African Union tackles food security

Heeding the advice of Brazil’s president, the heads of state of the African Union were told ” no one better the Africans themselves can solve their problems.” President Luis Inacio Lula outlined the cultural similarities in terms of language, music, and religion amongst others, underscoring the need to reinforce their cooperation ties, so that together they […]

Read More African Union tackles food security

On KGO-AM Sunday morning

I’m appearing on San Francisco radio station KGO-AM, 810, on Sunday morning, July 5 to follow up on the Christian Science Monitor story “Blacks Abandon San Francisco.”    We’ll discuss some of the positive policy steps which can change the climate for African-Americans in the City by the Bay, and the empowering steps the community can […]

Read More On KGO-AM Sunday morning

Don’t just party in New Orleans

If you are among the 270,000 descending on New Orleans for the Essense Music Festival (see story in Black Money Worldwide), you’re doing a lot to revive the city by supporting its tourist attractions. But no one should come to the Crescent City and not be a witness to the continuing delay in bringing justice […]

Read More Don’t just party in New Orleans

One shot deal

Folks are buzzing about the BET Awards, the red carpet, the performances, the styles and the tribute to the late Michael Jackson. Yet there is an important question to ask–did the energy and excitement enhance the economic development of the black community? At a time of record unemployment, it is an appropriate question to ask, […]

Read More One shot deal

Who is a black artist?

Strolled over to Golden Gate Park after church Sunday on a gorgeous, sunny San Francisco day to scope the length of the lines for the King Tut exhibition at the DeYoung Museum.  Didn’t expect to get anywhere near the place, just wanted to check it out the opening weekend.  The lines were amazingly short, but […]

Read More Who is a black artist?

Get it together or leave it alone

Couple of weekends ago took a walk down memory lane in Los Angeles, through El Pueblo Monument, the site of the original settlement of Los Angeles. It is not as big an attraction as Hollywood or the Staples Center or tonight’s BET Awards. There is one building in particular at El Pueblo, that in its […]

Read More Get it together or leave it alone

Michael Jackson and Bert Williams

As an historian, I tend to link events to their analogues in past times to draw meaning. So, the sudden passing of Michael Jackson at 50, when he was the most famous person in the world, recalls the similar tragic success of Bert Williams a century earlier. Bert Williams, whom I’ve been researching as part […]

Read More Michael Jackson and Bert Williams

Strom and Sanford

The hypocrisy  of the South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford is really nothing new. It is not dissimilar from the revelation that segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond, who brought the Republican party to the South in the 1960s and 1970s, had fathered an African-American daughter, whom he supported while governor. The Shakespearean line “perhaps they doth […]

Read More Strom and Sanford

Home of affirmative action has to remodel

The late Art Fletcher was the architect of the Philadelphia Plan, a mechanism that the Nixon administration devised to keep angry African-Americans from shutting down construction sites with pickets. The reason for the demonstrations was the discriminatory hiring practices that employers and unions colluded to enforce.  Although blacks paid taxes, they couldn’t get jobs on […]

Read More Home of affirmative action has to remodel

8 ways to grow black businesses

Today’s news includes the revelation that Detroit no longer has a chain grocery store. The list of challenges facing new Mayor Dave Bing is daunting, particularly after the bankruptcy of both General Motors and Chrysler. However, there is an ancient saying that danger and opportunity are two sides of the same sword. Detroit, like another […]

Read More 8 ways to grow black businesses

New life for CRA, Equal Credit laws

Fair lending has been a long-forgotten stepchild in the federal regulation of financial companies. Despite massive evidence of discrimination in business, consumer and residential lending against African-Americans, it has been a long time since any banker has been sanctioned for bias in financial services. President Obama proposed creating a new consumer financial products authority, includng […]

Read More New life for CRA, Equal Credit laws

Reunite the black family

With the end of school, the re-emerging ritual of the black family reunion begins to dominate summer plans. The CNN special Black in America highlighted how the Rand family reunion was an important genealogical resource, not only for the black members, but also for some unsuspecting whites. But it is also a time to spread […]

Read More Reunite the black family

The reciprocity virus

We have seen in the H1N1 strain of flu how quickly a virus can spread around the world. Ideas can move just as quickly, particularly in an online, digital world. I like to suggest a viral infection that is good for the African-American community — an outbreak of reciprocity. August is the sixth annual National […]

Read More The reciprocity virus

Not an anomaly in New York policing

We are hearing the oft-expressed excuses about the difficulty of distinguishing between black police officers and potential suspects in the wake of the most recent incident in New York.   However, exactly one year ago, the highest ranking black officer in NYPD came very close to having a similar result. Officer Disciplined For Stopping, Questioning NYPD […]

Read More Not an anomaly in New York policing