Celebrate the 150th Year of the 13th Amendment
with the Illinois Amistad Commission and the DuSable Museum of African American
History on Saturday,
February 21, 2015 at 740 East 56th Place, 1:00
pm. Please call 773.947.0600 for more information.
Mark Russell: Some sobering news about black
Lance Nowlin performs with Krash Krew during the Sankofa
Black Heritage Festival at the Indiana State Museum, Saturday, February 7, 2015.
(Photo: Kelly Wilkinson/The
This has been a very busy new
year, but I did have the opportunity to enjoy the movie "Selma" and reflect upon
the realities of being a black male in America in 2015. Using sources such as
the Black Star Project, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Tavis Smiley and PBS,
the picture that emerges is both challenging and troubling.
Let's start with employment,
where it is sadly true that it is easier for a black male to illegally obtain a
gun on the street than to secure legitimate employment. The adult unemployment rates for whites in December 2014
was 4.8 percent, compared with a black unemployment rate of 10.4
On June 3, 2014, the Black Star
Project released a devastating fact sheet about life for black men in America.
According to the report, "at comparable educational levels, black men earn 67
percent of what white men earn; white males with a high school diploma are just
as likely to have a job and earn just as much as black males with college
Elsewhere the report notes that
"while constituting roughly 12 percent of the total population, black Americans
are represent nearly 30 percent of its poor and . . . 44 percent of all
prisoners in the United States." The challenges
faced by young black Americans are also staggering.
Unemployment for white youths
stood at 12.2 percent in 2014, compared with a black youth unemployment rate of
Black Star relates that 67
percent of black children are born out of wedlock; that only 7 percent of black
8th-graders perform math at grade level; that only 45 percent of black men
graduate from high school in the U.S.; and that just 22 percent of black males
who began at four-year colleges graduated within six years.
Probably the greatest challenge
and sadness is the fact that homicide is the leading cause of death for black
males ages 15-34 and that suicide is the third leading cause of death for black
males in that age range.
I share these sad facts not
because I hate my own race but rather because the first step in solving a
problem is recognizing there is a problem. And,
yes, I am compelled to add that many of these ills are moral in nature, be it
the absence of values that produces children born out of wedlock or the seeming
lack of respect for education as a tool for not only the liberation and
transformation of the mind but for the economic and body politic as
Russell is director of education, family services
and housing for the Indianapolis Urban League. Contact him at
email@example.com and at Mark A. Russell @IURuss on
Possibly the Greatest Paper Written
on Educating Black Children!!!
African American Child
Dr. Donald Smith was the president of the
National Alliance of Black School Educators in 1984 when Dr. Asa Hilliard and
Dr. Barbara Sizemore led a team of Black educators to produce possibly the
greatest paper ever written on teaching and saving African American
Dr. Barbara Sizemore
Dr. Asa Hilliard
These two educators, both now
deceased, were world-renowned for the work they did with and for Black children.
Today, education administrators, school teachers, college professors, foundation
officers, elected officials, parents, community organizers, students and anyone
interested in educating Black children must read this
"Saving the African American
Child is a philosophical statement of belief and expectations",
Says Dr. Smith. He continues, "It provides the basis for an education whose
content is true, appropriate and relevant and whose processes are democratic and
And finally Dr. Smith says, "While our single objective is
African America children,
we believe that all American children will be better served by an educational
system which is based on the goals of academic and cultural excellence as
defined in this report."
Click Here to read the full report, Saving the African
of Black Americans
through Worst Economic Conditions
Wealth of Black Americans $200
Welcome to America, where Black Americans are more
likely to be under-educated, unemployed and imprisoned than their White peers;
where Black Americans, in general, have significantly less wealth, dramatically
lower-quality housing, much poorer nutrition and sub-standard medical care. This
is an America where Black people remain relatively silent while these conditions and a raging
economic genocide, eliminates them, their children and their grandchildren from
ever participating in the American mainstream!
Recent economic, wealth and
employment reports confirm what much of Black America already knows: We are in
serious TROUBLE and multitudes of Black people exist in deep poverty. Many Black
people in America are not just poor by American standards; many of us are
third-world poor. Black Americans are in an economic free-fall with no fiscal
backstop. Many Black Americans will live their entire lives without ever having
a positive net worth. Most Black people today who work are like "sharecroppers",
men and families who did most or all of the work on a farm, but seldom earned
enough to pay their debts and never owned anything of value.
it gets much worse! When you remove vehicles and other durables from the
equation, according to New York University economist Edward Wolff, the median
Black family worth is just $1,700 (while 40 percent of Black families have zero
or negative wealth). The median White family worth (without durable goods) is
roughly 69 times more than that of Black families, or about $116,800.
And worst of all, the sad reality
is that liquid wealth is largely non-existent within Black families. Liquid
wealth is the money used to pay bills, buy food, pay the rent and cover
emergency situations. In 2011, the Center for Global Policy Solutions in a
report entitled Beyond Broke, showed the median liquid wealth of Black
Americans as only $200, compared to $23,000 held by Whites.
More than $100 billion might have
been extracted from Black American communities during the recent recession
according to a report by the Center for Responsible Lending, Foreclosures by
Race and Ethnicity. This economic carnage of the Black American economy
constitutes a kind of "financial rape" of the African American community,
similar to the devastating effects of colonization on the African continent.
Black Americans might never recover. Never!
