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A push to address economic business disparities in Memphis and Shelby County

disparities 600If a group of business leaders succeed with the initiative they announced Tuesday morning, increased minority business participation within the public and private sectors of Memphis and Shelby County will become a front-burner issue.
Determined to affect what they called “the disproportionate number of contracts awarded to minority and women businesses over the last twenty years,” the group sounded an alarm at a press conference at the National Civil Rights Museum.”

Black unemployment rate continues to fall

WASHINGTON – For the second month in a row, the black unemployment rate decreased, and the economy added more than 200,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department.
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The unemployment rate for blacks decreased slightly from 11.6 percent in April to 11.5 percent in May and was two percentage points lower than the 13.5 percent rate recorded a year ago. Meanwhile, the jobless rate for whites barely rose from 5.3 percent in April to 5.4 percent in May.
While the jobless rate for black men over 20 years old increased from 10.8 percent to 11.5 percent in May, the unemployment rate for white men decreased from 5.1 percent to 5.0 percent.

Are Republicans serious about courting African Americans?

The biggest complaints I get from black journalists when it comes to Republican officeholders and Party leaders is that they can’t get their calls returned. I used to think this was because of the reporters’ race or that some represented small, black media outlets.
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Over the years, I have spent many hours reflecting on this dilemma and have concluded two things. First, the problem has nothing to do with race or racism; it has more to do with the lack of relationships with black journalists. People return calls of people they know or have a relationship with first; then and only then will they return calls of those they don’t know.
Second, there is no bridge between Republican members of Congress and other party leaders to the black media. Over the years, I have tried to bridge that gap, so to speak, but with limited success.

Black girls are also victims of gun violence

In 1999, when I was 19 years old, I was arrested and charged with first degree murder, several counts of attempted murder, attempted robbery, and several counts of criminal use of a weapon. I was convicted of girlsintrouble 600first-degree assault and third-degree weapons possession, and was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2002. 
Twelve years later, 17-year-old Gakirah Barnes, known on twitter as @tyquanassassin, was gunned down by a barrage of bullets in Chicago’s West Woodlawn neighborhood on Good Friday 2014.  Gakirah, also known as K I, was said to have been a part of a younger branch of the Gangster Disciples called the STL-EBT crew. Gakirah was said to have been responsible for the death of rival gang members from a nearby housing project. 

Koch Brothers donate $25 million to the United Negro College Fund

The ultra conservative Koch Brothers have announced that they have donated $25 million to the United Negro kochbros 600College Fund (UNCF), whose members include 37 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)
The donation from the Koch Industries Inc. and the Charles Koch Foundation will provide nearly 3,000 merit-based awards to African-American undergraduate, graduate and post-doctorate students. 
Key elements of the donation include:
•$18.5 million is directed to the UNCF/ Koch Scholars Program and its administration. Funds will be provided for exemplary students with demonstrated financial need and an interest in the study of entrepreneurship, economics and innovative ways to contribute to the well-being of individuals, communities and society. The funds also will be used to provide an annual summit, mentorship opportunities and school programs;