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How Chadwick Boseman Embodies Black Male Dignity - The New York Times
By Reggie Ugwu
Jan. 2, 2019

Most people would recognize any dimension of Boseman now. After years of surfing the biopic industrial complex as one national idol after another, his role as Black Panther in the “Avengers” films and this year’s eponymous blockbuster, the ninth-highest-grossing movie of all time, has established him as the rare breed of actor with both widely recognized chops and old-school star power — the kind any producer in post-Netflix Hollywood would trade a good kidney to clone in a lab. Next up are starring roles in the New York police action drama “17 Bridges” (of which he is also a producer), the international thriller “Expatriate” (he’s producing and co-writing that one) and, barring an alien-invasion-level catastrophe, a wildly anticipated “Black Panther” sequel. Boseman told me his method of humanizing superhumans begins with searching their pasts. He’s looking for gestational wounds, personal failures, private fears — fissures where the molten ore of experience might harden into steel.....After college, Boseman moved to the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, where he ran out most of his 20s. He spent his days in coffee shops — playing chess and writing plays to direct, some of which were influenced by hip-hop and Pan-African theology.

At Howard, he’d taken an acting class with the Tony Award-winning actress and director Phylicia Rashad. (One summer, she helped him and some classmates get into an elite theater program at the University of Oxford, an adventure he later learned had been financed by a friend of hers: Denzel Washington.) To earn money, Boseman taught acting to students at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.
actors  African-Americans  biopics  Black_Panther  celebrities  Denzel_Washington  dignity  inspiration  moral_authority  Chadwick_Boseman 
january 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The American Dream Isn’t for Black Millennials
Jan. 5, 2019 | The New York Times | By Reniqua Allen. Ms. Allen is the author of “It Was All a Dream.”

....I marched up to my new, small, one-bedroom apartment on the Hill, satisfied. It felt as if I’d broken barriers.

But when I got a notice in the mail about five years after I closed, I felt dizzy. It was not long after the financial crisis. The letter said that my mortgage company had been charged with giving subprime loans to black and Hispanic people around the country and asked if I wanted to join a class-action suit. I had most likely been the target of predatory lending. I had known from the start that my income could make me a target. I’d heard the words of the broker. But because of my race? It hadn’t crossed my mind. I was devastated......How much room is there in anyone’s life for a mistake or the perception of a mistake if you’re young and black in America? How much of the American dream hangs in the balance? For the dozens of people I talked to, the reality is that if we want our dreams to come true, all too often we have to be almost perfect, making the right decisions all the time. Not getting that ticket. Not listening to that mortgage broker. Not speaking up.....I know the history of this country, know the history of redlining, know how my grandparents were locked out of neighborhoods because of their skin color. But for some reason I was still surprised. I would say I was mad, but more than that, I was hurt that I had been lulled into some kind of false bourgeois comfort that had made me think that my life was different from my predecessors’ lives. Sure, I had made it up that Hill, but at what cost?
African-Americans  downward_mobility  economic_downturn  millennials  the_American_dream  subprime  predatory_practices  racial_disparities  redlining  home_ownership 
january 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | 1919: The Year of the Crack-Up
Dec. 31, 2018| The New York Times By Ted Widmer, distinguished lecturer at the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York.

In his essay “The Crack-Up,” F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”
1919  African-Americans  F._Scott_Fitzgerald  history  WWI  second-class_citizenship  segregation  Woodrow_Wilson  Paris  turning_points 
january 2019 by jerryking
How a Businesswoman Became a Voice for Art’s Black Models - The New York Times
By Melissa Smith
Dec. 26, 2018

