President Obama

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Obama lauds Black women at CBC dinner

President Barack Obama delivered the keynote address during the 45th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) Phoenix Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C.

During his speech at the 45th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) Phoenix Awards Dinner, President Barack Obama celebrated the critical role that Black women have played in “every great movement in American history” and pledged to address challenges they face in the workplace and in the criminal justice system. Continue Reading →

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VIDEO: President Obama gives eulogy for Rev. Pinckney in Charleston

President Barack Obama delivers the eulogy at the funeral of Reverend Clementa Pinckney at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., June 26, 2015.

President Obama traveled to Charleston, South Carolina June 27 to honor the life of pastor and state senator Clementa Pinckney — one of the nine who lost their lives in last week’s shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

“We are here today to remember a man of God who lived by faith. A man who believed in things not seen. A man who believed there were better days ahead, off in the distance. A man of service who persevered, knowing full well he would not receive all those things he was promised, because he believed his efforts would deliver a better life for those who followed.”
— President Obama, on the late Rev. Clementa Pinckney Continue Reading →

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My Brother’s Keeper destroys Black male mentoring movement

By Phillip Jackson
Guest Commentator

The White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative is destroying the Black male mentoring movement in America — decades-long work to save Black boys. Virtually all of the small, community-based agencies that comprise this substantial, historic effort to mentor Black boys have been left out of the overall conversation, the planning, and the funding essential to save Black boys and to chart a new course for their continued survival. Many of these groups provided mentoring for Black boys long before President Barack Obama became president and they will be working to save Black boys when he leaves the office. The White House made a strange decision to allow The University of Chicago to be its lead academic partner in the mentoring of Black boys although no visible plan exists to increase that school’s dastardly low Black male student population, which has hovered at about two percent for the past 15 years. The Black males on campus at the University of Chicago have to deal with severe racial profiling from their own campus police, and one Black male student was even put in a choke-hold and “arrested for not properly using the library.”

Funding the elite, well-heeled University of Chicago as the leadership organization for Black male mentoring, while ignoring grassroots organizations that have facilitated Black male mentoring programs for decades, guarantees that his initiative will fail. Continue Reading →

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Has Obama failed?

By Don Allen
Guest Commentator


As a card-carrying member of the Republican Party, I have to honestly say President Obama has not really failed. There are powers greater than him that still follow the political White-patriarchal system of checks and balances that he cannot interfere with. (One of them would be talking to Black Americans directly.)


Barack Obama won the votes of a majority of Americans. The re-election of the first Black president has made the history books and water cooler conversations. And now is the time for Black Americans to ask how we fit into the ephemeral vision called the American Dream. Continue Reading →

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New MPS programs to focus on Black male student achievement

Unified office, more instruction, more teachers planned

This story concludes our report on new MPS initiatives to address disparities that began with last week’s story, “Mpls Public Schools to assess impact of all policies, procedures on race equity.”


Second in a two-part  story 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


A new Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) department “aimed at accelerating academic strategies and reducing the achievement gap” has been established. The primary reason for the office is that there are multiple programs within MPS Central Office “that are doing similar work and as long as these [five] departments are in a silo and not connected together, we are not going to have a comprehensive, unified vision on how we allocate and be more thoughtful [on a] strategic way to deliver services,” explains CEO Michael Goar, who adds that a search for someone to head the new office is currently underway. “We want to make sure that all of our students of color will be just as successful as our White students,” pledges James Burroughs, MPS equality and diversity director. MPS serves approximately 36,000-plus students “and we’re growing,” reiterates Goar. “When you look at our student population, you are talking about the majority of our kids are kids of color. Continue Reading →

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My Brother’s Keeper: Trauma must be part of conversation on helping Black males

Black History Month has come and gone once again. I hope that folks learned something useful and constructive during this period. Oftentimes, I believe as Black people we forget that everything we do today is making Black history. Sadly, we think about what would be in the history books 50 years from now based on current events — the major events would be the election of President Obama, the murder of Trayvon Martin, and maybe even the first openly gay professional athletes being Black as well. However, I do not think these things encompass what we know Black history is about today. Continue Reading →

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The great divide of income inequality: a domestic crisis on the world’s stage







By Marc H. Morial

Guest Commentator


“Income inequality” has become the political buzzword of 2014. President Obama, most recently in last week’s State of the Union Address, has made it a central theme of his second term. Both progressive Democrats and conservative Republicans in Congress are making it a focus of this year’s mid-term elections, and leading voices for human rights have called on government and business leaders to take immediate action to close the income gap for the sake of long-term economic and social stability. Two weeks ago, as the world’s elite — leaders from government, business and NGO sectors — gathered in Davos for the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting, the issue of inequality was atop the agenda. WEF’s Global Risks 2014 report recently revealed that the “chronic gap between the incomes of the richest and poorest citizens is seen as the risk that is most likely to cause serious damage globally in the coming decade.”

Another voice was added to the chorus when the British-based anti-poverty organization, Oxfam International, released a report in advance of the Davos gathering, revealing that the richest 85 people in the world control as much wealth as the bottom half of the global population – about 3.5 billion people. Continue Reading →

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Local civil rights leader Matthew Little passes



By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer

Matt Little is gone, leaving a legendary legacy. He was widely renowned and will be well remembered as a Civil Rights Era icon who held a soul-deep commitment to empowering the African American community. Graduating North Carolina A&T State University in 1948, he relocated to the Twin Cities and, in 1954 became a board member of the Minneapolis NAACP, beginning a lifelong dedication to the organization. During his career, he was president of that chapter as well as president of the Minnesota state NAACP. Far from being a figurehead, Little was hands-on and counted among his most prized memories filing a federal lawsuit to integrate the Minneapolis Fire Department. Continue Reading →

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