Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tired of Waiting, The Congressional Black Caucus Announces a New Jobs Initiative


Courtesy of the White House Office of Communications

by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World

Men and women across the country have been frustrated for years about the lack of jobs and the dire state of the economy. Now, the Congressional Black Caucus is taking active steps in an effort to increase the number of employed citizens. August 8th, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) along with host Member Congresswoman Marcia Fudge will be kicking off the CBC’s “For the People” Jobs Initiative. This event is starting off in Cleveland, Ohio, and it will be comprised of a job fair and town hall meeting at Cleveland State University. According to a press release provided to Your Black World by Stephanie L. Young of the White House Office of Communications:

Read more…

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Study: Minorities Still Locked Out of Most Institutions

   Taking command: President Obama talks with members of the national security team in the White House situtation room following the conclusion of the mission

by Dr. Boyce Watkins,, Scholarship in Action 

I took a look at an ABC News picture of President Barack Obama sitting in a Situation Room with lead advisers watching the assassination of Obama bin Laden.  Everyone had a tense look on their face, as 10 years of hard work suddenly came down to the wire.  I couldn’t help but notice, as I scanned all the faces across the room, that there were only two women present (Hillary Clinton and another woman in the back), and one bi-racial black man (President Obama).  Every other person in the room was a white male. 

What startles me the most is that millions of other Americans can look at this picture and see absolutely nothing wrong with it.  The “white guy’s club” has always been the status quo in leadership positions.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Five Things College Students Do to Ruin their Lives

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University, 

As a college professor for the past 16 years, I’ve noticed two things about college: It can be a place to make your dreams come true, and it can also be a breeding ground for your worst nightmares. So, I thought I would compile a list of things that I’ve seen college students do to ruin their lives over the years. Hopefully, you and your child can learn from what I am about to share.

1) Sex, drugs, alcohol and gambling
College is a great place to pick up a lot of really bad habits. The worst part is that people tell you that these things are ok. It’s not that all of these are bad things to do, but at the very least, they should be done in moderation. It doesn’t matter if you are in college: If you have sex with too many people, you are going to catch a disease or get pregnant. If you use drugs, you are going to become a drug addict. If you drink too much, you will become an alcoholic. Gambling can also ruin your life as much as drugs or alcohol. I have several dozen friends with really messed up lives to this day, all of whom started their downward spiral on a college campus. You should not think that because you are in college, you are immune to these problems. If something doesn’t feel right, then you shouldn’t do it. Be mature enough to make smart decisions.

2) Falling for the credit card scams and ruining your credit
There are no serious credit card scams in college, only the little people who stand out in front of the bookstore trying to get you to take their "free money". Credit cards are very tempting when you are in school, especially since you are broke. If you decide to take one, make sure that you are very careful with how much you buy with the card, and that you have a careful plan to pay it all back. Putting yourself in over your head can easily destroy your credit. That is not a good cycle to get into. Not taking care of your student loan obligations can ruin your credit as well. You should manage your debt as best you can, because if you don’t, it can take decades to fix the problems that are created.

Click to read.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dr. Boyce Spotlight: The Rapper Common Is an Uncommon Talent

For more information about Common, please visit

With his Multi-Grammy Award winning music career and his continued work in film, Common has emerged as one of Hollywood's most sought after leading men. He has been seen on the silver screen in films such as SMOKIN ACES, AMERICAN GANGSTER, WANTED, TERMINATOR SALVATION and was most recently in DATE NIGHT and JUST WRIGHT.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Creflo Dollar Allegedly Says that Non-Tithers Should Be Shot

by Dr. Boyce Watkins 

I wasn’t sure what to think when I heard this audio, in which Creflo Dollar appears to be arguing that if you don’t tithe, you should be put in front of a firing squad.  I did some research and found media outlets reporting the video, and I can only hope that he doesn’t truly believe this.

Click to read.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Julianne Malveaux Talks About Her New Book, “Surviving and Thriving”


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Dr. Julianne Malveaux is second-to-none. One of the most respected and prolific scholars in the history of black America, she is truly an intellectual soldier. With a PhD in Economics from MIT, Dr. Malveaux has produced scholarly work that serves as nothing less than a guide book for overcoming the prodigious number of problems being faced by black America today. She is also a champion for women's rights and issues that uniquely impact African American women.
AOL Black Voices had the chance to catch up with Dr. Malveaux to discuss the release of her new book, "Surviving and Thriving: 365 Facts in Black Economic History," and she had this to say:

1) What is your name and what do you do?
I am Dr. Julianne Malveaux, an economist, author and President of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina.
2) What motivated you to write your book, and what can people learn from it?
When people think of the economy, they rarely think of African American people as important contributors, as thivers instead of simply survivors. There is such inspiration in our economic history and I was passionate about lifting it up.