Curator Denise Murrell focused on the works of 19th century [ ] Édouard Manet....
Revealing that maid’s identity became the foundation of Ms. Murrell’s doctoral dissertation, and the driving force behind her exhibition “Posing Modernity: The Black Model From Manet and Matisse to Today,” currently on view at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University.....“A person of color who is standing right there before you, and being ignored, is something that is part of the condition of being” part of the African diaspora to begin with. Art historians play a significant role in shaping our understanding of the past. It bothered her that their narratives would rewrite, subjugate or exclude the history of black people.......Ms. Murrell went on to reconsider Matisse’s use of black models in light of his trips to New York during the Harlem Renaissance, and circled back to the question that triggered her entanglement with art to begin with: How have contemporary black and nonblack artists reflected on these black figures in their work? “You can’t really understand African-American art and visual culture and artistic production without understanding a lot of what it is reacting to,”......Scholarship around black representation is growing, though gaps remain. And museums are increasingly addressing the full range of their communities, and the needs of a public more attuned to issues of race — approving exhibitions, like Ms. Murrell’s, that probe what blackness really means in the context of art history.....When Ms. Murrell ran into roadblocks, she found funders and strong-armed institutions for loans. Ms. Murrell said that while curators, art historians, gallery owners and others in the art community are sincere when they talk about diversity, they are also reluctant to dismantle established norms, including those that work against people of color. Larger institutions want to play it safe, and often refrain from funding unconventional scholarship. “There’s the concern that if you talk about race or any other kind of marginalized subject, how broad is the interest going to be?” Ms. Murrell said. Leaning on a mentorship model borrowed from her time in the corporate world, Ms. Murrell said she wants to create an incubator for minorities with new ideas.
African-Americans  art  art_history  blackness  curators  exclusion  exhibitions  marginalization  PhDs  artists  playing_it_safe  visual_culture  race  women 
december 2018 by jerryking
What to Read Before or After You See ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’
Dec. 20, 2018 | The New York Times | By Gal Beckerman.

Barry Jenkins’s adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1974 novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” is an opportunity to revisit an author, an era and a set of themes that still reverberate today. The movie (closely following the book) tells the love story of Fonny and Tish, young people in early 1970s New York City negotiating an impossible situation. Fonny, an enigmatic, Greenwich Village sculptor, has been falsely accused of rape, sending him through a gauntlet of racist institutions as he and Tish try to maintain their deep love. It’s a vision of black life in the city at a moment of change, as the achievements of the Civil Rights movement have begun to curdle. It’s about the persistence of community and solidarity in the face of prejudice. And it captures Baldwin’s genius: illuminating the bruising, personal toll that American society often exacts.

For those who felt provoked by the movie and the period, here’s a bookshelf’s worth of possibilities for further reading:

* ‘Little Man, Little Man,’ by James Baldwin
* ‘No Place to Be Somebody,’ by Charles Gordone
* ‘Whatever Happened to Interracial Love,’ by Kathleen Collins
* ‘The Beautiful Struggle,’ by Ta-Nehisi Coates
* ‘Looking for Lorraine,’ by Imani Perry
* ‘The Women of Brewster Place,’ by Gloria Naylor
* ‘Go Tell It On the Mountain,’ by James Baldwin
* ‘Locking Up Our Own,’ by James Forman Jr.
* ‘The Sweet Flypaper of Life,’ by Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes
* ‘The Last Poets,’ by Christine Otten
'70s  African-Americans  books  Greenwich_Village  James_Baldwin  New_York_City 
december 2018 by jerryking
Tristan Walker on the Roman Empire and Selling a Start-Up to Procter & Gamble - The New York Times
By David Gelles
Dec. 12, 2018

Tristan Walker founded Walker & Company, a maker of health and beauty products for people of color, in 2013. On Wednesday, the company was acquired by Procter & Gamble for an undisclosed sum. The deal represents a successful exit for Mr. Walker and his investors. It also signals an effort by Procter & Gamble, the maker of Gillette, to reach new markets with its shaving products. But while many start-up founders make a hasty exit after getting acquired, Mr. Walker is planning to stay on and grow Bevel, his men’s shaving brand, and Form, his women’s hair care brand. “We’re a team of 15 with very grandiose ambitions,” he said of Walker & Company, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., but will move to Atlanta as part of the deal. “We want this company and its purpose to still be around 150 years from now.”

