Preserving California Black Heritage

Testimony to California Historical Resources Commission Friday, July 31, 2009, Sacramento Good afternoon. I’d like to bring to your attention the following events — the third annual Preserving California Black Heritage conference in San Francisco Sept. 30-Oct. 2 and the 40th anniversary of the creation of Black Studies at San Francisco State University Oct. 7-9. […]

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A librarian’s guide to observing National Black Business Month

Libraries around the nation have been the earliest adopters of National Black Business Month since Fred Jordan and I began the observance in 2004. Fred, now president of the San Francisco African-American Chamber of Commerce and California’s most veteran black civil engineer, wanted data on black businesses, but the most recent U.S. Census Survey of […]

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Legacy of black architects yet to be fully recognized

In many cities across the nation, “Carnegie” libraries are automatically accorded historic landmark status because of the sweep of the philanthropic program to build libraries at the beginning of the 20th century. More recently, “Rosenwald” schools, segregated black institutions funded by the head of Sears Roebuck, are also being recognized. But like most aspects of […]

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Port Chicago legacy in new play

One of the events that places having an African-American commander-in-chief in perspective is the Port Chicago explosion.  On July 17, 1944, the largest state-side military disaster of World War II took 320 lives and injured another 390 at the Port Chicago Naval Munitions base on the San Francisco Bay. Among the dead, 202 were black […]

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President Obama’s speech to NAACP

THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary __________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release                                                          July 17, 2009 REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT TO THE NAACP CENTENNIAL CONVENTION Hilton New York New York, New York 7:00 P.M. EDT THE PRESIDENT:   Thank you.  What an extraordinary night, capping off an extraordinary week, capping off an extraordinary 100 years […]

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Hinson selected for MBDA post

WASHINGTON—U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced the appointment of David Hinson, a St. Louis native with more than 20 years of business experience, as the new administrator of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). This agency is the only federal agency created specifically to foster the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in the United […]

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Leveraging the NAACP brand

The century of service to human rights from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People culminates in the national convention in New York, the cap to an extraordinary week that began with the visit of President Barack Obama to Ghana. W.E.B. DuBois connects both legs of the trip, as the intellectual force behind […]

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Obama’s science legacy

One of the clearer signs of the nascent Obama presidency is his crystal-clear direction to the African-American community to get involved in science and technology.   Dr. Regina Benjamin, his choice for Surgeon General, is the latest African-American scientist elevated to a critical role in the agencies which will shape the future.   Others include EPA Administrator […]

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How to do a reunion

At about the same time as President Barack Obama and family were connecting Africa and America in a respectful new way, I was speaking at a family reunion in Burlingame, CA. I couldn’t escape the symmetry between the brightly festooned members in their African garb and the Presidential trip. In both cases, the Obama trip […]

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State of Black Business author attacks black business blind spot

Busy all year, John William Templeton gets even more active each August while on the mission to raise the profile of America’s 1.2 million African-American entrepreneurs. “If America’s economy  is a large 18-wheeler, there is a blind spot when it turns a corner regarding the fortunes of its 1.2 million African-American owned businesses,” says Templeton. […]

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Irons leads new housing capital effort

Asset Property Disposition (APD) and Waterfall Asset Management (WAM) have launched APD Solutions (APDS). Vaughn Irons, nationally recognized community development leader and former Freddie Mac National Director of Expanding Markets, will serve as the firm’s CEO. Waterfall’s billion dollar investment portfolio and experience in affordable housing finance, will provide capital market support for socially responsible […]

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What the Jackson memorial accomplished

I’m usually more interested in the behind-the-scenes mechanics than the public spectacle.    It makes sense to look at how the memorial to Michael Jackson accomplished the intended goals of its organizers — the Jackson family and the business interests behind Jackson’s intellectual property. By way of perspective, I flew into Los Angeles for the holiday […]

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