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‘Renaissance for Black films’

Last year, the film entertainment industry set a record with box office receipts totaling $11 billion. Black filmmakers, directors and actors in leading roles were a large part of the industry’s success. On March 2, “12 Years a Slave” won the Academy Award for Best Picture, the first time in the event’s 85-year history that a film directed by a Black person won the distinction. ...

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Benton Harbor EM gone, but no self-rule yet

Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Tony Saunders left town March 7, but democracy did not re-appear in this southwestern Michigan city, one of the nation’s poorest. Gov. Rick Snyder immediately appointed a Receivership Transition Advisory Board to take control of the city. The board’s powers and duties are laid out in 11-pages of orders left by Saunders. The orders can be viewed at http://bentonharborcity.com/ ...

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Young, Black and afraid of the system

The Michael Dunn trial and two-year anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death lead young African American men into the 21st century cynical of the American judicial system. According to Brenda Stevenson, Professor of History at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), recent high-profile judicial cases involving young Black men underscored a disparity in the justice system that African Americans have alway ...

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University of Chicago to name building in honor of Gordon Parks

The George Lucas Family Foundation, named in honor of George Lucas, the filmmaker who made the science fiction classic “Star Wars,” and his wife, Mellody Hobson, have donated $25 million to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools for construction of a building that will be named in honor of African American filmmaker, photographer and writer Gordon Parks. The building, scheduled to open in 2015, will b ...

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Black women still penalized for race and gender

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed race and gender-based discrimination. Now, 50 years later, Black women still suffer under the double-whammy of race and gender. Stephanie Coontz, co-chair of Council on Contemporary Families (CCF) and director of Research and Public Education, made that point at a symposium sponsored by the CCF, a nonprofit nonpartisan family research think tank. ...

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Nagin to be sentenced June 11

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Louisiana Weekly Former New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin has made headlines by becoming the first mayor in New Orleans’ nearly 300-year history to be tried and convicted for a crime committed while in office. Nagin, a New Orleans businessman and Democrat who famously vowed to root out corruption once elected, was found guilty on 20 of 21 counts in a federal court. ...

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Debate looms over dividing state surplus

Tax cuts or a tax rebate? Pensions or a bailout for Detroit? While there isn’t a simple way to get lawmakers to agree about what to do with an expected $971 million surplus in state revenue, economists have a simple message: Don’t get too excited. “The amount involved is quite small relative to the whole budget,” said Doug Roberts, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan ...

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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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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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