What’s that book you’ve got there?

It’s “Parallel Lives” by Plutarch. I’ve really been getting into Greek and Roman mythology. I’m reading something right now about the history of Rome during the 53 years when they really came into power, and this idea of the Roman state growing, the Greek state growing, and the differences therein fascinate me beyond belief. I’ve just been devouring it for the past few weeks now.

Walker attended the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn. And from there, he got to see how the other half lived. It completely changed his life. He got to see what success could look like. He got to see what wealth was. And it completely changed his worldview.

How so?

I would walk down the halls and see last names like Ford, go to some classes and realize they’re Rockefellers. These are names that were in my imagination. It taught me the importance of name and what that can mean, not only for you but your progeny. When I started at Hotchkiss, I didn’t know what a verb was. So I spent all of my time in the library studying. I spent all of my time thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up.

What are your priorities as you keep building the company?

I’m dedicating my life to the demographic shift happening in this country. Not only for Silicon Valley. Not only for business. But for this country’s competitiveness. It’s changing. And folks need to respect that and they need to celebrate it.
African-Americans  Bevel  biographies  books  demographic_changes  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  exits  Form  insights  long-term  P&G  Romans  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  Tristan_Walker  wealth_creation  black-owned  brands  consumer_goods  personal_care_products  personal_grooming  founders 
december 2018 by jerryking
P&G Buys Walker & Co. to Expand Offerings to African-Americans - WSJ
By Aisha Al-Muslim
Dec. 12, 2018

Procter & Gamble Co. PG +0.19% has acquired Walker & Co. Brands as the consumer-products giant looks to serve more African-Americans with health and beauty products.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Walker sells grooming products for men under the brand Bevel and hair-care products for women under the Form Beauty brand.

Walker will operate as a separate and wholly owned subsidiary of P&G, continuing to be led by its founder and Chief Executive Tristan Walker, ......Last year, Anglo-Dutch consumer products firm Unilever PLC acquired Sundial Brands, a New York-based hair-care and skin-care products company predominantly targeting African-Americans, for an undisclosed sum. Sundial’s brands include SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J. Walker and nyakio.
African-Americans  Bevel  black-owned  brands  exits  hair  P&G  personal_care_products  personal_grooming  Tristan_Walker  Unilever  founders 
december 2018 by jerryking
Black Male Writers for Our Time - The New York Times
...... A surge of mainstream attention to blackness and its literature isn’t unprecedented in periods of American crisis. The first strains of the Harlem Renaissance began at the tail end of World War I and gained momentum in the 1920s, as the racial makeup of American cities metamorphosed through the Great Migration. The Harlem of the 1930s became home to a concentration of black writers whose work piqued white interest. In the 1960s and ’70s, the Black Arts Movement erupted during the turbulent years of America’s freedom protests. Black voices received heightened attention then, too......
African-Americans  books  James_Baldwin  literature  men  male  writers 
december 2018 by jerryking
Sterling Stuckey, 86, Dies; Charted African Culture in Slavery - The New York Times
By Sam Roberts
Aug. 28, 2018

Sterling Stuckey, an eminent black historian who challenged his white colleagues by documenting how uprooted Africans not only retained their culture while they survived slavery but eventually suffused the rest of American society with their transplanted folkways, died on Aug. 15 in Riverside, Calif. He was 86.....He had recently finished the manuscript of his latest book, “The Chambers of the Soul: Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville and the Blues.”.....Through meticulous research, Professor Stuckey sought to discredit the white academics who had dominated and, in his view, devalued the field of African studies.

Early on he was bitterly critical of “numerous white experts on black Africa,” as he described them, who “have elaborated a fabric of untruths to rationalize continued white control over African studies.”.... his breakthrough essay, “Through the Prism of Folklore: The Black Ethos in Slavery,” published in 1968 by The Massachusetts Review, Professor Stuckey maintained that political and cultural studies of Africa must encompass people in North America and the West Indies.

