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60-year journey from segregation

Because I was a horribly ill-behaved child, I found myself shipped from San Francisco to Moss Point, Miss., in August 1969. My mother’s plan was that I’d spend my junior year in high school there and live with my schoolteacher aunt, Annie Mae Randall, who was somewhat affectionally known as the «kid breaker.” It was legend if you did not understand rules she would beat them into you, but her method was unli ...

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Indenturing our young people

The young in America are being forced into cruel levels of debt, and this debt is already curbing their life prospects. Its economic effects are damaging to everyone. Yet, with Washington frozen, the debt burdens on the young are likely to get worse. For the young, a college education or post-high school professional training is the equivalent of what a high school degree was a generation ago. College is th ...

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Crisis in education

We may as well call it “Edu-pay-tion, as far as many prospective students are concerned. The cost of a college degree has risen 1,120 percent since 1978,” but wages have increased a mere six percent during that same period. The national collective college debt is more than $1 trillion! We have college grads mired in $29,000 of debt, on average, while they are looking for jobs that do not exist. Parents and ...

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Me and Jet magazine

Jet magazine’s becoming an online-only publication is not something to cheer about. For me personally, especially pre-1990s, JET was the magazine I read most often and most thoroughly. It played a significant role in my becoming what my grandfather and his friends used to call “a race man.” ...

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Civic leaders demand Olumba’s ouster

We, the undersigned, write to you today about the status of John Olumba, the state representative for the 3rd District. We are offended Mr. Olumba has moved out of the district that elected him. This move has been reported in the local media and is corroborated by his neighbors. The law requires an elected state representative to reside in the district in which he or she represents for a reason: so he or sh ...

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Media darlings

Two men who present themselves as leaders in the community are practicing objectionable examples of hypocrisy. Both men are highly visible, appearing daily on television and radio. One of them has two shows airing on TV, which is a rarity. Since nothing appears on television that isn’t planned (even the “news”) then these two men must be doing something right according to the planning of their respective bo ...

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The first word in May Day is ‘International’

As we unite to celebrate International Workers’ Day, we rightfully focus on how capitalism has devastated our beloved city of Detroit and the other majority African American cities here in Michigan. In the words of Cindy Sheehan, we are at the cutting edge here in the U.S. of the global financial crisis. It is we the people who are catching hell no matter which way we look — from the ragged roads beneath ou ...

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Subsidies for gentrification

I was disappointed in the panel’s response, specifically Phil Cooley’s, to a question at the Two Detroits? Gentrification. forum: “How does subsidized housing effect gentrification? Not subsidized housing for poor folk to create mixed income neighborhoods, but subsidization for upscale corporate folks like Quicken Loans employees (add DTE, Blue Cross, Compuware, and so on) in the Cass Corridor and Corktown. ...

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Reparations are imperative: The stagnant “State of Black America”

I recently attended the release of the National Urban League’s Annual State of Black America Report at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The report is an extremely important document because it provides key indicators of Black progress in a number of social and economic areas in relationship to white Americans. This year’s report, One Nation Underemployed: Jobs Rebuild America, focuses on the crit ...

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Billion dollar debt-buying and collection abuses

Are you or someone you know being pursued or harassed late into the evenings and on weekends by debt collectors? If so, research shows that you are among one-in-seven Americans being pursued by debt collection agencies. In a newly-released chapter in its State of Lending series, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) found that debt buying and debt collection is big, big business. Among publicly-traded de ...

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