Click to read.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Syracuse University’s Own Dr. Boyce Watkins on TheLoop21 – 8/20/10

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: What is Scholarship in Action?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University  - The Institute for Black Public Policy

I’ve made it clear in the past that I support the notion of Scholarship in Action.  While some know the Syracuse University interpretation of this concept, I have found that in some cases, African American scholarship is left in the margins of academic work.  Therefore, I felt the need to expand on this concept with what I call “Black Scholarship in Action,” which is based on the idea of black scholars becoming engaged with the world and doing what is right for our communities.

Here are some thoughts on what Scholarship in Action means to me as an African American Professor:

1) Re-connecting with our communities and using our expertise for the greater good.  We have too much brain power and too many problems to allow our greatest intellectual resources to be locked away writing research papers that hardly anyone is ever going to read.

2) Being courageous enough to honestly share our insights with the world, even if they are not popular.  Capability without courage makes you socially impotent.

3) Following up our rhetoric with assertive action.  There is nothing more to say about that.  Talking about something is not the same as actually doing something.  We have to make sure we know the difference.

4) Confronting consistent discrimination within academia.  Too many universities consistently deny hiring and tenure to African American scholars, and this has to stop.  Universities must be held accountable to their data, and if a campus has any department that has not tenured an African American in more than a decade, they should be sued for racial discrimination, especially if it can be proven that African Americans with strong credentials are applying for positions in that department.

Again, these are the Dr. Boyce Watkins perspectives on what it means to be a high action scholar, so your views might differ from my own.  But it is my firm belief that The Age of the Black Scholar has arrived, especially if we decide that it’s going to arrive right now.  No one can stop us, but us… let’s define our own destiny.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Why Did a 13-Year Old Boy Have to Die?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World

Theresa Lumpkin was, until yesterday, the mother of 13-year old Robert Freeman Jr. of Chicago. Her tenure as his parent ended with the young boy was shot and killed on the South Side of Chicago in what many believe to be a case of mistaken identity.
Witnesses say that the murder was deliberate, as the gunman shot the young boy multiple times.
"My baby was just lying there,'' said Lumpkin. "He tried to get up. He tried to fight for his mama. He tried to fight for his life.''
Neighbors who saw the incident did not want their names to be published.
"I was running out [of] the door to say, 'Stop shooting that baby,'" one neighbor said.
Robert had 22 bullet holes in his body, according to doctors. The people of the community say that he was apparently targeted because he had the same complexion, height and hairstyle of another boy who was the actual target. Police are investigating whether the shooting was due to a dispute over drugs or money.
This was the fourth teen shooting in the area this week.


Click to read.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

NCAA Exploitation Must Come to an End

Dr. Boyce Watkins - The Institute of Black Public Policy 

I wrote about a new book regarding the NCAA’s alleged exploitation of black athletes, written by University of Georgia Professor Billy Hawkins. In his recently-released book, “The New Plantation,” Hawkins goes out of his way to help us understand that the method by which the NCAA does business is not much different from the mindset of plantation owners of the old south.

The analogies used by Professor Hawkins are thought-provoking and appear to be alarmist at first glance. After all, citizens are commonly comparing nearly every modern-day injustice to slavery in order to make a dramatic point. But in this case, the analogies are appropriate, in large part because slavery is not a dichotomy. Instead, it is actually a continuum, with complete freedom on one end and total servitude on the other. One could even argue that slaves themselves were not completely devoid of freedom, since they could have always chosen to run away, buy their freedom, maim themselves or even commit suicide as a way to escape their condition. The point of this very grim example is not to say that slavery was not entirely horrific; rather, it is to say that something does not have to be entirely horrific to be compared to slavery.

