Saturday, April 30, 2011

Regal Black Women from Around the World

Royal Report: 6 Regal Black Women from Around the World



Royal Report: 6 Regal Black Women from Around the World


Royal Report: 6 Regal Black Women from Around the World


Click here to read about these women and others on Black Enterprise

What if Kate Middleton Were Black?


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, YourBlackWorld.comScholarship in Action 

If there were a royal wedding being held in Africa, would CNN spend an entire week covering it?  If not, what does that say about race, if anything at all? 

I couldn’t help but feel entirely disconnected from the ceremony that was being shown all over our television sets at the same time hundreds of people were being killed in an Alabama tornado.  I kept wondering if the fantasy of the British fairytale had more relevance to news producers than the reality of death and devastation.

Friday, April 29, 2011

KeyShia Cole’s Mother Arrested for Drugs

keyshia coles mom arrested

Frankie Lons, the mother of superstar Keyshia Cole, was arrested for "misdemeanor possession of drug-related materials" and "probation violation."  Frankie is the star of Celebrity Rehab.  Wow.

Black Americans Not Getting Good Financial Advice


by TEWire
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Afro American Newspapers
Originally posted 4/27/2011

Only two out of every 10 African-Americans are on a path to achieve their retirement goals, according to a six-month-old survey of Blacks conducted by a major wealth manager.


click to read

Do Black Women Have a Preference for Thugs? (Video)


In this episode of Your Black Love, Deborrah Cooper and I ask whether or not black women have a preference for dating men that are not good for them.

Do you know a woman who dates one bad guy after another and then seems to spend all of her time whining about the fact that she can never find a good man?  Yea, I have too.  Well, it seems to me that, at some point, we must all have some degree of accountability for our relationship choices. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Whatever Happened to Natural Hair Care?

by Leslie Detouche  - Your Black World 

How can we forget Lauryn Hill revamping the natural hair revolution? Well, in case you were wondering - the revolution is still going on. Black women are constantly being encouraged to embrace their roots so to speak. One of the leading natural hair care stylist in the business, sits at the helm of this interesting plight of sorts. Ms Malaika-Tamu Cooper is the owner of Dreadz N' Headz natural hair care center, located in northwest Baltimore Maryland.

Click to read more

 Visit to join our coalition!

My Visit to See Rocky Clark


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black WorldScholarship in Action 

Today, I stood in the presence of a true soldier. I went to the hospital in Chicago to visit Rasul “Rocky” Clark, the young brother who was paralyzed 10 years ago in a football accident at the age of 16. Rocky was paralyzed from the neck down, only able to move his head and nothing else. His legs and arms are thinner than anything I’ve ever seen, he can barely breathe, and he’s dying right now because his insurance company decided to kill his policy.

Rocky’s mother, Annette, has stood by her son day-in and day-out every single day since the accident. She has a bed right next to him in the hospital and repeatedly told me that “I’m not gonna leave my baby.” Every normal day seems to be abnormally tragic, with nurses cleaning bacteria out of Rocky’s one remaining lung, and the young man quietly repeating the words, “Mama, I can’t breathe.”

Whoopi Goldberg Calls Donald Trump Out for his Racism


Your Black World Reports

It appears that Whoopi Goldberg has had enough.  The host, who normally defends men accused of racism (i.e. Mel Gibson and Ted Danson), found herself highly offended by Donald Trump’s reference to President Obama playing basketball and then stating that Obama was not qualified to get into Harvard. 

Beyonce and Naomi….Are they Twins or Does One Look Better?


Oprah Winfrey Asks President Obama about the Birth Certificate

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey

Your Black World Reports

On a recent appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, President Barack Obama was asked about the birth certificate issue.  The president recently released his birth certificate to the public in order to squash growing controversy about his birthplace.

"Why did you wait so long, though?" Oprah asked. "When it first came up, were you thinking, I hope I was born here?"

