African Americans

Cosby, Not Ebony Magazine, Fanned Stereotypes of the Black Family

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Ebony Magazine stirred a mini-firestorm of rage when it dredged up an old photo shot of the TV Cosby show family, plopped it on its November cover, and then fractured the picture. The obvious point being that embattled comedian Bill Cosby not only disgraced his legacy but disgraced the hitherto near sacrosanct image and legacy of the celebrated Cosby TV show family, the Huxtables. The premise of the show was that there is fully intact, respectable, high-achieving, prim and proper black middle-class families. 

Cracking Down on Fraudulent Mortgage Practices

George White

City, state and federal agencies have been stepping up efforts to stamp out fraudulent mortgage practices that target communities of color, pricing discrimination and redlining among them. Redlining, the practice of denying credit to qualified applicants who seek loans for homes in specific neighborhoods, is illegal under the 1968 Fair Housing Act. However, a Buffalo-area bank on September 10 agreed to pay nearly $1 million to settle a lawsuit that alleges it redlined a large, predominantly black community in that city.

On Its 50th Anniversary, the Voting Rights Act is Under Attack

Peniel E. Joseph

For African Americans, the passage of the Voting Rights Act on Aug. 6, 1965, represented the culmination of a centuries-long struggle for citizenship. President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the legislation, designed to end a century of voter disfranchisement in the South and other parts of the nation, was inspired by grassroots protests and organizing that gripped the nation. Martin Luther King Jr.’s efforts in Selma, Ala., linked a local campaign for voting rights to a national movement to redefine American democracy.

Who is Burning America’s Black Churches, And Why?

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The count of black churches in the South that have been torched is not the six that have been burned since the massacre of nine blacks at Charleston's Emmanuel AME Church, but 37. The church burnings occurred in a period of not two weeks but over 18 months. That was only the tip of the church burning iceberg. In a six-year period between 1991 and 1996, the ATF investigated more than 150 churches that had been torched in both the South and the North. 

Hillary Clinton, a Champion of Voting Rights

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson

Arguing that every citizen should have the right to vote, Clinton argued the common sense position that we should do what we can to make voting easier, not make it harder. She called for restoring the Voting Rights Act, to ensure pre-screening of election law changes that potentially discriminate against classes of voters. She embraced the bipartisan presidential commission recommendations for expanding early absentee and mail voting and for ensuring that no one waits more than 30 minutes to cast a vote.

Waco Biker Disaster Again Raises Issues of Racial Double Standard

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Suffice it to say, there have been no hysterical screeches branding them thugs, gangsters, animals, and vermin. There have been no indignant and furious calls from the press, citizenry, and elected officials for a swift, harsh, and massive crackdown, sweeps, and toss the book demands at them. The kind that we instantly hear leap from their mouths, drum the airwaves with, and pen angry editorials on when its young blacks on the hot seat.

New Report Finds 4,000 Lynchings Took Place in the South From 1877-1950

Frederick Lowe

The Equal Justice Initiative on Monday published, “Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror.” They reported that 3,959 African Americans were victims of terrorist lynchings in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. More than 90 percent of terrorist lynching victims were black men, and some of the victims were boys as young as 12 and 13.

My Civil Rights Year

Paul Kleyman

My Selma experience was deeply sensory, staying up all night in the basement of the Brown AME Chapel making coffee for people, moving to the rhythmic speeches and songs in the church sanctuary, crowding into the back of a pickup truck to go to the march after a chilly, pre-dawn rain—and walking 19 miles in tennis shoes (decades before “cross trainers”), only to peal them off in Montgomery and plunge my feet into the happy coolness of red mud.

Black Voters Face New Hindrances in the South

Freddie Allen

Last summer, the United States Supreme Court invalidated the Section 4 coverage formula in the Voting Rights Act that required jurisdictions with a demonstrated history of voter discrimination to “pre-clear” any changes in voting laws with the Justice Department of a federal court. The ruling effectively neutered Section 5 of the VRA.“Four states formerly covered by Section 5 of the VRA – Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia – rank as the worst offenders."

40 Years Later: African-American Men Still Face Mass Incarceration, Job Losses

Freddie Allen

Black men are no better off than they were more than 40 years ago, due to mass incarceration and job losses suffered during the Great Recession, according to a new report by researchers at the University of Chicago. Derek Neal and Armin Rick, the co-authors of the study, found that reforms in the criminal justice system at the state-level largely contributed to disparities in arrests and incarceration rates that ultimately stifled educational and economic progress for Black men.

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