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African-American leaders divided on whether to view Rand Paul as friend or foe

African-American leaders divided on whether to view Rand Paul as friend or foe

Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) aggressive outreach to the African-American community over the last several months is dividing African-American leaders, as some are excited that a prominent conservative Republican is embracing their causes, while others argue that working with the Kentucky senator and a likely 2016 presidential candidate is a mistake.

Paul, openly acknowledging the Republican Party's longtime struggles with African-American voters, is giving speeches at African-American colleges and meeting with key African-American pastors and leaders across the country. He is also taking stances, such as urging the restoration of voting rights for convicted felons and reducing the use of mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes, that are unusual for a Republican.

"It's extremely significant and I think quite encouraging for Senator Paul to not just raise these issues but also to be such a passionate advocate," said Jotaka Eaddy, a senior director at the NAACP. She added, "It's always positive when you have unexpected voices that are advocating around these principles."

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A first: African-American executive editor at the New York Times

A first: African-American executive editor at the New York Times

Dean Baquet will become the first African-American executive editor at the New York Times, replacing Jill Abramson who leaves the top position unexpectedly. The news apparently stunned New York Times staffers who did not see this move coming.

On Wednesday, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of the New York Times and chairman of the New York Times Company, first told senior staff of the changing of the guard and then informed the full newsroom around 2:30 p.m., the New York Times reports.

While the reason for the change was not immediately made clear, Baquet seems a fitting choice to lead the newspaper with his being a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and a former editor of the Los Angeles Times.

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‘Debt Relief & Reparations for HBCUs’

‘Debt Relief & Reparations for HBCUs’

The enslavement of African Americans in the United States is an atrocity that Orlando Matthews abhors and doesn't mind talking about. He spoke about that desolate period in human history during a recent two-day conference and community town hall meeting in Nashville on "Debt Relief & Reparations for HBCUs."

The conference was held on the campus of Tennessee State University and organized to save Historically Black Colleges and Universities from budget shortfalls, to restore Africana Studies on HBCU campuses, and to keep the focus solely on educating African-American students.

Though Matthews was one of several conference facilitators, there were others of note, including U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), who conducted workshops during the community town hall meeting at Ray of Hope Community Church and emphasized the urgency for reparations to keep HBCUs solvent to avoid going defunct.

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Building muscle to fight ‘the disease of aging’

Building muscle to fight ‘the disease of aging’

If you want good health, a long life and to feel your best well into old age, the No. 1 most important thing you can do is strength-training, says Dr. Brett Osborn, author of "Get Serious, A Neurosurgeon's Guide to Optimal Health and Fitness."

"Our ability to fight off disease resides in our muscles," Osborn says. "The greatest thing you can do for your body is to build muscle."

He cites a large, long-term study of nearly 9,000 men ages 20 to 80. After nearly 19 years, the men still living were those with the most muscular strength. (BMJ, formerly British Medical Journal, 2008).

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Insufficient Vitamin D linked to prostate cancer in African Americans

Insufficient Vitamin D linked to prostate cancer in African Americans

The relationship between melanin and vitamin D – the nutrient that sunlight provides – may explain why African American, Caribbean, and men of African ancestry have the highest rates of prostate cancer than anyone in the world, according to a new study.

The study by a team of researchers at Northwestern University, which appears in this month's issue of Clinical Cancer Research, finds that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of diagnosis among black men – but not among white men.

"Our report is the first to describe the association of vitamin D deficiency and outcomes of prostate biopsies in high-risk men with an abnormal (blood test or clinical exam)," the study states. "If vitamin D is involved in prostate cancer initiation or progression, it would provide a modifiable risk factor for primary prevention and secondary prevention to limit progression, especially in the highest risk group of African-American men."

 

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Toyota’s James Colon nets top honor from Grambling State University

Toyota’s James Colon nets top honor from Grambling State University

Grambling State University has awarded James Colon, vice president of African American Business Strategy at Toyota Motor Sales, Inc., an honorary doctorate degree – the most prestigious degree the historically black university offers.

Colon netted the honor at the 2014 Spring Commencement ceremony (May 9th). Grambling recognized Colon for his commitment to diversity in the automobile industry and long-term support of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and the academic achievement of young African Americans.

At Toyota, Colon is responsible for engaging Hispanic and African-American businesses and media, and optimizing relationships with important external Hispanic and African American groups. Under his leadership, the automaker implemented the Toyota Green Initiative designed to educate and encourage students on HBCUs to live environmentally conscious lifestyles. Nearly 5,000 people have made the Promise Pledge to live green, and 28 HBCUs have participated in the Green Campus Contest.

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Billion dollar debt buying and collection abuses

Billion dollar debt buying and collection abuses

Are you or someone you know being pursued or harassed late into the evenings and on weekends by debt collectors? If so, research shows that you are among one in seven Americans being pursued by debt collection agencies.

In a newly-released chapter in its State of Lending series, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) found that debt buying and debt collection is big, big business. Among publicly-traded debt buyers' income grew from $582 million in 2009 to more than $1 billion in 2012.

And amid these billion dollar deals, scant regulation allows profiteers to take advantage of financially-distressed consumers, often securing court judgments for debts that may not even be owed. A 2009 Federal Trade Commission analysis of 3.9 million consumer accounts, found only 6 percent of the accounts came with any documentation.

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