Click to read

Thursday, June 10, 2010

African American Faculty Being Shut Out of Universities

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

Dr. M. Cookie Newsom

is the Director for Diversity Education and Assessment at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also a trouble maker and an angry black woman, which is likely going to cause her serious problems with her colleagues (we talked yesterday about how being angry can get a black person into serious trouble). Dr. Newsom, however, has good reason to be angry. In a recent interview with Diverse issues in Higher Education, Dr. Newsom stated in plain language that most major universities are not serious about diversifying their faculty and that this hurts all students, especially students of color.
"The dismal truth is academe doesn’t really want a racially-diverse faculty," Newsom said during a faculty diversity presentation at the American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP) annual national conference in Washington, D.C. "It’s totally a myth."

Dr. Newson based her conclusions on statistics and data she collected which shows that most major universities are good at documenting plans to increase faculty diversity, but most of it’s nothing but lip service.

Click to read more.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Is Barack Obama at Risk of Being Labeled an "Angry Black Man?"


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Monday, June 7, 2010

The Economy Recovers, but where are the jobs?

by Dr Julianne Malveaux

Our economy generated about 431,000 jobs last month. Good news? Only if you don't count the fact that more than 400,000 of the jobs were temporary jobs connected to collecting data for the Census. Those jobs won't last for long and when the dust clears the current 9.7 percent unemployment rate, down from 9.9 percent a month ago, is likely to rise again.

Still, those who are desperate for good news are clinging to the fact that there are more jobs out there. What they don't understand is that people are looking for something more than a few months of work here and there. Nearly seven million Americans have been out of work for more than half a year. What has this done to their finances?

Of course the situation is worse for African Americans, even though black unemployment dropped from 16.5 to 15.5 percent last month. The 15.5 percent is a modest estimate of what is really happening. The U6 number in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report includes discouraged workers, those working part time that really want full time work and others peripherally connected to the labor market. That number dropped last month from 17.1 to 16.6 percent for the overall population. While the BLS does not report the number for African Americans, using the same relationships, the African American U6 number is at least 25.6 percent. That means that one in four African Americans is jobless!

Click to read.

Arizona is Getting a Little Too Much Attention

Arizona isn't the only state with a racist agenda

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

Forgive me for saying this, but part me of is getting sick of hearing about Arizona. Most states only get a few days in the news cycle, but since the politicians in Arizona were crazy enough to pass a law to stifle illegal immigration in their state, our news has been seemingly flooded with one story after another about Arizona: A politician in Arizona has links to the KKK, Arizona changes its textbooks to downplay people of color, brown faces are lightened up on a mural in Arizona. It never seems to stop.

OK, I think I get the point: Arizona is a state with racist policies, at least more racist than most. Can we try to move onto something else now?

This isn't to say that there is not a level of seriousness to the illegal immigration situation in Arizona. We've figured that out. The federal government has long refused to properly enforce immigration laws, and the residents of Arizona came up with their own response, one that threatens to undermine the civil rights of every black and brown person in the state. Got it.

To some extent, the national attack on the state of Arizona smells a bit like political narcissism. The collective outrage that some have expressed over the civil liberties issues in the Arizona immigration law has been hardly present during other more serious racial atrocities that have occurred over the past 20 years.

The sense of urgency that President Obama had about the passage of the state's new immigration law has never been matched when confronting the fact that the United States incarcerates over five times more black men than South Africa did during the height of apartheid. Attorney General Eric Holder's investigation into the legality of Arizona's political decisions was never preceded by a similar investigation into the civil rights abuses of unequal funding for inner city public schools. It seems that when civil liberties of a broad Latino base were attacked, the whole country went up in arms. But when black folks have been getting abused, our needs have been put at the bottom of the to-do list.

Click to read

Monday, May 24, 2010

Killer of Black Students Gets 30 years to life

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, The Institute for Black Public Policy

Nearly three years ago, two black college students and a friend were murdered in a schoolyard in Newark, NJ. Monday, a jury returned guilty verdicts for three of the murders and one attempted murder after deliberating for less than a day.
Rodolfo Godinez, a 26-year old gang member and native of Nicaragua, was convicted of all charges against him, including multiple counts of robbery, weapons possession and conspiracy. He can get up to 30 years to life for each murder count, and the sentences can be given out consecutively.
"This man will never see the light of day," said Robert D. Laurino, the acting Essex County prosecutor.
Sentencing for Godinez is set for July 8. His lawyer, Roy Greenman, said,"Obviously, there will be an appeal on a number of grounds," but he declined to state the grounds on which he'd be filing.
The prosecution did not assert that Godinez was the one who hacked at the victims with a machete or shot each of them execution-style, in the back of the head. He was argued, however, to be the one who summoned the other gang members to the schoolyard on the night when the murders took place. The murders were particularly chilling because all four of the victims were "good kids" with no criminal history and educational plans for the future.

