Dr. Boyce Watkins George Kilpatrick Talk about Black Wealth, Debt Ceiling

In this interview (below), Dr. Boyce Watkins speaks with George Kilpatrick, host of “New Inspiration for the Nation,” about current events within the African American community.  They discuss the recent debt ceiling, racism in the workplace, black unemployment, whether college athletes should be paid and more.

 

You can listen to the interview by CLICKING HERE.

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Oprah Receives Honorary Doctorate in South Africa

by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World

After First Lady Michelle Obama was put on the back burner by South Africa’s president, it is so interesting to hear that Oprah Winfrey received an honor in South Africa during the same time that the First Lady was also visiting. The Associate Press reports that “a central South African university known for fraught race relations awarded an honorary education doctorate to Oprah Winfrey Friday, and her visit was welcomed as an acknowledgment of the progress the institution has made toward tolerance.”

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Stevie Wonder Inducted Into Apollo Legends Hall of Fame

by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World

The sixth Annual Spring Gala Benefit Concert that will be honoring Stevie Wonder as the newest inductee of the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame will be held tonight. According toBlack Star News, “the benefit supports the preservation of the non-profit theater’s unparalleled legacy, its current initiatives for emerging artists, and community and educational programs in New York City and beyond.” The event will be hosted by none other than Sinbad, a former Showtime at the Apollo host. Commenting on the honor of being the host, he says:

“I am proud to be hosting this outstanding evening honoring two ‘Wonders of the World’: the great Stevie Wonder and the legendary Apollo Theater. In many ways, hosting this event is like going full circle in my career. There isn’t a person in my time up to now that didn’t want to be Stevie Wonder. Getting to meet and hang with Stevie over the years—as well as hosting Showtime at the Apollo for two years—were milestones in my life.”

 

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Staged or What? Woman Comes Up and Gives Eddie Long a Big Wad of Cash

In this shocking video, Bishop Eddie Long is giving a sermon during the week of his massive financial settlement to the four men accusing him of sexual coercion.  Inexplicably, a woman walks up to Bishop Long and gives him a giant wad of cash and then hugs him to show her undying support for the past.

Click here to watch the video.

 

 

Dr. Boyce: Red Bull's Shameful Exploitation of Black Male Incarceration Through Basketball

I receive a lot of interesting information through my Facebook page.  Each day, I get stories about police brutality, underhanded behavior by politicians, extraordinary achievements in the black community and nearly everything else.  This morning, I received an email that simply sent me into a rage.

In one of the most sickening displays of corporate exploitation, Red Bull has decided to create a basketball tournament that takes place at the infamous Alcatraz prison, dubbed “King of the Rock.”  Bringing ballers from around the world, the ad presents imagery of black men dribbling basketballs and dunking over one another, all for the honor of getting to Alcatraz prison for the finals.  One of the tournament’s slogans is “Only the hardcore made it to Alcatraz.”

I found it intriguing that Red Bull has found a way to merge the stereotype of the black man who spends all his time on the basketball court with an equally destructive image of that black man playing his way into a penitentiary.  Perhaps we need to take a visit to Red Bull’s corporate headquarters and make them aware of our national campaigns designed to end the destructive effects of mass incarceration among black men. Maybe they need to listen to hip-hop songs in which corporate America provides platforms to black men who train themselves to kill one another, sell drugs and do other things that lead to so many black fathers being ruined by life in the penitentiary.  The last thing I need to see is another black boy putting down his school books and becoming hypnotized about the fantasy of playing basketball on his way to prison.

An addiction to sports over education and significantly disproportionate incarceration rates serve as two of the most dominant factors working to destroy the black family in America.  With so many black boys nurturing hoop dreams that will never be fulfilled, many end up as unemployed adults with no education and little to no ability to become reliable husbands and fathers.   Black men have the highest unemployment rate of any ethnic/gender group in the United States,  the highest rates of death from hand gun violence and incarceration levels that are nothing short of an all-out holocaust.  By feeding into this imagery and giving yet another basketball-dribbling black boy a reason to glamorize the prison system, Red Bull has helped to fuel the epidemic that is killing us.

Personally, I never plan to purchase another Red Bull product for the rest of my life.

Here is one of their ads if you’d like to see it.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

 

 

 

Anderson at Large: Remembering the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921

This week marked the 90th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, one of the worst acts of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.

In a special video message, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, joined Rep. Tom Cole, Co-Chairman of the Congressional Native American Caucus, and Rep. Charles Gonzalez, Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, marked the occasion and called for a national dialogue on race and reconciliation.

CBC Chair Cleaver said:

A robust national education campaign on race relations and reconciliation is critically important to strengthening America. A nation divided along racial lines impedes America’s ability to be an effective world leader.

