  To watch the video, please click here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Alcohol More Dangerous Than Crack, Yet We Still Get Disproportionate Sentencing

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Sryacuse University – Scholarship in Action 

A recent study in the United Kingdom found that alcohol has a more harmful impact on society than other drugs, including crack cocaine and heroine. The study was surprising, but makes sense in light of the fact that alcohol is so readily available in our society. It takes some work to find the local crack dealer, but you can “get your drink on” almost anywhere you like.

I found the study to be interesting primarily because the justification previously used for disproportionate incarceration for crack-related offenses was that the crack trade was dangerous for our society. So, the kid on the corner caught with a vile of dope was given a sentence that would never be leveled on the 19-year old college student who binge drinks on the weekend.


Click to read.

Eddie Long Finally Responds to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

Bishop Eddie Long, Bishop Eddie Long Scandal

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

It took quite a while to get there, but Bishop Eddie Long has finally responded to the allegations of sexual assault being thrust upon him. The pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church just responded legally to the accusations of four young men who've stated that Long coerced them in to sexual relationships while simultaneously serving as their mentor.

Click to read.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dr. Boyce, Rev. Sharpton Speak with Obama Administration Officials

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Today I spent a few hours in studio with Rev. Al Sharpton. The topic for this week is obviously the mid-term elections, which we'll be be discussing this week. Today, we're talking with officials from the Obama Administration and Capitol Hill, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and quite a few others. I think it's worth checking out. You can see a live video stream of us in-studio at this link. The link is usually live from 1 - 3 pm EST, but I am going to try to get access to it at other times as well.

There's a lot to think about when it comes to the elections. The Democrats are asking for black votes like we owe them, and perhaps they owe us something too. My thinking is that while voting Democratic certainly lies within the interests of the black community, we should also work to ensure that they follow through on commitments to us. Issues such as mass incarceration, black unemployment and educational inequality are important to black people, so in order to keep the black voting base enthusiastic, some commitment to addressing racial inequality is critically important.


Click to read.

Why Does Everyone Want to Hold a Rally These Days?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

This weekend, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held a rally on Capitol Hill. The rally focused on the idea of "restoring sanity" in American politics. Tens of thousands of people showed up to see Stewart and Colbert make jokes about politicians and remind us that working together achieves more than we can accomplish by standing apart.
Stewart and Colbert didn't choose political sides, although most polls show that Stewart is strongly supported by liberals and independents.
Colbert and Stewart hit the nail on the head on quite a few issues, like the distrust that conservatives have toward Muslims, and Republican obstructionism in light of Obama's presidency. They didn't seem to dig into the race issue very much, to my knowledge. There were also some who criticized Obama himself, stating that he represents politics as usual, rather than the kind of change that Americans were hoping for back in 2008.

Click to read.