Saturday, October 30, 2010

Democrats are Just Now Noticing Black People?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action

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

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

Click to read.

Should We Be Using the N-Word?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

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


Click to read.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Black Entrepreneurship and Why It Matters

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Danielle Douglas

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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


Click to read.

Kohls Sells a “Ghetto Fab” Wig in their stores for Halloween


Written by Dorian Chandler


With Halloween approaching Kohl’s department store rolled our their latest available costumes and wigs. What the hell where they thinking when they decided to roll out this hot ghetto mess entitled “Ghetto Fab Wig.” Kohl’s claims you can “dance the night away in this disco inspired Afro style wig.

Really Kohl’s?

Your wig inspiration came from disco and Afro styles but instead of calling it that you decided to call it “Ghetto Fab?” I’m confused Kohl’s. Can you clarify how this ghetto fab wig got past your production and PC lines? Does Kohl’s consider themselves experts in what’s deemed “Ghetto” Fab a.k.a Black Fab? Oddly enough the model shown wearing the “ghetto fab” wig doesn’t look ghetto or black for that matter (what constitutes “ghettoness” anyway?)

Did Kohl’s one size fits all mantra get them in over their heads?

UPDATE: Kohl’s via twitter was swift to respond to the matter and apologize to each an every person that tweeted them (see below). They did as they said and removed the offensive language and the product as a whole from their site.


Click to read.

Chris Linton: Teen Beat on Video by Police

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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


Click to read.

Pastors Ask Eddie Long to Get an HIV Test

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

Click to read.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chris Linton: 16-year old gets beaten by police

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

Nigger Nation

Nigger Nation by Dorian Chandler

Juan Defends Fox News Against Racism Charges – Why?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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


Click to read.

Clarence Thomas’ Ex-Girlfriend Gives the World an Interesting Look at the Justice

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

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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Head of State Spoof on President Obama is Incredibly Ignorant

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action

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

Click to read.

DJ Henry: College Student Shot by Police Calls for Federal Probe

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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


Click to read.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Black People and Racism on the Job: We Are All Affected

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

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


Click to read.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dr. Boyce: Yes, I’m Glad Juan Williams Got Fired From NPR

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

Click to read.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Single Black Moms Have Media Net Worth of $0 Dollars

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

NYU’s Women of Color Policy Network recently released a report citing some disturbing trends in the economic status of single mothers of color. Basically, the report shows that women of color have a median net worth of zero. Yes, you heard that correctly, nearly zippo in the bank account, and maybe a little bit of debt.

The numbers compare with a net worth of $25,000 for single fathers of all races, and a net worth of $6,000 for white single moms. Young single moms are in the worst shape, with more than half of the moms under 40 having zero or negative net worth.


Click to read.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Black Voters are Being Lobbied by Democrats: Should We Listen?


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

Black Male Student Chooses HBCUs Over Harvard


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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


Click to read.

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

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

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins Ralies Against Injustices in Syracuse, NY Justice System

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Others Raliy Against Injustices in Syracuse, NY Justice System

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Black Boys and the Criminal Justice System

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

Click to read.

CDC: 1 in 22 African Americans Will be Infected by HIV

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

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

Click to read.

Friday, October 15, 2010

TI Headed Back to Prison: Artist Gets 11 Months

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

Click to read

Another Lawsuit Filed Against the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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


Click to read

Have Race Relations Gotten Worse Under Obama?


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

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Would You Vote for Someone Named “Rich Whitey”?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

Click to read.

The Jay-Z Business Model Is Not the Only Way To Get Rich

"Boyce Watkins"

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

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

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

Click to read.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Morehouse College President Responds to Vibe Article About His Gay Students

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

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


Click to read.

Morehouse President Responds to Article about Gay Students in Vibe Magazine

Morehouse College President Robert Franklin responds to the article in Vibe about it’s gay students.