Black America cannot wait for the government,
foundations and universities to save us. Annually, Black Americans generate
about $1 trillion within the U.S. economy. We must take control of our financial
resources and improve Black personal finances, our family wealth and our
communities' economies. Although life might be good economically in America, the
majority of Black Americans are living through the worst economic conditions in
Click Here to reaqd full
article or to leave a comment on this article
Black Girls Matter:
Report Exposes Gendered and Racial Disparities in Education Too Often
school district, Black girls are 53 times more likely to be suspended than White
Researchers for the study used
data and personal interviews with young women of color in Boston and New York
to expose how racism, sexism, and class issues erase Black girls' experiences in
the school system, limit their educational opportunities, and marginalize their
needs, while pushing them into low-wage work, unemployment, and
"Gender and race norms place
black girls at risk," said the report's lead author, Kimberlé Crenshaw, in its
launching webinar yesterday.
Often, conversations about race
in education focus on the achievement gap between Black and white boys, but many
efforts refuse to acknowledge that Black girls experience these same gaps
between themselves and their white counterparts - and often in greater numbers.
Sometimes, the magnitude of racial disparities for girls is greater than that of
boys, despite the minute attention paid to black girls' lives.
The report highlights the
negative impacts of zero-tolerance school systems and punitive disciplinary
philosophies on girls, such as how law enforcement and security personnel make
girls feel less safe. "It feels like you're in jail," one interviewee told
researchers. "It's like they treat you like animals, because they think that's
where you're going to end up."
Girls interviewed for the study
also cited sexual harassment as part of their educational experience, and
reported that administrators did little to protect them from harassment and violence. Some were punished for engaging
in self-defense or asked to leave classrooms where they were being harassed in
order to make the disruptions stop.
Black girls are also targeted
unfairly by administrators for suspension and expulsion. In the 2011-2012 school
year, for example,12 percent of all African
American girls in pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 were suspended, a suspension
rate six times the rate for white girls and higher than rates for white, Asian,
and Latino boys.
In some school districts, all the
girls suspended were Black. In one, Black girls were 53 times more likely to be
expelled than their white counterparts.
Click Here to Read Full Report, Black Girls
Breaking the School-
Citizens United to
Save The Southland
Dr. Bambade Shakoor-Abdullah
The Honorable David Johnson
and Phillip Jackson
February 28, 2015
Look at the Single-Parent Family
2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 2
When Daniel Patrick Moynihan raised the issue of
family structure half a century ago, his concern was the increase in black
families headed by women. Since then, the share of children raised in
single-parent families in the United States has grown across racial and ethnic
groups and with it evidence regarding the impact of family structure on outcomes
have documented a sizable achievement gap between children who live with a
single parent and their peers growing up with two parents. These patterns are
cause for concern, as educational achievement is a key driver of economic
prosperity for both individuals and society as a whole.
But how does the
U.S. situation compare to that of other countries around the world? This essay
draws on data from the 2000 and 2012 Program for International Student
Assessment studies to compare the prevalence of single-parent families and how
family structure relates to children's educational achievement across countries.
The 2012 data confirm that the U.S. has nearly the highest incidence of
single-parent families among developed countries. And the educational
achievement gap between children raised in single-parent and two-parent
families, although present in virtually all countries, is particularly
pronounced in the U.S.
The U.S. stands
out in this analysis as a country that has seen a substantial narrowing of the
educational achievement gap between children from single-parent and two-parent
families. These varying trends, and the pattern for the U.S. in particular,
confirm that family structure is by no means destiny. Ample evidence indicates
the potential for enhancing family environments, regardless of their makeup, to
improve the quality of parenting, nurturing, and stimulation, and promote
healthy child development.
tend to have fewer financial resources, for example, limiting their ability to
invest in their children's development. Single parents may also have less time
to spend with their children, and partnership instability may subject these
parents to psychological and emotional stresses that worsen the nurturing
environment for children.
disadvantages of growing up in single-parent families in the United States
include lower educational attainment and greater psychological distress, as well
as poor adult outcomes in areas such as employment, income, and marital
for children from single-parent families have also been documented in other
countries, including Canada, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. But
cross-country evidence has been difficult to obtain, in part because of
differing methods for measuring family structure and child outcomes.
studies, which asked representative samples of 15-year-olds in each
participating country the same questions about their living arrangements,
provide a unique opportunity to address this challenge.
At the same
time, it should be noted that the descriptive patterns documented here do not
necessarily capture a causal effect of living in a single-parent family.
Decisions to get divorced, end cohabitation, or bear a child outside a
partnership are likely related to other factors important for child development,
making it difficult to separate out the influence of family structure.
The Program for
International Student Assessment (PISA) is an internationally standardized
assessment given every three years since 2000 by the Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD). PISA tests the math, science, and reading
achievement of representative samples of 15-year-old students in each
Rep. Emanuel 'Chris' Welch and The Monroe Foundation
T.J. Morris Reveals Her
Family's Secret Black History
historical fiction based in the 1920's. The protagonist named Eugene "Jack"
Brewer is a mulatto man who had an unfortunate mishap with a white sheriff,
during which a woman was killed in the crossfire. Jack fled north to Chicago and
was labeled a fugitive in Mississippi. Once in Chicago, he was able to pass
himself off as white, but he always had the fear of being caught. Jack was also
related to the Ex-Governor Earl Leroy Brewer of
Hear a lecture by TJ Morris on genealogy, her book and
her family's history on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 1:30 pm at The Black Star
Project. Please call 773.285.9600 for more information.
Click Here to Purchase "Blood Is
Thicker Than Color"