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Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty still only partly won

Fifty years ago last week, Medgar Evers, the NAACP regional secretary in Mississippi, was murdered by a member of the White Citizens’ Council. Evers’ death received national attention, serving only to strengthen the movement for civil rights. Two years later, President Lyndon Johnson delivered a historic commencement address at Howard University, laying out progress made and challenges unmet. ...

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Understanding the need for full employment

The Social Security Trust Fund report has been released. One of its more telling charts was of the trend in Social Security revenue. Social Security revenue comes from a tax on the wages of earners, paid by both employees and employers. So, essentially it tracks the level of employment. Based on the simple trend of revenues from 1990 to 2007, just before the Great Recession started, 2012 revenue would have ...

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Juneteenth is worth celebrating

Did you know the official African American holidays are: Kwanzaa, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Juneteenth? What do you and your family do to celebrate Juneteenth? Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, the Juneteenth holiday is an abbreviated form of “June Nineteenth.” It marks the day Blacks in Texas belatedly received word that President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had freed the ...

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We need our fathers

I believe one of the greatest problems facing the Black community is fatherlessness. If you at look at problems such as incarceration, drug addiction, gangs, teen pregnancy, dropping out, crime, suspension, retention and special education, the common cause is fatherlessness. Every child needs a father, and no one needs him more than Black boys. Only 28 percent of Black youth have their fathers in the home. ...

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Maintaining Black political momentum

Hooray! The Associated Press reported that African Americans voted at a higher rate than whites in 2012 for the first time in history. Was it because there was a Black man running for president or because threats of voter suppression? Was it a combination of the two? Or, did white America vote in fewer numbers because they felt, like many Blacks have felt for years, that neither candidate represented them a ...

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Does Big Brother have a racial bias?

When George Orwell wrote the novel “1984,” he envisioned a character, a real or imagined “Big Brother” who was a know-all, see-all, omnipotent and elusive presence that intruded into lives because he could. Those who knew about “him” were told that they did not exist, but in many ways, Big Brother may not have existed either. The omnipotence had taken on a life of its own. ...

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No more lectures

When I was at Lafayette Park (across from the White House) recently checking the logistics/arrangements for Institute of the Black World’s June 17 Day of Direct Action to pressure President Barack Obama to end the “War on Drugs” and invest in inner-city Black communities, I confess to having been filled with pride thinking about the reality of a Black family occupying the White House. ...

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Hypocrisy in the Michigan aristocracy: Give us art and the people be damned

Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr was doing all right until he obviously, to some, “stepped outta line.” Talking about a Pandora’s Box being opened, here is one. If ever there was a case of political hypocrisy and blatant demagoguery, it is in the State of Michigan by those who originally cheered for and legislated into action Michigan’s new misguided Emergency Manager Law. ...

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The uneven recovery

Although the overall unemployment rate still exceeds 7 percent and the official Black unemployment rate is greater than 13 percent, there are some who insist there is a robust economic recovery in progress. Indeed, we were declared “post recession” in 2011 based on the definition of recovery as GDP growth for three quarters in a row. ...

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The life of many single mothers

I know I am one of many who can say “I was raised by a single mother.” A recent study by Legal Momentum reminded us that being a single mother can be, and often is, a challenge. It’s easy for one who comes from a two parent home to ask why so many African Americans, especially highly paid athletes, pay tribute to their mothers when the cameras turn to them. It’s almost 100 percent certain when one of us rec ...

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