It will only get worse

While some states have witnessed a frenzy of electoral activity this year, I, like most California voters, have been quite underwhelmed by the fact that there is an election today. I’ve yet to hear anyone suggest what they might do to solve the state’s problems–which are California scale. That might be a better use for […]

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International Year of Biodiversity

The International Year of Biodiversity is a wake up call for humanity. On 22 September Heads of State will assemble at the United Nations to discuss the biodiversity crisis. Simultaneously, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will encourage the ringing of bells all over the world as an urgent ‘memo’ to rouse […]

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It’s tough under the sea

Watching the failure of BP’s attempts to close off the Deepwater Horizon spill underscores how difficult the underwater environment is for humans to navigate. It puts in perspective, on this Memorial Day weekend, how much more dangerous it must have been for my father, Clarence M. Templeton Jr., to serve on submarines during World War […]

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From Queen Calafia to Cakewalk

The Western Addition Family Resource Center will hold an event “Honoring Moms and Dads” on Tuesday, June 1 at 6 p.m. at Sheba Lounge, 1419 Fillmore St. I’ve been asked to share the broader history of our foremothers and forefathers in the city. Although I’ll be brief, partially because Sheba Lounge is one of my […]

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Get hip and give love

Volunteering at St. John’s Presbyterian, San Francisco, Harvest Pantry on Saturday mornings has been a great way for churches to carry out mission. Synagogues, parishes, parochial schools and universities from around the region take advantage of what has become one of the hippest weekend experiences around. It is a good way to answer in the […]

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Only 7 ARRA contracts to Bay Area black companies

Seven Bay Area black-owned firms had received eight contracts through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act worth $716,428.72 through the end of April. Where’s Our Stimulus: State of Black Business, seventh edition, being released during National Small Business Week, analyzed data to find 1,339 contracts awarded to black-owned firms nationally for a total contract […]

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Bipartisan consensus on role of black businesses to create jobs

A flurry of activity in state houses around the nation is bringing a new dynamic to public policy supporting African-American businesses because they provide jobs where they are most needed, according to Where’s Our Stimulus: State of Black Business, seventh edition. Examples include: • Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s announcement last month that $84 million had […]

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California arrival day

Friday was a personal milestone. May 14, 1987 was the day I first moved to California. That morning, I caught a flight in Richmond, Virginia, where I had spent most of the previous ten years. By late afternoon, I was being introduced as the new editor of the San Jose Business Journal during its fifth […]

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Thanking Toots

This is the first time in my life I’ve ever called my mother, Mary Elizabeth McLelland Templeton, by her nickname. But when I think about the love that her friends and our family members show in their faces when they say Toots, I’d like to get on that bandwagon. I can’t say thank you enough […]

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Where are our jobs?

When will Wall Street panic about high black unemployment? Where Are Our Jobs is a Blackbird Live News Chat May 7 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern at Blackbird, the African-American browser at Each first Friday we bring attention to the employment situation for African-Americans when the BLS makes its monthly announcement.

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Dialing back the prosperity gospel

While watching gospel star Kirk Franklin discuss his new book The Blueprint: Living Above Life’s Storms with Tavis Smiley yesterday, I heard something that I hadn’t considered. Smiley asked Franklin about the resentment some were feeling towards the so-called prosperity preachers in the wake of the economic downturn. I’m paraphrasing Smiley who suggested that many […]

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S.F. Black Heritage Tours ranked no. 10 in Yahoo search

For a thrilling experience touring the sites referenced in the new novel Cakewalk or a delectible journey through the best in black cuisine, visit . You can also find it through Yahoo’s directory and on

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Policing financial predators

WASHINGTON– Section 740B of S. 3217 would enact a cherished goal of minority business and fair lending advocates — mandatory record keeping of business lending to minority-owned small businesses. Democrats brought the bill to the floor Monday following a push by President Barack Obama in a Wall Street speech and weekend radio conversation. Under former […]

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Cakewalking across San Francisco

The geography of San Francisco is a vital part of telling the history of Cakewalk, the historical novel which debuted at Marcus Books on Fillmore Saturday. We began the day with a tour of the buildings in which the novel’s plot is set. To understand how blacks played such a central role after the 1906 […]

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