The end of the Underground Railroad

David Ruggles, John Brown, Harriett Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Charles Sumner, Thomas Garrett, William Lloyd Garrison and Mary Ellen Pleasant, among others, will rest well Tuesday night. The train ride from Philadelphia to Washington Saturday may have signalled the end of the Underground Railroad.    This is the name given to the secret movement to […]

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If the Obamamobile looks hip…

There’s a reason that the new Presidential limousine appears more stylish, shall we say “tricked out” in an armored, ceremonial kind of way. The vice president of design for General Motors is an engineering graduate of the Capstone, Howard University: Edward Welburn. Welburn is the first African American to lead a major automotive design house and only […]

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Leading by example

When the President-elect joined the Mayor of Washington, D.C. at Ben’s Chili Bowl Saturday, he gave an indication of how he plans to lead by example. As we’ve suggested for the throngs heading to the inauguration, they should take the opportunity to undergird the black business sector in Washington, D.C.  Not is Ben’s a culinary […]

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Bailout their advertising

If you’ve been fixated on the war in the Middle East, you may not have noticed the advertising war among car dealers. While watching playoff  football, in which multiple brands would follow each other, it occurred to me that the foreign automakers take different approaches to advertising than American car companies. The Ford, GM and […]

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Bottom-line benefits of diversity

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – A diverse work atmosphere in which employees believe everyone is treated equally has a positive impact not only on work attitudes and job performance, but also on a company’s bottom line. Those are among the findings of a recent study co-authored by Rutgers researcher Patrick McKay, who examined the productivity patterns […]

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Keep your eye on the prize

My  trip to work this morning included a detour around the demonstrations in San Francisco’s financial district protesting the invasion of the Gaza Strip.  It has been a daily inconvenience coming and going for the last week, but a reminder that global events have local, and immediate consequences. It is apparent that this flashback of […]

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Churches share difficulties of members

The trend towards the prosperity ministries is running up against a global economic crisis, with African-Americans in the crosshairs of the difficulties. In thriving exurbs, megachurches implicitly linked the new homes and cars of their members to their fealty to the congregation. Obviously, there is a line between faith and huckersterism. Whether churches crossed that […]

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The Genealogy of Black San Francisco

A few days ago, Rick Moss of the African-American Museum and Library in Oakland referred Estelene Bell of Minneapolis to me. She was researching an ancestor, Isaac Newton Tripplett, who apparently participated in the colored convention of 1856 in California. But she didn’t have any other information about him. I’m principal investigator of the Invisible […]

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What about Proposition 209?

The announcement by California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown that he can oppose voter-approved initiatives if he feels that they take away fundamental rights raises the question of why no California attorney general in the last 10 years has taken action to strike down Proposition 209. That was the 1996 initiative that banned affirmative action in […]

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Real crisis leadership

The choices of financial regulatory officials by President-elect Obama today are a sign of the new business paradigm that he should foster in the United States. As I noted in my October commentary in the New York Society of Security Analysts newsletter, “Is there an Obama play in the market?”, the smart move for investors […]

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It can happen to anyone

The news that some of the richest people in the world got taken for more than $50 billion by stock market guru Bernie Madoff (Made-Off) should help answer the question we’ve often heard regarding the subprime mortgage debacle. “Why would people be so reckless as to take mortgages that didn’t make sense financially?” Implicit in […]

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It’s gotta be da shoes

The Iraqi journalist who tossed both shoes at President George Bush spoke for many Americans who were wondering why he was in Iraq instead of dealing with the crisis in the American auto industry, not to mention the larger economy. The latest version of Mission Kinda Accomplished is the best slapstick since Spike Lee and […]

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The night Dixie drove Detroit down…

The pretense of patriotism was revealed as a single-minded desire to destroy the American middle class Thursday night when the Republicans in the U.S. Senate told the American auto worker to commit lewd acts with themselves. The orchestrators of this outrage acted solely based on the fact that they had attracted foreign automakers to their […]

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Transition reflects successful management styles of black executives

The campaign and transition style of President-elect Barack Obama is a formula that has worked for millions of African-Americans who have broken into management over the past 40 years, says the author of a book on black executives. John William Templeton, who wrote Success Secrets of Black Executives (ASPIRE SAN FRANCISCO ISBN 9780935419030) in 1992 […]

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We need a trustbuster

The bankruptcy of the Tribune Co. is another sign of the failure of the bigger is better approach to building businesses. That strategy depends on buying other companies rather than growing through new products and customers. Mixing parts that don’t make sense structurally or geographically is part of what turned the banking industry into such […]

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One-third of black teens unemployed

The Friday unemployment report was a rejoinder to anyone who interpreted the November election results as a sign that America had shed itself of racism. The disparity for African-American unemployment across ages and sexes continues with the overall black unemployment rate (see topping 11 percent; and exceeding 32 percent among black teenagers. Prospects for […]

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