Should You Need a License to Braid Hair? A Woman Files a Lawsuit Over the Issue


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World – Scholarship in Action 

Jestina Clayton is a woman in Utah who is originally from Sierra Leone in West Africa.  She does African braiding part-time in order to make extra money.  She is now being confronted with the loss of significant income, since a law in the state of Utah claims that you must have a full cosmetology license in order to braid hair.

Clayton filed suit this week in the court of law.  She is being backed by the Institute for Justice, a Virginia-based organization that helps people like Clayton challenge unjust laws.

Denver Broncos Player Jason Hunter Stabbed by His Girlfriend

Your Black World Reports

Jason Hunter of the Denver Broncos was stabbed by his girlfriend Wednesday morning, according to police.  Hunter is currently in stable condition.

"There case is still being investigated, so there are a lot of details we don't have yet," Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens said.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tyler Perry Launches Third Series on TBS

The prolific writer/director/actor has signed his latest deal with the Turner-owned network for "For Better or Worse," a dramedy series based on his "Why Did I Get Married?" film franchise.

Michael Jai White ("The Dark Knight") and Tasha Smith ("Couples Retreat") are set to reprise their big-screen roles as television anchor Marcus and salon owner Angela.

The Impact of Fatherless Homes


Please watch this PSA that shows the devastating impact of fatherless homes on the African American community.  The video is incredibly powerful. Tanya McDowell Pleads Not –Guilty

NORWALK, Conn. -- A homeless single mother who lives in her van pleaded not guilty Wednesday to stealing nearly $16,000 worth of education for her son by enrolling the kindergartener in her baby sitter's school district.

Tanya McDowell, 33, was arraigned in Norwalk, where she was arrested April 14 on felony charges of committing and attempting to commit first-degree larceny.

Prosecutors say McDowell used her baby sitter's address to enroll her son in Norwalk schools in the fall but should have registered the boy in nearby Bridgeport, a significantly poorer urban district and the location of her last permanent address.

Diamond Breland: A Young Woman’s Take on the Tonya McDowell Case

Dr. Bobby Jones Brings Christians Together for the Kentucky Derby


Your Black World Reports

Dr. Bobby Jones, “The Ambassador of Gospel,” is seeking to bring Christians together for the Kentucky Derby.   He is part of the “Kentucky Derby Christian Music and Comedy Cabaret,” which is set to be a blast for Jones and everyone else in attendance. It is one of the first efforts to bring thousands of Christians together for a Kentucky Derby event.

The event will include performances from The Nashville Superior Choir, Debra D. Winans, the Legendary Gospel Group, The Dynamic Dixie Travelers, The Danya Band and more. 

Tickets and more information can be obtained at

Things I Learned about Tyler Perry While Being Interviewed by Mo’Nique

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black WorldScholarship in Action 

I watched Tyler Perry last night on the Mo’Nique Show on BET.  It was an interesting interview, with Mo’Nique fawning over Tyler’s brilliance in the way you would expect an actress to kiss up to one of the most powerful filmmakers in the world.  I fully expect that Mo’Nique will get some coveted roles in future Tyler Perry films.

A Black Prof Discusses Racial Bias in Financial Decisions

Your Black World reports

Have you ever tried to get a loan, and felt that you weren’t being treated the same as if you were white?  What about watching that promotion at work being given to the white guy down the hall when you were the one slaving night and day for 20 years?  Well, this feeling is not uncommon.  A recent survey at showed that nearly 90% of African Americans feel that they’ve experienced some kind of discrimination in the workplace.  In spite of our having a black president and attorney general, new laws have not been introduced to help people of color fight discrimination in the workplace.

Another prominent type of discrimination is the racial bias in other kinds of financial decisions.  Millions of black people were victims of predatory lending during the recent financial crisis, leading to a massive decline in black family wealth over the last decade.  Additionally, the ability to build a business, get government contracts or do other things to create financial security for your family can be impacted by the color of your skin.  Prof. Stephanie Yates Rauterkus at The University of Alabama Birmingham speaks on the topic in the video below.

