WASHINGTON President Barack Obama gave some of his most active and rowdy former campaign supporters on Monday an early glimpse of his return to speaking about jobs and the economy as he prepares for a three-speech tour to refocus his administration's message.
Speaking at an event sponsored by Organizing for Action, the political advocacy group formed from his campaign organization, the president urged his backers to help rally support for some of his second-term priorities, even as some of those issues languish in Congress.
"It's going to be the kickoff to what is essentially several months of us trying to get Washington and the press to refocus on the economy and the struggles that middle-class families are going through, but also for us to start exploring some big and bold ideas," Obama said of his Wednesday speech at Knox College in Illinois, which the White House has promised will return the administration's message to economic issues.
Like most of the black community, actor Omari Hardwick was deeply disturbed by the not-guilty verdict in George Zimmerman's trial. He decided to channel his feelings into a poem and then reached out to his peers to help him present it in a video.
The result is "Little Black Boy Wonder," dedicated to Trayvon Martin. In the video Hardwick recites the poem with help from actors including Marlon Wayans, David Oyelowo, Eriq La Salle, Bill Duke and Gary Dourdan.
Residential segregation and ongoing poverty has left African Americans in some of the least desirable housing in some of the lowest-resourced communities in America. In addition to much higher poverty rates, African Americans suffer from concentrated poverty.
Those observations are just part of the latest economic snapshot by the Economic Policy Institute and are featured in its new project, "The Unfinished March." As part of the project, leading experts on race, economics and policy met Monday (July 22) in a symposium in Washington, D.C. at the AFL-CIO.
According to the snapshot, nearly half (45 percent) of poor African-American children live in neighborhoods with concentrated poverty, but only a little more than a tenth (12 percent) of poor white children live in similar neighborhoods. Children in neighborhoods with concentrated poverty experience more social and behavioral problems, have lower test scores and are more likely to drop out of school.
Despite the outrage over his Twitter attack on President Obama's remarks on race in America following George Zimmerman's acquittal, Black America reports that Tavis Smiley defended his comments Sunday during an appearance on "Meet the Press."
During the interview, he restated his tweet, saying he thought the president's remarks were too little, too late, "as weak as presweetened Kool-Aid." He then went on to criticize the president's role as a leader.
"I appreciate and applaud the fact that the president did finally show up," Smiley said. "But this town has been spinning a story that's not altogether true. He did not walk to the podium for an impromptu address to the nation. He was pushed to that podium. A week of protests outside the White House, pressure building on him inside the White House, pushed him to that podium."
LOS ANGELES – Michael Jackson's mother faces more questioning Monday from a lawyer for the concert promoter she's suing in her son's death.
Katherine Jackson became "confused and tired" when AEG Live lawyer Marvin Putnam asked her "some pretty complex questions very fast" during his cross examination Friday, her attorney said.
"She was trying to answer the questions the best she could," Jackson lawyer Brian Panish said. "I think maybe she lost her temper a little bit and she tried to restrain herself in a very Christian-like way."
The Department of Justice has asked the Sanford, Fla., police department to hold all evidence related to the George Zimmerman case, Sanford Capt. Jim McAuliffe said Thursday.
The request is related to the Justice Department's own investigation of the matter, McAuliffe said. The move was expected as the agency weighs whether to pursue a civil rights case.
The Department of Justice opened an investigation into the Zimmerman case last year, and a statement from the agency Sunday said it was ongoing and will now include evidence and testimony from the Florida trial.
Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr on Thursday asked a federal judge to place Detroit in chapter 9 bankruptcy, a move that, if allowed, would make the city the largest municipality in the history of the United States to file for bankruptcy.
This decision has wide-ranging economic and political ramifications on many levels in a city that has been besieged by economic and political challenges for many years.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who appointed Orr, said bankruptcy is the only viable option to help Detroit residents at a time when the city is buried in $18 billion debt.