When Beyonce Knowles sang the Etta James song “At Last” at President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, the song could have had several meanings. At last we have an African American President? At last, the muscle of the Black vote has been flexed? At last, there is some hope for our country to come together with the mantra “Yes We Can”.
Watching the President and First Lady Michelle Obama slow dance to the romantic standard reminded us that African American families have not often been positively depicted. This attractive image of an intact Black family had come “At Last”. Thus, the song was symbolic of what many folks, and especially African Americans, believed about the Obama Presidency.
Some of us blindly believed that with an African American president opportunity had come “At Last”. Some believed it so fervently that the least criticism of President Obama, no matter how mild and how …
The Senate’s Gang of Eight have put together an 844 page monstrosity known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, legislation that President Obama says he “basically approves” of. The crafters of this essentially unreadable bill was put together by Senators Dick Durbin (Illinois), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Michael Bennett (D-CO), Marco Rubio (R-FLA), Jeff Flake (AZ), John McCain (AZ) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC). On its surface, the bill provides much-needed relief to many of the 11 million undocumented people who live in our country. The challenge is that it disadvantages some immigrants, especially African and Caribbean immigrants, while helping others.
Further, the Senators crafting the bill put goodies into the bill that only serve to advantage themselves or their states. Senator Lindsay Graham wants more visas for the meat packing industry. Senator Charles Schumer provided special provisions for Irish people with a high …
African American students achieve at a different level than white students. Test scores are lower, as are high school and college completion rates, and the number of African Americans attending four-year institutions is falling. The rate of African American suspensions and expulsions from K-12 schools is higher than that of other groups. By almost any metric there are gaps between African American students and white or Asian students (Latinos achieve at about the same rate as African Americans).
Why does this happen? The late sociologist John Ogbu hypothesized that the gap was the result of young African Americans thinking that learning was “acting white”. His theory was batted around as if it were fact, even when Duke economist William Darity refuted the Ogbu theory. Why? Because it fits somebody’s stereotype to describe African American youngsters as culturally alienated from the mainstream, so much that they eschew the very institution that…
Shelby County, Alabama is suing the Justice Department because they think that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (and its reauthorization in 1982 and 2006) is unfair. The facts – the small city of Calera, Alabama, redistricted its boundaries in a way that the sole African American councilman lost his seat. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act forced a new election with different boundaries, and Ernest Montgomery regained his seat. Shelby County (which includes parts of Birmingham) objects to the provision of the Voting Rights Act that requires that areas with histories of past discrimination have changes to voting laws and boundaries monitored by the Justice Department. This would include many southern states, as well as areas, like Alaska, that have historical discrimination against Native people, and places like Texas and parts of California, that have historic discrimination against Latinos. They say that it’s all equal …
I was among the 33.5 million people who sat riveted to their televisions, parsing every second of the State of the Union Address. I was stunned to learn, through a Washington Post article by Lisa De Moraes, that viewership was less substantial for this address than last year’s 38 million, and even lower than the 48 million that watched in 2010. Are people less interested in what our President has to say? Or is there something else going on?
In any case, from my perspective this was an important and significant SOTU address. Unleashed from the pressure of re-election, and able to set forth a progressive and aggressive agenda, President Obama dealt with some of the key issues that face our nation. He was able to utter the word “poverty” without his tongue freezing up. Unfortunately, he is unable to utter the words “Black” or “African American”. Still, President Obama …
There is a Whole Foods store about 3 blocks from my home, and around the corner from my gym. I am enamored by the displays of produce, the red peppers contrasting the yellow ones, the kale, chard, and collard glistening from their morning sprinkle. I love the way the fish gleams back at you, char and salmon, swordfish and tilapia. When I walk over to the prepared food, I grin at the ways the veggies are layered with cheese, crumbs, and so much more. They have sandwiches that I identify with, ingredients that I salivate about. And now I must declare that I would rather drink muddy water or sleep in a hollow log that to indulge in whole foods.
I am utterly appalled that Whole Foods CEO John Mackey described Obamacare as “fascism”. Fascism is an incendiary word that speaks totalitarianism, or dictatorship, and it descries it in a …
There is lots of buzz about our nation’s “economic recovery” in these first weeks of 2013. The stock market has been rising, some would say even soaring. We postponed the fiscal cliff crisis, albeit only for a few weeks – March is the new deadline. The tone and tenor of debt ceiling conversations has shifted slightly, though this will not be an issue easily negotiated. President Obama says that raising the debt ceiling to pay old bills is the right thing to do; Republicans in the House showed no reluctance in authorizing spending for two wars and other matters. Now they don’t want to pay for it.
Recovery? For the first time since 2009 our economy shrunk in the last quarter of 2012, largely because of cuts in defense spending (that were not balanced by increased spending in other areas), a sluggish world economy that could not absorb US exports. …
President Barack Obama has the opportunity, in this second term, to put his feet on history. He won an election that his opponent had essentially claimed, he has been firm about that which he would negotiate on, and he has offered a progressive inauguration speech that offers up a liberal agenda, embracing Social Security and Medicare, uplifting immigrants and gay rights, and embracing ways to address inequality.
One could not help but applaud the strong direction of President Obama’s speech. But those of us in the African American community wonder why we could not get a shout out about high unemployment and poverty rates, inner city challenges, and income, economic and unemployment disparities. Failing to address the community that offered him 97 percent of their vote indicates that there is a reckless disregard of his strongest supporters.
I understand that President Obama is the President of the whole United States, …
- AT LAST
May 13, 2013
- THE FLAWED IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL
May 6, 2013
- ACHIEVEMENT GAP OR OPPORTUNITY GAP?
April 30, 2013
- DIVERSITY FOR CATHOLICS, NOT FOR OTHERS
March 18, 2013
- WHOSE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION HAS IMPROVED?
March 11, 2013
- TURNING THE CLOCK BACK ON VOTING RIGHTS
February 27, 2013
- STATE OF THE UNION HITS HIGH MARKS
February 19, 2013
- FASCISM BY ANOTHER NAME: WHOLE FOODS AND WHOLE FOOLS
February 11, 2013
- BUDGET CUTS WILL SLOW ECONOMY
February 5, 2013
- PRESIDENT OBAMA SPEAKS: ALL OF US, SOME OF US OF US, NONE OF US.
January 28, 2013
Other Julianne Malveaux
Haiti Oasis Institute
The War On Drugs Is A War On Us
HISTORY, BACKGROUND, FACTS ↓
Black Family Summit
A collaborative of national Black professional organizations dedicated to promoting holistic principles, policies and practices to strengthen Black families and communities.
Damu Smith Leadership Development and Organizer Training Institute
An Initiative devoted to providing training in the principles of community organizing and
Collaborative of progressive, African-centered scholars, think tanks and research centers dedicated to utilizing theoretical and applied research to address issues of vital concern to people of African descent and enhance the development of Black communities.
Shirley Chisolm Presidential Accountability Commission
Group of leading Black scholars and activists charged with monitoring the executive branch/presidential administrations of the U.S. government for progress on the Black Agenda/ issues of importance to people of African descent in the U.S. and globally.
Haiti Support Project
An Initiative committed to “Building a Constituency for Haiti in the United States,” focusing on mobilizing/organizing African Americans and other people of African descent to strengthen the process of democracy and development in the world’s first Black Republic.