Click here to watch the video

To join the Your Black World Coalition, please visit

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rocky Clark is Dying: Unless We Find a Way to Help

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

To join our coalition for Rocky, please visit

I woke up thinking about a person I met just two weeks ago.    I was thinking about this man because he is going to die unless we find a way to help him.  He is paralyzed from the neck down, has one working lung and that lung has enough blood clots in it to kill him.

Meet Rasul “Rocky” Clark, a 27-year old man living in Illinois.  Rocky was once a promising young high school athlete at Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, Il.  His future came to a halt when he took a bad hit on the football field that left him with the inability to ever use his arms or legs again.  As you can probably imagine, the earth-shattering transition from being a healthy 16-year old boy to becoming a quadriplegic is beyond daunting, and many of us could never recover from this kind of devastation.

NBC: School Says They Weren’t Responsible for Charging Tonya McDowell

From NBC Connecticut

A homeless, unemployed mom from Bridgeport has gained a lot of attention after she was arrested for sending her 6-year-old son to school, and now the school is saying they did not go after her.

Tanya McDowell, 33, has been accused of stealing $15,686 worth of education for her son from Norwalk when they were staying in Bridgeport.

McDowell told police she was living in a van and occasionally sleeping at a Norwalk shelter or a friend's Bridgeport apartment when she enrolled her 6-year-old son at Norwalk's Brookside Elementary.

Patrice Johnson Speaks on The Bad Girls Club

wilmarie sena

by: Patrice Johnson, Black College Students

Wilmarie from Bad Girls Club Season 6

After watching this LAME season of Bad Girls Club I realized that the “baddest” Bad Girl was only on the show for about a week but she definitely made a mark that will last for many seasons to come.

Wilmarie “Wilma” Sena from New Jersey was the BEST Bad Girl in my opinion because she never just talked about what she could do to someone, she showed you what she could do to somebody, the somebody being “the football player” Nikki.

Click to read

Nicki Minaj to Attend the Royal Wedding

Your Black World reports

Hip hop star Nicki Minaj has reportedly rented a spot near Westminster Abbey, where the royal wedding is set to take place.  The problem is that she wasn’t actually invited to the wedding, but just wants to be there to see it.   Prince William and Kate Middleton are going to be married on April 29, and despite being on tour with Britney Spears, Minaj has rented a private jet to take her across the world to check out the events.

I guess this refutes the notion that hip-hop stars don’t believe in fairy tales.

Dr. Boyce Spotlight: Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe Works to Save the Black Male in America

Dr. Bledsoe_Pic

As I mentioned last night on the Bev Smith Show, saving the black male in America is one of the most critical problems being faced by our community today.  Over the last 30 years, black males have been subject to mass incarceration (mostly due to drug felonies after the Reagan Administration opened the door for the crack cocaine epidemic), subject to massive handgun violence (as guns followed the flow of drugs), and poor educational systems (we know how bad inner city schools are in America).  As a result, many of these men are poorly equipped to become good husbands and fathers later in life, leading to the suffering of an entire community.  The majority of black homes are fatherless, and our boys are bombarded with media that tells them to emulate the behavior of self-destructive hip-hop stars, or to toss away educational opportunities in exchange for an athletic lottery ticket.  Something needs to be done.

Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe and his organization are working to solve these problems.  Fighting for the black male is not popular in a society that is designed to destroy us.  But even if society wants to see us dead and gone, that gives us no excuse to endorse the idea of killing ourselves and each other.  It is for his outstanding work in the black community that Dr. Bledsoe is today’s Dr. Boyce Spotlight on Your Black World:

1) What is your name and what do you do?

A Man Shares His Story About Being Investigated for Sending Child to "Wrong" School


Dr. Watkins,

What you see happening in Norwalk , CT is not an isolated incident in my state.

My name is Jim Zygmont, I was investigated, staked out, and brought before a judge by the Fairfield (CT) Board of Education because of my desire to have my brother receive a high school education at a considerably good school.

I was born and raised in the projects of Stamford (CT). My brother is White/African American and I am white. He looks more African American than he does white, if you know what I mean.