...Professor Stuckey’s books included “Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America” (1987) and “Going Through the Storm: The Influence of African American Art in History” (1994).
Africa  African-Americans  black_nationalism  books  Colleges_&_Universities  history  historians  obituaries  PhDs  scholars  slavery 
august 2018 by jerryking
Opinion | How James Brown Made Black Pride a Hit
July 20, 2018 | The New York Times | By Randall Kennedy, law professor at Harvard.

African-Americans have internalized society’s derogation/denigration of blackness....It was precisely because of widespread colorism that James Brown’s anthem “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” posed a challenge, felt so exhilarating, and resonated so powerfully....the song was written a half century go.....but, alas, the need to defend blackness against derision continues......Various musicians in the 1960s tapped into yearnings for black assertiveness, autonomy and solidarity. Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions sang “We’re a Winner.” Sly and the Family Stone offered “Stand.” Sam Cooke (and Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding) performed “A Change is Gonna Come.” But no entertainer equaled Brown’s vocalization of African-Americans’ newly triumphal sense of self-acceptance.

That Brown created the song most popularly associated with the Black is Beautiful movement is ironic.....At the very time that in “Say It Loud,” Brown seemed to be affirming Negritude, he also sported a “conk” — a distinctive hairdo that involved chemically removing kinkiness on the way to creating a bouffant of straightened hair. Many African-American political activists, especially those with a black nationalist orientation, decried the conk as an illustration of racial self-hatred....by 1968... prejudice against blackness remained prevalent, including among African-Americans.....Champions of African-American uplift in the 1960s sought to liberate blackness from the layers of contempt, fear, and hatred with which it had been smeared for centuries. Brown’s anthem poignantly reflected the psychic problem it sought to address: People secure in their status don’t feel compelled to trumpet their pride.....Colorism was part of the drama that starred Barack and Michelle Obama....Intra-racial colorism in Black America is often seen as a topic that should, if possible, be avoided, especially in “mixed company.” .....Colorism, however, remains a baleful reality.....
'60s  African-Americans  blackness  black_liberation_movement  black_nationalism  black_pride  Black_Is_Beautiful  colorism  James_Brown  music  Negritude  self-identification  songs  Spike_Lee  soul  white_supremacy  biases  self-acceptance  self-hatred  shadism  hits  1968 
july 2018 by jerryking
Starbucks Is Not the Next Selma - WSJ
By Robert L. Woodson Sr.
April 29, 2018

What do the Starbucks protesters want? Who are the intended beneficiaries of their goals? Who are the losers?...It’s easy to see who benefits from this kind of response: The consultants who devise and conduct sensitivity-training sessions. The civil-rights organizations that will get money from donors anxious to relieve their white guilt. ..... Although many of the young protesters may authentically believe they are rallying for racial justice, they are in fact playing the role of the decoy. They are a useful diversion for those who reap the profits of the race-grievance industry. Similarly, the continuing mantra of racism serves as a shield for black officials in cities where black neighborhoods have declined and decayed.
African-Americans  civil_rights  grievances  Philadelphia  Starbucks  racial_sensitivity  white_guilt 
april 2018 by jerryking
Another great migration is under way: Black Americans are leaving big cities for the suburbs - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
CHICAGO
PUBLISHED APRIL 29, 2018

The dwindling of black Chicago is all the more poignant when set against the dramatic story of its rise. Over the course of the Great Migration, Chicago’s black population grew from just 44,000 to more than a million. At one point, writes Isabel Wilkerson in her 2010 history The Warmth of Other Suns, 10,000 people were arriving in the city every month, pouring off northbound trains onto Chicago railway platforms.

