There has been much written and said about the March 30th planned rally of the KKK. This rally is inspired by recent Memphis City Council action changing the names of three Confederate parks, Nathan Bedford Forrest Park, Jefferson Davis Park and Confederate Park. The parks were given temporary placeholder names and their permanent names will be decided later with a great deal of promised public input.
These facts have been presented and these stories covered in the media and discussed in our workplaces, classrooms, places of worship and homes. Yet, it falls to the public, to the people of Memphis and Shelby County to answer one pivotal question. What is to be our response to this?
Some very sincere and passionate people believe in being at the scene of the Klan rally to show publicly and assertively that hate mongers such as the Klan and their ilk are neither welcome or wanted within our community. I personally don't propose that people go to the KKK event and counter protest. I think for many the spectre of violence at the 1998 Klan rally gives many in our community, especially those with children, pause.
As I write, Chaka Khan's empowering "I'm Every Woman" loops in my head – like a soundtrack. (By the way, have you seen her lately? All slim, trim and more fabulous than ever). It's Women's History Month and the lyrics to that iconic anthem should be resonating with all women, and those who love us, as we celebrate ourselves and the countless contributions we make everyday – both large and small – that keep the world turning.
No matter how small or far-reaching the radius of your world is every choice you make is important. Nielsen shines the light on women's choices and our dynamic impact as consumers with two new global reports: Does Gender Matter and 10 Things to Know About Today's Female Consumer.
On Monday night, at the National Constitution Center, the solemn place where President Obama gave his powerful address on race, Philadelphians will gather for a follow-up dialog: Being White in Philly.
This, of course, refers to the recent magazine cover story by Philadelphia Magazine, which quoted unnamed European Americans about racial fears and beliefs. In it, we learn some whites fear crime, are skeptical that minorities are doing the right things to get ahead, and are unaware that in Philadelphia – a gateway to prosperity – the door is locked for many.
Really, did this come as a surprise to anyone?
When unemployment numbers were released last Friday (March 8), commentators reacted joyfully. Alan Krueger, who heads the White House Council of Economic Advisors, described the creation of 247,000 jobs as a victory because the predictions were that the economy would only generate 170,000 jobs. Unemployment rates went down to 7.7 percent, while predictions were that they would drop to 7.8 percent.
Some might call this good news, but many might wonder who is affected by this good news.
A deeper examination of the unemployment data shows the disappointing reality that African-American unemployment rates remained level, at 13.8 percent. Meanwhile, white unemployment rates fell to 6.8 percent and the rate for white men dropped to 6.3 percent. The racial disparities in unemployment rates are not new, but it is hypocritical to celebrate a drop in white unemployment rages, without noticing or mentioning the stagnation in black unemployment rates.
As long as most of us can remember, African-American communities have taught and believed that a college education is the key to social and economic advancement. But according to a new research and policy brief by Brandeis University scholars, that long-held belief is only one of several factors affecting Black America's ability to build wealth.
After Brandeis University's Institute on Assets and Policies traced 1,700 working Americans households over 25 years, the researchers found that the wealth gap between white and African-American families nearly tripled, increasing from $85,000 in 1984 to $236,500 in 2009. For each dollar in income increase during these years, white wealth grew $5.19 while African-American wealth growth amounted to 69 cents.
The following are truths that I find hard to ignore: Fifteen percent of Americans go to a gym every year. Only 8 percent of those who have purchased contracts use their gym memberships. Yet Americans spend $2.6 billion a year in gym-related fees.
BlueCross® BlueShield® of Tennessee Inc. (BCBST), an independent, not-for-profit, health benefit plan company based in Chattanooga, is keenly aware that Tennessee has a health problem. And Memphis, recently dubbed the fattest city in America, could be considered the poster child for obesity.
With Memphis and other American cities sliding rapidly toward an epidemic, BCBST is standing in the gap, hoping to reduce the obesity rate with its sponsorship of the Healthy Church Challenge 100-day weight loss competition, which launched Feb. 2. This is the second year for the Challenge.
COMMENTARY – I recall almost a decade ago when former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick at the height of his powers walked up to me at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and asked, "Can a brother get a good word from you?"
My response was, "Mr. Mayor, give me something good to write about."
Apparently, the mayor was concerned that he wasn't getting favorable press from the media and that journalists like myself and others were too critical of his administration, and thus he needed a break. Yesterday morning, standing in front of the federal courthouse in downtown Detroit waiting for the historic verdict in Kilpatrick's corruption trial, I could not help but recall all of my interactions with the man who once wielded so much power that anyone close to him was to be avoided.