Monday, September 01, 2014

Minority students create college support systems

Minority students create college support systems: Less than nine of every 100 undergraduate students on Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus identified themselves as underrepresented minorities during the spring semester, according to university data.

As a result, African-American, Hispanic, Latino and American Indian students have created programs to make the path smoother for their peers.

Friday marks the 10th anniversary of one such program established by Purdue alumna DaVida Anderson.

From 6 to 8:30 p.m. on the first Friday of every fall semester, you can find Anderson at the Black Cultural Center, 1100 Third St., making sure future generations have a strong foundation to succeed.

“I was the student everyone spoke to about the challenges women were facing on campus,” she said.

Duke students take "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" photo for Ferguson | The Chronicle

Duke students take "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" photo for Ferguson | The Chronicle: Several student organizations on campus are making efforts to rally support for the family of Michael Brown and show solidarity for people facing violence in Ferguson, Mo.

On Saturday, the National Pan-Hellenic Council invited students to take a “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” photo on the Chapel steps, following many similar photos that have been taken in cities and college communities nationwide. The Duke event’s Facebook page promoted the gathering as a show of support for the people of Ferguson seeking justice.

“The purpose of the photo was to show solidarity with the non-violent protesters in Ferguson, the family of the late Michael Brown and with people all over the nation who experience injustice at the hands of police officers,” said NPHC president JT Ross, a junior, in an email Sunday night.

STEM-Focused Educational and Occupational Opportunities are Important for Latino Youth: Here's Why : Business : Latin Post

STEM-Focused Educational and Occupational Opportunities are Important for Latino Youth: Here's Why : Business : Latin Post: STEM-focused educational and occupational opportunities are vital for Latinos, who traditionally lag behind whites and Asians when it comes to science, technology, engineering and mathematical excellence.

There's a pressing need to drastically transform educational trends for Hispanics, as the group is disproportionately on the wrong side of the educational gap. Only 63 percent of Latinos graduate from high school, compared to 84 percent of African Americans and 88 percent of whites. And while numbers are on the rise, just a mere 14 percent of Latinos obtain a college degree.

To counter those statistics, whole communities must work toward eradicating obstacles standing in the way of young Latinos, and communities must encourage Latino youth to complete high school and college, as well as pursue internships, externships, graduate programs and entrepreneurship. suggests three basic missions in order to help young Latinos reach the nation's degree attainment goal: mend the college completion gap, increase the number of degrees attained and enhance initiatives and programs that assist and track Latino students on their roads to graduation.

Hands up: Howard U. photo of students in solidarity goes viral

Hands up: Howard U. photo of students in solidarity goes viral: A photo of black students with their hands raised is becoming a symbol of solidarity after Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, was shot by a police officer Saturday in Ferguson, Mo.

The photo was taken after Howard University students heard that alumna, Mya White, was shot in the head while protesting in Ferguson, reports WRC-TV in Washington, D.C.

Hispanic Network awards 27 scholarships

Hispanic Network awards 27 scholarships: Twenty-seven Napa County students, including 17 Napa-area high school graduates, will receive Napa County Hispanic Network scholarships at a gala banquet on Sept. 19 in Napa.

The banquet has raised more than $434,000 in scholarships for 310 Napa County students over the past 30 years.

The 17 students include nine from Napa High School, five from Vintage High School, two from Valley Oak High School and one from Justin-Siena High School.

Ten more scholarship recipients include four from St. Helena High School, four from Napa Valley College, one from American Canyon High School and one from Santa Rosa Junior College.

One recipient is Vintage High School’s Christian Zavala, who has never received a grade less than an A since middle school. At Vintage, he earned a grade-point average of 4.65 and an SAT score of 1860.

Holder tells Ferguson students he was a victim of racial profiling | TheHill

Holder tells Ferguson students he was a victim of racial profiling | TheHill: FERUGUSON, Mo. — Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday told a group of black college students that he had been a victim of racial profiling.

Holder, who is in Ferguson as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, relayed a story about being stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike, despite not breaking any laws.  “He told the story about how he was humiliated. They got him out of his car and searched his car,” said Bradley J. Reyford, a 22-year-old student who met with Holder.

Holder told the story to a group of students at Florissant Valley Community College, a predominantly black school.

He met with a small group of students to hear their concerns about policing tactics in Ferguson, where riots and looting have broken out over the past week, along with protests and demonstrations related to the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The attorney general wanted to “get a general idea of how police departments treat the community,” Reyford said

Latino Farmworker College Students Get Crucial Career Boost - NBC

Latino Farmworker College Students Get Crucial Career Boost - NBC Yonny Castillo, 21, began working in the fields with his family in Oregon when he was just eight years old. His family has picked blueberries, pears, and even cherries ever since he can remember.

But this summer, the Willamette University student has had a complete different experience. Instead of working all day in the heat and hand sorting fruit until sundown, Castillo put on a suit and tie and worked in Washington, D.C., meeting and interacting with professionals and Congressional representatives in Capitol Hill.

Castillo was one of four college students who recently completed this year’s National Migrant And Seasonal Head Start Association (NMSHSA) summer internship program. It provides these students, whose summers have been spent picking fruit and vegetables, with a chance to work with professionals and organizations and work toward a more professional and lucrative future.

L.A. School Discipline Reforms Praised By Latino Educators, Experts - NBC

L.A. School Discipline Reforms Praised By Latino Educators, Experts - NBC On Tuesday afternoon the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is announcing a major reform in school discipline procedures. The changes, which will go into effect this school year, mean that the LAUSD will no longer issue citations for most campus fights and other minor infractions. Instead, students will be referred to counseling, mental health services, or other school-based solutions.

LAUSD serves roughly 650,000 K-12 students, 73 percent of whom are Latino.

LAUSD is shifting away from suspensions, arrests, and citations – and toward a more progressive system known as restorative justice. Under restorative justice reforms, school districts try to work with troubled students, rather than removing them from campus. Already, school districts from San Francisco, California to Broward County, Florida have embraced such reforms.

"LAUSD is the second largest school district in the country. The fact that it made this commitment to make this change really should be a strong statement to every other district, including those that may continue to follow very heavy suspension expulsion practices," said Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Inspiring Latino youth at MANOS | Mountain Xpress

Inspiring Latino youth at MANOS | Mountain Xpress: The years spent in middle school and high school are challenging for most youth. But for Latino youth, who are often the children of recent immigrants, the challenges can be overwhelming. Many Latino families face isolation due to language and cultural barriers, and many times these Latino middle- and high-school students serve as the connectors between their family and the community.

Norma Brown, the Latino Outreach Coordinator for Children First/Communities In Schools and students from the Bonner Leader Service Learning program at Warren Wilson College collaborated to create a new program called Mentoring and Nurturing Our Students. The name MANOS also refers to the Spanish word for “hands.” The program strives to offer Latino youth a safe and welcoming space, and it available to Latino students in eight grade & high-school students every Monday from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Each week Warren Wilson students lead the Latino youth in community and civic engagement activities, assist them with homework and help them prepare for college.