Chicago became a capital of black America, enjoying a cultural renaissance that rivalled Harlem’s in New York. Famous figures such as gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, boxer Joe Louis and poet Gwendolyn Brooks were among Chicago’s residents.
Chicago  Marcus_Gee  internal_migration  suburban  crime  black_flight  gentrification  the_South  African-Americans  Great_Migration  Isabel_Wilkerson 
april 2018 by jerryking
Charles McDew, 79, Tactician for Student Civil Rights Group, Dies - The New York Times
By SAM ROBERTSAPRIL 13, 2018

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obituaries  Colleges_&_Universities  civil_rights  '60s  African-Americans 
april 2018 by jerryking
Black Cancer Matters
MARCH 15, 2018 | The New York Times | By SUSAN GUBAR.

the economic consequences of racial discrimination increase cancer risk.....putting into play the words “race” and “cancer,” .....ponder the impact of race on cancer outcomes nationally — disentangled from local ecological factors. The big picture is grim.

A 2016 report of the American Cancer Society states that the “five-year relative survival is lower for blacks than whites for most cancers at each stage of diagnosis.” African-American men, for example, are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer. Experts continue to debate why, even as many ascribe this scandalous phenomenon to inequalities in access to screening and treatment.

In women’s cancer, the mortality gap has widened. According to the 2016-18 report on Cancer Facts and Figures for African-Americans, “despite lower incidence rates for breast and uterine cancers, black women have death rates for these cancers that are 42% and 92% higher, respectively, than white women.” Investigators connect the ghastly numbers to the usual socioeconomic discrepancies but also to biological differences in the malignancies of black women.

With regard to breast cancer, is the mortality gap related to a greater percentage of black women than white women contending with an aggressive form of the disease that lacks estrogen receptors?

Dr. Otis Webb Brawley, the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, rejects an explanation based on “biological difference,” pointing instead to dietary disparities....“The black-white gap in the onset of menstruation and body weight has dramatically widened, which means that the disease disparities will widen also.”

Disadvantaged Americans consume more calories and carbohydrates, “the sort of food that is available in poor areas of inner cities,”..... “Poverty is a carcinogen.”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
isn't just about race-- watch the trailer in which blacks and whites say the very same things about being poisoned by the Koch brothers' companies. This is a story about social justice and lack of sufficient government regulation of the enterprises owned by the "donor" class that owns most of our politicians. The most accurate predictor of people's life expectancy is their zip code [http://fortune.com/2017/05/08/us-life-expectancy-study/]. If you life in a polluted poisoned environment, you will suffer the consequences regardless of race.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
African-Americans  cancers  economically_disadvantaged  mortality  prostate  racial_discrimination  racial_disparities  the_big_picture  women 
march 2018 by jerryking
Merck C.E.O. Ken Frazier on Death Row Cases and the Corporate Soul - The New York Times
By David Gelles

March 9, 2018

How do you prioritize your time?

There are three things that the C.E.O. should be focused on. Number one is that sense of purpose and direction that the company needs, making sure that that’s always clear and people know what we’re all about. The second thing is capital allocation. We only have so many resources. Making sure that you’re putting those resources where you have the greatest opportunity. And the third, which I think by far is the most important, is to make sure that you have the right people in the most important jobs inside the company.
African-Americans  capital_allocation  CEOs  death_row  Kenneth_Frazier  HLS  lawyers  Merck  new_graduates  pharmaceutical_industry  priorities  purpose  resource_allocation  talent_acquisition  think_threes  the_right_people 
march 2018 by jerryking
Lerone Bennett Jr., Historian of Black America, Dies at 89 - The New York Times
By NEIL GENZLINGERFEB. 16, 2018

Lerone Bennett Jr., a historian and journalist who wrote extensively on race relations and black history and was a top editor at Ebony magazine for decades, died on Wednesday in Chicago. He was 89......His best-known book was “Before the Mayflower,” drawn from a series of articles for Ebony and first published in 1962..... “Forced Into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream.” “What Manner of Man: A Biography of Martin Luther King Jr.” (1964), “Black Power U.S.A.: The Human Side of Reconstruction, 1867-1877” (1967) and “The Shaping of Black America” (1975)..... Mr. Bennett talked about a three-part approach to affecting change.

