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WHERE ARE THEY NOW? – Making a home for African-American boys

trainingcamp 600The City of Memphis will pull out the stops for fathers during the 4th Annual Memphis Training Camp for Dads on Saturday, June 14 at the University of Memphis Fogelman Executive Center. The sports-themed camp will include workshops to provide men with the information and tools needed to be an effective and successful father.

Every year, fathers, biological and non-biological, are honored for their impact on their families and the community and placed in the Hall of Fame. The New Tri-State Defender will highlight past award recipients in the series, "Where Are They Now?"

Martin Hurley had already been a foster parent for several years when he adopted his first son in 2006. He has fostered over 35 African-American boys, and believes that every child deserves a family.


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College-educated African Americans have harder times than whites

college 600African Americans with college degrees continue to fare worse than college-educated whites in the labor market, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

The report titled, "The Class of 2014: The Weak Economy Is Idling Too Many Young Graduates," looked at the job prospects for high school graduates and college graduates during the Great Recession and the current economic recovery.

"Unemployment of young graduates is extremely high today, not because of something unique about the Great Recession and its aftermath that has affected young people in particular," stated the report written by Heidi Shierholz, Alyssa Davis and Will Kimball of EPI. "Rather, it is high because young workers always experience disproportionate increases in unemployment during periods of labor market weakness."

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A bittersweet tribute to black womanhood

sweetbaby 600"Where are the ants?"

It's Mother's Day. My mother has come to New York to spend the weekend with me, her only child. After a rooftop brunch, I insist that we swing through the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, N.Y., to see Kara Walker's latest art exhibit, "A Subtlety" (or "The Marvelous Sugar Baby"). I'm especially eager to see it on opening weekend, when it's fresh (and before the masses see it and all the think pieces are written that will undoubtedly alter my perception), and I also want to see how my mom, not so much an art lover, reacts to it.

Walker, who is best-known for using her art to explore race, gender and sexuality, doesn't disappoint. Her newest work, currently on display at the Domino Sugar Factory, is a modern-day sphinx in the image of a black woman. The "sugar sphinx," as I've taken to calling her, wears a head scarf tied like a mammy and is replete with an ample bosom and the unmistakably black features of a wide nose, full lips and—the part that's been getting all the social media attention—a gigantic butt.

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The fashion way

fashionbusiness 600From designer fragrances, clothes, shoes and bags, men and women go in debt to stay current in fashion. While the trends may come and go, fashion as a whole is the staple of life for many. Even the knock offs have a place in society. Just as in any business, it takes determination, resources, creativity and talent to make it in fashion.

On a national level, entrepreneurs such as Russell Simmons of Phat Farm, P Diddy of Sean Jean, Damond John of FUBU, Rachel Roy of Rachel Roy Collection, and Tracy Reese of Tracy Reese have inspired an entire generation of designers and consumers alike.

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Is using lotion a black thing?

blacklotion 600Dear Race Manners:

Genuine question: Is lotion a black thing (especially for guys)? A random white dude at the gym asked me why I use all these "products" (basically face lotion and body lotion). I asked, "Don't you use lotion?" He said, "For what!?" I know lotion is marketed mostly to women (if advertising is correct), but I just remember from the time I was young, my mom would scold me if I tried to walk out the door with ashy knees.

Do white people get ashy knees? Or is the invisibility of dry skin a light-skin privilege? And furthermore (here is the academic side to this), I'm now wondering about how race and gender intersect to produce different grooming practices for men of color that do not fit white constructions of masculinity. —Confused about Creams, Color and Culture

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