Along with the academic component, this program offers something much more subtle, and in some ways, more valuable: providing Latino youth a place to relax from the pressures and expectations of being a conduit between their families and the greater community.

Schools in Ferguson, Mo., Suspend Black Students at Higher Rates Than Their Peers - Rules for Engagement - Education Week

Schools in Ferguson, Mo., Suspend Black Students at Higher Rates Than Their Peers - Rules for Engagement - Education Week: Black people in Ferguson, Mo.—where a police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager Aug. 9—are more likely to be arrested by local police officers than their white peers. Those statistics have sparked a mistrust of the mostly white police force that added fuel to passionate protests that have followed the death of Michael Brown, 18.

Those racial disparities are also present in schools in Ferguson, where black students are more likely to face some forms of discipline than their white peers, federal statistics show.

The Ferguson-Florissant school district remained closed Thursday, a day after U.S. Attorney General visited the St. Louis suburb to check in on a federal investigation of Brown's death. As Holder arrived, a grand jury began hearing evidence to determine if Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson should face charges for shooting Brown or if the shooting was a justifiable use of force.

Appleton suspends more black students than whites

Appleton suspends more black students than whites: African-American students are suspended at a much higher rate than their white counterparts in Fox Cities schools, state and federal data shows.

The most striking disparity is in the Appleton Area School District, where the latest federal data shows that 3.3 percent of black students in Appleton received multiple out-of-school suspensions — compared to 0.3 percent of white students.

That means black students are nearly 12 times more likely to serve multiple out-of-school suspensions than their white peers. The most recent federal data is from 2011. 

Last year, 10.7 percent of the district's black students were suspended, compared with 2.1 percent of white students, according to the state Department of Public Instruction. The figures don't distinguish between in-school and out-of-school suspensions.

About 5 percent of Appleton's 16,000 students are black. School officials say they recognize the inequity and are taking steps to improve the situation.

"The bottom line is it shouldn't be about what race or ethnicity a student is — it should be about behavior and providing a safe environment for every one of our students," said Ben Vogel, an assistant superintendent in Appleton.

For the first time this year, most public school students are nonwhite - Vox

For the first time this year, most public school students are nonwhite - Vox: Nonwhite students are projected to outnumber white students in the public schools for the first time this year. This chart from the Pew Research Center shows the dramatic shift in demographics since the late 1990s:

But that doesn't mean schools everywhere are rapidly becoming more diverse, or that the typical white student is likely to be a minority in his or her classroom. A more diverse group of public school students isn't making individual public schools much more diverse. Instead, it's intensifying patterns of racial isolation.

The rapidly changing demographics have collided with the end of federal desegregation orders and longstanding patterns of housing segregation. The result: Students nationally are more diverse than ever. But while white students are seeing slightly more diverse schools than in the past, most students are still going to public schools overwhelmingly with students of their own race. And black and Latino students attend less integrated schools than before.

Catholic Leaders Are Hoping Latinos Can Save Struggling Parochial Schools | Fox News Latino

Catholic Leaders Are Hoping Latinos Can Save Struggling Parochial Schools | Fox News Latino: NEW YORK – For more than 130 years, sitting just off Times Square, the Holy Cross School opened its doors to students looking for a Catholic education near “The Crossroads of the World.”

But as Times Square transformed from a gaudy and depraved hotspot of vice to one of the city’s main tourist attractions, enrollment at the school began to wane and in 2013 the New York Roman Catholic Archdiocese announced the closing of Holy Cross along with 24 other schools across the state.

The shuttering of Holy Cross is just one of hundreds of closings of Catholic schools across the country in recent years due to sagging enrollment and rising costs to maintain the schools. Some Catholic leaders, however, are now looking to one key demographic in the U.S. to come to their schools, and possibly be the key to save the institutions.

Latinos – making up 17 percent of the U.S. population and a group that is 40 percent Catholic – have been identified by some Catholic leaders as both a population underserved educationally and one of the Church’s best hopes for reviving schools on the brink of closure.

Black students receive majority of tickets in South Bend schools - South Bend Tribune: Education

Black students receive majority of tickets in South Bend schools - South Bend Tribune: Education: African-American students in South Bend schools are more likely than others to receive infraction tickets from school resource officers.

More than seven out of 10 citations issued during the past four school years went disproportionately to black students, who comprise just 34 percent of the district’s enrollment.

Lt. Eric Crittendon, safety and security coordinator for the school district and a South Bend police officer, said he isn’t sure to what to attribute the irregularity.

“When we do these (issue citations),” Crittendon, who himself is black, said, “…it’s the officer’s discretion. Maybe the officers have worked with these (students) and they’re coming back, repeat offenders,” he said. “We don’t look at (skin) color. We just deal with what’s brought to us.”

Report: 1 in 3 black students chronically absent from school : Wsj

Report: 1 in 3 black students chronically absent from school : Wsj: ne in three black students was chronically absent from school during the 2013-14 school year, according to a Madison School District report.

Thirty-six percent of the district’s black students have an attendance rate lower than 90 percent. That corresponds to missing, on average, one half day of school every week, or 18 days during the year. The rate has remained steady for the past three school years.

Overall, 20 percent of students were chronically absent last school year, up from 19 percent during the two previous school years, according to the report, which was presented to the School Board on Monday. The district’s total attendance rate was 93 percent.

Nearly one in three students from low-income households was chronically absent compared to one in 10 students who didn’t qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

Joint performance gives white, black students a lesson in race relations - Houston Chronicle

Joint performance gives white, black students a lesson in race relations - Houston Chronicle: Earlier this summer, as violence in a St. Louis suburb triggered memories of the nation's past racial tensions, students at two Houston area high schools were getting a different sort of education in the historical themes of bigotry and discrimination.

The students from predominantly white Memorial High School and mostly black Carver High School started rehearsals for a joint production of "Memphis," a musical set in segregated Tennessee in the 1950s. The story features backlash to an interracial romance, a drama performed by modern-day teens who say they are all but color-blind. They were in elementary or middle school when Barack Obama became the country's first black president.

"It's just hard to contemplate not having any justice," said Clayton Wells, 16, a Memorial student in the cast.

The idea for the schools to team up began with discussions between Nicole Morgan, the theater director at Memorial High in Spring Branch ISD, and Roshunda Jones, her counterpart at Aldine ISD's Carver High. The two have been acquainted for years; they've attended the same festivals and swapped stories about training teens for the stage.

SRJC lands federal grant to aid Latino, low-income | The Press Democrat

SRJC lands federal grant to aid Latino, low-income | The Press Democrat: Santa Rosa Junior College will soon roll out a new program to boost retention and graduation rates among its growing population of Latino students, who now comprise more than a third of the student body.

College officials said they can now go ahead with the program after securing a five-year, $2.65 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions grant is available only to colleges with an enrollment that is at least one-quarter Latino.

“As the population of our district has grown and shifted, there are many students who have nobody in their family who has gone to college,” said Ricardo Navarrette, the college’s vice president for student affairs. “For us, this is an opportunity to make a shift in families for generations to come by providing a pathway to college, then getting students to graduate or earn a certificate.”