“Every black person is obligated,” he said, “to try to do what he does as well as any person who ever lived can do it, or any person who ever lives can do it; then, to try to save one — just one — person if you can. And then to struggle to destroy a system which is multiplying black victims faster than all the black intellectuals and the black leaders in America can talk about. I see those three things connected.”
African-Americans  historians  obituaries  Ebony  magazines  journalists  books  writers  think_threes  Black_Power 
february 2018 by jerryking
Michael B. Jordan Takes On His First Blockbuster Role—as a Villain - WSJ
By Jason Gay
Jan. 17, 2018

Our second cover star, actor Michael B. Jordan—the villain in Marvel’s winter release Black Panther—has been winning over audiences since his breakout role as a teenager in HBO’s The Wire. He followed that performance with acclaimed parts in Friday Night Lights, Fruitvale Station and Creed, imbuing each character with emotional depth. Now with his own production company and an enterprising slate of projects, he’s following the advice of his mentor Peter Berg: “How do you control your own destiny? By creating.”
actors  African-Americans  Black_Panther  creating_valuable_content  Michael_B._Jordan  villains  The_Wire 
february 2018 by jerryking
The temptation of Oprah Winfrey
January 10, 2018 | FT | by Edward Luce.

[Oprah Winfrey & Donald Trump] share a disqualifying trait: they are celebrities with no experience in politics. If Ms Winfrey is the answer to Mr Trump, what was the question?

I mean no disrespect to famous people. America invented the celebrity and nobody does it as well. But America also came up with modern democracy. The problem is that celebrity culture is taking over politics, which is a dead loss for governing.....But there is nothing in Ms Winfrey’s background that would equip her to tackle the future of work, or the rise of China. All a Winfrey administration would bring is personal brand destruction. What is at stake is America’s ability to govern itself sensibly. The US constitution was designed to exclude mob rule. The people should have their say — but with safeguards. It was set up precisely to stop someone like Mr Trump from taking over. The fact that many Americans do not know this underlines the point. The popular view is that the US was founded as a democracy. In fact, it was born as a constitutional republic. There is a big difference. America’s founding fathers feared the demagogue. Their system worked until 2016. Now it is in jeopardy.
speeches  Edward_Luce  Oprah_Winfrey  African-Americans  demagoguery  founding_fathers  women  celebrities  Donald_Trump  politics 
january 2018 by jerryking
With Sale, Essence Is Once Again a Fully Black-Owned Magazine
JAN. 3, 2018 | The New York Times | By SANDRA E. GARCIA.

Essence magazine is once again a fully black-owned publication.

The magazine, a mainstay of black culture for almost half a century, was bought by Richelieu Dennis, the founder of Sundial Brands, a large personal-care products company, from Time Inc.,
black-owned  magazines  digital_media  African-Americans  Essence  owners  publishing 
january 2018 by jerryking
Why Black Colleges Need Charter Schools - WSJ
By Allysia Finley
Nov. 3, 2017 | WSJ |

Charter schools are the “polite cousins of segregation,” in the words of Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. Last year the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called for a moratorium on charters. Film festivals are screening “Backpack Full of Cash,” a pro-union documentary narrated by Matt Damon that portrays charters as separate and unequal institutions.

Pushing back against these invidious attacks is the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, an organization that represents 47 historically black schools. “We cannot afford this kind of issue-myopia in our society,” the fund’s president, Johnny Taylor, wrote in a syndicated op-ed this fall. “If the NAACP continues to reject the educational opportunities school choice provides them, they risk becoming irrelevant—or worse—an enemy of the very people they claim to fight for.”

–– ADVERTISEMENT ––

Mr. Taylor will step down next month after a seven-year tenure during which he has relentlessly promoted charters as a lifeline for black students and a pipeline for historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs.
HBCUs  Colleges_&_Universities  Thurgood_Marshall  students  African-Americans  charter_schools  talent_pipelines 
november 2017 by jerryking
Dr Boyce Watkins: The rise of black immaturity
October 26, 2017 | Black Wealth Channel | by Dr Boyce Watkins.

we must think carefully about what we're saying about the social, political and intellectual maturity of black people when we swear that the only way to get a black person to value learning is by making it light-hearted and fun. As my father used to tell me, "Everything ain't about fun and games. A man has to know when to get serious."