Dear Morehouse Community:
Next week, Vibe magazine, a hip-hop music and culture monthly, will publish in their October/November issue an article on Morehouse. I strongly disagree with the likely substance of this article and wanted to write to you directly to share my views.
The article, entitled, “The Mean Girls at Morehouse,” purports to examine the lives of some of our gay brothers as it relates to the enforcement of our appropriate attire policy we enacted a year and a half ago. It seems clear from the headline alone that the Vibe editorial team’s intent is to sensationalize and distort reality for the purpose of driving readership. The title of the article speaks volumes about a perspective that is very narrow and one that is, in all likelihood, offensive to our students whether gay or straight.
As president of this institution, as a Morehouse graduate and as a father, I am insulted by what is to be published. Addressing our young men as “girls” is deeply disturbing to me, no matter what the remainder of the article may say. Morehouse has for 140 years developed men—men who are equipped to live and contribute to an increasingly diverse, global and complex world.
Let me be clear. I believe in the freedom of the press and its critical role in examining all facets of our society to foster reasoned discourse and to promote understanding of topics both popular and unpopular. We will not always agree with what is written. I disagree, however, in journalism that attempts to malign and distort, rather than inform and enlighten.
I need not tell you that the black male is already faced with challenges in nearly every aspect of his life. Injustices abound. Families are broken. And our young black boys are failing to reachtheir potential in grade school and middle school at pandemic rates. And while the world grapples with complicated issues related to economic disparity, racism, sustainability, and diversity and tolerance, Morehouse stands in the breach, seeking answers to the pressing issues facing our young men, encouraging dialogue and expecting excellence.
The world is complex, and it is diverse. Morehouse reflects that same complexity and that same diversity. It is unfortunate that the Vibe article will heighten misunderstandings and advance or inform little.
In the end, no media outlet can shape who we are or in any way diminish our mission. But together we can encourage media outlets like Vibe to provide fair, well-researched and balanced journalism.
Finally, Morehouse will stand by its values. We will continue to set high standards and focus on the development of our young men. Thank you for standing with us.
Robert M. Franklin
Morehouse College

Julianne Malveaux Discusses Her Trip to Haiti

by Dr. Julianne Malveaux 

The earthquake that killed nearly 300,000 people in Haiti transformed its capital, Port-au-Prince into a tent city layered with rubble. Ten months later, thousands still live in now-frayed tents or even on the streets. Food is still scarce in the tent camps. Thousands of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are working on everything from housing construction, to economic development, to agricultural development, to education. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been pledged to Haiti, but Haiti's leaders have not been able to access or spend the money. There will be a Presidential election in about six weeks, and one of the reasons some say the money has not been funneled through government is because of political weakness and instability.

Click to read.

Wilmer Leon: Would Foreclosure Freezes Help the Economy?

How a foreclosure freeze could heat up our economy

by Dr. Wilmer Leon

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

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

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


Click to read.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dr. Boyce Explains “Found Money” On MSN’s “The Invested Life”


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


Dr. Boyce Watkins,Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action

Protestors Fight Against Saggin: Is That All We Have to Fight About?

North Carolina Couple Staging a Rally to Protest

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

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

Click to read.

Congressional Black Caucus Speaks Up (Finally) On Black Unemployment

Congressional Black Caucus

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

From Black America Web via Clutch Magazine

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


Click to read.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Dr. King vs. Obama: What Would One Say About the Other?

by Mike Green, Huffington Post

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

Dirty Secret

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

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

Dear President Obama ...

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

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

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

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

Never-Ending Recession

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

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

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

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


Click to read.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Black August Hip Hop Movement: Dream Hampton’s New Film

I got a chance to speak with Marc Lamont Hill, a brilliant young professor at Columbia University, along with Dream Hampton. Marc is the host of "Our World with Black Enterprise," replacing the great Ed Gordon. Dream is a hip hop journalist, who was the first female editor of "The Source" Magazine. She has also helped to create award-winning films such as "I am Ali," and "Behind the Music: The Notorious B.I.G." I spoke with both of them in the studio about their work, and I think you'll enjoy the interview and become inspired by it.


Click here to watch.

