Insight News

Oct 04th


The Black Press: A weapon in the Black freedom struggle

I was privileged to attend the Annual Conference of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the trade association for more than 200 newspapers in Black America. I was also honored to receive NNPA's North Star Community Service Award, which is named after the militant newspaper founded by Frederick Douglass in 1847. It was a real treat to have the opportunity to meet and interact with Black writers and publishers from around the country. As a kid I can remember being a paperboy for the Pittsburgh Courier in the Hill District of the "steel city." Every Thursday you could hear the voices of young boys hollering out "get your Pittsburgh Courrrrrrrrrier!" The few nickels and dimes I collected put some change in my pocket and enabled me to stride with a little pride. When I moved to Youngstown, Ohio, the Buckeye Review was the principal voice for the Black community. Founded by Earl B. Dickerson, this cherished news organ was passed on to McCullough Williams, Jr. and eventually Margaret Linton-Lanier. For a time I served as Advertising Director for the Buckeye Review.

A toast to the administrative state

There was much laughter following the presidents signing of the health care bill.  Democrats were positively giddy over having successfully secured America’s decline.  There were fist bumps and back slapping; the champagne flowed. 

Democrats were not alone in their celebration.  Republicans too shook hands with constituents and lapped up attention and praise for, let’s face it, having done very little. But, hey, why let that spoil a good time?  My fear is that not only will Republicans not “repeal the bill” should they take control of congress after the mid-term elections, but that in the very near future Republican candidates will also be running on promises to nurture it.  Such is my confidence in the current GOP.

To the Editor: My thoughts about Special Education and the African American adolescent male.

If it takes a village to raise a child, then is it feasible to come together as a community to raise our African American males who are in special education? Studies across the county and in Minnesota revealed that there is an overrepresentation of African American males in the special educational system.  Legislation known as NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and IDEIA (Individual with Disabilities Education Improvement) provides resources for the success of youths with disabilities and their families. 

Life after the Election

Life after the ElectionLife for me after this past election cycle has been an interesting process of rebuilding a more profound life step by step.

I ran for a seat on the Minneapolis City Council because of my great dissatisfaction with how our community has been treated, engaged and represented. I also wanted to explore life beyond the level I was currently at. I had been in a funk for the past two years after the death of my youngest brother prior to my run for 5th Ward City council. After his death in 2006, I lost interest in everything including my responsibilities to support my life and eventually grew very tired of the world that surrounded me. I made the choice that I needed to be refreshed and pushed to greater heights in my life and I was willing to put everything that I had into it. I had nothing to lose because I felt as if I had already hit rock bottom, so I had nowhere to go but up.

Obamacare: At what price?

Reforming health care in America is proving complicated.  Until now, every attempt to provide Americans universal health coverage, as most other leading nations already do, has failed.  Each of the 200 countries on our planet devises its own arrangements for keeping people healthy, treating the sick, and protecting families against financial ruin from medical costs.  America has been the lone exception among 32 of the 33 developed nations that have universal health care.

A home is where wealth is

Despite expansive and deep-seated beliefs in the American Dream’s egalitarian concept America’s structure still perpetuates racial and class inequalities.  At the base of “the American Dream” is homeownership.  A home is equal parts family sanctuary and wealth asset.  A home is a status symbol of substance.  Homeownership provides: shelter and security and elevated community involvement and in democratic institutions.   So, in the worst real estate market since the 1940s on whom do we rely to eradicate racial and class inequalities in homeownership? During the nation’s economic downturn homeownership rates among minority communities declined significantly.

Go beyond high school

The percentage of high school students who went on to college or trade school within a year of finishing high school climbed from 47 percent in 1973 to 67 percent in 2007. That’s good news; our students are falling behind other industrialized nations in terms of graduation rates and we must play catch up. The bad news is that many young people, gifted in their own ways, don’t feel college is for them simply because they don’t thrive in the classroom.  Higher education, more often than not, promises economic stability and career growth for those who go after it, more so than a high school diploma. But, with our nation’s focus on colleges and universities, we may be losing some very talented young people and damaging our future workforce.
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