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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;

High Scores for 529 College Savings Program

Looking for a tax-advantaged college savings plan that has no age restrictions and no income phase out limits – and one you can use to pay for more than just tuition?
 
sims 600Consider the 529 college savings plan, an increasingly popular way to save for higher-education expenses, which have more than tripled over the past two decades — with annual costs (for tuition and fees, and room and board) of more than $40,000 per year for the average private four-year college. Named after the section of the tax code that authorized them, 529 plans (also known as qualified tuition plans) are now offered in almost every state.
 
Most people have heard about the original form of 529, the state-operated prepaid tuition plan, which allows you to purchase units of future tuition at today’s rates, with the plan assuming the responsibility of investing the funds to keep pace with inflation. Many state governments guarantee that the cost of an equal number of units of education in the sponsoring state will be covered, regardless of investment performance or the rate of tuition increase. Of course, each state plan has a different mix of rules and restrictions. Prepaid tuition programs typically will pay future college tuition at any of the sponsoring state's eligible colleges and universities (and some will pay an equal amount to private and out-of-state institutions).

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

KamsKaps 600BIG BUDGET FILMS    
 
“22 Jump Street” (R for sexuality, violence, drug use, brief nudity and pervasive profanity) Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum reprise their roles as ill-matched LAPD partners, this time going undercover as college students to crack a narcotics ring operating on campus. With Ice Cube, Amber Stevens and Nick Offerman. 
 
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” (PG for action and mildly rude humor) Animated adventure, set five years after the original, pits Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his faithful pet, Toothless, against a diabolical, cave-dwelling villain (Djimon Hounsou) bent on world domination. Voice cast includes Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, America Ferrara, Gerard Butler and Craig Ferguson.