Long story short, my brother lived in a home that was broken, influenced by drugs, and supported by a single mother.. When my brother was in high school, my mother moved out of state. He became dangerously at risk of not finishing high school. That’s when my other brother and I took action.

Tonya McDowell in ColorLines magazine

From Colorlines Magazine

A homeless Connecticut mother has been arrested and charged with larceny for allegedly stealing her son’s education from a public school police say he had no right to attend. Tanya McDowell is a 33-year-old Bridgeport resident who used her babysitter’s address in Norwalk, where the schools were better, so her five-year-old son Andres Justin Paches could go to school. A.J. was enrolled in Brookside Elementary School’s kindergarten from September to January. They’ve been living out of her van.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tyler Perry Speaks on Spike Lee…..Again

Your Black World Reports

Tyler Perry keeps answering questions about Spike Lee, who has been critical of his films as of late.  After his latest film, “Madea’s Big Happy Family,”  Perry had this to say about Spike:

Yahoo News Writes about The Tonya McDowell and Kelley Williams-Bolar Cases

From Yahoo News

Education activists are rallying around a homeless woman who may face jail time for enrolling her son in kindergarten under a friend's address. Supporters say the woman's story is yet another dismaying example of inequality in the U.S. education system.

Tanya McDowell, a homeless single mother from Bridgeport, is charged with first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny for signing up her 5-year-old son to attend nearby Norwalk schools under the address of a friend. (Her son went to the school for four months. Her friend has been evicted from public housing for letting McDowell use her address.) McDowell may face up to 20 years in prison and a $15,000 fine if convicted.

Gwen Samuel, a Connecticut education activist, is organizing a press conference to try to get the charges dropped and raise awareness about parents who are criminally prosecuted, rather than dealt with individually by the school district, for using false addresses.

Surviving Dating: Figuring Out How to Have Healthy Relationships


The video below is from Deborrah Cooper discussing her site:  Millions of Americans struggle to find the keys to healthy relationships.  On her show, Deborrah discusses all the issues that matter to single folks looking to find the right love connections.

Diamond Breland: Spike Lee vs. Tyler Perry

Listen to Your Black World’s Diamond Breland give her take on the battle between film icons Tyler Perry and Spike Lee.  The video is below!

Huffington Post: Women Should Not Be Arrested For Sending their Children to School


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Huffington PostYour Black World Coalition

When I heard about the case of Tonya McDowell, the homeless mother sent to jail for sending her 5-year-old son to the "wrong" school district, I immediately thought back to the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar not long ago. I wondered how the world has gone mad enough to somehow think that it should be against the law for mothers to find ways to get their children access to a high quality education.

As a result of this homeless single mother having the audacity to get her child into a good school, she is being charged with first-degree theft and also being asked to repay the $15,686 it allegedly cost to educate her child in the Norwalk, Conn. school district. No one cares that this family has no home. No one seems to care about what will happen if this child grows up without the only woman on earth wired to love him unconditionally. No one seems to care about the massive costs to the state of prosecuting this mother and eventually the child, as we deliberately trap them in an intergenerational cycle of poverty and criminal justice. All that seems to matter is that they keep this little boy out of their school.

Dr. Boyce Spotlight: Lynn Whitfield’s Among the Most Talented in Hollywood

Lynn Whitfield - Emmy Award Winning Actress


Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Lynn Whitfield first watched the likes of Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"and Bette Davis in "All About Eve" from her grandmother's lap. She loved classic movies and with child-like confidence, she could see no reason she could not become an actress and some day play those same types of roles.  Over the course of nearly three decades, the talent of the little girl who dreamed of being on the silver screen has taken her to the heights of the acting profession and earned the respect of the public and her peers.

Is Oprah Winfrey a Religious Icon?

From the Huffington Post 


A Yale professor’s book argues the talk show queen not only focuses on self-improvement, but also uses speech patterns of a preacher and a sermon-like structure for her shows.

NEW YORK – Oprah Winfrey’s success is, at least in part, due to her use of the techniques and language of a preacher, according to a new book from a Yale religion professor.

