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Tracing family’s roots gives a ‘broader sense of self’

Tracing family’s roots gives a ‘broader sense of self’

WASHINGTON– For African Americans, the quest to trace one's origins is fraught with mystery and dead-ends. But with time and a willingness to dig, it's totally feasible – and often rewarding.

"Now that I know or have an idea about my family and genetic past, it gives me a broader sense of self," says James Morgan III, who has been tracing his lineage for the past six years. "To be able to view myself more – not as a one-dimensional person, just American – but as a citizen of the world, of space and time, is something that I think everyone deserves."

Morgan, a New Jersey native, began researching his ancestry in college. But his interest in topic began much earlier.

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Congressmen link with Hip Hop Caucus to change the face of climate change

Congressmen link with Hip Hop Caucus to change the face of climate change

(NewsOne) – Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.), both members of the Congressional Black Caucus, are hoping to change the face of climate change by educating Black colleges and universities on its detrimental effects on African-American communities, reports The Hill.

The two congressmen are joining the efforts of the Hip Hop Caucus to fight back against a deeply entrenched stereotype that the environment is not an important issue for Black America.

"When you think of environmentalists, people think of, quite frankly, some white person, probably wearing Birkenstocks or something and tying themselves to a tree," Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said Friday during a press call.

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Bias a factor in suspending black students

Bias a factor in suspending black students

WASHINGTON – A new collection of research shows that despite the myths surrounding black student behavior, poverty and severity of the offense have very little to do with the rate black students are suspended from school.

Rather, the studies point a finger in another direction: the implicit bias perpetrated by school officials.

The Discipline Disparities Research-to-Practice Collaborative, a group of researchers, educators, advocates, and policy analysts funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Open Society Foundations, compiled the research on school discipline.

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Body too toned for Planet Fitness?

Body too toned for Planet Fitness?

Tiffany Austin was just hoping to get back into shape after a car accident and, like so many others, went to her local Richmond, Calif., Planet Fitness in hopes of working it out ... only to be told by an employee that she was "intimidating" others, according to KTVU.

That's right. Austin was allegedly told by one of the branch's staff members that her toned body was intimidating other gymgoers and was asked to put on a baggier gym-issued shirt over her more flattering workout gear.

"We've had some complaints you're intimidating people with your toned body. So can you put on a shirt?" the staffer said, according to the news station. Shrugging it off – although she didn't see the issue with her crop top – Austin amicably agreed to put on a shirt.

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Clicktivism’ moves civil rights forward in a new generation

Clicktivism’ moves civil rights forward in a new generation

Reflections on the historic U.S. civil rights era often conjure up images of the grandeur-scale marches during the 60's era, restaurant sit-ins and civic uprising that played its role in advancing black America and cultivating support. Today, experts say the temperament of black activism is comparable, but takes place in digital spaces where young African-Americans share stories and invoke conversation about their struggles with friends and strangers.

Social media has become the tool of choice for African Americans who are rallying support and a newfound understanding to their causes by spreading messages through their networks and watching them go viral. Twitter, YouTube, and most recently Tumblr, have become a popular springboard for young "activists," even though some reject the label.

Several black students at Harvard University became the most recent topic in the national spotlight with their "I, Too, Am Harvard" campaign. On Tumblr, the students can be seen in photos individually holding boards with various quotes and statements to draw awareness.

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President Obama awards Medal of Honor to 24 overlooked minority veterans

President Obama awards Medal of Honor to 24 overlooked minority veterans

On Tuesday, President Obama awarded 24 minority U.S. soldiers, who collectively served in three of the nation's wars and were never rewarded for their courage, with the Medal of Honor, reports the Associated Press.

Only three of the 24 were alive for President Barack Obama to drape the medals and ribbons around their necks; the others were awarded the honor posthumously.

"Today we have the chance to set the record straight," Obama said. "No nation is perfect, but here in America we confront our imperfections and face a sometimes painful past, including the truth that some of these soldiers fought and died for a country that did not always see them as equal."

 

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GOP lawmaker: businesses should have right not to serve blacks

GOP lawmaker: businesses should have right not to serve blacks

Phil Jensen, a Republican state senator from South Dakota, has raised eyebrows with some of his recent remarks about the rights of businesses to be prejudiced on the issue of race.

According to the Rapid City Journal, Jensen doesn't see a problem with people refusing to serve someone because they're black.

"If someone was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were running a little bakery for instance, the majority of us would find it detestable that they refuse to serve blacks, and guess what? In a matter of weeks or so that business would shut down because no one is going to patronize them," Jensen told the Journal.

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