News & Commentary
Anna Brown, a St. Louis based homeless woman needed treatment for a sprained ankle. She went to three emergency rooms seeking such treatment. In the third hospital, St. Mary’s Health Center, Ms. Brown was emphatic about needing care. Instead she was arrested for trespassing, and died in a jail cell! Was she ill-treated because she was homeless? Black? Broke? It really doesn’t matter; the fact is that the hospital that failed to treat her may have contributed to hear death.
Too many African American people are treated in emergency rooms, as criminals, not people in need of health services. After learning of the Anna Brown case, a sisterfriend shared that she had such an extreme anxiety attack that her 10-year-old son called 911. When she got to the emergency room (with health insurance, thank you), she was queried about her use of drugs and alcohol, not her health condition. It …
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the fate of same-sex marriage. Attorneys for marriage equality have argued same-sex marriage is the same as interracial marriage. There is a tricky relationship between same-sex marriage arguments today and Civil Rights-era race cases.
Gay marriage advocates want racial justice cases like Loving v. Virginia to apply to them. Richard Loving, White, fell in love with Mildred Jeter, African-American. They married in Washington, D.C. because it was illegal for interracial couples to marry in Virginia. The Lovings were arrested for miscegenation or race-mixing. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down anti-miscegenation laws.
DOMA, the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, and Proposition 8, a California law created by public referendum, define marriage as only between a man and a woman. Advocates for same-sex marriage want the Court to strike down DOMA and Prop 8 just as it struck down anti-miscegenation laws.
On March 26, 2013, war crimes suspect Bosco Ntaganda appeared for preliminary proceedings before the International Criminal Court (ICC) as the judges set the date for the case “The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda” to begin September 23, 2013. The ICC had taken him into custody on March 22 and escorted him to the ICC detention center in The Hague (Netherlands) after it was confirmed by both the Rwandan government and the US Department of State that the Rwandan native Bosco Ntaganda surrendered himself voluntarily to the US embassy in Kigali, Rwanda and asked to be sent to the ICC. Of the twenty-one arrest warrants the ICC has issued to individuals, he is the first to surrender voluntarily for trial. Bosco Ntaganda has two ICC warrants (2006 & 2012) against him for war crimes and crimes against humanity, accused of child soldier use, murder, rape and sexual slavery; he is being …
The 45th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. calls for us not only to pause to pay rightful hommage to him and the great gift of life he gave us, but it also calls for us to think in deep and soul-searching ways about the meaning of his self-sacrifice and how we have honored his legacy or let it wither along the way as we turned our attention to lesser things and helium-light thoughts about the way we should live, the nature and range of our responsibility to ourselves and each other and to those whose sacrifices are the source of any forward thrust we claim. And we must also ask ourselves have we allowed his message and meaning to be transformed into a media and made-for-museum ritual of remembrance, emptied of essential meaning and reduced to corporate commercials and self-deluding commentaries on racial reconciliation …
Police can stop, question and frisk anyone. A police sergeant said “they might live there but we own the block.” His voice was taped in secret. However the war on Blacks and Latinos is no secret.
Protesters chanted, “They say get back. We say fight back.” Tensions were high; security tight. In this six week long Federal class action trial, intricate details of New York City’s police department stop, question, and frisk practices are being exposed. This case, Floyd v. City of New York, was brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). David Floyd, a medical student, African-American, was stopped twice by NYPD.
Any verdict will have a national effect because New York City has an internationally respected police force. However, in 2011, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) detained nearly 700,000 people. Of those, almost 80 percent were African-Americans and Latinos, mostly males. With five million stops recorded …
This year as we again observe the days set aside to mark and remind us of both the tragic passing and praiseworthy endurance of victims of HIV/AIDS among us, we, of necessity, continue to search for solutions. And that search, wherever else it takes us, always leads us back to ourselves. For the effective confrontation and curing of this horrible human epidemic, so devastating to us as African people all over the world, ultimately depends on us, regardless of the medical discoveries and other interventions. That is to say, it depends on what we do in relations of shared responsibility in love and life, to save and secure our lives, improve our life conditions and above all, strengthen our relations among ourselves and thus, our capacity to achieve our goals.
Indeed, the hub and hinge on which the whole of human existence turns is relations at every level of life. …
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the Voting Rights Act in the case of Shelby v. Holder. On the same day, across the street in the congressional rotunda, a statue honoring Rosa Parks will be unveiled. And one week later, the nation will celebrate the 48th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the march from Selma to Montgomery that helped spur President Johnson to champion the act. The Voting Rights Act has helped fulfill the nation’s commitment to inclusion — to a big tent democracy that guarantees to all citizens the right to vote. Yet many fear that …
Chicago suffers unbearable levels of gun violence, yet the victims remain largely silent. They travel from funeral home to graveyard rather than march from church to gun shop. The president is applauded when he calls for action on gun violence, but before his plane leaves the tarmac, more are shot, including even the sister of one of the young children standing behind him during his address. If we are to free ourselves of this terror, we will have to change our minds. Victims of tyranny have three options. They can adjust, they can resent but turn anger inward, or they …
On Saturday, family and friends gathered to mourn the loss of Hadiya Pendleton, shot to death last month at age 15 in a South Side park. Michelle Obama graced the memorial with her caring presence, a mother comforting a brokenhearted family for the unbearable horror that took place about a mile from the Obama home in Kenwood. The first lady’s presence brought dignity, stature and the reassurance of concern and compassion from the highest level of government. Now, the White House will give national attention to the violence that is scarring Chicago. Hadiya’s parents, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel A. Pendleton, …
- Reparations in order for 1963 bombing
May 17, 2013
- Student loan crisis is coming to a head
May 14, 2013
- AT LAST
May 13, 2013
- Chicago Sun-Times 2013-05-10 11:14:31
May 10, 2013
- Justice Sotomayor: The Whole Truth
May 7, 2013
- A fair minimum wage is a measure of decency
- THE FLAWED IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL
May 6, 2013
- Africa Lags Behind As It’s Resources Power China’s Growth
May 5, 2013
- 45 years after King, struggle goes on
May 3, 2013
- It Is A Question Of Leadership?
May 1, 2013
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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.