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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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Beyond the Rhetoric: Why Black Business Programs aren’t Working

Written by NPA Columnist on 24 June 2013.

Last week, I explained why we have Black business programs. The evolution of them from the Civil Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the cause for their existence.  Title VI of the Act and along with U.S. Supreme Court decisions justifies their existence. The most frustrating thing about it is the fact that most of them don’t work too well.  Our collective gains in the public and corporate marketplace have been little and slow in coming.  If we had genuine efforts and very positive results after 49 years of law there would be no need for affirmative action and minority participation programs.  In other words, there would be no more discrimination in the business marketplace.  But unfortunately, racism still raises its ugly head.

The most important part of making someone eligible for participating in these programs is certification.  For some reason, in 2008, the Small Business Administration ceased certifying Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB).  This will open the door for false claims and fraud.  The federal programs will become littered with “front” businesses participating as if they are small and disadvantaged.  A million dollar White-owned business could now claim to be a SDB.  Thus, there will be participation reports that are terribly inflated and misleading.  Maybe that is what the SBA’s intent is since their current level for Black participation is 1.5 percent (in 2012).

State departments of transportation are required under Title VI to have diversity programs.  The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) chooses to have a strange version of a program.  It’s the race neutral program.  Programs that address racial discrimination by having a race neutral program are shams.  In essence, race neutral means “White men companies only.”  It doesn’t work and their numbers show it.  In fact, the whole state of California is 54 percent ethnic minority but their procurement programs are virtually void of any acceptable measurement of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans.  On the corporate side, Silicon Valley is a wasteland in terms of procurement diversity.  It doesn’t do much better in its hiring practices either.  Old Mississippi still lives – it’s in California.

Every five years, states and cities are supposed to perform a disparity study to determine if discrimination among businesses exist.  The state of Illinois has recently done a study.  The study shows that Blacks are the most discriminated group among all contractors (duh!).  It calls for strict improvement in the goals.  Funny, the governor’s office is trying to suppress the study because of pressure from White women groups who are over-utilized according to the study.  The truth sometimes hurts and this state needs to come to terms with its ongoing discrimination against Black businesses. The Illinois Black Legislative Caucus should block all legislation until this study is implemented.

There is a similar situation in Milwaukee.  The city’s recent disparity study shows Black businesses being heavily under-utilized while Hispanics and White women seem to have no discrimination against them.  Guess who is suing the city to stop the implementation of this program?  The Wisconsin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. They want a race neutral program.  I don’t know what kind of kool-aid they are drinking.  Their law firm has ties to anti-affirmative efforts. Go figure.

There is also Jacksonville, Fla.  Their recent disparity study is being held up by the city council.  Black and Hispanic groups have come together to demand the implementation of the study which clearly shows Blacks and Hispanics terribly under – utilized.  I think the city’s Black mayor ought to step up – sooner rather than later.

There are many cities and states that are recalcitrant in complying with Title VI and the two rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court.  We have run out of patience.  The National Black Chamber of Commerce, led by our chair, Dorothy Leavell, is going to go on the offensive.  We are going to call out entities such as those listed above and put public exposure and pressure on these elected officials who are timid about addressing discrimination. My Lord! It has been 153 years since the Civil War began and slavery was finally condemned.  Full citizenship is our demand.

Most cities with the biggest problem are without a functional Black chamber of commerce.  If they do have one, it needs to step up its value to the local community and get involved or just shut itself down.  The three poorest big cities with large Black populations are Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinnati.  Yet, none of these cities have a really functional Black chamber of commerce whose focus is on Black business development.

Let’s stand up and make these programs work.  It is on our shoulders and it is time to march.

Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO, of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.  Website: www.nationalbcc.org.  Email: halford@nationalbcc.org. •

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