Winfrey became more than a daytime TV show host when she transformed herself into the equivalent of a religious icon, Yale professor Kathryn Lofton argues in her book Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon, the New York Post reported in time for Good Friday.

"Gospel is a word that means 'good news’," Lofton, who claims to have studied nearly every episode of Winfrey’s show as well as her print publications, told the paper. "Oprah says that the good news is 'you'."


Click to read


Richelle Carey: Thanks for Your Support on Tonya McDowell

richelle carey, black journalists

From Dr. Boyce Watkins

I just spoke this morning with Richelle Carey from CNN HLN.   Richelle mentioned that she has a strong interest in the Tonya McDowell situation and wants to remain updated.  I appreciate Richelle, for she has always been conscientious in her desire to keep the world aware of critical issues that face black people across the country.

Bishop Eddie Long Tells His Accusers “You Ain’t Messing with Me”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black WorldScholarship in Action 

The Bishop Eddie Long spoke to his congregation on Easter Sunday, stepping back into the public eye after a period of silence and detachment from the media. For whatever reason, Long decided to address the young men who are suing him for sexual misconduct, telling them that he refuses to be messed with.

“You ain't messin’ with me. I shall rise again and I ain't going through this,” Long said.

It is being reported that Bishop Long is close to reaching a settlement with the young men and his public remarks may be in response to frustrations over the negotiations. Four men who were once mentored by Long have come forth and accused him of using his influence to obtain sexual favors. Using Easter Sunday as his opportunity to share the message, Long continued to make comments about his ordeal to the audience.

Student Gets Life in Prison after Harvard University Murder


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black WorldScholarship in Action 

When most of us think about Ivy League universities, we picture places of higher learning, tranquility and inspirational endeavors. Most of us don’t think about students getting shot over bags of marijuana. But it still stands that Jabrai Jordan Copney is going to prison for a murder that took place on the Harvard University campus.

The murder occurred in 2009 and Copney has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The jury took three days to come to its conclusions, and sentenced the 22-year old Copney to spend the rest of his life in prison. He was also convicted of possession of a firearm, but not of armed robbery.

Meet Rocky Clark: His Insurance Company Has Left Him to Die

Rocky Clark

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black WorldScholarship in Action 

The story of Rasul "Rocky" Clark is a cautionary tale to all the mothers who send their sons to the football field on Saturday afternoon. Ten years ago, Clark was living the dream of many African American males: he was one of the stars of his high school football team, playing the game as running back.
Rocky's dream came to an end with one hit too many. The player was paralyzed from the neck down, rendering him unable to move, walk, stand up, or use his arms for the rest of his life. He will never run down the field, experience sex, wash himself or even breath properly again. He has one lung, and his life expectancy dropped dramatically on the day of his horrible injury. In fact, part of the reason his family is now broke is because medical experts and insurance companies didn't expect him to last for even a decade.
Rocky just found out that his $5 million dollar insurance policy has reached the lifetime maximum, meaning that his insurer is not going to pay anymore of his expenses.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Oprah Winfrey Explains Why She Can’t Take On the Soap Operas for her Network


Your Black World Reports

In the following video (below), Oprah Winfrey explains to her audience why she can’t take on the soap operas that are being taken off the air by ABC.  In her typically honest way, Winfrey explains why soaps are being removed from major networks.  She argues that soaps are disappearing primarily because they haven’t been able to maintain the audiences that they once had in the past.

"I will not be taking on the responsibility of trying to revive the soaps,” said Winfrey.  “Thank you for believing that I could save them, but I really can't."

Winfrey’s words came after the shocking announcement that ABC was going to cancel “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” two soap operas with long and storied histories. 

"While we are excited about our new shows and the shift in our business, I can't help but recognize how bittersweet the change is," Brian Frons, ABC's daytime department president , said in a statement. "We are taking this bold step to expand our business because viewers are looking for different types of programming these days. They are telling us there is room for informative, authentic and fun shows that are relatable, offer a wide variety of opinions and focus on 'real life' takeaways."