Providing the right resources for SFUSD’s black students | Careers & Education | San Francisco | San Francisco Examiner

Providing the right resources for SFUSD’s black students | Careers & Education | San Francisco | San Francisco Examiner: Even though school days are the most special days, this Saturday is also pretty special. I will be gathering at the San Francisco Main Library with our black students and their families to celebrate the new school year.

Joining us will be Mayor Ed Lee and the president of the Alliance of Black Educators, Emily Wade-Thompson — and dozens of community organizations and partners — for the San Francisco Unified School District’s African-American Family Breakfast and Resource Fair.

There will be good food and, of course, information on academic and recreational resources for our students. Through a partnership with cable company Comcast, we will raffle off free laptop computers and give away free school supplies to the first 200 families in attendance.

Transportation is provided from the Bayview (ask your child’s principal for details) and of course we hope to see families from across The City.

Black Students Raise Hands in Solidarity with Slain Mo. Teen | News | The Harvard Crimson

Black Students Raise Hands in Solidarity with Slain Mo. Teen | News | The Harvard Crimson: Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on email Share on print More Sharing Services 10

Ferguson Demonstration
George J Lok

Nearly 200 black men and women from across the University posed with their hands up for a group photograph on the steps of Widener Library Sunday evening, entering a national conversation spurred by a police officer’s killing of an unarmed black teenager three weeks ago in Ferguson, Missouri.

Organizers framed the photograph as a critique not only of the shooting of the teenager, Michael Brown, but also of efforts by the media and other observers to question his character and to defend Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot Brown on Aug. 9.

"Black bodies in America have consistently had to prove their humanity," Fadhal A. Moore '15, one of the event’s organizers, said as the students came together on the library steps. “Michael Brown was a human being with inalienable rights, just like we all are.”

Organizers said that they hope the photo receives national attention, but only because they believe the exposure will raise awareness of issues of race and identity that have surrounded the controversy and subsequent protests.

Interim supt. wants to make sure Latino students are included |

Interim supt. wants to make sure Latino students are included | BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – For the first time, public schools in the U.S. are expected to have more minority students than white students.

Latino children are the fastest growing population in Buffalo Public Schools. Some community leaders say they hope schools will adapt to the changing population.

The new interim superintendent met with the Latino community Monday to see how they can better serve its students.

Donald Ogilvie said, “My solution is to take the ones who are not among the 12, those priority schools, and redouble our efforts to make sure that we have schools that make a difference in the lives of kids and then give it enough time to work.”

Currently there are around 6,000 Latino students in Buffalo schools. Their graduation, drop-out, and attendance rates are the lowest in the district.

In 2013 the drop-out rate for Latino students was 32 percent. The graduation rate was 44 percent.

Graduation rates for black and Hispanic students at minority-serving institutions Journalist's Resource: Research for Reporting, from Harvard Shorenstein Center

Graduation rates for black and Hispanic students at minority-serving institutions Journalist's Resource: Research for Reporting, from Harvard Shorenstein Center: The United States is home to 106 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), institutions created to educate black students in the eras of slavery and Jim Crow. Most HBCUs continue to serve majority-black student bodies although they are open to applicants of all races. In addition to HBCUs, Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) represent another category of minority-serving institution. HSIs, which number in the hundreds, have student bodies that are at least 25% Latino and typically serve low-income students.

Minority-serving institutions often fare poorly on measures of student outcomes. For example, on the Forbes list of the “25 Colleges with the Worst Return On Investment,” 7 of the 25 schools listed are HBCUs. Additionally, a report from the University of Pennsylvania found that only 30% of students at HBCUs graduated in six years, well below the average of 55% for students of all races and slightly below the average of 37.5% for black students at all U.S. colleges. A white paper from the College Board reports that the average six-year graduation rate for students at HSIs was 35% in 2008 compared to a national average of 40% for Latino students at all colleges.

Latino institute emphasizes leadership, action and education | - Local news

Latino institute emphasizes leadership, action and education | - Local news: LYNNWOOD — The Latino Educational Training Institute's programs are focused on empowerment through education.Rosario Reyes, president of the Lynnwood nonprofit, said the group works largely with Latino business owners and students. The organization is run by volunteers except for one part-time paid administrative assistant funded by United Way. The institute has started three new programs or events during the past two years. One is geared toward networking for business owners and two are focused on education for Latino youth.On the business end of things, the first Latino Expo took place at Edmonds Community College on Aug. 9, featuring music, art, dance and business showcases. The event started as a fair for Latino-owned microbusinesses in 1987, Reyes said. A recent partnership with United Way and the Mexican Consulate allowed them to expand the fair and create a more extensive local expo.“It embodies everything,” Reyes said. “Family, business, health.”Along with helping current and future business owners, the Latino Educational Training Institute aims to up high school graduation rates and make college possible for Latino youth.Two years ago, the organization started a Latino Leadership Initiative, which provides scholarships and mentoring to community college students in Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties. In return, the students complete community service projects of their own geared toward helping students in middle school and high school.

Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress. - The Washington Post

Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress. - The Washington Post: When we look back on what happened in Ferguson, Mo., during the summer of 2014, it will be easy to think of it as yet one more episode of black rage ignited by yet another police killing of an unarmed African American male. But that has it precisely backward. What we’ve actually seen is the latest outbreak of white rage. Sure, it is cloaked in the niceties of law and order, but it is rage nonetheless.

Protests and looting naturally capture attention. But the real rage smolders in meetings where officials redraw precincts to dilute African American voting strength or seek to slash the government payrolls that have long served as sources of black employment. It goes virtually unnoticed, however, because white rage doesn’t have to take to the streets and face rubber bullets to be heard. Instead, white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

From NY to Texas, KKK recruits with candies and fliers -

From NY to Texas, KKK recruits with candies and fliers - (CNN) -- Carlos Enrique Londoño laughs at the Ku Klux Klan recruitment flier recently left on the driveway of his suburban New York home. It's unlikely the group would accept him.

"I'm Colombian and dark-skinned," said Londoño, a painter and construction worker who has lived in Hampton Bays on Long Island for 30 years.

The flier was tucked into a plastic bag along with a membership application, the address for the KKK national office in North Carolina, a list of beliefs and three Jolly Rancher candies.

The packages appear to be part of a wider recruitment effort by the Klan across the country, Ryan Lenz, senior writer for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told CNN on Saturday.

‘It just doesn’t add up’: Amid Ferguson fallout, students sound off on race in America | PBS NewsHour

‘It just doesn’t add up’: Amid Ferguson fallout, students sound off on race in America | PBS NewsHour: ERIN DEVANY: I feel like after hearing about the situation, I realized that if we have to protest the killing of unarmed youth in our nation, then we really don’t live in a free country at all.

MICHAEL BRAXTON: I shouldn’t be scared because of the color of my skin, whether you’re white, Mexican, black, Indian – we should all have the same justice. I mean, it just doesn’t add up to me.

YAHYA YUSSUF: I feel like Ferguson was like a true showing of what the nation truly feels about equality between minorities and the majorities in certain communities.

HENRY CHAVEZ: It’s definitely let me know that justice and race are still a big topic to focus on in America — that racism is still something that exists and that equality amongst races themselves isn’t fully met yet.

