Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dr. Boyce and George Kilpatrick Discuss Kelley Williams-Bolar and Educational Inequality

Note from Dr. Boyce:  Before listening to my interview with George Kilpatrick about the Kelley Williams-Bolar case, I had two questions:

1) Would her kids have been allowed in that school if they’d been two 6’5”, 220-lb basketball players?  I’m sure they would have made an exception.

2) Its interesting that the judge wanted to send her to jail for her crime, but there are Wall Street execs who got less time for stealing millions.

The interview is here if you want to listen.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Study Says NFL Players More Likely to Misuse Pain Killers

by Dr. Boyce WatkinsThe Athlete Liberation Academic Reform Movement (ALARM)

According to a new study in a scientific journal, retired NFL players misuse opioid pain medication at a rate that is four times greater than the general public. The study goes on to connect the abuse to the number of pain killers athletes take during their playing days in the NFL. The results were published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a peer-reviewed academic journal.
The study was conducted by scholars at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. It is also the first study conducted on pain killer misuse by former players. Linda Cottler, a professor of Epidemiology in the school's Department of Psychiatry led the study and it was also commissioned by ESPN.


Click to read.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr., Dr. Boyce Watkins, Support a Constitutional Amendment on Equal Access to Education

Quick note from Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

I just spoke with Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.  He's proposing a constitutional amendment that guarantees all children access to an equal and high quality education.  Congressman Jackson and I will discuss this on the Rev. Jesse Jackson radio show Sunday morning.  As any FYI - it was the broader issue that got me involved with Kelley Williams-Bolar's case.  It was not a crusade for just one person.

We’ll be discussing the issue later today on WVON today at 5 pm EST.  You can listen by going to their website.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

U Texas Signs a $300M Deal on the Backs of Its Athletes

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The University of Texas just inked a $300 million television rights deal for a 24-hour network that will broadcast Longhorn athletes and games. ESPN is the partner in the deal and will distribute the network via satellite in Texas and other states around the country. The network is expected to launch in September.
Given that college athletes are serving as the foundation for massive wealth being generated by schools like the University of Texas, it is time that we consider allowing these athletes to have the same labor rights as other workers who generate wealth around the nation. The United Steel Workers Union has actually spoken out on behalf of NCAA athletes, stating that they should have the right to unionize to ensure that their families can benefit from the wealth being created in these massive financial deals.

Click to read.

How to Help Kelley Williams-Bolar: Representatives You Can Contact

kelley williams-bolar


Kelley Williams-Bolar is the woman who was sent to jail in Akron, OH for sending her kids to the wrong district.  If you’d like to help her and make the broader and important point about educational inequality in America, please take the time to send a short note of concern to the state representatives in the area.  The information is below:

For Summit County (the county that Akron is in) the state representatives are:
Lynn Slaby (Republican):
Kristina Roegner (Republican):
Todd McKenney (Republican):
Vernon Sykes:
Zack Milkovich (Democrat):

House members website:
The state senator for that area is Frank LaRose (Republican):
Senate members website:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight: From Harlem to Harvard – Giselle Marcus Sets the Standard

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I was impressed with Gisele Marcus from the very first day we spoke. She has enough energy to light up Las Vegas and an intense drive to succeed in corporate America. She has done assignments around the world, most recently in South Africa, and has been identified as a rising star in executive circles. She also came from humble beginnings, growing up in a single parent household in Harlem, with a mother who pushed hard for Gisele to have a better life. In fact, her mother's story reminded me of that of Kelly Williams-Bolar, the woman was sent to jail for sending her kids to a school outside their district. I don't care what the law says, there's nothing unethical about a mother fighting to give her children hope for the future. Just like the days of slavery, there remain systemic barriers to keep our kids away from opportunity, but also like our ancestors, good mothers don't allow anything to keep us away from our dreams. It is for her dogged pursuit of excellence and the remarkable example she sets for young black women that Gisele Marcus is today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices.


