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The Bottom Line

After two years of operation, the Bottom Line Cafe has established itself as a Midtown option for coffee and tea drinkers, as well as a creative space for local artists. Located in the basement of the Beethoven Apartments, this growing Black-owned coffee shop is tucked in the Cass Corridor area at Third and Prentis. Since opening in July 2012, Kyle Harris and his parents Al and Pat serve the fast-paced life ...

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ICP confronts the FBI in court

Metro Detroit rap group Insane Clown Posse has made national headlines in recent months, not for their controversial comic book horror lyrics or popular television series, but for challenging the FBI, which has labeled ICP fans a criminal gang. The case brings light to the subjective way the FBI designates gang affiliation. In 2011, the Federal Bureau of Investigation shocked the music world by designating ...

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Stop brain pollution: Racism, stereotypes and prejudice

When I take a stroll through my memories, I always seem to come to the first basketball game I ever attended. I and the rest of my Girl Scout troop were jumping around New York City — high off excitement and candy. We were going to see the New York Liberty Women’s basketball team. Though the fog of time obscures the details, I remember jogging down the city block when a woman in front of me dropped her mone ...

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‘Raising Black Males’

I am so very disturbed by the issue regarding the Cass Tech quarterback, Jayru Campbell. I have seen the video of the body slam of the security guard. I watched as Jayru’s single mother was interviewed, sharing how her son does not know how to release his anger appropriately. Then, I watched as the media, law enforcement, educational professionals and students have weighed in on the charges filed by the Way ...

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State of Black Detroit: Where do we go from here?

In 1973, a more hopeful time for African Americans, Coleman Young became the city’s first Black mayor and the outlook for Black political and economic empowerment appeared to be sure. Forty years later, Detroit is in the process of an emergency manager-led bankruptcy — the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Under emergency management, democratic values and practices are gone. The mostly Black cit ...

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Holder calls for voting rights for convicted felons

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who recently called for restoration of voting rights for felons who served their sentences, said the restriction has a disparate effect on African Americans. Felony-voter disenfranchisement began after Reconstruction so whites could diminish the voting strength of free Black men, Holder said. “Throughout America, 2.2 million Black citizens — or nearly one in 13 African Ame ...

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What are the odds?

Twice now, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Stephen Rhodes has rejected proposed settlements that would enable the city of Detroit to extricate itself from terribly costly obligations known as “interest rate swaps.” These swaps were essentially a huge gamble, with the city betting that interest rates would rise over time when it borrowed more than $1.4 billion back in 2005-06 to shore up its two pension funds. I ...

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Puerto Rico is insolvent

Puerto Rico, a colony of the United States, had its bonds dropped to junk status in early February by all three ratings agencies. The U.S. colony of 3.6 million people of color is entering its eighth year of recession with official unemployment at 14.7 percent. The amount of debt that bankers claim against the island is over $70 billion. The newly-elected Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla is cutting governm ...

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Detroit’s bankruptcy focus of new reporting collaborative: New Michigan Media newspapers join the effort

Five of the largest ethnic and minority newspapers have a critical role in a new reporting project examining the city’s bankruptcy and its effect on the region. Funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the project involves four nonprofit media organizations as well as New Michigan Media (NMM). All the media outlets, as part of the grant, will form the Detroit Journalism Cooperative where coordi ...

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Loans available for Detroit small businesses

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation is offering a new line of small business loans. This new infusion of dollars could aid entrepreneurs who are currently operating and those that wish to operate in low-income communities. Working with the Small Business Administration and its Community Advantage program, LISC will provide loans under $250,000 to small businesses that put down roots in distressed neig ...

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