Join the Your Black World Coalition by visiting 

Tyler Perry and Madea Come In Strong at #2 In Their Opening Weekend

Easter went to the birds. Fox's animated adventure "Rio" led the box office for the second weekend in a row, earning $26.8 million according to studio estimates. That's a slim 32 percent drop for the G-rated film, which was produced for $90 million by Blue Sky Studios, of "Ice Age" fame. The tropical toon held up so well in part because most kids were out of school on Friday, giving the film a larger-than-normal start to the weekend. In just two weeks, "Rio," which features the voices of Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway as the world's last two blue macaws, has collected an impressive $81.3 million. Education Should Be A Right, Not a Crime

by Helena Andrews,

Start typing "mother arrested" into Google, and the Internet wastes no time filling in the rest: "for lying about her address." Not "for selling her daughters on Craigslist," "for feeding her sons drywall" or "for locking her kids in the basement like Boo Radley," but for trying to educate them beyond the borders of their block. In the United States of America, educating your children by any means necessary is a punishable offense.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Miami Dolphin Brandon Marshall Stabbed by His Wife

Brandon Marshall and his wife, Michi Nogami-Marshall, have been married for a year, police say.

From CNN

(CNN) — The wife of Miami Dolphins star receiver Brandon Marshall has been charged with stabbing him in the abdomen with a kitchen knife during a domestic violence incident, according to a report from the Broward County, Florida, sheriff’s office.

Michi Nogami-Marshall, 26, was charged Friday evening with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, which allegedly occurred in their Southwest Ranches, Florida, home, according to the sheriff’s report.

Brandon Marshall’s injuries are nonlife-threatening, said spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright of the sheriff’s office.

Read the rest of this entry »

Kelley Williams-Bolar Reaches Out to Support Tonya McDowell (Video)

From Dr. Boyce Watkins, The Your Black World Coalition

This week, I spoke with Kelley Williams-Bolar, the mother who was arrested in Ohio for sending her child to the wrong school.  The fight is not over for Kelley (who I am going to speak with again on Monday).  The state is still working to prosecute her father, an aging man who had a stroke.  She says that in spite of her father’s health condition, local prosecutors are still trying to harm their family on their malicious charge. 

Kelley also specifically mentioned to me that she would like to help Tonya McDowell, the homeless mom in Connecticut who was arrested recently for sending her five year old to a kindergarten outside her alleged home city.  She chose the school in Norwalk Connecticut because it has a good reading program, while the schools in Bridgeport (where the state alleges that her child belongs) are among the worst in the state. 

We are going to Connecticut to rally for Tonya sometime in early May, preferably before her court date.  I’ll keep you posted.  If you’d like to show support for Tonya’s case, please sign our petition by clicking here.  You can watch the video below to hear the words coming out of my very own mouth.



Sincerely, Dr. Boyce Watkins

Black Family Wealth Has Virtually Disappeared

by Dr. Boyce Watkins – 

The first decade of the new millennium brought a lot of things that the world didn't expect: the ability to order a pizza on your home computer, cell phones that allow you to talk to your friends face-to-face, and our nation's first black president.

One other unexpected event of the last decade is the disappearance of a century's worth of progress in reducing the wealth gap between black and white Americans. AsRex Nutting at Market Watch so accurately notes, wealth levels of the black family in America have declined dramatically during the past decade, and they show no evidence of getting better any time soon.

According to Nutting, "In a country where access to capital is everything, most blacks have nothing."


First, Nutting mentions that African Americans have the highest unemployment rates in the country, which stand at an average of 16.5%, compared to 9% for whites. What is most daunting is that soaring black joblessness, combined with higher foreclosure rates, bankruptcies, and declining home values have seriously cut into the wealth of the black family in America. in other words, we are the first to lose our jobs, have the least wealth to protect our families when times are tough, and a greater reliance on declining home equity as a source of economic security. This economy has provided the perfect storm of black economic destruction.