Click to read


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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Hundreds Come Together to Mourn Death of Aiyana Jones


Monday, May 17, 2010

Julianne Malveaux Questions the Kagan Nomination

I was among the many who were disappointed that President Barack Obama did not nominate an African American woman to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. After all, there are six white men, two women, one Latina and one white, and a nominal African American man on the Court.  Why not an African American woman?
The Black Women's Roundtable, led by Melanie Campbell, was so disappointed that they shared their concerns with the President in a letter that spoke both to the contributions African American women have made and the qualifications of a few good women that President Obama should have considered before nominating Ms. Kagan to the nation's highest court.

I won't even speak on what I perceive as some of the shortcomings of the Kagan nomination.  The Solicitor General has earned the support of some colleagues that I fully respect, such as Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree.  At the same time, we have to pause at the fact that her definition of diversity is ideological diversity, not racial and ethnic diversity, and that she seemed to make Harvard a more welcome place for conservatives, if not for African American faculty.


Click to read

Friday, April 30, 2010

Terms of the NAACP's Agreement with Wells Fargo


From Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

In light of the article I wrote challenging the partnership between the NAACP and Wells Fargo, the company accused of predatory lending in the Black community (click here to read the article), I thought I'd publicly share the NAACP lending principles that were sent to me by one of the NAACP spokes people.   In spite of the fact that I am not accusing the NAACP of illegal or unethical behavior, I still hold to the fact that the following must be true in order for me to become comfortable with this partnership:

1) There should be public accountability and transparency regarding the nature of the deal between the NAACP and Wells Fargo.  That includes the amount of the sponsorship and all WRITTEN contractual commitments between the NAACP and Wells Fargo.  Only specific terms in writing are relevant and can be properly enforced.

2) Simply agreeing to stop predatory lending is not enough, since there must be compensation given to the African-American community for tens of billions of dollars in lost wealth due to the racially discriminatory practices of Wells Fargo.  If a senior citizen on the South Side of Chicago who lost her home is not given relief from her situation, then this partnership does very little for our community.  A person cannot simply apologize for a crime and refuse to commit the crime again; there must be an effort to make right on the crimes that have been committed in the past.

The NAACP Banking Principles on Fairness in Lending are Below:


Mortgage foreclosures, excessive subprime mortgage interest rates, and hindered access to prime mortgage loans have had an inordinate impact on people of color and other historically disadvantaged borrowers. These practices have resulted in adverse effects even beyond the actual borrowers themselves. Home values have been depressed as a result of these practices, and in general people of color and their families have become increasingly vulnerable to loss of shelter, home security, equity, and wealth—even if they do not have subprime loans. To encourage transparency and fairness in the processes associated with obtaining quality loans and improved relationships between financial institutions and people of color and other historically disadvantaged borrowers, the NAACP has developed the following principles.

1. Loan terms will not be determined by a borrower’s race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, language preference, disability, religion/creed, or age, except as otherwise permitted or required by law. Additionally, loan terms will not be determined by factors designed to serve as proxies (e.g., zip codes) for the above categories. Loan terms will not be determined by subjective underwriting without controls to prevent inappropriate bias or discrimination. Similarly situated borrowers (i.e., borrowers with similar underwriting characteristics, including credit scores, debt ratios, loan-to-value ratios, etc.) will receive comparable loan terms on identical or comparable loan products.

2. Every borrower will have the option of selecting a loan product that is appropriate for his or her circumstances. Borrowers will first be presented with loan product choices that are consistent with their financial circumstances. Lenders will determine whether borrowers are eligible for prime loan products and, if so, the borrowers will be presented with prime product options. Additionally, information will be provided to the borrowers about available conventional and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan products in order for the borrowers to fully understand their options. Borrowers with good payment histories and demonstrated improvement in credit performance and other risk factors will be considered by their existing lenders for loan refinancing that result in improved loan terms.

3. Institutions will seek to eliminate policies or practices that encourage biased and exploitive behaviors toward borrowers. Lending institutions will disclose in good faith the loan fees associated with each loan and will conduct periodic audits of files, policies, and practices to ensure an environment—in lending, credit, and payment options—that is free of bias toward borrowers. Additionally, lenders who sell loans on the secondary market to third parties will also observe these fairness principles and will refrain from charging usurious interest rates.