ANTHONY PALMER: After the events of Ferguson, I found a magazine about racial profiling from July 30 of 2001. This magazine brought to my attention that even since 2001, racial profiling has been still present and that our government is kind of ignoring what’s happening in today’s world.

A Photographer Captures The Often-Overlooked 'Aunty' Couture : Code Switch : NPR

A Photographer Captures The Often-Overlooked 'Aunty' Couture : Code Switch : NPR: "Ugh, she dresses like SUCH an aunty!" is usually not something you'd want to hear about your style, if you're South Asian.

An "aunty" or "aunty-ji" (depending on where you want to fall on the graph of respect and familiarity) is what you call a lady roughly around your mother's age. So, the family friend who has seen you grow up, your mom's co-worker, the lady next to you in the grocery line or the nosy neighbor whose questions about your love life you endure because she makes a killer biryani — they all qualify.

While the stereotype makes aunties famous only for food and unsolicited advice, their style — like this salwar-kurta and sneakers combo, a staple — has not always been in the spotlight. Until now.

How 'Sassy' Came To Mean Something Both Sweet And Sour : Code Switch : NPR

How 'Sassy' Came To Mean Something Both Sweet And Sour : Code Switch : NPR: In our semi-regular Word Watch feature, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story.

I'm sometimes described as "sassy," and when that happens I choose to take it as a compliment. I always think of Sarah "Sassy" Vaughan's spirit, verve and "sass."

You see, "sassy" started out as "saucy," according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which defines it as:

"Impudent, saucy, 'cheeky.'"
"Outspoken, provocative."
"Conceited, pretentious."
"Self-assured, spirited, bold."
"Vigorous, lively."
"Stylish, 'chic'."

I always assume the part that begins with "self-assured" and ends with "chic" is what people are saying about me. ::blinks innocently::

Native American Artists Reclaim Images That Represent Them : Code Switch : NPR

Native American Artists Reclaim Images That Represent Them : Code Switch : NPR: There's been a lot of discussion about the name of a certain Washington football team — with lawsuits arguing that it is disparaging, and media outlets choosing not to use it in their content.

But while the debates around the language are raging, the logo — also a part of the trademark lawsuit — remains emblazoned on hats, T-shirts, and picnic blankets around the capital.

The logo has been the team's brand ambassador for a long time and this team isn't the only sports team to use Native American imagery. It's also not something that is exclusive to sports teams; caricatures and motifs depicting indigenous people have long been used to sell stuff — cigars for one, but also things like chewing gum and butter.

Marchers in D.C., Ferguson, nationwide call for justice 3 weeks after Michael Brown shooting |

Marchers in D.C., Ferguson, nationwide call for justice 3 weeks after Michael Brown shooting | FERGUSON, Mo. (AP/WJLA) - Hundreds converged on Ferguson on Saturday to march for Michael Brown, the unarmed black 18-year-old who was shot and killed by a white police officer three weeks ago to the day. His death stoked national discourse about police tactics and race, which the rally's organizers pledged to continue. 

In Washington, D.C., marchers started at Union Station and planned to "disrupt business as usual" and shut down H Street NE on a busy Saturday night, organizers said.

Protesters across the country have marched and called for reforms to law enforcement agencies, including demilitarization, police review boards and body cameras.

In the past week, protesters have also demonstrated at the White House, the Justice Department, and in other neighborhoods.

Solve this math problem: The gender gap - LA Times

Solve this math problem: The gender gap - LA Times: Earlier this month, Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman in history to win a Fields Medal — "math's Nobel Prize." This is a cause for celebration, but also for reflection.

Things are definitely better than they once were for women in mathematics. In the late 18th century, Sophie Germain, who made significant contributions to number theory despite having no formal schooling, had to use a male pseudonym initially to get the attention of renowned scholars Joseph-Louis Lagrange and Carl Friedrich Gauss, who later mentored her.

Sonia Kovalevsky, a 19th century Russian mathematician now known for her work in mathematical analysis, was only allowed to audit university courses because she was a woman. Ultimately, she earned her doctorate through the private tutoring of a mentor who recognized her talent.

China complains SAT may impose American values on its best students - LA Times

China complains SAT may impose American values on its best students - LA Times: Chinese students have shown an insatiable appetite for attending U.S. colleges — last year alone, more than 235,000 were enrolled at American institutions of higher education. But now, some in China are grousing that the SAT may impose American values on its best and brightest, who in preparation for the exam might be studying the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights instead of “The Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung.”

“Including content from America's founding documents in a revised U.S. college entry exam has drawn attention in China, with worries the materials may impose the American values system on students,” China’s official New China News Agency said last week.

After Ferguson, Race Deserves More Attention, Not Less -

After Ferguson, Race Deserves More Attention, Not Less - MANY white Americans say they are fed up with the coverage of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. A plurality of whites in a recent Pew survey said that the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.

Bill O’Reilly of Fox News reflected that weariness, saying: “All you hear is grievance, grievance, grievance, money, money, money.”

Indeed, a 2011 study by scholars at Harvard and Tufts found that whites, on average, believed that anti-white racism was a bigger problem than anti-black racism.

Yes, you read that right!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Copper thieves vandalize Rosa Parks' Montgomery home

Copper thieves vandalize Rosa Parks' Montgomery home: MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Copper thieves struck the apartment complex where Rosa Parks lived when she made civil rights history, and authorities are seeking the public's help in catching those responsible.

Parks' former apartment, unit 634, was one of many in the Cleveland Court Housing Community heavily damaged in thieves' hunt for copper pipes and tubing over the weekend.

The Montgomery Housing Authority, which oversees Cleveland Court, reported extensive interior damage Monday night to kitchens and bathrooms in 11 of the buildings on Rosa Parks Avenue.

The Invisible Quality of Whiteness in Our Schools - Higher Education

The Invisible Quality of Whiteness in Our Schools - Higher Education: Much has been made about recent Census reports highlighting the fact that White students are no longer the numeric majority in U.S. public schools. Awareness of these changes is important, but statistics on students’ racial demographics tell only part of the story. Interviews with educators at a Southern California high school where more than 80 percent of the students are Asian Americans or Latinas/os reveal that how, even when Whites are a small percentage of students, whiteness still dominates.

As is the case in schools throughout the U.S., most of the educators at the school I refer to as SCHS are White. Three-quarters of the administrators and half of the teachers are White compared to more than 90 percent of the students who are of color. While race alone does not determine perspective, this racial gap between educators and students is glaring. It is a reflection of educational barriers, historical differences and varied immigration patterns. This gap also hinders students’ access to racially diverse role models and approaches.

Alvernia University Bets $10M on Poor City’s Kids - Higher Education

Alvernia University Bets $10M on Poor City’s Kids - Higher Education: READING, Pa. — On the second day of class at Reading Senior High School, teacher Eric Knorr directs his students’ attention to the banners hanging on the wall. Syracuse. Temple. Brown. Penn State. All of them brought back by former students who bucked the odds and went to college.

