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The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

Peter Grear

Educate, organize and mobilize -- For more than a year leading up to the recently completed General Elections, I’ve written about Voter Suppression, gerrymandering, the Black vote and voters.  

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Thurgood Marshall College Fund Focuses on Developing Black CEOs

Thurgood Marshall College Fund Focuses on Developing Black CEOs

Developing Black CEOs

According to research conducted by Richard Zweigenhaft, a psychology professor at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., though Blacks account for more than 13 percent of the U.S. population, 

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Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Abuse in the Workplace

There is no significant difference in the prevalence of verbal abuse in the workplace between men and women, according to a systematic review of the literature conducted by researchers at the Institut universitaire de santé mentale de Montréal

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The Decision to Handle Rejection

The Decision to Handle Rejection

Rev. Manson B. Johnson

The Big Idea: Endurance is the key to achieving challenging goals in life.“Man’s rejection can be God’s direction.  God sometimes uses the rejection of hateful people to move us to a new place or assignment–where we wouldn’t have thought of going on our own.  

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How to Turn Personal Obstacles into Triumphs

How to Turn Personal Obstacles into Triumphs

(StatePoint) Everyone faces setbacks in life.

While those personal obstacles can lead to disappointing outcomes, they can also be harnessed into personal motivators, say experts. 

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Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Print Subscription

 Greater Diversity News (GDN) is a statewide publication with national reach and relevance.  We are a chosen news source for underrepresented and underserved communities in North Carolina.  

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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2011 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Civic Education Leads to Political Empowerment

Written by By Gary L. Flowers on 11 June 2010.

Civic Education LeadsOnce upon a time in the United States of America school districts mandated that students be proficient in "government" or civics classes. In 1970 (the year I entered the first grade) government and civics classes were watered down and replaced "social studies." The result was predictable: the average IQ of most Americans-particularly African-Americans decreased.

The phenomenal political race of Barack Obama in 2008 resurrected African American interest in the political process, particularly with respect to voter participation  In 2008, for example, 95 percent of all African-American registered voters voted; and 60 percent of eligible Black voters cast ballots. Black voters represented 40 percent of new voters, and, despite representing 15 percent of the nation's total population, made up 25 percent of Democratic Party votes.

African-Americans voted like no other time in American history. The previously high mark for Black voter turnout was in 1964 when 56 percent of African-Americans voted for Lyndon Johnson. African- Americans who turnout to vote make a difference in their daily lives. Yet, despite the breathtaking Black participation in national elections, their understanding of how government functions and the importance of voter participation in all elections (i.e. local, state and national mid-term) is getting worse. It is as though Black people passionately participated in the Obama church service without practicing the principles preached during the week in daily activities.

Judging by recent voter turnout statistics African-Americans seem to not understand that voting in state and local elections may by more important than federal ones. When Blacks do not vote in high numbers in state and local elections bad things can happen. For example, the rise of the Tea Party, in part, is due to the void of Black voters and a narrow view of what "America" is and for whose benefit our nation was formed. For example, the renown political scientist, Dr. Ronald Walters recently cited the work of Dartmouth professor Joseph Bafumi who asserts that many Tea Party members believes the American government spends too many resources on African American issues which lends credence to their erroneous declaration of "we want our country back."

Notwithstanding the absurdity of their sole claim to "America", southern Tea Party members vote in high numbers in state and local elections. Southern Blacks tend not to vote in large percentages. Predictably, most southern state office holders are elected by the margin of non-voting Blacks. One way to curb the tide of meager voter turnout by African-Americans in state and local elections is to reinstitute government and civics in educational curricula.
Additionally, political parties, non-governmental organizations, and churches need to raise civic awareness within their ranks. Citizenship begins with civic awareness.   

Gary L. Flowers is executive director & CEO of the Black Leadership Forum, Inc.