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If Ebony Wilkerson has a mental illness, it’s a wake-up call for all African Americans

If Ebony Wilkerson has a mental illness, it’s a wake-up call for all African Americans

Ebony Wilkerson is sitting inside a Florida jail cell, but should she be viewed as a cold-blooded criminal or a mentally-ill person in need of long-term mental health care?

Wilkerson, 32, has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and is being held on $1.2 million bail after she drove herself and her three children (two girls and a boy, ages 3, 9 and 10) into the Atlantic Ocean in Daytona Beach last week.

While it has not been confirmed, reports suggest that Wilkerson may have been suffering from a mental disorder, thus renewing public conversations on how the mentally ill should be treated by the legal system and society in general.

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Unemployment rate for black women falls to single digits

Unemployment rate for black women falls to single digits

WASHINGTON – During another slow month of economic recovery, the unemployment rate for black women 20 years and older fell to 9.9 percent in February, the lowest rate for that group in five years, according to the Labor Department.

Meanwhile, black men and black teenagers continue to lag behind other major worker groups.

In March 2009, the unemployment rate for black men 20 years and over was 15.4 percent. According to the latest jobs report, the jobless rate for black men is 12.9 percent, the same rate recorded in February 2013.

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Parents of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis protest ‘Stand your ground’

Parents of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis protest ‘Stand your ground’

The Rev. Al Sharpton, the parents of Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin, as well as Tom Joyner and members of the Dream Defenders, are once again marching for change to Florida's "Stand your ground" law, Tallahassee.com reports.

Joined by hundreds of other marchers, the group – including family members of Emmett Till – traveled less than a mile from the Leon County Civic Center to the Florida Capitol, calling on lawmakers to address the law, the news site reports.

"It's a flawed law," Sharpton said. "Because you don't need an actual threat. All you've got to do is believe a threat and you can use deadly force."

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Mom charged with attempted 1st-degree murder after driving kids into the ocean

Mom charged with attempted 1st-degree murder after driving kids into the ocean

Thirty-two-year-old Ebony Wilkerson's three children were reportedly screaming for their lives when she drove a minivan into the ocean surf off of Florida, the Associated Press reports.

The children, ages 3, 9 and 10, were rescued Tuesday by bystanders and officers as the minivan was almost submerged off a coast in Daytona Beach, Fla. Wilkerson, who is pregnant, was charged Friday with three counts each of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse, police said.

Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said that while she denied trying to harm her children, they disputed her claim. Witnesses also stated that she tried to block their rescue and the windows were rolled up and the doors were locked. One of the children reportedly tried to wrest control of the steering wheel, the AP reports.

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‘Spring Forward’ Sunday

‘Spring Forward’ Sunday

Sunday at 2 a.m. marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time for 2014. "Spring Forward" by setting your clocks ahead by one hour.

The twice a year ritual is also a great time to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, test them, and review your preparedness plans with your family and co-workers.

The Shelby County Office of Preparedness, under the leadership of Bob Nations, Jr., Director, recommends the following safety tips:

 

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Uplifting our young brothers

Uplifting our young brothers

I, along with my three brothers, was raised by a single mother who worked multiple jobs and sacrificed a tremendous amount for us. Despite all of her love and hard work, in my youth, I did not escape the pitfalls that commonly plague young boys growing up in low-income and single parent households.

I was arrested multiple times until a Michigan judge gave me an ultimatum to either turn my life around and get my education or serve a long term prison sentence. The goodwill sentencing of that judge allowed me to change for the better and overcome seemingly insurmountable odds that my friends I faced growing up.

I was trapped in a cycle of self-destructive behavior. It's the same cycle that far too many of our minority brothers are stuck in today.

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The case for homeschooling African-American children

The case for homeschooling African-American children

We hear so much about the plight of black children and their low test scores. We have not heard that African-American children who are homeschooled are scoring at the 82 percent level in reading and 77 percent in math. This is 30-40 percent above their counterparts being taught in school.

There is a 30 percent racial gap in schools, but there is no racial gap in reading if taught in the home and only a 5 percent gap in math.

What explains the success of African-American students being taught by their parents? I believe that it's love and high expectations.

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