“You need to make sure you have a plan,” Knorr exhorts the class. “Because your plan will lead to a banner, OK? It will lead to an opportunity to go to college.”

Long seen as a way out of poverty, higher education eludes most students at Reading High. The public schools here are plagued by low test scores in reading, math and science; the school district has one of the highest dropout rates in the state; and, in a city where almost 60 percent of the population is Hispanic, many students’ parents speak little or no English.

Report: ‘Nothing New’ About Tensions Between Black Youth, Police - Higher Education

Report: ‘Nothing New’ About Tensions Between Black Youth, Police - Higher Education: With Americans reeling from the unrest stirred by the recent shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., a report released by the University of Chicago’s Black Youth Project finds that tensions between African-American young adults and law enforcement are a national problem and have been around for years.

The Black Youth Project (BYP), which is a program of the university’s Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, released its “The Policing of Black Communities and Young People of Color” report late last week. The release has coincided with national polls that have documented racially-divergent attitudes Americans overall have about local police emerging in the wake of the August 9 shooting of Brown.

In Denmark, Group Helps American Students of Color Feel at Home - Higher Education

In Denmark, Group Helps American Students of Color Feel at Home - Higher Education: In a globalized world, travel is increasingly seen as a critical part of rounding one’s character, and an essential part of an undergraduate career. Yet, comparatively few students of color are going abroad. Those that do can find themselves in countries where they are a distinct minority, making the transition away from home and other familiar places even more difficult.

Denmark does not immediately come to mind when thinking of popular study abroad destinations. In fact, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE), it ranked 21st on the list of countries students flock to. Yet the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) has a uniquely sensitive approach to accommodating the minority students who do travel there. To assist their integration into Danish life, the Institute created the Diverse Identities Social Club, directed by Heather Wallerson Krog, an American-born expatriate.

HBO miniseries to revisit Yonkers desegregation saga

HBO miniseries to revisit Yonkers desegregation saga: YONKERS, N.Y. — In May, actor Jim Belushi tried to save the Land of Oz as the voice of the Cowardly Lion in the animated film, Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return.

Now he's tapped to play a mayor who says he tried to save Yonkers from itself.

Belushi will portray former Yonkers Mayor Angelo Martinelli, part of the growing cast of Show Me a Hero, an upcoming HBO miniseries by award-winning producer David Simon that will delve into the tempest that was the city's desegregation battle in the late 1980s.

"It's never really gone away," said Martinelli, who is "delighted" to be played by Belushi. "I don't know if anybody will be able to capture those days. Those days were tumultuous. I had friends that turned against me because I wanted to settle that thing. I probably got a few extra gray hairs that I didn't need."

U.N. urges U.S. to stop police brutality after Missouri shooting | Reuters

U.N. urges U.S. to stop police brutality after Missouri shooting | Reuters: (Reuters) - The U.N. racism watchdog urged the United States on Friday to halt the excessive use of force by police after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman touched off riots in Ferguson, Missouri.

Minorities, particularly African Americans, are victims of disparities, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) said after examining the U.S. record.

"Racial and ethnic discrimination remains a serious and persistent problem in all areas of life from de facto school segregation, access to health care and housing," Noureddine Amir, CERD committee vice chairman, told a news briefing.

Teenager Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer on Aug. 9, triggering violent protests that rocked Ferguson - a St. Louis suburb - and shone a global spotlight on the state of race relations in America.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Black infant mortality rates down, but racial gap persists - Metro - The Boston Globe

Black infant mortality rates down, but racial gap persists - Metro - The Boston Globe: The stairs to the attic were getting harder to climb for Stefanie Lawrence, then a 19-year-old pregnant with her first child. The air was always damp, aggravating her chronic asthma. She had moved there, into her relative’s home, because she and her mother could no longer afford a place of their own.

Worse still, Lawrence had no health insurance. She worried her unborn child would be affected by the turmoil buffeting her.

But three months into her pregnancy, a cousin told her about city health department nurses who help mothers navigate pregnancy and the months that follow, part of a campaign to reduce the troubling infant mortality rate among black women. She signed up.

And on a summer day in 2012, Lawrence gave birth to Destiny, a healthy, 7-pound baby girl.

Today in Boston, black infants such as Destiny are more likely to celebrate their first birthdays than ever before.

A report scheduled to be released Friday shows that infant mortality — the measure of how many babies die during the first year of life — has reached a historic low for black children.

Sexist Depictions Of Latinas Aren't Just A Hollywood Thing : Code Switch : NPR

Sexist Depictions Of Latinas Aren't Just A Hollywood Thing : Code Switch : NPR: I have a love-hate relationship with actress Sofía Vergara's rise to fame. On the one hand: Wow, there's a Latina on a major hit TV show. (As a recent University of Southern California study found fewer than 5 percent of actors and actresses, in top films are Hispanic.) The fact that I can tune into Modern Family and hear a passing reference to my mother's home country reminds me that American culture is changing.

On the other hand, watching La Sofía (as we call her in my family) sway her rear end across the screen — or have her pompis rotated onstage at the Emmys this week — destroys any scrap of hope I harbor that Hollywood is starting to get Latinas right.

But before I got too far into thinking that the solution is getting more Latinas hired in Hollywood, I considered Spanish-language television. The sad news is that even when Latina women are in the majority on TV screens, the industry still focuses on their rear ends.

Plea To Ferguson's Leaders: To Help Heal, Acknowledge Our Hurt : Code Switch : NPR

Plea To Ferguson's Leaders: To Help Heal, Acknowledge Our Hurt : Code Switch : NPR: Ferguson, Mo. is a study in contrasts. It boasts spacious Victorians in its historic section, with lush green lawns, many featuring 'I Heart Ferguson' signs. Just blocks away, there's a burnt-out QuikTrip. The signs here read "Hands Up, Don't Shoot." In some cases, there are boarded-up windows advertising plans to reopen, or decorated with the town's thanks for the love and support.

Not far from either: A mound of teddy bears and dried flowers mark the spot where 18-year-old Michael Brown fell after being shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Brown's death not only put a spotlight on these contrasts, but has also encouraged people to try to address them.

That was the Rev. Willis Johnson's hope. He's the pastor of Wellspring Church, which hosted a community conversation Thursday night. In welcoming the audience, Johnson acknowledged he's "gone from feeling hurt, to wanting to hurt," but he said he hoped the event would be a step to healing a "community in trauma."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Warren Buffett's son buys Rosa Parks archive

Warren Buffett's son buys Rosa Parks archive: DETROIT — Hundreds of items that belonged to civil rights icon Rosa Parks that have been sitting unseen for years in two warehouses — in Detroit and New York City — have been sold to a foundation run by the son of billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett, the younger Buffett said Thursday.

Howard Buffett said his foundation will make sure that the items, which include Parks' Presidential Medal of Freedom, will be put on public display because they belong to all Americans.

"I'm only trying to do one thing: preserve what's there for the public's benefit," he said. "I thought about doing what Rosa Parks would want. I doubt that she would want to have her stuff sitting in a box with people fighting over them."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Despite Racial Disparity, Alumni Group Backs Test-Only Policy for Elite Schools

A group of alumni of eight prestigious public high schools in New York City issued a statement on Tuesday in support of keeping a test as the sole criterion for entry, inserting themselves in a long-running debate over the admissions process and its impact on the schools’ racial makeup.