It would be a horrible thing to admit that our people are only capable of paying attention to life-saving knowledge when you mix it with a rap video or a bunch of dance moves. Are we saying that we are so immature that we can't concentrate on anything other than how to do the Electric Slide?....Here's a fact about communities that build real power. In order to obtain true strength in a competitive and racist world, some of us must have the discipline to sit down and PAY ATTENTION. This means paying attention without the bells and whistles, without the music, without the buffoonery. It means seeking to understand the world because that's what grown-ups are supposed to do to protect the people they love......In order for us to move forward, we must grow the hell up. Black people, unfortunately, have been fed and mass marketed false media culture that makes us the #1 consumers of all things unhealthy, including brain dead television, fast food, wasteful consumer spending (to look fly of course), social media and the worship of toxic, dysfunctional, violent, misogynistic, drug-addicted, financially irresponsible celebrities. If you ever want to know why the world doesn't take us seriously, it might be because we don't take ourselves seriously either.
African-Americans  Boyce_Watkins  conspicuous_consumption  distractions  economic_clout  entertainment  immaturity  pay_attention  self-discipline  sustained_inquiry 
october 2017 by jerryking
Black Americans Need Bourgeois Norms - WSJ
By Robert L. Woodson
Oct. 11, 2017

This summer, law professors Amy Wax and Larry Alexander caused a stir with an op-ed lamenting the decline of what they called “bourgeois norms.” “All cultures are not equal,” they rightly observed. Those that encourage self-restraint, delayed gratification, marriage and a strong work ethic tend to thrive. Those that tolerate or excuse substance abuse, out-of-wedlock pregnancy and dropping out tend to break down.

Ms. Wax and Mr. Alexander were instantly accused of racism by the growing army of angry academics who police the prevailing narrative of black victimhood. According to this narrative, black progress is determined not by personal choices and individual behavior, but by white supremacy, America’s history of slavery and discrimination, and institutional racism. Touting “bourgeois values” is interpreted as an offense against authentic black culture.......A better life has always been available to those who reject undisciplined and irresponsible behavior, and embrace self-determination and personal responsibility. So-called bourgeois values have always empowered blacks to persevere and overcome bitter oppression. They provided the moral “glue” that held the black community together during the hardest of times.
Amy_Wax  cultural_norms  cultural_values  Frederick_Douglass  values  victimhood  hard_times  African-Americans  self-restraint  delayed_gratification  marriage  work_ethic  personal_responsibility  societal_norms  authenticity  bourgeois 
october 2017 by jerryking
When Black Children Are Targeted for Punishment - The New York Times
By DERRICK DARBY and JOHN L. RURYSEPT. 25, 2017
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history  racial_disparities  African-Americans  children  punishment  high_schools  K-12 
september 2017 by jerryking
Whites Have Huge Wealth Edge Over Blacks (but Don’t Know It) - The New York Times
By EMILY BADGER SEPT. 18, 2017

Americans believe that blacks and whites are more equal today than they truly are on measures of income, wealth, wages and health benefits. And they believe more historical progress has occurred than is the case, suggesting “a profound misperception of and unfounded optimism” regarding racial equality......we also overgeneralize from other markers of racial progress: the election of a black president, the passage of civil rights laws, the sea change in public opinion around issues like segregation. If society has progressed in these ways, we assume there’s been great economic progress, too.

We’re inclined, as well, to believe that society is fairer than it really is. The reality that it’s not — that even college-educated black workers earn about 20 percent less than college-educated white ones, for example — is uncomfortable for both blacks who’ve been harmed by that unfairness and whites who’ve benefited from it......If we want people to have a better understanding of racial inequality, this implies that the solution isn’t simply to parrot these statistics more widely. It’s to get Americans thinking more about the forces that underlie them, like continued discrimination in hiring, or disparities in mortgage lending.