Pastor Steven Arnold: Resigns After Sex Scandal

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Bishop Steven Arnold, a prominent pastor in Little Rock, Arkansas resigned this week after admitting to an affair with a female in his congregation. He was the pastor at First Baptist Church, where he's had the post for 21 years.
Bishop Arnold's revelation to his congregation led to the church's Board of Elders accepting his letter of resignation swiftly and issuing a statement:

"It is with a heavy heard that we accept the resignation of our pastor. Under his leadership, we have experienced tremendous growth, both spiritually and numerically. We love and deeply appreciate all that he has done for us through God's enablement these past 21 years. In our efforts to curtail speculation and gossip, the Board of Elders made the decision to be more specific about what led to Bishop Arnold's resignation. But out of respect and sensitivity to the families and all that are involved, we will not release any more information other than this. We prayerfully hope that the public will show the same respect and be considerate of the feelings of family members and our church during this difficult time."


Click to read.

The Future of Hip Hop Part 2


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action

If you're anything like the rest of us, you are probably sick and tired of much of the hip hop you hear on the radio. This is not to say that there aren't artists who produce quality music, but there are quite a few who show nothing less than complete disrespect for themselves, black women and the entire African American community. I'm a fan of hip hop, but not a fan of stupidity, especially when these images are teaching young brothers how to be black men.

Click to watch

The Latest from Dr. Boyce Watkins on Twitter

drboycewatkins1, Scholarship in Action 

  1. What is the future of hip hop? I talked to the founder of about it here: 12 hours ago via web
    • Here's the clip of us on CNBC - this is a debate I had with someone from Bush Administration, Press Secretary: 16 hours ago via web
      • I'll be on CNBC at 11:30 am today if you'd like to see it.about 23 hours ago via web
        • Al Sharpton and I discuss the firing of Rick Sanchez from CNN: PM Oct 4th via web
          • Is TI being treated differently from Lindsay and Paris? AM Oct 4th via web
            • It's good to see that Obama is changing around the Oval Office: AM Oct 4th via web
              • Why did CNN fire Rick Sanchez for speaking out against racism? It happens to us all the time: PM Oct 3rd via web
                • Read the lawsuit against Bishop Eddie Long: PM Sep 30th via web
                  • Acid in face hoax woman pleads guilty: PM Sep 29th via web
                    • Eddie Long accuser says sex happened on church grounds: PM Sep 29th via web
                      • Meet Dr. Boyce Watkins on MSN's "The Invested Life": AM Sep 29th via web
                        • Eddie Long accuser calls him a monster and a predator - amazing video: PM Sep 28th via web
                          • Anderson Cooper embarrassed the heck out of the CBC and Eddie Bernice Johnson: PM Sep 28th via web
                            • Black leaders are quiet about Bishop Eddie Long: PM Sep 28th via web
                              • Rev. Sharpton and I are discussing Eddie Long. He has an interesting perspective. Sharptontalk.net10:55 AM Sep 27th via web
                                • Bishop Eddie Long addresses his congregation: AM Sep 26th via web
                                  • Former NBA star might be going to prison: PM Sep 25th via web
                                    • Poll: less than half of African Americans think Bishop Eddie Long is gay - AM Sep 25th via web
                                      • Bishop Eddie Long to step down as pastor on Sunday: PM Sep 24th via web
                                        • I am standing against accused racist Joe Price who wants to be Sheriff here in Syracuse - suspicious deaths of black people under his watch6:20 AM Sep 24th via web

                                          Tuesday, October 5, 2010

                                          Dr. Boyce Watkins on CNBC: Why are companies not hiring?


                                          Click here to watch Dr. Boyce Watkins on CNBC explaining why corporations aren’t hiring across America.  Black Scholarship in Action

                                          Monday, October 4, 2010

                                          Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Sharpton Discuss CNN's Firing of Rick Sanchez

                                          Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Sharpton Discuss CNN's Firing of Rick Sanchez. ;

                                          Dr. Julianne Malveaux: The March Is Over, Now What?

                                          According to the news media "tens of thousands" of people attended the One Nation Working Together Rally, or the 10.2.10 March that was held at the Lincoln Memorial on October 2, 2010.  I'd have liked to be there, but Bennett College for Women held our own mobilization, a weekend that celebrated new buildings, new energy, our Friends and Family Weekend, a phenomenal play, a magnificent donation of art to our Steele Hall Gallery, and so many other moments of celebration.  Still, there were more than a dozen Bennett students and faculty, including Professor Karla McLucas, and senior star Erica Harris, on the bus from Greensboro present at the march.