According to Nutting, the median net worth for black households dropped from $9,300 in 2007 to $2,200 in 2009, much lower than the median wealth of $98,000 for white households. He also mentions that incomes dropped in black homes by 7.2% between 2007 and 2009, much greater than the 4.2% decline for white families.

Nutting's article reminds us that the United States has a long way to go when it comes to wealth distribution. Over 80% of the nation's wealth is controlled by just 20% of its citizens, and the richest 1% of Americans controls one-third of the nation's wealth. Roughly 40% of Americans have no wealth at all. African Americans are disproportionately represented in the group of Americans with zero or negative wealth, which is a problem that most of our elected officials are inclined to ignore, and something that our nation's citizens don't spend much time getting upset about.

Nutting is correct to mention that most Americans have their wealth tied up in their home values. So, when home prices dropped so dramatically during the economic downturn, this led to the wealth of many black families disappearing as quickly as it had arrived. Most of the economic disparities in the United States don't exist because whites are more responsible with their money or possess economic intelligence that black people don't have. The primary reason for the gap is that for hundreds of years, African Americans added to our nation's net worth, but were not being properly compensated for it (similar to how the NCAA operates). Being left out of the growth of America's economic engine has kept African Americans at the bottom of the ladder of institutional opportunity: Our school systems are not well-funded, we can't find jobs because we don't own the businesses that take applications, and we continue to be utilized as for-profit commodities by the prison industrial complex.

According to Nutting's research regarding the Survey of Consumer Finances, black families were three times wealthier (in real terms) in 1983 than they were in 2009. As white families saw their net worth grow from $124,000 in 2001 to $143,600 in 2007, blacks actually saw their net worth drop from $12,500 to $9,300. By 2009, white families saw their wealth levels drop to $94,600, but African Americans's levels dropped even more to $2,200. So, between 2001 and 2009, African American families went from having a disgraceful one-tenth of the wealth of white families to an even more horrific ratio of one-fiftieth.

I am not sure how to process the Obama Administration's blind, deaf and dumb response to the persistent wealth and opportunity gaps in America that pertain to race. While the president continues to be popular among African Americans, I would encourage members of his administration to remember that leading with courage is an important part of making African American history (not just holding a fancy title that adds almost nothing more than symbolic value for the black community at large). Courage means sometimes doing things that are not popular and working to make America better.
Given that I haven't heard the president or his team use the words "black man," "black woman," or "black families" in public over the last two years, I am concerned as to whether or not our first black president has been or is willing to do much to fight on issues that matter to black people who didn't go to Harvard University. For example, it's interesting that President Obama would speak up for Henry Louis Gates in a meaningless and ambiguous scuffle with a police officer, but wouldn't say a word about Kelley Williams-Bolar, a black woman who was sent to jail for trying to get her kids into a good school. The latter case was far more significant in the fight against inequality, but Kelley's housing projects were apparently not close enough to Harvard Yard.

There is the added complication that perhaps, because of being a black man, President Obama could "get in trouble" with white voters for advocating on issues that matter to African Americans. This argument has been used by supporters of Hillary Clinton, who might be far less sheepish or self-conscious about advocating for women and minorities. I'm not sure if the Clinton supporters are correct, but the last two years have made many African American families wonder if it even matters who sits in the White House.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Keke Palmer to Produce Her First Film

Your Black World reports

How fast they grow up.  Keke Palmer has teamed up with Nick Cannon to produce her first film.  The film is called “Ragz,” a musical. 

"I am so excited to announce my next big project it’s a movie called 'Ragz,' the script is fun and full of great music,"said Palmer.

Recy Taylor: Woman Gets Apology for unprosecuted Rape in 1944

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black WorldScholarship in Action 


Recy Taylor, a 91-year old woman in Alabama, has received an official apology from the state of Alabama for a rape that occurred nearly 70 years ago.  Ms. Taylor was raped on her way home from church by seven white men.  The men were never prosecuted for their crime and allowed to live the rest of their lives without punishment.

Gov. Robert Bentley said that he plans to sign the resolution, which was passed by the state legislature.  Ms. Taylor was also grateful.