It’s a myth that racial progress is inevitable, Ms. Richeson said. “But it’s also dangerous insofar as it keeps us blind to considerable inequality in our nation that’s quite foundational,” she said. “Of course we can’t address it if we’re not even willing to acknowledge it.”

And if we’re not willing to acknowledge it, she adds, that has direct consequences for whether Americans are willing to support affirmative action policies, or continued enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, or renewed efforts at school desegregation......
achievement_gaps  generational_wealth  misperceptions  African-Americans  optimism  whites  racial_disparities  infographics  white_privilege 
september 2017 by jerryking
In Praise of the Black Men and Women Who Built Detroit
SEPT. 6, 2017 | The New York Times | By THOMAS J. SUGRUE

BLACK DETROIT
A People’s History of Self-Determination
By Herb Boyd
Illustrated. 416 pp. Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers. $27.99

In 29 chapters, spanning more than three centuries, Boyd offers an unusual retelling of Detroit’s past, with black voices on nearly every page. The arc of his narrative is a familiar one in which he traces the transformation of Detroit from a French trading outpost to the world’s automobile production center to a national symbol of urban decline and rebirth. Along the way, Boyd introduces us to some of Detroit’s key social movements: abolitionism, union organizing, civil rights and black power. But this book is not a conventional urban history. Boyd’s purpose is to celebrate the black men and women, the city’s “fearless freedom fighters,” who would otherwise remain on history’s margins.....Today Detroit, with vast sections of its 139 square miles lying in ruin, its black population moving in unprecedented numbers to inner-ring suburbs, its residents struggling with failing schools, joblessness and incarceration, is not a land of hope. Travel reporters highlight Detroit’s thriving art scene, trendy restaurants and influx of hipsters. But those changes have scarcely benefited the working-class and poor black Detroiters who make up more than 80 percent of the city’s residents. There are a lot of reasons to despair about the city’s future. But Boyd remains hopeful.
Detroit  history  African-Americans  books  book_reviews  Black_Power 
september 2017 by jerryking
‘Girls Trip’ Writers Make Movie History — and Influence It, Too - The New York Times
By YAMICHE ALCINDOR AUG. 23, 2017
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African-Americans  screenwriters  Holllywood 
august 2017 by jerryking
It’s a Diverse City, but Most Big Museum Boards Are Strikingly White
AUG. 22, 2017 | The New York Times | By ROBIN POGREBIN.

Whether arts groups will make real progress is an open question. Cultural organizations have often struggled to identify minority board members capable of meeting the high donations — often millions of dollars — demanded by the city’s leading arts organizations.

“The hardest nut to crack is going to be the boards,” Mr. Finkelpearl said, adding that executives need to think about ways besides money that trustees of color can add value, namely through their art collections, personal connections or professional expertise.
Bill_de_Blasio  Darren_Walker  New_York_City  Manhattan  museums  cultural_institutions  diversity  leadership  curation  Ford_Foundation  visible_minorities  MoMA  boards_&_directors_&_governance  theatre  African-Americans 
august 2017 by jerryking
Martha’s Vineyard Has a Nourishing Magic for Black Americans
AUG. 22, 2017 | The New York Times | By NICOLE TAYLOR.

At least five generations of the African-American creative and professional classes have spent summer breaks on this island off Cape Cod, from 19th-century whaling captains to the filmmaker Spike Lee. Every August, Barack Obama and his family sign the imaginary visitor log and devour New England’s casual pace, long bike rides and ice cream pit stops.

An African-American resort area that’s more than 125 years old, Oak Bluffs has earned its seat at history’s table. Black families stay all over the island now, huddling over lobster rolls or fried clams from Chilmark to Edgartown, but that was not always the case. “Oak Bluffs,” Dr. Harris said, “was the hub of the island’s black life.”
African-Americans  Martha's_Vineyard  hospitality  summertime  soul-enriching 
august 2017 by jerryking
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