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An Open Letter To Our City – By Dr. Phillip R. Bowden

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It's gross. It's embarrassing. It's not exactly dinner table conversation, if you know what I mean...

Those are just a few of the statements I hear when I ask Memphians why our community doesn't talk about getting a colonoscopy. The truth is this: a colonoscopy isn't gross. It isn't embarrassing. It's discreet, simple, and life-saving.

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Did the UNCF make a deal with the Devil?

When the Koch Foundation gave the United Negro College Fund $25 million, it set off a maelstrom of comments in cyberspace and real time. How dare malveaux 600the UNCF take money from the Koch brothers, some asked. They ought to send it back, said others.  One woman told me she would never give to UNCF again because of the Koch donation.  Another says the Koch donation changes her perception of UNCF.
 
The donation will provide $18.5 million in scholarships, money that is badly needed to get some of our young people out of school, especially with the cuts so many experienced because of reduced access to the Parent Plus loan. Another $4 million will go to the 37 UNCF schools for general support, again to make up some of the losses that came from reduced enrollment due to Parent Plus.  The remainder goes to UNCF for their general support.

Thomas N. Todd: ‘You can’t download freedom’

curyontodd 600HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Rapidly-expanding technology, social media and new smart phone apps are no substitute for the hard work needed to fight persistent racism in the United States, says Thomas N. Todd, a longtime Chicago activist and civil rights lawyer.
 
Speaking to the annual convention of 100 Black Men here last week, Todd proudly acknowledged that he doesn’t use email, does not own a computer and doesn’t have a Facebook or Twitter account.

Perceptions of equality

equality1 600A recent interview of Morgan Freeman by CNN host Don Lemon lit a firestorm of conversation. Freeman argued that his personal success, and that of Lemon’s, made it clear that racism was not a factor in closing America’s growing problem of inequality.
 
Freeman argued that inequality was a crisis because a vibrant middle class was needed for the growth of the economy and stability of society, and the current chasm between the 1 percent and the 99 percent was unhealthy. Clearly, Freeman’s views on inequality are incontrovertible, so why the storm about his statement on the role of race?

We can make the future come faster in the South

We have the antidote to voter suppression: massive voter registration.
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We proved it 50 years ago during Freedom Summer. We proved it again in Florida in 2012, when NAACP activists registered 115,000 people in a year when the legislature had effectively made traditional voter registration strategies illegal.
 
We need to prove it again this summer. As we prepare for November’s midterm elections – and look forward to 2016 – our focus should be on the stretch of heavily black states and counties below the Mason-Dixon Line that make up the “Black Belt.”