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The Congressional Black Caucus rift

cbc 600There was troubling news from Washington last week that should probably be put into perspective. The rift is not due to the usual Democrats vs. Republicans hostility, or a fight between rival government agencies. This one is internal and especially troubling for black folks.
The Congressional Black Caucus, the all-Democrat coalition of African-American lawmakers, is undergoing somewhat of a crisis of conscience these days, with members now going after each other in public, much to the delight of Republicans.
At its core, the issue is over the Dodd-Frank Act, the set of banking regulations set forth following the 2008 financial collapse. Wall Street, with the help of Republicans, would like to unravel the legislation, allowing banks and financial institutions to return to the bad old days of the freewheeling excesses that nearly bankrupted the country.

The Business of fashion – Part II

wealthy2 600A successful designer must be innovative and task risks. James Davis of L.R. CLOTHIER embodies those characteristics and more.  He is pushing the envelope by building a fashion business in Memphis, which is truly risky business. Here is the conclusion or our conversation with Davis, who has persevered and proven that fashion can thrive in Memphis.
Carlee McCullough: How would you describe your artistic and creative style?
James Davis: At L.R. CLOTHIER our house style is contemporary classics. Your wardrobe is an investment and that is how we approach our clients. Trends are great, but they come and go so quickly. For example, it’s much more fitting (no pun intended) to have a 3-button suit model, as compared to a 4-button front. That jacket model will be here forever, yet you can adjust the lapel opening or stance, giving it more of your own personality. There can be different options on the color pic stitching. This gives you that designer’s flare. Italian influences have always been the foundation. The best tailoring and fabrics are woven in Italy and that is reflected in many of our designs.

Dr. Ben Carson: The ‘One Nation’ interview

carson book_600Benjamin Solomon Carson was born in Detroit on September 18, 1951, where he and his big brother, Curtis, were raised by a single-mom. Dr. Carson, who realized his childhood ream of becoming a physician, recently retired as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital after a groundbreaking career of over 35 years.
Now a Washington Times columnist and Fox News contributor, he is also the author of numerous New York Times best-sellers, including “Gifted Hands,” an autobiography which was made into a feature-length film starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. More recently, he co-wrote “America the Beautiful” and now “One Nation” with his wife Candy. 
A former member of the President’s Council on Bioethics, Dr. Carson is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He and his wife founded the Carson Scholars Fund, an organization dedicated to recognizing the academic achievements of deserving young people.   

Coming soon: Hattiloo Community Grand Opening

After a successful two-year capital campaign that resulted in $4.2M raised from over 200 sources, Hattiloo, a black repertory founded in 2006, is set to open its newly constructed theatre in Overton Square. 
Hatiloo 600The free – first come/first-serve – Community Grand Opening will unfold from 8 a.m. to midnight on June 28th at the theatre at 37 South Cooper.  
A 150-seat flexible theatre, 56-seat black box theatre, lobby that can accommodate up to 100 people, and a well-outfitted backstage and office amenities make up the new 10,000-plus square foot building. The Community Grand Opening, sponsored by FedEx and The Mustang Fund, includes free performances from various groups, including Ballet Memphis and Cazateatro and will reflect the theatre’s diverse history. There are also private tours for Hattiloo subscribers and donors. 

Controlling the money

cligman 600“Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.”
– Mayer Amschel Rothschild.
I often wonder if most black people in America really understand the across-the-board impact economics has on our daily lives. Or, have we just been beaten down so badly that we have fallen into a state of apathy when it comes to our collective pursuit of economic empowerment?
The above quote by Rothschild always reminds me of the kind of nation and world in which we reside.  It also makes me even more aware of black folks’ economic position in this country, and our lack of emphasis on what’s really important vis-à-vis real power.