4. Borrowers will be approved only for loans they have a current ability to repay. Borrowers will receive loans that they demonstrate the ability to repay, even in the event of a rate increase. Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) and other loans will not be underwritten at the “teaser rate,” but rather at the fully indexed interest rate. Standard adjustable rate loan products will be clearly identified as such to borrowers, so they are fully aware of the terms of the ARM loan products and the possibility of interest rate and payment increases.

5. Each policy may be maintained and monitored for its racial impact. Fairness is measured not only in terms of intent, but also impact. Policies will reflect a demonstrated effort to ameliorate negative outcomes based on race or ethnicity. Each institution will have internal controls to determine overall, and within the subprime community of loans issued by the institution, that its neutral practices do not have an unlawful adverse impact based on grounds of race, sex, color, or ethnicity.

6. All borrowers will have access to free information, online and in print, that will help them understand and improve the quality of their loans. The terms of each loan will be provided to the borrower and explained in plain and simple language. The terms of the loan will be in a large font and easily legible to those who are not severely vision-impaired. If the borrower is fluent in Spanish but not English, the loan disclosures and documents will be translated. In the case of other languages, borrowers without access to loan translation expertise will be referred to phone-based or other translation services that are familiar with loan terms and conditions. All borrowers should be able to clearly understand the terms of their loan products.

7. Lenders will work with borrowers to prevent foreclosures. Loan servicers will consider foreclosure to be the “last resort” and will explore all appropriate alternatives before completing a foreclosure sale. Because these matters impact borrowers, their neighbors, and the institution, we believe it wise for the institution to engage in extended good-faith efforts to do all that it can to prevent foreclosures. Lenders and their affiliates will not operate using a business model intentionally designed to profit from a foreclosure.

8. Lending institutions will support and implement the inclusion of diverse suppliers in their contracting and partnership decisions. Financial institutions will establish aspirational and measurable goals and develop supplier programs that ensure the inclusion of businesses owned by women- and people of color wherever contracting and partnership opportunities present themselves. Goals will be, at the very least, to reflect the various racial, ethnic, and gender compositions of the general population.

9. Workforce diversity is important to fair decision making and expanded opportunity for economic development. From the boardroom to the cubicle, the workforce continuum will reflect the diversity of the nation. As financial institutions establish inclusive business policies, so too will there be a measurable effort to employ a workforce that is reflective of the growing diversity of the nation—at all decision-making levels within the institution.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dr. Boyce Discusses Problems with Henry Louis Gates' Analysis

Henry Louis Gates gets slavery's history all wrong

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. recently wrote an interesting piece for the New York Times called, "Ending the Slavery Blame Game." In the piece, Gates effectively argues that the fight for reparations is convoluted and somewhat mitigated by the fact that African elites participated in the slave trade. While describing complex business deals made between some African leadership and the Europeans who brought Africans to the New World, it almost appears as though Gates is saying that this disturbing relationship somehow undermines the right of African-Americans to hold our government accountable for its involvement in crimes committed against our people.

At very least, I am under the assumption that by "ending the slavery blame game," Gates is arguing that we should stop blaming the United States government and white America for the rape, murder, castration, lynching and beating of our ancestors.

Sorry Dr. Gates, but I must respectfully (or perhaps not so respectfully) disagree. If a young girl is sold into prostitution by her own parents, the pimp must still pay for the suffering he caused the young woman. He can't simply say, "Her parents made a deal with me, so you should stop the blame game."

In other words, the United States, as a broad and powerful industrial entity, benefited from slavery to the tune of several trillion dollars. Much of this wealth was passed down from one white man to another, and was always out of the grasp of the black men, women and children who gave their lives on American soil in order to earn it. As a result, the median net worth of the African-American family is roughly one-tenth that of white American families and we have consistently higher unemployment due to our inability to create jobs, since white Americans own most businesses. These facts hold true without regard to how the African-American holocaust started in the first place. They also hold true because wealth and power are commodities that are passed down inter-generationally, and we missed out on all of this because we were slaves. What occurred after we left Africa can and must be considered independently from what happened while our forefathers were in the mother land.