Click to read.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mike Tomlin’s Big Win is a Huge Win for Diversity in the NFL

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Anyone watching with pride as the Pittsburgh Steelers fought their way to yet another Super Bowl likely heard a few interesting facts about their general on the field, Mike Tomlin. Tomlin, at the age of 38, is the youngest head coach to ever lead two teams to the Super Bowl. Before that, he was the youngest head coach to win a Superbowl. He does this while sitting at the helm of a storied franchise that has more Super Bowl wins than any team in NFL history. In other words, the man is a serious beast.
Tomlin's feats are not just impressive for a black coach, they stand above nearly any coach in NFL history. It is equally ironic that he is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose owner was responsible for opening the door for black coaches to get a chance in the league. Steelers owner Dan Rooney helped to create the Rooney rule, requiring NFL teams to interview African Americans for head coaching and senior administrative positions.


Click to read.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Frederick Jermaine Carter: Murder or Suicide?


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 


The black community in Greenwood, Mississippi is on edge and angry after the death of Frederick Jermaine Carter. Carter, who was 26 years old, was found hanging from a tree in what authorities have labeled to be a suicide. But the community isn't buying the police's story and claim that he was actually murdered.
The Final Call is reporting on the death of Carter, and even Michael Pimbleton Jr., the mayor of Sunflower, Mississippi has said that there was more going on than meets the eye.
"This is 2010 and we still have Black people hanging from trees? They're saying he hung himself but I have doubt in my mind that he actually did that. That wasn't his character. This wasn't a suicide, this was a homicide," Mayor Pembleton said to The Final Call.
Carter was found on December 3, with his body hanging from an oak tree in North Greenwood, which is a predominantly white section of Leflore County. He actually lived in nearby Sunflower County, and North Greenwood is known as an area that black people are sometimes afraid to visit. Carter was with his stepfather, who said that he wandered off from an area in which they were both working.


Click to read.


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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dr. Laura and the N-Word: She Needs a Reality Check


Diagnosing Dr. Laura: Host has 'silver spoon' sickness

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is at it again. Appearing on The Today Show this morning to promote a book about revenge, she dug up her infamous n-word controversy from last August. For those of your who don't remember, Dr. Laura repeatedly hurled the n-word several times at a black caller who was clearly offended by what she was saying. She then told Today Show host Matt Lauer that the controversy was a "blessing", because she is now on Sirius/XM, where she can use the word all day long and not be sanctioned for it. Good for her.

Adding further insult to injury, Dr. Laura seized an opportunity in a later segment to irrationally compare herself to the comedian Bill Cosby. She claims an unnamed "they" (presumably progressive African-Americans) "Uncle Tom'ed" Cosby because he spoke out in favor of traditional values.

I watched the interviews on The Today Show and again listened to her n-word rant on the radio to get a take on Dr. Laura and her concept of a double standard. During the rant, Dr. Laura seemed angry about the fact that black people can use the word and she cannot. She also comes off as a self-righteous, incredibly arrogant demagogue who believes she possesses a degree of moral authority that trumps everyone else. Maybe that's why her network likes her, but I certainly do not.


Click to read.

Monday, January 17, 2011

On MLK Day, Let’s Not Get Into the Dangers of “Hero Worship”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

When I was a little boy, my mother used to make me put on a suit and recite the "I have a dream" speech in her bedroom. She even had me wear a burnt cross necklace around my neck to emulate Dr. King. It was an uncomfortable process for me, but I'm sure my parents got a kick out
of it. Either way, the first stamp on my brain had been made and it stayed with me for life.
As I got older and studied the life of Dr. King, I quickly realized that his life was very different from my own. He accomplished far more at an early age than I did. He had far more respect than I did. He was a better student than I was. How could I ever match up to that?
But it was OK that I couldn't match Dr. King, primarily because it had been confirmed to me in one celebration after another that I couldn't be anything like that man even if I'd wanted to be. He was superhuman, and I was not. So, rather than having the confidence to continue his legacy, I figured that I would just sit back and enjoy the celebration like everyone else. Why try to match up with perfection?


