Sister wisdom

Ray Taliaferro, who is not one to be easily impressed, says there is one person he has always used as a sounding board and guide. He joined her–Dr. Raye Richardson–for a Ray on Raye session in the nation’s oldest black bookstore, Marcus Books, Sunday.   Dr. Richardson is co-founder with her late husband, Julian. Taliaferro was […]

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What would Reggie Lewis do?

Just 20 years ago, the country had suffered a major stock market crash, meaning that high-flying investors leveraged to the hilt were dropping like flies.    Michael Milken and Drexel Burnham Lambert were the AIG of the day and the federal government had to take over and divest the assets of thousands of financial institutions. There […]

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Exploring Black San Francisco

John William Templeton signs copies of his updated book Come to the Water: Sharing the Rich Black Experience in San Francisco as part of a focus on the hidden African-American presence in the City by the Bay during an author event Saturday, March 21 9:30 to 3:00 p.m. at Pilgrim Baptist Church 217 N. Grant […]

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Right idea, wrong target

The vote in the House to impose stiff taxes on the bonuses for derivative traders is a sign that the elected elite is beginnng to get a clue. Taxing the bonuses doesn’t make much difference though. The real game changer is to use this opportunity of clarity to fix a number of problems with the […]

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Could see it coming

The demise of venerable American newspapers is an example of the law of unintended consequences. It is a direct result of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which deregulated broadcasting and made it more difficult for minority ownership of major media outlets.  We were told that the act would create more voices.   However, the mogul whose […]

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Power to the People, Two

In my last post, I discussed the tightrope that African-American public officials must walk in assuring that the economic stimulus package and overall federal budget meet the needs of the African-American community. A couple of stories in the Los Angeles Times demonstrate how perilous that can be.   First,  Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, is under attack […]

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More power to the people

African-American politicians have never had more power than they will possess in the next 90 days. I was reading Capitol Men by Philip Dray, about the saga of the African-Americans who served in Congress from 1872 through 1901 and the extraordinary obstacles they faced.   During that era, there was also a sub-prime crisis through the […]

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Two victories for decency

It’s hard to for buffoonery to compete with cool competence and confidence. That’s the lesson to be drawn from the double delight of the cancellation of D.L. Hughley breaks the news on CNN and David Alan Grier’s Chocolate News on Comedy Central. Hughley managed to get off on a bad foot with a number of […]

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Obama’s biggest mistake

The most visible sign of whether the economic initiatives of President Obama work will be the recovery of the banking sector. However, the personnel choices to date in the Treasury Dept. presage a continuation of the failed policies of the Bush administration. The Troubled Asset Recovery Program (TARP) was the equivalent of a “poison pill” […]

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Health care help needed more than ever

The news that three in five Southern blacks are afraid of losing their jobs underscores the importance of today’s health care summit in the White House, orchestrated by Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes. The greatest threat to America’s fiscal health is the skyrocketing cost of health care, said President Obama in his opening remarks. For […]

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Beginning of black studies

I guess my way of responding to the questions over the need for black history month and by extension, black history, was to start March by presenting to three classes in Africana studies at San Francisco State University. Forty years ago, students went on strike to create the first Black Studies program at any university […]

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God will make a way some how

The global economic crisis is often described as a crisis of confidence. Bishop T.  Larry Kirkland of the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s 5th District, covering the Western states, correctly described it as a crisis of faith during a sermon to mark the 157th anniversary of San Francisco’s Bethel A.M.E. Church. This is a church which […]

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Jackson says EPA is back on the job

The Obama administration today proposed a budget of $10.5 billion for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the largest in the agency’s 39-year history. The increase of $3 billion from 2008 funding levels will further ensure the protection of public health and the environment for all Americans. “The president’s budget proposes critical resources to protect the […]

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Ray Taliaferro brings history alive

San Francisco radio station KGO was host to a lively discussion on whether Black History Month should continue.     One of its hosts, Brian Copeland, who interestingly enough does a play called “Not A Real Black Man,” called for its abolition. Fortunately, the lion of progressive thought, Ray Taliaferro, followed up with his annual Black History […]

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The vote made a difference

Last night’s Presidential address was much more of a tangible shift in American policy than any of the campaign or inaugural speeches. President Obama has shown a deft command of the levers of power and their inherent limitations in just 30 days.   That’s why people who may not agree with him have renewed confidence that […]

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