Click to read

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Resident Scholar - AOL Black Voices


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Harvard's Charles Ogletree Describes Sharpton's Link to Obama

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The Black Agenda: Wealth-Building Must Top the List - Dr. Boyce Money

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Officer Charged With Beating a Motorist

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Financial Lovemaking: Tiger, Tiki and the High Cost of Cheating

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Jay-Z Sues Red Sox Slugger David Ortiz Over 40/40 Club Name

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Bill O'Reilly Gets Booed at Sharpton's National Convention

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President Obama Spends $18 Billion on Jobless Benefits

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Police May Have Coerced Boys to Confess to Gang Rape of 7-Year-Old

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Former NAACP President Benjamin Hooks Dead at 85

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Man With HIV Knowingly Infected Women, Set to Be Released From Prison

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Kennedy Family Member Staying in Prison on Murder Conviction

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Mississippi Gov. Says Slavery Conversation is Not Important

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NBA Star Derrick Coleman is Now Broke: $87 Million Up in Smoke

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Michael Steele Tries to Explain Himself to Other Republicans

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Suspects Found in Slaying of Newlywed Couple

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Black Men Aren't Graduating from College



by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

Last week, the American Council on Education issued a report on the state of black males in the higher education system.  The report reveals some interesting and disturbing trends.  It turns out that black men are graduating from college at a rate which lags significantly behind other ethnic groups. When determining graduation probabilities over a six-year period, black males were found to have a graduation rate of 35 percent.   This compares with rates of 59 percent, 46 percent and 45 percent for white males, hispanic males and black women, respectively.  In other words, black men are a little more than half as likely to finish college when compared to their white male counterparts.

I have been a black man for my entire life now, and I’ve taught at the college level for the past 17 years.  So, perhaps I can shed some light on the nature of these problems and how we might work to solve them.  Some of the factors are institutional and some are cultural, so prepare to be offended by at least one of the things I have to say:

RELATED: Why Aren’t Minorities Graduating From College?

1) Most American universities refuse to hire or retain African American professors, including many HBCUs: If your professors look like you, you are more likely to relate to that individual and enjoy the class.  When I went to The University of Kentucky, Indiana University and The Ohio State University (where I earned my PhD), I didn’t see one single professor who looked like me (and I took A LOT of classes).  This made for an incredibly awkward and damn near traumatic educational experience.  When I first noticed institutions like Morehouse College presenting images of black males in the front of the classroom, I was envious after realizing what I’d been missing.  Rather than finding excuses for firing or not hiring black professors, most universities would be well-advised to stop lying to themselves and become serious about diversity.  Yes, black professors are out there to hire if you are looking for them, but many academic departments find a reason to believe that they are not qualified.  Just look at the experiences of myself, Cornell West and Michael Eric Dyson as cases in point.  Each of us has received significant resistance in our careers because our work is connected to the black community. Our stories are just the tip of the iceberg, since there are thousands of black professors who’ve gone through the exact same experience when dealing with the entrenched racism of academia.  Many HBCUs are not immune to this trend, as most of them don’t have very many African American professors (Don’t believe me?  Go to the Computer Science Department or Business School at any random HBCU and count the number of African American professors).


Click to read

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Is Michael Steele Going to Ever Confront the Racist Tea Baggers?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

The Tea Party Protesters might need a little bit of brand management to overcome the growing perception that they represent a racist, homophobic, extremist fringe of disgruntled voters. The most recent incident of very bad PR came this week, as a small group of Tea Party protesters gathered on Capitol Hill and yelled "n*gger" and "f*ggot" at members of Congress as they walked past the crowd. The group has taken heat for the actions of those who don't know how to be cordial in their discourse, and it's not good for the Republican Party.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele was put in yet another awkward position, trying to defend that which is not defensible. A man who appears to be disrespected at every turn by his own party, Steel dismissed those using the n-word within the Tea Party group as "idiots out there saying stupid things." Of course, Steele was not in a position to dismiss the Tea Partiers themselves, likely because they would have put him in a pile with the other black people they hate the most.

Click to read

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Prof. Boyce Watkins Addresses Stanford University NAACP

From Your Black World, AOL Black Voices 

Dr. Boyce Watkins, faculty affiliate at The College Sport Research Institute, is going to speak to the Stanford NAACP on Wednesday, March 3.  The topic of the conversation will be “Does the NCAA Represent an Opportunity or Exploitation?”

Dr. Watkins is one of the leading authorities on NCAA compensation.  He has advocated for college athletes to be paid, and founded the group ALARM: The Athlete Liberation and Academic Reform Movement.  He is also the founder of the Your Black World Coalition, with 60,000 members nation-wide.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

TheGrio Speaks – 2/20/10