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West Florissant, Mo. Explodes in Protest of Police Shooting, More Than 30 Arrests

West Florissant, Mo. Explodes in Protest of Police Shooting, More Than 30 Arrests

Special to the NNPA from the St. Louis American

The Target parking lot of the Buzz Westfall Shopping Center was filled with dozens and dozens of police vehicles and the area of West Florissant from Jennings to Ferguson was blocked off. Helicopters and tanks –as well as vehicles from a host of area departments – descended on West Florissant as looting and vandalism…

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Suppress Voting, Impeach Obama and Close HBCUs

Suppress Voting, Impeach Obama and Close HBCUs

By Peter Grear

Our campaign has sought to educate our communities to the point that they would organize and mobilize for a massive voter turnout for the November General Election and beyond. 

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Risky Situations Increase Women’s Anxiety, Hurt Their Performance Compared to Men

Risky Situations Increase Women’s Anxiety, Hurt Their Performance Compared to Men

Study author Susan R. Fisk

“On the surface, risky situations may not appear to be particularly disadvantageous to women, but these findings suggest otherwise,” 

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Voter Suppression: An Existential Threat to Democracy

Voter Suppression: An Existential Threat to Democracy

By Peter Grear

To properly understand where we are today, we must look to history, to Black Slavery.  Slavery has existed since the time of ancient civilizations and in its inception was based upon conquerors enslaving the conquered without regards to race.  

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Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Charlotte, NC (BlackPR.com)

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a business executive, was installed as the 2014-2018 International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA)

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Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

New York (BlackPR.com)

New York (BlackPR.com) -- Nielsen today announced that Andrew McCaskill has joined Nielsen as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications. He will report to Chief Communications Officer Laura Nelson.

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Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Written by Peter Grear

With this article we will start detailing the ingredients of a revisable action plan that needs comments and revisions as we move toward the Tuesday, November 4, 2014 General Election.  

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Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I confess that I’m amazed. The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of North Carolina announced last week that they have launched theNorth Carolina Black Advisory Board (BRAB) 

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Standard Surveys Overestimate Black Progress in Education, Earnings

Written by University of Washington on 02 July 2012.

By many counts, the lives of African-Americans in the United States have progressed since the Civil Rights era. National surveys show narrowing over the past few decades of gaps between blacks and whites in education and employment. There’s a growing black middle class and a black president. The surveys also suggest a smaller racial gap in voting, and many credit a large turnout of black voters for President Barack Obama’s 2008 election.

But when Becky Pettit, a sociology professor at the University of Washington, took a closer look at the numbers, she found that most measures exclude 2.3 million Americans in prisons and jails.

“A disproportionate number of these individuals are black men with little education, whose exclusion from social surveys gives the illusion that black people in America have achieved more than they actually have,” Pettit said.

She describes her findings and their social consequences in “Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress,” a book published this month by Russell Sage Foundation. The title is a nod to Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel, “Invisible Man.”

Federal surveys such as the monthly Current Population Survey rely on data collected from individuals living in households, which does not include those who are incarcerated, on parole, in the military or in mental hospitals.

When Pettit factored in inmates, she found that young black men without a high school diploma are more likely to be in prison or jail than have a job, and that nearly 70 percent of young black men without a high school diploma will be imprisoned at some point in their lives.

Standard surveys underestimate high school dropout rates for young black men by 40 percent, Pettit found.

“Including inmates, we find little improvement in the black-white gap in high school completion for the last 20 years,” she wrote in “Invisible Men.”

When inmates are included, employment rates for young, black men with less than a high school degree have decreased by half since 1980. In 2008, 25 percent of all jobless black men under 35 were in prison or jail, compared with 9 percent of young white men.

With more young black men unemployed due to incarceration, the black-white gap in earnings grew too. Pettit calculates that in 2008, average earnings by blacks were 30 cents for every dollar earned by whites.

Since most inmates are ineligible to vote, mass incarceration of black men has affected their participation in democracy. Pettit found that 48.6 percent of all young black men, including inmates, voted in the 2008 presidential election. Without including inmates, it appeared that 55 percent of young, black men voted – a statistic that led many to attribute Obama’s victory to a large turnout of black voters.

“Although blacks who voted in the 2008 presidential election supported President Obama by wide margins, a large fraction of black men were ineligible to vote because they were incarcerated. It is likely that even more will be ineligible for the 2012 election,” Pettit said.

Other consequences of incarceration, such as higher divorce rates, greater economic hardship for families of inmates and poor health status, are also obscured by omitting prison inmates from social surveys.

Pettit argues that shifts in criminal justice policy over the past few decades – not increases in crime – have led to greater incarceration of young black men.

“In any single case it is easy to point to crimes committed and the need to lock a person up,” she said. “But after decades of doing just that, when we step back and look at the criminal justice system as a whole, we can see that very clearly that it has become an institution that increasingly houses American’s most disadvantaged.” •

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