Katrina survivors now have friend at HUD

While the state’s governor postures on not taking unemployment funds for Louisiana, help is on the way for the long-suffering Katrina survivors from the Department of Housing and Urban Development-finally. HUD, FEMA TO PROVIDE UP TO SIX MONTHS OF TRANSITIONAL RENTAL ASSISTANCE TO FAMILIES AFFECTED BY HURRICANES KATRINA, RITA WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of […]

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Holder right on target

I’ll admit that Attorney General Eric Holder was perhaps the last person I would have pegged to make the comments that “when it comes to race, America has been a nation of cowards,” because his career has been marked by low-key strategies. However, he was precisely correct.  His critics are proving the merit of his […]

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The Black Rock on Alcatraz

There were many incisive questions from the overflow audience in the dining hall of the former Alcatraz U.S. Penitentiary as we joined filmmaker Kevin Epps for the premiere of Black Rock, a treatment of the untold lives of African-Americans on the prison island. With Kevin and I on the panel were Jakada Imani, director of […]

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Change that makes you go hmmm

Allen Iverson got a haircut. It’s one of the profound political statements that came from what is usually one of the most entertaining events of the year — the NBA All-Star Game. Lisa Leslie  made the most incisive analysis of the year so far. She said African-Americans always felt like second cousins until Jan. 20, […]

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Black History Month travel

Californiablackhistory.com has a list of more than two dozen sites and communities which reflect the African-American heritage of San Francisco. However, there are a number of other places around the state which can be part of black heritage tourism. We normally don’t think of the Western states when it comes to black history. Start with […]

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Success Secrets of Black Executives

The success of President Barack Obama could be predicted by watching the manner in which African-American executives broke new ground in American business over the past 40 years. About 20 years ago, a wave of corporate restructuring and product innovation created openings for blacks to rise to the top of publicly-traded companies. One of the […]

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Who’s gonna take the weight?

Was Kool and the Gang’s first big hit, but before America gets to Celebrate overcoming its recession, some one needs to start singing it in Washington. “I don’t know, I don’t know,” is the current answer, in both the song lyrics, and the discussion over the stimulus and bailout. Underlying the vulnerability of President Obama’s […]

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Right approach to Black History Month

While visiting Marcus Book Store Wednesday, the nation’s oldest black book store, I experienced as much history among the people as I might have by picking up some books. The experience speaks to the way Carter G. Woodson would have us observe Black History Month. It’s a lot more than a hastily-pulled together mimeographed piece […]

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New barbecue place on Divisadero

One of our online properties is blackrestaurant.net. Tracking down the locations and tastes of black cuisine nationally is a personal passion. We prepared a map of the 60 black eateries in San Francisco four years ago for an exhibition at the Bayview Branch Library. The lineup changes constantly, but even in this economy, entrepreneurship is […]

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Be careful at Arco gas pumps

The new gas pumps at service stations have televisions and offer direct payment at the pump. But the buyer should beware. I pumped $15 worth of gas at an Arco station at 5898 Mission St. in San Francisco Tuesday night, using a card to pay for it. Upon arriving at my destination, I checked my […]

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Long overdue

The entire audience of the Palo Alto City Council meeting stood spontaneously in three standing ovations to register their appreciation of three Freedom Riders of the Cutting Edge, Roy Clay Sr. and Dr. Frank Greene, who attended, and the late Ron L. Jones.  His former lawyer, Ron Katz of Manatt, shared memories of Jones during […]

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High tech Super Bowl

The year that the Giants played the Colts in the 1958 NFL championship, Roy Clay Sr. came to Silicon Valley to program the world’s fastest computers at Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. Before the first Super Bowl, Dr. Frank Greene already had a patent for the fastest semiconductor memory system. On Feb. 2, 2009, the Super Bowl […]

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Who can stimulus really help?

The tug of various interests has caused the proposed stimulus package to include items beyond the conventional view of infrastructure. In the Bay Area, a controversy over the steel for the reconstruction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge demonstrates why road and building projects don’t necessarily stimulate the United States. We’ve recently read about quality […]

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Freedom Riders of the Cutting Edge

Fifty years ago, Frank Greene and fellow students at Washington University in St. Louis sat in at nearby restaurants waiting to be served. The results were fruitless, although Greene was at the time an Air Force R.O.T.C. cadet on the way to being commissioned. Then one day, the waitress came up, and asked them for […]

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Parsons to the rescue

The toughest job in America went to an African-American Tuesday. Richard Parsons has stepped out of the frying pan into the fire as new chairman of Citigroup. President Obama’s plate of crises looks tame by comparison. But Parsons will bring the same kind of confidence. He’s been down this path before. As I wrote in […]

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What might Ali have said

The remarkable sense of history exhibited by President Obama was punctuated by the visage of heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in the audience. Mrs. Lonni Ali was reported to have called the new President a man like Ali. But what more might he have said for the occasion. A government which stripped him of his title […]

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