Sleuthing the past

If you’ve watched the PBS show History Detectives, you might have a sense of how seemingly minor things can trigger a long, involved historical research project. For the past 20 years, I’ve been an inadvertent historical sleuth because I keep running across instances that are so compelling that I can’t rest until I learn more. […]

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Historic preservation tax breaks

As gas prices soar, the attractiveness of inner city homes rises.  Mostly black neighborhoods like U Street in Washington, D.C. or Jackson Ward in Richmond, VA are now trendy places. But a big reason is the financial incentive provided by historic preservation tax credits.  There are federal credits available for individual homes and large developments […]

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The original African-Americans

Nothing irks me more than to hear 1619 used as the beginning point for African-Americans in the United States.   That leaves out the Gullah peoples of the Low Country who date back to at least 1527 in South Carolina. Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™ 2008 is Saturday and Sunday at the Charleston Maritime Center at […]

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Beware the African-American grant scam

You’ll see it posted on lots of sites geared to blacks.  “get free grants for African-Americans.”   Take it as seriously as the recent Bigfoot hoax. It is predatory advertising, just like the scandalous loans that are plaguing our communities.  It takes advantage of the great desire to get into business, which has fueled 45 percent […]

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Connerly defeated again

If you watched a “National Black Republican” event on CSPAN the other day and thought you had entered the twilight zone where Clarence Thomas clones had taken over D.C., particularly when Ward Connerly took the podium, then this should be good news. Attempt to Block Access to Equal Opportunity Doomed in Arizona   (New York, […]

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Never forget Katrina

CREOLE RESTAURANT TO HOST FUNDRAISER FOR JAZZ MUSICIANS AFFECTED BY HURRICANE KATRINA   Tribute To Guitarist Wes Montgomery By Jazz All Star Sextet   EVENT: This many Jazz musicians at this level haven’t played in Harlem in many years and haven’t played in East Harlem in over sixty years.  In a Tribute to Guitarist Wes […]

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Ad Age props to Obama campaign

Republicans might criticize Sen. Obama for becoming a celebrity, but people who are in the marketing business are giving him kudos, as evidenced by the lead article in Advertising Age: “What Obama Can Teach You About Marketing to Millenials” It begins: “Baby boomers and Gen Xers declared mass marketing dead long ago. We live in […]

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Community supported agriculture

Rev. Larry Coleman, Esq. of Kansas City forwarded this from Michael Byrd: This is a picture of red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, bell pepper, eggplant, and squash sitting on my kitchen counter from the CSA that I joined.  All of these items are ripe and were picked the day they were delivered or the day before. […]

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We know what we read

The next week of suggested activities for National Black Business Month focuses on use of our own media.  As the runup to the historic Democratic National Convention progresses, it will become increasingly evident why we need our own sources of information, not only domestically, but internationally such as the Africa Channel. Buy a book, rent […]

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Support a black farmer

Got this message from David Roach of Mo’ Betta Farmers Market in Oakland  your in Philadelphia this weekend, The Black Farmers and Agricultural Association (BFAA) will be selling fruits and vegetables in North Philadelphia on Saturday, August 16, 2008. The event will begin at 8:00 a.m. – until sold out. The address is 2811-2815 North […]

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Take two of these…

Not only is it good for one’s personal health to visit a black health practitioner, but they are one of the bedrocks of our neighborhoods.   I’ve recently had the opportunity to take photos of the former home of the late Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett, who was a psychologist, physician, publisher and politician, to help its […]

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Check out Mr. Mean

Apparently I was too busy during the ’70s going to class, but I missed a Fred Williamson movie called Mr.  Mean until Sunday night.  It had the Ohio Players giving a slammin’ soundtrack as Fred did his thing against some gangsters in Rome, while loving all the Italian women. Maybe I’ve got a one-track mind, […]

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The prerogatives of entrepreneurship

As much as African-Americans focus on entertainment, there is precious little thought given to the business of providing technical services for stage productions.   Jim Larkin of United Projects in San Francisco has focused on the backstage for more than 30 years, serving not only the African-American Art and Culture Complex but also big festivals […]

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The business of business

One of the difficulties of going into business is the lack of infrastructure in many African-American communities.  Businesses need a lot of stuff and a lot of services. So one of the best ways to generate a lot of entrepreneurship is to encourage companies that make it easier to be in business. Thought about it […]

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It’s in the rub

The opening of JazzGenesis: San Francisco and the Birth of Jazz in the Visitor Information Center of the San Francisco Convention & Visitor Bureau included a visit from the descendants of Col. Walter Loving and a reception at Farmer Brown restaurant one block away.

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The virtual diaspora

The worst thing that happened in the Middle Passage was that people of African descent were cut off from each other.  Values that were transmitted through drum beats and fabric patterns were distorted through other people’s forms of communications. In 1827, John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish published Freedom’s  Journal, with the motto “We Wish to […]

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