Some legislators and civil rights groups have blamed the test-only policy for the fact that very few black and Hispanic students are admitted to the eight so-called specialized high schools, in comparison with their numbers in the city’s school system over all. Mayor Bill de Blasio said during the mayoral campaign that the schools should use a broader set of measures for admission, but his power to make that change is limited.

State law mandates that the test, known as the Specialized High School Admissions Test, be the only standard for admission to the three biggest schools — Stuyvesant High School, the Bronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Tech — and an attempt to change that law fizzled earlier this year.

Study: Minority-Serving Schools Serve Students of Color as Well as Predominantly White Institutions - Higher Education

Study: Minority-Serving Schools Serve Students of Color as Well as Predominantly White Institutions - Higher Education: A new study challenges the notion that Black and Latino students are less likely to earn a college degree if they attend minority-serving institutions, such as historically Black universities or Hispanic-serving universities.

The study, “The Effect of Enrolling in a Minority-Serving Institution for Black and Hispanic Students in Texas,” reports that Black and Latino students who enroll at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) are equally as likely to complete college as Black and Latino students who attend other colleges and universities. The study, which focuses on three cohorts of college enrollees from 1997 to 2008, was published in the Research in Higher Education journal in late July.

Dr. Stella Flores, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of public policy and higher education at Vanderbilt University, said that conventional graduation statistics show that college completion of Black students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) falls about 7 percent below non-MSIs, and Latino student graduation rates lag by roughly 11 percent at Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) when compared to Latino completion at non-MSIs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Civil rights attorney George Barrett dies at 86

Civil rights attorney George Barrett dies at 86: NASHVILLE — George Barrett, the irrepressible, octogenarian civil rights attorney who continued to work full-time on behalf of voters, laborers, investors and other groups until earlier this month, died Tuesday night. He was 86.

The cause of death was acute pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, which sent Barrett to the hospital about two weeks ago, a family spokeswoman said.

Barrett cut a self-assured figure in Nashville's legal community for more than 50 years after graduating from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1957 and taking a job at the law firm of Cecil Branstetter, who was becoming one of the South's leading labor lawyers. Routinely calling himself "The Citizen," Barrett took on authority figures with an attitude of righteous indignation whenever he thought they were abusing their power.

Black, White and Baseball -

Black, White and Baseball - SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — IF you were looking last week for a thread of hope amid all the hurt in America and savagery abroad, for something to thrill to and cheer about, this is where you found it, on a baseball diamond in central Pennsylvania that really did amount to a field of dreams.

It was here, at the Little League World Series, that Mo’ne Davis captured the country’s hearts. A 13-year-old wunderkind from Philadelphia, she was believed to be the first black girl to play in the series. She was definitely the first girl ever to pitch a shutout. She landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated, exploded stereotypes about women and sports and did it with a poise and grace that most people twice or even four times her age struggle to muster.

She was some story. So is a lanky white man who watched her from a seat behind home plate, gripped by nervousness, pride and a gnawing regret.

Racial Divide in United States Defies Easy Change -

Racial Divide in United States Defies Easy Change - WASHINGTON — The tragic shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., has sparked an intense debate about the state of race relations in America, but there’s little indication much will change.

Predictably, Barack Obama, the first black president, is at the center of the debate. Should he speak out more forcefully? Should he go to Ferguson? Is this a teaching moment?

This recalls the expectation that his election would magically transform an issue that has plagued the United States for hundreds of years. Mr. Obama did not run as a black candidate; had he done so, he would have lost. In office, he has given speeches and promoted initiatives on race, but he has not governed as a black president.

Where are first graduates of Urban Prep? - Chicago Tribune

Where are first graduates of Urban Prep? - Chicago Tribune: As a student in the first class of Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men, Tyler Beck found himself enveloped in a nurturing environment where teachers came in early and stayed late to help tutor struggling students. There, the boys formed a brotherhood and learned affirmations that kept them pumped up to achieve.

"We were taught, 'Each one reach one,' and 'It takes courage to excel.' We all learned to help each other because we all wanted to succeed," Beck said. "There were people who could say they'd been right where you were from and they could say they knew what your life was like."

But four years later, at the idyllic East Coast private college to which Beck was accepted, the atmosphere was dramatically different. And even though he had earned a full academic scholarship to attend, Beck was not prepared.

BBC News - US schools to have non-white majority

BBC News - US schools to have non-white majority: White pupils in state schools in the United States are set to be in the minority for the first time when schools return for the new term.

According to official forecasts, enrolments for the 2014-15 school year will mark the threshold when ethnic minorities become the majority.

This demographic shift has been driven by rising numbers of Hispanic pupils.

Figures are gathered by the US Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics.

It records the number of pupils in the state school system across the United States - and it publishes forecasts of enrolments in the years ahead.
Population shifts

The figures show a steady decline in the numbers of white pupils since the mid-1990s and a broadly stable number of black pupils, but a sharply rising number of pupils identified as Hispanic.

The school figures show the number of Hispanic pupils has more than doubled over the past two decades and is projected to continue rising in the next decade.

Black Arundel officers criticize union donation to Ferguson cop -

Black Arundel officers criticize union donation to Ferguson cop - A group of African-American police officers in Anne Arundel County said Monday they were "shocked" by their union's donation to a white Missouri police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teen.

In a letter to the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 70, which represents Anne Arundel's rank-and-file police, the officers blasted the decision to donate to a fund for Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson, Mo., police department.

"While we appreciate the support that the union offers to officers in need, there comes a time where leaders must take a step back and look at the totality of their decisions," wrote Cpl. Kam Cooke, a bike patrol officer and acting president of Anne Arundel's Black Police Officers Association.

In Ferguson, Court Fines And Fees Fuel Anger : NPR

In Ferguson, Court Fines And Fees Fuel Anger : NPR: Racial Disparity In Ferguson Traffic Stops

Data from the Missouri state attorney general's office show that black drivers are stopped in Ferguson in disproportionate numbers, even though Ferguson police are more likely to find contraband when they stop white drivers.

Blacks make up 67 percent of the city's population, but are 86 percent of motorists stopped by police. Whites make up 29 percent of the population, but 12.7 percent of vehicle stops.

"However, this data seems at odds with the fact that searches of black individuals result in discovery of contraband only 21.7 percent of the time, while similar searches of whites produce contraband 34 percent of the time," the ArchCity Defenders report notes.

Which Outlets Aren't Calling The Redskins 'The Redskins'? A Short History : Code Switch : NPR

Which Outlets Aren't Calling The Redskins 'The Redskins'? A Short History : Code Switch : NPR: Football season is upon us once more, which means another year of swirling debate around just what to do about the Washington Redskins' name.

Now, the Redskins' hometown paper, The Washington Post, has waded into the fray: Its editorial board that the nickname would no longer appear on its op-ed pages.