Click to read.

Dr. Boyce’s Facebook Friends Outraged by the Mention of Dr. King’s Adultery



Here are some comments on the facebook page of Dr. Boyce Watkins in response to the article on Dr. Martin Luther King that was written for

  • Ariel Louise his personal life absolutely does NOT damage his legacy .... the sins of his flesh were just that .... not sins of his heart or conviction re social change local and global

    10 hours ago · Like · 6 people

  • Donna Turner I am not ready to read this quite yet. However, I am looking forward to doing so tomorrow.

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Tina Tee I don't understand why this is a topic for discussion! How could RUMORS of infidelity in a personal relationship tarnish the legacy and life of Dr. King?!?! This is silly...smh. I would expect this on FAUX news..

    10 hours ago · Like · 2 people

  • Xamytykr Belle-Scott He paid the Ultimate Price for his People, DEATH. An Alleged adultery can not touch Rev. Dr. King and the Mrs. Corretta Scott King Leagacy.
    -Job Well Done -MLK & MSK my good and faithful servants.

    10 hours ago · Like · 2 people

  • Gloria Wesson Menyweather-Woods ‎1. The slant of the article was not necessary...2. Research his life before you say he should have never married....he was married and Pastoring when he was thrust into the leadership position for the boycott. He did not go to the meeting looking to become the leader and almost lost his Pastorate because of it.....3. WE CAN NEVER BE AS GREAT AS DR. KING.....SOME THINK THEY CAN BUT I PERSONALLY DO NOT BELIEVE IT WILL EVER HAPPEN!!!

    10 hours ago · Like · 2 people

  • Goldie Taylor III He dies years ago. Why does anyone care who he slept with?

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Donna Turner Tina, he probably did have extra-marital affairs. Does that really discount the incredible impact this man's life had on humanity? I say no.

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Christyles Nikki

    ‎#*%^ --I'm so tired of this! Granted, like Dr. King-We are all humans, we all have flaws.. shall Dr. Kings adultry be an openbook? Do I want to read "said" book? NO! I wish they leave Dr. King alone! Bring Peace to this matter, i don't w.....See More

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Goldie Taylor III Why dont people ever do a story on the hoes that go after married men or hoes that sleep with preachers? Take away the product, eliminate the problem!!

    10 hours ago · Like · 1 person

  • Donna Turner ‎"Cause the "hoes" had nothing to lose and everything to gain by sleeping with a man of power? Maybe??? You tell me, LOL.

    10 hours ago · Like · 1 person

  • Christyles Nikki ‎"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. "

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Tina Tee ‎@Donna- that is my point..even if the rumors are true, it does not trivialize the impact that made has made. However, the discussion is based on makes it even more ridiculous!!!!

    10 hours ago · Like · 1 person

  • Theodore Foster good piece for the grio...I was a little worried at first...although we never have discussed the courage of Coretta in this equation. This holiday is dedicated to a man who by all accounts was a great man through her as an intelligent, savvy, Black woman who supported him through his adultery(Elizabeth Roberts did not, who may be an apples and oranges example) but it's a topic that deserves some discussion of Black women in these situations

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Donna Turner ‎@ Tina: what if the claims could be substantiated? What would that change?

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Tina Tee ‎@ Donna- not a thing(as mentioned above)

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Darryl A Chamberlain

    I don't put Dr King on a pedestal. I see him as a man who saw the need to sacrifice himself to bring about change in this land that would otherwise not have come for a very long time. That sacrifice meant not only his life, but also meant ...See More

    10 hours ago · Like · 4 people

  • Theodore Foster ‎@ Tina, they are not rumors, the facts have been documented in Taylor Branch's trilogy of books on Dr. King, esp the last book At Canaan's Edge, there's a lot of reasons why he may or may not have been adulterous but like Dr. Watkin's article reads, it doesn't diminish him and if anything puts his tremendous work in greater historical perspective

    10 hours ago · Like

  • Tina Tee ALL- the point is...IT DOES NOT MATTER! Rumors or substantiated fodder...neither diminishes the impact of Dr. King!!
    * Good Night!

