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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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Black American Voters Alert: Don’t Let Anyone Break Your Spirit

Written by Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. on 29 October 2010.

Once again, it is worth emphasizing that black Americans have a serious vested interest in the outcome of the 2010 midterm elections. The Black Press, in particular, has to continue to help wake up the masses of African Americans to make sure that we have the largest possible voter turnout on or before November 2, 2010. Beware of the playa haters and the spirit killers. Don’t believe the hype that a majority in our communities are not enthusiastic about voting, and therefore will not vote because of some misguided notion that this election is really not that important.

In our long struggle for freedom, justice, and equality, there have always been attempts to make some of us believe that there are just too many obstacles in our path or life journey and, as such, we should just throw in the towel, give up, and quit fighting for freedom and empowerment. Some national pundits, most on the conservative right, are overjoyed about their predictions that black Americans are apathetic and emotionless about the Obama Administration and who no longer see a need for civil rights and racial justice concerns as priority issues.

Thus, there is an irritating increase in those doom’s day predictions about black America’s future importance in the nation’s political and economic life. Slave masters and their great grandchildren have always relished the thought that one day African Americans would willingly return to the days of absolute plantation-like social dependence on the benevolence of those who maintain a White supremacist worldview and economic control to be the key players in determining the quality of life of the black people not only in America, but also throughout the world. I am not shocked when these regressive tendencies arise around each election cycle. What does concern me, however, is when some African Americans start to mimic and repeat the backward mischief of those who have historically oppressed and exploited the black community.

I think we have more reasons to go out and vote today than ever before. Take the issue of the need for a better quality education of our children. That issue alone should necessitate the responsible action of millions of African Americans to vote for educational reform on November 2, 2010. I agree with my long-time colleague, Kevin Chavous, Chairman of the Black Alliance for Educational Options. Chavous recently stated, “By now I’m sure you heard the academic achievement gap between White children and children of color has grown to the point that by the fourth grade, black and Latino children are, on average, three academic years behind their White counterparts.” Chavous rightly has called for a “Revolution in Education” led by black parents and others who really care about the future of our children’s education in America. Another timely shot in that “revolution” ought to be fired by millions and millions of black people who should defy the so-called popular belief in black apathy. We should vote in record numbers for our children. We should vote for educational reform in every state, congressional district, locality, and voting district.

Some groups are spending a lot of money to suppress the impact of the black vote, like in the state of Florida with the “Unfair Voting Districts” constitutional amendments 5 and 6 on the Florida ballot. In other states, the media is constantly reporting that African Americans just don’t care about the upcoming elections. Then, there are some in the African American community who are afraid to use the terms that describe the condition of black people in America for fear of being falsely accursed of “reverse racism.” In other words, some of us have become uncomfortable in having to demand freedom and equal justice.

The whole purpose of this alert is to encourage you to not let anyone or anything break your spirit. African Americans have had hard times before now. But, we refused to give in to oppression and discrimination. We refused to allow others to define our realities and our dreams and aspirations. Yet, when it comes to the quality of life and the education of our children, we should never compromise. Voting for us was a hard fought civil right. But voting is also a present day responsibility. Let no one stand in your way to prevent you from voting. Keep your spirit strong! Let’s vote for a better future for our children’s education and development. Let’s vote for a better America, not a backward nation. We need a spiritual revival not just for ourselves, but for all.

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr is Senior Advisor to the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and President of Education Online Services Corporation.

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