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Miami Heat Sends Email Questioning Fan Loyalty

As the Miami Heat head home on the brink of elimination in the NBA finals, team owners are putting pressure on the fans to stand up a little more for their team.  In an email that was sent out recently to season ticket holders, Heat managers told fans to show up in white and wear comfortable shoes because ”you need to be standing from the opening tip ’til the final buzzer”.

The Miami Heat fans are known for not supporting their team:  they arrive to games late, leave games early and rarely cheer.  Observers attempt to argue that they don’t have the same degree of loyalty as the fans for the Boston Celtics, who cheer from buzzer to buzzer, whether their team is winning or losing.

Miami Heat owners have asked Heat supporters to “fan up” in response to their team being on the brink of  elimination.  Charles Barkley told ESPN that the Miami Heat fans are “the worst” and that the arena isn’t even loud.

Creflo Dollar: Eddie Long "already has a ticket into heaven" (video)

Last week, Dr. Boyce Watkins from Your Black World wrote an article about Eddie Long being defended by Pastor Creflo Dollar.  Additionally, Roland Martin and actor Boris Kodjoe got into a heated battle over the incident on Twitter.  Now, you can hear the words come out of Dollar’s mouth, as he says that Bishop Long already has a ticket into heaven and that his church members should not abandon him in spite of the fact that he’s paid a settlement to cover up a case involving alleged sexual coercion of four young men in his church.

Click here to watch Dollar speak on the issue.

 

 

 


Dr. Boyce: Black Expo in Indiana Surrounded by Serious Drama

The Black Expo, one of the largest African American events in the country, is now plagued in a scandal that threatens to tarnish its reputation for the worse.  A group of 17 employees has written a public letter, stating that Tanya Bell, the president of the expo, has created a hostile working environment by engaging in bullying tactics against her employees.

Bell has responded by stating that she was unaware that a letter against her had been released to the media.  Two employees of the organization, including the finance director, are no longer involved in the planning for the event.   Some are wondering if the two individuals were fired or chose to resign.

The executive committee for the Black Expo met on June 8 to discuss planning for the event.  Vernon Williams, a member of the executive board, distributed a statement from Bell to the media on Friday.  Williams admitted that the backlash against the president could be discussed at the meeting.

Set to start on July 7 at the Indiana Convention Center, the Black Expo will include nearly two weeks of events that include exhibits, celebrity galas and a corporate luncheon.  Bell said in a statement that planning the event is her top priority and primary focus.  The event draws tens of thousands of people to downtown Indianapolis and millions of dollars in revenue.

At this point, an outside consultant has been brought in to address the situation and find a resolution.

“A process has been started and an action plan is being established to move forward,” according to a statement issued by the staff and distributed by Elizabeth Hart, communications director.  Hart also signed the complaint letter that was sent to the executive board.

Among other things, Bell was accused of creating a hostile working environment, demeaning and intimidating employees, making overly aggressive and rude remarks, sending employees home in tears, and supporting  a relative she hired who allegedly watched “pornographic material” on the job.

In her statement, Bell said that she never heard anything about the complaints going public:

“Indiana Black Expo employees never shared the letter submitted to (the) press with me,” Bell said. “Because I have an open-door policy, employees are always encouraged to share any of their concerns.

“In the four years of my tenure as President/CEO, there have not been any previous complaints filed against me by a member of the IBE staff. We remain confident that the emphasis of all involved in the IBE family from this point will be the 41st Summer Celebration and that we will weather any storm.”

I attended the Black Expo two years ago and had a relatively good time.  While I felt that the event left something to be desired, I did enjoy myself.  I also noticed that the expo has a very loyal following and I was impressed with the presence of so many diverse and intriguing people in one setting.  I honestly believe that the event, with a few modest upgrades, could compete with the Essence Music Festival as one of the most productive gatherings of black folks in America.

The scandal involving Tanya Bell serves as nothing more than a tremendous distraction which threatens to undermine the hard work that’s been done to make the expo into such an empowered and established institution.  The respect the event garners is in jeopardy and concrete steps must be taken to rectify the damage being done within the organization.  While it is certainly plausible that Tanya Bell is the victim of a vast conspiracy to undermine her power, the truth is that she can’t get her job done effectively without the support of her staff.  Therefore, my first inclination as an outside observer is that getting Ms. Bell out of her position and starting with a clean slate might be the best bet as it pertains to creating the kind of stable environment that doesn’t jeopardize the event’s corporate sponsorship.

At the end of the day, we must treat our subordinates with respect.  Whether you are a teacher in a classroom, a judge in a courtroom or the big boss of the Black Expo, the reality is that the so-called “little people” are usually more important than you think.  Whether she is at fault or not, Ms. Bell should never have allowed this situation to get into the public eye.   She failed to manage obvious hostility within her organization, and it is for that reason that a more effective leader should be selected.