"[T]he matter seems clearer to us now than ever, and while we wait for the National Football League to catch up with thoughtful opinion and common decency, we have decided that, except when it is essential for clarity or effect, we will no longer use the slur ourselves."
An October study from Pew Research found
that at least 76 outlets and journalists have moved to limit or ban the use of the team's name — a number that has obviously ticked up since then. (For the record, NPR's official policy is to use the team's name when reporting on it. But since the Redskins aren't very good and we don't do a ton of sports reporting anyway, we don't have a whole lot of opportunities to use or not use the name.)

Poll: Whites and blacks question police accountability

Poll: Whites and blacks question police accountability: As Michael Brown was laid to rest in Missouri, a USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll finds Americans by 2-to-1 say police departments nationwide don't do a good job in holding officers accountable for misconduct, treating racial groups equally and using the right amount of force.

While most whites give police low marks on those measures, blacks are overwhelmingly negative in their assessment of police tactics. More than nine of 10 African Americans say the police do an "only fair" or poor job when it comes to equal treatment and appropriate force.

The shooting of the unarmed black teenager by a white police officer two weeks ago in a St. Louis suburb has sparked protests across the country and spotlighted a federal program that sends military equipment to local law enforcement agencies.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Despite Promises, Little Progress in Drawing Poor to Elite Colleges -

Despite Promises, Little Progress in Drawing Poor to Elite Colleges - As the shaded quadrangles of the nation’s elite campuses stir to life for the start of the academic year, they remain bastions of privilege. Despite promises to admit more poor students, top colleges educate roughly the same percentage of them as they did a generation ago. Yet the percentage of high-performing, low-income students in the general population is twice that at prestigious campuses.

A series of federal surveys of selective colleges found virtually no change from the 1990s to 2012 in enrollment of students who are less well off despite a huge increase over that time in the number of such students going to college. Similar studies looking at a narrower range of top wealthy universities back those findings. With race-based affirmative action losing both judicial and public support, many have urged selective colleges to shift more focus to economic diversity.

Being "Black-ish": Column

Being "Black-ish": Column: Do you ever feel as if you are swimming upstream in a river? How about the feeling that you are running into the wind, uphill? Perhaps you could provide some other cliché that implies that one is working harder than one might and against the prevailing opinion of the crowd.

I often feel that way. I do so because I continue to teach African American history at the university level when there are so many cultural clues that many don't feel it is important. I was reminded of my predicament when I learned of a television show, "Black-ish" starring Anthony Anderson, which will air for the first time in Fall 2014 on ABC.

The Hollywood Reporter described the show as an "upper-middle class black man who struggles to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife, old-school father and his own assimilated, color-blind kids." Anderson plays a successful executive with all the trappings; an enviable address, an expensive automobile, and, perhaps most importantly, a closet reserved solely for his shoes. Yet he wonders what elements of African-American cultural his children must give up in order to "fit in."

Black America and the burden of the perfect victim - The Washington Post

Black America and the burden of the perfect victim - The Washington Post: An information war is being waged in Ferguson, Mo., each salvo meant to shape public perceptions of Michael Brown and Darren Wilson.

Through this war we’ve learned that the 18-year-old Brown had marijuana in his system when he was killed, suggesting he was of poor character, and that police officer Wilson shot Brown six times, a use of force that could seem reckless or excessive. We’ve been told that Brown was a “gentle giant” who would have started attending classes at a technical college this month, but we’ve also seen a grainy convenience-store video in which he does not look gentle. We have seen a video of Wilson receiving an award, looking professional and happy, but we’ve also heard about him cursing at a Ferguson woman who had been maced, weeks before the town began to smolder.

Such snippets and images are efforts to shape public opinion about these men. They could influence St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch as he weighs whether to bring charges against Wilson. They could also influence the potential jury pool, showing prejudicial evidence that may not be admissible at trial.

Ferguson Situation Comes Down to Matter of Dignity - Higher Education

Ferguson Situation Comes Down to Matter of Dignity - Higher Education: On Aug. 9, police in Ferguson, Mo., shot Michael Brown to death, an unarmed Black teenager. The closed way in which the police responded to requests for information on the shooting and their aggressive actions against peaceful protestors in the aftermath of the shooting have opened yet another sore spot in a nation that is splintering from all levels of gross inequality. The fissures ripping at the nation come from race and class, as we struggle to regain our economic footing; the simple ability of Americans to hold a job, feed, shelter, cloth and provide for the health of their families. It boils down to the simple word: Dignity.

A problem with America is the paradox that it can be a nation with high compassion, but also a nation with no empathy. Central American children fleeing violence and in desperation making a long and dangerous journey to the land they think is full of milk and honey, with streets lined with gold, are greeted by angry mobs as their buses take them to detention centers.

College Students Step Up in Ferguson - Higher Education

College Students Step Up in Ferguson - Higher Education: The protests that have swept up Ferguson, Mo., following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, in part have been powered by the young people. Some are local and others have come there to help organize.

Antonio Parker, a student at University of Missouri-St. Louis, said that he has been at protests during the day.

“When I’m there, it’s calm, people are just chanting, trying to get their voices heard,” he said. “When I was down there, the police that were there during the day, don’t seem to be as on edge as they are at night, from what I’ve been told. A lot of people think that the message is getting covered up by all the looting, but I think the message is still being carried out—justice for Mike Brown.

“The Black community, we are tired of police brutality.”

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bob Motley, Last Surviving Negro League Ump, Recalls Baseball History : NPR

Bob Motley, Last Surviving Negro League Ump, Recalls Baseball History : NPR: Bob Motley, a 91-year-old from Kansas City, Mo., has lived through remarkable times in our history.

His story is one of a black man in love with baseball. Racial integration didn't come to the major leagues until 1947, when Jackie Robinson broke the color line at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

But it was another 19 years before a black man, Emmett Ashford, appeared behind home plate. In the interim, black umpires called balls and strikes in the Negro League.

Motley is the last surviving ump from Negro League baseball. He also served with the first-ever black Marine regiment in World War II, the Montfort Point Marines.

50 Years Before Ferguson, A Summer Of Riots Racked The U.S. : Code Switch : NPR

50 Years Before Ferguson, A Summer Of Riots Racked The U.S. : Code Switch : NPR: Fifty years ago this summer — a half-century before the protests in Ferguson, Mo. — riots broke out in seven cities in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Pennsylvania, sparked by confrontations between black residents and their predominantly white police forces.

In Philadelphia, the violence began after dark, in late August.

"It was a hot day and just wasn't too much activity in the hood, as they say," remembers Kenneth Salaam, who was 15 years old in 1964.

He was hanging out in his North Philadelphia neighborhood with friends when police cars began zipping by one after another. He ran towards the action, blocks away from his home.

"It's crowds of people, police, and then you're hearing glass breaking, and now I know it's a riot!" says Salaam, who adds it wasn't clear at first what sparked the violence. "There were so many rumors as people were coming."