                                                      It seems that some folks are drawing a line in the sand, saying "no more", being firm and focused on issues of social and economic justice.  It's important to affirm the fact that we will never go back.  The day after people gathered in Washington, Bennett College celebrated its Founders' Day with an address from former US Ambassador to South Africa, Dr. James A. Joseph, who spoke about activism and oscillation, about the ways rivers weave and wind their ways through our consciousness.  Dr. Joseph told Bennett women that we have an obligation to be activists, and he put activism in perspective. (We will be posting his talk on the Bennett website this week).

                                          Click to read.

                                          Would TI Go to Prison If He Were Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton?

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

                                          It's being reported that the rapper T.I. (aka Clifford Harris) has a probation revocation hearing coming up on October 15. The rapper was arrested for drug possession with his wife, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle. The incident occurred on September 2 of this year, and they were allegedly in possession of Codeine, Ecstasy and Marijuana, which was uncovered in what police say was a routine traffic stop.

                                          I spoke with someone who is familiar with the case against T.I. I asked him if T.I. was going back to prison. He said that while he isn't sure what the rapper's fate will be, there is an inherent contradiction in his case. While we can almost expect that T.I. will be punished for his latest violation of the law, the same can't be said for other celebs, like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. Both of these young women have been arrested time and time again for one offense after another. In each case, they are typically given a slap on the wrist.

                                          Click to read.

                                          President Obama’s White House Changes are Much Needed for America

                                          Obama should redecorate White House to have common touch

                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                          President Obama appears to understand the value of cleaning house. After letting go one of his top economic advisor, Lawrence Summers, Obama saw the departure his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. He is also expected to make major changes in the National Security Council over the next year. By losing some of the baggage of the last two years, the president is presenting a restructured slate to energize Democratic voters and prepare for a Congress that will look dramatically different after the November elections.

                                          Obama's interim replacement for Rahm Emmanuel, Pete Rouse, is the right person for the job at this point. He understands the culture of the Senate, which is going to be critical as the Obama administration starts to find ways to pass piecemeal legislation to keep campaign promises. With the Democratic majority likely to be gone after the November elections, the president needs a plan.

                                          The Chief of Staff is arguably the most powerful person in the White House next to the president. He/she makes the president's schedule, decides who gets to meet with him and serves as his gatekeeper. For people of color, a person like Rahm Emanuel can be very dangerous, since there are some in Washington who feel that Rahm could care less about black and brown communities.


                                          Click to read.

                                          Scholarship in Action: Black Profs Debate Homosexuality and the Black Church

                                          bishop eddie long scandal and conversation about black homosexuality


                                          by Dr. Boyce Watkins and Dr. Jeff Gardere – AOL Black Voices

                                          Dr. Jeff Gardere and I both agree that the recent gay sex scandal of Pastor Eddie Long has opened a chasm in the black church and the black community that needs to be filled with discussion and most importantly, understanding. The relationship between the black church and the black community is one that begins for most of us as children and never ends. It is time to begin a conversation that can heal a lot of people.

                                          My Take – The Black Church
                                          The black church is one of the deepest and most significant institutions in the African American community. Anyone who struggles with a problem in their lives is encouraged to turn to the church for answers. If you want to know why you made it through your surgery, got a better job, or found a way to get off crack, there's probably a church on your corner willing to provide you with a convenient explanation. The church is in our blood and our pastors are our spiritual fathers.
                                          Many black folks understand the church before they ever even understand God. This socialization puts a psychological stranglehold on us: Many of us are taught to condemn those who are different, whether it is because they are gay, not baptized or simply believe what we don't believe. Some accept a life of hypocrisy, since the idea of being marginalized by the church is far worse than the challenge of maintaining a double life. We learn how to twist and manipulate the bible to help us explain away every socially deviant behavior and moral imperfection.


                                          Click to read.

                                          Friday, October 1, 2010