    9 hours ago · Like · 2 people

  • Scotty Reid Why is Jerry Springer one of the most watched shows, why is divorce court a popular program. People like reading about or hearing about others peoples problems and dirt. Does the Bible say something about idle conversations and gossip? I think it does and so that is another flaw among humans, we love to pick through others people garbage. Perhaps talking about his good deeds isn't enough to generate views on a website or make people pick up a paper so for the sake of profit, lets print rumors or cast stones.

    9 hours ago · Like · 1 person

  • Tony Rivers Why wait until the one day that you celebrate a man to ask this question? Dr. Boyce personally I think your timing is off and there is much more to focus on.

    8 hours ago · Like · 3 people

  • Gloria Wesson Menyweather-Woods

    ‎@Darryl....I agree with you on why as a people do we always tear down each other. We will search for things to use. It does not look well for us assisting our causaion counterparts with disparging remarks about Dr. King and President Oba...See More

    7 hours ago · Like · 2 people

  • Edgar James no, no connection and ditto t tivers a gwmwoods. never thought he was other than a man!

    5 hours ago · Like

  • Dwayne Jenkins Great job Dr. Watkins. I don't believe most of the people who posted comments read your article. I will admit , at first I thought this would be disasterous...but upon reading the article you were professional, informative and serious in your tone. I'm happy that you treated your audience like adults and woke them out of the " dream state " they have been lulled.

    4 hours ago · Like

  • Jocelyn Mills Lyons

    I thin Dr. King was human like every other man I know, which if statistics are any indication most have, are, or will cheat. Now with that said, his courage and conviction set him apart--and part of his legacy is that he knew he would die f...See More

    3 hours ago via Facebook Mobile · Like · 1 person

  • Denise Vaughan Ezennaka

    We make mistakes because we are human and we live in an imperfect world run by imperfect humans; it's that simple. No man, not even Dr. King was or is perfect and no man, no country, no group nor any organization has all of the answers. We ...See More

    about an hour ago · Like

  • Michael White Why haven't they asked you to research who really killed Dr. King and the conspiracy sourronding it all.

    19 minutes ago · Like · 1 person

  • Boyce Watkins

    These are really interesting comments. Here are some quick thoughts:
    1) Dr. King is not a God - we can all be as great as him if we believe in ourselves. That's what he would want us to believe - he'd be repulsed at us sitting back and worshipping him the way that some people do.
    2) His adultery has been researched and confirmed, I believe it. But that doesn't take away from his contributions to society.
    3) I wasn't writing the article to research nor highlight the details of his relations with women. I wrote it to give a perspective on how our community might deal with the fact that he was less perfect than we've been taught to believe. We can't let people do a "Tiger Woods" on him and must remain focused on his contributions. But the best way to make people start thinking about something is to tell them not to think about it. So, by telling people to sit quietly and ignore the truth about King's life only makes them more intrigued and fixated on it. I say if we put it out there, there won't be a scandal.
    The article was written with due respect to Dr. King. When I am dead and gone, if someone cares enough to remember my legacy, I want them to remember everything about Boyce Watkins, not just the good stuff. I need them to know that I am flawed in certain ways and overcame some of those flaws to try to make a contribution. I also want all of the kids who know anything about me to realize that not only can they match my accomplishments, they should expect to exceed them. That's what passing a torch is all about.
    Stop putting King on a pedestal. He wouldn't want that. Also, the notion of having a "don't ask, don't tell" policy on our religious leaders' private behavior makes all of us look silly. If we can't talk about King in his entirety, then let's not talk about him at all. King Day Celebrations have not become honest reflections on a great man's life. They've become "we shall overcome" fests with all of us lying about America's past and present and about the life of Dr. King. We must be more intelligent than that - and we can all be as great as Dr. least that's what I'm telling my kids: Emulate and learn from him, don't worship.