Saturday, August 23, 2014

For Parents Of Young Black Men With Autism, Extra Fear About Police : Code Switch : NPR

For Parents Of Young Black Men With Autism, Extra Fear About Police : Code Switch : NPR: Lorraine Spencer has been watching the news from Ferguson, Mo., where an unarmed black 18-year-old was shot and killed by police, and worrying about her own son's safety. Jermaine is 16 years old and bi-racial, with a dark complexion. He also has autism and wants to be more independent, especially as he nears adulthood.

"It's my worst nightmare," she says. "I have the issue with him not understanding, possibly, a command to put your hands up or to get on the ground. So, yes, it's scary."

According to the advocacy group Autism Unites, people with autism spectrum disorders are seven times more likely to interact with police over their lifetimes, compared with people without a cognitive disorder.

Study: White People Support Harsher Criminal Laws If They Think More Black People Are Arrested | ThinkProgress

Study: White People Support Harsher Criminal Laws If They Think More Black People Are Arrested | ThinkProgress: A recent study suggests that, if you are white, and you are presented with evidence that our criminal justice system disproportionately targets black people, then you are more likely to support harsh criminal justice policies than if you were unaware of this evidence. According to a study by Rebecca Hetey, a post-doctoral fellow in Stanford’s Psychology department and Jennifer Eberhardt, her faculty advisor, informing white people that African Americans are significantly over-represented in the prison population “may actually bolster support for the very policies that perpetuate the inequality.”

Forty percent of the nation’s prison population is black, as compared to only 12 percent of the population as a whole.

To reach their conclusions, Hetey and Eberhardt conducted two experiments involving white subjects. In the first, white people were asked to watch one of two videos containing mug shots. In one video, 25 percent of the mug shots were pictures of black men, while in the other video, 45 percent of the mug shots depicted African American males.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Chief: St. Louis officer on leave after video tirade

Chief: St. Louis officer on leave after video tirade: Video has surfaced showing a St. Louis County, Mo., police officer engaging in an hour-long lecture in which he rails against "our undocumented president," the "black-robed perverts" of the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. laws that promote equality, prompting the police chief to put him on administrative leave.

Officer Dan Page gained notoriety last Monday after shoving CNN host Don Lemon during live coverage from Ferguson, Mo., where protests erupted after police fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9. On Friday, CNN telephoned the St. Louis County Police Department to say the news organization had obtained a tape of Page speaking to an organization called the Oath Keepers, which describes itself as a group of current and former law enforcement and military personnel compelled to disobey rules that members believe violate the Constitution.

President Wilson Endeavors to Make Morehouse College a World-Class Destination - Higher Education

President Wilson Endeavors to Make Morehouse College a World-Class Destination - Higher Education: ATLANTA — From the moment he took over as president of his alma mater, Dr. John Silvanus Wilson Jr. has been conveying a vision for Morehouse College that includes achieving excellence.

His mantra, “Toward Capital and Character Preeminence,” is an initiative aimed at transforming the historic college into a world-class campus, while simultaneously producing a generation of men who will go on to become change agents like so many of their predecessors.

“Preeminence in capital and character is a powerful combination seldom exhibited by institutions of higher education,” says Wilson, who stepped down as executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities in 2013 to lead the nation’s only African-American men’s college.

“So we are looking to increase institutional capital enough to have a sustainably world-class living and learning environment, and enhance institutional character enough to reliably produce more graduates who will help heal the world in distinctive ways,” he says.

50 Years Later, TRIO Programs Paving Pathways to Success - Higher Education

50 Years Later, TRIO Programs Paving Pathways to Success - Higher Education: WASHINGTON — At the age of six or seven — long before she became a college chancellor — Cynthia Azari got a tough lesson in economics for migrant farm worker families such as hers.

She and her sister had just dragged a bag full of cotton that they had been picking all day to place it on the scale. A grower told them that they had only earned 85 cents for their labor. This was before, she said, child labor laws protected the children of migrant farm workers.

“That probably could buy a loaf of bread and eggs and a quart of milk, but as a child I thought: I can’t do this,’” Azari said, recounting the years when she and her family lived in small shacks picking cotton and grapes in Texas and California. “There was no way I was going to work like this for the rest of my life.”

A Mother's White Privilege

A Mother's White Privilege: As the ongoing events in Ferguson, Missouri show us, America's racial tensions didn't disappear when George Wallace backed down from the schoolhouse door. Dr. King didn't wave a magic wand, and we never got together to feel all right. White America remembers this at ugly flashpoints: the Rodney King beatings, the OJ Simpson trial, the Jena Six, Trayvon Martin's death. White America recoils in horror not at the crimes -- though the crimes are certainly horrible. It's not the teenagers gunned down, the police abuse, the corrupt trials. It's this: at these sudden, raw moments, in these riots and demonstrations and travesties of justice, White America is forced to gaze upon the emotional roil of oppression, the anger and fear and deep grief endemic to the black American experience. Black America holds up a mirror for us.

And white America is terrified to look.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

HBCUs Looking Abroad in Effort to Remain Competitive - Higher Education

HBCUs Looking Abroad in Effort to Remain Competitive - Higher Education: HBCUs have a rich heritage of educating generations of political, business and scientific leaders from Africa and Asia and developing partnerships with institutions overseas. For decades, many historically Black colleges also played a critical role in overseas development work.

But these days many HBCUs lag behind predominantly White institutions in international engagement. They are less likely to attract foreign students or send their own students abroad. Many are hobbled by weak finances and insufficient personnel. Some do not even have international student offices.

But given the consensus that producing college graduates who are competitive and possess the requisite skills to succeed in a global marketplace is critical, there is growing concern that HBCUs, which award 22 percent of bachelor’s degrees to Black students, are being left behind.

How To Sell Diverse Books: A Bookstore Owner's Advice : Code Switch : NPR

How To Sell Diverse Books: A Bookstore Owner's Advice : Code Switch : NPR: On what makes a diverse book

The [criterion is]: One, the book must feature a main character of color in a story that is not driven by racial issues. So mainstream stories of kids having all kinds of adventures and different genres of literature. ...

I think there are so many books published about issues that the consumer culture has developed this idea that books with brown faces on the cover are going to be heavy, serious books. And while those books are very valuable and important and wonderful books to read, they also don't describe the entire experience of human life in this country.

On the notion that "the market reflects the buyer" in the publishing world 

I think publishing, marketing dollars go to certain books more than other books. And I think we tend to narrow our definition of what will sell even before the book gets out of the gate. ...

The Sleepy Road Near Our National Conversation On Race : Code Switch : NPR

The Sleepy Road Near Our National Conversation On Race : Code Switch : NPR: On television, it's hard to get a sense of just how small the stretch of West Florissant Avenue — the thoroughfare in Ferguson, Mo., that's drawn international attention after the killing of Michael Brown — really is.

On either side of West Florissant, there are nail salons and barber shops, liquor stores and Chinese food spots, convenience stores and places where you can buy refurbished electronics or pay your utility bills. Because of the unrest, lots of the stores are boarded up, some as precautions against vandalism and looting, others as a result of it. Some are open — and have graffiti on the wooden boarding to indicate as much — while some are temporarily closed, presumably until things calm down. There's the QuikTrip, was burned down after an inaccurate rumor circulated that its owners called the police on Brown not long before he was shot.